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Israel: 80,000 Gazans Went Through Evacuation Corridor Today; Kirby: Israel Will Have Daily 4-Hour Pauses In Northern Gaza; Dem Sen Joe Manchin Won't Run For Reelection; New Jersey Manhunt For Suspect In Jan. 6 Capitol Riot; Senate Hearing On Near-Collision Aviation Incidents. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired November 09, 2023 - 15:00   ET




BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Humanitarian pauses, the White House says that Israel has formalized a plan to pause military operations for four hours each day in parts of northern Gaza, giving civilians time to get out. What Israel is now saying about this?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: And President Biden says the U.S. hit a weapon site in Syria used by Iranian-backed groups "because they struck us." What the pentagon is sending to the region to deter more attacks?

And how a man in Arkansas received the world's first whole eye and partial face transplant? It's being called completely uncharted territory.

We are following these major developing stories and many more all coming in right here to CNN NEWS CENTRAL.

SANCHEZ: Eighty thousand Palestinians went through an evacuation corridor in Gaza today. Those new numbers coming moments ago from Israeli officials. The White House says that Israel has now formalized a plan to allow for four hour long pauses every day to allow those Palestinian civilians to evacuate northern Gaza. The breaks are also designed to allow critical humanitarian assistance into the enclave.

CNN International Diplomatic Editor, Nic Robertson, is joining us now with more.

Nic, Israel had apparently been carrying out these pauses, if you could call them that, to a degree over the last few days. Now it's a formalized plan.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. And it's really interesting here, because the IDF is saying this is not a shift in policy, it's merely a continuation of what they've been doing, these humanitarian corridors that they've had. They started off towards the end of last week just a couple of hours a day telling civilians to walk down this certain highway to get from the north of Gaza to the south of Gaza. And they've kind of built that out a little bit made it a couple of hours longer each day and 50 000 people went down that route yesterday, 80 000 again according to the Israelis went down that route today.

You can probably still hear the explosions coming from the - from - roughly around Gaza City. And I think that tells us what is useful to understand about the humanitarian corridor and these humanitarian pauses. They're humanitarian pauses. They're small in a specific location at a specific time to allow people or medical aid to move along certain roads, to move around certain neighborhoods they don't stop the overall fighting. And this, of course, is the Israeli position, absolutely no overall ceasefire until the hostages are released so the IDF can continue with their activities looking for Hamas, taking out Hamas, destroying the tunnels, all of that it goes on in parallel with these humanitarian pauses.

But I think it's kind of interesting that we heard from President Biden about this today saying getting to this point and I think this gets back to the tensions between the White House and the Netanyahu administration over this he said uh that it had taken a little longer than he had hoped. In fact, he said he'd been pushing for humanitarian pauses that were three days or more.

The Israeli is still talking about a couple of hours. They are determined that the IDF can keep up going after Hamas in parallel and not just have to let up completely for a period of days.

SANCHEZ: Nic, thank you so much for the update from Sderot, Israel.

We want to go now to CNN's Nada Bashir who's life force in Jerusalem.

So Nada, how are these daily four-hour pauses going to impact the crisis we're watching unfold in Gaza?

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, look, we have been seeing thousands of Palestinian civilians attempting to make that crossing from northern Gaza to southern Gaza in the hope of finding safety, the hope and finding some sanctuary there.

But as we have seen, the evacuation routes that have been identified by the IDF have sustained significant damage.


That means the vast majority of people cannot evacuate by car. They are having to walk long distances including the elderly, including the children, including those who are disabled, unable to make those long journeys to safety in southern Gaza. There are many who simply cannot evacuate the north including those inside hospitals and we've heard from medics on the ground who say they will not abandon their patients in northern Gaza as we have seen hundreds of thousands of people are trying to find sanctuary around these hospitals despite the fact that Israel's relentless air campaign continues to edge closer towards medical facilities.

And as we have seen repeatedly now over the last couple of weeks, the southern parts of Gaza and central parts of Gaza are also facing relentless airstrikes. So while we are hearing those evacuation orders and as you mentioned there some 80,000 Palestinians are said to have made that move from northern Gaza to southern Gaza just today.

