and welcome back to cnn newsroom. we're live in atlanta. welcome to viewers here in the u.s. and around the world. i'm natalie allen. >> and i'm george howell. north korea state run media says an american student has been arrested by north korean authorities. that student said to be from a university in virginia. that's all we know at this point. accused of allegedly carrying out anti-north korean acts. we are live in seoul in a moment with more on this story. our other major story we're watching is this. about 75 million people in the rust in the path of what is being called the winter's biggest storm yet.
washington, d.c. and its surrounding areas expected to be hit the hardest. some places could see more than two feet or close to a meter of snow this weekend. there are accusations that russian president vladimir putin probably approved the killing f of. he was poisoned in 2006 apparently by a radioactive substance in his tea. more now on the breaking news story that we're following. this u.s. student under investigation in north korea. cnn's paula hancocks is live in seoul, south korea, following the story for us. paula, good to have you with us. the most we know is this is a student from a university in virginia. what more can you tell us? >> george, what we have is from the state-run media, and they're
saying they have detained a u.s. student, as you say, a student of virginia university. and he has been found to have been preparing an act against the regime, trying to topple the regime, a hostile act it's been described as. and interestingly, it says, quote, at the tacit connivence of the u.s. government. saying this individual was trying to undermine the north korean regime and was doing so, according to state-run media with the conniveence and the manipulation of the u.s. government. this is all we have at this point. we have an update hopefully from north korean television. they usually have a bulletin. in around and hour or so, we'll be watching that to see if they have any more details. they've given a name. we're trying to check out the name at this point with the u.s. side to see exactly who this individual was. but it certainly wouldn't be the first time that we have seen an american detained in north
korea. there has been maybe half a dozen in just the last five years alone. george? >> at that point, what has happened in the past with other americans who have been detained? >> there seems to be some kind of a protocol, if you like, to what we have seen in the past. we generally get the information from kcna, the state-run media. they give his name. they give the details. it's then on television he or she is then seen to be giving a confession, a televised confession what they have done and an apology. quite often there is a high profile american dignitary, or in some cases there has been a former president, for example, bill clinton coming to pyongyang and working out a deal so that they can take away those detainees. so that they can release the u.s. citizens. one difference, though, just recently when a cnn team was in pyongyang, they did actually show that team another man that they said was a korean-american.
this man said he was there on charges of espionage. but that hasn't been confirmed by washington at this point. so there is really a number of different crimes, alleged crimes that these individuals have been accused of. and quite often in the past, the individuals once released have said that their confession, their televised confession was coerced. george? >> remember that case where cnn's will ripley was there in pyongyang when as you say, that happened. and we'll have to continue to follow what happens with this particular student, a student from a university in virginia who is being held in north korea. paula hancocks live for us in seoul. thank you for your reporting there. our other top story, the immense snowstorm heading to the u.s. >> it's a big one. >> has already forced airlines to cancel more than 4500 flights on friday and saturday. >> bad news for travelers. it means trying to get from any major city anywhere in the world, you might get stuck.
