Return to Transcripts main page

Isa Soares Tonight

Ireland, Spain And Norway To Recognize Palestine As A State; Thousands Of Mourners Swarm The Streets Of Tehran For The Funeral Of Ebrahim Raisi And Eight Others; Kenya's President Visits White House; Trump Classified Documents Case; Closing Arguments Set For Tuesday; Trump On Trial; President Ruto To Visit White House; U.S.-Kenya Diplomacy; Hunter Biden's Tax Evasion Trial; Singapore Airlines Flight Investigation; CNN Exclusive Access To Ukraine Troops; "Saturday Night Fever" Dancefloor Auction; Graceland Foreclosure On Hold. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired May 22, 2024 - 14:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to you, I am Richard Quest, Isa Soares is off this evening. We start tonight, a major

blow to Israel as three European nations move to recognize a state of Palestine.

In a moment, Ireland's Foreign Minister on why do this now? Thousands of mourners are in the streets of Tehran for the funeral of President Ebrahim

Raisi, we'll be in the Iranian capital in just a moment. Also, we've got exclusive access to a Ukrainian town that's become a last stronghold for

the Russia's forces and Ukraine's second city of Kharkiv.

Now, let's begin with a landmark announcement. It comes from Spain, Norway and Ireland. Now, those countries will recognize a Palestinian state. The

three plan to formally make the recognition of statehood next week. Israel has already responded angrily to the decision.

It's recalled its ambassadors from all three countries. At the same time, the leaders of the three nations say the move represents an important step

towards peace.


PEDRO SANCHEZ, PRIME MINISTER, SPAIN (through translator): Next Tuesday on the 28th of May, Spain will approve its council of ministers, the

recognition of the state of Palestine.

JONAS GAHR STOERE, PRIME MINISTER, NORWAY (through translator): This is an investment and the only solution that can bring lasting peace in the Middle

East. It is a strong call to other countries to do the same as we are doing today.

SIMON HARRIS, PRIME MINISTER, IRELAND: In the lead-up to today's announcement, I've spoken with a number of other leaders and counterparts,

and I'm confident that further countries will join us in taking this important step in the coming weeks.


QUEST: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called this move a reward for terror, and says it will not bring peace or stop Israel from winning

the war with Hamas. Our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is with me from London. Nic, I mean, why now in the middle of a war with one

of the protagonists of course, running half the Palestinian territories?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Simply I think -- and we got this from Simon Harris, the Taoiseach, the prime minister of

Ireland. He talked about the deaths of Palestinian civilians. He talked about the dire humanitarian situation.

They quite simply feel that they can't sit on the sidelines and do nothing and wait until what has been described as a better moment to recognize a

Palestinian state when there's negotiations, when Israel is at the table as well. They feel that they need to try and -- they need to try to effect

some change.

And the Taoiseach called it this -- a powerful, political and symbolic move. Perhaps people are seeing it, perhaps as more symbolic, but they are

hoping that it'll shift the dial and ease the suffering.

QUEST: If that's the case, how do you square the circle as I say, that Hamas, one of the -- who run or until this will run the Gaza Strip, don't

even recognize the state of Israel. So, you're going to recognize -- so, these three countries want to recognize a state which is partially run by a

party that doesn't recognize the other party.

ROBERTSON: Yes, I mean, I can't answer for these governments, of course, but I think there are -- there are many circles and squares involved in the

Palestinian --

QUEST: Yes --

ROBERTSON: Conflict with Israel and in Gaza. And it's going to be an almighty job of an amazing ring-master negotiator to bring all those

different rounds and hoops and squares and triangles and --

QUEST: Yes --

ROBERTSON: Octagons and everything else together to try to make them fit into some kind of peace deal. It's frustration. You know, these are

nations, you know, you hear, you listen to the Irish Taoiseach talking about, you know, Ireland's independence from Great Britain back more than a

100 years ago.


And how much that meant to the Irish and that sort of the fundamental position of where they're coming from. They've always sort of backed the

underdog in a way, but they --

QUEST: Right --

ROBERTSON: Felt the underdog, and that's why -- and I think, you know, Norway, look at them, they've got a very serious international track record

of trying to be -- trying to be arbiters during conflicts, trying to, you know, seek to ameliorate human rights, tragedies where they see them.

