tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN January 2, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PST
hello, again, everyone. thanks so much more joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. while some residents are beginning to clean up from that catastrophic flooding in illinois and missouri, others are bracing for the worst. in southern illinois, officials are anxiously monitoring a second levee after one levee was already overtopped. overtopped levees can lead to erosion, or worse, breaches. this hour, missouri governor jay nixon is touring the
flood-damaged areas. cities like eureka and cape girardeau were completely evacuated. this as residents are returning to their homes today, to survey the damage and begin the cleanup. cnn's dan simon is life for us now in eureka. dan, i know you spoke with a father earlier who was, you know, pretty upset. what else are you finding in residents there who are trying to salvage what they can. >> reporter: well, hi, fredricka. it's just a real mess out here. and we're trying to get folks sort of the lay of the land and how things look. we're in the backyard of one home. and you can see where the water crept up. it actually came over this hill, and then completely flooded the basement of this home. you can see the water line right here, and we're actually going to show you what this basement looks like. the owner of this home, his name is tom hodge, who you'll see in a second. he actually moved in just six weeks ago. they had a baby just a couple of
weeks ago. so, you can imagine what a stressful situation it's been like for tim. tim, we appreciate you talking to us. don, come on in here so we can show the situation. so they just bought all this furniture, fredricka. and look at this. you can see the refrigerator completely on its side. it actually came across the room. tell me what it was like when this was all flooded. >> just, you know, having all this brand-new stuff sitting in your new house, you know, and you're trying to fight it, but you're watching water just creep around the doors and it's just not going out as quick as it's coming in, you know, it's pretty intimidating. and with a newborn baby, you know, you watch this water get up to where it's inches from those electrical outlets, and, you know, it's probably time to get ready to go. >> and, you could see on the wall right there, where the water line was, maybe about 6 feet, 6 feet high. what do you do now? i mean, obviously, as we said,
you moved in about a month ago and all this stuff is new. we see neighbors helping neighbors, trying to clear everything out, but how do you get through something like this? >>, you know, it's -- it's kind of -- we're kind of winging it, really. thank god all these neighbors have come in -- we would have never been able to even do half the stuff we had without them. but we just hope that, you know, insurance will help take care of some of the loss and, you know, that the cleaning of the, you know, drywall and getting the old, stagnant water out of here will do what we need to do, you know, and we can bring a baby back into the house. >> reporter: right. what was the most surprising thing or most amazing thing? >> really, out of everything, just the way everybody came together. we've got other cities, even around, you know, just outside of eureka that came in, to help everybody. it was pretty amazing.
the community, really. >> actually, you might want to show our viewers one more thing. don, if you come with me, you can actually see, back here, in this room, once again, you get a real sense of how high the water came up. but look at this. just a complete mess. you can see all the mud on the floor. the washer and drier in the back, the hot water heater came apart. this is really, fredricka, this is what folks are having to deal, on the day after new year's, they never thought they would see anything like this. obviously, wintertime flooding is such a rare event. and so today, it's really just about cleanup. thankfully, the waters are receded, but now they're having to deal with all the aftermath. fred? >> oh, my goodness, that is going to be quite the undertaking, indeed. our hearts go out to them. dan simon. thanks so much. so while the residents begin to clean up, southern illinois is bracing for more flooding.
