Return to Transcripts main page

Isa Soares Tonight

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister And Government Resign; Ukraine Struggles To Halt Russian Advances As Aid Stalls; Dramatic Scenes In Brussels As 900 Tractors Descend On Brussels Amid Farmers' Protests; France Hosts Heads Of State For Ukraine Aid Conference; Ukraine Loses War, European Council Will Be In Danger; Farmers Take To The Streets Of Brussels And Madrid. 2-3p ET

Aired February 26, 2024 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, a major shake-up in leadership in the

West Bank as the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister and government resign.

This as ceasefire talks continue today in Doha. Could this reshuffle impact those negotiations? Then, President Zelenskyy speaks to CNN about his

country's desperate need for U.S. aid, just as Ukraine suffers another setback on the battlefield.

Plus, dramatic scenes in Brussels as 900 tractors descend on the Belgian capital in a fresh wave of European farmers protest, that story and much

more just ahead. But first, this evening, a leadership shake-up underway in the West Bank could signal what's being planned for post-war Gaza.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said he is resigning to make way for a national unity government. The U.S. and other countries

have been pressuring President Mahmoud Abbas to reform the Palestinian Authority amid efforts to establish a Palestinian state.

Israel though is keeping its focus on Gaza and getting its hostages back home. Israeli officials left for Qatar today for indirect negotiations with

Hamas. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says if there is a deal, a ground offensive in Rafah could be delayed, but he insists it will still happen.

More than a million Palestinians are seeking refuge there, virtually penned really against the Egyptian border. The IDF has submitted a plan to

Israel's war cabinet for evacuating civilians. But we don't know really the details. The U.N. Secretary-General says an offensive must be avoided at

all costs. This is what Guterres said. Have a listen.


ANTONIO GUTERRES, SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS: Humanitarian aid is still completely insufficient, Rafah is the core of the humanitarian

operation, and UNRWA is the backbone of that effort. And all lot is -- all lot is Israeli offensive on the city would not only be terrifying for more

than a million Palestinian civilians sheltering there, it would put the final nail in the coffin of our aid programs.


SOARES: Let's go now to our Jeremy Diamond who joins us this evening in Tel Aviv. And Jeremy, you heard there what Mr. Guterres; U.N. chief said,

calling the Rafah operation, then nail in the coffin for aid efforts. Netanyahu says he has a plan to evacuate the population. I suppose the

question is the question that many of us have been asking for some time, where a Gazan supposed to go? Did he give any details on this?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: He did not. The Israeli Prime Minister only saying that the war cabinet, including himself, reviewed this

latest plan from the Israeli military during a meeting of that cabinet last night, that the military provided what he described as a dual plan to on

the one hand, move on the offensive in Rafah, something that he has vowed that the Israeli military will do.

The question is whether or not that will come, you know, after a deal is actually reached, and once it is implemented or if a deal fails, and the

Israeli military chooses to move forward. But the second part of that plan involves the evacuation of civilians, but no details on exactly where they

would go.

The Israeli Prime Minister only saying that they would go to areas north of Rafah, but a lot of questions still remaining, and the Americans, of

course, insisting that, that plan must be delivered before that offensive actually takes place.

SOARES: Yes, and speaking to "CBS", I believe this weekend, Netanyahu also said the military operation in Rafah will go ahead with or without a deal.

How does this vision, Jeremy, and these comments play into these negotiations we were talking about in Doha today.

DIAMOND: Well, I think the Israeli Prime Minister certainly hopes that it helps to bring some pressure to bear on those negotiations. But regardless

of the Israeli intentions, it does seem like there has been some progress and some movements over the last week in the course of these negotiations.

A very important meeting that took place on Friday in Paris resulted in the Israeli negotiating team returning with some guarded optimism about the

state of these negotiations. Those talks continued today in Qatar, and we are now learning that it appears that Hamas has softened its key demands on

these negotiations.


We know that two of the holdups on these talks has been Hamas' insistence that these negotiations result in an end to the war altogether, the full

withdrawal of Israeli forces during the implementation of this deal as Israeli hostages are being released.

And the second part of it was the number of Palestinian prisoners that they were demanding be released in exchange for these hostages, demanding a much

higher ratio than what Israel was willing to accept. But we're now learning from two sources familiar with these talks that Hamas has softened on both

of these aspects.

