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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Memorial Day Travel Surges Despite Economic Concerns; Family: American Missionary Couple Killed By Gang In Haiti; Sean "Diddy" Combs Faces 7th Lawsuit Alleging Sex Assault; NCAA Settlement Paves Way For Colleges To Pay Student-Athletes; ICJ Orders Israel To "Immediately" Halt Military Operation In Rafah; Drones On The Front Lines Of 911 Response. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired May 24, 2024 - 16:00   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: There was some controversy, of course, around that time because he had these two surgeries. He didn't tell the president or his deputy about it. Austin later said he should have told them, and he pledged to be more transparent.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Obviously, we wish the defense secretary the very best.

Great to be back with you. Finish out the week strong.

KEILAR: It is great.


KEILAR: Yes, it's been a little minute since as we got to anchor together.

SANCHEZ: Yeah. Yeah.

KEILAR: That's very nice.

SANCHEZ: We appreciate your joining us on "CNN NEWS CENTRAL".

Shout out to my mom, who's right over there filming me right now. She doesn't want to be on camera, but she's here.

KEILAR: She's so cute.

SANCHEZ: Thanks so much for joining us.

THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN HOST: Americans may feel broke, but today, they are not spending like it.

THE LEAD starts right now. The summer season kicks off with a bang. Record travel as millions of

Americans put aside perceptions about the economy, at least for now. And President Joe Biden capitalized off this sentiment as the 2024 election creeps closer.

And a horror story in Haiti, an American couple of serving as missionaries there killed by gangs. What we're learning about the attack.

Plus, the future of law enforcement. Drones in danger zones, spotting victims, zeroing in on bad guys. But does the technology really work? And is it too much like big brother?


MARQUARDT: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Alex Marquardt, in for Jake Tapper.

We start today with our money lead. Despite poll after poll showing Americans are worried about the economy, that is not stopping millions from traveling over this long holiday weekend.

A record number of passengers were screened this morning at the U.S.'s busiest airport that's outside Atlanta, and TSA officials say that yesterday with the second busiest day ever at U.S. airports, with an even higher number of passengers expected to fly today.

And it isn't just planes. Thirty-eight million Americans are expected to travel by car this Memorial Day weekend for the unofficial start to summer. That's according to AAA, which says that's the highest level from Memorial Day since it started keeping track 24 years ago back in 2000.

CNN's Pete Muntean is live at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Annapolis, Maryland, and CNN's Ryan Young is live at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

Ryan, I want to start with you.

TSA now saying that it is on track to set a new screening record at that very airport. What are you hearing from fliers there?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. They plan to break records here over 111,000 people went through the gates here just yesterday and I can tell you, they're on pace to break that record today across the country, 2.9 million people went through TSA checkpoints.

But the real story here, as we talked are travelers all throughout this and as they pass through these security zones, they've been telling us non-stop, but they could not wait to get out there to do a little travel. They're worried about the economy. We've talked seven different passengers about the amount of money they are willing to spend. The lowest amount so far has been about $2,000. Families really wanted to get out there spending money, some even saying they're going to do a $10,000 trip, just this very weekend. Take a listen to this one traveler who says the economy is not going

to stop him from enjoying this weekend.


DOMINIC GULLEY, FLYER: If you got a hustle on -- I'm old school, so if you want to hustle, you can get paid.

YOUNG: Right.

GULLEY: So this economy thing I think is over -- overblown in my opinion.

YOUNG: So, you're willing to spend and do what you have to do to get out?

GULLEY: Absolutely, absolutely. It helps the economy.

Show me a business that says they're not making money because people are not spending. And I'll tell you, they're not telling the truth.


YOUNG: Alex, that's the thing. Everywhere we look, there are higher prices and people tell me they were shocked about the fact that ticket prices were a little higher.

Some people actually starting to book a little earlier than usual, but outside of that, what they really said they were concerned about oh, was this experience that when they arrived to the airport, they would be able to make it through. We're in a big metro area, obviously of Atlanta. Traffic's always a part of the conversation.

So getting here on time and getting through that checkpoint is one of the things they were concerned about. The largest weight so far has been just over 20 minutes. All lanes have been open, but talking about people just being energized to travel. That's what they're hearing from people.

