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Hala Gorani Tonight

Belarusian Foreign Minister Refutes Accusations That Belarus Lured Migrants To Border; More Than 400 Iraqi Migrants To Fly Back From Minsk; Tennis Stars Come Out To Demand The Whereabouts Of Chinese Tennis Star Peng Shuai; Biden Hosts Mexican President, Canadian Prime Minister; Defendant Travis McMichael Takes Stand For Second Day; Colombian Court Considers Decriminalizing Abortion; Discovery Brings Hope For Alzheimer's Vaccine, Treatment; U.S. Doubled Troop Presence In Taiwan Since 2020. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired November 18, 2021 - 14:00   ET



HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, live from CNN in London. I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, Belarus denies it orchestrated a migrant

crisis, and in an exclusive interview with CNN, I'll put that to the EU's chief diplomat Josep Borrell. He's live with me this hour. Then, hit by the

full force of COVID again. Angela Merkel admits that Germany is in the grip of a dramatic fourth wave.

And major doubts over an e-mail purporting to be from the tennis star Peng Shuai who hasn't been seen since she made sexual assault allegations

against a top Chinese official weeks ago. As the last migrants leave a makeshift camp on the border between Poland and Belarus, that country's

foreign minister is telling CNN in an exclusive interview, Belarus, despite all the accusations, despite in some cases proved to the contrary did not

lure them there.

Belarusian officials say the camp has been cleared and all 2,000 migrants have now been moved to this place that you see on your screen now, a

processing center nearby that just looks like a giant IKEA warehouse. Western nations accuse Minsk of orchestrating the crisis in the first

place. Our Matthew Chance put that to the foreign minister.


VLADIMIR MAKEI, FOREIGN MINISTER, BELARUS: This is a dramatic situation. We know that there are more than 600 women, more than 200 children. And to see

how they suffer, it's very difficult for a normal human being. We are not interested in having this situation here in Belarus. And we think that this

situation, as any other crisis, can be settled only through the dialogue.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We'll come to that in a minute. But you say you don't want to see these scenes. But you're

accused -- Belarus is accused of orchestrating this whole crisis of encouraging these migrants to come here and of directing them towards that

border. You created these scenes.

MAKEI: Yes, we have heard a lot of accusations towards Belarus, saying that we have orchestrated this crisis, we have invited people to our country, et

cetera. This is a -- this is a false assessment of the situation.


GORANI: Meanwhile, the Russian President Vladimir Putin says it's the western countries that are to be blamed for raising tensions. He's

criticizing Polish border guards for their actions against the migrants. He also says Moscow will continue to strengthen its ties with Minsk. Joining

us now from Brussels is the EU's chief diplomat Josep Borrell. Thanks for being with us.


GORANI: Hello, do you buy what the foreign minister of Belarus told our Matthew Chance, that it's wrong, that it's basically fake news, is what he

was saying, that Belarus lured these migrants to Minsk in order to put pressure on the EU's borders. Do you believe him?

BORRELL: Well, I've been talking with the Foreign Affairs Minister of Belarus a couple of times these last days. And I explicitly explained to

him what I am thinking about it. I think that this movement of people from many different countries all at the same time, everybody willing to go to

Belarus, it's not by accident.

GORANI: So, you're saying he's lying?

BORRELL: I'm not saying he's lying or not, I'm just saying that these thousands of people coming from more than ten different countries, all of

them willing to go to Minsk, and from Minsk, being transported to the European Union borders is strange that it happened just because everybody

thought at the same time that it was a good idea.

GORANI: Well, you're a diplomat, so you're not going to use the term lying, but you're saying he's not being entirely forthcoming?

BORRELL: Look, I think that this has been orchestrated, this has been organized, this has been pushed for, and now, there is a problem, a

humanitarian problem. Because these people have been cheated.


Someone promised them that they could go into Europe, and now, when they see that it is not possible, they are in a very bad situation. And even, if

they are there by some reasons that nobody knows --

GORANI: Yes --

BORRELL: They're still humans, and they have to be helped. And they have to be helped --

GORANI: So, the Belarus -- yes, the Belarusians moved them to this big processing facility that looks like a warehouse. I mean, it doesn't -- It's

certainly not a four-star hotel, but at least they're not outside. Do you now -- does this mean, in your view, that Lukashenko has backed down?

