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Trump Defeats Haley in New Hampshire Republican Primary; Qatar: "Serious Discussions" with Israel and Hamas; Turkey Hosts Iranian President for Official One-Day Visit; Boeing to Pass 737 Production Thursday; U.N. Refugee Agency: Mass Casualties after U.N. Shelter Struck. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired January 24, 2024 - 09:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: It is 6 pm here in Abu Dhabi. I'm Eleni Giokos, and this is "Connect the World". And we're following two

major stories happening this hour. In the U.S. Donald Trump takes a big step closer to securing the Republican Party's nomination for presidents.

And in Russia a military plane carrying 74 people crashes near the border with Ukraine. Russia's Defense Ministry blames Ukraine for donning that


Welcome to the show. And I want to take you first to New Hampshire where Former U.S. President Donald Trump has won that state's Republican primary,

moving him one step closer to rematch with President Joe Biden in November. But much to Trump's chagrin.

His final Republican primary challenger is not giving up. Nikki Haley lost to Trump by about 11 points in New Hampshire and is vowing to stay in the

race with her sights now set on February's primary in her home state of South Carolina. CNN's Omar Jimenez has more from the campaign trail.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Former President Trump victorious in New Hampshire paving the way for him to clinch the Republican

nomination for the third time.

DONALD TRUMP, 45TH U.S. PRESIDENT: When you win Iowa and you win New Hampshire they've never had a loss has never been, so you were not going to

be the first.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): His sole rival Nikki Haley remains optimistic and vows to stay in the race.

NIKKI HALEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: New Hampshire is first in the nation. It is not the last in the nation. This race is far from over.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Haley is still trying to convince Republicans that a shift away from Trump is the best path to victory in November.

HALEY: A Trump nomination is a Biden win and a Kamala Harris presidency. The first party to retire its 80-year-old candidate is going to be the

party that wins this election.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Trump responded during his victory speech lashing out at Haley criticizing her for staying in the race.

TRUMP: Don't get too angry, I get even. We have to do what's good for our party. And she was up and I said well, she's doing like a speech like she

won. She didn't win, she lost.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Haley is now looking ahead to her home state of South Carolina. But her path for the nomination is challenging after losses in

the first two voting states.

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): This election is over. It is time for the Republican Party to coalesce around our nominee.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): The former president also touted his endorsement from South Carolina's Senator Tim Scott.

TRUMP: You must really hate her. Now, it's a shame. It's a shame. Oh, I just love you.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Trump now wants to focus on his rematch with President Biden.

TRUMP: If we don't win, I think our country is finished. I do.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Biden won the Democratic primary in New Hampshire overwhelmingly as a right in candidate and says its clear Trump will be the

Republican nominee.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I believe 2024 is going to be the most important election we've had since 1864. I mean it.

And the reasons are clear. Democracy is on the ballot.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Biden is campaigning on abortion rights and sharpening his message against Trump.

BIDEN: I don't think there's core to the MAGA Republicans have any clue about the power of women in America. I wouldn't have any clue, but they're

about to find out.


GIOKOS: Well, that's CNN's Omar Jimenez reporting for us and everything played out in New Hampshire. And I want to bring in Doug Heye; he is a

Republican Strategist, as well as CNN Political Commentator. He joins us now with his analysis on the race, great to have you on, so much happening

right now.


GIOKOS: I want to take a step back because Donald Trump is the first non- incumbent GOP candidate to win both Iowa as well as New Hampshire in the modern era. Just how significant is this win for Trump?

HEYE: Oh, it's significant. But I'd say Trump has been running sort of as a quasi-incumbent. You know, we talked so much about what Donald Trump's hold

on the party is being able to win these to setting himself up very well for South Carolina means that you know, anybody should be able to say right now

that Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee.

It seems pretty clear. But there's a whole lot that goes into that. I think what we saw with the results from Nikki Haley last night demonstrated that

there's a lot of truth in her argument about Donald Trump's ability to win in November against Joe Biden.


