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One World with Zain Asher

ISIS Claims Responsibility For Deadly Twin Blasts In Iran; Israeli Military Says It Is Stepping Up Its Operations In Central Gaza And In Southern Gaza; First Batch Of Sealed Court Filings Pertaining To The Late Sex Offender Jeffrey Epstein Made Public; UNICEF Reports 2023 As The Deadliest Year For Children In The West Bank; Man Denied Of Probation Attacks Judge In Nevada; U.S. Justice Department Sues State Of Texas Over Its New Controversial Immigration Law; U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson Blames President Biden For Migrant Crisis; Luke Humphries Becomes The New World Darts Champion; Willis Gibson Becomes The Youngest Tetris Champion. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired January 04, 2024 - 12:00   ET




ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, coming to you live from New York, I'm Zain Asher. My colleague, Bianna Golodryga is off today. You are indeed

watching ONE WORLD. We want to begin with breaking news just into CNN. ISIS is now claiming responsibility for the deadly twin blasts in Iran. ISIS

claiming responsibility for the deadly twin blasts in Iran.

Wednesday's blasts, which happened near the grave of Iranian Quds Force commander, General Qasem Soleimani, killed more than 80 people and left

scores injured. The terror group says that two suicide bombers were indeed responsible. It happened in Kerman in Iran.

I want to bring in International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson -- joins us live now from Tel Aviv. So, Nic, clearly ISIS is a Sunni group, so it

would make sense why they would want to target a majority Shia country. But just explain to us why this location -- why the tomb of General Qasem

Soleimani on the four-year anniversary of his death, when mourners would have been gathering there -- what would be that specific motivation with

that target?

NIC ROBERTSON CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): ISIS typically not worried about killing innocent civilians and just killing

people as they said that they killed 300 poly atheists -- they mean Shias. The Iranian official death toll was 84, there were almost 300 injured. But

-- and it's not unusual, I have to say, for ISIS figures to be inflated. But in that context, ISIS is quite happy hitting a large gathering of

people. But to your specific point, why choose this large gathering of people?

Well, ISIS saw Qasem Soleimani, who was the head of the Quds Force, the IRGC, the top military body, if you will, in Iran, the head of their Quds

Force, which was responsible for its international operations. And ISIS saw him as responsible for cracking down on ISIS. So he was a nemesis of

theirs, and therefore a commemoration of his death would be a logical target for them.

Why this year? Why not previous years? Why now, in amidst everything else that is going on in Gaza and Hamas, looking to -- which is predominantly a

Sunni group that's looking towards Iran for support -- why should another predominantly Sunni group attack Iran?

This is ISIS's own doing. They are fringe and extreme to a very, very strong degree. But I think that does explain why they've gone after this

target -- this group of people at this time. That said, there are some elements in their narrative that don't quite add up, not just the figures

of the death toll, but it's quite usual for ISIS to overstate the death toll. But they claim two suicide bombers perpetrated this attack.

Now, just yesterday, Iranian officials said their first analysis was that it was a suitcase bomb that was the first bomb remotely detonated. So, the

Iranian assessment was not suicide bombers for at least one of those bombs. So, that's in a variance with what ISIS is saying. But again, ISIS quite

typically rags and overstates its claims but the target does seem to be one that they would very likely, potentially choose.

ASHER: All right, excellent analysis. Nic, do stick around for just one second. The claim of responsibility by ISIS comes amid a series of other

incidents across the Middle East which are adding to fears of a wider war in the region.

In Lebanon, thousands of mourners attended a funeral for a top Hamas leader just a few hours ago.


ASHER: All right, these teams coming to us from Beirut, Lebanon. This is the funeral for a top Hamas commander who was killed in an attack in Beirut

on Wednesday. Saleh al-Arouri was killed on Tuesday, rather, in an attack in Beirut. That's a stronghold, of course, of Hezbollah.

U.S. officials say that Israel was responsible, while at Hezbollah, Chief Hassan Nasrallah warns that if an Israel-Lebanon war does erupt, the

response, in his words, would be limitless. A top Lebanese official says the government is working to tamp down though on any further conflict.



ABDALLAH BOU HABIB, LEBANESE FOREIGN MINISTER: We don't like a regional war because it's dangerous for everybody --dangerous for Lebanon, dangerous

for Israel and to the countries surrounding Israel.


