tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN January 10, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
gloves underneath our football gloves to try to prevent heat loss. and on the sidelines trainers would actually replace gatorade dispensers with hot chicken broth. i'll never forget walking over to see one of my teammates holding his hands under the dispenser while another player poured out hot broth to warm him up. no matter what, these players today in that game are chilled to the bone. no matter what they do, there's no warming up. >> and i bet you they're not complaining. they still love this. that is, you know, part of the culture of football. you tell us, right? >> reporter: right. >> coy wire, thank you so much. appreciate it. so much more straight ahead in the "newsroom" and it all starts right now. happening right now in the "newsroom." el chapo and sean penn. their shocking meeting, the world's most wanted drug lord and an oscar winner deep in a
secret mountain hideaway? now mexican authorities want to know where it all happened and when and who's the mexican actress who made it all come together? you're live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm fredricka whitfield. stunning new details in the capture of the world's most wanted man, el chapo guzman, and the secret meeting with a hollywood celebrity that may have led to the drug lord's arrest. after years of planning, after sean penn secured a confidential meeting with the drug kingpin at an undislowe'sed location in mexico to write a feature-length article for roll"rolling stone" magazi magazine. this happened last okt. "rolling stone" also obtained a two-minute video believed to be guzman's first recorded interview in decades.
>> penn's meeting was made possible by a mutual connection, mexican actress, kate del castillo. now mexican authorities want to question both actors. it's unclear if there will be any legal fallout from their meeting with a known fugitive. in penn's piece for "rolling stone," he writes in part, "i take no pride in keeping secrets that may be perceived as protecting criminals. as an american citizen, i'm drawn to explore what may be inconsistent with the portrayals our government and media brand upon their declared enemies. "nick valencia is in mexico.
>> reporter: for the first time we hear from the drug kingpin himself. despite being on the run, the drug lord, joaquin "el chapo" guzman, akui grooes to an interview with actor and activist sean penn, a cinematic plot twist to an already surreal story. penn writes the pair met face-to-face in 2015 three months after el chapo's prison escape. according to penn, the meeting happened somewhere in the middle of a mexican jungle and included tequila and tacos, his irrational fear of being watched by armed drones and being surprise ld by el chapo's, quote, chivalry. these clips are part of relies to follow-up questions to penn sent to a guzman representative who asked the questions off camera.
>> reporter: the meeting was brokered by mexican actress kate del castillo. it was 2012 when del castillo reportedly developed a friend with el chapo after posting a series of tweets critical of the mexican government while celebrating the notorious drug trafficker. del castillo has not commented since publication of the "rolling stone" article. cnn has reached out to her. their communication continued in the next three years even after the 2014 arrest of el thael l-- el chapo that landed him here at the penitentiary. they stayed in touch via blackberry messages and letters. it was that relationship that eventually led to the meeting between sean penn and the notorious drug lord. it was a month of backdoor dealings that included encrypted messages, disposable phones and even clandestine communications
with el chapo's associates. in a clip posted on rolling stone's website, el chapo talks candidedly about drug trafficking, violence, and his role in it all. >> reporter: a senior mexican law enforcement official tells cnn they want to question both del castillo and penn, specifically about the location where the meeting took place. the source adds that the mexican government was unaware of the meeting between penn and el chapo until the "rolling stone" article was published.
