tv CNN Newsroom CNN January 17, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm PST
"newsroom," the world on edge. troops deployed alongside police in france and belgium today guarding potential targets of terrorist attacks. plus terror suspects nabbed in yemen. why investigators believe they may be connected to al qaeda. and clashes over the latest "charlie hebdo" magazine depicting the prophet mohammed. french flags torched, churches burned as police try to get control of protesters. the "newsroom" starts right now. thanks again so much for joining me. i'm fredericka whitfield. new developments of terrorist hotbed in yemen. the president's chief of staff taken at gun point. shiite rebels have just claimed responsibility and we're learning that just weeks before the paris attacks yemeni officials detained two french
men for suspected links to al qaeda. cnn's nick paton walsh is in yemen for us. what's the latest on this chief of staff that was kidnapped? any new demands, anything new about his disposition? how is he? >> well, fredericka you don't get much of a clear picture how much a failing state yemen is, in morning the doctor mubarak had been taken by car by armed men. now, yes, we don't have any update as to his current condition. we do know as you mentioned, that hours after that abduction, a group called a movement here koch nation of political militia and tribes that are predominantly shia here said that they had detained him because they were concerned that the president was going to usher in a constitution that they were not happy with as part of a long negotiated piece in transition process here. the u.s. and uk embassies have
issued immediate call for dr. mubarak's release and condemned the abduction and this really show i think, how increasing my powerful the movement here feel they are. in the past months they have gained in momentum across the country taking a lot of territory in the last few months moving into the capital itself. we see their checkpoints on the main roads here. their opponents are the presidential administration. what's left of the government here and the sunni tribes and other groups here even includes al qaeda as well. al qaeda often attacked them in yemen. yemen in a lengthy civil conflict. it's a mess. it's nothing that's going to be calmed by this escalating move by them today. and it really shows how little executive power is left of government here have. there's an economic collapse coming here soon. >> as it pertains to this chief of staff, was he at home? was he at you know public building? do we know much about the circumstances?
what was the opening that made it so easy for him to be kidnapped? >> we don't have precise details of the location where this happened but obviously something like this you need to observe their movements latelied. and the confidence the houthis feel to act with a government official that level here. the real fear is that the increasing signs of collapse here in yemen just make it easier for gentlemen had difficult cells like al qaeda at the arabian peninsula claim attacks in paris, they refer to as the blessed battle in paris, makes it easier for them to have a foothold here makes it easier for them to pr to bring people into the country and go on to potentially attack the west as well. yemen falling off the spotlight of concern in the past few years. attacks in paris which the attackers say were ordered by al qaeda and yemen and al qaeda and yemen yemen responded by claiming
responsibility. right now it is in a real state of dangerous collapse. >> thank you so much. muslims around the world are keeping up their protests over the images of the prophet mohammed on the cover of the current edition of "charlie hebdo." yesterday angry demonstrators clashed with police in jordan. similar protests broke out in algiers which shows a picture of a tearful prophet mohammed holding a sign that says "je suis charlie." demonstrateors threw stones at police and burned tires. police responded with tear gas. the normal distribution of the "charlie hebdo" weekly is about 60,000. this week's run, now up to 7 million copies. isis in syria and iraq. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. the taliban, remember them? in afghanistan and pakistan. so many groups so many
potential points of terror. i want to bring in cnn global affairs analyst david rode. he is very familiar with what goes on in the mountains of pakistan and afghanistan. he was held hostage there for seven months by the taliban. captured while covering the region for the "new york times." david, good to see you. i remember reporting onset of your very courageous escape at the time. good to finally talk with you now. >> thanks for having me on. >> so let's talk about these groups and how they are now competing against one another, trying to outdo the other. but at the same time sharing i guess, the same philosophy or ideology. are they really working together or is it that they are working separately trying to one up the next? >> they are trying to one up each other. i guess it's a rough analogy but i would compare them to sort of different organized crime groups. you know none of them are friends with the police. none of them are going to want to help the west in any way
shape or form but they are trying to outdo each other nape want to, you know become more famous get more recruits raise more money, and gain more power. so it's very complicated, but they have weaknesses between them. >> and then today in yemen with the chief of staff being kidnapped in broad daylight still the circumstances are a little bit murky but it really does speak to the boldness maybe even the confidence of some of these terror groups that they feel like they could operate in broad daylight. "charlie hebdo" happened in broad daylight as well. is there something that's changing about the profile, in your view about these terror groups? are the means in which they're carrying outer reporter activity? >> what helps them and really watts happening in wrem men is a political strug m. the houthis, the shia group that grabbed the chief of staff is a nationalist group, an ethnic group. they oppose al qaeda. but the chaos in yemen, the
weakness of the government the way the states falling apart, that helps these groups. and one of the big things they've done effectively is frankly take advantage of the chaos that's emerged in the arab spring. you see that mostly in syria where, you know isis has emerged powerfully in the civil war there. when there's a weak government sectarian division between shia and sunni muslims, in iraq it allowed isis to gain followers there. so the more chaotic the situation, the more they tend to thrive. and the more they divide a better one of the main or the of muslim american groups say they are getting more threats, american muslims now in the wake of the paris attacks. it's the highest level since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. and that helps these -- the debates about free speech which is so important in the west. and then what muslims see as defaming the prophet, it's helping fuel this cycle of antagonism that the terrorists sort of want.
