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Explosion and Gunfire in Central Kabul; Republicans Discuss Brokered Convention; "China's Warren Buffett" Is Missing; Syrian Refugees Arrive to Warm Welcome in Canada; Divers Search Lake Near San Bernardino Shooting; "Star Wars" Insights from "Han Solo" Himself; Long-Lost Disney Film Revived. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired December 11, 2015 - 10:00   ET



ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST (voice-over): Hi, there, thanks for joining us, I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN Center.

I want to bring you up to date on that breaking news, an uncertain situation unfolding right now in Kabul, Afghanistan, where about an hour

ago we received the first reports of an extremely large explosion followed by sounds of gunfire.


CURNOW (voice-over): These are the first pictures we're getting from the scene. It's nighttime there, as you can see; heavy security on the

streets. Now this is happening in a high-profile neighborhood in the capital, in the center and one that's normally highly secured.

It's an area where many foreign embassies are located and where a large number of expatriates live, work and eat. I want to be clear, there's not

a lot we know right now but, as you can see, real concerns, security concerns, in Kabul.

Now the Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack. A Taliban spokesman says the suicide attack started on a guest house in the Sherpur

neighborhood. We have a journalist in the area and we will get him on the line as soon as possible.



CURNOW (voice-over): In the meantime also want to update you on another developing story here at CNN. It's been a tough day for the world's

financial markets. Take a look at that. The Dow, triple-digit losses on the last day of the trading week. Concerns about falling energy prices and

trouble in the junk bond market in the U.S. are weighing on investors. Markets are also down in Europe and Asia.


CURNOW: Well, our Maggie Lake is in New York, hi, there, Maggie.

What's happening?

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Robyn, not the kind of Friday you want to see right at the start. It looks like it's going to be

bruising and it is about energy and commodities.

We all like when energy prices are low if it helps petrol and gasoline prices at the pump but the energy sector, an important part of the economy,

including here in the U.S., we see those energy companies suffering, investors concerned about them cutting budgets, what will happen to their


So that part of the market has been taking a hit and it's not just limited to equities, a lot of energy companies went to the U.S. junk bond market to

raise funds when they were drilling their holes and fracking and getting all that oil onto the market. The junk bond market has been feeling pain

for months now and we're seeing the first casualty of that today.

In mutual fund -- not a hedge fund, a mutual fund liquidating, not clear when investors are going to get their money back, so you put all that

together and you have just a nervous market, where investors are looking to hit the sell button.

Can we recover?

Possibly; may not happen today. And keep in mind, it's a percent and a half and we're still pretty much even on the year. So this is not a

disaster but certainly a tough way to start the Friday trading session.

CURNOW: Indeed. And there's also a huge merger today, I understand.

LAKE: That's right. It's confirmation of one that we heard about, again, these are companies that are struggling in a new environment, Dow and

DuPont, two big chemical companies. But their businesses are changing, agriculture products, the pricing there as well, so they are combining so

that they can spin into three separate companies and target the growth areas and try to move away from some of those legacy businesses that are in


So all around, you know, it's a tough environment if you're in the part of the market where you're exposed to commodities, exposed to slowing China

and developing.

Better for some of the others but we haven't seen that yet. But remember, we're heading into the holiday season, one of my colleagues pointing out

sometimes we get that year-end rally, just doesn't come until the end of the year. So it may be an opportunity. But right now people look like

they're more cautious than willing to take any kind of risk -- Robyn.

CURNOW: And of course, the markets still eyeing on whether there's going to be an interest rate hike in the U.S.


LAKE: That's right. We got some retail sales out here in the U.S. today, didn't really change anyone's thinking, we have a very important Federal

Reserve meeting next week, we think that they're going to hike rates, very unlikely even with this turmoil they would want to turn tail, a lot of

people think that would be confusing for investors.

But what do they say when they hike rates?

Do they do it very gently and say that they are going to really be one and done and they're going to take their time and it's not going to be the

start of a series of moves?

If they sound dovish, if they sound like that is the message they are putting out there, it could actually be positive because people get it out

of the way the first time in a long time and they can look at the future.

But we still don't know how developing nations are going to respond to that. So there is a little bit of concern out there but a lot of people

just want to get it out of the way right now.

CURNOW: Maggie Lake in New York, updating us on that situation, the Dow down over 220 points.

Thanks, Maggie.


CURNOW: Well, take us, I want to take us back to that situation in Kabul, Afghanistan, where we know there's been a loud explosion and ongoing

gunfire in a highly fortified part of the area, an area of embassies and Western hotels.

