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Australia and Japan Celebrate New Year; Russia President Putin Issues New Year's Statement to Russians; Russian Malware Found on Vermont Electricity Company Laptop; Congressional Leaders Calling for Action against Russian Cyber-Attacks on U.S.; Ronda Rousey Knocked Out in Comeback Fight; U.K. Government Criticizes Comments from Secretary of State John Kerry; Law Enforcement Stories of 2016 Reviewed. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired December 31, 2016 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:05] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Happy New Year's eve. Hope you're resting up today and this morning if you have to be somewhere tonight for the big celebration at midnight. I'm Christi Paul.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: That's right. There is something going on. In fact, let's take a look at what's going on down there in Japan, Tokyo, actually as they are now coming into the New Year.
PAUL: Hear them counting down.
SAVIDGE: There you go, just some of the sights and sounds of celebration there in Tokyo. That is the latest major city to ring in the New Year. Earlier this morning, New Zealand got the party started with the first big fireworks show of the day.
PAUL: That is a beauty. Auckland, one of the first cities in the world to say good bye to 2016. And following that, there was this. That is one magnificent show over the Sydney Harbor there in Australia, one of the largest fireworks show in the world. Probably because they know that they are one of the second, obviously, celebrating and they know the world is on them. So they want to make it a good show.
SAVIDGE: They did. That was just -- blows you away at this early hour of the morning.
PAUL: So closer to home, of course, you may be one of the 2 million people expected to fill Times Square tonight for the big countdown.
SAVIDGE: And the New York police department, of course, is increasing its security, because along with all the celebration, there are fears of potential acts of violence. CNN Correspondent Jessica Schneider joins us live from New York. And Jessica, tell us about some of the preparations.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of preparations underway here, Martin. That's the magic of the NYPD. They're able to orchestrate and coordinate and choreograph all of this year after year. Just to give you a glimpse of Times Square, this is some of it right now. A lot of people standing in line for those Broadway tickets. And the crowds beginning to trickle in here.
But I want to give you a look at the security. If we move around here, you can see some of the barricades that are in place waiting for those crowds. You can see the NYPD. This is a massive security undertaking. I'll give you some of the numbers. Some of the new enhanced measures this year -- 65 sanitation trucks that will be lining the perimeter of Times Square. Those will be filled with sand. That is a new addition because of some of the terror attacks we've seen overseas with those trucks that have plunged into the crowded marketplaces and otherwise. So that will be in effect as well as about 1,000 blocker cars as well. That's double in years previous. And 7,000 NYPD officers will be all around this city, including 550 new grads from the police academy.
And interestingly enough, 65 viewing pens that will be set up all over Times Square. These are some of the viewing pens here. These will be filled with about 3,000 people per pen. So a lot of people that will pack into Times Square. They'll start arriving in the next few hours. They'll go through bag checks, security checks, also radiation checks as well. Counterterrorism teams will be out here as well as visible heavy weapons officers. So a lot happening here in Times Square. But the NYPD does say and they do stress this will be the safest place in the city to be as we head into the New Year and approach midnight. Christi and Martin?
PAUL: All right, we certainly hope so for everybody there, for you as well. Jessica Schneider, you and your crew, thank you.
SAVIDGE: At this hour, Vladimir Putin's New Year's address to the Russian people has been playing out on television channels in several parts of the country. But in a statement to world leaders earlier he congratulated Donald Trump, giving President Obama the cold shoulder. This as new allegations surfaced of Russia hacking U.S. systems. This time the target is a Vermont utility company. Burlington Electric says it found a laptop with the same malware Russian hackers allegedly used to meddle in U.S. elections.
PAUL: Meanwhile Donald Trump is praising Putin's decision to not expel American diplomats in response to U.S. sanctions against Russia. Here's the tweet. He said "Great move on delay by V. Putin. I always knew he was very smart."
SAVIDGE: National outrage after that Vermont utility company found the Russian hacking malware on one of its computers is continuing to have ripple effects. This after officials confirm that a code used with the Russian hacking operation was detected. Although it was not connected to the company's electrical grid system, it still exposes the nation's vulnerability to foreign threat.
