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U.S. Summons Israeli Ambassador Over Resettlement Law; Russia Launches Deadly Attacks Across Ukraine; French President Emmanuel Macron Says Pension Bill Will Go Its Democratic Way; U.S. Federal Reserve To Decide On Interest Rate Hike; U.S. To Speed Up Delivery Of Patriot Missiles, Abrams Tanks; U.N. Urges Rejection Of Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill; Gwyneth Paltrow In Utah For 2016 Skiing Accident. Aired 10-10:40a ET

Aired March 22, 2023 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): I'm Becky Anderson live from Abu Dhabi. This is CONNECT THE WORLD.

The United States summons the Israeli ambassador.

Russian missiles hit a residential block in Zaporizhzhya.

Uganda passes a harsh anti homosexuality bill.

And Lionel Messi is met with a mob scene on his return to Argentina.


BOLDUAN: A rare reproach from the U.S. for its traditionally staunch ally, Israel. The Biden administration summoning the Israeli ambassador to

protest the move that would allow settlers to limit parts of the West Bank that Israel had evacuated.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office says there are no plans for new settlements there. Nevertheless , the U.S. State Department calls the move

provocative. Kylie Atwood is at the State Department and Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem.

Kylie, what are we hearing from U.S. officials?

And let us remind ourselves just how rare this is.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Extremely rare for the U.S. State Department to pull in the Israeli ambassador in what is called a

diplomatic turn, summoning them.

Essentially what that means is that the State Department want to express concerns and, in this case, it was obviously over the Knesset passing this

legislation that would allow for resettlement in parts of the northern West Bank.

And the U.S. has been very clear that they think that both sides, the Israelis and Palestinians, should refrain from taking any action that could

further incite violence or drive up the tension between the two sides.

We saw the secretary of state visit the region just earlier this year when there was that cycle of violence that had erupted between Israelis and

Palestinians, really trying to urge them, both sides, to drive down any actions that could make things worse.

And, of course, the concern here is an action like this could make things worse. We also, from the State Department in this conversation, the deputy

secretary of state, Wendy Sherman, who was speaking with Israeli Ambassador Herzog.

And the State Department said they also discussed the importance of all parties refraining from actions or rhetoric that could further inflame

tensions leading into the Ramadan, Passover and Easter holidays.

I think it is important to note that they are talking about any action that could further inflame tensions because we have seen some pretty bombastic

language from some far right Israeli politicians.

And that has put the U.S. in somewhat of a bind over recent months. They have not said a whole lot in terms of some of those comments that have been


But just last month, we heard from the State Department spokesperson Ned Price, who called it, quote, "repugnant and irresponsible," when one of the

Israeli ministers called for a Palestinian state to be erased.

ANDERSON: Thank you.

Hadas, despite repeated warnings to desist from this inflammatory rhetoric and actions that might escalate violence, things continue.

What's been the reaction from Netanyahu?

HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I also wanted to point out that what was interesting from the State Department spokesperson is a

highlight that sort of inconsistency we are seeing from the Israeli government, from Benjamin Netanyahu, who claimed that he has both hands on

the steering wheel.

Yet his minister is making bombastic statements and the Israeli parliament passing this essentially repeal of the 2005 disengage law (ph).

They said the amendment was inconsistent with Israel's recent commitments to de-escalate Israeli-Palestinian tension, highlighting just two days

before this bill passing, Israel was alongside the Palestinians, Jordanians, Egyptians and Americans in Sharm el-Sheikh, committing actually

to not discussing or even bringing up new settlements for several months as a part of an effort to de-escalate the situation.

Then Benjamin Netanyahu's office today says kind of he wants to have it both ways because he first said that he finds that this law and the

discriminatory and humiliating law that perhaps prohibited Jews --


GOLD: -- from living in the areas of northern Samaria -- the biblical name for the occupied West Bank -- which he called part of our historical


But on the next line he said, however, the government has no intention of establishing new settlements in these areas. So he is trying to cater to

the base, which is holding up his new government right now, the right wing settler base.

