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Ex-Tabloid Publisher David Pecker Back On The Stand In Trump Hush Money Trial; U.S. Supreme Court Hears Trump Presidential Immunity Case; Demonstrations Spread To Universities Across The U.S.; Secretary Of State Antony Blinken Speaks During China Trip; Istanbul's Reelected Mayor Talks About The Future; South Africa To Mark 30th Anniversary Of Freedom Day; AVPN Welcomes Investors, Philanthropists And Policymakers. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired April 26, 2024 - 10:00   ET



LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome to our second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD. I'M Lynda Kinkade in Atlanta.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And I'm Paula Newton outside the courthouse in New York.

Now after Thursday's arguments at the Supreme Court, the spotlight is once again shifting back to this courthouse in Manhattan. Now, testimony

underway at this hour over Donald Trump's trial and those involved the hush money payments to the adult film star Stormy Daniels. Here's Trump, again,

we should say he criticized the judge just before the proceedings today. You see him walking in there.

Former "National Enquirer" publisher David Pecker is now back on the stand. Now he's testified about paying to kill bad stories about Donald Trump when

he was running for president in 2016.

Our senior crime and justice reporter Katelyn Polantz has more on this now from Washington.

As you have been following every inch of this trial, we are back now with cross-examination of David Pecker. What are expecting Trump's defense

attorneys to be able to do here? I know Emil Bove started yesterday by really trying to assess whether or not -- really two things, trying to

assess whether or not this was standard operating procedure with other celebrities and politicians for the "National Enquirer" and also crucially

how much direction he was taking from Donald Trump over this.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Paula, what the defense team is doing now that they get to cross-examine David

Pecker, the former chairman of American Media Incorporated, get to talk to him themselves, they're doing something that defense attorneys always do

when you have a cross-examination opportunity. They're trying to dilute or counter the things that David Pecker put into evidence that may be helpful

to the prosecution proving their case.

So when you're questioning a witness, you can try and impeach them so damage their credibility or you can take that evidence that they've already

talked about, in this case, the catch and kill schemes that David Pecker testified as being part of his willingness and agreement to help Donald

Trump's 2016 campaign. They're trying to counter that.

The way they're doing it is diluting it with many other examples, talking to David Pecker about how often the "National Enquirer" was running

negative stories about people in the political world who would be natural opponents to Donald Trump, like the Clintons, like Ben Carson, asking him

and having him testify that, yes, there would be negative stories about those other people in the "National Enquirer" quite likely, even if there

had not been conversations with Trump about stories like that being helpful to him. There was a conversation in August 2015 between Pecker, Donald

Trump, and Michael Cohen about how they were helping the campaign.

The other thing that they're able to do is talk about how this might not be that different from the "National Inquirer's" checkbook journalism. The

standard practice of how they would buy stories, rights to stories, and then not publish them. Sometimes in coordination or an agreement with a

celebrity handler that happened. So they're trying to place this in less of an unusual context.

But the prosecutors have evidenced the jury has already heard that this was an unusual case in that Donald Trump was running for president and he was

doing this. He was working with Michael Cohen because David Pecker understood it would be an embarrassment, not for him personally, but for

his campaign. The all-important point there in this business falsification of records case -- Paula.

NEWTON: And I want to ask you this whole issue of how much involvement the former president had in this entire scheme as it were, because just a few

moments ago, we did also hear that in fact David Pecker would take it upon himself to do some of these things when it came to negative stories about

the other candidates without consulting the former president. Why is that significant?

POLANTZ: This is the dilution idea, right? There would be negative stories that he would run, that they're trying to get into the record. So that's

how the defense is trying to counter the prosecution's evidence so far, but what David Pecker has testified to already is that in the three specific

examples of catch and kill where there are people who came to the "National Enquirer" with the story to sell that would have hurt Donald Trump, David

Pecker was not only in the room or having a conversation with Trump himself, he was having multiple conversations with Michael Cohen.


And they were talking and he was very aware that this was all part of the efforts to help Donald Trump's campaign. A person who David Pecker has

known since the '80s. And so that testimony, that is the foundation, the heart, the bricks, that David Pecker has laid on the witness stand in the

past several days. This cross-examination is the counter to that. We're going to get to hear prosecutors asked him a few more questions once

Trump's defense team is done perhaps today, but this is a witness who has brought in a lot of evidence already about this case and painted for the

jury a pretty full ark of this alleged scheme that led to Donald Trump reimbursing Michael Cohen allegedly for these Stormy Daniels payoffs to

keep her quiet in 2016.

