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Connect the World
Former Pakistani PM Imran Khan Arrested by Paramilitary Force; Frontline Towns Battered as Counteroffensive Looms; IDF: Aircraft Hit Terror Squad Carrying Anti-Tank Missiles; Migrant Details Grueling, Days- Long Journey to Reach U.S. Border; Report: IDF took no Accountability for Journalists it Killed; W.H.O. and U.S. to Declare end of Public Health Emergency. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired May 09, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, CNNI HOST: This hour Pakistan's Former Prime Minister Imran Khan has been arrested at Islamabad's High Court we explore what this means
for Pakistani politics going forward. But first, Vladimir Putin presides over a toned down military parade in Russia where only one tank was on
It was an old one that he proclaimed Ukraine has become a "Hostage to a regime led by Western masters". A cloud of smoke was seen over Gaza Skyline
this morning as Israel launched deadly airstrikes on Islamic Jihad targets the IDF said.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza meantime, says 13 people were killed including at least 5 women and several children. U.S. authorities
will launch an enforcement operation Tuesday in El Paso, Texas targeting migrants who have crossed the border but have not been processed by
And we want to get straight to developing news out of Pakistan where political tensions are rising by the minute. Protests have broken out in
multiple cities, after Former Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested by paramilitary police.
What you're seeing here is Khan's supporters breaking through the gates of the General Headquarters of Pakistan's military, the army. In fact earlier
police and rioters smashed a window very dramatic footage here to get Khan who was inside Islamabad's high court.
Khan says the corruption charges against him are political and his party calls the arrest "An Abduction". For more now from Khan Supporters' and how
they're responding to this arrest I want to bring in Dr. Shireen Mazari. She's the Senior Vice President of Khan's Political Party in Pakistan
And I want to thank you for joining us to give us more information on a developing story. You know, it was clear to me anyway that Mr. Khan was
tipped off about this somehow, his video was quite explicit. And it indicates that he knew that he would be arrested, that your party claims
that all of this is politically motivated. What proof do you have of that?
DR. SHIREEN MAZARI, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, PAKISTAN TEHREEK-E-INSAF: We know it's politically motivated, because the charges that have been framed
there are over 100 cases, and a lot of them are frivolous. He named one army general as being responsible for the two assassination plots against
him, which both were unsuccessful.
And on that itself, I'm just giving you one example. He was charged with treason. So there's an absurdity about the cases but more important, I want
to correct he was not arrested. He was abducted. He was in the Islamabad High Court in the court premises.
The paramilitary troops, the Rangers came in, they broke the windows of the High Court were building room where Khan was and he was in a wheelchair
because of his injury from the first assassination attempt. And he was dragged; he was beaten on his head with wooden sticks, which had nails in
He was then specially beaten and kicked on his foot that the whole leg which was injured. He was dragged from the wheelchair on the ground and
then abducted by the paramilitary forces. So let's be clear. This was not an arrest. This was abduction.
And what Khan had warned, were repeatedly that if anything like that happened, we would not be able to control the anger of the people of
Pakistan. And that anger is now being vented all across Pakistan.
NEWTON: And that's fine. I want to get to that. But that seems to be something that your party is encouraging. And I want to ask you that
question. I do want to point out that the government says that this is about corruption charges for which they say they have proof but I have to
ask you, you just said it right?
Pakistan is already at an incredibly fragile point. Why ask for protesters to get to the streets when you know it is a dangerous situation for them
and for the country. We've already had one supporter of your Former Prime Minister and your party shot dead?
MAZARI: And we have another one killed today in -- the process. The point is we did not get any notice of the court case that they're now citing.
Neither Khan's lawyers nor Mr. Khan was sent any notice or legal notice that all about that case.
So clearly this was not a legal arrest by any standard even by our legal standards. Secondly, our people we have been trying to get to elections and
the problem is that this government does not want to follow the Constitution and have elections.
And people have been -- we can't control the people's anger. We've never had demonstrations, which are not peaceful but today, after what happened
to Khan, the abduction, the physical violence against him.
And by the way, not only him, lawyers in the courtroom were beaten, the staff of the High Court was beaten. And if you look at the videos that on
social media, it was like an invasion force of the paramilitary force entering into court premises.
NEWTON: Indeed the video was quite dramatic. But I have to ask you, again, if you can directly answer the question, why not ask for a moment of calm?
We can see from the video here that this is an extremely dangerous situation for your party and its supporters who are out on the streets. Why
escalate things at this moment? What will that achieve?
