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Trump's Hush Money Hearing Date set, Civil Fraud Bond Payment Gets Slashed; United Nations Passed Gaza Ceasefire Resolution, United States Abstains from Vote; Russian President Blames Ukraine for the Attack in Moscow Without Evidence. Shohei Otani Breaks Silence on the Mishap of his Interpreter Friend; Senegal's Lesser-Known Opposition Bet Wins the Presidential Polls; Social Media Fills The Rumor Mill Void Left by U.K. Tabloids After Princess Kate's Video Revelation. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 26, 2024 - 03:00   ET




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


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S PRESIDENT: I don't know how you can have a trial that's going on right in the middle of an election.


CHURCH: The date is set for Donald Trump's hush money case, plus his nearly $500 million bond gets slashed by more than half.


LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: We were unfortunately not able to vote yes.


CHURCH: A Gaza ceasefire resolution passes in the U.N., but the U.S. abstains. And --


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We are interested in who the instigator is.


CHURCH: Vladimir Putin admits ISIS carried out the terror attack near Moscow, but continues to place blame elsewhere.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Live from Atlanta, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Rosemary Church.

CHURCH: Good to have you with us. And we begin with both a major legal triumph and disappointment for Donald Trump that came within an hour of each other.

In the civil fraud judgment, he received a significant lifeline on Monday when nearly half a billion dollars in bond was due.

A New York appeals court slashed that sum to $175 million and gave him 10 days to come up with the cash. Shortly before the decision, when the possible seizure of Trump's property seemed like a real possibility, he complained on his platform Truth Social about quote, "being forced to sell his babies".

But it seems that won't be necessary. The appeals court gave him essentially a 60 percent discount on bond, which Trump said would be an honor to post. And yet, during a news conference, he still baselessly accused President Joe Biden of orchestrating all the cases against him.


TRUMP: It's backfiring, but they're being run and they're running all of these different cases. So ridiculous. The cases, every one of them is ridiculous. You take a look at any one of them and you say any one of them, it wouldn't make any difference. This is all weaponization of DOJ and FBI.


CHURCH: Meanwhile, the first of Trump's criminal trials, the hush money case will get underway next month. The judge set the trial date after dismissing Trump's motion to toss out the indictment altogether. CNN's Kara Scannell has the story.


KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump's first criminal case will start three weeks from today. A New York judge ruling on Monday that the former president will go to trial on April 15th.

That was after Trump's lawyers were in court today pushing for a delay, saying that Manhattan prosecutors had obstructed their ability to obtain information from federal prosecutors in their 2018 investigation of Michael Cohen.

The judge peppered attorneys for both sides and ruled that Donald Trump's team had not established their case, saying to them, you are literally accusing the Manhattan D.A.'s office and the people assigned to this case of prosecutorial misconduct and of trying to make me complicit in it. And you don't have a single site to support that position.

The judge took a 45 minute break and came back in a surprise move, ruled from the bench, saying that Manhattan prosecutors were not at fault for any delayed production of documents to Trump's team and said that this case would move forward on April 15th.

But Donald Trump got some good news on Monday when the New York appeals court said that he had more time to post the bond in his civil fraud trial and the court chopped the amount that Trump has to post down to $175 million. That's less than half than the $464 million judgment.

The judge giving Trump 10 days to come up with the money. Former president telling reporters that he'll have no problem posting the bond.

TRUMP: I greatly respect the decision of the appellate division and I'll post either $175 million in cash or bonds or security or whatever is necessary very quickly within the 10 days.

SCANNELL: Trump will have until the end of next week to come up with that money and the appeals court will hear arguments in September.

Kara Scannell, CNN, New York.


CHURCH: Joey Jackson is a CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney. He joins us now from New York. Always great to have you with us.



CHURCH: So good news and bad news for Donald Trump Monday and two New York cases and appeals court offering a last minute lifeline by reducing that bond by more than half, cutting it down to $175 million. But Trump also got hit with a new court date set for his hush money trial. So let's start with that whopping bond getting slashed in half and Trump receiving an additional 10 days to post it. It's a reprieve in his civil fraud judgment, but Trump is spinning this as a win, is it?

JACKSON: So I think it is a win and it is a win because there's a significant distinction, Rosemary, between a half a billion dollars and $175 million in terms of a bond.

And so I think that there's a measure of fairness in this. And I think that it perhaps would renew people's faith in a system, particularly those who think they're out to get Trump. Everyone's around Trump looking to get him, you know, the evil empire.

