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Chaos in Haiti; Trump Claims Jews Who Vote Democrat Hate Israel; Qatar Says Current Round of Cease-Fire Talks Has Ended; Famine Imminent in Northern Gaza; Royal Rumor Mill; India Home to 83 of World's 100 Most Polluted Cities. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired March 19, 2024 - 10:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is CONNECT THE WORLD.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Welcome to our second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Bianca Nobilo in London.

Haiti in freefall. We will take you inside the crisis where order has all but collapsed.

Also famine stalks Gaza. The U.S. secretary of state just said 100 percent of the population does not have enough to eat.

Then Donald Trump provoking backlash after he said Jews who voted for Democrats, quote, "hate Israel."

And everyone who asked where's Kate can now see her in broad daylight. But this video is still not satisfying everyone. Details ahead.


NOBILO: Violence and lawlessness in Haiti is reaching a terrifying level as gangs try to expand their power in the Caribbean nation. CNN's David

Culver was the first major network journalist on the ground in Port-au- Prince after the gang uprising escalated weeks ago.

In this report, he shows us how the battle for power has turned Haiti's capital into a war zone.


DAVID CULVER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Port-au- Prince feels post-apocalyptic.

CULVER: This is basically the aftermath of a war zone.

CULVER (voice-over): Driving through the battlegrounds between gangs and police, we dodge massive craters and piles of burning trash. The police

controlled these roads leading to Haiti's international airport, for today at least. It's been shut for weeks.

Out front, checkpoints to search for suspected gang members. And an armored truck to keep watch. It sits beaten and battered.

Less than a month ago, we flew in and out on commercial flights here, now it's desolate. The country is in chaos, essentially held hostage by gangs

eager to expand their reign of terror.

Over the weekend, more businesses looted and cars stolen. Gangs leaving behind a scorched path of ruin. We're headed to one of the last remaining

hospital trauma centers that's still functioning in Port-au-Prince.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: February 29th was probably the worst.

CULVER (voice-over): As soon as we meet one of the doctors, a call comes in.

CULVER: Go ahead if you need to get it.

CULVER (voice-over): A gunshot victim heading into surgery. He takes us to him.

CULVER: Most of those cases that are brought here are gunshot victims from the gang violence.

CULVER (voice-over): With the patient's family giving us permission, we go in as staff prepare to operate. We're told the 24-year-old truck driver was

caught in the crossfire between police and gangs.

CULVER: The doctor is showing me here images that are very disturbing but they show an entry wound of a bullet, basically, around the temple and went

right through. It caused damage to at least one eye.

CULVER (voice-over): The doctor tells us the man's lost vision in both eyes. Another bullet hit his arm.

CULVER: And so, they will have to amputate his arm?



CULVER (voice-over): Yes, we peer into the ICU, it's full.

CULVER: Are most of these gunshot victims?


CULVER: All of them are?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's in pain. She feels the pain in her leg.

CULVER: And so, how did it happen?

Where were you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was going to the market.

CULVER (voice-over): 86 years old. A reminder no one is shielded from the violence that's gripped Haiti's capital in recent weeks.

Police are exhausted. One local commander telling me morale is broken and that the gangs have more money and resources than they do. Low on ammo.

Their squad cars out of gas. It is personal for the commander.

CULVER: He was forced out with his family from their own home and now this is his home, essentially.

CULVER (voice-over): The police, at least in this community, do have backup in the form of local residents. CULVER: Do you feel like gangs are

trying to move in and take this area?


CULVER (voice-over): While many community leaders call for peace, they admit they're tired of feeling threatened. So much so, some have created

their own checkpoints and barricades, staffed 24/7, redirecting traffic and determining who comes in. Not everyone gets out.

CULVER: You can see right here at this intersection, there's a massive burn pile. This is actually where the community takes justice into their

own hands. About a week ago, it's the most recent such case, they captured four suspected gang members. They brought them here, killed them with

machetes and set their bodies on fire.

CULVER (voice-over): The gruesome vigilante acts recorded in part as a warning to the gangs.


But even amid utter turmoil, life moves forward and with it, moments to celebrate.

Outside a church, these bridesmaids excitedly awaiting their cue to walk down the aisle. Port- au-Prince is a city now shattered by the relentless

blasts of violence that have forced more than 300,000 of its residents out of their homes.

CULVER: Where are you staying here?

Where's your home in this facility?

Right up there?

