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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  October 17, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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newsroom -- >> oh, my god, this car's going to hit us! oh, my god! >> trapped. hundreds of cars stuck on california freeways as drivers desperately try to escape mud slides and rising floodwaters. and chilling new details in the oregon shooting massacre from shooting survivor chris mintz, the army veteran who's been called a hero for protecting others. and lamar odom, conscious, even able to say hi to estranged wifd khloe kardashian as new details emerge about his days spent at a nevada brothel. you're live in the "cnn newsroom." all right. hello, again, everyone. thanks so much for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. we begin with the escalating violence in the west bank and jerusalem. three more alleged palestinian attackers have been shot and killed in separate incidents this morning. israeli officials say the palestinians had knifes and went after border police and an israeli civilian. palestinian news agencies
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mention no knives when reporting on the violence. this is video right here of the incident in hebron. cnn correspondent orrin lieberman is at our bureau in jerusalem. so orrin, in one of the incidents this morning, there is a dispute about what actually happened. not the first time we've seen this kind of argument, however. >> reporter: that's right. and unfortunately these kind of arguments, the dispute over the narrative the not uncommon, to covering this region where you have two different stories about one incident. so the israeli side. israeli police say that an israeli settler in hebron was walking there along a street. hebron a very tense city in the west bank, when a palestinian tried to stab him. the israeli settler was armed, opened fire, and killed the palestinian. that is the israeli version of events. palestinian eyewitnesss say the palestinian was unarmed. and the israeli settlers shot and killed the palestinian in an unprovoked attack. that was the first attack this morning. it was not the last. there were two more similar incidents. these all three were in hours of each other in these incidents,
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israeli security authorities say palestinians tried to attack and stab border patrol officers or border police officers. the border police were lightly injured, opened fire, and killed the alleged palestinian attackers. fredricka, we've been waiting for the day when the violence would end. that day is not today. >> and ton friday, a palestinian allegedly disguised himself as a journalist, stabbing an israeli soldier. so how is this impacting how journalists are able to get their stories? >> in terms of access, we haven't seen too much of an effect on going from one point to another, but it certainly adds to the tension and we have seen, especially, my colleague, cnn reporter phil black, who's in and around hebron today, what he says is more aggressiveness on the part of israeli soldiers. one soldier even yelled at him, "one of you tried to stab us yesterday," referring to the incident you mention there had, where israeli authorities say disguised himself as a press photographer and attacked an israeli security officer.
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so it adds to the tension. it makes everyone think twice and puts everyone even more on edge than they were just a couple of days ago. >> and of course we know that hamas has called for a, quote, day of rage, several times this month. is there any indication that hamas is responsible in any way, connected to what we've seen. >> well, hamas has only claimed responsibility for the first of these attacks early this month. it was on october 1st where two israeli settlers were shot and killed in front of their four children in their vehicle in the west bank. hamas claimed responsibility for that, but no other attacks. but hamas has praised the attacks and israeli security authorities accuses hamas of inciting. so not directly saying, hey, yes, we did this, these are our guys, but israeli security authorities accuse them of encouraging these attacks and urging them to continue. >> oren lieberman, thank you so much. keep us posted. right now we turn to major news out of southern california.
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drivers there are digging out from massive mud slides. the images coming in are absolutely stunning. motorist nick zurnick spent 20 hours on interstate 5 and captured this video. the mud was up to 20 feet in some places. more than 200 cars and trucks were beard along the highway. zurnick described that chaotic scene. >> when the rain and the hail hit, we literally all turned on hazard lights and stopped. it was -- you could barely see your windshield wipers. it was crazy. and then it cleared and as soon as it started to clear, all of a sudden, we could hear the rocks and the mud start coming. and it was a little scary at first. i'm not going to lie. >> authorities say there have been no reports of injuries and the cleanup, of course, could take days. we're also learning new details today from this month's campus massacre in oregon. the man so many called a hero, chris mintz, is recounting what happened the day of the shooting. moment by moment. eight students and one professor were killed in the rampage.
