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Sources: Hamas Demands Israel Stop Flying Drones Over Gaza In Exchange For Freeing Hostages; Biden Talks Border, Fentanyl With Mexican Pres.; Gas Prices Tumbling Ahead Of Holidays; Apple To Make Big Changes To iPhone Messages Next Year. Aired 3-3:30p ET
Aired November 17, 2023 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Hamas making new demands in hostage talks with Israel. What the terror group is asking for as the IDF finds another body of a kidnapped Israeli in Gaza.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Plus, the big diplomatic push continues, President Biden meets with his Mexican counterpart on migration and fentanyl trafficking. So can they find new ways to fight these massive problems?
And she's gaining ground in the GOP presidential race and now Nikki Haley is on the ground in Iowa in her quest to catch up to Donald Trump. Is she in the former president's biggest threat?
We are following these major developing stories and many more all coming in right here to CNN NEWS CENTRAL.
KEILAR: We're learning of a new demand from Hamas. In the tense hostage negotiations, sources now tell CNN Hamas is insisting that Israel stop flying surveillance drones over Gaza as a condition for freeing hostages. This is part of Hamas' push for Israel to pause its military operations in exchange for people that it's holding captive. And it comes after the IDF says two hostages were found dead near Al- Shifa Hospital.
Israel said today the body of 19-year-old Noa Marciano, a corporal in the Israeli military, has now been returned. All of this unfolding as conditions inside of Gaza hospitals continue to worsen. The Palestinian Ministry of Health, which is controlled by Hamas, says 41 patients, including three premature babies, have died in recent days due to a lack of electricity at Al-Shifa. We just learned that two tanker trucks carrying more than 15,000 gallons of diesel fuel have entered Gaza.
CNN's Oren Liebermann is live for us in Tel Aviv. Oren, tell us how Israel is responding to the drone request here.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: So, Brianna, we learned about this from two Israeli officials as well as a source familiar with the negotiations. And this came up as part of the attempts to come to a framework agreement and a final agreement that would allow for the release of some hostages, women and children, in exchange for a pause in the fighting.
In the back and forth, which is largely managed through Qatar, which is able to have negotiations and contacts with Hamas, Hamas demanded that as part of a pause in the fighting Israel not fly drones over Gaza, a condition that we understand is almost completely unacceptable to the Israelis.
While we were in Gaza several days ago and even standing in Sderot on the outside of Gaza, you could hear the constant buzz of drones overhead. And that's because drones are a critical part of Israeli operations. They allow Israel a bird's eye view of the battlefield so they can see where their own troops are, where there are potential threats to the troops, where Hamas is moving.
And if there wasn't the ability to monitor the battlefield during a pause in the fighting, then Hamas might be able to relocate its own fighters and move hostages around without Israel being able to see. And that's why Israel would almost certainly reject that sort of demand.
Now, it's unclear from our sources if Hamas removed that demand from the table or if it's still there as part of the negotiations. Quite clearly, a final framework for an agreement isn't in place and hasn't yet come to fruition. So it's unclear if this part of the negotiations is still on or has come off. But it gives you a sense of how difficult it has been, the different demands that have come up, the different demands that have come off, to try to get to a final agreement to allow for some hostages to be released in exchange for a pause in the fighting.
KEILAR: All right. And, Oren, we do appreciate that report. I wanted to talk more now about the dire situation that is facing the Gaza hospitals. We mentioned that before. We've been talking about this for days as we bring in CNN's Nada Bashir.
And it's terrible and every day it gets worse, Nada. What is happening right now?
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely. The situation is deteriorating by the hour. As you mentioned, in the Al-Shifa Hospital, we have now heard from health authorities saying that some 41 patients, including three premature babies, have died over the last few days because of those fuel shortages. Hospitals simply unable to run anymore in northern Gaza because they don't have the essential power supplies to keep those hospitals going.
And, of course, as we know, the humanitarian situation facing northern Gaza, and in particular hospitals like the Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest, is dire to say the least we've been hearing from medical officials across the board, not just inside Gaza, warning about the deteriorating situation. We heard earlier this morning from the hospital's director speaking to Al Jazeera, describing the situation, saying that some patients are now starving, that they do not have the necessary medical supplies to provide adequate care for patients inside Al-Shifa.
