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Israeli Ministry: Captured Gaza Side of Rafah Crossing; Testimony Resumes in Hush Money Trial; SBU says it Fooled "Actively Developing Plan" to Assassinate Zelenskyy; Stormy Daniels Expected to Take Stand in Trump Trial; Dangerous Storms Sweep Parts of U.S., Tornadoes in Oklahoma; Investors Seeing Earnings from BP, Disney and UBS. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired May 07, 2024 - 09:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Well, hello, it is 5 pm in Abu Dhabi. I'm Becky Anderson. You are watching "Connect the World" this hour.

We are following the very latest on Israel taking control of the Rafah crossing in Gaza, with an eye on ceasefire negotiations in Cairo.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Omar Jimenez outside the Manhattan criminal court as we continue CNN special coverage of Donald Trump's hush

money trial, Trump is on his way to the courthouse behind me where court resumes in about 30 minutes and when -- are expected to call star witness

Stormy Daniels to the stand.

ANDERSON: More on that as we get it, of course, I want to start though, on the Gaza side of the Rafah border where the Israeli flag now flies as

Israel's military says it has taken control. Those images hours after bombs dropped on Rafah. Medical officials say 23 people were killed in Israeli

strikes overnight.

And on a parallel track in Cairo, in Egypt, of course, across that Rafah border and beyond but no less fundamental to the story. Israel says the

hostage ceasefire proposal that Hamas agreed to late on Monday is and I quote here, far from Israel's requirements, but that it will send a

delegation to Egypt for further talks.

Well, there are a lot of moving parts right now with a lot to unpack. Let's stay on this with Jeremy Diamond who is in Jerusalem, Arlette Saenz from

the White House. Jeremy, let's start with you. We're seeing video of Israeli tanks literally rolling over signs that say I love Gaza and Gaza

and on the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing.

CNN has geo located this video showing an Israeli tank at the border, which is one of the main supply routes for humanitarian aid to Palestinians in

the Enclave. Just explain what we are witnessing on the ground and the impact of these scenes, if you will?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, the Israeli military says that it now has quote operational control of the Rafah border crossing, but

that this military operation there is not yet concluded and we don't know what its conclusion will be? Will Israeli forces remain in control of that

Rafah border crossing?

Will they retain control of that section of the Gaza-Egypt border? Will they leave eventually? All of that remains unclear, but the Israeli

military says that Special Forces are continuing to scan the area around the crossing for Hamas forces. We saw overnight Israeli tanks and troops

rolling into Rafah for the first time following months during which the Israeli government has threatened a major military offensive there.

This is not yet that full-fledged ground defensive in Rafah, but it is the first time that we have seen Israeli troops and tanks in the area of Rafah,

raising the Israeli flag on the Palestinian side of that Egypt-Gaza border crossing a symbolic position that the Israeli military has now taken.

And all of this, of course comes in the context of those ongoing negotiations even as it received Hamas' latest proposal, the Israeli war

cabinet unanimously agreeing to carry forward with this military operation in Rafah and now in terms of the impact that this is going to have on the

grounds that Rafah border crossing is now closed.

The Kerem Shalom border crossing between Israel and Gaza, which has been a key waypoint for humanitarian aid goods, to go into Gaza has also now been

closed for two days. So these are two key humanitarian aid crossings that for the moment remain closed and it is unclear when they will open again.

Humanitarian aid officials rising sounding the alarm about the potential impact on the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza. Rafah is also

the only in and outpoint for people for those who are injured or need to be medically evacuated from Gaza for humanitarian aid workers who go in and


And so the humanitarian implications of this are potentially enormous if that crossing remains closed for a longer period of time.


Egyptian Government warning that this is a, quote, dangerous escalation in their view, saying that this threatens the lives of more than a million

Palestinians who rely on that crossing and on the aid that it delivers.

ANDERSON: Arlette. Let me thank you, Jeremy. Let me bring Arlette in at this point. How has the U.S. and very specifically the White House

responded to this operation escalating?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, the White House has yet to comment specifically on this latest development that Israel had

taken over the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing, but just last night as this operation was getting underway, U.S. officials had expressed some concerns

about this, but they said that they did not believe that this was the start of that wide scaled anticipated military offense and by Israel into Rafah.

Now it comes as the U.S. has repeatedly warned Israel against engaging in a widespread major campaign without a plan in place to ensure the safety and

evacuation of the more than 1.4 million people who are currently in Rafah that President Biden reiterated his position in a phone call with Israeli

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just yesterday.