These are limited windows. We are still seeing many people left behind, civilians left behind in northern Gaza facing these relentless airstrikes. And, of course, the situation in the south is dire. According to the U.N., some 1.5 million Palestinians at least have now been internally displaced across the Gaza Strip, many of them, hundreds of thousands of them, taking shelter around U.N. schools, around hospitals in southern Gaza.

There is very little in the way of humanitarian aid getting in. Many are telling us that they are rationing food, that they are sharing a single bathroom with hundreds of other people. And, of course, as we have been hearing from medics on the ground, we are now seeing the majority of Gaza's hospitals shutting down. They are not able to operate any more, doctors performing surgeries without the necessary medication. The situation is growing more dire by the hour.

SANCHEZ: Nada Bashir, thank you so much for the update from Jerusalem.

We want to pivot now and go to CNN National Security Reporter Natasha Bertrand. She's at the Pentagon for us.

Because, Natasha, there is news that U.S. forces are once again being targeted after striking a weapons storage facility in eastern Syria overnight. Tell us about that.

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: That's right, Boris. There have been four additional attacks on U.S. and coalition bases in Iraq and Syria since just last night when the U.S. conducted those airstrikes against a weapons storage facility that they said was being used by Iran and its proxy groups in eastern Syria.

And this raises a lot of questions, of course, about whether those airstrikes that the U.S. has been conducting against these weapons storage facilities in eastern Syria, yesterday was the second time in two weeks that they have done so, are actually acting as a deterrent against these proxy groups.

The U.S.'s argument is that these strikes are not only a matter of retaliation for these attacks, but also an attempt to degrade Iran and its proxy groups' infrastructure and destroy their weaponry so that they can no longer carry out these attacks. But it does not appear at this point to be working, at least not yet.

And the U.S. says that, look, these attacks that they are launching on these forces, they are using cheap drones, they are using rockets. They don't often create much damage or many casualties. But at the same time, more than 25 U.S. service members have already suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of these attacks. And more than 56 at this point, or at least 56, have suffered injuries, according to the deputy Pentagon press secretary who spoke to us today.

And so this is obviously a very serious issue that the Pentagon wants to address. But at the same time, they're striking a difficult balance here because they don't want to escalate the conflict any further than it has to be. And so they're trying at this point to conduct these strikes in limited self-defense, these precision airstrikes. But at the same time, of course, it doesn't seem to be working deterring these groups. So what happens next remains to be seen, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Natasha Bertrand from the Pentagon, thank you so much. Brianna?

KEILAR: All right. Turning now to politics, huge developments just moments ago. We just learned Democratic senator, Joe Manchin, will not be running for re-election. Huge ramifications for the Senate's balance of power. Let's talk about it with CNN's Manu Raju. We also have Eva McKend here with us and David Chalian.

Manu, to you first there, as you were running around Capitol Hill, what is the very latest on this? You're outside of his office, we see.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a very significant news here that Joe Manchin just made. This has been highly anticipated. A decision from Joe Manchin, because it has such ramifications down the line in the battle for control of the United States Senate and just given the key position he has held within the Democratic caucus for some time. Given that he is in the middle of the caucus, he has been central to some of the key legislative achievements of Joe Biden, his time in office, whether it's the Inflation Reduction Act or passing the infrastructure law.

Joe Manchin making it clear in a post on social media that he will not run for re-election next year.


Now, this puts - this is a huge blow for Democratic chances to keep control of the Senate because there are several red states, Republican states, that are being held right now by Democratic incumbents, including Joe Manchin, as well as Jon Tester of Montana and Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

With Manchin gone, that makes it much easier for that seat to be flipped. They're very hard to see, according to Democrats and Republicans, another Democrat who can hold the seat in the very conservative state of West Virginia. And with a 51-49 Senate, that shows you how important it is for every Democrat, if you're a Democrat, to run and win re-election.

