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Jamaican Residents Braces for Hurricane Beryl; Death toll in India's Crowd Crush at a Religious Gathering Raised to 120, 35 were Injured; U.K. Voters Sees End to the Reign of Conservative Party come July 4th General Elections; Biden to Meet Israeli PM This Month; Djokovic Returns to Wimbledon Following his Knee Surgery; New Study Reveals a Bionic Leg May Restore Natural Walking Speeds. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired July 03, 2024 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States, Canada and all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead, Hurricane Beryl heads for Jamaica as the Prime Minister urges residents to take the deadly storm seriously.

Pressure builds on President Biden as the first sitting Democratic lawmaker calls on the U.S. leader to step aside.

While former Republicans who vowed to never back Donald Trump are feeling a little less certain after President Biden's debate performance.

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

CHURCH: Good to have you with us. U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to speak with Democratic governors and congressional leaders in the hours ahead as concerns mount over his re-election bid following a poor debate performance.

At a fundraiser in Virginia, Mr. Biden blamed that performance on a tough travel schedule, saying he almost fell asleep on stage. Reporters who were in the room believe that line was intended to be a joke. But so far, there's been little to quiet concerns.

Mr. Biden's approval rating hit a new low following the debate. A new CNN poll shows it dipped to 36 percent. In an effort to calm concerns, Mr. Biden is expected to sit down for an interview with ABC News this week. This comes as the first Democratic lawmaker publicly asked the President to step aside.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. LLOYD DOGGETT (D-TX): I salute President Biden. I just feel that it's time for him to step aside if we were to be able to protect what he allowed us to in 2020, which was a victory for democracy. But he delivered us from Trump then. He could be delivering us to Trump this year if we had more of what happened last Thursday.


CHURCH: Another top Democrat is acknowledging that Mr. Biden's debate was rough, but is making clear he's better than the alternative.


GOV. ANTHONY BESHEAR (D-KY): It really comes down to a simple question. If you've got two separate grandparents that you can leave your kids with, one is kind and has been good to them, may be stiffer, may have had a bad debate, and one is angry and talks about getting revenge on people, who are you going to trust your kids with? And should we entrust the country with any less?


CHURCH: CNN's MJ Lee has more on the debate fallout from Washington.


MJ LEE, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Democratic firewall around President Joe Biden is beginning to fracture. Texas Congressman Lloyd Doggett, becoming the first Democratic lawmaker to publicly call on Biden to withdraw from the 2024 election following last week's poor debate performance. The congressman saying in a statement, President Biden's first commitment has always been to our country, not himself. I'm hopeful that he will make the painful and difficult decision to withdraw.

The White House facing a barrage of questions about the president's debate performance.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It was a bad night. He was not taking any cold medication. That is what I can speak to. I've asked the doctor, his doctor, and that's what he stated to us.

LEE (voice-over): And urged to release more medical records.

JEAN-PIERRE: We have released thorough reports from his medical team every year since he's been in office.

LEE (voice-over): The White House press secretary digging in and saying Biden's accomplishments speak volumes.

JEAN-PIERRE: With age comes wisdom and experience.

LEE (voice-over): Other Democrats beginning to publicly express concern that the president could hurt candidates in down ballot races.

REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D-IL): It's his decision. I just want him to appreciate at this time just how much it impacts not just his race, but all the other races coming in November.

LEE (voice-over): As Republicans are ready to pounce on Biden's debate showing to attack their Democratic opponents.

SEN. BOB CASEY JR. (D-PA): I have a lot of confidence in his leadership.

LEE (voice-over): Even the president's most staunch defenders giving credence to the flurry of questions about his health.

NANCY PELOSI, FORMER U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: He has a vision. He has knowledge. He has judgment. He has a strategic thinking and the rest. He has a bad night. Now again, I think it's a legitimate question to say, is this an episode or is this a condition?

LEE (voice-over): New CNN polling showing no immediate damage from Biden's halting debate performance. The president trailing Donald Trump by six points, 43 percent to 49 percent, the same numbers as April. But Biden's approval ratings declining to a new low with just 36 percent of Americans approving of his job performance.


