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Connect the World

Blinken Calls on Hamas to Accept Ceasefire Proposal; Jordan's King: People in Gaza Need Action, Not Words; Australian Mining Tycoon Proposes Gaza Aid Delivery System; Forrest has been Involved in Renewables and Hydrogen Projects; Big Day for U.S. Economic News. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired June 12, 2024 - 09:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI HOST: Well happening now U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Qatar, saying that Hamas has proposed quote, numerous

changes to the ceasefire proposal currently on the table. It is 4 pm in Doha, where the news conferences just wrapped up.

It's 5 pm here in Abu Dhabi and Becky Anderson. You're watching "Connect the World". Also happening over the next two hours during this show, the

Biden family and the political world are reacting to the U.S. President's son being found guilty of gun charges. And a sign of strong ties between

Russia and Cuba.

That's a source of tension to the United States. A Russian naval frigate has arrived in the waters off the island nation. And major business news

out today about 30 minutes before the opening of the stock markets in New York. And this is the state of play as far as the futures are concerned a

positive read on the latest consumer inflation in the U.S.

Putting some wind into the futures market at least those numbers showing that inflation called more than expected that as we are of course, looking

ahead to the Federal Reserve's meeting which potential interest rate cut could be signaled at these numbers or anything. Any indication the markets

today may open higher.

Well, 250 days into this war, new United Nations inquiry is painting a brutal picture of war crimes committed by both Israel and Hamas. The 200

page report covers actions starting with the Hamas terror attacks through the end of 2023. War crimes cited in the report include intentionally

attacking civilians, sexual violence and torture.

Were report coming out as Hamas asks for amendments in its response to the latest ceasefire and hostage release proposal. And on Israel's northern

border with Lebanon, Hezbollah says it launched multiple rocket barrages towards an Israeli military base responding to the death of a senior

Hezbollah commander and three others killed in an Israeli airstrike.

Let's get to where we want to be on all of these stories. And that is with our correspondents -- there's an awful lot to unpack here. Oren Liebermann

is connecting us from Tel Aviv. Jomana Karadsheh is in London today. We are also expecting to hear from Kylie Atwood who is just setting herself up in


She has been at that press conference held by the Secretary of State Antony Blinken with his foreign minister counterpart, the Prime Minister there in

Qatar. Kylie, let's start with you. We just heard the very latest from the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister of Qatar on where these hostage

and ceasefire talks stand, explain, if you will?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's right. So this is the first time that the U.S. is responding to that response that Hamas

gave to the proposal that was on the table. What the Secretary of State said, is that Hamas put forth multiple proposed changes. And from his

perspective, some of those are workable, and some of those are not.

So where they go from here is the major question? The Secretary was obviously a bit frustrated saying that Hamas could have just outright

accepted this, given that many of the parts that was in this proposal, mirrored aspects that they had already put forth in previous iterations of

these ongoing negotiations between the two parties.

He's also made it very clear that the world is behind the proposal that was on the table before Hamas, but nevertheless, these changes that Hamas has

come forth, and is now looking for the Secretary of State said that some of them are workable, and some of them are not, but they're going to have to

see what happens here in the next few days.

He said in the coming days, the United States, the Egyptians, the Qataris, and the Israelis, they're all going to try and work together and in his

words to urgently figure out if they can bridge the gaps here.


He said he believes some of these gaps are potentially bridgeable. He's hopeful. But at the same time, there was a sense that there is a moment

here where they are at a crossroads, because it is unclear exactly where they go from here. If they can't bridge some of the demands that Hamas is

now laying down. The Secretary of State refused to say if he would characterize Hamas' response as a rejection of the proposal that was on the


We've heard that from some Israelis, he essentially was saying there's just more conversations that need to be had. And I do think, Becky, it's worth

noting that he also said that in the coming weeks, the United States is going to be rolling out, along with some of the, you know, Middle Eastern

partners he has been working with on these proposals for the day after plan in Gaza, what it would look like to reconstruct Gaza and the like.

