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tv   Wolf  CNN  March 10, 2015 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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al when they hear what's said on the stand. susan candiotti, great work. thank you for that in massachusetts. cnn is continuing to cover the fallout from the president of o.u. expelling two students. wolf blitzer will take the helm. he starts right now. hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. 5:00 p.m. in london. 7:00 p.m. in jerusalem. 8:00 p.m. in baghdad. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. we begin this hour with breaking news here in the united states. the former secretary of state hillary clinton is speaking at the u.n. this hour on issues facing girls and women around the world. but the real fireworks will come afterwards at a hastily arranged news conference. for the first time she'll talk with reporters about the smoldering controversy over e-mails during her four-year tenure at the state department. her private, non-governmental
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account apparently was at odds with administration state department guidelines at the time. secretary clinton's expected to formally launch a presidential campaign as early as next month. but now the e-mail controversy threatens to get in the way. our senior political correspondent brianna keilar is joining us on the phone. she's at the united nations getting ready to hear what the secretary has to say. brianna, correct me if i'm wrong, this is going to be her first formal news conference in about five months? >> reporter: yeah this is really the first time that we have seen her take questions from the media which we assume that she will do. the extent of those questions we don't know at this point. but i also want to tell you we heard the press conference would be at 3:30 that was according to an aide and that was approximate. but a notice just went out from the united nations that says there will be a live press event at approximately 2:20 p.m. now with hillary clinton. so that's the word from the u.n. coming up sooner than we thought
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it would be. at 2:20 p.m. but we have not heard much from her. in just the last week since this controversy over her e-mail use, using a personal e-mail address solely as she conducted government business at the state department and also that she had a personal server to house those e-mails in that account, we haven't heard from her with the exception of a tweet. she's had a few public events where there have been speaking engagements but where she hasn't had like a q & a and certainly not with reporters. >> are they saying it's a little awkward, maybe a little unusual to have a news conference over this e-mail situation at the united nations? it seems a little awkward. >> reporter: it's not logistically easy for the press to get into an event like this. but the other issue is normally when she's addressed something,
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if there's something going on that she wants to get on the record on it she'll take an opportunity at a speaking engagement that she already has on the calendar. so since this controversy broke in the news last tuesday, she had an event on saturday in miami. but i think that her team was waiting to see if this may have died down over the weekend. it certainly didn't. we saw that on sunday that it was going strong. yesterday she had another event which was a joint event between the clinton foundation and the gates foundation. and seems like organizers of that joint event decided they didn't want to distract from the message. so this is really the event on the calendar. we understand that her team certainly wanted to address this as it just kept going in the news. >> brianna, stand by i want to bring in peter hamby and gloria borger. we're standing by for this hillary clinton news conference. what do we expect gloria she's going to open with a statement and then answer reporters' questions? there are a lot of questions out
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there. >> and there are a lot of reporters as brianna was just reporting. how many questions does she take? a couple or does she go on for an hour or so? i presume the former that she will not go on and on. i think she's got to answer the "why" of all this. why did she do this what did she use these e-mails for, was she ever advised not to? and by the way, what is she going to do now? are they bringing in a third neutral party, the national archives or whoever, to handle this going forward? those are four main areas. >> one of the key questions is she's handed over 50,000 pages literally in boxes printed out, 50,000 pages of her e-mails to the state department. but we don't know how many other pages she decided not to hand over. >> or did she ever delete any e-mails, personal or work-related? there are so many questions to be answered. i think when you get to this
