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tv   CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow  CNN  January 3, 2016 2:00pm-3:01pm PST

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"cnn newsroom." i'm jim sciutto in washington. poppy harlow is away. president obama kicking off his final year in office with a monumental task, tackling gun control and the epidemic of gun violence. the issue has stymied his presidency for years. so far obama has had zero
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success, even after his emotional pleas with the public and congress to do something to curb gun i vens. now obama will take executive action to tighten up background checks. cnn is hosting an exclusive town hall with the president thursday. expecting the president to make his biggest pitch on gun control to viewers around the country and around the world. want to bring in chris frates in washington. the latest executive action plan, why does the president think this one will have teeth where previous attempts by him have not? >> well, jim, i think what he's going to do is aggressively push for tighter gun controls. sources are telling us the president's looking at expanding background checks as a key to these presidential actions. >> a few months ago i directed my team at the white house to look into any new actions i can take to help reduce gun violence. and on monday, i'll meet with
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our attorney general, loretta lynch, to discuss our options, because i get too many letters from parents and teacher s!$!s kids to sit around and do nothing. >> reporter: sources say president obama's expected to announce new executive action soon, expanding background checks on gun sales, aimed at closing the so-called gun show loophole which allows some gun sellers to avoid conducting a background check. advocates pushed the white house to tighten regulations on the reporting of lost and stolen guns, and want the president to report passengers on the no fly list from buying guns. before the president has even announced the details of his actions, republicans running to replace him were seemingly competing who would undo them faster. >> signing another executive order having to do with the second amendment, having to do with guns, i will veto that, i will unsign that so fast, so fast. >> all of these executive orders, he's going to come out with tomorrow that will
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undermine second amendment rights, on my first day in office, they're gone. >> reporter: jeb bush argued there was no need to expand checks. >> the so-called gun show loophole, i think what he was talking about, doesn't exist. people that want to sell random, occasionally sell guns ought to have the right without being impaired by the federal government. >> reporter: democrats applauded obama's efforts. sunday, bernie sanders, who rivals have called him weak on gun control, endorsed increased background checks. >> i think most gun owners in this country understand people who should not own guns should not be able to buy them. and we do need to expand the instant background check. i don't think that's an onerous burden on anybody. >> reporter: measuring americans' attitudes seem to depend how you ask the question. in a recent cnn poll, majority said they don't support stricter gun control laws or the president's handling of guns.
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but in a quinnipiac survey, overwhelming majority, 89%, say they support requiring background checks for all gun buyers. jim? >> a lot in the question. chris frates, thanks very much. nearly every weekend there is a gun show in the country where americans can see and buy all sorts of handguns, shotguns, rifles and ammunition. cnn went to a gun show in virginia, not far from here, in washington, and asked people there to weigh in on the president's plan to take executive action on gun control. >> we've known all along he wants to do whatever they can to stop law-abiding scitizens from getting guns from american citizens from getting guns. i think he'll do whatever he can do to slow down and stop gun ownership. >> i believe a lot of the gun control efforts are well intended. i believe there's a lot of people out there truly concerned with what they perceive,
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perception being a key word, what they perceive to be overabundance of firearms in the american community and i understand that concern, and i believe a lot of the concern would be aleved if people who have the same concerns would -- i'm not being funny, i'm not being facetious in any way -- if they would attend a gun show, talk to people, sit down and actually have an active discussion, what their concerns are. >> i mean, i think there should be a certain level of control, i think obviously makes sense, like, honestly, i think people should -- like a driver's license, they should have a gun license. there's no reason why that shouldn't be an option or, you know, on the table. >> i think that america was established with the declaration of independence and constitution, we're a unique country and we're based on freedoms, and i think -- i think every animal's and human right to be able to protect yourself
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and guns allow you to protect yourself, your family and property. i'm sure isis is sitting there looking at them saying they want to do gun control against law-abiding citizens and happy, elated over that. >> i believe my life and those i love is important, and while i understand that the chance of anyone holding a gun in my face or wanting to take my life is along the lines of lightning striking i understand in a very rare event, i carry a gun because i want to ptech those live and it's the same reason i have a first aid kit in high truck which i've used in accidents along the highway three, four times the same reason, in reality, i keep a fire extinguisher in my home. >> you hear a variety of positions even at a gun show. plans could affect the policemen and policewomen who work so hard to keep america safe. a retired detective with the new york police department. harry, good to have you on this
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sunday. you have said that this plan will not reduce gun crime or active shooter incidents. why do you believe that? >> because bad guys can get guns on the street. simple as that. anybody who wants a gun can purchase one on the street. and to think that this gun law itself -- let me tell you something, jim, also -- i am for background checks for anybody who purchases a gun. let me make that straight. okay. i -- as a law enforcement officer, i want to see that happen, all right. but what gun owners don't like they don't trust the government because they have been misled so many times by this president for so many different issues in the last couple of years. so they don't believe that the president just wants to do this one thing. they think this is the first step towards taking weapons away from lawful, law-abiding citizens. >> i understand that point of view. we've heard it many times. we heard at the gun show that played before you came on.
