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Isa Soares Tonight

Blinken In Israel Amid Push For A Ceasefire And Hostage Deal; Far- Right Parties Make Gains In EU Parliament Elections; Closing Arguments Begin In Hunter Biden's Gun Trial; Soon: UNSC Vote On Gaza Ceasefire Plan; Netanyahu Under Pressure After Gantz Quits War Cabinet; N. Korea Sends More Bags Of Trash Floating Towards S. Korea. 2-3p ET

Aired June 10, 2024 - 14:00   ET



ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: All right, a very warm welcome to all of you, I'm Zain Asher in for my colleague, Isa Soares. Tonight, U.S.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken begins his high-level talks in Israel amid a diplomatic push for a ceasefire and hostage deal. More on that and

the latest on the hostage rescue as well.

Then, a night of drama in Europe as the far-right makes significant gains in the European parliamentary elections. And French President Emmanuel

Macron calls for a snap election. Plus, closing arguments begin in Hunter Biden's gun trial, leaving the fate of the president's son in the hands of

12 jurors. That and much more ahead.

All right, just days after just a dramatic Israeli operation rescued four hostages in Gaza, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is bringing a

message to the region the best way to bring all remaining hostages back home is through a ceasefire proposal that is on the table now. Blinken has

just wrapped up a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv after an earlier stop in Egypt.

He's urging Hamas to accept the ceasefire plan outlined by the U.S. President. Blinken says Israel has already accepted it, although, we have

not heard that from the government in Israel itself. Also, today, we're learning new details about that raid that freed four hostages who had spent

eight months in captivity.

Joyous and really emotional family reunions are dominating the airwaves right now in Israel, but for Palestinians, the operation in a crowded

refugee camp marked one of the deadliest days of the war so far. Gaza officials say that more than 270 people were killed including children,

Israel says the number is actually below 100.

CNN right now is unable to verify the casualty figures. Let's get more now from our Paula Hancocks and Kylie Atwood, they're both in Tel Aviv tonight.

Paula, let me begin with you because we actually just heard from the doctor who is treating the four hostages in Gaza who were released over the


What is he saying about the level of physical and psychological and essentially emotional abuse as well that these released hostages

experienced over the past eight months?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Zain, we just spoke to Dr. Itai Pessach, he is the doctor in charge of the medical team that's

looking after these four hostages. And he says that from what they have told him so far, it is clear that they were beaten while in captivity in

central Gaza.

He says that they underwent hourly, daily abuse, physical, mental and other types, saying it was beyond comprehension. He also said that despite the

fact that outwardly, they looked as though they are in good health, they are all malnourished. He says that sometimes there was not food, other

times there was.

But the lack of protein, the lack of movement means that their muscles are extremely wasted, and also they have some significant health concerns going

forward. He also said the psychological damage done to these four hostages compared to those that were released back in November, he also was treating

them, they are far more psychologically damaged now because they have had so much more significant time in captivity.

But they are now really rescued, they have been rescued by Israeli forces. So, let's look back at that operation.


HANCOCKS (voice-over): A complex mission that achieved its objectives according to Israel. Extensive airpower, hundreds of personnel, weeks of

Intelligence gathering and training to rescue four Israeli hostages held by Hamas in two residential buildings in central Gaza. This, the moment IDF

headquarters learn the hostages have been rescued.

For those on the ground, it was the deadliest day in six months according to Gaza officials, capturing the moment of impact of Israeli airstrikes --



HANCOCKS: Sustained gunfire followed the IDF, says there were fierce gun battles with Hamas fighters throughout the operation, but did not provide

evidence of this claim. Then a constant stream of dead and injured arrive at two nearby hospitals, the Al-Aqsa Martyr Hospital overwhelmed by the

sheer number of trauma cases.

The breakdown of fighters versus civilians is unknown, but women and children are seen in every corner of this hospital. Gaza officials and

hospital directors say more than 270 were killed, hundreds more injured, sparking cries of a massacre from some countries including the EU's top


Israel claims less than 100 died, blaming Hamas for the shockingly high death toll, CNN cannot independently verify either side's figures.

PETER LERNER, SPOKESPERSON, IDF: Hamas intentionally puts the hostages in houses of civilians with the house owners in the same houses at the same


HANCOCKS: As families of those rescued celebrate, calls for a ceasefire and hostage deal become louder. Even families of those rescued Saturday are not

calling for more of these missions.

