tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN December 4, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PST
a pivotal moment for europe, italy and austria vote in ballots that could affect the future of the continent. also -- >> i just ran outside and i was just watching this warehouse burn. >> a survivor of a deadly fire in northern california describes the chaos he saw as crews look for people still missing. a scene of support for fidel castro. thousands in cuba show up to pay their respects to the controversial leader. it's all ahead here on "cnn newsroom." we're live in atlanta. thanks for joining us. welcome to our viewers here in the u.s. and around the world. i'm natalie allen.
the rise of populism across europe is being tested this weekend. two crucial votes in italy and austria may have major implications for the continent. austria could elect someone who could be the first far right head of state. the future prime minister mateo recommends i depends on a constitutional referendum. focusing on italy first. ben wedeman has the story from rome. >> sunday morning italians will be going to the foals cast their vote in a constitutional referendum where they will be given the is choice to either reject or accept modifications to 47 of the 139 articles of
italy's 1948 constitution. basically it's all about cutting down the powers and the size of the italian senate. basically, making it a much smaller body instead of 315 members, it will go down to 100 and they will be a pointed and they'll have very little way in the way of decision-making power. ma day a reigns i says this is a good way to streamline a cumbersome political process. but his critics say this poses the danger of giving dictatorial power or too much power to whoever is in the position of prime minister. many people harking back to the days of mussolini who was one of the reasons why the cumbersome political system exists here. he has says if they reject the constitutional changes he will
resign. many opponents have turned this simply into a popularity contest for mateo rens i. he's the 41 prime minister who has been in power for the last 2 1/2 years. he came to power promising to get the italian economy, which hasn't really moved since the late 1990s, moving again. it has moved from negative growth to very anemic progress or rather positive growth. for many italians that's simply not enough. then there's the whole matter of italian banks. their worry is that if this vote is rejected, there will be a period of instability and you have eight italian banks that are basically on the brink of bankruptcy. political stability could bring them down and could bring to power those who want to get italy out of the euro and are very, to say the least,
euro-skeptic. it isn't quite brexit but there's quite a lot at play in this referendum. i'm ben wedeman, cnn, reporting from rome. while that vote is happening in italy, voters in austria will also turn to the polls left of center alexander vander develop en is the former leader of the green party. he won the election in may by a thin margin of 31,000 votes. but a rerun was run. he is a big supporter of the eu and says his opponent norbert hofer wants to take them out of the eu. he wants to reform rather than take them out of it. he's run an anti-establishment campaign. the last election showed a sharp divide. areas in the north and from
vienna. supporters of hofer are found in eastern and southern parts of the country. let's talk more about both of these. we're joined from cambridge, england, via skype for the economist. jeremy, thanks for being with us. quite a weekend to watch what goes on. let's start in austria. if hofer prevails, what might signal? >> the story isn't completely new in austria. while we're living through a wave of pop list advances around the world, he's been a major player for many decades, it was founded in 1956. you have to take that back story into account. we're possibly on the cusp of seeing europe's first democratically elected far right head of state. just the symbolic importance of that i think would be enormous. it also has a practical
importance. although the presidency -- it carries certain powers. it could dissolve particle: the president has the right to attend european summits. mr. hofer has suggested he would start using the powers that previous presidents have not exercised. he could be a relatively significant figure in european politics. >> what about the fact that austria is one of europe's most wealthy economies, what impact could that have if mr. hofer prevails? >> it all really depends what happens next? the president can't sudden i start making policies. he doesn't have much direct executive power. you have to see this in the biggest story of what's happening in austria at the moment. his party, the fpo, the party many consider far right, is leading by quite a long way. that party has been in government before but not put up the chancellor, has not led that
government. it looks like if a parliamentary election were held soon and the fpo would be leading the next government and provide the next chancellor, most possibly stratford is the leader of the party and very much a sort of senior figure to mr. hofer. mr. hofer as president would make that happen by triggering an early election. that would be the most significant outcome of this election. >> let's look at italy now. >> it's a whole range of things, actually. i think this is, again, there's an interesting local story going on in italy. yes, there is a sort of brexit-ite going on. anti-europe, anti-globalization. there are other streams of the campaign against renzi. there is a liberal stream. there are argument, including
