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One World with Zain Asher

Gaza Hospitals Quickly Becoming Battlegrounds; Senator Mullen And Teamster President O'Brien Get Into A Heated Exchange At A Hearing; First- Grade Teacher Stages A Mock Flight To Mexico. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired November 15, 2023 - 12:00   ET




ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Welcome, everyone. Good to be with you on this Wednesday afternoon. "One World" starts right now. The biggest

hospital in Gaza is surrounded by tanks. We'll tell you everything you need to know about the situation on the ground.

And Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet next hour -- what two of the world's most powerful men hope to accomplish. And later,

meet the teacher who took her entire class to Mexico without passports or tickets. We'll tell you how exactly she pulled that off just ahead.

All right, coming to you live from New York, I'm Zain Asher. My colleague, Bianna Golodryga is on assignment. Let's get right to our top story.

Explosions are shaking Gaza's largest hospital as Israel launches a raid on Al-Shifa. A reporter inside the complex says that Israeli forces entered

with a large number of soldiers, tanks and bulldozers in the apparent search for Hamas fighters.

Take a look at this video, because this is a glimpse inside the sprawling complex, the sprawling grounds, where, as you can see, the scenes inside,

smoky and hazy. You see doctors and various personnel trying to move around, trying to function without electricity. Thousands of Palestinians,

including patients, are believed to be sheltering inside.

The supervisor of the E.R. department describes the scene as horrific, saying that the sounds of gunfire are mingling with the screams of older

people and the cries of children, as well. He says that he's seen people handcuffed, he's seen people blindfolded.

The Palestinian health minister based in Ramallah calls the raid at Al- Shifa a new crime against humanity. The U.N. aid chief says that his concern is right now about the patients and about the civilians who are

trapped inside.


MARTIN GRIFFITHS, U.N. EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR: Our concern is for the patients of a hospital that doesn't function. I understand the Israelis'

concern for trying to find the leadership of Hamas. That's not our problem. Our problem is protecting the people of Gaza from what's been visited upon



ASHER: A senior Israeli defense official says the raid has turned up what they are calling concrete evidence that Hamas was using the hospital as a

terrorist headquarters. Their words -- claims of course, the hospital officials have previously denied and continue to do so. The IDF says that

its raid on Al-Shifa is precise, that it is targeted and based on both necessity and intelligence.


DANIEL HAGARI, REAR ADMIRAL, ISRAELI ARMY SPOKESPERSON: The IDF is conducting a ground operation in Gaza to defeat Hamas and rescue our

hostages. Israel is at war with Hamas, not with the civilians in Gaza.


ASHER: All right, CNN's Nada Bashir is tracking the story from Jerusalem. So, Nada, the IDF is saying that they believe that they have evidence that

Hamas has a genuine concrete sort of presence at the Al-Shifa hospital.

They say that as they entered inside the complex that they encountered explosive devices and also terrorist cells, as well. Just give us a sense

of what you're hearing and also the situation for the patients who are trapped inside now.

NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the situation of patients, Zain, is dire to say at the least. We've heard those warning cries from medical

officials on the ground. You heard that statement from the IDF saying that they are targeting Hamas, not civilians, but it is civilians that are being

caught up in what has become a battleground around the Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest hospital.

As we know, there are still hundreds of patients inside this hospital, as well as hundreds of medical staff, as well. We've been hearing from doctors

outside of Gaza, part of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, those with Doctors Without Borders have said they've been unable to reach their

colleagues on the ground. There is concern around the building bombardment and fighting taking place around the hospital as you described Zain. The

situation is fraught to say the least.

And we heard in the early hours of this morning from one doctor who was inside the hospital as that raid was getting underway. Take a listen to his

description of what was happening a couple of hours ago.


AHMED EL MOKHALLALATI, DOCTOR, HEAD OF AL-SHIFA HOSPITAL, PEDIATRIC DEPARTMENT: We can't look through the windows or doors. We don't know

what's happening. We can't text moving within the hospital. You can hear continuous shooting. You can hear it now.


But again, it's totally scary situation.

UNKNOWN: So, what are these sounds, doctor? I'm hearing sounds.

EL MOKHALLALATI: It's continuous shooting from the tanks.


BASHIR: And you can hear the terrifying sounds of that military operation in the background of this doctor's call. But of course, as we know, the

situation facing Al-Shifa, as well as other hospitals in northern Gaza has been deteriorating for some time now.