ORIT MEIR, MOTHER OF RESCUED HOSTAGE: There are still 120 hostages in Gaza and we want a deal now!

HANCOCKS: Seven living hostages rescued in three missions in the past eight months, compared to more than 100 released during a one-week ceasefire last

November. The United States and others say a hostage deal is the only solution.

JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The best way to get all of the hostages home and to protect Palestinian civilians is to end this war.

And the best way to end this war is for Hamas to say yes to the deal President Biden announced and that Israel has accepted.

HANCOCKS: As residents still with the devastation left behind in Nuseirat. Survivors struggle to understand what happened. "I am 60 years old", this

man says, "and have never experienced anything like this, a barrage of heavy gunfire, artillery, missiles, rockets. It was something unimaginable

to the human mind."


HANCOCKS: And while misery continues to flourish in Gaza, the hopes of a ceasefire any time soon still remain elusive. Zain?

ASHER: All right, Paula Hancocks, do stand by, Kylie, let me bring you in because, yes, I mean, the hopes of any kind of ceasefire is elusive at this

point in time, but that is a priority for Blinken now that he's in the region. Obviously, he's in Israel right now, but prior to Israel, he was in

Egypt, he's going to be going to Qatar.

And part of his job is really to essentially put pressure on Egyptian officials, on Qatari officials, to make sure that they put pressure on

Hamas to accept the deal that's currently on the table. Take us through it.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right. He's trying to get everyone to a yes here, which is an incredibly challenging

task, Zain. He just wrapped up about a two-hour meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, we're just getting the readout of that meeting from the

spokesperson, Matt Miller, where he said that Blinken urged Netanyahu, reminded him, reiterated that the U.S. and other world leaders are firmly

standing behind that outlined proposal that President Biden laid out about ten days ago, that the U.S. has said that Israelis have signed off on.

And he also made the point to emphasize the importance of preventing this conflict from spreading, and said that, that proposal that was laid out ten

days ago would quote, "unlock the possibility of calm along the northern border". So, that is really significant language as U.S. officials have

watched that tension along the northern border with Lebanon increase over the last few weeks.

Coming into these meetings here in Israel, the Secretary of State made the point that he believes the most effective way to get all of the hostages

out of Hamas, including of course, those American hostages, is to go forth with this proposal that is on the table. He also reiterated those calls for

Hamas to accept the deal.

He would not entertain questions as to if the raid over the weekend that released those four Israeli hostages, and of course, left upwards of 100

people dead in that operation would impact -- potentially negatively impact how Hamas responds to this proposal.

But he did say that those Egyptians who he met with earlier today before coming here to Israel had had contact with Hamas just in recent hours.

Listen to what he told me.


ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: I can't go into the details of our conversations today, except to say that our different

counterparts were in communication with Hamas as early -- as recently as a few hours ago, and so, I got to --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those conversations hopeful?

BLINKEN: Again, not going to -- not going to give any details about that, but I think Egypt, the United States, other countries believe that, again,

we should be able to get to yes.



ATWOOD: So, obviously, we'll be watching to see what else comes out of these meetings here in Israel this evening. And we should also note that

tomorrow morning, the secretary is meeting with Benny Gantz, that member of the war cabinet who resigned in protest of Netanyahu's approach to this

war, and the fact that he hasn't laid out a plan to bring this war to an end.

So, it's noteworthy that he's meeting with Benny Gantz tomorrow, we'll watch and see what U.S. officials learned about Gantz's plans to play a

role, pressuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now from the outside.

ASHER: Right, Kylie Atwood live for us there, thank you. Paula, let me go back to you, just to talk a little bit more about the complexity of this

raid in terms of rescuing the four hostages. The Intelligence that led to it, the planning that went into it, and of course, the fact that Israel

chose to conduct this raid in broad daylight, which is of course, not what people would ordinarily expect. Explain that decision to us.

HANCOCKS: Yes, so, Zain, they said that they did this raid in broad daylight, as you say, that's unusual decision to make, you usually would do

it under the cover of darkness because they wanted the element of surprise. Now, according to the Israeli military, this information is coming from --

they say that the hostages were being held in two separate residential apartment blocks.

