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CNN This Morning

Donald Trump Set To Testify In $25M Civil Fraud Trial; Palestinian-American Family Mourns 42 Relatives They Say Were Killed In A Single Day In Gaza; CDC: New Report Shows Decline In Youth Tobacco Use; Blinken Meets Palestinian President Abbas in Ramallah; IDF: Temporary Evacuation Route to South Gaza Opens; Deadly Blast at Al-Maghazi Refugee Camp in Central Gaza; Huge Crowds in World Capitals Call for Ceasefire; Pro-Palestinian Protesters March to the White House; GOP Presidential Hopefuls Trade Jabs at Florida Freedom Summit; Christie, Hutchinson Receive Hostile Reception at Florida Summit; GOP Presidential Candidates to Debate this Week; Dean Phillips Claims He Will Suspend Campaign in March if Not Viable; Poll: Arab American Support for Biden, Dems Plummets. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired November 05, 2023 - 06:00   ET



AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone, and welcome to CNN THIS MORNING. It is Sunday, November 5th. I'm Amara Walker.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Thank you for joining us. We are following new developments out of the Middle East. Secretary of State Antony Blinken just wrapped up an unannounced visit to Ramallah as violence continues to escalate in the West Bank. We got details on his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and what we're learning about another explosion near a refugee camp.

WALKER: Donald Trump's feud with Ron DeSantis takes center stage, literally, as the former president parades his new supporters on stage at a Republican gathering in Florida. We'll tell you DeSantis' response and why Chris Christie was booed on the stage.

BLACKWELL: Trump will spend part of his Monday in a New York courtroom. He is scheduled to testify in a $250 million civil fraud case against his company. What we've heard from his kids during their time on the stand and the role they played in that company.

So, let's begin with the new developments out of the West Bank where Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met with the Palestinian authority president. This is Blinken's first visit to Ramallah since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7th. Now, this comes as the U.S. grapples with the growing crisis in Gaza.

WALKER: Israel's Defense Forces have told civilians to leave northern Gaza once again. The IDF has opened a safe road for people to leave Gaza City and move south. But the offer of safe passage is only good for four hours. And this is coming as Israel intensifies its attacks on northern Gaza. One of the refugee camps just south of the line where Palestinians have been told to go was hit by a deadly explosion several hours ago. You can see the aftermath there. A Palestinian hospital officials says, more than 30 were killed in that blast and more than 100 injured. The Israeli military has not commented on whether it targeted the area.

Overnight, the Palestinian Red Crescent says there were heavy explosions near the al-Quds Hospital in Gaza. It's said the building had been destroyed and there were casualties and including a number -- of course, including a number of deaths.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Ed Lavandera is live in Tel Aviv. Ed, let's start with Priscilla Alvarez, though, who has the latest on Blinken's visit to the West Bank, comes at a critical time.

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: It does, Victor. It's at a time, too, of escalating settler violence in the West Bank which has been an area of concern for the White House. Now, according to a readout from the State Department, the two discussed -- quote -- "efforts to restore calm and stability in the West Bank" including the need to stop extremist violence against Palestinians and hold those accountable responsible.

Now, this is one stop in the shuttle diplomacy that Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been engaged in in the region. Just yesterday, he met with Arab leaders at a summit hosted by the Jordanian foreign minister. And during those meetings they discussed a range of issues, including humanitarian assistance to Gaza. The release of hostages to that point, the secretary of state thanking Qatar for their assistance in those negotiations of which they played a critical part, and keeping the conflict from spreading.

Now, a key sticking point that came up in these meetings and that has come up domestically is a ceasefire. Arab leaders called for an immediate ceasefire and the secretary of state doubling down on the U.S. opposition to that, stressing instead humanitarian pauses that would allow for aid into Gaza and for the release of hostages. And also, arguing that a ceasefire would allow Hamas to regroup and potentially launch another attack against Israel.

