tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN November 11, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm PST
they were. this is "cnn newsroom" live from los angeles. >> ahead this hour, fighting back against isis, a new operation under way at this hour to retake a strategic city in iraq. >> donald trump says he would deport millions of undocumented immigrants if he's elected u.s. president. it's a plan that's been tried before with mixed results. >> and also ahead, you will meet the surfing soldiers hitting the waves and helping them to move beyond the horrors of war. >> hello and welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm isha sesa y. >> great to have you with us. i'm john vause. "newsroom l.a." starts now.
>> breaking news this hour. up to 7500 curdish troops are on the move in northern iraq, on a mission dubbed operation free sinjah. >> they're fighting to retake this town right here, seized be isis in august of last year. u.s. coalitions are providing close air support. nick peyton walsh joins us now from outside of sinjar. what's the very latest on the offensive, as you've been able to work out. how long do you think this will all take? >> how long it will take is the key question, john. we simply don't know. what we're hearing about the pp peshmerga, that i ear saying it could be over in the hours of hours or days is misplaced. what we do know and can say, there's restriction placed on
what i can tell you about our exact movements. what we can tell you is the offensive is headed from the north from there are horrifying of images of people fleeing for their live last year. and also from the east and west, along a key road. it's strategically important. the coalition pummeled areas last night but also previously according to press reports. through that city runs a vital road, known by many as route 47, which heads from the capital through to mosul, the city they seized last year. many saying their two-state self-declared caliphate.
if the peshmerga are unsuccessful, that could affect their ability to move resources around. we're in the early hours here, though. the peshmerga said 9:00 in the morning is when this offensive got under way. the last few hours, they announced sts moving slowly where we are. but they are an overwhelming numbers. they are deeply concerned about the booby traps around them, particularly in the built-up areas. all sorts of rumors about what isis may be doing to prepare for their arrival. but i think i sense optimism. >> do we know if the syrian kurds are fighting along the iraqi kurd? and what about the military advisers, are they on the ground as well as best you can tell. >> we haven't seen them themselves themselves but they're known to be operating in
the particular area. when it comes to the exact makeup of the kurdish forces, that's complicated in some degree. the peshmerga are very clear this is an operation led by them and other kurdish groups are involved in the trail end of that operation. they could move in once major clearing is done. here, we have seen evidence of one [ no audio ] >> looks like we have lost our connection there to nick peyton walsh reporting on a military operation which has been ongoing now for a number of hours as kurdish forces move in on the town of sinjar. joining us now with more on all of this, lieutenant colonel rick francona. great to have you with us once again. you've described this offensive, which is being launched on three fronts as sophisticated. but what are the challenges here to retaking sinjar? >> well, it is sophisticated.
of course, nick was talking about the air power. that would have required quite a period of reconnaissance to actually determine what to strike. when you launch these operations, you want to make sure that the air power is hitting specific targets and you're having the intended effect. then you move this three-pronged attack in. so the kurds are capable of doing this and they have the western military adviser to help do this. i think we're seeing the realization of what we've been going forrer for the last year. the challenges here are going to be difficult once they get into that city. remember, isis has had a year to prepare the battlefield, just like they did tikrit before, they set uh up offenses, booby traps and land mines. their latest weapon is a car bomb, driven by a lot of these foreign fighters they bring in from outside. the overwhelming numbers are certainly on the kurds' side,
but remember, a small number of isis fighters held off a large number of iraqis in tikrit for a long period of time. i hope they're successful. the kurds are very, very capable fighter, but they need to go about this deliberately and slowly. >> colonel francona, you mentioned the capabilities of the kurds. we know that this is an operation that involves syrian kurds, the ypg alongside of iraqi kurds of peshmerga. do you worry about coordination here? >> they get along when they need to, but they've had difficulties over the years. the iraqi kurds have not always soup supported what the syrian kurds are doing. especially when it comes to the pkk. i think we're going to see much more coordination, because that
whole kurdish area up there, they regard as the future krudistan which is an anthema to the turks. >> how does retaking sinjar, if indeed they are successful, how does that impact the broader coalition battle against isis? >> this is very important. sinjar is a key city on that route. as nick said, it's the main supply route between raka and syria and mosul in iraq. mosul is the key target down the road. the iraqis have to retake mosul. it's been in isis hands since july of 2014. the iraqis have talked about going back up there since september of 2014. they are nowhere near going after it. sinjar might be the first step of doing it. sinjar is a great target. it cuts mosul off and forces isis to either retake it and
spend a lot of resources doing that, or they're going to have to find a different way to resupply mosul. this is really a smart thing for the kurds to do. >> lieutenant colonel rick francona, always great to get your perspective. >> we move on now to russiaer where there are denials about a rueters report which says that russia has put forth a draft plan to try and end the conflict in syria. >> it comes as government forces have recaptured an air base near aleppo. >> the syrian government hails this as a victory. forces manage to break through to an air base each of aleppo. it was under siege i isis militants for almost two years. media congratulated the soldiers involved. i salute the heros who remained steadfast for years, he said.