MAZARI: Absolutely. We are not escalating ours. Vice Chairman immediately in the morning, sent a message that people on the street if they're
protesting, which is a constitutional right, should do it peacefully. But things are out of our control.
This is an organic protest. It's not just PTI workers. It's the general public, which has been seething against what has been happening against the
economic situation, the rising inflation, those rising food prices, so people have been seething. And this has been the last straw for the people.
And once things spiraled like this, it's very difficult for any leadership, to ask them to stay calm. Only Imran Khan could have stopped them from
getting violent would have controlled the crowd. But what they did -- since they've abducted him; he is not there to calm the crowd. And it is not
within the Party's leadership's control anymore.
NEWTON: I take your point. But there can be a call for calm by you and for many others from your party. And I'm sure Mr. Khan knows how to get a
message out to his supporters and the rest of the country if he wants to. I want to leave that alone for a moment. Leave that alone for a moment.
MAZARI: He cannot -- excuse me, he cannot get a message out. We don't know where he is. He's been abducted and kept under custody of the military.
NEWTON: I'm sure--
MAZARI: And so he can't get any message out. We have tried to tell our political party leadership, the second and third years you are in different
cities. But these are not our party workers only this is the ordinary public over whom we do not have much control.
NEWTON: OK but we will wait -- I have to leave that issue alone. We will await your please for calm then as we see that things can rapidly get out
of control on the streets and that it is dangerous. I want to ask you though, about the military's role in all of this.
You know, Mr. Khan has been accused of at one point being backed by the military and now being abandoned by it. What do you think? What role is the
military playing at this hour with all of this?
MAZARI: It's not a question of being abandoned. It's a question of the way that the regime change occurred, where the military literally took our
allies and put them in -- house, which is a particular place in Islamabad where they intervene directly whether then military chief, the army chief,
General Bajwa, publicly before -- while government was still there, he came out in a public statement and disagreed with the Prime Minister's position
on foreign policy issues.
Where Mr. Bajwa then, and the military did not allow when Khan was -- the assassination attempt against him. Khan was not allowed to file an FIR the
first information report naming people that he alleged were behind his assassination. So there is no rule of law or civilian grip anymore in
It's not just a question of the military abandoning one group and supporting another. This goes beyond that. This goes towards undermining
your constitution and your parliamentary democracy. And this is a problem that we're facing for the last year.
NEWTON: OK. Doctor Shireen Mazari I thank you for your time and what are incredibly dangerous times ahead for Pakistan appreciate it. Now to Russia
where its annual show of military strength was a more modest spectacle this year.
Victory Day a national holiday marking the defeat of Nazi Germany was scaled back over security concerns for Moscow's war in Ukraine. It's still
seen as the most significant day on the Russian President's calendar, though, and Vladimir Putin use today's event to launch a scathing attack on
the west over Ukraine, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: The Ukrainian nation has become hostage to a coup, which led to a criminal regime lead by Western masters. It has
become a pawn to their cruel and selfish plans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: CNN's Sam Kiley is standing by for us in Kyiv. But right now I want to get to Matthew Chance who's been reporting in Russia for years and now
is with us in London. And Matthew, I know how closely you will have been watching what unfolded today, one tank, an old one at that. Why the display
today? And what purpose do you think it served for Putin nonetheless?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, look, the display is an annual event. And you're right; it was significantly
smaller than it's been in previous years. I think there are about 8000 troops this year. Last year, there were about 12. So that's a reduction.
But I mean, make no mistake, it was still a significant show of Russian military mice at the center of this parade, where you know, several, I
mean, I counted three, there could have been more intercontinental ballistic missiles, the backbone of Russia's nuclear deterrence of Russia's
nuclear threat, depending on how you want to see it.
And there are all sorts of other bits of pieces of military equipment on display as well. You're right to point out the tank. And it was quite
interesting, there was only one tank, usually you see whole columns of these things rumbling off around over the cobbles of red squared, that was
just one this year.
And it was an old tank, a T-34 from the 1940s of the kind that sort of sort of led the Red Army in the Second World War, what Russians call the Great
Patriotic War. And obviously, that was homage to the sacrifice paid in that conflict. But it's also sort of led to all sorts of speculation that the
Russians don't have enough tanks left because they've been hit so hard on the battlefield in Ukraine, to put any on the streets of central Moscow.
