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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  March 19, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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u.s. fire power. allied military muscle. speeding towards libya to stop a brutal civil war. >> we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy. >> translator: he's totally defied the warning. >> moammar gadhafi isn't backing down. >> translator: now all detos will be open and armed people to defend people and its unity. >> a showdown of force on many sides with global impact. >> we'd like to welcome our viewers around the globe watching special coverage. i'm don lemon. >> i'm john vause. the time for warnings is over. the time for action is now. as the u.s. joins a coalition of countries targeting moammar
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gadhafi's forces. heavy gun fire and explosion in libya's capital of tripoli hours after the coalition attacked the defenses. in theatest move british jets flew 3,000 miles to carry out a missile strike on key targets. >> john, earlier the pentagon said u.s. and british ships and submarines fired more than 110 tomahawk missiles. they hit about 20 libyan air and missile defense targets. coalition calling this "operation odyssey dawn." >> france struck first against gadhafi's forces. french jets destroyed military vehicles after libyan forces attacked the rebel stronghold of benghazi. french planes are preparing to enforce the u.n.'s no-fly zone. >> u.s. president barack obama had strong words for gadhafi on the trip to brazil making it clear that this is a last
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resort. >> the use of force is not our first choice and it is not a choice i make lightly but we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy. >> and gadhafi remains defiant. he's vowing to open libya's armed deptos to the people. >> translator: libya will exercise the right to defend itself according to section 1 of the united nations charter. that all targets, maritime targets will be exposed to real danger and mediterranean and north africa because of this aggression, naked aggression and this irresponsible -- it's a war zone. >> libyan state tv also ran this
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official statement from the libyan military. an enemy attacked the state on march 19th with rockets in tripoli, misrata, benghazi and zawara and sr rite. left more than 150 people injured. public areas, hospitals and schools. frightened the children and women near those areas that were subject to this aggression. cnn has not confirmed this report, by libya's state television. >> here's what we know about the operation against libya at this hour. the coalition includes american, european and arab league nations. this is the largest international military action in an arab state since the iraq invasion. >> don, operating under a u.n. resolution authorized force. the fighter jets and missiles are the first part of the operation including enforcement of a no-fly zone. >> libya is under fire.
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senior international correspondent nic robertson is in tripoli. arwa damon is in eastern libya. our senior white house correspondent ed henry traveling with president obama in south america right now and atika shubert in london and here in the u.s., barbara starr joins us from los angeles and retired general wesley clark will offer his analysis, as well. >> let's get straight to nic robertson standing by in tripoli in the thick of wit the gadhafi loyalists. earlier you were talking about loud blasts of anti-aircraft fire. what's the situation right now in tripoli? >> reporter: it's quite quiet. eerily quiet. we are hearing a few cars driving by on the road. the occasional sound of ma shun gun fire but short and sporadic. we heard several loud explosions followed by intense bursts of heavy anti-aircraf gun fire. and then a couple more explosions.
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and then those heavy bursts of gun fire again. we can't tell -- not able to tell what exactly caused the very large blasts but they did sound very similar to cruise missiles in their sort of size, sound and feel that the explosions had but again impossible for us to know what was hit. heavy anti-aircraft gun fire sounded and looked like from the sky an area close to the palace complex used by moammar gadhafi where earlier this evening seeing anti-aircraft batteries in place there and now we have also seen pictures on state television here of some of the casualties. john, don? >> nic, describe the situation before this happens. were you able in some way able to hear the force of the missiles from the u.s. before the anti-aircraft or anti-gun fire you were hearing, that you heard a short time ago, what was happening in tripoli?
