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Gaza's Al-Quds Hospital Almost Out Of Fuel; According To WHO, 250 Attacks On Medical Facilities in Gaza, West Bank; Israeli Ambassador Says They're Helping Gaza More Than U.N.; NYC Mayor Eric Adams' Phones And iPad Seized; U.S. President And V.P. Work To Build On Recent Democratic Victories; Number Of Gazans Displaced Nears 1.6 Million; Woman Shot Crossing Texas Border Speaks Out; Hollywood Strike Ends. Aired 5-6a ET
Aired November 11, 2023 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Welcome to all of you watching. I'm Kim Brunhuber.
Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, a barrage of explosions over Gaza as Israeli troops surround hospitals that are already on the brink of collapse. We're live in Tel Aviv with the latest.
Plus New York City mayor's cell phones seized, the FBI ratcheting up a fundraising investigation and bringing it directly to Eric Adams. What the mayor has to say.
And President Biden deploys Kamala Harris to South Carolina as he tries to rebuild his coalition. We'll look at what this says about the 2024 presidential campaign.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Kim Brunhuber.
BRUNHUBER: It's now noon in Gaza and a warning from the Al-Quds Hospital that it's almost out of fuel for its generators. In a statement the Palestine Red Crescent said 500 patients are at risk of losing vital medical care and people in the ICU will likely die.
It's appealing for immediate aid, especially fuel. CNN crews witnessed heavy Israeli strikes overnight in northern Gaza. Israel announced on Friday that the death toll from the October 7th terrorist attack had been revised downward to 1,200. No explanation for the revision was offered.
According to the Hamas-run health ministry, 11,000 people have died in the war, including 4,000 children.
Meanwhile, we're learning about a potential deal to get many more hostages freed. A senior U.S. official tells CNN the proposal would require a sustained pause in the fighting that would last for several days.
Now all of this as Arab leaders prepare to discuss the war and its impact during a joint emergency summit in Riyadh of both the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Clare Sebastian is standing by. Let's begin with Gustavo Valdes in Tel Aviv.
What is the latest there?
GUSTAVO VALDES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, overnight, we witnessed another fierce attack in northern Gaza. First late at night, we saw this large display of flares and explosions in northern Gaza. That attack seemed to have lasted into the early hours of the morning, showing that the Israeli army is continuing to gain territory inside Gaza.
The Israeli Defense Forces said they are ready to go and operate on any arena that threatens the Israeli security. Even yesterday the prime minister went and visited with the troops.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL (through translator): The mission is divided into two, deterrence from the north -- and some of you were there -- and decision in the south.
The decision is the elimination of Hamas. We are not going back to the situation we are in. And with God's help and with your help, this is what will be. Our fighters are there inside the territory, trusting you, the people of Israel trusting you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: So I spoke earlier about the situation at hospitals being so desperate. Questions are being asked about yet another explosion at a hospital in Gaza.
What more are we learning about that?
VALDES: What we know is, unfortunately, the Israeli offensive is also taking place around civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, because Israel insists that Hamas has been using locations nearby or under hospitals or refugee camps. So they have to go there.
One of those places -- and we have images from earlier this week -- is in Al-Quds Hospital, where we had a situation like that but also another place that has been seeing some fighting and where people who believe they were safe in this place have been injured under attacks.
VALDES: Another hospital is where Doctors without Borders say they have lost all communication with their personnel. And that's a matter of concern for them to the point that the World Health Organization is saying that what's happening in the hospital in Gaza is of concern for everyone.
To the point that the calls for a cease-fire continues to grow, the most recent voice to join is the French president Macron.
BRUNHUBER: Thanks so much. Appreciate it.
CNN's Clare Sebastian joins us from London on the joint emergency summit.
Take us through what we're expecting to potentially come out of this.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kim. This is a very significant diplomatic show of force. The Saudi government made the decision to combine two emergency meetings into what is going to be a very large meeting.
I think likely that we'll see some coalescing around the calls for a cease-fire, which we have seen from the Arab League and many countries taking part in this meeting. It is delicate. They have called not only for a cease-fire but a revival of the long-term peace process toward a two-state solution.
And many people are looking to avoid a spillover of this conflict, which is something many have been worried about. We do see the Iranian president very strikingly in Saudi Arabia very soon after that delicate rapprochement.
