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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  January 31, 2016 10:00pm-1:01am PST

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that does it for this edition of "360." thanks for watching. our countdown to iowa continues. our countdown to iowa continues. "cnn newsroom" starts now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com hello and welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm isha sesay. the clock has just struck midnight in iowa literally and politically. it is now caucus day there, where the first votes of the 2016 u.s. presidential nominating process are cast. and there is no clear front-runner for either party. here's what it looks like in the republican field. the latest "des moines register"/bloomberg politics poll shows donald trump with a narrow five-point lead over ted cruz. marco rubio, you see him there, is third at 15%. with ben carson behind him.
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and the candidates are not taking any vote for granted. they spent the eve of the caucuses trying to keep their supporters roused. >> i'm asking you to caucus for me tomorrow night. because if you caucus for me and i'm our nominee, i will unite the conservative movement. we're having a very spirited nominating contest, but we'd better come together. we cannot win if we're divided. >> if every man and woman here makes sure that nine other people come and caucus tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m., together we will win the iowa caucuses. we will win the nomination. and we will win the general election. we will defeat hillary clinton and turn this country around! >> in iowa. ready? you have a lousy record. 16 years and you haven't picked a winner. please pick a winner this time. okay? i'm going to win. i'm going to win.
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>> gop candidates doing what they can to keep that excitement high. let's take a look at the other side. it is even technically a closer race for the democrats. in the latest poll hillary clinton leads bernie sanders by just three points. well within the poll's margin of error. basically, we're looking at a dead heat here. and that's got both democratic candidates stumping hard for support from every possible voter. >> we are getting down to the last hours. those of you who have already decided to support me, i thank you from the bottom of my heart. i will do everything i can to make sure that your faith in me and the campaign we run will reflect the values and the vision that we share for our country. for those of you still thinking about this, weighing your options, i hope i'll be able to persuade you. >> we win when working people and young people and low-income people and elderly people go to
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the polls. and i think it is fair to say that any objective assessment of secretary clinton's campaign and my campaign, and she has some really good people so, i'm not knocking them, but i think the excitement and the energy is with our campaign. >> mark preston joins us from des moines, iowa. good to have you with us. we are just hours away from the iowa caucuses. tension obviously mounting. as republican candidates make their final push, are they saying anything new, anything different to sway those undecided voters? >> well, you know, isha, what they'ring do on the republican side is the race is now between just two people, donald trump and ted cruz. and they're making a push for the evangelical vote. evangelicals here in iowa are very influential in this caucus process. so we've seen donald trump campaigning with jerry falwell jr. he is the head of the largest
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christian university here in the united states. at the same time you have ted cruz criss-crossing the state as well. at his side is glenn beck, the radio host. so yes, they are making a hard push right now. they know that a win here in iowa would be instrumental as we head into new hampshire next week and really could start to help define this race that has been so wide open. >> mark, as you well know, in these final hours we've seen the attacks between ted cruz and donald trump ratchet up and getting quite pointed and nasty. i'm wondering how this is playing with iowa voters, especially those evangelicals you just were talking about. >> well, isha, i think they're used to it because really politics here in iowa is very much like sport. it really is beat them up and try to win. and i think that's what we've seen over the past few months and certainly in the past few days here in des moines. now, i will add to that, though, that donald trump phenomenon is something we've never seen before. something where donald trump has
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gone out and has questioned whether ted cruz can actually run for president. those kind of attacks we haven't seen in the past. and in many ways they might have worked over the past few weeks where we saw ted cruz tick down a little bit. but the ted cruz campaign organization will tell you that they have a get out organization, a get out the vote organization that is really superior. so the big question as we head into tomorrow, will the big rallies, the people who show up for ted -- for donald trump to see him speak, will they come out to vote? we don't know that. ted cruz says he can get those people to the caucus sites. so we'll see this tomorrow evening, whether that's true. >> and that being said, that very point as to whether donald trump supporters at these rallies actually make it to caucus for him, donald trump saying earlier on sunday that he didn't have to win iowa. is that perhaps pointing to some doubt about turnout among his supporters? >> well, it's called the expectations game because if he
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is out now saying that he is going to win iowa and he loses, that will be a problem for donald trump. having said that, heading into new hampshire right now, donald trump is so far ahead of the rest of the pack that he is doing so well there a victory here for him in iowa would be amazing for him because he would expect to win new hampshire as well. now, what ted cruz is trying to do is to try to stunt any kind of acceleration that donald trump could get out of iowa with an iowa win. if cruz wins here be, the race will be turned on its head again. and again, a reformulation as we head into tuesday, isha. >> turning to the democratic side of things, mark, polls showing a really tight race between hillary clinton and bernie sanders. how have they used these final hours? >> they're doing get out the vote rallies, huge rallies. they spent a lot of time on the eastern part of the state of iowa. the reason being, isha-s there's a lot of democratic voters on that side. we saw that happen yesterday.
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now what they're trying to do is do their best at selling the message. hillary clinton trying to tell the voters not only will she be a fighter for them but she has the most experience. at the same time bernie sanders really, really revving up the idea that there needs to be a political revolution and he is the one that will fight for the middle class. very similar strategies in trying to rally their caucusgoers. but i have to tell you, hillary clinton has older voters on her side. folks who routinely caucus for bernie sanders to win here in iowa, which very well could happen, he's going to need a very strong turnout amongst college students, college students who are rallying around his candidacy. so we'll see if they'll actually leave their dorm rooms to come out and caucus for bernie sanders, isha. >> yeah. and the point has to be made that hillary clinton and her organization have been in this game since 2008. they've got a pretty deep organization, pretty well set up. and this is going to be a really big test for them. >> it absolutely will be. now, a lawsuit for hillary
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clinton could hurt her. certainly will not be devastating. don't let anybody say that. as you said she not only has an organization here in iowa but she has one built across the country. but heading into new hampshire right now a new cnn poll shows that in fact bernie sanders is so far ahead of of hillary clinton. but again, a clinton victory tomorrow night if that were to happen could change the dynamics of this race heading into new hampshire. that's what makes it so exciting. we're not only seeing a battle for the republican nomination, we're also seeing a battle for the democratic nomination. it really is amazing what's going on, isha. >> it really is. you're going to have a very busy monday night, mark preston. i think you should go to bed right now so you can stock up on sleep. we look forward tult great analysis in the hours ahead. >> thanks so much. well, joining me now to talk about the presidential candidates and the iowa caucuses, two very, very wise men. republican consultant john thomas and democratic strategist dave jacobson. i've given you a very big billing. so i'm expecting you to deliver.
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john, to start with you. the race on the gop side essentially down to cruz and trump. help our viewers in the united states and around the world really get a sense of what victory for the respective campaigns would mean because it means different things to each campaign. >> it does. and it depends who you are. if you're donald trump you need to win iowa. he's probably going to win iowa. and it's important because trump's pretty much sole justification for why he's going to be president is because he's been number one in the polls. and if in the first state he doesn't become number one then it casts into question can he actually win it? he has to come out strong. but even tonight we saw a shift in his campaigning where he's starting to manage expectations saying, well, it's not fatal if i don't win. i think the trump campaign's feeling very good. but you just never know. and so they're managing expectations. the cruz campaign has had a string of bad news over the last few weeks and quite frankly they've been outcampaigned by donald trump time in and time out. and the problem was cruz said a couple weeks ago that he was
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going to come in first place. and now that he doesn't that is a devastating blow to ted cruz. >> you said he's ruined the expectations. >> he has. he's completely messed it up and he's not going to win new hampshire. >> on the flip side real quick, if donald trump does prevail tomorrow night and does triumph it's going to create a domino effect for all these other states and he could theoretically lock up the nomination if he does a huge victory tomorrow, that propels him with some more momentum to new hampshire. he could lock up nevada, south carolina, and ultimately the nomination right around super tuesday. >> i've got to ask you what you make of this from the democratic side of things. as you watch the gop race and you look at iowa, iowa with evangelical voters and trump leading the pack. i mean, how do you wrap your head around this? how do you make sense of this? what does it say about america today? >> i think people are frustrated. they're angry. they're looking for someone who's going to represent sort of the anti-establishment, the anti-status quo. you're seeing them on the left with bernie sanders and on the right with donald trump. the question is is that going to translate into votes at caucus night tomorrow? >> yeah.
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>> i think people have been saying how is donald trump winning over evangelicals over ted cruz? ted cruz's father is a faster. i think evangelical don't vote strictly on religion. of course you've got to check that box and donald trump did that a week or so by giving a speech and butchered it a little bit. but did it enough. but the fact is evangelicals are angry as anybody else and donald trump has been able to capture that anger. >> i think also real quick i think people are looking for someone to speak truth to power. right? >> strength. auth authentici authenticity. >> right. >> thish of strength is coming up. and as you said it's not just religious issues, it's the issue of strength and projecting that truth to power. dave, i want to ask you about the democrats now and this enthusiasm gap between bernie sanders and hillary clinton. and what that means for monday night. >> i think it's genuinely like a battle royal between the two campaigns. i think it's really going to come down to turnout and ground operations. the higher turnout with unlikely voters, folks who haven't
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caucused in the past, young people, college students, that's going to bode well for bernie sanders. on the other hand you've got a big storm on the way and people who normally don't caucus, who don't have the experience of actually going and sitting there and participating in the process for several hours, they may not turn out and that could bode well for hillary clinton. the hardcore caucusgoers, people who are older, who participated in this process before, those are going to turn out for hillary. >> on the republican side to look at the democratic side and say the fact is hillary clinton should be winning. she should be walking away with this thing. but she's potentially going to be indicted. there may be another candidate like a michael bloomberg that's getting in. i think bernie sanders' rise is not just because of the messaging. i think it's because they don't like hillary. but the sad thing is for the democrats is they still may get hillary and that doesn't bode well for them in november. >> what do you make of that, dave? it's about them not liking hillary. >> i think it's the honesty factor, the authenticity factor. that's why you have hillary
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saying we want more debates, more town halls. she's introducing her in a different light than on the campaign trail, the stage and accomplished. you have an interactive authentic hillary at these dates debates and that's why her campaign's salivating for more. >> it's problematic for hillary because still the majority of americans, both democrats and republicans say they don't trust hillary clinton. >> authenticity keeps coming up time and time again for hillary clinton. have to ask you gentlemen as a parting shot what will you be looking out for as the results start to come in from iowa late monday night? >> i think for me donald trump, obviously is he going to take it? it looks like he is going to but that's not what i'm interested in. i'm interested in marco rubio because if he comes in third and he sneaks out a second or comes in a tight third, all of a sudden marco's the story. everybody knew donald trump was top of the pack but marco's peaking or surging at the right time. i'll be interested to see if marco's supporters realize they can make the difference tomorrow. marco could then go from -- he
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has that three, two, one strategy. that could be well executed. he could become the anti-trump and could start tomorrow night. >> which is this point that a second place for cruz could be worse than a third place for rubio. >> exactly. >> dave, what will you be looking for? >> on the democratic side i think it's a function of what turnout's going to be. if you're going to see 200,000 sort oft bama surge caucusgoer number we saw, 2008, i think that's going to translate into a possible victory for bernie sanders. the other question is whether or not these college students who are sort of closely located in dense populations where you've got big populations did they go out to the rural communities where their parents are and caulk snus if they do and they turn out, that could translate into a victory for bernie. if they don't, if they stay home i think hillary wins. >> if hillary wins iowa it's a big blow to bernie sanders. >> it's going to be a very, very interesting night. cnn will have all the drama, all the action. so keep it here with us. gentlemen, thank you as always. very, very wise. and you lived up to the billing. >> thank you. >> time for a quick break.
