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Bill Cosby Arraigned; Security Measures Increased In Brussels; Iraqi Air Force Plans To Strike ISIS Targets In Samarra. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired December 30, 2015 - 15:00:00   ET



[15:00:00] GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIMS' RIGHTS ATTORNEY: -- day, all over this country. Often groups are rape victims that I'm representing. She's not

alleged have been raped here. Sometimes they really have to process it. They have to think about what just happened, comes to terms with it, seek

sometimes the support of family, friends, a counselor, a minister, a rabbi, a priest, attorneys, so many others before they make that decision as to

well, which option are they going to exercise, what options do they even have. And they can be very intimidating to up against a celebrity who was

an army of attorneys. In this case, for the civil case, he had 700 attorneys.


ALLRED: Yes, yes, 700 attorneys Quinn Emanuel. In our civil case we -- Mr. Singer was representing him and then a few days after our deposition of

Mr. Cosby, Mr. Singer was suddenly not representing him and substituted out and Quinn Emanuel was 700 attorneys substituted in. And as I said at that

term, he hired 700 attorneys to five one woman.

But in any event there can be many reasons why there is a brief delay in reporting or even a longer delay in reporting, any other question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're filing for a second deposition based on questions that Mr. Cosby did not answer in the first deposition. Can you comment on

his mere (ph) while he was doing with us?



ALLRED: I can't comment on anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not, if he was abrasive (ph) or anything?

ALLRED: No, because I'm an officer. The court have to obey. The court, you know, court does not want comments on that deposition unless and until

there's a hearing wherein the court decides to lift the protective order. I don't expect that to happen in January because I know the court wants to

also not only review the transcript and the video of Mr. Cosby's deposition. But the court also indicator wants to inter -- it wants to

review the transcript and deposition of our client's deposition which won't happen until January 29th.

So, no I can't, I can't comment about any of that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How some (ph) are you about today's action (ph), did you have any idea that this was going to happen?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So this is pulled (ph) out in blue?

ALLRED: Well, I was aware there was a criminal investigation. I'll just leave it at that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, but there's a lot a criminal investigation.

ALLRED: That's true. And I was a aware that this -- there is a statute of limitations in Pennsylvania for the prosecution of a criminal case. And

that, that statute of limitations required that there be a decision within a short time period. So I knew it would be within this time frame not

necessarily today but within a very short timeframe. But yes, it's done that it happened this morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the idea that it goes to Trump based on who he is and 700 attorneys and unlimited money? Can he ever gain prosecute, that

can he ever be found guilt?

ALLRED: By the way, the 700 I don't know if they will, if any of them will be representing him in the criminal case in Pennsylvania. I'm not -- I

don't know who will be representing him there in Montgomery County. Whether it will be that anyone from that law firm or another law firm,

don't know, I just know that from the point of view but civil case, that too is representing him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about accuse of there never be a (inaudible).

ALLRED: I really, yeah, in the criminal case? Yeah, I really can't comment on that because I'm not aware of all of the evidence that the

district attorney has. But it's clear that the district attorneys office believes that this probable cause to arrest him and that they believe they

have evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That, of course, will be up to the jury and I never predict what the jury will do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gloria, people know there has been making accusations against (inaudible) and obviously the press (ph) group. But in fact, there

has occur -- there have never been...


... because of that, is there a opinion -- on your -- when you write down that this is about time?

ALLRED: Well, actually I'm never frustrated and anything off the site (ph) I believe in action and frustration is kind of a waste of time, as far as

I'm concern, a waste of my energy.

[15:05:06] But having said that, I know this is a very, very high profile case at this point. Probably, it is going to be the highest profile

criminal case in this country at least involving a celebrity. And so, you know, I'm glad that this day has come and in accord of law, this matter

will be decided. You know, Mr. Cosby's attorneys at some point seem too vindicated well but he's never been charged with crime. OK, now, he is

charged with crime. Now, he will have his day in court on this. And then we'll see what happens. I can't predict but obviously, there would not be

a day in court in a criminal case unless these charges were filed and that's what's happened.

A formal district attorney Bruce Castor did not file way back in 2005 and has made some statements about why he didn't file and...

HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: All right you've been listening to Gloria Allred speaking to the media. She represents 29 of Cosby's alleged victims not

including Andrea Constand which is the reason why on the left side of your screen, you're seeing this black SUV that is carrying out Bill Cosby

himself. We have all been watching together as we first saw Mr. Cosby walk into that court house where he was arraigned. And we have seen him exit

Cheltenham Township Police Department. He was fingerprinted, got his booking pictures, mug shots and got a copy of his charges all per protocol

as he is now facing this felony charge specifically aggravated indecent assault, the first criminal he faces a meets (ph) all these multiple

accusations that have been brought by some 50 different women.

