Return to Transcripts main page

Isa Soares Tonight

Israel Launches Retaliatory Strikes; Russia's War On Ukraine; Christians Mark Good Friday; France's Macron Discusses Ukraine War With China's Xi; French Protesters Block Access To Mont Saint-Michel; Banking Crisis Increases Chances Of U.S. Recession; Aftermath Of Strikes In Lebanon; Israel Strikes Targets In Gaza & Lebanon After Rocket Attacks; Lebanon Vows To File Complaint To U.N. Over Israeli Strikes; Tennessee House Republicans Expel Two Democrats, Spare Third. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired April 07, 2023 - 14:00   ET



LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, very warm welcome to the show everyone. I'm Lynda Kinkade in the Isa Soares, denied a tense, calming

Israel after the IDF hit targets in Southern Lebanon and Gaza in retaliation for dozens of rockets launched from Lebanon. Then an apparent

leak of classified military information about Ukraine.

What we know from the Pentagon and Christians are marking one of their holiest days of the year. We'll be live in Rome on this good Friday.

Governments around the world are urging restraint after days of violence in the Middle East, warning that any further escalation could spiral out of

control. A fragile calm is in effect for now, but Israel has ordered the mobilization of some reservers.

After it launched airstrikes into Southern Lebanon and Gaza, it says it went after Palestinian militant targets, after rockets fired into Israel.

After those cross-border attacks, Israelis traveling in a car in the West Bank came under fire today, two sisters were killed and their mother was


Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who visited the scene with his defense minister, condemning what he called the heinous shooting.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I can only say one thing. Our enemies are putting us to the test again. And once again, they will

discover even in this test that we stand together united confident in our righteousness, and we will act together with the complete backing of our

forces, the IDF and the security forces who also work on the holidays to ensure the security of our citizens and the security of our homelands, and

together united, we will win.


KINKADE: Well, all of this happening after scenes inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem outraged the Arab Muslim world and beyond. Salma Abdelaziz

tells us how two Israeli raids on one of Islam's holiest sights led to what many are calling a very dangerous moment for the region.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A day that began with rockets from Gaza that struck a home in stair out (ph).

No one was killed in the attack. The latest in a wave of missiles fired from Gaza and Southern Lebanon in recent days. Violence also spread to the

West Bank on Friday. There two Israeli sisters were killed and their mother seriously wounded in a shooting described by Israeli forces as a terrorist

attack, Hamas praised the deadly attack as a heroic act of resistance.

In recent days, major escalation across the region has raised fears of a wider conflict. This is the latest catalyst. Israeli police twice stormed

Al-Aqsa Mosque Wednesday overnight footage showed the dramatic raid, Israeli forces hitting worshipers with rifle butts and battens. Israeli

police say they entered the mosque after hundreds of rioters barricaded themselves inside, and that their officers were attacked with stones and


Palestinians and the wider Muslim world see the raid on the mosque as a provocation, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan. Condemnation

quickly poured in as well as rockets from two directions, Southern Lebanon and Gaza. It all begins and ends at the holy sight you see behind me here,

known as "the Noble Sanctuary" to Muslims or the Temple Mount to Jews.

It is dictated by a decade old agreement that says only Muslims can pray at the site. Some non-Muslims are allowed at certain times at the complex, but

any violation, real or perceived of that so-called status quo agreement could quickly ignite tensions and many Palestinians fear, that's exactly

what's happening.

There have been calls by Jewish extremist groups to slaughter goats at the Mosque compound during Passover and in January, an inflammatory visit by

Israel's far-right National Security Minister Ben-Gvir drew international condemnation. He's convicted of supporting terrorism and inciting anti-Arab


Prime Minister Netanyahu has insisted his government is not seeking to change rules at the holy site. On Friday, tens of thousands gathered at the

steps of Al-Aqsa Mosque after a peaceful prayer service. Banners read "Al- Aqsa is a red line." Another said, "Do not test our patience." The U.S., UN and other members of the international community have called for restraint

and calm, but with nearly two weeks of Ramadan left and the Passover holiday underway, it remains a deeply sensitive time in a deeply sensitive


Salma Abdelaziz CNN Jerusalem.

KINKADE: Well, Israel says it strikes in Gaza targeted Hamas weapons manufacturing sites and tunnels.


KINKADE: But the Palestinian Health Ministry says the Children's Hospital was also damaged, and a Palestinian taxi driver says his family was nearly

killed when missiles hit just outside their home in Gaza, he says he ran to his young sister's rooms where they were sleeping after powerful explosions

blasted the walls and the windows.


MUHANAD ABU NEAMA, PALESTINIAN TAXI DRIVER: I came in running amidst the sound of explosions. I could hardly see because of the dust. The dirt

covered my sisters and I carried them out one by. What is their fault? One of them almost died after a window fell on her and she started screaming.


