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Suspected Istanbul Nightclub Gunman Arrested; Trump's Criticism Rattles European Allies; Some in Estonia Prepare to Defend against Aggression; More than Three Dozen Democrats Skipping Inauguration; Trump Talks Russian Sanctions; More Syrian Opposition Groups to Attend Peace Talks; CNN Talks with East Aleppo Survivors; World Economic Forum Transforms Davos. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired January 17, 2017 - 00:00   ET



[00:00:11] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

Ahead this hour --

After 16 days on the run, the suspected Istanbul nightclub killer arrested much too close to home.

Concerns raged across European capitals after the U.S. President-Elect talks up Brexit, slams NATO and criticizes the German chancellor.

And Richard Quest does Davos, the annual transformation of the small town on the Swiss Alps as the World Economic Forum rolls in.

Hello, everybody. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause.

The first hour of NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

Police have arrested a man suspected of gunning down 39 people at an Istanbul nightclub on New Year's Eve. Several more people were taken into custody. We have late details now from Ian Lee.

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John -- a nationwide manhunt is over. Closer to home than many thought, police caught the alleged gunman who carried out the deadly attack at the Reina nightclub on New Year's Eve.

Authorities found him after conducting an operation in the Esenyurt neighborhood of Istanbul, about 30 to 35 kilometers from the nightclub. Along with the alleged gunman, police arrested four other people including three women and a Kyrgyz man according to state media.

They are now at police headquarters in Istanbul's Fatih district. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack that killed 39 people.

Monday night's arrest is good news for Turkey. Authorities feared the gunman might try to slip away into neighboring Syria. The manhunt lasted for over two weeks with hundreds of security personnel scouring the country.

Police rounded up dozens of alleged ISIS members who they say either knew or aided the gunman. A few days ago police also detained two Chinese nationals they accuse of having links to the attack.

And the owner of the Reina Nightclub reacted to the arrest telling CNN "I felt an immense wave of relief rush through me. "I think a huge weight has been lifted off the shoulders of all the victims and their families just knowing that this man no longer is walking free. He went on to thank security forces and Turkish intelligence for apprehending the suspect and ending this ordeal -- John.

VAUSE: Ian Lee -- thank you. CNN law enforcement contributor and retired FBI special agent Steve Moore joins me now for more on this.

Steve -- you look at some of the photos going around of this guy who I mean was arrested. He was bloody, he was bruised, his shirt was ripped. I'm not entirely sure just actually what happened by the allegation is this is how he was taken in by police. Is that an indication of exactly what he will be in for in the coming days when he deals with Turkish intelligence?

STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: Turkish intelligence is not going to be gentle. They are going to get the answers that they want. And hopefully the correct answers but they will get answers.

VAUSE: Ok. It took about two weeks to find the alleged gunman who killed all these people in the nightclub. He was in the same city albeit on the outskirts of the city where the attack took place. In terms of the timing of two weeks and in terms of the location, is that pretty standard or was it quicker than you would expect or about right?

MOORE: I think it was slower than I would have expected if he stayed in Istanbul the whole time because you're expecting him to be in that area. People aren't going to be afraid to roll over on him because he's not going to come back and kill them.

But I think the police were thrown off by the fact that he was so close to the Islamic state that they, and I believed, he probably went across the border.

VAUSE: Ok. So the indications are that he stayed inside Turkey. He didn't make a run --

MOORE: Right.

VAUSE: -- for Syria because he's got a wife and kids. And I think one of his children, Hassan (ph), was found with him at the time. What they also found inside that house where he was arrested, this is according to some media reports, $150,000 U.S. was found there and this media report says that that was payment for the attack. And that to me seemed a little unusual because, you know, I thought these were people who were true believers to the cause. They don't do this for the money.

MOORE: Well, you take it with a grain of salt --

VAUSE: Right.

MOORE: -- this true believer stuff because they're going there to play soldier, they're going there to get women. They're doing all sorts of -- there's all sorts of peripheral reasons that they go to the Islamic state.

The fact that there was $150,000 there -- terrorist cells operate on a shoe string. This is a blatant indication of Islamic state involvement in what he was doing and his staying out of the authorities' hands.

