tv New Day Weekend With Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul CNN April 21, 2019 4:00am-5:00am PDT
>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. good morning to our viewers here in the united states and hello to everyone around the world. i'm victor blackwell. >> i'm jessica dean. in for christi paul this morning remember breaking news out of sri lanka. at least 140 people are dead and 560 injured in a series of coordinated bombings. eight explosions rocked four cities throughout the country and targeting churches and high-end hotels. >> earlier this morning the pope dlimp delivered his easter message at the vatican and called the attacks such cruel violence and referred to the bloodshed as mourning and pain for christians at easter. we are also learning at least 20 foreigners are among those killed. >> let's go now to cnn
correspondent will ripley. we know they are telling people not to crowd around these locations and a curfew in effect later. >> reporter: right. an an active and unfolding situation with reports of the eighth bombing coming in the last hour or so. clearly they are not out of the woods in sri lanka and they don't know who is responsible because nobody has yet to come forward. what this is, clearly, is a coordinated attack on multiple fronts. as i mentioned, eight explosions, three of them targeting churches. four of them targeting hotels. and then an explosion at a house in this south asian island nation. you have a target of christians who were celebrating easter and target foreigners in high-end hotels across multiple cities in sri lanka including colombo which is their largest city. also an attack on the sri lankan
economy, next month is the tenth anniversary of their quarter century civil war. the nation has struggled to bounce back from this and in recent years, a hot spot for tourism. obviously, now some people may be afraid. there are lots of people who are affected by terror attack, a coordinated attack such as this. the numbers are staggering in terms of their scope. at least 140 people confirmed dead. more than 560 people injured and we know 20 foreigners are amongst the dead and that was at the colombo national hospital. the scene that is being described so gruesome. at one location, st. sebastian church the blast occurred after easter mass and thousands of people attended that church. we were told there were 30 bodies lying in the church, pieces of flesh were thrown on the walls in the sanctuary and even outside of the church. as you mentioned, the sri lankan government is trying to keep people away from areas where they could be targeted.
the president of sri lanka expressive shock and dismay and ordering people off leave and come back and trying take every possible step to maintain law and order right now says the president of sri lanka. they are closing schools two days until wednesday. and just trying to come to grips with what happened and, at the moment, at this hour, trying to contain the situation and make sure they can prevent more people from being hurt and killed. >> all right. will ripley, thank you so much. we know this is a lot of information taken and we will check back in with you. we appreciate it. the full horror of the scene in sri lanka is only just now becoming clear. we are getting new video in the aftermath and moment of the explosion. this video purportedly shows the explosion at st. anthony's church in colombo. take a watch. you see there on the left side of your screen that explosion which you can tell even from a
distance was quite violent, quite abrupt and caused, as we now now, incredible destruction damage and bloodshed. >> as this goes on we are getting the reaction from world leaders coming in. british foreign minister theresa may had this to say. and the president of turkey a saying the following. moments ago, president trump tweeted this.
of course, 138 million, that is obviously an error. it's been up for 16 minutes and the president at some point will change that. that from the president of the united states and says they are standing ready to help. >> we discuss it now with kimberly dozier who is a cnn world affairs analyst. thank you for being with us. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. >> as we get this information, help put us in context on the ground there in sri lanka. help us understand the dynamics in sri lanka and what you're taking in and assessing at this point. >> reporter: well, there has no claim of responsibility as we are stressing, but when you look at the hallmarks of this attack,
the sophistication, the number of targets, the targets that were chosen, the kind of thing we have seen before from isis, al qaeda, even tyba, the mumbai attacks in 2008 in indonesia and speaks of the larrier attacks that sri lanka saw against its battle with the tigers which ended around 2009. now, there have been some home-grown islamic militants on the island. one news report out there that there was a possible plot, the police were watching against the churches of the island. but we also know the sri lanka justice minister a couple of years ago, told parliament that at least 32 mom nent mprominent from had joined isis in the area. some of them may have come back. we know there has been a call by isis for reprisal attacks after
the killing of so many muslims in christ church, new zealand. >> kimberly, i think it's also important as we talk about the religious element of this and the targeting of three churches but also to highlight that four of the locations were these high-end hotels. so whichever group is responsible for this, not only wanted to attack churches on one of the holiest days of the christian calendar but also to affect as many people and as many countries as possible by going after these hotels where there would be large nuchmbers foreigners? >> absolutely. this is one of the things that counterterrorism analysts have been warning about as isis contracted inside the war zones of iraq and syria that their long-term plan was to send people out to soft targets, places that might not have their guard up and to try to find both westerners and christians to attack to try to keep the momentum going in their battle.
