Return to Transcripts main page
Hospitals in Gaza are Crumbling; Israel Willing to Help Evacuate Civilians in Gaza Hospitals; Pressure on Israel for Ceasefire; Tim Scott Drops Out Presidential Race; Another Looming Shutdown in the Horizon in Washington; Israel-Hezbollah Conflict Escalates at Lebanon Border; U.S., Japan, South Korea Discuss Ways to Counter North Korea Threats; State of Emergency in Iceland Due to Quakes, Magma Threat. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired November 13, 2023 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to all our viewers joining us here in the United States, around the world and streaming on CNN Max. I'm Rosemary Church. Just ahead, Gaza's hospitals are collapsing under the weight of war. With electricity and supplies running out, doctors say there is little they can do to save the most vulnerable patients.
Washington is once again staring down a government shutdown with less than a week left to reach a deal and keep the government open.
And Iceland braces for potential disaster, a state of emergency now in effect as the nation faces the threat of a volcanic eruption.
Thanks for being with us and we begin in the Middle East where the medical situation in Gaza is growing even more dire by the hour as Israel steps up its war against Hamas. Israeli forces say they went deeper into Gaza City on Sunday, reaching the outskirts of the Al- Shati refugee camp and conducting raids in multiple areas. The IDF says it has arrested 20 alleged Hamas's members, including some accused of taking part in the October 7 attacks on Israel.
Meantime, multiple hospitals in Gaza are closing due to airstrikes and lack of fuel. Health officials and aid agencies say patients, staff, and thousands of displaced civilians are trapped inside Gaza's biggest hospital, Al-Shifa, due to fighting nearby.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMED ZAQUOT, DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF HOSPITALS IN THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORY (through translation): Garbage and medical waste are piling up in Al-Shifa Hospital, and there's no water available in the hospital wards or toilets. These conditions, combined with power cuts, pose a real risk of death to all the patients, medical staff and displaced people. (END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: The World Health Organization says due to the lack of basic necessities at Al-Shifa, quote, "the hospital is not functioning as a hospital anymore." But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is willing to help Palestinian civilians leave the hospital.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: Well, we've called to evacuate all the patients from that hospital. And in fact, a hundred or so have already been evacuated. There's no reason why we just can't take the patients out of there, instead of letting Hamas use it as a command center for terrorism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: CNN's Clare Sebastian is following all the developments for us. She joins us live from London. Good morning to you, Clare. So, what more are you learning about the situation at Gaza's hospitals and what else did Prime Minister Netanyahu have to say in that interview?
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Rosemary. Now the majority of Gaza's hospitals were already out of action before this and now we're hearing reports that the two largest, Al-Shifa and Al- Quds, are no longer working. That's according to aid agencies. Al- Shifa enduring, according to the World Health Organization, three days without electricity and water in the lead up to this.
And of course, the impact on patients, particularly the most vulnerable in these hospitals is stuck. We are literally seeing the basic tenets of modern medicine in reverse. Take a look at this image. We can show you of newborn babies. This is from the Reuters news agency in Al-Shifa. They had to be moved from their incubators after a power outage on Saturday, placed in one bed and they were essentially improvising using an air conditioner to keep them warm, a very precarious situation according to a doctor that we spoke to at that hospital.
Now, there are still patients in Al-Shifa according to the Hamas run health ministry in Gaza, 650 including 36 more babies, and the situation for them still very, very precarious. Now, it's fair to say that we don't know the full extent of this. The health ministry, the Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah says that it can no longer update its death toll. It said over the weekend because it has lost contact with hospitals in northern Gaza.
The World Health Organization also saying it has lost communications with its contacts at Al-Shifa Hospital, perhaps they say because they have managed to evacuate. Now, the IDF is saying that it is doing everything it can to get civilians out. It has specifically opened up evacuation arrangements from three hospitals in northern Gaza, including Al-Shifa. Take a listen to what the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had to say to CNN about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NETANYAHU: So, we have designated routes to a safe zone south of Gaza City where there's no fighting. And we're telling them, go ahead, move. And by the way, 70,000 have moved three days ago. I think 50,000 moved yesterday. More will move today.
We want all the civilians to be removed out of harm's way. And Hamas is doing everything in their power to keep them in harm's way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN: So, the IDF also released video over the weekend, Rosemary, that it says shows IDF soldiers hand delivering jerrycans of fuel to the Al-Shifa hospital. Now, they say that Hamas prevented the hospital from taking delivery of that fuel. But CNN spoke to the director of the hospital, who said that its staff were too scared to go out and get the fuel because of the presence of Israeli tanks in that area. So disputed accounts around that.
