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Isa Soares Tonight

Qatari Prime Minister: Hamas Response To Proposed Hostage Deal Is Generally "Positive"; Zelenskyy Considers Shakeup Of Ukraine's Leadership; More European Countries Call For New Ukraine Aid; Russia's War On Ukraine; E.U. Considers Ways To Provide Ukraine Additional Ammunition; Interview With Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky; Court Rules Aginat Trump's Immunity Claim; Malnutrition In Sudan's Zamzam Camp Kills At Least One Kid Every Two Hours, According To MSF; Sudan Has More Than 6 million People Displaced; Says U.N.; Boeing Passenger Airliner Door Fell Off Midair Due To Four Missing Bolts, According To NTSB Report; Thousands Protest In Frankfurt Against Far-Right Party. Aired 2:15-3p ET

Aired February 06, 2024 - 14:15   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Welcome back, everyone. Bring you some major news in the Middle East that we've been following for several hours

now. Qatar's Prime Minister says Hamas has responded to a proposed hostage deal that would lead to a truce in Gaza. And he calls that response

generally positive.

The announcement came during U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to Doha. He's on a Middle East tour to push for what he calls a just as

well as lasting peace. Blinken heads to Israel next where he will discuss the Hamas response with senior government officials. We still don't know

many details, but Blinken appears cautiously optimistic. Have a listen.


ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: As the prime minister just said, Hamas responded tonight. We're reviewing that response now. And

I'll be discussing it with the government of Israel tomorrow.

There's still a lot of work to be done, but we continue to believe that an agreement is possible and indeed essential. And we will continue to work

relentlessly to achieve it.


SOARES: Let's bring our Nic Robertson who joins us now from Tel Aviv for more. And Nic, there seems to be at least from what we've heard from

Secretary Blinken, some optimism. Do the Qataris feel the same way? And talk to us and just explain the proposal that was put in place at the

beginning and where both sides were pushing for?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, the Qataris are saying it's positive, although, they really indicated -- the prime minister

indicated there that it wasn't a straight up yes. That there was still some details to be fixed. And I think if the mood suggested by Secretary Blinken

was positive, they could really change when he gets here.

Because all this week, the State Department has been saying, look, the ball is in Hamas' court, they've had this proposal, which is in essence not the

complete ceasefire that they wanted.


A pause for a number of weeks, maybe around six weeks plus minus. They wanted -- Hamas wanted for the IDF to pull completely out of Gaza, that

never really appeared to be on the table. They wanted a serious conversation about the return of their prisoners from Israeli jails, that

has caused consternation within Prime Minister Netanyahu's government as has the very idea of ceasing hostilities while Hamas still has hostages. Of

course, hostages are the primary goal --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBERTSON: Of Secretary Blinken here, making sure they're getting released. But -- so, I think that, you know, there's this positivity, but it may run

out of road when it gets here and runs into the reality of the Israeli government's position, which has also until now been immovable apparently.

And that will be Secretary Blinken's challenge when he gets here.

SOARES: And for Secretary Blinken, I mean, this is his fifth trip, I believe, and it's all about de-escalating, isn't it, this conflict? But I

wonder how much some of the comments from the Netanyahu camp, Nic, has complicated those efforts. I mean, only yesterday, we heard Netanyahu

doubling down, saying that the war must not end before Israel kills Hamas leadership.

We also heard, and I'm sure you've seen this over the weekend in an interview with the "Wall Street Journal", Itamar Ben-Gvir; that's Israel's

National Security Minister said that President Biden was hindering Israel's war efforts. I think we've got a little graphic to show viewers exactly

what he says.

"Instead of giving us his full backing", he says to "Wall Street Journal", "Biden is busy with giving humanitarian aid and fuel to Gaza, which goes to

Hamas". He goes on to say, "if Trump was in power, the U.S. conduct would be completely different." How much do these comments, Nic, how much of that

irritate the Blinken team and our partners and complicate these diplomatic efforts?

ROBERTSON: Yes, there's been suggesting in some publications today that Secretary Blinken is a little too soft to be the world's top diplomatic

question. He was asked today and he said very politely that I'm really -- I'm not the one to respond to that, but I believe I didn't get in this

position by being too soft.

