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Isa Soares Tonight

White House Watches Iranian Threat Against Israel Very Closely; Trump Appears In Court For Classified Documents Case; Former U.S. Ambassador Appears In Court Accused Of Acting As A Secret Foreign Agent; VP Harris Heads To Arizona After State's Abortion Ban; Fmr. U.S. Ambassador; Mexico's New Plan To Curb Illegal Crossings Into The U.S.. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired April 12, 2024 - 14:00   ET



ZAIN ASHER, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: All right, a very warm welcome to the show, I'm Zain Asher in for my colleague Isa Soares. Tonight, the White

House warns of a real and credible threat of Iranian retaliatory strikes against Israel, we'll have much more on those simmering tensions in the

Middle East.

Then, a key hearing is taking place in the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump. That as we head towards the

beginning of his hush money criminal trial on Monday. Plus, a former U.S. ambassador appearing in court, accused of acting as a secret foreign agent

of Cuba. We'll have more on that high level spike case.

The White House calls it a real and viable threat, and has all of Israel on edge right now. We begin with Israeli preparations underway this hour for a

possible attack by Iran. Israel is on high alert fearing retaliation for this deadly strike on Iran's consulate in Damascus last week.

A top U.S. commander is in Israel today to discuss the threat, and Prime Minister Netanyahu has convened his war cabinet. The U.S. warns Iran or its

proxies could carry out an imminent attack on Israeli or U.S. assets in the region, even as it prepares for a possible new front.

Israel is carrying out deadly new strikes in Gaza as the humanitarian crisis there deepens. The top U.S. humanitarian official now says it's

credible to assess that famine is already happening in some areas in Gaza. Also this hour, we're just hearing from the IDF that Israel has intercepted

rockets fired from Lebanon.

I want to get straight to our correspondents in the region. You've got Jeremy Diamond life for us in Jerusalem and Oren Liebermann is at the

Pentagon for us. Jeremy, let me start with you, of course, the world right now is on high alert for a possible attack from Iran.

Just now, moments ago, about half an hour or so ago, we got rather the IDF had intercepted rockets fired from Lebanon, obviously, we know that

Hezbollah has a strong presence in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah also an Iranian ally. How much should we be reading into that? Because Israel and

Hezbollah have been trading attacks continuously, pretty much since the war started. Walk us through it.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Zain. There have been near daily barrages of rockets being fired from Hezbollah

as well as Israeli strikes directed at Hezbollah positions in Lebanon over the course of the last several months.

This was quite a significant barrage of rockets, about 40 rockets fired by Hezbollah, all of which were either intercepted or fell into open areas

according to the Israeli military, there were also several explosive drones that were also intercepted by Israeli air defense assets. This was a

significant barrage of rockets, but it is not.

We should be clear, the expected Iranian response -- in response for that Israeli strike in -- on a consular building in Damascus just a week-and-a-

half ago that killed a senior Iranian commander. We are still waiting to see when or if that response will come. We're in what form it will come.

But I can tell you that Israeli officials are certainly on high alert preparing for a potential Iranian attack on Israeli soil. That is, of

course, still an open question whether or not it will actually come on Israeli soil, and whether it will come directly from Iranian forces or

perhaps from their proxies.

That will, of course, determine the shape of an Israeli response to such an attack. And if indeed Iranian forces attack Israel on its soil, Israeli

officials have already made very clear, including Israel's Defense Minister, that Israel will respond in kind.

Today, the Israeli Defense Minister as well as the Chief of Staff of the Israeli military meeting with General Kurilla, the head of U.S. Central

Command, trying to project unity between the U.S. and Israel in the face of a potential Iranian attack. Both of -- both Kurilla and Gallant are talking

about the fact that Israel is preparing for a potential Iranian response here.

And obviously, Israel conducting a situational assessment, the Chief of Staff saying that all Israeli forces are prepared for a potential Iranian


ASHER: All right, Jeremy, standby, let me bring in Oren Liebermann. Oren, you just heard Jeremy say that obviously, Israeli officials are on high



What about American officials? The last thing the U.S. wants is to be dragged into some kind of regional escalation between Iran and Israel. But

still, given the U.S.' support of Israel, they will be involved somehow. What sort of preparations are the Americans making at this stage?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, at this point, the U.S. has surged some additional assets to the region, we have seen them bolster

air defenses, especially ever since the attack on a facility in Jordan killed three U.S. service members.

So, that is a continuing effort to make sure that U.S. forces in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere are prepared for any sort of attack that might come

either at the hands of Iran or at the hands of Iranian proxies. And that's sort of a spectrum, and Jeremy laid this out that the U.S. is looking at,

whether it's Iran or its proxies, whether it's somebody acting alone or in unison, how coordinated this is, and what the target is.