CULVER (voice-over): They take refuge in places like this school. Classrooms turned dorm rooms, where more than 1,500 people cram in.

CULVER: So she's showing us, this is all her stuff --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That her, stuff, yes.

CULVER: -- that she's been able to bring. And this is where she is set up right now.

CULVER (voice-over): In the classroom next door, we meet this woman. Her husband killed by gang members. She and her five-year-old, like many here,

have been forced to move every few weeks.

We're sleeping and hungry. We're in misery, she tells me. We'd probably be better off dead than living this life.

CULVER: Adding to the complication for those folks is the reality that they are not only facing threats from gangs. But as they describe it to me,

they're also being ostracized from the communities in which they are now essentially camping out in.

They say those neighbors don't want them there and will likewise attack them because they feel like having these refugees now within their

community is drawing the gang's attention and potentially bringing more violence to their homes -- David Culver, CNN, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.


NOBILO: Let's bring in Widlore Merancourt. He's the editor in chief of AyiboPost and reporter covering Haiti for "The Washington Post" as well.

Thank you so much for joining us today. Let's begin with the latest situation on the ground. I was reading this morning that over a dozen

people were dead in the latest spate of violence.

What is it like at the moment?

WIDLORE MERANCOURT, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, AYIBOPOST: Well, I mean, as reported, an extremely dangerous situation, very difficult to know. Close to where

I'm living downtown, the city this morning, I can see many dead bodies.

I can't give you an official tally. And this is what Haitian people are living every day in so many neighborhoods. Where the gangs operating in

order (ph) population is churning to fight back in a context where, when the Haitian national police is under arms and when if -- it's ineffective.

NOBILO: I'm so sorry that you are living through this and for everyone in Haiti who's having to endure it.

When you say that the people try and fight back, what options are available?

MERANCOURT: Well, it is known that the Haitian national police in the past decades, supported by multiple institutions, including the U.S. and Canada,

was unable (ph) to provide some sense of safety to the people.

And in the last year, at least 800 Haitian national police left the institution. And we are in such a dire state, where the Haitian population

living in the capital, Port-au-Prince, have to take things into their own hands in so many neighborhoods.

If you go now today, you will see barriers being erected by people and local vigilantes behind these barriers are trying to do what they can. If

the gangs comes and attacks, they will resist in any way they can. And this is another example, another illustration of the total collapse of the

formal institutions in Haiti.

We have to remind you that the justice system is not working properly. The executive branches that, properly constructed, you don't have a legislative

branch. We have zero elected officials today in Haiti.

And last -- yesterday, the central bank, for instance, was attacked, was in the middle of a gang attack. So this is -- the last standing institutions

are collapsing and the population is left by itself to do what it can to survive basically.

NOBILO: You're a journalist and editor in chief.

How freely do you feel like you can report on what's going on?

Are there any reprisals for covering this and the tragedy and the violence that you're seeing?

MERANCOURT: Well, it's an important question. I mean, when you're reporting from Haiti, when you're living in Haiti, it is not the same as

reporting from the world (ph).


Or taking a plane or the helicopter and come here. The story that I'm reporting is also my story, and my team, for instance, in the last couple

of months, I had to take shelter for so many of our employees.

And even today, I'm speaking to you. I have employees blocks (ph) in place where the gangs are clashing with the police and the gangs telling the

Haitian population to keep their doors open.

So if they have to come and use them as human shields, they can use them. And I'm talking four colleagues of mine that we are concerned about. And it

is extremely difficult to report when such circumstances, not just as a journalist but as a regular Haitian, as a regular human being.

And coming into your streets and seeing bodies laid down there and it -- also seeing -- talking to some humanitarian people, telling you that the

amount of suffering that they are seeing, the dire situation of humanitarian needs and the assistance that they are receiving, there is a

huge gap. And it is difficult. I'm going to admit.

NOBILO: A huge amount of responsibility on your shoulders as well, trying to keep your team safe in those circumstances. Widlore Merancourt, I wish

that we had more time to speak. I'll continue to follow your reporting closely. Thank you so much for joining us.

MERANCOURT: Thank you.

NOBILO: Joining us now is an American missionary, who's trapped in Haiti amid the ongoing violence. Natalie Cross is with a program called Mission

of Grace and is currently in the south of Haiti.

Natalie, thank you so much for being with us today. Tell us what you've been witnessing in the country.

Do you feel safe at this moment?

