tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN December 25, 2015 6:00am-8:01am PST
dreaming of a white christmas? tough luck's coasters. >> i thought it was going to be snowing and really really cold but i'm, like, sweating. >> 60 degrees and climbing in manhattan today. also new reports of plans to deport central american families. raids expected to start next month. and donald trump is taking credit for it all. plus retaking ramadi.
>> iraqi troops optimistic they can drive isis out and soon. let's talk. live in the cnn newsroom. good morning and merry christmas. i'm carol costello live from columbus circle in manhattan. can you believe how warm it is along the's coast? there is not much happening out here, i know. but the weather is so bizarre we decided to take the first part of our blog outside. people can't believe it's 66 because we've already broken the record in new york city. in central park, 66 degrees. that is a 25 degrees higher than average. temperatures like this have not been seen in 33 years. the city's last record of 64 snet 1982. there was actually beach volleyball in central park
creditor. it's skaters in shorts at rockefeller center. and instead of jingle bells there were ice cream trucks. >> i think it's amazing weather to spend and walk around. >> i love it. i was able to wear a nice dress. not be cold. able to actually enjoy the city. i'm all for it. >> i'm loving it. everyone should have a hot holiday. >> oh in all fifty cities across 19 states could make history. ho ho hot. i won't show you the santa for much longer because i don't want to spoil your christmas. and sauna clause. some people think the apocalypse is coming. >> i was standing in that exact spot 11 months ago with a snow storm bearing down on new york city and ice in my face. so be careful what you ask for. it goes downhill quickly after
you make fun of mother nature. it is warm. we've already broken the record at 66. it will be warm all across the's coast. still a chance of severe weather along the gulf coast. but i think everyone will notice today that it is warm skup down the's coast. there's been more snow in las vegas this year than in new york because new york has zero and it snowed in las vegas last night. not a lot but if you are in vegas and you look out, what is it doing snowing here? i thought i had a nice warm vacation. i went to the wrong coast. i don't expect as much severe weather today as we've had.
but certainly chance of severe wind damage. otherwise enjoy your time outside. el nino. and we're above normal, i get this. but in december, january and february when you are above normal and normal is 10, then all of a sudden above normal should be 20 and that could be a big snow storm. so el nino isn't going to ruin all of winter, just the beginning. >> and on christmas day too. thanks chad. we have to talk about the severe weather happening across the country because it's been severe down south, as in tornados. nick valencia is covering for us. >> reporter: good morning. the warm weather in new york not so much the case in the south. kind of a miserable start for some here. 14 people killed across three
states and the damage we're seeing looks more like something you would see during the spring. this christmas scenes of devastation in parts of the south and midwest. heavy rain causing wide spread flooding in georgia and tornados tearing across several states. >> loud roar, getting louder and louder and i said we need to get in the house now. >> it sounded literally like a freight train sounding of the horn. it was coming. >> all that is left of the mckay's home is the porch. they ran and hit in this truck. >> nothing left of my house. but debris. >> and i had my grandson in my arm. under my arm. and everybody got in, except for
my sister-in-law and i'm yelling at her to come on. and she got in and as soon as she did i shut the door. >> the tornado knocked it his house off the foundation but he and the others survived by taking cover in the storm shelter. >> you'll never know how important it is to seek shelter immediately however you can because as the life-saver. >> two of those killed in tennessee were husband and wife. according to the storm prediction center, at least 14 tornados hit tennessee on wednesday but a single twister did most of the damage. >> three individuals were in this house at the time and they were able to walk away. >> i went and bought toys were kids because i also have a little girl and for them not to have christmas and toys and stuff there is -- it is not a holiday. >> so sad.
among the victims the youngest is seven. a strange twist in an already bizarre story. the taliban denying claims made by the kremlin that the two are working together in sharing intelligence in the fight against isis. >> reporter: just today the taliban releasing a statement saying it has not asked the kremlin for help in fighting isis. they have not reached out and they do not deny the claims earlier this week that they are intelligence sharing. i'll tell you about what happened earlier this week.
the russian foreign ministry saying they had reached out to ask them to share information in the fight against isis. the taliban also concerned about isis. and the taliban saying they deknee this. we do not need any help they said. now the ties obviously in terms of russia's vladimir putin he is incredibly interested in fighting isis especially because of the interest in fighting insurgence in the north caucu s caucusus. we're not sure if this is just a propaganda move by the taliban or by the russians but we do know that if this is the case, if it is true that it would be -- it might be a case of russia making the enemy of his
enemy his friend. >> live from london. thank you. it is christmas day but the normally festive mood in bethlehem is tense. security concerns have scared away many of the western tourist whose normally flock there this time of year. manger square is crowded but there are far fewer than usual. one factor keeping tourists away is the almost daily attacks by israelis. live in jerusalem to tell us more. >> reporter: and it is those attacks that have led to the state department issuing a travel warning to the region. that's why vendors and tour guides we've spoken with saying americans as well as europeans have really not come to the region. manger square yesterday although did have a very festive atmosphere. was certainly lacking tourists. many were locals and by the time of midnight mass the square had
largely emptied out. as said that as because of what's going on here. clashes and violence between protesters and israeli soldiers. that's become a near daily reality ever since the beginning of october and it doesn't seem like that will end. there was a sense in manger square that they were trying to hang on to that festivity that on christmas eve all of that could be put aside even if just for one evening to make sure that it really was a merry christmas. still throughout the west bank mr. communities have held off or scaled back on celebrating. at the same time more than 130 palestinians have been killed. israeli authorities say some 70 or 80 have been killed kyrieing out attacks. that sufrl the reality of christmas here right now in the holy land. >> still to come, reports of a
u.s. plan to deport thousands of families living here in this country illegally. now candidates from both sides of the aisle are sounding off. 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 ♪ how else do you think he gets around so fast?
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at odds with the character of our nation, turning our backs on that essential element of who we are as a nation. those were the reactions of martin o'malley and bernie sanders after the washington post plans the u.s. plans a mass deportation of thousands of undocumented central american migrants. the plan, which the dhs reportedly has not given final approval, would be nationwide and could begin as early as next
month, applying to families fleeing violence in central america kmo who came here for safety specifically adults and children who have already been removed from the united states by an immigration judge. they would be detained where they could be found and immediately deported. among the candidates on the democratic side, donald trump has a different reaction. because of the pressure put on by me, it is about time. joining me now, welcome both of you and merry christmas. josh, a judge has ordered these undocumented immigrants to leave the country. so why the controversy?
