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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  August 12, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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christmas is coming early this year at least for the payoff. the postal service asking a temporary price increase starting in october to ensure your holiday pockages arrive on time. the increases will range 20 cents. our coverage continues now. happening now. breaking news. thousands of u.s. troops are deploying to afghanistan as the country may be on the brink of collapse to the taliban months after president biden's order to bring american forces home. also tonight, we're standing by for the fda to authorize the first covid booster shots targeting americans with weakened i mine systems. and new census data reveals that the u.s. has reached a historic level of diversity with the white population shrinking for the first time. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm jim acosta, and you're in
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"the situation room." >> and we begin with the breaking news, the pentagon just announcing that some 3,000 u.s. troops will be deployed to the afghan capital within 48 hours to help americans leave as taliban forces seize more territory. we're covering all angles of the story with cnn chief international correspondent clarissa ward on the ground in kabul and cnn seen for white house correspondent phil mattingly over at the white house but first let's start with cnn pentagon correspondent orrin liebman. the situation in afghanistan is clearly deteriorating rapidly. what have you learned about the mission for these 3,000 u.s. troops? >> the taliban has swept and gained control of 12 provincial capitals with an advance that clearly has momentum as they move forward here. the u.s. is sending in 3,000 additional troops specifically to hamid karzai international airport. that is the international gateway to kabul to secure the
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airport and to assist in the evacuation or partial drawdown of some staff at the u.s. embassy in kabul. the state department spokesman ned price said they will go down to its core staff and also to assist in the evacuation of a gan interpreters and their families and special visa applicants who are beginning to come out of afghanistan. some 1,200 of these afghans have left the country but there's tens of thousands more of them among with their families. john kirby made it clear that the additional troops going in are not on a combat mission but this is clearly a war zone where the taliban is making advances and it seems that the pentagon is preparing for the possibility that there could be fighting that reaches the airport. here is the president press secretary. >> we're mindful that the security situation continues to deteriorate in afghanistan, and as i said before our troops will as always have the right of self-defense. this is a narrowly focused
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mission to help -- to help safeguard an orderly reduction of civilian personnel. i'm not going to speculate beyond august 31st. our job here with this additional plusup is to help facilitate the civilian movement of personnel out of afghanistan and the president's been very clear that he wants that reduction complete by the end of august. >> reporter: kirby said the drawdown of military forces in afghanistan would still be complete by the end of the month but he wouldn't speculate on the additional troops going in clearly saying, at least from his position and the pentagon's position, they are not on a combat mission and leaving the door open to them staying longer as the drawdown of the embassy proceeds and as afghan interpreters and their families are brought out of country. in addition to those forces there will be 1,000 army and air force troops starting in qatar who will help as part of that afghan interpreter process of getting them through the visa applications and another 3,500 soldiers standing by in kuwait in case the situation in afghanistan deteriorates even
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further and they need to be brought n.jim? >> all right. cnn's orrin lieberman on that situation in afghanistan. we'll get back to you. now to kabul. cnn chief international correspondent clarissa ward is on the ground for us there. we heard you describe earlier a feeling of near panic in the capital. that is very worrying. tell us about the deteriorating security situation from your standpoint. >> well, jim, the situation is going from bad to worse. herat, the country's third largest city fallen to the the taliban. kandahar, the second hartgest city with huge strategic and symbolic relevant appears imminently on the point of collapse. we spoke to a lawmaker there and says it hasn't fallen yet but will. groups of taliban fight verse penetrated the front lines in the western part of city. that they are running around the city center outside the governor's house shooting and creating an environment of chaos, and if that one falls, then you can understand why people are just so petrified
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here in kabul, jim, because they see the writing on the wall. they see what's happening. they see that afghan forces are simply unable to stem the tide of this massive taliban opens you have, and they see also what many of them would call a lack of leadership from the afghan government leaving them with very little reassurance as to where they can go for safety, what the plan is to try to met gate this situation, to get it in check. you've been hearing reports. would be within 30 days that kabul would be isolated. a real sense of dread and some panic here, too, as people try to work out what their next steps might be. >> clarissa, the taliban have broken through the front line in the second largest city of kandahar. you were just there last week and you saw the fighting firsthand. how big of a blow would that be if the taliban takes control that have stay? >> it's a devastating blow, jim,
