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Black Friday Shopping From In-Store to Online; U.S. Air Force Jets Train for Combat with North Korea; North Korean Workers Dig Trench Where Soldier Escaped; GOP Tax Plan, Who Wins, Who Loses?; Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired November 24, 2017 - 10:30   ET



[10:31:27] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Forget Black Friday, some of the best deals hit stores last night. Take a look at this video. This is at a Target in Jersey City. You see long lines outside the store on Thanksgiving. And the lines didn't stop when shoppers were inside. You can see them really working all of those carts from the aisles to the best deals, but this morning it's quite a different scene and our CNN's Polo Sandoval is at that same Target.

Polo, tell us what you've been seeing.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Ana, interested in a 4k for less than $1,000? I am happy to get it for you. I will cart it over to you in Manhattan if you're interested. There are many people who are. There are a lot of folks who are taking advantage of some of these deals. However this Black Friday does feel a little different.

Yes, there are those crowds that we're so used to seeing. We didn't see them this morning because we saw them yesterday. Some of the video from yesterday that you just showed a little while ago shows us crowds. There were so many retailers across the country that have opened up their doors a little earlier for some of these customers that are ready to spend and that meant many of them taking advantage of these sales yesterday.

So, again, that's one of the reasons why we didn't see perhaps the largest crowds that we're used to seeing on Black Friday. Another reason, many of these great sales that you're able to find in store, you can also find online. So some folks choosing to stay home and take advantage of some of those deals. But there are some of those special in store exclusive offers, just a couple that some of these retailers have set up trying to bring some of the customers, some of these guests out to the stores, trying to keep alive that tradition of Black Friday.

But, yes, there is a slight change, although nearly 60 percent of shoppers this year telling the National Retail Federation that they are choosing to simply stay online rather than get in line. So again that is kind of one way that this Black Friday tradition is evolving.

CABRERA: And so begs the question, Polo, how do the Targets of the world play the same ball game as the Amazons? Let's discuss that further. Thank you, Polo.

Joining us now, CNN tech correspondent Samuel Burke.

So, Samuel, I understand you were at an Amazon pop-up store. Tell us about that.

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN TECH CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Ana, good morning. Well, just when Black Friday has really become a staple in places outside of the United States like here in London, all of a sudden 59 percent of consumers say their first choice is to shop online. That's the first time that consumers have said that over going to an actual physical store. And if you wait until Monday you'll get a better deal on things like toys, laptops, and shoes.

But something very interesting is happening here. Just when all these brick and mortar shops, retailers are closing up, all of a sudden Amazon is taking on more and more physical spaces. They've bought Whole Foods, they have the lockers everywhere, and now just around the corner from me, this pop-up shop where you can go into something that looks just like a house, but it's filled with only Amazon products.

So if you haven't used an Amazon Alexa or the new show, the Alexa that has a video screen, they're showing that off. And I think what this really all shows is that Amazon will use those deep pockets they have, plow that money back in and there is no end to where Amazon will spread its tentacles -- Ana.

CABRERA: So should the department stores and the malls and these big box stores be worried or do the online sales cancel out what they're missing out on Black Friday?

BURKE: All of the experts that I've spoken to say what they need to be successful these days is both a physical strategy space as well as an online strategy. You want to have both. And they say that's really folks like Amazon and Wal-Mart, which have acquired So those are the ones that look like they're going to be the most successful.

[10:35:04] CABRERA: All right. Samuel Burke in London, thank you.

Straight ahead, North Korea uses shovels to keep North Korean troops on their side of the border after a soldier defects. Meanwhile, U.S. troops are using state-of-the-art fighter jets in case they get called into action. We'll get the view from 13,000 feet. Stay with us.


CABRERA: One of the world's most heavily fortified borders, if not the most, just got even harder to cross. Barely 48 hours after this North Korean soldier dove across the line, across the DMZ and made a run for it North Korean workers were then digging a trench, planting trees in that very spot.

[10:40:01] A South Korean news agency reports the North also replaced the soldiers who were guarding that area on Monday. No word on what's going to happen to those former guards. Of course it's not just the ground troops on either side of the line

that's kept the Koreas at relative peace for more than 50 years, just minutes away, U.S. fighters jets, these jets are helping to prevent war by practicing for war every day.

CNN's Alexandra Field rode along.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a few seconds we're fully vertical. U.S. Air Force Captain Kyle Miller, call sign Diesel, takes us straight up to 13,000 feet. I'm strapped in the back straining to stay conscious, feeling the gravity and the weight of it all.

