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Sources Tell CNN Boxes of Items were Taken During Search; FBI Searches Trump's Mar-a-Lago Residence in Document Probe; Haitians Grapple with Rising Gang Violence and Hunger; Explosions Near Russian Air Base in Gaza; Gaza Ceasefire Between Israel & Islamic Jihad Holding; Serena Williams Announces Impending Retirement. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired August 09, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN HOST: Welcome back to "Connect the World". I'm Paula Newton in New York. Unprecedented and extraordinary, some of the words
being used to describe the FBI are moved to search the home of a Former U.S. President.
Federal investigators executed a search warrant on Monday at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Sources tell CNN, the agents were
looking for presidential documents that may be classified. Now CNN has learned the Former President was in fact here in New York at the time of
My CNN colleagues spoke a short time ago to the Former FBI Agent who led the investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.
Here's his view on the search listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER STRZOK, FORMER FBI DEPUTY ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF COUNTERINTELLIGENCE: For something of this magnitude, something of this significance, there's
little doubt in my mind that the Director of the FBI, Chris Wray, was briefed in detail about this operation approved it. And similarly, I have
no doubt that both Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Attorney General Merrick Garland were well aware of this and approved it as well.
So this nothing, no search warrant is taken lightly. I mean, this is a very intrusive investigative technique. A judge has to approve it. But when
you're talking about the context of a Former President, something that has never been done in our nation's history, I have no doubt that this was
scrutinized at the very highest levels, in great detail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Scrutinized at the very highest levels. We'll get to that. Right now I want to bring in our Senior Legal Analyst who was also a Former
Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District here in New York. Elie Honig joins us now. Elie, it is so good to have you here to walk us through
this because at first glance, right people are thinking, Elie this is about documents, really they would do this over documents, just explain what's
going on here.
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Paula. So there is a very specific procedure that federal prosecutors have to comply with whenever
they get a search warrant of any nature. First of all, you have to establish that you have probable cause to believe that a specific federal
crime was committed.
There are federal crimes that could relate to destruction or mishandling of documents or of classified information. You also have to show that you have
a reasonable likelihood that you'll find evidence of that crime in the place that you're searching.
And finally, and really importantly, you have to then bring those documents over to a federal judge who will review and either disagrees and says I'm
not giving you the warrant; you don't have enough proof, or agree and sign off. And obviously, that's what happened here.
So it's important to know, that prosecutors established and a judge found probable cause. Now probable cause is less evidence than proof beyond a
reasonable doubt, which is what you need ultimately to convict, but it is enough to sustain a search warrant.
NEWTON: When we talk about a search warrant, though, I think people because it's such an extraordinary move; people are saying, well, does this mean
he's going to be charged? It doesn't mean that does it?
HONIG: No. By no means does it necessarily mean that. There's no actual wide lens data available on what percentage of cases where there's a search
warrant result in a criminal charge? I can tell you based on my experience 14 years as a federal and state prosecutor, it certainly happens.
It can be that a search warrant is a precursor to an indictment. But by no means is that always the case, it's hard to put a number on it, I would say
in a substantial number of cases, you do see a search warrant result in a charge but that by no means, means that this will result in a charge.
HONIG: So Elie as a person, you yourself having been in a position to ask for these kinds of search warrants granted, not on a Former U.S. President,
obviously, what would have motivated this considering CNN's reporting is that they were speaking to Trump and his lawyers about these documents, and
where they were preserved, how they may have been kept in Mar-a-Lago, why now? Why this?
HONIG: Yes, that's a great question. So we do have the reporting from Kaitlin Collins, that there was a meeting back in early June where
investigators went down to Mar-a-Lago and said, those are the documents we want, and then later said, would you please lock them down?
If that was done, if as the Justice Department or FBI, you believe that that was being done, you really would not have a good basis to do a search
warrant. You would just use what's called a subpoena. You would just hand over a document that says you are hereby ordered to give us those boxes.
And so the fact that DOJ went with a search warrant here tells me that something went haywire between Junes and now that something was being done,
that gave DOJ reason to question whether those documents were being properly maintained and preserved.
NEWTON: When we talk about destruction of documents here or any tampering with documents, what does that entail in terms of what's the legal jeopardy
and also key here for Trump supporters? Would it bar him if he was ever convicted of that would it bare him from running for office or holding
HONIG: So Paula, you do have to allege a specific federal crime and show probable cause as to that.
