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Isa Soares Tonight

Authorities Crack Down On Student Protests In The U.S.; Israel Warns It Will Expand Military Operations In Rafah; Florida's Six-Week Abortion Ban Takes Effect; Interest Rates Left Unaltered By U.S. Federal Reserve; Violence Between Opposing Protest Groups On UCLA Campus; Columbia University Building Cleared Of Demonstrators By Police; U.S. Authorities Repress Student Demonstrations; Clash Between Pro-Palestinian With Pro- Israel Groups; Campus Protests Might Cause Biden Difficulties; As University Demonstrations Rise, Trump Attacks Biden; Vote On Legislation To Repeal Near Total Abortion Ban In Arizona; Six-Week Abortion Ban In Florida Goes Into Action; Involuntary Birth Control: Greenland Women Want Recompense; Harvey Weinstein Case Will Be Retried, According To New York Prosecutors. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired May 01, 2024 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, the latest on the anti-war

demonstrations taking place right across the United States. Nearly 300 Columbia students were arrested in the middle of the night with police

saying they're thinking about deploying more officers tonight.

Then I'll be speaking to UNICEF's emergency and coordinator in Rafah as Israel warns, it may launch a large-scale ground invasion there. Plus, a

major blow for women's reproductive rights as Florida's controversial six- week abortion ban comes into effect, that of course and much more right here tonight.

But first, right now, authorities are trying to restore order after a day of chaos on college campuses across the United States over the war in Gaza.

Violence erupting between rival demonstrators, you can see there at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Pro-Palestinian protesters are accusing the school of doing nothing after they say their encampment was attacked with weapons such as pepper spray,

boards and bricks. Now, the university says it responded immediately, an editor at the school's newspaper describes what happened. Have a listen to





SOARES: And we'll get you that sort of course. But meantime, New York police cleared protesters from Columbia University's Hamilton Hall. About

300 people were arrested at Columbia and City College of New York. Columbia's president says the drastic escalation of protests led to the

decision to ask police to intervene.

Now, student journalists says -- or says questions remain. Let's play it.


MEGHNAD BOSE, STUDENT JOURNALIST, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: I think those incidents that are coming in raise question marks about the university

administration's handling of the matter, as well as the handling that the - - of the matter that was done by the NYPD officials last evening.


SOARES: Well, at least 12 people have been arrested at the University of Wisconsin Madison as officers and state troopers try to remove the

encampment on school grounds. The protests continues at this very hour. We are of course, monitoring this.

Some schools are finding a middle ground with protest as Brown University reached an agreement with pro-Palestinian demonstrators to end their

encampment. In exchange, the school will meet with some students as it considers whether to divest from Israel.

And over the last two weeks, give you a sense of just what we've been seeing. There's been at least -- there have been at least 45 arrests at

each of nearly a dozen universities -- U.S. universities. You can see how the scope of these universities from east to the west coast.

And we are tracking, of course, all of this. CNN security correspondent Josh Campbell is at UCLA for us. But first, let's go to Polo Sandoval at

Columbia University. And Polo, we did see -- we just played some of that, some dramatic scenes overnight.

Today, behind you, it looks much emptier, looks much quieter, much calmer. Just give us a sense of what the mood is like today.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely dramatic when you talk about those scenes, Isa. Now, in terms of what we heard from the

university, the President Minouche Shafik writing that the reason why the university then request the help of the NYPD was because in her words, the

university had been pushed to the brink because of that drastic escalation that we witnessed Monday night into Tuesday in the building that you see

behind me, Hamilton Hall.

A building that has a history past of student demonstrations and sit-ins as well. And today, after that massive operation for the first time in about

two weeks, Isa, any member of the Columbia University campus who wishes to participate in any sort of demonstration will likely have to do it off

campus and join those protests that we've seen for weeks now, around the perimeter because of that restricted access that remains in place.

In fact, we just learned a few moments ago that, that daily media access window that we had been getting for the last two weeks or so, that will not

be happening today given that heightened sense of security here. Today, the NYPD blaming what it described as outside agitators for that escalation

that we saw play out, saying that, that group that actually had an influence on some of the demonstrations that began here just two weeks ago.


And this certainly is amounting to some criticism that's building against the university, not just from students who you just heard from a short

while ago, but faculty as well, especially now that they're learning that there will be an NYPD presence for the next coming weeks as we near

commencement, Isa.