Courts have to assess the relative merits of a case, have to determine whether or not a reduction of the bond in this case, again, from a half a billion to $175 million is appropriate. I think the judges evaluated the equities in this case and said, listen, let's extend 10 days. You know, certainly the ability for him to get any type of bond and

let's reduce it. And so I think that that in this particular case is a significant win for him, considering that he went to 30-30 insurance companies to attempt to get a bond and all said, no, perhaps he will have better luck getting it now that it's significantly been reduced.

CHURCH: So from a reprieve to a massive setback in a different New York courtroom, Trump lost his bid Monday to further delay his hush money criminal trial. And now set for April 15th, it is, of course, the first ever criminal trial of a former U.S. president. Trump responded saying he didn't know how they could get away with having a trial in the middle of an election. But there's clearly no legal problem with that, is there? So how bad could this get for Trump once this gets going?

JACKSON: So it could get very bad. I mean, to the first point, courts are about justice and they do not really concern themselves with election schedules, campaign schedules. They concern themselves with whether you can get a jury, select a jury fairly and appropriately and carry out the matter at hand, which, of course, would be a fair trial.

And so ultimately, that's what we're going to do, meaning the judicial system.

And so it's not really a surprise, Rosemary, that the judge said, listen, no as to the issue of a further delay and no as to the issue of a dismissal. Right?

We know that there were delays in discovery with respect to what prosecutors turned over to his defense team. But the judge, considering that, said, listen, if I extend the trial for a couple of weeks, that will give you as defense lawyers the ability to digest, read, review this material, otherwise support and defend your client.

And therefore, that adjournment is appropriate. And I think that the matter will move forward.

In terms of the risk, Rosemary, listen, he could face incarceration in the case. Certainly it's an e-felony. The way felonies work in New York State, it goes from a felony, most severe, 25 to life, to e- felonies where you certainly can do still jail time. And so a judge could indeed, in the event of a conviction, we're not there yet, a unanimous jury has to determine beyond a reasonable doubt his guilt, but a judge certainly can put him in.

CHURCH: So, Joey, how likely is it that Trump would testify in this criminal trial and how risky could that be if he decides to do that?

JACKSON: So it's always a risky proposition to have your client testify. Why? Because in a normal situation, the way the system works is a prosecution has the burden of proof. And we know we've heard a lot about proof beyond a reasonable doubt, very high standard.

Now, the relevance of that is that defense lawyers continually, in a trial, whittle away and try to create doubt and spin the facts and tell their own story. And if you do that successfully, that's a big deal.

In the event your client testifies, it goes from the burden of proof and you whittling away to do we believe your client, is your client credible, is your client's testimony compelling? In this case, of course, it's the president of the United States, a little bit different.

I think his attorneys would want to keep him off the witness stand. But you know what? I think Trump keeps his own counsel. He's indicated he wants to testify and perhaps he will testify.

But it's a documentary case, meaning it's a paper case. And to the extent that prosecutors can establish that there were payments that were made and they were not retainer payments paying back his lawyer, his fixer, Michael Cohen, but instead they were going to pay off Stormy Daniels, who of course is the centerpiece of the case, then I think it creates significant problems. So we'll see.

CHURCH: Joey Jackson, always appreciate your legal analysis. Thanks for joining us.

JACKSON: My pleasure. Thanks, Rosemary.


CHURCH: Israel's defense minister is expected to meet the U.S. Defense Secretary at the Pentagon in the coming hours as the rift between the leaders of the two nations deepens.

Yoav Gallant was already in Washington meeting with top U.S. officials on Monday when the U.S. abstained from a U.N. Security Council vote on a Gaza ceasefire, clearing the way for the measure to pass.

The move prompted immediate reaction from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who canceled a trip by two of his top advisers who were expected in Washington this week to discuss the situation in Rafah. American officials say they were perplexed by Netanyahu's decision, calling it overreaction.

Journalist Elliott Gotkine joins us now live from Jerusalem. Good to see you again, Elliott. So the sudden cancellation of Israel's delegation to Washington by Prime Minister Netanyahu has perplexed the United States. How might all this impact ceasefire and hostage negotiations, as well as U.S.-Israeli relations, of course?

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Rosemary, as you noted, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is in Washington specifically to discuss Israel's plans for an operation in Rafah. Now, that was something that this delegation that Netanyahu canceled was supposed to discuss as well. So it's hard to see any real practical impact of that cancellation.