[10:05:09] So what were the Russians intending to do here? CNN's Polo Sandoval has more details. Good morning, Polo.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Martin, good morning. As this point U.S. officials are confident that this Russia hack did happen, and here's why. We understand that the utility company here, Burlington Electric, reporting now that that malware was located on one of their laptop computers. It was discovered after they received reportedly a warning from the Obama administration and the Department of Homeland Security warning them that this could happen.
The warning was about cyber threats specifically. What the federal government refers to as Grizzly Steppe was found on that laptop computer. That sounds familiar. That happens to be the same malicious software that was reportedly used by Russian hackers in an attempt to influence the election this past November. As we mentioned here at this point, officials with that company are confident that some of the customer information and also their power grid was not compromised. That is because the laptop computer was not plugged directly into the power grid. So that's important to keep in mind.
As you mentioned a little while ago, this is provoking plenty of outrage, part of it coming from Vermont's own governor. I want to read you a portion of the statement that was released late yesterday after this became public. He says, quote, "This episode should highlight the urgent need for our federal government to vigorously pursue and put to an end the sort of Russian meddling. I call upon the federal government to conduct a full and complete investigation of this incident and undertake remedies to ensure that this never happens again." Official here in the U.S. have been aware of this potentially happening for about a year now. If you look back to December of 2015 there was a massive cyber-attack on a certain power grid system in Ukraine. That affected hundreds of customers. In this case here in the United States, it obviously did not happen, at least according to the company, but it's still a reason for them to take a closer look at their network security systems, Martin.
SAVIDGE: Polo, we've now had what appears to be the attempts to influence the election by Russian hacking and now a power system. What is the government doing about it?
SANDOVAL: At this point they are still in communication with some of these entities, not only some of these utility companies, but also other private entities as well throughout the country. They're trying to work with them, making sure that they are aware that this threat is out there. Of course, as you may imagine, that will come with additional training, also making sure that their employees in some of these companies are aware this could potentially happy, not to click any links that they get in their inbox, not to bring any outside USB's as we heard from security experts this morning. So I think that from now on we'll begin to see even more of these recommendations for some of these employees in some companies very similar to the one that what just we saw potentially affected in Vermont.
SAVIDGE: Extremely serious. Polo Sandoval, thank you very much.
Now we're going to go to Moscow where CNN's senior international correspondent Matthew Chance has been following the U.S.-Russia story for us. And we're wondering, Matthew, what did Putin have to say in his New Year's address?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Basically he congratulates the people of Russia for what has been, in his words, a challenging 2016, says the difficulties brought us all together, very general stuff. At the end he says we must all defend truth and justice and be merciful. And that struck me as being, you know, pertinent to what Vladimir Putin, "Vlad the merciful" they're calling him now in Moscow, what he did with the U.S. diplomats by refusing the advice of his foreign ministry and refusing to expel them in a tit for tat manner for the U.S. expulsions of the Russian diplomats.
He used that to his advantage quite dramatically, didn't he, because it was an amazing bit of political theater. But he took a side swipe at the Obama administration, reached out across to the incoming Trump administration and said, look, you know, the future of relations between Russia and the United States are going to be dependent on the policies of Donald Trump when he becomes president. And as you just heard, Donald Trump appreciated that very much, tweeting his applause for that Putin move.
PAUL: Matthew Chance, thank you so much.
So with all of this out there now, what could it mean for U.S./Russia relations under a Trump administration? That's coming up next.
[10:10:17] PAUL: Donald Trump is going to ring in the New Year in style at a big party at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. He heads back to New York tomorrow. CNN correspondent Ryan Nobles and Rebecca Berg are both with us now. Rebecca Berg is a CNN political analyst and national political reporter for Real Clear Politics. Good to see both of you. Happy New Year.
REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Thank you.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.
PAUL: To you too. Ryan, I want to start with you, because president- elect Trump is already tweeting, almost sounds like a tongue in cheek tweet this morning, but take it away.
NOBLES: Perhaps the president-elect attempting to extend an olive branch to some of his detractors, but it doesn't come easy for Donald Trump. And so he tweeted this morning a New Year greeting, and he specifically pointed out those who fought against him in this past year. Let's read the tweet. It says "Happy New Year to all, including those who have fought me and lost so badly. They just don't know what to do." And then he ended it with "Love!" and an exclamation point. So Trump has in the past talked about bringing the entire country together. Perhaps this tweet is part of that effort.
