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CNN International: Palestinian Casualties in West Bank Growing Amid IDF Raids; Trump Employees Could Testify at Trial; Growing Concern Over Ethnic Killings in West Darfur; Vatican to Allow Baptism for Some Transgender People and Babies of Same-Sex Couples. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired November 10, 2023 - 04:30   ET



SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: The Louisiana Right to Life Educational Committee, as well as a general listing on this disclosure forms for various clients.

Now lawmakers, they are not required to reveal the amounts of money their spouses are earning, but Johnson actually does in some of the earliest disclosure forms. He reveals that she's made about $45 to $50,000 a year, but he has not declared her salary since 2021. Again, all of this a very limited snapshot into her side of the earning for the family.

Sunlen, Serfaty, CNN, on Capitol Hill.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead, Palestinians have dealt with violence and restrictions in the West Bank for years, but now they're -- well, it's getting even worse. Details coming up.


FOSTER: Welcome back to our viewers in the U.S. and all around the world. I'm Max Foster and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Now in the West Bank, raids have become a daily occurrence as part of Israel's counter terrorism offensive for Palestinians living there. The violence and restrictions are something they've been dealing with for years. Except now they say it's getting worse. CNN's Nada Bashir. Has our report and a warning. It does contain graphic images.



NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Yet another Israeli incursion into the occupied West Bank. Yet more violence. Palestinians here in the Al Amari refugee camp taking cover from incoming tear gas fired by Israeli forces. IDF raids have become a daily occurrence here. Israel's military says it is targeting armed Palestinian groups as part of the counterterrorism operation.

But the number of casualties amongst Palestinians is growing with each passing day, with more than 170 killed in the last four weeks alone, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

In downtown Ramallah, daily life continues. But the impact of Israel's often violent security tactics are felt by all.

The occupation has always been an issue. It affects us economically and it affects our daily lives too. Each and every day Palestinians are killed or injured here. There are Israeli raids every day too and people are still being forcibly evicted from their homes.

The signposts of Israel's decades-long occupation are evident here. From the concrete separation walls, to checkpoints and watch towers. And a dual legal and political system which, according to U.N. rights experts, privileges Israelis in illegal settlements over a more than three million-strong Palestinian population. In other words, U.N. and other human rights experts say, a system of apartheid.

Mariam Barghouti, a Palestinian journalist and analyst living in the occupied West Bank, tells me Israel's repressive tactics were intensifying long before the beginning of the war in Gaza.

MARIAM BARGHOUTI, PALESTINIAN JOURNALIST AND ANALYST: I think it's wrong to try and see as restrictions getting worse. They have reached the climax of repression and the climax of violence. It's not just getting worse. We're reaching points of no return. And Palestinians have warned against this in 2021. And these warnings were not taken seriously. In the West Bank, there is no capability to fight back. Israel has access and control over movement, entry of resources and the narrative.

BASHIR (voice-over): But just as violence in the occupied West Bank intensifies, so do Israel's airstrikes on Gaza.

The Israeli government has made clear its intention to rid Gaza of Hamas in its entirety, signaling that Israel will seek to establish overall security responsibility over Gaza for an indefinite period of time, with indications that a system similar to that in the West Bank could be on the table. But such proposals have been characterized by the Biden administration as a mistake.

ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We must also work on the affirmative elements to get to a sustained peace. These must include the Palestinian people's voices and aspirations at the center of post- crisis governance in Gaza. It must include Palestinian-led governance and Gaza unified with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority.

BASHIR (voice-over): But even under the Palestinian Authority's leadership in the occupied territories, Israel's security presence is pervasive. Palestinian homes frequently raided, torched and bulldozed. Palestinian families in a constant cycle of mourning and hopes for a viable Palestinian state slowly eroded.

Nada Bashir, CNN in Ramallah.


FOSTER: The UN says the war could set the Palestinian economy back decades in Gaza and the West Bank. The organization says the number of Palestinians living in poverty has risen by some 300,000 since the start of conflict. It finds that poverty has risen by 20 percent in the West Bank and Gaza. Employment down more than 60 percent in Gaza alone, and the Palestinian GDP has fallen more than 4 percent.


