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tv   CNN Newsroom With Jim Acosta  CNN  October 9, 2021 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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it helps keep your network safe by scanning for threats every 10 minutes. and unlike some cybersecurity options, this helps protect every connected device. yours, your employees' and even your customers'. so you can stay ahead. get started with a great offer and ask how you can add comcast business securityedge. plus for a limited time, ask how to get a $500 prepaid card when you upgrade. call today. you're live in the cnn newsroom. the batch of sealed documents contain answers about what helped propel the capitol ins reduction. donald trump is trying to keep the material under wraps.
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we're sure to hear about this tonight when he takes the stage at a rally in iowa. as he argues that the documents are subject to executive privilege. trump can claim it all he wants, but he's not the executive anymore as we know. it's this guy. president biden. he is rejecting trump's attempt to assert executive privilege. this seems to be a legal showdown as the house select committee investigating january 6th wants these records. they're focusing in on four close trump associates, including steve bannon, who is outright defying a subpoena from the committee. let's go to joe johns who's in des moines ahead of trump's rally. joe, the former president just reached his highest favorability rating ever in iowa. i suppose that explains the reaction he's receiving there in des moines this evening. what can you tell us?
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>> first of all, looking at this crowd and comparing it to some of the other state where is the president has been are very similar. this is by far so far the smallest crowd we've seen for donald trump, but it's early. he's not due here for several more hours, but i think the important thing to say is the question about donald trump appearing here in iowa here at the iowa state fairground sort of answers itself. this is the site of the first in the nation state caucus, of course, when it finally comes. too early to say of course whether donald trump is actually going to announce he's jumping into the race. we're told a lot of aides have suggested this is not the time. we know also that the people here in trump world have hired a couple of aides here in iowa to work for them so that sort of tells you where things are going. talking to people coming in, of
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course, there's a high expec expectation that donald trump is going to wrrun for the white hoe and he has great support. nonetheless, what the people here will tell you who work with the former president will say is this is very much like the other rallies where the former president has dropped into this state or that state to show support for individual candidates. he cares about and this is no different. so we're going to see chuck grassley, the long time serving iowa senator. a bunch of others here. the governor of course of the state. all speaking before this crowd at the iowa state fairgrounds keeping in mind that the iowa caucuses are a very long way off, jim. >> all right, joe johns. we'll be watching that rally as we know you will as well. thanks so much. appreciate that. and my next guest has warned that american democracy is under attack from within.
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she served as the top russia expert to trump and became a key witness denouncing trump's fictional narrative that it was ukraine, not russia, that interfered in the 2016 election. she's out with a new memoir. it's called there's nothing for you here. thank you so much for joining us. great to see you. i want to you talk about the bon a moment, but first, i want to get your reaction to the president campaigning in iowa. we saw some signs that said save america. i can't think of anything more orwellian than that. at the same time, he's telling steve bannon not to testify on what happened on january 6th. your reaction. >> well, obviously that we're in
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a very serious situation right now. you mentioned george orwell. his quite famous book was about a whole world in which lies, the point of the realm, lies were, you know, the thing that everything was built upon and telling the truth was something of a revolutionary act. this is where we are now. former president trump, he says he's president trump, he's going to go out to iowa and basically spew a whole lot of lies about what happened in the 2020 election. what's happened on january 6th. and about his own investigations as he's putting it, into the election and election counts all the away across the united states. so we're in that orwellian territory. president trump is in many respects, a character right out of those books. >> let's talk about your experiences to trump. i suppose there are more
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orwellian themes you right about. one thing you write about is that he wanted a quote, nasty list of world leaders. i thought i heard it all from donald trump, but there's always more for us. he wanted a list of anybody who said anything negative about him. you say quote, put this up on screen, at times like this, i felt like alice in wonderland watching the queen of hearting calling off with his head or off with her head. what exactly was going on behind the scenes? did you ever witness any officials or world leaders try to stand up to his madness? >> well, world leaders did, but of course, you know, they would get themselves in the cross hairs. we all know that he kept on running twitter feeds with key individuals. very famously, the mayor of london, sadiq khan, who stood up to president trump's decision to