So I think a lot happens behind the scenes, and yes, these sorts of comments by Ben-Gvir, not only irritate, they undermine the U.S. --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBERTSON: Position. We've had comments from the Israeli Prime Minister disparagingly towards the Qataris, that they've said openly, some of his

previous comments have well -- as well, have undermined confidence in this process. So there's no doubt about it. Interestingly, after Ben-Gvir spoke,

Prime Minister Netanyahu also spoke, and talked about there are some people who -- you know, who would say yes too readily.

And that's to the -- to the applause of the international community, but to the detriment of the security of Israel. But he said there are others who

would say no, and they will get applause at home. But that also may not be in the country's best interest. But Netanyahu so far is sticking in the

same camp with his -- with his hard-line right-wing cabinet members, Ben- Gvir included.

So this -- these irritants exist and have existed, and it's against that backdrop that makes apparently getting this deal tough. But also, it

appears -- let's not forget here tonight, that Hamas has had all week to respond to this proposal, and they chose to do it right on --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBERTSON: The eve of Secretary Blinken's arrival here in Israel. And going into that press conference, the State Department's line was, the ball is in

Hamas' court, they haven't responded. And at that moment, we found out that they had responded. So this has really just happened and Hamas controls

that timing, and it controls it for effect, and it controls it for a reason, and that will be making Secretary Blinken's job when he gets here,


SOARES: Indeed, Nic Robertson, appreciate the context there and the analysis for us there in Tel Aviv. Good to see you, Nic. And just hours

ago, the EU's Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell arrived in Kyiv on an unannounced visit. It's Borrell's fourth visit since the start of Russia's

full-scale invasion.

And it comes less than a week after the EU approved an additional $50 billion in funding to Ukraine. It is especially vital as the war will soon

be heading into its third year, and amid talk of a shake-up at the top of Ukraine's military. There are growing calls by some European countries to

look beyond the EU to get Ukraine the ammunition it needs.

The Czech Republic, Netherlands, Estonia, as well as Denmark have all joined Germany in saying Europe must re-double efforts in funding Ukraine.

Joining me now is a Czech Republic's Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky joins me now. Foreign Minister, welcome to the show.

Part of the moving the needle really on that frontline for Ukraine that has -- I think it's fair to say somewhat stall critically is funding. The EU

approved already that $50 billion in aid, but you believe that more needs to be done in what relates to ammunition. What is the thinking? What is the



JAN LIPAVSKY, FOREIGN MINISTER, CZECH REPUBLIC: Hello, and thank you for having me on this -- on this show. Yes, we need to help Ukraine, and we

need to do it now. And we need to find every possible way to send ammunition and other necessary weapons and supply the Ukraine, so they can

fight off the Russian in very realistic invasion.

And would it mean that we produce it in Europe? Would it mean that we are able to procure in the world? It means that we need to be working on that.

And the call of our prime ministers was exactly pointing in that direction.

SOARES: Procure ammunition from where exactly, Foreign Minister?

LIPAVSKY: There are different countries, I don't want to be too specific. But the European debate is about the European production, but we can look

worldwide. And the point is to do it.

SOARES: So beyond the European Union, doesn't this just defy --

LIPAVSKY: Oh, exactly --

SOARES: The point?


SOARES: Doesn't this though defy --

LIPAVSKY: Exactly --

SOARES: Foreign Minister, the point of a program that was aimed at bulking up European manufacturing, not to mention the fact that the financial

incentives will not be there for Europe.

LIPAVSKY: The point is that the primary concern is to supply Ukraine ammunition. So there is multiple ways, and we are calling to be creative,

and we are calling also to put part of those monies to -- for the procurement as such.

SOARES: Right. I saw that one of the countries being discussed was South Korea. I know you can't tell us some of the countries that -- are those

conversations already started with those countries outside of the EU?

LIPAVSKY: I think different countries are doing that, but we don't have a European way. So --

SOARES: Yes --

LIPAVSKY: The idea is to also have a European way on the platform of the EU.

