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tv   CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello  CNN  September 30, 2015 6:00am-8:01am PDT

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>> five-year-olds understand ice cream and friends. >> ice cream for all our friends. time for newsroom with carol costello. apparently we're having ice cream today. >> sounds great to me. newsroom starts now. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> and good morning, i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. we begin this hour with breaking news in the fight against isis. and an uneasy alliance that now faces a new test. this morning we learned that russia has launched its first air strike on extremist targets in syria. and adding to the drama, russia has told the united states to ground its war planes in that country. there is a lot to break down. cnn's barbara star is tracking from the pentagon. and more. barbara, what's happening in syria. here is the latest carol.
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we ui now know it was four russian war planes that flew and bombed targets near homs in central western syria. why is this a significant area? because this is not an area why isis generally operates. this is an area where anti regime forces operate. trying to bring down bashar al assad, this leader russia wants to keep in power. this is not what the u.s. wanted to see happen. it all began earlier today in baghdad when a russian general went to the u.s. embassy, according to several u.s. officials this russian general read a statement telling the u.s. military that russian air strikes would begin within one hour of them being notified at that time. and in fact it was just shortly after that that u.s. military intelligence got the first indications that russian war planes had taken off. the russian general told the u.s., we are told by u.s.
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officials, that the u.s. should not fly its war planes in syria. that it should stay out of the way. the u.s. response they tell us is that u.s. missions over syria continue. that u.s. war planes are not grounded. but this is going to be a very tough road ahead because of of course the u.s. and moscow were supposed to sit down and talk about how to deconflict all of these missions. if the russians are going to fly, how to make sure that the u.s. and the russians have transparence, that each military knows what the other side is doing. today the u.s. military got one hour's notice. >> wow. barbara star. thanks so much. i know it is all confusing, right? at first the obama administration expressed concern about russian intervention in syria. but now secretary of state john kerry is calling russia's intervention an opportunity. what does he mean? which is it?
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>> well clearly the u.s. has been caught a little flat footed over the last few days with the russian military build up on the ground. and in an effort to try and what they are calling deconflict, they are traying to say if we can all get on the same page and use russia's influence on the ground, their strategic influence, political influence, bashar al assad and the russian military build up to go after isis, then it could be a benefit. clearly things don't seem to be going in that direction right now. >> -- cross purposes right. because russia wants to help barber al assad. the u.s. doesn't like al assad and want him out of the power. it is confusing. >> and general breedlove, the supreme allied commander was talking and saying look, i'm looking at this equipment on the ground. this is not going after isis. these are antiaircraft weapons and isis is not using air
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operations on the ground. the coalition led by the u.s. is. so what are they up to? they really don't know. but clearly there is an effort to try to accentuate the positive. take a listen to secretary kerry. >> a lot of talk this week about president putin's actions in syria creating new realities on the ground. and some have said that it's kind of boxed the u.s. into a corner a little bit. is that true? >> i couldn't disagree more. i don't see it boxes us in the least. in fact i think it opens up more options. but i think it makes life very complicated for putin himself, for president putin. because if he he's going side with assad and with iran and hezbollah, he's going to have a very serious problem with the sunni countries in the region. and that means that he could even become a target for those sunni jihadis. so this is very complicated for him. he needs to work something out.
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>> but -- >> and i think it is an opportunity for us to force this question of how you actually resolve the question of syria. >> and then he went on carol to talk about how the united states is working with russia on what they call this managed transition. you remember just a few years ago they are telling assad his days are numbered. now i think there is an understanding that he's going to stay on the ground a long time while this, you know, situation with isis and is deconflicted and the situation gets a little better, a little less conflict. but clearly the russians don't want him to go anywhere soon. and secretary kerry pretty much acknowledged that -- >> -- doesn't have a replacement for bashar al assad at the moment. we have new video and i want to show the viewers. these are the air strikes that just took place over syria a short time ago. i what tonight bring in cnn military analyst. colonel, are you there? and welcome.
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>> good morning. >> there you are. okay. so i want to put this all into perspective. so russia is conducting air strikes near the city of homs, which is not an isis stronghold. so what are they up to? >> well, the russians have been pretty up front that they want bashar al assad to stay in power. the target of the strikes is what's critical. are they going after isis? or are they going after antiregime rebels? i suspect in that area there are more anti regime rebels. although they may have struck isis to probably open up the dialogue. so our first strike was isis and then they will turn attention to the rebels. the russians want to support awe sa assad. and i they their operations are going to be that effect. the voice to the u.s. to keep
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out of the air space isn't going to work. but it is a new reality. the russians are there, to stay. and they are going to be involved. and we have to now recognize the fact that we're probably not going to be able to over throw bashar al assad before we deal with isis. you can't do both simultaneously. >> here is the disturbing thing in my mind. now it is like a tug of war in syria because the u.s. and russia. this is how it all went down. a russian general went to the u.s. embassy. told the united states to get its airplanes out of southeastern asyrian air space. the u.s. did not. and what kind of danger does this present to u.s. forces is. >> deconfliction is the big problem. how do you operate that many air forces in such small air space without an international incident. at some point you are going to have american aircraft in close proximity to russian aircraft. are they going to coordinate?
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are they going to talk to each other? or are we going to have an accident in the skies? these aircrafts are the very sophisticated, carry a lot of weapons. aggressive pilots on both sides. this is something we have to work out on the ground. and baghdad is probably the place to do that. but we can't afford to get in a shooting match with the russians over syria. >> okay. i'm just remembering back when russia was fighting in afghanistan. that was before our involvement. and they were there many years and failed miserably. how good are they at such things then? >> depends on what they are doing. they are very good at conducting air strikes. they have capable aircraft. they just deployed their latest bomber. they can bring a lot of fire power to bear. now, they don't fear collateral damage. civilian casuals as as much as we do. i think you are going to see a lot more russian ordinance put
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into targets that we wouldn't go after. our pilots often return with munitions because they don't have a clear view and do not want to cause civilian casualties. the russians will not be as sensitive. >> also right now, thousands of civilians are fleeing their homes in the northern afghan city of kunduz. now afghan forces are struggling to retake the city. u.s. forces have conduct air strikes and nato forces are also assisting. but a shortage of ground troops are hindering the operation. in the meantime hundreds of forces are being blocked by the taliban in a neighboring province. still to come. did pope francis have a secret meeting with the kentucky clerk that refused to issue marriage licenses? kim davis says they did. and she has plenty to say about it. that's next.
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kentucky clerk and controversial same-sex marriage opponent kim davis says she not only met with pope davis, the holy father thanked her. davis tells good morning america she was stunned when she first got the call from vatican officials. saying the meeting tack applies in washington while the pope was in the united states. >> he told me before he left, he said stay strong. that was a great encouragement. gist just knowing the pope is on track with what we're doing and agreeing kind of validates everything. >> i've weighed the cost. and i'm prepared to do whatever it takes. >> some are wondering though if the pair actually did meet. check out this confusing non statement from the vatican. it says quote we do not confirm or deny the story. there will be no statement. davis says she has photographs to prove it. with me now.