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conundrum of doing a short pres presser or a long conference -- >> or the tweet. >> i think they realize that there's going to be questions that are going to go on and on and on for weeks, for months as the benghazi committee starts to confront a lot of what's in here. they could do a chris christie situation and go for hours. but the questions aren't going away. they understand the republicans have every incentive to pick this apart. it could be short, it could be long. >> that's why it may make some sense to hand the responsibility for this now over to some kind of a neutral third party so hillary clinton can say, okay we're doing everything that we can possibly do to make sure that all your questions are answered because the people in the campaign know very well that all of our questions aren't going to be answered -- >> what's become a problem here is there actually isn't a campaign. there isn't a staff. they're in the process of hiring people. reports are that she's going to
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announce in april. obviously there are people around her. but there needs to be somebody full-time devoted to this. i was talking to members of the obama campaign who are sort of watching this kind of amazed that there isn't a more capable, rapid response operation, that they aren't out ahead of this. that it took this so long to get to this moment. it's only a week -- >> because the only thing we've heard from hillary clinton on this subject so far is that march 4th tweet when she said i want the public to see my e-mail. i asked state to release them. they said they will review them for release as soon as possible. that's been the extent of her commentary. >> right. and then that raised more questions because the questions that were asked with us well who curated the 55,000 e-mails or page that is went over to the state department who made those decisions, who's making the decisions at the state department? what do you have on paper that
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wasn't deleted -- it goes -- the questions are endless. and go on and on. >> we live in a moment where politicians and campaigns can tweet something and get away with it. like that's the final say on "x" issue. and hillary clinton's done that over the last year on a variety of issues. she will tweet something, the press will write about it end of story. i think they might have learned the wrong lesson by that thinking the tweet would end the story. >> and we'll be hearing what she has to say. she'll be speaking at the united nations in about half an hour maybe less on women's issues girls' issues. we'll be monitoring that and we'll take some of that as well. but obviously we'll get ready for the q & a. she's under a lot of pressure to give answers, not only from republicans -- republicans certainly are pouncing but even her friend dianne feinstein, the democratic senator from california, told her to go out and explain what's going on. dick durbin one of the democratic leaders in the senate says go out there.
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listen to this editorial in "the washington post." dispatching friendly politicians and former aides to television news shows to dismiss the issue as just politics does not help her cause. if she is elected president, can americans expect a similar response when she faces difficult questions, one 26-word tweet and a cloud of ob fusfuscation from her friends? >> and that's what she's got to do today, answer questions about exactly why she did this. was it protective? was it evasive? was it just easy innocent as somebody said to me? somebody in her camp said to me yesterday, you will discover that it was completely innocent. if it's completely innocent, why not get it out there? to your point, there is no campaign around her. there's no way to get out this kind of rapid response. and i also think internally there's a sense of, why should we do that? it might have gone away with just a tweet.
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>> brianna, you're still over there at the united nations getting ready for her speech on women's issues girls' issues. give us a little flavor brianna, of the mood at the u.n. this is highly extraordinary. >> reporter: it is highly extraordinary. so what you have going on is a giant women's conference. so there are people from all over -- women from all over going to a number of different events. and they were just here they thought, in part to see a speech from hillary clinton. but now you have this deluge of press that wouldn't normally be here to cover this event to wait. many of us including myself are still waiting to go inside the room. so i can't tell you exactly what that's like at this point. but certainly it's a bit of a crush of people really wanting to see what hillary clinton has to say here. >> you're going to be with us. we'll be hearing from the former secretary of state coming up this hour. the q & a, the formal news
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conference on these e-mails, that will be in the next hour assuming it goes according to schedule. from e-mails to one controversial letter addressed to iran, the republican senators who sent it are being called by one newspaper in new york city traitors. could they be brought up for legal charges? is that serious at all? and later, iraqi forces begin a final push to retake a key city. they're calling it a decisive operation to liberate tikrit.
