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New Year's Terror Plot In Brussels Thwarted; Planting The Flag In Ramadi; "Affluenza" Teen Arrested In Mexico; Motorhead Front Man Lemmy Dead At 70; World Of Rock Pays Tribute To The Motorhead Front Man. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired December 29, 2015 - 15:00:00   ET



HALA GORANI, HOST: Tonight, a New Years' terror plot thwarted in Brussels. Authorities say two people are arrested as Belgium is on high alert once

again, we're live in Brussels.

Plus planting the flag in Ramadi, Iraq's Prime Minister is vowing to wipe out ISIS by the end of Next Year.

Also this hour an American teenager said to be too privileged to pay for his crimes is arrested in Mexico.

And the world of rock pays tribute today to Motorhead front man, Lemmy, dead at the age of 70.

Hello, everyone, I'm Hala Gorani, we're live at CNN, London, thanks for being with us, this is "The World Right Now."


GORANI: Just a few short days away from New Years' Eve, the world of course should be celebrating; instead Europe is on edge again. All eyes

are on Brussels today. Two men are under arrest and police are saying that the suspects are recently radicalized members of a Muslim biker gang. This

is the first time we've heard of this particular group.

Their alleged plan was to attack sites as people celebrated the New Year. A senior security official tells CNN about a specific threat aimed at the

Central Square in Brussels. Our terrorism analyst, Paul Cruickshank, happens to be in Brussels this evening, and he joins us now live.

Let's talk a little bit about these arrests. Now this is the first time I'm hearing of a bike - of a radicalized biker gang, tell us more.

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Hala, it's really quite extraordinary what we're learning now from Belgian Security

Officials. That these two alleged plotters were members of a Muslim biker gang called the Kamikaze Riders. And in fact this biker gang has been in

the cross-hairs of Belgium counter-terrorism investigators before. Back in 2013 one of its leaders was investigated after having a conversation with

his brother in Syria, a Belgian that had travelled to Syria, about possibly launching attack here in Brussels, back in 2013.

There is concern that this biker gang or some of its members have become radicalized. This duo appears to have been influenced by ISIS. This was

an ISIS inspired plot we're being told by Belgian officials, but no signs of direct ties back to the ISIS terrorist organization, but they were found

with ISIS propaganda.

They've been discussing the idea of attacking crowded sites in the center of Brussels in the run up to the New Year celebrations and during the New

Year celebrations including the Grand Place, the main central square in Brussels that you were just referring to. But also against Police

Stations, military facilities here in the capital.

And given the fact they were part of a biker gang, given the fact that this duo had been involved in robberies and criminality and had potentially easy

access to weapons, they felt they had no choice but to go and act and to arrest them to thwart this positional plot here in Brussels. But when they

went in, they didn't find explosives, and they didn't find weapons. Nonetheless, they believed this was a terrorist plot in the works against

this city in the run-up to the New Year, Hala.

GORANI: All right, everybody's pretty much on edge especially after the Paris attacks. We'll continue to follow that and you know, try to get more

information from officials on exactly how far along they believe this plot might have been.

Let's talk about (Sharaf el-Mwadan), this again is a name that's new to me. Coalition airstrikes killed this man. He's a 27 year old French, ISIS

fighter they say, this is a picture of him.

Coalition forces are saying, this man was in direct contact with the ring leader of the Paris attacks. What more do we know about him because that's

not necessarily also what French investigators are saying right, there's a bit of a disconnect here.

CRUICKSHANK: Yes, and what French investigators are telling us or people briefed by French investigators is that he was in touch with some of the

Paris plotters in the days before the attack. But they're trying to figure out whether he had a direct role in the attack or just happened to be in

contact with them.

He's a friend from childhood with one of the Bataclan attackers, Samy Amimour, and so there's that link there. And we're also hearing from

sources briefed on the investigation that some of the surviving concert goers of the Bataclan discussed two of the attackers having a conversation

in which one of the attackers asked the other, have you called up this guy called (Suleman), have you called him up? And the other attacker says no I

haven't and can you stop speaking in French, let's speak in Arabic.


