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Palestine Authority Prime Minister and Government Resign; Zelenskyy: "Success Forward will Depend on U.S. Aid"; Biden Versus "Uncommitted" in Michigan Primary; Supreme Court Could Issue Decision on Trump Immunity; Liverpool Beat Chelsea to Take English League Cup. Aired 9-9:45a ET

Aired February 26, 2024 - 09:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: The Palestinian Authority Prime Minister announces the resignation of his government amid escalating

violence in the occupied Palestinian territories and the war on Gaza. It is 6PM here in Abu Dhabi, I'm Eleni Giokos. This is "Connect the World".

And also happening this hour one of Alexei Navalny's closest aides says his team was close to making an exchange deal just before he died. A warning

from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Moscow could attempt a new offensive in a matter of months. The U.S. presidential candidates are

looking ahead to the Michigan primary on Tuesdays.

Nikki Haley vows to stay in the race against Donald Trump. And an improbable wins for Liverpool against Chelsea to take the Carabao Cup.

Right we're keeping a close watch on the markets in New York, they'll open in about 30 minutes from now, as you can see, were slightly in the green

across the board. It was a record setting week, last week we had very strong results from Nvidia and all of that good news really boosting the


We're also expecting a lot of economic data out in the next few days, which will also be market moving. Now moving to news and a new reality in the

Gaza Strip with those words, the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister handed in his government's resignation, the move presumably paving the way

for a new authority to take on a new role after the war between Israel and Hamas.

In December, my colleague Becky Anderson spoke with the Prime Minister at the Doha forum here is what he said about Hamas.


MOHAMMAD SHTAYYEH, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY PRIME MINISTER: I think it's very important that we should all realize that Hamas is an integral part of the

Palestinian political mosaic. And therefore for Israel to claim that they are going to eradicate eliminate Hamas. I think this is something that is

totally it's first of all it is not going to happen and totally is not acceptable to us.


GIOKOS: Right in Doha today, more talks aimed at securing a ceasefire and hostage release. The U.S. says negotiators have the contours of a deal

Hamas hasn't signed on. Israel meantime is looking to what could be the next phase of the war it's hurting plans to evacuate Rafah to more than a

million displaced Palestinians that have sheltered their head of the offensive.

Now we have a lot to get through today. We've got Nic Robertson standing by in Tel Aviv. We've got Alex Marquardt is in Washington for us as well to

take us through these headlines. And I want to start with Nic. Last week, Becky Anderson, my colleagues spoke to Riyad al-Maliki about the need for a

technocratic government. I want you to take a listen to what he had to say.


RIYAD AL-MALIKI, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY FOREIGN MINISTER: It's very important if we are want to talk about a you know technocratic government,

if we want to talk about the rhetorical unity between West Bank and Gaza, if we want to talk about reconstruction, if we want to talk about ceasefire

and the deal to release hostages, we have to talk to everybody, including Hamas.

Otherwise, you know, we cannot achieve all these objectives that we intend to achieve. So it's very important to open up and to find, you know, a

consensus among opens the benefactors about you know, where we want really to go. Not necessarily when you talk about technocratic government, it is

really a technocratic, not nonpartisan kind of government. And that's for sure.


GIOKOS: All right, Nic, what does this mean for governance in the West Bank and what comes next for the Palestinian Authority? And importantly, where

does Gaza fit into all of this?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, I think when you look at what U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, when he came

to the region, and particularly to Israel, at the beginning of January, on the 9th of January, he said that needed to be reformed in the Palestinian


On the 11th of January after having had meetings, he said there was an agreement from the Palestinian Authority for that reform. It's been a big

part of United States pressure on the Palestinian Authority that it needs to reform. When you look at what the United States is laying out which is a

post Gaza war future with a real meaningful path to Palestinian independence to a two state solution.

Part of the envisaged moment of what comes next is a Palestinian governing body that can administer Gaza, as well as the West Bank. So potentially

what we've heard today and it won't happen quickly, and it's two degrees. Some of this is window dressing.


This is a step towards that it is part of the reform of the Palestinian Authority and it is part of the process of moving towards the potential for

a different governing body. What the Prime Minister said in his resignation was that he wants to form or see formed a government of national unity one

that doesn't depend on particular political parties, but one that depends more on competency.

So you can call that technocratic if you're like, I was speaking with a, a well-respected Palestinian pollster in the West Bank, somebody who provides

data to the U.S. State Department and he said, look, right now, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, inside the West Bank has a negative

rating of 92 percent.