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nine people were injured, including mintz, who was shot five times. here's cnn's nick valencia joining me now for more details from mintz, who didn't necessarily want to do interviews, but did fashion a way to convey his message. >> social media, a lot of people use this forum to get social media out. he didn't want to be called a hero, he says that should be reserved for those first responders. and took to facebook to talk about how it started out as a normal day. he even thought about skipping class, and he was in class, joking with his teacher, when next door he heard that gunfire erupt. >> dispatch as many ambulances as possible. we have upwards of 20 victims. >> reporter: chilling new details in the oregon community college massacre, from shooting survivor, chris mintz, the army veteran who's been called a hero for protecting others. >> exchanged shots with him. he's in a classroom. >> reporter: in a facebook posting, mintz recalled the day he says started out as normal
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but quickly descended into chaos. he writes, there was a bunch of yelling and that there were gunshots going off that sounded like firecrackers. mintz, who said he sat in the front of the class, says everyone got up and took off. i stopped and held the door open and waited for everyone to leave safely, he write. he then says he took direction from a counselor that kept screaming, someone needed to tell the people in the library, and i told her i'd do it. >> somebody is outside one of the doors, shooting through the doors. >> reporter: mintz writes that he made his way back into the classroom area, where he came face to face with the gunman. he leaned out and started shooting as i turned toward him, he recalled. this is how he described the shooter. "he was so nonchalant through it all, like he was playing a video game, and showed no emotion." mintz says, "the shots knocked me to the ground and felt like a truck hit me." he then says he was shot again while on the ground, and the gunman said, "that's what you get for calling the cops." mintz writes in the facebook
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post that he told the gunman that he didn't call police and they were already on the way. he then yelled to the gunman, "it's my kid's birthday, man." mintz says the shooter pointed the gun right at my face and then retreated back into the classroom. >> hello, everyone. i'm doing well -- >> reporter: a friend posted this video of mintz in the hospital. he's since been released and has this lingering question. "i'm still confused at why he didn't shoot me again." >> now, we did learn something new today. initially, mintz's aunt came out and said that her nephew had had a confrontation with the shooter, but according to his own account, there's some discrepancies there. it's not exactly how it played out. but he was shot five times, one in each leg, once in the abdomen, once in the shoulder, and once in the finger. >> and how is he doing right now? >> we've learned he's been released from the hospital. initially it was reported he wouldn't be able to walk again, we don't know if that's the
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case, but he's well enough to be released and see those smiling photos. >> i'm sure he's going to feel really good to be back at home and hopefully the healing process picks up. thanks so much, nick. appreciate it. former nba star lamar odom's condition is improving, according to sources. after days in a coma, he is apparently slowly regaining consciousness. a source says that odom was even able to say hi to his estranged wife, khloe kardashian. the two signed divorce papers this summer, but the divorce has not been finalized, and that means khloe can make medical decisions and has made those decisions for odom. odom was hospitalized on tuesday after being found unconscious in a nevada brothel. so, what is his condition today, as far as we know? >> reporter: well, fred, it's interesting to note that a simple two-letter word such as "hi" is a measure of progress. but in this case, considering lamar odom's dire straits early
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in the week, it is. several sources tell us now that odom has been able to utter short words. also, his still-mother-in-law, chris jenner, went on "access hollywood" said he's no longer on a ventilator, he has a breathing mask, but he has suffered damage to his organs. but all these little reports that lamar odom somehow being able to communicate in short bursts, certainly a tremendous sign of progress here, as he lays in that icu unit on the second floor at sunrise hospital, fred? >> what's your understanding, paul, about kind of the scene there, whether it be on the floor where odom is staying or even outside of the hospital? >> i was able to speak with george cooper, and his wife is also on that icu floor and he describes somewhat of a disturbance as they wheeled in. they said a celebrity was coming, lamar odom, and he said at one point, they were on lockdown and he had to remain inside his wife's room for a good two to three hours as he ramped up the security on the
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floor. so it was somewhat of a chaotic scene. seems like it has stabilized, but certainly, that was a far different experience for poor george cooper, who was there, you know, tending to his very ill wife. >> well, of course, everyone's hoping for the best for those who are there, and especially mr. odom, how encouraging that he is able to say hi. thanks so much, paul vercammen in las vegas, appreciate it. and of course we'll have more on the lamar odom story later on in the hour with our legal panel. still to come, police say a teenager who wanted to leave the word of life church was beaten to death. and now we're learning the beating may have lasted 14 hours. you wouldn't take medicine without checking the side effects. hey honey. huh. the good news is my hypertension is gone. so why would you invest without checking brokercheck? check your broker with brokercheck. a 401(k) is the most sound way to go. let's talk asset allocation. sure. you seem knowledgeable, professional.
