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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  February 10, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PST

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the xfinity tv go app. now with live tv on the go. enjoy over wifi or on verizon wireless 4g lte. plus enjoy special savings when you purchase any new verizon wireless smartphone or tablet from comcast. visit to learn more. good morning, everyone. welcome to "cnn newsroom." i'm kate bolduan. >> i'm john berman. the breaking news this hour is heartbreaking. the white house and the family of kayla mueller confirm she is dead. she was the 26-year-old aid worker held hostage by isis captured while doing humanitarian work trying to help people in syria in 2013.
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last week isis claimed she was killed by air strikes launched from jordan. >> it's not clear yet if that is how mueller died. her family just put out a statement. in part it says this. "our hearts are breaking for our only daughter but we will continue on in peace, dignity and love for her." the statement truly heartbreaking in reading their sentiments to their loving daughter. let's get to our reporters. pamela let's start with you. what convinced the edd the muellers and the president that kayla is dead? >> reporter: over the weekend, kayla's isis captors sent the mueller family a message telling them that she had died and also sending the family pictures. we know that after that there was a forensic examiners in the fbi and elsewhere that were trying to authenticate pictures
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before they jumped to conclusions. on saturday there was a growing sense within the u.s. government that kayla had in fact died. not only because of what isis said but also coupled with other factors. the fact that they said she died on friday and that it was likely that isis would let her surface alive after saying she had died. and just looking at their history how they've treated other hostages here. there's a couple interesting things to note here. u.s. officials don't know how she died. there's been skepticism that she died in the jordanian air strike on friday. the statement does not clarify how she died. it's interesting to note that isis has not released these pictures publicly like they have in the past with other hostages with gruesome beheading videos and so forth and propaganda they tried to use. in this case they haven't done that and makes you wonder whether the fact that kayla mule
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mueller is a woman changed that. >> they held her captive for over a year. i want to give you a sense of what this woman was like. the family released a statement mourning the loss of their daughter including a letter that kayla wrote while she was being held prisoner by isis including this line. she said "i will always seek god. some people find god in church. some people find god in nature. some find god in love. i find god in suffering. i've known that my life's work is using my hands as tools to relieve suffering." kyung lah, you are talking to people that loved her. what's the reaction there? >> reporter: we haven't specifically spoken with the family spokesperson today as you can imagine, john. there is a lot of sadness because this is a woman who in this small town, it's 40,000 people in prescott arizona, a
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lot of people here knew her. she's a woman who people saw walking the streets fighting for a campaign against genocide even in high school. she went to college and wanted to fight for the people who could not fight themselves. it's a belief system that people who watched her grow up say they have no idea where it came from other than the upbringing of her parents but that it was so strong in her that it was almost inexplicable that she felt she needed to understand the suffering and understand it in a very personal way. she went to israel. she went to the palestinian territory. she went to india. she wanted to understand how people who are so unable to feed themselves who don't have any rights in this world, could perhaps understand what americans naturally just by being here just by being raised in this country just take for granted. that's what she wanted to do. what we heard over and over
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again from the people who are talking with the parents is that this is what they want people to know about kayla mueller. she wanted justice, social justice for the people who don't have any rights. i think it's particularly poignant john and kate that they also released a handwritten letter that kayla mueller wrote while in captivity. it's dated november 2nd, 2014 referenced within the body of the letter. if you understand the family there's a reason why they released it. there's a statement that's important. it says, "i've been shown darkness light and even in prison one can be free. i'm grateful. i've come to see there's good in every situation. sometimes we just have to look for it." that is part of the very fiber of who this woman was. always trying to find good even in the darkest of places on this planet. john kate? >> kyung, thank you so much.