Now, just yesterday we also saw President Biden here at Rehoboth Beach. When he was leaving church, he was asked by reporters if there had been any progress on a humanitarian pause to which he simply answered yes. Now, while he has been here, he has briefed by his national security team and that also includes Secretary of State Antony Blinken. So, all of this continuing to unfold and all of it on going as the secretary of state continues that shuttle diplomacy in the region.

WALKER: Priscilla Alvarez, thank you. Let's head now to Ed in Tel Aviv.


We have also seen more intense attacks across Gaza, Ed. What is the latest there?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It has been another excruciating night of warfare inside of Gaza starting late last night that we heard several explosions, several rockets fired towards Israel from Gaza and firefighting continuing in there. Last night, there was a strike at the al-Maghazi refugee camp where a doctor tells us -- tells CNN that there were 30 -- they counted at least 33 victims killed in that strike that he believes was an Israeli airstrike. The Israeli Defense Force has not commented on this particular strike, so we don't have confirmation from them. But the doctor there believes it was an Israeli airstrike.

The video was just absolutely brutal to watch as they brought the victims' bodies inside of the hospital. Several bodies of young children and women as well were brought in to this hospital. And this is significant because this particular strike happened south of the line where Israeli military officials have been urging Gaza residents to evacuate towards. So, obviously, this creates a great deal of confusion and frustration among Gaza residents who were trying to escape the most -- the hardest hit areas.

And then this morning here in Israel -- in Gaza another strike at a building across the street from a hospital. We were told by the Palestinian -- Palestine Red Crescent Society that at least 21 people were injured. This happening, as I mentioned, across the street from a hospital.

Israeli military officials say that Hamas military fighters have been using hospitals as covers in the areas around hospitals as cover for them to carry out their military operations. But officials there saying that rescue teams have been -- had a very difficult time moving around and being able to respond because of the heavy fire and blasts that have been occurring there in that area. So very tense hours in the last 12 to 15 hours that we've seen unfold inside of Gaza today and last night.

BLACKWELL: All right. Ed Lavandera, Priscilla Alvarez, thank you both. There were huge crowds protesting in capital cities around the world to call for a ceasefire Saturday. There were demonstrations in Berlin and Paris and London. Protesters you see waved Palestinian flags. They expressed their anger at their governments for supporting Israel while the Palestinian death toll reaches almost 10,000.

WALKER: Wow. And in Washington thousands of protesters marched to the White House carrying signs that said "stop the massacre and let Gaza live." Many protesters say Biden's unequivocal support of Israel could be a serious political issue for the president in 2024 if he does not call for a ceasefire. Right now, he is calling for a humanitarian pause.

CNN's Elliott Gotkine is in London with more. Hi, Elliott, are we expecting more protests today?

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, CNN REPORTER: We are. They may not be on the same scale, Amara, as we saw over the weekend or on Saturday but we are expecting more protests outside the U.S. military base in southern Turkey. Mexico City, there are protest plans, in Athens as well. And there's also a concert planned in Athens along with some of the families of hostages. Some of the 240 or so hostages, men, women, children, babies being still held by Hamas inside the Gaza Strip.

And from Israel's perspective, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu we've heard him say time and again there will be no ceasefire so long as those hostages remain inside the Gaza Strip with Hamas. Now, at the same time, we are seeing attempts brokered by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and others to try to get not just more humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip but also to get a kind of humanitarian pause.

And we seem to have a kind of humanitarian pause right now, for want of a better description, in terms of this four-hour window that the Israeli Defense Forces say is now in effect. There's another just under an hour to go for this window to enable civilians in the northern part of the Gaza Strip to move south.

And what the IDF is saying, they say is if you care about yourself and your loved ones, head south according to our instructions. Now, there are connectivity and power issues, of course, for the civilians in the Gaza Strip to enable them to receive such messages. The IDF says it has various ways of reaching out to civilians. But clearly, there is a lot of concern that even if they do go on the move that they could still be -- that they wouldn't be definitively out of danger.

But for now, this kind of humanitarian corridor, if you like, has been opened. There is another hour or so for it to go. And as I say, Israel will be doing so not just in order to minimize the number of civilian casualties, but I think doing so also at least shows perhaps to the U.S. administration in particular that it is getting something out of its support for Israel in its war with Hamas.