KINKADE: Well, an Israeli military spokesperson acknowledges that this week's surge in violence was triggered by Israeli raids on the Al-Aqsa

Mosque, but he tells CNN's Frederik Pleitgen, the priority is now deescalation.


LT. COL. RICHARD HECHT, IDF INTERNATIONAL SPOKESPERSON: There's been a convergence of frontiers right now for Israel of regions. An event that

started off in Jerusalem got expanded to Gaza Hamas (ph) and into Lebanon. So basically, due to the events that happened, and again, we're in very

volatile times. Two nights ago, an event in Temple Mount kicked off a response from Gaza who is trying to escalate with a lot of social networks

this region, and they started firing rockets.

After that, some Palestinian factions in Lebanon predominantly Hamas, also started firing at Israel. So, we had like a multi arena with one main

adversary, the Palestinian capabilities.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You are saying, it's a very volatile time, obviously we saw that last night. What we're hearing

today is that Israel is calling up some reservists, specifically in air defense and also in the Air Force.

Can you tell us how many and why you're making that move now?

HECHT: So, I won't go into the numbers, but I will tell you that we are ready for any developments. You can understand from the language of how

this event is unfolding that we want to deescalate. I mean, there's a very, very sensitive weekend ahead with Passover, Ramadan, and Easter all


And we're hoping for a quiet weekend. Although we had another attack the right after the prayers in Jerusalem, in the Jordan Valley. But we're

looking to deescalate.

PLEITGEN: Do you feel that on all sides? Do you think there is a chance for deescalation right now, or do you see this, as you say, it's very volatile?

Do you see that there is the potential for this to blow up into something bigger? Especially right now when you're dealing with two fronts, you're in

South Lebanon and here in Gaza as well.

HECHT: So again, there was a language here that we spoke. We were very focused on the things that were threatening us specifically.

Also, this rockets from the north and also the rockets from Gaza. And again, we are now trying to keep the worship and keep this weekend open

because it's a sacred time. All the crossings is from Judea, Samaria open, also from Gaza. There's people coming in and if it's quiet, it'll be

answered with quiet.


KINKADE: Well, Frederik Pleitgen joins us now from the Israeli-Gaza border. Good to have you with us, Fred. It was an interesting interview just did.

We did also hear earlier today from the Lebanese Foreign Minister who spoke with our Becky Anderson, who said they are working to deescalate the

situation as well.

The question is, will it be successful? Because what is your sense of the situation, especially given that the Israelis are calling on some

reservists and several councils have opened up these bomb shoulders. What can we expect in the coming days?

PLEITGEN: Yeah. Hi, Lynda. I think the sense that we're getting here on the ground is that all sides really don't want this to escalate any further

than it already has.

If you look at the Israelis, for instance, they just a couple of minutes ago, a source in the defense sector there telling CNN that as of right now

the operations in South Lebanon, but also over Gaza are over. If there is no new rocket fire. Now of course we know from some of the events that

we've seen over the past 24 hours that that is a very big if, and certainly you can see and feel as we are on the edge of Gaza right now, that the

Israelis certainly aren't taking any chances.

In fact, as I'm speaking to you right now and the lights that you see behind me, that is already the territory of Gaza. We are hearing drones

overhead the entire time. So, clearly the Israelis very much keeping an eye on the situation looking to see that nothing is fired towards Israel from

Gaza territory.

And obviously also being on high alert as well with the fact that they've said that they've called up reserves and especially in air defense and also

in the Air Force as well. So, clearly this region is very much on edge. Israel, obviously on edge, Lebanon, very much of course on edge as well.

But at the same time, you do feel that regional actors (ph).

And certainly the countries that have been affected so far, Israel, but then Lebanon as well. They don't want this to spiral into something wider

and turn into a wider war here in this region, which obviously would be highly detrimental to a country like Lebanon, but certainly to Israel, as

well, Lynda.

KINKADE: And really that is the major concern right now, Fred, because military experts have said that the barrage of from Lebanon into Israel was

the heaviest we've seen since 2006 when Israel and Hezbollah were at war. Interestingly though,


KINKADE: This time Israel didn't go directly after Hezbollah, right?

PLEITGEN: No, they certainly didn't. And I think this was also part of the Israelis really trying to, I wouldn't say necessarily play the safe, but

certainly be very careful about who they accuse. And also be very careful to not allow this to spiral into something wider where all of a sudden you

have a wider conflict with the Lebanese, but specifically also of course, Hezbollah as well.

