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G7 Leaders Meets Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyyy; Disney Scraps Campus Plan; Sen. Dianne Feinstein Back to Work after Medical Leave; Israelis Mark Capture Of East Jerusalem In 1967 War; Police Release Bodycam Video Of Officers Confronting Gunman; TikTok Users Sue Montana Over State-Wide Ban On App. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired May 19, 2023 - 02:00   ET




PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: And a very warm welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Paula Newton.

Ahead right here on "CNN Newsroom," As G7 leaders meet in Japan this hour with Ukraine high on the agenda, Volodymyr Zelenskyyy is set to join in person seeking commitments from the world's wealthiest democracies.

Also, the U.S. is now signaling that it will not block allies from sending F-16 jets to Ukraine. We'll look at how that could change the battlefield.

And tens of thousands of Israelis march through Jerusalem's Old City for a mostly peaceful but tense flag parade.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Live from CNN Center. This is "CNN Newsroom" with Paula Newton.

NEWTON: Leaders of the G7 nations are meeting at this hour in Hiroshima, Japan over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, of course, high on the agenda. And now, we're learning they'll be welcoming a special guest, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The U.K. and European Union have already announced new sanctions targeting Russia's diamond trade. And in a key development, sources tell CNN the U.S. will not stand in the way of allies sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, something Kyiv has been requesting for months now.

G7 leaders started the day with a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The city, of course, was hit by a U.S. atomic bomb in 1945, killing more than 100,000 people in World War II.

For more now, we want to bring in CNN's White House reporter Kevin Liptak, who's live for us in Hiroshima. Kevin, really good to see you and have you there on this story for us. And, you know, I do want to note it was a very poignant moment, of course, when they did lay those wreaths. And again, it brings to the four everything that's at stake here. I want to get right to the news though that President Zelenskyy is now scheduled to participate not virtually but in person. He's going to have a seat at the table. How significant is that?

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yeah, a source familiar with the planning telling me that Zelenskyy will make the trip from Ukraine to Japan. And it is quite significant. It's a very dramatic in-person appeal, almost certainly for more powerful weapons as Ukraine works to regain territory. The world leaders who are gathering here today really hope that that will help Zelenskyy gain some leverage at an eventual negotiating table. Of course, where that happens, when that happens, all remain open questions.

Now, the leaders are in a working lunch right now and they will convene a special session dedicated to Ukraine later today. The main outcome from that will be this new package of sanctions, the U.S. targeting 300 individuals, entities really trying to close loopholes that exist in the current sanctions regime to prevent the Kremlin's war machine from gaining any more backing.

You also saw the United Kingdom today banning imports of Russian diamonds, really looking to go after any untapped sources of wealth for Russia, really hoping to gain some leverage for Ukraine as this war proceeds.

But really the high point will be that meeting with Zelenskyy when he arrives here. He has been traveling more outside of Ukraine, much more than certainly at the start of the war. He was just in Europe last week, gained commitments for billions of dollars in military aid.

So the sources aren't specifying exactly when he'll be here, how he'll get here, but that will certainly be quite an important and symbolic moment at this G7, Paula.

NEWTON: Yeah, Kevin, and the topic that the President won't be able to avoid a course are the debt-ceiling negotiations. I mean, those around the table know it doesn't involve them, but it does, right? A huge risk, really, even for those world leaders, what is Biden saying about that?

LIPTAK: Right, right. For all the talk of Ukraine and China, the biggest threat to global stability at this very moment is the risk of American default. Now, we did hear that the President was briefed on the ongoing negotiations earlier this morning. The White House says they're making steady progress. But a U.S. official told us last night that the brinkmanship over the debt ceiling really does undermine American leadership as the President heads into these talks, because, of course, all of these sanctions that we were just talking about, those rely on the strength of the American financial system. If the system collapses, sends the global economy into tailspin, they don't really have as much bite. And so, the President will want to reassure these leaders that the U.S. won't default on its debts.


Of course, that does nothing necessarily to rebut this growing sense among leaders, particularly European leaders that the American political system is just in a state of dysfunction. There's nothing really that the President is going to be able to say that will rebut that notion in their minds. And so, the President will have a lot to explain when these leaders sit down over the next three days, Paula.

NEWTON: Yeah, absolutely. Kevin Liptak for us, following it all from Japan. I appreciate it.

