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Former Student In Nashville School Kills Three Children And Three Adults; Benjamin Netanyahu Delays Judicial Overhaul After Protests And Strikes; Russia To Increase Its Nuclear And Military Presence In Belarus; France Braces For Another Strike Over Pension Reform; Strikes In Germany Disrupt Flights And Trains. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired March 28, 2023 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LAILA HARRAK, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to all of our viewers watching from around the world. I'm Laila Harrak.
Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, new footage of the moment a shooter entered a private Christian school in Nashville where three children and three adults were killed. We'll have the latest on the investigation.
Israel's Prime Minister agrees to delay the controversial judicial reform in the face of mass opposition, but protesters are warning him not to bring that legislation back to the table at all. We're live in Tel Aviv with the latest.
And as France braces for another day of protests over pension reform, strikes in Germany have brought public transport and the country to a standstill.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Laila Harrak.
HARRAK: We begin here in the U.S. where police have just released video of the attack on a Nashville Tennessee elementary school that left three children and three adults dead.
You can see the shooter identified by police as 28-year-old Audrey Hale opening fire on a set of glass doors to gain access to the school.
A few minutes later, you can see Hale walking through the building, pointing what police described as an AR style rifle. They say Hale also had an AR style pistol and a handgun.
Two Metro Nashville Police Department officers fatally shot Hale. Nashville Police Chief John Drake says investigators are not sure yet about the shooter's motive but they're following up on a number of leads.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHIEF JOHN DRAKE, METRO NASHVILLE POLICE: There's some belief that there was some resentment to having to go to that school. I don't have all the details to that just yet. And that's why this incident occurred.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRAK: Police say they found writings and additional material in Hale's car, as well as maps of the school and plans for a possible second attack.
A woman who works across the street recorded video of police escorting the children out of the school.
While the attack is the deadliest school shooting since 21 children and adults were killed in Uvalde, Texas last May.
More now from CNN's Dianne Gallagher.
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Tragedy at another American School. Three children and three adult staff members shot and killed at the covenant school in Nashville, Tennessee, in what police are calling a targeted attack by a heavily armed 28-year-old former student.
DON AARON, NASHVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT MEDIA RELATIONS: The three 9- year-olds who were killed, Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, Hallie Scruggs. The three adults, Mike Hill, a custodian age 61, Cynthia Peak, to my understanding, a substitute teacher age 61, and Katherine Koonce, age 60.
GALLAGHER: Police say the suspect was Audrey Hale is a Nashville area resident, who they say is a former student of the private Christian school located at Covenant Presbyterian Church, which serves preschool through sixth grade.
A car near the scene helped identify Hale and police say they are currently going over writings left behind by the shooter.
DRAKE: We've also determined there were maps drawn out of school in detail of surveillance, entry points, etcetera. We know and believe that entry was gained through shooting through one of the doors is how they actually got into the school.
GALLAGHER: Calls started coming in at 10:13 a.m.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The officers had engaged the shooter by 10:27 and she was deceased.
GALLAGHER: Metro Nashville Police say there is video from the school. And the shooting happened on an upper level in a lobby area, not the classroom. A teacher texting her daughter from inside the school.
AVERY MYRICK, DAUGHTER OF PRE-K TEACHER: She said she was hiding in the closet and that there were shooting all over and that they had potentially tried to get into a room.
GALLAGHER: President Joe Biden weighing in on the 129th mass shooting of this year according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.
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, reaping the very soul of the nation. And we have to do more to protect our schools so they aren't turned into prisons.
HARRAK: CNN's Dianne Gallagher reporting there and I spoke earlier with CNN National Security Analyst Juliette Kayyem and asked her what can be done to keep schools, children and staff safe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: We have come to a realization that it really is going to take the community service pounding these killers essentially, just to come up speak for -- speak out, seek resources if they -- if they have access to them.
