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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  December 25, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm PST

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treating for those with love and compassion, caring for those on society's margins, the sick and the hungry, the poor and the persecuted, the stranger in need of shelter. >> that's it for this program. i'm dana bash. thank you for being with me on this christmas day. the news continues right here on cnn. merry christmas. i'm kate baolduan in for book today. the washington post is reporting that the nationwide operation could begin as soon as early next month. according to the washington post, the department of homeland security is targeting central american immigrants to came to the u.s. last year. advocates say these immigrants were fleeing violence if their home countries. the raids will focus on adults and children who have already
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been ordered to be removed from the u.s. by an immigration judge. let's go over to michelle kosins kosinski. what are you picking up. >> reporter: well, they're saying nothing about it. they have referred us to the department of homeland security and they've put out a statement. they're not giving us any more detail but they're not denying what has been reported by the washington post. these are families who have not been in america very long. they're recent arrivals and they've already been determined by a judge to be ready for deportation. as the administration sees it, they would be deported anyway. here's the statement that homeland security security is putting out. they focus on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. our border is not open to illegal immigration and if individuals come here illegally, do not qualify for asigh lum or
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other relief, they will be sent back consistent with our ideals and our values. so this is getting some heat already from democrats, especially democratic candidates for president saying jesus was an immigrant, he was a refugee. can you imagine if these were your children and your were fleeing violence and poverty. hillary clinton has weighed in, not as strongly as the other two but saying she has concerns about this. from the other side, from republicans like donald trump, listen to the tweet he put out on this subject. wow, because of the pressure put on my me, i.c.e. to launch large scale deportation raids. it's about time. so on this particular issue, i mean you're not going to hear a lot of criticism from republicans. but back when we saw a huge uptick in the number of unaccompanied minors coming to the united states. i was last year around may, springtime when we saw tens of
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thousands of unaccompanied kids, the administration was getting pressure from both sides. democrats saying why aren't we letting more of these people say. they should be called refugees, should be granted asylum. why are are we deporting so many people. on the right they're saying, why are reletting them stick around so long as they await their time for a judge because the system suz so strapped. the administration knows it's going to likely get hit by both sides on this. but there are differences in what the criticism is there obviously. but it's a touchy issue and you know if we're going to see hundreds of families deported very soon, you know the pressure is going to intensify and this time it's coming from democrats. >> and what those impackages, if there would be images of the family being deported, how they would be used in the political debate, you can be sure that will happen. thanks so much.
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>> reporter: right. so trump isn't the only presidential hopeful who is responding. democrat candidate bernie sanders said this in a statement. he wrote, as he spent time with our families this holiday season, we should ask ourselves what we would do if our children faced the danger and violence these children do. we need to take steps to protect children and families seeking refuge near here not cast them out. hillary clinton said said, it is critical that our country provides refuge to those that need it and we should be guided by a spirit of humanity and generosity. what could the impact be of the raids on the presidential race. joining me now to discuss, chief political correspondent dana bash. what donald trump put out in the tweet claiming credit want
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saying the pressure that he put on leading to these large scale raids. i spoke to a top dhs official saying in no way was politics play a role in when an administration making plans for a deportation like this. regardless of donald trump having his facts straight here, is it still smart politics for him to take credit for it? >> of course. absolutely. he's been taking credit for the way that tim grags debate has gone since the day that the launched his campaign back in june. pane in some ways, he's right, much to the chagrin of mainstream republicans who wanted the discussion when it comes to immigration to be far, far, far different. in fact we remember a couple of years ago the republican national committee did an autopsy on the 2012 election and explicitly said that the party needs to change the tone and the
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rhetoric. and donald trump takes credit for making sure that that doesn't happen. but i think that, you know, i think that whom ever you talk to at dhs or people that work there, no question. it's kind of crazy to think that politics has anything to do with it because if it did, barack obama would not be getting the pounding that he's been getting from the left. not just today with bernie sanders, but over the past several years. i know when you worked here, you talked to some, especially hispanic groups and members of congress, they are been furious at president obama even calling him the deporter in chief. >> sanders blasted the plan. hillary clinton is somewhere short of that. dana points out this is a sensitive topic for the administration. this move and the timing coming in early january. does this put hillary clinton in
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a tough spot politically? >> i agree with everything danah said. but for hillary, this is a lose lose situation. if she opposes the situation, she gets attacked for distancing herself from the obama administration. in the end she'll have to oppose it. she's never going to get credit from the right for being tough on immigration. even with this move the obama administration is still getting attacked. if the administration had been able to delay this past the primary, it would have been a much more clear-cut decision for hillary clinton as she strooifs right now to stay to the left as the primaries are over and then move to the center when the general election comes. the leak by the washington post did her no favors but that's great reporting on their end. >> you can be sure they're asking her every hour for more
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information. we're talking about timing in general in the presidential race right now. for the first time as we look ahead in the long time, the iowa caucuses are in february, not in january as we've seen in the past -- i think the last three cycles. who does that help? who does that hurt? >> first of all, it is so true. i remember eight years ago sitting in des moines wondering why i can't find chinese food on christmas. because i had to be there because the caucuses for a week later, not even. who does it help? it's hard to say. one thing was think about to answer this question is kind of the culture of the iowa caucuses in the last couple of election cycles have been that a conservative can dade who was like nowhere in the polls, comes from nowhere and endz up winning, mike huckabee in 2008, rick santorum in 2012. and now with a little bit more time post holidays, unclear if
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that's going to happen. ted cruz is in the catbird seat right now. there are other people like huckabee and santorum that could come from behind. but i think it probably helps the people who are best organized and the best funded, like ted cruz. >> i would agree with that and i would also say i think it helps donald trump because his whole campaign -- >> you still think it helps donald trump? >> absolutely. >> i would argue that donald trump benefits from the less view here the better. he would benefit from the january 2nd caucuses. >> druch is a front runner because of the polls. there's a suspicion that once people start voting that will add more data that will hurt him. so as long as we only have polls to rely on, donald trump can maintain his front runner
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status. it hurts hillary clinton because she wants to wrap this up. she wants to get to the general election. she doesn't want to do this, should i be a left candidate, a central dand date. the longer the primary drags out, the more she's put in that uncomfortable position. >> as the focus of the presidential race has shifted so much to national security, what are you most looking out for in the first few weeks of 2016. >> well, there's really two things. one is whether or not the fight against isis is going to make any prozbresz. we see a big battle going on in iraq and ramadi. we see increasing steps toward asyrian peace process. if that turns around, that will give hillary clinton, as part of the barack obama administration, a lot more confidence that she can run on the national security record she's responsible for. number two thing is the iran deal. it gets implemented next month. that's a big political football. if that goes well, that helps
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hillary clinton who was integral in set up that deal. >> i want to add to the first point that josh made, if the talks about syria and if more importantly the battle for ramadi goes well and continues to other isis-held cities. last week hillary clinton was at a debate and she talked about the fact that the obama administration policy and strategy toward isis is actually doing well and she got hammered by republicans across the board. if the strategy in these battles continue to show progress, be harder to say that about her. >> exactly. >> but they definitely will continue to do that unquestionable. great to see you guys. thank you. >> thank you, merry christmas. new video inside the fight to take ramadi. this is the iraqi military
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setting its sites on another isis strong hold. plus a monster tornado captured on camera as severe weather leaves a path of destruction across parts of the south and the next big weather threat less than 24 hours away over areas that just got hit. do not blame santa. fedex is playing catchup on christmas as customers fume on social media over undelivered gifts. what the shipping company says it plans to do about it. be right back.
