Return to Transcripts main page
ISIS claims responsibility for Kabul attack; Moore files complaint to block Alabama Senate result; Trump falsely claims he broke legislative record; Tough talk from Putin ahead of election; Japanese couple arrested for killing daughter; Turkish police conduct anti-ISIS raids ahead of New Year; A new way to Karaoke. Aired at 8-9a ET
Aired December 28, 2017 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Zain Asher in New York. Welcome to News Stream.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: The world reacts with suicide bombing that target a cultural and media center in Afghanistan capital and calling for a new election.
Roy Moore is still -- he is still refusing to concede after he lost that Senate race in Alabama earlier this month. And karaoke for one, China is
known for its big crowds, but the new trend has people using solar devices for a sing along.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Welcome, everyone, I want to begin in the Afghan capital where ISIS has actually claimed responsibility for a deadly suicide bombing. We know
at least 41 people -- 41 people have been killed in this attack. At least 80 have been wounded.
And in a tweet, the E.U. ambassador in Afghanistan says that he is appalled and calls this particular attack, an attack on freedom of speech. Again,
41 people killed, many, many more injured.
I want to bring in, Arwa Damon, who is joining us live now from Istanbul, Turkey. So, Arwa, just set the scene for us, walk us through what
ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well the attack took place at about 10:30 in the morning local time. And there was an event at this cultural center.
It was to mark the invasion by Russian forces to Afghanistan, there were around 100 people in attendance and the suicide bomber managed to
infiltrate the events. So he was amongst this crowd within a confined space when he detonated the suicide vest that he was wearing.
You can just imagine the fear of the impact that that would have had, that is also evident in the toll of those that were killed and wounded.
Following the initial explosion, we did hear that there were two other explosions that happened, also within that same space as well. Now this
building is a cultural center. It also is where the offices of the Afghan news agency are located.
It is close to a Shia mosque. And this is the type of attack that really is the status quo when it comes to a terrorist organization like ISIS.
They specifically, deliberately, go after civilian soft targets as we call them, groups of innocent bystanders for the most part that aren't perhaps
And of course this is the where the challenge really presents itself to the Afghan security forces when it comes to trying to prevent these types of
attacks from taking place. Attacks one must note that have really been increasing, especially over the last few months, Zain.
ASHER: And so you mentioned, Arwa, that you know, soft targets have become so much of the norm. You see a number of ISIS attacks in addition to the
Taliban, what can be done? Can the Afghan security forces really do anything to prevent these sorts of attacks from happening?
DAMON: You know, Zain, that's not also just a problem that presents itself to the Afghan security force, it's the same when it comes to the Iraqis,
for example that have had to deal with remnants of ISIS and its predecessors.
And just about every single war zone where ISIS or terrorist organizations, or insurgencies have a presence. There is only so far that you can go and
actually physically, realistically trying to protect the civilian population.
If we just look at Turkey, for example, too -- it too, has suffered numerous terrorist attacks and the Turkish security forces are constantly
going after various different terrorist elements that they still face a threat when it comes to Afghanistan.
In particular, you are also dealing with a security force that is not necessarily adequately trained or equipped to be able to deal with this
kind of a threat, because have you that is ISIS continuously going after these soft targets.
Remember that horrific attack that also happened in Kabul over the summer where around 150 were killed, also there in Afghanistan have the Taliban
that tends to go after the Afghan security force, specifically when it comes to trying to actually create a long-term viable solution to
recreating a general sense of stability.
You have to recognize that there are certain perhaps elements within an insurgency that can be negotiated with that do need to be brought into the
And then there are others that you do have to go over and target specifically. But if there is one thing that just about everyone will
[08:05:00] And that is that you cannot bomb your way out of an insurgency. And that is unfortunately what the Afghan government and U.S. military up
until this point it would seem have attempt to do.
And all of the other effort to try and to build up a solid security force, a solid system of governance that the people can actually have faith and
believe in. Well those seem to have fallen short. Zain.
