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Police Move in to Quell U.S. Campus Protests; Brown University, Student Protesters Reach Deal Over Encampment; Americans' View on Anti-War Protests; April Jobs Report Fewer Than Expected; Analyst who Inspected Michael Cohen's Phones Back on the Stand; U.N. Warns Assault on Rafah Would be Blow to Humanitarian Operations; Landmark Deal Between U.S. and Saudi Under Threat. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired May 03, 2024 - 10:00:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back. You're watching special coverage on CONNECT THE WORLD. So we'll be giving you the very

latest on two weeks of unrest at U.S. college campuses, the headline number here, some 2,000 people arrested. We'll also go to Jerusalem for the very

latest on Israel's continuing offensive in Gaza. And it's a big week for the U.S. economy. How the markets are reacting to the latest U.S. jobs


I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi for you.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And I'm Paula Newton in New York, of course outside the courthouse where Donald Trump's criminal trial has

now resumed with witness testimony ongoing. I'll have the very latest for you in just a few minutes. Right now, though, we're back to Becky and with

those ongoing campus protests -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Paula.

We are still seeing increased police activity on some U.S. college campuses as universities struggle to contain growing pro-Palestinian protests and

encampments. The number of arrests also growing. More than 2,000 since mid- April. The latest arrests were in New York city earlier today at New York University and the New School. Police say 57 people were arrested following

requests from both schools to help disperse what they call illegal encampments.

Well, in Oregon, at least 30 people at Portland State University were arrested on Thursday. Here you see police moving in to remove pro-

Palestinian protesters who had occupied the library there since Monday. U.S. President Joe Biden says students and others have a right to voice

dissent, but not to break the law, he said. Have a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's against the law when violence occurs. Destroying property is not a peaceful protest. It's

against the law. Vandalism, trespassing, breaking windows, shutting down campuses, forcing the cancelation of classes and graduation. None of this

is a peaceful protest. Threatening people, intimidating people, instilling fear in people is not peaceful protest. It's against the law.

Dissent is essential to democracy, but dissent must never lead to disorder or to denying the rights of others so students can finish the semester, and

their college education.


ANDERSON: Well, CNN's Polo Sandoval joins us now from New York.

And you've been on these protests now for the past couple of weeks since the outset. What, firstly, more do we know about these latest arrests?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We know that the latest law enforcement action actually came earlier this morning at two campuses here in

Manhattan, one in New York University and another at the New School. According to the NYPD, both of those institutions reached out to law

enforcement yesterday and requested assistance, essentially asking officers to make their way onto those campuses to clear them of any protesters that

were blocking the way.

This footage that you're seeing right now is from the New School from earlier this morning. We understand several people were detained. In terms

of the action at NYU, this according to authorities came after there was an encampment that had formed on the sidewalk for a whole week. And because of

that, because those students refused to leave the area, that's when NYU then turn to the authorities.

And this, Becky, coming again just days after that massive law enforcement operation that took place at Columbia University.


To your point, I spent nearly two weeks on and off campuses speaking to students, and what's interesting here is that initially the days after the

first encampment was dismantled over two weeks ago, which led to a subsequent one, you did get a sense that there was certainly a legitimate

concern among students there, especially speaking up for the people of Palestine, the focus and their central demand was divestment.

Earlier this week, though, the university drew that line in the sand saying that that essentially is not going to happen. The next day is when we saw

protesters then advance on Hamilton Hall, occupying that building, which led to the subsequent operation on Tuesday night.

I can tell you that one of the things that really was fueling this was -- were previous demonstrations, previous demands for divestment. Some of

which we should add did prove successful, including in the 1980s when Columbia University turned out to be -- became the first Ivy League

American institution to -- of higher learning to divest from South African companies. And that legacy of protests is what kept some of the peaceful

demonstrators in that encampment.

However, tension certainly rise. There were certainly concerns that I kept hearing from some of the Jewish members of the community saying that they

were afraid to go on campus. And that's what eventually led to that law enforcement action that cleared out the protests on Columbia.

