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Israeli Rivals Strike Deal Which Could Oust Netanyahu; Naftali Bennett Poised to Become Israeli Prime Minister; Girl Injured, Boy Arrested After Opening Fire on Police; Duke University Mike Krzyzewski Sets Retirement Date. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired June 3, 2021 - 04:30   ET



KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: Benjamin Netanyahu's political rivals have dealt him a stunning blow. We'll explain why the Israeli Prime Minister's days in office may be numbered.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are so happy that after these two exhausting years we're finally having a government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It started as a protest to encourage the government of change and now Lapid has announced that he has a new government so this brought a change to a celebration.



BRUNHUBER: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be down, but he's not out just yet. His political rivals led by unlikely allies, Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett have announce add deal to form a unity government that would force Mr. Netanyahu from office. The Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, still has to approve the coalition and Netanyahu and his allies are expected to do everything they can to derail the deal.

The chairman of his Likud party tweeted: The left is celebrating but this is a very sad day for the state of Israel.

So if the new government is approved right-wing religious nationalist Naftali Bennett would serve as the Prime Minister for the next two years followed by the centrist, Yair Lapid until late 2025. CNN's Hadas Gold has more on Bennett's rise to power.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Once a close aide to the prime minister, this may be the man to break Benjamin Netanyahu's 12- year run as Israel's leader. Naftali Bennett, a right-wing, ambitious, self-made tech millionaire, eager to stake out a personal mark in Israel's future. [04:35:02]

NAFTALI BENNETT, YAMINA PARTY LEADER (through translator): I'm announcing today that I intend to act with all of my strength to form a national unity government, together with my friend, Yair Lapid, so that God willing together we will rescue the country from this tailspin, and we will get Israel back on track.

GOLD (voice-over): The 49-year-old was born in Haifa, to immigrants from San Francisco. A modern Orthodox Jew, Bennett served in an elite unit of the Israel Defense Forces for six years in the 1990s. He then became an entrepreneur in the high tech sector, after studying law at Jerusalem's Hebrew University.

Bennett launched a tech startup in 1999, which he later sold for a hundred and forty-five million dollars. Bennett burst onto the political scene in 2013, leading the Orthodox Jewish Home Party to seats in the Israeli parliament.

BENNETT: We're more realistic. We think that vis-a-vis the Palestinian issue, the full peace sort of, or formula, Palestinian state within Israel, is suicidal. And it turns out that most Israelis view that. But we've put forward a realistic, practical plan.

GOLD (voice-over): At his ideological core is a strong opposition to a Palestinian sovereign state. And his party keen to annex parts of the West Bank. Bennett's other positions are not without controversy, saying that Palestinian terrorists should be killed, rather than released.

In April 2019 election, his party did not get through the electoral threshold and were left in the political wilderness.

After a merger with another party, he rebranded the party Yamina in 2019 and holds seven seats in the Knesset. He eventually returned to the corridors of power, becoming very close to the prime minister.

He served in various Netanyahu governments as defense, education, and economic minister. But despite sharing in similar ideology, Bennett and Netanyahu have had a rocky relationship. After four failed elections in two years and the recent armed conflict with Hamas-led militants in Gaza, Bennett agreed to join forces with centrist Yair Lapid to push out Prime Minister Netanyahu. The question is, will Bennett and Yair Lapid have the parliamentary votes to unseat the longest-serving prime minister in Israeli history?

Hadas Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.


BRUNHUBER: With me now live from Tel Aviv is Noa Landau, senior editor at "Haaretz." Thank you so much for joining us. So in the reaction to the announcement you tweeted there's still more than a week to iron all details or mess up. So what do you think, will this actually happen and if so how long could a coalition possibly last? NOA LANDAU, SENIOR EDITOR, HAARETZ: Hi, Kim. Well, I think we are all

in Israel pretty much frustrated from, you know, so many rounds of elections. It's been two years, you know, this political turbulence and no one is sure how it's going to actually end until it's over. So there's still about a week to iron, as I tweeted all the details, and also Netanyahu will use that time to do whatever he can to prevent this new government from taking place.

BRUNHUBER: So in terms of possible impacts, I mean, in your most recent article you wrote, representatives of Israel's Arab citizens and separate party lists and using different strategies have once again proven that they are key players in the struggle for the future of the state's leadership. They are not going anywhere and they are not in anyone's pocket. So explain what their role in this coalition signifies for the future of Jewish-Arab partnerships going forward.