And here's National Security Council Spokesperson speaking about the U.S. concerns about a major operation offensive by Israel into Rafah. Take a



JOHN KIRBY, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COMMUNICATIONS ADVISER: We've been very clear that we don't support a major ground operation in Rafah.

Operations in general that put at greater risk, the more than a million people there are sheltering there.


SAENZ: Now it all comes as the U.S. is also still trying to work towards securing some type of agreement that would ensure the release of hostages

and at least a temporary ceasefire and fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. CIA Director Bill Burns is now in Cairo as those talks are expected

to continue.

And we saw this back and forth just yesterday between Israel and Hamas, as Hamas official said that they had accepted an agreement when it comes to

the release of these hostages and a potential ceasefire. Now, U.S. officials said they didn't see this as an agreement. They saw this as a

counter proposal.

So there's still a bit of a negotiation that has to be underway as the U.S. really hopes that some type of deal would be the best way to secure the

release of hostages and a ceasefire as these fighting has continued. Now, President Biden today also will be delivering a major speech on anti-

Semitism here at the -- here on Capitol Hill.

As he's trying to show his concern for the issue as we've seen some anti- Semitic incidents across college campuses with some of these protests that have unfolded in recent weeks.

ANDERSON: Good to have you, Arlette, Arlette Saenz at the White House. Cairo front and center in all of this as we try and unpick what is going on

and what may happen next, of course, because the latest ceasefire talks are in Cairo being hosted by the Egyptians and of course, Egypt sits on the

other side of that Rafah crossing Egypt.

And I quote here, calling on the Israeli side to exercise the utmost levels of restraint and to stay away from a policy of brinkmanship that has long

term impact and that would threaten the fate of the strenuous efforts made to reach a sustainable truce inside the Gaza Strip.

Well, as we mentioned, there's a lot to unpick now. Where are we with that potential hostage ceasefire deal? How long before we may see the release of

hostages, for example, that would be during a -- at least temporary ceasefire, period or truce. When might that be? Well, let's break this down


What we know and what we don't know perhaps? CNN's Paula Hancocks joining me here and I thought it was really important to just mark with the

Egyptian side of the back end of that statement, this stairway from a policy of brinkmanship. It has long term impact. It threatens the fate of

the strenuous efforts made to reach a sustainable truce inside the Gaza Strip.

We hear calls for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza echoed around this region and beyond. So what do we know at this point about where we are at with the

potential at least for a temporary period of calm?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we know at this point, Becky, is that Hamas says it's accepted this proposal for the ceasefire hostage

deal. We've heard from Israel that they said that's far from meeting their demands, this particular version of the proposal if you like.


It had according to U.S. sources been reworked somewhat in recent days by the mediators in including CIA Director, Bill Burns to try and change the

language so that Israel would accept it. So this is what Hamas has accepted. The U.S. side says it's less of an acceptance more of a counter

proposal. So the situation is still ongoing.

ANDERSON: Needs to be negotiated --

HANCOCKS: Exactly.


HANCOCKS: So what we know now is that Israel will send a delegation to Cairo to discuss this and they say it will be to find out if there is a

deal that still can be done. Now, it's positive news that they are still talking. It's less positive that it's a working level delegation. If we

were close, then obviously it would be the Mossad Director, David Barnea is being sent to Cairo. So unfortunately, I think that the celebrations we saw

in the streets of Gaza were premature in this respect --

ANDERSON: And perhaps we should bring those up, because yeah, you were reporting on those images. And this was late last night, images of Gazans

celebrating in the street as they heard this announcement or heard the reports of this announcement by Hamas that they had accepted this proposal.

I mean, these are hard to watch at this stage. For those of -- who sit outside of Gaza never mind for those who are inside this strip?

HANCOCKS: And a lot of -- these celebrations as well. We're in the area of Rafah which we know now certainly the Eastern part of Rafah saw a huge

amount of Israeli airstrikes overnight. So it is very difficult to watch. We also saw in Central Gaza, similar situation because they would have

heard that Hamas has accepted the ceasefire.

It was as simple as that. What it does mean is that Hamas is effectively putting pressure back on Israel, they put the ball back in Israel's court

that it's up to Israel now to accept or not accept, and it also shows publicly that Hamas is willing to make a deal. This is what I'm hearing

that the fact that they have said they accept this proposal publicly shows that they are at the point they are willing to accept this kind of


But Israel is coming under a huge amount of regional pressure as well. I'll read you one comment from the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Jordan, Ayman

Safadi saying, quote, tremendous effort has been made to produce an exchange deal that will release hostages and realize a ceasefire.