VAUSE: So he had cash -- ok.

Let's move on to California. The FBI arrested the wife of Omar Mateen, he was the gunman that killed 49 people at that gay nightclub in Orlando. Noor Salman is her name. She said she had no idea what her husband was up to.

[00:05:05] But listen to what the Orlando police chief told CNN.


JOHN MINA, ORLANDO, FLORIDA POLICE CHIEF: There's no doubt in my mind based on the information that I knew and I have received from the FBI over the past seven months that she knew and she aided and that she could have prevented this tragedy.


VAUSE: If anyone knew what Mateen was planning on doing what are the chances that it would have been his wife?

MOORE: High, high, high. And the fact that the police chief is saying this is important to me because the FBI is not going to do this investigation in a vacuum. They're going to bring him in on it. So he's telling you what the FBI believed.

I think what's interesting here is that according to the suspect -- to the police, they said that they were charging him only with accessory to material support which is much different than material support. So I don't know if they are splitting the baby or whether they just don't believe she knew enough.

VAUSE: Aiding and abetting though obviously they believe that she had some role to play in this.


MOORE: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And I think she probably did know in advance. I mean it's hard to come up with a scenario where she didn't. But what the FBI is doing is avoiding overcharging.

VAUSE: Ok. Steve -- good to talk with you. Thanks so much.

MOORE: Good talking to you.

VAUSE: Well, there's a mix of anger and concern gripping European capitals after a string of controversial comments from the U.S. President-Elect. Donald Trump called NATO "obsolete". He predicted the European Union would fall apart. He even seemed to insult the German chancellor. And that was just the start.

Nic Robertson has details.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: More than just an interview, President-Elect Donald Trump laid out what is in effect a foreign policy blueprint.

DONALD TRUMP (R), U.S. PRESIDENT-ELECT: I think Brexit is going to end up being a great thing.

ROBERTSON: In Europe, his comments though are proving incendiary. France's former prime minister incensed that Trump didn't seem to care whether the European Union breaks up or not.

MANUEL VALLS, FORMER FRENCH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): It is a provocation. It is a declaration of war to Europe.

ROBERTSON: Trump talked about making deals with Russian President Vladimir Putin; then further undermined European confidence criticizing NATO, the alliance that helps protect the U.S. and its allies from Russian aggression.

TRUMP: Number one, it is obsolete because it was designed many, many years ago. Number two, the countries weren't paying what they are supposed to pay.

ROBERTSON: Germany's foreign minister aghast at Trump's tone.

FRANK WALTER STEINMEIER, GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): I just can't believe that an American administration would follow the thought process that Europe is now somehow important to the U.S.

ROBERTSON: Trump got personal, too -- praising and criticizing the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.

TRUMP: I thought she was a great, great leader. I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking in all these illegals.

ROBERTSON: She took it in her stride.

ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): Once he's in office we'll then see what sort of accord we can forge between us.

ROBERTSON: Outgoing secretary of State John Kerry more forthright.

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: It was inappropriate for a President-Elect of the United States to be stepping in to the politics of other countries in a quite direct matter. ROBERTSON: On trade, Trump's lesson for German automakers.

TRUMP: It's not a two-way street. How many Chevrolets do you see in Germany? Maybe none.

ROBERTSON: Like his other comments, Trump getting sharp push back, this time from Germany's minister of the economy.

SIGMAR GABRIEL, GERMAN ECONOMIC MINISTER: My advice is to build better American cars. Then maybe someone will buy them.

ROBERTSON: As a foray into foreign policy, this is but a taste of what the President-Elect can expect. From Friday -- there's no going back for either side.

Nic Robertson, CNN -- London.


VAUSE: Dominic Thomas joins me now. He chairs the department of French and Francophone studies at UCLA. Dominic -- thanks for coming in.

I want to show you the headline which was in Politico just a couple hours ago because it's pretty basic. "Trump to Europe: drop dead". Does that pretty much sum up where things are right now?

DOMINIC THOMAS, UCLA PROFESSOR: Well, the relationship is not getting any better by the day. The comments he's made over the last couple of days pertaining to NATO and the European Union have certainly rattled that relationship and he's not even in office yet. And it's been a source of great concern to people.