In every single one of these cases, including this one, I suspect, we are going to learn in the days ahead, weeks ahead, the extent to which an action like this was pre planned, which we know is the case and was probably communicated in some way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRAK: Now you can see my full interview with CNN National Security Analyst Juliette Kayyem next hour right here on CNN NEWSROOM.
In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hitting pause on controversial plans to overhaul the country's judiciary. Those plans have been dividing the nation and sparking massive protests and widespread strikes.
But on Monday, Mr. Netanyahu said he would delay votes on legislation in order to allow time for discussion and debate.
Still, protesters against the reforms and some in favor were back on the streets. Israel's largest labor union announced its general strike would end immediately following Mr. Netanyahu's announcement.
The prime minister did make clear the pause is only temporary, insisting an overhaul is needed. Mr. Netanyahu said he's aware of the tensions and was making the move out of a responsibility to the nation, a move that was welcomed by the United States and the U.K.
Let's take you now to Tel Aviv where CNN's Elizabeth Cohen is standing by.
Elizabeth, things really escalated in the past couple of days. Where do things stand right now, what has been the reaction to this delay? ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Laila, things have moved so quickly here. I think there is some hope that with this pause that you mentioned, that things might return to some level of normalcy. You mentioned the strike being called off, perhaps there will be fewer roads blocked.
It's really been difficult in many places to get around in the country. And so, there's some hope that maybe things will return to some level of normalcy before this whole debate will start up again.
Now, the context -- for the context of this pause, let's take a listen to what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I'm not ready to tear the country apart. I called time after time to speak and to debate in order to reach a solution. And I remember that we're not facing enemies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COHEN: Now, I think many would debate whether or not Netanyahu really did encourage debate, some feel, many feel that he steamrolled these changes that would give the Knesset, give the parliament the ability to overturn the Supreme Court with just a slim margin in the parliament, just a simple majority really fearing that the system of checks and balances in this country as another Democrat credit countries would really come to a halt and also that Netanyahu sort of just steamrolled changes that would make it easier for him to get out of many of his legal woes, Laila.
HARRAK: Elizabeth Cohen reporting from Tel Aviv. Thank you so much, Elizabeth.
And joining us this hour as well from Tel Aviv is Amir Tibon. He's a senior editor of the Haaretz Newspaper. Good to see you again, Amir. Has the Prime Minister's decision appeased opponents of this judicial reform plan and talk to us about the mood, walk us through what has been happening.
AMIR TIBON, SENIOR EDITOR, HAARETZ NEWSPAPER: So, first of all, I think in the protest movement that has been out in the streets for the last 12 weeks, think about it, three months in a row of demonstrations almost day after day.
There is a sense here of an achievement, because the legislation that was supposed to pass last night has been delayed by at least a month and a half or so. But there's still great suspicion of Netanyahu and his intentions.
You have to remember that Netanyahu has been the longest serving Prime Minister in Israel, and both his supporters and opponents know very well that he has a track record of changing his mind and saying one thing and being the opposite. And so, in this case, I think every move he's going to make now is
going to be watched by a million eyes, if you will, the million people who have taken part in one or more demonstrations, and they're going to look the negotiations that are starting now with the opposition are going to be done really with a sense of goodwill, or is it just a tactic to try to divide and diffuse the protest movement in the opposition and then come back in a month and a half or so with the same legislation.
HARRAK: From Mr. Netanyahu's point of view, can you contextualize where he's coming from? I mean, is this a significant concession? Is it a gesture of conciliation? How would you describe it?
TIBON: I think it was a move he had to make because the country really was about to boil over, there's no other way to put it.
On Sunday night at 9:00 p.m., local time with Netanyahu fired the defense minister, a member of his own party for daring to speak out and say that maybe there should be a timeout and the legislation should be delayed.
As I said, that happened Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. By 10:00 p.m., there were tens of thousands of people in the streets protesting against the government. By midnight, there were hundreds of thousands.