>> and i appreciate your distinction of the groups that may be suspected of the kidnapping in yemen versus other terror groups who are known to be carrying out organized terror activity. and i wonder you know what's to be said of how they're also i guess, using the media to recruit. they conduct, you know bold terror attacks and then they get a lot of media coverage around the world and they are able to turn around and use that to their advantage in their recruitment. >> they've really gotten good at that as well. that's the other change in the last couple of years. they seem to be luring back. isis in particular is excellent at social media. they're much better at recruiting than osama bin laden. he would release these long speeches that didn't really inspire people. now you have very produced -- very slickly produced videos online. you have great social media penetration by isis. and that's the difference now. it's the chaos of the arab
spring and the improvement in online recruitment that's really changed things and gotten so many europeans, i think, interested in radicalism. >> cnn global affairs analyst, thanks so much. and welcome. >> thank you. next the editor of a german magazine that ran the latest cover of "charlie hebdo." why she said she had to do it.
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♪ you just call out my name and you know whatever i am ♪ ♪ i'll come running to see you again ♪ >> that is singer james taylor at an event attended by the u.s. secretary of state john kerry in paris during his visit kerry also laid wreaths at the sites of last week's terror attacks. he also met with french president hollande and conveyed the quote, full and heartfelt condolences of all americans. kerry said he was unable to make it to sunday's massive unity march because he was in india, as we reported. the man arrested last week for allegedly plotting to bomb an open fire on the u.s. capitol remains behind bars. yesterday a judge ordered christopher lee cornell held without bond. fbi agents monitoring cornell arrested him wednesday.
cnn's alexander field is following the story from cincinnati. >> reporter: fred christopher cornell will stay in the butler county jail. there's no chance for bond here. the judge made her decision noting arguments from the prosecution that cornell could be a flight risk and poses a significant threat to public safety. based on allegations he was plotting to bomb capitol. christopher cornell was a high school wrestling star. his parents say they once had high hope foser a bright future but he didn't seem to find his path after high school. >> breaks my heart. he had so much potential. >> reporter: recently there was reason to be hopeful again. >> he just became a happier person. >> his attitude changed. he became a lot happier. he said that when he prayed he felt calm and he felt at peace with himself and with god. he became just happy go lucky. >> reporter: he grew out his
beard and adopted islam after reading a lot about it. and his parents saw signs his beliefs had really taken hold. >> he would come in at prayer time say his prayers. >> reporter: at the same time the fbi says he was planning a deadly attack. on wednesday agents raided the family's cincinnati home seizing a book cornell had written in and a computer. online authorities say he told an fbi informant he wanted to commit violent jihad. over several months investigators monitored the plot as it was taking shape. authorities said pipe bombs would be placed in the capitol and people would be shot as they fled the scene. >> no no no. i don't think chris ever wanted to hurt anyone. >> reporter: then why say it and why walk into the gun shop? >> i believe he was coerced. >> reporter: fbi agents arrested cornell wednesday after he bought two semi automatic rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition at the point blank gun shop and
range in cincinnati. >> we had the forewarning he was going to come in but then also they had greased the skids a little bit so things would go smoothly as part of the sale. >> reporter: asked to help authorities in the sting, john dean sold cornell exactly what he asked for. >> i get a lot of thumbs up today. >> how did he strike you? did he know what he was talking about? >> he had done some research but hadn't actually had a lot of hands-on experience with the gun. >> reporter: cornell had never fired a gun according to his parents. they say he never talked to them about isis and he showed no signs of anger or violence. they say he spent much of his time alone. >> did he have friends? >> he had friends up until about a year ago. and i think when he grew his hair out and grew his beard -- >> reporter: on the day of his arrest cornell left a note for his parents saying he was going to live with a friend who would get him some work. their son, now behind bars but his parents believe he will come home one day. >> i feel that it wasn't him, it
wasn't him. >> reporter: the defendant's saw his parents for the first time since his arrest when he walked into the courtroom for his detention hearing. his mother said i love you. his father said don't trust anyone. his attorney also made several requests to the judge. he asked that her client be referred to during court proceedings by his muslim name. she also asked that he be given a prayer mat and clock at the jail so he could pray five times daily and asked that he be taken off of suicide watch. fred? >> alexander field, thank you so much. coming up later mitt romney a little cagey about whether he is considering another presidential run. >> most frequently asked question i get is, what does ann think about all of this? and she believes that people get better with experience. >> what he told members of the rnc last night.
