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the group is being held by kurdish authorities we're told. children and elderly are those released, but as we know, isis has many more being held captive. we want to go to cnn senior international correspondent, ivan watson for more on that. ivan, what do you make of this latest development? >> reporter: well, initially a kurdish senior official told cnn that about 250 yazidi prisoners had been released on saturday near the kurdish-controlled northern iraqi city of kirkuk. i spoke with a yazidi activist traveling in a convoy with these released prisoners from kirkuk to the yazidi basically religious shrine called lalish. they're traveling by bus with a kurdish peshmerga guard unit. 196 prisoners why released.
all but five of them he says are basically senior citizens, elderly. there were about five children with them. he says the condition of the majority of these released prisoners is pretty frightful, that some of them are very dirty, that many of them are ill. some of them complained about not being fed with any regularity while they were held hostage for months. some of them, he says, that they preferred not to have been released, that they would have preferred for their younger relatives who are still being held hostage by isis, for them to have been released in their stead, for the elderly to still be held prisoner. so while one might assume that this is a good day, that this is a happy day that 196 at least of these civilians who have been held hostage for months, that they are free, in fact, what i'm
hearing from some of the activists is it's quite sad because they're realizing some of the terrible conditions that these hostages, that these members of a religious minority have been held in for months by isis militants who we believe are still holding thousands of yazidi civilians hostage now, in some cases trying to ransom them for thousands of dollars each back to their yazidi families, those who were not taken captive in the isis offensive last summer in northern iraq. pamela. >> reporter: so in the context of that, ivan, the fact that most of those released were elderly and given the fact that isis is a very calculating terrorist group, hard to think they would do anything without really a purpose, a motivation at play, what do you make of that? do you think they released them perhaps, look, we're not going to make any money off of these
people, we'll keep the women, those that we can sell as sex slaves and others we can sell for ransom? >> reporter: a lot of this is speculation, but clearly from the descriptions of those who were released, some of them were handicapped, not able to walk on their own two feet, and clearly not as valuable to isis as some of the younger people that they've taken hostage. thousands of these people taken prisoner and one activist estimating 6,000 yazidis have been taken hostage since last summer are basically being bought and sold as recently as december isis was distributing leaflets at mosques in the isis controlled city of mosul describing in detail a q and a of kind of 20 bullet points, are you allowed to have sex with your slave? are you allowed to have sex with
female slaves who are before child bearing age and then answers saying, yes, basically you are allowed to. this is the way that these people are looked at. isis have publicly justified their enslavement of thousands of yazidis on the one hand saying that because they come from a religious minority they are apostates and on the other hand arguing that there is some kind of religious justification for enslaving people, for buying and selling them in this 21st century and distributing them to their supporters. yazidi activists are trying desperately to gather the money to try to ransom back their missing loved ones, and all of this is happening against the context of a war that is still being fought on many fronts, both in iraq and in syria,
pamela. >> reporter: ivan watson, thank you so much for your reporting. turning to other breaking developments, we're learning that french authorities have released three women from custody. they were detained in the aftermath of that deadly attack on a jewish deli here in paris a week ago. investigators say they have no connection to the suspect, amedy coulibaly. nine other people are still being detained for another 48 hours of questioning. following sweeping terror rates in belgium where heavily armed troops are patrolling the streets there. five people are now accused of taking part in a terrorist organization. they were detained after police raided a suspected terror cell in the belgium city of vervieres. two are released from custody but under strict conditions. we will continue to follow any new developments on the terror front. coming up in just a couple of minutes, i'm going to talk live with cnn chief national security correspondent, jim sciutto.
he is facing "state of the union" this morning. in the u.s. we find kristie and victor in at lachb at that. back to you guys. >> thank you so much. we're talking about president obama because he wants to make some changes to what you pay in taxes and he's got a fight ahead of him with the republican controlled congress to make it happen. >> as the president gets ready for tuesday night's state of the union address, we've learned he wants to raise taxes on the country's top earners and offer more tax breaks to the middle class. that's something that likely won't sit well with conservatives. what other details have we learned from the president's proposal. >> victor, there are two big tax credits we're talking about that president obama wants to offer to bolster the middle class. the two tax credits, the first is a new tax credit for dual income families for $500 and the next is to triple the child tax credit to $3,000. now the problem for republicans here is how he wants to offset that decline in revenue.
