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Court Resumes in Trump Hush Money Trial; Getting Aid into Gaza; Qatar Reevaluating Role as Mediator in Cease-Fire Talks; Hush Money Trial Judge Excuses One Juror; UAE Trying to Dry Out after Heaviest Rainfall in 75 Years. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired April 18, 2024 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to what is a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD. It is 6 o'clock in the evening here

in Abu Dhabi. I'm Becky Anderson.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Omar Jimenez in New York, outside of the courthouse, where Donald Trump's trial has now resumed. And day

three, we're going to see more jury selection today.

Seven were selected when we started today. But one of those jurors has now been dismissed after she was concerned over parts of her identity being

released and made public. I'm going to have much more on that later in this hour.

They need to select six more and up to six alternates as well.

But for now, Becky, I'm going to hand it back over to you for the latest developments out of the Middle East.

ANDERSON: Good stuff, Omar, thank you very much indeed.

Well tensions remain high as there's still no word from Israel about when and how it would strike back against Iran's attack over the weekend.

Meantime, in Gaza, officials say Israel has withdrawn from the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza after an operation there that turned an entire

apartment complex, apartment blocks, into heaps of rubble. Officials on the ground say hundreds were killed.

And to the south, this is some of the latest damage in Rafah. A hospital says an airstrike killed 10 members of a single family. Half of the dead

were children; the youngest, just 3 years old.

A U.S. official says American and Israeli officials will meet virtually today to talk about Israel's impending ground operation in Rafah.

Well, vital aid is entering Gaza via new routes. The World Food Programme says the Erez crossing into northern Gaza has been used for the first time

to get food in, while to the north of Gaza, the first aid shipment to arrive at Israel's port of Ashdod has also entered the Strip, they say.

This map should help you visualize what routes we are talking about here. That shipment from Ashdod completed the journey in WFP trucks to the Kerem

Shalom crossing, which you can see to the south of Gaza near Rafah. The reopening of that crossing at Erez so vital to allow more aid to enter the

blockaded enclave.

One person who knows that only too well is Sigrid Kaag. She is the U.N. official tasked with getting humanitarian supplies into the Strip. She is

in Gaza right now. This is her fourth trip there. And we spoke exclusively earlier today about the complexity of delivering more aid and about plans

now in their infancy for the reconstruction and recovery of Gaza once the fighting stops.

She's in Rafah and, if you listen carefully, you can hear the buzz of drones above her. We started by focusing on the next steps needed to try

and save lives.


SIGRID KAAG, SENIOR HUMANITARIAN AND RECONSTRUCTION COORDINATOR FOR GAZA: The U.N. wants to surge. We need to expand our footprint. And we've been

asking for some time, seen as change now, in terms of the decisions adopted by the Israeli cabinet in terms of supply. That's the first step.

We know there's been a decision to open a number of crossings. At the same time, volume and supply to Gaza is only one small part of a broader

equation of our ability to distribute, safely and securely, to have roads repaired to reach people, to have the distribution mechanisms in place.

And I'll give you practical examples. We have trucks to run food supplies or medicine, but we don't have enough fuel.


So it's all part of a very sensitive complex supply chain, where a lot of decisions are still in the government's hand. So from decisions, we need to

go to implementation. And this is before any decision on a military campaign in Rafah.

The other end of the equation is, of course, our ability, collectively, be it of the U.N., NGOs, international or Palestine, to actually be

capacitated to deliver. And that depends very much on the enabling environment, from checkpoints to the fuel to the vehicles being permitted

to move. And above all, effective deconfliction.

So the decisions, I think, need to be recognized. Speed is of the essence. And it's a very complex operation in wartime. As you rightly said, when we

started, you can hear the drones. This is a very, very challenging environment for humanitarians and, above all, the people we seek to serve,

Palestinian civilians.

ANDERSON: Israel has said there are 700 trucks waiting to get into Gaza at Kerem Shalom but it, Israel, it says is waiting for the U.N. to pick that

up. The U.N. has said that almost half of its requests to deliver aid to northern Gaza were denied.

Can you just give us a sense of what is going on in reality?

Who or what is the main barrier to getting more aid in at present?

KAAG: It's an important first step that the supply side, the volume, has been increased. At the same time, the complexity of operating inside Gaza,

in an environment where everything needs to be a given a permit, needs to be coordinated, where roads are in such bad repair that actually the trucks

can't move.