There is now only one hospital really functioning at normal, perhaps not normal, functioning at all really in northern Gaza, the Al-Ahli Baptist

Hospital. All other hospitals have been said to become inoperational including the Al-Shifa hospital. While there are still hundreds of patients

inside, doctors have been telling us that they have been unable to provide the adequate care that is needed.

And of course, at the Al Ahli Hospital, we are hearing that doctors are carrying out surgeries without even anesthetics. So, you can imagine the

situation that these doctors are working under, patients, of course, requiring urgent medication, unable to get that, hospitals unable to keep

their generators going.

And as we know, the IDF has said that it is focused on Hamas, it is not looking to target civilians, it has called on civilians to evacuate and

says it has allowed for a safe evacuation route from the eastern side of the hospital.

But we've been hearing from doctors throughout the day, including the head of Gaza's hospitals, who have said it is simply impossible to begin to even

consider evacuating many of these patients -- A, because the situation is so insecure on the outskirts of this complex, but also because many of

these patients will require specialized medical evacuations.

They cannot simply walk from northern Gaza to southern Gaza, as we have seen hundreds doing in the last week, although it has to be said that route

is hugely difficult and some have even died along the way.

So, that is a primary point of concern for doctors inside Al Shifa, for doctors across the Gaza Strip. And as we continue to see the idea of

carrying out operations around Al Shifa, the concern that we've been hearing from many human rights organizations, including, as you heard

there, from the U.N.'s relief chief, is that hospitals are quickly becoming battlegrounds, and there are fears that patients, civilians who flock to

hospitals to take shelter, are not safe anymore.

ASHER: All right, Nada Bashir, live for us there. Thank you so much. All right, the Gaza hospital's chief says that newborn babies at Al-Shifa are

in severe danger right now as conditions continue to deteriorate. On Monday, some were moved to a part of the hospital which still had

electricity, but even there, even there the conditions are still said to be precarious.

Egyptian officials say that they're working to bring three dozen babies from the hospital to Cairo, but as you just heard Nader Bashir mention

there, that is a complex undertaking, transporting these babies is certainly a difficult thing to do safely. A few wounded Palestinians have

also been able to receive medical care in Egypt.

CNN's Eleni Giokos spoke to Egypt's health minister. She joins us live now from Cairo. What is involved, Eleni, when you think about what the patients

at Al-Shifa, especially when you're talking about premature babies, what they're dealing with in that kind of situation? What is involved in then

having to transport them safely to the Rafah crossing into Egypt? How does that work?

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I mean the simple thing that perhaps you and I and everyone else takes for granted is oxygen. And that makes it

very complex because we've heard the story. We know that Al-Shifa was running out of oxygen in the Neo-Natal Ward that had to be moved by hand to

another ward. And we have the situation now, but the question is when will they be moved?

The Egyptian authorities, the Minister of Health says that they are expecting over 30 babies to come into Egypt. In fact, they have been

expecting this for the last few days. And he told me that it is absolutely complex, that if those babies lose five minutes of oxygen, they have a

chance of losing their lives.

You know, for the very first time, Zain, CNN was able to go and visit one of the hospitals here in Egypt, in Cairo, that is hosting injured

Palestinians. We know that injured Palestinians have been coming through from Gaza since November -- early November. And they have been treated

here. There's been various hospitals that have been assisting them. But it's the process of getting them out of Gaza and into Egypt.

And it's incredible just to see the insight that, when they arrive at the Rafah border crossing, you know, that minister of health was telling me

they get a very simple paper that is handwritten in terms of their diagnosis and in terms of what interventions are needed.

On the Egyptian side, you have multiple doctors from various specialties that need to intervene because we're talking about multiple injuries.


We're talking about shrapnel. We're talking about head injuries, wounds, burns that need to be addressed. And we had an exclusive report coming

through from one of these hospitals. We spent a day with the health minister and we also spoke to doctors. Take a look.


GIOKOS (voice-over): In a command center in Cairo, Egyptian authorities working against the clerk. Egypt's health minister on call to receive some

of the most vulnerable patients. He's expecting over 30 neonatal babies to enter Egypt. New to the world but caught in the crossfire as the IDF begins

its raid inside Al-Shifa Hospital.

KHALED ABDEL GHAFFAR, EGYPTIAN MINISTER OF HEALTH: Time is important. And every single minute that we're not getting them in, the incidents or the

chances of losing their life is very high.

GIOKOS: Since November 1st, injured Palestinians have crossed through the Rafah border into Egypt, the only lifeline to leave Gaza.

