tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN December 30, 2017 1:00am-2:00am PST
will we end up with a cashless paperless society? and do we really want one. these are the kinds of social problems that scientists say society should answer. u.s. officials say another north korean test could happen within days. plus, his first year almost over, we take a look at the presidency of donald j. trump. and new york city preparing for its famous ball drop in times square 2018. right around the corner. are you ready for it? live from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm george howell. "cnn newsroom" starts right now.
4:00 a.m. on the u.s. east coast. we start this hour with a story about the new year, 2018. maybe you want to do something differently. that's not the word from north korea. that nation telling the world it remains committed to developing its nuclear capabilities in 2018. a report in north korean state media says as long as the united states and its allies remain a threat, that regime will push its program forward. pyongyang boasted it can strike the u.s. with world class nuclear power but it calls itself a, quote, responsible nuclear weapons state. at the same time, there are troubling signs that north korea may conduct another weapons test sometime after new year's. our barbara starr reports. >> reporter: u.s. officials are telling me they are watching for the very real possibility that north korea may launch another ballistic missile in yet another weapons test. it is not imminent. the signs are still very
preliminary. but right now, they don't think it's a satellite launch, much more likely to be a missile launch if north korea were to proceed with this. now, in an end of the year meeting with pentagon reporters, defense secretary james mattis said he was still very much on the page of diplomacy buttressed by economic sanctions, trying to underscore that diplomacy will not be just words, that there will be real economic pressure on north korea to give up its weapons program. but, of course, no sign at this point that kim jong un has any intention of doing that. so if there is a missile test, it comes to the very sensitive time after the new year when secretary of state rex tillerson is headed to canada for meetings with the allies about north korea and, of course, just weeks away from the winter olympic games in south korea, a time when everyone is looking for a little stability and no drama in the region.
barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon. >> barbara, thank you. china insists it is going along with u.n. sanctions imposed on north korea despite questions over whether that nation is providing pyongyang with oil. just last month, south korea seized a hong kong registered ship that it says transferred oil to a north korean vessel. the u.s. released these satellite images showing two ships allegedly showing a transfer in october. but china denies any wrongdoing. listen. >> translator: a series of recent reports do not accord with the facts. china has always implemented u.n. security solutions and fulfills its national obligations. we never allow chinese citizens and companies to participate in the activities that violate resolutions. >> in the meantime, the u.n. security council is now denying international port access to
four ships for the breaching sanctions on the regime. three of those ships fly north korean colors. the flag of the fourth ship is not clear. north korea has defied u.n. sanctions and restrictions in the past. now a north korean defector tells cnn the regime has a sophisticated smuggling network and can easily trade in banned goods. cnn's brian todd has this report for us. >> we have new information tonight from this defector on exactly how kim jong un's regime gets weapons and other banned material out of the country to sell on the black market. this man knows how kim gets his cash and helped him get it, funneling billions of dollars a year to the young dictator. august 2016, a freighter is heading to the suez canal. around 30,000 rocket propelled grenades made in north korea. part of what a north korean
defector describes as a smuggling to line the pockets of kim jong un. >> how do north korean smuggling operations work? are there people with false names? are there ships with false names being moved around? >> translator: smuggling is conducted by any means you can imagine. mostly done by ships, for example, by filing a cargo list from what's written is different than what is really being shipped. >> for decades, ri jong ho says he would sometimes hand bags of cash to ship captains. redefected in 2014, he says he worked mostly in legal imports and exports but gave us insight into north korea's smuggling operations which he describes as unstoppable. >> on the north korean sea, the yellow sea, there are hundreds of fishing boats, both from china and north korea.
