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tv   Wolf  CNN  May 7, 2015 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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after him because what he was doing was wrong and that is what they have to prove to get him because right now he says he's not guilty by reason of insanity. then why the car jacks? then why the ballistics? why the protective gear? thank you for watching everyone. wolf starts right now. hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. in washington 6:00 p.m. in london 8:00 p.m. in riyadh 2:00 p.m. friday in pyongyang. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. we start with the debate over social media and terror recruiting. this morning, we heard from senators and counterterror experts in an important hearing up on capitol hill on strategies and failures in the u.s. intelligence community. up first, the effect of social media. >> the minute those individuals who are really serious about it go offline, we go dark. we lose our capability of following that and we have -- we
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really have no idea isn't that basically correct? >> the ability of government to follow it on open social media is often murky. people in different agencies have different understandings of what they're legally allowed to do when it comes to monitoring the communications of americans on open media social platforms. and that's something where a clarification would be very helpful. >> we can see with isis the massive impact these accounts have had. the amount of people who have been drawn to the syria/iraq theater is greater already than it was during the afghan/soviet war in terpsmaterials of the number of fighters that have come. it is advantageous to shut these accounts down and this is something that should be the company's decision. the u.s. authorities have no authority to do that. >> then how to counter the growing popularity of isis propaganda. >> the message u.s. government
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officials should constantly say is this group positions itself as the defender of islam but its victims are overwhelmingly muslim. it's a factually correct statement that requires no special knowledge of islam and i think it's a powerfully undercutting message for what this group is trying to say about themselves to the muslim world. >> at the end of the day, if you want to fight back against recruitment of 15-year-old kids you need to work with 15-year-old kids. we invented the internet. we've got hollywood. we've got the capabilities as mr. sheikh was saying to blow these guys out of the water from the stand point of communications so we need to work on that. >> these hearings highlighted what was missed before this week's attack in garland, texas, right outside of dallas. one of the shooters elton sampson, was very active on social media, but isis apparently countered that with volume. >> one of the reasons that, you know that was surprising about the garland event was it was something they had actually
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specifically talked about, then turned into an attack. that's pretty unusual because they create so much noise that that needle in the haystack can be very difficult to detect. >> let's bring in the chairman of the senate homeland security committee who presided over the social media and terror hearing and one of the key witnesses. wisconsin republican senator ron johnson is joining us. as is the former jihadist the counterterrorism operative and author mabin shiakh. what is the greatest threat to the american people of the social media presence of terror groups like isis? >> well it is recruitment probability. sort of the unanimous opinion that this is just a harbinger of things to come. if we finally can defeat isis which by the way, means denying them that territory, destroying that caliphate, that's a huge undertaking there. there are going to be other groups that notice what isis has done to effectively use social
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media. because now with modern technology individuals that harbor, you know these evil thoughts can find one another and they can travel and meet each other very quickly. so this not a one-off deal here this is going to continue. >> mubin, is this a winnable war, this war on isis the propaganda the social media? because u.s. officials, high-level officials have said to me repeatedly they seem to be much better at it than the u.s. is. >> i think there is a war. who's going to do the playing. who's going to do the fighting. this is one thing i think the senate committee understands, that it's not really the government that's going to win that war, it's going to be other people. >> like who? >> other peers. peer teenagers, muslim communities. muslim communities really with the best place and the most credible voices. >> senator, where are the solutions? this is a huge problem. you're just beginning to directlydwell on it during the important hearing today. >> first of all, we need more
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mubin shaikhs. one of the things we found out from briefings people from the government who engaged in those communities have found out people in those communities think we have such perfect information as the federal government that we know who these young people are who are being radicalized. we don't. the fact of the matter, if you see something, you have to say something. we need everybody to be on the alert. >> is that happening, though mubin? because the senator makes a fair point. >> yes, you have two sides. you have the cooperative members of the community who do want to do something, who understand these are their kids being taken, these are their parents that are going to end up on the front page of the paper. on the flip side, you have obstructionists in a saying organizations who say all the violent extremism is just an excuse to gather intelligence. >> you spoke, senator, earlier today about what you describe as a rapid response communications strategy. and possible legislation that would enable that. what are you driving at?