For more, we're joined on the phone by Sune Engel Rasmussen, a journalist working in the capital.

What do you see, what are you hearing?


CURNOW: Hi, there.

SUNE ENGEL RASMUSSEN, JOURNALIST: Hi. Yes, I'm close to the scene of the explosion. The explosion happened probably an hour and a half ago now.

There's nothing being confirmed from police, from officials, but there's a lot of talk here that the target might have been the Spanish embassy. I

can't confirm that. The Spanish embassy is close to here and there's still a clearing operation going on, very slowly. There's a lot of police, a lot

of soldiers around. They're still moving into the area.

Everything's pretty quiet at the moment but there is sporadic gunfire from time to time. It seems there was a car bomb that detonated in front of

whatever the target was.

And, as is often the case with attacks like this, there might be gunmen holed up inside the building, which security forces are now trying to


CURNOW: Indeed. You're right, I know you're on the scene there, sometimes difficult to get reports and even access social media, for example, or e-

mail. But we're hearing a Taliban spokesperson, saying a suicide attack started on a guest house in the Sherpur area -- obviously, that's where you


This is -- again, we don't know if there's an ongoing shooter or shooters but, as you say, this is also just another example of an increasingly

worrying security situation in Afghanistan.

RASMUSSEN: Yes, definitely. This is one of the most secure areas of the city and also a place where there's a lot of high-profile targets and the

Taliban and other insurgents have carried out attacks in this part of the city before, often quite spectacular attacks to try and get a lot of


And actually, often in the winter when the fighting season in the province has sort of died down a little bit, then they move to the city and have

these big attacks that get a lot of media attention and remind foreigners and the government that they are still able to carry out attacks in the

heart of Kabul.

So this is a reminder for people that there's still a war going on and the government forces have still a big challenge ahead of them in terms of

keeping the capital safe.

CURNOW: Yes. Understand, I think one of the government leaders lives in that area at least. We're hearing from an interior ministry spokesperson

that seven Afghans have been wounded. No details if there are any fatalities.

Also just give us a sense, and I know you're talking about this but what is important is there was also this massive, also quite spectacular attack in

Kandahar at the airport complex there in the last 24-48 hours, particularly also targeting -- and there has been a pattern of targeting Afghan security


RASMUSSEN: Sorry, what was the last part of the question?

I couldn't hear you.

CURNOW: I said there's been a very concerted effort to target Afghan security forces, why?

RASMUSSEN: Yes, well, first of all, because that's the main enemy in the Taliban war. But I think there's a lot of attacks going on at the moment

because the Taliban wants to assert themselves, they want to show they are still a military strength to be reckoned with.

You know, the big capture of a northern city called Kunduz a couple months ago was really -- rattled security forces here and the attack in Kandahar

and the attack also comes at a time when the Afghan government has sent their delegation, including the president, to Pakistan to participate in a

regional conference there.

And also comes at a time when there's a lot of internal strife within the Taliban, where its new leader, Mullah Mansoor, is trying to assert his

authority. So all those things come together and it's a prudent time for the Taliban to carry out these attacks.

CURNOW: Sune Engel Rasmussen, thank you so much for your analysis and your information there on the ground in Kabul. We will come back to you if we

get any more details.

Well, still to come here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK, a final decision for humanity and Mother Nature. That's what U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

is pushing for, putting pressure on the delegates at the Paris climate summit. A live report on the final stumbling blocks and where we could see

a deal over the weekend.

Will it make a difference?





CURNOW: To U.S. politics now. As the Republican Party explores its options and looks toward a rare move for its presidential convention next

summer, this after front-runner Donald Trump earlier this week proposed banning all Muslims from entering the United States.

We'll explore the domestic fallout over that plan in just a moment.

But first I want to remind you of Donald Trump's comments to CNN, he says he's not Islamophobic.


DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: As you know, I have many friends who are Muslims, they are phenomenal people. They are so happy at what I'm doing.

I was called by three people today, very big. They said you are doing a tremendous service.


CURNOW: Well, one of Trump's friends who doesn't agree with that view is the head of Qatar Airways, the CEO says he's offended by a call for a

Muslim ban and could hurt Trump's own interests in the long run.


AKBAR AL BAKER, CEO, QATAR AIRWAYS: He's also not realizing that he has investments in Muslim countries and will not be welcome there anymore, so I

think what he's saying is not in the best interest of the relationship between him and the Muslim world.


CURNOW: OK. That's the global fallout.

In the meantime, in the U.S. we're getting an idea of how Americans feel about Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country. An

NBC "Wall Street Journal" poll shows that 42 percent of Republican voters questioned say they favor the plan, 36 percent oppose it; however, when the

question was put to Americans of both parties, more than half said they're against it while 25 percent support it.

