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Isa Soares Tonight

Hezbollah Drone Attack Injured 10 People; Slovenia Recognizes Independent Palestinian State; World War II Veterans Gather in France to Mark Battle of Normandy; Netanyahu Warns Israel for Intense Action; Israel Phasing Out Controversial Detention Center; Brutal Heat Dome Scorches the U.S. Southwest; White House Response to WSJ Article on Biden's Age; WSJ Report on Biden's Mental Fitness Sparks Pushback from White House; New Birth Control for Men; Boeing Starliner's Successful Liftoff. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired June 05, 2024 - 14:00:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: Hello, and a very warm welcome, I'm Isa Soares, and we go straight to our breaking news this hour. A new attack

on northern Israel. Now, Israel's emergency service says at least ten people have been injured in the town of Hurfeish.

These are the first images that we are seeing and looking at them right now from the scene. Now, the IDF says Hezbollah militants launched at least one

drone, no sirens we've being told, warned of the attack, even before this happened, I think context is important here, Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu threatened to open a new war front in Lebanon.

He toured as you can see there, town in northern Israel hit by rockets fired from Lebanon earlier this week. And said, Israel is ready for very

intense action to restore security to the border area. Our Jeremy Diamond joins me now for the very latest.

So, Jeremy, let's just start on this breaking news. What more are you learning about this new attack on northern Israel here?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you said, Isa, at east, ten people were injured and the initial assessment from the Israeli

military is that Hezbollah launched at least one explosive drone in this attack.

This is a manner that they've used before to attack northern Israel, and one in which they have been successful in the past, including in an attack

a couple of months ago in the northern Israel town of Arab Al-Ahram Shai(ph), which was struck in which multiple Israelis, including some

reservists, had been injured.

It's not clear as of yet the ten people who were injured, whether these are soldiers, civilians, some combination of both. We will get some clarity,

I'm sure on that in the coming hours, but there's no question that it comes at a moment of extraordinary tension between Israel and Hezbollah.

We have watched, of course, over the last eight months as these cross- border attacks have happened at a steady pace over the last eight months. But now, there's no question that there's been an uptick both in terms of

the Israeli strikes in Lebanon targeting Hezbollah as well as Hezbollah's rocket and drone attacks on northern Israel.

And this week in particular, that came into very stark relief as portions of northern Israel were on fire, thousands of acres burned by wildfires

caused by those rockets being fired from Hezbollah as well as in at least one case, an Israeli missile interceptor that set fire to one area of

northern Israel.

And that has really brought attention to that situation on the northern border in Israel, to the tens of thousands of Israelis who have been

displaced from their homes in northern Israel, and the pressure that is building on the Israeli government to bring some kind of a resolution to

this situation.

And today, we heard the Israeli Prime Minister saying that Israel is quote, "prepared for very intense action in the north", saying that one way or

another, security will be restored there. When he's saying one way or another, he's talking about either through diplomacy or through military

action, and there is very much a sense now that the clock is ticking on diplomacy and that military action may indeed be in the offing.

Of course, there is no official indicator that Israel is preparing to launch some kind of massive ground assault on Lebanon at this moment. But

there's no question that there have been preparations for that over the course of the last several months.

This is not clear exactly what's going to tip the scale into all-out war if that even happens between Israel and Hezbollah.

SOARES: Indeed, and you're right, the violence which obviously has oscillated, has been oscillating these -- fair to say, for months, seems to

have escalated, Jeremy, just in recent days. We have had a response, a common here from the U.S. basically, Matthew Miller, the spokesperson for

the State Department, I'm just going to read it out.

It says "the United States remains incredibly concerned about the risk of escalation on the Israel-Lebanon border." Miller then reiterating, says an

untenable situation for Israel right now. Let's play it. Have a listen to this, Jeremy.


MATTHEW MILLER, SPOKESPERSON, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: So, we do remain incredibly concerned about the risk of isolation along the Israel-Lebanon

border. Something we've been concerned about since the immediate aftermath of October 7th, and we have been engaged in intense diplomatic

conversations and intense diplomatic negotiations --


MILLER: To try to avoid that conflict from escalating beyond control.



SOARES: So, we have also been hearing, Jeremy, and from the IDF and some members of the right-wing flank of Netanyahu's party, talking about, of

course, this potential offensive, the north with Lebanon. Speak to those pressures at this juncture, when of course, we only just heard a week ago

or so, from President Biden on this Israeli proposal for a ceasefire.

