Return to Transcripts main page

One World with Zain Asher

U.N. Security Council Passed A Resolution For A Pause In Fighting In Gaza, U.S. And Russia Abstained From Voting; New Video Evidence Of Former President Trump Overturning The 2020 Election Results Was Released; Seven Prisoners Who Were Wrongfully Detained For Years Are Now Exonerated; New York Times Reports The Wealth Of McCallister Family, Protagonists In "Home Alone" Franchise. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired December 22, 2023 - 12:00   ET




BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone. Live, from New York, I'm Bianna Golodryga.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Zain Asher, you are indeed watching ONE WORLD.

GOLODRYGA: Right now, the world is watching the United Nations. That's because the U.N. Security Council is talking at this hour about a Gaza

resolution that would allow more humanitarian aid to enter the enclave. You're seeing on your screen there what we are watching for the expected

vote coming anytime.

ASHER: Yeah, we will, of course, keep an eye on what's happening on the U.N. floor there. But it's worth noting that this vote, the vote that we're

going to see actually in about an hour or so or within the next hour or so from now comes as there has been so many delays because there's been

concern, especially from the U.S., about the language in this resolution. Now, source familiar with all of this is saying that the language has been

softened in multiple places and changed in multiple places to really get the U.S. on board and win the U.S.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, for more on this, let's bring in CNN's Alex Marquardt live from Washington. Alex, you've been reporting on this. So, per your

reporting, the U.S. has agreed to this vote, though we don't yet know how the U.S. will vote, whether they'll agree to this or just abstain. But

softened language is one part of it. Another is who will actually oversee the aid going into Gaza. Give us more details.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CHIEF U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Bianna, that's a very important distinction. These have been very

contentious negotiations, evidenced by the fact that this vote has been delayed throughout the course of the week. It does appear to finally be

happening this morning.

The bigger picture from Washington's perspective is that the Biden administration wanted to get this resolution to a place where they did not

vote no, where they didn't veto this resolution. They are keenly aware of the global outrage that has arisen because of previous vetoes for votes on

immediate ceasefire.

So the goal here for Washington was to get this resolution to a place where they could either vote yes or to abstain. And we don't know which way the

U.S. is going to vote. It was not just a question of how to describe an end to the fighting. But I'm told the major sticking point was about a U.N.

monitored mechanism for aid going into Gaza. This is something that Egypt and the UAE had pushed for that the U.S. felt would be too complicated, too

cumbersome, would actually slow aid down.

But last night, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas- Greenfield, said that they had gotten the resolution to a place where the U.S. could support it. This is what she had to say.


LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: We have worked hard and diligently over the course of the past week with the

Emiratis, with others, with Egypt to come up with a resolution that we can support. And we do have that resolution now. We're ready to vote on it.

It's a resolution that will bring humanitarian assistance to those in need.


MARQUARDT: Bianna, that was yesterday. Things can still evolve. Other countries can still weigh in and there is still a major question of how

they are going to describe an end to the fighting. Of course, the U.S. and Israel not calling for a ceasefire. What we may see in this resolution are

steps towards a sustainable cessation of hostilities. That's something that has been proposed.

So there are still a lot of outlying questions, including which way the U.S. will vote. But again, the goal for Washington here on this resolution,

on this Security Council vote was to either vote yes or to abstain and not veto yet another Security Council resolution. Bianna, Zain?

GOLODRYGA: And Alex, in terms of how Israel is viewing all of this, they've been very vocal about criticizing the U.N. in general, calling them a body

that in their view is not objective in this war. But it was interesting that in your reporting, an official said, quote, "Israel is aware and can

live with this, with this resolution if it indeed passes in its current form." Tell us more about that and what to make of it.

MARQUARDT: Well, this is an extension of the continued U.S. support for Israel. In the past Security Council vote, when the U.S. did veto that call

for an immediate ceasefire, there was a lot of outrage among other members of the Security Council among countries around the world, but not Israel.

Israel thanked the U.S. for their continued support.


And so essentially the U.S. will continue to push that support at the U.N. Security Council. And so what I'm told is that during these negotiations,

the U.S. has kept Israel apprised of what was being discussed. Israel is not a member of the Security Council. And so the U.S. was working to get

the language in this resolution to a place where not only the U.S. was satisfied, but also Israel would be satisfied. And I think that is most

important when it comes to that question of a ceasefire or a cessation of hostilities.

