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Isa Soares Tonight

Russia Blames Ukraine For Downing Plane With 74 Aboard; UNRWA Cites There's Been Mass Casualties After U.N. Shelter Was Struck In Gaza; Trump Wins New Hampshire Primary After Beating Nikki Haley; Biden Addressing United Auto Workers Union Members; Some U.S. Allies Worry About A Second Trump Presidency; France Debates Plan To Enshrine Abortion Rights. Aired 2- 3p ET

Aired January 24, 2024 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, a Russian military plane crashes near

the Ukrainian border. But who was onboard and what caused the crash are in dispute. We will have the very latest.

Then in Gaza, the U.N.'s Relief Agency says a U.N. shelter was struck by tank fire, killing at least nine people and injuring dozens of others. I'll

speak to the director of that agency for the very latest. Plus, a resounding victory for Donald Trump in New Hampshire with the next primary

only weeks away. The question is, can they get Haley stay in the race?

But first tonight, Russian officials are accusing Ukraine of shooting down a military plane in Russia's Belgorod region, that's near the Ukrainian

border. The region's governor says all 74 people on board were killed. Most of the details are in dispute at this hour.

Russia says the plane was carrying Ukrainian prisoners bound for a prisoner swap. Ukraine says it doesn't yet know who was on the plane, and Kyiv has

yet to comment on Russia's claims that it shot the plane down. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called it, quote, "a terrorist attack",

speaking at the U.N. a short time ago. This is what he said.


SERGEY LAVROV, FOREIGN MINISTER, RUSSIA (through translator): The Ukrainian prisoners of war were transported to the Belgorod region in order to

conduct yet another swap, which was agreed between Moscow and Kyiv. Instead of this, the Ukrainian side launched an air defense missile from the

Kharkiv region. It targeted the aeroplane and was a fatal strike.


SOARES: Our Fred Pleitgen is reporting this crash from eastern Ukraine and joins us now. And Fred, so far, as we've just laid out there, we have had

accusations and counter-accusations, so let's try and add some clarity, if possible. What are you learning on the ground as to how the plane came

down, and critically, who was on board?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, certainly, it still is a very complicated situation, and the Ukrainians really haven't

said much to this point. They've been a little bit vague in some of their statements. One of the things that we have heard from the Russians is they

say that all this happened around 11:15 a.m. local time when this plane was apparently coming in to land, the Russian say in a flight from a military

airport in the Moscow region to Belgorod.

The Russians say that the Ukrainians fired a surface-to-air missile from near the border with Russia. But on the Ukrainian side, that they hit this

plane, but the plane then went down northeast of Belgorod where of course, it was supposed to land the Russians as you noted, saying that no one on

board survived.

Now, the Russians are saying that there were 65 POWs onboard that plane, Ukrainian POWs meant for a prisoner swap. The Ukrainians so far have not

acknowledged that they shot the plane down. However, they have acknowledged that there was a prisoner swap that was supposed to take place today, and

that, that prisoner swap has been canceled.

Now, the Ukrainians are also saying that if this plane indeed was carrying prisoners meant for a prisoner swap, the Russians would have had to inform

the Ukrainians that they were going to fly a plane with these prisoners to the Belgorod airport to ensure that the transport -- that the transfer of

these prisoners occurs in a safe way.

They say the Russians did not do that, and they also say that, of course, a cargo plane coming in to land in Belgorod would be considered a target by

the Ukrainians, because cargo planes like the one in question often carry missiles at the Russian's venues to shell Ukrainian towns on the other side

of the border. So the Ukrainians not acknowledging they were behind hitting this plane, not acknowledging that there were POWs on this plane --

SOARES: Yes --

PLEITGEN: However, also, not saying that they're sure that there weren't with certainty any on this plane, but they're also saying that planes like

this are in general, legitimate targets because of the cargo that they usually carry over or that they often carry, which is very often, missiles

that hit Ukrainian territory.

SOARES: Yes, and this was a Russian military aircraft in the IL-76, which is a combat plane, is large scale, right? So begs the question, would it be

transferring POWs? But let me ask you, what we heard from Russia, because Russia was very quick, Fred, to kind of blame Ukraine.

And the FM as we heard there, Lavrov, the Foreign Minister, called it barbaric act of terrorism. Have the Russians, and so far provided any

evidence that it was a Ukrainian defense missile?


And in that same token, what do you make? How should we interpret the silence that we've heard so far from Ukraine?

PLEITGEN: Well, the Russians haven't provided any evidence so far that it was a Ukrainian missile that took the plane down. I mean, one of the things

that we can see as that plane is coming down on the videos that we are seeing, is that the plane certainly seems to be very much out of control.