Of course, the other issues, as you mentioned, there are ongoing talks to try to secure the release of hostages who were abducted on October the 7th and who are still being held in the Gaza Strip in exchange for the freeing of Palestinian prisoners. Now, Israel has reportedly agreed to a U.S. proposal for the release of around 40 hostages in exchange for some 700 Palestinian prisoners, including a number who are serving life sentences.

But Hamas, in its response, seems to be pushing back, saying that that still doesn't meet its demands for a full Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, an end to the fighting and allowing Palestinians to return to their homes in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

So those talks are ongoing, mediated, of course, by the Egyptians and the Qataris. They've not broken down yet, but still not, neither have they led us to the breakthrough that many people were hoping for.

As far as Israel-U.S. relations are concerned, we've seen this rift widening over the past few weeks. It's hard to see how the U.S.' abstention from this U.N. Security Council resolution allowing it to pass is going to heal that rift.

And it's also interesting that the language in this Security Council resolution doesn't appear to be meaningfully different from previous resolutions that it has actually vetoed. So what's changed mostly is the situation in the Gaza Strip, where it has deteriorated and where many are now on the brink of famine. But also, I think it is evidence that the U.S. is continuing to lose patience with the Netanyahu government.

At the same time, of course, it will also perhaps allow Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to portray himself as somehow defending Israel's right to act independently and in its own best interests, i.e. the need to go into Rafah to destroy those last remaining battalions of Hamas, even if it's not in the best interests of Washington or indeed the Israel-U.S. relationship. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Elliott Gotkine in Jerusalem, many thanks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the horrific terror attack on a concert hall near Moscow was carried out by radical Islamists. But he's also blaming Ukraine without any evidence.

Mr. Putin held a conference call with government officials Monday and said it fit into a series of attacks by Ukraine against Russia.


PUTIN (through translator): And the question immediately arises, who benefits from this? This atrocity may be only a link in a whole series of attempts by those who have been fighting our country since 2014 at the hands of neo-Nazi Kyiv regime.

The goal, as I already said, is to sow panic in our society and at the same time show our own population that all is not lost for the Kyiv regime.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Dear Ukrainians, a few summaries for this day. First, I thank everyone who is working to eliminate the consequences of Russian strikes.


CHURCH: -- by any involvement in the attack, and ISIS has claimed responsibility for it.

Much of the concert hall is now in rubble after the gunmen set it on fire during the attack. Russia says hundreds of specialists are searching the debris for more victims. The death toll from the attack is now at 139.

The four men accused of carrying out the attack had visible injuries when they appeared in court. CNN senior international correspondent Fred Pleitgen has more on that and what Russia is saying about it.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As search and rescue crews sift through charred remains of the concert hall, outside a sea of flowers continues to grow as thousands mourn the victims of the worst terror attack to hit Russia in decades.


No one should remain indifferent in such moments, this woman says. We must honor their memory and understand we are all facing this tragedy. I say, tears flow, but we're all here together.

Eyewitness videos show the brutality as the attackers swept the Crocus City Hall entertainment complex. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. The terror group released this video through the ISIS- affiliated Amaq News Agency, allegedly filmed by the attackers themselves as they killed more than 130 people.

Also, setting the building on fire, leading to a massive blaze that caused the roof to partially collapse.

The U.S. says it has no reason to doubt ISIS' claim, and Russia has been at war with the group during Moscow's brutal aerial campaign in Syria supporting the Assad regime.

I traveled to Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria with the Russian military in 2017 as the battle raged.

PLEITGEN: Even though the Syrian and Russian armies have managed to push ISIS back, there still are a lot of ISIS fighters here in this area. That's why taking the helicopter is the safest way to get to Deir Ezzor.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): The alleged gunmen, all of them from Tajikistan, are now in Russian custody. Three of them pleaded guilty in a Moscow court this weekend. But the Russians still won't acknowledge an ISIS link, Vladimir Putin instead claiming the attackers had ties to Ukraine.

PUTIN (through translator): We know that the crime was committed by the hands of radical Islamists, followers of the ideology that the Islamic world itself has been fighting against for centuries. Of course, it is necessary to answer the question why, after committing the crime, the terrorists tried to go to Ukraine.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): The suspects bore signs of abuse as they were arraigned, one seemingly semi-conscious in a wheelchair. And this video on social media seems to show Russian security services mistreating another one of the men.

When confronted with questions about possible torture of the detainees, the Kremlin refusing to reply. No, the spokesman said, I leave this question without an answer.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.


CHURCH: Breaking news just into CNN. A large ship has collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, causing major damage.

