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One World with Zain Asher
Netanyahu Asking IDF To Draw Up Evacuation Plans From Rafah; President Biden In A Tense Exchange With CNN's M.J. Lee On Age And On Whether Or Not He Is Fit For Office; President Biden Set To Welcome German Chancellor Olaf Scholz To The White House; New Ukraine Military Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi Sets Out His Battlefield Priorities; Tucker Carlson Interviews Russian President Vladimir Putin; Scientists In England Hold Their Most Successful Nuclear Fusion Test; NFL And Fans Embracing Taylor Swift-Travis Kelce Romance. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired February 09, 2024 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, coming to you live from New York, I'm Zain Asher. My colleague, Bianna Golodryga is off today. You are indeed
watching ONE WORLD. An Israeli military operation in Gaza's southernmost city looks imminent, as I speak. The Israeli Prime Minister has just asked
his military to draw up evacuation plans for the population of Rafah. Benjamin Netanyahu calls the city Hamas' last bastion.
Aid groups and others have been sounding the alarm for weeks, saying that any Israeli ground incursion there could turn into a zone of bloodshed and
destruction. This is what Rafah looks like right now, with no escape for people who are sheltering there.
More than a million Palestinians have been crammed into overcrowded shelters. They're also living in tents. Displaced Palestinians have been
fleeing to the city close to Egypt's border for weeks to escape the fighting elsewhere in Gaza. This, coming as the U.S. President has made one
of his sharpest rebukes about Israel's military campaign in Gaza at a news conference on Thursday. Take a listen to what President Biden had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: I'm of the view, as you know, that the conduct of the response in Gaza -- in the Gaza Strip has been over the top.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: The U.S. has been calling for restraint. The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to have largely shrugged it off. The U.S.
President also said that more has to be done to stem the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. I want to bring in CNN's Nic Robertson, who's watching
these developments from Tel Aviv. Nic joins us live now.
So, let's just talk about first and foremost, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking the IDF to draw up evacuation plans from Rafah. Just walk
us through what that means in terms of the timing of a potential ground assault and what does that mean for the 1.3 million people, Nic, who have
been crammed into Rafah at this point in time?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yeah, it's a very, very worrying time for all those people in Rafah. I think the Prime
Minister's comments or the comments that have come from the Prime Minister's office, the timing of them does seem to be an apparent response
to U.S. concerns, to President Biden saying that it's been over the top and to Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit here earlier in the week where
he'd spent time with the Army Chief, the Minister of Defense, with the Mossad Chief, as well, to get an insight into exactly what the military's
plans were going to be should they go into Rafah.
And the Prime Minister's made it quite clear at the moment this is what he intends to do. He said there are four battalions left, Hamas battalions in
Rafah, complete victory. You cannot have complete victory without going in and taking them.
He's spoken about the high numbers of Hamas that the military has already - - has already killed, captured or injured, 20,000 he said. He's talked about the cost of lives for IDF soldiers saying that if they would have
stopped now before going into Rafah, then all of those losses would be in vain.
So, the language does seem to be very structured around a ground incursion into Rafah. Of course, it could be posturing to put pressure on Hamas to
negotiate a deal better -- better on Israel's terms than certainly Hamas' counter proposal.
But I think, you know, when the Prime Minister says, I'm going to call in the military and they're going to have to come and tell the cabinet how
they're going to evacuate people in this area.
Well, I think we know what that looks like already because the way the war has been fought in Gaza, the military already has a program in place. There
are areas, Gaza's divided up into neighborhoods, and they'll tell people in certain neighborhoods to evacuate and take these roads at a certain time
and go to these safe areas.
But people still get killed on those safe roads. They still get killed in those safe areas. And the idea that the IDF can corral and move 1.3 million
people in a job lot, or that Hamas wouldn't hide amongst them and go to these safe zones as well. The war is not being fought that way.
So, I think we need to understand what the Prime Minister's office is saying that has given the military the task of coming up with a response,
because he politically is under pressure from the United States to come up with a response about how it's going to be done.
But the reality is, the effects on the ground may be very similar to what we've seen in the past. We know that the military have not quite yet got
their orders to go into Rafah. We know that the military commanders are very conscious and concerned about going into such a densely populated
neighborhood, but they will follow their political orders to go in if -- when that order comes.