It appears as though, before it hits the ground, that it might be losing parts of the plane, something might be falling off, and then obviously hits

the ground very hard and then explodes in a ball of fire. The Russians are saying that it was a defense missile The Russians are also saying -- and

this again, we haven't seen any evidence of it, but they say that they did track the launch of a surface-to-air missile in an area nearby the border

on the Ukrainian side.

And at that then hit that Russian aircraft. They also say that there was a second Russian aircraft flying behind the one that was shot down, which

then was diverted to another place. Again, at this point in time, we haven't seen any certain evidence --

SOARES: Yes --

PLEITGEN: Provided by the Russians about who was on that plane, and what exactly did take that plane down. But what we did see very quickly from the

Russians was you're absolutely right, a concerted effort to blame things on the Ukrainians, to say that the Ukrainians were at fault.

There were members of Russian parliament of the Defense Committee of the Russian parliament who immediately came out and said that it was the

Ukrainians who were behind this, that it was Ukrainian POWs who were onboard. And that surface-to-air missiles were used to take down that


Again, the Ukrainians so far have been fairly vague as to their side of the story, but they certainly aren't ruling out that they took the plane down,

that there could be POWs that might have been on it.

SOARES: And very quickly, Fred, do -- I mean, this IL-77, this combat plane. Is that normally used -- traditionally used to move POWs? It's quite

a large combat plane here.

PLEITGEN: It is. Yes, it's a very large plane, but it's also a very prevalent plane in the Russian military --

SOARES: Yes --

PLEITGEN: It certainly is used. It has apparently been used in the past to you -- to move POWs, but also, it is sometimes used to move people or move

soldiers in general. I've actually flown on IL-76s with the Russian military to filming that we had with the Russian military when they've

showed us some of their bases, for instance, in the Arctic.

So, it's a plane that they do use fairly frequently. It's known as a workhorse. It's one that does use that transports cargo, but can also

transport personnel as well. Isa.

SOARES: Fred Pleitgen, always insightful for us, thanks very much, Fred, appreciate it. Let's get more from our CNN military analyst Mark Hertling

who would be listening in I'm sure to that conversation that we just had with Fred. General, great to have you on the show.

As Fred was outlining, it's still what we're hearing and what happened is still pretty murky at this stage, putting aside the accusations, the

counter-accusations. What questions do you have right now? What stands out to you?

MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Too many questions, Isa, and Fred gave a great report. There's too many abnormalities in this whole thing. As Fred

said, the IL-76, I've flown on one too, it's a little bit smaller than the USC-17, but it is a transport plane.

And as Fred said, it's a workhorse. They use it for transporting soldiers at times and also for weaponry. But the thing is, they -- I don't think

they have -- the Russians have used this for transporting prisoners of war in the past. They usually like to make the last trip back to Ukraine for

the Ukrainian prisoners be the most uncomfortable ones you can think up.

And I don't think they would be using this kind of piece of equipment for a 65-man prisoner swap. It just doesn't make sense. There's some other open-

source resources that are claiming the tracking of this aircraft over the last several days have gone to both -- has gone to both Iran flown over

Egypt through Syria into this airport.

And in fact, this airplane open-source now, this is not confirmed, and there will be part of the investigation. We're claiming the plane was

taking off as opposed to landing. What you see in the film that you showed a minute ago is not only the crash of the aircraft, but is the camera pans

to the left.

It also shows some type of explosion in the sky, whether that was a missile strike or something aboard the aircraft, we don't know just yet.

SOARES: Yes, that --

HERTLING: But all indicators -- it was -- that explosion right there that you just saw, that's just smoke plume. That was something gone wrong in the

aircraft. Either it was struck or it exploded, something happened inside the aircraft, and Fred mentioned that there appear to be parts flying up,

that can happen with either a strike of an air defense piece of equipment or something going on, on the inside of sabotage, if you will? Again, none

of this is confirmed. I'm making --

SOARES: Yes --

HERTLING: This up, but these are the kind of questions I have. And also, if you're transporting 65 prisoners, the IL-76 has a very limited crew size.

It has seven -- I believe a couple of pilots, a navigator and a four or three-man crew.


You wouldn't have that many prisoners without some type of guards. So you would have Russian guards and it would overload the plane. In addition,

open-source indicates that when Russia released the list of the 65 names of the prisoners, 19 of those names were already Ukrainians that had been

swapped in the past. So --

SOARES: Yes --

HERTLING: This could be very much of a disinformation campaign by the Russians, and the fact that the Ukrainians have not said anything just yet

tells me that someone in their headquarters is saying what the hell happened? And they don't know either.

