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Netanyahu: If We Have to Stand Alone, We Will; Judge to Hear Motions from Trump Lawyers; Judge Hearing Motions from Trump Lawyers Following Stormy Daniels' Testimony; An Innovative Approach to Coral Reef Restoration. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired May 09, 2024 - 16:00   ET



JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN HOST: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with a defiant message after U.S. President Joe Biden told CNN he is ready to

restrict certain weapon deliveries if Israel invades Rafah.

Hello, I'm Julia Chatterley in New York.

JIM SCIUTTO CNN HOST: And I'm Jim Sciutto in Washington, a new witness now on the stand in Donald Trump's criminal hush money trial after a sometimes

heated morning of cross examination for the key witness, Stormy Daniels. We're going to have more on the trial in just a moment.

CHATTERLEY: We certainly will, but first, "If we have to stand alone, we will stand alone." The defiant words of Israel's prime minister speaking

out following CNN's exclusive interview with Joe Biden.

In that interview, the U.S. president said he would stop sending bombs and artillery shells to Israel if a full-scale invasion of Rafah goes ahead.

Let me just give you a reminder of what he told our Erin Burnett.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they go into Rafah, I am not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah,

to deal with the cities, to deal with that problem. We are going to continue to make sure Israel is secure in terms of Iron Dome and their

ability to respond to attacks like came out of -- at least recently, but it's -- it's just wrong.

We're not going to -- we're not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells used --


CHATTERLEY: Placing definitive conditions on American support to Israel marks a significant turning point in the relationship.

Despite that, though, Israel appears undeterred. The IDF said in the past couple of hours that it has the weapons it needs for its mission in Rafah.

Our chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward is in Jerusalem while in Washington, senior White House reporter Kevin Liptak is standing by for


Clarissa, to you first, it has been met, this message with a degree of frustration, I think in Israel, also in certain quarters, the perception

that this is some kind of betrayal that even inadvertently will help Hamas.


We have seen Israeli leaders now come out and repudiate this decision. We have seen the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said we will stand

alone if we need to, we will fight with our fingernails even. We saw the War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz, he also came out and said the U.S. has a

moral and strategic obligation to supply Israel with the necessary tools to complete its mission.

And we also saw Ben-Gvir who is the national security minister. He is part of the sort of hard right of Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition. He took to X

to post: "Hamas (heart) Biden.

So I think that gives you a feel for some of the emotion coming from Israel's political leadership here, but the broader question of whether

Israel will heed the very strong warning that the U.S. is essentially delivering about going in to population centers remains to be seen.

The rhetoric that we are hearing, the satellite imagery that we are seeing, all seems to point towards Israel pushing ahead with a broader offensive in

Rafah and that was even communicated to mediators in Cairo, the Israeli delegation in those talks at the end of them said essentially that they are

going to press on with Rafah and that they were very unhappy with what they described as large areas of disagreement that remain between the two sides.

Although, we've also heard the White House as I am sure Kevin will talk about more saying that they are still holding out hope that it might be

possible with some courageous leadership to find some kind of a resolution or some kind of a deal going forward -- Julia.

CHATTERLEY: That has to be the driving ambition here.

Kevin, just come in because the message from the State Department today has been, look, the U.S. administration was guided here in many respects by the

developments on the battlefield, what we are seeing in terms of the civilian death toll, but they are balancing hopes. I think, for pushing for

some kind of conflict resolution here with the political backlash that President Biden is facing at home.

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, and the hope throughout all of this has still been that a hostage deal is possible that would

secure the release of the hostages and involve a temporary ceasefire.


And what you heard from the White House today was a very stark warning that if Israel is to go into Rafah in a major ground offensive, that that would

only strengthen Hamas' negotiating hand at the table, and that was sort of interesting point that we heard from John Kirby, the National Security


When you talk about these hostage talks that they insist have not fallen apart, that they do still see areas where the two sides can come to

together, how that actually happens given that CIA Director Bill Burns has left the region, that other top negotiators have all gone back to their

capitals remains very much to be seen.