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i want to show you this graphic, talks about recent mass shootings. san bernardino, charleston, south carolina, newtown, connecticut, aurora, colorado, tucson, arizona. all cases, guns were purchased legally not the back of a burnt out van, you know, down the end of a dead end street. so what background checks or is there a law if you could write the law that would help, for instance, you want to keep police officers safe, right? >> correct. >> what restriction would you oppose, if any, i'm not saying anybody could write a law to keep the guns out of everybody's hands, but if you had the power to right legislation, what would you right? how would you write it? >> basically, number one you have to be 21 to purchase a weapon. second of all, i am for background checks 100%. also, if there's some way to find out about somebody's mental capability in that background check that would also be good. all right. so once we find out somebody's a
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lawful, you know, it's a law-abiding citizen, let them purchase a weapon. and at the same time, i would make it easier for people to purchase weapons. i want you to look at -- the biggest issue here is that inner city violence. that's the big of the issue where we have killings going on. you've got an area like chicago, that has some of the strictest gun laws in the country and you have new york city that has the strictest gun laws in the country. what's the difference between the two? the fact is, we always had strict gun laws back in the early '80s when i was a cop, when new york city was a combat zone. what stopped the violence in new york city effective law enforcement and prosecutions of those cases. not gun laws. all right. here we are in chicago, looking at gun laws we have in chicago. it's hard to purchase a gun there. look at all of the violence there. so that should be enough evidence to indicate to anyone that gun laws in itself are not the answer to the gun problem.
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we have what -- >> i'm from new york city, i have great respect for the new york police department. i grew up in new york in the '70s and '80s when the murder rate, crime rate was many multiples where it is today. are you saying you want more folks in new york walking around with guns to protect themselves? you're saying that would -- it's one argument to say that what really solved the problem was not gun laws but effective policing. we've seen that statistically. but you say it on the flip side as well, it would be safer if the gun laws were less restrictive in those major urban areas. >> well, there are -- there are statistics that show that areas where people are allowed to carry weapons -- it's ease to get a person to do that -- crime rate is down significantly. now what i think in chicago or new york city that would work, i don't know. all right. because the crime rates are so high in these two different cities. you know, the fact is that, i think it should be easier for someone to purchase a weapon if
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the president wants to put restrictions on people purchasing weapons, well, let's take some restrictions off and make it easier, because it's a bureaucratic nightmare to get a gun in new york city. even i'm a retired new york city detective. it would take me eight months to get a permit to purchase a gun. that's crazy. >> harry houck, thanks very much. good to have your view on this. >> thanks, jim. a want to make a special programming note, thursday, 8:00 p.m. eastern, president obama will join anderson cooper for an exclusive, live town hall event about guns in america. the executive action on guns that he is expected to announce this week and take questions from a live studio audience as well. town haul on guns in america moderated by anderson cooper 8:00 p.m. eastern on cnn. we have breaking news out of the middle east. saudi arabia says it is servering all ties with iran and giving iranian diplomats 48
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hours to leave the kingdom entirely. this follows a firestorm of protests against saudi arabia in recent days. angry demonstrators storming the saudi embassy in tehran. protesters fur russ that the saudis executed 47 people accused of terrorism particularly the prominent shiite cleric nimr al nimr. iranian is a shiite muslim nation. saudi arabia, a sunni muslim nation. the execution will cause different vie revenge for politicians. armed anti-government protesters taking control of a wildlife refuge in oregon. why they're there, and what they want. plus -- another close call with a drone at an american airport. where it happened, why new government regulations could do little to prevent this from happening in the future. later -- breaking news out of the middle
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east. saudi arabia suddenly servering all ties with another country after an attack on its embassy. live report coming up. ok, we're here. here's dad. mom. the twins. aunt alice... you didn't tell me aunt alice was coming. of course. don't forget grandpa. can the test drive be over now? maybe just head back to the dealership? don't you want to meet my family? yep, totally. it's practically yours, but we still need your signature. the volkswagen sign then drive event. zero due at signing, zero down, zero deposit, and zero first months payment on a new jetta and other select models. you premium like clockwork. month after month. year after year.
