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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  February 23, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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themselves. >> dr. sanjay gupta, reporting. thank you so much for being with me. i will not be back tomorrow. i'm off for two weeks to go climb a bit of a mountain. see you when i'm back. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. they have already attacked one mall overseas. now they are calling for it to happen here. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the national lead. terrorists with ties to al qaeda calling for their followers to massacre innocent people at the mall of america in minnesota. the world lead. her parents stayed silent for more than a year while the terrorists of isis held their daughter hostage, but now kayla mueller's mom and dad are speaking up and they say the obama administration had a chance to get kayla out alive but the administration put policy before their daughter's life. plus the pop culture lead. hollywood's biggest, most glamorous night upstaged by hollywood's oldest tradition. political pontificating.
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good afternoon. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin today with our national lead. right now, police showing force at the mall of america as the man atop the agency tasked with keeping the homeland safe from terror attacks warns shoppers to be on the lookout. the secretary of the department of homeland security jeh johnson, told cnn that mall goers need to be quote, particularly careful. why? well, al shabab, the terrorist group with ties to al qaeda and members from the united states posted a video threat and in the tape a man speaking english asks the terrorist group's followers in the u.s. uk and canada to shoot up shoppers. lest we think this is an empty threat from a stupid group that can be ignored, al shabab has done this before to bloody ends, in nairobi, kenya in 2013 they
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massacred 67 people at an upscale shopping center frequented by westerners. in a bulletin to police across the country today, dhs and fbi officials say there are no specific credible threats against malls in the united states right now but the law enforcement groups caution that does not mean there are not lone wolves designing deadly plots or that the video could not recruit more people to the terrorist cause. i want to go right to cnn's brian todd. he is outside the mall of america, the shopping megaplex named in that terrorist video. the mall stepped up its security presence in light of this threat. what are they doing to make sure something like that westgate attack does not happen here? >> reporter: jake they are taking all sorts of measures seen and unseen to step up security in the wake of that al shabab video. we got word a short time ago that they did a lockdown drill a few hours ago inside the mall of america. it was just a drill, where they locked down some businesses. that was at about 10:00 a.m.
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local time 11:00 a.m. eastern time. we are told they are going to do another one later tonight. again, just a drill. it did take some customers by surprise but otherwise, a lot of the measures they're doing here are not seen. we are told by a consultant security consultant to the mall of america that they've got plain clothes police officers rooming around surveillance officers. they have their own intelligence branch inside this mall to monitor a lot of these threats, including people who are trained in essentially profiling, behavior detection, things like that. it's a very sophisticated security operation here. it has existed for some years but all of that now being stepped up in the wake of this shabab video. jake? >> to give people our viewers, just some idea of how big the mall of america is if they haven't been there before 11,000 people work at the mall 40 million people walk miles and miles of corridors each year. how is the mood there today? >> reporter: well it's kind of
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mixed. some people are kind of taking this in stride saying look if it happens, it happens. i'm going to keep shopping here. but one woman told us she's scared she brings her kids in here. this is a huge mall as you mentioned. it's got an amusement park inside. you said 40 million people go in and out of here. this is one of those things a so-called soft target. it's got more than a dozen entrances and like every mall in america, it is very easily accessible to the public. but another point of concern you mentioned al shabab they have recruited about two dozen young somali americans from this minneapolis area to go and fight with al shabab in somalia. many of them died one became a suicide bomber. now isis is recruiting young somalis to go fight with isis. the fear is one of them may come back with an american passport or maybe inspired by things like this video, they might just get a sympathizer who is already here to come here and strike. >> brian todd outside the mall of america in minnesota, thank you so much. let's bring in cnn justice correspondent pamela brown.