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>> reporter: well, there'd been sporadic gun fire. there was increased security on the streets. armed men in civilian clothing outside government buildings, armed police, traffic intersections. we'd seen an anti-aircraft gun being used by soldiers or soldiers working on it. in the palace complex. a few hours before -- a few hours before we heard the explosions. but it was sort of a -- it was the situation was beginning to get -- feel a little more serious after the tomahawk cruise mill sills were reported. before that, perhaps 11:00 at night here, we're talking about five, six hours ago now, there was more of a sort of party atmosphere. loyalists celebrating on the street, fireworks and then it all became very serious after those first reports of tomahawk cruise missiles hitting targets
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in the west of libya just to the east of tripoli. but what we have seen on state television, those casualties we have seen at variance with the reports coming from the military spokesman here in libya. the casualties we've seen on state television are men, all of fighting age, a couple wearing what appear to be uniforms. they've been visited by what appeared to be a couple of military officers. they were in uniform. at least one of the people in the bed in the hospital had heavy head injuries. the other had lightly injuries. they were -- there were television crews there with them obviously, interviewing some of the officers and some comments saying 100%, 100%, slang for support for moammar gadhafi. >> very quickly, there are some reports civilians are ushered into the strongholds, the palaces, possibly to be used as human shields. what more can you tell us about
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that? >> reporter: when we were there earlier, the palace gates had been opened, volunteers were coming in and they told us they were volunteers, families, men, women, children. filing in, going through tight security to get on to the palace grounds covered on state television and similar images of people protecting with state television described it the large airport at sirt 300 miles to the east of here and the main international airport here in tripoli. not the airport which appears to be hit by missiles late tonight and within the last couple of hours so images on state television of people protecting it says these sites. the people we talked to, though, did say they'd come here voluntarily. the gates seemed open for people to come and go freely. john, don? >> you are looking at live pictures to tell our nic
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robertson and viewers from libyan state television. those are the images they're showing. >> been shown the images all night. nationalistic images and one point replaying pictures of iraq from the u.s. invasion of iraq in 2003. portraying this as a colonial quest, ala crusade and supporters of moammar gadhafi currently playing on state-run television there across libya. >> our thanks to nic robertson in tripoli. let's move on now because benghazi is under fierce attack by gadhafi's forces. >> arwa damon is live in the city tonight. is there any reaction now after the developments, this very concentrated military effort which is under way? >> reporter: you know, john, the city has been oddly quiet ever since around 5:00 p.m. when opposition forces managed to
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drive gadhafi's military out of the city. they had come in some 24 hours ago with tanks, firing tank rounds into residential areas. we saw artillery rounds dropping. we heard from a number of eyewitnesss who said that the forces were firing their weapons, laughing into these residential areas. many of them were saying that they feared the worst but then opposition forces did, in fact, manage to drive them out. the opposition for quite some time now been calling for this exact type of international intervention. they felt as if they had taken the fight just about as far as they possibly could and as we had been saying up until now gadhafi's forces have slowly been driving them back and people were fearing a blood bath if this international help did not materialize. most certainly, everyone here welcoming the fact that now there are french fighter jets overhead that cruise missiles are beginning to beat down at
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gadhafi's military machine but there's still a lot of concern, a lot of tension because there are small pockets, sleeper cells people call them, of pro-gadhafi elements that roam around various nabtds. some carrying out targeted assassinations basically. others, intimidation campaigns. we spoke to one woman who used to run something of a kitchen, cooking food for those on the front line and said a few days ago she received a phone call from someone who was warning her to stop. he listed the names and ages of all of her children and then he detailed, he laid out the inside of her home to her, john. >> okay. cnn's arwa damon there on the line for us from benghazi. the u.s. launched the first strikes against libya's air defenses. >> up next we'll talk to wesley clark about what this means for libya, the u.s. and the rest of the world. hot waffles...