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delia gallagher who's in roam. what happened? >> well what happened is what the vatican told us this morning. that maybe it happened, and maybe it didn't happen. they are not confirming. they are not denying carol. what we can say is that the pope in general supports conscientious objectors. so you would say well, why doesn't he come out and just say it one way or another. probably the vatican wants to avoid getting involved further in some kind of a high profile debate about the particularities of kim davis' situation. we know carol, if you remember when the pope was leaving the u.s. he gave an interview on the papal plane and he was asked specifically about the conscientious objection for government officials. that was the specific follow-up question by the journalist. and he said, you know, conscientious objection is a human right. it should be allowed for by law and it includes government officials. so the pope, knowing full well the situation of kim davis in the states, had he wanted to probably could have taken that
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moment to discuss further that situation. the fact that he played it very generally suggests that, you know, they just don't want to get involve publicly in some kind of debate with the u.s. on that question right now. although when he was in the states he mentioned quite a number of times about religious freedom and of course conscientious objection for the vatican falls under that category. >> i'm just curious. do you think that kim davis was supposed to keep the meeting a secret? >> i don't think that would have been a requirement if the meeting indeed happen. i think the vatican -- you know, pope francis before has made phone calls from the vatican that we haven't been able to confirm buzz because the vatican doesn't want to confirm or deny. but they have allowed to it play out on the other side. i don't think they would have made any particular request to keep it quiet. i think it is just their political line not to raise the story again as it were and start it all over again.
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but if the meeting did happen it was obviously a show of support on the pope. keep in mind when he was in washington last week he met with the little sisters of the poor. that's the group of nones who have healthcare facilities and nursing homes and are in litigation over the contraception mandate. it is a slightly different situation from kim davis but it is still conscientious objection. when the pope met with them and that was not on the official agenda but he did it. and he said that was an obvious sign of support on the part of the pope for this group of nuns. so there are situations which the pope meets with people and the vatican comes out and says yes that is a sign of support. we know generally he supports the con set of of the conscientious objection. again not confirming or denying the meeting. that is as far as we can go on that. >> reporting live from rome. thanks so much. still to come in the newsroom.
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it had been 70 years since georgia executed a female prisoner, until last night. not even a plea from pope franz could stop it. and can you hear me now? after the data leaking, edward snowden is tweeting. when account lead craig wilson books at laquinta.com. he gets a ready for you alert the second his room is ready. so he knows exactly when he can settle in and practice his big pitch. and when craig gets his pitch down pat, do you know what he becomes? great proposal! let's talk more over golf!
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because i live here i have a deeper connection to the community. and i want to see the community grow and thrive. every year we work with cities and schools to plant trees in our communities. the environment is there for my kids and future generations. together, we're building a better california. despite a last minute plea from the pope, her children and protesters the state of georgia has executed the first woman in more than 70 years. kelly gissendaner was killed earl this morning, her death 18 years after her conviction. in 1997 she was sentenced to death for convincing her lover to kill her husband. pope francis wanted her life spared. in an open letter on his behalf an archbishop asked the court to commute the sentence to one that
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would better express both justice and mercy. the court did do not. >> good morning. 7:00 eastern was when kelly gissendaner was scheduled to die last evening. the hour came and went and there was no announcement from the georgia department of corrections and we later learned why. there was a frantic effort by her legal team appealing to a number of courts. the process dragged on for hours and the execution was delayed to allow the legal course to run through. it eventually did just after midnight when time and hope ran out and the execution was then carried out. a witness described afterwards. >> when all of the witnesses entered the viewing area, kelly gissendaner was able to see us and became very, very emotional. she began sobbing.
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then crying. then sobbing. and she made a statement. a statement apologizing to an amazing man that lost his life because of her. also spoke of love to her attorney susan casey and her children. hoped that they found -- would find peace. and she then began to sing two gospel songs. one "amazing grace." the other was indecipherable. >> the parents of kelly gisen husband. no right, no choices. nor the opportunity to live his life. his life was not hers to take. again, that is the statement coming from the parents. they obviously agreed with that
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sentence. the controversy, carol, of course as you know is that she got death while the co-spir co-conspirator the boyfriend was given life with the possibility of parole. in fact he could be paroled in as early as seven years, carol. >> thank you. can you hear me now? that's the first tweet of the edward snowden. his online bio reads i used to work for the government. now i work for the public. following only one account and that is the nsa. so far nearly 1 million followers. that is almost 900 thousand more followers than the nsa. snowden, who lives in russia was welcoming to the twitter verse. the response, thanks for the welcome and now we've got water on mars. do you think they check passports at the border?
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asking for a friend. but not everyone is sending warm issues with. george pataki wants snowden banned from twitter. twitter is a great platform. they should not give platform to terrorists or traitors. shut down snowden. so you are former nsa. isn't this embarrassing? >> well i guess you could say that, especially when you look at the different numbers of twitter followers and compare them. but with snowden's almost 1 million followers you have a situation where people are clearly interested in what he had to say and what he's up to. with the nsa people are look at it as the government bureaucracy and chances are it won't be followed as much. but it is interesting that he's only following the nsa and no one else at this point?
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>> he's taunting the nsa. do you think he's getting to them? >> i think they have pretty thick skin normally. however he did do a lot of damage to nsa. and they are looking at the things he's saying. one of the things i noted in his tweets was the fact that he's working on secret projects with the freedom of press, which is another twitter handle that is associated with some of his actions. so there are a lot of things that nsa and the department of justice are looking at. but, you know, at this point in time i think it is going to be interesting to see how the political dialogue evolves around what he's going. >> i just wonder. do you think that the nsa is meeting about edward snowden's twitter account? >> i don't think so. i think he would like to think that he's the case. nsa has a deal with a lot of operations and they are probably more worried about what the russians are doing in syria than they are about edward snowden.
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although i wouldn't be surprised if the department of justice is paying a little attention to it another this point. >> is it possible to shut him down legally? >> not really. twitter is a platform. it is kind of like the telephone used to be. and it's become ubiquitous around the world and highly unlikely he would be shut down by twitter. because that would cause such an outcry among a lot of people. even people opposed to snowden's viewpoint. it is highly unlikely that twitter by itself would go ahead and shut it down. if he's not engaged in anything illegal. if he's not engaged as far as can be seen by twitter and if he's not, you know, flemting some kind of terrorist upheaval sorry something like that which i don't think he could do, i doubt very much twitter would do that. >> thanks for your insight. it is a race against time on capitol hill today with a the deadline for a government shut
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just minutes from now congress inches closer to avoiding a the shut down. at least for fnow. the senate takes up a the temporary spending bill in the next hour and sends it to the house. manu sparaju is in capitol hill >> looks like the senate is going to pass this bill very easily. and then it goes to the house,
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just hours before the government would be set to shut down. this punts a much larger fight into the fall session. the fall and winter. this only extends government funding until december 11th. and there are also major fiscal clashes waiting in the wings. particularly that very thorny issue of raising the national debt ceiling. it is a very difficult issue for conservatives. last week mitch mcconnell called the president to begin some of the discussions over a large scale budget battle. but he we've been told told the president he did not want to negotiate with hill democrats. that is something the president rejected. already off to a shaky start. they are going to have to get into the details for a large fiscal deal. but as we've seen time and again that is not going to be easy. it is going to be a very interesting thing to watch and something that could have major implications for both parties into 2016. >> there is going to be new house leadership too. and i bet his life will be fun.
