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Connect the World

White House Pauses An Ammunition Shipment To Israel; Donald Trump's Hush Money Trial Resumes In New York; Floods In Southern Brazil Kill Dozens, 111 People Missing; Judge Finds Trump In Contempt For 10th Time; Vote To Oust House Speaker Johnson Expected This Week; Boeing Prepares Its Starliner's First Nasa-Crewed Launch. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired May 06, 2024 - 09:00   ET




LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Well, this is the scene outside court in New York City. We're about 30 minutes away from the hush money

trial resuming after Friday's dramatic and tearful testimony from Donald Trump's Former Spokeswoman Hope Hicks. It's 9 am here in Atlanta. I'm Lynda

Kinkade in for my colleague Becky Anderson. And this is "Connect the World".

Also happening this hour, civilians panicking as the IDF order an evacuation as part of Rafah. French President Emmanuel Macron, welcoming

China's Xi Jinping in Paris, and we are hours away from the launch of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft with two NASA astronauts onboard.

Well terrified and in a state of panic that is how a scene and worker in Eastern Rafah describing the civilian population there after Israel ordered

them to evacuate. Israel's military says it will launch a quote, limited scale operation in that part of the city to root out Hamas militants.

But there's still no indication of exactly when that will happen, adding to the fear today, this massive plume of smoke from an Israeli air strike in

Eastern Rafah. Israel has been staging airstrikes in the city for months. Gaza officials report more than 26 deaths there overnight, including

children, while the IDF dropped leaflets urging civilians to move into an area outside of Rafah.

A spokesperson for the U.N. Relief Works Agency says -- it's a beach area that is not quite suitable for habitation. All of this while negotiations

for a ceasefire has stalled but not over. Our Jeremy Diamond is connecting us from Jerusalem. Arlette Saenz is at the White House.

Good to have you both with us. I want to start with you first, Jeremy. Given that we've got 100,000 people or so in part of Russia that have been

asked to evacuate we've seen this leaflet drop, red and blue leaflets. And these are people that have already been displaced multiple times, right?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's exactly right. The majority of the folks who are currently living in Rafah, more than a

million people, many of them have been displaced multiple times, fleeing to that city as kind of a last refuge from this ongoing war in Gaza.

But that refuge is about to be disrupted as the Israeli military begins dropping leaflets on a portion of Eastern Rafah, where about 100,000

civilians are currently living, directing them to move north towards what the Israeli military has described as an expanded humanitarian zone in Al-

Mawasi, as well as in Western Khan Younis where they say that they have fixed a main water line, they have brought in additional tents, food,

water, medicine, field hospitals are being set up as well.

We don't have specific numbers from Israeli military yet on that humanitarian setup in that area. And so major questions still loom about

whether or not that zone is going to be adequate for the number of people who could quickly be flooding north in fear based off of these evacuation


We know that in addition to the 100,000 people who have been directed to evacuate, people in other parts of Rafah are also starting to flee. And

that is the major concern from humanitarian aid officials, if there is a broader sense of panic that spreads throughout that City of Rafah, where

more than a million people are currently living.

Those humanitarian zones north of Rafah could very, very quickly be over whelmed. The Israeli military says that this is a, quote, limited scale

operation. But make no mistake, these evacuation orders are without a doubt, the early stages of for a ground offensive into that southern city.

And it is all happening, Lynda, as these negotiations between Israel and Hamas appear to have stalled over the weekend, there was a lot of optimism

that an agreement on this new Egyptian framework could be reached, but two Israeli sources telling me that the talks are now stalled, over what the

major sticking point which is Hamas has continued demands that any ceasefire agreement must include an Israeli commitment to end the war in

Gaza altogether.

That is something that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to agree to so far. And so for now, those talks stalled, although

not dead altogether. The CIA Director Bill Burns is indeed in Doha, Qatar this week, and those negotiations are still ongoing.

KINKADE: All right, Jeremy, staying across little farm Jerusalem to stand by for us because I do want to go to Arlette Saenz about this ammunition

pause. We understand that the Biden Administration has paused, this U.S. made ammunition it was meant to be going to Israel. Do we know whether this

was a logistics issue or whether they're sending a more serious message ahead of this potential offensive in Rafah?


ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well until the Biden administration has yet to detail exactly why there was a pause in this U.S.

made ammunition that was intended to go to Israel but was paused last week. Now a source familiar with the matter said that this does not have anything

to do with this potential ground operation Israel could conduct in Rafah and that it would not impact aid shipments going forward.

A bit earlier today, Senator Chris Coons, a key member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee did suggest that it was a logistical issue, but

it certainly could raise concerns about whether the U.S. is trying to send some type of message to Israel as they are weighing this operation into


It comes as the administration has been warning for weeks now that Israel must have a plan in place to ensure the safety and evacuation of the more

than 1.4 million Palestinians in that area. President Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about eight days ago where he

made clear his position when it comes to Rafah.