the newspaper against the reforms kind of reasons of constitutional propriety and we're concerned that the reforms put too much power in the hands -- there are some opposing him. he came to power a couple of years ago, young, dynamic, promising, economic reforms promising to rejuvenate italy which has stagnated the decade. i hasn't entirely delivered on that. some people see this as a chance to give him a kicking and perhaps even kick him out. >> right. and then what might that mean? if he is kicked out or he says he will quit, with the economy in such a bad way in italy? >> he has said he will quit. he's slightly cooled off on some of that rhetoric in the final weeks of the campaign. we'll have to see if he follows through on that. it's important to mention, with
the italian president will play an important role, if he does step down, it will be up to the italian president whether he asks him to come back and form a different government, but if mr. renzi does go, that's bad news for italy. he has the right ideas about reforming italy and they're in a fragile state. the banks lost half of its share price over the course of this year. one in particular is on the verge of really failing to find the capital it needs to stay afloat. there are concerns that this could be a domino effect. that mr. renzi going would limit investors confidence and reduce their willingness to provide the capital that they so badly need to shore up what is a lot of toxic debt. this could see the italian economy collapse in some way, which of course for such a large economy would be disastrous for the eurozone. >> absolutely. we'll be watching the developments in both countries. we appreciate your thoughts.
jeremy cliff of the economist. thanks, jeremy. to california. at least nine people are dead after a fire tore through a warehouse in oakland, california. it happened as dozens of people were arriving for a music event. the death toll could rise. >> we have recovered nine victims at this point. those victims have been transported from the scene to our coroner's bureau. the identification process has begun with those victims. we are rushing their fingerprints to identify them and then notify family members as we get those identifications. as we continue on here tonight, there have been some good things that have hamd. wh happened. when i say that, we have been able to put some families' fears at ease by locating some loved ones that were actually found to
be alive. >> the warehouse contained artist studios. the only way to escape the inferno was via a makeshift stairway or windows. here's what a survivor told cnn. >> i really don't think she made it. it's like really such a solid dude. really smart. like really amazing guy. and i just ran outside and just watched this warehouse burn for like owe from like 11:30 until like 4:00, 5:00 in the morning. each when i left there was still a part of it that was on fire. >> it's a catastrophe. officials the building's owners were notified last month of
warnings for hazardous trash and debris. in just a few hours the formal funeral for long-time cuban leader fidel castro will take place in santiago. it's closed to the public but hundreds of thousands of people took their last chance to say goodbye saturday night. massive crowds chanted. they thanked those who came out to celebrate his brother's life. >> translator: once again through the cuban children and young people who affirm their willingness to be faithful successors of the revolution's leaders in the name of our people, of the party, the state of government and the families, i reiterate my deepest appreciation for the innumerable displays of affection for his work. >> patrick oppmann was at the memori
memorial. he has more now. >> reporter: castro and other top cuban officials eulogized fidel castro in a massive service in cuba's second largest city. the nightcaped off days of memorials across the island as his ashes were transported from the capital where i am in santiago decuba all along the route. people came out into the road to wave, sometimes with tears in their eyes as the motorcade sped by. the route retraced a similar journey that castro completed shortly after the revolution swept him into power. many of the people we talked to had been there in 1959 when they waved at the young cuban leader who promised to clean up the corruption in cuba and promised to no longer be subservient to the united states. he leaves the revolution at a delicate point. the economy here is in tatters. few can imagine how this island can pay for the massive funeral and all the preparations that quickly went into making this
event possible. still, while castro -- there will be no major changes to the revolution, the reform he will undertake in his final year in power will be -- he will stay true to the revolution and all across the island. we saw cubans swearing an oath of allegiance to fidel castro, very much the sense that his revolution will continue as he left it and on sunday in santiago, cuba, fidel castro will be buried. it will end the era of fidel castro. but for this leader who changed cuba and cubans forever, of course, there will continue to be debate and discussion and controversy over the legacy that he leaves behind. patrick oppmann, cnn, santiago, cuba. new details are coming out about the controversial phone call between the u.s. president-elect and the leader of taiwan. we'll have a live report about that in a moment. also ahead, the green