Video obtained by CNN shows the bridge collapsing into the water below. We have no information yet on deaths or injuries. Maryland authorities say all traffic is being detoured around the area. Again, the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore has collapsed after it was hit by a large ship. And we will, of course, bring you more information as it comes into us here at CNN.

Still to come. The U.S. and U.K. accuse Chinese hackers of a vast years-long cyber espionage campaign, targeting millions, including lawmakers and government officials.

Plus, Russian soldiers are using Elon Musk's Starlink terminals in the battlefield, despite sanctions that are supposed to keep them from doing so.




CHURCH: A terror attack in Moscow has not stopped Russia from inflicting its own terror on Ukraine. This video from Ukraine's foreign minister shows children in Kyiv running for cover as air raid sirens ring out and as massive explosions from two Russian ballistic missiles sound in the background.

Ukraine's air force says those missiles were intercepted, but the falling pieces damaged some buildings, including an educational building. At least 10 people were injured in the attack. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says it clearly highlights the need for more air defenses.

Well meanwhile, Russia appears to be using Starlink satellite communications terminals, despite sanctions. It's the same technology that Ukraine relies on to guide its drone warfare. Starlink, which is created by Elon Musk's SpaceX Company, is now giving Russian forces a battlefield advantage. CNN's Nick Paton-Walsh shows us how Ukraine is responding.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ukraine's newest target is something they've long cherished themselves.

Small, white, rectangular satellite internet terminals from Elon Musk's Starlink, apparently in Russian hands and hit by Ukrainian drones. They're not supposed to be there at all, according to Musk and U.S. sanctions.

Here, a Russian soldier explains frontline damage to one of their Starlink units, connecting attack drones and command centers.

While Russia has officially denied their use, their army of crowd funders openly flaunt Starlink purchases in third countries.

Here is one key supplier showing off store-bought drones and five Starlinks too.

UNKNOWN (translated): The next batch will be bigger, 30 pieces.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): The look on their faces does not suggest they're too confident in coming home.

UNKNOWN (translated): Take care of yourself.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): She has posted other images of Starlinks and drones bought.

Ukrainian troops we met across the east and south of the front line said Russia has near copied their system of attack drones, using Starlink's internet signal to control dozens of single-use first- person view devices to swarm Ukrainian positions.

Here is even an intercepted signal one unit told us they had hacked from a Russian drone. You can see it maneuvering into a Ukrainian target.

Near the heavily contested village of Robotyne, down in the bunkers where the drone wars are fought, this change is huge and has come with an apparent complication for the Ukrainians too. Their Starlink speeds have been getting slower, said this commander.

ANTON, UKRAINE'S 65TH MECHANIZED BRIGADE (translated): Before New Year the speed was much higher. Now it decreased by half. I saw information about the Russians, through neutral countries, bringing Starlinks and using them on the Zaporizhzhia front lines for their purposes.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): Another operator in the same area reported problems in the last month.

MISHA, COMMUNICATIONS OPERATOR, UKRAINIAN ARMY (translated): What we really started to notice is a constant drop of speed and connection. We need to reboot the Starlinks all the time to make them work properly, but eventually speed starts to drop and connections breaks.

PATON WALSH (translated): And it's messing with your work?

MISHA (translated): Yes, it brings rather unpleasant complications.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): A lot rests on Musk. While Ukrainian officials went public with their concerns six weeks ago, they've since gone silent. They're perhaps quietly pressuring Musk, who experts think can vet who uses terminals, even if that's trickier in contested areas.

OLEG KUYKOV, SOFTWARE ENGINEER AND STARLINK EXPERT: It's possible SpaceX (inaudible) and they know who is who, but the problem is to identify the actual owner of the account. Musk is a big child, so it's important to talk to him and not offend him, because he might do some quick decisions that might be not very good for everyone.


PATON WALSH (voice-over): Musk, SpaceX and Starlink did not respond to requests for comment. They said previously they do no business with the Russian state or military, and if a sanctioned party uses Starlink, we investigate the claim and take action to deactivate the terminal if confirmed.

But as Ukraine's other lifelines wobble or dry up, space-based internet is one they cannot afford to see slow, lose to the Russians or lose at all.

Nick Paton-Walsh, CNN, London.


CHURCH: In the coming hours, London's High Court will rule on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's case. The ruling will decide whether he will be allowed to appeal a U.K. decision to extradite him to the United States, something he's been fighting for years.