GHAFFAR: We dedicated 37 hospitals with more than 11,000 beds for that purpose and more than 1700 I.C. units, together with incubators for kids

and other facilities for renal dialysis and so on and so forth.

GIOKOS: Would you say that the number of injured Palestinians that are in Egypt right now in the hundreds?

GHAFFAR: Approaching more than 200.

GIOKOS: In an exclusive, Minister Ghaffar takes us to visit patients.

GHAFFAR: This is the champ. This is, this is Abdulrahman.

GIOKOS: Here at the Nasser Medical Institute in Cairo, finally safe, but haunted by what brought them. here. Guilt, heartbreak, utter despair.

Mohammed Wadiya blames himself for his children's injuries. He says he listened to the IDF's warning and moved south from the north, only to be

part of an airstrike in Khan Yunus on October 16.

He went to buy food, and when he got back, everything was gone, he tells me. His son, Abdul Rahkman (ph), nine years old and fighting through seven

war injuries. His 14-year-old sister beside him both, had shrapnel in their tiny bodies and broken bones.

AHMMAD ABDELLATIF, NASSER MEDICAL INSTITUTE, CAIRO: For me I'm an orthopedic consultant, orthopedic surgery consultant and other team was


GIOKOS: They say no physical wounds can compare to the mental scars.

ABDELLATIF: Can you imagine a child, you have a child, he's scared, he should be scared from a cat, dog -- a dark. So, when you find that scared

from losing his family, it's really shocking.

GIOKOS: Did you get a warning? Did someone phone you? He tells me, no, no warning. On his knowledge of Hamas in his building, he says no. We meet the

next family, and they recall this strike --2 P.M., 31st of October, Jabalia camp. Elhad Magid was praying when her husband Rami Mahmoud went out to get

food. She survived, but two of her children did not.

Her 15-year-old daughter called a friend before she died, predicting something would happen to her. Rami shows me a video of his son. He got a

haircut three days before the strike. They tell me he wanted to look good if he died. For all the survivors we met, one wish binds them all, to

return home to Gaza.


GIOKOS (on-camera): Well, as you can see, Zain, it's not only the physical trauma, but also the emotional trauma that these injured Palestinians are

going to have to deal with. You know, the doctors that we spoke to, and they come from different specialties, were really giving me a sense of just

how complex it is to deal with these injuries. And we're talking about meeting about three or four patients yesterday.

Think about the 28,000 injuries that we're reporting coming out from Gaza and just what it takes, the staff that it requires, the interventions that

it requires. And Egypt has really been working on trying to increase their capacity to accept more patients from Gaza. They say they can accept 40 to

50 patients each day. They're not getting that number because of the process to leave Gaza.

For many of these people, it's a matter of life and death. The only way to get out of Gaza right now is into Egypt. And even then, what they leave

behind is trauma, destruction, and family that they've lost, that they will never see again.


The stories that we heard are absolutely heart-wrenching. And one thing that I walked away with is that each person, each family has a story, and

this really is what stuck with me. And the Egyptians, even the doctors were tearing up telling me about some of the things that they hear and just the

amounts of intervention that is required not only immediately but also in the months to come for each and every person that they're treating.

ASHER: Yeah, Eleni, I think it's really important that you bring up the emotional trauma for a lot of these people just given what they have been

through, most of us cannot even imagine. Eleni Giokos, live for us there. Thank you so much for that piece. We appreciate it.

All right, newly installed U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson has passed his first big leadership test on Capitol Hill.


UNKNOWN: On this vote, the yeas are 336. The nays are 95. Two-thirds being in the affirmative --


ASHER: That was an important moment for the House speaker. That's not him there. But Johnson's plan to keep Washington up and running passed Friday's

shutdown deadline and into the New Year, passed the House on Tuesday. The bill now heads to the Senate, where it is expected to pass easily as well.

Johnson's plan needed the help of House Democrats to pass because there is a sizable number of Republican lawmakers from Johnson's own party who

opposed it. Without the Democratic votes, it would have failed.


ASHER: And the vote on Capitol Hill is just one of a number of pieces of good news for Wall Street investors this week. U.S. stocks are rallying for

a second straight session. There they are. You see those green arrows there after best day for major averages since the spring on Tuesday, also giving

markets a boost, as well. Two days of tame U.S. inflation data, sparking new hopes that the Federal Reserve is finished when it comes to raising

interest rates.


