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Isa Soares Tonight

Extreme Heat Kills Hundreds, Millions More Sweltering Worldwide As Summer Begins; U.N. Secretary-General Warns of Total Lawlessness and Chaos in Gaza; Netanyahu To Address Congress Amid Growing Rift With WH; Law Banning Domestic Abusers From Owning Guns Upheld; Spiraling Anti-Semitism Becomes Key Election Issue. 2-3p ET

Aired June 21, 2024 - 14:00:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. And tonight, a major ruling on gun control in the

United States as a Supreme Court holds a law barring domestic abusers from possessing firearms. We'll dig, of course, into the significance of this


Then from flash flooding in China to deadly heat in Saudi Arabia and raging wildfires in Brazil, we'll have more on the extreme weather that's wreaking

havoc right around the globe. Plus, more deadly attacks in Gaza as the U.N. Secretary-General warns of total lawlessness and chaos. That and much more


But we start this hour with a major decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on gun ownership in a nearly unanimous opinion, which is rare for this usually

divided court. Justices upheld a federal law that bans domestic abusers from owning a firearm.

The ruling was 8 to 1 with only Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting. Chief Justice John Roberts all authored the opinion, writing that the court had

no trouble coming to that conclusion. Let's turn to our justice correspondent Jessica Schneider in Washington. So, Jessica, a new unanimous


Just talk us through the whole decision and what it means.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this was really giving gun control advocates a somewhat surprising win today, Isa, this was an 8-1

opinion. And in this, the justices upheld this gun regulation that prohibits people subject to domestic violence restraining orders from

owning guns.

This was a decision that was written by the Chief Justice John Roberts. And as you mentioned, Justice Clarence Thomas was the lone dissenter, and

what's key about that is that it was Justice Thomas who wrote the decision two years ago, giving broad power to own guns.

That was in a case called Bruen. But today, the Chief Justice wrote it this way, saying our tradition of firearm regulation allows the government to

disarm individuals who present a credible threat to the physical safety of others. So, ruling in favor of this law will be upheld.

You know, there has been considerable confusion in the lower courts for the past two years after that Bruen decision in 2022, written by Justice

Thomas, and that's because at that time two years ago, and it's been in effect ever since, the court said that in order to have a gun law upheld

amid all these challenges, there needed to be some sort of similar precedent that was in place in the late 1700s and 1800s at the time of the

nation's founding.

So, there's been a lot of confusion at the lower courts and some of these laws have been struck down by the lower courts, including this one. But the

Chief Justice today stressed in his opinion that while the Second Amendment right is very broad, it is not unlimited, and it makes sense that guns

should be prohibited for people prone to violence.

And that's exactly what this federal law does. It keeps guns out of the hands of people that courts have deemed credible threat when it comes to

domestic violence. So, a big win for gun control advocates here, but it likely won't be the last time the Supreme Court has to weigh in on a gun

law, Isa, because --

SOARES: Yes --

SCHNEIDER: There has been such confusion. And of course, we're just probably days away from the end of the term. We're waiting for a lot of big

opinions, still we have about a dozen cases still left, including, you know, whether former Presidents, namely Donald Trump can be immune from

criminal prosecution, and then we have a big case also dealing with an Idaho anti-abortion law that pretty much bans abortions in all cases.

So, we will standby --


SCHNEIDER: For that over the course of next week.

SOARES: It might be a very busy week. Jessica Schneider --


SOARES: Appreciate it, thank you very much. And we will have much more to come on the Supreme Court ruling, including the possible impact decision

could have on other cases, you heard Jessica Schneider there, including gun laws in the U.S. right across the board.

Now, to extreme heat, we are seeing right around the globe record high temperatures are making life pretty miserable as well as dangerous in many

regions, including where we are in Europe. A massive power outage has hit Montenegro, Bosnia, Albania and much of Croatia, in fact on Friday,

disrupting businesses, leaving people without air conditioning in the middle of a heat-wave.

And here's a look really at some of the places with extreme weather we'll be looking at this very hour. Have a look at your screen.


The U.S., Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India, Bangladesh and China really facing the brunt of this extreme weather. And extreme heat is also contributing to

a soaring death toll at this year's Hajj, a Muslim pilgrimage drawing almost 2 million people. And while the official toll gathered by CNN is

about 460, the true number could be more than a thousand.

We are seeing reports that as many as 600 additional Egyptian worshippers have died on the route to Mecca. Our Scott McLean has filed report from

Istanbul, and warning some parts are disturbing.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The stoning of the devil, one of the key rituals of the Hajj pilgrimage. It's a symbolic rejection of

evil. But with temperatures unusually high, even for this time of year, the temptation here, a much simpler one.

Water only goes so far when it's 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Azza Hamid Brahim found out the hard way, like many, she gave up on the way there.