Victor, Amara.

WALKER: All right. Elliott Gotkine, thank you very much. Joining me now is CNN military analyst Colonel Cedric Leighton. Colonel, thank you so much for your time this morning.

First off, I want to get your reaction to Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Ramallah. He with was just there meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian authority's president. What does that tell you, especially that he is engaging once again in shuttle diplomacy? He was just at the summit in Saturday meeting with the foreign ministers of Egypt and Qatar and Jordan. What do you make of this?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, good morning, Amara. Well, I think what Secretary Blinken is doing is he is trying to shore up support among the Palestinian authority as well as the Arab nations for a two-state solution. He would like the Palestinian authority also to take over the administration of Gaza once Israel achieves its goals of destroying Hamas.

Now, whether or not Israel can achieve those goals is, of course, another matter. But I think the goal of the secretary of state is very much to get the Palestinian authority represented by Mahmoud Abbas in -- on his side and make that work for him from a political standpoint.

WALKER: What are your thoughts on this four-hour window for this safe corridor? That window is about to close at 2:00 p.m. local time. It's a little after 1:00 there. And Elliott brought up these issues, right?

I mean, how do you get the messages to all the civilians who are dealing with power outages and internet outages in Gaza? And let's say they do get the message, of course, resources is a huge problem, right, because no fuel, as we heard from the U.S. special envoy, David Satterfield, no new fuel has gotten into Gaza since the war began.

How helpful do you think this -- quote -- unquote -- "safe corridor" that IDF is opening will be for the civilians to move south?

LEIGHTON: I think it's too short a time period. You know, four hours is not enough time to get people out, especially those that have -- you know, that have special needs or are in, you know, in a place where they can't really get transportation. So far, to my knowledge at least, we have not seen a stream of refugees on foot marching down, you know, the Salah al-Din highway there.

So, you know, Elliot is absolutely right. You know, if you don't have any internet connectivity, if you don't have power, there is a risk that you might not get that message. The Israelis have in the past distributed flyers. They've air dropped flyers into the Palestinian areas to get them that kind of a message.

Whether or not they did that in this case, I'm not sure. But they are definitely -- the Israelis are definitely trying several ways to get the message to them. The problem that they have is it's not coordinated with other aspects of their military operation or doesn't seem to be, at least.

WALKER: You know, there is a lot of aid still at the border that needs to get in. Of course, we are still talking about hostages that the U.S. and Israel are quite involved in trying to get released. But there is also what seems to be a public split that's forming between the U.S. and Israel. Is that how you see it?

Because you have Netanyahu who is saying there will not be any kind of ceasefire or a pause until all hostages are released. But then you also have the secretary of state, Blinken, who is publicly stating there needs to be a humanitarian pause.

LEIGHTON: Yes, the secretary of state is trying to very much to bridge the gap between the desire for a complete ceasefire and Israel's stance -- public stance at least on the issue of either a ceasefire or humanitarian pause. In fact, they are doing some humanitarian pauses like the one that's in existence right now, but the fact of the matter is that Israel has its war aims and it believes it can't be seen to be deviating from them, and they think that this kind of a humanitarian pause may be a slight deviation or a large deviation in their minds, perhaps from their war aims.

So, the secretary has a bit of a problem here in the effort to kind of bridge that gap. It's a very difficult needle to thread in this case. WALKER: So, what is your sense, Colonel, of what is happening on the ground? Last we heard was on Friday that Israel had encircled Gaza City. What happens next?

LEIGHTON: Yes, so I'm not sure that the encirclement has been completed yet but it may have been by this time. But, you know, the encirclement is designed to in essence either besiege or starve out the Hamas fighters. Now, when they do that and, you know, we see the map of Gaza right there, in Gaza City in particular, that's kind of in the center of the Gaza Strip.


And the idea there is not only to encircle that area, but also to make it possible for Israeli ground forces to enter a certain zone within that city and then be able to go in and, in essence, clear that zone. And that's going to be difficult for the Israelis to do. I think that might be the next step, but they're going to have to watch the tunnels, they are going to have to make sure that they don't get ambushed and, you know, also watch, of course, for improvised explosive devices. So, those are the kinds of things, kinds of challenges that they have right now.

