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Jury to Begin Deliberations in Trump Hush Money Trial; Pier Built to Transport Gaza Aid Damaged in Heavy Seas; Dow Fell Nearly 1 Percent in Early Trading; South Africa Votes; France, Germany Say Ukraine Should Be Allowed to Strike Russia; Rafah Doctor Says There Are No Safe Spaces; American Abby Lampe Wins Second Cheese Roll World Title. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired May 29, 2024 - 10:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hello, it is 6:00 pm in Abu Dhabi. I'm Eleni Giokos and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. This hour,

a CNN analysis shows U.S. made munitions were used in the deadly Israeli strike on a Rafah tent camp as a humanitarian crisis in the southern Gaza

city worsens.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR AND U.S. CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And I'm Erica Hill, where it is 10:00 am here in New York, the jury in Donald Trump's

criminal hush money trial set to begin deliberations this morning after a marathon day of closing arguments.

Of course, this means the question that will soon be answered is whether for the very first time an American president will be convicted of a crime.

We are getting closer to that answer this morning.

The jury about to receive their instructions in Donald Trump's hush money trial. You see the former president's motorcade arriving just a short time

ago. He is now in the court courtroom. We can tell you.

And just a reminder of the charges here, 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Trump, of course, has pleaded not guilty.

It's now though up to a jury to decide whether the former president knowingly engaged in a scheme to cover up the payments made to an adult

film star ahead of the 2016 election. CNN Justice correspondent Jessica Schneider joins me now.

So it was a very, very long day of closing arguments on Monday. They went until almost 8:00 at night. The real work really though now, begins for the

jury. So the judge didn't any moment now will start to lay out those instructions. And essentially here he's walking this panel of seven men and

five women through the law, Jessica.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's exactly right. It's really crucial to how they'll conduct their deliberations. Today could

be considerably shorter than we had yesterday since the judge has already said that the jury will be dismissed around 4:30 pm if they haven't reached

a verdict yet.

And then their deliberations would continue tomorrow. So the jury is just about to get into the courtroom. The judge is expected to take one hour

laying out how these 12 jurors must apply the law to all of the evidence they've heard and seen throughout this trial.

And this is somewhat of a complicated case, legally, because, in order to find Trump guilty on any of these 34 felony counts of falsification of

business records, the jury must also find that there was some sort of underlying conspiracy or other crime.

Like, for example, interfering with the 2016 election or even tax fraud. It was that interfering with the election that prosecutors really stressed

during their closings yesterday.

So the judge here beginning any minute now, he'll have to lay out how the jury goes about finding those elements and then applying it to the law.

Now once the jury begins deliberations, which we're expecting will happen probably in the 11 o'clock hour, all of the parties, the prosecutors, the

defense lawyers and even Donald Trump, they will I have to stay close to the courtroom just in case there are questions from the jury.

Because then everyone will be called back into the courtroom. And then of course, they have to stay close in case there's a verdict. So Erica, we

will see what the day brings.

It's likely that the jury will probably only get to deliberate maybe about four hours or so before they're dismissed, since they usually don't

deliberate when they take that hour-long lunch. But we'll see if they do this quickly or if this might take a few days while we're waiting and


HILL: Yes, exactly.

It's exactly what we'll be doing. And at this point, as many questions as people have (INAUDIBLE). Your guess is as good as the Magic 8 Ball as to

what will happen. So will be waiting for that, Jess. Thank you as always.

Also joining me now with perspective is Jeff Swartz. He's a former judge and also a law professor at the moment.

Good to see you with us again this morning. Let's start this off from that judge's perspective. Right.

So when you were there when you were sitting on the bench, this moment between the judge and the jury, what is that like?

What does a judge want to convey in addition to the law?

There's also the importance of this moment and the job.

JEFF SWARTZ, LAW PROFESSOR AND FORMER JUDGE: Good morning. It's probably the one moment when a judge actually connects with a jury. It's an ability

to explain the law to them.

They are usually riveted on what you have to say and the idea is to not to be so officious as to it scares them but to explain the importance of it so

that they understand that there is a duty here that they have to fulfill.

So it gives you a chance to really get the jury looking at you and talking to them and they get to know you a little bit more than the guy that's

sitting up there, wearing the black dress and telling people what to do.


HILL: And there are, as we see, we can see on the screen right now, the possible verdict outcomes here, of course, the charge of guilty, not guilty

or a hung jury. For so much of the last six weeks or so, what we've been talking about is for the defense, the goal here is really just to get one

juror to say I'm not sold on what I heard.

That would then mean a hung jury.


