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tv   Smerconish  CNN  December 24, 2016 6:00am-7:01am PST

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tell you about this morning -- >> let's get to it. hour three starts right now. ♪ good morning, i'm alison kosik in for christi paul. >> it's hour four actually. >> it is. >> get it right. i'm victor blackwell. good to be with you. 9:00 a.m. on the east coast. 6:00 a.m. in the west coast. this morning, there are three new arrests, one of them the nephew of the berlin attackers. officials are now revealing recent conversations between the two. plus, the u.s. is on alert as many prepare for christmas one day away and hanukkah beginning tonight the fbi issued a new warning about possible isis threats to church and holiday events. meanwhile, the state department is posting a travel warning for u.s. citizens tr traveling egypt and jordan. this comes amid on going supports terror groups and
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recent attacks in both countries. but first the breaking news on the berlin christmas market attack. tunisian state tv has just announced three arrests in connection to the plot, the three men are between the ages of 18 and 27 and they're described as terrorist elements. >> this new information emerging as new video of the slain attacker anis amri pledging his allegiance to isis begins to circulate. in this video, amri says he would serve al-baghdadi and vow to slaughter the crusaders shelling the muslims everyday. >> he doesn't refer to monday's attack that left 12 dead and injured 48. one of the victims the body of an italian woman was transported to rome this morning. cnn international correspondent nina dos-santos is in milan with the latest, first with new breaking details. all right, we have just lost nina. we will come back to her when we can. >> okay.
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let's go to to a terrorism expert and international security director for the asia pacific foundation. do we have you? okay. good morning to you. let me first come to you with your take on what we're learning from tunisian officials that of these three men connected to or accused of being connected to anis amri, one is his nephew and they communicated via this encrypted app. something we've seen before and he asked him, amri asked his nephew, to pledge allegiance to isis. when you hear that, you think what? >> well, we know that amri was part of a bigger network, that this wasn't someone who was suddenly radicalized, it wasn't a rapid event. this was a process that had taken a long period of time. and there is this belief that amri was in communication with several people that helped him provide logistics and even some of his family members are now under suspicion that they have
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been in communication with him. the fact that amri is trying to get his nephew to continue this terrorist legacy is a concern. he mentioned about the nephew becoming a -- that is a very extreme sect in interpretation that is designed to kill not just non-muslims but muslims, too. >> i want to go through a couple headlines, too, we're getting in the last few hours, this u.s. travel warning for americans potentially headed to jordan specifically. egypt as well, but just days ago isis claimed its first attack in jordan, first attack on a civilian in more than a decade. what is happening in jordan? is this an expansion of their territory here? >> well, as isis's territory contracts in iraq and syria, those shots are shooting off in different directions and it is having an impact on the neighbors in the middle east, in
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particular lebanon and in jordan as well. and unfortunately both countries are going to face a brunt and a backlash as that blow back takes place when foreign terrorist fighters move out of iraq and syria and what happened in jordan recently, the event that you mentioned, that has now set a dangerous precedent and i'm concerned that it won't be a one-off. we could see more plots in jordan emerging as we also know that problems are in egypt as well. >> and before we let you go, state side here, there is the warning from federal officials about rather a bulletin, let me call it what is it, about potential attacks at churches or holiday events, maybe new year's eve events, no specific threat, no credible threat they know of right now, but is this an expansion or a shift from what we saw earlier that was focussed specifically on the military and law enforcement? are they expanding to go to the religious community or is this a shift from one to another? >> keep in mind back in late
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june of this year, there was an attack at a church in normandy. they slit the throat of a roman priest and published an article in which the headline was break the cross. they are trying to stoke religious tensions to provoke a backlash. it is a very deliberate and workwork ed strategy by isis. in another magazine they talked about targeting christmas markets. the deadly effect we saw in the berlin attack. it is a concern. it is a worry. there may not be any specific intelligence about an event taking place but it is the desire and intention of isis and that is something we should be concerned about. >> sajan, thanks so much for being with us. >> pleasure, victor. alison. >> we have the signal back up, ninas dos-santos is live for u in milan. what can you tell us about the breaking details, the new
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arrests? >> reporter: yes. what we're hearing from the tunisian interior ministry is that three male individuals have been arrested in tunisia between the ages of 18 and 27 years old and the tunisian ministry is confirming that one was the nephew of anis amri killed in this parking lot just a day and a half ago by italian police officials. apparently he confessed to authorities that he had been in contact with his uncle via the end to end encrypted messaging services that many isis used telegram that his uncle asked him to join isis and that his uncle had, in fact, sent him money and asked him to join the particular cell in germany that anis amri himself had subscribed to, that cell. so we're getting a picture here of this cell moving towards tunisia now, not necessarily here in europe but in the meantime authorities in italy