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welcome back. armed anti-government protesters continue to occupy a federal wildlife refuge in oregon. the group is led by a man named amman bundy. the group claiming to take a stand against federal government's control and use of
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the land. the son of cliven bundying you may remember, a nevada rancher well known for his anti-government fuse. it started because two ranchers dwight and steven hammond, set to go to prison for arson. they say they lit a controlled blaze to protect their property from wildfires. but authorities say the hammonds did it to cover up poaching on their land. polo sandoval joins me. the hammonds want nothing to do with all of this. what's behind that division? >> you know, their court case, jim, at this point, is what's been reigniting the conversation. so many of these, as they call themselves, activists, constitutionalists and patriots, trying to spread the word of what they say is the government control of several public lands. authorities and some local law enforcement on the ground speaking out publicly saying,
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since this playing out in a remote part of oregon they don't pose any immediate threat to the citizens. >> reporter: they're armed and staying put. a group of protesters broke into an unoccupied building at an oregon federal wildlife refuge saturday. they claim to be taking a stand against the federal government's control and use of the land, the armed occupation broke off from a peaceful rally earlier in the day to support dwight and steven hammond. they're a father/son ranching duo, hamid. expected to report to prison monday. >> it isn't my decision, obviously. it's a sentence. >> reporter: he and his son convicted of arson, setting at least 130 acres of federal land on fire. the hammonds maintain it was a controlled blaze that accidentally got out of hand. prosecutors, however, argue the flames were meant to cover up poaching. >> it's sort of frightening when there's people making threats and people touting guns. >> people are afraid. >> reporter: among the armed pro-e. protesters the son of
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protester, cliven bundy, at the center of similar standoff with the federal government last year over grazing fees. >> this is not a time to stand down. it is a time to stand up. >> reporter: the younger bundy called on militia groups to descend and demand the government restore, quote, the people's constitutional rights, part of a vague and vocal anti-government message. >> the people have been abused long enough. their lands and their resources have been taken from them to the point where it's putting them literally in poverty. >> reporter: the hammonds, however, distancing themselves from the latest face-off. their attorney communicating in a short, but clear statement, to the sheriff's office says, neither evan bundy nor anyone within the group organization speak for the hammond family. those who are protesters say their demonstration is peaceful, but if provoked they will defend themselves. the family disavowing any
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potential involvement with new bundy effort, the authorities are watching this closely as some of the individuals, jill, say they are willing to stay there for weaks, months, even in their own words years, until their message is heard. still adding up for a very tense situation there. >> an illegal one. a federal building, on federal land. is any government agency responding yet to this? >> yeah. we do know, especially after we heard from my colleague, evan perez and some reporting from his sources, the fbi is watching this closely. its a federal building. so the fbi would be responsible for investigating. obviously with assistance from local county officials as well, law enforcement. so they're watching this closely. back to what we mentioned, this is a rural part of oregon. authorities feel they have time on their side, they don't feel there are not a lot of people that live in the area but a statement put out in last hour by the local sheriff saying that they are asking that anybody who may encounter some of these
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armed civilians simply call it in, so investigators can potentially follow up on it. this is not the end of the story. and this new at least the issue of the case of this father and son who are expected to turn themselves in, it's simply reigniting the conversation. as you mentioned, we saw this during the bundy case last year as well. >> no question. armed takeover of a federal building. thanks very much for joining us. joining me now to discuss the situation, in oregon, a fellow with george washington university's program on extremism. also coauthor of "icy the state of terror." you've been tweeting about what's happening. i want to quote a tweet. you wrote, with the exception of the bundys the other people so far identified in the park involved are not well-liked in many patriot movement circles. first of all, help us understand patriot movement circles, as you call them.
