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tv   Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield  CNN  September 30, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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the fastest internet and the best tv experience is already here with x1. only from xfinity. this is cnn breaking news. hello, everyone, i'm ashleigh banfield and this is legal view. we begin with two breaking stories. first in russia, the first air strike has been launched in syria. here is what we know. the bombs hit in the western city of homs which is not considered an isis strong thehold. an obama administration official is telling cnn that isis was not the target, and this as russirus
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foreign minister says that the strike came at request of bashar al assad. >> and this after hundreds of people were running from can dews -- ckanduz, and a shortage of ground troops are here. more than 43 people have been killed and more than 300 others wounded. i want to bring in the experts to bring in the breaking stories, pentagon correspondent barbara starr, and start with syria and the russian strike, and what is the reaction of the russian officials, barbara? >> hello, ashleigh. a lot of consternation are from the pentagon, and our own orren li lieberman in israel is reporting that the israeli government was notify ed notified by the russians shortly before the air strikes, and the israelis were told by the russians that they were about to
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conduct bombing runs inside of syria, and of course, the israelis keep close watch over that portion of the eastern mediterranean and the israelis wants to know everything in the air for their own security. we are now told that it was eight russian warplanes that took off bombing a number of targets in western central syria. this is an area that is not an isis area, as you just said. this is an area where the anti-assad, and anti-regime militias are battling the assad government, and this is going to go to what the pentagon was worried about and the u.s. had been worried about for days that the russian military buildup was aimed at the russians supporting assad and propping him up and keeping him in power and exactly what the obama administration did not want to see. but deeper than that even, the pentagon not very happy this morning. it was a couple of days of course, that president obama and president putin said that the two militaries would sit down
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and have talks, technical talks about how the deconflict the operations over syrian air space, and instead, a russian general essentially went and banged on the door of the u.s. embassy in baghdad and said, get out of syrian air space, because we are about to bomb, and that is the extent of the russian discussion of deacon flick shun, a -- deacon flick shun, and that is the point with russian airplanes still in the air. >> and the issue of de conflick shun, and let me skip over, because i have a lot more about this the syrian developments, barbara, but then, again, in afghanistan, people were not expected to hear that the taliban were taking cities, and least of all a city like kunduz,
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and people were running for their lives and people there literally locking indoors, and running for their lives, and tell me what has happened with the american response to this? >> well, another air strike near the airport, and we are told that the u.s. warplane bombed a target near the kunduz airport, because the coalition forces which are not afghans under the military definition there, and so it is easter u.s. or other coalition forces were at risk from the taliban advance. some officials are saying that the afghans are finally in recent hours making some progress, and getting the e key portions of the city back under control. if that proves to be something that the afghans can hold on to, nonetheless, some 6,000 afghan civilians are on the run from the taliban. the taliban is digging into the civilian areas of the city, and more than 100 people killed or wounded. and it is beginning to sound like isis when they take over in
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iraq, and so the problem is getting enough afghan forces up there into the remote area of northern afghanistan to get the security back under control, and hold on to it. it is always the challenge, holding on to it. but again, for u.s. troops, what's the implication? some 10,000 u.s. troops are in afghanistan, and most of them were scheduled to come home sometime next year, but look, if the taliban can make these kinds of advances, it is going to raise some serious questions if the afghan security forces are really ready to handle it on their own. ashleigh? >> well, more importantly at this juncture, you mentioned the coalition forces were at risk from the taliban advance is, and what about the americans, are they the at risk at this point, barbara? >> well, what you have in afghanistan and places like this are small teams of u.s. operations special forces who are out there indeed the helping to advise is and assist the afghan forces. you don't have those large u.s.
