tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN November 8, 2015 1:00am-3:01am PST
-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com . a deliberate act. some investigators are convinced a bomb brought down a russian passenger plane in the sinai. hard proof still hasn't been found. an historic day for myanmar. thousands go to the polls for an election. donald trump laughs it up on late night tv, but some people think his appearance there was anything but funny. from cnn, world headquarters here in atlanta. welcome to our viewers in the
you state here and around the world. i'm george howell. "cnn newsroom" starts right now. > good day to you. we start in the sinai peninsula. weather there has been a factor hampering the investigation into the crash of metro jet flight 9268. in a news kfrps, the lead investigators stayed debris is strewn across a wide area. about 13 kilometers. he said the voice recorder picked up a suspicious noise in its final seconds. the official was quick to also add that, despite the noise and that wide scattered debris field, it's still too soon, too early to be sure whether a bomb brought that plane down. cnn is covering the story from all angles. let's go first to ian lee, standing by in sharm el sheikh where that flight originated. ian, good to have you with us. let's talk about the investigation first. there is focus on that noise.
but neither russia nor egypt, which is leading the investigation is coming out saying that this is a bomb. what more do we know? >> reporter: well, george, when you look at this, in the beginning of this investigation, close to the beginning you had the united states and the uk coming out and saying that they believed this was a bomb and then we saw the uk suspend flights. then you had the egyptians and the russians saying that they believed it was a mechanical error that brought the plane down. we're really downplaying a terrorist attack. fast forward to today. i still have the united states and the uk saying that they believe it was a terrorist attack. or one u.s. official saying it's 99.9% sure there was a bomb on that plane. then the egyptian officials are saying, they have somewhat changed their tone saying that now all options are possible
what brought down this plane. they aren't saying it's a terrorist attack, but they aren't saying as much that it's a mechanical issue. the russians had suspended their flights as well to egypt, which makes -- leads to the conclusion that they might believe a bomb was also on that plane. the tone from the egyptians and the russians has changed from the beginning. now, this investigation is looking at the pieces of the plane on the ground, really they have the flight data recorders and getting information on that, that loud bang on the voice recorder. really, it's going to be finding residue and fragments of a bomb that will really bring this case to a conclusion that it was in fact a bomb. >> that you very keenly point out, yes, not what russia is saying or not saying but rather what russia is doing. suspending flights there. that does lead many people to
believe maybe they see things differently now given the intelligence that they received from the united kingdom and the united states. let's also talk about russians in sharm el sheikh. some, i believe, 90,000 people could be there presently waiting to get back home. could take several days. what's the situation there? >> well, we've seen these transport planes coming in and out of sharm el sheikh, george. the russians have said that they are trying to get the people out who want to come out. not a full-scale evacuation of all their citizens, like you said. there's tens of thousands, up to 90,000 russian between sharm el sheikh, here, and another red sea resort further south of sharm. it is something that officials are looking at, how to get their citizens out of here safely. now, we've had investigators,
security analysts from other countries coming here to sharm to see what it's like to see if they have confidence in the scanning procedures. initially, because they shut down their flights, they didn't have confidence. we're seeing these flights somewhat resume. although with really strict restrictions that these passengers can't take their luggage on their flight. it's coming on another cargo jets. you still see tourists coming here. not everyone believes that it's dangerous. but definitely there's a lot of concern about security at that airport. >> ian lee live in sharm el sheikh, egypt for us. thank you for your reporting there. as you know, twh this plane went down on saturday, there were 224 people on board. all of them lost their lives in the sinai desert. in russia, families are left in mourning. next hour, the bells of one of russia's iconic cathedrals will
toll for each of the victims in honor of the passengers on the plane. earlier, we spoke to international diplomatic editor nic robertson about the special service. >> we're expecting possibly thousands of people here. the people organizing the memorial service are not terribly sure how many people will turn up. there will be a lot of national interest in russia, some of the national broadcasters here setting up. we've seen scores going into the cathedral this morning. it is expected that the service will begin with a choir. there will be candles lit and at the end of the service, they will toll the bells 224 times. one for each of the victims. at the same time, here in st. petersburg today, another plane carrying the remains of some of the victims aboard that flight
has returned here with some of their possessions here as well. the process of recovering all those who died is still ongoing here. there are still families waiting to identify loved ones. families are expected here today. the regional governor is expected here today. despite the scale of it, no one at the moment really seems sure just how many people will turn out. it's a bit of a dreary, damp day here. certainly, the russian media and the russian people, it seems, will be showing up today. >> has there been outrage, or statements made about the mystery behind what happened to this airplane? >> reporter: well, there's been concern expressed by some family members on a range issues. some of them feel the way that