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what are they fighting for? >> well, the patriot movement is a kind of nebulous collection of anti-government extremists. they believe the government is into tyranny, they're controlled about their guns being confiscated. the movement's been around for decades now, timothy mcveigh loosely associated with the movement. but it not all one thing in the sense that we sometimes think of extremist groups. it very loose. there are a couple of clusters, factions that are more prominent than others and those have all pretty much said these guys are not -- what they're doing is not smart. they shouldn't be doing it, they don't condone it. >> not smart but it is illegal. if these guys were under, for instance, the islamic extreme itch banner, armed takeover of a federal building, i imagine there might be quite a different level of alarm here. what is the difference between this and terrorism? or is it a form of domestic
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terrorism? >> well, you know, i sat down to start writing an opinion piece on this and it quickly spiraled into hundreds and hundreds of words. it's complicated. you know, i think there's -- i think that a lot of people, particularly american muslims, i think a lot of minorities in america look at this and say if my group was doing this, if a group of black people took over a federal building, if a group of muslims took over a federal building, there would be a very different response. i think there's some validity to that. at the same time, you know with the patriot movement in general, what we've seen is that these situations can be de-escalated. this is an extremely remote location. there's no life in danger. if isis sees a building anywhere in the united states you can be sure bloodshed is going to soon follow and that's not necessarily the case here. the almost total absence of federal law enforcement on the scene to me is baffling but you know, i think there's definitely
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some nuance in the discussion. >> if it's not dangerous, why do they bring guns to take over the federal building, then? >> that's the thing. you know, if these guys staged a sit-in with no guns taking over the building they would probably have a lot of support, actually, both within their own movement and more broadly. i think the hammond case is open to some interpretation. there are people who are very unhappy about it, but you know, this -- it's this armed confrontation. and that goes to sort of the ideological concept of -- that goes behind the patriot movement, is they're not a group that is necessarily going to unleash a campain of terrorism. they're waiting to be provoked. what we've seen over the last year, very specifically with some of the people involved in this action, is that they've been courting that fight. they put themselves into positions, hoping to get the provocation that they -- that would justify to them wider
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violence. and so far, you know, what we saw at the bundy ranch that situation was de-escalated by the federal government. you know, and on the one hand, you know, you look at that and you have to ask whether that de-escalation emboldened them to try to take it a step further as they have here. on the other hand they did resolve that situation without bloodshed. so you know, it's very complex. i don't envy the people making these decisions. >> no question. just want to ask your assessment of the level of danger here, because we have seen certain inherence to this kind of group or ideology, this sort of us against the government point of view break out into extremely deadly violence. timothy mcveigh the most iconic example 20 years ago. the free men, that's also in the 1990s. how dangerous is think group or thinking? i talked to the fbi, they make the point frequently, in their countering violent extremism here on the homeland, that it is if not just as likely to be
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islamic terrorism but also domestic terrorism. not many more but there are, depending how you look at statistics, more cases of that kind of thing than there are islamic-inspired terrorism. not to minimize the threat but saying there is this other threat there that maybe many americans aren't aware of. >> well, i think that's very true. and the domestic threat is serious. but it's not necessarily emanating from this corner, at least up until now. so what we've seen is that members of the movement called sovereign citizen movement, who believe in alternative series of laws that they think govern the united states, have been engaged in a lot of violence, violence against police, ambushes of police. we've also seen that there's what we sort of lack is good accounting being hate crimes to see what kind of hate crimes are motivated by ideological terror up such as neo-nazi group or
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supremacist group but the groups are enjoying resurgence and the dylann roof case in south carolina was ideologically inspired. so, with the patriot groups, again, it's, you know, what they -- they need in their ideology is a confrontation. they need a waco to get them to act. they're not going to act unless they see the government step over that line. and what's worrying is, when you have these groups, and this groups a splinter off of the main patriot group trying to create new waco situation with the hopes that it will spark further violence. >> interesting. that's their intention, to spark a confrontation. appreciate you helping us walk through this. coming up ahead -- >> this isn't very reassuring. >> people on board a jetblue flight spot a drone flying nearby. what happened? we'll have details after this.
