i'm ray suarez. and that's the inside story. ♪ this is al jazeera america live from new york city. i'm tony harris. taking action. president obama depends its proposed plans for gun control. oregon standoff, the armed group's new demand for the government. diplomatic dispute between saudi arabia and iran. allies are beginning to take sides. and maiden voyage to the united states, one of the world's largest cargo ships. ♪
president obama made it clear today gun control is his first major issue as he begins its final year in office, and he is taking executive action. the president met today with the attorney general, fbi director, and the head of the atf to discuss possible executive action to combat gun violence. mike viqueira has more for us. mike? >> reporter: well, good evening, tony on the first day of his last year in office, president obama is taking on the one issue he says has frustrated him the most, gun violence. after going over plans with the attorney general in the oval office, president obama says it's time to act on guns. >> we have to be very clear that this is not going to solve every violent crime in this country. it's not going to prevent every
mass shooting. it will potentially save lives in this country. >> reporter: as he has on immigration and the environment, mr. obama will use executive action, bypassing congress. among the new rules, requiring dealers who sell firearms online and at gun shows to get a license, thereby making their customers subject to background checks. >> we have been very careful recognizing that although we have a strong tradition of gun ownership in this country, that even those who possess firearms for hunting, for self protection, and for other legitimate reasons, want to make sure that the wrong people don't have them for the wrong reasons. >> reporter: currently a seller can run guns without running a background check on the buyer.
the numbers are in dispute ranging from 10 to 40%. but backers of tighter rules have long said it's a huge loophole in the law, a law that is frequently ignored. >> it's the only systemic way we can make sure that people buying gunning can do so. >> reporter: in san bernardino, the shooters recruited a friend to buy some of the weapons they used to kill the 14. but in both cases purchase of the weapons would not have been blocked by president obama's new rules. one place where it could have made a difference, the 1999 school massacre at columbine. >> we're not under the inlugs it is going to prevent every incident of gun violence, but if it's possible we could prevent
one or two incidents of gun violence, then we're going to eagerly admit those executive actions. >> reporter: a clear majority of republicans are against stricter measures. republican presidential hopefuls have pounced on the new proposals. chris christie called president obama a child. >> it's not democratic, small d, it's not constitutional, and i'm confident the courts will reject his attempts to do that, and if they don't, i'm sure the next president will make sure he aber gaits those measures. >> reporter: tony much of this is predicated on the president going to congress asking for more money for as many as 200 extra atf agents to crack down on those private gun sales. advocates for gun control say it's no longer a gun-show
loophole, that the vast majority of these sales are happening on the internet. more rollout, president obama personally tomorrow on tuesday morning is going to be appearing from the east room and announcing many of these measures personally, and on thursday he has a townhall on this issue of gun violence. >> mike, thank you. and you can watch the president's remarks on gun control tomorrow morning, 11:40 am eastern time right here on al jazeera america. the latest now on the standoff between federal authorities and armed anti-government protesters who seized federal property in rural oregon. they announced their new demands. and do did law enforcement. alan what is the latest? >> reporter: the latest is those demands, basically the sheriff would like these people to go home, and these protesters would like the federal government to
take a much closer look, do a deeper investigation in the case of stephen and dwight h ham -- hammond. they had been convicted of arson charges, has already served prison terms, but a federal judge said no, that sentence was wrong. you need to go back to prison for up to five years as a minimum for that kind of crime. that is one of the things that sparked the protest here. the sheriff said very clearly today he would like the protesters supporting the ham manageds to clear out. >> you said you were here to
help the citizens. that help ended when a peaceful protest became an armed occupation. the hammonds have turned themselves in. it's time for you to leave our community, go home to your families and end this peacefully. >> reporter: the protesters now calling themselves the citizens for constitutional freedom, say it is not likely that they will agree to the sheriff's demands and leave. they say they are prepared to stay here for years if necessary, to bring attention to what they call federal wrongdoing in the way land owners in the west have to operate, ranchers and farmers. emon bundy, held a press conference this morning, and he was asked what it would take to the end. >> i wouldn't say words would do it. i would say action would.