we're now getting contradictory information from another mexican government source saying they did know about the meeting between penn and del castillo and el chapo, and that's what helped them pin point the location of el chapo. why it took three months to pinpoint him, it's anyone's guess. >> mexican actress kate del castillo sl a key player in this secret mope v meeting. she's best known for her dramatic performance in a drug cartel in a popular telenovela. [ speaking spanish ] she's also starred in some american productions. here's what we know about how the 43-year-old actress connected el chapo and sean penn. in 2012 she wrote a series of tweets saying she trusted el
chapo. his attorneys then contacted her because the drug lord wanted to send her thank-you flowers. he eventually listed her help in possibly making a movie about his life. and through a mutual friend, she reached out to sean penn. the plans for a movie script evolved into a deal to write a magazine article for "rolling stone." dell castillo is also a social activist involved in humanitarian work. and the 2012 tweet that started all of this reads, "mr. chapo, wouldn't it be cool that you started trafficking with love? you would be the hero of heroes. let's traffic with love. you know how to. life is a business, and the only thing that changes is the merchandise. don't you agree?" those tweets began years of confidential communication which ultimately led to this october trip. although the actual location of the meeting between guzman and
penn is still unknown, an anonymous mexican law enforcement official told the associated press it took place in a community in durango state that neighbors sinaloa, the home of guzman's drug cartel. penn, del castillo, and two handlers self-financed a chartered flight from los angeles to the undislowe'sed location. a convoy of improvised armored suvs picked them up. pep's driver was el chapo's son. at times accelerating to speeds of over 100 miles per hour. they were take on the a dirt airfield about an hour and a half away. two single-engine prop planes then fly them to a mountainous region two hours away. two suvs then drive seven hours through dense jungle to el chapo's compound. so this is all about 11 miles from los mochis where el chapo was captured on friday. let's discuss with this with former special agent for the
u.s. air force and an analyst on the mexican drug war, sylvia longmeyer. good to see you again. and cnn analyst and criminal defense attorney joey jackson. good to see you as well. okay. wow, what a story, huh? joey, you know, you first. mexican and u.s. officials want to talk to them. who has the upper hand on having these discussions and what could it potentially lead to? >> well, here's the story, and good afternoon, fredricka. the reality is it's going to does someone who may know the whereabouts of a fugitive have to report it to the government. in terms of who has the upper hand, i would take it that in the event that the united states wanted to talk to sean penn and to the extent that he is generally here, you know, they would have an opportunity to do that in the event that he wants to talk. remember that there are laws regarding self-incrimination. there are other laws. and there's no affirmative obligation for him to say anything to the officials.
i would certainly take it in the event that mexico, with regard to the actress if she's there, they would have the upper hand in terms of speaking with her. at the end of the day, remember, does this rise to the level of hindering prosecution? does it rise to the level of hindering apprehension? is it obstruction of justice? and so the question will turn on should you be in-in violation of the law simply by having a meeting with a fuj tich as opposed to surrendering any material aid or support to the fugitive and that i think is what will be explored. >> what you're saying is there is no law against meeting with sun you know who may have broken the law or even who is wanted? >> particularly talking about el chapo. think about the ramifications and the defenses in the event you would go after someone like this. for example, you go after sean penn to the extent of saying why didn't you tell the officials about the meeting? number one, there's no affirmative duty to tell
officials. two, in the event he did, what harm might that exact upon him and his family? that is something that will be looked at seriously. >> sylvia, there was a lot at stake for el chapo to take this kind of risk, to commandeer or in some way be involved in making sure this meeting happened and his hope would be that sean penn would not tell anybody. but we know in that article written by sean penn he talks about the paranoia, you know, the paranoia of possible drones flying overhead during this meeting with el chapo. so, you know, in your experience with air force, do you think that they were being watched? because of course we're now hearing conflicting reports about whether mexican authorities knew about the meeting or not before this article was published. >> sure. and one thing that mr. penn said in his article was that he was kind of basing his level of comfort on the reactions and the calm demeanor of el chapo and all the people that he was surrounded by. so if they seemed to be relaxed, then he was not really going to
worry about it. from thatwhat i understand it w the communications going back and forth between el chapo, the attorneys, miss del kas tea teeth owe, mr. penn, all those communications that had been intercepted and there were many different kinds from blackberry messages and e-mails and things and that's really what led investigators to bring him and not so much overhead surveillance. >> joey, you talked about hindering authorities among the possible charges that anyone might, you know, be i guess facing but say the defense for known penn will say, you know what, i didn't know where i was going, you know, my whereabouts were unknown, i was taken and i know if i would have revealed anything i might be risking my life. is that defense enough? >> that's absolutely right. certainly those are things that could be alleged. it would be very difficult, t though, to suggest you didn't know what you were doing or where you were going when you're going to meet a drug lord --