And in addition to that, there are a handful of other Democratic seats that are also going to be in play. And Democrats have another challenge, they - there are two - there are really only two Republican pickup opportunities so far in Florida and in Texas, Rick Scott, Ted Cruz. But those will be difficult given the conservative tilt of those states.

So that shows you the significant decision here by Manchin, which will have - which will have a major ramifications for the next president given the balance of power in the Senate. The Senate confirms nominations. It deals with key legislation. Of course, and the party in power decides the agenda. Who will be in power next Congress? Right now, Republicans are favored, increasingly favored with Joe Manchin's announcement here just moments ago, Brianna.

KEILAR: He really - he could have been facing, Manu, assuming he makes it through the Republican primary in West Virginia, the Republican governor, Jim Justice, right? And that would have been a really tough battle for Manchin. Does this signal that Manchin - is he just sort of done with this part of things for himself or is this - that he took a look and did the math and really thinks that he can't win this race?

RAJU: Yes, he was looking very closely at running. He had been weighing this seriously for months, knowing there would be an uphill climb. You're right. The governor, Jim Justice, the Republican, is running. He has a primary himself, but Justice is favored in that primary.

He's also favored to win reelection with or against Joe Manchin or if Joe Manchin were not running and no doubt that that was a consideration here. What will Joe Manchin do next? Another question, he's 76 years old, will he step aside. In his retirement video, he said that he would travel the country, see if there's a movement that he can galvanize to bring the two sides together. What exactly does that mean?

He has toyed with the possibility of running as a third party, as independent candidate, maybe on the no labels ticket, perhaps. All those things would be very difficult for him to pull off at this key moment. But is that what he means? Unclear. Joe Manchin is on his way back to West Virginia, this is - this end of the week in the Senate, so will he answer those questions about his own political future? That remains to be seen.

But still, this announcement momentous in battle for control of the Senate and the implications for the next president, Brianna.

KEILAR: All right. Manu, if you could stand by for us there.

I want to talk now with David and Eva here.

Part of it, I wonder, David, is this role that Manchin has enjoyed for some time now is being very relevant, being quite impactful when it comes to where he's going to throw his weight around. And with so many democrats being endangered, that might not have been the case, assuming he even was able to pull off a win, I guess.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, I guess you don't know how would that ...

KEILAR: Lots of ifs in there.

CHALIAN: ... yes, a lot of ifs in there. Joe Manchin has to find - finds a way of being relevant ...

KEILAR: That's true.

CHALIAN: ... to many conversations, no matter which party is in control of the Senate, because if you're there sitting in the middle, you have sway.

But to Manu's point, this cannot be overstated. What a dramatic blow to Democratic chances of hanging on to the Senate. This decision does. I mean, just - think about this now, right? It's a 51-49 Senate. Let's assume for the moment this seat is going Republican. In fact, the Cook Political Report that does all these ratings, as soon as this announcement came out, they moved the contest to solid Republican in their rating system.

So now you're dealing with if Jon Tester, as Manu mentioned, in Montana or Sherrod Brown in Ohio were to lose, that's the ballgame. You need these Democrats in red states to win and the Democrats would still need to win the White House to maintain control of the Senate in a 50-50 universe.

Never mind battleground states like Michigan or Nevada or other tough states for Democrats that will be up this cycle as well and as Manu noted, with very little offensive opportunities. So this is a huge blow to Chuck Schumer's math in keeping the majority.

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: As a practical matter, it looks immediately dire for Democrats. But for a long time I've been speaking to progressives who - he has not been a reliable ally to this White House. He has not been a reliable ally to Democrats.


And they have long said maybe this would be better so the Democrats can really invest in other states where they know that they can have someone that they can actually rely on. So that is another perspective.

Already, Republicans are gleeful. I see operatives already tweeting out R plus one. They're very excited. But I don't know in the long- term if maybe this means that they shift strategy to invest in other states where real Democrats can play.

KEILAR: It is - he's more - he's been more reliable than a Republican would be, though. I mean, they have to admit that, right?

