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CNN International: World Central Kitchen Says Seven Workers Killed In Gaza; Some Israelis Choosing Jail Over Military Service; One Child Killed In Finland School Shooting; Blinken In Paris To Meet With French President; Trump Posts $175M Bond In New York Civil Fraud Case; Judge In Hush Money Cases Expands Gag Order On Trump; Florida Supreme Court Paves Way For 6-Week Abortion Ban; Biden Campaign Says It Can Win Florida In November; Medical Crews Recovering Bodies "Scattered" Around Al-Shifa; White House Close To Approving F-15 Fighter Jet Sale To Israel; Trump's Net Worth Plunges By $1 Billion; Canada's Niagara Region Declares State Of Emergency Ahead Of Influx Of Visitors For Monday's Solar Eclipse; "Oppenheimer" Opens In Japan After Eight-Month Delay. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired April 02, 2024 - 08:00   ET



ELISA RAFFA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Winter storm watches for interior New England for 7 inches or more. So, multiple hazards with this one, Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: OK, a lot to watch. Thank you for tracking it all for us, Elisa. Thank you very much.

So we are just one week away from the total solar eclipse on April 8th. Millions of people are going to be able to see the moon's shadow block the sun in parts of --

AMARA WALKER, CNN HOST: Hi, everyone and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Amara Walker. This is CNN Newsroom.

Just ahead, World Central Kitchen says at least seven of its aid workers were killed in an Israeli strike in central Gaza. The latest on what has been called an unforgivable attack.

Then, Finnish police detain a 12-year-old after a school shooting outside Helsinki killed one child and injured two. What we know about the attack.

Plus, Donald Trump's properties are safe for now. The former president posts a $175 million bond to allow his appeal in a civil fraud case to go forward. But that's not the only legal issue he is facing today.

World Central Kitchen's CEO calls it unforgivable. The charity says at least seven of its workers have been killed in an Israeli military strike. It says a food convoy was hit as it was leaving a warehouse to spy coordinating its movements with the Israeli Defense Forces. The victims were from across the globe, including Poland, the U.K. and Australia.


ANTHONY ALBANESE, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: Australia expects full accountability for the deaths of aid workers, which is completely unacceptable. Aid workers and those doing humanitarian work, and indeed all innocent civilians, need to be provided with protection.


WALKER: The founder of WCK, the Chef Jose Andres, posted on X saying he is heartbroken. He called out the Israeli government saying it, quote, "needs to stop the indiscriminate killing." The IDF says it is investigating the incident at the highest level.

CNN's Melissa Bell joining us now live from Jerusalem. I mean, so many questions. The fact that this convoy was marked, they had coordinated with the IDF and it's still a deadly strike on them. What do we know about this attack in central Gaza?

MELISSA BELL, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. What we understand, Amara, is that this was a convoy that had just delivered 100 tons of aid to a warehouse in central Gaza in a deconflicted zone, again, as you mentioned, with its movements coordinated with the IDF. And yet as it left, was hit.

And what we're seeing is some of the video footage coming out of the aftermath of that strike, showing clearly one of the armored cars with a logo of World Central Kitchen clearly marked on it with half of it destroyed, missing as a result of that strike. And as you say, the nationalities of those killed, they were -- there was one American- Canadian citizen, one Brit, a Polish citizen, an Australian national as well, a Palestinian amongst them.

And that has led to outrage being expressed by all of the countries from which they came, but also, Amara, renewed calls for more to be done for those land crossings to be opened. We've heard, for instance, from the U.N.'s head of the -- who deals with all the relief in the occupied territories, who's pointed out that, look, as tragic as this is, this is not an isolated incident.

There have been, he says, the deaths of 196 humanitarian aid workers since October -- since this war began across the occupied territories. Now, that, Amara, is three times the number of aid workers killed in any conflicts anywhere in a single year. And it gives you an idea of just how dangerous it is.

Now, the IDF has spoken to this. We've been hearing from Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari this morning speaking of his sorrow and the condolences that he's extended to the man who set up this charity that has focused on bringing food quickly to those who need it most, Jose Andres. And we know that the IDF has announced that it is launching an investigation at the highest level.

But this latest tragedy, I think, really ramps up the pressure once again on Israel. Remember that World Central Kitchen, Amara, had made itself a crucial part of what aid is able to get to those in need inside Gaza by getting around the substantial blocks there are to aid coming in through land.

Thanks to those maritime deliveries, that corridor between Cyprus and Gaza, there's that makeshift jetty that's been set up off the coast of Gaza, and it is there that they've been -- they have been managing to deliver that much needed aid, some of which, of course, was delivered this morning before tragedy struck.