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because this city is the spiritual birthplace of the taliban. it's where mullah omar, the group's former leader lived. it was in fact the capital of their islamic emirate. it's possible if they take that city they could go ahead and declare any islamic emirate and declare that the capital immediately. once kandahar falls, and i should stress it really does appear to be immeant from everyone i'm speaking to on the ground including, by the way, the soldiers who we were on the front lines when i sent them messages earlier to see if they were okay. they wrote back simply we left and this is the attitude you're seeing from afghan forces now. they are not even trying to fight at this stage, jim. many surrendering, deserting. they are not ready to die in this fight and so, yes, if kandahar falls as it may well in the coming hours, that will be a devastating blow, and i think it's fair to say that most people will really see that as being the death knell for
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african forces as we know it, jim. >> just extraordinary how it's all happening. we'll get back to you as well and we're learning more about how this decision was reach. let's go toch phil mattingly. president biden has abouted a president about leaving afghanistan. not seeing any wavering there but he signed off on the order to send the additional troops. what do you know with b those discussions? >> there's certainly a new urgency from this administration over the last several days as they have watched what played out on the ground in afghanistan, but the president is not moving off of his position. he still wants the same withdrawal timeline, and he's made clear his position has not changed. what has changed obviously is their posture given those rapid taliban gains. the president convening his senior national security team last night. he was given a briefing of the battlefield, a deteriorating situation on the ground as well as a briefing of the preliminary plans to send in u.s. troops to
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help facilitate the number of embassy personnel and this morning president's principal team wants to go over the team and after that national security adviser jarick sullivan and lloyd austin briefed the president on that plan. jim, for the remainder of the day it's been a sprint engagement and peaking with alice. those on the ground as well as the nato secretary making clear what's going on and why and also underscoring that there's a real problem on the ground right now. u.s. officials say there was an expectation that there would be taliban gains, particularly in certain parts of the country. what they did not assess that they would come this quickly this, fast this, dramatically. that's what's really kind of
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driven the shift we've seen from the administration over the course of the last bit. we want to dig deeper with you at the pentagon, aron. the deploymentf these -- but in reality are they prepare for the worst case scenario? >> i think it's safe to say they are preparing for the worst case scenario. the plan to put them under a blanket and they are trg the possibility that the government case will play and the -- this can't be that far from the wafrt gate scenario. they both emphasized they want a diplomatic solution, that the
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taliban giving over cannot get to a good spot. the it's a planning swaying and you have to look at the situation and see what is happening and, yes. >> certainly seems that way and cla raise ark, it likes like americans have the opportunity to get out safely? but where does that least afghan kwrnl? that's right theme are so flent. especially the people who were agreed to work with the nate israelies here. there's thoupss of thousands of them. the fame fwhoork -- has taken a long time and he's-of-she
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disstressed. i hope it that that really doesn't happen, but i think it really peeks to the desperation that you see on the grunt there is such a lack of clarify on this situation. the only thing that. the taliban has the upper hand and force is are. the question becomes what happens inside xul? what happens to inwho -- as iity. so far from leadership people theme malaak of clirity lpg of a coherent strategy going forward which only contribute to. it's being seen on the ground as an evacuation on the grunt from, gives people the theme that the
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her. officials inside the. enduring partnership while they are abandoning ship. >> it's if also been made very clear from the u.s. officials that the priority is the safety of u.s. personnel that's on the ground. obviously that leaves afghan civilians, the afghan national security forces at an extreme deficit. at this time that's what they want to be prepared for. orrin makes a good point. mrs. this wasn't what they -- they are preparing for all the possibility. many many. i think the most possibly bush the think i would wang to put a point on right now from the white house from the administration officials that you shear that the president is secure in his decision to withdraw and their point which
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they have made repeatedly, the president has said it and they continue to make it, they don't believe that having 2,500 troops which is what the president drew down from was something they could sustain past the may 1st deadline with the taliban. they thought what you are seeing now with the taliban in term. security forces, so their decision was withdraw or -- something the president did not want to do and they are in this place. they knew it was possible, just not this quickly. >> a conversation on this does not here. cnn's phil mattingly, clarissa ward and others, hanks for those insights. coming up, awaiting a vaccine booster shot. that along with all the latest pandemic newsis still ahead. we wanna buy your car.