CRUICKSHANK: Well it turns out that (Suleman) is one of the alias' of (Sharaf Al Mwadan). So that may be a pointer towards his potential

involvement in some planning capacity in the plot, but they're still trying to figure that all out.

And while the coalition are saying that he was a leader in ISIS, French investigators are saying look, he was just 27 years old, he had just

arrived in Syria, a couple of years ago, this was not a senior leader in ISIS, he may have had some role in the plot, they're trying to figure that

still out, Hala.

GORANI: All right, Paul Cruickshank, in Brussels, thanks very much there. Just the latest strands here on the efforts to try to thwart attacks in

Europe and try to find connections with operatives and fighters in Syria, we'll keep our eye on that.

So this is what's going on now but this is about a plot that was being planned in the past. A London Jury has convicted a British couple of

plotting a massive terrorist attack in the city to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the July 7th bombing, so it would have been this summer.

Police arrested (Mohamed Rahman) and (inaudible) in May, they seized a lot of highly explosive chemicals from their home. Their plot was uncovered

after an investigator spotted tweets from (Rahman) seeking advice about which targets he should hit if you can believe it. The prosecutor said the

man had filmed himself trying out explosions in his garden, take a look.


GORANI: This is some of the evidence that the court was considering. This couple has been convicted, they will be sentenced by the way, Wednesday.

Now to the fight against ISIL, not in Europe, but in the Middle East. Mosul will be next is what the Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi is

promising after Iraqi troops recaptured Ramadi from ISIS. Here's video of Mr. Al-Abadi, he's raising the Iraqi flag over central Ramadi, he's in the

city a day after declaring victory.

Nima Elbagir joins me now live from Baghdad with more. So Haider al-Abadi Nima is in Ramadi, but the entire city is not clear of ISIS yet is it?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, that's what we're hearing from tribal leaders inside the city. They estimate about 25 percent

of the areas of the city are still under some sort of ISIS control and that really reinforces what the coalition have been saying which is they are

continuing today their air strikes hitting five what they're calling ISIS tactical units.

So everybody seems to be agreed including the Iraqi government that there are still what the Iraqi government is referring to as pockets that still

need to be purged as they're describing it. But that is not stopping Haider al-Abadi really from claiming this victory. And in a mood of

complete jubilation, take a look at this, Hala.


ELBAGIR: Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi raising the flag once more in Ramadi. His government doubling down on their claim of victory.

If Ramadi is indeed re-taken it will have robbed ISIS of a stronghold almost three times the size of the country's capital and crucially handed

the Iraqi government a win after the humiliation of their retreat in May this year.

(Abaoud Al-Abadi) has promised this is just the beginning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (As translated) If 2015 is the year of liberation then 2016 will be, if god willing, the year of the big and final victory, and

the termination of ISIS presence in Iraq.

ELBAGIR: In Ramadi's central district, families from ISIS territories elsewhere in Anbar Province are beginning to arrive. Risking their lives

to flee the areas under ISIS control and seek refuge, a crime ISIS deems punishable by death.

This perhaps the clearest sign yet that ISIS' chokehold, their rule of fear is weakening here.

The government's announcements Hala, come as aid organizations say that this year displacement, civilian displacement in Iraq grew at its fastest

rate and it is the country with the highest rate of displacement in the world, pretty extraordinary considering that neighboring Syria has been

racked by strife for years now. So this news, this triumphalist mood amidst the government that hopefully is going to be some sort of solace for

the Iraqi families, Hala.

GORANI: OK, thanks, Nima Elbagir in Baghdad. Earlier I spoke to U.S. State Department, deputy spokesman, Mark Toner, about Iraq's victory in Ramadi

and the challenges that remain, we're calling it a victory, we'll see how secure that victory is.


GORANI: But I started by asking him for his reaction to Prime Minister Abadi's pledge to defeat ISIS in just the next 12 months.

