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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  February 14, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PST

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justice, but on their terms. republicans and democrats differ over the timing of the new supreme court appointment, following the sudden death of antonin scaliscalia. on the edge of the so-called islamic state, cnn follows syrian government troops to the front lines in their fight for power. an exclusive report coming up. plus, the british academy awards recognize all american
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stars. we'll tell you who won. from cnn headquarters, welcome. to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm george "cnn newsroom" starts right now. and a very good day to you. we begin this hour with the race for the white house and the political storm that is brewing in the united states with less than a week before voters cast ballots in the states of south carolina and nevada. presidential candidates from both parties are very busy on the campaign trail, trying to sway voters in contentious races, and now the death of a supreme court justice, antonin scalia. it has raised the stakes with both parties keenly aware that filling this vacancy can tip the balance of the court. republicans continue courting evangelicals. so the big question looming over
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the campaigns, who will president obama nominate for the court, and what will republicans do about it? that is especially true in the state of south carolina where republicans have just come from a very contentious debate there. phil mattingly reports from the primary battleground. >> reporter: marco rubio, one of the only candidates on the trail this sunday. after that rousing debate. rubio's team thinking he did very well in that debate. that's no small thing in the wake of new hampshire where a disappointing fifth place finish was due in part to a very poor debate performance. now the issue on the campaign trail on sunday, no different than the leading issue in that debate, who will be the next supreme court justice, and who had get that pick. here's what rubio said in easley, south carolina. >> there's no way the senate should confirm anybody that barack obama tries to appoint in his last year of office to a lifetime appointment.
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[ applause ] so the next president of the united states will fill that vacancy. >> reporter: rubio sounding just like the rest of the republican senators in his conference saying that president obama will get no chance to move his nominee, whoever that may be, through the united states senate. now rubio has a very important week of campaigning ahead. a south carolina base campaign team, a lot of real pros, according to south carolina anlits down here, but still a lot of ground to make up. donald trump with double digit leads not only in south carolina but across the south. rubio hoping to cut into that lead over the course of the week. a strong performance in south carolina, his team hopes will bolster his performance. rubio trying to get back the momentum he had in the wake of that big iowa finish. >> that was phil mattingly reporting there for us. as for the democrats, even though the president says he will nominate a replacement for antonin scalia, the issue will still play a very heavy role in
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bernie sanders and hillary clinton's strategy moving forward. david gergen reports. >> reporter: it's the responsibility of both branches of government to move quickly to fill a vehicacancy in the supre court. that's what's been done in the past. that's what should be done now. and he's going to fight for that person, and he's going to try to win. and he ought to go for the victory. if he doesn't get the victory, he wants the issue in the campaign. you either get the victory or the issue. one or the other. that's got to be the president's strategy, so he can use it to -- let's say hillary clinton's got an enthusiasm gap and she's the nominee of the democratic party. what the president wants is something that's going to draw a lot of voters to the polls, because they think it's important to vote fort democrats in order to make sure the supreme court doesn't remain and become more heavily conservative. that could be an issue that brings out voters, especially when you're trying to close an
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enthusiasm gap. >> that analysis from david gergen. it's still not clear who the president will nominate to take over scalia's vacant seat. but the republicans have made no secret about their strategy, a strategy to delay or block the nomination. we get more on the republican game plan. >> now president obama said he would wait until next week potentially or even after, to choose the replacement to justice scalia, but that doesn't mean the battle lines aren't already being drawn, technically in the united states senate. on saturday night, majority leader mitch mcconnell who sets the schedule and decides on which nominees get to be voted on, the next president should nominate, not the current president, and currently, the current president, president obama, did not listen to mr. mcconnell and is planning to move forward.
