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Grief, Anger in a U.S. Town After Another Mass Shooting; Russia's Air Strikes Inside Syria. Aired 3-4p ET.

Aired October 2, 2015 - 15:00   ET




HALA GORANI, HOST: Tonight grief and anger in a new U.S. town after another mass shooting.


GORANI: Can the frustration be channeled into action this time?

Then making the case for air strikes in Syria, Vladimir Putin is in Paris. The country's E.U. Ambassador tells me Russia is not targeting the moderate


And convicted of a beheading plot, sentenced to life in prison and Britain's youngest terrorist is just 15 years old.


GORANI: Hello everyone, I'm Hala Gorani, we're live at CNN London. Happy Friday. This is the World Right Now.


GORANI: Well some fire power here. Listen to this list; the law enforcement agent says six weapons and a flak jacket have been the

recovered from the scene of Thursday's deadly school shooting in Oregon.


GORANI: Seven other firearms were found at the shooter's apartment. 13 in total. And all of the weapons, according to the officials were purchased

legally. The sheriff talked about why he refuses to use the gunman's name at a news conference a short time ago.

JOHN HANLIN, DOUGLAS COUNTY SHERRIFF: Again, you will not hear anyone from this law enforcement operation use his name. I continue to believe that

those media and community members who publicize his name will only glorify his horrific actions.

GORANI: The massacre left nine people dead and nine others were wounded and investigators are still trying to piece together the gunman's motives.


GORANI: Roseburg, Oregon is just the latest American community to suffer from a tragedy linked to gun violence. Anna Cabrera has the story on how

the town is trying to make sense of this latest shooting.


ANNA CABRERA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Overnight a massive candlelight vigil for the victims of Umpqua Community College's deadly mass


Disturbing new details coming from a father whose daughter was hit in the back by a bullet, describing how the gunman targeted those who said they

were Christian.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you a Christian he would ask them. And if you're a Christian stand up. And they would stand up and he said good because you're

a Christian you're going to see God in just about one second and then he shot and killed them and he kept going down the line doing this to people.

CABRERA: Thursday morning around 10:38 a.m. 911 dispatch receive the first calls for help.

DISPATCHER: Active shooter, UCC, 1140 Umpqua College Road. Somebody is outside one of the doors shooting through the doors.

CABRERA: Oregon police say the 26-year-old gunman was carrying body armor and loads of ammunition enough for a prolonged gunfight. Entering a

classroom he opened fire shooting a teacher at point blank range according to witnesses. Students overheard the gun shots.

HANNAH MILES, COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENT: It was just rapid fire over and over and over again. You could hear the people -- you could hear them

moving and crying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I said to the teacher we need to get out of here right now and then we heard the second and third gun shots.

CABRERA: Within minutes officers swarmed the campus.

OFFICER: (Inaudible) he's in a classroom.

DISPATCHER: (Inaudible) exchanging gun shots right now with a male. He's in the classroom on the southeast side Snyder Hall.

CABRERA: The shooting began in Snyder hall. But didn't end there. The shooter continuing his rampage into the science building. Casualties found

in at least in two different classrooms.


GORANI: Anna Cabrera reporting. Ashleigh Banfield is in Roseburg, Oregon with all the latest details on the shooting investigation and more there on

the shooter himself, Chris Harper Mercer. What can you tell us?

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well the investigation continues Hala. And I mean this is just a beautiful scene behind me but

what is out of eyeshot about an eighth of a mile up into these beautiful mountains is a scene of carnage a bloody set of classrooms on a college in

which nine students were shot dead and another nine are trying to recover from their injuries.

So to that end investigators have obviously been able to question those who have survived and there are some harrowing stories about what happened

inside those classrooms.


BANFIELD: But before I get to that I do want to let you know that the Governor of the State of Oregon has ordered all flags be at half-staff

today. And she actually just took to airwaves at a news conference not long ago not only to address this tragedy but also to touch on the political.

