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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  December 31, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PST

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analysis that he partook when he charged paul manafort, when he sought cooperation, when he ultimately did not get that cooperation and was frustrated, obviously, with the lack of truthfulness he got from paul manafort. so that's exactly the kind of things that target individuals who have access to, say, you know what, here's how i get out of debt. >> joe marino, thank you so much. happy new year to you. that is it for me. i'll be back at 5:00 eastern in "the situation room." newsroom starts right now. hello and happy new year's eve. i'm ryan nobles in today for brooke baldwin. we are just ten hours away from the ball drop in new york city, welcoming 2019. this hour, pakistan, the maldooima maldives and parts of russia are welcoming in the new year. we've seen fireworks, but the east coast will be ringing in the new year with heavy rain and
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showers. the first time it's rained in times square on new year's eve since 1994. that's the year i graduated from high school. i don't know if there's a connection to that at all. jennifer gray joining me now live from the cnn weather cen r center. it could get a little ugly, jenner. >> it could. once it starts raining in times square, it's not going to stop. so all of those people waiting for the ball to drop, they're going to be in for the long haul. it's going to be raining in philadelphia, d.c., as well. and all of these cities to the west. chicago, cleveland, cincinnati, st. louis, and even some storms all the way down the mississippi river valley, into places like baton rouge, new orleans, very popular new year's eve spots could be soaked for tonight. there is also a severe weather risk, and that extends from the south up to places like lexington, where we could see damaging winds, isolated tornadoes, and even the possibility of hail.
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so some very serious new year's eve weather conditions going on in those locations. the rest of this area is going to be just rain. and it's going to be a cool rain. temperatures in new york will be around 49 degrees by the time the ball drops. not miserably cold, but when you factor in the rain and temperatures in the 40s, it could feel pretty miserable. here's the forecast radar as we go forward in time. you can see new york, philly, d.c., boston, all in the rain. this is 9:00 p.m. atlanta, even getting in on the rain. chicago could be rainy for you, as well. this is a look at midnight. you can see places like atlanta in the showers, new orleans looks like it's already past you, but d.c., philly, new york, boston, all in the rain, to bring in the new year, unfortunately. so all of the places along the east coast, it's going to be a hit or miss-type situation. the big cities we know will get rain. chicago, 36 and cloudy. i think the rain will have already pushed out by the time you ring in the new year.
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here's the midnight forecast for new york city. temperatures will be around 48. it will feel like 44, with steady rain, ryan. so a lot of these people could be experiencing the rain for the next, what, nine or ten hours. >> 44 degrees and pouring rain, probably not all that pleasant. >> no, thank you. >> jennifer gray, thank you so much for that update. well, cnn does have a team of reporters covering celebrations in places both customary and unique. gary tuchman is in niagara falls and miguel marquez is already staking out a spot in times square. miguel, in addition to the rain, security expected to be extremely tight there. how many people are officials expecting there tonight? >> well, they're expecting or planning for as many as 2 million people, but i can tell you that rain has already begun here. and i can give you a sense of just how this crowd -- i mean, look at the people shoved in here and then look at the two over there who are under that
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plastic bag. they're crazy! they're absolutely insane! these people have been out here since very early in the morning! >> hello! you kbguys ready for this! this is what they're waiting for. up right above them is the pole where that ball actually comes down. and i can show you just around this way, we have people from -- we have the japanese contingent here. we have the korean contingent just behind them. we have the newlyweds from kansas city. and we have these three crazies from wisconsin. this is nothing for the wisconsinites. they'll be perfectly fine. >> oh, yeah, we're fine. >> you're doing the plastic today? >> yes. >> sensibly so. they have hundreds of police officers and agents from 54 different agencies and all levels of government. they have 1,200 plus cameras out here. they're even using drones and anti-drone technology out here. the drones, the police drones will be tethered to buildings, so if there is an issue, they won't fall on crowds.
