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Isa Soares Tonight

Crowds Gather In Tel Aviv For A Vigil To Mark One Month Since October 7th Attacks; Israel's Defense Minister Says IDF Are Fighting "In The Heart Of Gaza City"; U.N. Secretary General: Gaza Becoming A "Graveyard for Children"; IDF Secure Hamas Military Stronghold In Northern Gaza; Three Sisters And Grandmother Killed In Southern Lebanon; Key Races Today In Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky And Mississippi; Going Green: Water Reuse Solutions; Football Star Jenni Hermoso Receiving Threats. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired November 07, 2023 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, and a very warm welcome everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Today marks one month since the October the 7th

terror attacks on Israel. Crowds gathered in Tel Aviv earlier for a vigil to remember the 1,400 victims who were brutally killed, and to hope for the

safe return, of course, of some 240 hostages still believed to be held captive by Hamas.

Israel's Defense Minister says that remains a top priority, now that the operation in Gaza is entering a new as well as crucial phase.


YOAV GALLANT, DEFENSE MINISTER, ISRAEL: We're weakening their ability. We're advancing. Our forces from north and south are advancing towards the

heart of the city of Gaza, and we fight within this area.


SOARES: Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation in Gaza remains grim. The Palestinian Health Ministry in Ramallah says more than 10,000 people have

been killed in Hamas-controlled Gaza since the war began. And the U.N. chief warns that Gaza is quote, "becoming a graveyard for children". And

our Nic Robertson joins us now from Sderot, Israel, near the Gazan border.

And Nic, a month on from that horrific attack of course, on Israel, we've heard Prime Minister Netanyahu, who addressing the nation, speaking in the

last hour, saying that the city of Gaza is now encircled and that they are operating inside it. The Defense Minister saying they're at the heart of

Gaza City. How does this shift the fighting? Because now, clearly, perhaps, the IDF is in a heavily-populated area if we go by what they're saying.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, just to bring you up to date with what's happened in the last two or three minutes here,

we've just seen two different salvos of rockets fired out, literally, in the last couple of minutes as your show has been on the air. One coming

over our shoulders this way, and another salvo appeared to be heading towards central Israel.

And that was the second salvo in probably about 20 minutes headed towards central Israel. And that other previous salvo coming out just before the

prime minister was speaking, the IDF says that it is making gains inside of Gaza. That, it is, as you say, fighting in the heart of Gaza city. And this

is significant because it is intense urban combat.

But there's also reasons that indicate that -- because the interpretation through the fact that IDF casualties on the ground have been relatively

light, there's an interpretation that says Hamas is actually hiding out in the tunnels, and not engaging directly with the IDF in the streets.

We also know that the IDF is now using more precision-guided missiles, more low explosive missiles to allow the troops to sort of move in and move

forward behind the curtain of fire. It's intended to protect the troops on the ground. It's also intended to protect the civilians.

And I think one of the interesting things that we heard from Prime Minister Netanyahu in his press conference a few minutes ago was that he indicated

that the -- on the diplomatic front, the government is working around the clock to keep the window open, he said, for the IDF to finish their

military mission.

This, I think is another indication from the Prime Minister that we've been getting over the past 24 hours, that the international pressure because of

the high civilian death toll is essentially collapsing the time that he has available for the military to take out Hamas.

And if Hamas is hiding in the tunnels and not engaging, that makes it much harder. And to the situation the government finds itself in now,

potentially is one where they may have to contemplate not being able to defeat Hamas completely, as they have set out to do. That's not what

they're saying, but it's perhaps what we're beginning to get a sense of, Isa.

SOARES: And Nic, what we've also heard from Netanyahu in the last 24 hours, his first comments, I think on post-war Gaza, where he said that Israel

will have overall security responsibility for Gaza. How -- what would that look like, Nic?


ROBERTSON: It's a really good question. In some ways, it would look like a throwback to pre-2005 when Israel pulled out and relinquished security

controls completely around Gaza and handed it back to the administration of the Palestinian Authority then. And later, Hamas took control through an

election, and then overthrowing their political opposition in 2007.

So, in a way, it would be going -- it would be a big step back in time, a big responsibility. But I think, at the moment, it's not clear that the

Israeli government is going to be in a position to have full control over Gaza, have security control, be able to sort of have military raids in and

out to make arrests the way that they would want to.

