tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN August 5, 2017 2:00am-3:00am PDT
all those ideas gone. still gone. never thought of one of those things again. ♪ a cnn exclusive -- new details from inside the fbi. we've learned agents were tracking the russian spread of some fake news on election night. also ahead this hour -- leaked transcripts of the president's private conversations with foreign leaders. and surprises making headlines in mexico city. and later, after days of rage and searcheses into sydney how australian police were able to nab two suspects charged with planning a terrible terror plot. live from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm george howell. "cnn newsroom" starts right now.
around the world, good day to you. it's 5:00 a.m. on the u.s. east coast. the details just keep coming. we have new information that we're following in the russia investigation, though, at the same time, the u.s. president is set to take a long breek, keeping in mind mr. trump used to boast he'd be too busy to take long vacations. but after six months on the job, the president left the white house on friday to spend the next 17 days in the state of new jersey. "the new york times" reports the office of special council robert mueller is seeking white house records on the former national security adviser michael flynn. though it's not a formal subpoena, the "times" said it's not the first notification that mueller's team has gone after the white house documents. the "times" also reporting whether flynn was seriously paid by the turkish government by the
trump campaign. neither general flynn or his attorneys have responded to the report but there is a statement coming from special counsel ty cobb. the white house will not be discussing any specific communication with the special ounce out of respect for the special count and its process. beyond that, i have stressed repeatedly we will continue to cooperate with the special counsel. and this cnn exclusive, on how russian interference is being tracked on election day. we've learned that the fbi was actively tracking a disinformation campaign that very day, via fake news. as cnn's pamela brown reports. >> reporter: we have learned that some fbi counterintelligence agents spent election hovering in the war room looking for fake news. and what they could see was negative tors streaming in, posted online, about hillary clinton, some having to do with
her health that were fake stories generated from accounts with suspected russian links. this is according to multiple sources our team has spoken with. in fact, the fbi agents could see how the fake news was impacting the conversation online. now, the idea of monitoring for fake news was uncomfortable territory, somewhat new territory for the fbi. but as one official told me, quote, we were right on the edge of constitutional legality because of first amendment protections. but this was something they believed they needed to do because it was to investigate what role fake news had in this and the russians and the disinformation campaign. amid all of this, we've learned there was constant cooperation between the fbi and department of homeland security and dni holding conference calls to discuss any conference calls. but the conference calls were
focused on the western whether the vote to be tampered with, or hackers. and while the fbi said that didn't happen, there was still this open question about whether the russian campaign impacted the outcome of the election. and that is something we may never have the answer to. pamela brown, cnn, washington. >> pamela, thank you for the reporting. there's a lot to talk about this day, as seems to be the day every day. and with us now to add some context, from the university of london, it's good to have you with us. to break all of this down, leslie. >> hi, george. >> we just touched base on these two headlines that are in the news today. let's start with the physical regarding robert mueller's team now seeking documents with regards to the national security adviser michael flynn, the question whether he was secretly paid by the turkish government, what are the implications for michael flynn and this white
house at large? >> of course, the implications are large it will come down to whether or not they were able to track or whether the president himself was aware of this or people around him were aware of this. there's lots of questions to be answered. what we're seeing there's so much information in the public domain about russia's ent interference. lots of clues for collusion but it's hard to prove to have that final evidence. we can see mueller there's been announced there will be a new grand jury convened. there's an attempt now to really drill down on financial connections. on this question of flynn's relationship with turkey. but if they're -- absent that hard evidence, this is very difficult to prove. but, again, a lot will come down to what can be demonstrated with respect to the knowledge and those around him when they made