>> this is a complicated issue because the department of homeland security and jay johnson have been trying to figure for over a year to deal with the specific problem. he's trying to correct the p percepti perception. donald trump taking credit for this is kind of like the rooster taking credit for the sunrise. this was well in the works. the problem is for people in the community, they really haven't thought through the politics of this. so the obama administration has the luxury of sort of not worrying about it because they are not coming up for election but for all the candidate, especially hillary clinton this is a tricky thing to navigate. >> it is. she's been sort of on the fence. i mean she's sort of criticized it but not. she said, well i have to look into it. >> well she's got a problem. >> she's got a problem. and ellis, just jump into that. what is the big problem with
that? because i said a judge has ordered these people leave the country. they have had a hearing. >> yeah but it is a little perplexing from the administration's point of view. up until now the principle had been there are 11 or 12 million illegals in the country and you can't get rid of all of them so the focus is really on the criminals and bad people. why at this point you focus on moms and their children, the politics are a little strange and the humanity is a little strange. i this hink the democratic candidates are right to jump on this. >> is it really strange? zwlauz it is not really that unusual. >> the obama administration has been trying to prioritize in a world of limits resourced. and now there is a good argument
to be made that this increased flow from honduras and el salvador where violence is high and flow is increasing is something that should be addressed. the problem for someone like hillary clinton is they can't win. if she supports the obama policy she doesn't really get anything from the right. on the other hand if she support -- if she doesn't support it then she opens herself up to more criticism. so in the end she's probably got to side with her other competitors in the primary. she's got to take the side of her base. but there really is no political win for her here. but again that is not something that the people who are in charge of this policy are really considering. >> i don't think there is a political win for anybody else. because most of these people who are going to be deported, are sitting in detention centers in the southwestern united states in texas, right. >> exactly. and that's what jay johnson and
when i've talked to him about this. he said actually the more humane thing to do is to stop them from coming at all. because once they get here they have a life that is very uncertain. they can be in limbo for a very long time. they can face very harsh consequences. so if he can send the message back that hey it is not a free ride. that might be the best thing for them. >> there is one last piece worth considering. four years ago the republicans did this great soul searching and said do you know what? we need to not be so harsh on these issues. we need a more human face. the more republicans are in the corner of seeming to be harsh on this and the more the dems are seeming to be open and human and suppressing the priorities josh has alluded to i think the politics do balance in hillary's
favor in the long run. >> i would just say that the demographics are on hillary's side but in the 2016 election there are going to be a lot of people who are going to want tougher policies. >> thanks both of you. at 20 minutes past, a feud leads to a deadly shootout at a north carolina mall. a man went to the mall yesterday and when he ran into someone he didn't like he started arguing and shot at him multiple times. witnesses say the gunmen turned his weapon on an off duty responding officer and that officer shot and killed him. no one else was hurt. >> and authorities released the video of laquan mcdonald a year
after his death showing an officer shooting the teenager 15 times in just 16 seconds. and iron man actor robert downy, jr. is off the naughty list receiving a christmas eve pardon from california governor jerry brown. he spent time in prison after a 1996 drug conviction. he says downey has paid his debt to society. and a pope message part of which for syria to end the suffering there. and john al p has more about what the pope said. good morning. >> reporter: pope francis did delivered the traditional christmas message to rome and the world. the pope's traditionally use this platform to issue a kind of
360 degree review of the global situation and that is very much what pope francis did today. the strong note was a global call for peace. the war in syria. he talked about libya, the democratic republic of congo. ukraine. also called for a breakthrough in the peace talks in colombia trying to end the longest running civil war. and as europe grapples with the most significant refugee crisis it's faced since the second world war the pope also issued a strong note of solidarity for passion and calling on host nations to be generous in receiving and swegting them. the pope also in the context of
a year in which terrorism has been one of the major themes around the world denounced what we called brutal acts of terror. he tipped off a series of other social ills that kind of occupy his heart. he talked about child soldier, unemployment, trafficking in human persons. and in the context of a speeshl jubilee year of mercy he also issued a strong plea for prisoners, visiting prisoners has opinion one of the hallmarks of his papacy. essentially what you saw today was a pontiff who very much aspires to be a peace pope. using the visibility afforded by one of the holiest days on the christian calendar to try to raise his voice around the world in defense of peace and human dignity and that was very much the story from rome here christmas day 2015. >> john allen.
thank you. still to come, use terroristing to help fight terror? russia says it will share intel with the taliban but the taliban say hey that is not true. t thin- what's that? snapshot from progressive. plug it in, and you can save on car insurance based on your good driving. you sell to me? no, it's free. you want to try? i try this if you try... not this. okay. da! here's a lieat well,thy advice. 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
what should we make of this? let's brick in counterterrorism analyst phil mud. why would the taliban issue a press release saying we haven't talked to russia? zblet untangle this. first, especially starting last summer with the announcement that the long time leader of the taliban has died. there ease been a lot of fact l factualism in the taliban. so you have to talk about faction. and the second is the russians didn't say they had a relationship with the taliban. they say they had a channel of communications which in my world suggests they might have contacts for passing intelligence but not an overall relationship. so when you put those two together, the fact they may have
only a channel through a few people. i don't think necessarily this statement from the taliban is incorrect. i might be a faction they are not talking too. >> let's say russia is exchanging intelligence with some faction in the taliban. how worried should u.s. officials be? >> i wouldn't be worried about this. to my mind it makes perfect sense. there are a couple things going on by russia. i think the russians are saying we don't necessarily want to support the taliban. but if they have information about isis extending into the northern afghanistan, which borders some of the soviet states, i think the russians would say we don't want those isis guys going into central asia. we want to partner with the taliban at some level to prevent that from happening. so it makes perfect sense to protect some of your partners. >> from an american perspective
the taliban just skilled six americans, in afghanistan. >> sure. but the russians aren't saying they want to support the taliban against the americans that results in a murder of american citizens or a fight against american e isaying is there is an old soviet state. we want to protect them and anybody who has information that might protect those states, not about the taliban, not about american positions not. t about helping the taliban beat the americans but about isis infiltration across the border into the central asia, i could see where they want that relationship. it is not about the americans, carol. >> i i've also heard rumors that afghan government has reached out because it needs arms to
fight. so what if that happens? >> i think if i were the afghan government there z new government there i think has proven pretty reliable, they better talk to the americans about that first. i wouldn't rule it out. if you look at the push of the taliban as nato forces and americans leave t taliban is gaining control in some of the heartland. they have even moved up north. so as the americans withdraw, i could see kabul, the leadership in the capital of afghanistan saying we better see if we've got other friends out there. if i were them though i'd coordinate with the americans because that will not make the white house and the pentagon happy. >> i want to put aside our taliban/afghanistan question answer session for a second and focus on something else. for the first time we're hearing bergdahl's description of the dramatic attempts to escape the
taliban. most times he was found within minutes. but once following months of plotting, bergdahl says he managed to escape and evade the taliban for nine days only to be recaptured after falling over a cliff. here is as account as featured in the pod cast serial. >> stupidly trying to put distance between me and the tent i wasn't taking my tent and taking it slow and easy and i step off a cliff. and i don't think how long -- i don't think how big of a drop it was. but it was a big enough drop for me to think on the way down. it was like the initial drop was like oh good grief. but then i kept falling to the point where i got over the surprise that i was falling and i started thinking you have got to be kidding me. it cannot be this far down. and i realized i couldn't move
my fingers to the left hand. every now and then i'd be able to take 20 or 30 little strand of grass and eat that. but it was like okay if i'm going to die from exposure or being shot while i escape it is better than having my head cutoff because i saw enough of those videos to know what that would be like. >> after he was recaptured, phil. the treatment of him grew worse. he said he was tied spread eagle to a bed and he remained that way for three months. have you listened to the pod cast serial, because it is fascinating. >> [ inaudible ]. >> ooh you're breaking up there. oh i can't hear phil. we're going to have to get your skype connection fixed. thanks for being with me on this christmas day.