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of seizures, confusion, or abnormal behavior. the most common side effects are mild to moderate nausea and vomiting. anti-flu? go antiviral with tamiflu. iraqi forces may be day away from liberating ramadi from
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isis, but this final stage will be the most challenging yet. that's according to local officials who say that the iraqi army has recaptured 70% of the city. this is the view from the ground today as the iraqi troops fight. and then there's this, the view from the air, iraq's ministry of defense releasing the video. joining me is cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr. barbara, officials are saying that ramadi will be cleared by next week. what is the pentagon's estimation? >> the question is completely cleared? really? will the iraqis have a total
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grip on the city? perhaps not. isis is likely to start launching guerrilla attacks, running gun battles in the streets. the ability to clear out every last fighter will be difficult because they're still battling their way through the explosive laden neighborhoods. then it gets to what we've talked about so much. you can begin to control the city but can you hold it over the long term. there are, you know, real questions about whether they can do that, whether people will come back and when people do come back, will then sectarian divides reemerge between the shia forces fighting there right now and perhaps some of the sunni civilians that will try to come back. >> colonel, do you think, to barbara's question, if they clear it, when they clear it, can they hold it and what does it look like then? what do you think the answer is there? >> no. it is a tough decision.
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i think they've made some good decisions here, though. the reality is that they're using the iraqi forces. they're not allowing the shia malitia which would be an t antagonistic in the united states. we're able to bust the positions they've established. they're using engineers more effectively to defuse some of the ieds and the mines and the booby traps there. but anytime you go house to house in a buildup area, it's tough. the official estimates as barbara indicated were much short are than they were coming out of the generals new from the iraqi forces. it could be next week. we don't know. but there is clearly a test for the way ahead. and the way ahead at 260 miles north of there at mosul, if ramadi works, and i think all of us want it to work, then taking mosul we'll have, i suppose, a
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way ahead. we'll know how perhaps we can take isis up there. but that's a much larger focus, a tougher battle than just ramadi. but this is key right now. >> moz sl kind of the crowned jewel. they want to retake, they need to retake. not only purely taking back territory but i don't know, the similar beism, the psychology of taking the fight to isis. but as you've said, this is a much different fight, a harder fight in mosul. it's a different city. how confident are you hearing from the pentagon that iraqi forces can handle that fight in mosul in matter what happens in ramadi? >> there have been predictions for months now about the iraqis moving against muzzosul. it will be slow going.
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>> and general, what role do you think the united states needs to have in these fights? we've heard air support and training as barbara is talking about. do you think when it comes to mosul it needs to go beyond that or is ramadi the first test ? >> well i think the president's decision on special operations forces is key here. they will not only adds vise but may in a limited fashion take out some of the high profile targets that are still perhaps in mosul and the vicinity. so we'll equip them, use precision air strikes, we'll be advising and then we'll help on the fringes. if we can build the confidence up of those forces going into ramadi and then subsequently take fallujah and then we can go north and the iraqis will have the confidence. but mosul, keep main mind, is a very large target. it's going to take a longer time. they'll take the same tactics of
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circumventing it and then squeezing it and then finally going in and take out the jihadists who will no doubt die trying to defend their caliphate. but we can be victorious but we first have to do well in ramadi. >> yeah, this is the first step, the first step to set the stage for what's next. thank you both so much. merry christmas. still ahead for us, the taliban is denying the claim that they're cooperating with russia in the fight against isis. this bizarre denial coming after the kremlin said it's exchanges intelligence on isis with the taliban. >> the russian foreign ministry initially said that moscow was working with the taliban to share intelligence and information as the number of isis fighters grow. however the taliban on friday
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refuted that saying they did not need any help fighting isis. just why would the russians work with an old enemy? well a u.s. commander last month said to congress that isis had gained strength in afghanistan with as many as 3,000 fighters there. and russian president vladimir putin it seems would prefer to work with his enemy's enemy. putin could be working to cut off the pipeline of isis fighters closer to home given to ties with isis and the north surgeoncy. putin's moves are about projecting relevance and strength. a u.s. official in washington told cnn that while they don't believe that possible cooperation between moscow and the taliban would under mine the stability of what they're trying to achieve, they do worry about that kind of joint effort could be potentially destabilizing, allowing the taliban to receive
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international recognition. kate, back to you. coming up next for us, survives of the deadly storms. they're speaking out after an estimated 14 tornado ripped across the southeast. we're going to hear their stories next. and is the weather going to get worse before it gets better? a report for you on that. a nightmare holiday flight, a five-hour flight turned into a 20-hour ordeal. that's coming up. right now, you're not thinking about all the money you saved by booking your flight, rental car, and hotel together. all you're thinking about, is making sure your little animal, enjoys her first trip to the kingdom. expedia, technology connecting you to what matters.
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those fierce winter storms
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are not only wreaking ha vok across the south, a tornado stuchd down in northern california. the twister hit yesterday in sacramento, a resident captured it. look at it -- on cell phone. winds were between 80 and 90 miles an hour. thankfully no injuries were reported but the storm did knock down trees and damage homes. down south recovery beginning this christmas day for victims of wed's deadly tornado. the death toll is at 14 people killed. dozens more injured. this new video shows the ef-3 twister that struck holly springs in mississippi at the exact moment it rolled through town. two people were killed there. nick valencia is following all of the recovery efforts and allison chinchar is here with a look ahead. >> the damage has been devastating. a brutal string of storms across
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the south affecting tennessee, mississippi and georgia. 14 people have lost their lives as a result of the storm and there are still some that are unaccounted for. this christmas scenes of devastation in parts of the south and midwest. heavy rain causing wide spread flooding across north georgia and tornado tearing across several states. >> started hearing a real loud roar and i told her we need to get in the house now. >> it sounded literally like a freight train. it was coming. >> in ash lynn, mississippi, all that's left of this home is the porch. teresa and her husband were inside when they saw the tornado coming. they ran and hid in this truck. >> nothing left of my house. not one thing. nothing but all that debris. >> this building may have saved tony goodwin's life when a tornado hit perry county, tennessee. >> i had my grandson under my
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arm and everybody got in except for any sister-in-law and i'm yelling at her, come on, you know. and she got in and as soon as she did, i shut the door. >> the tornado knocked his house off its foundation but they survived by taking cover in the storm shelter. >> you'll never know how important it is to seek shelter immediately however you can. it's a lifesaver. >> two of those killed in tennessee were husband and wife ann an antonio. according to the storm prediction center, at least 14 tornado hit mississippi on wednesday, but a single twister did most of the damage. >> this is a miracle. there's no way that three individuals were in this house at this time and they were able to walk away. >> communities coming together thankful to be alive. >> i went and bought toys for kids because i also have a little girl and for them not to have christmas and toys and stuff, it's not a holiday.
