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Isa Soares Tonight

Authorities Recover Data Recorder From Crashed Cargo Ship In Baltimore; Hamas Calls For End To Controversial Food Airdrops; Myanmar Junta Escalates Terror Tactics Against Civilians; Allegations Of Torture In Myanmar; Baltimore Bridge Collapse Impact On Global Trade; Federal Investigators Recover Dali's Voyage Data Recorder; Six Missing Construction Workers Presumed Dead; Texas Immigration Law On Stays On Hold; Israel Delegation To Visit U.S. As Soon As Next Week; How Humanity's Impact The Planet; Edward Burtynsky Exhibition. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired March 27, 2024 - 14:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very good day to you, I am Richard Quest, Isa Soares is off for a week, you have me. Tonight, the authorities

are beginning to comb-over the evidence, recovering the ship's black box from the Dali, which crashed into the Baltimore Bridge.

Hamas is now calling on overseas donors to stop parachuting food aid into Gaza, as some of those drops cause chaos and led to death. And a new CNN

investigation is examining videos that appear to show rebel soldiers being tortured and killed by Myanmar's military. We'll have that story and much


We begin in Baltimore tonight where authorities have now boarded the Dali container ship and say they have the data recorder, which is essentially

the ship's black box. It all happens as the rescue operation has now become one of recovery. It means the six construction workers who went missing

after the bridge collapsed are now presumed dead.

The victims are believed to be from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, those doing the searching for their remains are facing major

challenges. The waters are cold, dark and it is difficult. The Baltimore City Fire chief spoke about the situation earlier.


JAMES WALLACE, CHIEF, FIRE DEPARTMENT, BALTIMORE CITY: So, once they go below the surface of the water, with increased depth comes decreased

visibility. And you know, that's an equation that we deal with all the time, especially in this type of an environment. But now, we add to that

equation, just the massive amounts of debris that are below the surface.

You know, I had said earlier, what a lot of viewers see is above the surface is the same kind of challenges that our divers have to deal below

the surface. The difference being, our divers can't always see those obstacles. We're still very focused on finding the victims. It's very

important to us because it's very important to the families. We need to find these victims, we need to bring closure to the families.


QUEST: The White House being -- meet briefings from the media over the last hour. Here's what a senior Coast Guard Admiral said moments ago.


PETER GAUTIER, DEPUTY COMMANDANT FOR OPERATIONS, U.S. COAST GUARD: As this aspect of the response shift to recovery operations and consistent with the

president's direction to get the port up and running as soon as possible, the Coast Guard highest priority now is restoring the waterway for

shipping, stabilizing the motor vessel Dali and removing it from the site and coordinating Maritime casualty investigation under the leadership of

the National Transportation and Safety Board.


QUEST: CNN's Kristin Fisher is with me, and we sort of knew the inevitable. I suspect the longer the hours went, but it's still extremely sad, six

people, six remains still have to be recovered.

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so, you're hearing that, of course, this is still very much a recovery operation, but as you just heard the

Coast Guard of the vice admiral say they are starting to shift to the next phase of what happens here, which is trying to clean up this mess and get

that port of Baltimore back open.

Richard, we just got a lot of new details from this, you know, roughly hour-long briefing that's just wrapping up at the White House right now. We

had the Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg speaking, and as you just heard the Coast Guard vice admiral.

Here's some new details that we got first and foremost, no threat to the public from any hazardous materials on board, and that's a big one because

there were some concern that there may be some hazardous materials inside those shipping containers that had perhaps fallen into the ocean or into

the river there.

And we know that there were 4,700 cargo containers on that ship, the Dali, 56 contain hazardous materials, but of the two cargo containers that have

fallen off the ship and are now in that water there.


The two overboard containers do not contain any hazardous materials. So, some good news there that we just received from the Coast Guard vice

admiral. We also got some new details about what they're hoping to do in terms of timeline costs. That was a big focus from the reporters that were

in the room there.

But neither the vice admiral nor Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg could say anything really about how long it is going to take to reopen the

port or rebuild the bridge. Buttigieg also wouldn't say anything in terms of giving even a rough estimate to how much it was going to cost to reopen

that bridge.

