tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN December 17, 2017 1:00am-2:00am PST
of life, it's not just a few dollars that will be lost, but the spirit of the country that will be lost. the decision is ours. more evacuations in southern california as the deadly fire eats up more ground. we'll be speaking to a firefighter on what they're up against. the trump transition team accusing special counsel robert mueller of getting thousands of sensitive e-mails without proper authorization. mueller's office responds. and the future of south africa can be decided this weekend as the ruling party chooses its next leader. those are among our stories the next two hours. welcome to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm natalie allen. >> i'm cyril vanier from cnn headquarters here in atlanta.
>> southern california firefighters are battling the third largest wildfire in the state's history. the thomas fire has burned close to 110,000 hectares northwest of los angeles. that's almost 270,000 acres. >> it is also led to the death of at least two people including a firefighter who was killed thursday. high winds have fueled the flames and thousands of residents have fled their homes. thousands more now. miguel marquez has more from the front lines of the thomas fire in santa barbara. >> reporter: this thomas fire is the fire that just will not quit. i want to show you what's happening in the hills above santa barbara. we'll turn the lights off. you see the fires burning up in the hills, the foothills just over santa barbara and montecito. firefighters have been working this area for over a week. the winds, they were not cooperating with them at first. they were blowing it toward the ocean, had the santa ana winds
blowing, hot dry wind blowing toward the ocean, blowing the fire along with it. they had to let up for a couple of days during the week. and they were able to light some back fires, do some burnout operations, and get rid of some of that undergrowth, but then the santa ana winds came back and that's what they're dealing with right now. winds topping out at 20, perhaps 30 miles per hour. though i will tell you, we were up in those hills earlier. not even that high. and where they are very steep, and you have ravines, those winds get whipping 30, 40 miles per hour that we felt, very tough winds. right now, this is the thing they're dealing with. no winds whatsoever. if they can make it through tonight, and through the winds, then they believe they will be on -- be able to get on top of the thomas fire and finally put it out. miguel marquez, cnn, santa barbara, california. it certainly has been a complex one. ivan cabrera is here with the latest conditions. >> three words everybody wants
to hear out there, put it out. that's what they're thinking here. but we talked, natalie, last hour, cyril mentioning they're not expecting containment, full containment until next year, 2018. that's something. i want to talk about how we got here. a lot of folks have been asking, why this has been so out of control, and why it has taken so long. we basically had a recipe here for an inferno. everything you can throw at this to make it one of the worst fires in california history we have had. fuel, vegetation, critically dry because of the lack of moisture. not consistent, but we have up to hurricane force winds, that's the issue as far as the spread. that happened, by the way, this morning with that subtle push of the northerly winds spreading the fire. critical humidity is below 10%. and then, of course the rain deficit, some areas running up to 6 inches or half a foot below normal for this time of year. all the ingredients have been there. we're still counting here. day 13. current containment at 40%.
8400 personnel fighting this fire, all hands on deck, no question about it. the total containment not expected until the first week in january. so that is going to be something and it is going to be a slow go here. look at the winds, anywhere from 40 to upwards of 60 miles an hour, northerly winds that came in and able to push that fire through santa barbara. we had additional evacuations and additional concerns. this is also the red flag warning, this is also never happened, we never had a red flag warning, the highest threat for fire you can have. 13 days in a row. national weather service having to issue yet another one for sunday. this area of high pressure and in combination with low to the east, when you get different pressures there, close together, and especially when they're strong, you get big winds coming through and in particular that's what we had over the last couple of days. i do think that low moves east, as it marches east, the high retreats further north. i think by even monday, especially tuesday, we'll get a
break as far as some of these winds. not today. today still gusting 40, 50, 60-mile-an-hour winds through the morning hours, things typically because of the way things heat up, differently, with the ocean and land, winds go down a bit through the afternoon. that's typical. by going down, i think 25 to 30, as opposed to 50 and 60. notice the difference, anywhere from 15 to 20 and that's going to be an improvement. there it is. last time we spoke, yesterday, we were at number four as far as the largest fire, in california history. that's up to three, folks. we're hoping it stays there. quite something. as far as the structures, it is still way down, the tubbs fire, which by the way, was also this year, north of san francisco, that one was the number one as far as structures burned there. so just terrible event and hope i had better news, but that's the way we're seeing it right now. >> we'll talk more about it on the phone now joined by captain
lucas bellman with cal fire. i know you're really busy. thank you for talking with us. just talk more to us about why this particular fire in this place where it is is so difficult to fight. >> well, a lot of the five year drought was a little bit overcome in some of the areas throughout california. as you can see, the fires throughout the summer have succumbed to those dry conditions again. the santa barbara area never recovered from the drought and is still really close to the drought. didn't get very much rain throughout the winter months, and so this is just a -- this just carries on for another six years. we have lots of fires every single day throughout the southern california area, up to several hundred actually. but you add some winds like we had and you can see at some points firefighters can only be defensive. they can't even attack the fire to the front because it is moving so quickly. >> what can you tell us about the evacuations in this area?