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breaking news tonight. the pentagon deploying about 3,000 troops to the of a dawan capitol within the next 48 hours on a mission to help diplomats leave as the taliban overtake more of the country. let's get more with the president of the council on foreign relations and the author of the newly revised edition of "the world, a brief interdax." richard, great to see you. this is a deteriorating situation in afghanistan. how has the biden administration allowed this situation to get so out of control with the taliban sweeping across the country as quickly as they are? people panicking in kabul. how did they not see this coming inside the white house? >> there's no reason they shouldn't. what they essentially did was signed on to the policy that they inherited from the trump administration.
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i think both are equally flawed what happened we've done is by pulling out u.s. troops on a calendar linked to just that, they -- rather than the conditions on the ground, we've essentially handed the taliban what they wanted so they held back until -- this withdrawal was well under way and the withdrawal demoralized what there was of the government and its forces and we're seeing what we're seeing. >> and how ironic is that the u.s. withdrawal of the last 2,500 troops has now led to the pentagon sending in 3,000 troops. it's almost an excalculation and a withdrawal at the same time. >> you're right but a reinsertion of troops is tactical and it reinforces the sense that we've given up. the peel pep was right to pull out the 2,500 u.s. troops and
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that was a presence that seemed to approve enough balance and foundation for the afghan forces not to win, not to win a military victory or bring about peace but simply to avert what we're now seeing. >> and the state department spokesperson said the u.s. mess am to the afghan people is one of enduring partnership. that's a quote. one of enduring partnership. how can the administration make that claim though when the military is, you know, on hand to evacuate americans? >> they really ought to shut down whoever is putting out the messages, enduring partnership. no one is going to want to be our partner. again, for the taliban it'scism plim a tactic and they got a date specific u.s. withdrawal.
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so these chained of -- >> 4,000 afghans have been displace the from the fighting and many trying to seek safety in kabul. what do the in its owe to the afghan people at this point to address the humanitarian crisis can we do anything at this point, or are we going to be watching this unfold before our -- a lot of it will be ugly. we've got now the internally displayed, but. sooner or later the taliban will put kabul under siege coming from the north and the south alike and if they do take over we won't be able to help those people so anyone who work with us, if she or he hasn't been taken out by the united states, they are going to be massacred. i think owl see millions of a
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gains want to leanp --. this could be a humanitarian negotiate mayor as well as a strategic win. >> there's talks hoping with doha kwartary, a -- and they may be taking kandahar any second. >> the short answer is no. a military unit that sees verdict hi in his so any talk of it power showering. the taliban got what they wanted was a year ago and that was did i momsy and all they had to do was not bring back terrorists. they didn't have agree to disarm or a cease-fire.
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we -- all right. richard haas, a key situation. thanks for your insights in joining us this evening. we appreciate it. >> thanks, jim. coming up next, the fda weighs whether some people with covid impacted i money sis tense, we'll talk about that with dr. sanjay gupta. and now get netflix on us. it's all included with 2 lines for only $70 bucks! only at t-mobile. what if you could have the perspective to see more? at morgan stanley, a global collective of thought leaders offers investors a broader view. ♪ we see companies protecting the bottom line by putting people first. we see a bright future, still hungry for the ingenuity of those ready for the next challenge. today, we are translating decades of experience
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is ravaging the state. laila santiago joins us now. what's the latest? >> reporter: we've been calling around to a bunch of different school districts today to find out how much different students in that first week of school are opting out given that many school districtsvismented a mask mandate that still gives parents the option of opting out and of those we talked to really ranges from 4% over in duval county and palm beach county to hillsboro and low county where they are seeing as much as 50% of students opting out and not wearing that mask in school and when you check on things like quarantining, palm beach county has 440 students in quarantine because of the detected covid-19 cases. it is things like that as well as the very contablious delta variant driving school districts like broward county and others in a back and forth with the governor saying, no.
