tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN February 13, 2015 7:00am-8:01am PST
n it comes to this particular town it's just also ten miles from the al assad air base where hundreds of u.s. military personnel are involved with training the iraqi military. the iraqi army. what we are now hearing is even more concerning this morning from iraqi officials and that is that not only have they taken the town but they are moving toward the air base with isis forces and iraqi officials said isis sent eight suicide bombers in that direction toward the air base. they say so far they have killed that number eight. it's clearly still very much a fluid situation. one where that base is under it would seem some degree of threat. u.s. military said that it has often come under rocket fire nothing serious or damaging. this could be different. we can hear gunfire in the distance and we've seen one likely air strike today and seen two fast moving aircraft overhead. as i say, the grip that isis has on this town is still very firm.
it shows that for all of the progress that's been made against isis in this region the kurdish fighters from around here have really rolled back thousands, 5,000 square miles they estimate territory that isis once held. isis still holds key pieces of real estate here. the town behind me and of course the major city of mosul. >> phil black filing that report from northern iraq. let's talk more about this with cnn chief national correspondent jim sciutto. i'm also joined by cnn military analyst lieutenant general mark herdling. welcome to both of you. all week you are talking about isis and movements in syria and iraq. it doesn't come as a surprise to you. >> it's significant. a lot of talk about isis' momentum being stopped and in many areas in the country that's true but isis showing they can carry on offensive takes. they have taken the town of
albaghdadi. iraqi forces killed the eight suicide bombers that phil black referred to with the help of u.s. surveillance and aircraft likely drones and at no time were those u.s. forces under threat. a number of capitol hill omters away from where the attack took place. a huge air base. that is possible. you have a isis town a town under isis control just a few miles from that base as you can see on the map there. you have to imagine they'll make further attempts on that base and while those u.s. forces there do not have a combat role, they are in closer danger than before. >> this base is heavily fortified. tell us about it. >> it's a big air base. al al assad is over a sprawling
complex. it has a fine defensive perimeter. in this case what concerns me the most is the potential use of swayed attacks. the americans are far from the base entries and there are defense there is. i also thank that having an isis force going across the land that would lead up to the base would provide some very lucrative targets for u.s. airpower. this is an attempt by isis to regain the narrative. there's been much talk about them losing momentum lately. this is to get them back in the news. the secondary thing and jim mentioned this in an earlier report is to take the focus away from mosul. they are under siege in mosul preparing for an attack in both that large city and also the smaller sister city just a few kilometers away from mosul. they are trying to draw attention away from potential iraqi security force
reengagement in the major cities. >> the u.s. did call for reinforcements right? >> reinforcements in alasad? no. they are conscious of how they're being covered and what we talk about when it comes to isis. that says it shows they can carry out significant military operations even under the pressure of the u.s. led air campaign to take this town of albaghdadi close to that air base. that's not the only police outside of baghdad and erbil where u.s. military advisers are going to be. the pentagon has plan to put them in a number of bases as they train iraqi forces and there's talk of putting them on the front lines on an attack on mosul. even though they are not combat troops they are closer to the combat and no matter how you
slice it that raises the danger level for them. >> iraqi forces call for reinforcements. i want to be clear about that for our audience. we hear about the ineptitude of iraqi forces and i know they are being trained by u.s. marines right now. the american people might be a little concerned about that. is there a chance that the u.s. marines inside that air base will have to engage with isis fighters? >> there certainly could be a chance carol. i wouldn't rule that out. there are a lot of things that happen in combat. i doubt that will happen truthfully. i have serious doubts it will get to that point but marines and soldiers always have the right of self-defense. it's not that they are going into combat. they can defend themselves and if it came to that i don't think it will they will defend with their iraqi brothers. what i'll say is i think that there have been many people slandering the iraqi security forces. a few years ago i fought with those men. they are hard fighters when they
are well led, when they are paid and when they feel that government is behind them. i think we're going to see a regeneration of combat power within the iraqi security forces. it's going to take time. these guys are good fighters. i think they suffered too many insults over the last several months by people who don't understand what happened over the three years between when we left and isis took over. >> all right. enough said. thanks so much. i appreciate it. still to come in the "newsroom," a community demanding justice for three young muslims shot and killed in north carolina. was it a hate crime? we'll talk about that next.
