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Quest Means Business
CNN Team Witnesses Heavy Bombardment in Northern Gaza; Blinken: "Far Too Many Palestinians Have Been Killed"; Israel Claims Misfired Project Launched From Inside Gaza Responsibilities For Hit On Al-Shifa Hospital; U.S. Diplomats Warn Of Growing Fury In Arab World. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired November 10, 2023 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, CNN HOST: Just moments ago, CNN's team in Sderot, Israel, witnessed heavy bombardments as well as flares. You can see there fired by
Israeli forces in the northern part of Gaza. We'll have the very latest for you.
President Biden and Xi will meet next week in a positive sign across the US-China relations. And a ransomware attack on China's biggest bank may
have impacted the US financial system.
Live from London, it's Friday, November 10th. I'm Isa Soares, in for Richard Quest. And, of course, I, too, mean business.
Good evening, everyone. If you've been watching our air just moments ago, CNN crews witnessed heavy bombardment and flares fired by Israeli forces in
the northern part of Gaza, happening around 22 minutes or so past nine in the evening there.
You are looking at the video now. The team also saw intense flares over the area near the Jabalya refugee camp. This is the -- this is close to our Nic
Robertson's live shot position.
Now, that bombardment ending a day when the International Red Cross says that Gaza's health care system is at the "point of no return" amid reports
of strikes near several hospitals. And a warning, this is graphic video from inside the Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest in Gaza. The World Health
Organization said Friday they had come under bombardment.
The director of a children's hospital in northern Gaza says IDF tanks have surrounded it. He said, "Nobody can leave." The hospital is near a
neighborhood where ground fighting was reported by both Israel and Hamas. Let's get the very latest for you, bring you up to date. Our Jeremy Diamond
is in Tel Aviv.
And, Jeremy, we saw, and I'm sure you saw, too, in the last hour, the heavy bombardment from Nic Robertson's live position. Nic was saying that it's
closest -- it felt it was close to Jabalya refugee camp. What more can you tell us?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I've been at that position many times. And it is very interesting that two weeks into this
ground offensive we're still seeing very sustained, very heavy fighting in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, even the north of Gaza City where we
know that Israeli troops are now operating.
And this tells us that even as Israeli forces move deeper into Gaza, they are still facing a persistent danger from Hamas militants north of Gaza
City. Part of that has to do with those dozens of miles of tunnels that exist below Gaza, that Israeli troops have been trying to destroy day-by-
day. But clearly, many, many more remain. What we are also seeing, of course, is as Israeli troops are moving deeper into Gaza City, they also
appear to be moving closer to several of Gaza City's hospitals and several other hospitals in northern Gaza.
We saw earlier today footage of Israeli tanks moving close to one of the hospitals, including a children's hospital, in northern Gaza. Clashes were
heard in the vicinity of several other hospitals including Al-Shifa hospital which, of course, the Israeli military has accused Hamas of
harboring an underground complex and senior Hamas fighters below its grounds.
And so we know overnight there were ongoing clashes between Israeli forces and Hamas militants very near to those hospitals. There was a strike
unclear who was responsible for it, but a strike that hit inside the Al- Shifa compound at their outdoor clinic there, killing and injuring several people.
Amid all of this, we are watching as tens of thousands of Gazans civilians are fleeing from northern Gaza to southern Gaza. The Israeli military now
says that hundreds of thousands of those civilians have been able to use those evacuation corridors over the last several days. That effort began
this past weekend.
And today, it was actually expanded to include not only Salah al-Din Street, which was one of the kind of central arteries going north/south in
Gaza, but also along the sea line where there is another main road that was used today for the first time to evacuate civilians as well. But many, many
more civilians still do remain in northern Gaza where we are watching as the situation is becoming increasingly precarious, not only the fighting,
very close to where some of those civilians are sheltering outside those hospitals, but also those hospitals running out of food, water, and fuel to
keep their operations going.
SOARES: Jeremy Diamond for us there with the very latest. Thanks very much.
While many people are taking shelter inside Gaza's medical facilities, Jomana Karadsheh has more on the overnight strikes that hit several of
them. And we want to warn you, the images in her report are disturbing.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Night 34 of this war brought hell to Gaza's hospitals. Death so close for these medics
outside Al-Awda Hospital, they recited their final prayers. The hospital says several were injured in these strikes and two ambulances were
It was one of several hospitals struck in what was a night of horror for those sheltering at medical facilities in northern Gaza.