these are so-called fishing boats. it is very difficult, even for china, to stop these hundreds of fishing boats. >> according to the u.n. and outside analysts, kim's regime sells analysts on the black market. they've trafficked in counterfeit viagra. new u.s. sanctions are aimed at tightening limits on north korean shipping to stop the flow of illicit goods if leaving and arrivinging in north korea. >> the mercedes-benzs, for example, providing for the leader, they're fought legally imported. they're being smuggled in. >> the cash that ri was so good at getting to his had boss, experts say, pays for kim's weapons and buys off generals
and others. >> he has the political loyalty, so he needs the walking around money to hand out. >> as a for our interview with ri jong ho, a north korean official says ri is telling lies to save his life. from the russia investigation to immigration policy to midterm elections that could reshape congress, the president has a lot of head in the coming year. he's already started to stake out his terms for addressing the so-called d.a.c.a. immigrants. the president tweeted legal protections for them would not be restored, would not be restored, he says, unless there is funding for a war along the u.s. southern border. as mr. trump wraps up his first year in office, his policies so far have not been popular with
most americans. his approval rating at 35%. that is one of the lowest in a decade for any president at the one-year mark. make no mistake about it, that pa 35% that has been in place at the moment, the president's voter base insists that mr. trump is doing a great job and isn't getting proper credit for it. cnn's gary tuchman went out to speak with voters about the trump presidency. >> dawson county, georgia, is the heart of nascar country. it happens to be one of the most republican counties in a republican state. >> who did you vote for on election day? >> president trump. >> in the dawsonville restaurant where they honor bill elliott, they also now honor president donald trump and his first year in office. >> george washington was the father of the country. abraham lincoln held it together. ronald reagan saved us from communism and now donald trump is going to save us from
ourselves. he's going to build a strong economy. >> he's done excellent as far as i'm concerned. >> restaurant regular sonny simmons is like many here saying good news about donald trump is getting swept under the rug. >> what do you think is getting done that is not getting reported? >> he has signed no telling how much legislation that does not get reported. >> he just said himself he signed more legislation since the president issy of harry truman. >> he has. >> objective people looked at this and said he signed less legislation than eisenhower. so the question is -- >> how do you figure that out? >> it's pretty easy. just count them. >> if it weren't for that democratic senate, we would have some good stuff done. >> does it concern you when he kind of embellishes a little bit, when he kind of fibs? >> kind of what?
>> fibs. >> don't bother me at all. >> how come? >> because every one of them up there is big liars. >> many of them say the news media, democrats, and established republicans have been working to keep the president down. >> i don't blame him for nothing. he said what he can do. he's trying to do it. like i say, politicians, you know how politicians are. >> how come he doesn't get any responsibility for not being able to pull people together when he promised he would? >> he's trying. >> for proof of that, many here point to the legislation he just signed. >> a poor man ain't going to create a job. the rich people create jobs. >> so you like this tax plan because of the benefit to corporations? >> definitely. >> do you think that will benefit you? >> yes. >> how is that? >> everybody will be spending mope. it's going to stimulate the
economy. >> so you have faith these big corporations are going to invest it in more workers and better salaries? >> yes, i think so. and here is the advice for the president from his most loyal supporters. >> he could probably do better with his had public relations. >> what would you advise him if you were his public relations expert? >> not to tweet. >> if you could be talking to the president, what would you say he should be doing? >> i would tell him whatever you want to. >> blank check with you. >> yeah. whatever you want to do, you're the boss now. >> gary tuchman, cnn, dawsonville, georgia. let's talk now about the president's year in review with gina from essex, england. from what you just heard there in gary tuchman's report, he went out and spoke to people who
believe in the future of this presidency. what do you make of where trump voters stand right now? >> i think trump voters stand exactly where they stood before, which is that they support him pretty much no matter what they hear. and i think it's important to realize that somebody like president trump exaggerates quite a bit and tends to issue statements sort of at the extreme, for example, that he was treated better in china than any person ever has been. these people also expect that other people will be exaggerating just as much. so when gary tuchman said he has passed less legislation than anyone since eisenhower, that comes through as an exaggeration. and people don't really believe the negatives. had they believe the positives if that's what they want to believe. note that 35% approval is still more than the 25% vote that he
got of all adults in the united states. so that is more people than actually voted for him. >> america is certainly still a divided nation. in gary's piece, we heard from some of the loyalists. take a look at this most recent cnn poll that shows his approval rating. at 35%, it's lower than most presidents at this time. so the question, three fold here, gina. who remains on the trump train, who is getting off that train and how does this set up the republican party come the midterm elections? >> this is actually a pretty complicated question. the people on the train are the people who have always supported him. there are some people on the train who are not really quite interested in politics. don't really care what's going on internationally. and they feel like their situation is just fine. the republicans are really