Jean Casarez is now with me. Jean Casarez was inside of that court room. She is now joining me to give us a little bit of -- hopefully Jean, let's

just begin with color. How did Mr. Cosby appear as he sat at that defense table?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he was looking down and he had female to his right and a male attorney to his left. You know, when he

entered the very, very small court room, very quaint. It appeared to though, we couldn't see. And he was walking but being guided very, very

carefully by these two male that was escorting him in.

And once in -- the judge came in and the procedure started immediately was very short basically. But first thing that was said was that bail has been

settled $1 million with 10 percent requiring to be met. And the judge says, I am requiring that you give up your passport. And at that point,

the male attorney already had the passport. And so he stood up in court with the passport and literally placed it in the hands of the prosecutor.

And then, the judge went on with other conditions for bail that he could make no content -- no contact at all with the alleged victim in this. Went

on, that the judge said you better find conformed (ph) and as he showing this form, it appeared and though the attorney helped him to see where to

sign. And then, the judge said "Do you understand?" Because she reiterated. You must have no contact with the alleged victim. And he said

"No contact with?" That's was Cosby talking. And she said "With the complaint." as she called it.

And then she said "Do you understand?" And Bill Cosby in court very loudly said "Yes." With a big smile on his face just as though he was just very

comfortable that is was an everyday thing that he was here and that it really wasn't affecting him emotionally at all. The judge did say that he

will go on to the local police station to continue to processing and the judge ended it all by saying "Good luck to you Mr. Cosby." And Cosby said

with smile in his face "Thank you." And they stood up and he was led out of the court room.

GORANI: Wow. So let out of the courtroom we reenactments (ph) his pictures as we're seeing him get back in his SUV. Jean, explain to us the

process we saw him head to that police station got, you know, finger prints. What is he doing? Where is he headed now?

CASAREZ: Well now he -- she did not say that he had to say within the consigned of the state of Pennsylvania. I did not hear that. But

obviously the passport can't travel internationally.

[15:10:00] And he can go to his home and he has one right in Montgomery County, right here in Pennsylvania. And the next date is preliminarily,

January 14th at 9:30 in the morning for a preliminary hearing. And that will lead to be here or at another court. And they are routinely continued

for another day because preliminary hearing is an important legal procedure here.

But I want to -- in the court room there were a lot of men in suit that were lining in the back of the court room. So afterwards I went up to one,

they're very nice and they are Montgomery County investigators. And they didn't say anything but they were here and they are the ones that are

responsible for reopening this investigation at the forefront being the district attorney Lisa Forman of Montgomery county Pennsylvania who now is

-- he had just been elected a judgeship in this county.

But it was those investigators of Montgomery County to reopen the investigation this last summer. And I know from Dolores Troiani the

attorney for Andrea Constand that they flew up to Canada talking with her for several days as part of this investigation which lead to these charges


GORANI: Well, I have you Jean and you are the first voice we've had on the ground there who sat in that court room. I just have to ask, I mean we're

just listening to Gloria Allred and she said something to be effective this being you know, the biggest most high profile criminal case ever one that

we've certainly seen in a long, long time. Can you just speak the scene outside of this smallish court house in Pennsylvania?

CASAREZ: Baloney (ph) a like, there was a lot of media, a lot of media from a local area because it happens very quickly and we suddenly heard

that a 4:30 arraignment which is going to become a 2:30 arraignment. And so it even stead up even more. But it is a beautiful quaint area with a

small, very small quaint court house. As that the barricade were up leading Bill Cosby to come in to that court room. And the court, it's so

small that the court room has a door on to the street.

So Bill Cosby just walked from the street straight into the court room. But everything -- it is different now. No question about it. It is

defending Bill Cosby now if a criminal action. This was never happened. All of these civil suits, all of the allegation. Many people never believe

there would ever be a criminal suit because the statute of limitation to have run. But his attorney was, note this side of this earlier, he

obviously turned himself in even though there was no rest for it. Appears himself he complied with the court's orders. And now, another process

begins in a criminal court something that has never happened before.

GORANI: Jean Casarez, phenomenal reporting for us there Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania. Thank you so much. I have I know...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN Breaking News.