AZZA HAMID BRAHIM, EGYPTIAN PILGRIM (through translator): We thought we were about to die. We didn't even have the strength to reach to steels due

to the extreme heat.

MCLEAN: The soaring temperatures making this year's pilgrimage exceptionally deadly. Videos shared on social media showed bodies on the

sides of roads, their faces covered, in some cases, they looked simply abandoned.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most of the people they die on the road side, and some were -- fainted due to the heat and heat stroke. So, they should make

such an image that during the Summer season when the hot season is in the Summer, they should arrange direct transportation for them.

MCLEAN: Saudi Arabia says it did make some arrangements to deal with the heat, deploying 1,600 soldiers along with 5,000 volunteers, installing

dozens of air conditioning tents and overhead water sprinklers to cool down crowds. But many are traveling on tourist visas rather than Hajj specific

ones, that don't get access to these amenities.

They add to the nearly 2 million pilgrims expected officially, the sheer scale and the heat, a deadly combination.

BRAHIM: A lot of people died, the ambulances were overwhelmed. You would talk to someone, then suddenly, they will die. It was a very hot day.

MCLEAN: The Hajj maybe officially over, but with Saudi Arabia yet to release any numbers, be that injured or dead, the number of victims may

still yet sharply rise. Scott McLean, CNN, Istanbul.


SOARES: And in southern China, the death toll has risen to at least 55 people as torrential rains trigger flash flooding as well as landslides.

That is, according to Chinese state media, more than 55,000 people have been affected by the heavy rainfall and the economic loss in the areas

close to $800 million U.S.

Deadly monsoon rains are battering south Asia. Dozens of people have been killed in northeast India and flooding -- as well from flooding as well as

landslides. Officials say more than 160,000 people have been affected. And then in neighboring Bangladesh, monsoon rains have displaced more than

45,000 people with even more rain, in fact, on the way.

State media reports thousands of people have taken cover in shelters, and the government says at least ten people have been killed by mudslides and

rainfall in range of refugee camps. Well, we're also seeing extreme weather being felt in the United States where more than 100 million people are

under heat alerts.

People are doing really their best to just keep cool from the southwest, the Mid-Atlantic. We've also seen flood alerts along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

In Texas and Louisiana, excess rainfall is really causing damage and the potential for flash flooding that is due to the remnants of Tropical Storm

Alberto, which we showed you yesterday here on the show.

We had live images at this time yesterday. In some areas, the storm brought nearly three times the normal amount of rain in just 48 hours. I want to go

to Athena Jones in New York where there's temperature -- we don't have Athena, OK, we'll try to connect with Athena, but we want to give you a

sense, of course, of the changes in the temperature right around the world including that heat that we are seeing in New York.

We'll reconnect to her and we'll bring you that. In the meantime, the world's largest tropical wetland is being ravaged by record-breaking fires.

Brazil's Pantanal Wetland, a unique, of course, ecosystem that's home to thousands of endangered as well as unusual species, has endured more than

1,700 fires just this month alone, and experts warn an impending heat-wave posses an additional danger.

Our Julia Vargas Jones spoke to conservationists as well as firefighters on the frontline.


JULIA VARGAS JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The world's largest fresh water wetland scorched. Aerial footage captures the true scope of the

blaze. What should be green, now turned to ash.


This month alone, authorities detected 1,729 fire sources in Brazil's massive punter now wetlands. And nearly 1.3 million acres have already

burned this year, along with them, some of its precious fauna, like the approximately 10 million crocodiles that call this place home.


J. JONES: "Over the crackling of the fire, you can hear the animals trying to escape", this woman says. "Last week, children had to be evacuated from

a school in Mato Grosso do Sul State when the fire got too close. And residents tried to continue to make a living as if life is normal under a

blanket of ash, smoke, hovering over the rivers in a glowing orange sky.

But experts warn that the worst may be yet to come as the region is bracing for an impending heat wave. Isabel Bueno (ph) who is part of a conservation

group trying to protect the Pantanal. She says too much heat, not enough rain, lots of wind and extremely low water levels on the main river of the

biome have created the perfect storm, and only six months after the last fire season.

One firefighter telling CNN, the scenes look apocalyptic. They've been battling the fire for ten days, going into remote, hard to reach areas day

and night. But the area is vast in resources, scarce. This fire chief of a non-profit brigade thanks a local farmer for giving his crew a ride to the

fire line.

Otherwise, he says, it would be a two days walk. What Pantanal urgently needs, experts say, is airplanes to drop water on the burning patches. "We

do the impossible with very little, and we need help", she says. Julia Vargas Jones, CNN, Los Angeles.


