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Reuters: Syrian Gov't Says Evacuations To Resume; Suicide Bombing Kills 41 Soldiers at Military Base; President-Elect Wraps Up "Thank You Tour"; Ice Brings Deadly Road Conditions Across U.S.; Trump's Business Deals Present Potential Conflict; Venezuela Extends Circulation of 100 Bolivar Note; West Bank Outpost Settlers Facing Eviction; Will Smith On His Father's Death And Latest Role. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired December 18, 2016 - 04:00   ET


[04:00:13] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: A deadly wait, civilians in Aleppo hope evacuation resumes soon as winter conditions punish them even more.

Wrapping up the tour, Donald Trump makes the final stop in his ring (ph) to bank supporters.

Plus, winter weather's great ice across major U.S. highways and you can see what the drivers are up against right there.

It's all ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. We're live at Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.

And we begin with Aleppo. Thousands trapped in the Eastern city in freezing temperature. Hope a new deal to evacuate them come true. Reuters news service is reporting the Syrian government has confirmed a deal, that doesn't mean though it will hold. Just on Friday, the last evacuations were suspended. The new deal is more complicated. Syria and its ally Iran want the two towns on the lower-left of this map also to be evacuated. Those towns are near Idlib City and have been besieged by rebels.

With the people of Aleppo, this is a life or death situation. A journalist working with Channel 4 news was able to video there before the cease fire went in effect. Reporter Matt Frei explains the footage, it's just a glimpse of the absolute hell Aleppo has become. This is the aftermath of just one bombing. And we warn you, it's graphic.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

MATT FREI, CHANNEL 4, CORRESPONDENT: Tender words for a child that can't find its center (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language). FREI: Aleppo is a grim stage of an ever diminishing cost of survivors and these are the last of the last.

Hum Fatima is the only adult left of three family whose (inaudible) was obliterated by a Russian or Syrian bomb.

HUM FATIMA: (Speaking foreign language).

FREI: Hum Fatima comes across a neighbor. The teenage boy with a hat is called Mcmod (ph). He used to live upstairs. The baby boy he's holding is his little brother Ishmal Mohammed (ph), one-month old. He's face is the only restful thing in this bedroom.

But this is the sleep (ph) of the dead. Ishmal was suffocated in ruins. And Mcmod doesn't want let go of his brother's body.

HUM FATIMA: (Speaking foreign language).

FREI: Aleppo is the place where the children have stopped crying. In the car (ph) Mcmod is still cradling his baby brother. War has reverse roles and the boy now acts like the father that he's lost.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

FREI: A nurse sleeps in her brother and sister, they go from room to room. We didn't know their names. And didn't know yet if they're orphans. They left their father in the rubble and they're looking for their mother.

UNINDITIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language)

UNINDITIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

[04:50:04] FREI: Hum Fatima now sees proof of the news that they she had feared most. Why have you left me, she calls out to the door as she describes as her wrath (ph). Knowing that this question in this place has no real answer.

And in another room, brother and sister are still waiting for needs of their mother. In another hospital bed, blanket is with dust. Exhausted beyond words by a life beyond description.


ALLEN: His last words are certainly true. There are no words. Shushan Mebrahtu joins us now in the phone. She's in this Damascus in Syria. She is the Communication Director with UNICEF United Nation's Children's Fund.

Shushan, I know you're in the phone with us but the story that we just saw from a hospital in Aleppo. It's just surreal and that is just the aftermath of one bombing, just one. What do you know about this new evacuation agreement and whether it's going to work?

SHUSHAN MEBRAHTU, COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR, UNICEF: Yes. As you mentioned the situation is extremely bad and we are concerned about the well-being of the children who are still in besieged enclave in Aleppo. Now they have been waiting for days to be evacuated in these freezing cold temperatures and bring cloth to the front line. And these are hundred of children who are on the ruble , who lived for months with the bare minimum to survive. And we have deeply worried about their state.

ALLEN: Right, because in the story that we've just saw, it ended with a brother and sister, you know, covered in, you know, a dust from the bombing, totally looking like just forlorn and in shock. They didn't know if they had a mother.

And, there could be children still in Aleppo that maybe uncared for. They may have lost their family. Do you have any idea the numbers who might still be left behind there?