The Palestinian Authority, as it stands today, as viewed by many people in the West Bank as corrupt, viewed by many as needing for change. There's the

same pollster said, look, Israel's crackdown on arrests and killings in the West Bank, what it's doing in Gaza is driving up popularity inside the West

Bank for Hamas at the moment.

Hamas is a part of as you heard there, from Palestinian Authority Leaders there as part of the fabric of society. The pollster said, however, if you

had an election outside of wartime Hamas, maybe scoring 30 or 40 percent, but the National Secular leaders, such as those reflected in the

Palestinian Authority, but not them, per se, but those who aspire to national, rather than secular democracy, rather than what Hamas aspires to.

They will still come out the winners, but no doubt about it. Hamas was becoming more popular. So when they talk about Hamas needing to be part of

the fabric of that, well, that gets to the fact that Russia is hosting meetings between different Palestinian groups later this week, and Hamas

will be there and will be part of those conversations.

GIOKOS: Yeah, Nic, very good points there. And of course, it's all about unity, right, Palestinian unity. We've got Alex standing by. And we know

that this Palestinian Authority government resignation is also in some way fitting into the hostage talks that are importantly going on in Doha right


How does this play into the overall narrative that we've been seeing in terms of getting closer to some kind of solution in the interim?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Nic is absolutely right, Eleni, that the U.S. has been pushing for a revitalized

reformed Palestinian Authority. There is a lot of focus here in Washington on what's being called the day after.

And that is essentially what Palestinian governance is going to look like, not just in Gaza and in the West Bank. But the U.S. knows that the only way

to get to that later stage of the conversation is essentially to crack open the door. And to get a hostage deal in place.

A release of hostages would also lead to a pause in the fighting and is during that pause that initially could be at least six weeks long

negotiators say, that would open the door to these conversations that are so important about Palestinian governance later on security, rebuilding,

getting aid into Gaza and all the rest.

There does seem to be progress on those conversations, on those discussions about getting the hostage and truce deal in place. We know that there are

meetings taking place today in Doha that comes immediately on the heels from another set of meetings that took place on Friday in Paris.

And that is a good sign I'm told. The officials who are meeting today in Doha, these are technical teams who are essentially being sent in to work

out the fine details of what an agreement would look like. The meeting in Paris on Friday was a higher level discussion with the CIA Director, his

Egyptian and Israeli counterparts as well as the Qatari Prime Minister.

So this meeting today in Doha is that as at a lower level, but it's incredibly important because this is where they're going to essentially dot

the i's and cross the t's for an agreement. Yesterday, the National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, from the White House said that they do have

what he called the broad contours of a deal, Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right, Alex Marquardt as well as Nic Robertson, thank you so much for that updates. And of course, coming up next hour, we'll have a

powerful piece of reporting by Nic from the occupied West Bank, where the father of a Palestinian-American teenager seeks justice for his son who was

killed by Israeli gunfire.

-- want to stay tuned for that coming up later. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says Israel will increase its strikes on Hezbollah in Lebanon,

even if there is a temporary ceasefire reached with Hamas in Gaza. And just today Israel carried out airstrikes in Lebanon's northeastern city of


The farthest north, it has struck in the country since October 7th. Now three people were injured after a residential building was hit.


And in an act of protest against Israel's bombardment of Gaza, a member of the U.S. Air Force set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in

Washington on Sunday and has died in hospital according to a statement from D.C. Metro Police in a video of the incident obtained and reviewed by CNN,

the man gives his name and says, "I will no longer be complicit in genocide before self-emulating."

One of Alexei Navalny's closest aides says just before he died, his team was close to making a deal to set him free. The claim came on social media

from the head of the late Russian Opposition Leader's anti-corruption Foundation. She says a prisoner swap was in the works involving a Russian

prisoner in Germany.

CNN's Matthew Chance is in Moscow for us. Matthew, of course, this is really important news that we're hearing, you know, imminent freedom,

perhaps for Alexei Navalny. And we've also got some details in terms of what his funeral will look like and whether it will be public. From what we

understand, there will be some public element to that. We just don't know the details yet.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I mean, look, it's an extraordinary twist in the tragedy of Alexei Navalny. His team are

now saying that the when negotiations underway, and they've reached the final stage for him to be released, and the final stages was reached just

before he died the day before.

