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tv   Wolf  CNN  December 21, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PST

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hello, i'm wolf blitzer and it's 1:00 p.m. in washington. wherever you are watching for around the world, thanks very much for joining us. ambassador nikki haley issuing a direct threat to countries as more than 100 countries speak out against the president to move the em bass tow jerusalem and recognize that city as israel's capital. a growing battle against the
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russia narrative as a growing number of republicans want to investigate the fbi over alleged bias. a government shut down threatening to overshadow the republican tax win. caught in the middle, funding for health insurance for millions of low income children in the united states. let's get to the breaking news. a stunning rebuke in an overwhelming show of force. the assembly voted 128-9 to declare u.s. recognition of jerusalem as the capital null and void. before the vote, nikki haley issued a threatening warning saying there would be consequences for that decision. >> the united states will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the general assembly for the act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation. we will remember it when we were called upon to once again make
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the world's largest contribution to the united nations. and we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us as they so often do to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit. this vote will make a difference on how americans look at the un. and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the un. and this vote will be remembered. >> strong words from the u.s. ambassador to the united nations. let's bring in jeff. any reaction so far from the white house? >> wolf, the white house has not yet commented on the vote that happened a short time ago. we do know the president was watching this very carefully and he in fact supported what his ambassador, nikki haley, was saying. he issued a threat saying all american aid will be resipded from some countries if they vote this way.
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that is more bluster than reality here, because the fact of the matter is so much of the aid is in the mideast is going to countries we depend on and so much of the aid is dependent on the house and senate as well. it's not something the president can just rescind. it is certainly a moment here and that the trump administration is getting a stinging rebuke there. we have not heard from the president or his officials. i expect we will this afternoon. >> i suspect you are absolutely right. over at the white house, thanks very much. let's discuss this vote over at the united nations. the former u.s. ambassador dennis rossi was the envoy for the peace process under two u.s. presidents and now a fellow at the washington institute for the policy. thanks very much for coming in. was all this predictable when the president a few weeks ago announced he would move the embassy and recognize jerusalem
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as israel's capital? >> my guess is yes. basically internationally there has been a sense that jerusalem is the last issue that you deal with and not the first issue you deal with. even though the president was  recognized, nobody questions in truth a significant part is always going to be israel's capital. if you did this and you didn't also at the same time at least acknowledge the claims, would you not then produce a response certainly from the palestinians and a number of arab states, but the europeans and others. >> nine countries voted -- actually voted with israel and the united states and nine voted against. 35 abstained and 128 voted in favor of the resolution. many of whom received u.s. foreign aid. listen to the threat president trump delivered to those 128 countries. >> i like the message that nicky sent yesterday at the united
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nations. for all of the nations that take our money and vote against us and the security counsel when they vote against us at the a sem bl sem blee. let them vote against us. we will save a lot. we don't care. this is not like it used to be where they can vote against you and you pay them hundreds of millions. you and i agreed yesterday and i had a lot of good comment on it. believe me. >> how do you see that threat from the president? >> if you are talking about egypt or jordan -- >> which receives more than a billion in economic and military assistance. hundreds of millions of dollars. >> both of these are part of the united states when it comes to fighting terror. jordan in particular has played a significant role with the battle of isis and has to deal with sleeper cells within
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jordan. jordan has a long border for saudi arabia and jordan is a partner of the united states on the peace issue. if we are really going to threaten them with aid, we are threatening our own national interest. >> jordan and egypt has relations with israel. you think that was an idle threat from the president. the president of the united states makes a threat like that and doesn't live up to the threat. that weakens his credibility. >> if you are not prepared to act on it, i suspect what we are seeing is a turn in the administration. nikki haley made it clear that the threats reilated more to money we roadway to the un as opposed to individual member states. >> do you think the u.s. will accelerate the decrease in u.s. economic foreign aid to the united nations and un agencies? >> that's what i suspect and that's what she was suggesting in her response.