To be in -- to be in a position to be able to administer Gaza. That is really unclear at the moment from where we stand, Isa.

SOARES: Nic Robertson for us there, stay safe, Nic, good to see you. Well, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza appears to be growing more dire by the day.

CNN's Salma Abdelaziz looks at the civilians caught in the crossfire. But first, a warning to you, some of the images in this report are graphic.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Families are burying their dead en masse, with little time to mourn. Gaza is not a humanitarian

crisis, but a crisis of humanity, the U.N's. chief says. A month of war has devastated the Strip. Israeli airstrikes have hit homes, schools, refugee

camps and ambulances. And the IDF has claimed all legitimate Hamas targets.

A siege has cut off food, fuel, water and basic supplies, and there are no safe places. The U.N. says 70 percent of the Strips' population forced out

of their homes and desperate for refuge. The healthcare system is decimated. More than 60 percent of Gaza's hospitals and medical centers are

out of service according to the Palestinian Authority.

And the death toll, the U.N. says defies humanity. Israeli attacks have killed over 10,000 Palestinians since October 7th, according to the

Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, drawing from sources in the Hamas-controlled enclave. Based on the ministry's figures, at least, one

child is being killed every ten minutes.

CNN calculations suggest Gaza becoming a graveyard for children, the U.N. chief says. The bloody conflict is spurring anger and action in capitals,

from Berlin to Ankara, to London and beyond. The world is turning against Israel's war in Gaza. The global outcry getting louder. But the U.S. so far

unable to stem the bloodshed.

After a whirlwind Middle East tour, Secretary of State Antony Blinken failed to secure any pause to the fighting. And Prime Minister Netanyahu

remains defiant. The IDF says it's dropping hundreds of bombs a day on Hamas targets, as Israeli ground forces push deeper into the territory with

a stated aim of wiping out the group.

The U.N. describes Israel's assault as collective punishment, and the youngest are paying the highest price.

AHMED AYESH, SURVIVOR OF AIRSTRIKE: This is the Bible(ph) of the so-called Israel. They show their might and power against civilians. Babies inside!

Kids inside! And their families.

ABDELAZIZ: Families battered and broken after four weeks of war, say they can endure no more war. And some are carrying their cries. Salma Abdelaziz,

CNN, London.


SOARES: Well, as mentioned earlier, Israelis are remembering the victims of the conflict today. A candlelight vigil started a short while ago in Tel

Aviv, marking one month since Hamas' deadly attack on October the 7th. Israeli authorities say it was the biggest attack in the country's history.

Our Ed Lavandera is in Jerusalem with the very latest.

And Ed, a month on, the shock I imagine, the pain still very raw. Just give us a sense of what you've been seeing and what you've been hearing today.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've been trying to take the temperature of Israeli society here, marking the one month anniversary

since the October 7th attacks. And hundreds of people gathered here tonight at the Western Wall, the most holy site in the world for a night of

prayers. And really, the focus intently on the hostages here.

And the calls and the players that we heard tonight from those who were gathered was about unity in the country. This is a country that for the

months leading up to this attack, has struggled with the political division, and the calls here really focused on gathering around the

hostages and those who have been, and the families that have been so greatly affected by the October 7th attack.


So, that is really kind of the theme of what we saw unfolding here tonight. It was a vigil service there at the base of the Western Wall here in the

holy land, and in the old city of Jerusalem. And from wherever we've gone, throughout to the last week or so here in Israel. You -- we've noticed, and

you know, many people struggling to come to terms with exactly how it happened on October 7th.

And that has been kind of a theme that has been rather fascinating to watch unfold, and many people who had, you know, certain beliefs before October

7th, and they have been dramatically changed after that attack and what many families have been through.

So, this is, you know, one of the largest gatherings, a very significant gathering here tonight in -- at the base of the Western Wall as many

hundreds of people turned out to take part in this vigil tonight. Isa.

SOARES: Yes, and like you said, Ed, we cannot -- we cannot forget the 240 hostages, of course, that are still being held by Hamas, and the anguish

for so many of the families. But I imagined also not just anguish, but also anger at Benjamin Netanyahu. At least, that's what I've been hearing from

some of the families of some of those hostages.

