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Republican Candidates Faced Off in Miami, Without Frontrunner Donald Trump; Actors Strike Ends with a Tentative Deal; U.S. Secretary of State Met South Korean Leaders and Officials in Seoul; Ivanka Trump Testifies for her Father's Civil Fraud Trial Case; New Evidence on the Sudanese War Reveals Abuses Apparently By the RSF; Washington's National Zoo Bids Farewell to their Resident Pandas. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired November 09, 2023 - 03:00   ET




KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada, and all around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber, ahead on "CNN Newsroom."

While five Republicans running for the White House sparred on a Florida stage Wednesday night, the frontrunner Donald Trump held a rally just down the road. We'll bring you the highlights.

Plus, Israel is targeting the Hamas tunnel system in Gaza. But is it putting the hostage's life at stake? And --


UNKNOWN: It's such a feeling of joy and of triumph over adversity and not quitting.


BRUNHUBER: After 118 days on strike, Hollywood actors could soon be back at work. What we know about their tentative deal with the studios, coming up.

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

BRUNHUBER: And we begin -- in Miami, where Republican presidential hopefuls gathered on Wednesday night for the third GOP debate. All of them hoping to catch fire with voters just two months before the Iowa caucuses. With the men to beat, frontrunner Donald Trump again chose not to participate instead holding a nearby rally. The debate also came after Tuesday's election saw significant Democratic wins, only five for the other candidates qualified for the stage this time around. Each was asked why they should be the party's nominee instead of Trump. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you look where we are now, it's a lot different than we were in 2016. And Donald Trump's a lot different guy than he was in 2016. He owes it to you to be on this stage and explain why he should get another chance.

VIVEK RAMASWAMY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think there's something deeper going on in the Republican Party here. And I am upset about what happened last night. We've become a party of losers at the end of the day, who is a cancer in the Republican establishment.

CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'll say this about Donald Trump. Anybody who's going to be spending the next year and a half of their life focusing on keeping themselves out of jail and courtrooms cannot leave this party or this country. It needs to be set plainly.

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need a president and a candidate who will actually help our base solidify and attract independent voters into our party.

NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As much as I'm pro-life, I don't judge anyone for being pro-choice and I don't want them to judge me for being pro-life. No Republican president can ban abortions any more than a Democrat president can ban these state laws. So let's find consensus.


BRUNHUBER: CNN's Jeff Zeleny was at the debate in Miami and has our report.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF U.S. NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: At the third Republican presidential debate here in Miami, the race to become the leading alternative to Donald Trump was more furious and louder than ever. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took immediate aim at the former president for those Republican losses on Tuesday night.

DESANTIS: And he said Republicans were going to get tired of winning. Well, we saw last night, I'm sick of Republicans losing.

ZELENY: Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who has also served as U.N. ambassador in the Trump administration, also said it's time to move on from Donald Trump.

HALEY: Everybody wants to talk about President Trump. Well, I can talk about President Trump. I can tell you that I think he was the right president at the right time. I don't think he's the right president now. I think that he put us $8 trillion in debt, and our kids are never gonna forgive us for that. I think the fact that he used to be right on Ukraine and foreign issues, now he's getting weak in the knees and trying to be friendly again.

ZELENY: Haley has been gaining momentum in the polls because of her debate performance. She and Governor DeSantis sparred repeatedly on China, on the environment, even on the economy, and their handling of their respective governorships.

But they clearly are going after one another, trying to become, again, that leading alternative to Donald Trump. But it was South Carolina Senator Tim Scott who talked about abortion and urged both of his rivals to support a 15-week ban.

SCOTT: I would challenge both Nikki and Ron to join me at a 15-week limit. It is in our nation's best interest.

ZELENY: The winner of the evening may not have been on the debate stage at all. He of course is former president Donald Trump. Just a few miles down the road in Hialeah holding a campaign rally of his own. Of course he is a commanding lead in this race. Now about two months before voting begins in Iowa.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Miami.


BRUNHUBER: Well as you just heard, GOP front runner Donald Trump decided to skip the debate in favor of a rally in Florida. While in the Sunshine State, the former president sought to appeal to Latino voters. He compared the criminal cases against himself to political prosecutions in Cuba. Listen to this.



DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Crooked Joe Biden and the radical-left Democrats are turning the United States into communist Cuba and you know because we have a lot of great Cubans here.

Just like the Cuban regime, the Biden regime is trying to put their political opponents in jail, shutting down free speech, taking bribes and kickbacks to enrich themselves and their very spoiled children. My children aren't so spoiled, are they, huh?


BRUNHUBER: Republican strategist Noelle Nikpour was at the Rumblin debate and joins us for Miami. So you were there. What was the atmosphere like? Share some details that we wouldn't have noticed watching on T.V.

NOELLE NIKPOUR, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, when you're actually at the debate, it's pretty overwhelming because you've got so many different people supporting all the different candidates. And there were a lot of little sneers and there were some people that were, you know, doing a little bit of clapping and the moderator Lester, you know, Lester was trying to tell everyone, let's just hold the clapping at Bay.

But you could tell there were a lot of people that when there was something that really struck with the audience, that they would turn to one another and they would nod or they would give like a little thumbs up or something.

Interesting fact after the debate when everybody's walking around there were some big donors there, you know, the RJC the Republican Jewish Coalition was there. There are a lot of people talking the immediate thing they said is who do you think one who do you think did the best and overwhelmingly we kept hearing Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley.

Now, I am going to be very interested in my specialty is fundraising I want to see tomorrow and the weekend fundraising bump from this and I suspect it will be Nikki Haley because she really brought it and a lot of the commentators, a lot of the people, a lot of the feel is that she really brought it to the debate.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, interesting. It got really heated at times and we saw You know between her and you know, Vivek Ramaswamy I think she called him scum at one point the battle between those two was really personal. What do you make of the fire that she was taking and the fact that they didn't really go after the frontrunner Donald Trump?

NIKPOUR: You know, there's two thoughts of that. First of all is Donald Trump is mountains. He leaps and bounds ahead of all the candidates that are on the stage. No one is even coming close to Donald Trump's poll numbers. So there's two thoughts. You can either go like Chris Christie-style and you can attack President Trump. You can keep attacking him. Or you can try to succeed on your own merit and be sort of a breakthrough candidate on things that you are going to do.

One thing that Ron DeSantis did is he pointed out some failures that Donald Trump had, like building the wall, making Mexico pay for it, and so forth. And he's saying that he's going to pick up the job where Donald Trump failed. So you have some comments like that. Nikki Haley really straddled it well. Nikki Haley said he was the -- the best guy for that time, but it's a new time and we need a new sort of person up there. So, you know, if you call them.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, if I can jump in, the way to go after Trump used to be to say, you know, sure, the base loves him, but he's not electable in the general. But the recent polls seem to invalidate that argument. How do you think the polling may have played into some of the arguments that we either heard or didn't hear from the candidates last night?

NIKPOUR: Well, you know, what I'm hearing there is the fact that, you know, the endorsement, number one, from the Iowa governor to Ron DeSantis, on the clear fact that he may not be electable in a general. Then you have polling come out, you know, that's been coming out saying that, you know, it's showing Trump and a couple of polls that are, that's beating Biden.

So you've got a lot of scenarios with that. But I think that the key thing to look for, other than, you know, what's going on with the polls, because sometimes the polls are not always right. But one thing that is right, and that's the small donor, because if you remember what Obama did, Obama capitalized on that small donor, and those were voters, and that's a momentum, that is a momentum voter.

Anyone that's gonna give a $20 bill, you know, $100. So let's look and see where the momentum donor is. Is that going to be after the Trump rally that was, you know, 20 minutes down the street from the debate? Or is it going to be someone like Nikki Haley? Is it going to be Ron DeSantis? Is it going to be Vivek?


Who is going to get that small donor? Because that small donor, unlike the big donor that writes, you know, $100,000 checks to super PACs, that small donor giving the $20, $30, $100, that shows momentum and passion and that shows a vote.