But Christi, you talk about the big party that they have planned at Mar-a-Lago tonight. Some 800 guests are expected. This is something that you have to purchase a ticket for. The tickets cost more than $500. There are some celebrities that are expected to be in attendance, Sylvester Stallone among them. Quincy Jones, the recording artist and producer, he was thought to be there. But Jones tweeted this morning he'll be in Los Angeles, which is some 3,000 miles away from Mar-a-Lago, so he won't be there tonight. So Donald Trump spending one more night at his south Florida resort before heading back to New York tomorrow.
PAUL: All right, so Rebecca, I want to get to some of the news of the day as well about this Vermont utility company that's been hacked, Burlington Electric. We've been talking about that. The allegations not only of hacking but we have Russian President Putin congratulating president-elect Trump. How long do you think before we hear from the president-elect about his plan to possibly handle what is going to happen with Russia and U.S. relations?
BERG: It's really not clear because he has said this week that we as a country need to move on from this incident of hacking during the election and try to actually strengthen relationship -- our relationship with Russia. Donald Trump has expressed not really any sort of appetite for repercussions or punishing Russia, but actually quite the opposite. He wants to work with Vladimir Putin and try to reset the relationship with Russia for lack of a better term.
Now, what is interesting about this incident in Vermont, this instance of hacking, is that it is separate from the context of the election. And part of I think what has been difficult for Donald Trump in terms of accepting Russia's role in hacking the election is that he thinks any sort of discussion of this is an affront to his victory.
[10:15:10] He doesn't want to talk about it because it diminishes, he thinks at least, his victory in some sense. And so this is totally separate from the election, and I'm actually curious -- I think this is a good test of how Donald Trump will respond to Russia in the future on cyber warfare and other provocations. Will he be tough and will he respond with strength, or will he also sort of dismiss it and move on? It will be interesting to see.
PAUL: Yes, you know, Ryan, we know how some are reacting. Senator McCain had harsh words, called it an act of war, is calling his Senate Armed Services Committee to meet on cyber threats and the election hacking. Do we have any idea -- because I was listening to Ellis Henican who was with us, a political analyst a little while ago, who said the real thing to watch is going to be how Republicans hold Trump accountable or hold his feet to the fire when it comes to Russia?
NOBLES: Yes, Christi, I think one thing for sure is that this issue isn't going to go away for Donald Trump. Even though he put out a statement suggesting it's time to move on, it's clear that members of his own party are concerned about it. And let's listen to what John McCain had to say about this issue just yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: When you attack a country, it's an act of war. And so we have to make sure that there is a price to pay so that we can perhaps persuade the Russians to stop this kind of attacks on our very fundamentals of democracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: This is important that John McCain is someone who is going to take a strong stand on this because there is only a four seat majority for Republicans in the Senate right now. So a small group of Republican senators could get together and make life very difficult for Donald Trump when it comes to this issue and the relationship with Russia. And that could extend to some of his cabinet appointments including Rex Tillerson, the Exxon Mobil CEO who has a very close relationship with Russia. So this will be a very important balancing act that Donald Trump will have in the early days of his administration. And Christi, it could set the tone for his relationship with those very powerful Republican senators going forward.
PAUL: It does bring to light some other questions. I want to play some sound from Congressman John Garamendi who was on CNN last night. Let's listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN GARAMENDI, (D) CALIFORNIA: We know for a fact that Putin wants to destabilize the European Union and certainly NATO. This has been a long term goal of Putin. Why would he want to do that? So they could play whatever game they want in Eastern Europe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: So when we talk about what intel has known over the years and the months. The intel community we know ID-ed Russia and they're involvement in hacking on October 7th. So for some pushback here, why didn't President Obama at that point call for some sanctions? Does that speak to the voice from the Trump camp that he was set up, that these sanctions are putting him in a box?
BERG: Well, what President Obama has explained is that he didn't want to tackle this during the election because he was afraid it would be seen as political. What's a little bit ironic about that I suppose is that now he's waited until after the election and Donald Trump is the president-elect, it still looks like the sanctions against Russia from some perspectives are political, trying to box Donald Trump in. I don't think that's the case, but certainly President Obama has explained before that he did -- he wanted this to be viewed purely through the perspective of foreign policy and national security and not as a political play to help Hillary Clinton in the election.