LAVANDERA: Yes, there has been. We've seen evidence of that in various situations. Frustrations and anger taken out on cabinet members and those

who work in Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet. So there's been a great deal of that, and that's why I think, you heard some of that, these calls for unity

within the country, to get through what they describe as this tragic time, and this difficult time, to try to get back to, you know, some sort of

semblance of peace.

And that's what, you know, as I mentioned, this is like, you know, one of the things that I've kind of picked up in talking to so many people over

the last -- over the last week.

SOARES: Ed Lavandera for us there, thanks very much, Ed, I appreciate it. Well, a month into this deadly conflict, the United Nations Security

Council has not yet been able to reach a consensus on how to halt the fighting between Israel and Hamas. In a closed-door meeting on Monday,

another draft resolution failed to gain the support of the U.S. and the U.K., permanent members who have veto power.

Earlier, I asked France's ambassador to the U.N., what is causing the disagreement, and whether he can see a way through. We'll have that full

interview in just a few minutes, two, three minutes or so. It is though election day in the U.S. for voters at the polls right now. And what

happens today could be critical and provide some insights into how voters are feeling about President Joe Biden one year from the 2024 presidential

election of course.

Abortion rights are front and center in two states. Ohio voters will decide whether to enshrine abortion rights into the state constitution, abortion

access is also a big issue in Virginia where all-state House and Senate seats are up for grabs. In Kentucky, Democratic Governor Andy Beshear faces

Trump-backed Republican challenger Daniel Cameron.

And Mississippi's Republican Governor Tate Reeves takes on Democrat Brandon Presley, the second son of, yes, of Elvis Presley. Well, CNN is covering

the key races across United States. Senior national correspondent Kyung Lah is in Columbus, Ohio, at a polling station, while national politics

correspondent, Eva McKend joins us from a polling station in Louisville, Kentucky.

Kyung, to you first, I mean, it's clear reproductive rights are literally and figuratively the number one issue in Ohio today. What have you been

hearing from voters there throughout the day?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So what I want to warn you though, Isa, is that this is a snapshot of what we're seeing across the

state. I can't tell you how it's looking in every corner of the state.

SOARES: Yes --

LAH: But here in this one polling place in Columbus, Ohio, I want you to take a look at what we're seeing. We're seeing some pretty robust turnout,

and when you look at this crowd, this is a mix of people, Columbus' voters, registered voters coming out, they're standing in these lines, something

we've seen throughout the day, go to one of these tables, checking it and picking up their ballots and then --

SOARES: Unfortunately --

LAH: Presidential, and what they are seeing here --

SOARES: We've got you --

LAH: Yes --

SOARES: Well, you keep -- yes, you keep breaking up. So we're going to give you another try, go on, Kyung.

LAH: OK, we'll stay -- I'll stop moving, and let's see if this works a little bit better. So, Isa, what we are seeing here though is this sort of

robust turnout. A good number of people in an off-year election standing in these lines and voting, and that's something that both sides of what's

known here as issue one, the issue that is on the ballot today, that is a key motivating issue for these voters.

Voting and having their say on whether or not abortion rights should be enshrined in the state constitution. I want you to listen to these two

voters we spoke with.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think people feel very strongly about people's choice, personal choices, and their ability to make choices for their own.

And so, just really respecting each other and making sure that everyone has the ability to do that on their behalf is really important and speaks

really highly of us as a community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think from personal experience, sometimes you don't feel heard. I feel like we're all sort of, kind of hoping that we can

change things for the better.


LAH: And so, both sides of issue one say that this will be a very heated and close battle when these polls finally close tonight, and these results

start coming in. Neither side is saying it's going to be a slam dunk. Both sides of issue one are out there, still knocking on doors, still

canvassing, still trying to get voters to show up to polling places like this one, Isa.

We are hearing, at least -- I am hearing from analysts as far away as Arizona, who say that people in the swing states across this country are

watching what happens in Ohio to see how motivating abortion will indeed --

SOARES: Yes --

LAH: Be. Isa?

SOARES: Thanks very much, Kyung. Let's go to Eva. And Eva, for our viewers just to get an understanding here, Donald Trump, of course, won Kentucky

with a commanding 26-point lead I believe in 2020. Yet, its governor is a Democrat. Give us a sense of what you are seeing and whether Andy Beshear

here can hold on.