SOARES: Yes, do stay with us, Polo. Let me go to Joshua, UCLA. And Josh, it was a heated night there where you are overnight, what we know unfolded

between these kind of dueling protest groups, and what next for this encampment?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, it was just before midnight here where I'm standing on the campus of UCLA. This is this

makeshift encampment that has been set up, that's been here for days. Now, what we saw last night was a group of counter demonstrators that showed up

here, they were lobbing fireworks into this camp. There were skirmishes here, all these barriers that are set up were pulled down.

And so, definitely, a very heated, a very tense moment. We've seen a lot of -- heard about a lot of tension on this campus, so, again, for several

days, not only those who are inside, who are obviously demonstrating, but also Jewish students here on campus who say that they don't feel safe.

We've seen video of Jewish students actually being blocked from trying to walk and enter certain parts of campus. So, certainly, a very tense

situation. Right now, as we pan over, I'm going to show you we have massive law enforcement presence here. This is just a small number of the total

that are here right now.

They weren't here last night. And that's one criticism that we've heard from certain students on campus that you didn't have the police coming in

very quickly. But of course, for law enforcement, this is a very dicey situation from them. So many of these protests that we've seen across the

country, pro-Palestinian protesters have actually been asking the police to go away, to not be there.

But of course, when violence ensues, it's the police who they call to try to come in and help. And so, police, certainly trying to walk a fine line

between trying to ensure public safety and not try to inflame tensions by their very presence, Isa.

SOARES: Yes, indeed, let me go back to Polo, and Polo, what we have seen right across the United States from the east, west coast as police handling

-- or university as I should say, handling these protests very differently, but we did here and you touched on this from the New York Mayor Eric Adams

who made those allegations about outside agitators and people indoctrinating young people. Did he give any more information, Polo, about

who these so-called agitators are or were?

SANDOVAL: So, what we heard from Mayor Adams earlier today, Isa, he was flanked by some of the other members of his administration over at the New

York Police Department, and what they talked about is that they did have Intelligence elements that were at play.

Basically monitoring the situation that started playing out on campus, when it was an encampment after the NYPD cleared out a previous occupation a

couple of weeks ago. They cited some of their Intelligence in terms of identifying individuals and also the tactics that were used during the

occupation of that very important building on campus as one of the reasons why they suspect that there was an outside influence. Isa.

SOARES: Thank you very much Polo Sandoval as well as Josh Campbell, we'll stay in touch with you both as of course, if there are any developments,

we'll go back to you, appreciate it. And now, really, to the epicenter of what sparked these protests, the devastated area of course, of Gaza.

We'll get to the latest on the diplomatic front in just a moment. But I want to start with the resumption of meal service in Gaza by World Central

Kitchen. It's been four weeks since seven of its workers were killed in an Israeli airstrike. Meanwhile, Israeli military officials say they plan to

expand the humanitarian zone for people in Rafah, ahead of course, of a possible invasion.

And in Jerusalem, another meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. You can see there,

afterwards, Blinken met with Israeli families whose loved ones are still in captivity. And this is what he told them.


ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: Bringing your loved ones home is at the heart of everything we're trying to do. And we will not rest

until everyone, man, woman, soldier, civilian, young, old is back home. There is a very strong proposal on the table right now, Hamas needs to say

yes, and needs to get this done.


SOARES: So, strong proposal on the table. Let's get more with CNN's Paula Hancocks, she joins me now from Abu Dhabi. And Paula, good to see you. I

mean, give us more details in terms of what has come out of this meeting between Secretary Blinken and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

And any response really from Hamas to this proposal, whether they'll leave it prepared to play ball here, Paula?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, we're still waiting for an official response from Hamas. We have heard from one Hamas

senior leader saying that what Israel wasn't able to accomplish through war, they won't be able to accomplish through negotiations, and pressure

like this.

So, suggesting Hamas may not play ball, but that is not the official line from the Hamas leader in Gaza at this point, we're still waiting for that.


But what we've heard from the Secretary of State is effectively, this is the best offer that you will get, saying to Hamas, it is up to you now, you

have to agree to this. There is no more haggling, there is no more delaying. This is the best deal that is going to be possible.

So, there is a sense of being very small window of opportunity for this potentially to progress, and of course, the concern is, if it doesn't at

this point, what then in shoes after that? But Secretary Blinken saying that Israel has been extraordinarily generous with this proposal.

He's certainly been very optimistic, saying it could lead to something in the coming days, but we've been here before. There has been progress in

recent weeks. We have seen over the past few months that there have been moments of the Biden administration being very optimistic only for those

hopes, for the hostages, for those waiting for Palestinian prisoners to be released and a ceasefire in Gaza to be dashed.