in a statement read on syrian state tv. and i salute the heros who contributed to ending the siege. and i salute every soldier in the syrian arab army, for he is a brother and son to us, and their life and safety is always the first of priorities. the news comes as syrian forces claim they are inflicting, quote, huge losses on their enemies, which include islamists but also more moderate rebel factions. as russia and iran bolster assad's forces, international leaders continue their efforts to find a diplomatic solution to a civil war that's left more than 250,000 people dead according to the syrian observatory for human rights, and has turned millions into refugees. the head of the second round of international talks in vienna, the rueters news agency reports that russia has floated a peace proposal. one that reportedly calls for an 18-month transition period, a
counsel to outline political reforms that bashar al assad should not be a member of, and finally, early presidential elections. according to media reports, the plan would not exclude assad from running in those elections, something the opposition and its backers demand as a precondition for any peace talks. moscow vehemently denies putting forward such a proposal. the russians saying, first, they want clarity on which opposition groups should be part of the diplomatic process and which ones shouldn't. i mean, first of all, a necessity to agree on a list of terrorist organizations, russia's foreign minister said, so that no one has any doubts or hesitation to an affiliation of this or that armed group. as syrian government forces display their perceived momentum on the battlefield, the international community is trying to maintain the diplomatic momentum on the quest to finally end this bloody conflict. cnn, london.
>> a researcher at the international research center for defense and security and also a long-time moscow bureau chief at this network. always great to speak with you. this proposal that the russians put forward, they're denying it's out there. the russians and the americans have pretty much confirmed that it is. maybe one reason they're denying it is not getting a lot of traction, at least now we know where the russians stand politically and at least they're involved tip m involved diplomatically here. >> yes, a lot of this we already knew. it's not that different from some proposals or ideas that have been out there. but in something like this, when they really want to make a proposal, the devil is in the lack of details and that's one of the problems here. essentially what they're saying is it's 18 months, their would be this political transition period. you write a new constitution, you would have a referendum. and then you would have an election.
but the real question is, what happens in the interim to bashar al assad? because russians, according to the news that's out there, they don't want to be specific, but it looks as if what they're saying is assad would not be -- the president would not be the head of this group that tries to work out a new constitution. but it raises the question of what exactly exactly does he do? how long does he stay in power? where does he go, et cetera? and as we all know and have been reporting for quite a long time, every country has a different view on that. the united states is a little bit more moderate, saying eventually he has to go. but maybe not right now. other countries are a lot more vehement about having him step down immediately. so that's, i think, the biggest question mark of all. >> back in 2003, before the iraq war, putin went to baghdad with
a message for saddam hussein, which is essentially step down as president but you can remain as the leader of the baath party. we know how that ended. could something similar happen here? assad, he's president, he's the leader of the baath party in syria, could the russians play that now, especially since they have more leverage with assad than saddam hussein? >> remember which is it? a month ago perhaps when assad came to moscow, met with president putin. and that was one of the ideas that was floated at that time, perhaps russia was speaking with him specifically about that. now, it was never confirmed that was the conversation, but you're absolutely right, john, that russia has a lot more leverage with assad. after all, they are rescuing him from corruption by sending in their air force to protect the syrian forces on the ground. so in a sense, he owes them something. but the russians, mr. putin,