Sources familiar with the thinking here believed that it will likely be a coordinated attack between Iranian proxies, likely directly against Israel.

But that could come in, in various formats and in different locations. Still, they're looking at all of these different possibilities, you can see

the level of coordination as Jeremy pointed out, General Erik Kurilla; the commander of U.S. Central Command has been there at least since yesterday.

His trip was moved up specifically because of the expectation of retaliation to the Israeli strike last week on that Iranian consular

building in Damascus. So, there is very much cooperation here and coordination in preparation for an Iranian response of some sort that

might come from Iranian proxies as well in terms of what that could look like, rockets, perhaps missiles, drones, all of those are being considered

as the U.S. and Israel ready themselves for how this plays out.

One of the key questions, of course, is when there has been an expectation that this could have already happened, but given Iran's promises, frankly,

given Iran's threats, there is the expectation that it is coming. The question again, when and exactly how U.S. officials believe Iran is not

looking for all-out conflict here, so, it will be calibrated at least to some extent, not to spark a regional war which neither the U.S. nor Iran


But of course, any of these situations, Zain, come with the risk of miscalculation, and that's something, U.S.-Iran watching very closely as


ASHER: Yes, a lot of people are expecting some kind of a measured response, obviously, there are so many calculations that Iran has to weigh

on this. Jeremy, let me bring you back in, just talk about what's happening in Gaza. A couple of days ago, Samantha Power; the head of USAID, came out

and said that it is credible to believe that famine is already happening as we speak in parts of northern Gaza.

She is, by the way, be first and the highest-ranking U.S. official to come out and actually make that declaration. Israel is saying they've stepped up

the ability for aid to be transported into Gaza and to various parts of Gaza. What are you hearing on the ground?

DIAMOND: Well, listen, for months now, humanitarian aid officials have been warning that the situation in Gaza is rapidly spiraling down downward.

We saw the leading global authority on food security, warning last month that famine is imminent in parts of Gaza. And now, only now amid stepped-up

U.S. pressure. It appears that Israel is finally heeding those warnings and taking new steps.


DIAMOND (voice-over): Rami Uttar(ph) has been waiting two months for this single box of humanitarian aid, cans of meat and vegetables to feed his

family of seven.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This will be gone in ten days. He says his frustration unmistakable. I don't know how it's going to be enough

for seven people. I've been suffering here, being stuck for the last six to seven months, and the U.N. hasn't brought me anything to at least satiate

my hunger.

Six months into the war, famine is creeping into parts of Gaza. Humanitarian aid agencies have been sounding the alarm for months, but now

amid ramped up U.S. pressure, Israel is suddenly taking major steps to increase humanitarian aid. "We plan to flood Gaza with aid", Defense

Minister Yoav Gallant said this week, describing a new phase of humanitarian assistance that will see more aid flow into Israel's port of

Ashdod and into Gaza via a new northern crossing point.

Overnight, the first trucks of food aid crossing into northern Gaza via that new crossing point. Israel says it has nearly doubled the number of

humanitarian aid trucks getting into Gaza over the last week, screening close to 400 trucks per day.

JAMIE MCGOLDRICK, HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR, UNITED NATIONS: Yes, we're dealing with the wrong part of the system --

DIAMOND: Jamie McGoldrick; the U.N.'s Humanitarian Coordinator says it's clear Israel is suddenly shifting its approach to humanitarian aid.

MCGOLDRICK: Well, that's for sure. I mean, there has been a change. We've been asking for this for months. The fight, we would ask for more -- they

say Kerem Shalom to be open longer. We've asked for more routes and the corridor for job, and we've asked for all of the things that no start to

say they're going to give us.


They'd ask the question, why didn't we get it before?

DIAMOND: For months, Israeli leaders have rejected accusations that they are limiting aid into Gaza or intentionally starving its population.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL: Well, our policies is to not to have famine, but to have the entry of humanitarian support as needed and

as much as it's needed.

DIAMOND: But the sudden ramp-up, almost like flipping a switch suggests Israel could have done a lot more a lot sooner.

MCGOLDRICK: Well, I think it was never seen to be a priority. I mean, I think for them, it's the war aims, the objectives of the war, that was

first and foremost. We're either seen as a -- of a second priority or even a nuisance value.

DIAMOND: Data from UNRWA, the U.N.'s main agency in Gaza shows that Israel has steadily allowed more aid into Gaza since opening up humanitarian

crossings on October 21st, with the exception of February, when the number of aid trucks dropped to less than a 100 per day before slowly increasing

again in March.

