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Isa Soares Tonight
Shaky Ceasefire Deal In Sudan Set To Expire Within Hours; U.S. Airman Accused Of Leaking Classified Pentagon Documents Appears In Court; Jerry Springer Dies At Age 79; Evacuations Continue In Sudan Amid Growing Humanitarian Crisis; Montana House Votes To Ban Trans Lawmaker; Girl To Get Lifesaving Treatment For Rare Immune Disease; Talk Show Pioneer Jerry Springer Dies. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired April 27, 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, the clock is running out on a shaky
ceasefire in Sudan. So what happens when it ends entirely? Saudi Arabia's U.K. ambassador joins me here in London to discuss evacuations as well as
diplomacy. Then, the U.S. Airman accused of leaking classified information is in court right now. What we've learned from prosecutors.
And then remembering a cultural pioneer. Jerry Springer changed the face of talk television, he's passed away at the age of 79.
But first this evening, we start in Sudan, because there are just a few hours left of course before a ceasefire deal expires in the country. And
although international diplomats are trying to broker an extension, every truce so far has been shattered by gunfire as well as explosions. And this
is what ceasefire meant. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: And that's what it meant in parts of Khartoum today. Witnesses are reporting new clashes between Sudan's army as well as paramilitary force.
But many fear with no truce in place at all, the violence could spiral into an all-out war that could destabilize, and this is very important, the
entire region. Remember foreign governments are still racing to evacuate their nationals in what's become one of the biggest such efforts since
Afghanistan fell to the Taliban back in 2021.
But for many Sudanese who want to escape, they are on their own. This group walked through the desert to reach Chad, other Sudanese and foreigners are
heading east, to the Port Sudan, where they're awaiting evacuations. One Syrian man says it's been a terrifying ordeal. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We were living in Khartoum, the situation there is extremely bad. So bad. Thank God we managed to get out.
We just want to leave safely and to go to Jeddah or to Syria. We just want to get out of Sudan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, Saudi Arabia has evacuated more than 2,100 people so far from Sudan. That is according to state media. Saudi Arabia's ambassador to
the U.K., Khalid bin Bandar al Saud who is with me now. Ambassador, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us. This time roughly
yesterday on my show, we showed exactly those images of so many people arriving in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom welcoming them there with sweets and
It's a huge -- been a huge operation. The majority, from what I saw were either Saudi nationals or foreigners. Is Saudi Arabia going to welcome
KHALID BIN BANDAR AL SAUD, SAUDI ARABIA AMBASSADOR TO THE U.K.: Evening, Isa, thank you for having me.
We're working on that now, and working on the details. Thus far, we had the last ship arrive about an hour ago which brings the number now to just over
2,700, roughly just over 100 have been Saudis. So it shows you the majority are actually international citizens and from all sorts of nations, over 76
nations now we've evacuated people from.
It's obviously more complicated dealing with Sudanese nationals and what government are you dealing with at the time? That's part of the discussions
and negotiations we're having.
SOARES: But you are --
AL SAUD: In general --
SOARES: Getting requests to help?
AL SAUD: There's no question that I think the Sudanese people are asking for help from everyone right now.
SOARES: Yes --
AL SAUD: And not just in terms of evacuation, but in terms of the future of Sudan which concerns everyone, and it should because it's an important
country in an important location.
SOARES: But in terms of evacuations for Sudan nationals, I mean, what talks are being had in terms of getting them out? Because I can tell you,
ambassador, the stories I've been hearing on my show, that we expect to hear later on here on the show, are really quite dire. People who can't get
out, people who are desperate for a way out, there's no safe passage.
What plans -- if you can give us any information, are you trying to arrange here?
AL SAUD: I can't go into any detail, discussions are being had. But we are using every diplomatic tool we have.
Our ambassador has been working nonstop on the ground, and he's very well acquainted with everyone in Sudan, he is a long-serving, an excellent
diplomat. Our foreign minister has been working nonstop. The majority of our government is working through the Eid holiday on --
SOARES: Yes --
AL SAUD: Not just what to do with foreign nationals getting out, but also what to do with the future of Sudan and where it ends up, and trying to
make sure we have plans and contingencies in place. We're working on it. It would be a bit too early to go into any of those details until we know it's
going to happen in the next four hours are crucial.
SOARES: Let's talk about the next four hours because of course, the ceasefire comes to an end, as we told our viewers. What happens next?
Because I understand the U.S. was part of the first effort of the ceasefire. Were you -- were Saudi Arabia also part of the mediation for
that ceasefire we've just seen? Just to clarify?
