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Trump Hush Money Trial Jury Resumes Deliberations; Israel Claims Control of Egypt-Gaza Buffer Zone; Save the Children Say 66 Killed in Safe Zones in Four Days; Blinken at NATO Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Prague; U.S. Brokers Deal with Haitian Officials, Gang Members; Boeing Crisis; Tattoos Possibly Linked to Higher Risk of Lymphoma. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired May 30, 2024 - 10:00:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD.

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Welcome to our second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos, live from Abu Dhabi.

Israel's military says it has taken operational control of the Philadelphi corridor. It's a buffer zone between Egypt and Israel, a move Egypt has

always described as a red line.

More than a dozen of Hong Kong's leading democracy activists and politicians have been found guilty of subversion, dealing a heavy blow to

what's left of the city's pro-democracy movement.

And President Joe Biden has often counted on Hollywood's support to rally the vote. Now CNN is learning many stars may be hesitant to endorse him.


GIOKOS: Welcome to the show.

I want to bring in Omar Jimenez, who's in New York. He is on verdict watch, the latest of the Trump trial.

Omar, it's consequential. We're waiting for any kind of movement.

What's going on there?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are. Right now, the jury is essentially rehearing instructions from the judge on a variety of different

concepts, like hearsay, burden of proof, a lot of concepts that they are likely going to have to work through once these deliberations officially

get going a little bit later today.

Including, for example, the judge just reminded the jury, "The burden of proof never shifts from the prosecution to the defendant," if the people

failed to satisfy their burden of proof you must find the defendant not guilty.

And if the prosecution satisfies their burden of proof, you must find the defendant guilty.

We're going to monitor a lot more of what's going on in court a little bit later today but I want to send it back to you for a look at what else is

going on in the world.

GIOKOS: Yes, so much going on, of course, we will be checking in on you throughout the show.

Now authorities in northern Gaza are not -- are urging people not to return to their homes in and around the Jabalya refugee camp. The fear is, they'll

be walking into a deadly situation even after news earlier Thursday that Israeli troops were pulling out of the area.

Pictures from Jabalya show widespread destruction, with streets covered in rubble and most buildings flattened or destroyed. An UNRWA building, which

is being used for shelter by people forced out of their homes, was also burned.

And in southern Gaza, Israel says it now has operational control of the strategically important buffer zone between Egypt and Gaza, the

Philadelphi corridor. To break this all down for us, we've got CNN's Jeremy Diamond, live for us in Jerusalem.

So much going on, Jeremy, I want to start with Jabalya refugee camp with the IDF leaving the camp. They actually didn't officially announce this.

They're saying people should not return. We're starting to see some of the images of the destruction there. Give us a sense of what we know.


I mean, the Israeli military has now been carrying out an offensive in Jabalya for more than two weeks. And there have been some unconfirmed

reports that the Israeli military has begun to withdraw from that area.

And that's sparked a lot of people to begin to try and return to their homes in that area or to find what was left of their homes. But a local

journalist who works with us said that people who had attempted to enter the area were wounded by live fire.

And that has also prompted authorities in northern Gaza to urge people not to return to their homes in north of Jabalya, saying that's still -- there

are still some, quote, "dangerous remnants" in the area.

The Israeli military for its part said that it cannot provide the location of its troops. And earlier this morning, it said that its troops were

continuing to operate against Palestinian militants in Jabalya.

Now as all of this is happening we're watching the Israeli military continuing to widen its offensive in southern Gaza, now saying that they

have control, operational control, of the Gaza side of the Egypt-Gaza border.


DIAMOND (voice-over): On a hilltop in Western Rafah, Israeli tanks overlook Gaza's border with Egypt, the Israeli military's latest prize.

Three weeks into its Rafah offensive. Israel says it now controls the strategic Philadelphi corridor, spanning the length of that 7.5 mile long

border, which the Israeli military says Hamas has used to smuggle weapons into Gaza. Egypt denies these tunnels exist.


REAR ADMIRAL DANIEL HAGARI, ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES SPOKESPERSON: The Philadelphi corridors served as Hamas' oxygen pipeline through which Hamas

regularly smuggled weapons into the Gaza Strip. So far, our forces have located about 20 tunnels in the Philadelphi corridor area. We investigate

these tunnels and neutralize them.

DIAMOND (voice-over): This is the human toll of that military offensive. United Nations says more than 940,000 people have been forced to flee the

city in recent weeks. For many this is not the first time. There is no safety, Al-Mawasi is hit, the U.N. warehouses are hit and the U.N. schools

are hit.