That's the commander of the Eighth Fighter Wing, Colonel David Shoemaker, and this happens every day, a practice face-off with North Korea.

COL. DAVID SHOEMAKER, COMMANDER, U.S. 8TH FIGHTER WING: We practice just some of the basic maneuvers for air-to-air or some of the basic bombing patterns or bombing maneuvers. We also practice the ability to survive and operate on the ground.

FIELD: Kunsan is the southernmost U.S. air base in South Korea. It's home to two U.S. F-16 fighter jet squadrons, flying time to North Korea, 12 minutes.

(On camera): What do the first few hours of the conflict look like here in Kunsan?

SHOEMAKER: Time isn't measured on the clock, it's measured in casualties. And the faster we can get on the job, the less casualties that we'll see particularly in Seoul and the opening volley of that war.

FIELD (voice-over): In war time, Kunsan could expand to up to four times the number of servicemen and women currently serving here, an essential feat of U.S. and South Korean operations and a prime target.

SHOEMAKER: We expect that North Korea is going to target, you know, any of our military bases that are here in the South.

FIELD (on camera): What kind of threat could North Korea present to the base here?

SHOEMAKER: So we worry about their short range ballistic missiles here and we know that they have chemical weapons at their disposal.

FIELD (voice-over): They stay ready to fend off a ground invasion from North Korean special forces and to take the fight North from the air.

SHOEMAKER: Obviously having that air-to-surface capability, being able to take out the long range artillery that would be bombarding Seoul. FIELD: This is the third tour at Kunsan for Colonel Shoemaker. It's

undeniably different.

(On camera): We know that North Korea has advanced in its nuclear capabilities, in its missile capabilities. Have you changed the way that you do things at all?

SHOEMAKER: It is a mind shift switch about why it is so important and the seriousness with which all of the airmen and soldiers here at Kunsan Air Base take our exercises and our training.

FIELD (voice-over): This is Diesel's third flight in two days. He puts us on the ground as the sun sets. The supersonic jet now quiet. Its pilot always ready.

Alexandra Field, CNN, Kunsan Air Base, South Korea.


CABRERA: Our thanks to Alexandria.

I want to bring in retired U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren. He is a former spokesman for the anti-ISIS coalition in Iraq. He's now a CNN military analyst.

Colonel, good to see you. Belated Happy Thanksgiving.


CABRERA: I want to ask you -- thank you -- about just how important is that air power we just saw as a deterrent to Kim Jong-un?

WARREN: Well, the air power that we just looked at, those F-16s, which are one of the military's work horse aircraft is critically important to, you know, how we continue to maintain peace there on the peninsula. I think the fact that these F-16s are constantly in the air, that they're constantly training I think it shows both the South Koreans, our allies, that we are fully committed to this and the North Koreans that we've got some capabilities that they would be hard pressed to match.

On top of that, I'll note that, you know, next week there's a big exercise, more than 10,000 airmen participating, it's called Vigilant Ace, and this is bringing in the F-22 which is the fifth generation fighter aircraft, unmatched anywhere in the skies. So we continue to have this air presence there that I think kind of keeps a lid on things.

CABRERA: It shows the military might, no doubt about it.

There has been that video, you just can't take your eyes off the brazen defection of that North Korean soldier at the joint security area. Well, today new images from that same area, North Koreans digging a trench, they're planting trees in that same spot. What are your thoughts on all this? WARREN: Well, such a dramatic video, such a dramatic escape from this

totalitarian regime. It is riveting. I think what we're seeing here, difficult to know exactly what the North Koreans think they'll accomplish with these trees other than to perhaps create an additional if not a real barrier, at least a perception of a barrier. You know, we know that this soldier, this North Korean soldier, was trying to drive a vehicle across the military demarcation line, his vehicle, the tire apparently fell off. So he had to get out and run.

[10:45:04] So these trees, of course, could help prevent another such incident where perhaps the tire didn't fall off. Also this creates some level of concealment. In other words it makes it harder for us to see across that military demarcation line and figure out what's going on in North Korea.

CABRERA: There are a number of new developments pertaining to North Korea this week. We have North Korea now re-designated as a North Korea state sponsor of terror. Pyongyang has responded with the fiery comments, but what is the real impact of this designation?

WARREN: Well, this re-designation, they had been on the state sponsor of terror list for many years through the '90s. They were taken off in I think by President Bush in an effort to get us back to the negotiating table over nuclear weapons. Clearly that didn't work so we're placing them back on this state sponsor of terror list.

