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CNN International: France Gearing Up For A 10th Day Of Mass Protests; Netanyahu Delays Judicial Overhaul After Protests & Strikes; Ukraine: 14 Out Of 15 Drones Shot Down Over Kyiv; Western-Made Tanks Begin Arriving In Ukraine; Police: Former Student Kills 3 Children, 3 Adults; Top U. S. Bank Regulators To Face Congress; Speed Of SVB Collapse Takes Bank Of England Gov. By Surprise; Gwyneth Paltrow's Ski Accident Court Case Enters 2nd Week. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired March 28, 2023 - 08:00   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to CNN Newsroom. I'm Max Foster in London. Just ahead, France braces for its 10th day of nationwide strikes and demonstrations over the government's proposed pension reforms. But despite labor unions calling for Emmanuel Macron to reconsider the plan, the President remains defiant.

Then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he'll delay controversial plans to overhaul the judiciary. But that may not be enough to calm the mass protests across the country. And President Joe Biden calls for a ban on assault weapons as the U.S. mourns another school massacre. We'll discuss why a new gun safety legislation is unlikely to pass anytime soon.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of France today to protest against the government's controversial pension reform plan. These are the streets of the capital right now. Pretty calm, but demonstrations are taking place across the country.

This video shows protesters entering Biarritz Airport in the south of France just a few hours ago. The French government is warning of a high risk to public order and says radical individuals may join today's protests.

CNN Senior International Correspondent Sam Kylie standing by for us in central Paris. What's the atmosphere like, Sam?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, here in central Paris, Max, as you can see at the moment, it's something of a carnival atmosphere. There is, of course, a phalanx of police protecting the front of the march. They're gathering in the Vassal Republic and they've got quite a long way to go. They'll be marching in two different routes.

Now, the French government has deployed some 13,000 extra police, 5,500 just to Paris. They've been warning that there could be the sort of problems that were seen over the weekend in an environmental protest in which at least one demonstrator was hospitalized in a clash with police. A large number of police also injured.

Deep concerns from the Interior Ministry here that this -- and indeed from the unions that extremists will hijack these demonstrations, what the unions and the government want to be peaceful demonstrations against Macron's pension plans hijack them and return to the sort of violence that we've seen over the weekend and last week.

Now it goes about 400 or 500 yards down that way to the Vassal Republic. There are large numbers of people gathering. The last major demonstration here in Paris was estimated to be 120,000. The unions are hoping for many more, but their problem is that they don't really have anywhere to go in terms of the legislation of this new regulations governing pensions, because it's going to be almost inevitably end up on the statute books.

There's no really legislative process that can be engaged to prevent it. What they are calling for is a dialogue with the Macron government. This is the unions. The Macron government has said, we've already had that dialogue and they are resolute that they are going to move forward. But this is very early stages of what is likely to be a long day.

And the pattern in the past, Max, is that close to sunset, things get a lot more violent, particularly when those youngsters and the more ultra -- the known as the ultras come out, Max,

FOSTER: OK, we'll wait and see. Sam in Paris, thank you.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu giving in to growing unrest in his country and growing pressure from around the world, at least for now. He's putting the pause button on his controversial plan to overhaul the judiciary. Mr. Netanyahu says he made the move out of a responsibility to the nation.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): When there's a possibility to prevent civil war through dialogue, I, as Prime Minister, am taking time out for dialogue. I give a real opportunity for a proper dialogue.


FOSTER: But he also made it clear the delay is only temporary, insisting an overhaul is needed. And his announcement didn't stop protesters from taking to the streets once again either. The country's largest labor union is already threatening to strike again if the Prime Minister revives the legislation.

Let's go to Jerusalem. CNN's Hadas Gold with the latest. Do you expect these demonstrations to continue until the Prime Minister gets rid of his plans?

HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: I do think that these demonstrations will continue. There is a lot of energy still behind them and a lot of organization. Even today, more protests are planned, and protesters say they will not back down, partly because they don't necessarily believe Benjamin Netanyahu that he will actually engage in real negotiations.

And for them, they believe that this judicial overhaul plan needs to be completely off the table before they stop protesting. And keep in mind that it's -- yes, the majority of these protests are about the judicial overhaul at its core, but also there's an element of an anti- Netanyahu, anti-government, anti -- some of his ministers like Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich element to all of this, not just against the judicial overhaul.


So I do believe this will continue, because keep in mind that Benjamin Netanyahu said that this is going to be a temporary pause. And he vowed that the reforms will go through in some form or another in the next session of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, that's expected to start at the end of April, and it goes through the end of July.

Now, he did say that he is open to negotiations for people to come to talk and reach some sort of compromise. And the opposition leaders did say that they welcomed the pause, but they're being a little bit circumspect, a little bit cautious about this, not necessarily celebrating it as any sort of victory, because they say that they want to engage in real and meaningful negotiations that will be mediated by the Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who has been trying to get people around a negotiating table to come to some sort of compromise reform.

Then, of course, there's a question of time if the -- if Netanyahu has guaranteed that these reforms will be taken up again in the next session, that happens in just a few weeks. There's a Passover holiday in between. And then what would this compromise reform be like?

And would it satisfy the opponents to this reforms who believe that the overhaul as it currently is written, would be so damaging to Israeli democracy that members of Israel's military reserves have vowed not to heed the call to serve if these reforms go through, because they will feel as though they are no longer serving a democracy.

So clearly, even though this pause was announced, it has not calmed the situation on the ground. And, in fact, even last night was the first time we saw major protests by those who are in support of these reforms, those who are in support of Benjamin Netanyahu and Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich.

This is the first time we really saw them on the streets and I do think that we will continue to see that energy and the momentum for the protesters from both sides now likely continue until or if this ever ends.

FOSTER: Hadas Gold in Jerusalem, thank you.

As Western-made tanks finally begin to arrive in Ukraine, Russia is keeping up its relentless attacks. Multiple explosions rang out in the Ukrainian capital overnight. Ukraine says its air defenses shot down 14 out of 15 drones over Kyiv. A hospital in the southern port city of Kherson was damaged in shelling. No civilians were injured.

And the intense battle for Bakhmut grinds on. A top Ukrainian commander says the main task is to wear down Russian forces.

Salma has been following developments. Incredible really that they're still holding out in Bakhmut.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Extraordinary. I mean, this has been a flash point now for more than six months. It's really, really been a flashpoint. In the last few months, we've seen Wagner, mercenaries of course, raise the flag of the Wagners in the middle of the city. But Ukrainian forces say they are still holding out. They're not going to give up any inch of Ukrainian land easily.

And today, of course, they're celebrating the arrival of these Western-made tanks. Tanks coming in from Germany, from Portugal, from the U.S. And immediately, you could see the Defense Minister on social media celebrating this, getting on the tanks, riding on them, posting videos of them with the flags on those tanks, of course, thanking his allies.

And the critical point that the Defense Minister made, and I think what's so significant about these tanks beyond, of course, the material support that they add, is the precedent they set, Max, right? This opens the door for Ukraine to get more and bigger and better weapons down the line.

Tanks were something that were absolutely off the table at the beginning of this conflict. So were many of the weapons that Ukraine is now discussing with NATO and the United States and its allies for receiving on the battlefield. And that's simply because the battlefield calculation has changed.

What was concerning to NATO a year ago in terms of potential provocation with Moscow is no longer that concerning. It begins to show you that they're diminishing Russia as an enemy, if you will. It is getting smaller in their eyes, and that's allowing Ukraine to push for more and more.

And the point Ukrainian officials Kyiv is making today is, look, this is Western resolve, this is Western willpower. This is the promises that NATO has made to stand with us as long as we need. But, of course, on the ground, this is an infantry war.

