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Dense Fog & Heavy Raid Could Slow Travel; Japan's Abe Makes Historic Visit to Pearl Harbor; Top 10 of 2016: International Stories in the Spotlight. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired December 27, 2016 - 06:30   ET


[06:30:00] SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Let's move on now to Aurora Town Mall in Colorado. That was closed and evacuated after several fights broke out outside the mall involving a load of people. There were at least 500 people that were crowded into that mall. Police say it all started with a social media post promising a fight.

And at Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville, North Carolina, people forced to evacuate there as well as a massive fight broke out in the food court. Police say reports of a suspected gunman there turned out to be false.

You know, with all these incidents that are very similar, all near food courts, all involved several dozen people in some cases, there's a lot of concern as to whether or not this was planned out, maybe using social media. So far police haven't really been able to figure out if that's true or not or if this was just kind of a fluke. Really odd and bad for families in the mall. Pretty scary for little kids.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Absolutely. You've got to think. I mean, how could these all happen at once without some sort of coordination.

All right. We'll stay on it. Sara, thank you.

Let's turn to your weather. Dense fog, heavy rain likely to slow down your commute today. And record-breaking warm temperatures gripping the South.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has your forecast.

I thought of you this morning when I didn't put a coat on because you said it was going to be 17 degrees warmer than normal. And it is.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is beautiful today. And it'll be colder tomorrow, but it is all the way across the southeast nice and warm.

Some showers in Atlanta, showers in Charlotte. I get that. That may slow down the airport there in Atlanta or Charlotte, two major hubs here. A lot of fog around too. That's just part of the humidity that's in the air right now. And that will continue throughout the day. But record highs set across the country yesterday, at least south of

that front that just went by. Now, it does get colder. A cold front comes by, makes it more seasonal. Around 40 for you in New York City, not 57 or 60 like you're going to be today. Even making a run at 70 in Washington, D.C.

Look at these numbers from yesterday. Houston hit 84. Sarasota, 86. Even Louisville, Kentucky, hit a record high of 76 degrees.

Enjoying the day to return the gifts, I guess, but it's going to get colder. Pay back is you know what, guys, because it will get much colder as a cold front comes by next week. Winter is not over yet, Don.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: You can make it happen, though, Chad. You have the power. That's what I'm told at least.

Thank you, Chad Myers. I appreciate it.

MYERS: You're welcome, buddy.

LEMON: A day for the history books. Japan's prime minister set to become the first Japanese leader to visit the site of the Pearl Harbor attacks. We're going to take you live to Hawaii next.


[06:35:42] HARLOW: Well, history is about to be made in Hawaii. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will become the first Japanese leader to officially visit Pearl Harbor for a memorial ceremony. This comes more than 75 years after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that left more than 2,400 Americans dead and brought the U.S. into World War II.

President Obama will join Abe at the USS Arizona Memorial. A big day ahead certainly.

CNN's Athena Jones is live in Honolulu with the details.

This is a first. This is the first time that a sitting Japanese prime minister has made this visit. Obviously, this comes in the wake of President Obama's visit to Hiroshima not that long ago. What do we expect the leaders to say?


Well, today kicks off with a bilateral meeting between the president and the prime minister followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial. And then, later, the two leaders will deliver remarks, which we expect will focus on the power of reconciliation. This is a historic visit, as you noted, and it's one that one witness to the Pearl Harbor attack I spoke with is welcoming.


JONES (voice-over): Ninety-five-year-old Robert Lee says he's glad to see Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe making this trip. ROBERT LEE, PEARL HARBOR WITNESS: I think it's the greatest thing in

the world. I think we've already gone through quite a bit of healing.

JONES: He remembers as well the day of Japan's surprise attack 75 years ago when more than 2,400 people lost their lives.

LEE: It's very vivid in my memory, very much so.

JONES: Still a young man, just two years out of high school ROTC, he looked on from his bedroom, later dashing to his front lawn as Japanese bombers flew low over his home, headed for battleship row.

LEE: I grabbed my .22-caliber target rifle and shot all 16 .22 lead shots.

JONES (on camera): At the planes?

LEE: At the planes.

JONES: Thinking that it would work?

LEE: Of course not, no.


LEE: (INAUDIBLE) to kill a mouse.

JONES (voice-over): He watched as the USS Arizona just a mile away exploded.

LEE: It was that orange, red/orange color. About three seconds and then it exploded. The fire went up hundreds of feet from the whole ship, and the crackling of the fire was overwhelming.

JONES: As those who could fought back, Lee helped to wash the oil off sailors who jumped to safety. Their ships under attack, later helping transport the injured to treatment facilities. By midnight, he had joined the military, serving domestically throughout the war.

It was a long, emotional day that left Lee angry, but he isn't angry anymore.

LEE: Hate is the greatest destroyer of anyone. The idea that you can harbor hate will destroy you.

JONES: It's that understanding the president celebrated at Hiroshima.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Since that fateful day, we have made choices that give us hope. The United States and Japan forged not only an alliance but a friendship that is one far more for our people than we could ever claim through war.

JONES: A message Prime Minister Abe is certain to echo as he pays tribute at this watery grave, now a sacred site.

