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Revolutionary Guards' "Adviser" Killed by Israeli Airstrikes in Aleppo; Confusion Lingers over Cease-Fire Proposal; Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party Short of Majority; One Juror Dismissed in Hunter Biden Trial; Attorney General Merrick Garland Slams Attacks against Justice Department; FDA Advisers Consider MDMA Therapy for PTSD; Franz Kafka Letter up for Auction. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 04, 2024 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): Welcome to the second hour of the show. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi, where the time is 6 in the evening.

Hundreds of millions of votes cast, more than six weeks of polling and billions and billions of dollars spent. The world's biggest democracy is

now counting ballots. India gets set to declare its next leader following a mammoth nationwide election.

Israeli airstrikes in Syria have killed an advisor in Iran to the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to Iranian media. He is

believed to be the first Iranian IRGC member killed by Israel since the alleged attack in Syria in April.

Well, a Chinese lunar lander is on its way back to Earth after a successful mission to the far side of the moon. In a symbolic moment before takeoff,

China reportedly became the first country to display its flag there, permanently facing away from Earth.


ANDERSON: We are closely watching that news out of Syria. Iranian state media report an advisor in Iran's Revolutionary Guard has been killed in

Israeli airstrikes in Aleppo. The reported incident happened early on Monday.

He is believed to be the first member of the Revolutionary Guard to be killed by Israel since April when several top commanders died in the

bombing of Iran's embassy compound in Damascus.

Fred Pleitgen following this story, for us from Berlin.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Becky. And it's certainly a lot of the details of all this still remain

quite murky. But we are discerning though, especially from Syrian state media that reported about this earlier today and also yesterday as well.

Apparently there were a bunch of airstrikes that took place which the Syrians blame on the Israelis. This happened early Monday morning at around

12:20 am local time in the Aleppo province of Syria.

So not the town of Aleppo but the area around that. Of course, we know from the Syrian civil war, for instance, that Aleppo does have a lot of military

bases around it, a lot of military installations but also a lot of industrial sites that, in the past, have been used by various militias and

other forces that were fighting on the side of Bashar al-Assad.

The IRGC being one of them as well. So now what Iranian semi state media is saying is they say that one of the people that was killed in these various

strikes that took place was apparently an advisor of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran.

There are some photos that have already popped up of this individual but also of a funeral, claiming to be his funeral. But its unclear whether or

not that funeral actually happened in Syria or whether or not it happened inside of Iran.

Nevertheless, of course, this could be a moment of extreme tension between Iran and Israel. Of course, as you mentioned, we did have the bombing of

that embassy compound of the Iranians in Damascus that happened on April 1st, killing several top Revolutionary Guard commanders.

The Iranians, of course, blame that on Israel. Israel never claiming responsibilities but then there was that -- a counter strike by the

Iranians using drones and ballistic missiles to hit Israeli territory.

And that strike originating from Iranian territory for the first time. And now, of course, the big thing about this possible new strike is the fact

that the Iranians had said that their complete strategic doctrine had changed after those strikes on their embassy compound.

And that going forward, if there was an attack by Israel on Iranian territory or Iranian assets in the region, that they would strike back from

Iranian territory again. So we'd have to wait and see what happens next. Right now, the Israelis have not claimed responsibility for this yet.

ANDERSON: And therein lies the reason for this being a top story here on CNN. Thank you.

There seemed to be contradicting messages coming from the U.S. and Israel over a ceasefire and hostage proposal in Gaza.

The three-stage plan announced by U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday, Mr. Biden said the plan to release hostages, pause hostilities and later

rebuild Gaza had come from Israel.

But Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu then seemed to undermine the proposal, vowing to continue the war until Hamas was destroyed. Well, this

comes as four more Israeli hostages have now been confirmed dead.


Mounting more pressure on Mr. Netanyahu to reach some sort of deal.

But he is walking a political tightrope. Hardliners from the right wing are threatening to topple the coalition government if Netanyahu accepts this

deal. I want to bring in our reporter in Jerusalem, Jeremy Diamond. Also, Kylie Atwood at the State Department.

I think before we move on, Jeremy, and talk about your latest reporting from Jerusalem, Kylie, what do we understand to be the position of the U.S.

with regard this ceasefire proposal?