ASHER: In the meantime, the question is what happens to the one million people who have been crammed into Rafah, as you point out, with nowhere
else to go at this point in time. Nic Robertson, live for us there. Thank you so much.
All right, Joe Biden has come out swinging as concerns about his age start to become a key concern in his U.S. presidential campaign. Those concerns
were laid bare last night after a Special Counsel's report exonerating the President for his handling of classified documents was released. But that
report instead questioned his mental abilities, calling him, quote, "a well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory". Mr. Biden was particularly
angry with the Special Counsel's claims that he couldn't remember when his son, Bo, died.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I know there's some attention paid to some language in the report about my recollection of events. There's even reference that I don't
remember when my son died. How the hell dare he raise that? I'm well- meaning and I'm an elderly man and I know what the hell I'm doing. I've been President and I've put this country back on its feet.
ASHER: He also expressed some frustration with the media as well, taking issue with its coverage of the report. CNN's M.J. Lee pressed the President
on concerns surrounding his fitness for re-election. Take a listen.
M.J. LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: For months when you were asked about your age, you would respond with the words, watch me. Many
American people have been watching and they have expressed concerns about your age.
BIDEN: That is your judgment. That is your judgment. That is not the judgment of the press.
LEE: They expressed concerns about your mental acuity. In December, you told me that you believe there are many other Democrats who could defeat
Donald Trump. So, why does it have to be you now? Why? What is your answer to that question?
BIDEN: Because I'm the most qualified person in this country be President of the United States and finish the job I started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: But during those same remarks on Thursday night, the President made this comment as he discussed the situation in Gaza.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: The President of Mexico, El Sisi, did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in. I talked to him. I convinced him
to open the gate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: There's just one problem with that. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is, of course, the leader of Egypt, not Mexico. President Biden, at age 81,
is already the oldest person to ever occupy the White House. Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee is only about four years younger.
CNN's M.J. Lee joins us live now from the White House. So M.J., we just saw that sort of tense exchange between yourself and the President speaking
about his age and the concerns a lot of Americans have about whether or not he is fit for office.
Let's just also talk about the Special Council's report because, of course, it is a win for President Biden in some perspective, in some ways legally,
but it was devastating for him for the Special Counsel Robert Hur to come out and talk about him having a poor memory, especially at a time when
there has been so much concern about his age.
M.J. LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, and you really saw that anger in those remarks in the press conference that he had after those
remarks. To everyone in the room, I think, and anybody watching, it was clear how livid the President was, really taking issue with the way that
this investigation was handled, the many, many references in the report to the President having memory issues.
You know, the report said that the President didn't remember exactly when he was President. You played the clip there of him responding to questions
about when his late son, Bo, had died. And I think that line of questioning in particular was probably what made the President the most angry.
He said, basically, how dare Robert Hur even ask me that question? This was none of his business. And we're actually learning that in private
yesterday, at a setting when he was meeting with some fellow Democrats in Virginia, he actually really erupted into anger, saying, how would I effing
forget that, referring to when his son, Bo, died.
But I think we are seeing sort of these broader questions about the President's memory issues that are raised in the report, getting tied up
into sort of the political attacks we have seen from his opponents, including, of course, former President Donald Trump.
We've seen that reflected also in the concerns that voters have about his age, his mental acuity. You saw how testy the President was when I raised
that question to him last night.
And by the way, I think it's also important to note just one interesting thing about how this investigation was handled. A White House official
yesterday did acknowledge that the weekend that the President was interviewed by Robert Hur.
This was a five-hour sit-down here at the White House in October, they did say that he was understandably distracted because it was the same weekend
that the war in Israel broke out. But again, they insisted there are no broader memory issues.
So, all in all, this is a President in a White House that is fuming about the fact that they put out some 400 pages nearly when at the end of the day
there were no criminal charges brought against the President.
ASHER: Right. M.J. Lee, live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate it. All right, let's bring in Molly Ball, who is a Senior Political
Correspondent with "The Wall Street Journal". She joins us live now from Washington.
So, Molly, an elderly man with a poor memory. An elderly man with a poor memory. What do we make of the Special Counsel, including that language in
this report? Especially as M.J. just pointed out, there were no charges brought at the end.
MOLLY BALL, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": There were no charges, but he did find a willful mishandling of classified
information, which is a little different than the way the President himself characterized it in defending himself.