meteorologist elsa chinchalliso is with us in the cnn weather center. so is there potential for the levees to be breached there? >> absolutely. we already know of at least one levee that has overtopped itself, but in addition to that, we have the possibility of them actually breaching. meaning that it actually breaks apart the levee. we have 16 states right now with flood warnings. again, a lot of it, and the reason for that is just how many sites, all of these sites that you see, all 272 of them are either at or above their flood stage. again, incredible amount of them across much of the midwest and into parts of the southeast. and the reason is, this gray-shaded area is the basin. so any river, stream, creek that's in there, all at some point flows back into the mississippi. not to mention all the rain that came down. that just ends up flowing into the mississippi. so all the rain from the missouri river and ohio river comes back into the mississippi. now, in st. louis, they did already crest. that's good news. the water is receding. that allows for the cleanup process to begin. but as you move farther south into southern illinois, you get closer to tennessee, places like that. a lot of these areas have yet to
crest. cape girardeau is likely going to reach their number one crest on record, but they won't do it for another day or two. just southeast of that town, on the east side of the mississippi river, we know of at least one loifr that overtopped near miller city. but it's very possible as you continue to go downstream, you could have more of that or even some of these levees that they can't get to in time, they could possibly actually breach. and the bigger issue, as you go farther south, as those crest states move a little bit later, you run the risk of any new rainfall you would get, say, in the next 7 to 14 days. that could also have a big impact on this. so fingers crossed. i know for a lot of the folks downstream that they don't end up getting what the folks a little bit farther north ended up having. >> oh, my goodness. fingers crossed, indeed. thank you so much, allison chinchar. relatives have identified the gunman who killed two people near a pub in tel aviv friday. an uncle of the suspect tells cnn that the person in this surveillance video is his nephew. and relatives say he is a 29-year-old arab israeli man. police say he fired more than 15
rounds from an automatic weapon, killing two people and injuring at least eight. the gunman is still on the lam and the manhunt continues. ian lee is following this story from jerusalem. ian, are police any closer to locating him? >> at this hour, fredricka, we haven't heard if there are any closer, and they're describing this incident as complex, unique, and radical. and mainly because it doesn't fit any molds. it doesn't fit the typical criminal act, it doesn't fit a typical terrorist attack. and terrorist attacks, usually, you have the suspect either killed or detained at the scene of the crime, and in talking to police, it is unusual to see them flee like this. that's what makes this person very dangerous. they're still treating this as if he is armed, he is dangerous, and potentially could carry out another attack. and so, this massive manhunt is underway.
they have the shin bet is involved. this is like the israeli fbi. but they also released a statement and i'll read that to you. they say the police want to expose all the aspects of the event, including the possibility of a victim in an additional area. the motive and other elements including the question whether it is about a murderer who acted alone. now, police are looking into another event that took place just shortly after this attack, where a cab driver was killed, near a hotel. they're looking to see if those two incidents were related. also, they're looking to see if he acted alone. did he have help? these are the questions that security forces are looking at, at this hour. but, really, the main thing, right now, for the police is trying to find him and trying to make sure that he is captured or neutralized to make sure nothing else can happen. fredricka. >> ian lee, in jerusalem, thank you so much. all right, coming up, several presidential candidates are back on the campaign trails. starting this hour, we'll also
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problems. he still has two stops in hilton head and lexington. and bernie sanders will be in new hampshire nmpb and later tonight, donald trump holds a rally in mississippi. so "cnn investigations" correspondent chris frates is in our washington bureau with a look ahead for the race of 2016. chris? >> good afternoon, fred. so welcome to this first political day of the presidential election year. and after a rager o of a campaign year in 2015, the political world took a little time off on new year's day, to recover. but with the voting just a few weeks away, a number of republican presidential candidates are back on the trail. >> we're going to have a great time next year. it's going to be an amazing year. we're going to make america great again. and we're going to do everything in our power to make sure that happens. >> reporter: donald trump has been off the campaign trail the last few days, but that hasn't stopped him from going after his rivals on twitter. "i would feel sorry for jeb bush and how badly he is doing with his campaign, other than for the fact that he took millions of
dollars of hit ads on me." hoping to regain some mojo in the new year, jeb bush changed things up this week, canceling ad buys in iowa and moved staffers to try to cut into trumpmentum. >> he's not a serious candidate, he has a broad appeal, but it may not be as deep as people imagine. so we're going to put together a ground game, if you will, in iowa and new hampshire, and here in south carolina, that i think will be second to none. and that's how we'll do, we'll win, and we're going to do well. so i'm excited about it. >> reporter: trump leads by wide margins in national polls, but his lead in iowa is more disputed. with the iowa caucuses less than a month away, ted cruz is gaining on the billionaire. the republican senator is up with an ad there selling his conservative credentials, and he starts a six-day iowa bus tour on monday. to help blunt cruz's rise and stay on top, trump says he'll soon start spending at least $2
million a week on his own advertising. >> 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. >> reporter: and ben carson rang in the new year with a new cast of advisers. after three top aides resigned on new year's eve. the struggling contender promised to reinvigorate his campaign ahead of iowa's february 1st caucuses. now, democrats are also getting back on the campaign trail. bernie sanders is in massachusetts today and over the next two days, new hampshire gets a double dose of clinton. on sunday, hillary clinton makes several stops in the granite state and on monday, bill clinton makes his first solo appearance of the campaign to stump for his wife. fred? >> all right, thanks so much. chris frates, happy new year.
