tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN December 24, 2015 6:00am-8:01am PST
happening now in the newsroom -- deadly storms rip across the south and midwest. >> it cut trees in half. and i don't know why i'm still standing here talking to you. >> tornadoes, giant hail, whipping winds. even this tractor-trailer can't stay upright. plus -- terror fears up. now the tsa is beefing up airport security. why not everyone can opt out of those body scans? also, clinton dominating in a new cnn poll. that's not getting bernie down. >> we're feeling good. your poll seems to indicate we have national momentum.
>> what he has to say about the front-runners on both sides of the aisle. let's talk live in the cnn newsroom. good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you for joining me. deadly storms rip through the south and millions are still at risk this christmas eve. these are live pictures over benton county, mississippi. tornadoes killed seven people in mississippi overnight. homes torn off foundations, a twister hitting a busy highway, flipping cars across. chad myers is in with more. good morning, carol. officially 24 reports of tornadoes but we don't know if all the reports are from one, two or ten tornadoes. 24 reports. but the wind, look at that, 170 reports of wind damage. one tornado may have been on the ground for 140 miles making ten of those reports. that's not unusual, we do get tornadoes in december. usually 24.
kind of ironic there. the weather service will be out there to see how many really occurred. this christmas eve morning hundreds of people are waking up to utter devastation. >> holy mackerel! >> the destruction caused by a deadly tornado outbreak cutting across the south and the midwest. the tornado claimed multiple lives including a 7-year-old boy as residents tried to hide in their cars and homes. >> by the time i got out of my car, i had a tree that was in my windshield. >> in northern mississippi this tornado tore through a busy highway. >> oh! >> watch as the massive twister tosses this tractor-trailer as it barrels through traffic. watch from this angle from what appears to be the same semi. this driver just feet away. the winds in southwestern tennessee roared up to 75 miles per hour as officials declared a state of emergency. >> the houses just exploded. and they were buried in the
rubble. >> two people were killed east of memphis. their bodies found under debris. >> we were in the house, we heard the wind picking up, we had 45 seconds and it just hit. we walked out of the storm shelter and everything was gone. >> and in arkansas, an 18-year-old woman died when a tree fell through her house toppled by the high winds and heavy rain. >> christmas is all about love. and we're going to love through this. >> some residents in mississippi clinging on to what they say matters most after losing nearly everything this holiday season. >> it wasn't about the house, it was about my family and those most important things to me. >> carol, we talked about it this morning, but this is not over. we have a tornado watch until 10:00 this morning. there's still severe weather possibly all the way from new york city down to philadelphia. but we just don't have the power of the storms today. that's the good news. the powerful was yesterday. this is nuisance weather, thunder, lightning, hail and maybe some flooding.
i don't think we'll see any tornadoes at all. there could be some small ones, but not what we saw yesterday. some of those tornadoes may be rated at ef-3 or ef-4. i know a lot of chasers out there that have seen many, many tornadoes. they tell me the trees were completely gone. sheered off. houses were completely gone. maybe only one or two walls left. that tells me very strong tornadoes out there yesterday. still a couple possible, but the bigger story today, hail, rain and very slow travel and possible flooding. a lot of people on the roads trying to get to atlanta. atlanta's had a difficult morning with thunder and lightning. there's more to come. >> all right. we'll stay tuned to you, chad myers. thank you so much. with me now on the phone is kelvin buck, the mayor of holly springs, mississippi. one of the hardest hit areas. mr. mayor, welcome. >> thank you. how are you? >> i'm good. more importantly, how are you and how are your constituents? what do things look like this morning? >> well, this morning we are
able to get our first real look at the total amount of damage and devastation that has hit around our area. we have had three major areas hit around, in and around our up to. quite frankly, i have never seen this kind of devastation. you know, you see tornadoes on the television all the time and having it hit this close to home, and especially at this time of the year, i think we are very lucky, if you can say so, we have only had one fatality. and we certainly send our prayers out to the family of that victim. but this could have been a lot worse. and we just now pray that everybody can recover. >> so what does your christmas eve look like, sir? >> i'm sorry, say that again. i'm sorry. >> what are you going to do this christmas eve? i know you'll be driving through to look at the devastation. >> well, we are already out at a couple scenes right now trying to do some assessment. we are riding around with some
of our emergency personnel. we're just trying to make sure, first of all, that we didn't miss anyone last night because it was so dark. and some of the areas are pretty rural areas. so right at this moment we are on site of the home, and i know many of these families, and it is just devastating to see what has happened to them and what they are going through. so we are going to try to make sure they get all the help we can provide for them so that they can try to make it through. >> mayor kelvin buck, thank you for joining me this morning. severe weather isn't the only thing placing holiday travelers, plaguing holiday travelers. avoiding the body scanner just got harder. you can still opt out asking for a physical patdown, but the department of homeland security may require you to pass through that body scanner anyway. while passengers may generally decline body scanning screening in favor of physical training,
tsa may direct mandatory body scanning screening for some passengers as warranted by security considerations. that's from the tsa. sarah sidner is live at laguardia airport to tell us more about that. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, carol. yeah, i mean, basically what this means is you really can't opt out of the body scanner. but what is happening, which is a little confusing, this is why critics are kind of upset with this new rule happening just as the holidays come to the floor, basically there will be some people who can opt out, that's and we'll do the patdown.over - then there will be other people who are told, no, sorry, you have to go through the scanner or you're not getting on your flight. and so how they decide that, they have not quite said who gets chosen and who doesn't. they have not said because it isn't all passengers. they are not saying no to everyone, but there will be some who they decide, i don't know if it's randomly or look at where you are going and your ticket and history of flying, but they will say, sorry, you must go
through the scanner. and you remember the controversy over the years, people worried about too much radiation and not wanting to go through the scanners, but there have been studies saying it's a miniscule amount of radiation that goes into your body and won't cause harm. if you say, no, want a patdown and they won't give it to you, you may still ask for it and may get exactly what you want. >> sara sidner reporting from laguardia airport in new york. operation resolve is underway, the mission to defeat isis in iraq and syria. american special forces are involved on the ground now. this morning we're getting an inside look at the life and death battle to retake ramadi from isis control. you're looking at pictures from inside that city. iraqi forces are choking off food and supplies to the terrorists. this is how american colonel steve warren from iraq describes
the operation. >> the iraqi security forces over the last month or so have slowly encircled the city of ramadi to isolate it from any possibility of being supported by isil fighters that are outside of the city. so they have isolated the city on all points of the compass. they have cut off all of the supply routes in and out of the city. so that this enemy is not able to reinforce himself with equipment, weapons or manpower. and now they are beginning to squeeze that noose around the city slowly but surely. just two days ago they were able to successfully cross the euphrates river. >> and colonel, we know this is incredibly harrowing work for
those soldiers becaus isis has reportedly planted thousands of ieds, explosive devices, throughout the city. so how are they managing that? >> the iraqis were in a fierce fight yesterday, i'll tell you, we watched a lot of it from the outcenter. this enemy set up defense belts. so they use ieds, the same ieds we face here and in iraq years ago. but now they rig entire houses to be -- to explode if you come near them. so the iraqis have to deliberately probe this defensive area and find a weak spot. >> colonel warren, thanks for that. for more, i'm joined by barbara starr, and cnn counter terrorist bill mud. barbara, you heard what the colonel said. actually, you did not hear this part of the interview but i did. he said americans have trained iraqi soldiers for a year and
morale is up because they liberated tikrit and other areas. ash carter told you that iraqi forces cut iran. so what should we believe? >> well, of course, that interview with cnn was back in may when ramadi originally fell because iraqi forces did not stay and fight. we have had many months since then and that's when this training has taken place. the u.s. has spent a lot of time and money training the iraqis how to get through some of those barriers that colonel warren was talking about. how to dismantle fields of ieds and better training to improve the morale and professionalism. for now, it appears to be working. they are making progress in ramadi. but as we have all said for many days now, it's not just taking ramadi, it's once you take it, can you hold it? and can you move to the next step, the next town, the next village. >> something i found fascinating, you heard the colonel say that american
