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Hala Gorani Tonight
Biden And Allies Stress Unity In Event Of Russian Invasion; Former Pope Benedict Accused Of Not Taking Action Against Abusive Priests; First Aid Planes Arrive In Tonga After Volcanic Eruption; Hong Kong Euthanizes Small Animals Over COVID-19 Fears; Ghislaine Maxwell Requests New Trial Over Juror's Comments; Pentagon Releases Video From Drone Attack That Killed Civilians; Zara Rutherford Becomes Youngest Woman To Fly Around The World Solo. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired January 20, 2022 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, live from CNN in London on this Thursday, I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let there be no doubt at all that if Putin makes this choice, Russia will pay a heavy price.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The president of the United States and all of its allies scrambling to send a message of strength and unity to Russia over Ukraine after
yesterday's confusing remarks. Then, shock and shame. High-ranking Catholic officials react to the latest accusations of sexual abuse within the
Church. We have a live report.
And then from Washington to NATO headquarters to capitals across western Europe, officials are now scrambling this hour to underscore that there
would be a united response to any Russian invasion of Ukraine after some controversial remarks by the U.S. President Joe Biden yesterday. You'll
remember he suggested that Russia will move in, saying it, quote, "has to do something", unquote.
He also suggested the west might be divided on how to respond if it's -- what he called, a minor incursion. Mr. Biden clarified those remarks today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I've been absolutely clear with President Putin, he has no misunderstanding if any assembled Russian units move across Ukrainian
border, that is an invasion. But it will be met with severe and coordinated economic response that I've discussed in detail with our allies as well as
laid out very clearly for President Putin. But there is no doubt -- let there be no doubt at all that if Putin makes this choice, Russia will pay a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let there be no doubt at all. There was a bit of doubt yesterday. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is working on that coordinated
response with European allies today in Berlin. His German counterpart says nothing less is at stake than the preservation of peace in Europe. Our Nic
Robertson has a closer look now at the fallouts from Mr. Biden remarks and the ongoing effort at damage control.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): On the brink of a possible invasion, new satellite images show Russian troops in
armor masks less than 10 miles from Ukraine's border. President Joe Biden expecting an attack.
BIDEN: My guess is he will move in, he has to do something.
ROBERTSON: On what to do about Putin's anticipated move, Biden appearing less sure how the U.S. and allies would respond.
BIDEN: It depends on what it does. It's one thing if it's a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do, et cetera.
ROBERTSON: The White House quick to clarify, invasion, cyber attack or paramilitary tactics will draw a united response if any Russian military
forces move across the Ukrainian border, that's a renewed invasion, and it will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the United
States and our allies. Even so, Biden's apparent uncertainty drawing withering criticism in Kiev. One official calling it a green light to Putin
to enter Ukraine at his pleasure. The diplomatic wobble just as Ukraine's president was calming the country's nerves in a nationally televised
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE (through translator): All our citizens, especially the elderly, need to understand this. Everyone needs
to exhale, calm down, don't run for emergency supplies like buckwheat and matches.
ROBERTSON: Concern over allies' cohesion amplified by the French president, calling for separate EU-Russia talks and defense policy.
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT, FRANCE (through translator): We need in Europe collectively to set our own requirements and make sure they are respected,
and we need to be in a position to make that happen.
ROBERTSON: The European Commission president fast to right Macron's diplomatic doubts, insisting there is EU unity for any further Russian
URSULA VON DER LEYEN, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: We will respond with massive economic and financial sanctions. The Trans-Atlantic community
stands firm on this.
ROBERTSON: In Moscow where officials repeatedly insist they're not about to attack anyone, Biden's invasion comments not for the first time, triggering
MARIA ZAKHAROVA, FOREIGN MINISTRY, RUSSIA (through translator): We are convinced that the purpose of this campaign is to create an information
cover for the preparation of their own large-scale provocations including military ones.
GORANI: And Nic joins me now live from Moscow with more. The latest on Russian troop movements near the Ukraine border. What are they telling us?
ROBERTSON: We understand that there is a new Naval deployment underway, and all the seas of the Navy's operation around Russia, this is planned
military training exercise, part of the ongoing Ministry of Defense training exercises that are going to go on in Belarus, and according to
Russian officials, going on near the border of Ukraine literally miles away, just handfuls of miles from that border.