MCKEND: That is true. That is true. And that's the argument that has long been made. It's better to have a moderate in that seat than to not have the seat at all. But progressives I speak to have long said, well, that's money that can go elsewhere to get someone else who is more consistently a Democratic vote.

KEILAR: What does this say - let's just kind of pull back a little bit - I remember covering the failed reelection of Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas. And in the blue dog Democrats sort of the demise of them in the House, what does this say about where we are and did it really comes down to - if you're someone like a Joe Manchin where you're looking more for consensus, you don't mind agreeing with Republicans some of the time. Just the - how endangered that kind of mindset is in Congress.

CHALIAN: It is endangered. And Brianna, while you were talking and you mentioned Blanche Lincoln, I was thinking just to show where our politics have moved, in 2004 when I was covering the Kerry campaign and he announced John Edwards as his vice presidential running mate and they did a tour of the country. One of the states on the Democratic nominee's initial tour of the country with his new running mate was West Virginia.


CHALIAN: And Democrat John Kerry was campaigning ...

KEILAR: Well ...

CHALIAN: West Virginia at a very big week for his campaign. That would just be unthinkable now. And so the politics of our country have moved. Clearly the politics of West Virginia moved. Joe Manchin was in such a unique space.

And as you know, we've gotten so much more polarized in the way that we sort ourselves that the notion of compromise is so much harder which, of course, is glaring in the Senate because the body is sort of built and constructed around the notion of consensus.

KEILAR: Do we know if, say, in a tester race or some of these other really tricky races for Democrats, if it is much more of an uphill battle for them, knowing that Manchin's not running for reelection and this is now a solid Republican race, then do voters in those races start feeling that their votes are not as important? And so it's not just a, oh, Joe Manchin isn't going to happen. This isn't going to be a Democrat in West Virginia. But what's really the point here or there for Democrats?

MCKEND: Well, they have to all run races that are tailor-made for their states. I will say in covering a Senate race in Georgia last year, it was actually on voters' minds quite a bit the balance of power in the Senate.


MCKEND: And so, there might be some Democrats that are sort of cool on this administration, cool on the climate right now that don't feel especially motivated to participate. And as things get tighter, this could be a good base motivator for those Democrats.

KEILAR: I thought you'd move to Georgia at one point there, Eva. You had a lot of frequent flyer miles on Delta, I think.

All right. Eva, David and Manu, they're on the chase on Capitol Hill. Thank you to all of you.

Coming up, a hunt in New Jersey for a man linked to the January 6th attack on the Capitol.

Plus, Congress grills top aviation officials for the string of close calls on runways across the country. You're watching CNN NEWS CENTRAL. We'll be right back.



SANCHEZ: A manhunt is underway in New Jersey right now for a man wanted in connection with the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Police with the FBI are searching for Gregory Yetman, this man, zeroing in on the area around his home.

CNN's Polo Sandoval has been following this force. So, Polo, what is the latest?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This search is really focused in Middlesex County, New Jersey, about 30 miles or so south of Newark, New Jersey. An Army spokesperson confirming for CNN that Yetman is believed to have actually served previously in the New Jersey National Guard as a military police officer, even included deployments in Afghanistan and in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Even completed his service as a sergeant just last year.

Here's what we know about what took place yesterday morning, according to authorities, Yetman fled into a wooded area as they were attempting to execute a warrant at his home. Now, we do not yet know exactly what that warrant details, but authorities are saying that he is wanted in connection to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.

What's also interesting here, Boris, is that USA Today reports that they previously actually had an opportunity to speak to this individual in connection to analysis that that outlet performed of some information that was released by the FBI. As we know, since the attacks on that day, federal authorities have been releasing batches of information, including photographs and advisories, hoping to track down individuals suspected of playing a role in the attacks on the U.S. Capitol.

Now, at the time, Yetman told USA Today that though he was at the Capitol, he did not commit any crimes. He even said that he had an opportunity to speak to FBI agents and that "everything had been resolved," according to what he told the newspaper. Yet here we are today and a massive search right now continues for this former military police officer in New Jersey. Aside from sending out some advisories to the general public, authorities there maintain that the public is not at risk, but they certainly need their help tracking him down.