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it was -- it was close. it was -- we were right there. >> feel lucky? >> very lucky. if it had been the other way it would have been us. yes, god is on my shoulder whether people believe it or not. >> police say the situation is contained and the mall is closed. police say two kentucky teens are increasingly brazen and dangerous. they're on the run. police are frantically search for 18-year-old dalton hayes and his 13-year-old girlfriend cheyenne philips. authorities say the couple stole three cars two with guns inside. the teens were spotted in south carolina and believed to be heading to florida. the international criminal court has opened an inquiry into attacks in the palestinian territories including ones that happened during last year's gaza war between israel and hamas militants. the move opens the way for possible war crimes investigation against israel. israel calls the inquery an
outrage and the u.s. says it stropg strongly disagrees with the court's decision. in europe in light of the paris attacks the world is watching closely to see just where a next possible plan could unfold. take a look at this map. it shows some of the countries americans love to visit when they travel abroad. but intelligence sources tell cnn these are nations where terror cells could be ready to strike. in france germany, belgium, and the netherlands. in an exclusive interview cnn put that question to a man who would -- who is now the former cia director leon panetta. >> it sounds like secretary panetta, you are more worried based on what has happened over the last few weeks, particularly in paris. and you feel that you know this could happen in new york this could happen in many many
places in the world. >> i don't -- i don't think there's any question. i think -- i think what we're seeing as i said is a much more aggressive chapter and a much more dangerous chapter in terms of the war on terrorism. and what has happened in paris, what happened in ottawa, what has happened in belgium is something that we need to understand that these terrorists are now engaged in a much more aggressive effort based on their recruiting based on what's happening in syria and iraq and yemen. they are engaged in a much more aggressive effort to conduct violence not only in europe but i think it's a matter of time before they direct it at the united states as well. >> watch the rest of fareed's exclusive interview with leon panetta tomorrow 10:00 a.m. eastern, right here on cnn. europe's terror threat has
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transunion credit report from your phone. and all that information feels pretty good. come to transunion.com and get in the know. hello again, everyone. thanks for joining me. i'm fredericka whitfield. beefed up security across belgium. troops are fanning out across the country. civilians are on high alert after this week's terror raids and arrests across europe. this level of armed response not seen in belgium for decades. senior international correspondent eye van watson is following the story from brussels. >> belgians woke up saturday morning to something they haven't seen in more than 30 years. the deployment of soldiers from
the armed forces in two belgian cities, brussels and antwerp in response to security threats that have emerged not only in the wake of the "charlie hebdo" attack in paris but also after police went after suspected jihadi cell in eastern belgian city verviers. resulted in a gun battle thursday night in which two suspects were killed 1/3 was taken prisoner. now, brussels is not only the capitol of belgium it's also the capital of the european union, a europe that is increasingly on edge amid more and more reports of europeans who have gone to syria to join the islamic state isis and are coming back and posing a threat to the continent. >> translator: we have moved to stage three of the terror alert
threats. we've offering extra protection to ambassadors jewish institutions and other organizations, embassies and so on that could be at threat. we need extra vigilance. we need police re-enforcement under the command of the federal police. >> reporter: this is one of the buildings that has gotten additional military protection. the jewish museum in brussels and with good reason. because last may it was the target of a deadly attack that resulted in the deaths of four people. a french citizen has since been arrested and charged with murder in connection of that attack. before a assault here he is believed to have traveled to syria and to have been linked to the isis militant group. there are thousands of europeans who have made a similar journey, but this little country belgium is believed to have per capita more suspected jihadis than any
other country in western europe. ivan watson cnn, brussels. as dozens are arrested in raids across europe counter terrorism officials are scrambling to determine just how wide spread the threat from sleeper cells may be. and how do sleeper cells work? brian todd has more. >> reporter: a western official with knowledge of the paris investigation tells cnn there is huge concern over the danger from sleeper cells in europe and elsewhere. the worry is over the unknown, when where, and how they will strike. a terror cell disrupted but europe is still bracing for more attacks. a western intelligence source tells cnn there could be several sleeper cells ready to strike in france germany, belgium, and the netherlands. now new concerns about their planning and timing. >> the worry is how and when will they be activated. >> reporter: former jihad "discovery"s and intelligence
