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Isa Soares Tonight

Biden and Scholz Meet at the White House; Wagner Mercenary Leader Appeals to Zelenskyy to Order Ukrainian Withdrawal from Bakhmut Scientists Dicsover Secret Tunnel In Great Pyramid Of Giza; Florida Tap Water Warning; U.S. Attorney General Garland Visits Ukraine. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired March 03, 2023 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: Hello, and a very warm welcome, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, it's all eyes on Washington as two of Ukraine's

staunchest allies meet this very hour. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will sit down with President Joe Biden in just a few moments.

Ukraine, as you can imagine, is top of the agenda as Russian forces appear to be closing in on the besieged city of Bakhmut in the east of the

country. And that is where in fact, we start this hour. The boss of the Wagner mercenary group says his forces have all but surrounded the city of


He is calling on Ukraine's president to order a mass withdrawal of the eastern city. Earlier, Russian forces destroyed this vital bridge running

into the city. Ukrainians used it to get supplies in, and get civilians out. Officials have ordered a mandatory evacuation of the nearly 5,000

people still living there.

So far, Ukraine has not commanded all of its forces to leave. And they say there is intense fighting happening in and around the city. However, one

Ukrainian reconnaissance group says they've just got new orders. Have a listen to this.


ROBERT BROVDI, UKRAINIAN UNIT COMMANDER (through translator): In the middle of the night, the Madia(ph) Birds unit received a combat order to

immediately leave Bakhmut for a new place of combat operations. We are following the order.


SOARES: Well, Alex Marquardt filed this report for us earlier on the outskirts of Bakhmut.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Things are looking rather grim for Ukrainian forces in and around the city

of Bakhmut. We were actually supposed to go with a team trying to evacuate civilians from Bakhmut earlier today. There's some 4,000 to 5,000 civilians

who are under an evacuation order in the city.

That mission getting called off because a bridge was bombed on a major artery on the way out of the city. This bridge, bombed according to a

soldier in Bakhmut by a large Russian missile. On the main supply route that Ukrainian forces are using to get to and from the frontline. That

supply route leaving the town of Chasiv Yar, we were just there on Thursday.

We saw all kinds of military vehicles bombing to and from the front. That is the only road that Ukrainian forces have left to get to the frontline.

Now, if they want to pull back or evacuate people or supply those troops, they are going to have to use dirt roads, cross muddy fields, that is very

difficult, only certain types of vehicles can do it, and they leave themselves extremely exposed.

Ukrainian forces are surrounded in Bakhmut on three sides. To the south, to the east, and to the north. They are being encircled by those Russian

forces. We did hear from the head of the Wagner forces on the Russian side. They're the ones who have been leading that fight for Russia. The head of

Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, calling on President Zelenskyy to pull his troops out, saying that they are encircling the Ukrainian troops, and that

will be complete in the next one or two days.

At the same time, we have seen the head of Ukrainian military forces in the eastern part of the country visiting those troops in Bakhmut in the

frontline. A sign that Ukraine intends to keep fighting for the city of Bakhmut, knowing that if it falls, it will be a major victory for the

Russian side after months of very bloody fighting.

And that Russia would try to use the city as a jumping-off point to drive deeper into eastern Ukraine. Alex Marquardt, CNN in eastern Ukraine.


SOARES: Let's get more now from Kevin Liptak who joins us now from Washington. This meeting between President Biden and President -- and

German Chancellor Scholz. We're waiting for that to start any minute now. And Kevin, of course, our viewers would know this. We're a year already

into this war, and there are already concerns, not just how to sustain the support really from all the allies, but also concerns over fatigue. What

will both leaders be looking to accomplish this when they meet today.

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, and I think that is the big question that's looming over these talks today. And we did just see the

chancellor arrive here at the White House.


And I think the atmosphere surrounding this meeting really tells you a lot. There's no press conference, there's no state dinner, there's no sort of

big arrival ceremony. This is a very business-like meeting, and these two leaders will want to sit down in the Oval Office face-to-face, and really

kind of get in the weeds about what's going on, on the ground in Ukraine.

But also what's going on in their own countries as we reach this point in the war a year in, where fatigue does seem to be growing both in the United

States and in Europe. And their goal really will be to sustain the support that you've seen so far for the months to come. And that is the question

that both of these leaders will try and reckon with is, what does the next few months look like as Russia prepares for its Spring offensive, as

Ukraine prepares to regain some of the territory that it's lost over the war.

They'll be discussing what the Ukrainians need on the battlefield, but also, how they can convince their populations that this is still a fight

worth sustaining going ahead. And, what you've seen from Chancellor Scholz is, he's talking about this effort. He's been discussing it with the French

President Emmanuel Macron, about potentially offering Ukraine security guarantees as a way to bring both of these sides to the negotiating table

as they work to figure out what the endgame of this war will be.