But those numbers are all well below the 500 humanitarian aid and commercial trucks that entered Gaza every day before the war. The impact of

insufficient aid has been obvious for months. It is marked all over the emaciated face of little Layla Jained(ph), barely three months old.

She is among the 30 percent of children in northern Gaza who are suffering from acute malnutrition, and who desperately need more aid now.


DIAMOND: And while there certainly is a shift in tone from the Israeli government as it relates to humanitarian aid and some steps that have been

taken, there are others that we are still waiting to see the opening of the port of Ashdod for example, for humanitarian aid, that has yet to happen.

And then, of course, there's the question of distribution of aid within Gaza, and whether or not the Israeli military's new joint command center to

better coordinate that and deconflict its military operations from those aid operations, how that will actually play out, whether it will improve

the situation, that still remains to be seen. Zain.

ASHER: All right, Jeremy Diamond, life for us there. Thank you so much. All right, with his job hanging precariously in a balance, U.S. House

Speaker Mike Johnson is meeting today with former U.S. President Donald Trump. The visit at Trump's Florida estate will center on pushing the false

narrative that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

And the two are expected to call for a bill that would ban non-citizens from voting. But just to be clear though, that law is actually already on

the books, non-citizens cannot vote at all in the U.S. at all in federal elections. The meeting comes amid calls from some House Republicans to

remove Johnson from the speakership.

CNN's Melanie Zanona joins us live now from Capitol Hill. Johnson's job really at this point hangs in the balance, and it depends fundamentally on

how close of a relationship he can keep with Donald Trump. Just explain --


ASHER: To us the dynamic here, if Donald Trump backs Johnson, what does that mean for Marjorie Taylor Greene? Does she simply walk away at this


ZANONA: We've asked Marjorie Taylor Greene if she would back off of those threats if Trump were to ask her to do so, or if he were to come out in

support of the speaker? And she says, she's not going to make her decisions based on what Trump says to do.

Now, this is really important moment for Speaker Johnson today as he travels down to Florida with his speakership on the line. On its surface,

this press conference is about election, something Donald Trump obviously cares deeply about, but Johnson is going down there with a much bigger

mission in mind, and that is to secure a stamp of approval from former President Donald Trump, whether that's explicit or more implicit, just by

nature of appearing onstage with him.

And interestingly, I think it's really telling here, that sources tell me that this press conference was Johnson's idea. Now, we're also told that

people close to Trump say he is not interested in seeing another speakership fight. There is some concern that, that could really undermine

Republicans heading into the election this November.

And allies that are close to both Johnson and to former President Donald Trump have told Trump that he should either put out a statement supportive

of Johnson or at least stay on the sidelines of the fight. But at the same time, the person who is agitating as Johnson is Marjorie Taylor Greene, who

is one of Donald Trump's biggest cheerleaders and supporters on Capitol Hill.

So, we'll have to see how this all plays out. And meanwhile, hanging over everything right now is the topic of Ukraine funding. That is something

Marjorie Taylor Greene has warned Johnson against doing. Johnson has at this point said he is still committed to trying to address it in some way.

And I'm told that some allies have encouraged Johnson to really keep Trump in the loop and try to get his buy-in for whatever they plan to do here on

Capitol Hill as it pertains to Ukraine aid. So, just a clear recognition that Trump has the power not only to break or make that legislation on

Ukraine, but also make Johnson's speakership, Zain.

ASHER: Right, Melanie Zanona live for us there, thank you so much. All right, at this hour, a hearing for two of Donald Trump's co-defendants in

the classified documents case.


Walt Nauta and Carlos Oliveira, who are still working at his Mar-a-Lago estate say the charges against them should be dismissed.

Their attorneys are arguing the men didn't know what was inside the boxes, they allegedly helped move around. Meantime, and what could be a

devastating legal blow to the former U.S. President, Attorney Evan Corcoran has left his legal team and could become a central prosecution witness in

the classified documents case.

All of this just days before the start of Donald Trump's hush money trial. Senior crime and justice reporter Katelyn Polantz is following all of this

for us, she joins us live now. So, let's talk about this trial. I mean, this is a monumental time really in American politics, and also in terms of

the country's legal history as well.

One of the key issues here for Donald Trump is that this trial could take him away from the campaign trail for more than a month. The trial is

expected to go on for six weeks. We've got jury selection on Monday. Just walk us through the sorts of questions that potential jurors will be asked


KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER: Could take him away and will take him away from --

ASHER: Right --

POLANTZ: Not just the campaign trail, but other criminal cases he's facing as well. Donald Trump is going to be in the courtroom beginning Monday.