SANCHEZ: Polo Sandoval, thank you so much for the update. Brianna?


KEILAR: Close calls in the sky and that is what Senate lawmakers are grilling federal officials about in a hearing on Capitol Hill today. They want to know why there have been so many troubling reports of near collisions between commercial aircraft on U.S. runways this year.

CNN's Pete Muntean is here to break this down for us. All right. What are we learning from this hearing?


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board just said this, there is simply too much strain on the air transportation system right now. It's an urgent warning ahead of what's going to be a gangbusters Thanksgiving travel season, likely the busiest in the skies ever.

So this hearing, especially timely, this subject those close calls that have been happening from coast to coast, Burbank, San Diego, Austin, Houston Hobby, Sarasota, JFK and Boston. One of the latest incidents at Houston Hobby, that was not a close call, that was a crash. In that case, two private jets collided on intersecting runways.

The NTSB just released the air traffic control transcripts, and the tower told the crew of that Hawker jet there to line up and wait for takeoff. The pilots acknowledged being told to line up and wait on the runway, but instead they took off anyway and that is what set up this collision course of this plane on a collision course with a landing Cessna Citation on an intersecting runway. Thankfully, nobody hurt. Just a lot of expensive damage here.

But the head of the National Transportation Safety Board says this could have been so much worse, and we were literally seconds from disaster here, listen.

KEILAR: Truly. Like, a meter. It's wild here.


JENNIFER HOMENDY, NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD CHAIRWOMAN: It takes one. It only takes one missed warning to become a tragedy. One incorrect response to destroy public confidence in a system that has been built over decades. These incidents must serve as a wake-up call before something more catastrophic occurs.


MUNTEAN: We're also learning from the NTSB a little bit more about this Houston incident. The air traffic controller told that accelerating plane to stop twice. In fact, the controller beat automated collision warning alarms in the tower by a few seconds, that system installed about 35 airports nationwide, and today senators really pushed for that to go to even more airports nationwide, Brianna.

One interesting thing here is that the FAA, the regulator in charge of all of this, says there's a bit of a silver lining. The good news here is that this has led to a lot of transparency, a lot of agency groups coming together, but really, there needs to be just zero close calls like this. The only acceptable number is nothing.

KEILAR: Of course, amazing how close that was.


KEILAR: Thank goodness.

So the agency obviously needs more air traffic controllers, too. That's part of the issue.

MUNTEAN: No doubt. I mean, there's a huge shortage and the FAA wants to hire about 3,000 air traffic controllers. But also in this hearing today, we learned a really startling number, that in the last year, they have only hired in total about six controllers overall, when you also take into account attrition of retiring controllers, that's a huge problem. And the head of the National Transportation Safety Board says that is really contributing to fatigue and stress on air traffic controllers that they have to sometimes work mandatory six-day weeks, 12-hour shifts. It's really tough on them. And so that is leading to some of these incidents, where air traffic controllers simply can't catch them in time.

The other thing that we also learned today from Delta Airlines CEO, Ed Bastian, on CNN this morning, he says there's simply kind of a brain drain that has happened at the airlines that a lot of experienced people have retired, a lot of new people are coming up from the regional airlines to the major airlines, so there's been a huge shift in the workforce and that could be one of the causes leading to these incidents.

But everything is really different, right? There's always a chain of errors that lead to these incidents. And in that one in Houston, we saw airplanes trade paint, thankfully just a wingtip to a tail, not something that could have been much, much worse.

KEILAR: Yes. It's like when all the pieces of Swiss cheese line up ...

MUNTEAN: That is it.

KEILAR: ...and the marble falls through.

MUNTEAN: Perfect metaphor.

KEILAR: All right. Pete Muntean, always great to have you. Peter, thank you.

All right. Coming up, the first look at Americans' online shopping trends for holiday season. You've got to see this.