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the fbi is obviously preparing and drilling for years to prepare for any threat against malls or other soft targets. you heard brian mention. does law enforcement really think that this threat might materialize, or are they just -- is this just a case of better safe than sorry? >> you know it's always better safe than sorry. he said they have been preparing for this but the real concern is that it could materialize in the form of these lone wolf attacks we just heard brian talk about. so that's why we are seeing in large part this beefed-up security outside those malls listed as specific targets, and now some shopping center chains are pushing back and trying to convince potential patrons it's safe to shop. today westfield malls releasing a new statement saying there is no imminent threat to its shopping centers in the wake of a new alarming video from terrorist group al shabab calling on attacks at specific malls in the u.s. canada and the uk similar to this attack two years ago. when al shabab militants raided the upscale westgate mall in
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nairobi and held shoppers hostage for four days leaving more than 60 people dead. the new call for attacks on malls around the world prompting a rare warning from homeland security chief jeh johnson to shoppers at mall of america in minneapolis. the only u.s. mall al shabab named. >> if anyone is planning to go to the mall of america today, they've got to be particularly careful. >> reporter: u.s. law enforcement officials tell cnn it's unlikely the somali based terrorist group has the ability to launch a coordinated attack in the u.s. the real danger they say is someone in the u.s. seeing this latest propaganda and being inspired to launch an attack. >> we have a large somali community in minneapolis. they are not assimilated well. lot of disaffected unemployed young men. a lot of young men turning to islam and they are just hoping that someone will pick up the flag and attack the mall of america. >> reporter: as security is beefed up in malls listed as potential targets by al shabab the fbi and dhs send out a joint
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warning asking law enforcement across the country to stay vigilant although there are no known credible threats to any american malls right now. the fbi has long conducted mock attacks at u.s. shopping centers to test their readiness but a series of mall shootings in the past few years, including a deadly shooting at this mall in nebraska in 2007 show how shopping centers could be easy targets. national security experts say it's difficult to fully protect all the different types of soft targets in the u.s. like trains, movie theaters and sporting events. >> anyplace americans congregate is vulnerable to attack. and there's nothing we can do. we are an open society. you can't arrest somebody for having a bad thought. with the availability of chemicals and automatic weapons in this country, we are at risk. >> a scary thought there. a statement today from the minnesota somali muslim community condemned this threat against the mall of america and said we must not allow a terror
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group to achieve its goal of spreading fear and panic. a lot of people say that's exactly what they were trying to do with this video. >> pamela brown, thank you. appreciate it. let's bring in republican congressman mike turner who sits on the house intelligence committee. congressman, good to see you. thanks for joining us. you will get a briefing on the al shabab video and their call to attack the mall of america this week. how serious a threat do you take this group to be? >> well i think this is why we need a global strategy, jake. this is in effect a terrorist attack. their goal of terrorism as you know is to cause fear and their attempt is to cause fear. whether or not these particular threats are real or not, these organizations are. as you pointed out, al shabab having ties to al qaeda, has previously orchestrated these types of attacks. i think we need to make certain we don't just look at this as isolated geographic instances. this is not how do we deal with paris or with the al qaeda threat to the mall of america. it's how do we deal globally with these terrorist groups and
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organizations to take down their capabilities to take their ability to threaten americans. >> but different groups have different reaches and different groups have different abilities. i know in the past the group isis versus the al qaeda remnants in syria plus then there's boko haram, there are -- aqap there are a whole bunch of different terrorist groups. is al shabab considered a serious threat to the united states homeland? >> well i think you just outlined well in your description of this in the opening. any group or organization that has the intent to harm americans and are making these calls and pronouncements can both have a direct threat and also the effect of soliciting or encouraging others to take action. but in this instance what we see unfortunately and this is something that the united states needs to turn to that the president needs to turn to as we have retreated from these areas and these groups have
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grown and taken hold the threat to the west and to the united states has grown. this is something that needs to be addressed because if we don't take this fight directly to them to take down their capabilities both financially, structurally and their leadership we will see threats like this continue to be a risk for us. >> you were talking about how in a way, al shabab had already achieved something by creating terror creating fear. minnesota is home to the largest somali population in the u.s. somalia, of course home to al shabab's base of operations. do you think that there is actually a link there, or are they -- is the group in your estimation hoping somebody in minnesota is inspired by this video, or are they trying to alienate somali americans from the rest of the population? >> well i think your last point is certainly an important one. we should not look suspiciously at just anyone who has either
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roots or faith in islam or comes regionally from an area. the issue is one of these terrorist organizations that take terrorism islamic extremism to the point of wanting to hurt americans. we can't succumb to their culture of fear that they want to impose upon us. at the same time we need to remain diligent. it's very good to see what the mall of america is doing. it's good to see what homeland security is doing. but what we need to do is a global strategy that makes them at risk instead of our being at risk. >> congressman mike turner from dayton, ohio thank you so much. really appreciate it. here in the united states new criticism over the u.s. government's policy to not pay ransom for terror hostages. the parents of kayla mueller, who was held hostage by isis say that rule factored into their daughter's death. but another american was released after the u.s. government was willing to cut a deal for him. just when is it okay to negotiate with terrorists? that's next.