NATALIE CROSS, AMERICAN MISSIONARY, MISSION OF GRACE: Yes. I am very safe where we are. We have been working with Mission of Grace, who has been --

they're based out of Carries. And so they had to move their orphans, over 200 children, up into the mountains where they're safer.

Where they originally were, there, the gangs were fighting. They were in the crossfire. So the kids were scared. They were hearing the bullets. The

bullets were falling onto the roofs of their -- they were hiding under beds and crying.

So Mission of Grace was able to safely move them up into the mountains. And that's why Barry and I originally came, was to help with that transition

for those kids and to put them in new homes and to make them safe.

But we were supposed to leave on March 8th. And we are still here. We've spent the last three days trying to get out and to be picked up. And so

we're just continuing to wait. But where we are, it is safe and calm.

NOBILO: I'm glad to hear that, Natalie. And Barry is also with you.

Let me ask you, Barry, I believe that you were both originally scheduled to fly out of Haiti back to Florida more than a week ago.

Is there any timeline for when you might want to be able to leave?

BARRY KALINSKI, VOLUNTEER, MISSION OF GRACE: We're just waiting day by day. There is an organization trying to get us out right now but it's not -

- half of us got out. But me and Nat are the last ones to get out from our group. So we're just waiting patiently and hope it might come true today.

But we don't know. We have no confirmation yet.

NOBILO: Barry, what options are available for Haitians if they feel unsafe and they need to leave the country?

KALINSKI: I'm not sure if there's very many options for Haitian people to leave the country right now.

NOBILO: Natalie, tell us more about the work that you're doing for Mission of Grace. You're serving an orphanage that was originally in Haiti but had

to relocate, what was originally in Carries in Haiti but it had to relocate because of the violence.

CROSS: Yes. So Mission of Grace, they have over 200 orphans. We have probably close to 50 elderly that they care for and some different

programs. The soup kitchen in Carries is still operating and a medical clinic.

So like I said, we were here to help situate the children, to get them in a safe environment. They definitely have been traumatized from hearing all

the bullets and everything. But now they're in -- at a safe place, where they can just be children again

But the unrest is definitely going to be affecting them. Right now supplies are hard to get up in the mountains. And so ... and what they can get is

very expensive.


CROSS: So feeding (ph) all of those, we had some gardens that were able to use and to be able to continue to use to feed all of those and help with

the school and things like that. But the basics, grace (ph) and medicine and things like that are getting very expensive.

NOBILO: And when you hear stories and see reports about the violence that's going on in Port-au-Prince and your mind goes to the children, the

young people who were there, what are your immediate concerns about them living through this?

CROSS: I mean, I could hear the report earlier of some of the things in Port-au-Prince. It just -- it saddened me because this isn't -- you got to

take the politics out of it and think about the humans.

These people, like they said, they're innocent. They don't have anything to do with the government. They don't have anything to do with any of the

conflict. They are just trying to live their lives. While we were there, life and death still is going on. We had -- a young mother gave birth just

1.5 weeks ago. She was only 23 years old.

She gave birth to twins and passed away. And so the father brought the infants to us and asked for Mission of Grace to care for them. So now we

have two brand new babies that we are now looking for formula and diapers and things like that. So, yes, the violence is horrible but life doesn't

stop. They still need the basic needs in other areas.

NOBILO: Life does not stop. Natalie and Barry, thank you very much for taking a few minutes to speak to us today. The work that you do is so

selfless and vital. We really appreciate hearing from you.

CROSS: Thank you.

KALINSKI: Thank you

NOBILO: Catastrophic levels of hunger and imminent famine in northern Gaza, those are the latest sobering assessments from a new United Nations-

backed report on conditions in Gaza, 5.5 months into the Israel-Hamas war.

And today the top U.S. diplomat is weighing in with his own warning. Secretary of state Antony Blinken speaking from the Philippines.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: A hundred percent of the population in Gaza is at severe levels of acute food insecurity. That's the

first time an entire population has been so classified.


NOBILO: Blinken's comments in Manila come as he prepares to head to Saudi Arabia and Egypt to discuss progress toward an Israel-Hamas ceasefire.

Jeremy Diamond is connecting us this hour live from Jerusalem.

Jeremy, what more can you tell us about these dire warnings when it comes to famine and the pressure from the international community?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's, of course, very notable to hear the secretary of state put things in such stark terminology, noting

that it is the first time that an entire population has been classified in that way, facing severe levels of acute food insecurity.

