tv CNNI Simulcast CNN February 21, 2015 1:00am-2:01am PST
a fire blazes 50 stores up. three teens on the run. why authorities think isis maybe luring them to syria. and holding oscar's secrets. we peek inside the gilded envelopes of the academy awards. i'm george howell. this is cnn newsroom. we begin with the fire that lit up dubai's iconic torch tower. this happened earlier today. a luxury high-rise engulfed in flames. witnesses say the fire appeared
to start on the 50th floor of the building. flaming debris scorched the lower parts of the tower . hundreds of people had to evacuate to the streets below. cnn producer john jenson was there and spoke to some terrified residents. >> reporter: these are the dramatic images of one of dubai's large fires in recent history. flames engulfed the upper floors of the apartment building. it broke out saturday morning. there were no injuries or deaths and the cause sun known according to dubai's civil defense. hundreds of people evacuated to the street and described the confusion. >> all of us we run, run, run downstairs. of course it was panic. it was panic. i never seen like this before. >> it was a little surreal to be honest. i was just concerned. kept looking down to see if
there were any flames coming through the stairwell and with the with smoke it was frightening. >> reporter: the blaze was extinguished several hours after it began. the police still have a massive cleanup. we're about one block away from where the fire first broke out. as you can see behind me are the remnants of the flaming debris that came off the building, the glass, massive chunks and facade of the building. making matters worse, in dubai right now there is a sand storm so it is flying in the air. the fire erupted in one of the iconic towers. one of the tallest buildings in the world with 79 floors. the building's management wasn't available to comment but residents say beside hearing fire alarms they were told nothing and have little idea what to do next. >> nobody tell us anything. nobody tell us anything. i don't know how, where do we go? all of us we are like this. >> reporter: the tragic irony
lost on no one here is the building's name the torch. john jenson cnn, dubai. >> really scary pictures there. joining me on the phone is a resident who lived on the 20th floor of the torch. thank you for taking time to talk to us about what you saw there and what you experienced. can you tell us? >> yeah sure. i think actually myself and my roommate were probably among the first people to notice there was a fire. i had been on the phone. i have family in the u.s. i was on the phone with them. in the building there's often fire alarms that can go off. people in the building have developed the habit of ignoring them. i didn't pay much attention. in the corner of my eye i saw sol something fall from the building and it was on fire. so i decided to quick hung up my
phone call woke up my roommate and threw on shoes and headed for the staircase. >> i have lived in a tall tower like that residential tower. i'm curious to know what it was like to evacuate a building like that so high up. was it an orderly evacuation? what was that like? >> so i mean the tower, because -- the tower is actually 82 floors of residential housing. so the staircases are divided as are the elevators. i think that helped to make things a bit more orderly. like i said we were some of the first people out of the building some the stairwell wasn't too crazy. very good friends of mine live on the 79th floor and had to make their way downstairs with their their 1-month-old baby and it was a different experience than we had going down there.
>> that's terrifying. what is it like to see the crews there try to put the fire out? >> on the ground it was actually scary. on the ground floor and left through the garage. when we looked up, we could see tons of parts of the building on fire falling. as you mention ed earlier, we're in the middle of a stand storm. so already it is high winds. literally you just sand hitting you in the face and looking up and seeing chunks of the building falling was scary because we had to figure out how to get somewhere safe so we were able to cross the street quickly and took shelter in the garage of the tiger building which is across the street. then they had to evacuate that building as well because so many pieces of the building that were falling and on fire.
