tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN April 22, 2017 2:00am-3:01am PDT
a deadly terror attack leading up to the french presidential election alters the race. we'll have the latest. cnn exclusive. fbi intelligence suggests russia tried to use trump adviser carter page to infiltrate the campaign. in venezuela, at least a dozen people are dead after another round of violent protests. a lot to cover this day. live from cnn world headquarters, welcome. to our viewers in the united states and around the world, i'm george howell. >> i'm natalie allen. "cnn newsroom" starts right now. it is 5:00 a.m. on the u.s. east coast. first to france where millions of voters there will head to the polls supposed to begin the process of choosing a new
president. that nation, though, still in shock over the killing, the brazen killing of a police officer thursday in paris. an attacker who apparently support isis. >> we've now learned the gunman had been under investigation by french counterterrorism officials for the past several weeks. cnn's melissa bell joins us from paris with the latest. i know you've been covering the election there, melissa, for some time. now we have the shadow of this terror attack. >> reporter: the shadow of this terror attack, of course, over a campaign over a political landscape, natalie, that involves essentially all of the 11 candidates, four that are leading the polls, with all of them around the 20% mark. it is extremely tight. then you have also this very large group, historically high numbers of french voters, who have jet yet to make up their m. there is everything to play for. the sense is that it wouldn't
take much to put one or the other of the candidates ahead of that very tight field. the big question, with less than 24 hoursing into go before poln tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. local time, is what difference the dramatic events that took place champs d'elysee, if they're going to have an effect. take a look. the time, 9:00 p.m., and the timing, three days before the presidential election. on the champs d'elysee, the attack eer has just been killed after shooting at a police van with an automatic weapon. one police officer is dead. two others and a tourist are wounded. within three hours the islamic state had claimed responsibility. the following morning, raids were carried out in a number of locations. three members of the shooter's family taken into custody. as the investigation gathered pace, the government discussed security ahead of sunday's vote and the likely political fallout. with less than 48 hours to go
until polls opened, france's prime minister expressed his fear that one candidate might try to add fuel to the fire. >> translator: the candidate like every drama seeks to profit from and to control the situation to divide. he seeks to benefit from fear for exclusively political ends. >> reporter: marie le pen has put the right is against islamist violence at the heart of her campaign. controversially she wants all terror suspects thrown out of france and within 12 hours closed. she went on the defensive. >> translator: i demand an investigation investigating organizations that promote or finance fundamentalist ideologies. the hate speech must be expelled
and mosques closed. >> reporter: she wants some 10,500 people expelled after she's elected president. her main rival took to the air air force with his reply. >> traranslator: do not give ino the fear, to the intimidation. >> reporter: with the campaign ending at midnight, the only measure of the choice the french have made will be the poll itself. a poll is hard to call as it is likely to prove decisive. and in that piece you heard about the leading candidates. those who are just above the 20% mark in the opinion polls. the far right's marie le pen, and the centrist. beneath that 20% mark, two candidates are in the running and could provide an upset in this. they are the embattled republican candidate who believes that he benefits from more support than the opinion polls are able to hear, and
another candidate, the independent far left candidate who's been rising through the polls the last few days. these are the four candidates that could go to the second round. then the cards are reshuffled and the french will reconsider their votes in the two-week period leading up to the 7th of may in light who the candidates are, to decide who they would like to see head into the palace. >> melissa, with setting the terrorism aside, what's the atmosphere like as far as typical voters? are they excited? are they wary? are they ready to get this over? where are they at? >> reporter: i think there's a mixture really of wariness and excitement. on one hand, people are worried, many about the fact that these fairly extreme candidates, both on the far right candidate, marie le pen, and the one on the left that i mentioned, they're looking so close to getting through to the second round. they obviously enjoy a great deal of support, hence their