On a Friday, more heartache came with these devastating scenes at Shifa hospital complex, the haunting screams of those who survived this blast,
dazed, confused, searching for loved ones amongst the dead and injured, images that infuriated humanitarians like Norwegian doctor, Mads Gilbert,
who volunteered at Shifa in the past.
(ISRAELIS screaming in pain on background.)
DR. MADS GILBERT, NORWEGIAN VOLUNTEER DOCTOR: President Biden, Mr. Blinken, Mr. Blinken, can you hear me? Prime ministers and presidents of the
European countries, can you hear me? Can you hear the screams from Shifa hospital, from Al-Awda hospital? Can you hear the screams from innocent
people, refugees sheltering, trying to find a safe place, being bombed by the Israeli attack forces, hospitals that are the temples of humanity and
KARADSHEH (voice-over): But this is a war with no red lines, and hospitals are no sanctuary for the tens of thousands crammed into these hospitals
desperate to be protected by a war like no other Gaza has ever seen.
For weeks, the Israeli military has been calling on civilians to move south to get out of harm's way, they say, but so many have been reluctant to heed
the calls. Airstrikes and deaths have followed Gazans to the south. Nowhere is safe in this besieged territory.
But as the Israeli military opened up a humanitarian corridor and with intense fighting in the north, tens of thousands had no choice but to run
and seeing sort of old dark memories for Palestinians of an exodus from decades past from which there has been no return.
But not everyone can leave. The fighting has trapped some of the most vulnerable at two pediatric hospitals where hundreds are sheltering, and
doctors are calling on the ICRC to evacuate them.
Israeli troops are right outside Al-Nasr and Rantisi hospitals.
(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE speaking in foreign language.)
KARADSHEH (voice-over): "The hospital is surrounded by Israeli tanks from all directions," this young woman says. "We were asked to evacuate now,"
she and others with this cry for international protection and a safe passage out.
Back inside Shifa, there's no stopping, no pauses for those on a mission to save lives. A father anxiously looks to doctors for good news, only to be
told his little boy is gone.
(UNIDENTIFIED MALE crying and screaming.)
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Never have Gazans felt so abandoned, alone and they're slammed of death and despair.
Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, London.
SOARES: And as we showed you at the top of the hour, we have been seeing for the past hour and a half or so a lot of activity in the skies tonight
over Gaza. These images captured by CNN cameras, by John there in Sderot in the last 30 minutes or so, happening around 9:20 or so in Gaza. You're
looking at a video now. The team also saw intense flares of the area, near the Jabalya refugee camp.
Nic Robertson is in Sderot. That's from his location and his camerographer. John who was filming this, he had the birds eye view of Gaza.
And, Nic, just give our viewers a sense of what you saw, the intensity of what we saw, and the duration because, to me, it felt like a long and --
long period of time of these strikes.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It was quite an extended period. I'm going to step out of the way just so John can try to
get in on what's happening there because we are still seeing strikes going in. There's one coming down right now. You can see that coming down onto
Jabalya refugee camp area.
The flares are gone, the smoke on the ground is gone, but the strikes are continuing. We are still hearing -- there's another strike coming in now.
We are still hearing a sort of rolling thunder of detonations and explosions.
And this distance, we can't tell specifically what the target is. We can't tell specifically what those munitions are. You can see it coming down from
the sky onto the Jabalya camp area.
But it does seem to indicate -- and from the very sounds, we were hearing heavy machine gunfire a short time ago -- that there is an intense
firefight going on in that area, which tends to indicate that the IDF has found a group of Hamas fighters there that they have been targeting for.
They -- their targeting is based on intelligence, they say, but they've been operating in this area for about two weeks now. So it is notable that
after two weeks there is still a pocket of resistance of some description, it appears there.
And this gives you an indication of how long it will take to -- for the IDF to be able to really eradicate, as they say they want to, Hamas from the
entire Gaza Strip. And even they are saying it's months and could take many, many months to achieve.
The question is, of course, in all that international diplomatic pressure that is building that we heard from Secretary Blinken -- US Secretary of
State Antony Blinken today and others how much longer can the government here sustain this military campaign. And at the moment, the humanitarian
corridors are allowing them to continue with the operation against Hamas.
But as we're seeing tonight, it is a fight that is slow. It is grindingly slow and involves very, very heavy firepower still.
