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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  January 22, 2014 10:00am-11:01am PST

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snowden flat out denying he's a russian spy. he tells a reporter he ended up in moscow because that's where the state department wanted him. also right now, louis vuitton shoes, ipods, and a rolex watch. all on the list of illegal gifts that bob mcdonnell allegedly accepted. but is the case against the former virginia governor a slam dunk? -- captions by vitac -- . hello, i'm wolf blitzer reporting from washington. all of that coming up. but right now, disturbing reports of shots being fired on the campus of the university of oklahoma in norman. campus and local police are responding, we're told. we don't know whether anyone has been wounded. the university is advising all students and faculty -- in fact, everyone on the campus, to shelter in place. unfortunately, this is an
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all-too-recurring situation. yesterday at purdue university, we saw a similar shelter in place warning being released after shots were fired there. this one at the university of oklahoma in norman, oklahoma. you're looking at live pictures courtesy of our affiliate, koco. once we get more information, we'll update you. but right now everyone on the campus is being told to, quote, shelter in place. let's go where tens of millions of people are struggling to dig out from the biggest snowstorm of the season. this powerful arctic blast is affecting multiple states and major cities, including washington, d.c., philadelphia, boston and new york city. schools and businesses are closed, and there are thousands of stranded travelers on the roads and in the airports. adding to all this misery, bone-chilling temperatures. chad myers is in massachusetts, margaret conley over at laguardia airport in new york. let's start with chad in
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plymouth, massachusetts. that's a town -- i take it a lot of snow, buried in snow, is that fair? how bad is it, chad? >> reporter: i think it's as bad as everything i ever saw in williamsport or up into buffalo where i live. sometimes lake-effect snow. now i believe we're getting ocean enhanced snowfall. i haven't gone over this hill yet. so this my end up on youtube. this is how much snow we have. easily 3 feet of snow here. and this is obviously part of some that was plowed, but when it gets plowed, you can see it's drifted. and again, one drift after another, as the winds blow 30, 35, 40 miles per hour, all day long today. and on the radar, we're seeing an enhanced area of snow from barns tabl all the way up here to plymouth. and that snow is going to be there for a long time. we could pick up another 6 inches of snow, especially south of here, and all the way down toward barnstable and is the south shore. keep watching. i have seven layers of things on here. they say dress in layer.
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i did. i tried it. i have five shirts on, two wind breakers on and with this wind at 15 below zero, wind chill factor, i'm still cold. i can only be out here 10 or 15 minutes minutes before everything starts to shut down. my fingers cold, nose cold, my mouth starts to not work. and obviously toes cold too. if you're outside or seeing someone outside, try to at least understand that they don't want to be outside for long, like dock workers or your flight attendants outside or the guys trying to load your bags on the plane. kind of give them a break today. it's cold out here. >> yeah, certainly is. any relief in sight from the brutal cold, chad? >> reporter: no, i don't think so. i don't see it. we have this ridge in the west and it has broken records in san francisco and l.a. for days now. maybe weeks. that ridge is making all the heat out west, but what goes up must come down. that jet stream is diving all the way down to georgia, and allowing all of this cold air to come straight down into the northeast, and i don't see an end to that for 14 days. and you know, less than 14 days
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from now, there's a super bowl not that far from here. >> yeah, in new jersey. northern new jersey. outside of new york city. all right, thanks, chad. we'll get back to you. go inside, warm up. the weather causing major problems for travelers, not just in the northeast, but the spillovers as far as air travel is concerned, significant. roads, meanwhile, packed with snow and ice, making for some very anxious driving. and if you're trying to fly once again, expect delays and cancellations. margaret conley is over at laguardia airport in new york city. what's it like there today, margaret? >> reporter: wolf, there are more cancellations at laguardia this morning than yesterday morning at this time. but the good news is that operations are expected to resume back to normal by this afternoon. there are about 4,000 flights that take off from this region every day. 20% of them have been cancelled today. but that is better than yesterday. you can see a lot of people behind me, checking in. a lot more activity here. yesterday at around 5:00, there
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were no flights taking off around here at all. and all of the airlines are handling this situation differently. delta, for example, they have cut down significantly on air traffic from jfk and laguardia. united, they have cut down on short haul flights. so the reminder from the airlines and from tsa is to check with your airlines before you come to the airport. the airlines are also saying, check online versus social media or calling in, because that's going to be a lot faster. wolf? >> certainly will. thanks very much, margaret. we'll get back to you. other news we're following, the 2014 sochi winter olympic games only just about two weeks away. russian security supervise forces are on high alert right now. they're responding to multiple threats from different people, and different groups. but as the former new york city mayor, rudy guiliani says, the threats aren't just because of lasting political unrest in russia. >> the minute you hold the olympics in a place, whether it's salt lake city or rio de janeiro or it's london, you have