But look, you know, as M.J. said, the President and his allies feel very aggrieved by this report. They feel it was gratuitous. They don't think it
was justified. They see it as something of a partisan attack. But I don't think that the Special Counsel really laid out anything that the American
people haven't seen with their own eyes.
And that's why this is so potentially damaging for President Biden. These concerns about his age, his acuity, his memory lapses, they are not a media
creation. They're not coming from the press. They're not coming principally from the Special Counsel. They're coming from the American public, from the
And you see it in polls. You see it in focus groups. You see it in just, you know, talking to regular voters on the street. It's a very widespread
impression that people have, a very widespread concern that American voters have. And the President either cannot or will not address it in a way that
puts it to bed.
ASHER: I mean, it's interesting, yes. You're right that the American people have sort of noticed certain slip-ups in the past. I mean, you have
things like confusing Francois Mitterrand with Emmanuel Macron. I just played a clip of him sort of referring to President Sisi as the President
of Mexico instead of Egypt.
And then you have things that are a little bit more serious or a little bit rather more concerning like, for example, not really being able to remember
when exactly he was Vice President. Also, not being able to really remember when his son -- when his son, Bo, actually died.
When the Special Counsel lays out the specifics like that, how much more concerning are those sorts of memory lapses for the American people, do you
BALL: Again, I think it's quite concerning, partly because it gives a sort of official imprimatur to something that a lot of people felt they knew or
suspected or had seen, you know, in the President's public appearances. You know, this isn't even the first time he's publicly forgotten details of his
late son in an interview a few years ago. He couldn't remember which service of the armed forces Bo served in.
So, I think the problem with the Special Counsel report is that in laying it out like this and documenting, you know, in a setting where the
President was called on to recall things, I think it calls into question not just, you know, the line that we've heard for a while is, well, we all
forget things, we all slip up, we all get names wrong, and that's true.
Pretty much everyone who's ever been in the public eye has missed a name here or there. But I think it's gotten to a level where, you know, it calls
into question the President's decision-making capacity if he can't remember basic facts in the course of, you know, a factual interview.
And it's compounded when, you know, he comes out to try to rebut this impression and ends up making another slip. So, he's caught in a difficult
situation where potentially the more he tries to -- to rebut this impression, the more he ends up deepening it.
ASHER: All right, Molly Ball, we have to leave it there. Thank you so much. Appreciate it. All right, just hours from now, President Biden will
welcome German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: This is video from their meeting last year. Support for Ukraine will certainly top their agenda, but they're also going to be discussing
how to keep the Israel-Hamas war from sparking a larger regional conflict.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Meantime, in Ukraine, the military's new chief, Oleksandr Syrskyi set out his battlefield priorities. They include a greater reliance on new military
technology, as well as speeding up the distribution of supplies to troops.
The man that he replaced, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, was awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine and the Order of the Golden Star, two of Ukraine's highest
honors, President Zelensky says, Zaluzhnyi and other honorees exemplify Ukraine's best.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Ukraine learned to defend itself in a way that is needed to win. We must walk the whole path in a way that
is needed in order to reach Ukrainian goals, to firmly defend our independence, to firmly guarantee safety from Russia, to firmly ensure
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Russian President Vladimir Putin says that it's the U.S. and its allies that are extending the war in Ukraine. Those comments came in his
interview with right-wing journalist Tucker Carlson. He said the war could be over in just a few weeks if the U.S. would stop supplying weapons to the
Ukrainian military. He adds that Russia will negotiate, but only so far.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Wouldn't it be better to negotiate with Russia, make an agreement, already understanding
the situation that is developing today, realizing that Russia will fight for its interests to the end? And realizing this, actually, return to
common sense, start respecting our country and its interests and look for certain solutions. It seems to me that this is much smarter and more
ASHER: Putin also told Carlson that an agreement can be reached on the fate of jailed "Wall Street Journal" reporter, Evan Gershkovich. The
Russian leader says that his country extended goodwill gestures relating to the situation, but that they were ignored.
PUTIN (through translator): There is no taboo to settle this issue. We are willing to solve it. But there are certain terms being discussed via
special services channels. I believe an agreement can be reached.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: All right, let's bring in CNN Senior Media Reporter, Oliver Darcy. Oliver, thank you so much for being with us. So, we learned a little bit
more, I guess, about, you know, Putin's position on Evan Gershkovich and also this idea of a potential, his viewpoint on a potential peace deal with
the West ceding territory in Ukraine to Russia. But overall, your assessment. This was effectively a huge propaganda win for Putin himself,
OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Yeah, there's no other way to look at this. I mean, this was a massive propaganda win for Vladimir Putin.