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we were in a german dance group. i wore lederhosen. so i just started poking around on ancestry. then, i decided to have my dna tested through ancestry dna. it turns out i'm scottish. so, i traded in my lederhosen for a kilt. we're now learning what happened before a 19-year-old was beaten to death in a church in upstate new york. his parents have been charged with manslaughter in the death of lucas leonard. four more people are accused of
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assault, all have pleaded not guilty. cnn national correspondent jason carroll has been following the story. jason? >> and fredricka, still a lot more investigators want to know about this church. the district attorney telling us, before this is all over, we can expect more arrests and more charges. >> bruce and debora leonard did not testify during the preliminary hearing. >> the charge is manslaughter in the first degree. >> reporter: instead, they sat and listened to damaging testimony about what allegedly happened in that church counseling session. in the end, their 19-year-old son, lucas, was dead. their 17-year-old son, christopher left in serious condition. daniel irwin, a deacon at the word of life christian church told the court he saw bruce leonard strike both of the boys inside the church's sanctuary. he said, leonard hit his son, lucas, several times. i heard the sound of a strike. stop, then it started again. irwin also told the court, he saw lucas was bleeding from his leg, moaning, and rolling back
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and forth on the floor. irwin then said he also saw leonard strike his younger son, christopher, five or six times, with something that looked like a belt. he recalled the beating went on for 14 hours, starting arnold 8:00 sunday night, and lasting until 10:00 a.m. the next morning. when asked why the beating finally stopped, irwin said, because luke was dead at that point. he said several church members, including leonard's own brother, christopher, and his father, tried the performing cpr, but it was too late. >> would you like to elaborate a little bit more about what happened inside and tell us about your experience? >> i have no comment. >> reporter: outside court, irwin could not comment about his testimony. nothing about the motive for the beating, nor about allegations that the counseling session was ordered because leonard wanted to leave the church. the leonards are facing manslaughter charges in the death of their son, four others, including the boy's sister, sarah, are facing assault charges. all have pled not guilty. police say they have not
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concluded why the session turned violent. bruce leonard allegedly told investigators, his sons may have molested children who belonged to the church. but police say there is no indication of that whatsoever. they say seven children here from the church were taken into protective custody. they were interviewed, they were examined, and police say there is no indication any of them were sexually assaulted. >> the deceased and his brother are victims in this horrible crime. and i want to put out there, again, there is no evidence that these brothers did anything. they are, at this point, true victims. >> debora leonard's attorney believes his client is also a victim, saying, debora did not have the physical strength to beat her sons. debora leonard claims she only took part in the beginning, but that other church members held the brothers down while the beatings took place. >> i have indicated before and i will continue to indicate that we are looking at other charges. and if other people should be
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charged, we will present that evidence to a grand jury. >> all right. jason carroll back with us live. so many questions, jason. such a disturbing situation. do police have a better, clearer picture of what was used in that beating? and then secondly, the deacon who testified while a witness to what may have happened, might he be facing -- might he be among those who might be facing charges later? >> let's start with your first question, and it's a good one. they do have more of a sense now, fredricka, of what was used during the beating. during the testimony, daniel irwin said he thought it looked like some sort of a belt. but others testified it was a cord. in fact, debora leonard telling an investigator that she did use a cord to strike her son several times. and in fact, showed him how she did it, using the cord to strike a table, to show the investigator how she had allegedly struck her son. in terms of daniel irwin possibly facing other charges, investigators describe him as a
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cooperative witness, but in terms of whether or not he could face charges, that is on the table, as well. fredricka? >> gosh, also terribly troubling. all right, thanks so much, jason carroll. appreciate that. all right, coming up, america's longest war is getting even longer. we'll ask a former marine turned congressman what he thinks about obama's plan for afghanistan. whatever you're doing, plan well and enjoy life... ♪ or, as we say at unitedhealthcare insurance company, go long. of course, how you plan is up to you. take healthcare. make sure you're covered for more than what just medicare pays... consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company... the only medicare supplement plans that carry the aarp name, and the ones that millions of people trust year after year. it's about having the coverage you need... plan well. enjoy life. go long.