That he would be a weak nominee, that independent voters don't view Trump positively by any stretch of the imagination. And what we saw with Haley's

results is the closest Iowa caucus or at least the biggest result for number two, since George H.W. Bush, beat Pat, pat Buchanan in 1992. That

wasn't a great year for George H.W. Bush. I think for Donald Trump, he has a very difficult path after becoming the nominee to beat Joe Biden moving


GIOKOS: Really important. I mean, you mentioned what Nikki Haley's argument is that can you know, Donald Trump win against Joe Biden. So is it

important for Republicans for Nikki Haley to stay in the race?

HEYE: I think she's demonstrated she's not going to go anywhere, anytime soon. But one of the things we always see is that no candidate says that

they're going anywhere until they actually do. Now Ron DeSantis was fully in until the moment he left the campaign, same with Chris Christie. It's

sort of a time honored political tradition. But we also know that the political pressure on Haley is going to be significant.

We've seen a lot of Republican leadership that hadn't endorsed Trump endorsed him last night. We'll see more of that today. A month is a very

long time in politics. We'll have to see if Nikki Haley can hold out for that month.


HEYE: But it's very clear the argument she's making does have resonance with independent voters.

GIOKOS: Look, you mentioned South Carolina, it is Nikki Haley's you know state. That is the next major primary. She is -- she's behind Donald Trump

at this point in time. Can she rally support between now and then?

HEYE: Honestly, it's going to be very difficult for her to do that. And we've seen, not just Tim Scott, but other South Carolina political leaders

get behind Donald Trump as well. Look, they're going where they think the winner is going to be.

And that looks to be Donald Trump. For Haley, like her course right now is to make that argument over and over again, that Donald Trump is not

electable, that essentially, Donald Trump versus Joe Biden is the resistible force versus the movable object, and not what anybody in America

wants to see.

And then hope that Donald Trump for some reason is not at the top of the ticket, allowing her to step in. The reality though, is hope is never a

political strategy.

GIOKOS: That is also very true. I mean, look, some Republicans have been very critical of Nikki Haley that she should perhaps step aside. We heard

that from Donald Trump as well, you know, he was saying it would get even. It was interesting to hear his comments yesterday. But does she have the

money and the support to stay and to stick this through?

HEYE: That's the critical question, especially because South Carolina is a month away. It's such a long time. I think you're going to see Haley and

her team meeting with donors over the next few days. And you know next week or two, to determine whether or not they're going to do that. Haley made a

$4 million investment spending on TV ads in South Carolina just last week.

But one of the things that we know in politics is, you can reserve the time doesn't mean that you always use the time. If she can resist the political

pressure that she's going to face from everybody from Speaker Johnson on down obviously, Donald Trump as well and have the money to go forward.


HEYE: She's going to be a very big thorn in Donald Trump's side, making an argument that's going to be convincing to a lot of independent voters.

GIOKOS: Doug Heye, great to have you on the show. Thank you so much for your analysis.

HEYE: Thank you.

GIOKOS: And we send CNN's Gary Tuchman to South Carolina to gauge the opinions of Republican voters as the New Hampshire race unfolded in real

time. Take a look.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: With the crucial South Carolina primary a little over a month away, we spent the evening in

Charleston County, South Carolina with 15 Loyal Republican voters watching CNN's coverage of the New Hampshire primary, trying to get an idea of what

they felt about Donald Trump's victory. One of the questions we asked them during our coverage was what they felt about Nikki Haley talking about

quote, age.

And Nikki Haley has been talking about age a lot. Tonight, she talked about the first party to have their eight year old leave the other party, eight

year old leave the race, the other party is going to win. She has also talked about mandatory requirements for 75 or older to have testing. How do

you feel about that? How do you feel about that?

LARRY KOBROVSKY, REPUBLICAN CHARLESTON COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER: I think she was half right. I think that the time of war, we were in the Middle East

and Europe, it's kind of scary when you see the commander-in-chief that you cringe when you don't know if he's going to finish this sentence or not. It

makes -- it gives you a sense of insecurity.

TUCHMAN: You're talking about Joe Biden?


TUCHMAN: So you don't think that's the case of Donald Trump.

KOBROVSKY: Whether you love Trump or don't like him, I don't think anybody could accuse him of having a lack of vigor.