ASHER: So, all of this particular attack at this cultural center in Kabul, 41 people killed, about 80 injured. Have we had any kind of response or
statement from the president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani?
DAMON: You know, there has obviously been the condemnation, you hear this every single time that we do see these types of attacks, as we have seen in
the past. You know, presidents, other heads of state come out.
They vow to try to bring the perpetrators to justice. We hear all sorts of condemnation from various different leaders as well. The problem again is
that the rhetoric falls far short of the needed actions on the ground.
And I think it's safe to say that when it comes to the Afghan population reaction, they most certainly are tired of hearing rhetoric. They are
tired of having to bury their dead.
They have seen and suffered too much fighting, too many casualty, there has been such an ebb and flow when it comes to points in their very dark and
complex history, where they're able to have hope, but then the violence itself just ratchets up once again.
ASHER: All right, Arwa Damon, live for us there. Thank you so much. OK, I want to turn now to a little bit of news in terms of U.S. Politics.
A new wrinkle in the U.S. Senate -- U.S. Senate elections held in Alabama. Results were made official today or to be made official today declaring
Democrat Doug Jones, the winner but now the loser ducking at Republican Roy Moore.
This man you see in your screen. This is the man who is actually accused of sexual misconduct against minors. The loser, Roy Moore has called filed
a complaint, calling for new election or at least a voter fraud investigation.
And in Moore's complaint, he seems to have proven or claim to have proven himself innocent by in his words passing a polygraph test. I want to bring
in Dianne Gallagher, who joins us live now from Atlanta.
You know, obviously, Dianne, when you are the first Republican to lose a Senate race in Alabama in 25 years, it's obviously going to be a tough pill
to swallow. But he is saying that there has been systematic voter fraud. What evidence is that based on?
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So this is kind of a kitchen sink, 11-hour last-minute lawsuits, Zain. There was a lot to unpack. It's 80
pages, there is Facebook messages included in it, ads on social media that they had copied into it.
But what he is basically saying is, he's citing these three election experts. One of them, Richard Charnin, is pretty well known in conspiracy
theory circles for his ideas on the assassination of JFK and the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.
They say that they did some sort of statistical analysis that determined that the unusually high voter turnout in certain areas, like Jefferson
County, Alabama, that there is something wrong there, there was something irregular in all of this.
And they point to registered Republicans in certain precincts that the fact that Jefferson County is 43 percent African-American, there were turnout 47
And they threw allegations out there that maybe people were bussed in from out of state who voted. They talked about super pacs using voter
intimidation method. There was a lot in this, Zain, and again, that wasn't enough.
Then Roy Moore throws an affidavit in there, saying that after the special election on December 12, I took a polygraph and I passed.
Basically saying I did not know, nor did have any sexual conduct with three of the women who claimed to have some sort of relationship or to have been
assaulted by Roy Moore when they were teenagers.
So we're not sure where that leads us for what happens today. As of right now, it is still on the schedule to certify the election in Alabama for the
Democrat Doug Jones to win. But we haven't gotten with the secretary of state this morning.
Now he has recently said -- since Roy Moore has protested, recently said that it's highly unlikely that Doug Jones will not be the next U.S. senator
from Alabama and be sworn in after the New Year by the vice president, but, you know, this is sort of as you said a new wrinkle in this.
So we are waiting to hear from the secretary of state if this will delay that certification or if they are going to have to open up some sort of new
ASHER: As you mentioned, Roy Moore threw in everything but the kitchen sink, especially the polygraph test, which I think a lot of people found a
little bit bizarre.
[08:10:00] Dianne Gallagher, live for us there, thank you so much. All right, stay in the United States for our next story, President Trump is
actually coming under increasing scrutiny for the amount of time he has actually been away from the White House.
Wednesday actually mark the 40th day -- the 40th day that Mr. Trump spent at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida since he took office, this past
January. That's where he has been touting his first year accomplishments and falsely claiming that he's broken a legislative record.