LANDAU: So this is probably the most interesting thing that happened in these elections and the new government maybe. For the first time Arab parties and especially the Islamist party, is taking a major role in Israeli politics. Up until now it was a taboo even for left-wing parties in Israel to form a government. It did happen once during Yitzhak Rabin's time, but in general it's pretty much a taboo even for the left to form a government with Arab parties and also for them it was a taboo. Because they didn't want to take an official part in an actual Zionist government.

So what we're seeing now is historic and this is actually thanks to Benjamin Netanyahu himself. He is the one who kind of culturized the Arab parties because he needed them to form his own government in light of his indictments. So this was his move to begin with and then the center-left and the right-wing that opposes Netanyahu kind of took his initiative and brought these parties to their own government themselves.


BRUNHUBER: And then the thinking is if he, you know, were to just walk away and step down, then that glue uniting them all would sort of dissolve as well. I want to turn to the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he could work with anyone and Senator Bernie Sanders said this, listen to this.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): I will not be mourning the departure of the Prime Minister, Mr. Netanyahu, and I hope that Israel will have a government that we will be better able to work with.


BRUNHUBER: So I'm wondering what you think this might mean for U.S.- Israeli relations. For the U.S. it is an opportunity to sort of reset after dealing with the Prime Minister who was so closely tied to Donald Trump, or does it make it much harder to deal with rotating Prime Ministers with completely different outlooks who are being kept in check by all of his disparate factions? LANDAU: Well, Kim, first of all, it's not a secret that Benjamin

Netanyahu was of course very much aligned with Donald Trump and the Republican Party, even during Obama's term. So on one hand it is an opportunity to kind of open a new page in the relations between Israel and the Democratic Party. On the other hand, of course, Naftali Bennett and some of the other partners in this weird coalition are indeed very much right-wing. So I'm not sure how this will work with the more progressive sides of the Democratic Party. So, yes, there is an opportunity to kind of start over, but on the other hand it's not going to be that easy.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, still a lot to be decided. So much still in the air. But thank you so much for your perspective, Noa Landau I really appreciate it.

LANDAU: Thank you.

BRUNHUBER: Children open fire on police in Florida with an intent to kill. We will show you how the officers kept the shootout from turning deadly when we return. Stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: More than 160 people are now in custody in Texas after border patrol agents stopped two separate human smuggling attempts within hours of each other. U.S. Customs and Border Protection says more than 150 undocumented migrants were found in two tractor- trailers. Both of the drivers were U.S. citizens. Those inside the trailers were from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.

Well stunning events in Florida where a 14-year-old girl is in the hospital after she and a 12-year-old boy got into a shootout with police. The children broke into an empty home with multiple guns inside and opened fire on police when they arrived on the scene. CNN's Leyla Santiago reports.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The nine-minute video a compilation of bodycam as well as aerial footage from the Volusia County Sheriff's Office is disturbing and the details we have learned from the police report, also disturbing. So let's start with the video.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shooting out the rear window toward my direction. Stand by.

SANTIAGO: In the video you hear gunshots, a lot of them. The sheriffs says the children fired at deputies with guns stolen from the home and at one point you see a deputy with his gun drawn behind a tree hiding and you hear him say in a soft voice don't make me do this. Don't do this. Also on radio traffic you hear instructions for officers not to

challenge the two and repeated calls to deescalate. In fact, according to the sheriffs several tactics were used to try to deescalate the situation, including throwing in a phone, to calling for tear gas. And this went on according to the sheriff for more than half an hour.

So how did this end? Eventually the 12-year-old surrendered and deputies ended up shooting the 14-year-old and then she was taken away for treatment. Detectives have since interviewed the 12-year-old and here is a disturbing detail that came from that conversation.

MIKE CHITWOOD, VOLUSIA COUNTY SHERIFF: He advised that the 14-year-old made a statement, I'm going to roll this down like GTA, referring to the video game Grand Theft Auto. He stated that the female fired multiple shots at deputies who were outside of the residence. He then noticed green dots were on him, so he fired a double barrel shotgun on the deputy as well.

