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Afghan Government Forces Battling Taliban; Iraqi Forces Take on ISIS for control of Ramadi. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired December 22, 2015 - 15:00:00   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN HOST: Tonight, a desperate fight for Afghanistan. Government forces are battling the Taliban in a crucial area, but running

short of resources.

And Iraqi forces take on ISIS for control of Ramadi. We'll ask a former NATO commander about military moves in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Then, a milestone with dramatic implications. More than 1 million people have flooded European shores this year.

And later, Donald Trump's latest controversial comments blur the lines of vulgarity.

Hello, I'm Max Foster standing in for Hala Gorani live from CNN London, this is "The World Right Now."

Afghan forces are in the fight of their lives in Helmand province. They're trying to hold on the strategic district of Sangin as Taliban fighters

capture large pieces of territory, though with weapons and ammunition reportedly running low, the situation has become quite desperate. U.K. is

now sending military personnel to the province to back up the beleaguered Afghan force.

Journalist Sune Engel Rasmussen joins me now via Skype from the Afghan capital Kabul. Sune, just explain why we've heard so little from the

Afghan government on this when the forces are in such a desperate situation?

SUNE ENGEL RASMUSSEN, JOURNALIST: Yeah, today has been almost media blackout from Sangin actually. The officials I've spoken to have either

refused to given me any details or given me blatant lies, they were saying there was -- that everything was under control and there have been no

government casualties. But all you hear from people Sangin who have escaped, on those rare occasions when the fallout actually go through the

city, and the situation is quite dire.

It doesn't seem like the entire district has fallen to the Taliban. There are still some government buildings under government control, but the

Taliban are definitely surrounding central parts of the district and as you said in your intro cutting off weapons and food supplies to Sangin.

FOSTER: We'll be back with you as we do get some information, we hope from the government. But while government forces are very much on the defensive

in Afghanistan their counterparts in Iraq are on the offense.


This is new video from Iraqi state television, a major battle said to be underway to retake the city of Ramadi from ISIS control. The fighting

reportedly has reached the center of the city. That kind of warfare is particularly tricky though, partly because of the close quarters and

because civilians are more likely to get hurt. In fact residents told us earlier this month that leaving the city wasn't easy because ISIS has setup

checkpoints to prevent people from escaping. And now Iraqi defense forces say ISIS using civilians left in Ramadi as human shields.

Well the city is the capital of Anbar province west of Baghdad and ISIS has controlled it since May. CNN's Barbara Starr has more on the big battle

and America's role in that fight.

BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All eyes are now on Ramadi. Iraqi officials say their troops are launching a major offensive to retake the

city center. Residents have been warned to leave in advance of expected heavy fighting. 10,000 Iraqi troops surround the city and are already

fighting in outer neighborhoods, but now they are moving towards the center where officials believe up to 500 ISIS fighters are dug in.

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It's going to be very difficult, because ISIS has defended that city, placed roadside bombs,

house-borne explosives, so it's going to be bobby trapped.

STARR: Defense Secretary Ash Carter questioned the Iraqi military's will to fight in an exclusive CNN interview after Ramadi fell. This time he's

offering Iraq apache helicopters and U.S. advisers.

DEFENSE SECRETARY ASH CARTER, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We do want to help you build on your success in Ramadi.

STARR: But so far the Prime Minister Abadi has turned him down. There is real doubt Iraqi forces will be able to hold on to Ramadi even if they get

it back.

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: The military person in me says that their ability to take and hold Ramadi is questionable at best.

STARR: Ramadi is a badly needed success for the U.S. effort. A senior military official tells CNN, the Pentagon has been told by the White House

to better communicate to the public about the war against ISIS, the President hinting in an interview with NPR.

[15:05:06] BARRACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: We haven't, you know, on a regular basis, I think described all the work that we've been doing for

more than a work now to defeat ISIL.

STARR: But also taking a swipe.

OBAMA: If you've been watching television for the last month, all you've been seeing, all you've been hearing about is these guys with masks with

black flags will potentially coming to get you.

