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Former Pakistani Prime Minister Arrested by Paramilitary; Protester Shot Dead at Pro-Khan Protest in Quetta; Israel Targets Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Killing 13; E.U.'s Von der Leyen Marks Europe Day in Kyiv; Russian Missile Explodes Near CNN Team; Texas Mall Shooter Possibly Motivated by Right-Wing Extremism. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired May 09, 2023 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hello, I'm Paula Newton, filling in for Becky Anderson and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming
up this hour, former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan has been arrested.
At least a dozen Palestinians killed by Israeli airstrikes.
And Putin gives a fiery speech at a low key victory parade.
Later this hour, where does Messi go next?
He is speaking with CNN "WORLD SPORT."
NEWTON: And we do begin tonight, in Pakistan. The dramatic arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan by paramilitary police has escalated the
nation's political crisis and raised fears of mass protest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON (voice-over): This is quite the video, the chaotic scenes, security personnel in riot gear smashing a window, to get to Khan, who was in fact
in Islamabad's high court submitting data.
Khan says the corruption charges against him are "political," his party in fact describes the arrest as an abduction. We're going straight to our
senior international correspondent, Ivan Watson.
Ivan, we can see right there dramatic events unfolding. But in Khan's opinion, this is completely politically motivated.
What more do we know about this, arrest and why now?
He happened to be at another court appearance.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, this is part of a feud that's been simmering in Pakistan ever since Imran Khan was
ousted as prime minister a year ago in a no confidence vote. He has been a harsh critic of the current government and military and the intelligence.
He was even warned yesterday by them to stop accusing them of crimes or trying to prevent him from running from office again, in elections that are
expected later this year.
He was in court in Islamabad. Then this dramatic show of force, where the paramilitary forces quite literally broke through the windows of the high
court, where he had been doing biometric data.
He is shown in some of this video looking kind of amused, with sunglasses on, his head in his hand. But then he is dragged away to a car by dozens of
these armored officers. Khan has been accused by the national accountability bureau, which is kind of the anti corruption agency in
Pakistan, essentially, of corruption during his time in office.
The authorities are insisting that this is in no way political. Imran Khan clearly anticipated something like this would take place. He taped this
video earlier today, we believe. Take a listen to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IMRAN KHAN, FORMER PAKISTAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): By the time you receive these words of mine, I will have been detained on
incorrect charges. Pakistan constitution, which gives us rights, which gives us democracy, has been buried. Perhaps I won't get the opportunity to
speak to again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: He went on in that statement to tell supporters to come out and fight for their fundamental rights.
He said, quote, "The time has come for all of you to come and struggle for your rights." Paula.
WATSON: Yes, Ivan, very dramatic developments, it almost seems from that video that in fact Imran Khan was tipped off some way about this. It leads
directly to my next question, in terms of those mass protests and more unrest that, quite frankly, Pakistan does not need.
In fact, we are just learning that at least one protester was shot during a pro Khan protest. Khan and his party are making no bones about this.
They're saying we want mass protests. We want this country basically shut down in protests.
WATSON: He's been leading a campaign against the existing government. What we've seen in the hours since his arrest, protests erupting in Quetta,
Peshawar, Islamabad, Karachi, the biggest city in the south; in Lahore in the east.
We've also seen this dramatic footage showing demonstrators breaking into the gates of the general headquarters of the military in Rawalpindi, right
next to Islamabad. So we are seeing this popular politician.
WATSON: His call to arms, in effect, being answered by some of his fervent supporters. We do not know where, quite where this will take the country
next. It's important to note this is not the first time that authorities have tried to arrest him.
In March, police tried to arrest him from his residence in Lahore. He mobilized his supporters. They fought back and threw rocks at police, who
fired tear gas and ultimately called off that operation.
He has multiple arrest warrants against him. He insists he's done nothing wrong, this is all politicized. It's all to keep him out of the military,
out of the elections. He has even gone so far as to accuse senior officers in the security forces of being behind an assassination attempt against him
in November at one of his rallies.
The important context is that Pakistan is not only in the midst of a political crisis that seems to be getting worse by the hour. It is also in
the midst of a horrible economic crisis. You had inflation soaring 30 percent in February and in March. Food prices soaring.
