tv John King USA CNN June 7, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
>> reporter: congressman weiner got his guilt off his chest leaving us with his chest and his drawers. je jeanne moos, cnn. would you want this chest? >> if it were a little tanner, maybe. >> that does it for me. thanks very much. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." for our interviewers, "world report" is next. here in the united states, "john king, u.s.a." starts right now. we begin with breaking news this hour in southeast texas. investigators are on the scene of what appears to be a mass grave containing, according to a sheriff's department official, 25 to 30 bodies, including, we are told tonight, the bodies of children. a federal official confirms to cnn this grisly discovery was made at a home in hardin, texas. the fbi has been called in to assist this investigation as we start to get early details,
jeanne meserve joins us with the latest. sounds like a horrible developing story. >> reporter: it does, but we do not have the details yet. a law enforcement official telling cnn that at least 20 bodies may have been found at this home in hardin, texas. there are children involved. the law enforcement official says they are involved in securing that scene right now. a separate law enforcement source tells us that this is a local investigation. the fbi has been asked to provide an evidence response team to assist as needed. we've been looking at aerial pictures of the scene. we have seen a very heavy law enforcement presence. a lot of cars. some people out of their cars, but nothing going on at the moment that looks as though they are actively searching. we've been told by one source that they may be waiting for a search warrant in order to go in and figure out exactly what they're dealing with here. of course in recent months there have been other reports of mass graves in mexico. those have been associated with
drug cartels. this town in texas is not near the border. we have been told by a law enforcement official that children are involved here. this would appear to be a different situation. but we're waiting for more details. john? >> jeanne meserve working her sources. live pictures from kprc. i want to be clear, often early in an investigation like this the information you get turns out to be not entirely accurate, so let's stress we are just getting details here as jeanne noted. hardin city population, about 800 people. between houston and beaumont. some of the shots, many law enforcement vehicles are on the scene. cnn confirming as jeanne just noted at least 20 bodies allegedly have been found at this home in hardin, texas. children involved, we're told. law enforcement formers involved now. kprc, they are are the reporting dozens of bodies are found here, the liberty county sheriff says 25 to 30 bodies discovered
outside the home there. investigators said someone told them about the location. they are not elaborating on where that information comes from just yet. but dramatic breaking news story, we will stay on top of it. again, early information is 20 bodies or more, perhaps 30 bodies, some of them children. cnn working its sources locally, nationally, following our affiliates as well. we'll stay on top of this story. here in washington tonight, though, congressman anthony weiner is a lonely man. one calls him a creep, another says he should resign. and what are others saying? >> i know congressman weiner. i wish there was some way i can defend him, but i can't. >> the fallout from the weiner scandal in a emt month, but first dramatic developments in north africa, including a major escalation of the nato military campaign against the regime of moammar gadhafi. more than 50 bombs in tripoli alone this day, by far the biggest one-day nato barrage, most of them targeting gadhafi's
compound in tripoli. an audio message from the dictator essentially saying nato is going to have to kill him to get him to yield power. >> translator: we will not surrender. we will not give up. we have one option. our country. we will remain in it until the end. dead, alive, victorious, it doesn't matter. >> cnn's dan river's live for us in tripoli. explosions throughout the day continuing. rare to see so many of them in the daylight hours. nato sending a pretty clear message today it is going to escalate to try to force gadhafi to leave. >> reporter: yeah, this seems to be a new phase, john, incredibly intense barrage today that has been going all throughout the day. it's been very rare to have explosions and rocket attacks from nato jets during the day, but this started at about 11:30 this morning and didn't really let up.
about 50 different explosions we heard ringing out across the city, some of them very close to where i'm standing. we understand that colonel gadhafi's own compound was severely hit, as well as other military compounds. television there, defiant as ever. his spokesperson gave a press conference here, also a message of complete defiancdefiance, cl nato was using depleted uranium shells, something nato has neither confirmed nor denied. >> propaganda war between the regime and nato. we'll keep in touch. at the white house, president obama thanked germany for its support of nato mission. he claims substantial progress and says regime change in libya is a question of when, not if. >> chancellor merkel and i share the belief that gadhafi needs to step down for the sake of his
own people, and with respect to the pace of operations and participation, i think if you look at where we were three months ago and where we are now or two months ago and where we are now, the progress that has been made in libya is significant. >> also new developments tonight in yemen's political crisis. the u.s. official tells me tonight the condition of the yemeni president is more serious than his government is letting on. this official says it will take weeks if not months for salah to recover from injuries suffered on an attack, and this u.s. official tells us tonight the obama administration sees virtually no chance he will be able to return to yemen. our senior international correspondent nic robertson is tracking the power struggle in yemen. as you hear that, you reported some of this last night. the injuries more severe than the government is letting on. the obama administration now believing time will simply run
out on president salah, he will be in the hospital and developments in the country will overtake the possibility of his return. what's happening on the ground right now? >> reporter: well, it really sits with the vice president. the vice president has been left in charge, president ali abdul has yet to sign a document or give some signal, despite his injuries, he's willing to see a transfer of power in yemen. until he does that, it seems his government will hold out, between his son controlling the revolutionary guard, his nephews controlling other security forces, he can count on about 100,000 armed men in yemen to uphold his position. so while he's sick and ill, in hospital in saudi arabia, you have a situation across yemen where there's a semi cease-fire, but it's breaking down. about 400 tribal gunmen are helping control the city where there have been massive