they were told that they may not get the remains of their loved ones has been particularly harsh. we were told by one family member, the way the governor had broken the news to a group of families was, well you won't be receiving -- you won't be receiving bodies. only pieces of bodies. they found that very harsh. the process that they've been told that they will need to go through to get, if you will, the insurance money from the airline, the process, the paperwork process is very complicated. they have to prove the airline went down, prove their family member was aboard the airliner, have a body to prove that the person is dead. a very complicated and painful process, particularly while they're grieving. the fundamental question and anxiety and anger, if you will, that people are feeling at the moment, some of the family members we talked to is that they don't feel the government is leveling with them. they feel the government believes perhaps this was
terrorism. but won't say that to the family members for whatever reason. when you compound all these things together for the families, this makes a terribly difficult time and process all the more harrowing. nic robertson there for us in st. petersburg, russia. now we move to myanmar where history is being made this day. polls for what is being called the country's freest election in 25 years are set to close in just under 30 minutes' time. some could stay open later because the lines have been very long there. the iconic pro-democracy leader there cast her vote earlier. her national league for democracy party also called the nld is predicted to have a strong showing. there's an explanation why her party is so popular there. >> she's one of the most loved people in myanmar. a big part of the affection that
people have for her has to do with her father. her father was aung san who helped burma fight for independence. he is revered here as the founding father of independent burma, now officially known as myanmar. he was gunned down by political rivals in 1947 when aung sue chicago was 2 years old. for most of her life, she lived overseas. it wasn't until 1988 that she really moved back to burma. that opened up the launch of her political career. in 1990, she led a newly founded party, the national league for democracy in elections. by all accounts, her party won. but then the military rulers of this country annulled the
results. they placed her under house arrest for much of the next 20 hours. in 2010, she was released from house arrest. it was part of a transition to a civilian system of government. she and her party were allowed to compete in bi-elections in 2012. they won dozens of seats in parliament. among the victories there was an sang sue khi herself. they're constitutionally barred from running for the post of president. in 2008, the same regime that held she in house arrest for years, drafted a constitution that included a clause that blocks any citizen who has a spouse or children holding foreign passports from running for the country's top post. that effectively means, she cannot run for the post of
president. she's a living symbol of this country, part of the respect that people have for her is due to the sacrifices she made that were shared by many people in this country during decades of strict authoritarian military rule. >> that was ivan watson reporting there for us. now to what has been a thorny reels ship with china and taiwan. saturday, introduced something that was quite historic. the first meeting between the leaders of the two governments since the end of china's civil war back in 1949. while the talks were more about symbolism than substance, the meeting was very controversial. matt rivers reports. >> reporter: their handshake lasted 70 seconds in a moment 66 years in the making. president ping of china and president jo of taiwan met
saturday in neutral singapore. the first minutes photo-ops and opening statements. then it was a closed door meeting. afterwards, one spoke to reporters. one did not. >> i find him pragmatic and direct. i hope the spirit will be reflected in dealing with the relations. >> he said they discussed having a broader role in international organizations like the world trade organization. something china has fought against for years. he also brought up security expressing concern over the constant military presence. they agreed to set up a hotline for quick communication in times of crisis. >> translator: the chinese government will establish relationship with any political party in taiwan as long as they recognize the 1992 consensus and the one china policy.
>> his party agrees that. there is only one nation of china, though both side disagree on what exactly that means. >> but there are plenty of people who don't agree with that policy. protests in taipei featured hundreds of people upset over the policy and saturday's meeting. many are fearful of what they call beijing's growing influence in taiwan and lack of transparency from president ma on how the meeting came about. >> few days before a meeting. it's very bad procedure. >> protesters question the timing of the meeting, coming months before voters head to the polls. >> many speculated that president ma will try to use this meeting to boost his party's popularity ahead of the january's presidential election, a race in which his party is trailing badly in the polls.
that said, given the level of app sigs, that could prove to be a political miscalculation. >> but for every protester chanting in the street, there were dozens of others who watched from the sidelines. they've been practically independent for decades. there is plenty of skepticism that one meeting will change that. this restaurant owner says he's seen plenty of lower level meetings before and nothing has changed. as expected, the me meeting was largely symbolic. no sweeping trade deals. yet, with this handshake, history was made. matt rivers, cnn, taiwan. you're watching "cnn newsroom" and still to come -- u.s. republican presidential candidate donald trump hosted "saturday night live." he tried to be funny, but protesters say the gig was an insult to u.s. immigrants. plus, another republican
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now to u.s. politics. republican candidate donald trump hosted the iconic american comedy show "saturday night live" and the show went on despite these protests outside the show's studios in new york. demonstrators say that the nbc network is "validating trump's anti-immigration comments." one sketch had trump dancing to a parody of a song from rapper drake. some audience members gasped when this happened. >> who the he lechll is -- i kn this would happen. trump's a racist. >> that was comedian larry david and that heckle was actually a gag. earlier, a latino group offered $5,000 to anyone who heckled trump during the live broadcast.