ABDALLAH AL DARDARI, DIRECTOR, REGIONAL BUREAU FOR ARAB STATES, UNDP: Not just Gaza, for the Palestinian economy to lose four percent of GDP in one month that's not comparable to any conflict where you have seen before. The Syrian economy used to lose one percent of GDP per month.


FOSTER: The UN predicts an 11 to 16 year set back for Palestinians in what it calls human development. That includes things like health, education, growth and business.

Now Donald Trump speaking out about the Israel Hamas war in an interview with the Spanish language Univision News. The former U.S. President said he was surprised Israel was caught off guard by Hamas's deadly attack on October the 7th. As for how the U.S. could help, he suggested a hands-off approach.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So you have a war that's going on, and you're probably going to have to let this play out. You're probably going to have to let it play out because a lot of people are dying. It should have never started. There is no hatred like the Palestinian hatred of Israel and Jewish people, and probably the other way around also.


I don't know you know, it's not as obvious, but probably that's it too. So sometimes you have to let things play out.


FOSTER: Well, CNN is learning more about the witnesses who could be called in Trump's upcoming criminal trial in Florida. The former U.S. President is facing 37 counts -- charges related to the alleged mishandling of classified documents, kept at his Mar-a-Lago Resort in Palm Beach. The new details obtained by CNN helped paint a picture of how federal prosecutors may be structuring their case. CNN's Katelyn Polantz has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: We're now getting a picture of just how many witnesses, or the types of witnesses who may be called to testify against Donald Trump at his upcoming trial on the handling of documents in Florida.

So this is exclusive new reporting from Paula Reid and I here at CNN. And what we've learned is that there are notable figures around Donald Trump, people from this White House, people who may be former intelligence official, Secret Service agents, political advisers, and others, who are very likely possible witnesses against Trump at that trial the prosecutors will call.

But there are also lower-level workers. Staff members at Mar-a-Lago, even contract employees who were coming in and out of his Florida resort property, who could be witnesses in this case. And could build this picture that prosecutors want to tell a jury about on how unsecure these documents were that Donald Trump had after the presidency.

Those people include a plumber, a maid, a chauffeur, a woodworker even -- and we have heard what some of these people were seeing. So the maid was someone that was cleaning Donald Trump's bedroom suite, and that when Trump found out that she was a person of interest to investigators and would be speaking with investigators for this possible case, he went ballistic. That is what one source told us.

The woodworker, for instance, that person was putting crown molding in Donald Trump's bedroom, and when he was putting it into the bedroom, when he was installing it, he noticed stacks of papers that relying around or stack of papers that appeared so suspicious to him, that he thought might be some sort of top secret or classified material. He didn't actually know what he was seeing.

But this is the sort of story that prosecutors may want to put on the witness stand, and have that person tell just to show how suspicious it was. How things were lying around the resort, and how the national security material was ultimately found there was being handled by Donald Trump and others. A very important aspect of their case going forward.

That's just a glimpse into what may be seen in this trial. Right now the trial is set for May of next year, but it's unclear if that date is going to hold. The federal judge overseeing this case in Florida is looking at potentially moving that date, and other dates in the case. There are a bunch of deadlines on hold right now and we are waiting for that judge to say when that trial actually will take place, and there's a possibility that these witnesses may not be telling the story to the public or to the jury until after the presidential election.

Katelyn Polantz, CNN, Washington.


FOSTER: More than a dozen suspicious letters have been sent to public officials around the U.S., most of them election officials. Officers in the states of Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California and Georgia have received the letters, some of which contained a powdery substance. Georgia's Secretary of State called the situation domestic terrorism.


BRAD RAFFENSPERGER, GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE: If they don't condemn this, then that where the for the office that they're running for, this is domestic terrorism and it needs to be condemned by anyone that holds elected office and anyone that wants to hold elected office.


FOSTER: Officials in Washington say the letter they received contained fentanyl. Georgia authorities suspect the potentially deadly drug was also in their parcel. Some 150 election workers in Washington state evacuated their workplace on Wednesday after the letter was received.

Now disturbing new videos have raising concern over the possibility of ethnic cleansing in West Darfur. Details and the reaction from the U.S. ahead.