GORANI: We are going to leave our assistant (ph) network CNN USA. I'm Hala Gorani welcome to the program. You were just hearing there from a report

of Jean Casarez she was in that tiny court room in Pennsylvania were Bill Cosby was arraigned. Dozens of accusers over a several decade but this is

the first time that Bill Cosby is charged criminally. This is when he was walking just a few minutes ago into that tiny court room in Cheltenham,


He was flanked on either side by two people how helped him. And it was a very short process. Bill was set $1 million. He was made to hand over his

passport. He was told by the judge no contact at all with the alleged victim in this case. He signs some official forms. He then went to a

police station and was finger printed he had his mug shot taken as well. He was told by the judge "Good luck to you Mr. Cosby." Bill Cosby replied,

"Thank you." That is according to our reporter within the court room Jean Casarez.

Now, Bill Cosby's legacy is already in shreds, destroyed by dozens of accusations of sexual assault. But his reputation as we just saw is taken

in even deeper dive. Just to recap for you what happened moments ago. The comedian was arraigned at that Pennsylvania court house. He is being

charged. Let's go through that for you. He's being charged with several accounts of aggravated, indecent assault in connection with a 2004 case.

Bail was set for $1 million. The women you see in this picture made the accusations. Initially the accusations back in 2004, Anrea Constand was

the first person to publicly accused Cosby a sexual assault.

At the time, however, prosecutors did not file charges because they said they said lacked evidence. Since then, however, dozens of women have come

forward. They have accused Cosby of assault. He has denied it time and time again.

[15:15:01] Earlier today, the district attorney laid out parts of the criminal complaint against the comedian.


KEVIN STEELE, FIRST ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Mr. Cosby made two sexual advances at her that were rejected. On the evening in question, Mr. Cosby

urged her to take pills that he provided to her and to drink wine. The effect of which rendered her to unable to move, respond (ph) to his

advances and he committed aggravated indecent assault upon her.


GORANI: The first assistant district attorney there, Kevin Steele laying out the charges. Let's dig deeper into this. CNN legal analyst Joey

Jackson joins me now from New York. Criminal defense attorney Page Pate is with us too from CNN Center as well. Joey let me ask you. What -- tell us

more about the timing here. Because there is a statute of limitations on aggravated sexual assault and it would have run out tomorrow. So what does

that say about how this case was put together Joey?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That's right Hala. Good afternoon to you and good afternoon to you Page. Well, remember under that time constraint,

I thin that's why we're seeing the charges worth forward now. And let's be mindful also of the politics here and they are as follows. The initial

district attorney who evaluated the case back in 2005, Mr. Caspira (ph), at that time in his evaluation, he found that there was insufficient evidence

to move forward. There was a major campaign and Bill Cosby was front and center in that campaign.

In fact, the former district attorney and whether they should have prosecuted Bill Cosby was front and center. Of course, he ran against Mr.

Steele who won only weeks ago. And so, therefore, it was largely anticipated that he was charged.

Now, in order to charge, what do you need? You need some type of evidence which establishes probable cause of a crime. That probable cause was found

in a civil deposition. A deposition of course, Hala is when attorneys inner view, there was a civil law suit Andrew Constand brought forward in

2005. As part of that civil law suit, Bill Cosby had to testify under oath in terms of how he knew Ms. Constand. What the nature their relationship

was? Why is he with her? Where is he with her? What exactly did he do and he made certain admissions in that deposition.

So largely, based upon the civil allegations here, the newly elected district attorney felt that at this point, it needed to be revisited based

on that 12 year statute of limitations. Based upon him just getting elected to that office, he decided to announce these charges today. And if

you look at probable cause affidavit, it's compelling in terms of what it lays out by way of allegation in terms of what Mr. Cosby did to her on that

given time in 2004.

GORANI: All right. We're talking about 2004. So we're talking obviously almost 12 years ago, just a day shy of that. So Page, how difficult is it

to prosecute a case that happened so long ago. How might that alter the prosecutions strategy here?

PAGE PATE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, normally in a case like this where there's an allegation of sexual assault. The longer you wait, the

more difficult it becomes to prosecute someone. But in this case, we have the alleged victim actually made a disclosure, the outcry if you will way

back in 2005. So it's not like she sat around waiting for 12 years before she accused Cosby of misconduct. She made that accusation years ago.

And I agree with Joey that we finally have in this affidavit enough probably cause to pursue Bill Cosby on these charges. But a lot of what's

in this affidavit, the prosecutor knew way back in 2005. I mean apparently they had interviewed Bill Cosby, the investigators did. And he admitted to

a lot of the allegations. There's no question that he was groping this woman. He admitted to that. There's no question he gave drugs to this

woman. He admitted that.

GORANI: But so why didn't they prosecute him then? I mean people are all asking this question now as well. The allegations were made 10 years ago.

PATE: Right.