NEWTON: It will be interesting to see how long this cross-examination goes on, likely at least to the end of the day today.

Katelyn Polantz for us, thanks so much.

And now to the U.S. Supreme Court where the stakes couldn't be higher in the presidential immunity case. Now the court appeared ready to reject

former president Donald Trump's claims of sweeping immunity. But here's the thing. The broad protections he sought to shut down from his federal

election subversion case, that of course means blanket immunity, but there was also seem to be a reluctance to give Special Counsel Jack Smith carte

blanche to pursue those charges.

And here's why. Our Paula Reid explains.


PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The high court hearing perhaps its most consequential case of the year, whether

former President Trump gets immunity from criminal prosecution for acts committed while in office. D. John Sauer arguing for Trump, claiming,

without immunity, there can be no presidency as we know it.

D. JOHN SAUER, ATTORNEY FOR FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: If a president can be charged, put on trial, and imprisoned for his most controversial

decisions as soon as he leaves office, that looming threat will distort the president's decision-making precisely when bold and fearless action is most


REID: Michael Dreeben, arguing for Special Counsel Jack Smith, countered, claiming that absolute immunity would allow a president to commit any and

all crimes at will.

MICHAEL DREEBEN, ATTORNEY FOR SPECIAL COUNSEL JACK SMITH: His novel theory would immunize former presidents for criminal liability for bribery,

treason, sedition, murder, and here, conspiring to use fraud to overturn the results of an election and perpetuate himself in power.

REID: The justices pressing both litigants about when a president can't be prosecuted and posing several scenarios.


SAUER: If it's an official act, it's --

KAGAN: Is it an official act?

SAUER: On the way you've described that hypothetical, it could well be.

REID: Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson raising concerns about presidential power without limits.

JUSTICE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, U.S. SUPREME COURT: You seem to be worried about the president being chilled. I think that we would have a really

significant opposite problem if the president wasn't chilled. I'm trying to understand what the disincentive is from turning the Oval Office into, you

know, the seat of criminal activity in this country.

REID: And asking, why then did former President Nixon need a pardon after he left office?

JACKSON: What was up with the pardon for President Nixon?

SAUER: I think that --

JACKSON: If everybody thought that presidents couldn't be prosecuted, then what was that about?

REID: Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who could be a swing vote that decides the case, getting Trump's attorney to concede that some of Trump's alleged

actions were not part of his duties as president and would not be protected under an immunity claim.

JUSTICE AMY CONEY BARRETT, U.S. SUPREME COURT: I want to know if you agree or disagree about the characterization of these acts as private. Petitioner

turned to a private attorney, was willing to spread knowingly false claims of election fraud to spearhead his challenges to the election results.


SAUER: As alleged, I mean, we dispute the allegation.

BARRETT: Of course.

SAUER: But that sounds private.

REID: Other justices seemed wary of opening the door to prosecuting future presidents after leaving office.

JUSTICE NEIL GORSUCH, U.S. SUPREME COURT: I'm not concerned about this case, but I am concerned about future uses of the criminal law to target

political opponents based on accusations about their motives.

JUSTICE SAMUEL ALITO, U.S. SUPREME COURT: Will that not lead us into a cycle that destabilizes the functioning of our country as a democracy? And

we can look around the world and find countries where we have seen this process, where the loser gets thrown in jail.

Paula Reid, CNN, Washington.


NEWTON: Joining me now is Bernarda Villalona. She is a criminal defense attorney and former New York prosecutor.


And I want to talk to you just about that immunity case before we go to what's the situation at hand here in Manhattan. The immunity case has been

really interesting. Many people bringing up the fact that those justices did bring up issues where they felt the president, any president, not just

Donald Trump should have limited immunity. What's the significance of that?

BERNARDA VILLALONA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the significance of that actually what stood out to me is that they discounted the fact of

absolute immunity, meaning that a president can -- is immune from anything they do during the entire presidency. But instead they started to hone in

on that issue of whether they should have some kind of qualified immunity. Immunity for certain official acts separating it from private acts. So

that's a different issue.

What I'm curious to see is whether the Supreme Court is going to send this back to the trial court to have some kind of fact-finding determination to

determine what's an official act and what's a private act?

NEWTON: Some incredibly difficult thing to do, though, isn't it? I mean, Judge Gorsuch said himself, this is going to be a ruling for the ages, but

not only is it difficult, it will likely delay any kind of trial that Jack Smith, the special prosecutor, wants to bring forward against the former


VILLALONA: Absolutely. I don't see this trial happening until after the election, given the questioning by the Supreme Court justices. But what I'm

curious to see, though, that if there's going to be some kind of fact- finding determination and the case is sent back to Judge Chutkan that we could probably see a mini trial. That mini trial can probably show us some

evidence having to deal with Donald Trump's involvement into January 6th events. So that's something that the public probably will be able to see

before the election itself. It's not going to the actual charges, but it gives us some insight to at least what the allegations are.