TUCHMAN: What do you think?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you know where Trump stands. The biggest crisis we have --

TUCHMAN: But what do you think about the requirement for 75-year-old? How old are you if you don't mind me asking --


TUCHMAN: You're 80?


TUCHMAN: You look good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. My wife feeds me well.


When I'm taking a front to all this about the age, it's not age with Joe Biden. It's competency. Joe doesn't have it. So it's annoying to hear 80s

to cut off. We have friends who are older, some are 100. And they're doing just fine.

TUCHMAN: 12 of the 13 people on our panel felt Nikki Haley was a good Governor of South Carolina. But notably nine of those 13 think she wouldn't

make as good of a president as Donald Trump.


GIOKOS: Russia is blaming Ukraine for bringing down a military transport plane today. The plane crashed inside Russia close to the border with

Ukraine. A regional governor says there were no survivors. Details about the flight have been murky. Russia is claiming the plane was carrying

Ukrainian military members ahead of a prisoner exchange.

Earlier, Ukrainian sources said it was transporting weapons. We've got Fred Pleitgen on the story for us. He joins us from Eastern Ukraine. Fred, look,

both sides are conducting investigations into this incident. What more do we know?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: hi, there, Eleni. Well, we certainly know that the Russians are blaming the

Ukrainians, but it was around 11.15, they say that this plane was brought down.

And we certainly saw some of that video that has come through on social media showing that plane apparently taking a nosedive out of control,

seemingly also possibly losing part of the plane or part of the plane coming off before it then impacts in the ground and then explodes into a

large fireball with a lot of smoke coming out, as well.

As you've already noted, the governor of that region of the Belgorod region has said that nobody survived that plane crash. It happened north east of

the city of Belgorod, which is one of Russia's main military hubs for its invasion of Ukraine.

Now, the Russians have come out and said that it was the Ukrainian surface to air missile that took the plane down and that the Ukrainians fired it

from an area very close to the Russian border, but on Ukrainian territory.

And they also said as you mentioned that there were 65 prisoners of war from Ukraine on that plane that were supposed to go to a prisoner exchange.

Now, from Ukrainian state media, we did hear that the defense minister of Ukraine apparently believed that there could have been weapons on that


However, there's no confirmation whatsoever, or any hint as to the Ukrainian saying that they actually did take down that plane, the Ukrainian

so far not saying anything at all on that subject. One of the things however, that they do say is they do confirm that there was supposed to be

a prisoner exchange that was supposed to take place today.

And that, that prisoner exchange has been called off in other words, that that prisoner exchange is not going to happen. So, so far, really unclear

what exactly happened, still also unclear who was on that plane. As you've noted, the Russians are saying that they are conducting an investigation.

And the Ukrainians are also saying, look, don't believe anything that the Russians say, and that they are looking into the matter as well.

So all that unclear, however, what we can ascertain is that this was definitely a major incident of big loss of an aircraft also for the

Russians that took place on Russian territory north east of the city of Belgorod, which really has been engulfed into the war in Ukraine. And has

also taken some hits from the Ukrainians as well in the form of drones, but also cross border raids as well, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Fred Pleitgen, thank you. You're watching "Connect the World". And still ahead on the show, Israel issues new evacuation orders for parts of

Gaza. And some say that it is impossible to leave certain areas. And then Israel will no doubt be watching the Iranian president's official visit to

Turkey and that warm welcome as Middle East tensions grow. We'll be live in Turkey just ahead.



GIOKOS: Welcome back. In Gaza, Israel has issued new evacuation orders in Khan Younis, a warning we're about to show you some disturbing images from

inside a hospital there. A medical group says staff and patients at Al Nasser Hospital are unable to leave. Medecins Sans Frontieres or "Doctors

Without Borders" says roads to and from the hospital are either inaccessible or just too dangerous as fighting rages on the dead or being

buried on hospital grounds.

Israel has struck hospital complexes throughout its war with Hamas claiming the militant group operates out of them and uses them for cover. This is

happening amid some news of possible truce negotiations and of course those making many headlines and asking many questions around what that would look

like to break that down for us.

