tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN August 29, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
a day before this happened, and here is joan rivers at new york's beachman river thursday night showing no signs of health problems on stage, even joking about her own mortality. we continue at the top of the hour, i am brooke baldwin. big news out of the united kingdom, they raised the terror alert to severe. the second highest level. it is the first time they have done it in three years because of isis. this is according to david cameron who spoke publicly this morning. said it was the murder of james foley by an isis fighter with a british accent that proves the militant groups tear through iraq and syria is, quote, not some foreign conflict thousands of miles from home. as for the white house, they say it has no plans to increase the terror alert here in the united states. that is despite defense
secretary chuck hagel's warning a week ago that isis, and i am quoting the defense secretary, is beyond anything we have seen. cnn senior white house correspondent jim acosta asked about the seeming disconnect of opinion at today's briefing. here he was. >> is the president on the same page as his cabinet when it comes to dealing with isis? >> i think the more important observation, jim, is that the cabinet is on the same page as the commander in chief, and i am fully confident that's the case. >> let me bring him in, jim acosta joins me and gloria borger as well. jim, to you, i want to talk further about that exchange. it went on for a little longer. the president just talking to david gergen, former adviser, senior political analyst, said listen, the president is being prudent, cautious, and to your point though it is certainly david gergen's observation as well that the opinions, whether it is joint chiefs chairman
martin dempsey or secretary of defense chuck hagel and the president, they all seem to be in different places. and he said that it seems the president is leading from behind, though i imagine the white house would disagree. >> well, remember, brooke, and i've said this before many times, i think one word that describes president obama more than anything else is caution. he is a cautious commander in chief and i think what we saw yesterday was that the president was perhaps taken to the very edge of ordering military strikes by the pentagon, by the national security team, but he decided to wait and to consider these options further. it was interesting to note when i asked josh earnest about that statement that the president made that got everybody's attention, which is we don't have a strategy yet, quote, unquote, to deal with the isis threat, to hit ice is targets in syria, josh earnest said the president doesn't have options on his desk or options from the pentagon yet. at the pentagon briefing, rear admiral john kirby, president secretary, said the pentagon is
ready. so there is a disconnect, not only between the president and defense secretary but it seems the white house and pentagon. i tried once again to go back to josh earnest, ask for clarification of that comment, does the president regret it. >> he was asked a specific question about whether or not the president would seek congressional authorization before ordering any sort of military action in syria. and the point the president made was that that's putting the cart before the horse. the president hasn't yet laid out a specific plan for military action in syria. and the reason for that is simply that the pentagon is still developing that plan. >> i later on asked, brooke, whether or not there's debate inside the administration about whether or not to hit isis in syria. press secretary josh earnest said i wouldn't describe it that way but wouldn't deny it. >> to jim's point, gloria, the president cautious, but to this
notion of no strategy, that elicits a lot of whoa. where do you stand on that? >> well, look, i think that particularly juxtaposed today with prime minister david cameron's remarks, which were very strong and directly said there is a national security threat to the united nations that comes from isis. the president has not yet been that direct with the american people, the closest he came was in an interview with tom freedman in "the new york times" the first week in august in which he said we have a strategic interest in pushing back isis. that's different language. so the american public is saying if david cameron can be so direct, you need to be more direct with us, and what happens is they believe he is ambivalent, conflicted, and you see that play out. and when they look at a
president, they want a leader who makes decisions and tells them why he's making them. and i think at this point they feel like they haven't seen that yet. >> i also heard others opine and say as far as britain is concerned, there were far more british jihadis, foreign fighters, that the threat would be more imminent. that's what one camp would say. for the both of you, it has been quiet in d.c., which is nice, but congress is coming back next week. we know the president has said -- the president has said it may not be necessary to get that from congress for potential air strikes in syria. that said, you have the number one republican telling cnn that the president would have, quote, unquote, a lot of congressional support. so wouldn't it behoove him to get congress in on this, gloria? >> i spoke with a senior administration official that says privately lots of members of congress on both sides of the