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>> we must remember the victims, the youngest so far reported killed in those storms, 7 years old. a 7-year-old boy in mississippi. >> going to be horrible for them as they pick up the pieces. let's get over to allison chinchar now and looki ining ah where is the weather moving next? >> it's over the same areas that we've already seen a lot of the damage. here's a look at the current radar. you can see rain stretching from louisiana all the way up to pennsylvania coming over the top of the same areas in tennessee, alabama and mississippi. one of the key fak to for the fuel is the heat. take a look, 79 in charleston, 80 degrees right new in virginia beach, 61 in boston. that makes boston warmer than los angeles.
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incredible unseasonal heat. 66 in new york today versus 58 for the high temperature in los angeles. you don't think about that and it doesn't happen too often on christmas day. it's the warm air pushing up and fueling with a lot of the moisture coming out of the gulf. all of the red dots are capable of tying or breaking record highs. it's clashing with the cold air coming down from canada, that's fueling the strong storms that we're having. the problem today is they're trailing over the same spots that they've already been. we have tons of flooding. that's going to be the biggest threat for today. all of the flooding, all of the green shaded areas you see here are under flood warnings, flood watches or nood advisories. the red areas are flash flood warnings. water completely covering roadways, homes with water pouring into them. this is where the big concern is going to be today. however, with that said, going into the weekend, we've got our
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next big round of severe weather op on saturday the threat begins in texas, louisiana and arkansas and then by sunday pushes right over the same spots that it already was in a few days ago. out behind the severe weather we're talking blizzard watches. again we've got a lot of weather that unfortunately could make cleanup very difficult for those folks in mississippi, alabama and tennessee. >> it's impossible to keep it all straight, it's like whipl h whiplash. outraged passengers on a flight to miami to los angeles stuck in transit for 20 hours. what went wrong here? you're going to hear from them next. plus, santa was on his own this year, it seems, after thousands of packages sent via fedex didn't make their christmas deadlines. back after a quick break. thousands of people came out today to run the race for retirement.
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a holiday travel nightmare is finally over. passengers and crew spent hours stuck on a plane right before christmas. the flight from miami to los angeles due to take five hours took some very strange twists along the way. american airlines said the flight had a mechanical problem, had to land in lubbock, texas. passengers got off on the problem plane and hopped on another plane. the replacement plane had to fly to dallas for fuel. finally nearly 20 hours later the 186 passengers finally landed at l.a.x. >> it was a nightmare that you can't believe. we're happy we're here, it's
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christmas, you know, and thank god we're here. >> thank god we're here. i'm sure they had a few other things to say as well? >> oh yeah. this is the time of year that everyone hates to travel. you have to do it. you trade the delay. these are passengers who got on the flight in miami expecting a five-hour flight. midair there is a mechanical issue, it's forced to land in lubbock, texas. they don't continue on their way. they have to move to another plane, go to dallas to pick up fuel and then fly to los angeles. they left wednesday in the morning. they don't land until christmas eve at 2:15 in the morning. if you are keeping tabs on this, that is a 20-hour flight. these passengers had plenty to say when they got off the flight. >> well, looks like we have a fire, dude. the cabin is fuel of smoke. and then he reacted, called the
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pilot and then all of the sudden we started going down. i went back to my seat, was gagging a little bit on the smoke. it was crazy. odyssey from you know where. >> i just heard a noise and i didn't know what the noise was. somebody said they smelled smoke. i didn't. that was the scariest part. i was completely relieved. >> we're 15 hours late and there was no sort of information from the flight crew. and it just, it was a bad situation all the way around. >> not that any of these passengers care, but the original flight, that plane, it's still stuck in lubbock. american airlines has reached out to the passengers to see if they can make amends. >> maybe it makes it a little better than the original flight is still stuck there. there was a real mechanical issue. at least it's merry christmas and they're there. so some last minute christmas shoppers are fed up
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with fedex right now. the company under fire from customers who expected to have their passengers in time for christmas morning. the company blames heavier than planned last-minute shipment volumes and severe weather outbreaks in some areas of the u.s. the statement also advices that customers can determine if their shipment is scheduled for christmas day delivery or available for pickup at a fedex express station top go to fedex.com or all 1-800-go fedex. you'll need your tracking number. >> irate customers taking to social media, furious fedex didn't deliver their packages in tame for christmas. shipping snafus are nothing in u but usually it's u.p.s. getting all of the eat. this year it's fedex's turn. blaming heavier than planned last-minute shipping volumance
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severe weather outbreaks in some areas of the u.s. fedex has an major hub in memphis, tennessee. but today some of its employees have volunteered to deliver the delayed packages and that priority is being given to residential customers. u.p.s. is having a better holiday, i's not immune to delays. u.p.s. getting his fair share of angry tweets. a u.p.s. spokesman said there may be some individuals who had their packages delayed but overall most people got the packages they were promised. two years ago amazon overwhelmed u.p.s. with hundreds of trailers of last-minute christmas orders that didn't make it on time. it's part of the reason that amazon may be looking around for another carrier. the pressure comes at a time when shopping more online. e commerce sales from just after thanksgiving to just before
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christmas are up 12 pores to compared a year ago. delivery companies hire extra workers to handle the extra volume but a lot of that is on retailers giving an accurate forecast to shippers of what is expected for the holiday season. could be a lesson to a lot of procrastinators out there. shop earlier next year so your packages have a better chance of getting where they need to be on time. back to you. >> there's your lesson. don't procrastinate. coming up next some of cnn's top foreign correspondents gathered to share their experience covering the ongoing refugee crisis and what we can expect in the year ahead. stay with us. with hydrogenated. ...but real joyful moments are shared over the real cream in reddi-wip. ♪ reddi-wip. (flourish spray noise) share the joy.