ANDERSON: And you've been describing what you saw, what you witnessed, what you heard there in New York. I want to take a quick look at this video of

the UCLA protests. This is L.A. of course. We can see students running clearly in fear of what I'm seeing is a heavy-handed police response, even

though most of the arrests were carried out, you know, with relatively little fast. There was a fair degree of force used. Take a listen to this

professor from Georgetown University, Polo.


MARK LANCE, PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: They have no intention of going anywhere near the other side. There has never been a threat of

violence from the encampment. This is an education in grassroots democracy. As educators, part of our job is to protect them in that work.


ANDERSON: This has been really complex. You've been covering this, you know, as we've suggested now, for a couple of weeks. I just wonder what

your reflections are of the past two weeks in covering this and the nuances involved?

SANDOVAL: Right. Right. Like we said, there were certainly that legacy of previous demonstrations that they were leaning on. But there was also a

support from many members of the faculty as you just shared with our viewers. And that was also something that was driving much of this movement

on campus. But the difference, though, I think that when you look at what we were able to observe firsthand on Columbia University versus what

happened in previous decades was that this was certainly not be Vietnam. This was certainly not the South African apartheid.

This was a very divided -- divisive issue on campus. So it was creating basically division among students and some of that infighting. And because

of that, I think that we did not see that united front that we perhaps saw in previous student movements. Again, some that actually proved to be

successful. And on the other hand, also, the university, there was certainly a lot of pressure for the university to come to the negotiating


And to their credit, they did. They negotiated with two of the negotiators that represented the members of the Columbia encampment. But by last

weekend, that's when they reached that stalemate. And I think there is certainly a learning moment here when you look at the way other

universities are handling this, for example, in neighboring New Jersey, there's Rutgers University.

They announced that they reached an agreement with students that had participated in an encampment. One of the student -- the university, I

should say, did confirm that they were able to reach an agreement, a resolution, and as part of that agreement, they said that they agreed to

help at least 10 displaced Palestinian students helping them complete their studies at Rutgers University.

They would revisit their relationship with a institution of higher learning on the West Bank. And that they would certainly re-examine this issue of

divestment. So there was sort of a lets disagree to disagree. And for now, though, remove that encampment. So that perhaps could be a model that would

be reviewed by other universities in terms of how you find common grounds with very passionate student movements that continue to spread throughout

the U.S. and around the world.

ANDERSON: And Polo, we are following a deal that pro-Palestinian protesters reached with Brown University in Rhode Island as well. Thank you for your


The protest group there says they have agreed to disband their encampment on Tuesday after the university said that it would hold a vote on divesting

from companies that support Israel.


Now the protest group there at Brown calls it an unprecedented win that, quote, "affirms the power of our encampment and the national movement of

student encampments for Palestine."

Let me bring in Dana Richie on this. She's a staff writer and photo chief for "The Brown Daily Herald," a student newspaper.

And I have to say the student newspapers couldn't have been more important in reporting on these protests these past couple of weeks. And that is good

to see from any journalist of whatever age. Listen, the protests, you know, at Brown University, the protesters have taken this as what an

unprecedented win. No students arrested and no escalation. Explain why you think that was.

DANA RICHIE, STAFF WRITER AND PHOTO CHIEF, THE BROWN DAILY HERALD: Right. Thank you for having me. I honestly think that the negotiations and the

agreement reached between student activists in the administration really comes from years of activism. In 2020, the president formed -- there was a

committee report that advised divestment and it's sort of been something that activists have been organizing around since then.

There was -- there were two sit-ins in the fall, one in November, one in December, in total 61 students from Brown for arrested, 20 of those had

their charges dropped and 41 of them still have their charges. In fact, that was one of the items on the negotiating table that the organizers were

not able to have administration budge on.

And then just this semester in February, there was a hunger strike. 19 undergraduate students embarked on an eight-day hunger strike. They urged

the administration similar demands that they were able to get after this demonstration. And so someone who's kind of observed this progression it

really, well, the encampment kind of pushed the envelope to get to the negotiating table. It's been a long time coming on Brown's campus.

ANDERSON: This is really important contexts. Just what, just to your point about those who were arrested and some of them, their charges dropped. For

those whose charges weren't dropped, what happens at this point? I mean, what are their concerns going forward?