if you haven't listened to the pod cast serial it is quite fascinating. it is a learn experience and it makes you think about bowe bergdahl and what really happened and actually it just made me more confused so there you have it. iraqi forces say they are days afwway from liberating ramadi. >> the corpses are still under the rubble and none of them are still in this district. that is it. we retook it and it is over for them. a couple of days and all ramadi will be clear and there will be not one of them left in this city. >> cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr with more. >> good morning carol. hopefully a true analysis for the iraqry military forces. they are continuing indeed to
make progress moving towards the center of the city. the iraqis have now recaptured upwards of 70% of the city. the u.s. doesn't dispute. but watching it all very carefully still, you know, probably a lot of hard fighting to come. the isis fighters have been very well dug in. just one measure of what is happening. u.s.-led air strikes destroyed seven houses in the ramadi area that were wired with those explosives and ieds. that is the kind of obstacles they are facing. and their next stop may be mosul. that clearly is what the u.s. hopes but again mosul a much larger city. isis has been dug in there for months as well. so the effort, if you look at the strategy in ramadi and think about what might happen in mosul, they will have to start by cutting off isis supply lines
and circling the city. it will be a very major operation. something the u.s. hopes will happen. and the big benefit for the iraqis, if they be boot isis out of ramadi and out of mosul once and for all you really -- iraq gets back a big part of iraq. and that would be a very strategic success. >> barbara star, thank you. still to come in the newsroom. they say it is the thought that counts. but that doesn't mean you have to keep those unwanted christmas gifts. the four rules for smart gift returns next. now more than ever america's electricity comes from cleaner- burning natural gas. and no one produces more of it than exxonmobil.
some holiday shoppers may be fed up with fed ex as severe storms delay packages across the countries, some of the staff volunteering to make deliveries this christmas morning to make sure their customers get their gifts on time. ups is celebrating though. >> ups is doing a lot better than fedex. people are on twitter calling fedex the christmas grinch it's pretty harsh. i mean come on. let's think about what's really important in life. but i digress. what's happened here was these shipping snafus are really nothing new. but this time around it is the usual combination. you are seeing the shipping companies being inundated and bad weather come into play.
and the tornados that went through the south, fedex's air hub is in memphis, tennessee. so it is having issues there. so as i said, people are taking to twitter to express their anger. some of these tweets are pretty harsh though. one saying, you know, as i said calling fedex the christmas grinch. and you can see them there on the page. fedex says they are blaming once again heavier than planned shipment amounts and that severe weather. ups also though not immune to this. one tweet saying thanks for not being able to confirm any guaranteed delivery package that will arrive today. it is 9:00 p.m. and you have no idea where it is. ups is really being pushed on. because amazon, its biggest client according to the wall street journal is considering breaking ties with ups finding a
different carrier because of the snafus, where it didn't get hundreds of trailers of packages to those clients in time for christmas. so let's say that you this year though are supposed to be getting those packages. a couple of things you can do fedex as said, some of its employees are volunteering to deliver packages today for fedex. and some express locations are open until 1:00 p.m. but the trick there is take that tracking number and see if there is before you drive out there. >> okay. we'll take your advice. thanks so much. if santa got you everything on your list count yourself lucky. but if you weren't dying to get that chia pet we can at least help you return it.
and believe it or not there is a smart way. here's more. ♪ >> 38% of people last year holiday gifts.ast one of their - once you have made the moral decision to ditch the sweater your aunt susie give you, which looks just like the sweater she gave you the year before, do it right. number one. stay home on the 26th. the stoors are just too full. but don't wait too long. that is number two. know your return window it. varieies by retrailers and sometimes by item. nordstrom is the gold standard. you can return something any time without exceptions. and many require receipts for returns or your just get credit at the lowest sale price.
ouch. third, never open a store credit card. don't do it. it's one more bill to keep up with. opening multiple specialty store cards makes you look financially weak and can ding your credit card score. four, cash in unwanted gift cards. there are plenty of sites that will buy your gift cards for 90% of the value or even more, depending on the store. card pool dotcom or others. still to come. 2016 might be the year of the presidential election but 2015 was not without some big, big, big political stories. that's next.