MARK TONER, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT DEPUTY SPOKESMAN: I hate to put any kind of timeline on when this fight may be over. But we are providing

relentless pressure and that is through coalition support for effective ground operations which you're seeing through Iraqi security forces in

retaking the city of Ramadi.

GORANI: All right, it's a long fight, 2016 as you mentioned Prime Minister Abadi is promising something that the United States apparently through what

you're saying here is unwilling necessarily to put a timeline on. But how will the U.S' assistance, its strategy in Iraq and Syria and the fight

against ISIS change next year? Will there be any change to the strategy?

TONER: We're learning as we go along what works, what doesn't work. You've seen in Syria where we've taken our money out of certain programs,

train and equip programs, and put it into certain areas by supplying and equipping those forces that we believe were really effective in fighting

ISIL on the ground. Similarly in Iraq, we're working, I think effectively we believe with the Iraqi security forces, with the Iraqi government under

their command and control for structure to supply effective fighting groups on the ground and really build a unified Iraqi security force that can take

the fight to ISIL.

GORANI: But you've got to trust Prime Minister Abadi as well not to be a sectarian as his predecessor was, Nouri al-Malaki, not to employ Shia

militia in the fight against ISIS, that is angering Sunnis in Anbar province as well. Do you have that level of confidence in the Prime

Minister of Iraq?

TONER: Well again, we have confidence because of the actions that are thus are - that he's taken thus far. He has - his government has taken steps to

build a more inclusive Iraqi military and he's also empowered, enabled some of these local Sunni fighting forces.

And in fact in the case of Ramadi, we have helped train some of these fighting forces so that they can come in as part of the stabilization phase

of this operation.

GORANI: All right, let me ask you about something that raised a few eyebrows. John Kirby, the Pentagon Spokesperson wrote a year in review,

the pivotal moments of 2015 and said something about Syria. Bringing peace and security to Syria was one of the achievements listed in this year-end

review. The United States has led the world in humanitarian aid contributions, the United States also continues to push for a political

transition in Syria.

I mean when you look at the numbers, 21,000 deaths, ISIS' footprint has not come down. Half of the population of Syria are either refugees or

displaced, you call this a state department success for 2015?

TONER: Look, you know let me be very clear, and the operative word there is bringing peace and stability to Syria. We didn't say we brought peace and

stability to Syria, but we have made significant gains in a - in the process of bringing a political transition to Syria in the past three

months alone. We've got a U.N. Security Council now that's unified around a political process. We have Syrian opposition identified and who have

bought into at that political process. And in fact you know we have now the major stakeholders in a political resolution to the conflict in Syria

and that includes Russia, and includes Iran.

GORANI: -- But Mark Toner, you - I get that but when you - when I - I've just listed numbers to you that are worse for 2015 than they even were for

2014, so you're staying peace and stability are being brought, that they haven't been brought yet. But when you look at the numbers, that's just

not correct.

TONER: What is correct, and what is and absolutely we view as progress, as success is the fact that there is now a political process in play that can

bring a ceasefire, that can bring a political resolution, no military resolution to this conflict, a political resolution to the conflict in

Syria so that everyone can then focus their efforts on destroying and degrading ISIL.

GORANI: Mark Toner, a spokesperson at the State Department there discussing the situation in Iraq and Syria.

Still to come this evening, authorities track down the so called Affluenza teen who fled the United States after being sentenced to probation for a

deadly crash he was responsible for. More on the case and what he is facing now in a live report.

And people in Missouri flee their homes, the latest victims of severe weather sweeping across the world. All that and more when we come back.





GORANI: Apprehended in Mexico, police have caught up with an American known as the Affluenza team. He fled and he violated his probation by doing so.

And he was on probation by the way for a deadly drunk driving crash. A crash in which he killed four people but got off with no jail time.

Authorities found Ethan Couch, and his mother near Puerto Vallarta. Now they will be deported to the United States. He was called by the way the

Affluenza teen because some of the experts that were called during the trial said that he was too privileged to know that he was doing anything


(Steve Nanas) has details on the case.