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welcome back to "cnn newsroom." we're learning more now about the bizarre break from diplomatic protocol when u.s. president-elect donald trump spoke directly with the leader of taiwan. friday's phone call the first one-on-one contact since 1979 sent shockwaves through the diplomatic world. trump said the taiwan president called him. taiwan said both sides agreed to the call beforehand. cnn's alexander field joins us now from beijing. a little bit of a -- not too much clarity on how this came about. what are you learning about the circumstances with this call, alexandra? >> well, look, it was a phone call that certainly seems to take the world by surprise and president-elect donald trump was quick to defend himself. he got on twitter and said that taiwan's president called him to congratulate him. similar to the conversations he's been having with a number
of world leaders since winning the election. he said the call was prearranged. that basically means it didn't take the trump transition team or president-elect donald trump by surprise. that hasn't fended off the criticism. there's been a ton of backlash directed at president-elect donald trump. some critics said this shows he doesn't have a clear understanding of the u.s.'s long-standing foreign policies. the only element of this perhaps not surprising was the fact that beijing responded so swiftly. they did file their official complaint and they were quick to leah firm the importance of the one china policy. that is the protocol that has governed relations between the u.s. and china for nearly 40 years now. under the one china policy, the diplomatic relationship is between washington, d.c. and beijing. beijing sees taiwan as a renegade province that is part of china. the u.s., in turn, acknowledges that and maintains an unofficial relationship with taiwan.
that was an outpouring of reaction across chinese state-run media after news of this phone call broke. you had cctv pointing out the fact that this was a tremendous breach and long-standing protocol. you had shin wan news agency saying that it was important for president-elect donald trump to respect the poor interests of china, which include taiwan. a lot of nerves were rattled in beijing, a lot of people looking at the u.s. this fuels uncertainty. mr. trump has -- directed towards beijing on the campaign trail and the decisions of the call have some wondering if this could be a harbinger of change under a president-elect donald trump. natalie, all we really know right now is the fact that this was a phone call and it was at this point only a phone call. mr. trump saying it was about congratulations and he got on twitter saying interesting that he shouldn't accept a call from taiwan's president given that
the u.s. sells billions of dollars of equipment to taiwan. in that tweet, he was under scoring what is a close relationship between taiwan and the u.s., though it is not an official diplomatic relationship, there is a defense relationship there and an economic relationship that he does point out, natalie. >> was it or was it not just a phone call? i guess that remains to be seen as the story continues to develop. we monitor beijing's reaction to it. alexandra field for us in beijing. thank you. a vote recount effort in the u.s. state of pennsylvania has been halted due to the cost. the green party dropped the request for a recount after a state judge required a $1 million bond to proceed. green party presidential candidate jill stein who spearheaded the effort was furious. in a statement she said the judge's outrageous demand that voters pay such an exorbitant figure is a shameful, unacceptable barrier to democratic participation. this is yet another sign that
pennsylvania's antiquated election law is stacked against voters. pennsylvania is one of three states won by donald trump where the green party had hoped to get statewide recounts. stein will go to federal court on monday to force a recount in pennsylvania on constitutional grounds. the outgoing pentagon chief is voicing support for his lively successor. u.s. defense secretary ash carter calls james mattis a friend and holds him in the highest regard. mattis is donald trump's choice to lead the defense department. he's been described as a marine's marine. cnn's jim sciutto has been hearing positive reaction from both sides of the aisle and he reports the man known as mad dog mattis doesn't necessarily agree with all of donald trump's political views. >> we are going to appoint "mad
dog" mattis as our secretary of defense. >> "mad dog" the nickname general mattis earned in the bloodiest battle of the iraq war is donald trump's pick for defense secretary. >> he's our best. they say he's the closest thing to general george patton that we have and it's about time. >> mattis is a seasoned combat commander with 44 years of service in the marine corps. and key commands in both afghanistan and iraq. he led troops in the 2003 invasion and later in the battle for fallujah. >> the u.s. military is quite capable of giving enemies their longest day and worst day if ordered to do so. >> after disputes with the white house, mattis has been critical of the obama administration. >> the next president is going to inherit a mess. >> like trump, mattis is hawkish on iran.