It seems there's an awful lot of confusion about a deal that Joe Biden put on the table last Friday and said, Hamas, it's yours to take.


So what the U.S. is saying is that this is a three-part deal. There would be a considerable amount of negotiation that would have to happen in order

for all of those phases to happen in sequence.

And not all of the details have been figured out. So they're trying to essentially give credence to the fact that you can interpret what is on the

table in different ways.

They're also trying to shrink what appears to be this very clear public daylight between what the U.S. is saying about this phase deal and what

Israel is saying about this phase deal, because we heard yesterday from John Kirby at the National Security Council that the U.S. fundamentally

agrees with Netanyahu, with Israel.

That Hamas should not be able to have the capacity to carry out another October 7th but that is not actually what Netanyahu is saying. Netanyahu is

saying that Hamas needs to be completely eliminated, not just prevented, stunted from carrying out another October 7th.

So there are fundamental disagreements in the public space. However, the United States is also saying that they are completely confident -- those

are the words of the spokesperson here at the State Department yesterday -- that Israel would accept the deal if Hamas accepts the deal.

So they're saying, yes, there's some confusion here about the details of what this deal would actually look like. But fundamentally, they are saying

that they believe that Israel would accept it if Hamas accepts it, effectively putting Netanyahu and the Israeli government in a box here

because they are saying that it was an Israeli proposal.

And there's no reason that they wouldn't accept it. So we're just really waiting to see what happens next because obviously the ball is in Hamas'

court. If they accept this deal outright, which the likelihood of that is probably low. We'll have to see what Israel does next. But the U.S. is

putting a lot of pressure on Israel to say yes to this deal.

While Netanyahu is trying to deflect a bit from what the specifics that were put on the table.

ANDERSON: So Joe Biden, Jeremy, has said he wants to see an end to this war. This war must end. It has gone on for too long. There's been an awful

lot of pressure, a sort of drip feed of pressure from the international community on Benjamin Netanyahu now to find a solution for this conflict,

to return the hostages home, to get a cease-fire.

And to move Gaza into a day after next phase, for the Palestinians who have survived this war. Part of the sort of calculus for many people has been

about whether Benjamin Netanyahu himself can survive this pressure.

I mean, he continues to say he wants to see an end to Hamas as a military entity and the release of all the hostages. Your latest reporting adds some

real substance to where Benjamin Netanyahus stands domestically.

What have you found?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's no question that the Israeli prime minister is in not only a diplomatic but really a political

bind here in Israel as it relates to the ceasefire proposal.

I mean, this is a proposal that the Israeli government put on the table. At this point, we've gotten past any suggestion that President Biden

mischaracterized the proposal.

No, this is what the proposal is. There's no question that President Biden is trying to frame it as a way to end the war, both for his domestic

political audience but also because a number of diplomats involved in these negotiations believe that this is the best way to sell this proposal to

Hamas, to convince Hamas.


That even though there isn't an upfront commitment to a permanent ceasefire in this deal, which is what Hamas wanted in the last round of negotiations,

that, effectively, this is a way to end the war and that this proposal will eventually lead to a permanent ceasefire.

But the Israeli prime minister has different interests. He wants to frame this as simply a way to get out some of the hostages, a way to get a brief

ceasefire in place but insisting that he will not give up on the goals of the war; namely the goal of destroying Hamas.

The problem, Becky, is that not only has the Israeli prime minister not been successful in convincing the far-right parties in his governing

coalition that this is a good deal, that it's not going to lead to an end of the war.

But there are also so now concerns in the Israeli government that the Israeli prime minister in doing what he's doing, in so talking publicly

about this, not leading to an end to the war, is perhaps undermining the proposal itself in the way in which the United States and the mediators

involved are trying to sell it to Hamas.

And that could prove problematic. Now we are still waiting to see what Hamas' response will be. We know that they said on Friday that they

responded, quote, "positively" to the speech by the president.

But we still don't know if they are going to continue to demand a permanent ceasefire, a commitment to a permanent ceasefire upfront, at the beginning

before entering the implementation phase of this deal. So that remains to be seen.

We have seen today that the Israeli prime minister got the support today of two of the ultra-orthodox parties in his coalition, Shas and United Torah

Judaism, both of them standing behind the ceasefire proposal, encouraging its implementation.