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>> probably just as fun as john boehner's. we're look at kevin mccarthy t california republican house majority leader as the likely next speaker and he's going to have the same issues john boehner had in running a very divide ed caucus. the question is how are they going to deal with a lot of these fiscal issues and get his party in line? and there is no clear answer. he started to answer some of those questions yesterday. let's take a listen to what he said. >> why wouldn't we challenge him? to get it to the president's desk, would you first start with a select committee, to win the argument, then win the vote. there are so many things to do. but it is more bosmt bottom up. have the committees do more of the work. have everybody engaged. more of the regular order. think they as healthy way for the house to look. but everybody has a say. everybody has a voice. >> you know it is kind of easier said than done. really gets -- we have not
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started talk about the policy details that kevin mccarthy is going to have to deal with. right now he's trying to sell himself to various pockets of the house republican caucus to prevent more than 29 republicans from defecting on the house floor. that is the magic number to prevent any sort of chaos that could either prevent him from taking the speaker's gavel. at this point we don't expect that to happen but anything can change. and as you know capitol hill can be a very hard place to predict. >> oh yeah. thank you so much. of course a threat of government shut down was all over planned parenthood. and it was meant to put an end to planned parenthood but it did not. it just confused everyone. and seemed more like a cross-examination with the president of planned parenthood in the hot seat. >> you created this lie. i have no idea what it is. >> well it is the reduction over
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the course of years in pink. that is the reduction in the breast exams. and the red is the increase in the abortions. that is what's going on in your organization. >> this is a slide that has never been shown to me before i'm happy to look at it. and it absolutely does not reflect what's happening at planned parenthood. >> you are going to deny -- >> i'm going to deny the slide you just showed me that no one has ever provided us before. we have provided you all of the information about everything, all the services that planned provides. and it doesn't feel like we're trying to get to the truth here. you just showed me this -- the source of this is american americans united for life. which is an antiabortion group. so i would check your source. >> and of course the congressman said that he'll go back and check on it to see where exactly those numbers came from. now this whole hearing was based on heavily edited videos
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secretly made by a the antiabortion group. if republicans hoped these videos would be planned parenthood's demise, like take a look at this poll. 61% of americans are against defunding planned parenthood. cue the pro pp video. >> because planned parenthood staends up for me. >> because reproduct irights are human rights. >> every woman deserves to be the architect of her own destiny. >> because i want my girls to have access to birth control behind my back someday. >> because i believe i have the right to decide what's right for me. >> let's talk about this. welco welcome. so this hearing was supposed to assure voters that planned parenthood was not profiting from selling fetal tissue. but that wasn't what this
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hearing was about. why not just be honest about it? >> i think republicans have been honest. they want to expose the goals of planned parenthood. planned parenthood wants to be primarily in the abortion-providing business. if they didn't -- >> what are you basing that on? >> -- quit doing abortions. >> what are you basing that on? >> it would be a much better business model and much better for women if planned parenthood would quit doing abortions, continue to take federal funding w regain access to the state funding and expand services o out the mostly urban areas where they provide healthcare services. they also don't provide mammograms and a number of other sources -- >> let's stop there with the mammogram thing. >> no no -- >> no let's stop there. when you go to your gynecologist. they do a breast exam right? and do you get your mammograms
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there at the doctor's office? or do you go to a separate facility? that is what i do. >> right. the 9,000 community health centers that widely out number the planned parenthoods that are only about 700 and in rural neighborhoods. and they are in a lot more rural areas where many more woman have access to them. what republicans are doing in trying to defund planned parenthood so to reallocate those resources to community health centers that can provide so many more opportunities to services and women in so many more places. >> okay. >> i don't know why anyone would choose to put providing an abortion to a woman in chicago over an screening over a woman in duluth. >> is that what's happening? >> no. and a quick step back. you say they are being honest. i don't see that. when you look at the four hour hearing which was much numerator
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the politics of the abortion. suggests to me and to most americans based on polls that the right at this moment is more concerned with ending women's access to reproductive freedom than it is to trying to manage fiscal responsibility of planned parenthood. and that is what was so troublesome about this hearing that we saw. we saw woman attacked over her salary. a woman talked over and yelled over. and to end planned parenthood isn't simply to be fiscally responsible. it is to cutoff women's access in as you said many urban areas. people who only have one game in town will now have no game in town which denies them choice which is an essential right in america. we have to keel with this properly. >> and on the subject of seeming antiwoman in this republican health committee, i just want to lay something buy you. republicans were so freaked out about appearing antiwoman t
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washington post reports the chairman importanted three womeo participate -- >> into a hearing about women's issues? i think that was entirely appropriate. if he didn't we'd be having a different debate, right? why didn't they let more women into this hearing. >> i think they were right to let women in. i think the more fundamental question is why aren't they on the committee in the first place. >> i can't answer that question. i don't know why they are not on that committee. you want to read sexism into this, g right ahead. i have no idea why those women are -- >> i'm not reading sexism. but if it was just about concern about the unborn and concern that planned parenthood was selling fetal tissue and making profit, what difference does it make how many women were on the panel asking questions? zblz about the on kern for the
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unborn and defunding planned parenthood. i don't think anyone is saying otherwise. and i think women were invited ostensibly and presumably that is by a care about the issue. >> but sometimes women are used as the proxies for mail patriarchky. they wage wars and get women to be the facial front of it so it doesn't look as such. they are feigning indignation and outrage about female bodies and all this stuff and really they are trying to cutoff choice and access to the if most vulnerable women in the nation. >> the outrage is not feigned. the outrage is real. the outrage over abortion and planned parenthood's over 300 thousand abortions provided a year is real. and frankly, the republican party and its position on abortion is far more in touch with the majority position in this country.
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i don't think -- no no no. >> not according to polls. >> let me finish. >> not look at the polls. >> i love doing your show. i know i'll get to debate two liberals. >> well played. >> i'm just want the facts. and we're -- >> [ inaudible ]. >> -- after twenty weeks to be illegal. that is a fact. and the celebratory nature of the pro abortion wing of the democratic party is totally out of line with where even pro choice women are on this issue. they don't want to hashtag shout their abortion. they are not proud. it is a difficult decision. they take a lot of time contemplating it. it is not something they want to throw a party around. and yet there is a part of the democratic party of the far left that is celebrating this lamentable procedure in a way that i think is really ill nating a lot of people in the center of the country. >> but --
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>> let me say this. the only thing is abortion is still legal in this country. and until it is not planned parenthood can go ahead and perform abortion. federal dollars -- taxpayer -- >> [ inaudible ]. >> there is no way to tell. they haven't been able to provide an account accounting. and government offices will admit to this. they have not been able to provide an accounting of which monies go to which procedure. so you just don't know that. and because it is such an emotional issue, it would really easy to just take federal funding out and planned parenthood could continue to go on and provide all of the wonderful health services that you and i agree that they perform without wading into this controversy more than half of the country finds morally offensive. >> okay. last word, mark. >> couple of things. they didn't wait for a controversy. they produced one. they manufactured one. two, earlier you said the outrage isn't feigned.