That's not something, necessarily that the president -- that President Biden has signed on to just yet. So that could also be a topic of

discussion as they sit down and talk. Now, we did see the United States today announcing new security assistance package, it's around $4 million.

Importantly, it includes ammunition for weapons systems that Ukraine already has, things like bullets. That kind of thing.

So that's an indication that this fight is still very much ongoing. That the United States still views those types of systems packages as necessary

as this war wages on. But what they'll be talking about today is really what the next phase of the war will look like, and what officials in both

Washington and Berlin have said is that, this meeting is really about sitting -- getting in the weeds of what's going on, on the ground there,

and sort of making sure that they're on the same page. As we enter what officials say is kind of an uncertain, more complex phase of this war, a

year in, Isa.

SOARES: Absolutely, Kevin, do stay with us. I want to bring in Melissa Bell who joins us from Kyiv. And while these two leaders meet, Melissa, the

battle, of course, for Bakhmut may be nearing an end here. What is your sense from those you were speaking to on the ground of how close in maybe

to falling?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, it's very hard to tell, Isa. The Ukrainians telling us that they stand firm in the town center. And all the

images that we've seen of Yevgeny Prigozhin; the ahead of Wagner, claiming to speak from the town center. His men claiming also to speak from the town

center. Geo-location shows that they're in fact just outside.

But clearly, it is the sheer number of men that they are sending to try and take that town center. That tells us it is just a matter of time. The

Ukrainians explained that they have stayed, intend to stay, until the order comes to go. Because they are determined that, that much Ukrainian blood

needs to be spent because once they retreat, it will be further west that the Russian forces go, and so on and so forth.

It has also been, Isa, about trying to gain time. The Ukrainians know that there is a counteroffensive being prepared perhaps to the north of Luhansk.

Every single day that they can gain by holding on to Bakhmut and obliging Russian forces to concentrate their efforts there, is a day saved, a day

gained in that battle. And -- but of course, it is, even as we see that town circled slowly, encircled and with that main supply route gone.

It is just a few tracks that are left. So it isn't just a resupply of the military, it is also of course the fate of the 4,500 civilians that are

inside, entirely trapped we're told. They can no longer leave until about mid February, they could make their way out. They could try and get into

cars that were leaving the city. That's no longer possible. There are no cars going in and out, only armored vehicles can function.

And so, they're now trapped in a town in which they're obliged to live entirely underground. Imagine, Isa, a siege that has lasted for seven

months. There's no electricity, there's no water. And they're living in basements because of the heat, seeking equipment on the Russian side that

allows the Russian forces to target the civilian buildings in which they find themselves. It is actually a picture of hell, Isa.

SOARES: It sounds absolutely hellish. And we're looking at these pictures. I want to go back to Kevin, of course, as we wait for this meeting between

President Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to start. Because, Kevin, I do -- you know, I was speaking to an adviser for President Zelenskyy

beginning of this week about Bakhmut in particular.

And he was basically saying to me that, yes, if the tanks have arrived sooner, if we've got F-16s. But the picture that Melissa is painting, that

nightmarish, hellish picture in Bakhmut may not have happened. Do you know from your contacts there at the White House whether President Biden and

German Chancellor will be discussing the possibility of jets here for Ukraine?


Where do -- where do they stand on this?

LIPTAK: Yes, I mean, that's a discussion that's been ongoing, and it certainly could arise in these talks today. Of course, President Biden said

about a month ago that he was not going to be supporting sending American fighter jets to Ukraine. But that was then. That's certainly not something

that they've ruled out completely for the duration of this war.

But I think it's interesting when you talk about Bakhmut, because what you constantly hear from American officials is that, of course, this is a

symbolic city. It would be a symbolic victory for the Russians. But it's not necessarily a great strategic importance. And I think there has been

some quiet frustration, certainly not spilling out into public, that President Zelenskyy has spent so many resources in trying to protect

Bakhmut over the course of the last several weeks because of where this war is entering.

Because these resources are so important for him to maintain the territory that he has. He has placed such a symbolic importance on the city. I don't

know that, that is necessarily the battlefield decision that the Americans or the Europeans would have made if they were running this war. But of

course, they're not. And they are delegating these decisions to President Zelenskyy even as they are providing him with massive amounts of armor,

ammunition, weapons.

It's not necessarily their decision to make. And so, that will be something I think that the president and the chancellor will discuss in the Oval

Office today is, what should the battlefield tactics look like going ahead, as these resources potentially are limited, as you know, the American

Congress talks about what it can sustain going forward.