pretty quickly the streets got packed. it was a mixture of people obviously who lived in our building who were quite upset to see the building on fire. every time something fell from the building you held your breath because you were hoping it wouldn't drop on another balcony, on the building and start a fire there which eventually did happen. the 30th floor started on fire as well with. and that side of the building once it caught fire it caught quite quickly. a mixture of residents and other people who were videotaping everything happening. it was very crazy. >> i want to ask you briefly, as well. so you were on the 20th story of this building if i'm correct there. so is that where you are staying now? i wouldn't imagine you are back in the building. where are people staying at this point who can't get back in the
building? >> so it is a pretty heavily populated area. a lot of people had friends who called immediately as soon as it happened. i think it went by quickly. i had a number of friends outside of dubai calling to see how i was doing. a lot of friends said are you okay, come stay with me. a lot of people are staying at friend's houses. we got an e-mail from the building saying the floors six through 20 are cleared for people to go back in to the building. the elevators aren't functioning yet to the higher floors. i'm not sure if they are going to be but as of now they are saying people from the 6th to 20th floor are allowed back in the building. i think probably in the next half hour we will head to the building and assess damage wise. >> again taking that information that you say the sixth through 20th floors are cleared for
people to get back in the building. we are glad you got out safely. thank you for your time after escaping that fire at the torch in dubai. thank you. now on to iraq. there are concerns that a plan to take back mosul from isis will only fuel insnablt the region. the united arab emirates and other coalition members say the offensive which would be largely led by shia-dominated forces would alienate sunnis. isis tried to capital hooizize on sunni's disenchantment with the iraqi government. er bill is at the center of fighting against the isis terror group. senior international correspondent went to the front lines where kurd canish fighters are trying to keep isis at bay. >> reporter: all is quiet at this moment on erbil. we went there with this man, the
commander of sector six of the kurdish lines. one of iraqi kyrgyzstan's richest entrepreneurs last august as isis pushed close to erbil, he replaced his business suits with combat fatigues. >> i have many many projects in kyrgyzstan. famous projects and resorts, factories. >> reporter: as we approached the front lines, his radio picks up chatter among isis fighters. he's responsible for a network of fortifications and trenches running 120 kilometers or 70 miles. this is one of the hottest sectors of the thousand kilometer or around 600 mile front between. it wasn't far from here that isis launched major assault on their positions. however, they were pushed back. his men a collection of
middle-aged veterans of the kurds decades long struggle against saddam hussein and youngsters new to the ways of war. their weaponry mostly old and very light. leaving him wond withering why as they fight isis their appeal for better weapons isn't heated. >> i feel we are alone. ul in april or may and he's skeptical. >> maybe, but with the with iraqi army i don't think so. very difficult. >> reporter: for now the fighters here are holding the line. not letting down their guard.
en. the new u.s. secretary of defense is in kabul today to meet with afghan president. ashton carter arrived in kabul four days after sworn in as pentagon chief. the defense secretary will also meet with u.s. troops at bagram airfield today. on the flight to afghanistan, reporters asked carter whether the u.s. will be sending ground troops back in to iraq to help fight isis. listen. >> that's one that will be iraqi led, and the u.s. supported and it's important that it be launched at a time when it can succeed as i think the important thing is that it get done when it can be done successfully. even if i knew exactly when that was going to be i wouldn't tell you.
>> we understand that carter will visit u.s. troops in kandahar on sunday before leaving for kuwait where he'll meet with american military and kuwaiti leaders. there's a desperate search in the u.k. to find three teenager girls and stop them from fighting and joining with isis. police say they were last seen getting on to a plane in turkey which is a frequent entry point in to syria. our chief u.s. security correspondent jim sciutto has more including the growing trend of young women joining this terror group. >> reporter: senior british diplomate tells me the recruitment by isis of women and girls is a clear and disturbing trend and warns the girls involved in this case are at risk of sexual and other exploitation if they make it to the war zone in syria. these three young british schoolgirls are believed to be the newest foreign recruits to isis. caught on surveillance cameras at london's gattwick airport with luggage in tow, police fear
they have fled britain for syria. >> we don't know how they came up with the plan or what enticed or encouraged them to go out to syria. we obviously believe they are heading toward syria. we just don't know how it's happened. the parents themselves are mystified. >> reporter: the muslim girls have been missing since tuesday when they boarded a flight to istanbul, turkey, the same airport this man used. she is still wanted by french police and believed inside of syria. turkey has been the key transit noint to syria for recruits to isis and other extremist groups. turkish and european authorities are struggling to stem the flow. dhs secretary jeh johnson told wolf blitzer on thursday the u.s. is tracking these movements the best it can. >> we have systems in place to
track these individuals as they come and go. it is difficult to pick up broken travel -- >> what is that mean broken travel? >> where you fly to country a "a" and go to country b on the ground and say we don't know that fact. >> the terrorism research group track estimates one in six isis foreign recruits are women. that isis recruiting network extends all the way to the u.s. homeland. in october, three teenager girls from colorado were intercepted at frankfurt airport in germany as they tried to make their way to syria to join isis. it was their parents who tipped off the fbi. another american 19-year-old shan shannon maureen connelly was arrested in denver international airport in april of last year on her way to an isis camp. she was sentenced to four years in prison after confessing she
wanted to become an isis bride and wage holy war. the three british girls are friends with another girl who traveled to syria. police interviewed them but did not consider them to be likely isis recruits. >> police say if they can find the girls in turkey before they get to syria there's a good chance they can get them back home. no matter where you are in the united states you are probably cold. winter is still taking its toll on more than 125 million americans. what the eastern part of the can you u u.s. can expect from this deadly winter storm in the next few days.