position in the opinion polls. there are those that worry that both would hold a referendum in europe opening the door for a frexit. both embrace isolationist measures. there is this sense that france really could change. there are vastly different programs, and there's excitement that there could be change ahead. someone made the point to me that the french have been angry for last 40 years. they vote for governments that they feel simply don't deliver on their promises. the time for change could be now. i think there's a sense out there that there is truth in that. fear on one hand, worry with regard to some of the candidates for part of the population, but excitement, as well, that perhaps this time france's political landscape has changed once and for all. >> we'll see. melissa bell for us in paris, thank you. cnn u.s. security analyst
juliet kayim said the terrorist group didn't seem taken by surprise by the attack in paris. >> isis seemed to have been prepared for some attack. they got their claim of responsibility outquickly, in multiple languages. it was all over social media. they knew the attack was coming. it was timed toward the election. the question i'd be looking at for french investigators is, did someone else do the attack, is it the same person under separate aliases, or just a coincidence that isis planned to attack and some other guy who was isis inspired ended up doing something similar. this will get figured out relatively soon. what we know is that isis had some heads up that there was going to be some attempt at an attack hours before the electio election. key numbers to know about sunday's election in france -- there are 11 candidates in the first round. the two with the most votes will go on to the second round ballot
may 7th. there are 47 million eligible voters. france's finance minister says he believes they will protect their open society even in the wake of thursday's attack. >> translator: in every case, the french people determine themselves among their own debates, interests, and i know that the french people will make their choice for democracy to conform with the republican values. >> let's bring in a reporter with politico live in paris this hour. good to have you, to give us some context on what's happening here. the big question -- given what happened thursday, this very tight election for some of these candidates, could this sway the ballots for voters who have had enough? >> reporter: absolutely. terror like this certainly puts voters in a different mindset going into the final dash. this country has been rocked by terrorism over the past two
years. multiple attacks. this is a reminder of the threat that the country's under, and it's put security back into -- back into focus. we had a final poll yesterday which showed the candidates more or less in the same order, but polling is now suspended until the vote. and certainly we can expect that it is going to have some sort of influence one way or another, exactly how is difficult to say. we've got candidates pushing for radical security measures going into sunday's vote. >> talk if you can about why this vote is so important to europe. >> reporter: well, europe is at the center of this vote. we have the candidates, the four front-runners have polarized radically in their positions for europe. you've got eman you'll macron, expected to win may 7th. he is openly pro-european and
wants to deepen and strengthen agreement in eurozone states. then you have marie le pen and jean-luc melenchon, talking about withdrawing from the bloc, putting up border controls, and pretty much moving back into sort of very nationalist agenda. what happens in sunday's vote will pretty much decide whether the european union continues to exist as we know it or moves in a radically different direction that could be the dismantling and the end of this project. >> france, a nation that has seen so many attacks. 2015, attacks, other attacks that have frayed the nerves of many people. you have one candidate, marine le pen saying she could make changes but basically restricting the free movement across borders. you have another candidate