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now the next move for mcconnell is whether they allow a vote on the senate floor to confirm or deny the next supreme court justice. this is something that they have not yet fully decided, largely because senator mcconnell wants to take the temperature of his conference. now you have various camps that are forming. you have republicans who are dead set against any nominee being confirmed right now. then you have moderates who are uncertain about what to do. then you have probably the most influential group, members of the senate republican conference who are up for reelection in blue states and in purple states. because at the end of the day, those members, how they do will determine whether or not republicans will stay in the majority next year. those folks will be targeted pretty aggress evively by democrats, by the white house, by groups on both sides to vote the way that they want them to. so we'll see, we're going to watch very closely people from
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ohio, senators from ohio, wisconsin, illinois, pennsylvania, new hampshire, and so forth. those are the key to going forward. but right now, if you're in the white house and you're democrat, you have an uphill battle to get your nominee confirmed. much more in newsroom on how the fight over the supreme court is reshaping the race for the white house. ron brownstein will join us in the next hour of "cnn newsroom." international diplomats are pressuring russia to end its air campaign inside syria, but there is no indication that that pressure is achieving results. while delegates debate the terms of a cease-fire agreement, new video on social media purported to show more bombs falling on sunday. you see here. at the security conference in munich, u.s. senator john mccain accused russia of using syria as a live fire exercise for its
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military. the kremlin revealed that presidents vladimir putin and president obama held a frank conversation on sunday. each side underscored their very different points of view about the syrian conflict. cnn diplomatic editor nic robertson reports that many in munich feel moscow is in the driver's seat. >> that phone call between president obama and president putin really seems to highlight some of the concerns expressed here in munich. the kremlin focussing on one aspect of the call, the white house focussing on another aspect. the kremlin saying it was important for the united states and russia to work together to fight terrorists, but, of course, it's that definition of terrorist that's been at issue here. the kremlin seems to consider anyone that is against president bashar al-assad, considers them a terrorist. the united states paints a different view that isis and al qaeda are the terrorists inside
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syria. they said that russia should stop bombing the moderate opposition. we've heard from the moderate opposition saying that they are monitoring the situation very carefully, that they are prepared, they are prepared to get back into the peace talks if they see that russia stops the bombing. but the leader of their delegation here, a former prime minister of syria, spoke to what he saw is actually happening on the ground. russia creating facts on the ground. this is what he told the conference here in munich. >> translator: since its intervention in january of this year, i ask you that we have 58 clear massacres committed by the russian military against syrian civilians, alone in the last ten days. the russian air force and its army have intensified and maximized their attempts to pun
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ea ish the syrian people in demanding their rights. even before i came here today, i have news that they are seeking to extend assad's rule south to the jordanian border. >> so president obama, president putin's phone call is to move toward this cessation of hostilities to where this is happening, the united states and russia are supposed to be leading a task force to create the modalities to make that happen, but listening to a lot of the delegates at the security conference in munich, there's a real concern, they don't see that the united states has the li leverage over russia at this point, russia in a position where it can push its offensive not only in aleppo but in the south of syria. and really, it will perhaps be the delegates here that really the peace can only come when
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russia is essentially done what it wants to do in syria on the ground, and then maybe say it's time for peace. the united states at the moment, still a big hope, that's the word from the conference, a big hope that talks can get up and running, but a lot of people are concerned and doubting that that actually can happen. nic robertson, cnn, municipalh, germany. >> the army says russia's support has helped push back isis militants. we take you to the regime's front line against isis in eastern syria. fred pleitgen was given exclusive access. >> reporter: in the eastern syrian desert on the fringe of isis's self-declared caliphate, the syrian army readies its artillery, tanks and ar mored personnel carriers have dug in. we are right on the front line in the syrian battle against
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isis. we are told that isis positions are literally only a few miles from this position. the top commander for this area tells cnn his forces constantly clash with isis here. he didn't want to appear on camera because of syrian military rules and designated a civilian working with him to speak on his behalf. over there is a village, he says, it's considered to be the alternative capital of isis. the syrian military recently launched a major offensive in the north of the country, winning back some territory but also causing tens of thousands to flee towards the turkish border. syrian forces mostly combat moderate rebels and put very little effort into fighting isis, but the troops here say that is not true. for three months now, isis has not been advancing, he says. they've only been retreating.