DIAMOND: Yes, I mean, the pressure is in terms of the -- Israel's northern border are mainly coming from the roughly 60,000, at least residents who

have been displaced from that area. And that pressure is felt by all corners of the government, not only the Israeli Prime Minister, but also,

for example, the war cabinet member Benny Gantz, Netanyahu's top political rival, who has also made clear that this situation needs to be resolved.

He has talked about resolving it by the Fall, whether through diplomacy or through military action. Itamar Ben-Gvir; that far-right member of

Netanyahu's government, today, calling for all-out war in Lebanon, saying that all Hezbollah strongholds must be burned and destroyed.

But it doesn't seem like there is any kind of window for a diplomatic opening without a ceasefire in Gaza. And that's why those two issues are

very much intrinsically linked. We know that Israel put a proposal on the table that includes several concessions from the Israeli government much

closer to Hamas' own position.

But we've yet to hear the response from Hamas, and there's no question that there's still this major gap. Hamas wants an upfront commitment from the

Israeli government for a permanent ceasefire, something that the Israeli Prime Minister has made very clear he is just not going to do.

And so, if that ceasefire goes into place, there is a heightened chance of a diplomatic solution to this conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. But if

there isn't, on the other hand, then I think the chances of war between Israel and Hezbollah very much go up, Isa.

SOARES: Yes, and tensions clearly rising, of course, as we have this breaking news for viewers just joining us with here in the last few

minutes. There's been an attack on northern Israel. Israel's emergency servicing saying at least ten people had been injured in the town of


But I also wanted to ask you about another story you are covering on Jerusalem there. I mean, this is normally a day that is quite contentious.

Give us a sense of what we heard, what you saw and how it compares to previous years, Jeremy.

DIAMOND: Yes, I mean, look, we saw -- we certainly saw some clashes in the old city as a result of these thousands of Israeli nationalists, many of

them young, many of them teenagers who descended on the old city, on the Muslim quarter of the old city, we should note. Part of this is about

parading through that area, commemorating the 1967 war when Israel captured east Jerusalem and brought it under its full control.

Today was the 57th anniversary of that, but there's no question that another part of this is offering a pretext to many of these Israeli

nationalists to make their presence known in Arab parts of Jerusalem. And in some cases, to instigate violence. And we saw today, small groups of

some of these Israeli nationalists walking through the streets of the Muslim quarter in the old city, banging on Palestinian shops doors, in a

couple of cases, at least, one journalist was assaulted by some of these young Israeli nationalists.

What we also heard, of course, from the thousands of people who attended this march today was a lot of anti-Arab slogans, including a chance that

has become well-known in far-right corners in Israel, which has to say, may your village burn. That was chanted over and over again.

Now beyond that, it was relatively peaceful, we should note, compared to previous years -- last year in particular, there was a lot of violence in

2021, the violence actually prompted Hamas to launch rockets towards Israel, sparking that ten-day war between Israel and Hamas.

So relatively calm this year, but nonetheless, there were some clashes, and again, an opportunity for these Israeli nationalists to make their presence

known in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

SOARES: And we're in the last few minutes, we just heard from the Jordan - - from Jordan, United Arab Emirates as you were speaking, basically condemning what they are calling the Israeli incursions into Al-Aqsa

Mosque. This is according to UAE state-run "WAM News". So, now hearing from the Jordan, from Jordan and UAE, condemning those incursions, what they're

calling incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Jeremy, appreciate it, thank you very much. And we are going to continue to bring you the very latest, of course, and developments along Israel's

northern border in about what? Twenty minutes or so, I'll be speaking with Michael Young; a senior editor at the Carnegie Middle East Center, and the

author of "The Ghosts of Martyrs Square: An Eyewitness Account of Lebanon's Life Struggles".

Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, Egypt is welcoming the decision by Slovenia to formally recognize Palestinian statehood.