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i think there are people in the who oppose abortion. many do. i don't dispute that. what's feigned is the traing over what was on the doctored videotape and trying to link that. we're making an issue about the videotape and supposedly illegal activity which isn't illegal. we're making all of this stuff the issue. when in fact republicans just don't want abortions to be legal when they are. and no one in the democratic party is celebrating abortion. you began by saying most americans don't support this position. most americans don't have this positionem i agree. most -- right now based on polls what i just say id is true and also based on polls the planned parenthood is more particular than the gop. sorry. i'm just trying to catch up. >> i got to end it there. thanks to both of you. i appreciate it. coming up in the newsroom,
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tropical storm no more. joakim intensifies to a hurricane. but will it hit the united states and where?
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new this morning, joaquin has strengthened into a hurricane and could pose a serious threat for flooding along the east coast. chad myers is in the cnn weather center. >> here we go. with a keep, yesterday a 40-mile-per-hour tropical storm. this morning, very, very strong winds from the hurricane hunter aircraft. they're finding, as they fly along at flight level, 85 miles per hour. well, no one lives up there, so
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they kind of reduced that down to the ground, 75 miles per hour. there it is making a run at bermuda and the turks and caicos. and of course, right now the bahamas. but what will it do to america? whether it hits it or not, what will happen? there's so much tropical moisture. we will get ten inches of rainfall in the mid-atlantic. and that's with a miss. if we get a hit, and i don't know that we will because the models are in significant disagreement yet because we're still talking 72 to 96 hours away. if we get a hit, that number may double. we could see 20 inches of rain in some spots. right now mid-atlantic, that's where the bulk of the models are, but there's one. there's one that we talked about with sandy that got sandy right. that is the european model. it takes it almost to nassau and then turns it back and misses north america altogether. wouldn't that be great? wouldn't that be great? hey, i don't even care if the european model's better than ours for a couple more years, whatever. if that is the scenario. i don't think so. you've got all of these models
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going one way, and then one outlier going this way. it's called the european model. so our models are doing this. their model's doing that. back out there. why? why and how could that even be possible that it's 1,000 miles different? well, here's the problem. there's the low right now. there's the hurricane. and it's going to move on up toward the northeast. does it hit new york? the carolinas? or somewhere even farther south? we don't know that because of how big of a difference in the atmosphere we've got. this jet stream on saturday is going to go all the way down to florida. then it's going to turn all the way up and go back up to north america. and we don't know if the model is going to send this low out to the ocean or drag it back to america. that's why the difference is so great, carol. i mean, we're talking thousands of miles in difference. and that's a big difference when it comes to the amount of damage we could get, too. >> okay. we'll have to keep our ear on you, chad myers. thanks so much. >> you're welcome. tesla's new suv rolling off the line, and buyers, they're
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lining up, ready to shell out more than $100,000 for this all-electric vehicle. so is it worth it cnn's peter valdez got behind the wheel. >> reporter: this is the model "x." it's the latest crossover suv to hit a market that's already packed with them. but this is tesla's all-electric crossover. and tesla is the only car company that can inspire rock-concertlike madness over an air filter. >> this is the primary air filter of the model "x." >> reporter: i was in fremont, california, to see the first of tesla's new suvs being shipped off to customers. customers who, by the way, have waited for as long as three years for their model "x." i'm betting the wait was worth it. the model "x" is groundbreaking in a lot of ways. like ludicrous mode, in an suv. this switch sends you shooting from 0 to 60 in just a touch
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over 3 seconds. >> that is, like, absurd. you just don't expect that in a crossover suv with three rows of seats. >> reporter: according to tesla, this thing is basically impossible to flip over. thanks to a battery pack that rides in the floor lowering the center of gravity. >> that probably would have felt like crap if pretty much any other suv i can think of. >> reporter: but here's the main event. the model "x" has falcon wing doors. these doors hinge in the middle of the roof so you can open them without dinging the car next to you. sensors detect how much space there is and bend the doors to fit. oh, and about that air filter, the model "x" has something called bioweapon defense mode. >> this is a real button. >> reporter: it filters out viruses and germs. a well-equipped model "x" is going to cost you about $130,000. but for a ferrari-fast,
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super-safe, biodefense pod, it ain't bad. and you get wings. >> oh, my gosh. $130,000. that's insane! peter valdez depaydepena, thank. the next hour of "cnn newsroom" after a break. through progressive, you'll save a bundle! [ laughs ] jamie. right. make a bad bundle joke, a buck goes in the jar. i guess that's just how the cookie bundles. now, you're gonna have two bundles of joy! i'm not pregnant. i'm gonna go. [ tapping, cash register dings ] there you go. [ buzzing ] bundle bee coming! it was worth it! saving you a bundle when you bundle -- now, that's progressive.
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this is cnn breaking news. >> good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. we begin with breaking news in the fight against isis and an uneasy alliance that now faces a brand-new test. this morning, we learned that russia has launched its first airstrike on extremist targets in syria including military equipment. and adding to the drama, russia has told the u.s. to ground its warplanes there. cnn's barbara starr is tracking
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the story from the pentagon. bring us up to date. >> reporter: carol, this is a story moving by the hour, by the minute in terms of rising tensions between the russian military and the u.s. military. a short time ago one u.s. official telling me this is not the way nations conduct military relations. what happened earlier today was a russian general went to the u.s. embassy in baghdad, read a note out telling the u.s. defense attache, russia was about to begin military strikes in syria within the hour. and apparently that is exactly what they then proceeded to do fdo. four russian warplanes near the city of homs. isis is not there. this is an area where anti-regime militias are, where these militias are fighting against bashar al assad. all indications in the u.s. view is that the russian airstrikes
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were in an effort to prop up assad, not to fight isis. a lot of consternation about this because it was just yesterday that defense secretary ash carter let it be known that he was beginning to set up mechanisms, procedures to talk to the russians, military to military, about how to deac deconflict operations in the skies over syria. the worry, of course, is russian warplanes flying, u.s. warplanes flying. nobody wants to see an incident. nobody wants to see anybody get shot down inadvertently but where those talks go now, very much an open question. now that the russians have basically said, we're doing it anyhow. carol? >> all right. barbara starr reporting. we're getting -- of course, we're getting conflicting reports out of that region right now. and i understand the russian foreign minister is holding a news conference. we're monitoring that right now just to make sure that it's in english and everybody can understand it. in the meantime, i want to bring in general -- lieutenant general
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mark hurtling. welcome, general. >> good morning, carol. >> general, what do you make of this? >> not unanticipated, frankly. i mean, i think anyone who's in the military who has conducted campaigns and operations expected this to happen. even though the diplomacy and the talks back and forth has said -- russia has said they are going against isis, they are an ally of assad. he is the reigning government in syria, and legally he can invite the russians in to do whatever they want. so i did not anticipate that they would not attempt to stabilize and try to expand the area under assad's control, which is part of the area that we're talking about. i did not think that they would not go after alliances that are contrary to mr. assad. so all of these things i think most military folks are expected, but this is now a condition of the battlefield. and it's going to get more tense as the hours go on.