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a tragic record has just been broken as war and terror grip the middle east. the number of refugees entering europe by land and sea has just passed the one million mark. the pope addressing the crisis in his christmas message. >> translator: all those, both individuals and states who generally work to provide assistance and welcome to the numerous migrants and refugees, helping them to build a dignified future for themselves and for their dear ones and to be integrated into the societies which receive them. . >> that is the pope in his own words. now john allen has more on the pope's speech, his message to the faithful around the world. >> pope gran sis today delivered the traditional message directed
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to the city, meaning rome and also to the world. now popes traditionally use this platform to issue a 360-degree review of the global situation and that's very much what pope francis did. the top note was a strong plea for peace. the pontiff mentioned the israeli palestinian conflict, the ar going on in syria, talked about libya, the ukraine, talked about a break through for the peace talks in colombia. and these are all of course situations in which the pontiff has been involved. as europe grips with the refugee crisis, the pope issued a strong note of solidarity were calling for compassion for people fleeing violence and conflict and calling for host nations to
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be generous in receiving and integrating them. the pope also, in the context of a year in which terrorism has been one of the major themes around the world, denounced what he called brutal acts of terror, including the november attacks in paris. he ticked off other social ills that occupy his heart, child soldiers, unemployment, trafficking of human persons. and in the context of a jubilee of mercy that she's declared for 2016, he issued a strong plea for prisoners. visiting prisoners has been a hallmark of his papacy. what you saw today was a pontiff who aspires to be a peace pope, using the visibility afforded by one of the holiest days on the christian calendar to raise his voice around the world in defense of peace and human dignity. and that was very much the story
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from homme here on christmas day 2015. >> thank you so much. taking a closer look at the plight of the refugees around the world, our correspondents have spent the past year covering this story. and in the reporter round table they discussed what they witnessed on the ground. >> did you ever think you'd see just these mass of people marching on to europe like that? i don't think i would have imagined a scene like that. >> and when they get to greece and the boats, and they keep oncoming and coming. >> there's this logic out there, why don't we just stay in lebanon or turkey. they're safe. the question is would you? would you? >> no. you need a life. you need expectations. >> you need to be able to build
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a life and a future for your children. you're not going to have a future sitting in a refugee camp or in a country where you can't get a job or pursue your education. and sadly the reality is they're not going to go home. the war in syria isn't going to end anytime soon. even if it were to end tomorrow, the country -- >> this is awful consequences for the decades to come. >> this isn't necessarily the poorest of the poor that are making this journey. they can't afford it. >> these were like -- a lot of these folks were middle class people coming from syria. >> syria's poorest of the poor are either still in syria because they can't afford to leave or they're the ones who are stuck in the refugee camps. it's not a cheap journal. >> it's universal. the sheer volume of people doing it. >> there's no way, the way that refugee trail unfolded was good
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for any of the refugees and migrants or any of the european states. it weakens the european institutions and the boundaries and borders. >> and the idea of, you know, europe or america, it's meant to be a democracy. meant to uphold all of these ideals and values and to be treated like trash. that's how they felt that they felt like they were being treated like trash. >> that's heart breaking. >> it's depend dent on the count friday and the border. that's not entirely true. there were people who welcomed them. but it also created more of a pull factor. and was that better? >> then we had that conversation in the uk where the conservatives said if you stop saving them, they'll stop coming. then you have to debate what that does to your humanity. the you really watch thousands upon thousands of people washing up on shores? >> why does it have to get that bad for people to react?
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why does it take that image on the beach for people to begin to react? >> that's an important question. thank you guys. coming up next for us, a new report says the u.s. department of homeland security is planning raids. what the obama administration is saying about it and how it's new fodder for the 2016 presidential race. plus this from hillary clinton's benghazi testimony to donald trump's one liner bs and attacks. we're counting down the top ten moments in politics of the year. watching football together is great... but i think women would agree... huddling with their man after the game is nice too. the thing is, about half of men over 40
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in less than 40 days now the all important iowa caucuses are upon us. for many candidates it's been a wild ride just to get this far.
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chief political correspondent dana bash is rounding out the top ten candidate trail moments for us. ♪ >> in politics 2015 was the year of one liners, insults, interruptions and controversy. it was the escalator ride that changed the presidential race. donald trump kicked his campaign off. >> when mexico sends itsds people, they're not sending their best. they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, their rapists and some i guess are good people. >> that caused a huge backlash but rocketed trump to the top of the gop field. and the provocative statements continued on the campaign trail. in an early event, trump spoked
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another criticism saying this about john mccain. >> he's a war hero because he was captured. u like people that weren't captured. >> many thought those remarks would mean trump's campaign was finished. but it turns out they were the first of so called many blunders that failed to knock him from his perch at the top of the polls. on the democrat side, questions about the e-mail and ben gan -- were you alone? >> i was alone, yes. >> the whole night? >> well, yes, the whole night. >> i don't know why that's funny. did you have any in-person briefings? i don't find it funny at all. >> i'm sorry. a little note of levity at 7:15. >> and after months of fielding questions about her e-mails,
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clinton got an unexpected assist from her opponent senator bernie sanders. >> the american people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails. >> thank you. me too. >> that moment may have hurt sanders' campaign but it was great material for "saturday night live". >> the american people are sick and tired about hearing about your damn e-mails. >> the black lives matter movement was an important campaign story line shaping the national conversation and shutting down a sanders' campaign event in seattle. the most defining moment on the democratic side may be one that never happened. after months of speculation, vice president joe biden decided not to run for president, solidifying clinton's spot as the suspected democratic nominee. >> while i will not be a
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candidate. i will not be silent. i plan to speak out clearly and forcefully. >> in the republican race, friends turned rivals on display as jeb bush, looking to finally find some campaign mojo, took on marco rubio. >> when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term and you should be showing up to work. the senate, what is it like the french workweek. >> someone a convinced you that attacking me is going to help you. >> bush is ending the year with poll numbers stuck in the single digits. while some gop candidates shied away from taking on trump, carly fiorina called her out during the debate for controversial comments he made about her face. >> i think women all over the country heard very clearly what mr. trump said. >> from fiorina to trump to neurosurgeon ben carson, 2015 was the year of the outsider con dade.
