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Isa Soares Tonight

Mexico Elects Its First Woman President; Jury Selection Underway In Hunter Biden Gun Case; Benjamin Netanyahu Under Pressure From All Sides Over Ceasefire Proposal; Biden: Netanyahu Under Pressure From All Sides Over Ceasefire Proposal; Israeli Military Tells Families Of Four Israeli Hostages Held In Gaza "They Are No Longer Alive"; Ukraine Says It Hit Missile System Inside Russian Territory Using Western Weapons. 2-3p ET

Aired June 03, 2024 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, history in Mexico as the country elects

its first female president. We'll dig into her policies and the political hurdles ahead. Then another unprecedented trial in United States as jury

selection begins in Hunter Biden's federal gun case.

We'll look at the trial significance ahead of the presidential election. Plus, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing pressure relief

from all sides over Gaza ceasefire proposal. The tough choices he faces just ahead. But first this evening, a moment of many firsts for Mexico. The

country has elected its first female president and first president with Jewish heritage.

Preliminary results from Mexico's electoral institute show Claudia Sheinbaum as the winner of Sunday's presidential election, winning as much

as 60 percent of the vote. Her administration will face several challenges though, including security, organized crime and setting the tone of course,

for the pivotal U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship. For now though, thousands of people have been celebrating this groundbreaking moment, have

a listen.


ANGEL GUZMAN, SUPPORTER OF MEXICAN PRESIDENT-ELECT CLAUDIA SHEINBAUM: This is a great victory for the first woman president. For the first time in

over 200 years of elections in Mexico with the support of the people, a woman has arrived to power. A leftist woman who is committed to all the

needs of the Mexican people.


SOARES: Let's get more on all of this, Gustavo Valdes has been tracking this historic moment and joins us live from Mexico City. Gustavo, good to

see you, I mean, it is a historic win, breaking through as that gentleman saying, 200 years of male governments. But now, Gustavo, the hard work

truly begin.

Just talk us through how this win is being received in Mexico, and of course, the challenges, and there are many that Sheinbaum faces here.

GUSTAVO VALDES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, I said, well, yes, the celebration now almost failed a little bit anti-climactic in part because he came so

late or early in the morning, there was a delay announcing their results. And voters had told us that they had already known that they were going to

have a female person because the two top contenders were women.

So, they had already gotten used to the idea that the next person was going to be a woman, yet they celebrated, they know there are a lot of challenges

ahead, public safety being their main concern. All the foreign relations not only with the United States, but also countries south of the Mexican

border, but they all seem ready to have a woman to take the reins of the country.



VALDES (voice-over): Claudia Sheinbaum has made history as the first woman projected to be the next President of Mexico. The 61-year-old, handedly

defeated her two opponents with at least 58 percent of the vote according to the National Electoral Institute.

CLAUDIA SHEINBAUM, PRESIDENT-ELECT, MEXICO (through translator): Our duty is and always will be to look after each Mexican without distinctions.

Although many Mexican women and Mexican men don't agree fully with our project, we will work in peace and harmony to build a fair and more

prosperous Mexico.

VALDES: Besides being the first woman set to become president, she would be the first one of Jewish ancestry. Her grandparents migrated from eastern

Europe, fleeing Nazi persecution, although she rarely mentions her religious background. Her parents were leftist according to a biography by

journalist Arturo Cano, in which "Sheinbaum" says that she grew up talking about politics all day with her parents.

But her first career is academia. She has a PHD in environmental engineering, focused in renewable energy and climate change. Her

introduction to politics happened in 2000 when she became Mexico City's Environmental Minister under the head of government, Andres Manuel Lopez

Obrador, she became part of his team during his three presidential campaigns, and in 2018, when he won the presidency, she was elected chief

of government of Mexico City.


She pledged to continue the policies of Lopez Obrador with a five-point plan, increase public safety, free public education, fight poverty through

social programs and a higher minimum wage, better regulation of water resources and transition to renewable energies. On foreign affairs, she has

pledged to protect Mexico's sovereignty and while recognizing the importance of their relationship with the United States, she wants to focus

on growing ties with central and South American nation.


VALDES: Now, today, Claudia Sheinbaum has been quiet, judging by the messages and social media she's been fielding a lot of calls from world

leaders, how -- who have congratulate her in the victory.

And perhaps, her first -- the first clue we might get about how her next government, the next six years is going to be could come tomorrow because

we're expecting the United States President Biden to announce some changes to U.S. policy regarding migration, and for that, they're going to need a

buy-in from Mexico, obviously, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is still the one making those decisions.