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and assad's army acknowledges that russian air power has had a big impact. everything is much better since our russian friends came in, he says. they gay us the capability to conduct preemptive strikes and aerial surveillance to warn us in advance about isis attacks. and, they vowed to continue their push eastward deeper into isis heartland. the commanders here say that they are on the move forward. and one of their predictions is, that if nothing else goes wrong, they think they can be in raqqah by the end of the year. but they still are far away from achieving that goal, and this the past, isis has shown it can rebound after being pushed back. fred pleitgen, cnn, eastern syria. moving to israel where the former prime minister is headed to prison this day to serve a 18-month prisonson tense.
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he was convicted on bribery charges in 2015. he led israel from 2006 to 2009, and he will be the first israeli prime minister to go to jail. we go live to jerusalem. orren leieberman covering developments for us. this is the man who has held high office and knows government secrets. so will he be mixed in with the prison population, or are there special plans for him? >> reporter: well, because of him holding the highest office, he will be kept separate in ward ten, a recently renovated section of the prison close to the ben gurion airport. it's about a 45 minute drive to that prison. he has to report by 10:00 this morning according to prison authorities, so he should be there a few minutes ahead of this deadline. it's a small ward and has room
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for 18 prisoners. but with olmert, he has state secrets, so the prison service won't allow him to be mixed in with people who come from a background of organized crime or other such criminals. that's why he will be kept separate. otherwise, he will be treated like any other prisoner, be given the same allowances, same allotments of items he's allowed to bring from home, he will have a tv and a desk. but because of his status as a former prime minister, he is straig separated from the rest of the population. >> as we see, 9:15 your time, and olmert set to turn himself in before 10:00. he was originally sentenced to six years, but this was reduced to 18 months. can you explain to our viewers
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how he ended up in this situation? >> reporter: absolutely, and this goes back to the holy land affair. this has been more than a decade in the making and playing out. it goes back to the mid '90s, when olmert was the mayor of jerusalem. there was a real estate developer working on the holy land development that got a false assessment on the value of the land he was building on to give him tax benefits. that all led to an investigation, and years later olmert was finally charged, along with a number of others for taking bribes, essentially, for corruption. the legal process drew out and just recently wrapped up in december, going all the way up in the israeli legal system. and that's when olmert's sentence was knocked down from section years to 18 months. now he released a video this morning before leave being for prison. he insists he did nothing wrong. he said he may have made mistakes but they were not criminal and he's already paid a heavy price for those, and he
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suggests perhaps too heavy. he doesn't say three didn't do anything wrong while he was prime minister, that all of this goes back to his time as mayor of jerusalem. he could spend more time in prison because of what's known he here as the polanski affair. that could lead to another eight months in prison. before all is said and done, the former prime minister may spend more than two years behind bars. >> so his legal problems far from over, but orren, as you point out, due to turn himself in by 10:00 your time. we'll stay in touch. still ahead, pope francis is in mexico bringing his message of hope to the nation during his trip there this week. he's also planning to visit one of the poorest regions of the country in the coming hours, even getting some personal encouragement along the way. plus, bitter cold weather is gripping parts of the united states.
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we'll check the effects of what it's doing to temperatures. how low they could drop. you're watching "cnn newsroom." i think it landed last tuesday. one second it's there. then, woosh, it's gone. i swear i saw it swallow seven people. gripping parts of the united i just wish one of those people could have been mrs. johnson. [dog bark] trust me, we're dealing with a higher intelligence here. ♪ the all-new audi q7 is here. ♪ ...feel like a raging storm. i've tried laxatives... ... but my symptoms keep returning. my constipation... ...feels like a heavy weight... ...that keeps coming back. linzess can help. once-daily linzess treats adults with ibs with constipation or chronic constipation. linzess helps you proactively manage your symptoms.