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her strength and humility come through. thank you both very much. let's bring in now the republican senator from south carolina, senator lindsey graham. senator, i know everyone -- doesn't matter an elected official or not has been following this very closely. the well-being and whereabouts of kayla mueller. this is exactly what everyone feared. what are you hearing? >> well exactly what you said. i know how hard senator mccain has been trying to help this young lady. he's talked to the parents. he's been working with our government and all i can say is that her family has to be heartbroken. my god, this is the best example, this young lady of being an american being a decent human being that one could imagine and i believe very strongly that she's in god's hands. she's going to have an eternity befitting her beliefs and her
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actions and those who captured her and in my view killed her. i think god will judge them differently. >> i think her goodness senator, clearly illustrates the evil of those who were holding her hostage and who one way or another are responsible for her death. we haven't confirmed how she died. i don't think there's any question who is responsible here. the question becomes then -- an area where you have done a lot of talking recently what do do about it? what do you do about isis right now? >> what you try to do is degrade and destroy. the president has the right goal, which is to degrade and destroy this evil force, that will attack our homeland soon if we don't act. so you keep building up capacity in iraq. rebuild iraqi security forces supply the kurds with arms that really actually are modern try to get the sunni tribes to break away from isil and anbar region
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and you retake mosul and liberate anbar. you can't do that without a larger american ground component assisting the iraqis. the real problem in degrading and destroying isil lies in syria. >> senator, you have spoken about boots on the ground. you are out much farther than many in your own party in suggesting there should be a ground force of some 10,000 people including american troops. how would that work? you want u.s. ground forces in syria invading raqqa going door to door there? do you want the same forces in iraq involved in the invasion of mosul? >> listen closely to what i'm trying to convey. i have talked to american military leaders and commanders that have been in the region for over a decade. they have come to conclude that the iraqi security forces lack capacity in the areas of
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intelligence that our special forces are much better than anyone on the planet and you'll need air capability, you'll need air controllers and you need to embed american trainers probably at the company level. the majority of the fighting force will be iraqis and arabs when it comes to syria. but the lack of capability of any arab army that i know of is pretty stunning. what we want is an american component to go in on the ground in syria led by the arabs in the reason but no arab coalition is going to be formed unless you deal with assad. the arabs are not going to fight isil and allow syria to be dominated by assad, a puppet of iran so strategy fails in a couple ways. if you train the free syrian army you send them into syria on the ground. assad will kill them if they get any strength because they will eventually turn on him. the strategy needs an american
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ground component. vast majority of the members of the coalition will be from the region but the american ground component is the difference between success and failure and the worst thing of all is to take isil on and lose. >> taking isil on and is losing i don't think many americans would say is an option here. when it comes to what you're proposing, there are many of your colleagues on capitol hill. those even in the republican party who disagree. who do not want to see any soldiers let alone 10,000 american soldiers on the ground fighting isis. what realistically do you think is going to actually come through congress as the president is preparing to put forth his request for war authority? >> there will be an authorization to use military force that i would support that allows degrading and destruction of isil to occur. you're not going to destroy isil from the air. somebody has to go in on the ground in syria. i am convinced that we'll have
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to be part of that force or we risk losing. >> you think there's no other option other than american troops on the ground? >> there's no option without a ground component. you can't win from there. if you agree with the proposition you can't win from the air alone, somebody has to go on the ground. name an arab army that exists today that is willing to go on the ground in syria without american help. >> senator, on the authorization of force vote along those lines, you want ground troops. would you vote for any measure that restricts the use of ground forces? >> there's a measure that says no enduring offensive capability. i'm not talking about an iraqi invasion of 100,000 american troops that would hold the territory. i'm not talking about an occupying american force. i'm talking about a force to supplement the regional forces that exist today. if you took american combat power off the table in terms of
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ground troops, i would vote against it. we have 3,000 people in iraq right now. that's not enough. the goal is to win and to supplement the iraqis and any coalition going in on syria to my colleagues. if you think you can win this fight without any american troops on the ground your evaluation of the capabilities in the region are far different than mine and i want to win for the sake of this young lady and for the sake of all who have suffered under the hands of this brutal regime who burned a man alive. for god's sake let's get on with degrading and destroying. i'm not worried about politics here. i'm trying to convey to the people the south carolina i know you're tired and i know you're tired of being in the mid east but i rather fight the war here before it comes here. i'm not talking about a political position. i'm talking about a reasoned military solution to a very hard problem that requires america in the air and on the ground at
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some level. >> senator lindsey graham thank you very much for your time. we need to return to our breaking news and thank you very much for your thoughts on the tragic death of kayla mueller off the top. really appreciate it as always. let's return to washington. pamela brown has more details on the death of kayla mueller. pamela? >> reporter: we know that president obama called the mueller family. we believe it happened not long after they received the message from mueller's captors -- from isis captors over the weekend. the message including pictures that apparently verified her death. also we learned the family is trying to get her body back. we don't know what that means if they're in touch with isis captors because they have a direct line in or how that process is taking place. secretary of state john kerry released a statement today and there's an interesting part in this statement. it says isil alone is the reason kayla is gone. like our friends in jordan our resolve is unshaken.
