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Remembering The Workers Presumed Killed In The Baltimore Bridge Collapse; Investigators Analyzing Ship's Voyage Data Recorder; Israel Agrees To Reschedule Meeting With U.S. On Rafah; CNN Obtains Video Of Brutal Killing By Pro-Junta Militia; South Africa Struggles With Rampant Crime, Police Corruption; Obama Jumps in to Help Biden Defeat Trump; DeSantis and Disney Agree to Settle Dispute After Two Years; Sam Bankman-fried to Be Sentenced on Fraud, Conspiracy Charges; Cuba Gooding Jr. Added as Defendant in Diddy Civil Lawsuit. Aired 2-2:45a ET

Aired March 28, 2024 - 02:00   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.




CHURCH: The U.S. government braces for a long and expensive road to recovery as operations turn to salvaging what's left.

Plus, the Israeli Prime Minister outlooks his plans for Rafah, a decision that could have unprecedented consequences.

And later, we head to Johannesburg where heist, hijackings and a wave of crime hold South Africa hostage.

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

CHURCH: Good to have you with us and we begin in Baltimore, Maryland where authorities are moving from recovery to a salvage operation after Tuesday's deadly bridge collapse. Federal investigators say they have obtained about six hours of voyage data from the container ship that crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Search efforts have been hampered by bad weather and dangerous conditions under water.


HOMENDY: Being out there when the Baltimore City and Baltimore County Police today who were doing a lot of the work on the recovery mission, I mean, it's cold, it's cold water. It's raining and you have current and all sorts of waterway challenges, so it can be very dangerous.


CHURCH: Above the water, authorities say it will be very difficult to maneuver and clear the record amid all the debris and hazardous material on the scene. The investigation could take up to two years.

Police are hoping to reunite families as soon as they're able. Four construction workers remain missing and are presumed dead. The bodies of two others were recovered Wednesday. CNN's Danny Freeman has more.


DANNY FREEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Early Tuesday morning, a group of workers were on the overnight shift filling potholes, doing routine surface work on Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge when the unthinkable happened.

CARLOS SUAZO SANDOVAL, BROTHER OF BRIDGE COLLAPSES VICTIM: For us and the family in Honduras, we still have hope. I know time is our worst enemy.

FREEMAN (voice over): Among those presumed dead, 38 year-old Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandoval, a Honduran national, one of eight siblings, a husband and a father of two.

Maynor's brother, Carlos Suazo Sandoval is desperately waiting for any updates for officials.

CARLOS SUAZO SANDOVAL, BROTHER OF BRIDGE COLLAPSE VICTIM (through translator): He was the breadwinner for his children right now. God is going to provide for us, too, so we can get together as a family and see how we can help each other because at this moment, his wife is left with his girls and everything.

FREEMAN (voice over): Miguel Luna was a father of three, an immigrant from El Salvador, also presumed dead.

Nonprofit CASA announced that Luna was a member of their group which provides services to working-class families from marginalized communities, including immigrants

CASA said Luna lived in Maryland for over 19 years.

26-year-old, Dorlian Castillo Cabrera was an immigrant from Guatemala. His sister-in-law told CNN he loved his job as a construction worker. His cousin added that Dorlian came to the United States to follow his dream and help his mother.

The Guatemalan government confirmed another immigrant from that country was among missing, but did not provide details.

Maryland's governor said he prayed with the families of victims yesterday. GOV. WES MOORE (D-MD): We're hoping for right now that in this moment that we can just bring them a sense of -- a sense of closure after this -- after this horrific incident.

PRES. ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR, MEXICO (through translator): We are very sorry for the situation of what happened in general.

FREEMAN (voice over): Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said three Mexican nationals were also on that bridge when it collapsed. Two died and one survived.

LOPEZ OBRADOR (through translator): This shows that migrants go to work in the middle of the night, very risky jobs. And that is why they do not deserve to be treated, as usually happens by some irresponsible politicians.

FREEMAN (voice over): Seven of the eight people on the bridge that night worked for local construction company Brawner Builders. In an interview with CNN, it's executive vice president Jeffrey Pritzker said, "These were wonderful young men. They were doing a tough job. These guys were hardworking wonderful people and now they're gone."



FREEMAN (on camera): And of course, the other man that was identified on Wednesday was Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, he's 35 years old and he was discovered sitting next to Dorlian in that car that was submerged.