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bond ban muslims from coming to the united states. he got on to the nasty list. and to anyone who says anything about president trump while he was campaigning during the presidential primaries and any point in the campaign or any point afterwards would immediately find themselves on that list, he also very famously trashed justin trudeau after it was reported he said something that trump took to be nasty after one of the g-7 meetings. and then there were many examples of this. and for someone working within the white house and the national security counsel, and the state department and u.s. embassies, there was an instruction after a point where they would keep a catalog of things that people had said to make sure that any of these individuals from foreign countries, that might be high up in the hierarchies, would not be invited to any kind of meeting with the president at any point during official gatherings. in many respects, this is fairly
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childish as one might notice right away. >> absolutely. and you baecame a household nam after you testified at trump's first impeachment trial. after that, you got death threats. you were advised to seal up the mail slot on your door. tell us what was going on. >> well, look, this is very typical. when anybody speaks out. just recently, president trump issued a statement against me after no doubt hearing that i've been out and about and this past week, talking to you and to other colleagues in the media about some of the things iwitn i witnessed. he's attacks his former press secretary, who also made a number of comments about things that she witnessed while she was in the administration. everybody who criticizes him in some way get it from him, then
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people out on the internet. all of these death threats and derogatory comments, threat of violence were mostly out on the internet, but of course, you know, we've all seen how once people get into the cross hairs, we can look no further than people like dr. fauci speaking out about the thoughts of getting through the pandemic and finding white paper, a white powder sent in a paper envelope to his office, for example, and having to be doused down by a hazmat crew. or opposition figures to president trump getting pipe bombs sent to them in the mail, for example, after his attacks on them. he has crossed over a threshold where of course january 6th is a classic example of this. where many support eers think ty have to take drastic action. >> also the sexism you face. in the trump white house, ivanka trump and fox news set the dress code for women. it was readily apparent for
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trump and those around him, it was all about the look, the image. not what you were or what you did. i remember that myself covering the white house. so i find it sbrinteresting you wrote about it. and you were given a nasty nickname. what happened? >> i didn't learn about this later until a member of the press who was doing interviews with me and an artable about my time in the white house. had gone an interviewed many of the men i had worked with and discovered i was known as the russia bitch. a certain compliment, i suppose, but i'm just discovering that most women were not paid attention to and in a recent statement the president issued, he claimed to never have known me. never noticed me.
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>> i remember you had conversations, multiple occasions. >> i was in the room with him. that's right. that's quite typical. just underscores the misogyny that if you're a woman or certain kind of woman that's not an entourage, you're pretty much nothing. kind of meaningless. a nonplayer in his world is one of the other officials described it. >> you and i did not have many interactions during the trump years at the white house, but i know from talking to your colleagues during the course of that administration, there are so many people in the administration who had a lot of respect for you. people inside and outside the administration. so you are the russia expert in all of this. who was brave enough to make it through the that administration and you did it in flying colors. thanks for your work and for speaking out and we appreciate your time this afternoon. again, fiona hill.
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she's also the author of the new book, there is nothing for you here. thanks so much. appreciate it. >> thanks so much, jim. and we've heard the testimony and seen the research. ahead, you'll hear from two young women on opposite sides of the world about the devastating affect instagram had on their teenage years and how they almost didn't live to tell their stories. ♪ ♪
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new projects means new project managers. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. when you sponsor a job, you immediately get your shortlist of quality candidates, whose resumes on indeed match your job criteria. visit and get started today. we are becoming a nation of bullies. just this week, we saw ante anti-vaxxers chasing kids out of schools. >> that's my choice. >> you're not being told -- >> and flipping over a covid testing site in new york .