So, they are clearly acutely aware of the economic strains that are being placed on not just the city of Baltimore --

QUEST: Right --

FISHER: But the whole state and the region, Richard.

QUEST: I suspect it, I don't know. I mean, you know, how long is a piece of string they've gotten? You look at that stuff, I mean, yes, you can make it

-- it's not going to be quick, everybody agrees on that.

FISHER: Yes, it's going to take a while for them to come up with an exact dollar --

QUEST: Yes --

FISHER: Amount, but you know, Pete Buttigieg was saying, look like it took five years back --

QUEST: Yes --

FISHER: In 1970 to build a bridge of this scope and size. Now, we're going to try to do it in, you know, 2024 and you know, yes, of course, you had

President Biden come out yesterday and say, hey, the federal government is going to fund this. But as you know --

QUEST: Yes --

FISHER: Members of Congress on Capitol Hill sometimes have a different view of that.

QUEST: Thank you, very grateful for you, thank you very much. A look at what happens with the investigation, Captain Kyle McAvoy is with me,

retired Coast Guard officer, Marine Safety expert with Robson Forensic.

So, look, it's not -- I mean, what I'm going to say is not confirmed except by we have a dock worker, a port worker who says this ship was having

electrical problems while during the two days that it was at port loading and unloading. It does start to sound like this thing should never have set


KYLE MCAVOY, RETIRED U.S. COAST GUARD: Well, thanks, but I think the investigation is going to have to bear out the facts that we're influencing

ultimately what happened or whether or not they didn't influence what had happened. If the investigators in this situation have their hands full with

a lot of data to be collected, a lot of data to be analyzed and then to see how that data fit or didn't fit into the sequence of events that led to

this casualty, you know, the reconstruction effort, if you will.

QUEST: The tube -- that the twin and parallel lines, the cleaning up and reopening along with the investigation. How difficult will that be by the

morass of metal and ship that's there.

MCAVOY: To some degree that those can happen in parallel, there will be crossovers, of course. You know, but the teams that will be looking at the

salvage operation, how to clear the debris? Well, of course, first, you know, as the Baltimore fire chief mentioned, to find those that are

deceased on this tragic event.

But once that is done to clear debris out of the way to salvage, it can continue then to get the salvage companies involved, get the right

equipment on scene, it's a huge task for all those working on it.

QUEST: Captain, what to you is the most important thing at the moment in terms of how we learn what happened.

MCAVOY: All of it, is that fair? The Marine safety in the Coast Guard, you know, which is now often referred to as prevention. The key is to figure

out the details of what happened so that standards of care regulations, what have you can be developed to hopefully prevent the tragedies like this

in the future.

And then, ultimately within the transportation system, you have a lot of different elements crossing over here. You have Maritime commerce, you have

road highway traffic, and then, you know, the folks in the city of Baltimore, the economic effects to them, you know, as the whole community

there tries to recover.

QUEST: I'm grateful to you sir, thank you. Israel is carrying out new strikes in Rafah where more than a million Palestinians remain in shelter.

It's pushing off U.N. Security Council resolution, calling for a ceasefire. Health officials said 11 people were killed when a residential building was

hit from a several deadly attacks.


The new strikes also reported in Gaza city in an area where humanitarian aid was being dropped. Gaza's ambulance service says, Israel targeted

civilians there, killing at least three. We're waiting for response to that from the IDF. Meanwhile, Hamas is urging countries to stop dropping food

aid despite a looming famine because of the tragic events involving packages that missed the mark.

The airdrops went ahead today, carried out by Spain and Jordan. Jomana Karadsheh shows us what happened off Gaza's coast. And I have duty to warn

you, these are upsetting scenes.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As they spot a plane and the aid it begins to drop, they run as fast as they can.

It's a rush of a people so desperate, so hungry, and would do anything to feed their children, now on the brink of starvation.

This is what survival in Gaza has come to, fighting for food. That little bit of aid that makes it into the north where man-made famine now looms.

People chase parachutes that fell into these choppy waters. It is desperation that drives them into the sea.

What you're about to see next is disturbing. It's the reality of a war growing more cruel by the day. The fastest, the fittest emerged with boxes

of American-issued meals ready to eat, others didn't make it out alive. People gather around the thin-frailed body of a man who drowned trying to

reach that aid. Twelve people drowned according to paramedics.