BRUNHUBER: We'll be watching for that. We only have about a minute left, but I did want to ask you about this because it is one of the most important issues, abortion, but it seemed almost as though Tuesday's election results didn't happen. I mean, the Canada's barely discussed it, which was a surprise given how much of a decider it seems to be at the polls, and they don't seem to have moderated their positions all that much. So as a Republican strategist, I mean, does that surprise you?

NIKPOUR: No, but you know it should. Number one on the Republican Party platform is pro-life. So it's on our platform is one of our beliefs. But it's not resonating. And how many times do we have to lose elections in 2022? And now, you know, we just got a taste of it a couple of days ago. So how many more elections, especially with suburban women, are we going to lose without getting it right and at least having a discussion? Let's have a discussion that's thoughtful towards women about abortion.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, absolutely. We'll have to leave it there. Noel Nikpour, thank you so much for being here with us. I Really appreciate it.

NIKPOUR: Thanks.

BRUNHUBER: Pressures are growing about the political endgame in Gaza more than a month into Israel's war against Hamas. Israel says its troops are now in the heart of Gaza City, targeting Hamas infrastructure and commanders. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will be in charge of Gaza's overall security indefinitely after the war.

But on Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken pushed back against that. He said Gaza should not be occupied by Israel or be a staging ground for terrorism. Blinken also said the Palestinian Authority should eventually run both Gaza and the West Bank.

Now as Israel pounds Gaza, with unrelenting airstrikes. It says much of it isn't aimed at buildings and fighters on the ground, rather is turning a massive network of tunnels that Hamas uses to maneuver, hide, store weapons and maybe hold its hostages. Israel said Wednesday it's already destroyed 130 tunnel shafts. Pentagon correspondent Oren Liebermann shows us the subterranean war. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ORN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Israeli military controls the air and says they've encircled Gaza City on the ground. But underneath the surface, Hamas still has the advantage. Israel is going after Hamas' underground infrastructure.

This soldier shows an electrical system, he says, is used to circulate air underground. The IDF says it has destroyed 130 tunnel shafts since the start of the war. That's just a small fraction of what's known as Gaza's metro.

Yocheved Lifshitz, the 85-year-old Israeli woman, kidnapped and released by Hamas said through her daughter that it was like a spider web of tunnels underground.

YOCHEVED LIFSHITZ, ISRAELI WOMAN RELEASED FROM HAMAS: There are a huge, huge network of tunnels underneath.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Avi Issacharoff is an Israeli undercover operations veteran and co-writer of the hit show "Fauda."

AVI ISSACHAROFF, CO-CREATOR/CO-PRODUCER, FAUDA (NETFLIX): The amount, the spread, the white and the length and all of it, it's like so crazy that you cannot even understand to the bottom how big it is.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Israel says there are hundreds of kilometers of tunnels below Gaza. In 2018, CNN was given an exclusive look at a Palestinian Islamic Jihad tunnel inside Gaza. Its concrete walls creating a durable underground maze that favors the defender.

ISSACHAROFF: A terrorist can pump out from this hole. shoot a few shots from his AK-47 or an RPG, go down, walk like 100 meters to the east or to the south, and then... Boom, pump out from another entrance to the same tunnel and shoot again against the Israeli forces while they're trying to understand where they are.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Israel created an underground smart barrier along the Gaza border to detect the digging of tunnels crossing the border. The barrier worked, sort of. Instead of digging into Israel, militants focused on the tunnels in Gaza, a complex the IDF is now trying to destroy. The U.S. has dealt with tunnels on a different battlefield in the Middle East. ISIS dug elaborate tunnels in Mosul, Iraq, forcing the local population to help create the underground passageways. Tunnels can pose problems for even advanced militaries.

But Israel faces an even greater challenge. Hamas is believed to be holding many of the approximately 240 hostages underground, possibly in different groups. And any attempt to destroy Hamas' tunnels could sink the chances of bringing them home alive.

LIEBERMANN: Israel has known about the threat of tunnels from Gaza for a decade, if not more. But at first, the numbers were fairly low. Even in 2014, during the war between Israel and Hamas, the number of tunnels was in the dozens.


Now, however, the IDF has to deal with hundreds of kilometers of tunnels underneath Gaza, a process that is only just beginning.

