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Fani Willis Stays On Trump Georgia Case; CNN's Sara Sidner Shares Her Battle With Cancer; President Biden Meets With Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar For A Bilateral Meeting; Dan Harris Talks About The Benefits Of Meditation. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired March 15, 2024 - 12:00   ET




ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, coming to you live from New York, I'm Zain Asher.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Bianna Golodryga. You're watching ONE WORLD. A judge in the U.S. state of Georgia had harsh words today for

the district attorney who is prosecuting Donald Trump for election interference. But he is keeping the case alive, refusing to remove D.A.

Fani Willis from it.

ASHER: Yeah, Fani Willis is staying on the case, but Judge Scott McAfee repeatedly criticized Willis in his ruling, saying that her romantic

relationship with Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade created a cloud of impropriety. He said her fiery testimony during a hearing into the matter

was unprofessional.

And he also had very harsh words about speeches that she's given where she spoke about the case publicly. But, and this is really key, he rejected

claims that Willis had only brought the case as a way to enrich herself and Wade, as well.

GOLODRYGA: In the end, Judge McAfee gave Willis a choice. Either she or Wade should resign from the case. A ruling that effectively means Wade will

likely step aside. Donald Trump's lawyers expressed outrage at the ruling, saying they will continue to fight to end the case.

ASHER: All right, let's talk about all of this and a lot of the reaction to this very important decision. I want to bring in CNN's Ryan Young from

Atlanta. So, the judge really tried to strike this very delicate balance, Ryan, just in terms of not removing her from the case, but not totally

exonerating her either. This decision, even though she is going to be on the case still, the decision ultimately wasn't exactly kind to her.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN SENIOR U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, not at all. And when you read through this, you can understand the judge was pretty clear

in terms of the improper nature of this relationship. Let's also not forget there's even talk of a gag order maybe being put in place at some point.

From what we do know right now, there's no plans for a news conference from Fani Willis' office at this point. So, you might see that step back

starting to happen. But let's not forget about this. You're talking about 14 defendants plus the former President of the United States, Donald Trump,

and that famous mugshot where he was taken into custody at the Fulton County Jail.

This case has been moving forward, but this has really been a big speed bump. Everyone wanted to know when this relationship actually started.

According to the two, Fani Willis and Nathan Wade, their relationship started after he was hired and, of course, he was going through a divorce

himself. But there are people who are bringing up questions about when this relationship may have got going.

And you think about the fact that he was paid more than $600,000 as he was moving forward with his prosecution, and people were saying whether or not

this was benefiting her because they went on trips together to California, to Aruba, to Miami, to places in Alabama. So, that's why there was so much

talk about this cash, the fact that she would take cash and hand it to him after some of these trips. And that led to some fiery testimony in court.

Take a listen to Fani Willis firing away when she was being asked questions about this relationship.


FANI WILLIS, FULTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: These people are on trial for trying to steal an election in 2020. I'm not on trial, no matter how

hard you try to put me on trial.


YOUNG: Yeah, I want to bring this up. With this poor decision making, according to the judge, it says, "Without sufficient evidence that district

attorneys acquired a personal stake in the prosecution or that her financial arrangements had any impact on this case, the defendant's claims

of an actual conflict must be denied. This finding by no means an indication that the court condones this tremendous lapse in judgment or the

unprofessional manner of the district attorney's testimony."

So, you heard part of that there, but it didn't stop just there. Fani Willis, also feeling the heat, went to an African American church here in

Fulton County to let her voice be heard about the fact that she thought race was playing a part in this, as well. Take a listen to her from the

pulpit addressing this crowd about what was going on here in Fulton County.


WILLIS: I hired one white man, brilliant, my friend, and a great lawyer. And I hired one black man, another superstar, a great friend, and a great

lawyer. First thing they say, oh, she going to play the race card now.


YOUNG: Yeah, and the judge really played and really targeted this and basically was saying, look, maybe there's too much talk in public. Steve

Sadow, who's Donald Trump's legal team and lawyer, he had a statement today, and I can tell you people in Fulton County really respect him as one

of the best defense attorneys here in town.


"He says, while respecting the court's decision, we believe that the court did not afford appropriate significance to the prosecutorial misconduct of

Willis and Wade, including the financial benefits." And they said that testifying untruthfully about their personal relationship began. So, you

can understand from that situation, they're still punching back.

Guys, a lot of conversation about this, trying to see who's going to talk next. But right now, Fani Willis gets to stay on this case with the eyes of

the nation sort of paying attention to what's going on in this court and with this relationship that both now say is over.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, sharp rebuke, no doubt, against Fani Willis. But nonetheless, she gets to stay on the case. But this will likely delay the

case --

YOUNG: Absolutely.

