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tv   Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield  CNN  December 19, 2014 9:00am-10:01am PST

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ashleigh banfield. welcome to "legal view." we continue our breaking news at this hour. the fbi has officially named north korea as the sony hacker. we're learning that the hackers sent a new message to sony executives last night saying their decision to cancel the christmas d-day release of "the interview" is, quote, very wise. the hackers are demanding that the movie never be released in any shape or form. i want to bring in justice reporter evan perez, senior media correspondent, brian stelter, host of "reliable sources" as well as cnn's "money," laurie siegel. this had to be done with not only the fbi but looking at the data and determining by not just human intelligence but signal intelligence. what is the fbi saying? >> that's right, deborah. this has been an intensive
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investigation including the fbi, nsa, national security division, the white house has been on top of this because they do believe this is a national security matter now. you and i have been covering this for many years and you know how unusual it is for something just a few months after this hack occurred for the fbi to be issuing a statement like this. this is what they said. they have concluded that the north korean government is responsible for these actions against sony pictures. and they say that they detected -- they detected evidence that shows the internet traffic that was used to carry the hack came from north korea. it also showed signs that were similar to other hacks have been attributed to north korea earlier this year carried out against south korean banks. >> that attack by the north koreans effectively shut down
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south korea. imagine if we were to go to a bank and couldn't withdraw our money. we talk about the national security threat. i'm going to get you in one said but we talk about the national security threat. so what is the response? look, north korea now hit an entertainment company. >> correct. >> but what if this had been a major financial institution? what if this had been transportation, the electrical grid, anything like that? it would have immediately escalated to a much higher level much faster than it actually did. >> right. that's exactly what -- i've talked to a senior administration official a couple days ago and one of the things they said to me was this. imagine -- imagine if this was, for example, one of the big financial institutions in the country. this is what is scaring them so much because much of the way the u.s. handles protection of our internet, of our internet traffic and our data is really by company, right? companies are responsible for protecting themselves. >> right. >> and the nsa is involved with
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helping protect military websites and the homeland security department is involved in protecting other government websites. >> right. >> but, you know, companies have to protect themselves and the government can only do so much. >> and that's a big factor and that is that ultimately all of these companies are private companies. they are responsible for knowing who is in their system. many of them pay tens of millions of dollars a year not just on the perimeter but inside monitoring to see who is in the system. brian, still, north korea able to send an in your face message to sony, not only basically saying, hey, now we're going to raise the stakes. tell me what they are saying now. >> celebrating the fact that this interview was pulled from movie theaters across the country. the message is interesting. it doesn't mention north korea but it mentions "the interview," the film, explicitly. they said, you did the right thing. it was a wise decision to do that.
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and then it goes on to say we want everything taken down from every website immediately. i believe in some cases sony took the trailer that we're seeing down from youtube but there are a lot of other copies out there and they are basically ratcheting this up one new level and they are saying we have a new demand. it goes from ugly to uglier. >> lori, the threat that is out there, the continued threat of what we may likely see, how significant is it? because one of the big issues is now the hackers have everyone's social security number from that particular company. >> right. >> so how much more -- how much worse could this ultimately get? >> you know, i think it's safe to say this could always get worse. i just got off the phone with a security analyst and there's the
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idea that a hack similar to could be sold -- >> you mean the ability to do it? >> the ability to do it could be sold online. anyone could go and click "buy" and be able to carry out this attack and they don't have to be as sophisticated. that's something that is very, very scary. he said much of the material that went into this could have been bought for about $500 online, which is pretty remarkable. >> unreal. brian? >> i was speaking to an executive at sony who wants everybody to know, we are still operating. we are still making movies and able to produce shows. it's pretty hard to overstate how hard it's been for them but they have been able to get mostly back online and the possibility of further leaks now seems to be in doubt because the hackers are saying, as long as you won't share this movie, we won't release your information. >> they are completely compromised. >> but apparently they are going
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to be censored by north korea. >> it's like changing the front door look to your house. it's not going to make a difference. i want to bring in cnn investigator chris frates and jim sciutto. jim, tell me about the statement you received from the justice department. >> it says "we follow the facts and evidence wherever they lead to allow the key boards that threaten our people." "we will continue to protect and defend our nation from the asymmetric threats posed through cyberspac cyberspace cyberspace." that's really an important response. the real question here is how do american companies, like sony and others, protect themselves against attacks like this going forward and arguably, more importantly, what does the u.s. government and intelligent