They are willing to spend -- one young person told me they're willing to charge to make sure they get this international vacation. So it seems like people really want to get out there and enjoy their summer, and it starts this week -- Alex.

MARQUARDT: Yeah, it certainly does, and, Pete, when it comes to the people out on the roads and gas prices, those prices still averaging around $3.60 per gallon, but it doesn't look like that's stopping drivers this weekend.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Bubble to burst, Alex, and nothing is stopping the brake lights here on the eastbound span of the Bay Bridge behind me. That goes to the gateway, to the eastern shore of Maryland, Ocean City, Bethany, Rehoboth, the Delaware beaches, 330,000 people expected to pass over this bridge between now and Monday, part of the 38.4 million people expected to drive 50 miles or more, according to AAA, between now and Monday. [16:05:06]

The big thing here that is driving all of this is the price of gas, according to AAA, $3.60, the national average. Not all that different from where we were a year ago, which is why this year is bigger than 2019 before the pandemic, 2 percent bigger, 4 percent bigger than last year, even bigger than 2005, widely considered to be a huge year for travel when it fully rebounded after a plummeted following 9/11.

I want you to listen now to AAA's Aixa Diaz. She says gas prices really are not fazing people this time around.


AIXA DIAZ, AAA SPOKESWOMAN: Gas prices though have never really been a factor in terms of keeping people home. AAA has always found that people will just budget around gas prices. It's certainly nice that were not paying some astronomical number right now, but it doesn't really hold people back.


MUNTEAN: Right now, where you are in the worst time to drive and there's going to be an interesting confluence ahead here as the evening rush begins and that people are starting to leave for the holiday.

So, holiday traffic plus normal commuters, that makes Friday especially tough. Tomorrow, the advices leave early in the morning maybe before noon or after five or 6:00 p.m. according to AAA. Traffic in some major metro areas, not only for the rush out of town attempt, but the rush back into town come Monday could be nearly twice the norm -- Alex.

MARQUARDT: All right. Everyone, brace yourselves.

Ryan Young, Pete Muntean, thank you both very much.

Let's discuss now with our panel.

Ashley, when you look these numbers that Pete and Ryan were just talking about, they really do seem to reflect this real disconnect that wed been hearing from -- from so many voters in polls that Americans feel like they themselves personally are doing okay, but the economy as a whole is not doing very well.

So what is the Biden campaign need to do to change that perception?

ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN COMMENTATOR: Well, what they need to acknowledge that's actually how people are feeling first. And I think they are rather than just touting a list of accomplishments really understanding that some American people haven't felt the complete impact. But what I will also say is that Americans are spending because Americans do have more money in their pocket book because of the policy that the Biden administration but prices are still high. And I think what the campaign can do is connect the dots as to why you have more money, but why are things more expensive?

And a lot of that has to do and the president has said around corporate greed, corporations raising their cost, even though they're still making money.

One of the people in the segments said, find me of businesses they're not making money and I'll tell you that they're lying. Its because they're charging people more than they need to just so they can increase their profit margins, maybe because of what happened during COVID, but also because they just want to make more money on the American people's back.

MARQUARDT: On this race, Kristen, on the other side of this tick -- on the Republican side, lots of speculation about who Donald Trump's vice president could be. One name that we hadn't heard until recently is Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, kind of a dark horse. What are you hearing from your sources?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, essentially, Donald Trump, anytime he hears a name from an advisor or an ally, or a donor, he begins to then banter that name around because if somebody he knows are respects like somebody, then he also wants to know what everyone else thinks about it. Remember, Donald Trump's almost entire vetting process is asking people hello around him what they think and then going off of his gut.

This is not a traditional candidate. This isn't somebody who is preparing file after file, going through people's backgrounds and finances. That doesn't really matter to Donald Trump.

So Tom Cotton is somebody who recently he has started to raise. He was brought up to him and now he has tried to banter around his name. Now, I will tell you, anyone who was very to close to the former president still says that the top contenders are J.D. Vance, Doug Burgum, Marco Rubio. However, you're still going to hear up until he named somebody him talking about various people who get mentioned to him.

MARQUARDT: And, of course, someone who's often speculated about is the very, who did very well are relatively well in the primaries. Of course, Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor, and his former U.N. ambassador.

