tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN December 31, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PST
of a rogue imposter spread quickly across social media dancing on poles and making a mess. the unsanctioned behavior prompted complaints in japan but gave the rest of the world a much needed laugh. scott mclean, cnn, london. good morning, welcome to our holiday edition of "cnn newsroom" the u.s. embassy in iraq under attack and on lockdown. hundreds of protesters enraged over american air strikes that killed 25 fighters in an iranian backed militia. demonstrators there are trying to breakthrough floors, climb walls, and set fires. personnel shot tear gas into the crowd to push them back. moments ago the secretary of state mike pompeo spoke with the iraqi president as well as the prime minister. during that call, the state department says that the iraqi leaders guaranteed the safety of u.s. personnel and property.
meanwhile, president trump is already putting the blame squarely on iran for the attacks warning that iran will be held fully responsible. let's get straight to cnn's arwa damon. we do know that the u.s. ambassador is away. he was on vacation. where do things stand in baghdad right now? >> reporter: tough to actually get an accurate assessment on that, the latest live images that we saw from the outside of the embassy showed what appeared to be a dwindling crowd, but one that was setting a number of fires, and of course this comes after hours where we saw a significant number of people out front chanting anti-american slogans, demanding that america leave trying to scale the walls of the embassy to get inside. the iraqi prime minister has been trying to calm down the situation, but we have to also look at who this group is that
is protesting. these are not ordinary protesters, alex. these are by and large members of what's known as the popular mobilization force that is a paramilitary force ostensibly under the control of the iraqi security forces but is by and large made up of these former shia militias. a number of them make up this paramilitary force. the group that the americans struck is among the more powerful. its leader was actually at the protest. they just put out a statement saying that these protests were as a reaction to the strikes but also to demonstrate to the americans that they have the ability to go straight up literally to their door saying that it was an attempt to try to shake american dominance to a
certain degree. the great concern right now, alex, is what is going to happen next. will these protests continue? will they escalate? because any sort of escalation could potentially have very devastating and significant consequences. >> a very complex and dangerous situation with the u.s. striking the citizens of an allied country inside that country, albeit backed by iran. thanks so much for bringing us the latest. now we have more with cnn's ryan round who joins us from the pentagon. we've been hearing from president trump as well as the state department this morning. what are they saying? >> the state department revealing that secretary of state mike pompeo called both iraq's president and prime minister in separate phone calls today to really underscore that they expected iraqi officials to defend u.s. personnel and u.s. facilities. secretary pompeo tweeting about this recently but also the state department issuing a statement
saying that secretary pompeo made clear the united states will protect and defend its people and that he said he received assurances that the iraqi leaders took seriously their responsibility for and would guarantee the safety and security of u.s. personnel . so, again, a very clear strong message from the secretary of state calling both iraqi officials. now, iraq's been really challenged by a series of political troubles on its own for some time now. in fact, there's been a bit of a dispute between iraq's president, some of the lead eing parties there, and there have been protests against the iraqi government for some time. it's a very fluid situation there, but secretary pompeo trying to get some iraqi officials to take action. there has been some guidance from the iraqi prime minister asking these protesters to go away from the diplomatic quarter, to go away from the u.s. diplomats despite them condemning those air strikes that have kind of set all this
alight. >> despite the fact, ryan, that this militia group is backed by iran, that's not in dispute. there were iraqi citizens that were killed. iraq's prime minister says those u.s. air strikes left iraqi army and federal police personnel dead. how has the u.s. responded to that? >> well, the u.s. has not commented on any of these allegations from iraq saying that these personnel were killed. the u.s. is insisting that the targets were carefully selected, that they were linked to these paramilitary forces that were backed by iran, armed and trained by iran according to the u.s. as arwa said as well, these groups, while they're backed by iran, they are ostensibly part of iraq's security forces. it's possible there were some iraqi liaison officers there. >> a very complex situation unfolding in iraq. thanks very much. to dive into this deeper with me is a member of the house armed services committee,