This is -- this is where they're coming from on this. They all want to try to effect change. Now, the Germans have very clearly said, they don't think

this is a right move, they too think it rewards terrorism. The French have said, look, we're better when we all act together. But this -- the fact

that we're talking about it, I think is the -- is the sort of change-making effort. It speaks --

QUEST: Yes, whatever --

ROBERTSON: The change-making effort that they want to have.

QUEST: Nic, I'm grateful, thank you. Kevin Liptak in Washington. Well, the White House has responded to all of this. Let's listen to what they said.


JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Each country is entitled to make its own determinations. But the U.S. position on this is clear.

President Biden, as I've just said, has been on the record supporting a two-state solution. He has been equally emphatic on the record that, that

two-state solution should be brought about through direct negotiations through the parties, not through unilateral recognition.

That's a principle position that we have held on a consistent basis, we'll communicate that to our partners around the world, and we'll see what



QUEST: Kevin, they obviously don't like it, or at least, they're being very diplomatic about not liking it.

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, they're trying to thread a needle there. Certainly, that's not a surprise that they would flatly

reject this outcome. President Biden has tried to sort of maintain this position as a staunch supporter of Israel throughout this conflict.

But I think the issue and what Jake Sullivan is saying there that this has to be an outcome of direct negotiations between the parties is that there

hasn't been direct negotiations between the parties, at least, serious ones in more than a decade. And I think that's why you're seeing these countries

in Europe come out today.

Is that there is a growing impatience with Israel that work towards a two- state solution has all but stalled. You've heard Prime Minister Netanyahu outright reject a Palestinian state as a threat to Israeli security. And

so, I think what the president and his national security adviser are trying to do is maintain an openness to a Palestinian state, a two-state solution.

And President Biden has talked about that frequently, including just over the weekend when he called it one of the most complicated issues in

history. But at the same time, not lending any credence to the idea of a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. And I think at the end of

the day, all of this kind of illustrates what --

QUEST: Well --

LIPTAK: Had been a great fear among American officials is that as this war went on, and as Israel prosecuted this campaign in Gaza, it would become

more and more isolated on the world stage --

QUEST: Does it --

LIPTAK: And we do see that happening here and with the International Criminal Court, and it's sort of an eventuality that the White House had

been predicting for a long time.

QUEST: So, we have these two developments in a sense -- and I'm glad you reminded me about the ICC because in a sense, both the ICC and this

measures by these three countries, they do drive a wedge between the U.S. and other allies. No, you know, maybe not a massive one, maybe it's nuance,

but there is clear water between them now.

LIPTAK: There certainly is. And it comes at a moment when the U.S. and Israel had -- seemed to be diverging, particularly when it comes to Rafah

and Israel's plan to go into Rafah, both of these items, the today's news about recognition of a Palestinian state and the ICC have had the effect of

pushing the U.S. and Israel back together at a moment when that rift appears to be growing.

And at the same time, you do see Israel and the United States and something of an --

QUEST: Right --

LIPTAK: Island particularly with staunch U.S. allies. And that's only going to become more and more apparent over the coming weeks. And I think it will

be very clear when the president is at the G7 Summit next month, just how isolated the U.S. is on some of these issues.

QUEST: Kevin, I'm grateful. Say to Ireland now where the tanaiste, the deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Micheal Martin is with me. Sir,

I'm grateful that you've got -- you've given us the time. A simple question just to start with, why now? What is the significance of doing it now when

many people will say, this is just in a sense mischievous, in a sense of making life more difficult.

MICHEAL MARTIN, TANAISTE OF IRELAND: Well, just to say when this Irish government was elected in 2020, in the program for government, it made a

commitment to the recognition of a Palestinian state. Now, it did caveat that in terms of timing and making sure it was optimal, in terms of a

pathway to a two-state solution, and also to protect the integrity of a two-state solution.


Now, it's clear for most that the integrity of that two-state solution has been undermined in recent years by the strategy of the Israeli government

and particularly the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has declared opposition to it, and who hasn't really dealt with the violent settlers --

QUEST: Right --

MARTIN: That continue to take territory in the West Bank and attack Palestinians there and drive them off their land. And the Florida key point

was the other peace -- we've been in constant contact over the last 12 months with Jordan, with Egypt, Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia and

others who have developed a comprehensive peace initiative that has recognition --

QUEST: Prime Minister -- Prime Minister, you say, these things, but -- and I noticed that you're in front of both the Irish background, I think that's

probably the EU flag behind you today. But it was interesting today when the Taoiseach was speaking, he didn't have the EU flag behind him. Now is

that just -- you know, that was not deliberate, or is that just one of those things?

