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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI

Tel Aviv Shooter Remains at Large; Two Munich Train Stations Reopen after Threat; French Soldiers Open Fire on Car at Mosque; Photographer Recalls Escape from Burning Hotel; Chinese Two-Child Policy Begins. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired January 1, 2016 - 15:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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HALA GORANI, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight, Israeli police are hunting a killer after a gunman unleashed a hail of bullets at a pub in Tel Aviv.

Also this hour, where there is smoke, a Dubai hotel is still smolders this hour, a day after fire ravaged a skyscraper.

And the end of an era and the start of much bigger families. China welcomes the arrival of the two-child policy.

Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. We are live at CNN London on this first day of 2016. Welcome, everybody. This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.

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GORANI: A manhunt is underway this hour for a gunman who opened fire outside a pub in Tel Aviv. At least two people are confirmed dead. Seven

more are wounded in the attack, four of them seriously.

Now we have some security camera footage that gives us a view inside -- from inside the pub onto the terrace. You can see people ducking for cover

as the attacker fires off rounds.

And here's more surveillance video, this time from a grocery store nearby. We have to tell you, CNN does not know how these videos were obtained. But

you see the suspect there at one point. He was, in fact, putting vegetables in a backpack, we understand, according to sources, and then

walked out of that grocery store and we believe at that point started shooting.

There you see it, shooting at the terrorists of that pub. Police are swarming the neighborhood, searching for that shooter and any clues to

whether this is terror-related or a criminal act.

All right. Joining me now on the phone from Tel Aviv is Meghan Robertson (ph). She's a senior producer with the "Huffington Post" and was in the

area when this attack took place.

What did you see and what did you hear, Meghan (ph)?

I'm sorry. Micky Rosenfeld, I understand, the police chief can join me now.

Mr. Rosenfeld, can you hear me?

MICKY ROSENFELD, POLICE CHIEF: Yes, I can here you. Good evening.

GORANI: Ar. Thanks for being with us, Micky Rosenfeld. Let me first ask you about what we know about the suspect.

We understand the manhunt is still underway, correct?

The person has not been apprehended?

ROSENFELD: We are continuing to search almost half an hour in the Tel Aviv area, in the city Tel Aviv and the nearby --

(AUDIO GAP)

GORANI: All right. I think we've lost Micky Rosenfeld, who's a spokesperson for the police department there in Tel Aviv. We're having a

few technical problems, as you've certainly noticed, but Ian Lee, I understand, can join me now live.

Ian, if you can hear me.

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Hala. We as were can pick up from what Micky was just saying, is that the police are going really house by house,

street by street, looking for the suspect, as one spokesman said, they flooded Tel Aviv with security personnel looking for this gunman.

We've seen the security footage in the moments leading up to it, where he is in the supermarket, appears to be shopping. Then when he's leaving, he

places his bag on the shopping carts, pulls out that gun and sprays the neighboring pub and sidewalk, killing at least two people.

But the important thing is, looking at that video, you can see he leaves behind that bag. We're also hearing that he left behind a clip to the gun.

These will be crucial pieces of evidence for the police going forward, trying to determine who this is and what were the motivations behind this.

But the police still are staying they don't know if this was a criminal incident or a terrorist attack. But tonight a lot of heavy security in Tel

Aviv. But despite that, they are telling residents to go about their daily lives, just to be a little bit more on alert -- Hala.

GORANI: But there is still a manhunt underway, correct?

Are there concerns that this individual might attack again?

LEE: That definitely is a concern. And right now it is Shabbat; people are going to the synagogue to pray, coming back from there. There is

increased security around those areas just as a precaution. They're not saying what it is either way, criminal or a terrorist attack, but

definitely you do have a gunman on the loose.

We do not know if he has had any help. The police haven't said anything about anybody helping him. So it is still a very dangerous situation with

this man on the street.

[15:05:00]

LEE: But the police, as we have been seeing all day, are really just flooding the area, looking for this gunman.

GORANI: All right. We're still hoping to get Micky Rosenfeld back, who's a spokesperson for the police department. Sadly, we lost him there but

we're going to try to redial him, I understand.

Let me ask you a little bit about some reports on Israeli television, that relatives of this suspect contacted television and contacted journalists in

Israel, saying I recognize this individual. He's a troubled individual. He has a violent past and he has a record.

What can you tell us about that?

LEE: That's right. We've been hearing it from multiple Israeli TV channels and newspapers, saying that this is a man from the northern part

of Israel. These newspapers, these TV reports are saying that it is an Arab Israeli that carried it out.

But we heard from the minister of public security, who has come out and said that they don't have any information about who it is, they also asked

the media not to speculate about who carried out this attack and to let them come out with this information. They promised to be transparent with

it.