VAUSE: In that joint interview, Trump essentially puts the leader of Germany in the same league as the leader of Russia. Germany is a steadfast ally of the United States, has been for decades.

Clearly, these are two very different countries but given that, what sort of problems could be in store for the new president if he alienates the chancellor of Germany?

THOMAS: This is a major issue. Chancellor Merkel has been one of the, you know, tremendous leaders in the European Union over the last few years.

[00:10:01] I think that first of all the attack on Merkel is a complicated one. In many ways, President-Elect Trump is regurgitating myths around Germany -- around Germany's role in the European Union, the power that it occupies in the European Union and I think what is interesting about this particular comment is to ask ourselves who they are really directed at.

I think that Donald Trump sees himself very much as a marginal political figure, an anti-establishment figure who fought against Washington in the way that so many of these populist far-right parties in Europe have been criticizing Brussels, that these parties have embraced him and the ways in which he is reaching out to them -- parties with whom he shares many points of correlation over immigration control and so on.

But the critique of NATO, the skepticism around the European Union feeds directly into the hands of these political parties. And I think that that's what he is doing is creating some divisions and fractures in there.

The problem with this is that his support for these particular parties is bolstering them as we move into important elections in the Netherlands, France and also in Germany and making it increasingly difficult for the leadership in place, for people like Chancellor Merkel to respond to these issues because the electorate is being manipulated into moving further to the right which these political leaders, the feeling that they just respond to in this way.

VAUSE: Just sort of to be devil's advocate here though. With Donald Trump talking enthusiastically about Brexit, predicting other countries could go the same way as Great Britain, saying that could be a good thing. Could that have the opposite effect? Could that actually have people rallying around the E.U. simply almost out of defiance of Donald Trump?

THOMAS: It could. And we're seeing some indications that European countries that were sort of Euro skeptical, you know, a few months ago that when Brexit happened they began to realize the severity of a referendum and what this can do.

And that whereas they have issues with immigration, with border control and they'd like to see the governments take better care of those particular issues, leaving the European Union is presenting itself as increasingly less attractive.

And I think that the more he pushes in that particular direction, the more this mobilizes the far right political parties, the more leaders campaigning for re-election or for election from the traditional parties will increasingly make pronouncements in favor of the European Union by attempting to outline the electorate the real benefits of belonging to this organization.

VAUSE: You made the point he is not even president yet. That will happen in about four days from now. Some have argued that this is just Donald Trump being unpredictable. That he wants to keep all of his options open. But as we get closer to the day of inauguration does that seem to be a fading hope that this is the kind of Donald Trump in the President-Elect that Europe will have to deal with?

THOMAS: Well, I think that people will work with the evidence they have before them. There is nothing as yet to convince them that he will operate otherwise. What is going to be complicated for him is that you cannot be ambiguous about NATO. You either support it or you don't. You either support the European Union or you don't, and it's particular project.

You cannot be friends with NATO and at the same time entertain the same kind of opening towards the Russian Federation and towards Vladimir Putin. There are countries whose future depends on the strength of NATO.

A weak European Union and a weak NATO strengthens the Russian Federation. This is of tremendous concern to countries especially in the eastern part of Europe, in Lithuania and in other such areas.

VAUSE: Ok. And we're about to have a report on just that.

Dominic -- thanks for coming in.

THOMAS: Thank you.

VAUSE: And Estonia lies on Russia's doorstep. The former Soviet Republic is very worried about Moscow's intentions.

Phil Black takes a look at how thousands of residents are preparing to fight back if necessary.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Many Estonian people love spending time, enjoying the rugged often frozen beauty of their countries forest and wilderness. They also feel a powerful drive to defend it.

These people are volunteers in an official paramilitary force. Through numbers alone they make up the bulk of the country's armed forces -- 25,000 people, men and women, train with the Estonian Defense League.

When Ryan Olari Gurm (ph) isn't training to defend his country he travels across at working as a salesman.

Why do the Estonian people feel they have to be ready for anything?