But being that technically, we are already in that transition, and they've worked too close together. It would be interesting to see if she has

something to say about how she feels about whatever is going to be announced tomorrow in Washington.

SOARES: And Gustavo, just focusing here on what you've been hearing from people who -- from voters really in the last 24 hours, what would you say

was the number one priority that they want to see Claudia Sheinbaum hit first and foremost?

VALDES: They're number one, two and three priority, security. They are tired of the violence. They didn't like that this political cycle they saw

about 200 people healed, 30 of those or more where candidates, they see the violence across the country and they don't feel safe.

So, that is their main priority, and that's what they would like to see changed. And here's also another question mark as to how she is going to

approach this issue. If she continues the policies of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, which she has said that she will do, but he has taken a hands off


He hasn't really engaged the army or the police forces to go against after the cartels or organized crime, and many things that is part of the problem

or if she's going to take another route and break out from the get-go with her predecessor.

SOARES: Yes, we're interested to seeing whether she keeps to the hugs, not bullets policy, of course, from AMLO. Gustavo, great to see you, appreciate

it, thank you very much. Well, some of these votes came just really five months before the U.S. presidential election, where immigration as you

heard there from Gustavo is one of the top issues.

Joining us now from Washington D.C. is Jason Marczak; who is the senior director of Latin American Center at the Atlantic Council. Jason, great to

have you on the show. Look, I think it's historic, of course, we've been saying it pretty much all day, she has indeed broken the glass ceiling and

the ceiling in Mexican politics.

So, what is it really about Sheinbaum that has appealed you would you say, to the roughly 60 percent of the Mexican population. I mean, how has she

won them over here?

JASON MARCZAK, DIRECTOR, ADRIENNE ARSHT LATIN AMERICA CENTER: Thank you, guys. She won them over because of this continuity of the policy the AMLO

presidency had. President Lopez Obrador is incredibly popular in Mexico, he's raised wages for workers, he has a large infrastructure projects

especially in the south of Mexico that many people can see some of the tangible benefits the government can provide.

So, she's been able to build off of that popularity of AMLO with a friendly -- a margin of victory that even surpasses AMLO's margin of victory, what

he won six years ago. She -- as she won it by at least 5 percentage points more than when he secured the presidency.

So, she will come into office with an even larger, more clear mandate than AMLO came into office, as she will do so with sizable representation by her

party and the coalition in the Mexican Congress.

SOARES: On that point, Jason, I mean, how much do you think that perhaps she may struggle here to just step out of AMLO's shadow. I mean, she has

promised -- we heard her say last night, she promised to preserve his legacy. How much does she need him in your view, does she need him at all

in that relationship?

MARCZAK: So, I think that because -- I think she is -- she will continue the policies of AMLO, but I think she will also be her own president. I had

the opportunity to sit down with her last year when she was in Denver for the city Summit of the Americas.

I found her to be incredibly pragmatic, very technical and very firm grasp of the issues. As head of government of Mexico City as well, first time

going --

SOARES: Yes --

MARCZAK: To be with her team. They had 220 page plan of action for how the government will be run. So, she has clear ideas.


She has a clear policy direction, but at the same time, she does believe in the policies of President Lopez Obrador and will continue that general

direction that the president has laid out.

SOARES: And I'm not sure whether you were able, Jason, to hear our correspondent Gustavo Valdes in Mexico City when I asked him what were the

main priorities that they would like to see her really target, really hit off the bat. And he said security. Talk to that. I mean, that we know it's

one of the main concerns, right?

Organized crime, violence, security, and we all know looking at least the numbers when I was looking at the last kind of 48 hours that AMLO's

policies of a (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE), the hugs, not bullet strategy, that has not worked. Have we seen anything new from her because

we have -- we are seeing -- we have been seeing from AMLO an over-reliance here on the military. So, what can we expect from her?

MARCZAK: You know, she talked about during the campaign, a continuation of the hugs, and not bullets policy. At the same time though, she's talked

about investing further in social programs, education programs to be able to find alternatives than going into the illicit world.

You know, I think that as your correspondent said, security is priority one through three, maybe even priority one through five for the Mexican people.

The number of candidates that were killed during the election, also the regular homicide that has increased over the course of the next successor.

So, Mexican voters overwhelmingly brought her into office, is reflection of their support for President Lopez Obrador from -- so far as improving their

day-to-day lives. But there is general frustration with the security policies of the president, and there's also frustration on the U.S. side

with regard to our security relationship and especially the issue of fentanyl. This used to come across the U.S.-Mexico border.