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try credit karma. it's free and you can see what your score is right now . i just got my free credit score! credit karma. really free. welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. our world lead today, breaking their silence. the family of 26-year-old kayla mueller, who was killed while being held hostage by isis in syria, is accusing the u.s. government of prioritizing a public policy principle above their daughter's life. for a year and a half carl and marcia mueller said they kept their daughter's captivity a secret hoping their negotiations with the terrorist group would bring her home safely. cnn national correspondent kyung lah is live in los angeles with the latest. not only did the obama administration policy forbid her parents from paying any ransom the muellers are charging that the administration's negotiation for a different hostage hurt their efforts to save kayla's life. >> yes. something they certainly could
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not have predicted and did not expect that another person's situation could have affected their daughter. what they were told is that the u.s. does not pay ransom does not negotiate with terrorists and now well known u.s. policy regarding u.s. civilians. what this family says though is that that policy was ultimately put ahead of their own daughter's life. 26-year-old kayla mueller's capture mirrored others in many ways. a civilian grabbed by isis. the threat of death. but her parents told nbc's "today" show there was one difference. >> i really feel that we had a chance to get kayla out because we were in communications with them unlike the other families but how do you raise $6.2 million? >> reporter: even if they could, kayla's parents would be breaking u.s. policy and violating federal law, giving money to a terrorist group. then that vital communication with kayla's captors fell apart
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when the u.s. traded five taliban detainees for american soldier bowe bergdahl who was held for five years by the taliban. >> that made the whole situation worse. because that's when the demands got greater, they got larger. they realized that they had something. they realized that if they're going to let five people go for one person why won't they do this. >> reporter: why? because kayla mueller is a civilian. bowe bergdahl a u.s. serviceman. an unfair distinction to determine which american hostages to negotiate for, say the muellers. >> i actually asked the president that question when we were in the white house. yeah that was pretty hard. >> i think they wanted to but i think again, the policy. >> reporter: a sentiment echoed by the mother of american hostage james foley. isis held foley alongside kayla mueller and executed him. foley's mother says she felt her son was not a priority.