special ops forces watched the battle in ramadi from the op center, so you can watch it in live time? >> yes. you can use those drones to get realtime video feed, not only to watch iraqi forces move, but when u.s. special forces engage in raids, those drones give you a realtime feed back to show what is happening during the raid. by the way, we have also seen some reports about isis acquiring drones, which are readily available over the counter. so this is a revolutionary way to watch war unfold as it happens, carol. >> that is fascinating. barbara, isis is using civilians as human shields and we know the pentagon is thinking of changing our rules of engagement. what does that exactly mean? >> well, this is what is being
described as a quiet conversation in the administration. do they want to loosen up the rules before they launch an air strike? every official i have talked to has told me they are not talking about, you know, increasing the possibility of civilian casualties. the u.s. military has no interest, no desire to loosen that part of the equation. what they are looking at is perhaps do they have to have the very strict coordination, do they have to have multiple sources of confirmed intelligence, that sort of thing before they lawn unch a strike? but for now they are consistent to the very strict rules about civilian casualties and limiting them absolutely to the best of their ability. >> phillip, we asked colonel warren about civilian casualties and the rules of engagement. and he says that commanders within iraq talk about that all the time. what might that conversation sound like? >> this is a difficult
conversation because of the simple fact that when you see the -- the political atmosphere in the united states and people using phrases like carpet bombing, you get the sense that there are isolated formations in isis that you can go and attack from the air. obviously classic insurgency means in this case, isis, is leaving in towns and blocks as the citizens. when talking about expanding the rules of engagement, i don't see how you do that without raising the risk of women and children dying. over the past few days n the fight for ramadi, some of the citizens won't heed warnings to leave their homes. these are people who have been around for generations. so i think as was mentioned a moment ago by barbara, this is a very cautious conversation because you can't weed out insurgents from air power alone. they are just embedded within the population. >> all right. i have to leave it there. phillip mudd, barbara starr, thank you to both of you. bernie sanders edging higher
in the latest poll but still behind hillary clinton, especially on the subject of isis. thousands of people came out today to run the race for retirement. so we asked them... are you completely prepared for retirement? okay, mostly prepared? could you save 1% more of your income? it doesn't sound like much, but saving an additional 1% now, could make a big difference over time. i'm going to be even better about saving. you can do it, it helps in the long run. prudential bring your challenges
hillary clinton continues to dominate the race for the nomination. but there's a small margin ahead of bernie sanders. she's at 77% favorability with sanders at 74%. this goes back to what we have known about mrs. clinton for a long time among democratic respondents. she has higher unfavorables than bernie sanders by about seven points according to our poll. now, in the head-to-head match-ups against the republicans, this is one of the most interesting things we're seeing. hillary clinton running almost neck and neck with all three of the top republicans. she squeaks past donald trump but runs two or three ticks behind ted cruz and marco rubio. very important to say all three of those match-ups are within the margin of error. so it sounds all round like a very competitive race in the
minds of people who are going to vote, carol. >> interesting. joe johns reporting from washington, thank you. amid heightened concerns of terror across the country. democratic candidates are strong about who they think can control the fight. clinton comes in at 72% and sanders comes in at 15%. this morning sanders reacts to the findings. >> from the poll we can gleam that the big issue that seems to be holding you back with those potential voters is foreign policy. that's where hillary clinton has her biggest advantage. here's a perception that you do not have the stomach or the head to beat isis. what is your response, sir? >> well, let me assure all of the people in our country that i have the stomach, i have the head, i think we have the approach, not only to beat isis, but to crush isis and to destroy isis. and what my view is is that we have got to learn a lesson from
iraq. and that lesson is, it's not good enough just to be tough. we have got to be smart. and what that means is, we cannot do it alone. we cannot and should not be involved in perpetual warfare in the middle east. what we need to do is bring together a grand coalition led as king abdullah of jordan reminds us by muslim troops on the ground. what we should do along with the u.k., france and russia and other major powers is give the muslim nations on the ground the support they need from the air, we should be training troops, we should be doing special forces when necessary. but ultimately this war will be won and isis will be destroyed with our support and other great nation support taking on isis on the ground with muslim troops. >> joining me now to discuss the new cnn polls and what bernie
sanders just said is tom bevin, executive editor of realclearpolitics.com and ron brownstein, senior political analyst and editorial power for the national editorial. did i get that right, john? >> close enough. >> i'm glad. it's christmas eve, thank you for giving me the gift of, it's okay, carol. welcome and thank you for being here. sanders is obviously slipping a bit in the polls, but he's raising a lot of money. donald trump is soaring in the polls and he's raising no money. i lump the two men together because both are popular. so listen to what stephen colbert will discuss on "face the nation." >> there's a populism in trump and the party leaders want him to go away, but the people decide he's not going to. >> so you like that. >> i'm not disagreeing with
anything he's saying and think his proposals are a little -- well, more than a little shocking. but there is something really hopeful about the fact that, well, 36% of the likely voters want him, so the people in the machine don't get to say otherwise. that's the one saving grace i think of his candidacy. >> interesting, right? so here's the definition of a populist. a member of a political party claiming to represent the common people. donald trump says tax breaks for everyone. sanders says free college tuition. so, ron, why is trump resonating and sanders not as much? >> well, first of all, the biggest single factor is the structural differences in the race. if you look at your polls, donald trump is at 39% among republicans, which is the high end of national polling. bernie sanders is at 39% among democrats. but donald trump is facing a fractured number of opponents with 13 candidates and bernie sanders is chasing one big fish, hillary clinton, consolidating
the democratic party. the other point is they are fundamentally different. bernie sanders is offering the economic populist, encouraging basically people in the middle to view global corporations and the people at the top as the voices threatening them. donald trump is offering something quite different. a cultural, even racial populism in which an implicitly silent white majority is being impacted by fundamental change. it is also about how you want the voters to align and define their choice. >> it's interesting, tom, because in some polls when you pit bernie sanders against donald trump. bernie sanders will beat donald trump. >> yeah. that is one of the interesting things that came out showing him beating donald trump by double digit. meanwhile, the cnn poll you just referenced, hillary clinton is squeaking by. i think it goes to one of -- two
things, the unfavorable ratings among unregistered voters for hillary clinton, that goes under water. she has issues among voters on trust. that's one issue that i think has to be somewhat concerning to democrats. >> interesting. so, ron, you mentioned that donald trump is at 30-some percent. but rand paul is threatening not to participate in the next republican debate because he doesn't want to be on the small stage. ben carson's campaign is in disarray. so the whittling of the republican field might come sooner rather than later. >> the question is how soon. and really where it happens. i mean, look, i think we're expecting the wrong thing of donald trump. i think it is pretty clear his base of support is pretty solid, particularly among the blue-collar republicans. that's not going away. the question is whether he can grow enough to win states as the
field win knonknwinnows and get smaller number. he can get in the 40s when he needs to do so. what you have is the potential break of the three-way race developing. the republicans have not had this going back to 1996. trump with the blue collar popularism. ted cruz doing well with the evangelical christians. and the other is does the somewhat conservative wing to produce mitt romney, now you have john kasich, chris christie, jeb bush, all of them are strong in new hampshire. whoever emerges from it could fracture cruz and trump. >> it's just such a strange political season. so tom, i'm going to ask you for
your prediction for 2016. oh, come on, play along with me, tom. who do you think will drop out? who will the three candidates -- who will the top three candidates on the republican side be in 2016? >> i do think ron is right. it's essentially boiling down to sort of a three-person race between donald trump, marco rubio and ted cruz, with chris christie as sort of a dark horse. he seems to have gotten his mojo back a little bit rising in the polls in new hampshire. if he can win new hampshire or have a strong second place or something, he could make some noise overall. but it's going to be really hard for some of these other candidate who are languishing in the polls to surge here in the end, because of the way that the race has gone with donald trump dominating the media coverage, the way that he has, and even candidates like jeb bush who spent $35 million hasn't seen -- he's gone down in the polls. so it's going to be very tough.