Oren Liebermann, CNN, in Tel Aviv.


BRUNHUBER: And for more on all this, Elliott Gotkine joins us from London. So Elliott, what more are we learning about the differing visions for Gaza's political future?

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Kim, I suppose maybe we should first focus on what they agree on, both the United States administration and Israel agrees that Hamas can no longer remain in power in Gaza or be in a position with which to carry out attacks of a sort that they did on October the 7th or even threaten Israeli civilians.

And it's hard to see Israel really wanting to put itself in a position where it kind of outsources that security, either to the Palestinian Authority or to perhaps an international peacekeeping force of some description, perhaps including Arab allies of the United States and Israel.

What perhaps might be the likeliest scenario, in its very early days because, of course, this war is still very much ongoing, is something akin to what we see in the West Bank, where the Palestinian Authority administers part of the West Bank and Israeli forces kind of come and go, they have, in the jargon, operational flexibility to take out specific security threats.

Of course, the problem with having that scenario in the Gaza Strip is that the Palestinian Authority, having seen what's been going on in the West Bank since it's been partly administering the Israeli- occupied territory there, is they may not want to find themselves in the same position again. But on top of that, the Palestinian Authority is unpopular. It is weak. It is widely viewed as corrupt; its leader Mahmoud Abbas is in the 19th year of a four-year term and so lacks legitimacy.

And they're hardly going to want to add to that laundry list of criticisms by being seen to be some kind of puppet government of the Israelis or the United States in the Gaza Strip. Now what Abbas did say to Secretary Blinken when they met the other day is that he would consider going back into Gaza retaking control because the Palestinian Authority was in control from 2005 till 2007.

Hamas ejected it violently from the Gaza Strip then. The P.A. would go back in, but only as part of some broader political process which would have clear roadmaps towards an independent Palestinian state on land occupied by Israel in 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.

And given where we are now, given the mistrust that there is between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority, and given that certainly the current government says that it intends to have some kind of security control or overall security responsibility for the Gaza Strip.

Having the Palestinian Authority, certainly in the short term, in control of Gaza seems somewhat wishful thinking right now. As I say, we're very much still seeing the war rumble on. Israel is very much focused on that. And I don't think they spent a huge amount of time thinking about what happens the day after. The only thing that they are sure of and which the U.S. agrees on is that Hamas cannot remain in control.

And of course, the other big question, what about those 240 or so hostages that Hamas abducted on October the 7th? Even if there is some kind of military decision or some kind of agreement or possibility of the Palestinian Authority or another authority coming in to administer the Gaza Strip, how is that going to be possible unless all of those hostages are released? Kim?

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, so many unknowns. Elliott Gotkine in London, thanks so much.

In the skies above Syria, the U.S. has retaliated for a second time against Iranian-backed militias that are attacking American forces. The Pentagon says two F-15 fighter jets struck a weapons depot in eastern Syria used by Iran's Revolutionary Guard and other affiliated militias. The U.S. says it's likely the facility was housing weapons the groups were using to strike U.S. forces in the region. The Pentagon says its troops and bases in Syria and Iraq have been targeted some 40 times since October 17th.

After almost four months, the actor strike is over and --


-- the union is celebrating. What we need to know about the tentative agreement with Hollywood Studios.

And the U.S. says goodbye to some furry former residents. How diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and China may lead to the end of Panda Diplomacy. Stay with us.




BRUNHUBER: The months-long actor strike is officially over. It ended just hours after the Actors Union reached a tentative agreement with the major film and television studios late Wednesday. The group representing the studios praised the deal, saying it provides the biggest contract gains in the history of the union.

It also gives extensive compensation protections in the use of artificial intelligence, which had been one of the main sticking points. Here's what one union member from the negotiating committee had to say.


CAITLIN DULANY, ACTRESS AND SAG-AFTRA MEMBER: We worked hard to put together and have and push for a package that we felt comfortable with. And that's not an easy thing to do around A.I. because everyone is nervous about A.I. So it was a big area of concentration for us. And we weren't going to give up, you know, internally looking at that and seeing what would make us feel good and feel comfortable for our members. And it was, so it felt like a big accomplishment. It's a new thing in our contract. It's a new thing in the world and we feel good about where we are.