Of course, this comes on the heels of a report released yesterday by the leading global authority on food insecurity that said that half of Gaza's

population is now on the brink of starvation.

Famine in northern Gaza is imminent, could come anytime between now and the beginning of May, with some experts indicating that famine may have already

arrived to parts of northern, Gaza where we know that hundreds of thousands of civilians have been struggling to obtain just the very basic


Amid all of this, we saw yesterday that the Israeli military began conducting a very dramatic and significant military operation at Al-Shifa

Hospital, which they say is now being used once again by Hamas militants.

The Israeli military saying that their troops are still operating at that hospital. They claimed to have killed over 50 militants and apprehended

approximately 180 suspects, they say.

But civilians on the ground, including one medical student who spoke with us, described the severe impact that this military operation is having on

the thousands of civilians who have been sheltering at that hospital as well as on the patients as well.

This medical student told us that anyone moving on the hospital grounds, they said, will be targeted by snipers and that doctors at the facility are

unable to go out and treat the injured.

All of this, of course, ramping up the importance of these ceasefire and hostage negotiations that are currently underway in Doha, Qatar. An Israeli

delegation headed up by the Mossad director left Qatar after one day of negotiations.

That is not a sign, though, that these talks are falling apart. A technical team is still on the ground and the next step now is for Israel to submit

its counterproposal, some cautious optimism being voiced by the mediators involved.

NOBILO: Jeremy Diamond, thank you so much for your reporting.

Still to come on the show for you, we will be speaking more about Gaza's freefall into famine with a World Food Programme official, who says his

teams on the ground are witnessing heartbreaking levels of helplessness.


And what Donald Trump is saying about Jewish voters in the U.S., that is sparking outrage from Democratic lawmakers.




NOBILO: Donald Trump's latest comments on America's Jewish voters are sparking outrage from Democratic lawmakers. The presumptive Republican U.S.

presidential nominee spoke out during a right-wing podcast.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Any Jewish person that votes for Democrats hates their religion. They hate everything about Israel and they

should be ashamed of themselves because Israel will be destroyed.


NOBILO: Trump also attacked Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer for his criticism of Israel's prime minister. Schumer tweeted that Trump is making

highly partisan and hateful rants that hurt the U.S.-Israeli relationship.

One Democratic congressman was far more blunt. Dean Phillips told Axios that Trump's comments were quite revolting, repugnant, and reprehensible.

For more on this, I want to bring in CNN Politics senior reporter Stephen Collinson, he is live for us in Washington.

Stephen, were you surprised by the comments that Trump made, given previous remarks that he might have made on the conflict in Gaza and relations

between Israel and the United States?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Not really. I think this is symptomatic of the increasing extremism of Trump that we're seeing play

out every day again in American life.

Now he is the presumptive Republican nominee, as we did during his presidency, I think it shows the transactional nature of his mind. It is

obviously extremely offensive to many American Jews, the idea that, because they follow the Jewish faith they should therefore accept all of the

actions that a right-wing government in Israel has taken.

Even if those actions were as a result of a terror attack, a heinous terror attack on Israel itself, that attack and subsequent events have really

caused a lot of soul searching for American, the American Jewish community.

If there's any political tactic behind it, I guess Trump is trying to drive a wedge between Democrat -- Democratic voters and the president and Chuck

Schumer, who made those remarks criticizing Netanyahu last week.

The top Republican senator, the problem, however, is that 70 percent usually of American Jews vote Democratic. They're quite a liberal

community. They don't just vote on Israel; they vote on all sorts of other issues. So it's not a monolithic bloc.

NOBILO: It's not that typical, Stephen. I mean, please correct me if I'm wrong, for foreign affairs to take center stage and be so significant in a

U.S. presidential campaign.


Can you speak to the significance of the conflict in Gaza when it comes to President Biden and Donald Trump and the impact that it's likely to have on

getting out the vote for both parties?

COLLINSON: That's right. I think the last real presidential election that was dictated perhaps by foreign affairs, was in 2004 between Bush and

Kerry, right at the height of the Iraq War, when things started going wrong.

When there are American troops on the ground, I think foreign affairs can play a major role in an election. But you're right; generally, other issues

like immigration, health care, the economy are far more important.

Where I think it's going to be interesting to watch this year is that there are a number of swing states that are very narrowly competitive, especially

Michigan, for example, where there are large numbers of Arab American voters and progressive voters who, in the Michigan primary a few weeks ago,

registered a protest vote.