RYAN OLARI GURM, VOLUNTEER: We have a huge friendly neighbor and I'm not talking about Latvia.

BLACK: He's talking about Russia. Through much of Estonia's history, this land was ruled from Moscow. Many fear it could happen again especially since Russia's recent military adventures in Georgia and Ukraine.

What is it about Estonians that make them come out here into the cold to prepare and train?

GURM: We love our land. We love our people. We love our language. We'd like to keep it that way.

[00:15:01] BLACK: This is the border that so many Estonians fear could one day be moved by force. Just across that river is Russia.

But in this part of Estonia there are also many people who feel culturally Russian. They have strong connections to their giant neighbor and they don't believe Moscow is a potential enemy.

Narva, on the Estonia side of the border looks and feels like a Russian city. In this local market you only see and hear the Russian language.

These women say they are big fans of Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. But they don't think he wants to invade such a small country.

The Estonian government doesn't share their confidence. That's why for all the enthusiasm of its volunteers, Estonia relies on the combined strength of the NATO alliance to deter Russia and why Estonians have watched with concern as U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump has talked about NATO inconsistently describing it as both obsolete and important while also complimenting Vladimir Putin.

MARGUS TSAHKNA, ESTONIA DEFENSE MINISTER: We know Russian's soul and we know, of course, during the hundreds of years we have experienced the Russian attitude it hasn't changed. And even more Putin's regime is clearly not democratic.

BLACK: In the heart of Estonia's Russian community these students are practicing a language they rarely speak at home -- Estonian, many descend from Russians who moved here when Estonia was part of the Soviet Union. They're now the children of two cultures.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love Russian and I love Estonian.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Estonia future is very optimistic. We know this. I know this. We are young people's future of Estonia.

BLACK: It's a hopeful vision shared across the country but many here have long believed freedom can only be assured if Estonia and its allies are prepared to fight for it.

Phil Black, CNN -- in eastern Estonia.


VAUSE: Coming up next on NEWSROOM L.A., controversy surrounds the U.S. presidential inauguration as more Democrats announce they will not be there. Some of those lawmakers cite Trump's feud with John Lewis as their reason for boycotting.

Coming up, a civil rights hero speaks out about injustice on an important American holiday.


VAUSE: More than three dozen Democratic lawmakers will boycott Donald Trump's presidential inauguration on Friday. Some will protest in Washington, others in their own districts.

[00:19:56] The list grew after a feud broke out between the President- Elect and civil rights icon John Lewis. Trump blasted Lewis as all talk and no action after the congressman said he doesn't consider Trump to be a legitimate president.

At an event on Monday celebrating Martin Luther King Jr., Lewis did not mention Trump but encouraged Americans to speak out against injustice.


REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: Never give up. Never give in. Stand up. Speak up. When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something, to say something, and not be quiet.


VAUSE: Well, joining me now Democratic strategist Dave Jacobson and Republican consultant John Thomas. Good to see you both. Thanks for coming in.


VAUSE: Four days to go. The countdown is on -- just hours away.

Ok. The son of civil rights leader Martin Luther King met with Donald Trump at Trump Tower on Monday (inaudible). This is what he said to reporters after that meeting.


MARTIN LUTHER KING III, MARTIN LUTHER KING JR'S SON: Things get said on both sides in the heat of emotion. And at some point, this nation we have to move forward. We can't stay -- I mean people are literally probably dying. We need to be talking about how do we feed people? How do we clothe people? How do we create the best education system? That's what we need to focused on.


VAUSE: Dave, you know, pick up on that point. Is it not time now to move on, to bring this country together and by Democrats boycotting the inauguration, that is not helping?

DAVE JACOBSON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes. But I don't think it's not necessarily confined to like just Democrats fanning the flames. You have a president who has said he wanted to unify but the problem is he is tweeting out attacks against "Vanity Fair", the cast of "Hamlet", Meryl Streep --

VAUSE: "Hamilton".

JACOBSON: -- yes, "Hamilton, pardon me -- Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Schumer. I mean this is a guy who is literally fanning the flames of divisions and disunity in the country at a time when he needs to be healing the wounds and bringing people together.