(STEVE NANAS, REPORTER: ) The so called Affluenza teen, Ethan Couch is behind bars in Mexico and so his is mother, Tanya who apparently fled the

U.S. with her son. The two were captured in the tourist town of Puerto Vallarta.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): We are very happy and pleased that they are in custody of the Mexican authorities and they'll be returned to the United States

here shortly.

(NANAS): Couch went missing earlier this month after a video was posted online that appeared to show him violating his 10 year probation for

killing four people in a 2013 drink driving incident.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): We have done everything humanly possible to bring justice to them and their loved ones.

(NANAS): His case gained national attention after a psychologist testified that he suffered from Affluenza and never had any limits set for him.

Couch's lawyer said his parents were partly to blame for the crash.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): I don't think initially that justice was served and we hope now justice will be served.

(NANAS): Couch will be placed back in the juvenile system where he faces jail time until his 19th birthday. But officials in Texas say, that's not

nearly enough.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE): That in my opinion is not a sufficient punishment for the taking of four lives. Our request of the court is going to be to

transfer his probation to the adult court and deal with him in the adult system.

(NANAS): Officials briefed on the investigation said Couch's cell phone might have played a key role in tracking them down.

I'm (Steve Nanas) reporting.

GORANI: Unbelievable. Coming up, the U.K. prepares for even more flooding and misery and that's because a powerful new storm is moving in. It's just

one example of some crazy weather across the globe, we'll be right back.





GORANI: Now if it feels like weather around the globe is getting wilder this week it certainly appears to be true based on some of these images.

Flooding in the U.S. state of Missouri has forced people from their homes just in the past few hours, take a look at the water level there.

Officials say that water has breached the levy, north of the city of Saint Louis, and it's called this chaos. It's not just North America, it's also

South America, 160,000 have been forced to leave their homes in four different countries due to flooding.

While in parts of the U.K., here, people are being warned about the risk of more flooding tonight because after the misery they've endured over the

last several days there's yet another storm coming in called Frank.

This video shows sandbags being dropped to help boost flood defenses. The weather patterns have been blamed on el-Nino, a warming of the eastern

pacific, the last potent el-Nino occurred back in '97, '98, at an estimated global cost of up to $45 billion.

Officials in the U.S. state of Missouri say there is a major to historic levels of river flooding.

Tom Sater has more from the CNN, Weather Center. So if this is being blamed on el-Nino and some of us remember el-Nino back in the 90s, should

we be bracing for more of this? What's the situation now?

TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: That is a fabulous question because if you think about it, we believe that this year's el-Nino is going to be pretty

close to the threshold year of 1997. But just as it's taken months to build, just as it has taken months to change the pattern across the globe,

it's going to take months to see it start to end.

Now we do believe that the warming waters in the Pacific Hala have come to a peak. It's not a for sure thing, but that still means we may see this

pattern around the globe continue into maybe April or May. But I know you're from St. Louis as a child, I just spent a week there with family,

that's where I was born and raised, and to see the deluge day, after day of heavy rainfall getting incredible amounts of rain, again just let's say

we've picked up a good 200 to 250mm. And some rivers have risen since Saturday a good 8 or 9 meters.

Now the threshold year, the benchmark year for flooding in the Missouri River, along the Mississippi is 1993. Thousands and thousands of homes, not

just Illinois, but back into Missouri were completely destroyed. So even though they did increase infrastructure along the Mississippi to better

understand what this rainfall has been doing, let me break down the city for you.

The City of St. Louis is made up of several rivers. First you have the Mississippi, but you also find the Missouri river, a major river flow to

the Mississippi, and the Meramac river. We've got problems all over the region.

Now some of the levels on the Mississippi are so high, they're at the second highest levels in history next to that 1993. But because the river

is so high it is blocking the water from getting into the Mississippi. So all the communities along the Missouri, along the Meramac, are seeing

pictures like this.