GOLODRYGA: -- to say the least. Ryan Young, thank you.

YOUNG: Yeah, thank you.

GOLODRYGA: Well, now for the legal side and political side of all of this. We are joined by Bradley Moss, a national security attorney, and also Larry

Sabato, the Director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. Welcome both of you.

Bradley, let me start with you. So, the judge essentially here is splitting the baby, right, saying he didn't take Fani Willis off the case, but

offered a very sharp rebuke against her actions, but said that if she were to stay on the case, that her former romantic partner and special

prosecutor, Nathan Wade, has to step aside. Do you think this was the right decision on the judge's part?

BRADLEY MOSS, NATIONAL SECURITY ATTORNEY: Yeah, I think this was a rather evenhanded way to approach it. I mean, look, no one came out of this

smelling or looking good. Fani Willis and Nathan Wade's reputation got attacked a lot. Their credibility was put under fire. But the defense

lawyers, I think, kind of, you know, went a little too far in terms of what they thought they really had.

They had a bunch of smoke. They could never prove there was a fire. They never had corroboration that they needed, especially testimony at those

evidentiary hearings, whether from Terrence Bradley or others, to prove their claims. What they had was salacious gossip. It looked good. It plays

great in the press. It's going to play great in political fundraising. It's not sufficient from an evidentiary standpoint in a court of law to mandate


That is what the judge concluded. It was an absolutely correct decision. Nathan Wade almost certainly will be resigning probably by the end of

today. And this case will go forward. In this case, you have to remember, it's got to be the most dangerous for Donald Trump because he has no

control, even if reelected, over what happens in Georgia. He has no powers there. He can't even get a pardon from the local -- I'm sorry, from the

state governor. He has no ability to stop that train.

ASHER: Bradley, do stand by. I want to bring in Larry Sabato. So, as Bradley touched upon early on in his answer there, Larry, nobody comes out

of this smelling good. I mean, obviously, yes, Fani Willis gets to stay on the case, but the optics are bad.

And that is because perception matters. How people view this case really matters. This is ultimately, to a certain degree, still a win for Donald

Trump, especially given that the judge talked about her lapses in judgment and also the fact that she was extremely unprofessional.

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: That's exactly right. And from the very beginning, Donald Trump's goal in

this case, as well as the other ones, has been to delay, delay, delay, and get it past the election day, November 5th. But beyond that, it's to attack

the prosecutors and make the entire prosecution in all these cases look illegitimate and oppressing him.

And that's what he takes to his base. He says, look what they're doing to me. I'm wealthy. I'm powerful. I'm a former President. And yet they're

doing this to me so they can certainly come after you. We need to fight. And it increases enthusiasm. It increases their contributions to his

campaign. And it increases the likelihood that they will vote when it really matters in the fall.

So, you'd better believe this is a plus for Donald Trump. And he will use this day by day, whether Fani Willis is in the courtroom or not, whether we

ever see her again, it won't matter. This will be part of Donald Trump's daily diet in social media.

GOLODRYGA: And Bradley, as the former President is likely to do, and as he's alluded to saying that he will continue to fight on, this will likely

be appealed. Any judge in their order tries to make their decision appeal proof. Earlier this week, we saw him dismiss six of the charges. Given

everything that you know about this judge's ruling, do you think that he can withstand an appeal?

BRADLEY MOSS, NATIONAL SECURITY ATTORNEY: I think this absolutely withstands an appeal. And the biggest problem for Donald Trump and the co-

defendants in Fulton County is that absent getting what's called a certificate of immediate review, this doesn't get put on hold. The case can

move forward.

When those six other counts were tossed by Judge McAfee, he very much went out of his way to say that if the prosecutor wanted to seek that

certificate of immediate review, he'd likely grant it. He made no such comment with respect to this order this morning.


And I suspect he would not willingly or rather easily be willing to grant that if Donald Trump tried to appeal. So they might try to, they might file

something, but it won't stop the case unless they get the court, whether Judge McAfee or a higher appellate court, to essentially put everything on

hold pending that review.

ASHER: Larry, since we were talking about optics a second ago and given that Donald Trump will likely take this idea of some kind of appearance of

impropriety and really run with it, just in terms of reshaping the narrative here, our Ryan Young, our correspondent Ryan Young, was talking

about the fact that there are no signs that Fani Willis is going to do a press conference anytime soon today. But should she? Just in terms of

reclaiming the narrative and reshaping the narrative, should she?

SABATO: No. She should be invisible, for the rest of the duration of the trial or the campaign, be invisible. She made a number of misjudgments. The

first, obviously, very poor judgment was with regard to Mr. Wade. But the other decision she made, giving that talk in the church, for example, just

incredibly ill advised.

