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tv   CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello  CNN  August 27, 2014 6:00am-7:01am PDT

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which i think they did. >> i'd go see that parade if i were in chicago. >> they showed cutaways of people in the street celebrating during the series. i think there will be people there. >> that's foall for us today. "the newsroom" with carol costello begins right now. >> thank you, have a great day. "newsroom" starts now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com american jay hoodie. >> this 33-year-old man from san diego went to fight and die in syria for isis. >> douglas mcarthur mccain. >> we already have citizens getting radicalized. >> grew up in minnesota. >> that's not who he is. >> loved basketball. >> he's not isis. >> breaking new details this morning as mission creep spreads in syria and congress is nowhere to be found. we need to look under every bush. we need to look under every rock. >> and 23-year-old american student aaron sofer. >> i have one message, please bring back my brother.
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>> reporter: missing in jerusalem. his father combing the forest for his son, speaking to cnn this morning. >> we never give up hope. we're always hopeful. also close call. >> he was real close. >> reporter: near collision. cnn investigation showing they doubled last year. on the ground. >> stop your turn. >> reporter: and in the air. how safe are you? let's talk, live in the "cnn newsroom." and good morning to you. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. militant fighter dies on a distant battlefield, giving his life for a group that's both savage and devoted to the destruction of america, yet he is an american, and the embodiment of fear voiced through the pentagon just moments ago. >> i will say it's a stark
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reminder and healthy reminder of the concern that governments all over the world have about foreign fighters getting radicalized, joining a group like isil, and then potentially come bamg ing back to their hom and conducting terrorist attacks. >> this radicalized american converted to islam only within the last few years after a series of minor scrapes with the law and while bewildered relatives noticed his facebook posts sympathetic to isis, they scoff at the notion that he fought and died for that cause. >> i feel like maybe it was some people he was hanging out with, because that's not who he is. he's not isis. he's not a terrorist, you know? so that's my first response to what i heard. >> but it is that concern, home-grown terrorists, secretly living among us, that's triggering alarms this morning. so let's take a closer look at mccain, and his steady slide into radical islam.
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cnn's dan simon is in san diego, where mccain had lived most recently. tell us more, dan. >> morning, carol. we've been trying to peace together as much as we can about douglas mccain, as you said, he had lived here in san diego, actually attended this community college where i am, seemingly trying to make something of his life. we know that he attended a mosque in the area regularly, but how and why he became radicalized at this point we don't know. douglas mcarthur mccain's family says they're devastated to learn the 33-year-old father was fighting with the terrorist group isis. >> it's craze pi. i don't understand. i don't even believe this. i'm in shock. like i don't even know how to feel. my cousin was not a terrorist. he is not a terrorist. >> reporter: mccain had been living in san diego but grew up in new hope, minnesota, a suburb of minneapolis. they describe him as a good person with a big heart.
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>> he would have you laughing to tears. he was happy. he was smart. you know? he wasn't a radical, no. he wasn't hate-filled. he loved, loved, loved life. even if you don't love him back he still loves you. >> raised a christian, mccain converted to islam several years ago. his conversion did not alarm his family, rather, it was posted on social media increasingly sympathetic to isis and other islamic groups that got their attention. on a twitter account the bioreads "it's islam over everything." he writes messages like "i will be joining you guys soon" and "i'm with the brothers now" and retweets posts like "it takes a warrior to understand a warrior. pray for isis." u.s. counterterrorism investigators had been looking into mccain's activities for some time. he was on a terror watchlist of americans believed to have joined militant groups and would be stopped and questioned if he traveled. mccain had some past run-ins
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with the law. between 2000 and 2008, he was arrested at least six times, all for minor offenses. isaac chase who grew up with mccain said he was a nice, quiet kid who loved playing basketball. he says mccain was impressed that chase was serving with the air force in iraq, and making something of his life and wanted to do the same. >> it don't make no sense. the doug i know is a good person and i wouldn't even think he would ever do anything like that. >> reporter: several months ago mccain told family members he was traveling to turkey. what they did not know is from there he made his way into syria to isis strongholds to fight and die for their cause. and you can bet that american intelligence authorities are looking into every aspect of mccain's past, which could hopefully lead them to other americans serving in isis for those sympathetic to its cause. carol? >> dan simon reporting live for us this morning, thanks so much. the united states is edging