Because make no mistake when the President forcefully discussed the issue of gun control and how frustrated he is week after week having to deal with

these mass shootings, she also had an answer and whether this was the right timing for the gun control debate. Have a listen to Governor Kate Brown.

[15:05:10] KATE BROWN, GOVERNOR OF OREGON: There's no single solution that will prevent every shooting but we must and we will do better to prevent

these types of senseless violence. This is a conversation that we will have. But today is not the day.


BANFIELD: There are a lot of people who disagree with her, a lot of people who agree with her, it is a pitched debate in this country. All of this is

understanding the mind of this madman seems to be on everyone's minds.


BANFIELD: And to that end one of the stories from inside the classroom Hala, just awful. This killer as he one by one asked people what their

religion was and executed them if they said Christian, we are not clear if he executed others who said other religions but we do know that he executed

those who said they were Christians.

He also was overheard and seen to be delivering a box to one of the survivors saying you need to deliver this, you're going to need to deliver

this. Coupled with that we're now learning about these papers manifestos, ramblings, writing, diatribes that we're hearing came from the mind of this



BANFIELD: Apparently a lot of racial animist directed towards black people. Feelings of isolation indicated in these writings. His frustration with

being unable to make relationships. His family has indicated that he has suffered from mental illness in the past and had sought treatment as well.

Also in these writings a fascination with the IRA but a very troubled mind that people are trying to make a sense out of. I don't know if this helps

or not Hala, but there is this one additional detail. And that is this. From the Pentagon. He served time in the army, if that's what you can call

it. He didn't make at it month. He didn't make it through basic training and he was discharged for failure to meet the minimum administrative


Now while those files exist, in private they are not being made public but the FBI you can bet is getting a beat on what those files suggest and

whether it was physical, mental or behavioral issues that had him kicked out of the army after only a month. Hala?

GORANI: All right, Ashleigh Banfield in Oregon, thanks very much. A familiar scenario. It's a story that sounds like we've heard it before and

that's because it closely resembles other stories, other shooters and massacres similar to the one we saw in Roseburg.

Hours after this shooting the American President Barack Obama made his 15th address to the American people following gun violence. He said these tragic

events are becoming too common in the U.S. He sound more frustrated than usual, even perhaps there was a hint of anger in his tone. Here's a portion

of what he said.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up

being routine. The conversation in the aftermath of it, we've become numb to this. We talked about this after Columbine and Blacksburg, after Tucson,

after New Town, after Aurora, after Charleston. It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands

on a gun.


GORANI: Despite that passion, nothing has been achieved politically. Let's talk why, about why with CNN political analyst Josh Rogan who's in


So explain to our international viewers we report on these massacres pretty routinely. There is frustration, there's anger and then in the end

legislatively nothing ends up happening. Why is that?

JOSH ROGAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well basically Hala, following last year's comprehensive attempt by people in both parties to seek the lowest

common denominator in gun control legislation.


ROGAN: That was a legislation that was simply meant to close a gun show loophole that allows private sellers to sell arms without background

checks. After that effort failed, there was a realization that there will be nothing on the national level that both parties can agree to that can

pass both houses of congress and be signed by the President.

States are different and are proceeding with piecemeal laws here and there. For example in California there is legislation that bars people with mental

illness records from buying firearms for a period of time. But as we get closer to the Presidential election the parties are becoming more

entrenched, efforts to reach out to the lobbies to help with this effort have failed and there's no prospect for progress until the next


GORANO: And explain to us, Josh the difference between laws that can be passed at the federal level, national level and then at the state level.

How much power do the states have here?


ROGAN: Well the states have some latitude. The problem is that those states that have the most restrictive gun laws are also those states with the most

gun violence.


