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Israeli Police Searching for Gunman; New Putin Security Strategy Considers NATO a Threat; Pope's New Year's Day Message; Deaths, Homes Destroyed in Manila Fire. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired January 1, 2016 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST: Hi, there, you're watching CNN. I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN Center. Of course, we want to bring you up to date on the
shooting in Tel Aviv. It's unclear, according to authorities, whether this is a political or criminal act.
But we do know in Tel Aviv police are still on the search for suspects, a man wearing black apparently killed at least two people.
You're watching CNN.
CURNOW: Well, you've been watching CNN breaking news coverage on the shooting in Tel Aviv and of course we'll continue to follow that story,
bring you any updates. I'm Robyn Curnow. This is the INTERNATIONAL DESK. For now, we're going to bring you other news from around the world.
And a New Year, a new wary outlook from Russia's president. Vladimir Putin has singled out NATO expansion as a threat in an updated security strategy.
Mr. Putin signed the document Thursday that accuses the NATO alliance of illegally extending its reach. Relations between NATO and Russia has
deteriorated over the conflict in Ukraine.
Let's get more on this from our senior international correspondent, Matthew Chance, live in Moscow.
Hi, there, Matt. I mean, Putin's frustration and anger at NATO expansion is nothing new. It's rankled him for years now.
Does this new security document change the Russian response?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, I don't think so. I think it just formalizes what we've been hearing from Russian
officials, from Vladimir Putin down, for the past several years, about their concerns about NATO and about its expansion towards the east into
areas that were Russia perhaps sees as its own sphere of influence.
You know, it's putting down formally that statement. After all, I mean, it was the fact that Russia and the West have been at odds over NATO expansion
for some time now is nothing new. I mean, it was the prospect of Ukraine perhaps joining NATO back in 2014, that led -- was one of the reasons why
Russia annexed Crimea. It's got an important naval base there. It didn't want it to come under the auspices of NATO.
And so it was one of the driving forces that led Russia to annex Crimea from Ukraine. And so it's been a long-held position back in 2014 as well.
Russia updated its sort of military strategy statement. It's got --- it's a bureaucracy, remember. It's got these various official documents that it
updates formally constitutionally every few years.
This national security document has to be updated every six years where it officially states what the threats are to the country.
Back in 2014, it updated its military doctrine as well to bring into -- to take into account the fact that NATO has expanded eastwards and is getting
very close to Russia's borders and --
CHANCE: -- therefore, in the words of that document, represented an external threat to Russia. And so it's something that they've long talked
about and this finally puts it down in this formal document.
CURNOW: OK. You kind of mentioned it. This is a lot about Mr. Putin wanting the West to acknowledge perhaps Russia's rights to treat some of
its post-Soviet neighbors as part of its sphere of influence.
Will this now make some former Eastern European nations more nervous or has this just sort of become the new normal?
CHANCE: Again, I think it solidifies what we already knew about Russia's very tetchy relationship, particularly over NATO expansion, with the West.
It's -- over the past couple of years, I think it's safe to say that Russia has probably drawn a line or likes to see itself as having drawn a line in
the sand when it comes to further NATO expansion. Sorting out a lot of countries that were previously Soviet countries, such as in the Baltics,
Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, for example, that are on Russia's borders that have joined the NATO military alliance.
Russia often brings up this idea that the end of the Cold War, a deal was done with the West, with NATO, for it not to expand into areas that were
Russia's sphere of influence that were previously under the wing, if you like, of the Russians and of the Soviet Union.
They've seen NATO expansion. And it's expanded a lot since the end of the Cold War back in the early 1990s. As a violation of that understanding and
now Russia is feeling increasingly strong, its military has had a lot of investment over recent years. And so it wants that expansion to stop and
it's going out of its way to try and make that happen.
CURNOW: Indeed. It's going to be an interesting year, isn't it, to see how this perhaps plays out in a geopolitical sphere.
Thanks so much, Matt Chance. As always, thank you very much. And Happy New Year.
Well, German officials say there are no indications a terror attack could take place in Munich in the coming days.
Two train stations were closed New Year's Eve after police received what they say were credible threats. Both were evacuated. But they reopened
after about eight hours and security forces there were reduced. Now the threat spurred a massive manhunt for up to seven possible suspects with
alleged links to ISIS.
You're at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. It was his first message of the year and, as usual, Pope Francis was straight talking, calling on people to
What else did he say this New Year's Day?
We'll go to Rome after the break. Stay with us.
CURNOW: Hi, there, everyone. I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN Center.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW (voice-over): Now Pope Francis not straying far from his familiar calls for people to combat injustice and violence in the world. He
delivered his first message of the New Year earlier at the Vatican.
There he is.
The pontiff spoke of a torrent of misery in front of these crowds. Well, let's bring in senior Vatican analyst John Allen from Rome for more on what
the pope said.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Hi, John. He spoke about indifference, a false neutrality.
What does that mean?
JOHN ALLEN, CNN SR. VATICAN ANALYST: Hi, there, Robyn. Happy New Year to you. As we would say here in Rome, Buon Anno.
Yes, the pope today delivered -- has already delivered a couple of messages. He celebrated a mass this morning in honor of Mary, the mother
of God, in which he said, yes, there is a torrent of misery in the world but there is also what he called an ocean of mercy that is often
underacknowledged and unappreciated but also part of the situation.
Then later at noon, he delivered his traditional New Year's Day message, very much focused on the theme of peace, saying that the enemy of peace is
not just war, it's also indifference, the kind of indifference that closes us off to one another and sort of causes us to think only about ourselves.