They were about 200 meters from each other, and we heard from an eyewitness on the ground in fact, saying that they saw the Israeli soldiers dressed

like Hamas fighters, and also dressed like civilians to stay under the radar just before this operation took place.

And we know that there were Apache helicopters involved, we know there were significant airstrikes. The Israeli military says that there were fierce

gun battles between Hamas fighters and themselves, but provided no evidence for that claim.

But we have seen there was significant gunfire, and you can see the aftermath of this operation in the area, this densely-populated area of

Nuseirat. I mean, the devastation is significant, the death toll is significant. And we understand that there weren't helicopters waiting just

on the beach for the hostages.

Once they had been extracted from these apartment blocks, and they were taken into the helicopters and brought to Israeli soil. Now, these two

apartment blocks themselves, according to the military, they had built models of these apartment blocks beforehand.

The Intelligence they had, this had been weeks in the planning according to them. So, they wanted to give the troops that were involved, training, to

try and get inside and extract the hostages. We understand from the Israeli military that the three men were locked in one apartment and then the other

apartment, 200 meters away was where the female hostage was being held. Zain?

ASHER: Right, Paula Hancocks live for us there, thank you so much. And actually, later on in the show, I'm going to be speaking with the

diplomatic correspondent for the Israeli newspaper "Haaretz", Amir Tibon is going to be joining me for much more on the political situation inside of


Alright, to the EU elections now where a strong showing by far-right parties are sending shockwaves across the European political landscape.

Far-right groups including Germany's AFD scored major gains and are set to win about 150 of parliament's 720 seats, centrists did maintain a clear


But in France, President Emmanuel Macron made a stunning move by dissolving the lower house of the French parliament and calling for snap elections. He

made the announcement after his party was routed by the far-right national rally party. CNN's Melissa Bell joins us live now from Paris. So, just

explain the political calculation by President Macron here, because it -- you know, it is a bit of a gamble.

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a complete gamble, and it's pretty controversial because what it appears the French President is

counting on that over the course of the next month as we approach these parliamentary elections first-round on the 30th June, second round on the

7th of July, Zain, that by then, sufficient numbers of the traditional parties of France who don't want to see the far-right anywhere near power

at the national level will gather around him to support he and his party.

And it may be that at local levels, some -- there are some alliances made that allow that traditional, what the French call Republican front. That in

the past has meant that even when the far-right has made it to the second round of presidential elections, for instance, the left and the right have

gathered together to ensure that they don't succeed overall electorally.


Now, the calculation from Emmanuel Macron is that this will happen this time as well. In fact, you heard in a slightly alarmed voice when he spoke

to the nation last night of his disappointment, but also of his hope that this would be a sort of wake-up call for the French to think hard about who

it is they're actually voting for and what it would mean for the country.

Clearly though, it's a gamble. The national -- the Rassemblement National has been rebranded is doing well in polls, Emmanuel Macron's party not so

much. And the fear is among some within more traditional centrist parties of France, that if they do as well as the polls suggest that they might,

the next French Prime Minister would be taken from within their ranks like Sejourne, Bardella, the sort of young -- a fresh face that helped pushed

them towards that European election victory.

And that would mean several years of co-habitation as is done here in France between the French President and the far-right Prime Minister until

the next presidential poll in 2027. And that in a very concrete sense would lead to, no doubt, a great deal of paralysis, difficulty for the president

to get his agenda through.

It was already compromised by the fact that he lost his overall majority, his absolute majority at the last election. This would made it -- make it

harder still, given the differences between he and his party in the far- right on a number of different issues. So, it is a pretty big gamble, and we'll see what the French have to say about it.

What they also say, those around President Macron said the scale of the victory of the far-right was such that they really didn't feel they had

much of a choice. It was important now to give the electors, to say what has happened here, the electoral strategy of the party has been remarkably


I'm speaking here of the far-right, there is a lot of dissatisfaction in France amongst the electorate, inflation, cost of living, the green

regulation coming from Brussels and all of that is something that they very successfully managed to tap into. The question is that they can take that

now to the polls later this month, Zain.

ASHER: All right, Melissa Bell, live for us there, thank you so much. All right, I want to talk about the impact these elections are having across

Europe. Let's bring in Barbara Moens, who is the chief EU correspondent for "Politico". Barbara, thank you so much for being with us. I mean, these

results are really a wake-up call for the European establishment. What's the message that's being sent here?