Now, the Republicans are in control, I think that there is more of an attention being paid to how these resources are being used on the ground

there in Ukraine. But we do have a readout, a little bit of a readout of that Oval Office meeting. President Biden talking about how Chancellor

Scholz was here just a year ago, and how things have changed in that year since.

And I do think that that's important to know. Just the transformation that you've seen in Germany's foreign and military policy over the last year,

that's something that White House officials really talk about a lot as just how transformative this year has been for Germany in particular. Of course,

they took the pacifist approach to foreign policy, post-World War II, that has really changed their investing in their military.

They're sending heavy weaponry to Ukraine. And that is something that is certainly been welcomed at the White House. It's not something necessarily

that has gained Chancellor Scholz a lot of plodding over the last year. Some people saying that he needs to move more quickly, some people saying

he needs to sort of occupy more of a leadership role in Europe, akin to his predecessor Angela Merkel.

But certainly, at the White House, there is a lot of satisfaction and how he has handled all of this. They do think that he is stepping up to the

moment, and that is certainly reflective in the decision to welcome him to the White House a year after this invasion. So, we'll see the two men

sitting down shortly, but I do think the future of resources to Ukraine is really the topic of conversation that is -- that is really looming over

these conversations. How much of it can be sustained?

SOARES: Yes --

LIPTAK: How much will the German and American public support going forward?

SOARES: Kevin Liptak and Melissa Bell for us this hour in Kyiv, thank you to you both, thanks very much. Well, top diplomats from Moscow and

Washington, I should say, where at this week's G20 gathering meeting in person for the first time since Russia launched its full scale invasion of

Ukraine just last year. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says it was a shame that the war was at the top of the conference's agenda in New


He also said the Ukraine war had been launched against Russia. And then, listen to this reaction.


SERGEY LAVROV, FOREIGN MINISTER, RUSSIA: You know, the war which we are trying to stop and which was launched against us using the Ukrainian



Of course, it influenced the policy of Russia.


SOARES: Great there, how you will. Vedika Sud breaks down what happened at the conference.


VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER (on camera): A day after a brief but highly significant meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and

Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, Blinken met with fellow members of the Quad group of nations.

The informal alliance of India, Australia, Japan and the U.S. issued a joint statement referencing Russia's war in Ukraine and underscored the

need for a quote, "just and lasting peace", while emphasizing that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible. Blinken sent another

strong message to Moscow.


ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: If we allow with impunity Russia to do what it's doing in Ukraine, then that's a message to

would-be aggressors everywhere that they may be able to get away with it, too.

SUD: Russia's foreign minister fired back at the U.S. later in the day.

LAVROV: Nobody was giving a damn about anything, except finances and macro- economic policies, which G20 was formed for. These days, when it is not -- when it is not something which the West is doing, believing this -- that

it's right, when Russia has after many years of warnings, started to defend itself, there is nothing except Ukraine, which is of interest for

different. It's a shame.

SUD: On Friday, China acknowledged that there were different views on the Ukraine crisis among G20 members, saying the summit was the main forum for

economic cooperation, not the place to resolve security issues. For the second time in a week, G20 nations failed to issue a joint statement due to

differences over the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which India says, it cannot reconcile. India currently holds the rotating G20 presidency. Vedika Sud,

CNN, New Delhi.


SOARES: So there's a lot because you can imagine on the agenda as we were hearing there from Kevin Liptak and Melissa in -- talking about Bakhmut. In

terms of what they'll be talking about focus clearly on the situation on the ground, the overwhelming topic will be the discussion over Ukraine as

Kevin Liptak was talking to us there, saying that this is very much a formal, a business-like meeting.

Both men clearly share opposition to Russia's invasion. That relationship has been one of the most consequential following the war in Ukraine over a

year ago. So they have plenty to discuss, not just how they can continue that support, a financial support, and keep the allies united. But also,

how they can continue the money and the pressure, the financial help for President Zelenskyy.

As you well know, President Zelenskyy has been calling for more support, more weapons, more tanks, jets even. We're seeing a lot of that support

coming from the United States. In fact, we've seen today, Ukraine aid package. A new Ukraine aid package totaling $400 million. And just to put

it into context for you, we're just doing the Math.

The U.S. has committed more than $32 billion to Ukraine since the start of the war. I want you to listen now to President Biden and German Chancellor

Olaf Scholz. Have a listen.



BIDEN: Well, Chancellor, welcome back to the Oval Office, welcome back to the White House. Olaf, we've done a lot of changes since the last you were

here. A matter of fact, if I'm not mistaken, you were here in February of 2022, and Russia was amassing its troops, 185,000 troops on the Ukrainian

border. And we made it clear that if he moved, we would both respond.