Well, for more on all of this, I want to bring in MJ Lee of CNN Politics, she joins us from our New York bureau.

Hi, there, MJ.

Months ago Republicans hoped that this process of choosing a candidate would be swift and painless. But now one Republican has told "The

Washington Post" that this process is going to be like "The Hunger Games."


MJ LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Robyn. More signs that this could end up being a very long and protracted primary race. The fact that

Republican top leaders had a meeting this week, in which the issue of a brokered convention came up, that just says everything.

Just to remind voters, a brokered convention happens when not one candidate is able to get the majority of delegates right away. This would be a

headache -- and that would not be an overstatement for the Republican Party. They want it to be swift; they want Republican --


LEE: -- voters and the base to feel like there's one leader that is really capturing the votes and the support.

So having a situation where there's a brokered convention is really not ideal. And it really goes to show just how big the Republican Party and

the field and the number of candidates are. This cycle is very unusual; we could have a situation where we have more than a dozen Republican

candidates actually participating in the primaries.

CURNOW: Yes, I mean, just a few months ago the sort of brokered convention theory was sort of a fanciful concept, wasn't it. But now it seems they

are reviewing at least seriously the possibility of it.

This meeting, it wasn't a secret meeting about that possibility. But the fact is, is that this still is now starting to be a possibility.

LEE: Yes, and certainly something that Republican leaders want to be prepared for because it's a possibility. But as you said, this was not

some secret meeting planned specifically to discuss this issue. But it's an issue that's come up, so it shows that it's on the minds of many

Republican leaders.

CURNOW: MJ Lee in New York, thanks so much.

LEE: Thank you.

CURNOW: Well, negotiators in Paris have been working through the night to draft a climate deal. Despite their efforts, it looks like there won't be

any agreement until Saturday. CNN digital columnist John Sutter joins us now from the French capital.

You've been there all along, nearly two weeks.

Is there still optimism, clearly?

JOHN SUTTER, CNN DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: There's still some optimism hanging on but these talks have been delayed and I guess that has people a

little bit worried. I think the major sticking point now is how these countries divide themselves in terms of how much they are contributing to

cutting back on their pollution.

The goal here, of course, is to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius or even below that. We've seen more ambitious targets emerge during these talks,

which has been quite surprising.

I have talked to some people who say that this process, while extremely significant, may not be enough to hit those targets on its own and

technologists like Bill Gates -- I met him the other day here -- are saying that more research and development needs to be done in order to actually

attain those targets.


BILL GATES, ENTREPRENEUR: I'll mention one that's still at an early stage and very risky and that's taking the sun and directly making fuel. And

even though it may not work, there's some labs, particularly at Cal Tech, Professor Lewis (ph), who ha e made some progress on that.

It's magical, because if you can make the liquid hydrocarbon, the gasoline- type substance, you can always store that and move it around. We know how to do that, so you avoid this storage intermittency (ph) problem. That's

really the toughest thing right now about wind and solar.


SUTTER: So you heard Bill Gates say this technology is magic, he's putting, you know, along with other investors, billions into looking into

the future of clean energy technology. And we'll see sort of how all these discussions and all of this pressure on this negotiation process, how that

actually plays out here in Paris over the next coming hours, really.

CURNOW: So as it comes down to the wire, obviously, the question is, have they gone far enough?

But also who are the winners and losers in this deal?

You've kind of got a sense where this is going.

Who's going to benefit the most, besides humanity?


SUTTER: So I think that's a really good question, right? I think all of us stand to benefit from a deal here.

I think this is a hugely significant event. I don't think you can overstate how crucial it is.

And if it did fall apart and a deal isn't signed, I think that would be fairly catastrophic for the movement to get us off of fossil fuels and to a

cleaner economy. I think the real moral story here in Paris is about the Marshall Islands and the other Pacific Island states.

We've seen the foreign minister, Tony de Brum, from the Marshall Islands, emerge as this fairly central figure in this international stage from a

very small island country that could disappear if sea levels rise as much as is expected with 2 degrees of warming.

So he's really been at the forefront of this newly formed, high-ambition coalition is what they are calling themselves, they're pushing for the most

ambitious climate targets possible and basically they're doing that to save their own country.

He actually put out a press release early, early this morning, saying he wants to be able to go back to the Marshall Islands and tell people that

they still have hope that their country could survive. So the stakes here are clearly very high and we'll see soon how this all ends up going.

CURNOW: OK, we'll come to you with any more developments, John Sutter there in Paris, appreciate it.