NEWTON: OK. It'll be important decision to follow. We are expecting it hopefully sometime in June.

Bernarda, I want to ask you now what's going on here. We'll remind everyone that in fact the cross-examination of David Pecker, the head of "National

Enquirer," that continues. In terms of what the defense attorneys have to do here, you know, David Pecker really came through by most legal experts

saying as a fairly credible witness for the prosecution. What is the best defense attorneys can hope for now when they really try and pick apart the

fact that this was money, payments that were related to the campaign, to the election itself?

VILLALONA: So the best that the defense attorneys can do and cross-examine David Pecker is trying to discredit him at least a little. But aside from

that, is to try to say that, look, these catch and kill stories, these are ones that you were doing for other folks as well. This is part of the

normal practice of the "National Enquirer." This wasn't something that was special to Donald Trump.

Also try to minimize the contact that David Pecker had with Donald Trump and instead say that you had these conversations really with Michael Cohen,

that you were directed by Michael Cohen, and not necessarily Donald Trump, to try to create some space between Donald Trump and the acts that David

Pecker and Michael Cohen took in order to catch and kill these stories.

NEWTON: All right. Bernarda Villalona, as we continue to follow this trial here in Manhattan, thanks so much. We'll check in with you again.

Still to come for us on CNN, a growing number of pro-Palestinian protests are erupting on U.S. college campuses right across the country and across

the world in fact. We will get reaction from someone who represents an association that supports many of these universities. Stay with us.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are inspired by Columbia, Harvard, Yale, UNC, Vanderbilt, all these universities that have mobilized. But our solidarity

remains with the Palestinian people first and foremost.


KINKADE: That is a student in Paris reacting to the wave of pro-Palestinian protests spreading across college campuses here in the U.S. Dozens of

students are carrying out a pro-Palestinian blockade at Sciences Po, a major French university. The school has strong ties to Columbia University

in New York, which has become the epicenter of the U.S. demonstrations.

Well, the protests continue to ripple across the United States. The central demand is for universities to divest from companies linked to Israel or

businesses that profit from the Israel-Gaza war. Hundreds of people have been detained in the police crackdowns. At Emory University here in Atlanta

police arrested 28 people yesterday.

And in this video, you can see the moment police arrived on the scene. Our CNN reporter said the protesters were being respectful of the campus before

police came in and begin tackling people. One professor was arrested when she tried to intervene. Take a look.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't care. Get off (EXPLETIVE DELETED) now. Get off (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Get on the ground I said.


FOHLIN: Oh, my god.


FOHLIN: Oh, my god. Oh, my god.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give me some cuffs.


FOHLIN: I can't breathe. Oh, my god.


KINKADE: She spoke out about why she was being taken away by police.


FOHLIN: We were not resisting. I barely did anything. I came here when I heard that they were arresting. These cops were coming to arrest our

students. And I came here and I saw a large man hitting one of our students to the ground, pressing on his neck, and potentially choking him.


KINKADE: We've just learned from a source that that professor and others in custody are making court appearances, will likely get released with special

conditions that should be revealed later.

Well, CNN's Nick Watt has more now on the protests.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pepper balls fired and a lot of muscles deployed against protesters at Emory in Atlanta this



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was an overwhelming amount of force against a group of college students.

WATT: Two professors among those arrested.

FOHLIN: I saw a large person seemingly assaulting one of our students.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were peaceful.

FOHLIN: And that's upsetting.

WATT: The administration blames trespassers for the tents and the unrest. "These individuals are not members of our community. They are activists

attempting to disrupt our university. Emory does not tolerate vandalism or other criminal activity on campus."

This movement is mushrooming. A brand-new protest at Princeton.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Popular university for Gaza.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are making history.

WATT: A protest encampment popped up at UCLA. After the violence and standoff across town at USC that led to nearly 100 arrests, this private

university is closed to the public and USC just canceled their commencement main stage event scheduled for May 10th, which usually draws 65,000 people.

In Boston, at Northeastern University, police encircled the protest, then backed off. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has called Columbia's

decision to call in the NYPD horrific on X. "Columbia decided to hold its students accountable to the laws of the school," the NYPD's Chief of Patrol

replied. "Maybe you should walk around Columbia and NYU and listen to their remarks of pure hatred."