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investigation into the murder of three muslims this week inside their north carolina apartment. there's also new criticism about the case and it's from the president of turkey. he thinks president obama should have spoken out about the murders saying if you stay silent when faced with an incident like this and don't make a statement, the world will stay silent toward you. across north carolina and across the country, many are asking the same question is this a hate crime? jean casarez is live in chapel hill this morning with more. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, carol. the muslim advocates sent out a press release today and with it was attached a letter of 150 civil rights and faith based groups around this country asking the u.s. attorney general to have a vigorous and full investigation on whether this was a hate crime. they say that the u.s. attorney general should show he cares about all groups and they are asking that he actually hold a press conference to announce this investigation. meanwhile around the country last night, there were vigils
all over to honor deah yusor and razan. one of the largest was at north carolina university the undergraduate college of all three victims. overnight hundreds uniting in continued grief and anger across north carolina. >> these three people as young as they were were a source of inspiration, warmth and light for our community. >> reporter: mourning the murder of three muslim students razan, yusor and deah barakat shot and killed execution style alleged by by their neighbor craig hicks. they believe they were targeted because of their muslim identity. at the funeral thursday -- >> this has hate crime written all over it. >> reporter: the father of both female victims called for justice. >> we don't want revenge.
we don't care about punishment. we care about acknowledging this the way it is and protecting every other child. >> reporter: as thousands in attendance knelt down in prayer chapel hill police were going door to door talking to neighbors. >> we are just canvassing. that's all we're doing at the moment. >> reporter: according to a preliminary investigation, police say hicks shot the students over an ongoing parking dispute at their apartment complex. neighbor's reaction mixed. >> i've been a homeowner here for 15 years. not at one point has there been an issue with parking. >> when it came to parking, he was pretty adamant about no new people no new cars. >> reporter: a law enforcement source tells cnn hicks told police he went into a rage after he saw a car belonging to one of the victims parked in what he claimed was his spot. and, carol, we want to show
everybody. this is the local newspaper today that was on the doorsteps of everyone in this community, at newsstands all over the area. as you can see, they were loved. that's a sentiment here in north carolina and around the country. one more thing, the fbi last night while these vigils were being held announced there will be a preliminary investigation on whether or not this was a hate crime. people say there needs to be more than a preliminary investigation. they want a full force investigation but others say this was all about a parking spot. it had nothing to do with hatred at all. carol? >> jean casarez reporting live from north carolina. as jean said just because the community wants a hate crime investigation, it doesn't mean the murders were a hate crime. legal analyst mark omara writes -- >> initial reports and it's early so we know little. they reveal not much more than an alleged facebook post could be interpreted as hateful
against muslims. it's subjective and barely qualifies under one of the fbi's 14 points for establishing objective evidence of a hate crime. it's not enough to make a case. certainly not a case to withstand the skutcrutiny of a good defense attorney. mark joins me now. good morning. >> hey, carol. >> should there be a hate crime investigation at all? >> first of all, my sympathies of course with the families and their loss and the whole muslim community going through their loss. a hate crime investigation, yes, absolutely. the issue is whether or not there is enough there for hate crime. let's remember he's going to be indicted for three counts of first-degree premeditated murder. that act is full of hatred. the idea of planning to and then committing a crime of premeditated murder. it's not a question of did he have hatred in his heart. the question is was it specific to them and those victims as part of the muslim community.
and for that it's a very difficult and legal analysis. i don't mean to be insensitive to the laws but when we do a legal analysis and look at whether or not he had hate in his heart for that particular community, we have to look at his history. we can't look inside his heart. he hasn't given statements. if we look at his history, facebook postings social media postings groups of hate groups he may have belonged to what his neighbors say about him, it's from those sources that we're going to find out whether or not there's enough to show a hate crime. remember hate crimes are there to enhance a crime. you don't get much more serious than first-degree premeditated murder. he's looking at a death sentence or at least a life sentence. hate crimes there are to take a crime and enhance it if it's focused on a particular community. >> just so people understand so hate itself is not a crime. so legally when does hate cross the line and become illegal? >> when you act against somebody
and the focus on them whether it's race religion ethnicity, if that is a purpose in your crime, then we as as community have said we're going to raise that level of crime. a second-degree felony because first-degree felony. sentencing gets enhanced because you use hate. hatred exists in any murder case. if it's focused on a community, on a particularly protected class, then we say it's that much more serious an event. >> mark o'mara i appreciate it. thanks. still to come the phrase may have been made famous by rapper drake but now a remix courtesy of the president of the united states.