That if you don't have fuel, you have the best drivers in the world but the truck won't go an inch. You cannot collect under those conditions. So these

are the elements that need to be sorted, for which we need Israeli either concurrence or swift approvals for this to actually be functioning.

It is a complex supply chain operation, so to speak. But a lot of it depends on decisions. Today, however, a number of my U.N. colleagues are

heading to Kerem Shalom to indeed make sure that we take and organize as quickly as possible the load, the cargo that's still there.

But for us to actually have volume consistency is sustainability. A number of these other factors need to be addressed. And myself (sic) but also my

colleagues are in constant discussion with Israeli counterparts in order to get this addressed and fixed.

And What is the latest on the maritime corridor, which was set up to provide a sustainable channel for delivering aid?

KAAG: Well, the latest is that work is obviously ongoing on the pier. We've always said we see the pier, the maritime corridor, as providing an

additional route to get the right types of goods into Gaza. But it's additional. There's no substitute for land. Land is cheap, land is

effective, and land is consistent.

Through all routes, from Jordan, from Egypt and, of course, now, for instance, via the port of Ashdod. If Erez is opened or Sikkim. But the

maritime is extra. Work is ongoing. From a U.N. side, we're exploring under which conditions we can be part of the distribution inside Gaza.

ANDERSON: Sigrid, your mandate also has you overseeing sort of reconstruction efforts, recovery efforts in Gaza.

What are the plans for the day after?

And who, at this point, is prepared to bear that cost?

KAAG: A lot of investments are needed. Early recovery is essential. A simple example, generators in Gaza are on their last knees. If they break

down tomorrow, many of the last facilities will stop functioning.

It is not a matter of spare parts, it's replacement. Same probability (ph) rehabilitation of hospitals. This is a fundamental right that you have

access to health care. This is not asking for the moon.

So a lot of the investments that are needed need to happen now. And the permission to import the types of equipment needed also need to be granted.

The big reconstruction discussion, Palestinians in Gaza, obviously needs solid Palestinian institutions. It needs to be owned by the Palestinians


And I think we need to think differently. We cannot work it the same way. The level of destruction, the needs and in the deepest crisis lies also an

opportunity to build a different Gaza.

And I believe we owe that to the Palestinians in Gaza. And for that, I think it's our duty and also to think differently, have the ambitions but

also leverage the financing that is needed for that. Always mindful, of course, of the political framework and the importance of the two-state



Peace and security for Israel and for Palestine.

ANDERSON: Where does that investment come from?

I mean, do you have buy-in from the Arab states, for example, very specifically, the UAE, which has been heavily involved in the humanitarian

aid effort and, for example, Saudi?

KAAG: No, not that we can say at the moment. But you know that the World Bank, U.N. and the E.U. have conducted a needs assessment, an only needs

assessment, which is where the initial figure of 18.5 billion comes from. And of course, that's the conversation we all need to have.

ANDERSON: One of the far-right ministers in Benjamin Netanyahu's government back in January, he said, and I quote, The correct solution to the ongoing

Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to, quote, "encourage the voluntary migration of Gaza's residents to countries that will agree to take in


He said, "Israel will permanently control the territory of the Gaza Strip, including through the establishment of settlements."

We have heard the prime minister talking the past 24 hours about establishing, resettling Israelis in settlements around the Gaza Strip,

around the envelope of the Gaza Strip.

Are you concerned about what Israel's intentions are, both around and inside Gaza?

KAAG: It is obviously concerning but the position of the United Nations -- and that I think of most member states of the international community --

are very clear on the political framework discussion on the two states -- the two-state solution.

And when I say we need to think differently, we cannot take all the time needed. We know what needs to be done. And the investments are required. We

need to provide hope for civilians.

There's a generation in Gaza that has seen war after war after war. In order to provide for prospects and to provide for equity and equality, we

need to think differently and work the reconstruction agenda differently.

Of course, it's concerning when one -- when an Israeli cabinet officials express very different views. But I think here the international community

is very clear. Certainly, the position of the United Nations remains the same.


ANDERSON: That's Sigrid Kaag, in the second part of our interview, the first of which ran last hour, during which she said that she has witnessed

what she described as dehumanizing conditions for people living in central and southern Gaza.