So, at this point, Isa, we understand the first phase would be up to about 33 hostages being released for several weeks of ceasefire and Palestinian

prisoners being released. The hope then that they could move on to the next stage and try and extend that ceasefire longer, at least when it comes to

the U.S. side and the mediators side and Hamas side.

It's not clear at this point whether Israel would want a more permanent ceasefire, certainly not what the Prime Minister appears to want. Isa?

SOARES: Yes, and what we have heard from the Prime Minister is that the IDF will go into Gaza regardless of a deal, right? This is something that we

heard from Netanyahu just 24 hours ago. We did hear today, Paula, from the IDF say that they're expanding what they call designated humanitarian

errors in Gaza.

I mean, what does this language actually mean first of all, and how much is this a prelude to a possible Rafah invasion here?

HANCOCKS: Well, I think the general assumption is that this is the first move to try and move some of those more than a million Palestinians who are

sheltering in Rafah at this place, to an area which is supposedly safer. But of course, many of those who are in Rafah at the moment have been

displaced once.

Some of them, multiple times, because they were in an area that the Israeli military said that they were operating in, so, they had to move to Rafah to

be in a more safe environment. So, it's difficult to see how exactly it will work. We've heard from the Biden administration that they haven't seen

a plan yet, a credible plan of how up to 1.5 million civilians are going to be moved out of Rafah safely so that this ground offensive can go ahead.

And we heard from the National Security adviser John Kirby as well, saying that he -- the Biden administration hasn't changed its mind. It doesn't

support this major ground offensive in Rafah. We've heard from the U.N. saying that the situation would be absolutely catastrophic on the ground.

Humanitarian agencies warning against it, global leaders warning against it. But as you say, we've heard Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

saying that he will go into Rafah with or without a hostage deal, saying it's necessary to defeat Hamas. Isa?

SOARES: Yes, some of the language, of course, that we have seen and heard from the far-right wing of his party too. Paula Hancocks, appreciate it,

thanks very much, Paula, good to see you. Let's get more now, talk more about the humanitarian situation in Gaza that Paula Hancocks has mentioned


Hamish Young joins us, he's a senior emergency coordinator for UNICEF, and is in Rafah for us this hour. Hamish, appreciate you taking the time to

speak to us, and we pick up really where our correspondent Paula Hancocks just left off. Netanyahu has said -- just in the last 24 hours or so, that

the IDF will enter Rafah regardless of a deal here -- hostage deal here with Hamas.

Are you and your team seeing any signs that an incursion is being planned where you are, Hamish?

HAMISH YOUNG, SENIOR EMERGENCY COORDINATOR, UNICEF: Good evening, Isa, a pleasure to join you. We see conflict around us all the time. I was just

calling a colleague, one of our national staff members who works in eastern Rafah a couple of hours ago to see if any of the evacuation orders have

come through, which a prelude to fighting, he said none had come, but he could hear shelling in eastern Rafah.

So, this conflict going on around us all the time, there are targeted strikes in Rafah, well, pretty much every day. So, whether we're seeing a

prelude to the incursion, I can't honestly say, but we see conflict all around us and we see targeted strikes on a fairly regular basis.


SOARES: Yes, and what we have heard, Hamish, thus far, is that Israel has been developing plans for moving hundreds of thousands civilians away from

Rafah. Any sense as to where more than a million people are supposed to go?

YOUNG: There's nowhere a million people can go. The people in Rafah as your previous speaker said, have already been displaced several times, some of

them, even three or four times. There have -- a number of people did move out of Rafah probably six weeks ago when the incursion was first announced.

These are the people who have the means.

You know, maybe they have a car, you got enough money to get a ride on the back of a truck, and it means though that the people that are left in

Rafah, as you say, around a million people are the most destitute, the most vulnerable. They're not capable of moving anywhere, and where will they go?

The fighting ended in Khan Yunis recently, a couple of days ago, and we've been able to drive through there for the first time. And honestly, the

devastation is just beyond belief. It's every bit as bad in Khan Yunis as it is in Gaza city. And I'm sure you've seen all the coverage in the video

over there.

It's absolutely devastating. Many of the people who ran away from Khan Yunis came to Rafah, they've got nowhere to go back to. There's nowhere

safe, particularly for children who obviously are the most vulnerable by far.

SOARES: Yes, and of course, these are the people would have been displaced multiple times, worth reminding viewers that people were told by the IDF to

move to Rafah, right? And now they face a possible --

YOUNG: Really --

SOARES: Threat, of course, of an incursion. Look Hamish, I heard Medecins Sans Frontieres, the MSF say today and then you reported, I'm quoting them

here, "that the necessary conditions for survival are absent in Rafah." Talk to those conditions. What is the situation in Rafah like at this

moment from a humanitarian perspective?