how many more people have been told they have to leave? >> well, we don't have an exact number of that. we probably have that in the morning time. we do have santa barbara, montecito and carpenteria. we saw some pictures i think you had shown today about the fire coming down in those areas. you can imagine how many people would be affected in those counsels. >> rigyou were saying too, we'r looking at video right now of it coming over a ridge, and it is just too dangerous to put firefighters in front of the western edge. >> yeah. in some situations it is -- it all depends where they're at. there are places we can make stands. under heavy vegetation and those gusts up to 50, 60 miles an hour, very dangerous for everybody and so we have to be tactically correct and we might bump down several areas and try to do burning operations to burn some of that fuel up to stop it.
but as the fires just going and bumping and running as we call it, as we with go and say go from house to house and save each house and move to the next one, that's when it gets very dangerous. and that's how the fire will progress throughout areas that are up in the hills where houses aren't particularly in a town, but they're in little pockets. and those are the houses that are really hard to save in that situation. >> absolutely. i can understand that. 8400 firefighters doing just incredible work out there, day in and day out. there was the loss of a firefighter this week and i understand his memorial is today. how are teams on the ground dealing with that? >> well, it is really a devastating to any of us. and actually myself, i leave today, i'll be dealing with some of the procession tomorrow and the next day. and so very heavy heart and really the hardest part is
dealing with the families afterwards. you can imagine, everybody's mind is on christmas and their own families and just to think that cory has a little baby daughter and his wife is pregnant and it just puts things into perspective for all of us that we need to get home safe. >> certainly does. well, we know it will be a tough time for you. you'll be there. and so the other colleagues from around the country as well. we wish everyone on the front lines some safe days as they continue to do this very hard work. thank you very much, captain. >> thank you. police in australia arrested a man accused of working as an agent for north korea. federal police say the 59-year-old helped sell north korean missile technology on the international black market. he's the first person arrested under australia's new weapons of mass destruction act. >> we conducted search warrant activity in eastwood and
subsequently arrested a 59-year-old man male person appearing very shortly. that person was living in australia to conduct elicit trade deal on behalf of north korea. this is a breach of united nations and australian economic sanctions against north korea. this man acted as an economic agent of north korea and conducted prohibited financial activities such as facilitating experts from north korea in violation of both domestic and international sanctions. we also uncovered allegations related to breaches of the commonwealth weapons of mass destruction act. we'll be alleging in court this man was brokering the style of missile componentry and technical expertise from north korea and other entities. we believe this man participated in discussions about the sale of missile componentry to other entities abroad as another attempt to try and raise revenue for the government in north
korea. >> well, interesting report coming out about the relationship between president trump and china. already tense relations may be getting worse. according to the financial times, on monday, president donald trump will label beijing an adversary engaged in economic aggression against the u.s. mr. trump is apparently frustrated that his personal relationship with chinese president xi jinping has not led to a more balanced trade relationship or significant progress in reining in north korea. when we come back after this short break, special counsel robert mueller again under fire by the trump white house. >> this time, it is about e-mails the white house claims mueller shouldn't have. the special counsel's office has responded with a rare public denial. we'll have that for you as we push on here on "cnn newsroom."
