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In Solidarity with Aleppo; Below Freezing Temperatures across the U.S.; China Criticizes U.S. Response to Drone Seizure; Putin & Trump: The Road Ahead; Some Experts Fear Trump & Putin Will Clash; A Life in Limbo for Refugees Fleeing Mosul; Ceremony Held for Soldiers Killed In Turkey Car Bomb; Settlers of West Bank Outpost Face Eviction; Will Smith on His Father's Death and Latest Role; "SNL" Skit Portrays Trump As Inept. Detached. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired December 18, 2016 - 05:00   ET



[05:00:16] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: Save the Aleppo children, thousands across the world take to the streets to show solidarity while the people of Aleppo wait to be evacuated.

And, let them keep it, U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump on Twitter after China claims it will return a drone like this that it took from the U.S.

Plus, below freezing temperatures and icy rain makes skating rinks of major U.S. highways, the forecast and how much ice is accumulating, we'll get that from Karen Maginnis.

It's all ahead here, we're live in Atlanta. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is "CNN NEWSROOM". I'm Natalie Allen.

And we begin with the horror in Aleppo. Thousands trapped in Eastern Aleppo, still trapped, hope a new evacuation deal could save their lives. Civilians there are starving and afraid, and somehow they're existing in freezing temperatures, Reuters is reporting the Syrian government has confirmed the evacuation deal but that doesn't mean it will hold.

Just on Friday, the last evacuations were suspended and the new deal, well, it's more complicated. Syria and its ally, Iran, want the two towns -- they are the lower left of this map, Foua and Kefraya, to also be evacuated. Those tows are near Idlib City and have been besieged by rebels.

Across the world, people are protesting the atrocities carried out in Eastern Aleppo, thousands in Turkey, near the Syrian border, demanded the evacuations resume right away. The Turkish government said the plans to set up a camp in Syria for those who manage to leave. And in Berlin, hundreds called on the international community to save Aleppo now and to stop the murdering Syria.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I think free passage should be given to those trapped in Aleppo. I have my friend, two sisters trapped in Aleppo and I'm here in solidarity for them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (Through Translator): Because I want to show solidarity and be here right now. I couldn't sit at home. I want to be here with other people who feel the same way who also can't just carry on as normal but rather want to somehow express that this is not normal, that genocide is taking place right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Through Translator): I call on our leaders, they should put away their differences, they should be united and protect the innocent people on Aleppo.


ALLEN: It's been a long time and nothing has protected them. And for the people of Aleppo who are still there, this is a life or death situation.

A journalist working with Channel 4 News was able to video there before the ceasefire came into effect. Reporter Matt Frei explains that their footage is just a glimpse of the absolute hell Aleppo has become.

We guarantee you, what you're about to see is chilling. Here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (Through Translator): Are you OK, Ayah, my love?

MATT FREI, BBC REPORTER: Tender words for a child that can't find its own.


FREI: Aleppo is a grim stage of an ever-diminishing cast of survivors. And these are the last of the last.

Um Fatima is the only adult left of three families who is a part of what was obliterated by a Russian or Syrian bomb.

UM FATIMA (Through Translation): I don't know what he his us with. We were at home sleeping. Suddenly, the whole building just fell on us. Oh my God. All my children are gone.


FREI: Um Fatima comes across a neighbor, the teenage boy with the hottest (ph) called Mahmoud. He used to live upstairs.

The baby boy he's holding is his little brother, Ishmael Mohamed, one month old. His face is the only restful thing in this bedlam.

But this is the sleep of the dead. Ishmael was suffocated in the ruins. And Mahmoud doesn't want to let go of his brother's body.

[05:05:00] FATIMA (Through Translator): Oh my God, all my children are dead. Oh my God, Help me.

FREI: Aleppo is a place where the children have stopped crying.

In the corridor, Mahmoud is still cradling his baby brother. More has reversed roles, and the boy now acts like the father that he's lost.

MAHMOUD (Through Translator): Mahmoud and Abdullah are gone.

