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tv   Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield  CNN  September 11, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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ed. released. decongested. open for business. [ inhales, exhales ] [ male announcer ] powerful sinus relief from the #1 pharmacist recommended brand. sudafed. open up. hello, everyone. i'm ashleigh banfield. it is september 11th, the day america pauses to remember those lost in the attacks 12 years ago. today is also a day for diplomacy and diplomacy is front and center of this morning as plans for a u.s. military strike on syria are on hold for now. the president has still laid out his case for military action against that president, bashar al assad, and his regime, if a diplomatic effort led by russia doesn't work. here's part of his national address on that very subject.
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>> it's too early to tell whether this offer will succeed. in any agreement, it must verify that the assad regime keeps its commitments. but this mission has a potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force. particularly because russia is one of assad's strongest allies. i have, therefore, asked the leaders of congress to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path. i'm sending secretary of state john kerry to meet hi russian counterpart on thursday, and i will continue my own discussions with president putin. i will not put american boots on the ground in syria. i will not pursue an open-ended action like iraq or afghanistan. i will not pursue a prolonged air campaign like libya or kosovo. this would be a targeted strike to achieve a clear objective. deterring the use of chemical
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weapons and degrading assad's capabilities. we'll also give u.n. inspector the opportunity to report their findings about what happened on august 21st, and we will continue to rally support from allies from europe to the americas, from asia to the middle east, who agree on the need for action. meanwhile, i've ordered our military to maintain their current posture to keep the pressure on assad, and to be in a position to respond if diplomacy fails. >> after hearing the president, how do you feel about the possibility of a launch of a military strike against syria? obviously, a very complicated situation, and there are a lot of very fast-moving parts. but people are reacting to the president's speech and our senior white house were correspondent brianna keilar joins us live on that topic. we do something called fast poll. they certainly do, as a disclaimer, poll a certainly sector of society, because not everybody, brianna, listened to
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the president's speech. those who did certainly have an opinion. can you break it down? >> reporter: we should say this is a cnn rnc poll a bit of a self-selecting group. those who choose to watch the president's speech tend to be more of, would you expect his traditional supporters. they're more democrats who are doing this. but in this quick poll, we asked, did obama make a convincing case in his speech? people were split on this. 50, no. 47% said, yes. they do, though, at least the folk whose watched his speech and we were able to survey, favor what he did propose in his speech, which was, obviously, kind of takes this diplomatic off ramp and then keeping this military option kind of in the back pocket. so 61% said they favored that. 37% said opposed. a 2-1 on favor and oppose. nearly two-thirds say it's likely diplomacy will work.
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65% said it's likely to be resolved through diplomatic efforts. not likely, 35%. so you kind of see there, i think at least even if it's sort of hard to extrapolate to the american public as a whole, it does sort of reflect what we are seeing. which is a lot of pressure from the american public and certainly on congress to pursue a diplomatic solution rather than any sort of military intervention. >> sure. so last night right after the president finished, i heard newt gingrich say he wasted a late-night speech. and then i heard stephanie cutter say, no, he did not. and i sort of am curious what exactly comes next? because that was a big diplomatic effort on president obama's behalf, but now what? >> reporter: i think, really, the speech was -- it wasn't the speech we expecting. right? i mean, the speech that we expect add few days ago, we expected to be an argument for a military strike. right? in the end, a speech trying to buy time. it's trying to buy time for what the administration sees as their
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best next step. champion is this meeting that's going to happen between secretary of state john kerry and his russian counter part. foreign minister for russia. he's going to geneva, switzerland today, they'll meet tomorrow and a lot is hanging on whether they can work out a proposal for syria giving up its chemical weapons. >> brianna keilar at the white house. thank you. the president center wants to keep the pressure up on syria. the devastating loss of life continues there in syria, let's not forget. people are still dying every day and the numbers speak for themselves. opposition groups called local coordination committees of syria, so far just this week and it is wednesday, just began this count on sunday, 225 people have died in that conflict. this month, the number is 840 people dead, and last month, the toll is astounding. 2,882 people killed.