But right now they're asking the media, especially local media, where we've been watching it, and there have been quite a few theories. They're asking

them just to hold back a bit on who it is and what the motivations are.

GORANI: All right. But we are hearing police, though, of course, they're saying the investigation is ongoing. In fact, the manhunt is ongoing.

They don't even have the suspect in custody, is my understanding.

The question being, is this a terrorist attack?

Is this a criminal attack?

In fact, Ian Lee, if you could stand by, we can go back to Micky Rosenfeld, who's a spokesperson there for the police. He's joining us live now on the

line.

Micky Rosenfeld, let me ask you first about this manhunt.

How close are you, do you believe, to apprehending a suspect?

ROSENFELD: At this moment in time, the different police units that are in and around the Tel Aviv area are focusing on trying to find the individual

who carried out the incident today.

Obviously camp (ph) terrorist units are searching literally door to door, house to house search in order to see exactly which areas he could be in.

This afternoon's attack, unfortunately, two Israelis have been killed. And therefore it's our main priority to get hold of the suspect and continue to

carry out an intensive investigation, how he made his way inside the Tel Aviv area, what his motives were and how he got into the area.

GORANI: Does he still have his weapon or did he live it on the site of the attack?

ROSENFELD: That's all part of the ongoing investigation. What we can confirm is that shots were fired from an automatic weapon. We're also

looking at the CCTV footage from a number of different cameras, a number of different angles in order to try and get more information of the suspect,

the profile, what he looks like and what his exact profile is. So that's something that we're focused upon.

At the same time, you have to remember that, here in Israel, the Sabbath came in. And a lot of people are in synagogues this evening in the Tel

Aviv area. So we heightened security to make sure that there wouldn't be any further incidents around the synagogues. And at this moment in time,

our units are continuing searching the different neighborhoods in Tel Aviv.

GORANI: And I'm asking this question because of course it's -- there's a difference between a suspect on the loose and a suspect on the loose with

an automatic rifle, in this case.

You're not able to tell us if he's still armed?

ROSENFELD: As far as we can tell, we're not taking any chances whatsoever. As far as we know, the man is still armed. As far as we know, he's hiding

somewhere in the Tel Aviv area. We've also set up roadblocks around the city of Tel Aviv (INAUDIBLE) in order to prevent him from leaving or the

possibility of him leaving the Tel Aviv area into another area across the country.

We've heightened security over the last 24-48 hours for the New Year's celebrations, which went through and passed quietly without any incidents

whatsoever.

But, unfortunately, after this afternoon's attack, where there was no specific intelligence and warnings, are continuing -- our units are

continuing to work right now as we're speaking in the Tel Aviv area.

GORANI: Are you classifying this as a terrorist attack or a criminal act?

ROSENFELD: I'll try the afternoon assessments were made and police units were searching. It's not 100 percent clear but there's a strong

possibility that we're talking about a terrorist attack, although we haven't ruled out the criminal-related perspective.

But as time goes by, as we're looking into the information and the different perspectives, there's a stronger possibility that it could be a

terrorist attack.

GORANI: Let me ask you about these reports on Israeli TV and also in some Israeli newspapers, that the father of the suspect contacted police,

saying, "This is my son. He stole my gun. I recognize him."

Can you confirm that?

ROSENFELD: Obviously I'm not going to go into the details of what's going on in the investigation. Our forensics today were at the scene to find out

what type of ammunition was used. Those details we did confirm in order to look and see what --

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ROSENFELD: -- type of weapon which was used. All the other details are under a gag order. We're continuing to work on the ground level to make

sure that Tel Aviv stays safe this evening.

GORANI: And lastly, can you confirm that there's an intensive police operation in Northern Israel and Wadi Ara, where some reports suggest the

suspects is from?

Can you confirm that?

ROSENFELD: I don't have any further details on that. We're focusing at this moment in time only on Tel Aviv in order to prevent any further

incidents from taking place. We need to find that suspect, get a hold of him and question him and to his clear motives and make sure that things get

back to regular and quietly over the Sabbath in Tel Aviv.

GORANI: Micky Rosenfeld, the spokesperson there for the police department, he's joining us live on CNN with more on this attack that has left two

people dead at a pub in Tel Aviv and seven people injured, four of them seriously.

Thanks very much for joining us with the latest on that as the manhunt, by the way, is still unfolding. This suspect is not in custody. Mickey

Rosenfeld saying they're there, assuming he is armed and they are leaning toward calling this a terrorist attack. We'll get you more on this story

when it becomes available.

But let's turn our attention now to Germany, where tensions are easing up in Munich today. That's because officials say the risk of an imminent

terrorist attack hitting the city seems to have faded.

