December 12th, 2012
09:50 PM ET

Exclusive: Panetta says Syria's chemical weapons represent a real danger

Tonight on OutFront, CNN's Erin Burnett sat down exclusively with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Burnett asked Secretary Panetta about the situation in Syria and whether he thought the Assad regime would resort to using chemical weapons against the Syrian opposition.

"I think there's a danger here, based on the intelligence that we got a few weeks ago, that, you know, they were, in fact, beginning to assemble these weapons and put them together."  He added that "as the opposition continues to move against the regime – particularly as they move towards Damascus – that if the regime feels it's in danger of collapsing, that it might very well resort to these kinds of weapons.  That's what concerns me most."

Erin Burnett OutFront will air live from Kabul tomorrow night 7p/11p ET.

Topics: CNN • Erin Burnett
December 12th, 2012
04:16 PM ET

Panetta: North Korea rocket launch a "clear provocation"

One day after North Korea surprised the world by launching a rocket that officials in Pyongyang claim was carrying a peaceful satellite, CNN's Erin Burnett sat down with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in Kabul, Afghanistan and asked him about the United States' response to this development.

"We're still assessing just exactly what happened here, looking at each of the stages and determining whether or not it really was a success," Panetta said. "But the fact that they've launched this missile is a clear provocation. We warned them not to do it."

Panetta also added that the United States is continuing to build up its military presence in the region, a task that may have greater urgency after this launch.

"One of the reasons we're re-balancing in the Pacific is to deal with the threat from North Korea. And we will. We're prepared to do that and we'll respond if we have to," Panetta said.

Tune into OutFront tonight at 7P/ET to watch Erin's entire one-on-one interview with Secretary Panetta.

Tomorrow night Erin Burnett OutFront will be live from Kabul, Afghanistan.

Topics: CNN • Erin Burnett OutFront
December 12th, 2012
10:59 AM ET

Arwa Damon attempts to visit purported chemical weapons factory in Syria

In a CNN exclusive, CNN's senior international correspondent Arwa Damon (@ArwaCNN) attempts to visit Syria's Scientific Research Facility, which is reputed to be one of the country's largest chemical weapons factories. She meets a defected Syrian soldier who used to work as a patrolman at the facility, and he describes the level of security on site and what he witnessed.

This report follows Damon's interview with Syria's 'Rocketman', a rebel fighter who repurposes unexploded rockets using everyday supplies like sugar. You can watch that report here.


Topics: Arwa Damon • Breaking News • Syria
December 12th, 2012
09:32 AM ET

Crist says he has same values, believes in "live and let live"

Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist tells CNN’s Soledad O’Brien why he switched from Republican to Independent to Democrat. O’Brien asks if he is still pro-gun, pro-life, pro-family and anti-tax, to which Crist replies that his values are still the same. However, Crist says he believes in what President Obama is trying to do with revenue to avoid the fiscal cliff and his view on social issues is “live and let live.”

On being a Democrat, Crist says, “I felt the need to go full circle. Really it’s where I feel a lot more comfortable to be perfectly honest with you.”

Crist continues, “I am pro-life, but I don’t believe in imposing my will on other people. I am pro-gun. I think that people should support and protect the Second Amendment. I do think that raising taxes is not something anybody really wants to do.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

Topics: CNN • CNN Politics • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
December 12th, 2012
08:37 AM ET

Rep. Cummings: We'll have some type of deal

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) says that there will be some type of deal before the fiscal cliff deadline, but does not back raising the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67. When CNN’s Soledad O’Brien asks him what spending cuts he would make, he says savings can come from making Medicare more efficient, negotiating drug prices and allowing the Affordable Care Act to work. O’Brien pushes back by saying drug costs may not be enough to deal with fiscal cliff and make both sides of the aisle happy.

Rep. Cummings says, “I think we’re going to have some type of deal. We may not have a complete deal, but this issue of tax cuts for those earning less than $250,000 – I think we will get that done. I just think that’s pretty much something we all agree on. I think that there may very well be parts of this that have to be done in 2013.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

Topics: CNN • CNN Politics • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
December 12th, 2012
01:49 AM ET

Eyewitness to mall shooting on: "Shooter was holding, in full view, an assault rifle,"

A woman named Meena says she was in Macy's when she saw the gunman, who was wearing black with a hockey mask covering his face, running through the store. "He was holding, in full view, an assault rifle," she says. When he was out of the store, Meena heard the sound of gunshots.
She tells CNN affiliate station KOIN that seeing the shooter was "surreal," and she thought he was part of a flash mob that was going to dance before she realized he was carrying out an attack on the shoppers in the Clackamas Town Center mall in Oregon.

Topics: AC360 • Anderson Cooper • Breaking News
December 12th, 2012
01:46 AM ET

Eyewitness speaks to Anderson Cooper about helping mall shooting victim

In an interview following breaking news tonight, Antonio Charro talks to Anderson Cooper about helping a victim who he says was shot, possibly in the chest, during the shooting at the Clackamas Town Center mall in Oregon. Charro tried to turn the woman over to see if she was breathing. "I stayed there until a nurse showed up...and she knew what to do," he says.

Topics: AC360 • Anderson Cooper • Breaking News