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for signing up for health insurance is february -- >> like any other wednesday. >> that's right right. >> man. february 15th. february 15th. >> you get the idea. the president acting silly trying to push people to the website by the deadline. as you might expect the latest video sunday a large amount of criticism from many factions within our country. i want to bring in our digital correspondent chris moody to talk about this. before we get into whether the president should have done this or shouldn't have done this come on. between the interviews it was
silly but it was successful right? >> carol, first, let me try my president obama impression and take my own selfie on air. now that we've done that and i feel presidential with buzzfeed before they did this video, they did a very serious interview with their editor ben smith with the president of the united states and asked incredibly tough questions of the president and they also invested a lot of money in news here in washington and abroad. now, for the president to do this he needs to reach an audience of young people to sign up to make obamacare work and young people are online. they're on social media. they're on their phone and so president obama is going where they're going. early on in this process he tried to make himself the chief salesman of this policy to get people to sign up. he thought he would be the best face. so why not go where the people are and why not go where the people who need to sign up especially and that's online. >> let's face it obamacare is under attack these days. there are certain factions who are trying to kill the entire
thing. so this is sort of his way to fight back perhaps. >> presidents have been going on different types of media for decades for a long time. the media landscape has completely changed in the past couple years. president obama did an interview where he talked about encouraging future presidents to engage in other types of media. you don't have to just go on "60 minutes" or another program on television. there's a lot of different avenues that they have and i think president obama is really breaking some ground in engaging with those media. >> people are saying it's not remotely presidential. it makes the president of the united states look silly at a time where serious stuff is going on in the world. it's valid criticism. i will say the same critics perhaps who are running for president will try this very thing to get younger voters to engage. want to bet? >> they're going to have to. you can say president obama looks silly. of course he did. that was the idea.
the idea was to make a shareable video. it's the hook. here's president obama winking into a selfie stick. by the way, the message for obamacare and signup date is at the end of the video. and he understands the media landscape. you can say he looks silly but you can also say he looks human as well. it's a side of public officials we don't get to see a lot and honestly i welcome it. >> i'm just thinking back to all of those strange things that politicians do to make themselves look human when they're running for office like everybody goes hunting. everybody hunts. they drink a beer. you can tell they don't really drink beer. remember when president obama went bowling. he doesn't bowl. at least he looked real in this thing. >> i guess you say he's had practice with the selfies. he did seem to enjoy drinking the beer on st. patrick's day. there's a bit of fake manufacturing that goes on with this. that's why it's important to find what politicians actually do and enjoy in real life and then politicians should really
show that side of themselves if they're game for it. >> i think you're going to convince some people but not everyone. >> i don't think so. chris moody, many thanks. i appreciate it. still to come in the "newsroom," a judge issues a big ruling in the murder trial of a former nfl star. we'll talk about the latest battle lost by the aaron hernandez legal team.
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good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. a new development just in from the aaron hernandez murder trial. the judge has ruled against his defense team saying jurors do have the right to see video of the former nfl star breakdown his cell phone after the killing. cnn's alexandra field is covering the trial in fall river, massachusetts. walk us through this. why is this so significant? >> reporter: this is pretty key for the prosecution. this is video they want the jury to see. defense tried to block that. today the judge said there's really no reason that the jury cannot see this video. here's what the video shows according to the prosecution. we'll see aaron hernandez in a parked car in the parking lot of a police station a couple days after odin lloyd was killed. aaron hernandez breaks apart his cell phone into three pieces.
the jury will then also see video of him reassembling that cell phone and retrieves a number and then using a different phone. prosecution says he's using that other phone to call earnest wallace. the judge says that the jury will see two parts of the video. one, aaron hernandez breaks down the cell phone and puts it back together. two, they'll know he uses a different cell phone to make that call. what they won't see is what happens in between. aaron hernandez's attorney at the time someone no longer representing him in court, is the person who handed over that cell phone, carol. this is being left out. the defense argued that this video shouldn't be shown because there was attorney/client privilege. but judge garsh ruled there was no violation of attorney/client privilege and that aaron hernandez was sitting in a parked car at a police station. a well lit parking lot.
visible there was a surveillance camera outside of that building. there's really no reason to believe he should have had expectation of privacy when he broke down that phone. >> keep us posted. alexandra field, many thanks. still to come in the "newsroom," sony target chase bank hack attack leaving americans exposed. how the president is taking on cyberthreats next.
