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Situation in Gaza Hospitals Grow Dire; Arab Leaders Meet to Discuss Violence in Gaza; Thousands Protest for Peace; IDF Continues Pounding Targets Across Northern Gaza; Pro-Palestinian Protest Outside Biden Home; Acapulco Faces Thrash Crisis in Wake of Hurricane Otis. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired November 12, 2023 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LAILA HARRAK, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to all of our viewers watching in the United States and around the world. I'm Laila Harrak.
Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM:
The clock is ticking for hospitals in Gaza as aid groups warn of an increasingly dangerous situation on the ground.
And leaders of the Arab and Islamic world meeting to discuss possible solutions to the fighting.
While protesters across the world show support for Palestinians under fire. Why leaders in London were concerned about a march that brought hundreds of thousands out on Armistice Day.
HARRAK: The Israeli military has offered to evacuate infants and other patients from Gaza's largest hospital on Sunday. The Hamas- controlled health ministry in Gaza said three newborn babies have died since Friday night at al-Shifa hospital after a nearby shelling knocked out a generator. A hospital director said 36 infants are still in the neonatal unit, and evacuations have been impossible because of the fighting.
Like other hospitals across Gaza, Al-Shifa is nearly out of food, medicine, and fuel. The IDF says it's been engaged in heavy fighting with Hamas nearby, but denies the hospital is under siege.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. COL. JONATHAN CONRICUS, IDF SPOKESPERSON: We are also trying to coordinate the safe removal and transport of the remaining patients that are still inside the hospital. I want to emphasize, we haven't struck the hospital, and we are not surrounding it, or applying any pressure on it. We have troops in the vicinity, but we have now been engaging with the hospital, or any parts of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HARRAK: CNN's Paula Hancocks is our former Jerusalem correspondent and knows the region very well. She joins us now from Seoul with the very latest.
Paula, what more can you tell us about what's been happening?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Laila, information is coming to us from officials inside the al-Shifa hospital, the largest hospital in Gaza Strip. And at this point, we understand that it is a catastrophic situation. It's also coming to us from Doctors Without Borders, saying that they have lost contact with those that they have been talking to within the hospital. They have said how catastrophic, that situation was, before that, also pointing out that the, quote, hostilities have not stopped around al-Shifa hospital itself.
Now, one thing that we are focusing on very closely, is what exactly is still functioning within the hospital. We understand that from the head of the Hamas-controlled ministry of health that the ICU, the pediatric department, the oxygen devices have stopped working. Now, they have been telling us that three newborn babies have lost their lives since overnight Friday, into Saturday because one of the generators that was powering the incubators in the neonatal department was taken out when a shell hit nearby.
Now, we understand, that there are 36 newborns that are still in a precarious situation with incubators not working. Now, we understand from officials there that they are currently trying to carry out artificial respiration for those babies, to try and keep them alive, which is effectively doctors having to manually pump oxygen and air into their lungs.
So, certainly this is a very desperate situation, with that particular event. Now, we heard from the Israeli military that they have said publicly, that they would be coordinating to try and evacuate those babies to a safer place. We are looking for clarification, as to what exactly will be happening. CNN did also speak with a freelance journalist within the compound, and he said the situation was very dire. That there's a lack of food, water, medical equipment, and electricity, saying that food rations are simply not enough.
Also pointing out that there are many bodies, he said dozens of bodies, that are awaiting burial.
But what we understand from those inside the complex is that the situation just outside is too precarious for them to be able to try and bury those who need to be, and also to be able to try and evacuate to somewhere that is safer. Now, we have also been told, that many of the medical staff have been trying to continue working without electricity, and by candlelight, to try and keep some of their patients alive.
Now, we have also been told that ambulances are unable to get to areas that they are in need to, to pick up more injured people. As I said, Shifa is the largest hospital in Gaza. Certainly one of the most significant in Gaza City. So, other hospitals, already overwhelmed, are having to pick up extra patients that they simply cannot cope at this point. We understand that the Al Ahli Hospital is trying to take on more patients that simply cannot get to al-Shifa.
And it's not just those that are injured at this point. The latest we figure we had was around 400 patients. There are also 20,000 internally displaced people who are sheltering in the area hoping it was safer than other areas -- Laila.
HARRAK: Desperate situation, and Paula Hancocks reporting, thank you so much.