WALKER: Yes, obviously, we're continuing to see condemnation and shock coming in from outside, from around the world regarding this attack. In the meantime, inside Israel, Melissa, you spoke with people who are critical of the war in Gaza. They're not happy with the government. What do they tell you?

BELL: That's right. I mean, there have been now two nights of protests and an entire tent city set up outside the Knesset, Amara, with Israelis from across the political spectrum, expressing their outrage at a number of things. The fact that six months on -- nearly six months on, more than 130 Israeli hostages remain in the hands of Hamas, outrage also in the crowds about the way this war has been waged in the image that Israel now has around the world.

A lot of concern as well for what's happening to the Palestinian civilians. We've already expressed there. We did catch up with one young man who as an 18-year-old, has really shown tremendous courage in refusing to heed the call for his mandatory military service.


BELL (voice-over): In Israel, too, there are those who object to their government's handling of the war in Gaza. Among them, Ben Arad, who as an 18-year-old is due to enlist this week for his mandatory military service. Instead, he tells the crowd, he's choosing to go to jail.

We caught up with him in Tel Aviv on his very last day of freedom.

BEN ARAD, ISRAELI REFUSING TO GO TO WAR: I don't refuse because I'm afraid of being hurt or killed in military action. I have a very, very deep disgust of the things that I'm seeing happening.

BELL (voice-over): Things, he says, that Israeli media doesn't dwell on, but that he seeks out on international networks and online.

ARAD: I think something that really broke my heart was the flour massacre. So, seeing people trample each other to get food, I mean, you just can't deny at that point that there is a famine going on and people are hungry.

BELL (voice-over): So on Monday, Ben will hand himself in, becoming one of only a handful of so called refuseniks to make their decisions public since the war began.

In a country where military service marks the start of every Israeli's grown up life, aside from those exempt on religious grounds, the war has made avoiding it a political act. ARAD: I've been called a traitor. I've been told that I need to be deported or I've been asked why I don't just move. I mean, but it's not such terrible stuff. I haven't gotten that yet. Like, I'll get that when I go to jail.

BELL (voice-over): Yet Ben says he's determined to give up his freedom in order to remain free of a war that he simply doesn't believe in.


WALKER: And that was our Melissa Bell reporting.

We do want to let you know that we are getting a statement from the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding this deadly aid strike that happened in Gaza, killing aid workers with the World Central Kitchen. And he said this, that is really forces unintentionally struck innocent people in the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu goes on to say, "Unfortunately, in the last day, there was a tragic incident where our forces unintentionally struck innocent people. It happens in war and we are thoroughly investigating it. We are in contact with the governments and we'll do everything to prevent such occurrences in the future."

The IDF did say earlier that they were investigating this strike at the highest levels.

All right, developing news out of Finland. Police say one child is dead. Two are in the hospital after a shooting at a school just north of the capital Helsinki. Authorities say the suspect is 12 years old and they're treating the attack as murder and attempted murder.

CNN's Sebastian Shukla joining us now with more. What do we know?

SEBASTIAN SHUKLA, CNN INTERNATIONAL FIELD PRODUCER: Well, Amara, we actually know very little. All that we know, by and large, is that this attack took place this morning, the day after or the same day that children returning to school after the Easter holidays in Finland and the attack took place at a school in Viertola, which is just north of the Finnish capital.

The attack was carried out by a 12-year-old seemingly on his own classmates where it is left one dead and two people severely injured. We don't know quite the status of their critical injuries, but we know that they are currently being treated in hospital. Attacks like this, though, Amara, are really, really quite rare in Finland.


And the Finnish prime minister has been speaking in the last few minutes, and I'll paraphrase kind of what he has said, which is that this is a deeply shocking incident, and that the authorities are yet to determine the story behind this event. But he also acknowledged that the incidents are rare in Finland, but even one is too many.

The last attack like this which took place in the Scandinavian country was in 2008, which happened way out in the east, which was also perpetrated by students from that particular school. What we will have to wait and see, Amara, is what exactly the motivation is here and hope that those two critically injured children are not going to become victims of this terrible atrocity.

WALKER: All right. Sebastian Shukla, thank you very much.

America's top diplomat and the president of France are expected to put their heads together in the coming hours to talk about how to prevent the Middle East conflict from spreading. We are also hearing that support for Ukraine will be high on the agenda when the U.S. Secretary of State sits down with Emmanuel Macron.

Antony Blinken arrived in Paris just a short time ago at the start of a five-day trip to France and Belgium.

Let's bring in CNN's Ni Robertson for more insight. Nic, obviously, as you were saying, the aid to Ukraine was high on the agenda. But, of course, now you have this Israeli strike that killed staff from the World Central Kitchen. I'd imagine that that will be a part of the talks as well.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, sure. And they're both going to talk about Gaza and how to deescalate tensions there. And they're both likely to talk about the strike on Damascus that killed very senior Israeli -- Iranian commanders.