Tucker Carlson, who is not a journalist, he's a right-wing personality in the U.S., scores this interview, the first interview with a Western media
outlet with Putin since the invasion of Ukraine.
And Carlson notably did not ask some very key questions. He never asked Putin about the credible accusations that Russia has committed war crimes.
He never asked about the targeting of civilians in Ukraine. He never asked about the imprisoned opposition leader Alexander Navalny. He only seemed to
really, you know, engage in Putin on topics that he was interested in engaging on.
And most of the interview, if you can even call it that, was a lecture from Putin in which Tucker Carlson allowed him a free lane to tell his version
of history and to really manipulate the public.
At times, even Carlson fed into this by, you know, kind of nodding at some of these deep-state conspiracy theories that Vladimir Putin pushed about
the U.S. Now as you played, there was one moment where Carlson sort of did press Putin. It came at the very end of this two-hour interview, and that
was in regards to the imprisoned "Wall Street Journal" reporter, Evan Gershkovich. Carlson asked him if he would just let him go, and Putin
basically said no, not now.
And then Carlson even, you know, flubbed this because he suggested maybe Evan Gershkovich had committed a crime in Russia, to which, you know, "The
Wall Street Journal" pointed out that journalism is not a crime.
And so, if you look at this interview and look at the way state media in Russia, which is really hyping this interview, replaying it for their
audiences, if you look at how this is being played, it's no secret that Putin came out on top and really had a propaganda victory.
ASHER: Oliver Darcy, live us there. Thank you so much. The votes still have not all been counted in Pakistan's general election, but two
candidates are already celebrating. Supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan celebrated his early results show independence, most of whom are
loyal to jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan, are in the lead, with more than half the seats counted. But that wasn't the only celebration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says his party won the largest share of the vote but still lacks a majority. The final results have not
been released more than a day after the polls closed. The lead up to the election was marred by violence, leading police to ban gatherings and pause
mobile internet service.
All right, still to come, enough is enough. Protests in Haiti amid rising gang violence and political turmoil. That's next.
ASHER: The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights says that last month was terrifyingly violent in Haiti. He said January was actually the most
violent month in Haiti in two years. More than 800 civilians were killed, injured or kidnapped in clashes between gangs. It comes as Haiti really
struggles with a leadership vacuum more than two years since its President was assassinated. Here's our Sara Sidner with more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A state on the brink of collapse. Haitians are once again rising up in protest, demanding presidential
elections that were promised but never delivered. It's been nearly three years since Haiti's president, Jovenel Moise, was assassinated.
The power vacuum gains, exacting brutal violence on the population, have over-run the capital Port-au-Prince. The current Prime Minister, Ariel
Henry, has been urging calm and says he will not step down but swaths of the population are rising up against him. Henry took control of the country
after being chosen by President Moise shortly before his assassination.
A 2022 CNN investigation revealed that investigators believed Henry was at the center of it, and a judge overseeing the murder case told CNN that
Henri was a main suspect in Moise's assassination, something Henri has denied often. He wrote in a series of tweets, "The divisionary tactics to
seed confusion and impede justice from doing its work serenely will not stand."
But Henry is largely seen as an illegitimate leader by the Haitian public. The final straw, he promised to move forward with long-delayed elections,
signing a deal with representatives of political parties.
But the elections never came. Henry now saying elections will be held when the unrest and violence finally subside. Protesters are calling for him to
step down. And amid desperation, some Haitians are rallying around a polarizing figure, Guy Philippe.
GUY PHILIPPE, FORMER HAITIAN REBEL LEADER: We have a government here in Haiti that has no legitimacy. No one loves them. This government, everyone
knows, is helping gangs, killing innocent people, kidnapping, and serving imperialism interests.
SIDNER (voice-over): The current Haitian government denies these allegations. Philippe brings a complicated history with him. In Haiti, the
self-proclaimed former police chief rose to prominence after leading a coup that resulted in the ousting of then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in
2004, followed by an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2007.