And from a political standpoint, she has done nothing but help Donald Trump in several occasions since even that church speech. So, invisible. That's

her goal. I don't know if she can stay invisible, but she needs to be invisible, at least in this case.

ASHER: Bradley, does it surprise you how long this case has gone on before it's actually even, I mean, before the trial has even started? When we

first heard about this phone call that the former President made asking specifically for the exact number of votes that he needed to find, this

seemed like an open and shut case as far as evidence was concerned. Why has it taken this long?

MOSS: Sure. Well, part of it was that Fani Willis needed what was called that special grand jury that she had to get approval for and that conducted

that extensive investigation. She had to fight back against a bunch of efforts to quash subpoenas, whether it was Mark Meadows or Rudy Giuliani.

So, it was a lot of side legal fights that dragged things out. And then once she got that report, she had to decide to go to the actual grand jury

who she would actually seek indictments against. She didn't necessarily use all the potential targets that were listed in that special grand jury


She had to identify what was the most viable for going to trial. She had to be prepared evidence-wise in terms of discovery obligations. She had to be

prepared for a whole bunch of pretrial fights that they've obviously had to deal with, whether it's ranging from immunity to any other number of issues

that have been raised in these pretrial motions.

It takes time to do that. This case has moved a bit slowly, but in terms of criminal cases, not that slowly. Some of them take years. This one could

easily still make it to trial, at least starting going to trial before the election.

ASHER: All right. Bradley Moss, Larry Sabato, thank you both so much. Appreciate you being with us. Enjoy your weekend. All right. Meantime,

there's been another legal setback for the former U.S. President. A Florida federal judge has denied one of Donald Trump's motions to dismiss charges

that he illegally mishandled classified documents.

GOLODRYGA: Judge Aileen Cannon shot down Trump's chief argument that the main statute prosecutors are using against him is unconstitutionally vague.

But she has not yet ruled on a second motion to dismiss the case based on Trump's argument that as President, he had the authority to declare the

documents his personal records.

ASHER: All right, still to come here -- deadly and damaging tornadoes hit parts of the U.S. on Thursday. And the threat of more severe weather is not

over just yet. We will have that covered for you.

GOLODRYGA: A terrifying video right there. Also, a welcome sight for the desperate people of Gaza. First ship carrying life-saving supplies of food

has now arrived off the coast.

ASHER: And a very, very personal story from an extremely brave woman. A CNN anchor and reporter and our dear friend shares her battle with cancer.


SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: (BEEP) you, cancer. I'm running. I'm still here.




ASHER: All right. What you're looking at here is, gosh, imagine this terrifying -- this is a terrifying tornado that hit the state of Ohio. More

than half a dozen suspected twisters caused damage in Ohio and in Indiana on Thursday and left at least three people dead.

GOLODRYGA: And the threat of severe weather is not over yet. It has now shifted to the southeastern U.S. where more than 30 million people could

see severe storms ranging from large hail, damaging wind gusts, heavy rainfall and a few tornadoes.

GOLODRYGA: Well, after weeks of speculation, Israel is confirming that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved a plan for action in Rafah.

The details are scarce, but it includes efforts to evacuate the population there.

ASHER: Yeah, nearly half -- a million and a half, rather, Palestinians, many displaced from other areas and other parts of Gaza, are crammed into

Rafah, into the southern city at this point in time. This as we get word of another deadly incident in northern Gaza where desperate Palestinians who

are waiting for food actually came under attack. I want to warn you that the images we're about to show you here are extremely distressing.

GOLODRYGA: The Palestinian Health Ministry says at least 20 people were killed and more than 150 wounded by Israeli shelling. Hospitals are

struggling to keep up with the influx of patients. And witnesses say the aid distribution site was hit by what sounded like tank or artillery fire.

Israel's defense forces say a preliminary review found that Israeli forces did not open fire at the aid convoy. It says armed Palestinians fired shots

at civilians gathered there.

ASHER: Meantime, the first aid ship carrying desperately needed food has reached the shoreline of central Gaza. Workers are unloading about 200 tons

of aid onto smaller boats offshore. The aid couldn't come soon enough, of course, for all of Gaza, but especially for this Gaza resident. I want you

to listen to what he had to say.


IBRAHIM, GAZA RESIDENT WAITING FOR AID: We are waiting patiently for that ship over there which is still in the sea now, waiting for its arrival to

the Gaza Strip to be able to take flour, aid and food to be distributed among the people equally. I will take the aid for my children.

I want to feed them because they are dying of hunger.