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>> it didn't seem to be in our strategic interest if you will. i was appalled as an american. jim would have been saddened. jim believed until the end that his country would come to their aid. >> reporter: the white house defended the policy to not negotiate with terrorists for civilians, saying overall it makes americans safer. >> the president is confident that his administration did do everything that was possible within the confines of that policy using our military might, using our intelligence capability, using our diplomatic influence, to try to secure the safe release and return of kayla mueller. >> late last year, president obama ordered a comprehensive review of the policy. jake part of that review will involve how the white house communicates with the families. jake? >> kyung lah in los angeles, thanks for that report. the mueller family believes the decision to swap five members of the taliban held at guantanamo
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bay for army sergeant bowe bergdahl ruined any hope of successfully negotiating kayla's freedom. bergdahl went missing in afghanistan in 2009. he was held captive until may of last year when the obama white house agreed to the exchange. bergdahl is currently on desk duty at fort sam houston in san antonio, texas. circumstances questions still remain about the circumstances of his disappearance. the army investigation into bergdahl's actions which could potentially result in a court martial is complete and awaiting release. no word on what the decision is. the deaths of kayla mueller and three other american hostages have raised serious questions about the obama administration's refusal to engage in negotiations for their release. joining us to discuss that policy is tim clemente former counter terrorism agent for the fbi who dealt with kidnappings while working in iraq in 2004 and 2007. thanks for being here. we appreciate it. first of all, just to
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underscore the bad guys in this story are isis. everybody has the best of intentions in the united states whether or not they disagree. obviously heartbreaking for these families. do you think the policy needs to change? >> no, i don't. when you say heartbreaking, i have complete empathy for what these families are going through. i understand it. i have never experienced anything like it. i don't know what it would be like to do it as a parent. but i can say as an fbi agent and a representative of the united states government working overseas on these kind of cases, all it does is embolden this enemy. if we look at the early stages of isis in 2007 and 2008 before they were well known in 2010 they were doing things like extortion, bank robberies, robbing from gold shops and kidnappings. those were their only sources of income. that's what sustained them to get to the point of taking over large swaths of territory in syria and iraq. so without the ransoms that were paid early on isis may not be the problem it is today. >> so i understand why the government might not want to engage in this but should the
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families be allowed? should they be legally permitted to negotiate for the return of their loved ones? >> i think that would create a dichotomy that we wouldn't be able to deal with because the problem is that it still supports terrorism. what's the difference between some of the individuals in the uae and other countries that the finger has been pointed at them that they have supported isis giving millions of dollars to isis and an individual going to their bank and taking out $5 million and paying a ransom. the end result is the same. isis now has money in their coffers to conduct more terror attacks. >> certainly you can understand why the muellers might think why is the u.s. government which is not allowing us to even negotiate for our daughter's release, why is the government negotiating with this other terrorist group, the taliban, although i don't think they are actually officially designated terrorists they negotiate for another prisoner bowe bergdahl. how do you square that?
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>> i don't know that i can. i don't know how the administration squares it because the general rule of thumb is we don't negotiate with terrorists. obviously negotiating the release of five taliban leaders to go back into the wild eventually right now, they are being held in some sort of you know in lieu of full release, they are on the bench, and that is still a release. they are still able to communicate with their former colleagues. so i don't understand what the justification for that is. that is clearly negotiating with a group, whether it's not designated as a terrorist group, we are in combat against the taliban. it's not the end of hostilityies where two state powers release p.o.w.s to each other. it's a completely different situation. >> in fact at least according to the muellers' account of it when isis heard, when the isis terrorists heard about this negotiation going on, that ruined their negotiations for their daughter's release. the obama administration in a way proved their own point. >> exactly. because what happened what kayla's parents are saying is legitimate. once you reward that behavior by giving away five taliban
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leaders, you are rewarding that behavior of kidnapping. that's only going to embolden that enemy. now they know okay the hands are on the table now and our hand is better than theirs. they are willing to give up five for a soldier. what will they give up for this young girl? >> thanks so much. disturbing new video released by isis proof of how the terrorist group tries to warp the minds of young children. it's not the only new propaganda targeting the younger generation of course. plus is it too late for three teenaged girls? the scramble to find the teens who may be headed to syria to join isis. thank you for being a sailor, and my daddy. thank you mom, for protecting my future. thank you for being my hero and my dad. military families are thankful for many things. the legacy of usaa auto insurance could be one of them. our world-class service earned usaa the top spot in a study of the most recommended large companies in america. if you're current or former military or their family, see if you're eligible to get an auto insurance quote.