he wants to raise tax rates on capital gains and dividends from 20% to what it is now to 28%. the estimation there is that it would bring in $235 billion, then the other way to get more revenue is that he wants to increase fees on big financial firms, and they think that that would bring in about $100 billion. that is the problem for republicans. we have already heard from brandon buck. he is the spokesman for paul ryan who is the chairman of the ways and means committee, he says this is not a serious proposal. in the state of the union what the president is doing is laying out his agenda. this is kind of a chess match, and this is the starting point. this will make democrats like elizabeth warren, very populus democrat who is very popular very happy. republicans will have to counter with something they can do. what we've been talking about in the last couple of months where president obama andersen nate
majority leader mitch mcconnell think they can get something done is on tax reform. this is the starting. >> ann mcpike, thanks for breaking it down for us. three women detained in connection with the terror attacks in paris, they're now free as france steps up security to prevent more attacks. and i don't know if you're aware, but there's some rough weather conditions that are continuing to hamper the recovery efforts of airasia flight 8501. we're talking about how this is affecting the investigation and specifically for the families, the recovery of those victims. health can change in a minute. so cvs health is changing healthcare. making it more accessible and affordable, with over 900 locations for walk-in medical care. and more on the way.
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and secretary of stait john kerry is planning to co-host an emergency meeting on isis in london this week. let's bring in cnn's chief national security correspondent, jim sciutto, he is also hosting state of the union this morning. jim, we know as we said secretary kerry will be hosting this meeting in london, this emergency meeting in the wake of the paris attacks and of course this terrorist cell that was broken up in belgium. what do we expect to come from this meeting that may help crack down on this problem of foreign fighters, of americans and europeans going to fight with isis? >> reporter: well, they clearly have to do a better job, pamela. u.s. officials, european officials have been talking for months how they're stopping this flow, this revolving door really from europe into syria and iraq and back into europe. the concern being what do these combat trained foreign fighters do when they come home. we got a warning of that when we saw those paris attacks, as well as the operations in belgium,
what the targets were planning to do. they talked a lot about stopping that revolving door. clearly they haven't. they need better cooperation, and that's got to be a focus of these talks coming up this week. >> reporter: of course information sharing key. also the laws on the books. let's talk about surveillance laws in europe. they are different from the laws on the books in the u.s., so if you want to talk about the difference and how they may make things harder or easier to track down such plots in europe and the u.s. >> reporter: well, you remember the european action to the nsa surveillance, for instance, it was apoplectic. now europe -- in fact, already europe facing a threat bigger than the threat the u.s. is facing particularly in terms of foreign fighters. when you look at the numbers of jihadis, 5,000, an order of magnitude bigger than what we have in the u.s. the sense of alarm, the need frankly greater. there may be a coming together
on the minds to combat that, no question, going forward, but it's also a question for the u.s. what steps are the u.s. willing to take. it's something i'm going to press the senate intelligence chairman, richard burr. we're going to press him on what steps will the u.s. take and also what is his view of the level of threat today. has it changed after these attacks particularly with regards to aqap. until this point, pam, they've been seen primarily as a threat to air travel. >> and let's talk about that in the wake of what we've seen in paris and belgium. there is an extra emphasis on could this happen here? we know security has been stepped up across the board including in airports. jim, can you give us a sense of how concerned u.s. officials are
about national security, about the threat level in the u.s.? >> reporter: well, they're clearly concerned. you and i speak to counter terror officials regularly. to be fair, we should caution our viewers, no one has drawn a direct line, a credible line between the attacks that took place in paris, the operations in belgium being planned there by isis fighters, returning isis fighters, and any specific threat to here in the u.s. that's one thing. that said, those are demonstrations of a broader concern that u.s. counter terrorism officials have had because there are americans fighting in syria and iraq. the numbers, a fraction of what you see in europe. there are americans there and the concern is when they come home, if they're able to come home, what do they do here. plus, the concern about lone wolf attackers because the sad fact is today, you don't have to travel to these war zones to get training, you can find all the methods you need online in magazines such as inspire, other
websites. we've seen already situations like that. the ottawa attacker, reads it online and gets radicalized and carries out an attack. they say while aqap is seen as the most significant threat to the u.s. homeland, that the most likely attack we would expect to see here are the lone wolf attacks. it's a great level of concern among u.s. officials. >> and as you know, even if someone is under 24/7 surveillance, jim, a lone wolf could still go out and do something very small scale unsophisticated like, you know, run over someone with their car like we saw in jerusalem, canada, elsewhere. that's a challenge for authorities. what do you do with those unsophisticated small scale attacks? i'm sure you will press your upcoming guest senator burr on that. jim sciutto, thank you very much. >> reporter: thank you. >> be sure to stay here for
"state of the union" 9:00 here on cnn. back to you in atlanta. >> thanks, pamela. >> thank you, pamela. we have this coming up, these teams say they don't need to recover all of the parts of airasia flight 8501 now. we're talking next about what that means for the bodies still buried in that wreckage.