So a lot of it is linked to the assassination that we saw, President Kim's half brother was assassinated about a year ago using VX, which is a nerve agent, and Secretary Tillerson described the fact that it was the use of this VX that really drove part of this decision to re- designate them as a state sponsor.

It allows additional sanctions to take effect and I think more importantly, though, it continues to send this message to the world, to our United Nations, to our allies and partners in this region that we take this North Korean threat very seriously.

CABRERA: Quickly, we know that Russia and China, they don't want a big military presence. They don't want more U.S. soldiers in this area and now Russia saying that U.S. is using North Korea as a pretext to have more military might in Asia. Is there any truth to that?

WARREN: I don't think there's any truth to that at all, Ana. I'll tell you, we have enough commitments around the world that every single soldier, every troop, every aircraft, every piece of drone equipment that we have, can easily be used elsewhere. I think there's a legitimate threat coming out of North Korea. I think the requirement for us to provide additional combat power into that region is very real.

And if the Russians and the Chinese are uncomfortable with the added U.S. military presence, well, that's an incentive for them to come on board and to help squeeze the North Koreans and get them to walk away from this nuclear program.

CABRERA: Colonel Steve Warren, thanks for the insight. We appreciate it.

WARREN: Thanks, Ana.

CABRERA: The U.S. Navy ending its two-day search for three missing sailors following a plane crash off the coast of Okinawa. The names of those missing still have been not been released but there is a statement from the Navy that I'll read to you, saying, "Our prayers and our thoughts are with our lost shipmates and their families. "

Eight others, by the way, were rescued. They are said to be in good condition.

Republicans facing a big week for tax reform and a big battle to get everyone on board. So who wins, who loses under the current plan? We'll break it down.


[10:52:33] CABRERA: Republicans return from their Thanksgiving break in just a couple of days with big plans for their tax reform bill. It will be a make or break week as the Senate is hoping to hold a vote as early as Thursday.

Let's get to chief business correspondent Christine Romans joining us to break down where we stand on this bill.

And Christine, so we've had a little bit of time for this Senate plan to simmer just a little bit. What are your top takeaways?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, the most important thing here is there's a House bill and there will be a Senate bill, and then they have to reconcile them. So it's going to be a lot of horse trading. But what we know about kind of the basics of this Senate bill, and again, there are differences with the House, seven tax brackets, seven tax brackets, lower tax rates for everyone in those, a $2,000 child tax credit, that's a little richer than in the House bill.

Now the Senate bill keeps the estate tax and doubles the exemption, and repeals something called the state and local tax deduction so that's pretty important. Also the alternative minimum tax. So these are the things that we're sort of chewing over and we'll see if it ends up in the final Senate bill.

CABRERA: So it sounds like, with the SALT tax in particular, that where you live matters.

ROMANS: Yes. If you live in one of these high tax states, this is going to be a deduction that you could lose here if, indeed, the final bill pulls out the state and local tax deduction. I'm talking Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, California. There are few other states where people really write off their local and their state taxes.

The House version of the bill keeps about a $10,000 allowance for your property taxes, but in high tax states that would be a big difference in your tax bill.

CABRERA: Well, of course the Senate bill also has that Obamacare mandate repeal.

ROMANS: Absolutely.

CABRERA: Which is getting a lot of talk. We'll see if it stays as they work through a vote, but are there any losers? Because the Republicans say this is a win for everybody.

ROMANS: Well, look, it depends. I keep saying it depends. It depends on what it looks like in the end but the optics of this are that most of the benefits or a majority of the benefits go to rich people and companies. This is a corporate tax cut that has been packaged as a middle class tax cut which it really isn't, right?

The strategy of the White House and Republicans has been that if you can give corporate tax relief to large and small businesses that's going to create jobs, grow the economy and create jobs, and that's how it's going to help the middle class.

This week it will be interesting to see if that's a sell that they can give to Ron Johnson from Wisconsin and Susan Collins and other senators who are concerned about the optics that this looks like it's more for business and less for the average guy.

[10:55:02] CABRERA: We only have like 20 seconds here, but a yes or no answer, I mean they saw this as going to for sure increase wages. Is there any evidence to back that up?

ROMANS: There's no guarantee. There's no -- there's no guarantee. Recent history, it has not worked, but it has worked in other cases when you've cut taxes -- simplifying the corporate tax rate is something that Democrats and Republicans agree needs to happen. Is this the vehicle? Is this the time? They think this has to be the time right now to do it.

CABRERA: All right. Christine Romans, thank you for simplifying it all for us.

We are following breaking news out of Egypt. A horrific terror attack. 235 people now dead. The very latest next.