The U.S. wants Assange to be brought to America where he faces an 18- count indictment handed down by the Eastern District of Virginia. Assange's battle began in 2010, when he started publishing huge quantities of classified documents related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The U.S. has announced sanctions against several Chinese hackers for an alleged years-long cyber espionage campaign. Seven men were indicted in U.S. federal court on Monday, accused of targeting critical infrastructure and government officials, including lawmakers, on behalf of China's top spy agency. Authorities say millions of Americans may have had their data compromised, and the U.K. says the same hacker group likely breached the British Electoral Commission and spied on British M.P.'s.


LAIN DUNCAN-SMITH, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE M.P.: The West has to wake up to the fact this is a challenge to the very way that we live our lives, to our belief in democracy, human rights, freedom of expression, freedom of worship.


CHURCH: CNN's Kristie Lu Stout has more.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. and U.K. are taking action after accusing Beijing of malicious cyber activity against millions of targets from Washington to Westminster.

On Monday, U.S. and British officials filed charges and imposed sanctions against Chinese state-affiliated hacking groups. China has dismissed the allegations.

Now, officials in both countries called out the hacking group Advanced Persistent Threat 31, or APT31, saying that it's an arm of China's Ministry of State Security. Targets include White House staff, U.S. senators, British M.P.s' and officials around the world who are critical of China.

In an indictment against seven of the alleged Chinese hackers, U.S. prosecutors said that they targeted the e-mails, online storage and phone call records of millions of Americans.

Now in a statement, the FBI director Christopher Wray said this quote, "today's announcement exposes China's continuous and brash efforts to undermine our nation's cybersecurity and target Americans in our innovation".

Now, officials in the U.K. accused APT31 of hacking British lawmakers, critical of China, and said that a second group of Chinese spies targeted the UK's electoral watchdog that separately compromised the data of millions more people across the U.K.

The British Home Secretary James Coveley said, quote, "it is reprehensible that China sought to target our democratic institutions. China's attempts at espionage did not give them the results they wanted".

Now the U.S. identified the hackers with the help of the Five Eyes. This is the intelligence sharing pact between the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand. And China's embassy in London says it strongly opposes the accusations.

On Monday, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said this, quote, "sufficient and objective evidence are required when investigating a cyber incident and coming to a conclusion, as opposed to smearing other countries about facts or politicizing cybersecurity", unquote.

But China has also accused the West of hacking campaigns.

Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.


CHURCH: Still ahead, Shohei Ohtani breaks his silence. Baseball's highest paid player on the allegations of theft and gambling against his former interpreter. Back with that and more in just a moment.




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone. Updating our breaking news story this hour, a large ship has collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, causing major damage. The bridge spans the outer part of Baltimore Harbor.

Video obtained by CNN shows the bridge collapsing into the water below. We have no information yet on deaths or injuries. Maryland authorities say all traffic is being detoured around the area. We will of course bring you more information as it comes into us here at CNN.

A look at our top stories this hour. A New York appeals court has greatly lowered the amount of bond Donald Trump must pay in his civil fraud judgment. The nearly half a billion dollars that was supposed to be due Monday was reduced to $175 million. But in the separate money case, the judge refused to throw out the indictment, meaning Trump will become the first former U.S. president to face a criminal trial. Jury selection begins in three weeks.

The U.N. Security Council approved a resolution for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza on Monday. The U.S. abstained from the vote, clearing the way for the measure to pass. America's ambassador to the U.N. explained that the U.S. did not agree with everything in the latest resolution, even though it included edits requested by the U.S.

Days after terrorists killed 139 people at a concert hall in Russia, President Vladimir Putin says the attack was carried out by radical Islamists. But he is also, without evidence, still blaming Ukraine. Kyiv has strongly denied any involvement and ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Shohei Ohtani says he has never bet on baseball or any other sport. The Los Angeles Dodgers superstar is addressing the theft and gambling allegations against his former interpreter for the first time. CNN's Nick Watt has details.


NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Shohei Ohtani came out and spoke, hoping to lay to bed all the rumors and the stories that have been circulating since this story first broke nearly a week ago.

Ohtani spoke through a new interpreter and basically said that his longtime interpreter and friend, Ipe Mizuhara, is basically a liar, a gambler and a thief. Take a little listen to what he had to say through that interpreter.

INTERPRETER FOR SHOHEI OHTANI, LOS ANGELES DODGERS DESIGNATED HITTER: I never bet on baseball or any other sports or never have asked somebody to do it on my behalf. And I have never went through a bookmaker to bet on sports. Up until a couple of days ago, I didn't know that this was happening. Ipe has been stealing money from my account and has told lies.

