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tv   CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello  CNN  October 7, 2014 6:00am-7:01am PDT

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carol? >> sounded so tidire, back to reality. thanks chris cuomo. you guys have a great day. "newsroom" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- worthy fight. former big leaguer leon pa net ta criticizing the president on isis, iraq and syria says he avoids the battle and lost his way. this morning's "post" headline the stunning disloyalty to obama. recruited for isis a chicago teenager's terrifying letter to his parents, why he wanted to join isis calling american filth. who bought his plane ticket and who was he going to meet in turkey? spain now investigating an infected nurse's assistant. this is the first person known to have contracted the disease outside of west africa. so why aren't we hearing the complete story of where she was and who that nurse came into contact with? let's talk.
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live in the "cnn newsroom." i take the position that when you're commander in chief that you really ought to keep all options on the table. >> good morning to you. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. harsh criticism from one of the biggest players in president barack obama's cabinet. former defense secretary leon pa net ta now hammering his old boss on everything from isis to arming syrian rebels. even going after the president's leadership style. it's all part of pa net ta's new book "worthy fights" which releases today. he sat down with cnn's chief political analyst gloria borger. >> i take the position that when you're commander in chief that you really ought to keep all options on the table, to be able to have the flexibility to do what is necessary in order to defeat this enemy.
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but to make those air strikes work, to be able to do what you have to do, you don't just send planes in and drop bombs. you have to have targets. you've got to know what you're going after. to do that, you do need people on the ground. >> would isis be as much of a threat today, had we left some force behind? >> i do think that if we had had a presence there, it might not have created the kind of vacuum that we saw develop in iraq. >> you wrote that the president's active advocacy was missing. are you saying he didn't give it to the push? >> i think the kind of push as direct involvement that i think could have had an impact simply never developed because the sense was if they don't want it, why should we want it? >> reporter: pa net ta describes a similar scenario on the question of arming the syrian rebels in 2012. as defense secretary he made the case to do it, as did most of the national security team, but
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the president never signed off, arguing the weapons could wind up in the wrong hands. >> it's understandable, but at the same time if we're going to influence the rebel forces, if we're going to try to establish a moderate element to those forces that it was important to provide this kind of assistance in order to have some leverage over what they were going to do. >> reporter: there was honest disagreement but then no decision. >> to a large extent it wasn't that the president kind of said no, we shouldn't do it. the president kind of never really came to a decision as to whether or not it should happen. >> reporter: what do you mean by that, never came to a decision? >> i think it basically sat there for a while and then got to the point where everybody just kind of assumed that it was not going to happen. >> is that the right way to do things? >> i think it would have been far better had he just made the decision we're not going to do it.
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so that everybody kind of knew where we stood but we all kind of waited to see whether or not he would ultimately come around. >> reporter: and? >> and it didn't happen. >> reporter: and you talk about hesitation and half steps. is that what you're referring to? >> yes, i mean it was that kind of just hesitation to really, you know, do what needed to be done. now, you know, don't get me wrong, i think he was very strong in terms of the war on terrorism, and he made some tough decisions, but there were these decisions that basically never were confronted that i think in many ways contributed to the problems we're facing today. >> reporter: finally the president is taking action, panetta says, albeit a bit late. >> made the decision to put troops on the ground in iraq to try to help the security forces. he's made the decision to arm and train rebel forces in syria, and he's made the decision to conduct air attacks. so in many ways, he's made the right decisions now. i think those decisions should
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have been made two years ago. >> reporter: the portrait panetta sketches of barack obama sometimes looks more like a professor than a president. >> he relies on the logic of his presentation, the hope that ultimately people will embrace that logic and then do what's right. you know what? in 50 years my experience is, logic doesn't work in washington. you got to basically go after people and make them understand what they have to do, and that means you create a war room, you go after votes, you have to push people. >> reporter: so did you have a sense that the president found that distasteful or that it wasn't something he wanted to do, or was comfortable doing or -- >> i think it offended him that people would not really get serious and work on the issues, and i think as a result of that, he just felt, you know, how can i deal with people that simply don't want to do the right thing for the country? well, the reality is, if you want to govern in this country, you have to deal with people you don't like.