SOARES: Yes, look, it's clearly a military dispute, but like you said, General Hertling, is also an information war, right? We've seen this time

and time again, but let me pick up with something that you said from open source. And this is all hypothetical at this stage.

But -- because Ukraine says that Russia was responsible for safe transport of POWs, and that Kyiv got no notice of a transport plane in the airspace.

It goes on to say, this may indicate deliberate actions by Russia aimed at endangering the lives and safety of prisoners.

I mean, if this was a horrible mistake, let's just assume here just for a second, hypothesize for a moment. If this was a horrible mistake by

Ukraine, what are the implications here?

HERTLING: Well, first of all, if it was a horrible mistake by Ukraine, they are absolutely right in claiming they had no notification of this.

Apparently, they did not. But the other thing that's important to consider, Isa, is the fact that over the last two weeks, Ukraine has been extremely

successful in downing Russian aircraft over Russia?

So they have found what they call a cheese-board effect from Russia's air defense, that they are not covering their borders very well because they

have pushed most of their air defense pieces to the frontlines. If they -- if Russia has open areas where Ukrainian air defense can come in, something

like this, they would hope might cause the Ukrainians to take pause in shooting down other Russian airplanes.

As you know, last week, there were indicators of a Russian command and control aircraft, costs $300 million, plus another IL-76, it was damaged.

So if you're -- if you're --

SOARES: Yes --

HERTLING: The Ukrainian Air Defense commander, would you hesitate in the future to shoot if you know that, there may be Ukrainian POWs on the plane.

I don't think that's the case, but it's certainly an attempt by Russia to show something like that.

SOARES: Not --

HERTLING: Again, all of this is conjecture --

SOARES: Yes --

HERTLING: And you just don't know.

SOARES: Lots of questions that still need to be answered, but like you said, and as Fred was saying, the Belgorod region near the border, we've

seen as being very active in the last several weeks as Ukraine tries to deprive Russia, of course, of key ammunition and supply lines. General,

always great to get your insight and perspective, appreciate it, thank you very much.

HERTLING: Right to you, Isa.

SOARES: We are now getting video out of Khan Yunis in Gaza where a U.N. shelter housing displaced people came under fire today. The U.N. Agency for

Palestinian Refugees says nine people were killed when tank rounds hit the building. Seventy five others were wounded.

It says the compounds of the exact location had been hit with Israeli authorities, calling the strike a blatant disregard of the rules of war.

Palestinian officials say hospitals in the city are -- this video shows Nasser Hospital being targeted. The Palestinian Red Crescent says Israeli

forces are now surrounding their headquarters at al-Amal Hospital as well.

The IDF says it's pursuing Hamas' military targets, and the operation will continue it says for several days.




SOARES: Families in the meantime are streaming out of Khan Yunis to try to escape the bombardment. You can hear gunfire crackling there as they flee.

A U.N. special rapporteur told CNN today, there are simply no words left to describe the depth of the humanitarian catastrophe after three and a half

months of war.

Well, earlier, I spoke to UNRWA's director in Gaza, but the deadly attack there on its shelter, Thomas White gave us some context here. Have a



THOMAS WHITE, DIRECTOR, UNRWA AFFAIRS GAZA: These were, you know, people who had fled there from their homes in the north. You know, in some cases,

very early in the war, they were living in behind this training center, you know, which normally houses a couple of thousand students who are learning

to be bricklayers and carpenters and learning business, and IT skills.

This training facility ended up hosting about 40,000 people in and around the training center, all seeking shelter under a U.N. flag. And you know,

increasingly, in the last few days, the situation there has become more and more dangerous, very clear this afternoon.

Any sentence that there's protection under a U.N. flag is very clear that the Israeli army are not respecting their obligations under international

humanitarian law in terms of providing precaution for locations where there are civilians.


SOARES: And Tom, just for more on the contacts actually within UNRWA on the ground, messages that were stopped -- we got, "still alive, but we are

surrounded by IDF forces and tanks shooting and shelling everywhere. Ambulances cannot reach us." Is there any access here? Is that being

opened? What are you hearing?

WHITE: I want you to take two things. You know, yesterday when we understood that there was some negotiated safe corridors out on the route

that had been designated, there were in fact, two tanks sitting on that road. This afternoon, we have got a team trying to access or in fact, I

have just accessed about 15 minutes ago the highest training center, it's UNRWA and the W.H.O. team, we're going up there with ambulances.

But you're quite correct, this is the first time that we've been able to get access to this location in two days despite continued efforts to work

with the Israeli --

SOARES: Yes --

WHITE: Army to get safe access in evacuating wounded people from this facility.

