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Isa Soares Tonight
Israeli Settlers And Far-Right Politician Itamar Ben-Gvir March In The West Bank As Tensions Grow Every Minute; Four Killed In Kentucky Mass Shooting; Controversial Video From Dalai Lama Sparks Outrage; U.S. Justice Department Asks Appeals Court To Freeze Texas Judge's Ruling On Abortion Pill; White House Weighs How To Respond To Abortion Pill Rulings; Northern Ireland Marks 25th Anniversary Of Peace Accord. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired April 10, 2023 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, Israeli settlers and far-right
politician Itamar Ben-Gvir march in the West Bank with tensions growing every minute.
Four dead and another mass shooting in the United States, others critically injured. What we know out of Kentucky this hour. And then later, a
controversial requests from the Dalai Lama. What he said to this little boy that has shocked many.
But first, this evening. Palestinian officials call it madness that it could inflame the entire region. But Israelis who took part in a
controversial march say it's just the beginning of retaking land they believe belongs to them. Thousands of settlers marched to an evacuated
outpost in the occupied West Bank today, as you can see there, under the heavy protection of soldiers.
Too far-right Israeli ministers and some parliament members were among them, protesting their own government's policy that considers the outpost
illegal. Palestinians in a nearby village protested the march, some clashing with Israeli forces. The Palestinian Red Crescent says 216 people
were injured, some by rubber bullets.
Elsewhere in the West Bank, mourners buried 15-year-old Palestinian boy killed by Israeli soldiers in a refugee camp near Jericho. Israel says its
forces came under attack during a raid to arrest a terrorist suspect. So they responded they say, with live fire. I want to bring in our
correspondent Frederik Pleitgen, he's following developments tonight for us from Jerusalem.
Fred, good to see you this evening. So we've heard i believe from the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the last what? Twenty minutes
or so. What did he say?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, he certainly didn't sound like he was going to back down or make any
concessions. In fact, he opened his speech that he gave tonight, which you're absolutely right ended just a couple of minutes ago, saying that
Israel was, as he put it, under a terror attack.
And then he outlined some of what he called very tough measures that the Israeli government has taken in the past couple of days, saying, for
instance, that they hit both Hezbollah and Hamas targets last week, and of course, over the weekend as well. Then having hit Hezbollah target is
certainly something new that the Israelis so far hadn't said before.
What he also did is he took a couple of jibes at the predecessor government, and in fact, Naftali Bennett who headed that government. He has
already tweeted, calling Netanyahu's speech disgraceful. But you are also absolutely right, Isa, that all of this comes in an extremely charged
atmosphere, and you know, we were at that march that took place today by those settlers, and here's what we witnessed.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Amid an already highly-charged atmosphere, thousands of Israeli settlers marched in the West Bank to an abandoned
settlement called Evyatar, demanding to open it back up.
DOR LEVI, PRO-SETTLEMENT DEMONSTRATOR: We're ready to fight for it, if it needs to be with our enemy, if it needs to be with our government, because
nobody will disconnect us from this land.
PLEITGEN: Evyatar is classified as an illegal outpost by Israel's government build on land, Palestinians say they own. But now, even members
of Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet are marching here, like the far-right national security minister whom we met. He was strong and Evyatar will be
strong in Tel Aviv, he told us, we won't give in to terror, not in Evyatar, not in Tel Aviv.
(on camera): It's a really large turnout here at this demonstration. And the folks who came here, they do feel that there is a government in power
in this country now that's more sympathetic to their demands, and they demand that they be allowed to have more settlements in this area.
TZIPORAH PILTZ, PRO-SETTLEMENT DEMONSTRATOR: Even though, we have many Arab settlements over here, but this area is the land of the Bible, OK? We
over here -- Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, went and walked to this area, so we want -- we're just the generation of them.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): But the violence continues to spiral. Current crisis started when Israeli security forces raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque in
Jerusalem twice last week, arresting hundreds of people. Israel answered a barrage of rockets fired from Lebanon and Gaza with airstrikes, and even
this weekend, things didn't stop. Israeli warplanes and drones bombed positions in Syria after several rockets were fired from there towards the
Israeli occupied Golan Heights.
On Monday, the Israeli military shot and killed a 15-year-old boy, Mohammed Fayez Balhan in another part of the West Bank, the Palestinian Ministry of
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They shot him in the head during the raid. What will happen to us? What is going to happen to our Palestinian people?
PLEITGEN: The Israelis say their forces were attacked during an anti- terror raid in the village, that near the abandoned settlement. Palestinians who say they own this land confronted Israeli security forces
as the settlers were marching, vowing to build even more outposts with high members of Israel's government backing their quest.