SOARES: And as you said, the Jabalya refugee camp, they have been striking it for some time, Nic, with some devastating effects as you and I have been
reporting on this. We have also heard tonight from several hospitals in the north of Gaza where they've seen tanks close by, have seen activity close
by. What can you tell us? Because some hospitals are saying they want -- doctors then want to leave, but they can't leave. What are you hearing?
ROBERTSON: The IDF has been saying that there a number of hospitals where they believe Hamas is operating tunnel systems, command-and-control systems
beneath within and around the hospital facilities themselves. The hospitals themselves say they're not aware of it, that they deny these allegations.
But it has seemed from a very early stage that the IDF has set itself the need in its own determination to, if nothing else, go and check the
basements of these hospitals where they say Hamas is holding out. And it appears this is what they are poised to do.
And I think in the tactics that we've seen used, the military will maneuver in. And it would seem, in likelihood, because the IDF says they're not --
they're targeting civilians, only Hamas, that they find a way to allow civilians to leave the hospital.
How that's managed in a condition and an environment where the hospitals need to continue to treat patients there and continue to receive patients
isn't clear, but it does appear that there is a focus on certain hospitals, though the IDF has the intent to encircle those hospitals. The question is
do they have an intent to go in them and search the basements.
And the healthcare system in the whole of Gaza, according to International Committee for the Red Cross, today, they say that the healthcare system is
now at a "point of no return." The Hamas-led Ministry of Health officials in Gaza say 193 health officials killed, 60 ambulances damaged by strikes,
21 of 50 -- 21 of 35 hospitals out of service, 53 of 72 healthcare clinics out of service.
It just builds a picture of how critical these remaining hospitals are to the humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza and therefore, putting tanks
around them that will add to the pressure on the population and the pressure on the hospitals.
SOARES: Yes. And we -- as you were talking, Nic, John panned the camera to the right because there seemed to be another flare further north, if that's
what I caught. I'm not sure if you saw that, too, Nic.
But talk -- these images, the intensity of these images, you've been there since the horrendous attack October the 7th. Has this been happening daily
in this intensity, Nic?
ROBERTSON: No, not daily. That flare from where we are now, that's just dropped behind the horizon. I'll just step back in front .
ROBERTSON: . of the camera here.
There's only a couple of occasions where we've seen an intensity like this. There was a moment about a week or so ago that there was a very intense
sort of military force moving on Beit Hanoun. This seems to be Jabalya, which is perhaps a mile or two miles further away.
The very opening phases of the ground offensive were accompanied by a massive number of airstrikes and a massive amount of artillery. It's
different. The tempo right now is different. This is focused on this specific area.
You can really see where -- what the military are trying to move in on the ground on a specific location. But the intensity of it, that sort of
action, we have only seen that a couple of times since the ground incursion began two weeks ago.
So while it's not the heaviest fighting, it's certainly one of the most focused and indicative of there's still being a pocket of resistance in
SOARES: Our thanks to you and John as well on location there for us. Appreciate it. Thanks, Nic.
While Israeli strikes have now killed more than 11,000 people in Gaza, that is according to the Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry, US Secretary of
State Antony Blinken addressed the rising death toll in his strongest language yet, as you heard Nic mentioned.
Here he is. This is what he told reporters in New Delhi. Have a listen.
ANTONY BLINKEN, US SECRETARY OF STATE: Far too many Palestinians have been killed. Far too many have suffered these past weeks. And we want to do
everything possible to prevent harm to them and to maximize the assistance that gets to them.
SOARES: While US diplomats in the Middle East are warning of growing anger towards Washington, a diplomatic cable from the American embassy in Oman
says the US is losing the Arab public for a generation. It says US support for Israel is viewed as probability, and more people in the region consider
Israeli war crimes.
While about an hour ago, I spoke to former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. He says the IDF is doing the best it can considering the way Hamas
EHUD OLMERT, FORMER ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I understand that Secretary Blinken complained about the number of casualties. And I can only say that
I fairly said and I indeed -- I indeed am very sorry that there is a collateral damage, which is perhaps beyond the expectations.
However, you know, this just week, a couple of days ago, Secretary of State instructed the American ambassador in the UN and the British ambassador in
the UN was instructed to vote against the ceasefire. So it is understood by America and by the international community that Israel has to complete its
target reaching out for the Palestinian -- the Hamas leaders and eradicate Hamas and to destroy the bunkers and the command positions, and the launch
operates, and everything that can keep Hamas as a military power.