>> the iranian regime in my mind is the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the middle east. >> still, trump and mattis disagree on several key foreign policy challenges. trump has praised russia. >> wouldn't it be nice if we actually did get along with russia. >> mattis sees russia and putin as a threat. >> putin goes to bed at night knowing he can break all the rules and west will try to follow the rules. that is a very dangerous dichotomy. >> trump is in favor of bringing back the illegal practice of waterboarding terroristst. >> i think waterboarding is fine. >> mattis opposes waterboarding. trump telling "the new york times" that during a meeting mattis told him it's ineffective. >> i said what do you think of waterboarding. he said i've never found it to be useful. he found give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and i do better with that than torture. >> mattis is highly respected up and down the military ranks.
a marine's marine and a voracious reader and deep military thinker. >> very dedicated and focused and the smartest man in the room. >> carries around a library of 10,000 books and raid most of them. >> his career has not been without controversy. >> he came under fire for remarks in a panel discussion which seemed to make light of killing in combat. >> you think it's fun to shoot people? >> jim sciutto, cnn, washington. >> goes to the polls in austria. how norbert hofer may be elected as the first far right head of state. italy is voting in a constitutional referendum a.m. fears that the banks may trigger an economic crisis. you're watching "cnn newsroom."
welcome back to our viewers here and in the u.s. you're watching "cnn newsroom" live from atlanta. i'm natalie allen. in oakland, california, at least nine people are dead after a fire gutted a warehouse. the fire began as people arrived for a music event. the building contained artist's studios and the owners were notified last month for violations in trash and debris. hundreds of people gathered to remember fidel castro in santiago saturday night. the leaders of venezuela, colombia, south africa and
several countries were there to pay respects. his ashes will be interred in a private ceremony in a few hours. two major votes are going on in europe. italian prime minister matteo renzi will quit if voters don't approve his constitutional reforms in a referendum. mr. renzi says making the senate smaller improves efficiency. opponents say the changes weaken democracy. austria could elect norbert hofer there on the right as the first far right head of state in the european union. he's running against alexander van der bellen, a left of center candidate. mr. van der bellen won in may but there was a rerun because of voting irregularities. norbert hofer heads the nationalist freedom party. supporters say he'll put ordinary people first. critics charge he sells pro-gun, anti-immigrant policies with a smile. jones goes in search of the man
behind the politician. >> a soft-spoken aeronautical engineer turned politician who carries a glock. norbert hofer hopes to become the eu's first far right head of state riding the tide of a popular tsunami that could transform europe's political landscape. 45-year-old hofer walks with a cane, the result of a serious hang-gliding accident and carries a glock pistol on the campaign trail signaling his strong advocacy for gun rights. hofer's foray began when he joined the freedom party. traced its roots after world war ii. -- ten years ago it was battling for 6% of the vote. but the last decade has seen a political shift in austria and in europe. partly fueled by one growing concern. >> the world finds itself facing
the worst refugee crisis since the second world war. >> amid growing unemployment staunchly nationalist immigrant campaigns have increasing won the applause. hofer promises austria first, a slogan that sounds similar to one heard recently overseas. >> america first. remember that. america first. >> donald trump's victory in the u.s. seems to be signaling right wing candidates like hofer that they're on the right track. >> >> translator: whenever the elites distance themselves from voters, the elites will be voted out of office. it's not a question of political right or left but rather how close the contact is and when one is ready to alleviate existing concerns. >> norbert hofer's harsher
critics accuse him of fascism and whether he's pushing that image. >> the green party he is alexander van der bellen recently posted this video being posted millions of times. an 89-year-old holocaust survivor begging austrians not to elect the far right candidate. hofer says there's nothing to fear. >> we have to take a look at one or two years, have to work and everyone will see that i'm really okay. i'm not a dangerous person. >> the question is whether hofer's populous momentum will carry him to victory and what that would mean for nationalist parties across the continent hoping they can too emerge from the fringes. cnn. financial markets are afraid economic trouble could follow the voters in italy, if this they don't approve constitutional reforms. the banking system is really struggling.