J. THOMAS: But bigger than the elected office holder, it's about the office. It's respect for the institution. The democracy --

VAUSE: Doesn't that go best ways at the President-Elect as well?

J. THOMAS: Well, but showing up at inauguration, when you look at Congressman Lewis. He says it's the first time, you know, he's had to speak out. Well, he didn't attend George Bush's inauguration in 2000 either.

So this to me is nothing more than pure partisan politics and they're using this as an opportunity. That's you look at the congressmen and women, who are skipping the inauguration, they all happen in liberal, safe districts because they are going to get political points for this. This is not about principle. It's about politics.

VAUSE: Ok. Well, Donald Trump began his political career by trying to discredit Barack Obama and the birther movement questioning where he was born. He drew 8 percent of the vote among African-Americans at the election. He is now in this back and forth with John Lewis who is an icon of the civil rights era.

John -- to you, is the President-Elect aware of the relationship that he now has with the black community in this country which is now toxic?

J. THOMAS: I'm sure he is. And you can see that's why he is bringing in people like Steve Harvey, a well respected leader both on camera and off camera in the African-American community to work in HUD, for instance. Now, he has a lot of work to do. I don't think he is not denying that.

But I don't think that the African-American caucus, they're using race as an escape. It is really more political than it is racial. But certainly Trump has his work cut out for him.

JACOBSON: I mean Donald Trump has largely been tone deaf to racial issues in this country. He seems to think that every African-American community in this country is falling apart in flames and I think it underscores the real challenge that he is going to have with the community.

Look, he is president. He's supposed to be the bigger man. That's what the office embodies. And what he should have really done is tweeted something out at Representative Lewis basically saying if you have an issue, come, let's meet. Let's collaborate. Let's solve problems. Let's bring people together and move forward kind of thing. Rather than being the attack dog that he was throughout the course of the campaign.

VAUSE: Almost all of Trump controversies on Twitter they in particular seem to happen over the weekend where there are no Trump minders around. I mean that's usually the attack --

J. THOMAS: Sure. And "Saturday Night Live" is actually a weekend show.

VAUSE: The attack on John Lewis came over the weekend when none of the minders are around. But Donald Trump, you know, and everyone keeps saying stop with the tweets -- he's not. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I'd rather just let that build up. We're going to just keep it @RealDonaldTrump. And the tweeting I thought I'd do less of it but I'm covered so dishonestly by the press, so dishonestly.


VAUSE: Ok. Dave -- so he's going to keep his own private Twitter account with 20 million followers and not the Presidential one. Can you see any issues with that?

JACOBSON: Well, I think the presidential one only has 13.5 million followers. He's clearly got more but look I think it is --

VAUSE: But Obama has 80 million.



But Donald has more than the @POTUS. But look, I think one of the big issues is like what if somebody hacks Donald Trump's account? Like that could pose a real significant national security risk. You know, he's already tweeting out threats to other countries, whether it's China, whether it's Mexico about building the wall, other issues. And I think it really highlights a big issue that the national security apparatus is going to have to wrap its hands around.

[00:25:01] J. THOMAS: This is his most powerful tool at his disposal -- his ability to go around the media and go directly to his 20 million followers which I'm guessing will double or triple by the time he takes office.

He should keep it. I mean this is part of the refreshing part, I think about Donald Trump. For better or for worse sometimes, is that we're hearing it directly from his fingers. And we just -- we generally don't have that kind of access to our presidents.

VAUSE: Tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet. Ok. As I said most of the controversy seem to come from Twitter. The other ones seem to come from the interviews like the one he did with the "Washington Post". This -- where he was talking about repealing Obamacare.

This is what he said to the "Post". We're going to have insurance for everyone. There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can't pay for it, you don't get it. That's not going to happen with us. People covered under the law can expect to have great healthcare. It will be a much simplified form, much less expensive and much better."

So Dave, Donald Trump just promised universal health care.


VAUSE: And the Republican Congress will have to pay for it.

JACOBSON: Right. I think it puts a bright shining spotlight on the growing rift that we're going to see between House and Senate Republicans and the Trump administration. You are not hearing that from any Republicans on Capitol Hill that they want universal healthcare coverage, that they want to extend access so that more people are part of the system. But you are seeing that from Donald Trump.