FOSTER: The U.S. embassy in Khartoum says it is deeply disturbed by eyewitness reports of ethnic targeting in West Darfur. The statement came after CNN geolocated disturbing videos. They show members of African ethnic groups who appeared to have been rounded up by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. More details from CNN's David McKenzie and a warning, his report contains graphic images.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The evidence of alleged atrocities in Western Darfur keep on piling up. On Wednesday we brought you these videos, geolocated to the outskirts of El Geneina in Western Darfur. It shows Rapid Support Forces and other aligned militia, we believe, rounding up people from largely African ethnicities in that city. In some cases abusing them physically, in other cases racially abusing them verbally.

We don't know what exactly happened to these individuals who look terrified in the video. This is all taking place here in El Geneina, in western Darfur, in the region we believe close to an army base where the RSF attacked in recent days.

And I want to show you this disturbing image, which shows these 12 bodies. We've blurred some of those bodies, but you get a sense of the atrocities that have been happening in that region. We've managed to geolocate this image to the same area of some of those videos but we do not know yet whether it's the same individuals you see in the videos that are in the still image nor do we know exactly when this image was taken. The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum has said they're deeply disturbed by the eyewitness accounts of ethnic targeting happening in West Darfur. Thousands have been streaming over the border into Chad in recent days, according to Doctors Without Borders, but there's no sign of the violence abating. And the RSF, who denies any involvement in ethnic killings or targeting in a response to our query, says that they will be pushing on to another major center in that region.

David McKenzie, CNN, Johannesburg.


FOSTER: Breaking news just into CNN. New social media details in Gaza City wounded people seen at what is described as an outpatient clinic at Al-Shifa Hospital. It's not clear exactly what happened, but witnesses saying there are Israeli strikes in that area. CNN has reached out to the IDF for comment. The hospital has become a crowded refuge for thousands of displaced people, of course. And the Israeli military claims Hamas fighters are hiding in tunnels beneath that hospital.


Now a new ruling by the Vatican Doctrine Department will allow some transgender people and children of same sex couples to be baptized in the Catholic Church. New rules say a person who identifies as transgender can be baptized like any other adult, as long as there's, quote, no risk of causing scandal or disorientation to other Catholics. While baptisms also are allowed for children of same sex couples, as long as the child is likely to be taught the Catholic faith.

Vatican also wrote, quote: The church is not a toll house. It is the House of the Father where there is a place for everyone with all of their problems.

Now from Liverpool to Colombia, high sighs of relief after guerrilla group -- AA Guerrilla Group released a football star's father who had been kidnapped. We'll have details on that next.


FOSTER: Queen Camilla of the U.K., attending the 95th Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in London on Thursday. It commemorates those who lost their lives serving in Britain's armed forces. The Queen placed a small wooden cross at the grave of the unknown soldiers from both world wars.


During the entire month of November, the Royal family wears crimson poppy pins to honor fallen troops.

On Saturday Armistice Day, the U.K. will observe two minutes of silence at 11a.m. The father of Liverpool, football star Luis Diaz, is now free after a

Colombian guerrilla group released him on Thursday. We're told Luis Diaz senior was handed over to representatives of the UN and a local Catholic Church. He was kidnapped last month at a gas station in northern Colombia by armed men from the ELN -- National Liberation Army.


LUIS MANUEL DIAZ, FATHER OF LIVERPOOL PLAYER LUIS DIAZ (through translator): I want to thank God for this second chance to return home and thank all the people of Colombia for all the support they have shown to my family. Thank you all. I love you very much.


FOSTER: The younger Diaz had been pleading for his father's release. He played and scored on Sunday and under his kit was the message freedom for papa.

Before we go, take a look at this. That is actor Jared Leto, scaling New York's Empire State Building. Leto is not only an Oscar winner, he's also the lead singer of the band 30 Seconds to Mars. And now he is the first person to legally climb the famous skyscraper. The climb wasn't just for thrills. Leto used it to announce the band's next world tour starting in March in Buenos Aires.

Thanks for joining me here on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster in London. "EARLY START" with Kasie is up next.