let's talk a little bit more about the changes, particularly in ben carson's campaign. i'm joined now by larry sabido. happy new year! >> happy new year, fred. >> so what do you think? new campaign manager, communications director, what does this mean to you for ben carson? >> fred, it's never a good thing when a campaign has a shake up, and especially when the shake up comes with the month to go before iowa. you do not shake up a winning campaign. that just doesn't happen, at least not very often. so, frankly, campaigns are a lot about luck. they're about the man beating the moment or the candidate meeting the moment. and unfortunately for ben carson, the focus of the campaign has shifted from domestic issues where he's strong, to national security issues, where he's week. >> hmm. the campaign's use of the word "invigorat "invigorate,," this is about invigorating the campaign. when i spoke with the new campaign manager yesterday, he
said, this is not a worrisome change, but it really is -- it means a greater effort to try to reach the voters, reach his support group, even though polls show, that, you know, a lot of his support is dwindling. >> well, of course, the campaign would say that. and especially a new team, because they were brought on to try to fix things. but, you know, at a certain point, a campaign isn't fixable. ask jeb bush. >> all right. let's listen to the sound from my interview yesterday with the campaign manager. the new one. >> inside dr. carson's campaign. we're always re-evaluates where we are, what we're doing, how to get better. dr. carson did that. added bob deese of his campaign chairman and that led to a couple of aides resigning and we're moving forward. >> so some might interpret this kind of shake up at this juncture as a real sign of trouble, especially since dr. carson is slipping in the polls. how does the campaign respond to
that. >> we've raised more money than any other campaign. we have over 5 million followers on facebook. we have hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the country. we think we need to do a better job, always, of getting dr. carson's message out. and that's what we plan to do. >> so raising money, but losing traction? >> i would say that polls go up and down, especially national polls. february 1st is what we're very focused on and the caucus in iowa, we've had over 7,000 donors in iowa, over 19,000 people have attended our events in iowa. we feel good about our opportunities to do very well when we get to the caucuses on february 1st. we're still operating today, as we did yesterday. and the day before, and we'll do tomorrow. very focused on working with our team, our staff, our volunteers, our donors to get dr. carson's message out across the country. >> so as the new -- you know, campaign, communications director, what is the message being sent within the campaign that needs to be the primary
focus in this new year as it pertains to resuscitating dr. carson's viability? >> we want to get our message in front of as many voters as possible, especially those voters who agree with dr. carson's message of wanting to heal what's wrong with our country and revive the american spirit once again. we're going to focus on that through our social media, through our volunteers, through our door-knocking as we move forward. >> okay, heal the country, i know that's the big moniker, but specifically, can voters expect to hear something more concrete from dr. carson, the campaign, from you, the communications director, in this new year. >> i think that you will. i think dr. carson's been pretty specific about what he wants to do in terms of taxes, in terms of dealing with isis, and in terms of dealing with the race problems that this country faces. and i think you'll continue to hear those kinds of plans and programs as we move forward. >> so, larry, as the new campaign manager there, ed
brookover said volunteers and facebook friends, do you buy that notion that that's enough to translate into the voters, the voting support needed to allow ben carson to, at least, win the nomination? >> i doubt it, fred. you know, campaign managers and campaign officials are relentlessly optimistic. that is their job. they are sunny, whatever the weather. and the campaign superstructure could be collapsing around them and they'll simply say they're dismantling it to move it to another state. so put me in the former category. i believe that ben carson's moment has probably passed and that we will see that first in iowa, and also in south carolina, which has a very large percentage of evangelical christians. after all, they've been ben carson's base. >> all right. larry sabato, thank you so much.