MARTIN: I'd say it was one of those things. I'm not sure whether the EU flag was there or not, because we --

QUEST: Right --

MARTIN: Generally have --


MARTIN: The EU flag behind everything we do. So, I wouldn't read anything into that.

QUEST: Right, but it just shows -- just shows these sort of --

MARTIN: And the reason being --

QUEST: Go ahead --

MARTIN: The reason being, Richard, is that we acknowledged that within the European Union, there are different perspectives on this. Some for historic

reasons. But there are a lot of like-minded states within the European Union that had been engaged on this issue.

I would have hosted a dinner some months, Belgium would have also one prior to that in respect of this issue the Israeli --

QUEST: Yes --

MARTIN: Need for a cessation of violence, the need for unconditional release of hostages. We've condemned Hamas unreservedly for what they do,

and a need for massive surge of humanitarian aid into Gaza. And then recognition was also a key question that a number of up to seven or eight

like-minded states have been discussing now for well over 12 months and more.

And there is a growing impatience with the lack of any political will on behalf of Israel towards -- I put it, a good track and towards realizing

that in our view, a two-state solution is the only way that Israelis and Palestinians can live in harmony side-by-side. That's ultimately the way

forward. There cannot just be a military solution to such a complex issue in terms of nationhood --


MARTIN: Identity --

QUEST: Right --

MARTIN: And an absence of conflict.

QUEST: You know, in terms of the timing, we come back to this idea, yes, even if one accepts the principles of the two-state solution, you have half

the Palestinian territories, the Gaza being until now recently ruled -- you know, governed, ruled by Hamas, which doesn't even accept the right of

Israel to exist.

So, I get the nuance of what you're doing at the moment. I guess the question is, it's timing at a time when Hamas is still in a sense, a force

to be reckoned with.

MARTIN: But I believe that the timing is important in terms of empowering moderation within Palestine. Our view is that Israeli strategy -- and they

have their views, but our view is that their strategies has actually imported extremism within Palestine. And the moderates have been


I think European Union states coming forward and saying, we believe, and we would recognize a Palestinian state gives strength to, for example, the

Palestinian Authority, gives strength to those who in Palestine recognize an Israeli state, who renounce violence, and who are prepared to enter into

a negotiation to develop a resolution end of --

QUEST: Right --

MARTIN: This. So -- and also, we're very conscious of the efforts being made by Arab states to present a comprehensive peace framework, and about

14 states will meet on Sunday, next Sunday, and out of an European to discuss the ideas that Arab states have for a peaceful resolution of this


QUEST: OK, now, final question Minister, and I'm grateful for your time. On the question of the ICC, the answer far from Ireland has been that you

recognize the independence of the ICC, and I guess that's sort of -- that's not what's in question. It is -- do you applaud, approve the decision by

the prosecutor to seek the arrest of Benjamin Netanyahu along with Hamas leaders?

Do you think that is creating a false equivalency as many countries have said, they don't believe the ICC should do this?

MARTIN: Ireland supports the work of the ICC in terms of the upholding of international humanitarian law. It's a matter for the panel of judges to

decide on these substantive questions. Ireland sees -- we look at all of this, including the Middle East conflict through the prism of international

humanitarian law.


And it's absolutely important that states who have signed up to the ICC and Ireland is a signatory, observe and uphold the principles of the ICC and of

international law that we don't interfere. We reject any attempt to intimidate or undermine the independence of the court.

Because Ireland believes in multilateralism. The multilateral system is our ultimate security guarantor and it's everybody's ultimate --

QUEST: Right --

MARTIN: Guarantor. We have a lot of bad actors here in the world at the moment who are flagrantly abusing and violating the U.N. Charter, such as

Russia and Ukraine for example. And so, it's extremely important that we do not undermine these important international institutions that represent --

QUEST: All right --

MARTIN: Our best opportunity and most effective way to uphold international humanitarian law. So, we're going to support the independence of the court,

we'll do everything we can to uphold the independence of the court. And we have financially made all contribution as a small nation --

QUEST: Right --

MARTIN: Over and above what we perhaps might do per capita --

QUEST: Right --

MARTIN: But we've done it and we do believe -- we believe in humanity -- international humanitarian law and order.