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they're even embedding police officers in area hotels, leaving nothing to chance. everyone who's come in here has gone through a magnetometer. they can't bring any alcohol, bags, umbrellas, coolers! it doesn't really sound like a party, does it? i don't know how you guys are going to hold it since -- you have been waiting since 7:00 this morning to get here, and they have another eight, nine, ten hours to go. i don't know how you do it. bladders of steel, all of you! well done! have a great time. happy new year! >> and happy new year to you. >> miguel, it may be worth it for them to make the trip to have been told on national television that they have bladders of steel by miguel marquez. >> reporter: bladders of steel! >> miguel, thank you. let's move now to gary. you're at the site of one of canada's largest new year's celebrations. gary, tell us more about that. >> reporter: ryan, this is the site of the largest celebration in this nation.
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niagara falls, this is queen victoria park. tens of thousands of people will be here to hear concerts, watch fireworks coming here from the skyline tower. but the main reason people come here is to see what is behind me here on the ontario side of the niagara river. that is the great horseshoe falls spanning the united states and canada. one of the three niagara falls and to the left of that, the other two. the one to the left is the american falls. that's all in the united states. that's the side of the united states of america. we are in canada. we had a very close-up look. this was amazing. weapon went under the niagara falls to get a look at horseshoe falls. 167-foot drop. that's 16 stories. 3 million cubic feet of water every minute. to give you an idea of what that means, it's 1 million bathtubs full of water every second that comes down from the niagara falls. now, my daughter, lindsay tuck
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jb l tucklin, a reporter, she'll be working with me last night. we got to turn the lights on the falls. this is how you control the lights for what millions of people see every year. and you're giving us the honor of getting to switch the lights on the niagara falls. >> yes, i am. >> the choice we have! right now -- lindsay, what color is it? >> right now it's orange and it's moving inside and out, which is a cool effect. >> we're going to change it. we have a choice of waves, aurora borealis, sparkling, burning fire, blue, orange, blue, lavender. >> i think we want to go aurora borealis. that seems more fun. >> well, you have the honor. first, reset it to white. >> i'll use this handy dandy pen here, reset it to white. and now -- >> aurora borealis! >> here we go. check it out! >> aurora borealis, the american falls and niagara falls. what a great honor. thank you. >> you're very welcome. >> it's beautiful. >> that was a great way for us to close 2018.
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tonight, it is supposed to be 48 degrees fahrenheit at 12:00 midnight. that compares to last year when it was 2 degrees fahrenheit, but it wasn't raining last year. we're expecting a lot of rain here like in times square. >> having grown up in western new york, 48 on new year's eve, many people in that part of the world will take it. gary tuchman, thanks and so exciting that you and your daughter get to report this story together. thank you, gary. >> as we countdown to the new year, the days to the partial government shutdown are racking up. day ten and president trump is not budging on his border wall, as house democrats plan to vote thursday on a package of spending bills to reopen the government, on the same day they take control of the chamber. caught in the middle, well, 800,000 federal workers who still have no idea when their next paycheck is coming. more than half of them have been working without pay. what's more? president trump just froze their pay for 2019, saying the federal budget could not support a wage
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increase. let's go now to the white house, cnn's sarah westwood is standing by. sarah, the president skipped his new year's party at mar-a-lago, due to the shutdown. so what has he been doing today toward ending it? >> well, ryan, we really don't know. we haven't seen the president for several days now. he's had no public events and despite the fact that he's been taunting those democratic congressional leaders who left town for the holidays, back here in washington, there hasn't been a lot of movement in the negotiations over funding for the border wall. now, despite the fact that the president has maintained that democrats only oppose the wall because he's president, they've held that position consistently throughout these budget talks, but he says he's here at the white house and he's ready to talk. he wrote on twitter this morning, i'm in the oval office. democrats come back from vacation now and give us the votes necessary for border security, including the wall. and then he goes on to extol the merits of the wall. but keep in mind that the democratic congressional leaders haven't actually been invited back to the white house for further negotiations.
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that's per the acting chief of staff/budget director, mick mulvaney, who has also signaled that the president might be willing to accept less than that original $5 billion demand for the border wall. but he hasn't specified just how much the president would be willing to come down. this as one of president trump's top allies on capitol hill, senator lindsey graham, said ft. seemed interested in a potential compromise that would involve him standing firm at $5 billion, and then tying that funding to a temporary renewal of the daca protections, for those undocumented immigrants known as dreamers. democrats haven't signaled whether they would be interested in that kind of compromise. there has not been a lot of serious talk in it, so things right now seem to look a lot like they did ten days ago and no end in sight for this shutdown. >> it certainly looks like it could get worse before it gets better. sarah westwood live from the white house. thank you very much. the president also tweeted this about the border wall. he wrote, quote, an all-concrete wall was never abandoned, as has been reported by the media.
