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U.S. Official: Israel Strikes At Iran, Iran Reports No Damage; Police: Suspect Leaves Iranian Consulate In Paris; Jury Seated In Trump's Historic Hush Money Criminal Trial; World's Biggest Election Begins In India; Oil Prices Spike Briefly After Israeli Attack On Iran; Wearable Tech And Your Health. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired April 19, 2024 - 09:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome to our special breaking news coverage. It is 5:00 p.m. here in Abu Dhabi. I'm Eleni Giokos.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: And it's 9:00 a.m. here on the U.S. East Coast. I'm Erica Hill in New York.

GIOKOS: All right. We are falling two major stories for you this hour here in the Middle East. Tensions ratcheted up further this morning. Israel

appears to have carried out its promised retaliation against Iran after Iran's weakened attack on Israel. We'll bring you the latest.

HILL: And here in the U.S., it is day four of jury selection in the historic hush money trial of former President Donald Trump. Court set to

open just a short time from now. We have a full set. Of course 12 jurors have now been impaneled and one alternate. The former president is facing

34 felony charges for allegedly falsifying business records to cover up hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016

election. He is of course the first former president to ever be tried in a criminal case.

GIOKOS: All right. While Israel appears to have carried out its promised retaliation against Iran after Iran's weekend attack on Israel, but will

Iran respond? This is what we know right now. And Iranian official says its air defenses intercepted three drones near an army base in central Iran.

Iranian commander reports no damage was done and state media saying all nuclear sites are secure.

Israel, meanwhile, isn't commenting but a U.S. official says Israel carried out the attack. Iran appears to be downplaying it even though its leaders

had repeatedly warned Israel would face a severe and immediate response if it launched any attack on Israel. We've got Paula Hancocks standing by for

us. She is in Beirut. Paula, great to see you. And what can we read into Iran's response into the strike and specifically about any news or

information about damage to infrastructure?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Eleni, what we've been hearing from the Iranian side is really a downplaying of the entire incidence,

there has been a real effort it appears to suggest that there has been no damage that it was not a significant strike. And that is despite the fact

that over recent days, in fact, just hours before this strike took place, the Iranian foreign minister spoke to CNN and said that if there was going

to be some kind of Israeli response, then there would be an immediate response from Iran.

So let's just remind ourselves of exactly what happened in the early hours of this morning.


HANCOCKS (voice-over): Flushes in the sky seen close to a major military airbase near the Iranian city of Isfahan. This overnight video is from

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard. CNN cannot verify its authenticity. Iranian officials said air defenses downed three drones with no reports of

a missile attack. A U.S. official tells CNN Israel carried out the strike saying the U.S. was warned but did not endorse the response. The Israeli

military has no comment.

State run media reports Iran's nuclear sites are, quote, completely secure. The U.N. nuclear agency also confirms no damage. Calm street scenes

dominate Iranian airwaves, visual proof of claims of business as usual, with little appetite for further escalation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): In general, we are not in favor of war one way or another. War is destructive. We are against war. We do not

accept whether this side launches attacks or that side launches attacks. We do not accept it. We are not happy with the killing of people whether they

are Iranians, Israelis or Gazans.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Tensions around the Middle East remain on a knife's edge following Iran's unprecedented direct strike against Israel last

weekend. Around 170 drones, more than 30 cruise missiles and more than 120 ballistic missiles were launched at Israel by Iran, the vast majority

intercepted by the Israeli Air Force and Israeli partners.

A response to a suspected Israeli strike on an Iranian diplomatic complex in the Syrian capital Damascus on April 1st, which killed the top commander

in several others. G7 foreign ministers are meeting in Italy with a unified call for maximum restraint.


ANTONIO TAJANI, ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): I wanted a very clear message to come out from the whole of the G7, the political goal

of the G7 is deescalation. We have worked and we will continue to work and to be active to achieve deescalation throughout the Middle East.

ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: What we're focused on what the G7 is focused on. And again, it's reflected in our statement, and in our

conversation, is our work to deescalate tensions, to deescalate from any potential conflict.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): A call that early indications suggest Israel may have heated.


HANCOCKS (on camera): Now we know for several days there have been war cabinet meetings in Israel to try and determine what sort of response there

should be. We know there was disagreements within the war cabinet on that as well, of course, international pressure to try and deescalate the

situation to not react in too strong away, that there could be a wider conflict sparks.

And so certainly the hope is at this point, and of course, it is still early days. We don't know the exact details of what was targeted and

potentially what was damaged on the ground. But that is certainly a hope Eleni that at this point, Iran will be able to resist escalating further

and retaliating to what Israel has done.

