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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  December 3, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PST

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the phone call that china calls a little trick. donald trump speaks with taiwan's president, breaking decades of diplomatic protocol. the somber return. brazil preparing to receive the remains of victims of the colombia plane crash. two major votes loom over europe. italy and austria prepare for ballots that could shift the political order. live from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, welcome. to our viewers here in the united states and around the world, i'm george howell. "cnn newsroom" starts right now.
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4:00 a.m. on the u.s. east coast. the president-elect trump broke nearly 40 years of protocol by taking time to talk with the leader of taiwan on friday, and now china is reacting. not pleased with what happened. trump has said that taiwan's president called him, and now we are hearing from china's foreign minister calling the ten-minute chat "a shenanigan" by taiwan. important to bear in mind china considers taiwan to be part of a renegade province and opposes official contact. cnn with more on the call and its possible fallout. >> reporter: it's a stunning breach of protocol and a break with decades of u.s. foreign policy. the trump transition team releasing a statement announcing the call with the taiwanese president saying during the discussion trump and the taiwanese president "noted the close economic, political, and security ties that exist between taiwan and the united states."
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president-elect trump also congratulating the taiwanese president on becoming the president of taiwan earlier this year. the taiwanese had said that the conversation also talked about strengthening the relationship between the u.s. and taiwan. we understand an adviser to the trump transition, steven yates, is in taiwan. he helped facilitate the call. yates is a form adviser to dick cheney. he's known to be very pro-taiwan. we're told the obama administration was not told of the call until after it happened. and also -- already the chinese are chiming in, you know, speaking to a taiwanese leader is something no american president or president-elect has done for nearly 40 years because the u.s. has no diplomatic relations with taiwan since 1979, respecting the so-called one-china policy. china considers taiwan part of its territory.
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chinese state media already calling the exchange an unprecedented break in that policy and that beijing opposes any contact between washington and taipei. this is sure to cause initial diplomatic uproar with china even before president-elect trump takes office. the former diplomats note that many incoming republican administrations have sought to elevate taiwan over china. president reagan invited a taiwanese delegation to his inaugural ball. president george w. bush also increased arms sales to taiwan. so while there could be some gestures of early on to show some more respect to taiwan, longtime former diplomats don't predict this will be an end to the one-china policy because the relationship with china is just too important. cnn, washington. >> thank you for the report. the office of taiwan's president issued a statement on her phone call saying in part, "
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"president tsai and president-elect trump besides having an intimate and relaxed conversation also shared their views and concepts on future important policy points. in particular to promote the domestic economy and strengthen national defense. the president expressed to president-elect trump that america would support between when had the possibility to participate in and contribute more in international issues." cnn has team coverage this hour on china's reaction and the fallout, political fallout from the phone call. cnn's eugene scott live from new york. first, reaction from our correspondent in beijing following the response. steven, china seems to be giving the president-elect the benefit of the doubt in its response. >> reporter: that's right, george. you mentioned the term shenanigan which was used by the
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chinese foreign minister earlier on saturday. n response to a question over this controversial phone call. but mr. wong also said, "i don't think it will change the one-china policy that u.s. administrations have adhered to over the years. the one-china policy is the cornerstone of a healthy u.s./china relationship. i hope the political foundation won't be disrupted or damaged." yes, china seems to be giving the trump team the benefit of the doubt by placing blame on taiwan for this sharp breach of diplomatic practice. for good reason probably. the chinese are, like many others, trying to decipher the true meaning of the phone call. was it just a blunder because of the trump team's inexperience in foreign policy, or was it more significant? does it signal a major policy shift by the incoming white house? interestingly, george, xi jinping, the chinese president, met with henry kissinger friday.