YOUNG: So, there aren't -- the situation is catastrophic already, and the medical services are massively depleted their organizations, humanitarian

parts of the U.N. and NGOs who are doing what they can to provide basic medical services, but that's not nearly enough. So, we're seeing rising

rates of child malnutrition, childhood diseases, things like pneumonia or diarrhea, these types of things are on the increase.

They've been steadily going up now for months and months. People with chronic illnesses are unable to get any treatment. When people are injured

-- because as I said, there is still fighting going on in and around Rafah, they have difficulty getting to hospital for treatment.

Shelter is a problem, and there's many tens, hundreds of thousands of people living in tents, plastic sheeting, thankfully, it's a little bit

warmer here at the moment --

SOARES: Yes --

YOUNG: Which helps. But still, the situation is devastating. Sanitation is a disaster. There's solid waste everywhere. There's obviously no sewerage

system. There's a huge lack of toilets. So, not only are people suffering the health effects of that, you know, there's a big question of the dignity

that people have been deprived of.

And I'd also say it's constant threat, the constant talk, is it going to happen, isn't going to happen. Winds are going to happen and then throw

into the mix of that, a ceasefire will have happened, won't have happened.

SOARES: Yes --

YOUNG: This has a devastating effect on people psychologically --

SOARES: Yes --

YOUNG: And particularly on children. And let's remember, the 650,000 children who had been out of school since the 7th of October, that's an

unacceptable violation of their rights too. They've nearly lost an entire year of schooling. That will set that generation back an incalculable

amount in terms of all sorts of development indicators.

SOARES: Yes, it's not just physical of course, it's also psychological as you're --

YOUNG: No --

SOARES: Saying -- as what -- as what -- and as we've heard from James Elder, of course, of UNICEF, has told the show time and time again, Rafah,

of course, is a city of children. Really appreciate you taking the time, Hamish, to speak to us, thank you very much for giving us your perspective

and the very latest on the ground there from Rafah. Thank you, Hamish.

YOUNG: Thank you, Isa.

SOARES: Still to come tonight, a CNN exclusive, a look at Iran's weapons capabilities, we're live in Tehran with our Fred Pleitgen next.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we've got to look at the drones and missiles that the Iranians used to recently

target Israel. That's coming up next.




SOARES: Well, in a CNN exclusive, Iran is displaying its weapons capability, specifically, the kind of firepower used to target Israel just

a few weeks ago. Iran launched hundreds of drones and missiles in an unprecedented attack as you all know, on Israel, most of the weapons were

intercepted, but gave a glimpse of what Iran, of course, is capable of.

And joining us now from Tehran is our Fred Pleitgen. So, Fred, I mean, what did you see first of all, and what did you take away from it?

PLEITGEN: Well, it certainly appear to us as of the Iranians do have a considerable amount of firepower. And I think one of the things that they

really wanted to point out is how far the development, especially of their missile program, but also of their drone program has come.

For them, it's very important to display that all of this is home-made technology, Iranian-made technology they've been developing over the course

of really the past decades. And they say now, they are able to project power in the entire larger Middle Eastern region.

Of course, Isa, it was really only a couple of days ago that both Iran and Israel really stepped back from the brink of what could have been a

catastrophic war for this region. The Iranians, however, are saying they don't want war, but they certainly are trying to project that they are

ready for. Well, here's what we saw.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): When Iran attacked Israel in mid-April, they fired hundreds of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and drones developed by the

elite Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Forces.

(on camera): So, these two were used in the Israel operation.

(voice-over): Now, the Revolutionary Guard showed us the types of weapons they used to strike Israel, including two ballistic missiles, the Emad and

the other with a range of more than a 1,000 miles, able to carry about a half ton warhead.

(on camera): How accurate are these?


PLEITGEN: Less than 5 meters you can --

BELALI: Less than --

PLEITGEN: Hit a target?

(voice-over): Brigadier-General Ali Belali was himself once a missile commander in the Revolutionary Guard. He says Iranian missiles managed to

hit two targets in Israel, including an airbase in retaliation for the bombing of Iran's embassy compound in Syria.

While the U.S. and Israel claims to have shot down nearly all of Iran's missiles and drones, the General says Tehran showed the power of its

aerospace forces. "Today, our drones and missiles have become an important factor of strength and the execution of power in the world", he says.


He also showed us this cruise missile, a type also used in the strikes and arguably, currently, the most infamous drone in the world, the Shahed-136.