And meanwhile, the World Health Organization says that it lost communications with its contacts at al-Shifa, as fighting rages around the hospital. Numerous aid agencies have been demanding a cease-fire, to prevent Gaza's health care system from collapsing entirely. UNICEF on Saturday said it was deeply worried about the worsening situation and called for hospitals and children to be protected from the fighting. Now, doctors now working by candlelight, and supplies running low, some aid groups fear it may already be too late.
The medical charity Doctors Without Borders said the crisis in Gaza has passed the point of no return.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRAK: Dr. Paul Spiegel is director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health. He's worked extensively like MSF to coordinate emergency responses for humanitarian crises. He joins me now from Baltimore, Maryland.
Sir, good day.
The situation in Gaza in general, and the health care facilities in particular is desperately urgent. As a doctor, you have responded to humanitarian emergencies around the globe, how are you thinking about this moment?
DR. PAUL SPIEGEL, DIRECTOR, JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR HUMANITARIAN HEALTH: Yes, well, indeed, it is critically urgent. I have been in many other situations which are not similar, but also urgent. I think the difference here is the intense bombardment, and a lack of a release valve, meaning people are not able to leave the territory, as in most situations where they are able to do so.
HARRAK: Now, as you outlined there, I mean, there is precedent I understand, but this is a very unique situation. As I started out our conversation, you are a recognized expert. When you consider the situation in Gaza today, in the face of the calamitous health situation that is worsening by the day, by the minute, the need for aid so great, so overwhelming, so insufficient.
Are there alternative ways of thinking about how to deliver medical aid to civilians trapped in the enclave?
SPIEGEL: Yeah, there have been various discussions, some by sea. In the past, there have been hospital ships that have been able to provide such support. Usually, there are governments, such as the U.S., or China, or Turkey. So, that's one possibility. The issue is, will they be secure and protected? And then the second issue that I don't believe is worked out sufficiently is people can go there from Gaza, but what happens when they are treated, and ready to return?
HARRAK: Those are some of the options being considered, and I think also field hospitals in Egypt, although I believe that country is reluctant to go down that route in a significant way. It is an interesting, I would like to know your perspective as a humanitarian, as a doctor, it just seems that everyone is saying, well, there is nothing we can do really here.
SPIEGEL: It is a difficult situation. Before I answer that if I can, in terms of the field hospitals. That is the more traditional way that we would generally respond. There are field hospitals that can come up very quickly, and can take care of people. The question is will -- there could even be a possibility of the Israelis doing something like this, which I think is much more unlikely than the Egyptians.
But then all of it comes down to a political decision of a country to allow people to cross out of Gaza territory, into something like Egypt.
HARRAK: And, Doctor, what happens when places of healing or weaponized and become a dangerous zone? Have you seen this somewhere else, happening at this scale happening in other conflicts around the globe?
SPIEGEL: There have been, yes. Yes, I mean, there have been examples, for example, in Iraq, both in Mosul, for example, where there was such intense bombardment and many civilians were killed. However, early on, generally, people do their best, the combatants and the supporters like the U.S. and others, to be able to ensure that there is an equivalent of a humanitarian corridor. This has not happened in the same way as in many other situations, which I think is making the situation worse. Combined with the first thing I mentioned, in terms of civilians not being able to leave the territory.
HARRAK: How much of a litmus test is the? Are there any options to deliver humanitarian and medical aid, to people in Gaza?
SPEIGEL: Yeah. Firstly, this is -- it is a litmus test in terms of the humanitarian system because the system is very much challenged, we have what is going on in Gaza, we have what is going on in Sudan, which is not getting much coverage, many, many other situations across the board, and the humanitarians are not able to address all of these situations. But, clearly, the number of civilians that have been affected by this, the end, the hospitals that have been attacked, it means that it is just not currently been possible to supply sufficient medical aid.
HARRAK: Dr. Paul Spiegel, thank you so much for talking to us.
SPIEGEL: Thank you very much.
HARRAK: On Saturday, Saudi Arabia hosted what it called the Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit in Riyadh, where dozens of leaders issued strong condemnations of Israel's actions in Gaza.
Eleni Giokos reports.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Arab and Muslim leaders meet in Saudi Arabia for an emergency meeting to discuss Gaza. The optics show us a very united region. However, we don't know how united they were in coming up with this draft resolution. It's got 31 closers, and very strongly worded.