it's a three-person race. that's kind of the easy prediction. beyond that, it's almost impossible to predict how this race is going to turn out, both in the primary but also in the general election. >> tom bevan, ron brownstein, thank you to both of you. still to come in "the newsroom," the mall of america was bracing for black lives matter protests, but it was the rally at the airport that caused big problems. we'll talk about that next. do you know the secret to a happy home in these modern times?
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china are being urged to takes extra vigilance. embassy officials in beijing said they have obtained information warning of a threat. >> several foreign embassies issued alerts to their citizens urging them to be on guard when traveling in a neighborhood here in the city very popular with westerners. the american, british, french and australian embassies all sent out notifications on thursday online and via e-mail to their citizens urging them to be aware of specific threats to westerners in the neighborhood. none of the embassies would elaborate further on the exact nature of those threats. now this is a very popular neighborhood here, it's a shopping district and entertainment district. and it is usually very safe.
now the chinese government also issued what is called a yellow alert. that would be the second lowest level on the chinese government's security alert system. now, specific alerts we're referring to are large and medium-sized shopping malls in the city. the government said there would be added security patrols ahead of the christmas shopping days here in beijing. now, we did see armed guards outside of the mall, that would be the mall right in the neighborhood referred to by those foreign embassies in their notifications. and we have also seen an added security presence outside the diplomatic come pounds in the city. our bureau is in a diplomatic compound and we saw the added security measures firsthand. now all of this is relatively unusual for beijing, although it does see it fair share of security incidents. it was back in 2013 that a car ran a security barricade in
tianenman square. that was perpetrated bicep atis atisatisby centennials. what is clear is there is a heightened sense of awareness here in the city. matt rivers, cnn, beijing. chicago police have just released dispatch sound from the night laquan mcdonald was shot to death by a police officer. in it you will hear the dispatch officer call for someone with a taser to respond. then you will hear the moment the dispatch officer learns that shots were fired. >> we have to hold air, so i can help with -- anybody close? >> we're about two blocks away.
custody, guys. >> shots fired by police. shots fired by police. >> get an ambulance over here. >> as you know, mcdonald died. his death sparking outrage citywide. in just hours protesters plan to rally on chicago's magnificent mile. many are calling for mayor rahm e manu emanuel to step down. they are mad about how mayor emanuel handled this case. and police in riot gear lined the halls of the mall of america as protesters entered ultimately dispersing the crowd and pushing the protesters outside the mall. five people were taken into custody. but the protest at the mall turned out to be a decoy action. meant to distract police from paying full attention to the minneapolis airport and the light rail station. the tactic worked.
protesters forced tsa agents to shut down two security checkpoints at the minneapolis airport. eight more arrested here, some flights were delayed by hours. black lives matter organizer asha long was at the airport protest last night. welcome. >> thank you. it's great to be here. >> thank you for being with me. asha, pastor danny gibbons from your movement told "the minneapolis star," quote, we raise the bar. we let the nation and the world know that black lives matter. still, the nation is on a heightened terror alert. people are anxious. your protests made them more anxious. so how does that help your cause? >> well, our action yesterday was a means toward a number of things, including justice for jamar clark, which we have been working on for over six weeks. it's important that we disrupt business as usual to highlight the fact that black lives are --
in a state of emergency and that we are being murdered and prosecuted ats astronomical waves. >> the governor pleaded for you not to disrupt flights and how do people missing their flights home be sympathetic to your cause? >> i think it's important for people to be upset about missing their flight, that many black lives are disrupted every day. every day a black community is dealing with overpolicing, a constant police harassment. black students are being suspended ats astronomical rate. it's important we focus on what is important, focus on getting
justice and mixing disparities in the black community. >> but what would you say to people is that americans remain safe as a sensitive time in our nation, when people are flying home for christmas, right? and the nation is on a heightened terror alert, yet protesters force tsa agents to take their eye off the ball to handle protesters. >> safety for black lives is an illusion. especially at the airport. the airport is actually under investigation for the practices that they are doing. as you know and have reported, islamophobia is rampant in the airport. so many people are taken off their flights and harassed and it's important -- >> there's no evidence that a -- i'm sure it goes on, but there's no evidence that many, many people are taken off their flights and harassed. >> i think there is. you can see it when -- >> give me stats. >> you can see when a person of color -- >> give me stats.
>> i don't have statistics for you. what i do have is experience as a black person. i see my muslim counterparts being harassed on the daily, whether at the airport or not. black lives, in general, are harassed every day. i do not have statistics but i do have experience which is just as valid. >> i understand that but i just want to ask you one more time, at a time when our nation is on heightened alert, is it really the best idea to disrupt things at the nation's airports? >> yes, i do think it's a good idea. people that are going to the airport are trying to get home for christmas, especially during this time. and it's important to note that jamar clark won't have a christmas. there will be a place setting that will not be used for jamar clark. so we can't just go on living our lives when black lives are in a state of emergency or black lives are actually being harassed with terrorism. we can call terrorism on the
police department. we can call terrorism -- we have to call out the terroristic tactics of the police at the airport. >> all right. i have to leave it there. asha long, thank you for being with me. still to come in "the newsroom," the new film "concussion" is about to open. how will football players react to seeing the health consequences of the sport? here's a little healthy advice. eat well, live well, and take of what makes you, you. right down to your skin with aveeno® aveeno® daily moisturizing lotion with the goodness of active naturals® oat and 5 vital nutrients for healthier looking skin in just one day. healthy skin equals beautiful skin. and for shower softness, add the body wash, too! aveeno® naturally beautiful results® every auto insurance policy has a number.