sri lanka is a horrible way a perfect target for that. while there was a small muslim militant movement on the island, this speaks of a much larger international campaign. another thing they try to do, the various militant groups, is look for the seams in society and in sri lanka, the mantle of the population is hindu and buddhist. they only have a very small fraction that is muslim and christian. so they already have some sectarian tensions there and this will exacerbate that. >> kimberly dozier for us helping to understand all of the complex elements of what the people there in sri lanka and around the world are now trying to understand about this coordinated attack. kimberly, thank you. the pope offers eoffered his condolences of the victims of the sri lanka bombings during his mass at the vatican.
take a listen. >> translator: dear brothers and sisters, heard of sadness the attacks on this very day, easter sunday, have brought morning and pain to some churches and other places in sri lanka. i would like to express my heartfelt closeness to the christian community. attacked while gathered in prayer. and to all of the victims of such a cruel act of violence. i trust to the lord all so tragically who died and i pray for the wounded and all those who suffer because of this traumatic event. >> cnn senior vatican analyst john allen is in rome. tell us what else the pope said. i mean, several of his predecessors have had to address
believers there after attacks on easter. what did he say? >> reporter: hi there. despite everything, happy easter to you. yes, you're right. this is hardly the first time a pope has spoken on easter following a brutal attack against christians someplace. in 2015, there was an attack on a university in kenya targeting christian students that left more than 100 people dead, 2016 on easter sunday, bombs went off at a park in a christian neighborhood. pakistan where people were celebrating easter and last year left christians dead and injured and we see this violence this year in sri lanka. pope francis expressed his closeness to the victims in sri lanka which he described as having been struck today by sorrow and by pain.
he described what happened as cruel violence. he called for prayers by christians all over the world. and indicated that he would continue to carry the nation of sri lanka in his heart as he copes with the aftermath of these attacks. >> john allen for us there in rome, thank you. let's turn to politics. former vice president joe biden scheduled to be the 19th candidate running for the democratic presidential nomination. coming up, how the vice president could shake up the 2020 race. plus, how democrats are demanding the full unredacted mueller report and now one of the president's lawyers says he has no problem with them seeing it. easter amid the ashes. holy services will not be held at notre dame cathedral this year but church goers are hopeful this holiday. we will take you live to paris. . and your mother told me all her life that i should fix it. now it reminds me of her.