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straight ahead, more on the political heat in iowa with voters getting phone calls and door knocks from the campaigns eager to get them to the caucuses. after the break, how voters are responding to all this attention. . plus, the curious way the caucus differs from a primary. we'll show you what happens when they close the doors to vote. do stay with us.
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shape the best sleep of your life. sleep number beds with sleepiq technology adjust any way you want it. the bed that moves you. only at a sleep number store. welcome back, everyone. good to have you with us. behind every candidate in iowa there are volunteers. thousands of them. drumming up support ahead of the caucuses. they've been working in iowa, but they come from all across the united states. dana bash introduces us to some of them. >> this is molly maddox with the ted cruz campaign. >> reporter: hustle and bustle at ted cruz iowa headquarters, accelerated to an all-out frenzy. >> are you supporting ted cruz? >> reporter: to get out the vote. >> you can see this. there is obviously a lot of buzz here. >> we are definitely making a lot of calls. 27,000 calls yesterday, which is just -- it beats our record.
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>> reporter: cruz campaign aides boldly boast about the size and scope of their operation. >> we have camp cruz where a lot of the people are staying. we have two dorms. 830-plus people. when people check in they put a pin where they're from. so we have people from california. we obviously have a lot from texas, a lot from iowa, missouri. fla f florida, georgia, massachusetts, new york. >> still, it's the candidate who has to close the deal. he did with some, but james graybaugh still isn't sold. are you still on the fence after hearing ted cruz? >> you know, i think i'm probably closer. >> but you're still not 100% sold. >> well, you know, i'm going to go listen to marco here in a little bit. >> reporter: iowa congressman steve king is a veteran of the caucuses and a fixture on the trail with cruz. >> i'm going to pick 135,000 republicans as the turnout. and if that number goes well above, that then donald trump has a shot.
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>> reporter: that's because donald trump is trying to churn out first-time caucusgoers like sue eppen, who we met at a trump rally. >> have you caucused before? >> no, this will be my first time. i'm really excited. i never thought i'd do something like this. but he's certainly got me charged up. >> reporter: tawanda lopez told us she's a born-again christian usually drawn to candidates who talk her talk but not this time. >> right now we don't need a pastor, we don't need a sunday school teacher, we need someone who has the authority and the power and the guts to say what's on his mind. >> reporter: trump aides are somewhat secretive about their get out the vote operation, but several iowans here say the campaign is reaching out. the open question, will the celebrity candidate's crowds translate to votes? it may with stephanie reagan lavarone. we talked to her before seeing trump. >> you're not sure if you're going to support him? >> right. i'm teetering between donald trump and ben carson. >> reporter: on the way out all in for trump. >> after listening to him and thinking about everything that he does, i just feel that he resembles the american dream.
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>> calling from the marco rubio campaign. >> reporter: meanwhile at marco rubio headquarters. >> i learned a new word today, marcomentum. >> reporter: friends like former senator tim hutchinson flew in from arkansas to help. >> we'll be driving out to one of the caucuses and representing the campaign. >> i've probably made close to 1,000 anyway. >> reporter: but now volunteers like jill capps are calling iowans already committed to rubio to make sure they actually show up. because for all the rewritten rules in 2016 -- >> every vote does count. >> reporter: -- that rule will never change. dana bash, cnn, des moines, iowa. well, before the break we had two wise men in the studio. joining me now is the wicked smart according to president obama, christina bellantony. assistant managing editor for politics for the l.a. times. great to have you with us. >> thanks for having me. >> already tipping things on their head saying donald trump
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not a slam dunk in your view of winning iowa. >> not a slam dunk. that poll that came out yesterday, the "des moines register" poll, that's sort of gold going into the caucuses. it's usually very close. but it's not always exactly accurate. and it shows things are very, very tight there. trump, as dana's piece referred to, doesn't have the exact same operation that some of these other candidates do. that's the benefit of having some of the establishment tools and some of the staffers that used to work for the establishment working for you, is having that. he doesn't have that. and a lot of the iowa voters i've been talking to have really been considering him brand new. they're taking this weekend to make up their mind and they're saying i've heard alternatives who are tapping into the same things he is who are less bombastic than he is and who are not offering those types of things that he's offering. so my sense is cruz is probably the one with the momentum but really it's still a wide open tied-up field. >> doesn't it blow your mind for want of a better word or better turn of phrase that we are still seeing trump do well with
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evangelicals? how do you read that? what does that say to you? >> so much of this is about anger. voter anger. and you've seen a lot of the same thing that's spurring the democratic side and then bernie sanders getting some attention and voters getting frustrated and what's happening on the republican side. even though these are voters that are polar opposites in some of their ideology var very frustrated and that goes for evangelicals just like anyone else. and you have to win evangelicals to be able to win in iowa. think about the candidates that have in the past. rick santorum. his message is not that different from trump's. he's just not as flashy about it. he's not able to command so many millions of people with his twitter followers. mike huckabee in 2008, someone who was able to go out there and be a pastor and sort of evangelize. ted cruz is tapping into that. the people who are remaining, trump is attractive to them. he's going to stay in this race for a long time. that's the thing. no matter what happens in iowa tomorrow he's not going away. we're going to see him compete. and he has the money to stay in this race potentially all the way until the california june 7
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primary, which would be awesome. >> many more exciting days. christina, do stand by for us. lots more to discuss. want to bring our viewers up to speed with the democratic race. we'll talk about that. on that side of things, bernie sanders and hillary clinton made their final pitch to voters on sunday as the latest iowa polls show the two candidates virtually tied. cnn's brianna keilar has all the details. >> reporter: in the home stretch in iowa hillary clinton positioning herself as the defender of president obama's legacy. >> we are at 90% universal coverage right now. senator sanders wants to start all over again. he wants to plunge the country into a contentious debate. >> reporter: sanders pushing back. >> i am disappointed by the tone of her campaign. she is talking to the people of iowa and saying bernie sanders wants to dismantle health care.
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[ booing ] dismantle health care? i've been fighting for universal health care my entire life! >> reporter: the clinton campaign is criticizing sanders for his endorsement of a new book, "buyer's remorse: how obama let progressives down." even as he meets with the president and courts his supporters. >> it's also important to remember how far we have come in the last seven years under the leadership of president obama and vice president biden. >> reporter: a key confidant of the president's who has endorsed clinton, his former tom aide david plouffe, tweeting, "be honest, then, senator. run firmly against obama record." despite the attacks sanders refusing to hit clinton on one of her biggest vulnerabilities, the controversy over her state department e-mails. the administration announcing it will not release o'22 e-mails because they are top secret.
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>> there is a legal process taking place. i do not want to politicize that issue. it is not my style. >> reporter: this is sanders' style. >> join the political revolution. thank you all very much. >> reporter: rallying a crowd of almost 4,000 college students this weekend in iowa city. if he has enthusiasm on his side, clinton is arguing she will be a more effective president. >> i am a progressive who likes to get things done. i'm a progressive who actually likes to make progress. >> reporter: the latest "des moines register" poll showing clinton and sanders neck and neck here, one day before the crucial iowa caucuses. >> we're feeling great. i think we're going to win this. >> reporter: bernie sanders is relying much more on first-time caucusgoers. they do tend to be more unreliable about showing up. but when they come out, they can really make the difference. we saw that in 2008 with then senator barack obama. brianna keilar, cnn, des moines. >> christina bellantoni is still with us to take a look at the
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democratic race. christina, much has been said about the enthusiasm gap between saunders and hillary clinton. how much did that affect or shape the way the candidates use the final hours of the race for iowa? >> you know, voters like feeling like they're with a winner. in this case all of the voters that i've talked to on the democratic side have recognized that it's all tied up. and generally they're not saying anything bad about the other one. they're like, well, i really love what bernie sanders says but i don't think he can win or i really love what hillary's saying but i'm worried about some of the things that can hurt her later. they're really liking the general democratic field. and martin o'malley too. i should point out. people like him quite a bit, he's just not able to break through to the next level for them. enthusiasm matters a lot. you see scenes like that rally feel like you're part of something. but hillary clinton has those crowds too and she's also got bill clinton out there for her as well. a lot of people still love his presidency, they look at him, have the opportunity to meet him, they get very dazzled. this is also a state where just eight years ago she had a very organized caucus effort.
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she came in third but he had still came in third getting a good number of votes and people coming out caucus for her. those people being activated yet again, they're even more galvanized because she didn't get it last time, she just released her financial it numbers and she's got $38 million in the bank as of the first of the year. that's a lot of money. >> i think the point to be made about iowa for our viewers, to underscore for them, is you just don't know how it's going to go because you were saying the way the delegates are apportioned it's anyone's guess. you've got to watch throughout the night. >> and that's one of the fun things we get to do. >> it's going to be a lot of fun. appreciate it. thank you. wicked smart. time for a quick break. everybody is watching iowa right now. as voters there get ready to cast votes in the first presidential contest. a look at how it works is just ahead. i've smoked a lot and quit a lot, but ended up nowhere. now i use this. the nicoderm cq patch, with unique extended release technology, helps prevent the urge to smoke all day. i want this time
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hello, everyone. you're watching "cnn newsroom" live from los angeles. i'm isha sesay. republican u.s. presidential candidate donald trump spent the final hours leading up to caucus day pushing for more support. the iowa caucuses marked the very first votes in the 2016 race for party nominations for the white house. in the most recent poll trump has a narrow lead over his chief rival, ted cruz. but cruz is just 5 percentage points behind trump and he's been fighting hard to close that gap. in his busy campaign day he questioned trump's conservative authenticity on issues like abortion and religion. the latest poll from iowa shows hillary clinton virtually tied against rival bernie
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sanders. former u.s. president bill clinton and daughter chelsea joined the democratic contender at a campaign stop sunday night as she made a final pitch to voters. meanwhile, bernie sanders accuses hillary clinton of running a negative campaign against him. this comes after bill clinton appeared to take a swipe at sanders for tapping into voter frustrations but doing little else. sanders says the attacks are distorting his record. monday's iowa caucuses are the first contests in the presidential nominating process and they work differently for each party. cnn's randi kaye explains. >> if you all wouldn't mind filing in we'd like to get started. >> like to call this republican caucus to order. >> if you wouldn't mind filing in and taking your seat. >> reporter: it's caucus night at drake university in des moines, iowa. >> i'm going to call this democratic caucus to order. >> reporter: not the real thing yet. just a mock caucus to teach
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first-time caucusgoers how it works. this training session's called "wtf's a caucus?" >> how many times have you asked yourself that? wtf is a caucus? >> a lot. i googled it. it made every more confusing. >> can somebody here help the situation? >> it's easy to get confused. republicans and democrats caucus on the same night but they do it differently. on the republican side voters hear a pitch from the candidate's surrogates. jeb bush jr. surprised everyone at this mock caucus. >> with that we'll start with jeb bush. >> reporter: practicing his own selling skills before the big night. >> good evening. my name is jeb bush jr. it is an honor to be here tonight at drake. go bulldogs. hope you guys come out and caucus on monday night. >> reporter: then republicans simply fill out a piece of paper with a candidate they want. >> once you have voted, please fold the paper in half and return it to the secretary. >> reporter: next the votes are counted and a winner named for that caucus site.