And together we made good on that promise, and I want to thank you, Olaf, for your strong and steady leadership. I mean that sincerely. It's made a

world of a difference. And together, we made good on our promise. You stepped up to provide critical military support. And you know, I would

argue that beyond your military support, the moral support you gave the Ukrainians has been profound, has been profound.

And you've given historic changes at home, and you know, increase in defense spending, and diversifying away from Russian energy sources. I know

that's not been easy, it's been very difficult for you. Together, we work in lockstep to supply critical security assistance to Ukraine, and from

everything from what we've done in lockstep.

Ammunition, artillery, armored tanks, air defense systems, and we've been together throughout this. You helped Ukraine meet its basic needs like

food, health, heating, and you continue to give them, put --maintain the pressure on Putin and undercutting his ability to fight this war. And so,

as NATO allies, we're making the alliance stronger and more capable.

You've heard me say before that, when I talked to Putin a couple of months before that, I told him that we're more or likely be getting -- not the --

NATO-ization, this should be the Finlandization of Europe which you've been pushing for, more like you have the NATO-ization of Europe. And he's had

that effect in terms of what's happened.


So a lot has happened since last year, we've got a lot to talk about, and I look forward to our conversation.

OLAF SCHOLZ, CHANCELLOR, GERMANY: Thank you for having me again, and I really appreciate to be accepted at the White House, and let me just say

this, is a very important year because of the very dangerous threat to peace that comes from Russia, invading Ukraine. And it's really important

that we acted together, that we organized in lockstep, and that we made it feasible so that we can give the necessary support to Ukraine during all

this time.

And that this time, I think it is very important that we give the message that we will continue to do so as long as it takes and as long as it is

necessary, and that we are ready also for staying with the Ukrainians as long as it is necessary. And I really appreciate the very good cooperation

between the two of us. Our governments and the United States, Germany and Europe, and the Trans-Atlantic Partnership is really in a very good shape


And this is very much thanks to your leadership. So, I'm really happy to be here to talk with you.

BIDEN: I'm so glad to talk to you. Thank you.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There you go, thank you so much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, how concerned are you about China and ongoing threat --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much, really appreciate you. Really appreciate you --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you take a question, Mr. President?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guys, we've got to head out.


Thank you so much, yes, we're heading out now. Yes, we're all heading out, thank you so much. Thank you guys, thank you so much.

SOARES: Lots of questions as you can imagine. Let's just see if they answer. No, they did not. They were just listening to a lot of questions

from journalists, the most pesky journalists quite rightly so as well. Let me just give you a sense of what we heard just there. President Biden

welcoming German Chancellor Scholz. He said a lot has changed since you were here last.

Worth remembering last time, the German chancellor was in fact at the White House, was in February of last year as German and as -- Russian troops I

should say, started making their way towards Ukraine's border, 125,000 troops, as you heard from President Biden there. And since then, they've

had a steady and long relationship over the course of the year. Many call have been had. But they've stood in lockstep. This is something that

President Biden said on every decision.

The critical support, he said, but also the military as well as moral support. Those words coming from President Biden, saying, he stood with us,

historic changes have happened in his own country as well, given of course, that Germany had a largely pacifist outlook in its foreign policy. That,

given what's happened, the German, the violence in second World War.

That has now changed with Germany investing again in military and sending increasingly weapons, harder weapons, advanced weaponry to Ukraine. Of

course, not, as many weapons as President Zelenskyy would like or as fast as he would like, but they got there. But also putting a lot of pressure as

you heard from President Biden there on Putin who, President Biden said, you know, all these pressure from the allies, including from this major

ally, Germany, is undercutting Putin's ability to fight this war.

And then you heard very briefly from the German chancellor, in fact, when the war started, he'd only been chancellor for four months or so, taking

over from Chancellor Merkel. He said that Russia poses a dangerous threat to peace, and he's promised to stay with Ukrainians for as long as it

takes. So, this is going to be very much a business-like meeting as we heard from our correspondent at the White House at the top of the show.

And this comes as U.S. throws more support behind, committing more money to Ukraine, $32 billion to the war in Ukraine. Of course, the question is

though, from President Zelenskyy, can we get more? Can we get jets? Given the picture that we painted for you at the top of the show, the Russians,

the Wagner Group encircling Bakhmut, and the fear of course they'll take that eastern part of the country.

So, pressure is very much on in that part of the country. So a lot for these two leaders to discuss. But the point at the moment is to stay

united, and of course, to hope that China does not get involved in this war as the fears from several sources in U.S. seem to suggest. We'll stay on

top of this story, of course, for you throughout this hour. Still to come though tonight, confrontations between Israeli forces and Israeli

protesters trying to reach a Palestinian town where settlers went on a rampage.