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welcome back. nearly 10,000 u.s. troops in afghanistan won't be coming home next year as planned. in a major reversal, president barack obama delayed the anticipated troop drawdown, deciding to keep those american troops in afghanistan through next year. set mollton is a democratic congressman from massachusetts, who serves on the house armed services committee. he also did four tours in iraq as a u.s. marine. good to see you! >> thanks for having me on. >> great. i wonder, congressman, do you believe the president had no choice but to do this or do you believe it's a mistake? >> i think it's the right decision. i think it was a difficult decision, but the right decision. and the most important thing is, we cannot repeat the same mistake we made in iraq. we're just five years after we triumphantly brought the last troops home, we've had to send the troops back again to quell the chaos. >> but at the same time, are you now seeing them, parallels between iraq and afghanistan in the making? >> well, i'll tell you, that's
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my concern. and when the commander in afghanistan, general john campbell, came and testified before the house armed services committee last week, this was the subject of my questions. i said, how are we going to make sure we don't repeat the same mistakes that we made in iraq? and i think it really boils down to two things. the first is, we've got to bring the troops out when conditions on the ground warrant, not based on some arbitrary timeline. the second thing is that we've got to talk about a long-term political solution to ensure the success of the afghan government. because, what ultimately happened in iraq is the iraqi government fell apart. it got so sectarian that its own army didn't even trust the government to do its job. and so, that political vacuum is really the enemy to peace in the middle east. >> and why will keeping u.s. troops make a difference, help change those dynamics, impact those dynamics? >> well, the point is that it's both things. you know, we have to maintain some degree of security to help
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the afghan government do its job. but what concerns me about the president's announcement is that he really just talked about the military presence, and not about what he's going to do to ensure the continued political success of the afghan government. and let's not forget, it was a political vacuum in iraq that allowed the rise of isis, and it was a political vacuum in afghanistan in 2001 that allowed the base of terrorist camps that ultimately resulted in september 11th. >> wouldn't this administration or any other administration worry that if the u.s. were so hands-on in the forming or the reinforcing of a government, then there would be, you know, global outrage of, you know, the u.s. overreaching, imposing itself on other countries. >> that's -- i mean, that's a great question. and of course, you have to strike that balance. but i think we really came up short in iraq. and we can't repeat that mistake in afghanistan. in iraq, you know, john petraeus and ambassador crocker came back from the surge, and they said, we've made tremendous military
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progress, but we haven't achieved the political success that we need. we built the largest u.s. embassy in the world in baghdad, so we could have some sort of political diplomatic surge, but then we left it half full. and that's the piece that i think we can't forget in afghanistan. the president made the right decision to extend the stay of the troops. but we've got to hear about the political plan as well, because that's what ultimately will lead to a success, and ensure that once the troops do come home, they never have to go back. >> all right, congressman seth moulton, thanks so much for your time. appreciate it. >> thank you. still to come, hillary clinton seems to be getting a boost after the first democratic boost. she's now neck and neck with bernie sanders in a key primary state. as my diabetes changed, it got harder to control my blood sugar. today, i'm asking about levemir®. vo: levemir® is an injectable insulin that can give you blood sugar
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hello, again, everyone. thank you so much for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. donald trump, who was never at a loss for words, was last night
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rather mum when one of cnn's reporters asked him this question. take a look. >> mr. trump? can you clarify, do you think that 9/11 was president bush's fault? >> guys -- media folk -- >> you said on twitter that your comments about 9/11 were -- >> all right, donald trump dodging the questions about the remarks he made about 9/11 and george w. bush. here's what the republican presidential candidate said that prompted all of those questions. >> when you talk about george bush, i mean, say what you want, the world trade center came down during his time -- >> hold on. you can't blame george bush for that. >> well, he was president. don't blame him or blame him, but he was president. the world trade center came down during his reign. >> jeb bush fired back, tweeting, how pathetic for donald trump to criticize the president for 9/11. we were attacked and my brother kept us safe.
