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Slain Officer's Brother Emotional After Suspect's Capture; Guatemalan Boy Who Died in U.S. Custody had Flu; Government Shutdown Could Begin to Disrupt Tax Season, Social Security; Personal Info of North Korean Defectors Stolen by Hackers; Top 8 Health Stories of 2018. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired December 28, 2018 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REGGIE SINGH, BROTHER OF SLAIN POLICE OFFICER: I'd like to thank you working day and night to make this happen. Thank you.


SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You can see the absolute pain, the shock, the despair. We should mention that not only has Gustavo Perez Arriaga, 33, found in Kern County and arrested, suspected of killing Ronil Singh. But there are two brothers of Arriaga who were also arrested. Because they deceived police, according to the sheriffs. The sheriff also railing against California's law here that keeps authorities, local authorities from being able to hand people over to ICE. He talked a lot about how this could have been prevented. He said that Arriaga was, as far as he knows, a part of a gang, the Surenos. He talked a lot about that as well. And I'm sure we're going to hear more from the sheriff on this. But that is a suspect there who has been arrested. Police say he and his brother arrested in the killing of this officer.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN HOST: No doubt we're probably going to hear from the President of the United States quite a bit more on it as well, as this falls right into the current debate about the situation on the border. Sara Sidner, thank you so much for that report. We appreciate it.

A new report about the 8-year-old migrant boy who died while in U.S. custody is raising concerns that a simple medical test might have saved his life. The details ahead.


NOBLES: We are learning the 8-year-old who died while in U.S. border patrol custody had the flu. Little Felipe Gomez Alonso died on Christmas Eve. He had been detained with his father in New Mexico. He's the second child to die in U.S. border patrol custody this month. The White House says the deaths show exactly why the nation's immigration laws needed overall.


SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Certainly that's an absolutely tragic situation, something nobody ever wants to see happen. It's one of the reasons that the President wants to fix our broken immigration system. It's a treacherous journey and we don't want to see people go that route.

We are doing everything in our capacity to make sure that when people do come that they're taken care of so that we don't have these type of instances. In many cases they show up extremely dehydrated, without food, and they're seeing the doctor -- a doctor for the very first time.


NOBLES: CNN senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, joins me now. You know, we just heard Sarah Sanders say they're doing everything they can do. What are the experts you've talked to saying about how things are being done for the children coming across the border?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Ryan, the infectious disease experts I'm talking to say that that's simply is not true. That there were some very simple and obvious medical steps that could have been taken here. So, this boy was taken to the hospital with signs of the flu. The border protection people were very clear about that. He had possible signs of the flu. But from what we're told, he was not given a flu test. And so, without that test, he didn't get treatment for the flu and he was sent back to the detention center.

So not only is that bad for this boy, obviously in this tragic situation, but he then went back to a detention center where he could infect other people. This boy had a 103-degree fever. I know at my child's school, we don't let a child back in school after they had a 103-degree fever but he was let back into a detention facility. Which we don't know about this particular one, but many of them have been very crowded. Who knows who else he infected. So, no, the doctors I'm talking to say they feel the opposite. They say that Sarah Sanders is not telling the truth.

NOBLES: Right, Elizabeth Cohen, thank you for that. We appreciate it.

The partial government shutdown is now in day seven with no sign of when it will end. If it lags on, it will start to have a real impact on more than just federal workers. CNN's chief business correspondent, Christine Romans, has a look at what other possible disruptions lie ahead.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Day six now of the government shutdown that'll stretch into the new year, Ryan. You've seen those images of closed national parks. Too bad for tourists, right? But it's about to get very real for more than just tourists, for federal employees working or sitting at home unpaid. Hundreds of thousands sent home, 420,000 federal workers expected to work without a paycheck right now. Now credit cards from holiday shopping, rent, electricity, those bills come due with or without a paycheck.

Now it's a partial shutdown. Many agencies are already funded, the military is safe, but a quarter of the government is vulnerable, like agriculture, commerce, justice, homeland security, housing and urban development, interior state, transportation and the treasury.

And the U.S. office of personnel management has advice for those federal employees on how to deal with their precarious financial situations. They make this suggestion. Federal employees should offer to perform chores in exchange for rent payments. One example of this sample letter to a landlord that reads in part "I would like to discuss with you a possibility of trading my services to perform maintenance. For example, painting, carpentry work, in exchange for partial rent payments."