We've got Paula Hancocks with us in studio. Paula, we heard Netanyahu rejected a previous deal potential hostage release. Now we're hearing more

options and proposals on the table. Take us through what you're hearing.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Eleni, what we're hearing from Qatar side is that there are serious discussions ongoing at this point. And

they are pointing out that they are getting constant supplies from both sides, meaning Israel and Hamas are at this point engaged with Qatar. So

Qatar is suggesting different scenarios.

And they say that they are getting the replies from both sides, which is a better place than we were in just recently. From the White House's point of

view, though, they have still said that they don't term these as negotiations at this point. So they're sort of trying to pull us back from

considering this to be a significant step forward.

But what we've also heard from Qatar is that it is very difficult for them to mediate, they say when they have Israeli voices and leaders talking

about not wanting a two state solution, for example.

GIOKOS: I mean the rhetoric has really sort of heated up over the past week or so. And you know, real -- no real news about mediation since the

previous truce expired, you know, beginning of December last year. Is there a sense that we could be close to a breakthrough given Netanyahu is getting

pressure domestically, specifically from hostage families?

HANCOCKS: He has had domestic pressure all along, but we are seeing more anger. Now we are seeing a lot of these hostages go into different

governments to try and get their support to pressure Benjamin Netanyahu as well. I think that the point at this point is that with the prime minister

saying that he's not going to go for a two state solution, Qatar is saying publicly that makes their job extremely difficult.

But what they say is seeing from the White House point of view, one person familiar with the phone call between President Biden the U.S. President and

Benjamin Netanyahu last Friday was that, that Netanyahu had said he has not foreclosing the possibility of a two state solution.

So we're seeing different terminology now used by President Biden by U.S. officials, talking about the demilitarized state of Palestine, we've heard

the Egyptian President type that as well. So everyone is trying to tiptoe around the fact that this will not be a completely sovereign Palestinian

state. And that is really the crucial stumbling block when it comes to trying to negotiate hostage releases.

The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said there has to be a two state solution for the neighboring countries to want to have relations with

Israel for there to be a peaceful Middle East. It all hinges on this. But when you have the leader saying it's not going to happen, it makes it very

difficult for anything else to happen.

GIOKOS: Yeah, because we were thinking about what is you know, post war Gaza look like and that's what it basically comes down to it with these

negotiations. Paula, great to have you on the story, thank you so much. Paula Hancocks is for us here in Abu Dhabi. And the U.S. has carried out

airstrikes targeting an Iranian backed militant group in Iraq.

One fighter is reported killed. Two others injured. The U.S. Defense Secretary calls Tuesday's strikes a direct response to attacks on U.S. and

coalition personnel in Iraq and Syria. They follow a weakened attack on a U.S. military base in Iraq that left four U.S. soldiers with traumatic

brain injuries.


And the Iraqi government spokesperson says the U.S. airstrikes are undermining years of cooperation between the two countries. A big

turnaround from Hungary, Budapest now saying it support Sweden's bid to join NATO. This comes after the Turkish parliament voted to approve the

Nordic countries membership request.

Like Hungary's prime minister, Turkey's president had originally objected to Sweden joining the military alliance. Now there appears to be no

obstacles to Sweden joining. And I want to go now live to Turkey, where we're also watching today's official visit from Iranian President Ebrahim

Raisi, a lot to cover. We've got our Scott McLean tracking all of this for us from Istanbul, Scott, great to see you.

I want to start off with Sweden, one step closer to joining NATO. Basically Erdogan had been one of the biggest roadblocks for Sweden. Now this

parliamentary vote really opens the door for the country.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's right Eleni. Look, Sweden has been waiting for this for some 20 months now. And it has had to jump

through some serious hoops as well. It has changed its constitution. It's changed its laws, it has agreed to back the Turkeys a bid to join the

European Union, all in an effort to allay Turkish concerns that Sweden is sheltering what Turkey views as Kurdish terrorists inside of its borders.

Now, that hurdle was cleared actually last summer when Turkey agreed to send or when President Erdogan agreed to send this issue to the Turkish

parliament. But then it was delayed for months and months until this point, when yesterday, this was overwhelmingly passed in the Turkish parliament.