And in a hypothetical matchup, Vice President Kamala Harris is pulling better against the former president. She is within striking distance, 45 percent to 47 percent.

REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): I will support her if he were to step aside.

LEE (voice-over): Some prominent Biden supporters also expressing support for Harris, but insisting for now that the president remain at the top of the ticket.

CLYBURN: I want this ticket to continue to be Biden-Harris, and then we'll see what happens after the next election.

LEE: And President Biden on Tuesday night offering a new explanation for his poor debate performance when he spoke at a fundraiser in Virginia. He apologized for the poor performance last Thursday night and said, this is not an excuse, but an explanation, and blamed the extensive foreign travel that he did in the lead up to that CNN debate. He said that it wasn't a smart idea, that he didn't listen to his staff, and that he almost fell asleep on stage. That, of course, is an explanation that is not likely to reassure a lot of Democrats that are very concerned right now.

MJ Lee, CNN at the White House.


CHURCH: And joining me now is Tara Setmayer. She is a co-founder and CEO of the Seneca Project. She's also a resident scholar at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. And she was in the Republican Party for nearly three decades and left in 2020 after Donald Trump refused to concede the election. A pleasure to have you with us. TARA SETMAYER, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, THE SENECA PROJECT AND RESIDENT SCHOLAR, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA CENTER FOR POLITICS: Thank you for having me.

CHURCH: So Tara calls for President Biden to step aside, a growing increasingly louder after his faltering debate performance last Thursday, with some top Democrats speaking out along with wealthy donors, all pushing hard for him to be replaced, while at the same time his family and close aides are sticking by him, encouraging the president to stay in the race despite poll numbers showing to do so would risk a big loss to his rival Donald Trump. What do the Democrats need to do to fix this existential crisis?

SETMAYER: First of all, they need to stop panicking. Yes, last Thursday was a bad debate performance. It was, I think, jarring for a lot of people because they did not expect President Biden to come out and give that type of performance. However, it is not news that President Biden is older.

This is something that everyone's been talking about for quite some time. So the fact that he acknowledged the next day that he did not have a great performance and that he's a little older, doesn't walk as quickly or speak as smoothly as he used to, I think was an acknowledgement that, yes, that may be the case, but he's still fully capable of doing the job.

And we have seen him so far in several events since then, where he was vigorous, he was focused, and he made the point that he is not Donald Trump in that he respects America, he respects our democracy, he doesn't lie to the American people, and doesn't have any desire to be a dictator on day one.

And I think that Democrats need to keep this in perspective. It sounds, in theory, let's just replace him, we just remove the incumbent, and we'll put somebody else new there. But this is not an Aaron Sorkin West Wing episode here. This is real life. And the complications and impracticality of doing that far outweigh what we already know, the knowns versus the unknowns of keeping President Biden on the ticket. And I think that's being lost in this conversation.

CHURCH: But the concern is that people, voters will continue to see the image of Joe Biden standing at that podium, failing to string words together. House Democrats have spoken to CNN off the record saying President Biden should go. A couple of them have gone public. But when will other disgruntled Democrats go public on this because this is building, isn't it, the pressure is building?

SETMAYER: Listen, there are a couple hundred members of Congress, and one or two can express, they're free to express their opinions. But the leaders in the Democratic Party are standing behind President Biden.

And several members of Congress are explaining, like I said, the impracticality of just replacing him. People need to understand a few things. The nomination process is very complicated for Democrats. It's a

little bit different than for Republicans. But for Democrats, they have certain deadlines that have already passed. You cannot just transfer the $100 million of campaign finance money that has been raised on behalf of the Biden-Harris campaign.

You can't just transfer that to another candidate. Whoever they were to allegedly replace, in theory, would have to start raising money from scratch. That's number one.


Number two, would the replacement be Kamala Harris, the vice president? She would be the natural person to go to next. That would be the only way that they could keep that campaign finance money.