BARBARA MOENS, CHIEF EU CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: So, the expectation beforehand was that we'd have a very strong search to the right and the

far-right, right? And if you look at these results now, that has happened, but not as much as was expected. So, there is definitely a sort of relief

also in Brussels actually, that the center -- the current platform on which European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has secured her first-

time is holding in these parliamentary results.

At the same time, there is clearly a search to derail(ph) to the far-right, which would have an impact on European policies when it comes to climate

change, when it comes to migration or when it comes to the EU's support to Ukraine.

ASHER: And a lot of the far-right gains were centered in countries that have a large number of seats. So, we're talking about France, Italy and

Germany. Just explain why, why there was the rise in popularity among far- right parties in those three countries?

MOENS: What we saw during this European parliament election is that there were a lot of national campaigns, right? So, in a lot of countries, it

wasn't per se about the European issues, but it was more about the national issues. As we've just heard in France, for example, where the far-right has

made huge gains, the far-right has made these European parliament elections really more about the current French President Emmanuel Macron and whether

the French are still supporting him.

A lot of unease there as just was mentioned on cost of living, migration. Similar things happened in Germany where there is a lot of unease towards

the current governing coalition of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

And there as well, we've seen a surge for the far-right at the -- and so, the combination of those big countries, as you said, which have a lot of

seats in the European parliament, and the surge of the far-right in those bigger countries, obviously have an impact on these European parliament

seats after these European parliament elections.

ASHER: You touched on France, I mean in France, you know, the sort of the gains by the National Rally was expected, but it's really the scale of the

victory that caught people by surprise. Will this gamble by Macron to call the snap elections, will it pay off? I mean, it is very risky for him to do


MOENS: It's very risky, and there was a lot of surprise, not just in Paris on this move for my call, but also in Brussels, and what it could mean for

the EU. One theory that some of the diplomats here that we were speaking to, is that Macron wants to avoid that we would have a strong far-right

Rassemblement National ahead of the presidential elections in 2027.


And so, that, by giving the French, at this point already a chance to vote, potentially even for the far-right in France, that would weaken their

support towards the presidential elections. At the same time as you said, it is a very risky move that could backfire and also hurts weakening Macron

even more both on the national level, but also on the European level.

Where obviously, France, given its size has a very big impact on in terms of policy files, but also in terms of personnel.

ASHER: And finally, the environmentalists, the greens were probably the biggest losers, they lost about 20 seats. I mean, they lost a third

compared to what they had in 2019, why?

MOENS: They had a huge win in 2019. Remember this was a time of the climate marches in Europe, Greta Thunberg. So, there was a huge surge. We had very

ambitious European climate policy in the last five years we'd had huge effects on industry, on civilians, on farmers.

And so, there was a lot of unease with that, so a lot of protests against some of these green policies coming from Brussels. So, that has really had

an impact on these European parliament elections. At the same time, it is not ruled out that current European Commission President Ursula von der

Leyen, who is seeking a second term and needs a majority in the European parliament to get that second term, might even look at the greens as well

to get that support if she doesn't find enough support among the current centrist parties.

ASHER: All right, Barbara Moens live for us there, thank you so much. Ukraine's claims to have dealt Russia a major blow, damaging one of

Russia's most advanced fighter jets on Sunday. Here you can actually see satellite images on the SU-57 fighter in the days prior to the attack, just

one of these jets is estimated to cost between $35 million and $54 million.

The suspected drone attack took place deep inside Russian territory. The jet was at a Russian military base, some 600 kilometers or almost 375 miles

behind the front lines. All right, we're tracking breaking news out of southeastern Africa, a plane carrying the vice president of Malawi has gone

missing after it failed to make a schedule landing. That's according to a press release from the presidential office and cabinet, the plane was

carrying the Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others, that's according to the statement.

Malawi's President Lazarus Chakwera has ordered all regional and national agencies to conduct an immediate search and rescue operation to locate

where exactly this aircraft is. This is a breaking news story, and we will, of course, keep you updated as and when we learn more.

All right, still to come tonight, a pivotal moment in the federal gun trial of Hunter Biden. We'll have a live report on where the case stands against

the U.S. President's son.



