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Carrie Fisher Dies at 60; Israel Moves Ahead on Building Settlements; Brawls Break Out at Malls Across U.S. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired December 27, 2016 - 14:30   ET



[14:32:50] MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: I want to get back to our breaking news, the death of iconic movie star, Carrie Fisher. She died today in Los Angeles after stuffing a heart attack on a flight from London four days ago. She was 60 years old. She was best known for her role as tough-talking Princess Leia in "Star Wars." She revived her role "The Force Awakens," the seventh film in the popular franchise


HARRISON FORD, ACTOR: We lost our son forever.

CARRIE FISHER, ACTRESS & WRITER: No, it was Snoke. He seduced our son to the dark side, but we can still save him. Me, you.

FORD: If Luke couldn't reach him, how could I?

FISHER: Luke is a Jedi. You're his father.


SAVIDGE: Joining me now is Scott Mantz, film critic for "Access Hollywood"; and Chloe Melas, CNN entertainment reporter.

Chloe, let me start with you.

I understand clearly the emotions and messages are pouring in from Hollywood. What are we hearing?

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Obviously, people were hoping Carrie Fisher was going to pull through over the weekend. Both her mother and her daughter said she seemed to be in stable condition. We knew she was on a ventilator. we knew she suffered a massive heart attack on a flight from London to L.A. 50 minutes before it was supposed to land.

But the outpouring of support from Hollywood and condolences has been overwhelming in the past few minutes since we've learned of her death.

Mark Hamill wrote, "No words #devastated." Her former co-star right there very upset over her passing.

Then we also have William Shatner, who wrote, "I'm deeply saddened to learn of the death of Carrie Fisher. I will miss our banterings. A wonderful talent and light has been extinguished."

The list goes on and on, from Ellen DeGeneres, who recently had her on her show talking about her memoirs, to Ryan Seacrest. It's overwhelming.

SAVIDGE: Scott, I wanted to ask you, we are going to see her again. I know that we just did see her in episode seven. There's an episode eight in which she will appear, correct?

SCOTT MANTZ, FILM CRITIC, ACCESS HOLLYWOOD: That is correct. Backing up just a little bit, you will also see her very, very briefly in the brand new "Star Wars" movie out in theaters right now "Rogue One." She has a very small role but it's a very pivotal role and a very profound moment in that film that leads into the original trilogy.

But to get back to what you were saying, Martin, yes, she does have a substantial role in "Star Wars" episode eight, which is the continuing story of the saga. That movie is supposed to open December of 2017. Now, we don't know what happens to her character in that movie, we know that from "The Force Awakens" that Hans Solo died, so will General Leia, continue to evolve? What does that mean for "Star Wars" episode nine? How are they going to handle the situation there? That is something that is going affect the future of the "Star Wars" series if the character of General Leia continues to advance as the series progresses. What will they do about that? That will be a big question, and a big one for fans of the "Star Wars" series, which is just about everybody.

[14:36:13] SAVIDGE: It's just about everybody.

One last question, Scott. How did she feel about getting back into the role of Princess, now General Leia?

MANTZ: That's a great question. For a long time, Princess Leia was a gift, because it made her famous. But it was a curse, because it made her so famous that's all everyone saw her as. For people from my generation, generation y and the generations that followed, they had this image of Princess Leia from "Return of the Jedi" in that gold bikini. They made a joke about it on the TV series "Friends" and that's something a lot of people from all the generations have thought about so for her to come back as Princess Leia it was something that because so much time had passed between "Return of the Jedi" and "The Force Awakens," which was about 33 years, that it was something when I interviewed her last year for "Access Hollywood" it was something she was excited about because the new "Star Wars" films were really embracing strong female characters. Back in the original trilogy, it was just Princess Leia. Now in these films you have a lot of strong female characters and that was something Carrie Fisher was excited about and proud of.

SAVIDGE: It can be tied directly back to her role.

Scott Mantz and Chloe Melas, thank you for joining us.

MANTZ: Thank you, Martin.

MELAS: Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Still to come, a historic moment set to take place with President Obama and Japan's prime minister as they visit Pearl Harbor. We'll have what happens for you live.

Plus, Israel says it's moving ahead with plans to build hundreds of settlements in east Jerusalem. Could this make President-elect Donald Trump's job more difficult? We'll discuss.


[14:41:18] SAVIDGE: Israel says it's pushing ahead with a plan to build hundreds of new homes in east Jerusalem, defying the new U.N. resolution condemning settlement construction there in the West Bank. The resolution led to a bitter war of words between the Israeli prime minister and the White House. Because although the U.S. abstained from the vote, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN they have, quote, "ironclad information" that the U.S. pushed for the resolution. A claim the U.S. denies.


DAVID KEYES, SPOKESMAN FOR ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: We have ironclad information from sources in the Arab world and internationally, and we're going to share that information with the incoming administration through the proper channels. And if the new administration chooses to share that information that's their prerogative.