STARR: So has the ISIS war not been reported accurately?

OBAMA: Look, the media is pursuing ratings.

STARR: Or, does there need to be more success?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The White House always touts the amount of territory that has been retaken by anti-ISIS forces. That's good, but it needs to be

even better.

STARR: So, what are we talking about? Some U.S. officials say there has to be a better message being offered by the administration about the war

against ISIS, but others will tell you very adamantly, if you want a better message, you have to have better substance, and that means more success in

the war is need. Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.


FOSTER: All right, let's get some perspective now on the battles in Afghanistan and in Ramadi. General Wesley Clark is a former Supreme Allied

Commander of NATO in Europe. He's now a senior fellow at Burkle Center at UCLA. General Clark joins me via Skype from Little Rock, Arkansas. Thank

you very much indeed for joining us. It would be a queue (ph) wouldn't it to get back Ramadi, psychologically it would help. But it's interesting as

well that they're using Sunni tribesmen to spearhead this effort as well, so that's Sunni against IS, so it would matter in the minds of people

within Iraq.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK, FRM. NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: Well that's a big breakthrough that we can have help from the Sunni tribes. Some of the

Sunni tribes are fighting with the government in Baghdad, some are fighting against the government in Baghdad. But, you know, this is not America's

war. It's not our territory that ISIS captured. We didn't have troops in there. Our troops didn't surrender Mosul.

So I think we want to frame this carefully. The framing should be, this ISIS is a geostrategic artifact of the conflict between Iran and the Shia

sect on the one hand and Saudi Arabia and turkey, both Sunni powers on the other. Iran took advantage of the 2003 invasion to infiltrate into Iraq.

It has a Shia majority population. Iranian support was critical to that population. And essentially through that population, Iran is able to

exercise dominance over the government of Iraq to the exclusion of Sunni tribes who might have been more loyal to Saudi Arabia.

And Turkey and Saudi Arabia saw the Iranian move. They saw the Hezbollah activities in Lebanon and Syria. They saw that Iran was consolidating a

Shia crescent across the Middle East which would separate Turkey and Saudi Arabia and keep Saudi Arabia isolated in the Gulf, and they struck back.

They struck back through the means of a civil war against Bashar Assad in Syria.

And they armed and supported dozens and dozens of different zealous groups that were ideologues and somehow the buckos (ph) leadership from Iraq, it

was dispossessed when the United States invaded took over and energized a group of these zealots, they knew how to do it. They have got money, they

have got oil, now they have weapons captured from the Iraqi army that we the United States tried to equip. And so they took Mosul, they took

Ramadi, and they're holding ground. And they claim to be a state.

So, they're not an immediate threat to the United States, at least not directly.

There are no transport ships to bring hordes of ISIS fighters to North American shores. There's no bombers, there's no ICBMS from ISIS that could

strike America. So, it isn't our fight directly. And it's been politicized in of course this political campaign, so I think we have to

keep it in that perspective. Now, do we want to help? Is Isis troublesome? Yes. Should we try to eliminate them? Yes, we should. But

it can only be done by the powers on the ground with U.S. and other western countries' support, not as boots.

FOSTER: Well, because of America's involvement in both Iraq and Afghanistan, there's always going to be seen to be a link, isn't there, and

this, a real problem the Afghan forces are having in Sangin. That is also going to come back to be a reflection really on American foreign policy as

well and it's looking very, very bad, isn't it?

CLARK: It's a bitter pill because we put our lives and treasure on the line. I was against the invasion of Iraq. I thought it was a mistake. Of

course we all felt we had to go eliminate Osama bin Laden and his organization, al-Qaeda, after the strikes of September 11th, 2001. But we

embarked on an invasion -- on a series of strikes in Afghanistan without a plan to go after Osama bin Laden. When we had him cornered we failed to

take advantage of it. We then found ourselves standing up an Afghan government and then bit by bit without a clear strategy, and instate or

political agreement we found ourselves drawn into a long-standing fight with a group of insurgence who are themselves a creation of Pakistan.