Fellow Representative Ilhan Omar did visit Columbia with her daughter, who's been arrested and suspended during these protests, which kicked

started this movement. Talks with protesters continue. If they fail, say Columbia administrators, they will have to consider options for restoring

calm to campus.

Here at UCLA are growing but peaceful protests. I think they've learned from what happened at USC where security and the police went in pretty

heavy. Here at UCLA almost zero visible police or security presence whatsoever. What's a bit odd, though, is even if you're a student here

right now, you can't walk across your campus because the protesters have put a barricade up around their encampment and you got to register with

them and wear a mask before they'll let you in.

Media not allowed in, and they're even trying to stop photojournalists from filming from outside in.

Nick Watt, CNN, on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles.


KINKADE: Well, children in Gaza have been sending messages of support to those student protesters at U.S. colleges. Take a listen.





KINKADE: Well, in a video recorded in southern Gaza Wednesday evening released by U.S. non-profit Reach Education Fund, the children are seen

holding signs and saying thank you to the students of Columbia University. We love you. Students of Harvard University, and we love you students of

the Yale University.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love the students of Harvard University.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We hear the students of Harvard University.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We respect the students of Yale University.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, the student of Columbia University.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We respect. We're with you.




KINKADE: Well, authorities in Gaza say they found almost 400 bodies in mass graves at a hospital in the strip in the south. They say some of those

found at the Nasser Medical Complex was still wearing surgical gowns. An official from the Palestinian Civil Defense in Gaza said 165 have been

identified. Israeli forces entered the complex in an operation that they said targeted Hamas.

We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back. Stay with us. You're watching CNN.



NEWTON: And a warm welcome back. I'm Paula Newton in New York.

Now testimony is once again underway in Donald Trump's criminal trial over hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels. The former president

again going in, you see him there, criticized the judge. That was before the proceedings today. And a reminder that ex-tabloid publisher David

Pecker is the one who is now back on the stand. He's testified about paying to kill bad stories about Trump when he was running for president in 2016.

Jeff Swartz is a former Florida judge and law professor, and he joins me now. You know, as some of his cross-examination continues be underway here

in Manhattan, and I want to ask you about if you are doing this kind of redirect and you're the defense attorney, what specific points are

important to make to the jury? Because right now they are dealing with facts that have to do with Miss McDougal, not even Stormy Daniels.

There are so much the jury has to put together here. How important is it to keep it simple or isn't it important to keep it simple? Do you really have

to try and tease out all of these details of your defense so that the jury will put it together at the end of the cross-examination?

JEFF SWARTZ, FORMER FLORIDA JUDGE: Rarely when you're doing redirect, what you want to do is take the major points that the defense tried to put out

and try to put out give back the evidence that shows that those points really are either are not relevant or they don't apply to this case, or

they're not -- they're not really pertinent to what the prosecution is trying to prove. In other words, when you try to dirty somebody up with

extraneous things, you want to get them right back to where they belong. And that those things don't really matter.

What matters is what's happening in this case right now. So usually you keep it tight, you keep it short, and you keep it very, very relevant.

NEWTON: What's interesting is what we're seeing from testimony right now is that David Pecker is recounting the fact that he had previous testimony

that said that Trump told him that he did not buy the stories because he was sure that in the former president's words that this would eventually

get out.

I mean, what do you think the defense attorneys are getting at here in terms of really trying to show that separation between what David Pecker

was doing in order to try and support the former president but also what the former president knew about it and what he was directing David Pecker

to do?

SWARTZ: I'm not sure that he's trying to help Mr. Trump all that much. I think what he's trying to do is make it clear that I was not involved in

all of that. If you need to talk to somebody, you need to talk to Michael Cohen. I think that's what they're -- that's exactly, by the way, what Mr.

Trump said on an airplane at one point. So as far as I can see, he's just trying to make sure that you understand the scope of what I did and you

understand what I did not do. And I think that's really what they're trying to do here.

NEWTON: If you are in the position, though, of trying to cross-examine this witness at this time, he came across as fairly credible and also didn't

seem like he had an ax to grind against the former president saying that, look, I still consider him a friend, and I consider him a mentor. So if

you're trying to redirect at this point in time, what can you do in terms of his very character, David Pecker's character, and his relationship to

the president?

SWARTZ: I think you don't mind him saying that he still considers himself a friend and he doesn't have an ax to grind. The idea is to make it clear

that I was just doing business with them. I consider him a mentor. I wanted to help him. I did as much as I could until I got to a certain point. And

then I couldn't do anymore. And when he does that, he says, I still liked the guy. He's still my friend, I think, but we haven't spoken for almost

two years as far as I know the testimony is.