"The parachutes fell into the water", Mohammed(ph) says, "people want to eat, they went into the water and drowned, the current was so strong, they

didn't know how to swim." It's what you do when you have nothing left to lose.

"A man goes in swimming to get food for his children. He returns dead", this man says, "bring us aid through the land crossings. Our children are

dying. We are dying. What are you doing? Where is the world?" The world has been piling up life-saving aid into trucks stuck at land crossings,

seemingly powerless in the face of Israel that's accused of using starvation as a weapon in this war, a charge it denies.

Forcing the international community to resort to dropping aid from the sky. Several countries carried out aid-drops on this day, deliveries that have

been criticized for being ineffective, insufficient and unsafe. Earlier this month, another airdrop disaster when a parachute failed and aid

packages came crashing down, killing at least five people.

It's a war that's testing humanity, and many say, this is what failure looks like. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, London.


QUEST: The World Food Program is raising the alarm about the imminent famine there as a Palestinian director gave this warning from the ruins of

Gaza city.


MATTHEW HOLLINGWORTH, PALESTINE DIRECTOR, WORLD FOOD PROGRAM: There is nowhere else in the world where so many people face imminent famine. Here

in Gaza city, we're at the epicenter of the crisis here in the Gaza Strip.

Today, I've met so many people who are angry and tired and despairing because their children go to sleep every night, hungry. Their old people,

their elderly are fading away because of a lack of nutrition.


QUEST: Abeer Etefa is the senior spokesperson with the World Food Program, joins me from Cairo. This is distressing whichever way one takes it. It's

not immediately clear, you know, what to do next basically, because the Israelis are not letting the land aid in, the pontoons haven't yet been

built by the U.S. Navy or the Army Corps, and the parachutes don't work or I mean, dropping aid is insufficient and doesn't work.

ABEER ETEFA, SENIOR MIDDLE EAST SPOKESPERSON, WORLD FOOD PROGRAM: Well. Richard, the choice is very clear. It's surge or starvation. We need Israel

to allow more routes into Gaza, including from the north, the use of Ashdod Port. There is no alternative to overland routes into many parts of Gaza.

We need humanitarian stuff and supplies to move freely, and the people of Gaza to be able to access the assistance safely because famine is closing

in, we are losing people by the minute, by the hour. You know, as time passes, the situation gets much more complex and the window of --

QUEST: Right --

ETEFA: Saving lives and closing on this famine is shrinking, but no alternative other than surging food assistance and getting overland to

wherever we can inside Gaza.

QUEST: What pressure do you think would work with the Israeli government?


Bearing in mind Biden said, let it in, Biden abstain so that the ceasefire resolution went through. So, the closest allies have made their views

clear. What more pressure would you like to see?

ETEFA: I think the issue is not -- is basically not pressured as much as the -- basically, the agreement that we get in regularly. We get in today,

tomorrow and every day. Right now, we do have convoys that go in and out of north Gaza, but they are really a rare element right now, maybe every

other day, one convoy would pass and the quantity still is very limited.

What we need is the ability to get to go to every part of Gaza from every direction. And the key to this, of course, is the -- you know, the

cooperation of the Israeli government and to not just the World Food Program, but allow all partners --

QUEST: Yes, but --

ETEFA: To get inside --

QUEST: Right, OK, I take your point, but that's sort of just saying the same thing differently. What I am asking is, what do you think it will take

to get Israeli government to allow that to happen? They seem to be impervious to any form of pressure, however bad the suffering is on the

other side.

ETEFA: Well, Richard, humanitarian agencies, we are basically -- we don't have the -- you know, we don't know, we don't have the pressure or the

ability to put pressure. We count on goodwill. We count on the daily coordination. We talk to everyone. We talk to every partner on the ground.

We talk to the Israeli government. We talk to the Palestinians. So, the only thing that we have in our hands as a humanitarian organization is to

continue --

QUEST: Right --

ETEFA: To communicate with everyone. What does it take? I really don't know. I think that -- you know, if the U.S. and everyone is in conversation

with the Israeli government to have all of the overland routes open and moving, I think that's -- you know, that's as far as we can go --

QUEST: So, and to be clear, there is no substitute for the overland routes, is there? I mean, it looks -- when you see those parachutes, you imagine,

well, gosh, that's a lot of stuff falling out -- coming out of a plane, and the boat stays still, look very full when they they dock. But that's

relatively small amounts compared.