There are a lot of countries there including the United Arab Emirates that has proposed several of these resolutions, that there would be an immediate

ceasefire. The U.S. was never going to vote for that. That is certainly not something that Israel wants. And so that language, we understand, will be

watered down in this resolution to a place where the U.S. can either vote yes or abstain, a place where Israel would be content with that, because

they do have every intention, of course, and we see it again today, and we will see it again tomorrow, of continuing their fight against Hamas in

Gaza. Bianna?

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, and there's no way it's important, there's no way to enforce whatever comes of this resolution, though it would send a very

important signal to Israel and the rest of the world about the pressure that is on Israel now to allow for more humanitarian aid to get in and to

pause, at least put a pause on the fighting at the scale that it is right now. Alex Marquardt, thank you so much. Obviously, we're going to be

bringing you the vote when it happens in real time. And any comments from Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

ASHER: Yeah, and as Alex pointed out, the U.S. really wanted to get to a point where they could actually--

Okay, Linda Thomas-Greenfield is actually speaking. Let's listen in.


THOMAS-GREENFIELD: -- also created conditions that they are complaining about now in their unprovoked war in Ukraine. But colleagues, the United

States, as you see, we did not support the amendment put forward by Russia. We believe the humanitarian resolution before us calls for urgent steps to

immediately allow safe, unhindered, and expanded humanitarian access, and to create the conditions for sustainable cessation of hostilities. This is

a strong step forward, and we believe the council should speak out in the amendments -- in the resolution that's been put before us and move forward

with a vote on this resolution. So thank you very much.


the United States for her statement. So now we will proceed to voting. I understand that the Council is ready to vote on the draft resolution

contained in document S-2023-1029.

We now submit the draft resolution to the vote. Those in favor of the draft resolution contained in document S-2023-1029, please raise their hand.



The result of the vote is as follows. 13 votes in favor, zero votes against, two abstentions.

The draft resolution has been adopted as Resolution 2720.

I will now give the floor to the members of the council who would like to make a statement after the vote. I will now give the floor to the

representative of the United States.

THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you, fellow council colleagues. This was tough, but we got there. Since the start of this

conflict, the United States has done work tirelessly to alleviate this humanitarian crisis, to get life-saving assistance into Gaza and to get

hostages out of Gaza, to push for the protection of innocent civilians and humanitarian workers, and to work towards a lasting peace.

Today's vote bolster -- bolsters those efforts and lends support to our direct diplomacy. And I want to thank the UAE and others for working with

us in good faith to craft a strong humanitarian-focused resolution. It took many days and many, many long nights of negotiating to get this right.


But today, this Council provided a glimmer of hope amongst a sea of unimaginable suffering. Today, this council called for urgent steps to

immediately allow safe, unhindered, and expanded humanitarian access, and to create the conditions for sustainable cessation of hostilities.

I'll note that this is the first time this council has used this language, language we believe is critical to scaling up aid and underscoring the

tough steps ahead as we work together to achieve a lasting peace.

Colleagues, today this Council made clear that addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza needs to remain at the forefront of our agenda. Today this

Council made clear that all hostages must be released immediately and unconditionally, and that humanitarian groups must be able to access

hostages, including for medical visits.

Today, this council made clear that all parties must respect international humanitarian law. Today this council made clear that civilian and

humanitarian facilities, including hospitals, medical facilities, schools, places of worship, and U.N. facilities, as well as humanitarian personnel

and medical personnel, must be protected.

This applies to all parties to this conflict to Israel, but also to Hamas, a terror group that instigated this conflict and that wages war from inside

homes and hospitals and U.N. sites and uses innocent civilians as human shields, an act of cowardice and cruelty.

Colleagues today, this council made clear the need to ensure humanitarian personnel and assistance, including fuel, food, medical supplies, and

emergency shelter assistance can reach people in need. It is hard to overstate how urgent this is.

Just yesterday, humanitarian groups released a report on the dire food security crisis in Gaza, and the word famine has started to enter the

vocabulary of humanitarian leaders I've met with.

Surgeries are being performed without anesthesia. People are huddled in overcrowded U.N. shelters. Others are sleeping in the streets. This

resolution speaks to the severity of this crisis and it calls on us all to do more.

For our part, the United States has worked tirelessly to scale up the delivery of humanitarian aid through direct, persistent presidential

diplomacy. In the beginning of this conflict, we helped secure an agreement to open the Rafah crossing.