SOARES: And understood, and look, it's clear that this war of attrition has also become a war of logistics, that we have seen on our show from our

correspondents. But the EU, as the viewers will remember, had originally pledged to supply 1 million ammunition shells by March.

But now we're hearing they may reportedly only get half for that. Why has Europe been unable to produce this? Is this a manufacturing problem?

LIPAVSKY: It's a complex issue, and you know, I'm not able to assess it fully right now. It's good to have an ambition, but also military planners

need to have a clear understanding of what they can be provided. So definitely, we need to continue with this ambition. We need to be looking

for ways, how to up this kind of production.

Also, on the meeting of the Foreign Ministers in Brussels though, our calls not to export ammunition out of the -- Europe, so it could be provided to


SOARES: Right, I see -- I see. But your country, the Czech Republic, you have also upped the production of 155 millimeter -- mills shells. How much

have you increased your production?

LIPAVSKY: I'm not able to share a specific number, but we have industry which is very much dedicated to support Ukraine in their war effort.

SOARES: Right, but you've upped it is my -- is the point I'm trying to get at --

LIPAVSKY: Well, definitely. Yes, we have a project on that, there are private companies which are very well renowned and they are -- they are

supplying also to the -- Ukraine.

SOARES: The point you are making is interesting because the EU's Foreign Policy chief, which we mentioned at the top, he was visiting Kyiv, Josep

Borrell has indeed called on EU countries to stop exporting weapons to country, not at war, and to send them to Ukraine. And I want to play this

little clip, Foreign Minister, we can chat after this. Have a listen.



European industry to produce. And not that we have to go and to buy from where else because we are unable to produce. We are able to produce. And an

important part of our production is being exported to third countries.


SOARES: So not a lack of capacity, it's being exported to third countries. Do you think any European leader will respond to Borrell's appeal and

restrict their exports, given of course, the revenues in a defense industry.

LIPAVSKY: I think it's in the competency of national space to decide how the military industry is working in many ways, and there's a lot of

regulation. So states can influence those companies even though they are maybe private, and those are private deals.

But we have to be creative and we need to really understand what is going on. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is only part of the broader scope of

global confrontation when Russia and allies are trying to destroy the international order and make the world the worst place possible. So

definitely, we need to do everything possible to help Ukraine right now.


SOARES: And talking about everything possible, the E.U., of course, has approved that funding in $50 million, but of critically important to this

fight is also being -- going to be the aid from the U.S. which is being held up by politics, as you know. We have also heard foreign minister --

Former President Trump saying that he would leave no -- NATO.

How concerned -- and I've also heard from ambassadors who said that Europe should be preparing for a possible world where Trump, of course, is

president. Is this a concern for the Czech Republic? What is your position?

LIPAVSKY: I would not call it concern. I would call it plan A or plan B. It's quite simple. We already know that something will happen after

election in the U.S. and we need to be ready for that. And I think it's well-known what Trump and Republicans are saying about foreign policy,

about their views of the world affairs. So, that should be no surprise to us and definitely we will be -- you know, we will be preparing for that.

SOARES: And I heard from one ambassador saying that Europe should be preparing. Is the Czech Republic preparing?

LIPAVSKY: So, we do our planning and definitely in the sense of defense, we are working on our defense. We have a very solid national security strategy

which describes all the necessary threats which are pointing at us. And definitely, the biggest threat right now is Russian imperialism.

SOARES: Foreign Minister, always wonderful to have you on the show. Thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us this evening.

LIPAVSKY: Thank you very much. Goodbye.

SOARES: Thank you.

And just ahead right here on the show, a unanimous rejection. A U.S. appeals court shreds Donald Trump's claims of absolute immunity in his

election interference case. What that means, next.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.

Now, to a major ruling in a criminal case against Former U.S. President Donald Trump. A U.S. Federal appeals court says, Trump is not immune from

prosecution. The unanimous ruling from the three-judge panel is a major blow to Trump's defense against federal election subversion charges. The

former president was claiming absolute presidential immunity in the case, which involves his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. But a key line

from the court says, for the purpose of this criminal case, Former President Trump has become citizen Trump with all of the defenses of any

other criminal defendant.