tug has already struggled to reach the stranded vessel fighting through ice that is ten-feet thick in some places. the dangerously cold weather and below-normal temperatures in the u.s. have turned deadly in some places. at least 23 people have died across the united states this week alone, including 18 deaths in the state of tennessee. more than 125 million americans in the eastern part of the u.s. are under some type of windchill advisory. that includes some places with windchills as low as 40 below. records are being broken in several states and there's even been snow in the south. meteorologist derek van damme is at the world weather center. there was snow in parts of northern georgia. it's really unusual. >> even in to the atlanta metro area got a few snow flurries throughout the course of the day today. some of the records broken have actually stood for centuries, believe it or not. with this cold arctic air that settled in across the eastern
and central parts of the u.s. it's leaving scenes like this across many rivers and lakes, freezing them completely. just like the hudson river in lower manhattan. here it is the century's old record lows that continue to be shattered. lexington, kentucky we're talking about 18 degrees below zero fahrenheit. that's on friday morning. unbelievable stuff. there's now a new winter storm that's developing across the mid-atlantic and ohio river valley. we have winter storm warn withings and weather advisories all the way to the big apple. low pressure system developing across tennessee in to oklahoma. some precipitation mixed over at times near the atlanta metro area. you can see the storm developing. we expect rain/snow mix for the nation's capitol in to new york and even perhaps for boston on saturday evening and in to sunday. you can see snowfall totals could exceed a foot near west
virginia. lesser amounts but significant for southern ohio and western portions of pennsylvania. on top of that the possibility of a quarter to a half inch of ice. along the i-40 corridor. traveling eastbound or westbound to the carolinas be careful, northbound or southbound on 758 looking hairy as well through this batch of precipitation that continues to move from west to east. this is not our only storm we're tracking. we have a pacific northwest storm that is bringing in moisture across the colorado rockies. this will dump upstandards of two feet of snow for some of those popular ski resorts out west including breckenridge and vail. we will keep with the snow theme. people in jerusalem on the other side of the world on friday morning woke up to a fresh layer of snow but creating magnificent sights. this thin blanket of snow covering the city. it caused power outages in a few neighbors. authorities closed roads in to
jerusalem hours before it started snowing and the thin blanket of snow gave a bright glitter to some of the holy places in the walled old city. love seeing that stuff. we have plenty of that snowy weather in the central and eastern half of the united states, as well. >> i saw something funny on-line. it said elsa from frozen is wanted by police. >> i think so. we'll blame it on him. >> thank you so much. russia appears to be near recession but not everyone is struggling in that country. what is behind the uptick in gun sales despite western sanctions?
thousands of people filled kiev's independent square for a bittersweet ceremony. many were overcome by emotions marking the one year anniversary of the maidan uprising. activists will hold a rally denouncing the political protests. more now from senior international correspondent. >> reporter: moment of silence in the sea of ukrainian flags. thousands came to commemorate those killed in the violence last year that eventually led to profound change for ukraine and for european security.