But I think, you know, the message from the White House today has been that this should not have been a surprise to the Israelis. President Biden has

been telegraphing his concerns about a ground offensive in Rafah for months now.

He first raised that concern in a phone call with Netanyahu all the way back in February, and they do say he that he has told Netanyahu directly

that a ground offensive in Rafah would signal a change an American weapons support.

And so I think what you're hearing from them today is that while this public message is new, while that does amount to a turning point, it

shouldn't necessarily have come as a surprise to the Israelis with whom they have been talking about this very issue very intensively for the last

several months.

There is political backlash here in Washington. You hear it from Republicans all the way across the spectrum from your Mitt Romneys to your

Donald Trumps, all of them saying that this amounts to an abandonment of Israel, but I think for President Biden, the political bind is very evident

because you're also hearing from progressives who say that this hasn't necessarily gone far enough, including from Bernie Sanders, the Democratic

socialist who said this kind of step should have been taken months ago.

So the president is still very much caught in a political bind, but certainly taking in this relationship and taking his attitude toward

Netanyahu to a new point with those comments.

CHATTERLEY: And Clarissa, just pick up off on that point, in particular, it shouldn't have been a surprise to them because the United States has been

long voicing their concern over activities and how this operation to target Hamas has been carried out.

The government there in Israel is at the stage where they are saying, look, were sort of 80 percent through now on that mission to take out Hamas. How

do they, and to your first question as you so perfectly post it, do they heed this warning and how do they respond? Because verbally, they've been

stringent in pushing back.

WARD: Well, if you take them at their word, they intend to go ahead with this operation. They are however, on under crushing pressure, not just from

the White House, not just from the international community, every single aid organization is sounding the alarm as we are talking right now, Julia.

It has been days that aid has not been able to get in, in the quantities that it is needed. The Rafah Border Crossing is closed. Kerem Shalom has

been open on and off for the last couple of days, but according to the UN and the State Department, just a few trucks have been getting through.

The UN warning that we are talking about days before hospitals will not have enough fuel, will start to collapse, and on top of that, you have what

the WFP has called a full-blown famine in the northern part of the country. You have the spread of disease. You have aid workers on the ground in these

so-called safe zones like Al-Mawasi, who say, they don't have the capacity to cope with a huge influx of displaced people.

More than 80,000 reportedly have already left Eastern Rafah, but some 1.4 million people are hunkered down in that city, and not only do they not

have the capacity, they don't have the infrastructure, they don't have the food. So this has all the makings of a cataclysmic disaster and it is hard

to fathom that Israel's leadership is not aware of that. They have the indicated in the past that they have also been trying to use the sort of

threat of Rafah to try to extract more leverage or put more pressure on Hamas, whether that will be successful or whether that has indeed been

counterproductive, remains to be seen.

But the most crucial thing here is that for the ordinary citizens of Gaza and the people who are sleeping in Rafah tonight with no idea where they're

supposed to go, how they're supposed to get there, and what will meet them when they do arrive somewhere, this is a truly dire and frightening moment.

CHATTERLEY: Clarissa Ward in Jerusalem, thank you for that and Kevin Liptak in Washington, too.

Now, a fierce response to the president's remarks on Capitol Hill follow, too, with some Republican lawmakers condemning President Biden for

suggesting restrictions on those weapons to Israel.


SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD): It puts Israel's national security interests at risk. This is insane.


SEN. STEVE DAINES (R-MT): Why is it on hold? To appease his liberal base in places like Dearborn, Michigan because Joe Biden is in trouble in Michigan.

SEN. KATIE BOYD BRITT (R-AL): He is playing into the pro-Hamas wing of the Democratic Party.


CHATTERLEY: Edward Djerejian is a former U.S. ambassador to Israel and senior fellow at the Harvard Belfort Center, and he joins us now.

Ambassador, good to have you with us on the show.

Can we call this the right decision at the right moment for President Biden as he weighs up domestic political pressure, the protests that we are

seeing in colleges across the United States combined with the loss of Palestinian lives, and of course, the security of a key ally?

