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Gazans Struggle to find Food Amid Looming Famine; Inflation Edges Up To 2.5 Percent in February; Controversial Prince Philip Statue will be Taken Down. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired March 29, 2024 - 09:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: It is 5 pm here in Abu Dhabi. I'm Eleni Giokos, and this is CONNECT THE WORLD happening this hour a

warning from an aid worker inside Gaza. Israel's promised operation in Rafah could cause the biggest catastrophe of this war. We'll bring you his


Then one year ago, American Journalist Evan Gershkovich was arrested in Russia and charged with espionage today, he's still behind bars. Plus a

record breaking fundraising event for U.S. President Joe Biden in New York and Beyonce drops her highly anticipated country album.

Drowned out by bombs that is the description of any hope for a ceasefire in Gaza today from the UNICEF Spokesperson who's visited there repeatedly

during the war. James Elder says cities are unrecognizable and the hunger situation has rapidly worsened.

And he warns the Israeli Prime Minister's promised operation in Rafah could cause in his words, the biggest catastrophe of the swamp. His comments come

with Israel siege around Al-Shifa hospital now in its 12th day, and there is reported Israeli activity in Syria as well.

Syria's state news agency says Israeli airstrikes hit targets outside of Aleppo. Reuters reports several Hezbollah fighters are -- killed in the

strikes. Ben Wedeman is tracking developments for us from New Rome. A lot happening today but Ben I'd like to start off with the conditions around

Al-Shifa, it is day 12 of Israel's operation there what do we know?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, day 12 of this operation around what was Gaza's main hospital, a hospital that served much

of the northern part of the Gaza Strip a hospital I spent time in after being shot by Israeli forces in October 2000.

Now the Israeli saying that they're continuing what they call a precise operational activity in the area the Israelis claimed to have killed what

they call 200 terrorists, of course, because journalists are not allowed into the Gaza Strip beyond those who are still there.

Palestinian journalists, we don't -- we're not able to confirm the veracity of that claim. But what we understand is that the situation in and around

the hospital, which is a complex, it's not just one building is increasingly more difficult.

The Palestinian civil defense organization in Gaza says that they are receiving phone calls from people trapped under the rubble in the area

around Shifa Hospital. So the fighting is going on inside the hospital complex, but also in the area around it.

They're receiving phone calls, from what they say are women and children trapped under the rubble there, but they cannot approach it because of the

presence of Israeli forces in the area. Local residents are reporting heavy firing from the area around the hospital.

One resident -- told CNN that his daughter and his son have been killed as a result of the fighting and the fighting is ongoing. This Palestinian

civil defense is calling appealing for the United Nations, the Red Cross to come and help extract people from the area but at the moment, that doesn't

seem to be possible, Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right, Ben Wedeman in Rome for us. Thank you so much for that updates. The U.N.'s humanitarian office is calling on Israel to expand

supply routes into Gaza so that large scale aid can be delivered to people who are starving. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has more on the daily struggle to

find food and warning. You may find some of the images in this report disturbing.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This video filmed 11 days ago at a northern Gaza hospital captured little Muhammad's final days, his

labored breaths and all that staff tried to do to keep him alive. On Thursday, six year old Mohammed became the 24th Palestinian child to die of

malnutrition and dehydration in Gaza.

And the fear is many more vulnerable lives could be lost. Hunger is in every corner of this besieged territory. The pain visible in the eyes of

mothers like Najala (ph) who's helplessly watch her children go hungry for a month. For husband Mahrn (ph) has thought the unthinkable throwing his

children in the sea he says to spare them.


This torture of an existence than to his family endured months of bombardment in Northern Gaza. But it's a looming famine there that's pushed

them out of their home. If you grab a bag of flowers someone can kill you to take it Mahrn says our daily meal for our children became things we

hadn't heard of before, like ground soybeans and a wild plant that we never tasted before food that animals refuse to eat we ate.