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former vice president joe biden is expected for launch his third attention for presidential nomination this week. >> he is vying with 18 candidates to challenge president trump in 2020. the decision would end months of speculation about the vice president if he would enter the race and his announcement with make him an entrant front-runner in the polls. loo these polls show him with a commanding double-digit lead in iowa and not so much in new hampshire but still very far ahead. cory booker had this to say about the vice president entering the race. >> excited about having a vibrant debate in the coming year. we are still a very long way from first votes being cast and i think it's going to be a really wonderful debate and i'm looking forward to that. but my philosophy has always been from the time i was running track in high school is that you
you don't look to the left or right when you're running your race. >> his team has not announced exactly when or exactly where the vice president will make the announcement. president trump is spending easter morning at his estate in palm beach, florida, before flying back to washington today. the picture painted by the mueller report becomes clearer, he was on twitter attacking the report and senator mitt romney for his reaction to what it revealed. those close to trump say he is getting newly furious at the current and former staffers who were interviewed for that report. cnn white house reporter sarah westwood is live in west palm beach for us this morning. sarah? >> reporter: good morning. president trump is frustrated with hissteri portrayal in the mueller report. former aides are questioning the strategy that his then legal
team, which included lawyers john dowd and tom cloud employed at the time have the aides cooperate fully with mueller an hand over any documents and give any testimony but that put a lot of damaging information in the hands of investigators so a lot of second-guessing that strategy. the president is very frustrated at his former white house counsel don mcgahn who talked to investigators for hours and gave them notes of one conversation in june 2017 where according to mueller asked mcgahn to get rid of the special counsel and comes as house democrats are pushing the justice department to hand over an unredacted copy of the mueller report and that is led by jerry nadler but rudy giuliani, the president's personal attorney, is fine with that going the report going to
congress because he says there is nothing in there to change report. take a listen. >> as far as i'm concerned, you know, he can have it but i'm not the attorney general and the attorney general can't brae break the law. >> reporter: president has been active on twitter since the russian report has come out and he is going after senator mitt romney who is one of the few republicans to react harshly with a statement against the president since the russia report came out. mitt romney said he was sickened to read what he did in the mueller report, particularly about the president's obstructive acts. here is what he wrote yesterday. referring here, obviously, to the 2012 raise when romney was a nominee. later today, the president is expected to fly back to d.c. >> thank you, sarah westwood. with us today is liza
collins. let's start with biden contemplation is nearly over. there will be some announcement this week. vice president biden says he is an obama/biden democrat. can he put together an obama/biden campaign and how does he do that and what do we know he is coalescing to try to get that coalition back together? >> i have no idea if he can put together an obama sl/biden campn but early polling shows him a front-runner in these early states which is probably a big reason he got into the race or expected to get into the race. an obama/biden democrat would probably take sort of those mainstream democrats, more establishment democrats that obama was able to capture and then it would also be the group that biden is so go at appealing to. so the white working class voters, biden is hoping to capture some of those voters that did go to trump in 2016 so
those obama trump voters, biden feels he can bring back into the fold. >> can we talk about money for a moment? let's put aside the politics and the policy. "the new york times" is reporting that several big donors, democratic party donors and fund-raisers have received emails asking them to write some big checks to support vice president biden's campaign. now, we know that senator warren, senator sanders have sworn off those big dollar fund-raisers. everybody is touting and flaunting their average, you know, 20, 30, 40 dollar donation. is this problematic enough going after the big dollar, the big fund-raiser for the vice president that could cause him some major problems in the primary? >> well, the democratic base is really over, that big money right now. we saw it with the rise of bernie sanders in 2016 and it's only expanded there are more candidates now vowing off the