It is absolutely a ground war where those tanks are going to be spearheading those battles in places like Bakhmut. And with the spring offensive coming ahead, these tanks are going to be crucial to that fight.

FOSTER: Salma, thank you for bringing us that.

Police are trying to determine a motive in America's latest deadly school shooting. Monday's rampage in Nashville, Tennessee left three children and three adults dead. Authorities say the shooter was a former student who entered the Christian elementary school with an AR style weapon - AR style weapons, in fact, and had detailed maps of the building as well.

Less than 24 hours later, one person was killed and three others wounded in another mass shooting. This one at a business outside of Washington, D.C.

In Tennessee, where yet another grieving community in the U.S. is wondering why this all had to happen. Amara Walker has the details.


AVERY MYRICK, MOTHER TEACHES AT SCHOOL: I don't know how somebody could go through with doing something like that, and especially children, like, just -- it's disgusting. And I -- yes, I just -- I have no words.


AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This morning, another community is in mourning after what police are calling a targeted attack by 28 year old Audrey Hale, a former student who showed upon campus to execute a pre-written plan.

CHIEF JOHN DRAKE, NASHVILLE POLICE: It indicates that there was going to be shootings at multiple locations and the school was one of them. There was actually a map of the school detailing surveillance, entry points and how this was going to be carried out on this day.

WALKER (voice-over): Metro National Police releasing more than two minutes of surveillance video showing the moment Hale arrived on campus. In the video, Hale is seen driving through the parking lot of the Covenant School in a silver Honda Fit.

The security camera footage then cuts to video of Hale opening fire on glass double doors at an entrance of the school before climbing in. As the video continues, you see Hale start roaming the hallways.

Police say Hale had three weapons, an AR style rifle, an AR style pistol, and a handgun, along with significant ammunition. Police say they believe two of those weapons may have been obtained legally. Officers say when they arrived on scene, Hale fired on them from a second story window. One patrol car taking a bullet to the windshield.

Police say two officers confronted Hale on the second floor and Hale was killed.

During the shooting, Avery Myrick was texting with her mother, a teacher at the school. I texted her and I said just like, what was going on? She said she was hiding in the closet and that there was shooting all over.

She later spoke to her mother by phone and learned she was safe. This morning, we're learning more about the victims.

DON AARON, METRO NASHVILLE POLICE SPOKESMAN: The three nine year olds who were killed, Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, Hallie Scruggs. WALKER (voice-over): Also killed 60 year old Catherine Koonce, who, according to the school's website, was the head of the school. Police also identifying 61 year old Mike Hill, a custodian, and 61 year old Cynthia Peak, a substitute teacher.

Police continue to investigate a motive, but say they have a theory.

DRAKE: There's some belief that there was some resentment to having to go to that school. Don't have all the details of that just yet, and that's why this incident occurred.


FOSTER: That was Amara Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee.

And a developing story out of Mexico where at least 39 people were killed in a fire at a migration detention center in Ciudad Juarez near the Mexico-U.S. border. The victims' nationalities have so far not been released. Mexico's Attorney General has launched an investigation into the fire. We're going to have much more on this developing story in the coming hours for you.

Top U.S. banking regulators are due on Capitol Hill in the coming hours when they're expected to face tough questions about the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Mismanagement, rollback of stricter banking rules under President Trump, they are some of the factors being blamed for this failure.

Meanwhile, the governor of the Bank of England says he was surprised by the speed of the collapse. CNN's Clare Sebastian joins me now to discuss all of these. And it is an international story, isn't it, in its truest sense the way that central banks had to come together, the regulators had to come together and try to find some sort of response?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Max, and try to prevent contagion that this shouldn't spill over to the rest of the banking sector. This is why you're seeing so many questions being asked now about how it could have been avoided because the thinking is that it could have been worse had the central banks not stepped in like this.

