Skip to main content

tv   The Situation Room  CNN  May 26, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

2:00 pm
is their attempt to fire a shot across the bow saying we're aggressive we're going to accuse you of this and we want a place at the table. >> attorney for b.b. king's business agent calls these claims absolutely ridiculous. and the they say it comes down to one thing. money. >> thank you so much. that's it for the lead. i'm jack tapper turning you over to wolf blitzer right next door in the situation room. hope is fading for those washed away. can rescuers find them in time. cold war games, russia and nato staging large scale military exercises at a time of heightened tension raising the specter of the cold war. could it lead to another military con front station. a young man in texas is charged with trying to join the terrorist forces almost reaching the battlefield. how dud did his family trick him
2:01 pm
into coming home. china's outrage. a conflict between washington and beijing issest ka lath after a u.s. spy plane make what is china calls a provocative flight. show the chinese military retaliating. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we're following the breaking news. the flood disaster unfold in the southwest. at least nine people are dead in texas and oklahoma. and a desperate search is underway right now for a dozen people missing. houston is the latest city innone dated with almost a foot of rain paralyzing parts of the region. we're covering all angles of the breaking news this hour with our correspondents. we begin our coverage in houston. what are you seeing? >> reporter: well, wolf, what you see behind me here in hugh son is one of the bayous and the tributaries that wind through many parts of this city. and in flash flooding situations this is what of
2:02 pm
major concern. the water levels here the two bridges that you see behind me the water levels went over those bridges in the early morning hours. the good news throughout the day as been that the rain has subsided for now. that is allowing the water level to drop and reseed rath quickly. but it's still of great concern. you can see how strong the current is. this morning it was a mad house in this city. two people were killed by the rush of flood watt per. this is torrential and fast moving. you can imagine how quick and powerful it must have been this morning at the height of the storm. so in a lot of places where we've seen many neighborhoods took on three to four feet of water, especially if you were near one of the tributaries or bayous that cut through the city. it will take some time for these flood water to reseed a little bit. the damage has been done and the cleanup process has begun. but there was an incredible amount of rain more than ten
2:03 pm
inches in a matter of hours this morning. >> we're about to get an update from the mayor of houston, also the governor george -- greg abbott i should say. he's going to be updating all of us together with the mayor on what's going on. what are the folks saying? have they seen anything like that in recent years? >> reporter: it seems to happen every five six, seven years were so. the last one was 2008 or a little earlier than that. this is a particular area with these bayous that cut through the city people understand this can happen in these flash flooding situations. but it still doesn't, you know take away from the fact that the cleanup and the destruction that can happen in these situations are overwhelming and very painful for so many people. and you can really see how quickly people had to jump into action once again as we've seen over the last few days here throughout the state of texas.
2:04 pm
many people describing they didn't have a lot of time to react. water levels were rising from ankle deep to knee deep in a matter of minutes. >> stand by. i want to bring in our meteorologist jennifer gray. she's in wimberly texas, right here the state capital of austin where dozens 0 people are still missing. what's the latest jennifer you're seeing there? >> reporter: well wolf this is deaf stating. this is his store rick as well. we've never seen a flooding like this every in this area. back in the 1920s they had the flooding where the river rose to 33 feet. this time it rose at least 10 feet higher than that and that's before the flood gauge went offline. what you're dealing with images like this the home completely washed off the foundation all along the street and vary streets along the river, you're seeing images exactly like this one. homes completely destroyed. 400 homes completely destroyed.
2:05 pm
and about 1,000 heavily damaged. we're up on a bluff. so to put some perspective in this we're up on a bluff so the water was well above my head at the worst of it on sunday. so you can see as we pan around and you look down there at the river, the river has gone down considerably. you can see the trees that are went over. it gives you an idea of how high the water was and it went higher than that. and now as the water is going down the volume of watt thaer is still moving along that river is incredible. locals tell us that this is a relatively calm river. and so to see it like this is unprecedented. and so folks are still going to be -- they're searching for the 12 missing and it's a devastating scene here. >> i want you the stand by. the mayor is briefing reporters. i want to listen in. >> the city is slowly getting back to normal. but this is a little bit of a situation of a tale of two
2:06 pm
cities. much of houston was unaffected by the weather. but the parts that were affected by the weather were very severely hit. we've had ten days two weeks of steady rain the grounds were completely saturated. and there's really been no place for the water to go. it's also been a situation of almost two different weather events. last night we had torrential rain in a very short period of time in the middle of the night. starting roughly 10:00 to about 2:00 in the morning, the areas of houston that flood in those situations underpasses, low
2:07 pm
lying areas were affected. and a lot of folks drove their cars into high water and had to abandon those vehicles. the morning our biosystem, bayous depending on where you're from began to swell. and many of our local bayous went over their banks. that took flooding into structures particularly in the brays biouy bayou and white oak. we know there was structural flooding in the galleria area of parking garages and commercial properties flooding also in cross timbers and smaller areas of flooding across the city.
2:08 pm
we also tragically know that there has been loss of life. we have three confirmed flood victims now, two that were recovered from vehicles one body recovered from brays bayou. and another person who apparent apparently had -- who may have had a heart attack while pushing his vehicle out of the flood waters. there are three people missing, there may be others. but those are the ones we know at this moment. we have begun a property by
2:09 pm
property assessment. but we are hampered by not being able to go into the areas until the waters recede. and these are visual inspections from the outside. until we can get enough structural experts to accompany our inspectors to see the full extent of the problem. we have 1,000 properties that we visually inspected. we believe that there may be as many as 4,000 with significant damage. there are two shelters open at this time. one is at the chinese community center 9800 town park.
2:10 pm
and another is the acres home community center, 6719 west montgomery. at this point we are only sheltering 84 people. we have capacity for many more. but those are locations being imagined by the red cross where people can go if they need othercy sis tansother assistance even if they have another place to stay temporarily. the first thing we did on the roadways as the water receded was start to tow cars to get the roads open again. and at this point we have more
2:11 pm
than 750 vehicles of various kinds in city impound lots and temporary storage lots. >> i want to break away from the mayor of houston for a moment. jennifer gray is outside of austin, texas, the state capital watching what's going on. that scene behind you in that area is so devastating. walk us through again what you've seen. >> reporter: we just heard her talk about the power of water and flash flooding. just what they saw in houston, that's what we saw here in wimberly,texas. the waters rose at an incredible rate and people had such little time to get to higher ground. when it comes to weather, more people die from flooding than anything else. you have to take this seriously, especially as we're expecting more rain at the end of the week and the weekend. we have complete homes washed
2:12 pm
off of their foundation. this is not the only one. we have sites all across the city. we have 400 homes in this area completely destroyed and 1,000 that are heavy damaged. this is more than 43 feet wolf above where the river normally sits. and so you can imagine the fear in people when they see the waters coming up and they're just raging at such an incredible rate. and the force is just enough to wipe trees out. residents told us there are sigh cypress trees so big around incredible trees completely uprooted and the force to wipe a home completely off its foundation. if you're in a low lying area and we've expecting more flash flooding this weekend, you've got to seek higher ground. sit a life ore death situation at this point. all of the rivers are completely saturated. they're filled to the brim. the ground is saturated. there's nowhere for the water to
2:13 pm
go. any additional rainfall as much as an inch or two, will once again into a possibility where we'll be in a flash flooding situation. >> what's the forecast for the next few days jennifer? >> reporter: well we're supposed to stay quiet today and tomorrow. but there's more rain in the forecast again thursday and friday and then over the weekend. so that's what's got everyone on edge especially in this wimberly area and i'm sure in houston as well. any additional rainfall is going to be problematic when you're talking about flash flooding. the sewers the drains can't handle it and definitely the rivers. the creeks. they're overloaded. they're to the brim. we've seen levee breaks. any additional water is going to be a big problem. >> so it's -- outside of austin and women herly where you are, houston. where else in texas? i take it oklahoma is suffering from some severe flooding as well. >> reporter: yeah.