GOLODRYGA: Meantime, on the diplomatic front, a source tells CNN that ceasefire talks are moving in a positive direction. One of the sticking

points appears to be over the hostages still being held in Gaza.


ASHER: And of course the fate of the hostages very much on the mind of all Israelis as it has been since October. This is video from Tel Aviv today

where relatives and friends of the hostages held a protest, blocking traffic there in Tel Aviv. They are urging the Israeli government to do

whatever they can -- whatever they can to bring all of the hostages back home.


GOLODRYGA: Over 150 days later. Let's bring in CNN's Alex Marquardt who joins us now live from Washington, D.C. So, Alex, this is your reporting.

Hamas has now issued a counter-proposal in the ceasefire negotiations. Your sources say that things are moving in a positive direction.


What exactly does that mean?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think they're moving in a positive direction in that the conversations are

happening and that the sides are still engaging. But, Bianna and Zain, it does appear that they are still quite far apart.

Now, the Biden administration has been saying for a long time now that the ball is in Hamas' court. It is on them to agree to a deal. We now have a

counter-proposal that was submitted to the mediators last night by Hamas to Israel.

And Israel is essentially dismissing what they are now hearing from Hamas, calling the proposals ridiculous, saying that the demands are unrealistic.

Now, at the same time, Israel is planning on sending a team of negotiators to Doha to continue those conversations. So, that is good news.

Now, what we understand these new proposals from Hamas to be is, as you can see there, in the first phase that would be expected to last around six

weeks. The hostages who are Israeli, who are women, elderly, the sick and the wounded, would be released by Hamas. And Hamas would expect a huge

number of Palestinian prisoners to be released in return, some 700 to 1000.

And then, as the ceasefire, the humanitarian pause, moves into a second phase, Hamas is saying they want all Palestinian prisoners to be released

from Israeli prisons. And they, in turn, will release all of the remaining hostages. So, that would be primarily male IDF soldiers.

And here is the major sticking point. Hamas wants to end this war. They are saying that in a later phase that they want to negotiate an end to the

conflict and for the IDF to withdraw fully from Gaza. And that is not something that Israel has given any indication that they are willing to

agree to. So, in the words of a diplomat who's involved in these talks, who I spoke with, he said this is not going to be easy to convince the Israelis

to agree to what Hamas has proposed here.

ASHER: And, Alex, we know that Prime Minister Netanyahu has approved at least preliminary plans for an offensive in Rafah. Just walk us through how

the Biden administration is actually responding to that.

MARQUARDT: So, Prime Minister Netanyahu's office saying that he has approved this plan of action for Rafah. The Biden administration has

repeatedly warned that they essentially would not be okay with an Israeli offensive going into Rafah if there is not a comprehensive plan for the

civilians there, around 1.4, 1.5 million Palestinian civilians who have sought shelter in Rafah. And so far, the White House says that they have

not heard the details of that plan. And Secretary of State Antony Blinken talked about this recently today. Let's take a listen.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Given the large number of civilians in Rafah, about 1.4 million, many of whom, as the Foreign

Minister said, have been displaced from other parts of Gaza. We have to see a clear and implementable plan, not only to get civilians out of harm's

way, but also to make sure that once out of harm's way, they're appropriately cared for with shelter, with food, with medicine, with

clothing. And we've not yet seen such a plan.


MARQUARDT: So, the expectation is that Israel wants to undertake a major offensive in Rafah. Yesterday, a spokesman for the IDF said that

Palestinian civilians would move to humanitarian enclaves, as he called them, that would be supported by the International Community. But no plan

in any kind of detail, as far as we know from our U.S. sources, has been transmitted to the Biden administration. Zain, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: And add to that, reporting even from Israel, that the IDF itself isn't yet prepared and nearly prepared to go into Rafah either. Alex

Marquardt, thank you.

ASHER: All right, still to come, the Irish taoiseach is in Washington for the annual visit between American and Irish leaders. But this year, the

atmosphere is a little bit more tense. We'll explain why after the break.

GOLODRYGA: And later this hour, how to be happy. Wouldn't we all like to know? Well, we'll speak to an expert who will walk us through how your life

could be at least 10 percent better.




GOLODRYGA: All right, welcome back to ONE WORLD. I'm Bianna Golodryga.

ASHER: And I'm Zain Asher. I want to turn now to our top story. A judge in Fulton County, Georgia, has dealt a major blow to Donald Trump, refusing to

remove the D.A. who indicted the former President for election interference.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, the judge did have harsh words, though, for D.A. Fani Willis and her romantic relationship with Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade,

criticizing what he called her lapse in judgment. He gave Willis a choice - - ether she or Wade should step aside to remove what he called the cloud of impropriety hanging over the case.