There is no safety -- says. You might die at any moment anywhere. Multiple Israeli strikes on camps for displaced Palestinians in recent days have

made that point with deadly clarity. None more so than this strike in Northwestern Rafah on Sunday night, which killed at least 45 people and

injured hundreds more according to Gaza's Ministry of Health.

The Israeli military has said it did not expect civilians to die and has launched an investigation into the strike, which killed two senior Hamas

militants. But at least three people can be seen on the road outside those structures, moments before the strike. The Israeli military targeted these

two containers like structures just steps away from structures housing displace civilians, which were also destroyed in the blast or the

subsequent fire.

Four weapons experts tell CNN the weapons used in the strike were U.S. made bombs. They say these remnants found at the site of the attack are pieces

of a GBU 39 small diameter bomb, carrying a relatively small payload intended to minimize civilian casualties but dropping them in densely

populated areas can still have devastating consequences.

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


DIAMOND (voice-over): But for now the U.S. doesn't plan to stop providing those weapons with the White House insisting Israel hasn't crossed that red


JOHN KIRBY, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COMMUNICATIONS ADVISOR: We don't want to see a major ground operation. We haven't seen that at this point.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Major or not, the Israeli military is now deep in Rafah or Palestinian rescuers are struggling to safely reach the wounded,

as the dangers are mounting for so many.


DIAMOND: And Eleni, we've also now learned that the two Palestine Red Crescent Society paramedics who were killed yesterday were killed by

Israeli military fire.

It appears Israeli military responding to a request for comment about this incident, said that a, quote, "suspicious vehicle approached IDF troops in

a manner that raised suspicion," and that a tank then fired on the vehicle. They said that the details of this incident are under review.

GIOKOS: You know, Jeremy, with all of these strikes occurring and incidents occurring, many asking ,where exactly is it safe in Gaza?

And the Save the Children says 66 people have been killed in safe zones in Gaza over four days. And now, of course, there's an urgent call for action

to protect civilians. And frankly, something that's really increased over the last week.

DIAMOND: Yes, that's right.

I mean, there are these strikes that they say have taken place in safe zones designated by the Israeli military.

And what we also know is that, beyond the strikes that have taken place in those official safe zones designated by the Israeli military, there have

been other strikes taking place in camps for displaced Palestinians, which aren't necessarily within that official safe zone.

But are nonetheless part of displacement camps, sometimes camps sponsored by other countries.

That strike Sunday night, for example, a took place at a camp that was labeled as a Kuwaiti peace camp. Save the Children, though, in this latest

report, they say that at least 60 people, including children, have been killed in safe zones over four days.

The organization's palace -- director for the Palestinian Territories said that there is evidence -- that this is evidence that there is, quote,

"nowhere safe for children and families in Gaza."

And he is also warning that, beyond these strikes, beyond those who are harmed and injured by these strikes, others are suffering what he described

as the, quote, "slow, agonizing effects of starvation," raising the alarm about the trickle of humanitarian aid that is actually being distributed in

Gaza right now.

While we're seeing efforts to increase the amount of aid that is getting into Gaza via these land crossings, notably the Kerem Shalom crossing,

which is now receiving aid from Egypt as well following the closure of that Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza.

We are still seeing the United Nations and other agencies within Gaza having enormous difficulties actually reaching that aid at those crossings

and then being able to safely distribute it throughout the Gaza Strip.


Given the Israeli military's ongoing operations and, of course, the battles that it is having with Palestinian militants.

GIOKOS: Yes, just goes to show you, can't distribute aid because it just - - there's no way safe. Jeremy Diamond, always good to get insights from you. Thank you.

In the occupied West Bank, a market has been destroyed in Ramallah following an Israeli incursion. Eyewitnesses said the vegetable market was

set on fire by Israeli troops after they raided the local governance earlier Thursday.

The IDF has not responded to CNN's request for more information.

And Brazil has withdrawn its ambassador to Israel over its war in Gaza. Brazil's ambassador, the man on the right in these photos, will join

Brazil's mission to the U.N. The move comes after months of growing tension between Brazil and Israel over its handling of the war.

U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken on Wednesday urging Israel to create a post-war plan, saying it must decide if the gains it is achieving in Gaza

justify the cost in civilian lives. Take a listen.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: In the absence of a plan for the day after in Gaza, further incremental gains against Hamas, how that stacks

up against some of the, again, unintended but horrific consequences of military action in a place, where the people you're going after are so

closely embedded with civilians.