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>> so let's talk about this, joining me now are senior white house correspondent jim acosta and cnn military analyst general james "spider" marks. good morning to both of you. >> hi. >> hi, carol, good morning. >> jim, i want to start with you. an astonishing number of the. 's men bashed his policy, robert gates, robert gibbs, hillary clinton, david axelrod, why? >> reporter: i think robert gibbs and david axelrod have been disagree with the president's tactical decisions, gates, clinton and pa net ta on policy decisions and i love "logic doesn't work in washington" i don't think truer words have ever been spoken but leah pa net ta is not the first to write one of the kiss and tell books and won't be the last. future administration also write these sorts of books but it goes back to this question, carol, this key question president obviously believes he made the right call on and that is whether he should have left a residual force in iraq instead
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of completely withcrawing from the country at the end of 2011. the president feels he's right on that call. i asked him about this earlier this year. he said the iraqis ask not want to give those forces immunity from prosecution if they were to stay in the country. obvious lilleyon pa net ta says the u.s. could have driven a harder bargain to force iraqis to make that decision. that's in the past. joe biden said the other day leon pa net ta was inappropriate in writing this sort of book but really to be quite honest, carol, to be candid a lot of americans don't really agree with the president's foreign policy these days, poll after poll shows deep dissatisfaction with the president's foreign policy and with his response to the situation with isis, although they agree with the policy at this point, they feel up until now, it hasn't been really the robust response that's been needed >> right. >> reporte >> reporter: i think this debate will continue on into 2016. >> general marks, we are still at war. is it damaging for a former defense secretary to bash the
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president's war strategy? >> i don't think at all, carol. i think what needs to be demonstrated is where the gaps and where the holes are in this strategy that the president has laid on the table. as a result of that, hopefully he could do a course correction and make it better going forward. there still is time to right the ship if you will, and what you see with all of this is several things, one is there's a great frustration with the president's style and i think that's important to describe, it's a style. this is our president, so we want a successful outcome here. let's be honest with each other, and frankly, we're not seeing that in terms of foreign policy. you really have to lead and you have to make things happen. things don't happen around you. you have to, even with the best and the brightest, you look around the table and you look at those that he chose to be a part of his inner circle, these are incredibly talented folks, but they have to be led as well, individually they have their own agendas and have to see what the president's trying to achieve, that takes personal effort on
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the part of the president to make that happen, including what we've seen is that he shied away from that, doesn't want to do the dirty work to make it work. >> major general james "spider" marks, jim acosta thanks to both of you. as all of this goes on the fighting grows more intense by the day. this morning, 29 suspected isis fighters were killed overnight in air strikes, and in kobani, that critical town on the border between syria and turkey, a u.s. official confirming to cnn five coalition air strikes pounded the town overnight. cnn's phil black is just outside of kobani, where our teams are hearing heavy explosions and artillery fire. >> reporter: carol the accounts coming from within kobani match what we are hearing and seeing across the border in turkey. we're hearing the sound of aircraft overhead, often followed by large explosions around the perimeter of kobani, the biggest explosions we've seen in the weeks we've watched
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this battle unfold behind us. those in the city strongly believe they are coalition air strikes and pretty thrilled because the situation for those kurdish fighters resisting isis is increasingly dire. isis is now in the city, the fighting is street to street. it is intense. we're hearing about heavy casualties on both sides. and those kurdish fighters the some thousand that do remain believe they cannot hold out indefinitely without more help from the outside, and what they're talking about there is more coalition air strikes. carol, back to you. >> all right, thanks to phil black. >> a chicago teenager is waking up in federal custody accused of trying to join the terror group isis. federal agents busted 19-year-old mohammed khan at chicago's o'hare airport. criminal complaint says khan was hoping to do humanitarian work or join a police force for isis, but now he's facing up to 15 years in prison. khan apparently planned to fly to turkey to meet up with someone he met online who would
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then take him to isis territory. one congressman tells cnn's erin burnett, ices knows how to navigate its way online to find such new recruits. >> isis is smart, and they're using social media to recruit as many americans or other allies to come to syria to be radicalized and trained to fight and this is just an example of what isis is doing. >> a top state department official tells cnn efforts to combat isis' powerful messages online are working but are they? cnn's ted rowlands has more for you. good morning, ted. >> reporter: good morning, carol. mohammed khan did talk to authorities after he was arrested at o'hare but most of the evidence against him at least from the criminal complaint came out of his suburban home here. the fbi investigators found notes, drawings and a letter to his parents, which tried to explain why an american teenager would want to go fight with isis.