ROGAN: Now President Obama was not just talking about mass shootings yesterday at his press conference. He scolded the media and told us to

compare the overall level of gun violence, the overall level of terrorism, for example. So you have a group of states where mostly urban states, who

have stricter gun control rules and then a group of more rural states tend to be more red states that have much less restrictive rules. The problem is

that guns travel. And the people who can buy guns and traffic of them travel too.


ROGAN: So although states can make progress without national consensus it's really hard to achieve real progress.

GORANI: Absolutely. And I'm showing our viewers by the way the number of gun deaths from 2004 to 2013 in the United States. About half of them are

gun violence, another half suicides, I should say that should add up to about 95%. The rest are accidents or undetermined.


GORANI: But the important number is 313 terrorism related deaths. And I want to show also our viewers, Josh, public opinion in the United States.

Because a majority are either happy with current laws or want laws to be more lax when it comes to gun control.


GORANI: If you add up the two numbers, 49% say current gun laws are fine, after that 10% who say it's actually too difficult to buy a gun. So you're

at almost 60% of Americans who believe we're either right or we should make the guns - we should make gun buying easier. So that has to have some

impact politically.


ROGAN: It does. I would just say here that this is something that President Obama addressed yesterday and will probably address again in his conference

-- press conference starting shortly. Is that the pro-gun lobby according to the President is not representing any more the interests of legal gun



ROGAN: In other words, there is - there is now an effort especially in the Democratic Party, to go straight to the people, the gun owners who are -

who have been supported by the pro-gun lobby chiefly the NRA, but other groups as well. And say to them no longer can we ignore these statistics,

right? And there's another issue here too. There are 310 million guns in America. That's almost a gun for every American.


ROGAN: No gun control laws will remove those guns from the hands of Americans. So the more awareness and the more education and the more

attention that we give to this issue the better off we all will be.

GORANI: It's not -- it's not like Australia where you had a gun buyback program and other places where really nobody truly believes that would fly

in the U.S. It's a complicated issue.

ROGAN: Well, that's true. Exactly. And their bold action did have results but we don't have the political bandwidth for that here in the United


GORANI: Josh Rogan thanks very much, have a great weekend, always a pleasure.

ROGAN: You too.

GORANI: Still to come tonight Russia carries out new air strikes in Syria but who are they really targeting?



GORANI: After the break I ask Moscow's Ambassador to the European Union that very question. Stay with us.





GORANI: Russia's controversial air campaign over Syria is showing no sign of slowing down, quite the contrary.


GORANI: Here are the numbers for the day. The Russian air force carried out 18 air strikes inside of Syria in just the last 24 hours. That's according

to Russia's official news agency. It's the third straight day of strikes. Moscow's actions come despite some international concern over the military

campaign coming mainly from western countries. But the Syrian government says the support is welcome.

WALID AL-MOALLEM, SYRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: (As translated) the important invitation of his Excellency, President Vladimir Putin, for the

establishment of an international regional coalition to counterterrorism received the attention of the Syrian government and its support. Terrorism

cannot be fought only from the air. And all of the previous operations combat it have only led to its spread and outbreak.


GORANI: That was the Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid Al-Moallem.

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin is in Paris. He's meeting with Francois Hollande , the French President, Angela Merkel, the German

Chancellor and some Ukrainian counterparts as well. The conflict in Ukraine was a big topic. But of course Russia's actions in Syria were also on the


Earlier I spoke with Russia's Ambassador to the E.U. Vladimir Chizhof. I began by asking him about Russia's real targets inside Syria.


VLADIMIR CHIZHOF, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE EU: What the Russian air force is targeting is ISIS and ISIS connected terrorist formations including

(inaudible) among others. But not the so-called moderate opposition.

GORANI: Well let me then list, give you -- provide you with a list that we've been able to compile, the institute of war, other independent sources

of the targets of the Russian air force.

(Inaudible) of ISIS.

Robert Ford the U.S.. Ambassador, the former U.S. Ambassador to Syria is saying Russia hit a group that was fighting ISIS just a few weeks ago in

Talbiseh. So there are credible reports that Russia is going after more moderate rebels. Is that untrue?