congressman gill cisneros, thanks so much for joining me. >> good morning, alex. >> hopefully you heard that reporting about the situation unfolding in baghdad. what more can you tell us? what more do you know about these protests at the u.s. embassy? >> well, basically all i know is the same information that they says. hopefully when we get back to washington next week, we'll be able to get a brief from the secretary of defense and the chairman as to what happened and what was going on and why they ski decided to respond against these iraqi militias. >> congressman, ryan was just breaking it down for us, and while these militia groups are backed by iran, arairaqis were killed and they are under the control of the iraqi government. how dangerous is it if the u.s. is bombing iraq, killing iraqis, which is a pivotal ally in the
middle east? >> well, we should always, anytime we do any type of attack, we always want to make sure that the innocent are protected. i know the government went out, the u.s. military went out and selected these targets strategically to try to minimize civilian casualties. we haven't yet heard from the u.s. response yet as to if there was any civilian casualties, but i know our military is always taking actions to make sure we go and we protect the civilian population and these targets are strictly on a military basis. >> we should note that these u.s. air strikes were in response to an attack by this militia group that left an american contractor dead. do you think that these retaliatory strikes are the proper response for this kind of attack? >> well, we need to protect american citizens. we need to protect our american military. you know, to the size and everything, it's still like i said, again, we need to get that information from the department
of defense, from the secretary of defense as to why they decided to respond, you know, at five targets. but i know our number one priority should always be to protect american citizens throughout the world against any type of attack, and we need to be able to respond when they're attacked. >> congressman, we have heard from the president this morning blaming iran for the protests on the embassy. we're also hearing from senator marco rubio of florida. he tweet that had iran is directly responsible for this protest at the u.s. embassy and should be held accountable. do you agree with that? is this iran behind it? >> well, i know -- we know that these militia forces, there is iranian influences inside these militia forces, so there is, i am sure, they had -- they're driving, right? they are the ones kind of pushing this message. we know that iran ever since the sanctions has gone forward to really go out there and to try and push the united states to
the limit whether it be to going after tankers, going after oil fields or even now in this situationme situation. so we need to kind of make sure we've always got our head on a swivel and watching out what's going on to be ready for these type of attacks. we know iran is no ally of us. they're really going out there trying to push our buttons and see how far they can get. this time they might have pushed a little farther than they wanted. and they got that kind of response. >> and before i let you go, i want to ask you, you just got back from a tour of the middle east including kuwait and qatar, i believe, visiting u.s. service members. of course this is a tough time of year to be away from home for those service members. what can you tell us about their morale. >> well, morale was good. i know a lot of them would rather be home, back here in the united states i was able to visit some of my constituents that were stationed over there in kuwait and qatar. you know, they were in good spirits, and they know they're doing their duty, and it's part
of their job. they want to get home as soon as they can, and i hope to see them here when they're back in the country. >> all right, congressman, thanks very much, and happy new year to you. >> thank you, and happy new year. well, still ahead, you are looking at live pictures of times square in the heart of manhattan where just hours from now hundreds of thousands of people will be packed into those pens there to ring in 2020 and a new decade. we're going to show you how the new york police department is working to secure those festivities tonight. plus, the man accused of stabbing five orthodox jews during a hanukkah celebration is now facing federal hate crime charges. we'll tell you what investigators are learning from his journal entries and his online search history. and democratic presidential candidate pete buttigieg is taking a swipe at his 2020 rival, the former vice president joe biden over his son hunter biden's role on the board of a ukrainian energy company.