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comb combat brigades and battalions and the hundreds of troops at a time anymore, and so absolutely this is very difficult and dangerous work, but what they do have is the ability to do what apparently they did which is to call in the airstrikes when they feel that they are at risk and push the taliban back. but it is still the fundamental question of the afghans being able to get security under control, and keep it under their control so that the taliban don't keep popping up like they do here. ashleigh? >> thank you, barbara starr, and thank you for the report, and we will continue to touch base with you throughout the hour. in the last hour, senator john mccain addressed the russian bombing within syria while on the senate floor. have a look. >> russian's intervention in syria will prolong and complicate this horrific war, and the main beneficiary will be
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isil which is fed off of the ethic and the sectarian areas of the assad regime. it is tragic, tragic, my fellow americans that we have reached this point a syrian conflict that has killed more than 200,000 people, and created the worst are refugee crisis since world war ii and spawned a terrorist army of tens of thousands and now created a platform for a russian is a autocrat to join with the iranian thee yo krat to prop up a syrian dictator. >> and those words are just spoken in the last little while with senator john mccain. and with me to discuss this is are retired general james "sp "spider" marks, and paul cruikshank, and first to you, paul, the russian general who was releasing the information on the air strikes said on the official record that they were going after isiscenters and mun
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homs. >> well, homs is not known to be the places where isis is to is have a stronghold. there are other places that are much more known and this is more well known to be against the assad regime. >> and the other areas, and the significance of this being the corridor for some russians to have a foothold in syria, and is that off base? >> well, that is protecting the base there, and they do have a naval presence on the mediterranean over there, and so -- >> over in that area. >> and in that area, ashleigh.
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>> and barbara starr has said this lunatic general who marched into the embassy in baghdad to announce, you have one hour, americans to either get your warplanes out of syria, or risk what we don't want, and the de confliction issue of the run into each other in the sky. i thought it was crazy, but you ru a general, and have you seen this type of notification before and is this odd? >> well w ashleigh, it is not unusual for the russians, and it is little delegation of responsibility and authority to lower levels of the captains and the majors who make it happen, and so for a general off is ser to come in to say and assert and declare, this is what we are going to do and you guys get in line and do about face and depart is not surprising. i would assume some diplomatic communication, and maybe not, but that by itself not surprising. what is surprising is that what
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we haven't been able to do yet is to draw a line, an air deconfliction line at the tactical level where things don't fly into the each other from one air space to another. >> but the americans did not capitulate, and suggest that we will clear the air for you for your one-hour of air strikes, so reasonably thinking that the coalition fighters may have been in the sky, and one arm may not have known what the other was doing. >> probably did not, and probably did not except for what you were assessing in the mission. there was no deconfliction in the command and control. >> and secretary john kerry is now speaking at the united nations. >> isil and al qaeda are not operating, and strikes of that kind would question russia's real intentions fighting isil or protecting the assad regime.
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we have informed russia that we are prepared to hold the deconfliction talks as early as possible, this week, but let me be clear the united states and the coalition will continue our ongoing air operations as we have from the very beginning. we have conducted a number of strikes against isil targets in syria over the past 24 hours, including just an hour ago. these strikes will continue. let me be clear. the coalition that we have built more than 60 countries' strong has been taking on isil for more than a year. by liberating sin jar mountain, liberating kabani, liberating ta crit, defending mosul dam, defending ba tbathea, and takin
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away the entire northern border from isil east of the euphrates river. at the same time we have mounted a campaign to cut the financing, and curb the freedom fighters and expose the lies that isil is perpetrating. today as we speak, south of kirkuk, kurdish peshmerga are heroically liberating villages under the cover of coalition forces. we admire the struggle that has been in legitimate opposition to assad. let me remind the council that the air operations are well ground and military procedures and firmly based in international law, and the request of neighboring states for collective self-defense under article 51 of the u.n. charter. that foundation has not changed, and we will continue our mission