(on camera): Can you show me the warhead?

BELALI: Yes --

PLEITGEN: I've never seen the Shahed warhead before.

BELALI: And the acceleration(ph) --


BELALI: And then it goes in the -- inside --

PLEITGEN: Into the missile and then it explodes. OK.

(voice-over): While the Iranians acknowledged using Shaheds against Israel, the U.S. and Ukraine accused Tehran of also giving hundreds of these drones

to Russia. Moscow using them to attack Ukrainian cities and energy infrastructure. The Iranians continue to deny those accusations.

The General tells me the Shaheds attack and swarms, often fired off secretly from unmarked trucks like this one. "Everything is pre-

programmed", he says, the flight route is chosen according to the enemy's capabilities and blind spots of radars and all the elements that can help

us reach the target.

Well, tensions between Iran and Israel have somewhat eased after they traded direct military blows for the first time, the General warns, Iran

has even more modern weapons at its disposal. "The only path for them is to have logical and wise negotiations with us", he says. "In our defense

capabilities, we don't depend on anyone. We've had good progress in this field, and we will progress more. There are achievements that have not yet

been talked about."


PLEITGEN: So, essentially, Isa, the Iranians are saying that they wanted to really show force rather than to cause damage with the strike against

Israel. However, also get emphasized and they do have a lot of more powerful weapons still out there. Isa.

SOARES: Fred Pleitgen for us this evening in Tehran, Iran. Thanks very much, Fred. And still to come tonight, hundreds of arrests, tents removed,

and new plans through commencement. We'll have the latest on student protests in the United States. You are watching CNN.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN. More people get their news from CNN than any other news source.

SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.

Let me bring you up today some breaking news. Business breaking news, I think, it's important. The Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates at a

23-year high. That announcement coming in just in the last 30 minutes or so. Now, we are waiting -- if we show you those live pictures to hear from

Chair Jerome Powell, who is about to speak, really, any moment now to explain his rationale. He's always on time. Let's listen to what he has to


JEROME POWELL, U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIR: Good afternoon. My colleagues and I remain squarely focused on our dual mandate to promote maximum

employment and stable prices for the American people. The economy has made considerable progress toward our dual mandate objectives. Inflation has

eased substantially over the past year, while the labor market has remained strong.

And that's very good news. But inflation is still too high. Further progress in bringing it down is not assured and the path forward is

uncertain. We are fully committed to returning inflation to our two percent goal. Restoring price stability is essential to achieve a sustainably

strong labor market that benefits all.

Today, the FOMC decided to leave our policy interest rate unchanged and to continue to reduce our securities holdings, though at a slower pace. A

restrictive stance of monetary policy has been putting downward pressure on economic activity and inflation. And the risks to achieving our employment

and inflation goals have moved toward better balance over the past year.

However, in recent months, inflation has shown a lack of further progress toward our two percent objective, and we remain highly attentive to

inflation risks. I'll have more to say about monetary policy after briefly reviewing economic developments.

Recent indicators suggest that economic activity has continued to expand at a solid pace. Although GDP growth moderated from 3.4 percent in the fourth

quarter of last year --

SOARES: Well, you've been listening to there, Fed Chair Jerome Powell, of course, after the Fed held rates, I should say, interest rates steady. They

did flag a lack of further progression in terms of inflation. But what he said, what stood out to me just in the last 30 seconds or so, is that

inflation, he said -- Jerome Powell said, eased sustainably but inflation is still too high. He went on to say, the path forward is uncertain, and

they're highly attentive to that.

Of course, they haven't got, of course, to the interest rates which we will get to in just a moment. But this raises a question of whether rates, hikes

are back on the table. Right now, interest rates are 23-year high for the sixth time in a row. But the question is, is whether they might return, of

course, those rate hikes again.

So, this is something often where the Fed is not what the Fed does, but what it says. And listening to Jerome Powell suggests that this is

something that they are indeed considering. If we show you, the stock markets and how they are reacting, of course, we haven't got to the bit

where he's talking about monetary policy, and how the Fed may act.

But look, the Dow Jones is up four-tenths of a percent -- Well, now changing. Nasdaq turned pretty flat, and the S&P, of course, will be good

to keep an eye on that in the next, you know, 10 minutes or so to see whether that changes.

But questions have begun to arise in the several weeks that we have been following this, of course, whether the economy is so hot at this stage that

the Fed may have to return to rate hikes, not cuts. We'll stay on top of this of course,

Now, return to the protests that we have seen in the United States. UCLA in Los Angeles canceled classes today following a violent night on campus.