GIOKOS: Well, to now, a consequential moment in Hong Kong. Prosecutors confirm they will appeal the acquittal of two pro-democracy figures. Two

former district counselors have been cleared of subversion charges.

But in a major blow to Hong Kong's Democratic opposition movement. a court has handed down guilty verdicts to 14 other opposition figures. The

defendants were among 47 arrested in 2021 for organizing an unofficial primary election ahead of Hong Kong's legislative vote.

CNN's Kristie Lu Stout with the details.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The verdicts are out in Hong Kong's largest national security trial today to devolves 47 pro-democracy

activists now 31 had already pleaded guilty to charges of subversion, including the high profile activists Joshua Wong was 16 had pleaded not

guilty but of the 16, 14 were found to be guilty on charges of subversion today, including the former journalist Gwyneth Ho as well as the former

opposition lawmaker Owen Chow.

A sentencing will come next, a security has been tied. We have been watching hundreds of people pour into witness the proceedings, including

diplomats from the United States, the EU and elsewhere. And then there was that moment in the courtroom when the project was read out loud.

Some family members of defendants wept and cried openly upon hearing the news that their loved ones could very well be facing life in prison. This

has been a long legal ordeal. It all dates back to over three years ago, January of 2021 when 47 pro-democracy figures were arrested in a dawn raid.

They were charged of conspiracy to commit subversion, which is a serious crime here in Hong Kong. Under the National Security Law it's punishable by

up to life in prison. They are accused of staging and unofficial primary vote which was deemed illegal by authorities here. Now the National

Security Law was imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong in 2020 in the wake of the massive anti-government protests of 2019.

Critics say it is dismantled the opposition, it is crushed dissent. Supporters say restore law and order with authorities saying it's a matter

of national security, as they warned against any foreign interference. But observers say that this case is a significant test of Hong Kong's judicial

independence. Watch this.

JOHN BURNS, EMERITUS AND HONORARY PROFESSOR OF UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: It's absolutely clear that the National Security Law reduced the

independence and the autonomy of the judiciary, no juries much more difficult to get bail. Those are all things that previously were determined

by the judges.

STOUT: This state has won every national security case until now. Now two defendants, there are two former district councilors who have become the

first two national security defendants to be acquitted after trial. But we've also learned that the Department of Justice here in Hong Kong plans

to appeal that decision, back to you.


GIOKOS: We're also keeping a very close eye on what's happening in New York, Omar Jimenez is standing by with the jury is back at us.


Omar, working to reach a verdict. We're all waiting with bated breath to see how Donald Trump's hush money trial will play out.

JIMENEZ: Thank you, Eleni.

Yes, it's been hours at this point in total. But today, the first item on the agenda was to review several portions of testimony from witnesses

Michael Cohen and David Pecker. They also, the jury did, also wanted to rehear some of the judge's instructions that -- which is essentially what's

happening now. They're deciding whether to acquit or convict Trump of 34 counts of falsifying records as part of an attempt to sway the outcome of

the 2016 presidential race.

So I want to bring in my colleague, Brynn Gingras, who is outside the courtroom in Manhattan.

Brynn, get us up to speed.

What is -- what's happening right now?

I know they're rehearing instructions.

But what's in those instructions, some of what's in those instructions, as the jury is hearing them now?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Yes, Omar. So when the jurors came back into the courtroom, the foreman essentially said, let's start with the

jury instruction. Read that first and then we'll get to the witness testimony.

So that's what they're doing right now, is hearing back some of those jury instructions, not the entire 55 pages but I got to say about half of that,

about 29, 30 pages, they are asking to be read back.

The instructions that have to do with circumstantial evidence instructions, that have to do with how to interpret hearsay, how to interpret Michael

Cohen's testimony. So like I said, a big chunk of those jury instructions are going to be read back or are being read back to the jurors right now.

Remember these jurors don't have a hard copy of those instructions going back with them in the deliberating room; it's against state law. So that is

why they have to be read back in open court.

When this has finished -- and it should be wrapping up relatively soon -- then those jurors are going to hear the parts of witness testimony that

they had requested in a jurors' note yesterday.

Now that testimony has to do a lot with David Pecker and his interactions with Donald Trump when it came to the Karen McDougal incidents and the

hush-money payment discussion with Karen McDougal.

And then also the overall discussion between David Pecker and Michael Cohen inside the Trump Tower in August 2015, where prosecutors essentially say

this conspiracy was hatched, this whole idea of catching and killing stories.

So these are pretty crucial parts of the witness testimony now these jurors want to hear back. They actually sent back another note today, this morning

before court even got started, saying they want to have some headphones or possibly even a speaker so that they can actually hear evidence that's

inside their deliberations room.