SOARES: We're going to leave Brazil and take you to New York, because obviously, temperatures there, meaning incredibly high extreme heat, and

that of course, is not only making life miserable, what's also very dangerous. Athena Jones, is in New York for us. And Athena, just give us a

sense of how hot it is.

ATHENA JONES, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Isa, well, it is very hot. Any skin that's exposed to the sun, you can feel it, feeling like it's

beginning to burn just in a matter of seconds. Right now, the temperature on the Dallas is 93 degrees Fahrenheit, that's about just under 34 degrees


But with the humidity, it feels several degrees warmer, and that's what we're dealing with. For the 8 million people in New York and the more than

100 million people across a wide swath of the U.S. dealing with these heat alerts, the heat index here in New York is expected to reach or exceed 100

degrees Fahrenheit, that's 37, 38 Celsius today.

Much of this area, the whole city, except for areas close to the water parts of Long Island are under heat advisory. And that, we also know that

New York City may hit a June heat wave record seven consecutive days with the temperature at 90 degrees or higher, 90s, about 32 degrees Celsius for

those who may be counting, we're in day two of this possible seven-day heat wave.

If that happens, that will tie the longest stretch of heat in a decade and the longest ever in June. And the temperature in Central Park today is

forecast at 94 degrees, that would be the warmest temperature in the last two years since July of 2022. D.C. is not escaping this either.

Washington D.C., they could see a high of 100 degrees on Saturday, that would be the first 100 degree day since 2016. In fact, they're so concerned

about the heat affecting even transit in D.C., that the transit officials have put out a warning, restricting the speed of above-ground trains on the

rails to 35 miles per hour to try to keep them from overheating.

So, bottom line here, this is -- these are dangerous temperatures. You can see here that folks gathered at this splash park, we've seen people coming

and going all day to try to cool off in the water. Officials here in D.C. and here in New York, have opened hundreds of cooling centers, are advising

folks to take precautions, avoid strenuous activity at the warmest times of day, like a ride around now.

In the next several hours, a check on seniors, a check on those who are vulnerable, people who don't have air-conditioning, and make sure you can

find your way to a cooling center or a shelter with air conditioning, should you begin to have some of the symptoms of heat stroke and heat


That's another thing they want people to be aware of to make sure that everyone is safe and is able to beat the heat as we are here now on the

first day --

SOARES: Yes --

A. JONES: Of Summer, Isa.

SOARES: Yes, lots of fluids, it's good to see the kids though enjoying the water fountain just behind you, Athena. Athena Jones for us in New York.

Good to see you, Athena, thanks very much. And as we told you this time yesterday, an alarming new report says fossil fuel use and emissions hit

record highs just last year.


What does -- what impact does that -- really have on the climate, usage have on the climate -- what -- from this week's record-breaking

temperatures to deadly fires as well as devastating floods that we have just been showing you. We are seeing signs of extreme weather across the


According to Energy Institute, fossil fuel use has contributed to a 2 percent increase in energy-related emissions. While renewable energy levels

did increase, so did the global demand for overall energy. Let's go to our chief climate correspondent Bill Weir. And Bill, you know, we've just

retaken viewers right around the world from China to India, to Europe, to the U.S., to Brazil.

I mean, this is a very alarming picture and it's only -- in the northern hemisphere, it's only the first day of Summer. Just talk us through what

you are --


SOARES: Seeing, because it can only get worse from here on in.

WEIR: Yes, unfortunately, this is the opening attractions for this Summer, and then really, maybe one of the coolest of the rest of our lives, if you

think about the trend lines here, the metaphor I'm fond of lately is, there is this carbon Godzilla in the sky. It's invisible, but it weighs over a

trillion and a half tons, was put there, you know, by human success over the century and a half or so.

And last year, when there was hope that we'd stop feeding the peak demand for carbon Godzilla, we made it bigger by about 40 billion tons. And the

hope is that we'll stop making it bigger sometime this year or next, and then slowly de-carbonize, and then we've got to figure out a way to chop up

a big chunks of that carbon Godzilla and bury it back in the slow cycle beneath the earth from where it came from.

But in the meantime, the bigger that thing gets, the hotter we get. And you're seeing -- it's just agreeing proof of it around the world today with

the World Weather Attribution Service, they look at these events, they run them with models against what earth was like before industrial revolution,

what it would have been like in this heat dome that started in Central America and moved up into the States was made 35 times more likely by man-

made global warming.

So, that means we have already -- it's already here, and we have to quickly adapt to the sort of the payment already built in. Tree canopies as fast as

we can plan them, you know, painting roofs as white as we can afford it, cooling centers, just a new thinking process around this.

You know, what towel around your neck can cool you off for a couple of hours. Light clothing, adapting, you know, to the new hotter environment.