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are trying to piece together the last steps of anis amri that brought him here to this nondescript parking lot. to do that, they're combing through cctv images. they said they identified him in two major italian cities where he passed through by train in a train station in the city of turin. >> little confused here because you spoke with counterterrorism officials who said amri had hallmarks of being on the run and then we hear about the arrests. so which is it? >> reporter: but the arrests are taking place in tunisia, so obviously we're quite a few thousands miles away. the question is, was he trying to make it to tunisia from this parking lot. a lot of international buses leave from this particular parking lot. some of them head to the south of italy and they actually leave in the middle of the night. he was caught here at 3:00 a.m. in the morning, by the way, alison, on the same night that one of the buses left for
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southern italy. was he trying to make it towards the south of italy and over towards his native tunisia by sea. we just don't know. could he be heading elsewhere in europe or planning to take one of those buss that we've seen over the last few days that leave this car park for places like algeria and moe rock koe in north africa. we don't know. they are trying to piece together his links to terrorist organizations via italy. this is a country he spent four years in jail in and also through the cells and networks that they've uncovered in germany over the last week or so, alison. >> they say he had the hallmarks of being on the run alone, but clearly investigators are not ruling out the fact that he was in touch with others. nina dos-santos, thanks so much. president-elect donald trump is at his mar-a-lago report on palm beach to celebrate christmas, but he is still managing to cause a few waves when it comes to foreign policy.
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let's bring in jeremy diamond. jeremy, good morning to you. with that beautiful backdrop behind you, nobody is feeling sorry for you being up this early with the great weather. let me talk about the president-elect is not taking office now yet. he has another month or so but he tweeted last night as to the u.n. things will be different after january 20th. i wonder having followed the candidate and now the president-elect what you make of relationship with the u.n. thus far and how this will play a role in his overall doctrine, his foreign policy view as he assumes office. >> yeah. well clearly this was in connection to the united nations vote yesterday condemning the construction, the further construction of israeli settlements in the west bank and in east jerusalem. donald trump clearly suggesting that he wants things to change with the united nations when he gets into office, but as with many of donald trump's tweets,
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it's unclear exactly what he means, whether that will have to do with funding to united nations programs or perhaps united states participation in certain u.n. programs. but clearly there is growing bipartisan consensus that something needs to change with regards to the united nations. a lot of bipartisan criticism of the united nations security council's vote yesterday to condemn the israeli settlements. you know, donald trump's transition team has really been involved in this vote in quite an unprecedented manner for a president-elect's team. i had a senior transition official tell me yesterday that it was, quote, all hands on deck. senator lindsey graham also told cnn that u.n. ambassador to be should she be confirmed nikki haley, the current south carolina governor was actually making calls yesterday to u.n. ambassadors. so clearly the trump transition team not only donald trump had put out a statement initially criticizing this, urging president obama to veto this resolution which he ultimately did not do, but also behind the scenes the trump transition team
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working actively almost as if they were a government in and of themselves to counter this united nations resolution. >> all right, jeremy diamond for us there near mar-a-lago just across from the intercoastal from palm beach island. thanks so much for being with us this morning. the u.s. defies israel and now the israeli prime minister is pushing back. the latest reaction from jerusalem on this unusual and controversial move by the u.s. that's next. otc 7 years ago, 5 years ago, last week. just 1 pill each morning. 24 hours and zero heartburn, it's been the number 1 doctor recommended brand for 10 straight years, and it's still recommended today. use as directed
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there's new diplomatic fallout this morning after the u.s. refused to veto a highly controversial u.n. resolution defying pressure from israel and president-elect trump. israel says it will not comply with the new resolution which condemned the construction of israeli settlements in east jerusalem and the waist bank. now israel is retaliating against two of the countries that sponsored the measure. it's also offering sharp parting word for the obama administration. cnn other than loeberman has the latest from injujerusalem. have you had a chance to talk with anybody who settled in the west bank, 60,000 of those are actually americans. >> reporter: well, we haven't gotten a reaction from the settler community just yet, it is the sabbath here and sit a religious community. it won't be a surprise, you use the word sharp reaction, this
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goes beyond sharp. this is the harshest criticism we've seen from an israeli government of an american government in years perhaps ever. listen to this statement from prime minister benjamin netanyahu's office. the obama administration not only failed to protect israel against this gang up, it koe lewded with it. israel looks forward to working with president-elect trump and all our friends in congress to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution. netanyahu made it very clear he is done working with obama and already working with president-elect trump who intervened in an unprecedented fashion as this diplomatic exchange was coming through over the last 24/48 hours. he's already looking forward to a few weeks from now when he works with president trump when he takes the white house. >> that gangup that netanyahu is talking about in part probably a reaction to what happened in the united nations chamber where there was -- everybody applauded when this vote actually happened. what does that say to you about