BORRELL: I think that Belarusians, now they have a problem. If they wanted to get something through this action, in fact, what they have got is a

problem. And we have to try to solve this problem, taking to account the interest of the human rights of these people.

GORANI: OK, what do you mean by that, they have a problem? Some of these -- the Iraqi nationals in particular, there was a plane load that was

repatriated back to Iraq. What do you mean Belarus now has a problem?

BORRELL: Belarus has a problem because suddenly in its territory, there are some thousand people that they don't want them to be there, and they then

cannot come to Europe, and they have to take care of them.

GORANI: Now, if the situation does not change, which it seems like it won't in the immediate future with these migrants in that processing facility,

except for the few hundred that have returned to Iraq, would you seek another round of sanctions against Lukashenko's Belarus? Is that on the


BORRELL: We already took last Monday, so two days ago, we took another round of sanctions. And this is the fifth one. Now we are getting airlines

and tourism organizations, travel organizations who are cooperating with this spontaneous move of thousands of people to Belarus. But it seems that

they understand that they could be under European sanctions and they have a stop. It seems that now, the inflow has been stopped. The problem --

GORANI: Yes --

BORRELL: Is now to take care of the people who are there.

GORANI: The Poles reacted militarily practically, the water cannon, the 20,000 border guards. Some human rights organizations, though they

acknowledge that this might have been orchestrated by Belarus, believe that this reaction at the EU's doorstep, was completely over the top. Do you

agree with that?

BORRELL: Look, every state has the -- not only the right, has the obligation of protecting their border. The Mediterranean countries also try

to protect their border when they saw massive people trying to come into by violent means, and without following the regular stages. I don't know how

many people are needed in order to control a border that has some hundreds of thousands of kilometers long in the middle of a forest, difficult to


GORANI: Right. Can I -- I want to ask you about these Mediterranean countries because when Turkey did something quite similar, President

Erdogan was accused of using, in the same way that Lukashenko has been, of using human beings as political pawns, of unleashing migrants -- just, if I

could just ask the question, and that way, I get you to respond to it.


GORANI: At the time the EU did not level sanctions against Turkey. Human rights issues in Turkey are very rarely a topic of discussion at big

foreign minister meetings. Why, on the one hand, Belarus gets five rounds of sanctions and Turkey got several billion euros to take the migrants


BORRELL: Come on, I'm sure you know why the Belarus got the first round of sanctions. It was for holding a fake election. Nothing to do with --

GORANI: No, the last round of sanctions.

BORRELL: That's one, yes, the last round --

GORANI: Yes --

BORRELL: Because there's four rounds of sanctions had nothing to do with this issue.

GORANI: Sure --

BORRELL: And, please, you cannot compare -- you cannot compare what happened a couple of years ago when certainly in a couple of days,

thousands of migrants were -- that say, invited to go to the European border, some kilometers away from where they were staying, and organizing

or pushing for an air-bridge that involves thousands of kilometers of people flying from more than ten different countries. I see that -- it's

not to say --


GORANI: I don't know -- I don't know -- I'm not saying it's the same situation. I'm saying that in both cases, you had migrants used

politically, instrumentalized. And in the case of Turkey, there were no repercussions.

BORRELL: Well, it lasted a couple of days. It lasted --

GORANI: In 2015, you had hundreds of thousands of migrants that practically walked the length of Europe.

BORRELL: They were not pushed by Turkey. They were not pushed by Turkey. We were --

GORANI: They were allowed to take off from Turkey and make their way to European shores, no?

BORRELL: Yes, and immediately we discussed with Turkey about how we can take care of this people who are being taken care of. When you say we paid

Turkey -- look, let's be clear. The money we paid goes directly to these people. They have a credit card. And with this credit card --

GORANI: Yes --

BORRELL: They can buy food, they can pay their health, they can pay their stay. Again, it's a current account funded by European Union.


BORRELL: It is the pay -- we were taking care of them. No, the Turkish authority don't get a single euro of the support. We support directly to

these people. Yes, we build schools, we build hospitals.

GORANI: Yes --

BORRELL: If these people had to stay somewhere, because all of them, 3.5 million Syrian refugees, 3.5 million Syrian refugees cannot be accommodated

in Europe overnight. So --

GORANI: Understood. I just want to -- just with the time that we have, ask you about something you said, just a wider question on Europe. You were

quoted as saying that Europe is under attack. What do you --


GORANI: Mean by Europe is under attack, in this case?

