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tv   Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans  CNN  December 30, 2015 1:00am-2:01am PST

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♪ >> a deadly rare winter storm flooding the mid-west t. death toll rising this morning. it's only going to get worse. the race for president shrinking this morning. george pataki calling it quits. not without a few parting words. the affluenza teen expected back in the u.s. in hours, what we are learning about his time in mexico.
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good morning, welcome to "early start." >> it is wednesday, december 30ing. it's 4:00 a.m. in the east. be right backing overnight, while the storms are over, the flooding downstream is about to get worse. more than 18 million americans in 13 states now living under flood warning. for some it's already too late. a newspaper camera caught this rolling down the merrimac in missouri. look at that. across the state, americans have been warned about major to historic flooding into early next week. they are preparing for the worse. one place that is expected is north of st. louis. cnn hagan the latest for us this morning. >> reporter: high water is already blocking several roads if and around west alton,
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missouri. things are expected to get worse before they improve. several miles from here, there are several homes and businesses already under water if union, missouri. authorities there telling cnn they had to rescue at least two people who got caught up in the rising flood waters. missouri governor jay nixon ask asking people to please avoid driving through roads that are covered with water. >> the amount of rain we received in some places in excess of a foot has caused river levels not only to rise rapidly but to go to places they've never been before. now that the rain has moved out, the threat has changed. it is not by any means over. >> reporter: the mayor of west alton, missouri. has already issued a voluntary evacuation order. he says about 50 residents have decided to ride this one out. allison and christine. >> this is some incredible pictures. illinois also hit by severe floods. the this inundated road you see
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here. this is in a residential neighborhood in wood river. workers filling up sandbags to protect against the flooding. >> areas of the arkansas river which flows into the mississippi, topping flood levels they set in the spring by a foot. look at that rushing water. forecasters warn it will stay above flood stage through thursday night at least. >> and that same storm system doing serious damage in michigan. you can see this tree flattened this car. this happening in detroit. elsewhere in the city, more trees toppling over, pressing homes, blocking roads, amazing pick. all this blamed on the roaring wind. listen to what happened to one woman and her family. >> everyone was sitting watching tv. we thought it was a large car crash. it lasted about 30 to 40 seconds. we went to the front door and seen this big tree on the front porch and know we can't get out
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of the house. >> the northeast hit with a snowstorm. threetime people died when their suv crashed head on into a tractor-trailer killing them. this was the scene in albany, new york. cars taking their time t. area hit with at least six inches of snow. skiers if massachusetts enjoy the fresh powder. you can see them enjoying princeton. many said they started waiting for snow well before thanksgiving. it's been a late season in the northeast. >> that looks pretty. storms and icy conditions still causing travel headaches. already, there are almost 200 flight delays and cancellations in the u.s. on monday, the work affected 7600 flights. now with the rain and snow mostly behind us. what's ahead for the millions of people in the flood zones the flood warning zones. >> good morning. guys, this is a slow motion disaster. we seen this play out before the last time we had severe flooding back in 1993. it cost about $15 billion across
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the mississippi basin. the month of december. over 4,000 high records set. typically, snow has done a wonderful job absorbing the moisture. it brings the river levels down. of course, with the record temperatures, we seen increase rnoff and the water levels the highest we have seen in years. it was over 18 million people underneath flood watches and warnings. let me show you the maps here. downstream here, a lot of rivers, of course, feed right directly into the mississippi river. we had 70 tornadoes in recent weeks. when you peel back underneath these tornadoes, we had tremendous rainfall take place as well to bring down the river tributaries. all want to flow into one spot. that being the mississippi river. the volume of water too much to hand him. from yesterday, the 31st. as far as january 3rd, into parts of louisiana.
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all of this water wants to make it down into the gulf of mexico. this slow motion disaster. we heard people call this a slow motion tsunami as the water increases and works its way into the community. this is something that is very concerning when you think about what's ahead over this region. the moisture pretty much turned up. scattered light showers, snow showers across this area. nothing insignificant in the way of additional rainfall. the flooding continues over the next several weeks. take a look at the northeast. feels like it's cold outside. still looking like 10 degrees above normal. even boston, above normal. a record streak of temperatures set across central park today. the last time temperatures failed below the freezing mark was 275 days ago. the county, march 30th, 275 days ago. embraced the 1998 record. the el nino record as well, the freezing mark.
