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Isa Soares Tonight

Growing Concerns On Hezbollah Capabilities Amid Talk Of War With Israel; Fossil Fuel Use And Emissions Hit Record Highs; Award-Winning Actor Donald Sutherland Dies At Age 88; Trump's Delayed Immunity Case Ruling; Biden And Trump Presidential Debate; Extreme Weather In The U.S.; Protest And Violence Confrontations In Kenya; Kenyan Protesters Denounce Proposed Tax Hikes. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired June 20, 2024 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, concerns coming from the United States

that Israel's iron dome air defense system could be overwhelmed if war breaks out with Hezbollah, we'll bring you the very latest on that.

Then, from New Mexico to New Delhi, the effects of the climate crisis are being felt across the globe. But a new climate report shows emissions are

only getting worse. Plus, legendary actor Donald Sutherland dies at the age of 88. His agency says he passed away after a long illness.

We'll have more on his life as well as his legacy. But we begin this hour with new information about the capabilities of Hezbollah as concerns grow

that full-scale war between Israel and Lebanon could be on the horizon. Now, U.S. officials have told CNN that the Biden administration has serious

concerns that Hezbollah could overwhelm Israel's air defenses including the iron dome.

And that thread is set to be more likely if Hezbollah conducted a large- scale attack with precision-guided ammunitions. Now, Israel warned all-out war could be nearing after Hezbollah, if you remember, released a drone

video and some nine-minute drone video this week that captured Israeli civilian as well as military or locations around Haifa.

Israel vows it would destroy Hezbollah, saying it has infinitely more powerful capabilities. Israel reportedly told the U.S. it plans to shift

resources from southern Gaza to northern Israel in case of war with Lebanon. And this, of course, all comes as new video emerges showing some

of the destruction that you're seeing right there in Rafah, where the IDF says it's operating against Hamas.

This is what's left, have a look at it, of Gaza's border crossing with Egypt. The passenger terminal burned and severely damaged. An official in

Rafah says the city is disaster struck with homes, civilian infrastructure and entire squares destroyed.

Let's get more from Alex Marquardt, who is in Washington and Paula Hancocks is in Jerusalem. And Alex, first to you, just talk us through this warning

and these concerns coming from the United States and the vulnerabilities here of the iron dome system.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Isa, there is a significant and growing concern here that Israel may soon be launching

a broader campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon. I was speaking with a senior Biden ministration official who said that we are entering a

dangerous period that something could start with very short notice.

Another senior official who my colleague Natasha Bertrand spoke with said that it's a miracle that more -- the wider war hasn't broken out yet along

that northern border. And the major concern here is that a war with Hezbollah in Lebanon would look very different than what we've seen from


Hezbollah is a much more formidable adversary, not only do they have tens of thousands of more men, but they have a much more significant arsenal, a

vaster arsenal of long and short range missiles that can reach deep inside Israel. They've got drones, these low-flying drones that can pierce Israeli


They have precision-guided ammunitions. And so, all of that together really does raise the concern about what Hezbollah could launch in a very

significant way into Israel. That video that you just mentioned from a few days ago, nine minutes from a drone showing that Lebanese Hezbollah drones

are able to get into Israeli airspace and fly around as however they want.

A couple of weeks ago, Hezbollah released a video from another drone purporting to show an attack on an iron dome system. And if that is indeed

true, it would be the first documented example of an iron dome system being damaged or destroyed.

And that is what we're being told by U.S. officials who of course, speaking with their Israeli counterparts, that there is a significant possibility

that Israeli air defenses, including the much vaunted iron dome that we've seen being used to great effect could be overwhelmed, even destroyed,

particularly in the north.

Now, the U.S. has not given up hope of averting this, there's a special envoy named Amos Hochstein who's been in the region this week, both in

Beirut and in Jerusalem, trying to avert the possibility of an all-out war. There is a deal on the table we understand that if a ceasefire were to go

into effect in Gaza, there would then be a diplomatic deal in place in the north that would see a buffer zone around 10 kilometers wide put into place

in southern Lebanon.


But as things ramp up, there is greater and greater concern, particularly because we don't think that a ceasefire is going to go into effect

imminently in Gaza. So, as things continue there and things are heating up in the northern part of Israel and southern Lebanon, that concern growing

here in Washington, that as Israel says, an all-out war may be approaching, Isa.