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actually brought all the world problems to you. so, yes, sochi is dangerous, because it's close to the cow caulks. but every one of these causes gets attracted to you and you've got to have enormous security. >> joining us now our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr. we're learning a terror threat e-mail was sent to the olympic committees of hungary, and germany. are they being taken seriously? >> reporter: we're told that the officials say no, not for this particular threat. they don't think it's a genuine threat. they think it's some sort of random e-mail from the public. but that really has not eased concerns and worries, as you know, about the sochi olympics. security officials in russia are said to be looking for several suspects, so-called black widows, women that are -- will be claiming to carry out terrorist attacks, they believe, as part of the islamicin
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insurgent groups, fundamentalist groups in this region of russia. they're also looking for several men. so while this latest e-mail threat may not be of as much concern, it certainly has done nothing to ease overall worries about the games. wolf? >> as you know, the president -- president obama called vladimir putin yesterday to discuss a whole bunch of subjects, but also olympic security. what specifically is the u.s. offering russia as far as security help? >> well, this is fascinating. and unprecedented as far as anybody can see. what the two sides -- two militaries are now talking about, is ied bomb detection equipment, the same kind of bomb detection equipment the u.s. military has used against those roadside bombs in iraq and afghanistan. top military officials have met with russian military officials to say, look, we have some technology, you have some technology, can we get together and share for the olympics.
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looking now at the specifics of whether u.s. equipment, military equipment, would be compatible if the russians do ahead and ask for it to be sent to sochi. and, of course, the russians would have to ask. it then raises the question of whether a small number of u.s. troops would have to go along to operate the equipment. and then you get into the politics, because, of course, the russians are very proud, very much in charge of the security of the games. and it's not at all clear how much political authorities in russia are willing to ask for u.s. help. wolf? >> barbara starr at the pentagon, thanks very much. a very disturbing situation unfolding there. athletes and their families won't arrive, by the way, in sochi for several days yet. but american speed skater, it tucker fredricks, has already asked his family to stay home. he's worried about their security if they were to go to sochi. our own nick paton walsh is on the ground right now, joining us on the phone.
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take us a little inside. what's it like? what are you seeing as far as security preparations on the ground, nick? >> reporter: it's quite remarkable, actually. i've been to this town before when it was embracing itself the way it is. quite a difference when i got off the plane this afternoon. a number of people in track suits there to greet those arriving for the olympics. but as you drive in towards the town, you notice the fact that some streets are emptied. there seem to be the occasional core don put up. it's still early days so all of the various dragnets and core donees in place. you do see eventually the olympic area. that is pretty extensively cordoned off. i tried to get my accreditation to go in today, but the computer system was down, therefore they weren't able to dish out badges to a whole number of people. this was the third attempt to try to get the accreditation badge. in terms of the visibility security on the streets, it's not palpably leaking out at this point. i did today see a shift change of dozens of russian police
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marching in one particular direction. a lot of fences and areas where people simply can't go. you don't get that sense like you do, for example, in chechnya or the neighboring republic where there used to be check points every half mile or so. what's remarkable, wolf, it's a simple decision to hold an event like this in an area like this. i've been coming here ten years. this is a place where violence, bombings, shootings, assassinations, have become routine, frankly. and no matter what the russian federal government has tried to do to suppress it, they have become routine. so the decision to try and bring a game like this, a light on something russia has been trying to keep under a carpet for quite a period of time. but vladimir putin came to power separating, and now 14 years, and him being the leading figure inside russia, this enormous international show, and frankly one of his favorite parts of the country. and it's exactly those
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separatists he originally fought. now hardened into radical islami islamist extremists who might embarrass him, wolf. >> i know tens of thousands of folks are trying it to get to sochi to see some of these winter olympic games. is there room in that so-called security bubble that they have created around sochi for everyone to be protected? >> reporter: i think it's fair to say -- unless you have a ticket to come and see part of the games, then you probably are unlikely to come down here, given the noise about security threats. those people able to get inside that major cordon, a lot kept out, a lot of residents of sochi or perhaps who come down to assist with the games or people who are simply trying to soak up the atmosphere. i've got to be honest with you, at this point there is not much of a sense of fun or festivity. this is a town bracing for something it's not quite sure what is going to come next. i think the more jubilation will get under way when the area is flooded with vips.