ASHER: And just today, in Iraq, a U.S. official says that Washington targeted a member of an Iranian proxy group who had, quote, "U.S. blood on

his hands". The drones right-killed two people. And, of course, all of this -- all of this happening as the Israel-Hamas war rages on Gaza's Hamas-

controlled Ministry of Health -- is reporting 125 new deaths in Gaza in the past 24 hours. And, of course, the death toll now is topping 22,000.

These developments prompting U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to head to the Middle East. He is making his fourth trip there since October 7th. I

want to bring back our International Diplomatic Editor, Nic Robertson, in Tel Aviv, and also joining us is CNN's Chief National Security

Correspondent, Alexander Marquardt, in Washington.

Alex, let me start with you, because I just laid out there all the different facets, of course, when it comes to the regional tensions. Many

people are describing it as a tinderbox right now. What does Anthony Blinken need to say? What does he need to do to really push a diplomatic

solution here?

ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are a number of diplomatic solutions that need to be reached, Zain.

The end of the war between Israel and Hamas, there's also the question of the fighting in southern Lebanon and no question that Blinken is heading to

the region at a time when things do appear to yet again be on the brink of a wider escalation.

We don't have the exact details yet on Blinken's trip. We know that he will be going to Israel, which almost certainly means the West Bank, but we can

imagine that he will be going to other countries in the region, as well, that don't only have relevance when it comes to the fight between Israel

and Hamas, but also in helping the U.S. tamp down the temperature in the region to try to make sure that this conflict doesn't expand.

So, that could mean Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, among others. So, certainly, the war between Israel and Hamas is front of mind. But, as you say, there are

significant fears when we see what's happening -- going on in the Red Sea with the Houthis, the fighting between Israel and the various factions in

Lebanon, and then, of course, the Iran-backed proxy groups in Iraq and Syria that continue to carry out attacks against U.S. forces and coalition

forces in the region.

But Zain, when it comes to Israel, the message is going to be one that we have heard before from other U.S. officials. And this really is notable to

see this parade of U.S. officials who have recently visited Israel, whether it was Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser, and the Secretary of

Defense Lloyd Austin just before New Year's.

Today, we have Amos Hochstein, who is the top envoy for energy who is in Israel, and now Secretary Blinken going there -- all to convey this message

of -- they say not pressuring Israel, but asking hard questions. And it's clear that the Biden administration wants to see the civilian death -- the

impact on civilians in Gaza to lessen, that the Biden administration has been horrified by the high number of civilian casualties, the difficulties

of humanitarian aid being delivered to Gazans.

So, that message will continue, of course. Major questions about whether that message is actually landing as we continue to see this death toll go

up, continue to see this fighting. The administration really does want to see a shift in Israel's approach from what they've been calling this high-

intensity phase that we see right now to a lower-intensity phase in the near future. Zain.

ASHER: Alex, thank you. And, Nic, obviously, you and I were just talking a few minutes ago, and you were laying out the fact that ISIS had claimed

responsibility for these twin blasts in Kerman, in Iran. But the fact that, at least up until yesterday, at least up until late yesterday, Iranians

were, in fact, pointing the finger either directly or indirectly at Israel. Just that fact, what does that mean for escalation, for rising tensions

across the region?

MARQUARDT: It certainly points to rising tensions. It certainly points to an upward pressure from hardline supporters of both Hezbollah in Lebanon

and of the Iranian leadership and the members of the IRGC undoubtedly to see them react and respond. I think what we've had from the Supreme Leader

was strategic patience.

And I think many people remember back to when the architect and the instigator of the bombing of the U.S. barracks in Beirut back in the 1980s,

Munir was ultimately assassinated. It was another four years before there was a response to that.

So, strategic patience in this context means that Iran, if it's going to respond, doesn't necessarily need to respond now. And I think from the

perspective here in Israel at least, what we've seen in Beirut with the assassination of the Hamas leader there, what we've seen with the killing

of an IRGC general -- an Iranian IRGC general in Syria in Damascus over the past 10 days, and the killing of an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia commander

in Baghdad today.


These are all -- the analysis goes below the threshold of what it will take for Iran to escalate further because if Iran and here we're talking about

Hezbollah, as well, were to escalate in a big way, there would be a significant cost for them and that cost would not be in Hezbollah's

interests and it would not be in the Iranian leadership's interests at this particular time.

So, I think what we're seeing is issues that will really fire up the Iranian leadership, put them on the real hot seat, red button issues, if

you will, but not lead to an immediate massive escalation.