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carson briefly topped the political polls this fall but his inspiring personal narrative of a violent past and spiritual redemption was called into question. >> i had a large camping knife and i tried to stab him in the abdomen with it. fortunately he had a large metal belt buckle. >> making great campaign material for donald trump. >> the belt moves this way. it moves this way. >> and the year ends back at the beginning with the donald trump shocker. after terror attacks in paris and san bernardino, trump gave this policy prescription. >> donald j. trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states. >> once again those controversial comments did nothing to stop trump's ride. but the real test for trump is going to be on february 1st in 2016 when voters first go to the
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polls. it is the top of the hour. i'm kate bolduan in for brooke today. u.s. preparing a deportation raid. the nationwide operation could begin as soon as next month. the department of homeland security is targeting central american immigrants to came to the u.s. last year. advocates say that these immigrants were fleeing violence in their home country. the raids will focus on adults and children who already have been ordered to be removed from the country by an immigration judge. let's get over to michelle kusinski who is traveling with the president in hawaii. >> reporter: the white house is silent on this today. the story was leaked out in the
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washington post. but because they're facing questions about it now, they refer us to the department of homeland security. they put out a statement saying this -- immigration and customs enforcement focus on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. our border is not open to illegal immigration and if individuals come here illegally, don't qualify for asylum or other relief and have final orders of removal, they will be sent back consistent with our ideals and our values. this is consistent with how the administration has handled this. but it's confusing. you have different instances. about a year ago, a little over a year ago when tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors were crossing the border. and that puts the administration in a tough spot. these are young children traveling without a parent. but the administration took heat from the right and the left on this. democrats saying why are we deporting many of these kids,
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look where they're coming from, they don't have anybody. maybe they have a relative in the u.s. why don't we let them stay. but heat in the right saying the administration hasn't been deporting them fast enough. but now we're talking about families. these are not individual children. these are people who have come recently too. and you could say, what about the administration's goal that they've publicized a lot that they want to deport felons, not families. they want to focus on deporting people who have committed crimes here. we asked dhs about that, deporting families now, doesn't that go against the grain of what they've been respeet peting so many times in the past? that was really more for people who have been in this country for a while. they want to focus the resources on people who pose a threat but for people who come more recently, there are likely
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hundreds of them, they're fair game for deportation. they've gotten their day before a judge and they were ruled by that judge to not be granted asylum, to not be facing a threat at home. so you know, from the administration standpoint they would be deported anyway. >> michelle, you said that the white house is silent on this referring you to dhs. the fact that this is quickly already become fodder for the presidential race, candidate already weigh in, do you expect that will change? do you expect we'll be hearing from the white house on this? >> reporter: i think eventually. they're going to face questions on this from the press. keep in mind, as this leaked out now, it's something that's in the planning stages. it's not surprising because this is really, it's been the stance at the administration. as i explained. so i think what's tough now is that it comes out in this way, it kind of makes it look like something that's been kept under
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the radar. i think it can be framed that way although there are republicans out there who are lauding, listen to this trump from donald trump, wow because of the pressure put on by me i.c.e. to launch large scale deportation raids. it's about time. now the heat over immigration, you know, over this plan is coming from the democrats. all of the candidates have weighed in. they're critical. hillary clinton less so because she's supportive of the administration's stance in the past. lit be interesting to see how it plays out as the candidates and critics and others delve more into what they think the policy should be. nobody likes to hear, you know, families hearing about it at christmas timing with being removed but facing violence and poverty back home. but people don't want to hear about people coming into this county illegally either. there has to be a line drawn
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somewhere. and wherever the administration draws that, the administration knows it's going to take criticism and strong criticism from one side or the other. and right now it's coming from democrats. >> and we will see how and if the white house does respond and offer some more information about it. as you said, some of this might be in the manner of how it came out, the fact that it leaked and is coming out right around this time, right in the thick of the political season. so donald trump, as many shell was telling us how donald trump was weighing in, he's not the only presidential hopeful responding and weighing in. bernie sanders said this, as we spend time with our families this holiday season, we who are parents should ask ourselves what we would do if our children faced the danger and violence these children do. how far would we go to protect them. we need to take steps to protect children and families seeking refuge here, not cast them out. and a spokeswoman woman for
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hillary clinton's came pain said it's critical that that our country provides ref foouge to e that need it. on this conversation, joining me to discuss, cnn chief political correspondent dana bash and a christianitying editor at the atlantic. thanks for coming in. peter, we now have laid out where the democrats stand, where donald trump is weighing in and taking credit for it as well. it sounds like when you hear the response, at least right now from hillary clinton's campaign that he's trying to walk a fine line on this immigration, on this particular issue on deportations. we see bernie sanders put out a statement that was very forceful. do you think that this could force hillary clinton to take a firmer, stronger position in. >> the bigger an issue this becomes, the more she will have to move to the left on this, to
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be against the deportations. in the campaign, that's clearly where it is. hillary clinton will have to mobilize latino voters and other progressive voters who don't like the deportation. on the other hand she can't seem that she wants completely open borders. that would be unpopular among the public as a whole. and it's tricky for her to break from barack obama. >> all you need to see is the response that the president gets, called the deporter in chief on the left and accused of not doing enough on the right. dana, they did their autopsy and declared that the party needs to change their tone on the immigration. so donald trump, he couldn't be taking credit maybe for this plan as he said in this tweet we're talking now.
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but can he talk credit very squarely and honestly for the direction that the conversation has moved on immigration in the republican primary? >> he can. he can take a lot of the credit for it within the republican primary narrative, discussion and debates. before he gave his announcement speech back in mid june, he -- the discussion was on other issues. and that was not an accident. it was because, first of all, the people who had announced largely had talked about other issues. but even the day before you had the man who was the front runner at the time, jeb bush doing exactly what the republican national committee wanted the party to do, which is to be more -- to be softer in the rhetoric and for him in particular, he talked about it being an act of love that these illegal or undocumented immigrants were engaging in to come to this country. absolutely that was a big part of the change in tone.
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and at least at the beginning of his campaign a big reason why donald trump kind of really captured the interest of many republican primary voters is because they were upset about the fact that the party and then mainstream candidates weren't talking about issues like illegal immigration that they wanted to hear from. >> and that came as much to as a surprise to many of the candidates that were announced and in the race already. let's look ahead to the early calendar in 2016 and strategy. most of the republicans in the field not named trump, they're focusing as they do, you pick a strategy, it's either through iowa or new hampshire. marco rubio maybe not so much. at least not as clear what his strategy is. we're less than 40 day to go. do you expect in the coming weeks that you're going the hear more from marco rubio is it ie
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ra what or new hampshire? >> my sense is talking to people in his campaign is he's going to try not to -- at least until now, to not talk so much about strategy and talk more about who he is and what he's doing and why hey wants to do it. and that benefits him. look, the more the campaigns talk about their strategy, what they need to win and what they're not focusing on, the more that puts them in a box when it comes to expectations. it's not just about us talking about it, it's about donors and kind of the expectations even for republican primary voters who are really engaged on watching those things and the process. so i don't think so. i do get the sense that the rubio campaign is not unhappy about reports that they're really not organized in iowa because they think that does benefit them when it comes to expectations if he does better. and that south carolina, you
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mentioned the first three big states. south carolina is fascinating primary state for republicans to meet because yes, you have a lot of evangelicals and a lot of military voters. but if you look at the election cycles, it hasn't gone to way of iowa, meaning the super conservative candidate has not necessarily won. it's been the establishment figure. and marco rubio is very much trying to play in that lane at this point, especially now since jeb bush is doing so poorly. he's been in south carolina more than any other candidate and that's not an accident. >> one thing that's happened in the primary is the impact of external events have had on the direction of the conversation, the attacks in paris and the attacks in san bernardino has shifted the conversation so strongly to national security. what outside events, those that we know of, what outside events are you looking to see -- you think will have the biggest impact on the conversation going
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forward? >> what happens with the economy. the economy has been doing pretty well. the ro reasons that the republicans have focussed on the national security. and the democrats are not as vulnerable on the economy. but there are a lot of people suggesting that the economy may take a dip. this is going to be a very, very big deal for hillary clinton's chances and the republicans chances. r if we start to see a slowdown, i think you could start to see the republicans shift back to the economy if they see a vulnerability on that. >> thank you. comes up next, new video inside the fight to take ramadi. isis positions getting hit from the sky this as the iraqi military sets it sites on another strong hold. plus severe weather leaves a path of destruction across parts of the south. the next weather threat is
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unfortunately less than 48 hours away over the same area that was just hit. got a live report coming for you. at planters we know how to throw a remarkable holiday party. just serve classy snacks and be a gracious host, no matter who shows up.