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right now it's muted, extraordinary preparation, last-minute painting. in fact, one remarkable thing -- homes being covered up by a very regimented, very routine -- a fence erected along the main roads here. almost like a shield to the real russia for visitors. it's going to be fascinating for what this means to the putin administration if nothing goes wrong and there are a lot of people here deeply nervous, simply because of where we are in the world. a region racked by turmoil for well over two decades. >> let's hope it stays quiet. good luck over there, nick paton walsh already in sochi on the ground for us covering these winter olympic games. a silver rolex, two dresses and designer shoes. the governor of virginia and his wife accused of accepting $140,000 in illegal gifts. we have details of the indictment when we come back. [ female announcer ] you know the little song he'll hum as he gets dressed.
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it should not be taken more than twice a day. symbicort contains formoterol. medicines like formoterol increase the risk of death from asthma problems. symbicort may increase your risk of lung infections, osteoporosis, and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it. [ man ] with copd, i thought i'd miss our family tradition. now symbicort significantly improves my lung function, starting within 5 minutes. and that makes a difference in my breathing. today we're ready for whatever swims our way. ask your doctor about symbicort. i got my first prescription free. call or click to learn more. want to update you what's going on on the campus of the university of oklahoma in norman, oklahoma. just received a statement from the public affairs office at the
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university. it says this: as of this time, no evidence has been found of any shots being fired. there are no injuries reported at this time. both the norman and oklahoma university police department have very quickly responded, as well as emergency personnel. president boran at the scene. normal campus operations have resumed, except for gould hall, where additional checking is continuing. that's the official statement from the university of observe okay. we're going oh to continue to monitor what's going on. earlier, just a little while ago, the local authorities did issue an order to everyone on campus, faculty, students, everyone, to, quote, shelter in place. but it looks like that has gone away, except for gould hall, where additional checking, they say, is continuing. we'll monitor the situation. maybe we'll speak with the president of the university, david boran, and get an update from him. but we'll see what's going on and update you as soon as we get more information.
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anti-abortion demonstrators are braving the cold to rally in the nation's capital. thousands are taking part, organizers call it the march for life. it's billed as the world's largest anti-abortion event. the theme this year is to promote adoption as an alternative to abortion. the march comes on the 41st anniversary of the roe vs. wade decision at the united states supreme court, legalizing abortion. the abortion oh issue front and center at the winter meeting of the republican national committee that begins today here in washington, d.c. in fact, the rnc took a break from the meeting to allow members to attend the anti-abortion march. republicans have gone through a period of soul-searching since losing the 2012 presidential contest. so what are some of the strategies they're discussing at their winter meeting that begins today? our chief political analyst, gloria borger, joining us. gloria, as you know, some of these factions are urging republican candidates to take a tougher stand on abortion.