ASHER: All right, Nic Robertson, Alex Marquardt, live for us there. Thank you both so much. All right, nearly three months into the fighting, the

Israeli military says it is stepping up its operations in central Gaza and in southern Gaza, as well. Take a look here. You are looking at footage of

video of smoke blanketing the Israeli-Gaza border.

The IDF's intensifying moves in the territory have prompted Hamas-supported officials to update the number of dead and wounded. They now say that the

death toll has topped 22,000. In fact, it's 22,400 people in Gaza who have been killed since the conflict erupted back in October -- nearly 58,000


We're told that most of the people who have been injured are women and children. Our Nada Bashir takes us to a hospital ship that is trying to

help the wounded.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): The familiar, innocent scrawls of a child. But this child has been through the unimaginable. One of nearly a

hundred patients evacuated from Gaza to -- a French helicopter carrier turned hospital ship, kitted out with specialist medical facilities.

Doctors here say they've already carried out 130 operations in just over a month with patients as young as three and injuries spanning from severe

burns to amputations.

We were going to bed at night. I remember I covered my face with my blanket, 10-year-old Meher says. Then suddenly I found myself in the

hospital. I don't know what happened. Like many his age, Meher's dream was to become a footballer. The aftermath of the airstrike is still painful in

Maher's memory.

Twenty-two-year-old Mohamed was also evacuated in December after his leg was severely injured. His aunt says that Mohamed's learning difficulties

mean he is unable to fully grasp the horror they have left behind. When we call our relatives in Gaza, there are always airstrikes around them,

Nisreen (ph) says. They have been displaced over and over again. They keep being told to move to safe areas. But there isn't a single, safe place left

in Gaza anymore.

The photos of family members killed seem endless. Nieces and nephews or children seen in this video -- all killed, she says, when their shelter, a

U.N.-run school, was struck. I hope I can return to Gaza to be with whatever family I have left. I just hope they will be okay. That's all we

can hope for in this life.

Holding on to that hope grows more difficult with each passing day. And while the medical team here does its best to heal the physical wounds of

its patients, it's clear that the emotional scars of this war run deep. When the patients arrive here, they all have this look in their eyes, one

which makes you feel they have come out of something very, very difficult, Dr. Huber says.

It's a bit shocking for us. We're not used to seeing this look, especially from children. Inside Gaza, death seems near impossible to escape. And for

the thousands wounded, there is no respite. The vast majority of hospitals in the strip are no longer operational. Doctors forced to work under

Israel's unrelenting airstrikes with limited medical supplies.

Only a small handful of war wounded have so far been evacuated. Facilities like this are few. The evacuation process -- precarious. And while the

shattered bodies of these survivors are now slowly on the mend, some have turned their minds to remoulding the fragments of their lives back home.

Gaza is my home. Even if I die, I want to die in Gaza, Abdel Rahim says.


We'll rebuild everything, even if we have to start from zero. Nada Bashir, CNN, in El-Arish, Northern Sinai.


ASHER: And worth noting that clashes have also escalated in the West Bank. The U.N. says that 2023 was the deadliest year for children in the West

Bank. And later on this hour, we'll have an official from the Palestinian Authority who'll be joining me to discuss that.

All right. Buckingham Palace is not commenting on Prince Andrew's name appearing in documents unsealed as part of the Jeffrey Epstein case. The

release comes four years after Epstein died by suicide in jail while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges.

Other famous names also appear in these papers, as well. But it is important to note that the fact that a person is mentioned in these

documents is in no way an indication of any wrongdoing. Shimon Prokupecz has the story.


SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Long-awaited documents finally released. The first batch of sealed court

filings pertaining to the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein were made public Wednesday. The documents stemmed from a civil defamation lawsuit

brought in 2015 against Epstein's former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell.

Prominent figures, including Prince Andrew and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, included in a 2016 deposition of Johanna Sjoberg,

a former employee of Epstein. She says in the document that she and Epstein had a conversation and quote," He said one time that Clinton likes them

young, referring to girls."

When asked if Clinton was a friend of Epstein's, she said she understood Epstein had, quote, "dealings with Clinton". Clinton has not been accused

of any crimes or wrongdoing related to Epstein and has denied any kind of criminal activity. But in 2019 he admits to having flown on Epstein's

private plane but knew nothing of the financiers quote, 'terrible crimes".