after the show the group said it would make good on that promise and give that reward to larry david. another republican presidential candidate is defending how he used a charge card from his party. senator marco rubio released almost two years' worth of card statements. here's our chris frats. >> marco rubio is under intense fire for charging personal expenses to a florida republican party american express card when he was in the state leadership in tallahassee. just a few hours ago, rubio's presidential campaignish sued 22 months of previously unreleased american express statements detailing his spending. the campaign said he had the card for four years. he charged about $180,000 during that time of which $22,000 were personal charges. now, rubio has always insisted for years he paid for all those personal charges himself. the newly released statements
cover the time between january 2005 and october 2006 where rubio charged about $65,000 total, of which about $7,000 was personal. those personal charges included about $1800 for a hotel and a car rental when rubio extended a political trip to las vegas for personal reasons. he has family and relatives that live in the area. he also spent almost $3800 on favors. he referenced it in his auto buy biography when he pulled out the wrong card to pay for them. a gentleman by the name of norman braman -- in all three cases rubio said he paid american express for the charges. even with the release of the a.m. ex statements, cnn could not independently verify which charges were personal and which were business-related. it's not just that spending that
raised eyebrows on the campaign trail. he faced foreclosure on a home he co-opened in tallahassee, cashed out almost $70,000 in retirement savings. that likely cost him a bundle in taxes and penalties and he also splurged on $80,000 boat. i'd say whether or not the savviest financial decisions. >> that was chris frates reporting. you can learn more about marco rubio along with the other candidates running for president of the united states. you can find it on our website at cnn.com/politics. there is growing concern in the country of india over an increase in religious intolerance. recent attacks on muslims. what some call the rise of hindu nationalism. here's the report. >> reporter: every person has the right to practice their faith how they choose. >> reporter: it's something even
president barack obama alluded to during his india visit earlier this year. >> india will succeed so long it is not splintered along the lines religious faith. >> but today, religious decisions are dominating headlines. >> even if it was -- do we live in a country where a man should be killed? >> on september 28th, a man is lynched after rumors that he ate beef. october 9th, one woman said -- rumors that he was transporting beef. on october 15th, yet another muslim man was killed for smuggling cows. hindus believe cows are sake cred. slaughtering them has been -- hardcore hindu groups appear to be turning to vigilantism to enforce laws. concerning to many who have seen growing intolerance and it goes
beyond religion. this man who smeared in black ink lost months -- for organizing a book launch with a pakistani politician turned author. >> what outrages us, it seems there's a design to subvert the idea of india. >> a show launched, more than 40 writers who recently returned their most prestigious literary award in protest of what they call an assault on india's diversity. >> in the great indian tradition, there has always been space and respect for dissent, space for debate and discussion. >> what's at stake here? >> the entire concept of india. >> violence along religious lines is not new to india. the recent attacks on muslims sparked renewed debate over whether the prime minister's move to power has emboldened the
extremist hindu supporters looking to push a hindu or religious agenda. >> he rejects the criticism saying that he has condemned religious violence. his spokesman says the criticism is "orchestrated and manufactured by app opposition parties and other opponents." >> everybody falls for the propaganda, to say one or two incidents here or there are reflecting of intolerance of criminal, how many -- >> propaganda or real protests? in the world's biggest democracy with the second largest muslim population some worry that the perception of growing intolerance may overshadow the mandate for development and economic growth. cnn, new delhi. you're watching "cnn newsroom." still to come, the election in myanmar is perhaps the most significant in its modern
welcome back to our viewers in the united states and around the world. you're watching "cnn newsroom." good to have you with us. i'm george howell. the headlines we're following this hour. egypt's lead investigator says a noise can be heard in the final second of the cockpit voice recording from metrojet 9268. british and american officials have said there may have been a
bomb aboard that plane. egyptian authorities say they have not reached any conclusions on that. tens of thousands of tourists are stranding at the sharm el sheikh airport. several countries curtailed flights amid worries that an airport employee might have planted a bomb on that plane. the british government says it could take ten days to get its many citizens out of the country. the president of china and taiwan met saturday in singapore to improve relations and a historic handshake there. it is the first time the two sides have met since the civil war split them 66 years ago. both leaders said no agreements would be signed at the meeting but that they would work toward making peace. the majority of polls are now closed in myanmar's landmark election. live images this hour as you see people there at the polls. voters started casting their ballots before sunrise. this is their freest election in 25 years and the first since the military junta gave up power
four years ago. the opposition party is predicted to have a strong showing but there's -- our senior international correspondent ivan watson is live in myanmar with more on the election. joining us on the phone. ivan, let's talk about this election. so many people are critical about what's happening, saying that there are flaws in the system that really leave a lot of people out of the process, but nonetheless, it is being billed as historic. what's the sense about what's happened? >> well, i'm at a polling station right now. polls are supposed to close at 4:00. it's exactly 4:00 local time in the afternoon. i saw two women just walk in moments beforehand and they're being allowed to cast their ballots. the scenes were remarkable this morning, george. before dawn, before the sun came up, i saw lines of people at
polling stations waiting for the gates to open to cast their ballots. that gives you a sense of the excitement and the enthusiasm from some of the electorate. surprisingly, at polling station i'm at right now, only half of the roughly 1700 voters registered to cast their ballots here actually turned up to vote according to a local election official. we've seen kind of 2/3 turn out at some of the other polling stations that we visited. another remarkable thing i saw at one poll station was people waiting five hours to cast their ballots. some election observers suggesting something may have gone wrong there, that people shouldn't have to wait that long. when i asked voters who put in those marathon hours to cast their ballot, they said it was worth it because if they want any change from their country, this is the only way to make that change, by voting.
george? >> ivan, the opposition party, it is expected to have a strong showing here. but talk to us just about what would it take for this party to have major play in the overall government because isn't it true that the military gets to fill many of the seats. >> george, the last time that the biggest opposition party in the country, the national league for democracy, led by the nobel peace prize winner, the last time it competed in national elections was in 1990. it won the vote but then the military junta ruling the country didn't like the results and scrapped the election and threw most of the opposition leaders in prison. that's part of why this opposition is in -- the opposition leaders are participating for the first time in 25 years. the cards are stacked against the opposition.
because the army constitutionally reserves the right to hold 25% of the seats in the upcoming parliament. mathematically to the opposition to win a majority in the next parliament, it needs to win at least 66% of the seats that are in this election. it's not entirely fair. meanwhile, the political party which enjoys the support of the military, it only needs to win a smaller percentage of the seats that are up for grabs because of this crucial 1/4 of the parliament that automatically goes into hands of the military. george. >> ivan watson explaining a lot to us about this process playing out in myanmar. but again, described as the freest election process in some 25 years. ivan, thank you so much for your reporting there. let's take a look now at how myanmar's election works.