North of St. Louis, is West Alton, that's a town that's in between the Missouri and Mississippi, it's completely flooded, they're evacuating.

They're evacuating now.

Then you have pictures like this, this is southwest of St. Louis on Meramac river. The Meramac river is now reaching levels never before experienced.

Not just higher than 1993 but the Meramac river levels and records go back to 1982. The communities that are being evacuated here are really in a

tizzy because it was such short notice. Yes there was record breaking rainfall the last couple of days, but because there was a levy breach to

the north and areas of west Alton, it's overtopping some of the levies, we're really worried about the concern for the breach of more levies. So

it's not just one river Hala, it's not just one community, it is several.

In fact if you look at areas of the entire Eastern U.S., along all the major rivers in the states we have over 443 river location gauges reporting

major flood problems right now. This is something you typically see in Spring with the snowmelt, not just a storm system that happened to hang

around for a few days.

Crazy weather going on around the world right now.

GORANI: All right, some - that's true, some rough days for S. Louis, Missouri, I'm impressed you remembered I spent a few short years as a

toddler in St. Louis, Missouri.

SATER: I do.

GORANI: And more specifically Crestwood Missouri -

SATER: Ah, very good.

GORANI: So I hope they're O.K. there as well in that suburb of St. Louis. Thanks very much, Tom Sater, in Atlanta.

A lot more on "The World Right Now" coming up.


GORANI: A new poll is reflecting American fears about the White House's ability to prevent another terrorist attack. There's a certain level of

fear there increasing before January 1st, we'll look at that.

And the music world pays tribute to one of heavy metals most iconic names after the death of Motorhead front man, Lemmy. I'll be right back.






GORANI: Welcome back, a quick look at our top stories this hour. Belgium is on edge again after two arrests today.

Police say high profile sights in the capital were targets of a New Years' Eve terrorist plot. The two men arrested are allegedly radicalized members

of a Muslim biker gang.

Also among our top stories, an ISIS leader with ties to the Paris attacks has been killed according to the U.S. led coalition. An airstrike

reportedly killed (Sharaf al-Mwadan) who officials say was actively plotting new attacks.

The Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi is promising that Mosul will be next. He raised the flag over central Ramadi today, a day after declaring

victory over ISIS. But Ramadi tribal leaders say the fight isn't over and that ISIS in fact still controls about a quarter of this city.

The World Health Organization has now declared Guinea free of Ebola. The deadly Ebola outbreak that ravaged west Africa, first began there two years

ago. So this is quite significant.

Robyn Curnow has more on this development.

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ebola free in Guinea in a major milestone in a battle against the deadly virus the World Health

Organization has declared the West African country where the outbreak began now free of the disease.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): As of today for the first time in two years we can say that all three countries have stopped the original chains of transmission

which have been driving this crisis and had led to such international and national alarm last year.

CURNOW: Researchers say it started in this village in southern Guinea with patient zero, a two year old boy, the first victim in what would become the

worst ever outbreak of Ebola.

Since then health officials count more than 28,000 cases, and more than 11,000 deaths. The vast majority of them in West Africa.

Now Guinea joins Liberia and Sierra Leone earlier declared Ebola free but health officials caution the region is not yet out of danger.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): We have to be very clear that although today is an important milestone, it's only a milestone, it's not the end of the Ebola

response in West Africa.

CURNOW: With a risk of reintroduction of the virus from survivors, Guinea enters a 90 day period of heightened surveillance, crucial in determining

whether the disease will make a comeback.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): So this is a very, very critical period, the first three months of 2016.

CURNOW: Health officials are now counting down the days to what they hope will be the end of the epidemic.

Robyn Curnow, CNN.


GORANI: A new poll out shows that Americans are not very confident in the President's ability to defeat ISIS in the Middle East, and they're also

worried about terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

Our senior White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta, breaks down the numbers.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: With the U.S. lead coalition at war with ISIS half a world away, President Obama, just got a

fresh reminder during his vacation in Hawaii, Americans are worried that terrorists are winning the fight.