Sjoberg also recalled the time she was with Epstein on one of his planes and pilots said he needed to land in Atlantic City. Jeffrey said, "Great,

we'll call up Trump and we'll go to -- I don't recall the name of the casino, but we'll go to the casino." She says in the deposition, she never

gave a massage to Trump. This is the first reference to Donald Trump, but he is not accused of any wrongdoing.

LISA BRYANT, DIRECTOR "JEFFREY EPSTEIN: FILTHY RICH": Right now, the only person who has been prosecuted is a woman, Ghislaine Maxwell, who

certainly, you know, should be behind bars. But it's interesting in this, you know, network of all these men who have been trafficking young women

and underage women for decades, and yet the only person that's been prosecuted, you know, is a woman. There are many, many other people that,

you know, should be held accountable, as well.

PROCUPECZ (voice-over): The documents also contain excerpts of depositions taking of Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who previously reached an out-of-court

settlement in her sexual abuse lawsuit against Prince Andrew. Giuffre alleged in her deposition that Maxwell directed her to have sexual contact

with people including former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Prince Andrew and Tech Guru Marvin Minsky. Attorneys for Ghislaine Maxwell said in

a statement on Wednesday, "She has consistently and vehemently maintained her innocence."

This is the first set of documents to be unsealed under a December 18 court order with more expected in the coming weeks. The documents are expected to

include nearly 200 names including some of Epstein's accusers, prominent business people and politicians.


ASHER: All right, let's discuss this with CNN Legal Analyst and Criminal Defense Attorney, Joey Jackson. So, Joie, 900 pages of documents unsealed.

Just give us the key takeaways here.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yeah, Zain, great to see you. The big takeaway is not so much from these 40 or so documents that were released.

Remember, there is approximately 250 documents in total.

And so, the real issue with people waiting for bated breath was, what are we going to see? Who's on the list? What are we going to do? We know that

the initial documents referenced former President Clinton, who served as the President of the United States. There was some indication that he

quote, unquote, "liked them young", whatever that is to mean, subject to anyone's interpretation.

There were references to Mr. Trump, again, a former President running for President. No indication of -- and then we look at the Prince there, as

well -- Andrew, no indication and we know he settled, that is -- Prince Andrew settled his civil case that he had ongoing, but no indication that

Mr. Clinton, former President or Mr. Trump, former President, have engaged in any wrongdoing whatsoever.

We know that the Prince settled his lawsuit and a lot of it was released in the initial tranche of documents is our things that we were already known,

that were widely known to the public. The real issue, Zain is, moving forward, what will those other documents be?


Who will they include? And will they enmesh anyone else in the -- just horrific trauma and drama that -- with Jeffrey Epstein, who we know

committed suicide in 2019 while awaiting a federal trial for various sex offenders involving young children.

ASHER: And just remind our viewers why these names are being released right now, because this actually comes from a now settled defamation

lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre back in 2015.

JACKSON: Yeah, that's absolutely right. So, initially what happens is, is that any court filing is public in nature. Having said that a judge has the

authority to seal any filings. And when you say seal, it means to really protect it from public view.

The judge made a determination initially back in 2015 with the Giuffre lawsuit that was settled in 2017. The judge making an initial determination

that those documents would be sealed. Why? To protect the privacy of most of which were victims at the time, to protect the personal interests of

those who were involved in the litigation with the understanding that they would be released on a date certain.

Now, that time has come. The judge saying and giving the indication that they would be released was mindful of the fact that this is information

that is already in the public discourse, so that there's no real bombshells in terms of wow, really? So, the judge feeling that a lot of it is already

out there.

For those few victims who were not already out there, they are still subject to redactions. That's a fancy, legal way of saying that you'll

still see their names blacked out, which is to mean you won't see their names at all. So, for the protection and preservation of the victims, they

were sealed. That time has since passed. And we know these initial documents, 40 of 250 have been released were ongoing.

Taking a look to see what is inclusive in the remaining documents, 250 in total, we know a lot of people may be on edge in terms of the reputational

damages, the, you know, professional damage, the personal damage that they can cause of they're on the list.

It doesn't suggest because you're on any list that you've done anything wrong. But to be associated with Mr. Epstein, Zain, I just don't think

that's what many people or any people are looking to be associated with at any point in time.