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♪ very touching moment for pope francis on sunday, during a visit to a children's hospital in mexico city. a patient sang for him as he passed through a hallway. you see here, the pope kissed the girl on the forehead and offered a blessing. at mass, he urged followers not to succumb to evil. >> translator: jesus doesn't answer the devil with any proper words. he answers with the words of the scripture. he doesn't answer with his own words, because brothers and sisters, you do to the dialog with the devil. you cannot dialog with the devil, because he will always beat us. we have chosen jesus, and not the devil. >> as the pope travels through mexico, he is already helping to put the spotlight on the urgent needs of its citizens. the trip includes stops to some of mexico's most violent cities.
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>> reporter: pope francis helicoptered into one of the most dangerous places in mexico on his second full day of this trip. a sprawling suburb outside of mexico city, notorious for poverty and violence. in fact, the pontiff's decision to visit here ruffled more than a few official feathers. of course, it thrilled the hundreds of thousands who lined the papal route, hoping to catch a glimpse of pope francis on his way to celebrate mass. the mass itself was surprisingly critical. he lashed out at what he called the temptations of wealth, fame and power. he called on mexicans to try and create a land of opportunity, instead of a country where young people are destroyed. take a listen to this. >> translator: i want to invite you today, again, to be on the front line, to be the first in all the initiatives which help
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make this blessed land of mexico a land of opportunities, where there will be no need to emigrate in order to dream. no need to be exploited in order to work. >> reporter: back in mexico city, he visited a children's hospital. many of the patients suffering from cancer. there were some tender moments, for example, when he gave one boy the rosary and asked him to pray for him. ♪ another girl sang ah va ve mari. >> and, as you heard shasta point out, the pope's schedule monday had put him in one of mexico's poorest regions. he will focus on indigenous people. a lot of work has gone into
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preparation for the visit. and a lot of expectation for hope and change is evident. putting on the special touches, preparations are under way for the pope's arrival to the colonial city. a city that some believe the mexican government would prefer to keep out of the spotlight. the fact that he's coming to chi ah pass is a very important and historical sign, because it's one of the places where the most important three loenlens chose the poor and marginalized. security hassen about stepped up. and there is excitement in the air. >> translator: we're full of hope, full of joy, full of faith, because he's coming. i think it's a new inspiration pour mexico, which is a little sad and depressed.
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we've been through a lot of social, economic issues recently and security. and i think that pope francis' visit to our country will undoubtedly leave us with a new hope. >> reporter: esperanza, hope, in a place where 76% of the population live in poverty, even as work begins to surpripruce-u 17th century cathedral, pope francis has chosen to celebrate mass with indigenous communities, some of the poorest at a sports center in the city. two decades ago, there was a highlight of the indians. the guns are silent today, but the age-old issues of development, poverty and discrimination remain. they are hoping that the pope's visit will shine further light on the row ats in chiapas. for others, they just want a chance to be part of this
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historic visit. >> you're watching "cnn newsroom." there is a big change under way in the makeup of the u.s. supreme court, and it is reverberating throughout the united states. more on the political fallout ahead. plus, we take you to the red carpet at britain's biggest night in film. the bafta awards. you're watching cnn worldwide. dad, you can just drop me off right here.
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a warm welcome back to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. you're watching "cnn newsroom." good to have you with us.
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i'm george howell. diplomats are working out the details for a cease-fire agreement with syria. kremlin said president obama and putin, that they had a frank and constructive phone conversation on sunday. mr. obama urging russia to end its air campaign. australian police have found liquid methyl amphetamine hidden inside silicon bra inserts and art supplies. they seized drugs worth more than $1 billion australian. that's approximately $700 million u.s. an investigation is under way under whether former governor spitzer was involved in an assault. spitzer resigned in 2008 during a prostitution scandal. he once co-hosted a political talk show on cnn.