cnn regulation correspondent rene marsh has this story. >> reporter: tonight preparations under way at airports in major cities up and down the east coast. one of the airports in the storm's crosshairs reagan national. just outside washington, d.c. >> i think that it could be, you know, disastrous for a lot of people trying to get out of town. i know if you lack at the lines, i'm not the only one who is trying to get out a little bit early. >> reporter: long lines are forming at ticket counters and security checkpoints. what is happening behind the scenes at a airport like this one? >> well, right now we're preparing for the winter storm. we're checking our chemical levels, our equipment. and also calling in our snow removal teams so we're prepared to clear the roadways and oneways. >> airlines are already cancelling some friday and saturday flights along the east coast. they're also allowing passengers to change their flights for free. as the storm threatens to ground all flights in some major cities. in 2010, a holiday blizzard
forced airlines to cancel nearly 10,000 flights. the approaching storm could ground thousands of flights as well. passengers are warned to make alternate plans now. >> that would be a good idea. because you have been warned that the planes aren't going anywhere. rene also says depending on how severe the storm, it could be some time next week before air travel gets back to normal. >> let's talk more about this storm. not good stuff for the east coast. but people preparing. let's bring in brian hurley to talk about the situation. he is a meteorologist with the weather prediction center. and now joins us on the line. brian, good to have you. so we talk about what is on the way for the east coast. tell people, first of all, what they can do just to prepare for this. >> well, good morning, george. and good morning, everyone. quite a significant storm obviously, most significant of the year so far. affecting quite a bit of real estate, really. from the lower mississippi
valley, tennessee valley, lower ohio valley and eventually into the midatlantic region. preparations at this point should have been made already, certainly with the lead time that we've had with this one. very well modelled over the last few days. but before the heaviest snow hit, certainly, especially as you get into the eastern part of this expansive area of watches and warnings, people should have their preparations already done. certainly getting ready to hunker down. and more significantly, stay off the roadways. even before the storm starts flying. because a lot of the roads are being pretreated even as we speak. >> several states have declared states of emergencies. can you talk to us about how people should handle themselves after the storm passes? because, again, when there is so much snow on the ground, the concern about the elderly, the
concern about pets who may have been outside and should have been brought in. what is the situation with that? >> yes, certainly the recommendation is especially here in the midatlantic where we expect a lot of wind with the system as it deepens offshore. so we're going to have the blizzard conditions here in the midatlantic, especially, and even as you get toward the coast. so they're going to be some power outages, unfortunately. heavy snow and with the wind. so certainly the law enforcement officials have been asking folks to have the backup plans in place to kind of certainly to keep your house warm, you know. maybe have enough firewood to keep the warmth going here, to prepare for perhaps a several-day outage. and as far as, you know, when the snow ends, many people perhaps are going to get right back out in the roadways. but that's going to take quite a bit of time. we need to give those road crews time, certainly to clean up. because there is going to be a lot of snow to clean up,
certainly. >> that's right. as the storm heads this way, i suppose, talking about how to prepare. and then talking about how to deal with it after it passes through. brian hurley with the weather prediction center. we appreciate your time today. thank you. >> thank you, george. time to talk u.s. politics. the latest cnn/orc poll shows republican presidential candidate donald trump with a big double-digit lead in iowa. that state holds the first caucuses in the country on february 1. >> it's that time of year when we talk iowa, iowa, iowa. trump leads with 37%, ted cruz with 26%. and florida senator marco rubio is in third with 14%. >> among the democrats, bernie sanders has jumped ahead of presumed front-runner hillary clinton. sanders now has 51% to hillary clinton's ashraf 3%. >> and sanders' surge has
clinton sharpening her attacks on her rival. jeff zeleny is in the capital of iowa. >> reporter: in iowa today, hillary clinton was focused, above all, on one person. >> senator sanders. >> senator sanders. >> senator sanders. >> after months of looking beyond sanders, clinton urged supporters to give her a close and real scrutiny. >> a has to deliver in reality. >> reporter: a reversal of fortunes for clinton, now running behind sanders in iowa and new hampshire. it explains why she is suddenly squarely taking him on, telling him democrats his ideas are simply too good to be true. >> i'll tell you, i'm not interested in ideas that sound good on paper, but will never make it in the real world. >> but the real politics, 11 days before the voting begins, increasingly favors sanders. and he is turning optimistic.
launching a new television ad featuring the old simon & garfunkel anthem "america." ♪ they all come to look for america ♪ >> reporter: in new hampshire today, sanders all but ignored clinton. >> it's going to be a close election there and their caucus line. i think we have an excellent chance to win that. >> reporter: the democratic establishment and the clintons are pulling out all the stops to keep that from happening. she reminded voters they aren't just electing a president. >> we're also choosing a commander in chief. >> reporter: she questioned whether sanders had a firm grasp of global affair. >> senator sanders doesn't talk very much about foreign policy. but when he does, it raises concerns, because sometimes it can sound like he hasn't really thought it through. >> reporter: she pointed to iran. >> for example, he suggested we invite iranian troops into syria. that is like asking the arsonist to be the firefighter.