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this is obviously a very sensitive issue out there. what's going on here? >> well, look, wolf, you have a republican party that in the last presidential election, president obama won with women by 11 points. that's something they have to pay attention to. what some republicans are saying is, look, we can't just let the democrats say we're waging a war against women without responding to it. and so what some republicans are saying is, look, the public is with us on certain issues. certain issues like parental consent, for example. before a child would be able to get an abortion. being against late-term abortions, for example. polls show the public is with republicans on that. so what some republicans are saying is, look, there have to be issues that we can talk about in records regards to women we shouldn't shy away from. and we all know from a month or
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so ago, the congressional campaign committee for republicans actually sent out a memo about how republicans need to learn to talk about women's issues in a different and better way. so that's two sides of the coin. one is to go at it frontally, and the other side is to say, look, you know, maybe we have to learn to talk to women differently. >> because they lost the women's vote pretty significantly in 2012, 2008, as well. >> reporter: 11 appointments. >> young people, they lost that vote. minorities, they lost that decisively, african-americans, hispanics. older white men still retain especially in the south. so reince priebus, chairman of the republican national committee, as you know, a year ago had an autopsy review. >> right. >> what happened, what they need to do to broaden the base to win over some of these groups. how are they doing in terms of learning some of those lessons? >> well, i think there are two
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different sides to this. one is the reince priebus policy approach, wolf, about the mechanics of an election, for example. and what they're saying is, look, we're not going to have as many presidential debates as we had. that didn't do us any good last time around. and maybe we're going to move up our convention to differentiate ourselves. then there is the congressional side of it. and on the congressional side, i would have to say they haven't moved on immigration. you want to -- you had a huge disparity with the hispanic vote. they haven't even moved on incremental changes on immigration, which a lot of republicans -- i believe including the house speaker, john boehner, would like to see. and so they're -- you know, again, they haven't yet moved on the inclusion front, because don't forget, the republican party lost the popular vote in five out of the last six presidentia presidentials. and that's really problematic for them if they want to do well
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and win back the white house. they can win some seats in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections because of the way congressional districts are drawn. but as they look towards the white house, which is the big prize, they have to figure out a way to attract more voters in urban areas in this country. >> as you know, ken cuccinelli, the former attorney general of virginia, he was on "crossfire" last night. he ran unsuccessfully to become the governor of virginia. but he urged the governor of new jersey, chris christie, to step down as the chair, the new chair of the republican governors association, because of all of this problems resulting from that closure of a couple lanes going up to the george washington bridge. listen to what ken cuccinelli said on "crossfire." >> just from the perspective of setting aside this as an issue in other races, it makes sense for him to step aside in that role. he does not serve the goals of
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that organization by staying as chairman. >> well, i -- >> and that doesn't mean any of the charges, political or otherwise, are substantive or not. it doesn't matter. perception is reality. >> people have said about chris christie, this whole time. it's all about chris christie. it's a party of one. why would a chris christie who cares about republicans, cares about people like yourself, running for office, why wouldn't he step down? why do you think he's not stepping down? >> well, frankly, i think this is still relatively new. and he may well step down. i have no idea what his thinking is on that. >> is cuccinelli alone on this? are other republicans urging chris christie to step down? >> well, there's a little back story here, wolf, as there is to most things in politics. and that is that chris christie did not go out and campaign for ken cuccinelli when he was running for governor. and the state of virginia. so i don't think there's any love loss there. reince priebus told dana bash and dan-america this morning he
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doesn't think chris christie should step down. priebus being the chairman of the republican national committee. so this is sort of the first -- the first whiff we've gotten of this. but i think you also have to understand where it's coming from. i don't see any ground swell out there for chris christie to step down as head of the governor's association. >> yeah. and debuted out in southern florida, south florida -- >> yeah, raising money. >> raising money for rick scott, the republican governor, the incumbent of florida up for re-election. he's -- i would be shocked if he decided to step down, unless -- unless there is some hard evidence directly linking him to some of these allegations. we haven't seen that hard evidence yet, but there are investigations under way. gloria, thanks very much. he admits using poor judgment, but the former virginia governor, robert mcdonnell, emphatically denies he did anything illegal. feds have now indicted mcdonnell and his wife on charges of accepting illegal gifts.