the decision to appoint flynn as national security adviser. and is this going to go on for a long time. and this is going to be the thing to distract those around the president who taking this very important. >> so, that's what's happening now with regards to mr. mueller's investigation. but we're also getting some insight into what happened back then through the cnn exclusive reporting, back then on election night. we've seen the images of celebration in russia on election night when mr. trump, you know, was elegislatcted pre. also with the celebration of his supporters in the united states. but what was seen behind doors with agents, leslie, agents were monitoring online present there ends of what was described as disinformation campaign. russians seem to be behind it in
some form or fashion. what are your thoughts on this? >> well, many people in washington have known for a very long time that there was a very serious concern about russia's attempts to meddle in the elections, through a whole variety of strategies, most of those we've known about for quite a while because of the intelligence report that was released in the public domain in december. alongside a report that wasn't released because it's classified. the new information is another layer of that. there are two things, right? there's very clear information to suggest that there were a variety of strategies. and this is one more, that were used to try and influence the election. it's very difficult to prove that those strategies had a direct impact on the effect. that's a whole other layer. not one that i think we're likely to get evidence on. the real question for the investigation has become, what was the link of trump and those people around him, to that broader -- that broader issue. but, of course, we need to move back to the broader issue and
begin to. and this is where there's a lot of hard work that needs to be done on how to respond to that, right? the investigation is one thing, but the response, because this isn't going to be the last time we see this interference attempted. but we're so far away from having a public discussion about that. i'm sure there are many people working on this. but it's gotten lost a bit in the haze of a number of different things, not the least, very tense dysfunction we've seen in the white house over the last ten days. >> you raise an important point there, how can we ever know exactly what impact this has. on that day, the big focus on on the voting booth, the machines used and we now know that the fbi was looking at the trends playing out on media. and the question is what did the fake story, what impact did that have on the minds of people as they went in to make their
decision. lesl leslie, stay with us, we want nor perspective on another story. but let's talk about mr. trump's informati snfr national security adviser he's taking a
lot of heat this week. some say h.r. mcmaster could be the next forced out. mr. trump is saying this, general mcmaster and i are working very well together. he is a good man and very pro-israel. i'm grateful for the work he continues to do serving our country." barbara starr has this report. >> reporter: an extraordinary media campaign coming from the right wing against president trump's national security adviser h.r. mcmaster. conservative media outlets such as breitbart and the daily caller hitting them over the reports. the steve bannon, the
president's chief strategist and former breitbart executive according to officials all dating back to fired national security adviser mike flynn. >> there is this battle, and i think it does come down to a difference of opinion between mcmaster and bannon. and mcmaster clearing out mike flynn -- before the national security adviser mike flynnites that they see going to the heart of the trump agenda. >> reporter: mcmaster has fired five top officials of flynn causing fury. mcmaster had been on odds with president trump with some issues, such as more trips to afghanistan and had been undercut by bannon. and he has been under fire of taking the routine step of extending susan rice's security clearance. some conservatives accused rice of mishandling classified information involving trump
campaign associates. a senior administration official says mcmaster wrote letters to all past national security advisers extending their clearances. now, political media across the spectrum are running stories within hours of each other, suggesting mcmaster could be pushed out and the right wing conservist is suggesting leaks, using imagery of mcmaster being controlled as a puppet, the cartoon the anti-dem makes league calls anti-semitic. a staffer who worked for george w. bush said it's unconscionable. with retired chief of staff there may be willing tons allow mcmaster to run the nsc.
one current administration official tells cnn kelly and defense secretary james mattis are pressing for west wing stability. >> i think general kelly is going to protect h.r. mcmaster, because i think this is part of what he is trying to do. and that's guarantee that we have a cohesive, crisp decisionmaking process. and that's what the white house needs right now. because it's been a rough ride for the last six months. >> reporter: barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon. >> we just heard the reporting there from barbara starr, you get to hear as it's described the all-out war ideological with steve bannon on one side and h.r. mcmaster a guy who seems to be focused on more than just standard policy.