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the u.s. cannot afford to suddenly cut the assistance to egypt and jordan even if they had it within his power. they are allocated by the congress and these are fundamental american partners and play a in terms of terror. the president of the united states wants to present a plan on israeli-palestinian peace. egypt and jordan are expected to play a pivotal role. we hope they will play on peace. we need them to be stable as well. we need to be supporting them in terms of what they do with regard to counter terror. cutting assistance is cutting off our nose to spice our fate . >> does it make a difference that the u.s. am move their embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem, the only country that has an embassy in jerusalem. since the strong words, the president and his aides have said the u.s. is not determining
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the final borders and sovereignty of jerusalem. the palestinians would like to have as their capital of future state. it's going to take according to rex tillerson at least three or four years to find land in west jerusalem and build a u.s. embassy there. the president will continue to sign that waiver every six months, keeping the u.s. embassiembassy in tel aviv. nikki haley made those points, but it wasn't enough to convince the countries, 128 countries to go ahead. they still condemned the u.s. decision. >> had the administration's position been one where you made ex-poli pli-polic pl explicit statements, he was saying we are recognizing that this is going to be israel's capital. had he said the same time when he said we are not prejudging permanent status and we are not
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prejudicing the negotiations. we are not recognizing the boundaries of israeli sovereignty. all that implied that all right, there are palestinian claims and had he acknowledged, that's the reason we are not prejudging the negotiations. i think the reaction internationally might have been different. >> his aides seem to suggest all of those points and they also went a step further saying that the u.s. and state department had no additional documents or passports. we will say it's jerusalem and israel. it will just say jerusalem. it won't say comma, israel. that will be the continued u.s. official position. >> the irony is that what the president did and in many ways was the right thing to do as long as you put it in context. by not, you produce this response, but what the president did was make a symbol.
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symbolism in the mideast is important. you are getting a counter symbolism to what the president has done. >> nikki haley said they support a two-state solution. that's what the party conflict wants. clearly that was not enough to get those 128 countries to vote against the united states. there is also brewing here in washington a showdown over a possible u.s. federal government shut down. the deadline for a new spending bill to keep the federal government running is midnight friday. just a day after republicans scored a major victory with the passage of their tax bill. tey must get an agreement on funding the government. let's go to phil matingly on capitol hill. where do things stand as far as a temporary legislative fix to keep the government operating? >> republican leaders are
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confident they will have the votes in the house. this is a wild 12 hours where nobody seemed to come out satisfied. they had a few other meetings and a few more this morning and they feel like they are just about there in terms of passing an extension. they have scheduled a house vote on the short-term extension around 4:30 or 5:00. they wouldn't schedule the vote if they didn't feel confident about where they are heading. they have another vote on an unrelated matter. they will double check the whipping and make sure they are in a good place. it feels like they are on the way there. what is in the bill that the house will be passing later today or the leaders hope to pass? it will be a short-term extension through january 19th and a $3 billion to extend the children's health insurance program since it lapsed at the end of the september. it will have an extension of the
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surveillance act provision that the community has been desperate for lawmakers to push forward and a short-term extension with money as well. trying to wrap at least as many of the must pass items into a short-term solution. right now the big question is can republican leaders get the 217 votes? they believe yes. it will move over to the 18 set and there is a chance that they could wrap it up tonight. as we know, never guarantee anything up here. things can fall apart quickly. >> the deadline is friday at midnight. we will check back with you. other news we are following. a young north korean solder defected crossing the demilitarized zone. this is the second such defection in less than two months. what is going on here and we will talk about that with illinois republican congressman standing by live.