That's right. That's what it's come to. The day the federal credit union now offering a help on how to request, receive or repay loans for anyone whose pay is affected by this shutdown. Now the effects are already stretching into space. Nasa's New Horizon's probe is on target for a new year's rendezvous with the most distant object ever to be explored by humankind, but due to the shutdown, no live NASA webcast.

[15:40:00] Now, Ryan, depending on how long the shutdown lasts, the effects will magnify. An extended shutdown could delay tax season. Social security, if you already get benefits, nothing changes. But new filers, Ryan, may face delays.


NOBLES: Christine, thank you so.

North Korean hackers strike again, this time stealing the personal details of nearly 1,000 defectors living in South Korea. Are those defectors now at risk?


NOBLES: Information from almost a thousand North Korean defectors has been stolen by hackers. The hackers stole personal data including names, birth dates and addresses.

[15:45:03] Officials say a computer belonging to a resettling agency in South Korea was infected with malicious code, enabling the hackers to access the system. CNN's Will Ripley has more on this hack.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As can you imagine, the news of this hack is extremely disturbing for the nearly 1,000 North Korean defectors who have had their personal information stolen. This is everything from where they live, where they work, maybe their phone number. All of that in the hands of someone we don't know who it is. We don't know if North Korea is behind this. But the defectors certainly suspect that Pyongyang hacked into this computer trying to get as much information as they can about these people who ran away from the North and have set up new lives in the South.

What was targeted here, a computer at a nonprofit that helps defectors resettle once they arrive in South Korea. This center is operated by the Hanau Foundation. It was set up by the South Korean Unification Ministry back in 2010. There are a lot of things that North Koreans need to learn to adjust to when they go from a socialist society to a capitalist society. But all of their information, especially where they're living, where they're working, that is supposed to be kept confidential.

And these people, these defectors are now living in fear. They're worried that somebody in North Korea has all this information, could potentially find them or track down and step up monitoring on their families. Family members who remain in the North. They worry about what can happen to them. One man even said he believes that the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, while he's all smiles putting on this diplomatic front, that would secretly like to kill him and others like him.

And I can tell you from numerous troops to North Korea, they consider people who escape from that country just about the lowest human beings that there could be. They actually call them the scum of the earth. This could be potentially a way for North Korea to intimidate them, if indeed they are behind this. But again, that is not confirmed.

What we do know from the South Korean Unification Ministry, a spokesperson telling CNN, so far, they say no harm has been observed due to this leak. But that is little consolation to nearly a thousand people who used to live in North Korea, now they're in the South wondering who has their personal information and what are they going to do with it. Will Ripley, CNN, Hong Kong.


NOBLES: From the growing availability of medical marijuana to a mysterious polio-like illness that is affecting children, CNN chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, looks at the top eight health stories of 2018.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Without question, 2018 will be remembered as the year of the outbreak.

(voice-over): The CDC investigated more than two dozen multistate food outbreaks this year. E. coli in romaine lettuce, salmonella in precut melon, cyclospora and fresh vegetables. All in all more than 28,000 people got sick, at least ten died. Truth is one in six Americans get some sort of food-borne illness every year, growing, packing transporting, storing and serving, there's a lot of places where your food can get contaminated.

It's been more than five years since I reported weed, about marijuana as medicine. Not only can it work, sometimes it's the only thing that works like it did for Charlotte Figi. PAIGE FIGI, CHARLOTTE FIGI'S MOTHER: I measured it with a syringe and

squirted it under her tongue. She didn't have a seizure that day and then she didn't have a seizure that night. I just thought this is insane.

GUPTA: This year for the first time, a medication derived from cannabis, called Epidiolex, became available by prescription in the United States, approved by the FDA to treat two rare seizure disorders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the first time we had an EEG recording that showed she was having over a hundred seizures a day, the last EEG we did with NYU showed one seizure over a 24-hour period.

Last month, the medical world had its collective mind blown when a Chinese scientist said his lab had facilitated the birth of the world's first babies whose genes were edited using a technology you may have heard of called Crispr.

HE JIANKUI, BIOPHYSICS RESEARCHER: When Lulu and Nana were a single cell, this surgery removed the doorway through which HIV enters to infect people.

GUPTA: Hospital where the babies were born denied any involvement. And the Chinese government called for an immediate investigation. But the ethical question surrounding so-called designer babies are merely endless and will likely make this list again in the years to come.