as we speak, times square in new york is buzzing ahead of tonight's new year's eve bash, and some extra motivated folks are already there, just under 14 hours ahead of time waiting in line to get into the square hundreds of thousands more will be descending on times square throughout the day. security is very tight, and nypd is using never used before high-tech measures in place. cnn's miguel marquez joins us now live from times square. what are they using? surveillance drones is one of the new gizmos that they're putting in place? >> reporter: yeah, they brought
them in last year but weren't able to use them because the weather was so poor last year, and they have them this year and they can fly them again this year. things are starting to bubble here because it's all on. the nypd is starting to allow people into these pens. they checked bags here, no big bags, no umbrellas, no booze, and then they move forward to the next station there where they go through a magnetometer, and then they move into these pens. once you are in these pens, that's it, no get ing out. if you get out, you have to stay out. the area where the ball will drop is right down there. they will have security from the air, helicopters and drones. they'll even have a team that will be on the lookout for rogue drones. they'll somehow be able to mitigate those if someone's flying a drone illegally over the crowd here. they'll also have a wide swath of the area around midtown manhattan blocked off with everything from garbage trucks to cement blocks and they will have lots and lots of police officers, thousands of police
officers most in uniform, many not in uniform or in civilian clothes and just a massive security detail to make sure that everything goes well tonight. they call it the safest place on earth despite the numbers of people, they expect, you know, people all the way up broadway almost all the way to central park. about a million people or so will gather in these few blocks in central manhattan here, so just a massive show they put on. interestingly, the people that will press the button that will bring the ball down today will be science teachers and science students, a nod to how important science is to our world. alex. >> and a very exciting moment for the hundreds of thousands of people who will be gathered there right behind miguel marquez in those pens on times square, thanks so much. now this morning, the man who has been accused of a hanukkah stabbing spree is now facing federal hate crime charges while being held on
$5 million bail. investigators and family members are now painting two very different pictures of him. authorities are saying that they've uncovered online searches and journal entries about hitler, temples and american companies founded by jews, but his family is saying that he has struggled with mental illness and has no history of any sort of anti-semitism. brynn gingras has the latest from monsey, new york. what have you learned? >> reporter: all this information really coming out from authorities in a six-page criminal complaint tied to those five hate crime charges that were filed yesterday. we're learning really a lot about the evidence or some of the evidence authorities have found on both the suspect, grafton thomas's car and also in his home, and that's where they discovered some of these journal entries as you mentioned, that had antesemitic sentiments, hitler references, nazi references, pictures of swastikas and star of david.
also on a cell phone we're told by authorities in this complaint that they found searches, some that you described, example again searching german jewish temples near me. this complaint also detailed more about what actually went down here at the home behind me on that seventh night of hanukkah. they say that this suspect, grafton thomas walked in the door. he was covered on his face, and he basically shouted out that no one is leaving, and then proceeded to go on this rampage allegedly carrying an 18-inch machete. but we earlier today on "new day," poppy harlow talked to one of the people that was inside and said that actually people had left for the night and it's really a miracle that more people weren't injured. take a listen. >> it was truly a hanukkah miracle. if he would have come ten minutes earlier, the house would have been packed. i don't see a way we could have run. there was tables and chairs and everybody was sitting. it was a full house. >> reporter: and we know that there were five people in all injured. we just talked to some people in
the community, two people seemed to be still hospitalized, at least one with a very serious head injury, and what we know about grafton thomas as you said, his family says that he doesn't have anti-semitism in his blood. that he is really suffering from mental illness, and he's a former marine. he's been on medication, and they say that, you know, that is part of the picture of this bigger story. now, he's going to be back in court later this week on those state attempted murder charges. however, yesterday he was in court for those federal hate crime charges, so there are two court cases really going on right now with grafton thomas. alex. >> all right, whatever the motive and reason, a truly horrific attack there in monsey, new york, brynn gingras on the scene, trangs very much. in australia a father and son are dead and four people are missing as bush fires are ripping across the country. dozens of fires burning out of control in southeastern australia. they're being stoked and whipped up by strong winds. the flames have destroyed all
sorts of homes and businesses across the country. in one beach ocean front town people have actually been hiding under blankets on boats. others finding themselves trapped on the sand near the water taking refuge. firefighters are up against dangerous conditions as they work to get the upper hand on those flames. on monday, a volunteer firefighter died. those fires burning nearly half a million acres in australia. now, a game changer, that's what senate minority leader chuck schumer is calling a "new york times" report about the trump's administration's efforts to withhold that $400 million in military aid from ukraine. we will get insight into the legal ramifications of that report. that's next. take the personal assessment and get matched with a proven weight loss plan. find out which customized plan can make losing weight easier for you! myww. join for free + lose 10 lbs. on us.
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senate minority leader chuck schumer of new york is once again redoubling his efforts to hear from witnesses during the upcoming senate impeachment trial of president donald trump. now, this comes in the wake of a "new york times" new report about the white house's efforts to withhold that military aid from ukraine and the opposition efforts against the president to hand that over. now schumer is calling this report a game changer. i'm joined now by eli hoe anything. great to see you. i want to start with that phrase, game changer.