He was only recently repatriated to Haiti after serving six years in a U.S. federal prison after taking a plea deal, admitting to taking bribes from
drug smugglers. Today, Philippe's words still galvanize a public frustrated by unabated gang violence, corruption and economic despair.
For more than a decade, Haiti has suffered through an unrelenting wave of humanitarian crises. A catastrophic earthquake, where more than 200,000
people were believed killed, brought the island nation to its knees in 2010.
Soon after, Haiti's misery only compounded as U.N. peacekeepers meant to bring stability, transmitted cholera, leading to a large-scale outbreak
that killed more than 10,000 people.
In the following years, Haiti was continually rocked by political instability. The situation finally reaching a fever pitch with the
assassination of President Moise in 2021. Several people have been arrested and are in custody for their alleged roles in the murder.
Warring gangs asserted their control over much of Port-au-Prince, disrupting the supply chain of basic necessities and displacing scores of
civilians. Kidnappings and shootouts on the streets have become routine hazards of life.
Gang violence has even stretched into the rural reaches of the island, the U.N. says. In 2023, the U.N. documented over 8400 direct victims of gang
violence, up 122 percent from 2022.
MARIA ISABEL SALVADOR, SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR HAITI: I cannot overstress the severity of the situation in Haiti where
multiple protracted crises have reached a critical point.
SIDNER (voice-over): The gangs operate with impunity as political deadlock renders the government toothless and the National Police Force struggles
JEAN VICTOR GENEUS, HAITIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (through translator): The Haitian people can't take it anymore. I hope that this is
the last time I speak before you, before the deployment of a multi-national security support force. The Haitian people has had enough of the armed
SIDNER (voice-over): But international efforts to restore security have also faltered. For now, demonstrations led by Philippe continue to gain
traction. The protests fueled by despair over the state of their lives in a state barely able to function. Sara Sidner, CNN, New York.
ASHER: All right, so to come here, historic ruling for the first time ever. A scientist has actually been awarded a cash settlement from climate
deniers. We'll have that story, next. Plus, what else? What else could eclipse the Super Bowl? You guessed it, only Taylor Swift herself. We'll
have the story of love on the gridiron coming up, next.
ASHER: All right, welcome back to ONE WORLD. I'm Zain Asher. I want to take a moment now to look at our Earth, our climate, and a series of
stories this week that may have slipped under your radar but really shouldn't have.
For the first time ever, we have breached the critical 1.5 degree increase in global temperatures over a 12-month period. Scientists have long feared
what could happen if the Earth's warming surpassed that threshold over the longer term and what that would mean for us seeing more extreme and much
more dangerous weather.
Also, this week, scientists in England held their most successful nuclear fusion test. The experiment produced enough energy to power 12,000
households for just five seconds. That's a record for this type of power generation, and it brings us closer to a clean, limitless energy source.
And, also noted climate scientist Michael Mann is celebrating a really important court verdict, as well. A jury awarded Mann more than a million
dollar after he was defamed by a pair of climate change skeptics, one of whom was a journalist for a conservative magazine.
Mann's lawyer said, "Today's verdict vindicates Mike Mann's good name and reputation. It also is a big victory for truth and scientists everywhere
who dedicate their lives to answering vital scientific questions impacting human health and the planet."
To give you a little bit more about each of these stories I've just outlined there, we're joined now by CNN's Chief Climate Correspondent Bill
Weir. Bill, I want to start with this court verdict with Michael Mann.
A, we can talk about what sort of precedent this sets, but B, I really want you to sort of explain to the audience just how critical and important
Michael Mann's work is, especially when it comes to the hockey stick graph. I mean, he really showcased just how much of an impact humans have had on
the climate since the 20th century.
MICHAEL MANN, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Zain. Yeah, back in 1999 with some other scientists at Penn State, they decided to look back
a thousand years-worth of temperature records in tree ring data and ice cores.
And they came up with, I'll show it to you right now, what is now known as the hockey stick graph. That is that the global temperature stayed as sort
of steady as the shaft of a hockey stick until the industrial revolution, when as carbon dioxide began pumping into the atmosphere, the temperature
chased it there.
A few years later, some hackers, right as the world was about to seem poised to sort of rally around decarbonization, somebody hacked into the
servers at the University of East Anglia and took a bunch of sort of e-mail correspondence between climate scientists, cherry-picked some language, and
tried to insinuate that they were fudging the data, trying to feed a narrative.