You have had devastating floods last summer, that affected huge amounts of farmland. This is a country that is in the midst of an economic and
political crisis that also happens to be armed with nuclear weapons. Paula.
NEWTON: All good points, Ivan, especially as you saw through many cities, there was some panic. Some stoppages to the internet. Some people taking
their kids out of school even. I know you will stay on top of the story, we appreciate, it we will bring you any news that we have as soon as we have.
Turning to the Middle East now where once again, things on edge, after Israel's overnight strikes in Gaza. Killed three Islamic Jihad commanders.
Now Israel calling them kingpin terrorists. Palestinian health officials, though, say the strikes killed 13 people, including five women and four
children; 20 others are apparently injured.
Islamic Jihad vowing a quick response that will, quote, in their words, "match the size of the crime." Hadas Gold connecting with us, in Israel,
not far from that Gaza border.
Hadas, clearly this is likely to trigger more violence and tense days ahead. This is all following unfortunately a familiar script.
What are they preparing for on the ground there?
HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, on the ground, there is definitely a sense of sort of quiet tension, because the expectation at any
moment that there will be a response from the south of where we are starting, behind me from Gaza.
That will likely be in the form of rocket fire. As you notably seen, we've seen this thing before. What's different about this time is the level of
these airstrikes. The level of the people that were taken out. The Israeli military striking, in the middle of the night around 2 am.
When we first got word of the Israeli operation, sort of came as a surprise. Three senior Islamic jihad commanders, the Iranian-backed
Palestinian militant group mostly based in the Gaza Strip, including the commander-in-chief. Islamic Jihad said this is something, they've been
wanting from Israel for years.
He has survived five other assassination attempts. So this was a pretty big operation and from the Israeli point of view it was a success for them in
taking out these commanders. We are also learning about the others who were killed, as a result of these strikes.
Many of these were family members of the commanders involved, including women and children as you noted. We are also learning about a prominent
dentist, who appeared to have been caught up in these airstrikes. He also actually held Russian citizenship. He was a dual Russian Palestinian
The Israeli military saying they did this in response to the more than 100 rockets fired last week by Islamic Jihad toward Israel. That was in
response to the death of a prominent Palestinian prisoner, a former Islamic Jihad spokesperson, who was held in an Israeli prison and died after a long
prolonged hunger strike.
The initial Israeli military response to those rockets, not as significant as we saw last, night. Benjamin, Netanyahu received some criticism from his
more right-wing flanks, in the coalition government, who boycotted votes in the Israeli parliament because they said the response was not strong
Obviously, their tone has now changed.
The question will be, what will the response be from Islamic Jihad?
It has now been more than 12 hours since those initial airstrikes.
And, more importantly, will Hamas involved force the militant group that runs the Gaza Strip, they have issued joint statements with the Islamic
Jihad, said there will be a joint response.
If Hamas chooses to really get involved, that will turn that into a much longer and prolonged conflict. Remember last August, there was a three-day
long dustup between Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Israeli military.
Then Hamas stayed on the sidelines and it's not clear they will do the same right now. We are expecting some sort of response. The Israeli military
officials are telling everyone to be essentially be prepared. They called up military reservists.
GOLD: And Israelis who live near the Gaza border, here in southern Israel, have been advised to stay close to their shelters at least through
NEWTON: As you said, tense times. This has already been a very violent 1.5 years in Israel. Hadas Gold, appreciate it.
NEWTON: So a defiant speech and one tank. Russia's victory parade looked a bit different this year. The national holiday, marking the defeat of Nazi
Germany, was scaled back over security concerns from Moscow's war in Ukraine.
Some observers say the military parade, intended to basically show strength, revealed weakness instead. It is still seen though as the most
significant day on the Russian president's calendar. Vladimir Putin used it to launch a scathing attack on the West over Ukraine. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): The Ukrainian nation has become hostage to a coup, which, led a criminal regime, led by
its Western masters. It has become a pawn to their cruel and selfish plans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: More on this I want to bring in CNN's Matthew Chance.
Good to see you, Matthew.
Matt, one tank, not the kind of parade we're used, to
What do you make of it?
Especially given the recent alleged drone attack on the Kremlin?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Obviously, security concerns were heightened this year. That must have been one of the
reasons why it was scaled back the amount of troops, the amount of military equipment they had there.
