Qualms Over Baghdad


It's Thursday January second while most of us were celebrating American troops. Were on an emergency mission. You start here. An American embassy comes under attack has been two days of rage outside this building. I would tit for tat with Iran turned into a terrifying defying forty hour assault. It's a New Year for president trump but some of the same old problems loom. The president. Wants you to testify in the trial. Would you testify in the trial. I would testify testify. I'm taking behind the scenes of his red carpet. Party or who showed up but Rudy Giuliani and happy new year. Unless you like that mango vape flavor it. Pretty much. Every flavor with a big caveat last-minute policy from the FDA that could shape the entire industry from ABC News. This is start here. Brad milkey in the capital city of nearly every country on earth. If there's an American embassy sitting somewhere in town that is where our ambassador works our diplomats sometimes even our spies in that embassy is technically American in soil. You're not allowed in without American permission. Even if you're that country's police same rules apply to other countries embassies in the US in DC so when those rules get broken lookin. It's a big deal. Good evening the. US Embassy in Tehran invaded and occupied Iranian students. Americans inside have been taken prisoner. His new and according to a student spokesman will be held as hostages. You might remember the Iranian Revolution back in the day when protesters stormed our embassy in Tehran. Are People were. We're trying to burn documents if they could escape eventually. Iranians got in and took American hostages but over the last forty eight hours. Another crowd gathered around the. US Embassy. See Things got scary a lot of these crowds. They started protesting outside the embassy and managed to get right up close to the building surrounding owning it. This time it back they heard shouting down down. USA just outside the embassy got so serious that president trump authorized the deployment of nearly a thousand troops to defend the place and while Baghdad is the capital of Iraq. This had everything to do with Iran next door. ABC's foreign correspondent. James Longman joins us. Now he spent a Lotta time near that that embassy and so james how to control. Did this get. I mean absolutely extraordinarily out of control. I mean almost unprecedented absolutely amazing that these these protesters were able to get anywhere close to what is supposed to be one of the most secure embassies in the world if not the most secure the days of rage outside this building ties fund fires lit. US troops having to shoot take asked to disperse these protesters. The crowds are able to climb the smash down the reception area in some pictures console at security personnel. Having to hunker down inside pictures absolutely incredible. They go well beyond the stuff that you normally see. If people burning American flags though we've seen not to and president trump pat to send in something like seven hundred fifty soldiers from the eighty second airborne division which is based in Fort Bragg. Now it's on top of more than one hundred marines that when flown in to bolster the marines are already there so this has gotten wildly out of control. We think things die down for the moment but certainly totally unprecedented. And so James you say how did this start. How did this get so big so quick? Yes so on Friday. We gotTA rewind slightly to Friday of last week when in the north of Iraq. About thirty rockets rockets were fired at a base in cook where Americans work and one contractor was killed there. The Americans identified. This group is KC has bullets in Iranian backed lacked militia group working in Iraq. A department defense took offensive actions in defense of our personnel and interests in Iraq. And so as a result over the weekend They the Americans deployed F. Fifteens to hit their basis in both Iraq and in Syria strikes were successful volt. Twenty five of their fighters were killed and many more injured and so that group then held funerals in Baghdad For these fighters autism off to the funerals. They came to the embassy to attack the country. They held responsible for the deaths of of their fighters. So all this kind of happened as a result of that first attack last Friday. I don't think anybody thought it was going to get a serious this. Because what we've seemed to have witnessed witnessed is effectively the tacit approval of the Iraqi authorities allowing this group to get so close and it goes to the heart of the issue so entrenched inched is Iran in Iraq's politics that basically the Iraqi security services two to one side the way I'm confused James because when when I think about Iraq and Iran traditionally those two sides do not get along we were bombing what we thought were Iranian sponsored terror groups why would Iraqis be protesting protesting with Iran against the US in Baghdad. Well you've got to think of it. Less as Iraq versus Iran and more as Sunni versus Shia Shia