that would be for the federal government to remove its unconstitutional presence here in the country. >> reporter: do you want the federal government to give up this wildlife refuge? >> i want the federal government to abide by the constitution of the united states. >> reporter: he also said today we have, exhausted all prudent measures and been ignored. he said that is why they are there. they also say they have had no direct contact from any member of the federal government at this point. tony? >> my understanding is you were taking for a bit of a tour of the refuge in question out there. what did you see? >> reporter: yeah, they took us down that way. it's about 15 buildings that are being occupied by these folks.
i would say a couple dozen people, maybe more. we were told we wouldn't see any guns on this tour, and every time we asked how many people were here, the question simply went unanswered. lots of federal vehicles, construction equipment, that kind of thing. they showed us some sleeping quarters. didn't lets us go into every building, but we were allowed to roam around on our own a little bit. i checked several buildings, and didn't see any sign of vandalism. it was about 45 minutes, and then we were back out. some of our questions were answered, some weren't. >> okay. allen schauffler, in burns, oregon. thank you. >> the rancher's who's legal case has been the source of this
protest, turned them in today to begin a second prison sentence for fires set on federal land. stephanie has that part of the story for us. stephanie? >> reporter: yeah, good afternoon to you, tony. the ranchers involved say they did not ask these protesters to demonstrate on their behalf. now they came here earlier today, around 1:30 pacific time. we are at the federal prison to turn themselves in. they were brought here by family members who live in the los angeles area. they were convicted of arson in 2012 in connection with two separate fires on federal land, land they leased for their ranching operation. arson carries a five-year minimum sentence, but the judge imposed lower sentences for the men. dwight served three months, his son, a year. but another judge vacated the
lesser sentence upping it back up to the minimum. his wife and cousin spoke on her family's behalf today. she said they have been spending time with family before their surrender. >> my uncle and cousin are the further thing from domestic terrorists, and because that choice was made to charge the fire under a terrorism, that resulted in a five-year minimum. my uncle is 74 years old. he has been married for over 50 years. and there are a lot of people that do what we can to stay engaged with the family and have a livelihood, and that's everything they have been about from the beginning. >> reporter: the common practice for ranchers to set fire to
their land to control sage brush. the government says they started the fires to cover up poaching. that is now why the group is occupying that federal building. tony. >> okay. stephanie stanton for us. appreciate it, thank you. a half million dollars bail was approved for the south carolina police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man last year. the judge originally denied bond while saying he would constitute and an unreasonable danger to the community. he was seen firing at walter scott eight times after he ran away after a traffic stop. world leaders are call -- calling for calm amid an dispute between saudi arabia and
iran. protesters set fire to the saudi arabiian embassy in tehran, the saudis and their allies, in response suggest ties with iran. >> reporter: saudi diplomats on their way home. as they were evacuated came similar action by some of the kingdom's allies, among them bahra bahrain. after two days of protests. the gulf state that is closely allied to saudi arabia accused iran of blatant and dangerous interference and support of terrorism. it followed the arson attack in teheran. saudi arabia accused iran of doing nothing to prevent it. a war of words is escalating. >> we decided to cut off all diplomatic relations with iran,
we will be cutting off all air travel to and from iran, and have a travel ban against people traveling to iran. >> translator: unfortunately the government of saudi arabia sees interest in creating clashes and escalating tensions in the region. >> reporter: shia people across the middle east have been demonstrating after the execution of a man, and 46 others, were charged with plotting and carrying out terrorist attacks, targeting civilians and security forces. saudi arabia issed a vant he got a fair trial. it's not the first time diplomatic relations have been cut, but there are fears it could cause more violence. in a village where people were mourning the death, the official saudi press agency reported that one man had been killed and a
child injured. a brother has bee told, his brother will be buried in an undisclosed location, becausing fore tensions. >> james bayes joins us. if you haven't been paying as much attention as you might, this crisis didn't come out of nowhere, but was the u.n. surprised at how quickly things have escalated here? >> reporter: yes, they are. these are two heavyweight countries of the middle east, if there is volatility it will effect the entire region. that's why the u.n. secretary general has been working the phones, on the phone to the foreign minister of iran, and the foreign minister of saudi arabia, and we have got some details on that second call from the spokesman for the secretary general. >> the secretary general
reiterated his views on capitol punishment and his disappointment of the execution of the shake. the secretary general reiterated that the attack on the saudi embassy in tehran was deplorable, but added that an announce inspect the break of diplomatic relations with tehran was deeply worrying. regarding yemen, the secretary general urged saudi arabia to renew its commitment to a ceasefire. >> reporter: this could cause all sorts of problems across the middle east. there's already been violence in iraq, but the real concern is yemen and syria, because these were the two places where the u.n. had invested very heavily trying to get peace processes going, the new year was supposed to bring new hope. now that's all in doubt. right now the u.n.'s peace envoy for syria is in riyadh.