But it's really fascinating to me that still Donald Trump has not acknowledged the intel that really there's broad agreement here that Russia was behind this. You have Republicans and Democrats in agreement on this. Really everyone on Capitol Hill agrees that Russia was behind this. And the president-elect has not gotten to the point where he can acknowledge Russia's role, much less do anything about it. So we really are on a collision course, I think, between Donald Trump and congressional Republicans and congressional Democrats in the New Year on this issue.
PAUL: And we'll see what happens this week because we know that Donald Trump has said he'll be receiving some intel briefings this week, see what he says out of those briefings.
BERG: He has received these intel briefings for, you know, many weeks now. And certainly this is one of the issues they would have tackled.
PAUL: It is. But I think what he's saying now is that he is going to focus specifically, I believe, what has been coming out of his camp on what's happening with Russia. You're right, he's had them before. He's having them this week. He made a point of saying that, and we'll see what happens as we move forward into the New Year. Ryan Nobles, Rebecca Berg, always good to have you both here, thank you.
[10:20:05] NOBLES: Thank you.
SAVIDGE: Meanwhile, another performer is refusing to participate in the inauguration of Donald Trump. This time it's a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They are slated to join the Radio City Rockettes on January 20th along with 16--years-old "America's Got Talent" star Jackie Evancho. But now a member of the Tabernacle Choice is quitting, calling it a hugely moral issue. Jan Chamberlain wrote in a Facebook post that to sing for Trump is an endorsement for tyranny and fascism.
PAUL: It was supposed to be Ronda Rousey's been comeback fight. Her dreams of winning, though, trying to get back the UFC title were over in less than a minute. Andy Scholes walks us through what happened and what happens from this point on.
PAUL: Ronda Rousey's UFC comeback, it didn't even last a full minute.
SAVIDGE: It didn't go the way I'm sure she wanted it to go. Andy Scholes is here to highlight every second.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It won't take long.
PAUL: It was brutal, though. It was brutal for her.
SCHOLES: She'd been away for a whole year. She lost to Holly Holm last November, took that whole year off for this whole comeback. And after last night, though, guys, we might never Ronda Rousey in the UFC Octagon again. Leading up to the fight, Rousey did not speak to the media at all. She said she was spending all of her time training for this comeback. Like we said, the comeback was short lived.
Rousey got pommeled by Amanda Nunes from the start with multiple shots right to the face. The ref jumped in, stopped the fight after just 48 seconds. Rousey made $3 million for this fight compared to just $200,000 for Nunes. So far Rousey that means she made about $63,000 per second to stand there and basically get punched in the face. Rousey once again not speaking with the media after the fight. But UFC President Dana White did, and he said he doesn't know if Rousey will ever fight again.
The college football playoffs are finally here. Top four teams are going to square off later today. Alabama is going to be taking on Washington in the Peach Bowl. The undefeated Crimson Tide have won four of the last seven titles. Bama a two touchdown favorite over the huskies. But Nick Saban and his team not looking past the Pac 12 champs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:25:00] NICK SABAN, ALABAMA HEAD COACH: I think this is by far the best all-around team that we've played all years long.
JAKE BROWNING, ALABAMA QUARTERBACK: If you do win a national championship you have to go through Alabama to do it.
JONATHAN ALLEN, ALABAMA DEFENSIVE END: It's not about what the other team do. It's about what we do.
JOHN ROSS, ALABAMA WIDE RECEIVER: I feel like the whole season we've been getting the same thing. It doesn't matter who we play. People will never give us the credit for what we deserve, how hard we worked. So it's not even so much about Alabama or this game. We've been hearing it all season.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: The other playoff game, we're going to have number two Clemson taking on third ranked Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. This one was an anticipated bowl game the entire season. Clemson got that explosive offense and quarterback Deshaun Watson. They're going to be facing Ohio State's ferocious defense. Both teams hungry for a shot to play for the national title.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DESHAUN WATSON, CLEMSON QUARTERBACK: The first game is a bowl game and so you want to have fun. At the same time it's a business trip because you want to get yourself to the national championship. Whether it gets to the crunch time, you know, the details and little things really come in handy.