MEBRAHTU: Yes. We don't have a the correct people, the verified information on the number on how many children are still waiting to be evacuated, but as you clearly mentioned there are children who really needed immediate medical care. There are children who are wounded, who are sick, who needs to be evacuated and cared for. And there are children who are separated from their parents or caregivers who need to also -- need to be reunified with their families.

And we are ready. We have been standing already to support and facilitate the evacuation of these children. What we need now is a safe guarantee so that we can do so and take these children to the safety that they need. This has been going on for months now especially in the last four months. There has been unrelentless violence in Aleppo and in the past summit to a greater role. And there's -- with the pushing continues to be tolerate (ph).

And we need access to the children who are in need of this immediate assistance. And we have been doing so. For example, for the families and children who fled in the past few weeks and who are staying and sheltered elsewhere in Aleppo. They have been telling us horrendous stories on how they survived and the conditions that they have been living to. It's winter. The temperature are plummeting and really the conditions are very dizzy (ph).

So, which is the priority for now is to survive like warm clothes, nutrition, immunization and screening formal nutrition amongst children and to provide also services so that these children can be returned back to some normalcy such as education and psychosocial support so that they can get some kind of routine and structure.

ALLEN: Well, we share the concern in your voice and certainly the frustration because this agreement has some complications. And they are just children sitting there, living in that right there. All that and there's an elderly man trying to get out, carrying whatever he can.

It's just unbelievable that there are children in living in that alive in this freezing winter and no one is coming for them yet.

[04:15:07] We know that UNICEF will as soon as you can. Shushan Mebrahtu, thanks so such much for talking with us. And for those of you if watching, you can help Syrians caught up in this horrendous situation in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria and Iraq as well. CNN has a list of aid organizations helping families escape and receive very basic supplies. Go to and you'll find a full list.

We turn now to other news as suicide attack at a military base in Southern Yemen has killed at least 41 soldiers. The bomber attacked the al-Sawlaba base in 8:00 Sunday morning, as soldiers lined up to get their pay checks. Two Yemeni security officials say the attacker got into the base by dressing as a soldier.

Donald Trump may have won the U.S. presidential race but in many ways he looks and sounds like he's still campaigning. On Saturday, he's so-called "Thank You Tour" made one final stop in Mobile, Alabama.

That's where he says his presidential campaign really took off. In 2015, he promised the audience their voices would be heard when he becomes president in January.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT, USA: This is truly an exciting time to be alive. The script is not yet written. We do not know what the page will read tomorrow. But for the first time in a long time what we don't know is that the pages will author by each and every one of you.


ALLEN: The President-elect never shy about sharing his opinion, has been relatively quite in recent days about accusations of Russian hacking during the election. On Saturday, Sean Spicer, spokesman for the Republican National Committee told CNN's Michael McComish that Trump is biding his time until the inauguration.


MICHAEL SPICER, SPOKESMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: I think to presumed that he's going to do anything at this point with premature. He's not president yet. President Obama has every right to carry out the duties that he sees fit based on the information he has through the rest of his term.


ALLEN: President Obama has promised a response to the Russian hacking but he has not that when or how. Ultimately, it will fall on President-elect Donald Trump's shoulders. Those who know Vladimir Putin warn Trump should be weary of the Russian. CNN's Nick Robertson explains, he's in London.


NICK ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When the Soviet Union collapsed the world thought Russia would be a different place. And for a decade under President Yeltsin it was.

BILL BROWDER, CEO, HERMITAGE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: They had a free press, they had democracy and they had civil society. The problem is that they didn't have any laws and they didn't have any rules.

ROBERTSON: Bill Browder, an investment banker was there in Russia making millions amidst the chaos. But then Putin came to power a few later he clashed with Browder.

BROWDER: I pointed out that Putin and the people around him have stolen an enormous amount of money from the Russian people and have covered it up.

ROBERTSON: Browder's businesses were raided. One of his whistle blowing lawyers Sergei Magnitsky was thrown jail, brutalized and died there many months later. Putin rejects every accusation Browder makes and has barred him from Russian for the past decade.

BROWDER: At this point, many people consider me to be Putin's number foreign enemy and has such my life is at risk.

ROBERTSON: He is right to be worried. Putin's critics get silenced.

ANDREW WOOD, FORMER BRITISH AMBASSADOR, RUSSIA: Putin has record of murder for start, either directly ordered or indirectly encouraged.