Last month, we helped secure a deal that led to an extended humanitarian pause during which more than 100 hostages were released and additional aid

got into Gaza. And last week, we helped secure the opening of the crossing at Kerem Shalom for direct delivery of assistance to civilians in Gaza.

This resolution puts the weight of the Security Council behind these efforts and bolsters them by calling for the appointment of a senior U.N.

official who will work to expedite the delivery of humanitarian aid at scale and in a sustained way.

We know humanitarians are already doing the impossible and we are there to do everything in our power to support their life-saving work. It is vital

that, when implementing this resolution, the U.N. builds on the progress we have seen on the ground. And we look forward to this new official working

with humanitarian actors and relevant parties, including Israel.

We know so much, so much more needs to be done to address this humanitarian crisis and to lay the groundwork for a lasting peace. And let's be clear,

Hamas has no interest in a lasting peace. Hamas is determined to repeat the horrors of October 7th over and over and over again.


And that is why the United States supports Israel's right to protect its people from acts of terror. And I'll note that the resolution does not

support any steps that would leave Hamas in power, which in turn would undermine the prospects for a two-state solution, where Gaza and the West

Bank are reunited under a single governance structure, under a revamped and revitalized Palestinian authority.

We must, colleagues, we must work towards a future where Israelis and Palestinians live side by side in peace. This is the only way forward.

Ultimately, while we are encouraged that the council spoke out on this humanitarian crisis, we're deeply disappointed, appalled actually, that

once again the council was not able to condemn Hamas' horrific terrorist attack on October 7th.

And I can't understand why some council members are standing in the way and why they refuse to condemn these evils unequivocally.

Why is it so hard to condemn Hamas for slaughtering young people at a concert, for burning families alive, for the reports of widespread sexual

violence? Why? I will never understand why some council members have remained silent in the face of such evil.

But colleagues, we also believe this council must continue to put its support behind the resumption of humanitarian pauses. Israel has made clear

that it's committed to reaching another agreement. This is now entirely up to Hamas. Hamas must agree to additional pauses. That is how we can get

additional aid in and save lives and additional hostages out immediately.

Today this council spoke out, but we know that only progress on the ground can turn these words into action. So the United States will continue to

work with the U.N., with humanitarian groups, and countries in the region to get more humanitarian aid into Gaza, to secure the release of hostages,

and to work towards a lasting peace.

There is no time to waste. We must find a path forward to end the misery we are seeing.

It's unbearable to see a Palestinian child shivering in fear after their home was destroyed. It's unbearable to see the families of hostages

experience such pain and grief as they frantically await and pray for their loved ones to return. My heart is filled with pain, and I know the same is

true for so many people around the world. So we must work together to alleviate this tremendous suffering once and for all. Thank you.

DE LA GASCA (through translator): I thank the representative of the United States for her statement. I now give the floor to the representative of the

United Kingdom.

BARBARA WOODWARD, U.K. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Thank you, President. The United Kingdom welcomes the adoption of the resolution.


ASHER: All right, you've just been looking at live pictures from the floor of the UN. We just heard U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-

Greenfield speaking. This is actually Barbara Woodward speaking here, but Linda Thomas-Greenfield was speaking just a moment ago after the resolution

addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza was adopted.

The U.S. has been really trying to tweak the language here, trying to get it to a palatable place for both Israel and the U.S. where the U.S. could

actually either abstain or say yes. It turned out that the U.S. ended up abstaining here along with Russia, but 13 members of the council voted yes,

two abstaining, meaning the resolution has now been adopted.

I do want to bring in Jeremy Diamond, who's been standing by with all of this. This is obviously significant, Jeremy. One of the things that Linda

Thomas-Greenfield says was that, look, in order for there to be progress on the ground, we have to make sure that these words are turned into action.

I was listening to her speak, sort of talking about the priority when it comes to humanitarian aid, and thinking to myself, you know, what is Israel

thinking of all of this? I mean, obviously they are a key player in this. They hear Linda Thomas Greenfield's words, they hear this resolution, and

they think, what, Jeremy?


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, they have taken some steps to accommodate U.S. demands that they increase the flow of

humanitarian aid, but international organizations say that it is still simply not enough. You know, earlier today I was at the Kerem Shalom border

crossing, which until last week was not open to aid deliveries going from Egypt into Israel and then directly into Gaza.

Until last week, those trucks of aid had to then turn back from Israel, go into Egypt again and cross into the heavily bottlenecked Rafah crossing.

But today we saw dozens of aid trucks going directly into Gaza from Israel. But aid organizations say that it is still not enough.