QUEST: Minister, I'm grateful for your time in the evening. Thank you very much sir, for joining us tonight from Dublin --

MARTIN: You're very welcome, indeed. Thank you --

QUEST: Thank you sir. Now, the families of seven female Israeli Defense Force soldiers kidnapped by Hamas have released graphic footage of their

abduction on October the 7th. I'm going to warn you, the images are very disturbing. The hostages families forum says the video was previously

released by Hamas and received it from the IDF.

The IDF made some edits and put captions, we cannot confirm one of the captions because of the audio quality. You see several women, they are

bloodied, they're bruised. We spoke with the mother of one of those hostages.


AYELET LEVY SHACHAR, MOTHER OF ISRAELI HOSTAGE NAAMA LEVY: We were just -- you know, I feel like what more -- what more can we say? What more is there

to explain? How the situation is, they have no time. We need to bring them home now. It should have been seven months ago.

So, I'm just -- you know, I'm just scared, I'm hurting for her and I am frustrated. Frustrated may be the main word, because we don't feel like the

negotiations are being mobilized as they should be.


QUEST: Jeremy Diamond is with me, Jeremy is in Jerusalem now. Well, Jeremy, this gets more complicated by the second and the minute. I mean, firstly,

ICC, then you've got these three countries and now we hear that Benjamin Netanyahu describing. In Jerusalem tonight, what are they making of it all?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, I think the focus is obviously on the horrible images that you can see from this video

that was taken on October 7th of these seven female Israeli soldiers, 18 and 19 years old, all taking part in their obligatory military service here

at the Nahal Oz Military Base, just outside of the Gaza Strip.

They were working there as monitors, observers, effectively watching the border between Israel and Gaza when Hamas carried out that surprise attack

on the morning of October 7th. You can see the women in these videos are bruised and bloodied, their hands are tied behind their backs. This -- I

want to play for you a snippet of that video. Let's watch.






DIAMOND: And that first woman you can see there, who's been turned around, that is Naama Levy, she's 19 years old. Her face is bloodied, and that was

her mother who you heard from earlier. There are others in this video as well, Leary Elbag(ph), 19 years old, Agum Berger(ph), Karina Ariev(ph),

Daniela Gilboa(ph), all five of them are still believed to be held hostage inside of the Gaza Strip.

We should note that the two other women who were taken captive on that day, Noa Maciano(ph), she was killed in captivity according to the Israeli

military, her body was retrieved by Israeli forces inside of Gaza and brought back to Israel for burial.

Ori Megidish(ph) is the seventh of those Israeli female soldiers. She was actually rescued in a special operation by Israeli forces several months

ago. But the families of the five who remain in Gaza, they've decided to release this video in order to bring back the focus, of course, on the

plight of their loved ones and to try and pressure the Israeli government to reach a deal that would secure their release. Richard?


QUEST: Thank you Jeremy Diamond in Jerusalem. I'm grateful sir. Now, as we continue tonight, hundreds of thousands of people turned out on the streets

of Iran's capital, paying their final respects to the late president. We'll have report from Tehran.



RISHI SUNAK, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: Earlier today, I spoke with his majesty the king to request the dissolution of parliament. The king has

granted this request and we will have a general election on the 4th of July.


QUEST: So, that's the British Prime Minister announcing a few hours ago that the next U.K. election is two months or less than from now. The prime

minister was required to hold a vote by January of next year, the decision to go in July was somewhat surprising. His conservative party is facing an

uphill battle, it's been in power for 14 years.

But the polls show that the opposition Labor Party have a sizable and comfortable lead over the conservatives. The late Iranian president is set

to be buried in his hometown at the northeastern part of Iran on Thursday. Earlier, 60 foreign delegations is believed attended the funeral in Tehran

for President Ebrahim Raisi.

It included representatives of Iran-backed militia groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and a group from Iraq. Prayer services were held by

the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei and the thousands of mourners were in the streets. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in Tehran.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hundreds of thousands lining the streets as the caskets made their way

through Tehran, chanting, marching along, paying their final respects.

(on camera): Ever since that helicopter crash that killed Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, as well as of course, the Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-

Abdollahian and several others, which seems safe, displays of public mourning here around the countries in Tehran, that was especially here in

Tehran with this massive procession was one that is part of the funeral processions to lay to rest the people who were killed in that helicopter


(voice-over): "I am here for my president", she says, "he did a lot for Iran, to prove that we loved him very much."


Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei himself leading the funeral prayers, with foreign dignitaries, but also senior leaders of Hamas in



PLEITGEN: While Iran's investigation into the crash is ongoing, the president's chief of staff was traveling in a different chopper in the

convoy saying one of those aboard the doomed chopper was alive and communicating for at least three hours after the crash. The chief of staff

also giving more details on the incident itself.