It was quite interesting, when we saw some of the statements that were coming from the Israelis were early on, they were actually blaming Hamas,

the group that controls Gaza for firing those rockets from Lebanon. Then very quickly took that back and said that they believed that it was

Palestinians firing from inside Lebanese territory, which obviously very much excludes Hezbollah having been behind all this At the same time, we're

also seeing that Hezbollah has been fairly quiet over the past 24 hours as well.

Also, seemingly not wanting to escalate that situation either, because of course we know that Hezbollah is an extremely important and extremely

strong group there inside Lebanon. Certainly when also that's much more battle hardened than it would've been several years ago, especially all

through all the experience that their fighters gained fighting in Syria, for instance.

Nevertheless, for Hezbollah also, it would've been an extremely tough conflict if they would've gone into a direct war with the Israelis. So,

it's really seems as though all sides are saying, take a step back here, make sure this doesn't escalate to any further. Certainly the Israelis

right now saying very publicly.

It seems that for now, right now, their retaliatory action in Gaza and in South Lebanon is over if they're not shot at again, Lynda.

KINKADE: Mm-hmm. Frederik Pleitgen for us on the Israeli-Gaza border. Good to have you there for us. Thanks very much. Well, U.S. officials are

investigating what appears to be a leak of classified military information about Ukraine.

Screenshots are circulating on Russian social media showing what looks like U.S. and native documents about Ukrainian weapons systems and other

intelligence. All of this coming out as Ukraine battles, Russian forces in Bakhmut, and as it prepares for a new counter offensive. U.S. officials say

the documents are real, but they appear to be edited.

Ukrainian presidential adviser believes Moscow is behind the supposed leak. But he says the images have quote, "Nothing to do with Ukraine's real

plans." Well, let's get the view from the U.S. and Ukraine. Natasha Bertrand joins me now from the Pentagon and our Nick Paton Walsh is joining

us from Kyiv.

Good to have you both with us. I'm going to start with you first, Natasha. These were classified war documents, allegedly covering secret NATO and

U.S. plans for building military resources in Ukraine. What are your sources telling you about this? How serious is this leak?

NATASHA BERTRAND, NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well, Lynda, they're taking this leak very seriously.

Of course, anytime something sensitive like this comes out of the Pentagon, leaks from the Pentagon, it is taken very seriously by the administration,

and they are saying that they're still trying to get to the bottom of it here. But what they're telling us so far is that these documents, they are

legitimate, they are authentic.

However, some of them have been edited in some places. And what we're told is that at least one document actually had a correct Pentagon assessments

for how many Russians were killed in action, for example. But that document appears to have been edited before it was later disseminated by Russian

Telegram channels to make those casualty figures much lower.

So, it's little things like this in these documents. That are leading officials to express to reporters that they should be very cautious with

how they're handling these documents. But look at the same time, these documents can, they are pretty revealing and they could be useful for the

Russians just in terms of figuring out and finding out how much equipment the Ukrainians currently have.

For example, one of the documents lists the exact systems, the quantities of them that the West has given to the Ukrainians, when the training on

those systems will be complete, and roughly how many more systems, the U.S. and the West are going to give to Ukraine.

So, that is a very potentially valuable window that the Russians could have into this kind of operational, you know, aspect of the Ukrainian military.

So, the U.S. Now they're investigating. The Pentagon is investigating how this leak actually happened. But so far we are not getting really any

closer to finding out when these documents appeared online exactly.

And also how much is actually out there. We have identified about four documents so far that have been put out there that the Pentagon says are in

fact real.

KINKADE: Wow. Yeah, we wonder if we'll see any more of these documents in the coming days or weeks. I do want to get Nick's take on this from


Nick, can you give us a sense of how Ukraine is responding to these leak documents and also an update on the battle in Bakhmut? Is there any sense

of who has the upper hand there right now?

NICK PATON WALSH, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I mean, the clearest signal we've had from the Ukrainian government is a

presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, saying essentially this is Russian misinformation and echoing a point I think many analysts have made.


WALSH: Why, if you were Russian intelligence and you'd scored this coup of obtaining confidential NATO and U.S. assessments about your enemy. Why

would you then put them online to essentially advertise the fact you were in possession of this confidential assistance in the upcoming counter

offensive? Everyone's expecting the Ukrainians to launch.

Counter verse two. Why if the U.S. have discovered this intelligence leak and these documents online, why would they give indications that these are

authentic? So, not to say that these are not genuine signals from people and that there is just great confusion as often occurs in these

circumstances. But you also should remember the context of misinformation in this war and how we're ahead of the previous Ukrainian counter offensive

in the summer, there were suggestions of certain tactics that might have been used by Ukrainians that turned out later to not be the case.