happy new year. >> same to you, fred. >> we have much more "newsroom," straight ahead. right after this. ight at home, . right at home's professional team thoughtfully selects caregivers to help with personal care, housekeeping, meals, and most of all, staying engaged in life. oh, thank you, thank you. you're welcome. are you ready to go? oh, i sure am. we can provide the right care, right at home.
the police officers assigned to protect both airports are not allowed to carry weapons. they work alongside armed police officers, but there's one major difference. if there is an attack at any terminal, these aviation police officers say they are trained and told to run away. and now those officers are speaking out. here's cnn senior investigative correspondent, drew griffin. >> reporter: take a look around the passenger terminals at chicago's o'hare and midway airports, and you will see what appear to be police officers, but take a closer look. not one of them is carrying a gun. in the event of an active shooter or a terrorist strike here, you might be surprised to hear how they've been told to react. not fight back, not try to neutralize the threat, but instead to run. >> you guys are police officers, but you don't have guns. you're unarmed. do you feel safe when you're working? >> no, sir. not safe at all. >> do you feel almost as if
you're a sitting target? >> absolutely. >> it's not for lack of training or experience. aviation police officers are all sworn officers in the state of illinois. they get the same training as chicago police. and many are military veterans or have second jobs in suburban police departments. these two officers speaking in silhouette for fear of being fired, say all they want is to carry a gun like any other law enforcement officer. >> on the floor! on the floor, now! >> reporter: just two years ago at los angeles international airport, a man with an assault rifle killed a tsa officer, wounded several others, before being shot and wounded by an armed police officer. the same event took place at chicago's two airports, the nearly 300 unarmed aviation police would be defenseless to stop it. >> in the event of a terrorist attack, let's say it's a shooter, what are you supposed
to do? >> run. >> reporter: run? >> hide. and seek shelter. >> reporter: this document obtained from aviation department sources, outlines the policy. if evacuation is not possible, hide. we must also ensure that unarmed security personnel do not amendment to become part of the response. here's the training video officers say they were instructed to watch. >> if evacuation is not possible, you should find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors. >> -- to run and hide. and how can you look at us if you see police officers run and hide. that goes against the very oath that we were sworn to -- that we took. >> reporter: it's the chicago police that carry guns at both airports since they are the primary law enforcement agency. if there's a major incident or an arrest, aviation police tell us, they must wait for chicago police to show up.
a unique arrangement among major u.s. airports. >> it doesn't make any sense. >> reporter: matt brandon is an official with the union that represents aviation police officers. >> so basically, they're just -- i mean, no disrespect to those officers, but as their role at the airport, they're glorified security guards? >> that's exactly right and my question to the city is, you send these men and women to the chicago police academy to be trained as police officers, to be able to respond as police officers, to be able to act as police officers. >> reporter: the chicago police department has 231 armed officers assigned to o'hare and midway and the city says that's enough. so, too, does the chicago aviation department about its unarmed force. and the staffing level of armed police is for the most part similar to other major u.s. airports. if you compare the top three busiest airports in the u.s., atlanta's hartsfield-jackson has 178 armed police.