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>> we have a winner. looks like jeb bush. [ cheers ] >> the democratic caucus, as you can see because you have no chairs, is a little different from the republican caucus. >> reporter: now it's the democrats' turn. >> our process on the democratic side is a very active process. it's very dynamic. there's a lot of engagement and enthusiasm. >> hrc! >> reporter: the democrats divide themselves into groups, each one supporting a different candidate. >> o'malley! >> reporter: so if you like martin o'malley you caucus with his supporters. drake student lara cox told us she's voting democratic but was still undecided. >> we're first in the nation, so everyone's kind of watching. it goes away and no one cares about iowa anymore. there's a lot of pressure. >> she's not a candidate who came out of nowhere. >> reporter: lara first caucused with hillary clinton supporters. >> i think that hillary is so deep in the establishment that i don't know if she really wants to change things or she just
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wants to be president. >> so the whole goal of this thing is to get 15%. >> reporter: then she caucused with bernie sanders' group. >> if the race ends up with donald trump and bernie sanders, do you think bernie sanders could get any moderate republican votes? >> reporter: she feels pressure from both sides, and time is running out. >> how much time do we have? >> reporter: this is exactly what makes the democratic caucus so interesting. so much pressure from friends, neighbors, even roommates to get others to vote their way. >> one of my roommates is over here. she was trying to convince me. and one of my roommates is over here. and either way i have to go home to one of them and they're going to be mad. >> reporter: in the end lara decides to caucus for hillary clinton. mainly because she likes her experience. >> here i am. >> reporter: randi kaye. >> thank you all for coming out again. >> reporter: cnn, des moines, iowa. >> it is a complicated process. time for a quick break. isis is reportedly claiming responsibility for killing dozens of people in one of
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dozens of people have been killed in another raid by boko haram in northeast nigeria. this is what's left of a village near madugri. locals say gunmen opened fire on civilians before burning down homes. reports say people were burned as well. at least 46 people were killed in the attack, with many more wounded. isis reportedly is claiming responsibility for a bomb attack that killed dozens of people in syria. it happened outside damascus near the country's holiest shia shrine. the state-run news agency says at least 45 people were killed and 100 others injured when a car bomb detonated. two suicide bombers then targeted onlookers and medics who arrived at the scene.
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well, the state of trade relations with china is ab important matter for iowans and people throughout the united states. and it's hard to get much closer to what that really is than from the devg a giant cargo ship headed to california from southern china. our own matt rivers is aboard the "benjamin franklin." matt, that is quite the mega ship you are on. give us a sense of what it's like being there and the bigger picture, what a ship like that means for trade relations between the u.s. and china. >> i can tell you that being on the ship you cannot be afraid of heights because it is quite steep. but in terms of what it means for u.s.-china, the shipping industry really is the front line for trading between the two countries, and what we've seen here in china is an economic slowdown over the past several quarters, and it's something that shipping companies are having to deal with and it's also something that will have an impact in a place like iowa, which is a huge partner with
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china in terms of trade. it's longer than the eiffel tower. it's got an 80,000-horsepower engine and weighs up to 240,000 tons. and yet thanks to the magic of buoyancy the "benjamin franklin" floats. it's leaving china soon, heading for los angeles. this is the largest container ship that has ever docked in the u.s. being on board, you really get a sense of scale. mainly because of how small you feel. but for a transport ship like this one the most important figure is how much it can hold. the "benjamin franklin" can take on 18,000 containers. placed end to end, they would stretch 68 miles. >> it's cheaper to have bigger ships. you can carry more products and you have less things to pay after that. >> reporter: often on the other side of doors like these are things like electronics, toys, clothes, consumer goods made in china that will sell in american
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stores. this is what trade between the two countries looks like. and far more stuff is exported from china to the u.s. than the other way around. a difference of hundreds of billions of dollars. that imbalance has been a source of conflict for some time. in the middle of a u.s. presidential race it makes for easy fodder. >> they're killing us. and if you want to do business with china, it's almost impossible. >> reporter: republican front-runner donald trump suggested slapping a 45% tax on chinese goods to even the playing field. but critics have attacked his idea as bad for business and bad for states. trump's political future, along with his rivals, relies in a big way on iowa where caucuses are set to kick off in this year's presidential election. and it's a state that exports billions of dollars' worth of things like crops and machinery to china each year.
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u.s.-china trade is incredibly intertwined. and the next u.s. president will have some ability to influence those ties. and that will impact people's lives on both sides of the pacific. which is why we're talking about u.s. politicians in iowa while we're thousands of miles away on this giant ship in the south china sea. and how busy this port in nanshu remains in the next couple months could depend on the kind of manufacturing levels we see here in china. just this morning a key manufacturing measure hit its lowest level in several years. that is a reality. the shipping industry and container ships like these are going to have to deal with for the foreseeable future. isha? >> matt rivers, thank you for the report. you are a very, very brave man to be so high up on the "benjamin franklin." appreciate the reporting. be safe. thank you. time for a quick break. hollywood's awards season is in
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full swing. up next, who took home top honors at the screen actors guild awards amid growing controversy over diversity. introducing metris, the mid-size van from mercedes-benz. it's got small-ability and big-ability. towing-ability and stowing-ability. rack-ability and hvac-ability. it's fully customizable and sized just right to give you cupcake-ability, entourage-ability... ...garage-ability and even afford-ability. starting at $28,950. available in cargo or passenger. from mercedes-benz.
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okay. no way. >> that is the breathless mark ruffalo who stars in the film "spotlight." the movie took the top prize at the screen actors guild award saturday night winning for outstanding cast in a motion picture. and the crowd was on its feet and overjoyed as leonardo dicaprio won the best actor award for the gritty, extremely gritty drama "the revenant." after winning the golden globe and now the s.a.g. award, many are saying this could finally be the year dicaprio takes home an academy award. well, i had pleasure of being on the red carpet for the s.a.g. awards. here's a taste, a tiny taste of the star-studded event. ♪ >> how are you feeling? >> excited. i'm feeling -- i'm kind of nervous. i don't know. i mean, because i have some tough people -- i have a tough
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competition. i mean, i have batman in mine. >> what does a lady keep in a clutch like that on a night like this? she has nuts in her bag. and rolos. try and sum up just the experience of being here. >> i mean, to me it's just great that an african story like this is getting represented on such a big stage. you know, that's the bottom line. that's awesome. >> you guys all get to enjoy this together. it makes it a really special night. >> yeah. it's like sitting around a christmas tree opening presents. we're crazy good friends. >> it's my favorite, favorite part. everyone's like -- i'm like i'm going to see my friends. >> can you come home with me and you can be my little friend? what do you think? >> i don't know.
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>> it was a lot of fun. well, the academy awards have drawn heavy criticism for a lack of diversity in their film nominations, but it was a very different story at the s.a.g. awards. >> ladies and gentlemen, welcome to diverse tv. >> the suave british actor idris elba there, who took home two screen actors guild awards. a supporting actor win for the film "beasts of no nation" and a lead actor win for tv film or miniseries for "luther." queen latifah won for "bessie." in her acceptance speech she urged viewers to just do you. >> and i hope that anyone out there who does not come in the package that people say you should, keep fighting for it. flip those rocks over, keep pushing, keep turning, you can do it. you build your own boxes. not people. so knock that thing away and do you. thank you.
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>> the one and only queen latifah. do you. for more on the s.a.g. awards we're joined by gill robertson. he's the president and co-founder of the african-american film critics association. so good to have you with us. the day after the s.a.g. awards. let me ask you, when you look at the fact that diversity was a big winner at the s.a.g. awards you've got to ask the question why the disconnect with the members of the academy who decide the oscars? >> it certainly is curious, especially considering that many of the members of s.a.g. are also members of the motion picture academy. so it really makes you wonder what happened. because with such an overwhelm ing display of diversity in the wins last night how couldn't the academy get it so wrong? it's -- you know, it's certainly an indicator the changes that are being implemented are very much needed.
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>> were you surprised that idris elba and queen latifah used their moments on stage to kind of push the issue in various ways and various styles? >> certainly not at all. it just recently stood before the british parliament about diversity issues in the u.k. so it's something that he's very passionate about. and so it wasn't surprising. and to know dana, queen latifah, is to know someone who is passionate about social issues. so of course, you know, they would use that platform to speak out and to, you know, sort of express their thoughts about that issue. >> you know, it's great that the academy's making these changes. they're welcome. there's no doubt about that. but i've got to ask you about the issue in the studios. those decision makers, who make the decision about which films are greenlit and who's cast. are they having the question about diversity? have they taken up the issue in
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light of the oscars' so white controversy? >> they may not be yet, but i think they soon will be. especially given the fact that a great percentage of their box office revenue, you know, is derived now from overseas. and i think that, you know, business is going to force them to really strongly consider whether or not they should cast more -- be more inclusive in their casting. i mean, if you look at a franchise like "the fast and the furious" which has done mind-boggling business all over the world, that speaks to the multicultural factor and how having a multicultural audience can really deliver the bottom line. and so i think eventually with that being the case, you know, the studios are going to be forced to adhere and basically change their casting and business practices. >> quick, quick question, and yes or no. chris rock hosting the oscars. the opening monologue. will people go running with
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their hair on fire when the monologue starts? >> i think the academy awards are going to yield record ratings. chris rock is going to be absolutely on fire. i cannot wait. >> i'm excited, i'm scared, i'm many things, but more than anything i can't wait. >> yeah. it should be very, very exciting. >> it certainly will. gil robertson, a pleasure. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> thank you. and you are watching "cnn newsroom" live from los angeles. i'm isha sesay. the news continues with errol barnett right after this. stay with us. it takes a lot of work... to run this business. but i really love it. i'm on the move all day long... and sometimes, i just don't eat the way i should. so i drink boost® to get the nutrition that i'm missing. boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a great taste. i don't plan on slowing down any time soon. stay strong. stay active with boost®.
