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Connect the World

Israeli Airstrike In Rafah Displacement Camp Kills At Least 45; Severe Storms Strike Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, And Kentucky; Spain Announces $1 Billion Weapons Deal For Ukraine; E.U. Leaders Call On ICJ To Be Implemented; 12 People Injured On Qatar Airways Flight To Dublin; ANC Party Faces Stiffest Challenge Since Taking Power; Japan's Host Clubs Accused Of Preying On Vulnerable Women; President Joe Biden Laying Wreath At Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired May 27, 2024 - 10:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD.


ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Welcome to our second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos, in Abu Dhabi, it is 6:00 p.m. here. Here are

your headlines.

We are following major news from Gaza where local officials say Israel has struck a camp for displaced Palestinians and killed at least 45 people in


The video emerging is graphic. The Israeli military claiming, two senior Hamas officials were killed in the strike.

Some 120 million people in the U.S. are facing a severe weather threat on the Memorial Day holiday. That's after, at least, 19 people were killed in

bad weather across four states over the weekend.

And in Papua New Guinea, as many as 2,000 people have been buried alive in a massive landslide that hits a remote region of the country on Friday.

No one and no place is safe in Gaza. Those are the words coming from the U.N. Refugee Agency after a camp for displaced Palestinians in Rafah was

hit by an Israeli airstrike overnight. And I warning that these images are very difficult to watch.



GIOKOS: Well, at least, 45 people were killed, most of whom were women and children, according to the Gaza health ministry. The Israeli military

claimed to senior Hamas officials were killed in the strike with what they called precise munitions.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond, reports from Jerusalem, and we must warn you that his report is disturbing.


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Their blood curdling screams tell the story of the unfolding horror more than words ever could.

But it is only as bodies are pulled out of the inferno that the scale of this attack becomes clear. At least 45 people were killed after an Israeli

airstrike targeted this camp for displaced Palestinians in western Rafah, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Plastic tarps engulfed in

flames. Sheet metal walls crushed by the blast. A block of makeshift shelters flattened in an instance.

The Israeli military says it killed two senior Hamas militants there, who commanded Hamas is Westbank operations. Yassin Rabia and Khaled Nagar. The

military said it was "aware of reports indicating that as a result of the strike and fire that was ignited, several civilians in the area were

harmed. The incident is under review."

Muhammad Abu Atayri (PH) is one of those civilians. So badly burned that he cannot even open his eyes, but there are so many more. So many children

writhing in pain. And then, there are the parents, desperate to save babies whose cries have been silenced, perhaps forever.

For those who survived, whatever thin sense of safety they still had, has now been completely shattered.

We were sitting and suddenly there was a big blast and fire people started screaming, this girl says, describing how they spent the whole night

pulling charred bodies out of the embers. While hundreds of thousands have fled Eastern Rafah after the military ordered its evacuation, many others

like this man displaced from central Gaza came here to western Rafah, told the area would be safe.

And then, there are the mourners.

The occupation army is a liar. There is no security in Gaza says this man whose brother was killed in the strike. Here he is with his wife, they were

murdered, they are gone.

For one man, a brother, for another, his sister.

She was the only one, he says. She was the only one, and she is gone.



GIOKOS: Well, Jeremy Diamond joins us now live. Jeremy, very difficult report to watch. Absolutely hair raising, hearing the screams spit

particularly of the children.

This, of course, strike is exactly what the international community was warning of a military operation into Rafah and the casualties and the

consequences of this. Israel says now that they're investigating and they are looking into the strike, what more can you tell us?

DIAMOND: Yes, that's right. This decision by the Israeli military to say that they are launching an investigation into this strike, it can speak

only to the enormous international pressure that Israel is currently facing. I can think of many other strikes that caused dozens of civilian

casualties that were not promptly investigated in the same way that this one is being now.

The Israeli military's top lawyer, the advocate general, Yifat Tomer- Yerushalmi, announcing that she has directed an investigation of the strike. In a statement, the Israeli military said that it had assessed that

there would be "no expected" harm to uninvolved civilians, but clearly, that was not the case, and that this incident will be investigated by the

general staff's fact finding and assessment mechanism.

The Israeli military saying that they regret, "any harm" to uninvolved civilians during combat.

GIOKOS: Jeremy, thank you so much. I know it's a -- it's a tough story, difficult images, but important one right now for us. Thank you so much,

Jeremy Diamond.

Right. We have been reporting the strike on the displacement camp came just two days after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to halt

its offensive in Rafah. This puts Israel in the ranks of price states, according to an analyst.