ASHER: So, it's pretty obvious that American lawmakers are under a lot of pressure right now. And it seems that pressure got to some members of

Congress on Tuesday. First, Republican Congressman Tim Burchette says that former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy elbowed him in the kidneys as they

walked down the hall. Burchette was among the eight House Republicans who voted to remove McCarthy as Speaker. McCarthy is denying these allegations,

by the way. NPR, National Public Radio, got audio of that confrontation. Take a look.


TIM BURCHETT (R), TENNESSEE, REPRESENTATIVE: I think it went all right. Sorry, Kevin, didn't mean to elbow. Why'd you elbow me in the back, Kevin?

Hey, Kevin, you got any guts? What kind of chicken move is that? Jerk. What kind of chicken move is that? You're -- you're pathetic, man. You are so



ASHER: It's certainly something you don't hear every day. Things got nasty in the Senate, as well during a hearing. Republican Senator and one-time

mixed martial arts fighter Markwayne Mullin got testy with Teamsters union leader Sean O'Brien.


MARKWAYNE MULLIN, U.S. SENATE REPUBLICAN: Let's talk about Mr. O'Brien himself, his behavior. As everybody knows, and it's here in the last time,

him and I kind of had a back and forth. I appreciate your demeanor today, it's quite different.

But after you left here, you got pretty excited about the keyboard. In fact, you tweeted at me one, two, three, four, five times. And let me read

what the last one said. Said, greedy CEO who pretends like he's self-made.

Sir, I wish you were in the truck with me when I was building my plumbing company myself and my wife was running the office because I sure remember

working pretty hard and long hours.

"Pretends like he's self-made. What a clown. Fraud. Always has been. Always will be. Quit the tough guy act and these Senate hearings. You know where

to find me. Anyplace, anytime, cowboy."

Sir, this is a time, this is a place. If you want to run your mouth, we can be two consenting adults. We can finish it here.

SEAN O'BRIEN, TEAMSTERS PRESIDENT: Okay, that's fine. Perfect.

MULLEN: You want to do it now?

O'BRIEN: I'd love to do it right now.

MULLEN: Well, stand your butt up then.

O'BRIEN: You stand your butt up.

BERNIE SANDERS, INDEPENDENT U.S. SENATOR: Oh, hold it. Oh, stop it. Is that your solution every poll? No, no, sit down. Sit down. You know, you're a

United States Senator. Actively.

MULLEN: Okay. Okay.

SANDERS: Sit down, please.

MULLEN: All right.

O'BRIEN: Can I respond?

SANDERS: Hold it. If we can't -- no, I have the mic, I'm sorry.

MULLEN: This is what he said.

SANDERS: Hold it, you'll have your time.


O'BRIEN: Can I respond?

SANDERS: No, you can't. This is a hearing. And God knows the American people have enough at contempt for Congress. Let's not make it worse.

MULLEN: I don't like thugs and bullies.

O'BRIEN: I don't like you, because you just described yourself.

SANDERS: Hold it. You have the mic, you have time. All right. Make your statement.

MULLEN: Then let's do this, because I did challenge you and I accepted your challenge. And you went quiet.

O'BRIEN: No, I didn't go quiet. I was --


O'BRIEN: You challenged me to a cage match acting like a 12-year-old schoolyard bully.

SANDERS: Hold it. No, excuse me.

MULLEN: I will say exactly --

SANDERS: Senator Mullen, I have the mic. You have questions on any economic issues, anything that's like, go for it. We're not here to talk about

physical abuse.

MULLEN: You brought -- and let me show you his hearing because I want to expose this thug to who he is.

O'BRIEN: You're not pointing at me, that's disrespectful.

MULLEN: I don't care about respecting you at all.

O'BRIEN: I don't respect you at all.

SANDERS: Hold it. Hold it. No. Hold it, please. This is a -- excuse me. This is a hearing to discuss economic issues.


ASHER: Well, in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Senator Bernie Sanders, who intervened there, he called the incident pathetic. All right,

we'll have much more news after the break. Don't go away.


ASHER: All right, more now on our top story. Explosions are rocking Gaza's largest hospital, Al-Shifa. Explosions right now rocking Gaza's largest

hospital, the IDF, conducting a raid. They're calling this raid precise and targeted. They're trying to, in their words, root out Hamas and their

presence inside this particular hospital.

Let's bring in Toby Fricker from UNICEF to talk a little bit more about this. So, Toby, just in terms of what children -- what children at this

hospital are experiencing right now, God knows they must be terrified. You think about the fact that Al-Shifa has limited access to fuel, to

electricity obviously, to oxygen, to water.