saying these attacks will continue, though they will do what they can, but attacks will continue, mr. macron. how are voters receiving such different ways of approaching security? >> reporter: well, it's all very confusing for voters because you've got, like you said, emmanuel macron saying the best way to fight terrorism is to work as europeans, to share information that we have on suspicious individuals who might be moving around the union, and for that you need very close incigration between -- integration between intelligence agencies across the european union to make sure everybody's acting together. on the other side, marine le pen says the only way to stop this is to put up border controls like we had more than ten years ago and start checking everybody who comes into the country and not trusting our neighbors so much. it's a very disorienting time
for french voters. they feel that there's a threat. there's something going on. but exactly what the solution is is difficult to say. what we can say is the one proposing the most radical measures here is definitely marine le pen. she wants to expel all foreign people who are suspected of islamist links. she wants to shut the borders down. the question is will they trust her to become president. this is a person who lacks executive experience and doesn't have any of the gravitas that the former prime minister, francois fillon, does have. >> when the brexit happened, we talked about the citizens that vote for and against and where they lived. where they were from. how does it go with macron and le pen as far as who's supporting whom? >> reporter: you know, the brexit vote, trump vote, these
are analogous situations. when you look at if you break down the voting population, what you see is that in peripheral areas, areas removed from big urban centers where there are jobs and opportunities and travel, the further away you move 100 kilometers, 200 kilometers, the more likely you are to vote for marine le pen. this is what we've seen time and time again in these elections. in areas that are cut off from the sort of beating heart of global capitalism, this is where support for le pen is strongest, and where the resentment of gri immigration and the european union is also strongest. you've got a real divide here as in britain and as in the united states between globalized urban centers and peripheral areas that are cut off and don't feel the benefit of this. that's how this election is also shaping up. >> we thank you for your
analysis so much. thank you very much, nicholas. >> thank you. ahead here on "newsroom," a cnn exclusive report -- did russian operatives try to infiltrate the inner workings of donald trump's presidential campaign? what new intelligence is suggesting. also, president trump set some ambitious goals on the campaign trail. how they stack up almost 100 days into his presidency. music: "werewolves of london" dude. your crunching's scaring the fish.
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welcome back to "cnn newsroom." now to an exclusive report. we're learning that u.s. intelligence officials have gathered information that suggests russia tried to infiltrate the inner workings of the donald trump presidential campaign. >> their intel suggests russian operatives sought to make use of trump advisers who may have been completely unaware that they were possibly being compromised. cnn's u.s. justice correspondent, pamela brown, has that. >> reporter: we've learned the fine gathered -- the fbi gathered intelligence last summer that suggests russian operatives tried to use trump advisers including carter page to infiltrate the trump campaign, according to u.s. officials. carter played his speech against russia in july of 2006 at a prominent moscow university is one factor, part of what raised concerns in the bureau that he may have been compromised by russian intelligence. the new information adds to this emerging picture of how the russians tried to influence the 2016 u.s. election. not only through e-mail hacks
and propaganda, sometimes referred to as fake news, but also by trying to infiltrate the trump orbit. the intelligence that was gathered led to that broader fbi investigation into the coordination of trump's campaign associates and the russians as fbi director james comey has referred to. the officials we've spoken with made clear they don't know whether page was aware the russians may have been using him because of the way russian spy services operate. page could have unknowingly talked with russian agents. he disputes the idea he's ever collected intelligence for the russians, saying that at times he actually helped the u.s. intelligence community. he told cnn, "my assumption throughout the last 26 years have been going there have always been that any russian person might share information with the russian government, as i have similarly done with the cia, the fbi, and other government agencies in the past." it is important to note that within the trump campaign, carter page was viewed as someone who had little or no influence, but he was one of several trump advisers whom u.s.
