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FBI Looked Into Airport Shooting Suspect Prior to Attack; Russia Mocks U.S. Claims Putin Meddled in Election; Massive Car Bomb Kills 50 in Rebel Held Area; Queen Elizabeth Scheduled to Attend Sunday Church Service; A Thousand Days Since Chibok Girls Kidnapping; Russia's Frozen Conflicts in Former Soviet Republics; Pope Marks the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord; Golden Globes Kicks Off Award Season. Aired 5-6a ET
Aired January 8, 2017 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[05:00:11] HANNA VAUGHAN JONES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The Florida gunman and his mental health. His brother says he needed help but never got it. The latest on the investigation.
Donald Trump sharing his thoughts on Twitter again, this time over what he wants for the U.S. and Russia, despite all the intelligence claiming Russia meddled in the U.S. election.
And she just needed a minute. A mother hides in her own pantry to escape the chaos of her four children. It's all caught on video.
Hi, there. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in London. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
The suspect in the shooting at a Florida airport has confessed saying he planned the attack. Court documents show Esteban Santiago told officials he flew from Alaska, loaded his gun at a bathroom after he arrived in Fort Lauderdale, and shot at the first people he saw in a baggage claim area emptying two magazines. Five people were killed, a further six were wounded.
The 26-year-old could now face the death penalty if found guilty of several charges. Santiago himself is an Iraq war veteran. And months ago officials referred Santiago for a mental health evaluation, but his brother says despite that, Santiago still didn't get the psychological help he needed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRYAN SANTIAGO, SUSPECT'S BROTHER ((Through Translator): I want to clarify this for the Puerto Rican people and for all the people in the world. That the federal government already knew his reaction. They already knew the thoughts that he was having and how they weren't good. He himself went after them and asked for help and they did nothing. They had him hospitalized for four days and then they let him go.
How are you going to let someone leave a psychological center after four days when he's saying that he's hearing voices that the CIA is telling him to join certain groups?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Santiago's brother there in Puerto Rico. Well, authorities have reopened most of the terminals now at the airport in Fort Lauderdale in Florida. And we are now learning more about the victims.
Our Boris Sanchez has the details.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Operations are returning to normal here at the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport in the aftermath of a gunman opening fire at a baggage claim area Friday killing five people and wounding six others.
CNN has learned the names of two of those killed. Olga Woltering was a great grandmother from Georgia. She flew in to Fort Lauderdale with her husband so that two could go on a cruise. Terry Andres was also on vacation. He was a ship worker from Virginia celebrating his 63rd birthday with his wife.
Of the six rushed to Broward Health Medical Center, three required surgery, two of them had been shot in the face.
GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: Unfortunately we talked to a family that lost a loved one, you can't imagine what they are going through right now. But you know, not waking up thinking, this is going to be another wonderful day in their lives and then lose a loved one.
SANCHEZ: Following an interview with the suspected gunman, Esteban Santiago, investigators revealed that the 26-year-old allegedly came to Fort Lauderdale specifically to carry out this attack. Though they don't know why this airport was targeted. Authorities say that in November Santiago had a gun in his vehicle when he paid a visit to the FBI office in Anchorage, Alaska.
The former National Guardsman told agents there that he had been hearing voices that told him to watch ISIS videos. CNN spoke with the Iraq war veteran's aunt in New Jersey over the phone who said, quote, "His mind was not right when he came back from Iraq. He talked about all the destruction and the killing of children. He had visions all the time."
Investigators in Florida tell us the investigation is still in the early stages. Santiago will likely appear before a judge on Monday. The second floor of Terminal Two has been reopened to help process passengers. And there's a bit of good news, one of the six injured being helped at Broward Health is expected to go home soon.
(On camera): We also got the FBI to confirm that Esteban Santiago was armed when he went to visit their field office in Anchorage, Alaska. Apparently he had a fully loaded weapon inside his car that agents retrieved. Also inside that car, his infant son, which his girlfriend had to go pick up. Important to point out that weapon was confiscated during his mental
health evaluation. They held it for about a month. It was returned to him ultimately on December 8th. It turns out that weapon that was confiscated was the same one used in Friday's attack here in Fort Lauderdale.