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agencies do to help companies protect themselves? that's one point. just another point, we don't have to do a lot of imagining as to the danger of what happens next if north korea or other hackers attack other american companies or institutions because it's already happening. it's happened for a number of years. >> absolutely. >> most of those attacks emanating from china. hundreds of american companies affected by this. many hundreds and billions of dollars worth of american proprietary business information stolen by chinese companies as well as sensitive information, u.s. government institutions, military contractors, et cetera. this is something that is happening today and has been happening for years and the fact is the u.s. government, the u.s. business community has not figured out a way to protect themselves adequately from this. they are still working on that. >> well, it's very interesting. and it's not for lack of trying because cyberinformation, cybersecurity is now a huge
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industry. you've got major companies out there that are working with financial institutions, working with private companies. the targets, the ebays, googles, all of that to make sure that their systems are safe and secure. even a couple of weeks ago, the head of the nsa, admiral mike rogers said there was no doubt that there was an attack. there was no question if there would be one that targeted infrastructure. it was a matter of when. chris, you've been looking into this as well and the scope of penetration is actually pretty remarkable in terms of how many different countries and rogue individuals are inside u.s. systems. what have you learned? >> deb, there were 34,000 cyberincidents in 2010. fast forward to 2013 and that number jumped 35% to 46,000. cyberspy is happening at a clip we've never seen before,
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according to you will a of the experts that i've talked to. and hackers are trying to get inside of the government all day every day. for instance, in january, hackers took sensitive information about the country's dam including the potential for fatalities if those dams were breached. and it's not just spies looking to crack the government computers, deb. hackers are often going after personal information. last year, for instance, energy department, 100,000. social security, birthdays and bank account numbers were taken. deb? >> that's what people have to realize. anything that is on the internet, the internet is wonderful because it gives you great flexibility, great access to information. but people -- i think the saying is, you can either have access, security or freedom. you can't have all three. you've got to pick and you've got to choose. evan, what's interesting now, law enforcement has done its due
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diligence and they have tried to figure out where this is coming from. so the question is, how does the administration, based on law enforcement's information, make a measured response? because north korea has drawn a lean in the sand and if the u.s. does not react, then every single business out there, make no mistake about it, is vulnerable and it's not just the gossipy stuff. it's your entire identity now at risk, evan. >> that's right. the thing is, you have to calibrate the response as well. because in the end, this is about the censorship of a silly movie. a seth rogen movie. you don't want to do anything that escalates this to the point where perhaps the north koreans do a lot of irrational things whenever they are provoked. you don't want to start something where this ends up perhaps in a shooting war. and again, over a movie. >> so that's the risk. brian, it's interesting, so many people were focused on the fact that people in hollywood were behaving badly. >> yes.
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the e-mails. yeah. >> is it really such a much bigger story in terms of what is going on, do you think that maybe the collective response was not as fast because it was an entertainment company? entertainment is hugely critical. >> it is. and it's also entertaining. we've heard george clooney and aaron sorkin say that the hollywood types were too focused on this. george clooney was saying, that they were fiddling while rome was burning. it wasn't just social security numbers, like you're saying, it was private identities, people's medical records. >> and we're going to talk about that in the next block but laurie, you have tracked this community, this sort of dark community. you've seen what they are capable of doing i think perhaps the same way america became focused on ebola when the first case came to the united states,
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now that we've had this particular attack, people are saying, whoa, we are really much worse off than they thought. how bad is it? because it's not just state actors. >> you know, this for some reason was so deeply personal. it's another day, another hack. we're on the phone talking to different people because they tl have been so many hacks in the last year. you get hack fatigue and don't realize how bad it is. we are now looking at sony as a victim on a whole new level and i think we talk about the dark forms and now we're beginning to turn our attention and say, wait, we have to pay attention to this because there's information being bought and sold because there's the ability to attack that. is being bought and sold. and how are we going to fight that? and to fight that we have to know about it. and i think now this is -- what's happened with sony is really -- for some reason is struck all of us because it wasn't just the credit card information or numbers. it was then hacking to change a
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message. and that's unprecedented. >> hacking and holding hostage and then blackmailing essential sl ly is what they did. and one other point, to look at all of this, the movie industry is so relatable. the fact that somebody would go almost to war over a movie that perhaps may not have even done that well at the box office? >> it was going to. >> it is rather remarkable that this is north korea's issue. there simply are not enough people -- this is the growth industry. this is the growth industry. >> it's american's freedom of speech that we're talking about. >> that's exactly right. evan perez, brian stelter, laurie segall, chris frates, thank you for adding to this important conversation. sony's decision not to release the movie is angering much of hollywood and the actors. but can we do anything about it?