And that will obviously push forward momentum to potentially come to a deal, but it's very clear that the United States right now was not exactly

thrilled with what Hamas put on the table. But they still feel that it is necessary to continue these talks to try and come to some sort of pathway


ANDERSON: Let's hear from Secretary of State Antony Blinken then.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Hamas has proposed numerous changes to the proposal that was on the table. We discussed those changes

last night with different colleagues and today with the Prime Minister. Some of the changes are workable, some are not.


ANDERSON: Want to bring in Oren Liebermann, who is in Tel Aviv, you were also listening into that press conference where Kylie Atwood is there in

Doha. And the Soviet state went on to say the following. Israel has accepted the proposal. Hamas has not in principle, that's not to say

they've rejected it.

They have neither accepted nor rejected this at this point. There's been some confusion Oren, as to whether Israel has actually signed up

categorically for this latest plan announced by Joe Biden 12 days ago. Can you just provide some clarity on what has been a very confusing narrative

from Israel?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the U.S. certainly believes that Israel is on board with the proposal on the table that of course may change

as Hamas tries to work in some of their changes. As we just heard from Secretary of State Antony Blinken some are workable, some are not.

But as it stands right now, the U.S. clearly believes Israel is on board with this proposal. How categorical is that? Have they officially signed a

document? In all likelihood not, but the U.S. believes they are on board. And you heard that very much in Blinken's comments.

Now, we saw the Hamas response as it came in, and we're learning a bit more about it through the words of Blinken and the country Prime Minister and

Foreign Minister, we also know from an Israeli official last night. Israel views this as a rejection, as a Hamas rejection of what's on the table.

We'll hear more from Israeli officials later on tonight after a holiday here. And we'll see if that sheds any more light on this, as we've seen so

many times in the past. It's in the details here. And it's in the details that this has fallen apart before. But clearly Blinken and the countries

the U.S. that is, see a chance here a window.

How big is that window? It's not clear that it's very large at all. But there is an opportunity to try to move forward. And as the country foreign

minister said, bridge the gaps here as part of a negotiation and that's what this has been difficult though it gets when you get down to sort of

the last few meters there.

This is where the details of caused it to break apart again. And as Kiley pointed out, where do you go from here if the U.S. backed Israeli supported

internationally back proposal doesn't go through? It's not clear that there is a plan B if this doesn't work?

ANDERSON: Oren, just briefly get me the very latest and important developments on Israel's northern border if you will, before we talk to


LIEBERMANN: Of course last night, Israel carried out a strike in Southern Lebanon that killed a Hezbollah Commander Talib Sami Abdullah, one of the

more senior commanders Israel is killed since late January as well as several other Hezbollah militants. Hezbollah has responded with some 200

rockets fired on Northern Israel to this point, sparking fires.

And according to Israel police forcing evacuations in a region that has already seen tens of thousands of citizens evacuated. This is above and

beyond an already volatile region. From one side it doesn't appear that what happens in Northern Israel affects the ceasefire negotiations and

that's critical.

From the other side, Becky, what happens in Northern Israel could start another front and another battle or war between Israel and Hezbollah. We

have seen that threat from Israeli officials in the past.


ANDERSON: Yeah, that's been a real concern. Good to have you Oren Liebermann is in Tel Aviv. Jomana let me bring you in here because we've

been talking about the potential for a ceasefire and hostage deal, which would in the first instance, at least during the sort of temporary first

phase of that ceasefire, flood the -- are flood the Gaza strip with humanitarian aid, which is so sorely needed.

Meantime, we have now heard a damning U.N. report that calls out both Hamas and Israel for actions since on and since October the 7th. Just explain, if

you will?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, these are more than 200 pages of findings that were published in these two damning reports by the U.N.

Commission of Inquiry that has been for months now investigating, as you mentioned, events that occurred on October the 7th.

And since then, you have one report that focuses on what happened in Israel on October 7th. And they are they found that Hamas, six other Palestinian

armed groups, and they say in some cases, also, Palestinians in civilian clothing, they say committed war crimes. And these war crimes include

intentionally directing attacks against civilian's murder, or willful killing, torture, taking hostages, including children and more.