BRUNHUBER: The president of the Actors Union, Fran Drescher, posted on Instagram quote, "We did it. The billion-dollar deal. Three times the last contract." The agreement still has to be ratified by the roughly 160,000 members of the SAG after a union. In the last hour I asked CNN media critic Brian Lowry why the union decided to strike down. Listen to this.


BRIAN LOWRY, CNN MEDIA CRITIC: Strikes in Hollywood are traditionally driven by technology and the change to streaming has really upended the business and upended the business model of Hollywood and actors and at various levels have been suffering as have writers and other talent.


And I think once the strikes started to drag on, which is usually the way the studios to, sort of, try to break the resolve of the guilds, What instead happened was the guild said, well, if we're going to endure this pain, let's endure it now. Let's take as long as it takes to get a deal that we want. So that is, as one actor put it several months ago, so we don't have to do this again in three years.

So, you know, six months that really half this year has been sacrificed to strikes by the writers and the actors. And I think the longer it dragged on, the more they felt. that this really had to be sort of a watershed deal to justify that.


BRUNHUBER: Right now, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is on his way to New Delhi after wrapping up talks in Seoul. He met with South Korea's president and foreign minister to discuss growing military ties between North Korea and Russia and Pyongyang's suspected supply of arms to Moscow for use in Ukraine. He also thanked the president for South Korea's pledge to provide humanitarian assistance to Gaza. Here he is.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: In the Middle East, the United States appreciates Korea's leadership in condemning Hamas' terrorist attacks and in swiftly sending humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians. Today I had a chance to update Mr. Park on my travels throughout the region, and we discussed how we can better address urgent needs on the ground and set the conditions for durable peace and security.


BRUNHUBER: Washington says remains focused on the Indo-Pacific region despite other global challenges including the Israel Hamas war. Blinken's visit comes after a whirlwind trip to the Middle East and a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Tokyo.

All right. Coming up, Donald Trump's oldest daughter testifies in New York Civil Court Defense of her father. All the latest in the fraud trial against the former U.S. president. That's ahead, stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: And welcome back to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada, and all around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. This is "CNN Newsroom."

Five U.S. Republican presidential candidates took part in another raucous debate full of foreign policy arguments and name-calling. Former President Donald Trump didn't take the stage with his rivals. There was a wide range of opinions about giving more support to Ukraine, but the candidates were mostly in alignment with support for Israel in that country's war against Hamas. Here's what Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley said about that.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Finish the job, once and for all with these butchers, Hamas. They're terrorists. They're massacring innocent people. They would wipe every Jew off the globe if they could. He cannot live with that threat right by his country.

NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For everybody that's protesting on these college campuses in favor of Hamas, let me remind you something. Hamas said death to Israel and death to America. They hate and would kill you too.


BRUNHUBER: It's been more than a month since the Hamas attacks in Israel and now the war is creating discord among some Democrats in the U.S. Congress. CNN's Melanie Zanona explains.


MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, tensions in the House Democratic caucus are growing as the war in Israel has gone on and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza has escalated. Democrats are split over policy. There are some Democrats who are

pushing for absolute support of Israel, but then there are more progressive members who are calling for a ceasefire and urging the White House to also prioritize the lives of innocent Palestinian civilians. But Democrats are also divided over personalities and tactics and rhetoric.

One example is Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, Democrat who was censured on the House floor this week with the support of 22 House Democrats and a very rare rebuke for her use of an anti-Israel chant. But me and my colleagues Annie Greer and Manu Raju are also learning about another internal incident that also sparked an uproar.

It occurred a few weeks ago when the House was set to vote on a resolution that was condemning Hamas and expressing support for Israel. And our Manu Raju asked Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, she is a prominent Jewish Democrat. But the prospect of Democrats voting against that resolution. Here's what she had to say at the time.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's this vote that's gonna happen on the Israel-Hamas resolution on the floor. Are you concerned that some Democrats may not support this?