Despite the risk of further inflaming a country and a region already on the brink.
PLEITGEN: As you can see, Isa, an extremely volatile situation here on the ground, and certainly, there is a lot of concern internationally, and all
this could spiral into an even worse place. And if you look at those clashes that took place today near that march where we were, the
Palestinian authorities are now saying that more than 200 people were injured in those clashes.
So, obviously, the violence continues, and there certainly is the danger that, that violence could get worse. Isa.
SOARES: Yes, and it's not just the violence continuing, tragedy comes with it because the mother, of course, of the two British Israeli sisters were
killed in that shooting in the West Bank on Friday, we believe has died of her injuries. Injuries just remind us, Fred, of what happened here.
PLEITGEN: Yes, certainly. That was one of those incidents on Friday. Friday, of course, was extremely violent day here on the ground. We had a
ramming attack that took place in the evening in Tel Aviv, but earlier in the West Bank, there was a shooting incident where a car received bullet
shots or gunshots with a family in it.
It was a mother and her two daughters, and the two daughters were killed in that crash. They were pronounced dead at the scene. And the word at that
point in time was that the mother had survived, but was in very grave condition, now, she has also succumbed to her wounds. Her funeral is set
for tomorrow, as you say, and that of course, is something that is extremely emotional, not just for the family, but also for this entire
In fact, the utility, the service for the two daughters was something that was broadcast here on national TV. And certainly, we expect the same thing
to happen tomorrow as well. So certainly, another thing that really inflames tensions here on the ground is as we can see, it certainly shows
no signs of this calming down anytime soon, Isa.
SOARES: Fred Pleitgen for us this hour in Jerusalem, thanks very much, Fred. Now for three days, Chinese ships and planes have been buzzing around
Taiwan in military exercises that have raised tensions in the region. China now says the exercises are over. For the first-time ever, the drills appear
to include a simulation of a Chinese aircraft carrier carrying out strikes on Taiwan. We get more now from CNN's Selina Wang.
SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): China launched three days of military exercises around Taiwan after the island's president
met the U.S. House Speaker. China's military said the drills creaked an all-around encirclement of the island and simulate precision attacks on key
In reaction to the military drills, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said China's quote, "provocative measures" have clearly challenged the
international order, undermined peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait and the region.
(voice-over): China's fighter jets fly around Taiwan skies, military ships sail off its coast. China says it's simulating precision attacks on key
targets in Taiwan. While Beijing has not launched any missiles, its military released this animation, showing missiles fired from land, sea and
air into Taiwan, two of them explode in flames.
Beijing is showing the world its fury, launching three days of military exercises around Taiwan after the island's President Tsai Ing-wen met with
U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California. For the first time, it appears China's simulated strikes with warplanes that took off from an
aircraft carrier. This video shows Taiwan's coast guard confronting a Chinese ship, the Taiwanese sailor says you are now seriously damaging
regional peace, stability and safety.
Please turn around immediately and leave. If you keep proceeding forward, I will take eviction measures. The encounter, highlighting the risks of any
miscalculation in the Taiwan Strait. Beijing sees democratically-ruled Taiwan as a part of its territory that will eventually be reunified with
China's military said the drills are quote, "a serious warning against the Taiwan separatist forces' collusion with external forces and unnecessary
move to defend national sovereignty." Experts say Beijing is normalizing military activity around the island. It already sends military jets and
ships around Taiwan every day.
On China's heavily-censored social media, some are commenting that the drills do not go far enough. One writes, "let's just take Taiwan", another
says, "if you're not going to attack, then don't waste taxpayer money". When then U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan last Summer, China
responded with military drills that simulated a blockade. For the first time, China even fired missiles over the island.
Experts say the military response this time is more restrained because the meeting between Tsai and McCarthy was held on American soil to avoid
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Today, I'm honored --
WANG: Both Washington and Taipei have called the visit just an ordinary transit stop, but the symbolism was undeniable.
TSAI ING-WEN, PRESIDENT, TAIWAN: We're stronger when we are together.
WANG: With Washington's support for Taipei only growing, Beijing's anger will only intensify.
(on camera): On China's third day of military exercises around Taiwan, the U.S. Navy sent a destroyer close to a contested island to the South China
Sea. Now Beijing claims the island is theirs and called the move illegal. Meanwhile, the U.S. says it can operate wherever international law allows.
So it's not just Taiwan, but the South China Sea is another source of tensions between the U.S. and China.
And with these latest exercises around Taiwan, experts say, China's military is flexing its military might, showing the world that it has the
ability to conduct blockade and missile strikes on targets in and around Taiwan. Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.