Boris Sanchez, CNN, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
JONES: One second the victims were waiting for their luggage glad they had made it safely to Fort Lauderdale, the next second they were trying to save their lives.
[05:05:04] Sheldon Fox with CNN affiliate WSVN spoke to a survivor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHELDON FOX, REPORTER, WSVN: The casings were flying all around us, she says. The grandmother of 13 from near Green Bay, Wisconsin, have just landed in Fort Lauderdale for a vacation in the sun. But she wound up in the hell that was Terminal 2's baggage claim.
Walking among the dead and the wounded without a scratch, her husband was also uninjured. I sat next to her on the plane, the woman says. And nearly 10 hours later while waiting at Port Everglades to find a ride to her hotel, she told 7 News the rest of the story.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the ladies killed was my seatmate on the plane and she was standing right next to me.
FOX: In the baggage claim?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the baggage claim. I gave her a hug. She turned around, I turned around and the pops started. I hit the ground and I turned around and she was shot in the head and killed.
FOX: That shooting victim's husband was hit, too.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her husband was shot. The guy next to him was shot in the cheek. The guy next to him was face down. He was dead.
FOX: It's part of an accused mass killer's path of destruction.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He reloaded and he's walking just with his arms straight out, stone faced.
FOX: Did the man say anything when he was firing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't hear anything. People were just yelling, get down. I have a strong belief in a higher power. And I know someone was watching over us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: That was Sheldon Fox with CNN affiliate WSVN. Now the U.S. President-elect Donald Trump says the U.S. should build
closer ties with Russia even after learning how hard Moscow worked to influence the 2016 presidential race. On Saturday Donald Trump tweeted, "Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. Only 'stupid' people or fools would think that it is bad. We have enough problems around the world without yet another one. When I'm president, Russia will respect us far more than they do now. Both countries will perhaps work together to solve some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the world."
Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia says Trump is venturing far from long-standing U.S. policy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: It's pretty clear that a sizable majority of the American population, not to mention a large majority of Congress in both parties, disagree with the president-elect. When you look at Russia and its role in the world and its behavior in its own neighborhood and even domestically, it's pretty obviously that Vladimir Putin and his allies there in Russia have very different values than American democracy.
What is bizarre and is difficult to understand is why the president- elect identifies so much with Vladimir Putin more so than with many domestic politicians as he said during the campaign. It's just something we have no experience with, not just during the Cold War, but in all the years since then.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Larry Sabato with that analysis there. Well, Russian lawmakers and commentators are ridiculing the U.S. intelligence report that found President Vladimir Putin personally sought to boost Donald Trump in the U.S. election in November.
CNN contributor and former Moscow bureau chief Jill Dougherty joins us now live from Moscow.
Jill, it seems a good relationship with the U.S. is looming for Russia. What might that mean for the Kremlin?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, Hannah, as I looked at that quote, almost every modern president, you know, in recent times, has said pretty much the same thing almost verbatim, that we can work or we should work with Russia on the issues that trouble the world and we can solve these together.
But I'll give you an example of where, you know, outside of tweets, where you have to get the actual details, it gets more complicated. Let's take Iran. For example, the United States and Iran and -- the United States and Russia worked on the Iranian nuclear deal. It is something that both countries supported. Donald Trump criticizes it.
Now Donald Trump will have to, I would think, criticize Russia for supporting the Iranian nuclear deal. So there is an initial, you know, contradiction in how they can work together, how his view of what Russia does and what they want to do, gets a lot more complicated when you get into details.
So I think this, you know, generalities are fine, but you're going to have now look at specifics. And specifics in terms of what, you know, Vladimir Putin wants to do for his country, that is his responsibility.
[05:10:09] He's looking out for Russia. And Donald Trump as president of the United States will have to define how he looks out for the United States' interests.
JONES: And Jill, is there any concern about a backlash against Russia once Donald Trump is in the White House, particularly given the fact that although Russia says it has nothing to do with hacking, there's so much concern and pressure on Donald Trump to take action from within his own country?