EVA MCKEND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Governor Beshear is well positioned in these last few hours before the polls close here. And that's because of how

he has governed the past four years. You know, he has been at the helm during several natural disasters, tragedies, the pandemic, and all the

while, he really strayed away from partisanship, really emphasizing this notion that Kentuckians were all a part of the same team.

And that is something that we have seen him routinely emphasize throughout his re-election bid. And that is why there are at least some Trump

supporters who actually support the governor, but he still has a credible challenger in Republican rising star, the Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

Cameron has worked tirelessly to try to tie Governor Beshear to President Biden. President Biden very unpopular in this state. He also has attacked

Beshear for his position on public safety, and his response to the pandemic, arguing that the learning loss during while schools were closed

was so substantial, and not enough has been done to work in concert with the Republican state legislature to address that learning loss. We caught

up with Cameron earlier today as he was voting. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Critique your campaign against the governor over these past 6, 12 months.

DANIEL CAMERON, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL OF KENTUCKY: Well, we've run a fantastic campaign. And I think that's indicated or judged by the fact that

the polling is so tight right now. And so, we feel very good about the campaign we've run. We've got a strong ticket. Grateful to have my wife by

my side and Theodore as well.


MCKEND: And just to give you a sense of the national attention in this contest, upwards of $80 million spent on television ads in this race alone.

SOARES: Eva, thank you very much, and our thanks also to Kyung Lah. We will bring you much more on the Israel-Hamas conflict after this very short

break. You are watching CNN.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. In a closed-door meeting on Monday, the United Nations Security Council again failed to reach a consensus on a call

to halt the conflict in Gaza. The resolution had been drafted by the council's ten non-permanent members, but was opposed by permanent members,

United States and the U.K., which each have veto power.

France also has a permanent seat, and is calling for immediate humanitarian truce. Earlier, I spoke to France's ambassador to the U.N. Nicolas de

Riviere, I started by asking him what he thinks is preventing an agreement being reached.


NICOLAS DE RIVIERE, FRANCE AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Well, we are -- today is one month after this horrible terrorist attack against Israel, 1,400 people

killed just because they're Jews. And the Security Council has not been able to take a position. And I think it's extremely regrettable. So, we

have been trying again and again to negotiate, to have the Security Council united on one set of recommendations.

We need, of course, to condemn this terrorist attack, to call for the release of hostages, to recognize the right of Israel to defend itself.

It's not negotiable, while respecting 100 percent international law, the Geneva Convention as the law of the war, while providing full and unending

access through humanitarian relief, and protecting the civilians. It needs to happen now.

And this is why France is asking for an immediate truce leading to a ceasefire. We need this to happen now. The situation in Gaza is dire.

SOARES: Yes --

DE RIVIERE: Nobody is challenging the right of Israel to go after the tourists in Gaza, but not after the civilian population. And when this

crisis is over, it will be high time to resume a genuine and serious Middle East peace process, leading to a two-state solution.

SOARES: Let's just break -- let's break it down what you've just told us. Because what we've heard -- you called it regrettable that U.N. resolution

hasn't passed here, ambassador. The U.S. and the U.K. believe that a ceasefire would only benefit Hamas. In fact, John Kirby saying -- said

recently the general ceasefire wasn't appropriate at this time. His words. So, how do you get around this, ambassador, because right now, it looks

like --


SOARES: You're just going around in circles?

DE RIVIERE: No, I think there's absolutely no contradiction between recognizing the right of Israel to defend itself, and to go against the

terrorists who are still in --

SOARES: Yes --

DE RIVIERE: Gaza city. Israel has a right to do it. What is not allowed is to harm the civilians, the civilian population of Gaza. So there is no

contradiction between asking for full and unhindered humanitarian access now. And to do that, we need a humanitarian pause, a humanitarian truce,

now. Without a humanitarian pause or a humanitarian truce, nothing can happen.

Right now, we have 20 trucks entering Gaza each day, we need 100 -- people need water, food, electricity, energy, et cetera, and the situation is

becoming --

SOARES: Yes --

DE RIVIERE: Worse and worse. The civilian population is paying the price for the terrorist attack.