GHOLAM HOSSEIN ESMAILI, CHIEF OF STAFF TO IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Captain Mostafavi(ph) who was the pilot of the helicopter

carrying the president and the commander of the helicopter convoy, ordered the other helicopters to gain altitude and go above the clouds.

When we reached above the clouds, and after about 30 seconds, we realized the president's helicopter wasn't with us.

PLEITGEN: But on the streets of Tehran, many hold Iran's adversaries, the U.S. and Israel responsible. "We have all come here to prove that we will

support this revolution and we won't back away", this woman says, and then chant death to Israel.


PLEITGEN: And he says, "I will support my revolution until the last drop of my blood." Mourning, sorrow and anger in the massive crowd as Iran's

leaders vow to maintain stability. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Tehran.


QUEST: As you can tell, a very busy day. In a moment, the passengers who were on board SQ 321, a terrifying flight, we hear that details, it's just

a moment. The investigators are now looking together and getting together with what happened.

And Kenya's president is set to meet with his U.S. counterpart. The White House visit, the first for an African leader in more than a decade.



QUEST: Donald Trump's hush money trial in New York is nearing the finish line. Just in time for a separate legal case to come into sight.

The Florida judge in Trump's classified documents case is holding a pair of hearings. The second proceeding is underway now. And defense attorneys are

bidding to throw out the charges against Trump.

However, it's all quickly devolved into lots of shouting and angriness. Attorneys battling over alleged threats made last year to a defense

attorney. Katelyn Polantz is with me. My goodness.

Now, just remind me. Forgive me. I find it difficult to keep up. And isn't this the one where the judge has already said it may not happen for some

time because there's got to be lots of hearings into the classification and the security clearance? So, it's not imminent in terms of the actual trial


KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Nowhere near imminent, Richard. There are lots of hearings that this judge wants to

have. There are lots of requests that the defense teams have made in this case. Donald Trump and his co-defendants, their lawyers have all put in

lots of motions to have the case dismissed or to get rid of evidence in the case.

Today, it's just two of about a dozen different issues that the judge is going to have to work through. There's no trial date on the calendar until

she starts resolving some of this backlog. But this apparently very intense part of the hearing this morning, where there was apparently shouting

between the lawyers, that's about some historical bad blood between the defense lawyer for Trump's co-defendant, Walt Nauta, and a prosecutor on

the case from the national security section of the Justice Department.

It seemed to be quite a sidebar for what is really at issue here, but it all goes to the bigger point that the defense team was trying to make in

court today to the judge that they believe the prosecutors have acted out of line, that they have selectively and vindictively brought charges

against this co-defendant, Walt Nauta, to try and get him to cooperate against Donald Trump.

QUEST: So, the judge involved, now people have sort of said, A, that she's out of her depth, she's not experienced enough for this level of trial. B,

that she's sort of swamped with motions, and she's very slow at actually dealing with them. And she was a Trump appointee. Is there legitimate cause

for criticism about the judge's competence in this case?

POLANTZ: Some of it, Richard. I mean, as far as her competency to sit on the bench, she is Senate confirmed. She was a Trump appointee. She has the

right to have this case going forward. She does not have to recuse from this case. And even though she is a Trump appointee and she's only been on

the bench about four years.

On the issue of her not handling a lot of these questions that are before her in this case, that there is a backlog of dozens of legal motions here,

that is a legitimate complaint. Now, judges can do whatever they want, though, when they manage their courtroom, she's taking it slow. She wants

to have hearings on nearly everything so far. There are many hearings she hasn't even scheduled yet. Not all judges would do it that way. So, she is

doing it differently.

And there are certain things she's kicking down the line too, where she's having issues before her saying, OK, I'm going to make a decision, and then

only makes about half of the decision and says, I'll get to the rest later.

QUEST: We've seen -- as these trials all get going, we have sort of a barometer in a sense. We've seen Merchan and how he's dealing with it. Now,

we have this judge in Florida dealing with it, with her case. So, we are getting a fascinating, almost voyeuristic view of the judiciary and Donald


POLANTZ: It's quite an array of different approaches from the bench to these cases. Judge Merchan is moving things along, sometimes quite

frustrated with the defense and the approaches that they're having, clearing the courtroom, for instance, earlier this week in front of the

jury to talk to a witness, a defense witness.