DOUGHERTY: There is. But you know, I'd have to say that if you look at -- and this is not really objective at this point, but there are a lot of people who have been quoted in the media, et cetera, regular Americans, who really kind of dismiss this and say, you know, the hacking wasn't such a big deal. That it maybe didn't have much effect. And after all, what was revealed was, you know, the truth, et cetera.
And this is actually what President Putin has said. It really doesn't make any difference who hacked. The point is, information was released that helped people make determinations. So I think it's going to be more complicated. You do have some people in the United States who are very worried, in fact, people who are in the president's own party, who are very worried about this rapprochement with Vladimir Putin. And then you have others who kind of dismiss it.
I think what you're going to get is when the specifics come out, what does President-to-be Trump want to do specifically with Russia? And we'll know that in a couple of weeks. That's where you're going to get some division of opinion as to what he's specifically going to do.
JONES: We wait to see. Jill Dougherty live in Moscow, thank you.
Well, for further insight, let's bring in Scott Lucas, he's a professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham here in England. Thanks very much for being on the program, Professor. I want to ask you first about your reaction to those tweets. What might a good relationship with Russia look like?
SCOTT LUCAS, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM, LONDON: Well, for Donald Trump, it's one in which he gets to be best friend with Vladimir Putin and the two men create their own image of the world. The problem with that is that it ignores the fact that Russia has its own interest, Putin has his own interest, and they very aggressively have pursued them. They are pursuing them in Eastern Europe, they're pursuing them in the Middle East and they pursued them by intervening in the U.S. election. You know, cold fact. So Trump is trying to sweep all that away and say, well, we can be
best friends. At the same time, however, remember that he's saying we should have a nuclear arms race, which doesn't seem to fit very well in an approved relationship.
LUCAS: This is very much Trump's personal opinion.
JONES: Is there an element, though, of you scratch my back now, I'll scratch yours? And although Donald Trump has dismissed the suggestion that Russia's influence may have had any control whatsoever on the election victory, on his election victory, is there a bit of like, well, this is payback time and I owe you one?
LUCAS: I wouldn't call it payback as much as the fact that Donald Trump has always basically put an admiration for Putin above any type of consideration of specific issues between U.S. and Russia. For example, remember during the Republican primaries, not -- you know, well before the general election, he talked about Putin as being this great leader, this admirable man. Trump did not address the fact that while we do not want to go to war with Russia, there are issues of conflict. Remember that Russia annexed Crimea two years ago leading to U.S. and European sanctions.
Trump did not address the Russian involvement in the Syrian civil war which has been destabilizing. So again, it's really more Trump's narcissism. You know, he wants to be like Putin. He admires Putin, rather than any type of, you know, sensible or coherent approach to foreign policy.
JONES: So much has been made of Donald Trump's rhetoric, if you like, not least, though, a language that he uses on Twitter. So what do you make of this stupid comment that anyone who effectively disagrees with him seemingly is branded stupid. Is this a sign of more to come?
LUCAS: Oh, yes. Well, Donald Trump always said anybody who disagrees with him isn't very smart. But I think that something is being missed here about these latest tweets. You'll notice that Trump has shifted. He is no longer talking about the intelligence behind the Russian hacking being wrong. He's no longer criticizing the intelligence agencies as he was all through last week. Remember when he said only a few days ago, I know what really happened about hacking and I'll tell you, and he never did?
So Trump is saying, everyone is stupid, let's just be nice to Russia. He's trying actually to cover up the fact I think he's on the defensive now over the allegations that were in the report released on Friday about the extent of Russian involvement.
JONES: Yes, very interesting. What might Russia, though, have to gain if it is accepted that it did interfere with the U.S. election and backed Trump.
[05:15:03] What does Russia gets -- get out of that? LUCAS: What Russia got, and it's clear from the unclassified version
report and it will be to a greater detail in the top secret version is they kept Hillary Clinton out of office. Putin personally does not like Hillary Clinton. And in his eyes, Clinton and others in the Obama administration called him an illegitimate president. Beyond that, if Clinton became president there would be a much tougher U.S. line, for example, over the Middle East including Syria. There would be a much tougher line over the crisis over Ukraine and Crimea and Moscow didn't want that.