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republicans in the u.s. senate are concerned about the vacancy in the supreme court following the death of antonin scalia. many of them say they will not accept whoever president obama nominates to replace the court's conservative icon. president obama says that he will name a nominee when the senate returns from recess. earlier, my colleague spoke with jonathan turley, a law professor from george washington university. he was asked about president obama's resolve to name a nominee sooner rather than later. >> i think many presidents would make this move, you know, wayne gretzky once said that he missed every shot he never took. and this is a shot that all presidents would likely take. but whether they make it is another question. the general rule has been that nominations that occur within two years of the end of a term are problematic. this is much closer than that. and during a very contested,
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very heated, very passionate political race for the presidency. so the odds are against the president that he could get this through a republican-controlled senate. >> and you said it's not just the issue of the amount of time the president has on hand. there are other issues that make this problematic. >> well, that's right, i mean, first of all, the greatest problem that the president faces is that nino scalia is a conservative icon. he was indeed the internecke lek actual force of the right on the court. he was legitimately viewed as an intellectual, someone who had great depth and scope in his opinions. there really isn't anyone on the court right now that, on the right side, that is, would be viewed as his equal. for that type of iconic figure to be replaced by president obama, for conservatives, is
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perfectly nightmarish. it is unlikely, highly unlikely, that the president would ever nominate anyone that would be able to fill scalia's shoes from the perspective of conservatives. and so, if he even nominates a moderate as opposed to a liberal, it would significantly move the center of gravity on the court to the left. and that's the reason why it's unlikely that this is going to anything other than a battle royale with this nomination. >> as you take a look at the battle royale that is shaping up, we've heard the rhetoric of those on the campaign trail hoping to take the place, from other members of the legislature. as you hear the rhetoric and the heat of the rhetoric, the tone, can you remember a time when it was ever this, this, this, this divided or divisive, when it comes to picking a supreme court justice? >> well, there's certainly more
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heat than light that's coming out of this. unfortunately, that is not unprecedented. you know, we often forget that when the constitution of the united states was written, it was written not just four time t -- for times like this but in times like this. jefferson referred to his predecessors as the reign of the witches. this was a poisonous time back then. but it requires compromise, and sometimes there's not a compromise in the offing. sometimes the parties are too far apart. and that my be this case. there is very little runway left to get a compromise, and there's also very little interest on either side, it seems of reaching a real consensus on a candidate. >> for almost three decades, antonin scalia was considered the conservative icon. and on the other side of the spectrum, his colleague, ruth bader ginsburg is the more
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liberal. despite that, they had a close relationship. their families vacationed together. they shared a love of opera. pamela bruin has moown has more unlikely friendship. >> why don't you call us the odd couple? >> reporter: two polar opposite legal minds with the closest friendship on the bench. >> you know, what's not to like? except her views of the law, of course. >> reporter: sharing a life about ginsburg's sleeping habits, at the state of the union. >> the audience for the most part is awake, because they're bobbing up and down all the time. and we sit there, stonefaced. sober judges, but we're not, at least i wasn't, 100% sober, because before we went to the state of the union [ laughter ] we had dinner together. and justice kennedy -- >> that's the first intelligent
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thing you've done. [ laughter ] >> so i got a call when i came home, from one of my granddaughters, and show said bubby, you were sleeping at the state of the union! >> reporter: the sharp as a tack 81-year-old admitted she's had occasional help staying away from now retired justice david souter. >> he whad an acute sense of whn i was about -- so he would give me a pinch. >> reporter: ginsburg nicknamed notorious rbg and scalia, known as nino, had vacations together with their families. scalia known for his taste for adventure. >> and ruth, honest-to-goodness, went up behind a motorboat, in a, one of those -- >> parasail. >> i mean, she's so light, you
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would think she would never come down. >> reporter: their political differences, an elephant in the reasonable they aren't afraid to confront or right, de, as they n india. >> that was a rather bumpy ride. >> some of her feminist friends gave me a hard time or her a hard time, because she rode behind me on the elephant. [ laughter ] big deal. i'm not kidding. >> it was, the driver explained, it was a matter of distribution of weight. >> reporter: pamela brown, cnn, washington. >> so here's sort of a post-valentine's political story, you could look at it like that. as american voters try to find a candidate to love, we're looking at the politics of love on the road to the white house, finding the one and making it last is just as mysterious and surprising for those who hold high office as it is for anyone else out there. cnn's dana bash looks at the love stories of some past