I think the big question is he says he wants everyone to have insurance. But the question is does everyone have healthcare like, it's ok if you're going to have insurance but can you actually afford to have meaningful comprehensive care that's going to improve your quality of life?

VAUSE: He's also steamrolling the Republicans. He is basically saying get on board or I'll roll over you.

J. THOMAS: Yes, I mean this will be a fascinating dynamic because while the Republicans control all the Houses, can they play in the same sandbox as Donald Trump? Can Donald Trump's cabinet play in the same sandbox? This is going to be one of the big stories of 2017.

VAUSE: Ok. The only country right now which seems to be, you know, happy with Donald Trump is Russia. But there was a series of interviews a couple of years ago back in 2014 before he formally announced that he was running for president when Donald Trump had a very different take on Moscow.

This is a clip that was on Fox News. And he was asked to respond to Mitt Romney, the former Republican nominee who said that Russia was the biggest geopolitical threat the U.S. was facing.


TRUMP: Mitt Romney was so right and nobody knew how right he was going to be. And you look at Obama's response and just take a look at what is going on. Syria was propped up by Russia. Syria is now back in their fold 100 percent and, you know, that whole deal is coming to an end because Russia has taken over. We're out.

There are a lot of things we could be doing economically to Russia. Russia is not strong economically. And we could do a lot of different things to really do numbers on them if we wanted to.


VAUSE: So I wonder, John, what could have happened between now and then to change Donald Trump's opinion of Russia?

J. THOMAS: Well, the second half he is still consistent and accurate about. They are not strong economically and there are a lot of things that we can do if we wanted. I think what Trump is doing in the classic art of the deal is he is leaving all options on the table to then figure out which direction he wants go.

I think right now he is basically saying we're going to start in a position where we're talking and we're going to take it from there.

VAUSE: Dave -- what happened between now and then? JACOBSON: Look, this is a very clear and coherent flip-flop. I mean

I think the problem is Donald Trump is turning the world upside down on its head. He is creating a rift with our second largest trading partner in the globe, China at a time when, you know, and creating animosity there; also with Mexico with building the wall on our southern border. At the same time he's hugging Vladimir Putin, a known adversary, a bipartisan adversary to the United States.

VAUSE: -- which he recognized a couple of years ago but things have changed.

Thanks so much.

J. THOMAS: Thanks.


VAUSE: This Friday, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. CNN will have live coverage all day long from the swearing in, the inaugural address, plus the parade, the balls, the first couple's first dance. It all starts at Friday, 6:00 a.m. in Los Angeles, 2:00 p.m. in London. Now check your local listings.

How about this for a local listing? This was in a Scottish newspaper. They advertise their coverage as sci-fi writers have dabbled often with alternative history stories. Among the most common is what if the Nazis had won the Second World War?

This huge interactive virtual reality project which will unfold on TV in the press and on Twitter over the next four years sets out to build an ongoing alternative presence. That was their description of the inauguration coverage on Friday.

A short break.

When we come back a CNN exclusive. Our team goes inside Syria to speak with survivors who fled eastern Aleppo. We'll tell you what one mother did to keep her children warm during a traumatic escape.


[00:32:40] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour. The suspected gunman in the mass shooting out an Istanbul nightclub is under arrest. Turkey's news agency reports another man and three women were also detained. An intense manhunt has been underway since the New Year's attack. 39 people were killed and dozens more wounded.

America's top diplomat says Donald Trump's remarks about the German Chancellor's refugee policies were inappropriate. John Kerry criticizes Trump when he called stepping into politics of other countries in a quite direct manner.

The U.S. president-elect called Angela Merkel's refugee open door policy a catastrophe -- a catastrophic mistake, rather, in an interview with European newspapers.

At least five people are dead, 15 injured after a shooting at a music festival in Mexico. Authorities say gunfire broke out when security tries to escort the gunman from entering a club. Many people ran from the exits. One woman was trampled to death in a stampede.