SOARES: We'll stay on top of that story, of course, for you. Leaked documents, a fallout among allies and a risk that the war in Ukraine could
be directly impacted. The U.S. is in full damage control mode after highly classified intelligence made its way onto social media. South Korea says it
will hold necessary discussions with the United States after the documents revealed a conversation between two senior South Korean national security
The U.S. Defense Department says an inter-agency effort is now under way to determine the impact. We are covering all sides of the global ramifications
of this story. Kylie Atwood has the reaction from the State Department, while Nick Paton Walsh, you can see there, he is in Kyiv, where there are
serious concerns about Russia's potential involvement in some of the information being shared online.
Nick, I actually want to start with Ukraine if I could. Some potentially valuable information in this leak here. Does this jeopardize or compromise,
in your opinion, Ukraine's military plans? What is Ukraine saying?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yes, it's very hard to work out really how much of this exceptionally large and very pertinent
dump of information in this leak is authentic and does explicitly now suggests the current state of NATO planning to assist Ukraine's
counteroffensive. That's ultimately the question here. Ukraine has come forward and said to a source to -- one of our Washington colleagues that
they have begun to adjust their military planning.
And certainly, a lot of the documents I've seen do go into some detail as to what exactly and when exactly NATO assistance, NATO training, NATO
weaponry will get into the hands of Ukrainian newcomers, almost a magical frankly, revelation here. If you're Russian Intelligence officer, to
receive this sort of detailed information at this point, but at the same time, to the U.S. officials have surprised me to some extent by being so
open about how damaging this leak is.
They haven't, as you might have expected tried to suggest that this is old information or some of it is inaccurate, so that's interesting. And it
plays I think possibly too, in some of the broader context here of how much misinformation has been pushed around during this conflict, each side
trying to catch the other off-guard.
But still here, we have Ukrainian officials who are blaming Russians, potentially for being behind this leak and saying that they have dotted
some of the leaks already online, essentially taking those postings, tweaking them and then re-posting them with information that's more to
Russia's benefit. Frankly, it's all a bit of a mess.
The Pentagon are saying they're still trying to assess the scope of how much is being leaked, how much damage has happened, and really who is
behind this leak? These are pieces of paper folded in four, photographed it seems in a bit of a hurry and then slapped online about 50 of them. Some of
them refer to Russian troop positions, some of them refer to Ukrainian positions, but the information about Ukraine is lesser and always seems to
suggest that Ukraine has less troops than many analysts think they have in certain areas.
So, it's a very confusing picture, certainly, what it has done is heighten I think the anticipation, the anxiety ahead of this long-awaited Ukrainian
counteroffensive. There could be a matter of days away about who knows what, what each side knows about the others preparations.
And I'm sure too, there are Russian officials seeing the scope of Russia -- American knowledge about Russia and who they have, where and what they're
saying to each other on private channels, and that must be causing some consternation in Moscow, a capital city, probably even aware that U.S.
Intelligence have pretty good visibility on what they're thinking since the invasion began, Isa.
SOARES: Yes, and Kylie, I mean, Nick raises a very good point is who exactly -- this is very large in terms of scale and a number of pages of
the material. Do we know who was behind it? Do -- does the U.S. believe Russia was behind it? What is the U.S. saying at this moment?
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: No, we really don't know who was behind this leak. We know that the Department of Justice
is conducting the criminal investigation, you know, to figure out who was behind it, and to, of course, potentially bring charges. And then you have
the Pentagon arm, which is leading the inter-agency effort to try and summarize the damage assessment here.
You know, what damage was done by seeing this private U.S. Intelligence now opened into the public. But when you do look through these documents,
even though we don't know who was behind the leak, it does appear that they come from the same source. Someone who was able to gain access to U.S.
Intelligence, because the United States does share intelligence with five eyes partners, of course, that's the U.K., Canada, New Zealand and
But some of these documents that were photographed had markings that they weren't to be shared with any U.S. Intelligence-sharing partners. So that
indicates that the initial source had access to the U.S. side, you know, of this information. The other thing to consider here is exactly what the
diplomatic fallout is going to look like, obviously, there will be aspects of the U.S.-Ukraine relationship that will have to be looked at as Nick was
But then there's the U.S.-South Korea relationship, the U.S.-Israel relationship, which are both under scrutiny right now, because there were
elements of U.S. Intelligence related to both of those allies that were part of these documents. You should assume that these countries know that
the U.S. spies on them. That is just part of U.S. foreign policy. It's part of what U.S. Intelligence officials do around the globe.