But getting a hung jury isn't as easy as it sounds. If the jury comes back and says that they are hopelessly deadlocked and they are not supposed to

tell the judge the numbers, like 11-1 or 10-2.

But the judge will instruct them to go back, make an effort. There's been a lot of time spent here, a lot of effort. And so we would like you to go

back there and get this case completed. Please go back there and listen to each other. Go through all of the evidence.

It's called an Allen charge and that will be done sometimes once, sometimes twice before the judge will accept that they are hung. So getting that

hung jury isn't quite as easy as it sounds.

HILL: Let's go back.

If we could and just talk through these closing arguments yesterday, you and I spoke about 24 hours ago as we were in the middle of the defense's

closing argument, almost three hours there, even longer for the prosecution.

How effective do you think those arguments were?

SWARTZ: You know, from everything that I've heard, it sounds like the jury was riveted and they were paying attention to everything was being said.

They were looking at the exhibits that were being pointed out to them on their monitors.

I think that it may have gone well. I thought that the defense -- there's an old saying when you're a defense attorney: no souls are saved after 20

minutes. When you go 2.5 hours in, you are not really in any way, shape or form, creating a flow of thought. And that's what it seemed like to me when

I was reading all of it.

It just seemed like Mr. Blanche kind of went after Michael Cohen just a little bit too much. I think they felt that that was all they could do. But

I think there was more that he could have done and he chose not to do it.

The prosecution on the other hand, did exactly, I think, what we talked about yesterday. They started the beginning of their case.

They went through the things that Mr. Blanche brought up and then they started at the beginning and worked their way through every witness and how

they connected with each other.

I know it took a long time but I think it was important for the jury to hear it again in a more succinct way. So I think they've got the better of

it, despite the fact that they took them five hours to do it.

HILL: You said you think there's more Todd Blanche could have done for the defense but chose not to do it.

What specifically would that more have been?

SWARTZ: Well there's a less more and that is that they -- going after Stormy Daniels.

And whether the event took place or not, you lose credibility when you do something like that, where there's everybody in that courtroom believes

that that's exactly what occurred between Mr. Trump and Stormy Daniels.

So why are you going after her if it really doesn't make a difference whether it happened or didn't happen?

The issue is whether there was an attempt to cover it up. Whether it really happened or not really isn't the point. The point is that he paid $130,000

in order to keep her from telling a story, whether it be true or not.

So I think that he should have avoided that. He could have gone after more of the documentation. He could have gone more after the absence of some of

the witnesses that were there and their import and really put the prosecution behind the 8 ball on how they could comment about that.

I thought he lost some of his credibility with the jury by doing that. And as important as Michael Cohen was, Michael wasn't the whole case. And I

think that the prosecution did a good job of showing that.

HILL: Pulling out from this broader picture, there have been so many attacks on the justice system, on the judge in this case, on the justice

system writ large.

What are your concerns, no matter the outcome, as we move forward here?

SWARTZ: You know, no matter what the outcomes, some people are going to be unhappy, that's clear. But the attacks on the system itself is an attack on

the rule of law. And an attack on the rule of law is an attack on the Constitution. It may not seem that important to people in a singular case.

But in a case that's this important to the general public, a case that has been attacked over and over again, is a problem. No matter whether you

agree, whether the charges should have been brought or not, whether you think they're serious enough or not, a criminal offense is a criminal


And it doesn't matter whether it's an insurrection or whether it is just making bad choices in the way that you run your business.


The truth of the matter is that the system is what we have to believe in. And if we stop believing in our justice system then now you're looking at

the edge of anarchy. And that's a real problem. That's the bedrock of what we do, that is that it's justice for all and it's equal justice.

And I just -- it bothers me when people start attacking the system itself. You don't like something about a case, that's fine. But don't attack the

system itself. Don't attack the court. And don't attack the people who operate within that system. It's just unseemly.

HILL: Jeff Swartz, always good to have you.

Thank you again.

As we're seeing on the screen there, of course.

Thank you.

The jury making its way now into the courtroom.

So Eleni, they will begin in just a moment. A matter of moments here, hearing from the judge as they get those instructions, which again, that

portion expected to last just about an hour. And then it's on to deliberations.

GIOKOS: Yes, it's a big day. And Erica, we will catch up with you in a little while for further updates.

In the meantime, to the deteriorating situation in Rafah, where one of the few partially functioning hospitals is closed off.

Israeli operations are obstructing access to the Emirati Crescent Hospital with both entry and exit impossible, according to the head of the health

emergency committee. At the same time, the World Central Kitchen saying it is pausing its operations in Rafah due to ongoing attacks.