On Tuesday, the country became the latest European nation supporting independent state of Palestine. You can see the moment the flag was raised

in front of the National Assembly building there. Slovenia follows in the footsteps of Spain, Ireland and Norway, who all made the decision, if you

remember, back in late May, joining a significant portion of countries right around the world. Palestinians in Slovenia are also welcoming the

decision. Have a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Truly as a Palestinian, of course, I'm really happy for this information, finally, because I think that my country of residence

is finally recognizing my home country. And this means that finally, they're realizing(ph) our rights as Palestinians to live free and with



SOARES: I want to bring in the Slovenian Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon, who hailed it as a historic day, and says she believes only a two-state

solution can lead to a lasting peace in the Middle East. Foreign Minister, welcome back to the show. I understand that your government -- and correct

me if I'm wrong here, Foreign Minister, that had initially announced it will send the decision to recognize Palestine to parliament by June.

Clearly, it seems that that process was accelerated. How much as the current crisis, the escalating crisis, I should say, inside Gaza, how much

has it expedited this?

TANJA FAJON, FOREIGN MINISTER, SLOVENIA: Yes, good evening. We just heard the very worrisome news about violence, increased violence in the region,

and also the very dramatic situation in Gaza. What I can say is that definitely encourage the government to speed up the process, also, to send

a clear signal to Israeli government and also to Hamas, we need to see an immediate ceasefire.

The continuation of negotiations for the release of hostages, and to have additional humanitarian aid for civilians in need. I am very happy that

Slovenia yesterday made the significant, a very historic decision, and we also send a very strong signal to Palestinians that they have the right

existence and self-determination.

SOARES: And already, we're seeing like we mentioned, we've seen Spain, we've seen Science --Ireland, pardon me, and Norway recognize Palestinian

statehood. Are you calling, Foreign Minister, on other European countries to follow suit? What kind of response are you getting from your European

counterparts on this?

FAJON: Absolutely, we are for a very long time trying to encourage our partners inside European Union, but also abroad to follow the case. Two

days ago, the experts of United Nations sent the same message to call the world to follow the countries to recognize Palestinian statehood.

I think it's extremely important seeing what the situation on the ground is to execute this pressure before we heard that the clock is ticking, the

diplomatic political solution that is extremely cruel, it's getting away from us. And I believe this is the right path and we will continue doing


SOARES: Let's talk about that. Let's delve deeper then into this war that's been what? Eight months or so become one of the most destructive and

deadly. And like right now, perhaps many can say looks pretty intractable.

If we focus simply on the diplomatic efforts for now, you would have known, Foreign Minister, President Biden announced this Israeli proposal for a

ceasefire last Friday, but that's encountering some vocal opposition, let's say, from some members of Israelis government -- Israel's government,

including Prime Minister Netanyahu himself. Why do you think eight months in are we still seeing so many hurdles in getting this ceasefire agreement?

FAJON: I think we have to gather all possible international response. We had recently very important, significant decision of ICJ calling Israeli

government to stop military operation at Rafah. I've been recently visiting Rafah, it's really very concerning situation there.

And it's considerably seen that the decision of ICJ has been neglected, and for that reason, yes, the Biden proposal in three phases, we definitely

support every initiative that can bring to immediate ceasefire, and both sides to negotiate. But currently, we don't see positive signs.

I've been visiting Israel myself also, many countries in the region, and there is no -- currently than negotiations would continue and its immediate

ceasefire, what we all understand will happen.

SOARES: Let me ask you this, yesterday, In a lengthy interview with "Time Magazine", President Biden was asked this, I'm going to read it out to you.


"Some in Israel have suggested that Netanyahu is prolonging the war for his own political self-preservation. Do you believe that?" The president

responded? "I'm not going to comment on that. There's every reason for people to draw that conclusion."

That's what the president was going on to say in terms of he's doing this prolonging-ness for his own political survival. What do you make of what

you heard there? Do you agree with that?

FAJON: I mean, we hear this very often that it's about political survival. But I would say a political solution, it's crucial to replace a military

one. And as you said, the clock is ticking. We are in the Security Council. We are doing all efforts, Slovenia as a non-permanent state to call for an

immediate ceasefire, to have an agreement.

We have three(ph) solutions currently on the table from Algeria to France and currently U.S. So, any attempt that can bring to an agreement and a

pleasure of international community on all stakeholders in the region, not to further escalate the situation the war in Gaza has to be supported by


Slovenia also yesterday sent a very strong message to support international law, and nothing can be above that. And this is our common joint


SOARES: Of course, that was -- that comment was from President Biden in the "Time Magazine", a lengthy interview yesterday at a press conference,

he seemed to have walked that back, so -- but important to get your response to that. Foreign Minister, appreciate you taking the time, great

to see you, thank you very much for coming on the show.