And this U.N. resolution is certainly a watermark moment in terms of the kind of significant international pressure that Israel has been coming

under, mounting international pressure in recent weeks. And this resolution will indeed establish a senior U.N. representative to effectively oversee

the delivery of aid into Gaza and try and expedite that process.

But it was also very clear to me while being on the ground today at Kerem Shalom that there is still a significant disconnect in terms of how Israeli

officials see the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and how the rest of the world sees it.

When I was there today we had a briefing from Colonel Moshe Tetra who is the senior official from the Israeli military charged with facilitating

delivery of aid into Gaza. And with a straight face, he looked at me and he said that there is no food shortage in Gaza.

That is despite the fact that we have now heard from multiple international organizations, including the U.N. World Food Program, saying that about

half of Gaza's population is currently facing severe or extreme hunger. 90 percent of people in Gaza have had to go for at least a day without having

a single meal.

And we know that there certainly is a food shortage in Gaza. And so, just a fact that there isn't an acknowledgement of that reality. Kind of speaks to

the broader disconnect. And it also helps to explain why the United States ultimately felt compelled to get this resolution to a place where they

could at least, if not vote for it, at least abstain, which is exactly what we saw today.

And just on the specifics of this resolution and the words that we heard from Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, she also made clear why the United

States ultimately chose to abstain. She said that it was because this resolution lacked any condemnation of Hamas' October 7 terrorist attacks

that killed 1,200 people here in Israel. She said, I will never understand why some members on the council refused to include that language. And she

said she was disappointed and appalled.

But the rest of her words in this speech that she gave after this vote happened, you know, it almost sounded like the United States supported this

resolution. And it's clear that if not for that language, it seems that the United States indeed would have supported it. She said that this resolution

will be critical to scaling up aid and working to achieve a lasting peace. And she said it is hard to overstate how urgent that very task is.

ASHER: Well, Jeremy Diamond, live for us there. Thank you so much.

GOLODRYGA: We want to talk further about this with David Sanger, who's joining us live from Berlin. David, thank you so much for taking the time.

So I wanna pick up on what we just heard there in that conversation with Jeremy, because it is notable that the United Nations Security Council has

yet to condemn Hamas for the October 7th attack.

They have been condemning the actions of Israel subsequently. Linda Thomas- Greenfield and others made note of the acute, dire humanitarian crisis on the ground now. She said the words famine have entered the vocabulary. So

no one's denying that fact and the horrific images that we have seen since that attack of October 7th. But is it not low-hanging fruit for Israel to

really have difficulty in taking the Security Council in this resolution and anything that it passes going forward objectively if you don't have a

condemnation of the terror attack itself? Can you talk to us about the politics behind that?

DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Sure. I mean, Linda Thomas-Greenfield was absolutely right. You can't get the United

Nations Security Council to condemn a terror attack. But the politics of this have been completely divided from the beginning. And the Security

Council itself did not want to put itself, or you saw members of the Security, Russians and the Chinese included, who wanted to focus really on

the retaliation in Gaza.


And so the uneasy compromise that was reached, and it was uneasy and it took weeks longer than it should have, was that in the end this resolution

would be focused only on getting more food and aid into Gaza, wouldn't talk about the origins of the October 7th attack, and wouldn't, at the U.S.'s

insistence, mention the word ceasefire.

So the U.S. can tell the Israelis that they are not prohibited from continuing the attacks on Hamas. And that itself was a difficult pill to

swallow at a moment that the United States is, of course, trying to get the Israelis to change the nature of those attacks and make them far more

targeted and far more like counterterrorism operations and not like indiscriminate bombings, to use the phrase that President Biden briefly

used a few days ago.

ASHER: And David, Zain here. Just in terms of enforcing this resolution being adopted, obviously, this is just one hurdle that has been overcome.

And the U.N. Security Council have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to bring it to this point. But in terms of what changes now, In terms of what

happens on the ground, Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, look, you know, the ball is in Hamas' court at this point in time.

How is this going to be enforced? When are we going to see pauses in the fighting to allow urgent aid to get in? I mean, 20,000 people have been

killed. There's no functioning hospitals in the northern part of the enclave. Disease is spreading. Linda Thomas-Greenfield talked about, as

Bianna just mentioned here, that famine, the word famine is now being used. What changes on the ground at this point?

SANGER: Well, the good news is that they're now bringing aid directly in from Israel and opening up that entirely different gate from the north.