big dollars. we are seeing even candidates at lower levels doing the same thing. biden comes from a different time in politics and so i think he is afraid of not having enough money so he has to be reaching out to those big donors in order to compete. but it's a different field and a different kind of time for money, so we will have to see is he able also to get the small dollar donations and be able to tout the small numbers in addition to the big dollars? you know that will be something the democratic base is questioning him on. >> let's turn to rudy giuliani and saying yesterday on fox news that, yeah, nadler and the house judiciary committee can have the unredacted report. do you receive that as rudy giuliani saying, you know, one of those things that he'll have to come back and clarify or correct later? or is there some new strategy from the president's attorneys where they are allowing the unredacted report or supporting
the unredacted support going to the committee and the house that would have the per view to start impeachment proceedings if they decide? >> it's very easy for him to say that, right? it looks like they are pushing for transparency. right now grand jury material in the report redacted, it is illegal to unredact that. whether giuliani supports it or not, that doesn't change. i think we are heading towards a court battle. nadler and other democrats say they are not looking for less redacted version but want full redactions gone and rejected barr's version of a another redacted version. they are not making the ultimate decision here. >> what is the impact of the 2020 candidates on impeachment? we know senator warren said the house should start impeachments. does that ratchet up any
pressure for house leadership who said thus far we are not going there? >> i think it does because we are talking about this morning, right? nancy pelosi has been able to keep the talk of impeachment down. i interviewed her last month. she told me impeachment would be a gift to republicans if republicans were not on board. they think the mueller report cleared the president or at least of them do at least. what it did do, elizabeth warren and other democrats and house democrats are saying impeachment proceedings should start so the conversation is back. pelosi and hoyer and other leaders are responding and don't want to ail -- they want the districts where the president is still popular and don't want to talk about impeachment and work with republicans and the president to get things done so they can go back and win the tough re-election. it's a tough position for democratic leadership to be in. >> you mentioned the republicans
who are not on board with impeachment. i think for context it would be good to show some sound, old comments that are making the rounds the last couple of days for, you know, some of the republicans who are now saying that the episodes that were uncovered in the mueller report, don't constitute grounds for impeachment. let's look at senate judiciary chair lindsey graham 20 years ago. this is what he said. let's watch. >> he encouraged people to lie for him. he lied. i think he obstructed justice and i think a compelling case he has, in fact, engaged in conduct that would be better for him to leave office than to stay in office. you don't have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitution republic. if this body determines that your conduct is a public official is clearly out of bounds and your role because impeachment is not about punishment. impeachment is about cleansing the office.
. >> that was lindsey graham 20 years ago. new standard today? what is lindsey graham saying about these talks of impeachment? >> democrats have certainly been circulating those clips. cortez is one of the most progressive and most well-known members of the house was showing that exact clip saying lindsey graham said it's time for impeachment, let's go forward. graham is defending trump. it's a lot easier to defend your guy than to go against the other one. it is different today but democrats have seized on that and are trying to point out the difference. >> eliza collins of "usa today," good to have you. for the first time in years, there will be no easter holiday services at the notre dame cathedral in paris. today, in some sense, it will be remembered as an easter amid the ashes. they gathered last night after
last week's fire. aaron mclaughlin is outside of a different church where different people will attend church today. >> reporter: good morning. that's right. easter services have ended here, the same service that would have otherwise taken place at notre dame cathedral, but for that horrific fire which tore through the cathedral's roof earlier in the week. the service for the sunday service took place here. instead, it was standing room only. lines of people outside craning their necks to be able to hear and listen to what was a poignant service. it was opened by the archbishop with a prayer for the lives lost in sri lanka, that horrific easter sunday attack. it was closed, though, with a message of thanks to the firefighters who risked their lives to save paris beloved cathedral. the archbishop presented the firefighters with a holy book
that was recovered from the fire covered in ashes in order to preserve god's word, the bishop said. and it was also included in a statement from a priest who stood on top of this church and looked out and saw the fire unfold earlier in the week at notre dame. the statement described the flames, the courage that must have been required of those firefighters to extinguish them. >> erin mclaughlin, thanks so much. next, at least 140 dead, nearly 600 injured in multiple church and hotel bombings in sri lanka. we have the latest on the breaking news next.