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according to investigators, 19-year-old mohammed hamzha khan was on his way to joining isis when he was arrested over the weekend after going through security at chicago's o'hare airport. in a three-page letter allegedly left for his parents and signed "your loving son" khan, according to a criminal complaint wrote that he was obligated to migrate to the islamic state and that he couldn't bear the thought of his taxes in the u.s. being used to kill his "muslim brothers and sisters." the western societies are getting more immoral day by day. he allegedly wrote. i do not want my kids being exposed to filth like this." investigators say khan was expecting that a contact he met online would meet him in turkey and take him to join isis in iraq or syria, but details about who bought his plane ticket and who he would meet were not revealed. >> please, we want privacy. >> reporter: relatives declined
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to speak outside the family home in the chicago working class suburb of bolingbrook. neighbors say khan lived with his parents and a brother and sister and spent time at an islamic center across the street. >> it's horrible, man, and it's in our backyard. it's literally in my backyard and it's bad. it's bad. >> reporter: next door neighbor steve moore says he's known the family for about two years. >> i was surprised, really surprised. the kid was polite, you know? i didn't expect nug like that in the least bit. >> reporter: what is unclear is how the teenager was radicalized or if his family knew what he was planning. the criminal complaint mentions pro-isis writings and drawings found in common areas of the house, suggesting his views may have been known to members of his family. khan made an initial appearance in federal court monday, members of his family were there in the courtroom, but had nothing to say after the hearing. and khan is being held without bail. he has a detention hearing scheduled for thursday in
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federal court in chicago. >> ted rowlands reporting live for us from illinois. still to come the ripple effect from last month's fire and suicide attempt at an air traffic control tower continues. details on the latest round of lay its for travelers. ♪ want to change the world? create things that help people. design safer cars. faster computers. smarter grids and smarter phones. think up new ways to produce energy. ♪ be an engineer. solve problems the world needs solved. what are you waiting for? changing the world is part of the job description. [ male announcer ] join the scientists and engineers of exxonmobil in inspiring america's future engineers. energy lives here. helps you find a whole range of coverages. no one else gives you options like that. [voice echoing] no one at all! no one at all! no one. wake up! [gasp] oh!
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checking some top stories at 17 minutes past the hour, air travel back to normal after last month's fire and suicide attempt at the control tower. yesterday all were on hold in
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order as they restored the phone lines and removed damaged equipment from the september 26th fire. new developments in the veterans administration scandal over long waits for medical care, first exposed here on cnn. four senior executives now fired, they include the directors of va hospitals in pennsylvania and georgia, and a regional hospital director in alabama. firings are the first since congress passed a law making it easier for the va to fire officials suspected of wrongdoing. samsung profits are plunging. one of the world's largest smartphone makers is reporting a massive 60% drop in profits from just a year ago, a result far worse than expected. the south korean tech company has been losing its mobile war against apple as well as upstart smartphone makers in china. there are new questions today surrounding the current outbreak of ebola at the top, how did a nurse's assistant become the first person to contract ebola outside of west africa? we know that the medical worker treated a missionary and a priest after they returned to
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spain from two countries in the ebola hot zone. both of those religious men died. the nurse's assistant is being cared for at a madrid hospital, not saying anything about her condition. we begin our coverage of the latest developments with al goodman in madrid. >> reporter: we're at the entrance to the carlos federal hospital for infectious diseases where this nurse's assistant is now a patient having caught the epaola virus. she used to work here on the medical team that treated two spanish missionaries who were in liberia and came back here, one died in august. another one in late september. she became ill shortly after that, did not immediately go into hospital until just the other day. three more are in the hospital, two considered suspicious cases, one of those is the husband of this nurse's assistant, another is a man who recently traveled to spain from africa, and the
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third is another nurse who was on that medical team. health officials say all the proper procedures and protocol were followed but some in the health care field and others on the street something is really wrong with health care. >> thomas eric duncan is inside this dallas hospital fighting for his life n critical condition. we now know that he's receiving an experimental drug called brincidofovir. in the laboratory this drug has shown promise against ebola but duncan didn't get it until he had been sick for ten days, that's quite a bit of time for ebo ebola, which is a virus that can move very quickly. 48 of duncan's contacts are being followed to see if they, too, show signs of the disease. so far, they're not sick, which is certainly good news, it means that right now, the disease is not spreading in the city of dallas. one of those close contacts is louise, his girlfriend, and she is very angry at the president of liberia.