>> in terms of exact locality. >> exactly. in terms of exactly where he was. but think about this, in an interesting twist, did his meeting not aid and assist in the capturing of el chapo had that not occurred, the intelligence that was gathered as a result of that and as a result of the subsequent communications and conversations, would the authorities have been that close and would the authorities have gotten el chapo, and would we be discussing it now? and so certainly you can argue not only did he not hinder apprehension, hinder prosecution, obstruct governmental administration, but he aided it in having that meeting. and so that's i think something that needs to be discussed as well. >> sylvia, i know you're not a psychologist by profession, but in your line of work there's a lot of psychology and devilling into and evaluating people and their motivations. when you hear el chapo, who expresses an interest in having a movie made about him, he already has this notoriety. clearly ego may have been the thing that in the end did him in. so, you know, based on your
experience, does this square, you know, with someone who has such power and that he would still put his -- you know, the secrecy of his whereabouts on the line for the sake of more fame? it just doesn't make sense. or does it? >> well, for somebody who's been getting so much attention from the entire country of mexico, from the united states, and really from the entire western hemisphere, this does have an impact on your go, and to make it so long in the drug world and not get killed and still be free, at least up until a couple days ago, that plays with your ego. so wanting to leave a legacy behind, whether it's in film, and plus it's kind of known that he had a crush on miss del castillo. and sometimes emotions get the better -- get the better part of your logic and rational thinking. so i think it's entirely plausible that he kind of let his common sense go. >> maybe this is totally irrational, but joey, any chance that maybe he wanted to be captured? you listen to that video, you know, and that interview and,
you know, he's asked what do you think will happen? he goes, yeah, they're probably going to arrest me. you get tired of hiding. >> i would certainly doubt that. you're talking about someone who's evaded capture for such a long time, was cap which you wered, disappeared, was captured again, disappeared, and so, you know, ultimately i think the big -- >> exhausting. >> -- whether he'll come to the united states or whether or not he'll be prosecuted in mexico. and the big question is if he's prosecuted in mexico and not extradited will he then escape again, giving his vast amount of resources? >> it's a fascinating tale, isn't it? and it's still being written. we don't know what's going to happen next. joey jackson and sylvia longmeyer, good to see both of you. appreciate it. >> thank you. next, an american woman found dead in her home in italy. florida woman was found with bruises and scratches on her neck. police have no suspects. a live report next. we always were told we were german. we were in a german dance group. i wore lederhosen.
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ashley olson, an artist from florida, was found dead in her apartment in florence. police have there have vowed maximum attention to find her killer. she had scratches and bruises around her neck. they've questioned her boyfriend but have no suspects so far. friends describe her as gentle and say she was well-known
around rome for walking her beagle. joining me on the phone is barbie nadeau, the rome bureau chief for the daily beast. what more do we know about the investigation, her circumstances, how was her body found, et cetera? >> well, it is very much an ongoing investigation, but the most important thing is that it is a homicide investigation according to the prosecutors in florence. her body was found around 2:00 yesterday, saturday afternoon, in florence after her boyfriend, who's another artist known quite well-known in florence, had alerted the landlady of the apartment, private apartment she rented, that he had not been able to reach her and asked if she might open up the apartment for her. the two, according to the italian authorities, had had some sort of argument three days earlier, had not heard from each other since. but he tried to reach out to her. first her phone, she didn't pick up, then her phone was dead. so he wanted to go into the apartment. so he in effect, the boyfriend, found the body along with the landlady. then they called the police.
the police say her body -- she was not sexually assaulted at first glance is what the police have said initially. but that she had some sort of bruising and skach scratches ar her neck. all of this, of course, comes from investigators who have left the scene who talked to reporters rather than official word from the police themselves, which is generally how these investigations work in italy. as we've seen in the past. what they're working on now, though, is who could have killed her and why. the boyfriend was questioned extensively yesterday and we understand again today. but the police are very adamant they have not yet named a suspect. they are looking at it as a homicide, not as a suicide. so i think we can look for more information in the coming days. tomorrow the autopsy, the official police autopsy will be conducted, and sometime later we'll get some toxicology reports. all of those will provide vital clues into just why ashley olson
and it's neck and neck in both parties. on the democratic side, a new nbc news/"wall street journal"/marist poll shows bernie sanders nearly tied with hillary clinton in iowa. clinton holds 48% to sanders' 45% among likely caucusgoers. in new hampshire, sanders remains ahead of clinton 50% to 46%. among likely primary voters there. and both are putting their own spin on the status of the race. >> when you consider how far we've come in the last months, it is incredible. we started in national poll at about 3%. i think most polls have us ahead in new hampshire. i think we're gaining steam in iowa. i think we have an excellent chance to win here. and i think our message, the message that there's something profoundly wrong with the middle class continues to decline and almost all new wealth and income is going to the top 1%, that is a message that is resonating. people are tired of