And I just want to say, we've really seen this whole community in and around Baltimore really rally around these families, multiple GoFundMes have been set up, we've heard a number of promises from a number of politicians. And the EVP of that construction company that we spoke with said, they're going to make sure the families are well taken care of.

Danny Freeman, CNN, just outside Baltimore.

CHURCH: Joining me now is Kit Miyamoto. He is a structural engineer and global CEO of Miyamoto International. Thank you so much for being with us.


CHURCH: So, the deadly Baltimore Bridge collapse works as a wakeup call shining a spotlight on other bridges built before these massive cargo ships plowed through the waters below. This bridge did not have structural redundancy. What does that mean exactly? And what could have been done to protect this bridge from the cargo ship hitting its support pier?

MIYAMOTO: Yes, well, I mean, if you see the video, structural system is actually pretty simple. There's the bridge and the support by two piers.

So, if the one the piers collapsed, everything else goes. That's exactly what happened.

Now, Baltimore, this bridge is pretty old. It's built in 1976. And it doesn't have much redundancy. Like today, if you see the like a seismic area like California, the system has much more redundant, which means they have a much bigger piers, and also it can take a lot of impact. So therefore, it's much more redundant in a sense for against this kind of impact.

Remember, this ship is huge, it's 100,000 ton at empty, it's about 300 meters long. And traveling about 10 miles per hour, it's about a speed of a bicycle, kind of slow, but such a huge element. So, therefore, the momentum is big so that's why it caused the collapse there.

CHURCH: And we have just learned that it's not the first time a cargo ship has hit this Baltimore Bridge, in an eerily similar scenario, a much smaller freighter rammed one of the bridges support columns back in 1980. But because it was a smaller ship, of course, the bridge survived.

However, we have seen other similar deadly disasters, the most recent just a month ago involving a cargo ship hitting the Pearl Bridge in Guangzhou, China. What needs to be done to reassess the stroke -- structural integrity of these older bridges here in the U.S., and of course, around the world to update them? So, they're less vulnerable to accidents like this, because these enormous container ships, they're here to stay.

MIYAMOTO: That's right, those container ships getting bigger and bigger, you know, by the way, and more traffic due. So, it's definitely due to those bridges exposed to the quiet risk.

Now, 1980s, a bridge like that collapsed in a Tampa Bay, in Florida State. And they actually reconstructed in a much more robust way. The pier is -- actually, the piers what I was talking about, protect by the actually island, so they Island around the pier, and also the -- so-called bumper around it.

So, when the ships are coming through, it will actually absorb the energy in a slowdown. But there's no structural system can withstand such a huge impact, you know, just to make it slow down and hopefully, to lessen that the risk of a collapse.

Now, today, if you follow the modern bridge design code, or guideline, the probability that it will collapse each year is one in 10,000.

So, it's definitely a rare event. But there's definitely a risk exists. So, for the older bridges, best thing what we can do is built the protective devices or elements around pier, that's probably the most cost effective and fastest way to reduce risk.

CHURCH: Right. And U.S. President Joe Biden has vowed to pay the full cost of a replacement bridge in Baltimore with so many massive container ships traveling through those waters in Baltimore, how should they replace it? What advice would you give for building a structure that needs to span a mile and a half with massive cargo ships below? MIYAMOTO: Well, I think that first of all, you know it's the, you know, today's bridge code is much more robust than the 1970s. So, that really helps. The following that the current bridge code is that makes a big differences that the structural system is much more redundant, which is very important, which means that the redundancy means if the one column disappears, still bridge is intact. I think that's a very important concept, something we use that in earthquake area.


And also having a much more robust protective system would appear. You know, that technology is available, and it's been done in the past. And that's actually very important things to do.

CHURCH: All right, Kit Miyamoto, thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate it.

MIYAMOTO: Thank you.

CHURCH: The White House is confirming that Israel has agreed to reschedule a meeting between U.S. and Israeli officials in Washington. This coming just days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled the delegation over objections to the U.S. abstaining from a U.N. vote, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The meeting in Washington is set to focus on a possible Israeli ground operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where more than one million Palestinians are currently sheltering.