The area that she has been able to visit on this trip she also described the threatened Rafah assault by the Israelis as a Damocles sword hanging

over the heads of civilians already living in what she described as a catastrophic situation.

Well, more than 13,800 children have been killed in Gaza since the war began, according to UNICEF.

Numbers like those can be difficult to comprehend, can't they?

I must warn you that our next report is extremely difficult to watch. But at CNN we have decided it is important to tell this story with faces as

well as numbers.

Putting faces to those numbers, yesterday, at least 14 people were killed, including eight children in a strike on a refugee camp in central Gaza.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond spoke with the family of one of the youngest victims. And, again, a warning that this report contains graphic and disturbing



JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A moment frozen in time, the bodies of at least four children splayed around the foosball table,

laughter and shrieks of joy silenced in an instance, blood now marking where they stood only minutes earlier.

Shahid (ph), no way, Shahid (ph), my beloved, her cousin screams from behind the camera, 10-year-old Shahid (ph) is one of those children, her

bright pink pants unmistakable in the arms of the man carrying her away. With her family's consent, CNN has decided to show Shahid (ph) in life and

death in order to give a face to this war's deadly impact on children.

At Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, those who can still be saved arrive alongside those who cannot. Amid the chaos, Shahid's (ph) pink pants dangling as a

doctor confirms what is tragically obvious.

But Shahid (ph) is not alone. She is one of eight children who died on that crowded street in Al-Maghazi. The hospital says they were killed in an

Israeli airstrike.


By publication time, the Israeli military said only that the incident is under review. One after another, their small bodies arrive at the hospitals

more and into the arms of grieving parents.

His eyes swollen in red, the father of nine-year-old Lujain (ph) recounts his daughter's last moments, playing foosball with her friends. This is my

eldest daughter, he says. A drone strike hit them while they were playing.

They are all children. Hours earlier, Yousef (ph) was one of those children, playing alongside Shahid (ph) and Lujain (ph), when he was

suddenly killed in a war he did not choose. His mother still clinging to her son, neither does this boy who cannot believe his brother is dead.

He is still alive, he cries. don't leave him here. Amid the outpourings of grief, there is Shahid (ph), her blood stained pink pants once again

impossible to miss. Dear God, what did they all do?

One man cries, what did they all do?


ANDERSON: Well, Jeremy Diamond joins us now with the latest on what may be a troubling development in efforts to pause the fighting.

Jeremy, firstly, that report is absolutely devastating and just goes to underscore how much negotiations and a pause of the fighting are needed to

both stop the suffering and, of course, get the Israeli hostages home.

We are now hearing that Qatar, who has been a crucial mediator in this conflict, with close ties to Hamas and the United States, is, quote,

"reevaluating" its role, just have a listen.


SHEIKH MOHAMMED BIN ABDULRAHMAN AL THANI, QATARI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Unfortunately, we have seen that there is a misuse of this

mediation in order to serve and in favor of some very narrow political interests, which has called on the state of Qatar to conduct a

comprehensive evaluation to this whole role.


ANDERSON: And I have to say this is not the first time I've heard frustration from the prime minister, who also acts as the foreign minister.

I've heard similar frustration voiced by members of his team.

This, though, is the first time that, out loud, the Qatari FM has suggested that they may reevaluate the role that they are playing. Let's remind

ourselves, they successfully mediated the talks back in November, which actually elicited the release of some 100 hostages in exchange for

Palestinian prisoners and a pause in the fighting.

There has been no pause, no temporary ceasefire since then. We are now more than six months in.

Jeremy, where do you believe this leaves mediation efforts?

DIAMOND: It's really hard to say, Becky, but I must say that, over the course of the last two weeks in particular, I think pessimism has really

been growing about the state of these negotiations.

And the statements that we're hearing now from the Qatari foreign minister indicate just how difficult these negotiations are, how difficult quarter's

position is and just how much pressure is being brought to bear on Qatar to try and break through this logjam.

There -- I've been speaking to a lot of Israeli officials about the state of these negotiations and they certainly feel a sense of frustration, both

about Hamas' intransigence in these talks -- they feel like Israel has moved quite significantly on a couple of key issues, including allowing

people, Palestinians to return to northern Gaza.

Albeit via security checks and in limited numbers. But they feel like they've moved on that issue. They've increased the number of Palestinian

prisoners they're willing to release. And yet they feel like Hamas is simply remaining intransigent in its stance, perhaps because they are

watching the international pressure.