But his country has the power to call for an escalation, if they choose, being the primary backer of Hamas and Hezbollah. They have not done that yet. And Raisi is putting a lot of store in this meeting, saying on his way there that he's looking for decisive, actionable and implementable decision on Gaza.
He also warned earlier in the week, if the meeting was not effective, that could lead to the possibility of a spillover because of frustration with the ineffectiveness of Muslim governments' pressure piling up on this meeting to really come up with something concrete.
I think aside from coalescing around calls for a cease-fire, you're likely to see growing frustration and anger, signs of what we have already seen, with the U.S. and the West for their support of Israel.
We have certainly seen diplomatic cables that show rising anger and frustration in Arab and Muslim countries. There's been attacks on U.S. forces in the region. So certainly the U.S. and the West will be watching this meeting very closely for that.
BRUNHUBER: Absolutely. And more on diplomacy and negotiations around a deal for a large group of hostages. Walk us through what we know about this.
SEBASTIAN: Negotiations have been taking place for many weeks. They have come close to what seemed like a deal before. So with that caveat, a senior U.S. administration official, who is familiar with the talks, said a deal is being considered, which would involve a sustained pause for several days implemented by Israel and Gaza.
In exchange for a large group of hostages being allowed to leave, if that deal came to pass, the hostages would be taken out gradually, women and children first. As said, we don't know, there's no guarantee of success.
But this is something that is being considered. And this track is very important. Not only for the safety of the 240 hostages but Israel has so clearly tied the release of those hostages to any kind of cease- fire. That's why we see such intense work taking place.
BRUNHUBER: Appreciate it. Thank you so much.
America's tone on the war is starting to shift slightly. On Friday, the secretary of state Antony Blinken made one of his most direct condemnations yet of the growing civilian casualties in Gaza. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Much more needs to be done to protect civilians and to make sure that the humanitarian system reaches it. Far too many Palestinians have been killed. Far too many have suffered these past weeks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: For more analysis we're joined by Peter Layton.
Thank you so much for being here with us. As we just saw there, we're seeing a shift in the U.S. language toward the way Israel is prosecuting the war.
PETER LAYTON, VISITING FELLOW, GRIFFITH ASIA INSTITUTE: I think the tone of the Israeli incursion is gradually running out. The U.S. is gradually losing patience. By the same token, we have to understand that the Hamas strategy is to perhaps take advantage of these civilian deaths.
LAYTON: Hamas has carefully placed military forces around and under hospitals and other infrastructure, which has seen tens of thousands are clustered. To destroy Hamas means Israel will need to use firepower.
If it follows normal military doctrine, Hamas now appears counting on external pressure driven by the high levels of civilian deaths, particularly as your reporter said, those women and children, to stop the attack and allow Hamas to claim some form of victory. So the Hamas strategy is to exploit these civilian deaths.
BRUNHUBER: What effects might this number of deaths and the change in the U.S. posture have on the battlefield?
The U.S. does have leverage over Israel if it wants to exert it.
But politically can President Biden afford to be seen as anything other than supporting Israel? LAYTON: You're right. I think that much of this would have to go on behind the scenes. All the same, Secretary Blinken has been, sort of over the last couple days, has made comments about the kind of post war peace that the U.S. want wants.
I think Hamas is also hoping that external pressure will force Israel into a two-state solution. The Israelis over the last three decades have been unwilling to adopt a two-state solution. And they are hoping that external pressure from the rather tragic war will force Israel.
So there's some opportunities for the U.S. to leverage some of that military aid to encourage Israel into looking to a post war. At present, the Israelis don't seem willing. There's been lot of threats and discussions of the dangers. But there's nothing promising there as all.
BRUNHUBER: Meanwhile, we're seeing this Islamic summit taking place in Riyadh. They say they want concrete action, not words.
What do you expect to come out of this?
And could it end up affecting the course of this war?
LAYTON: At the present time, that doesn't seem likely. But having said that, in the next week or so, anything is possible there. So there's a huge looming problem here that, as the Israelis destroy Hamas -- and they are doing that relatively quickly -- they will leave behind probably about 1 million homeless people.
The Israelis have been very careful about saying that they won't help Gaza at all after the war. The humanitarian task will be immense. Those various Arab nations could certainly help with the humanitarian crisis, which is being made right now.