he's there speaking to saudi officials. he's then going to damascus, and then he is going to tehran. this was a preplanned trip to try to keep on course the syria peace talks in geneva. they are due just three weeks from now. he is trying to make sure that everyone turned up on time. and now i think he is trying to save the entire process, because it is all looking seriously in doubt because of these developments in the last couple of days. >> james as always thank you. the white house has joined the u.n. in urging a deescalation of tensions between tehran and riyadh, but john kirby made it clear the u.s. has no plans to interfere beyond that. >> we want relations to be reinstated so a better mutual
understanding can occur, and that calm can be restored. if you are asking if we are trying to become a mediator of all of this, the answer is no. >> at the bottom of the hour, we'll talk more about the tension between these two powers, and the impact it is having globally. at least two sunny mosques were bombed south of baghdad, witnesses say they saw men wearing military uniforms detonating explosives inside a mosque. the bombings took place right after saudi arabia severed ties with iran. still ahead on the program, rocky stock starts around the world took a beating after china's market plunges. plus fallout from the default, the sacrificing being made in puerto rico to help pay down a $70 billion debt.
the cleanup has started in parts of the midwest, but flood waters in mississippi are beginning to recede. the mississippi river and many other waterways flooded after a major storm. inmates are filling stand bags in the area. more than two dozen people were killed in last week's storm. the dow jones began the new year as it ended 2015, down.
it was the worst opening day in 84 years. ali velshi is here. hah pi new year to you first of all. explain day to me. >> reporter: saudi arabia and iran are going at it, and oil prices are up, and the chinese market was down 7%. so the dow reacted as it often does with a very steep open. the dow jones finished 276 points lower. that's a big deal. it fell more than 467 points earlier in the day. the closing number was down about 1.58%. the s&p was up 1.53%. the nasdaq dropped 2%. all of this is a reaction to the plunge in the chinese market which i said dropped 7% on monday. in fact it closed early as the trading was halted there. it's a new rule that is intended to stop stocks from plummeting
too quickly. chinese -- the story behind this, tony is chinese manufacturing contracted in september for the 10th straight month. beijing has been trying to jump start the economy. they devalued the currency in august. now we're seeing a sign that the economy is not working. maybe it's in more dire straits than the chinese are letting on. it is important, why? china is the second-biggest importer, and a strong u.s. dollar hurts u.s. exports. >> all right. i know you are going to look at that thont. but what else is on the big show. >> oil, believe it or not for once, oil actually increased in price, so we're talking about that as well. the reason for that is the conflict between saudi arabia and iran which has really, really heated up in the last 24 hours. we know this is a conflict that has been going on for
generations, decades, centuries in fact. saudi arabia executed 47 people today, iran responding to that and tensions in the middle east increasing. >> okay. can't wait for the first big show of 2016. ali good to have you back. a new year has begun, but the government of puerto rico is still struggling with the old problem of its debt. today it officially defaulted on part of the $73 billion owed to creditors. robert ray says unless something changes future defaults are likely. >> reporter: the island paradise of puerto rico is kicking off the new year, defaulting on debt payments. >> the debt is unpayable. some of us in this the senate were seeing -- since 2014. >> reporter: this local senator says puerto rico cannot stop the crisis until washington helps.