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>> okay. so i was talking about this conflicting information because i just got this urgent in my e-mail box. you heard what barbara starr reported. that russia is conducting its airstrikes in western syria. not exactly a stronghold of isis terrorists. but i just got this urgent, and it quotes a russian defense ministry spokesman who said that russian warplanes conducted a strike in syria against isis military equipment, communications center, vehicles and ammunitions. do you think that's true? >> ain't buying it. truthfully, i'm not buying it. isis does not have any strength in homs itself, and their strength is in other places of the country. and they would not have done some of the things they did in terms of last-minute notification of both elements in baghdad and the u.s. embassy there. so this is truthfully a support for assad. they are trying to keep him in power. they have bases in syria that are critically important to their mediterranean strategy. so i anticipate more things like this happening, and frankly, i think the military and state
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department officials on the ground believe that this will continue as well. >> okay. so the other concern is before these airstrikes began, a russian official marched into the american embassy in baghdad and said, look. we're going to conduct these airstrikes, so you need to get your, like, warplanes out of the area now. the united states did not do that, but doesn't that sound like it could become dangerous is this? >> yeah, it sounds like it to the untrained, carol, but truthfully, i'm sure there's more conversations than that going on, at least i would hope so. we have conducted operations with the russians before. not only exercises but also combat operations in the balkans about 10 or 15 years ago. they are always difficult to deal with. they always do things without coordination. so i think the military planners and operators out of central command and the ones in iraq and syria that are working the iraq and syria issue themselves are probably attempting to deconflict and coordinate more rather than less. but this is something that's
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problematic. russia has close to 34 airplanes in syria right now, and they are not only ground attack aircraft but also air-to-air aircraft. so this is something the military, the coalition military planners to include u.s. have to watch and be very careful about. >> so the united states and russia are both fighting within syria, and there are cross-purposes because initially the united states, the obama administration, says, you know, we want assad to be out of power. we don't want him in there anymore. we're not helping them. we hope somebody overthrows him. of course, as you said, russia wants completely the opposite. elise labott sat down with secretary of state kerry i think just yesterday, and suddenly he said that this is, well, it could be an opportunity for the united states. so let's listen to secretary kerry, and then i want to get your input. >> i think it makes life very complicated for putin himself, for president putin, because he's going to side with assad and with iran and hezbollah.
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he's going to have a very serious problem with the sunni countries in the region, and that means that he could even become a target for those sunni jihadis. so this is very complicated for him. he needs to work something out. i think it's an opportunity, to be honest with you. i think it's an opportunity for us to force this question of how you actually resolve the question of syria. >> so, general, is it an opportunity for the united states? >> well, i would agree with secretary kerry -- i'm sorry, secretary kerry that this is going to cause problems for mr. putin. it certainly will. i mean, when you're talking about siding with assad, with iran, with hezbollah in a region of the world that has also saudi arabia, qatar, uae, egypt and other sunni governments that do not like the expansion of iran, he is going to have some of the same challenges we have, quite frankly. i think his initial campaign
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plan is to stabilize assad in his main region and then potentially in the near future expand outward. if that happens and we've got to be watching this very closely the entire time, will it give more power to mr. assad? will there be more diplomatic negotiations that perhaps talk about a power-sharing agreement within the syrian government with others to attempt to stabilize the situation? or, you know, and you also have to remember mr. putin has some problems with extremists within his own country as well. you know, he has not tamped down completely some of the extremists in various areas of his nation. so he could receive quite a backlash within his own country from some extremists that don't believe what he's doing in other parts of the world are good. and truthfultruthfully, carol, another issue. he was being strained, quite frankly, with his illegal entry into ukraine by the military. now he's got military acting in
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another country. is he overexpanding his footprint? is he causing more things to happen that are going to cause him problems not only on the military front but on the diplomatic front, and in the national political front within russia? and i believe yes, that's eventually going to happen. >> okay. we'll keep an eye on it. general mark hertling, i appreciate it. also right now, thousands of civilians are fleeing their homes in the northern afghanistan city of kunduz. this after taliban militants took over that key city. now afghan forces are struggling to retake it. u.s. forces have conducted airstrikes, and nato special forces are also assisting. but a shortage of ground troops is hindering operations. meantime, hundreds of reinfor reinforcements are reportedly being blocked by the taliban in a neighboring province. at any moment, the senate will take up a temporary spending bill that would avert a government shutdown, at least for now. you're looking at live pictures from capitol hill. of course, this fix is expected to pass but only extends the deadline until december.
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house conservatives are pushing to have all taxpayer funds pulled from planned parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, or they will shut down the government. senior political reporter manu raju is on capitol hill to hels more. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. carol, this is really just a punt. this is a short-term spending bill that's going to extend government funding until december 11 when the real larger, more contentious issues are going to arise. what the republican leadership did to try to alleviate those concerns that you referenced about planned parenthood is try to separate this issue from -- into a separate battle over the budget. they want to take it out of this must-pass spending bill to keep the government open and try to move it into a different separate process. now, for right now, that seems to have appeased a lot of those conservatives. but they'll have to deal with this again in the winter when if that -- if planned parenthood continues to get funded, those fights are just going to
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intensify. in addition to that, there's a big battle that's brewing over the exact level to set government spending limits. and mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader, tried to start negotiations last week. he reached out to the white house to begin those talks. the question is going to be can both sides come together on something that has really divided the two parties over for years, and particularly in recent years, exactly how much money to spend for the federal government each year. there is no resolution in sight to that, carol. >> all right. manu raju, thank you very much. still to come in "the newsroom," the pope met thousands of people in the united states including this pope baby. but how about the controversial kentucky clerk who's refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses? she said she also met with the pope, but the vatican isn't talking. why? you fifteen percent or more on huh, fiftcar insurance.uld save yeah, everybody knows that. well, did you know that playing cards with kenny rogers gets old pretty fast? ♪ you got to know when to hold'em. ♪
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all right. this news just into cnn just minutes ago.
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the vatican said it will not deny that the pope did indeed meet with that kentucky clerk in controversial same-sex marriage opponent kim davis last week when the pope was in the united states. davis says she not only met with the pope, but the holy father thanked her. davis told "good morning america" she was stunned when she got the call from the vatican. she says the meeting took place in washington, d.c., while the pope was in the united states. >> i put my hand out, and he rushed and he grabbed it. i hugged him. and he hugged me. and he said, "thank you for your courage." he told me before he left, he said, "stay strong." that was a great encouragement. >> okay. so there you have it. with me now, vatican correspondent delia gallagher. she's live in rome. so the vatican initially sent out a statement saying they would not confirm nor deny, and then they tweaked it moments ago, why? >> reporter: well, i mean, it's progress on their part.