What they'll do? Where they'll go? They don't know. All they want right now is to feed their little ones. My children were crying every night asking

for a piece of bread Najla (ph) says, we were dreaming of white bread. We were eating animal food.

For the first time in five months, they say the children are having real food, even if only plain bread. This is - family left behind in the north.

Scenes that tell of the desperation of so many who also just want to feed their children as they brush the little aid that's made it into this part

of Gaza.

More than a million Palestinians are now facing catastrophic levels of hunger, according to a UN backed report, with famine projected to arrive in

the north any day now. And this man made crisis or Israel has been accused of using starvation as a weapon of war, something it denies.

People every day find themselves scavenging for food, forced to pick wild plants to boil and eat. This grandmother can't hold back her tears as she

washes weeds and leaves. It's today's meal. What else can we do she says. It's the indignity of hunger. Avoidable suffering as the world watches on

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN London.


GIOKOS: It has been exactly one years since American Journalist Evan Gershkovich was detained in Russia. And this is how his employer is mocking

that grim anniversary. The front page of today's "Wall Street Journal" is mostly blank. Representing the articles that Gershkovich never got to


The headline says in part, his story should be here, the crime journalism. Meanwhile, the Kremlin says ongoing talks about his possible exchange must

be conducted in absolute silence or will be less likely to succeed. Meantime, as our Fred Pleitgen reports Gershkovich remains defiant in his

own way.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): No media allowed at Evan Gershkovich's most recent court hearing in Moscow

just this short clip by the courts press service. Despite a year in a Russian jail a defiant smile from "The Wall Street Journal" reporter no

surprise his detention was extended yet again through June 30th the U.S. Ambassador to Russia ripping into the verdict.

LYNNE TRACY, U.S. AMBASSADSOR TO RUSSIA: The accusations against Evan are categorically untrue. They are not a different interpretation of

circumstances. They are fiction.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Evan Gershkovich was arrested and charged with espionage a year ago while on assignment in Yekaterinburg, Central Russia.

MARIA ZAKHAROVA, SPOKESWOMAN, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY: I do not know if there are any other cases. But the allegations made by our intelligence

services today were not related to his journalism.

PLEITGEN (voice over): "The Wall Street Journal" and Gershkovich family strongly denied the allegations. Polina Ivanova of "The Financial Times" is

one of Evan's best friends and still keeps in regular contact with him writing letters.

POLINA IVANOVA, FINANCIAL TIMES REPORTER, FRIEND OF GERSHKOVICH: He's doing remarkably well. He's absolutely staying strong. He's not allowing himself

to, you know, to wallow to get to upset by everything. In fact, he spends most of his time in letters to us trying to make us feel better.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Gershkovich faces a jail sentence of up to 20 years if convicted, but CNN has reported that Gershkovich and Former U.S. Marine

Paul Whelan were part of a proposed prisoner swap with a now dead opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The Russian President taunted on his reelection day that he approved a swap on the condition he'd get back a high profile Russian intelligence officer

in prison for murder in Germany Vadim Crossett cough.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA PRESIDENT: The person who spoke to me had not finished his sentence yet. I said I agree but unfortunately what happened,


PLEITGEN (voice over): For those close to Evan that means the waiting continues outcome uncertain.

IVANOVA: When you see Putin talk about it and you know, very clear terms that this is what they want to see happen that -- that they are looking for

a deal. You know, just gives you hope that at some point this will this -- you know that he will be home. He needs to be home. He needs to be back

with his family with his friends.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.



GIOKOS: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is calling on U.S. lawmakers to agree on sending more aid to Ukraine as soon as possible. In a

phone conversation with U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson, Mr. Zelenskyy drew attention to the dramatic increase in Russian air tax. There was a fresh

onslaught on Ukraine's energy networks overnight, mirroring similar Russian attacks last week. At least three regions were targeted with drones and

missiles hitting power generation centers. Kyiv says private homes and civilian facilities were also hit.