If you saw the movie, "Dune", the protagonist really adapted to --

SOARES: Yes --

WEIR: A hot and dry environment to the extremes. We're not there yet, but in the way we think about water conservation, the way we think about

monitoring our body temperatures can -- needs to get smarter as the world gets hotter.

SOARES: And speaking of adapting here, Bill, I mean, just on a practical level, you're talking about some elements, but I wonder what governments

can do. I mean, I remember, I think it was last week we hit like 49 --

WEIR: True --

SOARES: Almost degrees Celsius in India. What role can governments play here? Because I imagine temperatures like this, you can't expect people to

be working outside, there have to be changes --

WEIR: Exactly --

SOARES: In society. Just talk us through that.

WEIR: Sure, Isa, well, it's interesting. Just yesterday, California became just the third state of the 50 in the U.S. to make indoor heat rules for

workers who are in these scorching hot warehouses, which sometimes can be more oppressive than if you were working outside.

And so if the temperature is above 82 degrees, you at least need air condition break room if it's above 87, maybe you need to shift -- you know,

workers to later at night or early in the morning. But touch states like Texas and Florida are actively prohibiting worker protection laws and water

breaks. You know, agricultural lobbies, you know, Chamber of Commerce oppose them.

And they say it puts onerous regulations on employers. So, yes, this is a new debate. It's no longer air conditioning. It's -- a lot of people think

of it as a luxury, especially in the northern latitudes. Now, it's just a matter of life and death as food and water, when it gets this hot in places

that just aren't used to it.

So, yes, the public outcry over this, you know, you're seeing now new government agencies as chief heat officers in the state of Arizona, cities

like Miami, L.A., have chief heat officers. So, this is all a shift in mindset over -- it takes time.

SOARES: Bill Weir, I appreciate it as always, great to see you, Bill, wish there were -- we had some good news, we'll see. Thank you, Bill.

WEIR: Anytime here, Isa --

SOARES: And still to come -- and still to come tonight as Israel escalates deadly attacks in Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fueling a spat

with an ally that's providing critical help for the war. We'll explain.



SOARES: Well, deadly Israeli attacks are reported across Gaza today, including a strike that hit ten -- tents, I should say, housing displaced

people in Mawasi, that's near Rafah. Gaza's Health Ministry says 25 people were killed in that attack, tens of thousands of people have fled to Mawasi

from Rafah, where Israel says, it's conducting precise as well as limited operations against Hamas.

The mayor of Rafah disputes that, saying Israeli forces are completely destroying the city. The U.N. Secretary-General said this today about Gaza.


ANTONIO GUTERRES, SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS: There is total chaos in Gaza, and there is no authority in most of the territory. And Israel

does not even allow the so-called blue police to escort our convoys because it's a local police linked to the -- I mean, local administration.

So, lawlessness is total. We see extreme difficulty in distributing inside Gaza.


SOARES: Well, meantime, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is escalating a very public spat with an ally providing critical support for

the war. He says, quote, "barely a trickle of U.S. military aid is making it to Israel." We're joined now by Alex Marquardt, who is in Washington for

us, Paula Hancocks is in Jerusalem.

And Paula, let me just start off with what we heard from the U.N. chief there, Antonio Guterres talking about lawlessness in trying to distribute

aid. But also the -- what we've seen, the strike it seems in Mawasi in recent days has left 25 people killed, dead. What more do we know at this


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Isa, this particular Israeli strike, we've had details from the Palestinian Red Crescent also

from the Ministry of Health saying at least two dozen have been killed. These are displaced people who have moved, many of them from Rafah itself.

But when the Israeli military announced that it was going to start its operation, tens of thousands did move to that area. They were told by the

Israeli military to move to that area because they declared it a humanitarian zone. Now, even at the time, some humanitarian groups said

that it was really uninhabitable for people to be living there at that point.

But it is very close to Rafah as the IDF has been moving further west and further north in parts of Rafah, it really does skirt this area of Al-

Mawasi where there are many people in desperate situations and intense, which of course, offer no protection against any kind of military activity.


Now, we did speak a little earlier this Friday, Isa, to the mayor of Rafah, because the IDF has been consistently saying that what they're doing in

Rafah at this point is limited. It is Intelligence-based, it is precision and precise, and it is not a widespread operation.

The mayor of Rafah disputes that. He says what they're doing in Rafah is very similar to what the Israeli military did in Khan Yunis and also in the

northern part of Gaza, saying that there are no warning shots, and effectively, if you stepped foot in Gaza -- in Rafah, he says, then you

will be killed instantly.

So, two very different narratives about what exactly is happening in Rafah at this point, but just very close by in Al-Mawasi, we are seeing the

displaced being caught up in the violence once again. Isa?