And I quote, they say, they demand an end to Israeli war crimes, and barbaric, brutal and inhumane massacres in Gaza. They also condemn the ongoing occupation in the West Bank, as well as East Jerusalem. But they are reiterating something we have heard before from regional leaders, calling for a cease-fire, and also more aid into Gaza.
In terms of action, the only action plan here is to call on the U.N. Security Council to come up with a binding resolution. Now, anything to do with the U.N. Security Council regarding Israel we know holds no consequence for the country. They also talk about the International Criminal Courts embarking on an investigation on war crimes, something that the ICC already says that it does plan to do once it has access to Gaza.
This is one issue, that there wasn't a real action plan from the region itself. There were many mechanisms that many had anticipated they might use, like blocking the sale of oil and gas, not only to put pressure on Israel but also the United States.
Remember, the U.S. has many military bases scattered across the region. That was another point that many analysts have been mentioning. Iran's president Abraham Raisi, also set on Saudi soil for the first time, and this is first Iranian leader to go to the kingdom in over 11 years. Iran's president said that they hold the United States complicit in Israel's actions in Gaza. We know that the U.S. and Iran aren't the best of friends, and, of course, many concerns about Iran getting involved in this war, and becoming a regional crisis.
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad also there. Look, he's just been added to the Arab fold earlier this year, this was a significant move. He spoke of the consequences of the normalization of a relationship with Israel, which many Arab countries have already done, and Saudi Arabia was on the path of doing the same.
But these aren't the only diplomatic talks that have been occurring in the region. Here in Egypt, in Cairo, we had Hamas leadership meeting with Egyptian intelligence on Thursday, according to sources here. This is the same day that the CIA chief was also in Cairo. Qatar's emir was in town on Friday meeting with the Egyptian president. Many diplomatic discussions and the hope was that there'd be some kind
of breakthrough to finding an end to this ongoing crisis, currently playing out in Gaza. But these discussions are always delicate, because whatever happens on the ground in Gaza, any intensify or strikes seems to derail any progress on the diplomatic front.
Eleni Giokos, CNN, Cairo.
HARRAK: French President Emmanuel Macron is calling on people to stand up against what he calls the resurgence of unbridled antisemitism. In a letter published in a French newspaper, Macron wrote that more than 1000 antisemitic acts were committed in the country in just one month, saying members of the Jewish community are experiencing legitimate anguish.
Well, this all comes as the French president this week called for a ceasefire saying it was a quote, only solutions to end the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Still to come, tens of thousands of Britons march in London, calling for a cease-fire in the Israel Hamas war. We hear from protesters, next.
HARRAK: Volunteers in Israel are stepping up, doing whatever they can to support their troops and neighbors, after the Hamas attack on October 7th. One organizer told CNN's Nic Robertson that it's helping build a sense of resiliency.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): A few miles from the front lines, soldiers relax, enjoy free food and the support of their country.
REL NADEL, RESTAURANT OWNER: It's like everybody are in war, okay? People got in war. Everybody wants and needs to contribute.
ROBERTSON: An army vet turned restaurateur, Rel Nadel stepped up immediately, cooking burgers.
NADEL: And the second day of war, with 1,000 burgers. Right now, we delivered around 20,000.
ROBERTSON: And the soldiers, they just show up here and they --
NADEL: People coming from all over the area.
ROBERTSON: It feels relaxed, and anywhere else it might be. But so close to war, it is therapy, and not just for the troops.
DUDI SHREM, VOLUNTEER: They continue to make us a good place to live here.
ROBERTSON: It's Dudi Shrem's first day volunteering, chopping onions for burgers. His only child, Liam, 28 years old, murdered by Hamas at the music festival.
SHREM: They start to shoot. Nobody stayed in the car. Three people, three good friends.
ROBERTSON: And it is not just food, volunteers are stepping up to help out all across the country, people are doing what they can to support the soldiers, and the civilians.
So you are building resiliency here?
RONI FLAMER, ONE HEART: You build resiliency, making sure that our mutual responsibilities are at its best.
ROBERTSON: Roni Flamer has thousands of volunteers working for him.
This is the heart of the operation.
FLAMER: This is the heart of the operation, it is starting to be hard, and why we need every day to rebuild the spirit.
ROBERTSON: In this room, one of dozens like it across the country, volunteers working 18 hour shifts, rescuing families from frontlines, finding them places to live.
SEAN ETINGER, ONE HEART VOLUNTEER: It helps me keep busy, so the head does not get stuck on the war, and all of the atrocities that happened, and keep happening.