aisle don't seem particularly eager to vote on use of military force this close to election. they'd rather not do it. the white house is concerned what kind of vote they would get. yes, they would probably get more support from some republicans than from some democrats. particularly liberal democrats. all depends on what the president asks for or thinks he is going to need. i think jim would agree in that press conference yesterday, the president was very, very careful to say while he would consult with congress, he didn't necessarily say that he had to ask congress permission for anything. that depends on what he decides to do. >> okay. >> that's absolutely right. i don't think the white house at this point, brooke, very quickly, i don't think they've made decision yet as to whether or not they will go to congress to seek authorization. i talked to senior administration official earlier this week that said they just
haven't reached that decision at this point. so that's very much an open-ended question. >> okay. thank you both very much. let's all keep in mind the president has ordered the pentagon, you talk about figuring something out, not making a decision, the president ordered the pentagon to give him a plan by the end of the week to potentially carry the fight against isis into syria. and by all indications, he is not liking the options he's seen so far. with that in mind, look at this. barbara starr asked the money question, if i may, today at that pentagon briefing. i want you to watch the reaction. >> question, right there. why are you not yet ready with military options for syria? why is the president still waiting? why are you not ready given everything that secretary hagel -- >> planning is an iterative process, barb. the question assumes it is some sort of binary thing, here's the
binder, we have it turned in on the due date. it is an iterative process. the situation on the ground constantly changes, it is very fluid. >>. >> it is fluid in iraq, in syria, fluid at the pentagon as well. lieutenant general mark hurtling live from orlando with me, former commanding general of u.s. army europe and 7th army. do we have any idea what the president is asking the pentagon for thus far that it appears he is not getting? >> i think the president is asking the pentagon for options. they more than likely provided that. i will push back, listening to previous guests, brooke. i would say just because we have an air strike doesn't make that a strategy. a lot of people are saying when is the button going to be pushed, when is the switch flipped, let's get a bomb on target. that's one part of a strategy. the military option is only one part of a strategy. i think for the last week or so, we have looked closely at
targets, we looked closely at actions. all of the courses of action again have been developed by the pentagon as admiral kirby just said. and now it fits into a bigger plan that the president has to execute, which is diplomatic, informational, economic, coalition building. all of the things associated with the military strike. you can't just say a military strike is a strategy. >> i understand. it is an umbrella concept, given the things you just outlined. it is not just hitting a button, clearly not. when you look at what's happened overseas, you have beheadings, executions, this evil. that's what's getting the headlines. let's remember, this is what prime minister david cameron addressed today that isis said about creating its own state, caliphate by taking over parts of syria and iraq. isis wants, this is additionally frightening, isis wants lebanon, in order and, the massive saudi
oil fields. general, is that the kind of scenario that's actually truly being gamed out behind closed doors at the pentagon? >> i absolutely think so. i think the pentagon is taking a regional approach. going back to what mr. cameron said, those were tough words, very strong words, but it is president obama that has to act. so he's building that coalition force that will actually act as opposed to just talking about it. and even if he does have a plan and it is solid in his head in what he wants to do, i'm not sure he's going to tell the american media what that plan is or when it is going to be executed. >> i understand. element of surprise, makes total sense, militarily. when you sit back and look at what isis has done this far, seizing enough to declare itself a state in a few short months. looking back to what was it, january, it is the rate at which