But the new Naval operations will include 140 warships, some 10,000 men, and operations from the Baltics all the way to the Mediterranean. We do
know that Russia has five amphibious landing craft that have left the Baltic area. Many analysts believe that they're on their way to the
Mediterranean and potentially to the Black Sea. So, I think that's the -- that's the latest picture at the moment. But that satellite imagery that
you were looking at just before --
GORANI: OK --
ROBERTSON: That really does seem to hammer home just that concentration of military equipment. You don't see many people walking around in those
pictures, but a lot of military equipment stood by and ready.
GORANI: Nic Robertson, thanks so much, live in Moscow. Well, Mr. Biden's remarks about a minor incursion did not go over well in Ukraine. The
Ukrainian President just tweeted, "there are no minor incursions in small nations, just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the
loss of loved ones. I say this as the president of a great power." CNN's Clarissa Ward joins us now live from Kiev with more reaction from Ukraine.
All these troop movements as well, these military movements on the Russian side must be extremely concerning to Ukrainians right now.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think absolutely they're concerning. But what is almost equally concerning to officials here
in Ukraine is the rhetoric, the language that we have heard from various places and particularly from U.S. President Joe Biden when he talked about
the fact that minor incursion may not result in the same kind of punishment or retaliation from NATO, from the U.S. That was greeted here with absolute
One Ukrainian official saying that the government was shocked, was stunned to hear that language. Of course, you just read out that tweet from
President Zelensky yesterday. We also heard President Zelensky in a Facebook video come out and say, calm down, everyone, there's a feeling
here in Kiev that there has been a sort of stoking up of the tensions, and the point that Ukrainian leaders want the world to know is that this has
been the status quo for many years.
Ukraine was invaded back in 2015. And so there has been a war going on for quite some time. That hasn't changed. Obviously, they are aware of the huge
troop build-up on their border. But I think what's even more concerning right now is wanting to feel that there is a unified response from NATO,
from the U.S. particularly, and I think they felt that, that was more reflected in the speech today that we heard from Secretary of State Antony
Blinken than the words we heard yesterday from the U.S. President.
GORANI: So, we know what's going on, on the Russian side in terms of troop movements. What about inside of Ukraine? What's going on there, any
WARD: Well, preparations have been ongoing. We know that, and we have been hearing again and again that they're prepared for any eventualities, that
they are prepared to fight for their country. I think a lot of Ukrainians feel sort of maligned by the fact that they don't have a role to play at
this stage. They are not at the table. All these conversations are happening primarily between Russia and the U.S. about Ukraine.
But Ukraine doesn't feel that it has a voice and that it has the ability to speak for itself and to defend its very sovereignty. I think that's very
frustrating for a lot of people. And you know, you can be sure, according to people here, that every attempt will be made to defend themselves. But,
of course, the very real prospect of more than a 100,000 Russian troops forming a pincer all around the north, east, and south of the country is a
grim reality and one that has many people on tenterhooks, Hala.
GORANI: All right, our chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward live in Kiev this evening, thanks so much. The head of NATO spoke to CNN today
and was asked about Mr. Biden's suggestion that NATO members might bicker about how to respond to a Russian invasion if it was a small incursion.
Jens Stoltenberg insisted that the alliance has already proven in words and deeds that it is united.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENS STOLTENBERG, GENERAL-SECRETARY, NATO: As we are 30 different nations from both sides of the Atlantics -- of the Atlantic. And, of course, we
need to discuss, so we need to sit down and coordinate and consult. But the strength of NATO is that we are always able to come to the same conclusions
and agree and to decide and implement decisions together. As we have done after extensive consultations, also in response to Russia's suggestive
actions against Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right, and that was Jens Stoltenberg. Let's get some perspective now from former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker in
Washington D.C., he also served as U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations and is a former CIA analyst as well. Thanks for being with us.
So, what is your expectation for what Russia is going to do next? What is Putin's next move?
KURT VOLKER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO NATO: Well, unfortunately, I think despite the very good efforts of Secretary Blinken today and White House
statements to address some of the issues from President Biden's speech last night, I think Putin heard what he heard, and he's already been on a path
to prepare for a military incursion into Ukraine. He's laid out demands that he knew would be unacceptable to the U.S. and NATO, pursued them
anyway, and has continued to build up forces. So I think this is the most likely scenario now.
GORANI: But why? Why is it in his best interest? Ukraine is a huge country. It would take days for just an ordinary tank to make the trek. I mean, it's
not an easy thing, it's not a small -- it's not like annexing Crimea. We're talking about a much longer, harder battle here. Why would he do it?