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and our big idaho potato truck is still missing. so my buddy here is going to help me find it. here we go. woo who, woah, woah, woah. it's out there somewhere spreading the word about americas favorite potatoes: heart healthy idaho potatoes and the american heart association's go red for women campaign. if you see it i hope you'll let us know. always look for the grown in idaho seal. and we are now getting a statement from the motion picture association of america about the sony hack. this comes from senator chris dodd, chairman and ceo of the
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motion picture association of america. he says, among other things, that this is confirmation north korea of what we suspected to be the case. this is about the fact that criminals were able to hack in and steal what has now been identified as many times the volume of all the printed material in the library of congress. that's all the printed material in the library of congress and threaten the livelihoods of thousands of americans who work in the film and television industry as well as the millions who simply choose to go to the movies. brian, how significant is this? because this puts it in context. everybody who works at that company has now become even more vulnerable in this internet age. >> i'm struck by this, deb, because it just came in during the commercial break and it's the first time the npa has spoken out forcefully. people like me have wondered, why hasn't hollywood spoke out more loudly in support of sony? why haven't others said we stand with studio? well, now they are.
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because npa represents all of the big studios. until now we heard a rather tepid statement, that they are our colleagues. they are saying, we cannot allow this cyberterrorism to be open again on the american people or corporations. they are calling for action. >> it's multiple corporations, multiple people and this is also what is so crucial. there may be a lot of bruised egos right now in hollywood. >> there are. >> but in the end, everybody became vulnerable and everybody who wasn't targeted now becomes also at risk. >> the media coverage initially was about embarrassing details but this is about a lot more than that. >> absolutely. paul callan, danny cevallos is joining us now. now there are employees who are
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looking to sue sony because they are saying that sony did not do enough to protect their personal information. could they argue negligence, for example? >> they could absolutely argue negligence. negligence requires that someone's standard -- they cut below the standard of care in securing this information. one way to show that someone's behavior was negligent was showing that before this happened the company was aware that this was a problem. in lawsuits we've already seen filed, there is documented evidence that sony had prior attacks and that possibly sony didn't do enough to fix it the first time around. >> but let's be clear, i want you to follow up on this issue and that is, you're assuming, danny, that sony did not have security in place. but if they did have security in place through some big company that's charged with either defending the perimeter or looking for bugs inside the company, couldn't sony argue that we did what we could do but
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a determined hacker is almost unbeatable. >> well, i think you're absolutely right about that. in a negligence case, the standard is what's the rest of the industry doing and are we in accordance with that standard. it's not an absolute standard where if they get into the system, the company's responsible. we're dealing with sophisticated hackers coming out of north korea maybe with chinese help. the u.s. government can't figure out how to stop this so to say that employees of sony will have a case here, i think we've got to look at it more closely but it's unlikely. >> and that is the issue, so private companies and they are trying to do -- >> one thing to keep in mind is north korea came out not in november or october or december against this movie but in june. they called this movie an act of war and said they would retaliate. they can't say how but they said there would be repercussions and consequences. does that put sony at more risk?