ASHER: All right, I'll say, Joey Jackson, live for us there. Thank you so much. All right, we're getting more clarity about a school shooting that

took place in Iowa this morning. The person responsible for shooting multiple people is now dead. That is according to law enforcement


We got a press briefing in just the past hour or so. And the Dallas County Sheriff would not say exactly how many people were wounded when this

shooting happened. This was at Perry High School. This was earlier today. He also said that the incident occurred before school started and that

there is no further danger to the public at this time but that multiple people have been shot at this high school in Iowa. We will continue to

watch this story and we'll update you accordingly.

All right, still to come, Old Man Winter is certainly showing up across Europe, bringing extremely cold temperatures to Scandinavia and a lot of

rain and flooding to other areas, as well. We'll have details for you ahead. And it has been days since a deadly earthquake took place in Japan.

We'll look at how search and rescue efforts for survivors are being complicated by really difficult conditions.


HANAKO MONTGOMERY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is just one of the many roads that have been completely destroyed in Guajima City, making

it nearly impossible for aid to get in.





ASHER: All right, it is a soggy and in fact brutally cold start to the year for a lot of countries in Europe. These pictures coming to us out of

northern France. There is flooding literally as far as the eye can see. Germany is also experiencing a lot of water, a lot of rain, as well. And

the southern part of the U.K. bracing for more rainfall after it was already drenched from a storm that took place earlier this week.

The good news, though, is that the bulk of the rain should move on by Friday when cold, frosty air is expected to set in. But hopefully, not as

cold as it is in northern Scandinavia -- gosh -- where an Arctic blast pushed temperatures to their lowest levels in about 20 years, in fact,

minus 40 degrees Celsius. Oh, boy.

All right, time is running out to find survivors of Monday's 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Japan. As a crucial window to find them may indeed be

closing. Authorities fear that there are still people trapped beneath the rubble of collapsed homes and buildings, as well. Emergency crews are still

hard at work as I speak, trying to find them.

I want to show you a video that took place -- a video of a rescue, rather, that took place earlier. I want to warn you, though, that some may find it

difficult to watch. Here in this video, you see emergency crews managing to save a man who is actually trapped under a house. His bullet being pulled

from the rubble here -- his family members watch on.

And despite some glimmers of hope like this, officials say that poor weather conditions, impassable roads and frequent aftershocks are making

the search for survivors very, very difficult. Here is CNN's Hanako Montgomery.


MONTGOMERY: Once an idyllic seaside town, in just minutes, parts of Wajima reduced to rubble. The life Kyoko built gone in an instant.

KYOKO, EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR (through translator): It's hell. I've never seen anything like this. It's my first time experiencing something like


MONTGOMERY (voice-over): With phone lines down, Kyoko can only hope her friends are alive as she reckons with her new reality.

KYOKO (through translator): The aftershocks are really scary. They happen multiple times throughout the night. Last night was really intense.

MONTGOMERY: What happened last night?

KYOKO (through translator): Last night, I think there were two magnitude five aftershocks, and it felt like the entire ground was getting pushed up

beneath me.

MONTGOMERY (voice-over): Some in Kyoko's hometown remain stuck under their collapsed homes.

MONTGOMERY: Just behind me, dozens of police officers are trying to pull a woman they believe is stuck under the rubble of her house. The police are

from Aichi, a prefecture over 300 kilometers away, which just goes to show the scale of rescue operations in Ishikawa Prefecture.

MONTGOMERY (voice-over): Racing against time, emergency personnel work into the night. The constant aftershocks and fires hamper rescue

operations, making it take days. Dozens still missing in Ishikawa Prefecture. Entire communities cut off by landslides -- fallen trees and

broken roads.

MONTGOMERY: This is just one of the many roads that have been completely destroyed in Wajima City, making it nearly impossible for aid to get in.

MONTGOMERY (voice-over): For us, the journey to Wajima took all day as we navigated these roadblocks alongside the dozens of fire and A-trucks on

their way, while bypassing fallen debris. But what little help does get through is far from enough.

Water, food and blankets are in short supply. Essential goods, Japan says, must get to survivors. At evacuation centers, reports of people dying

according to City Hall officials.


UNKNOWN (through translator): The situation is terribly challenging, but until those 72 hours crucial for saving lives pass, we must do our utmost

to save and rescue as many people as possible with everything we have on the ground.

MONTGOMERY (voice-over): But the full scale of devastation, still unknown. Those who had the means to flee their hometowns have gone, while others

tried to find remnants of their lives scattered among the rubble.