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we're going have a mask mandate that does not have any sort of opt-out even though that's what the governor says is -- is legal given the executive order that he signed. listen to the broward county superintendent. >> my core value is students first. no amount of personal financial loss will cause me to go against this value. no amount of money can compare to a person's life or the impact that this virus may have on a person or their family. >> and when you look at hospitalization rates this, week we're learning the latest numbers show that florida's hospitalization is triple what the national rate is. right now 15,449. that's the latest number when it comes to hospitalizations, and the florida hospital association is saying that in the next seven days they expect 68% of hospitals to have a critical
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staffing shortage. that is an increase from last week, and one more thing, jim, to mention. you know, governor ron desantis has been criticized by some for not releasing daily covid-19 numbers by county, by local governments, and today in his press conference he mentioned it might not be a bad idea to get back to that, so a bit of a shift and we might be getting more numbers given what he said. >> yeah. sound like he may be starting to sorten on some of the hard positions that he's taken down there. see if that paps out. thanks so much for following that. let bring in cnn chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. sanjay, as you know, the fda is expected to soon authorize a third coronavirus shot for some folks who are dealing with compromised immune systems. what factors can go into this in terms of who gets them and when? >> the whole thinking behind this, jim, is these are people who did the really amount to a
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strong immune response because they have weakened immune systems. the vaccine works by basically stimulating your open immune system to create the antibodies but if it's compromised you can't do that. it could be kasper patient who have had chemotherapy and people taking medications to dampen their immune system because of auto immune diseases. this was from a study that game and what they found is not surprisingly after the two shots they had a certain ant body sprons. not much but when they had the third shot you really. so there's some data that has sort informed that, but those are the folks who are most likely going to be affected by the new fda authorization.
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>> laila was just saying 450 student are quarantined in palm beach county florida after two days of school. is this something we should expect to see if masks are not wonch in these schools? >> yeah, i mean. i think that that's the big concern. we are dealing with a very transmiss able. delta is very transmissible and unforgiving so there's all sorts of different things that go into slowing the transmission and, know, many of the students obviously are not vaccinated because it's not authorized for people 12 and younger but if you look at what happened there specifically. you have some 400 students who have been quarantined. there's been 50 students and staff, 51 who have been confirmed to have this and more that -- we know that if we're not -- if it was mandated,
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there's now data coming out of duke showing how much of an impact masks can make in deceasing vinyl. it will be. your kid may test positive and then have to quarantine and then we could stutter step for the next couple of month. masking would definitely decrease the chance of that happened. >> and this is -- surprise cowill become the first u.s. city to require proof of vaccination for chirp 8 and up to take part in indoor activities. does this policy make since which requires. yeah, i think what is trying to say let's get you to get the
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first shot. do everything we can the hopes that you'll get a second shot as well. there's data, how this works. we looked at alpha and delta. delta is the blue. you get two shots compared to the protect of one shot that time powered it's wet -- jim, i could see the idea of using a carrot to start the process of at least getting the first shot. >> so many tourists go to shows cities which makes sense to require those kinds of things. you acknowledged the term breakthrough infection. i'm so glad you wrote about this because i've been thinking about this, too, the brough infection term is confusing to folks and should be reframed and redefined
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for people to think about. people think pro-turn infection which means my vaccines it don't mean that your vaccine doesn't work. kind of shows that it's working because you still tested positive and cannot. someone was telling me this from the hnih. the antibodies work at the level of lungs. if the virus gets into the lungs that's when you're likely to get severely ill. maybe you need hospitalization and be at the risk of death. if the virus just stays in your upper airways you don't get real sick but you could test positive. test positive and have symptoms and that's the way. >> dr. sanjay gupta, thanks so much. always will appreciate it. >> thanks, jim.