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that is in reference to the fact that no hatmatter how she died it was at the hands of isis. isis is the group that kidnapped her and the u.s. government doesn't know if she was killed in an air strike or through isis execution. bottom line is she died at the hands of isis. john and kate? >> she died while she was being held hostage by isis. there's no question about that. they are responsible one way or another for her death. pamela brown, thank you so much. we'll have much more on our breaking news. the death of kayla mueller. the white house responds. the situation on the ground when we come back.
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supplement plan that's right for you. our breaking news this morning. the white house and the family of kayla mueller confirming that she is dead. the 26 year old had been held hostage by isis in syria since 2013. the white house releasing information that she was dead. the family says they received notification from isis including a photo over the weekend proving the fact that she died. this was a wonderful young woman who was overseas trying to help people doing humanitarian work. someone who knows her well a former professor and a friend of kayla, carol thompson professor at northern arizona university. professor thompson joins us now by phone from zimbabwe where she's working right now. i wonder if you can just give me your thoughts about kayla on this tragic day.
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>> yes. thank you, john. it's been 18 months of anguish and tears and hell for the family. those of us who were trying to come up with an alternative yut outcome to not only kayla but the other hostages james and steven and peter. so a sense of failure is my feeling. along with almost a sense of inevitability because we know isis and a sense of impotence to be of any help to the family. so along with that comes resolution to pick up with kayla was living and acting to try to overcome some of the horrors
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that are going on right now. >> the letter released by kayla's family is difficult to even get through. >> it's heartbreaking. >> it's heartbreaking when you see her strength and humility and the love that she has in the face of terror she was living day by day by day. this is a letter she was able to give to other captors who were eventually released able to get to her family. part of it i want to get your thoughts on. everyone should read it in its entirety. one part really struck with us. she says "if you could say i have suffered at all throughout this whole experience it is only in knowing how much suffering i have put you all through. i will never ask you to forgive me as i do not deserve forgiveness." what does that mean to you that as she's sitting wherever she was writing this letter that she was more worried about the burden she was putting on family and friends than she was about
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herself. >> yes. that's kayla. total compassion. ability to connect with the other and to lose herself in the other and to identify with that. i agree with you that it's the ultimate to do that when you're being treated brutally and you're still worried about the family and what you're putting them through. >> professor, i'm sorry to interrupt it's a long long phone call here. on this day when we're learning she was killed at the hands of isis while being held by isis that's not how the world should remember her. the world should remember her for her work and for her heart. how would kayla want to be remembered? >> kayla would want to be
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remembered as one who is teaching us and that includes me her so-called professor. i taught her about africa. she was teaching me about the middle east. we must not standby and let horrific relationships appear normal and that would include torture. that would include bombing and that would include the brutalities that are going on for hundreds of thousands of people. so she would most be wanting us to say, okay what actions, how can each one of us do a little part and that would be a second part of her message in that she had no illusion she would transform the world. she went trying to do whatever small thing she could do to
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change maybe a couple of relationships. a small corner of the world. and each one of us could do that in honor of the peace heroes who have died. those who have been hostages and trying to work for peace such as james foley and stephen sotloff. >> we're looking at images of kayla. you see pictures of her with her family. it does make us of course wonder -- no one can imagine what her family is going through right now. have you been in touch with them recently? how were they? how do you think they're doing? >> i have been in zimbabwe since last september. i was working with the family in terms of the threats that he had had received in july and august.