And we were never going to win that fight and we're not going to win it until Pakistan turns off its support for the Taliban. And -- so that

fight, it's a bitter pill. We've lost 2,000 American lives there. We spent hundreds of billions of dollars. It's a real disappointment for

American foreign policy. The invasion of Iraq was a foolish, strategic mistake driven by politics and people who had no understanding of the

region. And, once we got there, we'd opened the door to Iran.

So, we have to understand, this is the past. We've got to move forward from here. Yes, it's a disappointment. Yes, there's a linkage with

America. But this is not our fight.

CLARK: OK, General Clark, thank you indeed for joining us from Arkansas and reflecting a complication of what is a regional struggle, thank you

very much indeed.

Now, this is "The World Right Now." Still to come, Europe's migrant crisis hits a sobering milestone. We'll have the latest, tragic number for you




1 million desperate people and counting, that's the staggering number of migrants and refugees who have crossed into Europe this year, according to

the International Association of Migration. That's more than four times the number of people who arrived last year. The huge number doesn't

include more than 3,600 who died trying to cross via the Mediterranean. Just today at least 11 people drowned off the coast of Turkey. Diana

Magnay has more.


DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Each day in the thousands they flee, on tiny overcrowded boats on wintry seas. The young, the old, their money in

the hands of smugglers, their fate tied to a piece of floating rubber, desperate for Europe's shores. The International Organization for

Migration says its one million this year, the highest migration flow since World War II, half from Syria but plenty from elsewhere, Afghanistan, Iraq,

Eretria, Nigeria, Somalia, into an increasingly unwelcoming Europe.

WILLIAM LARY SWING, DIRECTOR GENERAL, IOM: They're going into a population area of 550 million. And if there were not a crisis of solidarity and

leadership within the European Union whereby others would follow the very important (ph), the courageous and visionary leadership of Chancellor

Merkel and had opened their doors, dispersed among 28 countries it would have been much more manageable.

MAGNAY: The debris of their crossings left to rot on the Greek island of Lesbos. Almost 3,000 landed here on Tuesday alone. The life jackets they

left grown into a mountain as the months passed, and that's for those who make it. So many have not. 4,000 lost or missing to the waters of the

Mediterranean this year, most on the crossing from North Africa to Italy, the longest stretch, the deadliest route on earth.

Greece feels overwhelmed. The point of entry for 800,000. But the rest of Europe does too. Hungary has built walls and raised a wire to keep

migrants out. Some of the Balkans will only let Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis through. The posi (ph) of E.U. leaders now, to regain control of

the block (ph) external borders. Countries conflicted between humanitarian values and the defense of their own interests. Europe's liberal edifice

showing deep cracks.

And yet it is just 1 million. Turkey must pay host to more than twice that. Lebanon has 1 million Syrian refugees itself. Jordan 600,000.

These countries along the Syrian fault lines bear the heaviest burden. In a year when the UNHCR says there will be more than 60 million displaced.

Diana Magnay, CNN, London.


FOSTER: The Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad has made another rare public appearance, his second within days actually. State T.V. has broadcast

these images of him praying at a mosque in Damascus, he's with other officials to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.

In Kenya, a show of courage and solidarity against terrorism, Al Shabab militants attacking a bus filled with Muslim and Christian passengers. But

as our David McKenzie reports from Nairobi, what happened next was extraordinary.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Their aim is to cause terror and division, but al Shabab gunmen here in Kenya came up against an

extraordinary show of defiance and unity. On Monday more than 100 passengers were crammed on this bus traveling to Mandera on the chronically

insecure border with Somalia. Bullets ripped through the side of the bus in an ambush.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is two groups, one (inaudible), one the other group. So, (inaudible) people were running to the road to stop us and they

told us to get those who are Muslims to come out, go back to class, go back to the bus.