And we do it very slowly, by the way, and this was a complaint that I had before. Now we do it slowly precisely because we want to avoid the
unnecessary civilian casualties as much as we can. It's not simple, it's not easy, because Hamas is in the center of town, in exactly where the
Palestinian civilians can be a human shield for these killers and murderers.
SOARES: Well, my next guest says Israel's military strategy is unlikely to work. Professor Robert Pape is an expert in security and terrorism. He says
the IDF might do a better job distinguishing terrorists from civilians. Otherwise, he says, Israel will create a new generation of militants. He
also says that's easier said than done.
Robert Pape joins me now from Chicago. Robert, great to have you on the show.
Look, I have been speaking for the last several weeks to several military analysts who have basically told me that they don't think that the IDF
strategy here are breaking the back of Hamas over eliminating Hamas. They don't think that is possible. What do you think? Is it possible?
ROBERT PAPE, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO: No, I don't think so, and I think it's fairly straightforward. Far from
eliminating Hamas, what we are watching in front of our eyes is the strengthening of Hamas.
The reasons for this are again relatively straightforward. To defeat a groupwide Hamas, it's crucial to separate Hamas from the local population
so that when you kill Hamas fighters and leaders, they're not replaced by a new generation.
Well, when you see Hamas inside the civilian population of Gaza, it's such a small area. There's very little place to separate in a meaningful way the
civilian population from Hamas. And that's why you see Israel is having to attack near hospitals, if not the hospitals themselves. Sometimes even
bombing the very areas they said were safe a few hours before. And that's because, effectively, all of Gaza is a war zone.
And each of the civilians who die has family members. They have friends. They have people who are ripe for recruitment by Hamas.
PAPE: So far from separating Hamas and the local population, the Israeli heavily heavy military campaign is fusing them together. And this is why
what we're seeing is a horror show of civilian casualties in front of our eyes that's only waiting to more and more fighting. Hamas is not turning,
you know, collapsing.
And even if the current generation were all killed, there are now over 11,000 civilians who have died.
PAPE: And how many does that mean that Hamas would recruit in the future? Another 11,000, 20,000? If this goes on another 10 days, another three
weeks, we could see double the number of civilian casualties .
PAPE: . double the recruit for Hamas.
SOARES: Eleven thousand, more than 4,000 children, according to Hamas- controlled Ministry of Health, of course. But, you know, what I've heard, Robert, is also this idea that, you know, you can't get rid of Hamas. You
can't bomb an ideology, right? This is something that I've heard repeatedly.
How exactly do you think it can be done? Because there have been examples in history where this exactly what's happening hasn't worked that's only
led to other stronger terrorist groups. Talk to the lessons from history first before we talk about how it can be done.
PAPE: The lessons from -- the lessons of history are fairly straightforward. Israel itself has often used heavy military pressure,
forgot about politics, and basically argues, let's go in heavy with the military first, we'll deal with politics later.
Well, that's what happened in 1982 when Israel went into southern Lebanon with a large army and attacked the Palestinian terrorists only to create
Hezbollah, which had not existed before and has only gotten stronger in the subsequent decades.
The alternative here is to begin now, not later, but now with a political alternative for Hamas. That is to begin now toward a pathway for a
This is what the Biden administration has been calling for in the last few days, and it's crucial, because otherwise, this military pressure is only
going to produce more terrorists for Hamas, because the Palestinian people have nowhere else to turn.
SOARES: And you think that the alternative here, as we've been -- as we've heard from the US administration is a Palestinian authority?
PAPE: That is a beginning of an idea. I would call it that what you're seeing by the Biden administration is movement toward the search for a
PAPE: . pathway towards a Palestinian state.
The details here are going to be -- going to have to be worked out, and not just simply within the Biden administration, which is why you see Secretary
Blinken flying in just about every capitol he can find. There's a lot of international discussions here because, for the last 15 years, we have
essentially bracketed a two-state solution. And now we're seeing that this has been to all of our detriment.
And so this is why Secretary Blinken has a major international diplomatic initiative. And it may be the Palestinian authority, but I think the
crucial thing is that there is a clear pathway identified towards a Palestinian state that .
PAPE: . so that -- and that would also limit the military pressure that Israel is producing here because the idea that you're just going to go in
and say, well, we have to attack hospitals because we have to get at the tunnels. Well, there are going to be hundreds and hundreds and hundreds
killed in that. And this is, again, going to produce more terrorists than it's going to kill.