establishment politics. they want change.nomics. and that's what we're fighting for. >> you know, these polls go up, they go down. i stay pretty focused, as i think we all should, on what we have to do to build on the progress of the obama administration but go even further. and that's why i've outlined a very significant agenda to raise wages and to take on the gun lobby and to be, you know, making america safe in every way that i can. those are some of the differences i have with my pry tear po points and deep differences with all the candidates running. >> sanders is campaigning in iowa today. on the republican side, texas senator ted cruz holds the lead in iowa at 28% to donald trump's 24%. the two are trailed by florida senator marco rubio at 13% and ben carson at 11%. the othether candidates come wi single digits of 5% or less as
you see right there. cnn's maeve reston is in reno, nevada, where donald trump's rally is to begin in less than an hour. and i don't hear any music, maeve. what's going on there? now i see there are a whole lot of people behind you. what's the atmosphere overall? >> reporter: there are. well, there are a lot of excited people here. there are a lot of people we've talked to in the crowd still deciding between ted cruz and donald trump. so obviously that is the big battle that is shaping up not only in iowa but here in nevada, which we'll follow pretty quickly afterwards. certainly we do expect donald trump to continue raising the citizenship issue today with ted cruz. there are some in the crowd here who told me that doesn't really matter to them but other who is said, hey, i didn't know this about ted cruz's background, i want to know more, i don't want a candidate who's going to be potentially tied up in legal battles going up against hillary clinton. so it's kind of a fascinating dynamic and debate that's playing out here. >> all right. and the clock is ticking.
the room is very full. folks are highly anticipating his arrival. maeve reston, you let us know when he gets there. next, more on our top story. oscar winner sean penn's meeting with drug kingpin el chapo. could the actor face any legal trouble? when a moment turns romantic why pause to take a pill? or stop to find a bathroom? cialis for daily use is approved to treat both erectile dysfunction and the urinary symptoms of bph,
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first recorded interview in decades. an anonymous mexican law enforcement official say this meeting and other things helped them recapture guzman on friday. let's discus the legal ramifications penn could be facing. page pate and cnn senior media correspondent and host of "reliable sources," brian felter. good to see all of you. oh, boy. a whole lot of questions here. brian, let's begin with you because this interview, this moment, and now an article on "rolling stone." there is so much we don't know about how it came about, but we do know that the mexican actress helped facilitate it. but then what's troublesome to you about "rolling stone's" knowledge of this and its involvement in helping to facilitate this interview, making it to print? >> what's exceedingly unusual about this whole story, this 11,000-word story, is it was shared with el chapo before
publication. this is something called, you know, prior review or source approval. he was able to read the entire article and decide if he didn't like parts of it and give feedback. now, according to "rolling stone," he was okay with it, he didn't request any changes. but that's very, very unusual practice in journalism and a highly controversial one. >> you would haven't done it at "the new york times." >> nor would i do it at cnn. nine out of ten journalists would say, no way, that's not happening. this was an actor, sean penn, not a journalist, and it is "new york times" -- the "rolling stone," not "the new york times" or cnn. "rolling stone" is not commenting op it. they're letting the story speak for itself. >> there are a few angles to talk about as it pertains to el chapo and sean penn and all of this, you know, the "rolling stone," the journalism here, the legal ramifications too. while i have you, brian, let's stick with "rolling stone" and what this says, you know, about the risks that a publication is
willing to take in this day and age. is "rolling stone" willing to do this because we are at an age of social media and somehow stuff just gets out there? you have to be competitive, change the style of things? does "rolling stone," especially on the heels of the uva story and questions about how that came about and the editing and the vetting of that. it's just "rolling stone" saying we are something different, we're a different product here? >> remember that debunked rape on campus story, a harrowing story but discredited. now they're being sued by a number of different individuals in that story. in some ways it feels like a comeback. one of the biggest scoops any magazine has had in a number of years. i'm sure there are a lot of other editors out there today jealous of this story. that said, there are some thoughts that give you second thoughts. with the trip, him coming back, having a photo with el chapo. remember, this interview was in october. they were ready to go in to the printing press with this before
el chapo was recaptured. if this story came out today and el chapo was still on the lamb, wouldn't sean penn have some legal and moral obligation to share information about his whereabouts? that's where it gets murky. the mexican government wants to know how the heck this happened because they weren't able to find el chapo last fall but sean penn was. >> right. i guess to answer the moral and legal obligation you saw in that article sean penn says i'm an artist, and so there's a certain level of exploration that helps justify what he did. so, page -- >> certainly -- >> yeah. >> journalists do interview bad people all the time. we're in the business of talking to people that might be even evil people sometimes. but some of the questions here about source approval are definitely big ones. >> yeah. so page and mo, let's talk about being complicit. i think brian helps bring that up. now we have been talking about sean penn and del castillo being complicit by not sharing what they knew about the whereabouts of el chapo. but now what about being complicit?