ASHER: All right, that was our Hanako Montgomery reporting. All right, still to come, the war in Gaza is stoking violence in the Israeli occupied

West Bank. We'll talk to a Palestinian official about some of the concerns there when we come back.


ASHER: All right, welcome back to ONE WORLD. I'm Zain Asher. We want to return now to one of our main stories out of the Middle East. A funeral was

held in Lebanon today for Saleh al-Arouri, a top Hamas leader. He was killed in a strike on Tuesday in a Beirut suburb. His death also now

leading to protests in the occupied West Bank.


ASHER: All right, here, you hear people gathering in the West Bank to remember al-Arouri. Meantime, clashes in the West Bank have increased

overall, as well.


UNICEF reports that 2023 was the deadliest year for children there, and a recent U.N. report is deploring what it calls a rapid deterioration of

human rights in the West Bank, as well. Time now for The Exchange where we will focus on the West Bank. Amal Jadou,

Palestinian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates joins us live now from Nablus in the West Bank. Amal, thank you so much for being

with us again. We appreciate it. Good to see you.

So, we've seen protests in the West Bank, a general strike being called across the West Bank because of the killing of al-Arouri in Beirut, Lebanon

earlier this week. Just give us your reaction to his killing.

AMAL JADOU, PALESTINIAN DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND EXPATRIATES: Well, Zain, thank you for having me again and I also wanted to say that I

want to take the opportunity to thank every person across the world for their steadfastness and activism in supporting the cause of justice and

peace in Palestine and standing for the rights of the Palestinians to freedom and liberty.

And going to your question, you know, the West Bankers, they, throughout, you know, all over the West Bank, we had a general strike and

demonstrations, you know, basically mourning the assassination of Saleh al- Arouri in Beirut yesterday. And basically, the, you know, the main theme is that in all of this is the fact that Israel is actually taking us in a

wrong direction of expanding the war to the northern front and actually causing a spillover to the conflict.

Saleh al-Arouri was the deputy head of Hamas, the political bureau of Hamas. He is a person who always called for national unity. He was mourned

by the Prime Minister, by the leaders of the Palestinian government and the Palestinian leadership for his stance for unity and for his support for

unity between all Palestinians. And I, you know, we express our sorrow for his assassination and you know --

ASHER: Yeah, Amal, Amal. You know, this is somebody that the U.S. also designated a terrorist, someone who many believe was at least in part an

architect or a partial mastermind of the October 7th attacks, and also who may have been responsible for the murder and kidnapping of three Israeli

teenagers back in 2014.

I do want to talk about -- you talk about, obviously, fears of an escalation. I do want to talk about President -- Secretary of State, excuse

me, Anthony Blinken, who is on his way to the Middle East right now. He's going to be going to the West Bank.

Many people believe that the only way out of this, I mean, if this is a tinderbox in terms of what's happening across the Middle East and the fears

of a wider war, many people believe that the only way out of this is really a diplomatic one.

What does Secretary of State Blinken need to say? What does he need to do in order to quell fears of the potential, major fallout, especially given

the killing of al-Arouri? As you point out, there are many who believe in the West Bank among Palestinians that he is somewhat of a noble heroic


JADOU: Well, it's in the eye of the beholder, Zain, and we are a people under occupation. And, you know, it's basically also very important to

emphasize that there is a need to end the bombardment and the genocide that is taking place in Gaza.

People in the West Bank have, you know, heavy feelings, feelings of sadness, and also feelings of helplessness, inability to do anything to

impact what is happening in Gaza and stopping the bombardment, the killing, the genocide, the war crimes that are taking place in Gaza. Thus far, more

than 22,000 people have been killed and more than 7000 are missing.

You know, more than 50,000 people are injured. You know, babies, children are displaced. You know, women are delivering their babies on roads, in

shelters, so there is starvation, famine. You know, people are drinking salt water. It's just diseases.

The health sector system, you know, collapsed. Six out of the 36 hospitals that are in Gaza are only partially functioning. You know, more than 1.9

million of the Palestinians are displaced. This is basically, you know, this really causes, I mean, we're one people. You have to understand this.

We are one people. And this is affecting every and each person, every and each family in the West Bank.

So, going back to the question, yes, we also believe in a diplomatic solution. Only peace can ensure security for everyone -- bombardment,

killing people, murdering people, attacking people, destroying Gaza.