I want to bring in CNN's Abby Phillip who is live from West Palm Beach, Florida. So Trump is claiming, Abby, that he has broken, you know, a
legislative record in terms of bringing bill signed into law. Why does he make these sorts of outrageous, outlandish claims when they are so easy to
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, yesterday the president took a little bit of a break from where he spent most of his day, which was his
golf resort here in the Palm Beach area and then he went to a firehouse, which was a visit, that was I think intended to be about thanking the
firemen and law enforcement officers.
It ended up being quite a bit about his own record as president about the actions that he has been able to accomplish in his first year. And he made
that claim that you just mentioned, that he has passed the most bills into office. Take a listen bit of a listen to what he had to say yesterday.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have more legislation passed, including the record from Harry Truman a long time ago, we broke
that record. So we have a lot done.
PHILLIP: So here's the reality, President Trump has actually signed 96 bills into law this year. That is far fewer than almost all of his recent
predecessors, going all the way back to Dwight Eisenhower.
Now he might have been trying to reference his record of rolling back regulations in office, which is something that his administration has done
pretty aggressively. But at the same time, he is so far behind some of his other recent predecessors.
Here's some of the numbers, Harry Truman signed between 240 and 250 bills in office. Eisenhower signed 514, John F. Kennedy signed 684, and more
recently, Barack Obama signed 118.
So President Trump at the bottom of that pack, it's unclear why he repeats this often, but it's not the first time that we have heard this one from
ASHER: Right. Likely, he repeats it there because it's a way to sort of rally his base, really his supporters, get them excited but looking
forward, Abby, to 2018, beyond just rallying his base, what can he do to reach across the other side of the aisle and get you know people who are on
the fence about him over to his side as well? What are your reports?
PHILLIP: Well, this is one of the things that the White House is really thinking about going forward. They're trying to weigh a number of things.
They want to get more legislation passed.
And in some ways, they have to reach across the aisle in order to do that. That's why the president has been talking about a comprehensive health care
bill that he thinks Democrats can come to the table on.
He has been talking about infrastructure, another priority that he thinks Democrats can come to the table on. So there are some things that the
president wants to do. The problem is, there have been a lot of privileges burned over the past year.
And Democrats are hearing from their base that cooperating with President Trump is not something that they want to see from law makers in office
It is going to be a really pitched battle in 2018 with Republicans and Democrats facing the prospect of a very narrow control over both the House
and the Senate. I think President Trump talks a lot about bipartisanship. But rarely do we see real efforts to make that happened.
ASHER: Yes, it's going to be a lot harder to win over Democratic senators than I think the president imagine. All right, Abby Phillip, live for us
there. Thank you so much.
President --- supporters rather of U.S. President Donald Trump has spent most of 2017 telling the rest of the world to actually get on the Trump
train. And it seems that they have been heard of all places in Israel.
A new express train station, Jerusalem's Old City is about to be named after President Trump. The decision comes just weeks after he recognized
Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Vladimir Putin is talking tough, a day after filing his bid for a fourth term as Russian's president. Speaking in front group of military officers,
he called Wednesday's blast in St. Petersburg, a terror attack and called on security personnel to quote, terminate criminal suspects if they believe
their lives are in danger. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in Moscow with more.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Some very strong words coming from Russian Vladimir Putin after that explosion that took place very late on
Wednesday evening, but in the town of St. Petersburg.
[08:15:00] Of course, that explosion wounding some 13 people, at least nine of which had to be hospitalized after that incident. Now, Vladimir Putin
gave a speech early on Thursday in front of military personnel.
And he said that he is sure that what happened in St. Petersburg was a terror attack. He also told the audience there that he had ordered the
federal security services here -- the FSB, to arrest any terrorists if they come across them.
But if they feel that their lives are in danger to quote terminate any terrorist that they deal with, in other words, some very, very strong
And of course, this comes as Vladimir Putin only a day ago submitted his documents to run in Russia's election, where security is of course a prime
But also in the year that the Russians are set to host the World Cup of football here in this country where of course also where security a prime
concern as well.