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the former secretary of state was instrumental in establishing ties between beijing and washington in the 1970s. and he told mr. kissinger it is critical to understand each other's strategic intentions. now mr. shi must be wondering what mr. trump's intentions are and if mr. trump is somebody china can work with in the next four years. george? >> that is the burning question here, what were his intentions. you point out, was this a blunder or does this signal a shift in focus. we'll drill down on that a bit more with eugene in a moment. i do want to, steven, read these tweets that came from the president-elect trump, if we could take them full screen. i'll show you what he said here. the president of taiwan, he said, called me today to wish my congratulations on winning the presidency. thank you. that's one tweet. let's take the other tweet also that came after. it says, interesting how the u.s. sells taiwan billions of
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dollars of military equipment, but i should not accept the congratulatory call. so donald trump pointing out that he doesn't quite believe that this united states shouldn't have a conversation or connection with taiwan. when it comes to official communication with taiwan, what we're talking about here is something that has not happened since 1979. help viewers to understand the background of the relationship. >> reporter: george, the so-called one-china policy means both the u.s. and china agree there is only one china in the world. and taiwan is part of that. and both sides have maintained some ambiguity in terms of how they interpret this. as you mentioned, over the past four decades, no u.s. president or president-elect has directly contacted leaders of taiwan. that's why this is a so-called red line. china simply does not want any
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government to across without bearing any consequences. and mr. trump has crossed that line. and that's why many foreign policy experts said it was a risky and reckless move. and there will be an impact even before he takes office on this bilateral relationship. aufls also this is a steep learning curve on both sides. mr. trump is trying to -- learning to navigate a complex international relations map. for chinese leader xi jinping and the team, they're trying to adapt to the reality of dealing with a president-elect who likes to conduct foreign policy and diplomacy on twitter. george? >> a measured response, though, coming from china. thank you for your reporting. stay with us, though. i'd like to bring in eugene scott. eugene, so let's talk about this. is this a signal of donald trump departing from the geopolitical status quo, or could this be a mistake? it's definitely a signal.
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one of trump's advisers on issued related to china seems to believe that it's possible to reach out to taiwan without alienating beijing. you saw that trump was defensive on twitter regarding how the u.s. government interacts with taiwan regarding trade. what will happen from this point forward seems to be an approach that will be different from how the u.s. government has responded to taiwan in the past. >> eugene, there has been the question, is donald trump, is his transition team working with government officials that have detailed explanations of how to interact with different countries. is that happening? i want to play a sound bite here. this is from kellyanne conway, with the trump transition team, speaking with anderson cooper about that very question. you get to hear her response on it. we can talk about this on the other side. >> there have been questions raised about the briefing
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materials that president-elect trump has used in phone calls with world leaders, whether or not he's used state department briefing booklets and information and, you know, the expertise of people in the state department that's been available to him. can you confirm if he did consult that before this phone call? >> i can confirm that he has access to those materials, and he has access to daily briefings. he has access to other information that comes to him from official government agencies. >> does he use it, though? >> of course he uses it. he reads everything. the guy -- he's the busiest guy on the planet. pretty much has been for a while now. >> just from what you hear there, do you get a sense -- are we seeing a disciplined transition team where donald trump consistently works with government officials who already have an understanding of how to interact with these other countries, or is trump, as one writer suggested, winging it?