the upper house has 224 total representatives. voters choose 3/4 of them or about 168. one quarter are chosen by commander in chee of the military. 3/4 of the lower house is 440 representatives are also publicly elected. the other quarter are appointed by the military. after election day, representatives from three groups, the military and the upper and lower houses, pick three presidential candidates. parliament then elects the president and the other two candidates become vice presidents. to break this down more, let's go to richard crockett. former southeast asia correspondent for the economist and joining us via skype. good to have you with us. let's talk, richard, about this process. it is billed as i mentioned, freest in many, many decades. some are critical about what's happening and the fairness of this process. can you help our viewers understand why people are critical? >> well, i mean, the main
criticism of this election is that it's taking place entirely on the military government's terms. as you just said, under the terms of the 2008 constitution, which was dropped by the military and passed in a referendum. the seats for both house rs reserved for military -- [ inaudible ] had to be on forces. you need 75, more than 75% to proceed in both houses to amend the constitution. but having 25% gives the military a lock on preventing any further change if they choose in the country. because the constitution basically enshrines the privilege of the military in the country's affairs. so to extricate the military from the country, which is what
is necessary for reform, you have to reform the constitution. that would be impossible even if they file an enormous majority of seats. [ inaudible ] >> talking about the opposition party. it is expected to do very well. though a clause in that constitution, as we have mentioned before prevents -- a statement says there could be a position above the president. what do you make of that? >> well, the charitable interpretation, if they get a large majority. if they get over the 57% of the vote which they require to get a majority of np, new parliament, that will give her tremendous moral authority. much more moral authority than
the president who carries on and when we get a new president elected. so maybe she was talking about, they would give her a role above president. she would then have the moral shift of the nation. i don't think too many people will quibble with that. as many critics were quick to point out, in the constitution, there is no actual post above the president. she may have also been jumping the gun a bit there. there's no doubt that she will be -- if they do very well, she will be acclaimed of being vested with great moral authority, moral leadership. now to dictate the course of the nation's affairs over the next crucial months when everybody negotiates on who the next president will actually be, and other point is that if the nld did well, they will be in the seat for picking the next president for electing the next
president. even if she herself is ineligible, she will have a large say in nominating the next president and then electing him through the mass -- of the nld. either way, she'll be in a strong position. >> richard crockett, thank you so much for your insight on this process and the world will be watching. we'll wait and see what happens here. thank you. >> thank you. you're watching "cnn newsroom." a new nasa study shows a surprising contradiction about melting ice from antarctica and rising sea levels. details ahead on "cnn newsroom."
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antarctica. here's the story. >> sea levels are rising around the world. current thinking is part of that sea level rise comes from melting ice in antarctica. one recent study from nasa scientists says that may not be the case. antarctica is a big place, roughly the size of the u.s. and mexico combined. so as you might expect, changes in its ice are not uniform across the entire continent. nearly all scientists agree that ice is being lost from the western part of antarctica and along its peninsula. on the eastern side, ice is actually being gained. but where the study is different is they measured that that gaining of ice along eastern antarctica is outpacing the loss on the western side. what's behind this addition of ice is snow falls that started becoming heavier around 10,000 years ago. the scientists know in by looking into ice core data.
why is this important? it would mean that antarctica is not contributing to sea level rise. before you go buying up coastal property, there's several things to consider. we're already observing the effects of sea level rise in places like miami where routine high tides are inundating parts of the city which never saw water before. also, even though the gain of ice has been occurring for thousands of years, it may not be around to stay. in the next 20 to 30 years, the increasing rate of loss in western antarctica could outpace the gain in eastern antarctica. bottom line, there's a lot to learn about how antarctica is reacting to climate change. you can be sure, sea levels will continue to rise as antarctica only made up 8% of the sea level rise that we've observed.
every week on cnn we aim to answer your questions about climate change leading up to the united nations conference on climate change in france. this week, the question comes to us from jonas martin in seattle, washington. >> hi. my question is, if there have been over 1,000 ice ages in the past, how do we know that the current climate change is caused by humans? thank you. >> meteorologist derek van dam is here. that question to you. >> george, in essence what this gentleman is asking, climatologists know that the earth's climate is changing in a cyclical pattern. why should we blame humans for the current trend in warming. george, to answer that question, it's important that we understand how these cycles work. first and foremost, the earth's orbit around the sun is not constant. that is always changing over large periods of time.