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so i was with them before i came to zimbabwe. i have not been in direct communication with them because they're deluged but i've been in communication with other close friends and what they're communicating is what i experienced for 18 months of their incredible generosity in relating to others in being open to others and, yes, like kayla, worrying about others and how they're taking it. they very much share what we did during the 18 months on my occasional visit was for me to share my kayla because that was different. i'm the educator. they would share their kayla. i'm sure they are still very consistent in both of those of sharing with open generosity. i'm returning to prescott by
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friday night because i simply must be a part of this. >> professor carol thompson, we're so sorry for your loss. we're so appreciative of your strength and we also know the family no doubt is as well. thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you for letting kayla speak. it's very important. >> through you she does. thank you so much. we'll continue to follow this breaking news of course. let's get back over to the white house as we've learned that the president has spoken with the mueller family. has called the mueller family. that's where we have our white house correspondent michelle kosinski with more on that. >> reporter: the president did speak with the family. the white house isn't giving a time frame on this. they're not saying that it happened last night as has been reported. but offering condolences. talking about wanting to bring kayla's captors to justice. the president also put out a lengthy statement just before we heard from the national security council offering more detail.
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this is a long statement by the president using detailed and emotional language. at one point quoting kayla's own words. in one part of it kayla represents what is best about america and expressed her deep pride in freedoms that we americans enjoy and that so many others strive for around the world. she said here we are. free to speak without fear of being killed. blessed to be protected by the same law we're subjected to. free to see our families as we please. free to cross borders and free to disagree. we have many people to thank for these freedoms and i see it as an injustie not to use them to their fullest. it's unusual for see -- that was just a small part of this long statement. usually these statements even when something tragic happens, when you look back to summer when this happened with james foley and steven sotloff usually a statement is brief expressing deep condolences and condemnation of isis.
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we saw a week ago in the death of the jordan pilot very publicly horrific scene of when the president wrote again a long statement practically eulogyizing him calling him a true son of jordan. the king of jordan was visiting washington, d.c. on that same day. you have to see that the white house is aware that as this war against isis grinds forward and all of these air strikes, 2,000 of them more than that so far, what the public is acutely aware of are incidents like these. the killing of innocent people including americans and now including a young woman who is just there to try to help other people. john and kate? >> michelle kosinski following the developments at the white house for us. michelle thank you so much. a lot we'll continue following this breaking news. a lot of other news we'll get to as well this hour including this. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu is set to speak before congress. that's coming up next month.
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before he arrives, the list of no shows is growing. senator bernie sanders is among those saying that he's not going. coming up, he's going to join us to explain why.
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just a short time ago, benjamin netanyahu tweeted, i'm
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determined to speak before congress to stop iran. retweet if i have your support. this adds to the controversy in the united states in israel the prime minister was invited by house speaker john boehner who initially did not consult the white house. >> for his part president obama talked of very real differences with benjamin netanyahu over iran and explained why he won't be meateting with the prime minister in washington. >> we have a practice of not meeting with leaders right before their elections, two weeks before their elections. as much as i love angela if she was two weeks from an election she probably wouldn't have received an invitation to the white house. i suspect she wouldn't have asked for one. >> that's a little pointed if you will. sources telling cnn things may be changing still with the speech including the venue where the prime minister speaks. joining us to discuss, the
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vermont sanders bernie sanders, first u.s. senator to say he won't attend netanyahu's address before congress if it happens before congress. why have you decided it's best for you to boycott when the prime minister of israel is coming to speak before congress? >> i'll tell you why. a president of the united states whether that person is a democrat or republican leads us in foreign policy. when you have a situation in the middle east where the politics and the dangers are so volatile the idea that the speaker of the house would invite mr. netanyahu to congress without consulting president obama is i think, a very very bad idea. second point, i think president obama made this point. it is wrong to give any politician not just netanyahu, the stage of a speech before a joint session of congress as part of his political campaign.