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>> reporter: we saw in the exchange kellyanne said that the president-elect reads everything. we also have reports suggesting that he actually has not been very present in some of the security briefings from national security advisers. there were reports that despite the team making security advice and knowledge available almost daily, trump has responded only at least twice. and as a result, this is not even the first time this week where donald trump has had interaction with the foreign leader that's have raised eyebrows. you may recall that previously his exchange with the prime minister of pakistan caught -- grabbed quite a bit of national attention, as well. >> eugene scott, stand by. i also want to bring in steven jong one more time. if you could just explain the implications if this is indeed a shift by the trump transition team and the president elect in his new administration, if it is
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sweet a shiindeed a -- if it is indeed a shift, what could be the implicationss? >> if it's indeed a shift, there could be serious consequences. as i mentioned, taiwan's red line issue for china. it is a bottom line that they do not let people cross without bearing consequences. this is what they consider its core. >>. so i think there are some experts even having warning potential war on line. that may be a bit -- a step too far at this stage. but this is a relationship too important for both sides to let the hijack by any single issue. at this stage, the chinese government is giving mr. trump's team the benefit of the doubt by trying to have the foreign minister issue a rather mildly worded statement. when there is something more strongly worded coming out later remains to be seen. at this stage, i think they
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understand for any issue of global importance to be resolved. it needs the cooperation between china and the u.s. that's actually something mr. trump and mr. shi pledged in their conversation on november 14th. with the phone call with taiwan's leader, if that cooperation will materialize is something many are trying to find out. >> it is interesting to see on the geopolitical stage where actions speak volumes and words do matter. steven, thank you very much live in beijing. eugene scott, live in new york. thank you for your reporting. we'll stay in touch with you. trump also spoke with another asian leader on friday. the president of the philippines, rodrigo duterte. he's been called the trump of the east and has threatened to sever ties with the u.s. after his talk with trump, mr. duterte said the following -- >> he was quite sensitive to our
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war on drugs, and he wishes me well in my campaign and said that what we are doing, as he so put it, "the right way." >> the war on drugs has been called abusive and has resulted in deaths of 5,000 filipinos since july. this is "cnn newsroom." ahead, brazilians preparing to say good-bye to their football heroes asvestments of colombia's plane crash make their final journey home. plus, austria and italy are having crucial votes this weekend. and the results could drastically change the political fabric of europe. stay with us.
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welcome back to "cnn newsroom." i'm george howell. the remains of victims from monday's plane crash in colombia are back on their way to brazil. three planes carrying the bodies are due to arrive shortly. 71 people were killed, many of them football players for the brazilian chapecoense club. their coffins will be taken to an arena -- the club stadium in
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chapeco. we have more. >> reporter: for many on the brazilian soccer team chapecoense, this is the final journey home. hearses bearing 64 coffins drive slowly through medellin. fans and supporters cheering them on in a last show of solidarity and affection after the tragic plane crash of flight 2933 cut so many lives short. a military guard of honor at the airport where the bodies were received with care and a heartfelt tribute. a catholic priest offers a blessing. [ speaking foreign language ] ♪ then the bodies carried one by one aboard brazilian military
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planes. brazil's ambassador to colombia just one of many mourning the victims. >> it was a fairy dalfairytale. a small club from a small town ready to play what would be their most important match in history. it just breaks your heart. everything was ready for a beautiful party. >> reporter: first plane loaded, then the second and third. finally taking off for brazil where grieving families and fans await. shasta darlington, cnn, medellin, colombia. >> thank you. two separate votes on sunday could bring major political changes across europe. italy's prime minister has made his final pitch ahead of a constitutional referendum. renzi says making the senate smaller would make it more efficient. but others say it would
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eliminate important checks and balances. >> translator: if yes wins, italy will become a leader in europe. not because we're good but because the international scene is in kay on, and europe is struggling. the countries that were brought into the european project today are those that dream of building walls. >> flask, mr. reynolds -- in fact, mr. renzi says that he will quit if the reforms are rejected, increasing support for candidates who are against immigration and who are skeptical with the european union. the presidential election in austria is also crucial for the eu and its future. a leftist candidate supports staying in the union. he won the election in may. another was ordered due to voting irregularities. he is a supporter of the eu. listen -- >> translator: this is about which direction our homeland, austria, is supposed to take. do we want to build up our old