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>> certainly they were on notice that think might be subject to an attack but do they have the technology to stop an attack of this sophistication? i think we come back to the government. this is what the government is here for, to protect us from attacks from abroad. >> okay. now, i took a tour of dhs' facility where government officials sat side by side with the private companies and the government cannot tell these private companies what to do. what they can say is when they say there's been a breach, the private company can say, fbi, we've got something going on here and then they can say we can look into it. they can't do anything unless the private company goes to them and brings them in to try to get help. would it have been different if sony went to the fbi and said, we are under attack. what can you do to help us safeguard our company? >> you know, i think that would have helped but this cell phone
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that i have right now has more computer power than the lunar module that landed on the moon. so technology is getting so advanced and so sophisticated that some kid in a basement in the ukraine or russia has capacity that scientists didn't even have 15 years ago and we can't keep up. i don't think the fbi is keeping up with it either because it's moving too fast. >> danny, the smaller issue is, this movie was supposed to be released. could sony be -- they say i was promised a cut. what happens then? >> with any breach of contract, you look at the contract. the similar contracts that i've looked at, often the producer or other party holds the company, the original corporation free of liability in case they decide not to release a film. but, of course, every contract is different in this industry and more so because films are so speculative. it's like oil drilling. you might either become a
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billionaire or you might be out of a lot of money. and it's really difficult in damage cases in the entertainment law world which is very interesting because in many other contracts, you can as ser stain damages. when it comes to entertainment, they are often very speculative. >> we have not heard from seth rogen or james franco. >> we really appreciate you all sharing your insight on such a serious topic right now and certainly a rubicon has been crossed. american contractor alan gross was accused of being a spy and held prisoner in cuba. this week he's a free man. another man who did spy for the united states in cuba, details on him, coming up. sheila! you see this ball control?
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this week, the relationship between cuba and the united states changed from it is over to it is complicated. yesterday at the white house, somebody handed president obama what they said was the finest cuban cigar. well, the president gave it a
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whiff and declared it pretty good. many are criticizing the president for negotiating with the one-time adversaries. rand paul is catching heat from his own party for normalizing relations. jimmy carter calls the move long overdue and wise and courageous. however, a congressman from florida is firmly against any change in the policy. and accuses the president of giving in to a terrorist dictatorship exactly what it wants. well, about one hour from now, president obama will take questions at the white house. it's his end of year news conference and his surprise cuban announcement.
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jim acosta is our white house senior correspondent. you have cuba and hacking of north korea. who asks the first question? >> reporter: this press conference could go all day, deborah. the president is supposed to take off for his family vacation in hawaii later on this afternoon so we might have to keep the questions tight. you summed it up nicely, deb. the question has a lot of questions to answer and i suspect one question out of the gate will be about the sony hacking and the fbi allegation that the north korean government is behind it. that is a stunning announcement, although not unexpected and i suspect the president will be asked about that and also sony's decision to pull the movie "the interview" from theaters. the white house was saying yesterday, i talked to a senior official who said they absolutely did not pressure sony to pull that movie and that it was sony's decision but there are people inside this administration privately, deb, who are very concerned about the message that this sends to the rest of the world just when
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these cyberattackers, this administration does not want to see more of that. they don't want to have the hackers thinking that they have some kind of leverage over american corporations. and so i think the president will be asked about that as well. the other thing, obviously, you mentioned cuba, which is the blockbuster of diplomatic deal that was reached by this president and cuban leader raul castro earlier this week. there's been unanswered questions that we have not heard from the president on. i think we'll hear a lot about that this year. the whole notion of potentially traveling to cuba, i asked the question yesterday, might raul castro come to the united states, to the white house? the white house is not ruling these things out and it's just sort of stunning to hear that kind of news coming out of the administration. a lot to chew on and we'll see what the president has to say in
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about an hour from now. >> yeah. and your question was answered by josh earnest saying, look, we've had leaders in china and myanmar so why not cuba. we'll carry the news conference live at 1:30 p.m. and jim acosta will be there live. confessing in an interview on camera to inappropriate contact with an underage girl, "the legal view" will have that story straight ahead. [ female announcer ] hands were made for talking. feet...tiptoeing. better things than the pain, stiffness, and joint damage of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. before you and your rheumatologist decide on a biologic,
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actor stephen collins from the tv show "seventh heaven" is admitting to inappropriate contact with three underage girls. he admitted as much to fay grant and tmz posted a private session during therapy. the misdeeds happened over a 24-year period. collins explains what he did in an interview with katie couric. >> are you a pedophile? >> i do not fit the either clinical or dictionary definition of it.