And so, that could provide a pathway to a deal. That being said, these sources are also insisting that there are still some obstacles that remain,

and that more could potentially emerge. And one thing is clear is that should this first part of this deal be implemented, a six-week pause in the

fighting, and that could potentially see dozens of Israeli hostages released.

There will then be negotiations ongoing about the next phase of that deal. And that is where things will get, particularly tricky, if indeed, that

first part of the deal can even be reached.

SOARES: Grateful to you for laying it all out for us, Jeremy Diamond there for us. Thank you. Well, on Friday, I spoke to the EU High Representative

for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell. I asked him for his thoughts on Mr. Netanyahu's plans for Gaza after the war. Have a listen.



around the table, everybody, U.S., U.K., European Union member states, Arab world, African people, Latin-American people, everybody was insisting, and

the only possible peaceful solution that could provide Israel to live in peace and security is the two-state solution.

I didn't hear a single voice against it. And there were represented, 80 percent of the world GMP, and also everybody present there concerned, and

asking Israel not to launch another military offensive in Rafah, where more than 1.5 million people are being massed against the wall on the Egyptian


War in Israel, that this would have catastrophic consequences for these civilian people, saying that too many people have already been killed, and

insisting on the fact that Israel has the right of defense, but it is right on the hands that will be fulfilling international law and international

humanitarian law. Which given the high number of casualties is difficult to believe it happens.

SOARES: And of course, the situation in Gaza, as we've been showing our viewers every day, it is deteriorating daily. It is incredibly dire.

BORRELL: Yes, listen to me, listen to me, it's deteriorating, but it's not a flawed, not a health quake. It's not a natural catastrophe, is a man-made


SOARES: Man-made catastrophe, and you recently said -- I'm going to quote you here -- "let's be logical. How many times have you heard the most

prominent leaders and foreign ministers around the world saying too many people are being killed. President Biden had this, this is too much on top.

It's not proportional. Well, if you believe too many people are being killed, maybe you should provide less arms in order to prevent so many

people being killed." Is that message being passed onto the United States, Mr. Borrell?

BORRELL: It's being passed to everybody. I think this is quite a logical argument, no? If you believe that too many people are being killed, if you

go and insist to the Israeli government, that they have to restrain, and you express your concerns, and you pain, and you insist once and again that

the right of civilians has to be preserved, and dissenters, that too many people have been killed.

A hurt to almost everybody who has gone to Israel. Almost everybody has said that. So, well, maybe we should do something more than just ask for,

in other occasions, is not the first time. In other occasions, the U.S. has been using a strong leverage, limiting the military capacities, supplying

or even the economic constraints in 1991, for example, when they came to Madrid Peace Conference.

So, if you believe that too many people are being killed, maybe you can do less arms and less people will be killed.


SOARES: Our thanks to Josep Borrell there. And still ahead, we'll take you to the West Bank to see how a single bullet shattered one family's entire

world. Have a look at this.


HAFETH ABDEL JABBAR, FATHER OF 17-YEAR-OLD TAWFIC ABDEL JABBAR: When do I see him again? When do I see my 17 years old again?


SOARES: Our Nic Robertson will bring you the story of Palestinian-American father searching for justice of the death of his teenage son. That's in

about 20 minutes or so time.


Now, Ukraine has been dealt another battlefield setback as it run short on ammo weapons as well as foreign aid. And military official says Ukrainian

troops have retreated from the village there -- you can see in your map, Avdiivka. It's the latest sign Russia is gaining momentum as political

infighting stalls over U.S. aid.

A U.S. support -- a U.S. support for Ukraine will take center stage this week as Congress comes back from their break. Ukrainian President Volodymyr

Zelenskyy spoke with CNN's Kaitlan Collins about why U.S. help is so vital.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, you see the difference that U.S. aid makes, is what you're saying?

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE: Yes, it means that this year, if we're going to get anything, we'll not have any success. And also --

COLLINS: You won't have any success?

ZELENSKYY: Any new success.

COLLINS: Essentially, this all depends on U.S. aid.

ZELENSKYY: Steps, success forward will depend on U.S. aid. Yes, not defending line, not only defending line. Because if you defend, just

defend, you give possibility to Russia to push you. Yes, small steps back, but anyway, you -- we will have this steps back, small one. But when you

step back, you lose people. We will lose people.