You know, make no mistake. It was still a show of military might in Russia. The centerpiece of this parade was still a fleet of Russian
intercontinental ballistic missiles. These are the backbone of Russia's nuclear deterrent or nuclear threat, whichever way you look at it.
So it was still showing Russia as a major military player. You're right, it was a slightly odd presence of just one tank. It wasn't even new tank. It
was a vintage tank from the 1940s, the kind that played a role in the Second World War, a T-34, in fact, was the kind of tank it was.
There were no modern tanks rolling across the cobbles of Red Square this year. That sort of led to speculation that, this points to, a shortage of
armor Russia has, particularly, because it is bracing itself and is heavily involved in Ukraine as Russia -- sorry -- as Ukraine prepares a counter
offensive against Russian positions there.
So that led to that speculation. It was certainly a very scaled back Victory Day parade, compared to the sorts of very extravagant, complete
with aerial displays, columns of tanks, kind of parades that we have seen in years past.
NEWTON: I know, Matthew, as you did as well, it was a beautiful day and yet no flypast. We see that it was a scaled back military event. but you
and I both know Russia plays a long game here. They're doing it diplomatically, you can use that word as well.
How did this kind of speech, delivering this kind of speech, embolden Putin?
In terms of drawing the U.S. and its allies into this Ukraine conflict.
CHANCE: Well, Putin used this Victory Day speech as a platform to reiterate this narrative that we've been hearing for the past 1.5 years,
that this isn't really a war with Ukraine. Ukraine has been hijacked essentially by its Western masters and it's being used as a tool to destroy
That is the Russian line. He also went to great lengths to draw parallels and connections between the victory of Nazi Germany in the Second World
War, what Russia calls its great patriotic war, and the fighting that's taking place in Ukraine right now. Take a listen to more of the speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PUTIN (through translator): A true war has been unleashed against our motherland. We have repelled international terrorism. And we will defend
the residents of Donbas and secure our own safety. Russia has no unfriendly nations in the West or in the East.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: Yes, there is no unfriendly nations, it's going to defend itself. Nevertheless, this is the line, this is the narrative that the Kremlin has
been pushing, since its invasion of Ukraine. It did not start this war, because this war was orchestrated against it, it is fighting a defensive
war against people who want to tear it apart.
NEWTON: As you reminded us many times, Matthew, that is a message that is well received by many in Russia. Matthew Chance, appreciate it.
NEWTON: Now the European Commission meantime, the president has been in Kyiv today, meeting with Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The trip
comes as the E.U. marks Europe Day, amid more Russian missile strikes.
Mr. Zelenskyy used the opportunity to say ammunition pledged by the E.U. is already needed on the battlefield. Remember it was just pledged, it's not
there yet. Ursula van der Leyen said, Ukraine is fighting for European ideals. For the very latest from Ukraine, Nick Paton Walsh. He is live for
us in Zaporizhzhya.
Nick, E.U. support extraordinary by any measure.
But where does that support go from here?
Clearly, President Zelenskyy needs and wants more.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is great symbolism today of Ursula van der Leyen in Kyiv on the same
time that Russia has launched that somewhat shrunken version of its Victory Day parade.
Whatever what you cut it, that is not the sort of grandiose gesture you'd normally expect to see in Moscow on May the 9th. Also too, President
Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine able to announce another $1.2 billion worth of aid from the United States, a staggering number frankly, in part of the
incessant drumbeat of American assistance to Ukraine.
Essentially a message that whatever Russia does, the U.S. is committed financially, with its extraordinary resources, to help Ukraine keep going.
Unclear if that is an infinite promise.
But certainly Von der Leyen today, clear what this fight means for Europe's members.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
URSULA VAN DER LEYEN, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: Ukraine is on the front line of the defense of everything we Europeans cherish, our liberty,
our democracy, our freedom of thought and speech.
Courageously, Ukraine is fighting for the ideals of Europe that we celebrate today. In Russia, Putin and his regime have destroyed these
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALSH: A very clear ideological message there from the European Council president, also supporting the point that, while we hear this message from
Kyiv, the noises coming from Russia's front lines are a bit of a mess.
We have heard from Yevgeny Prigozhin, the mercenary head of the Wagner Group, one of the most prominent mercenary figures Russia has. In the past
week going back and forth about what they're going to do in a highly symbolic fight for Bakhmut.