officers tell cnn a sleeper cell is usually made up of a few operatives. they're either acting on behalf of a foreign country or a terror group taking instructions from it or are simply inspired by a group and acting on their own as paris gunman amedi coubali did. they are living in a city where they want to strike selecting targets. >> they already are there. and they have that ability to cross borders. they have that ability to live without being on the radar screen. >> reporter: they're highly skilled at blending in appearing like the guy next door. >> they will have regular jobs. you might see them at the strip joint, drinking alcohol. anything to take off the claim or suspicion that they might be extremist muslim terrorists. >> reporter: the 9/11 hijackers did that. reportedly drinking heavily in bars. some even going to strip clubs. sheikh is a former jihadist who almost went to iraq to fight. he broke away went undercover for canadien intelligence and helped bust a terror cell in
toronto. he said many sleeper operatives don't communicate with their handlers by the phone or internet. some are told don't go to mosques, don't give a hint of your religion. >> could be shave your beard, remove your religious garb anything to blend in. that will be determined by the handler or sometimes even the operativing in the cell itself. >> reporter: sleeper operatives stay isolated. experts say, sometimes lie dormant for years. >> they wait for an op for tune moment when the world attention is turned away planning phase is over to strike. >> and the sleeper cell dynamic is always changing. a u.s. counter terrorism official told me these days terror cells do a lot less sleeping. they actively plot hope to avoid suspicion, and they very often direct the terror strike themselves rather than wait for a signal. >> all right. let's bring thein retired lieutenant general mark. for these terror groups do
crackdowns like these stall them or does it kind of expedite inspire them further? >> well, i think it does inspire them further, fredericka. that's exactly what we're facing right now. but to kind of pull together all the commentary by ivan watson and others what we have to continue to do is attack networks. it's extremely challenging to attack individual cells. >> how do you even attack the networks? >> well, you go -- you put plants in. you look at communications. you look at the way they operate in terms of selling weapons or transferring weapons or equipment. that's how probably the cell was broken open. it was one mistake that someone made either an arms dealer or one individual with maybe a little bit too much ego talking about what he was about to do. so you just have to get from an intelligence aspect a little bit of information and that will break the network wide open where you can go after the individual cells. but it's almost impossible to
counter every single cell that's out there. >> it would seem as such. you know let's talk about some of these raids. the raids that just took place in belgium. it is also led to the questioning of a lot of potential suspects. but how much can law enforcement, you know count on these suspects giving them information? i mean they, you know are swearing their allegiance to these network groups that you speak of. is there any p real leverage that law enforcement has to get information out of them? >> well, this is really an extension extension of combat fredericka. the analysis of information is critical. the police in belgium the police in france and in germany, all have very good ways to analyze these situations conduct interrogations. and if you have a live capture, unlike what we saw in paris, if you have individual cell members that you have captured you can piece small bits of information. what's called pocket litter, something found on the individual something that might
be on their sim card in their cellphone, something that might be in their apartment computer. all you need is one little break and it might allow the complete collapse of an entire network. and i think that's what the belgium police are looking for right now. >> and then how critical is timing? you know how patient law enforcement or intelligence has to be to allow suspects to go a certain, you know length before actually carrying out an attack. >> that is the art of all of this fredericka. there was a few instances when i was commanding in europe where we had terrorists operatives within germany and italy. we were watching them very closely. you have to make a hard call where you have enough evidence to prosecute, and we were able to do that before they conducted an attack, which they were about to do. so there's not only the science of interrogation and analysis and intelligence collection and breaking down the cell but there's the art of the timing of when to execute the kind of counter raids and the counter intelligence operations that
you're seeing now. >> so critical. cnn military analyst lieutenant general mark hurdling thank you for your expertise. next the editor of a german magazine that ran the latest cover of the "charlie hebdo" magazine. why she said she had to do it. what makes it an suv is what you can get into it. ♪ [container door closing] what makes it an nx is what you can get out of it. ♪ introducing the first-ever lexus nx turbo and hybrid. once you go beyond utility there's no going back.