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a very big welcome to you as here in the united states and those of you tuned in all over the world. we have special election coverage for you today. i'm errol barnett. with you for the next few hours. thanks so much for kicking off your week with me. now, it may be the dead of winter in the u.s. state of iowa, but the u.s. presidential race there is in a dead heat. the iowa caucuses are just hours away. this is the first voting in the 2016 nominating process. in the latest poll, donald trump has a slight lead over chief
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republican rival ted cruz. democrats hillary clinton and bernie sanders are polling neck and neck meanwhile. there is no clear front-runner on either side, and the candidates are trying hard right now to change that. >> if tomorrow night there is a large turnout in caucuses all over the state, i believe we will win. >> i want you to know what i will do as your president. i want you to hold me accountable for delivering for you. i don't want to overpromise and underdeliver. i'd rather underpromise and overdeliver. >> if i am elected president, let me tell you what i intend to do on the first day in office. the first thing i intend to do is rescind every single illegal and unconstitutional executive action taken by this president. [ cheers and applause ] >> by far, the trump voter, the trump person, is the most loyal
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by far. they say donald trump can do practically anything, and they're still voting for him. they're still going to caucus for him. >> now, trump's loyal supporters keep up a strong word of mouth campaign right now, but his grassroots push for votes in iowa, it's a bit mysterious. watch here as sarah murray reports the trump campaign has kept the media in the dark when it comes to its ground game there in iowa. >> we drove 1,000 miles on monday to be here to make a difference. >> reporter: ted cruz's vaunted ground game and donald trump's enthusiastic crowds are finally put to the test. after months of delivering stump speeches, trekking across iowa, and lobbing attacks, inevitably, it all comes down to who shows up. >> it all doesn't matter if you don't caucus on monday. >> if everyone in this room brings nine additional people to caucus on monday night, we will
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win the iowa caucuses. >> reporter: cruz has built a ground game that's unrivaled in iowa. more than 800 volunteers have passed through camp cruz. spartan des moines dormitories housing out of state supporters. >> from texas! >> reporter: volunteers like roberto gonzalez of leek city, texas, are putting in 12-hour days. phone banking and door-knocking for cruz. >> the ground game being here on the phone banks and going out and block walking is the most important thing because we're talking 1,000 votes can make or break somebody here. >> reporter: at the trump campaign, we get a very different reception. his staff has repeatedly declined to let us visit their headquarters or speak to the volunteers working there. and when we stopped by a new trump campaign call center, we were kicked off the property. >> i've been told to turn all media away. we have no comment on any matter. >> reporter: team trump is secretive about its ground operation. but even if his supporters aren't hearing from the
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campaign, they're still inundated with trump. >> we're not cold calling, but twiters and i get all of that and facebook and notifications. my sister is a big trump supporter out in colorado. >> she's problem posting every to facebook. >> reporter: trump sticking with his unconventional play book until the end, inviting children to play on his private jet and tapping his daughter, ivanka, for a glossy video on how to caucus. >> hi, iowa. i'm ivanka trump, and i'm really excited to tell you how to caucus for my father, donald j. trump, on february 1st. >> reporter: with crowds and momentum on his side, trump may not even need a traditional turnout operation to win. >> cnn political commentator ben ferguson is a conservative talk radio host. he joins us now from dallas to discuss the race among republicans. ben, great to see you. trump told cnn he does not have to win iowa because he's doing well with so many groups in so
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many places. pretty surprising from a guy who tells his supporters they'll be tired of winning. but does he even have reason to be nervous? >> well, i think there certainly is a reason to be nervous and that is boyecause iowa voters le to mess with pollsters. people come out of nowhere. rick santorum was down by double digits just five days out in iowa, and he was able to actually win that by a decent margin over mitt romney and newt gingrich and others. that was a real point that iowa voters don't like to be told what they're supposed to do. they like to kind of keep things a little bit exciting. they don't like to feel like people are trying to overinfluence them or try to push them in one direction or another. they take a lot of pride in this caucus, and they certainly like to do things and shake it up on election day. i think this is smart for donald trump to be a little cautious here because he has said, i'm going to win it all, and i'm a winner, and i don't like losers, and i don't like fail urz. if you want a winner, you're
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going to vote for me. if he loses this first one, whether he wants to admit it or not, it certainly can turn this campaign upside down for him, and that's why i'm sure he's hoping and his supporters are hoping they're going to have a nice victory. >> on a much more serious note, trump is also being sued for sex discrimination, this by a former field organizer there in iowa. she basically says men doing the same job are paid more and allowed to speak at rallies. how problematic could this be? >> i actually don't look at this with a whole lot of concern, mainly because his national spokesperson is a woman, for goodness sakes. i mean there are certain times really close to elections that i look at things as a little bit just disgruntled employees. i don't believe this is going to affect him in any major way. i think this is something where any campaign is susceptible to somebody that's not happy, suing you for their own personal headlines. so i just don't think as of right now, unless there's some video or paper trail making it abundantly clear that the trump campaign somehow is purposely
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putting women at the back of the campaign office and not allowing them out front, which has not been the case with his national spokeswoman, i don't think this is going to hurt him very much at all. >> previously, any controversy he's been through hasn't touched -- >> hasn't hurt him at all. remember, this weekend he even said, i don't have to campaign anymore. this is a waste of time. he also said the people in iowa were stupid, and now yet he's still leading in this last poll going into election day. >> you talk about iowa surprise. what about marco rubio? because with 15% support, he is the highest polling establishment candidate, if you will, and actually a popular backup choice as well. what do you expect from his supporters? >> well, you see these last poll numbers that came out. it was interesting the poll that was taken. it was who is your first choice and who is your second choice? for second choice, donald trump had less than -- it was single digits of people that said they were his second choice. so you either loved him, or you weren't going to vote for him basically. there was double digits for ted cruz, double digits for marco
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rubio as people's second choice. so when people are caucusing, marco rubio might do well in that situation because, remember, this is not the same as just walking in and voting and walking out. people are hearing from talk, and why you should support them, and why you should come to their side. this is very much a last-minute decision for iowa voters, and that's one of the unique things about a caucus that's different from many of the people that vote normally, just walk into a booth, push the but on, they're out, thts done. completely different in iowa. that could certainly help marco rubio with that many people, and also ted cruz. they are a lot of people's second choice, whereas donald trump, his numbers are what his numbers are. they're not going to go up much, but at the same time, they may not go down much at all either. that may be enough for him to get that first place win. >> things definitely heating up in what is a freezing iowa today. great to chat with you. thanks for your time. >> thanks, man. now, republican presidential candidate ted cruz is under fire
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over a controversial mailer sent to iowa voters, warning they've committed voting violations. now, i use that quotes because the mailer gave the recipient, along with their neighbors, poor grades based on their voting history and claimed they could improve their scores by voting in the caucuses. iowa's secretary of state is blasting the cruz campaign, saying there's no such thing as a voting violation based on how often people vote. but cruz says he won't apologize for using every tool he can to get iowans to the polls. meanwhile the democratic presidential candidates have said they want more debates, and it looks like they'll get their wish. the msnbc cable tv network says it will hold a democratic presidential debate on february 4th in new hampshire. hillary clinton, bernie sanders, and martin o'malley are expected to attend. they would go head to head just a few days before the new hampshire primary on february 9th. they've taken part in four debates so far, plus a town
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hall. now, while debates may sway undecided voters, money also talks, doesn't it? federal election records reveal billionaire george sor oes has given $6 million to a super pac backing hillary clinton. that super pac, priorities usa, says it raised $50 million through january and has $42 million more in pledges. meanwhile, bernie sanders' campaign says he's raised more than $20 million in january alone. that money coming from more than 700,000 individual donors. sanders has insisted he won't rely on super pacs. democratic contender martin o'malley heads into the caucuses with single digit support in the latest iowa poll, but he could be the most important democrat in this tight presidential race. cnn's jeff zeleny explains. >> fight for viability and fight for the country that you carry in your heart. >> reporter: on the eve of the iowa caucuses, all eyes are on martin o'malley. >> there is no place on the
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planet that plays a greater role in determining the trajectory of this race than here in iowa. >> reporter: he's still running a distant third, but in the quirky rules of the iowa caucuses, he's a potential king maker. in places where he falls short of 15%, his voters will be asked to pick their second choice, which could tip the balance for bernie sanders or hillary clinton. >> some of your supporters, governor, are viewed as the most important commodity in iowa right now. >> because of their discerning judgment in candidates. >> so if they're not viable in some precincts across the state, do you urge them to follow their own instincts, or should they go one way or the other? >> i urge them to hold strong and fight for viability. that's what i encourage people to do. >> reporter: in iowa, the second choice can be nearly as important as the first. it helped propel barack obama to victory here eight years ago. >> if i'm not your first choice, make me your second choice. >> reporter: the rules are different for republicans. their voters don't have to pick a second choice on monday night,
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but the democratic race is deadlocked. >> missing the forest for the trees. >> reporter: tom henderson, the democratic chairman in iowa's large efest county is an o'malley supporter. he said one of the biggest mysteries about the sanders-clinton fight is where o'malley supporters will go. >> for most o'malley supporters is their second choice sanders or clinton? >> we don't know. that's always the big question. >> reporter: today, o'malley urged voters to deliver a surprise. >> id know you feel like you have a birth right on caucus of upsetting the apple cart and surprising the pollsters and surprising the pundits, and that's what i need you to do now. >> reporter: o'malley's campaign is running out of money and time. but for at least another day, he's the center of attention. how well do you have to do here, governor? >> i don't know. i have to beat expectations. fortunately, the national press has kept those very low for me, so i don't know. >> do you feel like a king maker at this point? >> no, i don't. i feel like a candidate for president of the united states, and the only one that has a track record of being able to
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bring people together and get things done. those are two things that neither of my opponents can say. >> reporter: jeff zeleny, cnn, johnston, iowa. >> joining me now to discuss the battle among democrats is peter bien hart. he's also a contributor for the atlantic. peter, always great to see you. a lot of points to address here, but overall, with clinton and sanders in a statistical tie and with a blizzard watch in effect for iowa, how important is the enthusiasm among sanders' supporters? could it really make the difference here? >> it's very important. sanders has had an advantage in terms of enthusiasm throughout this entire race. what we don't know is whether he'll be able to translate that enthusiasm into turnout tomorrow, whether he has the organizational capacity to do that in a way that barack obama did because many of his supporters are young people, people who are less reliable in turning out. obama was able to bring them to the polls and get a huge turnout
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with a lot of new voighters who voted for him. we don't know whether sanders will be able to pull that off. the weather could make it harder. >> we did have another twist this weekend. on friday, a state department reported 22 of hillary clinton's e-mails from when she was secretary of state would not be released because they are, in fact, top secret. sanders said this is a serious issue, slightly different than when he said he didn't care about her darn e-mails. could that tip the scales at all? >> it's hard to know. i think democrats don't care as much about this as republicans do. but to the degree it, you know, reinforces concerns that even some democrats have over hillary clinton's honesty, it could be a little bit of an advantage for sanders. it's hard to tell. >> now, unlike for republicans, democrats who do not get at least 15% support during this caucus, they have to pledge their votes to another candidate. all expectations are that governor martin o'malley will be in that position. do you think clinton or sanders
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will win his support in the end? >> if o'malley endorses someone, i would imagine it's more likely to be hillary clinton. just because she's more likely to be the eventual nominee, and she's more likely to be able to do things for him, whether it's retire his campaign debt or, you know, help him in some other way. i think that sanders is not in as much of a position to kind of trade favors with martin o'malley, so i would be surprised if o'malley ends up endorsing sanders. >> another interesting note. sanders raised $20 million in january alone, and mostly from small donations. his fund-raising pace has picked up dramatically as well. so might we see a marathon fight for the nomination just like we did between obama versus clinton back in 2008? >> yeah, i think so. i think sanders will have the financial ability to compete. often times candidates drop out because they don't have the money, but sanders' base of
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small donors, many of whom could still give more since they have not what is known as maxed out, i think means he can probably be well funded, maybe even better funded than hillary clinton for quite a long time throughout this race. it's also much cheaper to raise money in the way he's doing it because you don't have to put on big fund-raisers. you just basically, you know, it's duns through website for virtually no money. i think financially, sanders is in a very strong position. >> so those expecting the result of iowa to close it out for the democrats, do not hold your breath. we could be in for another long fight. peter, always great to get your insight. thanks for your time. >> my pleasure. i've got much more news for you still to come. health authorities warn there could be 4 million new zika virus infections this year alone, and there's no vaccine yet. but is that about to change? details on that after this.