And there were clashes between supporters and opponents, violent clashes between the supporters and the opponents of the government, there was a sense that the military was about to disintegrate because there were hundreds of combat pilots and Special Forces officers and intelligence operators who declared that they will not show up for reserve duty if the legislation passes, and the firing of defense minister have made it even worse.
And so, I think that Netanyahu have to put a stop. And he did. And again, it's a big achievement for the protest movement, it would not have happened without the hundreds of thousands of Israelis in the streets.
I think from his point of view, it's not clear even to him what's the best next move range (PH). Should he actually go into real negotiations and try to amend the legislation? Should he just let it wiggle and die down? Or should we wait and come back with the whole package again? We'll have to see.
And again, everybody's going to be watching the government's moves very closely on this one.
HARRAK: And Amir, he already had to make a trade off to secure this pause.
TIBON: Yes, he had to promise -- he had to promise his far right ally Itamar Ben-Gvir basically, to get his own police force, a special security force under his command. Now, I'm not sure if this agreement that they signed how fast it will
come into fruition, it takes some time to build this kind of thing. But I will not call that a positive development. Ideas of the most extreme right wing person in Israeli politics with a long history of violence and racism would have a separate force from the regular police force responding directly to him.
And I think the Israeli Supreme Court if this agreement between Netanyahu and Ben-Gvir actually was implemented would strike it down. And that actually would only further put us in a situation where there's tension between the authorities in Israel.
HARRAK: Now, what I gather from your answers, this is not going to be an issue that's going to be resolved very quickly. And it sounds like it will continue to be very tenuous. So, what's next?
TIBON: So, there is going to be negotiations and mediated by the President of Israel to use some more symbolic figure and this is exactly the kind of thing that he's expected to do. President Isaac Herzog to try to bring together the government the opposition and maybe find a compromise.
If he succeeds, perhaps we will be in a much better place in a month or two. If he doesn't, this whole thing is coming back. And we are now just in some kind of a tactical pause, giving both sides an opportunity to regain their strength for the next battle.
HARRAK: Is there a timeline very quickly for how long this pause will last?
TIBON: So, we have several holidays coming up Passover, the Memorial Day of Israel, the National Independence Day, and I think there is a an understanding that everything will be delayed until after those holidays. So, by May, we will know what is really happening with the judicial overhaul.
HARRAK: Good to have you with us, Amir Tibon, thank you for your insights.
TIBON: Thank you.
HARRAK: Now, another round of Russian strikes has targeted more civilian areas far from the frontlines in Ukraine in the capital Kyiv. The city's mayor says two residential districts were hit Monday night. One building caught fire but early reports showed there were no casualties.
In a separate attack, Ukrainian authorities say two people were killed and 32 were injured in Russian missile strikes in the eastern city of Sloviansk.
Meanwhile, Western made tanks promised to Ukraine have started to arrive in the country coming from the U.S., U.K., Germany and Portugal. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has met with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi. They surveyed the damage at the Dnipro hydroelectric power plant in Zaporizhzhia on Monday. President Zelenskyy has accused Russia which controls the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plants of using it for "nuclear blackmail."
Grossi said he would be traveling to the plant to assess its safety and security.
Now with the Russia's military offensive in Ukraine seemingly at a stalemate, the Kremlin is reaching into the old Soviet playbook and moving nuclear weapons into Belarus but Belarusian opposition leader is raising concerns saying the move aims to subjugate Belarus and violates its constitution. More now from CNN's Matthew Chance reporting from Moscow.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The frontlines are brutal, even Ukrainian towns with little strategic value, locking both sides into a bloody, stagnant standoff. One reason the Kremlin is again upping the ante. It was on state television, the President Putin dropped his nuclear bombshell. Tactical nuclear weapons will soon be deployed to neighboring Belarus, he announced that for decades as Russia station these powerful battlefield weapons outside its own borders.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The United States has done it for decades. They have placed their tactical nuclear weapons in their allied countries. And we had an agreement as allies do the same.