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the sentiment, the world sentiment about israel? >> well, israel's position on this has always been that sentiments are not the obstacle to peace. israel is the only country that holds that position, though. especially when we heard the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. samantha power, the reason the u.s. let this go through by abstaining was settlements. they believe that settlements are an obstacle to peace and obstacle to the two-state solution. israel did what it could to try to divert this, but egypt pulled the resolution a day earlier, it was very obvious that other countries wanted to see this go through. it was reintroduced. the u.s. abstained. everyone sees settlements as the obstacle here and that's something israel has to be aware of. >> thanks so much. let's continue this conversation with cnn political analyst and columnist for the washington post, josh rogen. good morning, josh. thanks for getting up early on
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this christmas eve morning. >> any time. >> the fallout from this for the obama administration is certainly one that many people see this as a parting shot from president obama who did not get along with benjamin netanyahu at all during his term in office, many are seeing this as a parting shot, many are seeing this as president obama essentially giving the finger to netanyahu. but the administration is actually pushing back on israel's assertion that the white house doesn't have their back. white house deputy national security adviser ben rhodes says that's not true. listen to what he said. >> it's just not backed up by the record. we just concluded a $38 billion ten-year mou for security assistance to israel. we've had unprecedented security cooperation with israel under this administration, but the fact of the matter is for years, jim, you know from covering this issue, we have expressed grave
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concern about israeli construction. this settle construction pushes far outside the boundary of even the security barrier that the israelis build for themselves. it's deep into the west. >> what do you think, is he right? or is this really the obama administration, president obama giving prime minister netanyahu the finger. >> i like to think of the worst breakup ever. they knew they were going to have to split up the relationship has been bad for a long time but they couldn't do it cordially. netanyahu is parading his new bff around and it happens to be obama's worst enemy. you know, i think ben rhodes is right on the facts but wrong on the politics. yes, you know, the u.s. under president obama has done a lot for israel, but you know that's undermined by the fact that as you said he gives him the finger on the way out the door. and i think the question that you have to sort of ask of people like ben rhodes is like, what does this really get you? okay. if it's not going to really help the peace process.
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if it's not part of some sort of larger strategy to pressure israel into doing a-b and c in the last 28 days of obama administration, then it's just sort of punitive. the fact is that the results might actually be do the opposite of what the obama administration would really like. >> yeah. because what this does is isolate israel even more when you talk in the realm of the peace process. >> forcing israel to get -- to be defensive and actually take a more adversarial position and then putting the trump administration and the u.s. congress on israel's side of that position. >> exactly. so you look at what president-elect trump's relationship with israel is going to be, this pretty much assures that, you know, donald trump will be right there along with israel as israel's true friend. >> i call it as close as lips and teeth, okay? there's going to be zero daylight between the trump administration and the netanyahu administration. again, we'll have to see. does that produce better
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outcomes in middle east peace or worse? you know, if you come from the position that there's not going to be two-state solution or peace process any way, then i guess there's no real reason to use the stick on israel and to try to get them to do things they don't want to do. on the other hand f you think that a peace process is actually possible and you need the buy-in of arab states, the international community and the palestinians to get there, then this move -- closeness between trump and israel could actually make that more difficult. >> i would ask you to take out your crystal ball. donald trump nominated david freedman as ambassador who is supportive of settlements, what do you see transpiring? >> yeah. i think not only is the trump administration using ambassador freedman if he gets confirmed, going to have a policy that actually supports settlement building which will be sort of new and interesting to watch. i think that administration and the new ambassador to israel is going to support this idea to be
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tough with the u.n. in response to this. i talked to lindsey graham yesterday after he issued that statement and he said that he talked to freedman and he talked to netanyahu and the message that netanyahu gave him is it's time to take the gloves with the u.n. if the republicans and democrats for that matter in congress want to take away u.n. funding, punishing all the states that voted against israel in this resolution by taking away their funding and overall just escalate this into a total all-out war, international diplomacy, raermlies will like that and beard freedman will like that too. >> josh rogen, thanks so much for your perspective on this. >> any time. donald trump releasing a christmas letter from vladimir putin. next what it says about the russian president's hopes for the new year and trump's response.