Trump and Haley have still not spoken, we're told since she dropped out of the race but she did say this week that she was going to vote for him. This is what he had to say about her last night. Let's take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think she's going to be on our team because we have a lot of the same ideas, the same thoughts. I appreciated what she said. You know, we had a nasty campaign. It was pretty nasty, but she's a very capable person and I'm sure she's going to be in our team in some form.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MARQUARDT: So, he's acknowledging, Ramesh, the nastiness there.

Now she's saying she's going to vote for him. What role do you think that she should play as this campaign plays out?

RAMESH PONNURU, EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW: Well, I think its going to be awkward, at least to put her on the ticket given some of the things that she said about him and that he said about her. Remember, he called her a birdbrain. She said that he wasn't qualified for a driver's license, let alone being president in United States. Those are things that are hard to walk back.


MARQUARDT: And they will certainly appear, I would imagine, in some Biden campaign ads.

Now, we have this first debate here on CNN coming up next month, on June 27th.

Kristen, you've got some new reporting about how each side is preparing.

HOLMES: Yeah. So there are some similarities and obviously some differences. They both believe both Biden and Trump believed that they debates are critical this time around. They also believe that the other person has been so diminished in the last four years. That'll become apparent on the stage that they can prove themselves.

And they also believe that they will be able to outperform each other. Now, when it comes to actual preparation, it looks very different. The Biden campaign telling our colleague Isaac Dovere that they were going to plan extensive preparation, that might even include some sequestered time at a place like Camp David. They are going to be grilling him. They are going to be doing that kind of traditional preparation for a debate.

On the Trump side, they haven't even had any formal conversations about that. In fact, one adviser told me we don't even use the word preparation when it comes to our candidate. Now that might change, but don't look for those kind of formal settings that we've seen in years past.

PONNURU: You know, Kristen, without taking anything away from your reporting, that is exactly what you would expect.

HOLMES: Right.

PONNURU: These two people not having read your reporting, that everything seat of the pants for Trump and that Biden has much more of a staff process.

ALLISON: Here's one thing I would though offered to the Biden campaign is that we shouldn't plan for debates the same way we've planned in past years because the way people are receiving their information is different. A segment of the population will watch this debate, but I would argue that that segment has already decided who they're voting for.

What Joe Biden should du on that debate stage is tell the people who Donald Trump is, tell them what he is going to do for them, and then take that information and package it up and split it up and get it out on every social media platform.

HOLMES: Into sound bites.

ALLISON: Into sound bites so that they take it in and really internalize what the president is saying that he's going to do for them.

MARQUARDT: But this, of course, is not the first time that these two men have gone head-to-head on the debate stage.

Of course, they did this for years ago and it was pretty chaotic to say the least. Let's remind our viewers what that looked like.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The question is -- the question --


BIDEN: Will you shut up, man?

TRUMP: Listen, who is on you?

BIDEN: I'm not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he's a liar.

TRUMP: You know, Joe, I ran because of you. I ran because of Barack Obama, because you did a poor job.

BIDEN: He's a racist. You're the worst president America has ever had.

TRUMP: We can't lock ourselves up in a basement like Joe does.

BIDEN: It's hard to get any word in with this clown.


MARQUARDT: Ramesh, if you are the more traditional debater like Joe Biden is. How does he prepare for someone who is so contrarian and untraditional like Donald Trump?

PONNURU: Well, I think that part of his theory of the case, that is the president's, is that he should needle Trump, get under his skin, get them to lose its control, get them to display his unattractive qualities.

The sounds point of this strategy is that it should be feasible to get under Trump skin. He has shown that it is not hard to provoke him. And we'll see, but that means we should expect more of that kind of display that we just saw. ALLISON: I think Joe Biden has to match it energy with Donald Trump.

So the American people, as they're looking for a fighter for them, right now. And so if Donald Trump comes out like the chaos candidate that he is, Joe Biden should be able to articulate his points, but he has to match that energy like he showed up at the State of the Union --

MARQUARDT: I was going to say, that's the example that everyone can --

HOLMES: I was going to say that one of the things that Donald Trump's team has said privately, and it's not something they're discussing with their candidate, but they don't want to publicly set the bar so low for Joe Biden because they've seen him show up and they mentioned State of the Union.