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and so far, if you're keeping count since the revolution began in syria, not quite three years ago, more than 100,000 people, dead. men, women, many of them children, dieing in that country, and we want to be very clear. cnn can't independently confirm these numbers, and to be frank, syrian government officials don't usually provide any kind of official death toll. so say it's a murky situation is clearly an understatement. united nations human rights groups are recording that syrian government forces have bombed hospitals this week. hospitals. while opposition forces are reportedly launching shells directly at neighborhoods. did i say murky? take it straight to our senior international correspondent arwa damon in beirut. arwa, while the world seems to have paused to digest this diplomatic option, there has been no pause in the death and destruction in syria. has there?
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>> reporter: no. there most certainly has not. when you talk about those numbers there, i think it's also worth reflecting for a moment that those are families that have been torn apart. those are parents, children, feeling that unbearable loss of losing a loved one. i was actually skyping an activist in syria a few hours before president obama's speech. he lives in a town just in the southwest of damascus that he said has been effectively under siege for months now. they're running out of food. they're having to try to plant vegetables in the gardens. they're running out of much-needed medicines. children are returning to a doctor, beginning to die because their bodies were so weak and sheer inable, they weren't able to get nutrients to sustain themselves. this activist said at this point he had one wish, one message. that the various global leaders to spend an hour, not a day, just an hour living under those circumstances. feeling that terror that
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paralyzes a person when you hear an artillery shell. when you hear a bomb, not knowing exactly where it is going to land. smelling that scent that just sticks inside your nostrils of blood being intermingled with gun powder, with burning metal and then hearing the cries, the screams of the wounded. and he believed if one individual who is a key player in all of this, anyone, what an experience that there would be a greater level of compassion and even a greater effort to try to bring around the violence, because, ashleigh, the u.s. right now is coming out. they are saying, well, look, at the very least, the threat of a u.s. strike has forced the russians to force the syrians to start admitting that they have a chemical weapons program. to take action on that. well, why is it that that same stick can't be used to try to exert the same amount of pressure to force the syrian government to open at the very least humanitarian quarters in to these areas that are under
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siege? ashleigh? >> and one wonders looking at images shown during the report if they're even getting all the news of the russian broker, the diplomatic machinations ongoing? arwa damon, doing an excellent job on keeping the situation very real in front of our minds with those images. arwa damon in beirut. thank you for that. it is september 11th as i mentioned, exactly one year after the deadly attack on the u.s. diplomatic compound in benghazi, libya. guess what happened? powerful car boem explomb explo that city this morning. the target, a building that housed the u.s. consulate back in the late '60s. lkly, no casualties. no one has come forward to claim responsibility for this attack. but last year's attack is a little less murky. carried out by islamic militants and unleashed a wave of criticism towards the obama administration for how it handled the aftermath of the attack.
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four americans were killed including the u.s. ambassador serving in libya, chris stevens. and many of you may be wondering why the obama administration is pushing for military action in syria when we have so many problems right here at home? economics, schooling, medicine. turns out international affairs frequently interrupts domestic policy when national security is threatened, and this discussion is coming up next. especially today, as people are looking for more low, and no calorie options. that's why on vending machines, we're making it easy for people to know how many calories are in their favorite beverages, before they choose. and we're offering more low calorie options, including over 70 in our innovative coca-cola free-style dispensers. working with our beverage industry and restaurant partners, we're helping provide choices that make sense for everyone. because when people come together, good things happen. i tthan probablycare moreanyone else.and
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vo:remember to changew that oil is the it on schedule toy car. keep your car healthy. show your car a little love with an oil change starting at $19.95. president obama said an air strike would not lead to an all-out war. to say americans are skeptical is an understatement, because the polls seem to indicate they prefer he focus on issues right here at home, and the president decided to address that concern pointedly last night. >> i know americans want all of us in washington especially me to concentrate on the task of building our nation here at home. putting people back to work, educating our kids. growing our middle class.