VOLKER: Well, I wouldn't assume that he's going to try to take over the entire country. I would look instead of him wanting to gain the water
reservoirs that feed Crimea and territory between Crimea and Donbas that would connect to territory that Russia has already occupied from its prior
invasion. So that --
GORANI: Right --
VOLKER: Would be an easier challenge. And why I think he is determined to rewrite the European security order, it has been based on sovereign states
under the Helsinki Accords having the right to their own alliances and their own future for 50 years. He wants to take it back, to alter, divide
up Europe between a Russian sphere of influence and a western sphere of influence.
GORANI: Well, what should the U.S. do then? Because clearly any incursion as now, by the way, leaders and including the Secretary of State Antony
Blinken have made clear, there's no minor or major incursion. Any incursion will be considered a violation of the sovereignty of the country. What
should the U.S. and its allies do to try to de-escalate here and avoid a Russian military incursion?
VOLKER: Well, I think the idea rather than focusing on de-escalation, I think the idea is to deter. I think we need to put in place capabilities in
Ukraine under the Ukrainians, give them the equipment, give them the training so that it would be too costly for Russia to actually try to
invade even in a modest way or a limited way. And so far, I think we've been holding back on that, hoping that diplomacy would cause the Russians
to step back. It's not working. I think we need to be pursuing more support for the Ukrainians now.
GORANI: So, you don't think diplomacy will work? We have a Blinken-Lavrov face-to-face tomorrow, they're two very different men. Lavrov is a
bombastic character, some have said he's quite the bully, and Blinken is a very different type of personality. How do you think the face-to-face
between the two men will go?
VOLKER: Well, I wouldn't focus on the personality. Lavrov is, as you say -- Tony is a very smart guy, he's very capable, he can hold his own in any
conversation, so I'm not worried about the personal dynamics. What I'm worried about is the decision-making that's going on in Moscow under
President Vladimir Putin. He is determined to recreate a greater Russia where he's uniting Russian-speaking territories.
He has made unreasonable demands, and he's put in place military forces that he can use at a moment's notice. Getting him not to do that will
require getting into his calculation that it is simply too costly.
GORANI: Right, so, OK -- no, I'm not disputing that Antony Blinken is a smart guy, obviously he is. But if diplomacy, in your estimation, is not
going to be as effective as it should be in this case, what can Blinken do tomorrow? What can he do? What can he offer?
VOLKER: Yes, it's always good to have the channels open, to have dialogue, to be ready to discuss any possible solutions that could be there. But
diplomacy that's not backed up by strength is not going to go anywhere. And I think what Secretary Blinken needs right now is more action from the U.S.
to support Ukraine, more unity from NATO, more, as he tried to do in Germany today, more commitment from the Germans that they will take action
These are the things that I think would factor into Russian decision- making.
GORANI: Was it -- how damaging was it that the president of the United States Biden yesterday distinguished between a minor and a major incursion?
And made it sound like there might not be consensus on what to do if it was just a small invasion versus a big one.
VOLKER: Yes, there were several unfortunate things in what the president said last night. That's one of them trying to distinguish between a minor
incursion and a full-scale invasion. Any attack on a sovereign state is an attack on a sovereign state and needs to be met. And I think President
Zelensky's tweet on that made that very clear. He also indicated our responses would be measured if it was a lesser attack, and that also should
not be the case.
We should be conveying commitment and strength and resolve that we will act in the event of any attack on Ukraine.
GORANI: Thank you so much Kurt Volker for joining us, really appreciate your time this evening.
VOLKER: My pleasure. Thank you.
GORANI: All right, now, a new report says Pope Benedict XVI did not take action against four priests accused of sexually abusing children. The
Vatican is now responding. The investigation was commissioned by the archdiocese of Munich in Germany. And it found that the former pope knew
about the cases when he was archbishop there in the '80s and did nothing. Benedict has previously denied any wrongdoing, and the Vatican now says it
will examine the report while expressing shame and remorse over the abuses.
Germany's Cardinal Marx who had offered to quit last year to take responsibility for abuses by priests is also reacting. It accuses him of
mishandling two suspected cases of abuse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINHARD MARX, ARCHBISHOP OF MUNICH, GERMANY (through translator): As the current archbishop of Munich and Freising, I have joint responsibility
because of what happened in the last decade. I would like to ask you for forgiveness on behalf of the archdiocese for the suffering inflicted on
people in recent decades. Abuse has not been taken seriously in the Church. Perpetrators have not been prosecuted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: CNN's Delia Gallagher is in Rome for us with more. And are we hearing from -- I mean, there is reaction from the Vatican, but what type
of action might they take as a result of this report?