They know that when he came, people received Joe Biden that day. That is not who they believe they see on an normal basis, but that doesn't mean that's not who's going to show well up to a debate. And so they want their candidate to be prepared and they also want to make sure they're not saying overall, oh, he can just shows up and strings a sentence together, which is what Donald Trump says. He wins. They don't want that to be the messaging.

MARQUARDT: And they really want to set the narrative as they, as we enter -- enter the summer and into this relatively final stretch of this very, very long campaign.

Thank you all for joining me. Needs to leave it there.

Ahead, the deal that could change college sports forever, allowing thousands of student athletes to be paid, not just in scholarships, but this time by their own schools. A lead attorney who is behind this deal will be joining us here on THE LEAD.

Plus, a tragedy in Haiti, the latest on the American husband and wife doing missionary work in Haiti who are killed in gang violence.



MARQUARDT: In our world lead, officials at the U.S. State Department and the White House say they're aware of reports that two U.S. citizens were killed in Haiti while doing mission work. Family members have confirmed that the victims are Davy and Natalie Lloyd, a young married couple. They were shot and killed in a gang attack as Haiti is in the midst of a major security crisis, understaffed and under- equipped police have been battling gangs in Haiti for months.

CNN's David Culver has done extensive reporting from the country and joins us now.

So, David, what do we know about this horrifically sad attack?

DAVID CULVER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Alex, we're still trying to get a lot of clarification because the details are rather difficult to confirm just because of where this is located. It's in the midst of Port-au-Prince, but also within gang territory, and there are multiple gangs within Port-au-Prince.

We're talking dozens. But as of now, we know that this attack took the lives of this couple you see right here, Davey and Natalie Lloyd. They're in their early 20s. A young missionary couple.

It also took the life of a third person, a Haitian staffer. You see him right there, Jude Montis. And he is somebody who has been part of missions in Haiti. This organization, Christian non-profit for some 2020 years.

So this is obviously impacting this group, in particular, very, very much, but it's also speaking to the broader issues within Port-au- Prince right now in Haiti as a whole.

And I want to read you a little bit as to what played out with this attack that happened late last night.


And this is from Missions in Haiti, they posted this on Facebook. They give a little bit of intel here as to what happened and they say when Davy and Natalie, that's the husband and wife and the kids referring to the orphanage, there were coming out of youth that the church, they were ambushed by a gang of three trucks full of guys.

Davy was taken to the house, tied up and beat. The gangs has shot all the windows of the house and continued to shoot. I also am trying to negotiate with a gang. So how much money to stand down and let them leave and get to safety?

A lot of misspellings there. It seemed to have been written in a hurry and it was. We spoke just a short time ago. My colleague Kaitlyn Ho (ph), to the father of Davy Lloyd, David Lloyd, he's part of that organization as well.

Alex, he says he was on the phone with his son in-between what seemed to be hours of a brutal beating and attack and an ultimate death of his son and daughter-in-law. And he says his son was just pleading for help.

MARQUARDT: David, your visits to Haiti have really highlighted the incredible violence there. One glimmer of hope is this international Kenyan force that was set to arrive this week to try to help calm things there, work with the police, ease that security crisis, but that's been delayed again, do you know why?

CULVER: It's been delayed because of what were hearing on the ground from one source is that a top command was on the ground from the Kenyan side, a handful of folks who were assessing the infrastructure, the equipment, and resources that were in place, and they said this is not ready for the 200 or so that were expected to arrive from Kenya, the police officers into Port-au-Prince this week.

So it's delayed. We're hearing at least a week. So perhaps by this time next week, they will be on the ground.

But this is just adding pressure, this incident, with these missionaries to the need to get Port-au-Prince a particular back under some sort of normal control that's not the gangs that certainly have the upper hand right now. And it's likely to be, Alex, that this is going to be a very, very violent confrontation once that MSS touches down.

MARQUARDT: Yeah, a truly dire situation. Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying earlier this week that Haiti is on the verge of being a failed state.

CULVER: Right.

MARQUARDT: And, David Culver, thanks for all your reporting. Appreciate it.

Yet another lawsuit against Sean "Diddy" Combs. We have the details next.