NEWTON: And Jeff, when it gets to the heart of the matter here, we certainly do articulate this as a hush money trial, right. But what the

prosecution has laid out is really an issue of trying to influence the election. Do you think the jury has heard enough testimony about that so

far because right now we've heard a lot that went on with the former president. We've heard a lot of celebrities, other politicians brought into

this, and we've heard a lot about how the "National Enquirer" operates.

Where are they going to get that very significant, connective tissue to how this may have influenced or allegedly influence the campaign?

SWARTZ: Well, that's going to have to come out of conversations that were held with Mr. Trump in particular, Michael Cohen is probably the -- he is

the bag man.


He's the guy that carried the money. He knows about what went on between the "National Enquirer" and what went on with Mr. Trump and how he had to

substitute in when the "National Enquirer pulled out. I think that at this point he's the guy that's going to say that we were overly concerned with

what was happening in the election. And I think we're going to see some other witnesses later on in this trial, who were attached to the election

and the panic that was going on in regards to all of the disclosures that were coming out, especially after the "Access Hollywood" tape was


So I think that's where you're going to get that. The state of mind of Mr. Trump and the fact that the things he said to Mr. Pecker in particular had

nothing to do with his family. It had to do with the election.

NEWTON: And just before I let you go, I do want to ask about Harvey Weinstein, certainly his conviction in New York and not in California. He's

still in prison there for crimes. But this conviction here was thrown out four to three decision there, it was a tight decision, but if you put on

your hat as a judge and as a professor, what do you say about that? Especially in relation to the fact that Donald Trump is in this very court

system right now.

SWARTZ: Well, I can say that, number one, the reason for that happening was what we call 403 and 404 evidence. That is one similar transaction

evidence. And then the issue of whether the probative value, that is the value of that evidence was outweighed the prejudicial value, and here the

court basically said you were piling on, it was way too much. The probative value of many of these women who took the stand far -- did not outweigh the

prejudicial value.

And as a result of which it interfered with Mr. Weinstein's right to confront witnesses against him and to be tried on the issues that were

supposed to be before the jury. We see this a lot of times when the case may not be as good as it should be. And so therefore, you look for

extraneous evidence to try to prove that there was motive, there was intent, there was no mistake by Mr. Weinstein and it got to be too much at

some point.

And the cost celeb that went around it made it even worse. So I think it is -- you're really judging the oppression of the court. Most courts don't

want to overrule the broad discretion that a trial judge has. But in this particular case, that's what they did. This is exactly what is happening in

this case. That is, they're bringing in Miss McDougal. I don't know them as McDougal does anything more than established what we call similar

transaction testimony. And they have to be very careful how much of this they put on it. And keep the case about what it's really about.

NEWTON: Yes. And as you point out, they're now taking the risk that the Karen McDougal evidence could at some point in the future be judged as

being prejudicial and not probative as you've made very clear.

Thanks so much. Really appreciate it. We will continue to check in with you.

And right now I want to hand it back to Lynda Kinkade in Atlanta for more of the top stories we're following this hour -- Lynda.

KINKADE: Thanks so much, Paula. I appreciate it.

Well, America's top diplomat tells CNN the U.S. has seen evidence of China attempting to influence upcoming U.S. elections. Secretary of State Antony

Blinken made the comments to CNN's Kylie Atwood in an exclusive interview earlier in Beijing.

Now this comes at the close of his three-day trip to China, which included a crucial meeting between Blinken and China's president as the world's two

biggest economies try to stabilize a rocky relationship. Take a listen to that CNN interview.


KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: I want to ask you about a commitment that CNN has reported President Xi made to President Biden

when they met in November. We've reported that he told President Biden that China would not interfere in the upcoming presidential elections in the

United States, but since then, there have been reports of online Chinese accounts that have falsely mimic Trump supporters.

Do you believe that these accounts violate President Xi's commitment?

ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: What I can tell you is this. President Biden was very clear about that with President Xi. And I repeated

that today in my meetings.

ATWOOD: You repeated what?

BLINKEN: That any interference by China in our election is something that we're looking very carefully at and is totally unacceptable to us. Look,

it's something we're tracking very carefully. I can't speak to these specific reports. I can say that as a general matter, we've been very clear

with China don't do it.

ATWOOD: But they're not violating the commitment yet as far as you can tell?

BLINKEN: Well, again, I have to look at the specific reports that you're referring to, but we have seen generally speaking evidence of attempts to

influence and arguably interfere and we want to make sure that that's cut off as quickly as possible.