ASHER: All right, the Irish taoiseach is in Washington at this hour, ahead of this weekend's St. Patrick's Day celebration. He's to attend a Friends

of Ireland luncheon on Capitol Hill. And U.S. President Joe Biden is set to deliver remarks.

GOLODRYGA: Now, earlier, the President met with the Prime Minister at the White House for a bilateral meeting. But the annual visit between U.S. and

Irish leaders, which is normally a lighthearted affair, is much less jovial this year, given the differences over the Israel-Hamas war, threatening to

overshadow the event.

ASHER: CNN's Priscilla Alvarez joins us live now from the White House. I mean, here's the thing. I mean, the Irish leaders have been very clear in

terms of their stance on the Israeli-Gaza war. They are absolutely supporting a ceasefire. They don't believe that the U.S. should be funding

Israel just in terms of arms. Just walk us through just how different the atmosphere is between the leaders this year.

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And to add to that, some of the Irish delegation wanted the Prime Minister to boycott

this annual stop at the White House because Ireland has been supportive of Palestinians, and they see historically some parallels with colonialism and


And so this was top of mind going into that meeting, the images that you see there, the Irish Prime Minister listing what he wanted to talk to the

president about. The second item on that list was the situation in Gaza, and he called for a ceasefire.

Now, when he said that, President Biden did nod and say that he agreed. Now, President Biden has said that there should be a temporary ceasefire

for additional humanitarian aid to get into Gaza and also for the release of hostages. But there are differences. This was looming over the two of

them in their meeting.

Now, shortly ago, we heard directly from the Irish Prime Minister, who told reporters that they did have a substantive meeting, that he felt like he

was able to convey what his thoughts and his concerns about what is happening in Gaza and a ceasefire.


And he said that he felt confident the United States was working very closely with his partners to have that happen. But clearly, President Biden

having to navigate this issue not only domestically with political fractures in his own party, but also with foreign leaders who are here, who

come here to the White House, particularly as there is growing concern over what is happening in Gaza and the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding


So, again, this is usually a celebratory stop. It's one where the White House will dye the fountains green, where the crystal bowl will have the

shamrocks. But today, it was a certainly more serious meeting as they dove into the Israel-Hamas war, and the President tried to give reassurances

that the U.S. is working toward a temporary ceasefire, which is front of mind for the Irish.

ASHER: All right, Priscilla Alvarez, live for us there. Thank you so much.

GOLODRYGA: Turning to Russia now, where millions are heading to the polls to pick their President for the next six years. But it looks almost certain

the President, Vladimir Putin, is poised to win his fifth term in office. Now, it's important to note most opposition candidates are dead, jailed or

exiled, or they're simply token figures.

ASHER: And in spite of the dangers that comes with resisting, videos are emerging of protest actions at Russian polling stations. Take a look at

this stunning moment earlier. On the first of three days of voting, a woman actually poured dye. She poured dye into a ballot box, which was in Moscow.

She has been detained by police.

Time now for The Exchange. Our next guest had to leave Russia after criticizing Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine. Ekaterina Kotrikadze once

ran the only independent television channel in Russia before it was shut down by Moscow two years ago.

She now lives in Europe and she continues to broadcast online. Ekaterina, thank you so much for being with us. Now that the only real sort of, I

guess, credible opposition figure in Russia is now dead, where does the opposition get its strength from now in Russia?

I'm not just talking about the opposition figures that are on the ballot, who are token opposition figures, but the real opposition figures. Where do

they get their strength from now?

EKATERINA KOTRIKADZE, NEWS DIRECTOR AND HOST, T.V. RAIN: The biggest part of the opposition is, of course, abroad. You cannot work and live in Russia

these days. And Alexei Navalny's example says a lot about how Vladimir Putin behaves with his opponents. So, the situation is devastating. But

what we know is that Alexei Navalny's last wish was to ask people to come to the election polls and to see each other at 12 o'clock, March 17th, mid-


This is, you know, the big thing, a big rally, which is actually not something illegal in Russian Federation. Just go to vote, but you go exact

time at 12 o'clock and you can see how many Russians do not support this. And this will happen tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, on Sunday, on 17th.

And people will see each other. This is the only thing that we can do, actually, right now. And the opposition leaders can do.

Yeah, and this is really an election showcasing the absence of choice and a coronation, for all intents and purposes, for Vladimir Putin. But once

again, wanting to show that he was, quote unquote, elected and that the majority, the overwhelming majority of Russians support him. But what could

hinder that is if he doesn't have control of the situation.

And that is why you're referencing what could indeed happen on Sunday and what you're going to be focusing on. You wrote a really moving piece for, and I want to read some of it. You said, "My job in the new reality is to inform Russians about what is happening in Russia while being

in Amsterdam. I can't go to the polling station.