Mr. Netanyahu says his country has no choice but to move into Rafah as its, "Very existence is on the line." Those comments coming as he hosted a bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation in Jerusalem. He claims victory in Gaza could come soon.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: We've killed many senior leaders including number four in Hamas, number three in Hamas. We'll get number two and number one, that's victory. Victory is within reach. It's a few weeks away.


CHURCH: The deadly and devastating effects of war already being filled in Rafah, Palestinian health officials say at least 11 people were killed in Israeli strikes on the southern Gaza city. Officials at one hospital say those strikes hit a home where families were sheltering and say an 11-year-old child was among the dead.

WAFA, the Palestinian news agency reports that residential buildings in other parts of Rafah were also targeted.

Joining me now from Tel Aviv is Alon Pinkas, who served as Consul General of Israel in New York City. Thank you so much for being with us.


CHURCH: So in the wake of the U.N. vote for a Gaza ceasefire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is blaming the U.S. for Hamas rejecting the latest hostage release deal and renewing its demand for a full ceasefire. All this is adding, of course to already deteriorating relations between Israel and the U.S. Where do those relations stand right now?

PINKAS: Exactly, as you described it, Rosemary. Ever since November, Mr. Netanyahu has been deliberately setting the course for a confrontation with the -- with the U.S.

Now, this is sort of counterintuitive, because any one of our viewers could ask why would he do that, he was being Israel's biggest protector, benefactors, strategic ally, provider and supplier of arms and armaments. And why would he do that?

Well, he's doing that so he can get to, you know, have a big scapegoat to blame for the -- for the absence of this total victory that he's talking about.

Now, you know, blaming the U.S. for this is just sanctimonious nonsense. And it is intentional and deliberate. The relations right now -- and we need to draw a distinction, Rosemary, the relations between the American administration and Mr. Netanyahu himself are very bad. And they are on a trajectory that I cannot see being altered or changed.

Relations between the U.S. and Israel, meaning, you know, the military, the Mossad, the intelligence agencies, and so on, remain very good. So, there's this artificial weird (AUDIO GAP) prime minister and the state that he supposedly leads.

CHURCH: And you wrote an opinion piece this week for The Guardian. And you said this, and I'm quoting you directly, how do you gaslight an entire nation about a war and then try to do the same to a superpower that's your ally? And how do you turn a just war into global isolation and widespread condemnation? Just ask Benjamin Netanyahu, he has the patent. What do you mean by that?

PINKAS: That he has been gaslighting both Israel and the U.S. and actually, Rosemary, you alluded to it in your opening remark when you said, well, when Mr. Netanyahu actually said that this is an existential threat that the four battalions, the four Hamas battalions in the Southern tip of Gaza that no one cared about until six months ago, have all of the sudden become an existential threat in all this.


Now, how is he gaslighting this? By turning this into something much bigger, much broader in doing so part officially and disingenuously. He's saying basically Rosemary, this is not about October 7th, this is a much bigger thing. This is a civilizational war between the West and Iran. And I'm willing to sacrifice my political career to lead the West. And some people actually believe that. And then, on another level,

he's saying, well, this is not about October 7th. This is about the world trying to impose on us, particularly the U.S. to superimpose on Israel a Palestinian state, that's mendacious. You can't impose a Palestinian state on Israel. No one intends to impose a Palestinian state on Israel.

But by selling these parallel and alternative narratives, he's trying to gaslight everyone into thinking that only he gets what's really happening here. And everyone else thinks this was just a terror attack and an Israeli retaliation, I don't think it's going to work. But he's trying and he's very good at it, I must admit.

CHURCH: And in that same opinion piece, you also wrote the Netanyahu has been spoiling for a fight with the U.S. and may not survive this time. Why do you say that?

PINKAS: Well, he may not survive politically the seventh of October, I know it sounds as if and probably it's my -- it's my error in phrasing it, as if he won't survive the crisis with the U.S. But the crisis with the U.S. is just one component of a -- of a cumulative storm that's hitting him. It was -- it was -- there was a constitutional coup that he instigated for the nine months -- for the duration of nine months preceding the war, which led to him not being invited to the White House, which led to mass demonstrations in Israel.

And then came the war and his -- a catastrophe and a debacle on a historical scale for Israel under his watch something for which he refuses to take responsibility or be held accountable. On top of that, he has domestic issues inside his coalition. So, when I said he won't survive this, I meant that the whole package, not just relations with the U.S.

