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First Move with Julia Chatterley

Israel: Hamas Deal "Far" From Meeting Demands; Hamas Accepts Gaza Ceasefire Proposal; Multiple Explosions Reported In Rafah; Biden Briefed On Hamas Ceasefire Deal; Trump's Hush Money Trial; Judge Threatens Trump With Jail Time; Trump Violates Gag Order For A Tenth Time; Xi Jinping And Emmanuel Macron Meet In Paris; Xi Jinping Visits France; China's Xi In Paris For Talks; Starliner Set To Take Off; Stars Attend Annual Met Gala. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired May 06, 2024 - 18:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: NASA has been looking for another option in addition to using Elon Musk's SpaceX for launching astronauts

into space. Wolf Blitzer is up next in "The Situation Room" with much more in the Trump trial, including a former New York judge who's going to weigh

in on the possibility of Donald Trump serving jail time because of gag order violations. That's next. I'll see you tomorrow morning for Trump

trial coverage.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: 6:00 a.m. in Beijing, 7:00 p.m. in Sao Paulo, and 6:00 p.m. right here in New York. I'm Paula Newton in for

Julia Chatterley. And wherever you are in the world, this is your "First Move.

And a very warm welcome to "First Move." Here's your need to know. Hamas says it won't back down after its demands in the ceasefire proposal it

agreed to for Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says it is far from meeting Israel's demands.

Prosecutors say they need two more weeks to present their case in the Donald Trump hush money trial as the judge threatens the former president

with jail time after he violates the gag order for a 10th time.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron meet in Paris with trade and Ukraine at the top of the agenda.

And the Starliner to the stars. Boeing's new spacecraft is set for its first ever voyage with astronauts on board. All that and more coming up.

But first, Hamas has agreed to a ceasefire proposal that was proposed, in fact, by Egypt and Qatar. Israel says the proposal, though, falls short of

what it wanted, but that it would send a delegation to the negotiating table.

Palestinians and the relatives of some Israeli hostages have been welcoming the news of a potential deal. We should note, though, that the exact

details of the agreement haven't been released yet.

However, recent proposals have included releasing at least 20 Israeli hostages over several weeks, and that's in exchange for a temporary

ceasefire. Hours after the announcement, multiple explosions were reported to the east of Rafah, that's in Southern Gaza. The Israeli military had

ordered Palestinians to evacuate that area earlier Monday, raising fears that a ground invasion was imminent.

Jeremy Diamond joins me now from Jerusalem with the latest. Jeremy, it really has been a busy few hours on the ground in Israel and Gaza. Given

all that's gone on, can you take the measure of this possible ceasefire deal? It's hard to understand right now if we are any closer to a deal.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's certainly right. And over the course of the last several hours since Hamas released that very bold

statement claiming that it had agreed to a proposal for a ceasefire agreement, I've been working to understand a little bit better exactly what

Hamas has agreed to and how it may or may not move the needle in these negotiations.

And what I've learned according to a senior Israeli official and a senior American official is that Hamas agreed to a different proposal than the one

that Israel had helped craft with Egypt, which was submitted to Hamas a little over a week ago. This latest proposal calls for an end to the war in

Gaza, which has really been a red line for the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and is the major way in which this proposal diverges

from the Egyptian framework that had been submitted to Hamas a little over a week ago.

So, major questions about exactly how these negotiators can now move forward with this. But the Israeli prime minister's office says that this

latest proposal by Hamas does not meet its demands at all, but they are agreeing to send a working level delegation to meet with the Egyptian and

Qatari mediators to try and see if a deal can indeed be struck as all of this is happening.

As all of this is happening, the Israeli war cabinet tonight agreeing to continue this operation in Rafah with -- which began today with the

evacuation orders, thousands of leaflets being dropped in Eastern Rafah ordering the evacuation of about 100,000 Palestinians who are living there.

And this evening we're seeing more military action in Rafah tonight.

The Israeli military says they're carrying out what they're describing as targeted strikes in Eastern Rafah, that very same area, where people, less

than 24 hours ago, were told to begin to evacuate. And so, certainly the Israeli military, the Israeli government trying to keep up the pressure on

Hamas even as they continue to speak at the negotiating table in the coming.

NEWTON: You know, Jeremy, we saw celebration in Gaza, but we also are seeing protests and also some pressure being put on not just Benjamin

Netanyahu, but his entire war cabinet at this hour to try and get to the table.


Is that a widespread belief in Israel right now or is it contained obviously to the families of the hostages who so desperately want to see

their loved ones?

DIAMOND: Well, certainly a majority of Israelis in recent polls have said that they do want to see a deal even if it results in a week's long

ceasefire, a week's long pause in the fighting, even if it delays a ground offensive in Rafah. But the politics that the Israeli prime minister are

facing are very different.