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making emotional public appeals for their return. >> it's just wrong. it's evil. it's a really evil thing to do. you are breaking up entire families. we just want her to come home. if you watch this, baby, please come home. mom needs you more than anything in the world. you are a baby. >> cnn's atika shubert is live from london with the latest. have there been any new leads on their whereabouts? >> reporter: police believe they may still be in turkey but it already has been nearly a week since they left so it is quite possible that they slipped over the border to syria. what police are trying to do is trace their route, see who they were in contact with and if they were met by anybody in turkey that would quickly lead them across the border. they are looking at a number of people online that may have been isis recruiters and see what kind of instructions or guidance they were given to actually get to isis-controlled areas within syria. >> thank you so much.
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a new propaganda video released by isis today shows the terrorist group drilling its hateful messages into the minds of what it calls jihadists in training little children. some seemingly as young as 5 years old. cnn cannot independently verify the authenticity of the video which also shows what appear to be kurdish peshmerga soldiers in cages being paraded through the streets of iraq. let's bring in cnn chief national security correspondent jim sciutto. not only is this video chilling but highlights what's become a growing concern for national security officials here in the united states. >> no question. that is in particular how to track this kind of group and how to prevent plots by this group, isis and others overseas. i spoke earlier today with the head of the nsa in cybercommand, admiral michael rogers. he delivered a frank warning, acknowledging that the most formidable intelligence agency in the world has new blind spots in tracking terrorists such as isis which in turn is impacting the u.s. capability to prevent
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new terror attacks. isis advertising its brutality once again. parading captured kurdish soldiers in cages like the one where the captured jordanian pilot met his death. despite distributing propaganda publicly on social media, today the head of the nsa acknowledged new blind spots in tracking terrorists like isis as they have altered and concealed their communications in the wake of revelations by edward snowden. >> i would say that it has had a material impact on our ability to generate insight as to what terrorist groups around the world are doing. >> do you have new blind spots that you didn't have prior to the revelation? >> have i lost capability that we had prior to the revelations yes. >> how much does that concern you? >> it concerns me a lot. >> reporter: still, isis has not pulled back its messaging on the
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web, releasing propaganda videos like this one showing an isis training camp for children. wearing camouflage and isis bandanas the terror group calls these kids their cubs. admiral rogers identified another clear and present danger to the u.s. cyberattacks with the capability to inflict significant damage on the homeland. >> i think it's only a matter of time before we see destructive offensive actions taken against critical u.s. infrastructure. >> which states today are capable of carrying out such an attack like that? >> we have talked about our concerns with china, what they are doing in cyber, clearly the russians and others have capabilities. we are mindful of that. >> reporter: still, admiral rogers who heads the u.s. military cybercommand admits that the u.s. capability to deter such a cyberattack and prevent further escalation remains quote, immature despite the growing threat. >> we clearly are not i think where we need to be where i
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think we want collectively to be. this is still the early stages of cyber in many ways. so we are going to have to work our way through this. >> you heard admiral rogers there saying that he knew and had testified it was only a matter of time before we saw a destructive offensive cyberattack on u.s. soil. what he said he just didn't expect it to be on an american movie company. >> you and i have talked about this at length the attacks purportedly from north korea were met by some sort of cyberattack on north korea, suspected to be the united states. did admiral rogers own up to the u.s. doing that? >> i asked him. he wouldn't answer. there was a smile on his face but he wouldn't answer and he wouldn't talk about offensive operations like that. but one thing he did say that was interesting, i asked him was china more helpful on this than it had been in the past because china of course is a close ally of north korea. he said they had very open conversations with china about
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the threat posed from north korea, particularly the cyberthreat. >> jim, thank you so much. we want to go back to some national headlines now. another wicked winter storm slamming a huge portion of the country. new england, you get a reprieve this time. it's the midwest taking the brunt of this hit. the cold snow and dangerous ice that will cause trouble for much of the week. that's next. mouths are watering, lemons are squeezing and stomachs are growling. or is it just me? every minute between you and red lobster's lobsterfest feels like an eternity. and who could blame you for craving our largest variety of succulent lobster dishes all year? dishes like dueling lobster tails. with one tail topped with creamy shrimp and a second tail stuffed with tender crab. i was hungry already and now you show me lobster lover's dream® let's make this dream a reality. a delicious, delicious reality. but one that won't last forever, so hurry in. my goal was to finally get in shape. not to be focusing again, on my moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis.