FAJON: Thank you.

SOARES: Now, it was another catastrophic night in Gaza where hospital staff say at least 65 people were killed in Israeli strikes in Deir al

Balah. Local health workers say women and children were among the dead. Our Nada Bashir has more on the suffering of Palestinian children as well as

their parents. And we must warn you, her report contains graphic images.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): What is left to say for the children of Gaza? Wounded and killed in their thousands, where a months-

long Israeli military onslaught. For so many, there are no words. The wounded are rushed to hospital beside the dead.


BASHIR: This child clutches onto her father terrified, but alive.


BASHIR: For so many others in the central city of Deir al Balah, there is only grief and suffering. As the bodies of Gaza's latest victims fill over



BASHIR: Dozens were killed in overnight strikes by the Israeli military, said to be acting on Intelligence, targeting Hamas militants and

infrastructure. But this was an area as is so often the case, where thousands of displaced civilians had been sheltering.

And a region many displaced Gazans in the south had returned to in recent days. Among them were Omshadi's(ph) daughter and her son whose lifeless

body besides her. Her four other children have been left fighting for their lives in intensive care.

"What did they do to deserve this? They were just children, not fighters", Omshadi(ph) says. As the dead are laid to rest, the living must grapple

with a humanitarian catastrophe that is only getting worse. Mountains of waste piled high, raw sewage contaminating the strips heavily-restricted

water supplies.

The U.N. now warning of severe health and environmental risks, with diseases feared to be spreading rapidly through Gaza's densely-populated

displacement camps. "Life here is so much more difficult than you could even imagine", Abdul Rahman(ph) says.

"Raw sewage, mosquitoes, no water. The smell at night, our children can't sleep. There are sick people here, the elderly". More than a million people

in Gaza are now facing catastrophic levels of hunger. A group of independent experts warned on Wednesday that famine may already be underway

in the north.

Children across the Strip have been left to scavenge for whatever they can find to feed their families. Scraps of paper and plastic gathered from the

street used in place of firewood to bake bread. "My children haven't eaten all day", this mother says, "this is all we have left to feed them for the

whole day."

And as Israel deepens its offensive further south, humanitarian operations have been left on the brink of collapse.


"I have one question", this woman says. "Why are they doing this to us? What did we do to deserve all this?" Nada Bashir, CNN, London.


SOARES: And our thanks to Nada for that report. And still to come tonight, the 80th anniversary of D-day landings is on Thursday. We go live to France

where world leaders and veterans are gathering to remember the day that changed the course of World War II. That story after this.


SOARES: Welcome back. Europe is marking a major anniversary, 80 years ago as night fell here in the U.K. and in France, allied troops were preparing

for the largest seaborne invasion in history. Operation Overlord, which were launched on June the 6th, 1944 with the goal of driving Nazi forces

out of western Europe.

Tens of thousands of troops landed on the beaches of northern France eight decades ago. And this week, World War II veterans joining global leaders to

commemorate the Battle of Normandy. Top officials from France, the U.K., U.S., Canada and Germany will be on hand for Thursday's memorials.

Many veterans are now more than 100 years old, and they've traveled to mark the big day. Have a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beautiful day, nice girls like you we're satisfied.


SOARES: Charming, still charming as ever. Joining us now is Melissa, she's live there from Normandy. And Melissa, you know, what I gather is that

these commemorations seem to be getting bigger as the number of course, of those who remembered that day firsthand seems to be getting smaller.

Just talk to us about some of the memories, that even the people you've been speaking to, and what you've been hearing in terms of tributes.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Some amazing memories coming from those - - and you saw one of them there, it's about 200 veterans of World War II. There were expecting here in Normandy this week, some, as those have come

from the United States on specially chartered planes struggling with the steps, but definitely not with their memories of all that happened on that


So, transformative was it for these 16, 17, 18, 19, 20-year-olds as they were then. But also British veterans that have come over in especially

chartered ship from Portsmouth, and of course, for these men, the 200 who are able-bodied enough to be here.