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and you've seen school board meetings descend into chaos. >> we know who you are. we know who yo u are. >> with so many teachers harassed over covid restrictions, the justice department said they would -- but they are pumping their fists by telling the lie that the fbi is coming after parents. >> practically every day brings you reports about this
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administration weaponizing the federal bureaucracy to go after political opponents. i don't think we've seen anything like it in american history. for those of us who missed the mccarthy era, i guess this president is intent on bringing it to us. >> people have the right to say what they want at school board meetings, but much of this behavior is going unpunished and republican lawmakers know where these tactics are coming from. some are experiencing it firsthand. >> bottom line is i took the vaccine. i've had it. it kicks your butt. if you haven't had the vaccine you ought to think about getting it because if you're -- i didn't tell you to get it. 92% of people in the hospitals in south carolina are unvaccinated. >> oh, my gosh. lies. >> senator lindsey graham who you saw on the video is no
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str stranger to the behavior. remember what happened at the airport when graham dared to criticize trump for his role in the insurrection. >> you are a traitor of the country! do you know it was rigged? you know it was rigged! can't be like this forever wherever you go. >> january 6th is another perfect example of the bullies facing new consequences for their actions. many of the rioters are getting off despite evidence of an attempted coup. even mike pence who was chased around the capitol is brushing off what happened that day.
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>> i know the media wants to distract from the biden administration's failed agenda by focusing on one day in january. they want to use that one day to try and demean the character and intentions of 74 million americans. >> tell me it's a cult without saying it's a cult. it's almost like we are playing trump cult bingo. >> who won the election in arizona? donald trump. >> we don't know. >> we don't know. we don't know who won. i have that on my bingo card. for the most part, republicans have decided they will not cooperate with the committee investigating january 6th. that's despite a growing mountain of evidence, some released this week, alleging trump and his top aides tried to bully justice department officials into investigating bogus claims of voter fraud. some like steve bannon are vowing they won't comply with subpoenas to testify.
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bannon sounds like he wants to pull a thelma and louse. >> we're going to have 20,000 ready to go. >> the return of trump and it ain't going to be in 2024. it's going to be 2022 or maybe before. >> there they go. over the cliff. now, if bannon can spout that on his podcasts, if insurrectionists can walk away, if the bullies and their enablers can continue to gaslight us about lies then no wonder the bully in chief is plotting his comeback. it sounds like he's just getting warmed up. did you see him on hannity? talking about haitian migrants? >> hundreds of thousands of people are coming in to our country. if you look at the stats, if you
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look at the numbers, if you look at just take a look at what's happening in haiti, a tremendous problem with aids, many of those people will probably have aids and they're coming into our country and we don't do anything about it. we let everybody come in. it's like a death wish. it's like a death wish for our country. >> first of all, trump is lying and hannity is enabling him. haiti once had a problem in controlling the aids virus, but it is on the decline there. not that the facts really matter to him. by the way, trump has made these kind of remarks about haitian migrants before back in 2017 akoording to the "new york times." at the time, of course t white house denied he said it. but make no mistake, trump is still bullying with racist troeps jus like when he tried to ban muslims coming into this country.
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it's twisted and evil. sorry, can't listen to what you just said about the haitian migrants and say that's not evil. trump is scheduled to hold yet another rally with top gop lawmakers in iowa this evening. and these politicians have to ask themselves, why are you sharing the stage with that man? after what he just said about haitian migrants? and what he did to this country on january 6th? when you do stand next to him, ask yourself, can you feel the darkness that fills his soul filling yours, too? feels cold, doesn't it? in trump world, they're calling it make america great again again. if it sounds like a bad sequel, we can only imagine what the closing scene of that sequel looks like. on inauguration day 2025, if trump returns to power, which flags will the bullies drape across the capitol?