Details, right after a short break. Plus, the sentence is handed down in the double murder case involving a disgraced American lawyer. Alex

Murdaugh's punishment, that is just ahead.


SOARES: Welcome back everyone. Israeli forces have blocked activists from entering Huwara to show support for Palestinian residents there who came

under attack in a settler rampage. Dozens of Israeli protesters turned out, some carrying signs reading "Palestinian lives matter". The army has

declared Huwara a closed military zone as soldiers patrol the area. At times today, they used force to keep the demonstrators back.





SOARES: That man you can see there who was shoved, is a former speaker of the Israeli parliament. Avraham Burg posted the video on Twitter saying,

"all decent and moral people should stand with the victims in Huwara and against the quote, 'the tidal wave of government's incitement.'" While

European diplomats did enter Huwara today, they say it's absolutely necessary to ensure full accountability for the rampage which came hours

after two Israeli brothers were killed.

Let's get more now from CNN's Hadas Gold live in Jerusalem. And Hadas, how has the international community been reacting to the recent violence that

we've been seeing?

HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: I mean, there's been lots of statements of concern and condemnation, not only of those three who were

killed in Palestinian attacks this week, but especially regarding that very alarming settler violence. Now, while violence from settlers has been

something that's been happening for a long time, the scale and level of what happened on Sunday evening is what's been especially alarming.

And everybody, you know, from Saudi Arabia, to the Europeans, and especially the Americans, have put out statements not only concerned about

the violence itself, but also specifically, the statements for example from Bezalel Smotrich; the finance minister. I was particularly interested in

the State Department's very harsh reaction to what he said, and then calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to condemn those

remarks, where he said that Huwara needs to be essentially erased or wiped off the map.

Now, I can tell you that as of this evening, Benjamin Netanyahu has not come out condemning those statements. Meanwhile, in Huwara itself, our team

was there yesterday, it is still a closed military zone.


The military's saying that they're doing this not only because they're still on the lookout for the attackers who shot those two Israelis that

sparked those revenge attacks, but also they say to try and deescalate the situation, essentially keep Israeli settlers and Palestinians separated

because Huwara, where all this take place, is not only on a main route that both Israeli settlers and Palestinians use, but also Huwara surrounded by

actually several Israeli-Jewish settlements that are known to be particularly nationalistic. Our team was there yesterday to speak to the

villagers to talk about what happened. Take a look.


This is the Palestinian village Israel's far-right finance minister said needs to be erased. Huwara, where Israeli settlers tried to do just that on

Sunday, revenge attacks after the killings of two Israeli brothers by Palestinian gunman hours before. Days later, the smell of burning rubber

still lingers in the air as residents clean up shattered glass, burnt out cars, blackened buildings, one Palestinian man killed in the ensuing chaos.

Huwara has long been a flashpoint for violence between Israeli settlers and Palestinians partly due to the highway that runs through it. Residents say

Sunday was some of the worst attacks they have ever seen.


NAHAWAND DAMIDI, HUWARA RESIDENT (through translator): They usually attack us by throwing stones. If we try to defend ourselves, they will use

weapons. But last time was different. Wherever you look, there are bullets fired. Fires everywhere.


GOLD: Security cameras outside of residence home show masked settlers gathering flammable material to set this home on fire, the door literally

melting. 10-year-old Lamar Abu Saris said her room's window was broken by three big stones.


LAMAR ABU SARIS, HUWARA RESIDENT (through translator): Mom hid us in our room and went to the rooftop to see what's happening. We heard them

breaking the windows of the house. We didn't do anything to them.


GOLD: Her 2-year-old sister, Siwar, jumps when she hears a noise outside. "Beep fire," she whispers, a seeming reference to the car set ablaze at her

family's auto repair shop. Their mother, Hana, saying her children are traumatized.


HANA ABU SARIS, HUWARA RESIDENT: They burned the cars and shot three bullets towards me and were screaming "Death to Arabs. We will wipe out

Huwara." A few days later, that phrase, "Wipe out, Huwara," echoed by the Israeli finance minister and settler leader, Bezalel Smotrich.


BEZALEL SMOTRICH, ISRAEL FINANCE MINISTER (through translator) I think the village of Huwara needs to be erased. I think that the State of Israel

needs to do this, and God forbid not private people.


GOLD: Smotrich later tweeting he didn't mean it and only wants to, "Act in a targeted manner against the terrorist and supporters of terrorism."