A new CNN ORC Poll shows American's have lost confidence in the Obama administrations ability to defeat ISIS and prevent another terrorist


64 percent disapprove of the President's handling of ISIS, and just 51 percent of Americans believe the government can protect against a terrorist

attack down sharply from 65 percent in 2010. That deep pessimism has frustrated the President.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm confident that we're going to prevail.

ACOSTA: But Mr. Obama wants Americans' to feel that confident, CNN has learned the White House has asked top officials across the government to do

a better job of selling the ISIS plan.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think that there is a legitimate criticism of what I've been doing and our administration has been doing in the sense that we

haven't you know on a regular basis I think described all the work that we've been doing for more than a year now to defeat ISIL.


ACOSTA: And now the President may be able to point to some progress after Iraqi security forces combined with the support of coalition airstrikes

apparently succeeded in driving ISIS out of the crucial city of Ramadi. Even Republicans in congress are optimistic.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): It seemed like a victory, we proceed with caution. If we hold Ramadi, this is a good thing for our strategy in that region and

against ISIS and these are the types of things that we should be doing more.

ACOSTA: It could be a vindication of the President's cautions approach from relying on Iraqi and Syrian forces instead of U.S. troops on the


The latest CNN ORC poll finds Americans are split right down the middle on whether to send ground troops to fight ISIS which explains in part why the

President is resisting to such a move as he said last month defending his ISIS strategy.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): Why can't we take out these bastards?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well Jim, I just spent the last three questions answering that very question. We can retake territory and as long as we leave our

troops there we can hold it. But that does not solve the underlying problem of eliminating the dynamics that are producing these kinds of

violent extremist groups.

GORANI: So 64 percent of Americans disapprove of how the President is handling ISIS.

Let's get some perspective on this new poll and other developments of course from inside Iraq from James Jeffrey, he's a former American

Ambassador to Iraq 2010-2012 was when he was there. Also former Ambassador to Turkey and a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute.

Ambassador, thanks for being with us. I'm sure you saw these images of Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi hoisting up an Iraqi flag in Ramadi. A big

symbolic moment and a symbolic image.

How significant do you think that this victory is for the central government?

JAMES JEFFREY, FORMER AMERICAN AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: Hala, it's good to be back with you. First of all for Prime Minister Abadi, it is significant

because he did this with his American allies and Iraqi army troops under his control, not with the Shia militias who often take advice and orders

from Tehran. So that's important.

This is a significant defeat for ISIS. It's not the beginning of the end, they still hold much territory and the bulk of their forces were not

committed to this battle. And frankly it took a very long time to take it back. But we're hitting, for the first time, a bit in the right direction

but the question as we heard earlier in your program is who is going to provide the ground troops to take down Mosul in the north of Iraq, and

Raqqa in eastern Syria.

GORANI: Do you think inevitably the U.S. whether it wants to or not is going to get more involved again in Iraq.

JEFFREY: Hala, the reason we were so successful this time in Ramadi, well seven months, ago, we sat by and watched the place get overrun is that we

were much more aggressive in our use of air power and our use of advisory teams a little bit closers to the front. Artillery from Marines and other

things that we hadn't been contemplating a few months ago. I think we're going to have to do more of this.

Of course at the end of the day most of the offensive action will have to be by local forces and the holding of Tehran as the President Obama pointed

out is going to have to be by local folks. But American forces on the ground in limited numbers could make a huge difference because they

understand in a way even then people we've trained do not, how to do offensive actions. It's a very complicated endeavor.

GORANI: But Ambassador of course you're a diplomat and you know better than many that this situation can only last if there is true political

reform in Iraq. That the Shia government will treat Sunnis as equal citizens, that it will be an inclusive government, that it won't use Shia

Militia, and that really angers the Sunnis in Anbar, and it's understandable that it does. I mean is this Prime Minister going far

enough in that direction in order for this military victory to become eventually a political one.