(END VIDEOTAPE) JONES: The prime minister will offer his prayers to those who lost their lives in the attack, but don't expect an apology. His will be a forward-looking speech. And Abe's press secretary says he began thinking about making this trip more than a year ago, and he made those plans official when he met with President Obama on the sidelines at the APEC Summit in Peru in November -- Don.

LEMON: All right. Athena, thank you very much for that.

Some sports now, as the Cowboys get ready to ride into the playoffs and show they have a few tricks up their sleeves. Highlights next in the "Bleacher Report".


[06:43:36] LEMON: That means it's time for the "Bleacher Report", that music.

Dallas Cowboys shining once again in prime time last night, winning easily against a desperate Detroit Lions team.

Desperate, Coy Wire. He's got this morning's bleacher report.

I like the bow tie.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, sir. Coming from you, my day is made. My week is made. Might wear this every day now. Good to see you, Don.

Going into this game, the Cowboys already had home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They were locked up there, so a lot of people thought, will they rest their starters, will they pack it in? No, they put on a show.

Even though the Lions were fighting for their playoff lives, they could not stop Dallas' offense or the NFL's leading rusher. You know his name. Ezekiel Elliott shot through a cannon for 55 yards on this touchdown run.

Zeke needs 178 yards in the Cowboys final game of the season to break Eric Dickerson's all-time rookie rushing record. That's good stuff.

How about Dez Bryant? Two touchdown receptions and a touchdown pass. Three touchdowns in total for Dez Bryant. What a way to go. The Cowboys are rolling, 13-2 on the season. They win 42-21.

And we present to you something that hasn't been done in the NBA for over a quarter century, the granny style free throw. Yes, indeed. That's the Rockets rookie Chinanu Onuaku. He knocked down not one but two granny style free throws in the game against the suns.

Look at his teammates absolutely love it.

[06:45:02] This was his first ever NBA game. He had six points, not bad. But this is something that hadn't been done since the '80s. 1980. Rick Berry is the only guy who we've ever seen do this in quite some time. So, a shoutout to Chinanu Onuaku for bringing some old school back to the game.

LEMON: Do you know what Poppy said?

HARLOW: What? Nothing.

LEMON: She called Bill Nye called and wants his outfit back.

WIRE: That's funny. I've been getting that a lot.

HARLOW: It is funny.


HARLOW: It's 6:45 a.m. Coy Wire, thank you.

WIRE: Thank you.

LEMON: She didn't say that, by the way.

HARLOW: I love Bill Nye.


HARLOW: All right. From terror attacks to the death of Fidel Castro, what a year it was. 2016, a year full of global events.

Up next, we look back at the top ten international stories of 2016.


HARLOW: What a year it has been, right? From stunning elections, to terror attacks, the death of Fidel Castro.

Our Clarissa Ward takes a look back at the top ten biggest international stories of 2016.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We begin our top ten with Brazil, a country whose roller coaster of scandals and triumphs made news the world over -- a mosquito-borne Zika virus outbreak leading to a spate of birth defects.

[06:50:03] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Brazil is losing the battle against this virus.

WARD: Then a political crisis that rocked the corridors of power.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Senate removed Dilma Rousseff as president.

WARD: All this a backdrop to Brazil's moment in the sun.

NICK PARKER: The whole world will be watching Brazil as it hosts the Olympics.

WARD: Which despite a few setbacks was widely considered a success. ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: The Turkish military announcing it has taken over the country and imposed Marshall Law.

WARD: In the dead of night machine gunfire rings out as a coup attempt takes hold, and almost as quickly as it began, it was over, the president survives the coup attempt but some 290 others would not. Seeking retribution, President Erdogan would go on to detain and dismiss tens of thousands of people.

A diplomatic falling, sees a U.S. president touch down on Cuban soil for the first time in 88 years, infuriating Fidel Castro. Eight months later --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news out of Cuba, Fidel Castro has died.

WARD: For some, grief for the loss of a revolutionary, for others, celebration for the death of a ruthless dictator. Cuban exiles thrilled as they remember a tyrant who imprisoned and executed his opponents and brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

A global migrant crisis worsening by the minute, 65 million people now displaced.

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: 2016 has been the deadliest year ever for migrants and refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Among those rescued, this five day old infant peering out of his pink blanket.

WARD: War, terror, poverty, seeing migrant camps across the world swelling to unsustainable levels, one camp in France bulldozed to the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is this life? Have mercy on us. Have mercy.

POPE FRANCIS (through translator): I wanted to tell you that you are not alone.

WARD: Coming in at number six, seismic stations around the world pick up on the unmistakable signs of North Korean aggression, but this time it's different.

BURNETT: North Korea exploding its most powerful warhead ever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The equivalent of at least 10,000 tons of TNT detonated deep underground.

WARD: The question now, will the next warhead be mounted on a missile?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you have this many tests you are eventually going to get it right.

WARD: Unimaginable acts of terror in the name of ISIS leave a bloody trail on the borders of Iraq and Syria. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two explosions rocking the main terminal at Brussels airport.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Across town in the center of the city, a bomb exploded on a Metro train.