>> in order for us to pay our debt service, we'll have to sacrifice essential services for the people of puerto rico. >> reporter: trying to pay down debt, the island has slashed healthcare and public transportation services. they have let go of 30,000 public sector workers, closed over 100 schools, and increased the sales tax by more than 50%. no matter what side of the isles a politician is on here in puerto rico, if you ask them what is the reason for the recession and massive debt, almost all of them will point to a 1996 act of congress that cut tax incentives for companies. and as a result those companies have left the island. the governor described what happened next. >> there was a tool that puerto rico had to bring investors to the island, to bring factories,
manufacturing to the island. they shut down that with the ten-year [ inaudible ] that ends in 2006. what happened in 2006, we get into recessions. >> reporter: puerto rico's job less rate is 12.5%, more than double the national average of 5%. last year, 84,000 people left the island, and 1,000 more join them each week, most headed to the u.s. mainland. then there is the 45% poverty rate, clouding the future of the working class. >> so a crisis that developed that took decades to develop will not be solved from one day to the next one. so for them, i know what they are feeling, and with them, and it's because of them, i'm trying too hard to fix these crises that we inherited. >> reporter: the debt load has been building for over a decade.
the only hope say officials if congress allows the island to restructure the money owed, and start from scratch. and next, rising tensions in the middle east, allies are beginning to take sides on the dispute between saudi arabia and iran. and mega ships, many cannot dock at u.s. ports. we'll explain why and what is being done about it.
♪ the feud between saudi arabia and iran is now beginning to draw in other nations. today some of saudi's allies joined them in cutti cutting -- diplomatic ties with iran. the execution of a well-known cleric on saturday caused protests that continue to grow. at least sunni mosques came under attack south of baghdad. world leaders are urges both sides to de-escalate the tensions. >> we are determined not to let iran mobilize or -- or create or establish terrorist cells in our country or in the countries of our allies. >> translator: unfortunately the government of saudi arabia sees its interest in escalating
tensions in the region. >> we are joined by an iranian-american journalist. thanks for coming on the program. >> thanks for having me. >> the u.n. has been talking to the saudis about these execut n executions that took place. they were specifically talking about the execution of this cleric. the reaction in my view was completely predictable. so why does it appear that the saudis are attempting to pick a fight here with iran. >> that is basically just putting it in a nutshell. i think the saudis were pretty clear in predicting what the reactions would be. i don't think they were in any rush -- they could have kept the cleric for another year or so. it's just like you are saying, this craving for having more tension, especially with the main --
>> for having more attention -- >> tension. >> oh, okay. >> tension with their main rival in the region, who is rising from a no relation, or cold bad relation with the west, years of very tense relations between iraq and the west, and the u.s. and iran is coming into a new era, and the saudis have been very unhappy about this. >> do you see this in sectarian terms, sunni, shia divide in >> i see sectarian divides as part of the problem, but it is not all of that. definitely they are both governments. it's a lot of politics. >> explain the political dynamics here. i know these are two competing powers in the region, explain those dynamics. >> so these are two -- two main powers, i would say -- >> absolutely. >> -- in the region of the islamic world, rich countries, very powerful, very rich, and
both are craving power and dominance in the region over other country, and they happen to be of different religious sects. >> yes. >> so i feel like they are playing into this sectarian divide to continue this power struggle, and to team up with other countries in the region. >> to what extent does this play into domestic politics in saudi arabia. no secret the kingdom is under some economic stress right now with oil prices cratering right now. and stoke sectarian tensions. take attention away from what is happening to the economy. does that factor into this, domestic politics? >> of course. conservatives need some kind of tension anywhere in the world to thrive and be able to keep ahold
of power, the economic tensions, the problems in yemen, problems in syria. and saudi arabia losing its pretense in the region as a main power. >> you are saying this because you are a iranian american journalist. are you being totally objective with me? >> i have never be a saudi journalist, so i can't speak for that. but, yeah, i think so. i don't have a lot of sympathy for the reaction coming from the hard liners. like i said, conservatives on both sides are thriving from this tension. >> neither side coddles decent in their particular country. >> definitely not, and they are playing this game of basically escalating the tension. but one of the differences is a little bit of more nuance within
the political structure in iran. there is a tension in iran of the moderate and hard liners who are reacting differently to these incidents. >> how do you think this plays out? do you have any thoughts on that? we have 20 seconds left. what do you think? >> yeah, i think the moderates have been having the upper hand after the attack happened on them. they have been able to get top conservative politicians on their side. so i feel like it's rolling out on the side of the moderates, and there might be chances to contain the tensions. >> pleasure to have you on the program. >> thank you. >> we'll be watching this together. the san bernardino, california office complex where 14 people were gunned down reopened this morning. guards checked ids as the people re-entered the building.