But of course, meanwhile, hospitals, you know, even though they say they are shutting down, that does not mean that the many, many patients and of course displaced people inside those hospitals are out of danger. Rosemary?
CHURCH: All right. Thanks to Clare Sebastian joining us live from London.
Well, the White House says one of the hostages Hamas is holding is a three-year-old American toddler whose parents were killed on October 7th. That news arose from the readout of a phone call between U.S. President Joe Biden and the Emir of Qatar. It said the two leaders talked about the war in Gaza, including Qatari brokered efforts to free the hostages. Mr. Biden said he hopes for a future where Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side.
But he added that, quote, "Hamas has long been an impediment to that outcome." Well, Israel says it's now in talks with the U.S. about a long-term plan for Gaza, and the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. is making clear Israel expects the Palestinians will govern themselves.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL HERZOG, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S: We are not in Gaza in order to occupy Gaza or to govern Gaza. We are there to remove the Hamas military threat against Israel and their ability to rebuild their capabilities and strike again and again as they are saying they would like to do. That's our intent.
Long term, we have a lot of -- we put a lot of thinking into that and we are entering a dialogue with the U.S. administration about that. We understand it is our position that Palestinians will have to govern themselves.
What will be the exact role of the Palestinian Authority remains to be seen because everybody understands that the PA in its current composition, they can hardly govern Ramallah, so certainly not Gaza. They will have to undergo a reform. But in the meantime, there will be Palestinians who will have to govern Gaza.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Trita Parsi joins me now from Washington, D.C. He is the Executive Vice President at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and the author of "Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy." Appreciate you joining us.
TRITA PARSI, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, QUINCY INSTITUTE FOR RESPONSIBLE STATECRAFT: Thank you for having me.
CHURCH: So international pressure is intensifying on Israel to announce an immediate ceasefire to end the bombardment of Gaza and of course the killing of innocent Palestinian civilians and to also allow for the release of more than 200 hostages being held by Hamas. What will it take to see all this happen do you think?
PARSI: There's only one thing that can really make a difference here and that is that President Biden decides to actually use the tremendous leverage that the United States has over Israel to push and secure a ceasefire that, of course, would also entail the release of hostages held by Hamas. So far, however, Biden has absolutely refused to use that leverage and has only pushed for much more insignificant measures that will not make a significant difference on the situation.
Certainly, it's not going to alleviate the suffering, nor is it going to get the release of the hostages. And at the same time, this status quo, this approach, will further increase the risk of the conflict spreading and potentially involving Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iraqi militias, as well as potentially Iran. That would be a disastrous scenario. But that is where we are essentially heading. It's a bit odd to see that Biden has so far not used the leverage that he has.
CHURCH: Right. I mean, that is the big concern, isn't it? The expansion of this. And of course, it has to be said the actions of Hamas on October 7th were abhorrent. But after more than a month of Israeli strikes on Gaza, there are indications that President Joe Biden and his Secretary of State Antony Blinken are getting increasingly uncomfortable with their support for Prime Minister Netanyahu's war, given the thousands of Palestinian civilian deaths and no indication that Israel is working and showing focus on releasing those hostages. Many Israelis demonstrating over the weekend calling for more to be done on this particular issue.
So, what could this mean for Israel standing in the world if Netanyahu does not end this war immediately and focus more on the release of hostages? And if, as you say, President Biden doesn't play his part in using his considerable leverage to see all this happen?
PARSI: There was a significant outpouring of sympathy for Israel after Hamas's October 7 attacks for very understandable reasons. There was a very large number of the people who were attacked that were civilians and taking hostages, taking children hostages, these are all war crimes and they should be condemned and they were by the world. But what followed, this indiscriminate bombing of civilians, the complete destruction of large parts of Gaza. Talk by Israeli cabinet ministers of a new Nakba, a new disaster, you know, essentially the ethnic cleansing that took place in the formation of Israel.
All of this has caused Israel to be completely isolated in the world on this issue. When you take a look at what happened in the United Nations General Assembly, resolution calling for a ceasefire was supported by more than 120 countries. Only 14 countries voted with Israel and the United States. The United States was the country that vetoed the resolution, calling for humanitarian pause introduced by Brazil, the same measure that Biden now supports.
