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tv   Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield  CNN  September 12, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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hearty cheeseburger. creamy thai style chicken with rice. mexican-style chicken tortilla. if you think campbell's 26 new soups sound good, imagine how they taste. m'm! m'm! good! so this is diplomacy? the president of syria, the president of russia both taking swipes at the president of the united states of america? we're going to hear from both of them this hour on cnn. plus, americans harming syrian rebels.
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but are they in fact allies? with so many accusations of war crimes on both sides and, by the way, haven't we done this before with disastrous results? and floodwaters in colorado, rescues happening right now. hello, everyone. welcome to the "legal view," i'm ashleigh banfield. it's thursday, september 12th. absolutely heart-pounding video of colorado. three vehicles went into a creek when the road washed out beneath them near the town of lafayette northern of denver. right in the middle of your screen, responders are risking their own lives in an extremely dangerous situation. they don't know what they are dealing with at this point. i wish i could tell you it was textbook but it was anything but textbook. you're about to see how this played out actually live on the air with a dramatic ending that no one saw coming.
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>> you can see the culvert that used to go under the bridge there but, yeah. just -- hold the camera. >> thank you, sir. >> guys, if you're listening to this, the body may pop out. that's why i'm staying wide.
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there's somebody alive in there. there's somebody alive in there.
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. >> i think so, too. that's amazing. oh, my god. oh, the poor guy. >> if that does not underscore the intense bravery of those first responders, i don't know what does. here's the bad news. at least two people have died from the flash flooding in that state. cnn's ana cabrera is live in
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boulder, colorado. the campus of the university of colorado has shut down and people have had to flee to higher grounds. the condition of the people seen in that remarkable video, get us up to date, please. >> reporter: absolutely, ashleigh. three people were taken to the hospital with what we're told are moderate injuries. we've just learned within the last couple of minutes as you were watching that dramatic rescue video, the sheriff of boulder county now saying that they have lost lives, plural, here in boulder county. so we expect that official death toll to be climbing and we're looking to get the latest numbers for you. this is, again, in the city of boulder. this is a roadway that's one of the main drags inside boulder and this is very far down the hill from where the worst of the flooding has been happening. right now emergency crews, the police officers just putting up some barricades trying to
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prevent anybody from driving on these roads and that's been the key message right now. if you don't have to be out and about for any reason, stay inside your house because situations like this are popping up quickly and they are happening widespread across the state, not just in boulder county. but i want to tell you what i've learned about happening here in boulder county where they have seen some of the worst flash flooding in the last several hours. they saw inches of rain within a couple hour time period overnight and we have reports that they have been receiving calls left and right from people who are trapped and that's just a little bit north and northwest of where we are standing. they blocked that area off. residents were not allowed to that area but they have seen walls of mud, houses collapse. at least one death in that area and that's in jamestown where a house collapsed killing one person. so those are the scenes that we're seeing and hearing about across colorado, specifically in
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boulder county where we are. but, again, this is widespread and you can see the rain is still falling and it's not expected to let up any time soon, ashleigh. >> ana cabrera, it's incredible just looking behind you it looks like rapids are forming. i don't know if we can show the pictures of the live shot of the campus of university of boulder. they have had a crisis trying to get students out. look at this youtube video. overnight images of the flash flooding that rolled through campus. let's not forget, it's just the beginning of the school year, whether they have their emergency warnings in place or whether the students even know about the emergency systems. listen to the sounds as the students make their way through that. that's harrowing. our chad myers has been watching this as well. it may look like fun and games but what we showed in that rescue is a vehicle that went over that bridge but under that