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technically you can't say it's freezing in here. >> i can't say i mind the mild winter. so far i'm loving it. >> me too. thanks, nice to see you. we worry about all those people, all that flooding. political news breaking overnight. former new york governor george pataki ending his campaign for the republican nomination. pataki never broke out of the single digit in the poll, never got onto the main stage in the republican debate. he struggles to draw attention in the crowded field of candidates by attacking front runner donald trump. pataki's tv spot announcing he is quitting the race seems intended in the same spirit. >> well, tonight is the end of my journey for the white house as i suspend my campaign for president. i'm confident we can ewill effect the right person, someone who will bring us together, who understands that politicians including the president must be the people's servant and not their master.
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>> mr. pataki dropping out. 11 in the still crowded republican field. for the person sitting atop of that feel a major change in vaj for donald trump. even though he is already the front runner, trump is detailing plans to spend honey, millions of dollars on ads now. it's an effort to lock in wins in early voting states. trump's new tactic the basis for his latest taunts on twitter. he says, i've spent almost nothing on my run for president and i'm in 1st place. jeb bush has spent 59 million and done. run the country my way. another tweet reads, my campaign for president is $35 million under budget. i've spent very little. i am in 1st place. i will spend big in iowa, new hampshire and iowa. lets bring in senior washington correspondent jeze jeff zeleney
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>> reporter: donald trump will appear tonight in south carolina after iowa tuesday night and new hampshire on monday. zrump donald trump is clearly taking nothing for granted. he is looking over his shoulder to some republican rivals. he will start a major advertising campaign last week. he explained tuesday night in omaha, let's take a listen. >> so i'm going to be doing big ads in iowa, new hampshire, south carolina and they're going to be very substantial and i think they're very well done. i've seen the first two or three of them. we're very proud of them. we're going to be talking about a lot of things, including the border, including trade, including isis and security for the country. we're going to be talking about a lot of things in these commercials. >> reporter: now, those television commercials will start next week. he says he will spend at least $2 million a week going into the iowa caucuses november 1st, followed by the new hampshire primary. it is a change of strategy for donald trump. so far he has not appeared on
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television advertising, that is changing. he is trying to turn his supporters in iowa into actual caucus-going voters. >> that is his challenge here, trying to get his supporters out to the polls. we'll see if he does it in less tan five weeks. >> jeff, thanks for that. hillary clinton sticking to her attacks to ignore attacks from donald trump, campaign income new hampshire, she declined to answer reporters' questions about trump. clinton is campaigning hard in the granite state. she is trying to pull out an upset victory against bernie sanders who is ahead in the new hampshire polls. at a town hall there, clinton did answer a question about isis declaring for the first time that the terror group killing of religious snyder, including christians, amounts to gen side. >> i am sure now we have enough evidence. what is happening is gen side, deliberately aimed at destroying folt only the lives but wiping
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out the existence of christian and other religious minorities in the middle east, in territory controlled by isis. >> other candidates also stumping in early primary and caucus states, trying to build momentum going into the home stretch before early voting begins. marco rubio and chris christie holding halls in iowa. the severe weather taking cruz, ted cruz to his home state of texas where he can be touring the tornado damage in the dallas suburb of roulette. >> time for an early start for your money. oil is still tumblig here. down more than 2% right now. there are only two days left of trading this year. stocks are flat for the year. they moved sideways most of the year, except for a decline in the fall. right now the s&p 500 is up about 1%. very different from the double digit gains so many have become used to. last year stocks climbed 11%.
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in 2013, a stunning 30% rally. now the market polls run slow to a crawl. don't expect more double digit gains. your portfolio could get a bigger boost. the prediction a 6% gain by the end of the year. >> i'll keep my fingers crossed for that number. >> it's never a straight line. it's always up and down. there you go, even more. >> the so-called affluenza teenager expected back in the u.s. this morning after weeks on the run. what we're learning about the time he spent in mexico and the charges he could now be facing next.
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>> no wronger a fugitive. the so-called affluenza teen is expected to return to the u.s. today after his capture in mexico, ethan couch violated his probation and fled along with his mother. the question now is what will they both face when they are brought back to texas.