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well, from president vladimir putin to president-elect donald trump, warm christmas greetings and the wish list for the new year. sounds like a script from maybe "snl" but the kremlin confirms the letter was authentic. it was sent more than a week ago but they just released it the trump team did. putin urges trump to, quote, take real steps to restore the framework of bilateral cooperation. joining us now jill daugherty,
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former cnn moscow chief. good morning and marerry christs weekend to you. let's start with this day started with the release of the letter. it ended with donald trump quoting vladimir putin on twitter. he tweets out here -- i've got it on my laptop here -- where he says vladimir putin said today about hillary and dems, in my opinion it is humiliating one must be able to lose with dignity, so true. after what the u.s. has dealt with with the russians, crimea, syria and buzzing ships and planes, your take now on the president-elect quoting vladimir putin in opposition to hillary clinton. >> well, you know, victor, i looked -- i watched that news conference by president putin and i would have to say that he was really spiking the football, you know. he knows hillary lost. he really hates hillary. and there was a lot of kind
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of -- he's a subtle guy, doesn't always show it, but i think there was a lot of glee that she is defeated. the man that he wanted -- in fact, he said nobody expected that he would win, mr. trump. but we did. and then he said, you know, they just should be graceful in defeat. and it was really, i thought, a very striking moment because he was showing his emotion in that. and then to have donald trump quote that is extraordinary, too, because he could leave it. he could just kind of ignore that, but this has ignited a fire storm about trump quoting putin and it's all -- i guess the word we're always going to use we'll probably get used to is extraordinary, never has happened before. but it really is true. >> yeah, extraordinary and another one we're using a lot is unprecedented. >> yes. >> let me go back to another element of that four-hour news
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conference is when president putin was asked about donald trump saying let it be an arm's race, potentially against russia and putin said it's nothing unusual. you studied putin and watched him for years. does this seem like a response that matches what's happening to the kremlin to hear the president-elect say nothing unusual about a potential arms race with the u.s.? >> i get confused about the sequence of those comments because trump made two comments at that time, but you know, rebuilding weapons i think that's kind of what putin is doing, is not a big deal. both sides are doing it. but what he is doing is i really believe that as he looks at donald trump he knows that there is a lot of exaggeration, a lot of over the top comments that will come and they're coming in twitter. and so i think putin is kind of taking off maybe 25 to 30% at the top and saying, okay, that's exaggeration and he will not,
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mr. putin, react in that form. he's a lot more let's call it passive aggressive. he will say what he had to say. he had to say russia is strong and he said look at the weapons that we've been using in syria. our military is back. and we can defeat anything that the americans get in terms of missile defense. so, in a subtle way he was saying, look, don't mess around with us either, but if you're not an aggressor we can get along. and i think that's his message to donald trump. we want to get along, but ultimately it's the united states that he's dealing with and there's a long history there. i also think that he doesn't totally trust the donald trump can follow through and deliver on everything that he said during the campaign. >> yeah. president putin was careful to say i guess a domestic message, we won't spend too much, more than we can afford after the
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investment of the latter half of the last century. jill dougherty, always good to talk with you. alison. when we come back, victor, corruption, a failed cue, a civil war and terror attacks. we count down the top stories from around the world next.
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is it a force of nature? or a sales event? the season of audi sales event is here. audi will cover your first month's lease payment on select models during the season of audi sales event. good morning and welcome back. i'm alison kosik in for christi paul. >> i'm victor blackwell, good morning to you. we have an update now on star wars actress carrie fisher. the actress's brother told cnn she is in stable condition but is still in icu. she suffered a full cardiac arrest on board a flight going from london to l.a. yesterday, last night. >> yeah. her star war's koe co-star mark hamel tweeted as if 2016 couldn't get think worse.