Now one of the other things that's been happening between the U.S. and Russia, is that the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has written an
op-ed in the New York Times, where he says that the U.S. and Russia should cooperate more, for instance in Syria.
We got in touch with the Kremlin earlier today and they said that they don't believe that there is any cooperation between the U.S. and Russia in
And this also comes as a senior Russian general says that the Russian have intelligence suggesting that the U.S. it training former ISIS fighters in
Syria. The U.S. says that that is absolutely not true.
They say they do have an outpost. But they're only training moderate Syrian rebels to fight against ISIS, should it become resurgent in that
area. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.
ASHER: Mr. Putin's tight grip on power is unlikely to change any time soon as he is re-elected next year. As expected, his presidency would actually
extend until the year 2024. Our Phil Black looks at Putin's vast control.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Some have argued Vladimir Putin could be the most powerful man in the world. What other source of his power? Putin
has three key tools, cyber power, military might and the cult of personality.
Together they form an often effective web of influence. While Moscow denies its highly skilled hackers interfered in the election, they have
also been caused of causing big disruptions in other countries like, Estonia and Ukraine.
Claims Russia also rejects. Russia's enormous hacking power of state of criminal isn't new and traces back to the USSR when its universities were
designed to produce world class engineers. Putin's power is also hugely enhanced by his personal control of Russia's vast military.
Much of it, including the news is also a soviet legacy. So Putin has been pumping extraordinary amounts of money and puts modernization.
But most experts agree, Russian conventional forces have a limited ability to project military power far from the country's borders. One of the
biggest sources of Putin's power is his extraordinary popularity at home.
The more his behavior attracts criticism from other world leaders, the more Russian celebrate their president. His approval figures sort with Ukraine,
expand again with Syria.
The reason, many Russians really care about their country's ability to influence world events, even if it comes to sanctions, and a hit to their
own quality of life.
Putin also benefits from a political system and the media landscape with zero tolerance for criticizing the president. So no doubt, Vladimir Putin
is powerful and unpredictable, but he's also limited by some pretty big problems.
The Russian economy isn't going anywhere. That's why there is another popular theory about Putin and his web of influence. He is someone who
plays a weak hand very well.
ASHER: Our Phil Black, reporting for you there. Al right, you are watching News Stream. Still to come at this hour, Turkish authorities will launch a
raid in Istanbul, targeting an ISIS call in the city.
Our Arwa Damon -- she got to follow along in the raid. We'll take look at that next. Plus, reinventing China's beloved halftime, could this -- could
this be the future of karaoke, up next.
[08:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ASHER: All right, welcome back, everybody. A Japanese couple has been arrested for locking away their child for 17 years in a tiny windowless
chamber. She ends up dying as a result. Kaori Enjoji has the horrifying story from Tokyo.
KAORI ENJOJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Police in the city of Osaka say they have arrested a couple whose daughter froze to death in a small room that they
confined her to for years.
Police say the 33-year-old daughter was locked up and forced to eat just one meal a day and weighed only 19 kilos when her body was discovered. The
parents had built a separate windowless room next to their house.
It measured 3.6 square meters and police said it was locked from the outside. They also said the woman was forced to drink water from a tube.
According to police, the couple said their daughter suffered from a mental illness and that is the reason they decided to shut her in.
The news shocked Japan, which has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. But it also highlighted the stigma surrounding mental illness in
Japan. The couple is now in police custody and an investigation into the grizzly crime continues. For CNN, I'm Kaori Enjoji in Tokyo.
ASHER: Almost one year ago, Turkey was rocked by a mass shooting at a nightclub in Istanbul. Now authorities are tightening security ahead of a
holiday and have launched several raids containing people with suspected links to ISIS. Our Arwa Damon followed along on one of them. Here is her
DAMON: If we are ready, we are moving. The officer radio calls to his men. It's just past midnight, a few days before New Year's Eve and across
Istanbul, the police force is getting ready for a massive raid.