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they are actually accused of accepting $140,000 in designer clothes, jewelry and other items from a virginia businessman. charges include fraud by a public official, making false statements and obstruction. our justice reporter, evan perez, is joining us now with more. evan, the gift list is capturing a lot of attention. tell us a little bit more about some of the items that this couple received. >> well, wolf, beyond the oscar de la renta dresses, there was a $10,000 dress and a rolex watch that the governor's wife, first lady of virginia, maureen mcdonnell, had asked from a donor. there is a long list of things that the federal government says were gotten by the first couple of virginia, including $120,000 worth of loans, multiple flights on private jets to golf destinations, for instance. cape cod. $20,000 in designer clothes for the first lady.
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$15,000 for the daughter's wedding catering. and there's also this matter of some stock purchases. according to the federal prosecutors, maureen mcdonnell was looking to get some stock in the company owned by this donor, this friend, whose name is johnny williams, and who owned a company that was a dietary supplement company. he was trying to get more state attention from it. he was trying to make sure that the governor's office could perhaps use his power to endorse the product, to encourage the state universities to do some research on it. that's what the allegation is, according to federal prosecutors. now, you know, this -- the list, as you said, is pretty long. and it looks pretty damning for the governor and the first lady. because according to what prosecutors are saying, you know, they were using its offices of the governor to essentially boost this company.
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and in return, they were getting money and loans and so on from this friend, johnny williams. >> yeah. and we'll see what happens. a lot of legal experts say it's not necessarily a slam dunk, this case. but we'll see what happens in the days, weeks and months to come. evan perez, thanks very much. fireworks flying at the start of the syrian peace conference. we're going to tell you who was butting heads when we go to switzerland outside of geneva, montrose, when we come back. ♪
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tensions are clearly high, tempers flaring at the syrian peace conference in switzerland. the highly anticipated meeting brings members of the syrian regime and the opposition face-to-face for the first time. top diplomats from the united states and other world powers, they are also there. they are trying to help broker some sort of plan to end the three years of bloodshed. and as the conference began, so did the tough talk. secretary of state john kerry made it clear, the syrian president, bashar a assad, has no place in any transitional government. and that didn't sit well with his syrian counterpart.
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watch this exchange. >> a transition government means that that government cannot be formed with someone that is objected to by one side or the other. that means that bashar assad will not be part of that transition government. there is no way, no way possible, in the imagination, that the man who has led the brutal response to his own people could regain the legitimacy to govern. >> mr. secretary, nobody in the world has the right to get rid of the legitimacy of a president or a constitution or law or anything in syria, except the syrian people themselves. >> the syrian foreign minister also blamed the opposition rebels for a litany of atrocities. he accused the rebels of engaging in murder, rape and arson. the leader of the opposition coalition fired right back, accusing the bashar al assad regime of war crimes and pointed
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to newly released photos allegedly showing the master tour of detainees at the hands of president assad's forces. joining us now from these peace talks in montrose, switzerland is a key member of the syrian opposition coalition. thanks so much for joining us. what do you hope, if anything realistic, could emerge from these peace talks in switzerland right now? >> yeah, well, you know, we're going to do what we have to do, adhere to the very essence of this process. this process, as it is called by a security council resolution 2118, has an aim, a platform, which is geneva communique, calling for a democratic transition in syria. transition from the dictatorship to democracy. from tyranny to freedom. this is what we are hoping for. we hope that the process will
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stay -- the course of this implementation. >> but as you know, the chances of bashar al assad giving up power are tiny, if any at all. you don't realistically think he and his military are going to give up power, do you? >> well, you know, we have said that from the very beginning. the international community has stated that it should practice the necessary pressure, the necessary for the process to succeed. of course. if it is up to assad himself, he will not leave power. otherwise he would not have gone ahead and killed all of these hundreds of thousands of syrians and destroyed half the country. we have 40 countries participating in this conference. there is international legitimacy in place that needs to be implemented by the international community. >> but as long as he has the support of iran on the one hand
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and russia, for that matter, on the other hand, he's in a relatively strong position, right? >> he is in a very weak position. as you know, more than 50% of our geography is out of his control. he is maintaining a very small location here and there. but he is practicing, of course, bombing from, you know, ariel bombardment and bombing from artillery. this is -- you know, he has that upper hand in the fire power, because the rebels, they know they have light weapons. but he is not at a strong position at all. of course, you have noticed that he brought militias, terrorists of hezbollah and the revolutionary guard of iran. he brought also militias from iraq, because he has apparent human resources problem. so the regime is weak. he is weak on the ground and also he is weak politically.