they seized territories has surprised the administration. did it surprise you? >> it has to a degree. i think it surprised anybody that looks at the area, brooke. but again, that might be part of the strategy, the strategy hey, let's take care of them in iraq to blunt their efforts and work with a government that's beginning to regain their footing, maybe contain them in syria for potential attack later on. all of those things go into it. again, when you talk about strategy and its ends, ways, and means, the first question pentagon planners ask themselves is how does this end. does it end with a bomb being dropped? is there going to be coordination with the syrian government? what comes next and how do you get others in the world to support that. this is an area where we are culturally and lingui kwis cli
challenged. i think the pentagon and homeland security is talking about what's the overall action that will develop a strategy to protect the american people and at the same time get rid of this horrific threat. >> good point. they're thinking how does it end, what's the ultimate goal and figuring out that multi pronged strategy from there. general mark hurtling, thank you so much. lieutenant general. coming up next, some information from britain as far as what's happening with russia, ukraine. sources out of the u.k. tell cnn russia just moved thousands more troops into eastern ukraine. how does that change the state of play there. meanwhile, the russian foreign minister says these images right here of russian tanks entering ukraine are actually from computer games. that's what they're saying. diana magnay, our correspondent in ukraine, has a live report for us next. ♪
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you're watching cnn, i'm brooke baldwin. we have to talk about what ukraine calls full scale invasion of its land by russia. a british government source tells cnn russia moved between 4 and 5,000 troops into eastern ukraine. that british source says the point here is to distract ukraine so it cannot focus on the recently seceded crimea region. they say it puts russia up for more sanctions. >> the president is traveling to europe next week, will have the opportunity to meet with a
number of nato allies, and the situation in ukraine is a prominent item on the agenda and i am confident there will be serious discussions about imposing additional economic costs on russia. >> as far as this aggression, russia is denying, denying, denying. its foreign minister explained the artillery is fake and from computer games. that's from russia. meantime, we have reuters reporting that the russian president vladimir putin before an audience of youth campers compared the actions of the ukraine's army to the nazis. still today, in yet another twist, putin offered a kind of reprieve from the violence. let's go to diana magnay in ukraine. you went to this town, it was taken by pro-russian forces in south ukraine. what did you find there? >> reporter: that's right.
it has been the epicenter in the last couple days of these claims that russian forces have been coming in to support pro-russian rebels, certainly opening up a new front in the south. two days ago, this was taken over by pro-russian forces and commander of the ukrainian volunteer battalion said he had no doubt they were russians and had russian heavy armor with them to support them. we actually went into the town today, talked to the rebel commander there. he said that he captured these tanks from the ukrainian army on his way down from the lieu has being region where he had been fighting. they seemed to be fairly sophisticated weaponry, tanks, and we saw a convoy of them leaving town as we were going in, but they were really just establishing new check points. the mood in this town was extremely peaceful, people just going about daily lives, there were signs up saying to the
people of this town we hope that you will -- we are the army of nova russia, we hope you will continue your peaceful lives and we will defend you doing that. you don't get the sense that this is enough troops to continue any kind of push beyond this small town very close to the russian border towards where i am, for example. you would need many more troops and tanks to push deeper into ukraine. >> so peace in that town. diana, thank you, again. hearing from britain, 4,000 to 5,000 troops in ukraine and 20,000 just on the other side of the border. thank you so much. britain raising the terror threat level due to isis. why raise the threat level when leaders say they don't know of any imminent threat of attack. we will discuss that. also ahead, reporters gain access to what they call the isis laptop of doom. buried in hidden files they
found all kinds of information about the bubonic plague, and chemical weapons. so that's one thing. the real question is do they have the resources to pull off these types of attacks? stay with me. ♪ ♪ so nice, so ni-i-i-ce ♪ sweet, sweet st. thomas nice ♪ so nice, so ni-i-i-ce ♪ st. croix, full of pure vibes ♪ ♪ so nice, so ni-i-i-ce ♪ st. john, a real paradise ♪ so nice, so ni-i-i-ce ♪ proud to be from the virgin islands ♪ ♪ and the whole place nice to experience your virgin islands nice, book one of our summer packages today. virgin islands nice, book one where the reward was that what if tnew car smelledit card