That's the good news. The bad news here is that you're still not going to be able to get aid into areas where Israeli bombing is underway, and you're

only going to get that if there's a pause. And the Israelis have said there's only going to be a pause if we get back to hostage releases.

And, of course, that runs directly against Hamas' interests. They may have some interest in one more level of hostage releases. But in the end,

they're probably going to want to hold on to 75 or 100 hostages, because if they let them all go, they think the Israelis would have no restraint


So the key question of how you get pauses and then how you turn those pauses into a lasting ceasefire, that's completely unresolved from this. It

is much better progress to be getting aid trucks in than not. And we're in a better place than we were in that regard three weeks ago, but the

situation on the ground is also far more dire than it was three weeks ago.

ASHER: Right, David Sanger, live for us there. Thank you so much.

GOLODRYGA: Thanks, David.

SANGER: Thank you.

ASHER: I thought it was really interesting in terms of what Linda was saying there, just about, listen, the U.S. does not support Hamas being in

power because that is completely contrary to the future and the possibility of a two-state solution. And she said, listen, the hostages must be brought

back home. It's important that she worked that in there towards the end.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, and that they must have humanitarian access, proof of life, visitation to these hostages as well, not to mention the humanitarian

crisis on the ground, the need to get food, medicine, water. Basic human existence is not in place for millions of people right now in Gaza.

ASHER: We'll be right back.




GOLODRYGA: All right. For those of you just joining us, we want to update you on our breaking news this hour. Just moments ago, the UN Security

Council just passed a resolution on Gaza.

ASHER: Yeah, it called for extended humanitarian pauses and corridors in Gaza and also to allow for unhindered humanitarian access, worth noting

that there were 13 votes in favor, but Russia and the United States both abstained. And this vote, by the way, had been delayed for days. Washington

says it ultimately abstained because the resolution lacked any condemnation whatsoever. You and I were just talking about this. It lacked any

condemnation for Hamas's October 7 attacks on Israel.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, something Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said she'll never understand.

Meantime, let's turn to another important subject, and especially this time of year.

ASHER: We were just talking about this.

GOLODRYGA: We were over the break. Record levels of air travel are predicted here in the US with the holiday rush well and truly underway.

From Saturday, AAA is predicting the busiest 10-day holiday travel period ever for U.S. airports. And American Airlines, the largest carrier in the

country, expects today to be the busiest day of the holiday period. Sounds so fun.

ASHER: Are you traveling today? I'm staying home, so I'm fine with that.


ASHER: That's on top of extreme weather in some parts of the country, such as California, where there has been heavy, heavy rainfall. That means that

even if you're not flying, there could still be major challenges ahead, especially if you're driving. In total, 115 million Americans are expected

to travel a distance of 80 kilometers or more. Not sure what that is in miles for the Americans among us, but that's a long distance.

GOLODRYGA: It's not across the street. Let's put it that way.

Meantime, this is happening as medical experts are concerned that as people are getting together for the holiday season, this is like a broken record.

The past few years, COVID is going to spread once again, causing more cases of the new Omicron sub-variant called JN.1. The CDC says it's now the

leading cause of COVID infections in the U.S., representing almost half of the reported cases.

ASHER: Yes, several countries in Europe, that includes Denmark, Spain, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands have seen a huge rise of JN.1 cases

and also rising hospitalizations as well.

I want to bring Jacqueline Howard, joining us live now. The big question is, what can people do? I mean, this makes people so nervous, this idea

that we still haven't gotten rid of it, have we? Right? It's still haunting us. What can people do to protect themselves?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN MEDICAL REPORTER: Exactly. And you know, as we continue to live with COVID around this time every year, this is the

respiratory virus season, we can expect to see COVID, flu, and RSV. So things we can do, and I'll probably sound like a broken record, but they're

the same steps that we took during the peak of COVID.


Number one, get vaccinated. This is actually the first time we have a vaccine for all three of those viruses I mentioned: COVID, flu and RSV. And

then consider masking, wash your hands, stay home when you're sick. Those are the same steps that we took at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. And

they're still important as we enter the winter season when we see the most spread of respiratory viruses.

And definitely the last thing I mentioned was stay home when sick. That's so important. If you test positive for COVID-19, you should isolate for at

least five days. And if you continue to have symptoms at day five, you still need to isolate. That's most important to really help stop the spread

of these kinds of illnesses.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, that is really important. Jacqueline, another important question, is the updated COVID-19 vaccine still effective against this new

JN.1 variant?