our nina dos santos has more. >> these days there's little cause for celebration here. the reason? a banking crisis that's left the town swimming in debt and wiped out its people's savings. >> translator: his grandfather was among the first shareholders. a memory that's now bittersweet. >> translator: it was a source of prestige to own shares just as in this region we have faith in god, we had faith in our bank. >> over the years, he and others poured all they had into the company stock and they were given credit. lots of it. in 2014, they got into trouble. the shares were frozen and he lost everything. >> translator: i lost 1.308 million euros. >> to prevent the crisis from
spreading. the government bought it and another cooperative lender nearby through a special fund, bringing in new management but little hope of recovering the lost investments. among those out of pocket, the mayor of a nearby town who says that he was prevented from selling his $50,000 of stock and, instead, talked into buying more cash. when i asked how many of his people were affected, he says too many to count. they've lost more than 72 million euros or $76 million. a lawyer says he had to buy shares in the bank just to open a current account. he never received the dividends promised and lost more than $4,000. >> translator: to not be a shareholder or an account holder in a bank. if you're a professional around
here was to be missing something. they told me the shares were like cash. >> the bank declined to comment. things are tranquil but don't be fooled, the economic scars run deep. the failure of the two largest local mutual banks here has cost 100,000 retail investors more than $5 billion. losses that serve as a cautionary tale to the fragile financial system. nina dos santos, cnn, italy. derek van dam is here. we were watching at that story and we were distracted by the weather. >> big changes in europe. that's an important story. >> exactly. derek is here to tell us, look out hawaii. storm warnings are in effect. >> something you don't get to say every day, right?
winter storm in hawaii. let's bring you there. take a look at the video. this is an observatory on top of one of the volcanos. it might be grainy on the tv screen but that is snow, folks. that's the telescope in the background by the way. did you know they actually ski and snowboard in hawaii? >> i did not know that. >> they call it -- you think palm trees and you think sipping coconut drinks on the beach. they actually serve pineapple powder is what they call it. it's a pretty cool sight. we want to bring you that sight. because, we work in television and a visual medium. here it is, a view of hawaii on the big island. that's snow on top of one of the peaks they ski down. here's the weather. the latest radar.
not too active at the moment. but what i do want you to see is the general flow is coming from the south. what's happening is this moisture plume is just south of the big island. that's going to allow for rain to really pick up across the lower elevations of the big island and into maui, oahu and kauai as well. the liquid variety changes over to the frozen form. that's why the national weather service has issued winter storm warnings right on the peaks of the big island. of course, that's indicated with a shading of pink there. the majority of hawaii just at the moment under a flash flood watch. that's valid from sunday morning right through the evening hours. something interesting to talk about at the water cooler. i want to bring you to the other side of the world. this is india.
we're giving you a heads up if you're traveling to the region. we have the potential for a significant tropical cyclone over the next three to five days. it's forming. it's just exiting myanmar. but it does have the potential to bring much-needed rainfall to the eastern side of india. i'll end with this. you've got to see this awesome photo from the international space station. this is something they see every 90 minutes. 16 sunsets and 16 sunrises each day. this picture indicates the earth's atmospheric layers there. that thin sheet of orange, that's the trope sphere where the weather happens. astronauts say you can see how anyone the atmosphere and how fragile and delicate it is and we should look after it. >> pretty cool. >> can probably see the snow from hawaii. >> be a cool view. >> all right, derek thank you.
you're welcome. fans bid an emotional farewell to footballers killed in a plane crash. plus, our fred pleitgen speaks with people in war-torn syria. he tells us what they are telling him. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans, it could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs. call now to request your free decision guide. i've been with my doctor for 12 years. now i know i'll be able to stick with him.
football players. the last few yards were the hardest. reflecting the emotion of the day, dozens and dozens of caskets returned in a torrential downpour. as the visceral sight of so many bodies finally made the nightmare real. this is a small town club which had punched well above its wait. capturing the hearts of a nation. the supporters had an intimate relationship with the team, sticking by them through the good times and the bad. but nobody could have ever imagined it would end like this. there isn't anybody in chapeco who hasn't been touched by the tragedy, but it's been hardest for the families. their grief was uncontrollable. but many found solace with the
supporters. connecting with them possibly for the last time here. the grief is crippling. he wanted to commit suicide after learning of his son's death. defender philip died on his father's birthday. the widow of the goalkeeper, emotionally took his picture and placed it in the goal where he stood for every game. the club must draw on the strength of its supporters to rebuild the team. and their rich history will no doubt live on in the future. part of that tradition was evident today. the awful weather conditions couldn't have been more appropriate. everyone knows that chapecoense played their best games in the rain. chapeco, brazil.