ROBERTSON: Like everyone here, Sean Etinger, a 21-year-old student, sees the suffering, on the other side, too.
ETINGER: I do want it for it to and completely.
ROBERTSON: Flamer, a third generation Holocaust survivor, fought in the last incursion. Wants to build back stronger.
FLAMER: We seek for peace. So, the only thing we know how to do is help, is to rebuild. We are going to bring 1 million people to live on the Gaza border.
ROBERTSON: For Dudi Shrem who lost his son Liam, that building back has only just begun.
SHREM: My son would like very much, that I didn't ask for much, tell us continue the live, good life. We live for him.
ROBERTSON: Nic Robertson, CNN, Gilad, Israel.
(END VIDEOTAPE) HARRAK: The fam -- the families of hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza, are calling on the Israeli government to do more to bring their loved ones home. Thousands of people held a rally on Saturday, in Tel Aviv. Israel's former president was also in attendance. The families are demanding that the international community, and the Red Cross ensure medical assistance for the hostages. More than 200 people were kidnapped, and taken into Gaza following Hamas's attack on October 7th.
London saw its biggest pro-Palestinian demonstrations so far on Saturday. Counter-protesters also turned up, and police say they arrested dozens of people.
CNN's Clare Sebastian reports.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Organized and in one voice, tens of thousands of people took to London streets, demanding a cease-fire in the Israel Hamas War.
This march is beginning now in central London, but the final destination is the United States embassy in south London. And that is the key here, the angrier that we are hearing is mostly directed to Western governments, and in particular, the United States for its support of Israel.
The conflict, now in its second month, has seen Gaza and the unrelenting Israeli bombardment in the weeks since Hamas launched its October 7th attack on Israel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In one month, there is over 4,000 children died. This is not normal.
SEBASTIAN: And as people got ready to march in solidarity with Palestinians, others were marking a second historic war.
Armistice Day, the date of commemorating the de facto end of World War I. It was across over some branded as insensitive.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak initially attempted to stop the pro-Palestinian rally from going ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Armistice Day is supposed to be about the end of the war, and this is exactly what people are here for. We want to see an end to the war in Gaza. And this is why we're supporters.
SEBASTIAN: A heavy police presence have been promised in London Saturday, and they did face challenges. Far-right counter protesters interrupted a two minute silence observed for Armistice Day, before clashing with police in Central London. Police say they detained dozens of those counterprotesters following scuffles.
For the pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathering outside the U.S. embassy at the end of their march, emotions were starting to show.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want to say that I am Jewish, and I fully support this march and everything that's going on today
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why can't we all stand up for the Palestinians.
SEBASTIAN: So, despite the controversy, the lead up to this event, it has remained very organized, very peaceful. The scale is what we are increasingly seeing, this growing public mood that despite the public attacks of October 7th, the response may have gone too far.
Clare Sebastian, CNN, London.
HARRAK: I'm Laila Harrak. For those of you watching across the world, "MARKETPLACE ASIA" is coming up next. If you're watching CNN U.S., I will be back with more news in just a moment.
HARRAK: Welcome back. I am Laila Harrak, and you're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
The Hamas-controlled health ministry in Gaza said three newborn babies died overnight at Gaza's largest hospital, after nearby shelling knocked out a generator. The Israeli military is offering to evacuate the remaining infants and other patients from al Shifa Hospital sometime on Sunday. The hospital director said 36 infants are still in the neonatal unit and evacuations have been impossible, because of the fighting. The IDF says it's been fighting against Hamas nearby and denies the hospital is under siege.
On Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, again rejected international demands for a cease-fire, vowing to fight Hamas with full force. In a televised address, he said all Hamas members had been marked for death.
Well, CNN's Oren Liebermann is positioned just outside Gaza and has the latest from there.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: From our position here in Sderot, on the northeast corner of Gaza, we have seen and heard a number of artillery strikes, as well as fighter jets in the air above and drones. Now, when it comes to the artillery, which at times has become quite frequent and at times more intermittent, we haven't really seen where the strikes have landed. And we haven't seen the telltale explosions of the artillery shells landing and that perhaps the suggestion that many of the strikes are lending farther south than our position here again on the northeast corner of Gaza.