RICHIE: I mean I think it's an interesting position. I mean, when participating in civil disobedience, I think they knew the risks that were

involved when occupying and then sitting in on university hall. And so I think many of them were prepared to be arrested. But I think because the 20

other students had their charges dropped that's part of the reason why they've been advocating to have the charges dropped against those students.

But a lot of those students are still actively participating and organizing at the encampment at Brown.

It was pretty fluid of who could come in and out of the space and most days from noon to 1:00, there would be some sort of rally or larger group

gathering that involved both encampers and students from the community. And occasionally even community members from Providence gathering peacefully,

and sometimes another 41 students who were arrested in that sit-in would give a speech and talk about their experiences. And so they're still very

actively involved in the movement.

ANDERSON: Let me read just some of the statement from the student group. This vote is a major concession that affirms the power of our encampment

and the national movement of student encampments for Palestine now.

Now, two questions here. What do you hope with regard the vote and when? And is there a sense of hope amongst students at your university and around

other campuses that U.S. students have a voice and that it is clear at least from Brown, from Rutgers, from Northwestern University that their

voice matters? And what do you say to those who've had their voices shot down as it were at UCLA and Columbia at this point?

RICHIE: Yes, so to start with the first question, the vote is scheduled in October and usually the corporation meets in the third week of the month.

So it's still a little bit ways away until the vote happens. So a lot can really happen in terms of energy, momentum, organizing strategies. So it'll

be something we'll definitely be paying attention to as we get closer to it. That said, a group of student activists from organizing within the

encampment and generally around this cause are going to meet with a small group of the Brown corporation members in May to kind of get the ball



And I'd say, even though, I mean, I was there when they made the announcement about disagreement for the vote in October and the energy at

the encampment was palpable. People were celebrating, jumping up and down, drumming on plastic buckets. It was quite a scene to witness, but I think

in the days since the student organizers have made it very clear that this is not going to make them complacent, they're going to continue organizing.

And so I think it's just a kind of matter of time to see what they plan next. I think they've made it very clear that they will not stop organizing

until there's divestment. And so it'll be interesting to see how that coincides with the vote. And for broadly with regards to student movements,

like I said, I can only really speak on what's happening at Brown's campus, but I'm also a history student. I major in history.

And so I kind of see a lot of similarities to movements of the '60s and '70s in which these issues are really being excavated and torn open on

college campuses. And so I think universities really do have a special position in this issue in kind of raising awareness. And I think that has

just been a really interesting thing to observe and to report on so far.

ANDERSON: Well, good luck with the reporting and thank you for joining us today here on CNN.

Well, some people have compared these university demonstrations against the war in Gaza to the student protests that happened during the Vietnam War,

as our guest was alluding to there. In fact, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders told our Christiane Amanpour that these are -- these new anti-war protests

may be Biden's Vietnam, as he described it.

A recent Harvard study found that while just 18 percent of voters aged 18 to 29 approved of Biden's handling of the Israel-Hamas war, it did actually

rank near the bottom of issues that mattered most to them with the economy overwhelmingly the top concern.

I want to bring in CNN's senior data reporter Harry Enten now.

And I think those numbers are really interesting and I just wonder what you make of them, you know, once you crunch them. Once you've crunched them.

How do you believe off the back of these polls Americans view these campus protests then and now?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You know, if you go back 50 years ago, right, when we were in the midst of the Vietnam War, even

more than 50 years ago now. My god, time flies. If you asked Americans what the most important problem facing the country was, let's say the 1968

election, right? Because that basically ran LBJ from the race, 44 percent said the Vietnam War was the number one problem. It ranked number one.

Amongst those under the age of 35 it was the same thing. I think it was 45 percent and again, it was the number one ranked issue. If you look now at

the Israel-Hamas war, it's just on a different planet, just 2 percent of Americans say it's the nation's top problem. That ranks 17th. That is the

same, that is the same amongst those under either 35 or under 30. Just 2 percent of younger folks say it's the nation's top problem.

So it's just not, in my opinion, a fair comparison, at least in terms of the American electorate. Now, Polo mentioned the protests back in the '80s

about South African apartheid. We also have some poll numbers there and this to me also sort of gets at the root of the issue of why I'm not sure

what's going on right now can really be compared historically. So if you go back to 1985 and you ask, where do your sympathies lie more, with the black

population in South Africa or the white government?