That's what the Navalny team was saying. As part of a prisoner swap deal, which would have seen Alexei Navalny be swapped along with two U.S.

prisoners most likely Evan Gershkovich to Wall Street Journal has been held in reporter has been holding Russia. And Paul Whelan, a Former U.S. Marine,

he's also been held in prison here in exchange for a Russian national being held in Germany.

Now there had been -- it's not a secret, these negotiations have been underway. And there have been rumors that Alexei Navalny was part of that

negotiation for some months. But this is the first time that Alexei Navalny's team have come out publicly and said yes, this is the case, we

were sort of trying to get Alexei Navalny out, as part of that sort of negotiation between the United States, Germany and Russia.

I've spoken to the Kremlin over the course of the past few minutes. And they said they've got no knowledge of that agreement at all, and so that

they're not corroborating what Alexei Navalny's team is saying and we have no corroboration either from the United States or from the Germans.

But as I say, it is an extraordinary twist. This idea that Alexei Navalny was on the cusp of being released in a prisoner swap only to be pronounced

dead, the next day, it is Arctic prison colony. Well, as you mentioned, there's been some other developments as well, Navalny's team, announcing

that they are intending to hold a memorial service, a farewell service they say by which we assume means the funeral for Alexei Navalny.

At the end of this working week, they're not being specific on which day but obviously, that means Friday, possibly the day before work to get more

specifics soon. What's interesting is that this is going to be a public farewell for Alexei Navalny. And that's a means it could be an

extraordinary focus for possible anti-government protests.

I mean, already, there's been an outpouring of thousands of people paying their respects to Alexei Navalny at makeshift memorials across the country.

This could be another opportunity for people to gather and voice their opposition to what happens to him.

GIOKOS: Yeah, all right, Matthew Chance, thank you so much for that update. Well, a new warning from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who says

Moscow, could attempt a new offensive in a matter of months as the war enters its third grueling year. President Zelenskyy also gave a rare

insight into Ukrainian losses saying 31,000 soldiers have died in the war with Russia.

Now CNN cannot independently verify those numbers. But another potential loss is now front and center for Kyiv as critical American aid hangs in the

balance $60 billion that Ukraine says it needs to keep fighting Russia is stalled in the U.S. Congress. CNN's Kaitlan Collins asked Mr. Zelenskyy

about the importance of that support.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: So you see the difference that U.S. aid makes is what you're saying?

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE: Yes, it means that this year, if we're going to get anything, we will not have any success. And also I --

COLLINS: You don't have any success?

ZELENSKYY: Any new success. And I think the route will be closed with a grain because to defend it, it's also about some ammunition, some air

defense and some other systems. And that's why without it and without we can't count on this --

COLLINS: That was a really stark comment. You're basically saying that there will be no new success for Ukraine if there's no new U.S. aid.

Essentially, this all depends on U.S. aid.

ZELENSKYY: Steps, success forward will depend on U.S. aid.



GIOKOS: All right, Nick Paton Walsh is on the ground in Zaporizhzhia. Aid vital, clearly Zelenskyy making that point very clear. We also know

Ukrainians have pulled back slightly from a village outside of Avdiivka as well, while sending a very strong message clearly to U.S. lawmakers, Nick.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, look I mean, as we hear these consistent warnings from Volodymyr Zelenskyy

about how bleak the next few months look without that $60 billion, which won't even potentially get debated over or even could come to the floor

until later this week in Washington, the bad news continues to mount on the front line.

Now the loss of Lastochkyne which is about three miles northwest of Avdiivka is not in itself, particularly important. But it is a sign that

after Ukraine withdrew under immense Russian pressure from Avdiivka two Saturdays ago the Russian momentum has not stopped. That's something we

were warned about by Ukrainian military officials at the time of the loss of Avdiivka and Russia said it would make hay on its gains in Avdiivka too.

We've seen attempts at that along the front line, no enormous success in the past 10 days, but it is this departure by Ukraine from Lastochkyne.

Some strategists saying, look, this was to some degree likely because the positions that Ukraine has adopted further back are easier to defend.

And essentially, this is just them settling in for a potentially a longer defense. Well, still, I think, unfortunately, it is still bad news

continuing for Ukraine here. And so Volodymyr Zelenskyy, giving that first casualty number we've heard officially of Ukrainian military losses

significantly less than some Western analysis.