2:14 pm
we've seen rivers at their capacity all over oklahoma. and this started, you know several weeks ago in oklahoma where we saw all of the flooding around oklahoma city and norman and now we're seeing all of the rain across central portions of texas. not the mention they were in such an extreme drought. and so with the water so try to begin with it, runs off even faster. now we're in a state where we're completely saturated all across central and east texas. can't stress enough more rainfall is not good for the area. >> stand by for a moment. greg abbott the governor of texas is speaking now. he's updating us. let's listen in. >> a helicopter ride over many of the areas that have been dramatically impacted by the flooding waters. and my heart, my prayers go out to the families who have been impacted by this dramatic flooding. we have heard about the loss of life here in houston and as well as other parts of the state of
2:15 pm
texas. a number that we don't know and we will never know is the number of lives that have been saved by the effective response of first responders and all of the many people who have been helping out in the houston and aris county area as well as across the state of texas. i know for a fact that first responders in houston were able to take swift action to erect barrier to keep people from entering into flooding waters. i know for a fact in areas whether it be in harris county or other parts of the state of texas, rescue missions have taken place that have saved countless lives. and so i want to extent my profound gratitude to all first responders across the state for the effective way that they have helped save lives.
2:16 pm
now, as the mayor mentioned, flooding is something that we have been working on across the entire state of texas over the past week. i witnessed first hand the devastation of the tsunami styled river rise on the blanco river in wimberly texas, just west of san marcus that completely devastated the area around there and caused a significant loss of life. i have as governor declared disaster declarations from literally the red river to the rio grand where flooding has been taking place across the state. but just like in so many other times of challenges we see texans respond by coming together helping each other. we see that in houston, texas,
2:17 pm
we've seen it in other parts of the state with friends helping friends and neighbors helping neighbors. and i want to express my gratitude to all of our neighboring states. governor suzanna martinez and her team in mexico governor mary fallon in oklahoma governor awhat hutchison and governor bobby jindal in louisiana, all of our neighbors offered their support. louisiana sent two black hawke helicopters as well as sandbag loaders to help us across our challenges here in the state of texas. we work more effectively when we work as a team. but just like we have faced these challenges in the past we will respond effectively to face these challenges.
2:18 pm
earlier today i hads a telephone conversation with the harris county judge with whom i will be meeting shortly. and i announced among the 46 counties in the state of texas that i have declared a disaster declaration, i added harris county as one of the counties included in the disaster declaration declaration. this will provide additional resources and tools that will allow everyone in harris county to be able to respond even more effectively to the challenges you face. let me say one last thing. may maybe the most important thing i could say. and that is some of the lives that have been lost are lives that were lost by people who were in vehicling who were trying to bypass through waterway. it's so important to understand
2:19 pm
that we're going to continue to have rising waters. if there are rising waters, if your local elected officials tell you to evacuate it is essential that you heed those warnings. do not drive into rising water. i know it may seem like something you can easily traverse but it is something that is incredibly powerful and sweep you away just as it has so many others in the state of texas over the past week. so don't drive into rising water. you know the common phrase turn around don't drown. it has a sense of reality to it right now that we need everyone in the state of texas to heed. >> all right. so we're going to continue to monitor what's going on. obviously a disaster unfolding in major parts of texas right now. you can see the pictures coming in. it's a real real deadly deadly
2:20 pm
flooding. we'll stay on top of this. let's take a quick break. much more after this. put your hand over your heart. is it beating? good! then my nutrition heart health mix is for you. it's a wholesome blend of peanuts, pecans and other delicious nuts specially mixed for people with hearts. i said people with hearts. because hearts health is important. that's why i've researched optimized and packaged this mix just for you. not you. so if you have a heart start optimizing your nutrition with my nutrition. planters. nutrition starts with nut. big day? ah, the usual. moved some new cars. hauled a bunch of steel.
2:21 pm
kept the supermarket shelves stocked. made sure everyone got their latest gadgets. what's up for the next shift? ah, nothing much. just keeping the lights on. (laugh) nice. doing the big things that move an economy. see you tomorrow, mac. see you tomorrow, sam. just another day at norfolk southern. this is good, mom. "good"? (chuckles) it's delicious! and this new kibble blend is so healthy. thank you. no, nancy, thank you. kibbles 'n bits. because every bit matters.
2:22 pm
2:23 pm
[ male announcer ] how do you make cancer a thing of the past? use the past. huntsman cancer institute has combined 300 years of family histories with health records to discover inherited genes for melanoma, breast colon and ovarian cancers. so we can predict and treat cancer. and sometimes even prevent it from happening in the first place. to learn more or support the cause go to
2:24 pm
it's only two of us. how much dirt can we manufacture? more than you think. very little. [doorbell rings] what's this? swiffer sweeper. i came in under the assumption that it was clean. i've been living in a fool's paradise. much more ahead on the flooding disaster in texas. but let's get to another story breaking right now. an am nous throwback to the cold war, thousands of troops on are the move in russia while forces in prominent nato are busy in
2:25 pm
the arctic. both sides are practicing for war we've got more on the rival war games that are going on. what's going on? >> wolf you would think we were back in the mid '80s with tom clancy "the hunt for red october." you've got two military machines playing cat and mouse. it could be fascinating maybe fun to watch fit wasn't so dangerous. massive russian military vehicle ons the move part of a surprise military drill ordered by vladimir putin, tactical live fire exercises involving 12,000 russian soldiers and up to 250 aircraft in an intimidating show of force. meanwhile, american and european forces begin scheduled drills in the arctic circle involving 4,000 personnel and around 100 fighter jets. the kwoel goal to ramp up military readiness. but with two competing
2:26 pm
militaries there are echos of a frightening time. it has anner eerie feeling. >> putin is testing inging to see if they're ready for confrontation. some of the exercises included more than 80,000 russian troops. he has his military planes fly what their transponders off playing high altitude chicken. >> the potential for something to go wrong is exacerbated when you have lots of armed people with their fingers on the trigger moving around. >> it comes on the heels of tensions over ukraine where russia is accused of sending weapons to for the fighters.
2:27 pm
president obama expresses concern. a nato official telling cnn that the alliance is concerned by the size scale and frequency of russia's snap exercises. but is nato ready? >> nato is ill prepared to think about russia as a threat because it hasn't done the defense plans against russia. these major exercises were meant to begin to demonstrate the possibility of conflict in europe. that's not something that was even imaginable among nato's military leaders. >> a nato official responded to that saying nato's response to russia's actions have been swift and proportionate. that nato implemented its forces and increased its military across the fronts, including elite units capable of moving quickly. >> very disturbing stuff. the nato general secretary is here in washington today.