BORRELL: Yes, Europe is in danger. Europe is in danger. Yes, certainly, Europe is facing a lot of dangers, classical dangers and more sophisticated

dangers or threats. Nowadays, everything has been weaponized. And happily, we are looking at a situation where people, poor people, they must --

people in need in the world are being weaponized, being pushed against a border of our country. This is what we call a hybrid pressure, a hybrid


I don't like very much the war terms, but this is a new kind of fighting between war and peace, there is not black and white, there is some kind of

aggressions, coercion, pressures that are being used like we have seen these days on the Belarusian border. And we have to --

GORANI: And your solution -- your solution is a more unified defense policy?

BORRELL: We need a more unified defense policy. You know, you add up all the military expenditure of the 27-member states. We are spending four

times what Russia is spending. An amount equivalent to China's military expenditure. But certainly, with not the same results. Because we have

shortfalls and because we have duplications. And it would be much better if we could pull our forces, not all our forces, the European armies will --

GORANI: Yes --

BORRELL: Remain, we are trying to build N1 single European army. But we have to have the capabilities to redeploy in certain circumstances where

acting together, we can give a better answer to our crisis.

GORANI: The EU foreign policy representative Josep Borrell, thank you so much for joining us from Brussels this evening. We really appreciate your


BORRELL: Thank you.

GORANI: And we mentioned Belarus' reaction. A spokesperson for the Belarusian president says, all together, there are 7,000 migrants in

different parts of Belarus. The Iraqi Transportation Ministry says more than 400 were set to fly back from Minsk back to Iraq today. Jomana

Karadsheh joins us from Istanbul in Turkey with the very latest. Have they boarded that flight?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, in the past couple of hours, we have seen that Iraqi Airways flight landing first in Iraq's

Kurdish region in the north in Erbil where nearly 400 people disembarked. And then it continued on to Baghdad with about 37 passengers or so who were

taken to Baghdad.

The images we saw, Hala, absolutely heartbreaking. Elderly, young children, people coming back with barely anything really, because so many of these

migrants and refugees, Hala, didn't just buy a ticket for a flight to Minsk, and you know, it wasn't as simple as that. People spent thousands of

dollars, in many cases --

GORANI: Yes --

KARADSHEH: Their life savings. People sold property, borrowed money to try and make it to Europe through this new route that opened up over the past

few months. So they're coming back with absolutely nothing right now.

GORANI: Yes --


KARADSHEH: And what has been really stunning about all this, Hala, for those of us who have covered Iraq for a long time, is so many of those who

are returning are -- or who had made it to Belarus are Iraqi-Kurds. And you know, for years, that was considered to be the more prosperous, more stable

part of the country.

So, when you ask Iraqi-Kurds why are so many people leaving, they tell you it's the economic situation, the unemployment that has been on the rise.

But also this general feeling of absolute and utter hopelessness that they have no future in their --

GORANI: Right --

KARADSHEH: Country, in their region, and they had no choice but to try and make it to Europe.

GORANI: Jomana Karadsheh, thanks very much. To COVID now. An alarming surge in cases is hitting Europe as the continent enters its second pandemic

Winter. The Chancellor Angela Merkel calls the situation in her country dramatic. As Germany hits new records in the past day reported more than

65,000 infections, its highest single-day surge, she is urging everyone over 18 to get booster shots. Austria is also reporting its highest daily


Police carried out spot checks of shoppers' vaccination status on the streets, two provinces, you'll remember, are being put under full lockdown

after a national lockdown on the unvaccinated was introduced on Monday. Our Paris correspondent Melissa Bell joins me live with more on this dire

regional situation. And it seems as though more and more countries are having to tell their people, their population, that they're going to have

to lock down at least for the foreseeable future.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At least those who are unvaccinated or in any case, Hala, make their lives extremely difficult. We've seen this

alarming rise. And you're right, the last few days have been remarkable in a number of European countries the day after they have declared record

COVID figures.

If not, as in the case of Germany, since the start of the pandemic, then at least for the first time in many months. And so, these very targeted

restrictions, I think, that's what's changed compared to when you look back to the initial lockdowns of nearly two years ago when the pandemic first

swept across Europe.

Those are restrictions that are targeting specifically the unvaccinated, but also those booster campaigns that you mentioned a moment ago, crucial

in getting those immunization levels of the vaccinated population up and going. Now, when it comes to Germany as you say, it's seen dramatic rises.