GOLD: The U.S. State Department calling his original comments repugnant and disgusting. At least a dozen settlers have been arrested according to

Israeli police. And there's now a heavy military presence in town. Israeli soldiers telling our team to stop filming because it's a closed military

zone as Israeli authorities still search for the gunman who killed the two Israeli brothers and to keep Israeli settlers out of town.


GOLD: Now Huwara has actually also become a rallying cry for the Israeli protesters who have been out in the streets recently protesting to the

Netanyahu government's plan in traditional overhaul. If you recall those dramatic scenes on Wednesday when there was a heavy police force reacting

to those protests. Many of the protesters have begun chanting "Where were you in Huwara?" A reference to the heavy police presence at the protests

and the fact that there wasn't as heavy of a police presence or much of any sort of presence to prevent those settler attacks on Sunday.

And in a bit of positive news, Isa, some Israeli activists have started a crowdfunding campaign to help the villagers of Huwara rebuild and they've

raised already around $500,000, Isa.

SOARES: Hadas Gold for us this hour. Thanks very much, Hadas.

We are learning more today about the Palestinian civilian killed in the settler rampage. 37-year-old Sameh Aqtash had a wife and five children. His

brother tells CNN Sameh was short after he told dozens of settlers to leave his village near Huwara. The brother says the settlers returned, this time

accompanied by Israeli soldiers and opened fire with live bullets. Sameh was shot and killed. Volunteering was a big part of his life. He had just

come home from Turkey, where he distributed blankets and heaters after the earthquake. He had also had volunteered in India, Bangladesh, as well as

Uganda. His brother says anytime anyone needed help, they would go to Sameh. He says Sameh was constantly racing to do good.

Still to come in the meantime tonight, in a high profile case, a disgraced U.S. lawyer. Here's his sentencing for murdering his wife and his son. Then

Florida Health officials have a warning about tap water.


Don't spray it up your nose. Confused? We'll explain next.


SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. We are just learning that U.S. Attorney General made an unannounced trip to Ukraine on Friday. This unannounced

trip comes from a Justice Department official who says the trip was not announced for security reasons. The official also says that Merrick Garland

attended a festival where Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy and held several other meetings, reaffirming Washington's "determination to hold

Russia accountable for crimes committed in its unjust, unprovoked invasion." This just coming in, U.S. Attorney General Garner making an

unannounced trip to Ukraine.

Now to do North Korea, where alarm bells are ringing over shortages in basic food staples. According to state media, leader Kim Jong-un has

ordered a big increase in food production, telling his party that change is needed. CNN's Paula Hancocks has the details for you from Seoul.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Food insecurity has been an issue in North Korea for years. In fact, the United Nations has given repeated

warnings of a population that is largely malnourished. But what is happening at the moment appears to be particularly dire. Concerns about

North Korea's food crisis are growing. Reports from multiple sources say deaths due to starvation are likely.


LUCAS RENGIFO-KELLER, THE PETERSON INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS: Probably its worst point since the famine in the 1990's, which killed three

to five percent of the population.


HANCOCKS: Attention is being paid at the very top. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a Workers Party Meeting this week, calling for a fundamental

change in farming and state economic plans. But many say it is his regime, its chronic mismanagement and isolation that has caused this crisis.


LINA YOON, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: We're really talking about three years of no imports of fertilizer.


There's been no imports of tools or components to fix the outdated machinery that they have.


HANCOCKS: An extensive shutdown of borders due to the COVID pandemic meant almost no food or aid was getting into the country. Only in recent months

has minimal trade restarted with China. South Korean officials said last month, they believe deaths from starvation are occurring in certain areas.

They've provided no evidence. Its Rural Development Agency estimates that the North's food production dropped almost four percent last year from the

year before.


RENGIFO-KELLER: Food has dipped below the amount needed to satisfy the minimum human needs. So as it stands by that measure, even if you

distributed food perfectly equally, which is totally inconceivable, you would have hunger related deaths.


HANCOCKS: Speaking to South Korea's foreign minister last week, he said Pyongyang has to decide to help its own people.


PARK JIN, SOUTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER: The only way that North Korea can get out of this trouble is to come back to the dialogue table and accept

our humanitarian offer to the North, and make a better choice for the future.


HANCOCKS: The regime's focus remains on its nuclear and missile program. Seoul's Ministry of Unification says if Pyongyang had used the money spent

on launching missiles last year for food, it could have bought one million tons, more than enough to cover the annual food shortage, but that focus is

unlikely to shift.


YOON: As the time goes on, the capacity for North Koreans to endure hardship becomes harder and harder. Their resilience, you know, runs, and

their, you know, their resources also decrease.