SOARES: Meanwhile, aid for Ukraine is also on the agenda in Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted world leaders today at the Ukraine Support

Summit in Paris. This as Mr. Zelenskyy says just 30 percent of the million artillery shells that he promised to deliver by March, if you remember,

have reached his country.

Now, for more, CNN's chief international security correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh has the latest developments from Ukraine.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Almost emphasized the warnings from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

during his lengthy press conference on Sunday, there is yet more bad news from the frontlines for Ukraine.

Lastochkyne, a small village, certainly 3-mile to the northwest of Avdiivka appears now to be in Russian hands after Ukrainian forces announced they

had withdrawn from it. Now, as I say, that is not in itself strategically significant, but it marks the fact that the thing we were warned about by

both Ukrainian military officials and the Russian military too, that Russia would continue advancing once it took the town of Avdiivka Saturday before


So, that is indeed happening. Now, there are many who say that Lastochkyne was essentially not worth holding on to, that Ukraine always intended to

fall back to deeper positions where it could better defend the terrain.

But nonetheless, this marks yet more bad news from the frontlines while pressure continued on multiple other points as well. And indeed, there are

some suggestions from pro-Russian sources that in fact, Russia is yet still trying to move on further from Lastochkyne as well. Now, Volodymyr

Zelenskyy gave the first official death toll.

We've heard of the Ukrainian military of 31,000 on Sunday. That is significantly less than some Western analysts had indeed suggested. But I

think it was a bid to try and explain to Ukrainians and to the world outside how urgent and how horrific the sacrifices been over the past two

years, and sound the alarm, he's trying to ring out with Western allies to make them fully cognizant of the damage that the absence of that $60

billion indeed will cause.

Talking about how millions of Ukrainian lives would likely be lost if they don't get that aid. And so, yet more bad news from the battlefield for

Ukraine, not a full-on collapse or a major Russian advance, but a sign that the absence of that Western aid now months as it is late or missing

entirely, is changing things in reality on the battlefield. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.


SOARES: Well, Sweden is set to become the newest member of NATO after clearing the last road-blocked membership earlier. Hungary's parliament

approved Stockholm's bid to join NATO. Budapest was the last NATO member to endorse Sweden's session to the military alliance.

The move comes after nearly two years of intense negotiations. Sweden's Prime Minister calls it a historic day. There are stunning new claims today

about Vladimir Putin's most vocal critic on the night before his sudden death. An aid close to Alexei Navalny said the opposition leader was part

of a proposed prisoner swap.

Those negotiations with the Kremlin were reportedly in the final stages before Navalny's mysterious death ten days ago. CNN cannot independently

verify those claims. A Kremlin spokesman denies knowing anything about a prisoner exchange.

Our Matthew Chance joins me now with more from Moscow. And Matthew, I suppose the question is, why would Putin suddenly agree to releasing

Navalny? What more do we know?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, obviously, you know, that agreement was never reached, and that's one of

the complaints being made by Navalny's team. What they're claiming is that negotiations had been taking place, and that those negotiations had reached

a final phase the day before Alexei Navalny; Russian late opposition leader was pronounced dead in his Arctic Penal Colony.


And so, the allegation that Alexei Navalny's team is making is that Putin didn't want to sort of go through with any kind of swap and release Alexei

Navalny, instead, he killed him. Now, of course, that's an allegation the Kremlin categorically denies. They've called it obnoxious.

The suggestion that they were involved in the death of Alexei Navalny. And I've spoken to the Kremlin over the course of the past several hours as

well. And as you mentioned, they've denied any knowledge of a negotiation about Navalny taking place.

But it's no secret that negotiations in general for a prisoner swap have been taking place between the Russians and United States. The U.S. could

desperately want to get back U.S. citizens that are inside Russian prisons and including Evan Gershkovich, the "Wall Street Journal" reporter, who is

being tried for espionage.

Paul Whelan; a former U.S. Marine who is in prison on spying -- for spying as well, which of course, you know, both men say they're innocent and both

have been designated as unlawfully detained by the United States. But today is the first time that the Navalny team have come out and said that Navalny

was part of that negotiation to -- for a possible prisoner swap.

It's not corroborated at all, but it is potentially another sort of interesting twist in this sort of saga, this tragic saga of Alexei Navalny.

SOARES: And in the meantime, do we have any more information? Do we know anymore from Navalny's family here, Matthew, about his funeral arrangement?