And he claimed that Russia had lost five or six times as many soldiers during the fighting here as well, as you say we can't independently verify

it. But Volodymyr Zelenskyy I think really facing a difficult message yesterday as we enter now into the second day of the third year, we are

seeing him trying to desperately reassure Ukrainians that if they don't get American aid, they could still potentially hold on they could still

potentially win.

Because I think he accepts it's very possible that money is not coming. While at the same time sound that fire alarm to Western allies about how

utterly urgent it is. Strikes continuing overnight, relentlessly around the country lives lost over the weekend after relentless strikes around a

desert too. And so the picture increasingly bleak for Ukrainians no less on the front lines themselves, Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right, Nick Paton Walsh, on the ground in Ukraine for us thank you. And you can watch that full interview where CNN's Kaitlan Collins sits

down with President Zelenskyy Monday at 9 pm Eastern Time and that is 6 am Tuesday here in Abu Dhabi. U.S. President Biden has repeatedly framed the

need to support Ukraine as a matter of national security both abroad and at home.

And as pressure builds around that a White House official says President Biden is set to convene the top four Congressional Leaders Tuesday, this

meeting also coming ahead of a potential partial government shutdown at midnight on March 1 if an agreement is not reached.

European farmers are protesting in Brussels over a long list of grievances such as rising costs and regulations impacting their livelihoods. Take a

look at this dramatic scene earlier as farmers burned tires and blocked streets in central Brussels with their tractors. Now similar demonstrations

have been going on for weeks in more than a dozen countries across Europe.

We have live pictures coming through from Brussels right now as you can see, tractors in the streets, tires being burned. Look the protests come as

EU Agriculture Ministers meet today to discuss the economic issues impacting farmers. Right, you're watching "Connect the World" live from Abu


And still ahead Michigan voters go to the polls tomorrow and the last big vote before Super Tuesday. Why some Democrats are vowing to cast protests

votes against President Joe Biden, will explain right after this.



GIOKOS: Donald Trump is a step closer to the U.S. Republican Presidential nomination after winning the South Carolina primary. Trump defeated Former

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley Saturday, winning almost 60 percent of the votes and all but three of the state's 50 delegates.

Despite losing in her home state, Haley says she's not dropping out of the race. The candidates are looking ahead to the Michigan primary on Tuesday.

All parties are voting in Michigan tomorrow. And Democrats will be closely watching a grassroots campaign to get voters to cast ballots for

uncommitted to protest how President Joe Biden has handled the Israel-Hamas war.

Eva McKend is in Grand Rapids in Michigan for us. I want to start off by talking about Nikki Haley holding on despite losing a funder losing to

Trump in terms of her home state, does she have the funds and support to continue on this race?

EVA MCKEND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, she is holding on because she essentially argues that there are still some warning signs for Former

President Donald Trump that his margin of victory is not a mandate that her capturing 40 percent of the vote to his 60 percent in her home state is an

indication that he still has some vulnerabilities with independent voters with moderate voters.

And those are the voters that Republicans will need in a general election. She is losing some donor support. So a powerful group Americans for

Prosperity action that invested more than $4 million in South Carolina on her. Behalf for things like the all-important television ads, they have

pulled back they said that they are going to now invest elsewhere.

But her campaign says everyday Americans still believe in her and she's still getting grassroots donations, upwards of a million dollars. A good

sign for her here in Michigan, though she still faces long odds against the Former President is that it's an open primary.

That means both Democrats and Republicans can turn out and they can decide which primary they want to vote in on the day of and we know, for instance,

that Democrats are supporting her they showed up to her rally here last night in Michigan.

GIOKOS: Yeah. Eva, I also want to talk about Michigan for President Biden, it could be his biggest voting test yet, where Trump, by the way seems to

be holding a narrowly. But what challenge do the uncommitted votes pose for him?

MCKEND: Yeah, this is a real threat to President Biden, because it has the potential to really dole his momentum. You have to realize that Democrats

they rely on a real diverse patchwork of voters in order to pull off victories. And key to that coalition is Arab-American voters.

And essentially due to the war in Gaza, the humanitarian crisis, you have Palestinian-Americans are here in the United States here in Dearborn,

Michigan, who are just saying enough is enough that President Biden is not showing leadership in this hour, and that he should be calling for a


And so to the extent that they can show their voting power, what they are doing is they have engaged in this campaign to vote uncommitted in

tomorrow's primary, and that is essentially to ding the President to really show him the larger Democratic establishment that their votes cannot be

taken for granted that they will not just go along due to the threat of Former President Trump.