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some areas will be all concrete, but the experts at the border patrol prefer a wall they can see through, thereby making it possible to see what is happening on both sides. makes sense to me. with that, the president is appearing to be giving a final rebuke of his outgoing chief of staff, john kelly. in his final days at the white house, kelly just gave a revealing and wide-ranging interview to the "los angeles times." saying this, quote, to be honest, it's not a wall. the president still says wall. oftentimes, frankly, he'll say barrier or fencing, now he's tended towards steel slats, but we left a solid concrete wall early on in the administration. joining me now to talk about this, cnn political analyst, brian karem and margaret talev. thank you both for joining me on new year's eve. margaret, john kelly says this all-concrete wall that the president talked about relentlessly during the campaign was abandoned early on.
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the president then said "no," but he does appear to agree with kelly saying that parts of the wall should be see-through. and it must be tough to negotiate a funding deal with democrats when you continue to get mixed messages from this president as to what he actually wants. >> yeah, you know, ryan, i don't know, maybe the president is taking issue with the word "abandoned." i talked to a senior white house aide last week who was describing the wall as not a concrete wall anymore and saying, actually, i mean, precisely the same thing, that the idea was to have a barrier. those border patrol officials thought would provide them sort of the most in the way of security. and that having the concrete all the way across, you know, didn't -- you know, the opaqueness didn't give you the visibility you would want through it. and i think, you know, democrats' objections, to some extent, it doesn't matter
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whether it's concrete or whether it's slats. it's the idea that you could actually wall off immigrants, that it might not work, it would be very expensive and sends the wrong signal. that would be their position. but i'm trying to understand who the president is arguing with. i think he rejects the idea that he had abandoned an idea of his. he doesn't like the idea that the base would see him as retreating. but in fact, my understanding, not just from that john kelly interview, is that absolutely, the concept of what he wanted on the campaign trail changed when he actually talked to the officials who would be administering protection at any sort of a barrier. >> all right, brian, speaking of that article that was written by molly o'toole from the "l.a. times," i actually talked to her earlier today and he talked about trump and how in many ways, john kelly is navigating the president's words in terms of rhetoric versus relate. take a listen to what molly had to say earlier today. >> early on in kelly's tenure at homeland security, he asked the people on the ground, who are
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really on the front lines, on the border every day, what they needed and what they said they needed was a barrier in some areas, but that would look not like a concrete wall, but would be steel slats, a combination of fencing, but along with more personnel and technology. so that just goes to show that distance between rhetoric and reality. and potentially how difficult it's going to be for whoever comes next, as chief of staff or anyone -- any official on immigration and border security, to really succeed when the president, in fact, ran and won on some pledges that he may not be able to carry out. >> so you heard it right there, brian. rhetoric versus reality. this is becoming an increasing problem for president trump, but it really creates a problem for democrats, as well, right? because aren't they kind of underestimating a little bit just what the president needs to have happen in order for a deal to be hatched? >> you have to understand what the president wants in order for it to happen and you're dealing with a couple of big issues. first of all, this has never -- there's no concrete design -- no
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pun intended -- on what this project is going to be. there's a nice web page that you can go to, but the dhs and even the white house has not answered my specific questions about specific nature of the wall, how it's going to be built, where it's going to be built, what it's going to be built of, because they really don't know. it started out as a 1,900-mile, then it was going to be see-through, echo friendly, but none of it makes any sense. it's a scam issue, because there are places where the existing wall or fence needs to be enhanced. there are other places that need to have some walls built. but the bottom line is, this has always been about security and border security, both the democrats and republicans reach consensus on. the president was willing to sign a cr. he was going to compromise, then he got called out on the carpet by -- well, the reason why we're here is because ann coulter shot her mouth off. so we're here looking at it now and you're probably going to be back when you settle this hash. it's going to be a deal very similar to what you saw in the
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beginning, with maybe daca thrown in, maybe another billion thrown into it, but it's not going to be the $5 billion. and the question that the democrats have, here's an issue that you have to deal with, the executive branch didn't spend what they allocated for border security last year. so why allocate more if you haven't spent what you've got? there are people who say that there's got to be stuff done, but it's not going to be a $5 billion wall and it never will be. >> so margaret, let's talk about the democratic strategy here. we now know, democratic sources confirming to our reporters on capitol hill that as soon as they take over the house of representatives, they're going to pass through a package of six bipartisan full senate appropriations bills and a stopgap measure to reopen the government. they're basically going to put the ball back in mitch mcconnell's hands to deal with the president. is this the wise way to go about it? could this force the president's hand? and could it put mitch mcconnell in a difficult position? >> well, it's the obvious way to restart the process. and what mcconnell and the