AL SAUD: We've been involved in all discussions since things began. Again, I'm not on the ground, and my role is limited to here in the U.K., but
we've been involved in all the discussions. There's no question that the United States has a huge influence on the world, you know, the world's most
powerful nation, and without doubt, it played a crucial role in negotiating the ceasefire.
And we thank the Americans for that because this is -- you know, it's our backyard. But without question, we've been involved. To what extent, it's
impossible to say for me at the moment.
SOARES: So what happens then after these four hours? Are conversations, negotiations being had with Saudi Arabia, United States, the Egyptians and
so forth regarding another ceasefire? How realistic is that at this stage at last?
AL SAUD: We are in talks, regular talks, both on an operational level, particularly with the evacuations, and at a diplomatic level across the
board with all our partners, allies and friends around the world. Everyone sees this as a priority at the moment. You know, the region was looking at
possibly calming down a bit, and we are not -- we haven't been lacking conflict in the Middle East over the last 10, 15 years.
So another big spark point would have been a real blow to where -- the optimism that was in the region. But we wouldn't all be working this hard
if we thought it was going to easily resolve itself.
SOARES: Understand, yes --
AL SAUD: There are clearly problems, and this sort of conflict has a tendency to fracture as well, and then cause huge problems thereafter --
SOARES: We can talk about the ripple effects that can have on the region, but in terms of the ceasefire --of a renewed ceasefire, another 72 hours
ceasefire coming in the next four-five hours, how likely is that at the stage?
AL SAUD: It's developing --
SOARES: So it's promising.
AL SAUD: It's possible -- it's definitely possible. We're still talking. There hasn't been -- as far as I'm aware, and again things are developing
by the minute, we are still working on it as are almost every country and international organization.
SOARES: Let me see if I can get a bit more out of you. We -- from what we understand, the -- Sudan's armed forces are open to extend the truce. Where
there's a paramilitary, there are other groups' stand on this. Have you been able -- Saudi Arabia been able to speak to both sides? Do you think
the RSF can actually agree to that?
AL SAUD: From my understanding, we've been talking to all sides.
SOARES: Yes --
AL SAUD: Including as I said earlier our international partners, all have an effect and all have an influence on the world we live in today, it's an
SOARES: But can you confirm that the RSF has not been able -- has not agreed to an extension of the truth -- truce?
AL SAUD: Well, we're still talking. So it would be -- it's too early to confirm or deny anything. I think it's likely to come down to the wire.
SOARES: Yes --
AL SAUD: I mean, you've already seen -- I saw just now, the reports of sporadic gunfire and panic --
SOARES: Which we've had pretty much after every --
AL SAUD: Nonstop --
SOARES: Yes, ceasefire.
AL SAUD: But you'll find in conflicts, people make the assumption that a conflict is like in the movies, there are two sides, there's a chain of
command and everyone follows orders. That's not always the case. These kind of conflicts exist because there is genuine anger, hate, and divides
between people, and that's difficult to control. So it will require all of us and all our efforts --
SOARES: Understand, and as we've discussed here on the show, with the likes of our chief international correspondent -- investigative
correspondent Nima Elbagir, this is an existential crisis for these men. It's a zero-sum game. So what can all these sides bring to the table?
What can you offer to make it appealing for a truce or for a silencing of the guns at this stage, ambassador?
AL SAUD: I think there are two elements -- one of the great benefits, if even a short ceasefire is, it creates a period of calm and quiet, although
there has been sporadic breaks of it, where the fighters on the ground turn around and think, hang on, I survived that initial breakthrough -- break
out, I'm alive, we're not fighting, I want more of this.
And so there is a bottom-up approach from the people who are actually in conflict. There is also -- you have to hope for the best and the common
sense in people's minds. When you discuss with them -- conflict, nobody really wants any conflict.
And if you can provide a scenario where everyone pitches in to protect everyone's interests, as difficult as that may be, or at least spend more
time talking about it and trying to find a solution, you can get there, you know, I'm not totally pessimistic, the world is filled with some unpleasant
conflict. But you've got to hope for the best.
And the effort I have seen put in --
SOARES: Yes --
AL SAUD: I have to say it's been wonderful to see. It's a shame it's come at the expense of the Sudanese people in a conflict.
SOARES: My take-away from what you're saying is that, it is a ceasefire, an extension the ceasefire is likely?
AL SAUD: Hopeful.
SOARES: Hopeful. It could come today, you think, ambassador?
AL SAUD: You know, these things, they change minute by minute. I think the closer we get without it exploding into total conflict, the better the
chances because people are still talking.