SOARES: I'm just trying to process what you're telling me because yesterday on the show, my show, I heard from the ICRC who were telling me about the

two hospitals in Khan Yunis were accessed, Tom, was also -- blocked a hospital. So those people who are injured right now at UNRWA, where are

they going?

WHITE: We've got a team that can provide immediate triage and an immediate stabilization for these casualties. But this is the big issue that, you

know, Nasser Hospital complex is in Khan Yunis. It's in this western area of Khan Yunis. That hospital is under threat right now.

In fact, we have another team trying to access that hospital right now. There are only two major hospitals that can deal with trauma cases in the

south of Gaza. And you know, unfortunately, it looks like the viability of the Nasser Hospital will also -- is also in question because it's in this

part of western Kan Yunis, that -- which is under assault at the present time.

SOARES: And I'm guessing you've made several attempts at trying to request clear -- some sort of clear passage. Is that being ignored or is that been

denied? What have you been hearing, Tom?

WHITE: For the last several days, we've been trying to get access to these locations, and I have been denied. The Israelis have been saying, the

fighting is too heavy, we cannot provide you safe access into those locations. It's only this afternoon, late this afternoon that we've got

access to two teams.

One is the Khan Yunis training center, and one is the Nasser Hospital complex to try and -- I assess the situation get casualties out of hose

locations. But also trying to look at safe passages for people who want to leave the areas where there's this heavy fighting.

SOARES: And look, this comes on the heels of that very powerful speech that you would have heard. We took a live yesterday from U.N. Secretary-General

Antonio Guterres making this very point very clear for NGOs on the ground have clear access, being able to do their jobs.

And this is an area, Tom, as well, that has been the focus of intense IDF strikes, right? And attacks there. I mean, did you -- we're so many months

into this? Did you ever think it would get this bad?

WHITE: Only -- I never thought it would get this bad. I think everybody in Gaza, whether you're a civilian in Gaza, you're an aid worker in Gaza, you

understand that what, you know, these short escalations happen on a regular basis that nobody anticipated that we would see, you know, 1.4 million

people in Rafah Governorate.

You know, Rafah Governorate normally has a, you know, a population of 280,000 people there. And now, 1.4 million people pushed into the south of

Gaza. And so looking out the window, here it is. A sea of humanity. It is, you know, as far as the eye can see, temporary plastic structures, nobody

imagined the level of death, destruction and displacement that we've seen in the last three months.


SOARES: Well, since the war broke out, 20-year-old Nowara Diab has lost her two best friends who she says were killed by Israeli airstrikes, forced to

flee a home in northern Gaza. Diab and her family have moved too many times to count. Now, in Rafah, Diab describes the life and friendship she has

lost since October the 7th.


NOWARA DIAB, DISPLACED PALESTINIAN WHO LOST CLOSE FRIENDS IN GAZA WAR: As they walk on the streets in Gaza, death, destruction and chaos is all

around me. I often think about how my life could have been, and how I would still have a home, and how my two best friends Maimana(ph) and Abraham(ph)

would still be alive.

My heart aches every single day for Maimana(ph) and Abraham(ph), who were killed in their homes by the Israeli airstrikes.


Maimana(ph) was a beautiful soul and so creative. I'd always brag about how great she was. We talk for hours on-end, talking about anything and

everything or just being silly.

Is it me or are we best friends?


DIAB: Every moment with her was full of love and laughter. Her talent for painting was extraordinary. This painting of a yellow flower will always

hold a special place in my heart. They're out there right now, it would be her last gift to me. It broke my heart having to leave it behind just like

I had to leave her.

Abraham(ph) was the most kind and funny person I've ever met. Like to mention also the smartest.

This kingdom needs a king.

We got to know each other when working on a play about King Odysseus at a theater project in Gaza. He played the role of a king.


DIAB: And would just make everyone laugh, and was rarely seen without his camera capturing the good times.

Much with both of them gone, I don't think that there will be any good ones. I need them so much right now, and I need them more than ever. But I

know that they are now in a better place. I just know.

Now live in Rafah is hard trying to survive another day, thankful, my family and I are alive. For two weeks, we stayed in a tent in Khan Yunis

shared by seven people. Water is the hardest thing to ever find here. Rarely, bottles are given to us like this on a truck, but with so little,

we were forced to drink salty water for a while.

So if you don't die from airstrikes, we're going to die from dehydration and starvation. When this war is over, there's another one waiting for us.

The agony in our hearts, going back home and seeing everything crumbled into pieces, gone, just like the tens of thousands of Palestinian men,

women and children killed in this war.