SOARES: Would you -- would you say, Jason, that this is going to be the hardest challenge for her?

MARCZAK: It will be. It will be -- it will be a very hard challenge to get those homicide rates down, at the same time, that she will also -- going in

the direction of a stronger security approach, the kingpin approach, for example, that previous Mexican presence had deployed, including in the

early 2000s.

That approach of -- actually resulted in more violence because it further disrupted in some of the relationships among the different cartels or

something kingpins were part of bans, jail or killed. She's not going to continue, she's not going to go back to that kind of policy, she will

continue with this AMLO's old policy --

SOARES: Yes --

MARCZAK: But she needs to find a way to be able do so, that's also bringing down the homicide rate.

SOARES: And before -- and before I leave you, I mean, I want to ask your take on the foreign policy, because we've heard in the last what? An hour

and a half or two hours, that President Biden is expected to announce an executive order, I think it's early as tomorrow, that would basically

effectively, Jason, shut down the U.S.-Mexico border, kind of asylum seekers crossing.

Where does -- where do you think she stands for this? Speak to the relationship because between Mexico, the United States, because it has been

quite testy at times, isn't it?

MARCZAK: Yes, it has been, and the relationship will also be put to further task, not only with the policy you mentioned that will be announced

tomorrow, but the fact that we have five months until the U.S. presidential election.

SOARES: Yes --

MARCZAK: She assumes office job, her first -- her first month as president will be the last month of the U.S. election in which Mexico will certainly

be a part of that discussion, specifically migration and security. You know, President Lopez Obrador worked -- he actually worked well with

President Trump and works well with President Biden.

There has been opportunities for finding those synergies and cooperation specifically on the migration front. And that will continue to be a

dominant issue in the bilateral relationship.

SOARES: Jason, appreciate your insight, thanks very much for coming on the show.

MARCZAK: Thank you.

SOARES: Very welcome. Now, once again, the U.S. is preparing for an unprecedented trial in an election year with huge political ramifications.

Hunter Biden has been in court today where a jury selection is underway for his federal gun case.

The U.S. President's son faces three felony charges, including making false statements on a form to purchase a firearm, and then unlawfully possessing

that gun. This historic case marks the first time the child of a sitting U.S. President will stand trial. President Biden has expressed support for

his son, saying, quote, "I am the president, but I'm also a dad."

CNN's Katelyn Polantz has more on what we can expect.


KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The son of the sitting president on trial in another criminal case with big political


HUNTER BIDEN, JOE BIDEN'S SON: They ridiculed my struggle with addiction.

POLANTZ: Hunter Biden's addiction and purchase of a gun in October 2018 is at the heart of this case. The Justice Department accusing him of lying on

gun purchasing forms, they required him to attest he wasn't addicted to drugs.


A special counsel brought the case last year after a prior deal fell apart in dramatic fashion at his plea hearing.

MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I'm here today to announce the appointment of David Weiss as a special counsel.

POLANTZ: On Monday, jury selection begins, potentially a challenging task in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. Federal prosecutors plan to

highlight a part of his memoir where he writes about struggling with drug addiction around the time he bought the gun.

H. BIDEN: I had returned that Fall of 2018 after my most recent relapse in California with the hope of getting clean through a new therapy and

reconciling with Hallie. Neither happened.

POLANTZ: And they have evidence from the week of the gun purchase. Hunter Biden texting he was waiting for a dealer and sleeping on a car, smoking

crack. The trial also may feature testimony from the women in Hunter Biden's life, his ex-wife, his brother's widow, and a woman he pays child

support to.

Prosecutors say the women witnessed his drug addiction. While Joe Biden continues to seek re-election, the president has avoided commenting

directly on the prosecution of his son.


POLANTZ: Yet, the trial is likely to dredge up more Republican attacks on the Bidens, including about a laptop containing embarrassing messages and

images that prosecutors have obtained.

REP. ELISE STEFANIK (R-NY): The Biden crime family sold out America and the American people have had enough.

POLANTZ: Republicans have been investigating Hunter Biden's business dealings as part of an impeachment probe of President Biden that's come up


H. BIDEN: MAGA Republicans have impugned my character, invaded my privacy, attacked my wife, my children, my family and my friends.

POLANTZ: After his trial on felony gun charges ends, Hunter Biden is set to face a second one in federal court in California on tax charges.