More than 100,000 of them against President Biden because of his handling of the conflict in Gaza and support for Israel up to that point. If only

half of those people didn't show up to vote in the election in November, that could be very injurious to Biden's hopes in that state and to his

hopes of winning back the White House.

We don't know if the conflict is over, if that would be the case, if people would vote against Biden or not show up. It seems very, very unlikely that

those voters would vote for Trump, given that he tried to institute a Muslim ban in the early months of his own presidency.

So it's very fluid. It's very interesting to watch. But in an election that is as finely poised as the one we're going to have, a few thousand votes in

a few states can cause a huge difference.

NOBILO: Indubitably. Stephen, I often think about the relationship between language and politics. I'm sure you do as well.

What do you think the wider significance of somebody as popular as Donald Trump -- but I mean that in both senses of the word -- using that kind of

language, speaking with such broad brushstrokes and being so black and white and incendiary in the way that he talks, what impact is that having

on political discourse and politics more widely?

COLLINSON: I think ever since he came onto the political scene in 2015, to some extent, Trump, who deliberately uses outrageous language and extremism

because he sees it as a political tool, has really coarsened the culture. He has opened the way to a lot of more violent rhetoric in politics.

The march of the Republican Party, the extreme right, has shattered all sorts of standards in decorum. You're seeing some of this play out on the

far left of the Democratic Party as well. So it's a much more hostile political culture in the United States.

What Trump does is he gets support from a lot of people in the heartland in his political base, because he's willing to say things that a lot of people

have long thought but have kept suppressed.

And Trump understands that he has to keep up this brand, continue his popularity and, the result of that is, is this increasing march to the

Right. And millions of Americans are following him. And that is why this is going to be one of the most incendiary elections that we've ever seen in

the United States.

NOBILO: Stephen Collinson, thank you so much. I always enjoy your thoughtful analysis. Great to speak to you.


NOBILO: Donald Trump's attorneys say that he is unable to make a $464 million bond that he owes in a civil fraud case. Not only that, Trump can't

get an insurance company to cover that large a judgment.

His attorneys told the court on Monday that they approached 30 underwriters to try and back the bond but that underwriters want cash to back the bond,

not Trump's properties.

Now Trump is complaining on social media that he may have to mortgage or sell some of his assets to cover the judgment.

In about one hour from now, we're going to see another historic chapter tracing back to Donald Trump's presidency. For the first time ever, a top

White House adviser will serve time for contempt of Congress.

Peter Navarro, trade adviser in the Trump White House, will report to a federal prison in Florida. Navarro was convicted of contempt for refusing

to cooperate with lawmakers investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. He is sentenced to four months.

Still to come for you, amid a deepening rift, the leaders of Israel and the U.S. hold their first-known phone call in a month. What the White House is

saying, after that conversation took place.

And the Princess of Wales is spotted in Windsor amid speculation about her recovery from surgery in January.


Our royals correspondent joins me a little later.




NOBILO: Welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Bianca Nobilo.

As a rift widens between Israel and the U.S., Israel is set to send high level teams to Washington this week. The focus is on Gaza City and Rafah,

where more than 1 million Palestinians are crammed against the border.

The White House says President Biden warned prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that his plans for a major ground offensive in Rafah would be a

mistake. Those comments came Monday during the first known phone call between the leaders in at least a month.

Meantime, America's top diplomat, Antony Blinken, prepares to head to Saudi Arabia and Egypt to discuss progress toward an Israel-Hamas cease-fire.

Covering all this is CNN's Priscilla Alvarez, at the White House for us.

Priscilla, what did we glean, based on that phone call happening between Biden and Netanyahu and the reports that followed about the relationship

between the two leaders at the moment?

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are clearly deep concerns here, especially over the situation in Rafah and any type of

ground operation that Israel is planning.

So much so that the president asked the prime minister to send a delegation of military leaders to Washington in the coming days to talk about their

plan moving forward as they continue to target Hamas.

Now that visit is expected to happen later this week or early next week. But this really was the top concern going into this call, it's something

that the administration has repeatedly talked about, saying that they would want to see a plan before Israel were to move into Rafah for the reasons

that you outlined.

That there are more than 1 million Palestinians who have amassed there. And so there is the possibility, the very real possibility of civilian deaths

if Israel were to move in. Now national security adviser Jake Sullivan said or told reporters yesterday that doing a ground operation at this stage

would be a mistake.


JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The president has rejected and did again today the straw man, that raising questions about Rafah is

the same as raising questions about defeating Hamas.


That's just nonsense. Our position is that Hamas should not be allowed to safe haven in Rafah or anywhere else. But a major ground operation there

would be a mistake. It would lead to more innocent civilian deaths worse than the already dire humanitarian crisis, deepen the anarchy and Gaza and

further isolate Israel internationally.


ALVAREZ: Now as you heard there, the White House is trying to strike a delicate balance here between saying that they continue to support Israel

while also noting that they have some concerns and issues with the way that the Israel is carrying out its ground operation and what that could look

like moving forward.

Now I asked the national security advisor what the tone of the call between the president and the Israeli prime minister was. He said that it was

business-like and that the call and did mutually but all to say the pace of these calls has slowed.

Used to happen multiple times over the course of weeks. Now, this one call happening after a month at what the national security advisor called an

inflection point. All of this, of course, as these tensions within that relationship start to spill out to the public.

NOBILO: Priscilla Alvarez. Thank you so much.

The distressing report that famine in northern Gaza is imminent came from the World Food Programme on Monday. My next guest recently told the United

Nations Security Council that, quote, "Gaza is seeing the worst level of child malnutrition anywhere in the world."

The World Food Programme's deputy executive director, Carl Skau, joins me now.

Thank you very much for being on the program.

First of all, can we start with your reaction to this latest report?

What did you find the most shocking?

CARL SKAU, DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: Well, I think first, what is important to point out is that this is report done in

accordance with internationally recognized procedures and processes.

It's a scientifically standardized way of doing these reports with 18 agencies involved. And so in this information environment that we're in, I

think the importance here is really these are established facts that cannot really be questioned.

And so, you know what it really provides is that we have an imminent famine in the north, about 300,000 people who are stuck there, and that we need to

avert this famine urgently. It can be done.

But we need a completely different access in completely different volumes of assistance coming in. But I think also what's striking is that half the

population, 1.1 million people, now are in that highest category five, catastrophic levels of food insecurity.

And that's the highest number we have in the world right now. And it's happened in a very short period of time.

NOBILO: I'm glad that you addressed the way that the internet and the media community can often work at the beginning of that, because it is very

important to underscore when facts are verified and cannot be disputed, especially in a situation like this.

Can you explain what in practice category five means for the people who are there?

SKAU: Well, it means that you're not eating every day. I think in our report, we pointed out that these people have not been eating 10 days out

of in the last month. And it means also that your children are becoming increasingly, acutely malnourished which is a deadly combination.

Also with the high levels of disease that we see among children. I think we have seen a desperate coping mechanism, people eating animal food or even

mothers pretending to cook for their children in order to bring down stress and concern.

And so, yes, it is a very desperate situation and, again, we are just weeks away from a famine in the north. But again, what I want to point to is

really that this can be averted. We have the means.

Two days ago, we entered north of Gaza with 20 trucks using a new route that was safe. We have worked on a concept that can provide to the people

in an orderly and controlled manner. And so what we really need to do now is to focus on averting this famine and it can be done.

NOBILO: Tell us more about that concept and how it works once the trucks - - and I know that you need so many more of them -- do cross the border.

How is the aid then distributed?

What is this process?

SKAU: Well, in the south, we have an established process. Now where part of it goes to the shelters, which are quite well administered, and

organized at the moment. But we also have diversified that with using shops, former shops that are now empty, that can be used for storage but

also for distribution.

We worked through some local NGOs and also what we call community leaders. Often, if you own a house or an apartment, you are housing some 20 families

at the moment.


And we then consider you a community leader and can help facilitate the distribution.

In the north, threats been a challenge, of course, with 300,000 people and that level of desperation and tension. That's why we also had to pause our

distribution there a few weeks ago when we just found that it was not safe for the beneficiaries.

But we have been able to resume that and we're working through a network of local community leaders. There are former U.N. staff that we also -- a

network of former (INAUDIBLE) after we draw upon.

And we have been providing information through social media channels, including influencers, to just try to bring information to the people on

how this needs to be organized in order to be able to do it regularly and in safe way.

We're also put bullhorns on our trucks to help with crowd control. So there are different -- there is a package, if you will, of issues but what's

really important is that it can be done regularly and sustained over time.

That's the only way that we can avert a famine but also bring down the levels of desperation and provide for more order in our distributions.