That will be helpful to Netanyahu's politics but ultimately Ben Gvir and Smotrich, if they want to, they can bolt from the government, they can

collapse this government and that would leave the Israeli prime minister in the position of likely having to call on Yair Lapid, the opposition leader,

to come into the government.

Something he has said he will do. But in doing so, he would be handing the keys to Yair Lapid to call early elections whenever he wants, effectively

handing his political fate to one of his top rivals, Becky.

ANDERSON: Good to have you both. Thank you.

In the last few hours, the United Nations' human rights office issued a call to end the violence in the West Bank. It says violence carried out by

Israeli security forces and Jewish settlers has dramatically escalated since October the 7th.

Now the U.N. body studied 80 cases among more than 500 documented Palestinian deaths and found what it says are consistent violations of

international human rights law.

It described Israel's use of force there as, quote, "unnecessary and disproportionate."

Well, to mixed and surprising results as votes are being counted in India's massive election. Prime minister Narendra Modi and his allies are ahead,

putting him on track for a rare third term. But early results indicate that rather than the landslide he'd been hoping for, Mr. Modi's far-right party

may not even be able to get an outright majority.

And will have to form a coalition government. Well, these are live pictures outside the BJP headquarters, where Modi's supporters are eagerly awaiting

the results. CNN's Ivan Watson is in New Delhi.

Ivan, Narendra Modi and his party made no secret about what they wanted going into this. They wanted a super majority and a mandate to govern

pretty much uncontested into what would be a second decade of rule.

What happened?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it doesn't look like that landslide victory that the Indian prime minister was boasting

about achieving. It doesn't look like that's going to happen.

And that seems to have been a bit of a surprise I think for everybody here in India after more than six weeks of voting with the votes still being

counted. It does look like Narendra Modi is going to enjoy another term in office.

But his margin of victory looks like it will have shrunk substantially compared to the last national election in 2019. So he had been saying that

his alliance might win as much as 400 seats. And now it looks like his party, the BJP, might not even cross the 272 seat threshold to win its own

majority in the lower house of parliament.

Now Narendra Modi has published a tweet just moments ago and he does appear to be declaring victory, writing, quote, "People have placed their faith in

the NDA" -- that's the National Democratic Alliance -- is blocked for a third consecutive time. This is a historical feat in India's history."

But notice he didn't mention his own party there. He mentioned the broader coalition that it appears he will have to rely on.


A parliamentary coalition to govern, to lead the next government. In the meantime, the opposition is saying, it spinning this as a major setback for

Modi. So Rahul Gandhi, who leads India's National Congress, that's the main opposition party. And its larger India Alliance appears to have done quite


Not winning a majority but have really run Modi's bloc, giving him a run for their money. He's come out and said the country has unanimously and

clearly stated, we do not want Mr. Narendra Modi to be involved with the running of this country.

We do not like the way they have run this country, the way they have attacked the constitution. And that gets at one of the pillars of the

platform that the opposition has run on.

They've been attacking Modi for what they say has been his erosion of democratic freedoms in India, for his erosion, as they put it, of the

secular constitution here in his support of a Hindu nationalist ideology.

ANDERSON: This was always going to be a referendum on Narendra Modi. After all, he's been in power for 10 years. The economy, of course, the world's

fastest, going into this, there was a real sense of confidence from his party and, indeed, those who are allied with it.

If Rahul Gandhi's Congress Party and its allies have now made big gains and big gains enough at least to limit Narendra Modi's power, what does that

mean going forward?

Ultimately, what does this mean for India and the people of India?

WATSON: Well, if these preliminary results and the trends that we see so far, if they do go through, then his electoral mandate will have shrunk.

He will be forced to make deals and govern in a coalition. And he's not done that in his first 10 years in power and he didn't really have to do

that when he was the commissioner of his home state, either.

So that's going to raise some new questions for him about just the potential stability of his future government.

One of the issues that he appears to have run into is an economic one. Yes. India is now the world's fifth largest economy. It is enjoying growth rates

that I think many other -- would be the envy of many other countries.

But there are some big problems on the balance sheet -- youth unemployment, for example. People between the ages of 20-24 have almost 45 percent

unemployment. That is not a small thing and that is going to be a major problem going forward and could have been one of the challenges that Modi

faced in a triumphalist message.