Overwhelmingly American said the black population by more than 50 percentage points. You look now and you ask, OK, in the Middle East

conflict, who do your sympathies lie more with, the Israelis or the Palestinians? In fact, in this particular case, it's the Israelis who more

Americans say their sympathies lie with by nearly a 20-point margin. And of course that's very different what we saw in terms of the campus protests

back then being for the black population, and in this particular case being for the Palestinians. So I'm not necessarily sure that the protests on

campuses right now will be as successful.

Now, I'm mentioning the campus protests, right. So let's take a look at those Americans who are under the age of 35 on the question of who do your

sympathies lie more with, in Israelis versus the Palestinians, or the white government versus the black population. And what we see in that particular

instance is that young Americans back during the 1980s overwhelmingly chose the black population over the white government by somewhere of 75 percent

to 10 percent margin.


If you look at Americans under the age of 35 now, you see that, yes, their sympathies do lie more with the Palestinians than the Israelis. But it's a

much closer margin. It's about 52 percent to 31 percent. And that I think is part of the reason why in colleges campuses right now, you're seeing all

this agitation not just between the administration and the students, but between students themselves.

You saw that in Columbia, you saw that in UCLA, because the fact is, is that the college students themselves are more divided now than they were 35

years ago, 35 to 40 years ago, over the question of what to do with South Africa and divestment.

ANDERSON: That's fascinating. Harry, good to have you. I mean, we are looking literally here at what the polls are telling us. These are Gallup


ENTEN: These are numbers. I just report the numbers.

ANDERSON: Yes. Yes, absolutely. And you're a numbers, man, you crunch those numbers and report what they are suggesting. Good for you. Thank you,


ENTEN: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Well, as I said just a few minutes ago, another major election issue in November will be the economy. And we are just seeing a new

snapshot of how the U.S. is fairing. This is what the April jobs report is showing us. The U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs last month. That number may

sound a lot, but it is actually fewer, significantly fewer than expected. And the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.9 percent from 3.8 percent.

I want to bring in CNN's Matt Egan.

Two questions here. Firstly, as far as investors are concerned, and we'll bring up these markets, they've taken off on the back of this. They're

buying these markets. They clearly think this is, you know, this is comfortable territory at this point for a potential rate cut at some point

soon, correct? Are they right at this point?

MATT EGAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think that read is right, except that this is just one month and one month doesn't make a trend. We have seen this

jobs market could be really, really, really hot over the last several months. So we have to wait to see if this is part of a new trend. But

directionally we were all really kind of hoping for Goldilocks, right? I think that's what investors wanted. That's what officials in the Fed

wanted. Even officials in the White House were hoping for a Goldilocks.

Not so hot that it raises those inflation fears and not so cold that it causes concern about anything like a recession. And I do think we got that,

right, 175,000 jobs added. In a vacuum that's a really good number. In this environment, that is a slowdown, right? We're north of 300,000 jobs the

month before. The unemployment rate was supposed to stay flat. It actually ticked higher to 3.9 percent. And I do think the Goldilocks vibe, you

really do get that from wages, right.

We saw that wages were up by 3.9 percent year over year in April. That is a good number, again, in a vacuum, but this is actually a slowdown. This is

the slowest pace that we've seen in almost three years. So this is good news for workers in the sense that their paychecks are still growing faster

than prices are, but it's also good from the sense of investors and officials in the Federal Reserve because that chart shows the blue lines

starting to come down more and more. It shows that wage growth is cooling and so that does ease some of those inflation fears -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Thank you, sir.

And do remember CNN is your ready guide to all of the nuances surrounding major business stories. We will also bring you a closer look at the Fed and

how it is battling inflation. Just head on CNN Digital or you can use the CNN app on your smartphone. The multi-platform access to CNN at its best.

We'll get you the latest from the Manhattan criminal court next where Donald Trump's hush money trial is back underway. In focus right now

recordings of conversations found on the phones of Trump's former fixer, Michael Cohen. And more overnight airstrikes on Gaza's border city of Rafah

with yet more children among the dead.



NEWTON: Donald Trump's historic criminal trial now in its 11th day here in Manhattan. Testimony has resumed inside the courthouse behind me.