This has cost Israel tremendously internationally. It is also costing the United States tremendously internationally. Just take a look at the large protests worldwide. This is not just in the Middle East. It's in Latin America. It's in Indonesia. It's in South Africa. The cost to the U.S. for having supported this and not prevented it by standing in the way of a ceasefire is going to be as costly. American diplomats themselves say, as the U.S.'s invasion of Iraq was. for the U.S.'s standing in the world.
CHURCH: Meantime though, the U.S. and other Western nations are pushing for a two-state solution to this long history of tension and conflict between Israel and the Palestinians or once the war ends. Is a two-state solution the answer? And how would that work given these latest hostilities?
PARSI: Two-state solution or a state of the Palestinians have their state, the Israelis have their state, and they can live in peace and security next to each other, of course, would be the ideal situation. I'm not so sure, however, that the premise of the question is correct in terms of saying that the West is supporting this.
The United States just, voted against the resolution in the General Assembly, calling for the end of occupation of Palestine and illegal settlements, things that the United States traditionally has opposed, recognizing already back in the 1980s clearly that these illegal settlements are an impediment to peace and an impediment to a two- state solution.
In practice, for the last 20 or so years, the United States has not pushed against this, which then makes the belief that the U.S. actually is pursuing a two-state solution, one that most countries in the region no longer believe in.
CHURCH: Trita Parsi, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it and your perspective on this issue.
PARSI: Thank you for having me.
CHURCH: More than 180,000 people marched against anti-Semitism across France this weekend. Sunday's demonstration in Paris is reportedly the largest such march since the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in France more than 30 years ago. 105,000 people filled the streets of the capital city. The demonstrations come as tensions have been flaring in France over the Israel-Hamas war, and there's been a spike in anti-Semitic incidents. French President Emmanuel Macron posted on social media, "A France where our Jewish fellow citizens are afraid is not France."
The new U.S. House Speaker is facing a challenge as a government funding deadline looms just around the corner and lawmakers show little sign they're working together. Details ahead.
And Chinese President Xi Jinping will soon travel to the U.S. where he's set to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden. A look at what's at stake for the two leaders. That's next.
CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. Well, the field of U.S. Republican presidential candidates is shrinking as Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina says he is suspending his campaign for 2024. We're told his announcement Sunday night caught many of his aides and donors by surprise even though he was facing an uphill battle against Donald Trump, the clear frontrunner in the party. Scott says he won't endorse another candidate right now. He now plans to serve out his term in Congress, which runs until 2028.
Well, members of Congress are working against the clock with a Friday deadline to keep the government up and running. The new Speaker of the House is pushing an unconventional plan that would provide staggering funding into the new year, but it remains to be seen if lawmakers will approve it. CNN's Manu Raju has more.
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Speaker Mike Johnson in his first test as Speaker unveiling a plan to keep the government open with just a handful of days before the end of the week deadline, but already facing fire from his right flank, who members of the House Freedom Caucus in particular are concerned about the lack of spending cuts in this plan.
Democrats didn't want any spending cuts and said they would vote against it. However, Democrats are concerned that it does not have aid to Israel and aid to Ukraine and they are criticizing the unconventional approach taken by Speaker Johnson. Some federal agencies would be funded up until mid-January, others until early February. This is an unusual type of approach, but one in which Johnson believes can help achieve their legislative objectives.
But nevertheless, the question is how many folks on the right will push back, will try to push him out because of the lack of spending cuts and whether they will actually try to push him out.
Recall that just not too long ago, Kevin McCarthy, the former speaker lost his job because, in major part here, because he advanced a bill to keep the government open with Democratic support that did not have spending cuts. I asked McCarthy himself whether or not he is concerned or whether he believes Johnson's job could be a risk by taking a similar approach.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): No, look, you get a honeymoon and they can't go through it again. I mean, think about how long it took last time. So, do you think they would do that again?
RAJU: So even if he goes and relies on Democratic votes the way you had to do it, you think that he would be safe and not be pushed on the speakership?
MCCARTHY: Oh yeah. I don't think anybody can make a motion to vacate for the rest of the term. I think he's safe regardless.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: And Democrats are still weighing exactly how they will proceed. They're still watching how Republicans are dealing with this. And I'm told from House Democratic sources, it's still uncertain whether they will carry this across the finish line and how many votes Johnson will ultimately need from Democrats, but there is hardly any time left. As Senate Democratic leaders are signaled that they could be open to this, the White House has criticized this approach, House Democrats are remaining mum, and a lot of questions as we head into yet another week of shutdown fears on Capitol Hill. Manu Raju, CNN, Washington.