HONIG: So that I see a couple of federal crimes that could be in play here. One of them relates to destruction or mishandling of government documents.
Now, the penalty for that is three years in prison maximum but also this is a very, very rare statute that says, if a person is convicted of this
offense, he loses his office and he is disqualified from holding future office.
The person has to be a custodian meaning the person who's legally responsible for maintaining that document. But while the statute is
straightforward and says persons disqualified, there is a constitutional question about whether that provision is constitutional.
The argument would be our U.S. Constitution sets the standards for who can be President? You have to be 35 years old, natural born citizen have a
certain residency requirement. And the argument would be Congress cannot go and add to that by saying, for example, someone who's convicted of a
certain crime is disqualified.
That would be a very interesting argument. We don't have a direct answer on that from our courts. There also are crimes against mishandling or
destroying or removing classified information. Information that has been deemed sensitive government sensitive, classified information. And so
that's another law that could be in play here.
NEWTON: Yes, and so interesting that President Trump himself when running for office and in office accused, you know, Candidate Hillary Clinton of a
tampering with those documents, and thereby we had the chance to have lock her up.
OK, two people here we have, of course, Merrick Garland, right? Head of the Justice Department, but we also have Christopher Wray, who was the Head of
the FBI and a Trump appointee. What would they have known about how all this unfolded and why?
HONIG: Without question, Paula, of the Attorney General, Merrick Garland would have known and would have had to have signed off on this. If you look
at DOJ's guidance, internal guidance to his prosecutors, this is a public document called the justice manual.
It essentially says that any investigative step like a search warrant, that would have political ramifications that would generate front page news that
has to be run all the way up the chain. And I agree with Peter Strzok you showed the clip earlier, there's almost no way that the head of the FBI
Chris Wray wouldn't have known about this as well. So I think it's virtually certain that both the Attorney General and the FBI Director would
have known about this and signed off on it.
NEWTON: Yes, and the plot thickens. Elie look, we got through a lot there. I really appreciate it. It is hard to parse this without really looking at
the legal implications first and foremost. Elie Honig, for us here live in New York I appreciate it.
HONIG: Thanks Paula.
NEWTON: Now, Jason Baron has litigated lawsuits involving White House records in the past. A short time ago, he spoke to CNN about this
unprecedented search, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON BARON, FORMER LITIGATION DIRECTOR, U.S. NATIONAL ARCHIVES & RECORDS: The presidential records of the Trump Administration are not supposed to be
at Mar-a-Lago, they are supposed to be under the legal custody of the Archivist of the United States as of January 20th, 2021.
And so narrow staff contacted appropriate people or the Former President, but somewhere along the lines, there's either been an impasse or some kind
of incompleteness in the delivery or transfer back of materials. There should be no materials, whether they're classified, or unclassified. There
should be no presidential records, sitting at Mar-a-Lago.
They should be within the legal custody of the National Archives. There is no precedent for a Former President taking classified materials from the
White House to their personal residence or club. But there have been a number of instances in the past where both federal records and presidential
materials have been stolen from the government and in the hands of private individuals.
And so there have been law enforcement mechanisms, including search warrants to find those materials and put them in their proper place. We
have to realize that documents that are at the top secret level or above represent if they get out and exceptionally grave damage to the national
security that's in the definition of what top secret is. And so this is not a trivial matter to be having classified material in one residence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: OK, classified materials in one - one's residence. Leyla Santiago is at that residence right now at Mar-a-Lago, at least that's the
allegation that he has the documents there. I mean, Leyla set the scene for us. You know, Donald Trump himself broke the news that this was being done
that this was again a search, an executed search warrant, not a subpoena and he is already using it to full political purpose.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. And according to sources close to the investigation the Former President was not there when this search
warrant was executed. We have no reason to believe that he's here right now with the private residence of the Former President.
SANTIAGO: But I tell you who is here his base, you have a lot of folks that have come out here with the Trump signs with some choice words for
President Biden saying Trump won, Trump 2024 and a few of other protesters that every now and then you'll hear them say lock him up.
But overwhelmingly, what you're seeing here is the impact that this has had on his base. The politics now at play a day after that search warrant was
executed. You are seeing how his announcement of this search warrant of someone going into his safe is playing out just you know, months before he
was expected to announce his own bid for the presidency.