About India leading, the world going forward into this century when people are still having a hard time and they're battling inflation and

unemployment at home. Something might not have been added, might not have added up there.

And then again, there're those questions about democratic freedoms, which, at times Modi and his supporters had to be on the defense about. The

question of why some of his opposition rivals were getting arrested before the election or being investigated for alleged attacks, crimes.

These are all kind of questions that may have come in and made challenges for him. And just a final thought, that the fact that this was unexpected -

- just look at the Indian stock market, Becky. It plunged today after record highs on Monday.

It plunged, dropping nearly 6 percent when it appeared that that initial exit polls were not going to prove true. And that Modi's margin of victory

would not be as huge as what he has enjoyed in the past two national elections. Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating.

Good to have you. Thank you, sir.

And you can follow the results out of India online, of course, find out why they'll be felt well beyond the nation's borders. We will take a closer

look inside the country. The economy is booming but the gap between rich and poor is growing. You heard Ivan talk about unemployment.

The rural poor, another big constituency that felt very much underrepresented going into this election. Keep an eye on what happens and

what these full results are there on CNN Digital.

Well, still to come, a juror in a Hunter Biden's historic gun trial has just been dismissed.


The latest from the courthouse where opening statements are expected to get underway today. That is just ahead.

Plus attorney general Merrick Garland faces questions about his leadership at the U.S. Justice Department as the House Judiciary Committee hearing

gets underway. Keeping an eye on both of those. More on that after this.




ANDERSON: New in the last hour, we've learned a juror has been dismissed in Hunter Biden's federal gun trial.

That announcement from the judge coming just before opening statements got underway today. Prosecutors will spell out their accusations that Hunder

Biden was an active drug user when he bought a revolver at have Delaware gun shop in 2018.

Biden pleaded not guilty to unlawfully purchasing and possessing a firearm while abusing drugs, which in the States is a violation of federal law.

CNN's chief legal affairs correspondent Paula Reid is live outside the federal courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware.

And the news we're just hearing is that a jury member has been dismissed.

Do we understand why?

PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it doesn't appear that there was any political or safety concern here.

Said this juror just didn't realize she had to come to court every day. This trial is expected to last anywhere from four days to two weeks. So she

lives an hour away and didn't want to endure that commute.

We know a little bit about her yesterday from jury selection. She is unemployed. She said she was vaguely aware of the case. Gets her news from

YouTube and knew that it had something to do with drug addiction.

But she says she only showed up yesterday because her dad took the day off from work to bring her here.

They've lost that juror, though, again, doesn't appear to be political or concern for her safety being part of this historic case and said, she just

doesn't want to travel every day, which is of course, part of your civic responsibility if you are in jury duty.

She has been replaced by an alternate juror and opening statements are underway. Prosecutors are up first and they are reminding the jury that,

quote, "no one is above the law."

Could say, quote, "no one is allowed to lie on a federal form," not even Hunter Biden. And its interesting, you hear a lot of similar themes in

these opening arguments from prosecutors to the ones we heard about eight weeks ago, with the opening statements of the Trump trial up in New York.

Prosecutors insisting that they are bringing a case which has faced skepticism but this one, of course, and the Trump one because they want to

show people that look, no one is above the law, doesn't matter who you are.

We're also hearing similar themes from defense attorneys, both in the Trump case and in this case. Hunter Biden's lawyers arguing that this is part of

an effort to interfere with the 2024 election. And then Hunter Biden is only being charged in this case because of who he is.

Very similar arguments to those that Trump's lawyers made over the past two months up in New York. But this is of course, the first of two criminal

trials Hunter Biden will face. The next trial is scheduled for September in Los Angeles and not focus on alleged tax violations.


ANDERSON: Good to have you, Paula.

Busy time in these U.S. courts these days. Thank you.

Attorney general Merrick Garland is in the hot seat on Capitol Hill. Members of the House Judiciary Committee are grilling him on a host of

topics. But Republican members are particularly interested in what they claim is the weaponization of the Department of Justice with the DOJ under

the attorney general's tenure.