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works? works. works! works? works. works. welcome back to "the lead." i am jake tapper. turning to other national news more brutal winter weather whipping its way across the country today. this time slamming the south and middle of the u.s. as it moves toward the atlantic ocean. check out this video out of dallas texas. an suv illustrating just how slick all the sleet and ice have made the roads there. the wintry mix causing major travel issues. nearly 1500 flights canceled across the country just today,
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according to many of them out of that dallas-ft. worth airport, as texas continues to bear the brunt of today's storm. martin savidge joins me from steubenville, texas. what are you seeing out there? >> reporter: jake well it's improved a little bit as the heat of the day has come about but this morning in texas, it was an absolute mess. a winter storm moved in. this is the second storm to strike the south in a week. obviously hitting an area not accustomed regularly to this kind of weather, and as you say, dallas woke up to a mix of sleet, of snow of freezing rain and it shut down just about everything. those who were brave enough to go out on the highways probably wished they had not. there were a number of reports of multiple car pile-ups. you already mentioned the travel problems at dfw and love field. hundreds of flights in and out were canceled there. schools across much of this area were shut down as were government offices and here's the problem, jake. it has thawed as the day has come to a warm 35 but it's
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quickly going to drop below freezing again so everything that's thawed is going to freeze hard overnight and they expect tomorrow morning to be another treacherous commute. >> thank you so much. the calendar says spring is just around the corner but the temperatures nonetheless continue to drop. meteorologist jennifer gray is in the cnn severe weather center. is there any end in sight? i would like to have a catch with my kids at some point. >> i know. luckily spring is less than four weeks away. that's going to be a happy day for a lot of people. but the winter weather is not going away at least for the time being. dallas definitely improving, just like martin said. temperatures are going to drop though, overnight so do be careful for that slush that's on the road will definitely freeze. here's that freezing line and that's right where we are getting that wintry mix. anywhere from dallas earlier today through shreveport along i-20 right where you hit the jackson mark that's where it changes back over to rain.
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well north of that you are getting snow. anything south of that it is just rain. but look at all of these winter weather advisories warnings even into colorado utah getting some much-needed snow i should add, for the ski resorts. we are also looking at the warnings to stretch all the way to south carolina and north carolina. charleston could see freezing rain by the time we get into tomorrow. even portions of north georgia could see a little bit of snow freezing rain and sleet just like we saw last week. right now, we are seeing the sleet, the freezing rain north louisiana, southern arkansas. it will start to fizzle out a little bit, then pick back up again by tomorrow morning. looks like north of atlanta we could see some snow that will stretch into eastern tennessee, western north carolina and pushing offshore quickly. that's one component. the second component, temperatures. it is going to be very very cold. this arctic push of air is going to pull on in. 30 to 40 degrees below average in portions of texas, arkansas northwest louisiana as we get
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over into the carolinas, 10 to 20 degrees below average. in the northeast, you are not escaping this. temperatures will be 20 to 30 degrees below normal by tomorrow morning. when you factor in the wind chill, it will feel like five to 15 degrees below normal in boston and that stretches all the way down to portions of providence, hartford connecticut, you could set a record tomorrow morning. when you factor in the wind chill, actual temperatures will feel like 20 degrees below normal in albany buffalo, you will feel like 19 below. d.c. it will feel like 14 degrees tomorrow morning. >> i'm looking forward to -- we are used to it though. 30 to 40 degrees below normal in texas, that's the crazy stuff. i want to ask you, the weather has made travel a real mess now for weeks. can we look forward to flights getting back to normal any time soon? >> you know this is going to be the first week in about four weeks that the northeast hasn't seen significant snow. so that's good for travel in the
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northeast. dallas a lot of flights disrupted today. they should be picking up tomorrow. playing catch-up i'm sure about 1500 flights canceled today, but as this pushes out, dallas will continue to improve tomorrow. things will get back on track. >> from your lips. jennifer gray thank you so much. from russia with love. this missile on display in russia with a special message for president obama. what does it say and what does it mean for the fighting in ukraine? plus the passion and politics at last night's oscars but does celebrity advocacy onstage ever actually change anything? the red carpet revolutionaries when we come back.