Remember, they have a computer back there that has all the evidence on it. But they couldn't hear it, so now they're asking for their headphones or


So thorough, thorough jurors that are really just underway in these deliberations, 4.5 hours, they've done so far. And then that will -- clock

will continue. It is continuing really as the deliberate is -- these deliberations continue, Omar.

JIMENEZ: Yes. We'll watch for those deliberations to officially get going between them underway. But as you've mentioned, a lot going on in the

courtroom right now.

As the jury seems very intent on finding some sort of resolution here, Brynn Gingras, really appreciate it.

For everyone else, you are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. There's more news ahead. Stay with us.





GIOKOS: Welcome back.

In bolstering support for Ukraine, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says, that's the aim of the alliance's meeting in Prague this week and will also play a

major part when leaders hold their summit in July.

Antony Blinken is also in the Czech capital with his fellow native foreign ministers. The U.S. secretary of state has been making headlines after he

appeared to soften his language around Kyiv launching attacks into Russian territory.

Today, Blinken has been checking in with the U.S. embassy in Prague after meeting with the Czech president, who's on the right. We've got CNN's

Melissa Bell in Paris with the European view. And we've got Kylie Atwood standing by for us in Washington to break this all down.

Melissa, I want to start off with you. Jens Stoltenberg has really made his address. And one of the things that strikes me is what kind of deals, what

kind of packages is NATO willing to put together for Ukraine, for continued support of Ukraine's fight?

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we've seen over the course of this week here in Europe, Eleni, has been remarkably

successful tour by President Zelenskyy. He's walked away with a number of different multilateral deals.

The 12th was signed with Portugal at the end of his whistle-stop tour. But we've also heard since another deal with Sweden, which he didn't visit. But

another deal worth some 1 billion euros in military aid for Ukraine.

And of course, that is important for Ukraine's fight to defend itself. But it's also important the context of the blockage, once again, that we're

seeing at European level, the E.U. level, as we saw back in December with Hungary, again, blocking the latest tranche of E.U. funding, $7 billion

that were meant to be disbursed.

And that in fact now will be blocked as European leaders try to find a solution to this particular latest version of the impasse.

So those multilateral packages extremely important, all the more so, Eleni, given that this was a tour after all that President Zelenskyy made slightly

delayed because of the opening of that third front to the north of Kharkiv.

So the context also an important reminder for Europeans of the need to step up the amount they're giving to Ukraine. And of course, the debate that

we're having today, hearing today -- and we're going to likely hear more from Jens Stoltenberg when he stands up in Prague later.

That is happening now amongst NATO allies, increasingly openly, about what sorts of permission can be granted to Kyiv for the use of those weapons

differently than they've been used so far.

GIOKOS: Yes. I mean -- and I want to bring in Kylie on this one.

Because if U.S. secretary of state, Antony Blinken, saying that the U.S. will continue to adapt and adjust when it comes to the question of whether

weapons can be used on Russian territory, where does the United States stand on this right now, based on the messaging from Blinken?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, that messaging from him is the starkest example yet that the Biden

administration is moving toward potential policy change here.

So as we well know, up until this point, the U.S. has said that any of its weaponry going to Ukraine cannot be used by the Ukrainians to shoot into

Russia, into military targets inside of Russia. We now know that there is a policy discussion. There are constantly policy discussions about how to

adjust the U.S. support for Ukraine.

But it's quite clear that, at this moment in time, as other European countries have allowed their weaponry to be used by Ukraine to strike

military targets inside of Russia, the United States is feeling the pressure to potentially adjust their stance here.

And that is clearly what the secretary of state said. He tried to cast it as a holistic take on the war, saying that, over the course of the last few

years, the United States has constantly been adjusting and been adapting as they've needed to with their support to Ukraine.

But it's quite clear now that this is the question of the moment.

Will the United States give that green light?

They might not do it publicly. It might be a quiet message to the Ukrainians that we suddenly then see them using U.S. military capabilities

to strike into those targets inside of Russia, right across the border there.

So we'll have to watch and see how this evolves. But it's a really key question, particularly as these foreign ministers are meeting today in

preparation for the leader level NATO summit, which will happen here in Washington later this summer in July.


And of course, the question isn't only what can NATO give to Ukraine but it's what can these individual countries that have these agreements with

Ukraine give to them as well.

GIOKOS: All right, big shifts happening there. Kylie Atwood, thank you so much.

Melissa Bell for us in Paris.