los angeles, 572. while o'hare has budgeted 175. the numbers do not include additional security, such as private security personnel. in an e-mail to cnn, the aviation department says the multi-level security has proven effective in stopping and preventing crime. and that violent crime incidents are extremely low. but there's been no explanation why the nearly 300 aviation police officers here are unarmed. the department is declining to discuss security measures. cnn has surveyed large u.s. airports and found chicago's use of unarmed aviation police officers is unique, and according to miami's security expert wayne black, absurd. >> you've got sworn law enforcement officers at a u.s. airport that are trained to hide if there's an attack. that's crazy. airports are targets of terror activity. what are they going to do if somebody runs in with a gun and there's no law enforcement officer there? >> reporter: in october, a man caught with these knives
attempted to get on the airfield and actually told the officers he knew they were not even armed. the gun issue has been part of an ongoing dispute between the officers and their chief. richard edgeworth, chicago's aviation police recently took a no-confidence vote against edgeworth, calling him incompetent, and someone who exerts control through intimidation and fear. despite the vote, edgeworth's boss says he has the full confidence and trust of the aviation department. edgeworth has repeatedly refused to even answer numerous phone calls from cnn, and when we approached him to ask our questions, he did what his officers are supposed to do if anyone approaches them armed. >> excuse me? hi, chief edgeworth? drew griffin with cnn. >> how are you? >> good to see you. >> we wanted to ask you why your officers aren't armed? >> yeah, i don't have -- >> the only aviation police officers in the united states that apparently aren't armed? wouldn't the public be better protected if they were armed and were able to engage a threat
instead of -- sir? instead of having to run and hide? >> all right. that was drew griffin reporting. up next, marital privilege in the courtroom usually means your spouse cannot be questioned. but that may not be the case when it comes to camille cosby. will the comedian's wife have to tell all? i was really surprised that i wasn't finding all of these germans in my tree. i decided to have my dna tested through ancestry dna. the big surprise was we're not german at all. 52% of my dna comes from scotland and ireland. so, i traded in my lederhosen for a kilt. ancestry has many paths to discovering your story. get started for free at ancestry.com. gegiving up all the thingsan she loves to do. it should just mean, well, finding new ways to do them.
bill cosby charged sexual assault in montgomery county, pennsylvania. he's now out on bail. and one of his accusers says seeing cosby's mug shot triggered an emotional reaction. here's cnn's jean casarez. >> reporter: tonight, bill cosby out on $1 million bail. his legal team vowing to mount a vigorous defense, after cosby was arraigned on criminal sexual assault charges. >> mr. cosby, anything to say? >> these charges stem from a sexual assault that took place on an evening in early 2004 at
mr. cosby's home in cheltenham township, montgomery county. >> reporter: the 78-year-old comedian charged with three counts of aggravated decent assault of andrea constand. constand worked with temple university's athletic program and considered cosby, 37 years her senior, and a temple alum, a friend and mentor. she accuses cosby of drugging, then assaulting her when she visited his pennsylvania home. >> mr. cosby made two sexual advances at her, that were rejected. on the evening in question, mr. cosby urged her to take pills, that he provided to her. and to drink wine. >> reporter: according to the criminal complaint, the pills and wine left constand feeling dizzy, nauseous, frozen and paralyzed, but aware of cosby fondling her breasts and putting his hands into her pants. constand went to the police about a year later, but the district attorney did not file charges, citing lack of evidence.
she filed a civil suit against cosby forcing him to be deposed. he settled the suit with her, the terms of which were sealed. that deposition was unsealed in july. in it, cosby admits to giving women quaaludes, but never without their knowledge. constand is the first of at least 50 women to have come forward with similar allegations over four decades. some of those women now sharing their reactions to the news. >> when i saw the mug shot, i started to cry. it was -- it just hit me so hard. and i really didn't anticipate that i was going to react that way. >> reporter: an attorney representing some of the accusers says she believes other alleged victims may be called to testify against cosby at the trial. >> they're going to demonstrate that kind of courage. they're going to tell what they say is their truth. >> reporter: the comedian has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and even filed a countersuit against seven women earlier this month.