Hamas has put out an offer if Netanyahu genuinely wants to deal, he will negotiate the offer in earnest. Instead, he is jeopardizing the deal by

bombing Rafah. So we are seeing a lot of criticism of Israel at this point that not only are they. Well, they are sending negotiators back to Cairo,

but in tandem, they are carrying out these operations in Rafah.

ANDERSON: I just want to wind this part of the show up by getting for our viewers, Israel's Foreign Minister who released a statement over the past

few hours, it reads as follows. Let's bring this up if we can, the work of persuasion on the political front is becoming more difficult, he said.

But I will do everything to meet the task and allow our heroic soldiers to complete their work. What that means this line about the work of persuasion

on the political front is becoming more difficult. Many are reading to that being a statement on the pressure that the U.S. is putting on Israel.

What they are likely to do next is still anybody's guess. All right, well, Paula, thank you. Want to get to New York now where Donald Trump's hush

money trial resumes just a few minutes from now. Omar Jimenez is outside the court in Manhattan. So what have you got?

JIMENEZ: Yeah, well, we just learned that the former president's motorcade just arrived a few minutes ago where we expect court day 13 of the Donald

Trump hush money trial to get underway in about 20 minutes or so. As we've been speaking about in the open of the show, we just learned from a source

that one of the prosecution central witnesses is expected to take the stand.

Adult film star Stormy Daniels is set to testify about alleged payments, she received a cover up an alleged affair with Trump. Now this comes after

the judge again ruled Trump violated the gag order he imposed on the case yesterday. Brynn Gingras is with me now. So Brynn, obviously, look, this is

set to be a pretty big day for this trial.


JIMENEZ: Just given who Stormy Daniels in is within the context of this case. What more do we know about her expected testimony?

GINGRAS: Yeah, I mean, she needs to sort of close the loop about these payments, right?


GINGRAS: She can obviously testify did she receive money from Michael Cohen ahead of the 2016 election? So certainly there's going to be some crucial

testimony in there. There's probably going to be some juicy testimony in there. So I'm sure jurors are going to be very interested to see when she

takes the stand. It will like court optics for you inside.



GINGRAS: So she can't actually from the witness stand see Donald Trump -- it's actually blocked. Our court reporters are telling us the witness stand

from the defense table. She can see his attorney but not him. So will they make eye contact when she walks in and is called to the stand?

That's something obviously our court reporters are going to be looking for and how our jurors going to react? So there's a lot of sort of, you know,

moments that I think people are going to be looking for when she takes a stand. But it's going to be a very, I don't know what the word is. But I

keep saying interesting. I think that's kind of minimizing it a bit. But it's going to be an interesting day in court.

JIMENEZ: And look, I mean, before, we was just talking about how the judge ruled, Trump was in contempt of court for violating the gag order.


JIMENEZ: And before it was announced, before we got the reporting out, the Stormy Daniels would be the witness.


JIMENEZ: Trump put out on social media that he knew who the next witness was going to be.


JIMENEZ: And then promptly deleted it.

GINGRAS: Right. Yeah.


GINGRAS: So basically, yesterday in court, the prosecutors told the defense attorneys will let you know later today being yesterday who the next

witness will be. Now, Trump is saying he just learned this morning, and like you said, quickly deleted that untrue social. Did she trigger him to

write that post?

And then did his lawyers say take that off, because you're talking about a witness? And that could be, you know, a violation of a gag order possibly.

We don't know. But that did certainly happen. And it was quickly --

JIMENEZ: And look, we're on day 13 of this trial here for folks who are following along at home where we're in the middle of the prosecution's

case, as they've been calling witnesses. Do we have a sense of how much more the prosecution has to offer to the judge here?

GINGRAS: Yeah. So yesterday, they said they have two more weeks from today. Now the week is full for court. There's no tomorrow, but there's Thursday,

Friday court. Next week, there's actually no court on Friday and the following week, the same thing. So they are shorter weeks.

Certainly Donald Trump did not like hearing that there was two more weeks of the prosecution's case because they still have to put on their defense

and then closing arguments. And then of course, the jurors need to deliberate. And he said so when he left court, but yesterday was a crucial

day in court, we shouldn't like put that behind it.


GINGRAS: Because it was the bones of the prosecution's case, its 34 counts of falsifying business records. And they brought in two witnesses who

essentially laid out for jurors, all the paperwork, all the vouchers, the Trump Organization books to show, hey, these are the ones that the charges

apply to. And so they were very important witnesses for the prosecution's case. It was bit of a slog for the jurors to listen to.


