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Gunfire erupts in the Last Day of Extended Israel-Hamas Truce; Heavy Snowstorm Pummels Across Ukraine; Pope Francis Cancels COP28 Dubai Attendance upon Doctors Advice. reed Filipino Caregiver Shares His Experience in the Hands of Hamas during the War; China Deals with the Respiratory Illness Surge; Living First Ladies and Presidents Attended the Late First Lady Rosalynn Carter's Memorial; Charles Koch Backs Republican Presidential Candidates' Endorsement. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired November 29, 2023 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world and to everyone streaming us on CNN Max. I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead, the final day hopes to extend the Gaza truce as the sound of gunfire rings out near Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

A hostages' story. Hear a Filipino caregiver's first-hand account of what it was like to be held by Hamas.

And in China, a sickness surge. Why are so many children suffering from respiratory illnesses?

ANNOUNCER: Live from Atlanta, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Rosemary Church.

CHURCH: I Appreciate you joining us. Well, the temporary truce between Israel and Hamas is now in what could be its final day, after a two- day extension. Sources say Israel has the list of hostages expected to be released in the hours ahead, but we're also learning that talks in Doha with officials representing Israel, the U.S., Qatar and Egypt are in consensus about working towards extending the current pause in Gaza. This comes as clashes were reported in Jenin and the West Bank. The Israel Defense Forces says it was conducting counter-terrorism activities in the area.

CNN's Scott McLean is following developments and joined us now live from Istanbul. Good to see you again, Scott. So what is expected in the coming hours as we head into what could be the final day of this truce deal unless there is an extension?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, so Rosemary, the expectation at this stage of the game is that if all goes according to plan today and the hostages are turned over as per usual and the Palestinian prisoners are released and that there is no large-scale violations of the truce that's in place that Hamas will produce a new list of hostages to be released tomorrow. 10 of them and then this will go on.

The reality is, though, that this is all quite delicate. Hamas says that it is willing to abide by this truce only as long as its enemy Israel is willing to and Israelis have made very clear that they are gearing up for phase two of this war to go back to war once this truce actually expires. So the question now is how long can either side hold off fire?

Yesterday we did see an exchange of fire in Gaza. The Israelis say that there were explosives that went off near two separate IDF positions and that soldiers were fired on by Hamas. They returned fire. There were no serious injuries in that case. Hamas described this incident quite differently. They said that this was a field skirmish and that its fighters dealt with it.

And they also went on to accuse Israel of clearly violating the terms of this truce. In terms of the discussions right now happening in Doha in Qatar, the CIA director, the U.S. CIA director Bill Burns is there, trying to get this truce extended beyond just the women and children because it is our understanding that there are only enough women and children to do this for two more days beyond that we're going to be talking about civilian men and Israeli soldiers who are held captive. Some of whom are female. Hamas will demand a higher price for those hostages they have made that abundantly clear that is also the expectation from the Israelis from the Americans as well.

And Hamas says that there have been no discussions so far when it comes to those soldiers. It says that it is open to two types of deals. One, it calls the partial deal, handing over civilians in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, and more ceasefire, shouldn't call it a ceasefire, but a pause in fighting.

It is also open to a comprehensive deal, as it says, which would include those Israeli soldiers but it is demanding that Israel essentially empty its prisons of Palestinians in order to get that kind of a deal done.

A member of the Israeli Knesset and the former Israeli ambassador to the U.N., Danny Danon was on CNN last night and he said that look, the government has signed off on this deal continuing until Monday. Beyond that, the cabinet would have to meet again and sign off on either an extension of something similar or a new deal, he was also asked how long Israel is willing to hold off on its continuation of its military operation in Gaza. Listen.



DANNY DANON, FORMER ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: I speak a lot with the military and they tell me it's not easy for us. It puts the lives of soldiers in threat. But if we can bring more hostages back, we are willing to pay that price. So if we need to wait another few days, another week, we will do it. And after that, the military will go south and will continue with the war.


MCLEAN: So Rosemary, there's also been a lot of discussion around the fact that so far, the youngest hostages still in captivity have not been released. That's a 10-month-old baby belonging to the Bebus family. His four-year-old brother is also still being held. But part of the complication here is that a diplomatic source believes that there are some 40, maybe 50 hostages being held by groups other than Hamas, groups like Palestinian Islamic Jihad or other similar smaller militant groups.

Danon also described the shifting or the movement of hostages between groups as trading and selling, in his words, something that he says that Israel has not seen before, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Scott McLean in Istanbul, many thanks for that report.

Joining me now from Washington is Aaron David Miller. He is a former Middle East negotiator for the U.S. State Department and a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment. A pleasure to have you with us.