GORANI: But we spoke to Bill Cosby 10 years ago. Why Page was this case not brought forward a decade ago? Why just today?

PATE: Ultimately a decision to prosecute is going to be up to the elected prosecutor. I think what has happened since is as Joey mentioned, we have

some inconsistencies now in the civil deposition from what Cosby said earlier. I think we have had a D.A. at that time who simply did not want

this kind of attention. I mean look at what already happened in this small time in Pennsylvania with a media descending on it.

This is going to be an incredibly high profile trial and a lot of conservative district attorneys will shy away from that. I also think, and

this is what I think is critical, we have all these new allegations. And in most states, in a federal court, those new allegations can come in as

evidence in this case. So that really bolsters the state's case.

GORANI: And what happens next Joey Jackson, I mean could we see more criminal charge brought against Bill Cosby?

JACKSON: Hala, this is huge. I mean you certainly could but -- and remember a lot of the accusers there are a time bar.

[15:20:04] There's a statute of limitations for a reason. And it's basically because memories fade, witnesses disappear, you know, certainly,

evidence gets stale (ph) in general. So in terms of what may -- we may else see in terms of criminal allegations, we don't yet know. We know that

these criminal allegations and what's next in this case is going to be huge and compelling. There is going to be motions file by attorneys.

Page mentioned before all the new allegations. And that's a different land set. There's a new sheriff in town, new D.A. and I think the tenure (ph)

and really the tone and the mood has changed because of everyone out there saying he did this to me, he violated me. So the questions is going to

become Hala, whether any or all of these accusers, any of that evidence creeks into this trial.

And so, I think the defense attorneys for Bill Cosby are going to say, we want to limit the landscape. What Bill Cosby may or may not have done at

some other places, some other times, to some other person is not admissible in this particular case judge. If prejudice is right to affair trial, it's

not fair, et cetera, et cetera. However, the prosecution is going to say, well, wait a second, this is his modus operandi. It goes to intent. It

goes to the commonality of his plan, of his scheme.

Of course, it's admissible and then a judge is going to have to decide whether to let any of those victims testify or all of those victims testify

or none of those victims testify. Because boy, it's that prejudicial, if that jury gets to hear some of the allegations.

GORANI: I think we just saw the very beginning of the media frenzies surrounding this case in that small town in Pennsylvania. Joey Jackson,

Page Pate, thanks very much to both of you for talking us through this.

JACKSON: Thank you.

PATE: Thank you.

GORANI: A lot more to come tonight on the program. Europe is on edge, we will tell you how this rid (ph) terrorism is drastically altering New Year

celebration in one European city. Will it affect your plans if you're in this part of the world? We'll be right back.


[15:25:05]GORANI: Less than 24 hours from now, the world will stir (ph) at staying (ph) in the New Year around the globe. And if you're out

celebrating, chances are, you will notice rammed up level of security especially in Europe and particularly in Brussels. You wanted to be able

to attend traditional fireworks displays. They've been canceled after a day of police searches. Nic Robertson has more from Brussels.


NIC ROBERSTON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In Belgium, ahead of New Year's celebrations, security is tight. In recent days, police

arrested two men plotting an attack if not directed by ISIS then, at the very least, inspired by them.

ANDRE VANDERNOOT, DIRECTOR, BELGIUM'S COORDINATING BODY FOR THREAT ANALYSIS: We cannot exclude it. We have -- we will obliged to wait

evolution of the investigation but we cannot exclude it.

ROBERTSON: In Rome, the heart of Christendom, security is tighter than ever. Police in London issue their own warnings of caution around New

Year's Eve protest.

JO EDWARDS, SUPERINTENDENT, LONDON METROPOLITAN POLICE: We put together a strong proportionate pleasing plan to ensure safety and security of people

and to reassure those coming to watch the spectacle of the fireworks on Thursday night.

ROBERTSON: Germany, the same. New Year's eve celebrations amidst unprecedented security.

ANJA MARX, EVENT REPRESENTATIVE (through translation): After recent events, we have again adapted straight (ph) surveillance, more security

guards, fixture (ph) and train inspections more of these, already adapted, yes.

ROBERTSON: Europe is on heightened alert. A no surprise, the ISIS instigated Paris attack less than two months ago. Has threats of a follow

on taken seriously.

VANDERNOOT: It's the first time since long that have to be confronted with movement who has impact all around the world. You say terrorist attacks

every where in the world, in Australia, in U.S., Canada, Europe of course, whole Africa, North Africa, Arabic countries, Asian countries, Russia.

So I think it's a phenomenon.