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in pakistan, at least seven people are dead, dozens injured after a two suicide bombers attacked a church. an isis affiliate is claiming responsibility. it happened in the city of quetta. the church was packed with more than 400 worshipers during sunday service just a week, of course, before christmas. one attacker detonated his vest and a security guard shot the other one at the gate before he could blow himself up. police say the civilians were killed during the blast and the intense fire fight that followed. let's turn to the ongoing investigation into russian election meddling. the main issue is thousands of e-mails from the trump transition team that ended up with special counsel robert mueller and his team of investigators. >> a lawyer for the transition complained to two congressional committees that mueller's team should not have the documents, saying they were handed over to the special counsel without permission. >> mueller's office, in a rare public statement, says this is
not true. here is the quote. when we have obtained e-mails in the course of our ongoing criminal investigation, we have secured either the account owner's consent or appropriate criminal process. >> for more on all of this, let's go to cnn's boris sanchez at the white house. >> reporter: this story just adds another layer on what has been a barrage of attacks on the special counsel from republicans, some republicans who are making the case that robert mueller should resign. after news broke several days ago that there had been messages exchanged between top fbi officials back in 2016 during the campaign that were critical of then candidate donald trump, republicans made the case that two -- those two officials that had since been on the special counsel team had tainted the investigation so to speak. one of those officials actually left the special counsel before the text messages were revealed. one of them was reassigned shortly after those messages
came to light. but, again, many republicans are making the case that the messages reveal partisanship within the investigation. and argued that robert mueller should resign. democrats in response have made the case that the special counsel is not partisan, that it remains politically independent, though they are speculating that the president is now planning to fire robert mueller. two democrats, both on the house intelligence committee, made the case this weekend that was the case. first adam schiff, on twitter, saying he believed the firing of robert mueller would happen before the end of the year. the other jackie speier also made the case to a san francisco tv station that robert mueller's firing was imminent. cnn reached out to white house attorney ty cobb for a statement and he gave us a statement writing, as the white house
consistently said for months, there is no consideration of firing the special counsel. so you have the white house denying there is any kind of plan to remove robert mueller as the head of the special counsel, you have some democrats that are saying that that is the case, that his firing is imminent, and then certain republicans that are saying that the special counsel is tainted and that robert mueller should indeed resign. a complicated situation, and one that likely will receive greater focus because as early as this week, you have white house legal team meeting with robert mueller one on one, potentially to discuss the next steps in this investigation. boris sanchez, cnn, at the white house. well, let's talk more about it, joining us from the uk, scott lucas, at the university of birmingham and founder and editor of ea world view. thank you for joining us. >> the trump transition team says mueller's investigators are making extensive use of e-mails they shouldn't have got in the first place, another attack as
boris was telling us on the russian investigators. do you think this is warranted? >> no. the very sort of loophole that the trump transition team is trying to argue is that it is a private organization, trump for america, and that private communications are not subject to the mueller mandate, which is to review, of course, the trump e-mails, those of his advisers, et cetera. legal analysts and indeed scholars like preet barea, special attorney for new york, said this is a bit of smoke. mueller is operating within his mandate. i think there is a bigger story here, much bigger story. that is they received tens of thousands of e-mails from the government services administration, from 12 accounts apparently, according the account of jared kushner and other high level trump people. they have been going over those e-mails all autumn and the white
house didn't know apparently that mueller's team had them. that means that when curb anywhe kushner and others were questioned this autumn, they would have gone into questioning not being aware of all of the information that their interrogators, investigators, would have had. that's why the white house is extremely alarmed by the latest revelations and, of course, that is why they're trying to even harder to undermine mueller to discredit him. in other words, trump may not be able to politically fire him, that would be suicide, but if everyone believes that mueller is tainted, maybe this will all go away. >> right. it is hard to paint mueller as tainted because his integrity has been spotless up until this, always in his career. it would be political suicide if he were around mueller or dismiss mueller. let's look at that question. according to a congresswoman, we quote her, this is a rumor, she heard in d.c., that perhaps