football with repetitive brain trauma. >> repetitive head trauma. >> the nfl does not want to talk to you. you turned on the lights and gave their biggest boogeyman a name with a corporation that owns a day of the week. >> it's important film about a very important issue. pittsburgh wide receiver antonio brown took a group of high school players to see the movie so they would be aware of the risks. >> as high school kids, they have to be aware of their future. and raise some awareness. >> i won't hit my head as much after watching that movie. because i definitely wouldn't want to have any of those crazy injuries that i had seen in the movie. >> joining me is jean marie laskus who wrote the book.
jean, antonio brown took high school students to see the movie, how does that make you feel? >> well, i think that's great. we're really starting to have this conversation seriously about what is going on for football players' brains. >> andy, i don't know, i was just so impressed by that because some football players sort of ignore the warnings out there because they want to play ball. >> you know, they do care. actually, i spoke with many players about this during last year's super bowl, and i asked them, would they let their own kids play football? the overwhelming answer i got from all the football players was, yes, they would let their kids play football. because you learn a lot of life lessons in football. and they believe the rewards outweigh the risk. and when i was talking to vincent wilford, he gave me a long answer when i asked him about concussions. he said there's so much information out there, the players playing out there know what they are signing up for and well aware of the risks and choose to play anyways.
i have a byte to listen to. >> when we sign up for the sport, we understand what we're signing up for. so -- should there ever be a point where a ballplayer put everything and point all the fingers at the concussions, because i think it's bull crap. i think when you sign up, this is a violent sport. you have to understand what you really want. and if concussions is something you really don't want to be part of, don't put your kids in any sport. >> so that's obviously one side of the argument. but there are other players that feel completely different, like chris borland, a linebacker for the 49ers who completely walked away from the game of football at the height of his career. he had millions of dollars at stake he could have made but walked away because of the fear of concussions. obviously, there are players with that belief. but the overwhelming view i get from nfl players when i speak to them is they know the risk and choose to play anyway.
>> so jeanne, in your mind, is the nfl addressing this in a way to make players completely understand what they are getting themselves into? >> absolutely not. and that's really the point of this book and of this movie. the nfl has done everything they can to suppress really what's happening. so my question is, do these players really know what's happening? because it is not just a big concussion that you see so broadly, so obviously that obviously somebody is getting he hurt. it's the subconcussive hits that cause this hideous disease to cause dementia. and we see people like dave dorson killing themselves. this is a serious health issue, a really serious one. and we as fans are now complicit watching it. i am a football player, i want
to save this game. i'm a steelers fan. but we have to know the truth, the players need to know the truth and the nfl needs to get out of the picture with the truth business because they are not giving it to us. it's as bad as the tobacco industry in the '90s. it is that bad, it really is. >> there was some study that the nfl was supposed to fund on the pervasiveness of this problem, andy. is the nfl still going to do that? >> well, no. and this story was a little confusing, carol. i'll give you a little background information. in 2012 the nfl gave the national institutes of health $30 million with no strings attached to fund whatever you want. espn's "outside the lines" is reporting the nih was going to use $16 million of that money to fund a study on cte to detect it while people are still alive because right now, of course, we can only detect cte once somebody has passed away. espn is reporting the nfl polled that funding or did not want the money to be used for that stupd
d study because they didn't like the people in charge of the study. the nfl came out to say that was untrue. the espn story was inaccurate. the nfl did not pull any funding. the nih backed up the nfl saying that the nfl is still funding many other projects. so this is basically, we have two sides of the story. espn reports one thing, the two parties involved are saying something completely different. but obviously the nih with $30 million coming from the nfl is not going to go out to bash them to say they decided not to fund the story. 3 >> true. i have to leave it there. jeanne marie laskas, andy knoll, thank you. we'll be right back.
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>> reporter: two words made tv fans tune in and turn up in 2015 -- cookie and lion. >> me and my boys were lions. we're strong. >> he like me but he ain't no cookie. >> reporter: yes, we're talking about the hip-hop family "empire." you know, it really changed the game for television. it broke ratings records week after week. the season finale garnered 17 million viewers for fox. now, "empire" took on social issues like homophobia, and the soundtrack hit number one on billboard's top 200. it was a really rough year for reality tv stars. the duggars. their hit show was canceled after a very dark secret was revealed about their oldest son, josh.
>> he had just turned 14 and he said he had actually improperly touched some of our daughters. >> reporter: then josh's name came up of the hack of the infidelity site, ashley madison. the 27-year-old saying, i have been the biggest hypocrite ever. 2015 was hard on celebrity romances. high-profile marriages went up in flames. oh, yeah, there was the first couple of country music, miranda lambert and blake shelton split up after four years. fans are all in their feelings about that one for days. reba mcintyre called it quits did her husband of 27 years and ben affleck and jennifer garner, they split up after their tenth anniversary. even kermit and miss piggy broke up. ♪ i got a blank space baby ♪ and i'll write your name >> reporter: after seven grammy nominations the only blank space taylor swift needs to worry about is space on her mantel.
her world tour generated more than $240 million in ticket sales after celebrity after celebrity joined her girl squad on stage. fans of charlie sheen rallied around him after this stunning health announcement. >> i'm here to announce i am, in fact, hiv positive. >> reporter: the actor went public after paying millions in hush money. he said he got the diagnosis four years ago, the same year he was fired from "two and a half men." >> star quarz opens to the biggest box office in history. >> reporter: a galaxy far, far away with light-speed ticket sales and gave us adults a reason to add line sabres to our profile pik. there was another bombshell from bill cosby. >> cosby is quiet after shocking revelations. >> reporter: he admitted to getting prescription quaaludes to having sex with women.
that list of women got quite a bit longer this year. more than 40 women now accuse cosby of sexual misbehavior. >> the daughter of the late whitney houston. >> she has something to say. >> bobbi kristina brown has died. >> reporter: in a terrible twist of fate the 22-year-old was found face-down in a bathtub full of water just like her mother. bobbi kristina passed away after being in a medically-induced coma for months. her father, bobby brown, filed a $10 million lawsuit, saying her boyfriend beat her after a an all-night cocaine and drinking binge. adele, you made us reach for our tissues as she reached for the stars. her album "25" sold more than 23 million copies in the first week in the u.s. that's never been done before. did we have fun joking about how "hello" made our pets sad and inspired one of the best snl
spoofs before ♪ hello it's me >> reporter: with these three words, call me caitlyn," bruce jenner revealed her new name and look as a transgender. she won the arthur ashe award for courage and gave this moving speech at espys. >> if you want to call me names, go ahead. the reality is, i can take it. for the thousands of kids out there, coming to terms to being true to who they are, they shouldn't have to take it. >> reporter: a true testament of courage that's also helping her career. her docu-series "i am cait" is renewed for another season. 2015, full of gutsy moves, tragic losses and record hits. the next hour of "cnn newsroom" after a break.
happening now in the "newsroom" -- >> that's a tornado. >> deadly storms rip across the south and midwest. >> cut trees in half. i don't know why i'm standing here talking to you. >> tornadoes, giant hail, whipping wind. even this tractor/trailer can't stay upright. now that tsa is beefing up airport security, why not everyone can opt out of those body scans. also, the nba's powerful push to stop gun violence. >> i've been blessed to play for the chicago bulls for nine years now and chicago's been like a second home to me. as much as i love it, the biggest issue is this gun violence, the access to the guns is out of control.