ETEFA: Of course, I mean, the -- you know, the most efficient way to get food assistance is overland. The airdrops where like, you know, I think

it's -- it was a sign of solidarity probably with the people, but the quantities that are coming in are -- it's a drop in the ocean compared to

the needs.

Also the -- you know, how can you organize food distributions with airdrops? We -- everywhere in the world, we work on, you know, not just

getting supplies and dropping them, actually organizing food distributions. So, not only the strongest and the fittest have their hands on the food so

that women and children also have access to food supplies.

QUEST: Forgive the -- this seems like a naive question, not having been -- seeing the awfulness myself. But is it not possible when there are these

drops to organize the recovery of the -- particularly when they're offshore to sort of have a more organized way of recovering the pallets, or is this

-- is this a symptom of the desperation that essentially it becomes a riot and a free-for-all?

ETEFA: Airdrops are used in many parts of our -- of the world, many parts of the world. But in our operations, we do airdrops in South Sudan, we did

it in Syria, but it does take a lot of organization. We have to have -- I mean, this is Gaza, is a heavily and very much densely-populated area.

You have to have a free space. You have to have partners on the ground. You know, and right now, I mean, I'm not going to be able to speak on the many

governments who are -- you know, everybody has the goodwill to do these airdrops.

We are not -- you know, we're using them, but sparingly. What we need -- there is no -- I mean, the amount of food supplies that a plane can carry

is, you know, very decimal compared to what a convoy of 15 to 20 trucks can bring in. So, there is no alternative to this end.

The other thing is that you have to -- again, you have to have the space and the staff and the operation on the ground and the organization --


QUEST: Yes --

ETEFA: To allow for the safe distribution. Right now, road access is the priority because again, not to compete to truck convoys when it comes to

volume of aid. And as I mentioned, other approaches like airdrops can help, but sustained road access both --

QUEST: Right --

ETEFA: Into Gaza and within Gaza is the key to this crisis.

QUEST: It's all about logistics. I learned that some years ago. It's all about logistics, getting the stuff in and getting it out and safely, thank

you very much, I'm grateful. Now, for the first time, one of the Israeli hostages who have been held by Hamas is publicly saying that she suffered

sexual abuse whilst in captivity.

Amit Soussana told the "New York Times", she was abducted from her home by at least ten men during October 7th attack. She was subjected to a

horrifying series of events after she was dragged into Gaza, including beatings and being forced to perform sexual acts whilst being threatened by


A U.N. report this month found sexual violence against hostages likely occurred and could be ongoing. Deadly violence is escalating across the

Israeli-Lebanese border, and that of course has raised fresh fears of a possible regional escalation.

Hezbollah says it fired dozens of rockets at northern Israel today in retaliation for an Israeli strike inside Lebanon. Israeli paramedics say at

least one person was in Kiryat Shmona was killed. On the Lebanese side, they say that Israeli strikes on Habariyeh killed at least seven staff at a

medical facility.

According to his relative to military compound with Islamic militants inside several nearby homes were damaged. Still to come, claims of torture

and murder carried out by the Myanmar regime. We'll have CNN's special investigation. And a new report with a grim updates on the climate crisis.

We also have that study in this hour.


QUEST: In 2021, Myanmar's military stole power from a democratically elected government. Since then thousands of people have been killed. Now,

in an exclusive investigation, CNN's Anna Coren examines videos that appear to show rebel soldiers being tortured and killed by the military. And I

must warn you, some of the images and video that you're about to see are graphic and hard to watch.



ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Walking through the flat, dry scrub lands of the Yoor(ph) Valley in central Myanmar, a

soldier films on his phone.

"Hey, brother, raise your three fingers", he jokes, mocking the salute symbolic of the country's resistance movement.


COREN: "No more three fingers", yells one of them and laughs. He moves on to another group of pro-Junta militia resting in the shade. "Revolution",

he cries. "It's bullshit", they respond. Moments later, the man filming asks a soldier wearing a military Junta uniform, "are they PDF?" A

reference to the opposition Peoples Defense Forces.