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the faa is now investigating a pair of drone sightings over boston's logan airport. the second incident happened friday as the crew of a jetblue flight spotted a drone on final approach. affiliate whdh has the story. >> reporter: a scare in the air on new year's day. >> thinking about something crashing into the plane isn't
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very reassuring. >> reporter: a jetblue flight crew says just after lunch time, they were coming in for a landing. they reported a drone one mile northeast of the airport and some 800 feet in the air. just one week ago, christmas day, nearly the same thing happened. air canada express crusade they saw a drone just after 1:00 p.m., roughly two miles from the runway. they say it, too, was about 800 feet up. those flights landed safely. >> the technology's moving faster than laws now. >> reporter: laws are in place but not everyone's following them. reminding everyone it's against federal regulation to fly a drone within five miles after an airport and over 400 feet high. red circles are no-fly zones around boston. and as of late december, drone users must register gadgets and get a registration number before ever taking off. >> put up our guard more. >> reporter: the faa estimated 1 million in drone sales would be made during christmas leaving
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some to worry close encounters will only get worse. >> it's only going to get worse as more and more people get these things and it's not just people who, you know, handle them responsibly. >> thanks to affiliate whdh for that story. residents in missouri are beginning to assess the damage as record high floodwaters finally recede in the st. louis area. but people who live down stream along the mississippi are bracing for more, bracing for the worst. cnn meteorologist tom sater is here. tom, you're a low boy you know the area well. which communities south of st. louis now, as those floodwaters move down the river, are going to see more flooding and whenning exactly? >> well, it's going to be now from cape girardeau southward, jim. cape girardeau and the boot heel of missouri had seen its crest. but the wall's 50 feet high. the pressure of the water, for a few more days, this could cause
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some issues. there's thousands quite worried. all of the tributaries continue to feed into the mississippi. even though the number of river gauges has dropped in half, it was over 438, now down to 238, really it's going to be from cape girardeau southward. and the big story's going to be what happens when the arkansas river starts to feed the mississippi. let's break it down a little bit. south of st. louis, cape girardeau, already reaching their crest, 30 homes and businesses destroyed. just south of there, we have had a levee break but thieves, illinois, they broke the all-time report at 47.7. if the numbers in cairo get to near 60, the army corps of engineers has to blast out waterways to relieve pressure. then down to the south, as we go down from there, toward what we're seeing, rivers from the arkansas move in. this could be quite interesting. the defenses are fortified in the memphis region. we're looking at moderate flooding.
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but from pine bluf, where it's major, in toward this region, then we're watching the river forecast offices trying to handle the crest. because we're seeing a crest right now in southern illinois that may hang around for about four to five days. 55, 56 feet.going to be around as you come down to greenville, vicksburg, a few feet off the all-time records but the a tough time handling this. watching it closely from baton rouge to new orleans. we'll be talking about this for the next two weeks until it frees the area and gets past the mississippi delta. >> no question, interesting to see how it's testing those history exle records. tom sater, in the weather center, thanks very much. coming up on "cnn newsroom," breaking news on the delicate diplomatic front. saudi arabia severing ties with iran in the aftermath of a wave of executions. a live report after this.
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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. breaking news right now out of saudi arabia. the kingdom servering all ties with iran after this weekend's attack on its embassy in tehran. saudi foreign minister made the announcement a short time ago on saudi state tv. all stems from the execution of 47 prisoners, principally a prominent shia muslim cleric, iran, a shia nation, saudi arabia, a sunni nation, protesters around the world have shown their frustration in the wake of this execution, including london, where cnn senior international correspondent frederik pleitgen is now. the saudis call this shia cleric, in effect a terrorist, that's why he was executed. the iranian regime, shia, see him as an opponent of the saudi regime. where's the truth in this? >> reporter: well, i mean, if you look at what, for instance, the united nations high commissioner for human rights,
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he heavily criticizes the execution of nimr. someone, yes, criticizes the saudi government, the royal family but no time called for violence. saudis see this very differently. if you look at what happened tonight what's transpired over past 24 hours, a lightning rod, this man was, and also the fact he was executed not just between saudi arabia and iran but principally throughout the entire region, look at shia reaction there. the reason why the saudis decided to cut ties was because of that siege of the saudi embassy in tie ran that happened saturday night where protesters broke into the saudi embassy and set it on fire. the saudis, today, specifically in that press conference where they announced a severing of the ties, found this unacceptable, and they felt that iran was undermining saudi arabia's security, which is a bit surprising because the iranians, for all of their criticism of the shia cleric, the president,
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rouhani, did come out and criticized the storming of the embassy, the iranians announced they arrested 40 people in relation to that incident. >> what has been i rance. reaction to the severing of ties? can we expect them to do the same, server ties with saudi arabia? >> reporter: it's a very interesting question. i've been monitoring iranian media, up until we went live just now, there's been little reaction so far. the state-run news ith agency the only source of information you get, put out a wire, confirming that the ties had been severed, critical language of the saudis. there haven't been anything in the way of official reactions to the severing of ties. how far, the severing of ties or downgrading of relations is very much debated in iran over the past 24 hours, especially among the hard-liners. of course, you have that strong reaction by iran's supreme lead
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who called for divine revenge against the saudi royal family. but the defense committee, a powerful man, like the iranian john mccain, also calling for a downgrade of relations between saudi arabia and iran. tensions were getting worse over the past 24 hours but still, that move by the saudis to server all ties and eventionle kick all diplomats out in the next 48 hours comes surprising and does not bode well for the relations in the middle east going into 2016. >> think about storming of an embassy, severing of ties, parallels and with that relationship between the u.s. and wiran. frederik pleitgen thank you. more on the diplomatic fallout of the executions, severing of ties. a former adviser to six u.s. secretaries of state about what happens next and what role the u.s. could play.