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>> well we have to respond. very quickly, we have to counter with the truth. because the truth is this is going to be a losing organization. but right now, because isis isn't losing they're perceived as winning. as long as they're perceived as winning, they'll inspire this type of capability. bureaucratic government doesn't move rapidly. elected officials certainly have experience and campaigns with rapid response in a campaign. we've got the technology. we invented the internet the social networks. we've got the messaging capability. we need to start utilizing it. from my standpoint just an obvious piece of legislation. i think a number of members of our committee as well as designing some system that will work. >> the u.s. second court of appeals today ruled the nsa's bulk collection of phone data was illegal, it was never ordered by congress. as you know the provision in the patriot act that originally
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opened the door foot for the program set to expire on june 1. what do you think needs to happen now? >> we're going to be taking up that legislation in copping.ngress. there's a number of different proposals. one thing that came out of this hearing is understanding exactly how the online social media's used. first the connection is made. that's open source. once the members of isis or these other terrorist groups find committed jihadists that are willing to be recruited, they move offline to encrypted sites and go dark. so technology's moving at a speed where we can't keep up with it so we're losing our capability along our first line of defense against islamic terror. that is effect intelligence gathering capability combined with robust congressional oversight and continuous monitoring. we've got to maintain that delicate balance. we're actually losing capability of monitoring this to keep ourselves safe. >> senator johnson, thanks for joining us. thanks for chairing that hearing
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earlier today. mubin, we're going to keep you here. we have more to discuss. a closer look at the growing number of americans showing support for isis. they're mostly young. they come from a wide variety of backgrounds. how is isis becoming so suckcess successful in recruiting them? later, an election with major implications for the british and indeed the rest of the world. we're going live to london. we got the new tempur-flex and it's got the spring and bounce of a traditional mattress. you sink into it, but you can still move it around. now that i have a tempur-flex, i can finally get a good night's sleep. when i flop down on the bed, and it's just like, 'ah, this is perfect." wherever you put your body it just supports you. like little support elfs are just holding you. i can sleep now! through the night! (vo) change your sleep. change your life. change to tempur-pedic. the volkswagen golf was just named motor trend's 2015 car of the year. so was the 100% electric e-golf.
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three years before he tried to shoot up a texas event designed to offend muslims, elton sampson described his religion as a weapon to be used against satan. listen to this. >> a form of weaponry to go out in the real world and use that weaponry to shield you against the tricks of shaton. >> shaton is the devil or satan. the fbi is interviewing fellow mosque members, family members, friends and associates of both men. some of those people are openly sharing what now looks very much like warning signs. nadir's mother for instance telling "the wall street journal" she learned back in january he bought an ak-47.
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soofi sent his mother dvds of the american-born al qaeda preacher anwar al awlaki. the fact that awlaki was killed says sharon soofi, instigated a deeper passion for his teachings. meanwhile, in new york authorities say they are home-grown would-be terrorists two women who allegedly planned to set off a bomb in the united states appeared in federal court today. they pled not guilty. the criminal complain accuses the women of supporting violent jihad. prosecutors say they researched and bought materials to make bombs. the threat of homegrown terrorists is becoming an increasing concern for authorities here in the u.s. let's get some more perspective. joining us tom fuentes. our cnn law enforcement analyst, former fbi assistant director. phil mudd is a cnn anti-terrorism analyst.
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former cia. and mubin shaikh former jihadist counterterrorism operative who testified before the senate panel just a little while ago today. let's talk about these two women in new york. what is the attraction of these young american women to a group like isis? >> i think for a lot of individuals, it's about identity and belonging. they've just plugged out to belonging to the -- whether it's the american system british canadian and they've decided to give their allegiance and internalize their commitment to groups like isis. >> listen to senator cory booker phil he was there at the hearing and he's talking about how effective these terrorists are using social media. >> the videos they're doing are incredibly slick, fancy, and attractive. a bunch of extremist terrorists giving out things to kids. if you toggle back over to the united states and what we're doing, here is the think and turn away website by the department of state.