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facebook was back in the spotlight this week when frances haugen testified about internal research showing the company was aware of various problems caused by its apps including instagram's potential toxic effect on teen girls. two young women on opposite sid sides of the world know about that too well. they say content on instagram led them down a path of eating
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disorders when they were teenagers. sara sidner has this eye opening report. >> this is ashley thomas at 14 years old. having a complete meltdown because her parents are demanding she eat. >> just open your mouth and swallow it. >> thomas was in the grip of anorexia, starving herself. >> come on. come on. it's your last one. >> it got to a stage where i remember sitting down and my dad holding my jaw open and my mom sa wrenning food into my mouth. when i was admitted to hospital, the doctor said to me, we don't understand why you're here. you should be dead. actually in hospital, i, my heart failed twice. >> thomas says her journey with anorexia as a teen began with consuming content on instagram
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and clean eating and what she thought were perfect bodies. >> when i saw these influencers that had all liked and followers, i wanted that. >> would you say you were addicted to instagram? >> yeah. i was very addicted. >> thousands of miles from thomas' home in australia -- >> i was most definitely addicted to instagram. >> anastasia was spiraling out of control in the united states. clean eating captured her attention, too. i was just bombarded with these messages of you have to exercise every day or do these types of exercises or you have to go on this type of diet. >> the more she saw, the more anxiety and depression she felt. but she couldn't stop. she says that led to her cycles of beminge eating. their stories illustrate what former facebook employee turned
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whistleblower testified before congress. >> i believe facebook's products harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy. >> haugen also submitted complaints citing facebook's own internal research which found facebook's platforms, which included instagram, make body image problems worse for one in three teen girls. 13.5 teen girls say the platform makes thoughts of suicide and self-injury worse and 17% of teenage girls say instagram makes eating issues such as anorexia and bulimia worse. >> the company's leadership knows how to make facebook and instagram safer but won't make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical profits before people. congressional action is needed. >> remove content that could lead to imminent real world harm. >> mark zuckerberg responded in
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part, we care deeply about issues like safety, well-being and mental health. many of the claims don't make any sense. if we wanted to ignore research, why would we create an industry-leading research prak to understand these important issues in the first place? facebook has also said it welcomes regulation, but those who know the inner workings of the tech world say that won't save teens. >> their business model is putting teens into these loops of engagement. that's what i'm really worried about. if there isn't some quick fix to this thing. it's the intrinsic nature of the project. >> no! >> these two young women say simply put, instagram endangered their very lives at teenagers. >> we shouldn't have to end up in hospital beds or we shouldn't have to be fed by a gastric tube or our parents have to say good-bye to us or hand over their parental rights because your platform is encouraging us to starve ourselves.
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>> very disturbing. coming up, the man you saw in sarah's piece, tristin harris, who was featured in the social dilemma, and also testified before congress about the dangers of big tech, joins us next. >> the natural function of these platforms is to reward conspiracy theories, outrage what we call the race to the bottom of the brain stem. it's the reason why all of you at home have crazier and crazier constituents who believe crazier and crazier things and you have to respond to them. ♪ hands to the sky, all mine ♪ ♪ woah woah no ceiling woah woah good feeling woah ♪ before we talk about tax-smart investing, what's new? -audrey's expecting... -twins! ♪ we'd be closer to the twins. change in plans. at fidelity, a change in plans is always part of the plan. that was quick. and rewarding.