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a promise of divine revenge from iran and hours ago the saudi former minister formally severing ties with iran after the saudi embassy was attacked in the iranian capital of tehran. part of the fallout after saudi arabia executed some 47 prisoner, most prominent among them a well-known shia cleric, remainder iran shia muslim country. saudi arabia, sunni muslim country. what does this undermine the goals for peace in the region and what role does the u.s. have to play? joined by aaron david miller, former adviser to six u.s. secretaries of state. so, aaron david miller, i've got to ask this, no one knows the region better than you. saudi arabia executes by beheading a prominent shia cleric who criticizes the saudi government. i imagine they would have expected outrage certainly on the shia street as it were and from the iranian government.
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in your view, was this an intentional provocation? >> there's no question about it. first of all, happy new year, i'm not it's a happy new year for the middle east. look, the reality is, what you've seen is this saudi/iranian cold war for years now. i mean, major difficulties and divisions over iraq, syria, you've got the saudis convinced that the iranians are fueling an insurgency among the houthis in yemen, problems over the claims of mismanagement over the hajj in which 450 iranians were killed in that mishap which took the lives of 2400 pilgrims. this cold war has now become hot. and i think the saudis have sent a willful, purposeful signal, certainly by killing sheikh nimr.
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others have been holding some of these people for years. nimr in saudi custody since 2012. whether a peaceful dissident or activist i don't know. the saudis sent a signal, anyone who even appears to challenge authoritarian rule in saudi arabia, vee shia-sunni dissiden the saudis are risk ready and eager to make points and protective security. and i think there's no other -- no other explanation. i mean, talking about beheadings, executions by firing squad, maybe over the new year's weekend in an effort, it was done privately, they were not public executions, nonetheless, this was still a sign by a risk-ready saudi security establishment to send a message to shia dissidents and iran.
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>> so, let's talk about the u.s./saudi relationship and how this affects that. because that relationship has not been great either. i mean, for one, the u.s. less dependent on saudi oil than it was in the past, producing more here at home. but differences with saudi arabia, particularly over the iran nuclear deal. saudi arabia, not happy with that agreement. a fairly milquetoast reaction from the state department to executions in effect encouraging leaders from both countries to continue diplomatic relations the kind of thing we normally hear. is this damaging or i might have asked irreparably damaging to the u.s.-saudi relationship? >> you know, i'm not sure i believe in irreparable damage. the fact is, as long as 40%, 50% of the petroleum reserves flow through the peshen gulf and saudi arabia is key to that enterprise, we're going to have a -- unlike lehman brothers the
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u.s.-saudi relationship may literally be too big to fail. but i do think we are trapped, we're stuck. we don't like what the saudis are doing in yemen, expensive costly war against houthis, 6,000 dead, large numbers of civilians. we don't like the fact that the saudis are supporting in effort to counter assad in syria, certain groups that are very close to al qaeda. so there has. a good deal of frame. but we done have many friends in this region. and whether the saudis are allies or frenemies i am not sure how you characterize them. the saudis remain key to goals that we have, certainly campaign against isis and an effort to put the syrian humpty dumpty back together again. >> sounds like the u.s. goal to tamp things down, they don't want things to get further out of hand encouraging iran and
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saudi arabia not to over react. >> of course, implementation of the iranian nuclear deal. we can't afford to be too tough with iranians either. all of this reflects the reality that you have a broken, angry, dysfunctional middle east. most of the problems, sectarian tension, empty spaces, dysfunctional governance are all problems that are really immune from american military pow, political persuasion, and reluctantly, sadly, as we begin 2016 whether an r or a d or he or a she in the white house in a year or so, the reality is that you're going to end up with major headaches still. so, a lot of problems with no obvious or evident solutions. >> sobering assessment. thank you, aaron david miller. you know your stuff. appreciate you. >> city of chicago releases
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hundreds of e-mails about the case of laquan mcdonald. >> the bulk of these e-mails are conversations happening between the communications department and the legal department talking about the message. what will the message of the city be? >> we'll tell you what were in the e-mails after this break. break.