JEFFREY: I met with him two months ago, he is committed to reaching out both to Kurds in the north and to the Sunnis. You're absolutely right,

we're going to be back again, and again, in the Middle East as we have in the past until the underlying problems that fewer violence are taken care


But frankly that is a very long-term project. It's a project we can only influence on the margins, and meanwhile when we have this kind of

absolutely threatening terrorist and military movement such as ISIS, it's not a bad thing to deal with the extremely dangerous symptoms of it. And

put on the long-term how we are going to fix these societies or how they're going to fix themselves because we can't do it. I was in Iraq for three

years trying and you know the result.

GORANI: Yes, let's - you met with Prime Minister Abadi and - I mean when you speak to him, person to person, if you compare him for instance to

Nouri al-Maliki, a lot so much hinges on this Prime Minister, on his approach, on how he treats his rivals and how he treats other secs. Were

you infused with more confidence versus for instance Nouri al-Maliki?

JEFFREY: I had a complicated relationship as did many other Americans with Nouri al-Maliki. Prime Minister Abadi understand the outside world in a

way that Prime Minister Maliki did not. He is sincere, he needs to bring more people into his governing coalition, that's important and frankly the

people he needs to work most with are some of the Shias who are torn between him and pro-Iranian elements.

But I think he can do the job, and he is the person who the people of Iraq right now have selected to run their government and I think he's going to

stay in power.


GORANI: All right, thanks very much Ambassador, James Jeffrey. As you're speaking to us by the way we're seeing Prime Minister Abadi in Ramadi, a

victory lap of sorts there. We'll see if that victory holds. Thanks very much Ambassador for joining us, we appreciate it.

JEFFREY: Thank you Hala.

GORANI: And don't forget to our viewers you can head to the Facebook page there and let us know what interests you in this program, what questions

you may have.

This is "The World Right Now." Still ahead; impossible to forgive and impossible to forget.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE): I want the emperor of Japan to come to us and get down on his knees in front of us and then reflect on what they've done and

explain what actually happened.

GORANI: A Korean woman forced into sex slavery during World War II says Japan's new deal with her country is not enough.





GORANI: A diplomatic humiliation. That is what some campaigners are calling a deal Japan struck with South Korea over so called comfort women.

They were the women and girls forced to become sex slaves of the Japanese army during World War II.

Alexandra Field spoke to one survivor about how her life was destroyed.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is her war story (inaudible), she was 14.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE): One grabbed me by my legs and one grabbed me by my arms, and they threw me into the back of the truck. I flew high and landed

hard. There were about five women sitting there.

FIELD: Then forced labor, and when (inaudible) later arrives at a so called war-time comfort station, relentless rape.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE): They would use guns and swords to threaten us. They would shoot and they would cut. How is this a comfort station? It was an

execution ground.

FIELD: 40 or 50 Japanese soldiers a day for some women she says, they're girls really. By the time this photo is taken of (inaudible) at 21 she has

been missing from her own in Korea for so long her own government has declared her dead.

This wedding never happened, the graduation didn't either, they're just photos she took, they're symbols of what might have been. A life taken

from one of the so-called comfort women, forced into sex slavery by the Japanese military during the Second World War. There are estimates there

may have been as many as 200,000 of them.

Today there are about a dozen women who live here. This is an hour south of Seoul, it's a shelter that's intended to be really more of a sanctuary.

It's one place where there's care around the clock for comfort women.

Here (inaudible) is surrounded by some of the few surviving sisters who share her battle wounds.

For a lot of these women this is the place that really does feel like home. There are no families to take care of them, no families to one day mourn

them, so some of them are cremated and even buried here in a spot where they can be remembered.

70 years after her deal there's nothing (inaudible) forgets.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE): The military police said they would need to cut off her foot so that she couldn't escape. They cut my foot.

FIELD: A scar that an historic handshake won't heal. South Korea is agreeing to close the book on its women's' darkest chapter and now it's an

irreversible resolution to its long standing conflict with Japan over the use of comfort women. They're accepting a final apology from the Japanese

government and $8 million for a foundation that will help support the 46 living women.