The Turks had been holding out on one more issue beyond anything that they had to work out with Sweden, and that is the sale of F-16 fighter jets from

the American, something that they have put together, say President Erdogan previously saying that he would like to sign this bill into law at the same

time, as the U.S. is approving the sale of these jets.

The U.S. has never put them together. Obviously Turkey feels differently. And yesterday, we heard from the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations

Committee, who holds a huge sway in whether or not these jets actually get sold that it doesn't seem like Ben Cardin is in a huge hurry, listen.


SEN. BEN CARDIN (D-MD): They have indicated before that they were going to move on this. So we want to see the session documents completed. We hope

that's the case today. So we're going to wait to see whether in fact, we get the notifications that are required under NATO.


MCLEAN: So Eleni, technically, the bill still requires President Erdogan's signature, it has to be published in the official gazette of new laws that

is expected to happen. And if it does, it is a huge trust test for Turkey, trusting that the White House will actually deliver on what it says they

would like to have the sale of F-16 fighter jets approved. So there's a trust test between those two countries.

When it comes to Hungary, obviously, as you mentioned a huge 180 coming from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Just yesterday he was inviting

the Swedish prime minister to his country to start negotiations on its NATO ascension. Suddenly now after a phone call with the NATO Secretary General

Jens Stoltenberg something, I don't know what, something has changed between the two men.

Because now Orban is saying that he agrees that Sweden should become a member of NATO and he will work with the parliament to make sure that

happens as soon as possible.

GIOKOS: Yeah. Look Iranian President in Turkey at a time where Iran is striking various targets in the region. And look, there have been fears of

wider spillover. What can you tell me about this meeting?

MCLEAN: Yeah, this meeting has been delayed twice before at a time when of course dialogue is needed more than ever in the Middle East. You mentioned

it already overnight, the U.S. struck targets belonging to Iranian linked groups in Iraq in response to Iranian backed militias in Syria and Iraq and

increasingly targeting U.S. interest there.

Ebrahim Raisi, President Raisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan see eye-to-eye on the need to increase economic ties. They also see eye-to-

eye on their criticism. -- of course, President Erdogan has been one of the staunchest critics of Israel, calling Israel a terrorist state and even

comparing Prime Minister Netanyahu to Hitler.

But after that, that's where things start to diverge somewhat. That's because Erdogan has never been willing to match the rhetoric on Israel with

actual sanctions or cutting off Israel economically. I even spoke to his chief adviser on Foreign Affairs who said last month that look; there is no

plans for sanctions. They don't see this as a state-to-state issue.


But it was just today Eleni that Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini is saying that Muslim countries should cut off Israel politically and

economically. The argument is that, look, Israel is not going to end this war on its own. And so it needs to be pressured into doing so.

Iran has also used this conflict in Gaza as a chance to embolden its proxy groups Hezbollah, in Lebanon; you have Houthis in Yemen taking aim at

shipping. And as I mentioned, the Iranian backed militias in Syria and Iraq taking aim at a U.S. interest there.

The Turks, on the other hand, have tried to sort of bring down the temperature trying to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, rather than a widening

conflict across the broader Middle East Turkey even trying to bring down the temperature between Iran and Pakistan, two friendly countries after

they exchanged missile strikes in each other's country so we are waiting on a press conference between the two men.

They're meeting right now. And so we're hoping to hear more on what they -- what common ground they might be finding here, Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right, Scott McLean, great to have you on. Thank you. And it's been about start to the year for China's stock market. But now the

government says it has big plans to turn things around. More when we come back.


GIOKOS: Welcome back. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi and you're watching "Connect the World". China is getting creative as it tries to bounce back

from a significant stock market dive. It's promising it will continue to open up with $64 trillion financial industry to foreign investors. It's

also vowing to pump more money into the economy.

We've got CNN's Anna Stewart with us right now. And of course, it's been an interesting time all eyes on China and the fact that it's looking to pump

more money into the markets. But frankly, overall in the U.S. in pre-market trade, we saw some of the biggest moves, everyone really focused on


And then of course you've got the sort of shadow of China, really worrying the markets and market participants about what is going to happen to the

demand prognosis there.


ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's been really interesting. And actually, the story today continues from what we were talking about

yesterday, really, in terms of measures that Beijing is looking to introduce to try and bolster confidence, I guess, in China's financial

markets. And we were saying yesterday, is this going to be piecemeal? Or is this going to be a consistent approach?

And we've had another measure today with Beijing saying that they are essentially looking to improve liquidity in the markets by -- having the

reserves that Chinese banks need to keep that should of course improve lending. That will be key for certain issues like the real estate sector,

which is still of course undergoing restructuring, like some of the high debt levels that local governments held. So that is part of the story.

But I think we need to see more of these measures if they're actually going to make any kind of long term sort of impact. If we look at the stock

indices actually, the HANG SENG is up 3.6 percent. So it does seem to be looking like it's holding on to some of those gains. But I think one to

watch for the months to come, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Absolutely. Another story that I'm just really focused on is just some of the layoffs that we've seen the consolidation within the media

industry. And what this basically signals for the sector?

STEWART: We've actually had a number of job stories today, never really a fun one to report on, I have to say. Software firm SAP, a big German group

have announced that they aren't restructuring 8000 jobs due to AI and all the changes that's going to make to their company. Now, interestingly, that

doesn't actually mean 8000 job losses, they are actually looking at retraining staff as well as offering redundancy program.

So that's an example of AI yes, definitely changing the structure of the workforce within a company. But possibly by the end of the year, they think

that kind of headcount in terms of workforce will be about the same. "L.A. Times" laying off 115 journalists, this is more of a money story. This is

about the financial issues that newsrooms all around the world are facing in terms of revenue streams.

That's about 20 percent of the newsroom that they are losing, it has been called something of a bloodbath and then eBay losing 1000 employees as

well. That's where -- 10 percent of full time staff. And actually tech is being pummeled in this area. According to our website, Layoffs. FYI, almost

11,000 employees have been laid off across 63 companies so far this year, and we're not even through the first month, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes. OK, so markets have just opened in New York. Let's take a look to see how the Dow is doing right now. Anna, stay with me. We're up around

-- three tenths of a percent on the Dow Jones. The NASDAQ also in positive territory, you'll go green all round. And then I was just looking some of

the biggest movers drive.

We know that there are big focus on earnings and then Netflix shares surging more than 10 percent. It added more than 13 million subscribers in

the fourth quarter, incredible. I mean, this is sort of the argument in terms of the streaming service to speak into some of the you know, what

we've been seeing overall in the media industry, the way people are consuming their content, it is definitely one to watch.

Although, you know, we go to Netflix to watch some of our favorite shows to binge, watch. We need do that as well.

STEWART: Well, also now WWE rule, you'll be able to watch that Eleni, I'm sure that's one of your top favorite live shows to watch, right?

GIOKOS: Absolutely not, Anna, movie documentary go, OK? OK, then just lastly, on the Federal Reserve and what we're expecting later this year, I

know that the probabilities of a rate cut are somewhat diminishing. There's big concern about inflation creeping in specifically with what we've been

seeing in the Red Sea and what oil prices are going, what have you been hearing?

STEWART: Well, it's going to be an interesting one. This week, of course, very much earnings driven in terms of what we're seeing on the stock

market. I think next week, focus will probably shift once again to the Fed. And what we're going to see for the following year? I mean, it baked in

really to expectations at this stage are three quarters of a percent in terms of cuts through the end of the year.

Whether or not that is over optimistic is going to be an interesting point for economists. And I do wonder whether the longer we see sort of issues

around the Red Sea and whether that feeds into the global inflation picture, whether that changes some of those expectations.

GIOKOS: Anna Stewart, always great to have you on, thank you so much for that analysis. And a six day strike by train drivers is underway in Germany

and is expected to bring widespread disruption. The GDL union is asking to cut drivers working hours from 38 to 35 hours per week at full salary.

The state owned Train Operator Deutsche Bahn says it will compromise. However it's calling the Union and its demands irresponsible. Airplane

manufacturer Boeing says it will pause production of its 737 model on Thursday. The quality stand down will take place at Boeing's Renton

facility so that employees can be given further training. It's the first of several standards scheduled by the company as all it cites in the coming



Boeing has come under close scrutiny lately, ever since an incident where a door plug failed on one of its 737 Max 9 models during a flight. And

government investigation focusing on the quality control problems at Boeing is ongoing. Well, let's get you up to speed on some of the stories that are

on our radar right now.