trump might try to dismiss mueller. let's listen to what she had to say and i'll get your thoughts. >> the rumor on the hill when i left yesterday was that the president was going to make a significant speech at the end of next week, and on december 22nd, when we are out of d.c., he was going to fire robert mueller. >> so there you have it. and you said that would be political suicide. is that really a possibility at this point? >> we donald trump, anything is possible. i think what you heard from jackie speier and adam schiff, ranking democrats, is, one, a genuine expression of concern, and, two, it is a warning to trump. don't do this. don't bring on the constitutional crisis by trying this friday to get rid of mueller and to make this all go away over the holidays. this would be the biggest showdown in american political history since richard nixon tried to do the same thing over watergate, by firing the special
prosecutor archibald cox. with each revelation of how close mueller is getting to trump and his inner circle and i think he's very close, the likelihood increases, but, again, i tell you, i think donald trump brings the whole white house crashing down if he does this. i don't think even a lot of republicans can defend him blocking the investigation by firing mueller. >> actually, listen to this, listen to what some conservatives have been saying over the last week and especially this one, this is from fox news. listen to this. >> president trump won in spite of the republican establishment being against him, the democrats being against him, the elite media against him, and the fbi and the justice department were against him, and still he prevailed, still the american people said we don't care about -- we're making that guy our next president, we're putting him in the oval office. to me, that's the real story here. in spite of all that, he still won because the american people were so fed up with this kind of baloney, they wanted someone else in that place who could shake things up. >> so, look, this is a recurring
theme in conservative circles. that ultimately none of this matters because politically donald trump has won and will win again by doing exactly what he's doing. do you think that politically they're right? >> look, you know, donald trump winning a majority of the electoral college, if not the popular vote, does not mean that he can operate outside the law. does not mean if there was collusion with russia that this can be justified. that's what the investigation is focusing on. but let's go wider with this. what fox is trying to do, i've watched their coverage over recent days, is use their hosts and guests to say there is an attempted coup against trump. realize how serious that is. you're not only discrediting mueller, you're saying the fbi is discredited, you're saying the justice department, if not the attorney general jeff sessions, is discredited. you're saying all government agencies are part of a deep state.
that is what i mean, that fox and the trump team, their strategy now is to actually bring on the political crisis to try to avoid paying the price over the russia collusion, if it occurred. that's how far they're willing to go. i do treat this very seriously. i just do wonder whether trump can take that final step of firing mueller. if he does fire mueller, except some conservative republicans to rally around him, except fox news, breitbart, to go 100% on the smear campaign against mueller and other government officials, will it work? i don't know. but, folks, you all better batten the hatches down, because it will get ugly. >> the interesting thing is, our president seems to take his cues from his favorite network, fox news. and then instigate policy as a result. >> it is basically creating this feedback. that is if fox news goes out and says it, then the white house
and the president can say, look, this was reported as news, we're just telling you what is happening. if other channels, let's say like cnn, report a true story, then, of course, you are fake news. that's the way that this division has been running for months. every since the inauguration. it is part of a very polarized american society in that people have sort of gone into camps as to where they get their, quote, news from. what we have to hope at the end of the day is is that the political and legal facts can be established. where it is quite clear, if donald trump did not collude with russia, fine. that we have to accept. but if he and his team created a crime, obstruction of justice, or political offense, in trying to block the investigation, or indeed working with the russians, that too has to be acknowledged. otherwise, what you're ripping up here is not fake news or real news, you're actually ripping up the american constitution and the legal process. >> yeah, i like -- don't like
the words constitutional crisis. those aren't fun words to say. we can only hope that credibility and integrity will prevail here. scott, thank you for your time. coming up, south africa's ruling party is set to vote on a new leader who could replace embattled president jacob zuma and perhaps send the country in a whole new direction. as many people look up to their president, but in russia, vladimir putin's popularity is downright super. we'll tell you why after the break. cannot live without it.