CHANCE: You know, we know a little bit more. I mean, it was Friday that he was announced dead. And so, there was a lot of delay in the body being

handed over to the family -- it's now being handed over, we're told. Today, Navalny's team that said that they're going to be holding a farewell

ceremony, which we assume means his funeral towards the end of the working week.

So, Friday or possibly Thursday, they're still looking for a venue that will hold that kind of event. It's potentially a very contentious political

event though, because in life, Alexei Navalny was able to bring tens of thousands of people out into the streets, and I think probably the concern

of the authorities is that in death as well, people may rally to that cause and come out and voice their opposition to the Kremlin. Isa.

SOARES: Matthew Chance for us in Moscow this hour, thanks very much, Matthew. Still to come tonight, the anguish of a Palestinian-American

father demanding answers and searching for justice after his teenage son was killed in the West Bank. That report coming up after this short break.

You are watching CNN.



SOARES: I'm back now to one of our top stories. The resignation of the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister and his government in the West Bank.

Mohammad Shtayyed cite the need for national unity among Palestinians after Israel's war on Hamas in Gaza ends.

There's been no immediate public reaction by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, his leadership is deeply unpopular at home,

undermined by corruption accusations and the inability to end decades of Israeli occupation.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague just wrapped up historic hearings on the legality of Israel's occupation of Palestinian land. Turkey

was one of dozens of countries to address the court, saying, there will be no peace in Israeli-Palestinian conflict until the root cause is resolved.

Have a listen.


AHMET YILDIZ, DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, TURKEY: Israeli Palestinian conflict did not start on 7th October, 2023. The conflict is not about a certain

Palestinian faction or group. The conflict dates back to nearly a century. But the real obstacle to peace is obvious, the deepening occupation by

Israel of the Palestinian territories.


SOARES: Well, violence against Palestinians in the West Bank has surged since October the 7th with some 400 reportedly killed by Israeli troops or

settlers. But no statistics of course, can ever really tell the story. Our Nic Robertson traveled to the West Bank to meet the father of a

Palestinian-American teenager who is fighting for justice for his son. Have a look at this.


JABBAR: So, this dirt road you see here --


JABBAR: Yes, this is where Tawfic was shot at.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): An American father, Hafeth Abdel Jabbar showing us his family land where he says his son was murdered by an Israeli settler in


JABBAR: He wasn't going to do anything, simply a barbecue, Friday prayer and come back home. And he's not a terrorist. He's an American-Palestinian

kid, full of life, wanted to do so much in his life.

ROBERTSON: His son, Tawfic, was 17 years old, studying towards his dream job, NASA engineer. The family left Louisiana last Spring, returning

temporarily to their roots in the occupied West Bank. They visited their ancestral hilltop village home most years.

(on camera): All around the village, there are murals of Tawfic remembered, immortalized, and underneath it says, the smiling martyr.

(voice-over): Tawfic's trauma, increasingly common in the West Bank.

(on camera): And this is getting worse since October 7th --

JABBAR: And it's getting worse since October 7th, way worse.

ROBERTSON: They're turning it more like into Gaza.

JABBAR: Exactly. They want to turn it to Gaza. You see the bullet?


(voice-over): A month after Tawfic's death, Hafeth is struggling to get justice. The single shot that killed his son, an exploding bullet entering

the back of his head clear in the CT scan of his brain. Photos of the crime scene, and an investigation by the Palestinian Authority document ten


Video shows what Hafeth says is a soldier taking the final shot. An eyewitness says a settler took the first shot. Israeli investigators say an

off-duty police officer and an off-duty soldier were also present at the time of Tawfic's killing, but have yet to charge any of them. They say the

investigation is ongoing.

JABBAR: That's the problem that I'm facing right now. That we all face in here, that when they do such a thing and they're not stopped and they're

not questioned, it's OK for them to do it again and again and again. And that's what keeps happening here. This is not the first kid that got shot

and killed in the same area.

SARI BASHI, PROGRAM DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Since October 7th, nearly 400 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and Israeli settlers.

There are currently 9,000 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons and jails.

ROBERTSON: Sari Bashi is an Israeli human rights expert living in the West Bank, has been tracking Israeli security force tactics there for more than

a decade. Hamas' brutal October 7th attacks, she believes became a watershed for unprecedented Israeli violence in the West Bank.

BASHI: We have seen things piloted in Gaza and later moved to the West Bank in terms of the levels of violence, the airstrikes, the drone strikes in

Gaza are starting to become much more frequent in the West Bank.