GINGRAS: But again, important for them to hear.

JIMENEZ: Well, and you know, based on the reporting out of court, it did seem that the jurors were following along on screens.


JIMENEZ: Being able to track through some of the financial documents that again, as you mentioned, are really the bones of the prosecution's case to

show that these were payments that were being made back and forth and how exactly these payments were unfolding?


JIMENEZ: Brynn Gingras, really appreciate it. For everyone watching, we're about 13 minutes or so from the start of court on this day 13 of the Trump

trial. We're going to keep watching developments as we know from a source. Stormy Daniels is expected to take the stand today at what point we do not

know but we will continue to watch for that as she faces questions from prosecutors. But for now, I want to go back to Becky in Abu Dhabi.

ANDERSON: Good stuff, thank you. Just ahead off to the U.S. and many European countries boycotted his inauguration. Russian President Vladimir

Putin says he has a message for the West. That is coming up and China's President Xi Jinping is on his first trip to Europe in five years. We will

have the details on that, after this.



ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. We are just getting word of a foiled plot to assassinate

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Kyiv's State Security Services to Ukrainian officials have been detained over a suspected assassination plan

on Zelenskyy.

The two officials are accused of leaking classified information to Russia. Well, it's six more years of Vladimir Putin. He has just been inaugurated

as Russia's President again. Well, this is the Russian leader's fifth inauguration walked through those gilded doors. Let's bring in CNN's Clare

Sebastian, who has been watching the event. What struck you most Clare, as you watch this for -- the fifth time?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I mean, I think like for Russians, this really renews the sense of permanence around Putin's rule,

this may not even be his last inauguration, Becky, he's eligible to run again, after the next six years, which could take him to remain in power up

until his early 80s.

So I think that means look, another generation will grow up not knowing any other leader, other than Putin. I think in terms of the International

messaging here, obviously, we did see that many European and certainly U.S. diplomats did not accept the invitation to attend the event.

And Putin it wasn't really knew what he said. But he did make it very clear that his posture going into his fifth term would remain one of

confrontation with the West. Take a listen.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA: We do not refuse dialogue with Western states. The choice is theirs, do they intend to continue trying to restrain

the development of Russia, continue the policy of aggression, continuous pressure on our country for years, or look for a path to cooperation and



SEBASTIAN: So, you know, accusing the west of a policy of aggression. This is a tried and true tactic that he uses. And I think it's clear, you know,

he went on to say that a conversation about security as possible, but only on equal terms respecting each other's interests, it's clear Russia isn't

interested in engaging in dialogue with the West, unless it stops its support for Ukraine.

And it's also clear, given events leading up to this inauguration that Russia is willing to pull one -- and that is the nuclear threat just a day

before the Russian Defense Ministry announcing it was making preparations for military drills, simulating the use of a battlefield or non-strategic

nuclear weapons.

Now, that doesn't mean that they will, but it does show that they are willing to continue using this nuclear threat. And that is something that

the West is watching very closely and will have to face the challenge of how to deal with that threat alongside continuing their support for

Ukraine, Becky?

ANDERSON: Before I let you go, what of this assassination attempt on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy? What are the details as we


SEBASTIAN: Yeah, so there are more details coming out from the Ukrainian State Security Services and the prosecutor's office. We understand this was

to pretty high ranking officials in Ukraine Secret Service that have been caught and arrested. Now the Secret Service is charged with the protection

of President Zelenskyy and other top officials in Ukraine.

They were colonels according to this -- State Security Services, and they were part of what they call a network of agents working for Russia's FSB,

Russia's own domestic security services, and they were handing over allegedly information about the whereabouts of not only President Zelenskyy

by the way, but also the head of Ukraine's State Security Services, the head of Ukraine's Defense Intelligence, as well all part of a plot to

assassinate those people.

So look, on the one hand, the State Security Services of Ukraine say they have foiled this, but on the other hand, I think it is in some ways

embarrassing that there was that level of alleged disloyalty among such high ranking officials. This is not the first time that there have been

assassination attempts on President Zelenskyy.

He himself, Becky, said in an interview in February that he lost interest after the fifth time he tends to play these things down and we have no

comment from Moscow as of yet but it seems to have been a pretty big operation to foil this.


ANDERSON: Clare Sebastian on the story. Thank you, Clare. Well, President Xi Jinping is pushing back claims of China's support for Russia in its war

in Ukraine. During a joint press conference with the French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday, Xi said his country was actively contributing to

reaching peace.