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trump is tweeting about a possibility that the federal government here in washington could shut down. house democrats want to shut down for the holidays in order to distract from the very popular just passed tax cuts. house republicans don't let this happen. pass the cr, the continuing resolution and keep our government open. that tweet from the president. >> every two weeks we are talking about a shut down. it's getting repetitive. >> what's going to happen? >> i think we will pass this. we will extend the government funding to january 19th. it takes us past the holidays. it gives an opportunity a couple
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of weeks without trying to get too in the weeds and give us an opportunity to negotiate a budget agreement. a cap agreement. since it has been in place, sequestered and rehits january 21st. they will negotiate with the democrats and i guess made up a lot of real estate at some point. hopefully we can get that done. unfortunately in d.c. everything goes to a deadline. that's how democracy works, i guess. >> the $80 billion in disaster aid scheduled to go to texas and puerto rico in maybe in the caribbean islands be included in this short-term deal. >> also with california with the fires and it will be a stand alone package. our hope is to get democrats on board that may be opposed to continuing resolutions. from my understanding. we will do maybe that comes up second. we will vote for the mone-month
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resolution. that's one of the most important jobs in the federal government. to step in and it has been a brutal summer for that and fall. >> what are about the children's health program. the children's health insurance program known as chip. it's running out of money and they maybe have a few months life. in some states it's basically gone. will that be included and the few billion you need to get about nine million children with health insurance. >> that will be included. i don't think if it will extend it the length or just to march. i'm on the commerce committee and we passed chip out of the energy and commerce committee out of the house. there is a lot of back and forth going on in terms of paying for it. i guess it's frustrating when you have programs that people agree with in a bipartisan way. we play the deadline game, but it's kind of the new normal. >> what about the dreamers.
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the 800,000 or 700,000 to get different numbers. the children who were brought here illegally and have grown up here in the united states. the daca program as it's called. what will happen to them? >> nothing will happen by tomorrow night. we have until march for this program. the president has said that he is interested in fixing this, but it will be a give-and-take. it will probably be an issue with border security as well. we will get wins on some of that. as you know, i'm a supporter of daca and what has been going on, but we will have to get to something where there is a win for poborder as well as the dac recipients. the democrats have been putting this artificial panic timeline on this and panicking a lot of people when both have been clear, not 100%, but both sides have been clear it's an issue we want to fix and i'm confident we will. >> you are on the house foreign affairs committee and i want to
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talk about north korea. another soldier ran across the zone to south korea, the second time in a couple of months. it's extraordinary right now. tensions and nuclear tensions and a high level. what is your analysis right now who studied this closely? >> if you want to know if freedom works or dictatorships, the answer is freedom because nobody is runing for south korea to the north. when people live in brutal conditions with the trade embargo embargoes, people in in desperate situations. kim jong un is trying to get nuclear weapons as a pet project and people are fleeing this. when people flee, they are not just leaving themselves and putting themselves at risk, in many case their families can be put in work camps because of that. you have to be in a desperate situation for that. i wish there was a way to get
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rid of by them. supposedly to deliver anthrax this is frightening. this is a national security challenge that reinvesting in the military will be essential. >> thanks for joining us. >> any time, wolf. happy holidays. >> and a happy new year to you. the spotlight is on robert mueller with republicans suggesting he is biased against the presidency. democrats warning against the attempt to undermine him. all the details and late breaking developments are next. cancer challenges us. to find smarter solutions. to offer more precise and less invasive treatment options than before. like advanced genomic testing and immunotherapy.
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there is a showdown brewing here in washington up on capitol hill over the russia probe. showing up in force. nearly 200 have signed a letter of support for the special counsel robert mueller warping of any attempt of firing him or undermine his investigation into russian meddling into the u.s. presidential election. several republicans are try kroo iing foul and claiming the investigation is biased against the president. the senator is even going so far as to call for an investigation to former obama officials. rand paul writes "time to investigate high ranking obama government official who is might have colluded to prevent the election of president trump. this could be worse than watergate." let's go to the senior correspondent live on capitol hill. the battle lines are clearly being drawn. help us understand the late breaking developments.