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Right, so, Hala, the first thing is that this report was just delivered this afternoon. So you've been
hearing from the responses that they're needing time to look into it, it's over 1,800 pages, spans 75 years. We also, by the way, have a comment from
Pope Emeritus Benedict's private secretary saying essentially the same thing that they have just received the report, and that the pope emeritus
will also be giving it due attention in the coming days.
So, the press conference was held by the investigators today highlighting some of the findings of this report. And that is how we know about the four
cases that cardinal -- then Cardinal Ratzinger is accused of not handling properly, as well as importantly, Cardinal Marx. Because Cardinal Marx is
the current archbishop of Munich and a close adviser to Pope Francis. You mentioned that he tried to resign last year over general cases of sex abuse
in Germany as a kind of symbolic resignation, the pope did not accept that.
Cardinal Marx says he will hold a press conference next week to take questions and to discuss further the issues. So, we're very much still in a
developing story here. I think it's important to point out that the archdiocese itself commissioned this report. So, they are the ones who were
asking the independent law firm to tell them, you know, had they mishandled cases, how have the cases been handled as a kind of historical reckoning?
A lot of archdiocese throughout the world have been doing that, Hala. So, to talk about the question of accountability right now is a little bit
premature. It was asked in the press conference to the investigators if there could be some legal repercussions of obstruction of justice or so on,
aiding and abetting. They didn't have a clear answer to that because much will depend on the individual cases on a Statute of Limitations and so on.
But clearly, in terms of repercussions at the Vatican, there has to first be a response to these findings. And obviously, Pope Francis in the past
when these reports have come out, Hala, one of the pope's main points has been about judging the past through the lens and the standards of today. Of
course, a lot has changed in the Catholic Church in terms of how they deal with these cases.
And one of Pope Francis' main points with regards to other reports has been that -- be careful about judging past actions by today's standards, whether
that will play into a response from the Vatican on this one, which of course is much more important because it has to do with the pope emeritus
and with a sitting Cardinal Marx.
We'll have to just wait and see. Hala?
GORANI: All right, thank you Delia Gallagher in Rome. And still to come tonight, aid is finally coming to volcano-ravaged Tonga, but the damage is
extensive and the country's needs are dire. We'll tell you what the most pressing needs are for them right now. Plus, lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell
who was recently convicted of sex crimes are asking the judge for a new trial. We'll tell you why they're doing that, what their reasoning is after
a quick break.
GORANI: A huge explosion in western Ghana has prompted a full emergency response. You can see some images here from the aftermath of the blast. It
has leveled the whole area. We don't have details yet on possible casualties or injuries, but police say most victims have now been rescued
and admitted to the hospital. The blast seems to have happened when a truck carrying mining explosives collided with a motorcycle. That's according to
a preliminary police investigation.
The first flights carrying emergency supplies have landed in Tonga. Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and China are all sending aid. Right now,
Tonga's government is assessing the damage from the massive volcanic eruption on Saturday which covered many islands in thick ash, triggered
tsunami waves as tall as 15 meters. Blake Essig has more on the relief effort.
BLAKE ESSIG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): For several days, Tonga was essentially cut off from the rest of the world because of ash
fall and damaged communication lines that likely won't be fixed for several weeks. But, finally, some good news. With the main runway of Tonga's
international airport cleared of volcanic ash, planes carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief were finally able to reach the island.
Both New Zealand and Australia flew in aid flights on Thursday with Japan also planning flights. Now, the first flight to land carrying supplies came
from New Zealand and included water containers, temporary shelters, generators, hygiene and family kits, and communications equipment. Because
Tonga has essentially been COVID-free throughout the pandemic.
Tongan government officials say that today's delivery of supplies was contactless and that the aircraft were only on the ground for a short time
to avoid creating a possible COVID outbreak. Now, as a result of the eruption and tsunami, the United Nations says about 84,000 people, that's
more than 80 percent of Tonga's population have been impacted by the disaster. And information from outer islands still remains scarce.
While outside support is now starting to arrive, people on the ground say drinking water is their biggest concern. But that might not be the case
moving forward. That's because Tonga's speaker of the house says the country could be facing a food shortage after farmers told him that all
agriculture has been ruined as a result of the massive eruption and tsunami. Blake Essig, CNN, Tokyo.