ROBERTSON: And not just more aggressive and more frequent, but more audacious to not to mention possibly illegal, according to U.N. experts.

Like this covert Israeli special forces up in a hospital that killed three militants believed to be planning an attack. The hospital says the men were

sleeping when shot.

IDF diggers gouging up West Bank streets, rendering them unusable, akin to Gaza's battle-torn thoroughfares also deepens fears. The West Bank is

worsening the impact of Israel's actions according to respected Palestinian pollster, Khalil Shiqaqi is enabling groups like Hamas.

KHALIL SHIQAQI, PALESTINIAN POLLSTER: The West Bank is becoming more militant today than Gaza was before the war or today.

ROBERTSON (on camera): Because of what the Israeli government is doing here.

SHIQAQI: Because of what the Israeli government is doing -- what the army is doing and what the settlers are doing.

JABBAR: Why are we supporting such a regime like that?

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Hafeth is angry President Joe Biden isn't doing more to pressure Israel to rein in radical settler leaders like Security

Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, whose party has called for the annexation of the West Bank.


ROBERTSON: The Israeli government maintains its military operations only target terror suspects, but settler violence has spiraled in recent months.

JABBAR: These officials on TV from the Israeli government making these comments and pass these weapons from Ben-Gvir -- or to these settlers,

that's why they feel like they can do anything without being charged or without being stopped.

ROBERTSON: Impunity that is ripping irreversibly through his family.

JABBAR: How can they forget their brother? Can they ever forget their brother? Can they ever forget who shot their brother? No. Well, I told my

wife, I want to have another Tawfic, and I want my older son to get married and have another Tawfic.

ROBERTSON: Across the square from his family home that pre-dates Israel's creation by more than 70 years, is the town cemetery.

JABBAR: Tawfic's --

ROBERTSON: Where Tawfic is buried feet from two of Hafeth's uncles, whom he says were killed by settlers 36 years ago.

JABBAR: That's a message to them, to the Israeli government. We're not going nowhere. Even if you put all of us right here, generations will come

and free this country from you guys.

ROBERTSON: Defiance, yes, but beneath it, a father struggling.

JABBAR: When do I see him again? When do I see my 17 years old again? When do I get to see him again? That's the minute that I right now, I think

about. I don't think about money, I don't think about businesses anymore, I don't think about anything else other than, when do I see my son again?

ROBERTSON: Nic Robertson, CNN, the West Bank.


SOARES: Powerful piece there from our Nic Robertson. And still to come tonight, European Council President Charles Michel says if Ukraine loses

the war, the European Council will be endangered. More from my conversation with him ahead of the looming EU elections, that is next.

And farmers are protesting in the streets of some major European capitals. Details ahead on their demands, and what agricultural ministers are doing

in response to the farming crisis. Both those stories after this very short break. You are watching CNN.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Right now, French president Emmanuel Macron is hosting 23 heads of state in Paris for a conference on Ukraine aid.

Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is joining virtually, hoping to secure of course more aid from Kyiv's western partners like U.S. and E.U.

It is no secret the E.U. has remained steadfastly pro-Ukraine in this conflict, but with the looming E.U. elections in June, I asked the

president of the European Council, Charles Michel, if he's worried that long-term support for Ukraine is waning.


CHARLES MICHEL, EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT: I'm not worried but I'm lucid and I know that we need to work to convince our people all across the

European Union. We need systematically, again and again, to explain then when we decide to support Ukraine with small financial means, with small

military equipment, it's not only because we will be generous and because we like the Ukraine people. It's also a question of our own interest, for

the stability, for the security.

It's very clear that Ukraine cannot lose this war. If it would be the case, then the European continent would be more in danger. The pressure would be

huge. And it's also a fundamental element. It would be the message to the rest of the world that the authoritarian regime, the dictatorship, even

when a country is a member of the Security Council in possession of the nuclear weapon, they would be allowed to invade a country with 40 million

inhabitants. This is not acceptable.

And for my children, for our children, for our common future, I think the democracies across the world and the United States, the E.U., the G7

countries and many other fronts across the world, we know that our interest into -- is to make sure that we promote our common values by supporting

Ukraine as much as we can and for as long as it is.

If not, it's a signal that we are weak. It is a signal that the dictatorships and the authoritarian regimes, they are allowed to act that

way. It is not acceptable and it's extremely dangerous for our way of life in the United States or in Europe.