that affects how much cold and warm air encompasses the planet. i want to show you a graph. this is very important. don't lose me on this one. this is something you want to learn as we head into conf 21. where heads of state and scientists converge to make global impacts on greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. this puts the past years in prers peck tiff. the red line is carbon dioxide levels. the blue line, temperatures. notice how they're directly related. when we have a spike in carbon dioxide, we have a spike in temperatures. when we have a trough in the levels, we see the drops in temperatures as well. this is worldwide and over a large scale in time. 400,000 years in the past, this is the present. what's alarming scientists at this moment in time is the rate
of temperature increase in such a short period of time. roughly since the start of the industrial revolution. the early 1900s. that's when we started to see our temperatures rise quite dramatically. in a short period of time. in fact, since the year 1880, we have seen our temperature rise 0.85 degrees celsius, roughly 1.5 degrees fahrenheit. that occurring in only roughly a century of time would actually baffle scientists. if we look at this chart, we should see that kind of temperature spike over tens of thousands of years. so it's that short duration of time that's alarming scientists and alarming the world. hopefully, george, sparking some sort of change as we head into paris leading up to conf 21, the conference of the parties where they decide to where to curb
global carbon dioxide emissions and who is going to take responsibility for this ginormous task. >> it's described as a last-ditch effort really. >> it really is. it's my understanding that serious decisions need to be made during this particular conference. decisions that have not been made in the past. >> derek, thanks so much. we'll continue to follow that, of course. turning now to a story. one person dead and at least 26 missing in the wake of massive flooding from two burst dams at an iron ore mountain. sludge from the inundated dams basically washed many homes away. families are eagerly awaiting news from rescue workers for many though, there is no word about loved ones. a local mayor says a third larger dam is at risk as well and that's threatening even more damage there. we'll continue to follow that story. you're watching "cnn newsroom." still to come, we introduce you to hank the tank, a dog who
internet by storm. hank the tank is his not so affectionate nickname after a picture of this dog boarding an airplane to fly first class went viral. jeanne moos has the story. >> you are looking at hank's good side. this is his not so good side. do you really call him hank the tank? >> everybody seems to call him hank the tank. but we're going to try to get that tank part down. >> hank was boarding an american airlines flight in los angeles when madeline sweet snapped this photo. [ bleep ] you not, the dog is flying first class on my flight. of course he was. the owner says hank is a frequent flyer. once had photo went viral, hank even got immortalized in animation. >> he travels first class all the way, including his own seat on board the plane. >> owner, carrie, buys him a ticket. she's a former playboy playmate from 1988 and is now an interior
designer to stars like melanie griffith and kristen bell. she runs a dog rose cue and hank is her certified therapy dog. carrie suffers from optical migraines, hank alerts her when one is coming on so she can take her medicine. >> he knows before i know. it's like a bird. nobody can believe it when they hear it. oh, my god, that sounds like a bird. he does this kind of -- >> hank has his own health issues. complications from surgery for a torn ligament prevent him from walking much. plus, he has a thyroid condition which is why he's obese. from 160 pounds, he's now down to 146. eating a cup and a half of raw food a day. as for his newfound fame -- >> it's kind much been crazy, has it not? >> yeah. >> carrie isn't crazy about that famous photo. >> he's not as fat as he looks in there.
>> this is a dog who sure sounds like he should fly. jeanne moos, cnn. new york. >> fans of a quirky unreliable car came together in washington, d.c. to celebrate the iconic east german made car. the rally was held saturday. some people tried to see how many people could cram into one. the communist built cars rolled across the border when the wall fell between east and west germany in 1989. enthusiasts see it as not a great car but a symbol of the fall of communism. how many people are in there? can't count it. that wraps this hour of "cnn newsroom." thank you for joining us. i'm george howell in atlanta. next we go live to st. petersburg, russia, for a special hour. live images here as victims' families come together to remember the victims of flight 9268. stay with us.
welcome back to viewers in the united states and around the world for this special edition of "cnn newsroom." i'm george howell. this hour we're covering the memorial services in st. petersburg, russia. remembering the victims killed in the crash of metrojet flight 9268. it's still not clear what caused the plane to go down, but what is clear is the outpouring of sorrow in russia. 224 people died in the crash, including 25 children. and the pain is palpable. want to show you live images now
from the cathedral in st. petersburg, russia, an iconic cathedral, the site of the memorial service. the service will include the ringing of the cathedral's bells. 224 times. once for each passenger and crew member who was on board that doomed flight. we have reporters covering the story from all angles this hour. our senior international correspondent matthew chance following the russian take on the investigation. live in moscow, ian lee in sharm el sheikh egypt where the flight originated. we start with diplomatic editor nic robertson live at the cathedral in st. petersburg, russia, the destination of that plane and this day where many families are in mourning. nic? >> reporter: george, the service here is just beginning. it's a very somber moment. the people that were sitting on benches here are standing up, heads are bowed.