He has a right-wing governing coalition that is keeping him in power, two far-right ministers in particular. Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir

have threatened to walk from the government, collapsing it, if the war ends in Gaza without a Rafah ground offensive. And so, that is also something

that the Israeli prime minister has to contend with as he considers this latest proposal.

NEWTON: Yes, 1:05 a.m. there in Jerusalem and what has been a very long evening and night there in Israel and Gaza. Jeremy Diamond for us, really

appreciate it.

Now, the White House said Monday that U.S. President Joe Biden had been briefed on the talks and that the CIA director is actively involved in

them. U.S. National Security Spokesperson John Kirby said he couldn't say much more than that to avoid upsetting any potential deal. Listen.


JOHN KIRBY, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY SPOKESMAN: Director Burns, as you know, is there. And he's working this in real-time on the ground. I won't be able

to comment any further on this until we know where things stand. I hope you can understand that. I know everybody's curious about what's in this

response, what the Israeli reaction to it is. I'm just not going to get ahead of the process.

We want to get these hostages out. We want to get a ceasefire in place for six weeks. We want to increase humanitarian assistance. And the last thing

that I want to do is say anything at this podium that's going to put that process at risk.


NEWTON: MJ Lee is at the White House for us. You were also at that press conference. I mean, MJ, what's the state of play as far as the White House

is concerned? Are we any closer to a deal? And if you could also let us know where they stand on these warnings to Israel about Rafah, because as

we speak, there have been at least about 50 targeted strikes in Rafah, plus more than 100,000 people being told to move.

MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So, a couple of things here, I am told by U.S. officials that when it comes to the hostage deal

negotiations that U.S. officials are sort of rejecting the characterization from Hamas earlier in the day that they had accepted a proposal and said

they are saying that what Hamas did was they came back with a proposal that was given to them back in April with some amendments. That was the language

used by one U.S. official that I just spoke with. And they essentially said, look, that means that we now go back to the negotiating table, and

the parties have to come together to try to hopefully get to a deal.

Of course, as we were talking about President Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, when those two leaders spoke earlier in the day, the

Hamas saying publicly that they had accepted this deal, again, a characterization that U.S. officials now reject. That had not actually

happened yet. So, the two leaders didn't discuss the specifics of that framework that Hamas is now putting on the table.

And of course, as U.S. officials, for weeks now, have been working feverishly to try to help the parties get to a final deal, we know that

that effort continues with CIA Director Bill Burns in particular remaining in the region. And it's just tough to overstate, you know, how much is,

sort of, on the line for this administration and this White House and for this president. Of course, U.S. officials have made clear that they want

more than anything else to see a quick end to this conflict.

They also want to make sure that all of the hostages do eventually get out, including several of them believed to be American citizens, and they also

want to avoid a major ground incursion into Rafah, which the Israelis have been warning about with increasing force.

Now, a question that I did put to White House Spokesman John Kirby earlier in the day is the question of a Rafah operation that is limited in scope

and scope. Take a listen.


LEE: And, John, what is the president's position on a limited operation into Rafah?

KIRBY: We've been very clear that we don't support a major ground operation in Rafah, operations in general that put at greater risk the more than a

million people that are sheltering there. And the question right now is a hypothetical question.

LEE: Right, but you know that they are asking people in the area to evacuate and the possibility of a limited Rafah operation is on the table.

So, I'm asking, does the president believe that Israel can execute a limited operation into Rafah while adequately protecting the lives of

civilians there?

KIRBY: The president doesn't want to see operations in Rafah that put at greater risk.

LEE: So, he wouldn't support a limited operation into Rafah?

KIRBY: I think I've answered the question.



LEE: So, look, John Kirby there didn't explicitly say the words the U.S. does not support even a limited operation into Rafah. But as he said

himself, I think he was making the U.S.'s position generally clear on this. And just as a reminder, of course, President Biden himself recently said

that a major ground operation into Rafah would be a crossing of a red line for him. Paula.

NEWTON: MJ Lee for us at the White House, thanks so much. Appreciate it. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling is a CNN military analyst and he joins us

now with more.

Just, first off, thank you very much for coming in to help us analyze what is going on. We know that there are airstrikes likely still at this hour.

The IDF said there had been about 50. This is not a ground incursion. But what's your reaction as soon as you hear from MJ Lee what the White House

said about what even a limited scope incursion would elicit from that?

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, truthfully, Paula, it is a very complex situation. And truthfully, as a military guy,

I'm not sure what's the difference between a limited versus a major ground incursion.