Xi is in France during his six day visit to Europe amid growing China- Europe tensions since the beginning of Russia's war with Ukraine. Beijing is hoping to use this trip to present China's own narrative. Well on this

is, CNN's Anna Coren and the idea that China is determined to present its own narrative.

Is it clear what that is? And what the sort of coming together of goals between the Chinese and French leaders might look like?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, look, it's a really good point, Becky. I think we are yet to really, I guess, see that I mean, obviously, this is

a coming together of the two presidents. But certainly, you know, Xi is making the most of this trip and he's wrapping up his visit to France is in

the Pyrenees Mountains.

As we speak, we know this is a special place for Emmanuel Macron, the birthplace of his maternal grandmother, but the two presidents and their

wives. They're enjoying lunch in the mountains. This is a one on one personal time that Macron insisted on having with Xi, and it's really

breaking with protocol, but he is there to reinforce the main issues, which is, you know, reduce trade imbalance between China and Europe.

We saw that message yesterday in particular with the European Commission chief yesterday, in that trilateral meeting. They want to secure better

access for European companies in China, fewer subsidies for Chinese exporters. The other message they're trying to get across is this, you

know, ending the war in Ukraine.

Macron wants Xi to use his influence over Russian President Vladimir Putin, who we should note is visiting Beijing later this month. And yesterday, we

heard from Xi in Paris, he pushed back on that criticism of China's close relationship with Russia, saying, we oppose the crisis being used to cast

responsibility on a third country, sully its image and incite a new -- cold war.

But Xi also backed Macron's call for an Olympic Truce during the Olympic Games in Paris in July but Xi also weighed in on the Israeli-Hamas war.

Let's take a listen.


XI JINPING, PRESIDENT OF CHINA: We call on all parties to work for an immediate, comprehensive and sustainable ceasefire in Gaza. We support

Palestine's full membership in the U.N., and supports restoring to Palestine its legitimate national rights and restarting the two-state

solution, so as to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East.


COREN: Later today, Xi will then travel to Serbia to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the NATO bombing, that accidental bombing of China's embassy

in Belgrade which killed three Chinese journalists, 20 -- were wounded. Xi has described the relationship between China and Serbia as being quote,

forged by blood.

Both leaders have spoken of this ironclad partnership that they share. Look, China has invested billions of dollars into Serbia as part of its

Belt and Road Initiative, along with Hungary which is where Xi will travel next. That's where he will wrap up his European tour. He is saving the pro-

Russian you know very China friendly countries for the end, Becky.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Anna. Still to come, prosecutors are expected to call adult film actress Stormy Daniels for the stand today in. What is Donald

Trump's historic criminal trial a live report is coming up next.



JIMENEZ: Welcome back to CNN everyone. I'm Omar Jimenez. Right now, we are outside the courthouse in Manhattan, where CNN has learned from a source

that, one of the prosecution's key witnesses, adult film actress Stormy Daniels is expected to testify in Donald Trump's criminal trial today.

Now the judges on the bench, prosecutors are in the courtroom along with Trump are expecting things to get going in just a few minutes. Her

testimony will allow jurors to hear from the woman at the center of the case against the former president, though we do not know at which point she

will testify today.

Remember, Trump has pleaded not guilty to falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment to Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential

election to buy her silence. Now prosecutors say it was all part of an attempt by Trump to mislead voters. I want to bring in Jeff Swartz. He's a

former judge, and now a law professor, as well.

And for folks who are watching, you can see the updates on the left side of your screen that's coming from our reporters inside court. So you can

follow along with some of these live updates. Jeff thanks for coming back.

So I just want to get your reaction right off the bat to tell our reporting that we expect Stormy Daniels to testify that we expect the prosecution to

call Stormy Daniels to testify. Why is she so important? What are you expecting to hear from her materially in regards to the case?

JEFF SWARTZ, FORMER MIAMI-DADE COUNTY COURT JUDGE: Materially, she's going to say what her understanding of the deal was, her receipt of the money

from her lawyer, it's basically going to be corroboration for her lawyer who had a very difficult cross examination. And she's also going to

describe what Mr. Trump is denying, and that is whether there in fact, was an encounter between the two. Based upon the interviews I've seen, she

seems to have a rather vivid memory of that evening.

JIMENEZ: And, you know, we you and I were speaking yesterday, too. And, you know, I think some people looked at that testimony is a little bit drier as

they went through the actual financials and the architecture of how these payments actually played out.

But for the prosecution, you know, they have to prove a number of things here, not just that these business records were falsified, but that there

was intent to commit or conceal another crime here. Do you feel the prosecution has done that to this point or what are they missing from their

argument here?