and european intelligence detected in contact with russian officials. the fbi investigation is still ongoing. pamela brown, cnn, washington. >> pamela brown, thank you. now let's go live to russia. cnn's fred pleitgen following the story live in the russian capital with this. what can you tell us to push forward on pam's reporting just about the interaction, the dealings that carter page had in that nation? >> reporter: he's essentially an adviser here especially to the russian oil and gas industry and has been trying to facilitate deals between the united states and russia. and this is actually for a fairly long period of time, more than a quarter century, he himself about 26 years that he's been coming here to russia, he's very well known especially in the oil and gas industry here in this country. it is, of course, very, very important, if not the most important industry here to russia. and certainly he has met with some top politicians, with some
top oil and gas officials. he is certainly someone who is quite positive toward russia, has always been. also reflected, of course, in the speech that pamela was talking about there in 2016 in moscow university where he ripped into u.s. policy toward russia saying it was reminiscent of the cold war, some of the things coming out of washington at that point in time. so certainly someone who was very much in favor of better relations between the u.s. and russia. and of course thought that that could happen once president trump took office. and again, someone where now the intelligence services seem to believe that he might have unknowingly been used by russian intelligence, by the russian defendant, to try and -- the russian government, to try and infiltrate the trump campaign. as we heard in pam's report, he says he had nothing to do with that, and that he took great care to not be used unknowingly to get information to the russians or to any other government for that matter, george. >> what has been the general response from the kremlin about these continued allegations of russian meddling, interactions,
et cetera, with the election? >> reporter: you know, i would say it's continuing denial and growing frustration on the part of russian government officials. certainly the ones i've been speaking to, not just in regards to this issue in particular but generally to the allegations, to the information that's been coming out on russia trying to influence the electoral process in the united states. the russian line is that official russia, any sort of russian government agencies, russian intelligence agencies, were not involved in any sort of hacking around the u.s. election or attempts to try and steer the election into a different direction. that, of course, doesn't mean that hacking didn't take place. the russians say officially they were not involved. you can really feel how they're growing increasingly frustrated because in the end, what they wanted was better relations with the trump administration and ultimately a lifting of sanctions against russia. looking at almost 100 days of donald trump's presidenci, it doesn't appear as though they're any closer to having that happen, george.
>> 12:21 p.m. in moscow. fred, thank you for the reporting. next saturday marks 100 days since donald trump took office as president. that's become a benchmark in u.s. politics to measure success. >> mr. trump calls the standard ridiculous, yet he used it in his campaign to boast about how much he would accomplish. has he? here's our jim acosta. >> reporter: it's a critical milestone for any president. nearly 100 days in office, president trump complains this is no time to judge his performance. no matter how much i accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, and it has been a lot including supreme court, media will kill. in the lead up to the 100-day mark, the president has repeatedly tried to make the case he's putting points on the sco scoreboard. >> we're in the process of rebuilding america. and there's a new optimism sweeping across our country. >> reporter: the president has yet to follow through on many of the promises he said he could
accomplish in his first 100 days in office such as health care reform and posing term limits on members of congress and tax reform. during the campaign the president promised there would be so much winning, the american people would grow tired of it. >> we're going to win so much, you may even get tired of winning, and you'll say, please, please, it's too much winning. >> reporter: in fact, the president laid out his 100-day agenda weeks before the election. >> it's coming up -- just think about what we can accomplish in the first 100 days of a trump administration. we are going to have the biggest tax cut since ronald reagan. on the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in washington. ethics reform will be a crucial part of our 100-day plan, as well. we're going to drain the swamp
of corruption in washington, d.c. >> reporter: so far, much of what the president has done has come through executive orders, not legislation. the white house is taking another stab at repealing and replacing obamacare, something the white house hopes can actually pass the house before there trump hits that 100-day milestone next week. >> the plan gets better and better and better, and it's gotten really, really good. and a lot of people are liking it a lot. we have a good chance of getting it soon. >> reporter: standing in the way, the prospect of a government shutdown. congress has until next week to fund a bill for the government. one obstacle, the white house is insisting on money for one of the president's biggest promises -- a wall on the mexican border. the president didn't sound worry that a shutdown could happen as he hits 100 days in office. >> i think we're in good shape. >> when will he start to deliver? for more analysis of president trump's first 100 days, we spoke
with brian class, a fellow in comparative politics at the london school of economics. >> it's a barometer of how effective the president is at delivering on his campaign promises. it is somewhat arbitrary but is holding the president to the standard he set for himself. trump set out a contract with the american voter in and he said that he would pass or aim to pass ten major bills by the end of the first 100 days. he's currently 0-10, and we're just a week away from the 100-day milestone. it's important to check in and see how he's delivering on his promises or, in this case, how he's failed to deliver on them. >> we heard the things that the president has succeeded on. a supreme court nominee. at the same time, the things that have not come to fruition at this point given your read of what you have seen happen. how has this new -- how is this new u.s. president doing? >> reporter: well, i think there's two major things that trump has done in the first 100 days that are positive.