KINKADE: We're going to have much more of that still to come and we're going to take a short break right now. Stay with us. You're watching CNN.


KINKADE: Welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Lynda Kinkade.

Organizers of a small fleet of aid ships bound for Gaza say its departure from Turkey is being delayed due to pressure from Israel. The flotilla has

suffered multiple delays since it was announced in November. Organizers say it will carry more than 5,000 tons of aid and hundreds of international

human rights observers. In 2010 10 people were killed when a flotilla run by the same group tried to reach Gaza but was boarded by Israeli troops.

CNN's Scott McLean spoke with a man whose father was killed on that mission and who is part of this latest effort to deliver aid.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Why are you doing this again?

ISMAIL SONGUR, PRESIDENT OF MAVI MARMARA ASSOCIATION: That's very simple, to breach the siege of Gaza. It's not because of my father. Right now we

are standing for the children of Gaza.


KINKADE: Well, staying in Turkey, in less than a year ago Recep Tayyip Erdogan was reelected president in a tight race. However, results from

local elections last month didn't go his way. The main opposition group won narrow races in 15 key cities, including Istanbul and Ankara.

Our Scott McLean sat down with Mr. Erdogan's main challenger Ekrem Imamoglu, the newly re-elected mayor of Istanbul.


MCLEAN (voice-over): If Turkish politics were a popularity contest, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in a league of his own, save maybe for

this man. Last month, Ekrem Imamoglu was re-elected mayor of Istanbul in a landslide. Mayors don't usually get international attention, but weeks

after his victory he filled the room with foreign press because he is widely viewed as the best hope for Turkey's opposition to finally end

Erdogan two decades in power. Walking along Istanbul's golden horn he doesn't get far without attracting attention.

I saw you from the tram so I got off, this man tells him. This woman videocalls her family and says they all voted for him. I'll try to be

worthy of that, inshallah, the mayor tells them.

I won't ask you if you're running for president. But I wonder if you think that President Erdogan will be a candidate in the next election, whether

you run or somebody else does.

EKREM IMAMOGLU, ISTANBUL MAYOR (through translator): I can't say anything about whether Mr. Erdogan will be a candidate in the next election. But of

course, he has some legal obstacles.

MCLEAN (voice-over): He also has some political ones, chief among them, the sputtering Turkish economy. Inflation is out of control. Interest rates

just hit 50 percent. But that, the mayor says, isn't entirely why he won.


IMAMOGLU (through translator): I think arrogance and an authoritarian sentiment are the main reasons for the government's loss. Yes, it starts

with the economy, but the subsequent practices and attitudes were also important factors in the citizens' votes.

MCLEAN: That authoritarian streak is also he says what led him to a two- year jail sentence for insulting public officials with this comment in 2019.

IMAMOGLU (through translator): Those who canceled the elections on March 31st are fools.

MCLEAN: The mayor is free while the case is appealed, but he is also facing trial in a tender rigging case dating back to his time as a district mayor

almost a decade ago. He denies any wrongdoing.

IMAMOGLU (through translator): The process concerning me is entirely political. If we were to describe this case to someone abroad, they

wouldn't believe it. I think they would laugh at the absurdity if they knew a mayor was convicted for saying this.

MCLEAN: So if all of this is political, then who ultimately is behind it, who is orchestrating this?

IMAMOGLU (through translator): The situation started and accelerated with the last regime.

MCLEAN: President Erdogan?

IMAMOGLU (through translator): Of course, the head of the regime is the president therefore the language of the president is, in my opinion, the

triggering factor in this matter. In recent years, we have seen this pattern repeatedly. The president makes a comment about an issue and then

we see an arrest the next day.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Erdogan's government has previously denied that the cases against Imamoglu have had political motives. CNN has reached out for


Clearly you believe that the judiciary has been misused for political purposes. A lot of people would say that we're also seeing this in other

countries. Some might even say it's happening in the United States. What would be your message to the rest of the world about how to prevent this

from happening?

IMAMOGLU (through translator): I believe in democracy so much and I feel so indebted to democracy. And democracy is also a field of liberation. It's a

field where everyone's freedoms, everyone's rights and laws are respected. And this is a matter of consciousness. And I'm amazed to see that

authoritarianism, which grows with populist attitudes and the idea that power solves everything, is maturing. The world can never benefit from


Authoritarianism can suddenly lead a society to war. We can suddenly turn people, states, and countries against each other. Democratization will be

good for the whole world from the United States to Europe, from Turkey to the Far East. I even think that democratization and liberation in the heart

of the Middle East will be very good for the whole world.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Imamoglu's election win comes as war rages in Gaza along with public opinion in Turkey. President Erdogan has been one of

Israel's harshest and most vocal critics. He does not consider Hamas a terror group and even met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh this month.