FATIMA (Through Translator): Don't worry, they didn't die in vain. Don't cry, it's OK.

MAHMOUD (Through Translator): Mahmoud and Abdullah are dead.

FATIMA (Through Translator): God will avenge us against this oppressor. The building just fell on us. That's what happened to us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (Through Translator): They need this mother. Are these your children?

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (Through Translator): Come let's see where they took your mother.

Let's go, so do you think she was outside the hospital?

FATIMA (Through Translator): Oh my poor soul, my bleeding heart.

FREI: Um Fatima now sees proof of the news that she had feared most. Why have you left me? And she called out to the daughter that she describes as her rock. Knowing that this question in this place has no real answer.

And in another room, brother and sister are still waiting for news of their mother.

On another hospital bed blanketed with dust, exhausted beyond words by a life beyond description.


ALLEN: Very, very, very true words there at the end of his report. What a chilling story. And we want to remind our viewers, that's just one aftermath of one bombing. They've been hit repeatedly, and CNN's Muhammad Lila joins us now. He's at the Turkish Syrian border, that story among others we've seen, just chilling but nothing has stopped the suffering, nothing, Muhammad.

What is the latest on the ground on the evacuations and why they've been stalled? MUHAMMAD LILA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Natalie, after a very slow

moving weekend and a very difficult, long wait for the civilians in the rebel held part of Eastern Aleppo, there is finally some cause for optimism now. We got in touch with a Red Cross spokesperson in the region who tells us that he is now both very optimistic that the evacuations will continue today, if not today, then perhaps even as soon as this morning. They tell us that those infamous green buses that we've seen that have been shuttling both fighters and civilians out of the rebel held parts of Eastern Aleppo, those buses are on the ground, the Red Cross staff is on the ground.

The only thing that they are waiting for are security guarantees from the various different militant groups and pro-Assad militias in the Syrian army on the ground. They're just waiting for those security guarantees so they can start helping facilitate these transfers. But once again, the Red Cross says they're hopeful that the evacuations will resume once again today.

ALLEN: And do you know, Muhammad, how complex it is for them to get these security guarantees? Is there a lot of different factions here in that area?

LILA: Yeah. Yeah, you know, anytime we talk about what's happening on the ground, it tends to be complicated but I'll try to simplify it as best as I can. When these evacuations first started, it was a simple operation, it was about getting the civilians first, the wounded first and as well as some rebel fighters out of the rebel held parts of Eastern Aleppo and to the Aleppo countryside, very straightforward operation.

Over the weekend, this sort of evolved into what's now become a transfer. And that's because there are Islamist rebels that have laid siege to a couple of Shiite villages for more than a year and a half. And as part of this deal, some of the pro-Assad militias on the ground have said, if civilians and fighters are being evacuated from rebel held areas, we need to get those civilians who are under siege in those Shiite towns evacuated as well. So it's no longer just a strayed evacuation, it now effectively becomes a transfer.

And when there is a transfer, we need more checkpoints on the ground. There have to be assurances to make sure they have been simultaneously. And of course, you need guarantees from all of the different fighting groups on the ground that none of them will break this agreement. And as we've seen as early as Friday, all it takes is one rogue element to start firing into the air or start taking on measures into their own hands and this entire deal collapses.

So, this is a very fragile situation on the ground. But again, the Red Cross is hopeful that we'll start to see these evacuations resume once again today.

[05:10:02] ALLEN: We hope so, and we're about to talk with them right now. Muhammad Lila for us there at the border, thank you.

Ralph El Hage is a regional spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross. He joins us now via Skype from Amman in Jordan. Thanks so much for talking with us. Our reporter there saying that your agency is optimistic about the resumption of evacuations, can you tell us about that?

RALPH EL HAGE, INTL. CMTE. OF THE RED CROSS SPOKESMAN: Yes, indeed. We hope that the evacuations will resume today and we only have the choice or the option to remain optimistic at this stage for the fate of the people, for the fate of the civilians who have suffered a lot and continued to suffer in the Eastern portions of the city.