MCKENZIE: A man on the bus told CNN there were 12 Christians onboard. The gunmen wanted to identify them and execute them. He says Muslim passengers

helped hide some of them on the bus and they gave the Christian woman head scarves before the gunmen made them line up on the road. They stood

strong, said the witness, telling the gunmen, "If you want to kill us then kill us. There are no Christians here." Al Shabab then fled.

JOSEPH NKAISSERY, KENYAN CABINET SECRETARY: Joseph We are all Kenyans. We are not separated by religion. Everybody can profess his own religion.

But we are one country, we are one people, and that was a very good message.

[15:20:02] MCKENZIE: Civilians have suffered through countless al Shabab attacks in the border regions of Kenya. Earlier this year al Shabab

attacked Garissa University, killing 147 innocent students. Again, they singled out Christians. More than 20 were killed in a shocking bus ambush

last year.

Tragically a man who fled the scene and a passerby were killed by the gunmen but the death toll could have been that much higher and Kenyans are

praising the acts of their citizens who stopped this terrible attack.

David McKenzie, Nairobi, Kenya.


FOSTER: Well coming up, we may be enjoying the lower oil prices at the petrol pumps but not in our airline tickers. Richard Quest will join me in

studio to explain.


Welcome back. This is what's happening in the business world right now. As you can see it's pretty positive as we head towards the end of the year.

Up 1 percent on the Dow Jones Industrial average. And oil prices are a big story as well. NASDAQ and S&P are up, and oil prices actually down 40

percent from where they were a year ago I can tell you. But Tuesday saw them take a pause. Crude prices ticking up just a little bit from an 11-

year low they hit on Monday before dropping again.

You and I may feel the savings at the petrol pump but the same can't be said for airline passengers. The world airlines are expected to post a

record profit of $60 billion this year, so why no drop in airfares Richard?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: First of all that $60 billion sounds a lot of amount of money but when you think of the sheer amount of

money the airlines are taking, you're still talking on a percentage basis of between 4 and 5 percent on a return on capital. So, an airline is still

not a license to print profitable money, it's just not.

[15:25:06] It's getting better. And the reason we're not seeing petrol or prices of the fares come down partly, Max, because the airlines are trying

to hold on to it as long as possible, their surcharges. But also a lot of airlines are still stuck with the gambling bets they made, the so-called

hedges where they predicting they buy a futures contract to get certainty on the price of oil. They are still locked in to bad hedging contracts,

which are costing them money. Therefore they're paying the costs of the fuel and, Max, they are paying the cost of the hedge.

FOSTER: But that will be winding down at some point which should be reflected in prices?

QUEST: Yes. And that's the interesting part because if you're an airline and two years after prices have started to fall, you have not sorted out

your hedging problem, you really shouldn't be running a Wilks (ph) or let alone flying airplanes. And they should start -- here is where it gets

tricky. Will they pass on the price? Will they pass on the reduction in price? Will they keep most of it for the bottom line for their investors?

Or will they go on an orgy of expansion? The discipline that we've seen and try to grow the industry. Simon Calder "The Independent."


SIMON CALDER, THE INDEPENDENT: At a time when the airlines' costs are doing a very nice kind of gentle reduction, you and I are paying more than

we've ever done to cross the Atlantic. However, that is going to improve because what tends to happen is that once fuel prices get low enough, you

do automatically get an increase in capacity because guess what, people are thinking hang on, that old 757 we've got or that 20-year-old 777. They

might not be very efficient but these days it doesn't matter, they cost us effectively nothing to operate.


QUEST: And we're seeing that already. The route from Dublin, we will see more airlines -- I'll give you an example. A company which runs an old

business class service using older planes, it becomes profitable at these lower air prices. You'll see more Norwegian flying from Gatwick to the

United States, from the U.K. and other parts of Europe.

So, you will see more capacity. But the balancing act with fares, that has yet to be sorted.

FOSTER: Richard, thank you very much. More for you at the top of the hour.