There's a lot of conversation about whether she would actually be that person, whether she could beat Donald Trump.

Then there's also the idea that you have to get on the ballot, ballot access. Each state controls its own elections. Whoever the new replacement would be, if it's not Kamala Harris and whomever, they would have to qualify for the ballot.

The time just doesn't allow for that. Again, there are logistical issues that do not allow for the president of the United States to just be replaced that way. He would have to make that decision, and he would have to do it within the next few days.

And what we've seen so far from President Biden, he is not keen on dropping out. And how does he drop out from the nomination and then not resign the presidency? I don't think that people are fully thinking this through. And he has demonstrated so far that he is fully capable.

CHURCH: So if Joe Biden stays in place, the "New York Times" is reporting that President Biden's lapses are becoming increasingly common and worrisome. Clearly, if he remains in this race, he will most likely hand victory to Trump. What do you say to that?

SETMAYER: I would disagree with that. I don't think it's a fait accompli if President Biden stays in this race. I think he does need to demonstrate with some more public appearances, unscripted. He's doing a big interview with George Stephanopoulos here at a major interview in the United States this week.

He's appearing at more campaign rallies. He needs to do more to reassure the public that he is capable of doing the job. He had an excellent rally in North Carolina on Friday, the very next day after the debate, where he was on point, focused, energetic, and made an appeal to the American people, as well as the address to the nation concerning the very troubling Supreme Court case ruling, giving presidential immunity to the president of the United States in virtually any act, whether it's criminal or not, if it's an official act as the presidency. That is extremely dangerous to the future of our democracy. And people need to keep focused on if Donald Trump were to regain power, what he would do with that level of power, considering he would have no guardrails.

CHURCH: Tara Setmayer, thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate it.

SETMAYER: Thank you so much for having me.

CHURCH: A New York judge has postponed Donald Trump's sentencing in the criminal hush money case following the Supreme Court decision on presidential immunity. The judge's announcement Tuesday underscores the far-reaching implications of the high court's ruling that could also impact other Trump indictments. CNN's Kara Scannell has more now from New York.


KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The New York judge overseeing Donald Trump's criminal hush money case has agreed to delay his sentencing, which had been scheduled for next week until mid-September.

This is to give the judge time to hear Trump's legal arguments that his conviction should be thrown out in light of the Supreme Court's decision earlier this week on presidential immunity. Trump's lawyers arguing that some testimony should never have come before the jury. That includes the testimony of Hope Hicks, Trump's communications advisor in the White House, as well as tweets that he made the first year that he was in office, and records that indicate that he had phone conversations while he worked in the White House.

Now, the D.A.'s office has not opposed delaying the sentencing, but they did say they believe that Trump's arguments are without merit. Now, the judge indicated that after he reads all the legal arguments, he will issue his decision on the presidential immunity issue on September 6. Now, if he rules against Trump and keeps his conviction in place, the judge has said he will sentence Donald Trump on September 18. That is less than two months before Election Day.

Kara Scannell, CNN, New York.


CHURCH: Deadly Hurricane Beryl is expected to batter Jamaica today with life-threatening wind and storm surge. Officials there have imposed a nationwide curfew from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time. And Jamaica's prime minister has declared the entire country a disaster area for the next week because of Beryl's likely strength and impact.


ANDRE HOLNESS, JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER: Jamaica must take this hurricane seriously. If you live in a low-lying area, an area historically prone to flooding and landslide, or if you live on the banks of a river or a gully, I implore you to evacuate to a shelter or to safer ground.


CHURCH: Beryl is moving rapidly across the Caribbean and is now a Category 4 storm packing 230 kilometers per hour winds. Now, this week it became the earliest ever Cat 5 hurricane in the Atlantic Basin, fueled by record-high ocean temperatures.


Forecasters say the center of the storm will make landfall in southern Jamaica Wednesday and will then head to the Cayman Islands.

We're also seeing more of the devastation Beryl has left in its path. The death toll from the storm has risen to at least seven, including from flooding in Venezuela.