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cnn's ed laugh darragh has the details. >> reporter: torts are awaiting the return of ethan couch and his mother tawnya couch. they were captured monday afternoon in puerto vallarta. is they are now in the process of being brought back to the united states. it's not exactly clear how long that process will take. when tawnya couch arrives back here in the united states, she will be charged with interfering with the apprehension of a fugitive. >> that is a felony charge. she now faces up to ten years in prison. now, other authorities here are trying to figure out just exactly what to do with ethan couch. obviously, his case has been the source of frustration for many here in the ft. worth area, especially the families that
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were killed in 2014. prosecutors are trying to move ethan couch's case from the juvenile system into the adult system. as it stands right now the most jail time he could face is about up to four months and prosecutors say they do not believe that that is enough. that's why they're trying to move his case from the juvenile system to the adult system. there is a hearing scheduled for that on january 19th of next year. so we'll take some time before we really hear the future fate of ethan couch. right now, the texas authorities are waiting on both of them to be brought back from mexico here to the ft. worth area. >> ed, lavandara. >> that is expected to happen today. officer van dyke pleading not guilty to six counts of murder in the shooting death of a black teenager last year. laquan mcdonald's shooting was captured on police dash-cam video. the shooting called for protests and calling for mayor rahm
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emanuel to resign. he may request a change of venue for that trial. in cleveland, a second day of protest over a grand jury decision not to indict two police officers in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old tamir rice. more than 100 demonstrators marched through downtown streets and much of their anger is directed at the county prosecutor who oversaw the shooting investigation, which ended monday, with the announcement that officers timothy loehmann and frank garmback would face no criminal charges. less than 24 hours and counting. a million people, pittsburghed to crude into time's square for new year's eve. officials say there will be a high level of security. the mayor says time's square will be one of the safest places on earth. >> there has been a lot of chatter. there has been a lot of rask in terms of information around the
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world related to terror. but there is not a credible threat directed at new york. there is not a threat that's been corroborated in a meaningful way. we have been in constant touch with the fbi and homelands security and other agencies. >> still mayor bill de blasio says those reigning in the new year should remain vigilant. >> a key victory against isis. taking back the city of ramadi. the latest on that next. .
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. the prime minister of iraq flew to ramadi planting iraqi flags symbolically reclaiming the city from isis after a week of fierce
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fighting. the military grip on ramadi is incomplete with about a quarter of the city still in isis hands remembers b , but it is a turning point and morale boost for iraq. joining us by phone is senior international correspondent. we see this flag being put into the soil in ramadi, but now you see the iraqi fighters setting their sights on fallujah and mosul. other cities under isis control. >> reporter: well, that's what we're hearing from the iraqi government t. prime minister on his trip to ramadi, he's very much doubling down on the iraqi crisis. they have liberated despite u.s. officials don't seem yet ready to call it fully liberated because of those ongoing pockets of fighting. in 2016 he said is the year they
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are going to push isis out of iraq. now it might be extraordinarily premature. we are getting from source we are speaking to, some of that leg is already if process. even before the campaign is launched. they've already launched the campaign to isolate fallujah to cut off that retreat line and ramadi, we're even further afield. even though mosul might be surprised. it is such a big revenue generator in terms of the taxation. >> that population for isis. mosul is the prize, we are taking that. fallujah symbolically is huge. it comes down to the fighter's experience. some of them will have been members fighting against u.s. attacks on that city. so they're aware that fallujah is being to be the tough one. now the plan is to isolate it
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and hope that the u.s.-led coalition will continue its commitment intensive airstrikes. the airstrikes were such a key factor in the retakeing of ramadi, allison. some 600 airstrikes over two months, very, very intense. so far what we are seeing on the road very secure. the last military convoy that's taking us in is very comfortable. but our understanding is that the closer we get to ramadi, that might be about to change as they come into a zone where there is still an active isis presence. >> all right. safe travels on your way to ramadi. we will check in with you again. the u.s.-led coalition says it killed ten senior lead, ten, one was this man. officials say the syrian-based isis leader had direct links to the november terrorist attacks.