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as we have been reporting the united kingdom raised the terror level to severe. you think what does severe mean. it means u.k. officials believe a terror attack is highly likely. but here is the thing. there's actually no intelligence to suggest an attack is imminent. we heard from the british prime minister earlier speaking publicly, saying he is ready to seize passports of potential suspects. >> we've all been shocked and sickened by the barbaric murder of american journalist james foley and by the voice of what increasingly seems to have been a british terrorist recorded on that video. it was clear evidence not that any more was needed that this is not some foreign conflict thousands of miles from home that we can hope to ignore. the ambition to create an extremist caliphate in the heart of iraq and syria is a threat to our own security here in the u.k. >> u.k. authorities estimate,
again, this is just pure estimation, they have gone to fight with the groups. tom rogue and, daily telegraph columnist, tom, you say when the british go public like this, when they're going out there talking about a terror threat change, you say it is a recognition of the fact that they're losing control. what do you mean by that? >> yes, good to be with you, brooke. i think what's going on here is that the british government has simply come to the conclusion the joint terrorism analysis center, the organizing entity that made this decision, combined from the u.k. intelligence services, has come to the understanding that because of the number of individuals who have gone to syria and iraq to fight with the islamic state, and because of their existing tasks in terms of monitoring a significant number of individuals they believe are connected to extremism in the
u.k., it is difficult to have a degree of confidence that if the individuals come back, they'll be able to control them in the way they would need to. >> which is frightening, you know, in and of itself, to think these people could go going back to the u.k. then you have a far fewer number of americans apparently doing the same thing. here is what else i wanted to ask you. you cover national security, following extremism a number of years. when is the last time you saw david cameron or someone in his position using such forceful language in discussing a threat like this? >> i mean, it is actually pretty unprecedented for david cameron to be talking this way. that reflects the level of concern by the branch chiefs at the security service mi 5, 6, yuk equivalent of cia and the nsa equivalent in the u.k., that they don't believe they can have the level of confidence they wish to have in terms of identifying, monitoring and protecting the british people
against these individuals. >> what's also interesting in this sort of wave of extremism, this is a point one of our correspondents in london made earlier in the show, he said brooke, this is a generational battle. do you agree with that? >> i absolutely think it is. i think if you consider jim sciutto your chief national security correspondent has written about this. the generation of young predominantly british, pakistani men who feel disenfranchised, and british society, the vast majority of peaceful, law abiding, but there's concern there is a social dissection, and sense of purpose and identity that links with extremism more than it does with the united kingdom. obviously that's a great ideological struggle for the british government and something they're talking about a lot. >> with the different groups, al qaeda, al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, what is it about
isis, is it the track record of i hate to see success, given bloodshed and brutality, but is that what is alluring for the young, malleable men? >> i think part of it is the fact that the islamic state have been open to having foreigners come in. i wrote a piece recently analyzing their videos. to young men that feel disenfranchised, it is grand theft auto in the flesh. it attracts people that feel already angry and want to go join a group to be part of something that they see is bigger than themselves, and it is a big challenge in that way. i think the fact that the islamic state welcomed these people in and the successes, gives a purpose, we are on god's side, this is working, finally i belong to something, and that's a great tragedy and great problem for the british government to address. >> hopefully they're addressing it and stopping these people from coming back and becoming
radicalized. who knows what could happen. tom rogan, thank you so much for coming on. up next, word of more u.s. air strikes in iraq near the contested dam. we are live from northern iraq after this quick break. also ahead, reporters from foreign policy magazine, they gained access to what they call this isis laptop of doom. buried in all of the hidden files on this computer are plans to unleash a biological attack. could these terrorists pull this kind of attack off, chemical weapons? stay with me. she inspires you.