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bridge it was so severe that it gave out. this is the crisis that they face. >> washed the entire roadway bed away, ashleigh. this is what we talk about when we say don't drive into water because you don't know whether the road is going to be there or not when you drive over it. this water was so deep today it appeared that the road was there but clearly you can see some of the sewer pipes there where the road used to be as the road used to go over where we're looking at now. this was just a normal creek but boulder all the way up into the park and front range picked up five, six, seven inches of rain and that caused all of this overnight flooding and the roadways literally washed away. record flooding in boulder. this reminds me an awful lot of when i was back in school where water went up into estes park and it came down, 16 inches of rainfall came down in just a few hours and that wall of water came down in thompson canyon. this isn't a canyon but there's
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so much topography here that the water is rushing down. even if it didn't rain where you were, that doesn't mean you're not going to get flooding. the water still has to run downhill. >> and that topography rushing away. did you know that that man who was ultimately rescued, they were quite surprised to see him, his vehicle was upside down and partially submerged for about 35 -- look at this. how did he survive that? he was submerged for 35 minutes. >> we went through this frame by frame as it was happening, because the entire car wasn't submer submerged, there was an air pocket in that vehicle. had that vehicle gone completely underwater, the water would have seeped in through where the throttle and heater gets fresh air from outside and the lucky part of that, that car never went completely submerged or that car would have been filled up. he couldn't get the door opened
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by himself. the first responders had to get in there and pull him out. >> let's not forget those people just going right up to a car that could have released at any time and crushed them as well. >> and more and more things are happening right now. rain is still happening in boulder. an inch in 45 minutes expected. we are seeing rain from boulder to denver and there's another tropical system maybe in the gulf of mexico that could bring more flooding in the next three to five days. this is a big-time story. we're going to stay on it. >> it's so dangerous. thanks for the advice. don't drive over water. you're right. you can never be sure the roads there. chad myers, thank you. doing the emergency duty in the emergency weather center for us. we want to get you up to speed on today's other major stories. secretary of state john kerry is in russia to bring syria's mass stockpile of chemical weapons under i
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under international control. and bashar saying that he agreed of this plan because of russia, not because of the threat of the united states military action. think about that for a while. on a battlefield in syria, meantime, the united states-funded weapons are now flowing to the syrian rebels. the two major rebel groups have said that they have yet to get weapons. at the united nations, waiting for a u.n. report that is expected to i mplicate the assad regime for the last month and president obama is meeting with his cabinet this hour. syria, of course, expected to be fairly high, if not the highest on the agenda. and as u.s. and russian leaders meet to discuss syria's chemical weapons, russian president vladimir putin was busy writing.
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the op-ed blasting president obama for calling america exceptional. there are unique definitions for exceptional and also the united states giving the syrian rebels some fire power. as we just mentioned, it's quite a diplomatic dance. helping one side of the civil war with artillery while at the same time asking the other side to turn over chemical weapons. we're going to take you to washington. it's controversial, to say the least. [ woman ] if you have the audacity to believe your financial advisor should focus on your long-term goals, not their short-term agenda. [ woman ] if you have the nerve to believe that cookie cutters should be for cookies, not your investment strategy. if you believe in the sheer brilliance
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president putin said, "it is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional. whatever the motivation. we are all different but when ask for the lord's pleasing, we must not forget that god created us equal." let's go to nick paton walsh. this is a slam to when the president referred to americans being exceptional and freedom and democracy is what the country stands for and works towards and those words from the russian president must be seen as quite a slam to the american president, nick. >> reporter: well, certainly. it gets you a real insight into the mindset of vladimir putin. this was probably written for him by many of the western advisers that assist them in their messaging and it's a very rare attempt to appeal to the american people and hit on the weakness of the obama's
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administration argument. this is a guy who worked in the kgb who considered the soviet union to be the greatest catastrophe in history and longs for that old era. that pretty much betrays what the person's ability to get things to stand out. it's an interesting article to go through because you also, while you're reading it, have to keep reminding yourself that this isn't really a guy many critics say presiding over an enormously equal society himself. there are many who criticize a recent strain, a homophobia from the government. when you live in russia, racism is targeted. many who see russia on a regular basis would look at him odd that he would remind everyone that people are created equal.