IMAMOGLU (through translator): Hamas of course carried out an attack in Israel that we are deeply saddened by. And any organized structure that

carries out terrorist acts and kills people on mass is considered a terrorist organization by us. Unfortunately, the same thing is happening to

innocent Palestinian people in Israel today.

I demand that both of these issues be evaluated in this context, and that the brutal oppression of Palestinians stops immediately. In general, the

West doesn't see the big picture here. They see it only from one side or the other. And I think we are more realistic. We interpret Hamas's attack

as a bad attack and a very bad situation as a terrorist attack but we also represent an understanding that stands against the oppression of

Palestinians and the killing of Palestinian women and children.

MCLEAN: I really sees your political opponent, but I wonder if there's something that you admire about the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

IMAMOGLU (through translator): He also suffered injustices at one time.

MCLEAN (voice-over): That time was the late '90s when Erdogan, the then mayor of Istanbul, served four months in jail for reciting an Islamic pome

at a rally.

IMAMOGLU (through translator): He stood firm against the injustice against him and stood for democracy. I appreciate the resistance he showed then.

And honestly, I liked how he defended his rights. But today, I mean, his desire to put other people in that same situation is a huge contradiction.

MCLEAN: A contradiction that Imamoglu insists he won't repeat.

Scott McLean, CNN, Istanbul.


KINKADE: Well, Saturday marks 30 years since the historic election that would bring Nelson Mandela to power in a post-Apartheid South Africa.


However, with inequality at an all-time high and crime and corruption running rampant, the once hopeful promise of democracy seems to be losing

its glimmer ahead of next month's critical elections.

CNN's David McKenzie reports.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Liberation icon Seth Mazibuko lived the painful history of this country.

SETH MAZIBUKO, SOUTH AFRICAN LIBERATION HERO: Students were coming from that direction and police were coming from that direction. That morning of

June 16, 1976, this was where the students who were marching peacefully. They were raising their hands and fingers of peace. They were given


MCKENZIE: Protesting the apartheid state and its racist education system.

MAZIBUKO: I still feel guilty to date that I led students and children out of the classroom to be killed.

MCKENZIE: Their sacrifice and the sacrifices of later generations helped topple the violent apartheid state. Birthing a peaceful democratic South

Africa. The Rainbow Nation where everyone can vote. But for Mazibuko, 30 years on, the rainbow has faded.

Has the leadership of this country respected the sacrifices that you've made?

MAZIBUKO: Sold out.

MCKENZIE: Sold out?

MAZIBUKO: Many of the leaders that were supposed to be leading, they left this community. They left the very people that they were fighting for.

MCKENZIE: When thousands of students were bravely marching down these streets, they were fighting for a better future for South Africa. But

decades later, here's a staggering statistic. More than 80 percent of grade fours cannot read.

Has it gotten worse over the 18 years of you being at the school?


MCKENZIE (voice-over): At Morris Isaacson High School, famous for its role in '76, teachers like Prince Mulwela say that jobs and education are given

to the politically connected. And corruption is rife. Primary students now come to his classes unprepared, he says. Corruption watchdogs call it a

silent crisis.

MULWELA: We're living in a world, in South Africa, where it's all about politics. Everything is being politicized. So the education system is also

being politicized. So that is the reason why probably we're experiencing such problems.

ATLEGANG ALCOCK, STUDENT, MORRIS ISAACSON HIGH SCHOOL: I feel honored being in the school because then I get to learn about history.

MBALI MSIMANGA, STUDENT, MORRIS ISAACSON HIGH SCHOOL: Some put their lives in danger for a better future, for better education.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): I spoke to two leading students at Morris Isaacson. They are proud of their school, but acutely aware of the challenges that

lie ahead.

Is there enough opportunity for young people like yourselves in this country?

ALCOCK: Right now, no.

MSIMANGA: It's going to be a struggle. And it is scary for us to be sitting at home and doing nothing.

ALCOCK: Especially when you know that you went to a university for so long, and you have a degree, a qualification, but you're still struggling to get

a job because of the unemployment rates.

MCKENZI (voice-over): Those rates are some of the world's highest. An uncertain future despite the bitter struggles of the past.

David McKenzie, CNN, Soweto.


KINKADE: We are going to take a quick break. We'll be right back in just a moment. Stay with us.