>> in his speech pedro poroshenko hailed the unity of the protesters. we have lost so many people he said. they were here shoulder to shoulder. representatives of different ethnic groups religions, people from both east and west north and south of ukraine. it was on february 20th 2014 that the ongoing protests on me maidan square erupted in to the worst violence to that point. protester and security forces traded fire. in the end almost 50 people had been killed. dozenens more wounded. the bloodshed galvanized the movement to oust then president vic. and he fled to russia the country that had supported his regime. today ukraine's military honored those killed in the uprising, and so did scores of ordinary civilians, laying down flowers,
many overcome by emotions even a year on. >> translator: what can a regular person like me feel but sadness and respect for the people who gave up their lives for the glory of ukraine, says this man who said he was on the square while the protests were going on. this is a day of remembrance for most people here in ukraine but also a day where people take stock of where the country is one year on. it is certainly a dhaunt seems ill disillusioned by the pace of reforms and the economic solution and the situation in the east of the country. large crowds gathered at dooef's main railway station to give a hero's welcome to soldiers arriving home from the battle neeld the east. among the thousands who gathered in maidan square the mood was more somber as this nation looks back on a year that brought so much hope but also so much uncertainty, division and pain.
cnn, kiev. from the mood at maidan square to russia. russia's economy has struggled for months now fuelling fears of a recession there. for the country's most famous gunmaker, business is booming. we have this report as fighting escalates in ukraine and russia so do weapon sales. >> reporter: it's the weapon of choice for rebels tourists and national armies alike. the ak-47 assault rifle has been on the front line of pivotal conflicts since the second world war. while his home country may be facing economic turmoil, it is one business bucking the trend. >> reporter: the stret secret of their success is the power of the brand. it is also good weapons, both civilian and military which our buyers like. >> reporter: strong demand sent sales soaring by a third since
2013 despite sanctions imposed by the west. >> we were surprised that we were included on the sanctions list. because of that we were forced to change the strategy of sales since we lost 80% of our sales volume. the only option was new markets with military products rather than civilian. >> reporter: the new focus appears to be right on target. coming a a time when the world's armed forces are confronted bay new set of security threats. the strife in ukraine, iraq and syria, global defense budgets increased in 2014 for the first time in three years. despite slashing spending in almost area recession-hit area is boosting military expenditure by 30% in 2015. it has helped to shape the fortunes of many countries and many lives have been lost along the way. but whether in war or peace, for russia it is an icon of the former soviet might and today a
rare spot of resilience in the otherwise struggling economy. cnn, london. the former mayor of new york city says the u.s. president doesn't love america. we'll have reaction to that remark, including a response from the white house. plus what really caused a man to kill a u.s. sniper and another man at a gun range? the prosecution is trying to chip away at the defense's insanity claim in the american sniper murder trial. we'll look at it
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you are watching cnn newsroom. i'm george howell with the headlines this hour. a massive fire that lit up a dubai sky scraper is out but officials don't know how it started. witnesses say flaming debris could be seen spilling from the 79-story building known as the torch, ironically. it is one of the largest luxury residential buildings in the world. no one was injured. three british teenagers are believed to be on their way to syria to join and fight alongside isis. authorities are searching for the girls ages 15 and 16. police say they were last seen on tuesday taking a flight to istanbul turkey. liberia plans to reopen its land border crossing on sunday after they were closed during the ebola outbreak and scare. liberia's president has lifted a nationwide cure few and schools in the country are reopened they reopened this week after closed for five months. nearly 4,000 people in liberia were killed by the ebola virus.