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in the first instance, they gave a verbal statement saying they're neither confirming nor denying. now we have the written statement saying they're not denying, but the papal spokesman says he doesn't have any further comment to add. clearly, if you're not denying, that means that the meeting happened. you know, it's difficult to parse sometimes, the vatican language. they like the double negative. they're not going to deny it. why don't they just come out and say that it happened? i think, carol, because it's an internal u.s. affair. and she is a federal employee. they probably don't want to be seen to be meddling within those affairs, especially when it has to do with the legal system. i mean, if we compare it to the fact that when the pope was in the united states and he met with the group of nuns, the little sisters of the poor who are also involved in litigation with the obama administration over the contraception mandate, and that, the vatican spokesman said, was a clear sign of the pope's support for them. but that's a group of nuns. and they have already been supported by the u.s. bishops.
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the situation with kim davis, as a federal employee, is slightly different. so i think the vatican wants to stay out of the political fray on it, but wanted to show personal support of pope francis for the situation of a conscientious objector because we know that when he was returning from the united states on the papal plane, he said that he does support conscientious objection that it is a human right and should be allowed for by governments under religious freedom. and he was specifically asked if that applies also to government employees, and he said yes. carol? >> delia gallagher reporting live from rome, thanks so much. still to come in the "news room," monica lewinsky back in the spotlight. is that bad news for hillary clinton, or does it matter? we'll talk about that next. it wouland it turned onif you turned oeverywhere else.ne room but that's exactly how traditional cooling and heating systems work. so you pay more than you should. but mitsubishi electric systems give you a better way... with no waste and lower energy bills.
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clinton is about to hit the campaign trail. his number one topic, of course, is hillary clinton. his number two topic, trashing the republicans. cnn's erin burnett asked him if donald trump could win. >> they're basically all still sort of stalking around, trying to prove their bona fide, you know, who hates the democrats the most and who can blame president obama for every bad thing that happened anywhere in the world. somebody caught a cold, i told you he had no leadership. you know, that kind of stuff. and two of them have dropped out, but we still haven't had any really serious discussions. we've been through five hours of debates, and i watched it all, but we have many serious discussions about, well, if you were there, what would you actually do about this? so i think i don't know. i was asked if i thought he had a chance to win, and i do
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because one of the things in a crowded field you have to do is stand out. you have to be able to brand yourself. you have to be able to be identified. but at some point, you also have to say, what are you going to do? you can't just spend all your time saying everything everybody else did was wrong. and they were all dufuses. you can't say that. >> meantime, hillary clinton sat down with lena dunham. they talked about wall street criminals, same-sex weddings and girl talk. >> do you consider yourself a feminist? >> yes, absolutely. you know, i'm always a little bit puzzled when any woman of whatever age, but particularly a young woman, says something like, and you've heard it. >> yeah. >> something like, well, i believe in equal rights, but i'm not a feminist. well, a feminist is, by definition, someone who believes in equal rights. >> i don't think everyone believes that!
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joining me now to talk about all of this, democratic strategist and executive director of the accountability project, i'm also joined by democratic strategist keith boykin. thanks for being here. i appreciate it. you couldn't help but notice hillary clinton seemed a little loose in that interview with lena dunham. compared to bill clinton, he's good, right? mm-hmm. so will that be a problem again? because we talked about that in 2008. >> the contrast between the two of them? >> yeah. >> i don't think so. people who know hillary and they know who bill is. if you look at hillary's numbers were before the summer started, she had a very favorable impression with the american public. people liked her. i think she's had a really difficult summer, but once we start having more debates and start comparing her with the republican candidates, we'll have a chance to see her in a whole new light. this type of interview helps her, humanizes it, shows her as a real person. >> lena dunham, very polarizing. why not sit down with someone like emma watson, right? she talks about gender equality
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at the united nations. and she's not polarizing like lena dunham. >> that's a good point. but lena dunham has been active in democratic politics. she's a strong supporter of hillary clinton. and let's be frank. hillary is not doing well with millennial women. they're going to sanders. what's interesting is you see what happened in 2008 when bill clinton went out on the trail for hillary. he didn't actually help her. he helped barack obama as the explainer in chief but he didn't do well for hillary clinton. now, my question is do millennial women remember the '90s? do they remember -- >> no. >> -- how divisive hillary clinton and bill clinton were, and now with monica lewinsky back out, are they going to remember what happened? how hillary clinton treated monica lewinsky? was that very feminist of her? was the way that we victim blamed monica lewinsky, this new wave of feminism? and i don't know if millennial women are going to know that. >> so you bring up monica lewinsky, and she was on "good morning america" to talk about her anti-bullying campaign, and it did seem like deja vu all
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over again to quote the late great yogi berra. she was asked about hillary clinton running for president, and here's what she said. >> hillary clinton is once again running for president. how do you push through it and put it behind you with that constant news cycle? >> you know, i think it's really wonderful that we have two women from both parties running for higher office, and i think however it may affect me personally is not something i'm going to talk about today. but the campaign i'm really focused on, amy. >> okay. so i do think women from my generation certainly remember that. and women from generation "x," right? certainly remember it. will it be a fact -- i mean, isn't it weird she's popping up now, keith? >> well, she's got an anti-bullying campaign so she's got to promote her stuff. i don't blame her. she's been through the wringer. she's had a rough experience from the '90s, and she's trying
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to rebrand herself, and i appreciate her for that, but this is old news. people are focused on the future, and elections are about the future. it's not about the past. people don't want to relitigate the '90s which is the reason why a bush/clinton race is the worst possible nightmare for a lot of americans. but i think people want to focus on the future. i think hillary's proposals about the future will be much more interesting than what bill and monica lewinsky may not have done in the past. >> i think when she explains her proposals, she doesn't explain it in the most compelling way. >> in a bill clintonian way. >> she's not bill clinton. she's a different person. >> i find it interesting that a lot of the things she's running on, a lot of it we're dealing with today are the effects of the '90s. so the things she's running on from tax reform, prison reform, drug reform, these are bill clinton policies. and she's running against them right now. and i think that's going to be the biggest issue right now is income inequality that was caused by a lot of the reforms that were bill clintons. >> that's interesting.