what is schumer seeing in this report that he thinks will change things? >> i think it's only a game changer to anyone who's genuinely interested in getting at the facts and the evidence here. i think what chuck schumer sees and what i agree with him on is this is a hugely important meeting that we're just learning about for the first time. here you have three of the president's top advisers meeting with the president in the oval office trying to convince him how important it is to release that foreign aid to ukraine and the president rejecting them, telling them no. so we need to know what happened in that meeting, who said what. why did the president say no? and look, the fact of the matter is there are three people at least putting aside the president who know exactly what happened in that meeting but they're refusing to testify but following the administration's instructions to stay silent. that's really what we're missing as the american public. >> yeah, and those three people in that meeting were the secretary of state mike pompeo, secretary of defense mark esper and the former national security
adviser john bolton. they were pushing back on the president who was refusing to release that aid. they were making the case that it was something worthwhile that the u.s. had to do. now, the democrats have been wanting to call in among others the former national security adviser john bolton, so how does this affect the democrats' efforts, this ground breaking report, how does that affect the democrats' effort to get those witnesses to testify in a trial that is being controlled by the republicans? >> i think it strength ness the democrats's hands. it gives them a tangible example to point to. this is crucial evidence that we need that john bolton has. this is why we need to have a a real trial in the senate and not just a political show piece. mitch mcconnell holds the power position here. he's the senate majority leader and a lot of the questions about how this impeachment trial is going to go are going to come down to a majority vote. mcconnell's got to be careful. more and more of this
information will come out whether through the media, through leaks, through freedom of information act requests. as that information comes out it's going to look worse and worse if mcconnell is seen as trying to cover it up or keep it away from the public. >> schumer as you know, could rest the control over that trial or much of it from mcconnell if he manages to bring 51 people to his side. of course he has a minority of democrats. he'd have to bring over a handful of republicans. one of the people democrats would be targeting is susan collins of maine, who has been a tie breaker vote on a number of different issues and she told maine public radio she's open to hearing from witnesses but that, quote, it's premature to decide who should be called. do you see a way that schumer will be able to get those 51 votes so that he could guarantee that those witnesses would be heard from? >> that's the biggest question right now, alex. the magic number is four. it's 53 to 47 republican majority in the senate right
now. if four of those republicans flip over and join with democrats on the procedural questions on the question of should we hear from witnesses, should we get evidence, put aside the ultimate vote. if schumer can flip four of those republican senators to go for a full trial, we will see something closer to what we know to be a real trial with witnesses and evidence. we have heard from collins. we have heard from senator lisa murkowski in alaska, some reluctance, some hesitation to just go along with sort of a show trial and some interest in having a real trial. it's one thing to have these indications. we've seen indications before of people potentially breaking ranks. i want to see it actually happen before i believe it. it is possible and the revelations like this new story about the oval office meeting really up the pressure on people like collins, murkowski, mitt romney and others. >> one name that many of our viewers may not know but who is pivotal in all of this is charles kupperman. he is the former deputy national security adviser, so he was under john bolton, then on
monday a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by kupperman. he had been subpoenaed to testify before the house. he had been challenging that subpoena even though the house actually never -- house democrats never actually went through with that subpoena in court. what is the significance of this judge's ruling? >> yeah, so it means that there's no longer any pending litigations about any of the impeachment, the ukraine-related witnesses. the house democrats tried to get kupperman's testimony. he then went to court and said i'd like to know court whether i'm supposed to testify or not, and at that point the house democrats said forget about it. we're not going to go through the stretched out court battle. instead we're going to return an article of impeachment for obstruction of congress. there's no longer any case. the one live case right now is don mcgahn. that case went in favor of congress in the district court. it's actually going up later this week for an argument in the d.c. court of appeals, so everyone should watch that case because as that case goes, and
it could end up at the supreme court, that should dictate what happens with some of these other witnesses if they push all the way to court. >> don mcgahn, the former white house counsel, a very important case to watch. elie honig, thanks for your incredible species and happy new year, my friend. >> thanks alex. as we look ahead to 2020, the race for the democratic presidential nomination is heating up. we've got mayor pete buttigieg taking a dig at the front runner, former vice president joe biden. is that the right strategic move? that's coming up. what'd we decide on the flyers again? uh, "fifteen minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance." i think we're gonna swap over to "over seventy-five years of savings and service."