And in another stunning blow to aid efforts, the temporary pier constructed by the U.S. military to help get aid into Gaza that cost over $300 million

has broken apart. I want to discuss all of this with our Katie Bo Lillis at the Pentagon for all U.S. lines. And we've got Jeremy Diamond standing by

from Jerusalem as well.

Katie Bo, I want to start off with you and I want to go back to the CNN analysis that shows that U.S. made munitions were used in the strike in

Rafah that was absolutely devastating. I want you to tell us what we discovered and the conclusions.

KATIE BO LILLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, of course. So the -- CNN was able to geo-locate imagery from the strike location of this deadly strike on

Sunday, matching up images of the gate entrance to the camp, for example.

And what they were able to see, what we were able to see was evidence of the tail section of an expended munition. Now several weapons experts took

a look at this imagery and said there's no question that this is a U.S. made small-diameter bomb.

It's very particular model known as the GBU-39. This is a U.S. made weapon. It's made by Boeing. It has a 17 kilo payload. It is in fact designed to be

a precision weapon that is meant to minimize civilian casualties.

But of course, in such a densely populated area, such as Rafah and where more than 1 million Palestinians have been sheltering, this, the amount of

collateral damage, the amount of potential civilian casualties that you're going to see with the use of any munition, of course, the risk is very,

very high.

Now the Biden administration has been very clear that they have said that any kind of full invasion, any kind of large ground operation into Rafah

could result in the conditioning of military aid to Israel.

President Biden telling CNN earlier this month that, if Israel were to go into Rafah, then he would move to cut off the military aid of some weapons

that the U.S. has been supplying to Rafah.

But of course, the million dollar question is, what qualifies as a large ground operation?

What qualifies as going into Rafah, what would meet the standard for the Biden administration's red line in this in this context, given that Israel,

of course, has been carrying out airstrikes like the one on Sunday that killed, that killed civilians in this, in this tent encampment?

Take a listen to what National Security Council spokesman John Kirby had to say just yesterday in defining the administration's red line.



ground operation in Rafah is warranted.

We still don't want to see the Israelis, as we say, smash into Rafah with large units over large pieces of territory. We still believe that and we

haven't seen that at this point. But we're going to be watching this of course, very, very closely.


LILLIS: So at this point, no change to U.S. policy, despite the civilian casualties and the despite -- despite the use of U.S. munitions in this

particular strike.

GIOKOS: All right, Katie Bo.

Great to hear that insight, incredible work on the analysis.

We've got Jeremy Diamond standing by.

Jeremy, we mustn't take our eyes off the fact that there is still humanitarian crisis playing out in Gaza.

The question is, how is aid getting in right now with that pier that has been damaged and then importantly, what's going on at the Rafah border, as

we heard news that the World Central Kitchen has now decided to suspend operations because of the increasing concerns or security concerns on the



What do you have for us?


And I want to pick up right where Katie Bo left off and that is, with the fact that we are witnessing, on the one hand, an Israeli military operation

in Rafah, that is certainly more limited in scale than the types of ground offensive that we have seen them launch in northern Gaza, in places like

Khan Younis.

But at the same time, we are also witnessing Israeli tanks moving into the central part of Rafah and we are witnessing that even this kind of more

limited scale operation in Rafah is already resulting in enormous humanitarian impacts on the ground.

Not only in terms of the civilian casualties from some of the strikes that we've seen, most notably the one on Sunday night that killed at least 45

people in that camp for displaced Palestinians in Western Rafah.

But also just in terms of the humanitarian impact on the grounds. More -- at least 940,000 people have now been displaced from Rafah, according to

the United Nations. The Emirati hospital in Rafah has been closed off from the rest of this city due to ongoing Israeli military operations, with a

doctor there describing it as a red zone.

And as you mentioned, the World Central Kitchen is also now being forced to shut down its main kitchen in Rafah as a result of Israeli military

operations, citing ongoing attacks in the area.

The World Central Kitchen is saying that they will increase capacity elsewhere. But it just speaks to the impacts that all of these humanitarian

operations, which have really been based in Rafah for the most part because of the number of people who were sheltering there, how this whole network

is being disrupted now.

And then there is the case, of course, the situation related to humanitarian aid. The Rafah border crossing has been closed for weeks now,

since Israeli troops first went into Rafah and took control of that Rafah border crossing.

Egypt last week, agreeing to send the trucks that would normally go in through that crossing via the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel, Gaza

and Egypt instead.

But we are witnessing as even that is proving tricky to actually result in aid being distributed in Gaza. Take Monday, for example, 370 trucks arrived

at the Kerem Shalom crossing from Egypt on Monday and were brought into Gaza, according to the Israeli government.

But UNRWA, the main U.N. agency in Gaza, says that only 30 of those trucks were actually picked up for distribution.