That was disproven, it was knocked down, but the climate gate, as it became known, really set back sort of climate communications for a long time and
put Michael Mann on the defensive.
And then a couple years later a couple conservative writers, a guy named Mark from the National Review, Rand Simberg, they equated Michael Mann's
science to Jerry Sandusky, a Penn State, infamous Penn State football coach who was convicted of child molestation.
So, not only was it a personal attack against Michael Mann, which he was vindicated for with this now verdict, but the root of it is these are
climate scientists, sort of the Paul Revere's of global warming, trying to warn the world of what's happening, and they're being attacked both
personally and professionally. And Michael Mann and his lawyer there are saying, hopefully this sets a new precedent where we value this data enough
to protect the messenger.
And in terms of some other news that I was just laying out there in my reading to you, global warming surpassed 1.5 degrees Celsius over the past
12 months. How significant is that, Bill?
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's the big benchmark that the Paris Accords were trying to avoid. You know, ideally holding
global warming at 1.5 degrees. Well, the last 12 months we went 1.52. And we knew this was going to happen. The last eight months are the hottest
eight such months ever recorded.
January was off the charts. Sea surface temperatures are really high. Then you have the El Nino contribution, the natural cycle. But a lot of the
things that science is showing us now, even some drought in the Amazon wouldn't have happened even with El Nino. So, a lot of this forcing is a
result of all that fossil fuel pollution right now.
And if we stay in this territory, obviously that's really concerning. There's hope that as El Nino fades, switches over to La Nina, that it could
come down a bit. But ultimately the fate of the global temperature is in humanity's hands and it won't start coming down until those fossil fuel
emissions are net zero.
ASHER: And in terms of some other good news, scientists set a nuclear fusion record, which is sort of one step closer to bringing this sort of
clean and limitless energy source closer to reality. Just walk us through that.
WEIR: Yeah, this is a machine called a "tokamak". It's like a big giant donut in Oxford, England, in which they heat up a plasma 10 times hotter
than the center of the sun in order to fuse isotopes together. Just a few little thimble full of fuel created enough energy to power thousand -- over
a thousand or ten thousand homes for just five seconds and obviously a long way before we can power those homes twenty four seven.
But this is an exciting breakthrough. It's a different machine in the United States. At Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, they've had several
successful emissions they're called when they create basically they mimic the power of the sun, of the stars in a contained environment.
It's hugely exciting, but a lot of folks I talk to in the space is, let's not confuse, get too excited over the new when we have the now. And the
miracle now is renewable energy is cheaper and more plentiful and solar and wind is just going online around the world much faster than we're getting
closer to, you know, charging our lives with nuclear fusion.
WEIR: But it is just one giant leap forward in what is considered the holy grail of clean energy down the road.
ASHER: Right, but as you point out, a bird in the hand, as they say. So, let's just sort of focus on what we can actually use right now in order to
change things up. Bill Weir, live for us there. Thank you so much.
All right, one impact of climate change is unpredictable, severe weather. And the U.S. Midwest got some of that on Thursday. A tornado was spotted in
the state of Wisconsin. It is the first tornado ever recorded there in the month of February. The twister was part of a strong storm system that
downed power lines and did a lot of damage to people's roofs. At latest report, there have been no injuries or deaths.
All right, coming up, supermodels and pop icons. Grace, the cover of British Vogue's March issue, celebrating an outgoing editor-in-chief who
broke the rules and broke historic ground, as well. We'll talk about his tenure when we come back.
ASHER: All right, it is the end of an era at British "Vogue" when Edward Enninful became editor-in-chief, he made history as the first man and the
first black person at the helm of the century-old magazine. He stepped down in June after more than six years at the helm, now he's going out in style.
For the March cover, his final issue, he managed to gather 40 superstars. Forty superstars, take a really close look at that picture for a class
picture Hollywood celebrities, you've got supermodels, you've got pop icons as well, you've got Jane Fonda, Oprah Winfrey, and Amy Campbell. The list
Serena Williams is there, Miley Cyrus is there, all of them grace this cover. They flew in from around the world to be part of this historic
issue. All of their schedules somehow managed to line up to make this issue work. And during his six years, Enninful made a number of changes at the
"Glossy" magazine, championing diversity in all its form and making age irrelevant.
Time now for The Exchange. Our next guest has written about Enninful's tenure, saying the magazine stands apart from its peers. Thanks to his
gutsy approach to diversity and inclusion.