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on the democratic side, hillary clinton is fresh off a record-setting debate, and with just a few days to go before she is scheduled to testify in front of the house benghazi committee, she sat down for an interview with jake tapper to talk about that and more. >> that's right. i'm here in beautiful keene, new hampshire, where hillary clinton has just pulled ahead of her challenger, bernie sanders, in the first poll, taken since the first democratic debate. we talked about everything from her marriage to bill. they just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary, to her republican rivals, whom she's preparing to face down next week. you're scheduled to testify before the benghazi committee, in the house of representatives in a few days. what are you expecting and how are you preparing? >> i really don't know what to expect. i think it's pretty clear that whatever they might have thought they were doing, they ended up becoming a partisan arm of the
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republican national committee, with an overwhelming focus on trying to, as they admitted, drive down my poll numbers. i've already testified about benghazi. i testified to the best of my ability before the senate and the house. i don't know that i have very much to add. this is, after all, the eighth investigation. other committees of the congress, standing committees with very experienced staff, have all looked into this and basically just rejected the conspiracy theories that are still floating out there in some circles. so i really don't know. i will do my best to answer their questions, but i don't really know what their objective is right now. >> there's lots more to our conversation about benghazi, her e-mail server, afghanistan, making college affordable. you can watch it all this sunday on "state of the union" at 9:00 a.m. and noon eastern.
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>> all right. we'll look forward to that. thanks so much, jake. so also on "state of the union" tomorrow, jake will interview former republican presidential candidate, mitt romney. what is he thinking about how the race is unfolding. all right. hillary clinton stumping in alabama today. she's aiming to build momentum from her debate performance. and already, she has seen an uptick in her poll numbers in new hampshire, in a new "boston globe"/suffolk university poll, clinton leads bernie sanders 37 to 35%, a statistical tie within the margin of error. and previously in our cnn poll last month, sanders was ahead 46-30%. all right, so, stuff has changed. our senior political reporter, nia-malika henderson is in alabama, hoover, alabama, to be exact, for the next clinton event, about to unfold right behind you. we see the empty podium. so what's the expectation about what she is likely to say, particularly on the heels of the debate, when she said a lot. >> well, we got an early look at
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her comments, and they're largely going to focus on voting rights. now, alabama, over the last week or so, the governor announced that 31 voting offices across the state were going to close and that many of those were in african-american communities. so hillary clinton is going to come out today. she's set to talk in about an hour and really say that these offices need to be reopened. and she's going to call the law that says that people have to have voting i.d.s or i.d.s for voting. she's going to call that discriminatory. so this, of course, is a play for the african-american vote. it's a play to gin up that vote. in 2008, she got the endorsement of the alabama democratic conference, which she's going to speak before this group today. and this is something that she's been talking about periodically since she's announced, and even before she's announced. she's also going to call out republicans. this is something that she's done before, pointing to laws passed in texas, pointing to rick perry, who, of course, has
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dropped out, and also talking about laws that were passed in ohio during kasich's reign. so this is what we're expecting her to talk about and focus in on today. this, of course, comes after polls show her doing really well among african-americans in southern states, like south carolina. so this is all about that southern firewall that she very much wants to build up and to really beat back bernie sanders' rise. because he, of course, isn't doing as well, at least so far, with african-americans. >> and then, obviously, the majority of the people there in the room are big supporters of hillary clinton, otherwise they wouldn't be there. but i wonder as you talk to people there, what are they saying about, you know, whether they are excited about the idea of a joe biden, potentially joining the race, or if they think, right now, democrats largely, you know, have the candidates right at play and it's a matter about deciding. >> reporter: you know, as you said, this is a very pro-hillary clinton group. there are lots of folks here who are wearing the stickers with