This is a tremendous occasion, perhaps you can see behind me are some of the vehicles that were used for that amphibious landing are back. These

coasts are crawling with the jeeps that carried the men and the weapons across these upfront lines to try and liberate France and ultimately


And I think an important part of what's happening here, and certainly what we saw from President Macron in the speeches and the visits that he made

today, not just in Britain, but here in Normandy as well was a reminder of the extraordinary logistical feat that Operation Overlord was hugely


And if it had failed, of course, it would have taken perhaps many more years for the allies to be able to mount anything else to try and chase the

Nazis from this part of France. So, hugely ambitious, hugely costly, of course, it's just -- this is Gold Beach that I am speaking to you from

where it was mainly British forces that came down on Omaha Beach, the American forces lost about 2,000 men just in the early hours of those very

faltering steps at the beach.

So, extraordinary courage that it took these men to come and 80 years on, a life-time later, those that remained come back with huge emotion about the

ones they lost, their brothers that also were left behind, the comrades that they fought with, that stayed and all that's happened since.

And of course, at the heart of these commemorations, not just the veterans, but as you said, Isa, the heads of state that have come from far and wide,

we're not only going to hear tomorrow from President Biden, but we're going to see most are usually for these events a special ceremony down on Omaha

Beach, where you're going to have the heads of state of France, the United Kingdom, the United States President Biden, but also, President Zelenskyy.

And that's going to be an important part of what we hear over the next couple of days. How -- what happened here, 80 years ago for all its

courage, almost its folly when you consider what they were trying to achieve against the odds, they were trying to achieve it against was

essentially a line that can be drawn from what happened 80 years ago, should the stand that is now being taken in Ukraine, and that's an

important message that you're likely to have.

What is likely to be, sadly, Isa, the last commemoration where any living World War II veterans are able to assist.

SOARES: Yes, indeed, very poignant indeed, and we are all of course, indebted to all those veterans. Melissa, thank you very much. And still to

come tonight, tensions running high along Israel's border with Lebanon. Will those tensions spiral into an all-out war between Israel and


We will discuss that. Plus, Joe Biden's age once again in the spotlight. The White House is furious of renewed article that questions the

president's mental fitness. What was said and the response coming up.




ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Welcome back, everyone. Let me just recap the breaking news that we had in the last 30 minutes or so. Fears of

an all-out erupting -- an all-out war erupting, really, along the Israel- Lebanon border really growing this hour. Israel says at least 10 people were injured after a suspected drone attack launched by Hezbollah from


Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Israel is prepared for very intense action as tensions with Hezbollah reach boiling

point. Israel's far-right minister of national security went even further saying it's the IDF job to simply destroy Hezbollah. A State Department

spokesman says the U.S. remains incredibly concerned about the risk of escalation.

I want to welcome in Michael Young. He's a senior editor at Carnegie Middle East Center. He's also the author of "The Ghosts of Martyrs Square: An

Eyewitness Account of Lebanon's Life Struggle." Michael, great to have you back on the show.

Let me start off with the breaking news that we brought for you within the last, what, 31 minutes or so. We are hearing from Israel's emergency

services that at least 10 people have been injured in the town of Hurfeish. What's the latest that you are hearing about this?

MICHAEL YOUNG, SENIOR EDITOR, CARNEGIE MIDDLE EAST CENTER: Well, I think I'm hearing what you are hearing. I mean, I'm looking at the Israeli media.

Hurfeish is apparently a Druze village in the north. And to two drones -- suicide drones were target -- targeted a football field and injured a

number of people, including, I believe, somewhere seriously injured.

SOARES: Let's talk then about this, I don't know if we can call it an escalation we've seen, because as the war has raged in Gaza, Michael,

Hezbollah and Israel have been engaged, I think it's fair to say, in a kind of a steady drumbeat of attacks now for months, which now, in the last,

what, several days seems to be escalating.

I want to just share with you is what you wrote on X. You said, what's happening on this Lebanese-Israeli border now appears to be an effort to

shape a post-Gaza reality along the border. Just explain what you mean by this.

YOUNG: Well, I think that both the Israelis and Hezbollah realize that once Gaza is over, they have to resolve -- both sides are going to have to

face the question of how do you resolve the northern -- the situation on the northern border. The Israelis don't want to go back to the status quo

ante before October 7th on the northern border. Hezbollah would like to. But I think one realizes that it's going to be difficult to -- you know, to

go back to that, at least, initially early on.

What's going to very probably happen is there will be a mediation, very likely done by the Americans to find some kind of a solution to that border

problem, some kind of an agreed solution. In anticipation of this, I think, both sides have essentially raised the ante and raised -- Hezbollah has

increased the firepower it's been using basically -- the Israelis, you know, don't think you can push us.