There are calls on all sides for this to now be downplayed. And the hope is that the fact this wasn't a significant attack by Israel may allow to Iran

to do that. Eleni?

GIOKOS: Yes. At a time, Paula, when everyone is worried about regional escalation, good to have you giving us an update on the latest there. Paula

Hancocks in Beirut for us.

I also want to get a sense of what the United States response has been to this strike in Iran. We've got Kylie Atwood. She's at the State Department

for us. Kylie, good to see you. What have we heard from the U.S. government officials and how they're squaring this up at this point?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, the first U.S. official that we have heard from since these strikes occurred overnight was

Secretary of State Antony Blinken. But he did not even directly acknowledge or directly confirm that those strikes had occurred, he would only say that

there are reports. And he said that the U.S. was not involved in any, quote, during -- in any offensive operations. That's something that the

U.S. wants to make sure so that they avoid U.S. involvement in this ongoing back and forth between Israel and Iran.

He went on to say that the U.S. is focused on deescalation. And they will continue to be focused on deescalation by not commenting on what occurred

overnight. He's almost embodying that commitment, not trying to pour more fuel on the fire that has been this back and forth between Iran and Israel.

He did however, come out and very clearly say that the G7 stands with Israel and the defense of Israel, particularly after what he called the

unprecedented attack from Iran with hundreds of drones against Israel last weekend. Listen to what he said on that.


BLINKEN: We're committed to Israel's security. We're also committed to deescalating, to try to bring this tension to a close. You saw as well or

you'll see soon in the G7 statement, a commitment to hold Iran to account, to account for its destabilizing activities, holding it to account by

degrading its missile and drone capabilities. And yesterday, the United States announced additional sanctions on Iran.


ATWOOD: And those additional sanctions on Iran that came from the U.S. yesterday, were very precise in nature. They rolled out new sanctions on

the manufacturers of the engines that were specifically used in those drones that were as part of the Iran strike against Israel last weekend. So

it's very clear that the U.S. wanted to make sure to Israel and of course to Iran, that they're paying attention to the very specifics there and

trying to degrade Iran's military capabilities to go forth with something like that in the future.

We'll watch to wait and see what the White House says about these strikes overnight. But so far, no formal statement coming out of the White House

just yet or President Biden himself.

GIOKOS: All right, Kylie Atwood, good to see you. Thank you for that update.

Well, CNN spoke exclusively with Iran's foreign minister before Israel's retaliatory attack. He warned that any Israeli adventurism in his words,

would be met with an immediate, decisive and definitive response with Israel striking near a nuclear site. He talked with Erin Burnett about the

country's nuclear program. Take a listen.



HOSSEIN AMIR-ABDOLLAHIAN, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): We've announced several times that the entire nuclear program of Iran is in

its totality within the framework of a peaceful program, and we have been strictly focused on that goal. But we witnessed over the past few months

that are repeated the certain Israeli officials repeated that in order to win in Gaza, a nuclear weapon must be used by Israel.

And I do think that America must pay closer attention and focus on the adventure seeking regime in Israel so that such a crisis will not happen in

Gaza, because Netanyahu showed that he will not respect any of the red line. So he's the one that must be brought under control.


GIOKOS: Meanwhile, a tense situation has been playing out in Paris where police say a man who may be carrying a grenade or an explosive vest was

seen entering the Iranian consulate a few hours ago. They now say he has exited the building and is being checked out by police. We've got Melissa

Bell, who is on scene right now joining us with the latest. Melissa, what more can you tell us?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Eleni, it's a pretty big police operation that you're talking about. These are the really well-heeled

neighborhoods of Paris, sort of west of Paris, where the Iranian Embassy and Consulate either in the same building. What would descend from police

is that it was about four hours ago now, a man was seen entering with what appeared to be either a grenade or an explosive vest. They're not sure

which but certainly armed and was then holed up inside the embassy.

Then a huge police operation is still underway now. There's a big part of the Paris Metro that has been closed down. Well, we understand the very

latest that the man has now left the embassy and he's in police custody. And they're trying to figure out who he is, how he got into the embassy in

the first place and what he might have been hoping to achieve. But this is a city remember, Eleni, that is right now in high alert. It has been for

several years and years now as a result of the terror threat of last few years.

But the 3,000 military personnel that patrol the streets of France were doubled after the Moscow attacks of last month. So you see them much more.

It is a city that is -- as its -- is at its highest level of alert. And so the police and military response was extremely quick. In fact, it is one of

the elite police units that had just seen as soon as news of this emerged, but the man now has been removed from the consulate and we wait to hear

more about exactly what his intentions were really.

