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Unprecedented Security for New Year's Eve; Top 10 of 2016: Crime Stories in the Spotlight; Russia Moves to Expel Dozens of American Diplomats. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired December 30, 2016 - 06:30   ET



[06:30:38] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: New Year's revelers can expect very tight security in New York's Times Square tomorrow. This as we count down to the final hours of 2016. Security stepped up after the recent truck terror attacks in Berlin and, of course, in Nice, France.

Our Brynn Gingras is live in Times Square with more.

This is the first New Year's Eve in six years that I won't be in Times Square. You cannot overstate the amount of security and it's going to be even more this year?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, yeah. It's just layers and layers of security, Poppy, that really just evolves. And I've got to say, the NYPD actually starts preparing for all of this once the ball dropped earlier this year. And it's really, again, security that is evolving when terrorist threats happen all around the world.


CROWD: Ten, nine --

GINGRAS (voice-over): New York City is on high alert in anticipation of one of the biggest New Year's Eve celebrations in the world.

CROWD: Three, two, one --

GINGRAS: Securing it takes an army -- 7,000 NYPD officers is just one part of the enhanced measures being taken to protect the city.

JAMES O'NEILL, NYPD COMMISSIONER: This is where everybody has to be on their toes. I know complacency can set in at times but certainly not at an event like this.

GINGRAS: In the wake of ISIS-inspired attacks in Berlin and Nice, 65 sand trucks and 100 blockers will be stationed around the city, most being used as a protective barrier around the perimeter of Times Square to ward off a truck-style attack.

O'NEILL: We live in a changing world now. And again, as I said, it can't just be about what happens in New York. GINGRAS: The NYPD is in constant communication with foreign

department, gaining intelligence and sharing police strategy with cities abroad. In London, there is added security at the changing of the guards. Heavily armed police were unavoidable in Berlin as they stood post behind concrete barriers at the Christmas concert. Czech holiday markets were heavily patrolled and in France, the government announced a boost of 10,000 soldiers on the Parisian streets over the holiday period, added to the officers working around the clock.

LUC POIGNANT, PARIS POLICE UNION REPRESENTATIVE (through translator): We are really giving of ourselves, of our time, and at a cost to us and to our families.

GINGRAS: Nearly 2 million people are expected in Times Square. The extra police presence, a noticeable addition to keep New York City safe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you are coming down to Times Square, rest assured that it will be a safe venue.


GINGRAS: And we know that just within the last few weeks, members of the NYPD have been visiting truck rental companies, have been securing parking garages in this area and even going to area hotels talking to managers, just keeping their eyes and ears open for anything suspicious.

But, Don, we should mention the NYPD said there was no credible threat against the ball drop ceremony -- Don.

LEMON: Brynn, appreciate that. Thank you very much. Happy New Year to you.

President Barack Obama is in office for only three more weeks, but how will his recent foreign policy decisions from the past few days affect President-elect Donald Trump for years to come? We'll discuss, next.


[06:36:45] LEMON: Russia's foreign minister is recommending that dozens of American diplomats be expelled, one day after President Barack Obama leveled tough sanctions against the Russians for allegedly meddling in the U.S. election. This is just one of several diplomatic challenges facing President-elect Trump when he takes office in three weeks.

Joining us is Bobby Ghosh. Bobby is the editor-in-chief of "Hindustan Times".

Thank you. Good morning to you.

I want to get your response to the Russian foreign minister and now, expelling 35 embassy staff members.

What do you think? BOBBY GHOSH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, HINDUSTAN TIMES: Well, I think it was

inevitable. With Putin and the Putin administration, we know that being decisive and responding immediately to provocation is very much part of the persona that Putin has inculcated. There was never a chance that he was going to wait and think about it. That's how other countries do things. That's certainly how the Obama administration does things. But the Russians, that's never been the case.

LEMON: Does this hurt us?

GHOSH: Immediate response.

No, I don't think so. I think the moment the Obama administration announced their expulsions, I think they were expecting a retaliation at once. It hurts both countries in a wider scheme of things, but we've seen historically that over a period of months or maybe a couple years, a lot of these people, not the exact same people but the positions will be filled gradually, especially if going forward, there are warmer relations between Washington and Moscow.