CHURCH: So Hamas released 12 new hostages on the fifth day of the truce. And now, of course, we head into the final day of that pause in fighting. The big question next, will Hamas and Israel agree to extend that truce beyond Wednesday with talks currently underway on broadening the hostage deal and can you see a path forward to end this war?

MILLER: Yeah, it's clearly, I think the deal is going to survive or you may get another day or two, maybe more out of this because it's serving the best interests I think of both sides.

For Hamas clearly they're trading time for hostages which affords them time to regroup and rearm and get a better sense of what the Israelis have planned for the next phase.

For the Netanyahu government, it's a way clearly to get people back and to acquiesce, I think, in what may be growing awkwardness and uncomfortability in the part of the Biden administration about the direction this war is taking.

So I think if, in fact, Hamas has control of women and children, there are still quite a few of each that Hamas either has or has to locate, then I think you could get another day or two out of this.

CHURCH: Let's talk about that because 10 additional hostages are said to be released on the final day of the extended truce. After that the fighting will resume if an extension is not agreed upon and Prime Minister Netanyahu and his defense minister are vowing to fight fiercer than ever before to destroy Hamas. What are the likely consequences domestically, regionally, and of course internationally if and when this war resumes?

MILLER: Well, I think it will resume because I think what the Israelis fear most is building pressure for a ceasefire, cessation of hostilities, which would leave Hamas standing with its stock, given the numbers of prisoners that have been returned, boosted both in Gaza and in the West Bank.

The Biden administration really isn't a bind. The president has tethered his support to Israel's war aims, which call for an eradication of Hamas. And that means a major ground campaign. Israelis have work to do in northern Gaza, but once they finish that, they're going to turn their attention to the south, Khan Younis. They think that's where senior leadership of Hamas is. That may well be where the hostages are.

I think the administration is growing increasingly uncomfortable with the prospects of a major Israeli ground campaign which doesn't take into account to the degree the administration wants them to, the humanitarian consequences of such an action.

Plus, I think the administration is increasingly frustrated that the Netanyahu government will not discuss the day after. What precisely is going to happen once the Israeli military campaign is through? For how long do the Israelis plan to be in Gaza?


And clearly, again, the Netanyahu government seems to be resisting the idea of a Palestinian governance in Gaza, certainly on the part of the Palestinian Authority. So I think we're headed in some respects for growing differences between the Biden administration and the Netanyahu government in the weeks to come. And again, I think we're talking weeks, if not longer.

CHURCH: And you have been involved in hostage negotiations like this in the past. Why is Hamas holding onto American hostages, only releasing one so far? And how much more complicated is this process with the other groups involved in holding some of the other remaining hostages?

MILLER: I mean, I think both questions probably go together. I mean, is it possible that Hamas does not have all the Americans? Is it possible that other groups, families, heads of clans, have seized hostages?

There were reports that there are trading and literally sales of hostages going on. So I think in terms of the Americans, the more the United States presses, I think the more Hamas's tendency. is to resist. They realize that these Americans and how many are actually in Hamas' custody or in the custody of other groups is unclear, as many as 10.

But every report indicates that the administration talks about 10 Americans that are unaccounted for. Hopefully they're all still alive. So I think the more the administration presses, the more they attach value to these hostages, the Americans support Hamas tends to resist. They may in fact be as valuable, not quite perhaps, as the IDF troops that Hamas are holding.

CHURCH: Aaron David Miller, many thanks for joining us and sharing your analysis. I Appreciate it.

MILLER: Thanks for having me, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Well, meantime, the newly released hostages and their families are now celebrating their freedom. CNN's Matthew Chance takes a look at their loving reunions.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The tears are of joy and of sadness. This is the moment Sharon Avigdori and her 12-year-old daughter Nome, kidnapped on October the 7th are reunited with their family. But they know friends and neighbors were murdered and that others remain hostages. Relief here is bittersweet.

Israel is releasing this emotional footage of hostages freed by Hamas, traumatized women and children returning to shattered lives.

Like eight-year-old Nava and his sister Yahel, just three, now freed with their mother and grandma after weeks in Gaza, but their dad, Tal, remains a hostage.

Little Emily Hand, who turned nine in captivity, is reunited with her family, but seems shell-shocked by her trauma. In an interview with CNN, her father spoke of his joy and pain.

THOMAS HAND, FATHER OF RELEASED HOSTAGES: It was beautiful, just like I imagined it, you know, running together. I squeezed, I probably squeezed too hard. So only when she stepped back a little I could see her face was chiseled like mine, whereas before she left it was a chubby, curly, young kid face.