SOARES: Yes --
AL SAUD: And so I -- the close --
SOARES: I think it's already, I mean, the conflict is very much real --
AL SAUD: No question --
SOARES: The guns haven't been silenced, so --
AL SAUD: No question. But it hasn't been the all out --
SOARES: Right --
AL SAUD: Kinetic fighting. But the closer we get and it's quiet or semi- quiet, the more hopeful I am.
SOARES: I want to show our viewers just this graphic -- I'm going to ask my producer, Laura(ph) to bring it up because this is really interesting.
It shows, obviously, as you can see where the support lies. How complex it is for our -- for many of us to really get our heads around this story.
We can see there, Saudi Arabia have been giving financial support to Sudan, but it's clear there are lots of agendas, and you touched on this,
ambassador here, in terms of finding that discussion find that middle ground. How do you find a common goal when there are so many agendas?
How do you get the trust of the RSF when, of course, you've been giving financial support to the armed forces? Because this is a challenge, I'm
AL SAUD: You know, all conflict is challenging. There are conflicting interests --
SOARES: Yes --
AL SAUD: By the very nature of conflict. But our priority has always been the stability and the prosperity of Sudan and its people. Because when you
create prosperity or at least hope for prosperity, that's when you create a situation where people don't want to fight. They have too much to lose.
When we provide support, we always provide it with that aim in place. Now - -
SOARES: I don't think you're answering my question there, ambassador, with all due respect, I mean, how do you think -- do you think that the RSF sees
you as an objective, an unbiased mediator, given where your support has lied over the years -- over the years?
AL SAUD: We -- well, you know, look, we've talked to all sides in Yemen -- in Sudan and in Yemen as well. But there's no question that when you
present it in that fashion, it may look awkward, but our support has been for the Sudanese people, and I don't think that is something that you can
either object to or disagree with. And --
SOARES: I'm just talking in terms of the negotiations --
AL SAUD: Correct --
SOARES: In terms of getting both of those sides to the negotiating table here --
AL SAUD: The RSF and its members are Sudanese people as well. And they stand to benefit from any positive aid, both humanitarian as well as
developmental aid that goes into Sudan, which is what we're looking at. And you know, I'm pretty sure, although I am not involved in the discussions
that future prosperity is what we focused on. It will be what we hope will bring people to the table.
And you can't grow a nation in conflict. You can grow a nation with a stable civilian government, which is what we seek to achieve. A political
dialogue that leads to a civilian government in a stable Sudan which benefits everyone in the region.
SOARES: Ambassador, great to have you on the show. As soon as you hear that a ceasefire is looking promising, please get in contact with us, we'd
love to get you back. Ambassador --
AL SAUD: I will --
SOARES: Thank you very much --
AL SAUD: Love to be, thank you.
SOARES: Thank you very much. Now, to Russia. It's suffering losses in Ukraine, and that, of course, is undisputed.
But according to the United States, its fighting power has not greatly diminished. One senior U.S. military commander says there are more Russian
ground forces today than there were at the start of the war. And Russia's Air Force and Navy have lost relatively little in their arsenal. That
warning comes as Moscow is gearing up for an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Well, recent satellite imagery, as you can see there, shows Russian forces have emptied out a key base in northern Crimea. Earlier images show dozens
of tanks and artillery vehicle stored at the base, experts say they're likely headed towards the frontlines. Our Nick Paton Walsh joins me now
And Nick, you know, you've been kind of analyzing the strategy here that's playing out, as you look at these -- the satellite images from Maxar, what
can we deduct from that?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: I hate to say it, but very little, really, conclusively. We don't know if the space was
emptied out. It seems to have happened possibly at some point in March, as far as we can tell in Medvedivka, in Crimea, unclear if it's emptied out,
because the Russians are concerned that key assets might be cut off in Crimea if indeed Ukraine's counteroffensive is successful in moving south
and potentially cutting that peninsula off from the rest of occupied Ukraine or, as simply, as you said, they're being moved towards the
frontlines to potentially assist Russia in their defense here.
You mentioned also too, suggestions that Russia's armed forces are in fact, larger than they were at the start of the war, that's possibly true. We
don't have a clear readout as to how the mobilization campaigns in Russia have actually been successful. But it's a case of really, I think quantity
versus quality. Yes, it's quite likely, Russia have managed to send to the front tens of thousands, possibly of convicts working for the Wagner
Mercenary Group and then many freshly mobilized individuals too.