And I think this is something where France potentially can play a diplomatic role because of its relationship and involvement in Lebanon. Macron has visited on several occasions. So the French diplomatic political outreach to Lebanon it can be useful because this is where Iran's principal proxy Hezbollah is located.

And, of course, the tensions between Hezbollah and Israel have been escalating. There are elements within the Israeli military and political structures who would like to see a bigger confrontation with Hezbollah because they see them as a potential threat going forward, and that this would be the right time to diminish that threat.

So, if Iran is to follow through on its statement that it will take decisive action, and there will be a response because it alleges that Israel was responsible for that strike in Damascus yesterday, then Hezbollah would likely be the proxy that they would choose to do that. So in that context, France can play a role there.

But, of course, bringing a ceasefire to Gaza is important. And the French have a U.N. resolution that they're preparing at the moment. So, undoubtedly, the text of that will get some discussion as well. But a lot of this meeting between the defense minister, foreign minister and the president of France with Secretary of State Antony Blinken is going to focus on Ukraine.

And I think we've got a sense of that when he met with the defense minister. They looked at artillery shells and Secretary Blinken spoke about he'd never seen in 30 years, you know, so much burden sharing in terms of supporting Ukraine. But at the same time, there's a bit of a nudge here for France because some European nations, Germany in particular, feels that perhaps France isn't doing enough to support Ukraine, although over the weekend, France did announce a new packet of security measures, armored vehicles, used armored fighting vehicles to be given to Ukraine, more missiles to be given to Ukraine.

So that's, I think visually, that's the theme of the meeting here. But talking about the coordination, talking up the good points, I think behind the scenes really making sure that all European partners doing everything they can. And the United States sees France as a leading European partner that sets -- helps set the trend and agenda within the European Union.

WALKER: Yes, absolutely. And, of course, Blinken heads to Brussels for talks with NATO foreign ministers as well, where Ukraine will also be top of mind.

Nic Robertson, thank you very much, live for us there in London.

The judge in Donald Trump's hush money trial is making it clear that he will not let Trump's bombastic style overrun their proceedings.

On Monday, Judge Juan Merchan expanded the gag order on Trump, prohibiting the former president from verbally attacking family members of the judge himself or the Manhattan District Attorney. Trump has repeatedly blasted the judge's daughter for her work as a Democratic political consultant. Judge Merchan said Trump's words are a direct attack on the rule of law.

Meanwhile, Trump on Monday posted the $175 million bond in his civil fraud case. He got a California insurance company to front the money. An appeals court reduced the amount of the bond from $464 million last month.


CNN's Kara Scannell has been tracking all of these. Hi there, Kara. The $175 million bond doesn't mean Trump is all done with the case, does it? It's just really the beginning.

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, this was the bond that Trump had to put forward in order to stop the New York Attorney General's office from moving to see some of his assets to satisfy that $464 million judgment in the case.

Now, this case will go on to appeal. Trump said he will appeal. The appeals court said that they will hear the arguments in September, and he is challenging the judge's finding that we found him liable for fraud and imposed that large amount of money, half a billion dollars that Trump has to come up with.

So him getting this bond together really stops the New York Attorney General's office from moving on his assets. But it does mean that they are going to continue to litigate this case. And it's likely it's going to be something that will be, if not, decided on the cusp of being decided at the presidential election. Amara?

WALKER: OK. And that was a civil fraud trial. When we're turning now to the criminal trial, the hush money payment trial also in New York, we talked about how the judge is now taking an even harder line with Trump. I mean, his first gag ordered had nothing to do with the judge or the Manhattan D.A., and now he's including their family members.

SCANNELL: Right. I mean, this gag order is just about a week old last week. The judge imposed it. It's very limited. It just says that Trump couldn't make comments about potential witnesses about prosecutors in the case, but not the district attorney.

He's a public figure and about court staff members and also said that prosecutors' family and the court family members were off limits. And the reason why the judge imposed a gag order was because prosecutors came forward with some data showing that when Trump was making a lot of comments last year after he was indicted, that the office had seen a spike in threats.

They'd received envelopes with white powder that turned out to be non- toxic, but they saw an increase in threats. So, the judge imposed this limited gag order the day after Trump began making comments on his social media platform about the judge, who is not covered by the gag order, but also the judge's daughter because she works for a Democratic political campaign.

Trump was posting photos of her. He released her name on one of his post. And so, prosecutors then went back to the judge saying, you know, we think the gag order should include these family members, does it? And the judge came back last night saying it didn't include them, but it does now.