U.S. officials have been in constant communication with the Israelis about these plans for dealing with civilians in Rafah that's that includes

conversations just last week, were the Israelis briefed the Biden Administration on their thinking relating to the evacuation of Rafah.

Now, sources at the time told us that so far, they had not presented a final plan for how they would evacuate all of these citizens. But that also

hadn't share exactly what an operation would look like. But the White House has viewed a potential operation in Rafah with great concern.

Especially at a time when the president is also facing domestic pressure here at home with many in his Democratic Party frustrated with his handling

of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. So we will see if the White House give us some further explanation as the day progresses as to why they pause

that shipment of ammunition but they are watching this. These latest moves from Israel relating to evacuating civilians in Eastern Rafah very, very


KINKADE: All right, we will come back to you if there is an update on that ammunition. Good to have you with us Arlette Saenz. Arlette Saenz outside

the White House, Jeremy Diamond for us in Jerusalem. Thanks very much. Well Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Paris right now where he's receiving an

official welcome.

Face the first visit to Europe in five years. European leaders have been concerned about Xi's growing ties with Russia amid its war in Ukraine. But

upon arrival Sunday, he emphasized the importance of maintaining bilateral relations. Our Anna Coren is following the story and joins us now from Hong


Good to have you on the story for us, Anna. So we have been seeing those pictures today of the Presidents of China and France meeting, shaking

hands. I give us a sense of what is at the top of their agenda this trip?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lynda, Xi met with the French President as well as the European Commission Chief Ursula Von Der Leyen, a little while

ago for about an hour at Elysee Palace -- in Paris and Von der Leyen she said that they had an open and honest exchange. Now top of the agenda is

trade with the EU, but also the war in Ukraine now in its third year.

And look, China's support for Russia's wartime economy is obviously a huge issue. For the Europeans and Macron and Von der Leyen no doubt earlier

today reiterated the U.S. calls for China to stop exports to Russia of that dual-use and other technologies that are really propping up Russia's war


And look, I think it's important to note, Lynda that Vladimir Putin, Russia's President is traveling to Beijing later this month. I think it

really reinforces the closeness in that relationship between Russia and China obviously a great concern to the Europeans. Now on the issue of

trade, the EU is looking for more balanced trade.

They believe that unequal market access in Chinese state subsidies are hurting European companies and Von Der Leyen. She has called on the EU to

de-risk its supply chains away from China and to probe the influx of Chinese EVs into Europe. Now, Xi has said that he wants more Chinese

companies to invest in France and there are reports that China will place an order with airbus for around 50 plans that would be a huge contract if

that comes off.

But analysts are saying that this visit is much more than just shoring up trade. This is part of China's strategy to really exploit the differences

inside Europe. And that 27 nation bloc as we know Germany -- takes a much softer stance on China, particularly on that EV probe. Macron will shortly

be holding a -- with Xi. We may be looking at those live pictures there.


They will then hold a joint press conference before a state dinner. And then after Paris, the two men will travel to the Pyrenees Mountains in the

South. This is a special place for Emmanuel Macron. I believe it's the home of his maternal grandmother. And that's where they will share some personal

one on one time.

Look, after France, Xi will be traveling to Serbia and then on to Hungary. These as we know, two pro-Russian countries and the very welcoming of

Chinese investment, we understand that the Chinese specifically had these countries in order so that he would get this very warm reception at the end

of his European trip, Lynda.

KINKADE: Yeah. And as you're speaking, we're just looking at these live pitches, obviously, the President Xi Jinping of China, President Emmanuel

Macron of France, we just saw the first ladies of those two countries posing for photos there. Of course, Anna, it's been six years since the

establishment of diplomatic ties between these two nations.

Xi has described this trip as a win-win for both countries. And what sort of progress have they made so far? And why is this, his first trip there in

six years and why France?

COREN: Well, look, as you say, I mean, this is his second visit in something like five years. So obviously, these two countries hold a close

relationship. And Xi has made it perfectly clear that he wants to maintain that they can have separate ideologies, but also come together. I think

that's what we're going to see on this visit.

Obviously, Xi wants to walk away with something but that one on one time, I think that's really interesting, these two leaders will be spending time

together, something that you don't normally see. So perhaps that indicates that the closest of that relationship but as you say, 60 years of

diplomatic relations. So this is something that China is certainly celebrating.

KINKADE: And as you pointed out, Xi next goes to Serbia, and Hungary. Hungary, of course, is more aligned with Russia, supporting Russia's war in

Ukraine, and certainly a thorn in Europe's side. We're going to leave it there for now. But we will continue to come back to this as these meetings

take place throughout the evening.