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and if you thought that was amazing, you just wait. ♪ the first working sessions at the syrian peace talks are set to begin monday in geneva. the u.n. envoy met with representatives of the main opposition group on sunday. they want an end to airstrikes, the release of prisoners, and access to humanitarian aid. those talks come against the
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backdrop of yet another deadly attack in syria. isis reportedly claimed responsibility for bombings that killed at least 45 people. this was near one of the syria's holiest shrines. the state-run news agency reports a car bomb detonated at a bus station. two suicide bombers then targeted onlookers and medics who arrived at the scene. the world health organization is holding an emergency meeting in geneva monday on the zika virus outbreak. carried by mosquitos, the disease has been spreading quickly through the americas. the w.h.o. warns there could be as many as 4 million new infections this year. now, there is no treatment for it. cnn's nic robertson talked to the w.h.o.'s deputy distributor general. >> so part of our job like on ebola is getting the international community together, getting consensus, getting the money behind that, the trial designs, and moving those forward, and that is exactly the --
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>> and time frame from where we're at today to a vaccine? >> probably the earliest, again, we've heard a few different things. we could probably have something in a phase one trial in four to six months and then probably have something available in a year. >> reporter: nic robertson will join us live next hour with the latest on those talks. please do stay tuned for that. in the meantime, my colleague, david mckenzie is in uganda. this is where the zika virus was first detected almost 70 years ago. he joins us now from what's known as the zika forest. david, this is intriguing. under what circumstances was the zika virus first reported there? >> reporter: well, certainly it has been a very long time as you described, errol, that this virus was identified right here in the zika forest in uganda by u.s. military researchers primarily. they were here to really look at yellow fever, which at the time was extremely dangerous, still is, a viral disease. but this is where they found
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zika almost accidentally. and then more than 60 years it took before there was a significant outbreak amongst the human population in micronesia. now, scientists are trying to figure out how it got there, whether it was a different strain, particularly from the ugandan side because here in uganda in these forests, zika primarily focuses on attacking monkeys and other animals and not widespread in the human population. that's part of the reason why it wasn't really heavily researched for a long time, because only one in five people get sick from it up till now, and certainly it was relatively tricky to move through the human population. they believe that there has been an evolution of the virus, particularly the asian strain, and that might be why this virus has exploded as the w.h.o. calls it onto the south american continent. >> considering all of that, why haven't we seen the spread of zika there like we're seeing right now in south america? >> reporter: well, it's a
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different strain here, and it's particularly important. the african strain, they believe -- again, this is a very underresearched virus because it's generally been thought to be quite mild. the different strain that exists here doesn't get into the human population very easily. they just had a handful of cases as i described. bull the researchers we're talking to here, who are funded by the cdc in the u.s. to look at viruss all the time, say they need more funding to get at the real root causes of these viruss and trying to prevent it getting to a situation that you have this long period of time, also a latent phase in terms of our knowledge, and then suddenly explodes and potentially it's too late. >> very interesting stuff. david mckenzie live for us in the zika forest where it's just past 10:24 in the morning there. now, it is an historic day for the country of myanmar. lawmakers from the pro democracy party have taken their seats in the new parliament. the national league for
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democracy has the majority after a landslide victory in november's elections. despite the big win, challenges lie ahead for what is stim an opposition party in many critical ways. let's bring in simon moezen from bangkok. it's taken 26 years to get to this day. she's become an icon of democracy since then. what can we expect from her in parliament? >> reporter: well, incredibly high expectations as you've just said, errol. she's a nobel peace price winner. there are a lot of expectations on her. but a lot of people wondering who is going to step up to the plate once parliament starts in session for real. today we saw the first couple of hours of parliament. they elected their speaker of the house in the lower house. there's a rest day tomorrow, and then the upper house meets on wednesday. but is it going to be the
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pragmatic politician that she's learned to become or the passionate nobel peace prize laureate that has worked so hard for political freedoms for human rights as well? of course, human rights putting these high expectations on her. the burden of responsibility is on her and the n.l.d. 115 former political prisoners make up this parliament. will they now speak up for other human rights abuses in myanmar, and of course the highly discriminated against and marginalized muslim population. errol. >> considering that, how likely is this nobel peace laureate to address the alleged human rights abuses there? >> reporter: to a certain extent, errol, her hands are tied. yes, they have the majority of parliament in both the lower and upper house, but 25% of those seats are still held by the
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military. constitutionally, she cannot be president because of the constitutional amendment by the military before these elections, saying that if you have children that hold foreign passports, you cannot be president of myanmar. although, of course, she has pointed out that she will hold a position above president. she's going to have a lot of her supporters. of course, she leads the party in parliament, and her perhaps, proxy president as some people call it. it is going to be hard to change that, and let's not forget it's a buddhist country, and she's also got to please the burmese people, not just the international community. errol. >> so much to address, but a significant day indeed. summer moesen in bangkok. thank you, summer. all eyes are on iowa where the u.s. presidential candidates just hours away from monday's critical caucuses. we'll look at their strategies before the first votes are cast. stay with me. i think it landed last tuesday. one second it's there.
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half an hour into this two-hour bloc, a big welcome back. i'm errol barnett. let's update you on your top stories right now. less than a day before the first voting of the 2016 u.s. presidential race, and the latest polling from iowa shows no clear front-runner for either party there. the republican and democratic candidates are still busy canvassing the state, hoping to gaen support before the caucuses. isis is reportedly claiming responsibility for a triple bombing in a suburb of syria's capital. at least 45 people were killed and 100 others injured.
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according to state-run pedia, a car bomb detonated at a bus terminal outside damascus. two suicide bombings followed, targeting medics. the world health organization is holding an emergency meeting on the zika virus outbreak on monday. they will look at ways to combat the disease and exactly the possible link between the virus and severe sometimes fatal birth defects. the mosquito borne illness has now spread to at least 24 countries. now we move our focus back to the race for the white house. democrats and republicans are blazing a trail across iowa, and with just hours to go until the caucuses, there's not a moment to lose. cnn's george howell. has more. >> reporter: time is running out before the critical iowa caucuses and candidates running for president pulled out all the stops to try to get voters' attention. donald trump's wife, mel ania, took the stage. >> hello, iowa. it's great to be here.
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he will be unbelievable, the best deal maker, the best master negotiator. >> reporter: and rival ted cruz relying on the support of duck dynasty star phil robertson taking a jab at the front-runner. >> for all of you ladies, that would be a duck call. how many out here have duck calls? so let's try one more time to get trump. let's call donald duck to come meet with cruz and debate. [ duck call ] >> reporter: from celebrity endorsements to grassroots support, this woman traveled halfway across the country in what she calls the bernie bus to get iowa voters to turn out for bernie sanders in a tight race against hillary clinton. >> i'm going to feel it out and see where the campaign thinks i need to go, and wherever i need to go, i definitely plan on hitting all the big states in terms of where the delegates are the most to inspire people. >> reporter: recent polling by "the des moines register" and bloomberg politics shows bernie
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sanders with 42% of the vote, not far behind hillary clinton at 45%. in the crowded republican field, that same poll gives donald trump a five-point lead over ted cruz. marco rubio, third at 15%, and ben carson fourth. but with so many others polling in the single digits, there's still a large percentage of the voters who, if swayed, could turn the tide for one of the front-runners. marco rubio, for instance, now turning his attention to new hampshire and trying to win over moderate voters who would otherwise support jeb bush. >> i don't just want to bring the conservative movement back together. i want to grow it. i want to convince more americans that conservatism is the right approach for them and for this country. and that will mean taking our message to people that have not voted for us in the past. >> reporter: but before the new hampshire primary and before the next round of debates, a win in iowa matters because it means momentum moving forward. >> we've run a terrific campaign from the grassroots up.
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of course it's close. it's competitive. that's why i hope everybody who has decided to caucus for me will be sure to come out on monday night. >> reporter: hillary clinton focused on the race and off the recent questions raised about her controversial use of a private e-mail server during her time as secretary of state. an issue that bernie sanders has refused to challenge her on during debates but just recently he described it as a, quote, serious issue. it all comes down to what voters decide in this first state to weigh in on the 2016 presidential race. george howell, cnn, atlanta. so it is tight on both sides, and now snow could play a major role in how these caucuses turn out. our meteorologist derek van dam is here to explain that. this just adds to the uncertainty. >> timing is everything. we've been advertising this blizzard that will eventually impact iowa. it's just about when it will reach the state. i'll break it down for our viewers here and yourself. let's take a look at this errol.
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we've got a wide variety of watches and warnings across the country. the storm still well out to the west. in fact, across southern california, but that shading of green throughout nebraska and into iowa, that is a blizzard watch. parts of nebraska under a blizzard warning at the moment. this is the set-up. our low pressure system ejects from the colorado rockies, eventually gathers a lot of moisture and strength and continues to deepen as it does so. and it's going to have a trek that will bring it right across iowa. but as i mentioned a moment ago, timing is everything. let's take a look at our computer models here at cnn. tuesday evening local time, central standard time, we're anticipating perhaps a rain-snow mix into the extreme western portions of iowa. it's really early tuesday morning, basically from 4:00 a.m. onward where we expect the roads to become extremely slick as the bulk of the storm, the fiercest part of this storm travels across the state. so the majority of the caucuses
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should run without a problem, but that extreme western section could be an issue. we'll talk about that in detail here. here's our snow model forecast. we anticipate anywhere between 20 to perhaps upwards of 40 centimeters of snowfall for the extreme western sections just north of des moines. maybe just a little bit less than that, but nonetheless, it is still enough to impact travel conditions across this area. so timing it out, the western precincts of iowa, we could start to see those light snow showers by, again, late monday evening just as the polls start to close. by midnight we'll see the overspreading of snow as far east ward as waterloo, eventually cedar rapids and certainly into the davenport and iowa city region by tuesday morning. and you can see the snow totals across this area. but the iowa department of transportation, they've got a great plan here. over 900 plows in force. they've got over 14,000 kilometers' worth of roadways to handle. this is an interesting statistic, errol.
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they studied this on presidential election days. if there is one inch snowfall above the normal for that particular day, republicans see an uptick in votes by .6%. >> really? so snow is good for republican turnout? >> so snow is good for the republican turnout. >> that is very interesting. i wonder what rain would do for independence or wind would do for democrats. okay. interesting stuff, derek. thanks very much. we'll see you next hour. now, u.s.-china trade relations are an important matter for iowans and many americans voting in the coming election. it's hard to get much close tore what that really means than from the deck of a gigantic cargo ship that will soon set out for california frt southern china. matt rivers joins us now from aboard the "benjamin franklin." matt, i hope you don't get sea sick easily. just explain to us how representative is this vessel of the demand in trade between the u.s. and china? i know there's actually been a drop in demand for many goods in
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china at least. >> reporter: right. i mean you talked about how big this ship is. we're actually in the bridge of the ship above all these containers. 18,000 containers can fit onto this ship at its most full capacity. so it really is a true mega container ship. as for how representative it is, when you consider the company that built this is an international shipping company, they do this -- have done this for a very long time. they've been all throughout the world, so it's not really an if you build it, they will come situation. these are executives who are not going to invest the incredible amount of money into this ship if they weren't convinced that they weren't going to be able to fill this ship up with container after container. that said, it is a very challenging environment here. exports are down here in china. the economy is absolutely slowing down, and so in speaking to executives with the company, they have told us that it is something that they think about quite a bit, and they have to
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adapt continually to the changing tide in china's economy. >> matt, global cargo capacity, i understand, is actually surpassing demand, and some in the industry worry that massive vessels like the "benjamin franklin" might put the small guys out of business. what's being said about that? >> reporter: well, there's no question that part of the reason that these mega container ships are being built is because they are more efficient. it takes a lot more money, it takes a lot more expenses to continually take smaller ships. you still need to crew those. you still need to fuel those ships, and so if you can do that with relatively the same amount of crew members but you get a much bigger ship that can take on a much larger load of containers, it ends up being much more profitable. as you said, it takes an incredible amount of capital investment to build a ship like, this and there's no doubt that the shipping companies that are able to build ships like this in today's environment are going to be able to do better than their smaller competitors.
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>> very interesting stuff. matt rivers there aboard the "benjamin franklin." 3:40 p.m. there at the nansha port. better get to that beep. matt, thanks very much. now to another ship, but this one is in syria's trouble. a badly listing cargo ship could soon run aground. officials will make a last ditch effort to tow it to port on monday. the ship's cargo is thought to have shifted in very rough seas, causing it to list dangerously to its star board. the crew was evacuated by helicopter last week. another grizzly attack carried out by boko haram militants leaving a village in ashes. a live report on this next. make a dep-- rescan item. rescan, rescan. res-res-res... rescan item. vo: in the nation, we bring something surprising to business insurance.