I hope that my story has meant something to you, and you can think of us as human beings, not just numbers. Because this is me giving you a sneak peek

into hell.


SOARES: Just harrowing to hear from this 20-year-old with -- from her own words, really moving. Now, the Israel Defense Forces say do not target

civilians, and that their war is against Hamas, not the people of Gaza. Family members and supporters of the Israeli hostages being held by Hamas

are demanding their immediate release.

In Tel Aviv, demonstrators have been marching around Israel's Defense Ministry compound, calling on the government to strike a deal to bring

their loved ones home. Israel believes a 104 of the 253 hostages it says were taken by Hamas are alive and still in Gaza. The bodies of 28 others

are believed to still be in Gaza.

And still to come on the show tonight, Donald Trump with a decisive U.S. presidential primary win over Nikki Haley in New Hampshire, maintaining his

commanding lead in the Republican race. So why is he in no mood to celebrate? And some U.S. allies are not celebrating last night's results.

Still ahead, why there is growing concern over the possibility of a second Trump presidency. We'll explain.



SOARES: We are waiting to hear from U.S. President Joe Biden, who will be addressing -- we've been told, the United Auto Workers soon. Of course,

we'll bring that to you when it happens. We know that United Auto Workers head now, Shawn Fain, is speaking, after that, we are expecting to hear

from President Biden, and we will bring that to you as soon as it starts.

But first though, Donald Trump is now one step closer to securing U.S. Republican presidential nomination after winning the New Hampshire primary.

The challenger Nikki Haley is vowing to stay in the race. Trump won the state by double digits, getting almost 55 percent of the vote, 43 percent

voted for Haley.

The former president called on Haley to drop out, and sources tell CNN, he was seething that she plans to stay in the race. Haley remained defiant

after the loss, optimistic about the next Republican contest in her home state of South Carolina one month from today. That's a long time.

CNN's Kristen Holmes joins us now from Nashua in New Hampshire. And Kristen, it is a significant win here for Trump. But Haley says this is not

over. She is refusing to back down. So what kind of path are we looking at here, that for her to get to this point, what are you hearing from her


KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, that's the big question is what is the path if you ask the Republican National

chairwoman, there is no path and everyone should unite behind Donald Trump. And that's what you're hearing from a lot of Republicans as well as a lot

of Trump supporters.

You're seeing so many Republicans fall in line, unite behind Donald Trump, because they continue to say that there's no path for Nikki Haley. Now for

Haley, it would be critical for her to do well in her home state of South Carolina. However, even though she expressed confidence, Trump's team is

also very optimistic about South Carolina.

They believe that, yes, it's her home state. Yes, she was governor there, but that was a long time ago. And that the electorate has changed to a more

pro-Trump electorate. And if you look at CNN's polling, it really reflects that. We have a ref poll that shows him up about 30 points in South


Now, Haley is working it, she is putting out ads already, she's already at a campaign event in South Carolina. We have asked Donald Trump's team what

they're going to do. Do they have ads lined up? Are they going to go out and campaign? We have no answer yet? I'm sure he'll have a rally on the

ground, but no real strategy except for the fact that we have seen him and his campaign tried to embarrass Haley in her home state.

And they did that even here in New Hampshire. They brought out the Governor Henry McMaster, who worked closely with Haley to campaign with Donald Trump

say -- excuse me, Senator Tim Scott, also from South Carolina, brought him out to campaign with Donald Trump as well as some congressmen from South

Carolina who had endorsed Trump.

They are clearly trying to send a message that Trump is more popular in South Carolina than Nikki Haley. The big question is, can she close that

30-point gap, and right now, we just don't know.

SOARES: But looking -- I mean, this is interesting. Looking at some of the numbers that we've seen from New Hampshire, I mean, Trump may have done

very well here. But he did poorly -- I'm wondering if I can tell you poorly with kind of independent and moderates.

I think we've got some numbers -- or independent voters, Trump got 38 percent of the vote, Haley got 60 percent. Roughly three-to-one in many --

in some of the votes. Does that worry the Trump campaign? I mean, you can't really win --

HOLMES: I mean, if you're --

SOARES: Election without having those moderates, without having those independents.

HOLMES: Well, that would be for a general election. Does it worry them --

SOARES: Yes --

HOLMES: For the rest of the Republican primary? No. I mean, in a place like South Carolina and the people who are voting are conservatives, they're

Republicans, and he imagines and he believes that he'll get the big swath of those voters. In terms of a general, yes, of course that is concerning.

I mean, we know that people win out. We saw them talk on CNN about how they only voted against Donald Trump, that he's so polarizing.