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before the break, we shared the stories of two young women who experienced the dark side of instagram. our next guest is an expert in the dangers of social media. he has testified before congress on the issue and was featured in the very disturbing netflix drama, the social dilemma. >> we built these things and we have the responsibility to change it. if technology creates mass chaos, loneliness, more polarization, more election hacking, more inability to focus on the real issues, we're toast. this is check mate on humanity. >> and tracistan harris joins m now. in reference to what we learned about instagram and the toxic effect on teenagers, you believe facebook, which owns instagram,
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not all parents understand this, is actually worse than big tobacco. we've heard that comparison thrown around the last several days. what do you mean by that in. >> big tobacco is pretty bad, but this is so much worse because children or teenagers, they have to use this. for example, you and i, we probably use text messaging as our primary means to communicate i'm guessing. if you're a teenager, a lot of parents don't realize that instagram might be your primary way of sending a message to someone and in frances haugen's testimony, she says one of the thing facebook knows is that parents don't know how to give good advice to their children because they don't understand the dynamics. they'll tell their kids, just don't use it, delete the app. that would be like me telling you, jim, delete the text messages app on your phone. you're not going to do that. it's not tobacco. it's a system of behavior
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modification. the guy with dread locks called them behavior modification imempires. systems of ai pointed at children's brains with a trillion dollars of compute power. how do i get you to stay as long as possible? for teenage girls, if you look at a food tip or dieting tip, it found a whole catalog of videos, eating disorders and anorexia. they don't know why it works, but it does. >> and it keeps those kids sticking around longer. they're spending more time looking at these things because the agolgorithm has figured out that's what you want to look at. let me read you what zuckerberg said in response to the whistleblower and put this up on screen. he says the argument we deliberately push content that makes people angry for profit is deeply illogical. we make money from ads and
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advertisers don't want their ads next to angry or harmful content. you actually argue that facebook isn't just harmful. it's the entire business model that is incompatible with democracy. what zuckerberg said and if you can expand on those comments. >> sure. so and what he said is ridiculous. one thing that's important about frances haugen's testimony, this isn't about her. this is tens of thousands of pages of facebook's own research showing that they know that it causes mental health problems and eating disorders in kids. they know it's worse than tiktok and snapchat. and then on the political side that facebook knows that it made political parties more divisive. a couple of examples. in poland and in spain, they interviewed political parties and the party said hey, facebook, we know you change your algorithm. oh, everybody has a theory about
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how you change it. what's yours? they say we know you change it because we used to be able to post a story about an ag agriculture policy then when you changed your system, we don't get traffic for that anymore. the only time we get attention and clicks is if we say negative things about our opposing political parties and we don't actually want to do that, but you changed your algorithm. so what that shows is that we don't have the sort of invisible hand of the political marketplace in choosing, we're choosing our way through. we have the digital hand of mark zuckerberg that has incentivized divisiveness and hatred and uncertainty over the calm things that make our democracy work. that's what makes it incompatible with democracy. >> it's unclear. i don't assume that you know everything that goes on behind closed doors, but i have to assume there are top facebook executives that have gone to mark zuckerberg and have said these things are happening.
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this is detrimental to society. is he just standing in the way of this? is it just zuckerberg alone? >> people don't know this. he has something like 55% of ownership of the voting shares so that's one of the reasons why the governance model is broken. you can't have one person with this much of the ownership and governance power over a company t what 3 billion people think, feel and do every day. when the facebook researchers say when your own researchers are telling you this is dividing political parties and causing chaos, he actually said, it's in "the wall street journal" article. he said not if it impacts the engagement numbers. and one of the reasons for that, jim, is that he set up a whole company where all of the employees, they have to actually increase this engagement. that's how they get their bonuses. so he said we're not going to do what's good for engagement, suddenly that entire pyramid of those employees working for that one number are going up, they're going to leave because they're not going to get those numbers
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going unup. there's an incentive structure. that's why we say the business model is the problem. of engagement at all costs means that the things people have searched, that's what goes viral and viralty is not safe for our country. >> that term viralty, it sounds so cold and clinical. let me ask you, let's look at the cover of time magazine. delete facebook. is what is being asked of people. there in that prompt over the face of mark zuckerberg. why do you think just to push back a little bit, i suppose maybe the facebook people would say this so forgive me for saying this, but they would say, oh, you know, over the years, parents in the media and people in government have worried about kids being corrupted by music. violent video games. that puts us again, this is you