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borders again outside the eu and go into the future on our own? or do we want austria to stay an important member of the eu? >> the other leading candidate is this man here, negotiation -- norbert hoffer. his opponent says that hoffer wants austria to leave the ooumeu. hoffer says he just wants to strengthen the union. listen -- >> translator: i get asked by a lot of media representatives will austria quit the european union? no. austria's duty as a country in the middle of europe is to develop this union. now moving to south korea. tens of thousands of people are marching against the president of the nation, park geun-hye, in seoul. they are demanding that she step down immediately rather than
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waiting on the impeachment proceedings that are set to begin next week. cnn international correspondent simon mosen joins us live from seoul. thank you for being with us. we have seen the large crowds gather week after week now. the question still, it isn't if or but and when president park will go. >> reporter: absolutely, george. and incredible to see for a sixth week running these crowds behind me. i mean, right the way up and down this maiden boulevard leading up to the palace in seoul. and just a few hundred meters behind that, by the way, president park geun-hye's presidential house. we called in to the blue house earlier to ask where she was. she's inside there, probably watching these pictures unfold. now people are out, tens of thousands again. there was concern that perhaps they wouldn't come out because temperatures are dropping, and of course things are at play, as
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you say, it's no longer a question of if but when she will go. now, behind that there's a lot of politicking going on. there's a lot of number crunching going on, as well. and a number of variables. of course, you'll remember she came out during the week with her third national address saying that she is willing to step down if parliament decides for her. she battle the ball, if you like, back into parliament's hands. now, parliament has returned the opposition party saying that they will go ahead and impeach her. they still need members of her fee party to join them. that's where there was a march from the national assembly. the people showing their displeasure with the politicians for not being able to take action and take it quick. that's why they're out on the streets tonight. what they've been saying today is we don't care about all these variables. we don't care about the options you're offering us. listen to the voice of the people and step down
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immediately. we're not going to wait any longer. >> i know that you've been following media in south korea, speaking with officials, as well. you point out that the opposition party does not have the numbers at this point that we need members of their own party to support them. is there a sense that the pressure is mounting and just given what we see behind you there, will it be enough pressure to have lawmakers side together and basically follow the demands of the people? >> reporter: it's interesting you ask that. of course they've lasted six weeks now with all the pressure on them. they managed to effectively ignore it really. in the last three or four days, the momentum has built up. i'm seeing increasing statements, politicians coming out to reassure that they'll do something about this. in the last 24 hours we've seen
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change. the opposition parties have come together and announced a date for impeachment. they said that they will go for that vote on december 9th. they've handed the motion into parliament. they needed half of parliament members to sign up for the motion. they got more than that. and that means, george, crucially that a few of those in president park's party have signed up. we know that they're going ahead with impeachment. now we've also got a statement from the party itself giving president park an ultimatum saying for goodness sakes, step down, go now, let's not face this embarrassment anymore. george? >> i know that you've been following this for some time. it's good to get your expertise. our international correspondent live in seoul, south korea. thank you for the reporting. we'll stay in touch. this is "cnn newsroom." still ahead, more on donald trump's controversial phone call with taiwan and diplomatic reaction to the u.s. president-elect's way of
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doingbots. -- doing business.
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welcome back to our viewers in the united states and around the world. you're watching "cnn newsroom." it is good to have you with us. i'm george howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour. the victims of monday's plane crash in colombia are making their final journey back to brazil. 71 people were killed, many of them football players with the brazilian chapecoense club. their coffins will soon be taken to the arena, the team's stadium in chapeco.