especially, do not want to tell an elected leader to step down. even if it is an elected leader who has attacked his own people many times. so that's where we have this problem, and it all boils down to assad. >> yeah. i guess now you mention russia's heavy military involvement there, propping up the syrian government. putin has essentially made it very clear now that any peace deal for syria, the road to that has to go through moscow. >> oh, absolutely. and that was probably one of the main reasons that he wanted to get involved and send in his air force. russia wants to be a major player in the middle east, but more specifically it wants to be there to define what happens after the assad regime, or maybe not, but the next government, whatever that should be, is in place. russia wants to be at the table
defining that, and it really has done a very, i would say, a good job at inserting itself into the debate, into the discussion. and is now one of the leaders in defining what will happen next. >> jill, we'll have to leave it there. one of the issue, though, is how far are the russians prepared to go? when will they throw assad under the bus? jill dougherty, we appreciate it. thank you. u.s. leards are hoping a possible deal with africa will help slow the flow of migrants to the region. that story is just ahead. >> also, donald trump plans for what he calls a deportation force to round up undocumented migrants in the united states. it takes technology,
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>> two very different approaches to illegal immigration in europe and in the united states. eu leaders are considering almost $2 billion for incentives in african countries to help them deal with the economic and security issues which are driving a flood of migrants to leave the world's poorest continent, seeking a better life in europe.
>> in u.s., the front-runner for the presidential nomination, donald trump, has been surging in the polls, partly because of his hard line on illegal immigration. on the campaign trail on wednesday, he is talking up his plan to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants and build a wall along long the southern border with mexico. >> you know, my biggest hand last night and the biggest hand of the evening was when i said at the border, at the border, we're going to create a border and build a wall. we're going to build a wall. and the place went crazy. >> not all republican presidential candidates agree with mr. trump. during tuesday's debate, john kasich said it was not an adult argument. while jeb bush said it would tear families apart. we should note both candidates are polling in the single digits. >> but donald trump's plan goes even further. he says he would create what he calls a deportation force to humanely round up undocumented immigrants and send them back to
where they came from. >> trump said it worked in the u.s. in the past and it will work again. here's tom foreman. rear spiking in the poll number, tough talk about illegal immigration put donald trump on the election map. >> i that ear bringing drug, they're bringing crime, they're rapists. >> reporter: and now he's praising a program whose official name is what's currently considered an offensive clur, operation wetback. >> in 1954, this massive round-up of undocumented workers came after years of growing tension between u.s. and mexico, about competition for worker, the effect on wage, and border security. >> my fellow citizens -- >> and while the eisenhower administration considered the program a success due to a sharp spike in apprehensions of mexicans, many modern historians, like douglas brinkley do not.
>> it was inhumane, it was abusive to mexicans that had come into the united states, at our request to work, during world war ii. >> for starter, immigration enforcement claimed over a million deportations, while later analysis suggested maybe only a quarter million. even as farm jobs in the southwest continued drawing tens of thousands of new immigrants. humanitarian complaints were raised as some deportees were sent back to mexico aboard what a congressional investigation described as a slave ship. >> many of the mexicans that were rounded up had their heads shaved. many were beaten and abused. there's incidents in 1955 of mexicans that died in the desert because they were pushed out of the united states. >> reporter: indeed that summer, 88 people died of heat stroke in a single episode. no wonder the blowback to trump's ideas is strong. >> for the 11 million people, come on, folks, we all know you
can't pick them up and ship them back across the border. it's a silly argumentment. it's not an adult argument. >> reporter: despite claims at the time that ike's deportation program was working, in less than a year out of funding and shutting down. although the debate about it rages on more than half a century later. tom foreman, cnn, washington. >> now, thursday is the sixth time european union leaders will meet to discuss solutions to try to deal with the migrant crisis. >> the president and prime ministers of 28 countries have tried to tackle this issue, but previous meetings have produced few concrete results. the german chancellor angela merkel wants a united response. >> translator: the meeting is about agreeing to an action plan. this action plan will fight illegal immigration and it will do more for legal possibilities to work in europe. >> well, cnn's senior