I can't talk to voters like you used to do. I can't ask questions of government officials. But it turned out that you can adapt to anything.

We've learned how to get videos from all over Russia. We've learned how to invent relatively safe ways to interview people from Russia. And it became

possible to talk about Russia from outside its borders.

All of this news, from Alexei Navalny's death and murder to what we're seeing in Russia right now and the war in Ukraine, it's all very

depressing. Yet you have a sense of optimism that still lives. And does that come from these conversations that you're having with people not

outside of Russia but inside the country?

KOTRIKADZE: Absolutely. I do have these conversations every day. My reporters do have these conversations every day. We are going to produce a

big report tomorrow, for example, about the, you know, remote regions of Russian Federation where we interviewed the people who live there, talking

about what they think, what their problems are, and why they vote for or against Vladimir Putin.

It is possible to work while you're abroad. And again, you know, it's really important to see what's going on there. For example, on Alexei

Navalny's funeral, we saw tens of thousands of people on the streets in Russia.


And it gives me hope and gives me strength. And I know that there are millions of Russians who know that they're not alone. And this is the main

mission that we have right now.

ASHER: Ekaterina, as Bianna was just saying, I mean, this is essentially a coronation, right? The outcome of this election is basically

predetermined. We all know that.

KOTRIKADZE: Absolutely.

ASHER: Still, what does Vladimir Putin -- what is his goal in all of this? Is it simply about sort of securing his legitimacy in the eyes of ordinary

Russians? Is it about making sure that people see him as the embodiment of security? What is his focus through all this?

KOTRIKADZE: As I understand it, Vladimir Putin, as any dictator, actually, he wants this legal prestigious to be implemented. It's really important to

him. He wants to believe in it. He wants to prove to himself that he is a legal president in Russian Federation, that he is actually a choice of

Russian people.

And, of course, he understands that he killed Alexei Navalny, that he doesn't have any opponents, that other opposition leaders are in jail or

abroad. But still, he wants to think that the majority of Russian citizens do support him, that they like him.

He wants to have this emotions around him because he is a human. And, you know, despite he is emperor and despite he is involved and he has started

this terrible, this, I mean, disgusting and, you know, astonishing war in Ukraine. Despite of this repressions inside Russia, he still wants to be

loved. And that's why he needs these procedures.

GOLODRYGA: I mean, just what you've described is a case for term limits like I've never heard. And you have other people, Xi Jinping, I mean,

others who are breaking their constitutions, rewriting their constitutions legally. Vladimir Putin should have been out of office in 2008. And here we

are in 2024 watching what is likely to be another six-year term for him.

If on Sunday, Katya, we do see a massive number of people come out in protest to do what they're legally, you know, entitled to do, and that is a

protest vote like the Navalny team is hoping for, then what? What do you think that would spark?

KOTRIKADZE: Nothing, actually. The only thing that can happen is we get stronger, people get stronger, people get hope. And when the time comes, we

will know that there are a lot of us, that we are together, people in Russia are together, that they're not fighting alone with this. This is not

change tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.

This election, this demonstration will not actually lead to the revolution in Russian Federation. This is the reality. But it will give people the

sense that it's not about one percent of people who do not support Vladimir Putin and his terrible war in Ukraine. It's many, many, many percents. It's

much more than he wants to show. Vladimir Putin wants to show the world.

And another thing I think really is very important is to show the world that it's not true that Russia is a country of slaves, people who support

Vladimir Putin entirely, people who like the war, people who like Ukrainians being killed. It's not true. This is a country depressed with a

terrible dictator in power, but this is the country which deserves to be happy just as any other country in the world.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah. I mean, you say it deserves to be happy and I can't help but think that that was the whole premise behind T.V. Rain and its founding

so many years ago when there was this optimism in the country. And the fact that you're living in exile just speaks volumes about the current situation

there as we're entering another quote, unquote election. Katya Kotrikadze, thank you for everything that you're doing and thank you for joining us.

ASHER: Thank you. Thank you, Katya.

KOTRIKADZE: Thank you very much.

GOLODRYGA: Well, coming up for us, CNN's Sara Sidner has told many, many stories of people facing insurmountable challenges. Well, now she tells us

about her own personal health struggle after a cancer diagnosis.


SIDNER: We say all these things like make sure you live every day like it's your last. Most of us are just not capable of doing that. Now, I

actually do that.





GOLODRYGA: We want to now take a moment and focus on a very valuable and incredibly beloved member of the CNN family. A few months ago, CNN Anchor

and Senior National Correspondent Sara Sidner was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer.