They know there's a lot of work to do in that area, and one of the things that they did in Iowa, which was really a test run for a general election,

was expand the electorate to be more pro-Trump. That's what's very interesting here. It's not necessarily just going after independence. It's

can we find more conservatives, more Republicans, than have ever voted before, and bring them onto this Trump train, or the Trump campaign, and

that's what they did in Iowa.

If you looked at some of those numbers, you could see that so many people were first-time caucus goers, and that was part of the strategy that they

plan on using in a general election.

SOARES: And as you are talking, we are looking right now, Kristen, at President Biden. We're just going to listen in to what the President has to



JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT: It's great to be home.


BIDEN: One of the best unions in the world. You look out for one another. And the whole country -- the whole country benefits from what you do.

You know -- please take a seat if you have one.


BIDEN: You're tough as they come, starting with your president, Shawn Fain, a leader with backbone -- a backbone like a ramrod. I don't know where he

is, but he is.

Together, we're proving what I've always believed: Wall Street didn't build America. The middle class-built America, and unions built the middle class.


BIDEN: That's a fact. Look, I kept my commitment to be the most pro-union president ever, and I'm proud you have my back. Let me just say I'm honored

to have your back and you have mine. That's the deal.


BIDEN: It comes down to seeing the world the same way. It's not complicated.

You know, my dad -- who never went to college; who was the smartest, toughest, most gracious man I knew; who managed a car dealership for the

bulk of my life -- taught me a very important lesson. He'd say, "Joey" -- this is the God's truth -- "a job is about a lot more than a paycheck.

It's about decency. It's about your dignity. It's about your place in the community. It's about being able to look your kid in the eye and say,

"Honey, it's going be OK," and mean it -- and mean it."

Folks, that's what the UAW is all about, and it's always been that way.


BIDEN: Just after the UAW was founded nearly 90 years ago, it launched what historians call the most important strike in the 20th century: Flint, 1936.

Walter Reuther org -- organized a sit-down in a factory.

They weren't sure what would happen. They were worried about getting beat up. But they were determined. They were determined. And it took 44 days,

but they won the first collective bargaining victory in American history.


BIDEN: And the leadership of the UAW spread across the country and led to the first substantial wage increase in a long time, the first cost-of-

living allowance, the first employer-provided healthcare. Within four years, workers across the entire auto industry unionized, inspiring workers

across other industries as well, giving life to new industries in the labor movement.

I share that history with you because all of you made history again. I'm confident -- and I mean this -- 90 years from now, people are going to look

back on the impact you had -- you in this room. Just like them 90 years ago, you matter now. You lead.

And I respect all of you here today. You represent unions that always led, always lifted, and always inspired workers.

The UAW legacy from Walter Reuther to Shawn Fain today -- Shawn, you took a lot of heat, but you demonstrated extraordinary leadership.


BIDEN: You did. And that's what I saw a few months ago during your historic UAW strike -- the time -- this time in Belleville, Michigan.

And I'll say I was so damn proud to stand on that picket line with you.


BIDEN: It's not the first -- it's not the first UAW picket line I stood in. In my home state of Delaware, I've done it many times. But it's the first

time a president did it, I found out later.



BIDEN: I've always fought for a strong auto industry, with UAW-built cars leading the world. This is what -- it's about a simple proposition: You

built these iconic companies. You built GM. You built -- you built these companies. You sacrificed to save them in the worst of times. And you

deserve to benefit when these companies thrive.

As Shawn said, record profits mean record contracts.


BIDEN: I'm serious. And that's what you got: record wage increases, winning back cost-of-living adjustments, greater retirement security, more paid

leave, and eliminating tiers. (Laughs.)


BIDEN: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. (Laughs.) You all know my position.

I'm -- I'm tire -- I've tried -- you know, I'm tired about jobs going overseas, having products shipped to --


BIDEN: Look, during the Trump administration and a lot of administrations before that, what'd they do? So many -- so many people around America lost

their sense of pride. Because whether it was an automobile company or any company at all, that factory was there for 30 years. Hiring -- they maybe

only had 150 people in it, but it was a part of the community.

Guess what? Corporate America found the cheapest labor in the world and they sent the jobs to those laborers and sent the product back to us. But

not anymore. We're building product here and shipping it overseas.


BIDEN: Buy America and build America. I mean it.


BIDEN: And what's really important, you made sure the auto future of the world will be made in America.


BIDEN: Oh, I mean it.

