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Biden Calls on Russia to Release Detained Journalist; Supporters of Netanyahu's Judicial Overhaul Block Highway; Former President Donald Trump Indicted in New York; Volunteers Deliver Water to Frontline Ukrainian Town; Gwyneth Paltrow Found Not Liable in Ski Collision Trial; FBI and Police Combing Through Shooter's Writing and Maps; Pope Francis to Participate in Palm Sunday Mass. Aired 10:16-11a ET

Aired March 31, 2023 - 10:16:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: All right. Welcome back. Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi where the time is just after quarter past 6:00.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. And we will have a lot more on the historic indictment of former president Donald Trump later this hour.

First up, though, let him go. Those are the words of U.S. President Joe Biden, speaking to CNN about detained American Evan Gershkovich. The "Wall

Street Journal" reporter is now sitting in Russian detention, facing up to two decades in prison if convicted on spying charges. Well, the paper

vehemently denies the allegations and stands firmly behind their reporter. At the same time, the Kremlin says accredited foreign journalists can

continue working in Russia.

This arrest ramping up already high tensions between Moscow and Washington as we hear from CNN's Matthew Chance who is in Moscow.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): News of the arrest was brief on Russian state television. A reporter from the

"Wall Street Journal" was arrested on suspicion of espionage for the United States, the news anchor announces. Evan Gershkovich, he reads, now faces 20

years in prison.

He was in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, 1100 miles from Moscow, that Russia's Federal Security Service, the former KGB, say they terminated the

illegal activity of the accredited journalist. They claimed he was on a mission from America to accumulate classified evidence on Russia's military

industrial complex.

At a brief court appearance in Moscow, the case was designated top secret. And the 31-year-old journalist was remanded in custody for nearly two

months. A lawyer trying to represent Gershkovich says he was excluded from the proceedings.

DANIIL BERMAN, LAWYER (through translator): I don't know how long it took, three or 15 minutes, and that's it. After that, I assume Evan has already

been taken away from here. We don't know anything.

CHANCE: The arrest comes against the backdrop of appalling U.S.-Russia relations. With Washington leading international support for Ukraine

against Russia's invasion.

There's already one U.S. citizen jailed in Russia, too, for espionage, Paul Whelan detained in 2018 serving a 16-year sentence. And it's been just a

few months since U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner imprisoned in Moscow on contentious drug charges, was swapped for notorious arms smuggler Viktor

Bout held for years in U.S. jail. The Russian Foreign Ministry says there's no question of another prisoner swap at this time.

The "Wall Street Journal" says it vehemently denies the allegations against their reporter and say they're seeking his immediate release. But Russian

officials are doubling down.

MARIA ZAKHAROVA, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON (through translator): Under the cover of journalism, this person was involved in a

completely different activity. There are lots of reports that he had accreditation, therefore he's a journalist. No, no, no. This is what he

claims to be.

CHANCE: It does not bode well for a case threatening to plunge U.S.-Russian relations to new depths and to ruin the life of this young American




ANDERSON: And Matthew joining us now live from Moscow.

And overnight as I understand it, State Department officials have been in touch with the Russian authorities seeking consular access as it's known to

Evan. I mean, do we know whether that is being granted?

CHANCE: Well, not as far as we're aware. No. I mean, you're right, the Americans, the U.S. authorities have been trying very hard, they say, to

try and secure that kind of consular access. But so far, according to the diplomats, that we've been speaking to, that access hasn't been granted.

It's not even clear at this point where exactly Evan Gershkovich is being held, although because it's a sort of top secret case, the authorities

aren't saying anything about it at all in public. The assumption is he's still at Lefortovo prison, a pre-detention center, a pre-trial detention

center rather in Moscow, where cases like his involving crimes like espionage and other serious offenses the people associated with those are

often held. But again, we can't can confirm that because it's all this secrecy shrouded over the top of it.

ANDERSON: Matthew Chance is in Moscow. Matthew, thank you. And thank you for the reporting.

Well, in Israel, protests against the right-wing government's proposed judicial reforms have made global headlines, but it was supporters of Prime

Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his court overhaul who came out in force on Thursday, blocking a highway in Tel Aviv. This days after Mr. Netanyahu

announced that he was delaying his plans, but not canceling them.