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they say al mouadan was actively planning additional attacks against the u.s.. the new year's terror plot in belgium. the men are members of a biker gang with links to terror investigation. part of a growing trend is becoming known as gangster jihadism in europe. for those radicalized in prison and spreading the ideology to old friends when they get out. >> reporter: christine, authorities have yet to release the identities of these two individuals, but we are learning more about their potential affiliations, telling cnn it is believed they were a part of a muslim biker gang called the kamikaze riders, it seems they have a criminal past that includes robbery. authorities say when they
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overheard these two individuals discussing potential attacks on key locations in brussels, including the grand plat. >> that they could acquire weapons to carry out these attacks. officials saying it is believed they are a part of radicalized individuals known to authorities some members of that biker gang. there is a concern about the growing investigation between criminalality and radical ideology and the question among authorities there in europe is what more with with k they do about that? >> thank you for that. . the death toll rising in a historic winter storm.
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parts of the mid-west under water this morning. it looks like it's only going to get worse.
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. >> historic flooding as a massive winter storm barrels across the country. we are tracking the damage and what comes next. donald trump announcing he is changing his strategy in the race for president. what can we expect from him next? the affluenza teen expected back in the u.s. in just hours. what we are learning ability his time in mexico and what penalties he could face. welcome back to "early start." >> it's 30 minutes past the hour. breaking overnight, officials say almost 50 people have been killed in weather-related accidents in the past week and while the storms are over, the flooding downstream is about to get worse. more than 18 million americans in 13 states now living under flood warnings and for some,
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it's already too late a. newspaper reporter caught this cabin here floating down the merrimac river in rural missouri across the state, residents have been warned of major to historic flooding over the next few days into early next week. they're preparing for the worst. one place where the worst is expected is west alton, missouri, we have the latest. >> reporter: allison and christine, high water is already blocking several roads in and around west alten, missouri. the situation is expected to get much worse before things improve. several miles from here, there are several homes and businesses already under water in union, missouri. authorities there telling cnn they had to rescue at least two people who got caught up in the rising flood waters. missouri governor jay nixon is asking people to please avoid driving through roads that are covered with water.
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>> the amount of rain we received in some places in excess of a foot has caused river levels not only to rise rapidly but to go to places they have never been before. now that the rain has moved out the threat has changed. it is not by 18 e any means over. >> the mayor of west alten, missouri, has already issued a voluntary evacuation order. most people have followed that order. he says about 50 residents have decided to ride this one out. allison and christine. >> all right, alina machado, thank you for that. this inundated road is in a residential neighborhood in wood river. city workers filling in, piling up sandbags along the mississippi river to protect against that flooding. >> areas of the arkansas river we flows into the mississippi, topping flood levels hit in the spring by a foot. forecasters warn it's going to stay 8 feet above flood stage through thursday nate at least. >> that same storm system tdoin
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serious damage in michigan. more trees toppling over, crushing homes, blocking roads, all blamed on the roaring wind. listen to what happened to one woman and her family. >> we were sitting watching tv. we heard a sound. we thought it was a lake george car crash. it lasted about 30 to 40 seconds. we run to the front door to see this big tree on the front porch and know we can't get out of the house. >> glad she's okay. meantime the northeast hit with a snowstorm. five inches fell in vermont. three people died when their suv crashed head on into a tractor-trailer. this happened in killington. at least four others were injured this what you are looking at is a scene in albany, new york. cars taking their time as the flakes fell t. area hit with at least six inches of snow. >> it's been so long without any real snow. >> it really has. >> storms and icing conditions still causing travel headaches. already, there are almost 200 flight delays and cancellations
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in the u.s. on monday, we saw the worst of it t. weather affected about 7600 flights. sorry if that was you in the waiting room. >> all right. now with the rain and the snow, mostly behind us. what's ahead for the millions in the flood warning zones? let's go to our meteorologist. good morning. >> good morning,alson, christine, an incredible pattern the last several days here. we saw an incredible number of tornadoes, large tornadoes across much of the united states, of course, the record heat that was lying across this region. river gauge, over 400 reporting flooding. they are all indicating in the red and orange and purple colors there on the circles. but if you take a look at this taking place, we know of 18 million people underneath these flood watches around warnings. this sort of a pattern has a trick him don't effect and laying down the ground here on the floor map, i'll show you what we are talking about. we seen this occur in 1993 the benchmark when it comes to tremendous flooding. we had overtopping of levys taking place across this region. they have a tremendous amount of water now up and over the levys.