WALKER: Yes, a lot of risks going in there on the ground. Colonel Cedric Leighton, appreciate it. Thank you very much.

BLACKWELL: Still to come, 2024 Republicans exchange some jabs at a summit of Florida voters. And -- OK, so, most of the candidates focused on one another. One turned on the crowd. Plus, the GOP frontrunner will be back in court this week. What we should expect from former President Trump when he makes -- or takes the stand in his $250 million civil fraud trial.



BLACKWELL: Well, former President Trump spoke near the latter part of the day at the Florida Freedom Summit. His presence still loomed large as presidential candidates traded some jabs on stage. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, he actually battled the audience. Watch this.


CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What a shock, you're for Trump. I'm going to fall over dead. The problem is you fear the truth.

ASA HUTCHINSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can say that there is a significant likelihood that Donald Trump will be found guilty by a jury on a felony offense next year.


WALKER: Yes. A lot of boos there for those candidates who took aim at Trump. Last night's summit is just a preview of what could happen later this week at the GOP debate. Here is CNN's Alayna Treene with the recap.

ALAYNA TREENE, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, Victor and Amara, the former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have been battling for the lion's share of support as well as donors in their own backyard. And we saw that take center stage in Florida this weekend. And really the summit was an opportunity for many of the leading Republican primary candidates to make their case to Florida voters for why they should be the Republican nominee. And that was especially important for Ron DeSantis, the highest ranking official in the state.

But all of them were really overshadowed by the enthusiastic support from the audience for Donald Trump. We heard many of the audience members say that really they are still very much excited about Donald Trump, that they want him to be the candidate on the ballot, and we really saw that play out during the event on Saturday.

Now, Ron DeSantis did receive a warm reception when he delivered remarks. He touted his agenda here in Florida and he also made some veiled jabs at Donald Trump, but did not name him directly. But later that evening, when Donald Trump took the stage, the venue was very packed, and he went after DeSantis directly. And that did receive some cheers from the audience. Let's take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I said, let's hit him hard, right now. And my people said, sir, don't hit him. He is a Republican. I said, I don't care if he is a Republican. And we hit him hard and now he is like a wounded falling bird from the sky.


TREENE: Now, Victor and Amara, Donald Trump went into the event this weekend with the upper hand. He had received a fresh round of endorsements on Saturday and many of whom who had defected from Ron DeSantis and changed their support to Donald Trump. Many of the speakers on Saturday were also people who had endorsed Donald Trump. People like Senator Rick Scott, the former Florida governor, who recently endorsed him last Thursday, as well as congressmen Matt Gaetz and Byron Donalds. Back to you.

BLACKWELL: Alayna Treene, thanks so much. Let's now talk to Kadia Goba. She is a political reporter with Semafor. Kadia, good morning to you.

So, let's start with these endorsements where Alayna dropped off. Now, typically endorsements, we don't know if they really move votes, but this stream of endorsers from DeSantis to Trump, is there any evidence that this is changing minds there in Florida, especially?

KADIA GOBA, SEMAFOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, I think it's interesting that he brought the people the endorsements that flipped on to the stage. So, yes, I think he -- that was an attempt to show the voters that, you know, I know this guy's your governor, but, look, the delegation at large has been, you know, supporting me. I think it's most interesting to see Chris Christie and the attacks are going back and forth to the crowd because this is another indication that the Republican Party is changing, that so-called appetite for, I'd say, so called traditional Republican is fading, and that Trump is the leader of the party.

BLACKWELL: Yes, I mean, we saw Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson, who are both very critical of Trump, take different approaches. Asa Hutchinson -- Governor Hutchinson, I should say, delivered his remarks straight from prompter. It's kind of third person in which he talked about him. Christie said, you, crowd, are denying reality. Oh, of course, you are going to boo me.