ROBERTSON: This is a place where the two men recently arrested in Belgium, were planning to attack the Drome (ph) plus, where thousands of revelers

gather to see the New Year in just like Times Square in New York and Trafalgar Square in London. Restaurants here, quieter than past New Years,

bookings are down, same in Paris too. People, now familiar with a threat.

What should I do? There is nothing to do. There is police and military everywhere. I think I'm safe here. But everything can happen in anywhere

in London, in Paris, everywhere. Somebody can get a bomb and then explode somewhere so.

ROBERTSON: Here under cross Europe 2016 dooms in the kill of a shadow caused by the Paris Terror attacks.


GORANI: Well, Nic Robertson joins me now live from the Belgium capital (ph). Nic, what are Belgian saying about authorities cancelling the

fireworks display because of the tighten level of security and concerns about terrorist attacks?

ROBERTSON: It's been a really big question here. And people have been wondering would it be safe to have the fireworks? Would they'd be

canceled? Would they be attended? I interviewed this afternoon the man who advises government ministers on the threat level and therefore, how

they should respond to that threat level. I asked them the question about the fireworks. He refused to be drawn in it.

Yet, a few hours later we've heard from the Prime Minister saying that the terrorist threat, the terrorist now are now prudent and more professional

than they have been in the past. The mayor has been on television here as well saying, it is uncertain situation that changes hour by hour. He says

that Europe faces a new stage and its history that the Europeans need to be more to tackle terrorism. For people here I think, they're grappling with

it that this is very, very serious. They recognize that, they realize it.

But now it's impacting the way they'd like to celebrate their New Year, the way they'd like and traditionally I've seen in the New Year. So people are

really beginning to grapple with it. And it's important, I think we can measure by the fact that the announcement was immediately followed by both

the Prime Minister and the Mayor of Brussels appearing on television to explain why this decision was taken, Hala.

GORANI: Right well it's not life, the way people have -- are used to life in Brussels and another parts of Europe right now. Thanks very much Nic

Robertson we'll keep in touch with you as well. Nic continues to cover development in Belgium.

Over the United States, federal and local officials are also tightening security in high profile location tied to New Years celebration. That

includes New York's Times Square were around of million people are expected the ball drop and the Rose Bowl festivities near Los Angeles as well.

[15:30:07] But you know, you have to get there very early. There are barricades, there are security. Certainly, and officials are saying this

might be the safest place to be in New York City, on New Year's Eve.

Still ahead this hour after recapturing Ramadi, will Iraqi forces next are get Mosul. I feel that question, the coalition spokesperson in Iraq. When

we come back.


GORANI: Welcome back. Just to look at our top story this hour. American comedian Bill Cosby has been charged with several counts of sexual assault.

He was arraigned a short time ago in a Pennsylvania court house, bail with set for a million dollars and Cosby had to hand over his passport.

Also among our top stories, is getting close 2016 just around the corner and New Year's fireworks display had been canceled in Brussels, because of

ongoing security concerns. Earlier police said, they'd made an arrest type the terrorist attack that was after searches in the Molenbeek area.

And Turkish police made some terror related arrest Wednesday in Ankara there, saying, the government video shows weapons police say they found on

two suspects. The government says the suspects were caught while scouting potential locations for an attack on New Year's Eve.

Well, rooftop rescues are underway in the United States and when you see these images you're going to understand why they have to take place on the

roofs of houses, 13 states are under flood warnings, as if, if you are the go and man and his dog were save, there they are near St. Louis, Missouri.

[15:35:00] The flooding is expected to break all time record in some places along the Mississippi River.

Just a few days after declaring victory over ISIS in the Iraqi city of Ramadi, Iraqi Air Force plans strike ISIS targets in Samarra, north of the

capital Baghdad.

Tons of officials reportedly warned civilians that it's too soon for them to return to Ramadi. There are issues with booby traps and other dangers


Months of fighting have left the city devastated and ISIS still controls some of the districts. This is Ramadi or what's left or parts of it, and

officials says about 3,000 homes have been destroyed.

Our Senior International Correspondent Nima Elbagir traveled near Ramadi just a few hours ago and she joins us now from Baghdad. What did you see

today, Nima?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Hala. Well, the destruction, that sense of the destruction definitely hit you even from

outside the city. But in addition to that, the sense of ongoing fighting we have been hearing from officials that they are considering support (ph)

what they're calling pockets of ISIS soldiers. We definitely felt that even just at the nearby military camp that was ongoing, outgoing artillery

from the Camp (inaudible) Iraq, trying to (inaudible) off they said the retreat line of ISIS fighters.