I think the questions that are going to be asked today on Capitol Hill and indeed tomorrow when the hearing shifts to the House is who is to blame? Is this about mismanagement at Silicon Valley Bank? Is it about a failure of supervision?

In the prepared comments by the Fed vice chair testifying today, he said that supervisors of the bank knew that there were problems with risk management as far back as the end of 2021 and continued to engage with the bank throughout all of last year pretty much.

Or was it more about regulation? How much did the rollback of some of Dodd-Frank under President Trump play into this given that it lessened regulation on banks of the size of Silicon Valley Bank? And I think you talked about the speed of this, this is also going to play in. This is a bank run that unfolded in the space of basically a day. 42 billion of deposits came out of Silicon Valley Bank that was driven by the very tight knit depositor base, all of it in the sort of tech and venture capital space and by social media. This is something that Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the bank of England, who has been facing questions this morning about the collapse of the U.K. arm of Silicon Valley Bank has been addressing.

He said it was the fastest passage from health to death since Barings Bank, which was that British bank that collapsed due to a rogue trader in just a couple of days in 1995. And he also, Max, had this to say these soothing words about the banking sector.



ANDREW BAILEY, BANK OF ENGLAND GOVERNOR: I don't think we are at all in the place we were in in 2007-'08. We're in a very different place to then. But, you know, we have to be very vigilant. So, you know, if I give you the answer, I don't think there's a problem going forward so I do not want to give you for a moment the idea that we are not very vigilant, because we are, we are in a period of very heightened, you know, frankly, tension and alertness.


BAILEY: And we will go on being vigilant.



SEBASTIAN: Translation, Max, there is that he's not going to say everything's completely fine in case people worry that he's somehow taking his eye off the ball. That, in itself, I think, a symptom of just how fragile this market is.

FOSTER: Yes. Interesting use of language, Clare. Thank you.

Britain's Prince Harry is at the U.K.'s High Court again today for a second day of hearings into his claim about the publisher of the Daily Mail. The Prince and several other high profile figures like Elton John and Elizabeth Hurley began legal action last year. They say the media group used phone tapping and other invasions of privacy to gain information. The paper group denies that.

Still to come, shaken parents gather outside the scene of a mass school shooting. Now the White House is asking how many more children need to be murdered until something is done?


FOSTER: Will the U.S. ever change its gun laws? It's a question asked time and time again. Monday shooting at a school in Nashville left six people dead. Three of the victims were just nine years old. President Biden once again called it on Congress to pass a ban on assault weapons.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to do more to stop gun violence. It's ripping our communities apart, ripping the soul of this nation, ripping at the very soul of the nation. And we have to do more to protect our schools so they aren't turned into prisons.

You know, the shooter in this situation reportedly had two assault weapons and a pistol. So I call on Congress again to pass my assault weapons ban. It's about time that we began to make some more progress.


FOSTER: Mr. Biden sounding weary there on this issue. It's probably because he is, pretty much, he was Vice President when the Sandy Hook massacre left 20 children dead in 2012. That was 11 years ago, and he was President during last year's mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. 19 students were killed that day.

CNN Senior White House Correspondent MJ Lee joins me now. And what was his reaction this time around then, MJ?

MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Max, first and foremost, the President is obviously joining other Americans and mourning what happened in Nashville yesterday. He has ordered all flags, including here at the White House and other federal buildings, to be flown at half-mass until Friday at sundown.


You know, yesterday, when the President was initially briefed about the shooting, I was told by a senior administration official that once he learned that six people had died and among them were children, that he had quite a visceral reaction. And I think we very much saw that when we heard him speak later in the day about just the gun violence epidemic in this country.

He said that gun violence is ripping at the very soul of the nation, as we heard him saying before. And he said that a shooting like yesterday at a school like we saw yesterday, that that is quite literally every American family's worst nightmare.

FOSTER: It really is. And in terms of the sort of legislation that he's trying to put through, is it something different this time or is this the same sort of thing he's asking for every time and isn't getting the response he's looking for?