CHURCH: All right, Alon Pinkas, thank you so much for joining us and for your analysis. Appreciate it always.

PINKAS: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: The death toll from last week's concert hall attack near Moscow has risen to 143. And Russian authorities say the same number of people have also been reported missing. CNN has reached out to Russian officials to check if those two lists overlap. Some people have taken to social media in recent days trying to locate missing friends and relatives. Gunman went on a shooting spree ahead of a rock concert before setting the venue on fire and causing the roof to collapse.

CNN uncovers evidence of atrocities in the ongoing civil war in Myanmar. Still to come, a horrific video shows the fate of rebel fighters captured by allies of the country's military junta.

Plus, Barack Obama is jumping in to help President Joe Biden take on Donald Trump as the West for the White House intensifies. Why experts say Obama is a critical ally for Mr. Biden to secure a second term, we'll explain.



CHURCH: The U.S. state of Texas is boosting its military presence to try to secure the border near El Paso. About 200 tactical border force troops have arrived in the city on board two C-130 transport planes. Governor Greg Abbott ordered their deployment last May as part of Operation Lone Star.

Just last week, a group of migrants stormed a border fence near El Paso clashing with U.S. officials. This group of soldiers is trained to respond to civil disturbances.

Well, there's new evidence showing the sheer brutality of Myanmar's military junta and some of its allies. Three years after seizing power in a coup, they're now taking losses on the battlefield facing stiff resistance from a rebel group called the People's Defense Forces and other ethnic armed organizations.

In a month's long investigation, CNN has uncovered video of what happens to some of those rebel fighters when they're captured. And we do need to warn you, what you're about to see is graphic and disturbing. CNN's Anna Coren reports.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Walking through the flat dry scrublands of the Yor (ph) Valley in Central Myanmar, a soldier films on his phone.

Hey, brother, raise your three fingers, he jokes. Mocking the salute symbolic of the country's resistance movement. No more three fingers, yells one of them and laughs.

He moves on to another group of pro-junta militia resting in the shade. Revolution, he cries. It's bullshit, they respond.

Moments later, the man filming asks a soldier wearing a military junta uniform of a PDF. A reference to the opposition People's Defense Forces.

Yes, he replies. This brief exchange caught on camera is about two rebel fighters they had just captured a few hours earlier.

Before dawn, on the 7th of November last year, rebels part of the PDF staged an attack on the pro-junta militia stronghold in the village of Myauk Khin Yan Gangaw in Magway Division.

But instead, the rebels were ambushed coming under heavy fire.

Platoon Commander Ninja says as they tried to retreat in open fields, several of his fighters were injured while others were cut off from the group, including 21-year-old Phoe Tay and 20-year-old Tatwong (ph).

NINJA, YDF FIGHTER (through translator): The last time I saw them, they were hunkering down about 50 meters away from me.

COREN (voice-over): A few hours later, Ninja's platoon received a message from a villager saying two of their rebel fighters had been caught alive.

Video obtained by CNN shows the two young men bound and bloodied, relentlessly taunted by the militia. The revolution must lose PDF's dogs, replies Phoe Tay. How many dogs have we killed? Aren't you PDF dogs? We're dogs repeats Tatwong. The video then shows them being dragged on the ground, their arms and legs hogtied in chains.

The next clip, too graphic to show in full, reveals the young men hanging in chains from the branch of a large tree over a fire, being burnt alive.

Their screams heard over cheers from the militia as the prisoners writhed in agony as flames cede their flesh.

An eyewitness to the execution told us the militia had ordered one person from each house to watch.

ZAWZAW, EYEWITNESS (through translator): When I got there, they hanged them on the tree and poured gasoline and diesel on their bodies. The rebels were moving and screaming and said they apologized. But the militia replied, apologize in your next life.

COREN (voice-over): Cross referencing more than a dozen interviews with witnesses, villagers, resistance fighters, family members, and experts with analysis of the video and pictures from the day using open-source techniques. CNN has found evidence that the military and its allied militia were responsible for the killings.


The junta denies the claim stating the video was fabricated. However, they do admit an attack took place that day and that its troops were stationed in the village.

CNN spoke to both fathers who confirmed their sons had been killed. They said they encouraged their boys to join the revolution and fight, but to die like this will haunt them forever.