one is the supreme court justice for his agenda, that was a big positive for him to be able to get that through. i also think that bombing syria and making clear that it was -- there's no place for chemical weapons in the civilized world, another positive, although it came with no strategy attached to it, a serious problem. but on the other hand, if you do this in comparative context, trump said it was a ridiculous standard to look at him after the first 100 days. in obama's first 50 days, he passed a gender equity pay act. he expanded health insurance for four million people. he passed a $787 billion economic stimulus package, and fully funded the government's budget. trump's first 100 days, the signed legislation so far has been repealing the stream protection rule which allows mining companies to pollute streams. eradicating a requirement for mining companies to disclose foreign payments, and a nasa authorization bill. if you actually look at signed legislation, trump is not even close to where obama was in his 50 days, and that's trump with
an extra 50 days beyond that. >> that was brian class. thank you very much. coming up here, molotov cocktails, looting, rioting, protests are not slowing down in venezuela against president maduro. we'll also have the story of u.s. warplanes on the lookout for any provocation was north korea. live around the world and in the united states this hour, you're watching "cnn newsroom." g keep you sidelined. that's why you drink ensure. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love. ensure. always be you. no one's surprised tender pieces and crunchy bites ended up together. that's just what happens when cats call the shots. friskies tender and crunchy combo. tasty textures cats gotta have. friskies. for cats. by cats. i hafor my belly painking overand constipation.ucts i've had it up to here!
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of french voters head to the polls sunday to begin the process of choosing a new president. the nation still reeling from the killing of a police officer thursday in paris. the attacker apartment supported isis. he had been under investigation by counterterrorism officials for several weeks. the vice president mike pence and australian prime minister malcolm turnbull reaffirmed strong ties between their countries. in sydney, pence said that washington will honor a refugee deal under which more than 1,200 asylum-seekers will be resettled to the united states. that is even though president trump called the deal dumb in a previous tweet. thousands are expected to descend on the national mall in washington in just a few hours. they'll be marking earth day with a march for science and demonstrating against proposed u.s. federal funding cuts. rallies are also planned in more than 500 cities around the world. 19 children were killed near
pretoria, south africa, when their mini bus crashed into a truck and exploded. the driver was also killed, and several other children injured. officials say deaths on south africa's roads are spiking. they blame speeding, dangerous vehicles, and failure to use seat belts. the cause of this crash isn't known. officials say at least a dozen people were killed near the capital of venezuela when demonstrators threw molotov cocktails and looted businesses. >> this comes after weeks of anti-government rallies across the country. several more people were killed after the supreme court tried to strip parliament of its powers. our rafael romo has more for you. >> reporter: some of the victims were electrocuted when a power ca cable fell to the ground as the group tried to bakery. the rest of the fatalities were from gunshot wounds. this has outraged the opposition. the government says ramirez was
shot by an opposition protester. her family says she was killed by pro-government armed militias. >> translator: she called us. she was in san cristobal and called us saying, "father, father, what can i do? the armed militias are shooting. what can i do?" i told my husband, joaquin, "tell the girl to run and hide somewhere." the call dropped, and we didn't hear anything else. moments later, somebody called us and said she had been killed. >> reporter: protesters eliminated a building in car acti crack -- in crack us calling mad euro -- maduro a murderer. a government supporter says the opposition is to blame for the violence. they have been destroying buildings, added that the new face of violence is nothing less than terrorism. rafael romo, cnn. the afghan defense ministry
is saying there are more than 100 casualties among afghan soldiers after a taliban attack at an army base. officials say six insurgents disguised in military uniform opened fire during friday prayers and that the battle lasted six hours. vice president mike pence and australia's prime minister have met to discuss a variety of issues while reaffirming the alliance between their two countries. the vice president was in sydney on the final leg of his asia-pacific tour where he and malcolm turnbull also discussed north korea. >> mr. prime minister, know that president trump and i are truly grateful, truly grateful to you for calling on china even this week to play an even more active and constructive role in addressing the north korean threat. now the president and i have, in his words, great confidence, that china will properly deal with north korea. i know you share that hope.