ASHER: Yeah, now she's revealing her very personal journey, sharing details of her treatment and her new outlook on life. Here she is in her

own words.


SIDNER: When I found out I had cancer and then I had to go through chemo, I thought, oh, my God, I'm going to be lying in bed, drinking food out of a

straw, unable to do anything, unable to live my life, my normal life. Thank you. This is also my country. There is nowhere to take cover here.

All right. All right. Prime time. Here we go. Today is chemo number six of the 16 that I have to do. It is poison going into your system. So, you are

being poisoned in order to try to heal you, which I find absolutely insane. But that is the way it is. Everybody gets different drugs and has different


But for me, the first couple of infusions, I was fine in a way I could not have imagined. And I don't want to be sick. And so far I haven't been. I

actually said to my doctor, is this shit working? I felt like Superwoman. By the fourth one, I felt pretty bad for a while. I still went to work, but

there were a couple of times, one in particular, where I said, can you guys bring the bucket over here? I might be sick.

Just making sure you look good. We decided to try cold capping, which is something that you can do to try to save your hair. Normally, 60 to 80

percent of your hair goes after your second infusion. And if you're lucky, into your third. So, I was prepared for it. There's nothing I can do about


And that doesn't look like a lot probably, but it sure the hell feels like it. In my case, stage three, 60 to 70 percent survival rate. I've got

several more months of chemo. Once that finishes, there is a break so that your body sort of deals with the residuals of the chemo treatment. And then

I will get a double mastectomy.

I will get radiation. I mean, it feels like it's never going to end, but it's just one treatment at a time. I know cancer is not supposed to be

funny, but what could you do? I got to laugh. Just be kind to yourself. From the time really of puberty for me, I've disliked the way that my body

is. [12:45:00]

When I asked my body to take in poison on a regular basis and asked my body to survive, there was one day I was in the gym, I picked up my phone. And

I'm thinking this body -- this body that I have mentally tormented. I need to apologize to it.

I was really neglecting myself. And that makes me sad that I was sort of taking advantage of this body and not giving it back what it needed, okay?

What kind of idiot does that? Peace out. This is a real lesson about what real self-care is.

And real self-care to me is drinking my water, drinking enough water, is going for a run, is being able to work out, letting yourself be mad,

letting yourself cry. And why am I just learning this now at 50? I don't know. Because I'm trying to tell people that I'm visiting with you people.

We say all these things, like make sure you live every day like it's your last. Most of us are just not capable of doing that. Now, I actually do

that. (BEEP) you, cancer. I'm running. I'm still here.





GOLODRYGA: Well, March 20th marks this year's International Day of Happiness. The annual event was launched by the U.S. back in 2012 and aims

to support the happiness and well-being of people across the world.

ASHER: Yeah, it also pushes for government and international organizations to invest in conditions that support happiness.

GOLODRYGA: So, what can each of us do in our own lives to find happiness? Well, Dan Harris knows a few things about this topic. He's the author of

the book "10 Percent Happier", a "New York Times" bestseller. He's also the host of the "10 Percent Happier" Podcast. And he's also my former co-anchor

at "Weekend GMA" when he was actually writing this book. And Dan joins us now. Dan, you haven't aged in 10 years. You look even happier since you and

I worked together.



HARRIS: The CNN makeup team is incredible.

ASHER: They're good, aren't they?

GOLODRYGA: Well, Dan, your story is just remarkable. I mean, this is something that was sparked because of a personal incident you had while you

were working as a journalist.


You've now become a self-described evangelical on this issue of meditation specifically and making you not a hundred percent happier, but 10 percent

happier. And I have to note, according to the NIH and from 2017, the number of Americans who practice meditation increased from four percent to 14

percent. I believe it's gone up even more since then. And I attribute the majority of that to your book.

ASHER: I'm one of them, by the way.

GOLODRYGA: So, just walk us through how this has gone from some tippy- dippy movement that was in the fringes to something that's become a lot more mainstream and part of the lifestyle and wellness movement in this


HARRIS: I think the main variable here is not the book I wrote. It's the science. Over the last 15 to 20 years, there's been an explosion of

scientific research that has demonstrated that short daily doses of meditation can confer a long list of tantalizing health benefits. It can

lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system, reduce the release of the stress hormone cortisol in your brain.

And speaking of your brain, there's been a ton of neuroscience that shows that meditation can rewire key parts of the brain that are associated with

focus, with self-awareness, with self-compassion, and also with stress. And so, this evidence is very compelling. And that, I think, is the primary

reason why people are embracing this practice.

ASHER: But Dan, here's the thing. Meditation requires focus. It requires concentration. It requires patience. It requires delayed gratification. It

requires surrender because you've got to surrender to the present moment. I mean, these are not things that come easily to the average person. So, for

people who want to meditate, but when they sit and meditate, there's just so much noise and they don't have the ability to sit still, how do you

overcome that?