CHIZHOF: Should any government including the government of the United States have credible evidence, they know they have the channels of

communication to the Russian Federation, including military channels of communication, which they can perfectly use to provide that evidence. That

has not been done so far.


GORANI: Based on some of the intelligence that we've pen seeing even from people on the ground, even video of aftermath of strikes in Homs there is

no ISIS presence in Homs. So what is exactly the Russian military targeting there?

CHIZHOF: Well its news for me that CNN has access to intelligence reports.


CHIZHOF: But anyway I understand that Homs, the areas, the exact areas that were targeted have been under the control of ISIS connected terrorist

formations. There are many. I cannot list all the names. I actually don't know all the names. But let me assure you that the Russian air force is

acting very responsibly.


GORANI: I wasn't referring to any top secret government intelligence here, these are eyewitness statements on the ground among many other source of

information we use. Ambassador, though, some countries are concerned, I'm sure you're aware, a statement signed by Germany, France, Turkey, Qatar,

Saudi, the U.K. are saying to Russia you're only adding fuel to the fire. Stop bombing the rebels, start bombing ISIS. What is your reaction to this

official statement?


CHIZHOF: Well actually, it was the U.S. Secretary of Defense who used the phraseology about pouring gasoline on the fire. I think the Pentagon more

than anybody else knows what it is to put gasoline on the fire. It has wide experience in doing that in different parts of the world.

GORANI: Is there an end game here for Russian involvement?

CHIZOF: Well, I believe any specific reference to the number of weeks or months would be taking the situation out of context.


CHIZHOF: I think only the developments on the ground will show how long that might last.

GORANI: Countries like the U.S. have said for years Bashar al Assad must step down before any transition happens. Do you attribute that to Russian

actions or diplomacy?


GORANI: Actually the United States, may I remind you, as well as other countries, including western European countries, agreed back in 2012 in

Geneva that the fate of Syria lies in the hands of the Syrian people. And only the Syrian people can decide who is in charge of their country. And

that Geneva communique was endorsed by U.N. Security council resolution adopted unanimously.

So I cannot say that this is something out of the blue now. I think there is an increased understanding of the realities on the ground in Syria that

has led countries to confirm this position.

GORANI: The Russian Ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhof speaking to me earlier on the many issues right now being discussed with Russia's

increased involvement in Syria.

A lot more ahead.



GORANI: Britain's youngest terror mastermind, 15 years old sentenced to life in prison. We'll tell you more about his case coming up.





GORANI: Welcome back. The U.S. Coastguard is searching for a cargo ship with 33 people on board that may have gotten caught in the path of

hurricane Joaquin.


GORANI: It's reported to be near Crooked Island in the Bahamas. You see on the map there the last known location. Two air force planes were sent out

to locate the ship but weren't able to. The hurricane smashed into the island chain as a category 4 with winds of more than 200 kilometers an

hour. It is causing extensive flooding. Let's go to our meteorologist Jennifer Grey. She joins me live from CNN Center.


GORANI: What's the status now of this - of this storm system?

JENNIFER GREY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well it's still very, very powerful.


GREY: Category 4 winds of 215 kilometers per hour with gusts up to 260 kilometers per hour and if you can imagine a storm this powerful sitting

over the same area for more than 36 hours. Central Bahamas are getting battered, it's going to be devastating. We're still struggling to get

pictures out of there. But it has been horrendous for the island chain.

Luckily it is finally starting to move to the north and once it does this over the next couple of hours it will finally pick up speed and move out of

there and that is going to be good news for the Bahamas.

However, this storm is going to stay very powerful, it is going to lose strength as it travels to the north, though and it looks like we'll still

have about 150 kilometer per hour winds, 72 hours out. The best news with this storm though, it is staying well offshore. We had a fright earlier in

the week thinking that this might make landfall in the U.S. Luckily it is not.