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i'm cyril vanier. >> i'm natalie allen. here are the top stories. >> the thomas wildfire, the third largest in california's history. huge winds fueled the blaze which burned close to 110,000 hectares. that's almost 270,000 acres. the fire has led to the deaths of at least two people and 12,000 more residents have been evacuated on saturday. officials say thomas is only about 40% contained at this stage. >> the office of special counsel robert mueller is denying it obtained thousands of trump transition e-mails without authorization. lawyers for the transition had complained to two congressional committees that mueller's team should not have the documents but mueller's office says all e-mails in its possession were obtained properly. president trump on monday expected to accuse china of economic aggression against the u.s. according to the financial times, mr. trump is frustrated that his personal relationship with chinese president xi jinping has not led to a more balanced trade relationship or
significant progress in reining in north korea. in chile, rescue workers are combing through all this, mud and debris, after a mudslide buried much of a remote village. they're looking for at least 15 people missing. five people are confirmed dead. the country's president declared the village a disaster zone. monday's international migrants day, a reminder that migrants still face unsafe conditions as they try to reach europe. on friday, more than 150 african migrants including 42 children were rescued from a small boat off the coast of libya. the european union is struggling to shut down this smuggling route that brings thousands of people from libya into the eu each year. >> on saturday, hundreds of people across france marched to bring attention to the immigrants' plight, calling on authorities to allow migrants to enter france from italy. peru's president insists he
will not reline after lsign aft started the measures to impeach him. he's accused of accepting bribes from a brazilian construction company. he says he's innocent and plans to ask the attorney general's office to publicly disclose his finances. peruvian lawmakers expect to hear from him on thursday. south africa's future hangs in the balance as delegates at the african national congress face a crucial decision. >> they're choosing the ruling party's new leader. that person will likely succeed embattled president jacob zuma. his government has been mired in corruption scandals. the outcome of the election this week will likely determine the country's next leader. a journalist and talk show host joins us now. great to have you back on the show. we're going to move on to the new faces who may or may not become new anc leaders. tell me about turning the page
of jacob zuma, current south african president and his speech. he seemed to blame everyone but himself for the state the country is in right now. >> you hit the nail on the head. i sat there and listened to jacob zuma. he doesn't surprise me anymore. i thought even at this hour, when he's lost every court battle, when the evidence of his corruption and what we term state catcher in south africa, he's still blaming the media, blaming nongovernment organizations, blaming forces, conspiracy theories, it is actually exasperating. but the jacob zuma years have battered the soul of south africa. >> what will happen over the next few hours? you have two main faces, you have cyril ramaphosa and mr. zuma's ex-wife.
paint the picture for us. >> all right. so you got these two colossal figures. dlamini zuma was married to jacob zuma but she earned her stripes as a politician in her own right, a medical doctor, rich history in the movement, has been a senior cabinet minister during the mandela years, and now jacob zuma, she was also the head of the african union. however, she is known to not have a strong economic vision. and also, cyril, if it is true that you judge a person by the company they keep, then she is in trouble because the who have complained have been fighting all sorts of corruption allegations, fraud allegations and they're basically loud noisemakers with very little substance. so many people don't trust her from that perspective. secondly, remember jacob zuma is facing corruption charges. many people believe that dlamini
zuma will not sit back and watch the father of her children be prosecuted. she's the preferred candidate of jacob zuma, which raises more suspicions. then you have cyril ramaphosa, nelson man dell wdelamandela's successor in 1999. he went into business after politics didn't work for him. he served as jacob zuma's deputy president. i think sometimes he doesn't have a backbone, but generally the consensus is that ramaphosa is the man who will stand up, he speaks the language of the business, let's sao whee what h to offer. somebody has to win. they're not perfect candidates, but it seems that cyril ramaphosa is one preferred by business and progressive south africans. >> you said he's seen as the man who might clean up. corruption has been one of huge issues, casting a cloud over south african politics for not one, but both of mr. zuma's terms. is there either of those candidates who is really
somebody who could bring south africa to another place, a country where there is less corruption and government works better? >> i do think that cyril ramaphosa has spoken the anti-corruption language. but many of us criticize him and say the corruption happened under his watch. he was the deputy president. you can't rise up and pretend he didn't see. you got to start somewhere. he doesn't have a corruption scandal. he has not benefited from state coffers, made a lot of money in business, that's true, the hope and expectation is that he will fight corruption. however, cyril, something very important that you shouldn't forget. those who have stolen from the state, including jacob zuma, where is the accountability. the anc is known for just, you know, just starting a new chapter and not prosecuting its comrades. i suspect that even if ramaphosa takes over and speaks the anti-corruption language, we're going to see very little