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(vo) introducing the all-new subaru legacy. it's not just a sedan. it's a subaru. 20 minutes after the hour now. rough weather is really hampering the recovery efforts of airasia flight 8501. they spotted what they believe is the fuselage. this seems important because it contains what's believed to be the cockpit as well and the
engine, but conditions have not allowed divers to inspect the wreckage under the java sea or lift it to the surface. let's talk about this now. cnn aviation analyst marry s sciavo joins us. good morning to you. >> good morning, victor. >> here's the question. we know they have the black boxes so there will be an audible narrative of what went wrong and a technological narrative of what went wrong and of course you have to recover the bodies, but beyond that, how much do we expect these crews to bring to the surface and how much do we believe that they'll just leave at the bottom of the java sea? >> well, that's a very important question. this week the head of the investigation agency in indonesia said that it's not the priority now to bring up all of the pieces, it's very important to bring up the fuselage. this week what they tried to do was divers went down and they were intending to try to retrieve bodies, put them in body bags and hoist them to the surface. that was not possible. the plan now is to try to
inflate with -- to put inflatables around the fuselage and bring it up for the purpose of recovering human remains. the cockpit is about a quarter of a mile away. i think it's 1600 feet and one of the engines. they have said they will try to get the pilot and co-pilot out of the cockpit but not necessarily bring it up. at this point they're going to try to get the fuselage up for the purpose of the remains, but the investigation team has said after hearing the cockpit voice recorder and down loading the information, that they do have an idea of what happened. they gave us a incluclue. weather is not the only problem they might be criticizing piloting skills. >> beyond the former inspector general, you are an aviation attorney. put that hat on now. if there are families who do not believe or want more than supplied by the black boxes, how much trouble could this airline or their insurance company be in
if more evidence is needed that they left at the bottom of the java sea? >> that's been an issue in many crashes in the past. in some cases it is the airline that's paid for bringing up additional wreckage to the surface. this is an air bus. it's very similar to the previous crash, at least i think on the flight from brazil to paris. air france 447. and in many cases the governments have sought to have the airline itself or their insurers in this case most likely pay, but there's -- it's difficult with that issue because there isn't really any air national law. many companies have no laws at all that require that. if the airlines or air bus, the manufacturer, or possibly the engines, two manufacturers that made the engines, they can seek to bring them up or have a private recovery effort. it's their efforts to try to bring up the fuselage to recover the remains and probably not much more. some of the search vessels have left.
the united states vessels and a korean vessel has left including the one that found the fuselage. >> the black boxes, data being analyzed. pretty soon we should get an answer. mary sciavo, thank you so much for your expertise. two fugitive teens who have left police on a multi-state man hunt have been caught. how police busted them and what happened during their arrest. wow! the only person i know that says that is...lisa? julie?! at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. get the it card and see your fico® credit score. try zyrtec-d® to powerfully clear your blocked nose and relieve your other allergy symptoms... so you can breathe easier all day. zyrtec-d®. find it at the pharmacy counter.
at tuesday night's state of the union address the president is expected to lay out a plan that will raise taxes on top earners and close loopholes on inherited money. that will reform the education tax system. about 6 million people turned out in manila this morning to help pope francis celebrate mass. look at this. the pontiff urging the faithful to take care of one another and help promote peace. today is his final day there. two kentucky teens that were the subject of a massive man hunt across several southern states have been caught this morning. 18-year-old dalton hayes and his 13-year-old girlfriend cheyenne phillips were found sleeping in a stolen pickup in florida. the two were arrested without incident. the teens were wanted on felony -- several felony charges including stealing at least three cars, two which had guns inside. now we've got to show you this before we go.
it's amazing -- an amazing photo. it shows a man pinned between two semis. can you see him here? this is one, this is another. there was a 70 car pileup in oregon and you see the guy's head here. he's in what's left of his pickup truck. it's amazing this guy survived, and we're told that he escaped with just a few scratches. you see one next to his eye, one on his head but sandwiched between these two trucks this guy is alive. >> one, i can't believe that was a pickup truck at some point. >> yes. >> and, two, if you are klaus thr claustrophobic, how long did he have to stay there? >> i feel like he is just happy to be alive. >> sure. >> you're sand wished between these two trucks. there were 70 other cars involved. he made it. >> he didn't know about the 70 other. he didn't care. >> probably doesn't. >> just dealing with that right there. we are so happy that he is okay. >> hopefully we'll get to hear his story pretty soon.
>> thank you so much for starting your morning with us. >> "inside politics" with john king starts right now. mitt romney tries to convince skeptical republicans he's still their best hope of winning the white house. >> i'm giving some serious consideration to the future. >> chris christie is gearing up, too. >> your nation is set by anxiety. >> the president gets a big stage this week, state of the union address. >> kind of in a rush. i didn't want to wait until the state of the union to share my ideas. >> poll numbers are up but the president's new proposals have little chance in the republican controlled congress. >> let's lead with a big, bold positive agenda that says to the american people, you had a referendum and you rejected the obama