Good to have you with us, Anna Coren, for us in Hong Kong. Thank you. We want to get you to New York now with Donald Trump hush money trial resumes

just a few minutes from now. Omar Jimenez is outside the court in Manhattan. Good to see you, Omar.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good to see you, Lynda. Yeah, Trump's motorcade is arriving at the Manhattan courthouse where we expect things to

get going in just a few minutes. Now we're set to hear new witness testimony after the trial resumes, as I mentioned, a little less than 20

minutes from now or so.

But we're still waiting to hear who the next witness will actually be. Now on Friday, the jury heard from Hope Hicks. She's the closest Trump

associate yet to take the stand. In this case, former spoke a press secretary for his campaign and Comms director at the White House.

Brynn Gingras is with me outside the court to look at what's in store for Trump today. So Brynn, you've been in and out throughout the course of this

trial. Obviously, I know you were paying attention to Hope Hicks testimony on Friday. It seems that both sides got a little bit out of her. What was

your read on what we saw?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I mean, I think the prosecution is getting a little bit closer to what they need to prove for

these jurors right that he actually knew about the hush money payment, and he did it to influence the election and Hope Hicks did give some points for

the prosecution.

You know, at one point, you brought up the fact that when that Wall Street Journal article came out in 2018, acknowledging that there was this payment

made that Trump said to Hope that he was happy or that it came out then before the 2020 election.


GINGRAS: So not the same election we're talking about, but certainly acknowledging that he knew about this payment. So it's interesting to see

how jurors might have read that she also talked about Michael Cohen a lot. And on the prosecution side, she kind of hinted that, you know, Michael

Cohen wouldn't make these payments if he didn't have some sort of direction.


GINGRAS: So that again, says, you know, he had to have gotten direction somewhere. She didn't explicitly say, Michael Cohen, but certainly that is

something that the jurors could have gleaned from.

JIMENEZ: And you know you touched on an important point that while a lot of this so far has focused on the hush money aspect of this, obviously, the

case itself is over falsifying business records. But what was the defense able to get out of Hope Hicks that some saw as a win here.

GINGRAS: Yeah. And listen, they are chipping away one of the credibility of Michael Cohen, who's going to be the star witness for the prosecution. They

just keep hammering at home with these different witnesses that take the stand for the prosecution. When it came to Hope Hicks, she kind of talks

about how Michael Cohen go rogue for the campaign that almost he was just a burden on them.

And you know, she made this great quote, that said he liked to call himself a fixer and Mr. Fixer and it was only because he first broke it that he was

then able to fix it. That was a great line because it kind of gave you a sense that he was just a thorn in their side, which for the defense, it's

showing like he may have just done it on his own, you know.


And so also she talks about him as a family man that the former president, how he valued Melania as opinion he never really want to embarrass his

family. So it kind of puts that in juror's minds. Did he do this, because he was embarrassed about it and didn't want his family to really know about

it, or did he do it for more, you know, the reason that prosecutors are alleging which is to fix the election, basically?

JIMENEZ: Yeah, it'll be really interesting to follow, Brynn really appreciate it. As we mentioned, you know, court gets underway in just a few

minutes here in New York, for the most part, things have focused on the hush money aspects of this as far as prosecutorial witnesses go.


JIMENEZ: We'll see if that then shifts over with this next one is but we do not know who this next witness is going to be. Hopefully we get that answer

soon. But for now, I'm going to send it back to you, Lynda.

KINKADE: All right. Good to have you there for us outside court. We will come back to you shortly. What despite Trump's legal problems, he's still

running neck and neck with President Joe Biden, now six months ahead of the election, seen as latest poll of polls shows no clear leader in the

presidential race at the moment.

47 percent of voters favored Trump while 46 percent support Biden. The poll of polls includes four of the most recent national polls. Well still to

come in Kenya a new week but the same forecast after several weeks of devastating floods. More heavy rain for areas already saturated, and a

rising death toll will detail the dozens still missing.

That's straight ahead and a live report. Plus, in Texas the family hit by tragedy as search and rescue teams patrol neighborhoods underwater from the

torrential rains there. We'll be live in one of the worst hit counties.


KINKADE: Welcome back. In Kenya more of the same bad weather I'm afraid for the East African nation. After weeks of devastating and deadly floods more

heavy rain ahead for places already saturated. Flash floods have killed at least 228 people leaving dozens more missing and more than 200,000 people

have been displaced.

Well the -- deluge has some Kenyans in despair at one point in just two days. The county got more than half a month's rainfall. Experts say global

warming is partly to blame for what's happening. Well our Larry Madowo joins me now from Nairobi. So Larry, week after week of heavy rain and

flooding, is there any sign of relief inside?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not just yet, Lynda, this is what it looks like after two months of sustained rainfall. But Kenya MET department

predicted a few months ago that Kenya will receive enhanced rainfall, because of the El Nino weather phenomenon and disorder it looks like.