The fog of war means a lot of people talk different things the whole time. That don't always turn out to be true. But it is very interesting how these

documents have specifically emerged just at a time of heightened speculation as to when Ukraine's counter offensive may begin.

And they do appear, it seems, if they are authentic to present important bits of information about Ukraine's capabilities. We'll have to see how

real they turn out to be down the line and if they have any impact on the counter offensives timing. Adding into that, Lynda, we are hearing from

Bakhmut. Certainly a UK intelligence assessment of the fighting for that.

Now, symbolically key city in Ukraine's East suggesting that Russia, the UK says, might be getting some momentum perhaps because the mercenary vagner

groups fighting for that city and also the traditional Russian military, they're the conventional Russian military, are beginning to cooperate a

little more their rivalry.

Certainly stymied will certainly be very public over the past months. Whether this marks a sea change in Russia's lengthy months long, almost the

whole winter, frankly, fight for this town, which most analysts say has minimal strategic value, but it's really come outsize and importance of

Russia because they've said they will take it.

We simply don't know if this is a sea change in how that fight's going to play out, but certainly it has over the past month sucked in a lot of

Russian resources. A lot of Ukrainian ones too, but some analysts are saying it's given a bit of breathing space on other parts of the frontline

for perhaps Ukraine to prepare for this counter offensive.

Whether these documents being leaked or the events in Bakhmut alter the timing or pressure points of that counter offensive, we don't know yet, but

certainly I think many are anticipating in the days and weeks ahead. A large Ukrainian push. Lynda.

KINKADE: All right. No doubt. We will talk again in the days and weeks ahead.

Nick Paton Walsh in Kyiv and Natasha Bertrand at the Pentagon. Thanks to you both. Well, in Northern Ukraine, things are relatively calm in the

Kharkiv region near the Russian border. Still Ukrainian forces are preparing for battle. Ben Wedeman found time to speak to some soldiers as

they shore up their defenses.


BEN WEDEMAN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Genio (ph) prepares his 50 caliber machine gun. He didn't fire this time, but he needs to be always on

alert. Russian forces are nearby. This position on the northern edge of the Kharkiv region hasn't seen much action of late, but the men here have seen

plenty elsewhere. In January, Genio (ph) was in a frontline foxhole in Donbas.

From early in the morning, they would shell us with artillery and right afterwards their infantry would try to take our positions. He recalls, you

could see them. Much of the area south of here saw vicious combat. Last September, Ukrainian forces routed the Russians for much of the Kharkiv

region. Before retreating, they toppled this Soviet era, communications tower, scorched Earth, their tactic of choice.

This position manned by the 209th Battalion of the Ukrainian Army's 113th brigade is holding steady defense. Not offense is the order of the day.

Oleksy was a nuclear physicist before picking up a gun. We have enough ammunition. We have enough weapon and different armor, equipment. But it's

all for defense, weapons for the counterattack. It'll be better because we sooner free our land.

The weapons they have are hardly the latest. The troops showed us a Swedish made recoilless rocket launcher dating back to 1978. They defend their

position with other decades old methods. Beyond this razor wire, just on the other side, are landmines. Fortunately, this area is relatively quiet,

which is a welcome respite for these battle scarred troops.

It was a nightmare as how Yevgan (ph) describes the battle in the dead of winter in Donbas. I'll remember it for the rest of my life.


WEDEMAN: 52 year old Vitali (ph) served with Russians in the Soviet army. This war has severed old ties. We ate from the same pot. He says

reminiscing of his days as young recruit. That was then. This is now after so many battles, they prepare for the next. Ben Wedeman, CNN in the

northern Kharkiv region.


KINKADE: Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich has been formally charged with espionage.

That's according to Russian State Media. The 32-year old was arrested in Russia last week on allegations of spying. It's the first time that's

happened to an American journalist since the Cold War. Gershkovich denies the accusations. Still to come tonight, the French president getting the

red carpet treatment in China as he wraps up a lavish state dinner.

Plus, CNN speaks with the CEO of the biggest bank in America about the recent banking crisis and the risk that the U.S. could see a recession.


KINKADE: Welcome back. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Good to have you with us. Well, French president Emmanuel Macron is wrapping up a three day visit to China

on Friday. He traveled to Southern China with President Xi, where he spoke with university students and met with Chinese investors. The two men also

had tea and a private dinner.

European leaders are pressuring China on Ukraine that have so far failed to see any public shifts in position from Mr. Xi. CNN Marc Stewart takes a

closer look for us.

MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: French President, Emmanuel Macron's visit to China has centered on diplomacy and business. Let's start on the

diplomatic front. Macron told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that he was counting on him to quote reason with Russia to help bring an end to the

war in Ukraine.