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toward military action in syria. state department spokeswoman says president obama has been given a range of planning options on how to take on isis. mr. obama has already authorized reconnaissance flights over syria, a spy mission that could begin at any time. the big question now, will he go one step farther and give the okay to conduct air is tristrik syria to target isis militants on the ground. if he does get congressional approval, let's just say mr. obama cannot ask for the okay in the hallowed halls of congress because they are empty. lawmakers remain on summer recess. let's bring in republican congresswoman ileana ross lehtonen, joins us from miami. >> thank you, carol. >> thank you for being here. i really appreciate it. you've said that the united states is getting back to a pre-9/11 mentality when it comes
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to the threat against isis. if that's the case, where isn't congress calling in emergency session? >> well, we'll be glad to go back to congress but the first thing that the president as commander in chief and as the head of our u.s. government needs to do is to late out a vision of what we're about to accomplish. if we go back to session tomorrow what is it we're debating, authorization for air strikes, is it going to be more military involvement in iraq and syria? what is the president's grand scheme for what our u.s. objectives are. i think that's the first part of what is missing in this. we could go into session this afternoon. what is it that we hope to accomplish? that's the mission of the president as commander in chief, what are his goals. is it to defeat isil in iraq, defeat isil in syria? i think he would find a lot of support in congress for such an objective. he needs to lay out what our u.s. national interests are, and
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i would be there to support him in that. >> all right, well i do want to read you something that the democratic congressman john larson from connecticut posted on his website yesterday. he said this, "as president obama's administration weighs several options, congress should be fully engaged, rather than remaining at home second-guessing and criticizing the president's every move, congress should be back in washington and fully briefed. it remains unclear with regard to strikes in syria where the president needs congressional authority. it is congress's duty to weigh in and clarify as this serious situation continues to evolve." so again, i ask you -- >> well -- >> go ahead. >> well first i would say, yes, the president needs to lay out the strategy, the objective. this has been a bloody battle. isil is not going to be contained. they need to be defeated. who is going to be in there with us? we've got the kurds. natural allies, who would be very helpful in stamping out
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this cancer, but what is our objective? is it to just contain them, is it to defeat them, and i think once the president lays out his case, and he's weighing options, but first comes the strategy, what is the objective. >> well in your mind, congresswoman, who should the president suggest? what should we do to defeat isis? >> well, i this i that the president needs to lay out our goals. why is it in our u.s. national security interest to defeat this cancer, i believe it is. i believe if if we want to ignore the problem, i get back to this 9/10 mentality and think the threat is no longer there, it will be a horrible future for the united states and all of our interests throughout that region. >> i do think -- >> we've got to defeat isil and we have allies helping us to do it. >> everyone agrees with that but i think people also wantd ideas from lawmakers what specifically the united states should do so what specifically should it do right now besides fly spy
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missions other syria? >> well i think that we should have these spy missions over syria. we've got the technology to know where we're supposed to strike. now, iraq is a far clearer goal than syria is. why? because doing these air strikes may end up helping the person who just a few years ago and as of yesterday we said assad must go, the supposed leader of syria, who has used chemical weapons on his people, who has murdered thousands of individuals, who have forced his own countrymen to flee the country, now if we do air strikes and we can do them, and i hope that the president gets to that point, we've got to make sure that we don't miss an opportunity again, like he did in the past, where he didn't work with the free syrian army, natural allies that we could have had, so many missed opportunities. let's not miss them again. >> who should the united states work with now? >> we do have the free syrian
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army that is still ready to work with us. now, every foreign fighter, just like this mccain individual, is now flocking to syria and iraq to make the situation even worse. we've got to defeat isil not only on the battlefield, we've got to defeat the allure of fighting for this terrorist reseem. >> congresswoman, i do understand that. i'm just trying to get from you how you think we should do that? >> air strikes, working with our allies. >> which allies? >> for example in iraq, with our allies that we've had -- look what egypt and the uae did just a few days ago without even consulting with the u.s., took strikes right to libya to try to defeat the terrorists there. we've got the uk. we've got canada. we've got france. we've got lots of folks who say they want to help us in defeating this cancer. i say we do those air strikes in iraq, continue that, help arm
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the kurds so that they can defeat isil, work with the free syrian army, get air strikes going in syria, but we need to make sure that we've got the intelligence to strike at the very heart of this cancer before it spreads everywhere. >> all right, congresswoman ileana ros-lehtinen, thank you for being with us this morning. still to come in "the newsroom," officials say negotiating with the assad regime is off the table. so is a diplomatic solution possible or will the white house be forced to take military action? up next, i'll talk to a former u.s. ambassador to syria, richard murphy, about why the conflict may be different from anything the united states has ever seen. our new flatbread sandwiches may be flat... the flavors, are anything but.