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that's wrong for politics in israel. it's wrong for politics anywhere in the world. and last point that i would make mr. netanyahu has every right to disagree with president obama or any of us about our relationship and how we proceed with iran in terms of trying to prevent that from getting nuclear weapons. he has every right. he doesn't have the right in my view to inject himself into an american political discussion by being the speaker before a joint session of congress to criticize the president of the united states. there are all kinds of avenues open to him to speak to members of congress and that's fine. i don't think it's a good idea to have a foreign leader coming before congress to rip apart the president of the united states. >> just a few things here. there are several nations involved with these talks with iran right now. you know it's hardly just an american policy that he's talking about.
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it's an international plan to deal with iran. hang on one second. also on the subject of the timing here i suppose two weeks is a very short time before an election. but some critics point out, look president obama when he was senator obama went to germany and gave a speech several months before the election but as a candidate he traveled. is this some kind of hard and fast rule or are there gray areas here? >> every candidate for president of the united states goes all over the world and speaks to groups. several months is different from several weeks. your point about this being an international issue is quite right. by the way, i think most of our allies who are trying what obama and our allies are trying to do is what the american people want to prevent a war with iran. i understand there are differences of opinion. i think it's a bad precedent to invite the leader of a foreign country to come before a joint
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session of congress to attack the president's position on a very sensitive issue. >> are you -- do you threaten to inflame it more or make more out of it than it already is by making this stand by not attending the speech? do you think that your constituents would rather have you sitting in the speech so you know what the prime minister is going to say rather than turn your back on him? >> i was asked the question yesterday and i gave an answer. you invited me on the show. i'm giving you an answer. i think what my constituents want is to see foreign policy as best we can done in a nonpartisan way and in a way that's good for the people of the united states of america. i think what speaker boehner has done is politicized the situation in a way that's unprecedented. >> if he does it behind closed doors in congress a closed session, would you attend the speech then? >> it's not a question -- you can't have a closed session when
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you are inviting the prime minister of israel to be here or the prime minister of any country. the point is the president of the united states -- again, doesn't matter to me whether that's a democrat or republican leads foreign policy and to invite that prime minister, that political leader without the consultation of the president is a horrendous precedent. >> senator bernie sanders from the great state of vermont. thank you for being with us. appreciate your time. speaking of new england, snow. more snow heading for boston. they've had 6 feet of snow in the last 30 days. that's about six inches shorter than i am. no. here's the thing. more is on the way. the forecast is for more snow. we'll speak with boston's mayor on what they're going to do about all this snow. that's next.
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in boston they have never seen anything like this. the snow is piled so high cars are buried. roofs are collapsing. there's nowhere to put the snow and it's not melting. the third major snowstorm has left six feet of snow piled up in spots, six feet in less than 30 days and another snowstorm is coming tomorrow. >> it really is an emergency at this point. school is out again today. if you have friends in boston or family in boston or you live in boston i can only imagine how stir crazy your children are which means you can't handle it either. kids might have to make up for these days during spring vacation maybe even saturdays, rail service is stopped. it's boston's snowiest month ever. more snow than the city gets in an average year. rosa flores is in boston. you've been amid the snow drifts. how's it looking?