A 29-year-old man is facing dozens of charges of murder in connection with a fire that killed 77 people in South Africa. It happened last year in

August -- in a five storey building and was one of the worst disasters in Johannesburg in living memory. He is now facing arson charges as well as 76

counts of murder and 120 counts of attempted murder.

At this hour lawmakers in France are debating whether to enshrine access to abortion in the French constitution. The proposal was approved in committee

and would offer woman a guaranteed freedom to end pregnancies. The vote is expected next week. And the bill is expected to pass.

China and now we have reestablished diplomatic relations after the Pacific island nation unexpectedly severed ties with Taiwan after the island's

recent election. And what seen as a major coup for Beijing, the foreign ministers of both countries made it official on Wednesday at the signing


Ahead in sports, the thrill of victory for a team whose people are in the middle of war, what the Palestinian national team did at the Asian Cup that

they've never done before. That's all coming up.


GIOKOS: Welcome back. And we have some breaking news out of Gaza. The United Nations Relief Agency in Gaza reporting mass casualties after a

strike on building housing tens of thousands of displaced people. The agency's director says safe access to and from the center has been denied

for two days.

We've got Nic Robertson on this for us. He's been following the story from Tel Aviv. Nic, take us through what you've heard.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, it appears that this mass casualty event involves a building where a large number of people

have been evacuated displaced from other areas of Gaza over the past weeks and months.

They've accumulated in this building and this building like the nearby two hospitals Al Nasr and Alma Hospital that are nearby have fallen inside of

zone that the Israeli Defense Force have told local residents to clear out of.

The people inside those hospitals and inside that school say they haven't been able to leave that area because it's been too dangerous. A resident

inside the U.N. camp that has been struck describes a situation where there are tanks right outside this camp where all the displaced people are, this

building where all the displaced people are.


And that there are many casualties with people with shrapnel wounds. We don't know and don't have an assessment yet, from local health officials

inside Gaza, how high the casualty toll might be. But this is the U.N. often writes about the deteriorating health situation about the impacts on

some of their facilities, supposedly safe facilities for displaced people to be in.

But this does sound like they are really raising the alarm on this particular situation as we try to get details. But this is an area that

over the past sort of 48 hours has been the focus of a large uptick in the IDF offensive around Khan Younis. The IDF just today said that they have

surrounded Khan Younis that their military units -- the Givati brigade and others have taken out terror cells.

So they're found weapons storage sites, why they are focusing on this area around this large displaced persons refuge. And this U.N. building and

around the hospitals is not entirely clear, but it has been drawn drawing greater and greater concern. Because the medical facilities are not able to

cope, then the doctors are not there in numbers in the hospital. And people have not been able to flee and get out of harm's way as they've been

instructed to.

GIOKOS: Nic Robertson, thank you very much for that update. And just repeat this is of course breaking news just coming in. According to UNRA, there

were mass casualties after a UN shelter was struck in Khan Younis. We've been seeing intense fighting in that region and we've been covering the


And of course we'll give you an update on this. And of course as we've been giving your insight into what Palestinians are dealing with inside of Gaza,

there's a lot happening outside of Israel as well, a first for the Palestinian national football team.

As war rages back home the team scored the first ever one at the Asian Cup moving them on to the next round. Andy Scholes is here with more. Andy,

incredible win by the Palestinians and I have to say the crowds really in support of this team.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yeah the crowd there in Qatar Eleni was definitely behind this Palestinian team. And you know as they go through

such just a terrible time back at home the team there in Qatar giving the people back home, just something to smile about. And you see how much this

game and this win meant to them. They beat Hong Kong 3-0 their first ever win in the Asian Cup.

And now they're moving on to the knockout stages for the very first time. So you know the team obviously heavy hearts and a lot to think about, but

with just an incredible win there in Qatar.

GIOKOS: Indeed with all the news that's coming out of Gaza absolutely. Andy Scholes for us thank you. I'll see you after the break and I'll be back at

the "Top of the Hour", stay with CNN.