ROBERTSON: Sir Andrew Woods was Britain's ambassador to Russian at same time Browder was making his millions. He dismisses Putin denials of any influence in the deaths.

WOOD: When Putin came to power, he's main theme was Russia should be a great power. He choose not economic reform and political progress but a relapse into what amounts to, in the form of narcissistic xenophobia.

ROBERTSON: In foreign policy that's intervention in Ukrain and Syria, annexing Crimea, providing overnight popularity for Putin at the price of ruiners' long-term economic sanctions. Pretty soon all this would be on President-elect Donald Trump's plate.

BROWDER: He wants to be seen as a great deal maker and as a winner.

[04:15:03] And so Putin has made his wish list very clear, he wants Ukraine, he wants the sanction lifted and he wants to be left alone in Syria.

ROBERTSON: The problem is Putin's idea of deal making is not much of a deal.

WOOD: What he's offering I don't think is anything at all. Some probably nice words perhaps but ...

ROBERTSON: And even his words warns Browder aren't worth much.

BROWDER: Putin doesn't keep to his word. Putin always betrays deals. He takes what's offered and then tries to take some more in the future, and that probably won't play that well with Trump who will feel ripped off.

ROBERTSON: And what are his options going to be then?

BROWDER: To become probably much tougher than at any other U.S. head of state before him towards Russia.

WOODS: I think at least for a period it will be very much in Putin's interests to take things relative calm.

ROBERTSON: The alternative could be deeply troubling two powerful men two big egos.

BROWDER: Well I can imagine that we'll end up in a position where both these guys will be pumping their chests and staring each other down.

ROBERTSON: 25 years of post-Cold War diplomacy could be about to face that biggest test yet. Nick Robertson, CNN London.


ALLEN: Well Donald Trump have had something to say about China ceasing a U.S. underwater drone, keep it. We'll have more about that in a moment.

Plus, a brutal blast of (inaudible) sweeping the United States creating icy and dangerous roads, Karen Maginnis will have that story for you. And you would believe the pile ups going on, on those roads. We'll be right be back. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.


[14:20:37] ALLEN: Both the U.S. and China say an American underwater drone ceased by China in international waters will be returned. The U.S. says, the drone similar to the one seen here was unlawfully snatched by Chinese navy in the South China Sea. For more about it here's CNN Matt Rivers in Beijing.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Close encounters like this situation between the Chinese and U.S. navies are rare. And the fact that China actually took possession of U.S. naval equipment is rarer still.


Now, the Chinese Ministry of Defense released a statement late Saturday evening local time, saying that the reasoning they took the drone out of the water was in order to protect navigational and personnel safety of passing ships. And while that some -- might sound like an innocuous enough reason for taking the drone out of the water, the fact remains that this move by the Chinese makes the U.S.-Chinese military relationship that much more tense.

The USNS Bowditch, an unarmed military research ship was about 50 miles off the Philippine coast Thursday when the navy says it was conducting research using two underwater drones called ocean gliders. Officials said the research was legal under international law. It was set to bring them back on board when official say Chinese naval ship trailing the Bowditch launched a small boat which swooped in and stole one of the ocean gliders.

The Defense Department says the Bowditch immediately made contact to asked for it back for the Chinese ship simply sailed away. Friday, Pentagon officials asked again.

Spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters "It is ours and we would like it back and we would like this not to happen again." The Chinese Defense Ministry responded late Saturday saying that its ship initially did not know what the drone was and seized it navigational safety reasons.

They went on to say "Upon confirming that the device was a U.S. underwater drone. The Chinese side decided to transfer to the U.S. side in an appropriate manner. China and the United States have been communicating about this process. It is inappropriate and unhelpful for resolution that the US has unilaterally hyped the issue. We express our regret over that."

The seizure comes at a time of heightened U.S.-Chinese military tensions in the South China Sea. China has built in militarized artificial islands in disputed territory, an action the U.S. calls illegal. And Present-elect Trump has made Beijing angry twice in the last two weeks. First, taking the call from Taiwan's president and then questioning the legitimacy of the One China policy, a decades-old diplomatic staple of U.S.-China relations.