Other doctors saying that they are carrying out amputations in order to stop the spread of infectious diseases. And, of course, this is a situation in Al-Shifa has really been compounded by this IDF raid. They say it is targeted, localized raids focused on Hamas infrastructure. What they claim to be a Hamas command and control center beneath Al-Shifa. The IDF says it has located an operational tunneling infrastructure around Al-Shifa. But there is huge concern that this hospital complex is now becoming a battlefield.
As we know, there are hundreds of patients still inside Al-Shifa, hundreds of medical staff. And also thousands of Palestinian civilians who are taking shelter at the Al-Shifa complex. And we've been hearing from humanitarian workers warning that they are running out of food and supplies for these civilians. And, of course, while we are hearing calls for civilians to evacuate southwards, many are saying it is simply not safe enough outside to begin to evacuate on foot to southern Gaza.
And many of the patients requiring specialized medical evacuations, which have not been guaranteed. And, of course, the fear is that some of these patients will die along the way. And, of course, as we know, the situation on the ground is fraught to say the least. And fuel supplies have quickly run out across northern Gaza and are running out in southern Gaza.
Now, this evening, we are learning, according to the Israeli government, they have approved a measure to allow for at least two fuel tankers to enter Gaza every day. But this will be focused on supporting sewage and water supplies. No clear indication this will go towards powering any of these hospitals and that will be a huge concern.
The vast majority of northern Gaza's hospitals are completely inoperational. But, of course, as we know, hospitals in southern Gaza as well are overrun. They are under mounting pressure. And now, as there are concerns that this ground incursion by the IDF could begin to spread further southwards, there are real fears that for the - some 1.5 million Palestinians displaced, the majority of them in southern Gaza, the situation there is only expected to get much, much worse.
The U.N. and other agencies calling for longer pauses, humanitarian pauses in the fighting to allow for essential relief to get into the Gaza Strip. Brianna?
KEILAR: Yes. We just saw a report from our colleague, Jomana Karadsheh. It has not been safe to evacuate southward. It is not assured you will get out safely. We saw one clip in her piece where a small child was killed. We don't know who shot him, but he died. And so these are real concerns facing people in Gaza and they're at the hospital.
Nada Bashir, thank you so much. It's such an important update to get. Pamela? BROWN: Brianna, right now President Biden is wrapping up at the APAC forum in California. It's been a critical week with some critical meetings with global leaders. And today, President Biden is closing things out by meeting with the Mexican president.
We have CNN's David Culver in San Francisco and Chief National Security Correspondent, Alex Marquardt with us now.
So, David, I want to start with you. What is the sense of the summit? Was this a successful week for the U.S.? And did the president deliver?
DAVID CULVER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Certainly, the White House is portraying this as a success. They had two major meetings really on the sidelines of the summit. We know one with President Xi on Wednesday and then today with President Lopez Obrador of Mexico. And that was crucial, Pamela, because it focused specifically on immigration and fentanyl.
When you look at immigration in particular, this is something that's impacting both the U.S. and Mexico. Now, for the U.S., it's obvious. It's showing an influx that's impacting cities across this country. And for the Biden administration in particular, it's going to be critical going into 2024 because voters are heavily focused on the border crisis. It's something they want to see a resolution to.
It's not as simple, though, as saying to Mexico, hey, you need to do something down there, because it is very much impacting the Mexican government as well as many cities in Mexico. I mean, I've spent time in Mexico City, 500 miles south of the U.S. border, as well as in Tapachula, which is a thousand miles south of the U.S. border.
That shows you that these are cities that are also dealing with massive encampments of migrants from places farther south, but not only from countries in Latin America, Pamela, but I sampled a group that I met in San Diego County in the past couple of weeks coming over the border. And I went around and said, "Where are you all from?" And I got China, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, the list goes on.
So it shows you just how much of an international crisis this is. No word yet on what specifics are coming out of this meeting, between AMLO and Biden. But it's certainly going to take more than - just these two countries, it's going to take a regional approach and they know that.
BROWN: Yes, they do. So we'll wait to hear what came out of the meeting.