SOARES: And CNN's Katelyn Polantz joins us now. So, Katelyn, just talk us through then what has been happening in the -- with the jury selection

today and what we've been hearing.

POLANTZ: Well, we're actually pretty close to seeing a jury being seated in this case. It can happen pretty quickly in federal court depending on how

quickly the judge moves things along. And they're only needed to be about three dozen jurors that were qualified, so weren't struck for cause or

removed from the jury pool because they couldn't be impartial in this case.

And so we're very close to having a jury here that seeded one of the things that has come up during the jury selection process repeatedly is the jurors

feelings on addictions. Several of the jurors still remaining in the pool, so people who could potentially be among those 12 jurors are for alternates

that will ultimately be selected.

People knowing others, club, close family members even, who have struggled with addiction jury selection at times, as those individual potential

jurors are being questioned, has gotten a bit emotional, that is going to be a major thing in Hunter Biden's case, the fact that he was a long-time

drug user and that prosecutors say he was using crack and addicted to crack at the time that he bought that gun, signed those forms in October of 2018.

Whereas his defense team is going to want to try and argue to the jury that he didn't realize that he was an addict at that time because he was

struggling with addiction, but he was also just coming out of rehab and trying to get clean. Back to you.

SOARES: Katelyn Polantz, I know you'll be following all the developments, I appreciate it, thanks Katelyn. Now, Dr. Anthony Fauci has been in

Washington today facing questions about the then government's response, U.S. government's response, of course, to the COVID pandemic.

Fauci is the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and led the government's COVID response. Today's House

subcommittee hearing comes after more than a year of investigations. Now, some Republicans claim Fauci improperly used his personal e-mail to hide

important discussions over COVID-19 including the lab-leak theory.


REP. DEBRA LESKO (R-AZ): Did you cite this article at the White House because the NIH director asked you to suppress the lab-leak theory?


official testimony. So, you said about four or five things, congressman, that were just not true.

LESKO: Well, we have e-mails to prove it.

FAUCI: Well, you don't --


SOARES: And still to come tonight, the kings of Europe just got a bit richer. Real Madrid adding a star player to an already impressive roster.

You're looking at him there. It is official, Mbappe goes to Real, next.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. It is the burning question on the lips of football fans right around the globe. Where will 2018 World Cup winner

Kylian Mbappe write his next chapter of his career. If you've answered Real Madrid, well, then you are absolutely right.

Rumors have been swirling that's where Mbappe would land. Real Madrid finally sealed the deal, announcing just moments ago in the last 20 minutes

or so, the signing of the French superstar. Let's get more on this from our Don Riddell. And Don, this is a thing my kids have wanted to know for weeks

on end, and they will be thrilled.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they will be. I mean, I think to be honest, this was the worst kept secret in football --

SOARES: Yes --

RIDDELL: In football for the last season. Everybody expected him to go to Real Madrid, it would have been a monumental surprise if he went anywhere

else. But as you say, it is now official. Madrid have confirmed it, Mbappe himself has confirmed it. He's spoken of his happiness and his pride,

saying, his dream has come true, he is moving to the club of his dreams.

And it's going to be so exciting to see what he does there, because he has been a huge star in European and world football for the last, well, 4, 5, 6

years. Now, remember, he won the World Cup in 2018 when he was still a kid. He played in the next World Cup final, losing that one only by a whisker to


He's won a lot of league titles in France with Paris Saint-Germain, but they were never able to land the big one in Europe. And he's now moving to

a team that just cannot stop winning European cups. We just saw what Real Madrid did on Saturday beating Borussia Dortmund, making that their 15th

European cup victory, their sixth in just 11 years. So, he is moving to an absolutely star-studded team, and his star is just going to continue to

rise I'm sure.

SOARES: Yes, and I'm seeing on Twitter as well whereas he had said dream came true. He also posted photos of himself when he was little with Real

Madrid kit next to Ronaldo. I mean, like you said, Don, it's a star-studded team, will be able to shine amongst all these players?

RIDDELL: Well, yes, that's a good question. Like, where is he going to fit in? I mean --


RIDDELL: He's going to be one of the biggest stars, if not the biggest star on the team. So, I'm sure they'll figure it out. But yes, I mean, this is

where he has wanted to go for a long time.

Remember, he's a Paris kid, he grew up in Paris, the amount of money that was behind Paris Saint-Germain kind of enabled him to stay there and play

alongside the likes of Lionel Messy, but the European Cup never worked out for Paris-Saint Germain and their kind of galactico team if you like has

been broken up now, and Mbappe is the last one of those megastar players to leave.