SWARTZ: I think that Hope Hicks really gave us a flavor of what was going on inside the campaign as all these three things, came together McDougal,

the Access Hollywood tapes, and this particular incident was Stormy Daniels. I think that what Stormy Daniels is going to give us is that there

was no interest in what she had to say.


And there was a stalling going on when she did try to sell her story until after the Access Hollywood tapes. When that came out all of a sudden there

was a real interest in her story. And that kind of lends itself to the overall flavor. And the idea of surrounding Mr. Trump with all this

testimony of what was he thinking, and what was his real purpose, even if we don't hear it out of his mouth, or we don't hear it from him to anybody

in particular.

But that his attitude was there and then Mr. Cohen will take the stand and say, there was a rush, we got basically put out by Pecker, and now we had

to come up with Plan B.

JIMENEZ: And, look, obviously, Trump was found in contempt of court for a 10th time for violating the gag order. And before court today, he put out

on social media that I have just recently been told who the witnesses today, this is unprecedented, no time for lawyers to prepare. And then that

post was deleted, about 25 minutes later, if you were his attorney, and you saw that post going out, what would your conversation be with them?

SWARTZ: That post is you've just quoted that one in particular probably is not a problem for him in regards to the gag order. It's talking about the

process inside the court, that type of thing. And he can comment about those things. However, if it came out with anything referring to Stormy

Daniels, then that's a different story.

Now he's commenting on witnesses, he also put into that same post the complaint that somehow it was unfair, because there was no time for his

lawyers to prepare, nothing could be further from the truth than that. They've known who the witnesses are, for a very long time. And good lawyers

don't wait till they hear the night before who's going to testify to prepare their cross examination.

As we've seen with all the other witnesses, the lawyers were very well prepared, because they've had these names for a long time. They've been

preparing for a long time. And I think that statement was really kind of a falsehood meant to lead people in the wrong direction. Again, that's just

commenting on how he sees things progressing in court.

That's not going to violate the gag order. But he better be very careful at this point about what he does, because I personally haven't been a judge

will tell you that judges don't make the kind of threats that Merchan has made in his last order and not mean it. Merchan is going to do what he has

to do to take control over his courtroom.

And the idea that Donald Trump thinks he's still in control is something that Judge Merchan has to make clear to him, you are not in control. I'm in

control. I'm the guy in the black dress. I'm the guy that makes decisions.

JIMENEZ: And just for our viewers, we did get an update that Sally Franklin is going to be the first witness called today's Senior Vice President and

Executive Managing Editor for Random House Publishing Group. Again, sources told us Stormy Daniels is expected to take the stand. But clearly, that is

not going to happen first today.

Jeff, I also want to ask you about look, the prosecution has said that they expect their case to play out over the next two weeks or so is what their

estimation is for how long it's going to take for them to prove their allegations. Did that surprise you? Did that timeline surprise you? And do

you think they are going to need that time based on what you've seen so far to this point?

SWARTZ: They're good, Stormy Daniels will probably take a day or day and a half, something like that the defense is going to have to tread lightly

when they do the cross examination because I think the jurors are going to feel sorry for her to a certain extent if they try to beat up on her.

However, Michael Cohen could take a whole week himself.

And so therefore here we are sitting with a couple of days left in this week. And then we got all of next week, and then maybe a day or two the

following week for some follow up kind of finish off witnesses. And then the defense will have to move forward after motions for judgment of

acquittal, assuming they are denied they will have to move forward.

We really could be finished in to the jury, presumably, by the end of the month, and they may be deliberating at the start of June. That's kind of

the way I see it. I'm not surprised. They're moving much faster than I thought they were.

JIMENEZ: Yeah, there's a lot to get through here, including some very tiny details, minute details about financial documents. We've seen a lot of it

to this point. Jeff Swartz, really appreciate the time and perspective.

SWARTZ: Nice seeing you Omar. Have a good day.

JIMENEZ: Now for everyone else, as we mentioned Sally Franklin, Senior Vice President, Executive Managing Editor for Penguin Random House is the first

witness that has been called today the jury is in the courtroom, court is underway. We're going to have much more on the Trump trial soon.


For now though, I want to turn back to Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. She's following the rest of the day's top stories across the world.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Omar. And we just heard from the U.N. Secretary General, he was speaking about the situation in Gaza where Israeli tanks

have entered the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing. Here's what he had to say just moments ago.


ANTONIO GUTERRES, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL: It would be tragic if weeks of intense diplomatic activity for peace in Gaza, yield no ceasefire,

no release of hostages and the devastating offensive in Rafah. I reiterate my appeal for both parties to show the political courage and spare no

effort to secure an agreement now.