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senate republicans are indicating as of right now, as of today, is that they are not going to try to pass and send something to the president that they know that the president is not going to support. but this entire time, there have been discussions behind the scenes, even as the president kind of publicly takes this posture of no compromise and no retreat, that the vice president and jared kushner and the legislative team over at the white house have been in ongoing conversations on the hill, at least with republicans, trying to figure out what could they put together that the president can live with, that could actually get passed. so, look, this is going to be the democrat's ascent in the house. nancy pelosi's reemergence, we expect, as speaker. and so what are they going to do? they're going to come on day one, showing that they're able to get things done, at least their definition of getting things done, and they get the ball rolling. and that's what happens when you have divided government. and what happened in the midterms is people elected their democrats to take over one chamber of commerce. so i think that they're doing
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what they said they would do and what you would expect they would do. and now it's going to be up to the president to decide how he wants to dial back his original request. >> so brian, i want you to respond to a tweet from the president over the weekend, where he essentially blamed the deaths of two migrant children on the democrats for their immigration policies. then he went even further today by saying, people dying is far more immoral than a border wall. do you think he's making this situation worse with the democrats? i mean, how can he have a serious negotiation with them if he's making such v. serious accusations in their directions? >> well, i find it perfectly disgusting. here's the basis for that opinion. first of all, he said he would own the shutdown of government. now he's blaming the democrats further. he's blaming his own countrymen for the death of two innocents. he's using those innocent people as a political football. he is. no one else, he is.
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and by the way, and he will blame the democrats for the death of two children with no evidence, yet he will not condemn the saudi arabians for the death of jamal khashoggi, a "washington post" reporter, after the entire world saw the evidence and knows that the saudi prince was part and parcel of the problem and helped cause this guy's death. it speaks to me volumes about where this president is coming from. he has no problem accusing the democrats of the most horrendous things possible, but he can't stop or bother to make notice of the people who are actually causing the real trouble in this world. and that's -- you know, that kind of rhetoric, you don't need. >> we'll have to leave it there. brian karem, margaret talev, thank you both for being here. >> happy new year to you. still ahead, senator elizabeth warren making her first major step toward a 2020 run. but can she rise to the top of a crowded democratic field? we will discuss. plus, a lion escapes from
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its enclosure at a zoo, killing a 22-year-old intern. her anatofamily now speaking ou. but first, here's a look at how taipei rang in the new year, just moments ago. aaaaaahhhhhhhh! ballooned your car. call meeeee! (burke) a fly-by ballooning. seen it, covered it. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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she became a favorite of the left by taking on wall street more than a decade ago. then came a winning campaign in 2012 for the u.s. senate. now elizabeth warren is setting her sights higher, much higher. >> no matter where you live in america and no matter where your family came from in the world, you deserve a path to opportunities. because no matter what our differences, most of us want the same thing. to be able to work hard, play by the same set of rules, and take care of the people we love. that's the america i'm fighting for. and that's why today i'm launching an exploratory committee for president. >> but if the massachusetts democrat wants to call the white house home in 2020, the numbers suggest, well, she's got some work to do. a recent cnn poll shows that warren is in sixth among democrats and democratic-leaning independents. joining me now to talk about this, the one and only cnn
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senior political writer and analyst, harry entin, star of the podcast, which i think i've been a part of, too. >> great, harry. can we read into anything about the timing of this announcement for warren? she clearly, among the favorites, not at the top of this list. and the other problem she has is that she's not the only progressive in this field, either. >> that's exactly right. and i think that she felt a little bit of pressure. she was thinking perhaps bernie sanders is, in fact, going to run. someone like sherrod brown. sherrod brown's press people putting out stuff today saying, look at all the stuff the senator's been doing from ohio. but i went back from 1972 and found that the median date of entry for primary entrants when no incumbents are running is march 12th. it's march 12th. so it shouldn't be a huge surprise that we're getting the first person in at this particular point.