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it's no wonder, then, that you're asking hard questions. so let me answer some of the most important questions that i've heard from members of congress, and that i've read in letters that you've sent to me. first, many of you have asked, won't this put us on a slippery slope to another war? one man wrote to me that we are still recovering from our involvement in iraq. a veteran put it more bluntly. this nation is sick and tired of a war. my answer is simple -- i will not put american boots on the ground in syria. i will not pursue an open-ended action like iraq or afghanistan. i will not pursue a prolonged air campaign bike libya or kosovo. this will be a targeted strike to achieve a clear objective. deterring the use of chemical weapons and degrading assad's capabilities. >> so domestic affairs,
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obviously, are important, but three different times last night the president raised the specter of dangers to the united states national security. if not action were taken against bashar al assad, way over there in syria. the president said failure to act would ultimately risk chemical attacks against united states troops and our allies, would make it easier for terrorist grooms to get their hands on chemical agents and expanded that further. bring in lieutenant corner rick francona. so, colonel, why does someone watching right now say in missouri supposed to be concerned about what bashar al assad is doing thousands of miles away to his people, other than morally concerned? how is it that our national security is at risk? and did the president make a compelling case? >> well, i think they as well as he could. this is a tough sell. it's going to be a tough sell. committing u.s. military force
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to a nebulous goal that's hard to define. if you're trying to deter the syrians from using chemical weapons, again, we may have already done that. i think that the threat of force was probably enough. it was a credible threat of force. obviously, the russians were concerned. they put pressure on the syrians. so i think it was that that deterred the use of chemicals. now that the syrians declared the chemicals, that's a major step. once you declare it, you almost have to get rid of them. that was a very successful move. but why are we concerned about syria? that's a great question. you look at the region syria's in. you've got other allies there that we're concerned about. turkey, iraq, to the east. jordan is really being destabilized because of the influx of refugees. the largest, the fourth largest city isn't jordan is a syrian refugee camp and lebanon, arwa just reported, this is a real, turning this into a real tinderbox over there. of course, you always cannot talk about this area unless you
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realize the threat to israel, and nobody wants to say that, but we are very concerned about israeli security as well. >> so that's -- again, it's israeli security, the tinderbox over there. ultimately our shores right here in the united states of america. again, in middle america right now you want to know why would this be on my doorstep again? >> that's the tough sell that the president has. my answer is, that we've got g.o. political interests in that region and we have to defend them. we are the united states of america and do have interests overseas. now, that's hard to rationalize when you're trying to balance your checkbook. i get that, but we do have interests that we have to protect. >> okay. just one quick question. that is this -- its been bothering me syria has been on the list of state-sponsored terrorists for decade and yet it appears, get me off the ledge if not true, it appears we're negotiating with the head of a terrorist country? by getting into this diplomacy. is that accurate? >> oh, absolutely. you know, h hezbollah is a proxf
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the iranians but cannot survive without syria being there for the funnel of all the weapons and training that allows hezbollah to be hezbollah coming via syria. syria is the key. that's why you're seeing a lot of iranian troops in syria because they need to protect their investment in that part of the world, just like we do. >> diplomacy is everybody inner pretty. although it sounds pretty, it is messy. colonel, if you could stay with us. i have other questions moving through this program about these two countries, and it leads to this question -- the military. how is the united states maneuvering all of those big, heavy assets? ships, aircraft carriers. they can't just stay hanging out there forever. so what are we doing about it as we still maintain a threat over syria? first, though, today is september 11th, and there are memorial services throughout the country, and in shanksville, pennsylvania. in new york city. and in washington, d.c.