SOARES: Yes, and very concerning indeed. Just stay with us, let me bring in Paula Hancocks who is in Jerusalem. Paula, I mean, during our conversation

yesterday, you and our Ben Wedeman who is based out in Beirut, we know he was talking about Hezbollah's growing military and Intelligence


Alex was just mentioning there, and now we're getting this warning from the United States. What has been the response from the IDF? What have we heard

from the Netanyahu camp to this warning coming from the U.S.?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, we're hearing nothing on the records. They don't want to be publicly discussing these

concerns. Certainly, the rhetoric we are hearing is one of strength from Israel, as you might expect in this kind of situation. You've got the

foreign minister warning Hezbollah of all-out war, saying Hezbollah will be destroyed.

But of course, when you speak behind the scenes, they are concerned about the Hezbollah of today compared to the Hezbollah of 2006, for example,

which is the last time that they had a significant war against Hezbollah. The precision-guided ammunitions and missiles that they have been

stockpiling now for years provided by Iran will concern Israeli officials.

And really, the attacks and the missile strikes that we have seen from Hezbollah into northern Israel over recent months have been far more

strategic than we have seen in the past. They are trying, it appears, to take out the missile defense systems that Israel has in place.

Of course, that iron dome system, which is such a key part of the missile defense system here in Israel. And as Alex mentioned, there was a claim

from Hezbollah that they had taken out one of these iron dome systems. The IDF said there was no damage, but certainly Israeli media as well was

reporting on that.

So, it is more of a sense of vulnerability that you see in the Israeli sense, when you see that Hezbollah is able to target those systems and they

have quite systematically been trying to take out the ability of Israel to defend itself. Isa?

SOARES: Yes, and yesterday, we heard from the IDF saying, we, of course, possess infinitely more powerful capabilities, I believe the enemy knows

only a little about the capabilities we have and will face them when necessary at the right time.

We have also heard today, Paula, from the Israeli Prime Minister who has been talking, speaking to hostage family members. Tell us what he said, and

just to bring us the reality check of what's happening on the ground because we saw this video emerging of some of the destruction just really

dire, burnt-out destruction in Rafah.

HANCOCKS: Yes, so, this Rafah crossing is really key. You can't really overstate how important that is to try and get humanitarian aid into Gaza,

and also to try and get some of the more critical cases out of Gaza. The W.H.O. told us just last week, they believe about 10,000 critically-injured

patients are waiting to be able to have treatment outside of Gaza and other countries that are waiting to receive them.

But nothing has come through that crossing since May 7th when the Israeli military took control of it. Now, we have seen through footage, through

satellite imagery that at the end of last month, there was severe burning and fires within that crossing itself. It's not clear what started that.

And then, June 9th or 10th, according to the satellite imagery, when the bulldozing was taking place by the Israeli military to try and clear that

area. There was severe damage done to that passenger crossing as well. Now, it's obviously been criticized by the Palestinian authorities on the


It's been criticized by Hamas, the IDF says that it would be able to -- it wouldn't affect being able to bring aid in because nothing is coming in

through that crossing at the moment. But the fact is, humanitarian aid groups are calling for it to be reopened if of course it is not

functioning, then that is a very severe blow when some of the other land crossings are not allowing in as much as could be. Isa.

SOARES: Thank you very much, Paula Hancocks for us there in Jerusalem, Alex Marquardt in Washington, thank you to you both. And while many headlines

remain focused on Gaza and a potential war between Israel and Hezbollah, as Alex Marquardt there we're just discussing, the U.N. human rights chief

warns the situation in the West Bank is dramatically deteriorating.

Those were his words. There's been a sharp escalation in settler attacks and raid by the Israeli army since October the 7th.


The U.N. says at least 528 Palestinians have been killed, 133 of them children by either Israeli forces or settlers. A U.N. spokesman says the

IDF has often used lethal force, quote, "as a first resort against Palestinian protests, throwing stones and incendiary devices at armored

vehicles when there was no imminent threat to life." Have a listen.


JEREMY LAURENCE, OFFICE OF U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: As if the tragic event in Israel and in Gaza over the past eight months are not

enough, the people of the occupied West Bank been subjected to day after day of unprecedented bloodshed.

It is unacceptable that so many lives have been taken in such a wanton fashion. The killing, destruction and widespread human rights violations

must cease immediately.


SOARES: And let's get more on all of this. I want to get some perspective now from Dr. Mustafa Barghouti; he's a member of the Palestinian parliament

and leader of the Palestinian National Initiative, which advocates for the end of Israeli occupation. A well-known face here on the show, Dr.

Barghouti, welcome back to the show.

Let me pick up from what we have -- what we have been hearing, concerns from the United States and others of these weekly, daily almost skirmishes

between Hezbollah and Israel. And a concern that really we're just one miscalculation away. You are in Beirut in Lebanon. How do you assess this

current moment between these two foes?

MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI, PALESTINIAN NATIONAL INITIATIVE LEADER: Well, in my opinion, Mr. Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, and is one more time

driving the situation and the whole region into a very dangerous path. As a matter of fact, already there's some sort of low-grade war going on, on the

south of Lebanon.