To stop the bloodsheds, to free the hostages, and to help stabilize the region, this is still at risk of explosion. This is a crucial opportunity

that the region and indeed the world cannot afford to miss. Yet things are moving in the wrong direction. I am disturbed and distressed by the renewed

military activity in Rafah by the Israeli Defense Forces.

The closure of both Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings is especially damaging to an already dire humanitarian situation. They must be reopened

immediately. Just to give an example, we risk running out of fuel this evening. I urge the Government of Israel to stop any escalation and engage

constructively in the ongoing diplomatic talks.


ANDERSON: Well, Jeremy Diamond has been listening to the Secretary General's comments. He is in Jerusalem, the U.N. Chief there, Jeremy,

talking about or calling on both sides to have the diplomatic courage to find a solution to this conflict. Question is will those involved be


DIAMOND: That is indeed the question, Becky. And I think what the Secretary General is doing here is he's urging both sides to seize the moment to take

this opportunity of the intense diplomatic efforts that has unfolded over the course of the last several weeks to take that momentum and to actually

afford a deal here. What he doesn't address is how he believes the two parties can close the remaining gaps that exist here.

He is also focusing on the Israeli military operation in Rafah urging Israel to avoid any escalation, as he said, and also expressing concern

about what that military operation means for the entry of desperately needed humanitarian aid into Gaza, noting that both the Rafah border

crossing between Egypt and Gaza, as well as the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza that both of those remain close.

The Kerem Shalom crossing closed after Hamas appears to have fired rockets and mortars towards the direction of that crossing killing four Israeli

soldiers and resulting in the closing of that crossing. The Israeli government has committed to reopening Kerem Shalom, but it's not clear when

it will do so.

But as of today, both of those critical crossings remain closed. So a message from the Secretary General about the importance of humanitarian

aid, about the importance of focusing on the negotiations at the moment to try and reach a deal and of course, on the consequences that not reaching a

deal would have for, both the people in Gaza as well as the hostages and the families of those hostages.

ANDERSON: Yeah, and so it goes on for those hostages for the families of those hostages and for the people of Gaza who have to date survived this

conflict and catastrophe. Good to have you Jeremy, thank you very much indeed. When we come back nearly 100 people, 100 let me put that say that

again, nearly 100 million people across the Eastern United States are under a severe storm threat today, more than that, after this.



ANDERSON: Nearly 100 million people across the Eastern United States are under a severe storm threat today it's part of a dangerous system that has

already hit parts of the central and southern U.S. prompting tornado warnings and watches from Texas to South Dakota.

Some 10 tornadoes were reported on Monday, most of them in Oklahoma. At least one person was killed and several were injured. CNN Meteorologist

Derek Van Dam joining me now. And Derek as we watch this severe storm and possible tornado threat develop how is it shaping up to impact the Eastern

United States at this point?

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, well that same system will evolve eastward today and then another round of severe weather comes in directly

behind it. I'll show you those details in just a moment. But the nighttime visuals, the video that you just saw a moment ago.

Well here is a bird's eye perspective of that very same tornado that struck the northern sections of Oklahoma. This is in Barnesville. And this is

really my first time seeing this video and I'm just kind of flabbergasted at the extent of the damage here. Trees have been completely ripped of

their foliage.

You can see buildings that have been completely flattened roofs torn off of their houses, cars displaced. This is significant damage from a lot of on

the ground experience. This is -- this has got to be an EF three or stronger tornado. Of course the National Weather Service comes in and

assesses the damage gives the official rating but nonetheless, I mean this is very significant tornado damage.

I mean look at that wide path. I mean this has got to be at least 100 meters wide with this particular tornado, quite a perspective to see it

from this CNN drone aerials that were shot just moments ago. 17 tornado reports for the day yesterday, this is in the past 24 hours and that same

line of storms is weakening as it advances eastward.

But there are a few different things at play here that are going to make this another dangerous setup for tornadoes. So here's this line of storms.

It raced through Oklahoma yesterday. Here it is about to impact Chicago. There are delays and cancellations at Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

Others some stronger storms moving across Kentucky and Tennessee right now as well impacting places like Louisville and Indianapolis.

But nothing severe as it stands. But it will happen behind this is the sun will come out. There will be breaks in the clouds. And the atmosphere is

going to take advantage of this very turbulent environment that we have in place across the eastern and central U.S.