What is very important today is to be able to evacuate the remaining people who wish to leave the Eastern quarters of the city to Western rural Aleppo.

We have been able successfully to transfer over 10,000 civilians from the Eastern quarters of the city in the past few days when the agreement was respected by all parties. And, moreover, we were able to evacuate hundreds of severely wounded civilians through the Eastern -- sorry, to the Western rural Aleppo countryside.

What we hope for today is that the evacuations resume, that the agreement is respected and we have dozens of ambulances ready to transfer, the second wounded to the rural countryside of Aleppo. Moreover, we have over 100 volunteers from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in addition to dozens of ISRC, International Committee of the Red Cross staff, waiting to accompany the buses through their journey to the rural countryside in Aleppo.

ALLEN: I'm sure it's been frustrating to sit and wait to do work that your agency is very, very good at.

What are they telling you about what they're seeing with the people that are coming out and how many people do you think are left inside? Any ideas?

EL HAGE: No one has the exact figure yet about how many people remain in the Eastern quarters of the city. Previously, a number was between 40,000 to 50,000. The media is talking about that number. Reporters are talking about that number. Nobody really knows.

What's important today is to value each human life. One human life is equal to 10 human lives to 50,000 human lives. It doesn't matter what -- how many people remain in time. What matters is that whoever wants to get out, we get out -- we transfer all the people, all the civilians to safer areas where they can be warm, where they can be sheltered, where they can be provided with clean water, food, and most importantly, safety for their lives.

Whatever remains from the civilians inside the city, we must and we hope, again, that the agreement would be respected so that we can resume today in the coming hours as soon as possible. They can no longer wait, so that we can resume to transfer, evacuate the people outside of the very bad living conditions that they are enduring at the moment.

ALLEN: Yeah. At the moment, and my goodness, look what they have been through for months and months and months. Well, thank you for the work you're doing and please let us know as soon as those evacuations start. Ralph El Hage, with the International ...

EL HAGE: Thank you.

ALLEN: ... Committee of the Red Cross, thank you so much. Thanks for what you're doing.

And if you would like to help Syria and to call up in all of this horror, CNN has a list of aid organizations helping families escape the danger and to receive basic supplies. You can go to to find the full list of agencies.

Well, China is criticizing the U.S. response to its seizure of an American underwater drone. We'll tell you why Beijing says it took the device. Coming up here.

Plus, frigid temperatures causing traffic nightmares all across the United States. Karen Maginnis will be with us to talk about the subzero weather the U.S. is in. That's coming up here.

You're watching "CNN NEWSROOM".


[05:17:00] ALLEN: Welcome back, the latest on drum gate (ph). Both the U.S. and China say an American underwater drones seized by China in international waters will be returned. The U.S. says the drone similar to the one you see here was unlawfully snatched by China's navy in the South China Sea.

For more about it, our Matt Rivers is in Beijing.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, close-up 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 reason they took the drone out of the water was in order to protect navigational and personnel safety of passing ships.

And while that sound -- 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.


RIVERS: The USNS Bowditch, an unarmed military research ship, was about 50 miles off the Filipino coast Thursday where the navy says it was conducting research using two underwater drones called ocean gliders. Official said the research was legal under international law.

It was set to bring them back on board when officials say a 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

ask for it back, but 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 a ship initially didn't know what the drone was and seized it for 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 it 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 a resolution that the U.S. 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 and militarized artificial islands in disputed territory, an action the U.S. calls illegal.

And President-Elect Trump has made Beijing angry twice in the last two weeks, first taking a call from Taiwan's President and then questioning the legitimacy of the One China policy, a decade's old diplomatic staple of U.S.-China relations.


RIVERS: And in that same statement from 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, have been frequently deploying ships and aircraft to conduct close-in surveillance and military surveys in waters facing China. And what the Chinese have long said is that these research vessels like the USNS Bowditch have actually been spying on Chinese activity in the South China Sea.