In Baltimore, the largest floating crane on the east coast of the U.S. is being brought in to help clear the wreckage left when the Francis Scott Key

Bridge collapsed on Tuesday night. It is going to be a painstaking process to all debris piece by piece out of the river and reopen the waterway to

the Port of Baltimore.

The U.S. government is giving Maryland $60 million as a down payment for all the cleanup work and rebuilding that needs to be done. CNN's Gabe Cohen

joins us now from Baltimore for more. Gabe, you've been on the story from the moment this crash occurred.

You know, we've been seeing the search and rescue teams and recovery teams and our salvage teams. But now the big question is clearing up the vessel

and the bridge that collapsed around it. Tell me what the status of this is.

GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, this is a significant update this morning in this salvage operation Eleni with that vessel, that crane vessel

finally arriving here in the wreckage area. And we know that two more on their way. But look, this is going to be a massive project.

As you look over my shoulder as we zoom in on the scene, to give you a sense of the scale of what we're talking about that container ship to Dali

is about the size of the Eiffel Tower just turned on its side and then you have to factor in not just moving the ship out of the way. But getting all

of that steel, that massive bridge out of the water, you can see a lot of it above the surface.

So much of it is underwater. And so they're bringing in these huge vessels to try to eventually cut up all of that steel into pieces, something

engineers are working on right now as we speak. And then hopefully, either later today or in the days ahead, those cranes can get to work and start

lifting it -- lifting all those pieces out.

But Eleni this is going to take quite a bit of time because they're also trying to go about it in a very delicate and sensitive manner, knowing that

there are still four of those construction workers missing in the river. And some officials believe that they could be trapped under a lot of that


And so as they remove it, they're going to be very careful. And eventually once everything is pulled out they're going to send divers back in to try

to recover those four missing men. And then Eleni there is also the NTSB investigation, federal investigators, still speaking with the pilots of the

ship trying to figure out what caused that power outage, that total blackout on the ship in those few minutes before the crash.

That led to the pilot losing power, losing the ability to steer, eventually sending out that mayday call, just before colliding with the column of the

bridge, bringing it down into the river. They still don't know what caused the power outage. We should know that.

Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, although it could take longer than that. But Eleni the next step, again, is the salvage operation trying to

get the bridge out of the water could be many days before that happens. And then hopefully they can reopen the Port of Baltimore thousands of jobs at

stake millions of dollars in the local economy.

GIOKOS: Yeah, I mean, the spillover effects of this crash is extraordinary, frankly, as well as the human cost as well. I'm just really curious to find

out about the cargo and the hazardous materials. I know we were talking yesterday -- you were talking you were saying things like lithium ion

batteries, which of course are very flammable. What do we know about this and ensuring that you know the salvage operations are conducted in the

safest possible manner?

COHEN: Well, we did get an update on that hazardous material Eleni, late yesterday from the governor, who said they put a boom, basically, blockade

around a lot of the wreckage area trying to contain that hazardous spill. What we're talking about largely are things like perfume, those things that

are flammable, but not a public health emergency at this point.

So the governor seemed confident that they can get that contained pretty quickly. But so far, it has limited the ability for crews to actually get

on the bow of the ship, the front where you can see the chunk of the bridge actually across and so it's slowing things down. But the governor seemed

confident that there is no larger safety risk.

Again, though, it's another example of what is making this whole thing extremely delicate and difficult and could create a situation where it

takes days longer than it should have.

GIOKOS: All right. Gabe Cohen thank you so much for that update.


Well next up on CONNECT THE WORLD star studded campaign fundraiser punctuated by protests and accusing U.S. at Donald Trump's expense. But how

much money did it bring in for the Biden campaign? And what do the latest polls have to say about the Biden Trump rematch? CNN's Harry Enten breaks

down the poll of polls and what it tells us about the 2024 presidential race I'll be back right after this.


