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'That was a newborn baby': CNN reporter reveals dire situation at airport

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    After three weeks in Afghanistan,
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    we join the crowds at Kabul Airport.
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    Now, the only way
    out of the country.
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    There is a huge block here.
    Lots of cars.
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    Hundreds of people wait
    in the blistering heat,
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    hoping for a flight out.
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    So, we just managed
    to get into the airport compound,
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    and uh, I have to say,
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    it was pretty intense.
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    It was just, like,
    this crush of desperate people,
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    and screaming children,
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    and women and babies,
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    and um, yeah.
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    It's not often you really see
    desperation like that.
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    The few people that do make it
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    are exhausted and scared.
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    But, they are the lucky ones.
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    They've made it past
    the Taliban checkpoints,
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    Afghan security guards,
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    and, finally, the airport gate.
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    But, they can't forget those
    who they left behind.
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    We are getting out.
    We are happy for that.
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    But we are heartbroken
    for our country,
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    especially for those who can't get out,
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    those who are stuck here.
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    We are really heartbroken.
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    Our heart bleeds for them.
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    What do you feel for all the mothers,
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    with young daughters who will now
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    be growing up under Taliban rule?
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    Pain. Lots of pain.
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    [Aeroplane engine roars.]
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    The back of a pretty long line now.
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    Uh, transportation is under strain,
    they said.
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    Obviously, the priority
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    is getting children and babies
    out, as soon as possible.
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    But, I think we will probably
    be here quite a while.
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    Do you work for the U. S. military, or...?
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    Not military, but we are
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    working with the Ministry of Defense
    in Afghanistan.
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    But we also work with
    foreign people, too.
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    So you have a visa?
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    Yes. We have documents,
    and a visa, too.
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    As we interview this couple,
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    suddenly (there are)
    shouts behind us.
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    A vehicle speeds through.
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    [Vehicle sputters past.]
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    That's a newborn baby,
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    that just flew past,
    in that vehicle.
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    That was a newborn.
    Did you see the baby?
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    It was this big.
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    The baby, we find out,
    has heat stroke,
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    and needs treatment.
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    A reminder, for these families,
    that they are close to safety,
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    but not there, yet.
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    We stand in the blazing hot sun
    for hours,
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    everyone seeking what shelter they can.
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    [Child screaming, crying.]
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    Patience wearing thin.
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    It's an agonisingly slow process,
    but finally, we're allowed inside.
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    Out on the tarmac, now safe,
    but the chaos continues.
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    I have been waiting for two days.
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    Yesterday, since 3 a.m.
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    Yesterday since 3 a.m.?
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    Yes.
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    Tell me what the situation was like,
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    trying to get in to the airport.
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    It was really busy, and a lot of people
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    were just fighting, and trying to
    make way for themselves.
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    But, we pushed through.
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    We are certainly some of
    the very lucky ones, here.
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    Others, as you heard
    from that young man,
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    have been waiting for two days.
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    Others we saw getting turned around,
    sent back,
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    told, "you don't have the
    appropriate paperwork."
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    There is no question:
    everybody here is doing their best.
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    But, it's not clear
    if it's fast enough.
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    If enough people can get out.
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    And how much longer they have,
    to finish this massive operation.
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    [Jake] I want to bring in CNN's
    Clarissa Ward.
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    She is on the phone,
    inside the Kabul airport.
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    Clarissa, the Pentagon, today,
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    put out several images
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    that really get at the humanity,
    the sea of humanity there,
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    and the compassion of
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    the U. S. service members
    at the airport.
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    You saw, of course, the Marine
    holding the baby.
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    Another, 'fist bumping' a child
    going through processing.
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    The lines of Marines on guard,
    directing a woman and child
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    where to go for processing.
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    Obviously, everyone doing
    the best they can, as you noted.
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    The scene inside the perimeter,
    strikingly different
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    than the one outside the gates.
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    [Clarissa]
    Yeah, Jake. I mean, there is no question
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    that everybody here is just
    doing their level best
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    to try to mitigate the
    suffering and misery
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    of the situation.