GIOKOS: Yes, really fascinating. And as you say, the city very much on high alert. We can see images of police right now, patrolling and looking at the

scenario. We don't have any information about this man. And of course, whether he was holding a grenade or with a vest. I mean, have you heard

anything from authorities at this point?

BELL: Well, this -- the police are saying that he was definitely armed when he entered the consulate. I think the real question is how he was able to

enter under the circumstances given this would have been one of the most closely guarded buildings in Paris. But they seem pretty convinced that he

was armed when he went in. And exactly what went on during the now several hours we understand when he was inside the concert. We don't have any more

details of what negotiations went on, what threats were made. This is all information that we're waiting to hear.

But certainly a massive police response around me now here in Paris, big part of the metro cordoned off and policed really all around this building,

having encircled it now for several hours as they waited for this armed man to be extracted. Eleni?

ACOSTA: All right, Melissa Bell, good to have you with us an update there from Paris.

Now new tensions at New York's Columbia University which is dealing with claims of anti-Semitism on campus, more than 100 students were arrested

during a pro-Palestinian protest. They're charged with criminal trespass after setting up what they called a Gaza solidarity encampment. They want

the school to boycott activities with Israel. Now the daughter of U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar was among those detained. Another group of

students staged a separate university approved protest to honor victims of the October 7th Hamas attack.

All right, still to come on CNN, a marathon six week general election and a mammoth exercise in democracy. We're heading to India after the country

headed to the polls today. That's coming up next.

And oil markets did react to Israel's attack on Iran. But the effect was short lived. We'll hear from an experts in the region about what that all



Plus, Donald Trump returns to court today. A full jury for his criminal trial has been chosen. And now the focus is on selecting alternate jurors.

A live report, we've got Erica Hill standing by for us. We'll be back after this short break.


HILL: Welcome back to CNN. I'm Erica Hill. Just outside the courthouse in lower Manhattan, where opening statements in the historic criminal trial of

Donald Trump could begin as soon as Monday. A full 12-person journey and one alternate have now been selected. The process to select five additional

alternate jurors continues. That will pick up just a matter of moments from now.

Here you see pictures of the former president arriving just a short time ago at the courthouse. On Thursday, Donald Trump's attorneys used up all of

their, a lot of challenges for the initial jury. We will see how that plays out. They will of course have a couple of other strikes when it comes to

the alternates as we move into that phase later today. We're also learning that hearing about just what prosecutors can say in terms of Donald Trump's

legal history during the trial. That should happen later today. CNN's Brynn Gingras joining me now with more of the updates. And we also heard from the

former president, Brynn, just a short time ago as he made his way to the courtroom.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, some of the similar stuff we've been hearing before. But he certainly talked the most we have heard him really

since this jury selection had started earlier this week, Erica. He talks about that gag order a source of contentions for him. We know that a judge

is going to be having a hearing next week bringing up issues that the prosecution has had saying that Trump has violated that gag order about 10

times. So we do expect that happened to Tuesday.

But before any of that can happen, of course we need to find those or that they need to find those other alternates afford this case. We know that

there's 22 jurors that are going to be brought in who have to go through that 42 questionnaire and determine whether or not they can be fair and

impartial when it comes to being seated as an alternate on this jury.

We know that, like you said, Trump's attorneys and also the Prosecution have used up all their strikes. But when it comes to alternates, each side

has two more strikes per alternate. So more than they do, actually first seating the original 12 jurors. So we do expect that to happen actually

before the lunch break. And then after the lunch break, we might get into what is called a Sandoval hearing. You just mentioned that there

essentially, that is basically going to determine what sort of legal paths prosecutors can get into if Donald Trump actually takes the stand as a


We know in court filings, prosecutors said they want to bring up the civil fraud trial. They want to bring up the defamation trial with E. Jean

Carroll, the verdicts in those. So the judge will have to determine what in his past can actually be questioned if he takes the stand. So there is a

busy day in court today. And then of course, if this all happens, and is completed, that's right, on Monday, we might actually have opening

statements for this historic trial. And then even after that, maybe the first witness. We'll have to see.

HILL: Yes, a lot to get through. But things have already been moving at a pretty swift pace. Brynn appreciate it. Thank you.

Later today, U.S. House lawmakers will get their first chance to vote on a package of foreign aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan. These are bills that

of course have fractured the Republican Party just before midnight on Thursday, the House Rules Committee advanced those bills out of Committee

with support from Democrats, that's because three Republican hardliners voted against it. The full House will not have to vote on the rules. House

Speaker Mike Johnson, of course facing backlash from some fellow Republicans over his new aid plan. That backlash could end up costing him

his job. Johnson has said the House will likely vote on the bills tomorrow.