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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. we are following breakings in out of sri lanka this morning. at least 140 people are dead, more than 560 injured in coordinated bombings. at least eight explosions rocked four cities across that country and targeting churches and high-end hotels. >> we have new video in just coming from from colombo. the scenes of one of the bombings. you see the ambulances there racing through. police officers here as well rushing to the scene. you see people kind of standing along the side of the road. they are putting people in ambulances. listen. there is an alert for people not to crowd around the sites because they do not know if this
is over. earlier this morning, the pope delivered his message, his easter message tat the vatican and called the attacks such cruel violence and referred to the bloodshed as mourning and pain for christians at easter. we are learning that 20 foreigners are among those killed and two of them we know confirmed turkish citizens. >> cnn international diplomatic editor nic robertson is joining us now. let's zoom out for a moment to recap what has happened during this holy week. churches are among the targets of, of course, the coordinated bombings in sri lanka but a man is charged after taking gasoline containers in a cathedral in new york. there is a grander question if this major christian holiday has become a target for terrorists' intent on revenge? >> reporter: certainly the
easter weekend and, you know, the holy nature of the week and the fact that additional people would be going to churches would attempt to attract any terrorist on revenge and it speaks to the issue of a planned complex and coordinated attack and there are not many groups that could carry that out, it doesn't appear to be indigenous to sri lanka. the abuse scandal has been ricochetting along for sometime, continues to dot the church but fire at the notre dame cathedral in the past week, as you say, the arson attempt and st. patrick's in new york and the church burned down in louisiana just last week, and the killing of a journalist here, just in clashes between an ira gunman
shotter during the week. traditionally an island where the easter parades commemorate when the irish were able to throw out the british government and always an intense time here and associated with a church, of course. so all of that coming at this time. i think when you look at the situation in sri lanka, you do have to say this was easter weekend and anyone attempting to or wanting to target christians, and we have heard from so many world leaders in recent months saying christianity is facing criticism in the middle east. it's not a sort of country you expect this targeting to happen. so a soft target at a time of prayer and reflection for krivens whe christians with more people would be at church and a church is having a difficult time but really feeling a lot of pressure on christians right now.
>> nic robertson for us, thanks. joining us is cnn national security analyst peter bergen. good morning to you. i want you to pick up where nic left off where he said this is not the country where you expect this type of attack to happen. something well so coordinated and so severe in sri lanka. your initial thoughts. >> reporter: yeah. the targets set here christians celebrating easter sunday, one of the most sacred days on the christian calendar. these high-end hotels which taecket foreigners is not a typical target set for sri lanka. there was a civil war there which was very bloody and ended about decade ago and was between the a group that was carried out a lot of suicide bombings. this doesn't seem like the kind of target they would select and also the targets the tigers have been largely defeated by the sri lankan government. if you look back in history of
the kinds of groups that would carry out this attack or have both the capability and intent, because i think intent is important and capability is important. the groups that would fall into that category are groups like isis and another group that carried out the mumbai attacks about a decade ago and another group is largely confined to southeast ace which also has carried out these kinds of attacks against christian targets and hotels. it's not a very long list of groups. they all tend to be -- in flavor. but, you know, we just simply don't know. but the targets that set would suggest that somebody wanted to kill foreigners and, obviously, wanted to kill christians, and that leads you to these islamic groups as the first possible group of suspects. but it could be anybody. right now, no one has claimed responsibility which is interesting. usually a group like isis even if it has nothing to do with these kind of attacks, might
quickly claim responsibility and i would suspect that they will even if they haven't actually been involved. >> peter, what comes next in terms of both responding to this horrific situation there in sri lanka within that nation but also in a broader international context in terms of security? do we see any changes? what do you see going forward? >> we have seen a lot of attacks against hotels around the world for the reason that they do attract foreigners and they can't turn themselves into prisons and typically after one of these attacks, we have seen multiple attacks, for instance, in amman jordan and multiple attacks in pakistan against hotels and in jordan and security changes in hotels in these countries offer attacks and brings it a lot ardor to bring in explosives and park a car with a bomb outside the
hen hotel and that is obvious after these kind of events. if 560 people in this country have been injured the hospitals will be overwhelmed and see a death toll that will go and may not be over. the sri lankan government has imposed a curfew and we say see other unfortunate events. >> you mentioned that isis is at or near the top of the list of potential suspects and we know that parliament was aware of dozens of sri lankans who joined isis. if isis is involved in some way, this is a challenge for many countries as the cal a fiphate dissolved. the challenge of finding them and making sure something like this does not happen in other places around the world. >> right. the numbers of sri lankans
joined isis is small compared to france where we have seen 1,500 join and brittany and jordan and other countries more than 700 joined. much larger numbers. if it is isis, it would be that in itself would be kind of unusual because the numbers of shranks joined the group talking about a few dozen. so, you know, it is -- this is very puzzling. this is not the attack we have seen in slari lanka in the past where christians and high-end hotels have been targeted and the groups that have the capability and intent are not based in sri lanka. so we will see. >> peter bergen, thank you. >> thank you. president trump corrected his tweet moments ago about sri lanka saying, quote, 138 people have been killed in sri lanka with more than 600 badly injured in a terrorist attack on
churches and hotels. the united states offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of sri lanka. we stand ready to help. now he had originally tweeted that 138,000,0 million people w killed. the denial toll currently stands at 160 but the number may climb. >> the number after attacks fluctuates so the number of those killed and injured and those numbers will change as they get a fuller picture of what happened today in sri lanka. back in the u.s. police in illinois are looking for a 5-year-old boy who disappeared early this week. investigators have not yet issued an amber alert for a.j. friend. we will tell you why.