CNN Reporter Marshall Cohen is in Washington for us. And, Marshall, those who have perused, as some of us have, the 75-page ruling can see there's

very little room for ambiguity here, right? So, break this down for us. What does it say?

MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: A resounding decision, Isa. You're absolutely right. No wiggle room here and no absolute immunity. The question on the

table was, can the Justice Department prosecute a former president for actions that they took while they were in office? Donald Trump claimed that

the answer was no, because presidents need to have wiggle room and immunity so that they can do what they think is right without being scared of being

prosecuted maybe by their political opponents later on.

The court thoroughly weighed all of his arguments and on each critical question, they disagreed with what he had to say. They said in one

unanimous voice, the three women on this panel said unanimously that there is no absolute immunity for a United States president.

Let me read for you something that they wrote, in this opinion, we've been going through it all day. There is so much in here. They said, "It would be

a striking paradox if the president, who alone is vested with the constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, were

the sole officer capable of defying those laws with impunity."

Isa, they were saying that the whole theory of immunity just doesn't make sense under our system of government with checks and balances. So, this is

the big news today.


COHEN: Of course, it's not the very end of this journey. Donald Trump can still appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. He has some other options as well.

But this court, this panel was clear that they want things now to move pretty quickly. If Donald Trump wants their pause of this decision, they

pause their decision. If he wants the pause to stay in place, he needs to go to the Supreme Court by Monday.

SOARES: I mean, and the language is very scathing. It says, at bottom, Former President Trump's stance would collapse our system of separated

powers by placing the president beyond the reach of all three branches.

Now, we know, as you just laid out there, that he is appealing. But this -- I mean, this is a legal case, as you all know, with political implications.

How will this impact then the political calendar? Because I was looking at some of the latest polls that we have in terms of, you know, essential that

federal trial on the Trump election charges resolved before the 2024 election. One poll, CNN poll, from January 25th to the 30th said, Democrats

75 percent, independents here, 52 percent.

COHEN: Look, I think every American knows that this is going on. This has been weighing over this country, frankly, since the day that Donald Trump

lost the 2020 election. It's been one of the biggest stories for our country and, frankly, for the world.

There is a vital public interest in deciding his guilt or innocence before the election. And that's what the appeals court said in many ways today.

They said that Trump has his interest to have a fair trial, which is absolutely true and part of our constitution. But there's also the vital

public interest that if there is no immunity, if he has to stand as a defendant to these charges, that it move forward.

SOARES: Marshall Cohen, always great to have you on the show. Thanks, Marshall. Good to see you.

COHEN: Thanks, Isa.

SOARES: And we're going to take a short break. We'll be back after this.



SOARES: Well, at least one child is dying from malnutrition every two hours in Sudan's Zamzam camp, that is according to medical charity MSF, Medecins

Sans Frontieres. Zamzam is one of the largest and oldest camps for displaced people in the country. The conflict in Sudan is ongoing. Heavy

fighting broke out between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in April, if you remember, of last year.

And the Darfur region has been particularly impacted by rampant violence. While the U.N. says more than 6 million people have been displaced inside

Sudan, another 1.5 million have fled, as you can see there on that map, to neighboring countries, and that includes Chad.

UNICEF Spokesperson James Elder joins me now from ADRA in Chad. He has responsibility for speaking on the humanitarian crisis across the globe.

James, great to see you. Welcome back to the show. I mean, that horrific statistic that we just mentioned there to our viewers, one child dying from

malnutrition every two hours. That is just hard to comprehend. Just tell us what you have seen on the ground.

JAMES ELDER, UNICEF GLOBAL SPOKESPERSON: Well, hi, Isa. Look exactly, it's mind -- you have these mind-boggling numbers of children with that most

severe acute form of malnutrition, the type that will kill a child. You have the world's highest number of children displaced here. Health system

is on the verge of collapse.