HARLOW: But here, we were just talking in the break about the era of the strong man. So, Trump, Assad, Putin, Duterte, et cetera, you could go down the list, Shinzo Abe.

One country and leader that we know that Trump does not have an affinity for is Iran. And yet when it comes to the negotiations about Syria, there is the potential if Trump decides to join those that he would be at the table with Iranian leaders, at the same time that he wants to tear up the Iranian nuclear deal.

GHOSH: That's exactly right.

HARLOW: What will he do?

GHOSH: There's not a lot of gap between the Iranian position and the Russian position on Syria. So, if he goes along with the Russian position, then, essentially, he's also endorsing the Iranian position. I mean, there's one of a dozen different contradictions that he is going to have to try and balance out when he becomes president.

A lot of these contradictions stem from his attitude towards Russia and particularly towards Putin. He has a man crush on this man for many, many years.

Now, he's president. It's very clear that he wants to have a good relationship with Putin. But that means that you have to -- you have to position yourself against the many policies that Putin has, which is very unusual for the United States to respond in that way to the Russians. It's usually the other way around.

Certainly, in the last 25 years, it has been the other way around. But these are the kind of challenges that he has put himself in a position to have to deal with.

LEMON: So, the question is, why then give the appearance that you're aligning yourself with these dictators that we have taken issue with? (CROSSTALK)

GHOSH: I don't think he thinks of them as dictators. He thinks as Putin as a strong man, as a decisive leader. He has been a fan, as I said, for many years. Long before it became clear that he was going into politics.

HARLOW: Can I just note? These two men haven't met.

GHOSH: No, they have not met, although --

HARLOW: Despite what he said about "60 Minutes."

GHOSH: That will change very soon.

LEMON: Could Putin be playing him?

GHOSH: Oh, I think there's no question. Putin plays everybody that he could possibly play.

[06:40:00] And this is sort of a Christmas gift for Putin to have Donald Trump as president of the United States. He's -- he's someone who has demonstrated that he can be played.

HARLOW: Is there an irony in the fact that Trump's statement begins with, "It is time for our country to move on to bigger and better things"? This from the sort of ultimate grudge holder. This from the man who still has a grudge towards "Vanity Fair" and Graydon Carter 20 years later. I'm serious.

GHOSH: He can't move on from a bad review of a restaurant. He wants to move on from the idea that Russia may have tried to influence American political system? I mean -- but that is move on. I think that's the sort of expression du jure, that is going to be sort of the core of his foreign policy. He wants to move on from everything that has gone before.

There is a big part of the Trump appeal that he is going to do things differently from everybody. To do that, you have to start by saying, we will move on.

LEMON: Clean slate.

I mean, does move on maybe mean I know the intelligence. My people know the intelligence and it doesn't look good for me. In some way, it might appear to undermine his election. So, is that part of the reason that he wants to move on?

GHOSH: Certainly with Russia, that might be one of the -- that would appear to be one of the clear motivations. But to engage in the idea that Russia influenced the election is also in some degree to admit that the election was there for not entirely legitimate and that his victory was entirely legitimate.

Of course, you could understand why he wouldn't want to do that. But more importantly, he wants to move on from genocide in Syria. He wants to move on from the massive murder of people by Bashar Assad. He wants to move on from the question of settlements in Israel.

Move on is the core of his foreign policy.

LEMON: Before your question, let's just put this up so you can see how they differ on foreign policy. Go ahead.

HARLOW: Exactly, exactly. And let's talk about Israel, because you talk about the differences between Russia and Syria and when it comes to President Obama. But when it comes to Israel, I mean, Bibi Netanyahu cannot wait. He is counting the hours for January 20th and he can't wait to say good-bye to President Obama.

On Israel, what will this mean going forward for this alliance and, frankly, how the rest of the world views the United States position on Israel?

GHOSH: No, we have to remember that often in the past, particularly with Republican presidents that have come into office saying -- complete and as you pointed out there, complete loyalty to Israel. What Israel says we'll do, we'll move the capital to Jerusalem. But then when they become president, the rubber hits the road and the realities come up and smack them in the face and they have to sort of adjust their position.