Bobby Ghosh is a Bloomberg opinion columnist covering foreign affairs. Good to see you, Bobby, especially as the way this G7 meeting is unfolding. Arguably the stakes are high as ever for the G7, but it can't be a talk shop anymore, right? If Biden gets his wish, he needs to robustly mount a counterbalance to China's rise. What are the challenges for him to get there?

BOBBY GHOSH, COLUMNIST AND EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER BLOOMBERG: Well, the challenges are that unlike Russia, for instance, where all the G7 partners are more or less united in their position against Vladimir Putin, when it comes to Xi Jinping and China, there's not that same unity. Everybody recognizes that China poses a challenge, a threat, if you like, but they have different views on how they should respond.

The Europeans, for instance, Emmanuel Macron, Chancellor Scholz of Germany, don't want to go as far as the Americans do, as far as Biden does, in putting shackles on China, because Europe depends very greatly on trade with China and would like to expand that trade. So there is a, everybody feels that China is growing in influence at their expense, but the response, the adequate response, there's still quite a lot of daylight between the American position and that of some of its allies.

NEWTON: Yeah, and we have seen that recently in fact, but how do you think they come to that accommodation and militarily perhaps on a new strategy? And some would say even its confrontation right now between China and the United States and yet have those European allies try and get closer to China on trade. I mean, this is a really thin line really to try and walk here.

GHOSH: Yes, it is a very, it's a cliche, but it's a very delicate balancing act. Leading up to this summit, the Biden administration has been trying to ratchet down the sort of confrontation. We had sort of high-level meetings between Biden administration officials and Chinese officials to try and soften the tone a little bit. They're also using language like de-risking investments and de-risking economic relations with China. They're not saying decoupling, they're just saying expand the supply chains a little bit. Don't depend entirely on China. China is fine, we all need China, we want China to be part of the global economic system, but let's not depend entirely on it.

So, they're trying to find a language that will not get China's backup too much, will not cause too much anxiety among the European allies, but at the same time sends a message that we're all behind the United States, behind Biden, in recognizing that China needs to be, if not put in a box, then certainly needs its wings clipped a little bit.

NEWTON: Yeah, it's interesting too though that the Biden administration has backed away from that phrase of decoupling, right, and they have moved to more accommodation, perhaps with a, you know, a fairly shrewd eye as to what China's ambitions are militarily.

Bobby, I want to talk about the debt ceiling crisis. You know, the E.U. allies be as cynical as the rest of us is saying, look, there's going to be, you know, a lot of wrangling and in the end, the debt ceiling crisis will get managed. And yet, and yet, what is the risk here for those allies around the table when they say, look, our U.S. counterpart here is not reliable? They can never get their act together and it's at our expense, right? Because you know better than anyone that this will rattle financial markets even if it's resolved at the last minute.

GHOSH: Well, they will certainly be looking to the President to give them some sort of assurance that a deal will be made, the problems will be overcome. But you know, as you say, they've seen this movie before. They've seen debt crises like this, a confrontation between Congress and the President. Biden's not the first President to have this problem. And they know that, at the end of the day, the United States is good for its debts. There may be some wrangling on Capitol Hill. But there's no real risk that the United States will not pay its debts. At the worst, it'll get delayed a little bit, but the U.S. is good. The dollar is strong, and that, you know, the matter will get resolved.


NEWTON: Well, Bobby Ghosh, thanks so much.

GHOSH: Anytime.

NEWTON: Now, CNN spoke last hour with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel. We asked him about the symbolism of holding the G7 Summit in Hiroshima and, of course, the leaders' visit to the Memorial Museum. Listen.


RAHM EMANUEL, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN: It's a very powerful experience. It's a reminder to everybody, the responsibilities that we have, especially as you have President Putin, carelessly and cavalierly talking about the use of nuclear weapons.

You have the threat from North Korea about a seventh detonation of a nuclear weapon and China's rapid buildup. So the importance of dealing with the issues of not only the spread of nuclear weapons, even in the worst moments of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union made progress. And the President yesterday talked about the importance of getting back on track, the non-proliferation and progress on containing and restricting on nuclear weapons, nuclear testing in that area.


NEWTON: U.S. Ambassador to Japan there, Rahm Emanuel. More now on the war in Ukraine, and word that the White House will not

stand in the way if U.S. allies decide to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. Now, that's according to sources familiar with ongoing discussions who say the U.S. has already signaled its stance to allies. Now, some European countries are considering sending the U.S.- made jets to Kyiv. But those transfers need a green light from Washington. U.S. officials are not aware, so far, of any country formally making that request.