GORANI: Well, in an already politically damning week, the British government is now dealing with accusations of blackmail. A conservative
lawmaker says he and some of his fellow MPs have faced, quote, "pressures and intimidation" from the government trying to stop them initiating a
confidence vote against Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Johnson has responded to the allegation, saying he has seen no evidence of blackmail in his
Still to come tonight, America's Secretary of State leaves Berlin for Geneva and a high-stakes meeting with Russia's foreign minister. We'll take
you there for the latest on the Russia-NATO standoff over Ukraine. Plus, a gap year like no other. We'll talk with a 19-year-old pilot who just became
the youngest woman to fly solo.
GORANI: Returning now to our top story. The American President Joe Biden is walking back some controversial remarks on Ukraine that he made yesterday.
Now saying that any entry of Russian troops would be met with a severe coordinated economic response.
His Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with German, French, and British allies today in Berlin.
The U.K. says any Russian incursion into Ukraine would be, quote, "a disaster for the world." Let's go to our Fred Pleitgen in Geneva, where
Blinken and Russia's foreign minister are set to hold these extremely high- stakes talks just a few hours from now.
What is the expectation?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The expectation, certainly from the Russian side, is that these talks are going to be of
extreme importance. We heard that from the Kremlin.
They said that they believe that those talks are going to be vital. That's why they really didn't want to comment too much on what they think could
come out of them. But they did say that they are obviously going to watch very closely and prepare for them in a big way as well.
And if you look at secretary of state Blinken, you can really see how focused he's been over the past two days since he's been in Kiev and then
has moved on to Berlin, on really getting the allies behind the U.S.'s position in making sure that everybody is on the same page.
The thing that you were alluding to at the beginning was key as well. He was asked about those remarks that President Biden had made about a
possible limited incursion, as President Biden had put it.
And he himself also had to clarify that, no, any further troop movement by Russia into Ukraine, more than what already has been done before, that that
would mean a massive response not just from the U.S. but from its allies as well.
And that's why it's so important for the secretary of state to be there in Berlin as well. But not clear whether or not much headway is going to be
GORANI: So that's the question because these discussions have been ongoing. We know the position of Russia. We know the position of America and its
What can be achieved, then, under these circumstances tomorrow, that hasn't been attempted already?
PLEITGEN: You're absolutely right. We know the positions of both sides and we know that those positions are actually pretty far apart. One of the
things that the Russians had hoped for and the Russian foreign minister Lavrov had been saying, is that they want written responses to those
security demands that they had made from the U.S.
And, of course, first and foremost, being that they demanded that Ukraine would never become a NATO member. Secretary of state Blinken already said
those responses in writing are not going to be forthcoming, at least at this meeting.
However, both sides certainly have said that they do believe that there might be some room for movement, while President Biden, of course, said
that the Russian demand that Ukraine would not become a NATO member and that be formalized is something that simply wouldn't happen.
He also said he didn't believe that Ukraine would become a NATO member anytime soon. The Russians, of course, saying that's not good enough for
them. But they do at least see that possibly as some sort of inroad.
And both sides have said that potentially saying that, look, strategic weapons, for instance, would not be placed near each other's borders, that
that's something that could be talked about or at least some sort of framework found for that; also potential exercises to be cut down.
Those are also things where the two sides could move closer. And also the meeting tomorrow could become a bridge, because the Russians today have
already said what they would also like to see happen would be another call between President Biden and President Putin in the not-too-distant future,
to try and get that diplomacy rolling and try and avert catastrophic consequences here on the European continent.
GORANI: As long as they're talking, hopefully, that means there will be no fighting. We'll see how that develops. And you'll be covering these
important talks tomorrow. Fred, thanks very much.
A word on COVID now. Austria has become the first country in the E.U. to pass a sweeping vaccine mandate for the COVID vaccine. So now, just for
health care workers, any adult who does not comply, with a few exceptions, will face a penalty and could ultimately be fined up to $4,000. The mandate
would take effect on February 1st.
Meantime, France is loosening its coronavirus restrictions. The country's prime minister says the government will drop its work-from-home guidance
starting early February.
And in the middle of next month, night clubs will be allowed to reopen. But the prime minister says the COVID vaccination pass will come into effect at
the end of this month if it is approved.
Beijing has reported five new COVID cases Wednesday. Officials are responding by locking down entire buildings where the patients live.
China's very strict zero COVID policy has taken a significant toll on people. And in Hong Kong, it's taking a toll on animals as well. Kristie Lu
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In zero-COVID Hong Kong, it's come to this: owners surrendering their small pets after a
cull order from the government over COVID-19 fears. And outrage from animal welfare workers.