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36 years after the iran hostage crisis the men and women held captive during a 444 day long standoff are set to receive millions in compensation. each of the 53 hostages will receive $10 thousand for every day they were held at the u.s. embassy in teheran. spouses and children are eligible for a one-time payment of 600 thousand. for years they were unable to sue for compensation but now money is being provided as part of a trillion dollar end of the year spending billion. a race for a white house dominated by a reality show mogul. one of washington's most high profile lawmakers decided it was time to say goodbye to congress. and a look back at the political stories that dominated the head lines this year. >> reporter: this was a year our
next president officially entered the race, barring any surprises in 2016 that is. washington outsiders dominated the polls as america's political landscape saw historic change. laws on marriage, views on terror, and even tolerants for trump are all much different now than they were in january. these are our top ten political stories of 2015. >> after a quarter of a century in congress john boehner declared he was done. pushed out but the tea partie r partierepartieres in his congress. and paul ryan finally accepted the gavel. >> we need to make some change, starting with how the house does business. >> same-sex marriage was deem legal nationwide. though some, kim davis, decided
not to give their approval. citing religious convictions. and antiabortion group released video they say showed planned parenthood staffering in controversy. >> planned parenthood must be defended. >> i will defend ploond this ma. planned parenthood blamed heated political rhetoric for the attack. number seven, the obama administration negotiated with iran ending sanctions and promises of an iran free of nuclear weapons. >> the majority of members of
this congress do not -- >> there's no alternative. >> number six, hillary clinton repeatedly defended her use of a private e-mail server as secretary of state. >> everything i did was permitted. >> an fbi investigation into the matter notwithstanding, even her chief democratic opponent said he had heard enough about the controversy. >> the american people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails. >> clinton was confronted for hours during a hearing about the 2012 benghazi attacks and about those emails. >> it was you and your attorneys who decided what to return and what to delete. >> number five, nine african-americans, including a state senator, were gunned down at this south carolina church by a 21-year-old white supremacist. >> the alleged killer could not see the grace surrounding reverend pickman and that bible study group. >> the killer had posed for photographs with the confederate flag, prompting the we, was it time for the flag to be removed
from the state capitol? debate was passion wrat. in the end the flag was history. number four, millions fled war-torn parts of the middle east into europe. president obama vowed to take in up to 10,000 syrian refugees. >> most countries that can must do more to accommodate refugees. >> but when at least one of the paris terrorists was linked to the masses entering europe, 31 u.s. governors vowed to shut their doors. >> embedded in that group are people who are out to destroy us. >> then after terrorists struck california, donald trump said all muslims should be banned from entering the u.s. prompting a fierce backlash. number three, the black lives matter movement became ever present in politics. thousands rallied in baltimore and chicago after young black men in each city died during police confrontations. after shocking video emerged of freddy gray's arrest in baltimore and laquan mcdonald's
shooting in chicago, police officers were charged with murder in both cities. chicago's mayor came under pressure to step down. number two, according to president obama isis rose from a so-called jv squad last year to become a "contained threat." but after two massacres in paris drew world leaders into the fight and an attack in california killed 14 americans, president obama was forced to revise his message. >> the threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it. >> and the number one political story of 2015, the donald. >> and i'm at number one by a lot. >> donald trump disrupting politics and redefining what it means to be a republican presidential candidate. >> when mexico sends its people, here not sending their best. >> his blunt, some say bigoted behavior, was met with unrage in an unseemingly stoppable rise in republican primary poll numbers. >> frankly i'm the most solvent
person up here. >> will he win the white house next year, or will america say you're fired? >> those were our top ten political stories of this year. the question is what and who will top the list next year? jake tapper, cnn, washington. >> thank you, swrak. that was awesome. still to come in "the newsroom". tis the season to be with family. came out today thousands of people 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?
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.... >> christmas caught in the middle, and the lifeblood in places like bethlehem is surfing. lauren lieberman life in jerusalem to tell us more. hi, orin. >> hi, carol. there was an emptier feeling in manger square in front of the church of the nativity for christmas eve celebrations than there has been in previous years.
still for the fateful that came for foreigners and tourist that is came to bethlehem on christmas eve, they did do everything they could to give it a festive atmosphere. having been there, there was that festive atmosphere, but that doesn't hide the realities of the difficulties of bethlehem on christmas. the crowds simply not there as they have been in previous years. we spoke to vendors and tour guides who say what's really missing are the americans, and the europeans who normally come and that gave it a bit of an empty feeling. here's what one store owner had to say when we spoke to them. >> how is this manger by yourself? please. you do. show me group coming. show me a family coming. >> many of the fateful stick around for that mass. still, everyone is very aware of the political situation here. the violence that has continued.
we've seen attacks on israelis not over only the past few days, but today as well, and that's stretched to the middle of october, and we've seen clashes between palestinian protesters and israeli security forces. the numbers we have since october 11, we've seen 20 israelis killed, about 130 palestinians killed, some 70 of which israeli authorities say carried out -- killed carrying out attacks on israelis. those clashes continue to this very day. many christian communities scaling back christmas festivities as a show of palestinian solidarity because of what we've seen here over the last three months. continuing now into its fourth month. unfortunately, that is the reality that hangs over christmas in the holy land. >> all right. orin lieberman, reporting live from jerusalem this morning. this has been an especially tough christmas for christians who fled isis in iraq. many lost everything, and now live as refugees. sarah seidnor is here with more on that. >> it is awful to see for the
numbers of people leaving their country. while it is so devastating in places like iraq and syria, for christians in particular. christians have been targeted so they are leaving their homeland with the hope of returning, but they want to make sure they can keep their christianity as part of their lives. >> they thread florida their lives. 200 miles from mosul, iraq, tormented their people, lug their muslim neighbors, these christian refugees have found a place to celebrate the birth of their lord and savior. >> translator: my last christmas was in my family's house. it was me, my mom and dad and my brother. we were all together. we hope to be united as one family in one place just once more, she says. but for now they're refugees in istanbul, turkey, praying and
singing. a family torn apart. ♪ >> they sang christmas carols in an old wedding hall that has been converted into church for christmas. they grieve for their losses and pray for their homeland hoping one day to return to iraq as proud christians with no fear of reprisals simply because of their faith. they come from one of the oldest, longest standing christian communities in the world, but even their priest had to flee his church there. what gives us patience, solis, and hope is the words from the hole where i book, the bible, he says. the lord said you will face persecution, but take courage. i comfort the world. christianity is under siege in the very region where it was born. iraq's christian population used to be about 1.5 million a decade ago. now only about half remain. syria is even worse. of the 1.1 million syrian christians who once lived in the country, about 600,000 have
fled. in the middle east they call themselves by many names. a syrians, syria, but they are all christians. >> it's a sad to be far away from our country. it's sad to be far away from our neighbors, from our friends, from our families. it's not easy, but i know something is better than nothing, and thanks that we have a priest here, that we are gathering here, and i hope everything can be okay. >> reporter: on this day these christians humbly offer their thanks, grateful that they have survived to celebrate one of the most joyous days on the christian calendar. >> carol, some have openly asked is this the end of christians in the middle east? the place where christianity originated? to that many have said, you know what, no. we know that one day we'll be able to return and practice our faith. >> i talked to a catholic nuns living in the kurdish controlled
area of iraq. they say the same thing. they want to go home. they hope one day they will, but they also wonder why someone isn't helping them do that, as if maybe the united states or some other ally of the united states. >> they're praying for help. that is true. that is true. >> sar wra seidner, many thanks. let's talk politics and a group that's wielding considerable influence over iowa for years. i'm talking about social conservatives or evangelicals. in the past they throw their support behind mike huckabee and rick santorum, helping them win the 2008 and 2012 caucuses, and now with the 2016 contest just weeks away, ted cruz is hoping their votes will propel him to the white house. while cruz has rolled out high profile endorsements from this group, that support comes at a time that a number of christians in america have dipped. that's according to a new gallop poll. it shows that 75% of americans identify with the christian religion. that's down slightly from seven years ago when the number was at
80%. of course, we have all heard that the mill enwral generation doesn't adhere to any religion. they identify with many religions. a lot of them call themselves christian, but they don't worship in the same way as evangelicals. swroink me now to discuss all of this is professor at morehouse college and tara, former republican congressional communications director. both are cnn political comment ato -- commentators. thank you for being with me this day. mark, i'll begin with you. george w. bush is the only evangelical-backed iowa caucus candidate in the past 30 years to win the nomination and go on to win the white house. why did ted cruz think the evangelicals could take him all the way to the white house? >> well, i think it's about establishing moment wrum. if you win iowa, all the headlines say you're a winner even though there aren't that many electoral votes, even though the last two republicans -- the last two iowa winners didn't even win the
nomination. ted cruz wants that momentum to start. particularly because he is now in somewhat of an interesting race with donald trump. i think it's a big deal. it's what santorum's campaign likes. he wouldn't talk about mike huckabee's chances before that until iowa. i think it's a smart move. i'm just not sure the evangelical vote means as much in 2016 as we thought it did before. >> couldn't you argue, tara, that one of the reasons rick santorum was evangelical support, yes, but he also had a big money donor that kept his campaign rolling. >> right. i wouldn't diminish the evangelical vote. particularly in the gop primary. during the senate -- last year during the midterms, the senate races, evangelicals made up 30% of the primary voters to the senate race. this time around you have both donald trump and ted cruz making up about 50% plus of the evangelical vote, and in iowa that is very crucial.