Russia has met its goal to try and capture today, they failed to do that. Prigozhin has gone back and forth, from not having enough artillery shells,
basically demanding more from the Russian military then saying, he would leave tomorrow and then changed his mind, saying he had enough and would
And then today, saying actually he didn't get what he expected and indeed if he left those positions, he would potentially be excused of treason. So
a public spat that Prigozhin having with himself on messages on the Telegram channel. But no official response from the Russian military.
But not something Russia ahead of the Ukraine counter offensive, will be welcoming to hear from its military elite, a staggering message of dissent
in Putin's Russia.
NEWTON: Yet it's hard to know what to make of Prigozhin, the drama of the last few days. I want to get to that counteroffensive. We haven't seen any
evidence of it.
What have you've been seeing?
WALSH: Look, we're not going to get that a bugle from Ukrainian officials about the start of the counteroffensive. We have reporting restrictions,
placed on us here by the Ukrainian military. But I think it's fair to say we've seen enough signals over the past couple weeks, certainly some parts
of the initial stages of the counteroffensive is certainly underway.
You can see that on the horizon, frankly. Also from Russia's response, they have launched a barrage of drone and missile effects, over the past week,
probably their bid to try and fight back from whatever pressure they're feeling on the front lines.
One particular town, where we spent a few days recently, has been bearing the brunt of Russia's retaliatory shelling and airstrikes. Here is more.
WALSH (voice-over): Occupied Ukraine is aflame and evacuating its civilians. Russia's wholesale departure can't come soon enough for front
line. Ravaged by Moscow, where four missiles hit on Thursday alone, rescuers left guessing what the constant bangs mean and have done.
WALSH: See people just down the road here carrying on life as per normal despite dust in the sky around us.
WALSH: It may not be in fact. He's saying, it doesn't take a particular time of day when these sort of things start. Could be any time at all,
As dusk falls, the sky is lit in a jewel. All they can do here to stay alive is read the horizon. Some of it perhaps further south into occupied
areas than a week earlier. But so much of it also, very close.
Dawn is often jarring. We hear a jet overhead, the slowly building, grating sound of damage moving toward you. A missile, a half-million dollar KH-31,
Ukrainian officials later say, lands just 700 yards away.
Another blast follows. Either jet entrails or anti-aircraft fire settle to shape a Z in the air, the symbol of Russia's invasion. It is soon gone. The
damage it leaves though isn't. This is where it hit or missed.
Down here you can get a feeling of just how massively brutal Russian firepower can be. And also how indiscriminate. I can still smell the
explosive down here and you're kind of left wondering where the obvious military target is.
At the end of this road is Polohi, one of the towns Russia has said it is evacuating. We are just one mile from Russian front line positions here, a
world torn apart as Moscow tries to hold Ukraine back.
Well, no more than 10 miles in that direction are the first towns that Russian occupying forces say they're going to be evacuating because of the
But look here, the last town really held by Ukraine, absolutely battered and so few people left here. There's little need to evacuate. Where there
were once 3000, there are 200 people trying to stay, says Raysa.
RAYSA (through translator): We can't leave. We don't have a way out.
WALSH: Caught in these wide-open spaces where a distant bang can suddenly alter life in an instant.
WALSH: We've really seen a barrage of Russian drones and missiles across Ukraine in the past week, possibly their bid to try and exert influence,
make their presence felt in a ghastly fashion in civilian areas here.
But so much of it has been taken down by Ukraine's increasingly sophisticated air defense. That U.S. package announced today will bolster
that. So we are now looking at a Ukrainian counter offensive that's likely to gather steam in the days or weeks ahead.
No public announcement likely but a real sense of tension building. Here in Zaporizhzhya, air raid sirens almost on/off throughout the day.
And many Ukrainians wondering, what will happen at night when they go to sleep?
NEWTON: Your reporting is always extraordinary. But the elderly people really got me, as I'm sure they get you when you're face to face with them,
seeing what they've been going through from once now.
I'm glad you mentioned that aid package, $1.2 billion additional from the United States. In case anyone's wondering, that's close to $37 billion so
far from the United States. Nick Paton Walsh for, us I appreciate it.
Coming up next for us on CONNECT THE WORLD, Chinese authorities raid a major global consulting firm. What they say the company did wrong.