Now, they also say that they identified quote, patterns indicative of sexual violence and concluded that these were not isolated incidents. But

they were perpetrated in similar ways, in several locations primarily against Israeli women. And then you've got the report on the situation in

Gaza, on Israel's military operations there.

And they found that they say that Israel's committed crimes against humanity and war crimes, and these include using starvation as a method of

warfare where they say that Israel has imposed a total siege on Gaza. And that amounts to collective punishment of a civilian population.

And intentionally directing attacks against civilians and civilian structures. And what they say here, Becky, is what you're seeing there,

this immense number of civilian casualties, the devastation across Gaza, the Commission here accusing Israel of using a strategy to cause maximum

damage and disregarding the rules of war of proportionality distinction, and adequate precautions.

They also list other crimes here, accusing the Israelis of committing sexual violence, extermination, murder, or willful killing, forcible

transfer, and more. Now, the Commission says that its investigation had been obstructed by Israel that they were not given access to the occupied

Palestinian territories or Israel.

And but that's no surprise really, because Israel had made its position clear for months saying that it was not going to cooperate with a body that

it is described as anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli and today responding to these findings. Israel says that the U.N. Commission of Inquiry showed

systematic anti-Israeli discrimination.

That, again, they're rejecting accusations here against the IDF and saying that they adhere to international laws, they carry out their own

investigations. And on the accusations, Becky, of sexual violence, Israel is outraged. They say by attempt to draw a quote, false equivalence between

Israeli soldiers and Hamas and they also say that the report disregarded what they say is Hamas using Palestinian civilians as human shields.

ANDERSON: Jomana Karadsheh on that part of the story for us today. It's good to have you Jomana. Thank you very much indeed. Getting food to

starving Palestinians and Australian billionaire has come up with a unique system for delivering -- He joins us with the details just ahead. And

thanks to all of our correspondents who just joined us.




KING ABDULLAH II, JORDAN: The people of Gaza are not looking to us for platitudes and speeches. They want action. And they need that now.


ANDERSON: Jordan's King Abdullah there, saying that Gaza's Palestinians need actions, not words. He was speaking at a donors' conference hosted by

Amman on Tuesday and said aid cannot wait for a ceasefire. My next guest was in the room when King Abdullah issue that call to action and he is

heating it.

Australian mining tycoon Andrew Forrest is offering to build a gate system on the Israel-Gaza border that could boost the amount of aid delivered to

the Palestinians every day. Under his plan, trucks will be scanned on the Gaza side and the cabins detached while supplies are unloaded by NGOs.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Gazan citizens to deliver to communities. Once an empty trailer is reattached, the driver returns to the SafeGates on the

Gaza side where the truck and trailer is rescan to match the exact 3D images connected to the unique Radio Frequency Identification tags on

entry. If there are any discrepancies, the gates will not open and the truck and trailer will be manually inspected.


ANDERSON: Well, Forrest has also committed $5 million dollars for storage warehouses. Andrew is with us today from Sri Lanka to talk more about his

system and a lot more. And it's good to have you. You're on the move, obviously, out of Amman into Sri Lanka for other business today, but it's

good to have you with us.

Let's just park what we started this hour with the fact that there is no ceasefire deal completed, as of yet, King Abdullah yesterday, making it

quite clear. We can't wait for a ceasefire. Palestinians need support on the humanitarian basis and they need it. Now let's start by looking at your

specific plan Safe Gates got an additional slide from your organization's presentation, marking three entry points that don't seem to correspond to

existing crossing.

So this would be new high tech crossings, right. I'm not sure we've got your shot but I certainly think I've got your audio. How long would this

whole plan to implement, if you can hear me?


ANDERSON: How long would your plan take to implement, Andrew? All right, I tell you what, let's take a break and let's see whether we can get Andrew

back at this point because clearly we are struggling with the technology at this point. Let me move on to a story out of the U.S. and see if we can get

Andrew back because this is a really important story.