2:28 pm
he met with president obama to discuss the challenges posed by russia and isis. the secretary general is here in "the situation room" with us right now. welcome to washington. >> thank you. >> how worried are you about what russia is doing right snow if the war games going on, it feels like the battle days of the cold war. >> we're not back in the cold war but we are concerned because we see new challenges and threats coming from the more assertive russia the actions they're responsible for in ukraine. that's the reason we're responding nap's the reason why we are reinforceing our collective defense, increasing the readiness and preparedness of the forces so that we shall be able also in the future to defend and protect. >> how worried are you that that could get out of control? >> we don't see any immediate threat against any nato ally but we're concerned about the increasing number of snap
2:29 pm
exercises which russia is conducting. because that gives us no notification it reduces transparency redistrictpredictability and that increases the ability of accidents spirals out of control. >> because the snap exercises, normally they're supposed to give the nato allies a little advanced warning, know we're going to do the exercises. they just do it without sharing with the nato allies? >> when we do exercises in nato we announce them they're predictable and transparent. and invite russia to observe the exercises. but russia more and more do the snap exercises. >> why? >> because that's a way of avoiding transparency predictability. and they use the snap exercises as a disguise for other
2:30 pm
activities. >> like what? >> like crimea. they you used the snap exercise as a disguise for crimea and to support separatists in eastern ukraine. destabilizing eastern ukraine as part or disguide by a snap exercise. >> you think they have more ambitions beside crimea in taking over other parts? >> they have forces in eastern ukraine and they are providing the separatists with heavy equipment. >> they deny it, as you know. >> they deny it. but i mean just last week two russian soldiers were captured in eastern ukraine and they've reported -- they have stated to the oc the organization for security and cooperation in europe that they are serving soldiers in the russian army. there is no doubt that there are russian soldiers inside eastern
2:31 pm
ukraine. >> when you confront the russian president vladimir putin with the information, what does he say to you? >> they deny it. they say the soldiers that are in ukraine are on leave. i think hardly anyone believes that. and we have many sources, open sources with media confirming that there are russian soldiers in eastern ukraine. >> i want to continue this conversation. putin, from your perspective, secretary general of nato is lying? >> they are not telling the facts when they are trying to deny there are russian soldiers in eastern ukraine. >> but you don't want to say he's lying? >> i will limit myself to saying what they are saying is not the correct facts because they try to deny that they don't have -- that they have forces in eastern ukraine. >> secretary general we have more to discuss. i want to take a quick commercial break. the stakes obviously are
2:32 pm
enormous. what's going on in europe. hard to believe this is going on this day and age. take a break. much more with the nato secretary general right after this. ame night. ooh, it's a house and a car! so far, you're horrible at this, flo. yeah, no talent for drawing, flo. house! car! oh, raise the roof! no one? remember when we used to raise the roof, diane? oh, quiet, richard i'm trying to make sense of flo's terrible drawing. i'll draw the pants off that thing. oh, oh, hats on hamburgers! dancing! drive-in movie theater! home and auto. lamp! squares. stupid, dumb. lines. [ alarm rings ] no! home and auto bundle from progressive. saves you money. yay, game night, so much fun. wow. sweet new subaru, huh mitch? yep. you're selling the mitchmobile!? man, we had a lot of good times in this baby. what's your dad want for it? a hundred and fifty grand, two hundred if they want that tape deck. you're not going to tell your dad about the time my hamster had babies in the backseat, are you?! that's just normal wear and tear, dude. (vo) subaru has the highest resale value of any brand... ...according to kelley blue book
2:33 pm
...and mitch.baru a subaru. big day? ah, the usual. moved some new cars. hauled a bunch of steel. kept the supermarket shelves stocked. made sure everyone got their latest gadgets. what's up for the next shift? ah, nothing much. just keeping the lights on. (laugh) nice. doing the big things that move an economy.
2:34 pm
see you tomorrow, mac. see you tomorrow, sam. just another day at norfolk southern.
2:35 pm
my name is fernando gonzalez. i'm the gas service supervisor here in sonoma county. we moved up here 35 years ago and we just love it up here, it's a fantastic place to live. our function is customer support... ...making sure that our customers are safe and that's the most important thing. we know we are part of a huge company but sonoma county is our home. sonoma county is our pg&e. what we're doing really means something in the community and it's just a great, great feeling. together, we're building a better california. with xfinity from comcast you can manage your account anytime, anywhere on any device. just sign into my account to pay bills
2:36 pm
manage service appointments and find answers to your questions. you can even check your connection status on your phone. now it's easier than ever to manage your account. get started at we're following multiple breaking stories, including the flooding disaster across texas and the southwest. right now nine people are dead. many still missing. fist i want to get back to the nato secretary general. he's here in washington. had meeting today with president obama at the white house. they're discussing the threats posed by vladimir putin and by russia in the middle east and north africa. have you seen she's reports that
2:37 pm
the russians went into ukraine with who what are called these mobile crematoriums so they can burn the body of russian soldiers killed and remove any evidence that russian soldiers serving, fighting in ukraine with the separatists? >> i haven't seen any confirmed information about that. but i think the important thing is that we have seen reports about russian soldiers who have lost their lives in eastern ukraine. and who have been buried in russia. that just confirms that the russians are in eastern ukraine. >> should the u.s. and ore nato allies for that matter be providing what's called lethal aid, military equipment to ukraine? >> the important thing now is to do whatever we can to support the full implementation of the
2:38 pm
minsk agreements which calls for a fuel cease-fire which calls for the what drawl of all heavy weapons from the front line or contact line. and also which calls on the right for all of the observers, the international observers to have full access to the area so they can monitor the cease-fire. >> so no lethal aid for the time being. is that what you're saying? >> nato is not in a position where with process or have weapons or equipment. but i think the message from allies now is that we have to focus on the implementation of the minsk agreements. >> do all of the nato allies support the u.s. and the coalition in fighting isis in syria and iraq? >> all nato allies contribute to the coalition against isis in one way or another. some take part in the air strikes and some do tring and others contribute in other ways. this is a u.s.-led coalition but i welcome the strong support of all nato allies. >> is isis winning this war
2:39 pm
right now. >> i think from the start of the campaign against isis it was very much underlined that this is not an easy task. we have to be there for the long haul. >> what does that mean the long haul? >> means it will take years. it's not easy. in the long run we have to enable the local force to take care of their own security. that has to be the long term solution. they have to be able to take care of it by themselves. >> thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. appreciate it very much. coming up new isis tactics, how terrorist forces are changing their battlefield strategy. we're learning new details. stand by.
2:40 pm
♪ every auto insurance policy has a number. but not every insurance company understands
2:41 pm
the life behind it. ♪ those who have served our nation have earned the very best service in return. ♪ usaa. we know what it means to serve. get an auto insurance quote and see why 92% of our members plan to stay for life.
2:42 pm
2:43 pm
2:44 pm
we're following breaking news. at least nine people dead in the ongoing flooding disaster across texas and the southwest. just now the texas governor greg abbott announced he's issued disaster declarations for 46 counties in texas. also breaking now, iraq's military, along with malitia's loyal to the government launching what's being described as a major new military offensive aimed at trying to recapture territory held by isis. among the targets, ramadi a key city abandoned by iraqi forces a week ago. he's get the latest from barbara starr. what are you learning about the iraqi military moves right now. are they trying to take cara maddie? >> well wolf let's say there's a lot of skepticism in the pentagon on what is really happening on the ground. they hope they're about to
2:45 pm
retake ramadi. but the comments by ash carter still ringing out that the iraqis need a little more will to fight. right now a sandstorm is rolling through the area adding to the concern of how fast this can go. they are on the move no question about that. but according to pentagon officials right now, the iraqis basically conducting probing attacks of isis positions. not yet a full-blown effort to try to retake the city. >> are the isis fighters improve tharg ing their battlefield tactics? >> they are indeed. isis using larger and larger car bombs, digging tunnel to get into the city and then blowing them up. they're doing everything they can to stay off of social media, all of this trying to low ir their profile while they engage in the sort of sneak raid attacks. trying to stay out of the cross
2:46 pm
hairs of u.s. war planes overhead. a lot of sophistication growing in the isis efforts. it's making it a very complicated situation. >> thank you. i want to get more on what's going on. joining us or former cia counter terrorism official phil mudd and james spider marks. stand by for a moment. i want to take a quick break and resume or analysis the reporting on what's going on right after this. here at friskies, cats are in charge of approving every new recipe. because it's cats who know best what cats like to eat. up today, new friskies 7. we're trying seven cat-favorite flavors all in one dish. now for the moment of truth.
2:47 pm
yep, looks like it's time to share what our cats love with your cats. new friskies 7. for cats. by cats. if you suffer from a dry mouth then you'll know how uncomfortable it can be. but did you know that the lack of saliva can also lead to tooth decay and bad breath? well, there is biotene specially formulated with moisturizers and lubricants... biotene can provide soothing relief
2:48 pm
and it helps keep your mouth healthy too. biotene, for people who suffer from a dry mouth. the network that monitors her health. the secure cloud services that store her genetic data the servers and software on a mission to find the perfect match. and the mom who gets to hear her daughter's heart beat once again. we're helping organizations transform the way they work so they can transform the lives of the people they serve.