UNKNOWN (through translator): As you can see, you see the situation we are in here. We don't wish this on anybody. We are looking at a situation.

UNKNOWN (through translator): Today he left me with nothing and all my stuff back there. The river took my house.


CHURCH: Emergency officials in Texas are urging residents to keep an eye on the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Beryl moves west across the Caribbean. They're advising people to have a plan in place for the Fourth of July holiday in case the storm system reaches the coast. Days of potentially record-breaking heat in the southern and western U.S. could also impact holiday plans.

CNN's Chad Myers explains.


CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, yes, a couple very hot days coming up. Excessive heat warnings posted here across the Deep South, where Little Rock, it's going to feel like 112 degrees later on today. Even Baton Rouge will break to 110.

Back out to the west, not as much humidity. Not really that feels like. These are just honest temperatures where Palm Springs by Friday are going to feel like 120. And so will Vegas in the afternoon, somewhere around 110 to 115.

Phoenix, you'll be around 115. And yes, not the heat index just yet. Monsoon hasn't really arrived in that area, but very hot weather through the east and also through the west.

But if you're in the upper Midwest, you have a perfect couple of days in store for you. Still hot for tomorrow across the south, a little bit cooler by Friday into Saturday as a cold front tries to push some of the heat away. But boy, the west does not cool down.


CHURCH: Still to come, scores of people killed in a crowd crash at a religious gathering in India. What officials say led to this tragedy. That's just ahead.

And British voters are just a day away from choosing their next government. Why the curtain could soon fall on the long era of conservative rule.




CHURCH: More than 120 people have been killed and 35 others injured in a crowd crash in India in one of the deadliest such incidents in the country in recent years. Officials say most of the victims were women and children. It happened as tens of thousands of people gathered for a religious event in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

For more, we want to go to CNN's Ivan Watson, who joins us live from Hong Kong. So, Ivan, what is the latest on this deadly crowd crush at the religious event in India?

IVAN WATSON, CN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, one of the priorities is for the authorities to identify all of the victims, this staggering number of people, at least 121 people who died, most of them women, and to respectfully return their bodies to their loved ones.

This, as authorities are also calling for strict punishment of anybody who was responsible for how this gathering for prayer turned into such a disaster.


WATSON (voice-over): What was meant to be a time of prayer ending in tragedy in northern India. This the aftermath of the crowd crush at a religious gathering. Bodies carried out from ambulances, loved ones distraught and grieving the dead.

Most of them women and some children, according to authorities. Survivors described the horrific scene.

SHAKUNTALA, HATHRAS DISTRICT, INDIA (through translator): Everyone began to cry. Everyone began to leave. People fell into a drain beside the road. They started falling on top of each other and were crushed to death. Some were pulled out.

SURESH, HATHRAS DISTRICT, INDIA (through translator): I came to attend the event with eight other people, but no one survived.

WATSON (voice-over): Authorities say organizers planned for around 80,000 people to attend the event, but police say as many as 250,000 may have showed up.

ASHISH KUMAR, HATHRAS DISTRICT MAGISTRATE, INDIA (through translator): There was a sudden commotion due to overcrowding and excessive humidity.

WATSON (voice-over): Initial reports say attendees may have fallen into an open sewer and on top of each other. One state secretary said the event organizers failed to comply with requirements from the district and that they would be punished. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the incident on Tuesday.

NARENDRA MODI, INDIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I express my condolences to those who lost their lives in this accident. I wish for the speedy recovery of all the injured.

WATSON (voice-over): As an investigation gets underway, the death toll is feared to rise and questions about accountability remain unanswered.


WATSON: Rosemary, the state government has announced it will pay compensation, the equivalent of around $2,400 for each of the people who died in this crush. The police have issued a report where they're accusing the organizers of culpable homicide and they again pointed out that a permit had been given for around 80,000 people to gather, but their estimates were that around 250,000 showed up. There are question marks about the fact that a senior police officer told journalists on the scene that there were only 40 police officers who were sent to help manage the crowd of what was expected to be 80,000 people.