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if you look if you know anything about social media, one of the things you should look is the engagement of people on our social media feeds and it's laughable. three retweets two retweets. >> senator cory booker he knows social media, he's very active on social media. there's a problem here isn't there? >> it's twofold. one is what is the message you're putting out there. the u.s. government is not designed to put out messages to 20-year-olds in iraq and syria. the question is not going to be whether the u.s. government leads it. the question is what it enabled individuals, what mubin has mentioned earlier today. the second the second problem with this how then you collect this stuff on the back end. people in my old business are very cautious about going to twitter online when you're working in a cia office or fbi office and say, hey, i'm going to follow somebody. that's american information from american companies about an american individual. that still makes people nervous.
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>> the fbi i assume it does as well right? >> absolutely same thing. >> what's the solution here? >> good question. i think the solution is when you do get cooperation from the community and they suggest an individual has become radicalized and maybe should be watched, as has happened in about 60 or 70 cases in the last year successfully intervened by the fbi and u.s. authorities, follow that and just keep the community outreach going and hope that their peers and classmates and mentors and people in their community want to cooperate with the authorities. the government -- there's no video that the government can put out that's going to counteract the message of isis going out. >> mubin, you were a jihadist at one point in your life. you converted, if you will. you're now fighting them. is there a solution here? >> yes, i think we need to expand the options in the tool box. one of them should be a channel of sorts that doesn't criminalize individuals. i mean if you're going to lay charges for a 15-year-old kid that parent is not going to pick up the phone and call the fbi
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especially if their kid is going to face a 15-year prison sentence. maybe we need to look at alternative measures nonprosecutorial that could maybe shift things. >> is that realistic? >> i think so. the uk has learned a form of that channel. canada's trying to work on that. australia has something like that. this is a way for the government to interact with community leaders without necessarily secure securetizing it or going down the prosecutorial. >> this has happened in a few places overseas. there was a case in minneapolis recently where a federal judge sent the kid into what you might call a rehab program for ideology. here's the problem. if you have let's say, 30% of those kids going back into the movement which wouldn't be a surprise in the world of violent crime, we acknowledge that in america. we have not accepted that in the united states. the first kid who goes back after a federal rehab program and gets involved in violence people are going to be up in arms. there's got to be for a 16-year-old, 17-year-old, a
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middle ground between being go home to your mom and federal prison. >> in malaysia they think it's very successful, but as phil mentions and it's a good point, it's got to be successful 100% of the time in this country. if one person repeats what he did before then everybody is going to be outraged and say the program doesn't work. >> even this elton simpson, he was given three-years probation, never served then he drives with his friend nadir soofi, drives to dallas and does what he does there. people are wondering, a second chance is that really going to pay off? that's a problem, right? >> what happens is the only option left is monitor the individuals. that's not a society you want to live in. >> it's not realistic. there's too many people out there. >> i think what needs to be done is possibly make it easier to
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convict individuals. doesn't need to be a drawn out, long drawn-out process where we give them all the chances they want and then go and do it anyway. >> we'll continue this conversation. we'll hear about a new law that many are calling heavily intrusive. lawmakers say it's necessary to track potential terrorists. the panel continues the conversation right after this. you total your brand new car. nobody's hurt,but there will still be pain. it comes when your insurance company says they'll only pay three-quarters of what it takes to replace it.
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here in the united states the national security agency does not have the authority for the mass collection of american's phone records, that according to a ruling from a federal appeals court today. the court ruled that the nsa data collection is not legal
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under the u.s. patriot act. at the same time that the u.s. program is under scrutiny, other countries, though they're beefing up anti-terror programs. the french parliament has approved stronger intelligence services including bulk collection of phone records. canada's house of commons has voted to expand the government's spy powers. let's bring back our panel. tom fuentes, former fbi attend director phil mudd our cnn counterterrorism analyst, former cia counterterrorism official and mubin sheikh former jihadist counterterrorism operative. we were talking earlier, there was a specific case of a young woman who was on twitter tweeting all sorts of stuff and you intervened and got involved. tell us about that. >> this was an american girl in the state of washington. convert. >> a convert to islam? >> a convert to islam. >> i said earlier you converted to jihadist. i didn't mean to suggest you converted from islam to another religion. you're still a muslim. >> yes. >> you're no longer a jihadist.