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with the full sanction of international law. pursuant to these procedures in syria over the past year, the coalition is now conducted over 300 air targets against isil and we are in coalition with france, turkey and other countries to dramatically accelerate our efforts. this is what we will do. over the coming weeks we will be continuing our flights out of the base in turkey to apply constant pressure on isil in northwest syria. with we will be sustaining our support to anti-isil fighters in northeast syria, a n these efforts will put greater pr pressure on the operational areas of isil, and we will ensure through precision air strikes that isil leaders do not have any sanctuary, anywhere on the ground in syria. so isil will soon face
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increasing pressure from multiple drirections across the battlefield in syria and iraq, but as we have said from the start, and as the geneva communique codified, this fight is not one that can be won in the military sphere. it requires a political solution to the crisis of syria. one thing is certain, the vast ma jor ma jor i -- majority of states around this table know that the isil force, isil, itself, cannot be defeated as long as a bashar al assad remains president of syria. it cannot happen by e definition of the lines of the battle. it cannot happen because of who has lined up with whom, and because of the nature of these protagonists. and the reason for that is defined in the beginning by how this fight, itself, began. this fight began when young people, young syrians looking
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for a future wanting nothing more than opportunity and jobs and education, when they went out to demonstrate for the future, and to claim the aspirations of young people, and assad sent his thugs out to beat them up. the parents were outraged by the fact that their children demonstrating peacefully were beaten up, and they went out with their kids, and they were met with bullets. that is how this whole thing began. people in the country looking for a future who were instead met with repression, with torture, with gassing with barrel bombs. assad will never be accepted by those he has harmed, and never possible to become a legitimate leader in the future. never possible to lead a reconciliation nor a unification
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of the country, that could not happen until he makes clear his willingness to actually heal the nation, end the war, and decline to be part of the long term future. to today, we must be focused in finding a solution that will stop the killing and lay the groundwork for a government that the syrian people, themselves, can sup por. we know that the terrorists can neither unite the country nor govern it. we know that assad can neither unite the country nor govern it. neither extreme offers the solution that we need and want. what is more, our ability to develop a incredible international process would be a farce are from the beginning, and incredible enough that it won't stop people from fighting if it were perceived as a way to strengthen assad's hold on power. as president obama said on monday, the united states is prepared to work with any nation including russia and iran to
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resolve the conflict, but we must recognize that there cannot be after so much bloodshed so much carnage a simple return to the pre-war status quo. my colleagues, the government of russia has argued that we need to support russia to defeat isil, but the reality is that the assad himself has rarely chosen to fight isil, and as the terrorists made inroads through large swathes of syria and iraq, and raping and murdering people along the way, the regime did not try to stop them, n and instead, it focused on moderate opposition groups that were fighting for a voice in syria. make no mistake, the answer to the syrian civil war cannot be found in the military alliance with assad, but i am convinced that it can be found.
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it can be found through a broadly supportive diplomatic initiative aimed at a negotiated political transition, a transition that has been accepted by the security council, and accepted by participants of the perm 5 and kon s consistent with the geneva communique which would unite all syrians which reject dick dictatorship and terrorism, and want to build a stable society. in conclusion, i call on concerned governments, including rush sharks and including syria to support a u.n. initiative to bro broker a political transition. further the delay is unconscionable. the opportunity is before us. if we can succeed in marginalizing the terrorists in syria and in bringing that country together, we can all of us together do exactly what this is set up to do, the security koun sill and this institution, we can strike a huge blow against violent extremism not
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only in syria, but also in iraq, across the middle east and around the world, and nothing would be more in keeping with the high purpose for which this ko council was created 70 years ago, and nothing would better serve the interests of the people that all of us represent. i hope that we can achieve that. thank you. the united states secretary of state john kerry at the security council meeting saying definitively that isis cannot be defeated with president assad at the helm in syria, and significant words coming from the secretary of state. and after the break, we will have our correspondent christian am men pore weianpour weighing just heard. ♪ (woman) one year ago today mom started searching for her words.