[05:20:00] 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: And coming up, China will have to deal with Donald Trump and he was quick to weigh in on China's seizure of the drone. The U.S. President-Elect took to Twitter early Saturday and called China's action unprecedented. Later, he tweeted, "We should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back, let them keep it."

Trump wrapped up his thank you tour Saturday with a rally in Mobile, Alabama. Trump told the large crowd of supporters that returning to the Deep South was a homecoming of sorts.

CNN's Ryan Nobles was there. RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump making good on a

campaign promise, returning here to Mobile, Alabama, the site of one of his first major campaign rallies. It was back in August of 2015 that Trump brought out a crowd of some 30,000 people. And on Saturday, he told a similar-sized crowd that this is where it all began.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF UNITED STATES: Thank you very much. This is where it all began. Remember that incredible rally we had.

And, people came out and it was like this was packed and incredible. And people said something is going on there, right? That was the beginning, wasn't it? That was the beginning.

And if you remember, even though you don't have to vote for me, maybe four years, we'll take a look, right? But you know what, I said I'm coming back to see you in Alabama, right?

NOBLES: Trump gave the crowd a history lesson, detailing state by state his victory on election night. What Trump didn't do is weight into some of the complex policy issues that awaits him when he kicks office. He didn't mention China or Russia despite the U.S. relationship with both of those countries becoming a growing situation for the incoming Trump administration.

Instead, the President-Elect focused on many of his campaign promises, specifically how he plans to help the American economy.


NOBLES: He did go off script a bit, criticizing the current First Lady, Michelle Obama, for an interview that she recently gave to Oprah Winfrey where she suggested that a sizable part of the country lacks hope because of Trump's election victory.


TRUMP: Michelle Obama said yesterday that there's no hope. But I assume she was talking about the past, not the future, because I'm telling you, we have tremendous hope. And we have tremendous promise and tremendous potential.

We are going to be so successful as a country again. We are going to be amazing. And I actually think she made that statement, not meaning it the way it came out. I really do, because I met with President Obama and Michelle Obama in the White House, my wife was there, she could not have been nicer. I honestly believe she meant that statement in a different way than it came out, because I believe there is tremendous hope and beyond hope, we have such potential.


NOBLES: Trump now heads to his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where he plans to spend the Christmas holiday with his family. He's not expected to make any news, but there is a chance that we could learn more about appointments to his administration in the coming weeks.

Ryan Nobles, CNN, Mobile, Alabama.

ALLEN: Well, severe smog in China has forced Beijing to issue a red alert, the most serious weather alert in the capital. This is Beijing's first red alert of the year. You can see why, the smog has affected about one-ninth of China's total land area. It's expected to last through Wednesday.

Back in the U.S., freezing rain and black ice are making road travel dangerous through a large part of the United States. Look at this, this is a 55-car pileup in Baltimore, Maryland. The U.S. is getting hit with extremely cold temps, coupled with below zero windchill. Multi-vehicle crashes had killed at least six people in three states.

Let's get more on the conditions from Karen Maginnis. And yes, you were telling us earlier, Karen, black ice, it is so dangerous.

KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes, we have a very healthy fear of black ice, because you come up on it and you hit your brakes because you realize you're sliding. And that is one of the worst things to do. But, what happens is the road looks slick. It almost looks slick just from maybe some light precipitation. But in fact, it is frozen. And if you are hitting your brakes and traffic stops suddenly, you are going to be unable to stop.

There were three -- at least three fatalities. They had about 15 people that reported injuries there.

[05:25:02] But not just in Baltimore, we had accidents, chain reaction car accidents in Oklahoma and Indiana, all across the Ohio River Valley, multiple, multiple car crashes.

Here are some of the current temperatures and the windchill factors, Minot, North Dakota, minus 24, that's not a windchill, that's the actual outside air temperature. Minus 34 is the windchill factor. I looked at Fargo, North Dakota, and over the last three days, the warmest temperature in Fargo was 5, 5 degrees above zero. But right now, the windchill temperatures are running between 30 and 40 degrees below zero.