CHURCH: For the first time in more than six years, Chinese President Xi Jinping will soon be back in the United States. He is expected to meet with President Joe Biden this week on the sidelines of the APEC summit in San Francisco, their first meeting since last year's G20 summit in Bali. The two leaders are looking to stabilize relations in the midst of growing geopolitical conflicts. And CNN Beijing bureau chief Steven Jiang joins me now. So, Steven, what's at stake here and what is China hoping to get out of this meeting?
STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: Yeah, Rosemary, the stakes are high not only for China and the U.S., but for many other countries around the world that feel they are caught in between the U.S.-China tensions. But again, expectations are low. Remember when the two men last met in Bali, it was also when relations plunged to a historic low after then U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. And things appeared to be looking up after that meeting, but then again, the suspected Chinese spy balloon popped up.
That's why a lot of analysts say it is a big deal for the two men to meet in San Francisco, but the biggest deliverable out of that meeting could be just resumption of communications, government to government, including at very senior levels, but perhaps more importantly now people to people exchanges.
We have seen some positive signs at that front, including the resumption of more nonstop flights between the two sides and more American academic and cultural delegations visit China. But the problem is fundamentally how each side views their own strengths and the other's intentions have not changed.
In Washington, China remains perhaps the only bipartisan consensus being viewed as America's most menacing strategic competitor. And here Xi Jinping has made clear the U.S. is out to contain China's global rise, suppressing its interests. That's why they have to fight back. And we have seen that translated into policy measures, including a growing emphasis on self-reliance in key economic sectors, especially in tech, but also whitening counter-espionage campaigns that have now affected foreign, including American companies, operations and confidence here, not to mention growing close encounters between the two militaries that has become more dangerous day after day.
And that, in a way, points to the importance of resuming military-to- military communications which were cut off by the Chinese after the Pelosi visit to Taiwan. So that could be part of the potential deliverables, along with more cooperation on climate change and fentanyl. But at the end of the day, Rosemary, Xi Jinping doesn't have incentive to soften the stance and, in a way, hit the brakes on some of the things because domestic economic hit wins.
And one suggestion a lot of people have said, Rosemary, just give for the Americans more pandas. Rosemary?
CHURCH: All right. Our thanks to Steven Jiang for that live report from Beijing.
Israel warns that it could do in Beirut what it's doing in Gaza as the conflict with Hezbollah escalates at the border with Lebanon. Details just ahead.
CHURCH: The director of the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City says the facility is in a dire state from lack of electricity with all operating rooms now out of service. Hospital staff already have been trying to keep premature babies alive after the incubator's oxygen supply ran out. The World Health Organization says the complex is not functioning as a hospital anymore, having been without electricity, water and poor internet for three days.
Israel's military says it has offered 300 liters of fuel to the complex, but it claims Hamas blocked the hospital from receiving it. This video comes from the Israel Defense Forces. CNN cannot independently verify it. The hospital's director says while Israeli officials did offer fuel, it was only enough to run the generators for 30 minutes, and the staff was too scared to go and get it.
With the health care system collapsed, Israel's Prime Minister is facing more calls for a ceasefire. Here's how he responds to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NETANYAHU: The only ceasefire that we would consider is one in which we have our hostages released. And that remains true. It doesn't mean that we can't give humanitarian pause for a few hours in a place, a specific time and place where we want to have a humanitarian corridor and have the people leave safely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And as Israel focuses on Hamas in Gaza, the conflict with Hezbollah is escalating at the border with Lebanon. And Israel says it holds the Lebanese government and the militant group responsible for the increased fighting.
Ben Wedeman has more
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In May of this year, Hezbollah put on a show for the media, acting out perhaps a future operation, leaving no doubt who the foe would be.
That was then, this is now. Hezbollah posts almost daily videos of their attacks on Israeli positions along the border.
From the day after Hamas's surprise attack on Israel, a low intensity war has been raging between Israel and Hezbollah, as well as other factions operating in south Lebanon. With Israeli forces battling Hamas inside Gaza, Houthi rebels launching missiles from Yemen, and the Lebanese-Israeli border seeing daily, sometimes fatal exchanges, it's a multi-front war.
Saturday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah proclaimed that the region's 75-year struggle with Israel has reached a turning point.