SOARES: Yes. And, of course, worth reminding viewers, there haven't been elections in Gaza or the West Bank for some 20 years. So this -- you're
point is taken, Professor.
PAPE: This is (inaudible) that we have just heard.
SOARES: It's incredibly important.
PAPE: Thank you, yes.
SOARES: Professor, really appreciate it. Thank you very much, sir, for your insight.
Now, Joe Biden, Xi Jinping, are now set for their first face-to-face meeting of the year. What next week's meeting means for the icy and frosty
relationship between the world's two biggest economies. We have the very latest for you, next.
SOARES: And this just coming in to CNN. Israel claims that a misfired projectile fired from inside Gaza was responsible for a strike on Al-Shifa
Hospital in Gaza City, this after social media videos emerged online showing injured people lying on the ground of the hospital's outpatient
clinic. A spokesperson for the World Health Organization told a briefing on Friday that Al-Shifa Hospital was, quote, "coming under bombardment."
Nic Robertson is in Sderot joins us now with the very latest. So, Nic, what is the IDF saying this hour about this misfired projectile?
ROBERTSON: They haven't said where the misfired projectile came from or specifically who shot it other than Hamas or one of the other groups. But
what is interesting is they say that this misfired projectile was fired at IDF forces who were near the hospital. It's not quite clear what sort of
projectile it was. But we have seen the IDF move very quickly when they believe that they are not to blame for an incident to try to put forward
their understanding of the situation.
There was a case a few weeks ago where a large number of civilians were injured outside a hospital. They were sheltering in the foreground. And it
was proven by the IDF's evidence that it was, in fact, a misfired missile that crashed before it was able to reach Israel.
This particular situation, we don't have that level of detail from the IDF yet about who fired it and precisely where it was fired from. But they are
saying that it was fired at their forces who are close to the hospital.
We've seen tanks positioned around some hospitals in Gaza as the IDF tries, it appears, put a level of control -- military control around the hospitals
beneath which, it believes, that Hamas has been operating a network of tunnels and command-and-control centers.
SOARES: And this you're referring there, Nic, to the Al-Shifa hospital. And I've spoken to several doctors at Al-Shifa, who have talked about how
overwhelmed and inundated, how many people are actually taking shelter in that hospital, putting aside also the dire conditions for this hospital.
What are you hearing -- what more are you hearing from Al-Shifa, in particular, regarding this?
ROBERTSON: Well, the director there, the health director of the Health Authority inside of Gaza. Hamas official clearly indicated that it was --
this was the result of a strike by the Israeli Defense Forces. It -- I think from an international perspective and we've heard as you quoted that
for a couple of different international U.N. bodies that they said very clearly earlier in the day that this was an IDF strike on the hospital.
You know, I think what it will raise concern for some people is that once you bring troops into an area around a medical facility, then you -- then
you increase the possibility of clashes because if the tanks sitting in the street, it stands to reason that Hamas is going to try to fire on those
tanks and it appears that the IDF is saying that, in essence, this is what happened. That was a misfired munition that didn't hit the IDF troops that
it was aimed at.
That actually misfired and hit the hospital. The hospital officials have been very, very clear from the get go. They say there is no tunnel network
under the hospital. They say there is no connection between the hospitals, physical infrastructure and Hamas. But the IDF has repeatedly said that
there is and it has appeared for a number of weeks now that they've indicated these networks or the hospital and over the past couple of days,
it seemed very clear that they are maneuvering closer and closer right now to be very proximal to the hospital to have their forces right there at the
hospital. They haven't gone inside yet, as far as we know. But they are poised for that in appears.
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Yes. And we don't know, Nic, and correct me if I'm wrong. We don't know how many people are still in Al
Shifa or in some of these hospitals. Two or three main hospitals there, right? In that area.
ROBERTSON: We don't -- the sort of the only information we have. And it gets harder and harder to get, of course, because so many people are
evacuating from the north to the south, including many journalists. So even the number of journalists in the north of Gaza that might have provide --
provided some amount of information are no longer available there to sort of bear witness, if you will.
But we don't have specific information regarding how many people are in the hospital. What we do know is that fewer and fewer hospitals they're down to
-- I think it's now about only one-third of 35 hospitals in Gaza are now functional. So, it puts the pressure on the big ones like Al-Shifa.