There is a good possibility that might happen here, again, that once he becomes president and he has to confront all the many different complexities of the Middle East, that he has to make some adjustments to his positions particularly towards Israel. That's not what Bibi Netanyahu is looking forward to.

LEMON: Well, all presidents have to do that. So, there's no doubt that he's going to have to do it in some way.

GHOSH: Guys like no president we ever saw before. So --

HARLOW: Unprecedented.

LEMON: No unprecedented.


HARLOW: All right, thank you, Bob. Nice to have you on.

GHOSH: Thank you, guys.

LEMON: Happy New Year to you.

An Arkansas football player forced to sit out his bowl game. What he did off the field that got him sent to the bench. That's ahead in the "Bleacher Report".


[06:46:52] HARLOW: Arkansas hit the field to take on Virginia Tech last night. But they were without their starting tight end.

Andy Scholes tells us why in this morning's "Bleacher Report".

Good morning.


This is one of the stories that you just say, really? Arizona suspending senior tight end Jeremy Sprinkle from the Belk Bowl because he was caught shoplifting at a Belk Store. Each Razorbacks player was given a $450 to Belk as a part of their bowl give, and they all went shopping together on Tuesday as a team.

And Charlotte police say Sprinkle attempted to shoplift $260 worth of items from the store. Since Sprinkle is a senior, the suspension effectively ended his college career.

Now, Arkansas looked like they were going to be just fine without their starting tight end last night, opening up a 24-0 lead over Virginia Tech. But the Hokies came storming back in the second half scoring 35 unanswered to win the Belk Bowl, 35-24.

Ronda Rousey will make her long awaited return to the octagon tonight as she fights Amanda Nunez in UFC 207. This will be Rousey's first fight since losing to Holly Holm a year ago. Nunez showed to the weigh in wearing a lion mask. Her fighting nickname is the Lioness. So, that makes sense.

Rousey not speaking to the media at all before this fight. But after the weigh-in, she posted this pic on Instagram, saying, "Thank you for the support at the weigh-in today. Looking forward to proving you all right tomorrow. It's going to be the happiest New Year."

Don, very interesting to see which Rousey shows up tonight, the one that lost to Holly Holm last year or is it going to be the one that dominated UFC?

LEMON: Well, we'll be watching. Thank you, sir. Thank you, Andy. Appreciate it.

SCHOLES: All right.

LEMON: You know, this year is full of dramatic events. Which incident stood out the most? Top crime stories of 2016 when we come right back on NEW DAY.


[06:52:14] LEMON: The school board in Buffalo, New York, trying to force one of its founders to resign. Millionaire developer and Donald Trump ally Carl Paladino under fire for a racist rant he made last week about the president and the First Lady Michelle Obama. The board approving a resolution, demanding that Paladino stepped down. If he refuses, the board plans to ask the state education commissioner to remove him.

HARLOW: Love, love taking on a new meaning on the tennis court. Get it? Tennis great Serena Williams is engaged. She's set to be married to her boyfriend Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

A spokesperson confirms Ohanian popped the question while the two vacationed in Rome. Williams announced it herself on Reddit. The pair just began dating last year. When you know you know.

LEMON: When you know you know.

That's what I would call a power couple.

HARLOW: Totally.

LEMON: Total power.

HARLOW: Total power.

LEMON: Congratulations and good luck to them.

This year full of dramatic events, including that one, catching the nation's eye. Which incidents stood out from the rest?

CNN's Jean Casarez has the top ten crime stories of 2016.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are not going anywhere. We're here to do a job.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A 41-day occupation at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon ended when four remaining protesters finally surrendered. One of the leading occupiers was killed the month before, heightening tensions, the armed occupiers frustrated with the feds over land right issues.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The world's most wanted drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, captured.

CASAREZ: Mexican navy special forces captured notorious drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in a pre-dawn raid. Six months earlier, he broke out of a Mexican prison through a hole in his shower stall that led to a tunnel. This was his second escape.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Heroin is the devil.

CASAREZ: Law enforcement facing a national heroin epidemic, Ohio police posting this picture to demonstrate the devastating impact on families.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People do not understand what this drug is doing and how it affects families overall, and the little kids that get caught up in this.