I'm sure that's probably an exaggeration. I'm sure they've got some tanks tucked away somewhere. But it was an interesting choice, that they would
only put out one tank not of their most modern military equipment at a time when they are digging in, waiting for this Ukrainian counter offensive to
try and take back territory that they've conquered in the course of the past year and a half.
NEWTON: Yes, all good points and again, making a fine point of it. The nuclear arsenal parts of it were on display. I want to get to you now, Sam
a busy night in Kyiv. How significant is it that despite a barrage of, you know missiles that the missile defense systems were so effective, at least
on this one evening?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, I mean, they have been effective now for months. The vast majority of both the low
rent Shahed drones that have been supplied by Iran right through now even to the hypersonic missiles are getting shot down. A hypersonic or any of
last one to a U.S. built Patriot missile.
But the vast majorities do get shot down because the capabilities of the Ukrainians have been improved because of the help that they've been getting
from the west. The Ukrainian position on this though Paula, particularly as plans for their summer or spring offensive advance is that they want more
And they also want attack capability from the air. They're continuing to call for the international community to supply them with F-16s or similar
type aircraft or older NATO aircraft that they say they can put to decisive strategic use here. So they've got strategic defensive weapons. Now they
want strategic offensive weapons, Paula.
NEWTON: Yes, and again, all of us waiting to see when that counter offensive will begin in earnest in Ukraine. Sam Kiley for us in Kyiv,
Matthew Chance in London, appreciate you both. Now as Russia celebrates Victory Day, as you just saw, the EU is marking Europe Day on the head of
the European Commission and has been in Kyiv in fact for the event, meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Now Ursula von der Leyen arrived after a night as we were just saying of those Russian missile attacks and those airstrikes. And that's ahead of
what we believe will be a counter offensive that will be launched in the coming days. For the latest on all of this from Ukraine, CNN's Nick Paton
Walsh is live in Zaporizhzhia.
We should also say, Nick, that the United States now announcing a new aid package 1.2 billion that brings the tally to nearly 37 billion. In terms of
where you are, what do you make of the state of play on the battlefield, especially ahead of that expected counter offensive?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's important to point out that we're probably not going to get a glaring bugle
from Ukraine when they launched this counter offensive. And despite the reporting restrictions we work on to hear from the Ukrainian military, it
is clear that possibly the opening stages or the softening up of Russian positions may have begun already.
And quite when Ukraine declares its counter offensive to have begun is entirely in their gift, but certainly seeing on the front lines here over
the past few days. Russia is doing its utmost to use at times brutal, inaccurate firepower to try and hold the Ukrainians back often hitting
WALSH (voice over): Occupied Ukraine is aflame and evacuating its civilians. Russia's wholesale departure can't come soon enough for
frontline town or a heave.
Ravaged by Moscow, where four missiles hit on Thursday alone, rescue was left guessing what the constant bangs mean and has done.
WALSH (on camera): See people just down the road here carrying on life as per normal despite dust in the sky around us. Is that Ukrainian?
DMYTRO HAIDAR, FIREFIGHTER: No, that might not be.
WALSH (on camera): There may not be in fact, outgoing
HAIDAR: 1300 meters away is the last Ukrainian position.
WALSH (on camera): He's saying it doesn't mean particular time of day when this sort of things start could be any time at all frankly.
WALSH (voice over): As dusk falls, the sky is lit in a duel. 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. Don't is often jarring. We hear a jet overhead the slowly building grating
sound of damage moving towards you. A missile, a half million dollar KH 31 Ukrainian officials later say land just 700 yards away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be careful of double taps. I was on the floor buddy.
WALSH (voice over): 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.
WALSH (on camera): 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.
WALSH (voice over): At the end of this road is-- one of the towns Russia has said it is evacuating. We are just one mile from Russian frontline
positions here, a world torn apart as Moscow tries to hold Ukraine back.
WALSH (on camera): 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 Ukrainian counter offensive. We're looking here at the last town really held by Ukraine, absolutely battered and so few
people left here as little need to evacuate.
WALSH (voice over): Where they were once 3000, there are 200 people trying to stay says Raysa.
RAYSA, MALA TOKMACHKA RESIDENT: We can't leave. We don't have a way out. We survive just on aid they bring to us.
WALSH (voice over): Caught in these wide open spaces, where a distant bank can suddenly alter life in an instant.
WALSH: Now, it is extraordinary to see the attempt by Russia to use drone and missile attacks on major population centers to inflict some kind of
cost. We don't really know the full extent of what Ukrainian military pressure is doing to their frontline positions.