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it. a man has been charged with arson of a market in ferguson after the michael brown incident. the building which survived protests after brown's death, has since reopened. as bobbi kristina brown lies in a medically induced coma at an atlanta hospital her boyfriend is speaking out. nick gordon will not take legal action to see brown but he hopes to be reunited with her soon. gordon was one of two people who reportedly found brown facedown in a bathtub nearly two weeks ago. two journalists for al jazeera are freed after 400 base behind bars. the man and a third colleague were convicted on charges they supported the banned muslim brotherhood which was banned. their colleague was freed and deported to his native australia two weeks ago. the remaining two will face a retrial. we'll be right back.
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a cease-fire is due to take effect in eastern ukraine in just two days. that's not stopping guns or bloodshed as pro-russian separatist and ukrainian forces fight for every square inch of territory. caught in the crossfire, civilians including one mother who went to get her children a bathing towel and when she returned a horrible scene
awaited her. i want to bring in cnn senior international correspondent nick paton walsh. he's in donetsk with more. hi nick. >> reporter: deeply traumatized family we saw. last night the town not far from where i'm standing in separatist held territory was hit by shelling. it was hit again by shelling when we were standing there looking at the ruins of the house where that family lost their three children as you just described. a terrifying scene. bath torn to pieces. first time that family had water for weeks. they put the children in the bath to wash and as i said the shell landed directly hitting the bathroom first. parents in a back room and obviously the horrifying scene soon became advisable to them. shocking for that family. terrifying. in trauma when we saw them earlier on. that's a repeated scene here but also on the other side of
ukrainian lines. both sides losing civilians to artillery fire. a lot of focus on one town. this is a deeply important conflict. the lines have changed. we are a hour's drive from the european union here. we're hours away from a key cease-fire which is looming. if it fails, potential for escalation here is enormous. as we stand here at the moment violence is not ebbing and there's a sense on both sides that hatred they feel for the other makes it unlikely they'll allow a cease-fire to take hold. >> we'll see what happens on sunday. nick paton walsh live from ukraine this morning. president obama is taking on cyber hackers. he'll speak at a cyber summit in california. three high profile companies have been attacked. no way around it. computer security has been compromised and officials want
answers. dan simon live in san francisco with more. hi dan. we're having technical problems. dan can't hear me right now. hopefully we'll get him after a break. i'll be back. [engine revving] [engine revving] [engine revving] ♪ introducing the first-ever 306 horsepower lexus rc coupe with available all-wheel drive. once driven, there's no going back. lease the 2015 rc 350 for $449 a month for 36 months. see your lexus dealer. of all the places in your house, this one's the busiest. so you want it to be the cleanest. that's why you need lysol. because when you use bleach, some stains are left behind. as this dye reveals. lysol toilet bowl cleaner does more. it removes the tough stains that bleach doesn't and it also disinfects. so why just
cyber summit in california. americans are on edge. sony chase bank target several of the high profile companies recently hacked. computer security has been compromised and officials want answers. dan simon is live in san francisco and he really is this time with a preview of the president's speech. good morning, dan. >> reporter: good morning, carol. as we all know we're constantly having to report one cyber attack after another and things are definitely not getting better with the sony attack being exhibit a. the question is what can be done about it? the whole purpose behind this gathering if you will is to try to bring tech with government officials. tech ceos. will it make a difference? the president with this executive order that he's going to sign he wants to encourage greater cooperation between silicon valley and government officials. he wants the companies to cooperate with each other and share information. we don't know if that's going to happen. the companies have a lot of concerns when it comes to