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liberty mutual insurance. you're watching cnn, just past the bottom of the hour. i am brooke baldwin. we haven't talked about air strikes in iraq for a minute. let's start there. there's news at this moment, look at the state of chaos in iraq. take you there live. focus on a town north of baghdad, surrounded by isis for 80 days now. cnn anna is there. rfrp finally, brook, seems to be a bit of a break through. iraqi forces are in the surrounding area, taking at least six villages. we know it has been under siege
more than two months. we heard the desperate plea from the u.n. special representative to say that potential massacre is under way in this township. population of less than 20,000 people. we have them saying we need help now to save these people. finally the iraqi military turn up. they did so and according to them killed at least 59 isis militants in these villages. but yet to get to the township of anili. still a great deal of fighting around there, and as what isis does, it booby traps housing and this is something the iraqi military is encountering. they have made the occasional aid drop. isis cut off power, cut off water, situation is dire, according to the turkman foundation, an organization with
family, friends. they say dozens of children have died as a result of food shortages as well as dehydration, brooke. >> let's get to reports of u.s. air strikes near mosul. we talked about the contested dam. at one point in isis control, which was very dig. back perhaps in kurdish control. tell me what's happening there? >> reporter: a fears battle still around mosul dam. kurdish forces had taken back control after isis claimed it earlier in the month. we thought they had a good hold of it, seemed to be made advances. the militants are digging in, there has been fierce fighting, according to kurdish forces, they're moving them out with the help of u.s. air strikes. the air strikes making a huge difference to the military strategy on the ground.
but according to officials, they need more. u.s. central command says in total 110. the focus is obviously on mosul dam and that surrounding area. kurdish officials are saying they need the united states to expand that operation and increase the number of air strikes in northern iraq. >> okay. thank you so much for us. let's turn to syria, a disturbing find in isis territory. reporters from foreign policy magazine gained access to what they dubbed the isis laptop of doom. deep inside the hidden files, discovered outlines for a chemical weapons attack. a foreign policy magazine said they found a 19 page document on this laptop, computer. the document details efforts to develop biological weapons, even weaponize bubonic plague from dead animals, suggested using grenades to disperse bio terror,
and target closed areas like stadiums and subways to maximize casualties. let's bring in our cnn terrorism analyst. you say it is an important distinction. it is one thing to have research and documentation about chemical or biological weapons, quite another to carry it out. >> brooke, that's absolutely right. it is very difficult to operationalize this kind of thing, al qaeda has been trying to do this for 20 years and haven't come close to developing this capability. we saw, for example, back in 2011 al qaeda in yemen trying to harness the toxin ricin to put in bombs. they weren't able to get that capability. >> if al qaeda has been working this for 20 years, how close is isis, do we have any idea? >> brooke, al qaeda was doing it in places like afghanistan in the '90s, far away from civilization in training camps.
the trouble with isis is it has control of more territory, it is very cash rich, has tens of millions of dollars of cash reserves, has all of these foreign fighters from all around the middle east, some with scientific backgrounds. also controls cities. it could potentially have access to laboratories, to hospitals and things like that. there is worry isis could get further down the line. but it is still very difficult to weaponize these kind of biological and chemical agents, brooke. >> quickly on that point, you mention labs. isis seized mosul and there's a university with a chemical lab that's there, correct? >> the belief is, yes, that there are chemical labs there, there are hospitals, other medical facilities where they could get hold of some sort of chemicals, even radioactive isotopes and things like that, but it is very difficult to make these kinds of things into
devices which will do a big amount of damage, brooke. >> big difference. paul, thank you so much for coming on. coming up here on cnn, the u.k. is raising its terror alert level today. thus far, the united states is saying that isis poses no threat to the u.s. home land, so what are the different strategies between the british prime minister david cameron and president barack obama. we will tap into that coming up. ♪ ♪ so nice, so ni-i-i-ce ♪ sweet, sweet st. thomas nice
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two countries, two very different responses when it comes to the same threat, isis. united kingdom raised its threat level to severe for the first time in three years. we heard from the british prime minister david cameron saying he is ready to start seizing passports of possible suspects. as far as united states goes, u.s. has far fewer potential foreign fighters overseas, not quite perhaps as imminent of a threat. president obama speaking yesterday at the briefing saying the u.s. has no strategy for dealing withi isis. jake tapper, two strategies, one more forceful, one more cautious, how are you reading it? >> i think first of all as you mention, the threat does seem more imminent in the u.k.