We see reports from Russian installed officials and unoccupied areas that they're evacuating, that they're experiencing gasoline shortages, cash ATM
problems, cell phone issues, to that will all have a huge impact on Russia's military force, because they're essentially symbiotic on the
population. They were the pooling supply lines of their own.
And so the knock on effect will be significant. But it is always going to be difficult to tell exactly when Ukraine is having the impact that they
desire. So much is invested in their counter offensive fear by NATO, clearly $1.2 billion now from the U.S. part of an ongoing message of
consistent U.S. support for this counter offensive and Ukraine going forwards. And so a matter of time, frankly, until we get greater clarity as
to exactly how much damage has been done to Russia's position so far, Paula?
NEWTON: And yes, you're right to note at the top of this, that, you know, there are some reporting restrictions in place. And again, Nick, God you
and your team are safe. And reminder civilians are going through that kind of indiscriminate violence each and every hour. Nick Paton Walsh for us
appreciate it. You are watching "Connect the World" live today from CNN Center in Atlanta.
Still ahead for us, three Islamic Jihad commanders killed by airstrikes in Gaza, what health officials there saying, look, civilians also killed in
that Israeli operation. We're also getting word of yet another air strike in Gaza this one just minutes ago. And later Border Patrol agents in the
U.S. are preparing for an anticipated influx of migrants as a key immigration policy is set to expire, stay with us.
NEWTON: Palestinian health officials report 10 civilians are among the 13 people killed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. Now the overnight strikes
killed three Islamic Jihad commanders Israel describes them as king pin terrorists. Palestinian health officials, though say five women and four
children were also killed.
Now the dead include a prominent Palestinian dentist who also held Russian citizenship along with his wife and son. The family lived on the same block
as one of the Islamic Jihad leaders targeted in the strikes. Hadas Gold is back with us this hour from Israel. And we're hearing that in fact there
has been another strike just a few minutes ago.
HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we are hearing that of another air strike actually conducted by drone the Israeli military saying
that they say that they spotted an anti-tank crew. They said that was on their way in a car to use anti-tank missiles against Israelis or Israeli
The IDF is saying that they struck the car using a drone. We are hearing from the Ministry of Health in Gaza that at least two were killed as a
result and two more were injured. The Israeli military saying that they struck the car only after they confirm there were not civilians in the car.
But we have not yet heard from the Ministry of Health in Gaza identifying those that were killed or injured.
All of this happening right now, while it's been a quiet but a very tense quiet here in southern Israelis. All eyes are behind me to the south to
Gaza to see how and when militants there will respond to those rounds of airstrikes overnight.
GOLD (voice over): Early morning airstrikes on Gaza, targeting what Israel called kingpin terrorist, senior operators of Islamic Jihad backed by Iran.
The doctors in Gaza said at least 10 other people were killed as well. Among them some of them are family members including at least five women
and four children.
And Israel Defense Forces spokesman is saying "We are aware of some collateral, while insisting their pinpoint strikes had targeted only
Islamic Jihad terrorists, as they tried to keep Hamas off the battlefield. The IDF saying its operation called shield and arrow is a response to more
than 100 rockets fired from Gaza towards Israel a week ago those rockets in turn a response to the death in an Israeli prison of this man, Khader
Adnan, a former Islamic Jihad spokesman who died after an 87 day hunger strike.
GOLD (on camera): Even before Khader Adnan's death, this has been a potentially record setting violent year in the Palestinian Israeli
conflict. More than 100 Palestinians both militants and civilians killed by Israeli forces this year. At least 19 killed off the Israeli side in
GOLD (voice over): Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leading Israel's most far right government ever vowing that Israel will strike back at those who
harm Israelis. Palestinian militant groups led by Hamas saying "Occupation crimes against their people will not go unpunished".
Israeli military reservists have been called up as residents in southern Israel are told to stay close to their bomb shelters, leaving this region
tense at the best of times, potentially on the verge of explosion.
GOLD: Now Paula, we've pressed the IDF about those civilians who were killed in the overnight strikes, including a prominent dentist that you
mentioned who also holds Russian citizenship. Now the IDF confirmed to me that that dentist was not amongst the targeted and he was a civilian who
was killed as a result of these strikes.