But do they have training? Do they have equipment? And do they frankly, have a plan that leads them potentially towards success? That's long been
Russia's problem since the beginning of their invasion well over a year ago now. There are things they thought they could do, they've not been able to
And so, as we see evidence growing that Ukraine's counteroffensive may be imminent, nothing said publicly at all, but signs in the attacks that have
been reported in the east of the Dnipro River in Kherson region by Ukrainian forces, and also suggestions to in the area of Zaporizhzhia where
I am, that things may at some point soon be afoot.
The ultimate question is Russia's mass of forces poorly equipped, possibly poorly commanded as they are with the extraordinary elaborate array of
trench defenses they've dug to try and keep Ukrainian forces at bay. Will they find that sort of older type of defense successful against Ukraine's
military? Which have been supplied a lot of higher-end NATO weaponry at this point.
NATO training as well, is Kyiv essentially able to capitalize upon that and execute something successful in the months ahead, or are we going to see a
slow, brutal, and bloody battle of attrition in the weeks ahead? Isa.
SOARES: Nick Paton Walsh for us there in Zaporizhzhia, thanks, Nick. Now, three major U.S. news pace -- newspapers, pardon me, have joined forces to
push for journalist Evan Gershkovich to be released from prison, from Russian prison. "The Wall Street Journal", "The Washington Post", and "The
New York Times" ran a full page ad today demanding his immediate release.
He's a "Wall Street Journal" reporter who's been detained on espionage charges for nearly a month. His newspaper strongly denies the allegations
against him, saying, "reporting of course is not a crime." Well, earlier today, pro basketball player, Brittney Griner, held his -- her first news
conference since being released from a Russian prison back in December.
It comes as she prepares for a court -- return to the court with the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury. In her remarks, Griner offered encouragement to those who
remain wrongfully detained. Have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRITTNEY GRINER, BASKETBALL PLAYER: And I would say to everyone that is wrongfully detained right now across the world, stay strong, keep fighting,
don't give up, just keep waking up, find a little routine and stick to that routine. And do the best you can. I know that's what helped me, just
finding little things, if it was just -- whatever it was, you know.
Just keep pushing, because we're not going to stop. We're not going to stop fighting. We're not going to stop bringing awareness to everyone that's
left behind right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Wonderful to hear from her. And still to come tonight, Yoon Suk Yeol's state visit to Washington, what the South Korean President told
Congress just hours ago. That is next.
SOARES: A U.S. Airman accused of leaking classified intelligence could soon find out if he's staying in jail during the course of his legal case.
Twenty one-year-old Jack Teixeira is in court at this hour where a judge is set to decide his fate. And so far, that judge has challenged Teixeira's
defense lawyer over arguments that his client did not expect classified information he allegedly posted to be further spread around the internet.
His lawyers want him released to his father's custody. But prosecutors say he's a national security threat, as well as a flight risk. They paint a
picture of a young man obsessed with guns who was suspended in high school for alleged threats, as well as racism. All that before he allegedly shared
a trove of course, of information about the war in Ukraine. Our Jason Carroll reports now on what we've learned from prosecutors.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A court documents filed by the U.S. attorney's office argued the alleged leaker of classified
documents, Jack Teixeira, should not be released on bail while he awaits trial, claiming he poses a serious flight risk, writing, he could take
refuge with a foreign adversary to avoid the reach of U.S. law.
Prosecutors claim that the information Teixeira allegedly accessed far exceeds what has been disclosed on the internet. And therefore, he poses an
ongoing risk, both to the national security of the United States and to the community. Included in the filing are chilling pictures from the search
warrant executed on Teixeira's bedroom, showing a gun locker next to his bed containing multiple weapons, including an AK-style high capacity
weapon, handguns, shotguns, rifles, and a gas mask.
Prosecutors say law enforcement also found a smashed tablet, laptop, and a gaming console in a dumpster at the house. The alleged leaker has also
obstructed justice, according to prosecutors, by telling those he was communicating with online to delete all messages, and if anyone comes
looking, don't tell them, expletive.
Also alleging, he, quote, "deleted" the social media server where he posted government information and procured a new phone number and e-mail address.
Prosecutors say his history surrounding guns raises questions as to why he was a candidate for the Air National Guard. The court document states in
2018, Teixeira was suspended while still in high school after a classmate allegedly overheard him make remarks about guns and make racial threats.
That same year, prosecutors say he applied for a firearms ID card, but was denied due to the concerns of the local police department over the
defendant's remarks at his high school. Court documents mentioned his social media posts reviewed by the FBI, one post from last November reads,
"I hope ISIS goes through with their attack plan and creates a massacre at the World Cup." Further writing, "if I had my way, I'd kill a ton of
people, seriously, I would be forcibly culling the weak-minded."