they're looking to the front. what people here are expecting are prayers. there are some families of the victims here. there will be choirs sing as we hear now and about half past the hour, the bell will begin to toll. we're told it will toll once every ten seconds. that will be once for each victim, each of the 224 victims aboard the flight. there are hundreds of people gathered in this cathedral. very somber and solemn moment. people have said they wanted to show support for the families. they feel grief. they feel that it's their duty to come and offer their condolences and join this somber service. >> nic, you've spoken to so many families there. going into this service, with so many unanswered questions, just talk to us about how these families are coping until we
understand what brought this plane down. >> reporter: it's a very difficult process for the families at the moment. there are those, if you will, in this context that it's hard to say this, but there are families who will feel somewhat luckier because their bodies of loved ones have been able to bury them. there are others who are still waiting to identify loved ones. they know and they've been told in quite harsh terms that, indeed, they won't be able to get whole bodies back. it's a very tough process for these families. also, they want the answers about what happened on that plane, what took the plane down, what killed their loved ones. some of the families feel the government is holding out on them, not giving them the answers. we've talked to people here and the people coming to the service here, young and old, men and women. the majority tell us they do believe it was a terrorist act that brought down this plane and
the families of the victims, they see this beginning to see it in the same light. they would like to hear more from their government. that's what they tell us, george. >> nic robertson, following this service in st. petersburg, russia. nic, we'll continue to monitor with the live images that we're sharing with our viewers as well. we'll be sure to go back to the ceremony as soon as they start prayer there. we'll continue to monitor. nic, thank you. please stand by with us. let's now turn to matthew chance in moscow following the situation there. matthew, let's talk just about the russian perspective on this. russia not yet saying that a bomb was on board, even after getting intelligence from the united states and from the you united kingdom. russia, effectively suspending flights into egypt. waiting for egypt, which is the lead in this investigation, but many people even there as nic
pointed out, many people are coming to the conclusion that a bomb was on this flight. >> reporter: that's right. even though the russians aren't saying formally we think it was a bomb or terrorist act that caused the crash of this airline killing all 224 people on board, there's a tacit acknowledgment that terrorism may have been the cause. because of that fact of the suspension of the flights to egypt from russia, all flights. not just to sharm el sheikh but to cairo, the egyptian capital. it's left russia with an enormous logistical challenge. the government says there are at least or have been at least 80,000 tourists from russia that are inside egypt at this moment. so there's a big task under way to get the people back. the deputy prime minister here, one of them, has said that 11,000 tourists have been flown back to russia in the course of the past 24 hours. you can imagine the kind of airlift effort that that is
taking. another 55 planes are leaving from various destinations in russia to egypt to ferry back people as well over the course of today according to state media. so it's a huge logistical challenge at a time when this nation is still very much grieving for the 224 people lost their lives on board that met metrojet plane. matthew stay with us. we're looking at live from russia that is the site of a memorial service this day as people come together to remember the 224 people who were killed on the doomed metrojet flight. matthew, it's i'd like to ask you, russia was concerned as it got into the war in syria about retaliation. i want to get a sense, given this terribly tragic situation that happened with this plane, is there worry or concern about more retaliation in russia?
>> reporter: well, i think it's thrown more uncertainty into the problem. there was always a possibility and vladimir putin referred to this when he launched the intervention in syria. there could be blowback or retaliation. it could start to turn the russian public against the campaign which it's so largely been viewing at arm's length through television screens, almost like a video game with russian planes pounding isis positions and those of other rebel groups as well. we've been thinking about in a lot, discussing with various people. look, it could easily and probably will go the other way. this kind of atrocity could very well bolster russian public opinion in terms of intervention in syria and encourage the kremlin to go in even harder, to really push hard against isis as it's own sort of retribution for
what has happened. we could see now an expansion of russia's military campaign in syria and the broader region as well. getting into the speculation a little bit, we'll have to wait and see what kind of action in response to this the kremlin decides to take. >> matthew chance reporting live in moscow. matthew, thank you so much. please stand by with us. let's go to the live images at the cathedral in st. petersburg, russia. you see again this memorial service that is happening, remembering the 224 people killed on that plane. let's take a moment to listen in. ♪ ♪
petersburg, russia, as families come together to remember the dead. 224 people who were killed on board a metrojet plane that crashed in the sinai. and there are so many families that have so many questions and there are unanswered questions as this investigation continues. but at this point, russia is not speculating on what might have brought that plane down. egypt is not speculating on what might have brought the plane downment waiting for the investigation to conclude. but we have heard from the united states and from the united kingdom. from intelligence that the two countries gathered that a bomb might have brought that plane down. that same intelligence was shared with russian officials and russia has since canceled flights to egypt to all airports in egypt. and given that, there are many, many tourists who are stranded in egypt, in sharm el sheikh, for instance, where we can go now live to our own ian lee who
is standing by there. ian, talk to us about the situation as this memorial service continues here in st. petersburg, there are many people who would like to get back home, to get back to russia. but there aren't many flights right now. >> reporter: that's right, george. we've been watching this airport behind me cholosely throughout e day. there have been a few airplanes come in and take off. really, what they're trying to do right now is evacuate the people who are wanting to leave. there are tens of thousands of foreigners stranded here in sharm el sheikh egypt. a lot of them, many british, many russian and the governments have been trying to find some sort of security arrangement where they can be brought home safely. there are two planes coming in
today from the uk. from monarch airlines. they'll be ferrying passengers back. it is very restrictive how they get back. they can't take their luggage. they can bring a small bag on board which shows you the seriousness of the concern that a bomb was possibly put on board one of these planes. the interesting thing to note about this bomb theory is you go back a few days ago and it was basically the united states and the uk saying that they believed a bomb was put on this plane. well, that intelligence where we're hearing there was chatter between isis and the sinai peninsula and isis and syria, that they believe that confirms that belief that a bomb was put on board. that intelligence was shared with the russians who were originally skeptical that a bomb took down the plane. they said it was likely a mechanical issue. we have seen a change in tone from the russians, as well as the egyptians. the egyptians, again, were
originally saying this was mechanical. now they're saying it could be a number of possibilities. including a terrorist attack. but really, we're having to wait until that investigation comes through to see what caused it. but right now, like you said, tens of thousands of people stranded here in sharm el sheikh just waiting to get home. right now at that airport, a lot of frustrated people. >> ian, there was concern about the possibility of someone there at the airport placing a bomb on board the plane. is there concern among people there who would like to catch a flight home? or is there concern about simply getting on board a plane? >> reporter: there is a bit of concern with people at the airport. i think anyone who is going to be traveling out of this airport is going to have that thought in the back of their head. that something like this could happen. the airport security has been
taken over by the egyptian military. they're checking everything as well. security has been ramped up, not just at that airport but really all over sharm el sheikh. you have the checkpoints that people have to go through. but also, i talked to some people just the other day who told me that they weren't concerned about flying out. they felt that the odds were in their favor. that this is something that happens once in a while that the likelihood of it happening twice was just pretty low. but again, i think anyone who is flying out of the airport is going to have that thought in their head and probably won't breathe a sigh of relief until they land safely in their home country. >> ian lee live with us. ian, please stand by with us. want to bring in our viewers joining us this hour. this hour on "cnn newsroom," we're devoting our time to show you this live memorial service that is happening in st.