But you have to also consider the state of the U.S. relationship with Israel or the state of the U.S. relationship with South Korea, to try and
figure out how those countries are going to respond at this time, if they're going to really, you know, exercise this and make this a main topic
of concern, or if they're going to downplay it over the course of the following weeks, we just don't know yet.
And that's of course, something we're watching. The State Department spokesperson just told reporters here in the briefing that the department
is communicating with allies and pressing to them that they are safeguarding U.S. Intelligence, of course, exactly how they're making that
promise after this major leak is a question that we continue to ask.
SOARES: Kylie Atwood and Nick Paton Walsh for us in Kyiv this hour, thank you to you both. And still to come tonight, another day in the United
States began with a horrific mass shooting. We'll bring you the latest out of Kentucky next. Plus, the Dalai Lama is in hot water over a video that's
gone viral on social media. We'll tell you why people are outraged. Those stories after this short break.
SOARES: In the U.S. state of Kentucky, a community is grieving and in shocked -- and shock, I should say, after a gunman opened fire inside a
bank, four people were killed in the rampage and eight were wounded, including two police officers. Officials say the lone gunman using AR-15
style rifle and is now dead. Police believe the shooter may have been a former bank employee.
Shimon Prokupecz is tracking this story for us from New York. And Shimon, what more do we know unfolded here, and critically, who was behind this?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes so, police have not yet identified the gunman here, but they certainly know who the person is.
They believe there's some connection to the bank, whether it's a former employee or current employee, but certainly, some connection to the bank,
and they're still trying to sort out why this happened.
Sadly four people were killed, several others have been injured. Some of the people, thankfully, have already been released from the hospital. So
there is some good news there. And really, police just described a chaotic and hectic scene the minute they arrived within three minutes. They -- of
that 9-1-1 call, they arrived on scene and encountered gunfire.
Ultimately, the gunman died. It's not clear if he shot himself or if police actually killed him. The key now for authorities obviously is to figure out
what happened here and why and what really led up to this. But you know, yet again, we have another situation of a mass shooting here on the streets
of really in this country in Louisville, Kentucky.
And now authorities trying to figure out why? As you mentioned, the weapon here are the AR-15 style rifle commonly used in mass shootings. So now
authorities are trying to figure out how he purchased that weapon or how he got his hands on that weapon, so that's all still very much under
investigation at this point.
SOARES: And Shimon, I mean, a lone gunman, but do we know as of yet, a motive. Do we have a motive yet or is it still too early?
PROKUPECZ: It's still too early. I mean, they're looking at it some kind of disgruntled employee, former employee, but certainly the connection to
the bank is a key piece of information for authorities, and they're just trying to go back now and figure out, you know, was there some kind of an
argument? Did this person get fired? Were they about to be fired?
You know, all those questions you would ask in this kind of a situation or workplace shooting ultimately, we don't have the answers to any of that
SOARES: Shimon Prokupecz, I know you'll stay on top of this for us, appreciate it. Thank you Shimon.
SOARES: Well, just a few 100 miles away in Tennessee, the horrific scars of a school shooting that left six people dead, half of them young children
are turning into a defiant political struggle. Justin Jones, one of two Democratic lawmakers expelled from the Tennessee House of Representatives
over gun control protests could be on the verge of being voted back in.
The Nashville City Council will meet in a couple of hours to actually discuss the matter. Protests are expected outside the Tennessee capitol in
support of both Jones and another black Democrat who was also expelled from the Republican-dominated house over the same issue. Nashville's vice mayor
spoke to CNN and said he is optimistic about Jones' return. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR JIM SHULMAN, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: We very much want that District 52 to be represented. And so, the way to do that is to immediately -- about
someone and put them back in, and he's the choice. So I think what will happen hopefully today, is that, that will happen. And no one -- we won't
have any objections and we will be able to move promptly and send him right back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: We'll stay on top of that vote to see if it does go ahead in Nashville. Well, the Dalai Lama is facing heated backlash over an
interaction he had with a little boy in India. The video of the event went viral on social media and was just met with disgust. It shows the world's
foremost Buddhist leader, as you can see there, kissing a child on the lips and then asking him to -- and I am quoting him here, "suck my tongue".
The Dalai Lama's office has now released a statement apologizing to the boy and his family. Vedika Sud joins me now from New Delhi with the very
latest. So, Vedika, you know, I was really confused, I'm still confused by all of this. Just talk us through what happened and what the Dalai Lama is
VEDIKA SUD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Isa, I totally understand what you're saying because the first time I saw the video, I was also absolutely
confused if this was the 14th Dalai Lama that we were looking at during his interaction with the minor boy. So here's what happened, on the 20th of
February, there was a public event in Dharamshala, that's where the Dalai Lama has been living ever since 1959 in permanent exile.