SOARES: And of course E.U. funding critical for the points that you have just outlined for our own democratic values, of course our own security,

U.S. funding also vital -- vitally important. Now all eyes on the United States right now where as you know, Mr. President, a MAGA wing of the

Republican Party is kind of holding up U.S. aid to Ukraine.

Do you believe, sir, that that aid will come through? And if it doesn't, is there a plan B from Europe?

MICHEL: Well, first, I would like to say that I commend all the efforts made by Joe Biden and by his team.


And I know that they are extremely sincere and extremely active to try to unblock this situation. And I remember a few months ago, we had the

bilateral summit in Washington together with Joe Biden and we understood very well on the European inside it was important for us to show that we

are reliable, that we are credible, and that's why we made those decisions enlargement to Ukraine, point one, but also an additional package that I've

already mentioned, 50 billion Euros.

And then also to give the signal to the public opinion, to the citizens in the United States that we are doing, in Europe, what is needed and we hope

that this decision is helpful for the White House and for all those in the United States who are convinced that the support in Ukraine is vital and

fundamental for Ukraine, for Europe, but also for the stability and security in United States.

SOARES: So, do you think it's going to come through? Because you recently said that the defeat of Ukraine would put European values at risk. What is

your message to that Republican wing, MAGA wing of the Republican Party, I should say?

MICHEL: The main message is please don't be intimidated by Russia. Don't be intimidated by the authoritarian regime. This is the main point. And if you

give up then it means that you accept that tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, the world will be dominated by those regimes. Is it what you want

for your children and for your future?

SOARES: And finally, sir I saw on social media that you met with Navalny's widow, Yulia Navalnaya, who is so bravely, as we've all seen here, vowing

to continue her husband fight. What was her message to you? What did she ask from the E.U., sir?

MICHEL: She needs our support because Mrs. Navalny is representing the symbol of those who are fighting for a different Russia, for a Russia who

should have more respect for the common principles, for the U.N. Charter, for the fundamental values, for human dignity, and that's why indeed we are

determined on our side to support all those everywhere across the world, including in Russia, that we are standing up for those fundamental

principles and values.

You know that the European Union has been built after two tragic roles on the European soil and that's why our political foundation are based in

human dignity, are based in Democratic principle because this is the best way to improve the conditions of life for our citizens. And that's why we

are absolutely convinced that we have a special responsibility in Europe together with our friends and partners. We want to engage with the rest of

the world, but we want to make sure that our fundamental principles will be spread as much as possible across the world and across the societies in

between countries.


SOARES: And our thanks there to Charles Michel.

Well, dramatic scenes in Brussels today where police say farmers rolled in around 900 tractors as you can see there. They are protesting the import of

cheap agricultural products from outside the European Union.

Similar protests are also happening, as you can see, on the streets of Madrid in Spain. The farmers demand an end to European free trade policies.

And these protests have been going on for weeks now, if you've been following in the show we've been covering right around all through Europe.

Our Clare Sebastian has more details for you.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Anger piercing through the streets of Europe's diplomatic hub. Farmers across the continent traveling

to the European Union headquarters in Brussels on Monday as agriculture ministers meet to discuss Europe's farming crisis. Police meeting the

protesters with water cannons as patience begins to wear thin.

For weeks, farmers in over a dozen countries have been disrupting highways, border checkpoints, and city centers in uproar over unfair competition from

outside the E.U. in what they dub has restricted environmental policies. This in part a consequence of E.U. leaders waving duties on Ukrainian food

imports following Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022.

Over the weekend, farmers in Poland, who have been blocking Ukrainian border checkpoints, destroyed 160 tons of Ukrainian grain, spilling corn

across train tracks, a move Ukrainian officials described as vandalism.

Meanwhile in Spain, convoys of tractors continue to clog Madrid. While in France, motorways hidden under truckloads of hay. Union leaders calling for

more noise.

FRANCIS AMBROGIO, SECRETARY GENERAL, FDSEA (through translator): In any case, we have to keep up the pressure because I have the impression that

we're going to be hearing a lot of speeches. But we want action fast.


And today, we're not making any progress.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Back in Brussels, an acknowledgement Russia stands to benefit here.