Much of the intense fighting in northern Gaza has focused on the area in and around Shifa Hospital. Intense fighting according to both Palestinians there as well as to the IDF which says it is focusing there. According to officials from the Hamas-controlled ministry of health, Shifa Hospital, the largest in the Gaza Strip is surrounded with IDF troops in the area and on the troops surrounding the hospital, and that has made it very difficult, if not impossible, they say, to evacuate patients to bring people in and out.
This, at the hospital already faces a dire shortage of electricity, food and water, turning what is already a humanitarian crisis in the strip into a medical crisis as well. Doctors Without Borders says the medical system in Gaza is on the break of collapse and pass the point of no return. At the same time, for Shifa Hospital, they say bodies are piling up because it is impossible to evacuate them and move them out of there, and that has made the situation there so difficult.
The hospital itself, according to officials, not struck. But Israeli strikes have damaged some of the surrounding buildings there, including, they say, the maternity ward and external clinics. The fighting there also down and damaged the generator and that stop the incubators in the neonatal intensive care unit, and according to the ministry of health there, three babies in the neonatal intensive care unit have died.
Israel says there is no siege of Shifa Hospital, and that the east wing is opened for those who want to come in and out. The IDF says it's helped with evacuations from Al Nasr Hospital and Rantisi Hospital, and that on Sunday, they will assist from evacuations from the pediatric unit there. They also say they are in touch with officials from al Shifa hospital and continue to work with them for anybody who wants to evacuate. They say they will make those accommodations.
The IDF says it's taken over 11 different Hamas military posts in northern Gaza. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promising that the fight in northern Gaza will continue until Hamas is destroyed.
So, despite international calls for a cease-fire, that simply seems to be, at this point at least, completely off the table.
Meanwhile, Jordan has sent another airdrop of shipment in humanitarian supplies to its field hospital in a statement, they think the United Arab Emirates and Qatar persisting in sending in those supplies. Interesting they don't mention Israel in the second time they have airdrop supplies.
But sending a flight over Gaza, to be able to carry that out, that would certainly require coordination with the Israeli military, again, as the Gaza Strip faces a humanitarian crisis. The Palestinian Red Crescent says 53 aid trucks got in on Saturday. That is a tiny fraction of what's needed.
Oren Liebermann, CNN, from Sderot.
HARRAK: Earlier, CNN's Jim Acosta spoke with an IDF spokesperson to hear why the military is operating around the al Shifa hospital in Gaza.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONRICUS: Our troops are definitely nearby. We have troops that have approached that area from various locations. We have to understand that the viewers, who may not have been following or just joining, the al Shifa compound is indeed a hospital, but underneath are layers and layers of Hamas military activity that they have established underneath the hospital, whereby they are using the hospital for military needs, which is a war crime. It is against the Geneva Convention. They are endangering the protected status of the hospital by doing so.
And what we have done, first and foremost, is to inform the Palestinians, and also the world that we know that Hamas is using the hospital for military purposes. We know that it is full of Hamas combatants that are seeking shelter and trying to hide away from our forces underneath the hospital. That is also one of the reasons why we are trying to evacuate it, because we don't want Hamas to continue to use these people as their human shields in the future.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: I mean, that sounds like a very difficult and complicated operation that you are trying to undertake there. What happens to the hospital at the end of all of this? Does the IDF seek to control it? Take it over? I mean, if you have to get at Hamas terrorists who are hiding inside tunnels underneath the hospital, one would think at some point you have to take over the hospital or take over the area around that hospital? Is that something that you are seeking to do?
CONRICUS: Well, I agree with you totally that it is a very complex situation and one that we would rather not find ourselves in, but ever since October the 7th, we are in this situation, where we have to fight inside Gaza and we have to strike Hamas wherever they are hiding -- underneath civilians, in their tunnels and also underneath hospitals.
And our aim is to dismantle all of Hamas military infrastructure. And Hamas has embedded a significant portion of their military capabilities, specifically under Shifa, and it is our aim to dismantle all of their military capabilities.
I cannot go into further details about what, when and where it will be done. I can say that it would be best for everybody involved, including those who will need the hospital the day after the war, for Hamas to come out of their writings and stop abusing civilian infrastructure for military purposes. If they don't, of course, we will have to respond accordingly, and implement our military plans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRAK: Israel's defense minister is sending a strong warning to Lebanon after an intense day of cross-border fire, saying quote, what we are doing in Gaza can also be done in Beirut. CNN's Ben Wedeman reports now from Lebanon.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The low intensity war between Hezbollah and Israel along the border is heating up, with each side striking deeper into the other's territory and using heavier weapons. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is speaking on the occasion of the group's martyrs' day, said his militants had begun using attack drones for the first time against Israeli positions and have fired also for the first time an Iranian-designed Burkan missile, a short range ballistic missile with an explosive payload of 500 kilograms, or more than half a ton.