I mean, if you go to Florida, you expect it's going to be a big Trump crowd, maybe a big DeSantis crowd as well. But to what end for Chris Christie is he doing this, has been the question? Is in the race just to criticize and needle the former president and call him out, or is this to get to the nomination?

GOBA: To me, it's outside looking in. It looks like it just -- he is clearly punctuating that the party has changed.


Even more so is there an appetite -- more less, is there appetite for someone who, you know, doesn't support Trump. There is definitely less of an appetite for people who criticize Trump. And as you mentioned, Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson have been probably the most vocal in criticizing Trump. The base is just not interested in that.

BLACKWELL: Before we switch over to the Democrats, the third GOP primary debate is coming up this week. Former President Trump, again, will not be on the stage. What will you be looking for here? It appears that Ambassador Haley is on the ascendancy, if you look at some of the early state polls.

GOBA: Yes, not only will Trump not be on the stage, but he will be trolling DeSantis with a rally at -- in Florida. But, I mean, listen, I think this is the first debate during the Middle East crisis right now, and it will be interesting to see -- what I'm certainly looking at, Nikki Haley, and how she performance.

She is probably the -- I'd say the most versed in foreign policy. So, I'll be looking to hear what she says, how she commands the stage with her expertise from the United Nations. And it's probably an opportunity for her to push forward.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's look at the Democrats now. Congressman Dean Phillips a week into his campaign. We've got the latest poll out from Quinnipiac and it shows that he is at six percent. The president, President Biden, at 77 percent.

What has this first week been like for Dean Phillips? He said that if he is not viable by March 5th, then he is out of the race. Yes, it's early but what are we seeing so far? GOBA: Yes, it hasn't been easy for Dean Phillips. A lot of his congressional colleagues whisper that they don't support this run. And they've frankly been public about that. He also had some contentious conversations with voters in New Hampshire. I think it also proves that him running on this, you know, age campaign that Biden is too old to run is just isn't enough to crack voters or to garner more support.

BLACKWELL: Yes. The Muslim and Arab Americans who supported President Biden in 2020, many of them are disappointed with his handling of the Israel/Hamas war. A lot of them, according to a poll from the Arab American Institute, are saying that they will -- they have rejected him for 2024, moving towards being independent, a small percentage saying they will support Republicans.

How is this resonating in the White House? Do you see any plan to try to keep them in the fold? What has been the reaction?

GOBA: I think the White House is very sensitive to what's going on. I don't have specific reporting on what they are doing.


GOBA: But I think it's a fine line that the White House has to, you know, walk, essentially, their support for Israel and also, you know, empathy for Palestinians who, you know, are, you know, going through a sort of an interesting time or a sad time right now.

So, it's going to be something -- it's a year out. I think this is partially dependent on how long this war lasts. And, yes, this is something that Democrats are going to have to deal with.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the reaction to that humanitarian crisis in Gaza, if these numbers hold in Michigan and Pennsylvania specifically, considering the size of the Muslim Arab communities there, this could be really problematic for President Biden. Kadia Goba of Semafor, thank you.

And be sure to watch "STATE OF THE UNION" later this morning. Dana Bash will speak with Senators Lindsey Graham, Richard Blumenthal and Bernie Sanders at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

WALKER: All right. Up next, former President Trump is set to take the stand in his $250 million civil fraud trial. We're going to preview what we can expect from his testimony.

But first, the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2023 have been announced. One whom will be named CNN hero of the year by you, our viewers. So, we are going to introduce you each of our top 10 as you vote for your favorite in the next five weeks. Twenty-two-year-old Kevin Pearce, was an Olympic hopeful in 2009 when a life altering accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, ending his snowboarding career.

BLACKWELL: His older brother, Adam, stayed by his side through recovery, helping him relearn to walk and talk, but it wasn't until they discovered the power of yoga that Adam watched his brother come back to life. Today, Adam brings yoga to other TBI survivors and has created a community of transformative healing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think people feel isolated after brain injury because they don't feel able.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's hard. I have lost my identity.


PEARCE: And when we allow people to be vulnerable and who they are, there is a deep connection form because there is so much common understanding of the challenges that go on with brain injury.