"Yes", he replies. This brief exchange caught on camera is about two rebel fighters they had just captured a few hours earlier. Before dawn on the 7th

of November last year, rebels, part of the PDF, staged an attack on the pro-Junta militia stronghold in the village of Myauk Khin Yan Gangor(ph) in

the Mague(ph) division.


But instead, the rebels were ambushed, coming under heavy fire. Platoon commander Ninja says, as they tried to retreat in open fields, several of

these fighters were injured, while others were cut off from the group, including 21-year-old Potey(ph) and 20-year-old Tatong(ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The last time I saw them, they were hunkering down about 50 meters away from me.

COREN: A few hours later, Ninja's platoon received a message from a villager saying two of their rebel fighters had been caught alive. Video

obtained by CNN shows the two young men bound and bloodied, relentlessly taunted by the militia.

"The revolution must lose, PDFs are dogs", replies Potey(ph). "How many dogs have we killed? Aren't you PDF dogs?" "We're dogs", repeat Tatong(ph).

The video then shows them being dragged on the ground, their arms and legs hog tied in chains.

The next clip too graphic to show in full reveals the young men hanging in chains from the branch of a large tree over a fire, being burnt alive.

Their screams heard over cheers from the militia as the prisoners writhe in agony, as flames sear their flesh. An eyewitness to the execution told us

the militia had ordered one person from each house to watch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When I got there, they hanged them on a tree and poured gasoline and diesel on their bodies. The rebels were

moving and screaming and said they apologized. But the militia replied, apologize in your next life.

COREN: Gross-referencing more than a dozen interviews with witnesses, villagers, resistance fighters, family members and experts with analysis of

the video and pictures from the day using open-source techniques. CNN has found evidence that the military and its allied militia were responsible

for the killings.

The Junta denies the claim, stating the video was fabricated. However, they do admit an attack took place that day, and that its troops were stationed

in the village. CNN spoke to both fathers who confirmed their sons had been killed.

They say they encouraged their boys to join the revolution and fight, but to die like this will haunt them forever.

MYINT ZAW, FATHER OF PHOE TAY (through translator): I got a chance to watch the video, but I could not finish it. I stopped because I knew it was going

to break my heart.

COREN: The brutality of this execution however is not a one-off case.


COREN: Since the military juntas staged a coup in 2021, the level of depravity among its soldiers and aligned militia has increased, in response

to the mass losses and defections it's suffering on the battlefield. The junta's recent announcement of compulsory conscription, a clear sign it's

facing enormous pressure.

As fighting engulfs two-thirds of the country, experts believe the military is using fear and intimidation to try and control a defiant population.

MATT LAWRENCE, PROJECT DIRECTOR, MYANMAR WITNESS: We've been able to verify over 400 burnt bodies since the coup, and we've verified over a dozen

instances of individual beheadings. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

COREN: But the burnings, beheadings and indiscriminate artillery in airstrikes are doing anything, but stamping out the resistance. Rebel

fighter Yolei(ph) who fought alongside Potey(ph) and Tatong(ph) that fateful morning says, what happened to his friends has only strengthened

their resolve.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We won't give in to fear. We will continue this revolution until we win. Only then will it be worth it for

those who sacrificed their lives.

COREN: Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.


QUEST: We appreciate, of course, those are extremely difficult, distressing the scenes to be witnessing, but of course, very important and therefore

necessary to be shown.

"Isa Soares Tonight." Isa is off for the week, it's got me.

When we come back in just a moment, we're going to turn our attention back to the events in Baltimore and what's likely to the next, particularly when

it comes to things like trade. In a moment.


QUEST: As we speak, there's a massive recovery effort underway in Baltimore following that collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Federal investigators have been on board the ship, the Dali. They have recovered the voyage data recorder. We'll be monitoring also nearly 2

million gallons of fuel that's inside the ship. Of course, one of the concerns is always how to prevent a preferential spill.


There are six missing construction workers who were believed to have been on the bridge at the time of the collision, and they are now presumed dead.

Amongst them, a 38-year-old Maynor Sandoval from Honduras, living in the United States for the last 18 years. His brothers told us that he was the

married father of an 18-year-old son and five-year-old daughter.