Saturday was perhaps the most intense day of cross-border fire, with more than 30 individual incidents. Lebanon's official news agency reported that an Israeli drone struck a vehicle near the town of Zahrani, 40 kilometers and 25 miles north of the border. The deepest such strike since the 2006 war, between Israel and Hezbollah.
Referring to dozens of recent attacks by pro-Iranian militias and U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq, Nasrallah said if Americans want to stop those attacks, if U.S. doesn't want this to become a regional war, it must stop the war on Gaza. Commenting on the situation along the border, Saturday afternoon, Israeli's defense minister Yoav Gallant issued an ominous warning, what we are doing in Gaza, he said, we can also do in Beirut.
I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN, reporting from Tire, southern Lebanon.
HARRAK: The investigation is underway after a U.S. military aircraft crashed into the eastern Mediterranean Sea on Friday. The status of the crew is unclear. Authorities are not saying whether anyone was killed, or describing the type of aircraft involved.
But they stressed the accident occurred during a training exercise and was not related to the Israel-Hamas war.
Still to come, pro-Palestinian protesters gathered outside of U.S. President Biden's home in Delaware, echoing calls heard in cities around the world for a cease-fire.
HARRAK: We saw earlier how protesters turned out in New York and London this weekend to demonstrate for the Palestinian people and call for a cease-fire. But it wasn't just in big cities. On Saturday, protesters gathered near President Joe Biden's Delaware home.
CNN's Kevin Liptak has more.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: A sizable protest occurred outside of President Biden's home here in Delaware, on Saturday. Pro-Palestinian protesters, hundreds of them, marching in support of a cease-fire. President Biden didn't necessarily see them at close range, but it did mirror protests that the president has seen over the past two weeks, including earlier this week in Illinois, when pro-Palestinian protesters lined the streets near an event he was speaking at.
He's also been interrupted twice by people calling for a cease-fire, so, certainly reflective of the growing anger among a certain portion of the American population at his handling of this conflict, and you can see that playing out on the world stage as well. Just Saturday, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, calling for a cease-fire in Israel, saying that Israel's bombing of civilians in Gaza isn't justified in saying that he hoped other leaders, including in the United States, join in calling for a cease-fire.
We have also seen divides within the American Democratic Party. Just last week, 24 Democrats and two independents, so, a majority of the Democratic caucus in the Senate, writing a letter to President Biden, asking for more details about that $14 billion request for emergency military assistance, and asking for guarantees that Israel mitigate its killing of civilians in Gaza. So, certainly this is all applying pressure on President Biden, as he confronts this conflict.
Of course, he has been standing shoulder to shoulder with Israel, certainly very supportive of its rights to defend itself, in what he calls a responsibility to go after Hamas. But you have seen some caution creeping into his remarks and remarks from other top American officials, including the Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who just said this week that far too many Palestinians have died and that much more needs to be done to protect civilian lives.
What we have seen President Biden doing is pressing the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu in what the U.S. calls humanitarian pauses. And they have seen results to that effect just last week. Israel saying that it would enact four-hour pauses every day, to allow aid to go into Gaza, to allow civilians, who want to flee.
President Biden, though, did reveal some discord with his Israeli counterpart, when he was asked about those pauses, saying that he had wished Netanyahu had agreed to them earlier.
Kevin Liptak, CNN, traveling with the president in Wilmington, Delaware.
HARRAK: With the threat of a U.S. government shutdown looming again, the White House has harsh words for House Speaker Mike Johnson. They're calling his two-stage government funding proposal a recipe for more Republican chaos. The White House press secretary says Republicans are wasting precious time with an unserious proposal. It has been criticized on both sides of the aisle.
Government funding will run out Friday when the stopgap measure that Congress passed last month expires. And, with aid for Ukraine and Israel stalled, a top Democratic congressman says he doesn't know where Johnson goes from here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. GLENN IVEY (D-MD): Well, we think all of the supplemental pieces should move forward. That would include humanitarian aid as well. The issue is going to be, for some reason, many Republicans have decided that they don't necessarily want to continue to provide support for Ukraine, and I think that is part of why the speaker broke that out, you know, before the Israel supplemental vote that he took a few weeks ago. So, I'm not sure what he is going to do at this point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRAK: Well, it seems to be business as usual for New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Saturday, despite the federal investigation into fundraising for his campaign, he appeared at the city's Veterans Day parade just days after the FBI seized his cell phones, and iPad, as part of that investigation.