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and me, just not getting what young kids like and what they want to do. >> so let me seal in that. >> by the way, that is not how i feel. but i do think it is what they would say. >> of course. let's be really clear. baked into human nature is we care about what other people think of us. baked into human nature is we compare ourselves to others. our looks. especially teenage girls in developmental times of their lives. this is baked into human nature. but it's another thing when you rope children into an environment where basically your job as a designer is to create as much social pressure on this pe person as possible because that's what caused them to come back. why did they invent the follower account? their children want as many f followers as possible? did they invent the follower account model so there's a reason to go back because you say, oh, i got 20 new followers,
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i should come back. their job is to invent new reasons to come back. we've never had a trillion dollars of ai. facebook is a trillion dollar company, which is crazy, and they've got an ai pointed at your brain to get the next thing to say there longer. they didn't rope you into social obligations with strangers who bully you so much so that on monday morning in the classroom, the teacher has to spend three hours, they have to spend the first two to three hours in the morning clearing up the drama that took place over the weekend because of social media. >> that is a huge part of kids lives these days. and their whole night can get ruined based on what somebody said on instagram. the fact somebody posted a picture of them and their friends and this friend wasn't invited. the way it crushes the humanity of young kids and teenagers these days, it's so awful, the thing that scares me the most as a parent, but i have to ask you
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about the political dynamics of this. trump obviously wants to get back on social media. he's been fighting to get back on facebook and twitter. he was kicked off of those things because he incited an insurrection. how much damage would that do in your view knowing what you know if he were allowed back on? >> i don't really think about whether one person or another if they're on it. what i'm more concerned about is the systemic nature of the platform. sub subtract from the equation, imagine we're just talking about how the mechanisms of the system work. take vaccines. if you're a person, this is true by the way for twitter, facebook, the other ones. if you believe in vaccines, you click on pro-vaccine articles, you must like that. i'm going to send you more videos of how the vaccine is safe, everything's wonderful. and here's video after video of unvaccinated people dying. if you're a non vaccine working,
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here's why the vaccine isn't safe. you click on that, then it shows you video after video of vaccinated people who had breakthrough infections. so each side becomes expone exponentially convinced they're right. notice that's not part of whether one person is on twitter. that's just how it works. >> if these social media companies could just help people get vaccinated, i think you're on to something there. it would be so great. and if they have the technology, the know how to get us hooked on these things, they damn well know how to get us, you know, to the information to get us vaccinated and protect ourselves. thank you so much. you're looking at live pictures from the island of la palma, spain, as more buildings are engulfed by rivers of lava. we're going to take you there in a moment.
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take a look at these pictures out of spain. hot lava spewing from a volcano in la palma. at least 6,000 residents were forced to flee their homes on the island last month and this new lava flow is within the same area. we'll bring you the latest on that when it comes in. why are some stories omitted from history? a new season of this is life tries to find out. >> by 1982, one in five detroit residents were out of a job. >> it's few and far between.
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you hiring? >> the only thing i can say is move somewhere else. >> suddenly, after a lifetime of well paying jobs, where they could afford a house, two cars, a recreational vehicle, a summer cottage, suddenly it was wiped out. >> the only answer is charity. >> people became destitute. the frustration turned into anger. people want to know, why is this happening to me? who can i blame? in the beginning, the workers blamed the companies. factories blamed the workers. the politicians blamed each other and in the end, they kind of all reached a consensus. let's blame japan. >> and all new season of this is life with lisa ling premiers tomorrow night at 10:00 here on cnn. who was the woman behind the princess? the new series, diana, seeks to
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find out. >> i was always different. that i was going somewhere different. >> she was going to marry her dashing prince like all the stories she'd read. >> she was iconic. she was box office. >> going to dance for the princess tonight? >> pre-diana, there was not interest in the royal family. >> i don't think anybody has grown up in public like diana has. >> diana provided a very public model for defiance and truthfulness. >> isn't it normal to feel angry and want to change a situation? i was able to recognize a determination to survive. >> the new series, diana,
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you're live in the cnn newsroom. we have breaking news at the start of this hour. an american eagle flight has been forced to make an emergency land


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