scrambling to figure out what to do right now. some of them are going to have to be very much on the fence in terms of their support of mr. trump and they're going to have to ask him to step out of their campaigns in the midterm elections because his support could actually be damaging to them. but others are wondering whether they need to tie their wagons to him or continue to keep them hitched, so to speak. and they're sort of struggling with figuring out what to do and whether or not they need him as an endorsement. what this means going into the midterm elections is that we could actually see a lot of sort of desperation. and the fear is that when we combine this with the situation in north korea, for example, we don't want somebody to try to incite violence or try to encourage war to boost approval ratings. >> so the president has signed less legislation than many of his predecessors, though he does end this year with a win on tax
reform. this is the new law of the land, divided right along party lines. but as far as his priorities for the year from infrastructure to health care and im dwragz, how important is it for this very polarized presidency to pivot, to gain bipartisan support? >> it doesn't seem like bipartisan support is necessary for him to pass monumental legislation. this tax bill is enormous. and huge in the sense of its implications but also in what it accomplishes that hasn't been done in 30 years or more. >> but even after the midterms, though, is the question, the uncertainty with what happens there. how important is bipartisan support? >> you're asking if it's critical for him to pass this
legislation. it would be helpful to pass legislation prior to the midterm elections. it would be helpful for his approval ratings and for other republicans. but he doesn't seem to be courting bipartisan support, despite the fact that he says he is. so it really depends, i think, on if there are any critical events that take place between now and the midterms that might sort of tip public opinion in one way or another. and would sort of shame the democrats or shame the republicans into trying to get their act together. and gina, one other question that i have for you, the russia investigation, it continues to loom large. does it over-shadow achievements moving into 2018.? >> it absolutely over-shadows achievements. and, in fact, if the russia investigation heats up or if it seems to be targeting president trump or revealing evidence about him, i think we're likely to see a lot more drastic proposal of policies and
activities coming out of the white house. >> gina reinhart, we appreciate you being on the show with us, giving us a perspective on the president's fist year in office. thank you. we'll be the in touch with you, for sure. >> thank you. rare political protests in iran taking mays, the largest in in nearly a decade. we look into what's driving the new unrest, still ahead. plus, families mourn their dead and yet another attack in the christian minority in egypt. details on one of the gunmen who opened fire at a church killing nine people. stay with us.
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this is a rare sight anywhere in iran, let alone in seven separate cities, including the capital, tehran. the u.s. president applauded the demonstration tweeting the this, many reports of peaceful protests by ranliranian citizend up. the iranian government should respect their people's rights, including the right to express themselves. the world is watching says president trump. in egypt, isis has claimed responsibility for an attack on a coptic church near the capital city of cairo. nine people were killed on friday when a gunman opened fire as people left the church service. grief stricken families held a funeral service for the victims. >> reporter: egypt is reeling after attack attack on its
christian minority today. let's go through what happened. shortly after friday services ended, the coptic church in greater cairo as worshippers were leaving the church, two gunmen opened fire on the crowd, armed with guns. a gun battle ensued between them that lasted for about 15 minutes. nine people were killed. among them, one police officer and separately one of those two gunmen was killed, as well. the second one was arrested. he is the man that authorities have described as a known terrorist, one who has been involved in previous attacks and they say he had a bomb with them and he had intended to enter the church and detonate this explosive device. still, the attack was bloody and brazen, taking place during the day in cairo. it is absolutely terrifying for residents, but it is cryptic for
this minority population. they have long said they're treated as second class citizens in egypt. as president cici has waged war on his opponents, as terrorism has been on the rise in the country, more and more of these types of attacks on coptic christians have taken place. one of the deadliest attacks on christians in egypt's history happened this year on palm sunday. that was in april. two churches were bombed. almost 50 people killed. but it's important to remember that it's not just egypt's christian community that is suffering terrorism. just last month, a mosque was attacked by isis. almost 300 people lost their lives. the entire country really reeling from terrorism. president sisi has issued his condolences to the victims of this attack and said it will only strengthen the country's
resolve and during this holiday season when people are on edge, christmas for the orthodox community will be coming up in january during these times. they want to feel safe. but they're going to point to attacks like this one to say the state isn't doing enough to protect them. cnn, paris. >> thank you for the reporting. all this year, we've seen some stunning reporting on the world's biggest stories. our picks for the top seven stories of 2017 just ahead. plus, many places in the united states will see one of the coldest new year's eves in years. we'll tell you just how cold it will get and why that's not the only thing that officials in new life from atlanta this hour. thank you for being with us. more news right after the break. you won't see these folks they have businesses to run. they have passions to pursue. how do they avoid trips to the post office?