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give us a sense of it. >> reporter: i think this picture really tells the story, kate. take a look. i'm just shy of six feet. take a look at this snow bank. now, here's what's most telling. this has been a prolonged snow event like you mentioned. here you are able to see some of those layers of salt for example right here and then more salt and then some ice. here's what i found at the bottom. this is one of the issues. just a block of ice. this is what bostonians are dealing with while trying to dig out. i want to take a look at this time lapse. i dug out a car not so long ago. it took me 20 minutes which lure k at on your screen. bostonians it will take them longer because i only did half of the car. it's very tedious and of course you have to be very careful because you never know what's under these piles of snow. here's the other thing i want to show you. people have been very hard at work but take a look at this. this is a sidewalk that we were able to clear not too long ago and now it's completely blocked
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off by the snow. you can see that it's very difficult to get through. we talked to one of the homeowners who says that he was trapped inside. he was actually using his shovel to dig himself out. we did call boston public works and we haven't received a comment yet. this just really gives you an idea of what people are going through. >> that's bonkers. that is crazy. >> a technical term there. that is bonkers. >> rosa flores thank you so much. let's find out what will happen to sidewalks like that. we want to bring in the mayor of boston. mayor, thank you so much for being with us. there is more snow in the forecast for as soon as tomorrow. could be a foot. another foot of snow. explain to me how you are dealing with the snow that is there? where are you going to put it? we saw pictures of a sidewalk completely covered. >> we've had snow farms up and running for two weeks where we are moving snow off the streets,
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bringing it to a snow farm melting snow every night. we melted in the last two weeks over 200,000 tons of snow in the city of boston. we're going to continue to do that for the foreseeable future. i think you have a picture of a snow melter coming up now. we're doing that right now. the streets that you just saw your correspondent on we are out there today. a snow emergency in the city of boston. we're removing snow as best we can off the street and trying to get snow off the sidewalks as well in certain areas. it's really difficult. you saw the snow bank that was viewed that's three major storms on top of each other and we haven't had any type of warm spell even above freezing. we've had one day in the last 14 days at 37 degrees above freezing. so we're not even getting any help from the weather as far as being able to melt some of this stuff and move it. we're constantly in either a snowplowing mode or a snow removal mode and today we are in
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snow removal in the city of boston. >> folks at this point are probably like i'm used to it. what's another foot on top of six feet at this point or more? how much will it take to dig out assuming the storm may come tomorrow is the last one for a while do you think? >> if we had a week without snow and we could -- and the weather worked with us even a little bit and even got above freezing we could do some real major damage. the problem with the next storm that's coming is even if it doesn't hit us at 12 inches we're looking at weather in the single digits. it's very difficult. once the snow freezes, it becomes like concrete. it's hard. you can only use certain equipment to move it out. plows won't work anymore. one of our problems is our plow blades aren't tall enough. so we're moving forward. hopefully we'll make a decision
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today on school. we have a parking ban in effect in the city right now on major thoroughfares and probably keep that parking ban in effect for another day at least. we'll make decisions as the day goes on. we have a press conference -- >> mayor, let me ask you about schools quickly because we have to run here. what about all of these days the kids have missed? we heard from an official this morning that you are considering the possibility of school on saturdays? >> i have a meeting today -- we have a meeting today and we'll make announcements later today about makeup days. we're one over now. we've gone beyond -- we have to make days up now so we're looking at where do we make those days up and trying to build in future snow days with the anticipation that we get more snow from now until the end of winter. >> all right, mayor. you're lucky kids can't vote. >> absentee ballots will be all right but after that they won't be happy with me in a couple weeks. >> mayor marty walsh good luck we know you're working hard to keep that city moving as best it
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can. we appreciate you taking the time to be with us. >> good luck. we'll get back to other news we're following including this. our breaking news about a young woman kayla mueller. the white house along with mueller's family confirming her death. now the question is did she die in an air strike as isis claims? did her captors kill her? how will u.s. officials be able to tell and what will they share with the public? our terrorism analysts will weigh in next. hey brandon what's up? so you can talk from down here. smile for grandma! or text pictures from up here. ok, there we go, should we send a photo? you can even make calls, way over here. talk and text over wi-fi, with wi-fi calling on iphone 6. only from t-mobile. now get iphone 6 for $0 down. your daughter has a brilliant idea for her science project.