And on top of that, these children, some of them by the way, premature babies, but these children overall are hearing gunfire -- gunfire outside

the hospital and inside the hospital. I mean, what are they going through right now?

TOBY FRICKER, CHIEF OF COMMUNICATIONS, UNICEF: Yeah, I mean, it's not really for me to say. I mean, I kind of only imagine, but being a child in

that situation is absolutely horrific. I mean, first of all, there's children in there being treated for injuries and civilians. There's

children in the hospital with other health conditions. There's premature babies. And the hospital has become essentially a war zone which is

absolutely horrific and for the parents as well of these children, what they're going through now.


And I can't, you know, it's hard to imagine. Yeah and that's why we call for the protection of children, the protection of the civilians and of

civilian objects which means hospitals and other essential services, infrastructure like water plants that children and civilians rely on. So,

the situation really right now seems to be getting worse and worse.

ASHER: The IDF has been adamant that they're not going after this hospital for no reason, right? They're going after it. This is their words, not

mine. They're going after it because they believe, and they have concrete intelligence, that Hamas has a very heavy presence in this hospital,

underneath this hospital, that there are tunnels underneath this hospital. This is where Hamas' sort of main command and control center is, according

to the IDF.

If that is true and if the fighting there therefore continues for this foreseeable future, how much does that complicate the immediate future for

the children who are trapped inside this hospital right now?

FRICKER: Yeah, I mean, for the children trapped, it's just -- it goes on. The horror goes on. I mean, it's not for UNICEF to comment to know what

military installations are underground or not. It's for our role to remind all parties to the conflict of their obligations to do whatever they can to

protect children, to protect civilians.

Yeah, and that's what we keep trying to do. But it's really a horrific situation in the Al-Shifa, but also near across the Gaza Strip, as well.

Not to forget, half of hospitals across the Gaza Strip are now out of service, meaning that's bad in any time, despite when there's a massive

crisis on.

And children are now struggling to get normal services like vaccinations and get treatment for cancer and other health conditions. So, it's really a

catastrophic situation across the Gaza Strip for all children there.

ASHER: Yeah, I mean, you have to wonder what the future holds, because Netanyahu, the Israelis have come out and said, look, there's not going to

be any sort of pause in fighting, at least until the hostages are released. God knows when that's going to happen. And so, in the meantime, the

fighting is going to continue.

And so, you have to wonder what's going to be left of Gaza's medical infrastructure when all is said and done. Thomas Fricker, we have to --

Toby Fricker, excuse me, we have to leave it there. Thank you so much. We appreciate it.

All right, it's been a brutal 40 days for the families of the hostages, the IDF says, are being held by Hamas. However, President Joe Biden is

expressing some degree of optimism about a potential deal to free them. CNN has been following one father's anguish over the abduction of his young


Eight-year-old Emily Hans' father was initially told that his daughter had been killed in the October 7th Hamas attacks in Israel and was readying

himself to bury her alongside her mother who died of cancer a few years ago. He later found out that Emily was likely taken hostage by Hamas and is

still alive. And he is now anxiously waiting any news about his little girl telling CNN he has not stopped advocating to bring his daughter home.


THOMAS HAND, FATHER OF EMILY HAND: We've been working non-stop to put pressure on all the governments all over the world to do their best to get,

particularly my little Emily back home. She's an Irish citizen, so we put a lot of pressure on the Irish government to get her back. We're doing

everything that we possibly can to get her home and all the hostages, at least the children. They could start off with the babies and the children.

They've got babies being kidnapped over there.


ASHER: Emily's father is waiting for a chance to hug his daughter who turns nine years old on Friday. It's her birthday this week. He tells us he's not

going to send her to school for at least a year. He's just going to take time to help her work through the trauma that she has no doubt experienced

through all of this.




ASHER: All right, welcome back. I'm Zain Asher. You are watching "One World". And just over an hour from now, the leaders of the world's two top

economies are going to be sitting down for a face-to-face meeting for the first time in about a year.

They're meeting at a historic estate just south of San Francisco. And we're told that this visit has been highly choreographed, that there has been

months and months of planning down to the smallest detail. So, much riding on this meeting.

Biden and Xi have a long list of thorny issues to work out -- chief among them, restoring military channels of communications. Both sides have

signaled that they are ready to mend their frayed relationship. The meeting comes as San Francisco hosts the APEC summit.

Our David Culver joins us right now. So, David, a lot riding on this meeting, but what can we really expect, right? What can we really expect

after this, just in terms of concrete deliverables?