DAVID CLARINVAL, BELGIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (through translator): There are also aspects of the market which are important and we see that the

grains market is collapsing, the prices are going down. This is a dirty game which Russia is putting in place to put pressure on Ukraine, but also

on the single market. We are in a global geopolitical context and we have to keep all these aspects in mind.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): The response to these protests, a test for European unity as anger continues to grow louder. Clare Sebastian CNN, London.


SOARES: And still to come tonight, Brazil's former president rallies massive crowds in Brazil. We'll have Jair Bolsonaro's message to fans as

he's investigated for an alleged coup plot, that story coming up.

And some democrats in the U.S. State of Michigan are sending a message to President Biden at the voting booths. Details ahead on Tuesday's primary.


SOARES: Well, huge crowds turned out in Brazil over the weekend to support the controversial former president Jair Bolsonaro. Have a look at this. And

this was a scene in fact Sao Paulo and that was on Sunday. Bolsonaro was on hand to rally supporters as you can see him there. This just days after his

lawyer confirmed the former president was being investigated over an alleged coup plot.

And if you recall last year, I remember it because I covered this in Sao Paulo in fact, right-wing Bolsonaro supporters stormed government buildings

after news he lost the election to the current president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Bolsonaro on Sunday insisted he is being persecuted.

Well, police in Washington say a U.S. Air Force member who set himself on fire to protest the war in Gaza has now died. In a video of the incident,

which we are not showing it, because it is very disturbing, 25-year-old Aaron Bushnell stands outside the Israeli embassy and declares, "I will no

longer be complicit in genocide." Washington D.C. police say they are working with the Secret Service and the ATF to investigate the incident.

U.S. President Joe Biden is also facing pressure from his own party in the State of Michigan over his handling of the war in Gaza.


The Listen to Michigan campaign launched less than three weeks ago by Arab American activists. They are asking democrats to vote uncommitted during

Tuesday's primary. Meanwhile former U.S. president, Donald Trump, is heading into Michigan with another major victory. He won, of course, if you

remember, South Carolina's Republican Presidential Primary on Saturday. And this win further tightens Trump's grip on the GOP nomination after

defeating rival Nikki Haley in her home state.

But Haley's staying in the race and focusing on how many South Carolinians did not vote for Trump. Have a listen.


NIKKI HALEY, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He, as a Republican incumbent, didn't get 40 percent of the vote of the primary and so the

issue at hand is he's not going to get the 40 percent if he's going and calling out my supporters and saying they're barred permanently from MAGA.

Why should the 40 percent have to cave to him?


SOARES: And within this political context, a reminder now that we are still waiting for a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that may have a major

impact on the November election. We are waiting for justices to respond to Donald Trump's request to pause proceedings in his federal election

subversion case. And that would allow him to appeal a lower court decision denying his claim of presidential immunity. Special Council Jack Smith has

asked Supreme Court to reject that claim. And this could come at any moment.

And still to come tonight, a change, of course, a well-known photographer directs his first film. And now, he's up for an academy award. I'll speak

with Misan Harriman next.


SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. We are counting down to the Academy Awards next month, among the films nominated for the coveted Oscars, The After,

which is up for Best Live Action Short Film and the movie starrign David Oyelowo is directed by Misan Harriman. Have a look at this clip.


JAMES: Hi, Dayo. It's James. I'm just calling to see how you're doing, mate. We all miss you.


JASMINE: Hi, Dayo. It's Jasmina here (INAUDIBLE) the Fulham Crisis Management. You've missed your last four appointments. We conducted another

home visit yesterday, but you weren't there again.


SOARES: And The After marks Harriman's debut as a director, but he's long been well known as a photographer, documenting protests including the Black

Lives Matter Movement.

I'm joined now by Misan Harriman. Welcome to the show, Misan. Great to have you here.


SOARES: You and I have been chatting on social media. I mean I started following the four you directed this beautiful movie in fact, redrawn to

your photos, some of which we've just shown. And I mean your stories, your photos, just black and white photos, just packed so much heart but so much

story as well as layers and layers of story.

I suppose the obvious question when I saw your movie is why the -- why make the transition or why try out movies? Why leave that -- well, I'm guessing

you're not leaving photography, right?

HARRIMAN: Never. Never.

SOARES: So why dab into movies?

HARRIMAN: It's really an act of self-love, you know, finally having the confidence at 45 years old when I started doing this film to believe that

maybe I was good enough. You know, for so much of my life, I've been, like many, someone that didn't think that I had a point of view and I picked up

a camera not that long ago and my confidence has grown and grown and my great passion has been film, but I've always been a fan. And for the first

time, I've tried to tell a story.