santorum won iowa partially because of the importance of the evangelical vote. this has been an interesting constituency. even though in the national election they may not have as much of a role as they did in the past, but they definitely do in primary states. particularly in the south. when you have super tuesday primary coming up in march in the southern states, the evangelical vote is going to be crucial there. >> okay. let's talk about the evangelical vote split between donald trump and ted cruz, but it's between more than that because this is a recent poll. it shows cruz with 33% evangelical support. trump with 22%. marco rubio and ben carson have 13% and 12% respectively. how will that play? it's all over the place. isn't it, mark? >> yeah. i think evangelical voters haven't made up their mind. on the one hand, as most voters, this is -- what's interesting,
of course, is that eadvantage el -- donald trump seems to be the person to hitch your wagon to right now. there are other people that have values more in line with evangelical guidance. you may look at ben carson or ted cruz and say, wait a minute, this guy represents my values and same thing with rick santorum four years ago, but mitt romney has a better chance of winning. this is the tug-of-war that all voters go through. evangelicals are probably tired of seeing fairly moderate republicans go and not represent their interest, and they're not winning the elections. the last thing is i think the problem with the evangelical voters in the primary is that they move so far to the right to win their vote, and you get to the general election, you know, suddenly there are independent voters that say, hey, wait a minute, you're a little too extreme for me. >> something else interesting, and i want to bring this up because it's so interesting. franklin graham, a prominent evangelical said he is fed up with both parties, and he did say republicans. listen to what he told me just a few minutes ago.
>>. >> we need, i think -- >> franklin graham is fed up. he says no candidate reflects his christian values. he is talking specifically about planned parenthood. he said nobody went the extra mile to defund planned parenthood. >> yeah, that was a huge issue. it will continue to be as we go into the election season. people start to actually vote. i think what we're seeing now is more evangelicals are coalessing around ted cruz. as ben carson starts to fade off pretty quickly, cruz has been the beneficiary of that, clearly, and that's why you see his lead in iowa. he is pulling in lowers with trump in some national polls.
>> marco rubio is not that far behind. those conversations happen in evangelical circles also. he is a leader in the evangelical community and is probably troubled by a donald trump candidacy. i think that he is a little bit more diplomatic in the way he would say it, but the washington post did a story in december with that. how evangelical leaders are trying to figure out how to get rid of trump because he doesn't represent our vauldz per se from the arrogance and the gambling and the way he acts and behaves. that's not what they think is becoming for a presidential candidate. it's going to be interesting to see what happens, but we'll see when they start voting. >> thanks again for both of you being here on christmas day. >> my pleasure. >> i'll let you get back to your families. >> still to come in the newsroom, if you are on the east coast, you might notice a few things are missing. like hats and gloves and even
coats. i'm heading outside to check out the holiday heat wave next. feel a cold coming on? new zicam cold remedy nasal swabs shorten colds with a snap, and reduce symptom severity by 45%. shorten your cold with a snap, with zicam. just serve classy snacks and bew a gracious host,iday party. no matter who shows up. do you like nuts? wheall i can think abouthit, is getting relief. only nicorette mini has a patented fast-dissolving formula.
he was complaining because i was complaining it was so warm here. he said it's 44 degrees here in los angeles. you could have this cold back. thank you very much. oh, cry me a river because i know it's going to get cold later. anyway, let's talk about the warm temperatures because temperatures like this are something santa is maybe used to while surfing in south florida, but new jersey? isn't this an awesome picture? the beaches weren't quite packed, but surfers were out on the jersey shore. temperatures climbing into the 70s yesterday. >> it's warm. there's waves. i'm going to surf. i'm happy. it's fantastic. any time you get out in the water, it's always great. especially on christmas. extra christmas surprise. >> new york already hit 66 degrees after midnight. he told you that. that's 25 degrees higher than normal. temperatures like this have not been seen in the last 33 years. the city's last record of 64 degrees set way, way, way, way
back in 1982. beach volleyball in central park yesterday. temperatures actually soared into the 70s. ice skaters in shorts and rockefeller center. that's like armageddon, isn't it? all 50 cities across 19 states could make heat history. chad myers, i have to show you the tabloids again. it's weirdly funny. ho, ho, ho, hot in the new york post. and sauna clause in the daily news. look at all the people out here. shrin winter coats, and they're really hot. look at that woman in the winter hat. does she know it's 66 degrees already? i think people are just confused. >> she knows that you lose 90% of the heat out of the top of your head. sent that what your mom said, right? >> no chance of that today. >> another shot over your shoulder too of the central park ice rink. the only make sure you stay
upheight today because i've skate thissed warm, and it gets cold after you fall down. anyway, i digress. it is warm across the east coast. it's hot across the deep south, and there's potential still for severe weather. now, last night at midnight new york city already broke a record. we're not even trying to do it in the daytime. it broke it at midnight as we finally turned into today. santa lost two pounds of sweat just getting through the east coast by the time he finally going government to the west coast, was much better. we are going to get to 75 in atlanta. we're going to get to 78 in jackson. there's still the potential for severe weather. the severe weather continues today. just like we had yesterday. in fact, there's one storm that i'm actually a little bit concerned about. not that far from calhoun city in mississippi. i believe it's rotating, and there's a new tornado warning on the cell. it's right there. this is maybe the first of many. this is still early. early in the day to get tornado warnings already going. we'll watch for the potential. what i really want you to watch for, though, is the flooding.