Regardless of what the Zionists do, he said, after October 7th, Israel is a different Israel, existentially, strategically, historically, and in terms of security.
The day he made the speech saw the heaviest cross border exchanges yet, the weapons both sides are using ever more deadly, reaching deeper into one another's territory.
Speaking with troops near the border, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned, what we're doing in Gaza, we can also do in Beirut.
It is a slow burn for now, but it could, at any moment, explode into something much bigger.
Ben Wedeman, CNN, Tyre, South Lebanon.
CHURCH: Top defense officials from the U.S., Japan and South Korea have agreed on a plan for real-time data sharing on North Korea missile launches starting next month. The agreement came during annual a security talks with insole during the weekend, which Pentagon Chief Lloyd Austin has been attending. talks have largely focused on ways the three countries can counter
threats from North Korea, including a strategy in which the U.S. will use its military and nuclear assets, to deter Pyongyang and defend our allies.
CNN's Paula Hancocks joins us now live from Seoul.
Good to see you, Paula.
So, what more are you learning about the security talks between the U.S. and South Korea, and how is North Korea likely to react? Or is it reacting now?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDNET: Well, Rosemary, these are part of the annual security talks between the defense minister of the U.S., and South Korea, but further to that this time around, they have actually updated one of their bilateral security agreements. So, this is really the announcement that they have come out with again today, this Monday.
It is a security agreement that is intended to deter North Korea with its nuclear missile activities. But, what we have heard from officials in this agreement as well is that this was signed ten years ago, it had not been updated. And yet, the threat from North Korea is very different than what it was.
It really alludes to the increase in capabilities that we have seen over recent years from Pyongyang when it comes to its nuclear and missile ballistic programs, which, really have significantly improved. And that is why the two sides have decided to update the security agreements. It is part of the extended deterrence strategy, where the U.S. is intended to come to the defense of its allies, using all of its capabilities, including its nuclear capabilities.
Now, one other tangible change we heard of Sunday, was when the defense ministers of the U.S., South Korea and Japan all spoke and said they would put together this mechanism, this system in place which would allow them to have real-time data sharing, when it came to any kind of launch to any North Korean missile. It was something that politically have been agreed on already, that the leaders of those two countries have agreed to it at Camp David back in August. But this is really the military catching up to say they are in the final stages, and they think the system should be fully functional by the end of December.
They also on Sunday evening, the South Korean president, Yoon Suk Yeol, invited the U.S. secretary of state, Lloyd Austin, to dinner. They talked, clearly, North Korea being one of the main focuses. But we also heard from the South Korean president talking about the other two wars that are happening in the world. And how North Korea is either directly, or indirectly tied to both of them. Now, we do know that North Korea is very vocally supportive of Hamas, we have also seen evidence that there are North Korean weapons being used in that arena. And, of course, when it comes to Ukraine Russia, we have seen an
increase security allegiance, alliance, and relationship between Russia and North Korea, which really concerns Washington, Seoul, and many others in the region. In fact, just earlier this month, that at the beginning of November, at the NIS, the spy agency, said they believe North Korea has exported over 1 million shells to Russia already since August -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: All right. Our thanks to Paula Hancocks, joining us live from Seoul.
And still to come, officials in ice land have declared a state of emergency, following a wave of earthquakes and the threats of possible volcanic eruptions. The latest after a short break. Stay with us.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.
Iceland is under a state of emergency due to a threat of a volcanic eruption. This comes amid an intense wave of earthquakes in a region well-known for seismic activity, and reports of a magma tunnel forming near one fishing town.
CNN's Michael Holmes reports
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Alarming signs in Iceland, where waves of tremors are shaking and splintering parts of the country. And experts say the seismic activity there is likely to get worse.
Thousands of earthquakes have struck Iceland southwest peninsula in last few days, geologists say it's related to an underground corridor, or magma that's shifting, and could soon lead to a volcanic irruption. In the town of Grindavik, some 50 kilometers away from the capital of Reykjavik, the ground is already split open in places because of the volatility under the earth crossed. More than 3,000 residents were evacuated Saturday, with a few allowed back Sunday to retrieve pets, and essential items from their home.
Experts say the magma corridor was stretchers about 15 kilometers near Grindavik could cause an interruption and possibly destroying much of town.