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sending all our love to carrie fisher. clarissa ward has a look at the top ten international stories of 2016. take a look. we begin our top ten with brazil, the country whose roller coaster of scandals and triumphs made news the world over. a mosquito-born zika virus outbreak, leading to a spate of birth defects. then a political crisis that rocked the corridors of power. >> the senate removed dilma rousseff as president. >> all this a backdrop to brazil's moment in the sun. >> the whole world will be watching brazil as it hosts the olympics. >> which despite a few setbacks was widely considered a success. the turkish military announcing it has taken over the country and imposed marshall law. in the dead of night, machine gunfire rings out as a
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coup attempt takes hold and almost as quickly as it began it was over. the president survives the coup attempts but some 290 others would not. seeking retribution, president e erdogan would go on to detain dismiss tens of thousands of people. a diplomatic thawing sees a u.s. president touch down on cuban soil for the first time in 88 years, infuriating fidel castro. eight months later -- >> breaking news out of cuba, fidel castro has died. >> for some, grief for the loss of a revolutionary. for others, celebration for the death of a ruthless dictator. cuban exiles thrilled as they remember a tyrant who imprisoned and executed his paents and brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war. a global migrant crisis worsening by the minute. 65 million people now displaced.
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>> 2016 has been the deadliest year ever for migrants and refugees trying to cross the mediterranean. >> among those rescued this 5 day old infant peering out of his pink blanket. >> war, terror, poverty. seeing migrant camps across the world swelling to unsustainable levels. one camp in france bulldozed to the ground. what is this life? have mercy on us. have mercy. >> translator: i wanted to tell you that you're not alone. coming in at number six, seismic stations around the world pick up on the unmistakable signs of north korean aggression. this time it's different. >> north korea exploding its most powerful nuclear warhead ever. >> detonated deep underground. >> the question now, will the next warhead be mounted on a missile? >> when you have this many tests
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you're eventually going to get it right. unimaginable acts of terror in the name of isis leaf a bloody trail beyond the borders of iraq and syria. >> two explosions rocking the main terminal at brussels airport. >> across town in the center of the city, a bomb exploded on a metro train. >> those three suicide bombers killed 32 people, 3 months later another airport is hit. three men wearing explosive vests, carrying ak 47s, exiting a taxi curb side, shooting at panic travelers before blowing themselves up. 44 people would never make it out of that turkish airport. >> about six to eight gunmen have taken over this bakery restaurant in daka in this more affluent posh area of the city in bangladesh.
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>> military commandos moved in. the siege ended with 13 hostages saved but 20 others dead at the restaurant. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news -- >> we are following breaking news out of france. >> more than a mile of carnage as the truck drove down the beach side prom nad killing as many people as the driver could. >> a day of celebration for french independence ending with the slaughter of 84 people. while the so-called soldiers of isis waged war in cities across the world, back in iraq the land they once laid claim to was being taken back. >> the iraqi city of fallujah we understand has been liberated. >> iraq's military is claiming victory in romadi. >> breaking news into cnn in iraq, to retake the key city of mosul from isis is now under way. >> a lot of coalition planning, american air power -- one came
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right at me. >> cnn's own team would later make it inside the city limits of mosul and very nearly would not make it out. we realize we're trapped. our m wrap takes a direct hit. [ bleep ]. >> we need to move, but every time we try gunfire drives us back. >> arwa damon and her team would spend 28 hours trapped, an estimated 1 million civilians are still within this embattled city. across the border in syria, another hellish landscape unfolds. its biggest city aleppo, the epicenter of this horror. this is what hell feels like. [ screaming ] >> the syrian regime's latest aerial assault. >> gallon drums filled with explosives and shrapnel shoved
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out of helicopters. >> racing frantically to haul nine people still stuck under that rubble. >> dazed and shell shock boy pulled from the wreckage of his home would become the bloody face of syria's suffering. >> he doesn't cry once. he's alive. we wanted you to know. >> coming in at number two, russia flexing its military muscle at home -- >> vladimir putin moving nuclear capable missiles to the border of lithuania and on a global stage. >> the u.s. is blaming russia for bombing a humanitarian convoy is syria. >> moscow using its superior arsenal to turn the tides of war in favor of syrian president bashar al assad. >> he told us that russian and regime forces target hospitals cynically and deliberately. the dlibmatic vacuum between the u.s. and russia intensifying with accusations of hostile acts
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still shrouded in mystery. >> a series of cyberattacks on democrats indicate russia is trying to sway the election for donald trump. and in our number one slot this year, the surge of populism across the west. as voters rejected the establishment. many feeling ignored by politicians and left behind economically. >> this is cnn breaking news -- >> the people have voted to leave the european union. >> dare to dream that the dawn is breaking on an independent, united kingdom. >> it was a vote that took the world by surprise. one of the main forces behind brexit, anger over immigration. >> translator: they should go back to where they came from, this man says, before we rip their heads off. >> and of course in the u.s., where president-elect donald trump capitalized on the issue. >> donald j. trump is calling for a total and complete