NOBILO: Just briefly to you before we go, there's been a lot of emphasis on this new maritime corridor.

How optimistic are you about that in terms of helping the situation on the ground and averting this large-scale famine?

SKAU: Well, we need to turn every stone in terms of finding ways to provide for the people. We have done some airdrop. We also looked from day

one at the maritime option. We really want to push the land. That is the most forthcoming way of delivering at volume, which is necessary to avert


Should there be a new port in Gaza?

Of course, that would be a completely different thing. But right now, we don't really see any option where this can be done in an orderly and safe

way for the beneficiaries included and based on humanitarian principles, reaching those most in need.

So really the land option and having more access through land, which we have demonstrated is possible in the past couple of days, is the priority

for us, as well as for other humanitarian organizations.

NOBILO: Carl Skau, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us today.

SKAU: Thank you.

NOBILO: Coming up a little later this hour, Hong Kong expands a controversial security law. What that could mean for the city's status as a

global business hub.




NOBILO: Intense speculation about the Princess of Wales appears to be escalating. A British tabloid has published video footage, which it says

shows Princess Catherine at a farmers' market over the weekend with her husband, Prince William.

Kate Middleton has not been seen in public since what the palace described as planned abdominal surgery in January.

And the lack of information from the royals has led to questions about her recovery but well-wishers in London tell us they're glad she's out and



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, very much so. You know, it's basically good to see that she's back.


And hopefully she's doing well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's still a human being. So I would just expect her to be spotted at some point because obviously she's recurring from her

surgery, which we did not know what it is. But I'm sure that it'll be quite nice for her to walk around, do some shopping with her husband.

So I guess I don't really mind about it, to be honest. I just let her do what she wants.


NOBILO: CNN's royal correspondent and superstar anchor Max Foster is here with me now in London.

Max, it's quite remarkable that, it seems that no matter what the palace would release at this stage, given that the public have now seen video of

Kate Middleton walking around, looking happy and healthy with Prince William, that nothing seeming to quash the rumor mill.

MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: I think there's -- I think it's pretty clear there's two groups involved here. They're the real royalists

and fans of Kate, who I think that it was reassuring to see her looking so well, with William as well, out shopping, carrying bags. So she can't be

that badly off, can she.

But there's a whole other part of the world which is made up of conspiracy theorists, people chasing clicks, capitalizing on fear, just seeing this as

opportunities to go viral and they're saying that it's not real and these are actors or something. I can't quite figure it out.

But we've looked at the video. We can't see it that it's been doctored. It was taken by another shopper on their phone. The palace certainly are

encouraging us to use it. They are saying we should respect their privacy but they're not saying it's untrue either. They're not denying that they

were there.

And it does help them to some extent, I think, because it does show, prove what they've been saying, that she is well.

NOBILO: Now, the controversy has not stopped because now media organizations such as our own are combing through previous photographs to

see if they can identify any anomalies or things that might have been edited.

Now in the grand scheme of things, especially royal drama and scandal, editing a photo is nothing.

So why the emphasis, why the obsession?

FOSTER: Well, there's another photo, of course. It came up today. I could probably show that. It was taken by Kate as well and it shows the queen

surrounded by her children, late queen, and the children -- grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Released last year. And there are -- we've found lots of issues with this. It was actually Getty news agency that first saw it and they have now put a

warning effectively on the photo, saying that it has been touched up in some way without giving us much detail.

But it does appear to be different pictures overlaid again. And that is an issue because it suggests that they are covering something up, even though

it could be something very minor. But it speaks to this wider issue that's currently circulating online, that they are covering up the health of Kate.

But I think a lot of people are just making stuff up for the sake of it.

NOBILO: Yes. I suppose because the royal family don't give us a lot of communication, that, when they do, the public expect it to be 100 percent

true and verified.

FOSTER: Which they should rely on as well. So that's -- I think that was a -- there's been a mistake. But that broad communication strategy has been

to, I think it was set when Kate went into hospital.

We will say she went in, we will give an update on her recovery and they said she did well -- she's been doing well. And then we'll say when they

expect her to reappear, which is Easter.

And I think William, because of his past, won't compromise on that. He won't respond to what the media is asking of them, let alone the conspiracy

theorists. I think he's probably sitting there, saying, why should I respond to this?


FOSTER: I'm doing what I said I would and they play the long game, don't they?