Parents across the country were on edge this fall as a polio -like illness called Acute Flaccid Myelitis or AFM, paralyze their children.

[15:50:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE CHILD: I can't show you. (CRYING)

GUPTA: AFM is usually preceded by a respiratory illness or fever. But the underlying cause may be a virus. It attacks the spinal cord, affecting strength and balance. Now the CDC has been tracking AFM since 2014, but there were a record number of cases this year.

In November, the FDA fast-tracked and approved two new cancer treatments, Vitrakvi and Xospata. They represent a whole new way of looking at cancer and its treatment. Targeting tumors based on their gene mutations as opposed to their location in the body.

The FDA has declared e-cigarette use among America's youth an epidemic. Nearly 40 percent of high school seniors now admit to vaping a substantial and significant increase from last year.

DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FDA COMMISSIONER: If these trends continue, the viability of the e-cigarettes and the vaping products as an alternative for adult smokers could be lost.

GUPTA (on camera): Yes, e-cigarettes are quote, unquote, safer than traditional combustible cigarettes. But contrary to what most kids believe, e-cigs contain more than just flavorings. They contain nicotine, a chemical called diacetyl and sometimes toxic heavy metals. And nearly a third of kids who vape then go on to smoke traditional cigarettes within six months.

Life expectancy in the United States has decreased for a third year in a row. Driving the drop, record high drug overdose deaths, mostly opioids and suicide rates, which have increased 40 percent since 1999. Collectively, they are called the deaths of despair. Two high-profile deaths underscored the issue this year. Fashion designer, Kate Spade, and here at CNN, we're still mourning the death of our good friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain, who took his own life at age 61.

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN PARTS UNKNOWN: Amazing. Damn, that's good. I missed you. I missed you bad.

GUPTA: Rest in peace, Tony.

In November, a U.S. government report found climate change will result in the premature death of thousands of Americans. A startling conclusion. And you don't have to look far to see what they mean. From the wildfires in the West to the tick and mosquito-borne infections in the Northeast to the droughts in the South. But there are climate change skeptics who dismiss the report.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't believe it. No, no, I don't believe it.

GUPTA: But look, seeing is believing. This is the Elephant Butte Reservoir for the Rio Grande. It used to be brimming to the top. Now it's only 3 percent full. Less and less snow melt is feeding the river, which is forcing some Texans to implement some drastic measures, including recycling sewage water into drinking water. Toilet to tap. But with climate change affecting the future of clean water everywhere, I decided to give it a try.

All right. Moment of truth. Just remembering how this whole process started. This clearly looks very different. Smells very different.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Smells like water. Tastes like water. Cheers.

GUPTA: Cheers to 2018.


NOBLES: More on our breaking news. A tour bus hit by a roadside explosive device in Egypt not far from the pyramids in Giza, leaving two people dead and ten others wounded. We're back in a moment.


NOBLES: A hero and a legend. Richard Overton, America's oldest World War II veteran and oldest man in the United States, passed away Thursday at the age of 112. Overton joined the Army in 1942 and served with the all black unit in the Pacific. At a Veterans Day ceremony in 2013, former President Obama told of how Overton escaped death many times.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He was there at Pearl Harbor when the battle ships were still smoldering. He was there at Okinawa. He was there at Iwo Jima, where he said I only got out of there by the grace of God. This veteran held his head high. He carried on and lived his life with honor and dignity.


NOBLES: Overton gave credit to God for living so long but he also said he enjoyed the vices of life. He said he drank whiskey in his coffee and enjoyed ice cream every night. And I will now change my nightly habits, as well.

The CNN original film, "Love Gilda" takes a look at the life of the beloved performer Gilda Radner. Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, READING GILDA'S WORDS: This is Gilda Radner, her voice and her writing. First and foremost, above everything else, my main priority is that I am a girl. I've never wanted to be anything else.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, READING GILDA'S WORDS: I'm fascinated with boys, but I never wanted to be one. I agree, Gilda.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, READING GILDA'S WORDS: To be a girl and be funny, means you have to sacrifice a lot of things because of your loud mouth.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, READING GILDA'S WORDS: I can't even begin to imagine how I got famous. It seemed like I just took the next job and then it turned out millions of people were watching me do it.

HADER: Maybe you know me and maybe you don't. Or maybe you heard of me. But never saw me or maybe you used to know me but don't know me anymore. One time in my life I was famous and it seemed like everyone knew me.