HANCOCKS: Kim Jong-un has said that the next few years will be crucial in trying to solve the farming crisis. That is something that experts agree

with. However, he also said that North Korea needs to have tighter state control of agriculture. Many experts do not agree with that saying that a

large part of the reason why North Korea is in this situation in the first place is years of economic mismanagement. Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


SOARES: Well, a case that has captivated much of America for six weeks came to an end today with what some are calling a dose of justice. Alex

Murdaugh, a prominent disgraced lawyer from South Carolina, was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole after being found guilty of

murdering his wife and his son. Murdaugh had this exchange with the judge. Have a listen.


ALEX MURDAUGH, CONVICTED OF MURDER: I would never, under any circumstances, hurt my wife, Maggie, and I would never, under any circumstances, hurt my

son, Paw Paw.

JUDGE CLIFTON NEWMAN, SOUTH CAROLINA CIRCUIT COURT: Well -- and it might not have been you. It might have been the monster you become when you take

15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 opioid pills, maybe you become another person.


SOARES: Well, Murdaugh comes from a long line of lawyers that served a small town for nearly a century. But he was accused of embezzling millions

from his clients and partners, and his family was tied to some questionable deaths. CNN's Dianne Gallagher takes a close look at the case.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guilty verdict. Verdict, guilty, verdict, guilty, verdict guilty.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alex Murdaugh, a scion from the prominent local family of lawyers and solicitors found guilty of murdering

his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, after just three hours of jury deliberations.


CREIGHTON WATERS, LEAD PROSECUTOR: It doesn't matter who your family is. It doesn't matter how much money you have or people think you have. It doesn't

matter what you think, how prominent you are. If you do wrong, if you break the law, if you murder, then justice will be done in South Carolina.


GALLAGHER: The jury was seen with their heads down, never looking in Murdaugh's direction as the verdict was read. The prominent former

attorney's only living son, Buster, was present in the courtroom while the guilty verdict was read, appearing at times to wipe tears from his eyes.

After the guilty verdict came down, the judge denied a motion from the defense asking for a mistrial and to set aside the verdict.


NEWMAN: The evidence of guilt is overwhelming and I deny the motion.


GALLAGHER: The case wrapped up earlier Thursday with the defense's closing arguments, attempting one last time to poke holes in the state's case.


JIM GRIFFIN, ALEX MURDAUGH'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Their theory is that he slaughtered his wife and son to distract from an impending financial

investigation, but he puts himself in the middle of a murder investigation and he puts himself in the spotlight of a media firestorm.


GALLAGHER: And further slamming the investigation.


GRIFFIN: We believe that we've shown conclusively that SLED failed miserably in investigating this case.



GALLAGHER: The jury was unswayed by this defense, favoring the prosecution's argument that Murdaugh was the only one with the motive,

means, and opportunity to kill his wife and son.


JOHN MEADORS, PROSECUTOR: He did it. Nobody else could have done it. Nobody else did do it.


GALLAGHER: Over the roughly six-week trial, the prosecution presented his case featuring testimony from 61 witnesses with phone forensics and

extensive evidence of Murdaugh's financial misdeeds.


ALAN WILSON, SOUTH CAROLINA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Our criminal justice system worked tonight. It gave a voice to Maggie and Paul Murdoch.


SOARES: Dianne Gallagher reporting there.

Well, the Health Department in the U.S. State of Florida is warning people about tap water, but not about drinking it. Here's what happened. A person

has died after being infected with a brain-eating amoeba. Officials say the infection may have been caused by tap water used to rinse the person's

sinuses. CNN Health Reporter Jacqueline Howard has more on this rather rare case. So Jacqueline, what more can you tell us about this? What happened


JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Yes. Well, Isa, like you said, this is rare, but it's concerning. And what we know from health officials in

Florida, they say that they're still investigating this death and the circumstances around the brain-eating amoeba infection, but they did

confirm that the infection was possibly a result of the person using tap water that was not sterilized in their sinus rinsing solution. And the

reason why that's important to keep in mind officials say that you need to use distilled water. Or if you use tap water, make sure you boil it for a

minute if you use it for rinsing out your sinuses.

Now what we know about the brain-eating amoeba infection, we do know that symptoms typically start with headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and they

can progress to stiff neck, seizures, or hallucinations. And we do know that these are rare but deadly. Here in the United States alone, between

the years of 1962 and 2021, only four people out of 154 known infections survived the disease that these infections cause. That's what's concerning

here, Isa, and that's why officials are warning people about using tap water for sinus rinsing.

SOARES: And of course, we don't want to get people to be in a panic, in a state of panic. So we'll just explain where do we normally find these kind

of brain-eating amoebas? What sort of environment, do you think, that they're typically found in, whether they flourish really?