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where you book matters. expedia. just after 4:00 a.m. in libya and these are the images broadcast live on libyan state television and, john, you heard
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earlier that official military statement from libyan state tv. they were broadcasting this, as well, saying the enemy attacked the state with rockets and tripoli and other places in libya saying they fired on innocent civilians, women, children, hospitals. that's a statement from them but those are the images broadcast on libyan state television. >> propaganda war is also under way, as well n. london, the british government had especially harsh words for gadhafi. british prime minister cameron said the forces are involved to stop the dictator from quote murdering his own people. >> cnn's atika shubert joins us live outside the prime minister's residence in london. what's the word from there, atika? >> reporter: well, the ministry of defense has come out with some more details on how britain is involved. in addition to the tomahawk missiles that were launched, they're saying that tornado g-4 jets were in the air and sending storm shadow missiles to targets
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in libya. so again, these are the kinds of details we expect to see throughout the night. but remember, britain has been front and center throughout this thing. in fact, david cameron, the prime minister, one of the earliest proponents of a no-fly zone and was frustrated it didn't seem to find much traction and clearly through maneuvering and pushing, that has come about and now he made a brief statement, very strong statement earlier in the day after an emergency meeting. he said it was a military operation that was necessary, legal and right. here's what he said. >> tonight, british forces are in action over libya. they are part of an international coalition that has come together to enforce the will of the united nations and to protect the libyan people. we have all seen the appalling brutality that colonel gadhafi has meted out against his own people and far from introducing
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the cease fire he spoke about he's stepped up the attacks and the brutality that we can all see. so what we are doing is necessary, it is legal, and it is right. >> reporter: now, britain is taking one of the leading roles in this military campaign, in addition to those jets that i mentioned earlier, britain has naval forces there. the hms westminster and cumberland in the mediterranean ready for any time they're needed. >> very quickly, with e know as you say that the british have taken a leading role in this but how much political will is there in britain and how much support is there for what could be a very long military campaign? >> reporter: there is quite a bit of support. it is interesting to note that opposition labour party has always basically agreed with the government's position. this is very different, let's say, from when tony blair went into iraq.
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there's comparison of blair and cameron. this time it seems that david cameron has the political support there. there does seem to be that political will from across the political spectrum. but again, there are still risks involved and it goes beyond a few days to weeks and months it could be a very different story. >> atika shub effoert in london thank you. the first of what's likely to be a multi-phase operation. >> the u.s. launched missiles striking air defense targets in the western part of the country. the pentagon has stressed the strikes are part of an international coalition. >> these strikes were carefully coordinated with our coalition partners. the targets themselves very selected based on a collective assessment that the sites pose a threat to the pilots or through use by the regime to the people of libya.
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because it is night over there, it would be sometime before we have a complete picture of the success of the strikes. i want to stress, however, that this is just the first phase of what will likely be a multi-fazed military operation designed to enforce the united nations resolution and deny the libyan regime the ability to use force its own people. that is international military effort, usualed by the libyan people and arab nations. we are joined by partners and committed to supporting their efforts. indeed, we receive commitments of support and participation and leadership from both arab and european partners. >> so let's bring in now cnn contributor and retired general wesley clark, a former nato leader. france moved first and then the united states. now we are hearing about britain. who are we likely to see next get involved in this, general? >> well, i think tomorrow you'll
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probably get the full rundown of what happened. it sounds like there was a second wave of aircraft that went in. brits went in, maybe others went in with them. maybe french go in again. maybe only arab aircraft went in this the strike in the early morning hours there. we don't know yet. we'll hear that tomorrow but as the air defenses are taken down, the air patrols over libya will become more routine, will have broader allied and coalition member participation, i'm sure. and real issue is going to be what happens on the ground? what's going to keep this from being a stalemate if gadhafi freezes in place, do we go after him and attack him or do the rebels try to regain ground or exactly what happens? and if gadhafi moves forward, do we then have the assets to stop that move decisively? >> exactly, general. i think the term for this is mission creep and the concern
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would have to be what the the end game here because the road to a quagmire is often paved with good intentions, sanjay gupta it? >> it is. this is a classic problem. the president and secretary of state limiting the stated objectives of the operation to stopping the attack on innocent civilians. i think president sarcozy trying to do that. i think all those are important but the u.n. resolution importantly enough and the viewers should understand this, it's not just for a no-fly zone. it is for whatever actions are taken except for military occupation. everything short of that is authorized under chapter 7 so that means you can attack target tons ground with air, put helicopters in. you could put special forces and air naval gun fire liaison teams. you can do a lot under the resolution and it's quite broad and so it's not the measure -- it is not the range of military
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actions that defines mission creep but the change in the mission. the mission is to do something to protect, decisively protect the populations, innocent civilians there. and the real challenge is to keep it from becoming a contest against gadhafi because all of us know that as long as gadhafi's there there's trouble. >> general, i want to tell our viewers what you are seeing there on the screen. this is libyan state television, the live broadcast and what they're doing is showing file footage of the military and their troops as john vause said the propaganda campaign is under way. my question to you, general, the u.s., the president, president obama has said he is not promising, he's promising to put troops on the ground and no one else is promised to do that. does that pose any sort of problem when it comes to this conflict in libya?