The changes I see most after people with TBI practice yoga are probably a deeper connection to self. Helping them cultivate greater awareness and self-compassion allows them to meet the constant changes so much more.


BLACKWELL: Adam has helped more than 35,000 people living with the TBI and their caregivers. To go to -- go there right now to vote for him for CNN Hero of the Year or any of your favorite top ten heroes. And you can vote for any of them or all of them ten times a day every day.



BLACKWELL: Tomorrow, former President Donald Trump is set to testify in the $250 million civil fraud trial against the Trump Organization and several members of his family and executives.

WALKER: After testifying on Friday, Eric Trump told reporters that his father is "fired up" to becoming to New York and testifying. The trial has put a spotlight on the Trump family's business dealings, including the role Trump's children have played.

CNN Correspondent Brian Todd has more.


ERIC TRUMP, SON OF DONALD TRUMP: Guys, it was a great day.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): The Trump family business and its legacy now facing what could be an existential test. Eric Trump, Donald Jr., and Ivanka Trump have spent most of their entire adult lives working for their father's company. Ivanka no longer works for the company. Eric Trump oversaw the family's golf businesses before broadening his role in recent years to become the practical leader of the Trump Organization.

Both brothers saw their portfolios in the Trump Organization grow when their father was elected president and handed over the business to them.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Don and Eric are going to be running the company.

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, AUTHOR, THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUMP: He trusts them more than he trusts anyone else, and he respects them. And as Donald said to me, he doesn't respect very many people, but he sure as heck respects his children.

TODD (voiceover): Biographer Michael D'Antonio told us all three of Trump's eldest children have been effective managers of the Trump brand but haven't really been tested outside the family business. And he says they honed their marketing skills even before their father's wildly popular reality show, The Apprentice.

IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: James, do you think it shows fundamental lack of judgment?

D'ANTONIO: I think that all three Trump kids saw what their dad was doing. Even before The Apprentice, his ability to manipulate the media is really unrivaled.

TODD (voiceover): This week, Donald Trump's two eldest sons struck defiant tones on the courthouse steps after testifying in a civil fraud case brought against the Trump Organization by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

DONALD TRUMP JR., SON OF DONALD TRUMP: Unfortunately, the Attorney General has brought forth a case that is purely a political persecution.

E. TRUMP: We haven't done a damn thing wrong. And they dragged on an eye into it as collateral damage.

TODD (voiceover): Trump's sons and their father are accused of inflating Donald Trump Sr's personal wealth and the values of his properties to get favorable loans and insurance policies. They all deny wrongdoing. The brothers saying they were not closely involved in the financial statements.

TRUMP JR.: Before even having a day in court, I'm apparently guilty of fraud for relying on my accountant to do, wait for it, accounting.

TODD (voiceover): What's at stake for the Trump family business if they lose this case?

NORM EISEN, SENIOR FELLOW, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: They're facing a quasi-corporate death penalty, the Trump's and the Trump businesses, if they lose this case. That's because the judge has already said, I'm going to pull your certificates to do business in New York.


TODD (on camera): Analyst Norm Eisen says that's not all the Trump's stand to lose if this civil case doesn't go their way. The business could face fines in the hundreds of millions of dollars. And Eisen says the judge could rule that the Trumps themselves aren't allowed to take out loans or engage in certain real estate transactions possibly for many years.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

BLACKWELL: Brian, thank you for that.

Coming up, a Palestinian family torn apart by the war between Israel and Hamas. They say they are mourning the loss of more than 40 relatives, all reportedly killed in a single day. Their story, next.



WALKER: Thousands of miles from the war in Gaza, a Palestinian American family is in mourning. It's been more than two weeks since they say 42 of their relatives, three generations were killed by explosions in Gaza City. And now, the family is trying to comprehend what they've lost.

CNN's Isabel Rosales has the story.


ISABEL ROSALES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): The crowd of neighbors and survivors working together to bury loved ones. Wrapped in white burial shrouds, their bodies are carried and lined up inside a mass grave. They belong to one family. Thousands of miles away in the U.S., family members across three states are united in grief.