Thank you.

Well, Vladimir Putin's so-called special military operation in Ukraine was supposed to be over in weeks. But two years later, the fighting rages on.

Now U.S. intelligence services are hoping a declining enthusiasm for the conflict could hold the key to recruiting Russian spies.

CNN security correspondent Josh Campbell has the story.


JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amid Russia's brutal ongoing invasion of Ukraine, a rare opening for U.S. intelligence to

recruit Russian insiders, furious at the handling of the war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Disaffection creates a once in a generation opportunity for us at CIA. We're very much open for business.

DAVID MCCLOSKEY, FORMER CIA OFFICER: That business is the exchange of information that the asset or agent would provide for something that they

want. We want people who have some sense of what those leaders' priorities are, what they're trying to accomplish.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): The recruitment effort is far from a state secret. America's spy handlers have publicly taken to social media, releasing

videos appealing to the patriotism of disaffected Russians.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a absolutely brilliant ploy by the CIA.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): But while the technology is new, spying has underpinned and undermined U.S.-Russian relations for decades. That secret

battle between intelligence services now the focus of a new CNN/BBC documentary.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I spent 10 years as an illegal undercover agent for the KGB in the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): This is the unseen story of the Cold War fought not by politicians but by secret agents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was complete misunderstanding on either side.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): With interviews and never before heard audio from spies and the traitors who sealed their fate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Aldrich Ames put some of those names to death by sharing them with his KGB case officer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not only was the CIA and its intelligence sources in the Soviet Union completely compromised, he also was in a compromised



CAMPBELL (voice-over): For each side, espionage was used to gain strategic advantage.

The ultimate cost of discovery, the highest form of punishment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you do to officers who betray their own motherland?

You execute them.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): In the new modern-day shadow war, espionage remains a vital tool.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The backbone of our understanding about Putin, the people around him, the basis for all of that will be sources inside Russia.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): And the lessons of the Cold War could very well determine future global stability.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to know your enemy. If you don't, you can scare your enemy into doing something that neither of you want to see


CAMPBELL (voice-over): Josh Campbell, CNN.


GIOKOS: Celebrity endorsements are a precious commodity in any U.S. presidential campaign.

But why do so many superstars look like they'd rather sit out the 2024 race?

We'll answer that question in just a bit and also go back to New York. We've got Omar Jimenez standing by as we wait for the verdict in Donald

Trump's historic hush money trial. You're watching CNN.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

GIOKOS: Hi, breaking news just in to CNN. Exclusive CNN reporting.

We're learning that the U.S. government has brokered talks with gang members in Haiti to secure the release of the bodies of the American

missionary couple killed in Port-au-Prince last week.

Davy and Natalie Lloyd as well as their Haitian mission director, Jude Montis, were attacked by gang members a week ago. And we understand the

first U.S. commercial flight to Haiti in months is now making the grim return with the couple's bodies.

Caitlin Hu broke the story for CNN, she joins us now from New York.

Caitlin, thank you so much for joining us. Tell us about these talks and how the U.S. was able to secure the return of the couple and the


CAITLIN HU, CNN DIGITAL SENIOR EDITOR: Yes. So we've just received confirmation that that plane is wheels-up carrying Davy and Natalie Lloyd

back to the U.S. They're going to make their way to Kansas City via a couple of stops on the way. It's going to be a multi-day trip.

But what we understand is this is the end of a terrible saga that began last week, when two gangs, two different gangs attacked their compound.

They were killed within hours, according to the mission that runs the compound and an orphanage there.

But what happened after that, to retrieve their bodies, to ensure that they wouldn't be held for ransom by gangs or desecrated, was an incredibly

delicate operation managed by the U.S. government.

That required negotiating with several gangs in the area and actually bring them together in a conference call to ensure that the bodies would be


We know that an ambulance that was asked to go pick up the bodies before Haitian authorities even had a chance to inspect the crime scene was

blocked on the way by gang members who were armed and threatening them.

And we understand that, in the course of this conference call between the gang leaders, one gang leader had to assert that he had a claim on the

bodies because they were Americans and subsequently got the local gangs to release them and eventually into U.S. custody.

The U.S. has been carefully shepherding through all of the bureaucratic processes around the handling of the bodies and the criminal inspection in

Haiti. And now finally they can say they're bringing them home.

GIOKOS: Look, really important.

The U.S. was able to broker these talks and bring back the bodies of those Americans.

Is it encouraging that they do not have a line of communication, an open line of communication?

Are you hearing anything on that front?

HU: An open line of communication ...