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dozens are dead in northeast nigeria after another terror attack by boko haram. this is all that remains of a
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village. locals say gunmen came into the town and opened fire before burning down homes. reports also say people were burned alive. the village is near the largest refugee camp in the country for those displaced by the terror group. it houses around 20,000 people and added more with every decimated village. robin kriel is live in nairobi, kenya. this is a terror group that caused thousands of deaths. what do we know about this latest attack and why these victims were targeted? >> reporter: well, it does sound like a particularly brutal attack, errol. i've been speaking to some experts who say that it was quite surprising that boko haram was able to launch an attack of this magnitude so close to the village. perhaps this could be a sign that a direct slap in the face almost to the nigerianme, who h promised to liberate and to
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return internally displaced people by this fight against boko haram to the liberated areas. now, you will remember the vitabvi village that was targeted, houses burned, ass y you see, people fleeing into the bush. this is where a number of those people were living, hoping eventually to return back to areas liberated from boko haram. >> it is heartbreaking. we're seeing some of the images from the attack. now, the u.s. has placed a $7 million bounty on the head of boko haram's leader, but he is as elusive as he is dangerous. what does nigeria say that it needs in order to address this threat? >> reporter: well, of course they're saying they need more money, more help. boko haram is incredibly a large group, around 4,000 to 6,000 fighters, we understand. that's on the low end of the scale. they say there could even be more in countries such as cam
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aroon and niger where boko haram will outsource their fighting to some of those militia groups. the territory it was controlling, the number of fighters it has is immense. as you say, more money needs to be poured into this fight against them. also a more concerted effort from the countries surrounding nigeria as well as the nigerian military itself because not a week goes by where you don't hear of a bombing. often times children and females are used in suicide bombing. it's an incredibly volatile period and time for all of those northeastern countries, those northeastern cities, rather, that boko haram continues to fight almost with impunity. very violent, very dangerous raids. >> you get the sense that something new, something aggressive needs to be done because the boko haram threat continues. robin kriel live for us in nairobi this morning.
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there's more cnn newsroom after this short break. ♪ (cell phone rings) where are you? well the squirrels are back in the attic. mom? your dad won't call an exterminator... can i call you back, mom? he says it's personal this time... if you're a mom, you call at the worst time. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do. where are you? it's very loud there. are you taking a zumba class?
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as you know already, u.s. presidential candidate bernie sanders has narrowed the democratic race, and he's done it by reaching a generation of voters much younger than himself. much, much younger. but for his final pitch to iowa voters, he had some help. chris moody reports from the front lines of the youth movement. >> are you here to see the band or bernie sanders? >> both, but yeah. >> reporter: we're at the university of iowa just before the caucuses. bernie sanders is having a rally here. there are thousands of people wrapped around several blocks, but he's not going to be alone. bernie sanders is appearing with members of bands from foster the people and vampire weekend. >> i think bernie, he stands out
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because he's honest, i think, and he has integrity. i believe a lot in what he says, too. >> a lot of his policy issues, he's attacking inequality like any other candidate in my lifetime that i've seen. >> i think bernie is the candidate that makes the most sense for me. his policies and his voting record over the last almost 30 years in politics has been i think flawless in my mind. he's been on the right side of so many decisions. unfortunately they didn't always go in his way, but i think he always had the right motivation. i think he fights for the people of america. >> has he seen your movies? >> i don't know. i don't think he's quite the demographic that my movies usually reach out to. however, you don't know. it can transcend all ages. >> i wonder if he was rooting for you. >> i probably won't ask him that. i'll probably ask him something of substance. >> standing up against big banks. standing up for people for their rights for health care, for education. it's crazy that we are the
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wealthiest country in the world but we're the only industrialized country that doesn't have free health care. i think that, you know, that he can make that happen. >> and why not hillary clinton? why bernie sanders instead? >> i mean for me, it's kind of hillary as long as she's been around and everybody knows who she is, i've never been into politics growing up and a lot of things that -- the way she talks and the way she's presenting things, it's hard for an average person or a young person to relate to, you know. with bernie, it's just relatable. you listen to him. you feel the passion. it's real. >> makes sense. >> and it makes sense, you know. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> a few months ago i read his book which he wrote in the 90s. in the 90s, i was a kid then. clinton era. it's easy for me to forget how messed up things were and
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realize there's an independent criticizing democrats and republicans saying a lot of same things he's saying now. it's rare in most human beings let alone politicians. i think there's something so cool about bernie running as a democrat. a guy who was the only independent in the house for a long time, the only independent in the senate, a guy who kind of comes from an outside structure and is kind of bringing that to the democratic party. there's something so much more exciting than somebody who comes from within, you know. >> what do you make of the republican primary slate right now? >> it's -- >> that says it all. actually a big fan of some of those bands. young people have a lot of enthusiasm, but historically they don't vote. will things be different this year? stay tuned. thanks for watching my first hour of cnn newsroom today. i'm errol barnett. coming up next hour, live reports from cairo and london, plus news as it breaks.
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in a matter of hours, people in iowa will cast the first votes in the presidential election season. the race is tight in both parties, and now the weather could play a role. plus isis claims responsibility for a deadly attack in syria's capital while peace talks struggle to make any headway in geneva. and as the world health organization calls for an emergency meeting on the zika virus, cnn's heads to uganda's zika forest where the virus was first discovered. a warm welcome to those of you watching here in the states and everyone tuned in from around the world. i'm errol barnett. thanks for joining my second hour of cnn newsroom. it is freezing right now in the u.s. state of iowa, but the race for the white house there is as heated as ever. in a matter of hours, iowa will hold its presidential caucuses,
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the first voting in the 2016 nominating process. the latest polls show a dead heat for democrats hillary clinton and bernie sanders. meanwhile, republican donald trump has a slight lead over chief rival ted cruz. now, neither party has a clear front-runner, and that's got the candidates stepping up their campaigns even at the last minute. >> if tomorrow night there is a large turnout in caucuses all over the state, i believe we will win. >> i want you to know what i will do as your president. i want you to hold me accountable for delivering for you. i don't want to overpromise and underdeliver. i'd rather underpromise and over deliver. >> if i am elected president, let me tell you what i intend to do on the first day in office. the first thing i intend to do is rescind every single illegal and unconstitutional executive act taken by this president [ cheers and applause ]
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>> by far, the trump voter, the trump person, is the most loyal by far. they say donald trump can do practically anything, and they're still voting for him. they're going to still caucus for him. >> bernie sanders and hillary clinton spent the eve of the caucus making final appeals to voters. the latest iowa polls showing the two candidates virtually tied. cnn's brianna keilar has more. >> reporter: in the home stretch in iowa, hillary clinton positioning herself as the defender of president obama's legacy. >> we are at 90% universal coverage right now. senator sanders wants to start all over again. he wants to plunge the country into a contentious debate. >> reporter: sanders pushing back. >> i am disappointed by the tone of her campaign. she is talking to the people of iowa and saying, bernie sanders
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wants to dismantle health care. [ audience booing ] >> dismantle health care. i've been fighting for universal health care my entire life. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: the clinton campaign is criticizing sanders for his endorsement of a new book, "buyer's remorse, how obama let progressives down" even as he meets with the president and courts hi supporters. >> it's also important to remember how far we have come in the last seven years under the leadership of president obama and vice president biden. >> reporter: a key confident aunt of the president who has endorsed clinton, tweeting be honest, then, senator. run firmly against obama record. despite the attacks, sanders refusing to hit clinton on one of her biggest vulnerabilities, the controversy over her state department e-mails. the administration announcing it will not release 22 e-mails because they are top secret.
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>> there is a legal process taking place. i do not want to politicize that issue. it is not my style. >> reporter: this is sanders' style. >> join the political revolution. thank you all very much. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: rallying a crowd of almost 4,000 college students this weekend in iowa city. if he has enthusiasm on his side, clinton is arguing she will be a more effective president. >> i am a progressive who likes to get things done. i'm a progressive who actually likes to make progress. >> reporter: the latest des moines register poll showing clinton and sanders neck and neck here one day before the crucial iowa caucuses. >> we're feeling great. we think we're going to win this. >> bernie sanders is relying much more on first-time caucus-goers. they do tend to be more unreliable about showing up. but when they come out, they can really make the difference. we saw that in 2008 with then-senator barack obama. brianna keilar, cnn, des moines. joining me now to discuss
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the battle among democrats is cnn political commentator peter bien art. peter, always great to see you. overall, with clinton and sanders in a statistical tie and with a blizzard watch in effect for iowa, how important is the enthusiasm among sanders' supporters? could it really make the difference here? >> it's very important. sanders has had an advantage in terms of enthusiasm throughout this entire race. what we don't know is whether he'll be able to translate that enthusiasm into turnout tomorrow, whether he has the organizational capacity to do that in a way that barack obama did because many of his supporters are young people, people who are less reliable in turning out. obama was able to bring them to the polls and get a huge turnout with a lot of new voters who voted for him. we don't know whether sanders will be able to pull that off. the weather could make it harder. >> we did have another twist this weekend. on friday, the state department
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reported 22 of hillary clinton's e-mails from when she was secretary of state would not be released because they are in fact top secret. sanders said this is a serious issue, slightly different than when he said he didn't care about her darn e-mails. could that tip the scales at all? >> it's hard to know. i think democrats don't care as much about this as republicans do. but to the degree it, you know, it reinforces concerns that even some democrats may have about hillary clinton's honesty, it could be a little bit of an advantage for sanders. it's hard to tell. >> now, unlike for republicans, democrats who do not get at least 15% support during this caucus, they have to pledge their votes to another candidate. all expectations are that governor martin o'malley will be in that position. do you think clinton or sanders will win his support in the end? >> if o'malley endorses someone, i would imagine it's more likely to be hillary clinton just because she's more likely to be
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the eventual nominee, and she's more likely to be able to do things for him, whether it's retire his campaign debt or help him in some other way. i think that sanders is not in as much of a position to kind of trade favors with martin o'malley. i would be surprised if o'malley ends up endorsing sanders. >> another interesting note. sanders raised $20 million in january alone, and mostly from small donations. his fund-raising pace has picked up dramatically as well. so might we see a marathon fight for the nomination just like we did between obama versus clinton back in 2008? >> yeah, i think so. i think sanders will have the financial ability to compete. often times candidates drop out because they don't have the money, but sanders' base of small donors, many of whom could still give more since they have not what is known as maxed out, i thinks means he can probably be well funded, maybe even better funded than hillary clinton for quite a long time
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throughout this race. it's also much cheaper to raise money in the way he's doing it because you don't have to put on big fund-raisers. you just basically, you know, it's done through your website for virtually no money. i think financially sanders is in a very strong position. >> so those expecting the result of iowa to close it out for the democrats, do not hold your breath. we could be in for another long fight. thanks for your insight and time. >> my pleasure. now, behind every candidate in iowa, there are volunteers, thousands of them, drumming up support ahead of the caucuses. they've been working in iowa, but they come from across the u.s. dana bash introduces us to some of them. >> this is molly maddox with the ted cruz campaign. >> reporter: hustle and bustle at ted cruz iowa headquarters accelerated to an all-out frenzy to get out the vote. you can see this. i mean there is obviously a lot of buzz here. >> we are definitely making a lot of calls.
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27,000 calls yesterday, which is just -- it beats our record. >> reporter: cruz campaign aides boldly boast about the size and scope of their operation. >> we have camp cruz where a lot of people are staying. we have two dorms, 830-plus people. when people check in, they put a pin where they're from, so we have people from california. we obviously have a lot from texas, a lot from iowa, missouri, florida, georgia, massachusetts, new york. >> reporter: still, it's the candidate who has to close the deal. he did with some, but james still isn't sold are you still on the fence after hearing ted cruz? >> i think i'm probably closer. ? >> you're still not 100% sold? >> reporter: iowa congressman steve king is a veteran of the caucuses and a fix toured on the trail with cruz. >> i'm going to pick 135,000
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republicans as the turnout, and if that number goes well above that, then donald trump has a shot. >> reporter: that's because donald trump is trying to turn out first-time caucus-goers like sue alpin, who we met at a trump rally. have you caucused before? >> no this. this will be my first time. he's certainly got me charged up. >> reporter: this woman told us she's a born again christian drawn to candidates who talk her talk, but not this time. >> right now we don't need a pastor. we don't need a sunday schoolteacher. we need someone who has the authority and the power and the guts to say what's on his name. >> reporter: trump aides are somewhat secretive about their get out of the vote operation, but several iowans say the campaign is reaching out. the open question, will the celebrity candidate's crowds translate to votes? it may with stephanie. we talked to her before seeing trump. you're not sure if you're going to support him? >> right. i'm teetering between donald trump and ben carson.