And having said that, we say an escalation today, but I mean, the Israelis have severely escalated in week -- in the last weeks and months. They have

hit -- actually, they have escalated far more in a way than Hezbollah. They've hit targets far from the border area. They've killed many more

civilians, including injuring a number of children last week in (INAUDIBLE).

So, in other words, you know, both sides have been raising the heat on the border and showing in a way that -- you know, in a way, if I can say

strength -- strengthening their deterrence.

SOARES: Yes. And the rhetoric seems to be intensifying too. The IDF chief of staff saying that the Israeli military is ready to attack targets in the



He said, we are prepared after a very good process of training up to the level of military exercise to move to an attack in the north strong

defense, readiness to attack, we are approaching a decision point. If Israel here does decide to go on the offensive at the border with Lebanon,

I mean, what are the risks to Lebanon, the risks of wider regional conflict? This is something, of course, we heard from the State Department

in the last 20 minutes or so, concern over this escalating.

YOUNG: Look, I think there's a lot of rhetoric that's going around. As I said, if today you're preparing for an eventual negotiation, all sides have

an interest in raising the rhetorical -- the level of rhetoric to say that they're not going to bend. I think this is a bit where we are today.

Of course, there's always -- a war. I'm not trying to suggest there won't be a war. But I find it more likely that what we're seeing -- the thinking

may be more along the lines of controlled escalations so that, in a way, each side can try to get the outcome they want in negotiations.

Now, an all-out war is not going to resolve any of Israel's problems. First of all, it will not bring the people of Northern Israel back to their

towns, because a lot of those towns will end up being destroyed in any conflict.

Seriously (ph), Netanyahu today engage in a conflict where there is no clear end game. We have to remember, in 2006, it was a disaster for the

Israeli government. I don't think this time will be very different. It's not really clear how you win a conflict against Hezbollah.

And finally, and most importantly, I think, and this is very important, it's the Biden administration made it very clear to the Israelis that they

should bring the Gaza conflict to an end because I think the Americans (INAUDIBLE) does not want a war in the Middle East throughout the summer

months, which is going to affect the American elections.

I think the Israelis realized that for the Americans this is a red line, especially if a war in Lebanon does spread to the region and very likely.

In other words, what will happen is you will see Hezbollah's regional allies entering the fray (INAUDIBLE).

SOARES: Yes. And what we have heard in the last, what, 20 minutes or so from the Matthew Miller, to the State -- the spokesperson for the State

Department saying the United States remains incredibly concerned about the risk of escalation, he said on the Israel Lebanon border, but not to say

the Israeli government privately maintained to the west that their preferred solution to this conflict is a diplomatic one. We'll stay across

this. But as always, Michael, great to get your insight or your sharp analysis. Thank you.

YOUNG: Thank you.

SOARES: Now, Israel is phasing out use of a controversial detention center after CNN investigation triggered international condemnation. Hundreds of

Palestinian detainees are being moved out of the camp in the Negev Desert into a military facility in the occupied West Bank. Israel's supreme court

held a hearing on the camp after human rights groups filed a petition urging it to be shut down last month.

Our Matthew Chance talked to Israeli whistleblowers, former detainees, as well as eyewitnesses, they described horrific conditions at the camp,

including doctors having to amputate prisoners' limbs because of injuries from continuous handcuffing.

The IDF says it's investigating the reported abuse as well as the deaths of Palestinian prisoners in military custody. It says 36 detainees held at

Israeli military detention camps have died since October 7th, including those with previous illnesses.

And still to come tonight, fury from the White House after a new report questions his age, as well as his mental sharpness. Details from Washington

in a moment.

And a searing heat dome is set to smash temperature records in the United States Southwest. Just how got -- how hot, I should say, is it going to

get? We'll find out.



SOARES: Well, a brutal heat dome is expected to shatter temperature records in the Western United States. Excessive heat warnings are in place

for nearly 19 million people. The mercury could reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit, that is 43 degrees Celsius in parts of California, Arizona, as

well as Nevada. The extreme weather is being caused by a large area of high pressure. You can see there. Really trapping air and heating it with

abundant sunshine for days or indeed weeks. Much like a car in the sun with all the windows closed.

Staying with weather and really in climate change, the U.N. secretary- general says the world needs to get off the highway to climate hell after hitting an unwanted new milestone.