So many villages by the way have already been destroyed. I think most of the images are coming from Gaza, but in reality, I saw some images of the

villages in south Lebanon, they're terribly destroyed in the same manner as in Gaza. So, the situation is very dire, and I think there are two

possibilities here.

One is that Netanyahu continues the war in Gaza regardless of the U.N. Security Council resolution, regardless of the proposal by President Biden,

in which case the escalation on the northern front will happen. And that is very dangerous for both -- for everybody, including Israelis.

The other path is that Israel will listen to all the decisions and the resolutions and stop the war on Gaza, in which case the Lebanese front-

wheel immediately go into peace. Not only the Lebanese front --

SOARES: But he hasn't -- listen, Dr. Barghouti hasn't been listening, hasn't -- been limiting the United States. He hasn't been listening to

allies. So, is the first scenario the most likely, you think?

BARGHOUTI: I think it depends on how much pressure could be exercised now on --

SOARES: Yes --

BARGHOUTI: Netanyahu. Netanyahu realizes that the end of the war in Gaza will be the end of his political career. And that's why in the -- and this

is the first time we see Israel behaving in this manner, in such an unwise manner because the main leader in Israel is running the show and running

the war out of his own personal interests rather than the interest of his people, at least.

So, in reality, we are facing a very dangerous government now, especially that he has two really fascist ministers in his governments like Smotrich

and Ben-Gvir, who are pushing him hard all the time. Ben-Gvir just declared that Netanyahu should occupy all of Gaza and then --

SOARES: Yes --

BARGHOUTI: Push out all the people, ethnically cleanse Gaza.

SOARES: Let's --

BARGHOUTI: This Israeli minister declaring that.

SOARES: Let's leave Hezbollah for just a moment, I know -- because I do want to focus on the West Bank where as you probably heard, according to

the U.N., the situation, this is their wording is deteriorating dramatically. Settler violence, attacks, Palestinians being killed, just

reality check here, Dr. Barghouti for our viewers around the world. What is happening in the West Bank?

BARGHOUTI: What's happening is three things. First of all, there is a wide range campaign of arrests against Palestinian people. Since the 7th of

October, Israel arrested not less than 9,300 Palestinians. There is a lot of trouble happening inside the prisons. Torture is exercised against

prisoners and it's a really horrible situation.

Twelve prisoners already died in jail. Second, there is continuous and increasing attacks by Israeli illegal settlers in the West Bank who are now

behaving as gangs, militarized -- they have weapons from the Israeli army.


There, even the Israeli defense minister decided to support them, form a special military groups and they're attacking --

SOARES: Yes --

BARGHOUTI: Palestinian villages. So many villages have had attacks, burning their houses, their cars. People feel totally unsafe with the settlers

around them. And finally, the army itself is attacking so many Palestinian areas, like refugee camps in Jenin and Tokarev(ph), and it's vicious.

The first thing the army uses is gunshot. The first thing they shoot at Palestinians is gunshots to kill. So, practically, no Palestinian now feel

safe in the whole --

SOARES: Yes --

BARGHOUTI: Of the West Bank.

SOARES: And in fact, just to add to this, over the weekend, in a statement that was issued by Netanyahu's office, we learned that this government, the

Netanyahu government is looking to what they call strengthened, Dr. Barghouti, Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

I've also seen a report out of "The Guardian" newspaper here. This is their reporting today, that the Israeli military has handed over what they're

saying is significant legal powers in the occupy -- in the West Bank to pro-settler civil servants working for those you were talking about, the

far-right Minister Bezalel Smotrich. I mean, is there any truth to what "The Guardian" news is reporting, and what could this potentially mean


BARGHOUTI: It means that Israel is repeating the same old experience which happened to Palestinians in 1948, where gangs of settlers, very well

equipped attacked them and tried to displace them. Thirty five Palestinian communities have already been displaced by these gang groups for illegal


And this is a real risk because this government continues to declare that their ultimate goal is ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Now, Smotrich and

Ben-Gvir, Smotrich, the Finance Minister is the --

SOARES: Oh, yes --

BARGHOUTI: Real military governor of the West Bank, and Ben-Gvir are both themselves settlers. And what you see here in Israel is an amazing shift

towards fascism by settlers themselves who are now 750,000 in the West Bank. And they are trying to direct the whole course of Israel, Israeli

aggression against Palestinian population.

SOARES: Yes, we've got some video, I'm just going to get my producer to air this video of aid, I think that's been looted in the West Bank by settlers,

incredibly troubling of course, but it seeks to really -- these tensions -- these growing tensions -- we're looking at that now. This was back in May

14th, and that speaks to those tensions.