HOWARD: Right, well, JN.1 is an Omicron sub-variant. So that suggests that this vaccine will still offer some protection since the latest COVID

vaccine has been updated to specifically target. Omicron variants. And of course, if you haven't gotten vaccinated. Yes, yet you definitely want to

do so quickly. It still takes, you know, two weeks for the vaccine to be fully effective. So if you get vaccinated today, you'll have the full

protection within, you know, within the next two weeks.

So you won't get that full protection like right away, but just in general, the sub-variant JN.1 here in the United States, it now causes about 44

percent of all new COVID-19 infections. So this is the variant that's causing the largest share of infections we're seeing right now here in the

United States. And it continues to be really a variant that we're tracking both nationally here in the U.S., but also globally as well.

ASHER: Yeah, I'm a homebody anyway. But you've just given me another reason not to leave my house for the next two weeks. So thank you, Jacqueline.

GOLODRYGA: Thanks, Jackie.

HOWARD: Happy holiday.

GOLODRYGA: Thank you.

Well, coming up, another tape has reportedly emerged of former U.S. President Donald Trump pressuring state officials to overturn the 2020

election results. We'll tell you where and what happened after the break.


ASHER: All right. Welcome back to ONE WORLD. I'm Zain Asher.

GOLODRYGA: And I'm Bianna Golodryga. The president of one of the most prestigious universities in the world is now facing new allegations of



Harvard University president Claudine Gay has asked the corrections be made to her 1997 dissertation because of what it says are inadequate citations.

ASHER: Yeah, she's already requested corrections to two scholarly articles that she wrote several years ago. Harvard's board, call the instances

regrettable, but they say that they do not amount to research misconduct, that would be punishable. A U.S. congressional panel says it's going to be

widening its probe of Harvard to include the allegations of plagiarism as well.

GOLODRYGA: We get more now from CNN's Danny Freeman.


DANNY FREEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Harvard University's president, Claudine Gay, back in the hot seat.


FREEMAN (voice-over): After the elite school said it found two more instances of inadequate citation in the embattled president's writings.

Now, a U.S. House committee already investigating anti-Semitism at Harvard says it will also look at the plagiarism allegations.

In a new letter to Harvard's highest governing body, the committee's chair cites Harvard's honor code that states members of the college community

must commit themselves to producing academic work of integrity and asks, does Harvard hold its faculty and academic leadership to the same


Last week, Gay submitted corrections to a pair of papers she wrote as a professional academic in 2001 and 2017, but a CNN analysis of her writings

documented other examples of plagiarism from the 90s when Gay was studying for her PhD at Harvard.

Gay's 1997 dissertation lifted one paragraph almost verbatim from another source without citation. Jonathan Bailey is a plagiarism expert.

FREEMAN: What troubled you about the specific dissertation allegations more than others?

JONATHAN BAILEY, PLAGIARISM EXPERT AND COPYRIGHT CONSULTANT: That paragraph showed a length of text that clearly could not have been produced any other

way than through copying, was not quoted, and was not properly cited in the paper. So that's what made me worry about that one.

FREEMAN (voice-over): A Harvard spokesperson told CNN in a statement Thursday, the university reviewed more of her writings and Gay plans to

update her 1997 work to correct these additional instances. Harvard said the inadequate citations were regrettable, but were not research


In a previous statement about the earlier allegations, Gay defended her work, saying, I stand by the integrity of my scholarship. Throughout my

career, I have worked to ensure my scholarship adheres to the highest academic standards.

The latest development, coming a week after Harvard's top governing board unanimously stood behind Gay, following intense calls for her to resign

over her congressional testimony on anti-Semitism on college campuses.

REP. ELISE STEFANIK (R-NY): So the answer is yes, that calling for the genocide of Jews violates Harvard code of conduct, correct?

GAY: Again, it depends on the context.

FREEMAN (voice-over): The allegations against Gay, who was the first black woman to serve as president of Harvard, have largely originated from

conservative activists. But the question persists. Is the school holding its president to the same standard as its students?

BAILEY: Plagiarism really exists on a spectrum between completely original writing and completely copied and pasted and trying to pass off someone

else's work. And right now, the best we have on Claudine Gay is sitting somewhere in the middle between the two.

FREEMAN: Now, despite the increase in scrutiny over these plagiarism accusations, Harvard, for its part, is still publicly standing by its

president. But that House committee, they're moving along. They've requested troves of documents from the university. So while these new

corrections are coming, this story likely not over.