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and those now ongoing reflect a genuine commitment to defeet that organization, then we are prepared to welcome those efforts, and to find a way to deconflict the operation, and thereby multiply the military pressure on isil and affiliated groups, but we must not, and we will not be confused in our fight against isil with support for assad. moreover, we have made clear that we would have grave concerns should russia strike areas where isil and al qaeda-after fill yated targets are not operating. >> secretary of state moments ago joining me now to try to hash out the significance of these comments, christiane amanpour, the chief international correspondent for cnn and it is not like i have not heard this tough rhetoric before or variations of it, but there is significance to this
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today, because the russians have taken over the leadership of the month of september, and is there any significance with what has happened today? >> well, ashleigh, it is dramatic, and from day one of the new russian plan for syria, they have come out of the box, and they have struck targets that everybody is saying, including member s s of the oba administration telling cnn, this is not a strategic strike against isis, but the ant anti-assad, and the moderate opposition, an those who have been supported and armed an trained by the united states. that is what the official is telling the cnn and the seep your administration people are telling us, a nd the russians ae killing our people, and you have to hem us. that is what is happening right now. and to confirm the suspicions amongst the american military and political officials,
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including the secular head of nato about what russia is doing inside of syria, secretary breedlove says he does not see any of the russian movements into syria pertaining to isis. this is what he said. >> we see sophisticated air defenses going into the airfields and we see very sophisticated air to air aircraft going into the airfields. i have not seen isil flying any airplanes that require sa-15s or sa-22s. i have not seen isil flying any airplanes that require sophisticated air-to-air capabilities. these very sophisticated air defense capabilities are not about isil, but they are about something else. >> wow. ashleigh, that could not be clearer. i don't know about you, general marks, but it could not be cl r clearer, what russia is doing is not going after isis. russia is going into prop up
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assad despite the very vehement condemnation, and the accurate condemnation by secretary of state and president obama, and russia is going in to prop up that regime. >> and the first concern that comes to mind with the aircraft reck is sill ati reck -- reconciliations going in, what is it for? >> to provide denial of anybody going after their the advance on the ground. that is the stor y they would use. but clearly, it puts a bubble over their capabilities to act with complete impunity and to conduct air operations with support on the ground if they were in anticipation of something else coming after them. >> while asking for the same time about conversation of the deconflictions and pointing guns to the sky, and paul kruk shank what air capacity do the rebels
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have? >> nothing. >> as christirishristiarishrist" >> they are not pointing the guns at the rebels for the isis, and isn't the coalition the only sets of planes in the sky? >> well, it raises that possibility. one of the biggest possible unintended consequences of this russian intervention may be a surge and anger across the muslim world, and there is a lot of raw feeling about the soviet occupation in afghanistan and russian atrocities in chechnya and now they are going in to prop up assad, and now you can see a surge that 25,000 foreign fighters in syria and iraq and those numbers may now spike. this could really play into the hands of isis. >> and we are told by the secretary of defense that clearly a lot of moving parts,
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and ash carter plans to take to the podium. >> and before he does, if he is not on, ashleigh, another thing about this deconfliction, and the u.s. may have gotten one hour's notice, and france, which is firing are from the fighter jets over syria, got no notice, only israel and the united states got notice. the other coalition forces got non none. >> and they were wise to inform israel, because they would go after it. absolutely. >> and homs is not far from the israeli border. >> yes, ashleigh, the tragedy of this is despite the heroic rhetoric of the president and the secretary of state about, you know, assad's, you know, wrong dogs which include obviously 250,000 deaths and hundreds of millions of refugees leaving they say, well, we could only stand up five moderate rebels to fight on the ground, and they say, look, that shows that you are wrong, all you critic are wrong, but the truth
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of the matter is that those rebels have told cnn that the reason they are so few of them being trained up is because the united states refuses to train those who want to go after assad, and only train those who want to fight isil, and so two very conflict ed aims. >> and it drives up the recruitment pool quickly. >> and some of the forces are beloved by muslims around the world and this is an affront to them as well. i have to make notice of another moving part, and i mentioned that the secretary of defense is holding a press conference at 2:00 p.m. at the pentagon, and now we are told that the white house press secretary is going to be making some public comments as well, an all of this on one-hour's notice by the russian, move your coalition aircraft into safety and out of harm's way, and we are going in with air strike, and they did