SOARES: Yes, and that was always so hard to comprehend. Paula, do stay with us. Let me go to Alex. And Alex, let's talk politics, because I think

there have been numerous in the last kind of 48 hours, accusations from Prime Minister Netanyahu. We know from the U.S. administration, Alex, that

they're not at all pleased, let's just say that.

I wonder what the response has been thus far then from the White House and others to this latest accusation from Netanyahu that barely a trickle of

military -- American military aid is coming to Israel. What are you hearing from your sources?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're hearing -- I mean, I spoke to one person who tracks this very carefully in Congress, who

called this a complete fabrication. I mean, just when it looked like this spat was taking a breather, it was reignited today with these new comments

from Netanyahu that barely a trickle of aid of weaponry is getting in.

And we heard in his video a few days ago in which he talked about how it was inconceivable that the U.S. would withhold these weapons, and then

there's this flurry of rejections from senior administration officials, the White House press secretary saying a few days ago that they genuinely don't

know what he was talking about.

And that frustration in public was echoed behind the scenes. I spoke with a senior Biden administration official who said that the anger is palpable.

So, clearly, this relationship taking a real hit in this moment. But Netanyahu said in an outlet called "Punchbowl News" earlier today, that

really these shipments of weaponry, of U.S. weapons had really slowed down.

I want to read you part of what he said. He's talking about a meeting that he had just a few days ago with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He said

that he was told by the Israeli Defense Department officials that barely a trickle is coming in. Blinken is said to have responded, "Well, everything

is in process. We're doing everything to untangle it and to clear up the bottlenecks."

And then Netanyahu responded, "well, that's what I expect to happen. Let's make sure that does happen." So, demand from the Israeli Prime Minister

that the U.S. speed up their weapons deliveries. Again, that congressional source who I spoke with said that there has been no slow-down with the

shipments of ammunition, of missiles, of all kinds of weaponry have continued to pace, of course, with much criticism for the United States.

And for those who are saying that this is being directed at a domestic Israeli audience, I would just note again, he said this in a very

Washington outlet called "Punchbowl". This is very much directed to the Washington media and political ecosystem, if you will.

One more thing, Isa, we know that Prime Minister Netanyahu is coming here to Washington in just a few weeks, he's due to speak with Congress. This

has been a very controversial invitation. It was done at the behest of the speaker of the House. We're hearing an increasing number of Democrats who

don't want to attend this.

It is still unclear, I should note, whether or not Netanyahu will be meeting with President Biden. And of course, it would be extremely

remarkable if the Israeli Prime Minister were to come here and not meet with Biden, we don't have much clarity on that for the time-being, Isa.

SOARES: Yes, and well, I'm going to go next, you've led me nicely to Sunlen Serfaty in Washington on this. Thank you very much, Alex and Paula

in Jerusalem. And as we heard there from Alex Marquardt, as you know, Prime Minister Netanyahu's accusations come just a month as Alex was saying

before he's set to address the U.S. Congress.

Some lawmakers are really planning to boycott his remarks. I want to get to Sunlen Serfaty, who is in Washington. So, Sullen, I mean, how are these

strings of accusations that we were just hearing there from Alex Marquardt? How are they being received where you are? Just speak to the mood right


SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the mood certainly is tense, Isa, as you heard laid out from Alex there beforehand. The fact that

there's joint address to Congress is on the schedule for next month here in Washington. And all this back-and-forth between the White House and

Netanyahu is playing out in a very public way, that just adds to the importance of the moment and potentially the drama of the moment on Capitol

Hill as well.

And it will be important to watch in the weeks between now and when that address does take place in front of Congress. How individual lawmakers are

reacting, how are they reacting to this back-and-forth between the White House and Netanyahu? No, so far, CNN has spoken to dozens of Democratic

lawmakers over the last few weeks about what they think about this joint address if they plan to attend.

And many say that they're still on the fence, that they have not decided yet, and they have to see how it goes.



SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Weeks about what they think about this joint address if they plan to attend, and many say that they're

still on the fence, that they have not decided yet and they have to see how it goes. That, of course, comes as there is a handful of Democrats that

have already said very publicly, very directly that they will boycott this speech and really not mincing words when announcing it. We heard from

Congressman Ro Khanna. He said I'm not going to sit in a one-way lecture.

On Tuesday, Senator Elizabeth Warren, she said that she believes Netanyahu has created a humanitarian disaster and announced that she plans to sit out

a speech.

And we also heard earlier in the week from Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders on CNN. Here's what he told us.


BERNIE SANDERS, U.S. SENATE INDEPENDENT: To me, what is inconceivable is for the United States to give another nickel to the right-wing extremist

Netanyahu government, who is going to war against not just Hamas, but the entire Palestinian people. That's inconceivable.