with the pressure that's on mr. mcmater will it matter for his ability to do his job and follow the standard procedures without it being politicized? >> well, i think one question, right here, right now, in the next few days because this really has heated up incredibly quickly, will the president and his new chief of staff, john kelly, will they really work very hard to try and contain this. because clearly, what's happened, with the movement, the very significant movement amongst those in control at the white house the last few days, there's now a concern as to who's actually going to have control at the next level down. so, the controversy, the conflict between steve bannon and mr. mcmaster is heating up because there's a concern on the part of steeve bannon and john kelly, and mr. mcmaster has very
different views of key issues that are going to come up, the question of the iran deal which mcmaster has supported. and bannon, of course, takes a very tough line on iran. there are a number of things that are going to come up, but i think fundamentally, these issues may have made people like steve bannon insecure and wanting to fight for their turf. there is this claim that mcmaster is trying to clear out on the national security council. but actually the number of firings that have taken place are discreet and concrete mediums. and we have to wade to see whether john kelly and president trump try to contain this, or whether it ignites even further. >> with john kelly, we saw anthony scaramucci, the mooch, leave the white house. and at the same time, we're seeing word that mr. kelly will bring in a new stability there
within the cabinet, within the white house. and that question you that point out, what effect will mr. kelly have, now as chief of staff, will it indeed make a difference for mr. mcmaster? >> well, i think it will make a difference for mcmaster. but so many people are now looking to john kelly as somebody who's been leading homeland security for six months. he's known to assert his own views, but takes a measure and a line in the course of the president and works hard to implement that person's mandate. but there's a lot of hopes, there's great hope being pinned on one person, john kelly, which seems undoubtedly, this will make a difference. but whether it can actually make the entire difference when we've been trying to deal with a president who has undermined pretty much everybody who has
worked with at different points in time through a single tweet when he lass a disagreement or impulse. so, it's not an easy role. this is certainly a good individual to be in that role. but it's perhaps a bit naive that this is going to the change the white house. the problems in the u.s. government extend far beyond the white house. we have 400 people across the executive branch in senior-level positions that have not been appointed. so it's very difficult to operate the executive branch on a daily basis. this is being felt particularly in the state department and the national security apparatus. it's a very difficult time. and the problems aren't only on the white house but john kelly, i think is a good appointment. >> i saw one of our commentators here on cnn describe it as scandal fatigue. there's so many things coming through each day. leslie, it's always good to have you with us to keep up to speed and break down the lines and
nuances as we continue to follow all of these allegations. thank you for your perspective. a story we're following here in the united states, a nationwide manhunt for two murder suspects is now over, u.s. mar sharyls say andrew lathan and andrew warren. lanen is an associate professor, they were wanted in the stabbing death of as could cosmetologist. still ahead here on "newsroom" this hour, the latest on the alleged isis terror plots in australia. how one of the accused may have been willing to kill his own brother. plus, an unusually deadly heat wave sweeps across southern and eastern europe, as a new study predicts dire climate problems for europeans by the
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it's also what i prescribe to my patients who have this condition. restasis multidose helps increase your eyes' natural ability to produce tears, which may be reduced by inflammation due to chronic dry eye. restasis multidose did not increase tear production in patients using anti-inflammatory eye drops or tear duct plugs. to help avoid eye injury and contamination, do not touch the bottle tip to your eye or other surfaces. wait 15 minutes after use before inserting contact lenses. the most common side effect is a temporary burning sensation. your eyes. your tears. ask your eye doctor about restasis multidose. welcome back to "cnn newsroom," i'm george howell. the united states has taken a largely symbolic move to reassert president's decision to pull out of the paris climate
accord. the u.s. has now told the united nations that it intends to get out. most other countries around the world have hailed that agreement and have all signed on to it. still, the process to withdraw cannot start until at least 2019. the u.s. says that it did continue to cut greenhouse emissions -- gas emissions, rather and take part in a climate conference set for november. now, this comes as a new study is predicting some dire climate problems for europe. researchers estimate two out of three people living in europe will be affected by heat waves, coastal flooding and other related disasters. that's largely due to global warming climate change. 99 of future weather-related deaths will be due to heat waves. and right now, blistering heat is gripping portions of southern and eastern portions of europe. >> yes, no time soon do we