And "MEANWHILE IN THE MIDDLE EAST" newsletter, you can head to our web site or you can go to the app for analysis on the mounting international

pressure on Israel.

Right. More than a hundred --

All right. We're going to go to a very short break. We'll be back right after this. Stay with us.


GIOKOS: More than 120 million people across the United States face the risk of severe weather on this Memorial Day holiday. This is just one of the

tornadoes that touched down in Texas over the weekend.

Texas governor, Greg Abbott visited one of the hardest hit site -- cities in Cooke County on Sunday to survey the destruction. At least, 19 people

were killed over the weekend in four states due to bad weather.

Arkansas been saw as one of the hardest hit states by the severe weather, which killed at least eight people there. I want to now go to CNN's Ed

Lavandera in hard hit Cooke County in Texas.

We're seeing some of the images, Ed, an enormous devastation to infrastructure resulting in also sadly loss of life.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. This is an area in North Texas, north of the Dallas Fort Worth area, where seven people have

been killed in the storms that rip through here Saturday night. Four of those victims include young children, some is -- two of them, is young as 2

and 5 years old. So, simply just tragic, horrifying news.

And the National Weather Service categorized this tornado as EF2, which means it was packing winds of about 135 miles per hour. And you can see,

this is what's left in the wake of all of that.

Really, many of the structures that are in this subdivision near the small city of Valley View in Cooke County is just simply no match for the

intensity of this storm. You see, cars tossed, and we're told by some residents here, these cars were tossed to about 100 yards in these wins in

all of that. And this is an area where three of the victims died.

In fact, we spoke with a gentleman by the -- by the name of Benito Ezparza, who arrived here at the scene to find that his brother and his sister-in-

law, and his niece, and nephew had been thrown up against the debris pile over here.

The mother and the two children were dead at the scene. And Benito described to us what it was like to arrive here Saturday night and see that

horrific scene.


LAVANDERA: This is the remnants of his brother's family's home that was thrown more than 100 yards by this tornado. And this is where they ended up

and his brother was leftover in this debris over here, and his sister-in- law and niece and nephew, were left underneath this car. He arrived here on the scene. The three of them were already dead. And he took his brother and

loaded him up into his truck and drove him out of this neighborhood to get him to the hospital.


LAVANDERA: Also, injured in this storm. And the tornado was on the ground for quite a while, in fact, several miles from where we are, there is a

convenience store where people who happen to be driving along the interstate could feel the storm coming. And they were trying to pull off,

find somewhere to take shelter. And that was really the only place in this rural area where they could -- they could find some safety.

And that just so happened to be right in the path of the storm. There were more than 100 people inside. Emergency officials said and many of them, the

building collapse. They had to be rescued from that scene as well.

So, just a treacherous or horrific Saturday evening as this storm system blew through here.

GIOKOS: Yes, Ed. I mean, I'm seeing people's homes destroyed, livelihoods taken away. In terms of sort of the normal process of cleanup and trying to

rebuild. What does that look like now, for people that were affected?

LAVANDERA: Well, it's

Going to be a long -- it's going to be a long process. We saw -- we started seeing them do a beginning that yesterday. And they will be doing that in

extremely dangerous heat, we should also mention. You know, but many people are simply coming to these areas and using kind of heavy equipment just to

start building up piles of debris. You know, there's just not much to be salvaged from here.

So, really, right now the biggest concern is to find temporary housing for many of these families who have been displaced by this -- by the storm, and

that that process is undergoing, but it is going to be a long process and a taxing process of recovering for so many of these families.

GIOKOS: Yes, Ed. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Well, I want to check in now with CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam. Now, that system has moved eastward. Derek, could you give me a sense of who has

been impacted today by the severe storms, and what we can expect? I mean, we just saw some of the devastation that Ed was taking us through. And

honestly, it's just shared catastrophe when the storm passes.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's heartbreaking. I've been on the ground many times covering similar situations and it's heartbreaking. There

is no better way to describe it.

That same storm system, as you just mentioned, is moving eastward and it's encompassing a larger area and a more populated area as well. So, now, we

have the new numbers, about 113 million Americans under some sort of severe threat today. And this includes much of the Mid-Atlantic, so, places like

our nation's capital, Washington, DC, stretching into Philadelphia, and New York. They are included in that slight risk. It's a level two of five, but

that also extends into Charleston, Savannah, Georgia, just south of the Atlanta metropolitan.