And that speaks to the impact that the security situation, the ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas around that Kerem Shalom crossing, the

enormous challenges that this is posing for humanitarian aid groups who are trying to get that aid to those who need it the most.

GIOKOS: All right.

Jeremy Diamond for us; Katie Bo Lillis, thank you for that update.

Well, members of the current U.S. administration are the only ones experiencing support for Israel. On a trip to northern Israel this week,

the former U.N. ambassador and former presidential candidate, Nikki Haley, signed artillery shells with, quote, "finish them."

Presumably referring to Hamas. But it sparked some ire online as her visit came just a day after that Israeli strike killed 45 Palestinians. And as a

displacement camp in Rafah. And CNN expert analysis of video from the scene found that it was U.S. made munitions that were used in the strike.

If you want to learn more about how we analyzed that footage, you can go to, all the information is there. Our reporters and producers break

down how they geolocated the videos, spoke to explosive weapons experts and eventually came to that conclusion.

The piece you're looking at right now will also be featured in our "Meanwhile in the Middle East" newsletter and you can scan the QR code on

the screen right now to subscribe.

Well, coming up next, a watershed moment for the Rainbow Nation. South Africa votes in a potentially historic election. We'll bring you updates

after this.





GIOKOS: Welcome back. I want to take a look at how the markets are faring because it has been a very shaky start to trading in New York. And we are

down around 0.8 percent on the Dow Jones. And that's after falling 0.5 percent yesterday.

The Dow has continued to be on their downward spiral. A lot of worries and concerns about inflation, as you can see. S&P and Nasdaq also in the red.

Investors are eagerly awaiting the latest U.S. inflation figures expected later this week.

So a bit of reticence on taking big positions.

Right now, history could be in the making in South Africa, which is voting in a potentially pivotal general election for the first time since the

country became a democracy in 1994. The ruling ANC party may be about to lose its majority, something that could force the party into a coalition.

Record unemployment levels, rampant corruption and a rise in violent crime are just some of the challenges the Rainbow Nation is battling. I want to

connect us now to David McKenzie, who is in Johannesburg, to break down what he's been seeing all day.

Long lines and people waiting to vote, David.

What have you seen today?


It's seen as one of the most important votes since the dawn of democracy here in South Africa, 30 years ago. We've been all day downtown here in

Johannesburg. I'm joined here with Gilbert Kgabu and his daughter, Sikleh (ph).

Gilbert, why did you want to vote today?

GILBERT KGABU, SOUTH AFRICAN VOTER: No, I decided to vote you because I believe enough that my vote will make a difference.

MCKENZIE: And what difference do you want to see in South Africa?

KGABU: Differ another one to see in South Africa is for South Africa to change and to depend of jolly in God. I believe if they can trust and make

out to be the first everything can be well with South Africa.

MCKENZIE: And on a practical level, what are some of the issues you and your family are dealing with in this country at the moment?

KGABU: In issues like life that we are living.

And the difficulties is that many people that don't have jobs and that is causing the -- is causing -- actually, how can I put it?

I can say that is causing the corruption to be high and left to be high.

MCKENZIE: And what do you want this election?

What -- not the result necessarily but what do you want the outcome of this election?

What do you want to see improved?

KGABU: I want to see the improvement of unity people to be united because, here in South Africa, each and every day, we hear the sound of gun, people

killing each other. There is no peace at all.

MCKENZIE: Why did you want to bring your daughter, Sikleh (ph), here?

KGABU: I want also for her to experience it, to grow up knowing what is to vote and that our voice is our vote and our vote can make a change in South


MCKENZIE: Thank you very much, (INAUDIBLE), thank you.

You know, Eleni, I've heard this time and time again today, people wanting some level of change. It must be said, where I'm standing right now is a

opposition stronghold for several opposition parties. But there is a sense that the ANC electorally is under threat to lose their majority.

But I have to say it's down to the final vote counting. And that could take several days to figure out what this critical election means for South

Africa and South Africans.

GIOKOS: Yes, an unprecedented coalition government in the making, potentially, it -- really interesting. South Africa is what also has nearly

33 percent unemployment, one of the highest in the world, David. So let's see how people vote on the outcomes. David McKenzie for us in Johannesburg,

good to see you.


In the past hour, I spoke to someone who could play a key role in that potentially historic coalition. Herman Mashaba is the leader of the

ActionSA Party and the former mayor of Johannesburg. And he told me the feeling among many South Africans is that enough is enough. Take a listen.


HERMAN MASHABA, LEADER, ACTIONSA PARTY: Well, I think in 1994, after many years of oppression, we voted for Nelson Mandela. And we expected South

Africans to see an explosion of South Africa becoming the beacon of the world.