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>> now, warren has certainly had her share of missteps, right? she had this dna test thing that she did in the fall, a video about her her native american ancestry that sparked quite a bit of backlash. but there's another cnn poll that shows about a third of the poll is unsure about her. does she have an opportunity here to try to fix some of this or soothe concerns for jittery democrats? >> sure, we're still more than a year out from iowa. she has plenty of time to soothe over some flaws that perhaps some voters think that she has. but i should also point out that joe biden is much better known than elizabeth warren and his unfavorable rating is actually lower than hers is. it's pretty clear that even for someone who isn't as well known as she is, her unfavorable rating is pretty high, that's the case both among the general electorate, as well as among democratic primary voters. >> right. >> she, of course, has been somebody that has not been afraid to go after president trump, whenever she gets the opportunity. and president trump seems to be spoiling for a fight when it comes to elizabeth warren. this is what he said about her
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in october. >> i hope she's running for president, because i think she would be very easy. i hope that she is running. i do not think that she'll be difficult at all. she'll destroy the country. she'll make our country into venezuela. with that being said, i don't want to say bad things about her, because i hope that she would be one of the people that would get through the process. it's going to be a long process for the democrats. >> if that isn't classic donald trump, you know, she's got images of donald trump, mitch mcconnell, she's got other conservative voices in there. you know, her top aids and allies in the media beyond, talking about how this could impact her, is the fact that she's not afraid to go after donald trump, could that help her? >> it could certainly help her, it could raise her press profile. but the fact is, you go back to the native american ancestry when she did that dna test, i think most neutral observers would say that the president actually came out on top in that exchange. so going after the president and
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getting press is good thing, but if it's negative press, it's a bad thing. >> that has been the pitfall for many donald trump opponents. they try and take the fight to him, and so far, nobody has been able to best nim thhim in that respect. her hometown paper spying what they saw warning signs from voters that former massachusetts governor deval patrick at this time was generating more enthusiasm. they write, while warren is an impactful senator, she's become a divisive figure. a unifying voice is what the country needs now, after polaripolar i izing politics of donald trump. are they right? >> in her re-election bid in 2018, she won by 24 points. hillary clinton won in massachusetts by 27 points and that was in not as blue of a year as 2018. so i think they may, in fact, have a point there. >> harry, thanks as always. i think you'll be talking about this a little bit over the next -- >> maybe just a tad. up next, her family says she
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died doing what she loved. but did this young intern have to die in the jaws of a lion? we're live in north carolina. and president trump defends his plan to withdraw troops from syria. he says he's just doing what he said he would do during the campaign. so why does one senator think trump may be having second thoughts? one hour pickup order? >>got it. ran out of ink and i have a big meeting today >>and 2 boxes of twizzlers... yeah, uh...for the team... >>the team? gooo team.... know what's better than overnight shipping? free one hour pickup when you order online... or on our app. at office depot officemax
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xfinity home connects you to total home security you can control from anywhere on any device. and it protects you with 24/7 professional monitoring. i guess we're sleeping here tonight. xfinity home. simple. easy. awesome. call, go online or demo in an xfinity store today. an investigation is underway into how a lion escaped an enclosure at a zoo and killed an intern. staffers at the conservator center in burlington, north carolina, were doing a routine cleaning when they say the lion somehow left a locked space and
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attacked 22-year-old alexandra black. black had been interning for ten days and was cleaning another area when the attack happened. her family says she loved animals and wanted to make a career working with them, something her coworkers echoed. >> this person's passion was the zoological industry. this was not this person's first internship. and this person wanted to spend a lifetime around these animals. >> the 14-year-old lion was euthanized following the attack. no one else was injured. the zoological park is closed until further notice. and joining me now to talk more about you is wildlife expert, jeff corwin. jeff, officials at the center say their safety protocol includes locking the large cats in a separate area from humans during cleanings, so how could something like this happened? >> well, that is the standard protocol, when you're going to