DE RIVIERE: France has always been in support of Israel, the security of Israel is not negotiable. We do not challenge at all the right of Israel to

defend itself -- just the contrary.


SOARES: You mentioned a two-state solution. We have heard in the last 24 hours, ambassador, from Prime Minister Netanyahu, talking about the future

of Gaza. This is what he said. Have a listen.



BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL: I think Israel will, for an indefinite period, we'll have the overall security responsibility because

we've seen what happens when we don't have it.



SOARES: What does post-conflict Gaza look like in the EU's eyes? What would the EU like to see here?

DE RIVIERE: Well, I don't think we are there yet. We are just confronted with huge crisis in Gaza. We need this crisis to be resolved. We need to

avoid a spillover to the West Bank and to Lebanon and to the whole region. This is a priority. Once this crisis is under control, and the sooner would

be the better, we need to have a conversation of the resumption of a genuine peace process on a two-state solution.

And we need a two-state solution. It's an obvious reality, and we need to do that. Any other solution, we just perpetuate the stalemate, and we will

go from one burst of violence to the -- to the next one.

SOARES: And you think that is achievable? Because of course, you know, two state -- two independent sovereign Israeli and Palestinian states existing

side by side, this has been repeatedly been endorsed by world leaders, but we haven't got very far. You think now, this is possible more than ever?

DE RIVIERE: Well, I think this crisis should be a wake-up call. We need a political solution. I think ignoring the aspiration of Palestine to become

a state is a mistake. It does not allow, and certainly not justify at all, a terrorist attack. I think we need to condemn a terrorist attack, and we

need to eliminate the terrorists, of course.

But as long as there is no proper response to the Palestinian aspiration to become a state, I think the crisis will continue again and again.


SOARES: And still to come tonight, tensions flare again along the Israel- Lebanon border after a grandmother and three young sisters are killed. We'll have a live report for you. And then later, it's election day in the

United States. Ahead, we'll discuss what today's vote can mean for next year's presidential race.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.

Israeli officials announcing today that IDF troops are now fighting in what they call the heart of Gaza City. Both prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu

and defense minister Yoav Gallant spoke of the progress of the operation in Gaza a short while ago. Our Jim Sciutto joins us with the latest from Tel


Jim, how do you read those comments from the prime minister and from the defense minister, saying that IDF troops are at the heart of Gaza City?

Talk to us about the challenges for the IDF and civilians who may not have moved south.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Enormous challenges on the ground in Gaza. But there were bigger picture messages

from that joint press conference that I think are notable.

One, just the declaration that this is a war unlike any Israel has seen one month into this. And they are, this country has unified in its defense.

That is notable because Gallant and Netanyahu came from different sides and in effect are part of a unity government here.

They were saying in clear terms they are setting aside their differences, as they fight Hamas today. That is important because, as you know, leading

up to this war, there were divisions within the country.

But as they are confronting Hamas in the wake of October 7th, it is a very different story. They are ready to fight.

The final thing I will say from the press conference that stood out is that Gallant said this is a multifront war. They are fighting in Gaza now. But

they are aware of the threat on the northern front.

And we certainly found that when we were up in northern Israel. In terms of the threat from Hezbollah, there's great conviction in this country that,

after they handle the Gaza threat, the threat from Hamas that they have every intention of taking on Hezbollah in the north. And that just portends

quite a long war going forward.

SOARES: Yes, I will be speaking to Ben Wedeman in Lebanon in just a few minutes. But we have also heard today, correct me if I'm wrong, that the

Israeli military have located this, Jim, and destroyed several tunnels in Gaza.


SOARES: What more can you tell us?

How did they do this without hampering the 240 hostages that have been taken here by Hamas, Jim?

SCIUTTO: Well, that is going to be a challenge throughout. Right?

Frankly, they don't know where the hostages are. They don't know where all of them are. They are not really revealing intelligence that they might

have, secondly, of what the locations are. They released some videos showing them opening tunnel entrances and entering the tunnels.

It is not surprising. It's an enormous underground network in Gaza. They are confronting it. Confronting it is one thing but neutralizing it over

time, given the depth and breadth of that tunnel network, is a different story.

But they are making progress. The thing is, as they advance further into Gaza, they will run into more of that and more of the fighters. That also

portends a long war going forward, with the potential for large Israeli casualties on the ground.