Again, today, more than 65,000 cases announced.

It's a record so far. With the Bundus Star(ph), voting today on a series of measures that will essentially mean that people have to show that they've

either been vaccinated or PCR negative or have recently recovered from COVID in order to take public transport, in order to go to work, that is


But the chancellor has also just been meeting with the 16 premiers of the regions of Germany to talk about targeted measures. Because, of course,

within a country like Germany, you will have some areas that are worse than others. And what they've announced is that, basically according to the

incidence rate in those regions, they can ratchet up the restrictions, going so far as to ban the unvaccinated all together from cultural or

sports events.

And that's something we've just been hearing as well from the Greek Prime Minister who's announced --

GORANI: Yes --

BELL: He is now limiting access to things like gyms, theaters, museums, to those who have been vaccinated, pointing out, and I think this is

important, Hala, there is all this debate about just how important -- how much of a problem the unvaccinated are. To him, it is a pandemic of the

unvaccinated. He said that if Greece had had vaccination levels like those of Portugal, it was the case that he cited, their intubation levels would

be five times lower than they are.

So, very much targeted measures and very much targeting those who so far have refused to be vaccinated or have only been partially vaccinated, Hala.

GORANI: All right, Melissa Bell, thanks very much, live in Paris. Still to come, growing international concern for a Chinese tennis player who has not

been seen in public in more than two weeks. An e-mail that's said to be from her, has not helped prove that she's OK, far from it. We'll speak to

Patrick McEnroe after the break.



GORANI: The tennis world is now demanding proof that Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai is safe. Chinese state media released an e-mail that it

attributes to her trying to put concerns to rest, but it's actually having the opposite effect. The head of the Women's Tennis Association is casting

doubt on the e-mail, saying he doesn't believe that Peng wrote it. Peng has not been seen in public since accusing a former top government official of

sexual assault on social media.

Her post was from November 2nd and was deleted within 30 minutes. Chinese censors are wiping out any mention of the accusation online. And, in fact,

you can hardly even search for Peng Shuai online in China. Joining me now is Patrick McEnroe; former professional tennis player and host of "The

Holding Court" podcast. Thanks for being with us.

The tennis world is very concerned. We've just heard from Serena Williams - - and my producer just told me, sorry, tell me again what Serena Williams, just said, Sarah. Yes, she said that this must be investigated and she's

hoping that Peng Shuai is safe and sound. What have you been hearing on the circuit?

PATRICK MCENROE, FORMER AMERICAN TENNIS PLAYER: Well, thank goodness we're hearing from current players as well as some of the legends of the sport.

We've already heard from Billie Jean King, from Chris Evert, from Martina Navratilova. Now we're hearing more from some of the current stars, Serena

joining the crowd, that's also including Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Naomi Osaka as well.

So, I think the number one thing is everybody's concerned. I know Peng well. When she first came to the U.S. in fact as a player, I played team

tennis with her. She's a wonderful person, a great personality, and someone that's really loved in the tennis world.

So that's number one. We want to know if she's OK. We want to know that she's safe. And then the ramifications, of course, that go along

politically and economically for the tour, those are separate issues that I think need to be addressed as well. But, number one is where is Peng and is

she OK?

GORANI: Yes, and we're seeing the hashtag, "where is Peng?" trend online. The head of the Women's Tennis Association doesn't seem to believe that

this e-mail is legit, that it's authentic. And it's interesting because there is a business angle to this. Obviously, there is the human angle

where people really want to make sure she's safe. But so many sports are trying to expand into China, and by doing this, what do you think the

impact might be?

MCENROE: Well, there's no doubt that the financial fallout could be significant for tennis, for women's tennis, the year-end championships for

the women is supposed to be taking place for multiple years in China, along with a lot of other major tennis events on the men's tour as well.

This year, it just completed in Mexico because they moved it from China because of COVID this year. But the Chinese government and the Chinese

Tennis Association have put a lot of money, a lot of resources into professional tennis. This started when tennis became an Olympic sport,

again, years ago.

So certainly, it would be a significant fallout. But, as you said, the WTA tour led by Steve Simon, I think is taking the appropriate stance here and

saying listen, I mean, enough is enough. We're talking about a human being here, we're talking about her safety, we're talking about her well-being.