Now the jury is hearing again from Douglas Daus. He is a forensics expert from the Manhattan D.A.'s office who was assigned to analyze the phones of

Trump's former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen. Now, yesterday prosecutors used this witness to try and introduce an audio recording of a crucial

phone call from 2016 between Mr. Cohen and Donald Trump.

Brynn Gingras is here with me outside the courtroom.

Brynn, listen, you and I have been looking at what this witness does for the prosecution at this point in time. And now the defense is bringing up

the issue of, look, what is the reliability of any of this forensic evidence and these phone calls?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's an important quote I actually just wrote down. It's basically he's getting this witness to

admit, the defense attorney, that Cohen's phones present questions about the reliability of the evidence, basically this, you know, forensic expert

can't definitively say that everything on the phone is exactly how it's being presented in court by the prosecution.

So he's really poking holes in that and saying -- he got him to also admit that we just have to take Michael Cohen's word for it. Now we all know

Michael Cohen and other people who have testified that he's not exactly the most reliable witnesses. So I think the defense here is really, you know,

doing its job of really, you know, creating some possible doubt for jurors about this phone conversation and this, you know, which the prosecution is

basically saying is pivotal to their case.

NEWTON: Yes, and again, as you and I have discussed, wonder, one ounce of doubt and this case is over and Donald Trump is acquitted. I want to say,

though, in terms of these recordings themselves, the other conversation we were having was how this kind of has the jury sit up and take notice,

right, in terms of your hearing the president at least once. You're hearing it in his own words what he thought about some of these payments.

GINGRAS: Yes, that's right. And this actual witness is likely to be off the stand soon, right. So we're going to start seeing possibly these

people, you know, Hope Hicks we talked about, other people who might have more insight into the president knowing about these payments, not just from

an audio recording. So we'll have to see who comes up next to the stand, but it's certainly getting interesting inside the courtroom.

NEWTON: Absolutely. It was interesting before everything started as well. The judge reminding the former president that, sir, you can testify.

There's nothing in this gag order that's keeping you from testifying.

GINGRAS: Yes. He's made that comment multiple times outside the courtroom when he talks to the press that he, you know, because of this gag order, he

can't testify. That's certainly not the case. He is the defendant in this case. It is his right to testify. And so the judge giving him the reminder

of that before court even began today.

NEWTON: Yes. The fact-checks are important as the president enters and exits the courtroom as again things just getting started here. Another

interesting day here, especially because we do not know who the next witness will be.


NEWTON: And it could still be there's someone that's crucial to this whole trial and might also be someone from Donald Trump's inner circle. So stand

by, everyone. As soon as we understand who that witness is, we'll let you know. In the meantime, we will be right back with more CONNECTED THE WORLD

right after this.



ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Time in Abu Dhabi from our Middle East programming hub is just

after half past 6:00 in the evening.

Overnight, airstrikes on Gaza's border city of Rafah killed at least six people, including children. That is from the official Palestinian news

agency which says an Israeli airstrike targeted a residential building. Now this came after the U.S. warned Israel on Thursday about its planned

military operation in Rafah. The U.S. Defense secretary said there is a good chance of a lot of civilian casualties unless Israel takes the right

steps to evacuate people.

Well, let's stay on this. CNN's Jeremy Diamond is live in Jerusalem.

And Jeremy, I want to focus this hour on Rafah. The U.N. has just issued this warning about how important that city is. Have a listen.


JENS LAERKE, SPOKESPERSON, U.N. HUMANITARIAN OFFICE: The hundreds of thousands of people who are there are -- would be at imminent risk of death

if there is an assault. So we are looking at if this happens both a -- what the emergency relief coordinator has warned about could be a slaughter of

civilians, but also at the same time an incredible blow to the humanitarian operation in the entire strip because it is run primarily out of Rafah.


ANDERSON: Laying it out very clearly there and at the U.N.

Jeremy, at this point, what do we know about what is this threatened assault given that we are already seeing the bombing of buildings and the

death of civilians in Rafah itself?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we already know, of course that if the Israeli military does move forward with a ground offensive, that it

would be devastating for the population there as you just heard from -- with these warnings from the United Nations. Israel has committed of course

to evacuating the civilian population from Rafah in stages, but it's -- you know, we have seen them have a very mixed at best track record in the past

of evacuating certain areas before moving forward with their offensive.