So, it is going to be really exciting to see what happens next. And by the way, this guy has got a really big Summer ahead. I mean, he's in training

with the French national team at the moment, he is the captain of Les Bleus, they're preparing for the European championships in Germany coming

up in just a few weeks time.

France will be fancied to do very well in that tournament. And then, we've got the Olympics in Paris, again in Mbappe's hometown, France will be

fielding a team. I don't think he's going to be playing, although it might perhaps be tempting certainly the coach of that team Thierry Henry, he's

hoping that Mbappe will play in the Olympics. I suspect Real Madrid would prefer that he doesn't. They would like him --

SOARES: Yes --

RIDDELL: To have some kind of break before he turns out for the start of the new season in Spain. But certainly, a really exciting time for Mbappe,

fans of Mbappe like your kids and fans of Real Madrid who have just had the best week they could ever have imagined.

SOARES: Yes, my kids, of course, they're Real Madrid fans, so they're thrilled --

RIDDELL: Oh, really --

SOARES: Of course, when you've got Mbappe joining, that means I'll probably have to fork out for another kid.


Don, great to see you --

RIDDELL: All right --

SOARES: Appreciate it, thanks, Don. And still to come tonight, under pressure, Israel's Prime Minister is taking heat really from all sides of

regards a ceasefire proposal the United States insists came from his own government. We'll have all the details for you.

Also, as the humanitarian situation worsens in Gaza, we'll speak with a British surgeon who got firsthand look at the horrific conditions in a

hospital near Rafah. We'll be live on set with me after this.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is facing pressure from all sides over a Gaza ceasefire proposal the United

States, if you remember last week, insists came from his own government. Mr. Netanyahu is trying to reframe the deal announced last week by

President Joe Biden, saying it's not true that Israel agreed to a lasting truce without its conditions being met, including the destruction of Hamas.

The U.S. clearly trying to pressure Israel to accept a ceasefire.

So are the families, of course, of hostages still being held in Gaza? And here, you can see there, protesters outside, that's the U.S. embassy in Tel

Aviv today, demanding Mr. Netanyahu sign that deal. But if he does, this is the political consequences here, two far-right members of his government

are threatening to resign and bring down the ruling coalition.

Let's get more from our Jeremy Diamond. He's live for us in Jerusalem. And Jeremy, we'll talk about the choices for Netanyahu in just a moment, but

just news coming in to CNN in the last few minutes. I'm saying the Israeli military now saying that families of four Israeli hostages that were held

in Gaza are no longer alive. What more can you tell us?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, very sad news. These four hostages, three of them are quite -- were quite elderly. Chaim Perry, 79 years old,

Yoram Metzger, 80 years old, Amiram Cooper, 84 years old. All three of them were from kibbutz Nir Oz.

And then you have Nadav Popplewell, a 51-year-old British Israeli national who was kidnapped from kibbutz. Today, the Israeli military confirming that

all four of these men, they believe, are dead. In a statement, the Israeli military spokesman, Admiral Daniel Hagari, saying that they were killed, "A

few months ago during Hamas captivity in Gaza."

He says that they assessed that the four of them were killed while together in an area of Khan Yunis during a military operation there against Hamas.

Now, interestingly, we should note that Hamas actually last month claimed that Nadav Popplewell, that 51-year-old British Israeli, had been killed a

month prior. He was injured, they said, in an Israeli airstrike, and he subsequently died of his wounds due to a lack of, "intensive medical care."

For the families of these loved ones, of course, just agonizing news, of course, particularly since they had held out hope. I have spoken with the

families of several of these hostages, and they had held out hope that their loved ones would be released alive. There were concerning signs,


Those three elderly men, Chaim Perry, Yoram Metzger, and Amiram Cooper, Hamas had released a video of them back in December, in which they pleaded

with the Israeli government not to forsake them effectively in their old age. And the families of these three men said that they were concerned for

their safety and for their health, given their appearance in those videos. But now the Israeli government is saying that they believe that all four of

these men are dead.

That brings us to about 40 of the 124 hostages who are held in Gaza now having been confirmed dead by the Israeli government. The fate of the rest

of them, of course, still remains very much unknown, Isa.

SOARES: Yes. I mean, just heartbreaking news for those families. And just terror, really, Jeremy, for the remaining families who have been, as we've

seen, we just showed viewers there, protesting almost on a weekly basis, trying to put pressure, really, on Benjamin Netanyahu, on Prime Minister

Netanyahu to -- and Hamas as well, to reach a deal. Speak to this. Speak to the pressure that Netanyahu is facing.