accountability because the anc is notorious of closing ranks and just starting afresh as if there is no stench that needs to be dealt with. i don't see any success or prosecutions in the near future. >> coming to us from johannesburg, thank you. we'll keep a close eye on what happens at the anc party congress. thank you. another party is looking for perhaps a new leader or not. we're talking about russia. the election there set for march 18th. while it is some time away now, the far and away vladimir putin. >> a museum turns the president into a superhero. take a look at this. >> half man, half superhero, this is apparently how russians see their president. at the new exhibition in moscow called super putin, artists were
commissioned to depict him in various guises, a strong man, with a softer side. museum owner alexander dunskoy is known for eccentric, often anti-kremlin stance, including an unsuccessful attempt to run for president in 2008. >> translator: we are representing the view of the majority of people who vote for putin. they truly believe that he's a superhero, and without him, russia will fall apart. america or ukraine will attack us and nothing will be left of the country. >> reporter: russians are used to seeing a muscular vladimir putin. this goes further than that. these three busts and the colors of the russian flag, the message here, putin is russia, and russia is putin. and that is likely to be the case for another six years. putin has just announced he's running for a fourth term as russia's president. a fact, says journalist miguel
fishman, that will cement his place as russia's sole sovereign. >> this fixes putin's standing as totally unaccountable russian -- someone half deity, half human. >> at the exhibition, we find dasher and masher, at 20 years old, they can't remember life without putin. >> translator: without him, it would be like being without hands. can't imagine anyone else in his place. >> he's some kind of a superman for us because i think he inspired our generation. >> reporter: despite the prospect of new sanctions, a winter olympic ban, and the economy that is barely growing, two russian polling agencies put putin's approval ratings at more than 80%. president whose true superpower is his public image.
cnn, moscow. >> we don't know the dates for the exhibition. we'll pass them on. after the break, a mother rises above the hate and anger. you'll hear from the mother of heather heyer, her advice to the u.s. president coming up. and the search for answers after the deadliest shooting in u.s. history. the survivors tell cnn they're being kept in the dark. mother nature
it is not a sustainable emotion. it does come over me at times. i'm not going to deny that. but i can't -- i can't live in hate, i can't live in anger. >> president donald trump was criticized for not immediately condemning the hate groups at the rally. susan breaux has been vocal about that as well. here is her advice to him. >> stop tweeting. think before you speak. and only tell the truth. and i think if you'll settle into those things, everything will take care of itself. >> it has been more than two months since the las vegas concert attack that claimed 58 lives. >> victims tell cnn they're still waiting for investigators to answer their questions about how the shooting could have been prevented. cnn's sara sidner spoke with some of them who are still piecing together their lives. >> my foot was literally just
dangling. >> harry shows us his wounded leg full of metal. inside, a steel plate, next to the bullet that nearly killed him. one of more than a thousand rounds fired during the las vegas massacre. >> came in here, came out here, and then hit me here. >> the bullet sliced into harry as he laid on top of his wife claudia, protecting her from the aerial assault. >> the first night was really bad. >> since that night, claudia can't stop reliving the nightmare. she saw too many bodies and too much blood. >> nightmares, i feel like he's going to come back and just start shooting again. >> i think the nighttime is terrifying to me. >> sisters kendra and jasara still stay up all night, too afraid to sleep until daylight. they too face the barrage of bullets at the vegas concert, jasara hit twice. >> i decided after three rounds that i wasn't going to bleed to
death on the ground. so i yelled that i was going to run. and i needed my sister to get up and run with me. >> reporter: kendra phoned her 14-year-old daughter thinking at that moment, she was going to die. >> i said i love you. and she said, wait, mom, wait. and i was, like, no, i need you to know i love you and every decision you make in life, you're going to be okay. i support you. >> reporter: these are just four of 500 victims living shattered lives after the deadliest mass shooting in modern history. and they want answers from investigators. >> we're in the dark, people that were there, that went through this, like, haven't heard anything. >> reporter: authorities have largely gone silent, refusing to local questions, except for a couple of interviews. here, sheriff joe lombardo hinted at what may be the sheriff's motive. >> since 2015, september 2015,
he lost a significant amount of wealth. and i think that might have a determining factor on his -- what he determined to do. >> reporter: investigators will say little else. media outlets including cnn are fighting in court for the release of public records that could shed light on the case. law enforcement wants them held back until its official report is complete, but won't say when that may come. >> i want to help somebody else. and to be silent and not say anything, it is just not fair. >> reporter: the fbi has asked for patience. meantime, the shooter's brain is currently being examined by a neurologist at stanford university. usc neurologist jeff victoroff is familiar with the procedure and says the neurologist will be looking closely at ten areas that control morality. >> if you have damage in one of those critical areas of the brain, it may disrupt the circuits that are required to hold us together. and allow us to perform the way society expects us to perform.