anticipate this heat wave to break. we've got a region of high pressure that dominates much of the mediterranean area. for rome, typically if you're vacationing there, or you reside in italy, we've got the typically hot temperatures. but these are running a good five to eight degrees above where it should be for this time of year. average high around 32. but the next three to five days, those temperatures expected to be in the upper 30s. well, we don't just have the heat baking portions of italy also across the iberian peninsula, one of the hottest temperatures, corcordoba. we have seen the heat continue for the next three to four days will continue until the middle of the work week that's spreading across the mediterranean and into sections of eastern europe. this ridge of high pressure is going to be very slow to break down, so that jet stream is going to rise a little bit bit
more towards the north. that's where the cooler temperatures are expected over the next several days and also will produce maybe a few thunderstorms rumbling around places in northern sections of europe. but the heat is on. so if you are a visitor there, prepare for that. take a look at this as well. in madrid, upper 30s for the next several days. the also, the average high temperature around 32 degrees in this region. but not until friday do we expect those temperatures to drop substantially down. into the upper 20s. and as i mentioned for rome, it is going to be baking hot there. they have seen such a terrible fire season. but do we impair this to 2003, when we saw the deadly heat wave just kind of streak across europe, where tens of thousands of people were killed due to the heat. well, it looks like this heat wave has come and gone, at least across several areas, at various times this summer. this particular heat wave is
going to be the better part of a week. in madrid, look for 38 degrees, coming up for saturday afternoon. berlin, some rainfall, so you can definitely see the trend, much cooler temperatures farther to the north. but those readings will be in the mid to upper 30s. and it's typically hot areas you might even expect around 40 degrees. our other big story, the typhoon which is edging in across southern japan, the islands have been battered by heavy waves. we've seen wave heights around nine meters and some of the heaviest rainfall we've ever recorded around amelie. batten down the hatches, a lot of people have potential for mud and landslides for power outages, it's tremendous across this region. george. >> karen, a lot happening, of
course, we'll stay in touch as you continue monitoring weather around the world for us, thank you. in the capital of the philippines, a meeting of the association of the southeastations or asean are under way for ministers discovering regional security issues, terrorism and territorial disputes. they just issued a statement warning north korea's recent missile tests threaten peace in the region and around the world. controversial philippine president rodrigo duterte met with them a short time ago and secretary of state rex tillerson will arrive later as well as russia's sergey lavrov. suspects in a terror plot corresponded in court on friday. this after days of searches across sydney. the accused appeared by video link and didn't enter pleas. authorities say they had isis support and wanted to blow up an
airliner and charged with unleashing poisonous gas. our brian todd has the report. >> reporter: two terror plots show isis' growing ambition to strike u.s. targets. two men in sydney have been arrested in trying to bring down a passenger plane with an ied. >> this is one of the most sophisticate the plots ever attempted on australian soil. >> reporter: australian officials say the plan was to place a bomb inside annett that ahead plane. but plotters aborted the plan. authorities aren't sure why. police only got wind of the plan 11 days later. what's new and frightening about this plot is that according to australian officials this was a do-it-yourself bomb. they say a senior isis commander sent part of the bomb assembled, along with other loose parts including weapons-grade explosives to turkey to contacts in sydney by cargo.
>> this was an ikea assembled -- the sblieing of explosive, the imagination, the ingenuity that went into it takes isis into a whole new ball game when it comes to international terrorism. >> reporter: officials say one of the suspects was going to plant the ied on his own brother who was going to be an unsuspecting mule in the attack. >> his plan was for his own brother to bring this device on board, not knowing what it was, the idea being his brother would have been killed in this attack. sacrifice >> reporter: when the bomb plot didn't work, australian officials say the alleged terrorists tried to make a device that would release a deadly chemical in closed space. the chemical, hydrogen sulfide, a toxic industrial substance that smells like rotten eggs. hard to make, experts say, and difficult to deploy as a weapon but potentially deadly.