WATT: Now, some suspicion had fallen on Ohtani because of dueling narratives and also because the bookmaker at the center of all this, he had apparently been telling people that Shohei Ohtani was his client, not Ipe Mizuhara, the interpreter.

Now, I spoke to the lawyer for that bookie. The bookie is Matthew Boyer. The lawyer is Diane Bass. She said, listen, Boyer, sure, he might have said that, but he was just bragging, boasting. You know, it was a good marketing ploy to say that Shohei Ohtani, perhaps the greatest baseball player to ever live, was your client. But she reiterated that Ohtani and the bookie had zero direct contact whatsoever.


Now, why this is such a big story? Well, this is Shohei Ohtani's opening week here at the L.A. Dodgers. He came on a $700 million-10 year contract.

He's a two way player. He pitches, he hits. He is spoken of in the same breaths as Babe Ruth. And, you know, there was a poll of MLB players asked who's the best player right now. Two thirds of them said it was Ohtani. So Ohtani and the Dodgers clearly trying to put this to bed so that the focus can be on him at the Dodgers. An opening day Thursday.

Nick Watt, CNN, inside Dodgers Stadium.


CHURCH: Joining me now is Keith O'Brien, journalist and author of "Charlie Hustle: The Rise and Fall of Pete Rose, and the Last Glory Days of Baseball". Appreciate you being with us.

KEITH O'BRIEN, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: Thanks for having me, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Shohei Ohtani breaking his silence on a gambling scandal is now blaming his former interpreter, Ipe Mizuhara, in the midst of theft and gambling allegations. Ohtani accusing him of stealing money from his bank account and telling lies. But that's not the whole story, is it?

O'BRIEN: Well, I think what we don't know at this hour is far greater than what we do know.

As you said, late today, Shohei Ohtani denied any involvement in gambling on sports, on gambling on baseball, and said specifically that no one had ever gambled on his behalf. But one thing that I have learned from just looking at the history of

gambling scandals here in America is that the early days of the scandal are just that, the early days. And my guess is, based on the fact that federal investigators are still conducting an inquiry into the alleged illegal bookmaker in California, and because reporters from two continents, both here in North America and in Japan, are digging into this story, it may be quite some time before we know what really happened here.

CHURCH: Indeed. And what could this potentially mean for baseball's biggest star, Ohtani, given the questions surrounding his own possible involvement in this scandal?

O'BRIEN: Well, Major League Baseball announced late last week that they were opening a formal process to look at the matter.

And by the way, baseball has done this before. Regardless of where this is headed, this is currently in America, the largest gambling scandal that baseball has faced since 1989, 35 years ago, when Pete Rose, the subject of my book, got himself in trouble with gambling.

Now, the details here are, for the moment, different. Pete Rose was alleged in 1989 to have bet on baseball and to have bet on his own team. There is no indication at this point that that is what has happened here with Shohei Ohtani and his interpreter in Los Angeles.

However, baseball does have a process for investigating such matters. And if they want to look at a model for how to do that, they can look at their own history. They did this 35 years ago.

CHURCH: Right. And of course, as you say, you wrote all about Pete Rose banned from baseball for betting. But sports gambling has evolved since then, of course, illegal in many states. But this is something professional leagues take very seriously. What types of mechanisms do they have in place to combat athletes betting on games and why is it so important that they police them?

O'BRIEN: So since the legalization of sports gambling here in America in 2018, and since every professional sports league has begun to partner with the legal gambling platforms, there are security systems that are set up. These security systems are, in many cases, being run by third party contractors, and they can monitor wagering traffic in real time through all the legal gambling channels.

In other words, if a player or someone close to him were to place a bet through legal channels, they can flag it potentially within minutes, certainly within hours.


And there's a reason for that, as you say, Rosemary. And that is the integrity of the game.

You know, when gambling, legal or illegal, gets too close to the game itself, the danger is that the players who are supposed to be trying to win may not do that. The problem that's been revealed here through the current situation in

Los Angeles is that there still remains a vibrant illegal betting culture here in America.

According to the American Gaming Association, about $60 billion is gambled illegally in America every year. And if you are placing bets in the illegal gambling underworld, these are not being monitored by the leagues. Oftentimes, it's not being monitored by anyone.

CHURCH: So how long will the investigation likely take and what damage might be done in the meantime, of course, if it drags on?

O'BRIEN: Well, damage is being done right now. This is the start of baseball season in America. This should be a time of excitement, in particular around baseball's biggest star, Shohei Otani. All the questions about what has happened in Los Angeles now overshadow opening day.

