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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  December 19, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PST

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you're watching cnn newsroom live from los angeles. in turkey and germany, a search for answers, after brazen attacks. people assume that a truck through a christmas market steered deliberately into the crowd. they say it's presumed to have been a terrorist attack. some of the aimages you're about to see are disturbing. these are cell phone video after the crash. 12 people were killed.
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48 were hurt. one man, a polish citizen was found dead inside the truck cab. and also on monday, russia's ambassador was shot dead. his assassin, a police officer that yelled do not forget aleppo. they killed dozens of people. and there was a shooting at a mosque in zurich, switzerland. for the truck crash in berlin, we're joined by max foster. it seems that german authorities are inching closer to calling this a terrorist attack. >> reporter: yeah. they've been cautious on this. they wanted to be sure before they raise it to that level. it raises so much concern. there will be political concern, as well, which i'll explain in a moment. and just confirming that so far this moment, we had from the police, that it was steered deliberately. steered into the crowd.
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and it is a presumed terrorist attack. they are investigating on that level. security forces are speaking to the media. this is a wider concern. the diver, likely came to germany as a jeffrrefugee, from afghanistan or pakistan. and angela merkel has been under fire for allowing refugees into the country from war zones, and including those two countries, as welt. this will cause concerns this morning. >> max foster live in london. for more, joining me, aaron cohen, and in indiana, juliet ed ed edna. aaron, let's pick up on what we heard from max about the suspect
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being detained. possibly a refugee from pakistan or afghanistan. a lot of red flags have to be raised. >> there's no doubt that the origin of the suspect, based on the natural print of terrorism. these are countries that have a higher rate of terror. and that's something that needs to be looked at. it's not politically correct to say it. but it's the way you have to investigate terrorism. and looking at the print of the fact that a specific truck by a person drove into a crud of people in a specific area for a specific time of year. a lot of red flags there. the conflict with chancellor merkel, you slow down the possibility of being able to prevent further attacks. and that political correctness has a lot of pressure on her. at the end of the day, it's about reducing risk to the
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german people. that's really where i come out. what are we doing? >> with that in mind, do you se a problem here with the slow pace of the details coming from the german authorities? reluctance to call it a terror attack? >> i think it's absolutely -- one of them -- it's possible to i have tacks -- >> we have problems with your audio. we will try to fix that. i will continue the discussion with aaron. we'll get back to julia in a moment. we have a situation with the german intel sense that they have -- a number of these terrorist plots over 12 months. they've had some success. but there was specific information that the christmas
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markets were a target. given that, was this a big failure of intelligence? >> i think the intelligence was up. i think it was working. the germans have a very good counterterror capability. one of the best units. they're incredible with response. and the failure is looking at the macro picture. if you know that the markets are a problem, what measures have you taken? you can't protect every pipeline. you can't protect every event. but you can put layers between your citizens and an attacker. it would take a multifailure event for the attacker to reach the citizens. if the intel was good, it sounds like they were on to it, what security measures were in place? whether they are barricades. security personnel. private security mixed in.
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germany has a police present. what measures were in place and what measures are within the city of berlin, munich and the different cities in germany. to be able to prevent the truck, the attacker, the gun from firing into that crowd. to prevent it from actually happening. that's where the biggest layer is missing throughout europe. we can't protect everybody. but there's a great deal of resources that get spent to make sure we reduce risk. what's being done? are we not getting it done because of the political correctness? >> i want to bring julia in on that. aaron said that there was a warning. it was the follow-up. and maybe there was a problem in germany to secure these places from a law enforcement issue. >> i mean, there was.
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-- that's where -- high risk -- attacks that -- i think what we need to do -- >> i'm sorry, julia. we still have problems. we might leave it there with julia. two tries. we will try and get back to you, maybe later on. obviously, aaron. we have word from the owner of the truck company, that this lory may have been hijacked. that's what the owner told polish television. >> translator: the person who was driving and jumped out of the truck was not my driver. i can vouch for my driver. i see they did something to him and hijacked his truck when he was practically in berlin's center. it was a good truck. they could have done what they did. it was not my driver.