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ (D-FL): I would hope that all members would support a resolution that condemns terrorism, the brutal attacks that were perpetrated against the Israeli people that were killed. We have 218 hostages. They took 222. Someone who votes against this, I would think, doesn't have a soul.

ZANONA: So those comments were made directly before the vote, but 15 House Democrats ended up not supporting the resolution, most of them members of color and also several Muslim Democrats. And they were very upset by Wasserman-Schultz comments. They were so concerned, in fact, that they raised the issue with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. Jeffries has really been in the middle of it all. He's been trying to hear all his members and they really balance all the computing viewpoints in his very diverse caucus. But this is no doubt a debate out behind closed doors and also spilling into public view.

Melanie Zanona, CNN, Capitol Hill.


BRUNHUBER: Ivanka Trump took the witness stand in New York Wednesday testifying in the civil fraud trial against her father. The New York Attorney General says Ivanka was cordial and very courteous in court but says her testimony raises questions about her credibility. Paula Reid has the latest.


PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ivanka Trump breezed past cameras inside a New York courthouse Wednesday, not saying a word.

Ahead of her testimony in the state's $250 million civil fraud trial against her father and his company. New York Attorney General Letitia James addressed reporters before the proceedings.

LETITIA JAMES, NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL: Ivanka Trump secured, negotiated loans. to obtain favorable terms based on fraudulent statements.

REID (voice-over): But on the stand, Ivanka repeatedly said she didn't recall when she was pressed for details about several projects she worked on before she left the Trump Organization in 2017. Including the old post office in Washington, D.C., which was converted into a Trump Hotel. A deal her father says Ivanka spearheaded.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm honored to be here today to support my family and especially my daughter Ivanka for her dedication to this project.


REID (voice-over): During her testimony, Ivanka said she did not recall when asked about a deficiency letter sent by the government, requesting clarity on how the Trump organization reported its finances, including her father's financial statements.

IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: My father trained my siblings and me to see things not for what they are, but for what they can be. This is a great example of that.

REID (voice-over): The hotel was sold in 2022, and Ivanka testified she profited from that sale. She was also asked about financing for Trump's Doral Resort and Spa in Florida, and was confronted with an email she wrote to other Trump organization employees about the bank's loan term proposal, saying, it doesn't get better than this.

The bank required Donald Trump to maintain a $3 billion net worth to obtain favorable loan terms. But according to an email presented in court, Ivanka proposed changing the requirement to $2 billion as part of the loan negotiations, even though Trump's 2011 financial statements estimated his net worth at $4.2 billion. They finally agreed to $2.5 billion, but the exchange is significant because the attorney general is accusing Trump of falsifying his net worth in order to get better loan rates.

Ivanka Trump was previously dismissed as a co-defendant in this case, and in a previous deposition, she tried to distance herself from her father's financial statements.

I. TRUMP: I don't specifically know what was prepared on his behalf for him as a person.

REID (voice-over): And during cross-examination by her father's attorney, Ivanka testified about the relationship she cultivated with the bank. and their willingness to do business with Trump's company. She testified the bank had tremendous excitement to have our account.

REID: Trump's lawyers will now put on their defense, which is expected to begin next week. Ivanka's cross-examination provided a preview of how they're likely to emphasize how the banks were overpaid and there's no victim here. But it's unclear if that'll be enough to persuade the judge. The judge has already found them liable for fraud, is focused now on penalties which could include hundreds of millions of dollars and or preventing the Trump organization from doing business in the state of New York.

Paula Reid, CNN, Washington.


BRUNHUBER: Thousands of Palestinians scramble to get away from fighting in Gaza City, but some of the civilians using the evacuation corridors set up by the IDF say they're encountering along the way. Stay with us.




BRUNHUBER: The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights is accusing both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes. He accuses Israel of carrying out collective punishment on civilians in Gaza, which he says amounts to a war crime, and so does the forcible evacuation of civilians.

The U.N. Human Rights Chief says the atrocities committed by Hamas during its terror attack on Israel last month are also war crimes, along with the continued holding of hostages. In response, Israel says its attacks on military targets are subject to international law, out assessments on whether the potential damage to civilians is excessive compared to the expected military gains.