CHANCE: These are the Iskander missile systems capable of delivering a nuclear payload that Putin says are already deployed in Belarus.
The silo for their nuclear warheads, he says, will be ready by July, prompting alarm and objections from Europe. But praise on the streets of the Russian capital, where dissent from the Kremlin line is a risk.
I think NATO is to blame for all of this, says Tatiana (PH). It is they who are marching towards us to our borders, she says.
The West thinks it can have its own way and do anything with us, says Vladimir (PH). Now it's time to demonstrate our capabilities to show we too means business.
And there are airborne delivery systems too. These are Russian warplanes flying sorties over Ukraine. But the Kremlin says Russian technicians have also converted 10 Belarusian aircraft to carry tactical nuclear weapons as well.
It would be devastating and unstoppable. But the U.S. officials say there's no reason to adjust America's nuclear posture, at least not yet.
JOHN KIRBY, PRESS SECRETARY, PENTAGON: We've in fact seen no indication that he has any intention to use nuclear weapons period inside Ukraine.
CHANCE: But Putin has every intention of tightening his grip on Belarus, whose own autocratic leader is already propped up by the Kremlin strongly.
To avoid nuclear proliferation, Putin says command and control with the tactical weapons will be kept with Moscow. Belarus already a reluctant military ally will now host even more Russian troops on its soil (PH).
Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.
HARRAK: New satellite images and video from the ground appear to show a large cemetery in southern Russia is growing and it's filled with the graves of pro-Russia Wagner militia soldiers. Row upon row of graves all decorated with flowers that beneath a Wagner flag in a village east of Crimea.
Looking from above, you can see just how many more graves have appeared in recent months. Visitors to the cemetery on Monday recorded this video. The woman speaking is saying very big cemetery, all graves are fresh at an end in sight, young and of all ages.
Still ahead, two of Europe's biggest economies paralyzed by nationwide protests. What workers in France and Germany are demanding, that's next.
HARRAK: France is bracing for yet another round of nationwide protests in the coming hours over the government's move to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. Authorities say they are anticipated "high risks to the public order and around 13,000 police officers will be deployed across the country", they also expect public transportation, including air travel to be disrupted.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Germany, more than 400,000 workers participated in country wide strike on Monday bringing public transport to a standstill. They're demanding a pay increase, citing rising energy and food costs.
Joining me live now from Los Angeles is CNN European Affairs Commentator Dominic Thomas. He's also a professor at UCLA. So good to see you, Dominic, good to have you with us.
Listen, your two major economies now hit by strikes. Let's start with France. Any movement on talks between the government and labor unions? Are there any talks? What's your read on where things stand right now?
DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR (on camera): Well, we know that over the weekend, French President Emmanuel Macron asked his Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, to begin a process of broader consultation around pension reform, but also over the future legislative agenda of this government by meeting with various legislative leaders, union leaders, and so on.
Many will argue that this is a little -- too little too late, and that the tensions are continuing to rise, and not simply around the question of pension reform, but a kind of broader united opposition now against Emmanuel Macron itself.
So, those are the steps that have taken place. And as you just mentioned, massive large scale demonstrations, protests and Labor Action Plan for tomorrow, Tuesday, in France.
HARRAK: So, has this now turned into a test of wills with all sides digging in their heels?
THOMAS: I think it absolutely has. And I think what we're seeing here is actually a tremendous tension across the board on the one hand between the executive and otherwise, Emmanuel Macron and his government. And we've already seen that play out in the legislative sphere, because he was ultimately unable to get his legislation through the lower House without pushing it through using Article 49.3, we have the shadow of the judicial review to check whether or not the constitutional procedures were followed whether enough consultation, interestingly enough has taken place.
And the standoff, of course with the streets that are an age old, legitimate mechanism in France, for people to express their disillusionment, disaffection with legislation, and we see that particular sphere growing, and a standoff, therefore, with the government in that particular regard, and an opposition that previously was very divided, is actually now paradoxically united against the Macron presidency here.