SERFATY: So we will hear from more lawmakers over the next weeks as this tension grows as this address gets closer. But many are, as I said, still

making up their minds. We heard from Senator Van Hollen this week. He said he has not yet made a decision whether he will attend or not, but he says,

"I think it was a mistake to invite him."

So certainly these are very strong words from Democrats on Capitol Hill. There is a lot of tension and drama around this joint address. And notably,

it's still a month away here in Washington, and certainly these latest comments from Netanyahu only add to that fierce tension that's going on

right now as he approaches that late in the summer address to Congress.

SOARES: And indeed, both those comments, those interviews that he -- Netanyahu, has done have been in English, directed clearly to the United

States. Sunlen, appreciate it. Thank you very much. Good to see you.

SERFATY: Thank you.

SOARES: And still to come tonight, the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on firearm ownership and why gun control advocates are applauding the

decision. We'll break it all down for you. That's next.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. In what's seen by many as a major win for gun control advocates, the U.S. Supreme Court, however, just an hour ago,

upheld a law banning domestic abusers from owning guns. The lone dissenter in the 8-1 decision was Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote that there

isn't, "A single historical regulation supporting the ban."

The Biden administration praised the court's opinion, saying it will help protect survivors of domestic violence, as well as their families.

For more insight on the ruling, I want to welcome back Brettschneider -- Corey Brettschneider back to the show. He's a political science professor

at Brown University. He's also the author of The Presidents and the People, Five Leaders Who Threatened Democracy and the Citizens Who Fought to Defend


You know, Corey, when I said we'll be talking in the coming days, I didn't expect it to be the next day, but great. I'm so happy you're back to make

sense of what is happening. Look, first, your reaction, Corey, to this near-unanimous decision from the Supreme Court.

COREY BRETTSCHNEIDER, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR, BROWN UNIVERSITY: Thanks. It's a pleasure to be back, and I'm glad to have some good news to

bring, too. This is a very sensible ruling, 8-1, with Clarence Thomas dissenting, which is not a surprise.

And it really is about reclaiming, I would say, the sensible meaning of the Second Amendment, because this case is all about the importance of

regulation and why reasonable regulations, in particular, are OK under our Constitution and not banned.

For a long time, the Supreme Court said the Second Amendment really wasn't about individual gun ownership at all. In fact, for the vast majority of

our history, and then in 2008, in the Heller case, Justice Scalia wrote an opinion saying it is an individual right, despite what the text says, I

think, contrary to that. But he did say that.

And then the Supreme Court, with Thomas writing an opinion, upped the level of protection in a case about New York's gun laws, and now they've backed

off, thankfully.

SOARES: And you were talking about Clarence Thomas, who was, of course, like you said, the lone dissenter. I just want to read out what he said.

"The court and government do not point to a single historical law revoking a citizen's Second Amendment right based on possible interpersonal

violence. Yet, in the interest of ensuring the government can regulate one subset of society, today's decision puts at risk the Second Amendment

rights of many more." I mean, what do you make of that argument?

BRETTSCHNEIDER: Justice Thomas is trying to create the meaning of the Second Amendment in such a broad way that would exclude so many reasonable

regulations that it just strikes me as really beyond the pale, out to lunch, frankly. And eight justices saw that and said, no, we're not going

to do things the way Thomas recommends in this dissent.

For him, he really wants an exact match, that you'd have to go back to the 18th century and find a gun law that was about domestic violence in the way

that the one at issue here was in the case today. And the justices rightly are saying, no, we're going to look for principles of regulation that might

be similar. And you can find those throughout American history because, after all, the preamble of the Constitution talks about the need for We,

The People, to ensure domestic tranquility. And that's exactly what Americans have done through a good amount of our history. And so looking

for the principle, that's the idea here as opposed to Thomas's way of looking for this exact match.

SOARES: It makes so much common sense, you know, for us on this side of the pond. But I wonder for this close -- if this, you feel, Corey, kind of

closes a door to future litigations decision, or does this kind of narrow ruling, that some may say is narrow, kind of open the door to further

challenges, do you think, on this?

BRETTSCHNEIDER: It makes things better. In this Bruen case that I mentioned, where Justice Thomas wrote for the court, striking down New

York's gun law, it looked like he was really opening the door to huge amounts of litigation, to almost all gun laws, because he was defining the

Second Amendment in this really absurd broad way.

Now what the court has done is narrow the Second Amendment, narrow the right to gun ownership, and allow for reasonable regulation. So I think it

deters to some extent, some of that litigation. And certainly it gives government the way to defend itself, the United States and also local

government to say.


We have a right to protect people's lives. After all, that's what we're talking about here, to defend people who are the victims of domestic

violence, as in the case here. And the court's really made it clear, they're not going to go with the extremist view of Justice Thomas, they're

going to go with a much more reasonable view. And as you say to the -- around the world, I think finally we look sensible on this issue.