JONES: Always great to talk to you. Scott Lucas there live from Birmingham, here in the UK. Thanks very much indeed for your insight.
LUCAS: Thank you.
JONES: Now a deadly car bombing killed at least 11 people in Baghdad, Iraq. And ISIS says they're behind the latest attack. All the details on that just ahead.
Plus some soldiers in Ivory Coast are rejecting a government deal over pay bonuses. Find out what they're demanding, next.
JONES: ISIS is claiming responsibility for a car bombing in eastern Baghdad. A suicide bomber drove into a busy outdoor market in Sadr City on Sunday and then detonated the car. Well, the blast killed at least 11 people, further 25 are known to have been wounded. The terror group says the attacker deliberately targeted Shiites who were gathering in the area.
And in neighboring Syria, a massive car bomb has killed about 50 people and wounded 80 more. This happened in the rebel-held northern city of Azaz on Saturday, very close to the Turkish border. No one has claimed responsibility for the blast but ISIS is known to have targeted the town in the past. The bombing happened despite a nationwide cease-fire in Syria in effect since December 30th.
CNN's Ian Lee is following this story from Istanbul, in Turkey, and joins me now live from there.
Ian, they haven't claimed responsibility yet, but is ISIS the likely culprit?
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it does bear the hallmarks of an ISIS attack, Hannah. You have this car bomb exploding near a courthouse in a market. ISIS has been known for going after civilian targets, whether it's in Syria, whether it's here in Turkey.
[05:20:03] And so while they haven't claimed responsibility it appears to be their handiwork there. Also liked to, at times, do attacks like this and not claim responsibility to sow uncertainty in the conflict in areas where -- that they are targeting, specifically the FSA, which is in control of this area has been criticized for not providing a lot of security. But this is another strike that potentially could be ISIS. Also there are also other groups that Kurds-control, territory to the
west of Azaz. There has been conflict between the Turks and Kurds as well in this area. So that -- it could be part of this uncertainty that they are trying to sow. But by and large, this does appear to be an ISIS attack.
JONES: And how then does this attack play into Turkey's overall response and its reaction, given that it's still combating ISIS on so many levels?
LEE: That's right. And right now Turkey is battling ISIS on the front lines in Al-Bab, this is a city in northern part of Syria. Turkey for a while now has been pushing ISIS away from their border, pushing them south trying to degrade their capabilities to fight war, although ISIS has been putting up a stiff resistance despite Turkey's efforts for weeks now trying to capture the city of Al-Bab. They haven't been able to. They have sustained heavy casualties in the fighting.
But Turkey also likes to say how they have been degrading ISIS' capabilities by killing, at times, they announced tens if not dozens of ISIS fighters. But despite that, this has been a very long and bloody battle between the two.
JONES: Ian Lee, we appreciate your reporting there live from Istanbul in Turkey, thank you.
The president of Ivory Coast says the government has reached a deal to end a mutiny by soldiers. However, some of the soldiers have rejected that deal and they are still fighting. They say they were promised a salary bonus for bringing the president to power but they never received the money.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALASSANE OUATTARA, IVORY COAST PRESIDENT (Through Translator): I confirm my agreement to take into account the demands relative to the bonuses and the better living and working conditions of the soldiers. I would like to repeat that this way of making demands is not appropriate. Indeed, it tarnishes the image of our country after all of our efforts in economic development and diplomatic reposition. Having marked my agreement, I call on all the soldiers to go back to their barracks in order to allow for these decisions to be executed calmly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Well, the soldiers themselves are asking for a written proof that they will indeed get paid.
Now for the third time in just a week, a prison riot has erupted in Brazil. Firefighters, assault troops and special operations forces are at the prison in the city of Manaus. A military police captain tells CNN they are awaiting orders to enter the building. The prison had been closed but it reopened after riots broke out at two other prisons just in the last few days. Dozens of inmates had died in the fighting so far between rival gang members. Some of the alleged ring leaders have been moved to the Manaus City facility.
The four suspects charged with torturing a Chicago special needs teenager have been denied bail. The attack sparked outrage in the U.S. and around the world when it was broadcast on Facebook Live.