because it is geographically closer to the middle east, because more members of the country are members of isis than americans and then also we should keep in mind that the united states is currently bombing isis targets in iraq, although the question is will they do so in syria. but the question that i've been hearing a lot of conservatives saying, the argument conservatives have been saying is cameron was more of a leader, he seemed to be having a plan, and clearly they had two different messages, president obama was trying to put on the brakes on expectation that the u.s. was going to be bombing isis targets in syria any time soon. cameron definitely wanted to be conveying he was on the case to protect the british people. listen to excerpts from both men's remarks. >> the purpose of moving the threat level is that it does trigger a series of actions by the police and indeed by others in other parts of life to make sure they put in place all of the extra security they can.
we are stopping suspects from traveling by seizing passports, barring foreign nationals from reentering the u.k., depriving people citizenship, and prosecuting for all terrorist activity, even when that activity takes place overseas. >> i don't want to put the cart before the horse. we don't have a strategy yet. i think what i've seen in some of the news reports suggests that folks are getting a little further ahead of where we're at than we currently are. >> so brooke if you judge on tone and leadership style, which is the head of a government bombing isis, you would probably say cameron, it is obama. it has to do with the presentation and delineation of steps that are going to be taken, brooke. >> wouldn't the president be criticized though at the same time if he said okay, it's go
time, u.s. will strike syria. criticism falls either way. >> i think that's absolutely correct and we do know that the pentagon is and has been coming up with plans and strategies for what to do about the isis threat in syria specifically, but i think again, cameron trying to convey i'm on the case, i'm the leader, this is what we are doing to protect people. president obama saying everybody calm down, we're not going to be bombing any targets in syria any time soon and that really it was a stark contrast. >> definitely. we will watch you on your show, parsing through this. jake tapper, see you at the top of the hour on "the lead." thank you, sir. >> thank you. coming up, they were close friends growing up in minnesota. what could have led them to a life of terror overseas? the mother of an american killed while fighting for isis speaks out. what are you doing jake? hang that in your own tree. it's my tree, i'm just trying to do something nice for the neighborhood birds. you don't care about the birds,
you're just trying to get the droppings on my dart. i've always supported birds, they're one of natures miracles. what's this even, this it's not even part of a tree. sure it is, it's to feed the birds. look where you put the birdhouse. i didn't even notice your car here, i literally didn't notice it. it's coming down. it's not coming down. oh, it's coming down. i'll call the police. i hope you do. i'd love to call the police then. i would love to see you think the police would side with you. on this! crestor lowered bad cholesterol in it's a fact. high-risk patients more than lipitor. bad cholesterol... you're going down! yeah! lowering cholesterol is a big deal, especially if you have high cholesterol plus any of these risk factors, because you could be at increased risk for plaque buildup in your arteries over time. so, when diet and exercise aren't enough to lower cholesterol, adding crestor can help. i'm down with crestor! crestor is not right for everyone, like people with liver disease or women who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant.
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they were best friends. they were high school classmates and they were also americans who became jihadist fighters. troy kastigar and douglas mccain both died helping the cause for al she bob and isis. but their life growing up in the u.s. belied what became their fate, fighting overseas for terrorists. jason carroll talked to the mother of troy kastigar who is still just dealing with how her son ended up in the hands of jihad.