HOWARD: Right. We don't want people to panic. These single-celled micro organisms, the brain-eating amoeba, its scientific name is naegleria

fowleri, and they're typically found in soil and warm freshwater environments. Again, these are rare infections, but they're caused when

water containing the amoeba enter your nose. And in some cases, it might be the result of someone swimming in a lake and getting water up their nose.

We've seen some infections caused that way. So, that's what we know about this amoeba. Again, infections like this are rare, but when they do happen,

health officials do investigate them very thoroughly, Isa.

SOARES: Jacqueline, appreciate it. Thanks very much.

Still to come. Tonight, we go deep into a forgotten chamber inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, how scientists made the incredible discovery, that

is next.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. It's like an Indiana Jones film, a forgotten chamber is discovered hidden deep in the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Who doesn't like the Raiders of the Lost Ark? But this is no movie. Scientists have discovered a secret tunnel in the Great Pyramid, not thanks

to hieroglyphics, but an endoscope camera no wider than really a fingernail. They are the first people in 4,500 years to discover a

passageway above the entrance stretching into the pyramid's interior. But this discovery only really opens the door, you guessed it, to more

discoveries. Let's go to Giza, Egypt to discuss this discovery further with geophysicist and Professor Christian Grosse. Professor, great to have you

on the show. Just how did you know, first of all, where to look?

CHRISTIAN GROSSE, GEOPHYSICIST AND PROFESSOR, MUNICH TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY: Yes, that is a very good question. Actually, in our scan pyramids project,

we had a nice group from Japan and France, who did the Mayan tomography, starting in 2015 already, and they got a pretty nice clue where to look at.

And our task from the Cairo University and Technical University of Munich was to have a better precision of the location using ultrasound and radar.

That's what we did.

SOARES: And so how large, how big is this corridor and this channel? And do we know, Professor, what its function was? Or is it -- are we still trying

to figure this out?

GROSSE: Well, actually, it's just two-meter ten wide and two-meter thirty high maximum. And the amazing length is nine meter in total. So that is a

real big chamber. And, well, what is next is, of course to find out what's the purpose of that chamber and what is probably behind or underneath that


SOARES: And do we have any hypothesis so far, Professor?

GROSSE: Well, actually, there is speculation, of course. But what is for sure is that the ancient Egyptians did not do such a nice room without any

reason. So one suggested explanation is that it's a distribution of the forces from the nodes from the top to prevent that chamber collapsing over

the years. But -- well then the question is open, what has to be projected? So one thing that we want to find out is maybe there's something behind or

maybe there's something beneath that chamber.

SOARES: Right. So basically, it was used to reduce pressure, right? As a form of reducing pressure, but not -- you're not quite certain yet what it

was hiding or what was beneath it, and that's the next step. So what is the next step here? What will you be looking for now that you've got a sense of

the space and the structure?

GROSSE: Well, the very next step is to further develop on the data and to do data processing. And in particular, you have, as you said, for 4,500

years, not seen that room. So that is really not spoiled by anybody. So this could lead, for example, to find out a little bit better how the

Pyramid was built, because that is still one of the secrets. And the next would be to see with other techniques like non-destructive testing

techniques, from the other side, if we can find something beneath or in the back.

SOARES: And how big of a discovery is it? Because it's important to point out, there's no drilling, no excavation, this was done with a super scanner

of sorts. We saw it there.


I mean, did you ever think that this -- you would discover this?

GROSSE: Well, actually, we had a good clue about that. But the extension was a surprise and also the form of the chamber is a bit of a surprise. We

thought it must be a gabled structure, what we call chevron. So this is really a very interesting structure inside of a pyramid. It's not the only

one with the chevron. The King's Chamber also have some Chevrons. But it's a major finding, because it's such a large room, and the ancient Egyptians

don't do that without any reason.

SOARES: Yes, there's always - there's always a reason behind. Whatever you find, Professor, come back to us. Appreciate it. Thank you.

GROSSE: Hello from Cairo.

SOARES: Hello. Thank you very much, sir.

Now, the U.S. National Park Service had advice for anyone who comes face to face with a bear in the wild. Not about what they should do, but what they

shouldn't. In the tweet nature lovers, "Not," as you can see, "to push a slower friend down even if you feel like friendship has run its course."

Well, the tweet, as you can imagine, drew some questions though. One man actually asked "What if you are the slower friend?" The park service's

response was this "Check in on the friendship before you head to the woods." Very good advice indeed.

That does it for us for this week. Thanks very much for your company. Do stay right here. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" next. I shall see you next week.

Have a wonderful weekend. Bye-bye.