as president trump made clear just a few days ago, if china is unable to deal with north korea, the united states and our allies will. the united states and australia face this threat and every other one together. >> chinese officials are denying that their country's military is on high alert to deal with any threats from north korea. its defense ministry says bomber jets are operating normally on the korean peninsula. >> tensions remain high, and the u.s. is keeping an eye out for any provocation was pyongyang. here's barbara star. >> reporter: as the aircraft air issier uss carl vinson heads toward north korea, the world head into a weekend of high alert and tension. spy satellites and planes keeping constant watch for signs of a north korean nuclear test and other regime provocations. >> the word is not -- it's not
proven honest. it's provocative. they've not lived up to any statements they've made in the past years, decades actually, about stopping their ballistic missile and nuclear programs. >> reporter: the pentagon is also watching for more north korean missile launches. these missiles on parade just days ago headed back it their bases. they could be ready for test firings. the u.s. is urgently trying to determine if these huge canisters mean north korea has a working intercontinental ballistic missile that could be inside. the parade also showed off new missile variance that haven't been tested yet. tensions rising even further for chinese president xi as china has raised the alert status for its aircraft according to u.s. officials. >> he could be messaging his own people, he could be messaging the north koreans for that matter. but the real focus is on the actions that china is taking,
for example. most recently it stopped importing coal from north korea. it's made clear that if there's another nuclear test it's going to cut off the oil that it provides to north korea. >> reporter: the chinese president also under unprecedented pressure from president trump who tweeted, "china is very much the economic lifeline to north korea, so while nothing is easy, if they want to solve the north korean problem, they will." and then directly challenging the chinese leader. >> i said, you'll make a much better deal on trade if you get rid of this menace. >> reporter: the chinese government wants ak-ctioknowlem for its efforts. translatranslator: china believ international community has sean china's peaceful efforts to resolve the nuclear issue on the korean peninsula. >> reporter: the chinese may be concerned if there is a north korean provocation that president trump will publicly
blame them. barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon. vladimir putin is known for military action in syria, ukraine, and georgia. that's not the only place he is sending troops. >> russia is setting its sights on the arctic. and as our brian todd explains, he may be gearing up for a literal cold war. >> reporter: on a frozen, windswept expanse in the arctic, vladimir putin's military ambition is on grand display. painted like a russian flag, it's called tre foil for its three-cornered structure. a sprawling new military base that can house 150 troops and warplanes. >> this is a lot about the projection of russia's status. russia's status is a great power, first and foremost. second, the fact that russia's an arctic power. >> reporter: in a massive military transport, the russian president visited the base. putin made a show of traversing a glacier and hammering at the ice. russian troops will be living under the harshest of conditions, 18-month deployments, where temperatures
can dip well below zero. >> these are bases set up in perhaps some of the most inhospitable if not the most inhospitable places on earth. they're so cold that short of living on another planet with no oxyg oxygen, this is one of the most dangerous places to operate. >> reporter: russian forces pride themselves on operating in the most bitter-cold conditions. even training with reindeer. much of the base is top secret, but the russian military boasts a virtual tour of some parts of the interior. this is part of putin's plan to dominate the arctic. the oil and gas reserves he has his eye on in the arctic are massive, experts say, worth possibly tens of trillions of dollars, expected to become more accessible if global warming continues. >> they believe in the future there will be a contest between powers for who gets access. there will be economic, commercial competition, and the russian view is there is a very difficult area to operate. it's going to take a long time to establish themselves. they want to get there first.