Hunter Biden's guilty verdict on three federal gun charges Tuesday punctuates but does not end what has been a long and difficult legal saga

for the U.S. President's son. Hunter Biden now faces a separate trial this September in California where he is accused of engaging in a tax avoidance


And he still faces sentencing for his gun trial, which is expected to happen before the presidential election. More details now from CNN's Paula



PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just 90 minutes after Hunter Biden's guilty verdict, CNN got incredible insight

into the case from juror number 10, one big mistake from the defense calling Hunter's daughter Naomi to testify.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I felt I felt bad that they put Naomi as a witness. I think that was probably a strategy that should not have been done. No

daughter should ever have to testify against her dad.

REID (voice-over): Despite feeling badly for Hunter and his battles with addiction. The 12 jurors agreed that they had no choice but to convict

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All 12 Jurors did agree that yes, he knowingly bought a gun when he was an addict or he was addicted to drugs.

REID (voice-over): Although they all voted guilty. Another juror CNN spoke to off camera, question whether the case should have been brought in the

first place saying quote, it seemed like a waste of taxpayer dollars. And the jurors interviewed by CNN said politics played no role in their


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Biden, never really even came in to play for me. His name was only brought up once during the trial. And that's when, I

that's when it kind of sunk in a little bit. But you kind of put that out of your mind.

REID (voice-over): President Biden released a statement after his son's verdict saying in part, I am the president but I am also a dad, Jill and I

love our son and we are so proud of the man he is today. And I will accept the outcome of this case and we'll continue to respect the judicial process

as Hunter considers an appeal.

Hunter also issued a statement after court thanking his wife and supporters saying, I am more grateful today for the love and support I experienced

this last week from Melissa, my family, my friends and my community than I am disappointed by the outcome. And Special Counsel David Weiss made aware

statement defending the case.

DAVID WEISS, SPECIAL COUNSEL & U.S. ATTORNEY FOR DISTRICT OF DELAWARE: Ultimately, this case was not just about addiction, a disease that haunts

families across the United States, including Hunter Biden's family. This case was about the illegal choices defendant made while in the throes of

addiction, his choice to lie on a government form when he bought a gun and the choice to then possess that gun.

REID (voice-over): Paula Reid CNN, Wilmington, Delaware.


ANDERSON: Well you're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson, when we come back, U.S. markets poised to open minutes from now what is a

massive day for America's economy, a key inflation report and a closely watched Federal Reserve announcement happening within hours of each other.

We'll break down what that could mean for your money whether you're watching in the U.S. or wherever you're watching around the world. Stay

with us.



ANDERSON: Right, Andrew Forrest is back with us. And he's in Sri Lanka today was at the Amman humanitarian conference yesterday. That was an

emergency conference co-hosted by Jordan and Egypt to try and get the issue of humanitarian aid into Gaza on the agenda and operating as quickly as


Hundreds of trucks are needed on a daily basis. We know not enough is getting in and King Abdullah yesterday said we cannot wait for a ceasefire.

Andrew Forrest has a plan. It's a specific plan and calls for SafeGates. Andrew, joining us -- now thanks you for joining us.

We'll also talk about the fact that you've committed $5 million for storage warehouses. But why this plan explains what these SafeGates are? Why you

believe they are going to help with access because that is what this is all about at this point and why now?

FORREST: OK, Becky, thank you for the question. In a nutshell, around a million people, including 400,000 children, we see as being in terrible

danger of starvation or starvation event equal to anything we saw in Rwanda. We know we can fix this, this is fully automated. We don't need

anyone with guns, we don't need any soldiers.

And it's so much safer for Israel, completely safe for Gaza. And it will bring in the 210,000 tons of food we need to arrest that starvation event

within three weeks. So we've got to get on with it, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah, and you talking about implementing this, if everybody agrees to it, and that includes Israel implementing this, how quickly?

FORREST: There isn't anyone else everyone wants this to happen. The NGOs have, of course, the people of Palestine, most of all the people of Gaza,

2.3 million people are suffering, the prospect of a very real starvation event. It is Israel has the green light or red light on this technology.

We've not work, Becky. We've spent billions of dollars. We've spent 10 years proving it. It sends vehicles around the world in equivalent 1.5

times a day. And our 3D is forensic way better than any soldier could ever do. So we know it's completely safe. And we need Israel to switch it on.