BRUNHUBER: Finally before with we go, we learned a bit more about a deal that they are trying to work out, a large group of hostages in exchange for several days, perhaps pause in the attack.
From a military point of view, why do you think Israel might be reticent to do this?
LAYTON: They want the to keep the pressure up on Hamas. If Hamas is willing to a deal, that suggests that Hamas is starting to get more and more worried. So Israelis want to kill Hamas completely so there's a combination of factors.
Israelis need to get a move on. It is surprising that Hamas haven't offered to release hostages and at least try Israel's comment sometimes about they would have a cease-fire if Hamas gave up the hostages. It would seem something would be worthwhile trying from a Hamas point of view.
BRUNHUBER: We'll have to leave it there. Peter Layton, really appreciate your analysis as always. Thank you so much.
LAYTON: Thank you. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BRUNHUBER: During a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, the Palestinian ambassador begged for help to, quote, "stop the massacre in Gaza."
He said, quoting again, "They want us out of their country, out of our country, out of our land," and accused Israel of targeting hospitals. The Israeli ambassador pushed back blaming Hamas, saying Israel is doing, quote, "far more than the U.N. to help people in Gaza."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GILAD ERDAN, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Dear colleagues, Israel is taking action to mitigate civilian casualty. We prefer to take proactive steps, because, unlike Hamas and U.N. buddies, we cherish life and hold it sacred.
ERDAN: This is why Israel is in advanced talks with the United Arab Emirates, with the ICRC and with other European countries regarding the establishment of field hospitals and floating hospital ships.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: If you'd like to help humanitarian relief efforts, head to cnn.com/impact. You can find a list of vetted organizations.
Much more to come here on CNN. We'll tell you about the campaign fundraising investigation that prompted the FBI to seize electronic devices belonging to the mayor of New York City.
Plus the vice president heads to South Carolina, hoping to use recent Democratic victories to build support for a Biden-Harris reelection bid. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: Electronic devices belonging to New York City mayor Eric Adams have been seized by the FBI. He hasn't been accused of any wrongdoing but two phones and an iPad were taken as part of a federal investigation --
BRUNHUBER: -- into whether his mayoral campaign conspired with a local company to funnel foreign money to campaign coffers. Gloria Pazmino explains.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) GLORIA PAZMINO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is certainly a significant escalation of the investigation into whether the mayor's 2021 campaign conspired with foreign nationals to help funnel donations into campaign coffers.
As you know, foreign nationals are not allowed to make political contributions here in the United States. And last week we learned that the mayor's chief fundraiser was raided by the FBI. She has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
But almost a week later, we have learned that FBI agents approached mayor Eric Adams on a New York City street and presented him be a warrant to seize electronic devices. The mayor was delivering a speech at a public engagement on Monday evening.
After he left there, sources close to the mayor tell me the FBI agents approached him in public. They asked his NYPD detail to step aside. And then they got into the mayor's city-issued vehicle and presented him with this warrant.
The mayor then turned over his devices, two cell phones and an iPad, and then he went home later that evening and collected more electronic devices, including two old phones, and turned them over to the federal authorities.
Now we should make it clear that the mayor has also not been accused of any wrongdoing. And here's what he had to say in a statement.
He said, "As a former member of law enforcement, I expect all members of my staff to follow the law and fully cooperate with any sort of investigation. And I will continue to do exactly that. I have nothing to hide."
Now following the raid of the mayor's top fundraiser last week, the campaign conducted a review of records to determine if there had been any sort of wrongdoing. They apparently came up with some information showing that there was wrongdoing by one person. That's according to my sources close to the mayor.
What is less clear is whether or not that wrongdoing amounts to criminal activity. That will be determined by the investigation. But this is certainly getting closer and closer to mayor Eric Adams.
BRUNHUBER: An attorney for Adams also released a statement, which read in part, quote, "The mayor has not been accused of any wrongdoing and continues to cooperate with the investigation."
BRUNHUBER: Fresh from a swing of Democratic victories, President Biden is working to shore up the coalition that carried him to the White House. He sent Vice President Kamala Harris to South Carolina to file officials campaign paperwork. Here's Eva McKend.
EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Vice President Kamala Harris on the trail in South Carolina.
KAMALA HARRIS, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: Officially presented with our papers (ph).