Of course, the financial fallout could be significant. We've seen what's happened with the NBA, the Olympics I think will be feeling more pressure

as well as the Winter games are set to get underway shortly in China. So all these things are certainly part of the discussion, I think part of what

will be the fallout from this. But you have to tip your cap to Steve Simon and the WTA for taking a strong, moral stand on this issue.

GORANI: And you know Peng Shuai, you mentioned that you've played with her and many people are doubting that this e-mail is authentic, that she

authored it. I wonder, do you -- I mean, what's -- the tennis world has really come out, I mean, and mentioned her name and hash tagged her name,

et cetera. Do you think this is -- this pressure keeping her name up there and news coverage is what needs to happen right now?

MCENROE: Well, I certainly believe that that is extremely important to find out where she is, if she's OK. If you read, as I have read multiple times,

her initial comments that she released in China on social media about this affair she had, and then about the alleged sexual assault, it's pretty

personal, it's pretty detailed, and it's very emotional.

So when you read that and then you read what she supposedly wrote in her e- mail, I think Steve Simon, with his response, basically said what the entire world is thinking. There's no way that she was behind this e-mail

that came across in the last 24, 48 hours, when you read what she wrote initially because that was pretty strong statement and very personal.

GORANI: Well, Patrick McEnroe, thanks very much for joining us on this. And we'll continue of course to cover this story. Thanks a lot.

MCENROE: Thank you.

GORANI: Still to come, the U.S. is hoping to rebuild relationships with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico. Five years after the last U.S. president

canceled the summit meetings. What else he wants to accomplish is coming up. And still to come tonight, Americans are watching two dramatic murder

trials underway with intense interest. We'll bring you a live report on the case of a black man from Georgia who was killed while he was jogging. Lots

of dramatic testimony in court today.




GORANI: U.S. President Joe Biden is bringing back the North American Leaders Summit for the first time in five years. He's hosting Canada's

prime minister and Mexico's president at the White House today.

It's the first meeting of the three since president Trump abandoned that summit back in 2016. The topics discussed: migration; COVID, obviously,

vaccines; economic integration as well. Phil Mattingly is at the White House with more.

So first time in five years.

What usually gets done?

Is this more kind of a sort of meet and greet and keeping relations warm and friendly?

Or do actual policy measures get hammered out?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, I don't think that necessarily every meeting is monolithic. I think this one would

probably be a little bit more on the former side than the latter side.

I think there will be some announcements, Hala, as it relates to vaccine sharing. The U.S. and Mexico have been working on kind of a supply chain

task force, obviously a critical issue not just in the U.S. but around the world in the wake of the pandemic or as the pandemic has eased over the

course of the last several months.

There is going to be kind of a unified North American effort between Canada, U.S. and Mexico on supply chains that will be created during this

meeting. But I think there are also serious issues of contention.

We just heard from Justin Trudeau, who was sitting in the Oval Office with President Biden. President Biden was asked about an issue that's been

raised by top Canadian and Mexican officials as it relates to the current legislation being considered in the House.

The president's Build Back Better plan, nearly $2 trillion economic and climate package, which includes tax credits for electric vehicles bought in

America. Those Buy America provisions have raised serious concerns on both sides of the U.S. border, to the degree to which Justin Trudeau has made

clear, he's going to bring it up with the president.

The president was asked about it by the Canadian reporters in the room. He said it was something they were going to discuss. But I think that is a

critical issue. Obviously, the North American auto supply chain is extraordinarily integrated. They work very closely together.

Any divergence in that sector not only would cause problems between the countries on the economic side, but may run afoul of both the revised and

somewhat new North American Free Trade Agreement but also possible WTO issues as well.

GORANI: Phil Mattingly, thanks very much, live at the White House.

Now to the Rittenhouse trial. We start with that one because there are two high-profile criminal trials in the U.S. gripping the nation today. And

they're being discussed a lot outside the U.S. Both touch on racial divisions and feature claims of self-defense.

In Kenosha, Wisconsin, a third day of jury deliberations is underway in the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. He is charged with killing two men and

wounding another at a racial justice protest. His defense team has filed a motion for a mistrial with prejudice. We'll bring you any updates. And the

jury is on day three of deliberations.

Now to the South, in Brunswick, Georgia, three white men are on trial. They are charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man, who was chased and

killed while jogging in February 2020.