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at the end of the day, this is about moscow trying to put itself in center stage. the u.s. term is shorter and they have maneuvered the u.s. simply because they have this great veto system here at the u.n. that let's them get their way in the security council. >> aside from the actual definition of exceptionalism, a research poll done in september 2011 asked people is the united states the greatest country in the world? 48% of americans said yes. i think americans think that they are exceptional no matter what putin says. and just ahead, the syrian rebels getting ammunition and firepower from the united states. i'm going to take you live to the pentagon for details of how this works and whether it's a good idea. see his bankingd
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you know, in a war we like
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knowing who the good guys and the bad guys are but in syria it's just not that simple. many rebel groups are aligned with the united states but several are aleaned with al qaeda, a sworn enemy of the united states. so as america sends weapons to syria, how can they be sure that they don't end up in the wrong hands and maybe even worse, how can we be sure that the good guys don't eventually end up as the bad guys? our chris lawrence is joining us and a former military in syria is live with us in washington. first to you, chris, this is such a critical issue. it's the cia's job usually to get the weapons to where they need to go and to make that happen but the pentagon has to be involved in some way because we have history showing those weapons have often ended up turned on american soldiers. >> and i think that's one of the reasons you saw the holdup. back in april they started
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sending things like body armor and night vision goggles to the rebels but the actual light weapons, the ammunition, the actual weapons that you would use for actual fighting has been held up first by lawmakers who were unsure if this was the right thing to do and then by making sure they could get some secure pipelines. in other words, to make sure that the weapons that they wanted to get if there were not going to end up in the hands of nusra or some of the other extreme elements of the opposition. that's why you saw the holdup. now it looks like the weapons are just now starting to flow to some of the rebel groups. >> general, i want to show our audience some photographs that we dug up from the '80s just for money because there was a group that used to be a pretty nice term in our policy. representative from texas, charlie wilson, went on a great campaign to arm them. you can see some of the ballistics that they were supplied with. those the were '80s. and then in the 2000, those ended up as the al qaeda and
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taliban enemy and some of those weapons are there and being trained on u.s. soldiers. are we better at this because we have a template or are we repeating the same mistake? >> i hope so. the last picture that you showed was a stinger, one of the best fighters in the world and it really bothers american airmen when we see this being sent out to help these groups because, as you say, years later they turn up in hands of the wrong people. there's no problem with giving that quality of weapon to the syrian rebels. they can get by with some chinese or russian-made systems. we're starting to see them show up. we're starting to see chinese systems that are knocking down syrian airplanes that are not in the syrian inventory. they didn't steal them. somebody provided them. they are coming via the saudis in through turkey. so the stuff is getting there. it's not ours yet. >> so at the same time as this
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whole plan is in motion, chris lawrence, to arm one side of a civil war there's another diplomatic channel that we're fueling. how does this work when on one side of a conflict you're helping an enemy and on another side of a conflict you're asking the regime to give up its chemical weapons? >> well, there's an interesting dichotomy going on, ashleigh, where the u.s. and russia seem to be working together along diplomatic channels to try to figure out how it may be possible to try to secure some of the chemical weapons there in syria to sort of put them under international control while at the same time, from the military side, the u.s. is arming the rebels while the russians continue to arm bashar al assad's regime. so in some ways, working together diplomatically but militarily still very much at odds and i will say just to the colonel's point, none of these weapons that the cia is providing to the rebels are
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american-made. it wouldn't do them very much good anyway. they don't have a way to prepare american weapons. they don't have the right kind of ammo. so these are all foreign-made, russian-made weapons. they are being financed and funneled by the cia but they are not coming from u.s. military supply, so to speak. >> all right. chris lawrence, thanks for that. i have one other question. it's a little bit -- it's not much of a sequitor but it's important and that is this, the general, effectively if there is one, in charge of the largest elements of those rebels, he says that the perpetrators of this crime have to go to the international criminal court. that would be the assad regime. in 30 seconds or less, if you could, is that ever going to happen since none of these parties are civil court? >> that's the problem. general wants to see the assad regime taking to the i krchlcc.