Well, for the very latest international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is live for you in Jerusalem -- Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, this was really the second big demonstration by pro-government supporters. We saw them come

out on Monday at the beginning of the week. They were called out by hardline members of the government. That was the first time they'd come out

and in numbers on the streets. And there was a sense that because the prime minister has decided to delay the judicial reforms that the pro-government

supporters have really sort of gone quiet and taken a step back from the situation.

Obviously, we've seen smaller anti-government, anti-reform protests continue, and we've talked to those protesters and that they say that they

will keep protesting because they think this is just political maneuvering by the prime minister who hopes that if they disappear from the streets

because of the pause in the reforms, therefore he, the prime minister, would just be able to get the actual reforms he wants through without any

real compromise.

So they say that they're going to keep coming out and protesting. So it is significant. That really for the second day you've seen these pro-

government supporters come out. But one thing is being associated with these pro-government supporters that there are some tiny fringe right-wing

elements amongst their numbers. And it was here on Monday, very close to one of those pro-government rallies, that there was a situation that

developed where a Palestinian taxi driver was in fear for his life.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): Right-wing extremists on the rampage following a pro-government rally in Jerusalem. What you can't see is the taxi driver

they're chasing.

HAMZA DWEIK, SURVIVED ATTACK: I'm not thinking about the driving. I'm thinking just about to run.

ROBERTSON (on-camera): Just to escape.

DWEIK: The first thing that I think about when I'm running, when I were running, it's that prison or to death. Prison or death.

ROBERTSON: This is where they're hitting the car?

(Voice-over): It's three days later, 30-year-old taxi driver Hamza Dweik relives the moment right-wing thugs realized he was Palestinian.

(On-camera): This one here is a stone?


ROBERTSON (voice-over): They trashed his taxi, a $20,000 write-off. Only his quick wits reaching the cops, saving his life.

DWEIK: When I arrived at the policeman I feel I have a new life.

ROBERTSON (on-camera): At the same time, one of the main pro-government right-wing rallies was happening just over there. The chase coming up into

here and the police very quick to begin making arrests.

(Voice-over): The police announcing a 17-year-old picked up that night. Two more suspects a day later for, quote, "an act allegedly carried out with a

racial motive."


Inside parliament, Palestinian-Israeli opposition lawmaker Ahmed Tibi accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing ministers of

allowing their supporters to search out and attack Arabs that night.

AHMED TIBI, PALESTINIAN MEMBER OF ISRAELI PARLIAMENT: There is an increase in the performance of these radicals in the events and obvious increase in

the hate average in the Israeli society.

ROBERTSON (on-camera): As a result of the government that's in position now?

TIBI: As a direct result of the composition of this government.

DROR SADOT, B'TSELEM SPOKESPERSON: In 2022, we had 146 Palestinians killed by the Israeli Army.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Israeli NGO B'Tselem tracks attacks by right-wing Israelis in the nearby West Bank, sees a similar increasing trend.

SADOT: So we're seeing now an increase on attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank from settlers in the past few months and over in Hawara and

other incident is a very much I guess a consequence of the backing that the settlers are getting from the government.

ROBERTSON: So far this year already the deadliest for both Palestinian and Israeli civilians in more than a decade.

Hamza, lucky to be alive, now facing the daunting reality, earning a living driving a taxi.

(On-camera): Do you have more fear now on the streets of Jerusalem than you did before?

DWEIK: Of course, of course, yes, but really when you think about there is nothing to do. I will not close my door and be in. We have to live.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): To live. Not hide.


ROBERTSON: And I think this is one of the underlying issues that the reason that the relationship between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Biden

is so tense at the moment, there's a perception both here inside Israel and by Israel's international partners that Prime Minister Netanyahu is not

really in control of his -- of the right-wing elements with inside his Cabinet, and that their ground based supporters are really taking the fact

that their leaders have these Cabinet positions as a license to become more forceful on the streets.

And that's a huge concern. Obviously that is something that the prime minister is not is not condoning in any way and certainly we've seen the

police in this situation and others step in and crack down on settlers and other right-wing groups who are attacking Palestinians.

ANDERSON: It was interesting to see you started this part of the show by reporting on yesterday's pro-Netanyahu protests and in those protests, some

of the signage held up by this, these right-wing nationalist supporters displaying profanities about the U.S. president Joe Biden. Difficult times

and continued calls for de-escalation in violence, in the rhetoric and actions that might cause further violence as we move, of course, towards

Passover, which this year is at the same time as Ramadan and just ahead of the Easter holiday, of course.

Nic, thank you.