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isis is brutal. we know that. it is killing americans and vows to kill more. we know that, too, and it is successfully recruiting americans, so what to do? bomb syria where isis largely lives? hawks might say yes but it's certainly not that easy. i want to talk about that with richard murphy, former u.s. ambassador to syria. >> thank you. >> bashar al assad, syria's president you know him. mr. obama said he won't sit down and negotiate with assad because assad is brutal himself, accused of using chemical weapons on his own people but just because the president won't do business with
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him does that mean the united states can't do business with him in another way? >> i think there's a way to try to work on the problem in syria without working directly with president bashar. he is the president of the country. he managed to get elected by a massive margin, just last spring for his third term, but the brutality that he has carried out and he has authorized against his own people has been enormous, and i don't see that there's any way we can have any open cooperation with them without losing the support of those that we will need to do the direct confrontations with isis. >> so i just spoke to a congresswoman who said the united states should reach out to other countries to help combat isis. which other countries should the united states be talking to? >> i think the main people we should be reaching out to are in syria and in iraq where the
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problem is located at this point, and i think that's the reason i think it's going to be very hard for the united states to find a way to thread the needle. we don't want to alienate the sunnis of of iraq. we're trying to get them to deal with isis in their territory. in syria, some of the sunnis are loyal to president bashar, but they are equally strongly against isis. so you'd have to find a way to do something that will hurt isis, will restrict isis in some way. >> so knowing this is a delicate operation, right, what should president obama do besides, i mean he's ordered these spy missions over syria try to find appropriate targets to hit from the air but what else should he be doing right now or saying to the american people? >> well, there isn't a problem
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that america can handle by itself. that's number one, and there are steps that have to be taken quietly and they will be in disregard of our usual notions of sovereignty, such as syria sending our aircraft over syria without coordinating with the syrians. the problem at the end of the day is, what targets can they find? this is an elusive target, a guerrilla operation. you've shown many films over the last few weeks showing them scooting around in their small vehicles and firing wildly. well, they're formidable but not a good target for an air attack but any other attack we're likely to engage in. >> there will be no quick fix, that's safe to say. mr. ambassador thank you for being with me today. >> my pleasure. still to come in "the newsroom" the latesterts to find an american student who went missing while hiking in israel.
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in israel, the search is intensifying for an american student who went missing while hiking near rejuice ljerusalem. 13-year-old aaron sofer went
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hiking friday and there's no trace of him. authorities are searching the jerusalem forest and questioned a friend who was walking with sofer. the missing man's parents flew to israel to be near the search. >> helping you in the search. >> it means a lot to us that everyone's doing their share, whatever they could to help find my son and it's a very meaningful thing for us. >> joining me now is abute abutel leibovic, welcome. i'm glad you're here in the united states to talk with me. do you know where the investigation stands to the missing teen aimiager or young ? >> as far as i know the police intensified their searches. many israelis are assisting in these searches but there are no progress as of now. >> the area where this young man was hiking, this is the same area where other young men have come under attack.
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can you tell us about that? >> it's a remote area. it's a secluded area, it's really forest, not close to any community or any city. it's a huge area, very dense with trees and greenery. there were a few attacks in the past in those areas. hopefully this is not the situation, and he will be found soon. >> i hope so. congressman chris smith, a republican, has written to u.s. secretary of state jean casaroh asking the united states to get involved in the search. >> i don't think it's necessary at this point because israel has unfortunately a lot of experience in these kinds of matters and it is conducting a very extensive search and one of the nice things about the israeli society, everybody's gathered up and in this effort trying to look for this boy. >> what do police or investigators suspect what happened? was this possibly a kidnapping or did he just go missing? was it something personal?
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>> it could be anywhere from the range of not knowing his way, not finding his way back since he was a tourist, and these are not known area for tourists, and of course, to physical assault by some terror extremist. >> i just wanted to touch a little bit on the cease-fire agreement between israel and gaza. people are hopeful that it will last, it will hold. >> i want to say people are hopeful. in general people are hopeful but this is the 12th cease-fire, so i think people are more realistic than hopeful in these days, and are not trusting 100% in this situation. we have to see. i mean, it's still young. it's still fresh. it only started a few hours ago. who knows, maybe in half an hour there will be another mortar fire from gaza. >> i see your daughter over there, hi. do you feel comfortable in sending her back to school when you get back to your country?