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it will be an interesting debate especially if joe biden has the door open. he's not running, but the door's open. >> waiting till the last day apparently, right? >> the suspense is building. thank you both. i appreciate it. make sure to stay with cnn later today. jeb bush joins wolf blitzer on "the situation room." that's tonight at 5:00 p.m. eastern. and donald trump will talk with cnn's don lemon. that comes your way at 10:00 p.m. eastern. and good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. the u.s. is pulling american spies from china after a massive cyber attack that compromised the personal data of more than 20 million government workers. that's according to a u.s. official. here's what's troubling, though. that stolen data includes records on state department employees that could allow hackers to identify u.s. intelligence agents. let's bring in cnn justice reporter evan perez with more on this. good morning, evan. >> reporter: good morning,
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carol. the concern here really is that the chinese intelligence agencies can now compare the roster of u.s. embassy employees that they already know in beijing against this massive database that they now have of u.s. government employees. and so those affected, i'm told, include employees of the cia, nsa and intelligence agency and of course the chinese are denying any of this. the chinese foreign ministry had this to say. we can put it up on the screen here. the chinese government firmly opposes any forms of hacking, china and the united states are the biggest two internet-using countries. we both face the same challenges and will gain mutual benefits from protecting cyber-security. there's no doubt here in the u.s., the u.s. investigators believe that the chinese are behind this data breach which, as you pointed out, includes millions of personnel files including the fingerprints of 5.6 million government workers, many of them in sensitive jobs, carol. >> all right. evan perez reporting live for us from washington, thank you. checking some other top
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stories now at 10:30 eastern time, joaquin is now a hurricane. the category 1 storm is packing 75 miles per hour sustained winds. joaquin is the third hurricane in the atlantic season and is located about 250 miles east of the bahamas. it is too early to determine if that storm will make landfall, but is expected to drop a whole lot of rain along the east coast. georgia has executed the first woman in more than 70 years. she was put to death overnight despite a last-minute plea from her children, protesters and pope francis. her death comes nearly 18 years after her conviction. in 1998, she was sentenced to death for convincing her lover to kill her husband. still to come in the "newsroom," donald trump in hot water. some students say he did not deliver on his promise to teach them how to win in business. a special cnn investigation ahead. ♪ [music]
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this is cnn breaking news. >> all right. we have late-breaking news from the floor of the senate. the senate has passed a bill that will temporarily fund the government through december 11th. that bill passed overwhelmingly 78-20. but that bill now goes to the house of representatives where it could be quite the fight because as you know, some house republicans want planned parenthood defunded in order to fund the government. but house republicans say they may have enough votes. so we'll keep our eye on that. and of course, the house also said they expect to take action on this temporary funding bill before midnight. we'll keep you posted. in other political news, donald trump has won a lot in
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the business world over the years, and he says he will win so often as president, you'll get sick of hearing him talk about it. but some people say they didn't win with donald trump. in fact, they lost big, losing as much as $35,000, enrolling in his university. trump university promised students success by simply enrolling. but some students say it was a complete failure. cnn correspondent drew griffin takes a closer look. >> reporter: this was the promise of trump university when it launched, direct from the university chairman's own mouth. >> at trump university, we teach success. that's what it's all about. success. it's going to happen to you. >> reporter: it operated from 2005 through 2010 and enrolled 10,000 students in real estate courses that ranged from free seminars up to $35,000 for advanced training and mentoring. >> i think the biggest step towards success is going to be sign up at trump university. >> reporter: for a while, it was a business success.
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trump university took in an estimated $40 million from people who believed they, too, could someday become successful. >> put proven donald trump secret to work for you. >> reporter: it turns out not everything trump promises comes true, and not all of his businesses lead to success. trump university is closed. >> and it ended. why did it end? >> well, the economy crashed. the real estate market crashed. and demand fell off a little bit. so while the company continues to exist, it's not accepting -- currently not accepting any more students and hasn't since 2010. >> reporter: allen garden is donald trump's attorney. he's defending the school from three separate lawsuits. two class action lawsuits filed in california and one filed by new york attorney general eric schneiderman who took his case to cnn's "new day" just days after filing his lawsuit in 2013. >> we started looking at trump university and discovered that it was a classic bait-and-switch scheme. it was a scam starting with the
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fact that it was not a university. they promised they were going to teach people with hand-picked experts by donald trump, the teachers were neither hand picked nor experts. >> he was very involved. from the early stages, he was meeting regularly every week, every two weeks with the people who were going to run the day-to-day operations of the course. >> reporter: so the allegation that he had nothing to do with this, that he didn't pick a single expert as a new york attorney general has claimed, you say is completely false. >> it's completely untrue. 100% untrue. >> reporter: the new york attorney general declined to be interviewed for this report but provided cnn with six of the 150 affidavits he says he's collected from unsatisfied trump university students who mostly complained their education at the school was worthless. like this student who writes "i have not been able to get in touch with anyone after i signed up for the trump gold elite program. all the numbers have been disconnected." one student who paid $25,000 to have special access to high-level mentors claims he
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hasn't been able to get in touch with his nonexistent power team. as for investing knowledge, the student says he wrote off trump university as a bad investment on my part. most of the students never met or even laid eyes on donald trump. trump university is now called trump entrepreneur initiative. the school says it never promised anyone would meet the donald. >> there's at least 10,000 people who paid. so you can go and pick three or four affidavits from people or maybe 20 affidavits or maybe 30 affidavits. it's still a minuscule amount. i have in my bag and i'm happy to read to you all the people who loved the course. >> reporter: and he did, providing cnn with 14 affidavits from satisfied students. garten says trump will continue to fight all three lawsuits until he eventually wins. even if legal fees wipe out any profit he may have made. and in the end, win or lose, trump university may have taught everyone a valuable lesson, not every promise comes true, not everyone, even students of
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donald trump, will become a success. >> and i bet the first person who would tell you that is donald trump. >> absolutely. >> you've got to work hard. you've got to know what you're doing. you've got to outfox a lot of different people. >> he mu he must know in his heart a lot of these suckers don't have what it takes to do what i do. >> let me just take a step back. first of all, i agree with you. all we can do is provide the tools for people to go out there and apply these things. if i can't control what happens out in the real world, if someone goes and takes our classes and decides to sit on their couch and not apply them, i can't help that. >> reporter: in the real world, trump has just won another court battle. a california judge has just made it harder for former students of trump university to get any money back in damages, even if those students can eventually prove the school was just one big fraud. and so far, trump is winning. drew griffin, cnn, new york. >> trump's lawyer, alan garten, told cnn they have had discussions about what to do if
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there's a pending legal case and trump wins the presidency in 2016. the legal team would seek an injunction and put the case on hold until after a trump presidency ends. still to come in the "newsroom," controversy at the united nations, not just between putin and obama, but over a flag. coughing...sniffling... and wishing you could stay in bed all day. when your cold is this bad...
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we figure you probably don't have time to wait on hold. that's why at xfinity we're hard at work, building new apps like this one that lets you choose a time for us to call you. so instead of waiting on hold, we'll call you when things are just as wonderful... [phone ringing] but a little less crazy. we're doing everything we can to give you the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around. soon at the united nations, an historic and controversial moment will take place. the u.n. will raise the flag of the palestinian authority for the first time ever. a move that is real has criticized and voted against along with the united states and
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six other nations. in the meantime, palestinians and israelis in jerusalem spoke about the significance of today's event. >> that's what it means for us as the palestinians, that maybe this is the beginning to get the freedom. >> it's a step forward. i hope it will be followed by much bigger steps. >> we are happy when we see the flag, but we don't want to see only flag. >> we are very happy for that, and i hope that it means it's only the beginning for something more than official action. >> they've had many opportunities to bring peace to the land, to flourish. all our leaders have offered them amazing deals, and i feel that at this point in time to give them any credence in the world audience is just totally insulting to humanity. >> cnn's richard roth is live at the united nations.