And then, also, now, new to CNN, where Ed Lavandera is located, just north of Dallas, this area now being included within a slight risk as a new storm

system develops, and we start to hone in and focus our attention on tomorrow severe weather threat after today's multi-day severe storms that

we've had roll across the country.

Here is one of which storms impacted an area that, by the way, was hit very hard by an EF4 tornado back in December 2021.


So, they are still picking up the pieces from that tornado.

And then, in Hopkins County, Dawson Springs Kentucky, particularly, another monster tornado touches down late last night, just before the sun sets. And

that's where we find some of our greatest power outage numbers across the state of Kentucky. You can see that shade of red, indicating the highest

numbers, other areas, several states over a dozen nearly 700,000 customers without power right now on this extended holiday weekend that's supposed to

be enjoyed with family, friends, and being outdoors for many of us. But that's just simply not the case.

Now, we still have a severe thunderstorm watch through about 1:00 p.m. across this area. Parts of South Carolina and to Central Georgia, I should

say, 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Good news is that these storms really kind of losing strength as they move eastward. But we wait to see what

happens later in the day as we start to get the sun to come out, heat, the atmosphere and start to destabilize things. Just look at this.

This is our storm reports map since Friday, and it basically covers the eastern half of the country. We have over 1,000 reports of severe weather,

many of which are tornadoes, many of which are damage. So, this system has packed quite a punch to say the least. And now here's tomorrow severe

weather threat.

We focus in on portions of western Texas, South Central Texas is undergoing a heatwave. So, this is all kind of baked into the equation there.

Tornadoes heat the clean up very difficult circumstances. Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes. You know, we talking about extreme weather condition. We also expecting extreme heat as well in the region. So, take us through that.

VAN DAM: Yes. I mean, here is a good map that really shows that. So, places like San Antonio, here is Houston in that shading of red. So, that's

indicating a watch that's been issued for this area. Heat indices across this region could exceed 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

That's just downright dangerous. And really the only relief in store, you got to travel north of that region to get some cooling that's expected over

the next coming days.

It's going to set in as it does this time of year. But this is an area that just does not need this type of weather pattern to say the least,

especially with the chance for tornadoes in the coming days.

GIOKOS: All right. Derek Van Dam, always good to see you. Thank you for the update.

And, of course, CNN has all the latest updates on the deadly weather and extreme weather conditions as well that's making this Memorial Day weekend

a nightmare for millions of Americans. And you can just head to CNN online where you can use the CNN app on your smartphone as well, where all the

information you need right there. So, you can take a look if you are affected.

Right. A deadly Russian attack on Eastern Ukraine was caught on security camera. You are looking at terrifying images of the moment of the strike on

a hardware store in Kharkiv.

At least, 17 people were killed in the attack on Saturday. Officials say, nearly 200 people were inside the building when it was hit. This, while

heavy bombardment killed nine people across three regions in Ukraine on Sunday, and wounded another 15.

The strikes come as French President Emmanuel Macron makes a state visit to Berlin. It marks an opportunity to show unity between France and Germany,

Europe's two major economic powers, at a time when the continent faces challenges from the war in Ukraine and the possible re-election of Donald

Trump as U.S. president.

Meantime, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced a weapons' deal for Ukraine worth $1 billion. It includes tanks and military equipment to

reinforce air defense systems.

President Zelenskyy arrived in Madrid earlier to meet with Prime Minister Sanchez, after previously canceling all upcoming international visits. I

want to bring in CNN senior international correspondent Melissa Bell, who is in Paris for us. An important new deal that Zelenskyy has signed for

more aide -- $1 billion. And, of course, back at home in Ukraine, we are seen some devastating images coming through from the latest strikes there.


MELISSA BELL, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. This visit of President Zelenskyy to Spain was slightly delayed, because of the

opening of that up front to the north of Kharkiv over the course the last few weeks.

Eleni, an important deal, a billion euros of extra help from Spain, which is just one of the bilateral deals, of course, that Ukraine has with NATO

ally -- NATO allies. This one a lot of focus, of course, on precisely what President Zelenskyy has been asking for, which is increased air defense

will help with that. And that's going to be part of the latest Spanish deal and extra equipment being brought towards Ukraine.