Travis McMichael took the stand in his own defense for a second day today after claiming he shot Arbery in self-defense. In an unusual request, a

defense lawyer called attention to the presence of Black pastors, like Jesse Jackson, in the courtroom and asked for a mistrial.

That request was denied. Our Martin Savidge is following all the twists and turns in this case. He joins me now live from Brunswick.

First of all, we heard from one of the defendants.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We did, yes; we heard from Travis McMichael, not just any defendant. He is the one who we know killed

Ahmaud Arbery.

We know that because there was actually cell phone footage that showed the altercation, the pursuit, the eventual confrontation and then the struggle

over a shotgun that one of the two white men had. And in that struggle Ahmaud Arbery was shot at least twice in close range.

There were three shotgun blasts that are heard on tape. So Travis McMichael, the gunman, takes the stand. He spoke for over four hours

yesterday. Much of that time he was being questioned by his own defense attorney. But today cross-examination. This is where the prosecution gets

to say, all right.


SAVIDGE: Now we have some questions.

And piece by piece, Linda Dunikoski, who is the prosecutor leading this investigation, got after what has been the two primary defense arguments.

Number one, Travis McMichael says he was going to make a citizen's arrest because he thought Ahmaud Arbery had committed a crime.

But in cross-examination, she was able to get Travis to admit that, no, they never told Ahmaud Arbery on the day that they were pursuing him to

stop, we are trying to make a citizen's arrest.

And then the other key point here was the struggle over the weapon. Travis had maintained it was a life-and-death struggle. But it turns out that's

not what he told investigators in the immediate aftermath. Here is what that sounded like in court.


LINDA DUNIKOSKI, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: Detective Nohilly specifically asked you, "Do you remember if he grabbed the shotgun at all?"

And your response was, "I want to say he did but, honestly, I cannot remember. And me -- we were -- me and him were face-to-face the entire


Do you remember saying that?

TRAVIS MCMICHAEL, AHMAUD ARBERY SHOOTER: Yes. And I was trying to think of that exact moment, trying to give him his -- like I say, trying to give him

as much detail as possible under the stress and of all this going on.

It was obvious that he had the gun, from what I was saying in here -- you rereading that (ph) -- he had the weapon the way that I was describing it.

But why I said he did not have the gun at that second, I don't know why. But, yes, I mean, that's what I said. I want to say he did but I honestly

cannot remember.


SAVIDGE: To say, "I want to say he did" is not the same as "He did." That really is a blow against the self-defense argument, Hala.

GORANI: And why is the defense -- I mean, do we know what the strategy is, putting a defendant on the stand when typically it's not advisable to do

that, unless you believe your case is not very strong?

SAVIDGE: Well, and that may be the very reason. You may have just answered your own question.

A lot of people were surprised to see Travis McMichael and, yes, some have seen that as an indication that the prosecution had already made strong

inroads against the defense and that they felt the only thing they could do was to put the man himself, who had killed Ahmaud Arbery, on the stand to

explain exactly why.

GORANI: All right, Martin Savidge in Brunswick, Georgia, thanks very much.

And right now in New York, the state's top court is hearing arguments to exonerate two men convicted of killing Malcolm X. The civil rights leader

was assassinated in 1965. Lawyers for Muhammad A. Aziz and the late Khalil Islam found that evidence proving their innocence was withheld at trial.

The co-founder of The Innocence Project says it's one of the most blatant miscarriages of justice he's ever seen. Here is part of what we heard in

the courtroom, right now, a short time ago.


GORANI: OK. Apologies for that. We're having an issue with the audio there. We'll get that fixed and run that sound for you a little bit later in the


Still to come tonight, Colombia's top court is on the cusp of a landmark ruling. We're live from Bogota with details on the debate over abortion


Plus, a new approach that could potentially help millions of people struggling with Alzheimer's disease and even prevent symptoms from

appearing in the first place. It sounds fantastic.

But how close are we to it?

We'll be discussing new, promising research after the break.





GORANI: Colombia's top constitutional court is expected to decide soon on whether to fully decriminalize abortion. Right now, Colombia only allows

abortion in certain circumstances and anything outside of that carries a prison sentence of more than four years -- for the woman, of course.

The landmark case is the latest in a feminist movement, pushing for expanded reproductive rights across Latin America. Journalist Stefano

Pozzebon joins me live from Bogota.

When do we expect this ruling to come down?

STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, we expect this ruling to come any time actually between today and the early hours of tomorrow. The

constitutional court here in Colombia has until the end of day tomorrow to come up with a discussion and they have been discussing the case since 9:00

am this morning.

Just to get an idea of how significant this is for Colombia, just behind my back, in front of the constitutional court, that is that building, there

are actually competing marches, two rallies, one in favor of decriminalizing abortion and the other one for upholding the current ban.

Over the last few days and weeks, we spoke to several activists and doctors, who are explaining to us why this is such an important issue.

Take a listen to what one of them --

GORANI: So, Stefano, there is such a passionate demonstration behind you that I'm afraid we're having a hard time hearing you. So we're going to try

to fix that and get back to you, so that we can actually hear your report there from Bogota.

In the meantime, let's talk about this quite promising study. For many people, as they grow older, one of their biggest fears is developing

dementia, Alzheimer's, to not recognize the people they love, to no longer be able to take care of themselves.

The fact that there is no effective treatment yet just adds to this fear. It's just degenerative. It has so many families struggling to give the

right care when it does happen. Here is someone describing just how dramatic and difficult it is to have someone in your family afflicted with



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She really has to have her day planned for her. It's not possible for her to plan her own day. We also need to sort of constantly

reassure her and we need to monitor her.

You know, she's at the stage where she's still able to look after herself. But she's struggling; checking she's getting dressed properly. It's

actually been more about my life changing because she's always been omnicompetent, always on top, always done. She's actually carried me and

now the thing's reversed.


GORANI: And this is what happens in families. Now there's a scientific breakthrough, giving people some hope. Researchers in the U.K. and Germany

have found a way to restore cell function in mice.

If this can translate to humans, we could potentially treat Alzheimer's disease as soon as the symptoms start, maybe even before they appear.

Joining me now is professor of biochemistry Mark Carr from the University of Leicester, who is part of the team working on this promising new



GORANI: Professor, thanks for being with us. First of all, describe this breakthrough in laboratory mice in a way that people who are not experts

can understand.

DR. MARK CARR, PROFESSOR OF BIOCHEMISTRY, UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER: Yes, good evening, Hala. It's nice to talk to you.

So what we found with colleagues in Germany and also in the U.K. is that the driver behind Alzheimer's disease is not the insoluble protein deposits

that are found in Alzheimer's disease patients in their nerve cells.

For the last, probably 20 years, the view has been that's the cause of the disease. With the work we've done that's just been recently published I

think really shows is that it's a soluble form of the protein in the cells that's actually the driver of the disease.

And -- sorry?

GORANI: Just so -- I'm sorry, I don't mean to interrupt but I just want to be clear here. So it's not a sort of solid deposit; it's something that's

more moveable.

Is that what you're saying you've discovered?

CARR: Yes. It's a different form of the protein -- it's moving around in the cells and it's probably present at very low levels. We don't know

exactly how it's driving the disease.

But in terms of coming up with potential therapies, simply by realizing that the target we need to sort of target for new drugs is this different

form of the protein. That opens up the new ideas that's in the published work.

GORANI: So are we talking about a vaccine here?

Because I saw that word being used.

How would that work?

And I just want to show viewers, not because I'm in any way an expert, far from it, but a healthy brain and a brain that is, you know, that is

afflicted with Alzheimer's, when you study this in mice, what results did you get with this treatment?

CARR: OK. So in mice, what we do, we use exactly the same imaging technologies that are used to diagnose human Alzheimer's patients.

And what we saw in mice was either using a therapeutic antibody or using a vaccine, both of which were targeted in the same form of the protein, we

saw the disease progression in two different mouse models of Alzheimer's really stopped.

And the results are spectacular. They have not been seen with anything that's been put forward in the last 20 years as a potential therapeutic. So

it's really exciting.

GORANI: So we have video that was filmed during your trials, a mouse, looks like in some sort of bath, swimming around.

What are we seeing there?

How were you able to assess whether or not there was a reversal in memory loss in an animal like a mouse?

Obviously can't verbalize and doesn't have human intelligence.

CARR: So mice are surprisingly actually very good swimmers. And a sort of normal, healthy mouse, if you put it in a shallow water tank, it will very

quickly find a platform in the tank that it can take a rest on. And it will remember, you know, very quickly where that platform is.

So you can use the sort of -- ask the question, how quickly can a mouse find this resting platform as a measure of how good is the memory of the

mouse. What we saw was, in the mice that have this form of Alzheimer's, if you give them either the vaccine or therapeutic antibody, you stop them

losing their memory function.