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>> the president of liberia as you know has made a statement saying that she's very angry at thomas. >> i am so, so angry at her. this president does not care, she does not care. >> you're saying she's not doing enough to combat ebola? >> no, she's not doing anything and i have my three boys over there, they better not go after them, they better not go after my family. >> for more we go too liberia. >> this behind me is the room that thomas eric duncan was renting in this compound. it is the focal point of so much of the fear and paranoia that's ricocheting around the world and that room through that door is exactly how he left it the day he boarded that plane heading to the united states. >> nima elbagir says nine other people are dead or dying after coming into contact with the same infected woman as thomas
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eric duncan. still to come in "the newsroom," think you pay enough for your cup of coffee? well, actually i was going to say don't freak out but i'm freaking out! the price of coffee beans just hit a two-year high, christine romans. >> sometimes when a price goes up you use left of it but not coffee. americans drink 450 million cups of coffee. prices are going up because of a drought in brazil. i'll tell you what you need to know after the break. look at all these children.
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impaired doctors don't treat someone you love. safeguards against prescription drug abuse. and holds the medical industry accountable for mistakes. i'm barbara boxer. let's save lives. vote yes on 46.
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good news and bad news for all of you coffee atickets out there, first the bad. the price of coffee beans hit a 32-month high but christine insists do not freak out just yet because the cost of your morning cup of coffee won't necessarily go up, at least not yet. really, christine romans? >> she's looking at me with the evil eye as she drinks her coffee. coffee prices already went up this summer. first time you saw packaged coffee prices go up and the severe drought in bra still where half of the arabica beans are grown. could you have people consume more than they produce of coffee this year that, means prices have to go up. already at a two-year high. the arbica beans are used in the
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gourmet blends. >> that's why i lift my pinky when i drink my cup. >> so interesting, there was a drout and rain at the wrong times. concern is that the plants weakened this year it could be less output last year so a two-year problem for the plant. >> how much do americans spend every year on coffee? >> more than $23 a week on coffee, believe it or not. you spend like $1,200, $1,100 a year on coffee but carol, one important vital beverage that we drink more of than coffee in this country. >> beer? >> it is beer. >> yes! >> beer prices not going up, but gas prices are going down. i say there are two really important day-to-day economic indicators for americans, it's gas prices and coffee prices. they've already been up a little
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bit this september. stay with your gas tank. >> christine romans thanks as always. still to come in "the newsroom," he lives in chicago, but the feds say this teenager had packed his bag and was on his way to join isis when they closed in on him. cnn's jim sciutto is following the story and he joins us next. your customers, our financing. your aspirations, our analytics. your goals, our technology. introducing synchrony financial,
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ahead this half hour, isis recruiting americans. chicago teenage's terrifying letter to his parents, why he wanted to join the terror group calling america filth. this morning we're asking who bought his plane ticket. who was going to meet him in turkey? plus breaking new details in the pennsylvania manhunt, new evidence found and new concerns. did eric frein want to get into a shoot-out with state police? and eggs, milk, bread and health insurance, big bucks behemoth walmart getting into the insurance game. do you trust your health to the same place you get your guns? let's talk live in the "cnn newsroom." good morning, thank you so much for joining me. i'm carol costello. checking out top stories at 32 minutes past, this morning we're
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learning that 29 suspected isis fighters were killed overnight in air strikes near mosul and in kobani a critical town on the border of syria and turkey a u.s. official confirming to cnn five coalition air strikes pounded the town overnight. hundreds of soldiers and civilians have been killed in the weeks of fighting there. a busy day for joe clancy, the new interim head of the secret service known as father joe. clancy will brief staff, the senate judiciary and homeland security agencies in washington. last week julia pierson, the first female director of the secret service resigned in the aftermath of a fence jumper who gained access to the white house. the chicago teenager who is accused of trying to join isis is in federal custody. mow head hamzha khan was busted at the airport. he's facing up to 15 years behind bars. the pentagon says it takes cases
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like these seriously. >> we're very concerned. it's something that secretary hagel's talked about many, many times about this foreign fighter threat, this idea that people could go get radicalized either here or over there and then learn skills, terrorist capabilities and bring them back home. >> our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto live in washington with more for you. good morning, jim. >> good morning, carol. we got a good taste in the last 24 hours of the dual threat that isis poses on the ground in syria, isis fighters continuing to surround the town of kobani despite u.s. air strikes and here back at home another american, it's believed about 12 of them, about a dozen have attempted or succeeded in going to syria to join isis to fight. this latest one caught just as he was about to board his plane. he told his parents he felt an obligation to migrate to isis-controlled land. chicago area teen mohammed