Judge Tanya Chutkan in federal court in D.C., she moves things right along. Aileen Cannon in Florida, this hearing today, she's spending hours, and we

have no idea when she will clear up some of these pretrial issues. Richard.

QUEST: Well, you've got work, you've got work keeping you busy for the next, God knows, how many months. Thank you, Katelyn Polantz in Washington.


So, to Donald Trump's hush money trial, the jury will have to wait until next week before hearing closing arguments. The witnesses are -- it's over,

that's done. Closing arguments start next week and then the jury gets the case and will await their verdict.

With me is Edie Greene, jury expert, with me from Colorado. And now, look, there's a fascinating debate, isn't there, whether the judge was right to

take this very long break over Memorial Day. Was it ever an option just to keep going right the way through and make them sit over the weekend on

Memorial Day?

EDIE GREENE, JURY EXPERT: I do think that that could have been a possibility. Certainly, that's -- it is not uncommon for judges to ask

jurors to stick around for a very long time, into the evening, sometimes through weekends in order to reach a verdict.

But I also think that it -- there would have been the possibility that this jury could have come to a rather quick verdict. And we would wonder then

always whether they were thorough in their discussion of the evidence and their application of the law, or whether they wanted to get home to a

Memorial Day barbecue.

Frankly, I come down on the side of jurors being very careful and thorough, but you don't want them to rush through any of the discussion in this

really historic moment.

QUEST: Which, of course, then you -- if you're hoping to sort of balance that out, you can't sequester them because then you're just defeating the

whole object in a sense. But you do end up with a jury that will have been, for want of a better phrase, with the great unwashed over Memorial Day and

could be influenced. Will hear opinions of friends and family over barbecues.

GREENE: Certainly, this exposes them to more time off and more opportunity to be looking at the news or social media, despite the judge's request that

they not do that. Sure, that it would be harder for them to absent themselves from conversations about this trial.

On the other hand, they will -- when they get back into the courtroom, they're going to very quickly be face-to-face with summaries of the

evidence in the form of closing arguments. They'll have access to the notes that the judge has allowed them to take. So, I am not terribly concerned

that there will be any enormous detriment to their memory for their access to the facts and the evidence that they've heard so far.

QUEST: How long do you think each prosecution and defense will sum up for? And how long do you think it'll take the judge to give his instructions?

GREENE: I assume that the judge has asked -- has informed the two parties that they'll have the same amount of time for their closing arguments. I

don't know, frankly, what that time is. It may be an hour. It may be two hours. I can't imagine that it would be any more than that.

And then I think, frankly, that there are some fairly complicated legal issues here that will have to be explained to the jury by way of jury

instruction. So, that could be another hour or two. So, I'm assuming that these formalities will take most of next Tuesday. Although, that's just my

observation from afar.

QUEST: And of course, I won't ask you how long you think the jury will be out. That's like asking how long is a piece of string on a wet Wednesday.

Thank you. We'll talk more.

GREENE: Thank you.

QUEST: I'm grateful. Thank you. For the first time in nearly 16 years, the White House is preparing to welcome a leader of an African nation. It's

Kenya's president, William Ruto, who was greeted in Washington and by the first lady. He's going to meet the president in a couple of hours and the

pair will hold official talks and there will be a state dinner on Thursday night. President Ruto started his historic trip in Atlanta. He was given

VIP treatment at the filmmaker Tyler Perry Studios.

As Kenya's leader gets ready to meet the president, his nation is preparing to send troops to Haiti for U.N. sanctioned support mission. The final

preparations are being made according to Kenya's secretary of foreign affairs. The forces should be deployed by the end of this month. It's a

multinational mission, and the aim is to restore order in Haiti after the government collapse and widespread gang violence.

Attorneys for Hunter Biden are in the Los Angeles court asking for his trial on federal tax evasion charges to be delayed until at least after the

summer in September.


The trial is currently set to begin late next month. His lawyers say it will create a conflict with a scheduled separate gun case against him in

the Biden's home state of Delaware. The U.S. president's son has pleaded not guilty in all the various cases.

As you and I continue, soldiers in Ukraine are fighting an important battle to prevent Russia from taking a strategic town.

And an investigation is underway after severe turbulence during that flight from London to Singapore.


QUEST: The SQ321 passengers from Tuesday's deadly Singapore Airlines flight are now describing the terrifying moments that took place.