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police in new york city have arrested a man for a gruesome murder in a brooklyn housing project. >> a 20-year-old woman was found partially decapitated in an apartment as she had been stabbed several times. an ax was found in the trash compactor. another woman was hospitalized with critical injuries from the attack. let's go to new york. what do we know about this suspect? >> reporter: police have arrested a 34-year-old man in connection to this brutal killing, which happened inside of even apartment at a brooklyn housing project. jerry brown is facing the following charges. murder, attempted murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. this as nypd found a 20-year-old woman's body partially decapitated with severed fingers and several stab wounds. a second woman was injured in the attack. during a press conference yesterday, nypd said it believed the two female victims and their
assailant, who is male, all knew each other. the official declined to provide other details on the nature of their relationship to each other. nypd discovered the body after the other victim of the attack left the scene at approximately 1:30 in the morning saturday, stopped a car in the middle of the street and the driver noticed the woman was injured, called 911, reported intense amount of bleeding. that 21-year-old woman, as you mentioned, suffered lacerations to her head and body. she's in critical condition but stable at an area hospital. at a press conference yesterday, we learned that law enforcement said authorities found an ax in a trash compactor at the housing complex. while the ax is part of the investigation, officials have not determined it's the murder weapon. police, the good news, found a 4-year-old child and that child was physically unharmed and is now with family members. >> some good news. thank you.
police are looking for a missing 5-year-old boy who disappeared from a chicago suburb. andrew a.j. friend disappeared sometime after his parents put him to bed wednesday night. no amber alert has been issued. investigators say the little boy did not walk away and was not abducted. canine teams picked up the boy's accident within the home. more on the breaking news out of sri lanka. the number killed is 160 and almost 600 injured in the easter sunday terror attack. follow the developments on our website, cnn.com. more in a moment. omplete job from any one else. so why accept it from your allergy pills? most pills don't finish the job because they don't relieve nasal congestion. flonase allergy relief is different. flonase relieves sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose, plus nasal congestion, which pills don't.
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row na acronym, asmr. people claim it gives them a brain tingling sensation. >> this is my favorite. the only one i go to for sleep. it's the soothing sound of cutting brings me to a relaxed state. takes away anxiety and constant thinking. i'm focused on this. >> asmr is autonomous sensory m miridian response. it happens with certain sounds. it brings a relaxing sensation. i have a tingling in my head when i listen to it. >> we're waiting. we should note asmr doesn't work for everybody. there's no guarantee. there's hundreds of youtube channels out there. >> asmr has become popular in
the last couple of years. for example, my youtube channel, gentle whispering, at this time has over 600 million views. there's a wide variety of different triggers you can explore. talking into your ears. there are soft spoken voices. there are tactile triggers. tapping, crinkling, there's slime or cutting. it's a comforting sensation. just in, the sri lankan governments has decided to temporarily block facebook and instagram. they say false reports are spreading through social media. you can imagine with the numbers of those killed climbing what's happening there. eight explosions ripped through the country. at least 160 people have been killed, 560 plus injured.
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