For (inaudible) and others the apology is too vague, they say it doesn't adequately document the history, the abuse they suffered at the hands of

the Japanese government.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE): I want the Emperor of Japan to come to us and get down on his knees in front of us and then reflect on what they've done, and

explain what actually happened.

They are waiting for us old grannies to die. I want to meet a good husband and live a happy life before dying.

FIELD: (Inaudible) is almost 90 now. She keeps telling the war story because she knows it's more than her story.

Alexandra Field, CNN.

GORANI: Coming up; in the world of heavy metal he was truly the ace of spaces. Now tributes are being paid to the man behind Motorhead.





GORANI: Well tributes are pouring in to one of heavy metals most influential names, Ian Kilmister known simply as Lemmy, fronted the iconic

rock band Motorhead. He died of cancer at the age of 70 just two days after he found out he had the disease.

Max Foster has more.


MAX FOSTER: Lemmy, the legendary Motorhead front man and bases died after a short battle with cancer. He was 70.

His band mates announced his death on Monday. Ian Lemmy Kilmister found out that he was suffering from an extremely aggressive form of cancer just

days ago on December the 26th. He died at home with his family in Los Angeles.

Originally from Stoke on Trent in Northern England, he was known for his hard living lifestyle. As much as his distinctive style and massive

influence on rock 'n' roll.

Before joining Motorhead, he was a member and sometime vocalist of the band, Hawk Wind in the 1970s. Described by critics as one of the biggest

counter-culture freak bands of all time.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): I think what Lemmy leaves behind is somebody who was quintessentially rock 'n roll, somebody you could measure rock 'n' roll by.

Because it's an indefinable thing what rock 'n' roll is.

When you think Lemmy his persona, his voice, his base playing, his songwriting, the sound of him and the sound of Motorhead, you've got

something that is actually pure undistilled rock 'n' roll.


FOSTER: Ace of Spades, probably the bands most famous song formed 40 years ago hugely influential in the 1970s British rock scene, they shaped the way

hard rock and metal were played worldwide.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): It's music like that goes through generations. I mean when Motorhead started he was already old in rock 'n' roll terms, he was

already in his 30s. I mean he should have been the washed up (inaudible). But he became an encapsulation of rock n roll. He represented rock 'n'

roll to people who didn't even know what rock 'n' roll was, and that takes some doing.

FOSTER: Tributes have flooded in from fellow rock stars, Metallica, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, former Black Sabbath vocalist, Ozzi Osborne tweeted

"lost one of my best friends, Lemmy, today, he'll be sadly missed, he was a warrior and a legend. I will see you on the other side."

A message from his band mates "we'll say more in the coming days but for now please play Motorhead loud, play Hawkin loud, play Lemmy's music loud,

have a drink or few, share stories, celebrate the life this lovely wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself. He would want exactly


GORANI: As Max mentioned in that report stars like Ozzi Osborne and Jean Simmons have been paying tribute to Lemmy and other members of rock royalty

have come out to sing his praises too.

Now the Queen legend, Brian May, tweeted "sitting here re-tweeting distracted and wondering what I can possibly say about our utterly unique

friend, Lemmy's passing."


GORANI: Metallica said, "Lemmy you're one of the primary reasons this band exists, we're forever grateful for all of your inspiration, R.I.P."

Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine said Lemmy was a true rock icon, singular in voice and spirit, metal flags fly at half-mast tonight s we

salute the incomparable Ace of Spades.

And finally, Vladimir Putin does not shy away from controversy or cameras for that matter. So it may have been a challenge to select just 12 dynamic

photos of the Russian President for a limited edition 2016 calendar.

Each month you'll see the leader in a different shot paired with a Putin truism. In March for instance holding a flower Putin tells us Russian

women are the most talented and beautiful.

In November we're told that Putin and dogs have "warm feelings for each other."

The calendar is published by a Russian tabloid newspaper. There you have him holding a fish. This has been "The World Right Now," I'm Hala Gorani,

Quest Means Business is next.