DZAFRAN AZMIR, SINGAPORE AIRLINES FLIGHT SQ321 PASSENGER: Like I didn't realize the things that broke within the airplane, the dents that were made

in the overhead, like, luggage compartments, and all the additional kind of paneling above our heads, like, I thought it was just the oxygen masks

coming out and then popping out the panel, but in fact, like heads had literally pushed through and broken those plastic panels. And, like, there

was just -- there's blood and there's bits and pieces just broken everywhere.

JOSH SILVERSTONE, SINGAPORE AIRLINES FLIGHT SQ321 PASSENGER: A lot of people can barely move their back. I'm very fortunate to be able to walk

and come out here only really 24 hours later. Yes.


QUEST: So, flight data shows the jet basically climbing and dropping multiple times. The 777 was hit by severe turbulence. And as you can tell

from the pictures, everything got thrown around the cabin. There was an emergency landing in Bangkok.

Our aviation correspondent is Pete Muntean, who is with me from Washington. Pete, look, we've obviously looked at the data. What is interesting, and I

think I was talking about it earlier, is that the differences in altitude were not that huge, a couple of hundred feet here or there. It was the

velocity, the vertical rate of ascent and descent that was so powerful within those movements that did the damage.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and it creates a lot of G forces in the moment, and that is what creates these really severe

turbulence incidents. And it has to be severe, and that is, you know, as the name implies, there are different categories of turbulence, severe is

when the seatbelts have to keep you in the seat. If the seatbelt wasn't on, this is what happens. And you heard the passenger describe folks being

thrown up to the ceiling on board this Boeing 777.

The good news here is that the plane is rarely hurt. The airplane can fly just fine through turbulence. And it is clear through the data that the

rate of descent and climb, you're right, was very, very rapid. A lot of big shifts, a lot of a big range there. Although, not some huge plunge like

this was initially described as a 6,000 feet plunge, that is something that the crew did as part of an emergency descent after this took place so they

could get to a different altitude where there may not be turbulence.


What is really interesting here for investigators is the weather at the time of the incident, and no doubt they will look into that. And we know

that our meteorologist here at CNN have looked at the weather picture. This is the radar data at the time over Myanmar. And you can see just how fast

these afternoon thunderstorms bloomed up.

Just to give you an idea of how much energy was in these thunderstorms, the anvil head initially started out at about 20,000 feet. In an hour's time,

the anvil head of the thunderstorm was at 50,000 feet in some of these areas. So, that was a huge 30,000-foot bloom in a short period of time.

QUEST: So, why --

MUNTEAN: And it shows that maybe these pilots may have not been able to see this growth take place so quickly. They may have just been flying through

the ingredients of the thunderstorm --

QUEST: All right. Pete --

MUNTEAN: -- but maybe not fully in a thunderstorm just yet.

QUEST: Right. But they've got -- there were three aspects. Firstly, they've got their own radar.


QUEST: Weather radar. Secondly, you've got the airline and you've got the ATC. And thirdly, you've got ride reports from those in front. And none of

those -- I mean, I accept, of course. Yes, everybody could see there was a big storm or there was a lot of clouds, but it was the ferocious nature of

it that they were unable to really predict.

MUNTEAN: Yes. And it seems like, you know, this is during a time when it's monsoon season and the weather can change so quickly in Myanmar and in that

area. But the ride report thing is so interesting. And here in the U.S. We often call them PIREP, pilot reports. It's the airplane in front of you

sort of reporting to the airplane behind, this is what the weather is like, this is what the turbulence is like. But it's only as good as the data that

the pilots put in. If no one's giving out a report, then somebody can't avoid turbulence up ahead of them.

So, it's a very insidious and very invisible problem. And so, the real question here is, were pilots being able to get enough data?

QUEST: All right.

MUNTEAN: And were they interpolating the data in the cockpit themselves?

QUEST: Pete, good to have. Thank you. sir.

MUNTEAN: Anytime.

QUEST: Troops in Ukraine are standing strong to protect one village that they simply can't afford to lose to Russia. If Russian forces take it,

their artillery will be in range of the country's second largest city. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh with this exclusive, and the images are graphic.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Some towns they can never let Putin take, and this, Lyptsi, is one

of them.

Destroyed artillery on the streets. Homes aflame from an airstrike, they can only move at night.


WALSH (voice-over): It's a perilous grip they keep, but lose here, and Russian artillery will be in range of Ukraine's second city, Kharkiv.