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they simply did something to him. god forbid that's how it looks. >> in niece, he hired a truck, the attacker in france. why go through the extra trouble of stealing a truck? >> well, because you can put distance between the attacker and any known information on the attacker. it the way our operatives will use covers. they rent things under false identification. there's operations you tonight want to be involved in or have any way to be able to connect it back. your cnn analyst brought up a good point. there's blogs that the german government has had a hard time with. and the chat rooms are hard to breach. very secure. getting intelligence prior to the attacks is really difficult. so, by renting the vehicle, you
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create layers between the actual attacker, his problemer identity, so they it can allow the terror groups to carry out attacks. >> very quickly. by creating the layers and all of the planning that went into this, does that suggest this is more than one guy? >> it could be more than one guy. but there's a playbook that these guys are able to tap into to use to protect themselves. and that's what could be going on here. so, also, just listening to the way the owner of the truck company was speaking. i'm not trying to sound like an expert on the behavior of his voice. he keeps repeating that he wasn't his employee. i'm leaning towards almost believing him just based on how that sounded. it doesn't seem like he's trying to cover anything. that's two red flags.
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with the distance and with the algorithm of the truck stopping and starting. i would look at this as terror. if not, fine. start to lean towards it to prevent any further attacks that may be brewing around the holidays. >> aaron, thanks so much. apologies to julia we didn't get the connection working. we appreciate julia being with us, as well. joining me out from berlin, dominick thomas, he studies at ucla. if this is linked to some kind of jihadi group. that's not official yet. if that is the case, there will the political ramifications, for germany and angela merkel. >> as you can hear, implications are enormous. there's lots of activity in the area right now. more and more police arriving. it's 8:00 in the morning here. the truck is about to be towed from the facility. in terms of the implications,
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whether this is a lone attack, or an accident, this raises the discussion of security in germany. if it's national identity, to protect germany from refugees or asylum seekers. and for angela merkel, this is a nightmare feeding into the election ps and this feeds into the discourse of the alternative for germany's far right party and other populist parties in europe. >> what about beyond germany? this feeds into politics in other countries, in europe right now. in particular, france. >> reporter: yes, this happens on the heels of the attacks in france on july 14th. where basically, a state of
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emergency has been in place. and the response sin then has been absolutely dramatic. there isn't much of a presence here at the christmas markets. we knew please were potential sites for attacks and so fan. we've heard and seen responses from far right political parties. and president-elect trump has weighed in on this, in a rather unmeasured way, which is goes completely at odds of what the interior ministry has been trying to here. let's be measured and try not to feed into what potential attackers are trying to. which is to further divide over these questions. >> this is what he said.
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>> translator: our free society needs us to be open and celebrate christmas. but i caution everyone not to jump to conclusions or change our way of life. >> how will this impact germans? the country hasn't seen the kinds of attacks like they had in paris or brussels, until now the. >> reporter: i think there's been reluctance on the part of the german government to respond, with a real reaction. german society is divided over the issues. but there's a general tendency of people to want to live and move about. not feeling like they're living in a kind of police state. and a heightened police presence goes in the direction of exacerbating the fears and tensions around these questions. as we're seeing, the balance is
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precarious. does one set up a protectionist apparatus that has everybody on standful or to let people go about their daily lives. >> dominick, thank you so much. dominick thomas, live in berlin for us. we appreciate it. it's 14 past 11:00. more on the other breaking news of the day. the assassination of the russian ambassador to turkey. and how both countries are reacting. when standard cancer treatment no longer works
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>> translator: on behalf of my country and my nation, i repeat my condolences to mr. putin and to all of the russian people. >> turkey and russia are vowing to stand together, after the assassination of the ambassador andrei karlov. and a warning, the images are graphic. [ gunshots ] the 22-year-old gunman shouted
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do not forget aleppo and allah akbar. nic robertson is in ankara. and nic, we will start with you. right now, the turkish president and the russian president, there's little daylight between their positions. but for the turkish president, what is at stake for him right now? >> reporter: there's a lot at stake. his trying to rebuild and rekindle his relationship with russia. he has wanted to have a role in the syria postwar. and the only route to do that with is russia. there was stalled, started again. he was involved in that. and we look back a year, when
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turkey downed a russian aircraft, close to the border. he was just beginning to rebuild that relationship with russia. both presidents are saying this is an effort to drive a blow between the two countries. but it was more yobd beyond that. russia's reaction was to cut off trade ties. that cost the turkish is suffering. and politically, diplomatically, and economically, a lot at stake. this, essentially, if you will, singing from the same hymn sheet at the moment, there's a lot to be done, john.