CNN's Rosa Flores has more now from Chicago and a warning that some of her report does contain graphic video.
ALONZA THORNTON, CHICAGO RESIDENT: It was kind of shocking to know that it was here.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Alonza Thornton says his grandmother lives in the same building where this shocking video was broadcast on Facebook Live Tuesday. Showing a white teenage victim with mental health issues being abused by four black individuals.
THORNTON: I actually heard about it, word of mouth, that it was in the area and actually coming here today knowing that it was here, it's appalling.
FLORES: The suspects face a slew of charges, including aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and hate crime. The judge denied the suspects bond Friday and scolded them in open court, saying, "I'm wondering where was the sense of decency that each of you should have had."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're sorry this happened to the family.
FLORES: One family member of the two female suspects, who are sisters, apologized outside court. Inside, the suspects showing no emotion, even when prosecutors described their alleged every move in open court.
From suspect, Jordan Hill, picking up the victim as this McDonald's in a Chicago northwest suburb on New Year's Eve to Hill allegedly beating the victim before these cameras started rolling. Once they did, according to prosecutors, Hill even asked for ransom.
[05:25:09] ERIN ANTONIETTI, ASSISTANT STATE'S ATTORNEY: The defendant Hill communicates with the victim's mother and demands $300 ransom in exchange for getting her son back.
FLORES: When a neighbor called police, that's when prosecutors say the victim got a window of time to escape.
(On camera): Neighbors tell us that this is the house where the abuse happened. They also point out that on the same night there was a separate fight. The blood from that fight still remains.
(Voice-over): A tough neighborhood in a city that is no stranger to violence. And now a call for justice for a teen who police say is still traumatized by the torture he endured.
(On camera): As for the victim, I spoke to the family spokesperson and he tells me that the victim is with his family and they're asking for privacy and prayers.
Rosa Flores, CNN, Chicago.
JONES: Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM this hour, a gunman shoots a U.S. official in Mexico. Now U.S. officials are offering a hefty reward for his capture.
Plus, Pope Francis baptizes more than two dozen babies in a special ceremony at the Sistine Chapel. We'll have all the details from the Vatican next.
JONES: Hello, again. Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and around the world. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM with me, Hannah Vaughan Jones here in London. The headlines for you this hour.
The suspect in the shooting at an airport in Florida has confessed that he planned the attack.
[05:30:01] His brother says Esteban Santiago asked the authorities for psychological help months ago but didn't receive the care that he needed. Five people were killed and six others wounded on Friday at the airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump wants Washington to have closer ties with Moscow. In a series of tweets on Saturday, Trump said only stupid people would think that having good relations with Russia would be a bad thing.
ISIS is claiming responsibility for suicide car bombing at a busy outdoor market in eastern Baghdad on Sunday. The blast killed at least 11 people and wounded a further 25. The terror group says the attacker deliberately targeted Shiites who were gathering in the area.
In Ivory Coast some soldiers are rejecting a deal by the government to end a mutiny. The soldiers say they were promised a salary bonus for bringing the current president's power but they never received that money. They want written proof from the president himself that they will get paid.
U.S. authorities are searching for a man who shot an American consulate official in Mexico on Friday. Surveillance footage shows the suspect opening fire on the car as it left a parking garage. The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for any information leading to the gunman's capture. The wounded official we understand is in a stable condition.
A grim milestone has been reached in the case of Nigeria's missing Chibok school girls. 1,000 days have now passed since they were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists back in 2014.
For more on this, CNN's Isha Sesay joins us now live from Lagos, Nigeria.
Isha, I know you've been following this story so closely since it first began. Some of the girls have been able to return home but there are still many more missing.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, indeed. Hi there, Hannah. Yes, there are 195 girls who are still unaccounted for. So as you can imagine to have had a thousand days go by is a time of incredible pain and suffering for their families, especially given the fact that, you know, 24 have been reunited with their loved ones.
This is a very, very grim milestone. It is one which members of the Bring Back Our Girls community, the grassroots organization, that has led the outcry in this outrage, one in which they are calling for activities around the world that people come out in the streets and they express their outrage and they mark this grim milestone. There be will activities -- a list of activities scheduled for Washington, D.C., Paris, Lagos and Abuja. And they are calling for these actions really as part of global week of action all to continue to shine a spotlight on this outrage and the missing 195 girls -- Hannah.