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clean the enclosure of a large powerful predator, like a tiger or a lion, that animal is secured in a separate holding area so the people, the staff can either administer whatever needs to be administered or clean the enclosure of the animal. so here's the thing. lions can not pick locks, but sometimes people forget to lock the lock. so it is very likely, in the end, this will be the result of a human mistake or human error. as with most of these situations, where tragedies like this occur, there's something to do with that management scenario, where terrible, tragic accidents like this can occur. >> and this, again, reminds us just how powerful and dangerous lions can be. i mean, what kind of training do you need in order to work with a ferocious animal like a lion? >> well, mrs. black was beginning the journey of
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developing the expertise more a lifelong career, which tragically was cut short by this terrible event. but it requires a tremendous amount of training. mrs. black -- miss black had just recently completed her bachelor's work in animal sciences and many folks that work in this world have degrees in biology or environmental science and they will work as interns or docins for many, many months before they finally become the animal experts employed by a zoo or an environment like. it requires a tremendous amount of training. and you're right, ryan, these are incredibly powerful creatures. she probably had no idea that this was occurring. it probably happened at lightning speed, because they are powerful predators. and this is how they dispatch their prey in the wild. and just about every lion or tiger or other predator that
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lives in the united states probably had some moment where it had intense human care. for example, many lions are raised by human beings in captive environments before they go on their own into an enclosure, into a zoological community. but despite maybe having a sense of empathy for human beings, they are so powerful, if you have a pet cat and your pet cat has a bad day with a yarn ball, it's, you know, the cat being a cat. but if a powerful 400 or 500-pound lion has a bad situation, lives are at stake. >> and of course, this ended with the lion being euthanized. they say the personnel there were unable to tranquilize the lion. so there's essentially two lives lost in this situation. >> absolutely. it's a tremendous tragic loss all-around. zoos are very important places where people learn about conservation, make connections
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to the natural world, but there will be a very powerful and painful learning curve here. and hopefully those lessons will be learned to ensure that terrible accidents like this don't occur in the end, in the future. we have to remember, ryan, lions are endangered species. there are only 25,000 lions left in africa. every one matters. >> jeff corwin, obviously, a tragic story. your expertise is very valuable in helping us understand exactly what happened. we so appreciate you being here. thank you. >> thanks. well, it was a bit of surprise when he said it. senator lindsey graham's claim that president trump will slow his plans to withdraw troops from syria, but will the president follow through?
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today is the last day on the job for defense secretary jim mattis. this morning, he submitted a heartfelt farewell message to department of defense employees
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saying, in part, quote, i am confident that each of you remains undistracted from our sworn mission to support and defend the constitution while protecting our way of life. our department is proven to be at its best when the times are most difficult. you'll remember that secretary mattis announced his resignation because of the president's decision to withdraw troops from syria. but over the weekend, republican senator lindsey graham says that president trump is now re-evaluating such a rapid drawdown. joining me for more on this, cnn national security analyst, samantha vinograd. she was a senior national security adviser under president obama. and sam and i haven't been on television together for like six hours. >> i did miss you, though. >> we had to rectify that. sam, what do you think of secretary mattis' farewell message? >> well, his message looks like it's intended to bolster morale of the men skband women who continue to serve at the pentagon while pointing out that there are rough waters ahead. what he experienced as secretary
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of defense under president trump, this policy of really throwing our allies under the bus and making impetuous decisions does not seem to be getting much better, even if you just look at the president's twitter feed today and his comments on syria, it looks like he's trying to boost morale. >> the pentagon, the work moves on. the new acting replacement, patrick shanann, he takes over tomorrow. the president apparently still kind of discussing this serious strategy here. this is not really shanann's area of expertise, dealing with these type of military matters. how big a challenge is this going to be for him? >> that's exactly why there should have been a longer transition period. during his transitions from a secretary to an acting secretary, even if it's a deputy, typically there's a handover of information. what the secretary knows, he tries to impart on whomever is taking over for him. trying to do that over the course of just a few days is literally impossible, especially when you have a secretary that's on the outs with the president and is trying so rapidly to wrap