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the outrage over a republican letter to iran's leadership is escalating. the letter signed by 47 republican senators warns tehran
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that any nuclear deal it reaches with president obama may not last once he leaves office. the vice president, joe biden, said he was offended by the letter iran's foreign minister is calling it a propaganda ploy. "the new york daily news" went so far as calling the gop senators traitors. there's the front page. let's bring in white house correspondent michelle kosinski and fred pleitgen who's in tehran right now. michelle the vice president, joe biden, issued a scathing lengthy statement last night saying he was outraged. tell us about it. >> reporter: he said that this was -- it was beneath the dignity of an institution that he revered and in which he served for 36 years saying it's clearly an attempt to undercut the authority of the president of the united states. and it's interesting because in the letter that these republican senators wrote to iran it was almost as if they were schooling iran on the role that they play and could play in the future. well in this letter that vice president biden wrote, he is schooling republicans on the
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many many other instances in which a president over the last 200 years has made agreements with foreign countries without the approval of congress because it's not necessary in all cases. and this has opened up a pretty nasty war of words. i think biden's was restrained but lengthy and in no uncertain terms spelled out how he felt. but the war of words is something that the white house has not been staying out of. today they called this letter reckless irresponsible, misguided, a blatant, flagrant attempt to interfere, really not holding back -- i think it was most powerful to hear the white house say this amounted to a kind of back-channel communication with iran. that can be disputed pretty easily that it was back channel. this is an open letter that's out there. but today we're hearing from some members of congress republicans who didn't sign this letter like senator susan
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collins, of maine saying she thinks what should be having is giving advice to the president, not sending a letter to iran which they're unlike lie to pay attention to anyway. >> seven republican senators did not sign that letter to the iranian leadership including bob corker of tennessee, the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee. we'll have more on that part of the story coming up. i want to go to iran right now. fred pleitgen is in tehran. how are officials there reacting to this extraordinary letter, fred? >> reporter: well wolf they certainly are paying attention to it. and i think that the response we're getting is somewhat of a surprise but also a lot of iranian officials are saying they find the letter quite condescending, interesting because there was a response from iran's foreign minister as you said one of the things he said in that response is that he really didn't feel that the gop senators needed to lecture the iranians on the workings of congress. of course you remember one of the lines in that letter was the
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senators who signed the letter saying that maybe the iranian government is not aware of how the u.s. congress works, certainly the foreign minister saying he's very aware of how congress works and he feels any deal signed by the president of the united states would be binding for subsequent administrations. you mentioned it earlier, wolf. the iranians also said they consider this nothing more than a p.r. stunt. i want to read from the statement, it's remarkable to get a lengthy statement like this from an iranian official that fast. that shows how important they take all this. they said we believe this letter has no legal value and is indeed just a propaganda ploy. while the negotiations have not yet borne fruit and there is no agreement yet, pressure groups in the u.s. are so worried that they're using extraordinary measures to prove that they like netanyahu, oppose any kind of agreement. that of course is also in reaction to the speech by the israeli prime minister there in congress last week. one of the things of course that we do have to keep in mind
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is that there are big divisions here in iran as well. on the one hand you have the government that wants a deal. on the other hand however, you have a lot of hardliners who feel that iran should have walked away from the negotiating table a long time ago and that are willing to continue to live with sanctions as well. >> we'll continue to monitor the reaction in iran as well as the white house to this extraordinary gop letter. michelle, thanks very much. fred pleitgen in tehran, thank you. to our viewers, don't go away. we're continuing our discussion of that republican letter to the iranian leadership. some are calling for actual legal action to be taken against the senators who signed that. is that realistic at all? what's going on? we'll explore the reaction. e the power of the review. and now angie's list is revolutionizing local service again. you can easily buy and schedule services from top-rated providers. conveniently stay up to date on progress. and effortlessly turn your photos into finished projects with our angie's list app. visit today.
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what's that thing? i moved our old security system out here to see if it could monitor the front yard. why don't you switch to xfinity home? i get live video monitoring and 24/7 professional monitoring that i can arm and disarm from anywhere. hear ye! the awkward teenage one has arrived!!!! don't be old fashioned. xfinity customers add xfinity home for $29.95 a month for 12 months. plus for a limited time, get a free security camera call 1800 xfinity or visit as we mentioned just before the break, a lot of people are outraged by the direct republican letter to the iranian leadership.
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it comes as iran the u.s. five countries are negotiating an agreement to limit iran's nuclear program. the entire united nations security council, the five permanent members plus germany. for more context on what's going on let's bring in our global affairs analyst, managing editor of quartz bobby ghosh, and jane. when you read this letter 47 members signing it all republicans, seven republicans refusing to sign it, what was your reaction? >> that it's a pointless exercise. i thought that susan collins, the very responsible republican member susan collins, had the best counterargument when she said she doesn't think it will be particularly persuasive to the ayatollah. and it's just think about this in reverse. if members of parliament any of
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the p5 countries or any of the iranian legislature wrote to us how would we respond that that especially from just one party? congress has an important lever, and that is the ability to add or subtract sanctions and that is the lever that congress should use on a bipartisan basis if it's not satisfied with the deal. >> as you know bobby, the country's negotiating this deal and there's no deal yet, we'll probably know in a week or two if there's a deal. there's no deal yet. it's not just the united states it's the other permanent members of the security council, france britain, both allies but also russia and china, not exactly allies. germany, not a member of the u.n. security council but a close ally of the united states. how are they likely reacting to this extraordinary decision by the gop in the senate to go ahead and write to the iranians? >> i think they're going to react in quite the same way as they did when benjamin netanyahu, the prime minister of israel addressed congress on this issue.