when Saddam Hussein a Sunni was removed. It basically empowered. The Shia who found allies in the massive shear power is Iran right next door and basically ever the since his removal the Iranians have entrenched themselves in every Paul toll of Iraqi politics. Most of the Iraqi cabinet has has links to Iran the military leadership for months Iran and Israel. They've been fighting something of a shadow war inside Syria but Israel says this is the first time Iran which has sent thousands of troops to Syria to prop up the regime of Bashar. al-Assad has directly attacked across that border. This is a country Iran which works to weaken the the power structures of its neighbors in order to gain power there. It's not just in Iraq. So that is what this is about. And so when you look at the Iran on strength in the Middle East then you've only got to think that hostilities are only going to get worse as this New Year progresses. So what we're supposed to be these targeted tit. For TAT attacks attacks on Iranian sponsored terror groups now becomes a firestorm literal firestorm in the center of Baghdad on American turf. James Longman thank you thanks. James brought up the stakes there. I want to dive deeper into that with Colonel Steven Gerrard formerly of the Marine Corps and of the State Department now he's ABC News contributor attributed and so colonel gathered. I've seen the movie argo. Are we in a place where embassy in Baghdad is now just going to be the site of Iranian based protest test in Iranian beast attacks obviously the. US quickly quickly gets concerned about another Tehran. Or another Benghazi. Good Morning I'm George Stephanopoulos and we were coming on the here because we have just learned that the US ambassador to Libya has been killed. It happened overnight when angry militants stormed the US consulate in Benghazi Libya. They fired shots at the building on fire. But this is quite different. This is in Iraq. Iraq is Is a country that needs the US to be there. does not WANNA have the US lead Does not want to be seen as has being the puppet of Tehran so if they had allowed the Iranian backed protesters into the US embassy. That would have been Even bigger political problem vested political problem. I think it all comes back to the point here. Brad is this is all about domestic Iraqi politics and it really isn't about the US. Iran attempting to deflect all the anger occur within the Iraqi people towards the US and away from Iran security forces. Police and the army have been firing live rounds at protested protesters' as volleys of tegas protests. All around Iraq now and these have not been about the. US has been about the Iraqi government and when people showed up to protest that they shot. Right I mean we've seen hundreds of people now killed. According to reports because these protests we did not see that kind of reaction from the Iraqi police these last few days I mean why why. Why the devil? Yeah it's actually it's actually It's almost humorous if you look at the way that the Iraqi police stepped aside and allowed the Iraqi protesters to come in towards the compound. This was fully coordinated with the government. The government In Iraq had to do something thing to appease their masters in Tehran appease the protesters two peas those on the political side. They need so. This was all quite carefully staged and they gave limits. This is why you didn't you see any of the Iraqis tried to go into the compound itself This this was this was staged as a Hollywood set. And so the idea of letting civilians blow off steam also not getting too entangled with Iran and meanwhile president trump saying. It'd be bad free Ron to mess with us. We'll see what happens next even gang. Your thank you. Thanks spread next. Start here it's not just Iran. It's giving the president headaches. Hello everybody happy. New Year. Happy New Year. We're GONNA have a great year. I predicted it. Just hurt salt on the. US Embassy was fast-moving required some quick decisions from the Pentagon and from President Trump. But that was not the only headline commanding the president's residents attention over the New Year's holiday. ABC's Cure Phillips was there with the president as he marked the New Year with guests at his mar-a-lago resort actually had kind of red carpet setup. Kiro was right there and Kira. He's also hearing new threats from North Korea right so all of a sudden things on his plate. How is he responding? Well exactly I mean here. He was celebrating grading his big New Year's Eve party right this flashy soiree and mar-a-lago and then he wakes up to a new year an election year with foreign policy issues. It's sort sort of like. Okay here's my New Year. WAKEUP call you mentioned Iran and what happened there in Iraq With the American Embassy will now Kim Jong Hoon is is warning that North Korea could reveal a new strategic weapon. Kim Jong Hoon promising a new strategic weapon threatening shocking action saying his country could end the moratorium on missile and nuclear weapons testing that is basically