ANDERSON: We've seen air drops that lead to chaos, a U.S. built pair that is frankly, been a disaster hasn't delivered very much at all. How and why

do you believe this plan will succeed where others have failed?

FORREST: Because they simply cannot deliver the aid. They cannot overwhelm the black market. In fact, they feed the black market. This plan can be up

and running. In two weeks back, the whole three gates, in three weeks we can overwhelm what is very clearly a massive coming out of starvation


If we move and I've given Israel, we've been talking about this, negotiating this with all their soldiers, or their top technical people or

their top military brass for two months. And I've said OK, this Sunday, you need to make a decision -- let us do it, or you don't.


But if you don't, the starvation of potentially million people 400,000 children could well be upon us.

ANDERSON: And the ICC is looking into whether or not at this stage arrest warrants are issued for both Benjamin Netanyahu and Yoav Gallant, who is

the Defense Minister on the issue of using starvation as a weapon of war. So this speaks very specifically to the key issue that is outstanding at

present. King Abdullah made it clear at the conference you attended yesterday that land corridors, Andrew, are key. Let's have a listen.


ABDULLAH II: The land corridor is the most effective method for aid to flow into Gaza. International resources are critically needed to undertake this

urgent endeavor. We must be ready now, to deploy a sufficient number of trucks to deliver aid on a daily basis. Hundreds of trucks are needed

within Gaza.


ANDERSON: As the King said, the world or Gazans need many more trucks and this very specific plan that you are talking about can achieve because aid

deliveries are not getting to the people who need them due to multiple factors including gridlock access, closures and violence against the

convoys once inside the Enclave.

So a couple of questions, do you plan addresses issues? And a really important question here is there room to scale it up, if you can get it

operational and effective?

FORREST: It already is, the plan scales up to 10,000 tons a day, it could do 20,000 tons a day, Becky, if required. If we could keep the food going,

this literally has -- volume cap on it. It's fully automatic. Now if there are blocks inside Gaza, well, we're happy to put a SafeGates inside that

block as well to move it on.

But we're also offering to -- the spine down the middle of Gaza so that aid trucks can move quickly and effectively. It's only about 40 kilometers long

back. So we know we can fix this problem. We know that does not have a starvation event. And these three gates will deliver all the aid that

population needs.

And that's fine. We'll make sure it gets to the people who need it. We want to have the community to deliver the aid not just NGOs.

ANDERSON: There will be people asking and watching this -- I'm sure will applaud your efforts. But we'll be asking why are you getting involved,


FORREST: Well, look, it's the same reason why we got involved in the Ukraine. In the terrible Australian bushfires, we don't have a horse in

this race, Becky. What we're all about is saving human lives preventing totally unnecessary suffering. We'll have a generation of Palestinian kids,

if this goes sour, who will really struggle to forgive humanity.

We've got to head that off, Becky. We have the resources, were willing to put all the capital on the table. We're not asking Israel for any money, no

technology, we're asking for the green light. And we're running into an Israel which is saying, yeah, we really liked this idea. We're trying to

work out what's wrong with it.

But we really liked this idea. So I'm asking them by this Sunday, give us the green light. So we can go ahead because that starvation event, Becky,

is not stopping those 500,000 children are looking down a starvation bell as are a million of their parents. We don't have time to waste that

starvation event has already started, Becky.

ANDERSON: Andrew Forrest, you're a mining magnate, and but you've thrown your weight behind this humanitarian effort. And as I say, with a $5

million provision for -- of cash for storage warehouses as well. Look, you were rightly focused on what is this humanitarian catastrophe.

It is, of course, drawing the world's attention away from other crises, not least one that you are hugely passionate about improving, and that is

climate crisis and climate change. You're spearheading some very ambitious plans and you put a significant amount of money into green hydrogen in an

effort to push the energy transition forward.

Green hydrogen at this point, requires an awful lot of natural gas, fossil fuels as it were you also investing in the technology needed to make green

hydrogen more climate friendly?


FORREST: Yeah, absolutely Becky, look. If I could just say each one of these gates will SafeGates will cost about $20 million. We've said Israel

will pay for each one of those gates. You just got to give us the green light. If I can turn to the environment Becky, what highly technical

company Fortescue is doing is proving that heavy industry does not have to burn fossil fuel.