DAVID CULVER, CNN SENIOR U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is a lot riding on this, Zain, but I think perhaps the biggest amount of transparency that

we get ahead of these events tends to come from the U.S. side. And as of now, it seems that President Biden is channeling the desire to cool

tensions. But this is also, he could eventually refocus those efforts on Israel Hamas, on Russia, Ukraine, and on the 2024 campaign.

As for what China hopes to get out of this, because of course they're not going to concede something to the U.S. without something in exchange, it's

going to very likely be economy related. We know the Chinese economy is suffering significantly right now.


But this is going to be a visit that is obviously a return after six years for President Xi, in which the U.S. hospitality is certainly going to look

different from 2017.


CULVER (voice-over): Sharing a sofa and a smile at Mar-a-Lago. Serenaded by former President Donald Trump's grandkids. Singing in Chinese for a

visiting President Xi Jinping. The blossoming, it seemed, of a new friendship, and with it closer ties between the U.S. and China.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think, long-term, we're going to have a very, very great relationship. And

I look very much forward to it.

CULVER (voice-over): Not quite how the story played out. In the six years since Xi's last visit to the U.S., U.S.-China relations have plummeted to

all-time lows.

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: They must play by the rules.

CULVER (voice-over): The issues? Where to begin? A bruising trade war, a devastating pandemic.

TRUMP: It came out of China.

CULVER (voice-over): Rising tensions in the South China Sea, growing threats from Beijing over its goal of unifying with Taiwan. And amidst

Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine, an alarmingly cozy Xi and Putin relationship, in the war between Israel and Hamas, China refusing to

condemn Hamas.

President Xi's first trip to the U.S. was 1985, as a local Communist Party official taking in the sights. Today, he's China's most powerful ruler

since Mao, demanding near total control over a population of 1.4 billion people. Xi now returns to an increasingly divided United States, something

Chinese state media highlights in its propaganda.

But if there is one topic that consistently unites Washington, it's being tough on China, a sentiment bolstered by the downing of a suspected Chinese

spy balloon earlier this year.

UNKNOWN: They're testing us. They're mocking us. They're trying to embarrass us.

CULVER (voice-over): China has its own issues. After years of record growth, the world's second largest economy is struggling. Its housing

market in crisis, youth unemployment at record highs. And for the first time in 25 years, a deficit in foreign direct investment. International

companies increasingly uneasy putting money into China, in part because of Beijing's unpredictable crackdowns.

The U.S.' reputation has also taken a hit in China, fueled by state media's anti-West messaging and nationalistic posts on China's tightly controlled

social media. Ahead of the summit, rising skepticism towards U.S. intentions. One Weibo user posting that, "This is a U.S. delaying tactic.

Its strategy of containing China won't change but only intensify."

Another posting, "Anyone who thinks that China-US relations will become better is simply naive. It' just your wishful thinking." Many in China

supporting Xi's proposed new world order, one that's not led by the U.S. The U.S. now hosting this high-stakes West Coast meetup, with low

expectations on the outcome. No more love seat for the leaders of two superpowers. Instead, both on a hot seat with the world watching if they

can tamp down tensions.


CULVER (on-camera): And we look at China's struggling economy, Zain. We look at what they might want to do to help it, to essentially boost it. And

that is turning to U.S. businesses in particular. It's something that President Xi intends to do himself after his meeting with President Biden.

But that, in turn, is creating a controversy.

One U.S. lawmaker is demanding the names of the businesses and individuals who will be attending a welcome-Xi dinner, essentially. And at that dinner,

it's expected that some of those businesses $40,000 for a seat at the table of President Xi. So, that's concerning for U.S. lawmakers, this one in

particular calling it unconscionable. Zain.

ASHER: All right, David Culver, live for us there. Thank you so much. All right. With more on this major superpower sit down, let's bring in

"Washington Post" Columnist Josh Rogin. He has written extensively about U.S.-China relations.

So, Josh, I'm not sure if you heard David's piece there, but as I understand it, there are a few key priorities just in terms of what we can

expect to come out of this meeting. Number one is just really re- establishing the lines of communication between both countries, but also Taiwan, Russia's war in Ukraine, Israel, of course, likely to come up and a

whole host of other issues, as well -- climate change. But just walk us through what success looks like in terms of what we can expect to actually

come out from these meetings.

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: All right, well, as David pointed out, the Biden administration has set expectations for this summit extremely low

for that very reason so that when they accomplish extremely little, they can declare success.