Meantime, Britain says its Storm Shadow missiles have already been successfully used by Ukraine. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace made the announcement on CNN Thursday, a week after he confirmed the U.K. sent those weapons to Kyiv.

And in the fight for Bakhmut, Ukraine has released this sped-up video saying it shows on Russian troops near the city. You see the video there. Now, Ukraine now claims it cut a new bridgehead west of the city, which could become a springboard for more advances. But Russia's Wagner mercenaries, meantime, claim they've also have been making progress inside Bakhmut.

Cedric Leighton is a CNN military analyst and retired U.S. Air Force Colonel. And good to see you. F-16's high on the shopping list for President Zelenskyy. Why is it significant that Ukraine receive these jets if they can? And what sets them apart, right? Why would they be a game-changer possibly in this conflict?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yeah, Paula, the F-16 is a really interesting aircraft. It's been around for about 49 years. 40- plus of it was really operational. And it is a multi-role fighter, so it can do both air to air and air to ground combat operations. So what that means is it's really versatile. It can be used in many different ways. And it also is an aircraft, depending on how it's configured, it can potentially use its electronic-jamming capability to go after some of the Russian radars that are active in Ukraine and around the Ukrainian peripheries.

So it's a very important aircraft. It's probably the best aircraft in terms of all the different capabilities that the Ukrainians could want. And it's probably the only aircraft that has all of those capabilities in one package.

NEWTON: Now, when President Zelenskyyy has, you know, asked for them, the United States has said, no, definitely not, at least not yet, especially in the last few months. Now I want to point out that CNN reporting is that the Biden administration has now signaled to these allies that look, if you guys want to go ahead and give them these jets, export these F-16's, we may not stand in your way. Is this a huge policy change for the United States?

LEIGHTON: Yeah, it's a policy change by little steps, little incremental steps. And what it really means is that the Biden administration is giving its tacit approval to its allies to provide these jets to the Ukrainians without any objections.

So what can happen here is that the pipeline is going to start and that pipeline includes everything from the aircraft itself to spare parts. And of course, most important here, training for both the pilots and the maintenance crews that are going to have to maintain these aircraft.

NEWTON: Yeah, there's apparently quite a lengthy maintenance program that goes with them, not just the training of the pilots. You know, the weapons, what kind, how sophisticated, what they're going to give Ukraine. This has been a contentious issue right throughout this conflict.

You know, eventually Ukraine has received much of what it's asked for, and yet the President of Ukraine keeps saying, look, this ponderance over these weapons is just prolonging the war. It means we can't end it soon. We don't have the firepower to end it sooner. Do you agree with them on that?


LEIGHTON: Actually, I do. I think President Zelenskyyy is quite right in this case. The West, and particularly the United States, has approached this whole situation in a very incremental fashion. And that has the impact of prolonging the war. Now, you can also say, though, that the West has provided a lot of equipment, and it has come in at the right time, like the high-mars system and, you know, some of the other weapons systems that the other countries have provided, like the German IRIS-T, for example.

All those things have been really important, plus of course the tanks. You know, you have the Challenger tanks coming from Britain, you have the Leopard tanks coming from Germany, and of course finally the Abrams tanks from the United States. So each of these is an example of the incremental approach finally being overcome by the exigencies of the battlefield, but also these weapons deliveries have been the result of Ukrainian successes. Once the Ukrainians prove that they can hold their own, the west has delivered weapon systems to them of ever increasing sophistication and capability.

NEWTON: And you don't worry that it's going to lead to escalation even if the F-16's do eventually make it to Ukraine?

LEIGHTON: Well, it's always a possibility and it has to be considered, but there are other countries on the Russian periphery like Poland, for example, and Romania that have F-16's and the Russians haven't attacked them. So of course Ukraine's a different issue, but that's one of those risks that you have like this, the Russians do have capabilities that could counter the F-16, like the S-300 missile system and the S-400 missile system.

But the Ukrainians will need some kind of capability to really exercise sovereignty over their airspace, and the F-16 is what they will need in this case, and it's important for them to get something like this weapons platform.

NEWTON: I don't have a lot of time left, Colonel, but the Patriot missile system, the Russians are trying to take it out, there was some issue that perhaps maybe it was damaged, how devastating of a blow would it be if they actually managed to take those systems out the anti-missile defense system?