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presidents and current white house hopefuls. ♪ >> reporter: it doesn't have to be valentine's day for jeb bush to wear his heart on his sleeve. he talks constantly about his whirlwind romance with wife columbia. >> when i was on the town square in mexico, lightning struck. i met the girl of my dreams. i didn't know it at the time, it took me about 1.5 seconds to know it. >> reporter: cruz has jeb's brother to thank for his marriage. he met his wife while working on the george bush campaign. >> he was interesting, a good-looking guy, he greeted me with a smile. >> reporter: john and karen kasich? they keep it real. >> this is not one of these adoring wives where oh, my husband. are you kidding me? she's not like he's so great. would you pick up your socks? >> reporter: on the democratic side, bill and hillary clinton
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famously met at the yale law library. >> i was sitting in the library, and he was standing just outsides door. and he was looking at me, and i was looking at him, and i finally thought, this is ridiculous. every time i saw him on campus i couldn't take my eyes off him, and he was always watching me, i said if you're going to keep looking at me, and i'm going to keep looking back, we should meet even other. i'm hillary rodham. >> reporter: and bernie met his wife in burlington, vermont. he wouldn't get married. he changed his mind and proposed in a friendly's parking lot. >> i immediately fell in love with his ideas and shortly thereafter fell in love with him. >> reporter: he proposed at a famous georgetown restaurant where booth three is still coveted for popping the question. and how about michelle and
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barack obama? the story is so romantic they made it into a movie. >> it was a lovely lunch. >> and we went to see "do the right thing". >> spike lee. hip, cutting edge, cultural, sensitive. the fountain, nice tuchlt the walk, patient. >> take tips, gentlemen. >> love is in the air. that report from cnn's chief political correspondent dana bash. so record cold is moving along the eastern u.s. and some cities are getting below zero temperatures not seen in decades. plus the lack of diversity in this year's oscars was hot topic on the red carpet at the baftas in london. you're watching "cnn newsroom." staying in rhythm...
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bitter, cold temperatures are gripping parts of the united
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states, the video you see here comes from boston, massachusetts. it shows sea smoke drifting over the water. the fogs is formed when very cold air moves over warmer water. boston hit a record low of negative 9 degrees on sunday. and now take a look at the city of chicago. wow. so cold there in the wendy city that chunks of ice were seen floating around lake michigan. it is some of the coldest weather seen in decades. shattering records around the northeast. let's bring in pedram javaheri. i remember when i was in chicago, and we saw that floating ice. so cold there, but it was worse, seemed like it was worse a couple years ago. >> absolutely. in some places like chicago it was colder a couple years ago. this time around, the coldest air actually was displaced out towards the northeast, the most densely populated corner, so for them it was the coldest in decades. we'll show you some images. this is astronaut scott kelly,
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always shares spectacular photographs. we're going to miss him when he comes down to earth in a few months. these are altocumulus clouds. the snow cover across portions of the northeastern united states. but he even said the cold air looks brutal from space, as he put it across that region. nearly two dozen records shattered across portions of the northeastern united states. minus one is what it got down to in central park new york. coldest temperature since president clinton's first term in 1994. that temperature right there, coldest since 1957 in boston. and work your way to binghamton. colds as low as 18 below zero. watertown, new york. they brought it down to minus 37 degrees when they woke up on valentine's morning. go north of the arctic circle. the town of alert, alaska, that
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particular town is the northern-most town in the world that is full-time inhabited across that region. population several dozen people living across that region that far north. but, again, temperatures to the south, colder this time around. when you get this cold, motor oil begins to freeze at 14 degrees fahrenheit. anti-freeze freezes at around minus 35. and the prospective widespread. notice the draw make the warming trend. these are the overnight temperatures from monday into tuesday and wednesday and beyond. notice temperatures in boston go from 1 up to 35 for their lows over the next two to three days. the high temperatures in new york city soars all the way above average. but if you are wanting warm air, this is the long-range forecast for this coming saturday into the following wednesday. we're looking six to ten days out. expansive area of warmth across the lower 48 states. the trend does look like it is