KINKADE: Welcome back. A lot of our focus today has been on conflict but the top decision-makers and policy experts across the globe are working on

solutions. Philanthropists across Asia have been coming together at AVPN's Global Conference in Abu Dhabi, the first held in Western Asia. The event

welcomed more than 1500 investors, philanthropists, researchers and policy makers, all focused towards uniting on social and environmental issues.

In February my colleague Becky Anderson sat down in Dubai with some of the key leaders in the world of philanthropy and humanitarian aid. They

explained to her their vision for how to move capital to affect real world impact. Take a listen.


BADR JAFAR, EMIRATI PHILANTHROPIST: Philanthropy is disbursed well north of $1 trillion, probably more like $2 trillion every single year, but it's not

so much the quantum, it's the quality of that capital that makes it special. The fact that it is risk tolerant, that it is long term, that it's

more equitable its deployment, which is why, when combined with business and government capital, you can create that and generate that multiplier

effect on capital.

And even though I think many parts of the global south have long heritage and history, of course, with alms giving, there's less practice with so-

called strategic philanthropy or institutionalized philanthropy, but that is changing mainly because of the habits of the new generation. And we're

seeing a massive wealth generation shift happening and taking place across many of the emerging markets. And so I expect to see not just a lot more

philanthropy, but a lot more strategic philanthropy take place across these markets in the years to come.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: How do we free up this capital for climate action?

NAINA BATRA, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, ASIAN VENTURE PHILANTHROPY NETWORK: You know, we are finding philanthropic capital become increasingly more strategic,

more flexible, more interested in big bets but even if we take the entire quantum of philanthropic capital, it won't be enough. So we need to bring

in markets. And that is where I think in our region of the world we're finding more and more where philanthropy comes from business, whether it is

a blurring of the lines between business spends and philanthropic giving, that you're finding a blending of different types of capital to address

specially with problems like climate change.

ANDERSON: When you speak to the network, what do they need to hear? What do they want to hear and from whom?

BATRA: What people want to hear is that, A, there are realistic opportunities for investment. I think more and more people are fed up of

convening just for the sake of convening. I think they are looking for actionable areas where they can move forward on. I also believe that now

there is an inherent belief that this is for everybody so it makes good business sense to invest in sustainability.

It makes good business sense to invest in climate change or, you know, in solutions for climate change. It makes good business sense to actually

invest in fair trade or, you know, in a supply chain that is not using child labor, for instance. And all of this is good business sense, but it's

also good solid positive impact.

JAFAR: You know, to put it in perspective, we expect $60 trillion of capital to pass from one generation to the next within the coming 15 to 20



JAFAR: In Asia alone, it's north of $10 trillion. And this new generation is much more attuned, to Naina's point, to the interconnectedness of these

various challenges, climate, with health, with education, with social equity.

ANDERSON: We know there's a problem. We know there is capital around to address it. How do we make the system work better?

ACHIM STEINER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UNEP: I think one of the key functions that both ODA, development assistance, but also philanthropy can do, is to

some extent de-risk markets because we should always recognize if it was profitable, why aren't markets investing in African renewable energy? The

demand is enormous. The possibilities are endless. The perception of the market whether rightly or wrongly is one of high risks.

So instruments that we can use to de-risk, first of all, the context into which capital, which is the vast majority of wealth in the world, can

actually be deployed. And I think then we also need to look at how can philanthropy and how can public finance complement each other or even

better multiplied. In the world that we're in right now, we are in this ironic situation where we have a world of finance wealthier than ever in

human history, you have billions of people not being able to access this through an investment of financing.

That's where philanthropy, that's where public finance can I think create new platforms. Otherwise, we are not going to make the investments we need.

JAFAR: One key strength as we look to deploy more strategic philanthropy, which is fundamentally evidence-based is data and information. If we're

trying to maximize impact, that's a necessary input. And this is where large development organizations and humanitarian organizations can really

partner because the amount of data and experience fundamentally that these institutions have is unparalleled.


BATRA: But, you know, in reality, most non-profit institutions or large development institutions feel that they're all fighting or competing with

each other for that same pool of capital. But as Badr said, as the younger generation, the next generation of philanthropic donors come to the table,

you're also seeing their understanding of a shift in this whole power dynamics where it's sort of much more an even playing field where let's

share data. Let's -- this is not a competition. It's not where I succeed and you fail. It's where we succeed together. So it's really using the data

together so that you can inform, make informed decisions across the table.


KINKADE: It's all about working together.

Well, thanks so much for connecting us in CONNECT THE WORLD today. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Stay with CNN. Paula and I will be back with much more on