For the past year, all 12 months have been the hottest on record. It has prompted Antonio Guterres to implore world leaders to take swift action,

including banning advertising for fossil fuel products. Have a listen to this.


ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: We are playing Russian roulette with our planet. And we need an exit ramp off the highway to climate hell.

And the truth is we have control of the wheel.


SOARES: We do have control of the wheel. I'm joined now by our chief climate correspondent, Bill Weir. And, Bill, really truly sobering words

from the U.N. chief, but we also heard, I think it's fair to say, his most kind of damning condemnation yet of the industries that are responsible for

the bulk, really, of this global warming. How significant was what he said, just calling them out right there?

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, he's sort of just ramping it up, Isa. He's not been shy since taking the helm, I think in

2018, about calling out the big mega polluters, petrostate that say they're going to help, but then change their minds, and just don't seem to be

interested in changing their business model.

But now, he called out advertising agencies. First said, and take no more fossil fuel clients, banks, insurance companies who finance a new fossil

fuel projects around the world, entire, you know, systems have to change. And he made about 30 plus demands today, all of which, including carbon

taxes, the end of coal, much more loss and damages for developing countries. But these things are just unpalatable politically in much of the


But using the bully pulpit there under the whale at the -- in the Museum of Natural History, just trying to just point to the science. And all of this

is motivated by this new Copernicus report that came out today that shows the last 12 months have been the 12 such hottest months ever.

The northern hemisphere, hotter than it's been since Christ was born. And it's only going to get hotter as this Godzilla made of carbon in the sky

gets bigger. But we're close to stopping feeding that big monster. Next couple of years could be the curve that would only went up about 1 percent

emissions globally last year, it has to come down by 9 percent a year until 2030, but it's better than nothing, and it's a lot better than we were five

years ago when it looked like we were headed towards maybe 3 degrees of warming. Right now, on track north of 1.5, but can be held around two if

everybody works together.

SOARES: Yes, one step forward, two steps back. Bill, appreciate it as always. Thank you very much.

WEIR: You bet.

SOARES: And still ahead tonight, a new form of birth control for men is in the works. It's a gel. And you will never guess where they rub it. The

shoulders. The story, when we come back.



SOARES: Well, the White House is responding forcefully to a new "Wall Street Journal" article scrutinizing the age of U.S. President Joe Biden.

The paper interviewed more than 45 lawmakers from both sides of the aisle who had either been in meetings with Mr. Biden or were briefed on them at

the time.

It came away with this verdict, that 81-year-old Biden is showing signs -- this is what they quoted, "signs of slipping," and says, "Participants in

meetings said the 81-year-old president performed poorly at times." Former President Trump, who is just three and a half years younger, wasn't spared

either. The piece noting that he too has slipped up on facts on multiple occasions, and that's perhaps an understatement.

Let's bring in CNN's Stephen Collinson, live from Washington. And, Stephen, I mean, this article from "Wall Street Journal" really calls into question

the mental acuity of President Biden here behind closed doors. Just talk us through what else "The Wall Street Journal" says, and those they spoke to

in terms of political affiliation here, because I think that's important.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: Yes. So, the thrust of the article is that Biden is much slower than he was. According to the

"Journal" and their sources, he has been searching for details, if you like, in some meetings. Some days he has good days, some days he has bad

days. People have said that he's not the person that he was.

Now, I think, as you say, it's important to underline that the only person really quoted on the record in this story as saying that Biden's faculties

are not one -- what they were, at least quote on the record, is Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a close ally of Former President Trump who

clearly has a political incentive for -- to reinforce Trump's claims that Biden isn't fit for the Oval Office.

But this is a -- it's a very difficult question, I think, to talk about publicly. It's sensitive. There clearly are Republican axes being grinded

here on behalf of Trump. At the same time, it's a legitimate issue. Biden is the oldest president in history. From his public appearances, you can

see that he's not the gregarious, outgoing, rambunctious person he was when he was vice president and when he was a senator, and many, many Americans

are very worried about the possibility of electing a president for a second term who would be 82 when he took office, and 86 when he left at the end of

that second term.


So, it's a legitimate election issue. You just have to sort through all the politics to really get down to the nub of it, I think.

SOARES: Yes, and it seems that the White House, Stephen, is firing back. Just what has been the response to that?