international correspondent has the latest on the crisis from greece. you're there in greece, which is one of the frontlines in this story of mass migration. give our viewers some perspective on are the situation where you are. >> well, just take a look at this scene right here. and this is a fraction of the remnants, the life vests that you will find all across the island of lesbos, at least the part of it that is facing turkey. beach upon beach is just littered with all sorts of things that the various different refugees and migrants have left behind, continuing to make the treacherous journey right across these waters. in fact, in the first ten months of 2015, 540,000 people crossed these waters, and that is 13 times the number that tried to make this crossing back in 2014. and with those increasing numbers are the increasing deaths and the increasing necessity for people who are act
schully helping out. and over here, we do have a volunteer greek lifeguard unit. these are professionals that have all put their jobs aside for the time being, all reliant on do nations, on the diekindne of others to bring their speedboat that they're going out in. to bring their jet skis they are going out in. they are constantly on the lookout here. they have a number of stations all along this coastline to try to help people coming through. as we were driving here, we came across a very heart breaking and yet sadly familiar scene. a family on the side of the road. the woman was pregnant. she was diabetic, she needed help. and that's why these teams are so critical. not only are they helping the refugees and migrant whence they reach these shore, they are also going out into the water and helping them when they are in distress, trying to save as many loofs as they possibly can. but there's one thing that's so glaringly obvious standing here and seeing all of this, and that
is that we cannot keep having these various different key leaders talking about a plan. something has to be implemented. and as everyone knows only too well, it has to be multifacetted. it's not enough to try to throw money at the problem. it's not enough to build up fences or try to control the flow that's coming mostly from turkey and leeb yeah and other places like that towards europe. you have to deal with the root causes of it. the desperation that's driving these various different migrants and refugees from their homeland to make these treacherous journeys. and this, when they reach these various different greek islands, it's really just the beginning for them. they might have crossed arguably the most dangerous part. but the hardest part of the journey still lies ahead. >> heart breaking scenes playing out over and over again. arwa damon reporting in greece 8:26 a.m. thursday morning. we appreciate it. thank you for the reporting. >> we'll take a short break
here. when we come back, a 9-year-old boy shot and killed execution style has become another heart breaking victim in chicago's gun violence especiallolence epidem. >> these are children. we have to become angry as a country den decide we're going to have the colonel to answer the root causes of this cancer and not just the wound on the skin. it begins from the second we're born. because, healthier doesn't happen all by itself. it needs to be earned every day. using wellness to keep away illness. and believing a single life can be made better by millions of others. as a health services and innovation company optum powers modern healthcare by connecting every part of it. so while the world keeps searching for healthier we're here to make healthier happen. this holiday season, gi see you brought a friend?
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the kurds have started an offensive to retake sinjar from isis. 1675 fighters are involved with close air support from the u.s. coalition. isis captured sinjar in august of last year and took thousands of women and girls as sex slaves. >> russia is denying claim a draft plan aimed at ending the conflict in syria. rueters said the plan outlined the process that would end in a presidential election in 18 months and does not ban president bashar al assad from running. >> european union leaders will wrap up their mie grant summit thursday with some ideas to ease the growing crisis. they're offering african leaders nearly $2 billion to crack down on human smuggling and suspend the flow of people leaving the continent. gun violence in chicago has reached an epic scale, but the latest victim has shocked even the most jaded residents of the city south side.