The U.S. pressure is growing on Israel. And so the Israelis certainly feel like Qatar can and should be bringing more pressure to bear on Hamas in

terms of the financial leverage that they have over Hamas.

In terms of the kind of diplomatic protections that they afford to Hamas on their territory. The Qataris, though, feel like they are playing the role

of an honest broker, that they are doing all they can to try and bring these parties together.


And so amid all of this, you also have comments from U.S. lawmakers, suggesting that the U.S. should reevaluate its relationship with Qatar. And

so perhaps the Qataris are wondering whether this is all worth it them playing this crucial role as mediators.

We also know, of course, that they are not the only mediators. The Egyptians have also been playing a key role here. And so perhaps if Qatar

chooses to step back from these negotiations, that will mean a bigger role for Egypt.

But of course, the bottom line is that Hamas is not shifting its position so far. Israel is not shifting its position on several of the other key

issues. So this leaves us in a very difficult position with a Rafah offensive now looming. Becky.

ANDERSON: Just to add, at the beginning of April, the Qataris put out a statement when last they felt that they wanted to ask U.S. lawmakers to

desist from some of the comments that they have been making about Qatar.

I just want to read the last line of that statement that was put out by the ministry of foreign affairs. I think it was April the 8th. Subsequently,

we've heard, of course, from the lawmaker higher (ph) that you've just you've just described.

But the last line in that statement read the following -- and this is, what, three weeks ago now, "There is more work to be done and urgently,"

the statement said, with regard the mediation talks.

"Misinformation about Qatar and its humanitarian contributions is unhelpful to these delicate negotiations."

I mean, I think it's fair to say that Doha has been telegraphing its frustration and concerns about the comments that have been made about its

role for some time now.

I think that's -- I want to say that's at least the third statement, if not the fourth statement, I've seen released by Medicare for all, by the

ministry of foreign affairs in Qatar since the start of this conflict.

Jeremy, it's good to have you. Thank you very much, indeed.

Still to come, CNN has just learned that one of the jurors in Donald Trump's criminal trial is being excused by the judge. Details next, in what

is a live report from New York. These are live pictures set out in New York. The time there 20 past 10 in the morning.




JIMENEZ: Welcome back to CNN. I'm Omar Jimenez. We are outside the Manhattan criminal courthouse in New York, where day three of jury

selection for Donald Trump's hush money trial is now underway.

We're going to show you a little bit of inside the courtroom right now, some photographs of Trump seated at the defendant's table just a short time

ago. And we've already seen a pretty big development today.

The judge has excused one of the seven jurors that were initially served -- selected to serve in this trial. CNN's Zachary Cohen joins me now from



So get us up to speed.

Why did the judge dismiss this juror and what should we be expecting throughout the rest of today?

ZACHARY COHEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Omar, we're done at six jurors, as you mentioned, because one juror, juror number two,

raised concerns about their ability to be fair and impartial.

And they told the judge that's because aspects of their identity had been out there and been made public. They raised concerns about phone calls that

they had gotten from friends, families and colleagues, questioning their identity as a juror.

So the judge deciding that, yes, this juror could be excused, bringing our number back down to six impaneled jurors. And prosecutors are also raising

a question about another juror who was seated on Tuesday.

They want to talk to this juror and question them about information they've dug up in the last two days that suggests somebody with the same name was

arrested in the 1990s for tearing down political ads.

Prosecutors say that this would contradict what this juror told them under questioning on Tuesday. So that juror hasn't arrived at the courthouse yet

but will face questioning from prosecutors and from the judge when they do.

But ultimately now, we're still -- we're seeing the process that played out on Tuesday start all over again, the night a new group of 96 jurors has

been brought into the courtroom. They've been given instructions by Judge Merchan and told that they -- what the burden of proof in this case is,

what the facts of this case are.

And they've been asked the question that all the jurors on Tuesday were asked as well, can you be fair and impartial?

They're now going row by row, each juror of the 96, answering the question of whether or not they can be fair and impartial in this case. And once

we're through that, that will eliminate a significant group of the jurors.

You will remember on Tuesday that question actually eliminated 50 of the 96 jurors who were in the room that day. So want to see how many do say that

they cannot be fair and impartial and are excused as a result.