We'll continue to follow that for you. But right now, let's send it back to Eleni Giokos for more on the situation in the Middle East. Eleni?

GIOKOS: All right, thanks so much, Erica. Well, polls have just closed in first phase of the world's largest ever general election, nearly a billion

people in India. That is about 12 percent of the world's population. They're eligible to vote. So this is a big logistical efforts and they're

setting the stage for a massive exercise in democracy over the next six weeks.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is standing for a third term in power against an alliance of opposition parties. I want to get more now with Will

Ripley is in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Great to have you with us. I mentioned this logistical effort, a billion people. We got -- we have to

think about just how many people are eligible to vote. So how things looking right now?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is an extraordinary feat to consider that you have 968 million eligible voters

and each and every one of them over the course of the next six weeks will have a polling station available to them within two kilometers of their

house, 28 states, eight territories, sometimes getting a voting booth open means hiking up the Himalayas. We actually have footage of people who

appear like they're backpacking through the mountains, which is what they're doing, but they're doing that so that they can get voting machines

to some of these more remote communities and make sure that voters there have the opportunity to cast their ballot.

Back in 2019 was record turnout here in India, 67 percent. And given some of the contentious issues at play in this election as the popular but

controversial Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks a rare third consecutive term which would put him in office by the end of that term for a total of

15 years. He's already been in power for a decade. There are a lot of people expected to turn out. He has many supporters. And he also has a fair

number of detractors, particularly those who are part of the Muslim minority here in India. You're talking about more than 200 million people,

many of whom say they are marginalized under Modi's Hindu first government.

And even some prominent Indian leaders that we spoke to earlier in the week in his constituency, Modi's constituency of Varanasi, India, they say that

the political climate right now is extraordinarily toxic. Listen.


VISHWAMBHAR NATH MISHRA, HEAD PRIEST, SANKAT MOCHAN TEMPLE: This is what we call it, it is not the religious center, it is basically a spiritual

center. So this unique fabric has a strained condition now. And we have a fear that this fabric may break.


RIPLEY: Modi has also faced criticism for things like the erosion of press freedom and the worsening of environmental pollution across India. But he

also gets a lot of credit amongst many people for raising India's global profile, both through diplomacy and also militarily. And then of course,

India is the world's fastest growing major economy. There has been a flood of foreign investment into India under Modi. And he's saying that that will

create new jobs for the record number of young people here who are currently unemployed.

You're talking about youth unemployment between young people ages 20 to 24, more than 44 percent as of last year, Eleni. So a lot of issues on the

ballot. This is phase one of a seven phase electoral process that will happen over the next six weeks. And they will wrap it all up on the first

of June. And they expect to announce the results on the June 4th, Eleni. Modi is predicted by all polls to be leading by a huge margin.

So it seems as if this third term for him according to most political observers, he's kind of all but inevitable. But this is democracy voting

underway and in democracy, I guess, Eleni, you never really know until the votes are counted.

GIOKOS: Yes, exactly. Will Ripley, good to have you with us. Thank you.

I want to get you up to speed on some of the stories that are on our radar right now. Ukraine says at least eight people were killed including two

children and an overnight Russian attack. They say 29 people were also injured. The missile attacks happened in the Dnipro region, where a five-

storey civilian building was partially destroyed by Russian missiles.

One of the missing Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram a decade ago, has now been rescued. The Nigerian army says and military troops rescued

Lydia Simon, along with her three children. They say she was five months pregnant at the time of her rescue.

The husband of Scotland's former leader Nicola Sturgeon has been charged in connection with embezzlement of funds from the Scottish National Party,

according to British media. Peter Murrell is the former chief executive of the party. And in a statement, police confirmed that a 59-year-old man had

been charged but have not mentioned Murrell by name.


More than a quarter of the world's oil shipments by sea have to sail past Iran southern coast. Up next, I'll be talking to an industry analyst here

in Dubai about how oil markets are reacting to Israel's attack on Iran. Stay with us.


GIOKOS: Welcome back more now on our top story. A regional intelligence source tells CNN the back and forth strikes between Iran and Israel are

over. This after a U.S. official said Israel's launch an attack on Iran overnight. Iranian media say three explosions were heard near a military

base in Isfahan Province, where Iran has nuclear facilities.