ASHER: Okay.

ROGIN: So, the actual deliverables from the meeting are a resumption of communications. Okay, well, the reason there was no communications was

because Xi Jinping wouldn't answer President Biden's phone call for a year, okay?


And then a resumption of military-to-military hotlines, which is cut off after Nancy Pelosi went to Taiwan by the Chinese. And then some sort of

discussion about A.I. or economic warming that has no real specifics.

So, I think the bar has been set extremely low. For that reason, I think they will reach that bar, but I don't think it fundamentally changes

anything in the US-China relationship over the long term. And I don't think that there's any agreement between the two leaders on anything related to

Iran or Israel, Gaza for that matter, or Ukraine. So, I think that will be a lot of talking points and a lot of these two leaders telling each other

what they think and agreeing to disagree.

ASHER: All right. So, the Americans have set the bar low strategically, as you point out. I just want to -- I want to know what Xi Jinping is expected

to get from these meetings. What is he going to deliver back home? I mean, when you think about what's happening with China's economy, you think about

investor capital fleeing the country. You think about Xi Jinping still coming under fire for how he handled the pandemic. What does -- what does

he want to get out of these meetings?

ROGIN: Right. He wants to burnish his international profile and show his people back in China that he's still well respected on the world stage

after all of those stumbles that you mentioned ruining China's economy, cracking down on foreign businesses the genocide the economic aggression,

the military expansion, all that has not really benefited the Chinese people because they're struggling more than ever, add to the pandemic, as


So, that's what he's getting out of this. He's getting legitimacy. And then on top of that, he's going to get whatever he can get from these American

business leaders. Now, the American business community has been very strenuously pushing for improving ties because it's in their financial


In other words, they're lobbying from Wall Street and the American Chamber of Commerce and their friendly lawmakers is such that they want to get back

into the Chinese market and Xi Jinping holds the key to that. And so, they can help each other.

Now, the problem with that is that runs counter to the U.S. foreign policy and national security policy which is meant to protect American businesses

from what's really going on in China, which is a massive crackdown on economic data, on economic freedom, on foreign businesses, the arrests of

foreign executives.

So, Xi Jinping has to say that China is open for business while he's cracking down on foreign businesses and he needs the American companies in

order to sell that and I think that's a big part of why he's in San Francisco today.

ASHER: I mean, it's also interesting to see what it's going to take to see a lasting improvement in U.S.-China relations as opposed to just a

temporary one. And you think about the political landscape in the U.S. that could change drastically next year given the elections and we'll see what

that means, as well. Josh Rogin, we have to leave it there. Thank you so much.

ROGIN: Thank you.

ASHER: All right, you know things are going wrong for politicians when members of their own party begin to turn on them. But U.K. Prime Minister

Rishi Sunak is not only facing off with former allies, his government just had a stern rebuke from the country's high court.

The Supreme Court struck down a key pillar of Mr. Sunak's immigration policies, saying that a plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda would be a

breach of British law. The scheme was intended to deter migrants from making the dangerous sea crossing from France to the U.K. But now it's back

to the drawing board for them.


JAMES CLEVERLY, U.K. HOME SECRETARY: The Supreme Court has today upheld the judgment of the Court of Appeal, meaning that we cannot yet lawfully remove

people to Rwanda. The government, of course, fully respects the Supreme Court, but its judgment does not weaken our resolve to deter people from

making these illegal, dangerous and unnecessary journeys.


ASHER: On taking office, Mr. Sunak had told voters to hold him accountable if he did not deliver on a promise to cut down on irregular migration. An

opinion poll showed that he and the Conservatives are trailing badly. On Monday, he fired his home secretary, Suella Braverman, after a series of

controversies. And now Bravaman is going on the offensive, attacking the prime minister in an open letter.

She writes, let me read to you here, "Someone needs to be honest. Your plan is not working. We have endured record election defeats, your resets have

failed and we are running out of time. You need to change course urgently." It's worth noting that Rishi Sunak has been in office for barely one year.

And French authorities are accusing Syria's President of war crimes. A judicial source tells CNN an arrest warrant has been issued for Bashar al-



He and three senior Syrian officials are accused of complicity in the use of chemical weapons against civilians. France plans to have insipid issues,

a red notice to request to law enforcement authorities worldwide to arrest Assad if he enters their country.

All right, coming up here on "One World", how tiny pieces of plastic could affect the weather as they are popping up in bizarre places. We'll explain.