VIDIR REYNISSON, ICELAND'S CIVIL PROTECTION & EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: The magma is known at a very shallow depth, so we are expecting interruption within a couple of hours, shortest part at least within a couple of days. An eruption could happen.
HOLMES: Iceland has declared a state of emergency, and as a precaution has closed the Blue Lagoon, a popular geothermal saw located near Grindavik. The area near Grindavik, is prone to volcanic activity with three over options in the past two and a half years. In 2021, official measuring as big as 170 meters long, spewed lava into the sky, attracting tourists to the unpopulated hotspot.
This time around, with an entire town potentially at risk officials warn this eruption could have far more dangerous consequences.
Michael Holmes, CNN.
CHURCH: And thanks for joining us this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. For international viewers, "WORLD SPORT" is up next. And for those of you in the U.S. and Canada, I'll be back with more news in just a moment.
Do stay with us.
CHURCH: Welcome back to our viewers in North America. I'm Rosemary Church.
Well, the mayor of New York City will continue to cooperate with federal authorities. That's according to his chief counsel. The FBI and the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York are investigating Eric Adams campaign finances. On Sunday, "The New York Times" reported that authorities are also looking into whether Adams pressured officials to approve a Manhattan high-rise housing the Turkish consulate general.
Polo Sandoval explains.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Did New York City Mayor Eric Adams pressure fellow New York City officials to sign off on the building that houses the Turkish consulate? That is now among the growing list of questions surrounding this federal probe. That's especially in light of some New York times reporting which the outset cites three different unnamed sources saying that the FBI is now looking into the possibility that Mayor Adams act -- which was actually borough president at the time, may have pressured officials at FDNY to sign off on the occupancy of this Manhattan skyscraper that houses that consulate, despite some of the safety issues that were reported at that building.
Now, Adams' campaign spokesperson today responding to that reporting, saying that as borough president at the time, that Adams would routinely hear about some of those constituents about some of those issues and they would often relay those issues to other city officials, essentially saying that something like that would not be unusual as part of his daily duties. A campaign spokesperson also repeating what we heard on Friday, after that information came to light, that he had some of his electronic devices seized by federal authorities, that the mayor has not been accused of any wrongdoing and that he continues to cooperate with federal investigators as they press forward with this public corruption probe.
Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.
CHURCH: Fire damage has shut down a major freeway in southern California. A section of Interstate 10 in Los Angeles, known as the Santa Monica Freeway is closed after a fire broke out at a pallet yard. It was whipped by strong winds and covered some 80,000 square feet at its height. More than 160 firefighters responded.
The blaze damaged parts of the high as it passed from one storage yard to another. Much of the fire was extinguished in less than three hours. But authorities say this part of the highway will stay closed until further notice. The fire's cause is still under investigation.
A search is under way for a missing California woman and her parents, after police arrested her husband on suspicion of murder. The 35-year- old Samuel Haskell's arrest comes after human remains were found in a dumpster. Police traced those remains back to the couple's home near Los Angeles.
CNN's Camila Bernal has more from L.A.
CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Authorities arrested 35-year-old Samuel Haskell on suspicion of murder. And they say this is after someone here in Los Angeles was looking few dumpster bins and found a bag with a woman's torso inside.
Now, authorities at the moment say they have not been able to identify the remains but continue this investigation. The evidence they found led them to Samuel Haskell and his home. They say he shared a home with his wife, three children and his in-laws.
The children, according to police, they are okay, they are safe, they're with family. But his wife and his in-laws, they are still missing. So, of course, the community in shock and terrified, reacting to this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know what to say. No human should die like that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That woman that's missing, grandma. I don't know what we're praying for her? To survive, to live, to know what happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know what kind of a person can do that, honestly. It's another human being, whether you know him or not. It's a human being, and it is very scary.
BERNAL: And police found blood and other evidence in the home that they searched. That's according to our affiliate KABC, who was also reporting that no other human remains were found.
Now, in the meantime, Haskell is set to appear in court here in Los Angeles on Monday morning.
It's unclear if he has an attorney. His father, an Emmy-winning producer and agent here in Hollywood. We've reached out to him and have not heard back.
Camila Bernal, CNN, Los Angeles.
CHURCH: A landmark clinical trial reveals that a medication given for weight loss could help prevent heart attacks, strokes and heart- related deaths. Wegovy was shown to reduce those risks by 20 percent, compared to a placebo. The study in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at thousands of overweight people who had cardiovascular disease. Results showed lower blood pressure and triglycerides, and reduced levels of key information markers. Patients were also less likely to develop diabetes.