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we're just getting word that a 6.3 magnitude earthquake has just hit a border town in afghanistan. the tremors were felt as far as india and pakistan. we'll bring the reports to you as we get them. right now iraqi forces say they may be days away from gaining full control of the key city of ramadi. but this final stage is most challenging yet. local officials say that the iraqi army has now captured 70%
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of the city. this is the view from the ground today as iraqi troops fight their way through neighborhoods rigged with explosives. and then there's this, the view from the air. iraqcy's ministry of defense released this video. joining me now cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr and mark kem met. thank you both for coming in. so barbara, we've been talking throughout the day and i want to get you vie on this. what's the pen gone's view about where the fight stands to retake ramadi and how well the iraqis are doing. of course a lot of the focus has been on the u.s. troops training the iraqis. >> i think for now were kate, they feel that the iraqis are doing pretty well. they've been working at it for week to get closer to ramadi, fighting their way through the outer neighborhoods, now
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approaching the city center, working their way past, as we've talked about, all of ieds, bombs, tunnels, houses wired to blow up. very tough slow dangerous work. but taking ramadi back, you know, it depends whether or not they will be able to hold it over the long term, will be able to deal with any isis insurgency in the city if you will and whether or not the sunni fighters who come in to hold it will be able to ensure that a new round of sectarian violence between shia and sunni does not break out in ramadi. that may be the real key to long term success. >> barbara is talking about the key to long term success there. what will the factors be in whether the iraqis be able to hold that city, general? >> well, i think barbara first of all, laid out what it's going to take to clear it. and then to some extent hold it. but the real issue is the build
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phase. you can hold it and build it. is the iraqi government going to come in and put in proper governan governance, turn the lights back on, repair the houses, repair the streets, get the schools back open. that's going to be the real key. you can put 1,000 troops on there on every block. but unless people feel secure about coming back and have a reason to come back, they won't. >> and the focus now going forward as the iraqi prime minister has said, general, their next target is mosul, a very different fight, a tougher fight by all accounts. from you view, what should the u.s. role be in that fight? so far we're talking about air support and training, yes. when it comes to mosul, do you believe it needs to go beyond that in. >> i really don't. you seem to have a recipe for success that's working now in terms of the relationship between the coalition forces and the iraqi forces. let the iraqi forces lead, let
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them do the tough front of the spear fighting and the coalition stands back and provides support. it's a recipe that's been successful in ramadi. i remain concerned that the number of troops it's going to take to get inside of mosul will be far greater and it will be interesting to see if there are enough well-trained troops to take on a city five times the city of ramadi and if isis is going to die in place as they have in ramadi as well. >> barbara, is there an estimate from the pentagon on how many iraqi troops they believe are trained and ready to go? >> well, i would say, you know, the official estimate is in the tens of thousands. but as general kim mitt was saying, how many are capable, how many units have capable strong standards. this has been a problem in the iraqi military over the last couple of years.
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the commanders have not always been of the most professional caliber, that is a present oent assessment they've made. those are all of the pieces you're going to have to have to place if you're thinking about going to mosul. >> general, let's say they succeed in taking back ramadi and mosul. at that point can iraq and the united states declare that isis is on the run? >> not by any stretch of the imagination. they may be pushed back inside of iraq. in fact the iraqi security forces could push them all the way back to the borders of iraq. but to suggest that isis is on the run. let's be clear. they may have lost some land mass but they still dominate in the social media, they're still bringing thousands and thousands of foreign fighters in and frankly they're expanding their operations outside of iraq and syria to places such as egypt, libya, beirut, paris and san
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bernardino. this will be a tactical success after most. but we've got quite a few years before we can say we've got isis on the run. >> great to see you. thank you so much. barbara, thank you as always. so isis's brutality does not discriminate. muslims and nonmuslims are targets of the terror group. this morning pope francis thanked all of the countries that have welcomed refugees in. so what does this holy day mean for those forced to run for their lives and leave everything behind? cnn's sara sidner met one of those families from iraq now in turkey celebrating christmas far from home. an amazing story. >> it's touching story but also a sad story. there are hundreds of thousands of refugees, many of them christians and celebrating christmas so far from home. in one particular place just outside of istanbul, turkey,
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there are a group of christians who came together from iraq to remember the birth of christ and to think about how one day they may be able to go home. a christmas celebration in a land that is not their own. they fled for their lives fearing death but nothing could kill their faith. nearly 2,000 miles from mosul, iraq where isis murderers have tormented their people, including their muslim neighbors, these christian refugees found a place to celebrate the birth of their lord and savior. my last christmas was in my house, all family together an we hope to be reunited just one more, she says. but for now they're refugees in istanbul, turkey, praying and singing, a family torn apart. ♪
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they sing christmas carols and grieve for their losses but pray for their homeland hoping one day to return to iraq as proud christians with no fear of reprisals simply because of their faith. they come from one of the longest standing christmas communities in the world but even their priest had to fear his church there. what gives us patience and hope is the words from the holy book, the bible. the lord said you will face persecution, but take courage, i conquered the world. iraq's christian population used to be 1.5 million a decade ago. now only about half remain. syria is even worse. of the 1.1 million syrian christians who once lived in the country, about 600,000 have fled. ♪ in the middle east, they call themselves by many names, but
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they are all christians. >> it's sad to be far away from our country and sad to be far away from our neighbors, from our friends and families. it's not easy. but any how, something is better than nothing. and we have a place here, we're gathered in care. i hope everything could be okay. >> on this day these christians humbly offer their thanks, grateful that they have survived to celebrate one of the most joyous days on the christian calendar. and for those refugees in turkey, they cannot get resident status there. they're waiting to figure out where they will go. but they know they cannot go home for a long long time. >> when you say can't go home for a long long time, it also goes into fears as all of these christians are fleeing for their lives. obviously taking their faith with them. and this fear that christianity is dying in the middle east. >> there is a fear. you will hear that from the
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refugees and from people looking from the outside in. are we seriously seeing that christians are going to be in droves leaving the very place where christianity was born, where it began? but the refugees can't stomach that idea and they say to you, we don't think it will die. we will be back. it's a question of when. >> that is a huge question that no one can answer at to point. still ahead for us, what should have been a five-hour flight this christmas turned into a 20-hour nightmare for more than 100 passengers. the airline now apologizing. that story is next. plus a rare tornado spotted in california of all places as deadly storms tear through the southeast and now we're hearing of more bad weather on the way. e we'll have an update for you.
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the death toll from this week's southern storms have climbed now to 14 people killed after tornado ripped through neighborhoods in arkansas, tennessee and mississippi. this cell phone video we're going to show you captured a twister as it spun across one of the hardest hit areas. look how massive it is. nick valencia has been tracking the recovery efforts for the storm victims and there are so many victims looking to recover. nick? >> the southern portion of the united states has been hit with a brutal string of storms affecting at least three states and leaving more than a dozen killed. there are still some who are unaccounted for.