YEAD ABU SHABAN, PALESTINIAN AMERICAN: I'm still in this nightmare. I'm still not -- I haven't woke up yet.

ROSALES (voiceover): In Florida, Yead Abu Shaban can't bear the unimaginable loss.

Y. ABU SHABAN: That's my cousin's son.

ROSALES (voiceover): Three generations gone in a single day. Back-to- back airstrikes, the family says, in Gaza, killing 42 relatives. The youngest, just three months old, Abu Shaban tells CNN. A video shot by a neighbor shows charred ruins and rubble, all that's left of the Sakala family compound.

Y. ABU SHABAN: We've never seen in this day and age what -- where the whole world is watching innocent people just being torn apart. Family, whole families just wiped off the map.

ROSALES (voiceover): The family blames the deaths on Israeli airstrikes. CNN cannot independently confirm that. Israel has launched numerous airstrikes on Gaza City since the terror attacks on October 7, including multiple strikes in the area that day. The Israel Defense Forces did not comment on the purported airstrikes.

Y. ABU SHABAN: I mean, in my family members, we have no Hamas members. They're just ordinary people, doctors and grandmothers and grandfathers and uncles and aunts and children. I mean, if you want to exterminate Hamas, you should go to the source.


ROSALES (voiceover): Among the dead, four brothers, all doctors. Family members say they operated Gaza's largest network of family- owned eye clinics. An independent journalist on the ground captured the aftermath and the moment survivors pull body after body from beneath the rubble, including Mona Abu Shaban's uncle, his wife, and son. The three had recently left their home in a different part of the city to stay at the Sakala compound, Mona says.

MONA ABU SHABAN, PALESTINIAN AMERICAN: Their previous home where they were at before they were told to evacuate. So, they assumed that they were going to be safe. So, they went to a safe area, safe house, basically.

ROSALES (voiceover): Watching from afar in Ohio, Mona is pleading not only for a ceasefire, but long-term action.

M. ABU SHABAN: You know, we can't just say, OK, we're going to stop bombing and then it's over. You have to give them, you know, their dignity. You have to give the Palestinians a place to call home.

ROSALES (voiceover): In Minnesota, community members fill up an Islamic center praying in support of the Sakala family. In the face of so much loss, their family has no time to properly mourn. Overcome by constant worry for the more than two million Palestinians in Gaza caught in the crossfire.

Y. ABU SHABAN: There's a sense of helplessness. There's no -- the only thing we can do is pray.


ROSALES (on camera): Two family members survived, including a woman who was on her balcony when the airstrikes hit. That's according to relatives in Minnesota. The family is extremely worried about them. Communication with their family members in Gaza is not easy right now. Mona tells me that relatives are essentially hunkering down, but are unable to leave because the only official way out so far is only available to foreign nationals and injured Palestinians, according to officials and Egyptian media.

Victor, Amara?

WALKER: Isabel Rosales, thank you.

For more information about how you can help humanitarian efforts in Israel and Gaza, you can go to or use your mobile device to scan the Q.R. code right there on your screen.

Still ahead, encouraging news from the CDC. They say tobacco use among young people is down, but the work is far from over.



BLACKWELL: A new report released by the CDC this week shows that kids today are using fewer tobacco products.

WALKER: But health officials say there is more work to be done. CNN Health Reporter Jacqueline Howard has more.


JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Victor and Amara, the takeaway here is that a survey of middle school and high schoolers this year shows that 10 percent of them reported they currently use tobacco products. And that is a decline from last year when the proportion was about 14 percent.

Even though there was a steady decline in tobacco use, especially vaping e-cigarettes, e-cigarettes were still the most popular tobacco product among kids. Here's what one FDA official had to say.


DR. BRIAN KING, DIRECTOR, FDA CENTER FOR TOBACCO PRODUCTS: 2.8 million kids have used tobacco products in the past year. And 2.1 million of those were e-cigarette users. So, e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among high school students as well as middle school students. And that has been the case since 2014. But the good news is that we're seeing that decline among high school students, which is a very meaningful one.