ASHER: All right, welcome back. The fate of U.S. President Joe Biden's son will soon be in the hands of a jury. Right now, closing arguments are

underway on Hunter Biden's federal gun trial in the state of Delaware. The defense rested its case without calling him to the stand. Hunter Biden has

pleaded not guilty to three charges alleging he purchased a gun while being an active drug user.

If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 25 years in prison, although it is unlikely that he would serve that. Joining us live now from

outside the courthouse is CNN's Paula Reid. So, Paula, just talk to us about what's happening right now in closing arguments, typically, the

defense goes first.

What is their strategy in terms of how they're portraying --

PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: So, it's actually a little different. I know in the --

ASHER: Oh, go ahead, go ahead.

REID: So, in the state court where we just saw former President Trump prosecuted there. Yes, the defense went first, then the prosecution. But

here in federal court, prosecutors go first, then defense attorneys, and then prosecutors, they get to button up their case. So, we already heard

from prosecutors -- and look, I was in there earlier this morning, it's a tightly-packed courtroom, particularly on the defense side, you had the

first lady of the United States, you had Hunter's wife, you had his half- sister.

You had so many people crammed in to show their support. And it's interesting because that is exactly where prosecutors started their case.

They pointed directly to the gallery where the first lady is sitting, and said, look, those people, they're not evidence, that they don't matter.

It's clear that they are concerned potentially about the jury being distracted by the presence of the first lady and his family members. And

they reiterated that the focus here should be on the evidence, and they believe that the evidence here, it is personal, it is ugly, but they say it

is overwhelming that Hunter Biden knew that he was either using drugs or addicted to them when he filled out the form to buy this gun.

Now, they had a chance to go for about an hour to close their case, and then it was the defense attorney, Abbe Lowell, who was up, and he warned

the jury not to improperly convict his clients. He reminded them that there is no direct evidence. There's no one who says that they saw Hunter Biden

using drugs during the time he owned this gun.

Now, he also emphasized the fact that most of the prosecutors case is based on circumstantial evidence, and he even compared their prosecution to a

magician trying to do a trick in front of the jury. We expect that he will wrap up any moment. Then the judge is going to have some additional

instructions for the jurors, and then it's going to be up to them to decide Hunter Biden's fate on these three counts.

It is possible that we could get a verdict today, but it's just completely impossible to know how long it will take them to deliberate on these


ASHER: Yes, one of the key aspects that you touched on in this case is really this idea of whether or not Hunter Biden actually considered himself

as an addict when he purchased the gun. Just talk to us about sentencing guidelines and what's realistic here in terms of an actual sentence for


REID: Look, if he's convicted on all these charges, he could potentially face decades in prison, hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. But

that's the upper range, and sentencing is definitely more of an art than a science. It's expected that as a first-time offender, again, if he's even

convicted, he would face something far less.

Now, he faces three counts, for example, if he's only convicted on one count, the sentence would be even last. But he is a first-time offender,

that would likely be taken into consideration here. So, it's difficult to say exactly what his sentence would be if convicted, though I can say that

jail time would be on the table, a possibility.

ASHER: All right, Paula Reid live for us there, thank you so much. All right, meantime, let's turn to Donald Trump, he is starting off the week by

meeting with his probation officer, the presumptive U.S. Republican presidential nominee must attend a virtual pre-sentencing interview. This

comes after Trump's conviction last month on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

After today's interview, the Probation Department will submit a report to Judge Juan Merchan, who has scheduled Trump's sentencing on July 11th. All

right, still to come tonight, the U.S. -- U.N. Secretary -- Security Council, excuse me, is expected to vote on a resolution backing a ceasefire

proposal between Israel and Hamas. Details ahead on what is needed for it to pass.

And then Israel's Prime Minister is under pressure after a key member of his war cabinet resigns with some stinging accusations. That's next.



ASHER: All right, welcome back. We are keeping a close eye on the U.N. Security Council where a vote on a resolution for a permanent end to

hostilities between Israel and Hamas is expected to happen soon. The U.S. is proposing a permanent ceasefire and the release of hostages in Gaza. CNN

has obtained the latest draft of this resolution, which U.S. officials say could pass in less than an hour from now.

Let's go straight to our senior U.N. correspondent, Richard Roth. So Richard, just take us through this because the U.S. has previously been

widely criticized for having blocked several U.N. draft resolutions calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Why the change this time?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR UN CORRESPONDENT: You lingered on the word senior there, but I'll move past that. Yes, it's been fascinating how the --

ASHER: Junior correspondent.