EDWARD DJEREJIAN, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL: Julia, I think one of the key factors here is that the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin

Netanyahu has virtually snubbed President Biden on a number of the issues arising from the October 7th attack on Israel and the massive Israeli

retaliation against Gaza, and the crunch point has now arrived given the fact that the humanitarian disaster and crisis in Gaza has caught the

attention, not only in American campuses, but all over the world, and the Israeli government is under increasing pressure that, what's your end game?

And the Biden administration has been seeking from Netanyahu to learn what is the end game after Gaza? There is a school of thought within Israel

itself that the military operation in Gaza has already succeeded, and that going in to Rafah and eliminating two or four more battalions so-called is

not going to bring a military victory.

Calling a mission accomplished is a very dubious thing when you're battling a group such as Hamas.

So the problem I think the administration has, which is a real problem is that they are leaning on a very weak read and that weak read is Benjamin


Commentators have talked about President Biden's challenges between the Republicans and the liberal progressive wing of the Democratic Party, but

look at Netanyahu, he has cobbled together the most extreme right-wing government in the history of Israel.

He has three ministers in Cabinet positions who are virtual annexationists and who do not want a settlement with the Palestinians and the creation of

an Independent Palestinian state, they want to increase Israeli settlements in what they call Judea and Samaria and if Netanyahu gives in to the pleas

of the American president, the international community, to cease and desist on the Rafah military.

He then faces the prospect that these ministers were both from his coalition and he will lose this coalition, which is very essential to him,

not only politically, but personally.

It is the get-out-of-jail card because these are the three major indictments and this coalition is helping him evade the worst-case

scenarios in that, so there is a personal political element here that is very important.

And the other thing is, I just need to emphasize is what Israel's strategy after the military operation, even if they go into Rafah. They have never

done that.

CHATTERLEY: You've long been saying that there needs to be a path crafted that takes the situation from conflict management to some form of conflict


My follow-on question would be, is this decision precipitating that in some way, but actually you've taken us down a different path, which I think is

another important question here, which is that this does further fracture the relationship with the United States has with Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu in light of what you were saying, does he heed the warning, to use Clarissa's term or do you think that actually he doesn't hear and he

pushes on irrespective of the lack of U.S. weaponry support, and what does that mean if he does?

DJEREJIAN: Well, I think that Netanyahu, he must realize that his policy on Hamas has failed. Netanyahu is instrumental in allowing financial and other

support for Hamas in order to divide the Palestinian leadership especially the leadership in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority or Abu Mazen, so that

basically he would not have a credible Palestinian leadership that he would be forced or pressured to engage in peace talks for a two-state solution,

which President Biden has made very clear is his strategic objection as it is in many quarters of the world.

So basically, Netanyahu is not wedded to a scenario whereby he will enter into structural diplomatic talks with the Palestinians for a two-state

solution and that is one of the major things that he has now.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, and I think everybody recognizes that at this point. Ambassador, good to get your insights, sir.

Thank you so much for joining us.

Jim, for now, I will hand it back to you.

SCIUTTO: Well, we do have a development in fact, just a short time ago in the trial that is the DA, the prosecutors announcing they will not call

Karen McDougal to the stand, someone else who of course have alleged an affair with Donald Trump.

Earlier, a Trump organization bookkeeper, Vice President of HarperCollins publisher Trump's Oval Office director were the latest witnesses all

establishing in effect, a chain of custody of those payments to Stormy Daniels to kill that story during the 2016 election.

Of course, they had a tough act to follow that, the testimony from Stormy Daniels herself. The jury was just dismissed. The judge is now considering

issues raised by Trump's team, including a renewed motion for a mistrial not expected to accept that motion.

The defense called out apparent discrepancies during their cross examination of Stormy Daniels, of various interviews she gave over the

years regarding the relationship with Trump. Trump's lawyers established ways that Daniels gained publicity and money by going public with her story

during the prosecution's redirect.

However, Daniels said she signed a non-disclosure agreement offered by Trump and Michael Cohen, which affected statements she made publicly, but

she said she signed it out of fear for her safety.

Katelyn Polantz is joining us now from Washington.