On Tuesday, authorities said that they will euthanize around 2,000 hamsters, rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs over COVID-19 transmission
concerns, after a worker and 11 hamsters at the Little Boss Pet Shop tested positive for the coronavirus.
STOUT (voice-over): On Wednesday, Hong Kong authorities strongly advised people who purchased hamsters after December 22nd to hand over their pets
to be tested and euthanized.
DR. EDWIN TSUI, CONTROLLER, CENTRE FOR HEALTH PROTECTION: We cannot exclude the possibility that the shopkeeper, in fact, was actually infected from
STOUT (voice-over): The import of all small animals has been suspended. All pet shops selling hamsters have been asked to halt operations until their
animals test negative. And around 150 customers of the Little Boss Pet Shop have been sent into quarantine.
STOUT: We have not seen the transmission of COVID-19 from pets to humans.
VANESSA BARRS, CITY UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: It's still at the stage in the pandemic with over several hundred million human cases of COVID, we haven't
seen any pet-to-human transmission.
STOUT (voice-over): The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the risk of pets spreading the virus to people is low. And many Hong
Kong denizens are outraged. Tens of thousands have signed online petitions against the culling of small animals.
One petitioner writes, "Small animals have lives. Please respect these poor lives and stop making inhumane decisions."
Along with the video of his pet, a Facebook user posts, "I won't hand over my hamster. This government is inhumane."
And an artist depicts the Grim Reaper looming over a crying toy pet.
Despite the outrage, authorities have continued with the cull. So far, city officials say they have euthanized over 1,200 small animals over COVID-19
transmission fears. More are expected to be culled by the end of the week.
Mr. Chan (ph), a volunteer from the Hamster Rescue Group says --
MR. CHAN, VOLUNTEER, HAMSTER RESCUE GROUP (through translator): What I worry the most is the traumatic experience for the children.
STOUT (voice-over): The Hamster Rescue Group says it intercepted at least a dozen hamsters at a culling center today and volunteers plan to adopt them.
STOUT: To many in the city, the hamsters are seen as the latest casualties of Hong Kong's zero COVID policy -- Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
GORANI: Ghislaine Maxwell is now asking a U.S. federal judge for a new sex abuse trial. The disgraced British socialite was convicted by a jury last
month, as prosecutors accused her of helping the late Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse minors.
Her lawyers have filed a motion for a new trial, saying one of the juror who convicted her told the media he had been sexually abused himself. CNN's
Sonia Moghe joins me now from New York with more.
This was a question on the jury questionnaire that prospective jurors were asked, right?
And based on those answers, I guess Maxwell's team is saying some of them weren't entirely forthcoming at the time?
SONIA MOGHE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: To be clear, this question and how it was answered on this jury questionnaire form, "Have you or a friend or family
member ever been the victim of sexual harassment, sexual abuse or sexual assault?"
That is really the heart of this issue. It's how this juror number 50 answered that question, because, when you look at the transcript of his
jury questioning, the prosecutors, defense and the court never asks him about this question.
So what we're presuming here, not having seen his jury questioning form, is that he either left this blank or marked it no. And if he marked it no,
that means he wasn't truthful on this questionnaire. And that is the issue, what Ghislaine Maxwell's team is arguing, is that she should get a new
trial altogether without having to even bring in this juror for questioning if he was not truthful on this form.
Now what we know about what this juror has told media, he told Reuters, he told "The Guardian," "The Independent," that he had been sexually abused as
a child and that, during jury deliberations, when some jurors had some questions about some of these witnesses who couldn't remember certain
details about the abuse that they said they had been through, he brought up his own experience and said, I've been abused as a child, I couldn't
remember things, like how old I was.
But I could remember details like the color of the carpet where I was being abused. And, so, he said he shared this information with jurors to let them
know that sometimes, when you go through traumatic experiences, sometimes it's difficult to remember details.
And he said that helps jurors understand and find these witnesses more credible.
So now the question is, was he truthful on that form?
GORANI: And, also, what are her chances, Maxwell, of getting a new trial?
What do experts say about this?
MOGHE: I've spoken to experts and they do find these revelations problematic, if the juror did lie on his questionnaire. So it's really up
to this judge. The judge can choose to bring the juror in and question the juror about whether or not --
MOGHE: -- his experience with this abuse made him unable to be impartial or unbiased. That was one of the other questions this jury questionnaire form
But I think what the issue is, that both prosecutors and defense have the right to question each of these jurors further about answers they put on
these jury questionnaire forms.
And if this juror wasn't being truthful on that jury questionnaire form, then they wouldn't have known to press him further about his answers.