Just 2 degrees, as John was saying, a special section of our website looks at the huge impact this small change can bring. Take the quiz to see how

much you know about the issue. Find out why beef is awful for the global climate and tell us what you want to see us cover. It's all at

Next, he's worth more than $7 billion and now the man known as China's Warren Buffett has disappeared. Why this missing executive could be

connected to a government crackdown.





CURNOW: Welcome back, I'm Robyn Curnow.

In China, one of the country's richest executives is missing. "Forbes" reports that Guo Guangcheng's net worth is more than $7 billion. The

tycoon owns Club Med, Cirque du Soleil and the Chase Manhattan Plaza in New York.

Well CNN's Asia Pacific editor, Andrew Stevens, has more on the missing mogul.


ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA PACIFIC EDITOR: He's the Chinese billionaire often compared to Warren Buffett, the founder and chairman of one of the

country's largest privately owned conglomerates. And it seems that he's missing.

A reputable Chinese business publication, "Caixin," says Fosun has been unable to reach Guo Guangchang since noon on Thursday. "Caixin" is also

reporting that he was seen being led away by police at Shanghai airport.

Now CNN contacted Fosun's offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong as well as authorities in Shanghai but didn't get any responses.

What we do know is shares of two Fosun companies that trade in Hong Kong have been halted. There's no mention, though, of Guo in the stock exchange


Fosun is involved in a wide range of businesses inside and outside China. It owns insurance companies, including Portugal's biggest, as well as

pharmaceutical companies, it also owns the resort chain Club Med and has a stake in Cirque du Soleil. Now Guo is the 11th richest person in China,

that's according to "Forbes," worth nearly $7 billion.

Now to many this would appear an extraordinary and event bizarre event but he's not the first executive to go missing in recent weeks.


STEVENS (voice-over): The company's biggest brokerage said on Sunday that it hasn't been able to get in touch with two of its top executives and the

Hong Kong arm of another top Chinese --


STEVENS (voice-over): -- brokerage says it hasn't heard from its CEO since November the 18th.

Now despite all that, both brokers insist that operations are normal.


STEVENS: But since the bursting of the bubble in China's stock markets during the summer, business has been anything but normal, as authorities

hunt down those they say were responsible for that meltdown -- Andrew Stevens, CNN, Hong Kong.


CURNOW: Thanks, Andrew, for that report.

Well, offering jackets, teddy bears and a warm welcome, Canada's new prime minister was on hand to greet and to help the first group of Syrian

refugees arriving into that country.




TRUDEAU: Looks pretty good.

CURNOW (voice-over): A warm coat certainly essential in Canada. These are the first of 15,000 war refugees expected there before the end of February.


CURNOW: Now to the glitz and glamor at Sweden's prestigious Nobel banquet, 1,300 guests filled Stockholm's city hall for the festivities.

Just look at these pictures, many of them royalty, aristocrats and political notables, as well as the prize winners. The white tie and tails

gala has been held there since 1930. Guests dined on veal wrapped in mushrooms or scallops with sea plants.

Chefs worked for weeks to prepare the menu that was kept secret until minutes before the banquet.


CURNOW: And I wouldn't have wanted to lay that table.

Well, still ahead, neither of the San Bernardino attackers were on the FBI's radar but now the FBI is saying that Syed Farook possibly had contact

with a terror cell that was broken up a few years ago.





CURNOW: Hi, there. A lot of news this hour. Let's get you caught up to date on the headlines.


CURNOW: Divers are searching a lake in San Bernardino for evidence from the deadly shooting rampage last week. CNN's Ana Cabrera is there and

joins me now live.

Let's just talk about that lake first.

What are they looking for?

What do they think they are going to find?

ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, we are just seeing these divers arrive back on scene this morning, the sun just rising here in San

Bernardino. And you can see they are suiting up right now, preparing to go back in to scour the murky water of this lake, where we understand they've

received a lead or a tip, that the shooters involved in last week's terrorist attacks here in the U.S. may have been in this area, at this park

on the day of the shooting.

Investigators right now are not saying exactly what they will be looking for, only that they are looking for any evidence that may be linked to the


We do know that investigators still have not found that missing hard drive from the computer at the couple's home and that, of course, could be a huge

piece of this investigation in trying to determine the digital footprint and who may have influenced these two attackers prior to the attack.

We're also learning this morning, Robyn, some new developments regarding one of the attackers, Syed Farook, and whether he may have been connected

in some way to a terror cell that was broken up here in the U.S. in California about three years ago.