MCKEND: Filing paperwork for the Biden-Harris team to appear on the state's Democratic primary ballot.
HARRIS: It was South Carolina that created the path to the White House for Joe Biden and me.
MCKEND: In 2020, Biden's decisive South Carolina primary victory helped propel him to the party's nomination.
HARRIS: I'm here to say thank you. I am here to say let's do it again.
MCKEND: Harris also taking a moment to celebrate big Democratic election wins this week.
HARRIS: We are here with the wind in our back because did anyone notice what happened on Tuesday?
MCKEND: President Biden also tired those wins at a Chicago fundraiser Thursday, blaming Donald Trump for the Republican losses, saying we haven't stopped winning and he hasn't stopped losing. The truth is this guy can't get tired of losing.
Tuesday's election results in Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia signaled abortion rights remain a galvanizing issue for Democrats, a point Biden emphasized during the fundraiser, saying they practically dared the women of America, while adding Trump is the only reason there are abortion bans in America.
Those comments coming amid a series of polls showing signs of cracks in Biden's coalition. Allies acknowledge there is still work to do.
REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): There are some people that are not in sync with the campaign. And what we've got to do is make sure that people understand what we've done and why we did not do more.
MCKEND: Also complicating matters --
JILL STEIN, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The political system is broken.
MCKEND: -- the field of third-party candidates growing with Jill Stein announcing her bid for the green party nomination, joining Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornell West running as independents.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): What I will be doing is traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle. MCKEND: And West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, stoking speculation about a White House bid after announcing he won't seek re-election, a challenge to Democratic hopes of maintaining control of the Senate.
Ask Biden facing another potential threat. No Labels, that's a group that brands themselves as a voice for America's common sense majority, they say they are still mulling over presenting an alternative unity presidential ticket. That group will hold media brief education next week -- Eva McKend, CNN, Washington.
BRUNHUBER: The new Speaker of the House of Representatives is expected to release his plan to avert a looming government shutdown later today. But a source tells CNN a timeline for a potential floor vote next week is fluid. Melanie Zanona filed this report from Capitol Hill.
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're about a week away from a government shutdown and at this point, still no clear idea how House Republicans plan to avoid it.
The new speaker, Mike Johnson, is aiming to release bill text on Saturday with the hopes of a floor vote on Tuesday. And also there will be a House Republican conference call at 11:00 am on Saturday to brief members on whatever that plan is and to try to rally the divided Republican conference around it.
So far Johnson has been really keeping his cards close to the vest as he weighs what is going to be a very consequential decision for the new speaker. His conference so far is split over which direction they should take. In the one corner, there's moderates and appropriators, who want a more clean, straightforward stopgap spending bill.
And in the other corner, there are more conservative hardliners, pursuing this much more complicated idea that would extend funding for government agencies for various lengths of time, essentially teeing up multiple fiscal cliffs.
That option would be dead on arrival in the Senate and would risk a government shutdown, which Johnson said he does not want on his watch. But at the same time he does not want to infuriate his right flank, especially so early on in his tenure.
It's a very similar dynamic that his predecessor, former speaker Kevin McCarthy, was facing, although we are hearing that conservative hardliners are willing to give Johnson a longer leash to govern. No doubt this is a big moment for the new speaker and one that's going to tell us a lot about how he plans to govern -- Melanie Zanona, Capitol Hill.
BRUNHUBER: The U.N. estimates about 30,000 people fled northern Gaza on Friday as pressure builds for a cease-fire.
And after a rally in support of Palestinians in New York, hundreds of thousands are expected to turn out in London for similar demonstrations just hours from now. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: Welcome back to all of you watching here in the United States, Canada and all around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. This is CNN NEWSROOM. We have more on our top story.
The Israel-Hamas war, negotiations are underway to secure the release of a large group of hostages is under negotiation. A senior U.S. official familiar with the talks says it's believed to be holding 240 hostages taken during the October 7th terror attacks.
Meanwhile, another hospital in Gaza is reportedly dangerously close to shutting down. The Palestine Red Crescent Society says the Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City is nearly out of fuel and won't be able to run for much longer. The organization says, if that happens, ICU patients and babies will die.