JONES: Isha, what sort of reaction are we having from the Nigerian government as well? Does the president, for example, want external international help to locate the girls and defeat Boko Haram, or is this very much a domestic problem they want to deal with themselves?
SESAY: Well, the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, did tweet a short time ago, and in a number of messages, said that he was hopeful that the Chibok community, Nigeria, indeed the world, will soon welcome the remaining girls from captivity. Also saluting, to use his words, saluting the security agencies that have been part of efforts that have brought some two dozen girls back.
And also in the same message, if you will, also saluting those advocates who've continued to shine a spotlight on this issue. So he has not shied away from, you know, acknowledging the day and what it means, but in terms of efforts to secure the release of the girls, you know, our last understanding in terms of -- our most recent understanding of what the situation is, is that negotiations being led by the Nigerian government were ongoing to secure the release of these girls.
The last we heard of it was actually back in 2016 where we heard that negotiations were making some progress. And since then, there has been no word, Hannah. So we really don't know where things lie right now in terms of any kind of negotiation efforts to get these girls back to their loved ones. It has gone quiet.
JONES: What about the two dozen girls that you mentioned who have been able to return to their loved ones? How are they?
SESAY: Yes, well, we were able -- CNN was able to travel with 21 of those girls back to Chibok just before Christmas. It was their first journey home since the abduction back in 2014. And Hannah, it was just a remarkable experience being close them, spending time in their presence and just seeing how they were gradually finding their confidence, gradually rediscovering their self-esteem, and feeling comfortable being back in the world.
We had also seen back in October immediately after their release, and so I can actually attest to the difference in the space of 10 weeks.
[05:35:03] They have been undergoing counseling and therapy and all kinds of rehabilitation in Abuja so you can actually see the fruits of those efforts when we saw them just before Christmas. It has to be said, the last of the 24, was only discovered some three days ago, so we don't know how she's doing. The other two, what did not accompany the 21 back at Christmas, so we don't know how they're doing either.
All we can attest to is the 21 who CNN were able to see and spend time with and they seem to be doing OK. Many of them expressing a desire to go back to school, Hannah, which is quite remarkable after everything that has happened to them.
JONES: It certainly is remarkable, indeed. Isha Sesay live for us there in Lagos, Nigeria, on what is a very grim milestone, 1,000 days since these girls were kidnapped. Isha, thank you.
Now as many as 300 million Orthodox Christians around the world spent Saturday in Christmas celebrations.
According to Russian Orthodox tradition, Christmas begins with mass followed by celebrations at home the next day. Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar which observes Christmas 13 days after most other Christians do.
On Saturday the Russian President Vladimir Putin attended midnight mass at a cathedral just outside of the Russian capital Moscow.
Now Britain's Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to attend church service this Sunday morning. The 90-year-old monarch has been noticeably absent from the public eye in recent weeks as she continues to battle a heavy cold.
Max Foster joins me now live from outside Buckingham Palace.
Max, all eyes on her majesty perhaps more so than ever before this morning.
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's -- yes, it was just up at Sandringham, she was due to go to church on Christmas Day and on New Year's Day. She canceled both of those because of this heavy cold. We haven't seen her for more than a month. Her next appearance is due to be in just over an hour actually at church in Sandringham again. We have been allowed cameras to the church to see whether or not she shows up. But we're expecting a statement by now in the day telling us whether or not she would be going.
We haven't had that statement yet. So all eyes really on the church in Sandringham, just one camera allowed there. And we're expecting to hear something before she does or she doesn't appear. But it's all been a mystery at the moment. We don't think there's nothing major you need to worry about. There's nothing that leads me to think that there's nothing more serious to worry about. It is just a cold, but clearly a very heavy one. This has been affecting her for weeks now, Hannah.
JONES: And from royalty then to politics, Max, and Donald Trump, the president-elect of the United States, has been taking to Twitter as we're used to him doing so to talk about Teresa May. What's he been saying?