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>> no, i don't think it does. that's the appropriate way to start at this point. hopefully there won't be a requirement to put troops on the ground. there's no way to stand against the power of this coalition. he can bolster and there's overwhelming power to the group of nations allied themselves against him and he has to recognize that at some point. now, maybe he won't. in which case the forces will escalate the pressure against him militarily. the diplomats will go in and do their best to use the military power to lever gadhafi out of power and hopefully won't come to ground troops. if i were gadhafi, i wouldn't bet on that. >> okay. general clark for us giving us very good insight, former nato supreme commander. live for us in arkansas. >> thank you. >> libyan state television, you said, the propaganda campaign in full force. you see the pictures broadcast
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live on libyan state television and file footage. >> yeah. hasn't happened in tripoli certainly to this extent. there have been a number of rallies but not these numbers we are seeing broadcast right now on the state controlled television there in libya. obviously, the regime of gadhafi trying to rally the supporter who is are still there in the capital and those who still support gadhafi, whatever their number may be. >> coalition leaders say time's unaring out for moammar gadhafi. >> how the situation in libya got so bad so quickly. [ male a] the network. a living, breathing intelligence that is helping business rethink how to do business. ♪ in here, inventory can be taught to learn... so products get routed to where they're needed most. ♪ in here, machines have a voice... so they can tell headquarters when they need refilling.
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reported sometimes less than two weeks after starting plavix. welcome back, everyone, to cnn's special coverage of target libya. >> a coalition of countries including thest, france and great britain are taking out key targets across libya right now. today strikes in libya have been swift and lib rat, two days after the u.n. imposed a no-fly zone over the country. >> so how's it all happened so fast? for a leader who's ruled so long. freedom's cry erupted in tunisia, deposing a dictator. engulfed, egypt, ousting a president. swept across libya, virtually
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unrestrained until colliding with a defiant colonel gadhafi. >> translator: we are prepared to break any aggression by the people, the armed people. >> reporter: by february, anti-gadhafi forces took towns in the east of the country including benghazi's libya's second largest cities where a palace was trashed. ill equipped, largely untrained but not afraid to risk their lives for freedom. some died. nearly 1,000 by one account. gadhafi fought hard turning air strikes and live ammunition against civilians. the united nations' security council unanimously approved sanctions on libya. there were some calms for direct action. >> i would begin with the imposition of a no-fly zone so gadhafi can't attack his own people from the air. >> reporter: in libya on the day after the u.n. vote, there were
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deadly clashes over control of the rebel-held towns west of the capital. days later, in the east, two towns controlled by dissidents were bombed for the second straight day. followed by a report that the government was once again in control ofzawaia and at the center, gadhafi. >> translator: thousands and thousands of people will be killed. i came here in order to greet you, greet your courage and i tell you to repel them. >> reporter: and at times, delusional. >> they love me all. >> reporter: meanwhile, libya became a no man's land for foreigners, including the vast number of foreign guest workers. some 200,000 are said to have fled. many across the border with tunisia, creating a mass refugee crisis. the airports were swamped by
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mobs scrambling to get out. this week, as libyan government forces began retaking towns held by rebels, the united nations voted to impose a no-fly zone over the country. >> this resolution should send a strong message to colonel gadhafi and his regime. >> and tonight, now this. gun fire and explosions light up libya's capital city. details and the dramatic pictures coming up next. tdd# 1-800-345-2550
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and welcome back, everyone, to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. let's update the top story. the u.s. and britain have launched more than 100 missiles striking anti-aircraft batteries and other targets across northern libya. "operation odyssey dawn" is under way. french fighters patrol the skies over libya enforcing a no-fly zone to stop gadhafi forces are attacking rebel positions. tonight, libyans in the capital of tripoli heard loud explosions and anti-aircraft fire. you are loing at video shot about an hour ago and if you look closely see the streaks of anti-aircraft gun fire looking like bright dashes in the try. that's tracer rounds. cnn's nic robertson says it sounds like it came from close to the gadhafi palace and heard