WARD: Those three suicide bombers killed 32 people, three months later, another airport is hit.

Three men wearing explosive vests carrying AK-47s exiting a taxi curbside, shooting at panicked travelers before blowing themselves up. Forty-four people would never make it out of that Turkish airport.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: It's about six to eight gunmen have taken over this bakery restaurant in Dhaka in this more affluent posh area of the city in Bangladesh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Military commandos moved in, the siege ended with 13 hostages saved but 20 others dead at the restaurant.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BURNETT: We are following breaking news out of France.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: More than a mile of carnage as the truck drove down the beach side promenade, killing as many people as the driver could.

WARD: A day of celebration for French Independence ending with the slaughter of 84 people.

While the so-called soldiers of ISIS waged war in cities across the world, back in Iraq, the land they once laid claim to was being taken back.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: The Iraqi city of Falluja, we understand has been liberated.

GORANI: Iraq's military is claiming victory in Ramadi.

HARLOW: Breaking news in the CNN, in Iraq, in offensive to retake the key city of Mosul from ISIS is now underway.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: An effort with much international support, a lot of coalition planning, American air power. One came right at me.

WARD: CNN's own team would later make it inside the city limits of Mosul and very nearly would not make it out.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We realized we're trapped. Our MRAP takes a direct hit. We need to move. But every time we try, gunfire drives us back.

[06:55:01] WARD: Arwa Damon and her team would spend 28 hours trapped. An estimated 1 million civilians are still within this embattled city.

Across the border in Syria, another hellish landscape unfolds. It's biggest city, Aleppo, the epicenter of this horror.

This is what hell feels like.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Syrian regime's latest aerial assault.

DAMON: Gallon drums filled with explosives and shrapnel, shoved out of helicopters.

PATON WALSH: They're racing frantically. They say that nine people are still stuck under the rubble.

WARD: A dazed and shell-shocked boy pulled from the wreckage of his home would become the bloody face of Syria's suffering.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: He doesn't cry once. This is Omran. He is alive. We wanted you to know.

WARD: Coming in at number two, Russia, flexing its military muscle at home.

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Vladimir Putin moving nuclear capable missiles to the border with Poland and Lithuania.

WARD: And on a global stage --

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. is blaming Russia for bombing a humanitarian convoy in Syria.

WARD: Moscow, using its superior arsenal to turn the tides of war in favor of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

He told us that Russian and regime forces target hospitals cynically and deliberately. The diplomatic vacuum between the U.S. and Russia intensifying with accusations of hostile acts still shrouded in mystery.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: A series of cyberattacks on Democrats indicate Russia is trying to sway the election for Donald Trump.

WARD: And in our number one slot this year, the surge of populism across the west, as voters rejected the establishment. Many feeling ignored by politicians and left behind economically.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ACHOR: The people have voted to leave the European Union.

NIGEL FARAGE, PRO BREXIT LEADER: Dare to dream. But the dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom.

WARD: It was a vote that took the world by surprise, one of the main forces behind Brexit, anger over immigration.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "They should go back to where they came from," this man says, "before we rip their heads off."

WARD: And of course, in the U.S., where President-elect Donald Trump capitalized on the issue.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL-ELECT: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.

WARD: The rejection of globalization resonating with voters.

BLITZER: CNN projects Donald Trump wins the presidency.

WARD: Will the march of populism continue? With elections in France and Germany coming up, 2017 promises to be an interesting year.


LEMON: My goodness. If as much happens in '17 and it did in '16.

But, you know, beyond the political, for me, what got me most, number one, Arwa Damon's reporting from Mosul and the children who were involved, Omran, very incapable in reacting the way that everybody would react --

HARLOW: Aylan Kurdi, that toddler washing up on shore. I remember vividly one depiction of it was Aylan Kurdi on the shore, right? If you try to flee, some of them die. Those who stay, you remember that little boy Omran in the ambulance, all bloodied in Syria, his home in Aleppo being bombed.

No good choices for these children who have only known war.

LEMON: Yes. And again, '17, this will continue, no doubt.


LEMON: We're following a lot of news this morning. Let's get right to it.


HARLOW: The president-elect is back on Twitter, slamming President Obama.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Democratic agenda is better for all working people.

LEMON: Trump says no way.

OBAMA: If I had run again, I could have mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind this vision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Israel is not going to be kicked in the teeth and just not respond to this. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Barack Obama believes that the two-state solution

is dying.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I look forward to working with the new administration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very, very disappointing to see an abandonment of Israel at the United Nations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By definition, it's not an ambush.

LEMON: Violent brawls in more than a dozen malls across the country.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.


LEMON: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY.

Hi, Poppy.


LEMON: Good to be with you.

Alisyn and Chris are off. Poppy Harlow is here with me.

Up first, President-elect Donald Trump sparring with the president now, Obama. Trump tweeting, there is no way Obama would have defeated him if the president could have run for a third term, that is.

HARLOW: Trump firing back in a series of tweets. Two of those comments made by the president in that new interview that we first shared with you yesterday. The president-elect also defending his charitable giving and his foundation while dismissing the United Nations, calling it a club for people to have a, quote, "good time."