This young boy came up to him and asked him for a hug. The Dalai Lama invited him to stage, asked him to give the Dalai Lama a hug as well as a
kiss on the cheek, the boy obliged. Moments later, the Dalai Lama pulled him closer and asked him to give a kiss on the mouth, and then he pulled
his chin towards him and kissed him on the mouth.
And then, seconds later, he looked at the boy, smiled and said, suck my tongue. Now this has led to massive outrage in social media, people have
expressed their disappointment in the spiritual leader, they have called it outrageous. They -- some of them have called it disgusting as well. Because
of the furor on social media six weeks after the incident, Isa, you had the Dalai Lama's office issue a statement of apology.
I'm going to read from that because I do want to even talk about that in a moment from now. Just a few excerpts from it -- "his holiness wishes to
apologize to the boy and his family as well as his many friends across the world for the hurt his words may have caused. His holiness often teases
people he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras".
Two things here, Isa, the first is for the hurt his words may have caused. They don't even speak of his actions here, which actually as scary, as
worrying, as disturbing as the words that he used in the interaction with the boy. And secondly, his holiness often teases people he meets in an
innocent and playful way. Was this really innocent? Was this just teasing the boy is the bigger question.
And that's what child rights group and child activists -- child rights activists in India are concerned about. Take a listen in to what one of
them had to say to CNN earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BHARTI ALI, CO-FOUNDER, HAQ CENTER FOR CHILD RIGHTS: That's not the language that you use in a playful manner. You know, the children are, you
know, playfully kissing each other, but you know, that's not the language they use even when they do it playfully with their parents or relatives or
friends. So it's very evidently something which hits you on the face, and you're like why and what has happened in this video?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SUD: The Dalai Lama is a widely respected spiritual leader with a massive following in India and abroad, Isa. And the question really is, is an
apology from him enough at this stage? Isa.
SOARES: Is it -- is it enough? Why did it take six weeks, and you know, and he said innocent and playful? I do wonder, Vedika, how that is being
received by the Tibetan Buddhism community. What they are saying to these images and words.
SUD: Well, Isa, there has been no word from them yet. We're waiting to see how this really unfolds over the next few days. What's surprising like you
and I have just spoken about is the fact that it took for the social media furor, the outrage by the people once this clip went viral on Sunday here
in India that caused and led to the Dalai Lama's office issuing that apology.
The question really is, had that not happened, will the Dalai Lama's office, will the Dalai Lama himself realize that there was something wrong
in that interaction with that young minor boy that led to the furor. Had it not been for these people who have called his act deplorable, who have
called his act disappointing, would he have realized what he was doing with that young boy?
Of course, using the word teasing, going ahead and talk about how the words could hurt the boy and his family and then issuing an apology over it,
really doesn't cover what we've seen in that video, Isa.
SOARES: Yes, spot on. Vedika Sud for us there. Thanks very much Vedika, great to see you. And still to come tonight, a new battle in the U.S. over
abortion pills that could reach the Supreme Court less than a year after Roe v. Wade wasn't returned.
SOARES (on camera): Welcome back to the show, everyone. And this just in to CNN, the U.S. Justice Department now asking a federal appeals court to put
on hold a judge's ruling on medication abortion on Friday if you your remember. A federal judge in Texas issued a ruling that would essentially
make abortion pills unavailable to women in the U.S. But in a separate case, another judge is ordering the government to expand access to abortion
pills in more than a dozen states. CNN's Arlette Saenz lies it all up for you.
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The White House is staring down a new battle over abortion.
XAVIER BECERRA, U.S. SECRETARY OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: What you saw by that one judge in that one court in that one state, that's not America.
SAERZ: At the heart of the fight, a Trump-appointed federal judge in Texas, suspending FDA approval of Mifepristone, siding with the anti-abortion
groups who questioned the drug's safety. The ruling is on pause for a few more days, but it could put access to medication abortion in jeopardy
across the country.
KAMALA HARRIS, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: It is contrary to what makes for good, public health policy to allow courts and politicians to tell the FDA what
it should do.
SAENZ: The Justice Department quickly filing an appeal and vowing to seek a stay as it winds its way through the courts. At the same time, a federal
judge in Washington ruling the FDA must keep the pill available in 17 democratic-led states, plus the District of Columbia. The competing
decisions could set up a showdown at the Supreme Court one year after it ruled a constitutional right to an abortion does not exist.