there's flooding everywhere across the deep south. even here in atlanta. there are roads that are flooded with barricades up. do not drive around those barricades. some spots have picked up between four and six inches of rain in 48 hours. more to come. >> oh, i know. there's nasty weather in other places, right? especially as you mention down south in mississippi and tennessee. you know, a lot of people are counting their blessings there because some have lost everything, but their families survived. others were not so lucky this christmas season. let's check in with nick valencia. hi, nick. >> unseasonably warm weather there in new york. it's more of the same here down south with tornadoes being a big issue. especially across three states. tennessee, mississippi, and georgia. at least 14 people lost their lives. we hopefully are out of the worst of it. >> reporter: this christmas scenes of devastation in parts of the south and midwest. heavy rain causing widespread flooding across north georgia and tornadoes tearing across
several states. >> started hearing real loud roar. i told her, i said we need to get in the house now. >> it sounded literally like a freight train. sounding of the horn. it was coming. >> in ashland, miss michigans all that's left of theresa mckay's home is the porch. she and her husband were inside when they saw the tornado coming. they ran and hid in this truck. >> nothing left of my house. not one thing. nothing but all that debris. >> this building may have saved tony goodwin's life when a tornado hit perry county, finish tennessee. >> i had my grandson in my arms -- under my arm, and everybody got in except for my sister-in-law and i'm yelling at her, come on. you know? she got in. as soon as she did, i shut the door. >> the tornado knocked its house off its foundation, but and he six others survived by taking cover in the storm shelter. >> you'll never know how important it is to seek shelter immediately however you can
because it's a lifesaver. >> two of those killed in tennessee were husband and wife and according to the storm prediction center, at least 14 tornadoes hit mississippi on wednesday, but a single twister did most of the damage. >> this is a miracle. there's no way that three individuals were in the house at this time, and they were able to walk away. >> communities coming together thankful to be alive. >> i went and bought toys for kids because i also have a little girl and for them not to have christmas and toys and stuff, it's not a holiday. >> now, the storm prediction center says the hands for violent weather has dropped dramatically, but as you heard our meteorologist chad myers say, the chance for flooding is still a big concern. especially if you are in the south. be careful out there this christmas. carol. >> will do. nick valencia reporting live for us this morning. thank you. still to come on "the newsroom" a partnership over before it started. the taliban smacking down a claim by the kremlin about a
queen elizabeth has just released her annual christmas day address. in it she quotes from the bible and talks about finding hope after a year that's seen a number of terror attacks. >> it is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, but the gospel of john contains a verse of great hope often read at christmas carol services. the light shines in the darkness
and the darkness has not overcome it. >> the queen's christmas message, one of the rare occasions when she voices her own views. in vatican city a holiday tradition as pope tran francis delivers his annual krls message. part of the message included a prayer for syria and his desire that a recent u.n. peace deal would end the suffering of the people in that war-torn country. our senior vatican analyst john allen has more for you from rome. >> pope francis today delivered the traditional christmas message directed to the city, meaning rome, and also to the world. now, popes traditionally use this platform to issue a kind of 360 degree review of the global situation, and that's very much what pope francis did today. the top note was a strong plea for peace in a series of global hot spots. the pontiff mentioned the israeli-palestinian conflict, the war going on in syria. he talked about libya, the
democratic republic of congo, ukraine. also called for a breakthrough in the peace talks in columbia currently aiming to try to end the world's longest running civil war. these are all, of course, situations in which the pontiff has been personally involved either out front or behind the scenes. as europe grapples with the most significant refugee crisis it's faced since the second world war, the pope also issue aid strong note of solidarity with migrants and refugees calling for compassion, for people fleeing violence and conflict, and calling on host nations to be generous in receiving and integrating them. the pope also in the context of a year in which terrorism has been one of the major themes around the world denounced what he called brutal acts of terror, including the november terrorist attacks in paris. he ticked off a series of other social ills that kind of occupy his heart. he talked about child soldiers and trafficking in human
persons. in the context of a special jubilee year of mercy that he has decreed for 2016, he also issued a strong plea, a special dose of mercy, for prisoners. visiting prisoners has been one of the hallmarks of his papacy. essentially what you saw today was a pontiff who very much aspires to be a peace pope. using the visibility afforded by one of the holiest days on the christian cal tar to try to raise his voice around the world in defense of peace and of human dignity, and that was very much the story from rome here on christmas day 2015. >> john allen reporting. thank you. good morning, everyone. merry christmas. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. an unusual twist in an already bizarre story about strength, geopolitical bed fellows.
the taliban are now crying foul about a lame made by the kremlin that the two are working together and sharing intelligence in the fight against a common enemy. isis. let's sort this out. i'm joined by lieutenant colonel rick frankona. welcome. >> good morning. >> so it was just a day ago we heard that russia said it was kind of sharing intelligence with the taliban, and then the taliban puts out this press release and says, hold on a minute, that's not exactly true. what's up with that? >> well, i don't find it bizarre at all that the russians would try to engage in some intelligence sharing relationship with the taliban. the russians do not regard the taliban as a threat to the russian federation. however, they do regard isis as a threat. they would like to get information on isis wherever they can. if you remember when the russians went to syria, they said it was about terrorism, about isis, but it really was about propping up bashar al assaad. here we see them going after
isis since they knocked down that airliner. the russian really have shifted a lot of their focus. they're very concerned that isis is spreading into the caucuses area. hundreds of fighters we see in syria are chech anyians. when they go back home, they'll pose a threat to the russians. they want to gather information anywhere they can on isis. why is the taliban denying it? these relationships are generally considered to be quite sensitive, quite secret, and i'm sure the taliban doesn't want to see themselves cooperating with the russians. >> why not? why wouldn't the taliban want to cooperate with the russians? >> because -- well, the taliban, as they said, they don't want to portrait themselves as needing anybody's help and taking on e isis in their own country. i think the taliban is trying to downplay anything they're getting from the russians. >> all right. lieutenant colonel rick francona, merry christmas, and huh thank you for being here with me this day.