GIOKOS: With the gangs where U.S. is able to now --


HU: I think almost --

GIOKOS: -- broker more talks, speak more openly?

HU: What we understand is that most organizations in Haiti have to have some kinds of ability channel with which to communicate to the gangs, if

not directly negotiating with them.

And in this case, it's not clear whether the U.S. might've gone through intermediaries, who deal more directly with the gangs or how they did it.

But it's certainly important for the safety of U.S. citizens or for access to parts of the city, which is 80 percent controlled by gangs, to be able

to do those kinds of operations.


Caitlin Hu, thank you so much for your insights on the story.

And just to repeat, this is breaking in to CNN.


U.S. government brokering talks with gangs in Haiti to release them bodies of American missionary couple that was killed in Port-au-Prince last week,

that story playing out right now. And the aircraft now on its way back to the United States.

So more now, on our top story, authorities in northern Gaza are urging residents not to return to their homes in northern Jabalya. Officials say

quote, "There are still some dangerous remnants left there by Israeli troops."

So at the same time, Israel's military says it has taken what it calls "operational control" of the Philadelphi corridor. It's a buffer zone

between Egypt and Israel that could risk a decades-old peace treaty between the two.

Now, Hollywood stars are familiar parts of many presidential campaigns and, just this week, Oscar winner Robert De Niro went to bat for Joe Biden in a

scathing rant against former president Donald Trump.


ROBERT DE NIRO, OSCAR-WINNING ACTOR AND POLITICAL ACTIVIST: if Trump returns to the White House, you can kiss these freedoms goodbye that we all

take for granted.


GIOKOS: But multiple sources tell CNN that many Hollywood heavyweights are hesitant about publicly endorsing either candidate. This election year in

America's hyperpartisan climate. So to break this down for us, we've got CNN's Priscilla Alvarez at the White House, for us.

Priscilla, good to see you. It seems very different this year compared to 2020. Take us through some of the issues that we're seeing.

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's certainly some trepidation also because of the Israel-Hamas war. That is something

that has caused concern among some Hollywood circles.

And we've seen some of that play out in Hollywood as well. And so that is what strategists say is involved in the thinking for celebrities and

whether or not they want to endorse a candidate. And that alone is very different from 2020.

We have some clear examples. For example, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, he endorsed Biden in 2020. He says he's not endorsing either candidate this

time around.

Then too, Cardi B, who also endorsed Biden in 2020, says she's not voting. And so those are some examples of people who decided not to come around

this time around for an endorsement.

Now, historically of course, Hollywood has rallied around Democratic candidates and the Biden campaign has acquired star power. You saw that

with Robert De Niro earlier in the week. In June, there'll be a fundraiser with George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

And so they have clearly found some celebrities who are willing to go out and endorse them and serve, too, as surrogates.

But the big question is, can they hit those younger generations, too?

Will the younger stars, also trying to mobilize younger voters, who will also be crucial in November, especially in such a tight race.

Now political strategists and consultants also tell me and my colleague, Elizabeth Wagmeister, that, if they're not endorsing candidates, it's

entirely possible that they will endorse around issues like climate change and abortion. So there is still an opening for celebrities, even if they

choose not to endorse.

But the key part of all of this is that the campaign wants these celebrities to help put out their message.

In fact, one senior adviser told me, quote, "People know who Biden is."

They went on to say, "We need to make sure they're delivering our message to audiences."

And that is ultimately what these endorsements can do, is reach people who are otherwise very hard to reach. And, at the end of the day, timing is

everything. So essentially we will likely see more of this rollout in between the Democratic national convention and Election Day, perhaps, too,

in October.

In 2020, if you recall, Taylor Swift endorsed Biden that month and then, too, Jennifer Lopez. So that is the time where all eyes on whether these

celebrities really will come out for President Biden.

But in the meantime, there's a lot of discussions happening behind the scenes to try to sort out who is willing to come out and help them deliver

their message.

Back to you.

GIOKOS: Thank you so much, Priscilla Alvarez there for us. Thank you.

All right. So troubled aircraft maker, Boeing, is today expected to commit to sweeping changes after years of mounting concerns about the safety of

its planes. And we've seen a series of accidents, including deadly crashes and near disasters, many of them featuring the widely used 737 MAX.

In January, Max 9s were grounded in the U.S. after a door on an Alaskan Airlines flight blew off in midair. Boeing will today present a plan to the

federal aviation watchdog, setting out how it will address the concerns. We'll be following this, of course, very closely. And we've got aviation

correspondent Pete Muntean, standing by for us.