I want to bring in Alex to get your perspective. This is obviously a big meeting with President Biden's counterpart in Mexico, on the heels of the big meeting with China. How do you view it in terms of the success for the Biden administration with these high-level meetings, with high stakes? ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's obviously in the context of these two major conflicts that are going on right now in Ukraine and then between Israel and Hamas. And certainly that conversation with President Xi was incredibly important. One of the big successes that came out of that conversation and these meetings, and it was frankly quite a low bar, Pam, was to get the Chinese and the U.S. militaries to be talking again.
They hadn't had direct military-to-military conversations for quite some time. And one of the biggest priorities right now for the Biden administration is to prevent another war from breaking out around Taiwan, that is major concern. I mean, they obviously have limited bandwidth right now, and a third war would be extremely distracting and obviously extremely destructive.
China has a huge amount of influence, of course, around the world. And I think what these meetings, this meeting with Xi really emphasized was that the U.S. and China are really on opposite sides when it comes to both the wars in Ukraine and the ongoing Israeli operations in Gaza. You have China providing material support for Russia in the war in Ukraine, not weapons, not missiles or guns or anything like that, but they are sending material support to Russia.
And then when it comes to the war between Israel and Hamas, we've seen China fail to condemn Hamas for the attacks on October 7th that killed more than a thousand Israelis. They have also called for a ceasefire, which is something that the U.S. has been rejecting. So this really emphasized that they are on different sides of these two incredibly important conflicts.
But when you have China that has that kind of influence with Russia, with Iran, with Arab countries across the Middle East, it is paramount to have these conversations because these are the two most powerful countries in the world.
BROWN: Yes. And you heard President Biden, for his part, say it's important that we're talking, having candid, straightforward conversations here to prevent any misconceptions or miscommunication.
Thanks so much for your perspective, Alex; thank you, David, much appreciated.
Just ahead on CNN NEWS CENTRAL, Thanksgiving gas prices are set to be the cheapest in years. Why they're dropping and how long this could last?
Plus, Apple will make a big change next year when it's doing to make messaging between phones and Androids even smoother.
And a Colombian soccer star leads his team to an emotional victory as his father, recently freed after being kidnapped, watches from the stands.
[15:17:29] KEILAR: Well, if you are traveling for Thanksgiving, good news, gas prices are down. GasBuddy predicting this Thanksgiving, the national average for gas prices will be $3.25 compared to last year's prices at $3.57.
CNN's Matt Egan joining us live to break down the numbers.
All right. That's going to be music to the ears of a lot of people.
MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely, Brianna. Finally some good news here on a Friday. Listen, just in time for the holiday travel rush, gas prices are crumbling. Just over the last two months, we've seen the national average price for a regular gallon of gas down by more than $0.50 to $3.33 a gallon. Look at that chart moving down, down, down, a big change from back in September when people were really worried about $4 gas.
Now, if prices stay near current levels, this would be the cheapest gas price for Thanksgiving Day since 2020 when, of course, many people couldn't even take advantage of the low gas prices because of COVID. Now, none of this is to say that gas prices are dirt cheap. They're not. You can see that back in 2019, gas prices were well below $3.00 a gallon on Thanksgiving Day.
Still, though, this is very good news. And there are some projections that gas prices could go even lower. GasBuddy projecting $3.25 a gallon. That would translate to Americans spending $1.2 billion less on fuel this Thanksgiving week versus last year. And Brianna, that's great news and a big boost to consumers right before the holiday shopping season starts.
KEILAR: All right. Could we get maybe to $2.00 something and then - what do we have to think for this?
EGAN: We could. We could. I think it's pretty amazing that we're even talking about lower gas prices right now, because when the Israel- Hamas war started, people were very worried about hundred dollar oil. That has not happened. There have not been those supply disruptions.
And it's not because people are traveling less. I mean, AAA projects that just over 49 million Americans are going to hit the road this Thanksgiving, that's up to 2 percent. But what's happened is that oil prices have plunged because of concerns about oversupply and low demand. No matter the reason, we now have 10 states with sub $3 gas, including Texas, Georgia and South Carolina.
And GasBuddy says there is a growing chance that the national average is going to go below $3 a gallon before the end of the year. And that, of course, is something that everyone can celebrate.