These are live pictures coming to us from Washington, D.C. Garland has been slamming or, for his part, Garland slamming repeated attacks and what he

described as conspiracy theories have floated by Republicans. The hearing is now underway. I want to bring in CNN's Katelyn Polantz, joining me live

from Washington.

What's Garland been saying?

I assume he's on the offensive at this point against these allegations of bias, correct?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: He is on the offensive in a very uncharacteristic fashion for this attorney general.

What Merrick Garland is doing right now is delivering his prepared remarks.

Ones we were able to obtain at CNN earlier this morning. And in those remarks, he is saying a couple things.

One, he's saying, when the House Republicans want to hold him in contempt, they want to hold them in contempt right now because he refuses to turn

over an audio recording of Joe Biden sitting for an interview with special counsel Robert Hur, in an investigation of Biden's handling of classified


Garland is saying, I will not back down. You are not getting the audiotape and one of the things he said is he says there is certain members of the

House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight Committee -- meaning Republicans -- are seeking contempt as a means of obtaining, for no

legitimate purpose, sensitive law enforcement information.

And Garland wants to protect that law enforcement information as well as future investigations and witnesses. In addition to that, on the offensive,

Garland is saying he will not be intimidated. And he's calling out Republicans for a lot of other things that they are doing to put the

Justice Department under attack right now.

He is saying that I see that you want to defend offices within the Justice Department, including special counsel office work.

Not only was there about her investigation, the Office of Special Counsel, Jack Smith has brought in two federal criminal cases and is continuing to

pursue them against Donald Trump, trying to take the former president to trial.

And then Garland, also, is quite unhappy about misleading information that Donald Trump has been spreading. And the Republicans have been fueling

ideas that the Justice Department was behind that conviction of Trump in New York in a state case, a totally separate proceeding government court.

All of it, the Justice Department wasn't behind that conviction and Garland is quite unhappy about misleading and false statements that Trump has made

regarding how the FBI conducted its search of Mar-a-Lago in 2022.

So all of those things are part of this that Garland is speaking about right now and we're going to have to see where this hearing goes from here.

Going to be quite combative.

ANDERSON: So these are allegations by the Republicans on this committee, of bias. Our colleague, Zachary Wolf, crunched the numbers on DOJ bias, as

it were. And he found Katelyn none of the lawmakers facing federal charges. Federal charges right now, nine are Republican and eight are Democratic.

Of the governors recently convicted in federal court two are Republican, two Democrats, which begs a question.

Do the numbers really prove that justice is blind?

POLANTZ: The numbers, right now -- and even just what we're living through on a day-to-day basis, Becky, is that the Department of Justice is bringing

cases against Republicans in politics and Democrats in politics.

There are those cases ongoing about Donald Trump, that House Republicans are quite unhappy about. They also are unhappy about the jailing of January

6th riot defendants who were violent toward police. That is something they are also on record being critical of, which the court system has fully


A lot of those people plead guilty and get very lengthy sentences for how violent they were on January 6th in support of Donald Trump toward the

police protecting the Capitol.

And then on top of that, this is just one of those things that, right now in federal court, the Justice Department is prosecuting the son of Joe

Biden, Hunter Biden, in Delaware and there is an ongoing trial of sitting Democratic senator Bob Menendez in Manhattan federal court as well. Becky.


ANDERSON: Fascinating. Just in time. Thank you.

Well, more troubles brewing for the social media giant TikTok. An explosive new lawsuit accuses the popular video sharing app of creating a virtual

strip club, where kids can be abused. The suit was filed by Utah's attorney general, who claims TikTok's live stream feature allows the sexual

exploitation of minors.

Saying adults can use the site to encourage children to engage in, quote, "illicit acts on camera for cash payments."

TikTok has pushed back on the claim, saying it has measures in place to protect young people. CNN's Clare Duffy joins us with more on this lawsuit.

And this will -- this will really -- the substance of what we are discussing here will really concern many of our viewers out there. I'm


What can you tell us about this suit and about the live feature that Utah officials are objecting to here?

CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: Yes, Becky, this suit does take aim directly at this livestream feature called TikTok Lives, where users can

post live videos. They can interact with viewers in real time, respond to comments.

And viewers can also send these monetary gifts, which are often represented by colorful emojis, to the users conducting live streams.