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the real question that needs to be asked is "what is it that we can do that is impactful?" what the cloud enables is computing to empower cancer researchers. it used to take two weeks to sequence and analyze a genome; with the microsoft cloud we can analyze 100 per day.
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whatever i can do to help compute a cure for cancer, that's what i'd like to do. most of the products we all buy are transported on container ships. before a truck delivers it to your store, a container ship delivered it to that truck. here in san diego, we're building the first one ever to run on natural gas. ships this big running this clean will be much better for the environment. we're proud to be a part of that.
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in a sport where your name and maybe a number are what define you. somewhere in that pack is a driver that can intimidate the intimidator. a guy that can take the king 7 and make it 8. heck. maybe even 9. make no mistake about it. they're out there. i guarantee it. welcome to the nascar xfinity series. welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. in more world news in new video from ukraine, we see heavy military weapons patrolling the streets at times set the a sound track of shelling and explosions. this is apparently what a so-called cease-fire looks like. we are about a week into the european brokered peace deal yet all signs point to a violent
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crisis that shows no signs of slowing down between the ukrainian military and pro-russian separatists as well as the russian military. the ongoing violence did not stop thousands from gathering in donetsk for a traditional soviet holiday celebrating the russian army similar celebrations of course also took place in russia where amid the sea of soviet flags and russian flags and patriotic signs came this disturbing message to the united states. it's a missile inscribed with the words quote, to be personally delivered to obama and written in russian, of course. we noticed this image when the former u.s. ambassador to russia tweeted it out, adding wow. let's go live to cnn's dieannea magnate in donetsk. what's the situation now? >> reporter: that's right, jake. it was a fairly quiet day, but the last few hours there has been some shelling around the outskirts of the city.
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it was a lot louder and closer a few hours ago and it's strange because the last few nights the shelling has mostly been around donetsk airport. but this time it was coming from different locations. it follows a pattern. there has been continued artillery shelling in several hot spots around the town of debaltseve where there was that huge fight last week after the cease-fire was broken. here in donetsk, still and down on the southern coast. so it doesn't feel much of a cease-fire from where i'm standing. that's the reason why the ukrainian military says it hasn't begun the process of withdrawing the heavy weaponry. monitors have been asking for an inventory of weapons from both sides and that they start detailing how they are going to pull that weaponry back but with the fighting still ongoing, that process hasn't started yet. >> we showed that picture of that missile, that russian missile inscribed with the threatening message to president obama. the context of course is that the russian propaganda machine
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is blaming this entire conflict on the united states as opposed to putin wanting more territory, and i guess it seems to be working in russia. >> reporter: the propaganda machine is a very slick thing, and it has certainly managed to push that particular message, and it comes right from the beginning, right from the start in kiev there were rumors and murmurings coming from russia that this was orchestrated by the u.s. you had the russian foreign minister lavrov saying to the u.s. security council that the united states was behind the root cause of all problems in ukraine and the middle east and you hear it here on the streets of donetsk. i spoke to somebody today who said most people here think that ukraine is simply at war because of the u.s. and russia. so it's a very very strong propaganda message that has trickled down very forcefully to the people on the ground and it
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denies the ukrainians having any kind of agency or desire to stand up as a nation on their own two feet with western intentions which is clearly what russia doesn't want to see. jake? >> thank you so much. stay safe. wolf blitzer is here with a preview of "the situation room." you are going to be going over the shopping mall threat from al shabab with the former chairman of the house homeland security committee, peter king. >> peter king. then later, i will speak with jen psaki, state department spokes woman. she will join us as well. what i'm anxious to try to figure out, are we going to have to have metal detectors at shopping malls across the united states. if you go to europe major shopping malls have metal detectors. tel aviv there are metal detectors. we used to not have them at airports or sporting events. you go to a wizards game at verizon center or madison square garden you have to go through metal detectors. will that happen at shopping malls here in the united states? like all of us, we are really