What we're talking about is different areas within Rafah where you have to attack, where the Israelis feel like they have to continue to destroy the

elements of Hamas. They contend that there are four or more battalions of Hamas left, and in viewing this war from the very beginning, it appears

that this is a major headquarters for Hamas.

So, to end the war, to not go after these final battalions, which probably includes some of the main players in Hamas would be a disservice to the

Israeli people. So, from a military perspective, they -- the Israelis have to continue to attempt to go after that Hamas headquarters and the fighters

that are in this area.

President Biden has made it very clear that he wants to exclude the potential for a great deal of civilian casualties that more humanitarian

aid has to go in. But in this particular area, Hamas is buying for time, just as they have been buying for time from the very beginning, and they

have used the kinds of methods they use where they've suddenly announced that they're willing to live by a ceasefire that no one knows the details

of is just more buying for time and trying to put Israel as the scapegoat and the world pariah.

There was reports of dancing by Palestinians citizens inside of Gaza today as soon as Hamas announced that. When Israel then continued the operation,

it certainly will be contrary to what most of the citizens of Gaza believed was about to happen because of the lies and obfuscation of Hamas fighters

and their leadership.

NEWTON: But I have to ask you, you know, and as you're speaking, we are showing pictures of those celebrations. And I will say we spoke to a

humanitarian official in the last few hours here that said it was sad, you could hear this celebration that we're looking at right now. Plus, you

could also hear the airstrikes taking aim in Gaza in that eastern part of Rafah.

But I want to ask you, General Hertling, we've been here before, right? We have said, you cannot take out Hamas, you cannot completely take out Hamas.

That, at this point in time, seems to be standing in the way of actually getting these hostages freed. So, at a certain point in time, the

compromise on the table is what it is. Do you believe Israel will defy the United States and other allies and continue with this Rafah operation no

matter what?

HERTLING: Well, I'd clarify a little bit, Paula, and say, I've said from the very beginning, as many others have, that you can't destroy Hamas, the

ideology of Hamas and this terrorist group. But certainly, you can destroy or kill or capture the fighters that are currently part of the Hamas


To leave four battalions in Southern Gaza of Hamas fighters would only be Israel surrendering to more terrorist attacks. That's the complexity of

this situation.

NEWTON: But we --

HERTLING: You certainly can't dry Hamas. That's for sure.

NEWTON: We -- OK. And I totally get what you're saying, but we're talking about four battalions. So, what, four -- let's say 4,000. 4,000 Hamas

militants that you think are still in there, give or take. OK. Correct me.

But they're all among civilians. Some of them are with their families. There was multiple generations of their families. How do you get to them

without risking death?

HERTLING: Yes, which is, by the way, as we've said from the very beginning, that is the strategy of this terrorist organization, to wrap themselves

around the infrastructure of the area, to have their tunnel complexes and their headquarters below hospitals and mosque and residencies.


So, when Israel does go in to try and defeat or destroy this Hamas terrorist organizations, they are looked as the bad guy. And, you know,

truthfully, from the very beginning the Biden administration has attempted to discuss with Mr. Netanyahu how he could have done this better. But

truthfully, there's a very difficult situation because to destroy Hamas, which has wrapped itself in the civilian population and doesn't care about

the civilian population and wants Israel to commit, so they continue to be seen as a pariah on the world stage complicates this matter greatly.

NEWTON: Yes. And we should also note that Hamas did fire rockets into one of the border crossings there. Killing four Israeli soldiers in the last

few days. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, we'll have to leave it there for now, but we'll talk again, certainly as the story unfolds. Thanks so


HERTLING: Thank you, Paula.

NEWTON: Now, straight ahead for us. New witnesses taking the stand in Donald Trump's hush money case, the latest on the former U.S. president's

historic criminal trial.

Plus, Xi Jinping in France. What the Chinese leader wants to achieve from his first European trip in five years.


NEWTON: Welcome back. Day 12 of Former U.S. President Donald Trump's hush money trial wrapped just a couple of hours ago. Former Trump Organization

executive Jeffrey McConney was on the witness stand testifying how most of the money to reimburse Michael Cohen came from Trump's personal account.

He also -- we also heard from Deborah Tarasoff who works in the Trump organization's accounting department. She says, any invoice over $10,000

had to be approved by Trump or one of his sons. Prosecutors need to prove that Trump falsified business records with the intent to commit or conceal

another crime connected to the 2016 campaign.

Meanwhile, the judge fined the former president an additional $1,000 for, again, violating the gag order. Kara Scannell has details.


KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Insiders at the Trump Organization on the stand, walked through key payments at the center of the

case against Former President Donald Trump, as the first criminal trial of a former president begins its fourth week.