the conference room where the shooting took place is closed. >> charlie hebdo is releasing a special edition, marking the one-year attack where when 12 people were killed. we will have more coverage on the anniversary of the attack later this week. one of the latest advances in the maritime industry is the arrival of the so-called mega ship. it can carry three times the amount of cargo as a normal vessel, but most u.s. ports are not prepared to handle the colossal vessel. last week the largest containership to visit the u.s. made a maiden visit to california. melissa chan has more. >> reporter: it's called the benjamin franklin, owned by a
french shipping company, making a stop here at the port of oakland, and a few days later los angeles, it can hold 18,000, 20-foot long shipping containers at maxim capacity. the usual ships can hold about 5,000. >> it's important to show that we can handle these ships efficiently. >> reporter: this is the benjamin franklin, and this is a boeing 747, or the u.s.s gorge hw bush. this is one of the ports that can handle something of this size. oakland has dredged to accommodate the larger ships. but what port officials herald as the biggest cargo ship to every visit the united states will mostly shuttle containers
between the u.s. and europe. in the u.s. major ports are just starting to make up grades needed to accommodate mega ships. >> the federal government needs to development a comprehensive international freight strategy. the arrival of these vessels is a stimulus to have these particular parts of the infrastructure get their act together. >> reporter: oakland and los angeles may have welcomed the benjamin franklin this time, but that doesn't mean either port can handle many more such calls. still proponents say it means less pollution. >> it's a considerable challenge and puts stress on the trucking lines, and the dredge companies that move cargo short distances to the sports to translating facilities where often they are put on rail cars to be sent to
other parts of the country, or sent to facilities where the goods are repackaged for onward movement. >> reporter: some shipping companies believe it makes economic sense. west coast ports also recognize the far-reaching economic benefits of mega ships. >> the port of clanged influences 73,000 jobs. with increased cargo comes more jobs yet. so we see a true economic benefit to the region as these big ships arrive. >> reporter: that is the hope, but as they dock with greater frequency, the question will be how quickly american ports can keep up. and coming up next, the growing frustration among some americans that lead to the oregon standoff, and at least five book publishers in hong kong disappear without a trace. why all eyes are on china.
an armed group in oregon has been protesting the prison sentence for two ranchers on arson charges. they dispute government claims that fires were set on federal land. the protesters also say that they are standing up to washington over land rights, but the ranchers say the protesters don't represent them and turned themselves in to law
enforcement. the county sheriff has asked the group to leave. joining us is chuck baldwin. chuck, it's good to have you on the program. thanks for the time. >> it's good to talk to you again, tony, thank you. i should mention you were the presidential nominee of the constitutional party in 2008, but also the party's nominee for vice president in 2004. i thought of you today when i heard bundy name his group. what do you make of what he and his followers are doing? >> first of all, i think it's very understandable the feelings of frustration that many of the ranchers in the west have with the blm. >> that's the bureau of land management, right? >> yes, that's correct. and the overreach of the federal government in western properties, i think is -- is
well-known by many. the frustration, i think is real, and i think it's understandable. however, i think in this case, mr. bundy, and those that are with them, have made a very' egregious mistake. they were not invited into this situation. >> right. >> by the hammonds. they have accepted their sentence, which i understand begins today. and i think that the men should recognize that they really do not have a dog in this fight, and they should -- they should pull out, and not allow any escalation of tensions, over something that i think is -- is frankly none of their business at this point. >> wow. okay. so what does ammon bundy mean when he says we want the u.s.