COLLINSON: Yes, they have basically been arguing that the only people that are making these warnings about Biden's capacity are Republicans. They've

said that the "Journal" article didn't include a lot of testimonials to the president's sharpness behind closed doors and in key national security

meetings of officials and Democratic members of Congress. So, you can see the way this is breaking down on partisan lines.

I think what we can be sure of, the president put the age issue on the shelf a little bit with the very robust State of the Union address that he

delivered earlier this year, but this will come back over and over again. He's just heading off on a very grueling foreign trip. He's crossing the

Atlantic four times in the next few weeks with meetings in Europe.

Any time that he appears that he's not fully on his game in public, this is going to come back and it's going to haunt him definitely until the

election during the four years of his second term, if he gets one.

SOARES: Yes, and just to read out the statement that we've heard from the White House, Congressional Republicans, foreign leaders, and nonpartisan

national security experts have made clear in their own words that President Biden is a savvy and effective leader who has a deep record of legislative

accomplishment. This is the White House spokesperson, Andrew Bates. Now, in 2024, House Republicans are making false claims as a political tactic that

flatly contradict previous statements made by themselves and their colleagues.

Stephen, as always, appreciate it. Thanks very much.

COLLINSON: Thank you.

SOARES: Now, a birth control option for men may be closer to reality. After decades of false starts, researchers say they are now making progress

on a male contraceptive. It is a hormonal gel that men can rub on their shoulders once a day. Health reporter Jacqueline Howard joins us more. And,

Jacqueline, I have so many questions about this. First of all, just tell us how this will work or may work.

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Right. Well, the idea here is that this gel contains progestin and testosterone. Like you said, it is a

hormonal gel. And once it's applied to the body, the idea is that it will suppress the production of sperm in the body.

So, in this particular study, researchers had 200 men apply this gel, about 200, apply the gel to themselves daily. And after 12 weeks, around by week

15, 86 percent of the men achieved that suppression of sperm production. And I will say the average male, a normal amount of sperm production ranges

from around 15 million sperm per one milliliter of semen to about 200 million sperm per milliliter. But this gel is able to suppress it. So, it's

less than 1 million per milliliter, and that's how it effectively can prevent pregnancy.

But this is research that was just presented at a conference. It's early data. The researchers will have to do more trials to really look at safety

and efficacy. But this early data is getting a lot of attention at the moment.

SOARES: And kind of -- probably not a very important question, but one that, you know, my team and I were asking earlier today is why the

shoulders, first of all? Why apply to the shoulders? How much quantity are we talking? A pea size? Are we talking a lot here? And how does it compare,

Jacqueline, to other forms of birth control here?

HOWARD: Right. Well, I had the same question about why the shoulders they applied it -- you know, the gel to their shoulder blades. And it really

comes down to it just has to be applied to the skin, to the body, and it is hormonal. So, that's how it basically will have an impact on your hormones

leading to that sperm production suppression.

Now, as far as the amount that's effective and how this compares with other forms of birth control, that's why more trials are needed. We know for

other forms of birth control, like the birth control pill that some women take, or the ring, the patch, they have a failure rates of about 7 percent.

We know the male condom has a failure rate of about 13 percent. But what exactly is the failure rate for this hormonal gel? What else can we learn

about its effectiveness? That's why we need more trials.

I will say that the researchers pointed out if a man was using this and they wanted to stop, it would take about eight to 10 weeks for their sperm

production to return to normal. And then on the starting end of things, it takes a few weeks to see that sperm production suppression kick in.


So, there is a timeline at the starting point and the end point with using this kind of hormonal gel. And I think it'll be interesting to see what

additional trials may reveal when it comes to safety and efficacy.

SOARES: We shall see. Shoulders, but it doesn't have to be the shoulders, just skin it seems. Jacqueline, as always, appreciate it. Thanks very much.

HOWARD: Absolutely.

SOARES: Truly astounding. Every time I watch it, it kind of takes my breath away. History really in the making as Boeing Starliner spacecraft

successfully lifts off there. The first manned crew of the capsule has reached orbit. The NASA administrator called the launch a milestone


The two astronauts on board are now on their way to the International Space Station. They'll spend eight days there joining seven other astronauts as

well. This Commonwealth (ph). We'll stay, of course, across all the latest developments for you.

That does it for us for tonight. As always, thank you very much for your company. Do stay right here. "Newsroom" with my colleague Jim Sciutto is up

next. He's in Washington, D.C.