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welcome back. to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world, it is a pleasure to have you with us. you're watching "cnn newsroom." i'm george howell with the headlines we're following for you. this hour, there are signs that pyongyang may be testing a ballistic missile sometime after the new year. north korea has been moving equipment around, indicating a possible missile test rather than a satellite launch. since last february, north korea has fired 23 in missiles and it looks to advance its nuclear program. in iran, people protesting there throughout the nation in a rare scene of political demonstrations there. they're being called the largest such protests in nearly a decade. it all began thursday in
response to rising food and gasoline prices. the demonstrations have become mainly anti-government demonstrations. in egypt, families grief stricken. they held funeral services for the victims of friday's church attack in this case. nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire. near cairo. isis has claimed responsibility for that attack. in in new york city, security stepped up forces for the celebrations. officials say there are no credible threats at this point. they are just being cautious. there have been plenty of major headlines to cover around the world this year. cnn's reporters have been all over it. they followed every story, no matter where it took them. our klarissa ward looks back at the top seven international stories from 2017.
♪ >> reporter: it's our job as cnn correspondents to take you to foreign shores, to front lines. we at cnn go there. and in 2017, that journey unveiled the unthinkable. ethnic cleansing, countries collapsing, human beings sold like commodities. these are the stories that change the world. our first story, a cnn expose. >> a crew traveled into libya to track down a dark secret and they found it. >> some of the most desperate people on earth think they found a way to safety, but instead, they found themselves in the hands of predators. >> captured like animals and auctioned. >> 700.
700. 800. the numbers roll if in. these men are sold for 1200 libyan pounds, $400 apiece. >> the cnn report sparking self-reflection in europe and the u.s. about the west's own response to the migrant crisis. in audi arabia, a powerful prince is shaking things up. bolstered by close relations with the trump you white house. the crown prince embarking on a series of reforms, arresting many of his own cousins in a sweeping crackdown on corruption. >> he has swept away a generation of elderly and experienced ministers. >> while also taking on the kingdom's powerful clergy. >> there is only one country in the world where women can't drive and soon there will be
none. >> reporter: but as he tries to take on an increasingly assertive iran, things get complicated. >> as defense minister, he initiated air strikes on neighboring yemen. >> reporter: involvement in a war that has brought 8.4 million people to the brink of famine. it's not the bombs and the bullets killing the most people. it's the humanitarian crisis that is growing by the day as yemen edges closer to become ago failed state. in venezuela, a perfect storm of economic and political crises. >> president finally admitted that its government can no longer afford to pay its bills. >> venezuela may now be in pore more violence and kayo ahechaos ahead of the dictator.
>> politicians who spoke out against current president maduro were yanked out of their homes during midnight raids. >> a cnn team goes under cover and is stunned by what they piped. >> this food truck, breaking down for mere seconds before it was looted. basic food is scarce. virginia has been doing this for 18 months to feed her five kids. >> bringing with them a war crime so sickening, it is difficult to put into words. from his rooftop, he quickly sees this is no ordinary strike. i warn you, the pictures you are about to see are graphic. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> we are following breaking news, reports of a gas or some kind of chemical attack in syria, killing dozens. >> all around him, people are
foaming at the mouth. convulsions racking their bodies. the horrifying scenes shock the world. victims, some of them just children, gasping for their final breath. the syrian government had dropped a sarin bomb on its own people. >> this led to the first american military strikes against the regime of bashar al assad. >> syrian president bashar al assad remains defiant. in 2017, two words would shock the world. ethnic cleansing. >> armed government forces are attacking their own minority citizens. >> in southeast asia's myanmar, the pariah state turned fledgeling democracy, the unthinkable was happening. >> they are beating us, shooting
at us and hacking our people to death. >> some 600,000 of them have fled to neighboring bangladesh. >> the crisis, raising questions about the country's de facto leader. who was accused of doing nothing to stop the violence. >> growing criticism of nld leader aung san suu kyi over her handling of human rights abuses over the handling of rohingya muslims. >> coming in at number two, the fall of isis. some thee years after the terror group surged to infamy with staggering concontests across iraq and syria, its defeat came with a wimper, not a bang. >> the syrian forces taking to the streets and officially claiming the terrorist group of raqqah has been totally liberated. now they replace the black flag of terror. >> the historic syrian city of
p palmyra reclaimed with the help of russia. in iraq, isis desperately tries to hold its ground in the country's second largest city of mosul. >> senior commanders take us in in the calm before their final storm. >> there are ambitions to build a caliphate crumbling as small pockets on of isis militants are flushed out. >> the iraqi prime minister is declaring full victory over voice and mosul, saying the entire war-torn city has been liberated from brutality and terrorism. >> in 2017, isis loses all of its major strong holds. lone wolf attacks in the maim of isis ensure their global reign of terror is still far from over. july 4th, u.s. independence day.