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>> and matthew, in moscow. we hear from putin. unofficially, a very different reaction, especially from politicians in russia. a lot of conspiracy theories. >> translator: what took place and the circumstances behind it, are going to be the subject of a joint investigation between the russians and the turks. putin said last night, they need to find out who was behind the hand of the killer. they sent a people of experts, including, trying to get to the bottom of it. if this happened a year ago, when there was a massive foulout between putin this could have
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been consequences. but it's not a year ago. they rebuilt their friendship substantially. and they say this is not going to derail that process. and we can take that at face value. neither one wants to re-enact the shootdown of the plane. this was not a sanctioned assassination. this is an individual. he may have been affiliated with a rebel group. in that sense, there's no reason for diplomatic relations, between russia and turkey. there is an element in turkish society, that is very much opposed to what russia is doing in syria. obviously, the fact he was voicing support for the people of aleppo when he carried out his asas nation.
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there are protests outside of the russian embassy. there's a sense in which many people in turkey are extremely angry with what russia has been doing. and that might have an impact on tourism to the country. >> how much of a difficult position is the turkish pigt right now. he's in lock step with the russians. but a large section of the turkish population are growing angry at the russian military operation in syria. >> reporter: the shooting raises many many questions. and one of them, people will be looking at here and seeing, the government here doesn't allow demonstrations on the streets. without their permission. it doesn't happen. the opposition doesn't get to protest here. the fact we've seen large gathering outside of the russian
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consulate in instan bull a week ago. a lot of people would say, that must have happened with tacit approval from the government. from the president. they are really on opposite sides of the conflict sides. they have been supporting rebels and islamic rebels. he was not so much on the rebel side, but get that support to get rebels and their families, out of aleppo. tensions were building. in an environment where it may have been allowed, when there's a security threat against russian officials, isis has made it clear their feelings about what russia is doing inside syria.
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an ambassador can go in a building, like the one behind me here. a lot of embassies, a lot of upmarket hotels. and a man would be in the room with a position to shoot at him, raises security questions. if you're president putin, you want to get to the bottom of those. we know they're going to work together on a joint investigation. but that's what they did they would do when they were carrying russian holiday makers a year or go. they will look at this through their own prism, as well. so many questions have been raised about the context of what took place and how it could take place, john. >> matthew, how crucial will the
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investigation be? how will that determine the relationship? >> if that's what the investigation turns up. and we have a dead ambassador as evident from that. i wasn't trying to suggest that russia and turkey are going to be the best of friends. they are on opposite sides of the conflict in syria. and that continues. it has in the past. it will continue in the future, it seems. to throw up tensions between these two countries. and it's true that the outcome of the point investigation, and the yoult come of russia's own investigation. and they will conduct their own operations insider the can i. they've seen that over months. will determine, i think, how that relationship will move forward in the future. at the same time, the turkish
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foreign minister is in moscow. that was a preplanned meeting. a meeting getting under way, including the russians, and the turks and the iranians, about how to proceed in the syria peace proess. those sides are talking to each other about syria. that's a good sign. matthew chance. it's 11:27. time for a break. coming back, a search for answers on berlin's attack. more in a moment. a better moment of proof. victoza lowers my a1c and blood sugar better than the leading branded pill, which didn't get me to my goal. victoza® works with your body to lower blood sugar in three ways: in the stomach, the liver, and the pancreas. and while it isn't for weight loss, victoza® may help you lose some weight.
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11:30 here in los angeles. police in berlin, treating a truck crash as a terror attack. the tractor went into a crowd. some of the images you're about to see are graphic and disturbing. this is cell phone video moments after the attack. police arrested one man, not far from the crash side. a dead passenger found inside the truck was a polish citizen. >> reporter: from berlin, here's fred pleitgen. they say they have one man in custody. at this point in time, they are not sure what the nationality of the man is. and they cannot be certain that this is the same person of the wheel at the tractor-trailer as it plowed through the christmas market here on monday night.
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they confirmed it was a second man on the passenger seat. and that man is a polish citizen. that's significant because the truck also has polish license plates. it belongs to a trucking company from northeast poland. and that trucking company says it lost contact with its driver and feared that something horrible might have happened to him. now, the big fear, potentially this truck got hijacked and was used to run into the christmas market. it was loaded with 25 tons of road rods. but it would be fast and heavy. as it plowed through people, as well. we have harrowing accounts from folks on-hand here. it happened quickly. a truck was going about 40 miles per hour as it moved in. made no effort to hit the
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brakes. and just rolled right through the christmas markets for several yards before coming to a stop. at least 12 people were killed in the incident. more than 40 injured. it has several units all investigating this case. and all of that is going to take some time as the police does its forensics work. >> bob behr is with us. it seems like authorities have been worried about the christmas markets in germany. come increased security. but this one had not. >> john, the germans don't have a really good grip on the jihadist presence in their own country.