And if again, the Pete Rose story that I wrote about in my book is any model here, it could take months before we have real and final answers about what has happened.

CHURCH: Keith O'Brien, appreciate you being with us.

O'BRIEN: Thanks so much for having me.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear its first abortion case since the reversal of Roe vs. Wade almost two years ago. Oral arguments today will focus on efforts to restrict access to one of two drugs used in medical abortions. Mifepristone was first approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000. A decision is expected this summer.

Still to come, a win for democracy in West Africa as a political newcomer is set to become Senegal's next president. A live update on the election results just ahead.


CHURCH: A little-known opposition candidate is set to become the next president of Senegal after his rival and former Prime Minister Amadou Barre conceded defeat on Monday. Early unofficial results show Bassirou Diame Faye was leading with 57 percent of the vote, while Barre was far behind with 31 per cent. That's according to an independent radio station in the West African country.


Official results are expected in the coming days. So let's turn to CNN's Larry Madowo. He joins us live from Johannesburg with more on this. So Larry, what is the latest on the Senegal presidential elections now that Bassirou Diame Faye appears to have won?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He does appear to have won, Rosemary. We might still have at least another day until the electoral commission announces the official results, but it appears to be a done deal because he's been congratulated by his main rival, the ruling party candidate Amadou Barre, as well as, and this is crucial, by President Macky Sall, who led Senegal over two terms and also into this political turmoil over the past few months, first by attempting to postpone the election and extend his term, and that needed the constitutional council to overrule that. So President Macky Sall's term ends on April 2nd.

And what Bassirou Diame Faye has achieved is extraordinary because he was in jail until 10 days before the election. So he ran a successful presidential campaign in just over one week, and his win confirmed on his 44th birthday, becoming the youngest ever president of Senegal. He's already making comments about how he intends to rule the country after he takes over.


BASSIROU DIAME FAYE, SENEGAL PRESIDENT-ELECT (through translator): The Senegalese people have chosen to break with the past, to give substance to the immense hopes raised by our vision of society. I hope that our vision has given substance to their aspirations. I pledge to govern with humility and transparency and to fight corruption at all levels. I pledge to devote myself fully to rebuilding our institutions and strengthening the foundations of our way of life together.


MADOWO: President-elect Diame Faye also promising reconciliation after these first months of turmoil in the country, where the reason he was in jail in the first place over almost a year is because of what he sees as politically motivated charges. He was in jail for, among other charges, insurrection, and he only came out as part of this amnesty deal to hold an election and bring the country together.

To his credit, President Macky Sall respected the will of the people and of the constitutional council. One of the things that President- elect Diame Faye has promised to do is to review and look into the CFA Franc. It's a currency used by many countries in Central and West Africa, former French colonies, and widely criticized by some in that region as a symbol of France's continued influence in his former colonies, what is known as France Afrique. Rosemary.

CHURCH: Larry Madowo bringing us the latest from Johannesburg. I appreciate it.

Argentina is experiencing its worst ever dengue outbreak. The mosquito-borne disease is typically found in tropical climates, but more outbreaks are occurring elsewhere, and climate change could be to blame. Stefano Pozzebon reports.


STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST (voice-over): The lines are back at Argentina's hospitals, with confirmed cases of the notorious infectious disease soaring to record level. Inside, patients receive treatment in a waiting room because the wards are full. The vibe is very much 2020. The virus is different. It started with a headache. I thought I had migraine, then the fever,

and then I've decided to come to the hospital to do the exams and confirm the virus.

Dengue causes fever and pain. It can be lethal. Most worrying, there is no cure for it.

Patients should hydrate and can take painkillers, but must wait to write out the symptoms.

POZZEBON: The scenes of hospitals overflowing with patients have brought back for many Argentineans the nightmares of the COVID-19 pandemic. The difference this time, many experts are saying, is that tropical diseases like dengue will be more and more common, and scenes like this will become the new normal.

POZZEBON (voice-over): The mosquitoes that carry it thrive in hot, humid environments. Common in the tropics, but research suggests these conditions are spreading to more temperate climates because of global warming. And mosquitoes are following.

In the U.S., the majority of cases are in Puerto Rico, but last year, Miami-Dade County was placed under alert after a handful of cases tested positive.

Buenos Aires sits on the banks of the Rio de la Plata. These wetlands, perfect for the mosquitoes now that it's the end of the summer.

Confirmed cases are more than five times what they were just five years ago. One of them on our own team.

CNN journalist Veronica Pajes recovering from the virus.