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>> two narratives are shaping up. a growing number of republicans are raising concerns about what they see is bias in the fbi and stretching back during the obama years about how the clinton e-mail investigation was handle and what they believe was tainted with the special counsel robert mueller's investigation. the democrats are pushing back and saying this all is part of annest to discredit robert mueller and give cover to president trump to eventually fire robert mueller as soon as next week when congress is on recess. they don't have evidence that the president is going to do this, but they are raising growing alarms that the president could be taking the steps and they want the republicans to join them. behind closed doors in the room next to me is a closed door hearing with the deputy director where a lot of arguments are taking shape. just moments ago, elijah cummings who is a top democrat on the oversight committee who
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is doing this today and raised concerns about this hearing as well and larger concerns about what he views as a threat to democra democracy. that's what he said. >> this is a fight for the soul of our democracy. nothing less. i'm going to work hard to make sure we save that democracy and i will fight until i die. >> what are do you mean? >> we have seen how the pillars of democracy are being cut down. freedom of the press. you know that. cia. fbi criticized. over and over and over again. >> and also republicans are saying that that's overblown. the president is not doing what the democrats are saying. that is taking steps to fire robert mueller. the white house said that is not
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under consideration. i did ask the members about this including one of the members on the committee, mark meadows. he had a conversation about firing robert mueller with the president and the president is not taking that action. >> there is not a concern that is not only established and continues to investigate. robert muler is not a subject of our investigation. >> clearly these are the two competing narratives as we head into an election year and raises questions about whether there can be bipartisan conses us that is taking shape and breaking down along party lines. wolf? >> a lot going on on capitol
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hill. thank you so much for that report. let's bring in jackie peer of california and serves on the house intelligence committee. among the member who is signed a letter in support of robert mueller. thanks for joining us. >> why the large scalests to protect them as the white house and president insists there is no plan to fire him to get rid of him or to undermine his investigation. >> many of us fear there is a systematic character assassination under way about special counsel robert mueller. you don't undertake that. robert mueller is a republican. he has been applauded by republicans on both sides of the aisle and he was appointed by
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president bush. those who serve in high places, the fbi director and a republican made many contributions to republican candidates. there is an effort under way to besmerch this. we are politicians. we smell rats. we smell a rat and are speaking up about it. >> the argument i heard about people plugged in is this effort by republicans and critics of the mueller investigation is that yes, besmerch them and press a charge of collusion. that's against the president raising questions about his integrity. sort of similar. i'm old enough to remember during the ken star
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investigation of then president clinton. he was investigating and there was a lot of efforts by supporters to besmerch ken star and go after him in case he came up with charges, they would be weakened and the political ramifications would be reduced. what's your reaction? >> that's a historical reference. we have only one independent counsel doing an investigation who is look for criminal conduct. they are looking at a committee looking at a russia implication. we are getting concern there is going to be a majority and the minority report is not being done in unison. are they wrapping it up?
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mow nor hearings are scheduled after this week. is it all over as far as the house intelligence committee is concerned? >> wolf, what's happened over the last few weeks is really mind boggling and mind numbing. we have been sitting in duplicate, trip liicate interviews going on at the same time in the committee. you can't possibly attend all of them. some of them have been out of the building and some of them have been out of state. it is an effort, i believe, to bring this to a close as quickly as possible. we still have about 30 other witnesses we want to interview. we have not gotten an acceptance yet by the majority. again, it makes me think that this is orchestrated on many levels by many committees to try and bring this entire effort to a halt. >> we will see what happens on that front. there seems to be a lot better
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cooperation in the senate intelligence committee between democrats and republicans than the house. we will watch your committee very closely. congresswoman, you met with the house speaker, paul ryan on a sensitive issue of sexual harassment involving legislators. where does this investigation stand right now? what emerged from the meeting with the speaker? >> my meeting with the speaker went very well. there is a great ray of hope hereof bipartisanship. both the republicans and the democrats are working in the committee and the staff. my staff is working with them. they are basically moving forward with a package that replicates the me too congress act that gives the victims the protection and the effort work
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on dehalf of the victim. there should not be taxpayer money that goes to pay for the settlements and we make members accountable for that. i am hopeful that by the first of the year, we will have a bill on the house floor that will be one that we can all applaud as being victims. >> that's encouraging with the cooperation on that issue. i know you are a leader in the house in dealing with those particular problems and significant ones as we all know. congresswoman, thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> our political panel getting ready to weigh in on the battle in washington over the special counsel's independent probe of russia's meddling in the u.s. election. that and more when we come back.