This comes, of course, as a time when you -- as you say, there isn't just that pressure on the military front with 20 -- with over the course last 24

hours, 15 attacks along the frontline positions up there in Kharkiv region, but of course, the tremendous toll is being paid by the civilians in



That death toll now after the blast at the superstore on Saturday night rising to 17, and this Eleni, with much of the rubble that has yet to be

sifted through and many people still missing and feared dead. So, a death toll that is likely to rise. President Zelenskyy has been speaking in Spain

to the need for much more help from Western allies to help with aerial defenses, and specifically speaking of the fact that it is estimated that

this month alone, Eleni, Russia could drop as many as 3,200 guided aerial bombs on Ukraine.

So, an urgent appeal by President Zelenskyy there in Madrid, even as you say President Macron has been in Germany for a three-day state visit. He's

been speaking addressed in this afternoon, and had this to say.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): To be on the side of peace today, it's giving strength to the law. Peace but not

capitulation. Peace is not the abandonment of principles. We have too often seen this confusion in collective debates.

Peace means enabling a country to defend its borders and sovereignty. International law to build a lasting peace is the camp we have chosen.

BELL: So, an upward appeal there from the French president as well, about the need for Western allies to hold firm and perhaps go further than they

have before? Remember that the background to these both President Macron speech today in Dresden and President Zelenskyy's meeting with the Spanish

prime minister is this renewed debate launched by Jens Stoltenberg on Friday about what he believes is the need now to give Kyiv the green light

to use Western gifted weaponry on Russian soil.

This, of course, already, leading to divisions inside Europe. And I think that is an important background to remember, even as we watch those images

of President Macron. It's the first state visit to Germany by a French president in 24 years, and comes as you said, Eleni, at the time, not just

when we prepare to mark in a week's time, the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, but also that renewed pressure on the Eastern Front of the

European Union and NATO.

And that has been felt so keenly, of course, along Ukraine's front lives, and in her Kharkiv, even at a time when those divisions threatened that

unity, we've been hearing from President Macron, a repetition of something he had said early last month that Europe, it should be remembered is

mortal. And its future very much depends mainly on the decisions that are being made here now, and the need for Europe to remain united.

Remember also, Eleni that in just a couple of weeks, European elections will be held where the far-right is threatening to do remarkably well in

the polls, not least here in France, where the polls suggest the far right will come top, and President Macron's party may even come in and

embarrassing third. Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right. Melissa Bell, great to have you on. Thank you so much.

And coming up on the show, the ICJ ruling for Israel to halt operations in Russia is the most severe and significant international condemnation of

Israel's actions yet, but will it make a difference? We'll discuss that just ahead.



GIOKOS: Welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Eleni Giokos. The headlines for you this hour. This powerful tornado touched down in Kentucky

on Sunday. It was part of that violent weather system that also hammered Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, killing 19 people, and today, could bring

more of the same as the severe storms move east.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has announced a weapons deal for Ukraine with more than $1 billion as Ukrainian President Zelenskyy visits

Madrid. That the security agreement will supply Kyiv with vital military equipment following heavy Russian bombardments this weekend.

At least 45 people have been killed and more than 200 wounded in an Israeli airstrike on a displacement camp in Rafah in southern Gaza. The Israeli

military says two Hamas commanders were killed in the strike.

Now, that strike came just two days after the International Court of Justice ruled that Israel holds its operations in Rafah.

H.A. Hellyer is a senior fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies, and he joins me now from London.

Great to see you. A lot happening today. And I'm sure you've seen some of the horrific images of the strike in Rafah. And I just want to start with

the United States. And we haven't heard any response from U.S. officials as yet. But the U.S. was very vocal about being against the military operation

in Rafah without a plan to relocate civilians.

A few weeks ago, President Biden, I had told our Erin Burnett, the U.S. stance, I want you to take a listen to what President Biden had to say.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they go Rafah, I'm not supplying the weapons that have been used historically, to deal with Rafah,

to deal with the cities that deal with that problem.

We're going to continue to make sure Israel is secure in terms of Iron Dome, and their ability to respond to attacks like came out in the Middle

East recently. But it's a -- it's just wrong. We're not going to -- we are not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells use.


GIOKOS: How important is the US's response to the strike? As I said, we still have not heard anything, but how important will the U.S. response be?

DR. H.A. HELLYER, SENIOR ASSOCIATE FELLOW, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES: So, thank you very much for inviting me on your program. I think it's

important that you did actually screen that clip that you just put up of President Biden from few weeks ago, because that red line that he claimed

to put in place was broken the day before he made it, the day he actually said it, and numerous times since then.

So, the response, unfortunately, of the United States over the past few weeks on this, "red line," has been incredibly unsatisfactory. And the

Israelis know it, the Israelis know that they weren't going to get an arms embargo or heavy political pressure at the United Nations, because of the

fact that the United States would not impose a price on Israel, "breaking" this red line.