So live streamers will often offer a shout out in their live video or some other incentive to get people to send them those monetary gifts. But this

lawsuit claims that those incentives, this incentive structure where people are performing in real time for money could lead to the exploitation of


It claims that adults can encourage children to perform illicit acts on camera in exchange for those cash payments. The lawsuit also claims that

TikTok has known about this for some time. And it alleges that TikTok intentionally designed those animated gift tokens to be like cute, colorful


It says clearly aimed at children. Now TikTok has pushed back against these claims. A spokesperson told me yesterday that the platform has industry-

leading policies and measures to help protect the safety and well-being of teens.

He said that creators must be at least 18 years old in order to use that Lives feature. But this lawsuit claims that TikTok doesn't have sufficient

age verification and enforcement measures to ensure that it really is only adults using this Lives feature, Becky.

ANDERSON: Its good to have you.

Thank you.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. Still to come, is a third term in store for Indian prime minister Narendra Modi? We're going to

speak to a political expert as votes are being counted in what is the world's biggest election.





ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson, just after 6:30; in fact, about 6:35 here in Abu Dhabi.

Well, India's prime minister Narendra Modi has claimed victory in the country's general election and appears to be on track to lead India for a

third straight term. But an important reminder, election officials are still counting the votes.

Right now, Modi's right-wing Bharatiya Janata party and its allies are leading but they remain far below the 400 seat super majority that Modi

aimed to win in the lower house of parliament.

Our next guest has extensively researched India and its politics. Milan Vaishnav is a senior fellow and director of the South Asia program at the

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, he also hosts the "Grand Tamasha" podcast, joining us today in somewhat of a surprised state, I

think it would be fair to say.

When we talked to you about joining me on this show, I think this time yesterday, I think your position was slightly different from that which we

will discuss.

Now what do you make of what we have seen so far?


events. Before this campaign started in April, every pre-election survey suggested that Narendra Modi and his BJP would win handily a single party

majority, their third straight since 2014.

Exit polls, which were released after all the voting took place just two days ago, suggested the same. But when we woke up this morning, the outcome

looked quite different. The -- Modi's coalition, his party plus some regional allies, they do appear set to claim a majority. But it has fallen

far short of what you said at the outset.

The 400 seat super majority that they had campaigned on. So this does come as a pretty striking rebuke I'd say, to the prime minister and his party.

ANDERSON: Of course, the official results are not yet in, so were talking about where we see where we see these results trending at this point.

I just have to ask you how did everybody get this so wrong?

I mean, Modi has dominated Indian politics since he first took power a decade ago. And we can talk about how Indian politics will be shaken up by

this election if it trends the way that its going at present.

But I have to ask, how did everybody get this so wrong?

VAISHNAV: Well, I should say there were some very brave souls out there who didn't get it wrong -- journalists, experts and others who sensed that

something was amiss in all of the survey data, that the support for Modi and the BJP in particular was softer than we've been led to believe.

But I think we've come on the backs of two successive general elections that were really wave elections, right, that showed overwhelming support

for the prime minister and his party.

We've gotten used to in opposition has been leaderless, that has been fragmented, that's also been, let's face it at the receiving end of a lot

of persecution by the state -- opposition leaders, jailed bank accounts frozen, curbs on freedom of speech and the like.

So many people thought they're fighting a popular incumbent with one hand tied behind their back. And so that just adds to the level of surprise. I

think the major vulnerability for the BJP and Modi this election has been that there has not been a single overarching issue or narrative that's

defined this contest.

And so in the absence of that, what we've got in a federal country like India is a series of state by state, local contests, in which more mundane,

parochial issues really matter.


Jobs, inflation, local leaders, incumbency, caste, ethnicity, religion -- and those seem to have worked against the prime minister and his party.

ANDERSON: Who has been this sort of assertive, aspiring great power; the world's fastest-growing economy. I sit, looking at India from the

perspective of where we are here in the UAE, and you're seeing this great surge of subsidies as India looks to take on the kind of derisking of the

China story by so many parts of the world.

So I guess it's two questions here.

What does this election, if it goes the way, it looks as if it's going what does it mean for India domestically and perhaps, more importantly for our

audience watching this interview, what does it mean on the global stage?