PAT ELFLEIN, OHIO STATE OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: That's why you come to Ohio state is to win championships and to play for championships. So it's just another great honor to be a part of the playoff. It's going to be fun to take another swing at it with my teammates.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: All right, playoffs get started. Peach Bowl kicking off 3:00 eastern, and then the nightcap, Fiesta Bowl at 7:00. Winners of those games, guys, meet January 9th in Tampa for the national championships.
SAVIDGE: So I hear.
PAUL: I'm going to bed early since I'll be here tomorrow morning. So you're going to have to tell me in the morning how the Bucs did.
SCHOLES: Don't worry. I will. I will.
PAUL: He's going to be up watching.
SCHOLES: See you at the Peach Bowl.
PAUL: Tough job. Thank you, Andy.
So authorities say that Russia is hacking the U.S. systems again.
SAVIDGE: This time it's a computer of a utility company in Vermont. You may think, well, what does it matter? It matters a lot. We'll have the details ahead.
PAUL: It's just about 10:30 on the dot, and a dozen plus hours away from our celebrations of New Year's.
[10:30:00] SAVIDGE: Oh, yes.
PAUL: I'm Christi Paul.
SAVIDGE: I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. Thanks for being with us.
PAUL: So we might have to wait a few more hours. Tokyo did not. The latest major city to ring in the New Year, welcoming 2017 a few minutes ago at the top of the hour. Earlier this morning, New Zealand, they kicked off the first big fireworks show of the day.
SAVIDGE: That's Auckland, one of the first cities in the world to say adios to 2016, goodbye. And then across the Tasmanian Sea of course we get to Sydney. That was not a small display, I have to say.
SAVIDGE: That is -- right now, Sydney, if you're listening, you're the winner in the clubhouse when it comes to just a fantastic fireworks display.
PAUL: They always put on a good show, because they know the world is watching.
SAVIDGE: You think that's what it is?
PAUL: I think so. They do it right. Look at -- they share with their people too, absolutely, no doubt about it.
So that is what's been happening over the last several hours across the globe. We'll continue to follow all the celebrations throughout the day. But we do have news we want to talk to you about, something that's new this morning. These allegations of cyber-attacks are expanding. Officials say Russian hackers are at work again, this time targeting a Vermont utility company.
SAVIDGE: Burlington Electric says they found a company laptop with the same malware Russian hackers allegedly used to meddle in the U.S. election. And that is raising fears that hackers could disrupt vital U.S. systems. All this as Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated president-elect Donald Trump in his annual New Year's statement to foreign leaders. But in his address to the Russian people he makes no mention of U.S.-Russia relations.
PAUL: For decades they've been planted all around us, Russian spies. They're goad is to influence events in order to benefit Russia, of course. CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr walks us through this.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: FBI cameras captured a Russian operative Anna Chapman and a federal undercover agent meeting in a New York coffee shop in June, 2010. And 17 days later, Chapman and nine other Russian sleeper agents were arrested in New York, New Jersey, and Virginia, charged with conspiracy to act as unlawful agents of Russia, spies who had burrowed deep into American society for years, trying to steal secrets and recruit agents.
The FBI had watched Chapman and the others for months, recording drop offs of packages, meetings on staircases, even one meeting just yards from CNN's offices in New York. The U.S. believes the group never got its hands on classified information. But the Russian infiltration into the U.S., a classic Moscow move.
STEVE HALL, FORMER CIA OFFICER: What they do is more than just collect. They actually try to influence events to the benefit of Russia all over the world. And this is something that they have done for decades.
STARR: Within days at the airport in Vienna, an elaborately choreographed transfer. The 10 Russians traded back for four other Russians charged with being in touch with western intelligence services. Now the State Department is expelling 35 Russian officials it says violated their diplomatic status, this after the U.S. claim of interference in the presidential election and harassment of U.S. diplomats overseas.
Vladimir Putin, of course a former Russian intelligence officer, well- acquainted with the so-called illegals program, putting agents into U.S. society.
HALL: The fact they would continue to do that, to establish these American, you know, legends and cover stories for these people who are trying to pose as Americans in the United States, shows how serious they are.