We have tremendous wind field though still around the Bahamas with those winds right around that eye at the 110, 120 kilometers per hour sustained.

And then the accumulation as far as rainfall goes more than 500 millimeters. And not only that we're talking tremendous storm surge and so

that's going to be the major problem around the Bahamas will be the flooding.

We also have another feature in the southeast U.S. that is pulling in a lot of tropical moisture. And so even though this is staying offshore over the

next several days it will not make a direct hit we a lot of tropical moisture pumping into South Carolina and North Carolina of the United

States and we could see massive amounts of rain, historic flooding across the southeast United States, Hala.


GORANI: All right, thanks very much for that. We'll be following that with you and the rest of our team, our CNN team. And when we come back we'll

focus again on the mass shooting in Oregon by remembering another painful day in the United States.


GORANI: The mother of a child who was lost at Sandy Hook elementary school will tell me what she wants to do, what she feels is necessary to end the







GORANI: Oregon's governor says society "must and will do better" in the aftermath of Thursday's shooting at a community college.


GORANI: The massacre left nine people dead and nine others wounded. The shooter as well is dead. A law enforcement official says 13 weapons were

recovered, all were purchased legally by the gunman or his relatives.


GORANI: Also among our other top stories this hour. The Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his French, German and Ukrainian counterparts in

Paris today.


GORANI: While the talks were meant to focus on the crisis in Ukraine, Russia's air strikes in Syria also topped the agenda. Mr. Putin is under

growing pressure to limit the air strikes to ISIS and not other rebel groups.


GORANI: And the U.S. military is investigating a plane crash in Afghanistan that killed six U.S. air force members and five civilians.


GORANI: It's not known why the plane crashed at Jalalabad airport. The Taliban claim Islamist fighters downed the aircraft but the U.S. is saying

it doesn't appear that any enemy fire was involved.



GORANI: A law enforcement agent says six weapons and flak jacket were recovered from the scene of the school's deadly shooting in Oregon.


GORANI: Seven other firearms so 13 total were recovered including the seven at the shooter's apartment. All the weapons were purchased legally. State

officials in Oregon say that the time to discuss gun control will come but now is the time for healing. Many people disagree with that right now. The

massacre left nine people dead and nine others wounded as we mentioned.


GORANI: The frustration in parts of the U.S. is palpable. The U.S President is practically pleading for tougher gun laws but there's little he can do

on his own. Here's why.


GORANI: The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects Americans rights to keep and bear arms. A right staunchly defended by gun advocates.

In addition to federal gun laws there are also many state and local gun laws which vary widely across the country. Any change would likely need

approval from U.S. law makers who are reluctant to take on the powerful gun lobby led by the National Rifle Association.


GORANI: That's the political background for you. Nicole Hockley is one of the many, many people whose lives have been changed forever by gun



GORANI: Her son Dillon was killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. There's a picture of little Dillon.

Nicole Hockley is now the Managing Director of Sandy Hook Promise an organization dedicated to protecting children from gun violence and she is

joining me now from Newtown, Connecticut via Skype.

Nicole, thanks for being with us. First of all, every time I hear a story of a parent from Sandy Hook it just is still very, very painful and sad.

What goes through your mind every time there's news of yet another massacre at a school?

NICOLE HOCKLEY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, SANDY HOOK PROMISE: Every time it takes me right back to the day at Sandy Hook Elementary School and I'm right back

in that firehouse trying to find my son and be able to take him home and that day never came again for me.


HOCKLEY: But every time this tragedy happens again in America, especially in a school, I'm right there with them, experiencing it all over again and

it just it literally takes the floor out from underneath me.


GORANI: So you relive the trauma each and every time?

HOCKLEY: Every time. The memories come back and they are fresh as if they were -- as if they had just happened. That sense of loss, again that sense

of fear and frustration and that overwhelming grief just tears through me.