CHANCE (voice-over): Freed U.S. Israeli toddler Abigail Edan, who turned four as a hostage, lost both her parents in the mass attack on Kfar Aza, but her surviving families say they are taking good care of her.

ELLA MOR, AUNT OF RELEASED HOSTAGE: My name is Ella Mor, I'm Abigail's auntie, Guli. She just landed in the hospital and she's being checked and taken care of. I want to thank everybody for all your love and support. It's amazing and thank you so much.

CHANCE (voice-over): This crisis has shone light on the role of foreign domestic workers in Israel, like Jimmy Pacheco, a Filipino caregiver. abducted by Hamas after the Israeli pensioner he was looking after was killed. Along with the applause, Israel says he and other foreigners get a lifelong stipend for their ordeal.

At times, news of a release has been overwhelming. This is Hadass Kalderon getting the call in a shopping mall that a 16-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son were being set free. For a moment, relief eclipsing the pain of terrible loss.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Tel Aviv.

(END VIDEOTAPE) [03:15:02]

CHURCH: The World Health Organization is warning that more people in Gaza could die from diseases and acute health conditions than from Israeli airstrikes if the medical infrastructure is not restored. The agency says hundreds of thousands of people in the besieged territory are suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes and cancer, but do not have access to the medications and the treatment they need.


MARGARET HARRIS, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION SPOKESPERSON: Eventually we will see more people dying from disease than we're even seeing from the bombardment if we are not able to put back this health system and provide the basics of life: food, water, medicines, and of course fuel to operate the hospitals.


CHURCH: The majority of health care facilities in Gaza have been forced to close due to Israeli bombardments or lack of fuel. Israel has said it is targeting Hamas, not civilians. The Palestine Red Crescent Society says that around 200 aid trucks have crossed into Gaza since Friday, but a U.N. official warns that the aid going in at the moment is just a drop in the ocean of humanitarian needs.

Earlier I spoke with Ricardo Pires, spokesperson for UNICEF, and I asked him about the heartbreaking scenes out of Gaza.


RICARDO PIRES, UNICEF SPOKESPERSON: Heartbreaking, sadly, not the first and probably not the last we'll see until there's a more permanent agreement to this conflict, which should always be a political one, not a military one. For us, for UNICEF, this temporary pause we've had has been a game changer in terms of getting more supplies to areas that have been heavily impacted by conflict for the last seven weeks, namely the north of Gaza.

So we're getting or we're joining convoys with other U.N. agencies that are reaching really impacted, shattered areas in the north of Gaza where hundreds of thousands of children are still in need of supplies, they're in need of water, they're in need of food, they're in need of medical supplies and hospitals are in need of medical equipment and fuel to operate and desalination plants need to continue operating at a better speed to make sure that we don't have a water crisis next. We're hearing stories of children being extremely thirsty, often dehydrated.

And on top of these tragic stories that we've just seen, there's the longer-term impact that this conflict could cause.


CHURCH: Still to come, Ukraine says the wife of a top official has been poisoned and some of his staff as well. What we know about Russia's possible involvement.

Plus Pope Francis cancels his trip to the COP 28 climate summit in Dubai on doctor's orders, we are live in Rome with the latest on the pope's health.




CHURCH: We are hearing from the Japanese Coast Guard, a U.S. military Osprey aircraft with eight crew members on board has crashed off the coast of Yakushima Island. One person has been found by a local fishing vessel, but there's no information on their condition. The Osprey is a unique tilt rotor aircraft that combines elements of a helicopter and a fixed wing plane. It's capable of vertical takeoff and landing. An Osprey crash in Australia back in August killed three U.S. Marines.

In Ukraine, three people, including a seven-year-old girl, have been killed by Russian shelling in a residential neighborhood, according to authorities there. It happened in Sumy in the northeast of the country. It comes as we hear reports of Russia intensifying its drive- in eastern Ukraine working to advance on all sides after weeks of fighting and push through the Donbass region.

Well meantime, the wife of Ukraine's top military intelligence official is in the hospital, with apparent heavy metals poisoning, according to Ukrainian and Western officials. Mariana Budanova is the wife of GUR head Karilo Budanov, who has been deeply involved in Ukraine's efforts to oust Russia from its territory. Ukraine says other intelligence staffers are also sick, and the Ukrainian foreign minister told Erin Burnett he suspects Moscow is to blame.


DMYTRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, it would be premature for me to make any conclusions, but when you fight such a vicious enemy as Russia, you have to be ready for anything. And Russia has proven itself many times before as a country that uses poison as a mean to kill its opponents and its enemies. And definitely our intelligence chief is the enemy of Russia, as all of us are, all those who are fighting against Russia. So it's highly likely that Russia is behind it, but I'm not making any official conclusions, so I leave it to the experts to make.