There are no delays left in this case that are expected in any way. And what will happen in addition to Trump is hundreds of jurors are being

summoned to that courthouse in Manhattan, where they're going to be asked a series of questions by the judge and by both sides, the defense team, as

well as the prosecutors.

It starts with written questions, 42 questions to try and suss out whether people can set aside any personal feelings and biases that they might have

so that they can be a fair judge of the facts and the evidence. In this case, they're not going to be asked questions about whether they voted for

Trump in the past or might vote for him in the future.

And they're not going to be asked about their party registration or political contributions as well, but they are going to be asked about

activism if they adhere or follow any groups in the United States who are extremists, either on the left or the right, and how much they are feeling

about Donald Trump in the criminal justice system. Do they feel he has been treated fairly here?

If anyone says that they cannot set aside their personal feelings about Donald Trump to weigh the facts here impartially, those people are going to

be asked to leave immediately. No further questions. And so, there is going to be a need for both sides to be very careful as they try and seat this

jury, they're going to need 12, plus some alternates, and ultimately that could take several days to get through the jury questioning to seat a jury

of peers for Donald Trump in his first criminal trial.

ASHER: Let's talk a bit more about what this case is actually about. I think it's important to remind our audience because paying hush money isn't

always necessarily illegal. This is about the fact that Donald Trump then reimbursed Michael Cohen, and then fraudulently disguised those payments.

Just explain that to our audience.

POLANTZ: Right, this is about how Donald Trump was recording the information in the books about when he was paying Stormy Daniels. So, what

happened in 2016 in the campaign is, Stormy Daniels was about to come out publicly and talk about what she said was an affair that she had with

Donald Trump, that he has denied.

And so, Donald Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen ultimately paid Stormy Daniels to keep quiet before that election took place. That money

that was given to Michael Cohen to reimburse him, it was listed as one thing, but used for something else in Donald Trump's business records.

So, there are several counts, about 30 or so more that he's facing related to the falsification of business records, which is charged as a crime in

New York. That is what he's going to be facing. So, it is a business case about money and about records, but it's also a case that looks back at the

2016 election and some of the major players there, Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels and others.

ASHER: Yes, we're expecting testimony from Stormy Daniels and also Michael Cohen as well. We'll be watching, gripped along with the rest of the

country. Katelyn Polantz, live for us there, thank you so much --

POLANTZ: Thanks, Zain --

ASHER: And you can watch CNN's special coverage of the Trump hush money trial, that's Monday, 9 O'clock in the morning if you're watching from the

east coast here in the U.S., 2 O'clock in the afternoon if you're watching this from London.

Right, still to come tonight, Russian strikes continue to target Ukraine's power infrastructure. We'll take a look at what it means for Kyiv's ability

to fight back. Plus, the fight over reproductive rights persists in the U.S., details ahead on Vice President's Kamala Harris' visit to the

battleground state of Arizona.



ASHER: Welcome back, everybody. Ukraine's critical infrastructure is coming under increased Russian attack. The largest power-generating plant

in the Kyiv region was destroyed by a missile attack on Thursday. The plant is the largest supplier of electricity to three Ukrainian regions.

Ukraine's Air Force says it was able to shoot down 18 Russian missiles and 39 drones. The Centrenergo Energy Company says it's now lost 100 percent of

its power generation across its three plants, which have all been destroyed or occupied by Russia.

Joining us live now is Michael Bociurkiw; he's a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a global affairs analyst. Michael, thank you so much

for being with us. I understand from my team that you actually just got back from Ukraine yesterday.

U.S. military officials are saying that right now, Russia is out shooting Ukraine five to one, and that number could actually grow and widen in the

coming days. Zelenskyy has said time and time again that they need air defense, and they need it now. What happens if Ukraine doesn't get the

cover it needs at this point? What does that mean for Ukraine's military? I mean, I assume that it's coming close to breaking point.

MICHAEL BOCIURKIW, SENIOR FELLOW, THE ATLANTIC COUNCIL: Yes, that's good to be with you. So, that five to one ratio according to the Institute for

the Study of War could increase to ten to one if funding doesn't come in soon. Already, I mean, for the past weeks, we've been hearing reports from

the frontline of Ukrainian troops having to Russian artillery on a big scale.

We're also hearing about them really suffering psychologically, they're not rotated often enough. So, hence, those top -- talk of a new -- changes to

the mobilization law. But like I -- when I left Odesa yesterday only for the second time in this war, we had a blackout in my particular area.