I wanted Dr. Barghouti, though, the changes that we're seeing, the push that we've seen from the Biden administration, I don't know if I can call

it push. Well, we've seen the Biden administration issuing executive orders, targeting violent Israeli settlers in the West Bank, imposing

sanctions and the vigil.

We also saw the Secretary of State, I believe was last year, announcing a policy to prevent extremist settlers responsible for violence, the West

Bank from traveling to the United States. Has any of this made any difference?

BARGHOUTI: Not really, because it's minimal, it's limited, it's not effective. If the United States really want to be serious, they have to

start imposing sanctions on settlements and settlers. They have to take punitive acts against the ministers who are settlers, like Smotrich and


SOARES: Yes --

BARGHOUTI: If the United States wants, it can exercise a very serious pressure on Israel. But what we see is not nothing serious. And people, of

course, continue to compare between -- of the rebel -- double standards here. In the case of Russia, 11,000 sanctions were imposed on Russia in

less than two months. In the case of Palestine, they are continuing to support the occupier and the settler.

The settlers are benefiting from that who are really breaking the international law, and even the United States says that these settlers are

illegal and should not be there.

SOARES: And those double standards is something that I've been hearing right here on my show from foreign ministers, but also former presidents.

Most, some of them from the global south. Dr. Barghouti, always wonderful to get your insights and your perspective, thank you --

BARGHOUTI: Thank you --

SOARES: Very much, sir.

BARGHOUTI: Thank you.

SOARES: Now, I want to focus on Ukraine, of course, is what Dr. Barghouti was mentioning there just at the end of his answer, because Ukrainian

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is thanking the U.S. for deciding to prioritize critical air defense capabilities for Ukraine ahead of other


This, after a move by the Biden administration to put Ukraine at the top of the list. Mr. Zelenskyy has been asking for priority in getting weapons, as

you know, like the Patriot missile system, and has expressed his frustration with those delays.

A White House official says the action is a rather extraordinary policy adjustment at a critical moment, of course, for Ukraine in its war with

Russia. The deliveries are expected to begin this Summer. Well, after signing a mutual defense agreement with North Korea, Russian President

Vladimir Putin is forging strategic partnerships with Vietnam, people line the streets of Hanoi to greet the Russian leader.


Like you did, like in Pyongyang, if you remember yesterday. The Kremlin says during discussions Thursday with Vietnam's president, there was an

agreement on cooperation in the region.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA (through translator): While discussing the Asia-Pacific region, we discussed mutual interest in building a

reliable and adequate architecture of security based on non-violent methods of dispute resolutions.


SOARES: The Russian leader also thanked Vietnam for its quote, "balanced position on the war in Ukraine". We're going to take a short break, we'll

be back after this.


SOARES: Well, Donald Sutherland; the award-winning actor known for being able to skillfully portray an incredibly wide range of characters on screen

has died. In a post on Instagram, Kiefer Sutherland saluted his father as one of the most important actors in the history of film, who was never

daunted by a role. The 88-year-old passed away in Miami after a long illness.

Here's CNN's Stephanie Elam on the performer who won over generations of movie fans.


DONALD SUTHERLAND, LATE ACTOR: Now, I'm waiting for report from some of you.


SUTHERLAND: Look, I'm not joking, this is my job.

ELAM: Heartbreaking.

SUTHERLAND: I don't know if I love you anymore.

ELAM: And casually cool.

SUTHERLAND: Contain it.

ELAM: With his distinct voice and appearance, Donald Sutherland played scenes, stealing characters throughout a career that spanned more than half

a century.

SUTHERLAND: I think of myself as an artist and I take it very seriously.

ELAM: Sutherland's artistic pursuits started while attending college in his native Canada. He moved to London in the 1950s to continue studying drama,

and began landing small roles in British TV and films. The success of 1967's "The Dirty Dozen" launched the actor to Hollywood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, pretty colonel, very pretty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But can they fight?

ELAM: More military movies followed, including "Kelly's Heroes" --

SUTHERLAND: More tanks broken and I'm trying to fix it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then why the hell aren't you helping them?

SUTHERLAND: Oh, man, I don't know -- I don't know what makes them work.

ELAM: And a starring role as Hawkeye in the 1970 film classic "MASH".

SUTHERLAND: I think you'll find it either accommodating, they're quite dry.


ELAM: Next, Sutherland teamed up with Jane Fonda on screen in "Klute".

SUTHERLAND: What else do you remember about the man Victor(ph)?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Talk about have a dream --

SUTHERLAND: I have a dream --

ELAM: And off-screen to produce a documentary protesting the Vietnam war.