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this christmas scenes of devastation in parts of the south and midwest. heavy rain causing wide spread flooding across north georgia and tornado tearing across several states. >> started hearing a real loud roar and i told her we needed to get in the house now. >> it sounded literally like a freight train sounding of the horn. it was coming. >> all that's left of teresa mckay's home is the porch. she and her husband were inside when they causa ka saw the torn coming. they ran and hid in this truck. >> nothing left of my house. >> this build may have saved tony good win's house with a tornado hit perry county, tennessee. >> i had my grandson in my arm, under my arm, and everybody got in, except for my sister-in-law and i'm yelling at her, come on, you know. and she got in and as soon as she did i shut the door in the
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tornado knocked his house off its foundation but he and six others survived by taking cover in the storm shelter. >> you'll never know how important it is to seek shelter immediately however you can. >> two of those killed in tennessee were husband and wife, and and antonio. according to the storm prediction center, 14 tornado hit mississippi on wednesday but a single twister did most of the damage. >> this is a miracle. there's no way that -- three individuals were in this house at the time and they were able to walk away. >> communities coming together thankful to be alive. >> i went and bought toys for kids because i also have a little girl. and for them not to have christmas and toys and stuff, it's not a holiday. >> and of course it is important to remember the victims. among the youngest lives lost, a 7-year-old boy in mississippi. the storm prediction center says that the threat for violent
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weather has decreased but the threat is not over yet. >> nick, thank you so much. let's talk about the next big weather hit. it looks to be less than 24 hours away. let's get an update from allison chinchar. what do things look like right now? >> the big focus is over the same areas that have been seeing the severe weather the last several days. but the threat is a little different. now it's a flood threat. we're getting word that the governor of alabama has declared a state of emergency because of how bad the flooding is. and again, while we can't confirm that from him just yet, we do know, we've seen the images and the videos coming out of this area. there are homes with water just flowing into them through the front doors and out the back. a lot of rain coming down in these areas which is why we have the flood warnings in effect. the reason we've been having all of this weird weather, whether
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it's the tornados or the strong winds, the flooding, it's this pattern that we've set up. we have the warm humid air coming up from the gulf and the colder air out behind the gulf. and when you get the clash of the two, it causes the severe weather. look at these red dots. these are areas where we could tie or break the record highs. new york warmer today than los angeles. not really what you think of for christmas day. we're talking by ten degrees. you can see the radar right now. 77 in jackson. it's 81 degrees in virginia beach right now. incredible warmth. several of areas not only breaking daily records but it's the warmest ever in the month of december. you can see the rain. it's trailing over the same spot over and over again. once we head into the weekend we experience a new threat. we're going to start to see more severe weather like we saw several days ago coming back to
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the exact same areas that already saw it. on the backside we're talking blizzard conditions. it's a double whammy this weekend, some areas getting tornado and damaging wind, others with feet of snow. >> we did get the release from the governor of alabama, they've issued a state of emergency for the entire state due to flooding, excessive rain. and they say flooding is a major concern for them right now. thanks so much, alison. still ahead for us, a holiday flight turned into a 20-hour odyssey for some travelers. you're going to hear why they had to land twice before they arrived and they were just trying to fly to los angeles. also ahead, more than three decades after they were held hostage in iran for 444 days, the american hostages could now get a very big payout. a what this means for this so long after that horrific ordeal.
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holiday travel nightmare is finally over. passengers and crew spent hours stuck on a plane right before christmas. and we're talking hours. flight from miami to los angeles due to take five hours took some very strange twists along the way. finally nearly 20 hours later, the 186 passengers finally landed at l.a.x. >> it was nightmare that you can't believe. we're just happy, we're here, it's christmas, you know, and thank god we're here. >> thank god we're here. how did they get there. let's go to los angeles. this is like planes, trains, automobiles but only the plane
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part. >> a whole lot of ba humbug. they took off wednesday morning, 9:45 from miami. it was supposed to be a five-hour flight heading into los angeles. but midair they had a plaque call issue. they had to make a landing and diverted to luck bock texas. they had to fly to dallas to pick up fuel and then they went to los angeles. they landed on christmas eve at 2:15 in the morning. that is a 20-hour flight, four times longer than it was supposed to take. how do they feel? take a listen. >> well, looks like we have a fire. the cabin is full of smoke. then he reacted and called the pilot. then we started going down. i went back to my seat, was gagging a little bit on the smoke. it was an odyssey from you know
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where. >> i just heard a noise. i didn't know what the noise was. somebody said they smelled smoke, i didn't. but that was the scariest part. once we landed, i was completely relieved. >> we're 15 hours late and there was no sort of information from the flight crew and it's just, it was a bad situation all the way around. >> just not that any of these passengers care, they are, you know, way into the eggnog now. but the flight they had to land in lubbock in, that flight is still there. american airlines has reached out to the passengers trying to make amends with them. >> they can definitely try. thank you so much. great to see you. coming up next, a $4 million payout is in the works for each of the americans taken hostage in iran back in 1979. who is paying for it and why is this happening finally so long
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after their ordeal? at planters we know how to throw a remarkable holiday party. just serve classy snacks and be a gracious host, no matter who shows up. do you like nuts?
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they've waited 36 years, but now each of the 53 americans held hostage in iran will receive $10,000 for each of the 444 days they were held captive in the u.s. embassy in tehran. let's bring in deb feyerick. >> this incredible. it's a long journey for so many of the families fighting for legislation and compensation to acknowledge the sacrifices that are made by u.s. people, men and women who are working overseas and who are victims of terror attacks. this is not just the former hostages. this is also the victims of the 1998 u.s. embassy bombings in east after ka, the marines who
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died in bay rue in 1983, those killed at the u.s. come bound in libya three years ago. $1 billion is being set aside covering u.s. government employees overseas who have been targeted by terrorists. this new fund reaches back more than three decades. it includes the american men and women who were held in captive in tehran. te former hostages are going to get $4.4 million plus their families and kids are going to get a lump sum payment of $600. this is sort of not congressionally mandated per se. the money is coming from one of the world's largest banks, bnp which pleaded guilty to violating u.s. sanctions against doing business with state sponsors of terrorism like iran. they had to pay $9 billion. this is a clever way to get the compensation. but a lot of people worked
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really hard to get this. and in the words of one person, one former hostage, it's like nothing short of a christmas miracle. they feel like this is sort of their due because of what their family sacrificed. >> and they fought for years, ever since they were released from captivity. they were fighting for compensation. they surely aren't going to get the apology that they probably also want to get from the iranian government. why now? the timing. this was slipped into a budget bill. >> yeah. it was a very clever kay bsh there were lawyers, families that were working on this and they realized after bnp was made to pay $9 billion, it was a way to get money back to the victims and their families. rather than have to sue the government, the money has now been established and they can now apply for that money for the compensation. >> it seems -- i saw some
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suggesting that this was linked to the iran nuclear deal. is there anything that has been stated that that is a fact? >> nothing stated outright. what was very interesting is that these people were never allowed to sue the iranian government. while all this was going on, a lot of people at the embassy really felt that this was not fair, that they should be forgotten, they should be neglected. a lot of layers came into play on this. >> very interesting. thank you very much. coming up for us, we are counting down the top ten international stories of the year. we'll be right back. he put in our driveway.ar, t the lexus december to remember sales event is here. lease the 2016 es350 for $349 a month for 36 months and we'll make your first month's payment. see your lexus dealer. toto the nation's capitalut to support an important cause that can change the way you live for years to come. how can you help?