NEWTON: Chinese authorities have raided multiple offices of global consenting firm Capvision. Chinese state media accused the company of
ignoring national security concerns and leaking sensitive intelligence abroad.
The consultancy firm, which is headquartered in Shanghai and New York, adds to a glowing list of global consulting companies that have been ensnared in
Beijing's widening crackdown on what it sees as national security risks. CNN's Steven Jiang has more from Beijing.
STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: Capvision is the latest example of this very much coordinated nationwide, multiagency crackdown on this
commercially, very important but politically increasingly sensitive industry.
Remember, consulting is very much a part of the -- doing business in China, in the system not known for its transparency. That is why it is a big
business here. But just in the past few weeks, we have seen Shanghai police raiding the offices of being in a company, a huge U.S. consultancy.
And before that, the Beijing offices of Men's Group (ph), another prominent U.S. due diligence firm, got raided by police and their local staff got
detained. And, Capvision is an industry leader here, boasting one of the biggest experts' networks at really linking these experts in different
fields with their mostly foreign clients.
That is where the Chinese authorities say they crossed the line. Dangling hefty payments in front of key players, not only within the Communist
Party power structure but at different state firms, encouraging people to leak insider information, sensitive data or even state secrets to their
According to the authorities, often with ties to foreign governments or even intelligence services. Now we have spoken to a client of Capvision. He
said those raids actually took place last year. So apparently the authorities have been taking their time to build their case against
Capvision, not only in terms of the investigation but also in terms of their propaganda.
Because the message is now very clear, they are further tightening the flow of information, further restricting access by foreign entities to what they
perceive to be sensitive information.
This of course, comes on the heels of their newly revised counterespionage laws, with the authorities further broadening the concept of national
security, banning the sharing of any information, data or materials considered to be having a bearing on national security implications.
So the line is not only very vague but keeps shifting. That, of course, is perhaps not surprising, given the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping's own remarks,
saying how security trumps everything in this country, including economic growth.
But this, all of these latest developments, do seem to be flying in the face of some of the more business friendly messages from top officials in
recent weeks and months, saying how China is now reopened for business and foreign investments -- Steven Jiang, CNN, Beijing.
NEWTON: Capvision has not responded to CNN's request for comment. The company posted on Chinese social media Monday, that it firmly implements
the concept of national security development.
New details are emerging about Saturday's deadly mall shooting in Texas that killed eight people. Investigators say the gunman appeared to have
posted online content embracing white supremacy. A U.S. Defense official tells CNN about these concerns.
I want to bring in Josh Campbell, who is standing by in Allen, Texas, for us.
Josh, unfortunately, you have looked into the background of so many of those shooters.
What are you learning and what do you feel is significant about what you're learning?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Paula, good to be with you. A law enforcement source previously told me authorities have discovered this
disturbing online presence by the suspect, praising white supremacy, praising Nazis, neo-Nazis. We are now seeing that for ourselves.
CAMPBELL: CNN has identified an account on a Russian social media site that was used by the shooter. It is replete with all types of viral posts,
again about white supremacy, about Nazis. His obsession over weapons, his obsession over past mass shooters.
And it's so chilling, looking at these posts, it appears he came to this mall behind me in the weeks in the runup to this attack, conducting
reconnaissance, researching what would be the busiest times of day at this mall.
And then obviously he went on to conduct that massacre that took eight lives. Authorities say they've not center on specific motive but they're
certainly looking at right wing extremism as the leading theory here.
Of course, the question, how did this shooter get radicalized and, this is important, was there anyone in the shooter's orbit?
Anyone that knew him?
A family member or a friend who knew about this propensity for violence?
That is something we see time and again, Paula, in these shootings. There were warning signs that people did not pick up on prior to these mass
Finally, I'll note that we are learning new information about the suspect's firearms, obviously America is a country that is awash in guns. The suspect
himself, had assembled a small arsenal.
A law enforcement source says he purchased those weapons, including that high powered assault style rifle, that AR-15, he purchased them all
And most of those weapons were purchased from private sellers, rather than at a gun store. The reason that is so important is because, here in the
state of Texas, just like many states here in America, if you buy a gun from a private seller, you will not go through a federal background check.