greece finally has the financial lifeline it desperately needed to avoid a disaster. eurozone negotiators have agreed to a four-month extension of the country's $273 billion bailout program. we have this report from athens. >> reporter: after weeks of negotiations finally a solution at least a draft agreement between greece and its creditors putting an end to the anxiety and talks. it started with difficult news from both sides pushing their way ahead of the euro group ended in what both describe as a success. greece signed a draft agreement. on monday it has agreed to submit a number of reforms to creditors about how it is going to proceed in the four months that its bail out has been
extended. we understand these reforms will agree to less austerity for greece and commitment to stick to its reform path and to make sure that all of the creditors' requirements are met. this has eased people's minds here in greece after such a long time of instability and uncertainty. everyone is waiting for monday to' what this reforms plan will entail. to another story now. former new york city mayor rudy giuliani is not apologizing for saying u.s. president president obama doesn't love his country. the remarks came at a private dinner for the governor of wisconsin. senior white house correspondent jim acosta has the story. >> reporter: president obama was feeling the love for america. >> it's about making this nation we love more perfect. >> reporter: the comment came as the white house laughed back at
rudy giuliani after the former new york city mayor questioned the president's love for his country. white house press secretary suggested that rudy giuliani damaged his image as america's mayor of the attacks on 9/11. >> it is sad to see when somebody attained a certain level of public stature and at mir ration tarnishes that so thoroughly. the truth is i don't take joy or satisfaction from that. i think the only thing that i feel is sorry for rudy giuliani today. >> reporter: giuliani touched off a firestorm when he said earlier this week, i know this is a horrible thing to say but i do not believe that the president loves america. he doesn't love and he doesn't love me. he wasn't brought up the way with you and i were brought up through love of this country. the ex mayor hasn't apologized. >> i don't feel this love of america. i believe his initial approach is to criticize this country and
then afterwards to say a few nice things about us. >> reporter: giuliani defended the remark to cnn saying it has nothing to do with race adding the president was brought up by a white mother and grandparents and because he made the comments at a private event for scott walker a potential presidential contender other candidates are on the spot. >> if they disagree with what giuliani said, the activists will say no guts. i want a candidate with guts. >> while walker is trying to dodge the issue. >> i love america. that's the only american i can comment on and i think america is a great, exceptional country. >> others are seeking distance. >> democrats aren't asked to answer every time joe biden says something embarrassing. i don't think i should i think the president loves americas but his ideas are bad. >> reporter: it is line of attack the president has heard before. >> this is not a man who sees america as you and i see america. >> mr. obama answered the charge
repeatedly back in 2008. >> let me be clear, i will let no one question my love of this country. >> reporter: jim acosta cnn, the white house. now to the trial of a man accused of murdering american sniper chris kyle and another military veteran. testimony friday claims drugs, alcohol and even episodes of the hit tv show "sign field" are all reasons eddie ray routh may have killed the two. the precipitationosecution says these are all excuses. >> reporter: all of those times eddie ray routh is seen squirming in a police car or rambling as interrogated by murder investigators, the prosecution's medical expert says these moments are examples of routh's personality disorder. a man desperate for attention not evidence of an insane killer. >> military-aged male on a cell phone watching the convoy over.
>> reporter: at the moment routh killed kyle and littlefield the forensic psychologist said that he was in a psychotic state fuelled by marijuana abuse and routh knew what he was doing was wrong and did it any way. the judge is not allowed courtroom audio to be broadcast until the trial is over. >> if he wants to smoke pot or drink alcohol he can do that but not as a defense to a crime. what was the prosecution is going to say is that was his voluntary decision and not an ex excuse. >> i'm talking about a pig man. >> the prosecution psychologist suggested that the show seinfeld may have contributed. he watched seinfeld reruns in the jail where he spent the last two years and may have been influenced by this episode where the character kramer is convinced he's seen a half pig, half man creature roaming a hospital.