CHURCH: And Ukraine is bracing for a second round of powerful winter weather. At least 10 people died and thousands lost power in heavy snowstorms that swept through the country earlier this week. CNN's Anna Coren reports from Kyiv.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Heavy snow and ferocious winds as a severe winter storm sweeps across Ukraine, putting a nation at war under additional strain. Days of extreme weather here has left at least 10 people dead, more than 20 injured and hundreds of villages and towns without power, according to Ukraine's interior ministry.

The southern region of Odessa taking the hardest impact.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Unfortunately, as of now, there are some deaths. The highest number is in the Odessa region. Five people. My condolences to their families and friends.

COREN (voice-over): The storm was caused by a low-pressure system over Eastern Europe over the weekend. On Sunday, wind speeds of up to 65 miles per hour were reported.

1,500 responders were taking part in operations across the country, according to officials, and power engineers were working to restore the electricity supply to households.

The severe weather also hit Russian-occupied Crimea, where a state of emergency was called for parts of the peninsula. 93,000 there were left without electricity. And the water supply for 245 villages was disrupted, according to Russia's local head of the peninsula.

For residents of Ukraine's capital, their thoughts were with those now fighting a war in even harsher conditions.

UNKNOWN (through translator): I start crying when I think about the soldiers. It's hard to imagine what it feels like there. These are very heavy thoughts.

COREN (voice-over): A harsh winter getting only harsher still. More heavy snow and rain is expected to hit Ukraine this week, bringing further danger and possible devastation.

Anna Coren, CNN, Kyiv.


CHURCH: As the COP28 climate summit gets underway in Dubai on Thursday, there will be one notable absence. Pope Francis will not be attending on the advice of his doctors. The Vatican says the Pope is getting over the flu and his medical team has asked that he not travel for the next few days.

CNN's Barbie Nadeau joins me now live from Rome. Good to see you, Barbie. So what more can you tell us about the health issues facing Pope Francis?


BARBIE NADEAU, CNN REPORTER: Well, you know, this really was an 11th hour cancellation. Just before they announced that he wouldn't be attending, the Vatican press office briefed all those journalists who would be traveling with him. Bags were packed, plans were made. And then they said last night at Rome time that he would not be attending because of his health.

But the good news is this morning at his usual Wednesday audience here in Rome, which is being held inside an auditorium because it's winter time here. He walked in and that's a surprise because often he's wheeled in his wheelchair. He said he wasn't able to deliver his message himself that was read and I'm just waiting now to see if he's going to make any comments at the end of that audience. Usually it lasts about an hour.

So he is out and about but this trip I'm sure he's terribly disappointed and the way they framed it really this was the doctors telling him he shouldn't go. Wasn't by any means his choice not to go, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And Barbie, the Pope's birthday is fast approaching. He will be 87 on December 17th. And he's clearly facing some challenging health issues. Sometimes he looks like he's experiencing pain. So what is the path forward in situations like this?

NADEAU: Yeah, you know, I mean, we've seen popes like Pope John Paul II, who really suffered at the end of his time as pope, and then Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned, you know, when he felt that he couldn't handle it anymore, that he couldn't keep up his engagements.

Now, Pope Francis, we know, has already signed a resignation letter to be put into effect if he's incapacitated. Of course, he shows no signs of slowing down, but in terms of what he wants to do, plans are made. He's got things planned already in the calendar for next year and certainly over the busy Christmas holiday season.

But there are plans in place in case he can't do the job. And he has mentioned more than once that he would be willing to resign and step aside, like Pope Benedict XVI did, if he felt that he couldn't do the job.

So this is a hiccup in the road. He was in the hospital for 10 days in June. And, you know, everybody's watching, just as you would anyone who's turning 87, you know, an elderly parent, an elderly relative, you know, people are very concerned about him. But he's at his audience this morning. He's very weak. He's coughing quite a bit. His voice is very, very weak.

But you know, he's still there, Rosemary. So I mean, I won't be going to Dubai, but he certainly doesn't look like he's ready to stop anything anytime soon. Rosemary.

CHURCH: And we wish him a speedy recovery. Barbie Nadeau, joining us live from Rome. Many thanks.

Ahead of COP28, the U.N. Secretary-General is urging world leaders to tackle fossil fuels and their impact on the environment. Antonio Guterres used a visit to Antarctica on Monday to highlight the climate crisis, posting on X, quote, "It is profoundly shocking to stand on the ice of Antarctica and hear directly from scientists how fast the ice is melting. The cause is clear: fossil fuel pollution."

Well coming up next, more stories from the freed hostages. We will hear from a Philippine caregiver about what he experienced and the bond he has with his Israeli community.