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go ahead. >> right, thank you for that. she had been seen talking to extremeist recruiters online. some individuals tagged me in a tweet and said maybe you should talk to her. i engaged her at the micro level. a number of -- >> what does that mean you engaged her -- >> insert myself into the conversation that was happening. she saw i was being tagged into the tweet. started to have conversations with her publicly and in direct messaging to explain what are these verses they use because they abuse and mutilate the scriptures. as we went on and on i convinced her, look what these people are saying is wrong. they were telling her how they love her, they want to marry her. she's a vulnerable girl. i explained to her, listen these people are predators. they're there just to lure you over and ruin you when you get over there. >> it sounds like a fabulous -- one example, mubin may have saved this young woman's life in this particular case, but we need a lot of mubins in order to do this.
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>> the u.s. government should be an enabler. as a former government official the governor feels like since we have so much capability and responsibility people like me have to testify in front of congress. we have to solve every problem. we cannot solve this problem it you've got to go into community, minneapolis, seattle, los angeles, new york and say who's around people like mubin who can engage. maybe provide training maybe provide funding. if we say department xyz in the government has to lead this that to me complete failure. it's not going to work. >> you agree? >> also wolf the fbi isn't trying to arrest every single person that says they want to join. there have been several of these cases. they've gone to the family. they've gone to the person. you see the fbi has interviewed them. we've heard you want to do this and talk them out of it. in one case the 19-year-old girl from denver a year ago this wanted to join they want to her parents, they went with her to her parents and fbi agents followed her on the jetway to get on the airplane and said please don't get on this plane. they finally take her.
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so they're not trod in prosecute prosecuting every one of these cases, they would like better than to talk people out of it and get them on a different path. the government can come up with every website and message they want to do. it's the mubins of the world that are going to change their pints and not the u.s. government videos that are produced. >> the social media activity, it's almost all in english, right, it's not in arabic or some other language? >> especially the western foreign fighters. it's overwhelmingly english. >> they're very good at this. the people who are -- for doing this for isis or al qaeda or al shabab or any of these other terror groups? >> there are products of the western system itself. so they understand the popular culture. you see this a lot, references to popular culture in isis tweets. the videos they put out were screen grabs taken from "grand theft auto." they know how to use the popular culture. >> we when i say we we
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invented all this stuff, phil the social media, all these forms, whether it's facebook or twitter, anything else we can't compete with them is that -- that sounds crazy to me. >> in some ways we can't compete because the speed with which this is changing is too fast for the slow government. when we started, the al qaeda program, post-9/11, you had a few guys egyptians, yemenis, arabs, south asian, involved in leadership of al qaeda. a couple americans maybe messaging on al jazeera. now more than a decade later, thousands of people talking in native languages across not the media we knew even 15 years ago but across youtube, twitter. having been a government official i can tell you the speed of that revolution the world of terror is something i don't think the government is suited to accommodate. >> any media the united states needs to do now? >> we need to be smarter. the fbi right now is still reeling from sequestration.
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they have not recovered from the number of analysts and linguists they had to stop hiring because of sequestration. >> the forced budget cuts. >> you can't have a hiring program on and off like a water faucet. they estimate about a 20% reduction in the manpower they should have that they've lost because of that. people don't think of that when we have these political stunts happen. >> we got to leave it on that note. political stunts. we've often left our conversations on that note. mubin, thanks for coming in. tom fuentes, phil mudd. across the united kingdom, people are going to polls in an election that could change their country for years to come and also have some major worldwide implications. we're going live to london when we come back.
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welcome back to viewers from the united states and around the world. voters in the united kingdom today have some tough choices to make as they vote for a new parliament. nothing less than whether the uk remains a part of the european union is at stake. britain's youth oriented channel e-4 turns off its programming today. they have been seeing this image of a man it says is darren sitting in a control panel with a large on/off switch. nic robertson is in london joining us live. nic, uk law prevents you from talking about the politics of the election but what is voter
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turnout looking like today? >> wolf maybe more powerful even than e-4, the sun's been out today. i think that's had an impact. the perception is turnout has been high. people here know this is an important election. and the expectation is that turnout will be higher than we've seen in the last couple of elections. we were here at this polling station almost 12 hours ago when the doors opened. there were a group of people standing outside. it's been a fairly steady stream. of course people are coming out of their offices, they're on their way home and we're seeing the turnout pickup here at the moment. we've seen the leaders of the parties, david cameron, the conservative party, he voted in his oxford constituency. ed miliband voted north of england, the leader of the opposition there. southeast corner of england, the uk independence party, financial farage he came out to vote. the liberal democrat party, he voted in sheffield.