Plus, the multi-million dollar settlement in college sports that could allow college athletes to get paid by their schools. A lead attorney behind that deal is going to be joining me next.

Stay with us.



MARQUARDT: In our pop lead, Sean "Diddy" Combs is accused for a seventh time of sexual assault. In a complaint filed Thursday in New York, April Lampros says that Combs assaulted her four times between the mid '90s and early 2000s. This follows just one week after a CNN obtained surveillance video showing a violent altercation between Diddy and is then girlfriend, Cassie Ventura, that was back in 2016.

One of the eight lawsuits was filed by Ventura. It was settled late last year.

CNN's Elizabeth Wagmeister reports on all of the allegations of abuse piling up against Combs.


ELIZABETH WAGMEISTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The legal fallout continues for Sean "Diddy" Combs, just a week after CNN uncovered this disturbing video of the music mogul, throwing then- girlfriend Cassie Ventura to the ground, then kicking in, dragging her.

On Thursday, April Lampros filed a civil law lawsuit accusing Combs of sexual assault when she was a fashion student in New York in 1994, sharing with him her dreams of working in the fashion industry. Then Mr. Combs love-bombed her, the suit alleges, using flowers and cards like this one, and inviting her to his first Father's Day celebration. But Combs is kind gestures became more aggressive, the suit alleges, leading to a total of four separate sexual assault. The first and alleged rape in 1995, leaving Lampros nude, sore, and confused. She claims that Combs used his power in the industry to regain her trust.

But then in a New York parking garage, forced Lampros to perform oral sex as Ms. Lampros' eyes filled with tears, she could see the parking garage attendant witnessing this horrific assault, the suit claims. Lampros says she was caught in an abusive relationship in tried to end it after several years, but after running into Combs at an event, he pursued her and in late 2000s at her apartment, Combs violently grabbed her and forced himself onto her, kissing and touching her against her will.

All this the suit notes, while Combs was in a public relationship with Jennifer Lopez.

Combs develop this mobster persona, the suit claims, at one point violently yanking her down to her knees in pulling her hair. The alleged abuse similar to this, when Combs was caught on hotel surveillance in 2016, kicking and dragging Cassie Ventura, then throwing a vase at her.

Cassie made her first public statements since the videos released this week, writing: Domestic violence is the issue. It broke me down to someone I never thought I would become.

SEAN "DIDDY" COOMBS", MUSIC MOGUL: I mean, I hit rock bottom.

WAGMEISTER: The latest suit filed by Lampros is the seventh civil lawsuit against Combs, alleging sexual assault. Many of the cases once fell outside the statute of limitations.

DEBRA KATZ, WOMEN'S RIGHTS ATTORNEY: The New York City has extended the statute of limitations to March 25, 2025 for victims of sexual violence to be able to sue.

WAGMEISTER: But in the case of that shocking video from Los Angeles, the district attorney says criminal charges won't be filed because the statute of limitations applies.


AREVA MARTIN, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: So as we are opening up these steps actress for civil suits and money is good, but criminal conduct needs to be held accountable in criminal court.


WAGMEISTER (on camera): Now I reached out to April and she tells me that she came forward so that no other woman will have to endure what she did. She says that she believes that justice will ultimately prevail. Ive reached out to Sean "Diddy" Combs team. They have not responded yet to this lawsuit or another lawsuit, by the way, that was filed this week.

MARQUARDT: Extremely disturbing allegations.

Elizabeth Wagmeister, thanks very much.

Turning now to our sports lead, if you are a college student athlete in a major conference, you could soon be making some serious money. The NCAA and five power conferences, which are the ACC, the Big Ten, Big 12, Pack 12, and the SEC have all agreed to settle three antitrust lawsuits, which has paved the way for colleges to start paying student athletes for the very first time.

According to ESPN, over ten years, more than $2.7 billion will be split among more than 10,000 current and former athletes dating back to 2016. And each college can share about $20 million with its athletes per year.

But all this still needs to be approved by a judge and possibly then Congress.

To discuss all this, I want to bring in lead attorney on this historic deal, Jeffrey Kessler.

Jeffrey, thank you so much for joining us.

First on this $2.7 billion to be paid out going back to 2016. So, you have thousands of athletes. So how are they going to divvy up that amount given the popularity of some sports and the popularity of certain athletes?