Now, clean cut, clean shaven and wearing American dress blues. The former Taliban prisoner who was traded for five Guantanamo detainees faces a

court-martial hearing. More details on that just ahead.

And as the search for landslide survivors continues in China, children of the missing can only wait and cling to hope that their parents will be



FOSTER: Welcome back. Here's what's happening in the world right now. Afghan forces are battling the Taliban in the strategically important

district of Sangin in Helmand province. But they reportedly being running low in weapons and low in ammunition. The U.K. is now sending military

personnel to the province to back up the struggling Afghan forces.

The battle to control the Ramadi is raging as well. New video from Iraqi state television shows government troops on the offensive against ISIS in

that strategically important city. They're trying to retake the center of the city where officials say ISIS is using civilians as human shields.

The International Organization for Migration says more than 1 million migrants and refugees have now arrived in Europe this year. That's more

than four times the number of people who went to Europe in 2014. The majority arrived by sea. But almost 4,000 others have drowned or gone

missing while attempting the dangerous crossing.

Facing a public uproar over a juvenile rapist released. India Parliament is changing the law that deals with juvenile crimes. The decision comes

just days after the release of a teenager convicted of a brutal gang rape. Sumnima Udas reports from New Delhi.

SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It took India's Upper House of Parliament just two days to act, two days after the youngest of six rapists convicted

in that notorious 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder was released from juvenile custody simply because he was a few months shy of his 18th

birthday. That outraged Indians and lawmakers acted swiftly to prevent similar releases in the future.

From now on, anyone between the ages of 16 and 18 accused of committing a serious crime like rape or murder can now be tried as an adult. Until

today's new legislation, the maximum sentence a suspect under the age of 18 could face, was three years in a reform facility, no matter what the crime.

These changes to the law are not retroactive, so they will not apply to the juvenile convicted of committing the most savage gang rape this country has

ever seen. He remains a free man but has gone into hiding.

The parents of the rape and murder victim were in parliament all day listening to the lawmakers debate the pros and cons of changing the

juvenile law. After the vote, the dead girl's mother walked away crying, saying while her daughter did not get justice, others hopefully now will.

Sumnima Udas, CNN New Delhi.

FOSTER: The U.S. soldier held prisoner by the Taliban but released in a prisoner swap has just heard the court marshal charges. He faces and had

his first chance to enter pleas as well.

CNN's Nick Valencia was at Bowe Bergdahl's arraignment hearing and he joins us now. What happened there, Nick?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Max, as we expected it was a relatively expeditious hearing, over just about as fast as it began. Ten minutes

before court got underway, Bowe Bergdahl entered the court room, relatively inconspicuously accompanied only by his defense counsel. We didn't see any

friends or family inside the courtroom of about 50 people, and even split between military personnel and members of the press.

Bergdahl arrived wearing his military dress blues, he was shaved head, clean shaven. You could actually see a small scar in the back of his head.

His haircut was cut so short.

Also, he was walking with a slight limp. We can only assume that it's the effects of his five years of captivity with the Taliban.

As soon as court got underway, there was a series of procedural questions that the judge asked Bergdahl, the majority of which he answered "Sir, yes,

sir" too. And then he was given a chance to enter a plea. 99 percent of the time in these cases we're told by military sources, the accused defers

their right to enter a plea. That's exactly what Bergdahl did.

[15:35:00] He also waived -- the suggestion by the judge of whether he wanted a trial by jury or trial by judge. That was waived. And he also

deferred his right to have the charges that he is facing read against him out loud in a court of law.

Part of the controversy, Max, surrounding this specific court-martial case is what happened just a little while ago in a preliminary hearing where the

presiding officer in that hearing recommended that Bowe Bergdahl face a special court-martial where if convicted he would only face up to a year in


Instead the top ranks (ph) at the military, the U.S. army decided to go forward with another type of court-martial. He is facing a desertion

charge, up to five years in prison and also misbehavior in front of the enemy, which carries up to life in prison.