And right now they're feeling as though that is all the Democrats are offering them. They're saying, well, President Biden is a better than the

alternative and they say that that is just not a satisfactory response.

GIOKOS: Alright Eva McKend, thank you so much. Classes are back in session at the University of Georgia after a woman was found dead on campus last

week. Police say Laken Hope Riley was killed in a crime of opportunity after she went for a morning jog. Her body was found Thursday near a lake

on campus. Venezuelan migrants has been arrested and charged with murder.

Police say there's no sign the two knew new each other. Student vigil is planned for a few hours from now for Riley and another student who

separately died by suicide last week. A Harvard official has abruptly resigned from a task force created just weeks ago to find and root out

anti-Semitism at the university. The official was a co-Chair of the task force.

Harvard's interim president said the co-Chair wanted to refocus on her research teaching and administrative responsibilities at the university's

Business School. She is being replaced by a law professor. Weeks after a non-binary teenager die in Oklahoma. One of the state's lawmakers has harsh

words for the LGBTQ community. Details just ahead in a live report stay with us.


GIOKOS: Welcome back. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi, and you're watching "Connecting the World". In Oklahoma, a state senator is under fire after

calling LGBTQ plus people filth during a public forum according to a local newspaper that recorded the event. Tom Woods's remarks came during a

discussion on Friday, about legislation targeting the LGBTQ plus community and over the recent death of a non-binary team. Take a listen to what he



SEN. TOM WOODS (R-OK): We're a Republican state supermajority in the House and Senate. I represent a constituency that doesn't want that filth in

Oklahoma. You know, we are a religious state and we are going to fight it to keep that filth out the state of Oklahoma because we are a Christian

state -- we are a moral state.



GIOKOS: Well, CNN has reached out to Woods for comment, and he told them to look with "Daily Press". He stands by his remarks. CNN's Whitney Wild joins

us now from Chicago. Whitney, how are people responding to his statements?

WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is outrage. But as you heard in that audio clip, there was also some applause. Let me

walk through what the context of this was. This was a public event, where audience members have the opportunity to ask questions to lawmakers, to

leaders in Oklahoma, including Republican State Senator Tom Woods.

The woman who asked the questions name is Katie Koch (ph) she's 64-years- old, and she asked about laws in Oklahoma that target people who are LGBTQ plus. In an interview with CNN, she said that she asked what is the

legislature in Oklahoma's obsession with people who are LGBTQ. And she also said that she was concerned that those laws embolden possible violence

against people who are non-binary.

She spoke about a next Nex Benedict 16-year-old student from Oklahoma, who according to body camera video, as well as information that their guardian

provided to the "Independent", which is another news outlet. But we feel comfortable at this point reporting what they have reported, was that Nex

Benedict gotten to a fight at their high school Owasso West High School.

And the next day Nex Benedict died. We don't yet know, in what way the fight might have contributed to Nex Benedict's death. The police at this

point are saying that Nex Benedict did not die of trauma, so certainly many more questions about that. But that was a huge story. And Oklahoma has many

people asking questions. Has many people seeking answers, Katie caught asked about that, mentioned that in her questioning of Republican Senator

Tom Woods.

And which elicited Republican Senator Tom Woods to say that his heart goes out to Nex Benedict's family, but then followed up with what you heard,

which was him saying that they don't want that filth in Oklahoma. So that was the greater context here certainly as the story moves forward, many

more questions about Nex Benedict's death.

CNN is pressing Republican Senator, Republican State Senator Tom Woods for answers about why he said that and pushing for some accountability there.

We have not yet heard back. But as you heard, he's standing by those comments telling the paper is allowing those comments to stand for

themselves, Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right. Whitney Wild, thank you so much for that update. While we are waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to issue its decision on Former

President Trump's request to pause his election interference case, it could come at any moment that federal case in Washington is on hold while the

High Court has been weighing Trump's claim of presidential immunity.

Trump's lawyers want to appeal a lower court's unanimous decision that said presidential immunity did not apply here. That opens him up to charges for

actions he took while he was president. We await word if Trump's request is included in the Supreme Court's other orders being issued now, those orders

usually released at 9.30 a.m. Washington Time.

And we've got Legal Analyst Norm Eisen in Washington standing by for us, Norm, great to have you on. I mean, as we wait to see if this case is

included in SCOTUS's orders today. The big question has been why has it taken so long timing is of course of the essence? Do we read into the

silence and the timing here? And why -- and in terms of what people would say, this is an important case and it's taking a bit of time.

NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: This is the issue of whether President Trump has absolute presidential immunity even to as his lawyers contend send SEAL

Team 6 to assassinate a political opponent. That's not a hard question as it has worked its way up through the courts. The trial court has said no,

the D.C. Circuit the appellate court has said no.

Now we've been waiting on an answer from the Supreme Court. The ways of the Supreme Court are mysterious. We don't know why. It's taking them a while

to just tell us the threshold question, are they going to issue a stay? Are they going to stop proceedings or not?

Some experts say the longer it takes the worse that is for Trump, because it signals the Supreme Court may have decided not to take the case. And the

reason for the delay may be conservative members of the court writing dissents.


But as I say, no one knows what goes on inside that black box, the building with white pillars on Capitol Hill where the Supreme Court meets, we should

find out soon enough.

GIOKOS: Yeah, it's really interesting. I've got the orders list in front of me. It is not on this list in terms of what we're seeing. But we are -- I

mean, you know, there is hope and anticipation that we'll get some kind of news from SCOTUS, but I also want to focus on other big stories. That is,

of course, very important.

It is the case and the issues that have to do with freedom of speech and how U.S. tech firms are dealing with it. And the sort of this to and fro,

who has the right to freedom of speech, and then do the tech firms have the right to take certain things down and does that encroach on their freedom

of speech.

EISEN: This case that has made it now to argument at the Supreme Court is about two statutes. One passed in the State of Texas, and one law in the

State of Florida that essentially say social media companies can't discriminate against conservatives. And no matter how crazy your

conservative message may be, it's simply not allowed to discriminate against them or anyone.

That is an extreme view of the law that the social media companies have no power to decide if something is a terroristic threat, if there is an insane

health advice, inject bleach to fight COVID. So it can't be the case that these social media companies have no ability to make these choices in what

they do and do not put up.

But those are the questions maybe the Supreme Court will find in the extreme cases, the social media companies can act. But is there a middle

ground where they have to give an equal platform, that's what these cases are about.

GIOKOS: Alright, Norm Eisen, great to have you on. Good to see you. Thank you so much for that analysis.

EISEN: Thank you.

GIOKOS: Well, moving on, India's Prime Minister visited and underwater holy sites on Sunday. Narendra Modi donned scuba suits and dove into the Arabian

Sea to pray and meditate at the site where an ancient holy city is believed to have existed. This comes after the Prime Minister inaugurated a

controversial Hindu temple last month, fulfilling a long standing promise in an election year.

A new study confirms what many young people have been saying that they've experienced poor mental health during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The

research shows the rate of prescribing antidepressants to young people in the U.S. between the ages of 12 and 25 spiked during the time period of


Now according to the study just published in the journal "Pediatrics" the dispensing rate shot up nearly 65 percent faster than normal during COVID.

With the dispensing rate increasing 130 percent faster for girls aged 12 to 17. The Biden Administration is considering easing vehicle emissions rules

it proposed in June last year.

Those rules would have required electric vehicles to account for up to two thirds of new cars sold in the U.S. by 2032. Sources tell CNN, the move

would give legacy automakers more time to adapt to competition from Tesla and Chinese EV makers. Environmental advocates say it could be -- would be

a setback in the fight against climate change.

But the United Auto Workers which endorsed President Biden is concerned about how EV mandates would impact their members. And ahead in sports, joy

for Liverpool and their supporters how the Reds managed to pull off a thrilling win against Chelsea and grab a trophy in the process.



GIOKOS: A late goal and improbable win and another trophy for Liverpool which overcame a massive spate of injuries to defeat Chelsea and the League

Cup final. Amanda Davies is here to tell us all about it and of course, exciting stuff right offside goals and then finally and win at the end.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yeah and 11 first team players who were ruled out through injury which led to a really young youthful starting

lineup and substitutes on the bench which got to the point that at full time the average age of Liverpool's players on the pitch was under 22. But

it didn't matter.

They won the League Cup for a record 10th time, but perhaps more importantly for Liverpool their fans and of course, departing manager,

Jurgen Klopp. It's the first of what they hope will be four trophies on what is turning into his farewell tour before he leaves at the end of the

season. But we've got plenty of reaction to the success and look at how it was to come in just a couple of minutes in "World Sport" Eleni.

GIOKOS: Right, Amanda, we'll see you after the break. And I'll be back at the "Top of the Hour".