>> 9-year-old tyshaun lee has been laid to rest. >> this is how it ends for too many of chicago's black children. a sickening crime, a 9-year-old victim yet again sadness and anger on chicago's south side. >> our children have a right to walk ore streets. our children have the right to expect to be safe in the city of chicago. our children deserve that! >> father michael pfleger led the funeral service. >> tyshawn was not in the wrong place. the executioner, the murderer, the assassin was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
tyshawn was doing what every child has a right to do, be a child. >> father pfleger has helped raise a reward for information about who killed tyshawn lee, but as so ong often happens, few people want to talk to the police. >> this is fear. these are noncombatants now being assassinated. >> police say tyshawn was lured into this alley and shot multiple times in the face and back. while authorities haven't made any arrest, they believe the fourth grader was intentionally target the because his fathers have ties with a gang in conflict with another gang. there have been 400 murders in chicago and even more horrific late than last year, when they have the most homicide of any city in america. new filmmaker spike lee hopes to focus attention on the killings. he's directed a new filmed called "chiraq." it's a term coined by local w p
rappers is a melding of chicago and iraq. many who live on chicago's south side say it feels like a war zone. >> homicide in chicago, illinois have surpassed the death toll of american special forces in iraq. >> father michael pfleger has been working wf spike lee and john kusac plays a of 6 pastor like him. today we sat down in the same church where tyshawn lee was form popped. >> you feel like a line has been crossed although i wonder how many times have you said that, a line has been crossed. >> children have been shot and killed before, there's no question about it, here and across america. but when you target a child and shoot and kill him is a different thing. on the street, there was a code. you didn't touch children,
mothers and grandmothers. for this to happen not only crossed the line, it takes away all the boundaries and, you know, is this going to become a new normal. >> do yo you see it becoming worse? >> yeah, i do. >> what i see now is so dangerous to me. the social media being what it is. there doesn't have to be truth or evidence as to why you're after somebody. if somebody says something on facebook and all of a sudden i'm going to respond to it. >> anderson, i didn't know about that until i got here. i met two of his peacekeepers and they told me that social media is a major element of violence where people post on instagram twitter or facebook, and people respond to it, not by typing out something on their phones, but bang, bang, bang. >> what got you, spike, wanting
to come here. >> well, number one, i care about human beings. and what's happening to chicago is happening in brooklyn where i'm at, boogie down bronx, killadephia, as you know, new orleans, houston, south central. but my wife tanya really gave me -- put it, made it crystal clear. chicago is the canary a in the coal mine. new york city has three times the population of chicago, yet chicago has more homicide than new york. so this is the spot. this is the ground zero, and i've always been a believer -- and i will go to my grave believing this, anderson, that
art can effect change. good and bad. what do you think it is about here that makes it so bad? >> all i can say is that there's a growing hopelessness that i've seen over the last number of years that is a level that i've never even before. how do you keep handling it with the national landmarks are not new businesses or flank lloyd right businesses but teddy bears and balloons. >> memorials, makeshift memor l memorials? >> yeah. and when part of high school graduations, are remembering students that would have been in that class that got killed, when does that become a norm that that's part of our graduation ceremony with the chair draped. these are children. we've got to become angry and
decide we're going to answer the route causes and not just twoun on the skin. >> i'm interested in the movie. >> the question of gun violence in this country does not seem to be one where there's an easy answer. >> the doping scandal that rocked russia's world. what vladimir is putin is saying next. >> plus, a dangerous toxin is hurting california's crabbing season. how it's affecting the industry and seafood lovers just ahead.
ed call director are said to be involved. the kremlin called the allegations, quote, groundless. but mr. putin pledged cooperation. >> we must carry out our own internal investigation and to ensure the most open, i want to stress this, the most open professional cooperation with international anti-doping structures. here in russia, we must do all we can to get rid of this problem. 1400 samples are accused of being thrown. >> that .ed before anti-doping experts were scheduled to visit. >> reporter: the work is now
suspended, director telling cnn he resigned to protect the lab's reputation. but no one wants to talk about the explosive allegations. >> you don't want to talk to us? >> right, the employees at this lab are clearly being very tight lipped, but the record from the world anti-doping agency goes into great detail describing the alleged activities inside that building. it's said this is meant to be a place that roots out cheats among russian athlete, but, in fact, it worked hand in hand with coaches and with russia officials to cover up positive doping tests with the explicit purpose, the report says, of getting russian athletes to win at major sports competitions.
>> athletes like this former runner. she's admitted paying a bribe to cover up her own positive test and said doping is a routine part of russian athletics. >> the coaches had it hammered into them, and the coaches hammered into the athletes, therefore the athletes do not think when they're taking banned drugs that they're doing something illegal. >> but now, russia is paying the price. the next generation of athletings is being put through the paces. they see themselves as a olympic super power and the prospet of being excluded from the rio olympics. >> this is a disgrace for russia.
they should not act like that because they have always been the past. how can they possibly complete in the olympics now. >> i think all of this is a provocation, but there's no proof. they just say there's an exathlete who was caught doping, saying that everyone was doping. it seems to me this is not true. >> reporter: simple denial may not be enough. still to come, using surf therapy to help soldiers recover from their wounds. inside a unique rehab program next. ok, we're here. here's dad. mom. the twins.