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they're mainly going to ignore it as a manifestation of american domestic politics. i don't think, if i can inject heaven forbid a degree of cynicism into this but i don't think anybody realistically thinks this letter was addressed to the ayatollah. this is obviously a bit of political grandstanding. it is addressed to a domestic audience. it is addressed to israel to some degree. it is addressed perhaps to donors. i don't think anybody outside the u.s. is sort of seriously thinking this is a letter from american congress for the leader the supreme leader of iran to take seriously. >> you think, jane it's going to have any impact on these final two weeks of these negotiations? they're supposed to have a framework deadline march 24th. i don't know if they'll reach it. they won't reach it maybe they'll extend it. but do you think a letter like this has any impact on the actual negotiations on some of these very, very sensitive issues? >> not really.
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it does point out that the political stakes in this country, not that anybody has missed it are very high. but i ran into john kerry last night at something in washington actually a memorial service for an extraordinary person. and he said there at work they're hoping to close on the 24th. >> they're hoping to get a deal by the 24th, is that what you're saying? >> yeah, yeah. >> bobby, you think they will? what do you think? what are you hearing? >> well it's a really hard thing to predict. the one thing we know what this letter shows is that hardliners if we can use the term in this country are basically upping the ante as that date approaches. we're not seeing a similar reaction from hardliners in iran. so it would appear that the iranian political establishment to some degree is in lockstep. yes, hardliners don't like the deal. they're not making a huge noise about that deal right now as we come into the home stretch.
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is that because the supreme leader has told them to back off until the deal is signed or is that because they just think president rouhani has more cards than they do? that's interesting, though that we're not seeing a similar rush by the hardliners in iran to try and condemn this deal and head it off at the pass. >> it is. let's wait and see what's in the deal. we all agree that a bad deal is worse than no deal. but maybe there will be an adequate good enough deal. and it was interesting that bibi netanyahu did not say that he was against any deal. he did not say that there had to be zero enrichment. he left the door open there. and i thought he made a very constructive suggestion which is to link the deal or during the deal link it to iran stopping its actions by proxy groups to commit terror acts and to call for the annihilation of israel. so i think there is room here to
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get a lot of things done in a constructive direction. and, again, we have to keep focused on if there is no deal is there an arms race is there a war? are there things that could easily get out of control? >> bobby, is there any chance at all, the iranian leadership the ayatollah would issue a statement accepting israel's right to exist instead of calling for its annihilation? >> it would knock me off with a feather if that happens. i find it highly unlikely. if i had to bet, i would say there would be a postponement at this point for a few weeks, maybe a few months. that would allow both sides to withdraw and take a deep breath and come back for more discussions. i can't see a formal announcement by the iranian supreme leader recognizing israel or acknowledging its right to exist. perhaps a tacit understanding that he will no longer call for its destruction. but that's as far as i see him going. >> and i don't see that in the near term, wolf.
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i don't think that's what bibi was hinting either. he said over the duration of the deal before all the sanctions come off, if it's ten years or more years. a lot of people think it should be longer. by the conclusion of that things have to change and maybe they could change in a different atmosphere. >> let's see what happens. they have two weeks before that deadline, that initial deadline. but they can always extend these deadlines. they've done it before. guys, thanks very much. just ahead, the war against isis. is this the final push by iraqi forces to try to retake a key city? we're going live to iraq for the latest on the operation to try to liberty saddam hussein's birthplace, tikrit. biotech to clean energy. whether your business is moving, expanding or just getting started... only new york offers you zero taxes for 10 years with startup ny business incubators that partner companies with universities, and venture capital funding for high growth industries. see how new york can grow your business and create jobs. visit
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welcome back to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer reporting from washington. let's get to the war against isis right now. joint iraqi forces have begun what they say is the final push to retake the city of tikrit from isis. a paramilitary force fighting alongside iraqi troops say this is the decisive operation to liberty tikrit. forces have been steadily advancing toward the city from several directions. but isis is not going quietly. the terrorist group blew up a key bridge across the tigris river keeping iraqi forces from moving across.