President Biden vowing to fight that decision out of Texas every step of the way. Some Democrats pushing for the FDA to ignore the ruling.
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK: I do not believe that the courts have the authority, to have the authority over the FDA that they
just asserted. And I do believe that it creates a crisi.
SAENZ: While Republicans warn against it.
REP. TONY GONZALES (R), TEXAS: The House Republicans have the power of the purse. And if the administration wants to not lead this ruling, not live up
to this ruling, then we're going to have a problem.
SAENZ: The HHS Secretary appearing to leave the door open.
BECERRA: Everything is on the table. The President said that way back when the Dobbs decision came out. Every option is on the table.
SAENZ: But a spokesperson later walking that back saying, "As dangerous a precedent it sets for a court to disregard FDA's expert judgment regarding
a drug's safety and efficacy, it would also set a dangerous precedent for the administration to disregard a binding decision.
SOARES: Arlette Saenz reporting there. And as Arlette mentioned in that report, the Justice Department has already filed an appeal against the
ruling of Mifepristone and the case could find itself on the Supreme Court's docket within days.
I want to bring in Supreme Court Reporter Ariane de Vogue and CNN'S Senior Medical Correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen.
Ariane, first to you, I want to get really to the news that we just broke in the last few minutes that the Department of Justice has made a move.
What have they done exactly and what's next?
ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER (on camera): Right. Just five minutes ago, the Department of Justice went to this federal appeals court
asking for emergency relief. It wants to put on hold that decision you were talking about, that basically said that the government's approval of that
drug can be put on hold. Keep in mind, that approval was 20 years old. So now, in these new briefs, the Department of Justice is racing as fast as
they can. The district court gave them about seven days to putting his decision on hold. So, they know the timing here is very short.
They have filed and they said that that ruling, "severely harms women." They want this appeals court to act quickly. But the problem for the
Department of Justice is this appeals court is one of the most conservative appeals courts in the country. It is filled with nominees of former
President Donald Trump. So, most people believe that this issue is going to land back at the Supreme Court. And keep in mind, it's less than a year ago
since the conservative-leaning Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. And now it looks like in a matter maybe of days that this emergency issue is
going to go right back to their doorstep.
SOARES: Ariane, I mean, the FDA, from the research I was doing, spent four years just reviewing, of course, Mifepristone before it was approved in
2000. So, just remind our viewers just around the world what is it really that the judge in Texas is so against. What was the reasoning he gave?
DE VOGUE: Basically, what he did is he went back to 23 years ago when this drug was originally approved. And he said that the FDA didn't take the
risks into proper consideration, they should have looked at more issues before approving it. The problem for the judge is that in most of the
medical community, major groups, have all said that this drug is very safe. And in fact, in filings that we just got five minutes ago, we had two
doctors who weighed in and they signed under oath that -- how safe the drug is, and how damaging it would be if it were no longer available. So that's
the real thing here.
You have a judge who did an unprecedented thing, in that he revoked the approval that is more than two decades old. And he sort of put forward his
scientific beliefs here. He did quote from opponents of this key drug, but the majority of the medical community have said over and over again that
the drug is actually safe.
SOARES: Yes. So -- and So Elizabeth, I mean, where does this leave then physicians and clinicians?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): It leaves them trying to figure out what to do. So, when the Texas judge made his
ruling Friday evening, he said I'm putting sort of essentially a stay on this for seven days to make way for appeals and those appeals have been
filed. So right now, they know that they can use the drug, but in speaking with doctors today, and over the weekend, they said we don't really know
what to tell patients. All they can do now is patients who were scheduled to come in, say, Monday of next week, they're telling them, you know what,
you really should come in this week.
But beyond that, they don't know if they're going to be able to use these drugs or not be able to use these drugs. And it's important to keep in
mind, Isa, in the United States, 53 percent, about 53 percent of abortions are done with pills. They're medication abortions, not surgical abortions.
So, this is, over the past 20 years that this drug has been available, that's millions of women who have used these drugs.
SOARES: And this potentially, Elizabeth, could also upend really the entire foundation, I assume, of America's Drug Regulatory System. So, what does
this mean for the FDA and the drugs it's approving?
COHEN: Right. As we just heard before, this is really unprecedented that a single judge can say, you know, the FDA took, you know, months or years to
consider something, they consulted outside experts, they talked to doctors and PhDs. But, no, I'm not a scientist. But I'm going to tell you that this
wasn't good and so I'm going to, in essence, revoke this FDA approval.
So what if a judge could do that for other drugs?