fighting continues between government troops and rebel forces in aleppo, syria. backed by air strikes and artillery, regime forces continue to advance in rebel-held districts. reports say they have now regained over half the area once controlled by rebels in eastern aleppo. civilians fleeing the battle are often caught in the middle facing dangers from both sides. senior international correspondent fred pleitgen filed this report from a village south of aleppo. >> as the syrian government continues to push its -- tens of thousands of people who have been displaced and many people wonder where are these people going, some are going here. we're inside former cotton factory now being used as a place for many of these displaced people to go. a lot of these folks describe harrowing experiences over the
past couple of days as they were trapped inside the eastern districts of aleppo under siege by the syrian military and many say that in the past couple of days they haven't had very much in the way of food, water, of course many of them very traumatized and very weak as well. >> translator: we were afraid that we would starve to death. we were also scared because heavy bombs were falling. >> translator: i wanted to leave with my kids 15 days ago. but the rebels shot at me and said, hey you bastard, do you want to join the regime? >> if you look here, you can see how some of the people have been living since they were able to get out of the eastern districts of aleppo. you can see some of the mattresses here. we have to stress over the past couple of days, it's december here. the weather has been very, very bad. that's something that of course, has additionally made life very difficult for some of the folks here. if we look around, we can see
how many children are among those who will also -- have been brought here to the shelter for displaced people. many of them in very bad condition, many of them, of course, traumatized but many of them weak. one of the things they're getting is a warm meal for the first time in a long time. you can see here some of the groups here are trying to hand out some bread, also some salad as well. just to make sure that these people are able to subsist over the next couple of days as, of course, they wait and they hope that maybe they'll be able to return back to their houses as, of course, at this point in time that government offensive is still very much going on. we have also been hearing a lot of fighting in and around the aleppo area. fred pleitgen, syria. you're watching "cnn newsroom." we'll be right back.
>> who needs reindeer? to deliver presents when they can deliver pizza. dominos in japan says it's training reindeer at driving schools to deliver pizza in one of japan's coldest, snowiest regions. >> if a reindeer runs properly, it can go 80 kilometers per hour. it's especially fast on snow as though it's equipped with snowsho snowshoes. >> dominos should expect lawsuits if it delivers pizza that fast. >> grandma, watch out. >> grandma got run over by a reindeer ♪ >> the trainers seem to be having trouble reigning in their pizza delivery reindeer which would be equipped with gps delivery devices to check on their progress. >> how do you say publicity stunt in japanese? >> publicity stunt. >> dominos is no stranger to
marketing ploys. take the edible box dominos u.k. dreamed up for april fools. just last month dominos in new zealand demonstrated the pizza delivery drone. it flew to the appointed address and lowered a pizza. company officials in new zealand say in the next couple of years drones could make up 25% of deliveries and before the drone, dominos in australia presented -- >> the big gaia riefd. >> the pizza delivery robot with a top speed of 12 miles per hour. it can't take to the highway. but it can chat with customers and dodge obstacles from high tech to low tech. is that tomato sauce making rudolph's nose red? >> jeanne moos, cnn. new york. >> who eats pizza for the holidays anyway? most people might bake a cake
for the holidays. we have one for you and a very large one at that. the german city of dresden kicked off the christmas season with the traditional cutting of the rum and fruit bread. this year's cake was more than 3 1/2 meters long. that's 11 and a half feet. it weighed a whopping 3 tons. sales of the slice also go to charity for the annual tradition. yummy. that wraps this hour of "cnn newsroom." i'll be right back after the break with more news. we'll be live in milan and austria for critical votes. thanks for watching. see you in a minute.
crucial elections under way in austria and italy. in a couple of hours fidel castro's ashes will be buried. what the former dictator's brother had to say in the memorial to the people. plus, survivors of a deadly warehouse fire in california talk about their narrow escape and of the friends who did not. it's all ahead on "cnn newsroom." we're live in atlanta. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm natalie allen.