ASHER: All right, microplastics are turning up in unusual places. They've been discovered in drinking water, in food, air, and even in blood. Now,

scientists have found that these tiny particles might even be able to influence the weather as they have been found now in some cloud samples.

Here to explain and break all of this down is Meteorologist Chad Myers. So, Chad, you know, we've talked about microplastics in water, but when it

comes to microplastics in the skies and the fact that they might be able to influence weather, that is beyond alarming. Just explain to us how we got

here. here.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: A little bit how people think about cloud seeding. If you put things in the clouds that don't belong there, you can

get more rain or more clouds. To be very honest, microplastics in blood makes me queasy just thinking about that. But now microplastics in the air

I'm breathing and in the clouds that are coming down from the mountains and into the plains and making rain.

So, here's what we have. We're talking about condensation nuclei. It's a big word, but I'm going to explain it. Condensation nuclei are the normal

dust, smoke, ash particles, even some evaporated salts that are in the atmosphere. And they make the weather happen.

The water vapor comes up from the ground, it attacks or attaches itself to these things, to the smoke and the air and the dust and all that. And

that's how you get a cloud. But if you add one more thing, another thing in the cloud, will you get more clouds? Will you get more rain? Well, that's

still to be seen.

We still have those studies to work through. But now that we know that these plastics are in the clouds that are that high because some can be

down to less than one micron -- one micron. I mean that's about 40 to 50 times smaller than the hair I have left in my head. So, that is a tiny

little particle that's way up there that could be making condensation.


Condensation nuclei, just like if you take a glass of iced tea out in the middle of the summertime and you set it on the table, the outside of that

glass is going to get wet because the humidity in the air is going to condense on that glass of iced tea.

This is what happens in the atmosphere way up there. There's no glasses of iced tea, but there are millions, billions -- I don't even know how many

uncountable number of particles up there in the atmosphere that this water vapor attaches itself to. If you get enough of them, you get clouds and all

of a sudden you get more rain and that's what happens.

These particles are about the size of a sesame seed or smaller, but as they break down one single bottle can make millions or billions of these small

little particles. Then they keep breaking down even more and they become airborne. Zain.

ASHER: Water cycles, condensation. Thank you for bringing me back to what is that? Fifth grade -- fifth grade Chemistry?

MYERS: I tried.

ASHER: I didn't pay attention, so, I wouldn't know. But Chad Myers, live for us there. Thank you so much, we appreciate it.

MYERS: You're welcome.

ASHER: All right, still to come, they thought they were going on a pretend trip on an airplane. What happened next to these first-grade students was

not on the flight plan at all. Their story, just ahead.


ASHER: All right, call them the high-flyers of the future. First-grade students in Texas got the surprise of a lifetime when their pretend trip to

Mexico actually took an unexpected twist. Jeanne Moos reports on their truly first-class experience.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the next best thing to going there.

SONIA WHITE, TEXAS TEACHER: Come along with first grade to Mexico. Here we're taking passport pictures. I'm going to laminate some boarding passes.

MOOS: Texas Teacher Sonia White staged a mock trip to Mexico for her students.

WHITE: I'm going to change my classroom into an airplane.

MOOS: First graders at Trinity Leadership School flew Southwest Airlines.

UNKNOWN: Where are you going?

UNKNOWN: Mexico.

MOOS: With their carry-on luggage and even neck pillows --

WHITE: So, now I'm a TSA agent.

MOOS: A video of takeoff set the mood. Their teacher transformed into a flight attendant.

WHITE: Apple juice.

MOOS: After an apparently bumpy landing, look at this kid's face.


They arrived in Mexico.

WHITE: They are going through customs. I am now a customs agent.

MOOS: The trip went viral and got rave reviews. "Best Teacher Ever." Invited on the "Jennifer Hudson Show", Miss White explains she got the idea

after asking the kids --

WHITE: What's something that you wish you have done but you have not done yet? And the majority of them said, catch a flight, go on an airplane.

MOOS: Next thing you know, Southwest invited the entire first grade to tour a Rio airplane.

UNKNOWN: I heard we're going to Mexico.

MOOS: Kids climbed aboard, they built model planes, got a pep talk from a female pilot, examined the flight safety card while snacking and then,

surprise! Their teachers and principal each got two free round-trip tickets to anywhere Southwest flies including Mexico. The airline also donated

$10,000 to the school and only her second year as a teacher, Sonia White is flying high.



MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


ASHER: Isn't that something? All right, thank you so much for watching "One World". I am Zain Asher. Amanpour is up next.