>> same to you, carol. just days away from liber e liberating ram odd where i. video shows -- troops on the streets must battle against ied's, booby traps and suicide bombers. the iraqi forces reportedly have set their sights on liberating mosul next. that's a much larger city. this is according to reuters. iraqi soldiers in ramadi say they expect to eliminate all isis fighters in the city within a couple of days. >> translator: the corpses are still under the rubble, and none of them are still in this district. that's it. we retook it, and it's over for them. a couple more days, and all ramadi will be clear, and there will be not one of them left in this city. >> cnn pentagon correspondent barbara star has more for us. good morning, barbara. >> good morning, carol. not one left in the city. well, we will see about that. isis doesn't -- is not known to give up very easily, but it does look absolutely like the iraqis have made significant progress.
potentially taking back wrup wards of 70% of ramadi. they are taking up the bombs just destroyed seven houses in the ramadi area. they will have to take back the entire city. they will have to be able to hold on to it. they will have to be able to defeat any sort of running gorilla attacks by whatever isis fighters may be left. as for mosul, that is a much larger city. certainly it is the next big goal to get mosul back from the grip of isis. if you can -- if the iraqis can achieve getting ramadi back, holding on to it, getting mosul back, that is a major strategic victory for them. they can't afford to lose this time they have run away in the past now after months of u.s.
training. they appear very ready to take on isis. if they get ramadi back, if they get mosul back, iraq gets a big chunk of its territory back. carol. >> barbara star reporting live from the pentagon. thank you. still to come in the newsroom, time for tense and awkward political discussions around the christmas dinner table. some tips on getting you through it next. jusdoes that mean they have toer grow apart from their friends, or from the things they love to do? with right at home, it doesn't.
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you're not just looking for a house. you're looking for a place for your life to happen. zillow. checking top stories for you at 38 minutes past. the feud leads to a deadly shoot out at a north carolina mall. authorities say the man went to the mall yesterday when he ran into someone he didn't like. he started arguing with the man and then shot at him multiple times. the gunman turned his weapon on a responding off duty officer.
that officer pulled his own gun and shot ask killed him. no one else was hurt. demonstrators blocked entrances to several chicago stores along the city's magnificent mile chanting "16 shots and coverup." they spent christmas eve protesting the police shooting of 17-year-old laquann mcdonald. video was released a year after his death showing an officer shooting the teenager 16 times in just 15 seconds. protesters are demanding mayor rahm emanuel and the cook county state attorney resign. iron manner actor robert downey jr. is off the naughty list. downey was one of 91 people who received a christmas eve pardon from california governor jerry brown. downey spent time in prison after a 1996 drug-related conviction. the governor says downey has paid his debt to society. all right. it is christmas, and in just a few hours you'll probably sit down to dinner with your extended family. there will be egg nog and maybe too much egg nog. talk will turn to politics, and that can get ugly really, really
fast. no different than from how it went down on thanksgiving. as "snl" captured so poiniantly earlier this we're. >> i'm so thankful our governor is not going to let those refugees in our state. >> you didn't, aunt cathy. that was an asian woman. >> why is it that your friends keep antagonizing the police? >> why would you ask my boyfriend that? >> she's a guest in our house. ♪ ♪ hello, it's me ♪ i was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet ♪ ♪ to go over everything ♪ they say the time is supposed
to heal you, but i ain't done much -- ♪ >> oh, your grandparents are here. >> so what if you don't have the new adele cd, or whatever you call those musical things these days? dr. jeff is here to help where are welcome. >> it's a pleasure, carol. >> i always enjoy having these kinds of conversation wuz. >> yeah. thank you. thank you. my pleasure. >> my first question -- >> yes. >> -- what do you do if uncle larry arrives wearing his donald trump make america great hat is? nobody else at the dinner table is supporting donald trump. >> more than anything else we need to have the idea of respect. he happens to wear that cap. that's his cap. let him enjoy it. perhaps he will wear something a little different or nothing at all. that will be the case. we call those things rules of engagement. be kind. have manners, but more than anything else, it is about that respect. >> you mean ignore the hat? >> well, you can then bring it
up. why are you wearing it? here's the thing now. he may say, well, i'm wearing it because i'm all for donald trump, and can you say, well, i don't happen to be for donald trump, but let's talk about what it is that america needs right now in a leader. in other words, it becomes the starter for a conversation that is much more positive instead of going down the path of negativity. >> it's a tough task, dr. jeff. what if you have uncle larry wearing his donald trump make america great hat and somebody else is wearing this t-shirt for hillary clinton. you see that? hillary clinton, nope. two polarizing political figures. how do you handle that at the christmas dinner table? >> this is where we bring in humor, because it is funny. as we saw with the "snl" skit, if we're able to laugh about our differences, accept our differences but laugh about them, then it makes it much, much more tolerable because at the end of the day who really
cares that he is wearing the hat or she's wearing the t-shirt? it's really kind of cute that you are wearing it around the holiday table. >> have you such a -- doesn't he have a sunny outlook? it's amazing. truly in my family you cannot talk about politics. >> well, we talk about -- we do talk about it in my family, and lep let me tell you where. there's this whole intergenerational thing going on because we have granddad, and then we have the younger folks. what we look for in granddad is that his strength is history and experience. for the younger folks their experience may be perhaps technology, the information highway. how do we take those two differences to look for common ground and come up with a discussion that is dynamic? let's not talk about who is right or who is wrong, but what our differences are, how they make us who we are and how we can bring that together for a hybrid of good dynamic conversation at the dinner table? >> wow.
i would love that. i would love that, although i think the better solution is just to have that adele song handy. >> and if we can sing to it at the same time, i think that's even better. >> that is better. dr. jeff, thanks for stopping by. merry christmas. >> my pleasure. happy holidays. >> happy holidays. okay. santa has arrived safely back at the north pole. that is according to norad. he dropped off his very last gift and headed home with the reindeer. the first lady michelle obama answered calls at the norad tracking center, telling children where exactly santa was at any point of the day or night. here's a little trivia for you. norad has been tracking santa since 1955. that's when a child tried to figure out where the heck santa was, dialed the wrong number, and ended up talking to a u.s. defense official. thus, a tradition was born. as we open gifts and spend time with our loved ones today, i want to remember those insuring that we have a safe and happy holiday. a very merry christmas to all of
our troops serving abroad, thank you so much for your sacrifice, for being willing to spend this day away from your family, so we can be with ours. your service is so appreciated. i'll be right back. 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?
do you really think that's a good idea? if everyone jumped off a cliff, would you do it too? you'll lose interest. it's just a phase. it hurts me more than it hurts you. where are your manners - were you raised by wolves? you're going to give me a heart attack. when you have kids, you'll understand. this is the life of a rebel. sorry, mom.