GIOKOS: A lavish and star studded fundraiser for Joe Biden's presidential campaign last night in New York Former Presidents Bill Clinton as well as

Barack Obama on hand as the campaign pulled in a record breaking $25 million. But the glitzy events served up a stark warning from Mr. Biden

that democracy is literally at stake. Should Donald Trump return to the Oval Office?

And protesters calling for a ceasefire in Gaza made their presence known throughout the night settings on it. CNN's Arlette Saenz is with us now for

a little bit more about what we've -- we saw overnight at $25 million that's record breaking and of course having two former presidents attend as

well tell us overall, how successful this event was.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well Eleni, President Biden's advisers are hoping that this show of force from three Democratic

presidents will really help motivate voters heading into November's election as they're preparing for that matchup against former President

Donald Trump.

Now the campaign this morning is touting that this event actually raised more than $26 million in one light night alone. That was for tickets in the

room but also for a live stream conversation with the presidents ahead of time as well.

And the President Biden along with presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, they spent about an hour with late night host Stephen Colbert

trying to lay out the stakes of the election and their main focus was trying to warn of the threat posed by Trump for the country. The president

has spoken very stark terms saying that democracy is at stake at this moment.

And he added quote, we're at a real inflection point in history. This guy's denies global warming. This guy wants to get rid of not only Roe v Wade,

which he brags about having done. He wants to get rid of the ability of anyone in America to have the right to choose all the things he's doing.

They're so old, a little old and out of shape.

That last line have been a bit of a jab at the former president. You've also saw some other moments where they were mocking Trump something that

we've really seen Biden in his campaign increasingly engage in as they're trying to get under the former president's skin.

But even as they were trying to issue these warnings about Trump, the event also laid bare the division within the Democratic Party over the conflict

in Gaza. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Radio City Music Hall in New York City where this event was taking place.


The presidents were even interrupted on at least four occasions by protesters in the room. One of those was relating to Russia. But three of

the protests were specifically related to the president's handling of this conflict between Israel and Hamas. And it was really interesting to see how

former President Barack Obama responded to these protesters.

He said had a very explicit message for them saying you can't just talk and not listen. He said that there are challenging moments happening in this

world right now that what they need to work towards, is trying to find ways to solve some of these problems.

So it's interesting to see how he personally was engaging on this. And it really speaks to the fact that this issue in Gaza will continue to be an

issue that President Biden and potentially his surrogates will have to grapple with out on the campaign trail as they're heading into this

November election.

Now, Biden today is continuing his fundraising push. In just a few hours, he set to talk with top donors at a campaign retreat for his National

Finance Committee. They'll also be getting a briefing from senior Biden campaign officials, as they're really trying to lay out the path forward

for their strategy and operations they prepare to take on Trump in November.

GIOKOS: All right. Arlette Saenz thank you so much good to see you. Well, 220 days before America votes in the presidential election and Senate's

poll of polls find there is no clear leader in the rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, in an average of four polls released in March. It's

a statistical dead heat.

CNN's Senior Data Reporter Harry Enten takes a closer look for us, Harry, great to see you. What is the matchup right now between Biden and Trump?

And what's it looking like?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yeah, I mean, you said it right. We got a -- we got a close race on her hands. But it's a very different race

than where we were four years ago at this point. So at this particular point, there is no clear leader, but Joe Biden is in fact trailing Donald

Trump, you see it here by three percentage points.

That is so different from where we were four years ago, when Joe Biden led this campaign at this point by seven points, lead it in April, lead it in

May, June, July, August, September, October, and then November, Joe Biden never trailed. Now we are in such a different point where yes, it is a race

that is too close to call. But that was not the case back in 2020. It was never too close to call. In fact, right now, as you see on your screen,

Donald Trump holding a slight edge, the one race in which there is no clear leader.