HARRAK: And meanwhile, if we turn our focus to Europe's largest economy, a Germany mega-strike took place that disrupted the commute of millions of people after transportation workers walked out, why are they striking?
THOMAS: Yes, well, there's some parallels there between broader situations in either the European Union or Europe, certainly cost of living. That's the big issue in France, it's certainly the issue across the channel in the U.K., and we see the same kinds of circumstances playing out in Germany, with a fragile coalition government trying to manage this economy.
Inflation is running around nine percent. It's already one of the most expensive places in Europe to pay for energy, electricity, gas prices, and so on. And people are upset, workers are asking for somewhere around 10 percent and above raises, and thus far employers have only been offering somewhere around five percent.
There are major talks pending, and this was a mega-strike, as it was described to send a very strong message to the -- to employers that the workers are going to stand strong here and that they expect adjustments to their salaries, Laila.
HARRAK: How does -- how does the situation in Germany compared to what is going on in France?
THOMAS: Well, I think it's very interesting, especially to see how the streets have been handled, right? In this particular case, we're talking about labor action in Germany, whereas in France, you're seeing labor action and also massive protests.
The protests at this stage in France are very much focused around the pension reform, this triggered this particular action and has now turned into a broader kind of anti-governmental movement, whereas the German situation is really focused at the moment at least on a cost of living situation. And if the government or if the employer is able to address that, it's likely that that situation will improve and dissipate whereas I think we're in here for the long term in the French context, Laila.
HARRAK: Briefly, if you can, in terms of the situation across the European Union, how would you characterize it?
THOMAS: Well, I think at the moment these lack of stability in some of these really major European powers is destabilizing for the European Union. It was distracted for years by the Brexit question.
Of course, the issue with Ukraine is of incredible importance. The tension between NATO and the Russian Federation is absolutely important. And this kind of labor action, and the way in which it detracts from the business of the European Union is incredibly disquieting, particularly because one of the major issues the European Union has been facing over the past decade is the question of the far right. And these kinds of things that we see develop in France today, of course, are feeding into that kind of political agenda and dissent. And that's of concern also, to Europe at this particular moment.
So, in other words, the European Union has a lot of concerns and a lot of distractions at the moment to the business at hand that it wishes to move ahead with Laila.
HARRAK: All right, Dominic Thomas, thank you so much. Always appreciate your insights. Thank you.
THOMAS: Thank you.
HARRAK: A new storm system is threatening the western U.S. while southern states try to recover from those deadly tornadoes. We'll have the details in our forecast.
And bank shares stabilized one day on Wall Street after U.S. bank stepped in to buy the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank. We'll have the details from New York.
HARRAK: Welcome back to all of our viewers around the world. I'm Laila Harrak, and you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. [00:30:33]
More now on one of our top stories. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is responding to a deepening crisis and continuing unrest in his country by deciding to delay controversial plans to overhaul the country's judiciary.
CNN's Hadas Gold has the details from Jerusalem.
HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A political crisis and now a potential security crisis on the streets of Israel as the country was brought to a standstill by the largest general strike in Israeli history, sparked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to weaken the Supreme Court and his firing of the country's defense minister for speaking out against the overhaul.
Fiery protests erupted Sunday and grew Monday, with demonstrators descending on Jerusalem from all over Israel.
GOLD (voice-over): Chanting for democracy as they gathered en masse in front of the country's Supreme Court and outside Israel's Parliament, the Knesset, nearby.
GOLD: These changes to the judiciary in Israel would be the most significant since the country's founding in 1948, and at their core, they would give the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, and therefore whatever parties and politicians are in power, more control over the judiciary: from how and who the judges are going to be selected, to even the ability to overturn certain Supreme Court decisions.
Now, critics of these reforms fear that would destroy the independence of the Israeli judiciary. They would heart -- hurt minority rights, and it would also hurt human rights in Israel, from everything from freedom of speech and expression to freedom of religion.