Israel isn't commenting but it had vowed to retaliate for Iran's massive barrage last weekend. Jeremy Diamond has been following the hostilities

between Iran and Israel for us. Since the beginning, he's in Tel Aviv to give us an update. Look, everyone sort of assessing whether there was

damage in Iran. We're looking very closely at Iran's response despite the fact that the foreign minister had said in clear terms that Iran would

respond if there was any kind of small escalation from Israel's part, the calculus seems to have changed somewhat.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No question about it. And I think that it also changed in light of the way in which the Israel actually

appears to have carried out this strike. And that is to say that it appears to have been a limited strike. But more importantly, it was a strike that

was carried out without any public acknowledgement without any public fanfare.

I mean, the Israeli military, the Israeli government, the Mossad, none of them are saying anything this morning about these strikes overnight, no

public confirmation. The only public confirmation that this strike actually took place is coming from U.S. officials who are speaking anonymously who

aren't even going on the record in the way that we heard the Secretary of State Tony Blinken earlier today, and he refused to confirm these reports



And so what appears to have happened here is that the Israel carried out strikes in Isfahan, a city in Iran which not only has a military base, but

also a nuclear facility, as well as striking air defense assets in Syria, where we know that Iran has a heavy military presence and alliances, of

course. And but ultimately, this is the way in which these strikes were conducted, gives Iran the opportunity to kind of save face here, to not

have to acknowledge that these strikes actually took place for its own domestic political purposes. And internationally, to also be able to save

face as Israel is not going out there and kind of touting some kind of successful military operation that took place here.

And that's why regional intelligence sources telling us that for the moment, at least, it appears that this tit for tat is over, that Iran will

not respond. And so where that leaves us now is with Israel being able to reshift its focus back to its military operations in Gaza, as we know that

they are preparing a ground offensive into Rafah, that southernmost city in Gaza, where more than a million Palestinians are currently believed to be


Yesterday, ahead of this strike that Israel carried out, Israeli and American officials meeting virtually to discuss that potential ground

operation for the United States to continue voicing its very strong concerns. And we actually heard from the Secretary of State Tony Blinken on

that matter today.


BLINKEN: In terms of major military operations in Rafah, it's something that we don't support, and we believe that the objective can be achieved by

other means. We've been engaged in conversations at senior levels with Israel over the past couple of weeks on this including as recently as this

week. Those conversations continue.


DIAMOND: And so we don't know exactly when Israel intends to move forward with that military operation. But I have been told by multiple Israeli

officials that a ground offensive in Rafah will happen and while earlier this week that the initial stages of that ground operation which would be

an evacuation of the civilian population from Rafah, those plans were delayed. But now it appears that with this Iran matter out of the way,

Israel is likely to move forward, we just don't know exactly when. Isa?

GIOKOS: All right, Jeremy, thank you so much. Jeremy Diamond there for us in Tel Aviv.

Now for more insight into the tensions between Iran and Israel, CNN's chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour joins us from London. Christiane,

great to have you with us. I want to take a step back here. I mean, what we saw was retaliatory strikes from Iran to Israel after Israel had struck

that consulates in Damascus. Now, again, we're seeing retaliation. I think the fear is that we could get into this vicious cycle of retaliation that

is never ending. So what are you reading into the response by both sides?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: That nobody wants to let that happen right now. As you heard from, Jeremy, and as we've been

reporting, the important message that has come out of Iran, is that, you know, first of all, they deny that they were struck. That's a political

statement. Secondly, they say, and they have said to Reuters, and you've been quoting U.S. in the regional official, that they are not planning to

retaliate anytime soon.

Israel also clearly does not want to get into an all-out war, mostly because it has another war on its doorstep right now. And in the preceding

weeks before the conf, whatever you want to call it, between Israel and Iran, the pressure was on Israel, because the United States and many, many

of its allies were getting increasingly angry about the unacceptable, in their words, and in the viewpoint of most of the world, the unacceptable

level of civilian casualty and carnage in Gaza.

And you remember, there was a whole load of talk about potentially suspending arms sales by various Israeli allies if Israel didn't take more

care of civilians. What -- with Iran strike on Israel last week, that whole conversation shifted, and nobody's talking about that anymore. In fact,

interestingly, and I don't believe CNN has confirmed this, but there are reports in the Wall Street Journal, that the Biden administration may be

considering a huge amount of new aid, I mean, a huge amount of new military aid to Israel, presumably for its Gaza war and others right now.

That has not been confirmed by CNN, as far as I know, but those reports are out. So that's in order to try to say where does this situation go from

now, and Israeli military officials, intelligence officials on my program last week said, you know, Israel has to do three things. Keep its eye on

Gaza, make sure that is no all-out conflict with Iran while showing Iran that it won't tolerate an attack and not lose the newfound global sort of

coalition of so called goodwill, that it managed to, you know, get last week.