SOARES: A full house there, lots of applause as President Biden addressed the United Auto Union Workers in the last, just before the president

started speaking, in fact, we heard from the United Auto Union's president, workers union president, I should say, endorsing President Trump for the


He says, if our endorsement must be earned as United Working class, so if our endorsement must be earned, Joe Biden earned it, it went on to say,

this is Shawn Fain, who's the UAW president. He said, the UAW is endorsing Joe Biden for President of the United States. He went on to say that they,

proud of the fact that he joined them. If you remember last year on the picket line in Michigan. And as we heard there from the president, let me

just listen.


SOARES: Protesters there as you can see, you see the majority of working UAW but I spotted a Palestinian flag in that crowd and some security guards

as you can see on the left of your screen trying to clear the protesters. Let's just listen.

BIDEN: For a long time, the Congress would make an appropriation and send it to the President to spend, whether it was building an aircraft carrier

or staircase. And guess what? It was supposed to be built by an American worker with American products.

Well, guess what? I'm going back to that. We build in America, and we buy American.


SOARES: As you heard there, President Biden not addressing that protester. We saw very quickly, you see the doors open, security seems like be telling

the protester to leave. I saw a Palestinian flag, but the rest of the workers really supporting the United Auto Workers.

And we've heard the UAW in the last 20 minutes or so endorsing President Biden. Of course, President Biden became the first sitting president to

join a picket line, if you remember last year when he appeared with striking UAW workers. We'll stay across the speech from President Biden as

soon as there are any more developments, we will also bring it to you.


Well, after last night's victory in New Hampshire for President Biden as well as for Trump, it is hard to ignore the growing possibility of a second

Trump presidency.

Opponents of Trump around the world cite concerns from his first time, if you remember that one, in the White House when he regularly talked about

defunding NATO. Trump also has -- had a history of complementing authoritarian leaders, remember that, this includes Russian President

Vladimir Putin.

And that raises fears about whether he continues support for Ukraine and comes as U.S. President Joe Biden is struggling to get Republican lawmakers

approval for more military funding to Kyiv.

Simon McDonald's serves as a former U.K. ambassador to German. He joins me now. Well, McDonald, thank you very much for coming on the show. Let's

start off with this concerns is something I have been hearing from foreign ministers in my show for the last several weeks, particularly in the last

several weeks, it seems they're getting more vociferous in their opinion here. What do you -- you have said that there are serious implications,

massive implications of a second Trump presidency? What are they in your view?

SIMON MCDONALD, FORMER UK PERMANENT UNDER SECRETARY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: I think it's everything we most care about right now. So at the top of the

list is, as you say, Ukraine. The United States has been overwhelmingly the biggest supporter in the West of the military effort to the tune of gusting

$50 billion. Germany's in second place, the U.K. is a little bit behind that.

With the U.S. representing 50% plus of the international effort, if that were to disappear, that could have devastating consequences for the

effectiveness of Ukraine's defense and retaking of its territory.

Second is NATO. The United States still provides four Europeans in Europe, about 40% of their defense capabilities. If Mr. Trump were to take the U.S.

out of NATO or to signal greater reluctance to support NATO, that would have immediate security consequences for European allies.

SOARES: Recently, and I'm sure you heard this, we played a bit of it, Thierry Breton, you probably know the EU's internal market chief. He said

he had a conversation back in 2020 that then Donald Trump had with Ursula von der Leyen, in where he said, if Europe is under attack, we will never

come to help you and to support you.

If he does win the presidency, and this remains his position, how should Europe be preparing?

MCDONALD: Well, it's now the end of January. The election is on the 5th of November, and the new president takes office at the end of January next

year. So Europe has a whole year to prepare.

SOARES: And it should be preparing, I think.

MCDONALD: And so I think -- yes, in private, first of all, I mean, the only way this would play into the U.S. election campaign is unhelpfully.


MCDONALD: If word got out that the allies were in any way worried about the consequences, I suspect that would help President Trump with his base. So

this needs to begin as a quiet effort in individual capitals, but at some point, they need to join up because this has implications for the whole of

the European part of the alliance.

SOARES: And just for our viewers, I wouldn't play a little clip on what we've heard from President Trump on Ukraine. Have a listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So Russia would have never attacked. Israel would have never been attacked. The Ukraine

situation is so horrible. The Israeli situation is so horrible. What's happened? And we're going to get himself. We're going to get himself very

fast. I actually said, Ukraine, I know President Putin very well. I know Zelenskyy very well. I'm going to get him in. We're going to get itself

very quickly, should have never happened. Would have never happened. And now you have all that death far greater than people understand.


SOARES: I mean, if this is his position on Ukraine, how concerned do you think Ukraine is, not just about funding, but also this position? How much

is this part, you think, McDonald, of the calculus, part of that for Putin?