GOLD (voice-over): On Monday, flights were halted and Israel ports stopped work alongside universities, embassies abroad, malls, and even McDonald's.
The leader of Israel's largest union demanded the historic general strike to stop what he called "this judicial revolution, this craziness."
It seemed to have had the intended effect.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Out of the desire to prevent a rift in the nation. I decided to suspend the second and third reading of the law in this session of the Knesset to give time to try and reach a broad agreement.
GOLD (voice-over): For Netanyahu, this may be more than just a political setback. Critics say the overhaul will help Netanyahu in his ongoing corruption trial, a charge he denies.
In a Saturday evening interview with British journalist Piers Morgan, Netanyahu denied he was pushing for autocratic rule.
NETANYAHU: To try to paint me as some third-world autocrat is ridiculous. I believe in the balance. I'm a classic democrat with a small "D." I don't want to get into trouble with my American friends. But I must -- I'm a classic believer in the balance between the three branches of government. That's what ensures democracy, and it's been thrown off-balance in Israel. We have to bring it back.
GOLD (voice-over): Before his speech to the nation on Monday, he acknowledged the precarious situation the country is in, as some right-wing groups began calling for counter-protests, tweeting, "I call on all the demonstrators in Jerusalem, on the right and the left, to behave responsibly and not to act violently. We are brotherly people."
With the country in chaos, there are fears now that this divisiveness could still lead to bloodshed.
Hadas Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.
HARRAK: Recovery efforts are ongoing in the Southeastern U.S. after a spate of deadly storms and tornadoes. At least 22 people were killed, mostly in Mississippi, with the town -- with the town of Rolling Fork especially hard-hit.
Among the dead is a 2-year-old girl whose mother was in labor at the hospital when her daughter was killed.
The storms have obliterated hundreds of homes and businesses across the region in recent days.
Meanwhile, another strong storm system is moving into California.
Let's bring in meteorologist Britley Ritz. Britley, what are you seeing?
BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, Laila, if you can hear me, I have a little bit of a graphics issue at the moment. But if we can pull G.R. full, I can talk about it that way and show you satellite and radar at the moment.
We do have scattered showers and thunderstorms still rolling in. That's that area of low pressure really starts to ramp up. And we'll watch that continue on to spin that next A.R., that next atmospheric river.
So we're looking at all of this moisture really starting to ramp back up. And you're noticing -- look at the screen right here. You can see all of the greens, the yellows. That's an additional two, four, to possibly five to six inches of rain on top of what we've already dealt with. It doesn't seem like much compared to the last system that rolled in,
but it's pretty substantial.
On top of that, then we're also dealing with the snowfall through the higher elevations.
Back through the Southeast. This is the system that we've been dealing with, with the threat of severe weather that brought in, unfortunately, numerous reports of tornadoes, hail and wind. More expected once again. Now it's not going to be as severe. It now transitions mostly to a flood threat. A lot of these areas are already worked over and completely saturated.
So then we wind up with trading thunderstorms. Thankfully, it's starting to push a little further South.
There you go. You can see all of the numerous storm reports over the last 24 to 48 hours and how that system slowly worked its way further South.
Again, thankfully, that system is making its way further South as the cold front and, of course, cooler temperatures, will reside with that, but unfortunately, still dealing with the flood threat, Laila.
HARRAK: Britley, thank you so much.
Now a sigh of relief for Wall Street on Monday as a buyer emerged for the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank. Bank shares rallied on the news that First Citizens Bank is buying up most of SVB's assets, but tech shares fell after rising in recent weeks as investors looked for safety.
The results, Wall Street markets ended the day mixed, with the Dow and S&P posting small gains and the NASDAQ finishing half a point lower.
CNN's Rahel Solomon has more now from New York.
RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Bank stocks stabilized on Monday after news that First Citizens Bank would be acquiring parts of Silicon Valley Bank. The FDIC announcing the deal late Sunday evening.