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hamzha khan is the latest of roughly a dozen americans to volunteer for isis. he was arrested at chicago's o'hare airport just as he was about to board what he allegedly said was a one-way journey to syria, teen war. on the ground there, isis is advancing even in the face of american air power. in kobani, northern syria, kurdish fighters are locked in bloody street wattles withis isis. the militants already raised their signature black flags on a building at a hilltop overlooking the town while raining down shell fire from tanks and heavy artillery. quoting one fighter a reporter for arabic al ann tv tweeted" we hoped american planes would help us. instead american tanks in the hands of isis are killing us." u.s. officials call the effort against isis there ongoing.
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>> this is something where we've long said from the beginning that this would take some time. we're working closely to do everything we can to help push back isil in this part of the country. >> reporter: in iraq, where u.s. officials hope the combination of coalition air power and iraqi army units would turn the tide, isis is still advancing as well, capturing the city of hit and closing in on rah maddie. with iraqi forces, apache helicopters originally to protect the u.s. embassy in baghdad coming to the protection of overwhelmed iraqi soldiers. >> this arab bombardment is not going to work to destroy isil but we have a series of half measures with isil that will not lead to isil's destruction which makes it much more dangerous. >> air strikes continued overnight, nine of them in syria, four in iraq, of those
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nine in syria, five of them were around the town of kobani doing their best to help those embattled kurdish fighters but i'll tell you, from our own reporters on the ground from contacts with kurdish fighters you're hearing of a city fighting for its life even with the cover of american air power, gun battles in the streets, many of the residents have fled. it's an alarming situation there right on the turkish border with syria. >> jim sciutto reporting live from washington this morning, thank you. president obama will consider more airport screening for people who come into the united states from west africa. we don't know exactly what or when, but it will happen eventually. in the meantime, eric duncan remains in a dallas hospital fighting for his life. is he now receiving an experimental drug doctors hope will save him. duncan's partner, louise, is not so sure. >> i am worried, i am sad and
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you don't know how frustratined am. i'm just asking god and the american government the same medicine they giving the people that come from liberia, the ebola people that came, the people with ebola that came, please help him save his life. >> with me dr. alexander van teliken, welcome. >> thanks. >> mr. duncan appears to be getting worse, not better. of course that's not what happened to the two american aide workers who were treated here. what's different about mr. duncan's case? >> i think we are dealing with small numbers of patients it's hard to make a generalization. every case of ebola progresses differently, it kills about half of the people that get treatment and so in some cases it gets worse, some cases better. we don't know why. it may well be the americans did better because they sought care earlier. >> mr. duncan was sent home initially and treated with antibiotics. >> exactly. these things the earlier you can get care it seems in this case
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it was missed so he was symptomatic for four days in the community as well as being contagious. that's been the story but a tragedy for him and his family because it makes it far harder to get through to survive it. >> doctors are treating him with this experimental drug and it's a third drug, right, so why are so many drugs apparently effective experimental drugs effective in treating ebola are are they? >> we have no idea if they're effective at all. zmapp is ant bantibodies, it's made in tobacco plants and they haven't got any supplies. it's hard to make. anti-sense rna, interferes with the virus modification. we don't know if it works with people, it works in animals. this new development for other viruses, offlicense application, licensed for other viruses, worth having a go in this case. even if he survives we'll have no idea if this drug works without bigger trials. >> that's very strange because
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then you ask yourself why use them if if you have no idea if it's going to work? >> it's the last different attempt. it makes sense in the absence of being able to do anything else. it's hugely frustrating as a physician managing patients for whom you don't have a thing to do beyond supportive care. most of what he's getting, they'll be supporting organs that fail. his kidneys fail, he'll bet dialysis, lungs fail, ventilated, that's the most they can do. >> i want to ask you about the spainish nurse's assistant, she contracted ebola in spain, the first person to contract ebola outside of west africa. how concerned should we be? >> i think concern is right if you're running a hospital, if you're a public health administrator and a government, and i this i that certain should motivate them to be bullet proof. we have to be ahead of the curve on this stuff. seems like the suits they were using in spain, the suit she was wearing was not up to w.h.o. standards. that's straightforward. the standard exists, you can buy the suits and be prepared.