KEILAR: Certainly can. All right. Matt Egan, thank you. Really, thank you so much for that report. Pamela?
EGAN: Anytime. BROWN: We'll take good news where we can get it and we have more good news, actually, for frustrated iPhone users like myself. I have an iPhone. My husband has an Android. And so we're talking about those green text message bubbles that show up any time a group chat includes an Android user. You probably know what I'm talking about. Well, now Apple is going to do something about it.
CNN Consumer Reporter, Nathaniel Meyersohn, is here to explain. So what is Apple doing here?
NATHANIEL MEYERSOHN, CNN CONSUMER REPORTER: Yes, Pam, like you, I'm an iPhone user. And when I text somebody with an Android and see that green bubble pop up, I have to cringe a little bit. But starting next year, it is going to be a little bit easier, a little smoother for iPhone users and Android users to text each other. We're going to be able to see read receipts. We're going to be able to text with WiFi and see the indication that somebody is typing, also send our locations.
So this is going to be a lot easier next year after a lot of pain between iPhone and Android users the past several years.
BROWN: So much pain, really, in the scheme of things, not that big of a deal. But still, it's annoying, right? So will Apple keep its bubbles blue, Android green, like what's going to happen here?
MEYERSOHN: Yes, Pam. The blue versus green rivalry, it's - they're - it's probably going to be kept the same. Apple is still going to be in blue and Android in green. And just to give you a sense of how many Apple and Android users there are in the U.S. field. 57 percent of smartphone users are on Apple's iOS system, 43 percent on Android.
So certainly in the U.S., Apple users have an advantage. But interestingly, globally, there are actually more Android users, so more green than blue.
BROWN: I didn't realize that. That is interesting. Nathaniel Meyersohn, thank you so much.
Just ahead, with just two months until the Iowa caucuses, three Republican presidential candidates are in the state right now courting evangelical voters, but not Donald Trump. We are live from the Thanksgiving family forum.
BROWN: This just in to CNN, the Carter Center just announced that former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has entered hospice care at home. Former President Jimmy Carter is also receiving hospice care. He's been receiving that care since February.
Let's go to Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
What are you learning, Sanjay? SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Pamela. So as you mentioned, first of all, former President Carter, 99 years old, Rosalynn Carter, 96 years old. We know that she was diagnosed with dementia back in May. A few months before that, as you mentioned, President Carter was in home hospice care. And now they're basically saying that Rosalynn Carter is also entering home hospice care, so they're both going to be at home, receiving medical care at home, providing more comfort, being able to get medical care at home that they would have otherwise needed to go to the hospital for.
That's one of the main focuses of home hospice. To try and figure out exactly how aggressive therapy should be going forward. But I think it's important to keep in mind, again, if you go back and say President Carter went in February, it is now November. It's not necessarily associated with imminent end of life. I think that's often a misconception of what home hospice is. This is to provide more comfort care. And more of that medical care at home for her and it sounds like that's going to start now.
BROWN: It certainly does. And it's really - they've had such a beautiful relationship, right? Married, I think, close to 70 years.
BROWN: And now in this final chapter of their lives as they're almost a hundred years old, they're going to be at home together in hospice care. As you mentioned, she had been diagnosed with dementia in May. Are you surprised for Jimmy Carter's part? He's still under that care at home. He's been in it since February.
GUPTA: Well, I'm not surprised. I mean, I think as a doctor, Pamela, we know that at some point when a disease or overall someone's health - we know that they're not going to recover. But at the same time does not mean that things are imminent. And I think that's just a really important point to stress.
So I'm not surprised, but I think a lot of people were surprised. Because when they first heard the news about President Carter, former President Carter, going into hospice care, they thought that that meant that we were going to hear about the fact that he had died sometime soon. And it's been several months and I think that that's really important to keep in mind for Rosalynn Carter as well.
We don't know if something specific triggered now the need for home hospice or if it was just sort of a progression of the symptoms of dementia. But whatever reason, much of the care that she may have otherwise needed to go to hospital for or go to clinics for, much of that can now be provided in the home. So that's a sense of a source of comfort in and of itself.
BROWN: Yes, and the source of comfort that they'll have each other for sure.
Dr. Gupta, thank you so much. We'll be right back.