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hillary clinton's insignia on them. in terms of joe biden, they're pretty timid. they feel like they've got the candidate, that hillary clinton is qualified, eminently qualified to be president, and at this point, it's too late for joe biden to get in this race. it's not that they don't have a great deal of affection for the vice president and his service to president obama, but at this point, they feel like they found their candidate, and that candidate's name is hillary clinton. so we'll have to see, maybe that changes, if joe biden gets in this thing. but so far, a lot of these folks in this crowd are team hillary. >> and soon to take the stage there in hoover, alabama. all right. thanks so much, nia-malika henderson. good to see you. appreciate it. >> thank you, fred. overseas, russia launching new air strikes inside syria, but there are a lot of questions about who those air strikes are actually targeting. some cash back cards love to overcomplicate things. like limiting where you earn bonus cash back. why put up with that?
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all right. now video we're just now getting in. a russian air force strikes several targets in syria over the last 24 hours. 36 combat missions were carried out, striging 49 cities in syria. according to the russian defense ministry, they were targeting underground shelters, command posts, storage with weapons, ammunition, and material supplies of isis. meanwhile, new information suggests that a drone shot down inside turkey might have belonged to russia. turkey said yesterday the drone did not respond to three
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warnings from the turkish air force. two u.s. defense officials say according to initial reports, it is a russian drone. moscow had denied that, but russia does have a lot of drones. 800 of them, according to military experts. and that's not the only modern military equipment that russia is using in syria. it also has new fighter jets. what nato calls the fallback. and russia says this video released last week shows a warship launching cruise missiles, hundreds of miles from the caspian sea to syria. i'm joined now by cnn military analyst, general mark herdling. general, good to see you. does it seem like russia is using syria as a proving ground to show off its new military arsenal? >> sure, off to the world, certainly, fred. but i think they have been developing these weapons in a quite a while. in fact, when i was commander in europe in 2012, these were one of the things we were watching very closely. they learned an awful lot from their invasion in georgia in 2008. they realized what worked and
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what they needed to further develop their drone army is one of the things they learned they needed from the georgia incursion. and they tested a lot of these things in eastern ukraine over the last year and a half. we're seeing the results of a lot of testing and a lot of combat coming to the fray within the confines of syria right now. >> so what should be the concern or worry from the u.s. or places in europe? >> well, the biggest thing is the adventurism of mr. putin. he has shown that he wants to now go outside of his borders. he wants to have these kinds of adventurous moves in different countries. he feels, himself and his country have been on this strategic defensive since the fall of the iron curtain. and i think he's now trying to go on the strategic offensive in many areas. he is seeing a ring around russia, and he believes and his people believes that they are under threat from the west. so he is trying to establish the capability to go outside of his borders, reclaim what he
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believes is superpower status of the russians, and he's doing that in many different areas. not just in syria, but there is the threat of that in other places in europe. >> so, russia also said yesterday that it targeted isis nearly 400 times within a week. does that show that the russian military is, indeed, capable of, you know, maintaining this campaign with a lot of air strikes, and that isis is a significant target? >> well, first of all, one of the other things they learned in these campaigns in both georgia and ukraine is how to obfuscate the facts. they are not going against isis. make no mistake about that. no matter what they continue to say, all of the targeting information and the intelligence we have is they are going after syrian rebels. they are not going after isis. they may go after elements of isis, but only to protect the syrian regime, if it's threatened. >> so why that kind of