First to this decision by the prosecution not to call Karen McDougal, is that a surprise at this point?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE SENIOR REPORTER: Well, Jim, there always was a question whether she would be called, whether the doorman

would be called. They are the people that would have painted more of the picture of how these hush money schemes in 2016 took shape, specifically

with the "National Enquirer." A little bit different than how the Stormy Daniels payments were set up through her lawyer and through Michael Cohen


But there are other things happening right now in the courtroom that are really bringing in the situation for Donald Trump as a criminal defendant,

who is also running for president, really putting that in stark relief. His attorneys right now are arguing to the judge that they want an exception to

some of the gag order.

The gag order that bars Donald Trump during this trial from talking specifically about witnesses that are testifying against him or could be

called and jurors in the case, they want him to be able to publicly speak to voters, potential voters for him or against him, that he in a way where

he can respond to Stormy Daniels.

There is clearly concern on Trump's legal team, as well as from apparently their client, the former president himself, that he wants to be able to

perhaps refute some of the story that Stormy Daniels told about that 2006 alleged sexual encounter that she had. The testimony was at times quite

detailed and embarrassing to the former president.

It was heard by the jury. It is now part this case, but what his defense team is asking the judge to do is let Donald Trump go out there publicly

and talk about Stormy Daniels and the testimony that she gave under oath because he is running for president, something that they are telling the

judge over and over again, waiting to see what the judge does here.

The prosecutors are now trying to say that that should not be the case because there are consequences for witnesses who testify. There is a

purpose to this gag order.

SCIUTTO: And we see there just on the side of the screen one of the prosecutors, Chris Conroy there saying that there was a time when her

address was mistakenly, I believe shown on the screen there and she could see the fear in her eyes, which speaks to the fear she had about the

consequences of the story going public.

Katelyn Polantz, thanks so much for joining.

Overseas, Russia held a celebration today in Red Square to commemorate victory in World War II. Western officials say it is now ramping up its

attacks on Ukraine even more to win as much ground as possible and do as much damage before new U.S. military assistance arrives. That's next.



Western intelligence officials telling CNN that Russia is ratcheting up its attacks as Ukraine waits for weapons and ammunition to arrive from the

United States.

Ukraine has been outgunned and is losing ground as a result of the delays and the debate in Washington, which only ended last month. Most of the

newly approved aid has yet to arrive.

Officials say Russia will try to consolidate its gains and make advances before it does and Russian forces launched a massive missile attack against

Ukraine overnight, Wednesday.

Jim Sciutto, of course, is in Washington, DC.

Jim, and this is your reporting. The message seems to be that those delays have cost in terms of both territory and lives.

SCIUTTO: And the delays and the cost of those delays are still lingering that yes, U.S. Congress has now after months of delays approved this

military assistance. Some of it is already there, some of it is arriving, but it takes time to get to the forces who need them, both the ammunition,

the weapon systems, et cetera.

And that I am told by western officials via western intelligence that they believe Russia is going to take advantage of that delay, that they see this

in fact as "a window of opportunity" to step up what were already of course, as we report virtually every day, already, quite systemic and

devastating Russian attacks and we've seen them just in the last 48 hours, devastating missile and drone strikes on Ukrainian cities as well as on the


And as you noted, Julia, the delay already cost territory to Ukrainian forces, and it already cost Ukrainian lives. I've been told that by

Ukrainian commanders, as have my colleagues in the field.

Looking ahead now, the concern is that coming in the next several weeks, Russia will attempt a broader offensive to try to gain even more territory,

and in terms of the ambitions of Ukrainian forces this year, it is not for their own counteroffensive in the view of western intelligence, it is

really just as one senior military official told me to hold the line.

The concern that we had been speaking a month or two ago before this aid had passed had been that Ukraine could lose the war this year with this

aid. They do not believe that will happen, but they also do not expect Ukraine to significantly gain back any territory, that really the ambition

now, Julia is just hold those lines where they are not bleed anymore, not bleed any more territory going forward.


And of course, this period in the interim where they expect even further attacks, more devastating Russian attacks as well.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, certainly that weaponry cannot arrive soon enough.

Jim, thank you for that reporting now.