ROTH: I'm an intern.


ROTH: The U.S. has certainly been forced to adjust in the wording of these resolutions There's also no guarantee if it even passes today, how do you

get Israel, Hamas, and all other factors to comply? That's been the problem in other recent resolutions.


I mean the U.S. fought language regarding ceasefires. We've now been through this for like eight months and now they've come to this, additional

protests by Palestinian backers. Here in the U.S., it's become a major political issue. So, now the U.S. draft backed resolution the key point

saying that's resolution welcomes the new ceasefire proposal announced by President Biden, calls upon Hamas to accept it and urges both parties to

fully implement its terms without delay and without condition.

As you know, by U.N. standards, one word can be adjusted, tweaked 20 different ways. The U.S. expects this vote to pass. You never know. We're

going to expect it in about an hour the vote at the council, Zain.

ASHER: And just in -- I mean, we know that Israel has always had a very sort of testy fraught relationship with the U.N. What's the latest on that


ROTH: What's new is that Israel is appointing a new old ambassador here at the U.N. The forceful ambassador Gilad Erdan has -- will be replaced by

Danny Danon, the former Israeli ambassador to the U.N. The timing is curious because just last week, the Israeli ambassador Erdan played on X a

Twitter video with him on the phone with the U.N. Chief of Staff to the Secretary General in which he was bitterly complaining about Israel being

placed on a list of countries that harm children and reduce their human rights. You can't avoid the timing.

Though Israel, I'm sure, is certainly backing Erdan. But do you know that Prime Minister Netanyahu has not spoken with the Secretary General of the

U.N. since the war began?

ASHER: That was an important point. All right. Richard Roth, my very senior, super senior former intern. I'm just kidding. Richard Roth live for

us there. Sorry, I butchered your title. He's not laughing at all. Richard Roth, I'll call you after. Thank you for being with us. Appreciate it.

All right. He delayed it for a day as the hostage rescue operation unfolded, but a key member of Israel's war cabinet ended up going through

with his threat to resign on Sunday. Former Defense Minister Benny Gantz left Benjamin Netanyahu's emergency coalition, accusing the Prime Minister

of lacking a clear war strategy and prioritizing his own political survival.

The shakeup could leave Mr. Netanyahu much more reliant on far-right ministers who've threatened to bring down his government if he accepts the

latest ceasefire proposal.

I'm joined live now by Israeli journalist Amir Tibon in Tel Aviv. He's diplomatic correspondent for Haaretz. Amir, so good to see you. I mean just

talk to us a bit more about what the departure of Benny Gantz means for Netanyahu politically. Obviously, he's that much more beholden to far-right


AMIR TIBON, DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT, HAARETZ: Yes. You know, we're speaking as Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, is here in Israel and he

met with Netanyahu today and he's going to meet tomorrow with Minister Benny Gantz who is still technically part of the government but announced

his resignation last night and it will become official tomorrow night, and then Netanyahu will be left alone with the far-right extremist ultra-

religious parties that make up his coalition.

And within that coalition, there are very strong political actors who oppose hostage deal and pose the plan that Netanyahu himself had presented

to the American side and was then adopted by President Biden. So we're in this weird situation where we haven't yet received an official response

from Hamas to that plan and at the same time, there is growing concern that the Israeli government, now that the moderates are out of it, would also

renege on its own previous commitment.

ASHER: I mean that is a really tight spot for Netanyahu to be and especially when you consider the fact that Hamas has rejected the

ceasefire, unless a full-time sort of enter the wars on the table, so what does that mean for Blinken, Antony Blinken, who's in the region trying to

sort of negotiate all sides agreeing it to this temporary ceasefire? I mean, what -- what's the likelihood that anything can come from this?

TIBON: It's a desperate situation honestly for the Biden administration, but it's more desperate for the families of the hostages and we should keep

our focus on them because even though we saw the truly unbelievable rescue operation that the IDF and the special unit of the Israeli police conducted

on Saturday and they took out four hostages, brought them back alive to their families.