I saw your analysis on, and really, the choice for Netanyahu, simple, take, you know, either ceasefire or political survival. Speak to

those choices and that pressure right now.

DIAMOND: Yes, that certainly is the choice that the Israeli Prime Minister is currently contemplating. But before he gets to the kind of final moment

where he has to make that decision between a deal that would result in a ceasefire, you know, months-long ceasefire, most likely, and the release of

dozens of hostages, or facing the potential collapse of his government, the Israeli Prime Minister right now is looking for a third option, and that is

trying to convince the far-right members of his government, like Itamar Ben-Gvir, like Bezalel-Smotrich, who have been threatening to leave this

government if this deal goes through.

He's trying to convince them that this deal is not as bad as they may think, and that it is not as President Joe Biden described on Friday

evening. And what he's really been trying to do is, while President Biden framed this deal very much as a way to end the war in Gaza, the Israeli

Prime Minister has been trying to reframe it, insisting that Israel has not agreed up front to a permanent ceasefire.


And effectively suggesting that Israel will not until Hamas is first destroyed. That is a very difficult circle to square and -- but there is

some truth to it, in the sense that the Israeli proposal that is on the table would allow for negotiations to happen during the first phase of the

ceasefire, in order for Israel and Hamas to agree to a permanent ceasefire, and the withdrawal of Israeli troops in the second phase of that deal.

The United States very much believes that if there is a six-week ceasefire, and then ensuing weeks of negotiations and continued ceasefire, that it

will be very difficult for the Israeli government to restart the war in Gaza, even if it may want to. But the Israeli Prime Minister wants to make

clear that he hasn't agreed to a permanent ceasefire up front, and that will also be a question for Hamas, whether or not that is a condition that

Hamas will accept.

If they do, of course, then the Israeli Prime Minister will have to make that decision again, most likely between the survival of his government or

this deal that is on the table, Isa.

SOARES: Jeremy Diamond, appreciate it. Thanks, Jeremy.

While a prominent aid group, the Norwegian Refugee Council, says humanitarian assistance to Gaza is basically coming to a halt as aid runs

out and operations grow increasingly dangerous. That warning comes as the UN Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace visited a hospital in Khan

Yunis today.

You're looking at there. A tall western slant of the city has been bombed to pieces, and civilians are paying the heaviest price. He says the

situation is, "way beyond anything I have seen in my life before."

Well, our next guest recently visited Gaza as part of an international group of doctors. Omar El-Taji is a British surgeon who worked at the

European Hospital near Rafah. He encountered some truly horrific as well as heartbreaking scenes.

Dr. Taji joins us now. Doctor, I appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. You came back, what, about a week and a half ago or so. Just explain to

our viewers what you saw while you were there for three weeks.

DR. OMAR EL-TAJI, BRITISH SURGEON WHO WORKED AT EUROPEAN HOSPITAL IN GAZA: So, first of all, thanks for having me, Isa. So, when we got into Rafah and

we got to the European Hospital, what we saw was -- the first thing that we saw was refugees.

There were around 30,000 refugees stationed within the hospital and around the hospital grounds. Tents were put up in the hospital corridors. Every

room that you would go in, there were refugees.

And when the Rafah invasion happened, what we started seeing was hundreds of patients at one time coming in with shrapnel injuries, patients who were

already dead, you know, kids, you know, grandfathers, grandmothers. There was no discrimination.

SOARES: Many coming in. These are your photos that we are sharing, your images. And I imagine them coming in, you said they were already dead, but

those families hoping, hoping for -- that you could bring them back or hoping they were still alive.

Speak to the conditions, because I know that the European Hospital is one of the largest and very few now operating in Gaza. Did you have the right

equipment? Did you have all the medication? Because I know you normally, I've spoken to several doctors, you go with bags, you go with suitcases

filled, but that surely doesn't last very long.

DR. TAJI: So, yes, you're right. So, I went with an NGO called FAJR Scientific. They're a US-based NGO, and there was a group of about 15, 16

of us. So, when we came through -- from Cairo to Rafah, we had about 200 bags of medical equipment, medicines, all kinds of things, you know, things

for the children. So, baby formula and things like that.

But, you know, by the third week, we had run out of almost everything. The hospital itself doesn't have many -- doesn't have capacity for the amount

of injury -- injured people that we are -- that we were seeing. You know, the staff within the hospital themselves, you know, these are all

volunteers, they're not paid.