We will of course, be back with Jim for more on the Trump hush money trial just after the break. He will be looking at what the defense hope to

achieve during its cross examination of Stormy Daniels.

Stay with us.


CHATTERLEY: Hello, I'm Julia Chatterley. We will have more on Donald Trump's hush money trial in just a few moments, but before that, the

headlines this hour.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has been meeting with leaders in Hungary as he wraps up his European tour. Hungary's Prime Minister announced that they

formed a "all-weather partnership" and will expand cooperation in the nuclear industry.

Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators have gathered outside the Eurovision Competition in Sweden. They've been calling for Israel to be

removed from the song contest.

The Israeli singer is scheduled to perform tonight in the semifinals, which also includes acts from 15 other nations.


A Japanese food company has recalled more than 100,000 packs of bread after rat parts were found inside some loaves. The company says no one has gotten

sick from eating its bread and it's taking steps to make sure the problem doesn't happen again. Asia's second largest economy has had several other

foods scares in recent years involving dietary supplements, rice balls, and sushi.

SCIUTTO: Well, the jurors in Donald Trump's criminal hush money trial have been dismissed for the day. Judge Juan Merchan is now considering some

issues raised by the defense.

Trump's lawyers asked that he be allowed to publicly respond to Stormy Daniels' testimony. The judge denied that motion. During cross-examination,

the defense raised inconsistencies in various interviews Daniels gave about her liaison with Trump. Daniels responded that she does not control which

of her quotes are published. Trump's lawyers said her story had changed from what she told "Vogue" in 2018. Daniels then raised her voice and said,

quote, "No, you're trying to make me say that it changed, but it hasn't changed."

Let's bring in Kevin McMunigal. He's a law professor at Case Western Reserve University.

Good to have you on, sir. First to the defense's request here that Trump be able to respond to Stormy Daniels' testimony. We should note, I suppose he

could go on the stand and do so, it does not appear that's what they're asking to do here to respond under oath. He wants to tweet about it and

talk about it. The judge denied it. Is that the right call?

KEVIN C. MCMUNIGAL, PROFESSOR OF LAW, CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY: I think that is the right call. I mean, he has heard the testimony. It takes

place under oath in trial and he has a right to call other witnesses in advance or to take the stand himself. The way to do it is not by tweeting

or going on media.


MCMUNIGAL: It should be answered in the courtroom because it's up to the jury and the jurors won't be watching the tweets hopefully.

SCIUTTO: Another moment beyond Stormy Daniels' testimony from just the last hour was speaking to someone who worked in the White House for then

president Trump who noted the timing of this. The timing, as I understand it, is key to the prosecutors' case that after the "Access Hollywood" tape

came out, when they were then concerned that the Stormy Daniels alleged affair would come out and that leads to the motive, according to

prosecutors, for this payment, this hush money, she noted that the RNC at the time, as she remembered it, the staffer of Trump was thinking about

dumping Trump from the ticket.

I wonder how that fits into the broader case, how significantly in terms of establishing intent for the hush money payment.

MCMUNIGAL: Well, obviously, if he is damaged by a scandalous story that makes it more likely that they might want to dump him as the candidate. So

that I think reinforces his motive to be paying.

SCIUTTO: Understood. It makes perfect sense.


SCIUTTO: We also learned that they will not be calling Karen McDougal to the stand, who of course is another woman who alleged an affair with Donald

Trump. I wonder if you're surprised by that and if it could be at all related to the separate finding in a totally different case, the dismissal

of the -- reversal, I should say, of the Harvey Weinstein case in which other unrelated allegations were brought in to establish a pattern of


If this might be a reaction to that, that the prosecutors feel if they bring an outside case that that could damage rather than strengthen their


MCMUNIGAL: Well, this is actually very different than the Harvey Weinstein case. If Donald Trump is charged with sexual assaults and Stormy Daniels

was the alleged victim, then to bring in Karen McDougal, which is showing other wrongful conduct, it would be a Harvey Weinstein issue but I don't

see that here. It's very different. Karen McDougal would just been talking about a similar hush money payment which reinforces that he's interested

in, you know, having this information get silenced basically.