he has yet to directly answer questions about the allegations. in interviews last november, cosby refused to comment. >> shaking your head no. >> there's no response. >> reporter: in a statement, his attorneys called the charges, quote, unjustified, and vow that he'll be, quote, exonerated by a court of law. jean casarez, cnn, new york. all right, now in just a matter of days, camille cosby will be giving her story, answering questions in a deposition that will be taking place in massachusetts. camille cosby, being married to bill cosby for 52 years now, has been ordered by a judge to answer questions from the attorney of one of the seven accusers, who are suing the comic legend for defamation. it's a separate case from what's going on in pennsylvania, involving that sexual assault. very complicated. but there's a lot to talk about
here. let's bring in our legal experts, avery friedman, a civil rights attorney and law professor in cleveland, and richard herman, a new york criminal defense attorney, joining us from las vegas. all right, good to see you guys. happy new year. >> happy new year. >> okay, well, this is really something else, isn't it? because let's, you know, really make it clear that there are two separate cases here that bill cosby is now in the center of. and we talk about the sexual assault case involving andrea constand, there in pennsylvania, but this deposition involving his wife of more than 50 years, this deposition involves the massachusetts case, defamation, where these seven accusers say, you know, he's accused them of lying, they've sued him on defamation, and that's where this discovery phase, right, richard, of this deposition that involves camille cosby. so she must now carry through on this deposition. her attorneys have tried to say, that because of marital
privilege, she shouldn't be able to carry through with this deposition, but why? explain, richard, why in massachusetts, because this is a part of the discovery phase, she still has to give, i guess, whatever answers to whatever questions are asked? >> well, she has to appear at the deposition, fred. that's what the court order says. she must appear. now, when they ask her certain questions, because of the criminal prosecution now in pennsylvania, there is that spousal privilege. and i guarantee you, when a question is posed to her about what bill said to her, in other words, what did you discuss with bill. what did he say to you? the attorneys are going to assert this privilege and she will not give any testimony, if she even has any testimony to give, i don't know. but i'm sure, i guarantee you, she will not break that privilege, so she can vote that in the case of pennsylvania, in the event that case does go to trial. >> so, avery, do you agree with that? because i thought some legal minds are arguing that because
it's the discovery phase, that she wouldn't have that same kind of privilege, that she would if it were trial. that she could invoke that privilege and not testify. >> you're wrong, fred. because the fact that -- not pending -- >> okay. all right, so go avery on this? >> yeah, it has nothing to do with discovery, because a deposition, fredricka, is essentially like being in court. the same essential rules apply. and if there's any potential criminal jeopardy that would come out of communications between camille and bill, believe me, the lawyers representing cosby will be effective will in blocking that, and frankly, i've been in cases like this, where you have civil and criminal implications often. what a judge will do, like in a defamation case, is stay proceedings, because discovery is going to be obstructed
properly so, because of the potential jeopardy in interfering with the marital privilege. bottom line is, yes, there will be questions related, but when it comes to the communications between the two of them -- >> so, avery -- interesting. so avery, does it change, at all, for a spouse, if a spouse is also acting as a manager? because that has been reportedly the case with camille cosby, that she's not just his spouse, you know, and it speaks to, you know, their 52 years of marriage, but that she is also heavily involved in, you know, the financial and the management of this comedian. >> well, i think that's a wonderful question. because there's no privilege between a client and a manager. there is a privilege between spouses. so the question really will be, how are the lawyers are going to interpose their objections, and for those people representing the women, the lawyer representing the women, how are they going to make that distinction. i think you pointed out at the top of this, this is going to be very complicated, but i think bottom line, i think the civil case will likely be stayed until