MCDONALD: I think Putin relishes the prospect of a second Trump presidency, and I think President Zelenskyy somewhat fears it. Remember that Ukraine

and Zelenskyy played a part in the first Trump impeachment during the first Trump presidency.

With most things in political life, it's personal with Donald Trump. So he won't have forgotten that, I guess he won't have forgiven that. And that

could be a complication for Ukraine's relations with a new Trump administration.

SOARES: And very quickly before we go, because we're running out of time, we heard from Britain's military chief, and I think this is important,

saying they need to be doing more to equip and modernize the armed forces, even calling for citizen army. What do you think of that?


MCDONALD: I think we should be supporting Ukraine, first of all. This is a war that Ukraine can win with outside help. So I would urge the British

government and all NATO allies to focus on shoring up the effort inside Ukraine. What we do with ourselves, yes, that comes later, but let's focus

on the top priority first.

SOARES: McDonald, appreciate it. Thank you very much.

We're going to take a short break. We're back after this.


SOARES: Welcome back. While abortion continues to be a top political topic in the United States political -- presidential races, some lawmakers in

France are attempting to end the debate. They are proposing a bill to permanently ensure a woman's ability to get an abortion.

If approved, abortion would become a right in France's constitution. The bill is backed up by President Emmanuel Macron and his supporters. The

lower house is expected to vote on it next week and then send it to the Senate.

CNN's Senior International Correspondent, Melissa Bell, has the latest on the French abortion debate.


WOMEN: My country, my voice! My country, my voice! My country, my voice!

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A heartfelt cry on the streets of France, just days before the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade in the summer

of 2022, a ruling that was to impact women in the United States that reverberate around the globe.

SARAH DUROCHER, PLANNING FAMILIAL (through translator): With what happened in the U.S., there was a strong reaction in France by politicians. Several

laws were proposed and the Prime Minister came to see us here at Family Planning to tell us how worried she was about the right to abortion.

BELL: Right as hard won in France as it was elsewhere. The procedure only legalized in 1975 after a battle led by the lawmaker and then Health

Minister Simone Veil, a woman speaking to a parliament of men.

SIMONE VEIL, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (through translator): This is an injustice that must be solved.

BELL: Now France is looking to go further, making abortion a constitutional right.

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): This will enshrine the freedom of women to choose abortion and to be a solemn guarantee that

nothing will ever limit or abolish this right because it will have become irreversible.

BELL: Among those supporting the move, the singer Barbara Pravi, her own experience of abortion at 17 so traumatic that she wrote a song about it.


BARBARA PRAVI, SINGER/ SONGWRITER: I felt very alone because the woman who took me wasn't very good actually. She was very judgeful. Like, she was

like, how old are you? Why are you here? You're not ashamed.

BELL: What difference do you think it'll make to have it describe in a constitution.

PRAVI: Having the right to do abortion cannot be like a condition of politics, you know? It has to be something we have and no discussion.

BELL: Recent polls suggest that over 80% of the French population supports safeguarding abortion rights. But France too has its anti-abortion movement

with both sides taking to the streets over the weekend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm really engaged. And for the doctors practicing it, for the ladies living it, for the babies dying and even for the fathers.

BELL: But for those in favor of the change, it's about putting an end to the argument once and for all.

PRAVI: If you put something in the constitution, it automatically changes people's minds. It could take maybe years, like five, six, seven, maybe 10

years. But I know that my children will never think about the question about abortion.

BELL: Barbara says she was able to put her loneliness and shame into song, but believes that France's constitutional change might help women in the

future to feel neither. Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.


SOARES: And we'll be right back after this.



SOARES: Well, members of Argentina's largest union walked off the job across the country on Wednesday for a 12-hour strike. This is a scene in

the heart of Buenos Aires where people are protesting the newly elected President Javier Meles' proposed measures, which include a set of reforms

that lessen some worker protections and abolish a price ceiling on rent.

That doesn't sit well, as you can imagine, with the country currently facing the highest inflation rate in the world. Also upsetting some

residents there. Meles promising to switch the country's legal tender to the U.S. dollar to rein in that inflation.

And finally tonight, it's a world-first. Scientists have successfully transferred a lab-created rhino embryo into a surrogate mother. The team

says, quote, we made the impossible possible. This fertility breakthrough offers hope for saving the northern white rhino from extinction.

The last male died in 2018. Currently, there are only two females left on the planet. Very good story indeed. That does it for us for this hour. Do

stay right here. Quest Means Business will be back and I will be with you for the next hour. Do stay right here.