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nicholas sturgeon of the national party voted up in glass go earlier on in the day as well. also the green party leader the green party, nicollette bennett, she voted, natalie bennett, rather she voted in london early in the it a as well. all the leaders have been keen to get out early in the day as well. >> when can we start seeing how the vote is shaking out? >> you know wolf the polls close here 3 1/2 hours from now. and within about an hour in 10 to 12 minutes of the poll -- within less than an hour of the polls closing, we're told the first seat could be called. the reality is this is close. this polling station here the last elections, the gap between the two leading parties was just 42 votes. the expectation is before the results are in it could be some time late friday.
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but the first results were coming in by about 11:00 p.m. local time tonight. the first results will be coming in. carrying on through the night. of course after you get results in then the real sort of landscaper the new political landscape for the uk will begin to come clear, wolf. >> stick with cnn for extensive and complete live coverage. thanks very much for that nic robertson in london. still ahead, big money versus big money. how super pacs are shaping the race for the white house in 2016. our political team standing by to take a closer look at the candidates. courting that small pool of very high donor dollars.
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there is an ancient rhythm... [♪] that flows through all things... through rocky spires... [♪] and ocean's swell... [♪] the endless... stillness of green... [♪] and in the restless depths of human hearts... [♪] the voice of the wild within. the u.s. justice department could soon take a closer look at the entire baltimore police force in the wake of the death of freddie gray and charges being filed against six
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baltimore police officers. the attorney general loretta lynch was on capitol hill just a little while ago and spoke about that possible investigation. >> we're currently in the process of considering the request from city officials and community and police leaders for an investigation into whether the baltimore city police department engaged in a pattern or practice of civil rights violations. and i intend to have a decision in the coming days. >> the justice department is already could be ducting their own investigation into freddie gray's death and the possible violation of his civil rights. we'll see if they take on a broader investigation into the entire baltimore police department. we'll know in the coming days. other news hillary clinton is ready to rake in some big-time money for her white house bid. she's courting donors for a super pac supporting her candidacy and her allies have an ambitious goal $300 million. it's just a preview of what could be the most expensive presidential race in history. let's bring in our senior
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washington correspondent jeff zeleni and our senior washington reporter mallika henderson. past candidates have been reluctant to endorse superpacs but i guess that's history, right? >> president obama was the biggest idea. he talked for years about how he didn't like the superpacs then suddenly game in in 2011. i remember it very well when he decided to start speaking out for them. hillary clinton's been kam paining since the very beginning over the last month saying we need to limit the amount of money in politics but now she is in fact speaking out, urging these wealthy donor to give to her. she's in los angeles today for three big fund-raisers. she'll be talking to some of those big donors. >> explain for viewers who don't know what a superpac is. >> allows you to write as big of a check as you want to fund to help elect the candidate. you can't work with the campaign. it's sort of like a big brother to help you on the side to kind
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of help all the efforts so they can't work in coordination but they work separately. it's a very murky law. it has been around for -- this is the second presidential election cycle, and she's not alone, republicans are out there doing this in huge numbers. it's all because of that citizens united supreme court decision a few years ago. >> if you're a billionaire, you can give as much money as you want? >> that's right. >> you can give $100 million if you wanted to do it because there's no limit. and that's one of the reasons we're told why jeb bush the republican -- arguably the front-runner -- >> maybe he's not running -- >> -- why he's delaying his official announcement because -- >> yes, because he can raise this unlimited amount of money until he gets in. they've set a figure hillary clinton, $300 million, they feel like they can raise $100 million -- >> for jeb bush's team? >> for jeb bush's team in advance of him getting into this thing. could be june could be july. they want to wait as long as they can because they want to
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get these unlimited funds. if you're a grassroots donor or activist on the ground you might feel like hey, why's this guy sitting on the sideline why isn't he in this thing? in some ways hillary clinton ran into this problem as well donors saying we want to see her out there, we want to see what the product looks like before we put some big money in. but for now, he's waiting. he's going to be able to rake in huge amounts of money but also people like marco rubio who are in the race are able to say, listen i'm not waiting on the sidelines, i'm a sure thing right now, why don't you invest in my candidacy. >> vermont senator sanders announced he's running against clinton for the democratic presidential nomination. he was here with me last week right after his announcement. he said he's not going to play that game he's not going to support -- want any money from those superpacs, he doesn't want any of those billionaires he's got a strong position against that kind of fund-raising. but impressively he's raised $3 million over the last few days alone. >> it is impressive without question. he is speaking to what the left