So that's what's going on. The other countries, the way -- the Arab countries and Iran will say that they are getting increasingly angry about

what's happening in Gaza.

GIOKOS: Yes, I mean, really brilliant points there. You know, Christiane, looking at this, and how potentially this could play out. And you mentioned

regional partners meet today, just today, we've heard about major concerns, again, about potential escalation and what this could mean. This fear that

Iran could play the oil cod, in many ways, because of the choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the U.S. just announced today, more sanctions on

Iran, in particular. Could pain be inflicted in other ways?

AMANPOUR: You know, Eleni, Iran has been one of the most heavily sanctioned nations for the last 45 years of the Islamic Republic. And it hasn't

fundamentally changed its attitude and its behavior. There was only one brief moment. And that was during the Obama administration. In fact, Biden

was vice president then, when they negotiated the Iran nuclear deal. And for a brief moment, before Trump and Netanyahu pulled it out and dismantled

that, there was a lot of tension in the region.

And that was a brief moment where Iran's behavior on a number of fronts had been mitigated by this JCPOA, which no longer exists. So as you're probably

seeing, and of course, I'm not an economic or an oil expert, our prices of oil going up. And guess who's the primary beneficiary of that, we'll

obviously, the oil producers. But most certainly, Putin, who exports his oil, not through that area. And therefore sitting back, you know, just

rubbing his hands with delight, that he can keep reaping the benefits of the West and the Middle East and all this disruption.

I mean, the bottom line is there needs to be a diplomacy and negotiations to end the conflict in the Middle East and to find a political solution to

Israel's conflict with the Palestinians, that's number one. And number two, which is kind of going through Congress right now, better late than never,

to try to make sure Russia doesn't win in Ukraine, and try to provide Ukraine with the defensive weapons that it needs.

So there's a lot going on. And also a lot of politics being played, which politics is disabling the possibility of political solutions, whether it's

politics in the United States over Ukraine or Russia, or whether it's politics in the Middle East over the best way to end, finally, the Israeli

Palestinian conflict.

GIOKOS: Yes. Big questions on how to do that, and how quickly that can be done. Christiane Amanpour, great to speak to you. Thank you so much for

joining us today.

AMANPOUR: Hard but not impossible. Hard but not impossible, I just want to feed you saying, hard but not impossible because negotiations in the past

have happened. It's about political will and using political strategy instead of ideology. And now that's it.

GIOKOS: Yes. I mean, it's a good point. If we could just get everyone around the table to have conversations, that's the starting point, right,

discussions and political will. Absolutely. Christiane, great to have you on. Thank you.

Well, U.S. stock markets have opened. And just a few minutes ago, I want to see how they're reacting to Israel strike on Iran. We're anticipating a low

start to the day and you can see that the S&P down slightly, NASDAQ down half a percent. Dow Jones has flipped a little bit, it's up three-tenths of

a percent. Oil prices really having a significant impact ahead of market open in the United States. They initially went much higher. When we heard

the news of the explosions in Iran, of course, the strike in Iran, you can see the numbers have not changed. Those gains have not dissipated. You've

got Brent Crude down a quarter of a percent. WTI flat at this point in time, the only person that can tell us a little bit more about these

fluctuations, and what it all means, you know, geopolitics and oil markets, absolutely married together.

We've got Amena Bakr, who is a senior research analyst for the energy information company, Energy Intelligence. She's based here in Dubai, and

I'm sure she has been watching these prices very closely. I mean, Brent Crude and WTI really spiking after those strikes in Iran. And major concern

about potential supply disruption, what has been priced in and what are market participants thinking about the risks?

AMENA BAKR, SENIOR RESEARCH ANALYST, ENERGY INTELLIGENCE: That's right, Eleni. I mean right after the strike we saw Brent increase about 4 percent.

It went to around $91. And then when things started to settle and we've been hearing reports that this attack, there will be no more retaliation

attacks, things have calmed down. Israel didn't claim the attack. There has been no also official statements from the White House or the Israelis on



Plus, you need to factor in that there are no physical supply disruption. And that's where Brent started to drop. To be honest with you, this is a

kind of funny reaction. Usually, I mean, if you told me 10, 15 years ago, that we had this kind of attack in the Middle East, how would oil react?

I'd say, OK, they'll jump to 100. These days, traders are kind of immune to the geopolitical risk that is happening prior to this attack.