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syria suggesting that the targets are isis-based, but the location sure isn't. all of this with one hour's notice to the united states, and one hour's notice to israel, and by all accounts, no notice to anyone else, and significant movements ooverseas in the middle east. we will hear from ash carter the secretary of defense in an hour and a half from now, and so stay tuned for that, and we will keep a live eye on that podium and critical comments likely to come from the white house. >> meantime, another big breaking story, and a story that is on track to be life and death in a matter of hours. in the track that is to be on track to have the fewest death executions in a quarter century, we are about to see one more, and this is in fact, two inless than 24 hours. in four hours the state of oklahoma is set to execute the man on the left-hand side of the screen, and his name is richard glosic, because of the murder of a hotel owner barry van treese. and last night significant also,
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the state of georgia put to death the woman in that picture kelly gissendaner and that is for the murder in 1997 of the murder of her husband douglas. neither of these prisoners actual actually did the killing. they were conspirators and planned it. gissendaner persuaded her boyfriend to do the deed, and she did not deny it right to the end. glosic is persuaded to have the hotel handyman to do it, but there is only the handyman on that, and glosic insists that he was set up. >> everybody dies, but i want people to know that i did not kill this man, and i did not participate or plan or anything to do anything with this crime. >> what is similar to the yesterday's execution is that today marks the third time this year glossip's death was rescheduled.
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he got a reprieve in january when the supreme court looked into the whole drug concoction that is used in the lethal injuk sh shuns, and two weeks ago, he had already had the last meal when a state appeals court allowed more time to have the climbs of innocence. i am joined byne of his lawyers mr. mark hendrickson, and can you let me know at this hour, and literally the minutes are ticking away, what is the status of your final appeals to supreme court of the united states? >> just before we came on air, we checked, and there's not been a ruling from the united states supreme court of our application that they review this again and to grant a stay. so we are, we have submit that, and prayerful, and hopeful that the supreme court will delay this proceeding by oklahoma l e later today. >> and you know full well that did not happen for kelly gissendaner, and there was a flurry of paperwork yesterday,
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and this is a five-hour execution in georgia and to do you see that there is going to be any difference in your case? >> i hope. so earlier this week the highest krim cal court in oklahoma ruled 3-2 against mr. glossip, but two jud judges raised concern about the fairness of his trial by one judge or the fact that there ought to be a review of the innocence that has been submitted in recent takrencent am not as familiar with the georgia case, as i am with mr. glossip, but it is significant that there is a precipice here of the execution with the evidentiary hearing to test the evidence that we have come forward with. >> and by all accounts the
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evidence is questionable, and the word of one man is the critical elements that swayed the jury, although some said that there is corroboration on the man's word. we will continue to watch this, and mark hendricksen, if you can keep us updated because it can change from moment to moment, and things can change, so thank you for being on the program. >> you are welcome. >> and you heard me mentioning to mr. hendricksen what happened yesterday. kelly gissendaner had her fair share of false alarms, too, as mr. glossip and she thought that she would die on a particular day, but last night, her attorneys could not save her. we will talk to her theology instructor about her last moments, and what happens now with her family. it comes whene company says they'll only pay three-quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do, drive three-quarters of a car? now if you had liberty mutual new car replacement,
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i'm a gas service rep for pg&e in san jose.. as a gas service rep we are basically the ambassador of the company. we make the most contact with the customers on a daily basis. i work hand-in-hand with crews to make sure our gas pipes are safe. my wife and i are both from san jose.
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my kids and their friends live in this community. every time i go to a customer's house, their children could be friends with my children so it's important to me. one of the most rewarding parts of this job is after you help a customer, seeing a smile on their face. together, we're building a better california. while richard glossip is waiting to see if he is going to live or die little less than four hours are from now, kelly gissendaner's family is making funeral arrangements and what to do with her body after the execution last night. the mother of three, 47, died by lethal injection because of her role in her husband doug's murder. before the execution, her daughter kayla addressed supporters outside of the prison
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in jackson, georgia. >> we just want to thank y'all so much. we were not able to see our mom today, because of the boards of pardons and paroles made us make a choice to either come and try to save her life today or go see her, so we chose the to try to her life, and they still denied us. >> and as is customary, the witnesses were on hand to watch the execution, including members of the media, and like jeff helinger from our affiliate wxia. >> when all of the witnesses enter entered the viewing area, kelly gissendaner was able to see us, and became very, very emotional. she began sobbing, and then crying, and sobbing, and then she made a statement. statement apologizing to an amazing man that lost his life because of her.