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we've had months to prepare. you hear the mayor of dallas saying the paperwork was expansive, come on, you've had months to get it done. anyone running a hospital has to assume that it will happen there. i think for the general public concern leads to sort of fear and panic and that's what worries me. i think our reaction should be compassion, it should be sympathy, empathy. >> along those lines we have a pew poll and i was surprised by the numbers and kind of proud of the american people because this pew poll shows just 11% of americans are very concerned about contracting ebola. >> i think that's probably right and i think those 11% should be more worried about crossing the road but bearing in mind the coverage and the extent to which -- what a difficult story it is to communicate. i think that's not bad, that most people are right not to worry about it. but i think we should worry about containing it in west africa because the impact we'll see is things like screening at airports, screening inbound passengers, huge numbers of false positives which mean we'll
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be isolating people who definitely don't have ebola, isolating people, flu season is coming. we're going to have an impact on the economy, on airports, on waiting times and travel, all these kind of things become a headache so for all sorts of reasons including humanitarian reasons, we have to be containing this in west africa. that's where the attention should be directed. >> dr. van tulleken thanks for joining me. i appreciate it. a possible huge break in the hunt for an alleged cop killer. cnn's miguel marquez has the details for you next. when salesman alan ames books his room at, he gets a ready for you alert the second his room is ready. so he knows exactly when he can check in and power up before his big meeting. and when alan gets all powered up, ya know what happens? i think the numbers speak for themselves. i'm sold! he's a selling machine! put it there. and there, and there, and there. la quinta inns & suites is ready for you, so you'll be ready for business.
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it's a fresh approach on education-- superintendent of public instruction tom torlakson's blueprint for great schools. torlakson's blueprint outlines how investing in our schools will reduce class sizes, bring back music and art, and provide a well-rounded education. and torlakson's plan calls for more parental involvement. spending decisions about our education dollars should be made by parents and teachers, not by politicians. tell tom torlakson to keep fighting for a plan that invests in our public schools. a possible break in the manhunt for alleged cop killer eric frein. officials found a handwritten letter they believe amounts to confession details his ambush of
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two pennsylvania state police troopers september 12th and how he planned on evading police in the woods. cnn's miguel marquez joins us now more. did eric frein mean to leave the letter behind or accidentally drop it? >> this is the question and whether or not it's to fake out cops or whether or not he meant to are them to find it. better to think of this as a diary entry, found it along with some of his gear at one point and it details, they believe it is him, they think it is completely legit because it details the meticulousness he planned the stalking and the killing of one state trooper and wounding of another one and it was found along with a backpack. there were other items that were found there, pipe bombs were found by him at this encampment that they came across an ak-47 found in another place, soiled diapers from this individual found in another place. >> why is he leaving these things behind? is it because he feels they're closing in on him and he leaves
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immediately? >> it is possible. he had two years to plan this, clearly his planning was meticulo meticulous, the note that they found indicates that and that this is somebody who may have several stashes out in the woods in pennsylvania. there are many places for him to hide, law enforcement saying they're trying to use infrared technology to spot a heat signature at night but because of the thick foliage from the trees it's hard to use. there's a lot of cabins and bed and breakfasts and buildings gone into foreclosure that are empty, lots of places for one to hide and put other stashes to even set traps for searchers if he wanted to. >> that's interesting because i thought the cold weather coming in might help police and drive him out but if he's hiding in vacant buildings. >> if he can find water, heat, and a little bit of food, he can survive for a very long time, if he's as good a survivalist as he claims. he's clearly been planning this for some time. there's been a lot of sightings of him, not a lot of bona fide