There are other drugs that conservatives don't like for various reasons. What if the judge could say I don't like this drug or like that drug, would
pharmaceutical companies in the United States really be interested in investing money and developing a drug if one single judge can just overturn
it? So, that's the concern. Let's take a listen to what U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said on CNN earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECERRA: When you turn upside down the entire FDA approval process, you're not talking about just Mifepristone, you're talking about every kind of
drug. You're talking about our vaccines, you're talking about insulin, you're talking about the new Alzheimer's drugs that may come on, if a judge
decides to substitute his preference, his personal opinion for that, of scientists and medical professionals, what drug is it subject to some kind
of legal challenge?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COHEN: So, for that big picture, Isa, and also for just women seeking abortions today, doctors really hope that over the next few days, that
somehow the legal system is allowed to put a stop to that Texas judge order. Isa.
SOARES: Let's go back to Ariane. For me, a final question to your, Ariane, I mean, some Democrats have been pushing for the FDA to ignore the ruling,
ignore the courts. I mean, can they do that? Where does it leave the Biden administration here?
DE VOGUE: Well, you saw after those comments over the weekend, there was a pullback there, encouraging parties to remember the rule of law. But what
you're looking at is the fact that the manufacturers themselves in this particular case, and one of those manufacturers just now filed their own
brief, they would not be allowed to produce it anymore. So maybe you would see clinics being able to use up the supply that they had. But that's why
there is such a rush to put this ruling, the district court ruling, on hold to give everybody more time to think about this and to think about next
SOARES: Yes. And as you were speaking, I've just seen now California has announced emergency stockpile of abortion drugs following, of course, this
Texas ruling. So, we'll stay on top of this story.
Thank you very much, Ariane de Vogue, Elizabeth Cohen. Thank you, ladies. Appreciate it.
And still to come tonight, 25 years on from the Good Friday Agreement. What is the legacy of that historic peace deal in Northern Ireland? We alive --
we have a live report for you from up next with Nic Robertson.
SOARES: On Northern Ireland, police officers were attacked with petrol bombs during a pro-Irish March in Derry. The march was organized by a
political party affiliated with the new IRA, a Republican paramilitary group. And it comes on the day Northern Ireland is marking the 25th
anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, a peace deal which brought an end to decades of sectarian violence known as The Troubles.
I want to bring in our International Diplomatic Editor, Nic Robertson, who is in Belfast for us. And Nic, I want to look ahead if I could to the
preparations for President Biden's visit to Northern Ireland tomorrow.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (on camera): Yes, we're seeing those already on the streets here, additional police forces around,
additional patrols around. Of course, a weekend of slightly heightened tensions, the police said that they were aware of a threat to public order
by these dissident Republican groups. And indeed, they've reported engaging in exactly that in Derry, those protests.
But I think more broadly, most people here are looking forward to President Biden's visit, perhaps a little disappointed. He's not going to spend as
much time here as they had originally thought of the ribbon cutting at a university here, likely talk about the economy and about the importance of
education. But I think talking to young people here, you really get a sense of where Northern Ireland is at 25 years after the peace agreement.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Erin McArdle is a Peace Baby. The first Catholic born minutes after Northern Ireland's 1998 Good Friday Peace Agreement was
ERIN MCARDLE, NORTHERN IRELAND "PEACE BABY": I think it's really special. It's something that I'm very proud of.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Putting an two decades of bloodshed. Her mother hoping Erin wouldn't face the dangers known as The Troubles as she did.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were still very skeptical. Will this work?
MCARDLE: They always stayed about home just because of the bombings and the shootings and that. So I think, yes, for me personally, the Good Friday
Agreement has made my life very happy and very safe.
ROBERTSON: This is where the deal was signed. I was outside that night. The ground was freezing underfoot. But inside here, the mood thawed. Former
U.S. Senator George Mitchell, sent over by President Bill Clinton, did what had been impossible for 30 years with more than 3,000 lives lost. He
negotiated a peaceful end to the sectarian bloodletting.
So what does it mean to you that your father used to paint murals like these here?
JOEL KEYS, NORTHERN IRELAND "PEACE BABY": I think it's great. It can kind of, in a way, lets him live forever.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Joel Keys is another Peace Baby, a Protestant.
ROBERTSON: Has the Good Friday Belfast Agreement delivered for you?
KEYS: I don't think so. What the Good Friday Agreement did was took away the bombs and bullets, but it did nothing to address people's mindsets.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Despite helping the economy, the Good Friday peace agreement has so far struggled to shift historic divisions, Protestant
tending to be pro-British and some Catholics' aspirations for United Ireland.