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explosions of unknown origin that took the ground. moammar gadhafi is defiant. gadhafi is also asking other islamic nations to help libya fight against what he called naked aggression. the libyan government also claims the missile strikes have caused real harm to civilians. gadhafi says the coalition attacks are being carried out by a quote crusader army. >> happened quickly after the june rez dugs 1973. the ambassador, you know, put it into motion and then all of a sudden we're to this point. >> from international point of view, diplomatic point of view, light speed. >> light speed. bring in pentagon correspondent barbara starr to talk about this. let's talk about the military strategy of "operation odyssey dawn." coalition forces trying to take out libya's defenses earlier. have they moved on to the next phase? >> reporter: well, this's what they're trying to determine. of course, now, we are at first
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light in libya. u.s. -- the u.s. will try and determine what they call the battle damage assessment. did they hit the targets? did they get what they wanted? how much of it did they destroy? because the first step here that we know is all of these cruise missiles, dozens of them have gone after the air defenses, the radars, the surface to air missiles that they can take out so that they can begin the no-fly zone. you have to take out the air defense system and that's what we see the next step being over the next many hours and what will be so interesting is what will the next round of targets be? is it more of this air defense or are they going to start moving against those gadhafi ground weapons, tanks, artillery and the gadhafi ground formations? if they want to get his forces away from civilians and stop threatening them, that's what they're going to have to go
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after. >> how long does it take to set up the no-fly doan? >> reporter: well, you know, really behind the scenes they have been working on it for many years. the aircraft are place. the bases in southern europe are in place. the refueling, the command and control, all of it. but the essential problem is, even though u.s. war planes for the moment have no plans to fly in to libyan air space, you really cannot send the pilots over libya whether they are french, british, acanadian, from arab league countries, you have to get rid of gadhafi's air defenses. everybody says they're old and out of date and that is true. they do date from the soviet era but he does have something called the sa-5, surface to air missile. it has a fairly long range and reach out towards incoming aircraft and potentially shoot them down so they're going to
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want to get rid of the surface-to-air missiles, defenses, yam the communications. and do it as much as possible with the cruise missiles so they don't have to risk pilots in the sky before they start the no-fly zone. >> barbara, on libyan state television libyan official said that the air strikes hit children and hospitals and women. how will the coalition avoid civilian casualties? we don't if it's true but how will they avoid hitting civilian casualties? >> reporter: well, you know, i spoke to a military source in europe earlier today to ask that very question. and he said it is the same as it always is. a very top priority is to avoid civilian casualties. this may be a problem, though, once they start moving against targets in the cities. you know, you saw already the shots you put up earlier of libyan anti-aircraft fire in tripoli, a very populated city.
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you see the libyans shooting up into the sky. you see the tracer fire. exactly how are you going to go after the targets in a populated area without risking civilian casualties? it may become a very limiting factor on how fast the coalition can move. i think by all accounts this initial round of targets has been at military bases, military installations, places where they generally do not believe according to the latest intelligence there are civilian populations. but look. gadhafi is one savvy character. just like saddam hussein. expect to see him move his troops and his weapons into the cities, potentially next to mosques, hospitals. places where the coalition will not bomb. that is the rule of the road for nato, for u.s. forces, for coalition forces. and it may slow things down and make it very tough in the coming days. everybody could be in for a really long haul on this one.