Meanwhile, as Israeli troops tighten their grip on Hamas in Gaza City, Palestinian civilians are fleeing south. The UN says at least 40,000 of them have made the harrowing journey since Saturday using temporary evacuation routes created by the IDF. But as Salma Abdelaziz reports, what they describe seeing along the way is nothing short of horrific.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Taking only what they can carry, families are fleeing Gaza City. They wave white flags made of anything they can find.

And as the sounds of war echo around them, they signal yet again that they are innocents.

Now we're supposed to be in the safe area, but you can hear the bombs behind us, he says. All of our houses are gone, nothing is left.

The Israeli military has been calling for weeks on all those living in the northern part of the strip to move southwards, most recently opening what it called safe corridors for limited windows of time, pushing thousands here to Salah al-Din street where evacuees describe a harrowing journey. We saw along the road destruction, dead bodies everywhere and the

Israeli tanks would demand to search the youth. She says, we saw one young man stripped naked. We witnessed unbearable scenes.

The only way to reach the route is by foot or by cart for those who can find room.

There was heavy shelling on our neighborhood, and we were forced to flee. We have to use these donkey carts because there's no fuel, he says. They cut everything off to force us out of our homes.

Israeli troops are now in the heart of Gaza City, as Israel's defense minister apparently declared the entire city, the whole of the enclave's largest population center, a legitimate target.

YOAV GALLANT, ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): Gaza is biggest heavy stronghold, a mankind desert built. This whole city is one big terror base. Underground, they have kilometers of tunnels connecting to hospitals and schools.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): The U.N. calls this exodus forcible displacement and accuses Israel of the collective punishment of some two million people.

And many fear they will never be allowed to return home. Some here say this is reminiscent of the Nakba, the Arabic term for the expulsion of Palestinians from their towns during the founding of Israel.

We walked a very long way. It felt like the Nakba of 2023, she says. We walked by dead people who were ripped to shreds. Children were very tired because there was no water. People were dying and there were elderly who couldn't walk.

And for those who do make it, bombardment and siege await them in the South too. There is no true escape.

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.


BRUNHUBER: And if you like to help with humanitarian relief efforts for Gaza and Israel, you can go to, and you can find a list of vetted organizations that are providing assistance. That's

Almost seven months into the Sudanese civil war between the RSF and the Sudanese army, we bring new evidence and eyewitness testimony about the abuses millions of civilians are facing in Western Darfur. Now the evidence includes a series of newly obtained videos showing suspected RSF forces abusing ethnic minority civilians under their control.


All right. I'll bring in Senior International Correspondent David McKenzie. So David, what more are we learning about these videos? DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we

know is that there has been a pattern for some time of targeted ethnic killings, allegedly, against the African minorities in that part of West Darfur from, it seems, the rapid support forces and their aligned Arab militia. Now, what we see in these videos is quite disturbing.

In the first one I want to show you, you have these armed men whipping, hitting, and racially abusing this collection of men, squatting on the floor, some of them looking terrified at their situation. We've geolocated these videos to an area of part of El Geneina, one of the centers of West Darfur, in particular to a zone called Ardamata near the military installation that has been recently taken over by the RSF that was partially controlled by government forces in recent weeks.

Because of this fighting and what appears to be at the very least abuse and rounding up of civilians and others in that zone, you've had many people streaming over the border. The fear is that perhaps even worse atrocities were committed in the last few weeks, like we saw in that city earlier this year. We put the question to the RSF about the allegations. In part, they say we can confirm no incidents of ethnic cleansing or tribal conflict took place in Ardamata. The RSF does not target civilians. Today we are fighting side by side with the people of Sudan to restore our country to a democratic rule.

Well, frankly, the evidence that has developed over several months, more than seven months as you, almost seven months that you described, Kim, has shown otherwise. There has been witness accounts, CNN's own reporting, U.N. investigations that speak to multiple mass graves, a huge amount of displacement and abuse of these populations.

Many of them are streaming over into Chad. In recent days, Doctors Without Borders says that area has seen a rapid influx, some 7,000 people coming over in just a few days, more than the entire previous month combined. This is the testimony of one young woman who managed to flee. She certainly doesn't speak of the forces there acting with the interests of civilians at heart.