And part of the reason is the judge had said that this is no longer just a mere possibility or reasonable likelihood that there exists a threat to the integrity of the judicial proceedings. The threat is very real. Admonitions are not enough, nor is reliance on self- restraint.

So the judge putting in place this gag order, also because he said prosecutors had represented to him that some witnesses have been concerned that if they testify in this case, they will be under attack and their family members will come under attack.

Judge saying that his job here is to ensure the integrity and the fair trial in this case. And so that is why he is limiting what Trump can say. Now, Trump is out with a statement today where he is again critical of the judge, but he does not touch the judge's daughter or any other family members in his post this morning.

WALKER: He just keeps going. Kara Scannell, thank you very much.

Still to come, a new ruling from Florida Supreme Court will impact thousands of women there as their abortion rights are set to be drastically reduced. We'll be live from Miami.

Also, we'll tell you how Joe Biden plans to use the issue of abortion rights to flip Florida, the current home of Donald Trump. Stay with us.



WALKER: A new ruling by Florida's Supreme Court will soon make it even more difficult for women to get an abortion in that state. The justices have upheld the state's 15-week ban on abortion in a ruling that will allow a six-week ban passed last year to take effect within 30 days. Many women do not even realize they are pregnant at six weeks.


DR. CHERISE FELIX, PROVIDENCE OB/GYN: For people that live in Florida, the closest state they're going to be able to get to is Virginia. For people that are in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, they're looking at places like Illinois. They'll have to go to Illinois, would be the closest access point.

So, Florida is an important state, not just for Floridians, but for the southeast region of our country with all those people that need help and that are coming here.


WALKER: CNN's Carlos Suarez is following the story from Miami, Florida. Carlos, I mean, it does get a bit confusing with so many different rulings. Walk us through what they mean for Floridians and what is legal right now when it comes to abortion in the state of Florida?

CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Amara. Good morning. So the Florida Supreme Court issued two rulings both dealing with abortion. The first case dealt with whether Florida's Constitution has the right to privacy and therefore guarantees the right to an abortion.

The conservative leaning court here in Florida said that the right to privacy in the state Constitution does not protect the right to an abortion. And so it allowed Florida's current 15-week ban to take effect. As you noted, last year, the Florida legislature passed a stricter six-week ban on abortion. But that legislation, that law was put on hold until the Florida Supreme Court decided on the constitutionality of that 15-week ban.

And so as you also made clear, this decision clears the way for that six-week ban to take effect here in Florida in about 30 days. Florida now joins a list of states across the southeast of the United States, where abortions have some type of restriction, if not an outright ban.

And Planned Parenthood of Florida here said that this is not just going to impact women that live in Florida, but women that have been traveling to Florida from some of these other states across the southeast, noting that the access to abortion services in Florida is about to get a little bit more difficult. Now, abortion providers really anticipated the court's decision yesterday, saying that they have a plan in place to try to get women to other states that currently do not have a restriction on abortions. Now, yesterday the Supreme Court -- the Florida Supreme Court rather also issued a separate ruling clearing the way for a constitutional amendment to go before the voters in November.

The language around that ballot would allow for the expansion of abortion rights in Florida. Essentially, the court said that the current understanding of the Florida state -- the Florida Constitution rather, does not -- the privacy under that does not guarantee the right to an abortion, but that voters will decide in November if the right to privacy under the Florida Constitution should must protect the right to an abortion.

It is important to note here, Amara, that in order for this ballot amendment to pass, it would require 60 percent of voters to approve it. We can expect this issue to, of course, no doubt play out in the presidential election cycle here in Florida going into November, and we expect the issue to come up later today when Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra talks about this issue during a stop here in Florida.

WALKER: Yes, he'll be joined with several Democratic leaders, including the House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. Obviously, not a coincidence that they are there today.

Carlos Suarez, thank you very much.

Joe Biden's re-election campaign says abortion rights will be top of mind for Florida voters in November. And as a result, the Biden campaign thinks it can beat Donald Trump in this state. Trump won Florida in 2016 and 2020, but the Biden campaign is investing tens of millions of dollars in flipping it this fall. The Biden camp says it has largely been focusing its outreach on Latino voters.


Let's go now to Arlette Saenz at the White House with more. Hi, Arlette. What is the Biden campaign saying about their opening in the state?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Amara, the Biden campaign believes that Florida is now a state that is winnable for them, especially when it comes to the issue that you just discussed about relating to reproductive rights. The decision by Florida's Supreme Court to allow a vote on a state constitutional amendment in November relating to abortion is an issue that the Biden campaign believes can work in their favor.