but what's next? for all binge watchers. movie geeks. sports freaks. x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. they were the people and events that made jaws dropped and forced very public apologies and resignations. cnn's joe johns counsel down the top ten scandals and controversies of the we're. >> number ten, most hated. pharmaceutical company ceo martin shkrelli tops our list. he jacked the price of a drug to help cancer patients and aids patients. he took too long to stop talking. >> i can see how it looks
greedy, but there's a lot of altruistic property to it. >> or weegt. trying to make bernie sanders and hillary clinton who did not want to hear it. he was indied for ub related fraud and resigned before the end of the we're. number nine, state of denial. 2015 was yet another banner year for illinois politicians in big trouble. former house speaker dennis hast either got caught up in sexual misconduct and hush money allegations. former congressman aaron shock resigned after misusing taxpayer money including to redecorate his office in the style of the downton abby tv show, and rahm emanuel was on the ropes for his city's handling of police shooting video that show didn't go public until after the mayor got re-elected. >> i'm responsible. i don't shirk that responsibility. >> the year of family vebz values. >> this is a story of my family. we're the duggars. >> conservative family man and reality tv star josh gduggar
quit the family research council after admitting that while in his teens he monthly tested four of his sisters. then duggar popped up when the ashley madison hacker started naming names. though he wasn't the only one. 32 million people buying into the website slogan life is short, have an affair. number seven, black like me. the story of rachel was hard to watch, but impossible to turn away. president of spokane's naacp outed as white by her parents. >> are you african-american? >> i don't understand the question. >> no crime, of course. in a color-blind society, it wouldn't matter, but this is not that america. the telling part was the overheated reaction to rachel's story that said more about our times than she ever could. >> i think she's out of her mind, to be quite honest. >> at first i thought, you know, maybe this is a psychological disorder, but now i'm convinced that she's a con artist.
>> number six, at least they're consistent. the u.s. secret service, the guys who protect the first family, seem to stay in the spotlight and not always for their heroics. sometimes it's not even their fault. this year some rocket scientists flew a drone over the white house that crashed on the lawn. what are you supposed to do about that? but then in march two senior agents who had been drinking crashed a car into the white house barricade. so there's that. number five, journalism's naughty list is anchored this year by former "nbc nightly news" anchor brian williams. >> i want to apologize. i said i was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by rpg fire. >> who somehow managed turn his credibility into a late night comedy routine. not to be forgotten, rolling stone magazine, which this year had to retract a story by sabrina ruben early, who managed take a serious issue of national concern and change the focus with her deeply flawed opus on the alleged sexual assault at the university of virginia. number four, no sense of humor.
here's a question. three top officials of fifa, the governing body for soccer, is traveling in the car. the police. it's almost not a joke considering so many officials who control the world's most popular sport have been implicated by the have yous department for allegations of bribery, fraud, and money laundering. that joke was so not funny to fifa that when one of its pr guys told it in public, he quit his job. number three is speaking of sports scandals we can't forget tm brady of the nfl's new england patriots who faced down allegations that made both a joke and a punch line. grown men accused of playing with deflated balls. >> our equipment guys do a great job of breaking the balls in. to me those balls are perfect, and that's what i expect when i show up on the field. >> number two, i'm alice in wonderland, and i approve this message. >> there is a place like no place on earth.
some say to survive it, you need to be as mad as a hatter. >> when lewis carol wrote this fantasy classic, he could not have foreseen the unparalleled political coming from candidates in both parties in the u.s. presidential race. >> everything i did was permitted by law and regulation. >> where being a leader can mean insulting millions. >> they're rapists. >> i would not advocate that we put a muslim in charge of this nation. >> even billions of people. >> donald j. trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states. >> and the great thing is the general election is still more than ten months away. finally, number one, policing in the age of candid camera phone. it has dominated the headlines for more than a year separating the vast majority of officers just doing their jobs from those who abuse their power. nowadays, if the police report says a guy got locked up or beat up or worst, was supposedly
resisting arrest, pictures sometimes tell the rest of the story. swr joe johns, cnn, washington. >> thanks so joe johns. checking other top stories for you this morning at 53 minutes past. holiday shoppers are fed up with fedex. severe storms delaying package deliveries across the country. fedex now says some delivery staff are volunteering to make deliveries this christmas morning. they waited 36 years, but now each of the 53 hostages in iran, remember that, will receive $10,000 for every day they were held at the u.s. embassy in tehran back in the 1970s. their spouses and children are eligible for a one-time pay-out of $600,000. the pay-out is part of a budget bill passed last week. an idaho lunch lady who was fired for giving a free meal to a hungry child is being offered her job back. that's according to the school district. she made headlines when she posted a picture of her termination letter to facebook. it trirged tens of thousands of
people signing an on-line petition calling for her to be reinstated. she says she has yet to receive an official offer to return, though. children of all ages, remember the classic, stop action movie "rudolph the red-nosed reindeer." able a few of those original puppets remain. one man on staten island has made it his mission to preserve them. ♪ snoelt. >> there isn't so much as a christmas tree left. these are the only two surviving puppets. >> my name is peter, and i am the owner of the original rudolph and santa puppets. sfleet have a holly jolly christmas and in case you didn't hear ♪ >> the secretary brought them home and used them for display every christmas. they were kept in the attic. a hot, dingy, old, old attic. over the wreerz they decayed.
♪ >> for crying out loud. >> the only part that is not original is that nose, which we had to replace, because it wasn't there. i never thought i would get the opportunity to own these dolls. i wish i could get ahold of any kind of a prop, even a twig from rudolph the red nosed reindeer. owning something from the show represented my childhood, and it took me back to a very happy time in my life. ♪ rudolph the red nosed reindeer, you'll go down in history ♪ >> awesome. i want to take you outside one more time to new york central park because it is unnaturally warm outside. people are ice skating, though, and it's in the 60s right now. central park officially broke a record at midnight. hit 66 degrees. i checked out the weather in san diego, california. you know the place that's supposed to have perfect
weather? it's 52 degrees there this morning. sorry, california. new york has it going on this christmas day. merry christmas, and thank you so much for joining me on this special day. i'm carol cost elwroe. at this hour burman and baldwin after a break. checking out the listing on zillyeah, i like it. this place has a great backyard. i can't believe we're finally doing this. all of this... stacey, benjamin... this is daniel. you're not just looking for a house. you're looking for a place for your life to happen. zillow.
cars were just picked up and thrown around like little toys. that's how one police chief describes the deadly storm that ripped through the south. the death toll continues to rise, and communities ronl just beginning to grasp the scope of the devastation. and pope francis, he appeals for peace in his annual christmas message. he also weighs in on the sear wran civil war and the recent attacks in paris and egypt. and the obama administration's new plan to deport hundreds of families who