>> let's talk live in the "cnn newsroom." good morning, i'm carol costello. the tornado rising. eight people have been killed across three states. just last hour, our first look at the devastation. a 7-year-old boy killed here in holly springs, mississippi. unbelievable video, a twister striking this busy highway, it flipped over cars as it crossed the road. chad myers is in the weather center in atlanta with more for us. good morning. >> good morning, carol. we had hail, we had wind and we had tornadoes. officially 24 reports of tornadoes yesterday. now, that number will change. weather services has to go out and look at these. this one tornado you talked about that was holly springs was actually on the ground for possibly 140 miles. from just west of mississippi all the way flew holly springs and up into tennessee. know you're going to talk to someone from tennessee coming up right after this.
it is not unusual to get tornadoes on the ground in december. 24 the average. the irony is yesterday the number is 24. that number will change, though, as the weather service goes out and takes a look. >> holy [ bleep ]. >> this christmas eve morning hundreds are waking up to utter devastation. the deconstruction caused by a deadly tornado outbreak. claiming multiple lives, including a 7-year-old boy as residents tried to hide in their cars and homes. >> by the time i got out of my car, hi a tree that was in my windshield. >> in northern mississippi, this tornado tore through a busy highway. >> oh! >> watch as the massive twister tosses this tractor/trailer as it barrels through traffic. watch from this angle what appears to be the same driver. this driver just feet away. the winds in southwestern
tennessee roared up to 75 miles per hour as officials declared a state of emergency. >> the houses just exploded and they were buried in the rubble. >> two people were killed east of memphis. their bodies found under debris. >> we were in the house, we heard the wind picking up, and it took 45 seconds. we walked out of the storm shelter and everything was gone. >> in arkansas an 18-year-old woman died when a tree fell through her house, toppled by the high winds and heavy rain. >> christmas is all about love. and we're going to love through this. >> some residents in mississippi clinging onto what they say matters most. after losing nearly everything this holiday season. >> it wasn't about the house. it was about my family and that was the most important thing to me. >> christmas eve tornadoes, quite a rare thing and devastating thing for so many people yesterday. there may be a few reports of severe weather today. it's not out of the question that we still get a few reports.
give you an idea the numbers are about ten times less important today. the severe indexes, about ten times less high today than yesterday. yes, is there will be something but there won't be what we saw yesterday. in fact, there could be severe weather all the way up to new york, all the way up to philadelphia. there will be certainly this record warmth. it feels like spring. the atmosphere thinks it's spring as well. that's why we had the spring-like weather yesterday. >> it's so crazy. i went outside this morning to go to work and i had to take off my winter coat. chad myers, thanks so much. with me now is dean fleener, part of the tennessee emergency management agency. good morning, sir. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> can you tell us how things are this morning in tennessee? >> well, we're heartbroken we have a report we've had three fatalities in the state. we had two last night, a male and a female, and then overnight
we had another male fatality in ray county. our thoughts go out to the families and friends of those folks and we're out today with local officials, emergency management agencies doing storm damage surveys. of course, we have the national weather service out, seeing -- confirming tornadoes. we still have a lot of work ahead of us today. >> do you have any idea how these people died? >> i don't have any details on those specific fatalities. it's hard to lose people any time of the year, but at the hole day, it's just -- it's really, really sad and we're thinking about our neighbors down in mississippi and alabama because mississippi got hit really, really hard and they were right on our border. our thoughts go out to them, too. >> we're looking at aerial pictures of the damage in holly springs, mississippi, as we
speak. tell me about damage to physical buildings in tennessee. was it extensive? >> we have one county had 12 to 15 homes damaged. overall from last night looks like 13 counties in west and middle tennessee, including a little over into east tennessee in our cumberland plat area. nothing widespread, no widespread power outages or anything like that, but the system did what the weather service said it was going to do, we were going to have heavy rain, straight-line winds and tornado damage. that's exactly what happened. >> dean flener, i'll let you get back to work. severe weather isn't the only concern for holiday travelers. terrorism is always a constant worry, especially this time of year. the tsa will be relying more on body scanners this season as more than 5 million passengers travel on airplanes this
holiday. that's because body scanners are better at detecting hidden threats than a physical patdown. even if a passenger requests a patdown, the tsa will require a body scan anyway. sara is at laguardia airport to tell us more. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, carol. a lot of people don't know about this new rule. basically it says you can't completely opt out of having to go through the body scanner. this will affect some passengers, not all. you can still ask to be patted down as opposed to going through this machine but the tsa is now saying not necessarily it will be granted, your request will be granted. they're warning passengers. most people hadn't heard of it. it's coming at a time when huge numbers of people are coming to the airport to travel on christmas eve. for new year's this will still be in effect. the tsa trying to get the word out there. there is some confusion where
critics are saying, wait a minute. some people are told they have to go through the scanner and other people are told they can get a patdown. what is the message here? the tsa saying, look, we are doing this in response to heightened terrorism in the airport. passengers need to know if they refuse to go through the body scanners when they are told they absolutely have to do that, they won't be able to get on their plans. sara sidner reporting from laguardia. houses are rigged to explode and terrified civilians with nowhere to go. we'll take you inside the battle against isis, next. don't let it conquer you.. with the capability and adaptability of lexus all-weather drive. this is the pursuit of perfection. just serve classy snacks and bew a gracious host,iday party.
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too politics and the democratic race for the white house, a race hillary clinton continues to dominate, latest poll showing her at 50% compared to 34% for bernie sanders and martin o'malley with just 3%. sanders spoke out on the numbers this morning saying even with that wide gap with clinton, he's in a good place. >> as we began this campaign, as you will recall, we were 3%, 5% in the polls. i think all the pundits considered us a fringe candidacy. perhaps we're in the lead in new hampshire where i think closing in here in iowa and your poll indicates we have national momentum. we have come a long way by 7 1/2 months and we're feeling really good. >> cnn's joe johns is in wash wash with more on the numbers. >> reporter: good morning.
one of the interesting things about this poll is part of it was done on the last debate when bernie sanders were running close to clinton but the polling done after the debate showing clinton's support growing substantially. on the key issue points we asked question says about, hillary clinton holds a commanding lead when it comes to handling foreign policy, even gun policy. but coming to the economy, which bernie sanders has been hammering about, has gained point but trailing hillary by the same margin. what our poll shows is despite the fact that hillary clinton continues to dominate the race for the democratic nomination as well, she's only leading in terms of favorability by a very narrow margin, ahead of bernie sanders in terms of like 77% to 74%, which is well within the margin of error.