BEN RHODES, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: By definition, it's not an ambush when President Obama and Secretary Kerry have been saying in hundreds of conversations and in public comments that Israeli settlement activity was pushing into the West Bank in a way that was making the two-state solution unachievable.


SAVIDGE: CNN's Oren Liebermann is in Jerusalem where he's been tracking these fast-breaking developments.

Oren, I understand an Israeli official says that evidence of U.S. involvement will be in the U.N. and it will be shared with the Trump administration. What's the latest on the standoff?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're being incredibly vague about what it is this information is or the evidence that they have against the U.S. administration. They say that a senior Israeli official says that it's information that indicates there were -- that the U.S. was a covert partner in pushing this through and advancing it. That's an accusation the U.S. has denied, not only the latest part of the accusation but going back until since the first time we heard it. The Palestinians deny it as well saying this was worked on with other countries and the U.S. decided to abstain. And yet, it's an accusation the Israelis have not let go, only ramping it up in the last few days -- Martin? SAVIDGE: Then there's Secretary of State John Kerry. He's expected

to deliver a speech later this week that will lay out President Obama's vision for the Middle East. I've covered the violence in that region for a long time and any hopes for peace are welcomed but 24 days left in your administration you come out with a peace plan? What do we know about this?

LIEBERMANN: Well, Martin, let me point out this is not without precedent. When Clinton's term was up, he laid out his peace plan that's now colloquially known as the Clinton parameters. It was Clinton's vision for peace. I suspect he came to the same conclusion, there's no immediate end to the conflict, so he decided to weigh in on how to solve the most complex and difficult issues in the region and that seems to be what Secretary of State Kerry intends to do, giving guidelines on how the U.S. views the complex issues, the status of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, borders and other issues. So, it's not uncommon.

How seriously will it be taken? The Palestinians say they'll take it very seriously. They'll view it as a positive development. The U.S. weighing in trying to establish where the grounds are for making some progress on the complex issues. The Israelis are taking it seriously for the opposite reason. They're furious and would rather see Kerry not weigh in at all. They'd rather see Kerry and the U.S. have chosen to use the veto power a few days ago. This is how Kerry feels he can make a difference, lay out a vision that maybe one day we'll call the Kerry parameters.

SAVIDGE: Let's hope so.

Oren Liebermann, thank you very much for joining us.

I want to bring in David Andelman, who is editor emeritus at "World Policy Journal" and a columnist for "USA Today" and a opinion contributor; and Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the author of "Bending History, Barack Obama's Foreign Policy."

Let me start with you, Michael.

Netanyahu and Obama famously have been at odds. We've all seen this for the past eight years and now the Israeli prime minister has been saying how much he is looking forward to working with Donald Trump. So how exactly do we expect that things will change?

[14:45:27] MICHAEL O'HANLON, SENIOR FELLOW, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION & AUTHOR: Well, you know, they're going to change a lot in tone and probably in substance based on where things have been now in the last week between Obama and Netanyahu. Even though I tend to, at a broad level strategically, agree with President Obama in criticizing the Israeli settlements, I wonder if this might be a tactical mistake by the Obama administration because we're setting up big risks with not only Netanyahu but also Trump.

What I thought might have been a better approach is if President Obama and President-elect Trump could have issued a joint statement in which they might have looked for common American purpose that could have bridged January 20 and maybe we then veto the resolution but express concern about any settlements that would compromise the possibility of an ultimate two-state solution. In other words, President Obama try to use his wisdom, experience, and leverage on this issue to begin to influence the way Mr. Trump might pursue a peace process, rather than set up a stark confrontation between not only the us and the Israelis but Obama and the likely Trump approach.

SAVIDGE: That's creative, I'll give you that. And it sounds like it would have been a diplomatic way to approach and meld two administrations as well as foreign policy with a strong ally.

David, I want to play for you some sound from the Palestinians. Here's what a senior member of the PLO told CNN this morning.


HANAN ASHRAWI, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER, PLO: This is something that Israel is not used to because it's used to getting preferential treatment and violating the impunity. We've been urging the U.S. to do what is consistent with its own long-held positions since the days of Ronald Reagan. Every single administration has said the settlements are illegal and must stop.


SAVIDGE: So I know Hanan Ashrawi well. We interviewed a couple of times. Clearly, the Palestinians would be in favor of the Obama administration and all that has been done. But they have to be fearful of the coming Trump administration, right?

DAVID ANDELMAN, CNN.COM OPINION CONTRIBUTOR & EDITOR EMERITUS, WORLD POLICY JOURNAL & COLUMNIST, USA TODAY: Yes, absolutely. My main concern right now for Israel is that they're becoming increasingly isolated. 14 members of the Security Council, all of the major western European powers voted against this and the French are holding a -- scheduled a big conference on Palestine on the 15th of January. So, the Israelis are painting themselves further and further into the corner. The Trump administration has new priorities, this will be one of them, the question is whether Netanyahu can rely on the U.S. to be its one and sole ally in the Western world in all of this.