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shutdown of muslims entering the united states. >> the rejection of globalization resonating with voters. >> cnn projects donald trump wins the presidency. >> will the march of populism continue with elections in france and germany coming up, 2017 promises to be an interesting year. still to come, president-elect donald trump's inauguration festivities are struggling with booking high profile talent. so, the question of a lot of people are wondering, who will perform? well, we've got some news for you on that front. hey, searching for a great used car? yeah! you got it. just say show me millions of used cars for sale at the all new i don't want one that's had a big wreck just say, show me cars with no accidents reported pretty cool i like it that's the power of carfax® find the cars you want, avoid the ones you don't plus you get a free carfax® report with every listing
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okay. where is our countdown clock? we are less than a month away from president-elect donald trump's inauguration, and it looks like he's having a tough time securing star talent performances. his transition team announced the rockettes and the mormon tabernacle choir that they are set to perform with more to come. >> but trump took to twitter
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saying he doesn't need celebs, he just wants the people. who else can we expect to hit the stage? we're following this. sarah, donald trump has surrounded himself, literally surrounded himself with celebriti celebrities for years. what are you learning? >> a lot of people are talking about this, victor. donald trump a celebrity himself having a hard time getting a-listers to perform at his innaugs ration. "snl" made a joke about this. the radio city rockettes they accepted an invitation to perform at the inauguration but some of the rockettes expressed concern about not wanting to go. the union clarifying yesterday that they're not being forced to perform if they don't want to. but as a whole, they will perform at madison square garden, which owns the rockettes even releasing a statement yesterday saying this -- for the coming inauguration we had more
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rockettes request to participate than we have slots available. look, a-list celebrities, victor, we all know, they're a staple of these inaugurations. no run-up to donald trump's presidency has been normal, we know he is the king of show biz. he wanted the republican national convention to be more show biz like. he wants to make these events big events. this is hollywood. it's a tough crowd. it's a generally more liberal crowd. his inauguration committee chair had said back in november that elton john would be performing then elton john spokesman said, no, he's not going to be there. here is what we do know, we know the rockettes will be there, the mormon tabernacle choir will be there and donald trump is saying this now -- he is saying -- he is tweeting saying the so-called a-list celebrities are all wanting tickets to the inauguration but look what they did for hillary, nothing. i want the people. that's his response to all of
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this, victor. of course an inaugural committee spokesman saying they will have a ton of great performers. we're expecting hopefully more of that list to be released in 2017. >> so the suggestion from that tweet is that donald trump and the transition team, they're denying a-list celebrities from getting those tickets, right? >> that's the suggestion is that if they don't want to come, i guess, he doesn't want them there either. he would rather have people there. who knows. this is his response. people are surely talking about it. >> thanks so much. okay. here is a good stuff story for you. a little boy who spent most of his life in foster care has the greatest christmas gift he could have hoped for. we'll introduce you to his new family. there they are. that's coming up next.
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this is the perfect christmas gift for one three-year-old boy who lives in arizona, after more than 800 days in foster care, he has found his forever family. just look at the pure joy on michael brown's face. his new sister took this photo just after his adoption became
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final and his reaction won over the hearts of the internet with tens of thousands of posts and comments. we are lucky enough to have the family with us. michael and his mother along with his sisters. they are joining us now. good morning, it's bright and early where you are. let me ask you this, you said in an internet that michael's adoption, his adoption was meant to be. why do you feel that way? >> we got him on valentine's day. his last name was already brown, which is the same as my kids' last name. and he just fit right in to our family. he looks just like my girls. and it was just meant to be. >> so your girls are -- how would are they? >> 17 and 16. >> i understand you're a single parent? >> i am. >> so why go and adopt a youngster? three years old, it's kind of starting over again. >> it is. because he had been with us for
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so long and he was a part of our family. and yes, i will be starting over, but with michael it's worth it. >> talk to me about when he did, you know, first get to your home 18 months ago. what was it like -- how did you get him acclimated. how did you make him feel part of the family? >> we just treated him like he was part of our family already. we treat kids just like, you know, they are ours. and he fit right in. >> he's an active toddler. i remember that. >> yes. >> when my kids were three. i get that. talk to me a little bit about the reaction since this story has spread. i know that it's got viral, it's really won the hearts of so many people, especially at this time of year. >> yes, we, obviously, did not know it was going to go viral. my daughter put it on her twitter and it just blew up from there, very excite. >> he's been through a lot.