SCIUTTO: Understood.

MCMUNIGAL: So I don't see it as being close anywhere near what the Harvey Weinstein case was about.

SCIUTTO: OK. Before we go on, Stormy Daniels testimony and particularly the cross-examination which went on for some time, hours really, and it was at

times contentious and I understand the defense attorney's right and understandable strategy to question the credibility of a prosecution

witness here. But do you feel that that cross-examination went too far?


MCMUNIGAL: Well, it depends on what their objective is. What I think what the defense were trying to do was make it look as if the prosecution's case

rests on Stormy Daniels testimony and that for various reasons she shouldn't be believed, bias, prior contradiction, her prior lies, but -- so

that often happens when you have a cooperating witness, the defense will say the entire case rests on this person's testimony.

And how can you possibly accept her testimony when there's bias, contradiction and those sorts of things. What the prosecution will say is,

well, Stormy Daniels isn't the key to our case. We have lots and lots of other witnesses, documents. We could have won this case without even

calling her. So she isn't the key to the case. So that's part I think what the length of cross-examination is trying to get across the jury that the

defense says Stormy Daniels is central to the case, and that's not actually the case on the defense.

The prosecution will try and fight that by arguing forth about all the corroboration there is, the idea that Stormy Daniels testimony is kind of

like icing on the cake rather than the foundation of the case. Does that make sense?

SCIUTTO: It does make sense. And I'm sure it's not the last time we talked about it as we get closer to the end of the prosecution's case.

Professor Kevin McMunigal, thanks so much for joining us.

MCMUNIGAL: Sure. Nice to see you. Bye-bye.

SCIUTTO: And coming up, how scientists in Southern Florida plan to help counteract disappearing coral reefs.


CHATTERLEY: Coral reefs are one of the most important ecosystems on the planet and researchers say half of them have now been lost since the 1950s.

Today, on "Call to Earth," we visit Southern Florida where a team of scientists are developing a hybrid system they believe could help solve

that problem.


BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Miami Beach is known for its art deco flare and turquoise waters. But just off the coast

of this colorful city lies an underwater world in decline.


DR. DIEGO LIRMAN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI: Coral reefs protect our shorelines against the impacts of storms and waves. And they're

the speed bumps of the ocean. But coral reefs are declining and suffering around the world. Florida is not the exception.

WEIR: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has recently confirmed a fourth global mass bleaching event, the second in the last 10


LIRMAN: The number one threat to corals on a global basis is climate change. Increases in temperature, changes in ocean chemistry, changes in

storm patterns.

WEIR: Diego Lirman leads a team that's testing an innovative approach to coral reef restoration.

LIRMAN: I run the rescue reef lab at the University of Miami. We're working with scientists across fields to design and implement hybrid reefs that

will protect the shoreline but will also function as a natural coral reef, providing all of those ecosystem services that we expect from healthy coral


WEIR: For more than 15 years, Lirman's lab has been growing and testing coral colonies in these nurseries to maximize survival out at sea.

LIRMAN: Right now, in our tanks, we have about 2,000 corals here. We're also trying to understand why some corals survive while others in the same

environment die. And then we're using that information to propagate those corals and to create climate-resistant corals.

WEIR: And this unique storm simulation tank has played a fundamental role in developing their eco-reef experiment.

LIRMAN: This facility is able to replicate conditions that you commonly see during a hurricane category five in terms of wave conditions. Our aim is to

design artificial structures that will mitigate wave impacts so that when the waves hit the shoreline, they are shorter and have less energy.

WEIR: The artificial reefs are part cement, part coral. Lirman says the cement base alone is capable of reducing wave action by 60 percent to 70


LIRMAN: When you cover these structures with corals, then you get an added benefit of about 15 percent to 20 percent. So combined, these two

approaches will reduce wave energy and wave height by about 80 percent to 90 percent, which is what we want to protect our shorelines.

WEIR: Today, Lirman and his team are heading out to check on the artificial reefs they deployed about a year ago.

LIRMAN: We haven't been to the site in a while. So we're here to see how the corals look, how the structure look.