At the same time trying to appease these major concerns from the Americans, summoning the Israeli ambassador. That has not happened I think in more

than 10 years. It shows you how serious this situation is.

And I do not think it's isolated. I think that the Israeli ambassador summoned is not only because of this -- of this amendment but also because

of all of the other issues and statements we have been seeing over the past few weeks that have caused the sort of diplomatic dustups.

I should also add, even though this amendment passed, the Israeli military will have a say over this because that area is considered a closed military

zone are pretty sure nothing would happen there without the Israeli military signing off on it.

The Israeli military have no interest or desire to really have settlers move back into the area, especially right now at a time that has been so

incredibly tense. It is just amazing to see this Israeli government essentially having two faces.

On the one side you have these bombastic ministers, making the statements day before Ramadan, a few weeks before Passover, a time that is supposed to

be incredibly tense, especially here in Jerusalem.

On the other side, having these summits in Sharm el-Sheikh -- Becky.

Hadas, thank you.

One Israeli politician says tensions are so high over that judiciary plan that the country is being pushed toward a civil war. Next hour, Labour

Party leader Merav Michaeli. Stay with us for that conversation.


ANDERSON: Russia hit Ukraine with a new wave of attacks, including numerous drone attacks launched from the north overnight. Within the past

few minutes, the Ukrainian prosecutor's office issued a statement, saying that the sun city (ph) Zaporizhzhya was hit by half a dozen missiles.


ANDERSON (voice-over): This is video of the moment one of those missiles struck a residential building. City officials say the strike killed one

person and wounded at least 25 others, including children.

Terrifying moment as residents try to grasp exactly what was happening.


ANDERSON: Ivan Watson filed this report from Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ukrainian authorities say at least two Russian missiles slammed into apartment buildings in the

southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhya. This attack taking place on a bright, sunlit day in late winter, which is kind of deceptively beautiful,

when you consider the deadly hazards of the conflict that are taking place.

The search and rescue teams are on the scene. These were two 9 story apartment buildings. The acting mayor of the city says at least one person

has been killed; dozens of people hospitalized. Fire department on the scene trying to put out the fires.

At least two children injured in this attack that has been condemned by Ukrainian authorities as a war crime, as they put it, committed by vile

Russian terrorists.

This attack taking place the day after the Russian and Chinese leaders, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping were embracing each other in Moscow after two

days of meetings, where they declared to the world that they want to create a more just and more democratic, multipolar international order.

Within hours of those declarations and the deep declarations of friendship between these two leaders, the Ukrainian authorities say the Russian

military fired multiple deadly missiles and drones at different Ukrainian cities and towns, missiles fired by Russian warplanes at the southern port

city of Odessa, where air defenses succeeded in knocking down at least two of those missiles.

But more got through, causing damage to a three-story building, wounding people. And then the Ukrainian air force say from the north of Ukraine at

least 21 of these Iranian made Shahed drones were fired at Ukraine, that some 16 were knocked down by air defenses.

But at least four people were killed in the city outside of Kyiv, in the town of Zhytomyr, in that region. Several of those drones were knocked

down. The Russians say that there were some kind of drone attacks on the Russian occupied city of Sevastopol in the Crimean Peninsula.


WATSON: All of this air war, which kills and maims civilians, innocent civilians, is taking place as the two militaries continue bludgeoning each

other, killing each other in trench and artillery warfare on the very long front lines -- Ivan Watson, CNN, Kharkiv.


ANDERSON: Ukraine's president posted about these Zaporizhzhya attacks today saying that Russia is shelling the city with bestial savagery.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy also making a surprise visit to the Donetsk region, rallying the troops on the front lines not far from Bakhmut, the location

of the longest and deadliest battle of this nearly 30-month long war.

He talked of outside inside a warehouse and handed awards. President Zelenskyy also visited wounded soldiers at a hospital, giving them awards

and honoring them for their service.