So we're in one of Nairobi's wealthiest neighborhoods. There are high end properties here, multimillion dollar homes that are now submerged.


Some of them because they're built on riparian land, right on river banks despite government guidance and advice and that's what you're seeing here

flowing from eight different areas here in June that this exclusive property

Thanks despite government guidance and advice, and that's what you're seeing here flowing from eight different areas here in -- this exclusive

property zone in Nairobi flooded, crossing over here. This is still one of the most exclusive addresses in Nairobi. The U.S. Embassy is just a few 100

meters that way, the U.N. Office in Nairobi similar direction.

And yet, this is what the road here looks like. Technically, this road is closed. Even though nobody's following that attend that guidance. They're

still driving past, risking their lives, because in the two months since we've seen this heavy rainfall, we've seen people getting swept away on

motorbikes like that gentleman over there, on foot, and even in small cars like this coming through.

But still, despite all this advice and guidance, people keep risking, crossing flooded roads and rivers. And after again, two months of sustained

rainfall, a lot of streams, a lot of dams, a lot of rivers are overflowing, and the death toll keeps climbing. Last week was the deadliest yet more

than 100 people died in just one week.

The death toll across the country right now more than 228. President William Ruto has just announced that every one of the 40,000 households

that have been displaced by the flooding will receive about 10,000 shillings that's just under $75 to help them settle in as they figure out

what to do with them.

Some of them will need to be completely resettled away from riverbanks. Some of them will have to rebuild, especially those who have lost

everything in their homes that are now submerged, but it's still the rain is forecasted to continue, President Ruto said it might continue throughout

this month into next month.

Though some other models say we're now in a more moderate bit of rainfall is moving upwards north into Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia. But this

entire region has gone through the cycles of extreme rainfall and then droughts. They just finished the worst drought in 40 years after five

failed rainy seasons. And now this, the -- Lynda, that's why so many people here say these are the real effects of climate change.

KINKADE: Yeah, exactly. Larry Madowo for us, good to have you there on the scene for us in Nairobi, thank you. Well catastrophic flooding has claimed

at least 83 lives in Southern Brazil and at least 111 people remain missing, more than 120,000 forced from their homes. People have told CNN

they've seen dead bodies floating in the water. Julia Vargas Jones has the story.


JULIA VARGAS JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Waist deep in floodwaters, civilian volunteers work tirelessly to rescue those still

stranded. On four by four vehicles at first, helping residents save their most precious belongings, there where roads become rivers, they switch to


I'm wet, this little girl says. Aren't you a mermaid? The volunteer replies. You're OK. This volunteer telling CNN, his team rescued more than

60 people on Sunday. Many children, elderly are with mobility issues.


JONES (voice-over): It was really stressful. There's just so much water. We're worried about the people still stranded without cell signal he says.

I saw so many people cry today he says. Having lost everything, their homes, their pets left behind. But help is also coming from the skies, this

rescue unit using a brick to open a hole on the roof of a flooded house where they pull out this baby.


JONES (voice-over): The scenes are devastating. People are in complete despair. The fire sub commander says bodies have been recovered from

floodwaters. Authorities call this the worst natural disaster to ever hit Brazil's far south, a state larger than the United Kingdom. Relentless rain

has flooded over 300 towns displacing more than 100,000 and affecting more than a quarter of a million people.

This is the state's fourth catastrophic flood in one year in the capital Porto Alegre historical landmarks under water in the seawall holding the

weight of calamity on Friday, now, with water on both sides. At the airport flights are grounded as rain has not relented. President Luiz Inacio Lula

da Silva calling the floods a climate disaster and promising federal aid.

LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT: Because he owes so much to Rio Grande do Sul in all aspects, what we are doing is giving the state

where it deserves. There will be no bureaucratic obstacles for us to recover the grandiosity of this state.

JONES (voice-over): The town of Canoas, meaning canoes in Portuguese received the brunt of the rain. Patients had to be evacuated from its main

hospital before it was almost entirely submerged.


In this neighborhood, residents say evacuation alerts came too late and they could only leave by flagging down a boat like this one and hoping they

can one day return home. Julia Vargas Jones, CNN, New York.


KINKADE: Well, millions of people across the U.S. are also trying to cope with a nightmare of severe weather. The National Weather Service is warning

of a tornado threat, and more than 25 million people in the South and Central Plains are under severe storm threats. It comes as search and

rescue teams in parts of Texas are patrolling neighborhoods, keeping an eye out for people stuck in floodwaters.