Robin Givhan, "Washington Post" Senior Critic-at-Large joins us live now from Washington D.C. So, it's called legends only, and Robin, I have to
say, this photograph -- I hope we can pull up on the screen again. I mean, it is monumental. It's a monumental photograph. I mean it is graceful, it
is inspiring, it is inclusive.
I mean, and it just, I just looked at this and it really hit home to me. It really underscored to me just how impactful Edward Enninful has been in
just six years. What is the message from this cover? What does it say to you?
ROBIN GIVHAN, SENIOR CRITIC-AT-LARGE, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, you know, the funny thing about that cover for me is that some of the things are so
modest and yet it has such a monumental impact. And that's because he really just sort of opened the door to the fashion fantasy for everyone.
And, you know, by no means, you know, are these women, you know, quote, unquote average. I mean, they're exceptional. But I think he has shown that
there are exceptional women in all categories of race, ethnicity, religion, ability, gender identity.
I mean, the full gamut. And I think it's proof of, you know, his impact and the relationships that he's built. But I also think it's a bit of a
challenge to the industry going forward.
ASHER: It's interesting because, you know, I saw this cover, I just sort of realized, gosh, it's not enough to be the first, right? It's not enough
to be the first sort of black man who is editor-in-chief of British "Vogue". You actually have to use that platform for good. You've got to use
it to make the changes that you really want to see in the world.
But for Edward Enninful, I mean, he said it. It wasn't always easy for him. You know, he really had to fight to make some of these changes. And it just
sort of really speaks to his character, I think, that despite the fact that it wasn't always easy, he still fought to make these changes reality. Even
the first person that he included on the cover of British "Vogue", Ajuwa Aboua, who is a model of African descent, I mean, that was also a gutsy
move back then.
GIVHAN: It was. I mean, I think Edward came into the position certainly with goodwill from the industry. He had been working in the industry since
he was about 18 years old, first at "i-D" magazine and then at "W".
But fairly or unfairly, I think there were a lot of pressures on his shoulders to make an impact and, you know, being essentially sort of forced
to go forward and not just create his vision of a magazine, but have it sort of resonate much broader than that.
And I think he really did it. I think that he, you know, he was able to do it one because he did have these relationships, he did have a pretty sturdy
spine in dealing with a lot of nose and naysayers. And I think it also was, there was proof that it was working. The magazine was selling. And as he
said, none of this would have been possible had the magazine not been successful.
ASHER: Yeah, that is a, I mean, it does come down to, you know, dollars and cents at the end of the day. So, the person taking over him, Chioma
Nnadi, another woman of African descent, by the way, who's going to be leading British "Vogue". What does she need to do?
I mean, Edward Enninful did so much. I mean, these are really big shoes to fill. What does Chioma need to do differently going forward? How does she
pick up from where Edward left off, where Edward perhaps maybe didn't go far enough?
GIVHAN: Well, I think, you know, Chioma has, again, a lot of experience in the industry, and she'll certainly bring her sensibility. And I think it's,
you know, one of the things that's obviously different is that, you know, she is a woman. And so she will, I think, look at fashion through that
And I think that in some ways, perhaps it will be a bit more intimate, a bit more personal. She is younger than Edward. And I think. There is now a
movement towards fashion magazines in particular being more in conversation with their readers as opposed to being sort of a voice from on high.
But one of the wonderful things I think here is that so often, the person who is first, you know, says that their main job is to not be the last. And
I think that's a wonderful legacy.
ASHER: Yes, and he did just that. You know, you have Edward Enninful from -- a Ghanaian descent, and then you have Chioma coming in right behind him,
who's of Nigerian descent, as well. Robin Givhan, live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.
GIVHAN: Thank you.
ASHER: All right, still to come. Taylor mania is full of Taylor conspiracies. Why some think the NFL is scripted, and it all revolves
around Taylor Swift's lucky number 13. That story, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS: Super Bowl 58. Five plus eight is 13. The game's being played on two-eleven. Two plus 11, 13. The Chief's opponent, the
49ers. Four plus nine is, you get it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: An emotional, bittersweet moment in Los Angeles on Thursday, where Vanessa Bryant, the wife of late basketball star Kobe Bryant, helped unveil
the first of three statues honoring the Lakers legend, known as the Black Mamba.