We have already seen a fair number from IDF forces. But given the goal of this, which is to destroy Hamas, not just weaken it, again, that is a

signal that this is going to be quite a long fight there.

SOARES: Indeed. Thank you very much. Jim Sciutto for us there with the very latest.

As Jim was saying, tensions are flaring along the Israel-Lebanon border. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an ominous warning to

Hezbollah leaders. Here's what he had to say in just the last hour.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL (through translator): If Hezbollah is choosing to enter the war, if Hezbollah is choosing to enter

the war, they would make the biggest mistake of their lives.


SOARES: Mr. Netanyahu's comments come as Israeli military officials are looking into claims that --


SOARES: -- four members of a family were killed by an Israeli drone strike in southern Lebanon. Joining us from southern Lebanon is our Ben Wedeman.

Ben, how's that warning from Netanyahu being received in Lebanon this hour?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's not the first time the Israeli prime minister has made such a warning. I think they are

accustomed to these warnings coming from the Israelis.

Just to update you, about 40 minutes ago, there was a very large explosion south of here that shook all the windows in Tyre. All indications are that

it was an Israeli airstrike. Earlier in the evening, we heard outgoing rocket fire from the area of the Lebanese border.

It was today that the village of Aynata (ph), which is near the Israeli border on the Lebanese side, that more civilian victims of the violence

along the border were buried.


WEDEMAN (voice-over): A family, a village is in mourning. Samira Ayoub and her three granddaughters, Layan, 10; Taleen, 12; and Remas, 14, were killed

in an Israeli drone strike on their car Sunday afternoon near the border with Israel.

Their uncle, Samir, was in the car in front of them.

"Their mother was screaming," he recalls. "'I want my children. Where are my children?' as she watched her children burning inside the car."

The Israeli military told CNN the vehicle was a, quote, "suspected transport" for terrorists, adding they are looking into claims there were

civilians in the vehicle. Clearly, there were only civilians in the vehicle.

Every day, the border area is rocked by incoming and outgoing fire, enough to keep the area on edge, not enough yet to set off a full blown war. The

ancient city of Tyre lies just 20 kilometers, or around 13 miles, north of the frontier.

Pulling in his nets, Deeb says now is not the time to take risks.

"Us fishermen are not going far out to sea," he tells me. "We stay close to shore just in case something happens."

The normally bustling port in the heart of Tyre is subdued.

"Usually, this place is full of people," Mohammed (ph) (INAUDIBLE) fisherman says.

"No one's going out. Everyone is staying home."

Elias' family has been making fishing boats for generations. He lived through all of Lebanon's wars and doesn't want to see another one.

"Everyone is scared," he says. "Many people have gone elsewhere. Who wants to stay here and be bombed?"

Until or unless that happens, the fishermen mend their nets. Life must go on.


WEDEMAN: Today in Beirut, Amos Hochstein, who is the senior energy adviser to the White House, was in Beirut, meeting with Lebanese caretaker prime

minister Najib Mikati. And during those talks, he urged that calm return to south Lebanon.

But he may be talking to the wrong person because, in this part of Lebanon, the Lebanese government does not necessarily have a lot of sway. It is

Hezbollah that is calling the shots here.

SOARES: Ben Wedeman in Lebanon. Thank you very much, Ben.

Authorities are investigating the death of a Jewish man in California, which happened at protests over the Israel-Hamas war as a homicide. Paul

Kessler, pictured here, reportedly fell and hit his head during an altercation at those demonstrations in Thousand Oaks.

The county's chief medical examiner now confirms that Kessler's injuries are consistent with a fall. But another man who had previously been

detained as a suspect has now been released following a search of his home.

Today is Election Day across the United States. Several key races could give us critical insight into how Americans are feeling one year before the

2024 presidential election.

In Virginia, the entire state legislature is up for grabs.

Pennsylvania voters will have the chance to weigh in on a state supreme court seat.

There's a tight governor's race in Kentucky between the incumbent and his Republican Trump-endorsed challenger there.


SOARES: And in Ohio, voters will decide whether to enshrine abortion rights into the state's constitution.

There's a lot for us to digest. I know. Helping us with all that is our senior political analyst, Ron Brownstein, who joins us now.