So far more than 200 people have been rescued from homes and vehicles in the Houston area. But sadly one little boy died, four year old Lucas Warren

swept away by the Texas floods. Well CNN's Rosa Flores has been talking to first responders in Harris County, Texas about the people they've helped


She joins us now I just want to start with that, that really tragic story that four year old he lost his life. What do we know about the

circumstances of his family?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know his mom spoke to NBC DFW. I'm going to pull my earpiece. I'm having technical difficulties there. But

Lynda, his mother spoke to NBC DFW and she says that her son's name is Lucas Warren, and that he's four years old, and that the family so mom,

dad, and son were driving it was during the storm.

They were driving through a road that normally floods. This mom says that there was no barricade stopping them from going through the road, but that

the road was flooded, and eventually their car battery died, water started going into the vehicle. And these parents decided to get out of the vehicle

to try to get to safety.

And that the mother treaded water with a child for a while and then she told NBC DFW the following quote, a current came up real high and just let

go. And I didn't hear anything from him. I think he just went under. Now she went on to say that rescuers arrived moments later, but it was too

late, her son was gone, taken by the waters, and his body was recovered hours later.

Now she says that her son was weeks away from turning five years old. Now we reached out to the Johnson County Office of Emergency Management asking

about that road that didn't have a barricade. I'm actually waiting for them to respond to my request for comment. But just to give you a sense that

tragedy with that child happened near Dallas, Texas.

I'm in Harris County, which is close to Houston, Texas. And it's the same storm system. Now we have video that we shot yesterday, we wrote along with

the Harris County Sheriff's Office. This is a team of first responders that was going door to door asking people if they wanted to go to higher ground.

Now this is an area that is part of the mandatory evacuation zone. Some people decided not to evacuate, not to take this opportunity to go to

higher ground. In fact, first responders told us that one of the most difficult parts of their jobs is when they extend their arm to somebody

who's in a life threatening situation.

And that individual decides that they don't want to take the help, they don't want to evacuate. Now we talked to those first responders about some

of the biggest challenges that they're facing. And here's what they had to say. Take a listen.


DEPUTY DARRELL BAILEY, HARRIS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Biggest challenges that we primarily have is it's just the elements of -- the water because

you don't know what's in the water, whether there's ants, where there's snakes, where there's wet weather spiders is going to be the biggest

challenge. But we do our best to get out the boat and get them into the boat best possibly can.


FLORES: Now, Lynda, just to give you a sense of how quickly the water recedes here, you saw that video of us on the boat, you saw the first

responders, the water levels there. I mean, we were seeing stop signs that were at eye level. Well, that area is where I'm standing right now. And

that was less than 24 hours ago.

And yes, you see some ponding in the background. But, Lynda, that gives you a sense of how quickly water recedes. And that amount and quantity of water

that was here. That also gives you a sense of how quickly water can rise. And that's why first responders and officials warn people not to drive

through rising waters because it raises just that quickly it becomes very, very dangerous.

KINKADE: Yeah, they need to heed those warnings Rosa Flores for us good to have you on this story thank you very much. Well still to come, Donald

Trump's criminal hush money trial now entering its fourth week, we're going to look at some of the potential witnesses who may soon take the stand in a

live report. Stay with us. You're watching CNN.



JIMENEZ: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Omar Jimenez. Right now, we are outside the courthouse in Manhattan for the start of the fourth week of

Donald Trump's historic criminal trial. Now the former U.S. president has pleaded not guilty to falsifying business records to cover up a hush money

payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Prosecutors say it was all part of an attempt to mislead voters in the 2016 election. Now on Friday, the jury heard from Former White House

Communications Director, Hope Hicks. She's the closest Trump associate yet to testify in the trial. We are still waiting to hear who the next witness

will be.

But we are learning from court the judge has now held Donald Trump in contempt of court for the 10th time tied to gag order violations and even

saying your continued willful violations of this court's lawful order constitute a direct attack on the rule of law.

I want to bring in CNN, Jessica Schneider, who has been following this trial closely for us from Washington. What more are we hearing from the

judge here? And what is the significance of this 10th contempt ruling by the judge?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Omar, we're seeing the judge here Judge Juan Merchan get very stern with Trump in a way that I don't

think we've yet seen. He is in fact instituting that 10th violation of the gag order imposing a fine it will likely be about $1,000 as we've seen in

the previous nine violations.

So yes, this is a 10th violation. And we're hearing the judge really cracked down on Donald Trump. I mean, saying the magnitude of this decision

is not lost on me. But at the end of the day, I have a job to do. So as much as I don't want to impose a jail sanction, I want you to understand

that I will if necessary and appropriate.

Remember, this is something that the judge previously warned when he issued the previous gag order violation. And now he's reiterating to Donald Trump

that so far it's been $1,000 fine for each violation, but that this judge has said essentially the next time Donald Trump violates this gag order,

the judge may have no choice but to impose jail time.