2:49 pm
2:50 pm
2:51 pm
breaking now, another american is charged with conspiracy to help isis. court papers say a 20-year-old texas man, asher abebe khan flew to turkey with a friend both allegedly hoping to hook up with isis fighters inside syria. while the friend made it khan's family lured him back home to texas where he was arrested. former cia counterterrorism official phil mudd and retired u.s. army general james spider marks. phil it's amazing. they told this 20-year-old texas guy, you know what? your mother is sick. you better come back. he comes back. he is arrested. it worked in this particular system, this lure worked. >> sort of. but we've got to watch this story there is one fundamental question. if you're in the department of justice or the white house or the fbi, you got to question that the europeans are already starting to answer. if you're going to engage families in persuading a kid to come back or persuading a kid he should never go out, what is
2:52 pm
the reward for the family? what i want to see in this case as a result of the lure are they going to tell the family the kid gets a break on his federal sentence? because the federal charge in this case is substantial. i don't see how you go to other cities where we've seen extremism, minneapolis, california and tell the next family cooperate with us if you don't tell this family your kid is going to get a break on the charge. >> the family may not want him to go to jail but that's better than dying in syria for isis. >> sure but yot got to think about what the follow on is. we have campaign to persuade kids and families to participate in federal programs not to radicalize, if the message is 23 you participate as a family and your son or daughter gets no break on the federal charge if i were the family i would say so what are you negotiating? you're going bring the kid back home and he's got at the age of 1815 years in federal prison? i don't get it. >> what do you think, general marks? how do you deal with this? >> you do as phil described. there has to be a collective effort here there has to be an
2:53 pm
incentive for the family to realize, look i might have blown it at home. i might have missed the leading indicator of my child's radicalization. and if the federal authorities are not going to reach out, i've got to be able to have some type of a guarantee that this young man, this young woman may in fact have a future beyond staying in prison the rest of his or her life. >> spider, what do you think about this new so-called military offensive, these troops in iraq, shiite militias backed by iran supposedly. they made the announcement. are they going to get anywhere against isis in ramadi? >> this is a really difficult step. the only folks that have been showing up in combat have been the shia militia, the nek, the quds force. the challenge is you're injecting a shia element. that has indicated not only a desire but an ability to fight smack-dab in the middle of sunni anbar. and the second largest city in
2:54 pm
iraq in ramadi. you have 600,000 folks that are predominantly sunni. and now you have this shia force that is coming in certainly backed by the government in iraq. but predominantly the government in iraq is shia. so this is a situation, wolf where there is probably no good folks involved in this fight on the ground. >> and they give this operation a code name. operation whatever it is. but it's something that is very favorable to the shia. but the sunnis are the majority phil mudd hate this. >> talk about winning the battle but losing the war. >> if you're a sunni tribesman and the government says our solution to this problem is not the iraqi military but shia militia, you might say great. the guys who beheaded us as sunni tribesmen are leaving the city. but the next day, boy, i want to join up with the shia-led offensive against our people? i don't get what the long-term solution circumstances i stand by and want to continue the breaking news. we're also live in the disaster zone in texas, where flooding has claimed yet more lives with
2:55 pm
a dozen people missing. plus a disturbing surge in violence in baltimore. now reeling from its deadliest month in more than a decade. let's take a look at your credit. >>i know i have a 786 fico score, thanks to so what else are you going to throw in? leather seats? >>and this... get your credit swagger on. become a member of experian credit tracker and find out your fico score powered by experian. hey, what are you doing? you said you were going to find out about plenti, the new rewards program. i did. in fact, i'm earning plenti points right now. but you're not doing anything right now. lily? he's right. sign up, and you could earn plenti points just for being a wireless customer. in the meantime, i just kick back and watch the points roll in. where did you get those noodles? at&t cafeteria. you mean the break room... at&t - the only wireless carrier to be a part of plenti a rewards program that lets you earn points at one place and use them at another. the promise of the cloud is that every organization has unlimited access to information, no matter where they are. the microsoft cloud gives our team the power to instantly
2:56 pm
deliver critical information to people, whenever they need it. here at accuweather we get up to 10 billion data requests every day. the cloud allows us to scale up so we can handle that volume. we can help keep people safe and to us that feels really good. attention. did you or anyone in your household work around asbestos-containing gaskets and packing? the garlock bankruptcy may affect your rights even if you do not presently have an asbestos-related disease. garlock's products were used in industrial and maritime settings, where steam, hot liquid or acid moved in pipes. certain personal injury claims must be filed by october 6, 2015. you may have a right to vote on garlock's plan to reorganize and pay claims. call 844-garlock or go to you total your brand new car. nobody's hurt,but there will still be pain. it comes when your insurance company says they'll only pay three-quarters of what it takes to replace it.
2:57 pm
what are you supposed to do, drive three-quarters of a car? now if you had a liberty mutual new car replacement, you'd get your whole car back. i guess they don't want you driving around on three wheels. smart. new car replacement is just one of the features that come standard with a base liberty mutual policy. and for drivers with accident forgivness,rates won't go up due to your first accident. learn more by calling switch to liberty mutual and you can save up to $423. for a free quote today,call liberty mutual insurance at see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance.
2:58 pm
2:59 pm
with xfinity from comcast you can manage your account anytime, anywhere on any device. just sign into my account to pay bills manage service appointments and find answers to your questions. you can even check your connection status on your phone. now it's easier than ever to manage your account. get started at happening now, flooding emergency. cars homes and lives washed away. as fears are rising that more bodies will be found in the floodwaters. we're live in the danger zone.
3:00 pm
attacking isis. iraqi forces say they have launched a new offensive to drive the terrorists out of the captured city of ramadi. but they're facing a raging sandstorm. and skepticism among the pentagon brass. china's anger. a confrontation with the united states is escalating after a secret mission by an american spy plane. what will the chinese military do next after warning the u.s. to back off? and deadliest month. after riots in the streets, there is a steady surge in violent crime in baltimore. i'll ask the naacp chairman about the impact of the freddie gray case. he is standing by live in baltimore tonight. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> this is cnn breaking news. >> the breaking news a flooding catastrophe that has turned big city streets into rivers swallowing up cars and people and ripping homes from their foundations. at least nine people are dead in
3:01 pm
texas and oklahoma. and after a desperate day of search-and-rescue operations at least a dozen are missing tonight. a state of emergency is affecting houston, houston. that's america's fourth largest city. and officials are warning this flooding disaster could last for weeks with more severe thunderstorms in the forecast for the flood zone and for the wide area of the united states from the gulf coast up to the great lakes. our correspondents and analysts they're all standing by. they're covering all the news breaking right now. first, let's go to our meteorologist jennifer gray. she is in the flood zone. she is near the texas capitol of austin. jennifer what's the latest there? >> wolf, all of this began around the wimberley area where we are in points to the northwest where this river behind me, the blanco river rose very, very quickly after torrential rains. it rose at least 44 feet before the flood gauge broke. and a it swept homes right off of their foundations.
3:02 pm
tonight devastating images of destruction and heartbreaking stories of those lost and still missing after relentless severe weather cripples texas and oklahoma. hundreds of homes washed away in hays county texas, and floodwaters that have left some of america's largest cities like houston underwater. >> the areas of houston that flood in those situations underpasses, low-lying areas were affected. and a lot of folks drove their cars into high water and had to abandon those vehicles. >> reporter: president obama spoke to texas governor greg abbott tuesday, offering the support of the federal government. >> our thoughts and prayers are with the families and the communities that have been affected by some of these devastating record breaking floods. >> reporter: several communities dealing with loss remembering victims taken by the rushing waters. like homecoming queen and
3:03 pm
student council president elisa ramirez who was killed on the way home from the prom. the car she was driving swept away by floodwaters. >> she did the right things. she called 911. she called her father. >> was too much and too quick. >> reporter: laura mccollum and her young children still missing after the cabin where they were staying literally split in half. her father-in-law telling cnn that rescue efforts have been challenging. >> it's a major undertaking. and the volume of water that came down as a result of the flood, it just covered hundreds of thousands of acres. and it seems to be an impossible task. but there are people that are dedicated to their mission. we remain eternally optimistic. >> reporter: her husband jonathan was also in that cabin. he was rescued, but not before suffering a collapsed lung and broken sternum. with more rain on the way at the end of the week, the texas governor worries that more lives could be lost. >> it's essential to understand that in so many of the rivers across the state of texas, we are going to continue to have rising waters.