STARR: But the U.S. has been caught in the act. In 2013, Ryan Fogle, a political secretary at the U.S. embassy in Moscow, was arrested. The Russians claimed they caught him with wigs, dark glasses, and cash trying to recruit a Russian agent. Fogle was expelled. It was never clear if he was set up by the Russians. Earlier this year, a U.S. diplomat was tackled and beaten by a uniformed Russian police officer as he tried to enter the American embassy in Moscow.
JOHN KIRBY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: The action was unprovoked and endangered the safety of our employee.
STARR: And in that latest incident, the U.S. wound up expelling two Russian diplomats. This type of cat and mouse spy activity has been immortalized in TV and movies for years. But the reality can be vicious and very dangerous.
[10:35:14] Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
SAVIDGE: In other news, breaking overnight, a massive manhunt underway in Pennsylvania after a state trooper was shot and killed in the line of duty. Authorities are searching for this man, Jason Robeson. He's considered to be armed and dangerous. The state trooper was responding to a domestic related incident when the suspect opened fire. Pennsylvania's governor issued a statement saying in part, quote, "He will be remembered for his bravery and his willingness to serve."
PAUL: Also overnight, two people were shot and killed after a rapper Meek Mill's concert in Connecticut. Two other people were injured. We understand that this happened in the parking lot outside the Toyota Theater in Wallingford. Connecticut police are still investigating.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. CHERYL BRADLEY, WALLINGFORD POLICE: We called in the state police, major crime division to help us process the scene. We're conducting interviews of possible witnesses and gathering all the information we can in hopes of finding the shooter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: The victims have not yet been identified.
SAVIDGE: And then there is this story. A Kennedy cousin could be headed back to prison for murder after the Connecticut Supreme Court overturns an earlier ruling.
PAUL: In 2002 Michael Skakel was convicted for the murder of Martha Moxley, a 15--years-old neighbor. The killing happened back in 1975. Skakel is the nephew of Ethel and Robert Kennedy. He was released in 2013 when a judge ordered a new trial, saying Skakel's lawyers hadn't represented him well. Now that ruling has been overturned by the state Supreme Court. Skakel has always maintained his innocence. We should point out his current lawyer sent this statement to CNN, quote, "We haven't had time to fully digest the opinion at this juncture, but of course it's a setback. We're going to be dealing with other legal procedures that are available to avail Michael of any and all of his constitutional rights."
Earlier I spoke with criminal defense attorney Page Pate about this, about the surprises in this case and how long it could take before it is finally put to rest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAGE PATE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I was a little surprised at the conviction because it was all based on testimony, no solid, hard evidence that linked him to the crime. But I was also surprised it was overturned. When you overturn a conviction based on ineffective assistance of your lawyer, you don't just have to show your lawyer made a mistake, or even a really ridiculous mistake. You have to show that the lawyer did something that no reasonable lawyer would have done and that that made a significant difference to the verdict. And so it took many, many years, but eventually his lawyers proved to a judge in Connecticut that his lawyer was ineffective. He set aside the conviction and released him from prison.
PAUL: So what do you think will happen from this point on? If you were his defense attorney, what would your strategy be?
PATE: I think the first thing I would be is ask the Connecticut Supreme Court to reconsider its decision. It was a close call. It was a four-three decision, just overturning the judge's decision, which overturned the conviction. So I would ask them to reconsider, number one. Number two, they still have a federal claim that they can pursue. They put that to the side while they focused on this appeal. So their appeals process is not done. There's still a lot more they can challenge.
PAUL: Can that appeals process be exhausted though? Can they go too far with it?
PATE: Eventually, yes. The case has already been to the United States Supreme Court once. They turned it down. They have the opportunity to ask again if that court will accept it. But eventually, perhaps 50, 60 years down the road, the case will finally be over.
SAVIDGE: Terror attacks, a spike in homicide, a national drug epidemic, and a capture of the drug lord.
PAUL: And 2016 has been an interesting year for crime and justice specifically. CNN's Jean Casarez has the details.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are not going anywhere. We're here to do a job.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A 41 day occupation at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon ended when four remaining protesters finally surrendered. One of the leading occupiers was killed the month before, heightening tensions. The armed occupiers frustrated with the feds over land right issues.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The world's most wanted drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman captured.