So, the red line isn't really a line at all. It's become very squiggly. And unfortunately, I think the Israelis know that there won't be any

consequences from the United States. And this is why they are acting with such impunity. And having embarked on this really catastrophic attack last

night. But indeed, many times over the past seven months.

We're talking about a situation where now tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians have been killed, where Israel is in the dark for genocide

charges at the ICJ and where the ICC is seeking an arrest -- the ICC prosecutor is seeking arrest warrants for senior Israeli officials,

including Netanyahu and the defense minister.


So, that's where we're at. And unfortunately, without a real commitment from the United States, it's not going to change.

GIOKOS: Yes, and that's an important point. We've also heard a lot of international reaction as well, specifically on the ICJ ruling on halting

the Rafah operation.

I want you to take a listen to what the German Foreign minister had to say on Israel abiding by the ICJ ruling.


ANNALENA BAERBOCK, GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): These provisional measures of the ICJ, they are binding. And of course, they have

to be followed, we are currently experiencing the opposite. There have been more rockets on Tel Aviv from Hamas.

And at the same time, you see that it has no gain for Israel's security, like no hostage will be freed. And right now, people have been burned in



GIOKOS: So, I mean, here's the question. Is that ICJ ruling binding for Israel?

HELLYER: Of course it is. There's absolutely no question that it's binding, it's legally binding. But you see, unfortunately, the clip that you just

screened, this is part of the problem.

The German foreign minister talked about Hamas rockets on to Tel Aviv, which, of course, is against the ICJ ruling, but, "people are burned in


Well, they're not burning in tents because of some natural disaster or occurrence, they're burning in tents because of an Israeli strike.

And I think that we have to be very clear, these actions that Israel has taken since the ICJ ruling last week, I think there are several dozen

obstruct -- several government strikes that have taken place.

So, Israel is completely ignoring the ICJ ruling or interpreting it in a way that does without any of its meaning, and unfortunately, visiting a

huge amount of suffering on the people of Gaza.

And on top of that, unfortunately, escalating, which means that on a security level, which as a security analyst, I'm quite concerned about, we

see escalation that could easily spill over into white regionalization.

GIOKOS: So, yes, so what we've heard and by the way, we -- you know, important to mention, the IDF prosecutor says they are going to be

investigating the strike.

We've also just heard news that Egyptian military saying that once security personnel have been -- has been killed in a shooting incident on the border

with Gaza, and you're talking about wider security issues. Egypt has been very important in terms of the negotiations and of course, in making, you

know, sure that there's some line of communication between all the parties. Does this incident worry you were a military personnel was killed at the

Rafah border?

HELLYER: So, before I answer that question, you mentioned the IDF are investigating. Unfortunately, the track record of the IDF and Israel when

it comes to these sorts of situations is rather bad.

And one of your own colleagues, a journalist by the name of Serena Buakley was killed by Israeli security forces, Israeli security forces investigated

themselves and nobody was really given any punishment, whatsoever, even though it was clear that they did it.

When it comes to regionalization. Yes, I think this is very serious. Israel has removed the Palestinians from the Rafah border crossing on the

Palestinian side of the border. And this was something that the Egyptians made clear was red line for them.

They've also increased the type of artillery, the type of weaponry that is in the "Philadelphi Corridor", which is between -- which is, you know, a

small line of territory along the border between Gaza and Egypt.

And all of this a massive provocation to the Egyptians, especially having an Israeli tank with a huge, massive Israeli flag flying around on what

everybody recognizes as occupied territory.

And now you've just reported of, I think, the last few hours, this is -- this incident that took place, but we're still waiting for the details,

where there's been an exchange of fire.

I do not know the circumstances in that regard, because those details are still coming out. But this is part of the unintended -- the law of

unintended consequences that so many security analysts such as myself have been warning about for the past seven months.

There's no such thing as, "controlled escalation". When you escalate, you set things into motion that can very easily and very quickly spill out of

control. And then you have a situation where wars can begin, just because somebody decided that oh, well, I think I can turn up the dial just a

little bit. It doesn't work like that.

You can't throw a ball down the hill and figure that you can just about decide how fast it's going to go or indeed, where it's going to hit. It

doesn't work like that. There are too many factors that are not in your control and unfortunately we've seen many examples in the past several



GIOKOS: We appreciate your insights today. Really interesting. Thank you. Thank you for your insights.