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from the deliberate downing of a passenger plane to a refugee crisis that would divide the world, it's been a year for the history books for sure. here's a look back at the top
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ten international stories of 2015. >> our top ten starts with a shocking prison escape inside the mexican jail cell of joaquin el chapo guzman. >> it's very difficult to breathe down here. a lot of dirt, dust, this is the bike el chapo used to run out of the prison. >> el chapo remains at large and the question still lingers, who helped him escape. number nine, moment for the history books. cuba and america back on speaking terms. americans boarding planes bound for havana thanks to a momentous thawing of icy diplomatic relations between the two countries. >> a year ago it might seem impossible that the united states would once again be raising our flag, the stars and stripes, over an embassy in havana. >> a powerful earthquake has hit nepal. >> an avalanche triggered on mt. everest. days of aftershocks follow.
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more than 8,000 people died. very few stories are more divisive than number seven on the list. >> relations between united states and iran are poised after -- >> an historic agreement to stop iran from developing nuclear weapons. some hailing as a major victory for diplomacy. >> there's a reason why 99% of the world thinks this is a good deal. it's because it's a good deal. >> others calling it a deal with the devil. >> this deal doesn't make peace more likely. it makes war more likely. >> powerful words from the leader of israel cht even more powerful, this moment on the floor of the united nations. 44 seconds of uncomfortable silence signifying what he says is the deafening violence toward iran from the west. and number six, the bloody war rages in syria and iraq. sprawling mess in a dangerous proxy war. u.s.-led coalition air strikes pound isis targets in syria. russia says it's bombing isis targets as well.
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>> the russians are not attacking isis. they are conducting strikes in areas where there are anti-regime militias. those strikes will bolster bashar al assad. >> on the sidelines turkey fiercely protecting its borders. >> shooting down a russian warplane. >> an su-20 war plane crashed in the mountains in syria near the turkish border. >> president putin speaking out calling the incident a, quote, stab in the back. >> this year the world launched the biggest escalation the american military campaign against isis to date. >> i will not put american boots on the ground in syria. >> the u.s. stepping up its presence on the ground. >> president obama putting combat boots on the ground in iraq and syria. >> for the first time officially sending special forces into syria to fight isis. >> rounding out the top five a rock star welcome from pope francis as he toured the united
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states and cuba. the masses before millions. >> this man is extraordinarily well on the new york stage. >> reverend, i want to listen in a little bit. >> off the cuff moments and tiny glimpses into the pontiff leader so many have come to love. he then went to a war zone in central african republic, part of the pontiff's historic visit to africa. number four, a city under siege. >> a manhunt is underway for the gunman that perpetrated this heinous attack on the offices of "charlie hebdo." >> the editor of the newspaper is among the dead as well as one of the cartoonists responsible for the very famous muhammad cartoon that got the cartoon in trouble in 2011. >> forcing their way into the office of "charlie hebdo," opening fire killing 12. >> walked in and it was obviously a very disturbing scene to see a couple of bodies on the floor, some people crying out for help. >> chaos spilling into the
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streets. muslim police officer executed on camera. the manhunt for the killers intensifies. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula claims responsibility. meantime, shoppers in a jewish grocery store held hostage not by the brothers but a man working apparently in concert with them. after three intense days, 17 innocent people are dead, two terrorists killed. number three, a german wings commercial airline crashes killing everyone on board. the co-pilot of german wings flight 9525 now considered a culprit. >> andrea lubitz steers the airbus into the ground. chilling revelation as prosecutors hear the horror unfold on the black box recorder. >> the screams are in the last instance. i remind you the death is instantaneous. >> flying the plane into the side of the mountain oblitera obliterating it and everyone on board. >> cnn learning he reprogrammed the plane's autopilot changing the setting from cruising
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altitude 38,000 feet to just 100 feet. it premeditated plan condemning everyone on board. >> senseless killing sparking a question that struck fear around the world, do you trust the person piloting your plane. >> and number two, 2 million syrians run for their lives. refugee crisis on a scale not seen since world war ii. >> syrian refugees crossing the border by the thousands trying to escape war and violence at home. >> syria's president bashar al assad dropped barrel bombs on his own people and isis terrorists carve a bloody path through the country. terrified syrians flee. >> they've fired more tear gas, so people are sort of panicking. >> at borders across europe men, women and children are pushed back. tens of thousands more with nothing but the clothes on their back. desperately crammed into boats destined for unknown shores. some would never make it. >> very disturbing. >> 2-year-old ilan found
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facedown on the turkish beach, drowned at sea while crossing the mediterranean with his family. >> pictures of this toddler's lifeless body seen across the globe. still in many countries fear of the unknown prevails. >> we have some breaking news for you out of paris, france. >> and number one, isis terrorizes the world spreading their brutality beyond the borders of iraq and syria. an explosion rings out outside a soccer stadium in paris, first of three suicide bombers to detonate outside the stadium. marking the start of the series of terror attacks the likes of which paris had never seen. >> the whole time he said don't run, just stay. and those words saved my life because the people who ran were shot. >> people flee for their lives. a pregnant woman so terrified she hangs from the side of a building to escape the gunfire. several restaurants innocent diners are slayed as terrorists
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unload round after round. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> the unimaginable slaughter of 130 people in paris happening just 24 hours after this, beirut, lebanon, a pair of suicide bombs would blast pow powerful as the smoke clears 43 people are left dead. isis' ability to incite terror and fear across the world made clear when they do the unimaginable. >> do u.s. intelligence suggest the plane was most likely brought down by a bomb? >> isis is holding this photo up as proof that it downed metrojet 9268. >> isis says they detonated it in midair. and as you know 224 people were killed. >> then an attack on u.s. soil. >> disturbing husband and wife drop off their little baby, drive to a holiday party and kill 14 people. >> a pair radicalized at least partly inspired by isis, carry out the deadliest terror attack in the united states since 9/11. leaving many to wonder and worry
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where isis could strike next. >> that does it for me. we're going to leave you with a very pretty view, we hope, of central park. ice skaters. it's balmy who knows what temperature outside it is, 60-plus degrees here. no matter where you are, merry christmas everyone. that does it for us. cnn original series "finding jesus" is next. >> john the baptist -- >> judgment is coming! >> the fearless prophet who hails the coming of the new messiah. >> he believes that some reckoning is imminent. >> the preacher who baptizes jesus, setting him on his mission towards god. >> it's at that moment that something profound changes in jesus. >> now science joins the quest to connect past and present, testing john the baptist's relics to discover a link to the

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