SOARES: Pro-Palestinian protesters clash with pro-Israel groups. This new video shows a group of protesters trying to move the barricades meant to

keep the two sides apart. Police eventually arrive to separate the demonstrators.

Meanwhile, NYPD will deploy officers on Columbia University campus through commencement, this is something we heard from our Polo Sandoval at the top

of the hour. And this comes after 300 protesters were arrested from Columbia and City College of New York.


Joining me now is Ahmed Alkhatib, who is from Gaza City and has lost family, lost dozens of family members, you say, in the war. He says, the

violence we've seen at some of the student protests is shifting the focus away from Gaza.

Ahmed, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. And before we talk about this protest that we have been seeing sweeping across the United

States, I want to focus first, if I may, on your family, because we just had a guest from UNICEF talking about the situation in Rafah, NGO on the

ground there. You were Palestinian. You still have family in Rafah. What can you tell us about those who were killed and those who are still seeing

this will play out in the most devastating and brutal way?

AHMED FOUAD ALKHATIB, NONRESIDENT SENIOR FELLOW, THE ATLANTIC COUNCIL: Thanks so much for having me. Appreciate it. Yes, awful times indeed. I --

my family lived in Gaza City. They were forced to flee to the south when our home was destroyed by an IDF airstrike that killed a couple of family

members, and there was a follow-on strike that killed more family members. And then a really massive strike in December killed over 27 of my family

members. So, I've lost a total 31 family.

What remains of my surviving immediate and extended family are sheltered in Rafah, in different parts. There's immense confusion right now as to where

things are headed. Some NGOs have started evacuating their workers and their staff. Some people on their own have begun leaving. There's

conflicting information. There's confusion as to should people leave now? Should they wait for a specific evacuation order? Where do they go to? The

tents that we saw in Khan Younis with the 40,000 being set up are inadequate.

So, it's utter pandemonium and chaos in addition to the actual airstrikes that are taking place on a daily basis. I'm trying to pull -- working with

allies to get some of my family members out. It's been a challenge. I've run into a lot of difficulties, but I'm hoping for progress in the next day

or two.

SOARES: I'm sorry for your loss, first of all, Ahmed. Do keep us posted, of course, on the progress of trying to get family out. Of course, we have

been speaking to NGOs, almost on a daily basis, of course, following what is happening. And that is a concern, a huge concern, as you say, over this

offensive, because this -- as we have been telling viewers, Prime Minister Netanyahu says the IDF will go in to Rafah no matter what, regardless, of

course, of this deal.

Let's turn, if I could, though, to the protests in the United States where you are based. You have been writing. You have been. Posting on X about

these protests on college campuses and you write -- I want to show our viewers this from X, you write, students for justice in Palestine Columbia

and Columbia University Apartheid Divest have truly lost the plot, you say. As Rafah is about to be invaded, they choose to engage in the destructive

headline grabbing action that will taint the entirety of pro-Palestine activism.

And without about, you doubt, you said, this will elicit a violent counter response from police. Further inflaming situation while failing to move the

needle on this issue or actually help Gaza, Palestine. Enough with this madness.

So, this is your tea. I think that's from a day or so ago. I mean, are you suggesting here that these protests are doing more harm than good? I mean,

are they hurting the Palestinian cause in your view?

ALKHATIB: Well, I'm -- I mean, my underlying ethos is I absolutely do support drawing attention to the Palestinian cause. And I don't, for a

second, doubt the sincerity of many of these protesters. I think unfortunately you have some radical elements that have infiltrated the

movement and have hijacked the focus and insisted on using incendiary rhetoric, inflammatory language that's divisive, that moves us away from

keeping the attention on Rafah and Gaza.

My concern -- I mean, I support the protesters. I support freedom of speech and the First Amendment. I absolutely despise and disrespect any forms of

antisemitism, of hatred, of trying to cosplay, and trying -- we've seen some language where they fail to separate Hamas from the Palestinian cause

and the Palestinian people.

And I'm extremely worried that they are turning people against the Palestinian cause. There's a squandering of an opportunity, a historic,

once in a lifetime, once in a generation, opportunity to drum up empathy for the Palestinian people. But my thing is to what end? To what goal?

If you're going to talk about dismantling Israel and dismantling Zionism and all these maximalist zero-sum games or zero-sum ends, then you are not

going to gain support in disrupting traffic and disrupting universities. And doing all of this chaos, I really think is not helpful.

If, in fact, you are seeking to build a coalition for true peace and justice for the Palestinian people and pushing for a Palestinian state

living side by side with Israel, then I think that should be the focus and that there's a unique opportunity for that.