JEFFREY KESSLER, LEAD ATTORNEY, HOUSE V. NCAA: So, we use the experts to come up with an allocation formula that will affect what we believe would be the recovery of the athletes, and that will be employed to distribute this money.

MARQUARDT: And can you tell us a little bit more about that formula if you've got, say, college football, that is the most popular program versus say crew, how do they wait that? And how does Title IX play into this, which, of course, is meant to give equality to women's sports programs?

KESSLER: So the way that the damages are being divided is matching what the experts believe would happen if a competitive markets. So, yes, it is true like in any business, if you are in a business that generates a lot of revenue like college football or college basketball, you might be more rewarded that if you're at a business like crew, that doesn't generate the same, we have a new id that all gets taken into account where this is an antitrust case so were trying to reproduce what would have happened in a real market.

In terms of Title IX, that is the going forward issue for the due benefits and each school will decide just like they do for all of their expenditures, how they what they need to do to comply with Title IX.

MARQUARDT: Speaking of going forward, this $20 million that each college will have to give to its athletes or could have what -- what is the funding that, what is funding that revenue plan and is any of that money going to be coming from non-student athletes tuition?

KESSLER: No. So let's start with the following premise college sports and division 1 today makes more revenue than the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball or the National Hockey League. It is second only to the National Football League, and it is gaining fast.

What this settlement does, it says that schools, they create new benefits that the athletes du currently have up to 22 percent of those revenues, which are readily available to be used for this purpose.

So, no, it is not coming from any other programs. It's not coming from any other athlete. It's coming from this season enormous revenue part that the schools currently use to do things like pay their athletic directors $4 million a year or pay their strength and conditioning coach at some schools a million dollars a year. Those monies now will go in part that a fair share to the athletes who have actually generated them.

MARQUARDT: Yeah, those are extraordinary amounts when you think that these are universities that we're talking about.

But, Jeffrey, how much do you think this is going to be a seismic shift for how these colleges handle their sports programs if they now have to pay these athletes? And how do you think prospective future athletes at these schools will approach choosing which college to go to?


KESSLER: So I don't think it's going to change the sport they have been this big business for quite some time now.

What is going to change is the athletes. It's going to change the lives of these athletes, many of whom come from poor backgrounds, most of whom will never pay in a professional league. This is their chance for the -- for the huge effort they put into generate this money to actually share it in a fair way. That will be transformative.

And in terms of how athletes choose schools, they already choose their schools based on what their programs can offer them, what resources they have. I don't think any of that is going to change except the way in which this pie gets divided.

MARQUARDT: I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anybody who would disagree on that fairness argument. When you look at the amount of money that these college athletes could soon be making, what concerns do you have in terms of how they manage it and are advised?

KESSLER: Well, they will be to get advisers. What are the things is settled, but does is that it says that if you give deals with the schools for this money, you could be advised by an eighth its over the 30 or a parent to make sure that the athletes get the right advice. That is always important. And I think a lot of the better schools will put resources to really help the athletes get that financial advice they need, make good decisions with their money. MARQUARDT: Yeah, it certainly hope you're right because at the end of day, these are some very young adults. Many of them, of course still just teenagers.

Jeffrey Kessler, thank you very much.

KESSLER: My pleasure. Thank you.

MARQUARDT: And up next, Israel's blunt response today to an order a commanding Israel to stop its military offensive in Rafah in Southern Gaza. We'll be back in a minute.



MARQUARDT: In our world lead, today, the United Nations' top court ordered Israel to immediately halt its military offensive in Rafah in southern Gaza. They warned Israel that failing to do so would make the disastrous humanitarian situation there even worse.

Today's ruling is part of an ongoing genocide case at the ICJ brought by South Africa. Israel has rejected those genocide allegations.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond is in Jerusalem for us.

So, Jeremy, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after this ruling came out, he held a call with his cabinet. This court has no way of enforcing this decision. So how are Israeli officials responding?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Israeli officials are effectively dismissing this ruling, but they are also saying that they don't believe that they've been taking the actions in Rafah that the court is objecting to. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that Israel has not carried out and will not carry acts in Rafah that could lead to the destruction of the Palestinian people, effectively arguing that the courts order in this case ordering a halt to this offensive is moot. That is very much not how the court appears to see things, however, as they repeatedly brought up the warnings from humanitarian aid officials for months now about the impact that this Israeli really military offensive in Rafah could have, and the one that it is indeed having right now.