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still unknown, though how she died and when she was killed. >> according to fresh intelligence isis is working on plans now to kidnap more americans, more westerners also possibly people from other middle eastern countries and doing this in countries such as jordan and lebanon. we're joined now by our terrorism analyst, paul cruickshank cruickshank. we don't know for sure how kayla mueller died. senator jeff flake says the death of kayla mueller can be laid squarely at the feet of isil. isil says she died last week. we don't know one way or another. why does it matter? >> i think the family will want to know for their peace of mind how she died. that will be important to them. they clearly don't know yet. the administration doesn't appear to know yet either whether she could have been kill in an air strike last week or if isis themselves killed her and
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sort of framed it as her being killed in an air strike. >> what are you hearing, paul? you've heard from your sources that when you're talking about the death of kayla mueller, the next question for a lot of folks is what of other hostages being held? there's a lot of reporting that isis is running out of hostages strange to say, and that your sources are telling you they're looking to go into other countries, even jordan to try to abduct folks. >> yeah. they're looking to get more western hostages -- >> what would that mean? that's a change of the game. a change of their approach from today. >> yeah. the intelligence suggests they've been looking to do this since at least the middle of last year to get more western hostages. they've seen it as useful from a propaganda perspective. they've been looking at jordan lebanon, neighboring countries where there are americans and westerners that they might be able to snatch and bring back across the border. there's a lot of worry about egypt as well because this new
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isis affiliate there which is very active, killed an american in a carjacking last summer. just yesterday released a video where it beheaded eight spies. a lot of concern that it could abduct western tourists still traveling to egypt because it's very much part of that isis fold this group now. >> up until this point, all the hostages were seized in syria, i think. not necessarily in iraq. it's all a syrian operation. if they started operating to seize hostages outside that country, that would be a big deal, that would be a big shift. why is the possession of hostages so crucial to isis? >> think of all the propaganda they've made out of it. isis has been in the news in a way that they can control it makes them look ten feet tall in the eyes of their supporters makes it look as if they're retaliating against the west for these air strikes. just last september, we saw a french hiker in algeria beheaded
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by a group which had mreejed allegiance to abu bakr al baghdadi. so this is happening more at a regional level now, not just syria and iraq but other countries where isis and isis affiliates are active. libya is another country where there's a lot of concern. a lot of western contractors still operating in libya. >> do you see this tactic of taking hostages for propaganda purposes and even for money purposes because we know that some other countries, some other actors, they do pay ransom for these hostages do you see this being a more important tactic for isis when you take a look at the battlefield, if you will and they are losing ground in certain places. they've seen some success on part of the coalition in areas in iraq. >> yeah. it changes the subject. they've obviously had a number of setbacks in recent weeks. and they've lost ground in kobani and diyalah province. but all they're talking about is
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this horrible burning to death of this jordanian pilot m and that works to their advantage because it makes them look strong with their most hardline supporters allows them to continue to recruit. >> does the absence of hostages -- we know jonathan cantlie is being held he's part of these latest propaganda videos. as they lose hostages does that free the hand to the coalition to attack isis perhaps with more force? >> it may do. i don't think that was necessarily a big restraint. it's been quite difficult for them to find targets in syria and iraq because isis is in urban areas it's mixing with the local population using them as human shields. so it's been very very difficult to target this group from the air. there have been 2,000 air strikes and that has degraded them to some degree but only very, very slowly. isis is still pretty resilient, controls a lot of territory in iraq and anbar province.
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it's still in mosul. >> how do you think kayla mueller -- the announcement of her death, how she died and when she died are important factors, not only for the family but for the coalition, knowing how this transpired? do you think her death changes the game? >> i think it's going to only strengthen the resolve of this country. that the american people are going to be absolutely outraged by this. here was somebody who went -- dedicated her life to help the people of syria and look what happened. i think this really sort of increases the resolve here from everybody. >> paul great to see you. thank you so much. >> that's all for us today. "legal view" with ashleigh banfield starts right after a quick break. good night's sleep... and aveeno®. [ female announcer ] only aveeno® positively radiant has an active naturals® total soy formula. it helps reduce the look of brown spots in just four weeks. aveeno®. naturally beautiful results™. if you don't think beat con men at their own game when you think aarp, you don't know "aarp."
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with a guaranteed 2 hour appointment window and a 97% on-time rate xfinity is perfect for people with a busy life. hello, everyone. i'm ashleigh banfield. welcome to "legal view." for more than a year very few people knew kayla mueller was being held hostage by isis. and that was very much on purpose. days ago, her captors claimed that she was killed. they said by a coalition air strike. but they didn't give proof of that. so the young arizona woman's family u.s. officials and everyone who knew her incredible story or her terrible plight they all held out hope. and that hope has now ende