But once that number is narrowed down a little bit, prosecutors and defense attorneys will then have the opportunity to question the remaining jurors

about their answers on this questionnaire.

The 42-question questionnaire that asks things like, have you ever attended a Trump rally, have -- what social media accounts you subscribe to, where

do you get your news from?

These are all things that prosecutors and defense attorneys believe they need to know in order to seat a jury in this trial against Donald Trump.

And look, it remains to be seen how many jurors we will end the day with. Again, we are down to six now, so we need six more plus about six


But Judge Merchan on Tuesday did say that he hopes just have opening statements at the start this trial on Monday. So we'll have to see if these

questions about the jurors who've already been seated, if that impacts that timeline at all.

JIMENEZ: Yes. Zachary Cohen, really appreciate you bringing all that together.

I want to bring in Larry Sabato. He's the director of the Center of Politics at the University of Virginia.

And look, we've been talking about the legal aspects of this, obviously because this is a trial and we're in the jury selection process.

But it's not happening in a vacuum. There are politics surrounding this trial as well.

And, Larry, from a political standpoint, what do you see as the best possible outcome for Trump in this case and the worst case for him in this


LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Well, the best case obviously would be exoneration, which he, I think, is

unlikely to get for a combination of reasons.

So the best possible outcome for him, practically speaking, would be a hung jury. That's the equivalent, as far as Trump is concerned, of not guilty.

It really isn't. And it's possible he could be retried on the charges. But he's going to hail anything like that as a great victory.

And even if he's convicted, of course, it will be because, without the slightest bit of evidence, President Biden ordered the legal officials in

Manhattan, which he has no right to do, to undertake this prosecution.

Trump's base is going to believe whatever he says or they already don't care. They've made that clear. But it's all aimed at that slice of voters,

several percent of voters, who actually are movable, who really are undecided between Biden and Trump or may be voting for one of the

independent or third party candidates.

So it's significant. I think the other trials, if they happen before the election, will be much more significant. But here we are.

JIMENEZ: Look, you touched on what I was going to talk about here because, as it stands right now, this trial could be the only one that plays out

before the November election. It sounds like you don't think this is going to have the biggest impact politically, this particular trial.

But let's go a little bit deeper on that, on that slice of voters.

What are the implications for this one in particular, what is that slice of undecided, those true undecideds, what are the implications for them?

And what are they looking for as these proceedings play out?

SABATO: Well, there are many groups of undecideds. But I think the one that may be most critical, the difference between Biden and Trump, would be

white suburban women, who are somewhat conflicted.


That is normally because of where they stand in terms of income and background, may lean more Republican -- or at least they used to vote

Republican regularly. But now, because of issues like abortion and Trump's behavior, they've been leaning and have been voting more Democratic.

Well, they're a movable group, depending on the circumstances -- again, not just between Biden and Trump but also whether they opt out from the real

choice, which is between Biden and Trump, and decide to go a third route, which still affects the Electoral College and could result in Trump's


JIMENEZ: Yes. Well, look, this trial is -- there are questions about how the legal proceedings would collide with the campaign trail. We had seen

glimpses in the past. This is now truly the combination of the two and we'll see how this plays out legally.

But of course, politically as well. Larry Sabato, really appreciate you taking the time.

We're going to take a short break. We're going to have much more on the historic criminal trial just ahead.




ANDERSON: Welcome back. Just after half past 6 in Abu Dhabi. The United Arab Emirates and some of its neighbors are trying to bounce back after

this week's historic rains. Dubai's airport still filled with stranded passengers in the aftermath of that record storm.

This morning, airport officials predicted that all the terminals will be fully operational within 24 hours.

Drivers in Dubai still having to negotiate some of the flooded roads. Lots of standing water does remain. Eleni Giokos joins me now with the very

latest on cleanup operations, which are now very much underway. She's live in Dubai.

Eleni, tell us where you are and how quickly things are likely to bounce back there.

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Let me tell you, we've been stuck on this freeway for about a few hours, trying to get through --

pretty much like all the passengers here as you can see, the commuters -- trying to get through the street, which basically looks like a river.


It's a key artery that links the whole of Dubai and also gets you to Dubai International Airport. We've been speaking to some of the passengers.

They're trying to get a way out of here. And it's really pretty traumatic to see this experience.