For more on what's happening in Israel and the West Bank, and analysis, please do subscribe to our "Meanwhile in the Middle East" newsletter. You

can find that at, or you can scan this QR code that you see here on your screen. That is "Meanwhile in the Middle East," a

newsletter delivered three times a week to your inbox.

All right. The Pentagon says six U.S. service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries as a result of recent attacks by Iranian-

backed groups in Syria. A spokesperson says all six are in stable condition, two have returned to duty.

The drone attacks killed an American contractor in Syria last week. The U.S. launched retaliatory airstrikes, which the Pentagon says killed eight


You're with CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson live from our Middle East broadcasting headquarters here in Abu Dhabi. The time is just before half

past 6:00.

Still ahead, the indictment of Donald Trump. What the former president and his supporters are saying and what to expect once the court unseals the

charges. That is after this.



ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi, and you are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. And wherever you are watching from, you are

more than welcome, of course.

More now on our top story. And it's a story that we have been covering here on CNN all day. American politics hurtling into uncharted territory today

with a former U.S. president facing criminal charges.

For the first time a grand jury in New York indicting Donald Trump in what sources say are more than 30 counts of business fraud tied to a hush money

case ahead of the 2016 election involving adult film star seen here, Stormy Daniels. And Trump expected to appear in court in Manhattan on Tuesday.

Well, ahead of that the former president taking to social media with inflammatory rhetoric, calling the indictment, quote, "an attack on our

country, the likes of which has never been seen before." Current President Joe Biden fending off questions about that indictment a little earlier.

Have a listen.



UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you worried that this will further divide our country, the indictment?



UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) in the wake of the indictment?

BIDEN: No I'm not going to talk about something they do.


ANDERSON: Well, Brynn Gingras is connecting us from outside the courthouse where Trump, Brynn, will appear as we understand it Tuesday? Ahead of that?

What are -- what sort of security measures are in place?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, Becky, there's a security posture here outside the courthouse like we don't usually see, as you can

imagine. I'm going to kind of swing around the camera here so you could see right into the front door. This is where the DA's office is. That's in fact

Alvin Bragg, the district attorney's car right there. You can see NYPD postured here. And this is what it looks like with barricades and police

all around this area.

But we know that the NYPD every single person on that force, Becky, whether it be any rank or any position, they are in uniform today. We're talking

about 35,000 police officers at the ready preparing for what might come not just today but in the days ahead, leading up to Tuesday.

That includes things that we don't see behind the scenes and that's intelligence officials kind of looking into the chatter that might be

ongoing with social media, into chatrooms, seeing if there are any threats against law enforcement, the district attorney, anybody other any anyone

else and being at the ready to respond to that, and, of course, protests or demonstrators that might break out throughout the week and leading into



As far as Tuesday is concerned, we're learning our colleague John Miller through a source that the Secret Service is sitting down today with NYPD,

other people involved, including the court marshals here to discuss how this is going to work. What is the motorcade for the former president to

get down here to the courthouse? What's the booking going to look like security wise? They're actually going to go through a walkthrough of that


So a lot of preparations and also just keeping an eye on things behind the scenes, making sure nothing major breaks out. But of course they are at the

ready just in case it does -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Right. Miss off the back of the Manhattan grand jury's indictment of former Donald Trump landing very late yesterday. For the benefit of our

international viewers who may not be across sort of U.S. issues as much as others, what is a grand jury? And what does an indictment mean? And what do

we know about these charges if anything at this point, ultimately?

GINGRAS: Yes, so, like we have known that they have been sitting and listening to this case for several months, and within the last few weeks,

we had known that the grand jury was hearing testimony in this case. It was unclear exactly if they would vote on it. We were hearing actually that a

break might happen where they would actually take a vote on this case, but it did come in the very final hours of when the grand jury meets just


In fact, that indictment being handed down right about at 5:00 business time in the Eastern Time, which was came as a shock to everybody, including

Trump himself. And what we have learned through sources that we're talking about more than 30 charges related to business of fraud. Of course, that

indictment is under seal. When the arraignment happens on Tuesday, that's when we'll have a little bit more detail about these charges against the

former president.

So right now it's all about just kind of waiting to Tuesday because that's the date of the arraignment as we're hearing right now, and it's about

having a security posture because we are learning, you know, people are calling for protests, people are calling for mobilization here to New York.

Now I will tell you about a week and a half ago, we heard this could have been, when it happened, and people kind of did not come to New York. There

was a little bit of fear from what happened January 6th, and they sort of stayed back. So the hope is that it will be the same case. It will not be a

big turnout. But you never know once this president actually comes into town -- former president.