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try lifelock risk-free for 60 days and get this document shredder free -- a $29 value -- when you use promo code go. call now. a german satirical magazine republished the first post-massacre cover of "charlie hebdo." they said it was in support of the magazine's right to public is a tirial journalism. in this poll is the magazine's editor and she joins me now from berlin. so the cover of "charlie hebdo" is seen by many muslims as offensive. you're seeing protests taking place from algiers to pakistan. why did you feel it was necessary and important to republish this cover? >> fredericka we have really critical daily newspaper and we
have been publishing cash caricatures of them before. i think we have to prove now, we have to show that fear is not our overtaking our fight for the freedom of the press. so that was the reason why we reprinted the cover. >> do you worry this now makes your publication a potential target? >> you know all papers in germany get really high police protection. i just talked to the policemen protecting our building right now. yes, indeed, we discuss that a lot in our newsroom. has this already changed us. do we have to be more afraid than we have been before. i think we also have to fear -- to fight this fear because now in this crucial time the freedom of press is more important than it ever has been. so we really should keep doing
our jobs and use our weapons, which are words and pictures to fight the fight of terrorism. >> was this a difficult decision for your editorial board to make or was everyone in agreement that this was a smart thing to do? >> there wasn't actually any discussion if you should do that or not, because this was just an act of solidarity. we wanted to show you know to the colleagues from "charlie hebdo," but also to our readers and actually to all journalists who are working in war zones, who are really taking big, big risks to tell the world the truth. so this very decision wasn't any hard to make. i think what will be harder in the future for german newspaper people for all journalists all over the world is do we withstand this fear which is kind of spreading and we saw the
horrible pictures today. more and more people get killed because of this cartoons and satires. so we shall see what the future will bring. but i think we have really to enforce ourselves to keep doing our jobs. >> so would it be difficult as you embark on new assignments, maybe new cartoons or new satirical essays how will you do that without thinking about what happened in paris and "charlie hebdo"? >> i think it's always there. i think the thought will never leave us. i unfortunately do think that we will be more attacks somewhere at other maybe news organizations or other people who do things which islamists don't like. i think we have to face our fears and we have to talk about our fears and re-enforce ourselves why we are journalists and how important journalism is. i think this can be the only answer. there is no other answer.
we can't step back and we can't stop doing our work. >> thank you so much for joining us from berlin. coming up he said he wasn't going the run for president anymore, but mitt romney seems to maybe have a change of heart. what do his fellow republicans think about him possibly making a third run? our political panel weighs in. u can hook up the whole family for $100 bucks. get 4 lines with unlimited talk and text and up to 10 gigabytes of 4g lte data. plus get the brand-new samsung galaxy note 4 for $0 down. in my world, wall isn't a street... return on investment isn't the only return i'm looking forward to. for some every dollar is earned with sweat, sacrifice, courage. which is why usaa is honored to help our members with everything from investing for retirement to saving for college. our commitment to current
mitt romney has run for president twice and lost twice. and now he's sending shockwaves through republican party saying he is considering another run in 2016. last night, in fact at the gop's winter meeting in san diego romney sounded like a candidated a attacked president obama at every turn. >> under president obama the rich have gotten richer income inequality have gotten worse shs and there are more people in poverty in america than ever before. under this president. his policies have not worked. their liberal policies are good every four years for a campaign but they don't get job done.