CASAREZ: Mexican navy special forces captured notorious drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in a predawn raid. Six months earlier he broke out of a Mexican prison through a hole in his shower stall that led to tunnel. This was his second escape. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Heroin is the devil.
CASAREZ: Law enforcement facing a heroin epidemic. Ohio police posting this picture to demonstrate the devastating impact on families.
[10:40:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People don't understand what this drug is doing and how it affects families overall. And the little kids, they get caught up in this.
CASAREZ: And the video of a couple overdosing going viral.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I found myself unable to put the heroin down. It's devastation, pain, anguish.
CASAREZ: The addiction beginning with some with prescription drugs. The crisis made even worse this year by deadlier drugs. 2016 showed an increase in fentanyl related deaths and overdoses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We could make a billion gun arrests a year and it's not going to make a difference.
CASAREZ: More than 700 homicides in Chicago as of December, the worst year for murders in two decades. There are an average of 82 shootings per week.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On that morning, all that I was told was that I had been found behind a dumpster potentially penetrated by a stranger.
CASAREZ: Stanford swimmer Brock Turner was released from prison after three months. He was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. The move angered the public and the victim's heart-wrenching statement seen by millions.
Apple refuses to comply with a California judge's order to help the FBI retrieve information from the iPhone of San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook. The phone was unlocked by a third party, but Apple's refusal set a precedent for future cases, that tech companies asserting their constitutional rights may refuse to comply with a court subpoena power.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's been an explosion that is taking place in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.
CASAREZ: The act of a lone wolf terrorist, 29 injured, no one was killed. Two other devices found in New Jersey, this one detonated by the bomb squad. And 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami was captured after a shootout days later with police in New Jersey.
In February, a U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, the outspoken conservative voice, the longest serving justice, died in his sleep. Who would appoint his replacement and what impact that will have became front page news in the election year. President Obama's attempt to replace him blocked by Republicans. The next justice will be appointed by president-elect Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please don't tell me he's dead.
CASAREZ: Police shootings and race relations dominated the conversation, reaching a crescendo for four days in July. Alton Sterling shot by police in Louisiana, Philando Castile shot by police in Minnesota. And then in Dallas in the evening hours of July 8th, 12 police officers shot, five killed during protests as a gunman ambushed police. It ended when a bomb squad robot killed the gunman after negotiations failed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.
CASAREZ: It was the deadliest single incident for U.S. law enforcement since 9/11. Other shootings of and by police officers would follow, reigniting the national debate about law enforcement in the U.S.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can hear the shotguns closer, and I look over and he shoots the gun next to me. And I'm just there laying down and thinking I'm next. I'm dead.
CASAREZ: The deadliest mass shooting in America -- 49 killed, 53 wounded during a gunman's rampage inside Orlando's Pulse Nightclub in June. Killer Omar Mateen telling police he was a soldier for ISIS was killed after a three-hour standoff with police.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of the victims who died were under the age of 40, young men and women full of dreams and full of plans.
SAVIDGE: Up next a trans-Atlantic war of words. Why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is driving a wedge between America and one of its oldest allies, Britain.
[10:47:43] PAUL: ISIS is claiming responsibility for a pair of suicide bombings in Baghdad this morning in a statement posted on Twitter. But we know at least 28 people are dead. More than 50 are injured. Police say two bombers detonated their vests on a busy street near a market earlier today. The blast destroyed businesses and a historic part of the Iraqi capital. And, again, ISIS has claimed responsibility for all of it.
SAVIDGE: The U.S. state department caught off guard this morning by a rebuke from one of America's closest allies. The United Kingdom's Prime Minister Theresa May scolded Secretary of State John Kerry for his speech outlining the need for a two-state solution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. Phil Black is in London following developments. Good morning to you, Phil. I know it's later in the day there. What is going on? Where did this come from?
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's not entirely clear, but it's really an extraordinary move. This isn't how these two countries talk to each other. The statement from the prime minister's office criticizes quite pointedly the Obama administration on a couple of key points. Firstly, for in its view going in unreasonably on Israel on this issue of Israeli settlement expansion on the West Bank, and also Secretary Kerry's comments regarding when he described the Israeli government as the most right wing in the country's history.