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a pedestrian fiophile is someon mainly or wholly attracted to children. i had a distortion in my thinking where i acted out in those ways. >> tell us what happened. >> well, in 1973, there were two occasions when i exposed myself to this young woman. and several months later, she came to visit and stay with us with my first wife and me. and my wife had gone to sleep and she and i were watching tv alone together and i took her hand and moved it in such a way that she was touching me inappropriately. >> well, that is very difficult to hear. collins also has released a
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statement to "people" magazine saying, "40 years ago i did something terribly wrong that i deeply regret. i have been working to atone for it ever since." let's bring in our legal analyst paul callan and joey jackson. first of all, paul, do you believe that these young girls, now likely women, will come forward and seek some sort of a settlement? >> they may. but bear in mind, the statute of limitations, these are 40-year-old incidents, probably the statute has expired. he's publicly outed himself here. so the embarrassment is gone. i mean, he's admitted to it already. i don't think he'd have a lot of leverage to get a settlement. >> what about civil lawsuits, joey? do you think one of these girls could perhaps say what he's saying, the guilt of what i did has really led to all of the problems i've had in my life, do you think one of these now young women could come forward and say, yeah, well, it wasn't just you, it was me and seek some
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sort of compensation? >> it's always a problem, deb. i think based upon what paul was talking about, it's very difficult. there are statute of limitations out there for the expressed purpose of corroborating something, making sure that the evidence is not too stale. here we have an admission. he's gone out and publicly admitted. this goes into a couple of other things and that's this. there's always a cross-section between with regard to public relations what is right and with regard to what your lawyers will advise you what is right. here they intercede. the reason i say that, i don't think he has any exposure criminally nor do i think he has any exposure civilly based upon the fact that the time has run. what we're seeing here is an attempt to say, look, let me own this. let me guess up to whfess up. it was wrong. >> you know, i just want to throw one other thing in here. i find it to be disturbing, i guess because my kids loved that
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show, "seventh heaven." the definition of someone suffering from pedophilia, it is having a sustained sexual attraction to someone under age 13. we've heard reports of multiple children involved in his context so i'm not so sure he doesn't fit the definition. >> let's look at his statement, joey. you see him, he looks so much older, speaking of katie couric, than these charismatic pictures that we are showing. do you think this is a career ender? is he basically looking for, you know -- >> that's the problem, deb. and the problem is that i think, listen, the lawyers probably looked at it and said, you know what, you're okay legally in terms of any criminal prosecution even though we know there are investigations under way. but at the same time, this is about the preservation of your legacy and your future. and to the extent that you do own it and fess up to it, there's nothing to say that he's telling the truth. maybe he is coming clean and he
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wrote that essay also and published the essay in "people" magazine in which he confessed to his sins. but i think it's about, you know what, asking for public forgiveness and redemption. if that happens, fine. if people can't get by the deplorable conduct, then he has an issue. >> you're a nice guy, joey jackson. i think it's about him trying to avoid civil lawsuits for money damages because he's going to say, go ahead, sue me. i've already admitted everything on katie couric. you can't embarrass me anymore and the statute of limitations is on on these cases anyway. >> because there is a fact that there is -- i'm sure the lawyers vetted this, talked to him about what he was going to say before he publicly said it. because just to draw the analogy very briefly, you look at cosby who is saying nothing and i think there's parallels to that in as much as he may have exposure with later victims that come forward, cosby, that is, but here we don't see that. >> do you think we will see what we are seeing in the cosby situation where these women came
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forward and completely just destroyed cosby saying that he drugged them, had sexual relations with them? cosby hasn't said anything about it. but do you think that these women will now -- a similar kind of -- >> see, that's the wild card. the wild card always is, the person has their perspective and collins is out there with his perce perspective. there may be additional women that say, he's done something a little bit more. >> there's a big dichbs in the cases, though, because cosby is a cultural icon. collins, i think, is a sort of a largely forgotten figure involved in an old tv show. so i think the likelihood of women coming out against cosby is much greater than people bothering collins. >> a predator is a predator. all right. gentlemen, paul callan, joey jackson, appreciate you being on the show. in another news, american
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contractor alan gross was accused of being a spy and held prisoner in cuba. this week he's a free man. now we're learning more about another man who did spy for the united states in cuba. details on him coming up. i was out for a bike ride.