And the air-raid siren alarms have become nonstop, frequent barrages of missiles and drones, so, a heck of a lot of anxiety too among the civilian


ASHER: I want to read to you a quote from "The New York Times", an opinion piece actually by Ohio Republican J.D. Vance. Just to sort of give you an

image of where Republicans stand right now in the U.S., he said in this piece, an opinion piece in "The Times", the Biden administration has no

viable plan for the Ukrainians to actually win this war.

The sooner Americans confront this truth, the sooner we can fix this mess and broker for peace.


Without more aid coming from the United States, is that the direction we're heading in, just in terms of the U.S., perhaps intervening in somehow

negotiating with Moscow to take a portion of Ukrainian land. I mean, is that where we're heading to without more American aid?

BOCIURKIW: Well, first of all, I wish the MAGA Republicans was there living in the real world and see this one for what it is, and topped by Mr.

Putin to not only occupy Ukraine entirely, but go further into Europe. Secondly, it's not only the Republicans, but the Biden administration has

to allow the Ukrainians to not only get more of that military aid that they're asking for, but to strike deeper into Russia, legitimate military


Thirdly, they also need many more air defense systems. For example, the port of Odessa feeds the world with Ukrainian grain, Ukrainian sunflower

oil, without electricity, simply can't operate. It needs to be better defended because if it doesn't -- if it isn't, consumers around the world

or countries on the brink like Sudan, will feel that very quickly.

So, that aid needs to come right away. And one more thing, Zain, which is really important, I think to point out is that, that money is not all of a

sudden $60 billion going to be loaded onto airplanes and sent to Kyiv, a lot of it is actually going to stay in the United States with military

defense companies, create jobs and create more wealth --

ASHER: That's actually important point --

BOCIURKIW: In the U.S. too, yes.

ASHER: That is an important point and that's something that Zelenskyy has brought up himself. Just in terms of the plan B, right? Because we have to

sort of look at reality, and the U.S. right now isn't handing over that money. So, in terms of a plan B, where do things stand in terms of European

allies stepping up?

I mean, I know that it's virtually impossible for Europe to meet the shortfall and to fill the void that's left by the U.S. But how much is

Zelenskyy talking to European allies about them stepping up their game to help Ukraine at this point?

BOCIURKIW: Well, you know, war teaches you a lot of things. And the one thing war teaches you the most is, you know who your best friends are. So,

I think the Zelenskyy administration quickly finding out that the U.K. is very important European ally, and of course, the Baltic states.

So, they're trying to do as much as they can. But I think they also have to become a little bit more brave, a little bit more brazen, and at least

start taking all of that millions and millions of dollars of interest being accumulated by Russian sovereign wealth locked up in places like


Also, Ukraine is doing very well. It's ramping up its own domestic production. But let's be clear about this, unless the United States ramps

up especially its aid. It is entirely possible that within the next couple of years, Russia could be occupying the entirety of Ukraine, and he will go

further. He will not stop at its boundaries.

ASHER: Yes, a lot of people had come out and said that, that this doesn't just end with Ukraine. Obviously, if we allow Ukraine to fall, that sends a

message to Vladimir Putin and a very clear --


ASHER: One. Michael Bociurkiw, we have to leave it there, thank you so much. Right, still to come tonight, a former U.S. ambassador is in court

today. What he's accused of and what he thinks of the accusations. That's coming up next. Plus, a look at the border officers that migrants on the

U.S.-Mexico border most fear, and they're not the Americans. We'll have that exclusive reporting next.




ASHER: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris trying to galvanize voters as she heads to the battleground state of Arizona. Today's visit comes just days

after the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of a near total abortion ban from the Civil War era. Harris is expected to call the ban a "One" of the

biggest aftershocks yet since the repeal of Roe v. Wade.

The vice president is also likely to take aim at the presumptive Republican nominee. Donald Trump will be tracking Kamala Harris' remarks in the coming


CNN's Camila Bernal is joining us live now from Scottsdale, Arizona. This entire abortion issue has been somewhat of a political gift for Democrats.

A lot of Democrats are hoping that this will be good news for down-ballot Democrats come November. But just explain to us what Kamala Harris is going

to find on the ground there in Arizona in terms of a lot of very energized voters on actually both sides of the aisle.

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. So many people who say they want to get involved because of this issue. So, yes, what she's going to

find here in Arizona is voters who are motivated and who are energized and who are looking forward to that November election.

Remember, this is a battleground state. It is a state that could go Democrat or Republican, you know. And so these are the efforts that are

happening on the ground here, not just when it comes to the vice president, but when it comes to the voters here on the ground, the volunteers who say

that they've seen a huge increase in the number of people wanting to donate, wanting to volunteer, wanting to just do everything they can,

including getting signatures for a ballot measure.

That's the focus for a lot of the proponents for abortion rights here at the moment. They're hoping to get this on the ballot in November so that

more people can come out to vote.