I want to get to some news that just came in to CNN, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff say North Korea launched an unidentified projectile off the

west coast of the Korean Peninsula. This comes after Pyongyang notified Japan of its intention to launch a satellite sometime in the coming week.

Japan issued a warning, ordering residents of Okinawa to take cover in light of the launch. We're working to get more details on this and we will

bring them to you straight away.

12 people have been injured on a Qatar Airlines flight from Doha to Dublin. Dublin Airport says that happened as the plane was flying over Turkey. Six

passengers and six crew members were injured. Some people on the flight say they began to fear the worst.


MUFADDAL ALI, PASSENGER: Just very scary, to be honest. Like I'm still shivering, right. It was for 10 or 15 seconds and that was the worst 15

seconds of my life. The food was everywhere on the plane because it was -- it was the taxi time and I have seen a few people, they were like literally

flying in the plane because it was so pressure in the plane.

CHERYL SUCKER, PASSENGER: It was quite scary. The plane just seemed to go stopped, which it didn't, but then dropped, quite a severe drop.

PHILOMENA PRENDERGAST, PASSENGER: We had our seatbelts on. Just from watching the episode that happened last week, it was just -- it was there

in your mind. It was so scary at the time. You just don't know, is this it or not, like, what -- the staff were amazing, like to actually get up and

have to look after us and they're going around with bandages on their hands and bloodied faces.


GIOKOS: Well, this comes just days after Singapore Airlines Flight encountered severe turbulence leaving one passenger dead. I want to bring

in CNN aviation analyst Miles O'Brien for more on this.

Miles, I have to tell you, when I saw the Singapore Airlines story, it really just absolutely scared me because I'm a frequent traveler. And I

know what it feels like when you hit turbulence.

And now this Qatar Airways story and here's, you know, and you hear of the stories of people flying within the plane and that the massive injuries, is

this going to be more of a reality?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: I'm afraid that is the case, Eleni, the scientists will tell us that as the climate warms, it warms the planet

in an uneven manner both by latitude and altitude. And as a result, the jet streams come in conflict with each other become stronger as well. And as

aircraft are flying through the air, you have to think of it as flying through kind of a layer cake, through rivers of air which are going in

various directions at very high speed. And they're very narrow.

But if you hit the wrong one at the wrong time, and have a sudden change or a drop in lift on the aircraft, you're going to get that sudden departure.

I will say this, listening to that passenger say she had her seatbelt on because of what happened with the previous incident, that does make

heartened me a little bit that people are paying attention and understand that while you're in your seat, why not keep that seat belt at least

loosely buckle because it's very likely you'll prevent injury when these unexpected things happen.

GIOKOS: Yes. Well, that's -- that was my question. You know, it's just like one seatbelt that basically goes around your waist. And I'm wondering, in

terms of the number of injuries we've seen, whether all of those passengers weren't actually wearing their seatbelts versus the injuries, you know, if

you are wearing a seatbelt. I wonder what the correlation is here.

Because when you hit turbulence of that nature, will the seatbelt fully protect you?

O'BRIEN: Pretty much yes, I mean, we could I don't know the actual statistics, I will tell you this, that about 80 percent of the injuries

associated with turbulence are for the flight crew. I guess that stands to reason. These are the flight attendants who are up and about serving meals.

And it's a pretty hazardous job, obviously when you hit this so called clear air turbulence.

So, I would suggest you greatly increase your chances of not being injured. And I will tell you this, Eleni, I've got a little airplane model here, if

you're a little bit of a white knuckle flyer, sit near the wings, because think about it, it's sort of like a seesaw as it goes through the air. And

if you're at the nose or the tail, you're going to get a little more of a wild ride and if you still sit near the kind of the pivot point, it's going

to be a little smoother for you.

So, buckle in tight. Make sure you are sitting near the wing and realize this, the turbulence is not going to bring the aircraft down and that's not

what we're talking about here.

GIOKOS: That's the best way to end it. So, actually, the turbulence will not bring the aircraft down because I usually start praying when there's

turbulence but good to hear, Miles and I will book near the wings. Good to see you, Miles O'Brien. Thank you so much, sir.

O'BRIEN: Good to see you.

All right, straight ahead this hour, South Africa prepares for its most pivotal election in decades. Why the ruling party risks losing support and

what it's doing to cling to power. We'll be right back.



GIOKOS: The South Africa is two days away from its most critical elections since the end of apartheid. For the first time since coming into power

under Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress Party is at risk of losing its majority in parliament.