But those civilians that we spoke to that had been evacuated from the city just a day ago say that ISIS still controls territory. It still controls

districts and they told us the most heartbreaking stories, Hala, about civilians being forced out to their homes and move into those eastern

districts where the Iraqi government offensive is currently going to.

One elderly lady was about 70 years old. She had fled Ramadi, helped by her neighbor. Her neighbor's family actually carried this women and her

wheelchair out of their district as ISIS were clashing with government soldier because their district was still under ISIS control. The stories

of fathers being threatened at knife point that we heard today really give you just a small window into what the reality must have been like for those

people under ISIS' rule there.

GORANI: And OK, let me ask you about the Sunnies there in that part of Iraq, Sunni dominated Anbar province. Part of the solution is political.

It's a longer term thing but the immediate issue here as well as you -- can you -- is the government including these Sunni fighters in their battle

plans against ISIS and is this becoming more of a multi-confessional multi- secretarian effort against ISIS in Anbar?

ELBAGIR: Well, that's really how things have changed since we saw the fall of Ramadi back in May, and the humiliation of the same division that's gone

back in and has spearheaded the retaking of it, the eight division.

What's changed is, they've gone back to a strategy that you remember very well from your time reporting here in Iraq, that strategy of using the

local Sunni tribal population that the Sunni awakening as they called it back in 2006 and 2007, using them to push back against the militants in the

amidst of that point in time it was applied in Iraq.

The precursor essentially to ISIS and they are now trying to rewrite that blueprint to use it in Ramadi. And, so far we met with some of those,

those leaders, the Hash al-Shaabi as they're called here, the popular mobilized forces, the Sunni popular mobilized forces. They are expected to

hold this area.

Well, essentially to hold their homes and to secure them. And this is what they're going to look to replicate in Fallujah eventually whenever that

falls. But also that's what they are now planning for in terms of that campaign to retake Mosul, Hala.

GORANI: All right, thanks very much Nima Elbagir is in Baghdad. She traveled very close to Ramadi. Nima is reporting. We will get back to it

throughout the upcoming hours on CNN.

I spoke earlier with Colonel Steve Warren, he is the spokesman for the US led anti-ISIS coalition in Iraq. He is in Baghdad right now. I began by

asking him if he thought Iraqi forces could keep hold of Ramadi.

COLONEL STEVE WARREN, SPOKESMAN\ANTI-ISIS COALITION IN IRAQ: Well, it's certainly something that we need to keep our eye on. The Iraqi army who is

there now certainly has the power to hold it but the Iraqi army will have to move on to the next battle and in its place will come Sunni travel

fighters who have been trained by the coalition. There is about 5,000 of them who have been trained as well as police that have been trained by our

Italian Carbonari partners.

So these two forces will come into hold and we believe that they will be able to, certainly, we will continue to have the ability to flex air power

there if need be and the Iraqi counter terrorist service will also be available if needed.

GORANI: So their next big potential project, that would really be the biggest price for the Iraqi army of course is Mosul in the north. 2016, do

you believe that Mosul is achievable in terms of retaking it from ISIS?

[16:40:00] WARREN: Mosul is going to be a tough fight. It's the second largest city in Iraq. It is an order of magnitude larger and more complex

than Ramadi, and it's still got a much denser population of civilians remaining there, so it's going to be a tough fight.

We certainly hope that the Iraqi army is able to make it to Mosul and clear Mosul in 2016. Timelines are difficult to predict and the army would like

to see the enemy gets evoked. So we'll have to -- we'll have to see. We know the Iraqis have a plan. We believe it's a good plan and we here in

the coalition are prepared to support it.

GORANI: Well, what would the U.S. involvement, the coalition involvement be in the retaking of Mosul specifically? More air strikes, anymore for

instance, ground troops, advisory troops, that kind of thing.

WARREN: Right. Well, certainly air strikes are absolutely going to continue. We have advisors on the ground at the division level and there's

been discussion about the possibility of advisors going to a lower level.

This would require the permission of the government of Iraq though. So we're in continuous discussions with the prime minister here to determine

what he is comfortable receiving and what we are comfortable providing. So this is an ongoing discussion.

GORANI: Now, we're talking about a big success because Ramadi is indeed a big symbolic and strategic success. Well, you know, let's look at the map

here. Fallujah is still under ISIS control. ISIS managed to take Palmyra in 2015 which it didn't have before. Of course, Mosul, most of eastern

Syria on the Iraqi border, Raqqa as well.

ISIS is straddling the border between these two countries. It's being described as being on the back foot but when you look at this map, it still

very much in control of huge portions of territory here.

WARREN: It is, but keep in mind, good chunks of that territory that you're looking at are on the map is simply uninhabited desert wasteland, so not a

significant use to anybody.