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. house speaker nancy pelosi's office is now calling for republican leader kevin mccarthy to get off of his hands and stand up to members of his party who have been demonizing the officers who protected the u.s. capitol during the insurrection. cnn congressional correspondent manu raju is up on capitol hill. sounds like another round in their war of words, but this is important stuff. >> really been the fallout from january 6, the two going back and for the and the latest stemming from a statement from the former president last night talking about the killing of ashley babbit who was joined as she was joined by the riotious mob on january 6th. trump saying that babbitt was murdered at the hands of someone
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who should never have pulled the trigger of his gun. we know who he is. the reality is she was joined about other members of theob, trying to break througe shelter some. the justice department jettinged what happened other and cleared the officer who shot babbitt of any wrong doing. some in mccarthy's conference like paul gosar has defended the role and pelosi put out a statement saying it's long overdue for minority leader kevin mccarthy to get off his hands and stand up to members of his party and terrorizing. >> appreciate it.
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here to russ it and former d.c. police chief dave ramsey and national security an any kerry cordero. after everything that d.c. police and capital police have been through are they at greater language talking about we know who you ar>> it you're right, t president has no doubt and the minute he gets there, he finds another lower level to get to. it's up necessary and it's disgusting and you're putting pem at risk. here are people from the metropolitan and capitol police do whatever they could to
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pro protect. >> when you think about the members of contract saying all kinds of news. noids to stand up and say enough is enough. >> ashli babbitt would not be there on january 6th if the president had not about pushing the big lie. we know it the department of homeland security has issued that warning of increased attention to conspiracies. >> dhs has issued that warning. for the first time the administration this year released a domestic terrorism national strategy, the intelligence community, the fbi have all issued renewed threats regarding domestic terrorism,
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and so this environment of political violence is much broader than just the former president's words alone. there are other members of kwhong when they push these different theories, they are actually poem who here these theories and are then september off on a course of violence whether it's against elected members of congress or others. >> this extends beyond d.c. last night in "the situation room" the capital police chief told our wolf blitzer about the heightened rings. let's watch and talk about it. >> we've seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the concert. we opinionically we had 6,000 or 7,000 and this year we'll be up to close to 10,000 against members of congress that we're
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investigating. >> how does coming keel with such a widespread and evolving beganation of threats, do you think, chief? >> it's very difficult. so many members of congress. they are actually better protected when they are in d.c. they are more vulnerable when they go home and that's the challenge that they face. of course, the capitol police coordinate with local police departments and so forth, but it's a huge challenge and the kind of rhetoric that we're hearing from -- from the very members that we're protecting, that kind of rhetoric. >> right. >> i mean it makes it even more difficult and more dangerous. someone is going to get hurt at some point in time if things don't simmer down. >> yeah. more people will get hurt than what we saw on january 6th. have to leave the conversation there. charles ramsey, thanks so much for being with us this evening. appreciate it. coming up, breaking news in the years long battle, legal battle for pop star britney spears. a big development there for the pop star. we'll talk about it next.