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german police have been on fall alert for attacks the last couple of months. but so many of these people, the jihadists have gone off the air. and if they're talking, it's in chat rooms that the germans tonight get into. there's new apps that the german can't get into. these people are evolving very quickly. i don't think it came as a surprise to the germans. what's particularly disturbing is germany is not involved in the war in the middle east yet. and you'd look at aleppo. and the more than the war in syria continues, if more likely this will be more attacks like this. >> as you said, germany is not
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involved in what's happening in syria and this is a jihadic operation, it looks like it. >> it is a war against the west. islam, it's a clash of civilizations. they look at the germans as being allied with the united states. being allied with germany. never mind that merkel, the chancellor, was letting refugees in. but it is apocalyptic struggle. so many people thrive off the fact that the west intends to crush islam in their view. and they hit back anywhere they can. what it comes down so, is i said over and over again, as long as the violence continues in the middle east, the more likely it's to migrate up into europe. and these people will be hitting -- jihadists will be
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hitting the europeans, for no other reason, they can't get to moscow or washington. >> okay, bob. thanks for being with us. as also, your insights, appreciated. >> thank you. >> russia's investigators will be in ankara. a police officer shot andrei karlov. it was a clear provocation and meant to destabilize the piece process in area. >> it's a provocation to derail the peace process in sear ya, which is actively promoted by countries interested at ending conflict. >> joining me here, thanks for being with us. are you buying this message
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coming from the russian president and the turkey president? >> mret me offer my condolences for the innocent victims in germany. as a luis limb i'm appalled. the killing of the russian ambassador, is perceived -- we see the first messages. as a sabotage on the relationship between the two nations. if this goes on, this terrorist attack, this assassination of the ambassador, can act not as a -- as a -- to make two countries go against each other. but maybe, even continue the relationship they have and the dialogue they have over syria. >> one of the problems for the
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turkish president, while he tries to rescore ties. with russia, many in his own country are not onboard with that. mow much of a problem moving forward is that for the president. >> that is true. there is anger in turkey amongst russia. especially those who feel for syria. and that includes the islamist circles. and there were protests in front of her embassy. so, the president's own base includes people that are guilty for killing alope poe. and last night's attacker seemed to reflect that. he said, don't forget aleppo. don't forget syria. and he said, we are not safe. sometimes people say that to
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westerners. so, in that sense, it's difficult. but the president and his supporters seem to interpret this as a full investigation. but somebody who poses like that in order to harm the relationship. and if that argument is also accepted by the russians, which seemed to be the case from the first messages, russia and turkey can manage to move along. it is clear they have different positions in syria. that's effective -- two countries have been speaking, to find a solution. i think both capitals right now want to preserve that. >> how does this impact the personal standing with vladimir
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putin? >> we will see. but the first signals are it won't be bad. this time, he called suiten and he said, obviously, we have smog to do with this. we'rer have sorry. and putin seems to agree. i would not see this as a reason for fallout between russia and turkey. >> thanks for being with us. we appreciate it. we're are following a separate incident in ankara. turkish police arrested a man who fired shots out of the u.s. embassy. officers led him away. this what happened in the same day the ambassador has killed. china has return to underwater troen, days after it
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seriesed the advice. the transfer was xlocompleted. donald trump is condemning attacks in europe. saying the violence is only getting worse. we'll have more from the u.s. president-elect after the break. testinhuh?sting! is this thing on? come on! your turn! where do pencils go on vacation? pennsylvania! (laughter) crunchy wheat frosted sweet! kellogg's frosted mini-wheats. feed your inner kid
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welcome back, everybody. 11:44 here in los angeles. and police are investigating an attack on a christmas market in berlin as an act of terrorism. a truck plowed into a crowd on monday, killing at least 12 people. 48 others were wounded. u.s. president-elect donald trump offered condolences to the victims. cnn's senior political analyst,
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ron brownstein. innocent civilians were murdered in the treat. isis and other islamic terrorists slaughter christians in their communities and places of worships. he is blaming islamic terrorism. >> it has the hallmarks of what we've seen before. and circumstantial evidence as islamic terror. it is jumping the gun. it is one thing the to that as a candidate, another as a president. it's like when people have things spelled incorrectly. what is the process that the president elect is going through as he puts this out to the world. who is reading it? is it him acting instantly? that is going to be different as
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president than as candidate. >> everything that has happened from turkey to germany, it presents a very complicated, complex world. it would be a lot for a president elect coming in. >> a degree of conflict that we have not seen. some of the leaks that have come out, you much discomfort the media can make for a president. his secretary of state, with no experience. a national security adviser who has been at odds with most of the intelligence. the defense secretary is taken with respect. it's a very unpredictable condition because donald trump has looked at it as much more
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stability. what's in it for us? >> it's look at the last-ditch insurgeoncy failed. he ranks 46th. his popular vote puts him 47 of 49 elections. >> only two presidents lost the popular vote by more than he did. hillary clinton won the popular vote by more than jimmy carter and john f. kennedy. donald trump is coming in withless of a honeymoon and more divided country. he will certainly have the lowest polling rating. it's not going to mean much
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right away. in terms of the agenda. republicans are going to drive period the built-up agenda. he doesn't have that big honeymoon. you're going to see, a lot of pressure on democrats as a result to be in a position of consist tense from the beginning. >> we're seeing the poll numbers, which are great. barack obama was almost 70%. it's almost political capital for a president. the opinion poll ratings. >> one thing we have seen all the way back to the -- if they don't have public support, i'm not sure how much this is going to shape the choices in college. how far do they go in rolling back the entitlement programs for the elderly.