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>> barbara starr, our pentagon correspondent, thank you so much. and there are so many similarities between libya tonight and the first gulf war, the scene of the tomahawk missiles cruising sending a very clear message to gadhafi like saddam hussein. >> to see him, going up in the sky, the air strikes and the fire and lighting up the night sky in tripoli is just unbelievable to witness and as you said it happened at lightning speed. from a resolution now to this and the pictures out of libya, of course, loud and violent and they're in stark contrast to japan right now, john. >> this is the other major story we're following. coming up, the heartbreaking images of ruin and recovery. stay with us. you know when to hold 'em... and how to fold 'em. and from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above
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back to libya in just a moment. we want to turn to the crisis in japan. a strong aftershock early saturday north of tokyo rattled walls and nerves. measured 6.1, at least 600 aftershocks have struck japan in the past week. >> the death toll from the march 11 quake and tsunami keeps rising. and now stands at 7,700. more than 11,000 people are still missing. >> workers at the fukushima plant made progress to restore power to the facility. reactor number 3, one of the
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most seriously damaged is showered almost nonstop with seawater to keep it from overheating. emergency power was turned on to reactor number 6. a critical step in ending the crisis. >> government officials say samples of milk and spinach from near the power plant show a spike in radioactive iodine and much higher than normal but officials say the trace amounts do not pose a health risk. >> and john, more than a week after japan's worst-ever earthquake, you find destruction and mountains of debris. >> we have a firsthand tour of one of the hardest hit areas in northeast japan. >> reporter: the scene behind me here is one of chaos, confusion, it is surreal. we seen the video we took. you won't believe it. at least we didn't seeing it in person. so much debris. so much rubble. it's impenetrable. it is like a canyon. like climbing a mountain. cars, boats, houses.
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pushed out of different neighborhoods and help. looking for survivors, the possiblies of survivors or trying to find bodies. we meat woman today telling us her father stayed in the second floor of the house when the tsunami siren sounded. well, anyway, at this point they can't get to the house and it appears it's there and so much rubble surrounding the house no way to check if the man survived. absolutely incredible scene. it's hard to imagine what the people here in northeastern japan going through. the death toll is rising rapidly. it will continue to rise. we ourselves just myself and my crew found a body in the back of a car. this is how they're finding bodies, officials. there's so much rubble they can't get to. it's very likely that it will be weeks or months before they come anywhere close to knowing what this death toll is and the aftershocks continue. last night sleeping we felt at least six or seven sizable
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aftershocks and that only increases the anxiety that people feel here in northeastern japan. gary tuchman, cnn, in japan. >> you can help out, as well. to find out how to help the people in the quake-stricken area, go to again, there you will find a list of ways that you can help out. world's top diplomats gathered to discuss gadhafi. their stern message for the libyan leader up next. [ female announcer ] it's lobsterfest. the one time of year red lobster creates so many irresistible ways to treat yourself to lobster. like our new lobster-and-shrimp trio with a parmesan lobster bake, our decadent lobster lover's dream with both sweet maine and buttery rock lobster tails
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welcome back, everyone. u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton is calling on libya's moammar gadhafi to stop defying international sanctions. >> she was in paris on saturday joining other top diplomats for an emergency summit on libya saying that the u.s. is committed to getting the job done and will stand with its allies. >> so let me just underscore the key point. this is a broad, international effort. the world will not sit idly by while more innocent civilians are killed. the united states will support
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our allies and partners as they move to enforce resolution 1973. we are standing with the people of libya and we will not waiver in our efforts to protect them. >> secretary of state, the u.s. secretary of state in paris today. john, the rebel forces fighting the gadhafi government had reason to celebrate today. >> up next, the hard-fought battle the try to keep benghazi. [ woman announcing ] every subaru is responsibly built in a zero landfill plant. so it's no wonder they fit so naturally with spring. come to the subaru love spring event. get a subaru, and go love spring. [ man ] spring is finally here. lease a 2011 legacy 2.5i for $199 a month, now through march 31.