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we are just hours away from the start of a dramatic election year and the race for the democratic nomination is gaining steam. on monday, 2020 contender mayor pete buttigieg of south bend, indiana, taking a swipe at former vice president joe biden over his son hunter biden's role on the board of a ukrainian energy company. buttigieg telling the associated press, quote, i would not have wanted to see that happen, and at the same time, again, i think this is being used to divert attention from what's really at stake in the impeachment process. there's been no allegation let alone finding of wrongdoing. my administration will be a very high standard around ethics and making sure that we do everything we can to prevent even the appearance of a conflict. i'm now joined by cnn political reporter arlette saenz. why do you think that buttigieg
is taking this line of attack against hunter biden, which is something republicans of course have been doing. >> well, alex, what's interesting here is that pete buttigieg has really avoided doing this for several months when he has gotten asked questions like this. but now, and you know, really he is the lone top tier contender that has offered some type of criticism when it comes to hunter biden's dealings sitting on that ukrainian oil company's board, bernie sanders and elizabeth warren have deflected when they've been asked about it. now joe biden has been saying that in the future his family won't be involved in foreign business dealings if he's elected president, but you know, buttigieg is now going -- issuing this critique. he is saying that there is no allegations of wrongdoing, but it's going to be interesting as we get closer to the caucuses to see if he will continue potentially trying to draw some more contrasts here, and if any other candidates also will weigh in. >> he really is.
that's what it is. he's trying to walk this line questioning biden's son's choices and criticizing the former vice president without giving too much weight to what have been repeatedly debunked allegations. so how do these 2020 democrats who are trying to pull even and pass biden, how do they balance those two ? >> i think really for the most part you've had the other democratic contenders pointing out that there haven't been allegations of wrongdoing and what really needs to be the focus is president trump and his actions throughout this impeachment process. that's something that you hear biden talking about over and over including over the weekend, so i think going forward it's unclear how much of an issue democrats might try to make this into heading into the caucuses, but so far really aside from this buttigieg criticism, no one has really gone after the former vice president and his son among
the democratic candidates. >> biden got a really interesting question at a town hall from someone in the audience. he was asked whether he would consider a republican running mate. he responded that he would, but that it would have to be someone willing to step up. you're out there with biden all the time. do you think there's any chance he could have a republican running mate? >> i think it's pretty unlikely. i guess you can never say never. biden also said he couldn't think of someone right now who could potentially be a running mate that is a republican. he went on to say there's a lot of decent republicans but they need to step up, and he believes they need to change their actions, and some of this goes along with what biden has talked about. there needs to be unity in the party, between the two parties and also that democrats need to be able to work with republicans. he's also offered some other clues on who he might want as his running mate. he said he would prefer a female. he said there's a lot of good african-american potential running mates who are out there.
he's floated kamala harris and elizabeth warren and stacey abrams as potential picks. we're still a few months away. he says it's a little presumptuous since he's not even the nominee to be talking about this, but i think the likelihood of him choosing a republican is pretty unlikely, but you never know. >> arlette saenz on a rare visit back to the bureau. you'll be back on the campaign trail before we know it. thanks very much. >> thanks. from explosive charges against r&b singer r. kelly to alex trebek's courageous battle against cancer. we'll take a look back at the biggest entertainment stories of 2019. that's coming up. [farmers bell]
(scary) hey, we're sorry! [man screams] [scary screams] (burke) quite the circus. but we covered it. at farmers, we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ as we look back, 2019 was also a big year in the entertainment world. cnn's stephanie e lumbar takes us through the top stories of the year. >> reporter: winter came and went, the final battle for the iron throne, avengers pack a
punch at the box office and lizzo storms the air waves with her juice. here's a look at the top entertainment news in 2019. number nine, jeopardy host alex trebek's courageous battle against pancreatic cancer. >> i have some news to share with all of you. >> reporter: trebek announced his stage 4 diagnosis in march and vowed to aggressively fight the disease. he underwent intense chemotherapy and resurfaced just five months later to announce he was on the mend. >> i'm happy to report i'm still here. >> reporter: and ready to return to jeopardy for its 36th season. >> in a touching moment trebek choked up during a very special final jeopardy round. >> what is we love you alex. that's very kind of you. thank you. a tv star embroiled in a hate crime scandal is number eight. "empire" actor jussie smollett who is gay and black claimed to have been the target of a racist and homophobic attack. police say smollett staged the
attack to gain attention. >> jussie smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career. >> reporter: smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts but prosecutors later dropped all the charges. smollett maintains his innocence. >> i would not be my mother's son if i was capable of one drop of what i was accused of. >> reporter: he didn't return for the show's sixth and final season. a new type of battle brings us to number seven, the fight for your streaming views and subscription dollars. joining heavy hitters netflix and hulu are the new kids on the block, apple tv plus, disney plus, and soon peacock and hbo max. netflix is still the king with over 150 million subscribers, but industry insiders are watching the impact these new platforms will have against their established rivals. >> content is arguably at the core of any streaming service. that's why we've seen record setting production and licensing deals over the last few years.