Plus, why the family of one of the Palestinian college students shot in Vermont says he may never walk again. The details after a short break.




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back everyone. Sources tell CNN Hamas has given Israel the list of another set of hostages to be freed today. And the Israeli government is notifying their families. The militant group released 10 Israelis and two Thai nationals on Tuesday. And they've promised to free 10 additional hostages for every day of the truce. Israel released another 30 Palestinian women and children from its prisons as part of the agreement. Many of the prisoners Israel has been holding were never charged.

Meanwhile, doctors say recovery for the newly released Israeli hostages will take time, especially for the children.


DR. EFRAT BRON-HARLEV, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, SCHNEIDER CHILDREN'S MEDICAL CENTER IN ISRAEL: They came from different places in Gaza and in different times and, of course, different ages. But in general, I can say that they all came very skinny, very pale, lost maybe 10 to 15 percent of their weight at sometimes and not only them but their mothers as well, the ones that came with them. Other than that they have some minor wounds but they will overcome all that.


CHURCH: Among the hostages released so far from Gaza is a Philippine national. who had been working as caregiver at the kibbutz near Oz, which was brutally targeted on October 7th. He was one of two Filipinos kidnapped by Hamas, even as four others were killed.

Oren Liebermann has more now from Tel Aviv.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jimmy Pacheco was never supposed to be a part of this conflict. But he walked out of Shamir Hospital, swept up in a war that wasn't his.

GELIENOR "JIMMY" PACHECO, RELEASED HOSTAGE (through translator): I really didn't think that they will keep me alive knowing that they already had killed my employer. LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Pacheco is from the Philippines, one of tens

of thousands of foreign workers who often come as caretakers or farmhands. In Kibbutz, Nir Oz, near the Gaza border, he cared for the elderly Amitai Ben Zvi. The Kibbutz was destroyed on October 7th and Ben Zvi was murdered. Mati is his brother.

MATI BEN ZVI, BROTHER OF AMITAI BEN ZVI: The terrorists went to the house. My brother was thinking, you know, to save Jimmy because he knew that he cannot run. Jimmy said, no, I'll stay with you because that's what I'm doing, you know, that I'm supposed to do.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Mati Ben Zvi says Jimmy Pacheco had become a part of the family.

BEN ZVI: The whole world knows about Jimmy, you know, and that's due to my brother's sons because he was so dear to my brother, you know.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): The Philippines Embassy in Israel released this video of Pacheco. It is one of the first times we've heard directly from a freed hostage.

PACHECO (through translator): Regarding losing weight, it is normal that I would be like this because the food they gave was not enough.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Pacheco was about to finish his five-year contract in Israel when he was taken hostage.

LIEBERMANN: For the Filipino community in Israel, 30,000 strong, the attack of October 7th was deeply personal. Four of their own were killed. in the attack. In a surprise move, Hamas has released 17 Thai citizens during the first days of the truce, as well as Jimmy Pacheco.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): The Philippines ambassador to Israel says four Filipinos were murdered on October 7th and two taken hostage.

PEDRO LAYLO JR., AMBASSADOR OF THE PHILIPPINES TO ISRAEL: Most of the Filipino workers chose to stay and they believe that, you know, they've been here for years already that Israel will be able to weather the storm.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): The sons of the man for whom Pacheco cared met him at the hospital upon his release, a sign of the bond they shared. Soon after Jimmy Pacheco was released, he spoke with his wife, who celebrated the chance to see him again.

PACHECO (through translator): When I was in Gaza City, I had already lost my faith that I would stay alive, and didn't think I would be able to come back to my family. I gathered strength from our Lord and from my kids. In my mind, I knew I could surpass this.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Jimmy credits his survival to his faith. He'll head home in a few weeks to his own family in the Philippines, a reunion that'll come just in time for Christmas.

Oren Liebermann, CNN, in Tel Aviv.



CHURCH: The First Lady of Israel has written an editorial in "Newsweek" about what she describes as the mass rape of women by Hamas during its attack on October 7th. She says international human rights organizations have failed to condemn acts of sexual violence.


MICHAL HERZOG, FIRST LADY OF ISRAEL: The human rights organizations and especially organizations that were created to protect the rights of women, to prevent exactly what happened in Israel on October 7th, the use of gender-based violence as a weapon of war. That's exactly what these organizations were meant to prevent or at least shout out against. And Israeli women are very disappointed that the voice of these international organizations has not come out. There is no condemnation from organizations like U.N. Women.


CHURCH: She added that the response by international organizations is even more disappointing because Israelis have been on the forefront of fighting for women's rights for many years.