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efforts on the relatively isolated northern prefecture of iwati the founder tom henderson was a cnn hero in 2008. >> as thousands flee northern japan, there are tens of thousands left behind. they need food water, shelter. that's why cnn hero tom henderson and his shelter box team are going in. we spoke to tom via skype. >> well, first people on the ground within 24 hours. what they're finding is what you've seen. it is just horrific. >> reporter: since 2001, tom's organization shelter box has delivered more than 100,000 boxes of life-saving aid to victims of disaster all over the world. >> every disaster's unusual. this particularly so with the nuclear problem unfolding. clean water is becoming a problem as will food very
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shortly. >> each shelter box contains items critical to survival after a disaster. >> 400 to 600 on the ground already there. we have committed up to 5,000 boxes if they're required just as it was last year in haiti, tom henderson's shelter box is on the front line to provide much-needed aid to a country in crisis. >> what keeps us going is very simple, that need, that desperate need to help people as quickly as we can. >> and to learn more about shelter box or to donate to its relief work, log on to watch this. on one hand, you have your home insurance with one company. and on another hand, you have your auto with another. and on another hand, you have your life with another. huh... but when you bundle them all together with nationwide insurance... ... they all work together perfectly-- and you could save 25%. wow... it's all in the wrists.
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welcome back, everyone, to the special coverage of target libya. i'm don lemon. >> i'm john vause. a coalition of countries is striking key targets in libya. >> and just as the cruise missiles showered destruction on the forces of gadhafi, rebels in mbenbenghazi were pleading for outside help. >> they've been fighting a ferocious battle with government troops to hold on to the stronghold and cnn's arwa damon is there. >> reporter: the crowds here are naturally very excited to have
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survived yet another on slougt of gadhafi's forces. this tank that was captured by opposition forces now it is turned into something of a victory symbol. driver of the vehicle where obviously you could see the two bullet holes in the glass and everyone, of course, congratulating him on the fact that he survived. >> you know, a long line of tanks, missiles, i mean, people with -- armed with -- i mean, with heavy arm. >> reporter: why were you? >> i be there in this street, four of our cars and my home have been hit. have been damaged. they are randomly hitting the
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houses and -- they were laughing. they are hitting us, they were laughing. >> reporter: were you worried? where is your family? >> inside the house! they were crying, screaming, sighing. kids, intimidating. >> reporter: was it just -- did they just come on tanks or foot as well? >> foot, tanks, car. all of the things. you can hear the difference voices of the weapons. which makes you believe that there's a lot of weapons, a lot of different weapons. you can't imagine. that they're hitting civilian people. >> reporter: clearly see the tank tracks here where they have dug up the concrete and we're beginning to see the damage that was caused by the rounds that were fired earlier. around the corner there's a building that has sustained quite a bit of damage with eyewitnesss telling us that that is directly where the tank rounds were firing. this here used to be a pharmacy residence and talking about a
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residential building that was fired upon, one of those many apartment blocks back there. everybody here growing very concerned that gadhafi's forces have withdrawn only to launch yet another attack. arwa damon, benghazi, libya, cnn. >> all right. we'll go live there for the latest. >> more of our special coverage "target libya" is just ahead. you love the smaller-size, easy-to-chew kibbles, and i love the carbohydrates for energy and protein for muscles. whoa! wait for me! ha-ha. you only think you're getting spoiled. [ woman announcing ] beneful incredibites. another healthful, flavorful beneful. now in a convenient bag. the one time of year red lobster creates so many irresistible ways to treat yourself to lobster. like our new lobster-and-shrimp trio
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with a parmesan lobster bake, our decadent lobster lover's dream with both sweet maine and buttery rock lobster tails and eleven more choices, each served with a salad and unlimited cheddar bay biscuits. come celebrate lobsterfest right now at red lobster. crisp, clear, untouched. that's why there's brita, to make the water we drink, taste a little more, perfect. reduce lead and other impurities


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