north korea lights up the sky with its own frightening milestone. >> north korea releasing new video, appearing to show the successful launch of its first intercontinental ballistic missile. >> nuclear capable, but not yet nuclear armed. but by september, kim jong un's missile program reaches its final frontier. >> "the washington post" is now reporting that north korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles. >> the stage is set for war, but for now, contained to a war of words. >> we can't have mad men out there shooting rockets a all over the place. >> i will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged u.s. dotard with fire. >> but just miles away from the north korean border on his asian swing, president trump replaced
the petty name calling with a more diplomatic tone. >> the weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer. >> the president continuing to push china to contain the north. >> the locker we wait, the greater the danger grows and the fewer the options become. >> and as the nuclear standoff continues, the question remains. will the next missile trigger a war? >> so with the top international stories of 2017, looking ahead now to 2018. officials say that new york's deadliest fire in 25 years was the tragic result of an accident, an accident at the hands of a young child. what happened next, we'll explain. plus, security and celebrations, the extra measures being taken to keep new year's eve in times square safe for the millions of people there. stay with us.
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welcome back to newsroom. i'm george howell. we have more now on that fatal fire that took place in new york city on thursday. we now know that it started with a 3-year-old boy who was playing with the stove in his first floor apartment, this according to officials. his mother didn't realize there was a fire until the child screamed. they were fine, but in their hurry to escape, they left the door open. that open door allowed flames to spread throughout the building. 12 people were killed in that fire. it is the deadliest fire in new york seen in decades. also in new york, times square. it will be buzzing with excitement come sunday night. it's one of the focal points of new years celebrations around the world. 2 million people are expected to be in times square to ring in the new year and authorities are stepping up security measures to keep people safe. cnn's athena jones has this report.
>> hey there. the new year's eve celebration here in times square is an iconic event. it's a massive security challenge. this is something the nypd has been preparing for since the confetti was swept up after last year's celebration. that's according to the police commissioner. we will see a stepped up number of police officers this year. where i'm standing right here, including several blocks north, south, east and west, it will be shut down to vehicular traffic starting relatively early on sunday morning. there will be 12 points for spectators who want to come in and view this area to view the ball drop, ring in 2018. those spectators are going to see teams of police officers, they're going to see metal detectors, bomb sniffing dogs, and they're going to have to go through two checkpoints, two screenings on of their bags and of their persons in order to
enter the pins to celebrate the new year. also for the first time, the "new york times" is reporting that for the first time, police will be attaching reflective material to the outside of some of the buildings in and around times square and that is so that reflective material can help them locate any gunman or shooter should there be one. that, of course, is a lesson from the las vegas shooting. among the other stepped up efforts, there will be rooftop observation and sniper teams. police officers are also undergoing a special suicide attack training, training to try to help prevent any sort of suicide attack. we're going to see the familiar sanitation trucks filled with sand and cement blocks to help block off this area to prevent any sort of vehicular attack. authorities from the mayor, the police commissioner on doing
saying there is no credible threat to this new year's eve celebrations, but they want everyone to remain vigilant. they say there's some 2 million people they expect to come out on sunday night shall remain j vigilant. as they say, if you see something, say something. it will be one of the coldest new year's for a long time in the united states. it creates some pretty cool images. take a look at this. niagara falls encased in ice. it may look completely frozen over. that is not the case. there is water gushing through that area. the only time the water actually stopped was in 1848 and that was because of an ice jam that took place up river. our meteorologist derek van dam, you would love that. >> i want to get my ice picks
out and climb that water fall. >> let me look after you, friend. let's say you're feeling adventurous today, right? let's say you want to take a flight from minneapolis, st. paul, all the way to miami. i don't know why you would do that. >> i think i know why. >> you think you do. the temperature difference would be 100 degrees fahrenheit. that is quite a difference, right? and when you have temperatures that cold, this is what you can do. check on out this video. we see this time and time again when temperatures get to 20, 30 below freezing fahrenheit. but you just need to mix up a bit of soap and water, blow a bubble, completely windless conditions, perfect atmosphere conditions, i shall say, and you'll watch ice crystals form right in front of your eyes just like this gentleman did. astounding photos. check this out, graphics behind me. we here at cnn, i don't know if you know this, but we cross over
from cnn international worldwide to cnn domestic across the united states. so i as a meteorologist have to go from celsius to fahrenheit quite often and back again. but this particular time, i don't need to because temperatures, when we're talking about 40 degrees below zero, celsius and fahrenheit, check this out, google this, they actually coincide at that temperature. negative 40. we're talking about windchills like that. these temperatures are one and the same regardless of if it's celsius or fahrenheit. looks like lake michigan is starting to get a bit of ice on the water as it should. we have this frigid arctic blast of air. it started the day before christmas. it has lasted right up until we edge into new year's eve. we're going to get into 2018 very cold in many portions of the united states.