GORANI: Well you have all our sympathy. Sandy Hook Promise, what kind of organization is that? What do you hope to accomplish?


HOCKLEY: We're a national nonprofit formed and led by several of the families who lost someone that day at Sandy Hook.

Our whole goal is to stop violence before it happens, to protect children, and everyone by helping others know the signs of someone who is displaying

at risk behaviors and could be violent towards themselves or towards someone else.

We know that this, the issue of gun violence prevention so far has focused solely on the gun. But we say what are we doing about those days, weeks and

months or even years before someone picks up a firearm to hurt themselves or someone else. What can we do to identify that and make a difference.

GORANO: Sure, and so are you in favor of tougher gun laws?

HOCKLEY: We're definitely in favor of sensible policy that gives appropriate access. Not everyone should have access to a firearm, for

example, a felon, a domestic abuser, children. We also believe in other sensible legislation around trafficking and child access.

But what we really need, we don't say it's about gun laws or mental health and wellness, it has to be about both of them working in concert. Because

if you deal with the weapon that's one thing but if you're not dealing with the cause of the violence, if you're not helping the person then you're

only dealing with half the problem.

GORANI: And how do you achieve that? I mean just from a logistical standpoint, you know, it's not uncommon for young men who feel wronged by

society, a little lost, maybe a little depressed. I mean these types -- it's not unusual behavior necessarily. So how to identify when someone is

actually dangerous? How do you do that?

HOCKLEY: We offer training programs where we go straight out in communities and educate teens and adolescence and young adults, on how to recognize

signs. Because there are obvious signs of potential danger. And really every threat should be assessed because every threat is someone acting out

and there's something behind it that's causing them to act that way.

But true threats, especially in mass shootings, I think it's four out of five mass shootings, the shooter has always told someone in advance at

least one other person knows.


HOCKLEY: There's always signs and signals whether it be on social media, or whether it be on blogs that they write. Someone knows that this person is

going to do that. But they just don't know how to take that information seriously or what to do with it. We train them on how to recognize those

signs and take action.

GORANI: And let me ask you specifically about your state finally Connecticut. The Governor a couple of years after Sandy Hook Elementary

essentially used these very words.


GORANI: There is "no appetite for more gun control recommendations made in a special commission report". So this was just a couple of years after the

shooting. How do you react when you hear politicians say that?

HOCKLEY: Well, Governor Malloy has been incredibly supportive and after Sandy Hook, Connecticut became one of the strongest states in terms of gun

violence prevention and legislation to effect that. So there might not be any more appetite for further restrictions or changes at the moment but

there's certainly a lot of other states where there's a lot of work to be done.

GORANI: All right. Thank you, Nicole Hockley, the mother of Dillon Hockley, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Thank you so

much for your time and I know it's a difficult day for you as well. So we really appreciate it. Thank you.

HOCKLEY: Thanks.

GORANI: Now back to Syria. The Russian President, Vladimir Putin faced a tough diplomatic challenge on two fronts in Paris today.


GORANI: The Russian leader met with French, German and Ukrainian counterparts for talks on eastern Ukraine but naturally Russia's air

strikes in Syria also made it on the agenda. French President Francois Hollande told Putin his forces must only target ISIS inside Syria not other

rebel groups.


GORANI: There have been concerns that at least some of those Russian strikes are hitting areas not held by ISIS at all. For more let's go live

to Paris where CNN's Nic Robertson is standing by live for us. He was covering the meeting.

Do we know what went on in that closed door meeting between Vladimir Putin and Francois Hollande regarding Syria in.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: We know from officials who have commented on it that it was a frank environment, the French

President said that he told Vladimir Putin that Russia should target ISIS and Al Qaeda.


ROBERTSON: But he said what they tried to do was to find some common ground on how to move forward, a political way forward. Because he said look

everyone knows Vladimir Putin supports President Bashar al Assad in Syria. He said he told President Putin that France is opposed to any future for

Syria with Bashar al Assad. (Inaudible) opposed positions but he said they did try to find the common ground of how to find a political way forward.