And then a final element here is that India has been suffering from extreme record-breaking heat and the authorities are saying that that also was likely a contributing factor to the huge death toll here.


And it fits a pattern of political gatherings and religious gatherings where people do die in these terrible crushes when panic and lack of control of the crowd sets in. There was a deadly incident that took place in the north of India just on New Year's of this year. Rosemary.

CHURCH: Ivan Watson covering that tragic story from Hong Kong. Many thanks.

Voters in the U.K. head to the polls Thursday for a momentous general election that will likely see the end of the conservative party's 14- year rule. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is almost universally expected to lose. He took a major gamble by calling for early elections and has struggled to turn around dire polling. A conservative defeat would likely usher in a center-left Labour government headed by Keir Starmer.

CNN's Salma Abdelaziz has details now from London.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two lackluster candidates in a race with a result that is all but certain. It may sound boring but this is a momentous election that could decimate the U.K.'s most powerful political party.

In what is widely seen as a referendum on their 14 years of leadership, the conservatives are bracing for a very damaging defeat. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called for the snap election that almost everyone believes he will lose.

RISHI SUNAK, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Over the next few weeks I will fight for every vote. I will earn your trust.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): But that trust is battered and bruised. From Boris Johnson's Partygate scandal to leadership failings that saw three prime ministers in 2022 alone to a very messy Brexit, many are fed up with the Tories.

UNKNOWN: I think people are ticked off.

UNKNOWN: There's a sense of just wanting any kind of change.

UNKNOWN: Their decimation I think can only be expected.

UNKNOWN: This will be the first election that I've ever voted in that I won't be voting conservative.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Current polls indicate the opposition Labour party could win by a landslide, ushering in a center-left government led by Keir Starmer.

KEIR STARMER, LABOUR PARTY LEADER: If you want change you have to vote for it.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): The make-up of British politics is sure to undergo a seismic shift. But because of Britain's first-past-the-post system, Labour could win but fail to gain a clear mandate. If smaller parties or the far-right gain an outsized voice.

Amid the political uncertainty, the new prime minister will inherit a mess, a cost-of-living crisis fueled in part by a stagnant economy.

The country's beloved National Health Service is understaffed and overstretched. And immigration remains an unresolved hot-button issue.

Change is coming. But can Starmer, should he win, tackle the challenges and deliver on promises?

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.


CHURCH: Well thanks to climate change, the misery and devastation from massive storms like Hurricane Beryl could be the new normal. But countries can still adapt. We ask an expert how that can be done after the break.




CHURCH: Welcome back to "CNN Newsroom." I'm Rosemary Church. Let's check today's top stories.

U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to speak with Democratic governors and congressional leaders today in an effort to calm concerns following a shaky debate performance at a fundraiser in Virginia. Mr. Biden blamed that performance on a tough travel schedule, saying he almost fell asleep on stage.

A New York judge has postponed Donald Trump's sentencing and the criminal hush money case until September. This comes after Trump's legal team filed a letter seeking to challenge that conviction following the Supreme Court ruling that presidents have absolute immunity from prosecution for core official acts.

And Hurricane Beryl is set to make landfall in Jamaica later today. It is a Category 4 storm and forecasters warn it could bring life- threatening conditions. Jamaican officials are warning people to take the threat seriously, to find shelter and stock up on essentials. Jamaica's Prime Minister says powerful storms like Beryl are becoming a dangerous new normal.


ANDREW HOLNESS, JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER: Hurricane Beryl is the earliest Category 5 hurricane on record. It highlights the growing impact of climate change on global weather patterns, particularly on small island developing states like Jamaica. While our carbon emissions are minuscule, our region bears the brunt of the impacts of climate change. The hurricane further highlights the urgent need for global climate action and targeted support to enhance resilience against the escalating dangers of climate change.


CHURCH: And earlier I spoke with Andrew Dessler, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University and I asked how we prepare for a disastrously warming climate.


ANDREW DESSLER, PROF. OF ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY: You can think about what we need to do in terms of two different things. The first thing we need to do is we need to adapt to the climate change that we can't avoid.