CARLOS SUAZA SANDOVAL, BROTHER OF MAYNOR SUAZO SANDOVAL (through translator): They have found cars, but they have not yet moved any cars

because there is a lot of steel framework. And they must be careful because they are human beings. Even if lifeless, we, the family members, need them

to rescue the bodies, at least to see them and have them handed over to my family, his entire family, the people who are from Mexico, Guatemala, El

Salvador, and in our case, Honduras.


QUEST: Now, the implications of these sort of events are far and wide, economics, certainly. The Port of Baltimore movement there of ships is now

suspended until further notice. Matt Egan's with us. Matt, I know that in terms of, you know, ships that are on the way, they can be diverted.

Norfolk, New York, New Jersey, and all of that. Baltimore suffers, though.

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Yes, absolutely. This is a major blow to the economy of Baltimore. We're talking about a massive employer, right?

Thousands of people are now dealing with potentially having their hours cut or being temporarily laid off because the port has been completely


And then, you have this sort of ripple effect from the supply chain, right? We all learned during COVID how when something breaks in one part of the

supply chain, there are shockwaves created elsewhere. And this is not happening in a vacuum, right? We already have the Red Sea disruptions. The

fact that our water levels are extremely low. And the Panama Canal has disrupted shipping through there. And now, we have this disruption.

Listen to the Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg weigh in on the economic impact here.


PETE BUTTIGIEG, U.S. TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: We are concerned about the local economic impact with some 8,000 jobs directly associated with port

activities, and we are concerned about implications that will ripple out beyond the immediate region because of the roles -- excuse me, because of

port's role in our supply chains. This is an important port for both imports and exports, and it's America's largest vehicle handling port.


EGAN: Yes, autos is just a huge part of this port. 850,000 vehicles went through the port of Baltimore last year alone. That was a record. It's the

leading port for that. It's also the number one port when it comes to sugar imports, also for -- number two for exporting coal, for machinery, for

agriculture, and construction machinery. It's a huge player for all of those items and it's all been ground to a halt because of what's happened


But, Richard, here's the real question. We know it's going to take months, probably potentially years, right, to rebuild the bridge. But the real

question is, how fast can they reopen the port? How fast can they clear the waterway enough so that at least the port can be opened somewhat? Because

that's the real key. The faster they can get it reopened, the less damage to the local economy and the less damage to the supply chain.

QUEST: Now, that's certainly true. Then you have the road itself. I think it was Maryland 695, which was part of the bridge -- which was carried by

the bridge. And that was a major thoroughfare. Now, again, you're right. You can always go another way. But that's longer. It might be more

expensive. So, the road transportation is vital.

EGAN: Yes. Well, let's talk about the road, right? 30,000 to 35,000 cars and trucks went over this bridge every single day. Obviously, that cannot

happen right now. And it's not going to be able to happen anytime soon because it's going to take a long time to rebuild the bridge.

So obviously, a lot of cars and trucks can go through tunnels. To your point, though, that's going to add time.


EGAN: It's also going to add traffic and congestion. But here's the other issue, is hazardous materials, right? They could not go through the

tunnels. They still can't. They relied on the bridge. So, that's an even bigger detour for those materials. And so, that is obviously going to just

add to the complexity here.

I mean, Richard, this is just another reminder of how intricate these supply chains are and really how fragile they are.

QUEST: Absolutely. Like the bridge, in a sense. Thank you, sir. Many thanks.

A controversial Texas immigration law is being kept on hold by a federal appeals court. The court is set to hear legal challenges next month. It's

considering whether the law violates the constitution. It would allow state officials to arrest, detain, and deport people they suspect of entering the

country illegally. This month, the appeals court suspended the law reversing a Supreme Court ruling, which had allowed it to go into effect

for a shorter period.


A courtroom showdown is happening in California over the future of Hunter Biden's tax indictment. In Los Angeles, Hunter Biden's lawyers are arguing

nine tax charges against the president's son should be thrown out. He's accused of filing false tax returns and cooking the books on his company's

payroll. The lawyers also claim that a special counsel and he filed felony charges because of pressure from the Republicans.

This is CNN.