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here again, ashleigh, we have to -- >> i'm sorry. let me interrupt you only for the president. i want to listen in to his cabinet meeting. >> we're missing a few members of our cabinet here today. in particular, john kerry is overseas meeting on a topic that we've been spending a lot of time on over the last several weeks. the situation in syria so that we can make sure that chemical weapons are for the used against innocent people. i am hopeful that the discussions that secretary kerry had with foreign minister lavrov as well as the other player whys in this can yield a concrete result and i know that he is going to be working very hard over the next several days to see what possibilities are there. but even as we have been spending a lot of time on the
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syria issue and making sure that international attention is focused on the horrible tragedy that occurred there, it is still important to recognize that we got a lot more stuff to do here in this government. you know, the american people are still interested in making sure that our kids are getting the kind of education that they deserve, that we're putting people back to work, that we are dealing properly with a federal budget, that bills are getting paid on time, that the full credibility of the united states is preserved and that the federal government itself is in every single agency running the way it should and making sure that our constituents and the american people are getting a good deal. so we're going to spend some time here today talking about, you know, all of the efforts that have been made by many of these cabinet secretaries to streamline operations, to cut
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out waste, to improve performance, to improve customer satisfaction. we're going to focus on some specific issues, including managing some of the budget debates that are going to be taking place over the next several weeks. we're going to be talking about the rollout of the affordable care act where we've seen tremendous progress over the last several months and are if i dent that starting next month people are going to be able to start signing up for health care, in many cases for the first time. and we're going to spend some time talking about issues like comprehensive immigration reform that are still of enormous importance to ensure that america grows. so i assure all of the great work that the people have done, some of the cabinet members here are still relatively new but thanks to their confirmations and the great teams they put around them, i know that they are hitting the ground running.
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all right? thank you very much, everybody. >> so i don't know if you could just hear the reporters in the background who had that opportunity for the quick spray before they have to leave the room and the actual meeting gets under way, one of them yelled out a question about president putin's op-ed in "the new york times," taking a dig at president obama. the president did not answer and did not bite. but did say that there is still a focus on the economy. we have budget debates coming up ahead. as we continue, we have for you ahead an incredible nail-biting rescue. a live report from the colorado flooding just ahead. see that vehicle underwater over 35 minutes, a man alive inside. she's always had a playful side.
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a raging torrent of water in colorado. the vehicle being pulled out of the raging waters had been upside down for more than 30 minutes before those very brave rescuers risking their lives discovered a man inside alive. our ana cabrera is live in boulder. we're getting sketchy reports that there may be people still trapped in areas where this flooding has been occurring. can you get us up to speed on what the conditions are there for the first responders? >> reporter: absolutely, ashleigh. there are very leakly people still trapped. the emergency crews are having a hard time getting to people who need the most help right now. this is in part why you can see this roadway completely covered in water here. we are in the city of boulder. now, in the county, just a little outside the city of boulder, those are the mountainous communities that are seeing the hardest hit from these flash floods. in fact, we're learning that
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rescue crews are encountering walls of debris, nine to ten feet high from the debris flows that have been triggered and behind those debris walls they are finding 6 to 8 feet of water. it's extremely dangerous for them to even get in there. so they know at least two people in boulder county have been confirmed dead. another person confirmed dead in the colorado springs area because of flash flooding. so the death poll is now three and the sheriff speaking within the last few minutes, that death toll is likely to continue to rise today as they access the areas hardest hit and get to the people in their homes trapped, in their cars trapped, they are encountering overturned cars along the way. we have not had access to those areas but again emergency crews can't even get to some of those areas. we're staying on top of it for you in boulder, colorado. back to you. >> ana, we keep seeing this remarkable rescue that played out with that man who had been
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submerged in his car for over half an hour before they pulled him out. it looked to us like he was okay. he was walking for a short time and then they got him on to a stretcher. i know everybody is busy with rescues, but do we have any idea how he is? >> reporter: well, the last check that we were able to confirm is that he is okay, that he has moderate injuries. all three people who were part of that rescue you speak of were taken to the hospital, again, with moderate injuries but officials aren't going into any more detail than that. >> just so shocking to see him appearing in that window when no one knew if anyone was even in that vehicle let alone alive. so ana cabrera for us doing this job. by the way, it does not look leak a street behind you. it looks like it's a massive moving lake. it's a remarkable shot. we'll keep bringing you that story for you. and for seven years, a man
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in missouri kept himself a sex slave in the way of a 16-year-old girl. take a good look at that face. that man took that 16-year-old girl and raped her and put her through horrifying tortures every day for seven years. tortures i cannot even broadcast on television. and for that, his sentence, 20 years. that's it. 20 years. how did that happen? okay, listen up! i'm re-workin' the menu. mayo? corn dogs? you are so outta here! aah! [ female announcer ] the complete balanced nutrition of great-tasting ensure. 24 vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and 9 grams of protein. [ bottle ] ensure®. nutrition in charge™. congestion, for the smog. but there are a lot of people that do ride the bus. and now that the buses are running on natural gas, they don't throw out as much pollution into the air.