Well one of the three Palestinian college students shot in Vermont may never walk again. Hisham Awartani's family told CNN he has a quote "incomplete spinal injury," meaning he can feel his legs but can't move them. The three students were shot over the weekend in what's being investigated as a possible hate crime. CNN's Polo Sandoval reports.


RICH PRICE, UNCLE OF VERMONT SHOOTING VICTIM HISHAM AWARTANI: In so many ways it was a very normal very loving Thanksgiving meal.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When three lifelong friends gathered at Rich Price's table last week, nobody could have predicted the nightmare that lay ahead.

PRICE: Each of them wished their parents were at the table with us.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Tashin Ali Ahmad, Kinan Abdul-Ameed, and Rich's nephew, Hisham Awartani, traveled to Vermont to celebrate the holiday. The three Palestinian students first met growing up in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. With American roots, they went to college in the U.S. They now attend Brown, Trinity, and Haverford College, all far from a conflict that's only intensified over decades.

But just two days after Thanksgiving, a casual walk through Rich's Burlington neighborhood ended in tragedy.

PRICE: My nephew called my mother and said, Granny, I've been shot. That's how we found out. SANDOVAL (voice-over): The three 20-year-olds were shot in what

Burlington police have described as an unprovoked attack. Though investigators are yet to establish a motive, the families of the injured men fear that it was their Palestinian pride, worn proudly in the form of traditional scarves the night of the attack, that made them targets.

PRICE: I think wearing the keffiyehs was a peaceful demonstration of Palestinian solidarity that was important to them and important to so many people who believe in the value and the importance of humanizing Palestine.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): The struggle for a free and peaceful Palestine has been near and dear to the hearts of these young men, but so have their futures, and now their lives that are put on hold.

SANDOVAL: These guys are more than just friends. I mean, this is a brotherhood.

PRICE: They've just really enjoyed being together. And then, of course, to have this happen, I think it's been a real solace and comfort to them to be together. They have been sort of processing this together. They've been keeping a sense of humor in the face of some really trying times. And I think it's that friendship that has been and will continue to be really important to their recovery.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): It will be a long and painful road to recovery. Awartani still has a bullet lodged in his spine. His family says, though he has feeling in his legs, he's unable to move them at the moment. His uncle says he had been hoping to go on an archeology dig this summer, but that's now in question.

Ahmad and Abdallah Meed face physical and psychological struggles of their own. Their families assure that they remain as resilient as they were before the shooting, looking at the last photo they took together for hope.

PRICE: You see a future doctor maybe, a future mathematician, a future archaeologist, three incredible young men.


CHURCH: The suspect charged in the shooting has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.

Next on CNN NEWSROOM, China is dealing with a remarkable surge in children with respiratory illnesses. We will speak to a professor of public health to find out more about the situation. Back in just a moment.



(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: Growing concerns in China where more and more children are battling respiratory illnesses. People are waiting many hours to see doctors in Beijing and in major cities in the north of the country with thousands of patients stretching hospitals to their limit. China is entering its first winter since relaxing its strict COVID rules a year ago. International experts don't believe a novel pathogen is at work but are asking China to share more information.

Professor Ben Cowling from the School of Public Health at the University of Hong Kong joins me now from Bologna in Italy. Great to talk with you.


CHURCH: So what do you make of this surge in respiratory illnesses in Beijing and northern China, especially among children? And of course, during this first winter since the country eased severe COVID restrictions.

COWLING: It does look like a typical winter surge with a lot of children getting flu, RSV and other viral infections. Also, there's a bacterial infection, mycoplasma pneumonia, which has been reported. It's happened a bit earlier than it would typically do in other winters, but this is the first year back, as you mentioned, since a number of restrictions, wearing masks and being cautious about infections and so on.

So I guess we're just seeing what we haven't seen for the last three years in China, which is a serious winter surge. Anywhere in the world, hospitals will struggle with winter surges. So I don't think it's a surprise that in China, there's reports that hospitals are struggling to cope. That in itself is not a big surprise and it happens everywhere.

CHURCH: Yeah, I mean, China is saying seasonal germs rather than unusual or novel pathogens are behind this spike. in pediatric respiratory illnesses across China. It sounds like you pretty much are in agreeance with that.

COWLING: Yeah, that's right. I mean, I think there's nothing surprising about a winter surge happening at this time of the year. What may be surprising in China is because this hasn't happened for the last three or four years. So parents of younger children haven't experienced their children getting coughs and colds and so on. And maybe it's taken people by surprise that these have come back, but actually we shouldn't be surprised that they were just on hold during the pandemic.