3:04 pm
if there are rising waters if your local elected officials tell you to evacuate it is essential that you heed those warnings. do not drive into rising water. >> reporter: and that statement is so true. do not drive in those rising waters. it's hard to believe less than two days ago the water was above my head. >> has gone down quite a bit. with more rain in the forecast wolf, the end of the week and the week, the fear is more flash flooding across all of central texas and southeast texas as well. wolf? >> all right, jennifer. stand by. i know you're right outside austin texas. i want to go to houston right now, where nearly a foot of rain fell over a 24-hour period. cnn's ed lavandera is there on the scene for us. what is it like there, ed? >> what you see behind me is normally supposed to be a quiet little bayou that winds along the edge of downtown houston. this is what it looks like this afternoon. a fast-moving bayou as the
3:05 pm
floodwaters continue to recede and race out. still a very dangerous situation in many parts of the city. and that is what caused a lot of the flooding throughout this area. throughout the city of houston. you see a system of bayous that kind of cut and wind their ways through the city. this is what flooded in many parts, and quickly rose up. where we're standing probably had another 15 feet or so of water. you can see it. it's quickly receding. but the force of it is still very strong. here where we're standing here this afternoon, you can see on this lamppost on this one of the trails that you can take along this. you can see how high the water was rushing by here just several hours ago in the early morning hours. the difficult news here, wolf city officials say three people were killed. three people still believed to be missing. search-and-rescue operations are still going through trying to get to those areas where floodwaters haven't totally receded from the neighborhoods. so they're doing visual inspections on those situations trying to get a handle on all of the people that are missing.
3:06 pm
but it was a scene of described by one emergency official here in houston as a madhouse today as about a thousand cars were stranded on roadways throughout the cities as -- throughout the city as people were just trying to get out of the way of these walls of water that were spilling out of the bayous. a very chaotic situation in the overnight hours and into this morning as torrential rain downpours fell once again. these rains could continue. the good news is throughout the rest of this day, we haven't seen any more rain which has given these bayous a chance to recede at least get as much water out of the way as possible. but in the coming days more rain more flooding still very much a concern. wolf? >> all right, ed. i want you to stand by as well. the forecast not necessarily all that good in the days ahead. let's check in with our severe weather expert our meteorologist chad myers. what is the forecast, chad? >> more training thunderstorms. and let me explain what that means. think about a train on the same
3:07 pm
track. every car goes over the exact same place. now think of i-10 as that train track. i'm going back you up until 6:00 on monday. about to get a basketball game going in houston. nothing on the radar really. now all of the sudden look at this. this is 9:00 p.m. the game is starting. the rain is starting. and now we'll watch it go from 9:00 to 11:00. still pouring. 11:00 to 1:00 still raining. from 11:00 to 3:00 still going. so you said earlier, 10 inches 12 inches of rainfall in 24 hours. wolf it was 10 inches of rainfall in six hours. these people were trapped because it was nighttime. they didn't see it coming. people were driving into the waters. they had no idea how deep that water was. by the time it was done from houston back over to about sugar land there was 8 to 10 inches. and everywhere that is white, that's a 10-inch rainfall in those six hours here is what the bayous did. here is what they did. from an eight-foot level, the one that ed was just standing by eight feet all the way to 36 feet in two hours. there was no way to get out of
3:08 pm
that rushing storm system. and there is more rain coming there is more rain coming for the red river, up into oklahoma city, and still more rainfall coming for to houston and maybe two to three inches there. that is more than they need. the ground is saturated. the system refuses to move. the low is here. the high is here. the rain will be right through the middle part of the plains for the next weeks to come wolf. >> what a disaster all of this. all right, chad thank you. we'll stay on top of this story. there is another story breaking tonight involving iraqi troops. they're facing a raging sandstorm. and isis fighters as they launch a major new offensive to try to roll back critical gains by the isis terrorists. the operation comes after the defense secretary of the united states ashton carter blamed iraqi forces for losing the city of ramadi to isis telling cnn in an exclusive interview with our own barbara starr that they lack the will to fight. let's go to barbara right now. she has more on what is going on. what is the latest barbara?
3:09 pm
>> wolf today the white house cautiously endorsed the secretary's assessment. i have to tell you, we have now learned that carter got a number of intelligence briefs during the week bringing him up to date with great specifics about what was going on the ground in ramadi as the city fell to isis. so now looking ahead, iraqi forces on the move but a lot of caution what they may be able to do. as sandstorms rolled in iraq said it's launched a major military operation to take back ramadi. >> we were pleased to see today that the iraqi government announced the beginning of the mission to retake ramadi and to drive isil out of anbar province. i think that is a clear indication of the will the iraqi security forces to fight. >> far different from defense secretary ash carter when he spoke to cnn. >> it is very concerning that
3:10 pm
they showed that failure of a will to fight. >> reporter: after watching the chaotic final moments before ramadi fell top pentagon officials remain skeptical. u.s. military officials say so far, the iraqi units are just conducting probing attacks against isis. isis for its part is improving its battlefield tactics, calling in fighters from syria, using snipers and suicide bombs in new ways digging tunnels to get into ramadi and blow up iraqi fortifications. >> they are scouting the iraqi security forces and gaining intelligence from reconnaissance. they are understanding the capabilities of the iraqi security forces to include coalition air power, and they're adjusting their tactics to counter that. >> reporter: moving in small groups making it harder for u.s. warplanes to find them and staying off social media. >> they've seen that there can be operational consequences to
3:11 pm
essentially live tweeting or live posting regarding their operation. >> reporter: if the iraqis are going to win, they will need help. these shia militias some under iranian control, already beginning to move into position. but carter hinting it is the sunni tribes of anbar that the pentagon is quietly focusing on looking for ways to provide them with more weapons. >> they're the ones who have to get in the fight and win the fight. >> reporter: so now what the pentagon is really looking at is how can it recruit more sunni tribal leaders to the fight against isis. how can it equip them with new weapons, how can it train them and keep this all under the control of the government in baghdad, which so far is not anxious to have the sunnis in the fight at all. wolf? >> all right, barbara thank you. good reporting, by the way. appreciate it very much. let's get some more now with the chairman of the house foreign affairs committee, republican congressman ed royce of california who is joining us.
3:12 pm
congressman, thanks very much for joining us. you know ash carter, the secretary of defense. he is a very serious guy with a lot of experience. barbara just reporting he had been well briefed by the u.s. intelligence community. he told her that the iraqi military in ramadi showed no will to fight. is he right? >> well let's say that about the officer corps. certainly the officer corps gave the order to retreat. the officer there's on the ground. and this has been an ongoing problem. we should differentiate, though because some of those soldiers held their position. there were somewhere you saw in the print media how they had had family members killed by isis and they still held their positions there on the line until finally the order to retreat was given. one of the questions is which officer in the iraqi military gave that order to retreat. >> the problem was that they were several thousand iraqi military troops a few hundred isis terrorist there's, and the
3:13 pm
terrorists convinced the iraqi military to abandon ramadi, abandon their equipment, and runaway. >> and you also saw that some of the sunni tribesmen held their positions also. and it's their province after all. they were not happy about that order. so this is part of the problem that baghdad is experiencing here. because baghdad is perceived as being so close to iran, the iranian influence has been such that the weapons have not gone to the sunni tribes. the weapons have not gone to the kurds. in the national defense authorization act and the legislation we just passed we addressed that issue, wolf by mandating that some of the aid that we put through baghdad go directly to the kurdish forces and to the sunni tribes that are working there. because we know that the shia-led government at this
3:14 pm
point has not only provided woefully inadequate officers but have not provided the resources, the equipment necessary for the tribesmen. >> and there is a lot of fear it's quickly becoming potentially. hope it doesn't, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the government in tehran. i want you to stand by, mr. chairman. we have a lot more to discuss, including a trial that has now begun for an american journalist being held by the iranians. much more right after this. we all enter this world with a shout and we see no reason to stop. so cvs health is creating industry-leading programs and tools that help people stay on medicines as their doctors prescribed. it could help save tens of thousands of lives every year. and that would be something worth shouting about. cvs health, because health is everything.