government to remove its unlawful presence in this country? beyond whether what they are doing today is proper or improper, what does that statement mean? what is the frustration that is being expressed in a statement like that? >> well, probably it's the frustration with a lot of things, as you know. the overreach of the federal government at many levels is increasing all the time. people are frustrated with the lack of response they get from their sheriff's office or state governor. they seem to roll over for the federal agencies. this has been going on especially in the western states for many, many years. the problem is, there is a way to go about it, and there is a way not to go about it. and my personal opinion here, tone -- tony --
>> yeah. >> -- i think this group has been infiltrated with government agitators. i believe this was to coincide with president obama's announcement on gun control, and i think this is going to serve as an example of how this kind of executive order is needed, et cetera, et cetera. i believe government infiltrat r infiltrators got to -- >> to make what point? >> to prove that the government is justified in increasing more gun control on the backs of the american people. the timing of it being this week, the exact week that mr. obama is set to further extend gun control through executive order, i don't think is an accident. >> so the county sheriff said in a statement on sunday:
now we have talked about this before, chuck. so let me just put the question to you, whether it's this new fa i will sha, the oath keepers, who you are familiar with, the sovereign citizens movement, is the goal of these groups to overthrow the government, to force a confrontation with the government? >> well, i can only speak somewhat for oath keepers. the other group i have absolutely no association with. i can tell you emphatically there is nobody i'm aware of within oath keepers that has any desire, so quote, overthrow the government. that's ludicrous. and if the sheriff would feel there is an attempt of that going on here, i think that's
extremely exaggerated in his mind set. unfortunately what this group is doing by taking over this -- this empty facility and, you know, making this some kind of a standoff situation, all they are doing is feeding into the hysteria of the government and others who sympathize with them to say, okay, anyone who identifies themselves as militia are these kind of radical government hear its, and that's just not the case. >> gotcha. chuck, i'll see you again soon. for a look at what is coming up at the top of the hour, john siegenthaler is here. >> hi, tony. more on the fallout between saudi arabia and iran. angry protests over the execution of a shia cleric. now diplomatic ties have been cut and countries across the middle east are lining up on
either side. we'll take a closer look. also the standoff in oregon, i'll talk with ammon bundy, the spokesman for that group that has taken over a federal building in the state. wall street losses, the dow lost more than 2% of its value today. economists pointing fingers at china. we'll take a look at the worst market open in years, and what it could mean for the rest of 2016. and my interview with tim nelson, his new film examines very different characters after one is violently mugged. >> this is a movie ultimately about how we're all one. what do we all have in common? >> more on that interview and a lot more coming up in just about ten minutes. >> john see you then. thank you. hong kong's leader says he is highly concerned about the recent disappearances of at least five people linked to a
publishing company that specializes in books critical of china's leadership. protesters took to the streets after the disappearances. prodemocracy lawmakers believe the last man was abducted by chinese police. hong kong's leader says there is no evidence that mainland security agents were involved. and back on the campaign trail, bill clinton hits the road to support his wife's white house bid.