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deal belongs to alan gross, released from a cuban prison after five years. also released, a spy who worked for the u.s. government in cuba. today after all of this time, we know his name. here's cnn joe johns. >> reporter: alan gross, released from jail after five years was in the spotlight. at the same time, a high-value u.s. spy called by some an american treasure also gained his freedom in the prisoner swap with cuba and has been brought to the united states. >> one of the most important intelligent agencies that the u.s. has had in cuba and who has been in prison for nearly two decades. >> reporter: u.s. officials refused to release the spy's name but sources inside the government and out say that his name is rolando truijillo. the cuban national worked on encrypted communications but was secretly working for the cia.
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he was discovered in 1995. u.s. officials said his work was instrumental in identifying three cuban spies and was said to have provided information to uncover the so-called cuban five. cases u.s. authorities say years after he went to prison. >> what you want to do is get as many as these spies, people who are working for them as possible and that's why you can take a very long time, even after the spy was incarcerated initially by cuba. >> reporter: human rights activists say trujillo was held at one point in the same prison as alan gross outside of havana. he had long been identified publicly as a political prison in cuba. >> he was part of a three-member cia operation and in the mid-'90s, something went wrong
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with the cia mission and one of the members was -- came under the attention of cuban counter intelligence. they tried to do an emergency ex filtration of all three members and for reasons i do not know, he was unable to get out of the country and was arrested. >> and that was cnn's joe johns covering that part of the story in washington for us. well, the stock market is having a great run this week even as it takes a breather. it's down just a bit. we'll see what is going on, next. in a race, it's about getting to the finish line. in life, it's how you get there that matters most. like when i found out i had a blood clot in my leg. my doctor said that it could travel to my lungs and become an even bigger problem. so he talked to me about xarelto®. >>xarelto® is the first oral prescription blood thinner proven to treat and help prevent dvt and pe that doesn't require regular blood monitoring or changes to your diet.
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well, the stock markets are catching their breath today after the steepest rise of the year. cristina alesci is joining me. a change of heart? what is happening? >> not really a change of heart. let's put this into context. the last two days have erased all of december's losses. you'll remember for most of the month we were actually down and this all has to do with the fed at the end of the day keeping with that -- that loose money flowing into the system and that is giving wall street a lot of optimism that the central bank will still continue to look at the fact that the u.s. growth rate target has not been hit
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yet. we're not at that 2% rate that the central bank wants to see. so that means that we could see low interest rates for a lot longer than most people anticipated. >> it's interesting, because the fed doesn't want to do anything with the interest rates right now because there is a bit of sort of a propping up and they don't want to pull out too fast or raise too quickly because, once that happens, the results may not be what they want. >> yeah. and then the big question is, what happens when everybody gets back to their desks in january, right? december has been an historically good month for stocks. so we could finish the year up but, at the same token, you have to look at what happens when people get sobered up and come back to their desk in january and reassess what is going on. one of the troubling spots for a few investors is oil. right? >> right. >> because the falling oil price could indicate that there isn't that much demand, whether it be for business activity or for consumer consumption.
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it really raises questions about activity. >> okay. so ultimately do you think that -- what is your prediction for january since this may be the last time i'm speaking to you? what happens in january? >> i think there's going to be a moment where everybody reassesses just what has happened and whether or not the fundamentals really support the kind of movements that we've seen over the last couple of months. >> okay. >> and look, anything can happen but there are -- >> yes. >> there are some economists out there saying that the fed is going to continue its easy money policy and consumer confidence is going to continue high. we could continue to see the stocks go up. >> all right. we know you'll be watching. thank you so much, cristi cristina alesci. and what started out as a little car company, uber is fighting to keep its very high
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value in the face of some problems. here's cnn's dan simon. >> reporter: as thousands attempted to flee downtown sydney during the deadly hostage crisis, uber found itself in the headlines again and not for good reason. as car demand surged, the service in more than 250 cities around the world, charged passengers four times rate. the company soon apologized and began offering free rides but the damage was done. it's the latest in a string of high-profile mishaps for uber which has led to a series of troubling issues. everything from price gouging and privacy invalsion to allegations of assault and rape. authorities announced that a uber driver has been charged with kidnapping where the driver
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beat and sexually assaulted her. the company, in a statement, calling the crime despicable. uber has been, working closely with law enforcement and will continue to do everything we can to assist in their investigation. and in new delhi, a driver had been accused of a similar crime as the company stresses that safety is its number one priority and that it is working on security enhancements. there have been other recent issues. in san francisco, the company's hometown and los angeles, a lawsuit filed by the d.a. accuses the company about driver background checks. in portland, madrid, and bangkok, uber has been ordered to seize operation for not complying with local laws. in paris, the taxi industry protested. all of this for a company that just launched four years ago and is now valued at more than $40 billion. >> did you ever think you'd be running a car service? >> absolutely not.