3:15 pm
[ male announcer ] legalzoom has helped start over 1 million businesses. if you have a business idea, we have a personalized legal solution that's right for you. with easy step-by-step guidance, we're here to help you turn your dream into a reality. start your business today with legalzoom.
3:16 pm
the network that monitors her health. the secure cloud services that store her genetic data the servers and software on a mission to find the perfect match. and the mom who gets to hear her daughter's heart beat once again. we're helping organizations transform the way they work so they can transform the lives of the people they serve. you total your brand new car. nobody's hurt,but there will still be pain. it comes when your insurance company says they'll only pay three-quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do, drive three-quarters of a car? now if you had a liberty mutual new car replacement,
3:17 pm
you'd get your whole car back. i guess they don't want you driving around on three wheels. smart. new car replacement is just one of the features that come standard with a base liberty mutual policy. and for drivers with accident forgivness,rates won't go up due to your first accident. learn more by calling switch to liberty mutual and you can save up to $423. for a free quote today,call liberty mutual insurance at see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. we live in a pick and choose world. choose choose choose. but at bedtime? ...why settle for this? enter sleep number... don't miss the memorial day special edition mattress with sleepiq technology. sleepiq tells you how well you slept and what
3:18 pm
adjustments you can make. you like the bed soft. he's more hardcore. so your sleep goes from good to great to wow! now we can all choose amazing sleep, only at a sleep number store. save $500 on the memorial day special edition mattress with sleepiq. ends sunday! know better sleep with sleep number. [ female announcer ] traveling is stressful. but you can count on our 1,000 americas and canadas best value inns for room discounts, upgrades instant rewards, and a home town touch. we're back with the chairman of the house of foreign affairs committee, ed royce of california. we're talking about the battle
3:19 pm
against isis, a new military offensive aimed at trying to take back the city of ramadi. mr. chairman is isis winning on the battlefield right now? >> well right now isis controls after palmyra, after that battle half of syria and it's 70 miles from baghdad. now we've -- at least it won the last two battles, one in syria and one in western iraq. the question now is you know will this prompt a counterattack that is going to show success on the part of the iraqi units? if that's going to happen they have got to get the sunni tribes involved in a major way in that. and they're going to have to arm those tribes. i've met with the leadership of the sunni tribes. when they came to washington. they want to take back that province but they say they need the equipment and support from baghdad to do it. >> they see, what they see is this new operation to try to
3:20 pm
retake ramadi right in the sunni dominated area of anbar province. and the shiite militias backed by iran they announced this mobilization, if you will, and they give it a code name that is a shiite code name which can only anger the sunni majority in anbar, right? >> and that is the problem. because it creates more backlash as the sunni tribes will mention that is why arming the kurds and arming the allied sunni tribes in anbar as we have done in the past that are fighting isis is the way to go rather than bringing shia militia, sometimes led by iranian officers all the way in to western iraq. this is giving iran too much reach into the region. and it is complicating the effort to defeat isis frankly. >> could the isis forces are only about 70 miles outside of baghdad. we know they have taken control and had control for a year now of the second largest city in iraq mosul. now they have ramadi. is baghdad in danger?
3:21 pm
>> no baghdad is not in danger. but what is in danger is one of the major oil refineries the largest in iraq. and in this situation, isis is continuing to try to advance on that field. so it would be very important right now if the iraqi military can do a counterattack and actually succeed in taking back ramadi and pushing back along the refinery. >> congressman, i want you to stand by because we're getting new information about an american journalist jailed for nearly a year in iran charged with spying. his trial began today in tehran. i want to bring in our global affairs correspondent elise labott. what are you learning? >> the judge read the four-count indictment and adjourned after only two hours. the next court date unknown. nobody knows anything else about the trial because it is being conducted in secret. behind closed doors in iran
3:22 pm
american jason rezaian went on trial after ten months in iran's infamous prison. his wife and mother shut out of the courtroom. >> they were not able to go into the trial. they sat there and basically waited all day. >> reporter: iran says "the washington post" reporter is a spy who passed information to quote, hostile governments. the judge hearing the case so notorious for his harsh sentences, including the death penalty, he is sanctioned by the european union. today the u.s. called the entire case a sham. >> while we call for his trial to be open we also maintain that he should never have been detained or put on trial in the first place. >> reporter: rezaian, a dual u.s.-iranian national focused his reporting on the culture and daily life of the iranian people. he spoke with cnn's anthony bourdain last year shortly before his arrest. >> you happy here? >> look i -- i'm at a point now after five years where i miss
3:23 pm
certain things about home. i miss my buddies. i miss bureritosburritos. but i love it. i love it and i hate it. but it's home. >> reporter: his family and editor says jason is a pawn as iran seeks to close a nuclear deal with the united states and other world powers. >> the fact that it's proceeding in tandem as it were for the nuclear negotiations does suggest at least in the minds of some there is an effort to use jason as a negotiating tool. >> reporter: last month iran's foreign minister hinted at an internal power struggle. >> unfortunately, your friend and my friend jason is accused of a very serious offense. and i hope that he is cleared in a court. it is unfortunate that some overzealous low-level operative tried to take advantage of him. >> reporter: addressing a crowd of thousands of journalists at the white house correspondents dinner president obama promised
3:24 pm
to spare no effort. >> jason's brother is here and i told him personally we will not rest until we bring him home to his family safe and sound. >> reporter: but the obama administration has made a point not to link jason's case to the nuclear negotiations with iran. officials say doing so is more likely to scuttle the deal than secure his release, and only play into the hands of those responsible for his detention wolf. >> elise, thanks very much. i want to go back to the chairman of the house foreign affairs committee, ed royce. what do you think about this case? should it be linked to this nuclear deal that seems to be in the works, the deadline being the end of june? >> we should make it very clear to the iranian government that if their intelligence community and their judicial system can't protect someone, a journalist like jason and three other americans by the way are being held there, if their intent is to duplicate, replicate what they did in 1979 by taking americans hostages then what guarantee do we have that when
3:25 pm
inspectors international inspectors go in there, that they're not going to be taken captive? this needs to end now. and that is an old pattern. but to have the possibility of a death sentence for a journalist this is nothing new in iran either. we're going have jason's brother testify in my committee next week and other family members representing the other three families that are held there. but can you imagine being held for ten months in evin prison which is where some of the worst torturing has gone on you know against religious leaders, against students in iran. our hearts go out here to the family members. and we hope we can secure his reloose. >> certainly hope so indeed. we'll cover your layering in the coming days as well. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. just ahead how are the
3:26 pm
baltimore police responding. the deadly situation in baltimore after six police officers were charged in the death of freddie gray. and we're also following the fallout in cleveland after the acquittal of a police officer. will the justice department change anything? shopping online... as easy as it gets. wouldn't it be great if hiring plumbers carpenters and even piano tuners... were just as simple? thanks to angie's list now it is. start shopping online... ...from a list of top rated providers. visit today.