CNN's Polo Sandoval has more.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New York City Mayor Eric Adams made his scheduled appearance at a Veterans Day parade, here in Manhattan over the weekend. However, he did not add to his previous statements in response to the seizure of his electronic devices, according to several sources speaking to CNN.
The mayor had just wrapped his speaking engagements last Monday evening when he was approached by federal agents with a search warrant in hand. Those agents asked that he had over his two phones and also his iPad. According to an Adams spokesperson, the mayor quickly complied. A spokesperson for the mayor, maintaining that the mayor has not been accused of any wrongdoing and that they are fully cooperating with the investigation.
The FBI has not released any comment regarding this particular and very significant development. However, a campaign attorney, Boyd Johnson, did say that, after hearing of this investigation by federal authorities into campaign funding, that it was discovered that an individual within the campaign had recently acted improperly and that behavior was immediately and proactively reported to investigators, though, the spokesperson declined to say exactly who that person was. As Adams maintains that he has nothing to hide, but certainly underscores the seriousness of this investigation, now that Adams is, in some way, shape or form, a stakeholder in this, after he was approached by federal agents.
Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.
HARRAK: And we'll be right back.
HARRAK: A town in southwestern Iceland has been evacuated as the area braces for a volcanic eruption. Hundreds of earthquakes have rocked the town of 4,000 people about 25 miles or 40 kilometers southwest of Reykjavik. Emergency shelters have opened in neighboring towns and officials are surprised at how quickly events are unfolding.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARA BARSOTTI, ICELANDIC MET OFFICE: What we are seeing now really is an unprecedented event. We are really talking about velocities for this process and volumes or inflow rates that are much higher than what we have been seeing in the peninsula so far.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRAK: Experts warn that an eruption could happen within days or perhaps even hours.
Well, first, it was hit by a deadly category 5 hurricane. Now the Mexican beach resort city of Acapulco is dealing with massive piles of garbage. They're not only a nuisance, also dangerous, and officials are counting on thousands of soldiers to help get things cleaned up and keep disease from spreading.
CNN's Michael Holmes reports.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Famed for its beaches and hotels, the whiff of garbage now overpowers the sea air in Acapulco. Two and a half weeks after category 5 hurricane Otis whipped through, killing dozens of people and demolishing thousands of homes, the government says recovery efforts are under way, though some residents say the smell of rot suggests there is much more to do.
NELLY CASARRUBIAS, RESIDENT (through translator): There are a lot of problems. The smell of rubbish is intensifying a lot. The health problems, too. So it's very important and urgent to help the whole port.
HOLMES: Mexican officials say they have deployed nearly 10,000 National Guard troops to Acapulco to maintain security and help with the cleanup. Even before the hurricane, the resort city was in slow decline because of violent crime from drug cartels. Many businesses that weren't damaged in the storm were looted in the aftermath.
The government says providing security and getting food, water, and power to the area have been top priorities, and it's working on ways to remove those piles of garbage.
ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR, MEXICAN PRESIDENT (through translator): They're fumigating to avoid diseases, and everything is going to be cleaned up. They're looking for new rubbish dumpsters, and there is a cleanup plan.
HOLMES: But health experts warn the festering mounds could attract rodents, and pools of undrained water could breed mosquitoes, which spread disease. The government has pledged $3.4 billion to rebuild the city, with the goal of opening 35 to 40 hotels by next April or May. Residents hope that means making the streets safe and habitable again, not just for visitors but for those who survived the storm.
Michael Holmes, CNN.
HARRAK: More than a billion people of different faiths are celebrating Diwali, which marks the triumph of good over evil. Called the Festival of Lights, Diwali is largely observed by Hindus although Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists also join in. It's one of the biggest festivals in India, but it is observed wherever there are large South Asian Diasporas.
During Diwali, homes, businesses, and public spaces are lit with oil lamps as people exchange gifts and eat sweets. Fireworks also light up the skies.
Happy Diwali to all of those celebrating. And that wraps up this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Laila Harrak.
Do stick around. I'll be back with more news in just a moment. Hope you see then.