SOARES: ?Let's talk about this. Look, context, of course, is needed here for our viewers watching around the world. Obviously, this is not a

justification for the violence and the vitriol that we have seen. I hear you and I agree a hundred percent with you. But there is a precedent to

these protests, right? The U.S. has a long history of university activism. Some -- and some have been violent, I should say, over the years.

We saw students protesting against the war in Vietnam and for civil rights in the late 1960s. And then we saw in the 1980s, we saw student protests

for apartheid calling for divestiture, I believe, from South African companies, which we saw change. Change came, right, along with that?

I mean, can students today bring about that change? What is the right way to do it on your point? How should they go about bringing about change?

What's the right way to do it, Ahmed?

ALKHATIB: Well, I certainly understand that civil disobedience and social change is not going to come about from strictly sanitized mannerisms. I get

that. But number one is the messaging. What is the message? What is the end game? What is the goal?

I think, unfortunately, some students and some of their -- these radical groups have doubled down on the incendiary rhetoric and they have

explicitly bragged about not needing to make their rhetoric more palatable. And they've said that you cannot join us unless you believe in our

rhetoric, and I think that's really harmful, that's some of them.

I also think, again, the goal. The end game. Are -- if you're going to be calling for the dismantlement of Israel and the establishment of this

elusive single state for all people to live in peace and justice, that may sound great as a slogan. That may sound good as an academic lecture. But

realpolitik and pragmatism say otherwise.

And so, I believe that there should be an effort to build a broad alliance and engage of diverse, you know, diverse segments of American Jews and

Israelis to work towards a coalition to end the occupation, to end racism, to end hatred.

I think the other component -- I mean -- and by the way, like, that's totally fine if they want to pursue divestiture from Israeli companies. But

I question the sanity of blocking students from moving around campus, from establishing encampments that, again, create the space for violence for

incendiary rhetoric and create opportunities for outside agitators to infiltrate the movement.

I think we are at a historic moment where we can absolutely leverage the empathy and the sympathy that the people of Gaza and the people of

Palestine have. I just think there are -- there -- there's an insufficient focus being paid to what is the end game and what is the goal. And I worry

that once the protesters and a lot of the demonstrators go home and move on with their lives, the damage would have been done and the movement will be

permanently tainted.

SOARES: Such important analysis. Ahmed, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us this evening. Thank you so much.

ALKHATIB: Thanks for having me.

SOARES: Well, the protests across the nation are showing some of the cracks, really, of President Joe Biden's fragile coalition. If he comes

across as soft on the protesters, he may alienate pro-Israel, Democrats to support a crackdown and he risks losing the youth vote in this November's

election. This is, of course, as the White House says, Mr. Biden will address antisemitism in a speech next week.

I want to bring in our Politics Senior Reporter Stephen Collinson. And Stephen, we have heard, I think it's fair to say, very little from

President Biden on these protests. Talk us through how much is this, you know, this moment, these protests that we have seen from the East, the West

Coast, is a test for him.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: I think you're right to point out that this is a difficult one for the President between his

progressive young voters that he really needs to show up at the polls in November, and perhaps some of his own inclinations in his support for

Israel and his view that U.S. National security prerogatives mean he has to have a strong support for Israel. I think that's one of the reasons why

he's been a little bit loath to speak about this.

The problem for him also is that this has become a political issue that's wider than the Palestinian protest. He's being attacked by Donald Trump for

presiding over a country that is tipping out of control with violence and unrest raging everywhere. So, he really does need to get this.

But as your previous guest was saying though, that this is a very subtle issue. And I think, nationally perhaps, people in the United States could

benefit from getting a little bit of that texture that you were just talking about in a national address that the President could give, and he's

going to speak about this next week at the U.S. Holocaust Museum.

So, this is one of those occasions when a president has to balance not just his own political needs, but the role of the presidency, the head of state

and engineering what he sees as U.S. national interests, around the world.


SOARES: Stephen Collinson for us. Appreciate it, Stephen. We have to keep it tight --


SOARES: -- because we had of course breaking news, but appreciate it as always, thank you.

And still to come tonight, it just became much harder to get an abortion in Florida. What this new ban means for those living there. And the rest of

the Southern United States, that is next.


SOARES: A major election issue is back in the spotlight in two U.S. states on opposite coasts. In Arizona, first of all, the state Senate is set to

vote on legislation to repeal the state's near total abortion ban, meaning a 15-week restriction will likely remain state law.