CHURCH: Given what happened in China at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, of course it's not surprising that this spike in pediatric respiratory illnesses has concerned many people across the globe. How worried should we be about this and is the World Health Organization getting sufficient information on this from China and asking the right questions? I mean that was a problem during the pandemic, wasn't it? COWLING: Right, if we go back four years in time to the end of 2019,

there was a posting on a mailing list called ProMed, a posting on that mailing list saying there's undiagnosed pneumonia in Wuhan, and they're wondering if there should be any concern. That turned out to be COVID, and the alert was really important. Now, just a couple of weeks ago, there's reports of these increases in children with pneumonia in China, in the news in China.


And then last week, ProMed published a report saying there's undiagnosed pneumonia in children in China and that really raised the alert level, but China very clearly responded that it's all known germs, it's influenza, RSV, et cetera. There's nothing to really be worried about. But I think the World Health Organization are also conscious that four years ago there was a Promed posting of a similar type. So I guess they're just being very, very careful.

CHURCH: Yeah, indeed. I mean, the problem is for many people, I mean, we saw a very, almost overarching response in China. And really, it's only been in the last year or so that they've sort of been able to come out of this. Then you run the risk of them not responding early enough in some instances. And that would also be a concern for a lot of people, a lot of jitters about this, right understandably?

COWLING: Why understandably, well, I understandably and I also would contrast the real stringency of COVID restrictions with now almost no response to a winter surge in infections. And that's not true only in China, it's true around the world. The government responded so much, put so much effort into the COVID response.

And then with a winter surge, there's really not much effort to do anything about it. But we know even some quite simple measures encouraging people to wear masks could make a difference. And so -- and I hope that in China and elsewhere in the world, we will see some degree of public health response to what happens every year as a winter surge, but we know we can do something about it now.

CHURCH: Yeah, good message there. Ben Cowling, thank you so much for talking with us. I Appreciate it.

COWLING: Thank you.

CHURCH: In India, a joyful ending Tuesday to a 17-day ordeal. 41 workers trapped inside a collapsed tunnel for more than two weeks were successfully rescued. Rescue teams drilled an escape route through the debris of rock and concrete for days to reach them. They drilled the last few meters by hand. Officials say all 41 workers seemed to be healthy. The men had been trapped since November 12th after the part of the tunnel they were helping to construct gave way, blocking the only exit.

And still to come, Nikki Haley wins the endorsement of an influential conservative group in the United States, the latest on her presidential bid. That's next.



CHURCH: A private funeral service is scheduled today in Plains, Georgia for former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter. A long list of dignitaries attended a memorial in Atlanta on Tuesday, including her 99-year-old husband, the former president. CNN's Nick Valencia has details.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On a brisk Atlanta day under the beaming Georgia sun, family and friends of the former First Lady Rosalynn Carter gathered to celebrate her life.


At 96 years old, her death was far from a life cut short. Her husband of more than 77 years, who was rarely seen without her, the former president Jimmy Carter, was there by her side for one final time, despite his frail health.

The 39th president has been receiving hospice care since February. His appearance was visibly diminished, but he reportedly was so determined to be there, he had a new suit tailor-made for the service.

Also in the front row, all of the living former first ladies, along with President Joe Biden, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, and former President Bill Clinton. Melania Trump sitting on the end of the row in a rare public appearance. She's largely avoided the public eye since her husband left office. She was seated next to Michelle Obama. Their husbands did not attend.

Three generations of Carters were also present, all four of their children and 11 of their grandchildren, who served as honorary pallbearers. Their marriage, described by so many, especially their own children, as one of the greatest love stories of all time.

JAMES EARL "CHIP" CARTER, SON OF ROSALYNN CARTER: They've given us such a great example of how a couple should relate.

AMY CARTER, DAUGHTER OF ROSALYNN CARTER: My mom spent most of her life in love with my dad.

VALENCIA (voice-over): Their youngest child and only daughter Amy, struggling through tears, reading a letter written 75 years ago by her father to her mother when he was serving in the Navy.

A. CARTER: When I see you, I fall in love with you all over again. Does that seem strange to you? It doesn't to me. Goodbye, darling, until tomorrow, Jimmy.

VALENCIA (voice-over): Jason Carter, the couple's grandson, recounting some of his fondest memories of his grandmother.

JASON CARTER, GRANDSON OF ROSALYNN CARTER: We were on a family trip and we were on a flight on Delta from here to somewhere and we were all sitting in the back of the airplane together and it took off and we looked over and my grandmother took out this Tupperware of pimento cheese and this loaf of bread and she just started making sandwiches and she gave it to all of us grandkids and then she just started giving them to other people on the plane.

VALENCIA (voice-over): A touching celebration for a woman who led such a full life and delivered hope to so very many people in this world.