And that's what he meant when he talked about a false neutrality. He meant that you can't be neutral when there are people in need, when there are
people who are suffering. You have to stand with them. That was very much the heart of his message here today -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Indeed. He talked about indifference of sharing. Let's talk about Pope Francis himself. I looked back with some colleagues over the
years and I mean, I really do think he was one of the most compelling personalities in 2015.
Quite a rock star, wasn't he?
What's 2016 going to be like for him and for the church?
ALLEN: Well, first of all, Robyn, let's be clear. He has said he doesn't like being called a rock star or a superman.
ALLEN: From a media point of view, that's clearly what he is. 2016 is going to be an extraordinary year for Francis. Aside from the fact that
the entire year has been set aside by him to be devoted to the theme of mercy, and there's going to be a special jubilee with a whole series of
events, major events here in Rome, he's going to be traveling to Mexico and to Poland.
He's got a big decision coming up in February, trying to draw conclusions from two tumultuous summons of Catholic bishops from around the world that
he convened on issues related to the family, such as communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, what kind of language the church ought to use to
talk about gays and lesbians and so on.
It's going to be another jam-packed year. And look, from one level, Robyn, you would think that all of that activity that we had seen might be wearing
him down but no sign of that.
Last night for New Year's Eve, he met with about 6,000 members of youth choirs from around the world and joked with them through the night, telling
them at one stage he didn't like to sing himself because he was afraid he would sound like a donkey.
So no sign he's losing his sense of humor -- Robyn.
CURNOW: No, indeed, I mean, he did. He looked strong. This has been quite a rigorous winter season for him. Certainly didn't get time to put
his feet up, did he.
As always, though, John Allen, thanks so much and, yes, hope you have a great 2016 for yourself.
Well, I'm Robyn Curnow. You're watching CNN. Much more news after the break.
CURNOW: Welcome back.
Well, flood warnings remain in place across the U.K. More bad weather could hamper efforts to clean up the already extensive flooding there. Now
the U.K. Environment Agency says more than 7,000 homes have been flooded in the last week. Residents were forced to evacuate storm-affected towns.
What would normally be a month's worth of rain fell in just one day in some areas. Prime Minister David Cameron has called the flooding, quote,
And floodwaters have also been causing serious problems through the midsection of the U.S. There's a threat that some levees could break just
north of St. Louis, Missouri, due to heavy rains.
Meantime, water has submerged neighborhoods and schools and carried off whole houses. The Red Cross is opening shelters in Missouri in order to
accommodate the thousands of residents evacuating storm-hit areas.
A massive fire in the Philippines has destroyed more than 1,000 homes. We're told fireworks may have sparked it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW (voice-over): Look at these images, devastating. One person was killed. Hundreds of others have been injured. For the latest, I want to
bring in Richard Gordon, the chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross.
Hi, there, sir. These images, devastating.
Do we know for sure that this was fireworks that sparked this off?
RICHARD GORDON, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, PHILIPPINE RED CROSS: Well, there are a couple of rumors coming around but the most plausible is that these
fireworks, New Year celebrated heavily with a lot of fireworks here. So, it's quite possible a sparkler started the conflagration.
There are also reports that they're sabotage or (INAUDIBLE) they're trying to widen the road. I'd rather believe in the fireworks theory.
Remember, this is an area where there are about 13,000 people per square kilometer and, right now, we're reporting about two unidentified dead. We
have not quite identified these two yet. But there are people who have been lacerated, wounded, et cetera.
One has been brought to the hospital and most of it are slight wounds but nonetheless, a lot of homeless families tonight. They're served hot meals.
The government is also on the job as well as Calaveras (ph), the Red Cross has been serving hot meals and we have a power generator there because
there is darkness out there right now to light up the area.
CURNOW: And what's the weather like?
I was reading somewhere that it might have been raining, which might have actually limited some of the damage.
Is that correct?
GORDON: Well, yes, it was kind of rainy yesterday and last night. The fire occurred about 3 o'clock in the morning. And probably a lot of people
have already celebrated the New Year, the midnight dinners. Even in the informal settlers' area --
GORDON: -- their humble -- the assembled were being spared.
But obviously, there will always be remnants of firecrackers or fire sparklers that could spark it. The fire crossed over, mercifully enough,
crossed over one street and damaged 25 homes there. But mercifully enough, the fire trucks by the government, by the Red Cross and other volunteer
units were there to alleviate further spread of the fires.
CURNOW: So it gutted a number of homes in a very poor area.
How bad is the issue of sort of unrestrained firework use?
I know it's a concern across the world. Some countries put huge limits on how people celebrate.
Is that a concern in the Philippines?
GORDON: It's always a concern. We have scored killed during a fire around New Year's Eve and that causes a lot of fires as well. In an area where
there's an awful lot of people, like I said, was 13,000 people per square kilometer, you're talking about one matchstick could start this
And in fact, it did. So -- as it appeared. And so, it appears that, you know, fireworks are always a problem in our country. There's an all-out
effort now to try and tone it down. There are places, there are cities now that say no more fireworks during New Year.
CURNOW: OK. Richard Gordon, thanks so much for that update, the CEO of the Philippine Red Cross. Appreciate it.
Well, thanks for watching. I'll be back in just over an hour with more on the attacks in Israel as well as some of the New Year's Day celebrations
around the world. In the meantime, I'm going to hand you over to Christiane Amanpour.