consumer privacies and the question is whether or not the cyberattackers will figure out how to get around any safeguards that are put in place. this is what white house spokesperson josh earnest said earlier today. >> what the federal government can do is actually play an important role in helping private sector industry do a better job of coordinating their efforts to improve the cyber defenses of all networks. if we set up and facilitate the ability of individual and private companies to share information about the attacks they're repelling, we can help other companies do the same thing to protect information and data they are holding on their network as well. >> reporter: you have apple ceo tim cook who will be speaking. he'll be joined by other ceos from financial institutions like american express, visa mastercard. people with a real stake when it comes to cybersecurity. it's also notable who is not in attendance. despite receiving invites, ceo
mark zuckerberg from facebook is not here and larry page from google not here as well. some people suggested there's lingering tension between those executives and the white house when it comes to security in the wake of the edward snowden affair while others downplayed that. their absence is raising a few eyebrows. >> i'm sure you'll keep us posted. dan simon, many thanks to you. checking other top stories for you at 48 minutes past. a 26-year-old north carolina woman is the first of three powerball winners to come forward and claim her share of a $560 million jackpot. marie holmes isn't planning on going on a shopping spree. the mother of four will set up trust funds for her kids buy a new home and says she wouldn't have this if it weren't for god. no love from mother nature this valentine's day weekend. a blizzard watch stretching from coastal massachusetts through maine goes into effect tomorrow night through early monday. that includes boston which has
been hammered with more than 42 inches of snow since the start of the month making this the snowiest february on record. get your blindfolds ready because this weekend is all about the red room of pain. ♪ >> i don't know if i can be with him the way he needs me to. >> "50 shades of grey" hits theaters today and the hotly anticipated film is expected to dominate at the box office this weekend. it's hard to explain how beloved this story is. the book sold 100 million copies. the paperback version is fastest selling book in history and this story has been translated into more than 50 languages. merchandise surrounding the movie is simply out of control. the vermont teddy bear company is offering a christian grey
style teddy bear complete with blindfold and handcuffs and target is offering adult themed products for fans that want -- well you know. cnn correspondent richard roth spoke to a group of fans. >> mr. grey will see you now. >> what was he like? >> he was polite. >> hello. i'm mr. grey. >> do you have any interest outside of work? >> no i would like to know more about you ms. steel and how women are fantasizing about the movie release of "50 shades of grey." >> everybody that i know cannot wait to see the film. >> this movie will be big. it will be a big deal. >> i even have my panties picked out. >> reporter: groups of women are going together. >> it gives you imagination and sexy part of it. >> reporter: there's more than
sex in 50 shades the movie. the saga of mr. grey and anastasia changed perception of s & m in the bedroom. >> it will be like oh everyone has a set of nipple clamps at home and everyone gets tied up and spanked. >> reporter: most of the women i have pursued -- interviewed over the years disagree. >> they say this is mommy porn. it's not about that. for moms everywhere it was about a love story. that's what i truly believe we all got out of this book. >> what a pleasant surprise ms. steel. >> he found where she worked. >> i usually get a restraining order. >> stalkerish if it wasn't someone you like but the fact he showed up there. >> do you stock cable ties? >> yes, we do. >> can i get some help here? >> i can show you if you want. >> nobody ever speaks that recklessly in a hardware store.
>> who will you take? >> my husband may be jealous of christian grey. >> doesn't interest me. >> i saw the preview. amazing. i got to see that. >> reporter: may i recommend this reclining seat i was shown in a manhattan theater. bring it on. >> the girls are reclining in new york city. amazing delicious chairs that are comfy and soft. so fabulous. >> my name is mr. grey. do you have anything for me? richard gray -- roth cnn, new york. >> thank you, richard, i think. it's not all fun though. some feel this movie sends a confusing message about healthy sex and others feel it promotes sexual violence. i'm joined by judy and chrissy.