Unfortunately, here we are 30 years later. We sit with the most corrupt, uncaring, unpatriotic government the world has ever seen. So I think South

Africans are really tired. That's why today we are seeing massive 10 out of voters coming out to vote.

I've been out on the streets since this morning. I'm right now in Soweto and the people are queuing, the type of queues that we actually saw in



OK. So I want to talk a little bit about the fact that the reality might be, we might be looking at coalition government. You tweeted that you won't

be giving your vote to the ANC.

Who are you willing to work with in the event of a coalition's being a reality after these elections?

MASHABA: Well, I think that as the world with viewers, I want to make it really very clear.

I'm a business man, I'm a capitalist and came into politics for the removal of the ANC. It is for that reason I wanted to play that. I will not work

with a criminal enterprise, criminal organization because ANC can really be a criminal enterprise.

We are happy as ActionSA aid to work with other parties in South Africa who shares the same values with us, countries that actually support free market

economies, countries that respect human rights, countries that are extra deep belief in property rights.

It is for that reason there's another party --


GIOKOS: OK, so who?

So would it be, would it be the Democratic Alliance?

Would it be the FF, would it be Zuma's MK?

MASHABA: Not, it would definitely to -- can be the EFF. It can be Zuma's MKs. These are all the brainchild of the ANC.

All corrupt, they're all believing in communist or socialist ideologies. And that's something that for us, as ActionSA, we will never entertain.

Yes, absolutely, if the DAs are happy to work with us, we're happy to work with them and other parties like the IFP and other like-minded political


But the ANC, EFF and MK are out of the question.


GIOKOS: And still to come, the first ever criminal trial against a former U.S. president is wrapping up.

We await the jury's verdict after deliberations begin. And we have legal experts straight ahead. Erica Hill standing by in New York. Stay with CNN.





HILL: Welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD, half past the hour.

I'm Erica Hill in New York. Right now at this hour, just a few miles from where I sit, the judge is delivering instructions to the jury in Donald

Trump's criminal hush money trial. And after that, of course, it will be time for them to decide, is Donald Trump guilty of any of the 34 felony

charges of falsifying business records?

Those charges, of course, in connection with a purported hush money scheme to silence an adult film star right before the 2016 election and then how

the repayment of that payment was ultimately logged by the business. Michael Zeldin joins me now. He's a former federal prosecutor.

So, Michael, this is a very important part of the case. And while some people may think the jury instructions are boring, they're not. So much

hinges on the jury understanding the law and understanding what it means to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

What have those moments been like for you in court?

MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I have spent much of my time in court preparing both my closing argument in connection with my jury

instructions. I want to be able to say to the jury, here are the facts of this case and the judge will instruct you on the law as it relates to the

facts as I've just laid out.

So these lawyers are spending a lot of time making sure that the jury instructions comport with their theory of their prosecution or the defense.

And so waiting to hear how the judge decides to instruct on specifically intent, what did it need for the jury to find Trump intentionally involved

in this scheme will be critical, I think to the delivery -- deliberations of the jury.

Because when I was a juror -- twice, I was a juror, we sat there with those jury instructions in front of us. And we'd say, all right, let's see how

the evidence fits against this element, this element, that element.

So they're critical in the success or failure of a prosecution.

HILL: As a lawyer who has sat on a jury, we know that there are two lawyers on this jury. There's always a little back-and-forth about whether

you would or would not want a lawyer on your jury.

Where do you stand on that?

How does it change things in that room while deliberating?


ZELDIN: -- yes, it was interesting. When I was a juror as a lawyer, I sat and I decided that I was not going to be a lawyer on this jury.

I didn't want to be the foreman and I didn't want to play lawyer in the jury room. I wanted to always say, if we have a legal question, let's go

back to the judge and ask for instruction.

And I thought that was the better way for me to proceed. I was just a lay person though I had a law degree.

But you don't know with jurors if you have a lawyer on there and a lawyer decides that they're going to be active.

They're going to say, well, let me tell you about the law from my experience. That's the real wild card because then they start the

possibility of undermining what the judge said by giving their interpretive gloss on what the law actually means in their experience. So I think it's

never clear what the role of a lawyer on the jury will be.

HILL: It's interesting.

Some of the updates that we're getting from the courtroom now as the judge is going through these instructions, noting -- and folks watching can see

on the screen as well -- the jurors can consider whether a witness is hoping for or maybe expecting to receive a benefit related to the trial or

has an invested interest in the case's outcome.

This actually came up during Michael Cohen's testimony.