We were stuck in so many of the floods yesterday and, I can tell you, it is absolutely harrowing. Cleanup operations are underway. We're seeing so many

efforts coming through from emergency services, trying to pump the water out and eventually take it to the sea or into the desert and into drain

systems as well.

But I can tell you, it's definitely not happening quickly enough. I've been speaking to some of the people here. And they say they just wish there was

a directive to get everyone to stop driving so that there's a quicker turnaround on the operations.

I just want to show you this. This is one example, Becky, of what we've been seeing around Dubai. This is a van that has basically been derailed by

the floodwater. We've seen so many of these cars submerged.

And here's the reality. Sheikh Zayed Road, where I am now, we spoke to so many people that were trapped here, one woman was telling us it was eight

hours. And she said, we weren't driving. We were basically swimming and just watching cars starting to float, with people trying to essentially get


Dubai's international importance impact there, 1,000 flights being canceled essentially; 300 people can fit on one of those aircrafts. So hundreds and

hundreds of thousands of people essentially being affected.

Paul Griffiths, the CEO, says that, hopefully in the next 24 hours, things are going to turn back to normal.

So we wait and see; it really depends on how fast they can start cleaning up roads like this.

ANDERSON: What is one part of Dubai, Eleni is there.

Thank you.

And as we've been reporting, it isn't only Dubai that is trying to dry out. Sharjah, which is UAE's biggest city after Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is being

hit with flooded streets, as you can see here.

And neighboring countries, this is a storm that hit the entire region, really swept through at a rapid place.

Also, struggling to get back to normal after those deadly downpours drenched the region upended lives. Iran's state news says torrential rains

and flash floods have devastated parts of the country in the southeast.

And we are hearing the death toll across Pakistan and Afghanistan now exceeds more than 100 people killed in what are these historic rains and

flooding. We were warned but you can -- you can never really be prepared for what was the -- an historic storm, the biggest certainly here over the

UAE in 75 years.

Well, as Israel weighs its options about how it wants to respond to Iran's weekend attack, Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah is claiming responsibility

for a cross-border attack in northern Israel.

A local hospital says at least 18 people have been injured in the latest drone and missile strike on Wednesday. Now we are hearing a warning from

Iran itself about its nuclear policies. It says, those policies could change if Israel continues its threats against Iran.

It's worth noting the head of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog told me this week that Iran's enrichment, which continues, does not mean that it actually has

a nuclear weapon at this point.

Let's get you to Lebanon and to CNN's Paula Hancocks, who's live from Beirut.

As the Israelis continued to weigh their response and reportedly speak to the Americans about what they expect to do next, so there's much

speculation about what that response might look like.

And some suggestion by experts around the region that putting Hezbollah, the Iran-backed proxy group in southern Lebanon, in the crosshairs could be

one response.

Is that groups stepping up cross-border attacks with Israel now?

Are we witnessing an escalation?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, certainly what we have been seeing this week across the border would suggest that. But quite frankly,

over recent weeks, we have seen this sort of incremental increase in the number of attacks from either side that we have been seeing.

Very small increases but very significant as well. As you say, there was an attack and launches by Hezbollah just on Wednesday; 18 were injured --

three civilians, the rest soldiers, according to the Israeli military. And that was just in northern Israel.

Just hours after that particular launch, we understand that the Israeli military say that fighter jets attack the alleged Hezbollah sites in

southern Lebanon as well. Now these two attacks were in retaliation for previous attacks.


There was a Hezbollah commander, for example, that was killed in southern Lebanon earlier in the week. And there had been a number of launches

against more than Israel. So this tit-for-tat that we are seeing between Hezbollah and northern Israel does appear to be intensifying.

But certainly it has been intensifying for some time. Just recently, we've also been seeing the Israeli military carrying out these drills, if you

like, these war simulations, close to the northern border, obviously sending a message as well.

The Israeli defense minister saying that is to show that they are ready for war if it comes to that. And there are concerns that this border, in

particular, is starting to heat up significantly. We've heard, for example, that the E.U.'s top diplomat talking about it just today, that he's worried

about this potential for a larger regional conflict. Becky.

ANDERSON: Good to have you. Thank you.

Ahead on CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm going to get you back to New York and day three of jury selection in the Donald Trump hush money trial. That is

coming up after this.




JIMENEZ: Jury selection in the Donald Trump hush money trial continues. The day started with seven out of 12 jurors needed for the trial already

selected. But then the judge has now excused one of them and we've learned prosecutors are questioning the truthfulness of the answers given by

another one.