SOARES: Jason Carroll reporting there. Well, South Korea's president addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress a short while ago. President
Yoon Suk Yeol is on a state visit at the White House, and his speech marks a 70-year alliance between Washington and Seoul.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YOON SUK YEOL, PRESIDENT, SOUTH KOREA: That every time, America has stood together with Korea. We have many reasons to celebrate our platinum
anniversary. We have no guarantees of success when it started. But today, our alliance is stronger than ever, more prosperous together, and more
connected like no other. Indeed, it has been the linchpin safeguarding our freedom, peace, and prosperity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, on Wednesday, he and U.S. President Joe Biden unveiled a new security agreement. It's meant to be a deterrent really, against North
Korean aggression. I want to go to White House reporter, Kevin Liptak. And Kevin, so, what was the main message here, the biggest take-away from the
president to the U.S. Congress?
KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, I think it was this word synergy that he used to describe the United States and South Korea, really
trying to emphasize this 70-year partnership between these two nations forged in a treaty, and really trying to emphasize the importance of the
United States to South Korean security.
You know, it is rare that a foreign leader is able to address a joint session of Congress, Yoon was only the second one during the Biden
administration, he was the first South Korean president to address Congress in 10 years. And you really did hear him describe the importance of the
United States to the history of South Korea.
And that's so important because some members of his audience, particularly Republicans, there is this growing strain of isolationism within that
party. And I think he really tried to emphasize how much the United States played a role in South Korea's development over the last 70 years. He
talked about, you know, missionaries going in the 19th century.
He talked about the Korean war and the importance of the United States' intervention there. And he even brought it up to today, talking about all
of these cultural references, like K-Pop, like the movie "Parasite", to really describe how the United States had helped advance this country over
the years. And of course, his message was not without current meaning.
Of course, the United States, the big part of his visit was emphasizing its commitment to protect South Korea from its neighbor in the north, from
North Korea, that was part of the agreement that he signed yesterday with President Biden at the White House. And so, I think, you know, North Korea
does have a general bipartisan consensus that it needs to be countered in Congress.
But certainly, President Yoon was not going to pass up this opportunity to speak to these lawmakers directly about the importance of that commitment.
SOARES: Thanks very much, Kevin Liptak there. Well, watch out, BTS, because there's a new South Korean singing sensation. Guests at the White
House dinner were treated to surprise performance by President Yoon. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(YOON SUK YEOL SINGING)
YEOL: A long time ago --
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Just brilliant. U.S. President Biden convinced Mr. Yoon to singing the Don McLean hit, "American Pie", after learning it was his favorite
song. He then presented the South Korean leader with a guitar signed by the artist. A pretty special moment. And still to come tonight, they have
risked their lives getting out of a war zone, but many still face desperate conditions.
We'll talk about the plight of civilians fleeing Sudan just ahead. And then tensions of a gang violence in Haiti boil over as residents of the capital
kill more than a dozen armed individuals. We'll have more on the chaos in the country after this very short break.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.
We return now to our top story, massive evacuations are underway from Sudan as the latest cease-fire agreement is set to expire in just hours. For some
people who are desperate to flee remained, of course, trapped, both foreigners, as well as Sudanese with fighting like this in Khartoum's
densely populated neighborhoods.
It's just too dangerous to stay. But it's also dangerous to leave and even once people manage to reach safer ground, their traumatic experiences
aren't necessarily over. Our next guests say his parents escaped the horrific fighting, only to find themselves in a desperate situation at the
Imad Abusam is a U.S. citizen. He and his wife, Leila, are joining us from San Francisco.
Imad and Leila, thank you very much to you both for taking the time to speak to us this evening.
Imad, just bring us up to date.
Where is your father right now?
IMAD ABUSAM, SON OF COUPLE FLEEING KHARTOUM: Right now, they are currently in the archine (ph) border on the Egyptian side. They're currently stuck.
They cannot get into the country. The Egyptians are denying my father access to enter Egypt so he can come back to America.
SOARES: And why are they denying him entry?
Because your mother, from what I understand, your mother can go through, right?
ABUSAM: Yes, my mother can go through. She's an American citizen, she has a valid U.S. passport. (INAUDIBLE) while they were fleeing Khartoum,
fleeing the bombing and the heavy shelling, my father lost his valid American passport. He didn't know it until he got to the Sudanese Egyptian
But what he did have was his expired American passport and a photocopy of his valid passport. That was not enough to allow him entry into Egypt. And
they've been stuck at the border for the past two days.