The U.N. says the number of displaced Palestinians within Gaza is now close to 1.6 million, as pressure mounts on Israel to implement a cease-fire. CNN's Oren Liebermann reports from Tel Aviv.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In waves of humanity, Palestinians fled. Tens of thousands made their way along Salah al-Din Street in Gaza. A six- hour humanitarian corridor for a brief window to escape, as the Israeli military urges Palestinians to move south.
According to the Palestinian ministry of health, in the West Bank, which draws a vigorous from Hamas-controlled health ministry and Gaza, more than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 7th.
On Wednesday, Barbara Leaf, that U.S. assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, told the House committee, the overall casualties may be higher.
BARBARA LEAF, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NEAR EASTERN AFFAIRS: And it could be that are even higher than are being site. It will not only after the guns fall silent.
LIEBERMANN: Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced some of the harshest U.S. criticism yet of Israel's campaign in Gaza. BLINKEN: Much more needs to be done to protect civilians and to make sure the humanitarian assistance reaches them. Far too many politicians have been killed. Far too many have suffered these past weeks.
LIEBERMANN: On Friday, the Israel Defense Forces move deeper into Gaza City, targeting Hamas leadership and their center of power. The IDF says it has struck more than 15,000 terror targets in Gaza, and seized about 6,000 weapons.
LT. COL. JONATHAN CONRICUS, IDF INTERNATIONAL SPOKESPERSON: Near the heart of Gaza City, our troops are preparing to launch additional attacks against Hamas infrastructure, again, not against the civilian population. They aren't the enemy. But Hamas is.
LIEBERMANN: Gaza's medical system edging towards collapsed faced another dangerous as Israel carried out strikes near hospitals in that northern part of the strip. The Israeli military now surrounded the Al Nasr Hospital in northern Gaza, according to the hospital director, with tanks, visible on the streets outside.
The staunch U.S. support for Israel has come with a cost. A State Department cable obtained by CNN warns that U.S. support for Israel is being seen in Arab countries as material and moral culpability, what they consider to be possible war crimes.
Despite growing international calls for a cease-fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will continue until Hamas is defeated and cannot return.
The fight, not only on one front. Tel Aviv under a barrage from rocket fire triggered red alerts and interceptions. On Israel's northern border, the IDF says it struck Hezbollah targets after an anti-tank missiles injured three Israeli soldiers at a military post.
LIEBERMANN: And for the first-time, Israel used its most advanced law range air defense system, the Arrow 3, to intercept an oncoming attack over the Red Sea.
Meanwhile, conflicting accounts of damage to the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, one of the largest if not the largest hospitals in the Gaza Strip. The World Health Organization says the hospital was damaged by a bombardment, blaming Israel.
The IDF denies any involvement, saying they didn't carry out a strike there and, according to their information, they say it was a failed rocket launch that damaged the hospital. Social media video showed people suffering from injuries, lying in and around the hospital area.
This very reminiscent of what happened three weeks ago. Conflicting accounts of damage to the (INAUDIBLE) a hospital that the U.S. and others say was a failed rocket launch that caused tremendous damage there. Meanwhile, the Israeli Defense Forces say they will keep operating in Gaza as the operation deepens -- Oren Liebermann, CNN, in Tel Aviv.
BRUNHUBER: As protesters in London prepare to march for Palestinians, the British prime minister said coinciding events to mark Armistice Day won't be disrupted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER (voice-over): You're looking at protests held earlier this week. Rishi Sunak had originally wanted to ban a similar demonstration on Saturday in case protesters vandalized historic war memorials.
Armistice Day commemorates the end of World War I with a traditional memorial service held at Whitehall in Central London. A pro- Palestinian rally will now go ahead under the watch of some 2,000 officers. Sunak says he's been promised all Remembrance services planned for this weekend will be safeguarded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK ROWLEY, METROPOLITAN POLICE, LONDON: The Remembrance events will not be disturbed. Whatever protest and events go on, we will do our utmost to protect those because they are so critical. People shouldn't be in fear they're going to be compromised. We'll do everything possible to make sure they're not.
The second point about protests, though, there will be a protest this weekend. Parliament is very clear about that. The law provides no mechanism to ban a gathering, a static protest, a rally, anything like that. There's no mechanism whatsoever to ban such a thing. And if the organizers want that, then it will happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: A number of protests planned for U.K. train stations have been banned. The prime minister says they've been designed to, quote, "disrupt and intimidate."