The International Monetary Fund has announced it has reached an agreement to supply Ukraine with a financial loan package of $15.6 billion. The IMF

says the package aims to support Ukraine's recovery as Russia's invasion, quote, "continues to have a devastating impact on the economy."

Meantime, a show of unity and promises of cooperation. China's president heading back home after a state visit to Russia that saw Xi Jinping and the

Russian President Vladimir Putin vowing to advance their countries' mutual interests.

They also expressed quote "serious concerns" about NATO. Matthew Chance is with us this hour.

Did Putin in the end walk away with what he wanted out of this state visit?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think so. In the sense that this was an important show of support from an important,

powerful world leader like Xi Jinping, it was the first time Xi Jinping had come to Moscow since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Just a couple of days after Putin was indicted for war crimes at the International Criminal Court. And so you know Putin was feeling, I expect,

a little bit isolated. And to have Xi Jinping literally standing at his side, this state visit must have been a sort of a boost for Russia.

A number of agreements were signed to bring the two countries closer together, including discussions about a new gas pipeline to carry gas from

Russia to China as Russia reorientates (sic) its economy toward the east and away from the Western markets that it has traditionally depended upon.

But he did not get -- if he was asking for this, he did not get a full throated acceptance or praise of the invasion of Ukraine from the Chinese

leader. Nor did he get any commitment from Beijing for military aid -- munitions, equipment on the battlefield to help it win that conflict.

And so in that sense, you know, Beijing, Xi Jinping stayed a little bit more detached.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Matthew.

CNN's Stephen Collinson explains how the very visible show of solidarity between Putin and Xi could test the United States. That is at

Still to come France sees more protests last night. Hear what President Macron is saying about the controversial pension law when we come back.

Plus we go to Uganda, where lawmakers just made it a crime to identify as LGBTQ. Hear why lawmakers passed one of the hardest anti-gay laws in the







ANDERSON (voice-over): Protests and clashes erupted in France last night over the government's new pension law. French unions have called for a

ninth nationwide strike. French President Emmanuel Macron continues to make the case for raising the pension age.

He said that the pension bill should be enacted by the end of the year. He had this to say about the ongoing demonstrations.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): We will not tolerate any flare-ups. We will make sure that life can be as normal as

possible in spite of those who are blocking normal life.


ANDERSON: Sam Kiley is joining us.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, with this growing level of anger on the streets of Paris, you got this big focus on

Thursday's union-organized demonstration and widespread strikes in protest of these reforms, there does remain a question in the minds of many people

around the world.

What is the big deal over the reforms that President Macros is proposing?

Simply raising the pension age by two years, particularly in the Anglo- Saxon world where it's been intensely criticized by some sort of -- often a cliched view that the French already have a shorter working week in many

ways. Now they're going to have a shorter working life.

But I am joined by a very senior official in France's biggest union.

You would be very much of the center to all of the ongoing discussions and also the demonstrations tomorrow.

Why -- I know it is complicated but why is this such a big deal?

Why just the two years?

It doesn't seem that unreasonable.

MAHER TEKAYA, CONFEDERAL SECRETARY, CFDT: because reforming the system and basing it only the on the edge of departure will make all the reform weight

on the shoulder of those who started to work early and those who have low income. It is an unfair measure.

That is what we are struggling against.

KILEY: So have you put counterproposals, are the proposals you can come up with that would balance the pension part, would mean that France is not, if

the government figures are correct, going to be in deficit by 12.5 billion euros in three years', four year's time?

TEKAYA: Actually half of the projection or the orientation comes from the council of the reform, say that the deficit will not last for the upcoming

years. So there is no emergency on the (INAUDIBLE).

But nevertheless we are not against the idea of reforming the pension system but not only by tackling the edge of the (INAUDIBLE.

KILEY: Why is there so much anger on the streets?

We have had now five nights of spontaneous protests. You are expecting a big turnout tomorrow.