Danny Freeman, CNN, Cambridge, Massachusetts.


ASHER: All right, another tape has emerged of Donald Trump pressuring election officials to block Joe Biden's 2020 presidential victory, this

time in the battleground state of Michigan.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, remember the impact and the fallout from the Georgia tapes. Well, this now is in Michigan. In the "Detroit News" reports, there

is a recorded phone call of Trump urging two Republican officials not to certify the results in Wayne County. CNN has not independently obtained or

verified that recording. The Michigan officials did try to rescind their votes, but it was too late. Here's what one of them had to say at the time.


MONICA PALMER, WAYNE COUNTY BOARD OF CANVASSERS CHAIR: He thanked me for my service, asked me how I was doing. There was a genuine concern for my

safety with what he had heard, the threats that were coming in.

REPORTER: Are you saying the president's call had no influence on you recamping your vote?

PALMER: Absolutely.


ASHER: And as you'll remember, in the January 2021 phone call, Trump also famously pressured a top Republican official in Georgia to overturn his

state's presidential election results as well.

All right, the Texas National Guard is denying claims that its officers ignored a migrant woman in the Rio Grande who was screaming for help and

appeared to be actually in danger of drowning.

GOLODRYGA: Take a look at this video footage obtained by CNN shows the woman holding a crying baby in her arms as she struggled to cross the




It's really difficult to watch there as you hear both her and what sounds like her child screaming too. An immigration activist says the witness, she

witnessed the incident earlier this month and she says the woman eventually made her way back to the Mexican side with her child. Now it comes amid a

surge of migrants at the U.S. southern border.

ASHER: All right, imagine spending months, years, maybe even decades in prison for a crime that you did not commit. In recent months, we've seen a

flurry of cases cropped up across the US where people who were wrongfully convicted have now been set free. And in almost every case it was a

mistaken eyewitness that resulted in an innocent person being sent to prison.

Josh Campbell has the story.


DARIAN HARRIS, EXONERATED: 12 and a half years I made it.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Darian Harris waited more than a decade for this moment. Arrested and accused of fatally shooting a

Chicago man at a gas station in 2011 just before graduating high school. The now 30-year-old walked out of Cook County jail a free man earlier this

week. Charges dropped after a new revelation in the case. The prosecution's star witness, who had identified Harris in a lineup, was legally blind.

HARRIS: He said that he witnessed the shooting 80 feet away at night. He can't even see five feet in front of him.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): Harris was wrongfully convicted in 2014 and sentenced to 76 years in prison. His attorney tells CNN that a gas station

attendant who also witnessed the crime told police at the time that Harris was not the shooter.

LAUREN MYSERCOUGH-MUELLER, STAFF ATTORNEY, THE EXONERATED PROJECT: All of this evidence kind of culminates together to show some of the big problems

with eyewitness testimony.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): Harris is the fourth man to be exonerated in Cook County just this month. James Soto and David Ayala are cousins, wrongfully

convicted in the 1981 murder of two Chicago teenagers. They were freed earlier this month after spending 42 years behind bars.

JAMES SOTO, EXONERATED: I feel excited, elated, exuberant, but as I mentioned before, a bit of righteous anger. It should not have taken 42

years for this to happen.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): Brian Beals was a college football player in 1988. He was convicted for murdering a six-year-old at Chicago, spending 35 years

in prison before walking free.

MIGUEL SOLORIO, EXONERATED: A few weeks ago, I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family for the first time in 25 years.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): After two and a half decades behind bars, Miguel Solorio is finally home. One of two men in prison for murders that Los

Angeles County prosecutors now say they did not commit.

SOLORIO: I was wrongfully convicted of a murder I had no knowledge of. I was only 19 years old.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): Solorio was arrested after a 1998 drive-by shooting that killed an elderly woman after being misidentified in a police photo


Also exonerated in Los Angeles, Giovanni Hernandez, arrested for murder in 2006 when he was just 14 years old.

GEORGE GASCON, LOS ANGELES COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: A new analysis of Mr. Hernandez's cell phone records by the FBI shows that his phone was not at

or near the location of the shooting.

BRIAN BEALS, EXONERATED: I was innocent of this crime.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): One common theme in at least seven exonerations announced across the country this month. Police relying on statements from

bystanders, later shown to be faulty and contrary to other facts in the case.

GASCON: We have known that eyewitness identification has been a problem for at least 20 years.