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out of rehab facilities and on to a surfboard. stephanie elam hit the beach to check it out. >> these bodies powering into the pacific ocean have stories to tell. they belong to american and british soldier, some retired, some still active duty. all men and women injured while serving their country. >> we have our rash guards. it's got the help for heroes on there, operation surf. >> this is operation surf. a camp designed to aid these bounded heroes' mental rehabilitation by focus on the physical. >> i've always wanted to try surfing. >> jake van hovel joined the army in 2005. he was injured in afghanistan. >> my truck hit an ied, broke my ankle, my heel, my back, my arm, and some other things. >> five years later, jake elected to have his leg amputate bed low the knee, a choice he said greatly improved his life. >> i haven't ridden a wave all
the way in. that needs to happen. >> and allowed for this adventure. >> cameron crosby was on patrol in korea when he was stabbed by a fellow soldier. he was parable liezed and had a collapsed lung. more than a year since his injury, he's better, but still has challenges. >> my right side can still not feel temperature and my left side has mobility issues. it's a privilege to be out here. >> reporter: but not all of these soldiers' wounds are visible. >> iraq a couple of time, afghanistan. >>. >> reporter: stacy was a medic in the british army for more than 14 years. >> why were you a medic? >> ptsd, i suffered ten years on and off. then suffered from depression and anxiety. >> so what do you hope to gain in your week here at operation surf? >> just some inner peace, i think. just to stop being so sad.
>> 99% of the time, they're standing up by the end of the day. >> sure enough, it's not long before stacy is up on her board. >> for 42 years, van karaza has been catching waves. he started this in 2009. >> it wasn't a grand idea. it was just being of service to men and women in transition. >> did you think you would be able to do today. >> two in about the past ten minutes. >> the closing ceremony is bittersweet. >> i want to give this award to stacy. >> a time to celebrate goals that were met and surpassed, friendships forged and lessons learned in the water. >> surfing is amazing. it's great rehab. a lot of my anxiety has gone down and i feel confident. ive. >> stephanie elam, cnn on california's central coast.
of. >> great scenes there. well, crabbing season should be starting soon here in california, but sport fishermen are being told to put away their traps for now. >> just for now. that's because some crabs may be unsafe to eat because of toxic algae. cnn's dan simon has more. >> tom and his family have been in the restaurant business for more than 80 years. >> have fresh crabs for you. >> fresh crab, the sibt item in the city's famed fisherman's wharf, but this year is different. >> can you recall a situation where you have not been able to get california crab? >> not for this reason. there's been strikes and bad weather and problems with fishermen. never because of an algae. this is something new to us. >> algae has forced wildlife officials to suspend the start of crab season. algae gets caught in the food
web, eventually making its way to the crabs. if the infected crabs are eaten by humans, they could pose serious health problems. damoic acid can be fatal. >> and it targets a specific part of the brain that can cause brain damage, seizures, coma, in marine mammals, but also in humans. >> it's all part of an algae bloom caused by el nino. this is the largest and most persistent one they' seen in 15 years. it's already had a huge impact on sea lions. 200 mall malls treated outside of the city. 80% of them have died. >> we're seeing a number of them. >> what's the economic impact.
>> last year, november 15, i'm making a living. this year november 15, i'm not making a living. so i guess i have 100% less income than i did last year. >> what do you make of this postponement. >> a disaster. >> brett is headed back to his native oregon. no crab means no paycheck. >> it's like gambling. you don't know what you're going to get if you don't get anything at all. these guys are from washington. scientists anticipate the toxic levels will decline. the question, though, is when. crab samples are pe petedly being collected. but until the fishing begins, it will be a difficult time for all who depend on these california crustaceans. >> dan simon, cnn, san
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tonight, after the fourth republican presidential debate, outsiders are still in the lead, still spars. >> i built an unbelievable company worth billions and billions of dollars. i don't have to have listen to this guy, believe me. >> we speak with trump's biographer and a winning british campaign strategist. also ahead, islam phobia on the campaign trail. will a new study koran a decade in the making change the conversation?