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let's bring in ben wedeman and retired lieutenant colonel james reese. ben, are the iraqi forces backed by these shiite mish yalitias are they on the verge of recapturing or liberating tikrit? >> reporter: let's say, wolf they're on the verge of tikrit. but liberating is still a ways away. they blew that bridge across the tigris river from the east side of the bank of the river which the army and these militias control. we spoke to people out on the front. they say they have pontoon bridges to make up for the lack of that the only bridge, in fact, across the tigris. but keep in mind there are also iraqi forces coming from the south and the north. and they also have forces to the west of the city as well. so it's still essentially cut off and the noose is tightening. but what we've seen up to now is
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that they've gained a lot of territory, for the most part it's open land, farms and whatnot. once they get into the city the progress is going to be very slow simply because -- not necessarily because there's a lot of isis fighters. but we know they're leaving behind a lot of ieds, booby traps, car bombs truck bombs and that will inevitably slow down this operation. >> colonel reese, we know this is an iraqi military operation. they've got strong backing by these shiite militia groups very closely aligned to the iranians. we know there are iranian revolutionary guard personnel there on the scene as well. the operation to liberate tikrit what if any role does the united states military or intelligence services play in any of this? >> wolf the way we understand it right now, both from the front lines and from some folks we've talked to here in baghdad, really nothing.
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there's been no help from the americans. they continue to work the training piece in a couple of key locations out west south and just north of baghdad. and also as you know they continue to work heavily on the al anbar province area. but they also do continue to work coalition area. and one of the pieces we spoke to with some of the militia out there even though they said they did not need the american help when you brought them to the side they do admit the coalition aircraft with the majority of those being u.s. air force and navy fighters conducting these sorties, that degradation they've done of daesh, or isis over the last several months definitely assisted them with their push towards tikrit. >> ben, you've covered this story for a long time. how worried are iraqi sunnis in tikrit and elsewhere that the shiites, in effect backed by iran, are going to be the big winners in all this? as you know no great love between these two ethnic groups.
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>> reporter: there's a lot of concern and a lot of sunni politicians have made it quite clear that they're worried about iran's growing influence in general. but more specifically there is concern that these shia-led militias which really are doing the brunt of the fighting with the iraqi army essentially playing a supporting role the worry is they're going to go into tikrit and start taking revenge, taking revenge for the killing of perhaps as many as 1,700 iraqi soldiers last summer in june at the spiker base which is in tikrit. so many of these people have families who want to see revenge taken. and there's a very high possibility that these troops will go into tikrit not only start revenge killings but also looting and vandalizing property. so that's a big concern beyond the immediate influence of iran
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itself which, the fact of the matter is it's been part of the political scenery here in baghdad increasingly since the u.s. overthrew saddam hussein in 2003. >> colonel reese, is that your sense right now, hearing a lot more farsi, the language of iran in baghdad, elsewhere in iraq? that their influence has dramatically grown over the past few years? >> no wolf i wouldn't say it was dramatically. even yesterday when we were out just outside of tikrit we saw the kudz special forces they were there and they speak a little broken arabic and they smile. but they're there. but again, i think we've got to remember they have a job just like our special forces. they come in and advise and assist. and the militia and the iraqi army was very very pointed to say that this is an iraqi fight and an iraqi push and they're
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very confident about that and very prideful about that even though the kudz force and the iranians are there advising them and telling them how to do it. the iraqis are the ones leading the way. >> let's see if they actually can get the job done and if they get the job done in tikrit how that impacts an eventual operation in the much larger city of mosul, which continues to remain under isis control. guys, thanks very much. just ahead, three british schoolgirls run away apparently to join isis. but today, relatives said there were no warning signs. and what about efforts to tighten the border where the girls crossed into syria? arwa damon is standing by in turkey. she's got new information. what the cloud enables is computing to empower cancer researchers. it used to take two weeks to sequence and analyze a genome; with the microsoft cloud we can analyze 100 per day. whatever i can do to help compute a cure for cancer,