Across the Atlantic, several people were arrested in New York City during a largely peaceful protest in support of Palestinians. Police didn't provide details on the number of people arrested or what the charges were. More than a thousand people took part in the march that began on Friday afternoon.
CNN spoke to some of the people taking part in the crowds. One protester says he feels there's a major disparity in how Israeli deaths are treated as opposed to the deaths of Palestinians, listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMIN JALUDI, PROTESTER: Right now -- right now we see a double standard going on between the Palestinians and the Israelis, which, what happened on October 7th was terrible. But it doesn't justify killing 10,000 plus Palestinians, which the majority of them are children. And that's what we're here for, is for equal rights, equal standards and equal justice for everybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: Still ahead, a migrant woman was shot after she crossed the border into the Texas. She speaks out for the first time. What the accused say they were doing with their weapons. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: Nearly 3 dozen people who tried to cross into the U.S. are safe despite their boat sinking. The Coast Guard says 34 migrants were eight miles south of the Florida Keys and someone spotted them having trouble.
Officials said they were all rescued and will be sent back to their home countries.
It comes on the heels of one migrant woman speaking out for the first time after she was shot after crossing the border into Texas. Rosa Flores picks up the story.
BRENDA CASIAS CARRILLO, SHOOTING VICTIM (through translator): Aunt, I am dying. They shot me.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mark and Michael Sheppard were arrested on manslaughter and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges but have not been indicted after allegedly shooting at a group of migrants, killing one and wounding another in West Texas over a year ago.
The twin brothers told investigators they were hunting ducks, then changed their stories to birds, then to javelinas or wild pigs, according to probable cause documents.
The brothers do admit to firing the shots.
BRENT MAYR, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes.
FLORES: They admit to firing at animals.
MAYR: Mike was the one who took the shot. He believed that he was shooting at a javelina.
FLORES: Jesus Sepulveda, a Mexican father of two, died from a shotgun blast to the head. His family believes he was targeted because of his race.
Brenda Casias, a Mexican mother of three, was shot in the stomach.
CASIAS: I looked up at the sky and said, God just give me strength to go on.
FLORES: Casias says she and a group of migrants rushed toward this reservoir, desperate for drinking water, when the two men drove up in a truck and parked here.
The migrants tried to hide. Casias says she hid here. This is where her account and the Sheppard brothers story diverged.
Casias says the brothers knew the migrants were human, screamed expletives in Spanish, come out, F-ing asses and fired twice.
MAYR: We just disagree with her version of the events.
FLORES: Defense Attorney Brent Mayr says Michael Sheppard fired the shots from 150 to 200 yards away, that the brothers don't speak Spanish fluently and that the shooting happened at about 6:45 in the evening.
MAYR: At that time of night, there is no way that at that distance you would be able to see and recognize those were humans.
FLORES: Mayr's timing doesn't match Casias' account.
What time of day was it?
5:00 or 5:30 am. She says this photo of her wound taken moments after the shooting shows daylight.
Casias says she recorded these voice messages and walked for about an hour before calling 9-1-1.
While the FBI and the Texas Rangers are investigating --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a hate crime.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A hate crime.
FLORES: -- and lawmakers have called for a Justice Department investigation.
FLORES: Law enforcement agencies would not discuss the case and prosecutors have not filed formal charges against anyone.
Do you think it was racism?
CASIAS: I don't know why they did it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was very tough.
FLORES: Sepulveda's father says the brothers are racist.
Did your clients fire these shots with racism or hatred?
MAYR: Absolutely not. I mean, again, how can you be racist or have hatred when you're out there thinking that you're shooting at some wildlife?
FLORES: Casias says she's learning to live in constant pain.
She said that she's asked God, why her.
She says, it's simple. The migrant who was killed, Jesus Sepulveda, was her rock during the journey.
CASIAS: How is he going to defend himself?
FLORES: And she's his only voice and chance at justice -- Rosa Flores, CNN, Sierra Blanca, Texas.
BRUNHUBER: President Biden will meet next week with Chinese president Xi Jinping. The meeting in the San Francisco Bay Area will be only the second time the two leaders have met in person over the last three years. Biden administration officials are hopeful they can slow a downward spiral in the relations between the U.S. and China.
Topics on the table include conflicts in Israel and Ukraine, human rights issues and military escalation in the South China Sea and Taiwan.