I spoke to the organization running these efforts. They're called Arizona for Abortion Access, and they say about a thousand new people signed up to

volunteer since that Arizona Supreme Court decision.

They say a ton of donations have come in and many more signatures have been collected since Tuesday. Take a listen to two people who decided to sign

because of the Supreme Court's decision here in the state.



CAROLYN THIERJUNG-LAING, ARIZONA RESIDENT, SIGNED THE BALLOT MEASURE: I know individuals, I know people that generally don't vote, who I know I've

talked to about this particular petition and getting the signatures out, and they're coming out to actually sign as well, just to have their voices



BERNAL: And that's exactly what the VP wants, to get people out to vote because of this issue.

Now, I also talked to a campaign called It Goes Too Far, and that's exactly what they're saying about this ballot measure. They're also trying to get

out to the streets to talk to people and say that they don't believe this is the right choice, or this ballot measure, they say, just goes too far,

as their organization is called.

We're also talking to providers. You know, that's a whole separate issue because they're in somewhat of a limbo because this Supreme Court ruling

essentially sets up a sentencing for these providers, jail time.


And so, they're figuring out what to do next, if they're going to have to either close their clinics or continue to operate.

I talked to one of the eight providers in the state of Arizona who had told me, look, I don't want to go anywhere. I want to continue to provide

abortions in this state because she believes that's what's needed here. But again, her too, she just is motivated because of this issue.

So, you're seeing people all over the state, no matter where they fall in terms of their political beliefs, saying that this is an issue that will

get them out to vote in November. Zain.

ASHER: Camila Bernal, live for us there. Thank you so much.

All right. A former U.S. ambassador accused of spying for Cuba is expected to soon plead guilty in a Miami, Florida federal court. Victor Manuel Rocha

is charged with acting as an illegal agent of a foreign government. The case has been described as one of the highest reaching and longest lasting

breaches of U.S. government by a foreign agent.

I want to bring in CNN's Patrick Oppmann, joining us live now from Havana. This is interesting because what he's accused of is that he spent more than

apparently 40 years, four decades, Patrick, as a spy. Just explain to us how that was even possible. Why did it take so long? Potentially,

obviously, he's just been charged at this point. But why did it take so long for him to get caught?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, it really is a story of a double life. And he's not the first U.S. government employee that has

worked for Cuba, not for money but apparently out of ideological reasons.

And as you said, Zain, four decades before he was a State Department employee, before he was even a U.S. citizen, Victor Manuel Rocha is accused

of essentially offering his services to the Cuban government. He was regarded very well by some of his State Department colleagues who I've

spoken with. They felt that he was a conservative Republican who served his country well for decades, rose the rank of ambassador, served at various

posts in the U.S. government, including at the National Security Council, posts that would have given him access to well-guarded secrets,

particularly when it comes to Latin America or when it comes to Cuba.

He served here in Havana at the U.S. Embassy at a crucial point when two Cuban exile planes were shot down by the Cuban government, so he would have

been on the ground when that took place, certainly in a position to give years, if not decades, of secrets over to the Cuban government. That is

what he is accused of doing.

And the most interesting here, Zain, apparently it wasn't until after he had retired, essentially stopped being a spy because he was no longer in

government, that the U.S. government found out, the FBI found out somehow, that he had worked for the Cuban government for all these years, and they

sent in someone posing as a Cuban spy handler to reestablish contact with him.

They were able to convince Victor Manuel Rocha that they were legitimate, and that's when he spilled, according to court documents, all these details

about how he had essentially been a double agent over the years that is why he's faced allegations, charges of being an unregistered foreign agent, not

really espionage because they don't have direct evidence linking him to that.

But now that he apparently has agreed to plead guilty, part of this process will be he will have to sit down with the FBI spy catchers and walk through

the years, the decades of how this all worked out, how he contacted, allegedly, his handlers in the Cuban government over the years, what

secrets he shared with them, and it's going to take a very long time and will absolutely be devastating for the U.S. government, for the State

Department, to find out what he gave the Cuban government over the years because he had access to so much.

ASHER: Unbelievable. I mean, it really is the stuff of movies, isn't it? Patrick Oppmann, live for us there, thank you so much.

All right, an exclusive first look at how Mexico is trying to curb illegal crossings into the U.S. There are now checkpoints and inspection camps at

some of the busiest entry points, with Mexican authorities saying migration into the U.S. has dropped 10 percent since December. CNN's David Culver has

this report.


DAVID CULVER, CNN SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT: You can see some of the morning commuters leaving where we are, the Mexican side, and crossing into

California. And this is the pedestrian bridge that takes you in there. And this is, of course, how officials would like people to cross. And these are

folks who will often go for the day and come back.