At Energy Intelligence we estimate it that Brent has around $5 of geopolitical risk baked in. Now, I mean, as the market starts to realize

that we have a big cushion of spare capacity that sits within the OPEC Plus group, but also outside the OPEC Plus group. There isn't that fear that

we're going to get supply disruptions, and we're seeing the price slip.

GIOKOS: So that's really important, $5, you know, in terms of the oil price that accounts for geopolitical risk. I mean, and this is the question now

when you've got concerns about the Strait of Hormuz could be a choke point. And the question now becomes, and I asked Christiane Amanpour on this, you

know, could Iran use the oil card as leverage to inflict pain on markets? Is this something you guys are watching?

BAKR: Absolutely, we're watching. And I agree with Christiane in what she said in terms of the sanctions. She mentioned that Iran has been under

sanctions for a really long time, no doubt that the U.S. is going to try to press Iran with more sanctions. But I don't expect the sanctions to have

any impact on Iran being able to export mainly because Iran exports to China anyway.

Plus, Eleni, we have to remember that we are entering a U.S. election year. It's in Biden's advantage that oil prices stay at a lower range. So choking

supply isn't necessarily going to be great. In terms of the Strait of Hormuz at Energy Intelligence, we expect that if we do get a blockage of

the Strait, and you have 18.5 million barrels a day of crude and products combined, passing through that strait, we might see oil prices spike 250.

That's a kind of, you know, extreme situation.

Again, personally, I think it's very unlikely that that happens, mainly because we believe that China would not allow Iran to take that route, it

would hurt Chinese interests in the economy. So for now, I mean, I don't want to say it's, you know, never going to happen, or not even an option at

the table because the situation is so volatile. But I'll just say very unlikely.

GIOKOS: Yes. All right, Amena Bakr, great to have you with us. Really good to get your insights today, at a time of incredible uncertainty. And of

course, gold is actually spiking today, showing a lot of risk aversion. So let's see how markets respond when things settle a little bit. Amena Bakr

for us in Dubai.

We'll be back after a very short break. Stay with CNN.



GIOKOS: Welcome back and wearable tech is a rapidly growing space and is evolving from more than just step counters and heart monitors. Tech firms

are locked in a race to design ever more sophisticated device that track our every waking moment trying to help us live healthier and longer lives.

CNN's Anna Stewart explores all of this in today's Decoded.


ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): I've traveled to Oulu, Finland. I'm in search for the one ring that wants to rule the wearables.


STEWART (voice-over): Beyond just step counting and heart rates, Oura wants to look at the bigger picture of your health.

HOLLY SHELTON, CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER, OURA: Our goal really is to empower sustainable health for the long term. We know health is not a day, it's not

a season, it's something that happens over a lifelong journey, and that the needs and the needs states of your health change based on the context of

your life, you're pregnant, you're recovering from burnout, you were recently diagnosed with a heart condition. And we want to meet our users

and our members where they are.

STEWART (voice-over): Time to try it on.

STEWART: Oh, it's very light.

SHELTON: Yes, you have the horizon ring right there, which is perfectly round, which is actually quite an engineering marvel, if you think about it

to get a battery to fit into this round shape to get all of these little sensors into that.

STEWART (voice-over): That data is fed back into an app for analysis.

SHELTON: On our home tab, we boil the data into easy to use and understand scores. Most users come in and you look at your readiness in your sleep

each morning. So I have a good readiness today, in 84. This is really an indicator of how ready are you for the day. And it takes into account your

resting heart rate, your heart rate variability, your body temperature, your respiratory rate, alongside your sleep regularity and balance and your

activity from the previous day.

STEWART (voice-over): A quiet revolution is going on in wearable tech, a focus on women's health.

STEWART: For such a long time, wearable tech has been very focused on men. What are you learning now about women's health?

SHELTON: We started with period prediction so we can actually predict your period. We recently released a cycle insights feature which allows you to

see the phases from follicular to luteal and what's happening in your body across the phase. And most recently, we launched pregnancy insights which

is the first time that Oura recognizes pregnancy and gives you an understanding of what to expect based on your gestational age throughout

your pregnancy.

STEWART (voice-over): Oura and other firms are reshaping the wearable tech landscape as they move beyond generic health tracking towards more

personalized and scientifically backed monitoring that helps people better understand and manage their well being.


GIOKOS: All right, you're watching Connect the World. There is more news right after this. Stay with us.