Now he didn't say whether they found any common ground. But you know what was really telling at the end of the day, the first one out the door, the

Elysee Palace to head home, Vladimir Putin, followed by Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian Prime Minister. Neither hung around for the press conference

that Francoise Hollande, and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, had after these meetings today, Hala.

GORANI: Nic Robertson, thanks very much. Our senior diplomatic correspondent live in Paris following that meeting.


GORANI: American officials have been very skeptical of Russia's moves and motives in Syria. The U.S. Defense Secretary, Ash Carter, has likened

Moscow's involvement to "pouring gasoline on the fire of Syria's civil war." And in fact we discussed that very term with the Russian Ambassador

to the EU a little bit earlier this hour, you might remember.

Well I spoke with the U.S. Senator Jack Reed. The democrat is the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Given Russian's actions, I

asked him how the U.S. might be able to support the Syrian - the Syrian rebels that it wants to help against Bashar al Assad. Listen.


JACK REED, U.S. SENATOR: They clearly are in areas where they are fighting ISIL and we have been clear we will attack ISIL in those areas. That gives

us the ability to assure them that they have a chance no more than a chance but that we're coordinating with them on their attacks against ISIL.

GORANI: Should any transition now, is the U.S. slowly, and we're hearing it more and more and also in Europe where I am as well, that perhaps western

countries opposed to Assad are starting to have no real option but to accept at least the idea that Russia defends, that Bashar al Assad should

or could be part of a negotiated political transition?

REED: I think there's a acceptance of a need for a transition which will not be immediate but there's no acceptance from my standpoint that Assad

emerges as part of that transition. And that's the reality that the Russians have to understand. They have interest in Syria as I mentioned

before. They've had a long relationship with the regime. They have a military base there. They have other equities, but in the long run Syria

cannot be governed by Assad. There's a transitional period. The reality is it's not going to happen overnight any change and in that period there

might be toleration but long term Assad must go.


GORANI: Senator Jack Reed the Democrat from Rhode Island. Essentially saying he believes that Bashar al Assad must go long term but it seemed

like the door was opened there for a shorter term transitionary period in which he could be involved. So there does appear to be some sort of

diplomatic shift in that direction clearly from western countries who initially had insisted categorically that Bashar al Assad needed to step

down before any talks could start.

You can let me know what you think about this story and the others we're covering on Facebook. --

goranicnn. We have an interesting statistic for you on there that's getting a lot of reaction. This is The World Right Now.

Still to come.


GORANI: He's too young for to us show you a photograph of him. But now a British teenager has become the country's youngest ever terrorist

mastermind. We'll be right back.





GORANI: A British teenager admitted that he plotted to have an Australian police officer beheaded on a national holiday. Authorities say he used an

encrypted app on his cell phone to try to carry out his plot. Now he's been given a life sentence and he's only 15. Here is Erin McLaughlin.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: 2015,Australia's national holiday ends that day. And a thwarted terrorist plot. The mastermind

Britain's youngest terrorist, a 14-year-old student who lives half a world away. An Australian man was supposed to carry out the attack. Police

alleged the Melbourne resident intended to behead a police officer in broad daylight. The man has yet to enter a plea.

TONY MOLE, COUNTER TERRORIST UNIT: It was certainly at a stage where it could have happened at any time.

MCLAUGHLIN: In July the British teen plead guilty to inciting terrorism. Police aren't releasing his identity and they say he used an encrypted app

to communicate his plan to the Australian man.

Police had only seized the teen's smartphone because he had made threats at school and a team of technicians cracked the app's encryption. Only then

did they discover the grizzly text between the two. And that's what gives this case such resonance. Britain's security establishment said they must

have access to encrypted communication.

DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: In our country do we want to allow a means of communication between people which even in extremists with a

signed warrant from the home secretary personally that we cannot read?