And in that same statement for the Ministry of Defense outlining the reasoning for taking the drone out of the water, Chinese officials were quick to include a paragraph where they talked about how the United States, according to them, had been frequently deploying ships and aircraft to conduct close in surveillance and military surveys in waters facing China, with the Chinese have long said that these research vessels like the USNS Bowditch have actually been spying on Chinese activity in the South China Sea.


And so I think what most experts would tell you is that when the Chinese took this drone out of the water they likely knew that they would be sending a message to the United States. And that message being that they are not happy with U.S. naval operations in that part of the South China Sea. Back to you.

ALLEN: Donald Trump was quick to say something about the drone seizure, early Saturday he went on Twitter to express his outrage calling China's action unprecedented. And later, he tweeted, we should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back. Let them keep it.

We'll be turning to really traitorous situation and many states across the United States now, freezing rain and black ice are making road travel dangerous throughout large parts of the U.S.

There was a 55-car pileup in Baltimore, Maryland, right here that you're seeing, 55 cars. The U.S. is getting hit with extremely cold temperatures, coupled with the below zero windchills.

Multi-vehicle crashes have killed at least six people in three days. Can't think of anything more terrifying.

Let's bring in Karen Maginnis who's following all of these. Karen, being stuck, black ice or ice on interstate like this, we're seeing here. That's really, really scary.

KAREN MCGINNIS, CNN WEATHER FORECASTER: It is and I couldn't agree with you more. And for those who are unfamiliar with the reference to black ice because we have domestic audience and then the international audience.

[04:25:06] A black ice is when it looks like it is just my damp roadway or a damp highway when in fact it is actually frozen precipitation. It's clear. So it look like it's just a damp road but in fact it's very easy to slide on and it is really been so treacherous and very hazardous driving conditions all the way from the Northern Tier states to the Great Lakes, the Ohio River Valley.

And earlier into the Northeast in New England that cold air is plunged all the way down into the Panhandle of Texas with sharply colder temperatures. It is amazing how those temperatures in Dallas, and in Houston, and in Nashville, which you -- not a record-setting temperatures but very warm for this time of year. Now they're plunging down into the 20s and 30s.

We've got most of the eastern Great Lakes, we'll see the bulk of the snowfall over the next 24 and 48 hours. Chicago, NFL game for tomorrow is going to be among the coldest. So, I warn you right you really need to bundle, it's going be an exciting game. But where you see this purple that's when we have winter weather advisory, that doesn't seen as intense as what it's going to be if you are headed out they, going to have to stand in line, you're going to sit in the stands.

Well here's a very big vigorous system and they're so dynamic, we have about 75 million people across United States and that's down from what we were looking just 24 hours ago. That are in either winter weather advisory or windchill advisories where it is dangerously cold.

Nashville temperature in the upper 60s low 70s. They've got sleet and freezing rain ahead of them. Natalie it's all over the place today.

ALLEN: You know, that NFL game, it's going to be the most-watched.

MAGINNIS: It has gotten a lot of attention.

ALLEN: And anytime there's like really, really cold and watching a football game, there's no way someone's going to throw a ball and catch it.

MAGINNIS: You wouldn't think but they manage it.

ALLEN: All right, Karen, thank you. Donald Trump will bring it back (ph) entangled network, a financial interest to the White House when he becomes president. Ahead here, we'll tell you how many are concerned on might that effect his administration.


[04:30:49] ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.

Here are our top story. It's unclear when thousands trapped in freezing temperatures will be evacuated from eastern Aleppo. The Red Cross says the hope the evacuations resume in a few hours. The Syrian government has confirmed a new evacuation deal, that's according to Reuters. The last evacuations were suspended on Friday.

A suicide bombing has killed more than 40 Yemeni soldiers in the southern city of Aden. The attack happened on a military base Sunday morning when soldiers were lining up to get their paychecks. Two security officials say the bomber got into the base by dressing as a soldier.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump returned to Mobile, Alabama Saturday, the final stop of his whirlwind thank you tour. He told the crowd that Mobile was important to him because it was where his presidential campaign first took hold in 2015

Trump's business interest and potential conflicts are unprecedented for someone who will soon become U.S. president. CNN's Drew Griffin takes a closer look at some of the properties and people who could impact Trump's presidency.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump's company spread across the globe, about 150 different limited liability, corporations and companies that it had dealings in 25 countries, according to a CNN analysis. But the focus is on 10 countries. Donald Trump has licensed his name for real-estate deals and cut deals with some international business men that have attracted controversy.