But ISIL, let's be clear, ISIL still does hold territory. They lost about 40 percent of the ground that they once held in Iraq. They've lost

somewhere between 10 percent and 20 percent of the ground they once held in Syria.

So I do believe, we believe that they are in a defensive crouch now. They have not conducted an offensive operation in Iraq really since Ramadi.

Their offensive operations in Syria have been somewhat limited. Palmyra is really the only example that anyone can point to of an offensive operation

conducted by this group in 2015 and meanwhile they are losing ground.

So let's be clear. There's a long fight ahead.

GORANI: Let me ask one last question. Looking at 2016, what is the biggest challenge or the biggest concern for you in the battle against

ISIS? What could still go wrong here?

WARREN: Well, you know, we still have to keep in mind that this enemy now that they are in this defensive crouch, may very well look to distract from

their losses here in Iraq and other places, and those distractions often come in the form of external effect.

GORANI: All right, Colonel Steve Warren there, external attacks meeting outside this self-declared caliphate zone in Europe and perhaps other

targets in the west. Don't forget you can get all the latest news. You can get our interviews as well on my Facebook page,\halagoranicnn.

Still to come tonight, dramatic rescues as flood waters inundate cities and towns in the midwestern United States. We'll be right back.


[15:46:51] GORANI: All the crazy and sometimes deadly weather is continuing deadly flood waters are swamping cities and towns in the United

States, from Texas to Illinois. Take a look at the video. The Mississippi River is expected to reach its peak sooner. We're talking historic levels


This is from the mid-western state of Missouri and it's not just flooding, is the issues. Dozens of tornados have also touched down in the last week.

Meteorologist are blaming the severe whether, the "el nino" weather pattern.

The video you just saw was a place called Pacific Missouri, which is west of Saint Louis and that's where we find our Martin Savidge. Tell us what

you're seeing now, Martin.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Hala. Yeah. Well, take a look in the water behind us. It's pretty much tells you the entire story.

Look, straight down the street behind me here as far as the eye can see, that is water. And that water is coming from the Merrimack River.

There are three rivers here in Missouri and Illinois that are having huge problems. They are the Missouri near the Mississippi River which most

people know and then there's the Merrimack River.

There have literally been dozens and dozens of comminutes like this one that have either been inundated with water, or there facing the threat of


The good news here, is it appears that the levels may have peak if not now, perhaps later today certainly by tomorrow. And in other area, they are

seeing the water starting to recede. But that just means those places that are farther downstream of which there are many, the water will start to

rise there.

13 deaths so far in the state of Missouri alone have been attributed to the flooding problem, hundreds of roads and bridges are now impassable

including major arteries.

There were at least 5 international soldiers who were training here in the state of Missouri that died when their car wash swept away by flood waters.

Most of those who have died by the way have died as a result of their vehicles getting trap (ph) in the flash flood waters.

Now, many people here talking about the historic nature of, but then we're still waiting to see just how historic. They referred to the "Great Flood"

of 1993 in the Midwest. We're very close to those levels. Other talk about the flood of '82 then there's the flood of 1919, you get it, it

floods a lot in this area.

But here's the thing, it doesn't normally flood now. Usually this is something you would see in the spring when the (inaudible). This is not

that kind of that flood. This is flood that came as a result of torrential rains, maybe 30 centimeters of rain that fell on Missouri in some areas

over the weekend. This is flash flooding.

You've got extreme cold, you've got a lot of water and you've got a very unusual and very dangerous phenomenon going on right now, Hala.

GORANI: All right. We see some very dramatic video there as well. Martin Savidge, thanks very much -- joining us right there from Pacific Missouri.

Right now, four of the world's continents have one thing in common. They are seeing expected weather patterns. Let's take a look at other examples

of the unseasonable climate beyond the United States.

[15:50:00] Take this (inaudible) Germany, it's been partially covered in artificial snow. You can see at your side of that fluke (ph) is

essentially green. There's no snow cover there. Temperatures are higher than normal. It's not snowing. The ski season has been dreadful.

People in Italy are experiencing dryer weather this December. It's making a problem with smug in big cities, even worse.

And check out this image of low pressure moving over Iceland low pressure is associated with unsettled weather condition than you can make out

perhaps in that satellite image.

Let's get more on this unusual weather and turn to Tom Sater at the World Weather Center.

And, Tom, regarding the snow in Europe, I mean, I personal know two or three that they cancel their skiing holiday because there isn't now snow in

the Alps, what's going on?