So for example, a lot of places that used to not need air conditioning are going to need air conditioning. We're going to need to build seawalls for places that used to not flood, but now they're going to flood.

And so people call that adaptation. And so we need to be doing that. At the same time, we want to stop the climate from warming. It's been warming for 100 years. It's going to keep warming as long as we're dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

And so we need to stop doing that. We have the technology to stop doing that. We can switch to climate safe renewable energy. It's our cheapest energy at this point. And you might be saying, well, why aren't we already doing it? It's because of the enormous political power of fossil fuels. The fossil fuel industry is probably the most powerful industry in the history of humanity. They make trillions of dollars in revenue every year and they don't want to turn off the tap. They want to keep pumping oil and natural gas and digging up coal.

And so they're fighting the transition every step of the way. And that's really the battle. Climate change is not a scientific or a technical problem. It's a political problem.


CHURCH: But the reality is that we've all got our cars that rely on gas. We're sort of hooked on fossil fuels, aren't we? How do we make that transition? I mean, that is going to be an enormous step, surely.

DESSLER: Absolutely. And it's not the case that we can do this in a year. You need to think about this as a 20 or 30 year transition. So you're not going to go out tomorrow and replace your car. But when you get a new car, it should be an electric vehicle. It's cheaper to run.

Electric cars are better. And as we build more of them, they're going to be cheaper than internal combustion cars. And in fact, a lot of the technology that we have is actually cheaper. And as I said, solar and wind energy are now our cheapest energy sources. But again, it's the political power of fossil fuels. They have captured a lot of our elected officials. They give them enormous campaign contributions to the extent that these elected officials are legislating on behalf of fossil fuels and not on behalf of their citizens.

CHURCH: So what's your warning to the world and what does our future look like if we don't make changes right now? Paint us a picture of our future.

DESSLER: Sure. So I think there are two different futures you could imagine. One is a future where we do transition to renewable energy. We have clean air. We have better energy security, better national security. It's not costing us any extra money. And that's one world.

We still need to pay to adapt to the climate change we can't avoid in that world. But that's not a bad world to be in.

The other world, the world where we don't adapt to climate change, where we don't deal with this problem, is a world that gets continuously hotter. Sea levels rise. Precipitation patterns change. The oceans acidify. And it's going to be extremely difficult to adapt to that world. And

in fact, adaptation in that world is going to require enormous transfer of money from rich people to poor people. Who's going to pay to air condition all of this? And I guarantee the people that are saying let's adapt to climate change are not going to spend their money helping poor people adapt. And so it's a world where we're going to normalize suffering.


CHURCH: U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to meet with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington later this month. A White House official says the two will likely see each other over the course of the week, though no details have been announced. Mr. Netanyahu is set to address Congress on the 24th, despite opposition from some U.S. lawmakers.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Prime Minister has rejected the idea of starting a ceasefire in Gaza while Hamas remains in power.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Unnamed officials are briefing the "New York Times" today. They say Israel will be willing to end the war before achieving all of its goals. I don't know who those unnamed officials are, but I am here to convey unequivocally that this is not going to happen. We will end the war only after we achieve all of its goals, including the elimination of Hamas and the release of all of our hostages. The political echelon defined these goals to the IDF, and the IDF has all the means to achieve them. We do not give in to the winds of defeat, not in the "New York Times" and not anywhere else. We are imbued with a spirit of victory.


CHURCH: He was responding to a report from the "New York Times" which cited six current and former security officials who said a ceasefire would give Israeli troops time to prepare for a potential land war with Hezbollah.

So let's bring in CNN's Paula Hancocks, who's following developments for us from Abu Dhabi. Good to see you, Paula. So what more are you learning about these unnamed Israeli officials telling the "New York Times" that Israel supports a hostage deal and a ceasefire before achieving its goal to eliminate Hamas, a claim Benjamin Netanyahu says will not happen?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, this is from a "New York Times" report which does have one named official, a former national security advisor, saying that the best way not just to be able to replenish troops and ammunition after the war in Gaza, but also to be able to secure the release of 120 hostages still in Gaza, is to have a ceasefire. So this is a report.