ANDERSON: Well, New York PD are ready for it. Thank you very much indeed. Brynn Gingras is in Manhattan.

Well, Donald Trump, of course, lives in Florida and the state's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis says that he won't help extradite the former

president to New York to face the charges. But do prosecutors even need the governor's help? And could he somehow block that extradition?

Here's what CNN's senior legal analyst Elie Honig said.


ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: There's two ways this could play out. Either Donald Trump shows up on his own, and then we'll go through this

court process. If there is some resistance here by Ron DeSantis, that will be political theater. Ultimately the law is clear. It's in the

Constitution. There's a federal law. There's cases on this that say a governor cannot ultimately block extradition of a person from one state to


When he appears, when Donald Trump appears in court, as our reporting is on Tuesday, he may be fingerprinted. There may be a mug shot. The indictment

will be unsealed, so we'll see it. The charges will be read. He'll enter his plea, which will be not guilty and then the judge will let him out on

bail. What we call released on his own recognizance, meaning go home, come back next time we need you.


ANDERSON: Well, it's been a year since the Ukrainian town of Bucha was liberated. Thousands of war crimes are said to have happened there. We're

going to show you how Ukraine is marking that day, after this.



ANDERSON: Welcome back Ukraine marking the anniversary of the liberation of Bucha, the town near Kyiv. The Ukrainian president calls a symbol of

Russian atrocities. Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Ukraine will never forgive those responsible.

Moscow's forces occupied that town for 33 days and mass graves were found after it was recaptured. The occupying troops left bodies in the streets as

they escaped. They are accused of executions, of rape and of torture. Russia denies those accusations.

Well, Ukraine's resilience is on full display in a frontline town in the eastern part of the country today. Drinking water there has been become

hard to get, but as Ben Wedeman reports residents carrying on with some help from the outside.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Without water, there is no life and the clean water pouring into these plastic jugs

is a vital lifeline for people in the battered eastern Ukrainian town of Siversk, just six miles from Russian lines.

Retired building contractor Andre Anderson from Oregon is an unlikely carrier of water.

ANDRE ANDERSON, VOLUNTEER, AQUEDUCKS.ORG: It was just a calling that I couldn't refuse to do. I can't sit at home and allow this to happen without

helping the people who need help.

WEDEMAN: He's part of the volunteer group called Aqueducks. Their routine simple but essential.

ANDERSON: We turn up, they turn up with their little jugs, and we just fill up their jugs or the buckets or the cow pails. And they go away happy and

we empty our tank, we drive home. And then we come back in the afternoon. We do the same thing and we repeat on every day.

WEDEMAN: The few remaining in Sieversk tell the usual story. Dogged attachment to their land and no other options.

How can I leave, asked Tanya. My son is buried here. And where would I go with my small pension?

Andre's colleague, Sylvia Pavesi, from Austria was a tour guide.

(On-camera): Why are you doing this?

SYLVIA PACESI, VOLUNTEER, AQUEDUCKS.ORG: To help. Just the right thing to do.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): 73-year-old Micola appreciates the water but thirsts for quiet. I'm fed up with the shelling. Nobody needs it, he says.

What passes for daily life ended long ago. The center of Sieversk is a wasteland. The early spring snow softens, but can't hide the jagged edges.

Andre shouts out water, voda in Ukrainian. Soon residents emerged from their basements, their bomb shelters.

(On-camera): Basic humanitarian services like this are critical. There hasn't been any running water or electricity since the beginning of the


(Voice-over): With no end to this war in sight, they're resigned to a fate bleak.

It's fine, says Valentina. We put up with everything. What can we do?

Yet, 70-year-old Nina despairs what has become of her town? What do we feel, she asks, pain, pain. When you see something destroyed you tear up,

we cry, we cry.

Bottles now full they returned through streets, cold, muddy and ravaged to their shelters.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Sieversk, Eastern Ukraine.


ANDERSON: Turkey has approved Finland's bid to join NATO after months of delays. The Turkish parliament still voted unanimously in favor of

Finland's membership on Thursday, clearing what is the last hurdle for Helsinki.