Does that mean that if someone on the jury says, you know, I think Michael Cohen really just wants Donald Trump behind bars, they could then disregard

his testimony?

ZELDIN: Well, what they would say is, I have a reasonable doubt as to the truthfulness of what he said. And so it wouldn't be that I disregard it

outright but rather it gives me reasonable doubt and therefore, I can't convict. That's I think how this play out -- how this plays out, mostly.


HILL: I was struck, too, the judge reminding the jury that they should not speculate about the sentencing or punishment; noting, of course, that is up

to the judge. He actually admonished Todd Blanche for bringing that up yesterday, who -- Todd Blanche making a comment about not sending his

client to prison.

That didn't sit well with the judge.


Exactly. Right. Because Blanche should have known, if he didn't actually know better than that, sentencing is the province of the court, not the

jury. And for him to say to the jury, don't send this guy to prison or be inappropriate to send him to prison was just a flat-out either mistake or

very cynical move by Blanche.

And he got properly sanctioned for it.

HILL: And how important is that for the jury, right?

That it is not, yes, they were making a very important decision about the defendant. In this case that defendant happens to be the 45th President of

the United States.

But that they are making a decision about the evidence, that they are not tasked with making a decision about how their findings could ultimately

impact that person's potential sentencing.


Exactly. I think that's the hardest part for this jury, which is to say, we've got to separate our limited role here from the broader role of what

happened to Donald Trump.

Does he get elected, does he not get elected?

What impact does this have on his candidacy?

All that's up -- it's outside of their purview. And so the judge is going to have to remind them, this is what your role is. It's limited to the

determination of guilt or innocence based on the facts in the four walls of this courtroom and nothing more. And hopefully they can follow that


HILL: Michael Zeldin, always good to talk to you.

Thank you.

ZELDIN: Thank you.

HILL: So the trial obviously could have an impact on the U.S. election come November, no matter the outcome of the trial. Let's check in now with

CNN senior data reporter Harry Enten, who's always good at crunching these numbers for us.

So there was a lot of talk ahead of this trial about questions that were all hypothetical. Right.

How would you deal with a convicted -- with a convicted candidate?

Would it impact your view?

Would it impact your vote?

We are now several weeks into the trial itself. There have been a lot of details out there about the evidence, about the witness testimony.

Is there any evidence that views of this case have changed?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think we're 1.5 months in now. It feels just like yesterday though. I swear to God, if nothing else, we're

covering it --


ENTEN: -- yes. Exactly right. I'm Bill Murray. Look. Here's the situation.

If you ask voters whether or not they think that Trump did something illegal in the New York hush money case, we have polling from before the

opening statements came underway and then we have the polling after Michael Cohen was directly examined by the prosecution.

And what we see here is, look at this, Trump did something illegal, it was 46 percent pre-opening statements; it's 46 percent now. There has been no


You could look at it another way, which was essentially do you think the charges are very serious?

And again, there hasn't been much of a change. In fact, the percentage of Americans who think the charges are very serious has actually dropped by a

few percentage points since before the opening statement.

And I think there's a question of why that may be and I think that part of the reason it may be is that voters are tuning out. So essentially if you

ask them, are you following this, following the Trump criminal cases very closely, look at this. Just 42 percent of Americans say that they are

following news about Trump's court cases closely.

Compare that to abortion, news about abortion, 47 percent; election legitimacy, 49 percent; immigration, 52 percent; news about the economy and

inflation, which, of course, is the number one issue heading into this election, 65 percent.

So the fact is, this is just not something that Americans think is all that important. News junkies are tuning in. But most everyday Americans are sort

of putting it aside and going about their everyday lives.

And so then the question, of course, is, as we're heading into November, has the polling between Biden versus Trump changed at all?

And perhaps it shouldn't be so much of a surprise, based upon the last few slides, Erica, that it really hasn't. Donald Trump, led by a point before

the trial started, the national popular vote. At this particular point in the polling, he leads by a point.

There has been absolutely no change and the honest-to-God truth, Erica, is, no matter what poll I look at, no matter or whether I look nationally or in

the state level, whether I'm looking at the issue-based polling or whether I'm looking at the horse race polling between Biden and Trump, there just

has not been much of a change.

Now we'll see what happens when the jury actually makes its verdict, right, whether or not they determine to convict, whether or not there's a hung

jury, whether or not they said not guilty, whether there'll be a change then and there. We will have to wait and see.


But so far at this point, no matter what has happened in the courtroom, it just has not changed the court of public opinion.

HILL: All right.

We'll wait and see. I have a feeling you and I will discuss that once we have it.

ENTEN: I think so.

HILL: Thank you, my friend.

ENTEN: Bye-bye.