The cell they want to bust is larger than most of their previous ISIS targets. And we are briefed, it's deemed to have the capacity to carry out
Turks are wary and anxious this holiday season, following the pain and shock of last year's New Year's Eve terror attack, when a gunman opened
fire on revelers at the Reina Nightclub in Istanbul.
And the security apparatus cannot afford to take any chances. They're trying to move in as quietly as possible. This is part of a sweeping
operation that is involving around three dozen targets and hundreds of police officers.
Residents peer down, but stay well indoors. This is as far as we're being permitted to go at this stage. There have been instances in the past over
the course of the last year where the targets have actually exploded suicide vests or attacked the officers with grenades and guns.
No one is authorized to go on camera, and the information disclosed to us is scant. The unit we are with is targeting a couple, believed to be the
head of the cell that is also responsible for moving and housing fighters, ideological training and recruitment.
The search is still ongoing, the couple has been apprehended and it is believed at this stage that they are the ones that are the head of the
DAMON: There are no casualties on this night or any clashes. Video later released by the police force shows other targets, their homes searched and
tossed for any grain of information. In all, 28 people were detained and there have been regular crackdowns throughout the country.
[08:25:00] Over the last year, hundreds of ISIS suspects have been taken into custody, but the threat level remains high and casts a looming shadow
over what should be a festive time. Arwa Damon, CNN, Istanbul.
ASHER: All right, let's get you caught up on weather. Blasts of arctic air are sending temperatures plummeting in parts of the United States and
stetting snowfall records as well. Take a look here, this is Erie, Pennsylvania, which is under 165 centimeters of snow right now.
While the state of Minnesota is barely no stranger to the cold, it hit minus 37 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, breaking a record that was set all
the way back in 1924. There are frost bite advisories in parts of the northeast and the mid-west.
All right, and before we leave you, a lot of us actually enjoy karaoke. But not everyone likes singing in front of others. Now to China -- in
China rather, that's nothing to worry about. Our Sherisse Pham takes to the mic to show off the latest in Karaoke technology there.
SHERISSE PHAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a new way to karaoke in China. These tiny karaoke booths are popping up all over Beijing. Karaoke fans
like their convenience and their privacy.
Usually karaoke in China involves booking a room, gathering a few friends, having a night out. But these offer the chance to unlock your inner diva
in the privacy of your own booth.
You scan in using WeChat, China's most popular messaging app. Singing for 15 minutes will set you back about $4 bucks. The instructions are all in
Chinese. But there are plenty of English songs. Not too high, not too low. Once you pick one, you have also got a few mic options.
(SINGING): This is crazy but here's my number. So call me maybe.
(on camera): For those who want to brake into karaoke any time anywhere, there is this -- the choosing mic. Hugely popular inn China and Hong Kong,
and this is the man who invented it. You Guangguo, thank you so much for being here with us. What inspired to you invent this mic?
YOU GUANGGUO, TOSING INVENTOR (through a translator): We used to really like listening to music on a walkman, one day we thought, can we combine
karaoke with the functionality of a walkman to make a portable singing device?
PHAM: The thing is half microphone and half speaker. It connects the smart phones through bluetooth, pull up a song in a karaoke app and you are
good to go.
Like the booths, you sing in karaoke in solitude, but for extra words, the mics are also way to take your singing out to the street. The latest
version of the karaoke to go machine costs about $100.
GUANGGUO (through a translator): Our fans like this fact that they can sing anytime, anywhere. You can sing on the streets. You can sing in bed,
you can sing in a public space like this.
PHAM: And if solo karaoke gets a bit lonely, you can connect as many things as you want to a smartphone and sing your hearts out together. I'm
Sherisse Pham, CNN, Hong Kong.
ASHER: All right. Thank you so much for watching, I'm Zain Asher. World Sport is up next.
[08:30:00] [WORLD SPORT]