petersburg, russia, at the cathedral, also called the st. ivan's cathedral. where many of the families are coming together to remember the 224 people who were killed on the doomed metrojet flight that went down last saturday in sinai. still unclear what brought the plane down. but an investigation is under way. ian lee, again, joining us live in sharm el sheikh, egypt. ian, talk to us just about the significance of the fact that so many flights have been canceled to egypt. >> reporter: this for the egyptian is going to be devastating. there's no other way to put it. 10% of their gdp comes in through tourism. if egypt cannot ensure the security of the airports, if there is any doubt, that will hit tourism.
you have to remember, egypt has been struggling to regain tourism after the 2011 revolution. it took a nosedive. things started to get better. people i was talking to in the last week were hoping that tourism was slowly rebounding. the egyptian government was promoting it. calling the next couple of months a real time to promote egyptian tourism. this is the last thing they need and this will hit the industry and the economy hard as well. >> it's certainly at play. this day certainly the focus is on what's happening there in st. petersburg. ian, there's so many families coming together to remember their loved ones, children, mothers, husbands, people who were taking a holiday, an innocent holiday vacation and found themselves on this doomed flight. again, an investigation is under way to determine what brought this plane down. the cause, though, is not yet
known. let's listen in for a moment here. again, in live image f st. petersburg, russia, as this live service getting under way to remember the dead of the doomed metrojet flight. for more perspective, let's bring in a moscow-based. the mood in russia is somber, as it is around the world as people look at what happened to this plane, these innocent victims who were killed. >> reporter: yes, indeed. of course, the mood is doomed. of course, people realize now that the theory of a terrorist attack is not ruled out to say the least. as they learn the news that the
flights have been canceled. according to some estimates, about 100,000 people were expecting to go to egypt on vacation before the end of this year. now, of course, they're not going. i think it's coming to the russian people that it may be a terrorist attack. what we should not expect, however, is that there will be broad questioning of policy in syria because of that. i think this is very unlikely. >> talk to us about the process. because, again, there are this hour who still don't know. they don't know what brought that flight down, but they do know their loved ones aren't coming home. as i can only imagine, as one can only imagine, that would be very unsettling. what is the process to help the families cope, to help them grieve as this investigation, which is led by egypt, as it
continues? >> reporter: well, a lot is being done in terms of psychological health. this is what we've been learning since the very beginning, since the first news came and the families learned that their loved ones are not coming back, that help is being delivered first and foremost psychological and then will come legal and of course, families will be, well, i hate the word compensated. nobody can be compensated for a loss of their loved one. we hear a lot on state television, on other -- the families, the governments will take care of them. >> maria, as this service is happening, i hesitate to ask this question. but it is an important question because there are families who see this plane that went down, they see the families coming to the and they worry there could be more retaliation of sorts in
russia given its involvement in syria. is that a real concern among russians? >> reporter: well, if you look at the public opinion polls taken before the tragedy, there was support for the air strikes. at the same time, there was concern that the air strikes may cost quite a lot to the russian nation, materially and in terms of human loss. according to public opinions, they were concerned about terrorist attacks might follow. 2/3 of the russian people were against a ground operation. president putin has said repeatedly there will be no ground operation. but people still showed concern, which is not to say i think, that now if and when it is admitted by the russian authorities that it was a terrorist attack that killed all those 224 people, that people
will begin questioning putin policies. that they will have doubts whether this is a good policy to deal air strikes or maybe expand its operation. i think that putin already said on some occasion, it was not focused on the crash. but he said nobody has ever been able to intimidate the russian people. i think this is the kind of rhetoric that we will see more of in the coming days. the russian people should show fortitude like they have repeatedly did in the past on different occasions. we do not keep up. we should join ranks closer. i think this will work. i think patriotic modelization may be the effect of this horrific death of 224 people in that plane. >> maria lipman with us live in moscow.