That is something that the campaign manager, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, outlined in a memo last night, where she tried to argue that this -- these rulings by the state Supreme Court have basically imposed a ban on abortion across the Southeast, including in states like Georgia and North Carolina, where there are stringent limits relating to abortion. Now, the Biden campaign has long argued that they believe reproductive rights will be a galvanizing issue for voters in November, especially among women, independent and moderate voters. And they've talked about other ballot initiatives in battleground states like Arizona and Nevada that they believe could work in their favor as well.

Now, the Biden campaign today is really leaning into the issue of abortion. They rolled out a new television and digital ad, which is going to run across all battleground states, as well as digitally down in Florida.

And in this ad, the president is speaking direct to camera, warning of the threat that President Trump poses on the issue of abortion, talking about the fact that he put Supreme Court justices on the court who ended Roe v. Wade, and the president arguing that he is there to protect and try to enhance access to abortion going forward. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The 54 years they were trying to get Roe v. Wade terminated, and I did it, and I'm proud to have done it.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In 2016, Donald Trump ran to overturn Roe v. Wade. Now, in 2024, he's running to pass a national ban on a woman's right to choose. I'm running to make Roe v. Wade the law of the land again, so women have a federal guarantee to the right to choose.

Donald Trump doesn't trust women. I do. I'm Joe Biden, and I approve this message.


SAENZ: So they are hoping that issue of reproductive rights will really be a motivating force for voters, not just in battlegrounds, but also in Florida. But Florida has long believed to be a long shot for Democrats. If you take a look at former President Donald Trump's success there, he beat Hillary Clinton by about 112,000 votes in 2016, that he widens that margin even more against Biden winning by 371,000 votes.

But one area where the Biden campaign says they also believe they could peel off some support from Trump is those Nikki Haley supporters who have said that they won't vote for the former president. So it's a -- there's a few factors the Biden campaign believes is playing their favor with abortion rights really chief among them.

WALKER: And, of course, the Biden campaign rolling out those ads targeting those Nikki Haley voters.

Arlette Saenz, appreciate you there at the White House. Thank you very much.

Still to come, shocked, heartbroken, and outraged. And organizations are responding to the killing of seven World Central Kitchen workers in Gaza. The White House says it's deeply troubled by those killings, even as it prepares to greenlight selling $18 billion of fighter jets to Israel. We'll have more on that next.



WALKER: Moments ago, the Israeli Prime Minister responded after seven aid workers from the World Central Kitchen were killed in an airstrike in Gaza, saying Israeli forces unintentionally struck innocent people. Netanyahu did not specifically reference the deaths of those aid workers, however.

World Central Kitchen, or WCK, is one of the few aid organizations providing desperately needed help to Palestinians in Gaza, and it is now pausing operations there. The nonprofit group said that they had coordinated their movements with the IDF and were in marked vehicles. British aid workers were among those killed.


RISHI SUNAK, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: Shocked and saddened to hear the reported deaths of aid workers in Gaza. We're urgently working to confirm all the details, but my thoughts right now with their friends and family. They're doing fantastic work bringing alleviation to the suffering that many are experiencing in Gaza. They should be praised and commended for what they're doing.

They need to be allowed to do that work unhindered. And it's incumbent on Israel to make sure that they can do that, and we're asking Israel to investigate what happened urgently.


WALKER: Meanwhile, Iran is blaming Israel for a deadly strike on its consulate in Syria and vowing to retaliate in what could be the most dangerous escalation of violence outside of Gaza since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

CNN's Scott McLean is joining me now live from Istanbul. Scott, let's first start with this deadly Israeli strike on this convoy from the World Central Kitchen. Could this strike have been mistaken identity, even if they had coordinated with the IDF and these vehicles were clearly marked as we see in the video?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Amara. I mean, it was unintentional according to the Israeli prime minister, but you're right. If this was in fact a mistake, mistaken identity, they thought that this was someone else, that is a failure on two levels, because first, the Israelis knew their coordinates, as you rightly point out.

And second, this vehicle was very clearly marked with World Central Kitchen logos. You don't have to take World Central Kitchen's word for it. You just have to look at the video, and you can see there's a massive logo not only on the sides of the car, but on the roof of the car as well, and a huge hole where presumably this bomb came down inside this vehicle. The inside is absolutely incinerated.

Seven people were killed, as you point out, from a whole host of countries. And World Central Kitchen had been really on the front lines of providing this desperately needed aid. They were the first to bring in aid by sea, using sort of a makeshift jetty that they had created in order to offload it with some cranes.

They had sent one shipment a while back, and then on Saturday, they were sending their second shipment. It takes about 60 or so hours to reach Gaza from Cyprus. It's not clear if that shipment arrived. If it had, that was likely what this convoy was offloading at the time or just before. If it hadn't, then it's not going to be offloaded, because World Central Kitchen says that it is pausing its operations in the region and will make a decision on its future operations soon.