They say they spoke to, as you say, six unnamed former and current officials as well, who said that this is the feeling of military leadership at this point, that the best way to be able to secure that release is to go along with the hostage and ceasefire deal, which is currently on the table, one that the U.S. President Joe Biden has very publicly endorsed as well.


Now, the Israeli prime minister has been quite unequivocal, saying this is simply not going to happen, that as long as Hamas is still in power, there will not be a ceasefire.

Now, at the same time, he's also saying that he does support the ceasefire proposal on the table at the moment. But we have seen this rift between the Israeli military and the Israeli prime minister really widen in recent weeks, that they appear to be widening.

And we heard from the IDF spokesperson, Daniel Hagari, saying that they can't destroy Hamas. The Israeli military is not able to do that as an ideology. And it's certainly something that is widely felt within the Israeli political sphere. Rosemary?

CHURCH: And Paula, what is the latest on the Israeli military issuing new evacuation orders for areas in southern Gaza, including eastern Khan Younis and Rafah?

HANCOCKS: So this is an area where there are many displaced at this point, people who have moved a number of times to try and avoid the fighting. Evacuation orders now have caused some panic in that area. We have seen many trying to evacuate, believing there will be another significant ground operation there. And also the European hospital is within that evacuation area. They have been evacuating patients, including those in the ICU, including babies in incubators.

In fact, the WHO chief said that it was devastating to see that the European hospital was out of service. It's one of the last standing hospitals within this particular area of Gaza at this point.

Now, the IDF, hours after it issued those evacuation orders, did say it didn't mean the European hospital and that that wasn't going to be part of any operation. But at that point, there had been concerns that what has happened at previous hospitals, where the Israeli military says Hamas has been hiding within, could happen at that hospital as well. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. Our thanks to Paul Hancocks for bringing us the latest on those issues. I Appreciate it.

Well, Democrats aren't the only U.S. voters backing Joe Biden. Even the never Trump Republicans say they're disillusioned after the CNN debate. We'll hear from them after the break.



(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Democrats in the U.S. aren't the only ones criticizing their candidates' performance at the CNN presidential debate. Anti-Trump conservatives are also feeling disillusioned with President Joe Biden's showing. CNN's Ellie Reeve reports.


ELLIE REEVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This happy bar party is full of people who usually feel pretty bleak.

PAUL IVANCIE, FORMER REPUBLICAN: This country needs to wake up. There's a dangerous thing happening. It's called complacency.

REEVE (voice-over): They're fans of the Bulwark, a never Trump media organization. Many are ex-Republicans who reject Donald Trump, a group that can feel so tiny that some got on airplanes to meet one another. The event was festive and just a few days before the presidential debate.

BECKY HOFER, BULWARK FAN: It's hard for me to wake up every morning and talk to my neighbors and know that they're supporting somebody that doesn't match any of their values.

REEVE (voice-over): Becky is a former Republican who flew in from South Dakota with her sister-in-law.

HOFER: We're in a very red state and I'm a very not red person and it's tough to find a community there. We're married to Republican men.

REEVE: Is your husband pro-Trump?

HOFER: I think he's going to vote for Trump. I hope he doesn't vote for Trump, but it's an interesting house to live in.

REEVE (voice-over): We wanted to talk to these people because they represent an important part of President Biden's coalition. But after his struggle in the debate, we had to go back to them to see what had changed. Hofer was shocked and angry.

HOFER: It was terrible. I'm completely disillusioned. They're both a joke. It felt like elder abuse. So yeah, I think he needs to be replaced, if for anything, just out of respect for his humanity.

REEVE (voice-over): Robin Hawkland had flown from Salt Lake City to be among Never Trumpers before the debate.

ROBIN HAWKLAND, BULWARK FAN: I fled the district in North Georgia with Marjorie Taylor Greene. She was pretty abusive to people wearing masks during COVID and I was a little traumatized by that.