And then this is the same site where they now have the CBP One registration and appointments. And those are folks who have decided to claim asylum and

who will register through the CBP One app so as to get an appointment and meet with asylum officers on the U.S. side after being screened here on the

Mexican side by Mexican officials.

Now, that is stepped-up coordination between Mexican officials and U.S. officials.


And it's all coming together as Mexican officials have also stepped-up law enforcement on this side of the border. And you can see here, here's a

National Guards vehicle. We've started to notice perhaps some of the toughest enforcement on the border happening here on the Mexican side of


And they're trying to stop things like this from happening, scenes that we saw play out just in the past 24 hours or so. And you can see this large

group of migrants that crossed illegally. Sometimes they'll scale using a ladder. Oftentimes, smugglers will even cut holes in the border wall so

that they can quickly pass through.

And they'll then continue on to be processed by U.S. officials so as to claim asylum in the U.S. But to stop them from even getting to that point,

you've got now members of the Mexican National Guard. You've got members of the Mexican Army. You've got migration officials here on the Mexican side

of things who have started posting along various points of the border wall.

And even in some very remote areas, they have actually deployed troops and set up base camps, if you will, at the more popular crossing spots. And

that's obviously to deter smugglers, who are often backed by cartels, from dropping off big groups of migrants and allowing them to enter illegally.

But it's also to send a larger message to migrants in general that they should come through the more orderly, legal way of doing things, and that

would be through the CBP One app registration.

We often talk about folks on the U.S. side who are frustrated, residents who live on properties that back up right up to the border with Mexico.

Here on the Mexican side, we're seeing similar frustrations. In fact, we went to one private community where now we've seen National Guard members

patrolling in a neighborhood. Imagine a suburban private community that now has troops essentially going through.

And that's at the request of those residents on the Mexican side who have said that they're tired of smugglers coming through, dropping off at all

hours large groups of migrants using their patios and yards to then jump over the fence into the U.S.

As of now, this seems to be holding. However, politics could derail this at any moment. Oftentimes, the Mexican officials can be frustrated when it

comes to how U.S., either federal policy or individual states, is changing towards migration, and that in turn can add pressures domestically here in

Mexico, a year in which they also are voting for their next president.

And so they're mindful that while right now the numbers seem to be reflecting a positive change in decline in illegal crossings, that could

really change at any moment.

I'm David Culver, CNN, Tijuana, Mexico.


ASHER: We'll be right back after a short break.


ASHER: All right. We're going to turn now to Nigeria where it has been 10 years since a mass school kidnapping stunned the world.

In April of 2014, Boko Haram militants stormed a school in Chibok snatching nearly 300 girls from their dormitory in the middle of the night. The

kidnapping sparked a global cry to bring back our girls. A decade later, the world has largely forgotten the plight of the so-called Chibok girls.

Stephanie Busari's and CNN's As Equals make the journey to Chibok to meet some who managed to escape and the family members of those still missing.


STEPHANIE BUSARI, CNN SENIOR EDITOR, AFRICA (voice-over): The road to Chibok, northeastern Nigeria. Ten years on from the kidnapping of nearly

300 schoolgirls. We've come to meet some of the girls who were taken that night in April 2014 and see how the threat of abduction still shapes

children's lives here.


BUSARI: And there were many cars, many trucks.

ISHAYA: Yes, they had plenty.

BUSARI: Hauwa was just 16 when she was snatched from her boarding school late at night by Boko Haram militants.

ISHAYA: And then they burned the hall for writing exams.

BUSARI: So they burned the hall where you were supposed to write your exams.

ISHAYA: Yes. They burned --

BUSARI: They were really against education that much.

BUSARI (voice-over): The Islamist group took more than 270 girls into the vast Sambisa forest, though some managed to escape.

Amina, now 27, was also abducted that night, told by Boko Haram leaders that marriage was the only way to avoid repeated abuse by fighters in the


AMINA ALI, FORMER CHIBOK SCHOOLGIRL KIDNAPPED BY BOKO HARAM: They just say they will take us as a slave and then anytime he want to sleep with you, he

will sleep with you. And then when he tired of you, he will hand over to someone. And so, I just think that I better agree to get married to the one


BUSARI (voice-over): She was the first of the Chibok girls to escape after being held in a forest, emerging with her Boko Haram husband, who also fled

the group, and their young baby after two years. Now eight years old, Amina's daughter has faced stigma for being a child of a Boko Haram


School kidnappings are a shadow that hang over the education system in northern Nigeria, with an estimated 1,700 children abducted from school in

the past decade, according to Amnesty International.