I mean, if you look at the images of Gaza today, I mean, it's basically -- there are no houses, there are no buildings. It's leveled to the ground. It

reminds me of World War II.

ASHER: Yeah. Twenty-two thousand -- 22,000 people killed. Fifty-eight thousand people injured, at least.

JADOU: At least.

ASHER: At least. Right. The numbers are unimaginable. We talk about a diplomatic solution. Obviously, when the war is over -- God knows when

that's going to be. But when the war is over, the U.S. has talked about the possibility of the P.A., perhaps, taking over a post-conflict Gaza.

I want to get your thoughts on that, especially given that Hamas' popularity in the West Bank has really risen since October 7th. Because a

lot of people see October 7th -- not everybody, but there are a lot of Palestinians in the West Bank who view October 7th as an act of resistance,

if you will. And also, after the hostages' deals, that meant that there were hundreds of Palestinian prisoners that were released.

And so Hamas' popularity in the West Bank has really surged. What does that mean for the P.A.?

JADOU: Well, at a time when people are under attack, people are basically, you know, they're acting, they're basically, you know, they're acting out

of emotion rather than out of rational thinking.

You know, when you're under attack, when your people are under attack, when we're losing such numbers of people, when the, you know, when the blood is

being spilled all over the Gaza Strip, I mean, people feel for the people that are being basically massacred and killed, and the genocide that is

happening in Gaza is basically rendering all of us, you know, at all with everything that is happening.

Now, going, you know, basically talking about the day after is very difficult today because every step of the way, there is new development. I

mean, you know, two days ago, if you asked me, I mean, would I have guessed that the Israelis will go and assassinate in the heart of Beirut, basically

Saleh al-Arouri? I mean, it's unimaginable.

I mean, things are developing and Israel is pushing the entire region into a confrontation and this is not basically engendering peace. I basically

call on Secretary Blinken, the U.S. administration to call for an immediate ceasefire. This is what's needed. What's needed immediately is to stop the

pain, to stop the bloodshed. And then we can basically start embracing, you know, the people in Gaza, try to, you know, provide them with their basic


Can you imagine, Zain that you know, today, after 90 days of this war of aggression on Gaza, only 80 trucks of aid are allowed per day? I mean, 80

trucks. I mean, that's a drop in an ocean. How can people survive? How can you provide them with food? How can you provide the medical?

ASHER: Amal, Amal. More aid getting into Gaza is undeniably a major priority for Anthony Blinken as he visits the region. But Amal Jadou, we

have to leave it there. We are out of time. Thank you so much for coming on the program again. I hope to see you again soon. We appreciate it.

JADOU: Thank you. Thank you.

ASHER: All right, still to come. The battle over immigration reform is heating up in Texas as the state faces a new lawsuit from the Biden

administration. Meantime, Republicans are calling the scene at the border a catastrophe. Plus, what prompted a man to literally hurl -- my goodness --

hurl himself across the courtroom and attack a judge. We'll explain after the break.




ASHER: All right, new courtroom video shows just how dangerous it can be to deliver justice in the United States. I want you to watch what happens

after a judge in Nevada denies a man's request for probation.


MARY KAY HOLTHUS, CLARK COUNTY DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: I just can't -- with that history. In accordance with the laws of the state of Nevada, this

court -- (BEEP)

ASHER: And he still kept going. The court says the judge and one of the marshals who came to her defense were injured. It's still going on. There

it is. The defense -- the defendant, rather, is now facing three additional counts of battery on a protected person.


ASHER: All right, the U.S. Justice Department is now suing the state of Texas over its controversial new immigration law. It gives local law

enforcement the power to arrest people suspected of illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The Justice Department says Texas cannot run its own

immigration system.

Meantime, U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson is blaming President Biden for the migrant crisis, calling it a catastrophe. He led Republican lawmakers

on a tour of Eagle Pass, Texas, on Wednesday, hoping to pressure the White House on the issue. I want you to hear what the Speaker told CNN's Jake



MIKE JOHNSON, U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: We can seal the border. We could do it overnight. The President has the existing authority under existing federal

law to do that, and he refuses to do it. And what we see here is absolute mayhem.