If that happens, the ANC could be forced to form a coalition with rivals such as the Democratic Alliance or with the EFF party or the MK party,

which is backed by former President Jacob Zuma. Support for the ANC has been declining amid allegations of corruption, high unemployment nationwide

as well and crippling power cuts.

But the party still believes it can maintain its hold on power. CNN's David McKenzie reports.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): I.T. worker Mmeli Mbatha knows how to gin up a crowd. He's volunteered for the

ANC since he was just 15. But now it's crunch time.

MMELI MBATHA, ANC YOUTH LEAGUE: We want to show the support to the ANC, because ANC has been supporting us.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): The party of Nelson Mandela needs their voices, and it really needs their votes. 50 years in power, and the party that has

defined South African politics faces its strongest challenge yet.

MCKENZIE: This could be the most closely contested election since the dawn of South Africa's democracy, and many believe that the ruling ANC could

lose its majority but their supporters say don't count them out here.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): The ANC can fill stadiums, yes, but it also has a formidable ground game.

Spending vast sums He's on this campaign getting right into neighborhoods with senior leaders.

THULI GWALA, ANC SUPPORTER: Voting for ANC until now.

MCKENZIE: Why do you still want to vote for the ANC?

GWALA: I want to vote because my ANC who worked for me.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Millions of South Africans, like Thuli Gwala depend on modest government social grants to survive. For decades, these grants

have been the party's trump card. But South Africans want more. Breathtaking unemployment, sustained electricity, blackouts, and stark

inequalities have left many feeling betrayed by the promises of the ANC.

Once loyal supporters are abandoning the ANC, even forming their own parties, they are more than 50 on the national ballot. I have voted for the

ANC twice. All these people here before, majority of them used to vote for the ANC. Look at the ANC's electoral support ever year is going down.


MCKENZIE (voice-over): The ANC government has presided over huge allegations of corruption. And there is a very significant problem with

unemployment. Why should people this time vote for this party given that record?

FIKILE MBALULA, ANC SECRETARY-GENERAL: We are a party that has made strides in terms of renewal and fighting, the stigma, so to say, of being

associated with corruption.

MCKENZIE: Is it enough to win this election? Are you feeling confident?

MBALULA: The elections will be one on the basis of the work we do among our people. And as we -- you can see, we are not idly.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Never idle, not during campaign season. But on Election Day, will voters be singing a different tune?

David McKenzie, CNN, Soweto, South Africa.


GIOKOS: Well, joining me now is CNN's Hanna Ziady, who's been covering the economic challenges facing South Africa. We've just seen Hanna, this piece

from David McKenzie and basically, you know, giving us a sense of this loyal base that the ANC has benefited from for 30 years, that's now being

eroded. Is it partly because of the economic reality that people are facing in South Africa?

HANNA ZIADY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: Eleni, it's all about the economy as you and David pointed out, soaring joblessness, crippling power cuts, rampant

corruption and really an economy that's gone backwards over the last 10 years, living standards in South Africa have fallen sharply. The average

South African now 23 percent poorer than they were in 2011, rolling power cuts absolutely crippling businesses.

South Africans were without power for at least some portion of the day last year almost every day. It's known as load shedding. You have to plan your

whole life around it, when you cook, when you charge your phone.

Of course, for manufacturing businesses, it's absolutely disastrous.

And then unemployment is through the roof. A third of South Africa's labor force is unemployed, one of the highest in the world. And that is really

meant that inequality has remained entrenched.

And it's really the black majority who are at the sharp end of the situation, they account for 81 percent of the population. And just to give

a sense, the chart up now, the typical white South African earns 4.5 times more than the typical Black South African.

So, poverty and unemployment really concentrated among the black population. So, many reasons for voters to be angry when they vote on

Wednesday, and the ANC may be on the receiving end of that wrath.

GIOKOS: Yes, I mean, you're talking about load shedding. And I've had my fair share of just not having electricity. It's eroding quality of life.

It's eroding businesses. We had that unemployment graph up. And it basically shows it starts spiking at a certain level, because it actually

wasn't always like this reality that you're describing. There were parts in post-apartheid South Africa, where you actually saw, you know, economic

growth really moving upwards.

So, tell me about what went wrong here.

ZIADY: Right. So, some economists like to talk about a tale of two halves, they say that for the first 15 years of democracy under Nelson Mandela and

then Thabo Mbeki, actually, the economy was managed relatively well, government debt fell, there was even small budget surpluses in some years

and the economy grew at an average annual rate of around four percent.