Just last month, more than 100 students, some as young as eight, were taken by armed men who stormed their school in Kuriga, Kaduna province.

In recent years, criminal gangs have created a kidnapping for ransom industry spanning across the northwest of the country, which successive

governments have struggled to grapple with.

OBY EZEKWESILI, CO-CONVENER, BRING BACK OUR GIRLS CAMPAIGN: The failure of governance around the Chibok girls' issue led to an industry of abduction,

a society that has scant regard for human life.

BUSARI (voice-over): Many Nigerian mothers are now too scared to send them to school.

EZEKWESILI: Guess what Chibok girls' tragedy did? It made the mothers feel guilty in their mind that what they did by arguing for education for their

daughter was to, say, pay with your life in order to be educated.

BUSARI (voice-over): Fewer than 50 percent of Nigerian girls attend school at a basic education level, according to a UNICEF report, in a country with

five percent of the world's children by 2030. The United Nations has said, "What happens to children in Nigeria matters significantly to regional and

global development."

Back in Chibok, for many mothers, the pain continues a decade on. Yana's daughter, Rivkatu, was among the Chibok girls stolen from school and

remains missing along with 81 others.

BUSARI: Do you believe in your heart --


BUSARI: -- that she's alive?

GALANG: I believe she's alive. She's my blood and I believe she's alive.

BUSARI (voice-over): She's kept her daughter's clothes ready for when she returns.

GALANG: This is how we keep it. We always wash the clothes, fold it, and then keep it for almost 10 years now.

BUSARI (voice-over): Never giving up hope, despite the agony she and so many parents in Nigeria have to endure.


Stephanie Busari, CNN, Chibok, Nigeria.


ASHER: And that powerful report you just saw there from our Stephanie Busari is part of CNN's ongoing series. It's called As Equals, which aims

to reveal what systemic gender inequality looks like around the world. We'll be right back after a short break.


ASHER: Right. So, the big question is, is a four-day work week the key to avoiding office burnout? KPMG released a survey this week. It showed that

nearly one-third of large American companies are looking into the feasibility, the possibility of a shortened work week.

Employers hope that it could attract and actually end up retaining top talent. This has been a red-hot job market, as we've spoken about many a

time. Seventy-seven percent of American workers say that a four-day work week would have a positive impact on their well-being.

Joining us live now is the anchor of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS." I'm sure he -- and he's not even there. Point taken, Richard.


ASHER: Bye. See you later. Can I -- can I go, too? Can I -- can I go? You know, I don't even -- I'm not even talking about a four-day work week. I'm

talking about a four-hour work week. That's where my head is at.

QUEST: So, this is not new. This is absolutely not new. It's been around for years in some shape or form.

And, in fact, the largest experiment and study on this was done in the U.K. over the last couple of years. And the evidence is absolutely conclusive

that when properly set up -- and that's key. That's absolutely key.

When properly set up and managed, it has dramatic benefits for both the company and the workforce. But what it requires, of course, is a certain

element of courage on both sides to put it in place. There is no doubt a four-day work week benefits everybody.

But, as I say, Zain, it is only when it's properly constructed, properly planned, properly implemented, executed and monitored.

ASHER: So, what does that mean in terms of -- because, obviously, the big question I have is productivity. I know myself and I believe that I would

get as much done in four days compared to five days.


But that's going to be the concern for a lot of employers. Are people actually -- are they going to have to work longer hours during those four

days to make up for the fifth day?

QUEST: Depends how you structure it. This is from the results of the study. And it says, a one-size-fits-all does not work. So you have a range of

opportunities. From classic Friday off. See you. Staggered, decentralized, annual, conditional structures.

What you have to do is you have to look at, for example, proper handovers between whoever is going to take over. Proper monitoring. I think what

they've discovered is that to enjoy the benefit of the lower working week, then people had to be more conscientious of the rest of the week.

Did that mean an extra couple of hours? A further discussion? Who knows? But, yes, this is one of those no-brainers. It works.

ASHER: What you don't want is for your day off to be interrupted by emails from a boss who's a micromanager checking up on you, making sure you've

done your work for earlier in the week. You want to make sure that day off is completely yours.

QUEST: Correct. Unless there's an emergency. Unless there's an emergency, or it's urgent, et cetera, et cetera. They keep shouting that nonsense wrap

in my ear.

ASHER: I know.

QUEST: I'll have a chicken wrap with salad.

ASHER: Wrap means we've got to go. We've got to go. He's outie, and that does it for us tonight. Thank you so much for watching. "NEWSROOM" with Jim

Sciutto is up next. You're watching CNN.