Macron blamed Russia for disrupting decades of peace in Europe. China has refused to condemn the invasion as diplomatic and economic ties between the

two nations have tightened. According to a readout published by Chinese State Media on Friday night. Xi told Macron that it is in nobody's interest

for the Ukraine War to drag on, and it's in everyone's interest to bring a ceasefire and an end to the war as soon as possible.

Earlier, according to French diplomatic sources, Xi said he'd have a call with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the right moment.


STEWART: And then on the business front, Macron did not travel alone. He went to China with a group of French business people with the hope of deal

making. Macron also spent time in Guangzhou, which is seen as a commercial center in China. Marc Stewart, CNN, Tokyo.

KINKADE: And the French president will soon return home where he'll have to deal with the ongoing political crisis over his pension reforms.

Hundreds of protestors. Friday blocked access to the iconic Mont Saint- Michel, it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in France. And just a day earlier, hundreds of thousands of people took part in this

year's 11th round of nationwide strikes, they want the government to withdraw legislation raising their retirement age from 62 to 64 for Mr.

Macron and the Prime Minister refused.

A new warning about the rising risk of recession here in the United States. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, spoke to my colleague, Poppy

Harlow and said the recent volatility in the banking sector may have consequences.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Has this banking crisis even though you think it's almost over, which I'm really glad to hear, though increased chances

of a recession here?

JAMIE DIMON, CEO, JP MORGAN CHASE: Yes. But I look at it like it's not definitive. It's just like another weight on the scale.


DIMON: And think of it as, you know, people have said it's like raising rates another 50 basis points or something like that. I, we are seeing

people reduce lending a little bit.

Cut back a little bit, pull back a little bit. It won't necessarily force recession, but it is recessionary.

HARLOW: Storm clouds ahead, you say maybe some for the economy.

DIMON: Yeah, I might mentioned the QT. Higher inflation for longer.


DIMON: The war.


DIMON: Those are pretty strong things. If you look at history since World War II, we've not kind of faced it like that.

It's still early in that that war go on for longer. We don't really know the outcome of QT. I think we'll be writing about QE and QT for 50 years.

HARLOW: Quantitative tightening. Okay.


KINKADE: We'll (ph) still (ph) to come tonight, we will have the latest on our top story. That fresh wave of violence in the Middle East will go live

to Beirut plus Pope Francis marks (ph) a Good Friday, but will miss the annual procession. We'll explain why after the break.



KINKADE (on camera): Welcome back. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Good to have you with us.

I want to circle back to the airstrikes in south Lebanon. Retaliation after dozens of rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israeli territory. And an

Israeli defense official tells CNN that operations in Gaza and Lebanon have ended, as long as there is no new rocket fired. The Lebanese Foreign

Minister spoke to CNN a short time ago about whether the Iran-backed group Hezbollah approved the strikes on Israel.


ABDALLAH BOU HABIB, LEBANESE FOREIGN MINISTER: It could be Hamas or any other organization from the Palestinian side. But we found out that this

Palestinians, that they're not Hezbollah at all, and it is really good that neither Hezbollah nor Israel is escalating against Hezbollah.


KINKADE: Well, I want to bring in CNN s Scott McLean. He joins us now live. Good to have you with us. So, military experts are saying this barrage from

Lebanon into northern Israel was the heaviest we've seen since 2006 when Hezbollah and Israel were at war. Israel then launched these overnight

strikes. What did they hit?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Hey, Lynda. Yes. So these are targets, which, on the surface. looked pretty benign, pretty insignificant

frankly. We're talking about an electrical transformer, we're talking about some buildings, some cars affected in a rural area, about 10 miles, 15, 16

kilometers from the Israeli border. And in one case, we were talking about a massive crater left behind by one of these strikes in a farmer's field

that jolted awake some nearby farm workers and actually collapsed a part of their roof just from the sheer force of it. But you had to wonder, after

seeing those pictures and hearing from the people around that area, what on earth was the military or strategic target that the Israelis were after?

Well, a Lebanese security source told my team here in Beirut earlier that these actually were Palestinian militant sites. There actually were weapons

on these sites that the Israelis were after. And so, this was something more serious than what it seemed on purpose. And, of course, the real risk

here, and the real concern that had been expressed by that security source and by plenty of people, including the United Nations, is that this

retaliatory strike could lead to this, sort of, ongoing back and forth that could really spiral into a larger conflict.

KINKADE: That is the major concern. So, I have to ask you, Scott, just how much swaying does Lebanon have here? I mean, we heard the foreign minister

earlier today say that he wants to see a de-escalation. How much influence does Lebanon have on this?