Gun safety advocates are pointing out that's a massive loophole. Again, if you buy it at a gun store, they will look at your past.
It is a criminal?
Is it someone who has had some type of issues here in the state of Texas?
You can buy a gun from a friend or associates, someone you met online, Paula. They do not go through that background check.
NEWTON: Yes, clearly the suspect knew what he was doing with that. Also chilling, the fact he knew how to use those deadly assault weapons. Josh,
really good to have you on the story, appreciate it.
Now still to come for, us a critical meeting between President Biden and top U.S. lawmakers, in an attempt to avert an economic catastrophe, a look
at what is at stake for Wall Street, Main Street and the global economy.
NEWTON (voice-over): A warm welcome back, I'm Paula Newton in for Becky Anderson. You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Here are your headlines this
Former prime minister Imran Khan has been arrested by paramilitary police in Islamabad. You are seeing the chaotic scene from what happened earlier,
when security forces in riot gear whisked him away. He is being detained on multiple corruption charges, denying any wrongdoing.
NEWTON (voice-over): Khan's arrest already appears to have escalated the ongoing turmoil in Pakistan. A short time ago, a Khan supporter was shot
and killed by police at a protest in Quetta.
Now Russia has scaled back its annual Victory Day celebration, due to security concerns over the war in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin spoke briefly
earlier, in Moscow's Red Square, where only one tank was on display during the toned down military parade.
Islamic Jihad is vowing to retaliate after overnight airstrikes in Gaza killed three of its commanders. Palestinian health officials say five women
and four children were among the 13 people killed. Israel says it was targeting, quote, "kingpin terrorists."
NEWTON: And this just in to CNN. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a 45 percent, I'm reading that right, 45 percent wage hike
for 700,000 public workers. That is just days ahead of the country's election, according to state media.
Amid soaring inflation, the president is facing what could be the toughest challenge yet in his two-decade rule. The main opposition has made fixing
the economy a cornerstone of its campaign.
Later today, U.S. President Joe Biden is hosting a high stakes meeting with congressional leaders from both parties in an attempt to avert economic
disaster. The federal government is at risk of defaulting on its loans if the deal is not reached by early June, to raise the nation's debt limit.
It is though the first top level discussion to take place in months amid the stalemate. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warning if America runs
out of cash to pay its bills, both the U.S. and other world economies could face an economic catastrophe.
CNN's Melanie Zanona is on Capitol Hill, where 435 House members have, yes, in fact, 435 opinions. I have to ask you, this is really following the
script that you have been predicting for months, right?
We have this crisis, a few weeks before the deadline; they get together, they talk.
Are you sensing though that there is any common ground here?
Or will the script, you know, again, they will come out and say nothing is agreed to yet?
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right; the stakes for this meeting are really high. But I will say that the expectations are
really low because both sides remain entrenched in their positions.
Sources say, at CNN, President Joe Biden plans to walk into that meeting and continue to insist on a clean debt ceiling hike without any conditions
attached, what Republicans have done multiple times under former president Donald Trump.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy, meanwhile, is planning to continue on insisting that any debt ceiling hike should be paired with slashes to federal
spending. He really feels like he has a strong negotiating hand after he really defied expectations and was able to get his House Republican
conference united behind a plan at doing exactly just that.
So we are not expecting a big breakthrough or really even the contours of a deal to come out of this meeting. But what we are watching for is whether
they can at least agree on a pathway or some sort of offramp to this potential crisis.
One potential option for that is that Biden is planning on offering a serious commitment to Republicans to negotiate on spending cuts. But he
still wants to keep it separate from the debt ceiling. And it is very unclear whether Republicans will go for that.
Even if they are able to come up with some sort of pathway out of this meeting, they are really ticking because, as you mentioned, this date when
the United States is going to run out of cash, it's quickly approaching as early as June 1st.
There's not a lot of time, the clock is ticking and the United States' economy is hanging in the balance. Paula.
NEWTON: So is the world economy. As you mentioned to us, the fact that 80 percent, more than 80 percent of Americans think there should be a
compromise that includes spending cuts. Melanie Zanona, on Capitol Hill, appreciate it.
Yet another honor for Lionel Messi, the football star, superstar I should, say. He is talking to CNN about his latest award, while his spokesperson
dishes on the Argentina superstar's future. You will want to see this interview. That is next.