WALSH (on camera): You can still smell the smoke here from an airstrike that landed just in the last hour or so.

WALSH (voice-over): This is life under the drone. We're the first reporters into the heart of the town. Only soldiers left here underground. The

Khartila 13th National Guard first tackled Russia's new offensive.

OLEKSANDR, KHARTILA NATIONAL GUARD BRIGADE (through translator): You saw how it's all burning. It's like that every night.

WALSH (on camera): Do you think there were good enough fortifications here?

OLEKSANDR (through translator): Nothing was prepared here. Nothing. Just nothing. All the positions are being built by the hands of the infantry.

The Russians are trained professional soldiers. We can see it from their equipment, from their tactics.

WALSH (voice-over): There were eight airstrikes just in the last hour, so we leave soon. A buzzing noise near us, very close, and the only way they

know whose drone this is, is if it attacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Is it your drone?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Who knows?

WALSH (voice-over): All around Kharkiv, they don't have enough guns and the Russians have too many drones. The 92nd Assault Brigade show us something

that isn't even theirs.

WALSH (on camera): Russian artillery piece that they captured in the first year of the war in the fighting in Kharkiv region. And now they use,

strangely, French mortar rounds to fire from here. It's just a sign of how little appropriate ammunition they have available to them. This wire is a

protection from FPV drones.

WALSH (voice-over): Above, he sees a drone with two battery packs, a long- range scout.

WALSH (on camera): Run. Basement.

WALSH (voice-over): It is not friendly. If you can tell, it's an attack drone. Hide. This seems to be a scout. So, running is better before it

calls in shelling.

Another artillery unit wants to show us something not even Russian, but Soviet. Made in the 1940s, it can still fire newer Polish shells. In the

autumn, it was a hundred a day, now it is 10.


WALSH (on camera): Extraordinary to see something here that's three times the age of either of these two guys holding back a new Russian offensive in

2024. I say the metal is so old that that limits the number of times.

WALSH (voice-over): That sound warns another drone is incoming. And back in the bunker, they show us the online bought 30 gadget that is their best

warning mechanism.

The team here embody Ukraine's exhaustion and resilience. Older guys, wounded infantrymen. Artur (ph) has drone shrapnel in his arms still.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Moving towards Lozova?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Orlan. Don't go out at all for now.

WALSH (on camera): He just saw an Orlan Russian drone passing overhead. So, he is saying, better stay inside.

WALSH (voice-over): On the way back into the city, we see what fuels this defense. This was a lakeside resort, football, cocktails, a beach.

WALSH (on camera): Extraordinary devastation. I think they're here to collect the bodies.

WALSH (voice-over): A seven-month pregnant woman was among the seven dead here. Another body found later, just fragments in the mulch.

Russia's advance looms over whatever life persists here, belching out over homes. The darkest little salvation, this may be a drone being hit, but

they kill two when they crash in failure. Flares breached the enforced blackout. Moscow is getting nearer again. And there are always too many

blasts before dawn.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Kharkiv, Ukraine.


QUEST: And this is CNN.


QUEST: "Saturday Night Fever," I remember it well. "Staying Alive," the emblematic dancefloor where John Travolta famously flaunted his moves is

expected to sell for $300,000 in an online auction. It's scheduled for next month.

The movie where Travolta played Tony Manero earned him an Oscar nomination and turned him into a household name and gave the rest of us a wish for the



Elvis Presley fans receive a sigh of relief. A Tennessee judge has ruled that Graceland cannot be foreclosed upon for now. A mysterious company

claimed the estate was collateral for an unpaid loan.

The actress Danielle Riley Keough, Elvis' granddaughter, sued claiming the documents were false. It's the second most visited home in the U.S. after

the White House. In 2007, I was there to witness.


QUEST: Just give us one line from "Jailhouse Rock."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I went through a party in the county jail.

QUEST: Thank you.


QUEST: I think that's more than enough. Now, I can't compete with either of that hair, as you can see. It'd take sort of an environmental disaster area

to get this up and running. But I can, perhaps -- hold on to those. I can perhaps at least join in a little bit.


QUEST (on camera): Thank you for watching. Hope that didn't give you too much of a bout of indigestion for your evening. Very grateful. I'll have

"Quest Means Business" in a little while.

Coming up next, it's Jim Sciutto. And I'm sure he'll do a very good Elvis impersonation at some point. He plied with enough drink. "Newsroom" with

Jim Sciutto coming up. Because the news never stops. We certainly don't. See you.