how cold? negative 11. the this is celsius, by the way. it will feel like negative 20 degrees celsius when you factor in the winds for the big apple. this could go down as one of the coldest new year's eve celebrations, at least the coldest since 1962 if the forecast holds, the coldest, by the way, set back in 1917. there will be colder location. in boston or vermont, temperatures will be down rooig frigid. i will leave you with this beautiful piece of information. george, it was colder in international falls, minnesota, a planet earth than it was on the surface of mars this week. >> what? >> so minnesota or mars, what do you say? >> miami. >> good answer. >> thank you so much.
still ahead, spin-off sequels and superheroes, the block busters you just can't wait to see in 2018. we'll tell you about them. so we sent that sample off to ancestry. my ancestry dna results are that i am 26% nigerian. i am just trying to learn as much as i can about my culture. i put the gele on my head and i looked into the mirror and i was trying not to cry. because it's a hat, but it's like the most important hat i've ever owned. discover the story only your dna can tell. order your kit now at ancestrydna.com. afi sure had a lot on my mind. my 30-year marriage... ...my 3-month old business... plus...what if this happened again? i was given warfarin in the hospital, but wondered, was this the best treatment for me? so i made a point to talk to my doctor. he told me about eliquis. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots and reduces the risk of them happening again. not only does eliquis treat dvt and pe blood clots.
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welcome back to "cnn newsroom." i'm george howell. with 2017 already in the rearview mirror and looking ahead to 2018, some of the year's most anticipated films seem a built familiar. >> reporter: the movies in 2018 might sound a bit like the '90s. "jurassic world: falling kingdom" will roar into theaters in june. the film joins flurry of blockbuster sequels. the franchise will release solo this summer. >> can we even say the name of the movie? i'll see you next year. that's director ron howard. the film is part of the strategy
to apiece voracious "star wars" fans year after year. marvel studios will release a new film and the black panther will get his own spinoff. movie studios are going all in with sci-fi films in 2018, like a wrinkle in time based on the young adults book. >> we heard a crime up in the universe. >> we believe -- >> oprah winfrey, chris pine and reese witherspoon make up this all-star ensemble only to be rivaled by the cast in "oceans 8" where a trio try to steal ann hathaway's necklace. >> 150 million, actually. >> on the animation side, disney will release "the incredibles 2"
more than 13 years after the original. >> you have powers! yeah, baby. >> you may have noticed disney will roll into the must year with its name on some of the biggest money-making franchises. perhaps no surprise since disney holds the top two highest grossing films of 2017 in the united states. "beauty and the beast" and "star wars: the last jedi," about $1 billion combined. >> a lot to look forward to. that's this hour of "cnn newsroom." i'm george howell at the cnn center in atlanta. let's do it again. hour number two of newsroom right back after the break. you're watching cnn, the world's news leader.
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north korea says it won't be scaling back its nuclear weapons program in the new year. even boasting about its capability, to strike the heart of the united states. plus, the white house responds to anti-government protests in multiple cities in iran. warning that iran's government, the world is watching. live from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm george howell, "cnn newsroom" starts right now. it's 5:00 a.m. on the u.s. east coast. we start this h