MYINT ZAW, FATHER OF PHOE TAY (through translator): I got a chance to watch the video, but I could not finish it. I stopped because I knew it was going to break my heart.

COREN (voice-over): The brutality of this execution however is not a one-off case. Since the military junta staged a coup in 2021, the level of depravity among its soldiers and aligned militia has increased in response to the mass losses and defections it's suffering on the battlefield.

The junta's recent announcement of compulsory conscription, a clear sign it is facing enormous pressure. As fighting engulfs two-thirds of the country, experts believe the military is using fear and intimidation to try and control a defiant population. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've been able to verify over 400 burnt bodies since the coup and we've verified over a dozen instances of individual beheadings. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

COREN (voice-over): But the burnings, beheadings, and indiscriminate artillery and airstrikes are doing anything but stamping out the resistance.

Rebel fighter Yolay (ph), who fought alongside Phoe Tay and Tatwong (ph) that fateful morning, says what happened to his friends has only strengthened their resolve.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We won't give in to fear. We will continue this revolution until we win. Only then will it be worth it for those who sacrificed their lives.


COREN (on camera): Rosemary, what our team uncovered is absolutely gruesome, but we believe it's so important for the world to see what is really happening inside Myanmar. Now, this was a month's long investigation led by CNN's Angus Watson and Helen Regan, which has uncovered the level of depravity and heinous crimes that the junta and its allies are committing, as they struggle to hold ground against a coordinated and well organized opposition as these rebel forces from different groups are now working together.

And it comes as the junta celebrated Armed Forces Day with a military parade last night. Aside from the large Russian contingent present, because of the closer ties between Russia and Myanmar since the junta's coup in 2021.

What really stood out was the scant show of force, there was a real lack of military hardware on display compared to previous years which speaks to the enormous pressure that the junta is facing.

Now, in response to the junta's compulsory conscription law. 17 conscription officials have been assassinated by rebel groups in just the past few weeks, and the opposition government, which is the government in exile, has said that the officials behind the conscription drive are, "legitimate military targets", Rosemary.

CHURCH: It is a horrifying report, but we thank you and your team for shining a spotlight on this. Anna Coren joining us live from Hong Kong. Appreciate it.

And do stay with us next hour, I will speak to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Myanmar. Tom Andrews, about the current situation there and the impact on the Rohingya community.

Still to come, a look inside South Africa's war on crime with violence and corruption at an all-time high. Private security is forced to do the job of police. But how long can they keep it up? (INAUDIBLE)



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR OF "CNN NEWSROOM": Welcome back, everyone. 30 years into its young democracy, South Africa is struggling with a crime wave it can't seem to control. Violent brazen attacks and heists, which should be handled by police, are instead turned over to private security patrols because police corruption is rampant as well. CNN's David McKenzie rode along with a security guard in the middle of a pursuit and spoke with both a victim of crime and an admitted criminal about the lawlessness gripping the country.


ANTON KOEN, CEO, NOJACK: Lima (ph) Charlie 6-3. This was a vehicle that was triggered by the license plate recognition system. We need to be on top of the vehicle as soon as we -- go as fast as we possibly can.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sir Anton is chasing a hijacked vehicle. This happens all the time in South Africa. They are in touch with private security groups throughout this eastern part of Johannesburg good and one thing you don't hear anything about is the police.

KOEN: (Inaudible) direction northeast -- direction northeast play (ph).

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Police can't cope, underfunded and struggling with corruption.

KOEN: They are shooting. They are shooting.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Dashcam footage shows the criminal gangs private security are often up against. In South Africa, more than 20,000 vehicles were hijacked last year. Murders are at a 20-year high. Cash-in-transit heists are now commonplace. Armored vehicles targeted in broad daylight by heavily armed gangs. This heist on a major Johannesburg highway in October.

MCKENZIE: Was it difficult to get a gun?


MCKENZIE (voice-over): We met her cash-in-transit criminal who claims he's gotten out of the game. We agreed to hide his identity, so he would talk freely.

GLEN: People who are angry with the level of crime, they will never sleep with their stomach empty. Those are the people who are crying with crime.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): He says around a dozen gang members target the vehicles, often with insider intelligence. They have spotters, drivers, and shooters, splitting the cash evenly.