FOSTER: Well, he's basically saying he's very much looking forward to a visit that she's due to make there in the spring. And he used the word special, which in this country is something we often hold dear when it comes to the relationship with the United States. So we call it the special relationship. This is something that Churchill created. And there's some concern that perhaps Teresa May wouldn't have the same sort of relationship with Donald Trump, partly because the first British politician he chose to meet was Nigel Farage who's from an opposition party here in the U.K. and didn't even call Teresa May in the first 10 calls he made to foreign leaders either.
So there was some concern that that relationship wasn't going to be solid, but he's gone on to Twitter saying he's very much looking forward to that visit. And that's being -- you know, it's getting a lot of coverage here because there's a lot of concern about Britain's future because it's leaving the European Union. And one of the assumptions was always that Britain would have closer ties, trade ties in particular, with the United States to make up for that loss of relationship with Europe.
So all eyes really on those trade links. And if Teresa May can build a bond with Donald Trump, then that's going to be seen as a very good for the British economy and the British nation, actually.
JONES: And, Max, if there is a state visit in the spring from Donald Trump and the new U.S. first family, that brings in the royals as well, doesn't it, in terms of the welcoming committee?
FOSTER: It does. And the suggestion is that it will be autumn next year. And Donald Trump as president will be staying here at Buckingham Palace. They have never met before. We don't know what the Queen thinks of Donald Trump, but we do that Donald Trump is a bit of a fan of the Queen as Barack Obama was as well. But yes, that'll be a very high-profile visit here in the autumn if it does go ahead. It's something the Foreign Office and Downing Street are very, very keen on because that relationship with the U.S. is so important.
And the greatest sort of diplomatic tool, really, if I can call her that, is the Queen because everyone loves to come to a state visit here at Buckingham Palace, say, Nelson Mandela famously said it was his favorite state visit and Barack Obama was always very keen to come and meet the Queen whenever he was here even if it wasn't a state visit.
So it will be interesting to see how that relationship develops as well. And if Donald Trump can build the relationship with the Queen, that might be sort of Theresa May can't.
[05:40:10] JONES: Absolutely. Max Foster live for us there outside a very rainy Buckingham Palace. Thanks, Max. And Pope Francis has baptized 28 newborn babies in the Sistine Chapel
marking the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
CNN's senior Vatican analyst and editor of Cruz, John Allen, joins me now live from Rome.
Just explain for us the significance of this event in the Christian calendar, John.
JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Well, Hannah, it is a very cold morning here in Rome. So cold, in fact, that the Vatican's Charity Office has positioned its cars in spots around the Vatican to allow homeless people to sleep in them during the night to try to fight this cold. But it was a very warm atmosphere this morning in the Sistine Chapel where Pope Francis baptized the children of -- 28 children of Vatican employees, including 13 girls and 15 boys.
As you say, this is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord commemorating that scene from the bible where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist but for popes this is really one of those rare moments where, you know, they don't have to be a head of state today. They don't have to be a media celebrity. They get to play the part of a simple parish priest.
And for these Vatican employees who have the opportunity to have their children baptized for the Pope, it is a very special moment, too, because let's face it, working in the Vatican is kind of a tough gig in many ways. It is long hours, you have to work the holidays, the pay isn't very great, but this is definitely part of the benefits package. And for these families, Hannah, it's something they're going to remember for the rest of their lives.
JONES: And tell us a little bit more about these -- the 28 or two dozen or so very lucky babies, presumably they can almost call the pontiff their godfather, could they not, after this?
ALLEN: Well, they'll all of course have their own godfathers, but, you know, this is a very small pool of people, Hannah. Now, of course, these babies have no idea what's going on really. But I mean, obviously, you know, as they come of age, you know, their parents will be telling them these stories, the pictures of their baptism will be on their mantles in their homes for the rest of their lives. So they are part of a very select group of people, you know, who will be able to, in Catholic parlance, kind of have bragging rights. You know, it wasn't just father so-and-so in such and such parish that baptize me but it was the Holy Father, the Pope himself, and that certainly is something that will stay with them forever.
JONES: It certainly will, perhaps to find their future as well. John Allen, live for us there in Rome. We appreciate it. Thanks, John.