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sightings but at least one where police got close to him, they could see him but he escaped. where he's going, whether others are helping him all still questions that authorities are trying to answer. >> miguel marquez, thanks so much. i appreciate it. still to come, bill clinton back on the campaign trail, trying to lift his fellow democrats to victory in the battle for control of the senate. brianna keilar is in little rock, good morning, brianna. >> good morning to you, carol. bill clbt heinton here in his h state of arkansas trying to help out democrats with a two-day four-city swing, his biggest push of the midterm campaign season and i'll tell you who he's trying to get out to vote, after a quick break. [♪] great rates and safety working in harmony. open an optimizer +plus
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clinton is on the campaign trail. before you jump to conclusions, i'm not talking about hillary, i'm talking about bill. he's taking center stage in arkansas where the democrat is in a run for his seat. the crowd welcoming clinton who first met pryor when the president was just 11 years old. good morning, brianna. >> good morning, carol. in arkansas, bill clinton is larger than life and also simultaneously so familiar.
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he's really part of the political fabric here and he is in this state campaigning for those who he has close ties to and he's trying to get younger voters to the polls. >> and president bill clinton! >> reporter: it's bill clinton's biggest midterm push, a two day swing through his home state. >> ladies and gentlemen, the 42nd governor of arkansas. [ laughter ] >> reporter: as republican challengers hammer democrats as proxies for president obama, clinton is pushing back. >> they want you to make this a protest vote. all three of these races you're saying "you may like these guys but you know what you have to do, vote against the president." be faith to feel the true heritage of your state. don't vote for what they tell you you have to be against, vote for you what you know you should be for. >> your next word is pryor. >> reporter: but with obama's popularity hovering around 30% here, the gop and outside groups are capitalizing on it. >> pryor.
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o-b-a-m-a. >> close enough. >> reporter: arkansas's november 4 ballot reads like cards from bill clinton's 1980s rolodex. mark pryor, one of the most vulnerable democrats in the senate, was just a boy when he first met clinton. >> can i get a selfie? [ cheers and applause ] let's do it. let's do it. >> reporter: former congressman mike ross, now running for governor, was clinton's driver when he ran for governor in 1982. these democrats are hoping clinton's popularity rubs off on them. registered voters say a clinton endorsement is the most important democratic nod when evaluating a candidate. far more than even hillary clinton's stamp of approval according to a recent poll. >> the republican successes here are so recent that one cannot say that the worm has turned. the worm is still alive. >> reporter: but the political climate is definitely trending red in this state as democrats
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hang their hopes on an unreliable voting block. how do democrats win in arkansas? >> do more of this. if young people vote, these people will win, they've got a good poll today. >> reporter: that's the real challenge, carol, in these tight races here in arkansas, young voters tend to stay home during these off-year elections compared to presidential elections and you can see the former president trying to combat that with his schedule here of his four stops, three of them are at college campuses. carol? >> brianna keilar reporting live from little rock arkansas. the next hour of cnn "newsroom" after a break. ♪
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good morning, i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. we start this hour with another u.s. citizen accused of trying to get to syria to join brutal isis terrorists. this time, it's a 19-year-old boy, 19-year-old young man, i should say, from suburban chicago. his name is mohammed khan and he reportedly wrote a three-page
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letter to his mother and father telling them he wanted to do humanitarian work or join a police force for isis and asking his parents to come with him. but now this young man is in custody. he faces up to 15 years in prison if he's found guilty. federal agents busted kohn at o'hare airport. they say he was on his way to turkey to meet up with an isis contact he met online. the pentagon says these people who gravitate to isis are, of course, worrisome. >> this foreign nighter threat. the idea that people could get radicalized here or over there and they were learn skills, terrorist capabilities and bring them back home. it's not just something secretary hagel or those in the united states government is concerned about, it's something foreign governments all over the world are worried about. particularly in europe so it remains a threat. when we talk about the immediacy of the threatt that isil poses, that's a big component


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