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plus for a limited time, get a free security camera call 1800 xfinity or visit the families of three british schoolgirls suspected of traveling to syria to join isis say they had no idea what the teens were planning to do. the relatives testified today at a hearing before uk leader lawmakers. the sister of one of the teens says there were no, repeat no, warning signs. >> my sister was into any normal teenage things. she used to watch "keeping up with the kardashians" and stuff like that. there was nothing that indicated that she was radicalized in any way in our home. >> the girls boarded a plane
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from london to istanbul on february 17th. they're believed to have crossed the turkish border into syria within a few days. turkey has been under enormous pressure to try to clamp down on isis fighters crossing into syria. our senior international correspondent arwa damon has this part of the story. >> reporter: four years now the porous turkish/syria border has been a well-traveled highway for refugees fleeing the violence and fighters intent on joining the complex battlefield. and turkey has long been accused of turning a blind eye to the flow of jihadis and their weapons. allegations ankara has consistently denied. in late 2013 cnn was taken by a smuggler along the route he used to one of the illegal crossing points. he claimed to have shipped hundreds of fighters across in just a few months many to join al qaeda-linked groups. under increased international pressure and as isis gained in
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notoriety and power, turkey has tried to crack down. at airports across the country, additional screening measures have been implemented. turkey has a list it has compiled of some 10,000 individuals who are barred from entry. and plainclothes officers wait as passengers disembark certain planes. turkey argues that europe needs to do its part as well in preventing suspicious individuals from traveling, pointing to confiscated items like these that were found on passengers turkish intelligence suspected were on their way to war in syria and iraq. turkey has also been digging massive ditches along parts of the border fortifying others with thermal cameras, guard posts and a beefed-up military presence. earlier this year, we met two smugglers in a town close to the border. for the last few months turkey has really cracked down, one told us.
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but fully shutting down a border of 800 kilometers or 500 miles is impossible. there will always be security breaches and alternate routes especially for those who believe that joining isis is their ultimate destiny. >> arwa is joining us now live from istanbul. arwa you mentioned some of the steps turkey has been taking to tighten up that border. what else do western countries including the united states want turkey to do? >> reporter: well there's this fundamental belief that despite everything that turkey has done so far, it can in fact do more to tighten up on border security. there's a sense that there's still a level of passiveness when it comes to some of the border guards turning a blind eye when cross-border violations are taking place. but one also has to bear in mind that turkey is in a very precarious political solution. it's home to over 1.6 million syrian refugees and it also has
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the position that it does not just want to see isis being combatted when it comes to any sort of joint effort vis-a-vis the situation in syria and iraq. it also ultimately wanted to see the downfall of the assad regime. and that's put them at odds with the thinking and the desire of western allies. turkey will emphasize it can't do this on its own. it needs the assistance of europe when it comes to people boarding planes. it wants to see more support from the united states. and one also needs to remember that turkey is in fact one of the key areas where the u.s.-backed training of vetted members of the free syrian army is going to be taking place. so yes, turkey is doing their fair share at this point. there is belief that more needs to be done. but the big issue at hand is what can be jointly done to try to prevent this smuggling from taking place. >> lots of stuff in the works right now.
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thanks very much arwa damon, reporting live from istanbul. other news we're following, the u.s. embassy to south korea injured seriously last week in a horrific attack is out of the hospital. five days ago, mark lippert was slashed by an assailant wielding a ten-inch knife. it took 80 stitches to close the wound on the embassy's face and arm. before leaving the hospital today, he met with reporters and says he's healing well. >> i'm happy to report that my family and i are doing well thanks in large measure to the extraordinary care i received i expect to be able to return to work very soon and to eventually make a full recovery. i feel pretty darn good, all things considered. it was obviously a scary incident. but i'm walking, talking, holding my baby hugging my wife. so i just feel really good. got a little rehab left to do on the arm.
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the face feels really good. but thanks to the great medical professionals, i feel like i said pretty darn good. the bottom line is that this incident has only strengthened our love and affection for this country and our belief in the unbreakable bond that exists between the united states and the republic of korea. >> lippert's attacker is in custody, could face attempted murder charges. happy the ambassador is doing just fine. just ahead, the incredible story of a cnn friend and colleague in the seemingly minor accident that changed his life in so many ways. oh yea, that's coming down let's get some rocks, man. health can change in a minute. so cvs health is changing healthcare.