VAISHNAV: So I think, number one, it's going to make a government much more deliberative, much more consultative and much more inclusive. We can

no longer have a government where the prime minister and a handful of close aides essentially dictate policy from up on high.

Because if they move in that direction, their coalition partners will exit and they have the power and the authority, if trends continue, to actually

topple this government.

So I think that's the first big shift. Now, a lot of investors I think view this, with some trepidation but they really shouldn't. India has

experienced the fastest growth rates it's ever had as an independent country when it's been under coalition government.

In 1991, when India opened up its economy to market forces, that was by a coalition government. And really from 1991 until the day Modi took power in

May 2014, you've had coalition governments and that's coincided with some of the economic boom years in India.

It is going to be a messier process. It might be a more incremental process in terms of reform. But this is not going to lead to a wholesale reversal

in India's outlook. And furthermore, if you think about foreign policy, given the state of geopolitics, a declining America, an expansionist China,

a revanchist Russia.

These are all things that are going to continue to put India at the central, the center of global affairs, irrespective of what this government

looks like.

ANDERSON: Yes, its a fascinating time. It's good to have you to drill down on what we are seeing in real time here on the results of India's election.

Good to have you, sir.

Please keep an eye on your CNN app for those official results.

It is dubbed the airport of the future and it is the focus of today's Market Watch.

Dubai's been busy building what it says will be the world's biggest airport, Al Maktoum International is also known as Dubai World Central. And

it's not just an airport, it's touted as the eventual centerpiece of a whole new city.

CNN's Richard Quest spoke with Dubai airports CEO Paul Griffiths, who says, as the region grows, so does the need to move people in and out.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: This is a phenomenally big, complicated, expensive project.

PAUL GRIFFITHS, CEO, DUBAI AIRPORTS: But if you look at the growth of Dubai, we need it.

QUEST: No, I'm not questioning whether that, I'm just questioning the problems and difficulties that you're going to have doing it.

GRIFFITHS: Indeed, it's going to be a big challenge, probably the largest airport expansion and creation project that the world has ever seen. But

let's face it, in Dubai, when I arrived 17 years ago, it was 30 million.

Now, annual customer number, 17 years later, it's 91 million this year. So if you do the math on that, the initial phase of 150 million might actually

a bit -- be a bit too small.


ANDERSON: Taking a very short break, back after this.





ANDERSON: A panel of drug advisers, is meeting today to consider whether the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should approve the use of MDMA, the

illegal drug commonly known as ecstasy, to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

If approved MDMA therapy would be the first potential new treatment for PTSD in 25 years but the data on the proposed therapy is already facing

tough scrutiny. Our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins, us now.

So what are we learning at this point?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, its interesting. There's been a lot of enthusiasm around the possible use of psychedelics as


And this particular FDA advisory meeting is going to get a lot of attention because if this carries forth, Becky, I think its going to maybe usher in a

lot of psychedelic medicines in the future.

But if it stalls as you sort of alluded to, there, that could be quite problematic going forward as well. So what's at issue here is post-

traumatic stress, as you mentioned, an unmet need; really hasn't been any therapies in a quarter century.

This is a couple of phase III clinical trials by the company called Lykos pharmaceuticals (sic).

Not huge trials but let me show you what they found here specifically. As you look at some of this data, keep in mind, these were people who got

MDMA, which is methylenedioxy?methamphetamine, and talk therapy versus a placebo and talk therapy.

And what you found there was that the overall reduction in symptoms for those who received MDMA, close to 87 percent compared to placebo, again,

with talk therapy around 69 percent.

And to take it a step further, when we looked at this data, we found that people, they were asked have your symptoms completely gone away?

Have you essentially been treated for your post-traumatic stress?

And what they found there was in the MDMA group, 71 percent of people said yes, symptoms completely gone, versus in the placebo group, 48 percent. So

that's what's got people's attention.

Again. Just wanted to make that point, that both groups got talk therapy and that's I think why the placebo group was so high. Becky, again, a lot

of enthusiasm around this. MDMA is thought of as a psychedelic. It's probably better described as what's known as an empathogen, a drug that can

actually induce empathy.

And the idea that you could treat post-traumatic stress without also conjuring up lots of anxiety, that may be why they think it works so well.