So this is sort of the last strike essentially for Donald Trump. So we saw the arguments last week for the gag order violations. There were four total

gag order violations alleged by the prosecution, it appears that the judge has just issued a fine for one of those violations making a total of 10 now

that Donald Trump has been found in violation of.

So that is how we are starting off this Monday morning, a very stern warning to Donald Trump. I assume as soon as these proceedings are over

where the judge has issued his decision that a new witness will take the stand. I'm looking at the left side of the screen right now their

discussing defense objections to evidence the prosecutors plan to introduce.

But presumably in the next few minutes, we will see this new witness take the stand. Of course, it's still a mystery as to who will be the question,

will it be another sort of underwhelming witness that is just used by prosecutors to get certain documents into evidence as we saw a few times

last week.

Or will it be someone directly related to Donald Trump, as we saw on Friday with Hope Hicks? You know, Omar, we're still waiting for big witnesses,

including Stormy Daniels, and potentially the key to this case, Michael Cohen. So will that be this week? You know, we're in session 4 days this

week. So there could be a lot of activity from prosecutors when it comes to big witnesses that they may or may not call, Omar.

JIMENEZ: Yeah, Jessica and the judge saying in similar fashion to the other contempt rulings that Trump has to delete the truth social accounts that

are effect or the truth social postings, excuse me, effect here by 2:15 this afternoon. So similar deadlines to what we've seen in the past.

Jessica, really appreciate it.


JIMENEZ: And as she mentioned, you can see on the left side of your screen here, the updates that we are getting live from in court because we don't

have cameras in court you can follow along as we're having this discussion. The discussion now that I'm about to have with Bernarda Villalona joins me


She's a criminal defense attorney and former New York prosecutor. So I just want to get your read on what we're learning from court right now. As

Jessica mentioned, there were four alleged gag order violations. It does seem that the judge only ruled on one here and saying that the $1,000

punishments don't seem to be working.

The next step may have to be jail time. What's your reaction? What's your read on what we're hearing from a judge here?

BERNARDA VILLALONA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I'm not surprised that Judge Merchan actually sustained one of those violations. I think it's the

one having to deal with the mention of the jury -- because the jury, of course, that was a clear violation from his order. But in terms of the

$1,000 sanction, I'm not surprised as to that.

I'm not surprised that he reiterated the threat that I will put you in jail if you continue to violate my order. He didn't do it this time, because

clearly when he rendered his decision on the other violations, it was last week. And these statements were made prior to that ruling, itself. But it's

something that Judge Merchan is going to hold Donald Trump. So he will incarcerate him.

JIMENEZ: Yeah. And that, of course, would be an extraordinary step that we're seeing here. And we're also as I should mention, we're waiting to see

who the next witness will be in this case? As I mentioned, you can see some of the updates on your screen lawyers are still discussing defense

objections at the moment.

But let's go to the last witness that we heard from Hope Hicks. She was a Campaign Press Secretary for Trump White House Communications Director once

he was in office. What's your reaction to her testimony as far as what the prosecution was able to get out of her? And what the defense was able to

get out of her during cross examination?

VILLALONA: So Hope Hicks was a very emotional witness, I think she was a witness that came off credible on both sides. So Hope Hicks was able to get

the prosecution, the mindset, the urgency, how important it was to try to get this story away from the cameras, because of the timeline, because we

have the Access Hollywood videotape coming out.

And then to another story like that of Stormy Daniels will completely have killed Donald Trump's chances of being elected. So she gave us the urgency

of it. She also gave us who Michael Cohen was in the sense of his importance to that campaign. While at times she said, oh, he really didn't

work for that campaign.

But yet when something went down, who was the first call? It was to Michael Cohen, the fixer. Michael Cohen, also -- she was able to get out that

Michael Cohen out of his own kindness of his heart would not have paid $130,000. And I think that was crucial right there to the point that the

prosecutor after that question didn't even ask any more questions kind of like dropped the mic on the jury for them.

Now in terms for the defense, the defense to get some key points, one humanize in Donald Trump, also bringing out the light that Donald Trump did

care about this information hitting his family or about his wife finding out about that, but most importantly, one of the first questions was, is

that Donald Trump was not aware at least was not aware of what really was going on.


But I think that's something that the jury is going to be able to decipher as to whether what his true knowledge was. But also I have to add that she

also added as an insider, that Donald Trump had key insights to any major decision being made having to deal with the campaign and dealing with

anything having to deal with his character and his credibility.

JIMENEZ: Yeah. And, you know, there were previous prosecutorial witnesses that tried to paint the opposite saying that Michael Cohen would not have

acted without the direction of someone else that they did not get the impression he had the power to make this hush money payment at the time.

But on that latter point, I want to make a key distinction that I know you and I have talked about that so far, we focus a lot on the hush money

aspect of this on the sort of motivations of this, but that's not what's being charged here. This is a trial around falsifying business records. At

what point do you see the witness testimony and the trial really transitioning from that aspect into what is actually alleged here?