Curiously, this court-martial hearing was announced shortly after Bowe Bergdahl, in his own words in an audio clip, the popular podcast serial was

released in which he describes why he left his post that day in Afghanistan on June 30th, in 2009. Whether or not that had anything to do with the

army not going forward with the recommendations of the preliminary presiding officer in that first hearing, that's anybody's guess.

But the army will tell you that the process of this was well underway even before that podcast came out.

Next up for Bowe Bergdahl, he has a court case on the 12th of January early next year, Max. Go ahead.

FOSTER: Did we hear anything from him, apart from just those brief comments?

VALENCIA: No. He only spoke when spoken to. When he left the court house, that was one of the first times that we have seen him publicly, you

know, in the last year, he's maintained a relatively low profile. He has said very little other than to go on the record with a film director, which

is now the topic of those podcast serial, those conversations, as recorded conversations.

But he was asking questions by the media. We actually weren't certain if we could ask him questions so members of the press did not. I certainly

did not. And when he left the court house, it was with little fanfare. He was escorted out by two. We can only assume military escorts, security

escorts are, and then he drove away. That's the last we saw of him. And that might be the last that we him until his next court case.

Of course, we should mention that it's not required that he has a physically be there for his next government motions hearing. This trial

could last quite some time, Max.

FOSTER: OK. Nick, thank you very much, indeed.

Dozens of people are still missing after Sunday's massive landslide in Shenzhen, a mountain of construction waster buried more than 30 building,

an industrial city in southern China. CNN's Matt Rivers spoke to a 6-year- old boy still desperately waiting for news about his parents.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The landslide was incredibly sudden, striking with tremendous power. It toppled buildings and swallowed dozens

of people inside. Days later, only a handful of people have been rescued.

Hong Laibao's parents are among those still trapped. 6 years old, he stoically wipes away quiet tears. For now his aunt and 16-year-old brother

are looking after him. They all went to the scene on Monday.

HONG LAIBAO'S AUNT (through translation): When I asked him to leave, he simply wouldn't go. He said even if someone gave him all the money in the

world, all he'd want are his parents.

RIVERS: Chinese state media said it was a 20-story pile of earth and construction debris that collapsed. But as rescue crews continue their

difficult work searching through rubble more than ten meters high, the looming question, who is at fault for all of this.

State media reports have placed blame on both poor construction management and a lack of usable dump sites in the area, but this is just the latest

deadly accident in China this year.

On New Year's Eve, 36 people died in a stampede in Shanghai. Officials later admitted they weren't prepared to handle the crowds. In June, more

than 430 people drowned after a riverboat sailed into a storm. And in august, there was this -- a massive chemical explosion in the port city of

Tianjin. After authority say a company illegally stored combustible chemical chemicals in a residential area. More than 160 people died.

And now this, a manmade landslide, it's clear yet if it could have been prevented but people in Shenzhen did report problems to local authorities

according to state media. The pain of this disaster clear on the faces of these two brothers, potentially orphaned.

HONG LAIBAO'S AUNT (through translation): I simply cannot accept this as true. We are not prepared for this.

RIVERS: From his little brother, simpler words. "I just want my parents back", Laibao says, but as the hours and days go by, the chances of a

reunion grow faint.

Matt Rivers, CNN Shenzhen, China.

FOSTER: This is "The World Right Now." Coming up, Donald Trump's mouth is causing controls as he again takes aim at Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

[15:40:00] We'll tell you what he said this time.


FOSTER: Donald Trump has used some vulgar verbiage as he again took aim at Hillary Clinton.

The Republican presidential candidate was speaking to a crowd of supporters in Michigan and unleashed on a number of political opponents, but here's

what he said about Clinton's bid for the White House back in 2008, which some are blasting as sexist and misogynist. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Everything that's been involved in Hillary has been losses. You take a look, even a race to Obama, she was

going to beat Obama. I don't know who would be worse. I don't know. How does it get worse? But she was going to beat, she was favored to win. And

she got schlonged, she lost.