MCKENZIE: Did you ever kill anyone? GLEN: Yes. I know it's bad, I feel bad about it. Some of them, you go, and you want to rob and they do not surrender. They want to become heroes.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): But father of four, TT Ngwenya says he never wanted to be a hero. He just wanted to put food on the table.

TT NGWENYA, FORMER CASH-IN-TRANSIT GUARD: As I needed the money, you must take out that you're going to be killed because you will never work for your children.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): He always knew they would be hit. And in May 2021, they were. The dashcam video shows the gang working quickly, efficiently even. They made Ngwenya and the other guards line the grass. When they blew off the roof, it crushed his legs.


NGWENYA: And the big thing to me, I am no longer able to stand. I'm no longer walking as the way I was before I joined that job. And now, all those full pay (ph), I'm shot with some pills you see (inaudible).

KOEN: Seems like the value of life has actually means nothing to a lot of people anymore. I think at the moment, our crime is out of control. Our crime is really not in control. We are having a hard time fighting, fighting crime.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): South Africa is losing the war against crime. The promise of its democracy hijacked by corruption, desperation, and greed.


MCKENZIE (on camera): Now, that gang member we spoke to, Rosemary, said that he feels he can do crime because the wealthy are the most affected. That is actually not true. All walks of life in South Africa are impacted by the scourge of crime. Experts we spoke to said there are good cops around, but they are hampered by corruption and a lack of funding. The system itself is at fault and no one, no senior leaders really or ministers have been pushed out of their jobs because of the crime wave that all South Africans are suffering through. And if anyone might think that we are exaggerating this issue, about 20 minutes drive from me over my left shoulder, just yesterday morning, a road was closed because of one of those cash-in-transit attempt as (ph) the heists. There is an election coming up in South Africa, a critical one, and this will be a very important issue I think to those who are going to the polls. Rosemary?

CHURCH: David McKenzie joining us live from Johannesburg. Many thanks for that report. Well, he's back on the campaign trail, former U.S. President Barack Obama is lending a hand again to Joe Biden in his battle to keep the White House. How he plans to help, that's next.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, (D) FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: He made it a priority to strengthen and build on the ACA, and because he has, more Americans are covered than under any other precedent, including when I was in office. Now we have a chance to do even more, but that only happens if we send Joe and Kamala back to the White House in November.


CHURCH: Former U.S. President Barack Obama touting the Affordable Care Act and once again, lending President Joe Biden a helping hand. In this deja vu election season, Mr. Obama, a powerful campaigner, is crucial for Mr. Biden in his November face off against Donald Trump.


CHURCH: On Thursday, Barack Obama and Former President Bill Clinton will share the stage with Mr. Biden as he holds his largest 2024 fundraising event in New York. Several celebrities will be attending. And although tickets range from $225 to $500,000, the event is already sold out. Mr. Obama is also taping campaign videos with Mr. Biden and Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

The amusement park owner Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have settled their legal battle that's dragged on for two years. The war of words started in March 2022 after the entertainment giant spoke out against Florida's controversial, Don't Say Gay Bill, that pushed DeSantis to try to terminate Disney's special privileges. Now, both sides have agreed to stop the verbal assaults and drop various lawsuits they've filed against each other. And they plan to resolve their differences outside of court without admitting any fault or liability.

Disgraced crypto currency magnate Sam Bankman-Fried will face sentencing in U.S. federal court later today. He was convicted on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy. Jurors found him guilty of stealing billions of dollars from accounts belonging to customers of his crypto exchange, FTX. Prosecutors are pushing for a 40 to 50-year sentence, although Bankman-Fried could be sentenced to up to 110 years behind bars.

Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. has been added as a defendant in a civil lawsuit against rapper and business owner Sean Diddy Combs. The music producer, who filed the complaint, alleges he was sexually assaulted by Gooding Jr. in January of last year. He also claims Combs suggested he "Get to know the actor." An attorney for Gooding Jr. has not responded to CNN's request for comment.

It is one of the latest developments in the legal storm surrounding Combs. On Wednesday, his private jet was seen still parked in Miami despite plans to go on a trip with his daughters, a source tells CNN. That trip was interrupted when federal authorities stopped him on Monday and searched two of his homes.

I want to thank you for joining us this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. "World Sport" is next, then I'll be back in 15 minutes with more "CNN Newsroom." Do stick around.