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exactly 12 years ago today this nation's heart was effectively broken. just about everybody remembers where he or she was when four hijacked airliners were used in the largest terrorist attack on u.s. soil. on ground zero in new york. bell tolled. a moment of silence as there always is on this anniversary. in shanksville, pennsylvania, people gathered in a field to honor the brave passengers of flight 93 who fought the terrorists onboard that plane, possibly keeping them from reaching the capitol, and wreaking havoc further in the capitol, that cost them their lives in that field, and at the pentagon, president obama laid a wreath memmerating the victims who died when flight 77 slammed in to the side of the pentagon. >> they left this earth, slipped
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from our grasp, but it was written what the heart has once owned and had it shall never lose. for your family's lost in the temple, in the here and now is now eternal. >> here in new york city, the names of those who died are being read aloud as they always are on this anniversary at ground zero. >> and my father richard anthony archetto, daddy, i miss you so much and think about you every day. even though it's been 12 years i will never forget all the amazing times we had together. you were more than just my daddy. you were my best friend and i love you more than anything. you'll be in my heart always. >> chris, keeping a watchful eye on your daughter and wife,
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beautifulsophia, sisters, brothers, and of course your mother and i, we all missy very much. may god make your assignments in heaven easier than they were on earth. >> and my beloved son joshua todd aaron i miss you every moment. >> and even with the memory of 9/11, very heavy on everyone's minds on this anniversary. possibility of a military action against syria certainly not forgotten. >> and my uncle salve have a to savator, i was only 3, and president obama, please, do not bring us into another war. >> just ahead, the russian connection. the russians are longtime allies of syria. going back to the cold war.
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of bashar al assad has the largest if not the largest stockpile of chemical weapons on the planet and there appears to be evidence he certainly used those weapons against his own people just last month, but how did he get them? how do you acquire such an incredible stockpile? apparently a lot of help from the people brokering this latest deal. russia. our brian todd has the story. >> reporter: part of what's so shocking about thchemical attac the casualties. two analysts believe they could be a result of a toxic payload
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on those rockets, larger than first estimated. >> some reports reported as little as 1 liter of sarin. a container that is actually used carried 50 liters of sarin. >> reporter: m.i.t. professor theodor post many aal drew that the internet. postal says it was first believed the thin tubes in some pictures were the payload canisters. >> what people were seeing had this rocket motor attached to it, and then this front end, the central core extension, bent up on the ground. and what people were not seeing was this larger canister that had broken in to many pieces when the munition hit the ground. >> reporter: postal says the rockets with the large payload chamber at the top looked something like this. cnn cannot independently fair vie the voracity of postal's information. he says he can't rule out that the rockets could have come from the rebel side, but --
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>> my best guest submstimate wa was the assad government because the amount of sarin you need, the design of the ammunition, the cleverness with which it was put together sort of implies a state actor. >> reporter: the syrian government repeatedly denied launching the august 21st attack. now, russia's proposal to put syria's alleged chemical weapons stockpile under international control is viewed with some skepticism. >> their hands with regard to serious chemical weapons capability may not be clean. >> reporter: decades ago the russians in the soviet era and afterward provided syria with some of the foundation for its chemical weapons program. a declassified cia document from 1983 says both czechoslovakia and the soviet union delivered training and systems that flowed to syria. >> helping them establish the
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capacity they have. syria has had for quite some time the ability to do this on its own. >> reporter: contacted by cnn, an official at the russian embassy here in washington flatly denied that saying, "neither the ussr nor russia ever provided this to syria. all belt with the help of western european countries, he said. >> let's go back to the attack itself, and the significance of the timing. why at that moment allegedly did the president launch that attack? >> reporter: what chemical weapons experts are telling us, ashleigh is that the fact it was launched at night is significant. it was done by whatever side did this, knew what they were doing as far as maximizing casualties, because when they launched it at night and the shells broke up at night, the gas cloud basically stayed near the ground. during the day, when it was hot, risen with the heat and dissipateed quickly. this time, at night, in the
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words of one expert, it flatt flattened out like a pancake, stayed on the ground longer, mack mizing casualty, that's the mark of somebody that knew what they were doing. >> a sickening strategy. no other way to put it. brian todd, thank you for that. so are we about to embark on a cat and mouse game of epic proportions when it comes to syria dispensing of its chemical weapons, if in fact this gets off the ground? and what's happening with the united states military in that region? just how long can those destroyers stay off the shore? and how about the aircraft carriers around the corner? we'll talk about the strategy of the assets, next. we went out and asked people a simple question: how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing. but even though we're living longer, one thing that hasn't changed much is the official retirement age.