SUTHERLAND: I make all the 20 millimeter cannons, they're called the rocket pods. They're called the early personnel fragmentation bombs and I count 12

water buffalo down and kicking.

ELAM: Sutherland's versatile talent kept him busy in roles ranging from a pot smoking professor in "Animal House" --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to go schizo, Willie.

SUTHERLAND: It's a distinct possibility.

ELAM: To a man desperately trying to hold his family together in the Oscar- winning "Ordinary People".

SUTHERLAND: I want a really good picture of the two of you, OK?

ELAM: In recent years, Sutherland's audience of fans became multi- generational when he starred as President Snow in the "Hunger Games".

SUTHERLAND: Hope, it is the only thing stronger than fear.

ELAM: The actor liked the message of the successful franchise.

SUTHERLAND: It's an opportunity to catalyze the revolutionary potential in young people, and given the mess this world is in, that's really important.

ELAM: Sutherland passed on his love of creating entertainment to his son, Kiefer as well as four other children who all work in front or behind the

camera. When he received a star on the Hollywood walk of fame in 2011, Sutherland reflected on his extensive career.

SUTHERLAND: What you're doing at my age is you're looking for your marker. And why I am so filled with happiness and joy is because you guys have

given me my marker.


SOARES: An incredible talent, Donald Sutherland was 88.


SOARES: Welcome back everyone. With the end of the term rapidly approaching, the U.S. Supreme Court issued some opinions today, but many

are closely watching for the cases justices have yet to rule on. Among them, of course, whether former U.S. President enjoy absolute immunity from



An argument made by the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. A "New York Times" op-ed from a former clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy

questions why the court has yet to rule on the case. As you can see there, University of Michigan Law School professor, Leah Litman, writes that there

are explanations for the delay that have nothing to do with politics. But the reasons to think something is rotten at the court are impossible to


I want to welcome in Corey Brettschneider. He's a political science professor at Brown University and the author of "The Presidents and the

People: Five Leaders Who Threatened Democracy and the Citizens Who Fought Defend It." Corey, great to have you on the show.

We're still, of course, like we mentioned, waiting for those big decisions, right? We've had some smaller ones, but we're waiting for some of the

bigger ones, and that includes the opinion on whether Donald Trump or former presidents can be immune from prosecution.

It's certainly -- I mean, for us on this side of the pond, taking a while. We are two months in. So, let me ask you, I mean, why do you think it's

taking so long? Why hasn't ruling been issued yet?

COREY BRETTSCHNEIDER, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR, BROWN UNIVERSITY: It doesn't seem innocent to me. We have a long history, unfortunately, in the

United States of the Supreme Court taking sides, not only in partisan battles, but in the destruction of democracy so close to our founding,

Samuel Chase and our early Supreme Court lobby for the alien sedition acts and the shutdown of free speech.

I worry that what's happening here is that the court is taking Donald Trump's side, that they're slow rolling this until possibly after the

election. And I'm worried that the ruling itself might be contrary to reason, and that they might find that this president has at least some

forms of immunity even not as president, as a sitting president, but as a former president.

SOARES: Yes. So, you agree then -- do you agree then -- I mean, you're saying they're taking sides, do you agree with what we heard from the

former clerk, you know, what she said and we just quoted, the reasons to believe that something is rotten at the court are impossible to ignore? Is

that what you think she is alluding to?

BRETTSCHNEIDER: Well, I'll say it in an even more blunt way, this court has acted in an extremely partisan way. This case never should have been taken

in the first place. And the fact that they took it suggests that they are up to no good, or at least some members of this court.

Because frankly, let's just get to the root problem here, it's about whether or not a former president is immune from prosecution after being

president for criminal acts. And that's what's at stake here. Not just a criminal act, but a criminal act that threatens democracy in an attempted

self-coup. There should be an attempt to prosecute him. And if he wants to defend himself, he can present the law on the facts. But what an immunity

argument does is give him a get out of jail free card.

Why would they grant this at all unless they were suspiciously up to no good? So, absolutely, I think there's something very disturbing happening

here, and the delay only adds to that suspicion.

SOARES: And, you know, one example, Corey, that the former clerk of the Supreme Court gives is exactly on that, on the speed or lack thereof,

really on these of these opinions. She writes, earlier this year on a challenge from Colorado, after that state took Mr. Trump off its

presidential primary ballot, the court agreed to hear arguments on the case a mere month after accepting it and issued its decision less than a month

after the argument. As we know, Mr. Trump prevailed.

So, you know, for our viewers around the world, they will know that the court is kind of dominated by conservatives, who have been nominated by

Republican presidents. So, just explain to our viewers around the world the risks of the delay on the election, the rule of law, and democracy itself,

Corey, here.