the two top democratic candidates at parity. this is what we've known about hillary clinton, she has higher unfavorables than bernie sanders, about seven points, according to our poll. >> joe johns reporting live from washington, thank you. it's not just the state of the art his own campaign bernie sanders is talking about, he also talked to cnn about the rise of donald trump. it's a phenomenon sanders attributes in part to air time but also the concerns americans are feeling about terror, the economy and other issues. >> i think trump is very effectively playing to the fears and anxieties that millions of people in this country have. and have legitimately so. we're all concerned about the possibility of a terrorist attack against this country. we are all concerned about isis. we're all concerned about a disappearing middle class. you have in this country people who don't understand why it is
we've increased productivity and technology. they're working longer hours for low wages. they're worried to death about their kids. they're worried about the economy. trump comes along and he says, i've got the solution. and what the solution is mexicans coming into this country. let's throw them all on out. that will solve our problems. they're all muslims. they're terrorists. we have to hate them. that's not the solution to our problems. that is simply scapegoating minorities. playing one group off against another. it's what demagogues have always done. >> for his part, trump isn't letting jabs dim his holiday spirit. he tweeted this out to supporters last night. you'll see it in a minute. so, this is what it says. it describes it. i wish i could have something to draw. we don't have it right now. it's complete with his signature
phrase, make america great again. here to talk about that, amanda carpenter, former communications director for senator cruz and writer for "the new yorker," also cnn commentators. let's talk about these polls. you see hillary clinton has this huge lead, ryan, but in likability she's not faring so well. when you pit hillary clinton against some of the republican candidates, and we have a graphic to show that, she loses to rubio and ted cruz, among others. what do you make of that, ryan. >> sanders hit this wall that liberal candidates do where it he does well with northeastern white lib rals but he can't expand his base beyond that and does not do well with
african-americans or hispanics, which are important, especially african-americans when you go into the southern primaries like south carolina. it seems like it's a tough race for sanders. hillary clinton is still likely the democratic nominee. he needs to upset her in one or two places to get another look by some of those other constituencies. on the likability front for hillary, it's always been a major problem, going back to when she was first lady. people know a lot about hillary clinton and it's very hard to give voters information that will change their mind one way or the other. you love her or hate her and that's her curse or blessing. >> again, amanda, in taking a look at that graphic, when you pit hillary clinton against ted cruz and marco rubio, it's neck and neck or she loses by a percentage point or two. so, why is that happening? >> i think to a lot of people
democratic, independent and republican, clinton is an establishment. it's not clear what new she's bringing to the table, but also in this poll it is fascinating. she loses to trump by two points. cruz beats her by two points. rubio beats her by three points. when you look at the independents, cruz and rubio beat trump by three points. hi to read it three times. looks like a christmas miracle. this is something hillary clinton needs to be concerned about because they put so much emphasis on just appealing to the progressive wing, unmarried, single women that they've forgotten about a big part of the electorate. republicans are ready to storm in. this is great news. we'll see what happens in a head-to-head match-up but cruz, rubio, trump, should be feeling pretty good right now. >> one name we're not mentioning is ben carson, right? yesterday ben carson, you know, "the washington post" reported there was a big shakeup in his
campaign. ben carson appeared on done lemon's show and said, wait a minute, this is just a media creation. let's listen to what he said. >> "the washington post," quite frankly, had their story already written before they talked to me. and they were convinced that i was going to fire everybody and go in a completely different direction. that's absolutely not true. >> so, ryan, is that absolutely not true? >> i read these reports pretty closely. it looks like what happened is carson told "the washington post" that he was considering a big campaign shakeup. "the washington post" checked that with his top adviser. that adviser who carson suggested might be on the chopping block said, no, no, that's not the case and they cleaned it up. but you still have two of the advisers through the press at war with one another and carson trying to, you know, control things. he was almost the front-runner and he has dropped in the polls
precipitously and he probably has good reason. looks like this entire race is leaving him. these process stories are never good for candidates. you never want to be in the press talking about campaign shakeups and not talking about your issue. he's trapped in a spiral here. >> i was reading the blog red state this morning and it brought up the spectre of ben carson only being in this race to make money. i don't know if it's true or not but the spectre is now there in conservative circles. >> this is something talked about because the fund-raising great deal of money, it doesn't have a lot of cash on hand because of consultants he's using to produce that money are very expensive. so people have been worried about that for a long time.
listen, when staff is in-fighting in the press it's a dath ratt death rattle for a campaign. they say he tumbled in the pols after the san bernardino attacks. i reject that. if you look at the weeks before, he was coming through intense scrutiny. people asking questions about his life story. he said he had produced somebody to corroborate the stabbing incident, che talks about a lot. he was making allegations about china, about having military presence on the ground in syria. he said he would produce evidence of that. he never did. they were flailing before the terror tax. he went abroad to refocus. i think when he came back the campaign was in disarray. >> ryan, is his land stand the next republican debate in january? >> i think so. he hasn't really stood out in recent debates. it's tough. when you get a close look, you shoot up in the polls. republicans get excited about you in one of these open
primaries. that's your moment to consolidate support. once you start to decline and voters move on to the next hot thing, it's very hard to come back to that. that's what happened a lot in 2012 when you have a series of candidates like newt gingrich and michele bachmann fall, they never rice again. carson, like sanders, has to win a state. this race is very open. if he can find a state where he can win, he will get a second look. iowa was his best option. it looks like a cruz/trump race in iowa right now. >> i have to leave it there. thanks to both of you. >> thanks, carol. >> you're welcome. coming up in the "newsroom," a new threat against westerners. why the u.s. embassy in china is warning americans to be extra vigilant.
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warnings are going out to americans and other westerners in china about possible threats to their safety during christmastime. the u.s., british and french and australian embassies in beijing are urging people to be extra vigilant if they're in a popular shopping area or dining area in a neighborhood called sanlitun where a man with a sword killed a chinese women and injured her french husband. china has more officers on the streets and issued a security alert because they say -- that's because of the holiday crowds, not because of the embassy
warnings. new this morning, we're getting an inside look at the mission to defeat isis in iraq and syria. backed by u.s. air power, iraqi troops are just a mile away from the isis-held government compound in ramadi. these are pictures from inside ramadi. now, it's incredibly dangerous, this battle as soldiers make their way through the streets. u.s. colonel steve warren told cnn isis has rigged house there is to explode. >> this enemy has set up defensive belts so they use ieds, the same ieds we faced here in iraq years ago but now they use them as clusters as if they are mine fields. they will rig entire houses to be -- to explode if you come near them. >> colonel warren is in baghdad, part of the american team heading up the effort in iraq. barbara starr joins us to tell
us more about the battle for ramadi. good morning. >> the battle for ramadi goes on, as you say, very slow going at this point. now, the u.s. fields so far the months of training iraqi forces is beginning to pay off. that the iraqis are showing the ability to move into the streets, root out fighters, move past these ieds and obstacles. if they can hold the territory remains to be seen but they are continuing to be on the move. as this is happening, there is a very quiet conversation inside the administration about whether or not to loosen the rules of engagement, the rules governing when the u.s. can drop bombs with air strikes. why is that conversation happening? well, the u.s. wants to step up the pressure on isis and feels the one thing they can do is step up the air strikes. they want more air strikes so they want rules that allow them to have more.