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this is a story close to all of us here at cnn. it's the story of an accident that seemed minor at the time. about a year or so ago, an equipment case fell on arm of our good friend long-time colleague miles o'brien. he thought it was just a bad bruise but the accident cost him his arm and almost his life. now miles is sharing his life-changing experience in a cnn special with dr. sanjay gupta that airs later tonight, 9:00 p.m. eastern. >> miles was rushed into the operating room. at that point, he thought he could still be treated. but complications from the compartment syndrome caused miles' blood pressure to rapidly fall during the procedure. so with miles still under an else thee that the doctor made a decision to amputate miles' arm above the elbow. a painful decision that had to be made and probably saved his life. >> i could barely believe what i
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saw. i mean you know it's amazing that i could -- you know it felt like it was there. it really did. but it wasn't. >> for the past year our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta has followed miles o'brien as he's learned to cope with the loss of his arm both physically and emotional. sanjay is joining us now. explain what happened to our good friend miles. >> well it seemed like a rather innocuous, armless accident something fell on his arm. it hurt. it was one of those cases, wolf you're familiar with that's called a pelican case that holds camera gear. he got a bruise on his arm, didn't think much of it. as a result of the injury the muscle underneath was injured and started to swell. in your arm, that area of muscle
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surrounded by a thick layer of tissue. so as the muscle was swelling it had nowhere to swell and started to die, essentially. that muscle tissue started to die. he took about 48 hours before he went to the hospital. by the time he got to the hospital in the philippines, where he was, there was no saving the muscle or the arm. that's when they performed the above-elbow amputation. >> could they have saved that arm if he had gone right away to the hospital? >> it's a great question and one of those challenging questions to grapple with. the answer, i think, miles would say, and i think the doctors who cared for him did say was, yes, possibly if he'd gone in right away there was certainly a much better chance his arm would have been saved. he was in the philippines. that was part of the difficulty. he didn't know the medical system over there. also wolf people ignore things. this is one of the themes in this documentary. in this case it was his arm. but people ignore medical maladies all the time, thinking
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it will just get better. they don't always. you can't ignore these sorts of things things. you have to try to get care. >> i know, sanjay this was an emotional experience for both you and miles. was it difficult for you to do this kind of reporting, knowing that he was a good friend of yours, obviously a good friend of mine as well. >> it is challenging. we journalists don't do this sort of reporting often, on someone that we know so well. there was a challenge to it i think, certainly. the other part of it was i learned a lot, i think, going through this process. in medicine, we like things in nice neat tidy packages. if you are grieving you're going to go from denial to anger to bargaining to depression to acceptance and so forth. we just look at it. everything should fit. when you spend time with somebody like i did with miles who was grieving he lost his arm, he's grieving over this what you learn is that things don't fit those patterns very
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well at all. it is sticky. it is messy. it is unruly. it is painful, emotionally. i learned a lot. >> it's really an amazing story, though if you look at what miles is up to now, he's come back. this is an amazing documentary, sanjay that you and miles have been working on. we're all grateful to you for sharing this kind of information with all of our viewers. sanjay thanks very much. >> you got it wolf. thank you. >> and don't miss cnn's special report "miles o'brien: a life lost and found" later tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on cnn as well as cnn international. after a quick break, our special coverage of the controversy surrounding hillary clinton's e-mails. she's getting ready to speak live answer reporters' questions. we'll have live coverage right after this. nobody told us to expect it... intercourse that's painful due to menopausal changes it's not likely to go away on its own. so let's do something about it. premarin vaginal cream can help
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hello. i'm wolf blitzer. this is a cnn special live coverage event. after eight days of silence, hillary clinton is getting ready to address the controversy that critics say could impact her presidential aspirations. why did she use a personal e-mail address exclusively at secretary of state? and why did she set up her own server in her home in new york to keep the messages? those two questions have sparked a fierce debate over cyber security and transparency during her four years as secretary of state. keeping e-mails on her own server has given former secretary clinton and her staff control over which messages are turned over to federal archives. clinton has reportedly