SCANNELL (voice-over): Jeffrey McConney, a former executive at the company, testified Trump used his personal account to reimburse his former attorney,

Michael Cohen. Prosecutors allege the payments were reimbursement for a hush money payment Cohen made just before the 2016 election. to adult film

star Stormy Daniels to quiet her story of an alleged affair with Trump. Trump denies the affair.


McConney said the reimbursement came in $35,000 monthly increments through 2017.

MICHAEL COHEN, TRUMP'S FORMER ATTORNEY: It was actually 11 checks, because one of the checks, January and February, were combined.

SCANNELL (voice-over): Prosecutors aimed to prove Trump's business records of the payments were falsified and the money was not for a retainer

agreement as stated on Cohen's invoices, but instead payback for the hush money to Daniels.

Prosecutors asked McConney if this was all happening above his head. Yes, he replied. McConney testified former Trump Organization Chief Financial

Officer Allen Weisselberg was the one who told him they had to reimburse Cohen.

Weisselberg who is currently serving five months in jail on perjury charges in Trump's civil fraud case had sketched out the payment to Cohen on a bank

statement that showed Cohen transferred the $130,000 payment to Daniels' attorney.

The total paid to Cohen $420,000 allegedly included reimbursing Cohen for the money he paid to Daniel's attorney to kill her story. Cash owed for

other expenses and a hefty bonus for Cohen. It was marked on the books as a legal expense.

McConney suggested Trump kept a tight reign over his account, but Trump attorney Emil Bove, in a rapid-fire questioning, tried to show Trump was

not involved in accounting at the company in 2017 when these payments were made.

Bove asked McConney whether he talked to Trump about these payments. I did not, McConney testified. Bove pressed him further if Trump ever asked him

to do any of the things he described. He did not, McConney testified.

Also testifying on Monday, Deborah Tarasoff, a Trump Organization accounts employee who cut the checks to Cohen. Tarasoff said that Trump was the only

one who signed the checks for his personal account. Only Mr. Trump, she testified. Adding, if he didn't want to sign it, he didn't sign it.

COHEN: It certainly goes well past the Stormy Daniels hush money payment.

SCANNELL (voice-over): Monday morning, before the witnesses took the stand, the judge found Trump in contempt for again violating a gag order,

preventing him from discussing witnesses or jurors in the case. This time, criticizing the makeup of the jury in an interview with the outlet Real

America's Voice.

TRUMP: That jury was picked so fast, 95 percent Democrats. The area's mostly all Democrat. You think of it as a -- just a purely Democrat area.

It's a very unfair situation that I can tell you.

SCANNELL (voice-over): Judge Juan Merchan said, the magnitude of this decision is not lost on me, but at the end of the day, I have a job to do.

So, as much as I don't want to impose a jail sanction, I want you to understand that I will, if necessary and appropriate.

TRUMP: Because this judge is giving me a gag order and said you'll go to jail if you violate it.


NEWTON: For more on this, Senior Political Commentator Scott Jennings joins us now. He's also a Republican campaign adviser. I mean, Scott, I actually

asked specifically to have you in here so that we could discuss the political fallout from this.

From what you've heard so far, is there anything that changes your mind? Is there anything that you've learned that says, yes, voters should really be

zeroing in on this trial right now and listening to each and every word?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, one of the things about Trump is that no matter what happens to him he has this extraordinary

resilience in his personal image. It really hasn't changed since he left office.

I mean, we've lived through January 6th. We've lived through these indictments, you know, all the different issues, and he's pretty much got

the same image. And in fact, his job approval is higher today than it was when he left office. There's something of like a nostalgia for the Trump

years when people are asked by pollsters to compare it to the Biden years.

Now, this case, Republicans would say, this is the weakest case. It's like a dog. The FEC, the Department of Justice, declined to take it up. It's a

partisan prosecutor. You've heard the arguments. And I think that's how the Republicans will continue to view it.

The more serious cases are yet to come. January 6th in the documents case. It's really (INAUDIBLE) it. I mean, I've called it a sex paperwork case. I

mean, we all know sort of Donald Trump's personal history and there's really no details about it that we don't know, which is why I'm skeptical

that it's going to change his image no matter what happens.

NEWTON: And yet, do you think it will change voters' minds? And I ask this because even when we talk about the gag order and the judge just having

said that, look, the last thing I want to do is put you in jail. I mean, some believe that if he was incarcerated for 24 hours it might actually

improve his approval ratings and where he stands with voters. What do you think of that?

JENNINGS: Well, you know, I have a friend who says to me all the time, in this election, he who campaigns least is likely to win. And so, if you were

to lock somebody literally in a jail, they wouldn't be campaigning at all.