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big breaking news right now. the father of pop star britney spears saying he will step down as her conservator, bringing an end to her long, legal battle to regain some of her freedom in her life. let's get more from the state attorney for palm beach county, florida. this is a huge development. how big of a win is this for britney spears, all of her fans for months and months have been begging for this to happen. >> yeah. jim, this is a big win for brittney and all of her fans. they have been trying to get jayny off the conservatorship because once he's gone then the
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conservatorship can wrap up. he's the problem here. he's making money off her performances and albums. at the same time, he's supposed to protect her best interest. it seems like there is a conflict of interest. well, now that he seems to be going out of the picture, you can expect this conservatorship to start wrapping up because, although the it won't end immediately, the process will be begin now that she has her own lawyer that she herself got to choose. >> jaime was fighting to remove him. what led to this change? >> you know, it is hard to say, but the rhetoric has ratcheted it up. she has her own lawyer for the first time in 13 years because before this the court appointed her lawyer and there was talk that her lawyer was in cahoots with him. it is now about protecting brittney and going after lynne
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spears. he said that lynne spears is to blame here. it seems like he's trying to save what he made off of brittney. he wants to put the blame on lynne. he wants to protect what he has and ride off into the sunset as long as he doesn't have to forge all the millions of daughters he made off his daughter. >> where does britney spears and her fight for freedom go from here? we heard for so many months now, it's been a documentary and so on that she's been battling for this for some time. does this mean she's on the path now to having the freedom to choose, you know, how her life moves forward from here? >> well, hopefully. for brittney and her fans, they want her to be done with conservatorship, but it is not that easy. there is a court involved. the court has to approve the conservatorship to be wound down. after jayny leads a conservatorship, what you will see is there will be a petition
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by brittney's lawyer to end the conservatorship and then the process can actually happen because jaime was standing in the way of that. with jaime gone, i think the conservatorship's days were numbered. and to add insult to injury, brittney was paying the legal fees not just for her own lawyer who she didn't pick until now but for the lawyers that were represented jaime's interest. it really shows you that conservatorship law doesn't give the con ser have tee a lot of power and she's paying for the legal fees on both sides. >> yeah. and if you are watching the breaking news right now, we're covering this, as we speak, britney spears' father saying he plans to step down as her conservator. an attorney for britney spears is calling this announcement from the father as vindication for britney spears. let me ask you, dave, while we still have you. does this whole process or saga we have seen britney spears go through, doesn't it raise legitimate questions about conservatorships in general and
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how just they are? it seems like it's been nightmarish for her watching the judge and, you know, her father and all these people have control over her life and she hasn't been in control of, you know, how she wants to live her life. it is kind of incredible. >> yeah, jim. this is going to be the lasting legacy of this whole saga. it's that there are millions of americans who are dealing with conservatorships right now, and this will impact them because this has exposed the problems with conservatorships. brittney had to pay lawyers on both sides. she didn't get to pick her own lawyer. can you imagine that? if she had, god forbid, committed murder, she would be allowed to choose her own lawyer but not when she is a con conservetee. >> they have been exploited for years and abused. but now we have a high profile case that has drawn attention to it. it took something like britney spears to draw attention to the
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laws and that will be her lasting legacy, maybe more so than her music career. she could help millions of americans get a semblance of their rights back. >> that would be something else. dave, thanks for joining us so quickly on the breaking news and we'll get back to you soon. thanks so much. the u.s. withdrawing 3,000 troops to afghanistan as the taliban gains more ground. scuff defense. i love our scuff-free life. behr ultra scuff defense. exclusively at the home depot. ♪ - [announcer] introducing the grubhub guarantee, our promise to deliver your order on time within the delivery window and for the lowest price compared to other apps or you'll get back at least $5 in perks. if you have postmenopausal osteoporosis and a high risk for fracture, now might not be the best time to ask yourself...
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and there you have it- woah. wireless on the most reliable network nationwide. wow. -big deal! ...we get unlimited for just 30 bucks. sweet, i get that too and mine has 5g included. that's cool, but ours save us serious clam-aroonies. relax people, my wireless is crushing it. that's because you all have xfinity mobile with your internet. it's wireless so good, it keeps one upping itself. happening now, breaking news. u.s. troops are on the move and expected to deploy in afghanistan within 48 hours as
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more cities fall to the taliban. the pressure on the white house are escalating this hour. also tonight the fda is on the brink of authorizing covid-19 booster shots for people with weakened immune systems. and after a long, bitter battle, britney spears father says he intends to step down as the pop stars' conservator. does it mean brittney will be free at last? welcome to our viewers. i'm jim acosta. and you're in "the situation room." wolf blitzer is off tonight. this is cnn breaking news. >> we are covering the crisis in afghanistan from every angle in the capital of kabal and here in the u.s. we begin with barbara star. barbara, what are you learning about this new deployment of about 3,000 troops? obviously a lot to explain over there at the pentagon. >> good evening,


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