They said that while they always try to avoid what they call collateral damage, they said that they're working against, "Terrorists who are
conducting their activity day and night amongst civilians and that they are trying to create conditions the IDF is as to minimum harm to civilians as
NEWTON: Yes, collateral damage, an unfortunate term that they use. And again, the misery among civilians there is palpable. Hadas, I want to ask
you about the escalation though, here. You warned us before that if Hamas gets involved, it's a whole new ballgame. And what more are you hearing
GOLD: Well, Hamas has been issuing statements in support of Islamic Jihad and saying that there will be a joint response of the factions in Gaza are
unified. And so while Hamas stayed out of the conflict in August, when Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Israel engaged in this sort of three day,
mini war of sorts, this could be a different situation.
Now, the IDF has taken pains to say that they've only been targeting Islamic Jihad. They have not mentioned Hamas at all in any of their
statements about who they are targeting. But that might be a calculation Israel is taking that Hamas will not involve because if they do, it's a
much different conflict it will be longer, it will be worse likely for both sides.
Hamas has more weapons capabilities that can go further into Israeli population centers than Islamic Jihad does. So that's the question right
now is how Hamas will get involved, will they say they're getting involved in certain ways you know, just firing smaller grade weapons?
Or will they be as involved as we've seen in previous conflicts with them firing some long range missiles? It's been quite a few hours of quiet now.
Now the factions recently released a statement saying that they will respond when and how they feel like clearly creating a sort of sense of
But for the meantime, Israeli civilians especially here in the south are prepared for several days at least have some sort of action being told to
stay close to their protected areas, Paula.
NEWTON: OK. 6:27 pm there where you are as the story continues to develop by the hour. Hadas Gold for us, appreciate it. Now in a separate action in
the West Bank, the Palestinian Red Crescent reports at least 12 people wounded by live ammunition and Israeli raid in Nablus.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health says one of the wounded is a 14-year-old boy who was shot in the chest. Israel's military says it responded to
rioters who were throwing rocks at soldiers, two people were arrested, 130 were treated for inhaling tear gas. Now, meantime here in the United States
now thousands of migrants are gathered at the U.S. Mexico border but the trek to get there as we've told you before can be quite dangerous, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The train of death arrived dangerous and deadly and often controlled by cartels, hours making this treacherous trek is scary.
But imagine days on board.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Just ahead for us, look at the journey, hundreds of people go through and hopes crossing into the United States. And a new report claims
Israel's military has taken no accountability for the journalist it has killed over the past 20 years, stay with us.
NEWTON: And a warm welcome back to "Connect the World". Your headlines this hour in what seems like retaliation. China has asked a Canadian diplomat to
leave the country in a few days. It comes after Canada expelled a Chinese diplomat on Monday. Following allegations Beijing tried to intimidate a
Canadian politician and interfere with the country's elections and that includes intimidating his family in China.
Now China's foreign ministry says the countermeasures come after Canada's "Unscrupulous move" and that it reserves the right to take further
responses. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a 45 percent wage hike for 700,000 public workers ahead of elections on Sunday.
This according to state media amid soaring inflation, everyone is facing what could be its toughest election challenge yet. The opposition has made
fixing the economy a cornerstone of its campaign. The man who drove a vehicle into a group of people near a migrant shelter in Brownsville Texas
on Sunday has been charged with eight counts of manslaughter.
Witnesses tell CNN George Alvarez seemed impaired when he plowed into a group of people killing eight and injuring at least 10. We say Alvarez has
an extensive rap sheet including prior charges of assault and driving while intoxicated.
Staying in Texas, U.S. authorities will launch an enforcement operation today in El Paso, Texas. Its targeting migrants who have crossed the border
but have not been processed yet by immigration officials and it comes as the policy known as Title 42 is set to expire.
U.S. border agents who have used it for more than three years to return thousands of migrants back to Mexico or their home countries during the
COVID-19 pandemic. Now that policy will expire Thursday. And now the U.S. is bracing for a massive influx of migrants.
When Title 42 is lifted migrants will once again be allowed to request asylum in the United States. But they risk being returned home if they
don't qualify for protection. CNN's David Culver spoke to some of them hoping to cross into the United States.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): At the U.S. southern border the struggle is constant, illegal crossings like this one really tough to
watch. Having already clogged through the barbed wire, you can see this young woman frustrated, exhausted trying to help the other trapped in a web
of sharp metal at the Texas border.
From above, you might think they're the only two crossing this day, but the clothes dangling along the miles and miles of fencing, say otherwise. For
many migrants fleeing countries like Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and others, Ciudad Juarez Mexico is the final stop before trying to claim
asylum in the U.S.
CULVER: And they wait in places like this. You can see the sidewalk full of an encampment, different tents.