>> for years, troy kastigar and doug mccain were the picture of the average teenage american boys. they grew up in minneapolis, both loved playing basketball and were in some ways inseparable. >> troy had, there's quite a few people who you would say they would say they were best friends. and doug was one of those really close friends. he spent a lot of time at our house. he went to family gatherings with us. they played basketball together. >> how did two respectful young men go from image to this? >> this is the real disneyland. come here and join us. >> this recruitment video was posted from the group al she bob. both kastigar and mccain ended up fighting for terrorists overseas. mccain killed in syria just days ago, kastigar killed in 2009 in somalia. his mother still trying to understand how it all happened. >> i'll never not have that pain. and that bitterness, but by
trying to fill my life with joy and recognize the gifts and the beauty of the world, it makes it easier. >> kastigar's mother says he started having trouble at 16. he began using drugs and was searching for help and spiritual guidance. >> and he found comfort in turning to the quran? >> then he became a muslim and i don't know exactly how that happened. he had some friends who were muslims. there was some friends who were somali who had immigrated here. it was great for him. like he all of a sudden was like i have my boy back. his eyes were bright again. >> kastigar said he was going to kenya to study the quran but his destination ended up somalia. he had spent nearly a year overseas with little communication. then in july, 2009, the fbi came to his mother's home. >> they said he could have been recruited. i had no clue that he was going
into a dangerous situation in that way. or to fight. and i think he knew. >> weeks after that visit, her son was dead. >> were there any warning signs along the way? >> with doug for sure, there were no warning signs because i just haven't been around him for a long time. the one thing i thought was really strange with troy is that they -- that someone, they, were willing to pay for him to come to kenya. i really questioned that. i think they were manipulated and i don't think they knew what they were fully what they were part of it. >> some five years after her son's death, the toughest part for her is having to explain how he died. >> i don't easily talk about it to people because i don't want to have to also defend him. my family's great and my friends are great but just in general in the world. and i mean, it is, it's the
hardest, the hardest loss that there is. and i'm really grateful that i had him and that i knew doug and you just kind of try to go on. >> jason carroll, cnn, minneapolis. >> that mother, jason, thank you so much for sharing her story with us. listen, you know, watching the news, it's tough. a lot of tough news in the headlines these days. let's end on something positive on this friday, please. coming up, we'll share a story about a woman helping turn her city around, she's this week's cnn hero. that story is next. nline is as easy as it gets. wouldn't it be great if hiring plumbers, carpenters and even piano tuners were just as simple? thanks to angie's list, now it is. we've made hiring anyone from a handyman to a dog walker as simple as a few clicks. buy their services directly at angieslist.com no more calling around. no more hassles.
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states in america but connecticut also has one of the fastest growing income gaps in the country. this cnn hero is battling the bad situation of the streets of the state to help save her community's kids. here is this week's cnn hero. >> it's tough. it's tough growing up here. it's just so easy to take the wrong path. i was walking around with a lot on my shoulders at a young age. i didn't really care about life anymore. when i met miss kelly, everything changed. >> bret was hurting.
he needed a place he could just be himself. our program provides a year-round urban oasis, seven days a week, 12 months a year for children up to 19 years old. we use horses to create pride, esteem, and healing. the children take care of animals. take care of the farm. when they get to a certain riding is level, young men become mounted park rangers. when they put their cowboy hats on and they go out on patrol, the myth of the urban male is changed instantly. when kids see other kids ride, they want to know how it's done. that's the hook. >> i can't tell you where i would be without this program. it changed my life. it's helped me set goals for myself. i'm a part of something. >> make sure -- >> when you teach a child how to ride a horse, they learn that they are the center of their
environment. once they make that connection, they can change what happens in school, at home, and the community. it's through their minds. and through their hearts. they have ability. but they just have to unlock it. >> how awesome is she? i hope have you wonderful weekends. stay right here. "the lead" with jake tapper "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >> isis has the british so concerned, they're raising their terror threat level to severe. i'm jake tapper. and this is "the lead." the word lead. all that will separates the u.k. from the u.s. is a seven-hour flight. the british are warning that a terrorist attack is highly likely over there. so what risks do we face over here? also, vladimir putin either does not realize that the rest of the world has eyes or more likely he just does not care. russia still denying it is invading ukrai