GORANI: Got it. Sonia Moghe, thank you very much for joining us.
Still to come tonight, the U.S. military thought they were terrorists. Instead, it was a car, filled with children. The Pentagon releases footage
of a terrible and deadly mistake that it made during the evacuation of Afghanistan. We'll be right back.
GORANI: More misery for Syrian children. At least three of them have died of cold as frigid temperatures have enveloped refugee camps in Lebanon,
Jordan and Syria. The humanitarian group CARE warns that winter storms are putting hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians in danger.
Temperatures in the region are expected to drop to minus 14 Celsius, the lowest in 40 years. The conflict in Syria has lasted for almost 11 years
now and more than 6.7 million people have been internally displaced, including the kids you see on these pictures.
They've already struggled to survive with inadequate shelter and tough conditions and now they have this very brutal winter to make their lives
The U.S. military has released videos of the botched August 19th drone strike in Kabul that killed 10 Afghan civilians, including seven children.
The footage shows military drones tracking the car through Kabul streets before unleashing a missile after the vehicle parked.
The U.S. military says it mistakenly believed the car was being driven by an ISIS-K operative and was loaded with explosives, except that wasn't at
all an ISIS-K operative and that strike killed seven kids. Oren Liebermann has more on this tragic mistake and why this video was released now.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: This is the first time we've seen video of the strike.
LIEBERMANN: The military releasing three videos that take place on August 29th. And they were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act
request from "The New York Times" about that strike.
Again, this is the first time we've seen these videos. Of course, we've heard about the strike since August 29th, pretty much right after it
happened, and the changing story from the military, at first defending the strike as a legitimate strike against an ISIS-K operative or planner.
And then that story shifting as the military would go on to acknowledge that it was what they called a tragic mistake based on information that was
They had tracked the white Toyota Corolla for eight hours before making the strike. You get a sense of that from these videos. They show drones up
above, tracking this car as it made its way throughout the city.
Throughout the day they'd watched it make some stops, meet with people, essentially building up the case to themselves that they were tracking a
legitimate ISIS-K operative. That would turn out to be horribly incorrect, as CNN, "The New York Times," and others put out stories and reporting
questioning the military's account.
The military then acknowledged 2.5 weeks after August 29th that it was a mistake, that they'd killed innocent civilians, 10 in total, including
seven children. After they acknowledged the mistake, the Defense Secretary ordered that there would be a review of everything, including that initial
And though that detailed more of the process that went into building that mistake to carry out the strike, it also did not recommend holding anybody
accountable. The Defense Secretary mid-last month or so would go on to sign off on that and there would be no one held accountable for this strike that
we now have video of.
Of course, it is awful to see the video, not only the moments before it but also the strike itself and afterwards, where you see people rushing over to
the burning remnants of the car, trying to pour water on it to put the fire out.
Now the Pentagon and the U.S. government remain in contact with the family of Zamarai Ahmadi. That was the person the Defense Department believed they
were tracking as an ISIS-K operative.
In fact, he worked for Nutrition and Education International, an NGO that focused on food security in Afghanistan. His employers are in touch with
the Defense Department to try to bring the rest of his family to the United States. That process is ongoing, Hala?
GORANI: All right, Oren Liebermann at the Pentagon, thank you.
You'll remember that synagogue attack in Texas last weekend. Police in England have now arrested two men and are questioning them about that
Authorities haven't said how the two arrested men might be connected to the British hostage taker, Takr (ph) Malik Akram, who held a rabbi and several
others inside the synagogue for 10 terrifying hours. The hostages eventually escaped and Akram was killed when a tactical team got inside.
Still to come, this teenager right here makes history. I'll speak with a 19-year-old pilot, who just set an impressive new world record. We'll be
GORANI: A record-breaking dream has come true for a British Belgian teenager. Zara Rutherford has just become the youngest woman to fly solo
around the world. But not satisfied with breaking just one world record, the 19-year-old has also become the youngest person to do the journey in a
As you might expect, there was some turbulence along the way. I'll be speaking to Zara in just a moment. But first let's take a look at her high-
GORANI (voice-over): A safe landing in Belgium and into the record books. This is 19-year-old Zara Rutherford, setting a new world record, the
youngest woman to fly solo around the world.
Her journey has taken her to more than 30 different countries across five continents, traveling over 50,000 kilometers and all on her own in this
ZARA RUTHERFORD, TEEN AVIATOR: It's a pretty small plane. Here, I'll show you some of the wings and the (INAUDIBLE).