Well, the vote fulfills a promise from Turkey's president to not oppose Finland's entry into the alliance. Now Turkey was the last of NATO's 30

members to ratify Finland's membership. Sweden, of course, has also applied to join but Turkey and Hungary remain opposed. Both Sweden and Finland, and

the decades of neutrality after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Well, Finland's president thanked every NATO member for their trust and support and promised Finland will be a strong and capable ally committed to

the security of the alliance. NATO secretary-general welcoming new development and tweeting, quote, "This will make the whole NATO family

stronger and safer.

Let's get you up to speed in some of the other stories that are on our radar right now.

And 36 people were killed and 16 injured in India after a floor gave way at a temple. It happened in the city of Indore where people were celebrating a

Hindi festival. State officials say the collapse was due to overload.

Iran says an Israeli airstrike near Damascus has killed an officer of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iranian state media say Israel fired

sprays of missiles around the Syrian capital on Friday. Israel declining to comment on the alleged airstrikes.

Well, the UAE central bankers canceled the license for Russia's MTS Bank, which is now under British and U.S. sanctions. MTS is the fintech unit of

Russia's largest mobile operator. A UAE statement said that the Russian bank will have to wind down its operations within the next six months.

Well, a jury sided with Gwyneth Paltrow in a civil case related to a ski collision on the Utah slopes. Now she is walking away a dollar richer. The

actress and CEO of the lifestyle brand Goop was being sued by retired optometrist. He accused her of skiing recklessly of plowing into him and

leaving him with serious injuries. Paltrow denied this and countersued.

Veronica Miracle walks us through what has been a fascinating case.


VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): Gwyneth Paltrow was stoic when she found out that she had won her case and that the jury was awarding

her that symbolic $1 in damages that she was seeking. The jury deliberated for less than three hours and they found that the man who accused Paltrow

of crashing into him and causing him a lasting brain injury was actually at fault.

This case was really a he said-she said situation, both sides completely argued two different stories. The plaintiff, Terry Sanderson, said Paltrow

skied into him, causing lasting injuries, including brain damage and broken ribs, and then skied off. He was suing her for $3.2 million in damages.

Paltrow claimed Sanderson skied into her. She countersued for a symbolic $1 in damages and won.

After the verdict was read, the two had a brief interaction. Here's what Sanderson says unfolded.

TERRY SANDERSON, SUED GWYNETH PALTROW: Her exact words, I wish you well. Very kind of her.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: That's all she said?

SANDERSON: That's all she said.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: OK. And did you respond?

SANDERSON: I said thank you, dear.

MIRACLE (voiceover): Paltrow said in a statement that, "I felt that acquiescing to a false claim compromised my integrity," end quote. Her

attorney said she is very happy with the outcome.

STEVE OWENS, GWYNETH PALTROW'S ATTORNEY: We're pleased with this outcome and appreciate the judge and jury's thoughtful handling of this case.

Gwyneth has a history of advocating for what she believes in. This situation was no different. And she will continue to stand for what she

believes is right.

MIRACLE (on-camera): Local observers packed the courtroom today after many moments during the week-long plus trial went viral all over the world.

Veronica Miracle, CNN, Park City, Utah.


ANDERSON: Just ahead on CONNECT THE WORLD, some news from the Vatican on the condition of Pope Francis. More on that from Rome after this short




ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Nashville officials say that they have released some of the emergency calls from Monday's deadly mass shooting at a school there. The audio captures

some of the tense moments as the attack unfolded with callers whispering as they hid from gunfire.

CNN's Carlo Suarez has the latest on the investigation from Nashville.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We think we hear gunshots.

CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): New 911 calls released from inside of the Covenant School as shots were being fired.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I hear another shot.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm hearing more shots. Yes, please hurry up, I'm hearing more shots.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: They're coming. They're coming. Just try -- OK, just try to stay quiet. I don't know what's going on there.


SUAREZ: A Nashville city council member tells CNN he's been told the FBI will review a notebook that was left behind by 28-year-old Audrey Hale. And

that once that review is complete, the writings should be made public.

The development comes as we learned more about the efforts to prevent the tragedy. CNN obtained audio of a call made by Hale's former teammate

calling for help.

AVERIANNA PATTON, AUDREY HALE'S FORMER TEAMMATE: I received a very, very weird message from a friend on Instagram. I think it was like a suicidal


SUAREZ: Averianna Patton received messages on Instagram from Hale less than 20 minutes before the shooting. According to Patton, at around 9:57 in the

morning, Hale wrote, quote, "Something bad is about to happen." During the call, Patton is heard saying she first called a suicide prevention hotline

at 10:13 in the morning. It was passed on to the sheriff's department then to a nonemergency line before finally getting ahold of someone at 10:21 in

the morning when the shooting was already underway.