And we have seen civilians in Gaza pay the highest price for the way those evacuations are conducted and for the military operations that follow. The

Israeli military and its government, of course, continued to insist that this operation in Rafah is strategically necessary. They say that there are

still four remaining Hamas battalions within Rafah, below Rafah, operating from there, and that Hamas' destruction as the Israeli prime minister has

vowed to carry out is impossible to achieve without entering Rafah.

But we also know, of course, that the United States is continuing to express serious concerns about this as the Secretary of Defense Lloyd

Austin did today. Listen.


LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: What we've asked, what we've highlighted for the Israelis is that it's really important to make sure

that the civilians that are in that battle space move out of the battle space before any activity is conducted. There's a good chance that, you

know, without taking the right measures that the civilians will be -- we'll see a lot more civilian casualties going forward.


DIAMOND: And of course beyond the concerns about civilian casualties, beyond the military necessity that the Israeli government is spelling out

for a potential Rafah operation, we also know that the threat of this offensive is weighing very heavily on these last-ditch attempts I would

call them to try and reach a ceasefire and hostage deal to avert that Israeli offensive.

And for now, we don't have any signs of clear progress, Becky, on the status of those talks. Israeli officials are telling me that they are still

waiting to hear Hamas' response to determine what the next steps will be, whether or not negotiations can continue or whether instead the Israeli

government will move forward with this military offensive. But we did hear from Hamas in a statement late yesterday saying that Haniyeh, Ismail

Haniyeh, the political head of Hamas, told Egypt that he received the negotiations, the latest proposal in a positive spirit and saying that he

hoped to send a delegation to Egypt as soon as possible to continue the ceasefire talks.

That sounds positive, but there's not a whole lot of substance there, so we will just have to wait and see what Hamas' actual response is to this

latest framework.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. There has been, Jeremy, of course, alarm in Israel at reports of possible ICC legal action over Gaza. Benjamin Netanyahu, the

prime minister in particular, giving a very strongly worded statement. The ICC responding to that it seems at least today posting a statement on X

saying, and I will quote it here, "Independence and impartiality are undermined when individuals threatened to retaliate against the court."

A strong statement from them, Jeremy, and a firm one. What do you make of it?

DIAMOND: Yes. I mean, look, this notion that the ICC is going to perhaps prosecute top Israeli government officials has been floating around for the

last week or so in the Israeli press. It seems the Israeli government is the one that is sounding the alarms over this possibility, although we

haven't heard from any official sources that the ICC actually intends to move forward with prosecutions certainly anytime soon.

We do know that the ICC's top prosecutor Karim Kahn has said that he is investigating war crimes allegations in this war in Gaza, both Hamas

officials and military or paramilitary folks, but also, of course, the Israeli military and the Israeli government. And so in this statement, the

ICC is basically saying, look, don't threaten our independence, don't threaten our impartiality here.

And also what I thought was interesting in the statement is the warning that they issue that these kinds of threats, these attempts to try and

influence the ICC's potential actions may constitute, they say, an offense against the administration of justice under the Rome Statute. So basically

saying, look, don't make things any worse for yourselves should we move forward with any kind of action because even just these threats might

potentially warrant charges.

ANDERSON: Good to have, Jeremy. Thank you for picking apart what are really important issues here. Thank you.

Look, I want to step back for a moment at this point. There are a lot of key stakeholders now and in the future who may have a part to play in what

happens going forward in Gaza. Saudi Arabia and the United States are at present looking to finalize a deal to strengthen their trade and defense



But it can only happen if Saudi Arabia and Israel establish diplomatic relations. A Saudi deal with the U.S. would be seen as a major victory in

Riyadh and from Washington's perspective it would help to consolidate the U.S. dominance in the Middle East and combat growing Iranian, Chinese, and

Russian influence here. There's a lot at stake. And how does Gaza fit into all of this?

Let's talk about that. And joining us now live is Jennifer Hansler in Washington.