CASAREZ: And the video of a couple overdosing going viral.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I found myself unable to put the heroin down. It's devastation. It's pain. It's anguish. CASAREZ: The addiction beginning for some with prescription drugs, the crisis made even worse this year by deadlier drugs. 2016 showed an increase in fentanyl-related deaths and overdoses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We could make a billion gun arrests a year, and it's not going the make a difference.

CASAREZ: More than 700 homicides in Chicago as of December, the worst year for murders in two decades. There are an average of 82 shootings per week.

[06:55:04] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "On that morning, all that I was told was that I had been found behind a dumpster, potentially penetrated by a stranger."

CASAREZ: Stanford swimmer Brock Turner was released from prison after three months. He was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. The move angered the public, and the victim's heart-wrenching statement seen by millions.

Apple refuses to comply with a California judge's order to help the FBI retrieve information from the iPhone of San Bernardino gunman Sayed Farook.

The phone was unlocked by a third party, but Apple's refusal set a precedent for future cases that tech companies asserting their constitutional rights may refuse to comply with a court's subpoena power.

LEMON: There's been an explosion that is taking place in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan.

CASAREZ: The act of a lone wolf terrorist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody get off the street!

CASAREZ: Twenty-nine injured, no one was killed. Two other devices found in New Jersey, this one detonated by the bomb squad. Twenty- eight-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami was captured after a shootout days later with police in New Jersey.

In February, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the outspoken conservative voice, the longest serving justice, died in his sleep. Who would appoint his replacement and what impact will that have became front page news in this election year. President Obama's attempt to replace him, blocked by Republicans. The next justice will be appointed by president-elect Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told him to get his hands up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please don't tell me he's dead.

CASAREZ: Police shootings and race relations dominated the conversation, reaching a crescendo for four days in July.

Alton Sterling shot by police in Louisiana, Philando Castile shot by police in Minnesota. Both died from their wounds.

And then in Dallas, in the evening hours of July 8, 12 police officers shot, five killed during protest as a gunman ambushed police. It ended when a bomb squad robot killed the gunman after negotiations failed.

DAVID BROWN, FORMER CHIEF OF THE DALLS POLICE DEPARTMENT: This must stop. This divisiveness between our police and our citizens.

CASAREZ: It was the deadliest single incident for U.S. law enforcement since 9/11. Other shootings of and by police officers would follow, reigniting the national debate about law enforcement in the U.S.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can hear the shotguns closer and I look over and he shoots the girl next to me. And I'm just there laying down I'm thinking I'm next. I'm dead.

CASAREZ: The deadliest mass shooting in America, 49 killed, 53 wounded during a gunman's rampage inside Orlando's Pulse nightclub in June. Killer Omar Mateen telling police he was a soldier of ISIS, was killed after a three-hour standoff with police.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Most of the victims who died were under the age of 40, young men and women full of dreams and full of plans.


LEMON: It has been nonstop this year.

HARLOW: Nonstop.


HARLOW: All right. We're following a lot of news this morning, including breaking news out of Russia. Let's get right to it.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

Top of the hour, we want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. I'm Poppy Harlow, along with Don Lemon.

And we do begin with breaking news out of Russia. Russia retaliating to U.S. sanctions over alleged hacking of the U.S. presidential election. Russia's foreign minister recommending that the Kremlin expel dozens of American diplomats in a tit-for-tat after the Obama administration ordered suspected Russian spies to leave the United States.

LEMON: And escalating tensions with Moscow stoking memories of the Cold War, happening just three weeks before President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration.

We have every single angle covered for you with the global resources of CNN. We're going to begin with our senior international correspondent Matthew Chance. He's live in Moscow with the breaking details.

Good morning, Matthew.


They said they were going to hit back and that's exactly what they did. The Russian foreign ministry announcing its recommendations to the Kremlin that 35 U.S. diplomats be expelled from Russia, 31 of them from the Moscow embassy at the United States, and another four of the consulate in St. Petersburg.

That is in response to the 35 Russian diplomats who have been expelled by the U.S. authorities from various diplomatic missions in the United States, as well. The question is, is that the end of the round of countermeasures? Because there are, obviously, other sanctions imposed by the United States against Russia over its alleged hacking of the U.S. democratic institutions. And other activities of mistreatment of U.S. diplomats inside Russia, as well.

The question is, is that going to be continuing?