"rolling stone" being complicit in any way? page -- or go ahead. do you see that that is a legal road potentially? >> yeah, sure. i want to just say something about what brian said about we see it in journalists all the time interviewing dangerous people, you know, that have done horrible things bup most of the times they're behind bars. they're not normally the number-one person on america's most wanted list. so i think there is a little bit of a distipgs between somebody who the authorities are spending all their resources trying to find versus somebody who has already been convicted or even is awaiting trial and is behind bars. so i think there is a separation with that. but i think that we don't know yet what "rolling stone" has to say. but i think there is absolutely both a moral obligation and definitely some legal implications for "rolling stone" if they already knew, you know, where the location was, if they all agreed to eep keep the location secret, if they paid certain moneys. i've heard that sean penn charted the flight himself and that -- used his own money for some of the expenses, but we don't know that's all the way accurate statement of what happened. soy think we can't really sort of decide "rolling stone's"
fault or, you know, implications of the legalities of it until we hear from them. >> page. >> maybe morally a bad idea, but legally i think they're okay. under federal law -- and that's true here and in mexico -- to actually commit a crime in doing something like this you have to do something to help the fugitive. simply going to meet with him, even if it is a lengthy interview -- >> maintain secrecy. >> that's right. but no -- >> how do we know they didn't do anything -- >> true. >> we don't know that yet. >> once we do, we can try to evaluate it. but what we know right now is the meeting was arranged, penn and his group went down there to interview him. now, had penn arranged the meeting and brought el chapo to him, no question they're in trouble. based on what we know now i don't see any criminal charges but i can assure you prosecutors will want to talk to sean penn and everyone else who went down there. not only do they know stuff about where these folks may be hiding out and who his associates may be, they've made admissions to sean penn. this is the first time we ever heard el chapo say i did it, i
am a drug dealer. >> that can be used against him whether he's prosecuted in mexico, and now we know the u.s. -- well, mexico has agreed to extradite to the u.s. so if there is that upholding, you know, of that extradition treaty, then you have to wonder would mexico also want to talk to sean penn? could the u.s. say, okay, we can help facilitate that so that -- >> sure. >> while you're going to interview the mexican actress -- >> both have an interest in in talking to sean penn no doubt. >> can they enforce that? will it have to be all predicated on his willingness to go back to mexico to talk or is it simply the u.s. says we'll make it happen even if it's stateside? >> sean penn. >> sean penn. >> i think he would have to be willing to go back to mexico. they can't extradite him just to answer questions. they would have to have charges against him to initiate extradition proceedings. but i think he'll cooperate. i don't see a reason for him to duck his head and avoid what he's done. he's put himself out there. he's involved in this
investigation. he's likely to be a witness for one side or the other. >> i think there are also some questions about the time period when he did the face-to-face interview versus the follow-up. what information do they have about el chapo during that period of time? did they know his whereabouts? i don't think it's just the time period of the interview then the follow-up that was done over video. so i think there's a lot of unanswered questions. >> brian, when we talk about, you know, journalism and entertainment kind of coming together, sean penn not a journalist, but he is carrying this out in i guess in the auspices of being a journalist, asking questions and then writing about it and then, you know, "rolling stone" endorsing it. what's happened here? does it become kind of blurred? you know, as a reader, you know, are you looking at this and saying, okay, i'm not sure if this is journalism but it's an interesting story? he is a storyteller as an entertainer. >> reminds me of dennis rodman going to north korea and meeting with leaders there.