MYSERCOUGH-MUELLER: Certainly relying on a blind eyewitness is not how justice is supposed to work.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): With their innocence now declared, those wrongfully in prison say they will continue to speak out.

HARRIS: I got to be the voice for the people that's being silenced right now. These people that feel like they'll never come home.

CAMPBELL: Now it's important to note that these wrongful convictions didn't come to light because of law enforcement, rather because of the work of

public defenders and volunteers and nonprofit groups like the Innocence Project, which works to ensure that people who are in custody are not being

held unjustly. Now the work of law enforcement, obviously very critical, but these cases show that law enforcement officers are not infallible,

which is why it's so important to have outside groups essentially checking the work of the police to ensure that people aren't serving time for crimes

they didn't commit.

Josh Campbell, CNN, Los Angeles.


ASHER: Just far too many of those cases as well.

GOLODRYGA: 25 years. Unbelievable.

ASHER: A quarter of a century, a time you'll, of course, never ever get back.

GOLODRYGA: Really important work by Josh Campbell there.

Well, I will be back at the top of the hour on "Amanpour" with a look at the Vatican's changing policy on same-sex relationships.

ASHER: ONE WORLD continues next.





ASHER: My favorite childhood movie ever. And it is the time, of course, of year for Christmas movies. And one of the best of all time is the one you

see on your screen, "Home Alone", the story of how young Kevin McCallister defended his house from two bungling criminals. And that house he defends

is actually, you've noticed, a pretty nice place. Nice enough that fans of the movie have asked time and time again, how rich are the McAllisters?

Here's my colleague, Phil Mattingly, with an educated guess.


PHIL MATTINGLY, "CNN THIS MORNING" ANCHOR: This, folks, is why great reporting matters. And this is with a huge hat tip to the "New York Times"

for a really great story. Let's start, though, with the family home.

The McCallisters lived in a wealthy Chicago suburb, a home that even by 1990 standard would have only been affordable by Chicago's 1 percent.

Zillow's current estimated value for this property and eye-popping $2.4 million, which, as The Times points out, is probably the best clue to the

family's net worth. Which brings two words to mind. Silver tuna.


So the Times asked economists at Chicago's Federal Reserve, how much would the McAllisters have to actually live in a home like that. And that's where

we get the answer. Their answer, working under the assumption the family spent no more than the recommended 30 percent of their income on housing,

they would have to bring in roughly $300,000 in 1990, or close to $700,000 in 2022. And in today's market, they would actually have to be making more

than that to be able to afford that home. But obviously there's a critical question here. Where did the money actually come from?

Time to dig in, right? Simple answer, we don't actually know. The movie never actually explains, but fans have theories. One clue they often point

to, there are multiple mannequins scattered throughout the house. That seems rare, you would think, which led some to believe that Kevin's mom

could have been a fashion designer. That's a career they went with in the official novelization of the movie.

So I think we can put a check mark by that. The Times spoke to the novel's author, who says he also made Kevin's dad a businessman because it was,

quote, "a safe theft". What about the uncles, one of whom, Uncle Frank, travels with the family to Paris? Not exactly a beacon of generosity.



Then, of course, there's Uncle Rob. He pays for the whole family, 15 of them, to fly to Paris to spend the holiday with his family, including four

first-class tickets for his brothers and their wives, opening up his apartment. Of course, it has Eiffel Tower views, to host them all. This

while maintaining, as we learn in the sequel, the Upper West Side brownstone that Kevin ends up visiting in "Home Alone 2."

One other theory that has made the rounds online, organized crime. Now, let's be clear here. This is speculation. We don't know this specifically,

but the fans say McCallister's home might've been targeted specifically as a mob vendetta. They point to Kevin's violence as evidence, get a childhood

exposed to criminal activity. It's important to know. The Times was not able to rule out this theory. Neither have my sources. We're going to

continue to press for those answers.


ASHER: Very stellar reporting from our Phil Mattingly there. And basically, to sum it up, they're rich. They're very rich, even though we don't

actually know what they do for a living.

And before we go, a remarkable image from the U.S. space agency just days away from Christmas. The so-called Christmas tree cluster is about 2,500

light years from Earth. Two of NASA's space telescopes captured the image, which shows young stars surrounded by a gas cloud.

All right, that does it for this hour of ONE WORLD. I'm Zain Asher. "AMANPOUR" is up next with my colleague, Bianna Golodryga, who's next door.

Have a great weekend. See you soon.