>> there is no country better positioned for the united states for the future. we can do it. but you have got to have somebody who makes good things happen. that was bill clinton speaks just a couple of hours ago. he kicked off a campaign tour on behalf of his wife, hillary clinton today. lisa stark is live for us in new hampshire with more on the day's events. lisa. >> reporter: well, tony this is really bill clinton's first campaign trip of the presidential election. his first solo event. he did speak here behind me. earlier today he spoke in nashawa, new hampshire. he stuck to the script. he did not mention any other candidate, and spoke only of
hillary clinton. >> yeah! whoo! >> hillary clinton has called her husband her, quote, not so secret weapon. >> president bill clinton. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: the former president told those crowded into a community college gym that this election is about restoring prosperity, keeping america safe, but still keeping it america. a dig at candidates like donald trump who has suggested banning muslim immigrants. >> america is a place who welcomes all people. >> reporter: clinton said there is no better candidate than hillary clinton to raise the middle class and carry on president obama's progress on the environment, gay rights, and health care. >> i do not believe in my lifetime, anybody has run for this job at a moment of greater
importance who was better qualified by knowledge, experience, and temperament to do what needs to be done now. [ cheers and applause ] >> to restore prosperity. >> she loves you. [ laughter ] >> well, we all do anyway. >> reporter: new hampshire is friendly territory for the clintons. the state launched her husband's race to the white house in 1992. now five weeks before the primary, hillary clinton is trailing bernie sanders in the polls here, but political experts say it is still anyone's race, and that bill clinton's job is to corral those undecided democrats. >> his job is to get them energized, to win one more for hillary clinton, because he realizes if she wins here and wins in iowa, basically it's game over. >> thank you very much, and god bless you! [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: sending bill clinton on the road can be
risky. in 2008 he angered african americans by insinuating obama won the south carolina primary simply because of his race. but monday clinton stayed on message, even when asked about trump's comment, calling him quote, one of the great abusers of the world. >> republicans have to decide who they want to nominate. i'm trying to tell now the democrats and the country, i think hilary would be the best president. >> reporter: for supporters of his wife bill clinton has an easy sell. >> he touched on all of these issues. >> she can work with other people and get things done. >> i'm still not sure. i'm -- i'm going to -- there's still five weeks, i have got a lot of time to think about it. >> reporter: a lot of time left here in new hampshire, and of course the iowa caucuses are even a week before new hampshire's primary, and that is
where bill clinton will be on thursday. he will head to iowa for two more campaign events. and by the way, tony in iowa at least, accord doing the polls, hilary right now has a comfortable lead. >> all right. it's time to get down to business. lisa thank you. scott spradlink is a award-winning political journalist. this man knows that state. joining me from manchester, new hampshire. bill clinton is campaigning here today. what does new hampshire mean for hillary clinton and bernie sanders. give me an overview as i join you here the first week of 2016. >> you are right. bernie has about a touchdown lead right now, but this state made clinton the come-back kid.
so he has a lot of history here. hilary has a lot of history here. they have a lot of friends, and whenever bill clinton comes back to town usually good things happen to the clinton family. it's a one-two punch that could be difficult for bernie sanders. but he was packing a similar stadium tonight. >> we should have been there as well. are the clinton's vulnerable -- let me deal with the muck a little bit here. are the clinton's vulnerable on the former president's infidelity, donald trump and chris christie are certainly reminding voters of it. >> that's the 2016 question, tony. we have not seen any campaign quite like we have seen with donald trump. so when he is throwing punches, one thing we're not seeing from the former president is a punch back. he is not engaging donald trump, and i think he has probably been told this is about beating bernie sanders in new hampshire,
if we do it, we can close the door and wrap up the nomination. and let's wait and see what republican makes it forward, because right now cruz is winning in iowa. >> i know there are three big issues there. if you are concerned with national security -- and i know new hampshire voters are, post paris, san bernardino, most of the nation certainly is right now. what does that mean in new hampshire. does that mean you are afraid of isis, muslims, or just plain afraid, what does it mean there? >> that's a really good question. i think new hampshire is probably like most states around the country. they fear what they don't know. and watched what happened with the bombings in paris, and they don't want anything like that happening on american soil. so they want a candidate who has a clear plan for boarder security, national security, and there are so many candidates
from which to choose right now, you have a lot of options. so there's no clear plan and no clear leader. >> scott appreciate it. awarding-winning new hampshire political journalist. thank you. i'm tony harris. thanks for watching. john siegenthaler is back. >> thank you. we begin with theest ka lighting tension between saudi arabia and iran. three allies downgraded diplomatic relations with iran. the saudis also cut off air traffic and commercial ties with tehran. the dispute began on saturday when saudi arabia executed a well-known cleric. >> reporter: saudi diplomats on their way home with their families. as they were evacuated came similar action by some of the kingdom's