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>> on the way out, all in for trump. >> after listening to him and thinking about everything he does, i just feel like he resembles the american dream. >> reporter: meanwhile at marco rubio headquarters -- >> i learned a new word today, marco-mentum. >>. >> reporter: friends flew in from sfark arkansas to help. but now volunteers are calling iowans already committed to rubio to make sure they actually show up, because for all the rewritten rules in 2016 -- >> every vote does count. >> reporter: -- that rule will never change. dana bash, cnn, iowa. cnn political commentator ben ferguson joins us now from dallas to discuss the race among republicans. ben, great to see you. trump told cnn he does not have to win iowa because he's doing well with so many groups in so
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many places. pretty surprising from a guy who tells his supporters they'll be tired of winning. does he even have reason to be nervous? >> well, i think there certainly is a reason to be nervous and that is boecause iowa voters loe to mess with pollsters. people come out of nowhere. if you don't believe me, look to last time. rick santorum was down by double digits just five days out in iowa. then he was able to actually win that by a decent margin over mitt romney and newt gingrich and others. that was a real point that iowa voters don't like to be told what they're supposed to do. they like to keep things a little bit exciting. they don't like to think that people are trying to overinfluence them or push them in one direction or another. they take a lot of pride in this caucus, and they certainly like to do things and shake it up on election day. i think this is smart for donald trump to be a little cautious here because he has said, i'm going to win it all, and i'm a winner, and i don't like loser and failures. if i want a winner, you're going to vote for me.
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if he loses this first one, whether he wants to admit it or not, it certainly can turn this campaign upside down for him. that's why i'm sure he and his supporters are hoping they're going to have a victory. >> trump is also being sued for sex discrimination, this by a former field organizer there in iowa. she basically says men doing the same job were paid more and allowed to speak and rallies. how problematic could this be? >> i actually don't look at this with a whole lot of concern mainly because his national spokesperson is a woman for goodness sakes. i mean there are certain times really close to elections that i look at things as a little bit disgruntled employees. i don't believe this is going to affect him in any major way. i think this is something where any campaign is susceptible to somebody that's not happy, suing you for their own personal headlines. so i just don't think as of right now, unless there's some video or paper trail making it abundantly clear that the trump campaign somehow is purposely putting women at the back of the
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campaign office and not allowing them out front, which has not been the case with his national spokeswoman, i don't think this is going to hurt him very much at all. >> previously, any controversy he's been through hasn't touched -- >> hasn't hurt him at all. remember, this weekend he even said, i don't have to campaign anymore. this is a waste of time. he also said that people in iowa were stupid, and now yet he's still leading in this last poll going into election day. >> you talk about iowa surprise. what about marco rubio? because with 15% support, he is the highest polling establishment candidate if you will. and actually a popular backup choice as well. what do you expect from his supporters? >> well, you see these last poll numbers that came out. it was an interesting poll that was taken. who is your first choice and who is your second choice? for second choice, donald trump only had less than -- it was single digits of people that said he was there second choice. so you either loved him or you weren't going to vote for him basically. there was double digits for ted cruz, double digits for marco rubio as people's second choice.
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so when people are caucusing, marco rubio might do well in that situation because, remember, this is not the same as just walking in and voting and walking out. people are hearing from supporters of each candidate talk and why you should support them and why you should come to their side. this is very much a last-minute decision for iowa voters, and that's one of the unique things about a caucus that's different from many of the people that vote normally and just walk into a booth, push a button, they're out, it's done. completely different in iowa, and that can certainly help marco rubio with that many people and also ted cruz. they are a lot of people's second choice, whereas donald trump, his numbers are what his numbers are. they're not going to go up much, but at the same time, they may not go down much at all, and that might shall enough for him to get that first place win. >> things definitely heating up in what is a freezing iowa today. thanks for your time. >> thanks, man. major international stories
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are coming up next, a deadly set of suicide bombings near one of syria's holiest shrines could threaten peace talks in geneva. a live report on that next. "ow..." "are you okay?"
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"yeah, i just got charged for my credit monitoring. that's how i know it"s working." "ah. you know you can go on creditkarma.com and check it out there. it's completely free." "really?" "yeah" "oh, that didn't hurt at all." "yeah, completely painless." "credit karma. give yourself some credit."
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dozens of people are dead in
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a triple bombing in syria. isis reportedly is claiming responsibility for the attack. it took place outside damascus near one of syria's holiest shia shrines. the news agency says 50 people were killed and 110 others injured when a car bomb detonated. then two suicide bombers targeted onlookers and medics who arrived at the scene. ian lee joins us now from cairo with more on this. ian, the war with ice sis is be fought on a number of fronts. explain the location of this attack with its location and timing. >> reporter: errol, this attack took place in damascus close to a large shiite mosque. there was that car bombing followed by those two suicide bombers. now media saying at least 50 people killed, but the syrian observatory for human rights is saying that that number is at 71
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right now. this all taking place while both the syrian regime and the main opposition group, the high negotiations committee, are in geneva trying to work out a deal to end this five-year-old civil war that has killed more than 300,000 people though there aren't direct negotiations taking place right now, there is subtle diplomacy. he is going between the two groups trying to get them to come together and end the civil war, errol. >> ian, those peace talks in geneva, certainly a step in the right direction in the eyes of the western world. as you mentioned, a number of key groups are absent from those talks. so with that in mind, what is the best possible outcome? >> you're right. there are two really big players in the syrian civil war right now who are noticeably missing. that is isis and the al qaeda.
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they are missing from the negotiation table. these are two groups that the west, syrian regime wront want to see there any way. the best possible outcome is the end of this war. the u.n. security council has put forward a resolution that they hope can be a template to follow that there is a ceasing of the killing of civilians, that there can be an inclusive nonsecular government that is formed within about six months, that they are able to have eventually free and fair elections with a new constitution. these are all things that they want. the syrian opposition is asking for aid to be able to go to places that the is desperately needed. the u.n. saying that over 400,000 people are desperately in need of food aid. also asking for prisoners to be released, including the majority of women and children.
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these are all things that they want to come out of these negotiations. now, that being said, that is going to be very difficult. as i said before, neither side is willing to come face to face and start talking. also, the syrian opposition wants bashar al assad, the president of the syrian regime, to leave. that is something that has been a nonstarter for the syrian regime for a long time. so there's a lot of hurdles there. also right now the syrian regime seems to have the momentum. the syrian regime backs by the russians, as well as hezbollah. there's a lot of factors that are going to have to play out as well. >> countless number of syrians desperately need those talks to go somewhere, but there is just so much work to be done. ian lee in what sounds like a busy cairo this morning. 10:23 in the morning there. the world health organization is holding an emergency meeting monday on the zika virus outbreak. carried by mosquitos, the
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disease has been spreading quickly through the americas. w.h.o. warns there could be as many as 4 million new infections this year. keep in mind there is no treatment for this. my colleague nic robertson talked to the w.h.o.'s deputy director general about when a vaccine may become available. >> so part of our job just like on ebola is getting the international community together, getting consensus, picking out what are the best possible candidates, getting the money behind that, the trial designs, and moving those forward. that is exactly the -- >> time frame from where we're at today to a vaccine? >> probably the earliest would -- again, we've heard a few different things. we could probably have something in a phase one trial in four to six months and then probably have something available in a year. >> cnn international diplomatic editor nic robertson joins us now from geneva, switzerland, with more. the w.h.o. was roundly criticized during the ebola outbreak specifically for not
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moving quickly enough. what's the hopeful outcome of these emergency talks? >> reporter: well, i think out of the gate this time, the w.h.o. really feels that it's moved quickly and the principal affected country, brazil, as well moved very quickly before it even had some of the key data available. it says that we've got a problem here and made people aware of it and began to take steps to deal with it. so the w.h.o. really feels this is different this time, that they activated teams on the ground, regional teams there to get involved and start assisting as early as may last year when evidence first began to present itself of the spread of this virus. so what's happening today here is an emergency committee meeting. the importance of an emergency committee meeting for the w.h.o. and for all the affected governments and those that might be affected as well is this is something that potentially has teeth. it is part of an international treaty. so whatever this emergency
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committee decides, it will put forward recommendations, and those recommendations can then be used by the director general here to oblige governments to follow through on whatever the w.h.o. says. now, the emergency committee meeting they're having today, it's a virtual meeting. they host it with experts around the world and governments that are affected around the world. they host this virtual meeting that will begin later in the day today, and it will try to prioritize essentially three things. is there a link between the zika virus and microcephaly, the deformed births that are being witnessed in these countries? what recommendations can they make? and what research can they accelerate to learn and understand more about it? so these are the key things that are happening, and this meeting, the w.h.o. would say, is an indication that they are right now trying to make sure they're at the leading edge of this and
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getting out of the gate fast on it. >> we certainly hope that they can keep up that momentum. nic robertson live for us this morning in jen e have va switzerland. iowa voters are the center of attention as they await the caucuses. next, a look at what happens when they cast their votes.
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a big welcome back to those of you watching here in the united states and everyone tuned in from around the world. it is your last half hour with me, errol barnett. let's update you on our top stories. the 2016 u.s. presidential candidates are campaigning hard in the final hours ahead of the iowa caucuses. the latest poll shows donald trump with a very narrow lead
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among republicans. democrats hillary clinton and bernie sanders, they are in a statistical dead heat. the caucuses mark the first voting for the 2016 party nominations. dozens of people are dead after boko haram burned a village to the ground in nige a nigeria. locals say the militants opened fire and torched homes, killing anyone in sight. some reports said the terror group burned people as well. cuban president raul castro is set to meat with french president hollande, expected to sign a deal with cuba. france was instrumental in brokering a similar deal with several governments that cuba owed money to. back now to the race for the white house. democrats and republicans are blazing a trail across iowa at this moment and with just hours to go until the caucuses, there's not a moment to lose. cnn's george howell has more. >> we want to make america great again. that's what we want to do.