MCLEAN: It's limited, but we're going to find out exactly how effective the Lebanese can be, I think, in the coming days. And whether or not this sort

of fragile state of calm that's descended over Lebanon right now will actually hold, and that is because the Lebanese Foreign Minister told us

and our colleague, Becky Anderson, earlier today that he has managed, his government has managed, to speak directly with Hezbollah. They have ties

with the Lebanese militia group. They're actually part of the government.

And also spoken to the Americans, but essentially, because of the state of how things are in the country, and the complexities here and in the region,

he is essentially relying on Hezbollah to relay his message, his government's message, to those Palestinian militia groups. And he's relying

on the Americans to relay the Lebanese message to the Israelis to turn down the temperature and not to retaliate further and not to escalate things.

The other reality here is that the Lebanese don't effectively control large swaths of their territory, especially in the southern part of the country.

Case in point the minister figures that some of the rockets that were actually used in this barrage were actually manufactured in Palestinian

refugee camps in the southern part of the country, camps that had been there for years, but that Lebanese security forces don't actually have a

part in policing. And so you have that.

On the other hand, you have this really confusing game of telephone that has some potentially very dire, real-life consequences if it all goes

wrong, Lynda.

KINKADE: Yes. Exactly. Let's hope for some calm. Scott McLean for us in Lebanon, Beirut. Thanks so much. Good to have you with us.

Police in Northern Ireland are on high alert, deploying quite significant forces ahead of Easter weekend. The warning of possible Republican disorder

and terrorist activity, a top officer says these measures haven't been necessary for years.


And it comes as the country marks 25 years since the Good Friday Agreement, a peace deal which brought an end to decades of sectarian violence. Our Nic

Robertson has more from Belfast on the legacy of that landmark deal.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I think it really depends on who you speak to about how much the Good Friday Agreement has

delivered over the past quarter century. But the one thing that everyone would agree on here is it brought peace, it brought safety, it brought the

knowledge that you could go out shopping in the central Belfast with your family and not be caught up in an explosion.

More 3 1/2 thousand people were killed during those three decades known as The Troubles. So, yes, Northern Ireland has moved on, and, yes, you can

look around, see the development, see the development here in the city center, see the new businesses, the new hotels, all those sorts of things

that come with an improvement in the economy. But there are other areas where people will tell you, particularly the younger generation, have been

telling us that they feel that the Good Friday Agreement hasn't delivered enough, not really on their expectations. That you really can't have a good

conversation between, let's say, the pro-British and the pro-Irish communities, about the identity of Northern Ireland and the people who live


And what happens next, there's a movement for United Ireland, there's a strong movement to remain part of the United Kingdom. So all of these areas

don't get very much discussion. There's a political stasis here between the major political parties, and that's bringing some economic issues. But

really it's that big issue, Good Friday Agreement brought peace, but it sort of held that. There isn't a pathway forward. There isn't a way forward

to what comes next. And that's something you hear a lot of from the younger generation. Nic Robertson, CNN, Belfast.


KINKADE: We turn now to the Vatican where the faithful are marking Good Friday. Well, that breathtaking singing fillings St. Peter's Basilica, Pope

Francis was there arriving in a wheelchair and remaining seated for most of the event. The 86-year-old is currently recovering from a bout of

bronchitis and was released from hospital last weekend. The Vatican says he will miss the annual Way of the Cross procession, which is being held later

at the Colosseum due to the intense cold weather. The preparations for that, as you can see, are already underway.

Well, I want to bring in our Vatican Correspondent Delia Gallagher who joins us now live. Good to see you. Happy Easter to you, Delia. So just how

is Pope Francis doing as he marks Good Friday given his recent bout of poor health?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, exactly, Lynda. I mean, I think he's doing about as well, as you can expect, for an

80-year-old man who has mobility issues and is recovering from a bout of bronchitis. The fact that he is missing the event tonight would normally be

cause for concern. But this is an event which begins at 9:00 at night, it's two hours, it has been unseasonably cold here in Rome in the evenings, the

Pope would be up on a hill and exposed to the elements. So, given all of that and given his condition, it seems like a simply prudent judgment on

the part of the Pope and the Vatican to keep him home. They say he'll be watching from his residence.

But I have to say, Lynda, he has been participating in all of the Holy Week events since Palm Sunday. He got out of the hospital on Saturday. He was

right in the square on Palm Sunday. Yesterday, he was at a juvenile jail here in Rome for the washing of the feet. That's another traditional thing

that they do on what's called Holy Thursday, he was watching and kissing feet of 12 young people there. He seemed to be in very good spirits.

And, indeed, we saw him just about two hours ago now in St. Peter's Basilica, as you mentioned for Good Friday service. We will see him

tomorrow, one assumes, at the Easter vigil in the evening and St. Peter's Basilica and, again, on Sunday for Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter's

Square. So, it is a challenging time for the Pope. No denying it. But all things considered, Lynda I think he seems like he's up to the challenge.