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>> this is a major issue, because september 1st we have hundreds of thousands of young israelis, young kids returning to schools, and the classrooms are not protected. they're not sheltered, and there's also the way to the classroom, to the school itself, so i have more than one minute to find shelter but it doesn't take me one minute to get to school. i honestly don't know what to do with my three kids next week, whether to send them or not to send them. it's a matter of life and death situation. only two days ago a 4-year-old kid was killed by a mortar. so ias a parent it's a huge dilemma. >> thank you for talking with us today. we appreciate it. still to come in "the newsroom," eyes in the skies but no boots on the ground. the united states launches drone flights to gather intel on isis fighters in syria. barbara starr live at the pentagon this morning. hi, barbara. >> good morning, carol. if president obama were to order air strikes into syria?
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good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. the obama white house is weighing its options this morning on how to deal with the growing strength of isis fighters in syria. and the threat they pose to the
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entire region. an administration official tells cnn drones are already flying over iraq near the syrian border to gather intelligence. it's not clear if they've flown into syria, a step likely needed for possible air strikes there. it is the latest phase of a growing u.s. military buildup in iraq since the isis threat first mushroomed. on june 16th, the white house ordered 275 military personnel to iraq and just a few days later, 300 more military advisers were ordered to iraq to work with the iraqi military. on june 30th, 200 additional forces are deployed to the area in and around baghdad and august 12th, 130 more military advisers are sent to northern iraq to assist with a humanitarian operation, so as of now, nearly 900 u.s. troops have been authorized to go to iraq since the fall of mosul in early june. cnn's barbara starr joins us from the pentagon with more. good morning, barbara. >> good morning, carol. why isis, why now, why syria?
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why all the if focus on this? u.s. official also tell you this isis movement is so different than anything they have seen in the past with terrorist groups, this is some 10,000 fighters they have weapons, vehicles, they have armored vehicles, tanks, artillery, mortars, they move like an army, they are organized like an army, so what the u.s. is doing right now is trying to collect intelligence on that isis army, where are they on the ground, what are their patterns of movement, where are their troops? where are those convoys? how are they moving around? how are they so much on the march across northern syria and across the border into iraq? president obama expected to make a decision at some point about whether or not to conduct air strikes to challenge all of that. what the goal is u.s. officials tell us is air strikes would not defeat isis at this point, but to stop their momentum, to stop them from being able to move
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around to terrorize across northern syria and across the border into iraq. so that's the goal that they're looking at. the decision, still, of course, absolutely in the president's hand. does he want to go forward with all of this. carol? >> all right, barbara starr reporting live from the pentagon this morning, thank you. as those american spy planes continue to fly over the iraqi/syrian border the president and lawmakers are struggling to decide what to do next. senator graham accuses mr. obama becoming derelict in his duties for not aggressively protecting the homeland. lawmakers are on vacation, no emergency session in sight. larry sabeteau the director of virginia center for politics and krisial wright, editor and blogger for conservativeblackchick.com. welcome to both of you.. >> thanks, carol. >> thank you, carol. >> thanks for being here. crystal, here is what congressman steve cohen, a
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democrat, told cnn. listen. >> i support the president's action and i see no reason to come to congress because if he does it will become a circus. congress is dysfunctional and no matter what the president does the republicans will oppose it and find reason to find fault. this is the real world. >> okay, so crystal, is he right? >> well he's right. debris with the congressman that this is the real world, and in the real world, the president doesn't have to seek congressional support to drop bombs and conduct air strikes on syria. i think that i wouldn't necessarily use the words derelict that senator graham used. i would use the words a lack of leadership obama. he sat on the sidelines of syria the last three years and that allowed isis to take root in syria and what we know by the chairman of the joint chiefs, general dempsey, who said last week that there's no way we're going to defeat isis unless we deal with isis fighters, which
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now are about 10,000 to 17,000 in both iraq and syria. so we have the chair of the joint chiefs saying we need to deal with syria and this administration has ignored syria and all the civil war goings on for three years, and i think you talked a lot about congress being on vacation. the president has said he doesn't need congress to act. he has been on vacation. we had an american journalist beheaded, the british prime minister came back from his vacation and this president, frankly, i think, has been an a perpetual vacation. >> i don't know, larry, it just seems a little ironic to me that lawmakers accused president obama of being on vacation when they're also on vacation. >> well, hypocrisy is the lifeblood of politics, carol, so i don't think we're surprised by that. but look, on congress, ask yourself this question. with an election coming up november 4th, how many members of congress in either house are