code for. Hey I'm testing an intercontinental missile. That could theoretically they deliver a nuclear warhead to the US. I have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un. I know he's sending out certain messages about Christmas presents and I hope this Christmas present is a beautiful vase. That's what I'd Light Cabanas. As opposed to something else now look we have been covering the story of North Korea for a really long time and every year There is usually a threat like this that comes to North Korea. But as we hear this Sir I mean we have watched the sort of diplomatic love affair between the President and Kim Jong UN number one sentence denuclearization that was done in Singapore Singapore. And I think he's a man of his word so we're GONNA find out but I think he's a man of his word and obviously with this new threat in the New Year That could impact that relationship Brad. Well obviously you know the president's got those foreign issues he's also got domestic things on his table including you gotta think impeachment and the impeachment trial coming up and I feel like for the last. Few Months Rudy. Giuliani was kind of he who should not be named by the White House since he started so much of this and and yet they're he was right in front of you at the president's winter residence. act to tell you something there. You never know what you're going to get from from Rudy. Giuliani and I will tell you when he does decide to talk to you. It is always extremely colorful so there he was coming into the red carpet. I called him over and I asked him. Hey what do you think about this impeachment trials. The president wants you to testify in the trial. Would you testify in the trial. I would testify. I would Due demonstrations I'd give lectures that. Give some Asians or I do what I do best. I tried the case and then he walks off it really care. It doesn't matter as far as I'm concerned I'd be very happy with the trial because we did nothing wrong and I tried to ask the president about that when he came onto the red carpet but he would only take a few questions. He did talk about Iran. He did talk about impeachment But didn't have a comment about rudy. Giuliani saying hey. He'd love to testify. I can't really imagine Senate Majority Leader Mitch. McConnell actually wanting Giuliani within a fifty mile radius of the Capitol as goes down but there are still questions about whether there will will be witnesses at all. Republican Senators Susan Collins from Maine said they would like witnesses. They've criticized McConnell for coordinating with the White House as they plan all this cure Phillips Silken of the Florida Sunshine see what clouds around the corner. Thanks so much you got it. mm-hmm a lot of new rules went into effect on January first because they were scheduled that way for a long time. Well this past New Year's Eve we learned a new national policy on vaping is set to take effect early in the New Year and this was not part of some longstanding plan. This new enforcement action from the Food and Drug Administration will suddenly ban pretty much every flavored. VAPE POD on the market setting off yet another scramble for this industry to start twenty twenty. ABC Stephanie Ebbs Covers Federal Agencies. She's been on the vaping vaping beat for months now and some Stephanie. These changes were first reported by the Wall Street Journal. How're the expected to work? Well by the president confirmed on New Year's Eve that the administration situation plans to roll out this new policy. It's very different looking than what they originally started talking about. In September when the president and the Secretary of Health and Human Services wanted this strong ban to stop kids from accessing these these vaping in nicotine products. We'll take take it off the flavors for time certain certain flavors We're GONNA protect our families. We're GONNA protect our children and we're going to protect the industry know what they're talking about now can split hairs a little. They're talking about banning flavored vape pods for those jewel like devices that look like a USB but not e liquids that are seen as is more popular among adults in Houston those older vaping devices. There's little canisters with like the jail that you can get into swapping out. Yeah exactly if you've ever seen a vape show show or adults with the kind of more bulky square looking devices that's an e liquid. They're sold in adult only shop so by the administration will likely argue especially with the tobacco age going up later this year. It's not as important to focus on those as those one time use pods that are really popular among teens but essentially every flavor that goes out the door certain ones that stay. It's pretty much every flavor with a big caveat that they are allowing menthol and tobacco oh flavored pods to stay on the market. We want the tobacco flavored. E cigarettes to remain available for adults who may be using e cigarettes to be off of combustible tobacco Baco they would be banning mint which is one of the