BRETTSCHNEIDER: Well, we have a president who is charged with participating in an attempt to destroy our democracy. It's really that traumatic. What

happened on -- at the Capitol on January 6th was an attempted self-coup. And the accusation is that Trump engaged in an attempt to obstruct

Congress' proceeding in order to deny the election certification and took for the first time in American history to stop the peaceful transition of


And what a finding of immunity would do is it would stop that case entirely, or another possibility is that they might say that there's some

form of immunity and send it back for more proceedings in the lower court. If they did that, that might delay the decision about whether the case

could continue until after the election.

And here's the frightening thing, after the election, he almost --

SOARES: Is that how you think it's going -- sorry. Sorry, Corey. Is that how you think it's going to go, Corey?

BRETTSCHNEIDER: I'm worried about that. Yes, that's my -- I worry that that's the scenario right now. Not that they'll find that he has immunity,

but that they'll send this back to the lower court for further investigation for their fact-finding, not that we need any. And that could

delay things until after the election. Absolutely.


And again, if he gets that far and he wins, he really almost certainly does have immunity with this court.

SOARES: And, you know, I was surprised to hear, and maybe I've missed President Biden saying this, but speaking out about the Supreme Court. I

just want to play this little clip and we can talk afterwards. Have a listen.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: The Supreme Court has never been as out of kilter as it is today. I mean never. I taught constitutional law for nine

years. This guy knows more about it than most. Look, the fact of the matter is that this has never been a court that's been this far out of step.


SOARES: So, out of kilter. Never been a court that's been more out of step. I mean, how then does this -- you know, the politics around it, the fact

they're taking sides to delay, how does this play, I wonder, with ordinary Americans? How much faith, Corey, do they have in the Supreme Court, you

know, given that we've seen mounting ethics scandals involving justices, I think it was Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito?

BRETTSCHNEIDER: I think there's certainly increasing skepticism of the court and its legitimacy. But the problem with this issue is, frankly, it's

complicated. So, if they say, oh, we need more information. It's not going to be obvious to all Americans that what's going on here is a partisan act

of delay.

And while I certainly agree with President Biden that this court is acting in a way that's very dangerous when it comes to democracy, the one even

more worrying thing is that we've been here before. We've seen courts act in not just a partisan way, but in a way that threatens democracy. During

the Civil War, for instance, the Dred Scott case denied all rights, essentially, to black people.

So, there's a long history of the court being complicit in threats to democracy, and I worry that's what's going on here, too. And, it might be

too subtle the way that it's done, too tricky, too hidden for Americans to quite get the message about how dangerous this court is and it's action,

even in taking this case. I should emphasize that.


BRETTSCHNEIDER: regardless of what they do, the case is so ridiculous. They're really -- during the Nixon era, when these arguments came up about

the immunity of sitting presidents, no one believed that former presidents had immunity from crimes. The whole idea, of course, of the constitution is

that a president is not above the law. And here we have a Supreme Court thinking about saying the opposite or at least pausing before they say the

possible opposite that a president is a kind of king, not just in power, but after.

SOARES: Absolutely fascinating. Corey Brettschneider, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Thank you very much. I have a feeling,

Corey, you and I will be talking much more often in the coming days. Thank you very much.

BRETTSCHNEIDER: Anytime. This is an important story. Thank you for covering it.

SOARES: You're very welcome. Well, it's a very different world since Former U.S. President Donald Trump debated then-candidate Joe Biden. Four years

later, they're getting ready for a rematch. CNN will host the first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle exactly one week from today.

Put it in your calendar.

So, much has unfolded, of course, since 2020. A war in Ukraine, turmoil in the Middle East, and a long list of court cases really addressing

reproductive rights. Millions of voters are expected to tune in to watch this historic moment.

I want to look back at the last time the two rivals met, and how much has changed in the U.S. and the world there, and between them. Our White House

Correspondent Arlette Saenz has more on the Biden campaign's debate preparations.


ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Biden will head to Camp David tonight where he will hunker down for the next few days with his

top advisers to prepare for this debate. One of Biden's chief goals heading into next week's showdown is trying to paint Trump as divisive and chaotic.

Biden is expected to engage first in some informal discussions, to talk through possible questions and answers before that hearing into full 90-

minute mock debate sessions. Aides have prepared binders with policy areas that could come up in this debate.

And President Biden is well known for offering extensive feedbacks to advisers in his debate preparations. He is hoping to remind voters what

those four years were like when Trump was in office, but also warned of what a second term could look like.