And as the onslaught happens, people are moving from place to place, which means there is no longer a workforce. And especially now, where the borders

are completely closed, there are no foreign aid workers. These hospitals are left to essentially not cope with any of the injuries that they're


SOARES: And many of the doctors, from what I understand, that many people work in those hospitals have also been -- have also moved with their

families, given, of course, what we've seen in Rafah. Speak to the, particularly your field and the injuries that you have seen, the cases that

have marked you, doctor.

DR. TAJI: So, where do I start? I mean, we saw everything from, you know, small 18-month-old baby with a bullet wound to the head.


Arrived dead. We saw children who were completely burnt from the skin down to the bone and inhalation injuries where they just couldn't survive. We

saw shrapnel injuries to everywhere, you know, each part -- any part of the body. So, you know, I focus mainly on abdominal trauma and we -- there was

lots of shrapnel injury to the spleen, to the liver, which means that these cases are critical. There were patients who came in as part, you know, from

the bombing that had their limbs hanging off by, you know, just a piece of skin.

SOARES: And for you, a doctor, of course, so experienced in a developed democracy, you've got all the materials that you can find a way to help

people. How tough was that for you? Your hands must have felt like they were tied behind your back, unable to do what your job is supposed to be,

right? Keep these people alive.

DR. TAJI: Yes, of course. And, you know, we are extremely privileged living in this country and in the Western world where, you know, we ask a nurse to

bring something and it's there in front of you. You know, that's not the case in Gaza. You know, you don't have the medical equipment, so you have

to improvise. And what I would say is the local staff are incredibly good at doing that.

You know, they have found over the last eight months and even before that, you know, with the blockades, they have found ways to treat patients with

what they have, which is very minimal.

SOARES: Yes, and really the work they've put in, the hours of dedication, it's something that I've heard from many doctors who've gone in and I

imagine that you would go back in?

DR. TAJI: Of course. Yes, you know, when I came out, there's an extreme -- and this is for the rest of my colleagues as well, when we come out,

there's an extreme sense of guilt. You know, first and foremost, how can we leave the European Hospital and any other medical facility without any

doctors? And secondly, you know, these -- it's extremely difficult to be able to see these patients suffering. We just can't. It's so difficult. And

so we want to be there to help them.

SOARES: Dr. Omar, appreciate your work. Thank you very much.

DR. TAJI: Thank you.

SOARES: We're going to take a short break. Be back after this.


SOARES: And this just in to CNN. Ukraine says it has hit a missile system inside Russian territory using Western weapons. A Ukrainian government

minister posted a picture on social media, you can see it there, saying it shows a strike on a Russian S-300 missile system.


And it comes, of course, just days after U.S. President Joe Biden gave permission for Ukraine to carry out limited strikes on Russian territory

around Kharkiv with U.S. weaponry. We've also heard other Western governments agreeing to that, too. It is unclear which weapons, though,

were used in this attack.

This just coming in to CNN. Of course, we'll stay across it. As soon as there are any more developments, we will bring them to you.

We are tracking, in the meantime, a major political shakeup in South Africa. That's where the African National Congress, or the ANC, has lost

its majority in Parliament for the first time in 30 years. Our David McKenzie has more on the elections.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sometimes change comes slowly.

CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: Our people have spoken. Whether we like it or not, they have spoken.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Sometimes it comes fast. In just one election cycle, the ANC, the party of Nelson Mandela, with a staggering drop in support.

After three decades of dominance, the voters have spoken. The party that has defined South African politics losing its outright majority.

TK POOE, WITS SCHOOL OF GOVERNANCE: I think it means that society has passed the ANC by. We've always been waiting for the moment. We just didn't

know the appropriate vehicle.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Many South Africans were fed up with rampant corruption, huge unemployment and deep inequality. But the ANC collapse

came, in large part, thanks to this man. Disgraced former ANC President, Jacob Zuma.

In just a few months, his new uMkhonto Wesizwe, or MK, bled votes from the ANC, tapping into Zuma's loyal support in KwaZulu-Natal province. Zuma and

his party have, without evidence, claimed there were irregularities at the polls, threatening trouble if results were announced.

MELANIE VERWOERD, POLITICAL ANALYST, FORMER ANC MP: Jacob Zuma is different. It's always dangerous to let ethnic and tribal tensions rise too

much. I don't foresee it being an issue in the foreseeable future, but it is something that one always needs to watch.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): What to watch for next? Coalition politics. The ANC likely must choose to combine with pro-business democratic alliance or the

leftist radical economic freedom fighters. Perhaps even adding Zuma's MK. No one knows for sure.