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confusion? >> the targets are nowhere near isis strongholds. it's all where the syrian rebels are and the syrian free army unit is. so i think you're seeing that across the board. they continue to do on that -- russia continues to say this on the world stage, so they can claim that they're doing things the west hasn't done. in fact, going after isis. but, in fact, what they're doing is causing more problems there, allowing isis to thrive, while they go after the free syrian forces and protect the syrian government. >> all right. general mark hertling, thanks so much. as lamar odom continues to struggle to survive in a hospital, new questions about the brothel where he was found unconscious. but first, cnn's top ten heroes have been announced and now it's up to you to choose the hero of the year. one finalist, richard joyner, is a pastor in a north carolina town where the nearest grocery store is ten miles away. >> y'all come on over here! come over here!
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all the beans, let's pick 'em up. come on, come on. let's go. pick up. >> growing food gave us the opportunity to create something that united us and that we could feel good about. >> joyner created a community garden that produces 50,000 pounds of food a year. and you can find out more about all of the top ten heros and vote for your favorite once a day, every day, at cnnheroes.com.
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all right. former nba and reality tv star, lamar odom, is said to be in improved condition at a las
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vegas hospital. his former college coach told anderson cooper odom woke up friday with his estranged wife, khloe kardashian, at the bedside. >> she reached down and said, lamar, i love you, and he blinked. that was early in the morning. and then this afternoon, as they had planned, they were taking some things out of him, some of the intensive care that he was under, and his kidneys were all right, he's off dialysis, and he's awake now. so that's probably the most encouraging news we've had since it all started. >> a source says that odom was even able to say hello to kardashian, saying, "hi." the ordeal began tuesday when odom was found unconscious at the love ranch brothel just west of las vegas. employees say he used cocaine and took herbal supplements over three days. odom and his estranged wife, khloe kardashian signed divorce papers back in july, but the
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courts have yet to finalize their divorce. so let's bring in our legal guys, avery friedman, a civil rights attorney and law professor in cleveland, again. and back with us from las vegas, richard herman, a new york criminal defense attorney and law professor. this time, no props, and just for real clarity, i nor cnn put you up to that, you did that on your own, richard. naughty, naughty. so let's talk about what's happening in your backyard, richard. so, this brothel is legal and the owner of the brothel came out very quickly to establish that there was no drug use at the brothel, despite what some reports have said. he says that there was no cocaine use in the brothel. but, it has been reported that perhaps there were some herbal supplements that this brothel did give to odom. and if in any way that has related -- resulted in his
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physical condition, might that brothel be facing some charges, potentially? >> i don't think so, fred. i listened to dr. drew give a great analysis yesterday on this. and you know, what everybody -- he's in such bad shape right now, odom. and personally, i hope he's okay, and i feel for his true family. but you have to understand, fred, that when people create this condition, and i guess in honor of the major league playoffs, he decided to take speedballs. and they are a cocktail of heroin, methadone, and liquid cocaine. and the doctors, when they went to the hospital said he had about every drug imaginable inside him. so he created his own condition. and then you can't look to sue people for liability when you do it to yourself. now, if the brothel provided him with drugs, if they sold him drugs, if they facilitated or aided and abetted, maybe you can make a claim there. but he did it to himself, fred. and the news cycles are -- there are thousands of young kids fighting cancer every day in the
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united states, there are heroes being shipped off to afghanistan, getting their heads blown off -- >> but even if the brothel didn't necessarily know about what you call, you know, speedballs or whatever, you know, drugs he may or may not have used beforehand, that they would encourage these herbal supplements, you know, to enhance performance, et cetera, even by dispensing that or, you know, encouraging him to use that, there is some distance, still, if it led to his condition? >> there's no medical condition that show herbal supplements had anything to do with him. >> no, that's not true. >> avery? >> that's not true. >> avery, what do you think? >> the brothel admits that they have a little shop there. and they sell, essentially, herbal viagra. he had ten tabs of it. according to the "new england journal of medicine," 500 men have wound up in the hospital because they're not getting enough blood to their brain, if you follow. and so the question becomes, should the brothel have known