VALENCIA: Tuesday's services were poignant. They were somber and even at times lighthearted. They were very much so a public celebration of life for the former first lady. On Wednesday, a third and final day of memorial services will be held. Her motorcade will make a funeral procession through Plains, Georgia in a very much more smaller ceremony. The first lady is headed home.

Nick Valencia, CNN, Atlanta.


CHURCH: Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has received the endorsement of the powerful conservative political network associated with billionaire Charles Koch. This is the latest sign of the growing support for her campaign. But Donald Trump is still far and away the front runner in the race.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN U.S. NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nikki Haley on the move tonight, hoping to capitalize on a golden endorsement in the Republican presidential race.

NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Trump It's pretty much even with Biden. On a good day, he might be two points up. In every poll, we beat Biden by 10 to 13 points.

ZELENY (voice-over): One of the nation's most powerful conservative grassroots organizations, financed by billionaire Charles Koch, has crowned Haley as its choice to try and dethrone Donald Trump as the overwhelming Republican frontrunner and unseat President Biden in the White House.

UNKNOWN: Joe Biden and Donald Trump had their chance. They can't fix what's broken.

ZELENY (voice-over): The question for Haley is whether she'll ever get the chance and move beyond the race for second place. Today's highly coveted endorsement from Americans for Prosperity Action is the latest attempt by some GOP heavy hitters to urge voters to coalesce around a Trump alternative. The group is pledging to spend millions on television ads and more. Yet it's far from certain how many Republicans are actually looking for one.

WAYNE GRACHEK, REPUBLICAN VOTER: Right now Trump has my vote. ZELENY (voice-over): We met Wayne Grachek walking into a Haley rally

on Monday in South Carolina. Her rise intrigues him, and he's open to her candidacy, yet far from sold.

GRACHEK: I want to look at all candidates, you know, to see who has and who's going to finally get my vote. But I am strongly leaning towards Trump.

ZELENY (voice-over): That sentiment underscores one of Haley's biggest challenges, navigating a Trump tightrope by appealing to Republicans clamoring for anyone but Trump, even as she works to win over true Trump believers.

ELAINE MYERS, REPUBLICAN VOTER: We got to find somebody other than Trump.

ZELENY (voice-over): Elaine Myers told us she voted for Trump twice, but believes he can't win next year.

MYERS: A vote for him is going to be a vote for Biden. And I hope that doesn't happen, and that's why I'm voting for Nikki.

ZELENY (voice-over): Yet she's hardly the only candidate. Haley is locked in an increasingly bitter battle with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, particularly in Iowa, where he's won several big endorsements of his own. They'll face off again next week at the fourth Republican debate.


HALEY: The stage is getting smaller. When the stage gets smaller, our chances get bigger.

ZELENY (voice-over): The views of Haley, a former U.N. ambassador, are now coming under closer view. Her hawkish foreign policy stands in sharp contrast, with the rising isolationist strains in her party.

HALEY: Now you have D.C. saying, do we support Ukraine or do we support Israel? Do we support Israel or do we support closing the border? Don't let them tell you that because that is a false premise.

ZELENY (voice-over): She also faces other potential roadblocks, including Chris Christie's candidacy in New Hampshire. He's trying to win over some of the same independent and moderate Republican voters. Haley makes clear a split ticket benefits Trump above all.

HALEY: We are now in second place in Iowa, second place in New Hampshire, and second place in South Carolina. We just have one more fellow we got to catch up to.

ZELENY: With less than seven weeks to go before the voting begins and the Republican presidential race starting in Iowa followed by here in New Hampshire, endorsements are key.

Now, of course, endorsements don't win races outright, but they do create momentum. That's what the Haley campaign is looking for at this moment. Momentum in the race for second place. They're eager for that one-on-one contest with Donald Trump. Of course, we'll see next year if that happens.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Derry, New Hampshire.


CHURCH: Warren Buffett's long-time investing partner and friend, Charlie Munger, has died. He was 99. The billionaire was Warren Buffett's right-hand man at Berkshire Hathaway, and for most of his career, was best known for delivering blunt advice about the stock market and the economy. And as recently as a few weeks ago, he was still commenting on global markets. Wall Street mourned Munger's passing and his astonishing run at Berkshire Hathaway.

And finally, if you're planning to travel to Paris next year for the Olympics, be prepared to pay a higher fare on the Metro. Authorities say the cost of a single Metro ride will go up from two euros to a little more than four euros. But that won't apply to residents who hold monthly or annual passes. The President of the Paris Regional Council called it fair pricing. The increases will last from July 20 to September 8.

And thank you so much for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Enjoy the rest of your day. CNN NEWSROOM continues next with Max Foster.