Bryant is the seventh player in team history to be commemorated with a statue. The date of the unveiling is 2-8-2024, which coincided with the two
jersey numbers that Bryant wore -- Bryant wore during his playing career, number 8, number 24, while the number two represents the number his
daughter, Gianna, wore. Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among a group of nine people who died in a helicopter crash four years ago.
The countdown is on to Super Bowl 58 in Las Vegas. And while it seems that just about everybody is focused on Taylor Swift and whether or not she'll
make it to the game on time, another celebrity appearance had people talking at the NFL Honors ceremony last night.
Just back from the U.K. in a visit to see his ailing father, the King, Prince Harry astonished the crowd by presenting the Walter Peyton Man of
the Year Award and the Duke of Sussex couldn't help poking fun at America's iconic game.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: I really love -- I really love how you stole rugby from us and you made it your own instead of passing it backwards, just
passing it forwards. Why not wear pads and a helmet? Of course, have an offense and defense. That makes sense. And why not take a breather every 15
seconds? And you know what? Instead of a 10-month season, let's just make it 18 weeks. Genius.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: You make some good points there. All right, Chiefs versus 49ers, Mahomes versus Purdys, Tay-Tay versus, no, nobody challenges Taylor Swift,
no. And die-hard American football fans may be wondering while all the attention at Sunday Super Bowl is fixed on one of the biggest pop stars in
the world, and her boyfriend. CNN's Coy Wire has the report on Taylor's takeover.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS: Hey, hey Zain, having covered about a dozen Super Bowls, I've never seen so much focus about something going on outside the
lines. The most watched television program in America has even more hype, more intensity as the sports and entertainment worlds collide.
TAYLOR SWIFT, SINGER: Hey.
UNKNOWN: Shout out to the newest members of the Chief's Kingdom, Taylor Swift, who has officially reached the Super Bowl in her rookie year.
TRAVIS KELCE, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS TIGHT-END: Shout out to Taylor. Thanks for joining the team.
WIRE (voice-over): The NFL and loads of fans are embracing this romance. One thing you can bet on is that Taylor Swift is good for business. NFL
viewership hitting all time highs this post-season.
KELCE: She's rewriting the history books herself. I told her I'll have to hold up my end of the bargain and come home some hardware, too.
CHARLES BARKLEY, "KING CHARLES" CO-HOST: If you're screaming at Taylor Swift saying she ruined it, you're just a loser.
UNKNOWN: Why is everybody so mad about it? I get it. Why is everybody so mad about it?
UNKNOWN: This anger, it says nothing about Taylor Swift. It says everything about the men bothered by it.
WIRE (voice-over): It's pretty clear that this has all been quite divisive. Some supporting Tay-Tay, but others?
(TAYLOR SWIFT MUSIC PLAYING)
UNKNOWN: We are boycotting any T-Swift songs.
And it's hard for me because I have her on my playlist, my running playlist and everything. So, but if she pops up on the radio.
UNKNOWN: She's dead to you this week.
UNKNOWN: And my oldest son, Max and I are big Swifties. Nope, she's dead to us this week.
WIRE (voice-over): Now, listen to this. Taylor's favorite number is 13.
SWIFT: This is my 13th Grammy which is my lucky number. I don't know if I've ever told you that.
WIRE: This is Super Bowl 58. Five plus eight is 13. The game's being played on two-eleven. Two plus 11, 13. The Chiefs opponent, the 49ers. Four
plus nine is, you get it. But seriously though, this will be Taylor's 13th game this season, leaving some conspiracy theorists to think the NFL is
UNKNOWN: I don't think I'm that good a scripter or anybody on our staff.
UNKNOWN: Has this first ever Vegas Super Bowl matchup been Taylor made?
WIRE: Yes, it's true. Many online saying that getting the Chiefs in the Super Bowl so Swifties can boost ratings even further was the NFL's plan
all along. Hey, listen, we have some actual football being played, too. It's going to be a heck of a game. And by the way, Zain Asher, we have
Usher doing the half-time performance, too. We'll have that and Swiftie Mania coming in just two days.
ASHER: Not enough people focused on Usher, though. Everybody focused on Taylor Swift. NFL, of course, laughing all the way to the bank on that one.
All right, that does it for us for this hour of ONE WORLD. I'm Zain Asher. Thank you so much for watching. "AMANPOUR" is up next. Have a great