So, I mean, look, I don't think getting thrown in jail is a good thing for a political campaign. But let me just caveat that with this. If a judge

that has a demonstrated history of being a Democrat, his family has ties to Democratic politics, throws the Republican front runner for president, you

know, leading Donald -- leading Joe Biden in the polls in a jail, it may have a backlash effect. It may not seem fair. There's certainly Republicans

are going to go crazy if that happens.

And so, I sincerely hope they don't do that because this is total overkill. You know, these paperwork issues that he was looking into here in New York

are misdemeanors, they contorted it into a felony. But these are misdemeanor issues that have to do with business records. And the idea that

someone was sitting in jail cell over that is frankly -- it's going to sound strange, I think, to most Americans.

NEWTON: Now, Scott, we have to remind people that it is unlikely that any other trial will come to pass before the election. Unlikely, not impossible

before the election date. But so, let's try and zero in on those, let's say, seven swing states, and only the voters who are, you know,

independent, undeclared, whatever you want to call them. How do you think this is playing out with them? Because they're crucial.

JENNINGS: You know, I talked to a lot of voters all over and they get honestly confused. Now, which trial is this? And does this have anything to

do with that? I mean, I don't think people are really able to keep it all separate. I mean, he's got this case in New York, the documents case, the

January 6th case, various Supreme Court hearings. I think voters are having a hard time keeping it all straight.

But I'll tell you one thing they are keeping straight, food prices, rents, mortgage rates, interest rates. I mean, all the things that are sort of

making them financially and economically miserable, they're well acquainted with those facts, and they are able to keep that straight because it's day

to day for them. It's day to day for them.

So, I don't know that this is going to have a huge impact on the election, this case. If the January 6th case comes to trial, and if he's convicted,

big ifs, I do think there's a cohort of voters that would look at that and say, I don't think the president can be convicted of a felony like this. It

seems like a bridge too far to me. But this one in New York, I'm skeptical that anyone is going to take this very seriously, even if this man is

convicted in this court.

NEWTON: Scott, that's why we had you here. We need that political reality check as we continue to parse what's going on in the courtroom. Thanks so

much. Really appreciate it.

JENNINGS: Thank you.

NEWTON: Turning now to the weather, the Central United States has seen a number of tornadoes in recent weeks and the storm threat is only getting

worse. Chad Myers for us, following it all. Again, I don't want to look at that map. I know you're going to make us, Chad, but let's look.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right. We like it when it looks like an avocado, which is just green on the outside and yellow in the middle, but

we'd never like it when we have Category 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 here in the middle with that purple there. That is the area we're most concerned with today

for rapidly rising air in thunderstorms that are going to spin.

And you said, Paula, we've had a lot of tornadoes here, more than 200 tornadoes just in the past 10 days and large tornadoes, large hail, wind

gusts over 75 miles per hour, maybe 120 kilometers per hour with these wind gusts. You can do just as much damage with that as a small tornado.

And yes, we have warnings going on right now. We have tornado watches that extend all the way from Nebraska to Texas. And yes, there are storms that

are already firing in the heat of the day. Most of the storms that are in Kansas are severe, which means maybe golf ball size hail and the wind. But

there are some storms now in Oklahoma that are significantly rotating enough to put tornado warnings out.

And as we have storm spotters out there looking at these storms, a few of them appear to be ready to put down a tornado. And you think, well, it's

6:00, you know, local time, almost 5:30 so things are going to calm down. No, it's actually going to get worse as the sun sets. It's going to get

worse as it gets dark and it may still be very, very dangerous and likely will be after people go to bed tonight. And those are the most dangerous

tornadoes because you don't hear the warnings.

You need to have a way to get those warnings, either on your phone and NOAA weather radio, somehow to figure out at midnight when the alarm goes off

where you want to be. Keep shoes near your bed. You don't want to be walking around with debris, bare feet. Everything you want, all of those

things that you prepare for in the spring today's the day.

Now, today's a big day. Tomorrow's a littler day. But then, Wednesday, we're back again to the orange in the middle and likely probably getting to

that darker -- at least darker red by the time we work our way into Wednesday.

So, the severe weather today is going to be rough. And you know what? It's not over. The rest of the week is going to be rough as well, Paula.

NEWTON: Yes, as you're showing us by those maps.


NEWTON: So, we'll continue to hope that everyone stays safe throughout the evening. Chad Myers for us. Thanks so much. And we will be right back with

more in a moment.



NEWTON: And we have new updates for you on our top story this hour. Hamas says it has accepted a ceasefire deal proposed by Egypt and Qatar, though

it remains unclear which particular draft has been agreed to.

Right now, you're looking at scenes from Northern Gaza as news began to emerge about that agreement. Crowds gathering in Tel Aviv too, calling for

the release of all hostages. Israel says the proposal Hamas accepted is far from the "necessary requirements," though it will send a delegation and

mediators to discuss it further.