>> reporter: and took aim at sanders' health care plan, saying it would erode obamacare, another divisive debate about our entire health care system. and without giving republicans an opening to come in and tear down everything that we have achieved. >> reporter: her words were carefully scripted, delivered by teleprompter. as clinton tries to regain the upper hand, she told voters she is a fighter who has been down before. >> and i can tell you, i've gotten back up time and time again. because as long as there is work to do, and people to help, i'm not going to quit. >> that was cnn's jeff zeleny reporting for us. now on the republican side, donald trump and ted cruz, they are stepping up their attacks ahead of the iowa caucuses. >> they can even step it up, even when they have already stepped it up. but they are. sara murray has the very latest from that camp. >> reporter: a flurry of
to fund his senate bid. >> he is always talking about the banks. well, the people didn't know that he was borrowing money from goldman sachs and citi bank. >> reporter: a misstep cruz has dismissed as a paperwork error. on the campaign trail in las vegas today, trump took another swipe. >> jeb is down the toilet. and ted is starting to go down. he is getting nervous.
>> reporter: and cruz, he is going after one of trump's core strengths with republicans. immigration. saying trump was nowhere to be found when the issue was up for debate in congress. >> i stood shoulder to shoulder with jeff sessions and steve king and millions of americans defending, defending our sovereignty, standing against amnesty, fighting to secure the borders. and missing from the entire battle was donald trump. if he cared about this issue so much, where was he when the fight >> and they're rushing to donald trump. >> meanwhile, cruz is preparing to hit the trail with glenn beck, a high profile guest that trump says is no match for his endorsement from sarah palin.
today trump tweeting "wacko glenn beck is a sad answer to the sarah palin endorsement that cruz so desperately wanted. glenn is a failing, crying lost soul." >> sara murray reporting for us there. still to come on cnn newsroom this hour, the fallout over poisoned water this the michigan city of flint. >> why important information was kept from the public for months before the dangerous details finally emerged. the microsoft cloud allows us to access information from anywhere. the microsoft cloud allows us to scale up. microsoft cloud changes our world dramatically. it wasn't too long ago it would take two weeks to sequence and analyze a genome. now, we can do a hundred per day. with the microsoft cloud we don't have to build server rooms. we have instant scale. the microsoft cloud is helping us to re-build and re-interpret our business. this cloud helps transform business. this is the microsoft cloud.
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well, more fallout in the poisoned water crisis in flint, michigan. the environmental protection agency's regional administrator for that area is resigning. susan hedman admitted last week her department knew last april that flint residents were at risk for lead poisoning but did not alert the public. >> in the meantime, the u.s. president barack obama is now making $80 million in new funding available to help fix michigan's water infrastructures. >> in last month's bipartisan budget agreement, we secured
additional funding to help cities like yours build water infrastructure. and we're going to have that funding available to you by the end of next week. and that includes more than $80 million for the state of michigan. our children should not have to be worried about the water that they're drinking in american cities. that's not something we should except. >> absolutely right there. >> the water crisis in flint is also the subject of the latest "time" magazine cover story. >> the article titled "the poisoning of an american city: toxic water, sick kids and the incompetent leaders who betrayed flynt." you think that's an accurate title. >> it kind of says it. >> very sad. >> hundreds of people in flint say the contaminated water has made them sick. everything from hair loss to rashes and other explained illnesses. with more on this, here is dr. sanjay gupta. >> look right at me. look right at me. >> reporter: when her son gavin started to become ill, it was
subtle. so subtle, leanne waters wouldn't have been blamed for missing it. >> okay, look right at me. keep your head straight. how about right over here? okay. good job. look up. look down. do you have -- do your fingers feel numb at all? >> reporter: but one day she looked at gavin and then look ed at his twin brother garrett side by side. the difference was staggering. >> the size he is right now is pretty much the size he was last february, february 5th of 2015. >> so almost a year ago. >> yes. >> reporter: how much does he weigh versus his twin? >> he is 35.8 and his twin is 53 pounds. >> reporter: for months they had been drinking the same water. but gavin was showing the effects of being poisoned by lead. and such is the nature of lead poisoning. it can affect people very differently, even twins. >> do you remember what the number was? >> 6.5. >> and what is normal? >> nothing there is no safe exposure to lead. >> reporter: it's a mantra repeated by doctors all over the world. no led. not even a little bit is acceptable.