Why is there so much anger?

Is it just about pension reform?

TEKAYA: Because people are feeling that they are not heard. We had a number of demonstrators in the last weeks. That is the biggest since we

started to recall the number of demonstration. It is a huge social movement and still the government are not changing anything (INAUDIBLE) in the law.

And specially that it is an unfair law; 70 percent of the public is against and nine workers on 10 are against. So we ask it to withdraw the law. We

ask it to withdraw the measure of age in the law.

And still the government is deaf to our proposals.

KILEY: Well, indeed; President Macron has just said that it is going to be enacted by the end of the year. It is effectively a fait accompli. It is

unlikely to be knocked down by the constitutional council that is examining it now.


KILEY: So is this simply now question of trying to get effectively a public uprising to try to force a U-turn on a man who is not given to them,

is he?

TEKAYA: We want our demonstration to be pacific. What we heard today is a president in denial, trying to rewrite the history of the last weeks. This

reform needed more discussion and at the same time having the majority of the parliament. That is why the government used the Article 49.3 of the

constitution to bypass the vote of the parliament.

KILEY: Yes, so essentially is that one of the driving forces behind this anger?

I hear this on the streets, is it use effectively of the presidential fiat, the opportunity to force through legislation because it is budgetary, it's

fiscal, allows the French president to introduce a law in spite of opposition in the national assembly.

Is that -- is that what is rankling among many people?

Is that added energy to your opposition to it?

TEKAYA: Yes, a lot of people feel the way of proceeding is quite arrogant, ignoring that millions of people went in rallies against this

reform and not being heard.

So yes, it cues the anger and we want the government, if he does not hear the trade unions, the social partners but also the parliamentarian

democracy and to make -- to put it to vote for this reform between fuel the anger and this is what is happening now.

KILEY: Well, Becky that is the view of the unions who are trying to keep a lid on the violence, both the unions and the government saying they really

want to keep the temp down on any of this violent energy on the streets.

A great test will be how people respond to those union-organized demonstrations and strikes tomorrow, whether or not they can keep the lid

on it and ultimately whether or not Emmanuel Macron can keep the lid on this public opposition to his controversial reforms. Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating, Sam, appreciate that. Thank you very much indeed.

Against the backdrop of a fragile global banking industry and Fed decision day, investors sifting through a surprise jump in U.K. inflation. Sixth

biggest economy, pointing to higher food and clothing costs for the February rise to 10.4 percent.

That means abandoning them will be especially busy on Thursday, deciding what to do about its interest rates.

But it is the Fed's turn today. Investors laser focused on the U.S. central bank as it tries to balance fighting inflation with calming the banking

crisis. Here is how Wall Street and Europe are trading ahead of that.

The (INAUDIBLE) is pretty much flat. These European markets just trading a little bit higher, the FTSE a little bit higher and, of course, rising

rates for the U.K. central bank, the Bank of England would help prop up the currency against the U.S. dollar, which has been in a difficult space

since 2017 and Brexit actually.

But it's even worse these days, 120 against the dollar, traveling around at 123 today, which is better on the back of this expectation of a rising

rate. Julia Chatterley joining us now live.

You've been speaking to (INAUDIBLE) about this Fed meeting.

What can we expect at this point?

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR: There is no easy decision for the Federal Reserve as you and I have been discussing. They have got to control

inflation. On the one hand there's still nervousness about the U.S. regional banks.

Actually I think the easier part of what is going to come from today is that rate decision and I think consensus now is of the view that they

effectively do what the market and what investors are telling them, which is one quarter of a percentage point rate hike.

And then the trouble really starts. Look, I expect to form a Council of Economic Advisers chief Jason Furman. He was that under President Obama and

asked him what is the right decision to make today.


JASON FURMAN, ECONOMIST: I think the best move is 25 basis points. I think that's what they will do. Had it not been for the banking turmoil, that

would have been an open and shut case for 50 basis points.