Some have been under criminal investigation. Others have deep ties to their own government. All of them could present a conflict to the President-elect. Turkey, Trump has licenses his name to two towers owned by the business and media conglomerate founded by the billionaire, Aiden Dowan (ph). Earlier this year Dowan was indicted in Turkey for an alleged fuel smuggling scheme.

And in 2009, his company was slapped with a $2.5 billion fine for alleged unpaid taxes, that fine later reduced to 700 million through an appeal. Dowan's representatives believes he's been targeted because his news outlets have been critical of Turkey's government and push for freedom of the press. In a statement to CNN he called the charges absurd. Trump's partner on golf course developments of the United Arab Emirates billionaire Hussain Sajwani found guilty in Egypt in the case involving allegations of government corruption. And Sajwani eventually settled out court but the Canadian government confirms to CNN that it froze his assets until 2014. That didn't seem to bother the President-elect, he licensed his name to Sajwani for two new Dubai golf courses.

It goes on and on, in Azerbaijan a country with a history of corruption and human rights abuses. The Trump organization just confirmed to CNN that it's now terminated its deal for a Trump branded hotel.

In Indonesia he is partnering with a billionaire businessman who like Trump has jumped into politics forming his own political party and also liked Trump, once publicly stated in an interview he admires the Vladimir Putin.

In the Philippines his condominium licensing business partners has just been named special trade envoy to the United States.

It's not that there is just potential conflict of interest here say Larry Noble, with The Campaign Legal Center, is if the incoming U.S. president who built his business around the globe already has a world of actual conflicts interest he will deal with on day one.

LARRY NOBLE, THE CAMPAIGN LEGAL CENTER: There's a danger because foreign leaders, foreign business people are going to be considering in this dealing with the president, dealing with the president's family. So they're going to be making decisions knowing that if they help the president's children they're helping the president and they may get something -- something for it.

GRIFFIN: It is a potential problem that concerns former U.S. ambassador and former deputy national security advisor James Jeffrey, especially since Trump spears to be keeping his business intact and in the family.

JAMES JEFFREY, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: If you do not divest yourself of all foreign holdings, and for that matter, domestic holdings or put them in true blind trust, you open yourself up obviously to these kinds of questions.

[04:35:04] GRIFFIN: Questions that will dug the Trump's administration every time a decision is made concerning any country where a Trump tower, a Trump project, a Trump golf course has been built.

Ambassador Jeffrey says it will be up to Trump to prove his putting America and not his business first and it's up to the rest of us to make sure.

JEFFREY: Essentially a president can do what he or she wants to do, can have the assets, can have the relationships, and it's up to the American people, the media and the Congress in the end to pass judgment. (END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: As for those three deals the Trump organization just terminated, the organization is not saying exactly why but we can tell you the two developers in Rio did run into some legal troubles. And it appears the developer Azerbaijan simply run out of money. As for all the other international deals we've been talking about, they are all moving forward, going to be build with a soon-to-be presidential name attached. Back to you.

ALLEN: Drew Griffin for us there.

As Venezuela's economic woes deepen and inflation there sky rockets its president is backing off on earlier move to pull a popular bank note from circulation.

Nicolas Maduro announced last week 100 Bolivar notes would be discontinue with the aim of fighting mafias he claimed were forging it. A protest erupted when the currently set to replaced the bill failed to reach many bank or ATMs by last Thursday's deadline. Mr. Nicolas Maduro now says the old bills are good until January 2nd. And he blames the crisis on a global conspiracy.


NICOLAS MADURO, VENEZUELA PRESIDENT (through translator): We are being victimized by an international sabotage so the new bills that are already can't be transferred to Venezuela. So I do denounce it. I personally have been own it at night, in the afternoon, at dawn on all the details and I appreciate the immense majority of the Venezuelan people for their support on the measure that is a blow to the monetary mafias. And I ask for support from everyone. I do so in the interest of the whole nation of our economy.


ALLEN: The 100 Bolivar note is Venezuela's highest denomination bank note but after years of financial decline it is only worth about two cents on the unofficial exchange rate.

Demonstrators inside and outside Poland's parliament are protesting the government's plans to limit reporters' access to the building.