LEIGHTON: Yeah, it would be a devastating blow at least in the short term of course the Ukrainians have survived without the Patriots for a long time so they could overcome this but it would be important for them to safeguard the Patriot system as much as they possibly can

NEWTON: Yeah, it has been incredibly effective over the last few days and weeks, and I'm sure that they are doing their best trying guard against that barrage of Russian missiles. Colonel Cedric Clayton for us. Thanks so much. I Appreciate it.

LEIGHTON: You bet, Paula. Anytime.

NEWTON: Florida's governor could be close, close we think, to finally entering the U.S. Presidential race. But critics say he just cost his state thousands of jobs.




NEWTON: So the man who could be, maybe, Donald Trump's greatest Republican rival is expected to officially enter the U.S. Presidential race next week. Sources familiar with the matter say Florida Governor Ron DeSantis could file his paperwork as early as Wednesday in a possible soft launch to his campaign, but the big announcement may not come until the following week.

Now over the past year, DeSantis has repeatedly targeted the Walt Disney Company, Florida's highest taxpayer by the way, after Disney publicly criticized the state law limiting classroom discussions about gender identity and sexual orientation. And now Disney is scrapping plans to build a new billion-dollar campus outside of Orlando. That would have brought 2,000 high-paying jobs to the state.

CNN's Natasha Chen has our details.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in a memo written by the Disney Chairman of Parks, Experiences and Products, Josh Tamaro said that given the considerable changes that have occurred since the announcement of this project, including new leadership and changing business conditions, we have decided not to move forward with the construction of the campus. This was not an easy decision to make, but I believe it is the right one.

This memo did not mention Governor Ron DeSantis. This does refer to the Lake Nona campus, that was supposed to be the site of this office complex east of Walt Disney World. Now, 2,000 people were supposed to move there, but now they are going to stay in Southern California.

Some people had already moved to Florida, and the chairman in that memo said they would work on an individual case-by-case basis on their options, including the possibility of returning to Burbank here in the Los Angeles area.

Governor Ron DeSantis' office, through a spokesperson, gave a statement to our colleague Steve Contorno that read, Disney announced the possibility of a Lake Nona campus nearly two years ago. Nothing ever came of the project and the state was unsure whether it would come to fruition.

Given the company's financial straits, falling market cap and declining stock price, it is unsurprising that they would restructure their business operations and cancel unsuccessful ventures.

Now, on the same day, Disney did announce that they are shutting down the Star Wars Galactic Star Cruiser at the Walt Disney World Resort. That is a premium experience for families paid thousands of dollars for a two-night voyage through the galaxy. That has only been open for about a year. Despite that announcement, Demaro in his memo did say that they are still going to invest 17 billion dollars and add 13,000 jobs to that Florida resort in the next 10 years.

The Orange County mayor said that these 2000 jobs not moving to Florida was a result of Disney not having an inclusive and collaborative work environment. The Florida Democratic Party chair said that this loss happened because of DeSantis unhinged personal vendetta against Disney.

Natasha Chen, CNN, Los Angeles.


NEWTON: The office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein now confirms her recent bout with shingles was more serious than she had first acknowledged. Now, Feinstein is back in Washington for the first time since February. On Thursday, she initially denied a "New York Times" report that she had developed encephalitis, that's a brain inflammation, while she was hospitalized.


She told CNN it had actually been the flu, but a short time later, her office set the record straight. It confirmed the senator had encephalitis, but said she had recovered. Given the seriousness of the issue, many are now wondering whether Feinstein should step down for the sake of her health. Here's what some of her fellow senators had to say.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you have confidence that she can continue to do this rigorous job?

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-NY): We're all human, and we all have health issues. And right now, she is performing as a United States Senator doing her job.

UNKNOWN: Are you worried about her ability to do her job? SEN. JOHN NEELY KENNEDY (R-LA): I can't answer that. Well, because I

don't know. I have confidence in her judgment, and her family's judgment, and her staff's judgment.


NEWTON: Now besides confirming the encephalitis, Feinstein's office also revealed that she is currently dealing with another complication of shingles known as Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, which in fact can affect the facial muscles. We'll continue to update you on how her condition progresses.

Now, Israelis once again poured into Jerusalem's Old City by the thousands as a vivid reminder of Israel's claim over eastern Jerusalem. A report from Jerusalem is straight ahead.




PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome back. I'm Paula Newton and you are watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Palestinians were mostly out of sight on Thursday as thousands of Israelis held their annual march through Jerusalem's Old City. It marks the anniversary of Israel seizing control of the mostly Muslim corridor in 1967. Since then, the March has become a magnet for Israeli nationalists with several far-right ministers joining Thursday's procession.

This year's event was largely peaceful thanks in part to heavy security. CNN's Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem and was with the marchers and has our report.


HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): By the thousands, they came nearly all in white waving Israeli flags. For these marchers, this is a celebration of when Israel took control of East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 War, giving Jews access to their holy sites in the Old City. For Palestinians, it marks the beginning of the occupation of East Jerusalem.

But in recent years, the march has also become more like a right-wing nationalist rally, and a pretext for violence between Jewish, Israelis, and Palestinians who make up most of the population in this part of the city. While most marchers were peaceful, some groups sing songs about getting revenge on Palestinians erasing their names. Others going even further chanting may your village burn.

They were emboldened by the presence of right-wing government ministers like National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who marched alongside them through the Old City into the Western Wall. Thousands of police showed how tense the situation was even before the marchers started. Using heavy-handed tactics to clear the route, including on Senior CNN Correspondent Ben Wedeman.


GOLD (voiceover): The marchers too, targeted the press throwing rocks, bottles, and cans at our position, forcing reporters to cower for cover. But Jerusalem Day has seen much more serious violence than this. It was in 2021 as the thousands of Israelis made their way to the Old City with the Palestinian militant group Hamas fired rockets toward Jerusalem, setting off an 11-day war.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad threatened the march again if any of their unnamed red lines were crossed. But this year, most of the drama stayed on the ground in clashes and scuffles and not rockets in the sky.

Hadas Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.


NEWTON: So, 10 days before Turkey's runoff election, the President's rival vow to send all migrants and refugees back to their home countries. Kemal Kilicdaroglu promises it's aimed at securing the support of a third candidate, far-right secularist, Sinan Ogan, who netted just over five percent of the vote and is now poised to become kingmaker. Kilicdaroglu needs his backing to have any real chance of beating the incumbent president, to fall just short of an outright majority.


KEMAL KILICDAROGLU, TURKISH OPPOSITION LEADER (through translator): I announced it to you here. I will send all the refugees home as soon as I come to power. Period.


NEWTON: And a programming note for our international viewers. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan joins CNN's Becky Anderson for an exclusive in-depth interview ahead of Turkey's first-ever presidential runoff.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: So, up until last Sunday, you had comfortably won every election that you have competed in. That is a remarkable record over 20 years. Now, your leadership is challenged, and you are competing in the first-ever presidential run-off in Turkish history. How confident are you, sir?

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): The current competitor has been challenging us for 15 times now. And he was defeated each time that he challenged us. And the forthcoming runoff elections which will be held next Sunday, I feel confident that my people will invest in a strong Turkish democracy. And I hope and pray that out of the runoff elections, our people will not let us down.


NEWTON: Our international viewers can watch the full interview with President Erdogan on "CONNECT THE WORLD" at 5:00 p.m. in Istanbul, at 10:00 p.m. in Hong Kong, then head to for more.


Now, a massive five-alarm fire engulfs the construction site. Details on the search and rescue operation in Charlotte, North Carolina, that's coming up.


NEWTON: Now, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will attend the Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia on Friday. That's according to two Arab diplomats who confirmed the news to CNN. Now, the high-level Summit is set to begin in the coming hours.

This year marks the controversial return of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He arrived in Jeddah on Thursday ahead of the summit, his first Arab League summit since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011. Now, Mr. Assad still controls a vast swath of Syria. Though he remains a world pariah with sanctions on his country. It's estimated the Syrian civil war has killed more than 300,000 Syrian civilians and left millions internally displaced.


A massive five-alarm fire at a construction site in Charlotte, North Carolina on Thursday, two construction workers remain unaccounted for, more than 90 firefighters responded to the scene and rescued 15 workers. Now, the flames moved very quickly and at times, if you can imagine reached more than 2000 degrees Fahrenheit or nearly 1100 degrees Celsius. The cause is still under investigation.

Now, a man has been arrested after driving through a Vatican security gate Thursday night and that's according to Vatican News which cites the Vatican press room. The car is seen -- you see it there meandering around the square. Security guards reportedly prevented him from entering when he first approached.