Pete, good to see you. Look, there's been an erosion of confidence, erosion of trust. There's just so many things that Boeing is going to have to


Is this game plan going to be enough to not only get consumers feeling more comfortable but importantly, the regulators?


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The bottom line here is that it's a really big moment for Boeing to prove it's turning the ship around

following this year's back-to-back bad headlines.

Still unclear though if Boeing will release this new plan to the public. We know that we will hear from FAA administrator Mike Whitaker.

But Boeing right now, really trying to prove its plan so far is a fix for the quality control issues that you mentioned, were highlighted by the

Alaska Airlines door-plug blowout that grounded the 737 MAX9 nationwide here in the U.S. for about 19 days.

Boeing stresses that it's already laid out clearer assembly line instructions for workers at its plant in Renton, Washington, as well as

training improvements and improvements to tools on the factory floor.

Now notably, Boeing says it is now hounding suppliers to no longer ship defective parts. While that might sound basic, remember it was an issue on

a fuselage built by supplier Spirit Aerosystems that caused Boeing workers to remove the door plug on that 737, that was ultimately delivered to

Alaska Airlines.

The door plug was put back but all of the bolts were not. Boeing in general also trying to fix its safety culture and our report found that it had gaps

in its safety culture, somewhat underscored by whistleblowers that keep coming forward.

All of this has lead to delays in certification of new airplanes and deliveries of new airplanes and an erosion of the stock price. And

shareholders are losing some faith in Boeing. Of course, we will be keeping a big eye here on what is in this new plan when we get it.

We do know that outgoing Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun is reportedly also meeting with the FAA administrator today, a really big day. And a lot of

developments on the Boeing front.


You're so right. I mean, this is consequential for Boeing. And I think everyone's going to be watching very closely about the changes they plan to

make. Pete Muntean, always good to see you. Thank you.

I want to get you up to speed now on some other stories that are on our radar right now.


GIOKOS (voice-over): Registration has opened in Iran for applicants to run for president in an election to pick the successor to Ebrahim Raisi, who

died in a helicopter crash earlier this month. Candidates have until Tuesday to put their names forward.

But only those approved by a 12-member religious panel led by Iran's supreme leader will be allowed to stand in next month's ballot.

Chinese president Xi Jinping is calling for an international peace conference and justice over the war in Gaza. This came during a meeting

with Arab leaders in Beijing. Xi also repeated China's call for an independent Palestinian state.

In South Africa, early election results are suggesting the biggest political shift since the nation became a democracy 30 years ago. Initial

results show support for the ruling ANC Party falling well below 50 percent. And that could mean the party is forced into a coalition with its

rivals. Final results are expected by Sunday.

And 7 million people have been displaced by the civil war in Sudan, according to a U.N. report. Intense fighting between the army and the

paramilitary, Rapid Support Forces, has gripped the country since May 2023. The U.N. special adviser warns the situation is a genocide risk.

We're going to a short break. You're watching CNN.





JIMENEZ: The day began about an hour ago with some questions for the judge. He reread some of the instructions, some of his instructions to the

jury. The jury also wants to review testimony from two key witnesses.

Now Trump has pleaded not guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records involving payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels. For some

insight, let's bring in Jeffrey Swartz, a former judge for Miami-Dade County in Florida.

Great to see you. Now. Look, the jury is currently hearing a readback of four separate parts of witness testimony from David Pecker, the former

publisher, and Michael Cohen.

But significantly, two parts that they've asked for had to do with a 2015 Trump Tower meeting, where essentially Pecker, Cohen and Trump allegedly

created the catch and kill scheme here. The jury is currently hearing a readback of Pecker's testimony right now.

But the fact that they asked for Pecker and Michael Cohen's testimony about that meeting, does that signify anything to you about where this jury is as

far as what they want to know right now?

JEFF SWARTZ, LAW PROFESSOR AND FORMER JUDGE: Well, there's two ways to look at this.

Number one, remember that they state in their closing argument, specifically asked for the jury to go through everything in a chronological

order as they did in the closing argument and review each and every witness' testimony especially as it might corroborate Michael Cohen.

To the same extent they might be looking at the idea that the conspiracy that is Donald Trump's knowledge of the catch and kill and the payoffs to

people began with that meeting. And they clearly -- he was aware of everything that was going on.

And that is an important factor, too. So I think that we're not quite sure where they are. I don't think we will know until we get some more

questions. And even then, to be honest with you, I've been doing this for 50 years. I have a hard time second guessing juries or trying to figure out

where they are.