SANTIAGO: The sheriff was critical of the juvenile justice system here in Florida and said that the emergency shelter where these children lived can't handle the children that fall under the system.

In a statement they said to CNN: The situation is tragic and is the result of the system failing our children. These children are in desperate need of care and the appropriate setting, which is a higher level of care than we provide.

They also said that for now they are putting a stop to their emergency shelter program until they feel they can provide safe and adequate care again. I also spoke with the homeowner and he says that he feels violated and is really struggling with, as a parent, how to go back into that home and make his daughters feel safe and secure.

Leyla Santiago, CNN, Miami.


BRUNHUBER: Two sisters are safe and sound after crashing a car into a semi-truck and here is what you need to know about the driver, she's just nine years old. Utah police who were just as shocked say the little girl and her four-year-old sister grabbed the family car keys while their parents were asleep. The officers also said the girls had managed to get on the highway and a freeway. The motive, the girls were trying to get to California to, quote, swim in the ocean. Well, they only had about 700 miles or 1,100 kilometers to go.

All right. He is not done yet, but a legend in American men's college basketball is talk being retirement soon, we will explain. Stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: The winner of this year's Kentucky Derby has failed a second drug test. The investigation is still ongoing, but if the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit will be stripped of the victory. His trainer hall of fame Bob Baffert is now banned from the racetrack Churchill Downs for two years.

And a college basketball legend is getting ready for retirement. CNN's Patrick Snell has our minute in sports.


PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Well thanks, Kim, we start with more on the fallout surrounding Naomi Osaka's decision to withdraw from the French Open citing mental health concerns. Now we're learning tournament organizers did make multiple attempts to reach out to her, including visiting her practice court before the warning that repeated violations concerning her media obligations could lead to tougher sanctions including being defaulted.

Meantime, U.S. great Serena Williams who has shown support for Osaka in recent days, through to round three after beating Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu in three sits.

While here in the States, NBA playoff action seeing Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks advancing to the conference semis after seeing off the New York Knicks to win the series 4-1. Where they will face the 76ers who won against the Washington Wizards Wednesday night. Philadelphia too sealing the series 4-1.

And out West wouldn't you know it, the Jazz overcoming the Grizzlies, Utah winning the series -- you guessed it -- 4-1 as well.

And Duke University's Mike Krzyzewski or Coach K as he's known, the all-time winningest coach in Men's Division I College Basketball set to retire following the Blue Devil's upcoming 2021-22 season.

ROY WILLIAMS, LONGTIME COACHING RIVAL TO "COACH K": Mike's been fantastic for the game of basketball. He's been fantastic for college basketball, been fantastic for the ACC, the greatest rivalry in sports, Duke/North Carolina basketball. A great family man. He's going to enjoy his family a great deal.

SNELL: The end of an era. With that, Kim, it's back to you.


BRUNHUBER: And finally Jeanne Moos reports on a graduation speech that won't soon be forgotten.



JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was an already pretty joyful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And put your hands together. Look at me.

MOOS (voice-over): But what is it that made it maybe the best commencement speech ever? Here at Wilberforce University, a historically black school in Ohio, there was the usual pomp and circumstance.

The usual squeals as degrees --


Moos (voice-over): -- were handed out. And there's always at least one show boater making an exaggerated entrance to pick up his diploma. But it was what the president of Wilberforce University took away that took their breath away.

ELFRED ANTHONY PINKARD, WILBERFORCE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT: We wish to give you a fresh start so, therefore, the Wilberforce University Board of Trustees has authorized me to forgive any debt.

MOOS (voice-over): Student loans owed to Wilberforce were simply erased. Grads Tyler and Taylor Thompson, twins, had twin reactions.

TYLER THOMPSON, GRADUATE: It was very heart-warming because now we can actually like clear our mind and actually focus.

TAYLOR THOMPSON, GRADUATE: It makes me want to do more actually now that I know I don't have to do about it.

MOOS (voice-over): Any federal state and private loans won't be wiped out, but Wilberforce got over $375,000 from groups like the United Negro College Fund to pay off debt the graduating class owed to the university.

PINKARD: Your accounts have been cleared and you don't owe Wilberforce anything.

MOOS (voice-over): Nothing except maybe some gratitude. They were dancing their way out of debt.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BRUNHUBER: More of that.

That wraps this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Kim Brunhuber. "EARLY START" is next.