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going to rebound. across the western united states, it is the opposite end of the story. we are record heat. weather tries to balance itself out. if you have extreme cold in one part of the world, you have extreme heat in another part of the world. temperatures close to 90 degrees in california. it does want to warm up toward the latter portion of the week. some places, if you're tuned in, phoenix, arizona is forecast to get around 90 fahrenheit on tuesday and wednesday. that would be the earliest ever in a calendar year to get up to 90 degrees. >> 90 degrees in l.a. >> in february, impressive. >> i'm not feeling sorry for john vause right now. movie stars walk the red carpet, and britain's biggest night in film. all the grit and gram lamour ofs
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year's bafta awards. stay with us. caring for someone with alzheimer's means i am a lot of things. i am his guardian. i am his voice. so i asked about adding once-daily namenda xr to his current treatment for moderate to severe alzheimer's. it works differently. when added to another alzheimer's treatment, it may improve overall function and cognition. and may slow the worsening of symptoms for a while. vo: namenda xr doesn't change how the disease progresses. it shouldn't be taken by anyone allergic to memantine, or who's had a bad reaction to namenda xr or its ingredients. before starting treatment, tell their doctor if they have, or ever had, a seizure disorder, difficulty passing urine, liver, kidney or bladder problems, and about medications they're taking. certain medications, changes in diet, or medical conditions may affect the amount of namenda xr in the body
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you have all these candidates. makes my job a lot easier. (announcer) over 400,000 businesses have already used ziprecruiter. and now you can use ziprecruiter for free. go to ziprecruiter.com/offer5 welcome back. sunday was britain's big night in film, with the bafta awards handed out. the biggest winners for the baftas this year, ""the
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revenant"". leonardo dicaprio won best actor for his gritty portrayal of an american frontiersman. brie larson picked uh an award for her role in "the room." and, as movie stars walked the red carpet, the controversy over the perceived lack of diversity in hollywood took center stage. >> reporter: this year, the glitz and glamour of award season has been overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the lack of diversity. for many nominees, the question has been less who are you wearing than who do you stand with. as one of the very few black actors who gets to call himself an oscar winner, how did that feel? >> amazing.
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amazing. in terms of diversity, i think the director who directed "the revenant" said it best, award shows in general are the end of the chain. to tackle diversity has to start at executive levels. >> reporter: the lack of black actors is not right. and everyone feels that and feels that we need to keep these conversations going and make changes at a grassroots level. when scripts are written, it should say male, 37, white or female, 18, white. it shouldn't specify a person's skin. >> when you say the conversation, you're talking about diversity. >> oscar, everything. all the discussions needs to be had. the world needs to be portrayed for the way it is. and we're not going to sit down. >> i have an enormous amount of
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sympathy for the diversity problem that's happening. not only with the academy but the united states. it's an issue in the justice system, the educational system, the economic system. and so the academy is just kind of the tip of the iceberg. >> we as artists, as actors, we hope in a true sense to reflect society's hopes, dreams, fears, wishes, and we represent the people that are watching these stories, and we hope that in our representation. some little black boy, some lesbian little girl, some hispanic male can find common ground. and the more we look like them, act like them, the better that can happen. >> reporter: but of course the real question will be next year when the award show red carpets are rolled out again and the dresses and tuxes are pulled out once more, whether any of this will have resulted in real and
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meaningful change, not just in what names are called out on the night, but in what names are called to headline those films in the first place. cnn, the bafta red carpet. and with that, we wrap this hour. thanks for being with us. i'm george howell at the cnn center in atlanta. i'll be back after the break. you're watching cnn, the world's news leader. ♪ with advil, you'll ask what backache? what sore wrist? what headache? what bad shoulder? advil makes pain a distant memory. nothing works faster stronger or longer than advil it's the world's #1 choice. what pain? advil.
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the crisis in syria. damascus goes to the u.n. isis positions are literally a few miles away from this position. >> our fred migpleitgen and an exclusive. and in mexico, the pope takes on the drug cartels, telling them, quote, merchants of death. and the bafta goes to "the revenant." >> "the revenant" wins big at the british academy film awards.

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