It has been like this for days now. That Arctic Air is plunging well to the South, look at the windchill in Omaha, minus 31 degrees. Cedar rapids at 38. This is not just bone chilling, this is potentially deadly.

So if you have exposed skin within a few minutes' time, it can freeze and that could be deadly. We've got ice in Nashville. Nashville didn't set a record, but Nashville was 73 degrees, the afternoon. But now in Nashville, there is freezing rain. So drive carefully. And this is how it looks in Brooklyn, New York. We saw a couple of inches of snowfall there. It's not going to last. As a matter of fact, temperatures are warming ahead of the frontal system.

And, Natalie, you and I have talked about the NFL game, the football game, in Chicago. Now, here is zero and you go back through time, the worst start in NFL football game, 1967, the ice bowl. That's why this one is going to be so fascinating to watch. Coming up for tomorrow.

ALLEN: Yeah, in front of my fire is (inaudible).

MAGINNIS: Exactly.

ALLEN: The folks that are going to that game, you know, there'll have to be a story about them out there.


ALLEN: All right. Karen, thank you.

MAGINNIS: (Inaudible).

ALLEN: Yes, are crazy.

OK, ahead here, a warning to Donald Trump about dealing with Vladimir Putin from people who know the risk of opposing the Russian leader, that's ahead.


[05:30:41] ALLEN: And welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. You're watching "CNN NEWSROOM" live in Atlanta. We appreciate you tuning in. I'm Natalie Allen with our top stories.

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

Both China and the U.S. say an American underwater drone seized by China in international waters will be returned. The drone similar to the one seen here was grabbed by the Chinese navy in the South China Sea earlier this week. The U.S. says the drone was measuring ocean conditions, not spying.

U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump returned to Mobile, Alabama Saturday at a final stop on 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.

The U.S. President-Elect never shy about sharing his opinion has been relatively quiet 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 Smerconish that Donald Trump is biding his time until the inauguration.


SEAN SPICER, RNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I think to presume that he's going to do anything at this point would be premature. He's not president yet. President Obama has every right to carry out the duties that he sees fit based on the information that he has through the rest of his term.


ALLEN: President Obama has promised a response to hacking but he has not said when or how. Ultimately, it will fall on Trump's shoulders. Those who know Vladimir Putin warn Trump should be wary of the Russian leader.

CNN's Nic Robertson has that from London.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL 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, HERMITAGE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT CEO: They had a free press, they had a 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 years 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 whistleblowing lawyers, Sergei Magnitsky, was thrown in jail. Brutalized and died there many months later.

Putin rejects every accusation Browder makes. And he's barred him from Russia for the past decade.

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

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

SIR ANDREW WOOD, FORMER BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA: He has a proven record of murder for start. Either directly ordered or indirectly encouraged.

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

WOOD: When Putin came to power, his main theme was Russia should be a great power. He chose not economic reform and political progress, but a relapse into what amounts to a sort of form of narcissistic xenophobia. ROBERTSON: In foreign policy, that's intervention and Ukraine and

Syria, annexing Crimea, providing overnight popularity for Putin at the price of ruinous long-term economic sanctions.

Pretty soon, all this will be on President-Elect Donald Trump's plate.

BROWDER: He wants to be seen as a great dealmaker and as a winner. And so Putin has made his wish list very clear. He wants Ukraine, he wants sanctions lifted and he wants to be left alone in Syria.

[05:35:03] ROBERTSON: Problem is, Putin's idea around deal making 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 wounds (ph) Browder 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 any other U.S. head of state before him towards Russia.

WOOD: I think at least for a period, it will be very much in Putin's interests to take things relatively calmly.

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 thumping their chests and staring each other down.