welcome to both of you. >> thank you. >> good morning. >> thanks for being here. chrissy, is it safe to say you're obsessed with "50 shades?" >> that would be accurate. >> why did you start the website? >> i talked my friend into reading the book. i said why don't we start a website. we can talk to more people and make more friends that we can talk to and get more ideas. >> the movie opens tonight. do you plan to go with a bunch of friends? >> i actually got to see it last night with a bunch of friends i met through the site. >> and? >> we loved it. we all loved it. >> okay. so judy 100 million copies of "50 shades" sold around the world. what is it about bondage, discipline submission that
strikes a cord with women? >> it's depressing that this is being presented as a valentine story. get out your whips and chains for valentine's day? this is a day about love and about cuddling and about being told you're beautiful and not to be manipulated. what is it about it that you just ask? it's that women have this desire sometimes to be dominated and to let themselves have man to control and this is an old story unfortunately. chrissy was saying it's fun. to me i think it could be very dangerous to take a man to this movie and especially for a young girl to go to this movie who is a virgin and to see that this is what relationships are about. it should be about intimacy and love and not about whips and chains. >> i think that part of the problem some people have with the movie is this young woman
agrees to have sex she's really not sure about or that causes her pain in order for this man to continue to love her. what message do you take away from it? >> well first of all, it's important to say it's fictional and everybody that i know who has read it can really differentiate that. it's a story and it's not real life. it also a setup for conversations about what your own boundaries are and what you're interested in and not interested in doing. and having those conversations with other people. you can help define your own boundaries going forward. >> let's talk about boundaries. i'm not sure that some young people understand boundaries. we're having a huge problem with sexual violence on campuses across the country. >> exactly. i'm so upset because having been on the radio for so many years talking to young people and knowing what college girls but also what many younger girls are learning they're doing such
really unpleasant things and allowing themselves to be subjectated performing on boys and being angry instead of loving and i think the messages are very dangerous. parents should be very careful about their young girls going to see a film like this and seeing thinking that maybe this is normal. this is what love should be about. certainly not for your first sexual experience. the girl in the film and in the book is a virgin. to have this kind of introduction to love and relationships that's based on dominance and control sends a bad message for young girls. >> so i would say that young girls have a whole different feeling about this movie than judy does right? is it a generational thing? doesn't judy have a right to be concerned? >> you know it's fair to be concerned. there are some people -- young people and old people -- who have unhealthy expectations in a
relationship. part of it is also you know i know plenty of young people who have healthy boundaries and understanding what a relationship should be. part of it is just opening a conversation that was not here five years ago. that may start understanding where we should be with relationships and what's healthy and not healthy. >> i have to end it there unfortunately. thanks to you both. i appreciate it. if dating wasn't already terrifying enough one stunt driver is giving her suitors quite the thrill. here's jeanne moos. >> reporter: it was billed as speed dating but then they pulled a fast one. let's slow down and back up. ford wanted to advertise their 2015 mustang so they rigged one
up with cameras and hired an attractive blonde stunt driver to pretend to go on blind dates. the unsuspected guys thought they were auditioning for a reality dating show. once in the car, driving school girl asked as if she barely knew how to drive a stick shift. >> i think you might want to shift. >> let me drive it. i'll show you what this thing can do. >> reporter: then she showed him. >> yeah, baby! >> reporter: the director said she hit 80 or 90 miles an hour in the empty lot and then slammed on the brakes. >> she asked a couple guys if they were going to be sick. >> reporter: online skeptics say faked, stage, the guys are in on it. >> 100% not fake.
>> reporter: so face our ninja, tyson. what was turner thinking? >> i was just like this woman might be crazy. >> reporter: and then she reveal revealed all. >> i'm a professional stunt driver. >> reporter: damian is an actor. the only acting he said he was doing here was pretending not to be scared. as for the blind date -- >> probably one of the best dates i've been on. i should have proposed. >> i do a second date but i need to drive. >> reporter: don't count on preston giving up the wheel. >> if i need to rob a bank she needs to stay in the car and drive. >> reporter: jeanne moos cnn, new york. >> that was one laugh. thank you for joining me today.
i'm carol costello. another hour of "newsroom" straight ahead. was it a hate crime? the fbi now on the case of the three muslim students killed in north carolina. the new details in their investigation. it really is getting to the point of cruelty. boston expecting not only more snow but blizzard conditions and brutal cold. what to expect this weekend. the brian williams saga deepens. new questionable statements surface. new stories now in focus as nbc says its investigation is nowhere near done. hello, everyone. great to see you. i'm john berman. >> happy friday everyone. i'm kate bolduan. new details emerging about the shooting deaths of three muslim students in chapel hill north carolina.