colonel warren talked about this. he was very clear that this is a decision that will be very difficult. >> as we apply additional pressure on the ground. as our iraqi and in the case of syria, some of our partner forces there in syria, as they pressure this enemy, it forces isil to move. when they move, they expose themselves. we're able to bring devastating air power against them. what's being talked about out there is how much tolerance we should have for civilian casualties. and that's part of our american values, right? we say we bring our values to war with us. so, this is a difficult discussion. >> difficult discussion. to a person, every u.s. military person will tell you that the u.s. only launches air strikes when it is as certain as it can
reasonably be that civilians will not be killed. again, we talk about a difficult decision. they will also tell you if they had the leader of isis in their gun sights. if they knew exactly where el baghdadi, the leader of isis was. would there be more tolerance for an air strike if potentially there were civilians in the area. this is a behind-the-scenes look at some of the very difficult decisions the administration is talking about right now. carol? >> barbara starr reporting live from the pentagon this morning. thank you. for more on this i want to bring in brigadier general mark kinnett, former secretary of state for political and foreign affairs under george w. bush. welcome, sir. >> sure. >> i would like you to listen to colonel warren from baghdad describe how iraqi troops are fighting in ramadi. let's listen. >> we've spent a year training the iraqi security forces. we've trained almost 16,000
iraqi soldiers now. we've also equipped them with modern u.s. equipment. so this training and equipment program has brought their capability level, morale, it's coming up. nothing like winning. the iraqis have had some good success. they liberated tikrit. they liberated parts of the t t haditha corridor on the euphrates river. so when that comes added confidence. >> do you agree with his assessment? >> i do. steve warren has been there for quite a long time. i think he has a pretty good sense of where the iraqi troops are right now with regards to ramadi. my concern is as the iraqi army shifts up to mosul, the second largest city in iraq, if they're going to be able to be as successful in that city as they were in ramadi.
it's important to note in ramadi they primarily use the special operations forces and some of the police forces. a limited number of troops. they're going to have to use the larger number of standard iraqi security forces if they're going to take mosul. we can only hope that, in fact, those 16,000 troops that steve mentioned are as capable in mosul, which is a much larger city than they have been in ramadi. >> the way isis is fighting is so nasty. they're using ieds in a different way. they're using cluster bombs. they'll plant these ieds in houses. when the iraqi forces move closely, the whole house will blow up. how do you navigate that? >> this is not unique to iraq. we saw that in many wars, vietnam, the russians used that technique successfully against the germans at stalingrad.
the way you react to it is you're meticulous, very slow and precise as you go house to house, block to block. everybody would like to see ramadi taken in the space of two or three days. that operational patience the iraqi military is doing two things. one, keeping their casualties at a minimum and keeping the casualties of the civilians at a minimum as well. >> let's talk about civilians because i know u.s. forces dropped pamphlets telling people to leave the city when they're planning some sort of bombing raid, right? but sometimes when they leave isis-controlled areas, isis will kill them so some civilians are afraid to leave. >> that's exactly right. it's the dilemma that's faced by any civilian that is inside enemy-held territory, especially the type of enemy you're talking about in isis. in more conventional wars when you have a reasonable enemy,
civilians are seen by humanitarian law as offlimits and need to be protected by both sides. isis is not demonstrating that kair care for civilians. in fact, they leverage the civilians to their advantage and use them in many cases as human shields. >> i know. and it's tough. when the u.s. talks about changing its strategy when it comes to casualties on the ground, what does that conversation sound like? >> well, two things. number one, steve warren mentioned we bring our values to war. in fact, in the past, united states has fire bombed cities such as dresden and used atomic weapons against nagasaki in japan. i think the real issue is that this can be used in the narrative when we start -- if we were to start killing more civilians in these bombing runs, it would be used as a recruiting tool, as a narrative, to draw more foreign fighters back into the fight. so, there's a moral
responsibility that we have to minimize the number of civilian casualties. there's also a practical reason why we want to keep civilian casualties as a minimum so it's not a recruiting tool for more fighters to come into the battle. >> brigadier general, thank you for joining me this morning. still to come in the "newsroom," the muslim family detained as a british airport now speaking out. who is the father blaming, in part, for canceling his vacation to disneyland? ♪ (cell phone rings) where are you? well the squirrels are back in the attic. mom? your dad won't call an exterminator... can i call you back, mom? he says it's personal this time... if you're a mom, you call at the worst time. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do. where are you? it's very loud there. are you taking a zumba class?
muhammad family fly for a holiday. all 11 members were turned away at the gate. the father says donald trump is partly to blame. >> i definitely think donald trump's theory did have a part to play in it because otherwise why wasn't anyone else flagged up on that flight? just one muslim family. >> so, what's the story? evan perez is in washington with some answers. good morning. >> reporter: this is a tough one because the homeland security department says privacy law prevents them from explaining exactly what happened here. these folks were about to get on their flight at gatwick airport, norwegian airlines pulled them out. their luggage was already on board. they had to get it out. now they're out more than $13,000, this is what they spent to try to get their family over to california to go visit friends, family and to go to disneyland. here's one of the moms in this
family explaining why they wanted to take this vacation. >> it was either me to go private and have private health care for for my children to have pure bliss. i decided that's what i wanted to do with the money, is to send my children away so they could have a very nice holiday and come back and feel fresh and start a new year fresh. >> reporter: carol, the homeland security department, customs and border protection agency, says the fact that this family is muslim and their background is pakistani had nothing to do with the fact that -- with why they were turned away and not allowed to board this flight. we know at the time they bought their ticket, six weeks or so before this flight, they went through and filled out the forms correctly. it seemed like something happened in between when they bought those plane tickets and the time they showed up at the airport to try to board the flight. something that was done in the background checks that did not add up. so now we know the homeland
security department is probably going to have to explain to this family why it was they were not able to take this vacation. i think you'll hear more about the british government trying to intervene on their bhafehalf, t carol. >> in general, why would homeland security prevent someone from boergd a flight? >> well, there's a variety of reasons, including, obviously, the big one. the no-fly list. that doesn't appear to be the case because the fact they were able to buy their plane tickets tells you they were not on the no-fly list. they wouldn't have even been able to do that. there's a variety of reasons. the cbp, customs and border protection agency, says there are 60 different reasons why you could be denied boarding, including if your paperwork doesn't add up. if you didn't disclose all your past travel, for instance. if they had trips to pakistan they didn't disclose in the forms pp, health issues. there's a criminal background check issue. and also importantly, they tell me, officials tell me, that not
all members of this family were barred. it's not clear they were told that, though, by the airline when they were trying to board, carol. >> i know you'll keep on this. evan perez reporting live from washington. mahmoods say they got trumped, his controversial ban on muslims entering the united states, and islamic extremism is likely to be a hot topic once again as the next gop debate dross near. for dean, that's a problem. he writes, the discussion about the islam during the two debates went from bad to ugly to trump. it was like a ufc cage match with republican can days taking turns bashing each other but one thing missing in this muslim-a-thon was a real life muslim on stage. let's talk about this. >> i'm demanding a muslim be on stage next time. look, the whole debate last time, literally over 50 times
they said islam or islamic during the gop debate. it would be like having a discussion about black lives matter and don't have an african-american in it. does-t doesn't give nuance to it. voters want to know, who understand the terms they're dealing with. they bring in shariah, jihad, radicalization of muslims in the west. how about having a muslim involved in that conversation? it's not asking most. >> don't they have to negotiate with the campaigns who moderates with the debates? >> i would like candidates to say, no, we're not having a muslim. would trump ban a muslim from being moderator? fareed zakaria would be great. even famous muslim, dave chappelle. i would like trump to tell shaquille o'neal he has less rights for being a muslim. >> they don't want a cage match
and moderators have been good when it comes to issues pertaining to muslims. >> when it comes down to do have you a candidate, they brought up shariah and jihad. i think moderators may not people comfortable pushing back on islamic terms. they might understand them but not the nuance. it's really for voters to assess, are these can days really knowing what they're talking about? if you talk about isis and radicalize, do you understand how muslims are being reached out to. i think a muslim on that panel who's knowledgeable, of course me, i'm out,there i work for cheap, i show up on time. i just want to put that out there. i want like to see if they back pedal, would trump backpedal? it's more nuance, more info for voters to understand the nuance of these candidates' terms. >> after the debate, the post-debate analysis, i think, you're absolutely right, there should be somebody in there who understands these issues in a
more intimate way i don't know if you're going to get a moderator, though. >> i'll settle for pre or post debate. some networks are great. some leave us out. >> i don't think that will happen on the fox network. >> they'll talk about muslims on fox but they won't have us on as much. >> thanks for being here. >> happy holidays. still to come in the "newsroom" -- >> i heard about a shooting involved a 3-year-old girl over the summer. my daughter, riley, is that age. >> there was a point when i felt that i was going to die. >>. >> my parents always -- >> a powerful public service announcement against gun violence that will soon air during a -- one of the nba's biggest days. at planters we know how to throw a remarkable holiday party. just serve classy snacks and be a gracious host, no matter who shows up. do you like nuts?