TOM SATER, CNN WEATHER ANCHOR: It looks like that sea airs in California the last several years, and (inaudible) snow there. Now, the pattern is

changing, we've been sounding the trumpet for the last several if not months, that this "el nino" was showing signs of being the strongest ever.

When you look at the warming of the Pacific waters, here off the coast of Ecuador here, it's warmer than normal. And it's changing the pattern.

We've seen the bush fires and the flooding in parts of Australia. We've seen of course the conditions in Indonesia and what's been happening in

parts of Asia, the U.S. and South America is going for major troubles, not just flooding but drought.

When you look at this year, the bold index here, the bold line is 2015. The waters in the Pacific have now raise temperatures never before

recorded. Surpassing that the benchmark here of '97 which is a thin line. Even in '97 after it takes months to develop this adverse pattern, it's

going to take months to get rid of it.

And this one in '97 went all the way to late May. This one is stronger, it's reasonable to assume that the pattern will stay like this for a while

and may even extend pass may. So that's one concern.

If you look at the tropics, this is where we've really seen a lot of activity because of the very warm ocean waters. The record for the number

of storms in the Northern Hemisphere to be at strong category 4 or 5 was 18. That goes back not just 2008 but '97 on the New Year. We have crushed

that. And these storms are not just larger in size, they are stronger, a warmer atmosphere when the waters, you have stronger storms.

This was a map about "el nino" that we put together several years ago. But let's go back and see if it's holding through, from December through

February. Now, given that some of these colorful areas could expand or contract. Warm conditions in Canada shore (ph) and areas to Canadian

Maritimes. But I would drop this down.

This month they have 4,000 high temperature records broken in the eastern U.S. It has to getting rain in California but we also have 69 tornados

last week alone, and now the flooding in Midwest.

If you get down the south of America, Columbia right now is under a drought where Peru is now being flooded, parts of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay,

Uruguay as well. You'll the monsoon was quite dry in parts of India. The fires in Sumatra and Indonesia continue to burn because it's a dry the

normal season. They should be in the wet season.

But the rain is parts of the U.K. can you say that this is part of "el nino", in a way yes. Here's that warm that's why there is no snow, notice

that ridge. But this jet stream changing the pattern is a highway of storms that is bring flooding to many areas that haven't seen a quite like

this in many decades, Hala.

GORANI: Well, we're going to see it in the video from the United States all the way to Europe and beyond. Tom Sater, thanks very much.

Tom, potentially an offbeat idea for a late Christmas present for you, just in time of the New Year, Russian President Vladimir Putin perhaps would

make for some the perfect holiday gift. A 2016 calendar featuring himself and the word from Moscow is, "It's snowing very well."

CNN Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance is on Moscow with more.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The fans of Vladimir Putin is no shortage of stuff with the Russian President's image

all over it.

These Putin t-shirts have been around for a while, but they are still popular New Year's gifts.

All right, so this is the most popular one.


No, OK.


How well do this t-shirts sell?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They sell really well. Many tourist spot but our compatriots but them as well. They love Putin.

CHANCE: Despite the deep economic crisis and international isolation, the wars in Ukraine and Syria, Putin's great things are doing well too.

So what about spending the entire year with President Putin? Well, that what this 2016 Putin calendar is promising, with every month revealing a

carefully chosen image of the Russian leader. This one has him in Siberia with (inaudible) in the forest.

[15:55:00] Here he is smelling a flower and this third one over here, he is working in the gym.

But photographs (inaudible) or you get with this calendar, you got Putin's words of wisdom too.

Some are characteristically hard line like this one for the month of October. No one will succeed in gaining military superiority over

Russian", Putin says. Others into the softer side, "Dogs and I have very warm feelings for one another", says the Russian leader for November.

One group of Putin supporters have put together an entire book of Putin's best known remarks and one-liners, publishing a limited edition and he sent

to go on sale next year.

The book is called, "Words Changing the World" and its publishes say, it makes the perfect holiday gift of patriotic Russians.

And if reading Putin isn't enough, you can now smell him too, with a new mens fragrance, just in shops here in Russia.

All right. Well, here it is, it's called "Leader's Number One" but make no mistake would be "Profile of Vladimir Putin" on the side and the words

inspired by Vladimir Putin.

It's pretty clear, which leader they are referring to now the advertising bump says that it smells of citrus fruits and pine needles, the mixture of

hard and soft just like the President Putin himself. So suppose you give us a try, can I?


CHANCE: I just smell.


CHANCE: I mean, partial. But I can say it would be everybody's taste.

Matthew Chance, CNN Moscow.

GORANI: All right. There would be more in Moscow (ph). I'm Hala Gorani, Quest Means Business is next on CNN.