So here while it is a much quieter today than what we saw last night, hours after that search warrant was executed. You were still seeing the political
divide that tends to come when we have these types of issues come up, Paula.
NEWTON: Yes. And it's certainly given quite the political oxygen to his campaign. Leyla before I let you go is there any sense there in Florida,
again, a fraught political situation there in Florida, that the President is likely to announce that he will be running for re-election anytime soon?
SANTIAGO: Well, look, our own reports have been that there was talk of a potential announcement in the coming months our Gaby Orr has reported
something similar. And so every indication is that that was expected to come soon.
What this does to that timeline? We'll have to wait and see a lot of unanswered questions on what will come next in his political career and
also a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to this search warrant?
NEWTON: Yes, and clearly the Republican Party itself Ronna McDaniel, the Chair of the RNC saying just a few hours ago that look, she think she is
hinting that she would rather he hold off on announcing that even if this kind of a search is giving it as I said political oxygen.
Leyla Santiago, so good to have you there on the ground as we continue to parse this story, I appreciate it.
And you are watching "Connect the World" live from New York. Police in Haiti are waging a daily battle for control against gangs who are brazen
and well-armed CNN's Nick Paton Walsh rise along with a Haitian SWAT team. That's just ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): This - of intense violence that so many sites when they talk about this spiral
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: And the daily struggles facing people in Gaza after yet another round of Middle East violence.
NEWTON: So widespread poverty, gang warfare and a crumbling government if you can even call it that is forcing people to flee Haiti in droves. Now
police are in firefights like this with gangs who now control dozens of neighborhoods in Haiti's capital, a key port, and now a major highway as
well and the violence has left hundreds dead.
America meantime is the ultimate destination for many of those who flee even risking their lives taking the treacherous journey by boat.
International Security Editor Nick Paton Walsh and his team bring us an exclusive report into Haiti's harrowing situation.
WALSH (voice over): The descent into the abyss in Haiti is fastest here. The one certainty is when the police SWAT team we are with cross into gang
territory, they will take fire.
It is now a prolonged war for control of the capitol.
The police need to prove they can be here, the gangs that the police cannot and its ordinary citizens who were caught in between. Here a passenger on a
civilian bus that was hit in the street.
And the days before police said they rescued six hostages in this same area and killed a leader of the 400 Mawozo gang. But the police struggle to hold
ground so the gangs whose currency is kidnapping and drugs are gaining far too much especially right here.
Rounds hit the armored vehicle. They think they see with a gun man. They run but not like it's their first time under fire perhaps even this day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As soon as we get to that point, anything that moves, light it up.
WALSH (voice over): They slide back perhaps the gang has fled down the alley.
WALSH (on camera): It's this kind of intense violence that so many sites when they talk about the spiral towards collapse.
WALSH (voice over): The firepower they bring doesn't in itself change who's in control. Gangs are able to block main roads at will with trucks. It
requires a major operation to clear them.
We've seen the scenes play out in the last decade's wars, but now they've come to these people's homes and it is daily terrifying. Listen to this man
stop himself from saying the wrong thing about the violence. This is a world where even the bulldozers are armored.
WALSH (on camera): How often do they come on the fire?
WALSH (voice over): Haiti's entire police force only has one armored car like this. Gangs now often match or outgun the police. They have a
bulldozer to demolishing rivals houses in one area Cite Soleil.
Locals fled at night during 10 days of clashes in July that left over 470 dead, injured or missing so the UN as the G9 gang expanded control burning
and demolishing. Those who survived fled tonight here where a mix of flies and rain stopped them from even sleeping.
INTERNALLY DISPLACED MOTHER: They burned my house in Cite Soleil and shot my husband 7 times. I can't even afford to see him at the hospital. Down
here the children are starving.
WALSH (voice over): It has no life, but the UN has warned the infant still stuck in gang areas risk starvation as their parents struggle to get food
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The state abandoned us. We have to pay to even use the toilet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have four kids, bur my first is missing and I can't find him. I looked for him everywhere but can't find him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My mother and father have died. My aunt saved me. I want to go to school but it was torn down.
WALSH (voice over): With the president assassinated a year ago what's left of Haiti's emergency interim government is crumbling. The capital's vital
port is strangled by gangs who control the road outside, as they do to here, the route to Haiti's entire south, where an earthquake struck also a
year ago, entire neighborhoods are sealing themselves off with walls.