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professional basketball on television, including the highly anticipated nba finals rematch between the warriors and the kav lers. but with so many people watching, this year's games will also air public service announcements on gun violence. >> i heard about a shooting involving a 3-year-old girl over the summer. my daughter riley is that age. >> guns should never be an option. >> we're americans. we shouldn't have to live like this. >> we can all make a difference. >> the white house got behind the effort. president obama tweeting, i'm prout proud of the nba for taking a stand against gun violence. sympathy for victims isn't enough. change requires all of us speaking up. let's talk about this with cnn sports anchor, rachel nichols. she's covering this for us. i was surprised the nba waded into this issue. >> definitely controversial. they got some blow-back about this yesterday. the nba very clear, hey, we are
not specifically advocating gun control. we're trying to address the issue of gun violence and raise awareness to it. they personalize it a little more. bring it into people's lives so they realize change needs to happen. now, of course, the man who directed these commercials, spike lee, has a very specific message about gun control. big advocate of that. some players have as well. carmelo anthony, gun control advocacy after sandy hook. lebron james came out and said after some gun violence events in cleveland, hey, people shouldn't have guns or there needs to be tougher laws on guns so he knows where he stands. the personal stories are what is affected a lot of people. you can take a listen here as to what the players said the reason they got involved. >> as a parent of two little girls, any time you hear of somebody not even involved in an altercation or somebody not even involved in a dispute or
something, getting caught in the middle, a spray built or what have you, that hurts. >> i remember this kid kurt. he used to wait outside the united center before every game my rookie year. three summers ago he got shot. for me, it hits kind of home and the way my grandfather was murdered by five teenagers. who were 14 and 15 years old. >> i've seen so many of my peers, so many of my friends, you know, lose their life to gun violence. now i'm in a situation where my voice can be heard. >> that's really such a big part of it for these guys. hey, we have some muscle here. we have a power to make a difference. no matter where you fall on the gun control debate, the idea that you have men who are in some ways the paragon of manliness, professional athletes saying, this isn't cool. it's not okay. it's not macho to be waving a
gun around. >> i can't help but think there be backlash. >> yeah, people already have said, stick to basketball. stick to sports. the nba shouldn't get involved in this. but we have seen such a wider wave of athlete advocacy. 'le bron was the first to come out in 2012 when he supported the trayvon martin family and he had the hoodie and got his entire team to take a picture with a bunch of hoodies. that was running counter to the michael jordan example. foreyears he wouldn't get involved in any politics. he was reported to say, hey, republicans sell sneakers too. there was a wave in the '80s and '90s, athletes don't get involved. in the '60s and '70s we had real athlete advocacy. now we're starting to see it again from all kinds of issues from gay marriage to this gun violence issue. i think players are seeing whether it's players doing psas during an nba game or whether it's the missouri football team, the power that they have.
you heard one of the guys saying, hey, i'm now in a position to have my voice heard. athletes are role models and they want to use that for something good, otherwise just selling sneakers. >> i say good for them. many thanks. still to come in the "newsroom" -- a major hotel chain says its payment system has been infected with malware.
we're just into cnn, mississippi's governor declared a state of emergency. we told you how hard mississippi was by violent weather yesterday, especially in benton county. we understand now six people died because of the weather. 40 people are injured. and as you can see, some people's homes absolutely destroyed. again, the governor of mississippi declaring a state of emergency. we'll keep you posted.
heads up if you're staying or recently stayed at a high yatd hotel. the chain says it's discovered malware in the computers that process customer payments. they can't say for sure if credit cards or other confidential information has been accessed. hyatt says, we have taken steps to strengthen our systems and customers can feel confident using payment cards at hyatt hotels worldwide. our correspondent alison kosik has been looking into this. >> hyatt doesn't know how big this breach is, but when it found out this malware, this malicious soft way, was on its computers, they went ahead, started an investigation, hired cyber security experts. keep in mind, it matters which hyatt hotel you stayed at because the data breach only affected hyatt hotels that are managed by hyatt, not franchise locations. you don't know if you stayed at a franchise location or a hyatt-managed one? the suggestion is, just call the
hotel to ask. now, what hyatt did do is set up 800 numbers for customers to call if you've got questions. it says it's going to post updates on its website and the company says it has taken steps to strengthen security of its systems. >> so, call the hotel -- >> can you freeze your credit if you're concerned. lock your credit so nobody can open up a new line of credit under your name. you can change your passwords and monitor your credit report and check your bill. if you know what credit card you used when you stayed at the hyatt hotel, keep an eye on it for a while. you may want to rip up that credit card and get a new one. that's my suggestion. checking other top stories at 59 minutes past, belgian police have arrested a ninth person in connection to last month's terror attacks in paris. the suspect is identified only as abdula c., a 30-year-old
native of belgium. quikted child molester jerry sandusky will get $210,000 back pension payments. they were canceled under a law that allowed the state to stop payments under certain crimes but the judge found sandusky committed his crimes before that law was enacted. thank you for joining me. i'm carol costello. deadly tornadoes ripped through the deep south killing at least eight people. tearing apart communities just before christmas. the devastation that the region is waking up to today. donald trump's warning to hillary clinton -- be careful. the trump campaign's new weapon in this escalating war of words. a major u.s. embassy on alert da