HILL: All right. Stay with us, CONNECT THE WORLD continues after a quick break, you're watching CNN.




GIOKOS: Welcome back.

France and Germany are giving Ukraine the green light to use weapons they provided against military sites on Russian territory.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): Ukrainian soil is being attacked from bases in Russia.

So how do we explain to the Ukrainians that, we're going to have to protect these towns and basically everything we're seeing around Kharkiv at the

moment, if we tell them you are not allowed to hit the point from which the missiles are fired?

OLAF SCHOLZ, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): As far as the question of Ukraine's activities is concerned, I want to say this in

general terms because the discussion comes up again and again. Ukraine has every possibility under international law for what it is doing. This has to

be said explicitly.

It is under attack and is entitled to defend itself.


GIOKOS: Russian president Vladimir Putin has since responded, saying that could lead to serious consequences. CNN's Melissa Bell has been following

developments from Paris for us.

Melissa, it's important to go back to when the conflict started and when weapons were initially supplied to Ukraine. That was one of the most

important points in terms of no weapons being used on Russian territory. This is a significant U-turn by France and Germany.

And of course, we knew that Putin was going to respond, saying this could lead to escalation.


It's an important shift. And it began last week with Jens Stoltenberg himself urging countries, those that had restrictions, on the way their

weapons could be used by Kyiv on lifting those.

And now we've had not just France and Germany as you just heard there. But Poland as well has just announced that it too will allow Ukraine to use its

weapons or whatever he sees fit.

And, of course, specifically, we're talking about are those targets inside Russia from which attacks on Ukraine are carried out, whether that be

cruise missile attacks or shelling.

The idea is that with the opening of this third front and the pressure that is bringing on Ukraine, the inability or the -- rather the fact as Jens

Stoltenberg put it.

That Ukraine is fighting with its hands tied behind its back, taking these hits from just across the border in Russia without the ability to respond

with some of its best equipment, is something that he hoped to have changed.

Of course, as you say, the response was swift, speaking from Uzbekistan yesterday. Vladimir Putin responded directly saying this would mark a

distinct escalation. This would lead to a much greater conflict because his idea, his theory is that these attacks with Western equipment could only be

carried out with Western intelligence.


And therefore, for an involvement of NATO troops, even if they weren't on the ground themselves, there would be far too great for his comfort.

Therefore, issuing this very stark, slightly chilling warning that those countries inside NATO, specifically those with -- that have small

territories and populous countries, should be very wary about what happens next.

A clear threat and reference there to NATO's eastern flank, of course, one that feels the most exposed right now to Russian threats.

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

Well, let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now.

India's extreme heat wave is forcing water rationing in the capital of New Delhi. Recent record heat of 50 degrees Celsius or 120 degrees Fahrenheit

triggered it. Officials say they will enforce penalties for non-compliance. Forecasters expect the extreme heat to ease a bit on Thursday.

Severe weather threatens northern Texas and the Rockies, putting 11 million people at risk of bad weather today. Some two dozen people have died in a

handful of U.S. states from severe storms and powerful tomatoes since the weekend.

Today's bad weather in Texas could delay crews restoring power to a half million residents.

Supplies from Australia are arriving in Papua New Guinea five days after that devastating landslide. Roads and bridges are damaged, making it harder

to get food and heavy equipment to the region. Searchers are using makeshift tools and their hands to look for around 2,000 people believed to

be buried in the rubble.

Well, Papua New Guinea's prime minister has blamed climate change for the landslide as villagers try to come to terms with the monumental loss of

life. Anna Coren has more.


ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Almost a week since a catastrophic landslide wiped out a vibrant community in Papua New Guinea.

The people of Yambali are trying to come to terms with their loss.

Hundreds, if not thousands of people lie buried under nine hectares of debris the size of more than nine football fields, with rubble eight meters

deep at some points.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is an entire village and shops and a fuel station and the lodge and the church and the school is basically a mountain that

has fallen on their heads.

COREN (voice-over): Those who did survive have used what they can to shift boulders the size of cars. But generations of families may never be seen


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's (INAUDIBLE) emotional sound that on the people that have survived is great. And we -- our community can see kids without

parents who keep crying out for the parents, where they are orphans. Fathers dead and lost entire families, mothers, they don't know what to do.

COREN (voice-over): Miok Michael lost six loved ones in the disaster.

MIOK MICHAEL, SURVIVOR: So Madis (ph), my grandma and three of my cousins and within my plants and price will (ph), it's adding up to 19 of them.