We can step beyond fossil fuel as a world. Now, what we're lacking here isn't technology. What we're lacking here is character in leaders, people

who look for excuses. Fortescue is a huge industrial company burning around a billion liters of diesel a year.

Give us four years back we will go completely beyond fossil fuel totally real zero, totally green. And we're saying to the world, from the Middle

East, to Africa, to Europe, to North America, you can do, you can as well, that excuses over.


FORREST: If you say you can't, you're right. What about your stage and let somebody in who can?

ANDERSON: So -- what is it about green and green hydrogen that you believe is the kind of killer application here?

FORREST: OK, so, for a start, you make a whole heap of green electricity to make green hydrogen, you can use that green electricity to answer well over

50 to 60 percent of the world's fossil fuel consumption. But what stops the world going fully green is that other 30 percent.

So you need power to run -- and 24 hours a day. 60, 70 percent is not enough. Green hydrogen will give you that ability to go 24 hours a day, and

therefore we've got to turn to it. We've got to stop the excuses, stop all the pathetic prevarication and say let's just get on with it. We've got a

planet to save. We've got children to protect.

ANDERSON: It's good to have you. I'm delighted that we were able to establish communication with you and good luck in your endeavors in Sri

Lanka. It was great seeing you at the Amman Emergency Humanitarian Conference yesterday and stay in touch, and let's see how you get on with

these safeguards that you are promoting. Thank you, Andrew. We will be right back after this short break.


ANDERSON: Well, let's get you a look at the markets which have been open for just a little less than 10 minutes in the U.S. where it is 9:38 in the

morning. It's consequential day for America's economy, at least with a released report in the last hour showing that U.S. consumer prices

increased less than expected in the month of May the annual rate cooled to 3.3 percent.

That feels a bit more normal -- and the monthly rate was actually flat and that's really quite significant. CNN's Matt Egan is covering the latest for

us live from New York. And Matt as you will have noted, these markets are up and out of the gate of course because this will be sort of --this report

will be feeding into how investors feel about if and when the Fed is likely to start reducing interest rates. Tell us what have we learned today?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, Becky, definitely good news for Wall Street which is paying so close attention to what the Fed does next.


But this is also really good news for Main Street right the Fed to consider prices up by 3.3 percent, year over year, that's not healthy, right? That's

not normal, or its well above the pre COVID pace. But it is improvement, of course improvement. As that chart shows from two years ago when this metric

was at 9 percent.

Even a year ago, we're well above 4 percent. Now, some of the progress had stalled out on inflation this year. This does represent progress. So that

is, of course, good news. This is better than expected. You noted that month over month, prices were unchanged that beat expectations.

And it's also the lowest rate for month over month inflation. We've seen in nearly two years, it was driven by the fact that gas prices were down, we

also saw drops for airfare, new cars, recreation, clothing, and some of the food prices have also started to come down. So that's all good news.

Core inflation, which is what economists and Fed officials they watch very closely because it shows where inflation is going next and that also

improved more than expected. We saw the lowest core inflation rate in about three years. So you put all this together, it does make sense that we saw

such a strong reaction on Wall Street stock futures spiked, the minute that this report came out.

Now the question is whether or not all this improvement is enough, right? Is it going to satisfy voters who obviously continue to hurt from the cost

of living and all of these price hikes from the last three years and whether or not it's going to be enough for Fed officials, right, they need

to see more progress, more confidence that inflation is going back to normal before they lower interest rates.

And so we'll be paying very close attention later on today in Washington as the Fed officials they, of course, they're going to announce probably no

change in interest rates, but they're going to release these projections on where they think interest rates are going next. And that could move

markets, even more so than the inflation report there, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah, absolutely. So it was good to have you Matt Egan is in -- Thank you. I really want to win a first European title. That is what French

Football Superstar Kylian Mbappe is telling her my colleague Amanda Davies about the tournament kicking off on Friday. It won't be easy though for the

2022 World Cup finalists. Amanda Davies says up with that after this. I'll be back top of the hour for you.