HILL: Welcome back to CNN. I'm Erica Hill outside the Manhattan criminal courthouse here in New York where attorneys are selecting alternate jurors

today in Donald Trump's criminal case. Court resuming a short time ago, Donald Trump is in the courtroom and is seated there. A full 12 person jury

and one alternate were finalized on Thursday. Ahead of today's session in court, the former President stopped by the cameras on his way into the

courtroom, to reiterate some familiar grievances. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you very much. As you know, I've been saying for a long while, this is a rigged trial. It's coming from

the White House. They have White House, DOJ people in the trial in the D.A.'s office, representing the D.A. because he's probably not smart enough

to represent himself as a guy got elected using Trump. And you're not supposed to do that.


HILL: Just as a point of factual clarification there of course, this is a case that was brought in Manhattan by the Manhattan D.A., not by the White

House. David Weinstein is joining me now. He's a former state prosecutor, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, who's also been

following this case closely along with us. David, good to see you.

So as we see these prospective jurors come in, we know the judge is saying he plans to have six alternate, so that would leave five slots this

morning. Although it's clear, the judge did say he could change that number. Already one of those potential jurors has been excused. Talking

about her anxiety, she said she was concerned as the trial went on. And as more people could know who she is a part of the jury that she may not be

able to be completely fair and emotional. And that concerns her.

This made me immediately think of what happened with a juror who was excused yesterday after raising similar concerns that her identity was a

little too easy to track down. How much of a hurdle do you think that could be as they look to see these additional alternate jurors?

DAVID WEINSTEIN, FORMER STATE AND FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, Erica, this is the highest of high profile cases. And certainly anything that's going to

distract a potential juror from concentrating on what's going on in the courtroom, or is going to make them feel like they have to succumb to

external pressures are going to make people disqualified from serving as a juror on this panel. You want people who will be able to listen to what

takes place in the courtroom.

We can't have people throw away their biases that occur outside of the courtroom, we just need to know about them. So I think it's just going to

make the process take a little bit longer. I know everybody is in a hurry to get started. Everyone wants to start the case on Monday, but they're

going to have to get at least six alternates because who knows what's going to happen over the course of the next six weeks or so. And you need to have

people ready and able to replace the jurors if one of them is excused.

HILL: When we look at what's happening here, there is of course, a gag order for the former president, the prosecution now identifying 10

instances where they believe he has violated that gag order. That's not going to be dealt with until Tuesday. But the rest of the world does not

have a gag order here. And there are concerns about comments that are already out there, questioning the impartiality of the jury. Is there any

recourse if any of these jurors find themselves in a place where they don't feel unsafe, or they feel that they're being attacked in any way?

WEINSTEIN: It depends how it is they express the unsafe that they're feeling. Look, if it's a physical assault on them, then certainly that's a

crime and somebody if they can prove it was committed against them, action should be taken against them. If it's a sense of how they're feeling,

somebody's attacking them, somebody's talking about them, somebody saying something about them. That's not really something that the D.A. is going to

be able to go out and prosecute somebody for. But it is going to weigh on them.

And so it's a careful line that's going to have to be walked here. And certainly as you pointed out, that gag order only applies to people who are

involved in a court proceeding.


HILL: When we also look at how this is playing out, it's gone pretty swift. It's -- all of this has happened pretty swiftly this week. Initially, we

had heard one to two weeks, now we could be looking at potentially opening statements on Monday. It would seem everybody's also understanding being

very careful, though, with this process, even if it's moving quickly, because let's say there is a conviction and then an appeal, there is a

chance to look back at the jury selection process. Is there anything that you've seen, that would give you pause in the event that there was some

sort of appeal that could come back to haunt anybody?

WEINSTEIN: Well, certainly they're giving both sides. There's -- it's whether it's for cause or whether it's one of the peremptory strikes. So

that's not going to be something that's there. There are I'm sure and have been jurors that the defense wanted, that they weren't able to keep on.

They've expressed their concerns about that. That might be one small piece of an appeal. But it's going to depend upon whether or not the evidence

that's submitted is overwhelming.

And up to now I haven't seen anything that really jumps out that screams, oh, this is going to be a do over from the get go. The judge is keeping a

pretty good handle on this. So, so far, it's moved a lot faster than all of us have expected. But I don't think anybody has done anything that's going

to keep this one from going forward or that this phase of the trial is going to call for a reversal.

GIOKOS: David Weinstein always appreciate speaking with you. Thank you.

Be sure to stay with us here on CNN. Our special coverage about the events here in Lower Manhattan and of course the latest developments out of the

Middle East continue after this short break.


GIOKOS: Welcome to a special edition of Connect the World. I'm Eleni Giokos in Dubai.


HILL: And I'm Erica Hill in New York. Outside the courthouse where Donald Trump's criminal trial has resumed now for a fourth day --