GORANI (voice-over): It is one of the fastest ultralight aircraft in the world and especially adapted for this trip. Zara took off five months ago
in Belgium. And her trip has been anything but straightforward.
She was stuck in the far east of Russia, riding out bad weather for 41 days in temperatures as low as minus 34 degrees Celsius. Her entire plane had to
be de-iced before takeoff.
Typhoons forced route changes over the Philippines. And heavy smog was almost too much over India. All the while, she navigated both physical and
RUTHERFORD: Right now I am flying to South Korea. So Russia to South Korea; North Korea's over that way. I'm not allowed to get too close to it because
they don't like small airplanes flying around.
GORANI (voice-over): And not to mention doing all of this in the middle of a global pandemic. But she has made it.
For the woman who's been flying for as long as she can remember, this is just the beginning. For Zara Rutherford, who dreams of becoming an
astronaut, even the sky is not the limit.
GORANI: Well, Zara Rutherford is now back home with her family in Belgium. And she is joining me now live.
First of all, obviously, congratulations.
RUTHERFORD: Thank you very much.
GORANI: How does it feel?
You've accomplished this record.
RUTHERFORD: I'm still in shock, I think. I haven't quite processed it. I just got home about 20 minutes ago. And it's amazing. I said hi to the cats
and said hi to the family and I'm really happy to be here.
GORANI: Well, we're sorry to take you away from your family for just a few minutes. But we want to hear from you what it was like, when you finally
set that record. And it's two records, the youngest woman and also in that particular aircraft.
RUTHERFORD: That's right. I'm really happy that I've been able to do it. Even my last flight was a challenge. I was trying to avoid snow and rain
showers on the way here from Germany. But I'm just so happy I was able to do it.
And I've got amazing messages from people on social media and girls and boys, saying that they are inspired to start learning how to fly, which is
GORANI: What motivated you to do this in the first place?
RUTHERFORD: At first, I just wanted to go on this big adventure. But I never thought it'd be possible growing up, I thought it was too expensive,
too dangerous, too difficult. And then I was finishing school and I thought, actually, this is the perfect time to do something crazy and fly
around the world.
I planned a route, got my main sponsorship, a web-hosting company from Bulgaria, and basically set off.
GORANI: What about your parents?
Were they or your family, your loved ones, they must've been worried.
RUTHERFORD: I think so a little bit. My mother, she told me she was always very supportive and my father was very excited about it all.
GORANI: You have to call them, text them, WhatsApp them regularly, so they knew you were safe and OK?
RUTHERFORD: When I reached Greenland, I sent two words to my parents, which was, "I'm alive," and that's it.
GORANI: Listen, that's all they need to know, right?
Everything on top of that is a bonus.
But was it exhausting?
Was it physically exhausting to do this?
RUTHERFORD: Physically, yes. I would go for very long hours, not all that much sleep. So over time, fatigue does kick in, especially when I'm flying
over multiple different time zones within a few days.
And mentally, it was a huge challenge, especially flying over, for example, Siberia, where it's just extremely remote and very cold. And if the engine
quits then, I am hours away from rescue. And I don't know how long I can survive in minus 35 degrees.
GORANI: So how did you overnight in those very extreme conditions when you had to refuel?
How did that work?
RUTHERFORD: So it depended; it depends from country to country. Some are huge international airfields so it's extremely easy. In Russia, it was a
bit more complicated to sometimes find good fuel.
In the morning, before I would fly, the plane would be covered in ice so it would take at least an hour to try, with hot air, I would spend hours
trying to melt and scrub the ice off the wings because I can't take off with snow on the wings.
GORANI: You were alone a lot. It's obviously only one person fits in that plane.
But did you have human contact with others?
Did you make friends along the way?
RUTHERFORD: Of course. Yes, I met some incredible people, with amazing stories, which -- I just love meeting new people. Everyone was so kind and
generous. Obviously in some countries, it depended, based on COVID, so I was taking PCR tests all of the time to make sure that I wasn't taking
COVID around the world.
But, yes, I was meeting some amazing people and sharing stories. And it was incredible.
GORANI: All right, I know you want to become an astronaut. I'm sure there will be other challenges between this record-breaking trip and that next
chapter, that chapter in your future. Thank you so much, Zara Rutherford, for joining us.
Zara is live in Belgium. She just got home 20 minutes ago and is speaking to us already this evening.
Thanks so much.
Well, that's going to do it for me. Congratulations to Zara. And thanks to all of you for watching and for joining us this evening. Do stay with CNN.
We'll take a quick break and when we come back, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming your way.