CULVER (voice over): We've seen thousands flooding the streets and shelters of this Mexican border town. 22-year-old -- her husband and their four year
old little girl have camped out here for three months already.
CULVER: Says they're going to cross, but she doesn't want to do it illegally. She wants to do it the right way.
CULVER (voice over): In recent weeks, the U.S. governments rolled out and updated at CBP one app allowing migrants north of Mexico City to register
digitally for a limited number of interview spots with asylum officers. No one we've talked to has been able to secure an appointment yet -- not sure
she'll ever get one.
She lost her phone in a fire a few weeks back, but she others tell me they've come too far to turn around. Her young daughter carries the marks
to prove it.
CULVER: Says she has some burns still on her face from the sun, from bait on top of the train.
CULVER (voice over): The journey to Juarez from southern Mexico is hundreds of miles, so many ride the rails north. On top of freight trains, we caught
up with one just as it was arriving into Juarez.
CULVER: Migrants right on top here. Many of them have made the journey on this train alone for more than eight hours. He said they were 12 hours on
the train. He said it was so cold. Everything felt like ice. His whole family here and he says now they're going to stay a night get cleaned up
and prepare to cross into the U.S.
CULVER (voice over): But Leonardo's mom is terrified to climb down. Her loved ones at first encouraging, then telling her let's go. Part of the
train journey north for some is on what's called La Bestia, the beast or the train of death, a ride dangerous and deadly and often controlled by
cartels, hours making this treacherous trek is scarring. But imagine days on board.
CULVER: He says they were four days on this trench says horrible really cold. This is four kids, his wife, four and a half days on the train. Well,
he says, it's for the American dream. And they're going to try to cross today.
CULVER (voice over): Another 25 miles under the hot sun to the border from here. Precious cargo carried on shoulders, and in hand. Most end up where
we started at the barbed wire. The added barrier rolled out in recent months by the Texas National Guard. It does not stop the crossings. It does
slow them a bit.
The young woman uses her jacket to create a gap while the other tosses through it bottles of water and a backpack. Their only belongings a quick
hug. And they hurry along likely to turn themselves in to U.S. officials. More will follow.
CULVER (on camera): Those two women ultimately making it into the U.S. Technically, they ended up where the group you see behind me the hundreds
of migrants are gathered. On the other side of the barbed wire on U.S. territory, but before crossing that border wall you see, so they're waiting
to be processed by U.S. officials.
It's interesting now talking to many of the migrants who have made their way to this point, what is the final stage before trying to cross into the
U.S.? And if you ask, if they plan their travels around Title 42 lifting, many of them say no. At this point, it has been too unpredictable to follow
We saw this back in November and in December when we were nearing the deadline. And then it was extended both times up until this date. So at
this point, many of the folks that we are speaking with tell us they're just planning based on their own scheduling and their own hopes, desires
and really determination to make it into the U.S. David Culver, CNN Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
NEWTON: For more on this story, we want to go to CNN's White House Reporter Priscilla Alvarez. And Priscilla, all know how closely you've been
following this border story for years now. And the numbers are surely just sheer staggering numbers at the border right now. Realistically, what do
you tell us about the policy that's in place now and any impact that it might have?
PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, they're staggering, because we're seeing unprecedented mass migration in the western
hemisphere. And that's really that when this COVID era border restriction known as Title 42 ends, we're going back to the same protocols that have
been in place for decades. But the problem for the administration is how doing you use what is by all accounts and by all sides of the aisle an
outdated system for an unprecedented situation.
Now, the Biden Administration is doing two things here. They have short term preparations and long term. In the short term, they're trying to build
up that capacity. They're sending agents to the border, sending troops to the border, as well as trying to bolster their transportation.
And then on the long term, they're setting up those regional processing centers for those that are still traversing through Latin America, so they
can apply to come to the U.S. and also working with Mexico and with other countries in the region to try to stem the flow of migration. But the
administration is getting criticism from the left and the right. Republicans who say they're not doing enough and they do not have a good
handling of the U.S. Mexico border.
And the Democrats who are saying that the administration is relying essentially on Trump era like policies that includes, for example, an
expectation that there's going to be an asylum regulation that will largely bar migrants who have transited through other countries from being eligible
for asylum in the U.S.
It also includes sending non-Mexican nationals, some of them back to Mexico if they do not have a claim of asylum in the United States. So these are
measures that the administration is taking, that they say are necessary to try to manage the flow, but it's getting criticism from the left and the
And as we are seeing there from David Culver and from our reporting, the numbers are already grown going up. A Homeland Security Official telling me
that they're already over 8000 encounters a day, more than 25,000 migrants in custody.