ASHER: In December, the U.S. southern border saw the highest number of monthly migrant crossings in 20 years. Ed Lavandera has more.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Migrants crossed the Rio Grande into the United States as Speaker of the House Mike

Johnson looks on during the Republicans tour of the southern border. To highlight a crisis, he says the Biden administration is doing nothing to


Migrants have crossed into the United States by the thousands, more than 225,000 alone in December, the highest monthly surge recorded since the

year 2000.

JOHNSON: America is at a breaking point with record levels of illegal immigration. And today, we got a first-hand look at the damage and the

chaos the border catastrophe is causing in all of our communities.

ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We have a broken immigration system that is the one single fact about which everyone agrees.

LAVANDERA: Droves of migrants have come through this crossing in Eagle Pass, Texas, despite the miles of razor wire, shipping containers and other

barriers built up along the border. A former Democratic state lawmaker in Eagle Pass, Texas says Republicans' efforts to deter migration aren't

working either.

PONCHO NEVAREZ, FORMER TEXAS STATE LAWMAKER: Anybody that's locked or ridden a train car 3000 miles and been robbed, beaten and raped to make it

to that side right there -- do you think this is going to stop them? And the answer to that, as we already know, is a big no.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): The White House is increasingly facing pressure from both Republicans and Democratic mayors and governors on the need for

real solutions to the immigration crisis. And the Republican governor of Texas keeps ramping up the pressure as well, transporting tens of thousands

of migrants unannounced to urban cities in blue states straining their resources.

Most migrants say they're just trying to escape the hardships they left behind. Like Kenny Contreras from Ecuador, who says his country is plagued

by violence and extortion. And this migrant from Liberia, who says he spent $15,000 to reach the U.S. border.

UNKNOWN: The U.S. has been my dream country since I was a young kid, you know.

JOHNSON: It's estimated that nearly 170 countries have people coming in and flowing across this border.


LAVANDERA (voice-over): Meanwhile in Washington D.C., Senate leaders are working toward a possible deal to change current immigration law, including

the possibility of expedited removals of migrants who cross illegally and tightening rules on granting asylum.

The House Speaker tells CNN's Jake Tapper the problem cannot be solved by allocating more money to the border.

JOHNSON: These are policy choices that got us in this situation and what we're demanding is that the policies change.

LAVANDERA: What you did not hear from House Republicans in Eagle Pass is a willingness to negotiate on immigration reform. And also, many Republicans

also saying that they're not necessarily willing to sign on to the Senate border security bill compromise and that they're willing to shut down the

government to get what they want in terms of border security. Ed Lavandera, CNN, Eagle Pass, Texas.


ASHER: All right, former U.S. President Donald Trump is asking the Supreme Court to put him back on the ballot in Colorado. Officials there took him

off, citing the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment, which bars anyone taking part in an erection -- insurrection, excuse me, from running for

office. The High Court is under pressure to settle the question of whether Trump can be disqualified for holding office because of his alleged

involvement in the January 6th insurrection.


JENA GRISWOLD, COLORADO SECRETARY OF STATE: A President, the person who has arguably the most power in this country, should not be able to do that

type of action and run again when every other elected official would be barred from doing so. And I do believe that the United States Supreme Court

should tell the American people whether a President can engage in insurrection and then again run for that office.


ASHER: That was Colorado's Secretary of State. Colorado's top election official, however, says Trump's name will, in fact, be on the state's

primary ballot unless the Supreme Court says otherwise. We'll have much more news after the break.


ASHER: All right, you might call it the ultimate noble defeat. Teenage sensation Luke Littler may have lost the World Darts Final, but the British

16-year-old has won the hearts of millions of fans around the world after incredible tournament run.

On Wednesday, he was just one win away from becoming the world's youngest dart champion and it was such a touching moment as Littler collected his

second place trophy.



ASHER: Those deafening cheers. The crowd in London continued to sing and cheer for him even as he walked off stage. The new World Darts Champion

Luke Humphries says that Littler, in his words, is going to dominate World Darts soon.

Another teenager is also making history, as well. Decades after its release, someone has finally beaten Tetris on Nintendo and it was a 13-

year-old boy from Oklahoma. It took Willis Gibson 38 minutes to reach a level that no human has ever reached before. I want you to watch that



WILLIS GIBSON, GAMER: Oh, my God. Oh my God. I can't feel my fingers.


ASHER: He can't believe it either. So, far, the only other player to defeat the so-called unbeatable game has been A.I. All right, that does it

for this hour of ONE WORLD. I'm Zain Asher. Thank you so much for watching. "AMANPOUR" is up next.