And then, in 2009, the now former president, Jacob Zuma came into power and corruption just exploded, that's been well documented by an independent

judicial commission of inquiry into what's known as state capture. And that has really this kind of corruption and a capture of state institutions has

been core to the infrastructure collapse.

So, electricity, as I've mentioned, but also transport logistics, latterly even water, the International Monetary Fund estimates that South Africa

could be growing more than five percent were it not for crumbling infrastructure, but instead will likely only grow at below one percent this


Just to be clear, it was no utopia under Mbeki, there were still huge challenges to deal with Iran in quality around fixing public services,

particularly education, which is so crucial to this whole discussion about unemployment. But there was a much stronger foundation on which to do that.

And it's that foundation that South Africa has now painstakingly rebuild, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes, it's true. But the -- you know, I guess a light at the end of the tunnel, South Africa is still the most industrialized country on the

African continent and still has strong institutions. The question is who's going to lead the country forward?

Hanna Ziady, great to have you on the show. Thank you so much.

All right, we're going to a short break, stay with us.



GIOKOS: Japanese officials are responding to a growing number of complaints about romance scams preying on vulnerable women. CNN's Hanako Montgomery



YU, ROMANCE SCAM VICTIM (through translator): I've hit rock bottom. I don't know if I can start over again. I want to go back to my normal life, my

ordinary job and play with my pets. I don't know why I ever went to host clubs.

HANAKO MONTGOMERY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Yu is one of hundreds of Japanese women forced to sell their bodies after they've been coerced to

spend every penny to their name on a certain type of Japanese entertainment called host clubs.

MONTGOMERY: Right now I am in the mecca for host clubs, Kabukicho. In this part of town alone, there are over 300 of these types of establishments and

it's in places like these where the problem starts.

MONTGOMERY (voice-over): Host clubs, part of Japan's expansive night entertainment industry, are bars where female patrons pay for the

companionship and attention of male hosts. Typically well-groomed and skilled in flattery, these hosts serve up compliments and drinks, offering

a fantasy-like escape.

But some of them are outright romance scams and criminal enterprises, preying on young, lonely women.

Yu, a divorced mother of two, felt her heart flutter when she first met her host. She asks to use a pseudonym because her family doesn't know about her

debts. Yu met her host in January 2023 and quickly fell in love. She, a clinician who worked long, lonely hours, spent every spare minute at his

club. In return, he showered her with presents, attention, promises. Until her money ran out. She spent it all on extremely marked-up alcohol, where

the bill could run into the thousands of dollars.

YU (through translator): He asked me, how are you going to pay me back? And when I said I didn't know, he said go abroad for sex work. I didn't want


MONTGOMERY (voice-over): Yu said he pushed her into prostitution, at home and abroad, in Macau and Hong Kong. She never saw the money she earned, all

of it wired back to a pimp in Tokyo.

YU (through translator): When my body was exhausted or I felt weak, I thought it'd be easier to die. I thought about that a lot.

MONTGOMERY (voice-over): Hidemori Gen is an aid worker in Tokyo's biggest red-light district, who's provided a drop-in consultation service for

victims of sexual abuse and gang violence for over two decades. But in this past year, women with cases like Yu's, he says, have increased five-fold.

HIDEMORI GEN, CHAIRMAN OF VICTIMS' SUPPORT GROUP "SEIDOREN" (through translator): Last spring, when we came out of the pandemic and the masks

came off, that's when consultations about host clubs increased dramatically.

MONTGOMERY (voice-over): Politicians like Ayaka Shiomura have tried unsuccessfully to pass laws to strengthen safeguards against exploitative

host clubs.

AYAKA SHIOMURA, LAWMAKER (through translator): Basically, it's a romance scam. Some of these women are brainwashed into thinking they're dating

these hosts. It's a vicious cycle.

MONTGOMERY (voice-over): Instead, from April 1st, host clubs say they will self-manage and ban customers under 20 and prevent women from incurring

massive debts, a measure welcomed by Mikami, a host of 10 years.

RUI MIKAMI, CLUB LEO HOST (through translator): These guys know they'll make more money prostituting young women, so they target girls.

MONTGOMERY (voice-over): Though he swears he's never forced a customer into sex work, Mikami admits in the past he's coerced women to spend way beyond

their means.



GIOKOS: All right, I want to take you now live to Arlington National Cemetery. U.S. President Joe Biden is there for a Memorial Day event

honoring fallen military members. He is participating in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. As you can see President Biden

there. It is the cemetery's most iconic Memorial since World War I, let's listen in.