We still have many dozens of families in this country who know that this kind of rescue operation will not happen for their loved ones. We've been

into this war eight months now and our military has been able to release seven hostages alive through these kinds of special operations. The only

way to get out a massive amount of hostages, the many dozens of living hostages we still have in Gaza, and on top of it also the dozens of

unfortunately dead bodies that are held by Hamas is by making a deal. And I understand that Secretaries of State, Lincoln and President Biden, are

pushing very hard for a deal knowing that the chances are not very high.

But at the same time, just last week, senior officials in the Biden administration met with several of the families of these hostages including

those that have American citizenship and they realized that without their involvement and without their attempt to bring about something for these

families, there is going to be nothing there. And so that's why they're going to keep pushing hard even though the complexities, as I just

described, you know, Hamas not yet giving a reply and the Israeli government now beholden to forces that have a very, very extreme view on

this issue, that makes it very complicated to reach a deal.

ASHER: I mean, gosh you were right about just how incredible this rescue. I mean, it was in incredible. I mean a lot of us here were glued to our TV

screens watching just couldn't believe what the IDF managed to pull. It was literally something out of a movie.

TIBON: It's literally the same as --

ASHER: Same. I'm sure. Something out of a movie, right? But just in terms of Netanyahu ever coming up or publicly announcing a plan for the day

after, is that ever going to happen, do you think?

TIBON: Well, this is part of the problem that today, when we're looking at the war in Gaza, eight months after October 7, there is still no viable

alternative that's being discussed to Hamas's continued rule the Gaza strip.

There are those in Israel, especially the far right in Netanyahu's government who want Israel to fully occupy Gaza and basically set up some

kind of some military rule over there. I don't think the majority of the Israeli public is there. And I know for certain that none of Israel's

allies abroad and, of course, are very important allies in the region support.

On top of that, you then have the people who are saying, OK, let's look for another solution, something like some kind of reformed Palestinian

authority, some kind of, you know, Arab multinational force, but Netanyahu's coalition partners oppose that and they are completely shutting

down any kind of discussion on this issue. And that also impacts the situation with the hostage negotiation because Hamas doesn't feel that it's

got some kind of future to worry about.

They don't feel like they've got Their backs against the wall and that they're about to be replaced by some kind of a different regime in Gaza, so

they're taking their time and this is really tragic because in the result, we're losing here on all fronts. You know, we have soldiers on the ground

who are doing incredible things, like what you saw on Saturday, this rescue operation.

But on the strategic level, many Israelis are asking what are we doing right now? What is leading this war? What are the goals? And we're not

getting clear answers.

ASHER: All right. Amir Tibon live for us. Thank you. It's always good to have you on the program. We're grateful that you made the time. Thank you,


TIBON: Thank you very much.

ASHER: We'll be right back after this quick break. Don't go away.



ASHER: All right. A new wave of balloons filled with trash came floating across the border from North Korea to South Korea over the weekend, at the

same time a cross-border loudspeaker battle is also heating up as well.

CNN's Mike Valerio has more from Seoul.

MIKE VALERIO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well in a rare moment of agreement, we have leaders from both South Korea and North Korea saying that there lies

the potential for this balloon tit-for-tat, this balloon feud to escalate into something larger But, you know, in case you're just dialing into this

section of the news cycle, what this is all about, at the heart of this, is the practice of South Korean activist human rights groups for years now

sending balloons from South Korea over the DMZ to North Korea and attached to those balloons are packages and parcels that are filled with flash

drives and leaflets that give people in North Korea a feel for what freedom is like, what life is like in South Korea.

Now, a few days ago, the north said, you know what, we consider these deliveries to be garbage so in return, we're going to send balloons of our

garbage from the north over to South Korea. So in response to that over the weekend, South Korea began loudspeaker propaganda broadcast. North Korea,

there may be indications, according to the South Korea's Joint Chief of Staff, that North Korea may be ready to begin its own propaganda broadcast

as well.

So this leaves the leader of South Korea's opposition, Lee Jae-myung, saying, you know, this is a game of chicken, and this has got to stop.

Listen to what he said earlier today.


LEE JAE-MYUNG, SOUTH KOREAN OPPOSITION LEADER (through translator): What started as a leaflet could escalate into a local conflict or war. Looking

at these two sides' responses, I wonder whether the authorities in North and South Korea are considering the safety of the people and the community.


VALERIO: So in terms of how North Korea is responding, the sister of Kim Jong-un, Kim Yo-jong, said that this could be the prelude to a very

dangerous situation, adding that Seoul, from their point of view, is creating an atmosphere of chaos. So, what we are watching is whether or not

North Korea begins again their own loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts.