KINKADE: Yes. He certainly looked well there in the kissing of the feet. We will speak to you again soon. I hope you have a lovely Easter. Thanks so

much, Delia Gallagher.


KINKADE: Still to come tonight, tensions in Tennessee. House Republicans expelled two black Democratic lawmakers for their part in a gun protest.


And restoring Mosul piece by piece. Experts repair the damage left by ISIS who once controlled Iraq's second biggest city.


KINKADE: Welcome back. Black lawmakers in the U.S. state of Tennessee has slammed the decision by House Republicans to expel two black members.

Justin Jones and Justin Pearson took part in a protest on the chamber floor last week against gun violence. CNN's Ryan Young reports from Nashville.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What they did tonight is light a fire to our movement and we will not stop.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Screams ringing out of the Tennessee House floor after two black Democrats, Justin Pearson and Justin

Jones, were expelled from the legislature.

JUSTIN JONES, FORMER TENNESSEE STATE REPRESENTATIVE: When they expelled us, it wasn't about us individually. It was an attempt to expel and silence a


JUSTIN PEARSON, FORMER TENNESSEE STATE REPRESENTATIVE: We showing up Monday and we need you to show up Monday because our schools need to be safer.

YOUNG: A third representative, Gloria Johnson, who is white, nearly survived her expulsion vote.

REP. GLORIA JOHNSON (D), TENNESSEE: I think it's pretty clear I'm a 60- year-old white woman and they are two young black men.

YOUNG: The Republican-controlled Tennessee State House of Representatives brought motions on Monday to expel the three Democrat lawmakers after they

protested on the House floor against gun violence after a mass shooting at a Nashville school.

PROTESTERS: No action, no peace. No action, no peace.

YOUNG: The three Democrats were in breach of chamber rules when they approached the podium with a bullhorn without being recognized to speak.

One of the Republican sponsors of the motion, Representative Andrew Farmer, admonished Pearson during the debate.

REP. ANDREW FARMER (D), TENNESSEE: You don't truly understand why you're staying there today. Just because you don't get your way, you can't come to

the well, bring your friends, and throw a temper tantrum with the adolescent bullhorn.

PEARSON: While I know I do take responsibility for coming to the well while the speaker said out of order, I also take responsibility for the people in

our district and in our communities who were asking for us to do something.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Expelled from the House and Representatives of the 103rd General Assembly in the State of Tennessee.

YOUNG: After a long, contentious debate, both Pearson and Jones were expelled along party lines.


JOHNSON: America should absolutely be worried.

YOUNG: The three lawmakers appeared with protesters in the Capitol with their arms raised in solidarity.

JONES: I'm not broken, you know. I stood firm in that well, because we need to let the nation know that what's happening in Tennessee is a danger to

the nation. What we saw today was authoritarianism. What we saw today was the undoing of the will of my voters, of my constituents.


KINKADE: That was Ryan Young reporting there from Nashville, Tennessee.

Well, it may seem like a distant history when ISIS was driven out of Iraq's second largest city. It was six years ago. But the effort to rebuild Mosul

and reconstruct the treasures that ISIS destroyed there is a long and painstaking process. CNN's Michael Holmes has the story.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A rampage by Islamic State militants who filmed themselves in 2015 smashing ancient artifacts in the Mosul Museum in

Iraq. Statues, thousands of years old, toppled and pulverized, all part of a campaign by the terror group to demolish any cultural history that

conflicted with their barbaric and extreme ideology.

Like the piles of rubble they left behind, ISIS's rule in Mosul, a stronghold for the terror group for three years, would crumble. Iraqi

forces, with the help of a U.S.-led coalition, reclaimed the city in 2017. The rest of its self-proclaimed caliphate would fall over the next two

years. The fragmented artifacts in the Mosul Museum have been under repair by a team of Iraqi and French restoration experts for the past four years.

They say it is a painstaking process to try to repair the shattered antiquities, a jigsaw puzzle of pieces that might never quite fit together


One restorer says, "This is the most gratifying part, assembling and gluing the pieces, although some are too crushed to use, others are missing

altogether." The museum is just one of many ongoing rebuilding projects in Mosul.

In March, church bells rang out again in another part of the city, part of a UNESCO effort to rebuild churches and mosques destroyed by decades of

fighting in Iraq. Since 2018, UNESCO has raised more than $105 million for reconstruction efforts in Mosul.

AUDREY AZOULAY, DIRECTOR GENERAL, UNESCO: Mosul is the place where UNESCO has the largest commitment today in the world, because the city deserve it,

because the people of Mosul deserve it, because we know what they've been through and the tragedies, the intimate tragedies they've been through over

the last decades.