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the prime minister of italy is begging voters for the last time to support a constitutional referendum sunday. renzi says making the senate smaller would improve efficiency. he says that he will resign if the reforms are rejected. the rise of populism across europe will face a major test in austria come sunday. norbert hofer, on the right, could become the first head of state in europe since the end of world war ii. the leftist candidate won the election in may, but a rerun was then ordered. china's foreign minister is blaming donald trump's break in protocol on taiwan, calling it "a shenanigan" by taipei. the u.s. president-elect spoke with the president friday. no u.s. leader has had official conduct with taiwan since 1979, when the u.s. acknowledged china's claim on the island as a
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one-china policy. let's talk about the fallout from the president-elect's phone call with the leader of taiwan. bringing in professor of chinese politics at kings college in london and director of the lao china institute live via skype from england. good to have you with us, kerry. first of all, i want to get your thoughts. this is a big deal, this is a shift in protocol after many decades. what were your thoughts when you heard that this happened? >> well, i think it's indicative of the surprises we probably got in store with mr. trump. and i think in beijing the government of the people's republic were expecting surprises. he's a businessman, not a politician. i think that they knew there were going to be unexpected things. this is on their list probably the least that they wanted and the most inflammatory. as you said, since 1979, no american president or president-elect has had direct contact with the president of the republic of china on taiwan. and so this is a very, very big
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break in protocol. no preparation for it. and i think it happens even before mr. trump has become president. so it will set a really difficult tone to a relationship between the first and second biggest economies and the biggest strategic partners. this is pretty extreme. this is a pretty big story. >> your thoughts there on what happened here, but i'd also like to get your thoughts on china's reaction. it seemed to be very measured, and putting the blame on taiwan. seeming to give the president-elect the benefit of the doubt. >> yes. i think they understand in beijing that mr. trump is not that experienced as a diplomat. he's a businessman and makes comments about, well, we give lots of arms trade to this place so why can't we talk to them. there's a kind of logic to that. the problem is, of course, that for beijing this is the big red line. they still clime claim sovereignty -- they still claim
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sovereignty over the islands and have a law saying they will take action if independence is declared. china is really on this issue because of its nationalism at the in a moment, because of the fall i falling president that's staked on the integrity, not willing to compromise. this is before mr. trump became president. after the 20th of january, this kind of thing would be no game. i mean, this is really, really a line in which china has basically no real space to back down on. so it's a pretty difficult area to operate in. >> i want to help our viewers to understand those who may not be familiar with cross-state relations. remember people to get a -- help people to get a sense of the history here and why in is crucial and important. >> so, there was a civil war from 1946, the communist party won the civil war against the nationalists. in 1949, the people's republic of china was established. the nationalists fled to the island of taiwan and set up an
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alternative regime, the republic of china. and indeed until as you said 1979, the united states recognized the republic of china, not the people's republic of china on the mainland. then they accepted diplomatic aleengance and the one -- allegiance and the one-child policy saying there was one -- one-china policy saying there was one china and couldn't split. they maintain that to this day for beijing. they still claim sovereignty over the island. in taiwan, the problem is it's a democracy. the overwhelming number of the 23 million people there feel that they are an independent country in all but name. they have their own currency, their own systems, their own postage stamps, everything apart from the current country. it's a delicate issue and one that in the past caused america to intervene because relations in 1979 meant that america has a security alliance with taiwan. >> kerry brown giving us the background there and context on
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these interesting developments that have happened. thank you for the insight. moving to the u.s. state of south carolina. jury deliberations will resume monday in the murder trial of a former police officer. michael slager is accused of fatally shooting an unarmed african-american man, walter scott, during a traffic stop last year. slager admits that he shot scott in the back but says that it was done in self-defense. friday the 12-member jury told the judge that they were deadlocked. one juror wrote a note saying that he could not vote to convict slager. the judge told jurors what will happen if nay cannot reach a unanimous decision. listen -- >> every one of you has the right to your own opinion the verdict you agree to must be your own verdict, the result of your own convictions. you should not give up your
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firmly held beliefs merely to be in agreement with your fellow jurors. if you do not agree on a verdict, i must declare a mistrial. in that case it does not mean that anybody wins. >> a jury decided that they would keep deliberating. if convicted of murder, slager faces it 0 years to life in -- 30 years to life in prison. nearly 600 patients in the state of wisconsin may have been exposed to hiv or hepatitis because of a dentist improperly using his equipment. it happened at a veterans affairs medical center. the dentist who has not been named reused his own equipment. that could be contraire to rules that -- contrary to rules that require the sterilization of tools. patients are being offered free toasts find out if they were intected and the den -- tests to find out if they were infected,
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and the dentist will face a review board come monday. ahead on "cnn newsroom," iraq's battle for mosul grinds on, and the u.n. warns casualties are mounting. cnn is live in iraq ahead. plus, syrian rebels try to stop a government offensive in aleppo, details on a new alliance they say they formed. stay with us.