SOARES: Nic -- appreciate it. Nic Robertson there from Sderot in Israel.
And still to come tonight. A warning from American diplomats about President Biden's support for Israel. What this can mean for the United
States relationship with the Arab world. We'll talk about that after this.
SOARES: Hello, I'm Isa Soares. There'll be more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment when we will be live for you on Capitol Hill where Congress is
preparing for yet another potential government shutdown.
And a hacking attack on a Chinese is being felt wide across the global financial system. Before that, the headlines for you this hour. Ukraine
claims it hit two Russian landing craft in occupied Crimea with sea drones. This video is from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. Officials say it
shows the moment on -- overnight strikes on to Russian assault boats. Russia has not officially commented on this.
-- spoken of the family's relief following the release of the player's father from kidnappers in Colombia. The senior was abducted by the National
Liberation Army just over two weeks ago and was freed if you remember on Thursday. He denied any ransom was paid. Speaking to CNN, the cousin of the
Liverpool star said he was thankful for the support from the entire nation.
The U.K.'s high court has ruled that Prince Harry's court case against associated newspaper can go to trial. The Royals accusing the publisher of
privacy breaches via phone tapping, planting listening devices and illegally assessing his private records. Prince Harry is joined by five
other claimants including Sir Elton John.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to meet in California next Wednesday. Both leaders will be in the Bay Area for the
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. It will be their first face to face meeting this year after months, of course, of friction between the two
countries. The two men have much to discuss. I mean, that's best to say. President Biden is expected to push for restoring military communication
all from the table are the conflicts in Israel and Ukraine, climate change, human rights issues and of course, Taiwan. That's a lot.
David Culver is in Los Angeles for us. David, good to see you. So, this meeting coming up next week, kind of at a time when China relations are
pretty clearly have been, David under heavy strain. But this is perhaps the positive sign, right? That the things are happening at all. What are we
trying to achieve here?
DAVID CULVER, CNN SENIOR U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes., I mean, the fact that this meeting has come together, he's I think we can say that the
U.S. and China are now allies again. No, not necessarily. They're not aligned on many things. I mean, fundamentally, nothing has changed between
the U.S. and China, Isa. We've got to be very clear about that. This is still a really fraught relationship.
Yet there are a couple of places we have to look at that could see some agreements. One being climate. The other being enhanced communication
efforts between the two countries militaries, which of course could help defuse some of the tensions and prevent conflict. Now this will be
President Xi Jinping his first visit to the U.S. since 2017. Since that time, U.S.-China relations have been in a freefall.
It's been compounded by the pandemic. By China's cozy relationship with Russia amidst its war in Ukraine. Tensions in the South China Sea mounting
pressure over Taiwan. Not to mention concerns over U.S. national security. I mean, that suspected spy balloon shot down earlier this year, it only
made things worse. So, this is really a test to see if the two leaders can stop the downward spiral.
China needs this too. Its economy, domestically is suffering. A housing market that is in crisis, youth unemployment is at record highs. So much so
they've actually stopped releasing official figures. And for the first time in 25 years a deficit in foreign direct investment. International companies
now are uneasy about putting money into China.
So, Isa, these are major concerns for an authoritarian leader whose Communist Party's unofficial agreement with its people is financial
opportunity, right? Prosperity in exchange for social stability. So, anything that questions that could pose an issue domestically, but a lot of
eyes now on this meeting to see what will come out of it.
SOARES: Yes. And of course, this is all happening as our viewers have been seeing against this major complicated geopolitical backdrop here, David.
You've got war in Ukraine, and now you have this war between Hamas and Israel. How difficult is it going to be for both these leaders to talk
about all to weave all these concerns because they stand on very different podiums, right? On those -- on this crisis.
CULVER: It -- we're told that it's very likely to come up, especially with Israel and Hamas being perhaps one of the biggest discussions the two
leaders will have. So, we have to think about how China in particular has positioned itself not only with this most recent conflict but also with
Russia's war in Ukraine. And it's been trying to show from a global stage perspective that China is a global peacemaker.
That they could perhaps even be a mediator in all of this. And that's what they wanted to project. Now we know that there are undertones and perhaps
even relationship certainly with China and Russia and even more personally with Xi and Putin that would suggest that China has its preference and has,
of course, been aligning itself more so with Russia and that conflict. And now with Israel and Hamas having these discussions is going to be very
challenging for China to position itself necessarily as a neutral party.