These new in July, as the gang spread in the north and east of the city, one security forces source estimating they may control or influence three
quarters of the capital. To see where acute desperation can lead, we traveled to where what's left of the government rarely treads.
Don't be fooled by the beauty. There is no paradise here, only hunger, heat, trash, and the business of leaving. Traffickers boats out to the
Bahamas, Cuba, Florida if you're lucky.
And while these places are sending Haitians back in record numbers, the U.S. Coast Guard is also stopping four times as many this year as last.
These exits are what Johnny arranges.
JOHNNY, MIGRANT SMUGGLER: If we die, we die, if we make it, we make it. I'm the one who buys the boat. It can cost up to $15,000 we're hoping to get
250 people for the next trip because the boat is big.
WALSH (voice over): Not everyone made it on their last trip three months ago.
JOHNNY: The boat had an engine problem. While they got inside the boat we call for help. But it took too long. 29 people died on that trip.
WALSH (voice over): These aren't people who usually share their trade secrets. But maybe now they're relaxed as the authorities are busy. The
boat is aging scraps of net plugging holes, engines not fixed yet. But this is where Johnny hopes 250 people will huddle, maybe as early as next week.
WALSH (on camera): And they not really something you want to be in on dry land, let alone --for days.
WALSH (voice over): One man tells us why he saved for a year to get into here. I graduated and work as a teacher he says, but it did not work out.
Now I am driving a motorcycle every day in the sun and the dust.
How will I be able to take care of my family when I have one? I'm not afraid. I will be eaten by a shark or make it to America. A hope so remote,
it could only exist here, where they say the choice is between fire and water even if all day, every day already feels like drowning.
NEWTON: And Nick Paton Walsh joins us now live from Port-au-Prince. And first notes of gratitude for you and your team to you know, take on this
dangerous assignment and really give us a glimpse into what's going on there. I admit to just being speechless.
And Nick and I have been to Haiti. I have covered stories there before and feel certainly that hopelessness that people talk to you about. If there's
one searing truth that you want people to know about what's going on in Haiti right now, what would it be?
WALSH: I think the feeling you get from talking to people here is the lack of confidence that the decline they're seeing this week isn't automatically
going to get worse next. The talk is of when do this all collapses not much left, frankly, to fall apart.
That's nearly already happened. But we're in a city here where and she's explained the geography to you, Paula, and how gang control has changed
dramatically to the point where security for sources, maybe three quarters of the city is controlled by gangs.
The port, the way in and out, frankly of ships for the whole country that is controlled by the gangs who have the road outside of it. The road to the
south of the country, destroyed heavily by an earthquake a year ago, that is also gang controlled.
There's been intense fighting between gangs to control Cite Soleil, to the east is also gang controlled. And they increasingly have control the
highways north of Port-au-Prince, so it feels a little surrounded, frankly, and that's the emotion you get with people here.
They know that there's a crackle of gunfire in various neighborhoods, sometimes the fancy ones as well. But it's the notion that the city may be
cut off from the outside world, frankly, by the gangs that has people on edge.
Yes, there's 30 percent inflation according to analysts, yes, there are angry queues it's whatever gas station actually has gas a shortage of that
impacting everything else in daily life here too.
But it's that notion that security system is collapsing here with a pace that makes people concern there may be a tipping point after which daily
life is unrecognizable, Paula.
NEWTON: Yes, and through all of that this is a place just a few 100 miles from here in the United States, and yet precious little input right now
from the international community, Nick Paton Walsh for us on the ground.
Again, thank you so much, appreciate it. And we will be right back with more news after a short break.
NEWTON: U.S. justice officials aren't talking about what federal agents hauled away when they searched former President Donald Trump's Florida home
Monday. But who is talking?
Yep, you see him there. Donald Trump himself. He's been using the search to energize supporters and raise funds. CNN's Stephen Collinson says this
unprecedented episode threatens to, "Inject new toxins into the political life of a nation that is hopelessly divided with millions of Trump
supporters already believing his lies that the 2020 election was stolen".
And Stephen Collinson joins us now from Washington. Everyone should read the entire piece. There are a few choice insightful lines there. We talk
about the fundraising, and in your words, it's increased his superpower appeal to supporters. Explain to people how this works, because if you're
from the outside looking in, you're thinking, you know, this looks like a president who's bitten off too much here and could be in legal Jeopardy.