EMILY ESPLANDIU, RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI: So when they first were installed, they were just completely bare. And we've seen a

whole fish community form there. We've seen turtles and sharks and rays. And we've also seen the corals grow and flourish there, which has been

really awesome.

LIRMAN: So we've been studying those two small structures for about a year, learning, getting information about what works, what doesn't work. So over

the next couple of years, we are going to be expanding the scale of the artificial reef significantly.

WEIR: Lirman hopes these hybrid reefs can serve as an example for other seaboard cities around the world.

LIRMAN: The ecosystems that we love are just a fraction of what they were 30, 40, 50 years ago. So we need to protect our shorelines and nature-based

solutions and hybrid reefs are one effective, cost-efficient way of doing that.


CHATTERLEY: And let us know what you're doing to answer the call with the hashtag, "Call to Earth."



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back. The Chinese tech firm Baidu has reportedly parted ways with its PR chief after she sparked a public relations crisis.

In a series of videos on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, she boasted about her strict management style and the grueling demands she placed on

her staff. She even called out an employee who refused to go on a 50-day business trip saying, quote, "Why should I take my employees' family into

consideration? I'm not her mother-in-law." The executive has now reportedly left the company. Baidu has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Marc Stewart is in Beijing for us.

Marc, there's plenty of things we could talk about here. I do remember when Jack Ma of Alibaba praise the, was it 9-9-6, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., six

days a week? I wonder whether it's less what she said here perhaps, as tough as it was, than how she said it, which seemed sort of cavalier, a bit

harsh, and I don't know, unfeeling.

MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we heard from one analyst, Julia, who said that perhaps she said what a lot of employers are thinking.

Look, as someone who spends a lot of time covering business issues here in China, there is a real strife taking place between young people in the

workplace and their employers. If we look at the reality, the economy here in China isn't so hot, it isn't so strong. And young people feel like they

are working ridiculously long hours. They are at a highly competitive environment. And not getting so much in return and are really questioning,

what's the purpose, what's the point of all of this.

So then we have this executive or perhaps former executive from such a well-known firm as Baidu, which I will note is pretty much like Google here

in China. When she makes these remarks about her very long hours, including the fact that she was working so hard, she missed her elder son's birthday,

it really creates some friction. This work-balance issue, Julia, it is just, it's a very tender issue right now here in China.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. I mean, you can still push your people to work hard and allow for a culture where you hope people feel valued rather than abused. I

guess the question is, does the backlash that we're seeing in some way change, shape the culture?

STEWART: Well, I think that's a fair question. I will tell you this. It was just a few weeks ago, we did the story about young people feeling so

dissatisfied, so angry about their workplace and the demands they are choosing to deliberately not get dressed up for work. Instead of wearing

high heels and a business suit, young people are choosing to wear slippers and puffy jackets to work. It's this idea of wearing a gross work outfits.

That's what it's referred to online as this protest.

The reality is this. China is dealing with an aging population. Fewer people are going to be in the workforce. Fewer young people are choosing to

have children. It's going to result in these real questions about productivity. So perhaps this is going to be a point of reckoning in all of


CHATTERLEY: Yes. I mean, also perhaps I guess employers think that they can sort of push people around because the unemployment rate is so high.

Marc, very quickly. I just noted it's 4:49 a.m. in the morning. As a young person who's clearly well-dressed coming to work, how do you feel about

getting up so early in order to report? No comment.


STEWART: I'd always talk to you, my friend. Always talk to you, my friend.

CHATTERLEY: Exactly. This is a joy.

STEWART: It's not an issue.

CHATTERLEY: It's a joy. It's not a job.

Marc Stewart, thank you for that.

All right. Let's get back to Jim Sciutto now in Washington with more on the hush money trial -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: Yes. Coffee is always the solution.

CHATTERLEY: Exactly. It's all about the coffee.

SCIUTTO: Well, on the trial, we did see three new witnesses today in Trump's criminal hush money trial as former Oval Office director, a Trump

organization bookkeeper, even an executive at Harper Collins. It was, however, Stormy Daniels who headlined the day. She finished her testimony

this afternoon. The defense attempting to highlight inconsistencies in various interviews Daniels had given, and establish ways that she gained

publicity and even money by going public with her story.