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side of this democratic party wants. he's filling in a vacuum that's sort of been created pie elizabeth warren and he's done very well in online fund-raising. it's surprised the clinton folks. this is coming in in small dollar increments average of $43. so that is going to take him a long way. reminds me of another vermont presidential candidate howard dean in 2004, he did very well with these small dollar contribution contributions. of course there's a limit to that. he can't ever raise as much as her. he's had a great week ever since he appeared on your show. >> a lot of these candidates they say they tonight want to unilaterally disarm. if they're opponents, their rivals are raising these kinds of funds -- we used to hear bill clinton say that as well and others and president obama when he was raising unlimited funds basically. they don't want to unilaterally disarm. >> that was the argument in 2011 that maybe we don't like the rules, maybe we want to so the law changed, but in the meantime
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now that these are the rules, we're going to play by the rules and benefit from the rules to even the playing field because republicans certainly don't play by the rules, have been able to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for these superpacs. >> a lot of very rich people with a lot of money. i asked bernie sanders if george soras, for example, who's a left wing fund-raiser, if he were to come up with a huge sum of money, would you take that he said no. he's got a principle position. see if it stays like that. all right, guys thanks very much. still ahead, there's breaking news coming into cnn from yemen. we've got the details when we come back. vo: today's the day. more and more people with type 2 diabetes are learning about long-acting levemir®. as my diabetes changed it got harder to control my blood sugar. today, i'm asking about levemir®. vo: levemir® is an injectable insulin that can give you blood sugar control for up to 24 hours. and levemir® helps lower your a1c. levemir® lasts 42 days without refrigeration. that's 50% longer than lantus®
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mysterious world of north korea. just a few miles from the demille tarrized zone beyond the barbed wire and tank a rare symbol of cooperation between the north and south. an industrial park where thousands of workers go each day. our own will ripley got rare access to the complex and filed this report. >> reporter: wolf it's been many years since cnn has been allowed to visit the kasong industrial complex about three ur hows south of pyongyang. this complex is supposed to be a symbol of unity between north and south korea. as we witnessed firsthand on the ground there's a lot of obstacles standing in the way. made in korea. sneakers rolling off assembly lines in a south korea factory with north korea workers. when we started doing business here we had 300 employees. now we have 3,000, says the manager. she'd like to hire 2,000 more but she can't. this factory and more than 100 others in the kasong industrial
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complex, caught in the middle of a showdown between the south and north just miles from their heavily armed border. there was so much hope at this historic summit in 2000. a landmark deal between pyongyang and seoul. south korean businesses on north korean soil. one of them the mt. kungong tourist region closed after a security guard shot and killed a wandering tourist in '08. today the industrial complex remains open but planned expansion has been frozen for five years. in 2010 south korea accused the north of torpedoing their navy ship killing 46 sailors. in response south korea stopped all new investment in keasong, leaving the industrial complex half empty and businesses with no way to expand. because of the re strix s we
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can't fill ordered, she says. every morning, and every evening, 270 buses help transport 52,000 north koreans back and forth to work. these buses stopped for several months in 2013 escalating tensions led north korea to pull all the workers out. the crisis triggered by north korean anger over joint military exercises between south korea and the united states. now a new dispute over worker pay is threatening business again. wages are paid directly to pyongyang. north korean complex managers are demanding a wage increase of $4 a month. we believe the attitude of the government is hurting the lives of the workers here he says. south korea objects to a wage hike saying the north is going around the rules by unilaterally