SOARES: And this is just for viewers who may not have seen it, it is 18 minutes long. You can watch it on Netflix. It is incredibly powerful.

And the subject matter, I mean, taking -- not only is this the first time you're directing, but you're taking out on a subject that is incredibly

complex. Grief. Why did you decide to take this subject on?

HARRIMAN: I don't know about you, but I had a pretty ropy 2020.

SOARES: Many of us had, right?

HARRIMAN: And I think looking back, I had to make my first piece of moving image about how we handle our invisible wounds, how we recognize that it's

OK to not be OK. You know, suicide and, you know, chronic mental health Issues are at the highest numbers they've been in generations, if not ever.

And I really want my films and my photography to build bridges and sometimes that bridge is to yourself.

SOARES: And, you know, you -- interesting you say that because when I watched the movie, it made me think, yes, there was a lot of humanity in

it, but it made me feel like I ought to do more for others. Is this something -- was this the aim?

HARRIMAN: Well, you know, it's empathy. Unfortunately, if you --

SOARES: You see that in your photos.


SOARES: Right?

HARRIMAN: We must make sure, you know, I've got two little girls, you know, and I think a lot about the future. What are we leaving for our youth? And

we must make sure that empathy doesn't leave the room, make sure that humanity doesn't leave the room. And you can't love others if you don't

love yourself. So, I'm trying to help people go on a journey for them to know that they were always enough so that maybe they can bring some light

into the world.

SOARES: And the beautiful parts of this movie, and I know I'm sure everyone's got their own different opinions, but I love the silence, the

moments, the long pauses. What was the challenge for you? What did you find the hardest going from stills to moving image?

HARRIMAN: Well, Photography, still images, for me, it's an experience of solitude. It's a lonely road that I love. This is me in my backpack and I

go out and try and observe the human condition.

Film is a beautifully collaborative experience. It's a symphony of so many different talents, from stunt workers to hair and makeup, to sound, DOP, so

I was like a sponge learning but also working with people that are very good at what they do. And of course we had London to have this tapestry of

humanity to paint.

SOARES: And you got David on board. How did you win that -- how did you manage that one?

HARRIMAN: Let me switch my Nigerian accent.

SOARES: Bring it on, Misan.

HARRIMAN: I slid into his DMs and I politely begged him as a fan.

SOARES: Very good.

HARRIMAN: I've never met him before and he never checks his DMs, but this time he did and he knew of my photography and decided to go on this journey

very early on. I genuinely believe that it's one of the great acting performances of a generation. And he's one of the great actors of our time.

SOARES: He's absolutely fantastic. Look, I'm -- I know you must be very excited about this Oscar nom. I saw a little video on your Insta the moment

that it was announced. Are you still pinching yourself about this moment?

HARRIMAN: Yes. Listen, like so many people, like, self doubt is there.


It's just behind the shoulder. It's always there. And I was with my wife and, you know, in our living room and, like, I'm amazed I didn't faint. But

it's the little boy inside that never thought he could. I hope he can hear me now saying that we're here.

SOARES: Well, you are and I'm sure you've got plenty more up your sleeve. And I imagine you're going to continue with your civil rights kind of


HARRIMAN: Absolutely.

SOARES: And paint and photos right. Is it something you're going to keep on doing?

HARRIMAN: Yes, my lens must always be going to where people's voices need to be heard. Always.

SOARES: And very briefly, anything up your sleeve that you want to talk about in terms of movies? Have you got anything? I don't know by the way in

case anyone - I don't know anything. I'm just asking.

HARRIMAN: I'm working on my next project now, which I --

SOARES: Is it stills or is it moving?

HARRIMAN: It -- well, stills is always. Always. But the next moving image we've just started shooting and we'll make an announcement soon enough.

SOARES: You are fast. You're already on the second one. Look, best of luck. Great to see you. Love your work.

HARRIMAN: Thank you very much.

SOARES: Great to have you here. Thank you very much, Misan.

And that does it for us. Where are we? Camera three. That does it for us for this evening. Thank you very much for your company. You can follow

Misan on Instagram. You'll see all his beautiful photos right there. And do check out The After, 18 minutes, that's all it is and you will be in tears

at the end.

"QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" up next. I shall see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.