VILLALONA: Well, we're entering into what this is a third week of trial testimony, I believe that the prosecution says start putting in those

foundation witnesses now having to deal with the general ledgers having to deal with the invoices, having to deal with the checks and the check stub.

So you're going to start hearing from those witnesses this week, because, as you said, this case is about falsifying business records. So we have to

get those records before the jury itself. The question will be what witnesses would they use to get those records in front of the jury, we know

at least as to the invoices, because Michael Cohen is a person who drafted those invoices, who did put that as for legal expenses and expenses,

subject to the retainer agreement that Michael Cohen will be able to put into invoices.

But what I'm expecting to see is witnesses from the Trump organization that actually received the invoices, sent it to accounts payable got it approved

to ultimately have these checks cut for Stormy Daniels' Attorney.

The interesting part is that if the prosecution really wanted to get the person that was really directly involved in terms of getting these invoice

and these checks cut, they'll bring Allen Weisselberg. And where do we know Allen Weisselberg is either in jail, he's at Rikers Island.


VILLALONA: Doing his sentence on perjury. So obviously, you're not going to hear from him. So they're going to have to prove it circumstantially to

Michael Cohen, and also having to bring in members from the Trump Organization to set the foundation to get those records.


VILLALONA: But we do know that nine of those checks were directly signed by Donald Trump.

JIMENEZ: Yeah, Bernarda, I really appreciate you taking the time for folks following along. We did just get in the next witness will be Jeffrey

McConney. He's a Trump Organization Controller to the stand where we will likely see. Some of what we talked about play out in the form of witness


We're going to have more on the Trump trial soon for now though. I'm going to turn back to Lynda Kinkade in Atlanta. She's following the rest of the

day's top stories.

KINKADE: Yeah, thanks so much, Omar. I appreciate it. Well, Capitol Hill is gearing up for a showdown this week. Mike Johnson could find himself

fending off another vote to oust him as House Speaker. On one side, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene and a group of hardliners who want

Johnson gone, on the other side, Republicans and Democrats who say they'll kill the effort. Greene is forging ahead.


REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): -- and what you guys need to know is I really don't give a -- what anybody up here says about what I'm doing. I

care completely about the people of this country, and I cannot wait to put the Union Party on record next week.


KINKADE: Well, so chaos could be brewing on Capitol Hill. CNN's Lauren Fox is there. She brings us the latest. Certainly -- fighting words from

Marjorie Taylor Greene wanting to -- the speaker yet again, working with two hardliners to push this resolution. Will she get the numbers?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, obviously we are watching this see when she actually moves ahead. She has warned that she

wants to take the step this week to try to vacate the speaker. But what is becoming very clear is she doesn't have the votes.

There are a number of Republicans who are expected to join her too who have publicly come out in support Paul Gosar of Arizona and Thomas Massie of

Kentucky, but the three Republicans won't be able to get this done on their own. And that is because there are Democrats who are saying that they are

unified now in trying to table this resolution, essentially killing it when it comes to the floor.

The reason for this, according to Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, is they don't want to see the house cast back into the kind of chaos that you

saw in October when Kevin McCarthy was ousted just a few months ago. Their argument is that having a speaker list house means that you can't get any

legislative business done. Congress can't be prepared if there were to be some kind of national security event. They can't respond to it.


I mean just to go back to October 7th attack actually happened after Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the speakership. Congress could do nothing. They

couldn't send additional aid to Israel. They also couldn't even pass a simple resolution saying they supported Israel, because they were speaker


So Democrats arguing they don't want the House to be overtaken by people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who they say are on the fringes. The majority

of Republicans disagree with the actions that she wants to take. Again we don't know specifically what today she is going to charge ahead. She could

move forward as soon as 2 pm this afternoon, we'll be keeping a close eye on the House floor which is just feet away from me.

KINKADE: All right. Chaos on the Capitol, Lauren Fox, good to have you on the story for us thank you. Still to come, the world reacts to Israel's

decision to ban Al Jazeera from the country. We're following the backlash next.


KINKADE: Welcome back. U.S. President Joe Biden will speak by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the coming hours according to

sources. It comes into the Biden Administration closely watches this situation in Rafah after the Israeli military ordered the evacuation of

part of the city of Gaza.

Well, the United Nations and human rights groups condemning Israel's decision to ban Al Jazeera from the country. On Monday, the German foreign

officers said Israel shutting down Al Jazeera's operations in the country sends the quote, wrong signal.

Well, the network's communication equipment was confiscated Sunday, following the announcement by Israel's government. Meantime, Israel

continues to prevent international media from going in to Gaza. Our Hadas Gold is covering the story from New York and joins us now live.