KEYS: What peace kind of looks like nowadays is, oh, I'm Protestant. I've got Catholic friends, but we just don't talk about that stuff. And that's
peace. But I think that's pseudo peace. That's false peace. We should be able to have strong conversations with each other.
ROBERTSON: But so many barriers to conversation remain. Most schools are still segregated, and remarkably, these peace walls are not only still
here, they're taller and longer than they were before the peace deal. Real tensions exist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With one kick to the head, she could have been or it could have been a toughened situation. We could have lost our daughter,
like, you know what I mean?
ROBERTSON (voice-over): In Derry, 12-year-old Ella McClay, a Protestant schoolgirl, tells us how a group of Catholic children beat her up.
ELLA MCCLAY, DERRY RESIDENT: I got cornered and they were, like, you're proud, no?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a Protestant, that's what they were saying.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): The video, her parents shared with us, is brutal. Please say they're investigating the incident as a sectarian attack, a
shocking reminder of life before the peace deal.
There are other reminders, too. These marches coming out to support a group that police believe tried to kill one of their officers in February,
parading through Belfast just days ahead of President Joe Biden's visit. Hardline groups that rejected the Good Friday Agreement haven't gone away.
ROBERTSON: It's because of groups like this one that the British government has recently raised its terror threat level here in Northern Ireland from
substantial to severe, from a threat likely to a threat highly likely.
For Erin and most people here, despite imperfections, Northern Ireland's cup is more than half-full.
MCARDLE: I'm happy here so I'd like to stay in Northern Ireland, please.
ROBERTSON: Yes. And one of the places, if you really want to get a look and see how much things have changed the center of Belfast here behind me.
The shops are open, they're busy. And there's lots of tourists. The city really and Northern Ireland really has changed a lot over those 25 years.
SOARES: And, Nic, you were there that night. We saw in your piece 25 years ago there's still some sporadic violence by a small group support opposed
to police. But your analysis here, I mean, has it achieved the goal of peace here? What are your thoughts?
ROBERTSON: Yes, I think it has, but because you -- as one of the people in the story that was saying that we don't -- the community doesn't really
have the conversations about what the future is going to be. There are these different aspirations, so they were never merged. And you sort of see
in some areas, where The Troubles were at their height during back in the day before the peace agreement, you see young kids getting engaged again,
in violence. We saw that in Derry today. It was the older men in the crowd that were directing the younger boys, some of them looked like they were
school age, who are carrying the petrol bombs, directing them where to go with the petrol bombs and to throw them at the police when the police came
on the scene.
The boys did it without, you know -- quite happily, they feel very happy about what they were doing. They weren't forced. But it's that idea that
another generation is bringing into this very young generation who were born a long time after the Good Friday Peace Agreement, sort of, repeating
a cycle of violence. And it's, to me, no coincidence that in that city of Derry, you have the young schoolgirl in the story there who was beaten in a
sectarian way. When you have young kids of school age throwing petrol bombs at police, it spills over more broadly.
And I think that's an unease about the situation here that a lot of people are aware of and worry just doesn't get worse and gets addressed by
SOARES: Yes, troubling indeed. Nic Robertson for us there in Belfast. Thanks very much, Nic. Great to see you. And we'll be back after this short
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Well, when King Charles III is crown next month at Westminster Abbey, the monarch will travel in style, as you'd
expect. Buckingham Palace says two carriages will take him to his coronation and back. First, the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, as you can see
in here, will be used when he and Queen Camilla me for the coronation in the morning.
Then he will use the 260-year-old Gold State coach to return to Buckingham Palace in a much larger procession.
The coronation will take place on May the 6th. It will be the first time a new British sovereign is crowned in 70 years.
Now to a story that proves really adventure really doesn't have an age limit. Meet Ellie and Sandy. These two wonderful ladies here, two 81-year-
old best friends who finished a trip of a lifetime. They have traveled around the world in 80 days, from ice sheets in Antarctica to deserts in
Egypt. As you can see, they're in Australia. Their journey has taken them to 18 countries. Look, this is how much they've traveled, how far they've
gone across seven continents, of course. There were a few hurdles to overcome on the way. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIE HAMBY, DOCUMENT PHOTOGRAPHER: I need to tell you she was very scared with cows. She was like -- I was just concerned we were going to have a
heart attack right here in the middle of India.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: I love those ladies. And a really incredible friendship and it's their theme for the trip, that is our quote of the day, really
inspirational, "At 81 and still on the run." Wish them very well, Ellie and Sandy. We're all very jealous indeed. And really a motto that is to live
And that does it for me here on CNN. Do stay right here. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" next. I shall see you tomorrow. Have a wonderful day. Bye-bye.