Officials have declared a state of emergency in a part of Iceland over fears of a possible volcanic eruption. Officials are telling residents to leave a southwestern town.
That's because nearly 800 earthquakes were recorded in the area on Friday alone and they're getting more intense. The island is prone to volcanoes and quakes. Its civil protection agency says a magma tunnel is taking shape underground.
Although there are no signs it's near the surface, it's not clear whether or where lava could break through.
Ukraine says it took down a Russian missile headed for its capital early Saturday. It's the first missile attack on Kyiv in nearly two months. Kyiv's military administration says nobody was hurt.
The Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa was also hit overnight by Russian missiles and attack drones. The region's military governor said three people were injured in the missile strikes, including a 96- year-old woman.
Still ahead, the Los Angeles Lakers left it all on the court last night against the Phoenix Suns. Andy Scholes joins me live to break down the game. That's next. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: It was a nail biter for the Lakers as they earned their second comeback win of the season. Andy Scholes joins me now.
What a comeback.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORT CORRESPONDENT: It was. It was good timing because this was an in-season tournament game. There was nine of them last night. The in-season tournament, all the teams were colorful court that you can't miss.
If you're watching these games, we got our first look at the Phoenix Suns court. Look at this thing. It could not be more purple with a nice blue strip down the middle of it. You had Kevin Durant and LeBron going head to head.
The lefty layup to go. LeBron then, the fadeaway jumper on Grayson Allen. He finished with 32 in the game. And moments later, a big moment. LeBron is going to get it over. He knocks down the 3. That put the Lakers up by 5. They would hold on to win 122-119.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEBRON JAMES, LOS ANGELES FORWARD: To all the naysayers and those that know nothing about basketball, I did the same thing tonight because I trust my teammates. I make the right play every single time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: "I make the right play every time." The Mavs hosting the Clippers. Their court had a manufacturing defect. So they didn't get to play on their blue one. No matter what, Luka Doncic is just balling this season, 44 points, including 6 of 9 from the 3-point arc.
Luka joins LeBron and Michael Jordan, the only players in NBA history to have 31 games of 40 plus points before turning 25.
Dallas blew out the Clippers, 144-126 to improve to 7-2 for the season. Mavs not the only hot team. The Houston Rockets riding a four- game winning streak. You see the dunk there, down 5 with over a minute to go.
But Fred VanVleet coming through in the clutch, he made back to back 3s. The Rockets closed the game on a 9-1 run. They win a thriller, 104-101. They've now won five in a row there in Houston.
Miami took the field for the final time in 2023 to celebrate Lionel Messi and his record-extending eighth Ballon d'Or award. No other player has won it more than five times. The superstar held the trophy over his head as fireworks lit up the sky in a pregame ceremony. Unfortunately, he couldn't score a goal in this one. NYC 2-1. But I'm
sure fans just wanted to see Messi and the trophy. It was such a fairy tale start to his career in Miami. We'll see what next season bring us. But fun having Messi in the states.
BRUNHUBER: Hopefully next time he comes to Atlanta, he'll actually --
BRUNHUBER: Andy Scholes, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
The Hollywood actors' union says members will start voting on Tuesday on the tentative agreement --
BRUNHUBER: -- that ended the four-month strike against the major film and television studios. The SAG-AFTRA revealed details on Friday regarding the main sticking point over artificial intelligence. Actors will have the right to consent to whether images can be used and receive compensation for it.
The deal includes particular bonuses for actors who work on successful streaming shows and the lowest paid will get an 11 percent pay increase.
The Grammy Award nominations are out. And Taylor Swift is making history.
BRUNHUBER (voice-over): The pop star became the first person to be nominated for a seventh time in the Song of the Year category with this hit, "Anti-Hero." Swift now surpasses other musical giants, including Paul McCartney and Lionel Richie, who got six nominations in the category.
Swift got a total of six nominations this year. But it was singer- songwriter SZA who had the most Grammy nods with a total of nine. The Grammys will be handed out February 4.
That wraps this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Kim Brunhuber. For viewers in North America, "CNN THIS MORNING" is next. For the rest of the world, it's "AFRICAN VOICES: CHANGEMAKERS."
But before we go, we want to thank the over 17 million veterans here in the U.S., for the men and women who serve now, who did serve and to the families who lost loved ones, we want to thank you for your service.