Great to see you, Ron. Let's start with Ohio. Because Kyung Lah and I were speaking 20 minutes or so ago. And abortion rights are on the ballot.

What role, first of all for our viewers around the world, does abortion and the ongoing fight around reproductive health care play in all of this?

I know it's been a political issue for Democrats.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. First of all, good afternoon.

Abortion, when people have had the chance to vote directly on abortion, whether it has been in red states like Kansas and Montana or Democratic

states like California and Vermont, every time they have had an opportunity to vote on abortion rights directly, since the Supreme Court ended the

nationalized constitutional right to abortion in '22, voters have voted to uphold abortion rights.

The odds are high that, in Ohio tonight, that streak will continue. Polling has shown the initiative, which would overturn a six-week ban on abortion,

imposed by the state's Republican legislature and Republican governor in 2019, is likely to pass.

The electoral impact, though, in terms of how abortion has played into broader elections between candidates, has been a little more nuanced. No

question that it has been a powerful issue for Democrats in swing states, places like Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

But in the hardcore red states where the most severe abortion restrictions have already gone into place actually, places like Texas, Iowa, Tennessee,

Florida, there has not been the kind of backlash that we have seen in the swing states.

And certainly not the overwhelming votes we have seen when voters have had a chance to weigh in on the issue directly.

SOARES: In your latest analysis, Ron, you basically have been focusing on the suburbs. I will read this out for you, if we can bring it up.

"By traditional measures, the political environment for Tuesday's election again looks favorable for Republicans, with most voters expressing

dissatisfaction about both the economy and President Biden's job performance.

"But all of those conditions were present in the 2022 midterms, when Republicans underperformed anyway."

Ron, how different could 2023 be from the political climate in 2022?

BROWNSTEIN: That is what we will find out tonight. Right now, it really doesn't look that different. We have the same basic contending forces that

were present in '22. On one side, there's broad dissatisfaction with the economy and broad disenchantment with President Joe Biden's performance.

Virginia gives you a good example of that. It is a state that he won by 10 points in 2020. His job approval rating is now underwater. In recent

polling by "The Washington Post," voters give Republicans a double-digit advantage on which party they trust to handle both the economy and crime.

Normally, you look at those numbers I just recited and say, it's going to be a big night for Republicans.

But in fact, it is, at best, a toss-up and may be leaning Democratic, because the offsetting factor that was there in 2022 is still there in

2023, which is that a lot of voters, particularly in the suburbs, who are disappointed in Biden and disenchanted with the economy, are still

reluctant to vote Republican, because they view them as a threat to rights that they cherish, such as abortion rights or even book bans.

A core question is whether Democrats can continue to win voters who don't believe they have delivered for their interests by convincing them that

Republicans are a bigger threat to their values and their rights. That worked in key swing states in 2022. Virginia will give us the best measure

of whether it works again in 2023.

SOARES: If they do keep winning, if Democrats do well and keep winning on reproductive rights, do they come up with a better picture then on factors

like the economy?

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. Well, yes. Look, as I said, abortion is not a silver bullet.


BROWNSTEIN: It does not erase all the other problems that Democrats are facing but it has proven a very powerful argument, particularly in these

suburban communities, the inner suburbs, the large metros.

We saw it in those governor and Senate races in 2022. Despite dissatisfaction with the economy, Democrats maintain or actually in most

cases improved their vote in the suburbs of Phoenix and Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta and Milwaukee. If we see the same kind of pattern again

tonight in the suburbs of northern Virginia --


BROWNSTEIN: -- the suburbs of Richmond and the ballot initiative in Ohio, places like the suburbs of Cincinnati and Columbus, it would to me send a

signal that the same dynamic that limited Republican performance in both 2018, 2020 and 2022, is still present.

Which is that in these suburban communities, even many voters who are uneasy about Democratic governance, mixed feelings about the results Biden

has achieved and likely to think he's too old for another term, are still reluctant to trust the Trump-era GOP with their rights, their values and

democracy itself.

SOARES: Ron Brownstein, always great to get your analysis and insight. Thank you very much, Ron.

BROWNSTEIN: Thanks for having me.

The third Republican presidential debate is happening this Wednesday and it's happening in Miami. Only five candidates will participate. Former New

Jersey governor Chris Christie, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley and South Carolina senator Tim Scott.