Opposition lawmakers have been trying to block chamber proceedings since Friday. Poland's government and the media have never had a very good relationship but journalist have had almost unrestricted access to parliament since democracy came to the country three days ago. The government now says the news media is abusing its privilege.

An Israeli court has ordered a West Bank outpost demolished, and it's not a first time the government has tried to remove the land settlers. We'll hear from those residents coming next.

Also, the girl doubt Syria's Malala, states war (ph) and went on to advocate for children's education.

Next, we catch up with her and her new life in England.


[04:41:32] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Palestinian official say Israeli soldiers have shot and killed the Palestinian teenager. The 19-years-old man died Sunday during clashes in the West Bank, report say the Israeli military claims its soldiers were confronted by stone throwers so they often fired.

Opponent's contention in the West Bank is the small outpost of Amona. After a Supreme Court decision residents there are now facing eviction. And the CNN's Ian Lee reports the settlers are unwilling to leave.


IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDEND: Within days life could change dramatically for the settlers of Amona, the Israeli high court has ordered this illegal West Bank outpost demolished. Manya Hillel spent almost 15 years here, raising her six children.

MANYA HILLEL, AMONA SETTLER: These are people there, 200 children living here, you know how devastated children are when being torn from their home and having there lives destroyed?

LEE: A few hundred people call this hilltop home; raising families, working the land. Hillel points to the biblical book of Joshua as her land.

HILLEL: Time to declare these lands belong to us, it's time ti say enough, no Jewish settlement should be evacuated. No child has to lose his life and his home and his friends for nothing, for nothing.

LEE: The government tried to remove the Amona settlers 10 years ago, the violent clashes left a nation traumatized.

This is all about is left from that day, some twisted rebar and concrete. As for the settlers who are living here, they didn't have to move far just up the hill. Palestinian Ibrahim Yaccub knows how the settlers feel. Which part is your land?

IBRAHIM YACCUB, PALESTINIAN LANDOWNER: My land is where -- where is the tress? It is behind the tress immediately.

LEE: Yaccub tells his family worked this land for generations nurturing the harvest, camping under the stars, then in 1996 he says the settlers illegally ceased it.

YACCUB: I want you just to -- to see and imagine how you feel when somebody come to your house and take from your car and your house and you cannot do for him nothing.

LEE: The high court ruled with Yaccub and declared Amona must go.

(CROSSTALK) LEE: Israel's right-wing Jewish home party saw an opportunity, setting in motion legislation to save Amona and legalize more than other West Bank outpost at the same time. But in the horse trading of coalition politics in an order not to undermine the high court, Amona now look set to be sacrificed for a bill. Jewish home leader say will be the first step towards annexation of the West Bank. That goal given momentum by the election of Donald Trump.

NAFTALI BENNETT, MINISTER OF DIASPORA AFFAIR: The combination of the changes in the United State, in Europe and the region provide Israel with a unique opportunity to reset and rethink everything.

LEE: Palestinians and the outgoing administration in Washington are deeply concerned; saying even the idea of a viable Palestinians state now on a point of collapse.

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: There's a basic choice that has to be made by the Israelis. Is it going o be continued implementation of settlement policy or is there going to be separation and then creation of two states?

[04:45:12] LEE: In Amona Manya Hillel and her community have a decision to make, as some build shelters for supporters they hope will defend them, the people here are under growing pressure to leave peacefully. December 25th is the deadline to clear the outpost, a move they could mark the end of one illegal settlement but have far- reaching ramifications across the rest of the West Bank. Ian Lee, CNN Amona in the West Bank.


ALLEN: Many children in Syria have only known war but Mazoun Almellehan -- sorry, who wanted to give them back their futures by promoting education. She has known as Syria's Malala, and now she's one of the lucky few to find refuge in England. Isa Soares has here story from New Castle.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For years she had lived in dusty refugee comes and has seen serious trip there by the winds of war. But Mazoun is far defeated, instead she's emboldened.

MAZOUN ALMELLEHAN, DUBBED SYRIA'S MALALA: There is no matter if I'm refugee or I'm not but the most important thing to work really hard in myself and to believe in my abilities. Then I can be what I want.

SOARES: This is in your life now, in New Castle, Northern England.