QUEST: Now, we've just received this news. Israeli government officials will now visit Washington as soon as next week, according to U.S. It comes

after the previous trip was cancelled by the Prime Minister Netanyahu, and that followed the U.S. abstaining from a U.N. Security Council to vote on

the ceasefire.

Natasha Bertrand is at the Pentagon with more. What caused the change?

NATASHA BERTRAND: CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, the U.S. had put a lot of pressure on the Israelis to have this visit go forward

because they want to have a detailed granular discussion about just what Israel's operation in Rafah is going to look like, and that high-level

delegation had, of course, been cancelled after the U.S. abstained from a U.N. Security Council vote that called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

But now, it seems that after these meetings yesterday with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who met with very senior U.S. officials, including

the National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Netanyahu appears to now be willing to move forward with sending his ambassador to the U.S. to come

here and to meet with them to discuss Rafah.

We have been told that there would be these working-level talks following Gallant's visit and that the two sides would try to come to some kind of a,

you know, solution here.

QUEST: Right.

BERTRAND: Not an all-out assault necessarily on Rafah, but something that could protect civilians.

QUEST: I suppose from Netanyahu's point of view, he got his message across. I mean, he never intended there would be a permanent or major breach, but

by canceling it on the day of the vote, he left the U.S. in no doubt about his displeasure.

BERTRAND: Exactly right. And U.S. officials were very perplexed by his decision. They basically said that it amounted to somewhat of a tantrum

because they had made clear to the Israelis prior to this vote that the U.S. still believes that any ceasefire has to happen in conjunction with

the release of hostages from Hamas.

And so, this was not a change in position, according to U.S. officials. But still Netanyahu clearly felt the need to send some kind of a message,

basically just rescheduling the meeting for one week later and delaying a possible solution for a week later just because of that U.N. vote.


QUEST: Natasha, always good to have your perspective. I'm grateful. Thank you.

As you and I continue tonight, the largest exhibition to date of works by the photographer Edward Burtynsky. It's how industry impacts our planet. In

a moment.


QUEST: Firefighters in Peru are trying to extinguish a wildfire that's been endangering a wetland in the country's western region. The blaze, well, it

started on Saturday, and the authorities say the area is difficult, terrain makes it difficult to fight.

Wildfires are also having an impact in Mexico, where flames have spread through the eastern state of Veracruz. Officials there say population

centers are currently not at risk, so there's no need for people to leave homes.

Climate change is affecting the rotation of the very Earth itself, according to a study from the University of California. It says that

melting water is slowing the Earth's rotation as it moves from the poles towards the equator.

Now, what's the effect? I hear you say. It could mean we have to take a second off a leap year in the coming years. Leap years are occasionally

needed when divergence between atomic and the rotation of the Earth around one second. Now, these seconds have the potential to wreak havoc on

susceptible computer systems. The author of the study, Duncan Agnew, explains the consequences.


DUNCAN AGNEW, AUTHOR, CLIMATE POLAR ICING STUDY: The negative leap second is when the timekeepers of the world, which is the time we get on our

phones or any other way, decide that there will be a minute at a certain time where there will only be 59 seconds. We've had many of these where

there have been 61 seconds.

The problem is that each time that it becomes more and more difficult to make sure that all computer networks are properly synchronized, that

everybody does this correctly and at the same time. And since we've never had a negative leap second before, there's a lot of concern that it would

not be done properly.

Now, a second doesn't sound like much, but for the financial markets, they time things to a 50th of a second. Lots of things depend on very precise

timing. And so, there's concern about the possibility of a negative leap second, and I think there is a good possibility that there will be one.



QUEST: Fascinating. And on the other side, take a look at this spectacular image taken of the Torsa River in Iceland. It was taken by the world-

renowned photographer, Edward Burtynsky. CNN's Isa Soares spoke to Edward at his latest exhibition. He's dedicated his artistic career to

highlighting the impact industry has on our Earth.


ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT (voice-over): Photographer Edward Burtynsky has travelled the world, visiting places few of us rarely see.

EDWARD BURTYNSKY, PHOTOGRAPHER: I'd ask questions like, where do computers go to die? And I'd end up in China.


BURTYNSKY: Where do big oil tankers go to die? I end up in Bangladesh.