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some members of congress
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have criticized president obama's plan for a limited military strike against syria saying that it would be no more than a pinprick attack. and the president answered those pricks in his speech last night. >> let me make something clear. the united states military doesn't do pinpricks. even though a limited strike will send a message to assad that no other nation can deliver, i don't think we should remove another dictatorlearned makes us responsible for what comes next, but a targeted strike can make assad or any other dictator think twice before using chemical weapons. >> so there you heard it from the president. a strike against syria would be much more than pinpricks. it would deter president assad from using chemical weapons again. joining us with more on this, chris lawrence at pentagon and cnn military analyst retired air force lieutenant colonel rick
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francona, in the military. a moment when the discussion of just how big or how small any kind of assault would be, pinprick is in our lexicon. what is the pentagon letting on about its morphing plan as the diplomacy starts to take center stage? >> reporter: well, we know that the plan has been constantly updated, ashleigh. they've been constantly going over their target list, because they see movement on the ground, some of the chemical weapons. some of the other assets being disbursed to different places around the country. so they've updated their target lists. we've heard officials, that the use of air strike might also be in the package. long-range bombers sitting outside of syria to conduct strikes. you're saying you're going to hit assad so much that he gets this message, the pinpricks, it degrades his capability, but not
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so much to tip the balance. that's a fine line to walk, and the one thing military officials have been telling me here is the one thing they cannot control or say with 100% center is what happens next? they may send this message, but how it's received is totally up to bashar al assad. >> and, colonel francona, isn't this is critical window for bashar al assad? if he actually is planning to engage in this plan? wouldn't this be the moment, if he didn't want to be 100% honest, to start doing a better job of hiding some of the things he has? >> i think a lot of the stuff is already hidden. we talked about this the other day. i just find it inconceivable no matter what he or his foreign minister says they're going to give up what they believe is their strategic deterrence against israel. and those would be the missile warheads that fit on the scud. the long-range missiles he has. those are probably locked away somewhere. i don't know if we know where they are, but i don't trust the syrians to give up everything they have, and, of course, the
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answer is, well, maybe the russians will force them to, and i'm not trusting them either. so i think that we've got a real tough problem on our hands. the verification will be a real problem. as far as the military goes, they will be able to deliver whatever the president wants, but pinprick isn't it. >> so chris lawrence, the 2012 report that came out on syria's chemical assets suggested there were about 50 different production sites. the french, according to nbc news and the financial times, sutsed they have an arsenal of 1,000 tons and it's located in about five major locations. all of this, of course, on the map, we'll show you where the locations are. chris, all of this is dependent on excellent intelligence. i'm curious as to how the pentagon feels about the intelligence and whether they feel good about the plan they're working from? >> reporter: they feel fairly confident. i mean, it's more the intel community, and when you talk to officials on that side, they
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have a fairly confident view that they are able to keep some surveillance on where those weapons have been moved. they, perhaps, not with 100% certainty, but a good idea. the problem is the amount of work that it takes, and the expertise. there are only certain people trained to actually locate, secure and dispose of these chemical weapons. it's an exhausting process that involves separating the chemical substance. you know, burning it up in a specially designed furnace. destroy the munitions. you know, where do you set up the actual facilities to the do this? >> of course. >> you know, the united states started destroying its chemical weapons back in the '90s. it's not going to finish for another ten years. so we're not talking about a process that's weeks or months. this is years if not decades. >> yes. we'll talk more about that exact process in a moment. colonel francona, as we discuss all of this, there are very expensive, very significant american assets parked off the shore of syria and sitting in
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the persian gulf and sitting, my guess, in the arabian sea, and they can't sit there forever. so what does one do while we wait on diplomacy with those assets? >> well, you know, the navy will just keep a con tant rotation going out. they'll replace these with other vessels. as long as the capability remains there. these vessels can pull into port in the mediterranean. we have nato allies. with the range of the missile, they don't have to be close to syria to fire these. they can fire a missile from south of crete and reach anywhere south of syria. we have a long reach, can pull the vessels back, but a constant rotation of navy ships in to the area. >> i'm fascinated how quickly one can move an aircraft carrier because the "nimitz" is in the red sea and the "truman" back east. fascinating to watch. and chris, you're tanked with doing that.