We've got a lot to discuss here. Michael Zeldin is a former federal prosecutor and host of the "That Said" podcast and joins me now.

All right. One, just today, we've already had 48 potential jurors dismissed over concerns over whether they could be fair and impartial. It sort of

highlights with what someone as high-profile as Donald Trump, that question is so central here.

How would you assess the jury selection process so far, not just with the potential jurors but even the one that we had impaneled at the start of


MICHAEL ZELDIN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: So it seems like it's moving really well. I thought this would be a much slower, more cumbersome

process. But the 42-question questionnaire seems to be effective at getting at the opinions that people have coming into this case.

We see the ongoing efforts to do more media searches of them after they've been selected to see whether there's anything that requires them to be

removed, notwithstanding having been selected.

So I think -- I think it's moving as well as it could, given the circumstances of a case like this.

JIMENEZ: And lay out for the viewers a little bit what is actually happening right now, because obviously there's a process, where the judge

is helping assess but also prosecutors and the -- and the defense.


They're looking for potential jurors that they think could be receptive to the cases that they're going to bring.

What are both sides looking for here?

ZELDIN: They're looking for people who they think they can connect with. What you really want in jury selection is someone who will hear your

argument and find it compelling. And you want to, on the flip side, remove those people who you think will be unreceptive to your message.

And so the peremptory challenge process, that which allows you to remove jurors sort of without particular reason, is what's playing out day by day,

juror by juror.

Can they be trusted?

Will they be interested in my story?

Will they be hostile to me?

And that is what they'll try to do.

JIMENEZ: And we also have a glimpse of some of the questions that they've been presenting to potential jurors in court and just give you a few of

them. They're asking about their news consumption, whether prospective jurors or anyone in their circle have attended a Trump rally or an anti-

Trump event.

What is the significance of actually getting into the politics and the news consumption of some of these potential jurors?

ZELDIN: You really want a juror who, as best as you can, will try to split everything down the middle.

If you have someone who only receives their information from left-wing media sources or right-wing media sources, then you think, well, you know,

but maybe they're not really the type of person who can sit in a case where we want to really have people who will be an open-minded juror.

So they are scouring social media and they're scouring their -- the media ingestion process to make sure that they can, as best as they can, get to

people who are playing in the middle of the field.

If you think of it as a football game, really don't want people playing on each side of the field from the 20 yard line to the goal line; you want

people who are playing in the middle of the field. That's the best thing they can do. And that's what they're trying very hard to accomplish.

JIMENEZ: Look, we know both sides, they have those peremptory strikes here in case they decide, you know what, this is someone that we actually do not

want to even have the chance to be impaneled as a juror here.

What does that line, do you believe, for both of these sides, that they would cross over and say, this is what we absolutely do not want?

Because we know they've used some of those strikes already.

ZELDIN: Right. And so if you -- if you're on the prosecution side and you have a prospective juror who says, I only gather my news from alt-right

sources, then I think, as a prosecutor, you're going to want to strike them.

And of course, conversely, if you're the defense and you hear someone who's saying they only get their media sources from the Left, they're going to

try to strike them.

Similarly, you might get people struck because of their demographics -- where they live, what income they earn, what their predisposition is, based

on what you can gather from their employment status, all of those things are very, very subjective.

But each of them, each side has jury consultants who are advising them. You want this type of juror; you don't want that type of juror. Whether those

things are science or alchemy is not clear. But that's what's going on.

JIMENEZ: Yes. Michael Zeldin, really appreciate the perspective as always.

And as court continues, trying to begin and continue the process to select jurors in this case, as Trump faces 34 counts, felony counts of falsifying

business records, we're going to have more news after a short break, stay with us.





ANDERSON: Well, Dubai trying to dry out after a year's worth of rain fell in just 12 hours on Tuesday, flooding the desert city. And the world second

busiest airport brought to a standstill. The tarmac at Dubai International Airport was completely underwater.

They are now trying to get operations back on track and promising that operations will be normalized within the next 24 hours.

Well, when this huge, historic storm that had been telegraphed, I have to say, because we live here in Abu Dhabi and we'd be warned for some days

that this storm was on its way through this part of the world, rumors here quickly started swirling that the extreme rain was caused by cloud seeding,

a practice the UAE has been using since the 1990s.