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the 16-year-old girl kidnapped, shocked with electric currents, hung upside down, raped, held as a sex slave for seven years, all of this happening right here in the united states and i do have to warn you, some of the details that i'm about to deliver to you
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are extraordinarily disturbing. authorities say this man, 46-year-old edward bagley, tortured and raped the girl repeatedly. electrical shocks were used, as i mentioned, mutilation, waterboarding, and she was hanging upside down. he made her sign a sex slavery contract and even allowed other men to participate in the acts. and when they thought she was pregnant, they performed forced abortions on her and may i say that is only the beginning. those are the details that i can say on television. it all happened here at this house in missouri and some of the torture so horrific it defies imagination but it is worse than you can imagine. the victim was actually discovered by first responders because she suffered cardiac arrest during one of the torture sessions in 2009. edward bagley was sentenced
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yesterday after a federal judge accepted a plea bargain. and for all of these horrible crimes that he committed, that 46-year-old man got 20 years. that's it. 20 years. do you remember ariel castro who kidnapped three young women for a decade in ohio got 1,000 years. why did this man only get 20? i'm going to tweet you out the federal indictment right now because i mentioned before i can't mention most of the details on the air and the details matter. when you're talking about 20 years and the potential of someone who is 46 to be walking the streets with you and me and everyone else, you need to know exactly what he did to that 16-year-old and our legal panel will explain why this happened next. the humble back seat. we believe it can be the most valuable real estate on earth. ♪
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when ariel castro could dwarf this case with the torture. why would a man get only 20 years? >> there are facts that are worse, they put him on the internet -- >> i want to give a warning -- >> not the details. but what i suspect here was the victim was emotionally and physically disabled. he picked her out. i assume there are some problems with her testimony. he wasn't charged with kidnapping or restraints. the statements by the girl may have been ambiguous in terms of how much she participated and consented. i'm sure the prosecutors felt handicapped themselves and that's why they gave this plea agreement. i agree, it's a shockingly lenient plea agreement. >> that's not a rehabilitative.
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bagley's wife was involved. they are all going to be sentenced. is this a case of the prosecutors being handicapped by the defendants pointing at each other and making the prosecution tougher? >> not so much. federal crimes statutes are written very broadly. as soon as you start using the internet or interstate commerce, it gives the federal government that nexus to pile on charges. to the extent that people are upset about a 20-year sentence, the one count that he pleaded to carries a ten to life statutory plant tore. >> why did they settle at 20? >> they are not in the business of going lenient on offenders leak this so that has to reflect in their mind the relative strength of their case. there has to be problems with the case that we just don't know about and the u.s. attorney's office did not feel comfortable with going to trial on that case. >> we have forced abortions which we saw play into the ariel castro situation. is it possible that once it shakes out, the sentencing is
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done, the stink can come after him for murder and then put him away for life after his to years? >> that's a very complicated situation because the state varies on what they consider to be abortion, especially when you're talking about it's from her statement saying this is what occurred but they need more medical evidence of that. without the medical evidence i don't think so. it's possible other crimes will arise and he can be prosecuted and the plea agreement allows for that. >> i'm going there, quickly, though, five seconds. there's a death penalty statute in missouri. >> remember, the a separate sovereign, the state can go after that if exists. it appears from the plea agreement the federal government contemplated that as well. they left out the issue of murder to be revisited possibly later. >> guys, thank you. it was a disturbing, incredibly disturbing case. it's more disturbing we can't say what happened because it's that awful. thank you. coming up after the break, finding the weapons in syria.