The conditions at the border are extremely dire. It's very hot. They didn't have water, no food. It's a humanitarian crisis that's breaking out. And
we're extremely worried about my parents.
You know, we don't want them to escape the atrocities that are happening in Khartoum just to die in the border, trying to enter and fleeing and come
back home to us.
SOARES: And he is 74, with the heat and the conditions and the lack of water, as you were saying, that is incredibly worrying. So just talk us
through the efforts that you've been trying to get through, to try and get them out.
Who have you spoken to?
Who have you contacted?
ABUSAM: We've contacted everyone that we know that is able to influence this decision. We contacted the consulate in Egypt on numerous occasions.
We contacted the State Department multiple times. We contacted our local congressman here in San Francisco as well.
We're doing everything in our power to see if we can make a change and see if they can allow my father to enter. We just need him to enter the country
so he can come to America.
It doesn't make sense to turn him away now they've come so far, just to be told that they cannot enter. It's frankly unacceptable and it's appalling.
SOARES: Your contacts, you know, the State Department, what are they telling you?
What is the U.S. side saying in terms of what they can do?
ABUSAM: The U.S. says they're trying their best. They're trying to communicate with the embassy. But we're not getting a status update. There
is no transparency into the process. We asked them multiple times, like, how long is this going to take?
What are the steps you're taking?
Even if you were to get the approval, how would you contact, you know, our parents on the ground?
You know, it's hard to get cell phone service to connect with them. So everything has been up in the air. It's frankly super confusing for us, as
much as our parents who are on the ground, trying to survive.
SOARES: When was the last time you spoke to your father?
What conversation, what did he tell you?
What did he sound like?
ABUSAM: He sounded extremely anxious, deeply worried that he might not be able to make it. He says the conditions there are dire. There is no food.
He cannot take his medicine without food. He has a health condition -- heart condition, diabetes, high blood pressure.
Him and my mother are struggling right now. They're just in shock that they're not able to enter the country. And they sound very desperate. They
are very desperate right now.
SOARES: And your mother can cross but, of course, I'm guessing here, she doesn't want to leave him.
ABUSAM: It's hard to leave a loved one. You know, it's hard to leave a 74 year old man by himself in these conditions.
SOARES: So in a situation where really both yourself and your wife, Leila, you're kind of hitting yourself against the wall.
So what is your message here to the State Department?
ABUSAM: Our message to the State Department is to please help our fellow citizens out, allow these Americans to enter the country so they can seek
aid and can seek help so they can leave Egypt.
Our objective is not to stay in Egypt. We want to bring them back home. These are American citizens. We should do everything in our power to ensure
that they're able to come back home. Please help us.
LEILA YOSEF, IMAD'S WIFE: And also, to explore ways to cut the bureaucracy. We're just trying to understand how hard it is to contact the
border, to just communicate that he has a valid passport.
So bureaucracy, it cannot kill our family and we're asking for assistance for others on the ground, for water, food, basic necessities, and
understand UNHCR and others might be working to visit the border. But we are hoping they can act sooner and provide desperate supplies as soon as
SOARES: You sound incredibly worried for his health and for good reasons. It is very hot right now. There is an exodus of people leaving. Aid
organizations are really struggling. A lack of water. We've seen it ourselves here, internment connectivity, trying to get to speak to people
on the ground.
It's incredibly hard. I know your parents went there for a short amount of time, to Sudan, never seeing this coming.
ABUSAM: They didn't see it coming. As a matter of fact, no one saw this coming, which is extremely surprising that no one was warned that there was
going to be a war to break out and evacuate the country as soon as possible.
There's typically at least a 24-hour notice for people to figure out a way to escape. And they've gone through a lot these past two weeks. They've
made it this far. We're hoping that they can just survive and this ordeal can come to an end, this nightmare can come to an end for all of us.
SOARES: We're hoping that, too. Please keep us posted, Imad and Leila. I hope, of course, that this interview helps facilitate at least the
bureaucracy, get some help for your father on the ground.
Please keep us posted, Imad and Leila, keep us posted on how he's doing. It'll be wonderful to speak to him when he's on the other side and he's
caught his breath and he's relaxed.
SOARES: Thank you very much. Keeping my fingers crossed for you both. Appreciate it.
ABUSAM: Thank you for taking the time.