>> i just saw a pigman. a pig man. he was sleeping and then woke up at me and made this horrible sound. >> reporter: another forensic psychiatrist said routh was intoxicated at the time of the murders. routh is pleading not guilty by reason of insancy but the prosecution expert says anytime intoxication is present, game over. he cannot be considered legally insane. no one administered a blood exam on the night he was arrested to determine how much drugs and alcohol were in his system. laura beale, who wrote a book about routh's struggles interviewed the family extensively and they blame poor health care and cocktail of prescription drugs for his down fall. >> basically the family would send him home with pills and he got a lot of pills and prescriptions, which he you know -- which weren't helping. i think at one point, he had -- he was on seven or eight
welcome back to cnn newsroom. i'm george howell. the worst appears to be over for residents in queensland australia. a cyclone tore through but has eased off. our meetteorologist derek van dam has the latest. >> this was what it left in its wake. marcia, marcia marcia. if you get my "brady bunch" example. you can see the destruction it left behind. this tropical cyclone. this the effects of this psych clone felt in the sporting community. we're supposed to have the international cricket world cup played in brisbane today. that was unfortunately cancelled because of the weather with. that's thanks to the departing tropical cyclone marcia.
this is also a scene near the yapun region, close to rock harbor where we had direct landfall north of brisbane. here's the remnants of marcia. heavier showers and thunderstorms that moved through brisbane six hours ago. just a few isolated showers remain at the moment. just take note, though, as this storm starts to exit the coast. this is new south wales. you can imagine there's all kinds of turbulence in this area. it's not out of the realm of possibility that we spin up a water spout. we want to keep a close eye on that, as well. overall things are starting to improve. it left 300 millimeters plus in the rainfall accumulation for some locations. we still have a few showers to go from brisbane southward towards the new south wale coast. you can see brisbane has a chance of thunderstorms this sunday and rain showers unaffiliated with marcia and
also cricket being played on sunday in melbourne. that will be just a hot day. here's the remnants of what was lam across the northern territory. it will bring rainfall to a very sparsely populated part of northern australia. george back to you. >> good to see the storms have passed. a lot of damage left in the wake with of the storms. >> they will be cleaning up for weeks. >> derek, thank you so much. there's a growing movement in the united states to change how high school students learn history. some teachers want the politicians to back off. we have this report on the debate over advanced history last classes. >> america's history is full of battle and conflict. now there's a war brewing over the way that u.s. history is being taught in classrooms across the country. conservatives have taken aim at the curriculum framework or guidelines for ap u.s. history class. they say the guidelines are
biased and unpooit patriotic because they don't specifically mention key parts of history. for example, in oklahoma republican state representative dan fisher initially wanted to do away with the entire class, but backed off after a public outcry. >> there appears to be a pretty strong leaning about everything that is wrong with america. for instance there's room in it to talk about the black panthers but not room to talk about martin luther king. >> reporter: in fact martin luther king is mentioned in the guidelines as are the black panthers but the woman who with started this movement said it is not about specific examples it's what she believes is a lieb ral theme throughout. >> the new one talks about giving special emphasis to race gender class and ethnic identities. that's sort of the leftist goal of having all of history viewed through that lens. >> reporter: jane robbins is with a conservative think tank and is pushing for change. >> there was a relentless
negative drum beat about america. >> reporter: robbins youth rage led the rnc to issue a memo calling the new guidelines quote, a bias and inaccurate view of many important events in history." after the rnc got involved the issue exploded across the country with conservatives in at least a half dozen states calling for a review of the curriculum or for ending the ap u.s. history course all together. nowhere has this been so disruptive as in jefferson county colorado where students held pro-thess in defense of the course and even walked out of class. >> i was insulted. >> reporter: teachers like stephanie rossi say they make the ultimate decisions about what is taught and politicians should stay out of the classroom. >> the thought that a board member that is supposed to represent an educational institution is assuming that history teachers in her district are going to lead kids to be un-american and unpatriotic.
>> reporter: the college board, which administer s ap courses for colleges and universities says the debate has been marred by misinformation and gave this statement to cnn. saying "in the face of these attacks ap teachers and students our member institutions and the american people can rest assured the college board will not compromise the integrity of the advanced placement program." . cnn, new york. hope you are ready for the oscars. it's hollywood's biggest night from the history of the envelope that bears the winner's name to what the host has up his sleeves. we're previewing it all. some of the best red carpet highlights.