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: Well, in the real world, that could be the case if Donald Trump is found to have committed a crime.
But in the sort of ecosystem of Trumpism, the former president thrives on the idea that he is victimized.
He identifies with his supporters who feel themselves that they are being persecuted by elite forces in government, in the media, in business, and he
makes it look like he is also persecuted. So I think it was very predictable how Trump responded to this.
He turned it into a rallying call for the 2024 campaign that we believe that he's planning to launch, you know, within perhaps the next few months.
This is classic Trumpism.
And it is also of course, the tropes that we've seen from want to be authoritarian leaders outside the United States. The president, the former
president released a video this morning, which was somewhat chilling in the sort of echoes of authoritarianism.
And in the way that it's set the tone for a campaign I think, in which he will pose as a strong man seeking revenge on the forces in Washington that
he falsely says unfairly ejected him from power.
COLLINSON: And I think it sets up a very uncertain and rocky period ahead for United States politically as we head into the 2024 election.
NEWTON: Which should set many voters really into a sense of despair, or what's, you know, the gravity of this. And I'm going to get to the
Republican reaction in a second, but the gravity of this must also be hitting Democrats at this point.
COLLINSON: Yes, the just the spectacle of the FBI, carrying out a search warrant of the home of a former president is extraordinary, it's very
significant. For this, to get past a judge, a judge has to sign off on a warrant.
There has to be evidence of probable cause that a crime was committed, and that there is evidence of that crime in the place where the FBI agents were
searching. For the Justice Department to go ahead and then that to warrant the home of a former president, makes you think that this is about much
more than perhaps a few classified documents or presidential documents that should be in the National Archives.
The FBI and the Justice Department is saying nothing about what precipitated this raid. But this all plays into the idea, you know that
Donald Trump finally perhaps, might be being cooled to account.
I would just sort of caution, however, that Democrats hopes have been raised so many times in the Russia investigation in two impeachments in the
aftermath of the January 6 insurrection, that Trump would finally be beyond the pale and be disqualified from office.
All the evidence we've seen that is that at least among his supporters, and among Republicans, the more he is leaned on by the authorities, the more
popular he gets in that particular subset of the population.
NEWTON: And that's a key point here to keep in mind. But could you give us some shorthand about what's going on in the Republican Party as well. There
are people one in Florida to name one who want to be the candidate in 2024, as opposed to Donald Trump.
You know, it was interesting to hear Ronna McDaniel, the Chair of the RNC a few hours ago saying, look, I want to talk about the playoffs before I
start talking about the Super Bowl. She clearly wants President Trump to hold off announcing his reelection campaign, do you think he will?
COLLINSON: I think this search makes it more likely that he will push ahead more quickly than a lot of Republicans will hope. I think you can really
say that video that Trump put out today really is sort of almost a soft launch of the 2024 election campaign.
What we've seen is other Republicans without even knowing whether the former president is in some kind of criminal Jeopardy, immediately accused
the Biden Administration of persecuting Trump of using the power of the Justice Department as a weapon against political opponents.
That I think shows the strength of Trump even some, as you mentioned, some potential Republican presidential candidates who might run against Trump
have no choice but to get in behind him on this just because of his popularity in the party. It's also true that key figures on Capitol Hill,
they want the midterm elections, congressional elections in November to be about inflation, the record of the Biden Administration.
And if Trump is on the scene, the Democrats have an easy way to argue to voters look, you ejected Trump from the White House, there was chaos. There
This guy was, you know, albeit almost an authoritarian. They can make the election about Trump rather than the prevailing economic conditions and the
Biden White House.
NEWTON: Yes, seems to me 2024 already underway with these extraordinary events. Stephen Collinson, always good to have you on board here and I urge
everyone to go to cnn.com to read your latest analysis. Appreciate it.
Now to Ukraine, where a series of explosions has gone off near a Russian military base in Crimea, now a video from social media shows plumes of
smoke rising in the air.
Officials there say five people were wounded and dozens of others evacuated from their homes. Russian state media though, says Russia's Defense
Ministry blames the detonation blames detonated aviation ammunition.