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that the consequence of selling these herbal supplements would result in something like that? i think the likelihood of liability is unlikely, but the fact is that it's an area that warrants some further investigation. >> yeah. and obviously, everyone is still wishing, you know, wishing well for odom, but there are these legal questions that surround his situation, even as doctors do everything they can at that las vegas hospital to help him. so, when there comes the privacy issue, and i guess many people go there with some sort of anonymity, and if he was among those who went with some anonymity, does this, you know, love ranch, could they potentially be challenged in court for breach of his privacy, by announcing to the world that he was there and that this happened, avery? >> well, i think, first of all, medical personnel, the government officials that were involved in picking him up blows
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that privacy argument out the window. and i think the fear of the love ranch was that they were going to get stuck with some bad publicity, so they went on and tried to explain it. i don't think there are any privacy rights when it comes to this case. >> all right. >> and fred, if you take aspirin, and it says take two aspirin, and if you take 5,000 aspirin, it's on you. it's not on the drug. this herbal supplement is legal and sold over the counter. you're supposed to take -- i don't know, but if you exceed what you're supposed to take, it's over. you do it to yourself. >> we'll leave it right there, gentleman. thank you so much. always good to see you, avery, richard. you never know what you're going to get. >> never. >> always unexpected. all right. thanks so much, guys. we'll be right back. vo: today's the day.
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welcome to the moment no one's been waiting for. the fastest internet and the best tv experience is already here with x1. only from xfinity. all right. the democratic race for a 2016 candidate could be getting really interesting. it's already interesting, but even more so. vice president joe biden spoke with members of the powerful international association of firefighters yesterday, and they claim that he strongly indicated in the phone conversation that he is planning to run for president and if he did, the association is ready to throw their full support behind him. but, we're still waiting for a final decision from biden himself. here now is jim acosta. >> reporter: it's the big question all over washington.
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will he or won't he? when joe biden's political future came up in the oval office, the vice president was just a few feet away, listening with his lips sealed. president obama later prubrushe off the question. >> i'm not going to comment on what joe's doing or not doing. i think you can direct those questions to my very able vice president. >> reporter: but a decision appears to be coming soon, so says biden's chief of staff, ted kaufman. i am confident that the vice president is aware of the practical demands of making a final decision soon. kauffman also described what a biden campaign would be like. in other words -- >> going to put y'all back in chains. >> lots of biden being biden. i think it's fair to say that it won't be a scripted affair. after all, it's joe. but democrats are all but begging biden to hurry, as one
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senior party official put it, if the silence goes into next week, friends think the decision is made for him. hillary clinton is practically pushing herself in this interview with cnn's jake tapper. >> a decision has to be made. but certainly, i'm not, in any way, suggesting or recommending that the vice president accept any timetable other than the one that is clicking inside of him. he has to make this decision. >> reporter: plus, the longer biden waits, the more it hurts. the latest poll in new hampshire shows clinton and bernie sanders way out in front of the vice president. when democratic voters were asked if biden should enter the race, half said no. >> i think he knows this is d-day. and he's got to make a decision. a lot of people are waiting. and people who really care about him and want to help him are waiting too. and so, he needs to move on there. >> reporter: democrats are starting to compare biden's lengthy deliberations to those of the late new york governor, mario cuomo, who actually had a

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