That's what they'd want to portray globally. But this meeting is likely to cover that among the many topics. And it's also been interesting, Isa, to
note how long it's taken to pull this off. I mean, to bring these two leaders together, we're talking months of sub national meetings with
cabinet secretaries and even the foreign minister from China, Wang Yi being here in recent weeks.
SOARES: Important context there from our David Culver. Great to see you, David. Thank you.
CULVER: Good to see you.
SOARES: Now it feels like Deja vu in the U.S. as lawmakers prepare for the current government funding to expire next week. We'll talk about the battle
that's brewing and what it can mean for the new speaker of the house. That is next.
SOARES: A major diplomatic push is underway to address what the U.N. is calling a never-ending humanitarian nightmare in Gaza. In the last 24
hours, we've heard renewed calls for a ceasefire for the Arab League. Its leaders are set to hold emergency talks in Saudi Arabia this weekend.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has been privately warned by U.S. diplomats of growing fury over its support for Israel's war against Hamas.
This all comes of course, as Antony Blinken continues his trip through the Middle East and beyond. Today, giving (INAUDIBLE) direct condemnation of
the civilian toll in Gaza saying "far too many Palestinians have been killed."
I want to bring in our Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman who is live for us in Beirut in Lebanon this hour. And Ben, we have heard today
Saudis Mohammed bin Salman, who has been calling for an immediate lifting of the siege in Gaza. We continue, of course, to hear calls for a ceasefire
from Arab leaders and that growing pressure obviously on the U.S. and Israel. What are we expecting realistically here, Ben, to come out of this
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTENATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it does appear that the U.S. administration is somewhat immune from the -- to these calls
from the Arab League and other international leaders for an immediate ceasefire. We did -- we know that tomorrow there's going to be an emergency
summit of the Arab League in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. And they've already said that they are demanding an immediate ceasefire, but the Americans simply
aren't paying attention.
They aren't listening to them. We heard the President Biden say that, no, there will be no ceasefire. The U.S. for its part is pushing for what it's
calling humanitarian pauses to allow for perhaps more food to get in. But that sort of approach is widely derided in the Arab world as being
equivalent to giving somebody who's having the hell beaten out of them a chance to have a meal and then go back and continue to be beaten to death.
Most in this part of the world, there is growing frustration what -- to what seems to be a tone-deaf U.S. administration. Now also in Saudi Arabia
tomorrow, there's going to be a summit of the leaders of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which includes Muslim leaders from around the
world, Muslim heads of state that is, including Bashar al-Assad of Syria and Ibrahim Raisi, the president of Iran.
That will be the first time an Iranian Head of State has gone to Saudi Arabia. But as I said, these demands for an immediate ceasefire don't seem
to be getting much reception when it comes to Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State and President Joe Biden. Isa?
SOARES: And very briefly, if they're not listening, Ben, does the Arab League have been have any tools -- economic tools to put pressure on Israel
and the U.S. here?
WEDEMAN: Of course, they do. Let's recall, in 1973, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia initiated the Arab embargo that created that led to a recession in
the U.S. and Western Europe. They do have the weapons, the economic weapons to put pressure on the United States and its European allies. But it
doesn't seem that they're considering to use that yet. So, it seems that they're going to be firing a lot of words and denunciations and demands but
all of those will be falling on deaf ears. Isa?
SOARES: Our Ben Wedeman with that context. Important context there from Ben. Thank you, Ben. We're going to take a short break. We're back after
SOARES: Well, Congress is preparing for a potential government shutdown. Yet again, lawmakers have one week before current funding expires. And the
two chambers are headed for yet another federal funding fight. It will be a major test for new Speaker of the House of course, Mike Johnson, and the
process comes with its own political risk. Previous speaker if you remember, Kevin McCarthy was booted just days after the last budget fight.
Melanie Zanona is in Washington, D.C. to lay it all out for us. Melania and here we are yet again.
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yes. Well, Speaker Mike Johnson is running into the exact same problems that his predecessor Kevin McCarthy
did. And that is why Speaker Johnson is treading very carefully. He is trying to really wrestle with his decision and hear from all members of his
conference and at issue here is that the Republican Conference is really divided over what approach they should take.