CNN Political and Global Affairs Analyst Barak Ravid, in the meantime, says Israeli forces are going to take over the Palestinian side of the Rafah

Crossing in the next few hours, citing two sources with direct knowledge.

Nic Robertson has been following all the latest developments for us, and he joins us now. I mean, Nick, what do you make of that latest turn there,

given the fact that the IDF has said that they've had at least 50 strikes in Rafah at this hour, and saying that they promised to continue with the

operation there?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, and they began the day by dropping leaflets on about a hundred thousand Palestinian homes,

families, people in the eastern part of Rafah, and the indication was that they were was that they were telling them explicitly that where they were

living was not going to be safe because there was going to be a big military operation there and they needed to leave the area, and that if

they stayed in the area, then Hamas would be using them as human shields. And the implication was quite clearly, if you stay, you're going to be --

you're putting your own lives in danger. So, please do leave, and they told them areas to go to.

So, in that context, look, I think this information that Barak Ravid revealed has and his typically accurate and the advanced information he

has, it's pretty much what we saw when the IDF went into the north of Gaza not long after October the 7th, they went in through Zikim. It was very

quiet. It was first sort of described as an in and out operation. But then they were at it for about three days before we discovered they were

actually in there permanently and weren't about to leave.


And they went through a crossing area and went through to the Palestinian side. And the Rafah Crossing -- or rather the crossing that the Israel --

that Barak Ravid is talking about is an obvious choice of crossing because it's a principal road crossing. It's wide. It's a path for the troops to

move relatively safely down tarmac compared to driving across rough fields. It can be more easily and readily mind. All of those things will be in the

IDF's mind.

It may not be the actual beginning of the sort of rolling forward of that force. A source in the region familiar with the ongoing talks that are

expected in Cairo tomorrow is not anticipating a big Rafah offensive really rolling forward while those talks are going on in Cairo, more likely that

may be about 24 hours away from now. But certainly, this sounds like an absolute precursor for everything that we that we understand is underway.

NEWTON: Yes. And that is despite the warnings of the White House just made a few hours ago again to avoid this kind of incursion into Rafah. Nic

Robertson for us. Thanks so much. Appreciate it.

For more on this now I'm joined by former U.S. State Department negotiator, Aaron David Miller. Aaron, good to see you on this as we try and parse

what's gone on in the last few hours. How do you interpret what you're hearing right now?

AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: You know, I think neither side -- no, there is (INAUDIBLE) Netanyahu government sees any urgency in

reaching an agreement and both are determined to blame the other for obstructing. That's what I think is happening.

You took a look -- and "The Wall Street Journal" carried some excerpts of the proposal that Hamas signed on to. It basically calls for an exchange of

prisoners for hostages and a cessation of military activity followed by a three-to-five-year period of construction. Where the Israeli forces

withdraw from Gaza and with assurances from the U.N., Qatar, and Egypt, Gaza would be reconstructed under the auspices, clearly, of Hamas as a key

part of the governing structure.

So, the Israelis are not going to accept that. And at the same time, Hamas is not going to trade hostages for anything short of a withdrawal of

Israeli forces or a comprehensive ceasefire. And Netanyahu's government has no interest right now in signing a deal that would force the Israelis to

return nearly a thousand Palestinians, some of whom have been convicted or accused of killing Israelis.

So, I think both sides are keeping their options, however bleak they may be, open. And that includes any number of options with respect to Rafah.

NEWTON: You know, MJ Lee from the White House, you know, was giving us some insight into how the White House understood this happened. And basically,

what they said was, look, Hamas took a look at what was on the table. They added their amendments and said, hey, you Here you go. We agree to it.

Which is not a negotiation obviously.

What do you think was Hamas' -- you know, Hamas' motive in doing all this? And by the way, doing this in a coordinated fashion so that regional

players also came out and said, we call on Israel to agree to the ceasefire deal?

MILLER: Well, I think it's actually, I guess, a smart move, making sure that the blame for any impasse in negotiations is not on Hamas. I mean,

look, they had the International Community poised at the edge of their chairs for a full, what, three hours this afternoon? And the only thing we

knew, the only thing was that Jazeera reported that that Ismail Haniyeh, the political leader of Hamas, had basically agreed to a Qatari-Egyptian

proposal. And based on that, everyone was convinced that we were very close now to a formal ceasefire agreement that both sides could accept.

So, I think part of it is the fact that literally there's the absence of urgency. Negotiations happen when there's urgency. Pain on one hand

accompanied by the prospects of gain. And both Netanyahu and Yahya Sinwar, frankly, are much more focused, I think, on keeping their positions, in the

case of Sinwar, actually surviving this. And Netanyahu wants to survive this as well. Far more focused on that than they are on cutting a deal that

would alleviate the suffering of 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza and free hostages. Some of whom we know are being mistreated and abused.