>> reporter: the victims we spoke with didn't care why the shooter did it. but they do care about how it could have been prevented. if can save others from living the same nightmare. >> any little information that they can give us would just help with healing. >> if you want to get some idea of how long the reports take, you can take a look at the fbi and what happened in sandy hook. that report came out about five years after the incident. we just received the report in october of this year. it was 1500 pages and highly redacted. but in this case, we may get new information in the coming weeks. sara sidner, cnn, los angeles. at t-mobile when you holiday twogether, great things come in two's.
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get a 4 week trial, plus $100 in extras including postage and a digital scale. go to stamps.com/tv and never go to the post office again. in fire stricken, california, firefighters are checking in on about 100 animals they rescued a few days ago. >> the animals were stranded as the deadly thomas wildfire crept up on their pens. joe botita has more on this. >> reporter: talk about lucky ducks. and chickens and roosters. we met these guys and geese and goat as well earlier this week.
the fire captain and i stumbled upon them while checking out the damage. we were wondering how our friends were doing. they had no food and little water. and we met a firefighter, jay walter. >> came very close, actually, caught part of the enclosure here on fire. >> reporter: walter and his crew were the first ones up in toro canyon as the thomas fire ripped through. this is video from his truck dash cam. >> better get behind them and you got a structure to protect. >> pretty intense here the other night. >> reporter: not only did they save all the animals, all but one home was saved. days later, he couldn't help but think about the animals left behind. >> went into carpenteria and bought some feed for the chickens and pellets for the goats. and brought a bunch of water up the hill to make sure the animals have water and are looked after until their owners can get back here.
>> reporter: even though they had food and water, we all thought maybe this isn't the best place for them to stay. they made a call to animal services and they came up. then came the hard part, rounding up 100 birds, we called in some help. more than a dozen firefighters showed up. you think fighting fires is hard, try catching a chicken. in 20 minutes, we caught maybe 15 birds and it was time for plan b. >> we're going to shelter the chickens and ducks in place. and we're going to take the goats. >> i think plan b was the best plan. >> reporter: feed the birds, give them water, take the goats to the show grounds where they can get checked out by vets and get some r and r. >> sounds good. i had chickens, you cannot catch them. photogenic animals were celebrated in a global competition at the annual comedy wildlife photography competition featuring the mischievous life
of animals like this overjoyed sea otter. >> he was almost as happy, but not quite, as these monkeys, appearing somehow to escape on a motorbike. >> even their grins were no match for this shark. there it is. who was sporting a very wide smile, coming to get you. only five official champions selected from 3500 entries from 85 countries. this disgruntled owl you're about to see was the overall winner, struggling to keep a grip as his friends ignore him. on the land category, in the middle of look like a good laugh. >> another category called the undersea category, went to this picture entitled slap. you can see why. taken to australia's great barrier reef. and some honorable mentions this guy with a grass mustache and these mud skippers who seem to be singing their hearts out.
a picture of a shocked elephant seal, our favorite, maybe because of the title the aptly named wtf. >> a good one. >> your favorite. >> right. >> we have another hour of news just ahead. top stories coming up, so please stay with us. i'm natalie allen. >> i'm cyril vanier. "cnn newsroom" continues right after this.