Good to have you with us. So we've had criticism from the Israeli government of Al Jazeera for a long time. We've heard Netanyahu's

government call them the mouthpiece of Hamas. Just explain to us how this unfolded?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's important to note that this unprecedented move and this is a rare move is not happening in a

vacuum. And it's not just about the Israeli government's issues without Al Jazeera's coverage.

You have to look at the larger geopolitical ramifications here. You know, Al Jazeera is based and owned in Qatar. Qatar, of course has been a key

part of the mediation attempts negotiation attempts between Israel and Hamas. And some analysts are suggesting that actually deciding to pull the

plug in Al Jazeera right now is part of an overall pressure campaign tied to the negotiations over hostage release and ceasefire and tied to a

pressure campaign over a possible military operation in Rafah.

Now, the ability to even close Al Jazeera is a new one. This is a relatively new law that was recently passed in Israel. Now this closure is

technically temporary for about 45 days. It can be renewed, they can't broadcast within the country, but it's not clear whether their reporters

will be prevented from working within the country.

Israeli government, as you noted, has accused Al Jazeera of being a male altarpiece for Hamas saying they're broadcasting these militants and

terrorists messages without any sort of criticism or context around them.


Al Jazeera has maintained one of the rare abilities to broadcast 24 hours from the Gaza Strip. They still have reporters there. And I should note

that several of their reporters have been killed and wounded. Now, Al Jazeera accuses the Israeli military of purposely targeting their

journalists and other journalists something that the Israeli military has denied.

Now, this has been condemned by media organizations, free press organizations, as you know that the United Nations the Foreign Press

Association that's based in Jerusalem called it a dark day for the media saying this is a dark day for democracy saying that Israel joins a dubious

club of authoritarian governments who are banning Al Jazeera.

Look, there's no question that Al Jazeera comes from a certain point of view and that their coverage is from a certain point of view that the

Israeli government might not agree with. But I don't think that anybody can argue with the fact that pulling the plug on a media organization in a

country that claims to be the only democratic country in the Middle East that doesn't really align with those claims Lynda.

KINKADE: Yeah, exactly. Hadas Gold good to have you on the story and we will be speaking with the Director of News Al Jazeera English in the next

hour of "Connect the World". Well, I want to get you up to speed on some other stories on our radar right now.

Bodies found in the Mexican State of Baja, California Friday have been confirmed to be three missing surfers. The two Australian Brothers and

their American friend went missing April 29th. On Sunday, the state attorney general said that three victims have been killed by gunshots to

the head.

Kyiv says thousands of Ukrainians have been sent to Russian prisons where they're being held as bargaining chips. This comes as Russian airstrikes

bombarded Ukraine's Kharkiv region. At least one person was killed and 24 injured in drone and bomb attacks as people celebrated orthodox Easter on

Sunday. We're counting down to a crucial space launch what's at stake as Boeing's Starliner gears up for its first ever crewed mission?


KINKADE: Well, big task for Boeing as just hours away is preparing to launch its Starliner Spacecraft with two NASA astronauts on board. And it's

a critical mission for the aerospace giant which has been battling safety issues on some of its passenger jets, whose combined Boeing NASA mission to

the International Space Station has been made and delays so all eyes will be on Cape Canaveral Monday night, Florida time for the planned liftoff.

Well, time now to NASA Astronaut and Former Commander of the International Space Station Leroy Chiao has been talking to CNN about what's at stake for



LEROY CHIAO, RETIRED NASA ASTRONAUT: They've suffered a lot of problems in their airplane business and of course, their space business as a separate

unit. But they've had their share of problems with the Starliner Two. I mean, Boeing was given a contract or you know the same kind of a deal that

start SpaceX was given several years ago.

SpaceX has been flying astronauts to the ISS for the last 3.5 years. Boeing was given almost twice as much money because they were the ones that knew

how to do it. And here they are playing catch up.


KINKADE: Now we will speak to him next hour on the -- is described as having an interior space similar to a mid-size SUV which means a bit more

room for astronauts Barry Wilmore and Sunita Williams who will pilot the Starliner.



CHIAO: Space capsule by their nature much smaller than say the space shuttle was. But this particular capsule, 4.5 meter base as you mentioned,

much bigger than the Soyuz, the Russian Soyuz that many of us -- many of us flew to the space station, I'm including myself on my last flight, three

meter base outside diameter of the Soyuz spacecraft.

So, the spacecraft was designed to take four. And so with just two of them inside, they'll have a little more room, and it's a modern spacecraft so

they should have a lot more comfort than say, for example on the rest of the stories, which -- has flown aboard.


KINKADE: All right, that will be a good mission to watch indeed. And we will talk about that more next hour. That's it for this hour of "Connect

the World". I'm Lynda Kinkade. I'll be back with much more in just a short while, stay with us.