>> reporter: putin is aggressively navigating the region, even planting a russian flag on the arctic floor. russia has far more arctic military bases than the u.s. and dozens more ice-breaking ships, perhaps as many as 40. >> how many ice-breakers do we have? >> i believe one -- >> 1.5 -- >> 1.5. >> reporter: russia's race is ahead of the u.s. in the arctic, a sobering illustration of putin's broader ambitions. >> for vladimir putin, the arctic is a prestige project. it demonstrates russian history and its greatness. russia can conquer anything. it can plant a flag on the north po pole. can build a military installation. can overcome nature. >> reporter: the trump administration is being pressured by members of congress and outside analysts to close that gap with vladimir putin and beef up america's presence in the arctic. will they? we've pressed officials here at the white house, at the pentagon, northern command, and the coast guard, for any
specific commands to place for resources in the arctic but have gotten no response. cnn, washington. >> revealing report. thank you. ahead on "cnn newsroom," dozens of wildfires are burning in the u.s. state of florida, driving thousands of people from their homes. we'll have an update. also, china loves coal, but not the pollution that comes with it. we'll see how china is cleaning up its coal act coming up. courtyard, the official hotel of the nfl and i, want to remind you that no one's the same without the game. like jimmy b, who writes, "as a 42 year old substitute teacher who dominates "video game football what are the odds i could be drafted as a real qb and/or a middle linebacker in the nfl?" look, jimmy, i don't know your skill set but i think we're looking at somewhere around a 0.0% chance. hang tight until kick-off. i just saved that man's life. i'm a life saver.
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a large area of the city covered in severe drought conditions. >> is it along the periphery or middle? >> it's toward central and southwestern florida. that's where we'll take you now. this is naples, florida. you'll see some of the brush fires that are ongoing now. mandatory evacuation of about 3,000 homes in collier county, in southwest florida. there have been nine homes destroyed. no injuries or fatalities. there's an additional 5,000 homes under volunteer evacuation, and some of the smoke is impacting 75. if you've driven across the state, you know that's a major artery throughout florida. we don't want smoke hindering the visibility on that major, major highway. check this out -- graphics behind me. you'll see where the fire is located. some of the details, again, just outside of naples, population roughly 350,000. again, a significant fire that's only 10% -- this is not the
image i anticipated behind me. this was not florida. fire and ice here. a little out of order. that's okay. we'll roll with it. there's 29 active wildfires across the state, not to be l'il the situation there -- belittle the situation there. there are nearly 100 active fires throughout the entire state. just 29 of them that are 100 acres or more. so a significant part of the state under severe drought conditions. it looks as if it is going to stay that way because it is not improving any time soon. very little rainfall in this forecast. there is some relief at the end of this tunnel. not until late sunday into monday when we anticipate rain. now we'll talk icebergs. you've got to see video footage coming out of the east coast of canada. this is absolutely incredible. a behemoth of an iceberg has grounded itself off the coast of newfoundland. and wow, this thing is the size of a soccer field or stadium or
football stadium, for international viewers. unbelievable. the interesting fact, you can only see a small portion of it. 80% to 90% of an iceberg is hidden below the surface. the aerial drone foot angel gives perspective of how -- footage gives perspective of how large that is. >> it tip of the iceberg. >> megatons. >> thank you. >> reporter: to china now. beijing is promising to end its toxic smog. >> something we're looking at this earth day. matt rivers looks at china's love/hate relationship with coal. >> reporter: china loves coal. it's cheap and efficient. you can pile it up and burn it to heat your house. and it's powered the economic miracle here over the past 30 years. china also hates coal because it's a major reason skies above places like beijing are often choked with toxic smog. enter the sanho power plant, the happy medium between both sides.