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you put enough force in, stress on these levys, you will cause them to fame and break apart. will you have more water toews take place. here's what happened. when you release pressure in certain spots. it inundates communities close by, it relieves the stress on a widespread area when it comes to levys, itself, of course, with the flooding, one of the main concerns we have is the fatality aassociated with it. you look at a 30 year average, flooding takes about 81 lives per year. we have tornadoes come in second there at about 72. okay, with flooding as well. in 2014 in year passed, they go down roads that are certainly possibly closed or have already taken on water. nearly 70% of flooding fatalities take place because of people driving. you take a look at fishing, walking outside, in flooded areas, falling into flooded regions certainly causes fatalities as well. this is concerns we have right
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now. when flooding takes place over a several day period, christine, allison, of course, with a lot of people being moved out of their homes and trying to tuned shelter, moving on to different places, being on the roads is a very, very dangerous thing. >> it doesn't take much water, even gently running water to really be dangerous, right, for a car? >> yes, that's right. ankle deep water. i always say, moving at three to five miles per hour, an average stream there. >> that will begin to move your vehicle. you get that up to knee high. you are moving the vehicle and its entirety. it has no chance of stopping anymore. the force of that water increases dramatically t. water levels are ten feet in some places above the previous record. >> all right. thanks for that really important context. political news breaking overnight. former new york governor george pataki ending his presidential nomination. he never broke out of single digits in the polls. as a result, he never broke out
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on the main stage. he struggled to draw attention in a crowded field of candidates by attacking front runner donald trump. pataki wanted equal time matching trump's appearance on "saturday night live" to announce he was dropping out. he used that to draw a final shot at the front runner. >> well, tonight is the end of my journey for the white house as i suspend my campaign for president, i'm confident we can elect the right person, someone who will bring us together, who understands that politicians, including the president, must be the people's servant and not their master. >> and donald trump is making a major change in strategy even though he's already the front runner. trump is detailing plans to spend millions of dollars on ads. it's an effort to lock in wins in early voting states. trump's new tactic is the basis for his latest taunt on twitter. some of which is this. he says i have spent almost nothing on my run for president
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and am in 1st place. jeb bush spent $59 million and done. run the country my way. another tweet reads, my campaign for president is $35 million under budget. i have spent very little and am in 1st place. now, i will spend big in iowa, new hampshire, and south carolina. for the latest on trump's plans, let's bring in senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny. >> reporter: christine, allison, donald trump is still the undisputed republican front runner. he said so himself at every campaign rally he does. i can tell you, he is not taking a holiday break. he will appear tonight in south carolina after stopping here in iowa on tuesday night and he was in new hampshire on monday. donald trump is clearly taking in ug for granted. he's also looking over his shoulder at some of his republican rivals. he will start a major advertising campaign next week. he explained for the first time tuesday night in omaha. let's take a listen. >> so i'm going to be doing big ads in iowa, new hampshire,
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south carolina and they're going to be very substantial and i think they're very well done. i've seen the first two or three of them. we're very proud of them. we're going to be talking about a lot of things, including the border. including trade, including isis and security for the country. we're going to be talking about a lot of things in these commercials. >> reporter: now, those television commercials will start next week. he said he's going to spend at least $2 million a week going into those iowa caucuses february 1st, followed by the new hampshire primary. it is a change of vaj for donald trump. so far, he has not appeared on any television advertising. >> that is changing. he is trying to turn his supporters at big rallies like this here in iowa into actual caucus-going voters. >> that is his challege here, trying to get his supporters out to the polls. we'll see if he does it in less than five weeks. christine, allison. >> all right, jeff zeleny, thanks, jeff. hillary clinton sticking to her plan to ignore attacks from donald trump.