SOARES: Well, secretary of state Antony Blinken says the U.S. is working on a plan that would help Americans leave Sudan if the conditions are
right. This is what he said, have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: What we need to do and what we're working to establish is a sustained process for enabling people to leave,
assuming that the conditions that we see now are maintained, by which I mean, on the one hand, yes; a cease-fire, however imperfect but also
ongoing violence, confrontation between the two rival military groups.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Blinken says the most likely route to safety to be over land, to Port Sudan on the Red Sea. But as we heard there from Ahmaud and Leila,
there are bureaucratic issues with his father, losing the original passport.
The crime rate in Haiti has doubled since last year and that is according to new data. In the first months of 2023 alone, over 1,600 violent
incidents were reported as gangs battle for control of neighborhoods.
One incident on Monday shows just how desperate the situation really is becoming. CNN's Patrick Oppmann has more on the rising violence. And we
want to warn you that his report contains disturbing images.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Desperation on the streets of Haiti's capital as a mob meets and kills about a dozen alleged
gang members in Port-au-Prince, leaving their bodies to burn in the streets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It was simply the sound of gunfire that woke us up this morning. It was 3 am, the gangs invaded us. They were
shooting, shooting; this neighborhood is a peaceful area. All the people in the surrounding area are peaceful citizens.
OPPMANN (voice-over): The police, the U.N. says, are largely under resourced and understaffed, leaving frustrated, terrorized residents in
charge. Activists say 60 percent of Port-au-Prince is controlled by gangs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The gang members have invaded the area. We want the police to go ahead and confront them. We are on our own.
We have nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The gangs come to invade us, we will defend ourselves. We have our own weapons. We have our own machetes.
We will take their weapons. We will not run away. Mothers who want to protect their children can send them elsewhere.
OPPMANN (voice-over): Elsewhere in the country, violent crime is on the rise, too. The U.N. says crime has more than doubled in the past year, with
gangs controlling large parts of the country, including residential areas. The U.N. says sexual violence, exploitation, kidnapping, homicides are
rampant, sparing no one, not even children.
MARIA ISABEL SALVADOR, U.N. ENVOY TO HAITI: Children are among the victims of the most heinous crimes, including killings, kidnappings and rape. Over
the last three months, school children have been hit by bullets while sitting in their classrooms and kidnapped when being dropped off at school.
OPPMANN (voice-over): Many schools closed last year because of the violence. But parents fear sending their children to the ones that have
reopened, furthering frustration over a potentially bleak future for the next generation of Haitians -- Patrick Oppmann, CNN.
SOARES: And still to come tonight, trans rights have swiftly become the target of a wave of legislation in the United States. We'll take a look at
some of the most recent developments and the controversies around them. That is next.
Plus, a little girl with an incredibly rare immune disease may finally get the lifesaving treatment she needs. That wonderful story is just ahead.
SOARES: From Montana to Missouri and beyond, there is an issue dividing America at some of the highest levels of politics as well as justice.
Transgender rights, particularly those around children and young people, are in sharp focus after a series of recent developments.
In Montana, there has been outrage after a trans lawmaker was banned from the state's Republican dominated house chamber. Democratic representative
Zooey Zephyr had made an impassioned but controversial plea over a bill restricting gender affirming care for minors. Republicans accused her
speech of stoking violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZOOEY ZEPHYR (D-MT), STATE REPRESENTATIVE: I rose up and said there is blood on your hands. I was not being hyperbolic. I was speaking to the real
consequences of the votes that we, as legislators, take in this body.
And when the speaker asks me to apologize when he is -- on behalf of decorum, what he is really asking me to do is be silent when my community
is facing bills that get us killed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: All of this comes as the U.S. Justice Department is challenging a bill in Tennessee that denies some medical care to trans youth.
While in Missouri, a judge has temporarily blocked limits on gender affirming care for minors and adults. We will stay on both those stories
for you here on the show.
Now to the story of a little girl in the U.S. state of California, who was born with an extremely rare immune disease. For five years, the girl's
family has been fighting for her to receive lifesaving treatment, a type of gene therapy.
Next month she is expected to get it, becoming only the second child in the United States in the past five years to do so. CNN's Elizabeth Cohen has
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: What are you going to be this year for Halloween?
SEERSHA SULACK, SCID PATIENT: I don't know.
COHEN: You don't know?
SEERSHA SULACK: I'll be a cheerleader.
COHEN: You're going to be a cheerleader this year?