ROBERTSON: 25 years of post-Cold War diplomacy could be about to face their biggest test yet.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


ALLEN: We've been talking about Aleppo, our top story, a lot these past two hours because of the people they're trying to evacuate to safety. But, there's another area we're watching as well, for thousands of Iraqis who have fled ISIS in Mosul, their futures are hanging in the balance. Refugee camps surrounded Mosul are filled to capacity and only provide basic essentials.

But as Ben Wedeman reports, a life of uncertainty for now is better than what they've had.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Out of the hell of Mosul under fire and into the limbo of life as a refugee. Hundreds of residents from the embattled city arrive at a camp to the East.

Relieved to be united with loved ones, relieved to have made it alive.

Julia (ph) didn't want to show her face for fear of reprisals against relatives still in Mosul. She fled with his family 3:00 in the morning, sneaking out through a deli. ISIS gun men ordered them to come back and opened fire when they didn't stop.

Her and 100,000 people are now in camps surrounding Mosul.

The facilities and services at these camps are already overstretched, while everyday, hundreds more arrive.

At another camp nearby, they line up for the weekly distribution of heating fuel, temperatures are plummeting, patience is wearing thin.

We've been here since the morning for four hours says Hasnah (ph).

The camp provides much needed safety, shelter, food, water and basic health care but little else. There is no school for the children, no organized activities, just a monotonous expanse of tense gravel and mud, with dark clouds overhead.

Hassan (ph) has been here for almost a month and a half. The Iraqi military drove ISIS out of his neighborhood of Saahma (ph), but ISIS mortar round and rockets still slam into the area.

His wife, Halek (ph), tells me she and her five children can put up with the discomfort of camp life.

It's cold in the tent but we'll hang on, she says. It's better here than in Mosul with ISIS.

For others, this bleak existence has taken its toll when someone shows up with a bag of jackets, a mad scramble ensues.

Many here arrived with only the clothing on their backs. And every extra scrap is worth fighting for.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, outside Mosul.


ALLEN: How much more can they take? My goodness.

Well, Turkish military officials held a ceremony for 13 soldiers killed in an attack in Central Turkey, the soldiers were traveling in a bus Saturday when a car bomb bloated nearby.

The coffins are being flown to the soldiers' homes for burial. Dozens of people were wounded in the blast, police have arrested 15 people. Saturday's attack is the latest in a string of deadly bombings in Turkey this year. The last just last weekend. A suicide attack at a military base in Southern Yemen has killed at

least 41 soldiers, the bomber attacked the outland (ph) base in Aden Sunday morning as soldiers lined up to get their paychecks. Two Yemeni security officials say the attacker got on to the base by dressing as a soldier.

Tensions are high at a west bank outpost where people are facing eviction by the Israeli government. We'll hear from the settlers coming next.


[05:43:26] ALLEN: Residents of a west bank outpost are facing eviction and as CNN's Ian Lee reports, the settlers are unwilling to leave.


IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 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 are 200 children living here. Do you know how devastated children are when being torn from their home and having their lives destroyed?

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

HILLEL: It's time to declare these lands belong to us, it's time to say enough. No Jewish settlements 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 that 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 Yacoub, knows how the settlers feel.

Which part is your land?

IBRAHIM YACOUB, PALESTINIAN LANDOWNER: My land is where is the trees, which is behind the trees immediately.

LEE: Yacoub tells me his family worked this land for generations, nurturing the harvest, camping under the stars.

[05:45:00] Then in 1996, he says the settlers illegally seized it.

YACOUB: I would like to see and imagine how you feel when somebody come to your house and he take from you and your car, and your house and you cannot do for him nothing.

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


LEE: Israel's right wing Jewish home party saw an opportunity, setting in motion legislation to save Amona and legalize more than 50 other west bank outposts at the same time.

But in the horse trading of coalition politics and in order not to undermine the high court, Amona now looks set to be sacrificed for a bill. Jewish home leaders say will be the first step towards annexation of the west bank. That goal given momentum by the election of Donald Trump.

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

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

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

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 that 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: As Venezuela's economic woes deepen and inflation there skyrockets, its president is backing off on an earlier move to pull a popular bank note from circulation.