PATTON: I'm just trying to see, can anybody, I just don't want it on my conscience if somebody can go check on her. Only thing I have is her


SUAREZ: Between the first call of a shooter incident at about 10:13 in the morning to when the shooter was killed, 911 received 39 emergency calls, 23

of those related to the shooting, according to the Metro Nashville Department of Emergency Communications.

We spoke with Hale's former teacher who said she noticed Hale appeared to be grieving the death of a friend over the last year.

MARIA COLOMY, HALE'S FORMER TEACHER AT NOSSI COLLEGE: And in the grieving process, there is a part of it that's anger and rage. And she may not have

known that.

SUAREZ: Hale took six lives on Monday. Three 9-year-old children, a substitute teacher, a custodian, and the head of the Covenant School,

Katherine Koonce, who may have died trying to protect the children.

A funeral for Evelyn Dieckhaus is set for Friday afternoon at Woodmont Christian Church, according to the senior pastor, Clay Stauffer. Those

attending are asked to wear pink or bright spring colors instead of black. Another funeral will be held on Saturday for Hallie Scruggs at Covenant

Presbyterian Church, where her father is the lead pastor.

(On-camera): At least three 911 calls were released on Thursday. We're told that the FBI is still going through the shooter's notebook and that any

information related to a motive or the writings that were left behind by the shooter will not be released this week.

Carlos Suarez, CNN, Nashville, Tennessee.


ANDERSON: Well, the Vatican is telling CNN that Pope Francis expects to be back on his feet this weekend, taking part in the Palm Sunday mass in St.

Peter's Square. We are hearing now that the pontiff is expected to be released from hospital on Saturday after being treated for bronchitis. The

Vatican says he is already doing some work from his hospital room.

CNN's Delia Gallagher is outside the hospital in Rome and joins us now live.

I'm sure the hospital staff, the Vatican, Pope Francis himself will be delighted that it sounds like he's nearly back on his feet. And are we

hearing anything else about how he's feeling himself?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, Becky, the Vatican has told us that he had another restful night. He even managed to

have pizza last night for dinner with the medical staff here at the hospital, they say and, of course importantly, that they expect him to be

discharged tomorrow.

Now it is important that he's going to be at the Palm Sunday mass because that had been thrown into doubt by this hospital visit, and so we will be

able to see him.


He's 86 years old. He's just gone through a bout of bronchitis. He's had intravenous antibiotics and three days in a hospital. So he's going to be

in St. Peter's Square on Sunday, probably won't be saying the mass but will possibly be speaking either a homily or saying some words, so we'll be able

to see him and that will only be the start of what is a very busy Holy Week leading up to Easter.

So this is going to be a time -- it is a very delicate time, he's just getting out of the hospital, so we'll have to see how much the Pope is

going to be able to participate in those events. He's got a scheduled trip to Hungary at the end of April. Pope Francis is a man who likes to stay on

the go. He doesn't want to stay in the hospital, obviously, for any longer than necessary, but certainly it's a delicate moment for the Pope.

He already has mobility issues. You know his knee which really causes him some pain, and it's difficult for him to get around. So now the spotlight

is back on the Pope's health, and we know that he has his vulnerability to respiratory issues, having had part of his lung taken out when he's 21. So

certainly this is something that he's going to have to watch and that we will be watching in the coming weeks. But good news anyway, that he's

getting out tomorrow -- Becky.

ANDERSON: It is. It is. I'm sure the pizza was good. We all know they have good pizzas in Rome. Thank you.

We're now learning that Oscar Pistorius is being denied parole. The South African citizen and former paralympic champion, of course, was convicted of

murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, nearly a decade ago. Now that trial drew worldwide attention. He was trying to get an early release from

prison where he is serving a 13-year sentence. Parole, though, denied.

Well, this year's Wimbledon championships will see the return of Russian and Belarussian tennis players. That is according to the All England Club.

It's a reversal from a year ago, and they were banned from competing what is now, of course, consider the most prestigious event in tennis. Wimbledon

is the third grand slam event in what is the tennis calendar year.

All right. I'm Becky Anderson. We're here for you in Abu Dhabi. The time is just before 7:00 in the evening. Second hour coming up. We'll have the very

latest on the indictment, the historic indictment of the former president of the United States, Donald Trump, after this break, a whole lot more news

as well. So please do stay with us.