Five-year-old Seersha Sulack loves costumes but she doesn't go trick or treating like other children do. Any germ even a common cold could kill her
because she was born with severe combined immunodeficiency or bubble boy disease. made famous by the 1976 John Travolta movie, "The Boy in the
Seersha was born in Hawaii where her father was stationed as an Army helicopter pilot. When she was 6 days old, she was airlifted to UCLA Mattel
Children's Hospital, where she spent nearly two months.
SHAYLA SULACK, SEERSHA'S MOTHER: For the first year of her life, she never left her bedroom.
COHEN (voice-over): Her first Christmas gifts, wiped clean and brought to her room, later medications helped.
SHAYLA SULACK: She's getting six to seven shots a month or needles on her legs.
COHEN (voice-over): And she could go outside but still not near anyone except her immediate family. Then Dr. Donald Kohn, who runs this lab at
UCLA had some good news for the family. He said it looked like in the not- too-distant future, Seersha we be able to get a treatment called gene therapy. He's worked on it for nearly 40 years.
DR. DONALD KOHN, UCLA GENE THERAPY RESEARCHER: We can really fix the gene or replace the gene that's missing. It's really exciting.
COHEN (voice-over): At 2021 study showed, the therapy had stunning near perfect results.
KOHN: All the children we treated in the past are doing well. We barely hear from them anymore.
COHEN (voice-over): But then the company that owned the gene therapy decided not to pursue FDA approval. Instead, they invested money in
treatments for more common diseases. That left Seersha and more than two dozen other families waiting to get the treatment.
SHAYLA SULACK: The longer that we waited, the higher chance of infection or her medication not working or something happening outside of our control
to make her severely sick.
COHEN (voice-over): Promising gene therapies for rare diseases have sometimes had trouble getting to market because the potential profits might
KOHN: It's been very frustrating.
COHEN (voice-over): Thursday, the FDA is holding a meeting on gene therapy, one of a series of public meetings intended to help the
development of these innovative treatments. Last week, the agency's leader testified to a Senate committee.
DR. ROBERT CALIFF, FDA COMMISSIONER: We agree that this is an area we've got to move along more quickly.
COHEN (voice-over): As for Seersha...
SEERSHA SULACK: Santa got it for me.
COHEN: Santa got it for you.
COHEN (voice-over): Next month, she'll bring her unicorn suitcase to the hospital to get the gene therapy. She had a preparatory visit earlier this
month. Her family, looking forward to the day that she's like other 5-year- olds.
SHAYLA SULACK: She's excited to go to school and she wants to go to a Dodger game and she's inviting everybody to Disney World for her.
COHEN (voice-over): After years of waiting, Seersha and her family thrilled for the day she can finally get out into the world -- Elizabeth
Cohen, CNN, reporting.
SOARES: Wonderful story.
Still to come tonight, he is the man who redefined talk. Now sadly, that famous voice has fallen silent. Tributes to the legendary TV show host,
Jerry Springer, who has died, age 79.
SOARES: Well, he is the man who changed talk shows forever. Whether you consider it for the better or the worst, either way, few people have ever
got the world talking quite like Jerry Springer. Now tributes are being paid to the iconic TV host, who died at the age of 79.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERRY SPRINGER, TALK SHOW HOST: Today, breakdowns and breakups go hand and hand. Please welcome Steven (ph) to the show. He says he wants his ex back.
SOARES (voice-over): From broken hearts to onset dustups, Jerry Springer's show helped define an era after its debut in the early '90s, ending in 2018
after more than 4,000 episodes. Its influence extended well beyond TV.
SOARES (voice-over): A musical, "Jerry Springer, The Opera," attracted both acclaim and accusations when it opened 20 years ago, with some
protesters likening it to blasphemy.
SOARES: In the later years, Springer reflected on the divisive nature of his work, particularly during the 2016 presidential campaign. Springer,
himself a former Cincinnati mayor, told Richard Quest that politics is no arena for a talk show star.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPRINGER: It's one thing to be crazy on a circus of a television show. It's a lot different to say you want to be leader of the United States of
America and leader of the free world. It's disgraceful, the behavior they're showing. I mean, I never thought anyone who was against my show
should ever be President of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, Ricki Lake is among those paying their respects, remembering a rival, a friend and, above all, a lovely man, one whose depth of
character could often be seen in some of the show's touching final moments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPRINGER: Love can't just be an obligation. The person you want has to want you just as much.
It's hard to be a happy person when you know you are not being a decent one.
The truth is, in most cases, we get treated the way we permit ourselves to be treated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: And so tonight, we will end our show with the words Jerry Springer ended all of his, "Take care of yourself and each other."
Thanks very much for your company. Do stay right here. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" with Richard Quest is up next. We will see you tomorrow.