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keep us updated. thank you both. the united states air strike on syria is on hold, but just how long would it take to find all of the goods? all of the chemical weapons? get them actually out of syria's control, and then destroy them? it is a mammoth tank and we'll explore the reality of it, next. ♪ (woman) this place has got really good chocolate shakes.
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than done and eastern the president himself acknowledged that. not so sure it would succeed. take a listen. >> however, in the last few days we've seen some encouraging signs. in part, because of the credible threat of the u.s. military action as well as constructive talks that i had with president putin, the russian government indicated a willingness to join with the international community in pushing assad to give up his chemical weapons. the assad regime has now admitted that it has these weapons and even said it joined the chemical weapons convention, which prohibits their use. it's too early to tell whether this will suck sealed and any agreement must verify that assad keeps his -- particularly because russia is one of assad's strongest allies. >> the secretary of state john kerry said earlier this week
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that he considered giving president bashar al assad a week to hand over his entire stock of chemical weapons, and if not, a u.s. military strike is inevitable, but just the logistics oh loan of tha arrang ain't going to be a week. just getting word of a russian plan submitted a plan of putting the weapons under international control. coming from the russian nud agency attar siting a source. the french suggested one way of handling this to the u.n. the russians weren't crazy about it, because it involved punishing the syrian authorities for what they already did in that chemical attack and the russians didn't like that. without seeing the russian plan, we have a headline, could it possibly be somewhat similar, without all the punishment? let me bring in our cnn analyst,
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former u.n. chief weapons inspector david kaye. david, you just heard the breaking news. what's your assumption? what do you think the russians are suggesting to the u.n. if any kind of deal they're putting forward? >> i think this is the beginning of the process of negotiations. as we see what the russians actually can deliver, we're not even sure what the syrians think they agreed to, with the russians. so it's a process. it's a process that should not be allowed to drag out, because further delay is, i think, does not -- it's not possible in this area without losing any credibility. >> and not only that, but we're still talking about, you know, the secretary of state suggesting in an offhanded remark that the only thing that would stop the onslaught of an attack, other than perhaps congress, might be a notion that bashar al assad would give up his weapons in a week. but you and i have already discussed this. it's not possible in a week. you heard chris lawrence earlier, the pentagon couldn't possibly device a plan where it would happen in a year, two, three or four. we have a history of a cat and
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mouse game going on in iraq. you were there with saddam hussein. do we have to put a deadline on this? is it even plausible? >> what you can do in a week, have an agreed binding security council resolution. laying out the security council regime and right of the u.n. inspectors that will go in. you ought to have a second set of deadlines, which is a week to two weeks at max that the syrians hand over the identification of all of the chemical weapons they have, the mix of what they are. their locations, and they agree not to move them any further from where they are, and that date certain. that allows you to build a baseline to think about, indeed, how you would take control of them. now, the difficulty, and we should not forget, this is in the midst of a civil war. the sites you had listed earlier, which were ones we've known about for about ten years, they are all in almost -- every
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one of them are now in areas that are contested by the rebels. this is something that is extremely difficult to imagine how international inspectors take control of this in an area where there's an active civil war going on. >> you know, it was just last month some of your former colleague, u.n. weapons inspection team in damascus actually came under fire. so what would be to sthauuggestt any team, hundreds of teams, might be in danger of the threat of the civil war taking them out? i've got to wrap it there. david kay, more than likely talking to you about this tomorrow. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> always good to talk to david kay. excellent perspective. this coming in from a dashboard camera. a cruiser hitting a couple on the motorcycle, and -- he's a former trooper of the year, no less.