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really eager to have a long, drawn-out debate on military action and then a firm roll call vote on it? believe me, with some exceptions senator tim cain in virginia on the democratic side, senators rand paul, ted cruz, bob corker on the republican side, those are exceptions, but mainly they're perfectly happy to let the president handle this, no matter what they say in public. they remember hillary clinton. she'd be in her second term as president, carol, if she hadn't voted for president bush's war in iraq. >> but see crystal, that seems like a dereliction of duty to me. >> right. >> that shouldn't matter. our national security is at stake. >> exactly. larry is absolutely right. he's named a few stalwarts in congress who are willing to put i would say their seats on the line and do the right thing for america, but as larry pointed out we're headed up to midterm election. you have moderate democrats distancing in red states saying hey, wait a minute, we got to
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back away from this president. so you know, look, it's half a dozen on one, six on the other but at the end of the day, the buck stops with the commander in chief, who is the president of the united states of america. he does have authority to do more than this, i mean i think it's funny, carol, that he calls what we're doing in iraq a humanitarian intervention. this is a war on terror. he's had his secretary of defense saying that the war on terror is alive and well. he's had his joint chiefs, so i this i that we we really need at a basic level is a plan from the president, what's he going to do and look, here's my plan. i'm going to go to congress, i'm going to get sign-off for my plan and protect the homeland. >> okay, so larry, do you think that would go a long way? >> well, it might go a long way. i don't think it's going to happen that way. i think the president will inform the appropriate leaders of congress this won't be one of those incursions where the congressmen find out when the
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rest of us do, so he'll do his informational obligations but i don't think he's going to go to congress. i don't think they really want him to go, and that's where we are. this is going to require executive action, and i suspect that's exactly what we're going to get because the truth is, on this particular case, just about everybody agrees privately that something needs to be done, because who in the world imagined we'd find a terrorist group, isis, that made al qaeda look moderate? >> right. >> it's just mind-boggling. larry and crystal, thanks so much for your insight. i appreciate it. still to come in "the newsroom," an american journalist is freed from his islamic captives in syria. now his mother is speaking out. >> so we had been waiting for that call, but you know, it was very, very long wait. >> his mom's name is nancy and she is something in her own right. we'll let you hear more after this.
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>> the city of boston was the scene of much rejoicing late tuesday night at peter thee row curtis, an american journalist held captive in syria for nearly two years by islamic militants was reunited with his family. here you can see him with his mother, nancy at logan airport. we understand a short time ago he emerged from his mother's home in cambridge to hang a u.s. flag on the fence beside his home and then posed with some police who were providing security at his house. we are expecting mr. curtis to speak at any moment. of course, when he does we'll take you out to boston. his mom, though, nancy curtis, spoke to cnn's anderson cooper about the moment she learned her son was safe and sound, and the emotional turmoil she's
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experienced and what the family is planning to do next. >> i got a call from the fbi agent who has been working with us the whole time. she flew to the middle east and she called me and said "i'm standing on the golan heights with your son by my side." "and he wants to talk to you, but he needs some time to compose himself." that was all she needed to say. i knew that he was healthy and safe, and it was a huge relief. >> what is that moment like? after waiting and you know, so many ups and downs, and not hearing for so long? >> this has been a very long, very, very long road, and you learn to get over the panic, which is how i felt initially, sheer terror is what it began when i realized that he had
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disappeared, and then you know, you get, you slowly come to terms with the fact that he's gone, he's in danger. it was a relaief to know after nine months we heard he was alive and we have so many people working on the case, and we had such support from so many terrific people that you know, you learn just to take each hour as it comes. >> do you have something planned? how do you even prepare for something like that? >> just like everything else. you just take it as it comes. i think he's going to be exhausted after a long trip. i can tell you i'm exhausted, and i think that we'll just be really quiet for a while. >> i don't know, nancy, i don't think that theo's going to be quiet, because this is a live picture from outside of the
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family home in cambridge, massachusetts. you can see miguel marquez our reporter standing right there near the microphones, a whole bunch of microphones there, awaiting theo curtis to come out of the home to talk with the media, probably about his ordeal and of course we expect him also to express sorrow about james foley's death, and you know, there are also other americans held captive by terrorists in syria, and in other places, so it won't be a completely happy speech, but when theo curtis begins speaking, of course we'll bring his remarks to you live, but as i said, he popped outside of the home earlier, and the cameras, i was hoping you could see the american flag he hung on the fence but we can't see it in that shot. he did pop out, hang an american flag on the fence and took a couple photos from police who are providing security for the home. still to come in "the newsroom," a new faa report shows a spike in the amount of near collisions between passenger jets in the sky.