the resolution of the criminal case. and that will moot out this question. >> and avery, we did not squeeze out richard in this conversation. we hope he's going to be able to make it back, because something's going on with the signal that we had for him. hopefully he can make it back for this final question, because i do want to ask, then. so now you've got the pennsylvania case, the sexual assault case. in any way might what is said in this deposition, if anything is said by camille cosby in the massachusetts case, could it find its way into the pennsylvania case by the prosecutors there? >> well, that's -- you nailed the question. that's why the civil cases, the defamation cases, are likely to be stayed, because anything that camille could say in respect to responding to questions, could have criminal implications. bottom line on it, civil cases likely to be stayed, criminal cases will go forward. >> okay. looks like richard, we have him on the phone. richard, i would love to hear, you know, your point of view on that, whether you think whatever
is or is not said in this deposition, by camille cosby, in the next few days, whether it potentially could find its way into the pennsylvania case? >> well, it absolutely could, fred. and that's why she will not testify. avery, don't be so sure. i'm involved now in a case where there is a pending criminal prosecution and an ancillary civil proceeding, and a california judge has deemed, no, we're going to proceed with the civil case. so you're not guaranteed a stay. most learned judges, i think, would give a stay in a civil case when there was a potential for it creeping its way into a criminal prosecution. obviously, a civil case, the remedies are dollars. criminal prosecutions, liberties, some of them potentially could go to prison. much more important and therefore, the civil case should be stayed. i'm sure they'll make a motion to try to stay it. i'm not sure it will be granted. but if she's compelled to testify, fred, because of the spousal privilege and the impact of jeopardizing the criminal case, she will not testify to
any substantiative information, guaranteed. >> okay. all right. >> we agree. >> all right, we agree. >> wow! even when it's complicated -- >> we agree. >> -- keep together -- >> we make things happen and make sure that no matter what, there is no separation between avery, fred, and richard. happy new year, guys. thank you so much! appreciate it! >> see you in a little bit. >> all right. all right, straight ahead, why thousands of people in evacuate their homes and why it could be months before they are allowed back.
with five kids and dogs lives in a broken home. >> i'm heartbroken. we had to leave our beautiful home. >> reporter: they're 33 miles from the house they vacated in porter ranch, a los angeles suburb reeling from a massive methane gas leak. >> the smell can cause you to be nauseated. it can cause headaches. nose bleeds, which i have had. stomach problems. >> reporter: infrared video taken by environmental activists shows a noxious plume rising other porter ranch. the utility says the underground leak first detected in october may not be stopped until late march. >> we're drilling a relief well. that relief well is going to go way down, about 8,500 feet. it's going to intersect with the leaking well, and then pump liquids and muds down there to stop the flow of gas. and then cement to permanently abandon the well. >> reporter: while socal gas
drills is paying for residents of 2,200 porter ranch homes to stay in temporary housing. >> it's a slow-moving tsunami of evacuees. people realize that this is serious stuff. >> reporter: the gas company adds more than 6,000 people are seeking financial aid due to the leak, many of them applying for help at a community center that has been established. some government agencies are now taking extreme precautions. the faa invoked a no-fly-zone to 2,000 feet at a half mile around the leak site in response to fears gas fumes could be ignited by aircraft above. the l.a. unified school district closed two schools below the leak and is transferring almost 1,900 students. that means two of the katz boys will start class on a new campus, after winter break. and the family says 2-year-old ava has suffered the most. the katzes claim in one of several lawsuits against socal gas, the leak resulted in upper respiratory symptoms that left
ava in intensive care for four days. before that, ava had no prior health problems and she experienced some form of seizure. >> even though we're so upset and saddened and stressed, we're trying to hold it together for them. it's hard. we're a big family. >> reporter: just one family moved out by a gas leak disaster that might be unseen and is still months away from being undone. paul vercammen, cnn, porter ranch, california. >> and tonight on cnn, erin brockovich joining us live. she'll talk about this case and the work she's doing to help the families. that's tonight at 7:00 eastern time right here on cnn. all right, next, the big stories of 2015. we take a look back at the stories that got all of our attention on the internet. yes, we are twins. when i went on to ancestry, i just put in the name of my parents and my grandparents. i was getting all these leaves and i was going back generation after generation. you start to see documents and you see signatures of people that you've never met. i mean, you don't know these people, but you feel like you do.