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>> reporter: time is running out before the critical iowa caucuses, and candidates running for president pulled out all the stops to try to get voters' attention. donald trump's wife, melania took the stage. >> hello, iowa. it's great to be here. he will be unbelievable, the best deal-maker, the best master negotiator. >> reporter: and rival ted cruz relying on the support of duck dynasty star phil robertson taking a jab at the front-runner. >> for all of ladies, that would be a duck call. so how many out here have duck calls? so let's try one more time to get trump. let's call donald duck to come meet with cruz and debate. [ duck call ] >> reporter: from celebrity endorsements to grassroots support, this woman traveled halfway across the country in what she calls the bernie bus to get iowa voters to turn out for bernie sanders in a tight race against hillary clinton. >> i'm going to feel it out and
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see where the campaign thinks i need to go, and wherever i need to go, i definitely plan on hitting all of the big states in terms of where the delegates are the most to inspire people. >> reporter: recent polling by the demain register and bloomberg politics chose democratic sanders with 42% of the vote, not far behind hillary clinton at 45%. in the crowded republican field, that same poll gives donald trump a five-point lead over ted cruz. marco rubio, third at 15%, and ben carson fourth. but with so many others polling in the single digits, there's still a large percentage of voters who, if swayed, could turn the tide for one of the front-runners. marco rubio, for instance, now turning his attention to new hampshire and trying to win over moderate voters who would otherwise support jeb bush. >> i don't just want to bring the conservative movement back together. i want to grow it. i want to convince more americans that conservatism is the right approach for them and for this country. and that will mean taking our
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message to people that have not voted for us in the past. >> reporter: but before the new hampshire primary and before the next round of debates, a win in iowa matters because it means momentum moving forward. >> we've run a terrific campaign from the grassroots up. of course it's close. it's competitive. that's why i hope everybody who has decided to caucus for me will be sure to come out on monday night. >> reporter: hillary clinton focused on the race and off the recent questions raised about her controversial use of a private e-mail server during her time as secretary of state. an issue that bernie sanders has refused to challenge her on during debates but just recently he described it as a, quote, serious issue. it all comes down to what voters decide in this first state to weigh in on the 2016 presidential race. george howell, cnn, atlanta. so it's all happening monday in iowa, but the key question is
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how exactly? the caucuses have lots of specific ril specific rufls and they work differently for either party. >> if you all wouldn't mind filing in, we'd like to get started. >> we'd like to call this republican caucus to order. >> reporter: it's caucus night at drake university in des moines, iowa. >> i'm going to call this democratic caucus to order. >> reporter: not the real thing yet, just a mock caucus to teach first-time caucus-goers how it works. this training session is called wtf's a caucus. >> how many times have you asked yourself. wtf is a caucus? >> a lot. i googled it. it made everything more confusing. >> can somebody here help the situation? >> reporter: it's easy to get confused. republicans and democrats caucus on the same night, but they do it differently. on the republican side, voters hear a pitch from the
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candidates' surrogates. jeb bush junior surprised everyone at this mock caucus. >> with that, we'll start with jeb bush. >> practicing his own selling skills before the big night. >> good evening. my name is jeb bush jr. it is an honor to be here at drake. go bulldogs. >> reporter: then republicans simply fill out a piece of paper with the candidate they want. >> once you have voted, please fold the paper in half and return it to the secretary. >> reporter: next, the votes are counted and a winner named for that caucus site. >> we have a winner. looks like jeb bush. [ cheers and applause ] >> the democratic, as you can see, because you have no chairs is a little different from the republican caucus. >> reporter: now it's the democratics' turn. >> our process is a very active process. there's a lot of engagement and enthusiasm. >> reporter: the democrats divide themselves into groups, each one supporting a different
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candidate. if you like martin o'malley, you caucus with his supporters. drake student lara cox told us she's voting democratic but was still undecided. >> we're first in the nation so everyone is kind of watching, and then it goes away and no one cares about iowa anymore. i think it's a lot of pressure. >> reporter: lara first caucused with hillary clinton supporters. >> i think that hillary is so deep in the establishment that i don't know if she really wants to change things or if she just wants to be president. >> the whole goal of this thing is to get 15%. >> reporter: then she caucused with bernie sanders' group. >> if the race ends up with donald trump and bernie sanders, do you think bernie sanders could get any moderate republican votes? >> she feels pressure from both sides and time is running out. >> how much time do we have? >> reporter: this is exactly what makes the democratic caucus so interesting. so much pressure from friends, neighbors, even roommates to get others to vote their way.
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>> one of my roommates is over here. she was trying to convince me, and one of my roommates is over here. either way, i have to go home to one of them and they're going to be mad. >> reporter: in the end, lara decides to caucus for hillary clinton, mainly because she likes her experience. >> here i am. >> reporter: randy kaye, cnn, des moines, iowa. >> maybe time for some new roommates when this is all said and done. if the race wasn't close enough, some folks may get frozen out of caucusing. our meteorologist derek van dam is here to explain. what's the forecast for all this? >> timing is everything. with this highly advertised winter storm. i want to show you some footage coming out of southern california because this is where the storm is originating. it moved onshore this morning, and unfortunately there was a fatality from high winds. winds clocked nearly as high as hurricane force, nearly 74 miles per hour. it knocked over an eight-foot-wide and 80-foot tall
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diameter tree. unfortunately there was a motorist traveling at that time, and there was a fatality. i want to get to my graphics to show you where the storm is heading. it is a significant storm, and it's moving across the four corners. this is our watches and warnings map. it's really lit up like a christmas tree. what i want you to pay attention to is that shading of pink. that's the winter storm warnings. utah, nevada, into colorado, into parts of nebraska. but when you see that shading of green, that's the region where we have the potential of blizzards. so we factor in the heavy snowfall but also winds in excess of 35 miles per hour. here's the storm starting to catapult its way out of the rockies, gathering strength, and picking up moisture as it does so. of course the entire nation's eyes focused on iowa at the moment, so will this impact the caucuses on monday? let's time this out for you. we're expecting the monday time frame, basically about 10:00 p.m., just before the polls close in iowa, to see our first
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flakes of snow over the extreme western sections of iowa. the brunt of this storm will move over the central and eastern sections, des moines and into waterloo by early tuesday morning. so we think that the caucuses will go unhinged without a problem from the weather. the only exception would be the extreme western precincts where we could get maybe a couple of inches of snowfall before those polls close. we also have to consider all the media and the journalists that are in place in iowa trying to get flights out of the state on tuesday. that could be a concern. here's how much snow we're anticipating, anywhere between 8 to 12 inches of snow. if we time it out, again, 10:00 p.m. on monday, perhaps council bluffs eventually into des moines by about 1:00 a.m. tuesday morning, and we'll eventually see the snow spread further and further east. the snowfall totals will be greatest on the western half of the country. iowa department of transportation has it covered. 9,000 miles of roadways throughout the state, but they have 900 plows to deal with this
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snow, and 24-hour employerees, about 2,100 of them working around the clock. i'm going to end with this because i really like the statistic, errol. they did a study on the voter turnout with abnormal weather conditions, and the republican candidate party actually fared best because on the days when presidential nominations take place, one inch of snowfall adds to about .6% uptick on the republican party with concerns to the voters. >> early is a good idea because this snowstorm is going to hit late. >> it looks like it. tuesday will be the prunt of bre storm. at round of talks in the so-called brek set. we're going to get you live to london for the latest on britain's negotiations over it's eu membership. stick around.
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a disturbing report from the eu's criminal intelligence agency. it says more than 10,000 unaccompanied migrant children have gone missing, this after registering with state authorities. half of them disappeared in italy. there are concerns the children could have fallen victim to sex trafficking rings or outrite slavery. the agency's chief of staff says it's not likely that all of them are criminally exploited, and some might have been passed along to family members. meanwhile, in stockholm, sweden, tensions over the country's refugee influx boiled over this weekend. nearly 100 men, some wearing masks, gathered to hand out leaflets on friday, calling for attacks on foreigners. police beefed up security in the area where they heard about the plans. one man was arrested in an attack on a plainclothes police officer, while five others were detained overnight for disorderly conduct. the swedish minister said he
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condemned the quote racist groups. the refugee crisis in britain is one of the toughest issues the prime minister is working on at the moment. david cameron and donald tusk weren't able to reach an agreement on sunday. curb migration into britain before he holds a referendum on eu membership. max, there's still a number of issue areas to be worked out but tell us about the so-called significant breakthrough announced by prime minister cameron's spokespeople. >> if you just look at donald tusk's side, it does feel a bit lez positive. there was a meeting last night and they met for less than two hours in the end. on the way out, donald tusk said no deal yet. on the way out, they agreed to talk for another 24 hours. this is a crucial part of the much bigger process, but it's
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just the beginning stage. what they're trying to do is agree on sort of a draft set of proposals that can then be sent between the european capitals, the head of a summit in the middle of february, around a renegotiation on behalf of britain. all of these elements of the renegotiation would have to apply to other countries throughout the european union as well. and he's asking for very big things if you look at this from a pro-european's point of view. so he wants to renegotiate whether or not people can have benefits when they come here to the u.k. and get jobs. also he wants to safeguard the position of countries outside the eurozone but within the european union, another very complex matter. so while downing street is putting a positive street to this, donald tusk's side is a bit more straightforward saying we haven't reached a deal yet, and we've extended the deadline. on the face of it, it looks as
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though there's some really troubling sort of barriers to a deal here so far. >> so, max, considering there is some disdeni dense to the firsty of talks, what do they hope to accomplish in this next 14-hour window or 24-hour window. how much can they settle on monday? >> there's a few key areas which david cameron doesn't want to compromise on. this is all based on the fact that he's promised brits a referendum on staying in or out of the european union. he wants to bring that to the table later on this year. if he's going to do that, he has to have some sort of renegotiation ahead of that, and that's why we keep talking about the february summit. so he's under a lot of pressure on this. he has to reach some sort of level of agreement with donald tusk as a first point of call, though, and he's speaking to other european union leaders. there are other european union leaders that just don't want to compromise on some of the things cameron wants. for example, canceling in work
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benefits for european migrants in the u.k. is something that some countries won't agree on, but he wants to have that as soon as the referendum comes through. >> max foster in london for us. 12 minutes to 9:00 a.m. there. max, thank you. what better way to see the state of trade relations between the u.s. and china than to step on board the mega ship doing the heavy lifting. we will step aboard after the brake. need to hire fast?
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go to ziprecruiter.com and post your job to over one hundred of the web's leading job boards with a single click. then simply select the best candidates from one easy to review list. and now you can use zip recruiter for free. go to ziprecruiter.com.
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trade relations between china and the u.s. are a major issue for voters in the coming presidential election. the current state of affairs has been a lightning rod for debate on the campaign trail. while thousands of tons of goods are moving between the world's two biggest economies, our matt rivers reports from aboard a massive ship that is more than representative of that relationship. >> reporter: it's longer than the eiffel tower. it's got an 80,000-horsepower engine and weighs up to 240,000 tons. and yet thanks to the magic of buoyancy, the "benjamin franklin" floats. it's leaving china soon, heading for los angeles. this is the largest container ship that has ever docked in the
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u.s. being on board, you really get a sense of scale, mainly because of how small you feel. but for a transport ship like this one, the most important figure is how much it can hold. the "benjamin franklin" can take on 18,000 containers, placed end to end, they would stretch 68 miles. >> it's cheaper to have bigger ships and carry more products. you have less things to pay after that. >> reporter: often on the other side of doors like these are things like electronics, toys, clothes, consumer goods made in china that will sell in american stores. this is what trade between the two countries looks like. and far more stuff is exported from china to the u.s. than the other way around. a difference of hundreds of billions of dollars. that imbalance has been a source of conflict for some time. and in the middle of a u.s. presidential race, it makes for easy fodder.
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>> they're killing us, and if you want to do business with china, it's almost impossible. >> reporter: republican front-runner donald trump suggested slapping a 45% tax on chinese goods to even the playing field, but critics have attacked his idea as bad for business and bad for states. trump's political future, along with his rivals', relies in a big way on iowa, where caucuses are set to kick off in this year's presidential election. it's a state that exports billions of dollars' worth of things like crops and machinery to china each year. u.s.-china trade is incredibly intertwined, and the next u.s. president will have some ability to influence those ties. that will impact people's lives on both sides of the pacific, which is why we're talking about u.s. politicians in iowa while we're thousands of miles away on this giant ship in the south china sea. matt rivers, cnn, off the coast of southern china. we end today with our eye in
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the sky. china's released hundreds of never before seen high depth images of the moon's surface, all shown in true color. china became just the third country to soft land on the moon back in 2013, and these pictures were taken by cameras mounted on the lander and rover. china's next mission is to land on the far side of the moon, something no country has ever done. they could land or launch as early as 2018. that's it for my two hours on cnn. thanks for putting up with me. i'm errol barnett. you can connect with me anytime on twitter. i appreciate you keeping me cup. early start is next for those of you in the states. for everyone else, there's more from the cnn newsroom. i'll see you tomorrow.
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all right. it's here. it's finally here. the iowa caucuses begin. the very first contest of the 2016 presidential campaign. candidates making their last-minute pitch to voters late into the night, but with tight races are both sides, who comes out on top in iowa? good morning. welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans in new york. >> i'm john berman in des moines, iowa. it is monday, february 1st, caucus day. 4:00 a.m. in the east. it is here.

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