So, there is a clock ticking until we have this absolutely epic loss of life. And that is why there's a massive attempt to get as much aid as you -

- as we possibly can through these borders. I was in Darfur again today. I mean, Isa, I was in Darfur 20 years ago and I still can hear those stories.

Stories women told me of rape. The stories of children being killed. Those little girls, 20 years ago, are mothers now. They are the same mothers I

speak to with these horrendous stories of what they have endured of homes being burned, of rapes, and so forth.

I mean, I think we have to move away from this idea that atrocities are some inevitable aspects of war. They are not. They are, of course, terrible

decisions made by leaders. So, Isa, what I've seen is villages and entire communities emptied. This eerie sense of just no one there because they

have been burnt and looted out of their homes again.

SOARES: Yes, and look, we were just showing our viewers some of the photos from you and some of the kids, surrounded by kids. Really lovely photos on

the ground. But you know, these women and children are heavily, James, dependent on food, support for food, healthcare, right, as well as clean



The -- but this has been in short supply. Is that because -- I mean, I wonder, of security concerns, bureaucracy? What's the reason for this?

ELDER: I think both those things. I think one thing UNICEF and the United Nations broadly has been pushing for is get rid of these bureaucratic

impediments. I mean, the idea that we are seeing atrocities. We are seeing denial of water. We're seeing -- I have seen water systems that communities

have put up with a hundred solar panels, all simply destroyed.

As a woman said to me, Isa, that they -- everything gets looted and that -- that they don't loot, they burn. Now, communities are attempting to rebuild

everything they possibly can, but this is a moment they need international support. International support from those who have the power to stop these

atrocities and international support to keep getting aid in.

So, we're bringing 10,000 more cartons of nutritional food, that's 10,000 more children, but we need to triple that, to quadruple that. So, it's

bureaucratic impediments. It's security. I've gone into Darfur every day for the last few days and I have to come out at nighttime. That's

maddening. People have to sleep there. We have to return. This needs to be fixed. We need to stop the conflict, but again, we can't stop conflict, so

at least let's make sure whoever controls territory get aid to people, allow us to get aid to people.

SOARES: And I heard one humanitarian official on the ground saying, you know, that she felt the people of Sudan had been completely abandoned. Is

that your feeling?

ELDER: Yes -- I mean, look, here we are, Isa, you again, like, raised the light on places. I do feel people. I know people feel that, and I think

they're right. I think the world's gaze has moved so far away from here. And there's a pragmatic reason why that is so wrong. There's a moral

reason, of course, because such a child is a child, and they are suffering greatly here.

But we are not just talking about the potential loss of so many lives. I have met, Isa, dozens of children in the last week, 20-year-olds who -- you

know, who just were born in those last massacre of 20 years ago. They studied engineering, they studied medicine, they studied economics. They

are this vibrant force, desperate to be a part of their communities. And as one said to me, I simply cannot dream, James. I cannot dream here.

So, it's one thing that we are threatened with this catastrophic loss of life. We cannot lose this generation, this opportunity of a generation who

have an education. That's why they feel forgotten, and to a degree they are. That's why we are trying, again, to sound alarm bells on their behalf.

SOARES: And look, this humanitarian crisis, I mean, as we mentioned there, James, has led to unprecedented mass displacement. It's been ongoing. It's

been deteriorating for years. And it's like you said, a crisis on top of a crisis.

And on -- you know, one other crisis that you are focused, that you and I've spoken of here on the show is Gaza. I mean, how hard is this for NGOs

to balance?

ELDER: It's very difficult, mostly fiscal, I think. There are physical limitations and there simply shouldn't be. You can do a simple cost on

saving a child's life and you will know very much so that it is both affordable and it gets more and more expensive.

So, there's a great difficulty into being spread too thin. An agency like UNICEF is fortunate. We are on the front lines in Afghanistan, in Gaza,

here. But it's the resources. We are literally, at a time now, as you rightly point out, with so many children in need.

Talk about displacement, Isa, literally, if you look at how many children have been displaced, imagine 500 classrooms of children in Europe or the

United States. 500 classrooms of children. That's how many children are displaced every day here. Every single day. And this is the same time that

donors are moving away from Sudan. That can't happen. That's not right in practice or in principle. And this is a regional -- a region that is very,

very important. It goes beyond the children of Sudan.