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concerned about what's going on. >> a few weeks ago, i had jeh johnson, secretary of the department of homeland security same day as an npr report in which they said homeland security was considering not allowing any passengers to bring on any carry-on luggage and i asked jeh johnson if that was true. i expected him to just say no that's not going to happen. he wouldn't touch it one way or the other. he wouldn't deny it at all. obviously everything is up in the air. wolf thank you so much. appreciate it. look forward to "the situation room" in eight minutes. coming up next, some were wearing valentineovalentino, others wearing politics on their sleeves. in between the back patting, the academy awards got powerful. the messages pushed coming nupup in the pop culture lead. across america people, like basketball hall of famer dominique wilkins, are taking charge of their type 2 diabetes... ...with non-insulin victoza. for a while, i took a pill to lower my blood sugar but it didn't get me to my goal. so i asked my doctor about victoza. he said victoza works differently than pills and comes in a pen.
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our money lead. the oscars is a night where hollywood goes all out and millions of americans tune in. this year the star-studded event did bring in far fewer viewers than had been hoped, 36.6 million, to be exact. for reference, that's down about 10% from last year when ellen hosted and the lowest number since 2009. so while the show was relatively lighter on viewers, it was heavy on gold and glitz and glamour and politics. it isn't exactly news that hollywood, shall we say, leans a bit to the left but this year's speeches seemed to bring more outright activism than we have seen from that stage in more than two decades. the 2015 academy awards had everything hollywood loves. paparazzi, pageantry and politics. >> it's our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the united states of america.
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>> i just pray they can be treated with the same dignity and respect of the ones who came before and build this incredible immigrant nation. >> there are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850. >> reporter: with a massive audience the stars dove head-first into pushing their progressive politics. but like so much else put out by hollywood, this isn't new. marlon brando in 1973 sent an activist up to decline his best actor award in protest for how native americans were portrayed in the movies. >> he will very regretfully not accept this very generous award. >> reporter: the anti-vietnam war film "hearts and minds" won for best documentary in 1975 and the producer burt schneider, read a cable from the vietcong. that statement led to an on-air apology by co-host frank sinatra. >> the academy is saying quote, we are not responsible for any
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political references on this program and we are sorry that they had to take place this evening. >> reporter: michael moore's 2003 win for bowling for columbine turned into a rant against the bush administration. >> our democracy was hijacked and there's a squatter on federal land at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. >> reporter: in 2009 sean penn won best actor for "milk" and told critics of same sex marriage that they need to reflect on their great shame if they continue to hold those opinions. liberal politics notwithstanding, some conservatives this year note that the people of the united states have voted on best picture. their pick is "american sniper" which has racked up more than $400 million at the box office so far. though it only won one award last night, for sound editing. >> "american sniper." >> movie star remember? >> reporter: hollywood's pick was the third show biz related film to win a best picture oscar in four years.
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"birdman," an artistic film about an over the hill actor who fears irrelevance. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. turning you over now to mr. wolf blitzer, who is next door in "the situation room." thanks for watching. happening now, terror at the mall. a heightened alert after an al qaeda ally calls for an attack in the heart of america. homeland security calls for vigilance. how safe are you? growing threat. a brutal new isis video shows prisoners being paraded in cages as america's new defense chief convenes an urgent summit to review antiterror strategy. and ice emergency is affecting millions across the south, knocking out power, making roads treacherous and grounding hundreds of flights. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." breaking now, a chilling new threat from a brutal al qa


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