Most of the time the prognosticators are wrong. So I don't really want to give you any idea of exactly where they are right now simply because this

is just not enough information.

JIMENEZ: If there's one thing we know about juries is that you can't predict what they're going to do. So that's probably a safe bet on your


Now one relevant note that the judge made and is relevant to what they're asking for is that the judge said, even if you find the testimony of

Michael Cohen to be believable, you may not convict the defendant solely upon that testimony unless you find it was corroborated.

So that could be a moment where they're trying to corroborate, based on David Pecker's testimony.

I want to ask you about another part of the jury instruction, though, because a lot has been made about it outside of court, the claims by some,

including former president Trump, that the jury does not have to be unanimous in its charges here.

That's not really what the judge said, that they have to be unanimous in what they decide for these charges. But they don't have to be unanimous in

a specific part of what was unlawful about the separate crime here.

Can you distinguish out what the jury has said here and why that's so important?


In order for there to be a conviction on the issue of -- a felony conviction on the issue of falsifying records, you have to show not only

that they were falsified but the fact that the purpose behind it was to help hide a violation of another law.

And there were three separate theories that were set forth by the state as to how that could be accomplished. Now what the instruction says is that

you don't have to be unanimous as to one theory or the other.

You can have jurors believing a specific theory that's different than others. But as long as they agree that there was an underlying crime that

was being committed, that's all that's necessary to satisfy their vote, that particular juror's vote, for a guilty verdict.

And so therefore, they are unanimous on the issue that there was a falsification and they don't need to be unanimous as to the reason behind

it, as long as one -- their reason behind it, that is the jury's reason, is one of those three theories that were set forth by the judge and by the

state during the time of the instructions.


JIMENEZ: Yes. And look, while we do have to go here, just quickly, I just want to, for everyone, put in perspective.

Nothing there is out of the ordinary, correct?

SWARTZ: No, nothing is out of the ordinary. You have to remember that the instruction in that regard is new. There's no pattern instruction for the

judge to follow. So he had to create his own instruction. So it's new in the context that it applies to Donald Trump specifically.

But it's not new if the charges are brought against somebody else. This will probably be the pattern that will be used from now on.

JIMENEZ: All right, Jeffrey Swartz, really appreciate your perspective as always, thanks for being with us.

And for everyone else, we're going to take a quick break, stay with us.




GIOKOS: Welcome back.

A new Swedish study suggests there may be a link between tattoos and an increased risk of lymphoma, a type of blood cancer that affects the immune


But some scientists are questioning the findings and say a much more investigation is needed. CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard joins us now

with more.

Jacqueline, great to have you on. I tell you, a lot of people in this office are very worried about the study.

Should they be concerned?

Tell us about whether, how much more investigating and peer reviewed research is required?


Well, there's no need to panic if you do have tattoos. And what the researchers did, they looked at nearly 12,000 people.

And among this sample group, they found that those people who had tattoos showed a 21 percent increased risk of malignant lymphoma compared with

people who had no tattoos. But the reason why I said there's no need to panic, this is just a correlation. It does not imply causation.

And the researchers say we need to study this further to see what exactly is behind this possible link. They think possibly it might have some thing

to do with tattoo ink itself, because often we know that ink often has carcinogenic chemicals in it.

But again, we just really need more research in this area to see what's going on. Lymphoma itself is rare. So that's why I had that takeaway

message of, this is an area that needs more study.

But if you have tattoos, no need to panic at this time.

GIOKOS: It's actually very few people that I know that don't have tattoos. I mean, I think in this day and age. And that's why it becomes such a

talking point even in the office.

So the question is, is there more of a risk if you have more tattoos?

As you said, that ink might have something to do with that?

So ...

HOWARD: Right and --

GIOKOS: -- what's the deal with that?

HOWARD: That's an interesting question because, in this study, the researchers said they found no evidence to suggest that, if you have more

tattoos, you might be at higher risk.

But again, this is an area that needs more research. But like you said, Eleni, I mean, there are many people who have tattoos here in the United

States. We know that about 32 percent of adults have a tattoo.

So of course, a study like this is going to get a lot of attention and it just seems to be an area that we simply need more research to answer some

of these questions.

GIOKOS: In the meantime, my Greek mother is saying, you see, I was right to tell you to never get a tattoo. So I never did.


But all my friends absolutely do have so, Jacqueline, thank you for that.

We'll wait for more research. I think it's important. Jacqueline Howard, great to see you.

That is it for CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi, thanks so much for joining us, stay with CNN. "NEWSROOM" is up next.