I think, you know, we've done a lot of reporting over the past, what, two weeks on the campus protests, and I just want to bring this into context

because if these protests have shown anything it is that students across the U.S. and beyond share what is a near unanimous, profound concern about

what is going on in Gaza. Israel's seven-month assault on Gaza.

And with very little detail to date about what happens next once those guns go silent, it's really difficult to sort of chart out any hope for

Palestinians and a Palestinian horizon. And on the flip side, for any hope for Israelis of their peace and security going forward. And that's what I

think you and I want to talk about today.

Look, Jeremy has just said at present I think we should probably say there has been this week some cautious pessimism about whether we get a ceasefire

and a hostage deal at this point. But we again, we retain a hope on that. We wait for a response from Hamas and then indeed of Israel. But you and I

have been writing this week about a U.S.-Saudi deal, bilateral deal which has what we should describe as a multilateral component. And that can be

wrapped up with a wrapper called normalization, which includes Israel.

Just describe where we understand to be at, at this point and why this matters.

JENNIFER HANSLER, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT PRODUCER: Well, Becky, the U.S. is really trying to pull off this ambitious and incredibly complicated mega

deal of sorts that has these three components as the U.S. is describing it. The first is that bilateral component that you described between the U.S.

and Saudi Arabia, and that would be defense. It would be civil nuclear and there would be trade benefits. And that is the piece that is almost done.

U.S. officials say there are still a few details to work out, but by and large, they expect that these can be ironed out in the coming weeks. And

that's the part that they're very confident about and they have been working on that even before the war in Gaza broke out. And then these other

two pieces that are serving to be incredibly complicated, but these are also the pieces the U.S. is pinning its hopes on this future for a two-

state solution, for a state for the Palestinians, as well as this normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

These are the pieces that they are discussing feverishly with Saudi officials, with other Arab officials. Secretary Blinken was just in the

region this week and this was a big part of his conversations there, as well as with Israeli officials. And that's the part that is also going to

be very complicated. We have heard Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu say he is opposed to having any sort of two states. He does not want to see a

state for the Palestinians.

And this is where these two things are inextricably linked at this point, right. The Saudis have said they are not going to move forward. They have

indicated to the U.S. that they would not move forward without a two-state solution to normalize relations with Israel. So we're kind of stuck here

and they're trying to figure out a way to move that ball forward. There were a lot of hopes that perhaps if there is a ceasefire reached, that

would give breathing room for everyone to take a step back and reconsider. But at this point, it seems like these two aspects are really what stuck

here, Becky.

ANDERSON: It's good to have you, Jennifer. Always a pleasure.

And you can read more about this, penned by myself, Jennifer and Mostafa Salem, one of our staff here in Abu Dhabi, an analysis of this in

"Meanwhile in the Middle East" newsletter, updated three times a week. That newsletter will give you the best look inside the region's biggest stories

that you can get, and you can find that by following the QR code on your screen.

Well, that latest edition I said includes the latest details on the deal from the U.S. tying together the futures of Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Israel

and the people of Gaza, and the wider Palestinian horizon. Worth the read.

Next, we'll check back in on Donald Trump's hush money trial. The jury has been hearing from a forensic analyst who inspected the phones of Donald

Trump's former fixer. More on that after this.



NEWTON: And welcome back to New York where the second witness of the day in Donald Trump's hush money trial is now on the stand. Now she is a paralegal

for the district attorney's office. Yesterday, we heard from a forensics analysts who works for the district attorney's office as well. Lawyers

question Douglas Daus about what was found on Michael Cohen's phones, including a secretly recorded call between Cohen and Trump.

Now Trump has been complaining meantime about the gag order against him, falsely claiming he's not allowed to testify. Now before testimony even

resumed today, the judge reminded the former president that he has the, quote, "absolute right" to testify in his trial if he chooses.

Bernarda Villalona is with us again.

Thank you so much. As we've been listening to this testimony, I do want to turn to this issue of the phone again. On redirect, it has seemed to be as

if they were poking holes in even the veracity of these phones, how these recordings were acquired, how they were recorded by Michael Cohen. How much

do you think that will play into doubts with the jury?

BERNARDA VILLALONA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it's probably causing some concerns to these jurors because they're not getting the full picture.