And for what it's worth according to our CNN tally, there now have been more than 1,100 balloons that have made their way from North Korean

airspace to here in South Korea. Mike Valeriom, CNN, Seoul.

ASHER: All right. To China now and a look at how rapidly changing demographics are being reflected in real time as more people move to cities

to find their work and raise their families. A growing number of communities are becoming so-called ghost villages. Marc Stewart explains.


MARC STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In parts of rural China, time stands still.

STEWART: We're on a road trip to show you what's known as a ghost village. We are technically still in Beijing about 40 miles from the city center.

And we came here to show how people have moved over time. This was once a thriving village. Now, it's almost abandoned.

STEWART (voice-over): Houses in the village are overgrown with weeds. In this home, reminders children were once here, artwork and school

certificates hang on the wall, shoes lay on the ground.

STEWART: We don't know exactly what this once was, but it's clearly locked up. The windows are broken. No one has been here for a while.

STEWART (voice-over): To give you some context.


In the 1980s, only about 20 percent of Chinese families lived in cities. Now that number is closer to 70 percent. This village reflects that


STEWART: This shift isn't without side effects as young people move to cities for better opportunities and jobs. In some cases, they're leaving

parents, even children behind.

STEWART (voice-over): Urbanization on such a massive scale has drastically changed the economic and social landscape across rural China.

STEWART: What's happening here isn't that much of a surprise. Modernization has been a big part of the Chinese government's blueprint for the future,

an effort to keep up with the strength of the West. So, we're seeing this movement from farm to factory and now beyond.


ASHER: All right. Marc Stewart there. We'll be right back after this quick break. Don't go away.


ASHER: All right. Apple is getting into the artificial intelligence world with its Apple Intelligence. The announcement was made just a short time

ago at the Worldwide Developers Conference. During CEO's Tim Cook's keynote, he said Apple Intelligence will take current AI tools a step

further by making them much more personalized, Apple users with privacy in mind.

Joining us live now is CNN Technology Reporter Brian Fung. Brian, What more can you tell us about Apple's AI strategy?

BRIAN FUNG, CNN TECHNOLOGY REPORTER: Yes, Zain. It's safe to say this was a jam-packed keynote, but I described the AI features as more evolutionary

than revolutionary nd maybe that's intentional. So the big announcement today was, as you said, Apple Intelligence, which is Apple's name for all

the AI features it's adding to the iPhone Mac and iPadm basically Apple says it's going to use information about you in your life to streamline how

you use its devices.

Apple will now understand more about your relationships and communications, you know, ranging from events you've been to, to links you've been sent,

and it'll use that Information to help you call up photos and relevant details from the past and basically make your life a little bit easier.

Apple says Apple Intelligence will be able to prioritize notifications. So, the most important ones appear at the top of your screen and it can take

basic photo editing instructions or, you know, help you play a song that someone sent you. A lot of this data is going to go toward making Siri a

lot smarter, Apple says, so users will be able to ask Siri to send photos from someone -- to someone, excuse me, from an event you were both at or

perhaps make stylized AI generated images of your contacts.


And Apple also announced that it's integrating chat GPT into Siri and other Apple apps, confirming a partnership with OpenAI. Now when you ask Siri a

question, it will prompt you whether you want to send that query to chat GPT before, you know, it actually does so or you can ask chat GPT to write

documents from within Apple's apps. And all of this stuff, it says, comes with iOS 18 and the latest version of Mac OS, which will mean many of these

features are going to work best on the newest Apple hardware so that should drive demand for a new Apple devices, Zain.

ASHER: All right. right. Brian Fung live for us there. Thank you so much.

All right. And finally, how would you feel getting off a flight and seeing this? The cockpit and nose of an Austrian Airlines flight was badly damaged

on Sunday after being hit by HALE, the Airbus A320 carrying a hundred and seventy three passengers and six crew was traveling from the Spanish island

of Mallorca when it hit a thunderstorm. Thankfully, nobody was injured and the plane landed safely in Vienna, but my goodness look at the nose of that

plane there. That was some storm.

All right. Thank you so much for watching tonight. Stay with CNN. I'm Zain Asher. "NEWSROOM" with Jim Sciutto is up next.