FOSTER: From insider (ph), Hillary Clinton's campaign reacted to those comments. We are not responding to Trump but everyone who understands the

humiliation this degrading language inflicts on all women should #imwithher. Let's she how this is going down.

United States CNN, Senior Political Reporter Stephen Collinson joins me with more.

How did the hash tag go down? Do that take off?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, UNITED STATES CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Dozen seems are done so far, Max. But we've got a full-blown media storm raging

here in the United States, a familiar storm with Donald Trump right at the center of it. We've seen this on number of occasions throughout this


I think there was a couple of interesting things about this. It points the fact that Donald Trump is prone to say outrageous things that many people

find offensive and he appears to get away with it. No other politician, I think, would have got away with insulting Hillary Clinton this way.

It's almost expected from Donald Trump. And it's one of the reasons that kind of outrageous talk and sort of slaying political correctness. It's

one of the reasons that he's popular among, you know, between 20 percent to 30 percent of the Republican base.

And the other thing, of course, is that, this is one of the reasons why many Republican leaders are very worried that Donald Trump could actually

be harming the image of the Republican Party as we look towards a general election next year.

[15:45:07] If you go around insulting Hispanic voters and women, you're insulting key constituencies in a general election, and many people in the

Republican Party feel that even if Donald Trump doesn't win party's nomination. He could be doing party considerable damage before the general


FOSTER: What about this idea that Hillary Clinton's campaign are licking their lips with the idea of having him as an opponent? It's not upsetting

him, but do they really believe that?

COLLINSON: I think they would love to run against Donald Trump. They think he is too outrageous. They think he is insulted too many sections of

the broader U.S. electorate to be elected. There was a Quinnipiac University poll out today that showed 50 percent of Americans would be

embarrassed to have Donald Trump as their president.

So Hillary Clinton's campaign would love to make Americans think that Donald Trump is the authentic face of the Republican Party. And I think,

you know, even though Donald Trump has been a lot more durable in this campaign than many people expected. The Clinton campaign would love to run

against him rather than a more mainstream, conventional Republican candidate who could win over the moderate voters who tend to decide U.S.

presidential elections, Max.

FOSTER: Let's have a look at those figures in more detail. Donald trump having to look over his shoulder really because Texas Senator Ted Cruz

appears to be gaining on him. That's according to that new poll from the independent Quinnipiac University.

Now, trump has 28 percent of Republican support but Cruz has 24 percent and with a margin of error, they're effectively tied, aren't they, Stephen?

COLLINSON: That's correct. You know, I think it's true that Ted Cruz, the Senator from Texas, has been building some momentum in recent weeks after a

couple of good debate performances in the Republican debates.

I'll tell you what's very interesting about that poll, Max, is if you add up Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and another outsider candidate, Ben Carson, you

get about 60 percent of the Republican electorate is now lining up against -- behind people considered anti-Washington, anti-establishment candidates.

And that's worrying the Republican leadership in Washington quite a bit.

And I think it tells us that the mood of the Republican electorate is angry with Washington, angry with leaders who they believe have not done enough

to thwart President Barack Obama's agenda. And that sort of hints one the reason why Donald Trump in particular has found so much support in this

election so far.

FOSTER: OK. Stephen Collinson, thank you very much, indeed.

Coming up, find out why these people were up early and outfitted outlandishly as well to greet the sun on this special December day.



FOSTER: It's the December solstice for those of us in the northern hemisphere. It is the shortest day of the year. And for a crowd of

thousands at Stonehenge, it's an opportunity to experience the prehistoric monument the way it may have been used by those who built it, the massive

bulges of Stonehenge in line with the winter solstice sunset.

For more on the sights behind the season solstice, Jennifer Gray is at the world where the center. There normally would be snow there. That's the

thing that strikes me.

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It has been warm across much of the U.S. as well as Europe. In fact, the winter solstice is basically when

the earth is tilted in the northern hemisphere most away from the sun, 23.5 degrees south, the tropic of Capricorn. It is the shortest day of the year

in the northern hemisphere and the longest day in the southern hemisphere. And it marks the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere and, of

course, the beginning of summer in the southern hemisphere.