NEWTON: And yet, Hamas did succeed in bringing pressure to bear here. As you indicated, we're looking at video certainly of the families of some of

the hostages demanding that a deal get done. We had celebrations in Gaza.


You, you know, basically earmarked the fact that there is a lack of urgency. Does this create some kind of an urgency, especially when you have

the United States that continually says, do not start a major incursion into Rafah, you cannot guarantee the safety of civilians there?

MILLER: Well, I think the Israelis are going to defuse that by not, at least, at this point, mounting a major ground campaign. I think it'll be

much more targeted, much more focused. And as Nic said, I don't think it's going to occur while Israeli mediators are pretending to negotiate on a

deal they can't possibly accept.

So, I think it's poignant. It's a tragedy because we're in a strategic cul- de-sac, and the civilian populations on both sides, clearly the hostages and their families, and millions of Gazans who've been uprooted from their

homes, their families destroyed, are caught in the middle, and with no way out.

NEWTON: And I don't have a lot of time left, but how important is it for the Biden administration that there isn't a cul-de-sac, that there is a way

out, especially given what we've seen in the last few days with the student protests?

MILLER: Very important. And the only way to change the pictures in Gaza, I'm afraid, is to do what right now doesn't seem to be able to be done,

which is an Israeli-Hamas deal.

NEWTON: Aaron David Miller, we always appreciate the reality check for us on this, as well as depressing as it is at times, it is important to know

exactly what's possible and what may not be possible. Thanks so much.

MILLER: Thanks, Paula. I appreciate it. Yes.

NEWTON: Coming up for us on "First Move," from China to the Champs-Elysees. Chinese President Xi Jinping is in France for his first European trip in

five years. Trade disputes and the war in Ukraine high on the agenda. All that and more just ahead.


NEWTON: And welcome back. Despite talk of frosty relations on his first visit to Europe in five years, China's president says Paris and Beijing

should work together to prevent a "New Cold War." Xi Jinping has been on a six-day tour of Europe, meeting the French president earlier, as well as

one of his toughest critics, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.


President Xi is trying to quiet critics in Europe over recent trade investigations and arrests for alleged espionage on behalf of China. ?Now,

the war in Ukraine, of course, also high on the agenda. Marc Stewart is in Beijing for us and what we can expect going on in this trip.

This is quite a pivot for Europe, and I'm sure one that was welcomed by the Chinese leader. And yet, in terms of what we all the pleasantries and the

charm offensive, underneath, in terms of policy, should we expect a lot of changes?

MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's put it this way, Paula. None of these issues, none of these concerns are a big surprise to Xi Jinping.

He's had to confront them before, including when American officials have come to Beijing. But now, he is on the road and he's having to discuss many

of these issues once again, and we are getting a bit more response than we have had in the past from China, from Xi Jinping, now that he's on the

ground in Europe.

Let's first talk about this very contentious topic, free and fair trade. European officials have expressed long time concern that Beijing, China, is

basically helping to fund, subsidize its electrical vehicle industry, the EV car industry, giving it an unfair advantage, flooding the market. Well,

according to Chinese officials, Xi Jinping said that there is no such thing as China's overcapacity problem, making those remarks in front of French

President Emmanuel Macron as well as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during this trilateral meeting that we saw take place in


This is an issue, though, that is going to have to be resolved, because China is a big investor in a big plan of France to become a battery

manufacturing center for all of Europe. So, there is this back-and-forth business relationship, and this concern is something that is going to have

to be resolved. So those are the talking points for now.

And then, Paula, you brought up this point about concerns that China is helping to support the Russian war machine, particularly when it comes to

Ukraine. According to President Macron, during a conversation with Xi Jinping, he said he was reassured that China will not send weapons or parts

that could be used for military purposes in Russia. That's been the crux of the concern, the criticism,

According to Macron, the length of and the quality of this exchange is what gives him some reassurance, gives him some calm, gives him some pause. But

this is not an issue that's going to go away anytime soon either. According to Russian media, President Putin, Vladimir Putin, will be here in Beijing

sometime in the very near future. And the fact that these two world leaders have such a cozy relationship is going to create a lot of unsettled

feelings in Europe and other parts of the world. Paula.

NEWTON: Yes, absolutely. Those leaders continue with their closer relationships, shall we put it. Marc Stewart, good to see you. Thanks so

much for getting up early for us in Beijing. Appreciate it.

And coming up for us, a big night ahead at Cape Canaveral, Florida. NASA hoping to send two astronauts to the International Space Station aboard the

brand-new Boeing Starliner. It's Boeing's bid to take on Elon Musk in the private space race. We're live with the very latest.