FIKILE MBALULA, ANC SECRETARY-GENERAL: We call on all South Africans to resist the efforts of those forces who want to weaken our democracy, who

want to undermine our electoral processes and who want to disregard the will of the people.

JOHN STEENHUISEN, DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE LEADER: Coalitions can work. They work all over the world. It requires maturity. And yes, there's going to be

choppy waters ahead for South Africa, but we'll navigate them.

MCKENZIE: Do you want to be part of a governing coalition?

STEENHUISEN: Of course. I mean, your whole point of being in politics is to get into government.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): The results are deeply embarrassing for President Cyril Ramaphosa. He staked his reputation on reviving the ANC.

MCKENZIE: Is Cyril Ramaphosa under pressure now? Or no?

POOE: He's beyond under pressure. I think he might need to start looking for a new job. He always styles himself as the next incumbent to President

Nelson Mandela. Last recollection, President Nelson Mandela never lost an election.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): But Ramaphosa is well known as a skilled negotiator, a skill that will now become very handy indeed.

David McKenzie, CNN, Johannesburg.


SOARES: And another important election we are following is in India. General election results are expected on Tuesday. An estimated 642 million

people cast their votes in the country's election. Of those voters, nearly half were women. And that record voter turnout is happening despite a huge

heat wave.

In the past 10 days, at least 77 people have been killed by the extreme heat, including dozens of poll workers. At times, temperatures have reached

nearly 50 degrees Celsius. That's roughly 121 Fahrenheit.

Here's our Ivan Watson with the very latest for you.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is baking hot out here right now. In fact, my phone says it is 44 degrees Celsius. That's 111

degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, just last week, New Delhi recorded its hottest temperatures ever in history, with temperatures of 49.9 degrees Celsius.

That's about 121 degrees Fahrenheit. And this heat wave is deadly. It has killed scores of people across northern and eastern India over the course

of the past week and a half.


And this has coincided with the final days of India's six-week national election. And so, on Saturday, in the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh,

the authorities say that died of heatstroke and heat-related illnesses. More than half of these heatstroke casualties have been election workers.

Meanwhile, here in New Delhi, the authorities have had to ration delivery of water to neighborhoods. And CNN, we visited a hospital and a heatstroke

treatment center, and their doctors warned us about how dangerous it can be once a patient succumbs to heatstroke.

DR. AJAY SHUKLA, RAM MANOHAR LOHIA HOSPITAL: Mortality rate of heatstroke is very, very high. It is close to 60 to 80 percent. And people can survive

if they get immediate and very early medical care. And that involves rapidly cooling the body.

WATSON: The Indian Meteorological Department is forecasting more heatwave conditions until Tuesday. And that is the day when we're expecting the

final vote count to be tabulated in the national election. And we're also expecting to hear the results in the world's largest Democratic election.

Ivan Watson, CNN, New Delhi.



SOARES: Well, Thursday marks the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of World War II, and France is going all out for its memorial this year.

Our Michael Holmes has the story.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A hero's welcome. More than 60 World War II veterans arrive in France ahead of the 80th anniversary of

D-Day this week, many over the age of 100, having lived a lifetime since serving their country.

But the gratitude for those who fought and died on those fateful Normandy beaches is timeless. It's unreal. On the 6th of June 1944, more than

150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of France under heavy fire from Nazi Germany's forces.

The fighting, intense, more than 9,000 Allied soldiers killed or wounded.


But it was a turning point in the war. Eight decades later, these men and women, some who fought in Europe, others in the Pacific, know firsthand the

sacrifices made on that day and the days to follow.

BILL WALL, WORLD WAR II VETERAN: I was in it from the beginning. I lost some great friends, and all those people out there on their crosses, and

unmarked graves are the true heroes.

WATSON (voice-over): But for one veteran and his companion who arrived in France ahead of the others, it was a bittersweet trip and a chance for a

new beginning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just such an experience for us, and we're very happy and very much in love.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, by the way, we're getting married in France.

WATSON (voice-over): The leaders of France, the United States, the U.K., Canada, and Germany will attend the anniversary ceremonies on Thursday. In

the past 80 years, the world has changed. Presidents, prime ministers, and chancellors have changed, but some of the surviving members of the greatest

generation are still here, keeping watch for a grateful nation.

Michael Holmes, CNN.


SOARES: Thanks for your company. I shall see you tomorrow. Have a good day.