3:27 pm
3:28 pm
3:29 pm
3:30 pm
breaking now, grave new
3:31 pm
concerns about security and policing on the streets of baltimore. there has been a shocking spike in violent crime. while the city has been this the spotlight after the death of freddie gray. cnn's miguel marquez is in baltimore for us tonight. miguel, what is going on over there? what are you learning? >> reporter: a huge spike. we haven't seen these sort of numbers since 1999. and people here say it is only going to get worse. the long hot summer is ahead. [ siren ] a deadly and violent weekend in baltimore. 29 people shot, resulting in nine deaths, bringing the death toll for the month of may to 35. the deadliest month in the city in 16 years. baltimore's police commissioner says police are struggling in the western district where freddie gray was arrested. anger and mistrust between police and community at an all-time high. >> the officers tell me and their supervisors any time in the western when the officers pull up to respond to a call they have 30 to 50 people
3:32 pm
surrounding them. we have to send out multiple units at any time just doing basic police work in the western right now that says we have to work on the community engagement. >> reporter: a veteran baltimore police officer who asked to keep his identity hidden tells cnn the spike in murders and gun crimes in baltimore is a direct result of a coordinated police work slowdown. why do you think there is a great increase in the murder rate and the number of shootings in this town? >> officers stopped being proactive. >> not patrolling? >> not patrolling. stopped being proactive. >> stopped talking to the community? >> not stopping and stopped being proactive. i believe it's a direct result of officers holding back. >> reporter: cnn pressed the baltimore police commissioner on this issue. is there a work slowdown from baltimore pd? >> well, i hope not. i hope that my guys have stronger character than that. >> reporter: it's been over a month since freddie gray's death, and the riots that paralyzed this city in last week's six police officers were indicted on charges connected to
3:33 pm
his death. >> and morale where is morale for police officers? >> it's in the sewers. it's down. it's the worst i've ever seen in my career. >> reporter: this officer says they have lost confidence in their police commanders who they claim aren't protecting them. cops citywide hear one thing in daily briefs and then do another. >> at the shift call we get together and say again, we just are going to back each other and answer call 911 calls from our dispatcher. >> what they tell you. >> go in one ear and out the other. we do not believe in commissioner bass or his command staff. we want them to go. >> no smile at all? >> reporter: now, as we were tossing to the package there and you were listening to that we saw this right down the street from where we are. this is one of the buildings that was burned here in the recent violence with freddie gray. this is several catholic churches in the neighborhood who have come to this location. they're going to many locations, sort of the signs of the cross basically at many different areas in this neighborhood.
3:34 pm
the worst of the violence has been here in the western district. but wolf it has hit the entire city. everybody is bracing for what could be a very bad summer. back to you. >> let's hope not. all right, miguel thanks very much. let's continue the conversation. joining us the president and ceo of the naacp, cornell williams brooks. he is standing by live in baltimore. also with us our law enforcement analyst tom fuentes and matthew horace. cornell, you're there in baltimore. the deadliest month since 1999. 108 homicides so far this year in baltimore alone. what is going on? >> well, this is a tragedy unfolding in our backyard in the hometown of the naacp. we don't yet know why. we've seen this horrific spike in murders and shootings. but what we do know is this that the best way to respond to this crisis is with the police and the community working together.
3:35 pm
if there was ever a time ever a moment for community policing this would be it. because we've got to be clear. the mathematics, or the math of this tragedy is terrible. but if there is a solution it has to be with the community and the community and the police working together. so the naacp has literally laid down the welcome ma in the sandtown neighborhood opening up a satellite office working with the community in terms of providing people with job seeking services and social services working with ex-offenders. the point being here we've got to demonstrate and increase engagement and trust. and if we fail to do that, the consequences are real. and they're real for not merely police officers but most significantly, most importantly the city itself. >> tom fuentes, what do they need to do to try to fix this? it does appear that one police
3:36 pm
officer speaking anonymously to miguel marquez as if there is some sort of deliberate slowdown by baltimore police. >> i think when commissioner betts tells you when one officer responding to a call is surrounding by 30 members of the community preventing them from doing their job that's obstruction by the community, the community that needs the officers to save their young men from getting gunned down on the street every day of the week. so this is a crisis that is being manufactured i think by the fact that the community is not supporting the police. the police officers are looking at it. and when they talk about not being proactive, what they're saying is to be proactive might look like racial profiling. so if you wait until you're dispatched to a call well you didn't initiate the contact with the person, you were dispatched to it. those are significant things. and we need to show that there is a discussion on both sides between the police and the community on what to do about this terrible problem. >> we're showing our viewers some live pictures coming in
3:37 pm
from baltimore right now. this catholic church this march that is going on. horace you know this baltimore police officer says what's going on, it's coordinated, describing it as a police work slowdown. have you heard anything like this happening in other cities around the country? >> well i know a little while back there was an issue in nypd where people felt the officers weren't writing the same amounts of tickets and issuing summons in the same way they had been doing in the past. now there is no way whether to tell if that was the reason. but certainly there is a revenue point to be made and new york city knows what that revenue point. i would have to agree with both my colleagues on this matter. number one, we need more engagement. we need organizations like noble and other organizations to get in there and create and bridge that gap between law enforcement and the community. on the same token, as my colleague fuentes just said a little while ago, listen, you can't visit both ways. when people call 911, they expect a response from police. and when police respond, we
3:38 pm
expect appropriate policing. >> matthew stand by. i want to bring back cornell into this conversation. once again we're showing our viewers some live pictures. a little march going on in baltimore. representatives from a catholic church in the area. they're obviously and understandably deeply upset about what is going on. how worried, cornell, should we be? and you're there in baltimore and naacp is based, headquartered in baltimore about a really brutal hot summer in that city? >> wolf i'm very concerned. but we got to be clear here. the police have taken an oath to protect and serve. >> go ahead, cornell. >> okay. they have taken an oath to protect and serve. they carry guns. they carry badges. it is their responsibility to protect the community. and particularly at this vulnerable moment. and so while they may be people in the community as a
3:39 pm
consequence of violence having been perpetrated upon them in the wake of freddie gray losing his life in the back of a police van, they may be any number of people who are very anxious about the police being in their midst. but we have to be clear here. the police have taken an oath to protect and serve this community there is no excuse none whatsoever for any kind of a slowdown or work stoppage. the fact of the matter is their oath is ongoing. the people in the community have a responsibility to certainly cooperate and participate in their own protection. but the officers have taken an oath. and that oath is not to be abdicated. >> tom you want to respond to that? >> well, i think when you have a situation where this prosecution has been initiated against these police officer, you need to take a hard look at that. the rules of engagement that police follow are dictated by statute. they're dictated by supreme court decisions such as miranda rights. but they're also dictated when prosecutors bring charges against an officer that may be
3:40 pm
just doing routine police work chasing somebody down. they find what looks to them like an illegal weapon they place the subject under arrest and suddenly the three officers initially making the arrest are being punished for what may have happened in the van later on you know and those officers are looking at wait a minute. if we take a proactive action and that's the new policy that we're facing ten years in prison losing our career our jobs and everything maybe it's not a good idea to run after people. because when you run after them you tackle them bad things can happen. they can get hurt. when somebody resists arrest and the officers puts hands on somebody they can get hurt. when you pepper spray somebody they can choke to death and you're liable for that. so these are legitimate concerns that the police have of being backed trying to stop these murders that are in the streets. >> wrap this up for us. where do we go from here? >> we talked about engage. we have to remember reasonable
3:41 pm
suspicion and probable cause have never changed. the game has changed there is nor eyes on everything we do. but when you do things in good faith and bad things happen, you have to hope that the system is going to back you up there. are thousands of police officers around the country that go to work day in and day out and take those same risks. i would hate to see a situation where an entire department loses faith in the administration that anything they do is going to cause a prosecution. i think that's a stretch. >> matthew horace thanks very much. cornell brooks thanks to you. tom fuentes, of course always good to have you on the program. just ahead, a u.s. spy plane with a cnn crew on board makes what china is now calling a provocative flight. now the beijing government is retaliating. we have details of china's outrage. that's next.