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welcome back. in iraq november was a particularly bloody month in the fight against isis. the u.n. says nearly 2,000 iraqi troops were killed across the country, nearly triple the number of military casualties reported in october. almost 1,000 civilians were also killed just last month. for more on these figures and the war against isis, cnn's producer live from erbil. thank you for being with us. let's explain exactly why we're
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seeing such high casualty numbers. >> reporter: george, these numbers are staggering. 2,000 soldiers killed, 1,000 civilians killed in just a matter of a month. we're seeing high numbers now for the first time. the iraqi army had not provided us with figures since the conflict began in october. and what this paints a picture of it is a grueling battle. the iraqi army has now entered mosul. they are fighting house to house to retake that city in isis which is deep leap entrenched. we're -- deeply entrenched. we're hearing that isis has used hundreds of car bombs, set up snipers on the rooftops of homes, and are using residents as civilian shields. in this densely populated urban environment, u.s. air strikes cannot be used as much because they could create more civilian casualties. it's a difficult battle now. we saw firsthand just how that's affecting the civilian population. just a week ago, we were at a
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triage point that's just on the outskirts of mosul. we saw family after family coming in with shrapnel rounds because mortar rounds from isis this landed close to their -- that landed close to their homes. they said we are caught in the crossfire and do not feel safe. this battle is expected to take many months to come, george. we can expect to see the high civilian death toll but also a high soldier death toll from the iraqi military in these many more months to come. jord george? >> you touched on the situation with civilians there. so many people who are just trying to get out of harm's way. talk about the situation that they are dealing with and what it's like to flee, to get out of harm's way and to try to find a place where you can get shelter, safety, because it is creating a humanitarian issue. >> george, let me start by
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explaining why this humanitarian issue is the way it is in the first place. when mosul started, the baghdad central government asked the civilians to stay in their homes. that's over a million residents. they said, please stay put, we're going to fight this fight while you remain at home. what that meant that the battle is happening on their doorstep. that means people are ex-changing gunfire, mortar rounds are landing, as i said earlier, right outside their doors. and on top of that, you also have an issue of services. half a million residents right now in mosul have no water, according to the united nations. when we went to the liberated areas, areas that the iraqi military says are secure and clear of isis, there was no running water, there was no power, there was no hospitals nearby to provide medical care to anybody wounded in the strikes. it's a very bleak picture. aid agencies in the united nations expect it to get worse as the battle carries on. as we said, it's become very slow. it's become very meticulous.
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and isis has taken advantage of the fact that it's had two years to prepare for this. and it's really dig itself deep. dug its heels into the civilian population and using them in the worst possible ways. as we said, as human shields even to protect themselves. and so this is a great deal of concern for the iraqi military. they're trying to take as many precautions as they can, as they move forward. but as one u.n. official told me, isis is not fighting that way. they will do anything they can to protect themselves, to keep themselves alive in mosul. and that means taking advantage of the civilian population. >> and as you point out, some have, you know, found a way to get out of harm's way. there are many who are waiting at home and waiting it out. thank you so much for your reporting. we'll stay in touch with you. outgunned and surrounded, rebels in aleppo, syria, have a new alliance to take on regime forces. it appears to be a last-ditch
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effort, though, aimed at repelling and crushing government assaults. syrian regime forces and allies have pushed into eastern aleppo, backed by air strikes and artillery. they have encircled rebel positions and are in control of more than 20% of the city's east. cnn's fred pleitgen has more now from damascus. >> reporter: another day, more violence in aleppo. the youngest suffering the most. this video from the syrian civil defense showing rescuers saving a child after a suspected air strike. the fighting claiming at least 45 lives on wednesday alone according to monitoring groups. over 30,000 people, mostly children, have been displaced since government forces launched a large-scale offensive making sweeping gains in the east of aleppo, the u.n. says. in rome, efforts continue to try and broker some sort of truce