We want to bring in David McKenzie here who's following all the latest developments from Kyiv. I mean, very confusing here, especially after we
got that statement from the Russian Ministry. What more do you know?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We know very little except you have seen those dramatic videos taken by people on the scene and
shared on social media of these plumes of smoke rising above that part of Western Russian occupied Crimea, from a Russian airbase according to state
People scattering from their beach chairs in some instances, and at least five people we now know have been injured according to the health ministry
there from these blasts. They've evacuated scores of people from the immediate vicinity.
MCKENZIE: As you say the Russian state media is saying that this was from ammunition exploding at airbase they said that there wasn't any damage to
any assets on the airfield or personnel there.
So far the Ukrainian side of this conflict hasn't commented at all on this, but very dramatic pictures coming out of Crimea.
NEWTON: Yes, absolutely, incredible. As you said, you show it we see the beach chairs there on the beach, and then the plumes of smoke in the
background. David, if you can bring us right up to date, as well as what is going on at that nuclear site? It remains at risk.
And again, the other thing that remains in place are the barbs going back between Ukraine and Russia with two key things, two key pieces of
information still in the balance, what is the risk to this nuclear facility? And right now, is it Ukraine or Russia that poses a greater
threat to that plan?
MCKENZIE: Well, the original sin as it were, where the Russians attacking Ukraine and occupying the site of Zaporizhzhia nuclear facility that
sprawling a nuclear power plant with at least six reactors to the south of where I'm standing here.
There have been confusion and accusations and counter accusations who caused shelling over the last few days that damaged part of that plant, but
experts around the world agree that it's a very dangerous time.
MCKENZIE (voice over): Drone footage of the Russian military right inside Europe's largest nuclear site, Ukrainian and Western allies often blamed
Russians for shielding their weapons here. Now they accused them of much worse.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: We are actively informing the world about Russian nuclear blackmail, about the shelling and mining of
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
ANTONIO GUTERRES, UN SECRETARY-GENERAL: And the attack to a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing. And they hope that those attacks will end.
MCKENZIE (voice over): Ukraine blames Russia for shelling at the giant site. Russia blames Ukraine, but the attacks threatened six soviet era
nuclear reactors. The atomic energy agency head says there's a real threat of a nuclear disaster.
MCKENZIE (on camera): And what is the consequences of that?
PETRO KOTIN, CHAIRMAN, ENERGOATOM: here could be a cloud, radioactive cloud, and then all consensuses will depend on the weather actually, what
is the event direction it will go and how strong is this event, so.
MCKENZIE (voice over): The Head of Energoatom, Ukraine's nuclear company says that after the strikes just one electrical cable is left intact,
powering the cooling of Zaporizhzhia's reactors.
If the power supply and the backup fail, Europe faces the specter of a Fukushima like disaster where the 2011 tsunami caused catastrophic reactor
KOTIN: This is dangerous actually situation because if this is diesel stop, then you will have like already disaster this mountain of nuclear materials
in this environment half hour.
MCKENZIE (voice over): Back in March, Russian forces demonstrated their level of concern for nuclear safety as they took control of Zaporizhzhia.
Ukrainian say a thousand technicians are still held hostage.
And as the war grinds on the threat to the plant, and Ukraine's energy security continues. Ukrainian officials now believe Russia is trying to
connect the plant to its own grid attempting to cut off the country that they are determined to conquer.
MCKENZIE: Now there are growing calls for demilitarized zone in and around that plant Paula. But I have to say that might be difficult with the
frontline being very close to that plant and fierce fighting ongoing in the recent weeks.
How they will establish that whether the Russians or the Ukrainians will allow it remains to be seen, but until that is done that threat that plan
poses is something that is very real indeed, Paula?
NEWTON: Yes, absolutely and the international community is still trying to get assurances from both sides. David McKenzie for us live in Kyiv,
appreciate it. You are watching "Connect the World" live from New York.
Coming up for us a new round of deadly violence rocks the Middle East this week. What can be done to stop the seemingly actually running seemingly, it
is an endless conflict, I'll talk about that and more with the UN's Special Coordinator for Middle East peace.
NEWTON: While Israel and Islamic Jihad militants continue their uneasy truce in Gaza deadly violence erupted today in the West Bank. And Israeli
military operation killed three militants in a group that has links to Islamic Jihad.