CHATTERLEY: So they make that decision, we think, to hike a quarter of a percentage point; do not surprise anyone. I think that is the key, Becky,

to keep in mind at this moment.

And then comes the real challenge.

How do you communicate why you've made that decision, what is going to come next in terms of hikes and the economy when, quite frankly, you simply do

not know?

I think the important point that he has to make here is they have the tools for everything. Let us use rate hikes to control inflation.


CHATTERLEY: Then we will use some of the other tools to maintain stability in the banking sector. He has to communicate effectively and with

confidence today.

Meanwhile, if you look at what is going on in the regional banks, there is another bank under some pressure. It's lost around 20 percent of its

deposit. This is a bank in California. And yet it has managed to get a credit line and get stock prices down.

So these are sporadic banks we're talking about getting into trouble but it is a reminder to the Fed that they've got more to do.

ANDERSON: On all fronts. Fascinating.

Who would want to be a central banker in this?

Who would want to be a central banker anyway?


ANDERSON: At the best of times, when inflation was under wraps around 2 percent. Everything looked rosy in the economy. I guess it was probably an

easy job in those days, back in the day, whenever that was.


ANDERSON: Right now in London, the former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson facing a grilling from lawmakers. They are investigating claims

that he deliberately misled parliament about parties at Downing Street while the U.K. was under strict COVID-19 lockdowns.

Earlier lawmakers published a bundle of documents relating to the so-called Partygate scandal. Johnson opened his comments by denying that he did

anything wrong.


BORIS JOHNSON, FORMER U.K. PRIME MINISTER: I am here to say to you, hand on heart, that I did not lie to the house when those statements were made

they were made in good faith and on the basis of what I honestly knew and believed at the time.



ANDERSON (voice-over): Well, let's get you up to speed on some other stories on our radar right now.

Security forces in Lebanon fired tear gas at a large group of protesters who were pushing against barricades outside that country's parliament. The

crowd is angry about devaluation of Lebanon's currency and the country's deteriorating economic conditions.

The Lebanon pound is also at a staggering 98 percent of its value to the dollar since 2019.

Authorities are warning the death toll from a strong earthquake in Afghanistan could rise as rescue teams reach remote villages; 13 are

confirmed dead in Afghanistan and Pakistan at present. (INAUDIBLE) say a 6.5 magnitude quake toppled buildings and set off landslides in some areas.

Ecuador has opened a terrorism investigation after five journalists received explosive devices in the mail. The country's interior minister

says three of the envelopes reached various newsrooms while the other two were intercepted. One journalist suffered minor injuries.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Coming up --



ANDERSON (voice-over): Ugandan lawmakers sing in celebration after approving some of the world's toughest anti-gay laws. I will speak to a

Ugandan activist who says LGBTQ people there could lose the very right to exist.






ANDERSON: Welcome back.

Your headlines this hour: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says no new settlements are planned for parts of the West Bank that Israel

evacuated in 2005. Parliament this week voted to allow settlers to eventually return to those areas.

The vote angering the U.S. which has summoned the Israeli ambassador.

Russian forces have fired at least six missiles at the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhya, according to Ukrainian prosecutor's office. The missiles

caused significant damage to residential buildings. Local officials said at least one was killed and 25 were hospitalized.

The U.S. is planning to deploy its Patriot defense systems to Ukraine faster than originally planned due to impressive progress by Ukrainian

troops training on the systems. In addition, the U.S. has decided to send refurbished tanks already in country and that should allow them to be

delivered later this year instead of next January.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights is urging Uganda's president not to sign a new, quote, "anti homosexuality bill into law. On Tuesday,

Ugandan lawmakers approved the hardline bill, which gives authority sweeping powers to further target gay Ugandans.

The legislation makes it a crime to simply identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. And anyone who does could face up to 20 years'

imprisonment with some offenses now punishable by death.