So, there's no expectation that this will have any impact on the ground in Rafah in terms of how the Israeli military is carrying forward this offensive. But this is just the latest example of the way in which especially over the last month, we have watched extraordinary condemnation of Israel's actions in Gaza, growing isolation on the world stage, when you look at President Biden threatening to withhold weapons to Israel if it carries out an all-out offensive in central Rafah, when you look at just earlier this week, the ICC's top prosecutor requesting arrest warrants for Netanyahu.

So, it's all part of the same picture and one that could have consequences for Israel long term. MARQUARDT: And, Jeremy, on a hostage from the IDF said overnight that

are recovered, the bodies of three hostages that are believed to have been killed during the October 7 attack.

And this comes as ceasefire talks are picking back up again.

DIAMOND: Yeah, Alex, this is the second time in two weeks that we have seen the Israeli military recover the bodies of hostages in Northern Gaza. This time, we're talking about three hostages, Orion Hernandez Radoux, a 30-year-old French Mexican tourist who is attending the Supernova Music Festival, Michel Nisenbaum, a 59-year-old grandfather, who, was trying to go and rescue his granddaughter the morning of October 7th, and Hanan Yablonka, a 42-year-old father of two.

I spoke with Hanan's brother-in-law who told me that looked for nearly eight months. They had hoped and believed that Hanan was likely alive, like these other hostages.

But today, not only did they find out that their bodies had been recovered and brought back to Israel, but it was the first time that they had found out that they were actually dead.

And so now, Alex, as you said, those negotiations appeared to be resuming in Paris with the CIA director, the head of the Mossad, the Qatari prime minister, all -- the fate of 121 hostages taken on October 7. Now, resting in the fate of those negotiations, Alex.

MARQUARDT: Hopefully, they will pick back up in earnest and make some progress.

Jeremy Diamond in Jerusalem, thanks very much for your reporting.

Up next, the sophisticated tool described as the future of law enforcement high-tech drones. But do they feel too much like big brother? A 24-year-old who helped create this technology has an answer to that.



MARQUARDT: In our tech lead, if you grew up in the 1980s, the future of law enforcement looks a little bit like this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are your prime directives?

ROBOCOP: Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law.


MARQUARDT: But today, it looks less like Robocop and more like this, small drones specifically designed to quickly respond to 911 calls, addressed emergencies, and even drop-off medical supplies, all before human responders can arrive on the scene. CNN's Nick Watt spoke with the developers of these law enforcement

drones, and he has this exclusive report.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Test flight in the wet woods outside Seattle. Brand new to the market, they call this one the responder.


Nearby, Redmond PD, among the first to deploy such drones on actual 911 calls.

SGT. STEVE LINCOLN, REDMOND, WASHINGTON POLICE: We can get from here to the other side of the city in just under two minutes. This is definitely the future of law enforcement.

BLAKE RESNICK, FOUNDER & CEO, BRINC: Suspicious person call, this drone gets their person isn't suspicious or isn't there. You just don't have to send officers anymore.

911 call comes in for a drug overdose, drone autonomously launches. Then when it arrives, it has a dropper. It would deliver Narcan.

WATT: Brinc drones HQ in Seattle test flight for a specialized indoor version, Lemur 2.

RESNICK: Designed to get eyes and ears and dangerous places. So the drone can actually fly up to a window, shatter it out, make a hole for itself to enter a building. As our drone is flying around, it's actually drawing a floor plan of the structure that first responders might have to enter.

WATT: The camera and the thermal imager can find victims, hostages.

RESNICK: So, people just immediately pop out.

WATT: And, of course, bad guys.

RESNICK: The drone has a cell phone number. We just called it. So now I can talk through the drone.

WATT: And now, you can try and talk me out of this terrible situation. I've got myself and other people in.

RESNICK: So that's really what it's designed to do.

WATT: How long is this company been around?

RESNICK: Three years.

WATT: And you are how old?

RESNICK: I'm 24.