Let's look closely at some of the language from the prime minister's statement. It says this. It says "We do not therefore believe that the way to negotiate peace is by focusing on only one issue. And we do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the -- that is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically elected government of an ally."
So as you say, the State Department surprised. That's even what it said in its own statement. We can take a look at that, too. "We are surprised by the U.K. prime minister's office's statement, given that Secretary Kerry's remarks, which covered the full range of a two-state solution including terrorism, violence, incitement, and settlements, were in line with the U.K.'s own long-standing policy and its vote at the United Nations last week."
So this is the state department saying, we don't know where this came from. We haven't said or done anything that is a major departure from Britain's own long-standing policies on these issues.
[10:50:00] And remember, Britain went further than the U.S., when it came to voting on that Security Council resolution criticizing Israeli settlement resolution because the U.S. abstained from the vote while Britain voted in favor.
SAVIDGE: Right, I think that's what adds to the surprise. It's like, well, wait a minute, you know, the British government took a certain action, and now the prime minister of that very same government is taking a very different stance. So what's being said there in the U.K.? What are people sort of -- how do they try to explain then what appears to be a disconnect between the prime minister and the actions of her government?
BLACK: The inconsistency between those points has certainly been noted. I think it is being widely interpreted he that this is an attempt by the British prime minister to ingratiate herself in some way with the incoming Trump administration. Perhaps, also, an attempt to make nice with the Israeli government after Britain went out ahead of the U.S. by voting in favor of this resolution at the U.N.
Now the motives here are not entirely clear. They could be entirely selfish because in the context of Brexit, Britain leaving the European Union, its relationships with other allies in particular the United States have never been more valuable. There is also a theory -- it's nothing more than that at the moment because we've had no explanation from the prime minister, but a theory that suggests maybe Theresa May is trying to stay close to both of these countries on this issue in the hope of guiding policy in the future, perhaps guiding them towards a two state solution.
But whatever the motivation, the tactic itself is really so extraordinary because these two countries do not criticize each other publicly. Britain and the U.S. like to talk about this special relationship. And even when they do disagree on policy, they usual do it very politely.
SAVIDGE: Yes, well it's fascinating, especially when you sort of explain it there with the Brexit and how that could have an influence. Thank you very much, Phil Black reporting to us from London today. Happy New Year.
PAUL: Well, 2017 being welcomed in the far east, and add North Korea to the list of country ringing in the New Year. Next up at the top of the hour, Hong Kong takes over.
SAVIDGE: Pictures here from Tokyo, a short time ago as Japan rang in the New Year, thousands of people braving the cold in the famous crossing. This comes a few hours behind the festivities in New Zealand. They got the party started with a big fireworks show of the day.
PAUL: There indeed is Auckland, one of the first cities in the world to count down to 2017. And then you had this. It's spectacular on camera, I cannot imagine what it's like to be there. The theatrics over the Sydney Harbor in Australia, one of the largest fireworks shows in the world. And then you can look out for Hong Kong at the top of the hour. I want to show you some live pictures from Victoria Harbor. We're just minutes away with that. We'll bring it to you when it happens, of course. With all these celebrations, this is quite clever. Apple is kicking off a special project.
SAVIDGE: What they're doing is they're deploying more than a dozen photographers for an incredible look at New Year's celebrations worldwide. They're capturing these events with the cameras on our iPhones. First up, Sydney, Australia, ringing in the New Year. These pictures were taken Selma El-Ali. She's a travel writer and iPhone photographer, and that's the view of course of the Sydney Harbor Bridge from the royal botanic gardens.
PAUL: Her title is iPhone photographer. That's interesting. You know that you could probably capture a lot tonight in Times Square. You don't want to miss our special, our New Year's Eve extravaganza.
SAVIDGE: I love the word. Expect the unexpected with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin New Year's Eve live. It begins at 8:00 p.m. right here on CNN.
PAUL: Make some memories, happy New Year, we'll see you back here in the morning.
SAVIDGE: I'm Martin Savidge.
PAUL: I'm Christi Paul.
SAVIDGE: Have a wonderful 2017.