COREN (voice-over): Michael went to the site when he heard what had happened, filming this video. He says, homeless survivors had no place to

sleep. The sheer scale of the disaster and the remoteness of the site has made the response extremely challenging.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The disaster is over a scale in magnitude that we've never experienced in this part of the world or in this country, for that

matter. And the loss of life, the number of lives we lost will surpass any natural disaster that has happened in Papua New Guinea.

COREN (voice-over): Papua New Guinea's prime minister pointed the finger at climate change for an increase in disasters across the rugged Pacific


JAMES MARAPE, PRIME MINISTER, PAPUA NEW GUINEA: In this year, we had extraordinary rainfall that has caused flooding in river areas, sea level

rise in coastal areas and land slips.

COREN (voice-over): Now Australia has begun flying in and distributing aid. The Papua military says it will open the highway soon. Help at last

for people who have lost their homes, their way of life, their entire community -- Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.


GIOKOS: For more on our top stories, the head of Israel's National Security Council has telling local media to, quote, expect another seven

months of fighting in Gaza. Tzachi Hanegbi saying the war could be long in order to destroy Hamas.

Now a physician working for Doctors without Borders is describing what she calls a very miserable situation in Rafah. And she says there are no safe



Dr. Safa Jaber is working for Medecins sans Frontieres or Doctors without Borders. Her warning comes after 45 people were killed in that Israeli

strike which hit a displacement camp in Rafah on Sunday night. Take a listen.


DR. SAFA JABER, MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES (through translator): I'm speechless. I cannot even describe what is happening. We are scared for

ourselves and for our children. We are not expecting this to happen so suddenly.

Unfortunately, I could not go to work today because I am packing the necessities for me and my children to move to yet another place. I am with

the rest of the family, around 15 people who are sheltering here. The situation is so difficult. My sister recently gave birth and she has a

newborn baby. Everyone is terrified.

Where shall we go?

We are heading to the so-called safe zone. But there was no safe space here after what happened the day before yesterday, with the burning of the

tents. We make that effort to go to the safe spaces they announce and, in the end, they are not safe.


GIOKOS: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. There's more news ahead. Right after this short break. Stay with CNN.




GIOKOS: A lost Caravaggio painting, which was almost mistakenly auctioned at a bargain price, is now on display at a museum in Madrid after being

rescued, as well as restored. "Ecce Homo," painted by the Italian master in the early 17th century, is one of about 60 known Caravaggio works in

existence, according to the museum.

The work was once part of King Philip IV's art collection. And it changed hands over the years and went unnoticed until it surfaced as an auction

house as the work of an unknown painter with a starting price of just $1,600. Experts caught the mistake and kept it from being sold.

Well, those who competed in England's annual cheese chase may still be feeling a bit sore, as you can see in the video here, they're all in.

Competitors from around the world pursued a wheel of Double Gloucester down a very steep hill, as you can see, rolling down as fast as the cheese.

Abby Lampe from North Carolina was first to the bottom in the women's race for the second time in three years and she spoke to CNN's Don Riddell about

her secret to successful rolling.


DON RIDDELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What on Earth draws you to want to compete in something like this?

ABBY LAMPE, WINNER, WOMEN'S DOWNHILL RACE: Well, after my win two years ago, I didn't want to just cling on to that victory because it's getting

aged just like the cheese. But I wanted to renew that win and bring the title back to the U.S.

RIDDELL: The video footage of these races, it just looks absolutely insane. Can you give me an idea of what it looks and feels like when you're

on the start line looking down the hill.

LAMPE: Yes. So this is a two-one grade, 45 degrees, one of the steepest hills in England. It's about 200 yards. It's a very steep hill.

When you're looking down, you can see the bottom but it's definitely a long ways down.


So at the starting line you're basically grabbing on the grass so you don't fall down.

RIDDELL: What is the secret of your success?

How do you approach it?

Because I guess there's a number of ways you could try to get down the hill and finishing first place.

LAMPE: So my strategy is to basically run from the get and then start rolling and two years ago that strategy worked really well for me. I just

tumbled my way down to the bottom.

This year, I did a similar strategy. My face took a lot of hits down the hill. So did my body but that's the cost that it takes to win the cheese


RIDDELL: People get seriously hurt during this, don't they. I mean, have you seen people being injured --

LAMPE: Yes. The hill was really soft because there's been a lot of rainfall throughout the coming months. But two years ago, someone broke

their leg. So it's definitely not for the faint of heart. People break their collarbones, people break their ankles, their arms.

It's definitely a risky endeavor.


GIOKOS: Well, that looks really painful. I must say, I hope that cheese was worth it.

Well, a local man and two others from Australia and Germany won the men's races.

I'm glad we marked that story. Really fascinating.

Well, that's it for CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi. Stay with CNN. "NEWSROOM" is up next.