Nicolas Maduro announced last week 100 bolivar notes would be discontinued with the aim of fighting so-called Mafia's he claims were hoarding them. But protests erupted when the currency set to replace the bill failed to reach many banks and ATMs by last Thursday's deadline. As the demonstrations continue, Mr. Maduro now says the old bills are good until January 2nd. He blames the crisis on a global conspiracy.


NICOLAS MADURO, VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT (Through Translator): We are being victimized by an international sabotage, so the new bills that are already ready can't be transferred to Venezuela. So I denounce it.

I personally have been on 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 abode 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: "CNN NEWSROOM" will be right back.


[05:50:48] DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Hi there, I'm Don Riddell with your CNN World Sport headlines. What a difference that E.A. (ph) makes. This time last season, Chelsea were close to being relegated, 12 months later, that come to be top of the lead and they've won their last 11th games, tying a club record.

On Saturday, the Blues' beat Crystal Palace and it was their talismanic striker, Diego Costa, who scored the only goal of the night, he was the 13th goal of the season and is 50th to Chelsea were now nine points clear at the top of the table.

It has been a year to the day since Chelsea sunk Jose Mourinho, the manager they land of a dream job Atlantis United (ph), but the results so far have been mixed. However, things seemed to be looking on, United beat West Brom too near of the Holton's (ph) on Saturday, Zlatan Ibrahimovic with the first goal and he's certainly enjoying himself scoring 16 now in all competitions, that's 11 more than any of his teammates.

And it sounds as though we are one step closer to video replay technology being used in football, the games well governing body, FIFA, has been trailing it this week at the Club World Cup in Japan. And first but so far, it being extremely positive, not everyone agrees those ram good (ph) players have been critical, but it could well be a part of the game by the next World Cup in Russia 2018.

That is a quick look at your sport headlines. This is Don Riddell.

ALLEN: Actor Will Smith's new movie, "Collateral Beauty", is now showing in theaters in the U.S. While the actor was making the film, his father was diagnosed with cancer and he died in November. Smith tells our Neil Curry how he connected this profound loss to his role in the film and what's important to him now in life.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Love, time, death. These three things connect every single human being on earth.

We long for love. We wish we had more time. We fear death.

WILL SMITH, ACTOR: For me and my experience of Collateral Beauty, you know, having -- the character was dealing with the loss of his daughter and I was in real life dealing with the loss 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 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 what for most of us is the ultimate tragedy.

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

NEIL CURRY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So this time of the year, people still move towards awards season. What do you think that the awards season judges are looking for? What kicks their bags is 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. 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 just -- it means nothing to me, like it's -- it's like such an addictive way to look at the creation of art. You know, so it's something that -- it's just completely been cleansed from my -- from the realm of my desire.

[05:55:01] You know, so it's just something I'm -- I can't even look at right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just look for it. I promise you, it's there.

The collateral beauty.


ALLEN: President-Elect Donald Trump is providing a lot of ammunition for comedy shows in the U.S. especially for the writers of the satire program, "Saturday Night Live", you probably know that by now.

Well, the latest skit targets Trump's choice for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and his ties to Vladimir Putin.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your secretary of state pick Rex Tillerson is here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Mr. President- Elect. I just wanted to come by.

Pootie? Oh my God. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rexie, baby.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my stars, Donald. You didn't tell me Pootie was going be here. Man, have I been hoping to catch up with you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As have I, old friend, so much to talk about. Right here. We're having some oil drilling problems here in Vankor Field.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, that's no problem, as soon as the sanctions are lifted, we'll up our intake by 30 percent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you guys talking about?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't worry about it.


ALLEN: We'll wait and see what Mr. Trump had to say about that one.

That wraps this hour, "CNN NEWSROOM". I'm Natalie Allen. For viewers in the U.S., New Day is just ahead. For other viewers around the world, a CNN special program, Africa's Energy Surge, that starts in just a moment. Thanks for watching.