metrojet flight that crashed in the sinai. families, fathers, mothers, children, innocent people who were taking a holiday, very innocent holiday in egypt and returning back to russia. many returning back to st. petersburg. but unable to return given what happened to this plane. still not clear what happened, why the plane went down. there is an investigation under way. but, again, you're looking at the bell toll 224 times and you're seeing the images of many of the people who were on board this flight. see the image in the cathedral where there are so many people coming together. we heard the beautiful music, we hear it now, of the choir singing. prayers offered. all of this punctuating the great pain and grief that many
♪ [ bell tolling ] for our viewers in the united states and around the world, you are looking at live images of the isaakievskiy cathedral in st. petersburg, russia. also known as the isaac's cathedral. where 224 people are being remembered this hour. we are devoting special coverage to this memorial service to
remember the vic titims of the metrojet flight where this plane went down in the sinai. our nic robertson is live at the cathedral. let's bring him in now. nic, talk to us about the mood there, what you're seeing and hearing. >> reporter: george, inside the cathedral here, all you can hear is the singing of the choir, the bells that are tolling. strangely, as loud as they are, as large as the bell is, it's tolling outside about above this cathedral, inside you just hear the quiet. the bells are tolling for 224 people. she became a symbol of the 25 children that were lost. it's tolling for people like leonard and alexandra, a young people, 28 years old, who went to sharm el sheikh for their
friends who had gotten engaged there. it's tolling for people like miller, the 33-year-old businessman who left his wife to go with a friend and travel to sharm el sheikh. the family buried him a couple of days ago. it's tolling for people like him. it's tolling for a young psychologist from st. petersburg. it's tolling for all these people. there are families here and there are people from st. petersburg who have come to show support for the families. for individuals, for them collectively. the young 10-month-old really became for many people here a symbol of the tragedy of this loss. a 10-month-old child traveling with her parents. the parents lost as well, of course. 25 children on board this plane. people here are still struggling
to understand why. >> just a moment ago, we saw an image of a little baby killed on that plane. you mentioned the death of a 10-year-old child as well -- 10-month-old child i should say. you know, as we hear the service with our viewers around the world, people are mourning in st. petersburg. fair to say there's mourning across russia and across the world? >> reporter: people today have come here to the cathedral in st. petersburg to show their respects. there have been memorials in other parts of the country. around this city, there are places you will go and find where flowers have been laid. one lady told me that she was a survivor of the second world war and survivor here. the war in the city brought people together and today that bonding, that sense of
togetherness and of support is coming out again today. this is what people are telling us here. >> nic robertson live in the cathedral where this memorial service is happening. nic, please stand by with us. i want to bring our viewers up to speed as to what you're seeing as this bell tolls. you're hearing it 224 times, remembering the victims. people on board that plane. let's take a moment to listen in. ♪ ♪ [ bell tolling ]
♪ ♪ >> the tolling of the bell at the isaakievskiy cathedral also known as st. isaac's cathedral. where people have come together to remember the 224 people killed in the metrojet flight passenger plane that crashed in the sinai peninsula. our matthew chance is live in moscow listening in as well and matthew, you see what's happening there in st. petersburg, one can only imagine the great grief that these families and these friends that people are feeling at this hour. talk to us about the mood there in moscow and quite frankly, around that country given what happened and given what's happening this day. >> reporter: it's quite remarkable. because russia, i think it's fair to say, has had more than its fair share of airline disasters, whether by terrorism or by mechanical failure. but this one appears to have touched people in a way, struck
a cord with the russian public that others simply haven't. one of the reasons is the high numbers. this is the worst ever air catastrophe to strike russia with 224 people killed. another reason i think is the fact that the people on board this plane were just ordinary russians. they were tourists. they were trying to escape the cold russian winter for a week or two in some sunny red sea resort. that's exactly what many russians aspire to do or actually do at this time of the year. we're talking about how many people there were or there are in egypt right now. it's something in the region of 80,000 russian citizens that are currently in egypt and it's also become, because of the suspension of the flights, it's become a big logistical operation now to get those people back. according to the russian officials, the russian deputy prime minister, 11,000 have been
ferried back by aircraft in the past 24 hours. they're traveling without their luggage. the luggage is being collected by a separate emergency situation ministry aircraft. we've seen this happen with citizens from the united kingdom. we're told that another 55 flights will be heading out to egypt to bring back passengers as well today. so, again, a huge logistical challenge for the russians, as the country tries to come to terms with this appalling crime that's been committed and the killing of 224 people, many of them children. remember 25 people on board that aircraft that metrojet airliner were below the age of 17. so it's really shocked this nation. again, a nation that is used to these kinds of catastrophes and has had more than its fair share of these kinds of catastrophes.
this has really struck a cord. >> matthew, as the nation comes together in this moment of grief, there are many unanswered questions and we've heard from family members, our nic robertson spoke with some people who say that they feel that the government has an idea of what may have happened but is not yet indicate thag, waiting for egypt which is the lead to this investigation. my question to you is, what is the mood of public opinion about this investigation, about these unanswered questions? >> reporter: well, there are lots of questions being asked. people want to know definitively what it was that cost 224 lives. you're right, the russian government hasn't come out and said, look, we think it'ster rim. they've held back judgment on that. the fact that they've suspended flights to the whole of egypt those that they pass civil are acknowledging that terrorism may have been a factor.
we also now know that the russians have had intelligence shared with them by the united kingdom and by the united states, which is also very interesting given the poor relationship between russia and the west over the past 12, 18 months, particularly over ukraine and other issues. intervention in syria as well. it showed that when it comes to international terrorism, the big powers will still cooperate and share information regardless of what their relationship is like in other spheres. so that, if anything, is a silver lining, i think, if there is one out of this tragedy. >> from st. petersburg there in moscow, around that country, united kingdom, united states and around the world, we are all listening and paying our respects to the people who died on that metrojet flight. matthew chance, thank fou you for your reporting there in moscow. again, this is a live image from
st. petersburg as this memorial service continues. we've heard the bell toll 224 times. each time representing the victims on this plane. there were families, there were mothers and fathers, there were children, there were babies on that plane. innocent victims who went down in that plane lost their lives. the investigation is still continuing. it's not clear what caused the plane to go down. but at this point, egypt is leading the investigation expecting to release information as soon as they are confident that they have a cause for the plane's crash. let's take a moment here in our final seconds of this broadcast to listen in. [ bell tolling ]
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♪ new this morning. 99.9%, that's how certain one official is that a bomb blew up a russian passenger jet and now the fbi is offering its help in this investigation. donald trump times three on "saturday night live." he poked fun at himself. but you know what? not everyone finds it funny. and we dig into on the records of two police officers charged with murdering a