So these issues are already starting. And we're still days away from this restriction expiring. White House officials and administration officials
are ramping up their calls to lawmakers to cities and to stakeholders in anticipation of very challenging days ahead.
NEWTON: Yes and as you've reported, 150,000 likely on the other side of the border already and more to come. And I'm so glad that you and David Culver
and others like Rosa Flores pointed out that there is a humanitarian story behind each and every person that tries to cross that border, they are in
need. Priscilla Alvarez for us, appreciate it.
Now it's still to come. Israel's military is defending itself against a journalism watchdog group here the scathing allegations targeting IDF, and
how Israel is responding.
NEWTON: A damning new report from a press freedom watchdog group says Israel's military has taken no accountability for the journalists it has
killed now the committee to protect journalists released its findings today. Among its claims the Israeli military has killed at least 20
journalists over the past two decades and took no accountability for its actions.
The watchdog group says 18 of those killed by the IDF were Palestinian. In response, Israel's military says it regrets any harm to civilians and does
not intentionally target non-combatants. Joining me now from Jerusalem is Robert Mahoney. He is the Director of Special Projects with the Committee
to Protect Journalists. And I'm glad you can be with us. I mean, if we get right to the facts of this report, right, what have you learned and how did
you arrive at your findings?
ROBERT MAHONEY, DIRECTOR OF SPECIAL PROJECTS, COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS: Well, what we, what we've learned is that Israel sometimes
will launch probes into the killings of journalists, but it takes a long time. And at the end of that probe, that no one is held accountable for
their actions, and no one has ever been prosecuted in the last two decades, these, as you say are mainly Palestinian journalists.
And we need Palestinian journalists to be able to do their work. A day like today when we've had attacks by the Israeli Air Force in Gaza who is going
to bring us the news on the ground from Gaza, it's those very journalists who seem every day to risk their lives when they go out and report.
NEWTON: Yes. And we have seen many times that they put their life on the line and are injured. We, of course, had the tragic death of Shireen Abu
Akleh. And I don't exactly sure what became of that as well. I want to ask you, though, in decades of this conflict, why is it especially dangerous
for journalists, because it has seemed to have become more so in the last few years?
MAHONEY: Yes, the reasons are varied. We saw a lot of journalists died last year in Ukraine, for example, at the beginning of that war, where it was
not clear where the front lines were, and who was shooting at whom. In the case here of the territories, the West Bank and Gaza, it was the killing
last year of Shireen Abu Akleh, the Al Jazeera correspondent that really marked a watershed for many Palestinian journalists.
She was an instantly recognizable face; she brought news to Arab houses around the world. And she has been killed so far with impunity. Shireen was
a U.S. citizen. And so the FBI after pressure has opened an investigation. But we don't know where that is.
And Israel has refused to cooperate with the authorities. We would like the U.S. to give us an update on where we are with that investigation of the
FBI. And to use its best efforts with Israel to get Israel to cooperate, because without that kind of investigation, she will have died with
impunity and impunity is a cancer on independent journalism around the world.
If journalists can't do their job without fearing for their lives, they will often be hesitant to go to stories to cover stories, and to put
themselves in harm's way. So we really want an end to impunity. And this is a perfect example, where we think that we can get to the bottom of the
killing of an American citizen.
NEWTON: Yes. And surely, if there is no accountability for journalists just trying to do their job, there is no accountability for civilians who are
caught up in a lot of this violence who are also not combatant. So I want to ask you, though, where do we go from here?
I mean, you just pointed out so succinctly, the United States had harsh words for Israel, about that journalist desk, but nothing more. I mean,
what can change this?
MAHONEY: Continued, continued pressure and publicity by doing what we're doing now, which is bringing these issues to light. In the case of the
Israeli Palestinian conflict here, these cases go back 20 plus years, and there's been no one has been held to account.
What that does is it has a chilling effect on independent reporting and press freedom. Palestinian journalists are now telling us that they're
thinking twice before going out sometimes to cover assignments. They fear for their own safety. One said if they can kill Shireen, then what about
me? I'm nobody compared to her. So the effects on the quality and the timeliness of the news that we receive are affected by this impunity.
NEWTON: Yes, and we'll have to leave it there for now. But I appreciate the report. And certainly we will continue to follow this. Thanks so much. Up
next for us remember, the mask mandates? I know you do. The hand washing right that scramble to get those precious vaccine shots, how many do we
Dr. Sanjay Gupta will join us to reflect on COVID and the look ahead to what comes next as the world says the COVID emergency is finally out.