So they behave like a normal healthy mouse in those experiments.

GORANI: So the obvious question for all the people who are worried about themselves, who've been taking care of a family member with dementia or

Alzheimer's, is when do we test this on humans?

When can this have a, you know, some sort of application on humans who are suffering from this terrible illness?

CARR: Yes. So we have a therapeutic antibody that could go into human clinical trials immediately.


CARR: And together with our partners, we're working really hard to get a pharmaceutical partner on board that could take that therapeutic antibody

into clinical trials.

So with a partner on board, that could happen probably within three to six months. But the vaccine, that will require more work. It'll probably

require safety studies before it can be put into humans. And, again, we need a vaccine company on board.

So a vaccine, I would say, is probably at least several years down the line. But as we we've seen with COVID-19 -- sorry -- therapeutic antibodies

can be licensed very quickly now, within the space of one to two years.

GORANI: Well, I wish you the best of luck because it is really one of the most devastating illnesses and one that is degenerative and that so many

families are dealing with, as we all live older now. Professor Mark Carr, thank you so much for joining us. And good luck to your team.

CARR: Thank you very much.

GORANI: After months of fear and uncertainty, an Afghan girls' football team has found safe haven in the U.K. Their journey began when the Taliban

took over Afghanistan, throwing their futures and safety into doubt.

They escaped to Pakistan where they were staying on temporary visas and several international organizations worked to get the girls visas in the

U.K.; among them, the Leeds United Football Club. The team and their families arrived in England early this morning.

The Leeds United Club chairman tweeted, "First chapter written today, let's dream one day they will play into the LUFC."

The former Afghan women's team captain tweeted, "Mission accomplished." She's been highlighting the plight of female athletes in Afghanistan and

urging other countries to bring them to safety.

We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.




GORANI: The number of American troops based in Taiwan has doubled since last year. Taiwan is boosting its own defense capability to counter Chinese

military aggression and the latest data from the Pentagon confirms what CNN reported last week.

There are now a total of 39 U.S. troops stationed on the island. In 2020, the number was 18. Taiwan was a major topic in talks between the leaders of

China and the U.S. this week.


GORANI: With President Biden later saying the U.S. has not changed its policy on Taiwan. And Taiwan has deployed new advanced versions of F-16

fighter jets as tensions remain high with Beijing. CNN's Will Ripley was there for the ceremony and gives us an inside look.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A spectacle of military might here at Chiayi Air Base on Taiwan's western coast facing China.

We flew here by military plane from Taipei. It's a 40-minute flight. We're getting pretty unique access to Taiwan's newly upgraded fighter fleet.

These are F-16Vs. They are older F-16s, upgraded with new radar, new computer systems, kind of like upgrading your iPhone to the latest model.

Taiwan is also ordering a new batch of brand new F-16Vs, which are expected to arrive beginning in 2023.

Nonetheless, the reality is, Taiwan is facing a widening military gap with the mainland, even these highly sophisticated fighters. And they showed us

their "Top Gun" style moves. They would have a hard time competing in direct aerial combat with some of the fighter jets that the People's

Liberation Air Force has unveiled.

Some of those fighter planes have been flying near Taiwan in record numbers, including 150 in just five days at the beginning of October.

Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen is here. She was waving to the troops, waving to the planes as they flew by, inspecting these new aircraft and

even handing out pay bonuses to the pilots because one of the reasons that Taiwan's military is having a hard time finding recruits is because the

salaries just aren't competitive, when you compare them with civilian pilots.

You also have the director of the de facto U.S. embassy, the American Institute Of Taiwan here, showing that there is a U.S. presence; albeit not

an official diplomatic presence on the ground in Taiwan.

But we know that there's been increasing military cooperation between the United States and Taiwan just over the last couple of years. Hundreds of

military exchanges have taken place, with personnel from the United States coming here to train the Taiwanese military and also Taiwanese personnel

going and training in the United States as well.

All of this to try to guard against what many analysts see as an increasingly assertive mainland, with an increasingly powerful military, a

military that President Xi Jinping has said repeatedly could be used to retake this island, which it claims as its own territory, by force if

necessary -- Will Ripley, CNN, at Chiayi Air Base in Taiwan.


GORANI: Thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani in London. I'll see you same time, same place tomorrow. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.