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also spoke of loved her attorney susan casey and her children and hope that they would find peace. and then she began to sing two gospel songs, and one is amazing grace and the other one was indecipherable. >> reverend zappa joins me and she was her theology student, and i dare say that yesterday you came with your student and friend was alive, and i invited you come back not knowing what would happen, and i watched the e e-mail, and five-hour delay and they carried out the execution, and i want to get your reaction. >> i am still processing what happened. many of us are, and it has been such a long convoluted torturous
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process, and because she faced this execution date in march, and because it was called off at the last minute, and up until the last minute, we didn't really know it was over until it is over, and it is a back and forth and hard to know really how to the feel from moment to moment. it is such a loss. >> i know that you were as you were waiting for this interview at your satellite location, you were able to overhear my interview with mark hendricksen with mark glossip who is an identical situation with your friend kelly, dead man and woman walking leading up to yesterday, and mark is trying to save the life of his client today, and, i wanted to ask you how you felt listening to his answers about his frenzied efforts now with the u.s. supreme court? >> it hit me hard. i'm just feeling very fragile
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right now about all of this and knowing what kelly went through and her attorneys and her children especially, and it is just unfathomable to me that it is happening again just a day later. this is such a cruel and inhumane process. especially for the loved ones of the person who is scheduled to be executed. >> the other side of the coin here, is there a lot of people who are watching right now who wonder if your fragility compares at all to the fragility of doug gis en dsendaner's pare and siblings, and i understand that his children with kelly had a change of heart and they supported the commutation of kelly's sentence, but there is the same issue with richard glossip and he would clearly have family supporters supporting him, and the victim has family members who have been
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torn to shreds for decades. >> in this case, there are victims on both sides of this, and i mean, that is part of what is so traj theic about this, and this one family has been torn p apart. some of the victims wanted her to live and some did not want her to live. >> if you had anything that you could say and i asked you this yesterday, if you could minister as you were able to minister to kelly, if you could minister to doug's family today, because the dynamics have changed completely today, what would you say? >> i honestly don't know. i am sorry, i just don't know. i hope that they can come to know the power of reconciliation, and the healing that is available in reconciliation. i know they are not looking to be reconciled, but i think that her, kelly's children have shown us that there is always the
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possibility of hope and reconciliation, and healing, i mean, really, it is is about healing in things like this, and i hope they find it. >> reverend zappa, thank you for what you have had to go through, and it is complicated debate and thank you so much for your time. coming up, could billionaire richard branson make a difference here, and could he actually help save the man who is facing execution in a few hours? find out how he is involved at all and what he is doing about it. this woman... this cancer patient... christine... living her life... loving her family. moments made possible in part by the breakthrough science of advanced genomic testing. after christine exhausted the standard treatment options for her disease, doctors working with the center for advanced individual medicine at cancer treatment centers of america suggested advanced genomic testing.