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he does not admit today at all to the geneva communique, which is the platform of this process. he is still in the case of denial. so we are counting on international legitimacy and the support of our friends, whether they are in the west, united states, u.k., france and also in the region, turkey, saudi arabia and many, many other countries supporting the political transition in syria. we are counting to push assad out of power and en that nightmare in syria. >> you have seen these gruesome photographs alleging pore tour, brutality, that have just been released, showing war crimes if these photos are, in fact, real. the syrian government says they are fake, and he says -- and they also say these pictures are atrocities committed by your side by the rebel side, including al qaeda elements, who were opposed to bashar al assad's regime. what's your reaction to what they're saying, the government is saying about these gruesome oh, horrible photos. and by the way, we showed these
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photos first here on cnn, our own christiana amanpour got access to these photos, which are awful, as you know. yeah, this is what we have been crying about for a very long time. the crimes against humanity is going on, whether in time of bashar al assad or his father who died in the year 2000. the torture is systemic in syria for a very long time and people are dying under torture. the united nations issued the first report of the syrian revolution that started late summer of 2011. and there were multiple accounts of crimes against humanity. the secretary general of united nations, mr. ban ki-moon, he stated that assad is -- has committed crimes against humanity. so we are having reports from, you know, parties like the united nations saying that he committed crimes against humanity. he cannot deny that.
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at the same time, today, for example, assad's foreign minister stated that the west is actually helping al qaeda or the extremism. so this kind of statement would show you how much this regime lies, you know, and rhetorical about everything he says. the terrorism -- al qaeda it itself, we are the ones fighting al qaeda. the syrian people are fighting al qaeda. you know we are doing that in the north in aleppo, fighting this i.s.i.s. group, fighting two fronts, al qaeda on one front and the regime on one front. and both of them are actually terrorists. the regime is practicing state terrorism and al qaeda, of course, the extremists that you all know. so it's a difficult situation for the syrian people. but, of course, we are counting on the support of the people. we are having demonstrations against al qaeda and aleppo and many places in syria. so i don't think that anybody is really taken for serious what the regime is talking about,
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terrorism. >> monzar, top syrian opposition leader joining us from the peace talks outside geneva. thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. still ahead, millions of americans at the mercy of a powerful winter storm. flights cancelled, schools shut down. the latest when we come back. across america people are taking charge of their type 2 diabetes with non-insulin victoza®. for a while, i took a pill to lower my blood sugar,
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but it didn't get me to my goal. so i asked my doctor about victoza®. he said victoza® is different than pills. victoza® is proven to lower blood sugar and a1c. it's taken once-a-day, any time, and comes in a pen. and the needle is thin. victoza® is not for weight loss, but it may help you lose some weight. victoza® is an injectable prescription medicine that may improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise. it is not recommended as the first medication to treat diabetes and should not be used in people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. victoza® has not been studied with mealtime insulin. victoza® is not insulin. do not take victoza® if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you are allergic to victoza® or any of its ingredients. symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat, fainting or dizziness, very rapid heartbeat, problems breathing
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one of the busiest travel corridors in the united states is now in slow motion. thousands of flights in and out of the northeast have been cancelled over the past 24 hours after a powerful winter storm dumped heavy snow over the region. so far today, more than 1,400 flights have been scrapped. the snow started falling yesterday, tapered off just about an hour or so ago. new england got hit the hardest. some areas getting buried under 18 inches of snow. schools and businesses are closed, states of emergency are in effect in new york, new jersey and delaware. driving this storm, dangerously cold, arctic air. karen maginnis is tracking it for us at the cnn weather center. how low are the temperatures falling? >> dangerously cold. as we go into the next several days, a reinforcing shot of cold
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air. right now, washington, d.c., it's 15 degrees. but it feels like minus 2. we did see record-setting snowfall amounts. take a look at some of these pictures that we've got as far as the snowfall is concerned. philadelphia, 13.5 inches of snowfall reported. but just want to point out, here is camario, california. probably wondering why i'm mentioning that. in association with watertown, new york. that's because the temperature difference between the two of them, 121 degrees. that's because watertown was minus 37 degrees this morning, and camarillo made it to 84 degrees yesterday. that cold air is going to be filtering in across the midwestern united states, double digit temperatures below normal. we'll have a little clipper system move through, still cold air across the northeast, single digits below zero. but very dangerously cold. but watch what happens. there's going to be another system that moves out of the arctics, probably by sunday,
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then going into monday. and we'll look at temperatures coming up for thursday morning at minus 15, but could be minus 30 as we go into the beginning of next week. wolf, back to you. >> wow. that's pretty cold. karen, thank you. a new interview with edward snowden, the admitted nsa leaker has a message for those who think he works for russia. that's coming up.