The Cypriot president insists that the maritime corridor to get aid to Gaza will remain open, but it's not clear at this stage who might actually use it. And the World Central Kitchen CEO was pretty blunt in her statement, and I want to read to you. It says, "This is not only an attack against World Central Kitchen, this is an attack on humanitarian organizations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war. This is unforgivable."

Now, we know the identity of the Palestinian driver, his name is Saif Issam Abu Taha. We also know, thanks to the Australian Prime Minister, the identity of the Australian citizen whose name is Zomi Frankcom. The Australian Prime Minister calls this completely unacceptable. He is demanding, expecting full accountability.

And Zomi Frankcom was actually on CNN last year doing an interview talking about her work in Morocco in the response to the earthquake there.


And just last week, World Central Kitchen put out a video with her in it describing the work that they were doing in Deir Al-Balah. Here's part of it.


ZOMI FRANKCOM, WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN: Hey, this is Zomi and Chef Olivier. We're at the Deir Al-Balah kitchen and we've got the mise en place. Tell us a little bit about it, Chef Oli.

This is the beautiful, fragrant, aromatic rice that will be served today from Deir Al-Balah kitchen. Thank you.


MCLEAN: So Amara, this strike is obviously receiving widespread condemnation, not only from the international community, but from activists and aid groups as well. The Israeli Prime Minister said that they would do everything in their power to ensure this doesn't happen again, but the reality is that it is not an isolated incident. UNRWA, for instance, says that 165 of its staff have been killed and 150 sites have been hit, despite the fact that they regularly share those coordinates with the Israelis.

WALKER: Yes. How does this happen, is the question, right?

Scott McLean, thank you very much. Live for us there in Istanbul.

The United Nations says it is planning a mission to Gaza's largest hospital as soon as possible following the withdrawal of Israeli forces. It comes one day after the IDF ended its 14-day siege of the Al-Shifa Medical Complex, leaving behind, as you see there, a scene of devastation.

Israel says it was conducting an anti-terror mission. But Gaza's civil defense says scenes of, quote, "atrocious crimes by Israeli forces cannot be overlooked."

CNN's Nada Bashir has more details, but we want to warn you, many of the images in her report are graphic.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): As dawn breaks over Gaza's Al- Shifa Hospital, the full extent of this latest nightmare becomes clear. Buildings scorched, some still ablaze, others riddled with bullet holes or completely destroyed. Below, bodies lay crushed and decomposing.

Under torchlight, limbs are found tangled amid earth and rubble. This is the aftermath of the Israeli military's 14-day siege on what once was Gaza's largest hospital.

Please, God, enough, this woman screams. How much more can Gaza's civilians be forced to endure?

Medical crews tell CNN they arrived on Monday morning to find hundreds of bodies scattered around the complex. Others have been left wounded, starving and desperate for help.

We spent days without food or water until the military gave us a few food cans, but they were not enough to feed all the patients, Jana says. They would give each patient just a quarter of a water bottle each day. The bombardment and shooting was constant.

The scale of the destruction wrought by the Israeli military here seems impossible to quantify. In the surrounding area, entire families were trapped in their homes for two weeks under near constant bombardment.

Upon the Israeli military's withdrawal, Arafat al-Lulu was finally able to return home, only to find that his wife and seven children had been killed.

The Israeli military has described the siege on Al-Shifa as a precise operation targeting Hamas militants, some 200 of which they say were killed, though CNN is unable to verify this figure.

Weapons and intelligence documents are also said to have been found on the complex, which had been housing hundreds of civilians when the siege began. The IDF maintains that soldiers distinguish between militants and civilians, but such claims stand in stark contrast to the troubling testimonies and videos CNN has received from countless civilians and medical staff who were trapped in and around the hospital.

We can't estimate the number of medical staff who were targeted in what we can only call executions, this medical official says.

In earlier testimonies shared with CNN, civilians described being stripped, bound and blindfolded in the cold before facing interrogations by Israeli soldiers. Reports of beatings are also widespread. For days, medical staff within the hospital told CNN they couldn't even move between buildings on the complex for fear of being targeted by Israeli snipers.

Every day, a patient would die, nurse Mousa says. The occupation soldiers used us as human shields inside the hospital.

More than 300 bodies have so far been recovered, according to authorities in Gaza, but that figure will likely only rise.


Warnings that Al-Shifa could soon be turned into a graveyard, now a gut-wrenching reality.

Nada Bashir, CNN, London.


WALKER: And CNN has reached out to the IDF for comment.

The Biden administration appears ready to greenlight the sale of 50 American made fighter jets to Israel. Sources say the deal is expected to be worth more than $18 billion, the largest U.S. military sale to Israel since the start of the war nearly six months ago.