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we are covering a showdown on capitol hill over the russia probe. nearly 200 democrats signed a letter in support of the special counsel robert mueller and warning against any attempts to fire him. while at least two republican members of congress claim there may have been a government experience to prevent president trump from winning last year's election. they are now calling for an investigation. we are bringing in the panel for perspective. for "the washington post," philipps is with us. let read the tweet. he write this is and time to investigate obama government official who is might have colluded to prevent the election of donald trump. this would be worse than watergate. donald trump jr., the
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president's oldest son made a similar accusation a couple of days ago. when you hear that from a sitting u.s. senator, that's significant the charge that rand paul is leveling. >> i would go so far as considering this a stunning charge. he is suggesting that former president obama, a sitting president colieued so that the of si8ing party would not become the president of the united states. sarah huckabee sanders was asked about this and she said this is something that should be looked at. i will be curious to see if this is something we will hear the president speak out about. this is unprecedented and appropriate, but if it nkd happened. >> very serious. jim jordan made a similar claim on fox news last night. listen to this. >> they were putting together a plan to stop donald trump from being the next president of the united states. it's amazing in spite of the
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fact that the mainstream press was against him and i believe the fbi and the justice department were against him. >> he was on with them on cnn last night and they had this exchange. >> have you had talks with the white house and the mueller investigation in general? >> we had talks with the white house about tax policy and welfare and obamacare. of course we had talks with the white house. >> is that concerning? >> he didn't deny it. the broader democrats are asking. are you engaging in a coordinated effort. the house republicans and the white house and conservative media to undermine bob mueller's investigation? if we step back and look at the back track, this happens after michael flynn pleaded guilty. a huge development. maybe the day after, president trump was on twitter accusing
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the fbi of bias more broadly. then you have trump's transition lawyer questioning whether bob mueller got thousands of e-mails from the trump campaign legally and then jim jordan and rand paul and other house republicans saying stuff like this. they are not denying there was a coordinated effort and it's all coming as the russia investigation is giving signs it's heating up. >> how do you see it? >> it's interesting that you have seen an effort by republicans to undermine the mueller investigation. there is nothing that unusual about it. the interview with congresswoman spear is what democrats did regarding ken star in the investigation into president bill clinton. the difference was we had a special counsel law at the time and the president couldn't fire the special investigator on a whim even though this this case president trump would have to go through a couple of attorneys
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general kedeputies to get to mueller. stepping back, there is a lot of suspicions that republicans have whether or not it's valid and it goes back to the beginning of the year when the reporting for the washington post on michael flynn was out there. a lot of republicans i talked to at the time and in the months since have been asking questions about whether or not regardless of what flynn did and whether it was wrong, whether he was illegally unmask and whether these things were leaked and it was against the law. i'm curious about this narrative that the obama administration was out to get donald trump during the election. that's the case they did a horrible, horrible job with none of this coming out until after the election. hillary clinton through fault of her own had to deal with most of this. the 302 notes on her interviews coming out through house committees run by republicans.
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this is something that republicans are concerned about and i think they will continue to drive this for political and in some cases concerns about how the investigation was conducted about the leak. >> you are right. in the campaign, hillary clinton was being investigated by james comey among others. the white house lawyer, ty cobb, the official government white house issued a statement for $5 or more they have stated there is no consideration of firing the special counsel and the white house willingly affirms yet again as it has every day this week, there is no consideration being given to the termination of the special counsel. those are strong words from ty cobb. >> they are, but he's right, they have said this over and over again, but it's important to look at the backdrop. it's clear whether or not the president has desires to fire the special counsel. this is an investigation he called a witch hunt and you have seen as amber noted.