celebrities do open doors. i think page makes an important point. in one level sean penn has done a great service here. why? he's gotten el chapo on the record talking about drug dealing, talking about, you know, these crimes that have been committed. and also, you know, expressing the point of view of a drug dealer that frankly you rarely hear in mainstream media. to hear him say if i die the same amount of drugs are going to be flowing onto the streets regardless of what happened to me, we can debate whether that's true or not . but that's a provocative thought to hear from somebody on the run. >> justify, like, hey -- >> yeah-. he said there was no other business, no other economy for him in his small community. those quotes, whether they were obtained, you know, comfortably or not, are very insightful. >> that's going to empathy, isn't it, stirring up some empathy, support, put yourself in my situation. if you're in a place where there is no other way to put food on the table, i have no other recourse. >> and i only committed violent acts when i had to was sort of
another sort of line of questioning that sean penn had. >> page? >> still not a legal defense. >> true. >> very true. >> you're right. all right. thanks so much. page pate, brian, thanks to all of you. moderate to severe crohn's disease is tough, but i've managed. except that managing my symptoms was all i was doing. and when i finally told my doctor, he said humira is for adults like me who have tried other medications
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door to door and round people up and get rid of them. you haven't really been clear as far as i can tell as to how you're going to get all these people out of the country. how will you get them snout. >> well, actually, jake, i've been very, very clear. there's an 11-page very detailed immigration plan on my website, tedcruz.org. anyone can go look it up, read chapter and verse. that immigration plan was drafted hand in hand with steve king and jeff sessions, two of the strongest advocates and fighters for securing the border we have in the entire country. and it lays out details in terms of how we secure the border. >> i'm not talking about the border. i'm talking about the people already in this country. >> no, but it details an entire enforcement strategy. interior enforcement is a critical part of how you stop illegal immigration. so it's a comprehensive approach to stopping illegal immigration. it begins by building a wall
that works and, you know, as i joked in the last debate, maybe we'll make donald trump pay for it. after that we triple the border patrol. we increase four fold the fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. >> how do you already get the people already in here? >> a system where people cannot get employment without moving they're here illegally. you put in a system for visas so that we know the instant someone overstays their visa. 40% of illegal immigration is visa overstays. by the way, you can't -- deportations are ineffective until you secure the border. why? because right now when we deport someone, often they come back in two, three days. it's like the boat is sinking. you have to patch the hole first. if you just start bailing and you never fix the hole it doesn't work. >> i get that. i still don't understand how the people who are living in the shadows, who are already operating under the radar, at least 11 million of them, will you have a force that goes door
to door, rounds them up, and deports them? >> we have an enforcement force. it's called border patrol and it's called immigration and customs enforcement. i.c.e. is not. border patrol is at the border. i.c.e. is at the interior. they're both law enforcement. listen, this shouldn't be an issue of debate -- >> all right. thanks so much to jake tapper on that. tuesday night president barack obama gives his final state of the union address. he's already made clear the speech will definitely not be traditional. cnn's chris frates is in washington for us. so, chris, what are we learning about the content, the agenda of the president's last state of the union? >> well, fred, white house officials say the address will focus on the long-term opportunities and choices facing the country and look ahead to the future. the white house is billing it as an optimistic speech that will stand in stark contrast to what they say is a republican presidential field peddling fear and pessimism. with the first voting in the
race to succeed president obama only weeks away the address is coming earlier than usual as obama tries to stay relevant. >> since i took office seven years ago in the midst of crisis, i don't think i have ever been more optimistic about a year ahead than i am right now. and in what free moments i can take right now i'm working on my state of the union address. it's my last one. >> reporter: and it won't sound like his others. on tuesday the president will deliver what white house officials are calling a nontraditional state of the union. instead of a laundry list of priorities, president obama will instead outline his vision for the country. the lofty approach is forced in part by very practical realities. with congress controlled by republicans, this there's little chance the president's agenda would find much support on capitol hill. just listen to this criticism of president obama's foreign policy by mitch o'connell, the republican running the senate. >> the president is going to i assume talk about the future and