that start a movement. here's the top ten trending hashtags for 2015. number ten, guacamole with peas? when "the new york times" tweeted a recipe that included peas, the internet was skeptical. people jumped on twitter, not exactly showing the love. even the president of the united states jumped in. but i have to tell you, i did a taste test and it was kind of delicious. that's really good. >> yeah? >> reporter: number nine, a little girl's body washed ashore in the boston harbor, so the massachusetts state police jumped on social media, trying to get help in identifying this little baby doe. more than 50 million people viewed this composite image of this little girl. after 85 days, she was identified as bella bond. >> this child whose very name means beauty was murdered. >> her mother was charged as an accessory to murder. her boyfriend, charged with murder. number eight, 14-year-old ahmed
mohammad was detained at school because his teacher thought his homemade clock was a bomb. then the hashtag i stand with ahmed emerged. president obama himself invited ahmed to the white house. number seven, welcome caitlyn jenner. >> call me caitlyn. caitlyn jenner's first public appearance as caitlyn jenner, formerly known as bruce jenner. >> the reality tv star in june introducing herself on the cover of "vanity fair" and with a new twitter handle. @caitlyn jenner reached 1 million followers in guinness world record time, 4 hours and 3 minutes. number six, a refugee crisis spread through europe in 2015 as people from syria and other countries fled war and persecution. >> people reach such a point where they physically, emotionally, mentally can't take it anymore.
and so they eventually end up deciding the to take matters into their own hands. >> thousands of people use the hashtag refugees welcome to call for european countries to grant them sanctuary. number five, pluto may no longer be a full-sized planet. but as nasa released these close-up images of the dwarf planet from its new horizon spacecraft, twitter users took notice. the hashtag pluto flyby generated more than 1 million tweets on july 14th, as the stunning images were transmitted back here to earth. number four, choose your answer wisely. what color is that dress? is it #blueandblack or #whiteandgold. the dispute raged on twitter. number three, social media
celebrated the national recognition of same-sex marriage. with rainbow color profile pictures and the #lovewins. >> no state can ban gay marriage after the decision passed today. twitter registered more than 6.2 million tweets and counting. number two, the #blacklivesmatter started in 2014, but it became an equal rights movement in 2015. other hashtags were used alongside black lives matter to bring other controversial race incidents to light. one being #assaultatspringvalleyhigh. where a video showed a spring resource officer violently removing a student right out of her desk. number one, 2015 started and ended in the shadow of horrific attacks in paris. after terrorists attacked the offices of the "charlie hebdo" magazine, the world showed support by using the
#jesuischarlie. >> thousands of people wearing stickers proclaiming i am charlie. >> ten months later, people united on twitter with the #prayforparis to show their solidarity for the city of light. >> a look at our top stories right now. iraqi troops are still trying to weed out the last isis fighters in the city of ramadi. it's being called some of the northeast intense fighting in the city yet. isis fighters attacked an iraqi army base yesterday, killing three and wounding 17. local leaders say isis still controls about 25% of that city. and the latest installment of the "star wars" franchise is now the top movie of 2015. final box office numbers come out tomorrow, but walt disney studios say "star wars: the force awakens" has already raked more than $80 million worldwide and is second only to "avatar" of the highest grossing film of all time, a record that could fall by monday. and funeral services have
not yet been announced for singer natalie cole, who died of heart failure new year's eve. ♪ >> cole's death touched off an outpouring of sympathy and condolences from legions of longtime fans. the daughter of nat king cole, one of her biggest hits was the 1991 song "unforgettable," a duet with her life father. cole was 65. all right, coming up, we're live as the threat of flooding forces more people from their homes along the mississippi river. the next hour of the "cnn newsroom" begins right after this. that's today? we'll be with her all day to see how it goes. after the deliveries, i was ok. now the ciabatta is done and the pain is starting again. more pills? seriously? seriously. all these stops to take more pills can be a pain. can i get my aleve back?
all right. hello, again, everyone. thanks so much for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. well, some residents are beginning to clean up from their catastrophic flooding in illinois, missouri. others are bracing for the worst. the southern illinois officials are anxiously monitoring a second levee after one levee has alad