It's been a weird few years.

WATT: That began in 2017 when he was 17 and saw in his hometown of Las Vegas, the worst mass shooting in modern American history. Sixty people slaughtered.

RESNICK: The October 1 shooting is what got me thinking about public safety technology.

WATT: Will Huddler, who now works with Blake, was a SWAT team commander that night. His third day on the job, he had to send his team blind down a hotel corridor towards the gunman.

WILL HUDDLER, VP OF PUBLIC SAFETY OPERATIONS, BRINC: What we had in common is, that seminal event with. The demo pilot and Blake, we're getting really, really confident on the demo. So I texted my crisis negotiation team leader to knock it out of the sky.

RESNICK: Someone grabbed a towel and slap my first prototype.

WATT: So they come up with the solution.

The bad guys kicked it over. It slid on its back along the ground.


WATT: Cue Dmitry. Nice.

This is going to save lives, right?

HUDDLER: It has.

You picture of the faces that are on the wall, the memorial wall at these police departments, and you can name folks that would still be here if we had that tool.

WATT: Brinc has made a pledge never to weaponize their drones.

But is it sort of big brother-y that weve got these things flying over?

RESNICK: You know, it really depends how they're used. I think if these things are responding to nine one calls people asking for help and they can provide aid or even stop crimes in progress, I don't think it is.


MARQUARDT: So, Nick these drones are designed to get eyes and ears into dangerous places. Those benefits seem pretty obvious, but what could stop police departments from using this technology all across the country?

WATT: Well, Alex I mean as I just alluded to in that last question, there will be some opposition from civil liberties groups worried about these drones being used for surveillance. I mean, the company assures me that when they're flying on a 911 call, the camera is pointed forward, so not down into your backyard.

And listen, ultimately, it's going to be up to departments, cities, towns, to work out how they want to deploy these drones. And also how transparent they want to be with the video that they record.

I mean, probably less controversial will be the indoor drone, and it was fascinating talking to Will Huddler, the former Vegas SWAT team commander, about those drones. As you mentioned, you're getting eyes nears into a situation. He also talked about these drones helping thing to keep the people with the guns, the cops, and the criminals basically as far apart as possible, and creating dialogue.

If you can speak to somebody, hold up with a gun, the chances of a peaceful outcome go way, way up -- Alex.

MARQUARDT: Yeah, really interesting technology, very promising.

Nick Watt, thanks so much for that report.

The president's son, Hunter Biden, was in court today. The judge's ruling benefits both the prosecution and the defense. That's next.



MARQUARDT: Our last leads today, key rulings by the judge in Hunter Biden's gun trial over what evidence is allowed. Prosecutors can bring up Biden's drug use and Biden's defense lawyers can challenge the authenticity of specific texts that were found in Biden's laptop. Trials expected to start on June 3rd.

Filmmaker and former CNN series host Morgan Spurlock has died from complications of cancer. He was best known for the award winning McDonalds documentary "Supersize Me" where he documented the negative effects on his body while eating fast food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For several years, he hosted the CNN series, "Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man". He was 53.

An Italian boy and computer prodigy who earned the nickname God's Influencer is set to become the Catholic Church's first millennials saint. Carlo Acutis died at the age of 15 in 2006. In his short life, he used his tech skills to spread awareness of the Catholic faith, including setting up a website, documenting miracles. Now, Pope Francis is attributing a second miracle to Carlo himself, which clears the way for canonization.

The back-to-back Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs are heading back to the White House. The team will meet with President Joe Biden next Friday and sorry to disappoint Taylor Swift fans, she is unlikely to accompany her boyfriend, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. Swift is busy with her Eras Tour in Europe.

It's also unclear whether Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker will go. Butker is facing backlash from controversial comments that he made about women and Biden policies during a commencement speech a few weeks ago.

And coming up on Sunday on "STATE OF THE UNION", a named floated as a Trump VP candidate, Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, also Democratic Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota, and Democratic former representative Patrick Kennedy. That's Sunday morning at 9:00 Eastern and again at noon here on CNN.

If you ever missed an episode of THE LEAD, you can listen to the show from whence you get your podcasts.

The news continues on CNN with Wolf Blitzer right now in the "THE SITUATION ROOM".