3:42 pm
when you're not confident you have complete visibility into your business, it can quickly become the only thing you think about. that's where at&t can help. with innovative solutions that connect machines and people... to keep your internet of things in-sync, in real-time. leaving you free to focus on what matters most. you're driving along, having a perfectly nice day, when out of nowhere a pick-up truck slams into your brand new car. one second it wasn't there and the next second... boom! you've had your first accident. now you have to make your first claim. so you talk to your insurance company and... boom!
3:43 pm
you're blindsided for a second time. they won't give you enough money to replace your brand new car. don't those people know you're already shaken up? liberty mutual's new car replacement will pay for the entire value of your car plus depreciation. call and for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates due to your first accident. switch to liberty mutual insurance and you could save up to $423 dollars. call liberty mutual for a free quote today at see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance.
3:44 pm
3:45 pm
3:46 pm
we're following growing tension between the united states and china after an american spy plane undertook a bold mission with a cnn crew on board. now china is outraged and retaliating. let's bring in our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto. jim, you were on that spy plane mission. you did an excellent report. there are new developments. >> no question. despite what you can call a show of u.s. force china is double do you think, issuing its annual military white paper as it's called. china vowed to expand its military activities on the high seas switching in its own words from just air defense to both offense and defense. and assailing what it called
3:47 pm
provocative actions by other countries, including the u.s. days after a u.s. spy plane made its bold flight over contested islands with our cnn team on board, the conflict between the u.s. and china now escalating. >> that was the first challenge we got today. >> reporter: china's foreign ministry has lodged a formal complaint with washington in response to the mission which was met with eight ominous warnings like this one. >> china mainland please go away quickly. >> we urge the u.s. to correct its error and stop all irresponsible words and deeds. china's defense ministry took it a step further. in its annual white paper, vowing to expand military operations to the open seas and accusing a certain country, read the united states of meddling in the south china sea. >> translator: their purpose is to smear the chinese military and dramatize regional tension. i'm not ruling it out that this
3:48 pm
is being done to find an excuse for a certain country to take actions in the future. >> reporter: on chinese social media, citizens echoed the government's combative tone. one writing china's aircraft should fly to washington to pay a return visit. another, eight warnings? why not sending two missiles? u.s. officials are holding firm. vice president biden giving the commencement address at the naval academy said china's activity amounts to a direct challenge to u.s. principles. >> they're building airstrips, the placing of oil riggs, the imposition of unilateral bans on fishing in disputed territories. the declaration of air defense zones, the reclamation of land which other countries are doing but not nearly on the massive scale the chinese are doing. >> reporter: with the two sides positions hardening, there is questions how either side backs down to avoid real conflict.
3:49 pm
>> they're not going to take the sand and dump it back this sea. what else they're going to do, what they're going to deploy that's important. if it's a coast guard vessel coming by once in a while, that's one thing. if it's fighter jets that are landing there and conducting operations in the area, that's another thing. >> reporter: so what are the u.s. options now? we know the pentagon is considering flying planes directly over the islands and sailing ships within 12 miles which is recognized as territorial waters. but u.s. wolf could also act to reassure allies in the region for instance by rotating forces into a country such as the philippines. but in just one measure of how serious the tension is now, we noticed this in an editorial. this is an english language mouthpiece of the chinese communist party. it said, quote, a battle between china and the u.s. in the south china sea is inevitable. it's a little bit of saber rattling going on there. but each day the rhetoric
3:50 pm
ar cases where you have a land grab in one case and a sea grab in effect by china on the other side of the world. >> very disturbing. much more news coming up right after this.
3:51 pm
3:52 pm
3:53 pm
3:54 pm
houston police just confirmed a fourth death in today's flooding. that raises the overall death toll in the u.s. to at least 13 with another dozen people missing. another deadly storm, hurricane katrina, is one of the many breaking stories cnn has covered in the first 35 years on
3:55 pm
the air. tonight, i'm anchoring a spec report looking back at the many breaking stories we have covered since day one, including hurricane katrina. take a look. >> hey, powerful hurricane appears to be setting its sights on the central gulf coast. >> this may be the easy side of the storm, but it does not feel easy here on the banks of the mississippi river. >> it's a very strange feeling covering a hurricane, particularly one that was this size. >> i was in a walmart earlier in the day, and people just come up to you in the walmart and they're like have you heard about my town? >> the woman at the walmart said you should go to the gulf coast of mississippi because we haven't been able to get in touch with our wellrelatives and no one is reporting from there. when i got to waveland it was unlike anything i had seen before. >> i want to just show you a few shots around me. just the complete devastation. >> i went out with this fema body recovery team. we went to the house of a
3:56 pm
family their last name was bane. once you stepped on their porch, you could smell them. everything was ripped apart and things were on the floor, and very chaotic and mud everywhere and then they found them. >> these four people a man and wive and two children have died in this home. >> they had drowned in their living room. and it was a husband and a wife and two of their kids special e was really nothing they could do. they marked an x on the door and put the number four for the number of bodies on the door that were inside. and then they closed the door and left. >> anderson cooper is joining us live. hard to believe it's almost ten years since katrina. what a horrible horrible story. give us a little bit more of what it was like actually covering that devastating story. >> i think it was one of those remarkable times when cnn is able to kind of utilize all its resources and get people to a scene. we had people all throughout the region. i was in waveland for the first couple days then ultimately in
3:57 pm
new orleans and able to spend an entire month there broadcasting every night. and to be in places where relief workers couldn't get to or didn't have the supplies in that case, a fema body recovery team doing really important work but they didn't have enough body bags and refrig refrigerated trucks take care of those who died and for many of us watching it around the world on cnnt was hard to believe some of the images we were seeing not only in waveland but in new orleans and other places. >> amaze whg you think back. i know you have been with cnn now for about 12 or 13 years. i have been with cnn for fwoiv years. an incredible ride for both of us. what other stories stand out in your memory as we reflect now on the first 35 years of cnn? >> you know there's so many where we're able to get to a place very very quickly.
3:58 pm
i think going back to the earthquake in heightaiti 2010 the first team on the ground. we had a huge number of personnel there, and i eely never have been more proud of cnn than with our coverage there. i spent a month, i think on the ground there as well. i had been able to go back multiple times. to be there, you know it was a great privilege to tell people's stories and to be able to bear witness to the suffering of others to bear witness to what other people were going through, people who had been abandoned by their own government who had no resources, no heavy earth moving equipment, but were digging through the rubble with their bare and bloodied hands to try to save strangers and family members. >> i remember it vividly. what was your favorite story looking back on these what 13 years at cnn, that you had the privilege to work on? >> you know i don't think i could name just one. i think any time you find yourself on the breaking wave of history, anytime you fund yourself on the front lines of a
3:59 pm
story, and you're invited into somebody's home whether it's through the television or actually into somebody's home and they tell you their story. that for me is the greatest privilege of all. it's something i feel very blessed to be able to do. i think that's one of the things that cnn is able to do time and time again, is to get to the front lines and to bring home stories that others can't. >> it's amaze whg you think about it. we're all so blessed to have a front row seat to history, and we're grateful every single day. anderson we'll check you out in an hour on a.c. 360. thanks for joining us. thanks for your service to cnn as well. >> thanks wolf. >> i wrote a piece, a perm piece about the first gulf war on, if you have a chance check it out. i think you'll enjoy it. and remember later tonight, 9:00 p.m. eastern, our special report breaking news 35 years of cnn. i think you'll want to watch it. if you can't watch it live dvr it. you're a news junky.
4:00 pm
you're going to want to see this one-hour special. follow us on twitter. tweet me @wolfblitzer. tweet the show. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. "outfront" tonight, breaking news. counterattack. iraqi troops launch a major offensive to take ramadi back from isis. can these forces who gave up the fight now push the terrorists out? >> plus more breaking news. at least 13 dead 16 missing, as floosh flash floods swamp parts of the southwest. and the d.c. mansion murder investigation. let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm breani keeler