a so-called clean-burning coal facility outside of beijing. instead of pumping out high levels of pollution, the plant's technology allows it to keep emissions low by retrofitting power units ander it bynes and recycling wastewater. conditions monitoring realtime in this control room. >> translator: people used to look at coal and saw something dirty and polluting. we have resolved the problem through the technologies you see here want currently no other forms of clean energy, be it wind, solar, or even nuclear, can satisfy china's total needs. >> reporter: the plan is part of a drive across china. the countrys environment minister says the cleaner technology will be installed at all coal power plants nationwide by 2020. china puts more greenhouse gas says into the atmosphere than any other country on earth. frankly, it's not close. by 2030, the country wants its co2 emissions to peak. it's going to need plants like this burning cleaner coal to do that. it's a model that other countries are trying to emulate.
big coal producers like australia and the united states, which for the first time in a while, as someone who likes coal a lot, is in the white house. >> the action i'm taking will eliminate federal overreach, restore economic freedom, and allow our companies and workers to thrive, compete, and succeeds on a level playing field for the first time in a long time, fellas. been a long time. >> this is technology that can be deployed elsewhere and should be deployed elsewhere in the world. the lessons that china has learned can be exported. >> reporter: some environmentalists remain skeptical about the concept. they say focusing on so-called clean coal directs investments and subsidies in the wrong direction by ignoring a simple fact. >> coal is one of the most hazardous fossil fuels in the world and still generating a lot of negative impact on carbon emissions, and also on what are consumption. if we want to serve the problem
from the very beginning, we need to transfer our energy structure, not only just cleaning the coal. >> reporter: despite the criticism, china appears committed to the cleaner coal approach for now thanks to the abundance of coal. the country with skies like this eager to turn the so-called black gold into a silver lining. matt rivers, cnn, china. >> wow. coal will be on the minds of environmentalists around the world today. >> absolutely. certainly from the keystone pipeline to carbon emissions, march for science demonstrators are joining forces with earth day organizers all to send a message to the trump administration. ♪ hey, i'm the internet! i know a bunch of people who would love that.
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they say we are not going to be silent. scientists have been speaking out against billions in proposed u.s. federal spending cuts. this week the u.s. environmental protection agency, the epa, announced its plans to reduce its work force. >> in just a few hours, environmentalists and scientists will be protesting with thousands of others in washington and around the world calling it march for science to mark earth day. this report from our station wjla in washington.
>> reporter: the security fences are up, the stage literally sent. >> science not silence. >> reporter: for the 2017 march for science. >> i definitely think that the planet is getting warmer. because of that, certain things are happening. >> reporter: 150,000 people expected on the mall, then march to the capital. >> science has been politicized in a way that's not right for a few years now. >> reporter: this among a series of environmental protests. the saturday event, a celebration of earth day, but also to raise awareness about climate change. >> i'm skeptical. >> reporter: walt comey is not a true environmental believer. >> i wish i could rely on what the scientists are telling me so i could make an informed decision. >> reporter: there is a price for the many protests in the nation's capital. [ sirens ] security and costs are millions. the city has budgeted $12.9 million for unanimonon-inaugura events.
$3.8 million has been spent so far. d.c. still trying to get reimbursed from the federal government. >> if no other place here, we need to absorb that cost so people can say what's on their mind. >> i hope this it serves as a way to mobilize and give a voice to the scientific community. >> we'll be covering it. >> certainly. that wraps this hour of "cnn newsroom." i'm george howell. >> i'm natalie allen. for viewers in the u.s., "new day" is ahead. for everyone else, "erin burnett out front" begins in a moment. >> thank you for watching cnn. i have spent years taking over-the-counter products for my belly pain and constipation. i've had it up to here! it's been month after month of fiber.
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investigators now believe russia tried to use trump advisors to infiltrate the campaign. >> not only through e-mail hacks and propaganda but to infiltrate the trump orbit. just think about what we can accomplish in the first 100 days of a trump administration. all of the success has been through executive orders. >> a witness spotted cummings with his student deep in the woods of northern california. >> they are gathering as much evidence as possible. this is a very, very small cabin. >> scientists and supporters are planning a huge