>> what does it do to the body when you breathe it in? >> it attacks the respiratory system and eventually the nervous system. in a very small amount, 30, 40 parts per million would kill you in a few minutes. >> reporter: officials say there's no evidence that the device was completed but a source tells cnn the australian plots highlight the need to ramp up aviation security in america and not play bawhac-a-mole with each new threat. they say isis will continue to use ieds, laptop bombs, chemicals and other weapons on western targets. and they say, isis will probably get better at evading security. brian todd, cnn, washington. >> brian todd, thank you. still ahead this hour -- why a phone call nearly seven months ago between these two men is generating fresh headlines in the mexican press. we'll have a report.
and a new culture built around customer service. it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. 5:32 a.m. here in atlanta, georgia. half past the hour as well in istanbul, turkey, and to all points in between. you're watching "cnn newsroom" worldwide. i'm george howell with the headlines. a manhunt in the united states. two suspects it has ended. they are now in police custody in the u.s. state of california. they're wanted for the stabbing death of cosmo total trenton dorell lowe who was found dead
in lanen's chicago apartment july 27th. >> the former chief of staff to benjamin netanyahu has agreed to testify against the israeli prime minister. the aide also pleaded guilty in a separate matter in order to avoid jail time. mr. netanyahu has been questioned as a suspect in two investigations involving allegations of bribery, of fraud, and breach of trust. he has denied any wrongdoing, "the new york times" is reporting that special counsel robert mueller's office is requesting documents from the white house for the first time. investigators working on the russia probe have reportedly asked for records on the retired national security adviser michael flynn. and the fbi following a fake news campaign on election day. it happened last year, of course. sources say that analysts were monitoring social media for possible tampering. u.s. intelligence agencies have unanimously said that russia
worked to hurt hillary clinton and help elect donald trump. the kremlin has called the allegations that it colluded with the trump campaign absurd. for more on russia's reactions on the latest allegations our oren liebermann is live this hour. oren, good to have you. there is this new report by cnn on how the fbi was tracking online activity that's been described as a disinformation campaign with russia expected to be behind it in some form or fashion. all of this happening at a time when both countries agree their relationship has hit a, quote, very dangerous low. what's your reaction there? >> well, as you pointed out, the kremlin has called the reports of the russia investigation and the latest on that investigation from the u.s., quote, absurd and groundless. they have adamantly and repeatedly denied any involvement in election medding and that it their position and will continue to be their position. the timing comes at a time when
u.s. and russia officials say the relationship between the two countries is at its worse in two decades. certainly, the latest reporting isn't going to help things, now tillerson is kind of trapped in the middle here as secretary of state, trying to improve relations when they are so bad. and he it seems has good relations with his russian count part sergey lavrov. the two will meet in the philippines tomorrow. in fact, tiller son just took off for his meeting in the philippines. but there's little they can do especially with president trump imposing the latest sanctions bill and imposing more sanctions or tightening sanctions, i should say on russia. and that comes because of the russia actions in crimea and ukraine. relations are getting bad, they're getting worse and with
this tillerson/lavrov meeting coming up, we'll certainly wait to see what comes out of that meeting with sergey lavrov, the russian foreign minister, even if the two get along, it doesn't seem, george like there's much to be done to reverse the trend of where the relations are going at this point. >> okay. it's clear that the optics are bad at this point, the relations between the two nations, but at the same time, these two very important leaders will be speaking to each other at this conversation. what topics would they talk about where there could be some discussion, some consensus between the two nations that could work together. but clearly, at the surface, relations are bad. >> and that's an interesting question, because you're right, as you point out, u.s. and russia still cooperate in a number of different areas. one of those is north korea. when lavrov and tillerson spoke over the phone late last week, they talked about north korea, because that's one of the few areas these two countries see