SOLOMON (voice-over): And as part of the deal, First Citizens, which is based in North Carolina, will acquire $72 billion of SVB loans, but at a significant discount.
First Citizens will also assume SVB assets of $110 billion and SVB deposits of $56 billion, and critically First Citizens will not be taking on most of the $90 billion of U.S. treasuries from SVB.
SVB's long-dated bond portfolio is part of the reason the bank failed. Rising interest rates made longer-term bonds less valuable on the open market. And when depositors of SVB heard that the bank had to take a loss on
selling those bonds, well, it sparked the beginning of a bank run.
The FDIC also announcing that it will share potential losses with First Citizens.
The news sending bank stocks higher on Monday, with First Citizen's stock hitting levels not seen since November of 2022. That's because Wall Street's view is that First Citizens got a pretty sweet deal, a deal that makes it a much larger bank.
At the end of 2022, it was considered the 30th largest U.S. bank. After this deal, it would likely put it in the top 25, as it gains both assets and also expands its geographic footprint.
News of the deal helping calm investor concerns about the larger banking sector, although stability today doesn't always mean stability tomorrow.
This week, U.S. lawmakers will begin the first of several hearings on the fall of Silicon Valley Bank.
Rahel Solomon, CNN, New York.
HARRAK: Layoffs are underway at the so-called House of Mouse. Disney will shed 7,000 jobs, which amounts to about 3 percent of its global workforce.
Three waves of cuts will take place, from this week until the beginning of summer.
In a memo to staff obtained by CNN, Disney CEO Bob Iger called this a tough moment for the media giant. The lay-offs are part of a multi- billion-dollar cost -- cost-cutting initiative, aimed at streamlining the company's operations.
Billionaire Jack Ma also returned to mainland China for the first time in more than a year. The Alibaba founder visited a school funded by the company, speaking about how changes in technology can affect education.
Ma also -- is also one of China's richest people, and his visit speaks to Beijing's softening toward the private sector. Businesses were under strict regulations in the early days of the pandemic, but China's new premier has made it his mission to help them stage a comeback.
Prince Harry is expected back in a London courtroom after a surprise appearance on Monday. We'll have details on his legal fight against the tabloids.
[00:41:24] HARRAK: Prince Harry is expected back in a London courtroom in a few hours. The Duke of Sussex made a surprise visit on Monday for day one of a legal proceeding.
It will determine if an invasion of privacy lawsuit against a newspaper group will go forward.
CNN royal correspondent Max Foster is in London with more.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Nobody in the British media had a clue that Prince Harry was in the U.K., let alone coming here to the high court.
FOSTER (voice-over): He did arrive. The cameras caught him, and suddenly a lot more cameras came down here to catch him on his way out.
A bit later on, his friend Elton John came, as well as Liz Hurley and Sadie Frost. They have a group action, effectively, against Associated Newspapers, which owns "The Daily Mail."
And this is a four-day preliminary hearing, where the judge will decide whether or not this case will go to court.
It's a privacy case. And some major accusations from these four against Associated Newspapers. They have become aware, their lawyers say, "of compelling and highly distressing evidence that they've been the victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy."
The sort of things they are accusing Associated Newspapers of is listening devices placed inside people's cars and homes, phone hacking, obtaining illegally medical and banking information.
The publisher has described the allegations as preposterous smears. They are going to fight this try to keep it out of a trial.
Prince Harry is the highest profile figure here, probably. He says that he lost friendships because of these invasions of privacy. He thought his friends were leaking stories to the newspapers, which he later found out wasn't his friends. It was actually these tactics that Associated Newspapers are accused of using.
We'll wait to see what the outcome is of this preliminary hearing and whether or not it goes to trial. It's due to last about four days.
Max Foster, CNN London.
HARRAK: And thank you for spending this part of your day with us. I'm Laila Harrak. WORLD SPORT is up next, and I'll be back in 15 minutes with more CNN NEWSROOM. See you then.