ALMELLEHAN: Then minus five because minus one ...

SOARES: And here the only faith these children can't escape (ph) is math. There are no exceptions, not for this 18-year-old nor for other 13 refugees who have been welcomed to Kenton School from Syria.

For the almost 2,000 peoples walking these hallways, most of them white in working class becoming friends with their new Syrian classmates has been a learning experience.

CALLUM WILLIAMS, STUDENTS: There are people racist to them, categorizing all the people going over, if they were immigrants, they were potential threat, they could be terrorists.

SOARES: To change this, the school setup a committee so the other pupils could better relate to their classmates, via through posters, fundraising and assemblies talking Islamaphobia and the refugee crisis.

TOM VINEY, STUDENTS: It's awful if you're over here, I mean you're living on very little money if you come over here and you need asylum which not everyone does, and they can't work, it's illegal for them to work and you wouldn't leave where you were, living -- genuinely better here.

SOARES: It's a message Mazoun has been keen to share, after all hers is not an exceptional story, it's an inspirational one.

ALMELLEHAN: We can do something, that they can change something in their communities. They can be educated people, they didn't lose their future and hopes, also their dreams.

SOARES: Despite having seen more ravage her country and tear her family apart, Mazoun goes around the world campaigning for her country's future and for girl's education.

ALMELLEHAN: Like all these children, refugee children have dreams.

SOARES: Grassroots effort that have dubbed to this Syrian Malala, even have classmate are in owe of her.

LILITH ALLEN, STUDENTS: I was scared to say hello because I -- because really excited to just be in the same room with her because I think that she's really important.

SOARES: Do you think she's inspirational?

ALLEN: Yes, I find her inspiration.

SOARES: Mazoun doesn't see herself that way, walking home with her sister Ezra (ph), a humbling reminder she's just an ordinary girl.

ALMELLEHAN: You are welcome in my home.

SOARES: A girl who has seen more than we ever will in our lifetime.

ALMELLEHAN: And this os my little brother Amein, this is my room and ...

SOARES: Yet who has the resilience and strength of her to know that home will always be Syria. Isa Soares, CNN, New Castle, England.


ALLEN: Mazoun, remember that name. Next here, actor Will Smith discuses his latest movie role and how it helped him cope with the recent lost of his father.


[04:53:12] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Will Smith's new movie "Collateral Beauty" is now showing in theaters in the U.S. While the actor was making his film his dad was diagnosed with cancer and died in November. Smith tells our Neil Curry how he connected the profound loss to his role in "Collateral Beauty" and what's important to him now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Love, time, death. These three things connect every single human being on earth. We wished we had more time ...

WILL SMITH, ACTOR: For me in my experience of Collateral Beauty and, you know, having -- the character was dealing with the loss of his daughter, and I was in real life, dealing with the lost of my father so, you know, I had an opportunity while I was preparing the character to talk to my father about these concepts.

So this -- this was a hugely formative and transformative film making experience for me. So what I'm hoping is when audiences go in they can feel that and that there's some aspect of it that could be helpful for anyone who's in the process of, you know, facing life for most of us is the ultimate tragedy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw you in her eyes when she called me daddy and you betrayed me.

NEIL CURRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What do you think that the award season judges are looking for to in the performance of a role?

SMITH: Since working on this film and, you know, the experience with my father during this film, what the Collateral Beauty for me has been is clarity.

[04:55:12] And there's a time in my life when box office and awards and, you know, reviews and things like that were hugely important, and after this film and after the experiences of this film it's just -- it means nothing to me, like it's is like such an addictive way to look at the creation of art, you know, so it's something that I -- it's just completely been cleansed from my -- from the realm of desire, you know, so it's just something I can't even look at right now.


NATALIE ALLENS, ANCHOR: Looks like one to see at the box office.

Well Santa Claus is truly ubiquitous as we know and here's more proof. In South Korea a scuba Santa fed a school of Sardines as part of an underwater performance. As the aquarium was -- the Sardines were very appreciative. And fish at the Paris aquarium are getting time with Santa as well. He'll be swimming through Christmas and in South Korea and until the end of the year in Paris, one talented and very busy dude. That's Santa Claus.

That's CNN NEWSROOM, live in Atlanta, I'm Natalie Allen. I'll be right back with another hour of news from around the world. Please stay with us.