eye to eye. but there are other areas of cooperation when it comes to some cooperation on syria, cooperation on space agencies, the two space agencies work very much hand in hand here. but of course, there's a lot more disagreement. and we saw that in a continued russia reaction to the sanctions. in fact the dispute prime minister is in iran meeting to talk about ramping up iranian and russia cooperation. russia considering from a readout from the sputnik news agency giving more russian aid to iran's military. so that, of course, can be seen as a further response to u.s. sanctions and it will further exacerbate relations between the two. but you're absolutely right to point out that lavrov and tillerson will try to stress the area where is these two countries get along. even if all of the areas where they don't get along is moving in a wrong direction or worsening direction at this point. george. >> oren liebermann live in moscow. oren, thank you for the reporting and we'll of course stay in touch with you as the
meeting is set to happen. the u.s. justice department said on friday it may go after journal efforts, the free press as it tries to stop an explosion of unauthorized leaks within the administration. u.s. attorney general jeff sessions said that the number of federal investigations into leaks has tripled since mr. trump took office. sessions said that his agency is reviewing the circumstances under which journalists can be subpoenaed. or rather, the house speaker, paul ryan, was asked whether reporters should feel
threatened. here's what he had to say. >> i've not seen -- what jeff said about this. leaks are a bad thing. leaks are concerning because leaks can often compromise national security. but that's the problem of the leaker, not the journalist. >> two of the most recent leaks were also among the most shocking. first, the transcripts of the "washington post's" private phone conversations last january between president trump and other world leaders. the australian prime minister
malcolm turnbull downplayed having his conversations go public but he has, quote, warm relations with mr. trump. but the conversation between president trump and the mexican president that's making headlines. >> reporter: mexicans have been riveted by the release of transcripts from "the washington post" of a conversation that took place between enrique pena nieto and president trump on casting doubt on who will pay for the wall between the two countries. this conversation which took place in january was supposed to be a private conversation. and in the conversation trump begins initially trying to flatter the mexican president, saying that he is eloquent and speaks better english than trump. then he begins to bully him saying if pena nieto didn't pay
for the call that he will impose damages. and this is a bit of a bombshell in mexico to read these transcripts, what was supposed to be a private conversation. many here say that pena knnieto held firm. and that others say he should have pushed back harder. much say the comments were insulting and undignified. still, they were unable to come to agreement at least in january, who would pay for the wall, they finally said that they would leave the political problem of the wall, as trump calls it, by not talking about it anymore. at least in public, that strategy, if there was a strategy has back fired because everybody in mexico is talking about this now. once again very much in the public eye. the wall that donald trump wants
to build between these two countries and who is going to pay for it. patrick oppmann, cnn, mexico city. the white house says that president trump has just held a call with another world leader. reportedly spoke with the french president emmanuel macron on friday. the two talked about issues including venezuela, north korea and ukraine. they also spoke about more cooperation in iraq and syria, and of a political solution in libya. still ahead -- how kenya's presidential candidates are approaching voters on the ground -- well, they're using helicopters to do it. it's an interesting story. stay with us. inspired by the city. from concrete runway to rooftop bronzes. the city mini shadow palettes. make it happen. ♪ maybelline new york make it happen. when this bell rings...
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welcome back to "cnn newsroom." i'm george howell. in rwanda, the nation's election of preliminary results showing he's received 98% of votes so far. about 7 million people were registered to cast ballots in the election. mr. kagame has held the top office for 17 years and appears to be in line for a third term. he's credited for modernizing rwanda, but his presidency has been plagued with allegations of violence and repression. in the meantime, kenya's presidential election next tuesday is up in the air, literally. some candidates have taken to the sky to get their message out, as you'll see in this story. but authorities warn voters not to get too close to this file of campaigning as her farai sevenzo
reports for us. >> reporter: a helicopter ride may just be the thing. in this opposition in kenya's country, people can't decide which helicopter to run to. as yet another chopper makes a landing, kicking up dust and drawing people in, they're using efficiency in this vast country. >> it's very happy to see it coming here. >> reporter: kenya's 2017 general election is approaching the final stretch. and the race is tight. helicopter after helicopter carrying politicians across the political divide, lift off into the layer of the skies. there are more helicopters right now in this country, more than anytime in kenya's history. and why is that? because campaigning by chopper has become all the rage in this kenyan election.