LEE: Well, Max, the one thing that we have heard the President call for over and over again is an assault weapons ban. And, you know, you talk to most people in Washington, and they would simply point out the political reality that, no, there doesn't seem to be a legislative path on Capitol Hill here in Washington to get that done.

But I think if you were to push President Biden on this, what he would say is, actually Washington has done this before. Because keep in mind, here in the United States, there was an assault weapons ban in place until it expired in 2004. So certainly he would make the argument that this has been done before and that Washington should and can do this again.

I think he would also point to the Uvalde shooting that you mentioned earlier, where, you know, after that shooting as well, a lot of folks said there just isn't the math on Capitol Hill to get anything done on gun safety legislation. But we did see last year Congress pass on a bipartisan basis the first gun safety legislation that we have seen in this country in a number of decades.

So this is a place where I think he would acknowledge sort of the political realities of how difficult it is to get anything done here in the U.S. on gun safety, but that sometimes when there is the political will, that action is possible.

FOSTER: OK, MJ at the White House, thank you so much for bringing us that.

Now, coming up, a blood curdling scream and then a boom. That's how a man described the moment he says actress Gwyneth Paltrow crashed into him on a ski slope in 2016. More on his testimony just ahead.


FOSTER: Gwyneth Paltrow's husband and two adult children could testify today at the actress's civil trial in Utah. Jurors have heard from the plaintiff, a retired optometrist who claims Paltrow crashed into him on a ski slope in 2016. CNN's Veronica Miracle has details on the second week of the trial.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning, Gwyneth.

VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Actress and businesswoman Gwyneth Paltrow back in court for a civil trial as the man suing her over a 2016 skiing accident took the stand.

TERRY SANDERSON, SUING PALTROW FOR 2016 SKI ACCIDENT: Something I've never heard of a ski resort. And that was a blood curdling scream. It was like somebody was out of control and going to hit a tree and was going to die.

MIRACLE (voice-over): Terry Sanderson insists Paltrow skied into him on a beginner ski slope at a Utah ski resort, causing him severe brain damage and other injuries. But Paltrow vehemently denies this. She's countersuing Sanderson and claims he crashed into her.


GWYNETH PALTROW, ACTRESS: I said, you skied directly into my -- back. I apologize for my bad language.

SANDERSON: I'm like living another life now. I can't ski anymore. I was told that if I did and had another crash that I could wind up full time, full time in a nursing home.

MIRACLE (voice-over): Animations produced by Paltrow's legal team were shown to the court to illustrate where Paltrow family ski instructor Eric Christiansen alleged the parties were on the slope that day. Christiansen, who was with Paltrow's children at the time of the accident, testified about what he heard and saw.

ERIC CHRISTIANSEN, SKI INSTRUCTOR: The first, he was apologizing. Then he also made a statement about, she just appeared in front of me.

MIRACLE (voice-over): Christiansen also denied Sanderson's accusation that he and Paltrow skied away without offering any assistance to Sanderson.

CHRISTIANSEN: The whole time I'm removing skis and getting ready to help him up, I'm asking, are you OK? He was affirmative. He said, yes.

MIRACLE (voice-over): Last week, Paltrow described the crash in an entirely different way, even recalling she, at first thought, she was being sexually assaulted.

PALTROW: I was skiing and two skis came between my skis, forcing my legs apart. And then there was a body pressing against me and there was a very strange grunting noise. I thought, am I -- is this a practical joke? Is someone, like, doing something perverted?


MIRACLE: Paltrow's husband and two kids were supposed to take the stand Monday, but this trial is running behind. In fact, the defense says they may not have enough time to get Paltrow's family on the stand.

Veronica Miracle, CNN, Park City, Utah.

FOSTER: Thanks for joining me here on CNN Newsroom. I'm Max Foster in London. World Sport with Amanda Davies is up next.