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>> reporter: that's uber ceo back in the early days explaining to me the original vision behind the company. >> it was for me, my co-founder and our hundred friends to be able to push a button and a mercedes rolls up but everybody wanted it. we just opened it up. >> reporter: uber doesn't actually employ its drivers. it serves as a technology middle man connecting this them to passengers. the press coverage hasn't always been so friendly. >> it was terrifying. >> reporter: an executive said at an yuber dinner silicon vally sarah lacy, one of the apparent targets of the scheme. >> i've covered powerful tech companies for a long time and powerful moguls for a long time and i've never heard of a plan
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detailed like that before. >> reporter: tweeted that the executive comments were terrible and do not represent the company. >> can these pr problems bring down the company? >> they could if they continued to get out of control and there are more of them and the company doesn't address them. so this might turn into a dart vadar if they are not careful enough. >> reporter: uber hired a master mind who helped with president obama's election in 2008. part of job, to get uber in the city where the powerful taxi companies have been powerful in keeping them out. the ceo writes, acknowledging mistakes and learning from them is the first step. >> we just want to push a button on our phone and get a ride and that's an aspiration and functionality that millions in cities across the country and
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the world want. >> finally at this hour, american scientists say they have discovered 1 million mummies at a big in egypt. egyptians are not so sure. we'll do some digging, ahead. i have a cold with terrible chest congestion.
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i was thinking about htaking this speed test from comcast business. oh yeah? if they can't give us faster internet or save us money, they'll give us 150 bucks. sounds like a win win. guys! faster internet? i have never been on the internet and i am doing pretty well. does he even work here? don't listen to the naysayer. take the comcast business speed test. get faster speeds or more savings, or we'll give you $150. comcast business. built for business. a dispute over mummies, the
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teams are unearthing one million mummies in the egyptian desert. egypt says, huh, thousands, maybe. here's that story. >> reporter: this ancient mummy may be one in a million, literally. believed to be an 18-year-old, she was found in middle egypt. this, according to the head excavator at bringham young university. they claim there are one million mummies under the earth. but they refuse the research prediction, telling cnn, there is indeed a site that contains many corpses but this number in the tens of thousands marximum. many date back to the roman
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empires. those buried here were ordinary people. but the desert climate dried and preserved their bodies. despite the lower social status of the dead, excavate fors have found some items of value, like linen, gloves and even a child's tunic. this toddler appears to be buried with care. she wore two bracelets and an intricate necklace. this, a cluster burial, maybe a family, two adults and two children. possibly a million more mummies to uncover and with them a million more stories. cnn. >> incredible stories at that. in half an hour, president obama is scheduled to hold his year-end news conference. i'm deborah feyerick. wolf will be bringing that to you live.
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"wolf" starts right now. hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington, 6:00 p.m. in london and 3:00 p.m. saturday in pyongyang, north korea. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks for joining us. president obama caps off a momentous week with a news conference set to begin at the bottom of the hour. we'll have live coverage of that. the president steps before the cameras after taking a major step toward diplomatic relations with cuba. he's certain to face questions about that as well as other hot topics, including the sony cyberattack linked to north korea, immigration reform and the fight against isis. the president is expected to highlight job growth and other improvements in the economy. he will answer reporters' questions for maybe as long as an hour. it's scheduled to begin at t

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