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. >> tsa employee has been arrested for allegedly making threats against the los angeles international airport. apparently the threats included unspecified threats relating to the 12th anniversary of september 11th, which is today. the employee had apparently resigned from his post after being recently suspended. in ohio, a terrifying
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accident caught on a state trooper's dash board camera. our affiliate wdtn reporting officer jacob damon rammed the rear end of a motorcycle. amy and cory waldman went flying on impact, both taken to the hospital. luckily their injuries are nonlife-threatening. damon that former trooper of the year, stopped and used his own car to block the lane where the accident happened so there would be no further accidents. he has not been charged in this. and an accident investigation is ongoing. in colorado, two democratic lawmakers who supported tighter gun control laws have been booted out of office in a recall election. the state senate president on the right and the senator on the left supported the unpopular new gun laws earlier this year and they're out. national groups on both sides of the gun control debate had poured money into that contest. a young girl wants to play
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basketball but the coach tells her that she is too fat. now, as a woman, she overcomes years of frustration and anger and just wait until you hear what she has accomplished. ♪ turn around
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♪ every now and then i get a little bit hungry ♪ ♪ and there's nothing good around ♪ ♪ turn around barry ♪ i finally found the right snack ♪
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♪ of people are fighting every minute of every day, and far too many people are losing. it is the battle against weight gain. and if you need some inspiration, meet and net miller who just finished the malibu triathlon as a member of cnn's fit nation team. dr. sanjay gupta has her story in today's human factor." >> growing up in tennessee, and net mill sister always dreamed
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of playing basketball. so as soon as she was old enough, she decided to sign up for the team. >> i've got a permission slip from her coach at school. i came running home that day. i was so excited i was going to get to play basketball. instead of getting a signature from my parents i was told you're too fat to play. >> at 10 years old and more than 200 pounds, that mantra instantly changed her life. >> you're too fat. followed me into adulthood. and i didn't realize how much that held me back. >> but years later when her twin sister bowette needed a kidney transplant. >> i was not tested or considered to be a donor because of my weight. that was the kick in the pants i needed. >> so she changed her diet. she started walking. she hit the gym. she was determined to get the weight off. by november of 2012, she was well on her way. >> i'm proud to say at this point, i've lost over 100 pounds. >> reporter: and she wasn't finished. >> there's a little 10-year-old kid in here ta still wants to
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play. wants to be a part of something, be part of a team. >> miller applied for the cnn fit nation challenge and she was accepted in january. congratulations. we've already picked ---ing >> for eight months, she trained. swimming, biking, running. to compete in the nautica malibu triathlon. >> yeah. >> and she got below 200 pounds for the first time in decades. >> i didn't stop. 198, and i've never had a breakdown on a scale but i started crying >> and on sunday, september 8th, miller got her chance to play. crossing the finish line in malibu, squarely in the middle of the pack. >> amazing. i made the turn around on bike. i knew i had it. >> if i can do it, you can do it. >> next up for miller, surgery to remove the excess skin left over from her years of being overweight to complete her transfor participation. >> i did it. >> chest pass, nice as far as
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that basketball game, that dream came true, as well. dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, reporting. >> that's awesome. congratulations, annette. fantastic. "around the world" starts right now with suzanne malveaux and michael holmes. you're watching "around the world." i'm suzanne malveaux. >> ike mimal holmes. world powers right now intensifying their efforts to defuse the situation in syria. nothing set yet. nothing decided. but the u.n. security council members, the five permanent members might meet later today to try to work on that plan to take control of syrian chemical weapons. >> there are so many people skeptical that a diplomatic deal can even be reached. france is pushing a five-point solution, a resolution, russia and western nations are fighting over whether the u.n. should authorize military attacks on syria if it

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