HOWARD: And among these students who currently use e-cigarettes, about a quarter of them, 25.2 percent, said they used them daily. And about 89 percent prefer flavored products. Now, e-cigarettes were the most used tobacco product this year followed by traditional cigarettes, then a very small share of students reported using cigars, nicotine pouches, smokeless tobacco, hookah, and last in line was pipe tobacco.

BLACKWELL: Jacqueline Howard, thank you.

Still to come, a close call for the two-time defending college football champ. We'll show you how Georgia escaped to extend its winning streak.



BLACKWELL: Well, Georgia is the two-time defending national champion, but from the notes that Coy has provided, Missouri gave them the business, challenged to them yesterday.


WALKER: Coy Wire is here. You say it was the Bulldog who has the biggest test of the season so far. I think they did well.

WIRE: They mean business, right? Well, you know, since Georgia, they haven't lost any game in nearly two years, any regular season game in three. But when those college football playoff rankings came out for the first time, they were ranked number two. So, that kind of irked them a bit.

Plenty of motivation, hosting number 12, Mizzou. The Tigers off to their best start in a decade. And in the fourth quarter, they have a chance to take the lead, but that dog's defense has a whole lot of bite to them. This is Nazir Stackhouse coming up with his first career interception off Brady Cook. Bulldog fans, they pumped as they hang on 30 to 21 for their 26 straight win. The Tigers fought hard, but they head back to a state of misery.

Two Heisman hopefuls facing off. Number five Washington's Michael Penix and -- excuse me -- Amara Walker's number 20 USC in Caleb Williams. He showed why he's the reigning Heisman winner. Four total touchdowns. And look at this incredible fleet flicker to Tahj Washington. But the Trojans' defense letting them down again. Penix had three touchdowns. Running back Dillon Johnson ran for 256 yards and four scores. Huskies win 52 to 42. And look at Caleb Williams there. He couldn't hold back the emotions afterwards sobbing in his mom's arms.

Number nine Oklahoma, Number 22 Oklahoma State, they've played every year since 1910. But the big 12 bedlam rivalry, as it's called, comes to an end. As the Sooners head to the SEC next year. Well, Oklahoma State gave the Sooners the boot on their way out the door. Dylan Smith watching snuff out the comeback as the Cowboys pull off the upset, 27- 24. Students rushing the field.

You think these rivalries mean something afterwards? Coach Mike Gundy sharing the message that he gave his players about savoring the bittersweet moment.


MIKE GUNDY, HEAD COACH, OKLAHOMA STATE: The one thing they should remember, these are special moments. And the one thing that they can take with them for the rest of their life is the thrill that they gave the fans out here in this game. So, what they did is they gave them a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


WIRE: Finally, in case you missed it, flag football is coming to the 2028 Summer Olympics in L.A. NFL players have said they would love to represent Team USA, but they're also about half a million girls under the age of 17 playing in the United States alone and with scholarships now at the collegiate level. There's a lot of excitement about that as well. Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young is coaching his daughter Summer and Lyla's high school team. And he told us that he is inspired beyond magic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEVE YOUNG, HALL OF FAME QUARTERBACK: What I will tell you is working with the girls, they are coachable, they listen, they follow direction. If you think about football, football is a dance step. It's a choreography, right? And the choreography they memorize in five seconds where the boys, we tend to take a little bit more time.

The competition is going to be fierce, the expertise is going to be fierce because I can see just in a couple of months the girls have gotten exponentially better.


WIRE: Awesome stuff. The NFL and each of the 32 teams are investing into women's flag football from supporting local youth leagues to scholarship programs. So, just think, moms and dads out there, your daughters someday --

WALKER: Ding, ding, ding, scholarship.

WIRE: Gold medal.

WALKER: Yes, I'm switching gears. No more soccer, no more tennis. I'm just going to do flag football.

WIRE: I like it.

BLACKWELL: Coy, thank you.

WALKER: Thanks, Coy.

BLACKWELL: Our next hour of CNN THIS MORNING starts now.