Moments later, he returned at a high speed and actually rammed through the gates. He made it to a courtyard where he got into the vehicle and police arrested him. A doctor assessed the man and said he was "experiencing a serious state of psycho-physical alteration."

OK, I'm Paula Newton. Thanks for joining me. "WORLD SPORT" is next for international viewers. For viewers here in North America, stay with us. We'll have more news after the break.


[02:45:40] NEWTON: Police in Farmington, New Mexico have released a chilling new video of Monday's deadly mass shooting. Now, the images from police body cameras show the chaotic moments in a neighborhood as officers confront the 18-year-old gunman. CNN's Josh Campbell has our story.



JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Police in the city of Farmington, New Mexico just released body camera footage from Monday's mass shooting after an 18-year-old allegedly opened fire indiscriminately on a neighborhood shooting nine people three of them fatally. Now, authorities walked us through the timeline.

They indicated that 79-year-old Shirley Voita was driving through this neighborhood when the suspect opens fire. She falls out of the vehicle. Two other elderly women, Gwendolyn Schofield and Melody Ivie drive up, but police believe that they were attempting to render aid when they were fatally shot as well.

Now, the suspect is 18 years old, continued walking throughout the neighborhood opening fire. Eventually, police form what's called a contact team. They go to confront that shooter.

Here are the final moments of that incident. I'll warn our viewers that what you're about to see is graphic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get back inside, people. Where's he at? The subject is down. The subject is down.

CAMPBELL: Now authorities said two police officers were injured in that exchange of gunfire. As far as the motive, authorities say that remains under investigation. Family members indicated the suspect had apparently suffered from some type of mental health issue. It was unclear whether he was seeking treatment.

As far as the weapons that were used, police say they were purchased legally including an AR-15 rifle that the suspect reportedly purchased just a month after his 18th birthday. Two other weapons police say were owned by a family member. I asked the police chief at a press conference on Thursday whether that family member is facing potential legal liability. The police chief said that is certainly a possibility as their case continues. Of course, as that investigation proceeds, yet another American community in mourning after suspect opens fire indiscriminately with an AR-15 rifle.

Josh Campbell, CNN, Los Angeles.


NEWTON: The man accused of fatally stabbing tech executive Bob Lee last month has pleaded not guilty to murder. Now, he appeared in the San Francisco courtroom on Thursday and was held in custody without bail CNN's Veronica Miracle reports.


BROOKE JENKINS, SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We believe that this was an intentional killing.

VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Prosecutors say on the night Cash App founder Bob Lee was murdered, he and suspect Nima Momeni were at Momeni's sister's apartment. They say the murder weapon, a kitchen knife, has Lee's DNA all over the blade, and Momeni's DNA all over the handle.

JENKINS: The brand of the knife used in this killing is associated with a set of cutlery that was in Mr. Momeni's sister's apartment.

MIRACLE (voiceover): Before the violent confrontation, Lee and Momeni knew each other for years. People familiar with their relationship told The Wall Street Journal, Lee was in a relationship with Momeni's sister at one point, and about three years ago Mr. Lee was together with a woman that Mr. Momeni also dated.

According to multiple sources who also spoke to the Wall Street Journal, they described Lee as a kind and generous friend who loved adventure and was part of an underground Silicon Valley scene, known as the lifestyle, where people use drugs and there's a lot of casual sex. In a statement provided to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Momeni's lawyer said there are many rumors circulating around this case, many of them untrue.

A motive or an explanation as to why this happened is still unclear. Both sides say they will not reveal more until trial. But Mr. Momeni's attorney argues there's more to this story than the police report reveals.

PAULA CANNY, ATTORNEY FOR NIMA MOMENI: My defense is it is an accident with -- a cross between self-defense and accident. There was no premeditation deliberation.

MIRACLE (voiceover): Surveillance videos of the stabbing are a critical part of this case. In court filings, Attorney Paula Canny argued those cameras don't capture audio, and the video of the stabbing is also blurry. She also says police only interviewed two witnesses after the murder and never spoke to Momeni before his arrest.


CANNY: Part of the reason we're here today is because the police didn't go and speak to Nima Momeni that night, who would have easily given them the explanation of what happened and why it happened.

MIRACLE (voiceover): District Attorney Brooke Jenkins couldn't confirm if the police ever approach Momeni before his arrest, but she says there's no question Momeni murdered Bob Lee.