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and delivery of humanitarian aid to the besieged areas. u.s. secretary of state john kerry meeting russia's foreign minister, sergei lavrov. >> hopefully if humanitarian situation could be dealt with in aleppo more effectively and if indeed we could create a framework for the passage of people out of aleppo so that aleppo itself might be able to be relieved from this agony, that could open up the space to perhaps be able to start some kind of conversation in geneva. >> reporter: even as its air force pounds rebel positions, russia says it's still committed to a political solution in syria. >> translator: there is no military solution to the syrian conflict. we supported this position within the framework of the international syria support group. unfortunately, not all of its members were ready to support
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this common position that there is no military solution. but i am sure it is absolutely clear anyway, even without formal acceptance of this point of view. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: in a desperate effort to fend off syrian government troops, rebel factions in the besieged areas of aleppo have announced a new alliance named the army of aleppo. but their fight remains desperate in the face of an offensive that has already cost the opposition much of the territory it held in aleppo for years. fred pleitgen, cnn, damascus. >> the fight there continues. this is "cnn newsroom." ♪
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welcome back to "cnn newsroom." i'm george howell alongside meteorologist derek van dam. want to talk about the situation in gatlinburg, tennessee. this is where 13 people died after this major wildfire. >> yeah, and you know, there's also been 700 confirmed structures lost, as well. and leading up to the christmas holiday season, coming off of a busy tourist season for this part of tennessee, you can
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imagine that the feeling of great loss is so palpable across the area now. we want to show you footage. a gentleman who took his own cell phone just to one of the 700 structures that were demolished in this raging, raging inferno. you see the chimney still stands here. the fire hit the communities of gatlinburg, pigeon force, and the surrounding areas adjacent to the great smoky mountains national park. there's so many areas that didn't get burned in the fire perimeter, but gatlinburg was in the center of the wildfire. what we've done is calculated and compared the size so you at home can get an understanding of what the residents have had to deal with over the past week or so. this area that you see highlighted in the orange, that is the burn area.
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there's a separate burn outside of the pigeon force area. look at the area, eeshl terrible to see. 27.9 square miles have burned so far with the chip me to top fire, the name for it. that is the amount of land consumed. if you compare manhattan, the size of manhattan which is roughly 23 square miles, the burn area is larger than that of manhattan, if you've ever traveled to new york city, you know that is a large space to tomb in that period of time. talking to the residents and hearing some of the front accounts, this fire went from 35 acres at 5:00 in the morning to over 15,000 acres in such a short period of time. talking five to 12 hours even. we want to show some images before and after from digital
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globe 2016. you see the fire burn scars as this raged through the region. these are individual homes along the mountainsides across gatlinburg. these are people's memories, people's relationships, their livelihoods. difficult to see the images, but it's important to help tell the story of the loss that's being felt across the area. fortunately, george, there are -- there is some rain in the forecast that will help quell some of the fires that are still ongoing across the area because the fires have not yet been contained completely. >> that rain is much needed. >> it is. and it needs to happen for a solid period of three to five days. and it looks like it might. >> we'll keep our fingers crossed. thank you. >> thanks. now the new champion of formula one. he has a new speedy exit for the world's top racing circuit. niko rosberg says that he is retiring from 5-1 five days after winning the world title in abu dhabi. in a facebook statement, rosberg called winning the title a
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dream. he says, "i have climbed my mountain. i am on the peak. so this feels right. my strongest emotion now is deep gratitude to everybody who support me to make that dream happen." congratulations. that wraps this hour of "cnn newsroom." i'm george howell at the cnn center in atlanta. i'll be back with more news from around the world. stay with us. generosity is its own form of power.
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you can handle being a mom for half an hour. i'm in all the way. is that understood? i don't know what she's up to, but it's not good. can't the world be my noodles and butter? get your mind out of the gutter. mornings are for coffee and contemplation. that was a really profound observation. you got a mean case of the detox blues.
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