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things up. it's unclear who is really leading discussions on the responsible drawdown of troops on syria, what timetable they're going to be following and where they're going to be relocated to and who else is going to pick up pieces of the mission. >> you know, there was a sense that both general kelly and general mattis had a level of gr gravitas around the president, he respected their military service, the fact that they were generals played a big part in that. shanahan doesn't have that same level of gravitas. his experience comes from the private sector, he was an ex-boeing executive, a businessman, really. could that actually help him when discussing things with president trump? or could that be a challenge, especially when it comes to challenging the president on military matters? >> who really knows at this point, what kind of resume actually lends itself to getting the president's ear. we had all kinds of cabinet officials telling the president that the decision to withdraw from syria was not a wise one from a security perspective. and at the end of the day, the president chose to listen to a foreign leader, erdogan of turkey, rather than his own
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cabinet. so i don't think we really know if shanahan's resume is going to be a plus or a minus in this regard. one thing that we do know is that several people in the last few days have been urging the president to reconsider his decision. senator graham, since we did thoe this over lunch yesterday, the prime minister of israel has made a similar plea, because withdrawing troops, even if it was logistically possible within the 30-day time period that was on the table originally was irresponsible and would open the u.s. up to a lot of threats. >> and very quickly, we did see stanley mcchrystal speak out against president trump. were you surprised to be -- to see him be so forceful in a public manner about his negative thoughts about president trump? >> i'm always surprised when a nonpartisan public servant makes criticisms like this, but he obviously felt that it was necessary. and he has extensive experience fighting terrorists in theaters like iraq, so he certainly knows what he's talking about when he makes these kinds of assertions. >> sam vinograd, thanks so much. we appreciate it. up next, russia has detained
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a u.s. citizen accused of spying. we do know the man's name, but not much else. a closer look at the accusations, the evidence, and the potential punishment.
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russia has just alleged it caught a u.s. spy in the act. state-run media says the agency that used to be the kgb has detained the american, quote, while carrying out an act of espionage. that is the statement from the fsb. let's go to moscow now. senior and international correspondent matthew chance. matthew, who is the american and what is is he accused of doing?
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>> reporter: well, we know his name is paul nicholas whealan, because that's the name that's been given to us by the russian authorities. in terms of what exactly he's been doing, we're pretty much in the dark, to be frank with you. we know that the russians say that he was caught spying, there's been a very short statement issued by the russian fsb, which is the main counter-espionage agency in this country. it says that the educative debate of the fsb initiated a criminal case against the u.s. citizen under article 276 of the criminal code. and that's espionage. the investigation is underway, and that's basically all it said. the u.s. state department hasn't been much help, either, frankly, because they've just issued a very short statement as well, saying that they acknowledge being formally informed that this u.s. citizen is in detention. but they've said for the sake of -- and have also requested consular services, consular
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access. but that -- not indicated whether those have been granted yet. but they've said that for considerations of privacy, they're not going to say anything else about the issue, at this stage. and so, you know, it's a very kind of, you know, a lot of mystery surrounding what's happened here, who this individual is, what he's accused of doing. and you know, we're hoping that in the coming days, we're going to get a bit more clarity on this. >> mm-hmm. and of course, matthew, it comes not long after maria butina was arrested here in the united states. perhaps that has something stood with this whole entire affair. we will have to see. matthew chance live in moscow, thank you for that. getting ready to ring in 2019? getter ready for anything. we're talking rain, snow, ice, even thunderstorms. new details about a nasty start to the new year. and we're expecting senator elizabeth warren to speak any moment now for the first time since she announced that she is exploring a run for president. if that happens, we will take you there live.
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hello and happy new years eve. i'm ryan nobles in for brooke baldwin. it's 3:00 in new york, but it is officially 2019 in dubai, oman and parts of russia. live pictures here from dubai. looks like a pretty good party there. the east coast will be hit with heavy rain showers. cnn's jennifer gray joins me now from the cnn weather center. jennifer, if you're planning on being outside tonight, it's going to be a little bit warmer with a little bit of rain, right. >> you're exactly right.