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    We also saw, I saw,
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    a young female soldier
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    carrying an Afghan toddler boy.
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    I've seen people
    helping those in wheelchairs.
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    All sorts of acts of kindness
    and gentleness.
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    But, the reality is
    that this situation
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    is horrifying.
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    I'm looking around now,
    at a sea of people
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    lying on the floor.
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    They are lying outside
    on the gravel.
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    There is nowhere
    for them to sleep
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    other than a cardboard box.
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    They are cold. It's very chilly.
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    There is no blanket.
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    The bathrooms here are
    in a very bad state indeed.
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    And there is no sense
    of how long these people
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    are going to be here.
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    For over eight hours today,
    no U. S. planes even left.
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    So, there is now
    even more of a backlog,
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    and a bottleneck, than there was.
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    [Jake]
    Is there any sense of order,
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    when it comes to
    the effort to determine
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    who gets to come into the gates,
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    that last perimeter
    where the U. S. is?
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    And who does not?
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    [Clarissa]
    I think, in the initial process...
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    you know, there are so many
    "No's," along this chain...
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    initially, it's sort of like,
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    who can flash a document
    In the air,
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    and who can push the hardest.
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    Who has a young baby,
    or something like that.
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    Or is vulnerable,
    and at immediate risk.
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    Then, as you get further
    along the chain,
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    and closer to the air field,
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    you go through
    State Department processing.
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    And you really do have to show
    the appropriate paperwork.
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    And that is where we saw
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    quite a few people
    being turned around.
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    They are all sort of manually
    escorted off the base.
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    It does break your heart
    a little bit, to see that.
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    Because, you can imagine,
    you know,
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    you don't have all your paperwork
    in order,
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    but you are still petrified
    of the situation.
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    Ugh! To get that far,
    and get in,
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    and still not be able to get out
    of the country,
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    after all of that.
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    It's a heartbreak.
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    Jake, I'm walking outside now,
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    because I am being told
    that our birds, our flights,
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    might be taking off soon.
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    So, forgive me if it's a little loud.
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    [Jake] Okay. That certainly
    takes priority, Clarissa.
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    We have seen images
    of armed U. S. forces,
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    along the perimeter of the airport,
    and all week,
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    the Pentagon has said,
    that U. S. troops
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    have not been involved in
    any hostile interactions at the airport.
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    But, of course, any wrong move
    could quickly change the situation.
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    I have to believe
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    that that is one of the considerations,
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    as to why U. S. service members have been
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    basically told to stay where they are,
    within the perimeter,
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    because of the real, legitimate risk
    to service members,
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    from not just the Taliban,
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    but any one of
    the terrorist groups in the area.
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    [Clarissa] There are so many
    different threats, here.
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    So many different
    potential scenarios,
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    where things could rapidly escalate
    to a very, very bad place.
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    That's why there is
    a lot of tension in the air.
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    Because everybody knows
    that this moment cannot last.
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    It is going to be short-lived.
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    And they have got to get it right.
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    And they have got to get out
    as many people as they possibly can.
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    Because they can't just
    go outside the wire,
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    and start bringing people in manually.
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    This is why the negotiations with
    the Taliban are so important.
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    But the Taliban has a limit
    to how much they will tolerate.
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    And a limit to how much those
    burly, surly fighters
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    on the outer perimeter
    will tolerate.
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    And so that's what makes it
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    a potentially very dangerous
    situation.
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    It is like a powder keg.
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    One thing goes wrong,
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    and it all goes very wrong.
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    [Jake] Well, Clarissa,
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    I am so glad that you
    are getting on a plane to get out.
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    I just want to say,
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    on behalf of everybody here
    at CNN,
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    and everybody who has been
    watching CNN,
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    your reporting has been brave,
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    and amazing, and with empathy,
    and with courage.
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    We are so lucky to have you
    as a colleague.
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    Thank you for what you have done
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    to tell the story
    of what is going on there.
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    [Clarissa] Thank you so much, Jake.
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    Thank you from all of us,
    very much. Thank you.
Tytuł:
'That was a newborn baby': CNN reporter reveals dire situation at airport
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Video Language:
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Duration:
09:02

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