GIOKOS: Look, I mean, the margins it's all going to come down to those differentials. But I want to talk about what are the top three issues for

voters and who they believe will do a better job. And I'm also wondering whether the issue on Gaza and what's happening in the Middle East is also

top of mind and how they view policy around each candidate.

ENTEN: Yeah, you know if we were to look at the top three issues, the war in Gaza right now is not one of those top issues. The top issues are

immigration, in which Donald Trump leads by 16 points of who would do a better job than Joe Biden. The economy, Donald Trump, again, up by 20

points over Joe Biden. And then third is preserving democracy in which Biden holds a very small advantage.

And I think that gives you an understanding of why Donald Trump is in a significantly better position than he was at four years ago at this point

is because in the top issues, he is leading, Joe Biden. You mentioned Gaza and I will note, no, it is not one of the top issues, but it's certainly an

issue that is dividing the Democratic base at this particular point.

And it's an issue on which Joe Biden holds one of his lowest approval ratings. And another one of these issues in which Donald Trump holds a

clear lead in the voters' minds on who would better handle it. So it just kind of folds into that overarching, 2024 picture that is significantly

different than what we saw four years ago, in which Donald Trump is again, favored on the top issues, including Gaza, over Joe Biden.

GIOKOS: Look, numbers are fluid, they could change. We don't know what will happen. And it'll be up to the elections. What is it telling us about the

path to the White House? What are you reading into these numbers?

ENTEN: Yeah, you know, in this country, we have a system that's the Electoral College. You can get the most votes nationally as Hillary Clinton

did in 2016 and not win the election, because it's all about the Electoral College and that path to 270 electoral votes, and that runs through the

states. And at this particular point, based upon the recent state polling and the past results, Donald Trump has a much clearer path to the White

House than Joe Biden, does.

He at this particular point, enough states are leaning in his direction or very solidly in his direction, that if the election were held today, at

this point, he'd be favored to win 283 electoral votes, more than the 270 needed to win.

Again, very different from where we were four years ago at this point where Joe Biden was consistently favored in this all important Electoral College

matchup. Now as you point out, look, we still have days, week's months to go until the election. Things can very well change but at this particular

point compared to where we were four years ago and compared to where we were on Election Day Donald Trump is in a significantly better position.


GIOKOS: Alright, it's always good to speak to you and get analysis on the numbers and data. All right, well, let's get you up to speed on some of the

stories that are on our radar right now. Human rights groups are pushing back against the decision to have Saudi Arabia take over a key UN forum on

equality for women. Amnesty International, citing what it calls the Kingdom's abysmal record on women's rights. Riyadh says it can help woman

in its new role.

A 33 storey building was engulfed in flames in the Brazilian city -- on Thursday night. The building which was under construction can be seen in

social media videos burning from the top before the fire spread to the floors below. No casualties or injuries have been reported.

France will get security help from 46 different countries for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The Interior Ministry told CNN it asked international

partners to supply more than 2000 extra security personnel ahead of one of the biggest sporting events on earth. The games open on July 26th.

Still ahead, brand new reports on prices in the U.S. are they on the rise and what will that mean for interest rates? As well as the deadly stabbing

rampage in Illinois where police say happened after the suspect went to one of the victims home, that's coming up next stay with CNN.


GIOKOS: I'm Eleni Giokos, in Abu Dhabi, and you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD Americans have to dig a little deeper for their household bills last

month thanks to higher fuel prices inflation, as measured by consumer prices ticked up to two and a half percent on an annual basis. That's

slightly above the rate for January but core inflation in other words, what you get when you ignore food and energy costs was a little bit lower.

This report is being watched very closely, of course, because it really does impact what the Federal Reserve decides on interest rates. Matt Egan

is here to crunch the numbers for us. I love the script we said you know if you ignore food and energy costs then you know things kind of look OK.


But we can't ignore food and energy costs because they make up the biggest parts of our bills. But tell me how important these numbers are and what

impact that could have on the Fed's decision down the line?