Syrian opposition groups say they will attend another round of peace talks next week. The Syrian regime is in a much stronger position now after brutally retaking Aleppo last month. Thousands of civilians were forced to flee their homes and in a CNN exclusive from inside Syria, senior international correspondent Arwa Damon spoke with families still recovering from a traumatic escape.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Our car bumps through syria's rugged hills towards a new refugee camp close to Turkey's border. My mind drifts back.


To nearly six years ago. To the first camp we visited not far from here and all the cycles of Syria's wretched story.

"We want to talk to those who evacuated Eastern Aleppo during a cease- fire last month or as it was for them, a forced displacement after months under siege and relentless bombing."

"All you hear are the planes, the strikes, the terror, the funerals. All you see is funerals. And one of those was for her husband, a farmer killed in a strike on his way to work seven months ago."

[00:35:05] (on-camera): The only thing that she was able to bring with her, other than one change of clothing for the kids when they left was a photograph of her husband, their father.

(voice-over): It's the most precious thing she has. She pulls out another picture. Ali, the youngest reaches for it. He likely won't remember his father's touch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): "Even now, we don't know if this is permanent. Maybe something worse than war will happen to us."

DAMON: The last days in Aleppo defied logic.

"What more is there to say?" Umbinal (ph) asks us?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They bombed us. And in just three minutes, not three hours, they destroyed our whole neighborhood.

DAMON: The children don't know how to live. They only know how not to die or even wish for it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): He asks why are there so many strikes? He starts to cry. Sometimes he even says I want to die.

DAMON: They walked and walked. Twice the buildings they sheltered in were hit by air strikes. For four days, they lived in the streets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I had to burn my children's clothes to make heat for them. I had two bags of their clothes and I burned them because it was so cold.

DAMON: Like everyone we saw they yearn for home, for that feeling of being safe and warm.

The images are not new. Not shocking. But then again, even when Syria shocks, what difference has it made?




VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody.

We're going to Davos now and that sleepy, little Alpine village not what it used to be, hosting the world economic forum every year brings in money to this little town in the Swiss Alps.

Richard Quest hits the high street to find out what's hot this year.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): The promenade in Davos, the main street that runs through this picturesque Swiss ski resort where each year for one week only, all those shops selling lingerie, kitchen ware and household goods, those shops become talking shops.

For 51 weeks of the year, number 93 Promenade is a hair salon. Then suddenly it becomes hub culture pavilion. A pop up meeting place.

[00:40:12] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Under here is actually sinks and chairs where they do the hair washing then we cover it every year and it becomes the part of the cafe.

QUEST: Hub culture has grown on to the roof.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We built this in like six days. Friday that was a wine shop with, you know, sheep skins and furniture.

QUEST: Now does this even exist for the rest of the year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is a field. The whole of the year that is a field.

QUEST: Change is everywhere. Should have like this household goods becomes sales force cloud computing. While this apartment block is festooned by Tata, the Indian consultancy firm. (on-camera): So the wine shop has become an insurance company with a gimmick of covering cars. And to make the gimmick complete because in Davos, you always need to have something different to stand out, need a hat to stay warm? They will give you a free bubble hat.

(Voice-over): Newcomers are always arriving. Facebook has taken over this field and put up this pop up. Not everybody has (INAUDIBLE). The Swiss Alp fantasy souvenir shop has received many extravagant offers to move out during Davos. But the owner, Monica, always says no. She told me, it's a matter of principle.

(on-camera): The power of money is everything in Davos. This is the Kaffeeklatsch. It used to be my favorite place to come and have a cup of coffee. Now even Kaffeeklatsch has sold out and rented itself to become Russia House '17. Wealth has struck again whatever next?

Richard Quest, CNN, Davos.


VAUSE: Well, there's lots of strange and weird things in Florida. Add one massive, terrifying giant alligator to the list. The 4-meter long gator was spotted at a nature reserve over the weekend. He calmly crossed the grassy park, because 4-meter long, massive, terrifying gators, they can do whatever they want. It turns out he's been showing up there for decades. We don't know for sure he's a he. No one really has the courage to find out. He's been nicknamed "Hump Back" and that's a really lame nickname.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm John Vause. "World Sport" is up next and I'll be back with another hour of news from all around the world. You're watching CNN.