One of the study's authors said it's unclear if the heart benefits from Wegovy are attributable to how much weight people lost while using the medicine or if the drug has other effects, as well.
Well, doctors in New York successfully completed the world's first whole eye and partial face transplant surgery earlier this year. The patient was an Arkansas man named Aaron James. He was working as a high-voltage power lineman two years ago when an accident cost him his left eye and most of his face. Now, he is patient zero for a first of its kind procedure, that may help advance transplant medicine.
CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez explains.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Aaron James was working as a high voltage lineman in 2021, when his face touched a live wire. He lost his arm and part of his face. James' new reality left him unrecognizable. No memory of what happened. He was sent to a hospital in Texas not long after.
AARON JAMES, HIGH VOLTAGE LINEMAN: Basically, I got up and went to work, ad woke up six weeks later in Dallas, Texas.
JIMENEZ: Doctors at New York University, got wind of his case and saw possibility. Less than two years after the accident, they performed a successful partial face and whole eye transplant, the first time that's ever been done in history.
And this is what James looks like now. The new eye still not open. But receiving blood flow, his doctors say.
When you walk by the mirror, do you stop yourself and go, wow?
JAMES: Every time I see a mirror, I stop. It's unbelievable. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the very beginning, it was a poor outlook.
They were preparing me for his death.
JIMENEZ: Did you ever lose hope?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
JIMENEZ: Why is that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because he was fighting.
JIMENEZ: Their daughter Allie (ph) wasn't sure what he would look like. That's not what she cared about.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most of my worry is how he would be when he was awake and aware.
JIMENEZ: Did you think you would lose him?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
JAMES: I'm still a little in shock. I don't know how in the world, how this happened to us, you know?
JIMENEZ: The procedure was intricate at every level.
Why is adding an eye to a face transplant much more complicated than the already complicated face transplant?
DR. EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ, CHAIR, HANSJONG WYAS DEPT. OF PLASTIC SURGERY, NYU LANGONE: It's completely unchartered territory.
JIMENEZ: Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez helped lead the surgery. In one of two operating rooms, he dissected the face that James would soon receive, including an eye.
RODRIGUEZ: We disconnected from the donor and the race begins. At this point, the face and the eye are not receiving blood supply. The amount of time that is not receiving blood is critical. The eye can die. So I take the face from the donor and to Aaron's room and I begin all those connections.
JIMENEZ: Having to use a microscope to connect nerves no more than a millimeter wide to connect the eye.
Is there a possibility that he will see in the future?
RODRIGUEZ: At this point, he does not see. But we've made one huge step forward.
JIMENEZ: This was James seeing himself for the first time post- surgery.
You don't look at this as a finish line. This is a starting point?
RODRIGUEZ: Absolutely. JIMENEZ: Through it all, James sees a purpose greater than his own.
JAMES: That's really my biggest hope out of this deal.
I mean, if I can see out of it, that's great. It will kick start the next path in the medical field, I'm all for it.
CHURCH: Extraordinary. And that was Omar Jimenez reporting.
Doctors say they will keep running tests on Erin to look for a connection between the brain and eye that would indicate sight of any kind.
In college football, one of the game's highest paid coaches is suddenly out of a job. Texas A&M fired Jimbo Fisher Sunday, almost six years after hiring him away from Florida State, where he led the Seminoles to a national championship. Fisher had 45 wins and 25 losses in his seasons with the Aggies. This season, the team is 6-4 overall, with two games remaining.
Fisher was making more than $9 million a year and his firing will reportedly cost the school roughly $76 million to buy out the rest of his contract. The school's athletic director called the finances behind the decision monumental.
Well, American soccer star Megan Rapinoe appears to be dealing with a serious injury which forced her out of her final professional match on Saturday. In the opening minutes of the National Women's Soccer League Championship, she went down with a noncontact injury and remained on the turf before limping off the field. Her team later lost 2-1 to Gotham FC. Rapinoe told reporters after the game she tore her Achilles.
Before we go, a seaside town near Rome can breathe a lot easier, now that a circus lion is no longer roaming around. You can see the lion just walking the streets. Police are investigating if the animal was let out, after an employee found a broken lock and saw three people running from the lion's cage. The local mayor announced on Face the lion had been recaptured and returned the circus after it was on the loose for five hours. A lot of relief there.
And thanks so much for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with more news in just a moment.
Do stay with us.