The jets haven't yet been built and would likely not be delivered for about five years. The U.S. is also expected to notify Congress soon that it plans to sell Israel equipment for guided munitions.

CNN's Jennifer Hansler is joining me now live from the State Department. Tell us what you're learning, Jennifer.

JENNIFER HANSLER, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT REPORTER: Well, Amara, this sale really goes to show how much the Biden administration is standing by Israel militarily, even as officials continue to raise alarm about the humanitarian and civilian toll of the war in Gaza.

Now, we expect this sale to be debated in Congress as more and more Democratic lawmakers have called on the administration to enact restrictions or conditions on that military aid. At the same time, we know that the administration is poised to give its approval because they have already done step one of this arms sale process.

They have let the top Democrats and top Republicans of both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee know that they want to move forward with that sale. We are told that both Republicans on both those committees have given their approval, but the top Democrats could still put a hold on those sales.

If they do not put that hold on Congress in these committees could as a whole vote to stop these sales, but that rarely happens. So it is likely that these sales, these massive sales will move forward. As you noted, a U.S. official said they are not planning to expedite the delivery of these jets to Israel, so it would be likely at least five years.

But it's really significant that even as the administration wants to pressure the Netanyahu government to do more to protect civilians, they are saying, we are standing by our long standing commitment to Israel's security here, and we are going to make sure they can defend themselves. Amara?

WALKER: Louder than words. Jennifer Hansler, thank you very much.

Still to come, Donald Trump is $1 billion poorer this morning. So what happened? We'll explain.

And it's not like twilight, sunset, or sunrise, but millions of people will be staring at the sky, hoping not to miss it. We'll tell you all about the upcoming eclipse and where you can see it.


WALKER: It has been a rollercoaster ride for shares of Trump media after its stark -- stock market debut last week. Truth Social saw its share price plunge more than 20 percent Monday, lopping more than $1 billion off the former U.S. president's net wealth. Although he's still several billion dollars better off as a result of taking the company public.


Matt Egan joining us now from New York. So this brings us back to the initial question that many were asking when, you know, the Trump Truth Social company went public. Wall Street valued the company at as much as what, $11 billion based on the stock's closing price last week? How did they even get to this valuation?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Yes, Amara, it's fascinating. Look, and this stock really was just going to the moon, right? I mean, fundamentals didn't seem to matters, trading purely on momentum and hype. But now it seems like gravity is kicking in or at least starting to kick in, right, because Trump media, the owner of Truth Social lost almost a quarter of its value yesterday alone, just a massive loss for this company and its shares are moving lower by a bit in pre-market trading right now.

Now, Donald Trump still owns a massive stake in this company. It's valued at around $3.8 billion, but that's down from $4.8 billion dollars just last week. Now, I think this is a reminder of how we have to really stress that these are paper gains for the former president, right? And until he sells that stake, it could vanish in an instant because this stock is so volatile.

Now, the trigger for the sell off yesterday was the fact that Trump media posted its 2023 results, and they were not perfect. The company lost $58.2 million last year, not shocking they lost money because this is a startup, but the revenue was really tiny. $4.1 million in revenue, given that this is a company that again was valued at around $11 billion that is really tiny.

Some context, these numbers from Trump media, they're actually very much in line with another digital media company that had been in the spotlight, the Messenger. That digital media company had posted a similar loss for 2023 on similar revenue and it later shut down earlier this year.

Now I'm not saying that's going to happen here, but I do think it underscores why experts are saying that this company's stock price is a bubble and that it looks like a meme stock. It's user base is shrinking. It's losing money and revenue is really, really tiny. Amara?

WALKER: It's just hard to make sense of it, right, in this real world that we live in. And speaking of hype, as you know, Donald Trump is the king of hype. We know he loves to prey on people's emotions. So could he do anything to turn things around?

EGAN: Sure. I mean, listen, the stock price looks like it's sort of stabilizing in pre-market trading. I wouldn't be shocked if the stock goes up by 20 percent today. I mean, it's just so volatile that it's really going to be hard to predict. There's going to be really wild ups and downs.

And what's interesting is one of the reasons why I think this stock fell so sharply yesterday may have had to do with a little bit of confusion. Accountants put out a warning in the SEC filing where they said that Trump media's losses are so severe that they, quote, "raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern."

Now that is Wall Street speak for they could go out of business. But I think there's a big asterisk here because that warning likely predated the blockbuster merger of last week. And that merger didn't just bring Trump media public, it also led to a cash infusion of $300 million and experts tell me that that cash infusion should buy this company time to try to build out its infrastructure.

And analysts tell me that 2024 is really going to be a make or break year for this company. So listen, Amara, I think everyone should fasten their seatbelts because this wild ride is just getting started.

WALKER: We're talking politics or Wall Street?