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rene marsh is tracking that story for you. >> good morning, carol. the number of close calls nearly doubled in the skies. coming up we'll tell you how many times passenger jets got too close for comfort. over 20 million kids everyday in our country lack access to healthy food. for the first time american kids are slated to live a shorter life span than their parents. it's a problem that we can turn around and change. revolution foods is a company we started to provide access to healthy, affordable, kid-inspired, chef-crafted food. we looked at what are the aspects of food that will help set up kids for success? making sure foods are made with high quality ingredients and prepared fresh everyday. our collaboration with citi has helped us really accelerate the expansion of our business in terms of how many communities we can serve. working with citi has also helped to fuel our innovation process and the speed at which we can bring new products into the grocery stores.
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s . all right. let's head back out to kbaj,
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massachusetts, where the american journalist peter theo curtis. as you know, he was held two years by al qaeda affiliated terrorists. he arrived home at logan airport to meet his mother standing there waiting for him last night. earlier this morning, he popped out of the house. there you can see him. he looks to be in pretty good health. we're glad about that. we're expecting him to issue a statement at any time when peter theo curtis begins speaking, we'll take you out to cambridge tell us more about what he might say. >> reporter: well, it's always nice to cover a good story and i think he is going to express a lot of gratitude for all of those who helped him out. the u.s. government, the mission to the u.n., the qatari
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government who say they did not offer or give any ransom for his release. all along his journey, he has thanked everybody from the flight attendants, the people on the plane who came up to him, and certainly his family. a huge welcome home. he looks completely different from the videos when he look scragly. we're set up about 150 feet away. he is there with his mother, speaking to police. they said they are going to come around here at 10:00 a.m. eastern today, make a statement and give us an idea of just how incredibly good it feels to be hold and what the last two years have been like. >> we'll check back with you. i got to take a break right now. we'll be back with much more in the "newsroom." get a $1,000 turbocharged reward card
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just a reminder, you are looking at a picture of peter theo curtis, the american journalist who was freed from captivity. he was being held by al qaeda affiliated group. in another news, the number of close calls between passenger jets has nearly doubled. renee marsh is following that story in washington. good morning, renee. >> this is not supposed to happen. we're talking about passenger
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jets getting dangerously close in the skies but we have new statistics from the faa that shows just how often it does happen. we've learned the number of close calls nearly doubled in 2013 over the previous years. you see that 38 were considered high risk, three fewer than the previous years. take a look at the medium and low risk. that number soared and this year was other close calls. two of them were high profile. over newark, you had a united airlines landing with 160 passengers on board, it comes within 150 yards of a united express regional jet preparing to take off. now the faasm says that its fairly new voluntary reporting system, they say that has led to
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more increased reporting and that's how they explained the higher numbers. some air traffic controllers say that may be true but they feel that there are other factors at play here. they say some of these control towers are under staffed, that leads to fatigue, and carol, they say eventually that leads to a mistake. >> all right. renee marsh reporting live from washington. thanks so much. the next hour of cnn "newsroom" begins now. and good morning to you. i'm carol costello. thank you for joining me and thanks to our viewers from around the world for joining me too. we begin with breaking news on freed american hostage peter theo curtis. he was the american journalist who was held ovenling ovenling -- hostage in syria for nearly two years. we expect him to speak for the first time since touching down on american soil. let's get the latest now from
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cambridge, massachusetts. good morning, miguel. >> reporter: good morning. it is a morning of joy here in cambridge as peter theo curtis has returned home. the family returned to him as theo. we saw a short time ago the family home and the police have set us up here and we believe they are speaking to the police down there, at least they were a little earlier. we expect him to come up to the microphones here, chat with us a few minutes, and give us an idea of how he feels now that he's home. remember, the family didn't know where he was for the first year of his captivity by an al qaeda affiliated group in syria. after the shocking death of
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james foley, very quickly things changed. qatar says they did not offer any ransom for his release, which is a big concern for many who don't want to see these groups garner any sort of reward for capturing journalists and releasing them for money. mrs. curtis spoke to anderson cooper last night a little bit about the difficulty in dealing with their son in captivity. >> this has been a very long road and you learn to get over the panic which is how i felt initially. sheer terror is what began when i realized he had disappeared. then you slowly come to terms with the fact that he's gone, he's in danger. it was a relief to know after nine months we heard that

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