But where is winter? Winter has begun in northern hemisphere and it has been anything but. In fact, temperatures have been very warm. In the U.K.

we have been running 3.5 degrees above normal. In places like London, it is the fourth warmest start to winter. In Moscow should be at minus 4 this

time of year. In fact, Monday temperatures were at 9 degrees, and on Tuesday, expected to be almost 8, the record 5.4 in 1982, so we are setting

records not only across Europe, but in the United States as well.

Here is the seven-day forecast for London. Same story for you, temperatures are very warm, 11 degrees to 14 degrees over the next couple

of days. On Christmas Day, light rain and temperatures at 13 degrees, average this time of year is around 8 degrees.

So what's causing all of this? Basically, you have this area of high pressure in control that's drawing up warm, moist air from the south. The

jetstream is riding high to the north. We're going to keep rainy and windy conditions in place for northern portions of Europe and mild temperatures

in place across much of Europe for the next couple days. This is for at least through Thursday.

We've had a couple of very small systems rolling through off of the atlantic but it's really not bringing us that cold punch of air like we're

used to seeing in the beginning of winter. So the temperature trends are going to slowly trend down by Friday but not by much. Temperatures will

still run 4 degrees to 5 degrees above normal and a lot of places even more. So take a look at this.

In the U.K., people are jogging in shorts and t-shirts a couple of days before Christmas. The trees are even blooming, Max. And so, we are going

to keep dreaming of a white Christmas across much of Europe and the United States.

FOSTER: I've got daffodils coming up in the garden. It's extraordinary. Thank you very much.

GRAY: Amazing.

FOSTER: Indeed, Jennifer.

Online grocery shopping and delivery is a service still looking for ways to drive costs down meanwhile. Now, one entrepreneur is experimenting the

possibility of ditching delivery trucks entirely and replacing them with robots. Here's CNN's Business Correspondent Samuel Burke.

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN'S BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The last mile of delivery is the most expensive, so companies around the world are working to make that

final stretch more efficient and faster. They're experimenting with drones, drivers and now, pardon me, self-driving robots.

AHTI HEINTA, CEO, STARSHIP TECHNOLOGIES: It's the most expensive because there's a huge van that is starting and stopping and the driver is getting

on and off and knocking on doors. And that takes time and that's something that the driver needs to do for every person.

BURKE: Home grocery delivery service like Fresh Direct and Amazon Fresh are convenient but they're not always cheap. Amazon's membership costs

$300 a year. Now, one of Skype's founders believes he can bring those costs down with self-driving robots.

What does it have in it different from the cart that I use to get my groceries?

HEINTA: Well, the cart doesn't have nine cameras but our robot does. And it's six-wheel drive, so it has motors, electric motors and various other

sensors. The robot is observing pedestrians.

[15:55:03] The robot is navigating on the sidewalk and needs to be aware of its surroundings.

BURKE: And how does it get from the warehouse to the person's house, using going Google Maps?

HEINTA: We are doing our own mapping actually because the maps that our robot needs are quite special. They are more sidewalk maps than road maps.

BURKE: Like Google maps for cars but on the sidewalk.

HEINTA: Exactly. Exactly.

Excuse me, sir, can you help me? I'm trying to steal a robot.

Theft deterrents including onboard cameras and GPS tracking, in worse case scenario (inaudible) said unit just isn't that valuable.

HEINTA: The most expensive part in the robot is about $40, and that's actually the whole point. It has to be a low-cost machine, otherwise the

economics doesn't work.

BURKE: And he says your groceries are safe as well.

HEINTA: You get a notification in your smartphone when the robot arrives and then you push a button on your smartphone and then the lock opens.

FOSTER: Samuel Burke reporting. This has been "The World Right Now." Thanks for watching.

"Quest Means Business" is up next, live from London.