There's moderates who are pushing for just a clean, straightforward stopgap spending bill to keep the government's lights on through the end of this
year or early next year. But conservative hardliners are pushing for a much more complicated idea that would extend government funding for agencies in
two separate batches. So, setting up really a series of fiscal cliffs. And that option is dead on arrival in the Senate.
Democrats don't like it, even some Republicans in the Senate don't like it and it would risk a government shutdown which Johnson absolutely does not
want on his watch. But at the same time, he also does not want to infuriate his right flank especially so early on in his tenure. So, in the meantime,
lawmakers growing very anxious about what he plans to do so far, even some top Republicans are in the dark but we couldn't get a window into his
thinking quite soon because I am told that Speaker Johnson is aiming to release bill text by tomorrow with the hopes of putting a bill on the floor
But at this point, we're told that that bill text still not final. So, some big decisions to make here. A lot on the line and not a lot of time to
figure it out.
SOARES: Indeed. New speaker, same problem. Melanie, appreciate it.
While the Cybercrime group Lockbit says it's responsible for hacking China's biggest bank. The ransomware attack hit ICBC's U.S. arm on
Wednesday, and reportedly disrupted U.S. Treasury trade yesterday. The hack has drawn global response. Officials in the U.S. say they're monitoring the
issue. Chinese authorities said they've taken emergency measures to minimize risks and losses.
Let's get more on all of this. Matt Egan's in New York. And Matt, as we've just said. The attack took place on Wednesday but the effects are still
being felt. Just talk us through those.
MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Isa, this is pretty rare. Here we have a situation where hackers are basically extorting one of the biggest banks on the
planet. And there appears to be a potential market impact on one of the most important markets in the world, the treasury markets. So, it's a
fascinating situation. ICBC says that this attack was on Wednesday and it did impact some of its New York-based unit's systems.
And they have alerted law enforcement and they are investigating. Now we do see that regulators around the world are on top of this. A U.S. Treasury
Department official tells CNN that they are aware of the cybersecurity issue and regular contact with key financial sector participants, in
addition to federal regulators. We continue to monitor the situation. The U.S. SEC is also aware and they continue to monitor with a focus on trying
to maintain fair and orderly markets.
Now, as far as the market impact. You know, there's a lot we don't know there. We do know that yesterday, we saw a spike in Treasury yields. We
know there was weak demand for a 30- year treasury auction. And that was seen as a negative in the stock market. So, what is less clear though is
how much this ransomware incident was a factor. Some market participants do think that it played a role.
But, Isa, all of this is just a reminder of how vulnerable financial markets at large and also banks in general are to hacking.
SOARES: Yes. On those but I mean, on other banks there, Matt, are they worried? Should they be worried about similar attack? What are you hearing?
EGAN: This should be worried because this is a major risk for a long time. I mean, banks have a huge target on their back. And that is nothing new
here. I think what's new and different is the sophistication of the attacks that are coming at all different private sector players, including banks.
And, you know, let's not forget that it was actually two years ago, the Fed Chair Jerome Powell, he was asked what the number one risk is to financial
What was so interesting was that, you know, he didn't talk about a liquidity sort of event or a financial crisis or even a war. He said it was
cybersecurity and that was two years ago, and the risks have only magnified since then. So, all of this does show how even some of the biggest banks in
the world can fall victim to hackers.
SOARES: Matt Hagen for us in New York. Thanks, Matt. And there are just a few moments left to trade. I'm looking at my clock here on Wall Street --
on Wall Street. Of course, we will have the final number. The Dow is up one -- just over one percent of 392. Closing bell after this.
SOARES: It's been a busy hour breaking news and we have some more this time from New Yorker. A source tell CNN that the FBI has seized New York Mayor
Eric Adams' electronic devices earlier this week. And this comes after the home of Adam's chief fundraiser was searched by agents last week as part of
corruption investigation into the 2021 mayoral campaign.
So, source telling CNN that the FBI has seized New York Mayor Eric Adams' electronic devices earlier this week. We'll bring you more details as soon
as we get them.
Before we leave you though briefly, we got about 30 seconds left. Wall Street is surging to close out the week as you can see there. Green over
one percent. Finishing alone on a high. The Dow is near a session high. Stock shaking off yesterday's losses. Thanks to a slide in longer day to
Investors will be looking though for more cues importantly next week from key economic data. And that does it for us here on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
I'm Isa Soares. Thank you for your company. The closing bell will be ringing at any moment on Wall Street. And there it is. That means "THE
LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.