politicians pay an average of $3,000 an hour to rent one. kenya's lawmakers with constituents land in areas where it's covered half of that in an entire year. they're calling the james bond effect. >> james bond say figure of speech. the individual who decides wants a free ride in the helicopter, and think that it would be fun. >> reporter: one james bond chopper grabber told cnn he hung on to the chopper because others had been given something and he missed out. kenya's civil aviation noticed a number of this rising and made a public service announcement. >> we shall not accept again a james bongsd. if you some something that looks
dangerous, please inform us. >> reporter: one by one, leaving the voter bemused. as the choppers leave there is no sign of james bond for now in that. farai sevenzo, cnn. backers the nation of venezuela nicolas maduro are celebrating now as the new assembly took office friday with the power to rewrite that constitution. maduro's critics fear the assembly will further erode democracy. the sight its and sounds clashi with police on friday. demonstrators threw tear gas at some of them. sand this signaling that authority should crack down more. >> translator: let's speak clearly to the country. if we had had a prosecutor's
office that took action and acts courageously according to justices all of these violent opposition demonstrators and criminals would have been captured, punished and imprisoned. and we would have had peace a long time ago. >> opponents of the assembly boycotted last sunday's election and there had been allegations of voter fraud. the united states has pit president maduro personally with sanctions after the controversial vote there. up next, taking a stand against the mafia, why many civilians say their days for paying for protection are over. . this week, filler paper just one cent with five dollar minimum purchase. ♪taking care of business.
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albreakthrough withyou back. non-drowsy allegra® for fast 5-in-1 multi-symptom relief. breakthrough allergies with allegra®. in sicily, many people there living with the mafia are now taking a stand against the mob. our nina dos santos has this report. >> reporter: for more than a century, the cosa nostra has held sway in the palermo streets demanding a share of trade and absolute loyalty. but 25 years since some of the mafia's most violent episodes sicilians are fighting back. refusing to pay the pizzo or protection money upon which the mob's whole business model was originally built. back here taking a stand is add
diao pizzo or to buy to the racket. providing social support. >> translator: the idea came in about 2004, when a few of us wanted to open a bar and we thought to ourselves, what do we do if they come and ask for protection money. change is difficult because the mafia has been in this city for 150 years. but we are seeing a cultural shift. for the first time, extortion is being discussed openly. >> reporter: with over 1,000 firms signed up, the addiopizzo community is growing thanks in part to a $1 million donation from the eu. refusing to pay the protection money to be a death sentence for a business. those businesses faced being threatened or even worse. but today, such defiance actually seems to be rewarding. shop keepers say that sales are up and business from the mafia
are down. and businesses diversified from drug and money laundering, the racketeering is a problem for the world's most famous crime syndicate. >> of course, they're aware that one their weaklings can report to the police keeps them away. cosa nostra came up to them only as judicial or law enforcement agencies let it. it must involve all of the population. >> reporter: and the village of caccamo, 40 kilometers from sicily's capital is a man who knows the mafia well. he says his cousin was gunned down by the mob. when he set up his own bar, they soon made their demands. >> translator: they pretend to be your friend. first, they borrow money. then they borrow the car. then they try to get to you buy
stolen goods from them. they try to trap, try to compromise you. >> reporter: he refused to pay and called in the cops but that nearly cost him his livelihood, fearing revenge until add deeioo came to the rescue. >> translator: they got my friends to come to the bar every weekend, friday and saturday, i got busier. >> reporter: 30 years later he has a thriving bakery business thriving all over italy. the protection from the mafia today, joining the ranks of those who refuse to pay. nina dos santos, cnn, palermo, italy. >> thank you. and thank you for being with us. i'm george howell at cnn center in atlanta. for viewers around the world, "new day" is next. for those around the world,
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