This is known as the Ohio River Valley Storm. Prediction Center has highlighted this area as the most at risk of tornadoes today, some of which

could be strong, large hail possible and severe wind gusts up to hurricane forced in some locations.

We do anticipate another round of severe weather so not this initial line moving through that I showed you on the radar now but later today once we

start to see the thunderstorms start to bumble -- bubble up because of the atmospheric conditions in place.

There it is. You can see it actually by this evening. Cincinnati all the way to Columbus and Cleveland even Detroit in the mix. I will keep an eye

on this and Becky we have this term called severe weather fatigue. We have three days still yet to go of severe weather for the Eastern U.S.

ANDERSON: Wow, that's the picture there thank you sir. And across the world over the past few days more than 1000 people have been rescued in flood

ravaged Western Kenya for example, the Red Cross there says many are still stranded in some of the worst affected regions. Some say the real disaster

is more than just what is happening now warning its part of the larger climate crisis and it is just going to get worse. Larry Madowo reports.



LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Floodwaters drenching many parts of Kenya after weeks of relentless rain. Riverbanks are overflowing.

Homes are flooded, and entire communities destroyed. These are the immediate impacts of an unprecedented rainy season. And experts say the

long term prognosis is even worse.


future under a changing climate.

MADOWO: Can you say definitively that all this heavy rainfall and flooding is because of climate change?

ENDRIS: OK, so we cannot attribute a particular event with climate change, but climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of extremes in

our region.

MADOWO (voice-over): Kenya is caught in a cycle of extreme droughts and intense rainfall, with a linear weather phenomenon and climate change,

exacerbating busiest wet season, leaving more than 200 people dead and thousands of people displaced from their homes.

MADOWO: Rwanda is one of Nairobi's wealthiest neighborhoods, but they have not been spared. In fact, their multimillion dollar homes back there under

the water. This is a wall that was swept away. Part of the reason is because these expensive homes were built on riparian land on riverbanks

against government advice.

MADOWO (voice-over): Kenya's President said the current crisis is a quote, direct consequence of a failure to protect the environment.

WILLIAM RUTO, KENYAN PRESIDENT: Scientific evidence indicates that restoring our natural habitats is our best defense against escalating

weather extremes.

MADOWO (voice-over): His government plans to plant 15 billion trees by 2032. But the emissions threat is global.

MADOWO: Countries like Kenya contribute very little to global greenhouse gas emissions. We're seeing the worst effects here.

ENDRIS: Absolutely. That is what the developing countries are experiencing. So they don't have the capacity to mitigate these climate extremes.

MADOWO (voice-over): And the floods are hitting Kenya's poorest communities the hardest.

GEOFFERY MBOYA, CLIMATE ACTIVIST: In very appalling just to see the very dire effects that have strongly hit upon poor communities. These are people

living in makeshift tents, and so you have water sweeping away their houses.

MADOWO (voice-over): Geoffery Mboya is a climate activist from the underserved Nairobi neighborhood of Mukuru Kwa Njenga. He says leaders

aren't doing enough to wind down the use of fossil fuels, or help vulnerable communities adapt.

MBOYA: It's about time that the government and other stakeholders come up with adaptive measures to enable us to live with these conditions.

Tomorrow, I'm turning 24 in 2030, I'll be 30 and seeing all these effects now really puts me in a scary moment for my future and for my generation.

MADOWO (voice-over): Larry Madowo, CNN Nairobi.



ANDERSON: Right it's been a busy day for investors sifting through earnings from BP Disney and UBS. BP shares trading lower after the oil giant

reported lower than expected first quarter profit. Media Giant Disney unveiling earnings that surpassed expectations but it says that it is

reducing its Marvel films output.


And UBS stock actually heading higher by some 9.5 percent after the Switzerland reported its first quarterly profits since taking over Credit

Suisse. Keep your eyes on these earnings and others it's a big week. Here's how Apple is trading on Wall Street. The iPhone giant will be in focus

later various leak reports say new iPhones are on the way and it is also gearing up to unveil updated iPad models later today.

And checking on the wider markets for you that's the picture. That's how they are faring in the U.S. and in Europe. European markets there -- the

UK, Germany doing pretty well. Paris up by three quarters of 1 percent a better picture in Europe today than that which is in the U.S. which is OK,

but not brilliant. Stay with CNN we've got another hour of "Connect the World" next.

A reminder, we are following breaking news out of New York at Donald Trump's Hush Money Trial. We do expect the adult films star accusing Trump

of the extra marital affair at the center of this case to take the stand today. She should be the second witness called and I'll be joined by my

colleague outside court Omar Jimenez right after this short break stay with us.