Officials here at the country's national center of meteorology had been cited as saying the rain was not caused by the weather altering practice.

We've reached out to the center, of course, for comment.

We want to do more on this.

What is cloud seeding and how does it work?

CNN's Bill Weir here to break this down.

Walk us through how this -- how this works.


ANDERSON: Why countries use it, because it's not just the UAE; it's a number of countries around the -- around the world. It's used as a tool to

fight climate change, of course.

Is it effective?

WEIR: Well, there's two different things there. There are tools that are being developed to cast shade over the Earth, to brighten marine clouds,

make them brighter, reflect more sunlight, not to create rain.

But this practice is basically trying to squeeze as much rain out of whatever is in the cloud. There is no such thing on Earth. There is no

plane that can fly into an empty sky and create rain clouds or overdose the sky somehow.

What cloud seeding is, is just putting silver iodide or even just saltwater into an existing storm front to give that water, that moisture, something

to cling onto and turn into a raindrop.

And so even if the UAE had flown their cloud seeders before the storm, they couldn't have made it any worse than it was going to be in the first place.

There is no real science that it even works in the first place, because it's really hard to study how much rain came out of this cloud versus this

cloud at the same time.

But they do it to try, in arid regions, to get more moisture out of there. This is purely the result of that big, slow-moving front. On a much warmer

planet, a warmer atmosphere can suck up more moisture from the tropics and then just firehose it in a place like Dubai, which was not built for the

atmosphere of Singapore.

No one was thinking about drainage or catching all of that precious water and holding onto it for the next drought. And so this is a warning and we

need to heed it.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. I've to say, while I've got you, congratulations on the new book. "Life as We Know It (Can Be)," stories of people, climate,

hope in a changing world. The inspiration letters that you are writing to your newborn son.

Tell me how the book came together.

WEIR: Well, he was born, my little boy, became a new old dad at age 52 at the height of the pandemic. And I'm looking at this little wiggling bundle

of joy and looking out on a world in lockdown and had been covering climate and had a very sort of dark perception of the world I just brought him


And so as a cathartic record of what was happening, just all of this seismic turmoil in the world and try to gather ideas for how to -- he

should build his life.

Where should he live?

Is there a haven?

What kind of house should he build?

What will the food supply look like?

But the more time I spent, the more he grew up -- there's my daughter, Olivia, who's 16 years older -- the more I met helpers and doers and

dreamers, who are tackling these huge problems around our water cycles, around air temperature, how to build stronger homes, how to build, grow

regenerative agriculture.

And in the end, Becky, against my better instincts that came away with much more hope, much more wonder than worry where it's such a seismic time. And

if we can get this generation plugged into their natural surroundings -- that's me up on a glacier in Iceland there -- to understand how our little

decisions add up to big consequences globally and provide the tools for them to get through this.

It's going to be tough, not just physically, practically but psychologically, how to think about this very tough problem.

ANDERSON: I -- and you and I've talked about this, you know, the only way to tackle climate crisis and to tell stories about what is happening and

what might happen next is to ensure that we focus on where the opportunity and advancements that we see in our reporting are.


ANDERSON: I just wondered very briefly what gave you the most hope when you think about the future that we are leaving for our kids?

And by the way, I've got little ones about the same age as your little fellow as well.

WEIR: Well, what gives me hope Becky, is that, for most of human history, we just burned the cheapest fuels that are available. And right now, the

cheapest fuels humanity has ever known is solar plus storage or offshore wind.

It's why Texas leads the United States in green energy. The economics of it right now just make more sense than the ideology or the politics of the

past. So now it's just a matter of changing the story.

During the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S., Dr. Martin Luther King didn't say, I have a nightmare. People knew the nightmare, he said I have a dream.

And we don't talk about the dream of healthier, more resilient, sustainable communities, where people can still make a fortune but do it in a way that

doesn't wreck an entire ecosystems.

And to empower our kids with the knowledge that pulling together the great movements in human history have come when we look out for each other and

people we've yet to meet.

And so I don't know, just trying to start a conversation on that path.

ANDERSON: I'm all for this, the sort of doomsday scenarios just don't help at this point. We got to get, we got to get focused about what we can do.

Thank you. But it's always a pleasure.

And Bill's book, "Life as We Know It (Can Be)," stories of people, climate and a hope in a changing world is out now.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Becky Anderson.