MIRACLE: Nima Momeni's sister and mother were in the courtroom today. In fact, his mother held up her hands in the sign of a heart showing support for her son as he came into the courtroom. Bob Lee's family and friends were there, about 20 of them, in fact. All of them holding on to each other supporting each other through the hearing. Though nobody wanted to speak after court.

Veronica Miracle, CNN, San Francisco.


NEWTON: Advisors to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have voted to recommend Pfizer's maternal RSV vaccine on Thursday. Now, the RSV virus is the number one reason for child hospitalizations in the United States. Most children end up with mild cases though, but it can be especially dangerous for newborns.

The vaccine is given to the mother in the second or third trimester to try and provide passive immunization to their infants. Studies show this vaccine is highly effective at protecting newborns from severe infection. The recommendation now goes to the FDA for a final decision.

Now, hours after Montana's total ban on TikTok was signed into law, a group of users is suing the state. They say the new law is unconstitutional and violates their right to free speech. And as Tom Foreman reports, more legal challenges are expected.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Nearly half the country, 150 million Americans turn to TikTok for inspiration, information, and entertainment. But now, Montana is turning it off, banning the app, and potentially slapping $10,000 a day fines on App Stores making it available. The governor says with TikTok owned by a Chinese company called ByteDance, the ban is to protect Montanans' personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party. TikTok is pushing back saying the Chinese government is neither a partner nor party to information in the app.

ERIC EBENSTEIN, TIKTOK SENIOR DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC POLICY: To be clear, there's never been any evidence, never any proof about any kind of information sharing. We've steadfastly denied that.

FOREMAN (voiceover): Yet Big Sky Country is not alone. More than half of U.S. states have put some restrictions on TikTok, for example, by banning it on government devices. Many are talking about taking it further, and some federal lawmakers are also up in arms.

REP. BUDDY CARTER (R-GA): The Chinese Communist Party is engaged in psychological warfare through TikTok to deliberately influence U.S. children.

FOREMAN (voiceover): The chief fear is that the app could serve as a gateway to peddling anti-American ideas, meddling in elections, and spying. Again, TikTok disagrees.

SHOU ZI CHEW, TIKTOK CEO: We will firewall protect the U.S. data from unwanted foreign access. TikTok will remain a place for free expression and will not be manipulated by any government. FOREMAN (voiceover): Some suggest worries about Tik Tok are overblown.

REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN (D-NY): It poses about the same threat that companies like Facebook and Instagram and YouTube and Twitter pose.

FOREMAN (voiceover): And free speech advocates see a big court battle brewing.

ASHLEY GORSKI, SENIOR STAFF ATTORNEY, ACLU NATIONAL SECURITY PROJECT: The ban is blatantly unconstitutional. It's an act of political theater, it is rooted in xenophobia, and it is trampling on the free speech rights of hundreds of thousands of people in Montana.

FOREMAN: Unless the Court steps in, Montana's ban will go into effect next January. And it's worth noting it will not be directed at individual users, just the companies providing access to TikTok.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


NEWTON: Tennis star Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open due to injury. It's the first time he'll miss a tournament since he made his debut in 2005. It's quite a record.

The Spaniard who has won 22 Major titles also said that 2024 will probably be his last year in professional tennis. Nadal suffered a hip injury during his second-round defeat at the Australian Open in January. The French Open meantime begins next Monday.

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Andy Warhol violated copyright laws in his portraits of the singer, Prince. The court ruled seven to two that Warhol infringed on the copyright of celebrity photographer Lynn Goldsmith, rejecting the argument that the pop art pioneer had sufficiently transformed her original photo of the rock star. Now, it's a significant step in the debate between artistic freedom and intellectual property.


And, finally for us, nearly two decades after someone stole Hollywood's most memorable pair of slippers, I remember them, a man in Minnesota has now been charged with theft. Taken from a museum in 2005, the ruby red slippers worn by Julie Garland, you'll remember them in The Wizard of Oz, are famously associated with one of the film's most iconic scenes. Listen.


GLINDA, FICTIONAL CHARACTER: Tap your heels together three times. And think to yourself, there's no place like home.


NEWTON: Now, officers say they were left with no clues at the crime scene aside from a single red sequin. After an FBI sting operation, the shoes were recovered and now 76-year-old Terry Martin has been indicted. And finally, those shoes can't return home.

I'm Paula Newton. I want to thank you for your company. I'll be back with more CNN NEWSROOM in just a moment.