SOARES (voice-over): From mines in South Africa to power stations in Mexico to farms in Spain, his lens bears witness to our impact on the planet. His

image is both shocking and ravishing.

SOARES: What have you learned over the years, over those last 40 years, about humans, about us?

BURTYNSKY: Well, we're sort of insatiable. You know, we never seem to have enough. We are going out into nature, and the problem is, is that if we

can't contain our consumption, that, you know, as we go out further and further into the -- you know, into land and into the unspoiled nature to

get things, what's happening is that there's a huge biodiversity loss.

And I think it's as much as climate change is a threat to the future of life on the planet, so is the reduction of biodiversity.

SOARES (voice-over): His work goes beyond nature and explores how our planet has been altered by heavy industry. He shows me an early example

from his native Canada.

SOARES: Oh, wow.


SOARES: This is pretty breathtaking, and alarming at the same time. It's beautiful.

BURTYNSKY: Yes, and it's this shock of red through the landscape.

SOARES: And why -- explain why it's red, because it's the dark side of it.

BURTYNSKY: So, this is like iron oxide. So, these are literally rivers of rust. And what they're doing is they're pouring tailings, which is once

they remove the nickel and the copper and all the precious metals out, you have the remaining rock that's been ground down, and they have to pour it


SOARES (voice-over): Burtynsky's love for nature and photography started young, when he got his first camera at the age of 11. He worked in local

factories to put himself through photography school, and soon turned his lens on the industrial landscapes around him.

BURTYNSKY: This is a kind of a journey to go and bearing witness to the outer edges of our supply chain where materials come from, copper, iron,

and look for the largest examples of that taking from nature. And it wasn't necessarily intended at the beginning to speak about climate change. And

there was being talked about that eventually started met up with it.

SOARES: Is there a picture here? Is there a photo here that you love the most? Is there one that speaks -- that has an important meaning to you?

BURTYNSKY: Well, I mean, for the first time, I've actually had a chance to really express my work in the work of murals. So, there's 14 murals here,

like big murals. And I'm really kind of pleased to be able to bring them out like this, is a picture I took in Madagascar of an artisanal sapphire


SOARES (voice-over): I wanted a closer look, because perspective here is everything.

BURTYNSKY: And you can see there's like a solar panel here. There isn't a moment where I can come and not discover something new.

SOARES: And these are communities that are being set up for sapphire mining? This is it?

BURTYNSKY: All ad hoc. This is like -- there's no license. They just came in and started this community.

SOARES (voice-over): Burtynsky's work reveals both the beauty and our destruction of nature. But in this art, there's also a call to action.

BURTYNSKY: I'm hoping that this work then also sends us up to a kind of a emotional state where we start thinking about, you know, what it is that

we're doing and the collective impact that we have.

You know, the world is a much bigger place. And we need to kind of be aware of what's happening out there because that's going to come back and bite


SOARES (voice-over): Isa Soares, CNN, London.


QUEST: And you can see the "Extraction/Abstraction" exhibition by Edward Burtynsky yourself. His remarkable photographic depictions of industrial

landscapes are on display at the Saatchi Gallery in London until May the 6th.

Now, Germany, it could be about to balance most beloved dog breed. It's the Dachshund. Ah, look at him. Sausage dog. No, well, it could be impacted by

a new law.


It targets the sort of breeding -- the inhumane breeding that leads to symptoms like skeletal abnormalities. The stubby legs that give the

Dachshund their adorable fame has put them on the front line of a breeding ban, and Germany's Kennel Club has sparked the opposition, saying the law

will inevitably favor wolf-type breeds.

And I want to leave you with -- look, it's been a very busy hour. Lots of extremely difficult and serious stories to bring you. But, look, hey, go.

There you go. An ostrich on the run in South Korea.

The four-year-old male ostrich escaped from a zoo. He spent about an hour running around, in and around traffic. The freedom, though, was cut short

when police and firefighters used the net from a nearby parking lot to catch him. The zoo owner says the ostrich has been returned safe and sound.

Now, you see it. Talking of ostrich. Have you ever tried ostrich? I don't know I've mentioned it. I don't know why. I tried it once when I was in


Thank you for watching. Delighted to have had your company. Jim Sciutto is in the "CNN Newsroom," and he's up next. Because the news never stops.