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white house press news where he is making comments about russia is's air strikes in syria today. >> although there are no requests for federal or staff requests, fema stands ready to assist. at all times, fema has millions of leets of water, and millions of meals and blankets strategically located at distribute is shuns throughout the united states and the territories. no coincidence or maybe it is a coincidence that today is the final day of national preparedness month, and the storm in the atlanta serves as a reminder that we we all must take action to prepare now and throughout the year for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, where we work, and where we visit. in any emergency, it is always important to follow the instructions of the state, local, and tribal and t
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territorial emergency management officials. fema encourages all americans to viz it is ready.gov or leasto.gov to know how to prepare to keep your family protected and that is important for those of us in the mid-atlantic. as we are talking about the reemergency response, it seems also appropriate that we would have in our thoughts and prayers the first responders, and on sunday, october 4th, this coming sunday, the president is going to travel to emmittsburg, virginia to, deliver remarks at the 34th national fallen firefighters memorial. he will recognize the firefighter firefighters who have died in the line of duty, and 33 firefighters who have died in previous years. he wants to thank the nation's firefighters who have displayed courage everyday and particularly in this part of the
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western united states combatting wildfires. we will have additional details for the president's trip and the participation in that solemn event in the days ahead. and with all of that, josh, to your questions. >> important policy question. >> okay. >> does the u.s. know who russia is targeting with the air strikes in syria? >> josh, the department of defense is obviously reviewing the ongoing russian military activity inside of syria. you will recall that when president obama and president putin had the opportunity to meet two days ago, both presidents agreed that it was a priority for both countries that tactical practical kconversatios between the militaries take place to ensure that the military activities inside of syria are properly deconflicted, and that is a continuing priority. the u.s. military officials have been in touch with their russian
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counterparts already to set up those discussions. >> but russia says they are going after isis, and we are seeing the reports from the region that other groups are being struck including us in ra and -- including nusra and a u.s.-backed rebel group, and that is in the past mark a larger effort by putin to shore up the assad government to go after these isis instead of these islamic groups that are anti-assad, and what do you make of the bombing of areas that are not necessarily isis held, and could be expanding the military operation to really try to shore up the assad regime? >> well, the department of defense is going to take a look at the russian activities there, and it is too early for me to
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say which targets they were aiming at and which targets were immediately hit. >> are you taking putin's word that he is only going after the isis? >> well, the department of the military will take a look at the activities of the russian mi military, and have a statement on that in the days ahead, but the question does warrant something that deserves mentioning here at the outset which is that we are seeing the russian russians ramp up their support for president assad, and it is clear for some time, and they have made a significant military investment of further propping him up, and the fact that russia has to take the noteworthy steps to ramp up their support for assad is an indication of how concerned they are about losing influence in the one client state they have in the middle
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east. and this is in contrast to or at least calls into question the strategy, because when president putin and president obama had the opportunity to meet at the u.n. earlier in the week, much of the discussion was focused on the need for political transition inside of syria. and there are well known differences of opinion about what that transition looks like, but there was agreement on both parts for the need for a political solution to the problems that are playiguing syri syria, and that means that russia will not succeed in imposing a russian military solution on syria as the united states was not successful in imposing a military solution on iraq, and russia was not successful in imposing a military solution on iraq a
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decade ago. so this means that the to combat these global issues around the world, you can exercise strength and influence by being part of the large international effort to address the challenges, and that is precisely what the united states is doing inside of syria. the president is leading a coalition of now 65 countries now implementing an integrated strategy that includes a robust military effort, but also includes efforts to koucounter isis' ongoing isil efforts, and engaging in their terrorism effo efforts, and it is the most effective way for the united states to lead the international community, and it is the most effective way for us to advance the u.s. interests in the region and the world, and it is the most effective way for us to eventually arrive at the kind of solution to the significant problems that are plaguing that
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war-torn country. >> >> and in afghanistan, a new setback in kunduz, and is the president agreeing with the recommendations, and something that he is actively considering? >> well, josh, i will say that the united states continues to monitor the national efforts of the international forces to retake kunduz, and they have conducted a limited number of air strike, primarily for the purposes of force protection. the united states will continue to work closely with the afghan government and the international partners to make sure that the afghan forces have the training necessary to preserve the gains e made by the afghans and the international community over the last 13 years.
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when it comes to policy decisions, there are, i don't have a lot of news to make in this regard, but there are two observations that i made, and the first is that the president when announcing the decisions in the past when it comes to the military commitment to afghanistan has routinely noted that the conditions on the ground influence that policy process. so i would expect that would, that that would be the case in this circumstance as well. at the same time we have always warned against the inkri nation to make snap decision on policy almost literally overnight. so that is why we will continue to monitor the efforts by the afghan government and the afghan forces t

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