HARRIS: Well, first of all, you're right about all the things you say meditation requires. I think that's more what it requires kind of in the

long term.

But what worthy goals are easy? I mean, anything you try to do in life that's -- where the stakes are high is going to take some commitment.

Having said that, meditation is doable even for people who think they have the wildest mind on the planet.

And these are my people, the people who come to me and say, you don't understand. My mind is so busy. I'm so distractible. I could never do that.

These are the people I want to talk to directly because really, this sentiment is based on a misunderstanding of what meditation is.

Meditation is not about clearing your mind. As I like to say, clearing your mind is impossible unless you're enlightened or you have died. The whole

goal of meditation is just to pick one thing to focus on. Usually it's the feeling of your breath coming in and going out.

And then every time you get distracted, which will happen a million times, you just start again and again and again. And this noticing the distraction

and starting again, this is like a bicep curl for your brain. And it's what shows up on the brain scans of people who meditate.

And so, getting distracted is not proof that you're failing. It's proof that you're doing it correctly. Why? Because the whole goal of this

practice is to get more familiar with the wildness of your mind so that it doesn't own you as much.

GOLODRYGA: I heard you describe the misconception people have that when they're meditating, they have to feel as if they're taming a live fish. And

that's not what they have to be feeling and experiencing as you just laid out there.

But back to the name of the book. One of the reasons that I loved it, and I remember you and I had an exchange where your editor was really pushing

back at that title. And I was like, no, no, you have to fight for it, Dan, because "10 Percent Happier" shows that in addition to the science, you're

not selling snake oil. You're not saying that your life will be completely changed 100 percent. And you actually are allowing people to still be, I'm

using your words, schmucks. Why is that? Why is that important in your view?

HARRIS: My Jewish dad doesn't like when I use that term. I think it's really important for people to remember that perfection is not on offer

here. But the radical good news is that what the science is showing us is that happiness is not a factory setting that's unalterable. It's actually a

skill -- a set of skills that you can practice.

And this doesn't mean that you know, you start meditating and your life's going to be a non-stop parade of rainbow barfing unicorns. It doesn't work

that way. But what it does mean is --

ASHER: You are hilarious, by the way.

GOLODRYGA: Oh my gosh. You have no idea.

HARRIS: What it does mean is that you can make messy marginal improvement over time. And yeah, I'm stuck with math jokes the rest of my life because

I called the book "10 Percent Happier", thanks to your encouragement, even though my editor wanted to call it "30 Percent Happier". But the --

GOLODRYGA: Always aim lower.

HARRIS: I know, exactly. But the thing is, like any good investment, it compounds annually. So I've been meditating for 15 years. I don't know what

the stats are, but I am way more than 10 percent happier. And over the last couple of years in my personal life, I've had some challenges, personally

and also professionally, that have been really stressful.


So, life continues to happen to me. But I will say, even -- even with all of the stressors in my life, even the last couple of years being hard for

me, they've been some of the best years of my life. And I contribute that to the compounding effect of doing these practices.

GOLODRYGA: I can attest to that. I mean, just watching Dan from afar, he's become an incredible father. He puts out wonderful videos on his Instagram

page. He's become a sports fan. Like, when did that happen, Dan?

ASHER: Yeah, wow.

GOLODRYGA: All of this -- I'm not attributing it all to meditation but I do see a change in you. And I think that you're probably the best genuine

spokesperson for this movement. And as you said, there are so many benefits and anyone can do it.

ASHER: Yeah, I mean, because one of the worst things for the human body, as you well know, Dan, is, of course, stress.


ASHER: I mean, it is terrible. And so by meditating, and I'm a sort of one foot in, one foot out kind of meditator. I try to do it here and there. But

when I do it, and when I practice mindfulness, it makes a huge difference to my stress levels. So, thank you for helping me accomplish that.

GOLODRYGA: And thank you for letting us be schmucks.

HARRIS: Being one -- yeah, exactly. Everybody should have that permission. And just to say to you, Zain, one foot in, one foot out, that's totally

fine. You don't have to be perfect.

ASHER: Okay.

HARRIS: What you're doing is perfect.

ASHER: Oh. Thanks. See?


GOLODRYGA: That's a way to end the show.

ASHER: Giving me validation. Thank you, Dan.

HARRIS: My pleasure.

ASHER: That does it for this hour of ONE WORLD. I'm Zain Asher.

GOLODRYGA: And I'm Bianna Golodryga. Thank you so much for watching. I'll be right back here with Amanpour in a few minutes.