NEWTON: And welcome back to "First Move." Monday momentum on Wall Street tops today's "Money Move." U.S. stocks building on last week's solid gains

led by tech and small cap stocks. Investors still in an upbeat mood after Friday's U.S. jobs report, which showed, in fact, a slowdown in hiring last

month. The data rekindled hopes for Fed interest rate cuts later this year. Meantime, European stocks also gained in Monday's session with the German

DAX up almost 1 percent. In Asia, meantime, markets are mixed with Chinese stocks outperforming.

OK. We want to go now from stocks to space. You are watching live pictures at the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, where Boeing's Starliner

spacecraft is getting ready to take off for the first time with astronauts on board.

Boeing has spent years trying to get to this moment. The scheduled launch is now less than four hours away. Kristin Fisher is there for us at Cape

Canaveral. So good to see you there for all the excitement. Just let us in on why this is significant given the fact that NASA has been at this with

Boeing, in partnership with Boeing, for quite a while.

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, 10 years to be exact, Paula. That's when NASA approached two potential commercial crew

partners, SpaceX and Boeing, and said, hey, we want to do this thing called the commercial crew program. Utterly groundbreaking at the time. It was a

chance for NASA to really outsource some of the hardest work that NASA has to do, just getting these NASA astronauts up and back from the

International Space Station.

At the time, everybody thought that Boeing, one of the great NASA legacy contractors, would, of course, be the first to fly and ferry astronauts to

and from Earth and the ISS. But as we all know now, it was SpaceX that did it first and has now been flying crews two space and back 14 times.

So, now, tonight, just hours away from Boeing, being able to try to do what SpaceX has done for so long, Boeing Starliner, on this launch pad right

behind me at the Space Force -- Cape Canaveral Space Force Station used to be Air Force Station, now Space Force Station. And what we're going to see,

hopefully at 10:34 p.m. Eastern time is NASA astronauts, two veteran NASA astronauts, Sonny Williams and Butch Wilmore, launch on top of an Atlas 5,

a ULA Atlas 5 rocket. And they will be inside the Boeing Starliner capsule that sits on top.

This is the first time that there have ever been people inside the Boeing Starliner spacecraft. And this is only the sixth time ever in history that

there has been a first test flight of NASA astronauts in a new spacecraft. So, Paula, think of it, you had, you had Mercury, Gemini. Apollo, the space

shuttle, then SpaceX is Dragon and now, Starliner. So, the fact that you have a first crewed test flight, very rare. It is -- it carries a bit more

risk with it. And so, that's why, in part, it has taken so much time to get here tonight.

Boeing has encountered some tremendous technical difficulties as well. Lots of questions in the preflight press conferences about some of the issues

that Boeing has had on the aircraft side of things. NASA and Boeing very emphatic to say that the airline division of the company and the space and

defense division, two separate entities.

And so, tonight, all eyes are going to be on this launch pad behind me. And, Paula, I have to say, you know, for a company and a spacecraft that

has had so many delays, the lead up to this launch has been looking really good. I mean, first of all, the weather, it is rare to get a 95 percent

favorability forecast from the meteorologists here. That's what we have, Paula.

So, they're starting fueling. The NASA astronauts are suiting up. Fingers crossed that this first crewed test fight of Starliner finally launches


NEWTON: Just your live report is giving me butterflies. We were looking at live pictures of the crews as well. We obviously hope this all goes

according to plan and we will be watching about three and a half hours from now. Kristen Fisher for us. Thanks so much. Really appreciate it.

And speaking of star power, celebrities from the worlds of film, music, theater, and fashion are attending the yearly Met Gala at the Metropolitan

Museum of Art in New York City.


Now, theme of this year's Gala is the Garden of Time. As usual, Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour helped co-chair the event. She shared hosting

duties with actors Jennifer Lopez and Zendaya, singer Bad Bunny, and actor Chris Hemsworth.

Other stars and attendants, a clue tonight include Greta Gerwig, Matt Damon, Gayle King, and so many more. We are looking at the red carpet

there. It's a different color because it's a garden. We can't wait to see what the designers come up with.

And finally, on "First Move," a baguette that is truly hard to forget. That's a look. Take a look at that. This baguette is going into the

Guinness Book of World Records as the longest baguette ever made, 461 feet or 140 meters, and it was baked in, you guessed it, the home of the

baguette, finally, France.

It dethrones a baguette that was made in Italy five years ago. I have no idea why. It took 18 bakers to make it, 18, using a specially designed

mobile oven. And after it was made, it was cut up, of course, and shared. Looking amazing there. We wish them well.

And that wraps up the show. Thanks for joining us. I'll see you right back here tomorrow.