And one of them a regional commander who accused who Israel accused of involvement in shooting attacks on Israelis in the West Bank. Now the
Israeli raid is coming after the latest flare up of violence between Islamic Jihad and Israel that for Gazans offered an all too familiar dose
of reality. Ben Wedeman is there for us.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's over for now. The airstrikes the rocket barrages have come to an end, but in Gaza it never
ends. 16 year old Mahmud surveys what until Saturday was his home in Gaza's --Sheikh Neighborhood.
You feel like you don't have a life here he says. For more than 20 years this small strip of land home to 2 million people has reeled from one round
of death and destruction to another.
In Gaza City, Shifa Hospital, 10 year old - is recovering from shrapnel wounds to her shoulder, chest and abdomen. She was wounded on her way to
the corner store.
Her 11 year old cousin Hasam was also wounded. --mother Mona despairs for the children's future. It seems when I die she says the generations after
me will inherit bigger and bigger wars. In the next room two year old, Bashir lies sleeping shrapnel lodged in his head. Outside the hospital,
life goes on. The markets are bustling.
WEDEMAN (on camera): Gaza seems to have an incredible ability to bounce back war after war. But each one of these wars leaves yet another layer of
WEDEMAN (voice over): Psychologist - has been treating people here for decades. He lists the woes awaiting the young. No work, no life, the
feeling there's no tomorrow he says, it's as if they're on death row, no hope, no optimism.
10 year old Karim tries to find buyers for his meant of luck. Surviving war, surviving peace, it's all a struggle that never ends.
NEWTON: That was our Ben Wedeman reporting there from Gaza City and we thank him for that. Our next guest Tor Wennesland is the U.N. Special
Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.
He's been intimately involved with mediating the current ceasefire that was brokered by Egypt. And he joins me now from Jerusalem and we really
appreciate your time. This is a tentative ceasefire so far, are you confident that it will hold and if you are why?
TOR WENNESLAND, THE UN SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS: While it's fragile, it's very fragile, and it doesn't only have to
do with the situation in Gaza. Ben Wedeman just referred to the tolls taken on population in Gaza. There are things happening at the West Bank today
that are very serious to handle.
WENNESLAND: And this has been a development going on for many months. So the whole situation, West Bank, Gaza is more and more interlinked. And to
have a ceasefire is good; it's good to have it fast.
But it's very important that we know de-escalate and that all parties take the responsibility for implementing the ceasefire we have. That will bias
the room; we need to do more constructive things.
NEWTON: And I want to get to whether or not more constructive things can be done. You were very clear that this current ceasefire held off what you
called a larger scare scale war.
And as you just pointed out, all of this violence has its roots, roots and deeper tensions that now link what's happening in the West Bank to what's
going on in Gaza.
And yet, where do we move forward from here, you can't be the only one that even looks at your title at times and things, you know, a bit hopelessly
that we continue in a cycle that has now been going on for generations?
WENNESLAND: Well, I mean, we have not been able, the international community to get going a process where we address the real issues. The real
issues has to do with the fact that we still have an occupation ongoing.
We still have unresolved issues relating to land, to having a governance structure in Palestine, to unresolved issues relating to the status of
Jerusalem, and the link between Gaza and the West Bank and the split in the Palestinian political system. These issues have not been properly dealt
And if they're not, we will, I'm afraid be in a situation or perpetual escalations. And the work of people like me will be very much short term,
although that is important. We cannot resolve the bigger issues, and we don't have oxygen for that in a situation where we all the time will have
to deal with the short term.
NEWTON: Yes. Understood, and quite depressing frankly, I want to talk to you about the internal politics on both sides. And if you think that is the
obstacle, we've got all this election turmoil in Israel, the fraught politics within the Palestinian ranks are also an issue.
I mean, where's the stumbling block in all of this? And is that it as it presents itself in its current form this month?
WENNESLAND: There is not one stumbling block here. There is a challenge on both sides to agree upon a path forward that is more constructive than
dealing with the short term. We have that problem and the challenge on the Palestinian side.
And Israeli politics is also pretty much divided on these things. So the question is whether we are able to kind of define a path forward where we
gradually can improve enough and buy enough space for progress. I still think that is possible.
I think still it is possible to agree upon some overarching principles of cooperation and unity. And that is needed in order to get out of the
particularities we are seeing and the result of all that is what Ben Wedeman reported from Gaza just now.