SOARES: James Elder, always great to have you on the show. James, thank you very much. We're very glad that we could shine a light on this humanitarian

crisis. Thank you very much, James.

We are going to take a short break, be back after this.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. We are getting some official findings -- this just coming into CNN from an investigation into that terrifying door

plug incident, if you remember, on the Boeing 737 plane in the U.S. Northwest.

In its preliminary report, the National Transportation Safety Board says, four bolts that hold the door plug in place were missing at the time of the

incident. More than 170 people were on board when a passenger door flew off midair just more than a month ago. The newly released findings echo reports

by two U.S. airlines that operate the MAX 9. They said, inspections of their fleet revealed loose bolts. Now, the preliminary report is saying

that four bolts were missing. We'll have much more on their story in about 10 minutes or so in the next hour of "Quest Means Business".

Well, in Germany, thousands are protesting against right wing extremism. The rally in Frankfurt comes after weeks of demonstrations against the far-

right alternative for the Germany party. Prompted by a report that two senior party members had attended a meeting with plans for mass deportation

of migrants. The AFD has denied that the proposal represents party policy. Now, as Seb Shukla reports, the rise in the AFD is dividing Germany.


SEBASTIAN SHUKLA, CNN PRODUCER (voice-over): It's boots on the ground in Freienthal for the alternative for Deutschland, the AFD. In this tiny

Brandenburg village, Germany's far-right party are doing what many say their government aren't, talking to them. But as night falls, protesters

spring with a message. Germany has been down this path before. Never again means now.

ADAM SEVENS, PROTEST ORGANIZER (through translator): The AFD's plans only reveals the xenophobia, hatred and bigotry that exists in this country.

SHUKLA (voice-over): Views that are not hard to find across the road in the village hall.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I'm glad that someone is taking care of all this scum that has spread in our country, in our beautiful


SHUKLA (voice-over): Pro and AFD curious supporters have gathered to hear from party officials. The message even has Trumpian undertones.

Our country first, posters say.

SHUKLA: Part of the AFD call for voters is about luring people 0away from some of Germany's largest political parties through transparency, they say.

But some of what's being discussed in this room is warped. Questioning things like the COVID pandemic and whether climate change is even real.

SHUKLA (voice-over): As the meeting concludes, many leave content with what they have heard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): The AFD is finally standing up for the citizens and is slowly doing what we want. And what we want is to be part

of the government.


SHUKLA (voice-over): Omid Nouripour is part of that government, and he acknowledges that public image is partly to blame for their ailing poll


OMID NOURIPOUR, HEAD OF THE GREEN'S: No doubt that we have to improve a lot of things, especially the performance of our coalition or giving the

impression that we just shout at each other. We are not. But the feeling is there and we have to improve it.

SHUKLA (voice-over): Following an explosive investigation from the news outlet Correctiv, AFD lawmaker Dr. Hans-Christoph Berndt hailed the so-

called remigration plan discussed as a promise. At this hotel, far right leaders suggested mass deportations, including for German citizens of

foreign origin.

DR. HANS-CHRISTOPH BERNDT, HEAD OF THE ALTERNATIVE FUR DEUTSCHLAND, BRANDENBURG (through translator): It is not only legitimate, it is

necessary to think about remigration. Since 2015, more than 10 million foreigners have entered the country and a large proportion of them are not

willing to integrate and live in German society, but are instead building parallel worlds. The federal government is not putting the interests of the

indigenous population first.

SHUKLA (voice-over): In the real world, the report sparked waves of anti- AFD protests. Berndt's response is to shout conspiracy.

BERNDT (through translator): Yes, without the government campaign, people wouldn't be out on the street. I am very positive.

SHUKLA (voice-over): Sebastian Shukla, CNN, Brandenburg, Germany.


SOARES: And the FD has since distanced itself from the reported secret meeting. Saying, it was not an official party event.

And that does it for us for this hour. "Quest Means Business" is up next. See you tomorrow.