And coming up here on CNN NEWSROOM this hour, a brutal winter storm slams the southern U.S. and it's not done yet. We'll tell you where it's headed, next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [05:46:29] JONES: A dangerous winter storm that dumped snow and ice on the southern U.S. is now clobbering the East Coast as well. Near white-out conditions are possible in some areas. The storm is being blamed for dozens of vehicle pileups and car crashes. Crews have been working around the clock to clear the icy roads. And authorities are telling people to stay home for their own safety.
So let's take a look at where the snow is headed next, meteorologist Derek Van Dam has the very latest from the CNN Weather Center -- Derek.
DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good day, Hannah. You won't believe this. We just came across this stat that authorities actually responded to over 500 accidents in the state of Virginia. 650 abandoned vehicles because of the winter storm that moved through the region. I mean, can you imagine just driving through some of these treacherous roadways, almost impassable? You have blowing and drifting of snow. You've got dangerous conditions. And unfortunately the bad roadways have led to two fatalities from this East Coast winter storm that moved through.
There was another weather-related fatality, we're talking about in the past 24 hours, on the other side of the country thanks to another storm system which we'll cover in this weather hit in just one moment.
VAN DAM: Back to you.
JONES: Certainly looks like it. Thanks very much for the update, Derek. Appreciate it.
VAN DAM: You're welcome.
JONES: Now coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, the stars will be glittering on Sunday night for the 2017 Golden Globe Awards. We'll take a look at the big contenders in film and television up next.
[05:53:46] JONES: Welcome back. We're bringing you live pictures now from Sandringham, east of London here in the U.K. The Queen, Queen Elizabeth II, the British monarch, has just arrived to attend church. The church service this morning at her Norfolk Estate. This is significant and not just because she's a monarch but because she hasn't been seen for many weeks now as she does traditionally attend church on Christmas Day morning and skipped it this last Christmas, only because she and her husband, Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, have both been suffering from a heavy cold.
Now we understand that the Queen's daughter, Princess Anne, has said last weekend that her mother was feeling better and of course she is now attending church. So we wish her well, the 90-year-old monarch attending church this morning after suffering a heavy cold. Now the Hollywood award season is in full swing and stars of film and
television will walk the red carpet on Sunday for the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
CNN's Stephanie Elam gives us a sneak peek.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The glitz, the glamour, the Golden Globes. Hollywood's annual kickoff to award season looks to honor the best in film and television.
[05:55:04] With seven nominations, "La La Land" leads the pack on the motion picture front.
MATTHEW BELLONI, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: It takes a very traditional medium, the Hollywood musical, which has been around for a century, and it really does reinvent it for a modern audience.
ELAM: The Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling-led movie is up for Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, alongside "20th Century Women," "Dead Pool," "Florence Foster Jenkins" and "Sing Street."
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: We all love and all pride in this house.
ELAM: "Moonlight," a gritty coming-of-age film, has six nominations, including one for Best Motion Picture Drama, along with "Hacksaw Ridge," "Hell or High Water," "Lion" and "Manchester by the Sea."
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: People do admire me, Johnny.
ELAM: With five nods "The People versus O.J. Simpson, American Crime Story," dominates the TV categories, including a nomination for Best Miniseries or Television Movie.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: My reign has just begun.
ELAM: For the fourth year, "Game of Thrones" is up for Best Drama Series. The epic fantasy will face off with newcomers "The Crown," "Stranger Things," "This is US" and "Westworld."
JIMMY FALLON, HOST, 2017 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS: I get to wear this tuxedo.
ELAM: Taking a stab at the master of ceremonies' duties this year, Jimmy Fallon.
FALLON: I'm already practicing wearing it every single night and just handing out awards to random people.
ELAM: The late-night host follows previous Golden Globe emcees Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
BELLONI: What makes the Golden Globes fun is this sense that anything can happen. And that goes with the host as well.
ELAM: From first bottle to last trophy, the show should live up to its title as Hollywood's biggest party.
Stephanie Elam, CNN, Hollywood.
JONES: Thanks so much for watching. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in London. For our viewers in the U.S. "NEW DAY" is up next. I'll be back, though, after this break.