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his new secretary is part of the camp that wants to put him. >> something to watch. ron, good to have you with us. thank you. >> the happy scene at a christmas market turns quickly into chaos and horror. ahead, an eyewitness account of the berlin attack. you're watching cnn, live around the world. the champagne of beers. ♪ if you've got the time welcome to the high life. ♪ we've got the beer ♪ miller beer . . . . . .
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. investigators believe the person who drove a tractor trailer into a christmas market in berlin did so deliberately, killing 12 people, injuring 48. the truck had polish plates and a passenger found dead inside was a polish citizen. police arrested a man not far from the crash site. much ran for cover when the truck barrelled into the crowded market. was there when the attack happened and i spoke with her a short time ago. >> i haven't had much sleep. every time i try to sleep tonight it's just been thoughts about what i saw and thinking about all of the people who died. >> when you were -- >> it's pretty rough. >> yeah, i can imagine. it must have been horrific to be there. when you saw that truck hitting the marketplace, do you remember if it appeared that the driver
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was deliberately trying to run people down? >> no, it actually looked like he jumped the curb and was going out of control, lost control of the truck, and swerved into the crowded market. it came -- it went so fast and it sort of jumped the curb and went side ways from where i was at, and people just started running and dropping their things which are a big christmas tradition here at the market and started screaming and running and yelling things in german. i'm an american, i have only lived here three months, i don't know much german, but i knew enough to run. i just ran in the other direction. there's not much cover in these markets, so there's really no place to run. you sort of have to hide behind the stall or, you know, just keep running. i heard some popping and i thought maybe there's a guy with a gun, and, you know, we see it a lot in america with these people going on a ram page with guns. so i just tried to duck and
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cover and hid behind a stall with a bunch of other people until we thought it was safe to come out. >> do you remember seeing much security at the market before the truck went into the crowd? >> there's always security around these markets and around berlin. they're not as obvious as what you see in the u.s. with the guys in the army fatigues and the guns. they're kind of a little, you know, hidden. they're not so obvious but they're always there and they're always looking around. but this is a very, very free society. it is very open society. so it is not like it's in your face so people can come and go as they please. >> do you remember how long all of this lasted before the truck actually stopped? >> it felt like ten hours, but it was probably like ten seconds. i was texting on my phone and i had stopped to respond to a text, and if i hadn't of
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responded i probably might have -- i might have been hit because it was only 20 feet away at that time. i looked up and people just started running and scurrying and screaming, and i saw this big, you know, looked like a gigantic ups truck coming towards us and i just ran. it probably didn't last very long, but it felt like i was in slow motion, trying to get away from it. very surreal. >> speaking to me a short time ago. you've been watching c"cnn newsroom" live from los angeles. i'm john vause. the news continues with max foster in london after a short break. family road trip! fun! check engine. not fun! but, you've got hum. that's like driving with this guy. all you do is press this, and in plain english, "coolant", you'll know what's wrong.
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. german police say a truck driver deliberately slammed into a christmas market killing 12 people. in aleppo, turkey police search for answers after russia's ambassador to turkey is killed. hello and welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm max foster and this is "cnn newsroom." ♪ following several big stories


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