NEWTON: Masks, hand washing, tests, vaccines, we have been waiting for this day, right for three years, the date COVID appears over on Friday. The
World Health Organization said COVID is no longer and it is not a public health emergency no longer poses the risk.
And later this week on Thursday, in fact, the U.S. is also due to end its emergency declaration regarding COVID. It has been more than three years.
Yet we all feel it since this started. And we all started using the word pandemic. Here is one of the first times it was added on CNN, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: There are criteria that are somewhat defined to call something a pandemic. And let me just preface
by saying you know, this, this terminology that we're going to start using now isn't so much to cause panic, but rather to really cause a focus on
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: OK, one of the leading voices, I don't have to remind our audience you've been advising us throughout these three years. We rely on you, I
rely on you. Chief Medical Correspondent for us, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, OK, so they're saying this is the end, right. But what does this mean? Are we out
of the woods here?
DR. GUPTA: Well, you know, I think this is a formal end to things. But I don't know that we can say that we're out of the woods yet, either. You
know, the W.H.O. is saying that the public health emergency of international concern is over; the United States is going to say basically
the same thing on Thursday.
The CDC director is stepping down on June 30, so all these things are happening. But to your point, I mean, you know, there's still COVID out
there, and people who are vulnerable, I think, are quite worried about this. For some Paula, this will seem like an arbitrary end to thing. For
others, it'll be like, hey, looking; I thought this thing was over months, if not a year ago.
But let me show you, for example, in the United States, there's still around 77,000 or so cases every week in the United States. But you get an
idea of what has happened there, if you look at that graph, those surges that we've seen over the past few years.
When it comes to hospitalizations, there are still about 1200 people in the hospital right now lower than it has been; the trends are going in the
right direction, but still a lot of people and about 1100 people dying every year in the United States, Paula. So you know if you if you do the
math on that, what you'll see is that about 55,000 people, 54,000 people would die every year from COVID in the United States alone, which is on par
with a bad flu season.
So you know, I've often thought about the country as my own patient. If that were the case, I'd say, OK, we're ready to let you be discharged. But
we got to keep a close eye on things because one of the big concerns is a re-admission. So that's, that's sort of the position we're in now.
NEWTON: Let's get to that risk of re-admission. And I'll say you have a brilliant essay on cnn.com. I want to really have people go to cnn.com. And
read your very thoughtful piece there. And I have to ask you now, we're all thinking about the next one, right? How do we protect ourselves in future
from this experience? What have we learned?
DR. GUPTA: Yes, well, I think there are a few things. First of all, there could be a next one. In fact, just about every epidemiologist that I speak
to about this say that, it will happen again, probably. We don't know when, but probably within our lifetimes. There could be a significant variance
still, which just sort of evades the immunity that people have, either through vaccines or through infection acquired immunity.
So, you know, we've got to be on guard and really be monitoring for it. But one thing I'll tell you, Paula, it's interesting, if you look around the
world, some of the wealthiest countries got hit the hardest. And I think I say that as sort of a preamble to make the point that wealth does not by
health, we knew that the elderly were at risk, but also people with pre- existing conditions were really at risk.
Obesity, for example, puts you at significant risk, having kidney disease, having asthma, things like that puts you at risk. And I say this only to
make the point that we need to be healthier. That is a lesson learned. We need to be healthier, going into what could be another pandemic at some
That goes regardless of whether we're in the middle of a pandemic or not. On a sort of a little bit more optimistic note with what we have now, in
terms of immunity from vaccines, and antivirals as Dr. Fauci and others have said, there is no reason that anyone should get very sick or die from
this virus anymore. We have the technology to prevent that from happening. If you can get immunity and you can get access to these antivirals for
example, my parents are in their early 80s Paula.
I make sure that they have access to things like Paxlovid, because if they get COVID, even though they've been vaccinated, the antiviral really does a
great job of preventing them from getting very sick or dying.
NEWTON: Yes, which is good news, given those ages and the risk level at those ages, Dr. Sanjay, again, a heartfelt thank you. We really relied on
you and I know how hard you worked as an individual to make sure you are getting us the very best and the very latest advice on the pandemic. Dr.
Sanjay Gupta for us thanks so much.
DR. GUPTA: Thank you Paula, thank you.
NEWTON: And thank you for joining us. "One world" with Zain Asher is up next, stay with CNN for more news.