welcome back. just before the start of racing season nascar has indefinitely suspended driver kurt busch in all events after a court determined he likely abused a former girlfriend. his attorneys have denied the allegations from patricia driscoll. she claims busch grabbed her by the throat and slammed her head against the wall last year. busch could race this season if the suspension is overturned in the appeals process. preparations are underway for sunday's big night at the oscars show. the red carpet has been rolled
out and predictions of who the big winners will be are flooding in. as far as best picture goes "birdman" seems to have is a slight edge over "boyhood" but "american sniper" could be the dark horse contender. neil patrick harris admits he is nervous about emceeing but said he has a lot of fun planned for hollywood's biggest night and trying to top last year's record-breaking selfie by ellen degeneres. neil patrick harris has hosted the emmys and tonys but this is his first crack at the oscars. cnn's stephanie elam traces the showbiz roots. >> reporter: from former teen idol to toast master of hollywood's biggest night, neil patrick harris is the latest to take on the most high pro-hiel hosting gig in the world. >> seven stitches nice and neat. >> shouldn't leave much of a scar. >> looks okay. maybe i won't sue.
>> reporter: harris kicked off his career as doogie howser md, the teen doctor who ruled screens in the '80s. unable to match that again. >> dude i was able to perform an appendectomy at 14. i think i can handle a couple of mushrooms. >> isn't that just a tv show. >> reporter: harld and cue mar helped him to land a leading role in "how i met your mother." >> i hope you are not lactose intolerant. legendary. >> reporter: during that time the tony awards came calling. >> hello, everybody. welcome to the 63rd annual tony awards. i'm neil. thanks for being here. >> 2009 earned him the axd
wayrds and he nabbed the tonys drob job for three years as wealth as two stints of the primetime emmy awards. >> i wouldn't be here if someone else had passed on hosting. so special thanks to shia labeouf for this student. >> he has the necessary skills to emcee the academy awards according to kim masters. >> he's done broadway. he can sing, dance, whitted. he's an amazing, multitalented performer. >> reporter: harris follows a parade of multitalented performers who hosted the show, watched and critiqued by millions. is the actor up for the challenge and the blow back that can come with it? >> i have a lot of confidence in his originality and skills as a performer but is it a name is a magnetic draw, i'm sure there is doubt about that. >> reporter: a sitcom star known for his musical ability. >> anything can happen. >> reporter: proving ready for
oscar. >> anything. >> stephanie elam cnn, hollywood. >> the coveted gold oscar statue is one of the most recognizable symbols of the academy awards but there's another icon just as important to the big show. here's some little-known facts about that famous envelope. ♪ the envelope please has been synonymous with the with academy awards for 75 years. they used to have these beautiful presenters and they would say and the envelope please. that's where the phrase originated from. ♪ by name is marc friedland. i'm the designer of the iconic most famous envelope in the world. ♪ there's only 24 of them for the 24 category winners. it takes us about 110 man hours to actually construct the envelopes. there's embossing and die
cutting and engraving and printing. it weighs a quarter of a pound, it is about 1/8" thick. it costs a couple hundred dollars to fabricate each of these. price water cooper has been tabulating the votes for year and they present the votes to the academy and the academy get them to the press. one year one of the press people leaked it before the announcements. following that the envelope was used as simply a means of security to protect that information. this is the 75th anniversary of using the envelope in the academy awards. there's 121 nominees that have been selected this year. we do actual winner's card for each nominee. this is really so well protected. they take those envelopes in separate routes the oscars. they have them in very secured briefcases, and the reason they do two is a fall back plan plan
a and plan b god forbid anything happens and third set in a secret location that none of us know. 50 years from now, hopefully a winner who looks back at their envelope will recapture that moment in time when everybody was watching and they announce that in that millisecond who the oscar winner was. >> thank you for joining us. i'm george howell. the news continues here on cnn after this short break.
three british teenagers may be headed to syria to join and fight with isis. the race to find them next. pro-russian demonstrators prepare to hold a rally in ukraine. a live report from moscow ahead. and ahead of the academy awards this sunday we'll show you how this little statue is made. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is cnn news room. and we start the show this hour in dubai. a fire that lit up a luxury apartment skyscraper ironically called the torch