A lot of what his focus will be on is trying to map out the different scenarios for this debate, including the way Trump could behave, the types

of messages Trump could relay, and also possible personal attacks for his family. The campaign is well aware of the stakes Biden is facing in this



SOARES: Thank you very much, Arlette. That's on the Democratic side. On the Republic side of the debate, Donald Trump will take the stage as the

party's presumptive nominee and a convicted felon. CNN's Steve Contorno has that side of the story.


STEVE CONTORNO, CNN REPORTER: Unlike President Biden, Donald Trump does not have plans to bunker down over the next few days to study. Instead, he has

a fundraiser tonight in Ohio, and then he will hold a rally in Philadelphia on Saturday. Trump also will not be holding mock debate sessions like Biden

will be doing. It's something he has done in the past with Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani.


However, this time he is more holding informal policy sessions. He has been speaking with some of his potential running mates like Senator J. D. Vance

of Ohio, as well as Senator Marco Rubio on Florida. And then, he's been meeting with some of his advisers to talk about some of the issues that

they expect to come up in this debate, immigration, abortion, crime, inflation. These are the issues that they believe that they could

potentially press the Biden campaign and Joe Biden on the stage over.

But then they've also been planning how to respond to attacks from Joe Biden on some of the issues that they know that the Biden campaign has made

central to their campaign, such as democracy and January 6th, as well these convictions. So, that is where he is focusing his efforts in the coming


Again, no debate prep sessions like mock debates, but he will be continuing to meet with his advisers in the coming days.


SOARES: Thank you very much to Steve Contorno. Now, you've both got both sides, really. Let's turn to CNN's Chief U.S. National Affairs

Correspondent Jeff Zeleny, who is keeping a close eye on debate preparations. Jeff, great to see you.


SOARES: Look, so much has changed, I think it's fair to say, in the world since they last face off. So, then we now have a rematch. Talk us through

what we're likely to see in terms of the key discussions and what each side is trying to get out of the other.

ZELENY: Look, it does almost seem like an upside-down lifetime ago, only four years, but if you look back at their last debates in 2020, they were

largely dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, which of course was just in its beginning phases. But so much has changed between the two men and the

men themselves have changed. So, perhaps that will be the starkest difference in the debates of 2024 versus 2020.

But if you just go through just a few of the major items that have really happened around the world, of course, the insurrection happened and

everything that fell from there, the campaign of revenge, of retribution, that was not president in 2020. The Dobbs decision at the U.S. Supreme

Court. Abortion rights now is front and center in this presidential campaign unlike any other before. We've seen it in the midterm election

campaigns. We will see how it plays out in the presidential campaign.

And then, of course, internationally, there is no question that there really is a stark choice here facing the voters in the U.S. about America's

direction in the world. Donald Trump very much is not, you know, the same - - does not hold the same policy views that many Republicans Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, et cetera, have on Ukraine, for example, the Middle East.

He's been not quite as specific in the Middle East.

But look, the bottom line to all this is the last debates were about Trump's record. Now, likely, these debates are going to be about President

Biden's record. Immigration, inflation, those are just some of the issues that he'll have to defend.

SOARES: Jeff Zeleny, appreciate you. Great to see you, my friend.

ZELENY: Thank you.

SOARES: And tune in to see the CNN Presidential Debate right here on CNN, coming up on June 27th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. And we'll, of course, replay

the debate in its entirety a few different times so you can watch it at 7:00 a.m. if you are up in London and that's 2:00 p.m. if you are in Hong

Kong. Or even 12 hours later, at 7:00 p.m. in London or 10:00 p.m. in Dubai. There are plenty of choices, plenty of opportunities for you to see


And still to come tonight, from wildfires to unusual heat, to flooding from tropical depression, the U.S. is seeing a variety, really, of extreme

weather. We'll have a live report after this.



SOARES: The world needs to take its foot off the gas. An alarming new report says despite the ongoing climate crisis, global fossil fuel use, as

well as emissions, hit record highs last year. According to the Energy Institute, fossil fuel use has contributed to a 2 percent increase in

energy related emissions. Renewable energy levels also increased, but so did global demands for energy.

Well, a second death has been reported because of the wildfires in New Mexico. That is according to local police. The wildfires in the southern

part of the state have also burned more than 1,400 buildings, including 500 homes. Nearly 8,000 people have been forced to flee.

And in Texas, the governor has issued a disaster declaration that is in preparation for Alberto, the first named storm of the 2024 Atlantic

hurricane season. It's now moving over Mexico as a tropical depression. I want to go now to Rosa Flores. She's been tracking the Tropical Depression

Alberto and the powerful storm surge, and it's getting rather dicey. Take it away, Rosa.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, it really is. The only way to describe it right now, Isa, is bizarre. Every now and then we see beautiful

skies that are blue and sunshine, and then all of a sudden, we get torrential downpours. That's why I'm in full weather gear, even though it's

sunny and beautiful out.