You're not going to get the full picture and all the elements of the crime through one witness. That's why it's a trial with multiple witnesses. So

Michael Cohen is going to put these phone calls into context that Michael Cohen is going to put these photographs, these audio recordings, these

phone conversations that he had that's been recovered from those phones all into context because the person that testified is just telling you what was

recovered from the phone, what existed on the phone, but not exactly how we got there or why it got there.

That's why Michael Cohen is important to bring in in order to give context to this. And again, these phone recordings, his phone is being bought into

evidence to corroborate what Michael Cohen is going to say.

NEWTON: The judge brought up this whole issue of the gag order again. I mean, he's really making a fine point of this. Why? I mean, in terms of how

this plays, again, the only people that matter is the jury right now.

VILLALONA: Yes. So it's interesting that Judge Merchan is actually commenting on something that is said by Donald Trump outside of the

courtroom. This is the first time we heard Judge Merchan actually making a rule and based on something outside the courtroom, outside from the gag

order violations. So Judge Merchan wanted to make it clear, to let Donald Trump know, you have the absolute right, constitutional right to testify on

your own behalf. My gag order, my decision does not affect your right to testify, and making it clear, because you also got to think that Judge

Merchan and all these attorneys are preserving the record.

What do I mean by that? Every objection that is made inside of the courtroom is if there's a conviction in this case, Donald Trump's attorneys

are going to appeal the case. So every objection that is made as an objection to a ruling or something that is said inside of the courtroom and

they want to be able to argue it and make sure that the record is clear from the appellate court.


NEWTON: I should say just as we're speaking here that the court has now taken a quick break for the morning. I want to talk about the jury again.

What kind of an impact do you believe the two lawyers on this jury can have? I mean, that's not all that strange. That's not that all that out of

the ordinary. Maybe it is more of a makeup of the Manhattan court. But it's not one lawyer. It's too.

VILLALONA: Exactly. And it's strange because you know when this case and the prosecution knew and the defense attorneys knew that lawyers are going

to be a part of the trial, that there are going to be witnesses that are lawyers and former lawyers. Michael Cohen was a lawyer. So Keith Davidson

was a lawyer or is a lawyer.

So you're going to have these two jurors that are attorneys bring in their own experience, their own commonsense, their own legal expertise to make

findings in this case as to credibility, as to, wait, hold up. Could that have been for legal fees? Is that the normal course of business between an

attorney and client? Recordings of an attorney-client conversation, is that normal? Is that ethical? Is that what happens? And they're going to use

their own experience to evaluate the credibility and everything happening in this case.

NEWTON: I'm so glad you brought that up because I think a lot of people now are starting to really focus in on that jury, the composition of the jury

especially when they start to look at so much of this testimony that's being contested obviously on redirect.

Bernarda, thanks so much. Really appreciate it, as we continue to watch this trial. Please stay with us. We will be right back with more news in a



ANDERSON: This has been a momentous week in history as a student-led movement against the war in Gaza has spread around college campuses in the

United States and around the world. U.S. President Joe Biden tried making sense of the protests in his first public remarks.


BIDEN: Trespassing, breaking windows, shutting down campuses, forcing the cancelation of classes and graduation. None of this is a peaceful protest.

Dissent is essential to democracy, but dissent must never lead to disorder.


ANDERSON: Biden's statement highlighting the generational divide between the position of the authorities and the students making their voices heard.

Biden might be well-served to reflect on the words of Martin Luther King Junior's 1963 letter from a Birmingham jail where he was imprisoned for

participating in nonviolent protest against segregation. MLK said, and I quote, "I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's

great stumbling block in the stride towards freedom is not the White Citizens Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is

more devoted to order than to justice, who prefers a negative peace, which is the absence of tension, to a positive peace which is the presence of

justice, who constantly says, 'I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action,' who paternalistically

feels that he can set the timetable for another man's freedom."


And of course it's the Palestinians in Gaza who won't be having any commencement ceremonies this year. The U.N. expressed deep concern that

Israel may be committing what they call scholasticide. After six months of Israeli attacks 95 university professors have been killed and the last

university in Gaza was demolished by the Israeli military in January.

I'm Becky Anderson. That is it for CONNECT THE WORLD today. Stay with CNN. "NEWSROOM" is up next.