Same-sex relations were already illegal in Uganda. Here is how the lawmaker who introduced the bill defended it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was also intended to protect our (INAUDIBLE) culture, the legal religious and traditional (INAUDIBLE) values of Ugandans

and acts that are likely promote sexual (INAUDIBLE) in this country.


ANDERSON: I want to speak to Richard Lusimbo, leading Ugandan LGBTQ activist, about this. He joins us live from the Ugandan capital.

This is being described as one of the most strict anti-gay laws on the continent, if not the world, even criminalizing identifying as LGBTQ. Your

reaction to what we have seen here.

RICHARD LUSIMBO, UGANDAN LGBTQ ACTIVIST: Thank you so much for having me and I really appreciate. I must say by reaction from what transpired in

parliament yesterday. At first I was in shock but I was disappointed looking at the kind of listening in and looking at the responses and

reactions all while various members of parliament and how they debated the issue and how they were discussing the lives of LGBTQ.

It really show that we deem matter as citizens and it was really concerning and rightly as you did introduce the subject, just identifying as LGBT will

be also a crime. You can imagine, it is like being a human now is actually a crime in Uganda.

ANDERSON: Do you have any hope that the president will not approve this bill?

And what if the plan is approved?

LUSIMBO: While I can think for the president because I know the president is he thinks broadly about these issues. But I think for me as a citizen of

Uganda, my call to the president, of my president is he should not sign this bill into law.

He should veto it because (INAUDIBLE) citizens who he is president of are being criminalized and they will be impacted negatively with this bill.


LUSIMBO: But also beyond that, I think if the deal was signed into law by the president, the various legal provision in the constitution that allow

the community to go ahead unchallenged is (INAUDIBLE).

ANDERSON: Do you believe that this bill reflects the will of the people of Uganda?

LUSIMBO: Absolutely not. This does not reflect the will of the people, because this reflects the will of those who have power and who have decided

to abuse it for their interest, that are not Uganda's interests.

ANDERSON: How tough is life there now for the community?

LUSIMBO: It has been already very difficult to identify (INAUDIBLE) as a LGBTQ person and now with this law unfortunately we fear for the community

because the community members will be targeted.

Because even when it is not yet law, some people within society think now they have the right to effect what the parliament has passed. And so we are

concerned that the rest of the community will be targeted, will see -- we have already just the cases of the (INAUDIBLE) evictions.

We've seen people who've been turned away from access to health services but also seen lots of cases of blackmail because as someone pretends and

writes you and when you respond, and then there is the oh, now you're homosexual, introducing it.

So we've seen so many people being pushed into blackmail because they do -- they will -- don't want to be exposed because (INAUDIBLE) exposure to the

media. We shall tell your parents or shall tell people at your workplace.

And this kind of shame that is attached to who we are is one of the things that actually has been driven heavily by blackmail. And this legislation

really speaks directly into that. And we see that is just going to continue (INAUDIBLE).

ANDERSON: With that, we're going to leave it there. We thank you very much indeed for joining us.

We're going to take a very short break. Back after this.





BRIAN COX, ACTOR: I'm playing the leading role in the best series in television. I mean, it can't get better than that. I mean, why -- what's

there not to love?


ANDERSON: The better question may be what is there not to love about Brian Cox's performance on the TV show "Succession," the award-winning show

centers on the struggle between Cox's Logan Roy character and his children for control of a media empire.


ANDERSON: Many pundits say the Roy family resembles the real-life family of Rupert Murdoch. "Succession" debuts its fourth and final season this

weekend on HBO. I got to sit down with Brian Cox to talk about that. And that conversation is coming up in the next hour. Stay with us for that.

Gwyneth Paltrow fighting an injury lawsuits stemming from a 2016 ski accident in the U.S. state of Utah. A 76-year-old man claims the actress

knocked him down after losing control of her skis.

He says he suffered a brain injury, broken ribs and more. Paltrow says the man actually hit her as he was skiing downhill. The man seeking more than

$300,000 in damages. She is countersuing for just a dollar plus attorneys' fees.