It's hitting the civilian population. But mind you, this is not only a Gaza problem; it's a West Bank problem as well. The unresolved issues at West
Bank and in and around Jerusalem is of such a magnitude that if we don't address it, and we if we are too narrowly focused on the dynamics around
Gaza, we don't get the pitch here, and we cannot seek for the solutions.
NEWTON: I don't have a lot of time yet. I note how sobering your comments are. What is your Avenue going forward? What do you think is your best
hope? And does it involve, you know, more, you know, Arab countries getting involved here, beyond Egypt?
WENNESLAND: While Egypt and Jordan is involved, Qatar is involved. The Arab world is involved. Let's be clear on that. Secondly, we need to kind of
start reaching out to all parties U.N. has the ability to talk with all fractions on the Palestinian side. We have very good access in the Israeli
system politically and in the Palestinian system.
WENNESLAND: And we are on constant seek for avenues or issues or arenas where we can get the people to cooperate more and then expand on that and
see how that fits into a better situation.
NEWTON: OK, a lot to take in there. I thank you for your time and giving us some insight into the challenges ahead, appreciate it. And we will be right
back with more on "Connect the World" in a moment.
NEWTON: So she said it. I'm terrible at goodbyes no kidding those words by tennis superstar Serena Williams in a self-penned magazine article
announcing her looming retirement. Don't you love that shot and that's gorgeous?
Now the big reveal in Vogue coming just a day after Williams won a singles match for the first time in a year. You'd think it was Wimbledon Alex
Thomas, the way everyone reacted.
You know the other thing that was so fascinating in --her post match press conference where she talked about freedom.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yes, that sound bite in that press conference Paula was probably our first hint that this announcement was imminent. And
even now as I speak, people still trying to make sure that this definitely was a retirement announcement because it was so Serena - I guess, so
Although again, maybe speaks the double standards about how women and men athletes are treated differently. If Tiger Woods sit down at a big expos
and a magazine, maybe we wouldn't be so surprised.
But Serena Williams making it clear that further down you read that Vogue magazine article that she posted via her Instagram site, that this is the
end for her, she and her career will finish at the U.S. Championships where it all started her really in terms of Grand Slam tournament.
And that's how she's been measured as such a great tennis professional by getting to 23 individual Grand Slam singles titles more than anyone else in
the professional open era of tennis, not just a great female tennis player, not just a great woman athlete, but one of the greatest sports people of
There's no doubt about that. It's fascinating to see her work through her reasons for retiring Paula. And it's basically to have another child, you
know, she secretly overheard her daughter who's going to be five in September, talking about wanting to be an older sister.
And she said she had to make a choice. She's 41. If she was a man, she wouldn't have to make that choice. But she's not, she's a woman. If she
wants another child, she's going to have to quit tennis. And that's what she's chosen.
NEWTON: Yes, it's certainly a privilege being a mom, but obviously comes with those competing issues there. And she's been quite blunt about that. I
have to ask you about that record.
How much do you think it will hurt? I know how closely you followed her career, the fact that she will miss that record?
THOMAS: She certainly mentioned in the article, how much her initial goal was just to win the U.S. Open. And of course, her life and that of her
sister Venus is so spectacular. It was even made into a Hollywood movie called King Richard's talking about her father, who drove her and her
sister on to be these kind of groundbreakers, girls from a poor background in LA, becoming world beaters and she just wants to win the U.S. Open.
Once you've done that, she said I kept on winning. And then she actually admitted she liked ticking off the landmarks. And she won more and more
Grand Slam singles titles those four annual majors as they're called in tennis, the Australian Open French Open Wimbledon and U.S. Open.
THOMAS: Slowly she ticked off the legends she passed like, you know, Billie Jean King who she saw admired for what she did for professional tennis and
Chris Ebert, Martina Navratilova.
And now only in the history of tennis, does Margaret Court stand above her, but that was in a previous era when there wasn't quite so much strength in
depth, and so much widespread competition as Serena has faced, of course, all those obstacles she's had to overcome as well.
NEWTON: Yes, and whatever happens in competition in the next few weeks, there are weeks that we will save her I know you and I will Alex Thomas for
us. Thanks so much for bringing us that appreciate it.
And I want to thank all of you for joining us. So that was "Connect the World". "One World" with Zain Asher is up next, don't go anywhere.