It sucks the energy out of you. You can't get out of bed or even say hello.

Dengue has a low mortality rate. For now, authorities have ruled out emergency measures to prevent the spread. Argentineans are advised to use insect repellents and wear long sleeves and light trousers. Also get rid of standing water, where mosquitoes can gather and breed.


But for someone who lost a dear one, that is not enough. Giselle Piedrahuena died on March 17. She was diagnosed with dengue six days before.

What Vallejos would like to see is a widespread information campaign warning the population about the disease. We need to learn how to live with it, and the first step is taking it seriously, she says.

Stefano Pozzebon, CNN, Buenos Aires.


CHURCH: Still to come, the British media shows some restraint in their coverage of the recent world health scares. Now it's social media that's keeping the rumor mill churning. We'll explain.


CHURCH: The latest now on our breaking news, a large ship has collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, causing it to collapse into the water below. The bridge spans the outer part of Baltimore Harbour. We have no information yet on deaths or injuries. Maryland authorities say all traffic is being detoured around the area. We will of course bring you more information as it comes into us here at CNN.

Federal agents raided the Miami and Los Angeles homes of musician Sean Diddy Combs on Monday. Senior law enforcement sources tell CNN the search is related to a sex trafficking investigation. Federal agents were authorized to search for documents, phones, computers and other electronic devices. This comes after months of controversy for the rapper. He has been the subject of at least four lawsuits that include allegations of rape and sex trafficking, all of which he has denied.

Well it's no secret the British royal family and the tabloid media have had a toxic history together, but when it comes to the Princess of Wales and her health, the tabloids seem tame compared to social media where the most scandalous rumors and conspiracies can run amok like never before. Our royal correspondent Max Foster reports.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Since Princess Catherine's announcement of her cancer diagnosis and even in the run- up, there's been a markedly restrained response from the British newspapers.

By and large, sticking to the facts, careful not to speculate, lots of sympathy for Kate and her young family.

It's a departure from a past when the tabloids were accused of deep invasions of privacy, illegal tactics and complete insensitivity.

It's been a different story on parts of social media which filled a vacuum of information with rumor and lies.

The palace found itself unable to control the narrative and it twisted out of control. For three months, all Kensington Palace would confirm was that the princess had abdominal surgery, then recovered well and wouldn't be appearing again before Easter.

On social media, content creators filled the void, racking up millions of views and followers. No matter how wild and grotesque their claims were, they were cashing in. When Kate finally came out and explained, they suddenly went quiet.

CATHERINE, PRINCESS OF WALES: In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful, however, tests after the operation found cancer had been present.


FOSTER (voice-over): Throughout the weekend, guilt-stricken social media users apologized for buying into the conspiracies. Others just carried on.

Mainstream media hit back at how social media provided a platform for unfounded conspiracy theories.

TikTok pointed us to their transparency center, where they say, quote, "like others in our industry, we do not prohibit people from sharing personal experiences, simply inaccurate myths or misinformation that could cause reputational or commercial harm in order to balance creative expression with preventing harm".

For Instagram, Meta shared information about their existing third- party fact-checking process and how they deal with misinformation.

X forwarded a post from a senior business operations executive criticizing the way mainstream media has covered the story, saying every news outlet should apologize.

There are chilling echoes of the way Kate's been dehumanized and commoditized, with the way her husband's late mother was hounded by some newspapers.

In a 2017 documentary, Prince William shared an insight into the difficult and continuous dance with the U.K. press.

WILLIAM, PRINCE OF WALES: You've got to maintain a barrier and a boundary because if you cross it, if both sides cross it, a lot of pain and problems can come from it.

FOSTER (voice-over): Prince Harry has gone further, cutting ties with certain parts of the media and challenging tabloids in court.

He doesn't have active official social media accounts.

We don't expect to see Kate or the King out in public for some time. It's down to William and Camilla now to do more whilst caring for their spouses.

Max Foster, CNN, London.


CHURCH: About 1,200 people are expected to climb Mount Everest this season and this year they all have to bring their own poop bag back down with them.

It's a brand new rule meant to tackle the growing problem of waste and pollution on the world's highest peak. Every year, hundreds of paying climbers and their Sherpa guides make their way up the mountain via Nepal and huge amounts of trash and human waste are piling up along their route. But don't worry, climbers will be getting special bags to carry their waste down. The bags will contain chemicals to solidify the excrement and render it odorless. Thank you so much for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Have yourselves a wonderful day. CNN NEWSROOM continues next with Anna Coren.