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richard, president mahmoud abbas of the palestinian authority has shared his views on this ceremo ceremony. what's he saying? >> reporter: abbas already has written about what he plans to observe in a couple of hours. he here in the rose garden at the u.n., this historic and controversial raising of the palestinian flag for the first time. the palestinians are not an official state here at the u.n. though the resolution about the flag says it's a state in palestine. abbas, in huffington post, wrote -- here's a portion of it, "the international community demonstrated its solidarity with the palestinian people by approving this flag raising. now it must act with urgency to seize the momentum from this symbolic gesture and provide a clear plan to end the illegal israeli occupation, uphold human rights and achieve justice." israel has denounced it, of course, in their view as a publicity stunt. the secretary-general may be there. the vatican flag was raised on friday before the pope arrived. the vatican and the palestinians, carol, have the
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same status here, observer, nonmember states. carol. >> all right, richard roth reporting live from the united nations this morning. thank you. i'm just reading about some breaking news coming into cnn. a senior u.s. official is telling cnn the russian airstrike in syria has no strategic purpose in battling isis. that information gotten by state department correspondent elise labott. she's on her way to the set, but we have conflicting information. in fact, russia's foreign minister, sergey lavrov said, and i'm quoting here, and he's talking about the airstrikes, quote, we're referring here exclusively to the operation of the russian air force to carry ot strikes against isil or isis positions in syria. we have informed the authorities in the united states and other members of the coalition created by the americans of this and are ready to forge standing channels of communication to ensure maximumly effective fight against the terrorist groups. but as i just said, the u.s.
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said that the russian airstrikes targeted a city in western syria, and there are no isis targets there. elise labott is here. you got all of this information. so what's going on here? >> well, clearly, carol, you know, the u.s. had said that they wanted to deconflict with the russians on the ground, to avoid any possible confrontation. but what the russians are trying to do is ground the u.s. they're not telling the u.s. where they're flying. they're not telling the u.s. what they're doing. they're just saying to the u.s., stop your flights. i mean, if you look at what they did today, for instance, in homz, u.s. officials are telling me this is not of strategic importance to go after isis. and if you look at some of the weapons that the russians have on the ground, some of this anti-aircraft equipment, this is not for isis because isis is not flying on the ground. so what u.s. officials are saying is this is kind of proof positive that this mission is
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not to go after isis. they understand that the russians want to shore up the syrian military. it's very tired after going against isis on the opposition. they want to bolster the syrian military. but clearly, they are very concerned that they will go after this beleaguered opposition even further and be a proxy, in effect, for the syrian military. >> so why don't the russians just come out and say what they're doing? i mean, they appear to be lying. i mean, i don't know because we're not on the ground in syria, and we don't know for sure. i only know there are conflicting statements from the united states and russia. >> well, they're not going after specifically opposition on the ground right now, but they are, you know, trying to assert the fact that we are here. we are going to be, you know, running the skies right now. and you'd better back off. so they're not really making their intentions very clear right now. they're creating a lot of uncertainty. i understand secretary kerry is going to be meeting throughout the day, speaking throughout the day with russian foreign
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minister lavrov. i think officials are trying to tamp down the temperature, but look. you know, we know in conflicts like this, it just takes one miscalculation for something to blow out of control, and one misfired weapon, and someone could get really hurt. so i think that everyone is trying today to find some rules of the road going forward. but clearly, the russians are creating a new reality on the ground. >> okay. so barbara starr is at the pentagon. what are you hearing about this, barbara? >> well, carol, military officials here at the pentagon are just full of consternation about this. what one official said to me is this is not how you conduct military relations between superpowers or between any countries. you don't go banging on the door of the embassy, as a russian general did this morning in baghdad, and tell the u.s. to get out of the skies. u.s. warplanes will continue to fly. the fundamentally underlying all of this is the lack of trust that the u.s. has with russia right now, and especially the
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u.s. military. they simply do not feel they can believe what the russians say. that's the big worry right now. because as another official said to me, look. our two presidents, putin and obama, just earlier this week said that both militaries would sit down and talk about how to operate safely in the skies over syria. defense secretary ash carter was beginning to set up that -- those talks from the u.s. military side, reach out to the russians, and see how to best proceed with those so-called deconfliction talks. now the russians, you know, on one hour's notice to the u.s. embassy in baghdad have just gone ahead and done it. u.s. pilots have a lot of classified technology. they can identify russian planes in the sky. they can do everything to stay out of their way. i don't think it's that they've particularly expect a military confrontation with the russians. they do worry about accidents,
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as elise was just pointing out, but it's a fundamental question, number one, of trust between the two militaries and even bigger than that, perhaps, what is the russian military really up to here? they do not appear to be fighting isis. they're trying to prop up the assad regime. >> i want to bring in our cnn military analyst, lieutenant colonel francona. elise brought up a scary point. what if an accident does happen? what if russia accidentally harms our troops in some way? what happens then? >> you know, that's a big problem. then the question is what will we do about it? and i think it's important that we have some sort of a coordination cell. i think the russians did kind of a hamhanded attempt by using the u.s. embassy in baghdad, but there is a coordination center in baghdad. we have one with the iraqis. the russian, iranians and iraqis are setting up an additional one. i think we have got to talk to the russians. we've got to talk to anybody involved over there.
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because as we said, any time you're operating this many aircraft from this many air forces in that confined airspace, there is a real possibility of a misjudgment, something to go wrong very quickly. i mean, these aircraft are flying, you know, at the speed of sound. they're on a hair trigger. and a pilot could very easily mistake one aircraft -- a russian aircraft for a syrian aircraft, for a turkish aircraft, and this is a recipe for disaster. >> lieutenant colonel -- colonel, i just want to interrupt because elise labott brings up a great point and a scary point. so saudi arabia is also conducting airstrikes over syria, right? go ahead, ask your question. >> colonel, they're part of the coalition, obviously, and you know that saudi arabia is one of the main opponents of assad and wants assad to get out. they've been very wary of russian intervention all along. so is there a potential for the saudis, for the uae, for the turks, more of this anti-assad
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crowd to start getting more involved in the fray? >> right, will they fire back on the russians, right? >> are we looking at a major escalation in the region that people have predicted for years? i mean, we don't want to be overly dramatic, but is there a potential for other players to get into this battle space and blow things really out of control here? >> oh, absolutely. and i can give you the exact scenario as it might happen. you know, there are u.s.-trained and sponsored groups operating on the ground in syria right now. these moderate rebels that we've provided a lot of weapons to. you know, the saudis, the g qataris, other s are supporting them. what happens when the russians attack those anti-regime rebels? are the saudis going to come to their aid, or are they going to interfere? or are we going to interfere with russian aircraft conducting strikes on groups that we support?
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>> all right. >> this is setting up a real problem. and it's going to happen. >> all right. we've got to leave it there. thank you all for joining me today. i'm carol costello. "@ this hour with berman and baldoan" after a break. d start .
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i've been with pg&e nine years. as an employee of pg&e you always put your best foot forward to provide reliable and safe service and be able to help the community. we always have the safety of our customers and the community in mind. my family is in oakland, my wife's family is in oakland so this is home to us. being able to work in the community that i grew up in, customers feel like friends, neighbors and it makes it a little bit more special. together, we're building a better california. breaking news. russia attacks, hitting sites inside syria. russian planes and u.s. planes now bombing inside the same country at the same time. an historically tense and complicated situation. and mystery meeting. the clerk who's refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses says sh

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