The judge is now hearing the Trump team's motions, including one for a mistrial, which the judge is certain to deny.

Norm Eisen is outside the courthouse.

Norm, first to Trump's teams attempt to modify the gag order so that Trump could respond to Stormy Daniels' testimony. Now, presumably, Donald Trump

could go on the stand and do so under oath but no intention, as I understand it, for him to do that.

NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Jim, we'll all be very surprised if Donald Trump testifies in this case. I don't think that's going to happen. And the

judge was not having it on the gag order. As he made clear from the bench just a few minutes ago, this gag order is not just about Donald Trump

defending himself from Stormy Daniels, it affects -- even though Miss Daniels testimony has ended, all of the witnesses in the case are affected

if Donald Trump is allowed to talk about any of the witnesses. So the judge held firm on his gag order.

The argument on the mistrial because of Miss Daniels' prejudicial testimony was going on as I left the courtroom to come talk to you, but Assistant

District Attorney Joshua Steinglass is making a powerful point, Jim, that the details that Trump's lawyers are complaining about that do not belong

in this case actually are some of the most probative evidence we have because all of that stuff that Miss Daniels testified about is what would

have come out if the hush money had not been paid.

And so she illustrates as messy as it is the damage that would have been done. The judge has already rejected that mistrial request, and I don't

think he's going to grant it on its renewal.

SCIUTTO: Are we getting close to the end of the prosecution's case here?

EISEN: Well, we have the most important witness yet to go, and that's Michael Cohen. It does look like they're be additional document witnesses.

As I look at the evidence, the prosecution still has some work to do there, Jim. And, you know, they've done a kind of alternating approach where they

talk about the most interesting parts of the case, the alleged campaign and election criminal conspiracy in 2016. These allegedly illegal payments at

to Miss Daniels and then the documents that were allegedly falsified to cover that up.

There's work to do on the documents. We had several document related witnesses after Stormy Daniels today, and I think we'll probably get more

of them before we get to meet Mr. Cohen most likely next week.

SCIUTTO: Tell us what it was like in the courtroom during the particularly contentious exchanges between defense attorneys and Stormy Daniels?

EISEN: It was like prize fight, Jim, because Susan Necheles, whose Trumps lawyer, really did a strong cross-examination, even more intense than

Tuesday afternoon as team Trump had signaled to the press what happened today. But Stormy Daniels time and again held her own, and if you're

breaking even on cross, you're winning because of the advantage the attorney questioner has using those leading questions, trying to find those

inconsistencies in a witness' statement or bias or other bad motive.

Now, we won't know until we get a verdict whether the jury saw the way many of us in the courtroom did that Daniels held her own and that the

fundamental equation here of prosecutors moving ahead methodically with their case day after day.


That was not altered in my view by the Daniels cross.

SCIUTTO: Yes. And ultimately it comes down to who does the jury find more credible, her or Trump. But, Norm Eisen, outside the courthouse, thank so


Coming up, Julia Chatterley will be back with the final numbers from Wall Street right after.


CHATTERLEY: And welcome back.

Scientists studying sperm whales in the Caribbean have revealed for the first time that whales may be communicating with each other via the

phonetic alphabet. The whales use bursts of clicking sounds known as CODIS to communicate. Researchers analyzed nearly 9,000 snippets of CODIS or

clicks. The analysis revealed sperm whale communication differs in structure depending on the context of the conversation.

Now while scientists don't know why or what these whale clicks mean, they see that understanding this alphabet may aid future research into whale


Now no whales evident in trading activity on Wall Street today. But we did see the Dow Jones rallying for a seventh straight day. It popped at 331

points, closing just off as you can see there. The session highs. All the major U.S. indices closing in the green. In fact, the S&P 500 also up

around half a percent and the Nasdaq also finished more than 40 points higher, as you can see.

And that wraps up QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Julia Chatterley. "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: We have some breaking news right now. The judge in Donald Trump's hush money cover-up trial is considering several motions for

the defense and will rule at any moment on Mr. Trump's motion for mistrial.