But I want to show you around because this water is absolutely outstanding because it is eating up streets, it is eating up parking lots. What you're

looking at actually is the Bay of Corpus Christi. This is supposed to be a beautiful beach that is normally enjoyed by families and kids that are

normally playing in the sand. That's not happening right now. What's happening is, in essence, the water, the ocean is coming onto land.

If you look in this direction, you'll see how the streets are completely flooded. We've been here since about 5:00 a.m. this morning reporting, and

we've changed our live location three times. We were about half a mile down the road, but the water kept on rising, so we had to keep on moving to

higher ground. We also have video of the Texas A&M Task Force 1.

If you look at this video, you'll see these team members rolled in with a high-water vehicle with multiple trucks. Some of those trucks were towing

boats just in case they needed it. They were going door to door asking residents -- because there's -- there are homes and a residential community

in this direction. They were asking him if they wanted to evacuate.

We saw one woman get evacuated. There is no evacuation order according to the City of Corpus Christi. But they were offering that service because of

the water that you see. And the water levels, Isa, have just been fluctuating a lot. It's very unusual.

Normally, you know, when we see a thunderstorm come in and then you see the water and the surge, and then, normally, the water goes back out and it

recedes. This storm is hundreds of miles south of us, and yet, we're still seeing the effects right now. You can definitely see the winds and we

probably hear the winds, and this has been constant all day long.


So, we have talked to the City of Corpus Christi. They are counting their blessings because they say, look, nobody has died. There are no major

injuries. And there is some damage, but nothing that's too intense. Back to you.

SOARES: Rosa Flores, appreciate it. Thank you very much, Rosa. Now, the Chinese southern region of Guangxi is seeing some of its worst flooding in

over three decades. According to state television, 66,000 people have been forced to evacuate. The local government has now issued its highest alert

for the flooding. The city's train station has also been closed.

In neighboring Guangdong, at least five people have been killed. Heavy rainfall in the province has caused record breaking flooding, power outages

as well as damage to infrastructure. We, of course, stay across the story for you.

And still to come tonight, violent protests in Kenya over potential tax rises. We'll have the latest from Nairobi and changes in the plan that

might be coming. That is next.


SOARES: A wave of unrest over potential tax hikes is rocking Kenya. Protests have led to violent skirmishes between police and demonstrators.

You can see there, Nairobi. Our team has seen police using tear gas against demonstrators. And civil society groups say that at least 283 people have

actually been arrested since Tuesday. Our Correspondent Larry Madowo is in Nairobi covering it all for you.


LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Chaos unleashed on the streets of Nairobi as Kenya's Gen Z has had enough. What started out as

anger on social media about a controversial finance bill exacerbating the country's ongoing cost of living crisis has now morphed into a self-

organized revolt with protests taking place across several cities nationwide.

Young Kenyans battling through water cannons, clashes, and tear gas. Wishing for their rally cries to be heard.

LYON OPIYO, 18-YEAR-OLD PROTESTER: We don't have jobs. We are young. (INAUDIBLE). Our parents are suffering in this Kenya.

MADOWO: It's not clear why they're getting tear gassed. They're peaceful. As they keep saying, they're peaceful. They're not doing anything. But they

keep getting tear gassed and creating all this.

MADOWO (voice-over): The chokehold of Kenya's escalating living costs has been felt for decades, with some protesters saying they are starting what

their parents didn't.


DAISY OLOO, PROTESTER: I'm here because I want to protest because our parents didn't have the guts to stand before and protest against the

minister (ph). But what he's doing is bad governance. And we're here to protest and show him that if our parents can't do it, we can do it.

MADOWO (voice-over): On Tuesday, dozens of demonstrators descended outside Kenya's parliament, forcing the government in Nairobi to amend the bill.

Some of the suspensions include a 16 percent value added tax on bread and a 2.5 percent tax on motor vehicles. But some citizens were unhappy with the

changes, calling for it to be scrapped completely.

In response to the unrest, police arrested hundreds, signaling outrage to human rights groups who said their right to protest has been violated.

MADOWO: Is this your first time protesting?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, we were here on Tuesday. They were doing the exact same thing. They still arrested us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will do it again, and again, and again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We come in peace. We are not fighting. We are very respectful.

MADOWO (voice-over): With tensions mounting and protests showing no sign of slowing down, Gen Z has proven they have risen like never before.

Larry Madowo, CNN, Nairobi.


SOARES: And that does it for us for tonight. Thanks very much for your company. Do stay right here. "Newsroom with Erica Hill" is up next. I shall

see you tomorrow. Have a wonderful day.