SOARES: You do indeed. Look, I understand, or CNN understands, I should say, that lawyers, Corey, for Hunter Biden, were closely watching the

Second Amendment case he had decided today by the Supreme Court, I should say, in the hopes here that he would kind of bolster his chances of

overturning his conviction. How would you think they would have read then this decision from SCOTUS?

BRETTSCHNEIDER: Well, I mean, I think it's certainly a pushback against that. You know, the idea of the United States is no person is above the

law, and Hunter Biden is going to receive the same application of justice as everyone else. He's not going to get special privileges under the Second

Amendment, and he's not going to get general privileges that might come with an extremist view of gun ownership.

Perhaps if we had gone the way of Justice Thomas, ironically, Hunter Biden might have gotten some cover in that. But the court really did rebuke that

view and pull back the extremist view that they seem to have taken in the Bruen case. And thank -- I'm glad for that.

SOARES: And before you go, Corey, I've got you here. I want to get your thoughts on another case, but also related, I should say, to the Supreme

Court. We've heard today, and I'm guessing you would have seen that Steve Bannon, who is, of course, the former strategist for Donald Trump, has

asked the Supreme Court to pause his prison sentence while, of course, he appeals his contempt of Congress conviction. I mean, what do you make of

this? What are his chances here?

BRETTSCHNEIDER: Look, this is an extremist, and we have, unfortunately, extremists in this country, and he thinks that his friends who are

appointed by his other friend, Donald Trump, are going to come and save him. But I don't see any possibility of that happening.

In the same way, Hunter Biden is not above the law. We have courts that apply justice equally, and the idea of some sort of special privilege for

this former Trump advisor, I think, is unlikely to succeed.

SOARES: Corey, appreciate it. Look, I think it's going to be a very busy week. Next week, we're still waiting for many decisions. So we will stay in

touch. Corey, as always, thank you.

BRETTSCHNEIDER: What a pleasure. Thank you.

SOARES: Likewise. Have a wonderful weekend.

And still to come tonight, disturbing allegations of a minor sexual assault in France, leading to a nationwide debate on rising anti-Semitism there,

how this incident could impact an upcoming election. That is next.



SOARES: Well, a shocking case in France is triggering an outcry over surging anti-Semitism in the country ahead of this month's parliamentary

election. Police are investigating the alleged rape of a 12-year-old Jewish girl. The prosecutor says three boys, aged 12 and 13, have been taken into

custody. Politicians from all sides have weighed in with President Emmanuel Macron condemning a, "Scourge of anti-Semitism."

While France's upcoming election could have massive implications for the country's role in the European Union as well as in NATO, CNN's Melissa Bell

examines the role anti-Semitism is now playing as a key election issue.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's an alleged gang rape that has sent shockwaves through France. That of a 12-year-old Jewish girl

who was heading home in a Paris suburb on Saturday afternoon when three boys, all 12 and 13 years old, approached her and forced her into this

abandoned building, according to CNN affiliate BFMTV, citing police sources.

As two of the three boys allegedly raped her, anti-Semitic insults were also allegedly used, including calling her, a "Dirty Jew." The boys have

been taken into custody, according to the local prosecutor.

It comes at a critical time in France with an election called to test the rise of the right, but that has put the future of the government itself on

the line, an attack that has sparked intense political debate on anti- Semitism further heightened by Israel's war in Gaza.

President Emmanuel Macron has condemned a scourge of anti-Semitism that he says is festering in French schools. According to France's interior

ministry, anti-Semitic incidents in France rose 284 percent from 2022 to 2023.

But this attack has brought demonstrators to Paris's city hall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): As is often the case, anti-Semitism is a barometer of a country's democratic health. And right now, it says

something about French society.

BELL (voice-over): More protests are planned this weekend as anti-Semitism now takes center stage as a political issue just days before the country

heads to the polls.

Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.


SOARES: Well, Moscow is reporting a barrage of Ukrainian drone attacks in occupied Crimea, as well as southern Russia, which have killed at least one


Ukraine confirms that it struck a number of oil refineries, as well as other targets in Russia. For its part, Russia claims it destroyed more than

80 Ukrainian drones and six unmanned boats. And this comes as U.S. sources say the White House is now prioritizing critical air defense capabilities

for Ukraine over supplies to other countries.

And still to come tonight, the emotions and the intensity are high at the EUROs as football teams battle to move on in the tournament. We'll go live

to Berlin to update you on all the football, soccer action, whatever you want to call it. That's next.



SOARES: Well, match day drama at the EUROs today, in a battle of previously winless sides, Austria used a late surge to beat Poland 3-1. Their loss all

but eliminated -- eliminate Poland from the tournament. Ukraine trailed at halftime but mounted a strong second-half push to capture a much-needed 2-1

win over Slovakia. A goal in the 80th minute capped off the comeback and kept Ukraine's tournament hopes alive.