because we know more than ever what it does to the body. when lead is ingested or inhaled, no organ in the body is spared. lead even attacks the dna, affecting not just you, but your future children. all of it is essentially irreversible. equally frustrating, the symptoms could show up now or years from now. >> wait, watch and see. how do you live your life like that? >> right. it's upsetting. >> he is 4. >> reporter: the lead was coming from the corroded pipes carrying water. the longer the water was in the pipes, the more hazardous it became. one of the problems is that the walters' house is one of the furthest away from the treatment facility. it apparently explains why the testing here was among the highest. 13,000 parts per million. to give you some context, 5 parts per billion would be cause for concern. 5,000 parts per billion is associated with toxic waste.
this home, 13,000 parts per billion. but of course, it's not just one home. it's an entire community here in flint. 100,000 people live here. 10%. 10,000 of whom are under the age of 6. they're the ones who are most at risk. >> when pediatricians hear anything about lead, we absolutely freak out. >> reporter: it wasn't a freak-out at first, but doctors in flint started hearing whispers about elevated lead levels in the water in 2014. so this doctor started looking at lead levels in her young patients. and what she found was shocking. >> the percentage of children with lead poisoning doubled in the city of flint. and in some neighbors, it actually tripled. >> reporter: she sounded the alarm to state officials as loudly as she could. but no one listened. instead -- >> we were attacked. so i was called an unfortunate researcher, that i was causing near hysteria, and that the state numbers were not consistent with our findings. >> reporter: maybe denial was so easy because of this.
flint. a city surrounded by some of the largest fresh water lakes in the world was now delivering some of the world's most contaminated water to its citizens. >> i mean, october of 2014, general motors you say stopped using the water because it was corroding their parts. >> right. >> that seems like a pretty obvious clue. >> yeah. so red flags, loud alarms should have been going off in people's brains. if it's corroding engine parts, what is it doing to our pluming that is predominantly lead-based? >> reporter: water that could corrode engine parts. just bhaj it was doing to the body and brain of gavin walters. >> these kids did nothing wrong. they did nothing wrong except being poor. >> reporter: in may, professor mark edwards from virginia tech and dr. mona hannah attisha sounded an alarm about lead in flint's water. >> the governor says look, you can have anything you want, anything, mona. >> i want a rewind button to
april 2014. that's what i want. because you can't undo this. you cannot undo this. >> reporter: if there has ever been a u.s. city in need of a rewind button, it's flint, michigan. more than a third of the people here are living in poverty. life expectancy is 10 to 20 years shorter than the rest of the state there is not a full-scale grocery store anywhere in sight. >> and then we got lead? like if you were to think of something to put in a population to keep them down for this generation and generations to come, it would be lead. it's just a loss of words. >> reporter: but they, dr. mona, leanne, the hundreds of thousands of citizens of flint have to believe that clean water will return one day soon. do you know why people have been putting you on tv lately? >> yeah. >> why? >> because they wanted to put us on tv so they could see it. >> because you're handsome. >> yep. >> yep. >> dr. sanjay gunpoint tax, cnn, flint, michigan. >> the story out of flint is
just heartbreaking for these families. >> it's unreal what has happened. it really is. >> reporting from dr. sanjay gupta, and we'll stay on top of that story. >> we're back with more cnn newsroom after the break. i'm natalie allen. >> and i'm george howell. stay with us as we bring you full coverage of the next hour of the winter storm that is threatening to impact millions in the northeastern part of the united states. you're looking at a early morning picture of the u.s. capitol. well have more on the u.s. student arrested in north korea. you're watching cnn. our cosmetics line was a hit. the orders were rushing in. i could feel our deadlines racing towards us. we didn't need a loan. we needed short-term funding fast.
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we are learning more about north korea's arrest and investigation of an american student accused of carrying out acts against the state. we'll follow that story. a police officer convicted of rape now sentenced to more than 200 years in prison. we'll speak with the attorney or some of the victims in this case. and later this hour, a stunning look at britain's past. archaeologists find the remains of homes from the bronze age. >> get out. >> absolutely! >> hello, welcome to viewer here is in the u.s. and around the world.