CABRERA (voice-over): This was 2012, investigators determined four people and arrested four men for trying to go to Afghanistan to blow up a U.S.

military base and fight with the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces there against U.S. forces.

Now, apparently Farook is believed to have been in the same social circle as the recruiter of that terror cell, and so investigators are going back,

trying to track all the connections of these two killers.

We're also knowing, of course, that the 2012 was the year that Syed Farook's friend, Enrique Marquez, has told investigators he and Farook were

planning an attack of some sort of their own here in the U.S.

And Enrique Marquez is the man who sold Farook two of the weapons that were used in last week's San Bernardino attack. He is still under investigation

and has not been arrested at this time -- Robyn.


CURNOW: Thanks so much, Ana Cabrera there, at that lake where FBI divers are looking for clues. Thank you so much.

Well, still ahead at the IDESK, so much anticipation, so many questions, like does Luke go dark?

We'll preview the release of the new "Star Wars" movie and try to pry some answers from Han Solo himself.






CURNOW (voice-over): The highly anticipated movie, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," hits theaters next week. It has its world premiere in Los

Angeles on Monday. This is such a big event for fans around the globe, fans can live stream the red carpet.


CURNOW: CNN's Isha Sesay sat down with Han Solo himself, actor Harrison Ford, to talk about the movie and how it felt to put on that famous Solo

swagger again after so many years. Here's some of that conversation.


ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You've done so much since the original film, so much time has passed. But I wonder whether coming back to this

character, whether it's almost like muscle memory.

HARRISON FORD, ACTOR, "HAN SOLO": It is, you know, part of it is that muscle memory. But you put on the clothes of the character; you remember

the gait of the character, the swagger of the character. It's all, you know, it's -- it comes back. It comes back.

SESAY: How has Han changed?

I know there's not a lot you can tell me, you may have to kill me first. But imagine that was --

FORD: I'd have to kill you after I told you, and then I'd want to kill myself.

He's certainly 30 years older. There's no attempt to soften that blow. The story involved some of the changes in his understanding of the world.

SESAY: Are you ready for the latest round of fandom?

FORD: You know, I'm delighted. I hope the film is successful, as, you know, as it can be. I'm ready for whatever comes.


CURNOW: Lucky Isha there.

Well, talking about classics, a long-lost piece of Disney magic is coming out of the shadows. It's called "Sleigh Bells" and it's been found deep in

the archives of the British Film Institute after being forgotten for decades. A restored version will be screened for the first time on

Saturday in London. Kellie Morgan got a preview.



KELLIE MORGAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For decades, unacknowledged and unaccounted for, tucked away among over a million film and television

titles at the British Film Institute's national archive was the long lost Disney film, "Sleigh Bells."

A 6-minute silent film starring Oswald the Rabbit was spotted by a Disney researcher after the institute placed its entire database online.

The missing work, identified as one of the 26 Oswald titles from the early 20th century, is the original big-eared creation of Walt Disney.

ROBIN BAKER, HEAD CURATOR, BRITISH NATIONAL ARCHIVE: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is absolutely essential to the Disney story. You could say possibly

there wouldn't have been a Mickey Mouse without Oswald.

What I think is really interesting, is where if you do the kind of compare and contrast of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit alongside Mickey Mouse, you see

real similarities.


BAKER: You'll see a visual style that's very much the beginning of the kind of shaping of Mickey Mouse.

MORGAN (voice-over): Destined for the rubbish dump, the piece was being thrown away by a London film company and, had it not been added to the

BFI's archive, it would have certainly been lost forever.

Even though preserved in specially cooled vaults, there's still a level of nervousness for archivers opening something for the first time in years.

JEZ STEWART, ANIMATION CURATOR, BRITISH NATIONAL ARCHIVE: When we pulled the can off the shelf, you're apprehensive because you really hope it is

what you think it is. And then you start to unwind it, late it onto the winding bench and start to see some of those frames, you take out your

magnifier, you look closer, that's Oswald.

And that's when you -- like it's a relief because it is what you think it is but there's something very different between rolling through a stream of

film and seeing the minute differences by frame, by frame, by frame and then suddenly everything is living on the big screen.

In some ways, relating that, almost the very small film strip itself and the tiny images to that living image on the big screen is always magical.

MORGAN (voice-over): A magic that has sparked huge interest in the short rediscovered film, almost 90 years since it was last seen, this long-lost

Christmas movie will play to a new generation of cinemagoers -- Kellie Morgan, CNN, London.


CURNOW: Such simple images but so compelling. Thanks to Kellie for that report.

Well, that does it here for us at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Robyn Curnow. "WORLD SPORT" is up next.