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declaring a minimum wage without consulting with the south. at risk the last remaining symbol of inter-korean cooperation and the livelihoods of tens of thousands of workers and their families. political disagreements between the north and the south are not supposed to affect the activities the daily activities at the kaesong industrial complex. that's clearly not the case. as this very very shaky partnership continues to pose problems well that also sends a greater message about the problems on the korean peninsula, which remains very deeply divided. wolf? >> will ripley getting rare access inside north korea. he's filing for us every day. much more coming up tomorrow. just ahead, breaking news in the war on trough. a senior al qaeda operative in the arabian peninsula kill by a u.s. drone strike. we're going live to the middle east after this quick break. [ male announcer ] whether it takes 200,000 parts ♪ ♪ 800,000 hours of supercomputing time 3 million
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just sign into my account to pay bills manage service appointments and find answers to your questions. you can even check your connection status on your phone. now it's easier than ever to manage your account. get started at the breaking news a senior member of the al qaeda in the arabian peninsula leadership has been killed by a u.s. drone strike. let's go to beirut. cnn's nick payton walsh is monitoring this story for us. what have we learned, nick? >> reporter: well wolf in short, al qaeda in the arabian peninsula's media wing have
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released a reasonably lengthy eulogy in which they announced death of a senior al qaeda in the arabian peninsula commander. he's familiar to many of you, i think, because he's the man who gave the lengthy statement after the paris attacks in which al qaeda in the arabian peninsula claims that the kouachi brothers were working with them. they claimed responsibility for those attacks. he was also a man who was the spokesman over the kidnapping of journalist luke summers. so a familiar face kill by a drone strike. my colleague barbara starr says american officials confirm that's the case as well. we are looking to work out the details of when this strike occurred. in the last two to three weeks. it was clear one drone strike killed a number of relatively senior figures in yemen.
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they were thought to be part of the media wing. what is obviously important here wolf is given that yemen is in such great turmoil now, where we have this civil war between the houthis and loyalists alongside the former president battling those loyalists of the current president, hadi and saudi air power in the skies bombing the houthis as well. it appears that has not at this stage diminished the u.s.'s ability to hit key aqap targets. we're not sure when this particular death occurred. we do know it's from a drone strike according to aqap's media wing. despite the fact the u.s. no longer have an embassy, we saw it closed back in early february they are still able it seems, to continually prosecute their war against aqap in yemen itself. >> it's interesting as you point out that the aqap video was released by their spokesman.
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their spokesman is actually a canadian. the secretary of state, john kerry, he's in saudi arabia today. now the saudis are calling for what they say would be a five-day seavercease-fire to allow international aid workers to get into yemen. how significant would that be? >> reporter: well it would potentially mark maybe the end to violence there, but an awful lot is riding on the ifs in that statement we saw from the saudis backed by john kerry. they basically lay the potential of the cease-fire at the feet of the houthis. they say they've extended the possibility for a five-day window that would be renewed. the saudis saying they'll announce later when that date will begin. they're going to meet in paris with other gulf states tomorrow. they say they want a few days for the aid community to be able to get their shipments ready. that all depends on the
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fractured alliance of militia who don't always speak off the same page laying down their weapons at the same time. the saudis don't just want a cessation of fire, they want a cessation of movement of weapons, pretty much a complete stop on the side of the houthis for this cease-fire to be in effect. a key quote from their foreign minister if it doesn't happen everywhere it will happen nowhere. so everything really resting on the houthis. there's a lot of sequencing involved. what may happen if that cease-fire comes into play there could be a conference in ten days in riyadh in which the saudis will invite all parties involved in yemen. early signs the houthis aren't interested in that particular conversation. but if a cease-fire does come into play that could reduce the massive humanitarian toll we're now seeing and allow aid in medicine food to a country that's been rocked by this air campaign and violence on the ground for weeks. wolf? >> nick paton walsh on the ground for us in beirut. we heard the call to prayer behind you coming in from that mosque. nick thanks very very much.
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that's it for me. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." for our international viewers, "amanpour" is coming up next. for our viewers in north america, "newsroom" with brooke baldwin starts right now. here we go. top of the hour. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. new doubts over the charges fwens those six baltimore city police officers. nearly a week after protesters cheered that decision by baltimore's chief city prosecutor to charge those six officers in the death of 25-year-old freddie gray. cnn is now learning that some are concerned the city could explode, their word once again, if marilyn mosby's case against the officers unravels. mosby completed her own independent investigation separate from the one conducted by baltimore police. officials familiar with both cases tell cnn there are