REEVE: And how would you describe your politics?

HAWKLAND: My politics were center-left. My husband was always Republican and we got along fine for years. And then it seems everything has kind of broken and we both now are registered Democrats in Utah, which is rare. REEVE: Are you worried about what might happen after the election?

HAWKLAND: Yes, very worried. Very worried. I have three daughters. They all live in red states and they're in reproductive age, which is in their 20s. And I really worry about their options.

REEVE (voice-over): When we spoke to Hawkland afterward, she said she'd barely been able to sit through the debate.

HAWKLAND: Initial reaction was shock and then just sadness. And then I think I moved into anger.

REEVE: Do you think Joe Biden should be replaced?

HAWKLAND: It hurts me to say that, but yes. I don't think he's electable. I don't know how you dig out of this hole. He could do more events where he, you know, looks better. He's looked better since then and they can time it right. But everyone knows deep in their existence what they saw may happen again.

REEVE (voice-over): The pre-debate party in Denver was for a live podcast taping from the Bulwark, which was created by former Republican operatives. At the after party, people told us that this was one of the few places where they could meet in real life people who didn't make them feel crazy.

DAN MAGILL, NEVER TRUMP REPUBLICAN: I'm a relatively conservative Republican. It's almost, rather than being a Republican Democrat, it's become more autocracy versus democracy. Even though I would probably economically agree with more of the policies that a Trump administration would put in place versus a Biden administration, I can't support someone like Trump.

HAWKLAND: You feel safe here and you feel like you can speak your mind and people may disagree, but you can talk about it in a rational way?

REEVE (voice-over): But after the debate, Hawkland felt more despair. HAWKLAND: You feel like you're being condescended to. To be talked to

from the Democratic party, kind of like, just get behind the candidate was very frustrating and angering. This is not about the Democrat or the Republican party. They both put up candidates that are not electable for very different reasons. Trump is a criminal and many other issues. Biden is just aging.


And there is no reason that people should not be concerned with what they see.

HOFER: He's done a great job. He did a great job the last four years. Right now, if these are the two options that we have in November, I'll vote for Joe Biden's head in a jar before I'll vote for Donald Trump. I'm angry. And I mean, I'm angry to the point where if Joe Biden stays on the ticket and Donald Trump is still on the ticket, I'm fast tracking moving to Costa Rica. I had it as a five-year plan to move to Costa Rica and I'm going to try and fast track it. I do not want to be here before the Republicans, Trump's little trolls start, you know, reducing more or taking away more women's rights.

REEVE (voice-over): Ellie Reeve, CNN, Denver.


CHURCH: And still to come, how a bionic leg controlled by the human nervous system could transform the lives of amputees. Back in just a moment.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Novak Djokovic is back at Wimbledon after undergoing surgery for a torn meniscus less than a month ago.


The tennis star decimated his opponent in the first round in straight sets. Djokovic is seeking his 25th Grand Slam singles title, the most across men's or women's tennis. Following Wimbledon, Djokovic will chase one of the only accolades to elude him, an Olympic gold medal. He's representing Serbia at the upcoming Paris Olympics.

A new study indicates that a bionic leg controlled by the human nervous system can help amputees walk more naturally than a traditional prosthetic device. The study also found that the neuroprosthesis increased the walking speed of patients with specialized amputation by 41 percent. That's enough to match the range and ability of the average person. One study participant says the bionic limb made her feel like her leg had not even been amputated. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology team behind the study hopes to make fully neurocontrolled prosthetics commercially available within five years.

A new study shows the Ganges River in India changed course roughly 2,500 years ago due to an earthquake. Researchers made the discovery while surveying the Ganges River delta for old water channels. They found a roadside pit where there were signs of a riverbed impacted by a massive earthquake. Scientists measured the amount of radiation in the buried sediment to determine when the quake took place. The study's lead author says it's normal for waterways to reroute themselves over the years, but it's not often that it happens due to an earthquake.

And thank you so much for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Have yourselves a wonderful day. "CNN Newsroom" continues next with my colleague Max Foster.