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edward snowden, is he a russian spy? that's what at least one key member of congress is alleging. but in an interview with the "new yorker" magazine, the nsa leaker calls that allegation laughable. he says, he quote, clearly and unambiguously acted alone with no assistance from anyone, let alone a government. he also points to the fact that he spent 40 days in a moscow airport, adding, and i'm quoting once again, spies get treated better than that. and he said in other interviews, snowden, as he said in other interviews, also stressed that russia wasn't his intended destination. instead he wanted to be somewhere in latin america. let's discuss these allegations, snowden's reaction. david sangor is joining us, knows the subject very well. mike rogers, the chairman of the house intelligence committee, ofl well-briefed by the u.s. intelligence community, he made
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the suggestion over the weekend suspecting that snowden may actually have plotted this whole thing, may have been a russian agent. dianne feinstein, the chair of the senate intelligence committee, was sitting on that same "meet the press" panel. she said she didn't know, but she wouldn't rule it out. what are you hearing? i know you've got good sources on all of this. >> well, clearly, chairman rogers probably wouldn't have said it if he hadn't seen something suggestive in the intelligence. but quite frankly, we haven't seen a thshred of evidence yet indicate that snowden had been working for the russians or any other government at the time that he was gathering up this data, when he was an nsa contractor working in hawaii. after that, of course, he traveled to hong kong, he then moved on to russia. as he indicated in that -- in that interview, he spent 40 days in the airport transit lounge, what many people stuck in the snow this week feel like they're
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spending their time in a transit lounge. but we don't know whether or not any of the data that he had actually went to the chinese or the russians. you have to assume that since they're pretty good at exel he trading this stuff, if it was on him or he had access, he was k accessing some of it in the cloud, they could have gotten at it, wolf. >> because you had an article in the "new york times" the other day that pointed out -- i didn't they this, pretty amazing when you think about it, he doesn't even have to go online for the u.s. intelligence community to be able to monitor what's in that computer. and if the u.s. has that capability, what you're suggesting, and correct me if i am wrong, others might be able to have that same capability. >> that's probably right. the irony here is that the documents that we base that story on, wolf, came from the trove of documents mr. snowden left with. what it described is a program that dates back to 2008 in which small devices, including on a thumb drive, that the nsa was
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having manufactured and planting, to emit a radio wave up to eight miles away, where the nsa could, through a relay station, pick up data from a computer that's completely walled off from the internet. and we have talked before on your show, wolf, about the operation against iran, the olympic games. we tried -- reported on a year-and-a-half ago. and that is the technology we believe was used, at least in part, to get the information into and out of the computers in iran that were attacked by the u.s. and israel as part of that operation. so it's very possible that mr. snowden could over time be victim of the same technology that his own documents revealed. but we don't know it. we simply don't know what the russians and the chinese have. >> well, very quickly, i know a lot of u.s. intelligence officials, they just assume that everything he has, everything he stole, everything he took out of the nsa, the russians already
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have had access to all of that stuff. you buy that? >> you know, they do assume it. but we don't know on what basis they do. mr. snowden obviously knows a lot about how you encrypt things, how you keep them from outside hands. we assume, and again, this is an assumption, that a lot of his information is up in the cloud. we don't know how well-protected. so it's very hard to know exactly how much the russians, the chinese or others might have. or whether or not he either cut any deals or unknowingly gave them access to some of this information. he certainly denied it in that interesting "new yorker" interview. >> we're going to be speaking with jane mayer, the journalist from the "new yorker" in the "situation room" later today. david sanger, thanks very much. >> thank you, wolf. up next, went missing in iran several years ago. now the family is speaking out, demanding the obama