But yesterday was very a different story. Armed police swooped in and shut down busy train stations just minutes before midnight on New Year's Eve all

because of intelligence relating to a, quote, "concrete threat of a massive ISIS-linked attack."

Fred Pleitgen joins me now here in our London studio with more.

Yesterday when we saw those tweets from officials in Germany, it sounded like something was imminent.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was a lot more urgent (INAUDIBLE) came out than pretty much anything I've ever seen

from German police before. It's not something -- because normally their press releases are quite subdued.

But in this case, it was clear that they wanted to sort this out as fast as possible and they did close down those railway stations as fast as possible

and today they told us why.

They said that it was a two-allied intelligence services, the U.S. and the French, that got them information, saying that there were between five and

seven individuals, apparently plotting suicide attacks, either at the main railway station in Munich or at at one called Pasing (ph), which in the

west of Munich, more of a commuter railway station but certainly one that would be highly frequented on an evening like that.

And so obviously they were searching for these individuals but they felt that because these threats came in so late that they didn't have the time

to verify whether or not they were real or false.

And so they said they opted for shutting these places down so as not to put anybody in danger. They said that the threats were so concrete that they

even got personal data of some of the people allegedly involved, things like names, other sort of information as well.

But they're still not sure whether or not these are the names of real individuals or whether these are phony names that someone might have just

put out there.

GORANI: So was this bad intelligence or did the attack that was planned not take place?

(CROSSTALK)

PLEITGEN: That's the big question right now and certainly something that German authorities are not able to answer at this point in time.

The interior minister of Bavaria said, you know, was this a false alarm?

Did you overreact?

He said, no, I don't think that we did. But he said that with the timing the way it was, with the number of people that were on the streets, with,

obviously, the timeframe being one where they had the info that something was going to take place at midnight, they felt that they've done the right

thing.

At this point they're simply not clear or they're not sure whether or not they might have thwarted an attack or whether or not this might have been a

phantom.

GORANI: All right. Let's talk about something that happened in France today in Valence. Apparently there was some sort of an attack on soldiers

guarding a mosque.

PLEITGEN: A mosque, yes. This is part of a larger French operation that obviously started after the Paris attacks, where they started guarding

religious sites with security officers, mosques, synagogues, churches and other sites as well.

And apparently in one of these places in the town of Valence in the Alps there was a man who drove his car into a group of soldiers on a parking lot

of a mosque there and then reversed and tried to run over the soldiers again.

And that's when they opened fire on this man and anywhere between one and four soldiers were injured in all of this, none of them severely --

(CROSSTALK)

GORANI: But the suspect is --?

PLEITGEN: -- has been shot in the arm and in the leg.

GORANI: -- and he's in the hospital.

PLEITGEN: He's in the hospital. They haven't been able to question him yet. So it's unclear whether or not this is part of a wider plot or what

exactly this man's motives were.

GORANI: All right, Fred Pleitgen, thanks very much for that report.

In entertainment news, singer Natalie Cole is dead at the age of 65.

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GORANI (voice-over): The daughter of Nat King Cole, she's a Grammy award or was a Grammy award-winning singer. She rose to fame in the 70s as also

a songwriter. She suffered ongoing health issues. She had a kidney transplant in fact six years ago. She died on Thursday evening near

(INAUDIBLE) in Los Angeles.

We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back on CNN. Stay with us.

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GORANI: Well, smoke is still billowing off of that skyscraper in Dubai, more than 24 hours after a massive fire. You are, I believe, looking at

live pictures of the address downtown Dubai hotel. I'm not seeing them now. But hopefully they'll pop up.

No, these are still images from inside the hotel. Now here are the images of the aftermath of the inferno. Remarkably, authorities say, no one died

but that 16 people needed medical help.

Now Dubai police tweeted this picture, they say it was taken not long after the fire started. The source tells CNN that the blaze started -- there you

have it there -- when a curtain caught fire on the 20th floor.

Could this be the spark?

A photographer was at the hotel when the fire broke out. He was on assignment; he soon found himself trapped as smoke started to fill the

high-rise. CNN's Jon Jensen has his story.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this day where my locations.

JON JENSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New Year's Eve is one night Dennis Mailari (ph) will never forget. The 37-year-old photographer was on assignment to

take pictures of Dubai's fireworks display at the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

But at 9:30 pm his vantage point inside the nearby Address Hotel went up in flames. And Mailari (ph), trapped, scared and alone, had to fight to make

it out alive.

DENNIS MAILARI (PH), PHOTOGRAPHER: I'm on the side of the building. I need help.

I got there inside to try to go exit. I'm not going to die because of the fire, because of the smoke.

JENSEN (voice-over): He was stuck on a balcony on the 48th floor. Great for photos but smoke quickly filled the building and escape wasn't an

option.