MATT EGAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Eleni, as we know, this economy doesn't have a jobs problem, right? Unemployment is historically low. It's really

all about the cost of living. And so this is a progress report on inflation. And it was kind of mixed, right a month over month, prices were

up by .3 percent. That was actually cooler than expected in a cool down from the month before.

But 2.5 percent is the annual number, that's right in line with expectations, but it was a little bit hotter than the month before. And

that is because of what you were just referencing energy prices, specifically gasoline in the U.S. went up in February.

And so we knew that was going to cause this inflation gauge and the other ones to go up Now 2.5 percent some context there. Back in June of 2022,

when gas prices were at record highs and inflation felt like it was out of control. This metric was above 7 percent.

So 2.5 percent, you can see on that chart is obviously much, much lower than that it is a major improvement. The problem, though, is 2.5 percent is

also above what the Fed targets, right? The Fed is looking for 2 percent inflation. Before COVID in 2019, this metric was well below 2 percent, the

entire year.

So I think the problem here is that some of the progress in the fight against inflation has kind of leveled out, right? And so this shows that

the job the effort to get inflation totally back to normal it's not done yet and so that does suggest that the Fed may need to wait a little bit

longer, before we can start cutting interest rates.

And Eleni, you know, this is got huge implications, right for financial markets and for consumers, everyone on Main Street as well. And you were

just talking to Harry in the last segment before the break about the election, in a close election, which is what this one looks like. The

economy could end up being the difference, right?

And so whether or not the cost of living is getting better, or worse, whether or not the cost of borrowing is going down or staying the same.

Those could be major wildcards in deciding who controls the White House.

GIOKOS: Absolutely. And it's so true, because people look realistically at how much they have and what -- you know, they can spend. And that is

people's reality within their homes, right, these numbers we can talk about but you know, at the end of the day, what does that mean?

When you say getting inflation back to normal I mean, the Fed is targeting 2 percent. So we're not that far away. But in terms of risk, specifically

on the energy front, that is the big unknown, and that could really derail things.

EGAN: Yeah. And oil price shock is always a big X factor in the economy. And I think it's particularly an issue now, because you have two major wars

going on, both of which have energy implications, right? Suddenly, we have drones, striking oil refineries, deep within Russia.

And that has major implications for gasoline prices and diesel and oil. And we need to pay very close attention to what happens there. But then also in

the Middle East there is the ongoing situation where shipments through the Red Sea have been disrupted by drone attacks there.

And also this risk that's been out there for a while, but the risk that the war broadens out right and includes oil producing nation like Iran. We of

course, haven't seen that. And I think officials in the U.S. are doing everything possible to make sure that doesn't happen. But those are risks.

Hopefully and this is based on your forecast from the experts that I'm talking to hopefully, energy prices stay under control. They're not

expecting a return to $4 gas, but we got to pay attention closely.

GIOKOS: Absolutely, always good to speak to you. It must be said that markets in the U.S. are close today for Good Friday. So market will be

responding to this on Monday, we sliding out that 40,000 sort of level on the DOW Jones. So yes, it'll be interesting to see what happens come next

week Matt Egan great to have you on thank you so much.

EGAN: Thanks Eleni.

GIOKOS: Well, now moving on and the man accused of carrying out a stabbing rampage in Illinois tells police he was paranoid after using drugs.

Christian Sato has been charged with four counts of murder and seven counts of attempted murder for the rampage that unfolded in Rockford, Illinois on


Police say the attacks began after Soto visited one of the victims' homes to smoke marijuana that believes was laced with something as well. CNN

Correspondent Veronica Miracle joins us now from Chicago. This is an incredible story. I mean this rampage after you know what we heard was

marijuana laced with something that could have prompted this but what are authorities telling you right now?

VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Eleni as we learn more details it just is so horrific all of the victims who were killed in such a gruesome



Authorities say 22 year old Christian Soto was covered in blood at the time of his arrest and even admitted to investigators some of the crimes that

he's accused of committing. We have also learned the names of four of the victims who were killed, including two people that investigators say Soto

knew well, Jacob and Ramona Schubach they were stabbed inside of their home.

Investigators then say he went outside of that home saw a mailman who was just simply doing his job on his route, beat him up, stabbed him, and then

ran over him with a pickup truck twice according to authorities. Then they say he broke into a completely random home where three children were home


Authorities say he beat them with a baseball bat including one to death 15- year-old Jenna Newcomb. In a very emotional press conference yesterday the Mayor of the City of Rockford said Jenna died a hero. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jenna's mom wants a community to know that Jenna died saving her sister and her friend and protecting them from further harm.


MIRACLE: And after killing four people, authorities then say Soto tried to break into two other homes and tried to kill five other people. Soto right

now is facing 13 charges. But authorities believe that number could grow as they get deeper into their investigation. Federal charges could also be a

potential that comes his way. He is next due in court on April 2nd back to you, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yeah, Veronica tragic story. Thank you very much for that update. Whatever it's to continue to recover the bodies of 45 people who were

killed in South Africa after a bus heading to an Easter conference fell off a 50 meter cliff and caught fire on Thursday.

A local official says 12 bodies have been retrieved but others were burned beyond recognition. The sole survivor, an eight year old girl is in

hospital. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. There's more news ahead, stay with CNN.


GIOKOS: Welcome back. Queen B also known as Beyonce has dropped her highly anticipated country album "Act II: Cowboy Carter". It released at midnight

local time on Friday around the world.


BEYONCE: Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, I'm warning you, don't come for my man.


GIOKOS: That's a great rendition on "Jolene", Beyonce's take on the classic Dolly Parton song. Parton has said she's a big fan of Beyonce and does a

voice intro before the song as well.


There are 27 tracks on the album including two previously released singles, Texas Hold 'Em and 16 Carriages. Cowboy Carter features collaborations with

a host of artists including Willie Nelson, Miley Cyrus, and rapper Post Malone.

A controversial statue of the King's father, the late Prince Philip, is set to come down. You're looking at Cambridge Dome. The faceless bronze statue

is 13 feet or nearly four meters tall. It was intended to commemorate Prince Philip's 35 year tenure as the Chancellor of Cambridge University.

Here's a side by side comparison of what Prince Philip actually looked like. The statue was not only branded as ugly, but also failed to receive

planning permission according to local council.

Well, the NFL has had a number of international players over the years. Now there are reports the reigning Super Bowl champs could be added -- adding

another one from Wales. CNN Sports Anchor Andy Scholes is here with us. Why would this move be so unusual if not unique, Andy?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN WORLD SPORT: Well I mean, Eleni, imagine you're 23-years- old, you're one of the best players in your sport, but you decide you -- hey, you want to play another sport? Well, that's what Louis Rees-Zammit

has done, the rugby Welsh -- the Welsh rugby player.

He made the announcement shocking a lot of people that he was going to stop playing rugby because he wanted to be an NFL football player. He entered in

you know to the NFL's international program and according to multiple reports is going to get signed by the Super Bowl champion, Kansas City


And that certainly will be a sight you know; Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, you could have Louis Rees-Zammit all as teammates. We're going to hear what

our former NFL football player, Coy Wire, has to say about it all, coming up here on World Sport. But --

GIOKOS: Isn't rugby and football -- isn't rugby and football basically the same thing?

SCHOLES: Not -- not really, you know NFL, you're wearing a helmet, you're wearing all the pads, it's going to be much different. The skills can

translate but we'll see. We'll see if he can have success in the NFL. It certainly will be fun.

GIOKOS: Yeah. It's certainly well. I'm looking forward to this update after the break Andy Scholes we'll see you and I'll be back at the top of the

hour. Stay with us.