most popular flavors of course mint and Menthol are very similar. So there's some concern that the most products could be basically basically relabeled and sold as Menthol and it's important to note that the most popular company with the largest market share jewel has already pulled a lot of their sweet flavors members from the market. So it is a big impact of pulling these these flavored products like fruits mango pineapple. But it's kind of unclear how. How big of an impact or how lasting everything safe? They're going to be going very quickly back onto the market so the flavors will come off. They're going to be checked. The president has said had that this will just be temporary as the FDA reviews applications to allow them to be sold again. And so the last time you and I talked about this Stephanie. Speaking of the president he kind of backed off of of a very similar proposal or wider-ranging proposal. I suppose I presume you kind of have to sign off on this his administration. What changed his mind? Oh absolutely so. When they first announced a full ban of every flavored vaping product there was immediate reaction from the pro vaping community? It is are largely adults that acknowledged that nicotine is a big problem but they also say that fourteen year had it using flavor paddock's you know having this as an alternative to traditional cigarettes is better for adults. FDA hasn't definitively ruled on the health impacts yet because these products haven't been around as long as combustible testable cigarettes and one other thing that Brad is at the president reference. A lot of people dying from vaping people have died from this. They died from vaping. We think we understand. Why more than two thousand four hundred people have been hospitalized with vaping related lung injuries according to the CDC today that's presumably a reference to the vaping related illnesses and lung injuries that the Center for Disease Control has been tracking now? US Health officials are describing their latest findings as a breakthrough suggesting vitamin E acetate may be the culprit the CDC says that those injuries and illnesses are primarily attributed to illicit or illegal thc containing they products not nicotine and tobacco. There is an adultery substance in there. That's very hazardous for the lungs. So the change we're talking about. Today is more about addiction and keeping teens off tobacco than reducing the rest of those injuries from illicit products and in fact outside of mar-a-lago yesterday you had signs reading strawberry. Kiwi saved my life and no government. You can't hit hit my jewel though the president's apparent sympathy for the industry that you heard there it's also angered a lot of health groups across the country. Stephanie APPs thank you thanks bad happened here last thing. We talked about some of the strange rules of international diplomacy earlier. Will they do not they get the cover escape story. Emerging this week from Japan. See a little over one year ago. Japanese police arrested one of the most powerful people. In one of the world's biggest industries industry's Carlos Gone has run some of the world's biggest car companies including it's a B- She Renault Michelin North America. He's a huge corporate titan. This time guns Jones been arrested after suspicions by Nissan that some payments to its Oman dealership. Were for personal use by its former chairman. He's also the chairman of Nissan when the Japanese accused him of misusing company funds. I mean isn't the Vol- The charges that have been rothe against me so for the last year after pleading not guilty. He's been out on bail but stuck in Japan under round the clock. Surveillance can't go anywhere and yet somehow he got out after a pound jumping bail. He said I have not fled the justice. I have escaped injustice and political persecution according to reports. Here's how it worked. Guns wife hired a band played a private show for him so so they bring their equipment to his house when they leave gone sneaks in the one of their equipment cases and is carried out as luggage. Luggage makes it past customs. The luggage makes it onto a charter. Jet From there goes from Turkey to Lebanon where I grew up in citizenship now. He's also a citizen of Brazil and France but the thing about Lebanon. It has no extradition treaty with Japan. Meaning for now. At least he's shielded from the courts. Japan which by the way have a ninety nine percent conviction rate Confirm no one is carbon. Same story now. The story I wanted to tell you was about what they're calling tumbleweed again. This I weigh in Washington that was shut down by hundreds and hundreds of tumbleweeds point cars were stopping and then just being buried read with fifteen foot high mountains of tumbleweeds. But can I get a C. It's kind of visual so check out our twitter page this morning at start here. ABC Porn all these stories at ABC News Dot Dot Com or the A._B._C.. News App. I'm Brad Milkey Wagner Twenty twenty tomorrow

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