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this is his third foster family. he was in foster care for 832 days. does he talk to you about that? and how happy he is to be with you now? >> he doesn't talk about it, but he does every day ask and tell us, mom, i'm so happy. he asks the girls all the time are you so happy? and he is. he wakes up in the morning and he is truly happy. >> how do you guys feel? what do you think of your new bro? >> it's really cool. like, it's always felt like normal since he became a part of our family. making it official made it official, it still feels the same. >> do you feel like you're going to kind of be the person he leans on maybe as the big sister? >> yeah, i want to be like the type of person he looks up to. yeah, i was excited to adopt him
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and have it all finalized. >> what message do you have for other families who are considering, you know, being a foster family or adopting a child? >> you know, you don't have to be, you know, a married couple. when i started this, it was just truly for foster to help out kids that are in transition. and when his case plan schangeed to severance to adopt we knew we were adopting, no question. the message to other people is, anybody can do it. it's so rewarding in the end. >> can you ask michael how he feels that he's having his first christmas with his real family, can you ask him? >> michael, are you excited we're going to have christmas tomorrow? >> yeah. >> what's santa going to bring you? what's santa going to bring you? >> toys. >> what kind of toys. >> thomas the train.
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>> yeah. he's very excited. >> i don't blame him i'd be a little shy, too. thank you so much for coming on the show. congratulations. i'm really happy for you and your family. >> thank you so much. >> merry christmas. >> thank you so much. merry christmas. >> merry christmas. thanks, tara. >> thank you. >> i think he did really well for five minutes to 8:00 in phoenix. >> it's really early there, too. >> merry christmas to that family and to yours. let's get to the breaking developments this morning in this deadly berlin christmas market attack. we have the very latest for you at the top of the hour, stay with us. taking a holiday in britain, are ya doll? well, the only place you need go... london's got the best of everything. cornwall's got the best of everything. sport sport nightlife nightlife (both) fashion adventure i'm tellin' ya, britain is the only
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tadirectv now. stream all your entertainment! anywhere! anytime! can we lose the 'all'.
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there's no cbs and we don't have a ton of sports. anywhere, any... let's lose the 'anywhere, anytime' too. you can't download on-the-go, there's no dvr, yada yada yada. stream some stuff! somewhere! sometimes! you totally nailed that buddy. simple. don't let directv now limit your entertainment. only xfinity gives you more to stream to any screen. so a lot of kids, we know, dream of getting their favorite new toys for christmas. but for some, it's not as easy as a trip to a store. i went to visit a unique version of a toy workshop that's stepping up to help. this is unf's adaptive toy project. students are customizing popular kids rechargeable sports cars and suv's to suit children with developmental challenges.
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and the professor says the toys play two roles. >> children that have developmental disabilities can't always explore their environment and play. so that's one piece. at the same time, through this increased mobility, they learn cause and effect, they learn object permanence. they learn balance. they learn mobility. >> you can see the rest of that story tomorrow morning during our new day christmas special. we are on from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. eastern time. we'll have your top headlines plus tons of holiday stories. we've got the college glee club performing christmas favorites as well. that will be fun. >> great music tomorrow. lots more news to tell you about today. >> next hour of newsroom beginning now. good morning, i'm alison kosik. >> i'm victor blackwell. we're starting this hour with
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the terror threats and breaking developments in the christmas attack in berlin. the investigation we should say. three new arrests, one of them the nephew of the attacker. officials say the two were in recent contact. we're learning this as the mother says her son is not a terrorist. >> translator: i want the truth about what happened to my son. i want the tunisian and german government to tell me what happened to my son. we want the truth about my son who died as a suspect. and the truth died with him. they think he was a terrorist? no. my son was not a terrorist. they should have arrested him and conducted an investigation. >> plus the u.s. is on alert as many prepare for christmas one day away and hanukkah beginning tonight. the fbi has issued a new