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the trump transition lawyer cast dis dispersions. even if the president does not choose to fire special counsel, there are other things we could see happen and have seen republicans and the president himself cast dis-persians on this that can lead to people not seeing the findings. that's equally important. >> you sigh senator mark warner go on the senate floor not on the press conference, but delivers a statement on the senate floor warning about all of these fear that is the democrats had. he is the fire chairman presumably who has access to sensitive information. >> exactly. he didn't fully explain why he chose to do this now and didn't list out because x person said this and president trump's transition lawyers said this. he spoke to them after parts and said i want to make sure no funny business happens when we
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leave in washington. that's remarkable that he is leaving that vague. as you point out, he might know a lot more than we know. he felt concerned enough to go to the senate floor and cast this cloud of doubt about the doubt that republicans thinks they're casting on the investigation. >> i think it's more interesting to hear it from senator warner that a member of the house is expressing concerns because they are working well together. senators are a little less cyber bolic and rand paul not with standing that house members tend to be. it serves both sides to ratchet up. >> the chairman of that committee has been working closely together. thank you very, very much. up next, the suffering of syria's children and forgotten members of the war. on the scene for us, he has this incredible story after the break.
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here's how xarelto works. xarelto® works differently. warfarin interferes with at least six blood-clotting factors. xarelto® is selective... ...targeting just one critical factor, interacting with less of your body's natural blood-clotting function. don't stop taking xarelto® without talking to your doctor as this may increase risk of blood clots. while taking, you may bruise more easily, or take longer for bleeding to stop. it may increase your risk of bleeding if you take certain medicines. xarelto® can cause serious, and in rare cases, fatal bleeding. get help right away for unexpected bleeding, unusual bruising, or tingling. if you've had spinal anesthesia, watch for back pain or any nerve or muscle-related signs or symptoms. do not take xarelto® if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. tell your doctor before all planned medical or dental procedures and before starting xarelto® about any conditions, such as kidney, liver, or bleeding problems. you've got to learn all you can... help protect yourself from dvt and pe blood clots. talk to your doctor about xarelto®. there's more to know.
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and very hard to look at, but this infant has become a symbol of the war in syria having suffered severe injuries in a reported government attack. our senior national co correspondent has a story and i want to warn you the pictures you are about to see are disturbing. >> reporter: the syrian regime with ahead long dash into rubble has become something routine.
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there are still children. mostly forgotten. yet here feeling the things they will never forget. this is childhood in eastern gutar, syria, why moscow has declared victory. tiny bodies abandoned anonymous, no parents on hand to whisper their names. some must get out, lost normal life after lost his mother. intensive care after intensive bombardment. he's one of the children u.n. say urgently need evacuating for emergency treatment. another is kareem, he lost an eye in another bombardment, and his mother, too. his injury took half of his sight, and drew the attention of
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the international community. now reduced to a hashtag and gesture. this at the u.n. security council is protest much all they can do. >> we see many respiratory problems in children, due to unclean drinking water and air from cooking smoke. we also see children with signs of mental illness, but we can't offer them anything. >> reporter: bombs are not the only weapon, amir age one, yet only five kilos in weight, and moore is 4 and only 10 kilos. said child malnutrition here is the worst it's ever been in the world. and they are not starving from poverty but from a siege. food purposely denied the defense le defenseless by the regime. here, a time of cheer and plenty
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elsewhere, does not spell even a paws in this war. nick payton walsh, cnn, london. >> we'll be right back. must have been hot out there today, huh? yeah ok, yeah... even the toughest stains and odors with new super concentrated tide sport. the new tide sport collection- it's got to be tide
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hi there i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for being here on cnn this thursday afternoon. we green wibegin with breaking the shutdown showdown after passing tax cuts not seen in generations. republicans control both houses of congress and white house and have a bit of a new problem staring them in the face. they are facing the government shutting down on their watch, but now we are getting word of the house vote for a stop gap measure at some point this afternoon. it is coming just hours before the deadline of midnight