And they, I think, feel that, when they look back on this, they would have handled it properly, even though it doesn't feel like it right now.

NOBILO: Yes. But in the long view, interesting. Max Foster, thank you very much.

Just ahead on CONNECT THE WORLD, Hong Kong expands a controversial law.

Does that mean its crackdown on dissent could deepen?

We will go in search of answers next.





NOBILO: Hong Kong has passed a second national security law. Critics say it aligns the city more closely with Mainland China and could deepen an

ongoing crackdown on dissent. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout reports from Hong Kong.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the streets of Hong Kong, we ask a simple question.

Do you support or not support Article 23?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no idea.

STOUT: No idea.

Yes or no?


STOUT (voice-over): We ask in English, we ask in Cantonese, no comment.

STOUT: Article 23 is Hong Kong's controversial new homegrown security legislation. It includes a range of new national security crimes, including

treason, espionage, external interference and disclosure of state secrets.

STOUT (voice-over): It carries sentences of 10 years for crimes linked to state secrets and sedition, 20 years for espionage and up to life in prison

for treason, insurrection, sabotage and mutiny.

Officials point out that many Western countries have similar legislation and say it will fill loopholes in a sweeping national security law imposed

by Beijing in 2020 after mass anti-government protests.

JOHN LEE, HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE: We still have to watch out for potential sabotage, undercurrents that try to create troubles.

STOUT (voice-over): In 2003, Article 23 was shelved after an attempt to enact it drew 0.5 million residents onto the streets in protest. No such

scenes of opposition are expected this time around.

Beijing's national security crackdown has transformed Hong Kong. Dozens of political opponents have been arrested, civil society groups disbanded and

outspoken media outlets shut down. Former opposition lawmaker Emily Lau was among the protesters in 2003. She's no longer marching but has a message

for Beijing

EMILY LAU, FORMER OPPOSITION LAWMAKER: I just want to tell Beijing there's no need for such stern treatment. I don't think Hong Kong will go back to

the turbulent past and I think people want to look forward to a safe and peaceful and free future.

We want Hong Kong to prosper. We are part of China. I've never disputed that. But we are different from the rest of China. But the difference is

getting less and less, which is very sad.

STOUT (voice-over): Critics say the law could have deep ramifications for the city's status as a global business hub. The U.S. State Department says,

it is concerned by the, quote, "broad and vague definitions of state secrets and external interference that could be used to eliminate dissent

through the fear of arrest and detention."

The Hong Kong government rejects that criticism as biased and misleading, with security secretary Chris Tang pointing out, there is strong public



STOUT (voice-over): But on the streets, it's hard to tell -- Kristi Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.


NOBILO: Legal scholars and business figures have told CNN they are worried about the harsh penalties and broad definitions in the new law. According

to the Hong Kong government, cases will be handed, quote, "in accordance with the law."

Most of the world's 100 worst polluted cities are in one country, India, that's according to a new report about air quality worldwide. It says

climate change is only making matters worse and each year millions of people die from pollution-related health problems. CNN's Vedika Sud has



VEDIKA SUD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In 2023, 83 of the hundred most polluted cities in the world were from India. A report by IQ Air, which tracks air

quality guidelines worldwide, says these cities, including capital New Delhi, where I am, exceeded the World Health Organization guidelines 10

times over.


Begusarai, a city of 0.5 million people in northern India, Bihar state, was the world's most polluted city last year. Its air quality was 23 times the

WHO guidelines, followed by high IQAir rankings by the Indian cities of Guwahati, Delhi and Mullanpur.

The study looked specifically at fine particulate matter or PM2.5, which is the tiniest pollutant but also the most dangerous and is linked to asthma,

heart and lung disease and cancer.

In Delhi PM2.5 levels rose by 10 percent in 2023 with levels peaking in the month of November. Northern India struggles with smoke from crop burning,

vehicle emissions, coal burning and other toxic emissions.

Every year, annual crop burning pushes Delhi and neighboring areas in emergency level air quality days. People suffer from acute respiratory

related issues for weeks. According to the report, millions of people die each year from air pollution-related health issues.

Air pollution from fossil fuels is killing 5.1 million people worldwide every year, according to a study published in the British medical journal

in November.

Meanwhile the WHO says 6.7 million people die annually from the combined effects of ambient and household air pollution -- Vedika Sud, CNN, New



NOBILO: Thank you so much for joining us here on CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Bianca Nobilo. We will see you later on.