Former president Donald Trump, as you can see, was not in the lineup. He will miss this debate just like the first two. He's set to hold his own

event just outside Miami after taking the stand on Monday, of course, in New York in his civil fraud trial.

We will take a short break. We will be back after this.




SOARES: This week, we are highlighting innovative solutions to protect our planet's most precious resource, water. In San Francisco, California, one

sustainable start-up is giving wastewater a new lease on life. Bianca Nobilo has more.



AARON TARTAKOVSKY, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, EPIC CLEARTEC (voice-over): The way we've designed our cities for the last 250 years has not really changed,

which is to say it's based on the centralized model of buildings, connected to underground water and sewer pipes, connected to a central facility.

And that approach can't keep up with urban population growth, with a changing climate that is making water scarcity more pronounced everywhere.

What we're doing is creating these smaller distributed systems that can go into a single building, a group of buildings, collect that water right at

the source, treat it and then we use it.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Epic Cleantec is leading the charge for a water recycling revolution. And they are starting

in the epicenter of innovation in the U.S.

TARTAKOVSKY (voice-over): Here in California, we're going from drought to drought, to drought. There is no reason why we should be taking fresh water

from our national parks to flush the toilets of tech employees in downtown San Francisco.

We have technology available to us today, to take what is considered dirty or used --


TARTAKOVSKY (voice-over): -- water and turn it into this exceptionally high-quality treated water.

NOBILO (voice-over): Epic's One Water system recycles water for reuse only in non-potable applications like toilets, irrigation and cooling systems.

TARTAKOVSKY (voice-over): When you put our systems in, you can recycle 95 percent of your building's water, which means you're only pulling in 5

percent from the city for things like drinking and cooking and those potable applications.

NOBILO (voice-over): The idea of using recycled water has met with some hesitation, Aaron says.

TARTAKOVSKY (voice-over): We've conditioned society to think that wastewater is waste. We put waste in the name. What we have done is really

taken an educational and science first approach.

We show people the water before and after and we actually took a portion of our treated water and we turned it into a beer. So this is our Epic

OneWater brew. This is a Kolsch-style ale, made with highly purified building graywater.

NOBILO (voice-over): While not for sale due to the regulations, the beer has generated quite a buzz.

TARTAKOVSKY (voice-over): So we found, is that once we put that water in the form of a beer, all of a sudden people got really excited. And it

allows us to start a conversation. And we were able to show people sort of the untapped potential of water reuse.

I think there's a shift just going on society, in the world, in the market, where people realize that we just simply have to change the way we do

things. In many ways, this is one of the key solutions to make sure that our planet continues to be livable.


SOARES: And for more, you can visit

Still to come tonight, an investigation in Portugal causes a government shakeup. Why the Portuguese prime minister resigned. That is next.




SOARES: Well, let's take a look now at some of the other big headlines around the world this hour.

Portugal's leader has now resigned over a corruption case. The country's general prosecutor's office says the investigation involves members of

prime minister Antonio Costa's government.

Five people, including Costa's chief of staff, have been arrested. The case centers on allegations of corruption, malfeasance and influence peddling.

Costa, a socialist who became Portugal's prime minister in 2015, says he is innocent.

Spanish football star Jenni Hermoso is speaking out --


SOARES: -- about the unwanted kiss after the World Cup final and the fallout from it. Hermoso told "GQ Spain" she received threats after the

incident and said it has been a damaging ordeal for her, which she has had to work on with the help of her psychologist.

"GQ Spain" named Hermoso its woman of the year. Spain's win in the World Cup was overshadowed by the unsolicited kiss planted on Hermoso by the head

of the country's football federation, Luis Rubiales. FIFA banned him from all football related activities for three years.

Finally, we have some good news to bring you, potentially some good news in the field of breast cancer prevention. British health officials say they

are repurposing a breast cancer treatment drug so that it can be used for preventing the disease as well.

The medication will be available to nearly 300,000 women in the U.K. who are considered to have at least a moderate risk of breast cancer. We will

leave you with some potentially positive news.

Thank you for your company. Thank you for watching. Stay right here, Julia Chatterley will be back after a short break with much more on the Israel-

Hamas war of course. I shall see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.