And in just minutes, superstar Kylian Mbappe is on the bench. France face the Netherlands.

Our Frederik Pleitgen is keeping an eye on it all. He's in Berlin. And Fred, I understand you went to the match, the Poland-Austria match. I can

see fans still behind you. Give us a sense of what that was like.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Isa. Yes, we certainly did. And you see behind me also the lovely Olympic

Stadium here in Berlin. How are you guys doing? And the Austrians, of course, coming out very happy today after beating Poland 3-1.

It was a pretty exciting match. The Austrians, of course, went up pretty early. The Poles then equalized. And at halftime, things still remained

equal. I think there were a few moments for the Austrians where they felt that the Poles were really coming and really had a chance to beat them.

But it was also when Robert Lewandowski came in that things then turned south for the Poles. You see the Austrian fans here. A Polish fan here is

not so happy. But the Austrian fans are definitely happy.

Hi, how are you guys? How do you feel after winning? We're with CNN. How do you feel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, very good. Great. Austria is the best team and we will win the championships.

PLEITGEN: Do you think you'll win the championship?


PLEITGEN: How do you guys feel? Good today?


PLEITGEN: Did you think Austria would be this good? I mean, you really -- they really combined great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We absolutely believed in Austria and we are going to the final.

PLEITGEN: All right, good luck. Thank you very much. The Germans have a two -- a figure or two to say about that. As you can see, Isa, the fans here,

the Austrian fans, definitely happy.

I have to say, though, the Polish fans that we spoke to also completely fair. They acknowledged that their team wasn't good enough today to pull

things off. However, they did say they were just happy to be here. And of course, they will come back to fight another day.

They're not completely eliminated yet, as far as I know. The Austrians, definitely, though, you could tell that this was definitely an important

match for them. Their coach, Ralf Rangnick, he said before the match, he considered this to be a playoff game. It was essential for them to win.

They're now right back in the thick of things. They have all the chances to go to the next round and go very far in this tournament.

In total, having been in the stadium, I have to say, this was a match where the two sides traded blows the entire time. It was exciting the whole time.

There was a lot of offense. In the end, though, the Austrians more effective than the Poles. And again, there was that moment when the Poles

switched in, Robert Lewandowski. And with that, the fortune of the Poles really went south. They can see the two goals --

SOARES: Lewandowski is a class act. I'm disappointed I didn't watch the match. I am looking forward, though, to the next match. France-Netherlands

starts in less than, what, less than 10 minutes. And I heard in the last few minutes that Mbappe, of course, the masked striker, is on the bench.

PLEITGEN: Yes, he is absolutely on the bench. He also suffered a broken nose in the last match. And there was a lot of talk, of course, also on the

sidelines what this mask was going to be like, how he was going to play.

So for now, obviously, they're keeping him out. But it is, of course, also a very important match that we're looking forward to as well. Probably the

top match in that group playing against the Netherlands.

The French have to still be one of the favorites here to win this tournament. They had a pretty good game in their first match that they

played. They are looking to come back and build on that. They definitely are the favorites.

And the Austrians now, of course, believe that they are also one of the favorites to win this tournament. They love it.

SOARES: They all think that they're favorites. You know, Fred, one rematch I'd like to see. I want to bring this photo up and I'm not sure you can see

it, but you'll remember it. This is us in Copacabana Beach in Brazil. This was 2018. It was a Portugal-Brazil. I want to see that rematch. We lost

that one. But, you know, I have a feeling that we can do it this time, Fred.


PLEITGEN: Yes. Yes. I mean, team Portugal now is certainly a lot stronger than they were back then. But that was -- I have to say, that was still one

of the most special moments in my entire career, being on that beach with you and reporting there.

SOARES: Indeed. With Christian Streib and producer Duarte. Fred, appreciate it. It's always good to see you in your element. Thanks very much.

And finally, tonight, the Royal Guards outside Buckingham Palace here in London played a slightly different tune this afternoon. You may like it.

And that, you should have guessed that one, is the rendition of Taylor Swift's song Shake It Off ahead of her stage debut at Wembley Stadium as

part of the U.K. leg of The Eras Tour. Nearly 700,000 fans, or Swifties, are expected to see the superstar across her eight performances. Eight at

Wembley this summer.

Transport for London also got involved, producing this alternative tube map in honor of the singer. If you're going, have lots and lots of fun. I'm

sure it'll be great dates, at least it's sunny.

That does it for us tonight. Thank you very much for your company. Do stay right here. "NEWSROOM" with Erica Hill is up next. Have a wonderful weekend

and I shall see you on Monday.