the only policies that will reach into the hearts of american people and pull people out of poverty and break the cycle of poverty are republican principle, family formation,ed cakes, good jobs and they're going to bring them to the american people and finally end the scourge of poverty in this great land. >> joining me now is chris moody, a senior correspondent for cnn politics.com steven collinson who covers politics for cnn digital and erin pike at the white house. you first, you covered romney's last campaign. he said he was not going to do this again. what do you think may be inspiring him this time to change his tune? >> well, fred i actually covered his last two consecutive campaigns. i can tell you and he has said this that he really really wants to be president. and to that end, we have already heard from his adviser eric who in the "new york times" this week was quoted as saying the
third time was the charm for ronald reagan. well already though fred we are hearing from some conserve conservative thinkers, peggy noonan look mitt romney is not ronald reagan. she's trying to aabuse conservatives of this idea that ronald reagan was a movement really and mitt romney wasn't. let me also point out here that ronald reagan didn't run insecutive cycles. in 1968 and 1976 he didn't get republican nomination. mitt romney was, the republican nominee in 2012. he was already presented to the entire american public in the general election. and also in 1976 when ronald reagan ran that second time there was no social media, there was no internet there was no cable news. so there wasn't this echo chamber that mitt romney has been dealing with. and right now people are talking about bush fatigue and clinton fatigue.
but can you imagine romney fatigue in three consecutive cycles? this may not be something he's considered. >> republicans didn't really i mean warmly embrace him right away. it took some time. and then he became, you know the nominee. so now this time potentially. would he be embraced by the party or is the party saying we want something new and something different? >> well, i think you've already seen a lot of ambivalence by not just gop lawmakers but in the wider conservative universe. erin mentioned the "wall street journal." there was a lacerating op-ed this week in the jurnlt journal which basically said romney shouldn't try it again and there wasn't a rationalefor him to run again. last night's speech was interesting and in some ways quite artful. i think it was the best most plausible case we've had yet as to what a republican campaign in the post-barack obama era might look like. he advocating a hawkish foreign policy. he said it's time to bring
opportunity, economic opportunity to more americans. that's sort of referring to the fact that many of the middle class have been left behind by this recovery. and he even spoke about launching some kind of anti-poverty crusade. the question is you know not is that not a good message for the republican party in 2016 but the question is is mitt romney you know the man that democrats demagogue for writing off 47% of the american population in the last election, the right man to carry that message forward? >> chris, you heard in that sound bite we played earlier where mitt romney was blaming president obama for helping the rich to get richer and the poor getting poorer. he talked about income inequality has gotten worse and more people are in poverty than ever before. this was the candidate who so many people criticized being completely out of touch last go around. so now is this an indicator that he's changing his tune that he's become a little bit more compassionate, if not more understanding of the average
american's plight? >> well, it's quite hard to get into the heart and mind of a politician who has a whole record and record of statements as well, stating kind of the opposite. it's going to be very difficult for him to make this case. as we saw in 2012 it was difficult for him to attack obama on health care because of what he did as the governor of massachusetts. now looking forward to 2016 it's going to be difficult for him to talk about wage inequally and income inequality because of what he said when he said i'm not concerned about the very poor. of course that hidden camera when he talked about the 47%. so as steven said he's not necessarily the best messenger but, you know a bold proclamation last night and we'll see if he can pull it through. i'm skeptical and so are a lot of other people. >> don't go anywhere. erin steven chris, we're going to talk more about the real president, the president right now, and his state of the union address scheduled for tuesday night. let's talk next about the
make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everybody. so let's get immigration reform done this year. >> that was the president at last year's state of the union address. tuesday he will go back to capitol hill to layout his plans for the coming year. back with us now, cnn's chris moody, steven collinson and erin pike. we saw the president position himself for the state of the union. already this week he proposed free community college, better cyber security and even paid sick leave for everybody. so what is expected to be on his agenda tuesday? >> well, fred you're right. what has officials have decided that they need to start putting this out before the state of the union and after so that americans can get more of his proposals in more digestible bites. some other things we're going to hear him talk about lowering rates for federal backed mortgages and expanding high speed internet. we will see him hit the road after the state of the union to