>> reporter: oprah, reese witherspoon, and jj abrams are just some of the names behind original content coming out soon. at number six, a sad farewell to a 90210 legend and a beloved rapper. in march, nip psy hustle was shot and killed near a clothing store he owned in los angeles. the grammy nominated rapper collaborated with dozens of artists including snoop dogg, kendrick lamar and drake. he embraced his role as an activist. hussle had been scheduled to meet with city officials the next day to discuss ways to stop gang violence. ♪ >> actor luke perry was meant to join his original beverly hills 90210 cast mates for a reboot of the show, but sadly the 52-year-old died of a massive stroke in march. perry was best known for playing '90s bad boy dylan mckay on 90210.
but his most recent role on tv's riverdale introduced him to a new generation of fans. >> to luke. >> reporter: both shows pay tribute to the actor they knew and loved. number five, lil nas x breaks the music charts with old town road ♪ i got the horses in the bag >> the country rapper's jam with billy ray cyrus topped the billboard's hot 100 for a record 19 weeks. just a year ago, lil nas x was flying under the radar, but that all changed when he self-released "old town road" on itunes, sound cloud and youtube, but it was a viral tick tock meme that turned his new beat into a banger. the song hit a bump in the road when billboard pulled it from the country charts generating cries of racism, but the rapper turned it around and hit a string of personal and professional triumphs. he came out over the summer, his
single went triple platinum, and it reached diamond status. >> i never really recovered from it. >> reporter: at number four, lifetime's bomb shell documentary "surviving r. kelly". >> a development now involving r&b singer r. kelly. the district attorney in fulton county, georgia, is apparently now conducting an investigation following the release of that lifetime docuseries called surviving r. kelly. he spent his year in and out of court defending himself against sexual misconduct charges dating back 20 years. the r&b star was charged on 18 federal counts in illinois and new york. >> they going to free you. >> reporter: he has denied any wrongdoing. >> i promise you we're going to straighten all this stuff out. that's all i can say right now. >> reporter: kelly remains jailed without bond. and number three, "avengers: endgame," knocked out an epic win at the box office becoming the highest grossing film of all
time. die hard mcu fans packed theaters to the tune of 2.8 beside worldwide. end game soared past james cameron's avatar which held the previous global box office record for ten years. >> i like this one. >> reporter: end game caps an 11-year buildup in the marvel universe which began with iron man in 2008. from captain marvel to "black panther" to thor and guardians of the galaxy, the infinity saga netted $22.5 billion. coming in at number two, the final episode of hbo's "game of thrones." >> when you play the "game of thrones," you win. >> the series finale capped off a nine-year television and pop culture phenomenon, making it one of the most anticipated endings in television history. the buildup through season eight had viewers anticipating an epic ending for the future of
westeros. the finale entitled "the iron throne" brought in a series record of 19.3 million viewers. >> i've been waiting for this one, turn it up! >> reporter: there's a new goddess on the pop and hip-hop scene, lizzo's meteoric rise makes her number one on our list. she's fierce, unapologetic, and her music is an anthem for self-love and body positivity. lizzo turned her 2016 mainstream music debut into global success in 2019. truth hurts topped the billboard top 100 chart for seven weeks. the music video has over 162 million youtube views, and she makes a splash with her confident message everywhere she goes. 2020 will be another big year for some of the news makers on our list. lizzo is nominated for eight grammy awards and watch for
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hello, everyone, i'm ryan nobles in today for kate bolduan. thanks for joining me for a special new year's eve edition of "at this hour." we're seeing angry crowds attack the u.s. embassy in baghdad. today's violence growing more intense after hundreds of pro-iranian protesters marched through what's normally a restricted part of the iraqi capital. some can be seen setting fires, smashing embassy windows and trying to break down doors. and the backlash you're seeing set off by sunday's u.s. air strikes against an iranian backed militia the us blames for killing an american contractor last week. the sudden escalation between the u.s. and that group now fueling calls for american forces to leave the country. meanwhile, president trump is tweeting about