MCLAUGHLIN: A message echoed by the head of MI-5.

ANDREW PARKER, MI5 DIRECTOR GENERAL: We've been successful at that in recent years. But it's becoming more difficult to do it as technology

changes faster and faster. We need to be able to monitor the communications of terrorists, spies and others.

MCLAUGHLIN: Intelligence officials point to the rise of encryption messaging. The free apps are available to anyone with a smartphone. They

offer end to end encryption. Meaning authorities can't intercept the communication. Examples include SureSpot, Wicker, and in the case of

Britain's youngest terrorist an app called Telegram. A Russian internet entrepreneur, Pavel Durov is the app's co-founder.

What's your reaction to that Britain's youngest terrorist was using Telegram?

PAVEL DUROV, TELEGRAM APP CO-FOUNDER: Well I'm sorry to hear that. I was not aware of this situation. If it -- if Telegram did not exist this young

boy would have used some other app.

MCLAUGHLIN: You think that an individual should be able to have complete encryption?

DUROV: No, I think that the police always can find a way to establish the true criminal and to find proof and, you know, like 20 years ago or 30

years ago they couldn't intercept our data and couldn't decrypt to analyze it. Now they have more data than they had at any time in history.

[15:50:12] MCLAUGHLIN: As a Russian exile, Durov says he sees firsthand what happens when a government has too much power over information. He says

people that have the right secure communication.

DUROV: And what I saw in countries like Russia and many other places is that when law enforcement bodies get access or can get access to your data,

eventually it leads to abusing that kind of power.

MCLAUGHLIN: Durov says it's almost impossible to limit the spread of encrypted technology. Security analysts say extremists are constantly

changing their behavior.

Some experts say the answer lies not in policing technology but in attacking extremists' ideology. Nevertheless the British government plans

to introduce draft legislation that deals with encryption. The hope is to stop the next teenage terrorist.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.


GORANI: This is The World Right Now. Coming up.


GORANI: Matt Damon is back with a brand new movie. Find out why he hopes this one is out of this world. We'll be right back.





GORANI: Mars has been making news this week with NASA saying it's discovered liquid water on the red planet. Now Mars will also be hitting

the big screen this weekend. The new film "The Martian" starring Matt Damon is being released. Amara Walker has that.


MATT DAMON, ACTOR: So I got to make water and grow food on a planet where nothing grows. In-your-face Neil Armstrong. OK, so let's do the math.

AMRA WALKER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In "The Martian" Matt Damon stars as an astronaut stranded on the red planet mistakenly left for dead

after a powerful storm forces his crew to abandon their mission.

DAMON: This is Mark Watney and I'm still alive.


WALKER: With help 100 million miles away, Damon has to survive all alone while NASA plans a daring rescue. Damon director Ridley Scott and the rest

of the all-star cast recently turned out on the red carpet in London for the film's European premier.

DAMON: It's a really uplifting message and a really uplifting movie and it felt like right now with everything happening it was a nice thing to put

out into the world.

RIDLEY SCOTT, DIRECTOR "THE MARTIAN": I think the movie works very, very well and I got to work with some terrific people.

KRISTEN WIIG, ACTRESS: The film is amazing. I mean it's Matt. I mean it's - - people like to see Matt. People like see what Ridley is doing. It just really exciting to be here.

WALKER: And the movie is also getting some help generating buzz thanks to this week's news that NASA scientists have found water on mars.

DAMON: Cheers. Congratulations to everybody at NASA. This is huge, huge news. I wish I knew about it while I was stranded on Mars but the next time

I'm stuck there at least I know there'll be water.

WALKER: Maybe movie makers can tackle that in a sequel.

Amra Walker, CNN.


GORANI: President Barack Obama was just discussing the appointment of a new education secretary a moment ago and taking questions from reporters.


GORANI: Let's see if he'll answer questions on the Oregon shooting.