sell more of this. >> chris, what are the points that this president needs to really hit hard? >> well, you got to consider the audience. the room will be filled mostly with republicans for the -- including with the senate for first time in a long time. so although there have always been republicans in the house since 2010 but so they're feeling emboldened after their victory last year in the 2014 election cycle and i think they're going to want to hear how he's going to work with them but he's never necessarily been very good at that. that's not his strong suit. it's going to be fascinating to see if he comes out there and says here's what i want to do, get with the program or don't. or strike some tone and puts forth olive branch to them. >> it will be interesting too, if the president takes this opportunity to say yes, i want to work with you, republican controlled house and senate or if it will underscore his initial response not long ago where we h said i'm going to get things done even if it means
executive order. >> fu if you talk to people in the white house they're quite please with where the president is right now politically. they think they've built on the momentum of the president triggered last year when he was bouncing back from that debacle in the midterm elections. you remember the executive orders. he signed on immigration reform and cuba which sort of helped him tick up in the approval ratings. and they believe that they sort of sustained that over the start of this year despite the fact that the republicans have taken over the senate and you've had a lot of news coverage on the gop presidential race that's just starting off. and momentum is very important for a president in his seventh year facing the prospect of becoming a lame duck because it translates to political irrelevancy. this is an important speech for the president to keep up that momentum and stay in the limelight in washington political arena. >> all right. thanks so much thanks to all of you. cnn's state of the union
coverage starts toouszuesday 7:00 p.m. eastern time. join us for the complete coverage. a look at our top stories right now before we go this hour. a typhoon in the philippines forced pope francis to cut short a huge outdoor mass today despite high winds and drenching rain. thousands of worshippers showed up for the services. that's the same area that was devastated by a super typhoon back in 2013. after the service the pope headed to manila and that is where he will deliver an outdoor mass to more than a million people tomorrow. and a major announcement from the u.s. supreme court. the justices have decided they will hear arguments on whether states have the right to ban same-sex couples from marrying. right now 36 states allow same-sex marriage including the district of columbia the justices will hear arguments in april and issue a ruling in june. a show of support for law enforcement officers in washington, d.c.
it's called the sea of blue march and it was started by wives of d.c. area police officers. they organized the march in response to the protests last year against police officers after the deaths of michael brown and eric gardner. an event spokesperson talked about the risks and pressures officers face each day. >> it's not a matter if it's a matter of when. that's for every law enforcement officer. at some point in their career they're going to be challenged. when you look at the police officers whether it's city town sheriffs, you know the u.s. capitol police standing behind me everybody comes to work every day knowing the risks but they do their job every day, they go home to their families. and for those that don't go home to their families those are the ones we need to remember and honor through rallies like this, also. >> people who attended were urged to wear blue. organizers say they wanted to send a message to police officers that they are
appreciated. thanks so much for being with me this afternoon. i'm fredericka whitfield. we have much more straight ahead in the "newsroom." it all starts right now. hi there, everyone. you're tht yn "newsroom." i'm poppy harlow joining you live from new york in is our live coverage special coverage of extraordinary developments happening around the world as we speak. in france, in belgium, troops are deployed alongside police guarding potential targets of terrorist attacks. this as manhunt for terrorist sweeps across europe is taking place, raids in more than two dozen terror arrests. anti-terrorism police thwarting attacks and storming sleeper cells. we're also getting news of clashes over the latest "charlie hebdo" magazine cover depicting the prophet mohammed.
in niger, they try to gain control of protesters. now this terror crack down has moved beyond europe. two suspected terrorists arrested in yemen with suspected ties to al qaeda. of course we know that one, possibly both of the kouachi brothers responsible for the "charlie hebdo" shooting are thought to have train inside of yemen. we're also now hearing the older brother, said has just been buried in an unmarked grave in eastern france. let's go straight to jim bittermann covering this from when it all happened on january 7th. jim, thank you for being with us. what can you tell us about said kouachi, the older of the