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as president obama prepares to take executive action to taken some gun rules, the chicago police department is out with its crime statistics for 2015. this is the fourth year in a row that the city saw reductions in overall crime. however, gun violence grew in a city with some of the toughest gun rules in the u.s. and, as the new year began, more in the same in chicago, 3 dead, 21 injured just in holiday weekend shooting there's. chicago police department as well as mayor rahm emanuel has been embroiled in controversy
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since the november release of a videotape of the 2014 lequan mcdonald shooting. chicago police officer jason van dyke pleaded not guilty tuesday to murder and misconduct charges in the shooting of the teenager. nicole gonzalez van cleave, assistant professor of criminal justice at temple university joining me now from will philadelphia. she's also author of "crook county racism and injustice in america's criminal courts." nicole, appreciate you being here. you've spent years studying the criminal justice system in cook county, chicago. is anything we seeing from the rash of violence to the incidence we're seeing with police surprise you based on what you've found in your studies in. >> you know, i've been studying cook county, chicago, since 1997. we think of the violence erupting over the holiday weekend. we have to think about the fact that the violence is thriving in areas that are both socially and
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economically neglected. the program that's would help these parts of the cities, these are the culprits. when we think of poor communities of color as kind of ne gleblgted communities try to call the police, we see we are met with violence. in some way, it's a violent cycle on both ends where they're getting it from the social and economic neglect of politicians and getting it from calls to the police where they should be serving and protecting this community and they are in some ways victimized as well. >> so chicago protesters now target gt the mayor's house, his associates, the police superintendent as we know resigned under pressure from the mayor. but the calls for rahm himself to step down continue. he's refused to this point. what can the mayor, if he stays in power, realistically change substantively? >> right.
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what we've seen is from the e-mail that's were released today is that rahm is very concerned about his political future, but the truth is about cook county, that there is a long history of racism and abuse by the police in cook county and -- of color as well as by prosecutors and judges who look the other way when it happens. so rahm emanuel is a mere footnote in a long, dark history in this city, and it's going to take much more meaningful reform for rahm or any of the replacements that might come after him to in some ways infiltrate accountability into this system that has really thrived with no accountability and continues to abuse the communities that it's supposed serve. >> we've seen in chicago some of the police killings sometimes of unarmed people that we've seen in other communities. there is the drcriticism from se
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in smaug that chicago has a particular police problem with regards to the use of deadly violence. in your studies, do you find something particular to chicago? is thawing worse statistically when you look at the facts than other communities, a problem that needs to be addressed there? >> well, you know, i guess chicago has a problem with constitutional racism, which is when i was in the prosecutor's office in 1997 researching and all the way through when i was still studying it while getting my phd, you saw police officers speaking in overt racist ways, prosecutors looking the other ways and racism legitimizing people's rights, shootings, like we saw in the lequan mcdonald case. that case is the case where we saw it on video, but there's many more like lequan mcdonald.
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chicago is certainly, tamir rice, eric gardner, chicago is not alone. with racism in some ways collides with policing and lack of accountability, you get a system that begins thriving on momentum. it's going to take some outside accountability to disrupt that culture of violence. and the culture of silence. the silence meaning prosecutors looking the other way on cases they know are shaded, meaning the police officers are lying on police reports, stories not making sense when there is a person that's shot. these are the things that we need to greater steps to -- >> we'll have to leave it there. straight ahead, more on our own breaking news. saudi arabia, suddenly severing all ties on iran after its attack on its embassy in tehran. what this means for its overall stability for peace in the region.
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