Across the country, the state of Florida's new restrictions on abortion have taken effect. The new law lowers the state's time limit from 15 weeks

of pregnancy to just six weeks, before many women, of course, even know that they are pregnant at that point.

Well, the White House is seizing on the new bill. A short time ago, Vice President Kamala Harris addressed a campaign stop in Jacksonville, Florida,

as you can see there. She told supporters that women's reproductive rights are under assault in the U.S. And she laid the blame squarely, as she has

done previously, on Donald Trump.

Now, to a story that shows how the fight for women's reproductive rights is a worldwide issue. Nearly 150 women in Greenland are seeking compensation

from the Danish government over an involuntary birth control campaign launched in the 1960s.

Now, the scandal came to light in 2022 when Danish broadcaster DR reported that between 1966 and 1970 4,500 intrauterine devices were fitted into

women and girls as young as 13 without their knowledge or even their consent.

Britta Mortensen was one of those women. Around the time this scandal was uncovered, she explained why she was speaking out. Have a listen.


BRITTA MORTENSEN, VICTIM OF THE FORCED CONTRACEPTION CAMPAIGN (through translator): I was not told anything. No one talked about it. It was taboo.

I was shameful. I haven't talked about it to anyone until now, until it recently reemerged in public discussions. Now, I can tell I was one of

them. One of the women who were forced into having a Spiral.


SOARES: Women there were just -- woman forced into this contraception. An official investigation by the government of Greenland and Denmark are

ongoing, but not due to conclude until May 2025. And this story is now the focus of a collection of images you're looking at by French photographer

Juliette Pavy.

She has just been awarded the Sony World Photographer of the Year Award for her incredible photos. Documenting the repercussions of this campaign. And

I sat down with her here in London to discuss some of the stories behind the lens.



JULIETTE PAVY, PHOTOGRAPHER AND PHOTOGPRAHER OF THE YEAR: So, the first woman I met was Naja and she told me that she got a Spiral, it's the name

for the IUD because of the shape. She was 13 years old when she gets it.


PAVY: And it was too big for a young girl. Naja told me, like -- it was, like, knife inside her body when she gets Spiral and --

SOARES: That's what it felt like?

PAVY: Yes, so it was very painful for her and --

SOARES: When they were going into these clinics to see these doctors, what were they told they were going there for?

PAVY: So, they didn't get any explanation. Usually, it was during the medical visit at school. When I interviewed one of the doctors who

practiced during this time, he told me, for him it was a contraception way and a kind of progress for him at this time.

SOARES: You're talking about this gentleman here --

PAVY: Yes.

SOARES: -- right? Did he think he was doing the right thing at the time?

PAVY: Yes, yes.

SOARES: And what about his perspective now? How does he see it now?

PAVY: Now he is more than 80 years old. And of course, he has some regrets about the past. But, yes, when he has done that, he really thought it was a

good thing for contraception and he has no idea how bad it can be and how traumatic it can be for the women.

So, we are in Nuuk and some kids are playing in front of the building. So, it's -- this picture is mostly to talk about the birth rate just go down --

SOARES: Almost half --

PAVY: Yes, yes.

SOARES: -- I believe, during that time.

PAVY: Yes, yes.

SOARES: During the 1670s --

PAVY: Yes.

SOARES: -- almost half, right --

PAVY: Yes.

SOARES: -- the birth rates?

PAVY: Yes, more than half.

SOARES: More than half.

PAVY: Yes.



SOARES: Just staggering. And if you are in London, you can experience Juliette's work. It's on display at Somerset House until the 6th of May,

along with other finalists from the Sony World Photography Awards. We're going to take a short break. We'll see you on the other side.



SOARES: And new just coming in to us. Prosecutors for the Manhattan District Attorney say they will retry Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's

New York case. Now, this comes after an appeals court overturned his conviction just last week, if you remember. The prosecutor says, it was a

strong case when it was first tried and remains a strong case and wants to retry it as soon as September if possible.

Now, Weinstein was convicted, of course, in 2020 of first degree criminal sexual assault and third-degree rape. We'll have more on this in the hours

ahead right here on CNN.

And finally, tonight, the 1st of May is International Workers Day, better known as May Day. And Wednesday, people turned out around the world to

rally for workers' rights.

In South Korea, thousands, you can see there, gathered to criticize the government's policies and call for improvements to labor rights. Well, this

is the image, I could show you, in Paris. The traditional march by labor unions was marred by clashes between protesters as well as riot police.

That does it for this hour here on the show. Thank you for your company. Do stay right here. "Newsroom with Jim Sciutto" is up next. And I shall see

you tomorrow. There he goes with his camera. Run, run, run.