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campaigning in new hampshire, she declined to answer reporters's questions about trump. clinton is campaigning hard in the dpran it state. she is trying to pull out an upset victory against bernie sanders ahead in the new hampshire pom. in a town hall there, clinton answered questions about icircumstance declaring for first time the terror group's killing of religious minorities, including christian, amounts to gen side. >> i am sure now we have enough evidence. what is happening is gen side, deliberately aimed at destroying not only the lives but wiping out the existence of christians and other religious minorities in the middle east in territory controlled by isis. >> other candidates also stumping in the early primary and caucus states, trying to build momentum going into the home stretch before voting begins. marco rubio and chris christie holding town halls all over iowa. jeb bush and donald trump both holding campaign events in south carolina and the severe weather taking ted cruz to his home
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state of texas where he is going to be touring the tornado damage in the dallas suburb of rowlette u.s. stock futures are down, oil prices down more than 2% right now. stocks basically flat for the year, yesterday's rise during light trade volume was enough to put the s&p up barely. a suit filed by guitarist and vocalist david lowrie claims the distributing rights holders of some songs have not been paid by spotify t. company promises to pay all those. sometimes the data to confirm is missing or incomplete. megastars taylor swift and adele have kept there's off spotify. some say streemg poor artists back after weeks on the run, but what charges will he now be facing next?
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no longer a fugitive. the squad affluenza teen is expected to return to the u.s. today after his capture in mexico. ethan couch violated his probation in the drunk driving manslaughter case and fled along with his mother. the question now is what will they both face within they are brought back to texas later today. cnn's ed lavandara has the details tore us. >> christine, allison, texas authorities are waiting for return of ethan couch and his mother tawnya couch. they were captured monday afternoon in the resort town in the pacific ocean of puerto vallarta, authorities took them into custody. we are told they did not resist. they were taken into custody, are now in the process of being brought to the united states,
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when tawnya couch arrives back here in the united states, she will be charged with the apprehension of a fugitive. >> that is a felony charge. she faces up to ten years in prison. now, other authorities are trying to figure out what to do with ethan couch. obviously, he has been the source, his case, has been the source of great frustration for many people here in the ft. worth area. especially the families of the four people killed in that drunking car crash back in 2013. prosecutors here in ft. worth are trying to move ethan couch's case from the juvenile system into the adult system. as it stands right now the most he could probably face -- any jail time is four months. prosecutors do not believe that is enough. they are trying to move his case from the juvenile system to the adult system. there is a hearing scheduled for that on january 19th of next year. so we'll take some time before we really hear the future fate of ethan couch.
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right now, texas authorities are waiting on both of them to be brought back from mexico here to the ft. worth area. >> ed, we will be watching. chicago police officer jason van dyke pleading not guilty to six counts of murder and one count of official misconduct in the shooting death of a black teenager last 84. laquan mcdonald's shooting was captured on dash-cam video. the shooting sparking protests. led to calls for mayor rahm emanuel to resign. they may request a change of venue for the trial in eveland, a second day over a grand jury's decision not to indict two police officers in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old tamir rice. more than 100 demonstrators disrupted traffic on tuesday. much of their anger directed at the county prosecutor. officers timothy loehmann and greg garmback would not face
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charges. less than 24 hours and counting until the ball drops. a million people are expected to crowd into new york city's time's square for new year's eve. officials are saying there is going to be a high level of security with 6,000 police guarding the revelers. the mayor says time's square will be one of the safest places on earth. >> there has been a lot of chatter. there has been a lot of traffic in terms of information around the world related to terror, but there is not a credible threat directed at new york. there is not a threat that's been corroborated in a meaningful way. we have been in constant up the with the fbi and with homeland security and other agencies. >> still, mayor de blasio says those ringing in the new year should remain vigilant. a record year at the box office, "star wars" was not the biggest force behind it. big money at the movies. that's next.