SUDANESE REFUGEE (through translator): They told me that my brother was killed and we don't know where he is. I, my mother, and my sister's children came. We don't know where my father is. We couldn't find him. They burned everything and took everything. We did not bring anything with us, only God and our clothes.


MCKENZIE: From a military standpoint, the RSF has consolidated control of several parts of Darfur. They say they want to move to the north, to Al-Fashir, another very significant center of population. That could mean more potential alleged atrocities like we are seeing in the past few days. Kim?

BRUNHUBER: Well, really disturbing. Senior international correspondent David McKenzie in Johannesburg. Thanks so much. We'll be right back.



BRUNHUBER: Three of the most popular residents at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. are on their way to China. They were shipped by FedEx on a plane dubbed the Panda Express. It's a sign of the escalating tensions between Beijing and the U.S. and maybe the end of what's been known as Panda Diplomacy.

CNN's David Culver has details.


DAVID CULVER, CNN SR. U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For weeks, visitors at the National Zoo in Washington have stopped by to say goodbye.

UNKNOWN: I want to make sure to see them before they leave.

CULVER (voice-over): The zoo's three giant pandas now headed to China. Zoo staff call this a hiatus in their five decade wildly popular panda program. But Chinese officials will not say for sure if the pandas will be back.

You might wonder why this even matters. There are of course far more pressing issues between the U.S. and China. But as we look deeper, tracking where pandas are leaving, and where they're going, you get a better sense of the new world order China's hoping to craft.

These cuddly creatures used for China's major political and diplomatic needs, especially in places where it hopes to gain. But China says its focus is on conservation and research.

Beijing's Panda Diplomacy with Washington, as it's called, kicked off in 1972, following President Nixon's historic visit to China. Chairman Mao Zedong gifted two pandas to the U.S. Seeing their popularity rise amongst Americans, China sent more pandas to other zoos across the U.S., eventually loaning instead of gifting them, sometimes for up to half a million dollars per year.

At its height, there were 15 pandas in the United States, but in the last decade the numbers have dropped, coinciding with worsening U.S.- China relations, with the three pandas having now left the National Zoo. That only leaves four pandas in the U.S., currently at Atlanta Zoo. The contracts for those pandas expire next year. No word on any extension.

CULVER: And that could mean that by the end of 2024, the only panda in zoos in all of the Americas would be Xin Xin, right here in Mexico City.

CULVER (voice-over): Xin Xin belongs to Mexico. She's 33. Old for a panda, but still a main attraction here. And they're bracing for a possible surge in visitors.

CULVER: What would you say to Americans who may not have a panda to visit at their zoo looking for a visit?


CULVER (voice-over): The pandas that leave the U.S. travel to China by plane. Their destination? The Chengdu research base of giant panda breeding.


Earlier this year, video surfaced on Chinese social media claiming pandas returning from the Memphis Zoo were being abused, a narrative partially fueled by Chinese state media. Chinese doctors defended the zoo's treatment of the panda, but others highlighting countries where pandas are seemingly living the life, like Russia.

Not surprisingly, China's northern neighbor got a new pair in 2019. President Xi Jinping alongside his so-called best friend, Vladimir Putin, at Moscow Zoo. China has also loaned out new giant pandas to other countries, including E.U. nations like Denmark, Finland and Germany. And in the Middle East, Qatar are getting their first panda last year.

Regions where China is looking to bolster its relations and increase its influence. Staff at the National Zoo hopeful China might one day send over more giant pandas.

BOB LEE, DIRECTOR OF ANIMAL CARE, NATIONAL ZOO: We're hopeful for the future. So we have submitted an application that's being reviewed.

CULVER (voice-over): But that is up to China to decide.

CULVER: Zoo officials tell me they have no plans to ask either the State Department or the White House for help here. Instead, they'll just hope that their Chinese counterparts grant them a continuation in the panda program.

David Culver, CNN, Los Angeles.


BRUNHUBER: Thanks so much for watching. I'm Kim Brunhuber. "CNN Newsroom" continues now with Max Foster and Bianca Nobilo.