MAILARI (PH): This is my view at the 14th floor.

JENSEN (voice-over): The Filipino expat first panicked, then sent desperate pleas for help to friends and family on Facebook.

MAILARI (PH): I need help.

Yes, already posted that I'm here at 48th floors, help.

JENSEN (voice-over): He also kept filming, stayed calm, especially when things looked the worse.

MAILARI (PH): We were at the 48th floor, Address Hotel, happening right now.

I can hear it and I saw some debris falling down from the building.

JENSEN (voice-over): After almost two hours, Mailari (ph) came up with a last-ditch plan. He'd rappel down the building on a window washer's cable

even though it wasn't quite long enough to make it.

MAILARI (PH): I prayed that, if this is my last chance, then so be it.

JENSEN (voice-over): As he started going over the edge, firefighters found him and saved his life.

MAILARI (PH): You have to pull me back. I have a belt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

MAILARI (PH): I have support belt.

JENSEN (voice-over): After walking down all 48 floors, Mailari (ph) was treated were --

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JENSEN (voice-over): -- smoke inhalation. He let his friends know he was safe, posting this picture. Then he continued with work, capturing Dubai's

fireworks just meters away from the building that nearly killed him -- Jon Jensen, CNN, Dubai.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: Well, glad he's OK. Poor thing. What a fright.

Coming up, families in China are celebrating the beginning of 2016 and also the lifting of a controversial one-child policy in that country. We'll be

right back.

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GORANI: Pope Francis has issued a call to help, quote, "the hordes of people fleeing war and persecution."

In his New Year's message, he urged people to stop being indifferent to the torrent of misery, he called it, that is faced by so many. Earlier this

year he asked Catholics in Europe to give shelter to the huge numbers of migrants arriving on the continent. Today the pontiff asked people to help

combat injustice and violence.

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POPE FRANCIS (through translator): The enemy of peace is not only war but also interference, which makes us think only of ourselves, creating

barriers (ph) suspicions, fears and closure.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Well, the New Year brings the start of a new era in China. Couples will be allowed to have two children as Beijing ends its one-child

policy. Until now families faced fines and often heartache if they tried to have more than one baby. Matt Rivers reports from Beijing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Maternity wards like this one could be filled with more little bundles of joy soon. Starting January 1st, Chinese

couples can have two children each, after final approval of a momentous change to the country's one-child policy that's been in place for more than

30 years.

RIVERS: A Chinese demography expert told CNN this new policy could affect 100 million couples and result in a baby boom in 2017 and 2018 as more and

more people grow accustomed to the idea of having two children.

Some facilities, like Oasis International Hospital, are preparing for it.

UNIDENTIFIED PHYSICIAN, OASIS INTERNATIONAL HOSPITAL (through translator): As a doctor, I'll try my best to get prepared for the challenge. We have

recruited many new doctors and nurses in the past few months.

RIVERS (voice-over): But there is some debate over just how many children will be added to the mix. Demography experts think the fertility rate

won't rise that much in the long term. And the nonprofit Population Reference Bureau thinks the most likely scenario would see total births

rise by about 23 million over the next several decades.

The one-child policy was extremely unpopular among many every day Chinese. The system led to a bureaucracy employing hundreds of thousands to enforce

the law. Couples were forced to --

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RIVERS (voice-over): -- pay heavy fines for having a second child, but many could not afford it. So forced abortions and sterilizations became a

regular occurrence, according to many human rights groups.

Advocates for changing the law have said curbing the population growth has been unnecessary for many years, and now China faces a rapidly aging

population, a shrinking workforce, and many more boys than girls. There aren't enough young people to take care of the old.

RIVERS: It is unclear if this will be enough to offset China's aging population, but officials know that something has to be done. The

government says its population could be the oldest in the world within the next 15 years, with more than 400 million people older than age 60. With

the one-child policy ending, the government is hoping that maternity wards like this one are busier than ever before -- Matt Rivers, CNN, Beijing.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: Around the world as clocks struck midnight Friday, there were scenes of celebration.

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GORANI (voice-over): London put on really a nice show yesterday. That's the sound of Big Ben ringing in the New Year in London. Fireworks were

launched from the banks of the River Thames -- that's the London Eye.

In Paris, huge crowds gathered on the Champs-Elysees to celebrate the beginning of 2016. There they are, just a few weeks after those terrible

attacks on November 13th.

And the Big Apple in New York, more than 1 million people partied in Times Square against an impressive backdrop of fireworks and confetti.

And everywhere around the world, of course except Brussels and some other places, where festivities were cancelled, people were celebrating as well.

Here at THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, we wish you a nice 2016 and we wish you health, happiness and peace. Thanks for watching. I'm Hala Gorani. I'll

have your top stories after a quick break. Stay with us.

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