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now to the case of bob levinson. an american disappear in iran seven years ago. >> he was doing what he always did which is working for the
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united states government and investigating criminal activities. the u.s. government has not taken ownership yet. >> the wife and son of bob levinson is speaking out for the first time since it was revealed her husband was arrested in iran doing under cover contract work for the cia. he disappeared in 2007. >> i kept thinking this can't be happening. >> to this day, the government denies he was a government employee. the state department said they are doing everything they can to bring him home. but the family is outraged, saying the ci aloft eight months after he vanished, lying about spy work and the senate intelligence until they turned up crucial records to prove it. the agency apologized and paid a $2.5 million settlement. they won't comment publicly. >> they're denied bob's
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relationship with them not out of principal, but to protect themselves and not to protect bob. >> you feel he was abandoned. >> i feel he was left there. he was left behind. >> to bolster their case, documents that appear to prove levinson's arrest. neither the family or cnn can verify whether they are awe thendic and his name is only partially right, but according to a translation given the family by an fbi, it reads a member of the federal investigation or cia robert anderson is here as an under cover tourist taking pictures and gathering information. since spying activities have been established, arrest him immediately. they obtained an e-mail intercepted by the family's lawyer between levin sop andson
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handlers. >> an individual has greed agreed to meet with me. >> why didn't you say what you knew at the start? >>. >> the risk to bob. i didn't know what the risk would be. >> we were told by the u.s. government by revealing what he was doing over there would have been harmful to his safety. >> susan candiotti, cnn, new york. >> the levinson family is not alone when it comes to a family member being held overseas. bay was detained in north korea in november, 2o 12. they sentenced him to 12 years of hard labor for committing hostile acts against the state. alan gross has been in custody since december of 2009. authorities say he tried to set up illegal internet connections. the family of the only american prisoner of war in afghanistan got proof from the u.s. military that he is still alive. he was taken captive and
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believeded to be held by taliban-aligned groups. the american christian pastor site is being held in iran. he was sentenced to years on charges of attempting to undermine iranian government authorities. setting the record straight, up next, an exclusive interview with the seahawks. richard sherman demand his epic post-game rant.
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. >> people are still talking about the end of the seahawks, 49ers game and the rant from defensive back richard sherman. he sat down with our richle nichols to talk about the rant and his regrets. >> there was the moment on the field when you made the play and the choke sign and the interview on the field post-game and then there is the press conference interview. what do you regret about all of that and what do you not regret? >> there is not much about it i regret. mostly i regret i guess the storm afterwards. the way it was covered and the way it was perceived and the tension it took away from the fantastic performances of my teammat teammates. that would be the only part. the way it's covered. it is what it is. what i said is what i said. i probably shouldn't have
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attacked him. i don't mean to attack him and that was immature and i regret doing that. >> see more of the interview with unguarded friday night at 10:30 p.m. eastern. also sherman holds a news conference around 3:40 p.m. eastern. cnn will share that with you live. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching in "the situation room." newsroom continues with brooke baldwin. >> wolf, thank you. see you in a couple of hours. great to be with you on this tuesday. we will get to the massive snowstorm in the northeast in a moment, but first i want to begin with the story about a young boy who should make each of us proud. he showed courage and bravery well beyond his years. his tyler is tyler duhan and he ea no longer with us.