HOLMES: Another project is taking a more modern approach to maintaining the city's heritage, the Eye on Mosul foundation is recording videos of witness

testimonies of what life was like under ISIS rule, which will then be archived in the public library.

A common theme of the project is to rebuild, as well as remember. But the director of the Mosel museum says it is impossible to recreate what

happened here without any scratches or imperfections, but those two are now part of Mosul's history. Michael Holmes, CNN.


KINKADE: Thanks to Michael Holmes there.

Well, still to come tonight, a surprising name at the top of the leader board at The Masters. Up next, we'll tell you who it is and why the PGA

officials are probably not happy about it.



KINKADE: Welcome back. Well, a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, yes, Star Wars is coming back to the theaters, and Disney announced

that it will continue the Skywalker saga with a film starring Daisy Ridley who played the young Jedi Rey in the last Star Wars trilogy. The film will

take place 15 years after the events of the rise of Skywalker and will feature Rey attempting to rebuild the Jedi Order. It will be directed by

Academy Award winning Pakistani Director, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the first woman and the first person of color to home a Star Wars film.

Well, the biggest story in golf over the past year or so has probably been the rivalry between the PGA Tour and the upstart Saudi-backed LIV Golf

tournament. And that battle has now spilled onto the green at The Masters. Brooks Koepka, who plays on the LIV Tour, has vaulted into the lead at the

first major of the year. He shot five under par today after his seven underground on Thursday. LIV Commissioner Greg Norman has promised a

special celebration on Sunday if one of his golfers wins The Masters.

World Sports Don Riddell is at Augusta National and joins us now.

Good to see you, Don. So Koepka has the best chance at winning the Masters right now. What will happen Sunday if that happens and who else are you

watching right now?

DON RIDDELL, WORLD SPORT (on camera): Yes. Hey, Lynda. I mean, Koepka's playing absolutely brilliantly. And it's been a while since we've seen him

in this kind of form. Remember, he won four majors, almost in the blink of an eye between 2017 in 2019. And then he went right off the boil. He was

really struggling with knee injuries and other injuries. He said that when he missed the cut here last year, he punched the back window of his

Mercedes twice. He was trying to break it. That's how frustrated he has been.

But he's doing really well on the LIV tour. He won twice recently, including in Orlando at the weekend. And now he has translated that form to

Augusta National. He says his ambition is to win all four majors, the career slam, he's already got two in the bag. And he's the favorite at the


And what would you say the chances are, with all the LIV drama going on in the background, that the two guys who are leading right now, neither of

them play on the PGA Tour? That's because the guy in second is an amateur. He doesn't play on any tour. Sam Bennett is an absolutely incredible story.

He is eight under par, four behind Brooks Koepka. He's got himself into a position as an amateur that almost nobody has ever done in the history of

this tournament. So, look out for him this weekend. He's going absolutely great guns.

Not so much good news, I'm afraid Lynda, for one of your Australian compatriots, Jason Day. He was doing brilliantly, but then he dropped four

shots in his last four holes of his second round. He's still tied for six, but he's now seven back. It could have been so much better for Jason Day,

but up until halfway through the back nine, he was looking really good.

KINKADE: Yes. Tough day for Day, and unfortunately for us. And, Don, of course, five-time Masters winner, Tiger Woods is struggling. You spoke to

him. At the age of 47 years old, could this be his last?

RIDDELL: Well, it could be. I mean, we hope not. That was the question I asked him this week. Does it ever cross your mind when you're out on the

course, that this could be the last time? And he said, yes, it does. This is his 25th Masters tournament. He's never missed the cut, by the way, but

right now, he's right on the bubble. He's even past throughout the day, meaning he's still on to overpower. The projected cutline is exactly that.

So, if he stays there, hopefully he'll be okay.

But the weather is starting to get a little bit dicey out there.


The raindrops have already fallen. The storm clouds are gathering. The guys who went out this morning and put good scores on the board will have been

very grateful for that opportunity. Because I think anybody that's out there this afternoon is going to find it a bit more challenging.

KINKADE: Yes. Get out the umbrella. All right. Don Riddell, good to see you. And Happy Easter to you and enjoy The Masters.

RIDDELL: Yes. Yes. Same to you.

KINKADE: Well, finally diamonds forever, but we end our program with a ruby that's sure to be one for the history books. Take a look at this. This is

the largest ruby ever to go to auction. The stunning 55-carat gem will go under the hammer in New York in June, less than a year after it was

discovered in a mine in Mozambique. Sotheby's says it's the most important ruby ever to come to market. And it's expected to sell for more than $30

million. I trust you're saving for that.

Well, thanks so much for watching tonight. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Good to have you with us. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.