SAVIDGE: Michael, I want to go back to your original picture you painted of these two administrations. What do you think will happen?

O'HANLON: I think with every passing year it further reduces the long-term hope for peace because of the fact of the settlements together with the deterioration of the Palestinian political debate internally, those two trends. So, that's why I'm most concerned not about settlements in general but about the specific settlements going into areas of east Jerusalem or the West Bank that take away the possibility of a future Palestinian state because they take away the ability for one land area to be held together contiguously. So, the U.N. resolution could have been more specific to say we understand some settlements will continue within certain areas where it's relatively harmless. You could imagine trades where the Palestinians could be compensated for certain settlement zones, what we're really worried about is where you rear breaking new ground or interrupting the different territories within the West Bank and east Jerusalem. That's where I would have liked to see more clarity. That's where I think Obama had a chance to work with Trump although that's conjecture, I admit.

SAVIDGE: There's so much more I'd love to talk to you about.

David Andelman, thank you very much.

Michael O'Hanlon, good to see you as well.


[14:49:37] SAVIDGE: Up next, more on the death of actress Carrie Fisher. She played Princess Leia in the "Star Wars" films. And tributes for her from co-stars are flooding in. More on that coming up.

Plus, mall brawls break out in more than a dozen locations -- say that five times real fast. What happened, or what is happening that causes so many kids to trade punches?

Back after a break.


SAVIDGE: We want to remind you of our breaking news this afternoon. Acclaimed actress and author, Carrie Fisher, has died. Fisher passed away today after stuffing a heart attack aboard a Los Angeles-bound flight four days ago. She was 60. Carrie Fisher, of course, rocketed to fame with her portrayal of the tough-talking Princess Leia in "Star Wars." We'll have more on her life coming up at the top of the hour, so please stay here.

Meanwhile, police across the country must be wondering how they can possibly prevent violence like this.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god! What the --



SAVIDGE: This is just one of the brawls that broke out at more than a dozen malls on the day after Christmas.

CNN's Sara Sidner is on the story from Los Angeles.

And, Sara, nice to see you. We're talking about several incidents across the nation, right? SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: More than a dozen, mayhem in shopping

malls, if you will, all the way from New York to Colorado to Connecticut. Brawls breaking out among teenagers in malls that were, of course, packed with families doing the traditional thing we do after the holiday season, return unwanted gifts.

This is what families were encountering, for example, in Manchester, Connecticut. People screaming, punches being thrown inside the shops here at Buckland Hills, ending with a chase and an officer assaulted trying to break it up.

Let's move on to Fort Worth, Texas, another incident. A mall put on lockdown after massive fight ensues near the food court. This one authorities say involved more than 100 middle students. The madness ending with officers going store to store to let shoppers out once that lockdown was lifted.

And then to Aurora, Illinois, another fight involving people at FOX valley mall. There were several people involved in that fight. The mall forced to close for the entire day after that and yet another one in Ohio. Another fight near the food court again. A lot of similarities here.

Let's go to Colorado. The Aurora town mall closed and evacuated after not one but several fights broke out inside the mall. But here's what police say prompted what happened there.


[14:55:22] SGT. CHRIS AMSLER, AURORA POLICE DEPARTMENT: Our investigation revealed how this all started was actually from social media. There was something that was going around on social media about a fight that was going to take place here at the town center of Aurora, which is what drew all of these people, who were up to no good, to our mall.


SIDNER: It wasn't just fights scaring people. Something else happened in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Police say teenagers set off fireworks. That completely freaked out shoppers who mistook the sound of fireworks for gunshots and they went running. Several shoppers were injured there as they tried to get to safety. It turned out there were no gunshots. Indeed, it was fireworks.

But this is a trend that has troubling implications, because in New York City, several people were trampled, one person having to be taken out by a stretcher because, again, they thought there were gunshots, and it turned out it was chaos from a fight -- Martin?

SAVIDGE: Sara Sidner, I can see how that would be hard for authorities to defuse.

Thanks very much for that.

Meanwhile, happening now, a historic moment. President Obama meeting with Japan's prime minister in Hawaii shortly before the prime minister's visit to the "USS Arizona" Memorial at Pearl Harbor. We'll have a live report straight ahead.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

[13:59:50] SAVIDGE: Hello, everyone. It's the top of the hour. I'm Martin Savidge, in for Brooke Baldwin.

We begin with breaking news. Acclaimed actress and author, Carrie Fisher, has died. The iconic starlet passed away today after stuffing a heart attack aboard a Los Angeles-bound flight four days ago. She was 60 years old.

Fisher, of course, rocketed into fame with portrayal as that tough- talking Princess Leia from "Star Wars."