But you see the data at least from those small clinical trials.

ANDERSON: Yes, this is fascinating. A report prepared by the FDA for today's meeting raised some doubts about this therapy.

So what are the concerns?

GUPTA: I, think there's a few concerns but I think the two big ones are, first of all, side effects. I mean MDMA can cause your blood pressure to

increase, heart rate to increase; if someone has some underlying cardiovascular disease, underlying heart disease, might, be problematic for


There's also an impact on the liver. But Becky, let me explain the second concern this way. When you do a blinded study, ideally the person who is

receiving the therapies, whether it be the therapy or a placebo, should not know which they got.

Now you imagine with psychedelics, that's incredibly hard to do because people will generally have a feeling that they've just received a

medication like this. That's very hard to mask as compared to placebo. In fact, let me show you this data that we pulled for you, Becky.


When they actually asked people in retrospect, hey, do you know what you got?

Did you get the MDMA or a placebo?

In the MDMA group, 94 percent of people knew essentially that they'd received the MDMA. And the vast majority of people in the placebo group

knew that they had not. That's going to come up as well, I think as a concern.

Are these truly blinded studies?

ANDERSON: You've been reporting on the potential use of ecstasy to treat PTSD for two decades now.

Why is it such a need for a new treatment option?

Why is so much time going into this?

GUPTA: Yes its curious.

I mean, I think that, Becky, there are times when science and culture clash. We see that with cannabis as well, where the culture just is

overwhelming the scientific developments. So MDMA, like cannabis, is still considered a schedule I substance.

But at the same time, these trials, as you're, as you're saying, they've been going on for some time. I spent some time with this one patient. This

goes back 12 years now, looking at the possibility that these medications could have use.

This was a woman who had been abused. She had been raped as a child. She had significant post-traumatic stress and nothing worked for her. Nothing

worked. She tried everything and nothing worked.

And then she enrolled in a trial on MDMA and, again, this is 12 years ago, back in 2012. Now I'm going to give you just a short snippet of what that

trial looked like for her.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the place where we do the study.

This is where we meet with people and then this is where we do the MDMA sessions.

GUPTA (voice-over): Intense psychotherapy, including eight-hour sessions after taking a capsule of MDMA, of ecstasy. And listen closely. On this

tape you can hear Rachel along with Dr. Missile (ph).

RACHEL, MDMA TRIAL PARTICIPANT (from captions): I really need ...

Keep guiding me, keep guiding me.

I felt as if my whole brain was powered up like a Christmas tree all at once. Voom!


GUPTA: So again, 12 years ago and there has been a lot of stories like Rachel's since that point; she said 90 percent of her symptoms went away

within weeks, again, for somebody who nothing had worked previously.

So I think these types of stories along with the data that I shared earlier, Becky, are going to be what's at the root of this FDA advisory

meeting today.

ANDERSON: Its fascinating. And its always good to have you, mate. Thank you very much. Indeed,

Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the house for you with, well, news, you can use, folks.

Well, Indias prime minister is appearing now in New Delhi. Narendra Modi has claimed victory in the country's general election, the biggest in the

world. Here are live pictures. Final results expected to be announced in the coming hours with Mr. Modi's BJP led alliance projected to win a

majority in what he calls an historical election.

This of course, isn't Mr. Modi himself but he is there waiting to speak but -- there he is. But preliminary results show they'll get far below the 400

seat super majority that prime minister Narendra Modi had aimed to capture in what is the 5-4-3 seat lower house of parliament.

CNN will monitor this. You can follow this story, of course, on your CNN app.

We will be back right after this.





ANDERSON: Well, it's been more than 100 years since author Franz Kafka wrote to a friend detailing his struggle with writer's block but that

letter is still around today. And you, my friends, could own it.

Sotheby's in London says the one-page letter was penned in the spring of 1920, around the time that Kafka was being treated for tuberculosis. Kafka,

best known for his 1915 story, "The Metamorphosis," struggled with anxiety, with hopelessness and isolation for much of his life, themes that came to

define his work.

The letter is expected to sell for up to $115,000. The auction runs from June 26 to June the -- sorry -- July the 10th at Sotheby's in London. I

leave you with that as we close out this show, CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Stay with CNN. "NEWSROOM" here is up next.