Matt Egan --

EGAN: Both, both.

WALKER: Exactly. Buckling my seatbelt. Thanks so much, Matt. Good to see you from New York there.

EGAN: Thanks.

WALKER: Well, it's supposed to be fun getting together with family and friends to watch the upcoming solar eclipse, right? Well, officials in Canada's Niagara region might have a different response. They are declaring a state of emergency, as thousands of visitors are expected to pour into the region to watch this celestial event.

Paula Newton has more.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Niagara Falls is known for its stunning views. A number of people expected to visit the famous waterfalls may soon become a spectacle in itself. It's a prime viewing site for the solar eclipse on April 8th as it crosses North America, passing over Mexico, the United States and Canada.

JIM DIODATI, MAYOR OF NIAGARA FALLS, CANADA: Even though we get 14 million people every year, it's over the year. It's not all at one time. To get 1 million at one time would be, by far, the biggest crowd that we've ever had.


NEWTON (voice-over): Canada's Niagara region has declared a state of emergency so that emergency services can prepare for the influx of people. Hotels, stores and restaurants are gearing up for the visitors, which are estimated to outnumber the locals. Ontario's Niagara region has a population of nearly half a million people, but some business owners say they're looking forward to some extra company.

GABRIEL GABRIE PIZZERIA OWNER: We're expecting to have a full house for the first time in a long time. We're coming up for the winter season, so it's an exciting time.

NEWTON (voice-over): By the time the eclipse is fully visible over Niagara Falls at approximately 3:18 p.m. Eastern time, it will be nearing the end of its trek across the continent, which happens when it passes over the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

It will be the first total eclipse in Canada since 1979 and the last time the contiguous U.S. will see one until 2044. So it's a sight many people say they don't want to miss.

JASON HARLOW, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO: Having that collective feeling of, oh, the sun's gone and seeing something that's so rare and so beautiful, to see the stars come out in the day, yes, it's something that my kids will remember their whole lives.

NEWTON (voice-over): Paul Newton, CNN. (END VIDEOTAPE)

WALKER: And join us on Monday for the total solar eclipse as it travels from Mexico across the United States and into Canada. Experience the total eclipse from several locations with plenty of science and excitement along the way. Our special coverage starts at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

Still to come, audiences in Japan are finally getting to see Best Picture Oscar winner "Oppenheimer" eight months after its summer release. Why it's opening there was delayed?


WALKER: After an eight-month wait, moviegoers in Japan can finally see best picture Oscar winner "Oppenheimer." Universal Pictures initially decided not to release the film there during its global rollout in July, out of concern about how it might be received by the only country to ever experience the horrors of nuclear war.

CNN's Hanako Montgomery has the story.


HANAKO MONTGOMERY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After months of delay, the father of the atomic bomb's life story finally took to the big screens in Japan, the very country where his invention wreaked terrifying devastation.

The film, highly praised globally, was met with favorable reaction from some Japanese viewers.

KUMIKO FUKUDA, TOKYO RESIDENT (through translator): I was interested in this movie because it shows the expressions and emotions hidden behind the eyes of both Americans and Japanese who saw the atomic bombs. It doesn't just show the tragic story, which I think is easier to depict.

MONTGOMERY (voice-over): But left others with a bitter aftertaste.

UNKNOWN (through translator): Of course, this is an amazing film which deserves to win the Academy Awards in the United States. But the film also depicts the atomic bomb in a way that seems to praise it. And as a person with roots in Hiroshima, I found it difficult to watch. I'm not sure this is a movie that Japanese people should make a special effort to watch.


MONTGOMERY (voice-over): Omitting images of the ghastly wreckage caused to Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the atomic bombs, lethal weapons that killed over 200,000 people, was a conscious decision from director Christopher Nolan.

MONTGOMERY: At a New York film screening, Nolan said that he didn't include those images because "Oppenheimer" himself didn't fully see how his invention incinerated whole neighborhoods and people.

MONTGOMERY (voice-over): The film took eight months to release in Japan amid controversy over an unofficial marketing campaign that critics said trivialized the 1945 nuclear attacks. But the criticism hasn't deterred viewers entirely.

During opening weekend in Japan, the movie grossed $2.5 million. Abroad, the highly lauded film won seven Oscars this year, including the coveted Best Picture and Best Actor awards. Christopher Nolan, who also took home Best Director, will receive a knighthood in Britain for his services to film.

But despite the film's global accolades, Japanese viewers tread lightly, wary of how the West remembers and depicts history from 78 years ago, a past far from forgotten in Japan.

Hanako Montgomery, CNN, Tokyo.


WALKER: A very important perspective there.

Thank you so much for being with me here on CNN Newsroom. I'm Amara Walker. Connect the World with Eleni Giokos is up next.