try to paint a rosy picture, where one does not exist. what we'd love to hear from the preponderate spth a real plan to defeat isil. instead, he withdrew troops from iran -- from iraq, entered into a very bad nuclear deal with iran. the whole middle east is in terrible shape. >> reporter: and with the campaign to succeed him already raging, obama can use the primetime television event to sell voters on his party's path to the future. but the president faces a tough audience. almost 70% of americans are angry about the country's direction and less than half of them approve of the job the president is doing. mr. obama is expected to use one of the last big moments of this presidency to burnish his legacy and bill support for important agenda items like gun control, closing the terrorist detention center at guantanamo bay, and reforming the criminal justice system. now, the white house today announced first lady michelle obama's guests, all of whom were picked to highlight a political or policy point, include a syrian refugee who fled the war-torn nation after a missile
ripped through his home and killed his wife and daughter. that was a clear shot at republicans who argue the u.s. should ban such refugees. the group also includes early campaign supporters. one of the guests will be edith childs, an obama supporter who began the now famous channel, "fire it up, ready to go," that became the hallmark of 2008's campaign event, fred. >> chris frates, thank you so much. watch the president's final state of the union address right here tuesday night on cnn. our coverage begins 7:00 p.m. eastern time. and the address starts at 9:00. we'll be right back. iall across the state belthe economy is growing,day. with creative new business incentives, and the lowest taxes in decades, attracting the talent and companies of tomorrow. like in the hudson valley, with world class biotech. and on long island, where great universities are creating next generation technologies. let us help grow your company's tomorrow, today
the u.s. appears to be sending a warning to north korea, days after pyongyang conductedite third nuclear test, the u.s. air force deployed a b-52 bomber near the border with north korea. will ripley picks up the story inside north cokorea. >> reporter: we know from experience that few things aggravate the north korean regime more than american bombers coming close to north korean territory which is why
they sent them to the border between north and south korea. they never crossed north korean airspace but did come close. certainly pyongyang was aware of what happened. we haven't gotten an official response yet, i can tell you, back in 2013, last time that the americans did this, the response from pyong was fury, they were burning wit hatred, put missiles on standby, pointing them to targets, the pacific, where u.s. military personnel were stationed and pointed long-range missiles in the direction of the united states and called emergency meeting with kim jong-un and top military officials. the situation and rhetoric eventually died down but that does give you a sense how infuriating this is for north koreans who, remembering they get regular history lessons about the korean war when the american bombers reasoned down destruction on pyongyang,
flattening the city. that's the reason subways and 360-foot below ground, designed to double as bombshellers in the convenient of an american bombing attack. in this country many believe they're under the imminent danger and threat of an attack from the united states andite allies. it's one of the reasons why the regime justifies spending so much of its money on developing nuclear weapons and missiles instead of generating electricity or providing adequate food for many in the country. certainly a tense situation that could escalate further in coming days. we'll have to ripley thank you. an l.a. suburb nearly a ghost town. 30,000 evacuated because of a gas leak.
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homes, others suffering bloody noses and headaches. and a plan could go into action this week to remove the odor associated with the leak and to burn off some of the gas. here's cnn's victor blackwell. >> shut it all down! shut it all down! >> reporter: hundreds of outraged protesters call on southern california gas company to shut down a damaged gas storage well. it's been leaking methane gas since october 23rd. san fernando valley residents crowded into a high school gymnasium to listen to testimony before the south coast air qualify district. the sulfur-like odor has permeated the porter ranch area, now complaints of headaches, problems with asthma, bloody noses, short-term effects can be neurological problems and gas stroe intestinal problems.
we don't want to be guinea pigs. >> reporter: to date, socal gas says 3,000 homes outfitted with air purifiers but families in another 2500 homes have been temporarily relocated. >> the whole family's been sick. the kids, they have been sick, too. >> anything that will stop that odor and stop people from getting sick. the effects that it's had on the community between people leaving from our businesses are suffer, it's tough. >> reporter: on its website the company apologizes for the unpleasant smell caused by the natural gas leak but maintains that the leak does not pose an imminent threat to public safety. saturday's day-long hearing was to review a proposal developed by air quality regulators and so cal gas to control the leak. the plan, using pollution control equipment to capture the gas and treat it to remove the odor so gas can be recovered. gas company officials welcome the public review.
>> we recognize expert involvement and oversight is essential to assuring our neighbors and customers and the general public this accident is being addressed as safely and expeditiously as possible. >> reporter: there are a lot of people here who support the proposed plan of action but others called on the site to be shut down for good. they also accuse the gas company and state regulatory agencies of dragging their feet to address the problem. >> they've had their thanksgiving, they've had their hanukkah, they've had their christmas, they've had their new year's, they've had their family celebrations all disrupted because of irresponsible actions of state to the gas company. >> that was victor blackwell reporting. next hour of "cnn newsroom" starts right now. hello again, thanks for joining me, i'm fredricka wit feel. stunning new details in the capt