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syria's president al assad
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is saying today that the threat of an attack from the united states was not a factor. not a factor in possibly getting on board with the russian plan, saying syria is placing its chemical weapons under international control because of russia. the united states threats did not influence the decision. even so, the deal is on the table still. could it be a mirage, though? one expert actually says the russian plan for syria to surrender chemical weapons is deceptively attractive. how much does depend on al assad being honest about the weapons he's got? wouldn't this operation actually take boots on the ground, very thing americans have been swearing that needs to abvoided? joining us with the expertise on all of this, cnn analyst and former u.n. weapons inspector david kay and cnn military analyst, retired james spider
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marks. boo boots on the ground. seems i ronnic. >> it really does. when you look back at what the president declared he would not do, were there to be a military strike and that was we would not place the united states would not place boots on the ground and that was emphatic. clearly what's going to happen with a potential diplomatic solution, and there are a lot of details, you know, a lot of stuff from the ground up that needs to be addressed, it would necessarily require boots on the ground in in order to secure the falts, multip facilities and weapons of mass destruction that might be out there to find those and render them safe. it's going to take a large contingent of personnel on the ground in order to make that happen. >> breaking news i want to announce. the united nations spokesperson said to cnn that the united nations secretary-general has received a letter from the syrian u.n. mission in which they have declared their intention to join the 1993
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chemical weapons convention. they heretofore said they would and the secretary-general has the intention in writing. david kay, i've got to ask you, the conventional way oftentimes in other countries destroying chemical weapons is building a destruction facility on tap of the cache of weapons where found as opposed to picking them up, moving them out of country. in a syrian civil war, it's such a mess and so dangerous, wouldn't we need to move them as some other experts have said, get them to safer ground? wouldn't that take sole soldiers? >> moving is almost as dangerous as keeping them in place. these weapons, some of which are 30 years old, 25 years old, we don't know what condition they're in, certainly my experience and the experience of colleague whose have looked at them, you seldom find weapons that don't have leaking problems. some of them aren't he weapon i'd, probably majority in
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barrels stored, they leak. under rough roads, and the roads are rough talking about moving them from, not only do you have to worry about ambush but accidents along the road that would lead to major chemical agent release. there is no good option here. probably the best option, and the fastest option in terms of rendering them harmless is to do it as quickly as you can, as close to where they are now. >> all of it a bad scenario and a difficult scenario. david kay, thank you for that. james "spider" marks, good to hear from you both. stay with cnn. "around the world" starts after this break. in djibouti, africa.. vietnam in 1972. [ all ] fort benning, georgia in 1999. [ male announcer ] usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection and because usaa's commitment to serve military members,
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so i'm choosing all of you with a loyalty program that requires no loyalty. plus members can win a free night every day only at you're watching "around the world." i'm suzanne malveaux. >> i'm michael holmes. thanks for your company today. a busy hour ahead. new information directly from the syrian president bashar al assad saying that he's going to hand over the deadly arsenal of chemical weapons, at least that's what he's saying. >> and he's crediting russia for being the peacemaker in all of this. the syrian dictator made the statements in an interview with a russian television station and says, quote, syria is handing over its chemical weapons under international supervision because of russia. the u.s. threats did not influence the decision.


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