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>> the u.s. led coalition against isis says it killed ten of the terror group senior leaders over the last month. one was this man. officials say the syrian-based isis leader had a direct link to the ring leader of the november paris attacks that left 130 people dead. a coalition spokesman says he was killed in an airstrike december 24th and that like several of the other isis officials killed, he was quote actively planning initial attacks against the west new details emerging behind the suspect in a filed new year's blot in belgium. they have a history of links to terror investigation. it's a part of a growing trend in europe. what's becoming known as gangster jihadism, muslims rad cammize and spread it to old friends when they get out. cnn's eric mclaughlin live with
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more. are authorities able to tell how close this spot was ready to go? >> hi, allison, it's unclear at this moment, authorities say this is still very much under investigation and are fought giving out too many details, but we are hearing more about these two individuals who have yet to be named and their affiliation. a senior counterterrorism official in belgium saying they were a part of the muslim biker change, called the kamikaze riders. they had a criminal past, robbery. it is believed they are a part of a wideing group becoming known to authorities as the band of crazies as a group of up to 30 individuals believe to have been radicalized, some of which also members of this bioticer gang. officials saying that authorities became alarmed and decided to move in after learning that these two suspects had been discussing the
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possibility of carrying out a new year's attacks on key locations inside belgium, including the grand plat, a very ornate historic site right in the heart of the city center. authorities were concerned at the ease with which these individuals could acquire weapons given their criminal past. and that's when they decided to conduct a number of raids across different sites in belgium. now, during those raids, they did thought find any exlowsives and they did not find weapons. but they say that what they did find was computer equipment, military style uniforms as well as isis propaganda. and authorities are saying that it is believed this plot was isis inspired but not isis directed and that's a real critical distinction, because they do not believe these individuals had direct links to militants inside syria, which is a very different scenario than
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we saw play out in say the paris attacks and there is, as you say, this concern about the connection between criminality and radicalization. it's a growing question, a growing problem for officials here in europe in terms of what more they can do about that. >> all right. erin mclaughlin, thank you for that report. the top commander in afghanistan says he may request additional troops in the coming year to assist afghan forces, army john campbell maintaining 10,000 troops conducting counterterrorism raid is vital. campbell says the planned troop reduction by january 2017 should be put off as long as possible american spies reportedly keeping their eyes and ears on israeli, according to wall street journal. the u.s. intercepted communications between benjamin netanyahu and his aids as well as conversations with members of
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congress. it came when netanyahu was taking his campaign against the iran nuclear deal to capitol hill a close call on the high seas. the u.s. aircraft carrier coming within 1,500 yards of an iranian rock, operating in the straight of hormuz harry truman was moving through the strailt when the guards were conducting a live exercise in the area. this happening last weekend. they describe as what happened as quote uncharacteristic of most interactions between the u.s. and iranians. 57 minutes past the hour. let's get an early start. u.s. stock futures down, oil keeps tumbling. oil prices down another 2% right now. there are only two trading days left in the year. stocks for the year, basically flat. yesterday's rise during light trading volume was enough to put the s&p 500 up for the year, barely. getting into the top 1% got a
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little easier. a new irs data showing this. that's down from 435,000 a year earlier. thanks to a slew of tax changes. the top 0.1%. it took 1.9 million and 9.5 million to join the more elite. imagine the tax bill t. top 1% earned 19% of all income and paid atlantic% of all income from the u.s. a record year box office, stranded astronauts. the 2015 u.s. box office crossed the 11 billion mark for the first time in history, thanks in large part to a big end of the year push from this little film no one heard of, soares soares, the force awaken, shattered records. brought in $540 in the last few weeks. the record breaking stretched out over the year, jurassic world and martian. i have not seen the martian. >> it's almost like a comedy.
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i highly rem it. >> all right. i'll put that on my new year's list. >> "early start" continues right now. ♪ a deadly rare winter storm flooding the mid-west. the death toll rising. it is only going to get worse the race for president shrinking. george pataki calling it quits. not without a few parting words. the affluenza teen expected pack in the u.s. in just a matter of hours. what we're learning about how he spent his time in mexico. good morning, welcome to "early start." i'm christine roman. >> i'm allisison kosic. 15 people have been killed in weather-related accidents in the past week. while the storms are over, the flooding downstream is about to get worse. more than 18 million americans in 13 states now living under flood warnings and for some, it's already too late. a newspaper reporter catching this cabin on video here
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floating down the merrimac river in rural missouri across the state, residents have been warned to -- warned of major to historic flooding over the next few days. that can go into early next week. they are preparing for the worse. one place where the worse is expected is west alton, missouri, north of st. louis. cnn's alina machado is there with the latest. >> reporter: allison and christine, high water is already blocking several roads in and around west alton, missouri. the situation is expected to get much worse before things improve. just 70 miles from here, there are several homes and businesses already under water in union, missouri. authorities there telling cnn they had to rescue at least two people who got caught up in the rising flood waters. missouri governor jay nixon is asking people to please avoid driving through roads that are covered with water. >> the amount of rain we received in some places in

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