anti-government demonstrations. we understand tonight there are government forces marching outside the city, they've gone in before causing heavy casualties. so really in the hands of the vice president. is he going to stick with the last instructions of the president? or is he going to go with the opposition at the moment, going with what the president has told him, hold on to power until i can come back. so while we're hearing the aspirations of the international community, there's no way the president salah can go back. we haven't heard it from him. until that happens, it seems the situation there is going to continue to deteriorate, john. >> and as we wait, more answers and actions, maybe more decisions from the vice president. nic, what are your sources telling you about the condition of the president? >> reporter: well, we understand that he's had surgery on his brain, neurosurgery. we understand that he has 40% burns. we understand that he has a collapsed lung. and medical experts say that for
a man of his age, in his mid-60s, to have received 40% burns on his body, some of them second-degree burns, to have had shrapnel removed from his body, to have had this surgery on his brain, he's lucky to have survived at this point. people describe his face as being charred. it's hard to imagine how he can physically go back. but he is stubborn. he is refusing to back down still, even in this condition. certainly we understand the saudis want to put pressure on him not to go back. but they're not saying, we're not getting any information at the moment from saudi officials. two days ago we were. they're not saying anything. you get the impression that people really -- the saudis, the united states' heavily involved here, the european government's heavily involved, they're really waiting for president salah to make his move. they can't move without him essentially stepping down. and that's not happening. that's why we're not seeing any developments. the injuries are very, very severe, but he's not quitting,
john. >> nic robertson for us tonight. we'll keep an eye on the situation, thank you. and in syria tonight, yet unconfirmed report of a defection, syria's ambassador to france is quitting because of the violent crackdowndy the syrian rezeem against anti-government protesters. and a significant twist, the family of a syrian-american blogger who has been highly krid cal of the assad regime says she has been kidnapped on her way to meet with anti-government protesters. her blog is called "gay girl in dam mass skas" she has dual citizenship and the state department is trying to get more information on just what happened. cnn's arwa damon has more tonight from beirut. >> reporter: it appears, according to this posting on the website, that she was somehow taken away by three individuals. the family at this point in time
trying to track down her whereabouts. activists also telling cnn earlier they have been following her case very closely, trying to ascertain where she might be held, believing that it might be at one of the military prisons. but this, again, would just be one in countless cases of individuals who have been standing out to the regime, being taken away and in many cases disappearing to unknown locations where families in some cases are recovering their bodies afterwards. >> an arrest or apprehension in this case, we've talked in recent days about the internet being cut off in part because the regime doesn't want communications, doesn't want videos of the uprising and some of the violence getting out. what is the sense after we talked yesterday about the increasingly armed aspect, the clashes involved in this, a sense that a government retaliation is coming soon. what is the sense inside syria? >> reporter: well, john, as we have been speaking, the most recent military activity appears to be concentrated in the northwestern part of the country.
it is there where the syrian government alleged that 120 members of the syrian security forces had been killed since friday. it is there where activists were telling us about a military siege that was in place over the weekend, where we have been hearing conflicting reports. some activists saying some residents had in fact armed themselves, deciding to fight back. others saying it was in fact dissent within the syrian security apparatus, where individuals, we are now hearing, who refused to fire then clashed with regime loyalists. we did speak with one resident who did say that the area was pretty much a ghost town. many people had fled, the electricity had been cut off, there were fuel and bread shortageages. another activist with a fairly extensive network in the country himself outside of syria said people, the doctors and nurses at the national hospital, had fled private clinics were shut down, most people seeking
sanctuary in these villages along the syrian/turkish border because everybody, john, is petrified that an intense military crackdown is imminent at this stage. >> arwa, thank you. human rights activists monitoring syria say the arrest is part of an increasing effort to stifle dissent. a long-time human activist who has extensive contacts in syria. >> we have received a report today from a researcher in damascus that she has been kidnapped by security forces, and we have also collected this someone released from detention this afternoon, and we believe that she at the moment is in the military security forces branch in damascus. >> what does that tell you, based on what your knowledge of the past history of this regime, if she is in that particular
facility, what does it tell you about what they are trying to do with her and what might be happening to her? >> she has been very active on her blog, i'm very concerned that the fact that she was kidnapped by the security forces, the syrian regime, especially during this uprising, has a long history of torture, of practicing detention, we have documented cases where people, nails were pulled out, severe torture were practiced on people who are in detention. and therefore there are serious concerns about her safety wellbeing and what she is being under and being exposed to at the moment and the military branch, security military branch. >> what does this tell you about the mindset of the regime, the evolution of that mindset? we know there are more arrests and detentions, we also know there's been significant, sometimes total disruption of
internet service and other telephone communications. what does that tell you? >> well, the regime started from the first beginning of the uprising to use violence to siege cities, to mass kill people. so far we have the commanded almost 1200 cases of people who are killed. we're talking about more than 900 people who are just disappeared from the streets in syria. we're talking about more than 11,000 people in detention. so the regime strategy is to suppress this uprising. the regime has been trying to incite sectarian feelings in the country, trying to provoke the vision because now it's the only way they can claim legitimacy, saying they've been trying to turn it into violence, the protesters refuse that, it has
been peaceful from the protesters side for the last 11 weeks, and it will continue to be peaceful. nevertheless, the regime has practiced all kind of brutality. we have seen helicopters in the sky yesterday, with he have seen tanks bombing cities, we have seen children, we have documented so far 77 names of children who were killed by the syrian security forces, more than 168 women. the level of brutality, the level of torture that they've been suffering is just something i've been doing human rights research for the last ten years. i haven't seen anything that brutal, that harming and that damaging to the person who are in detention or to the people who are in detentions. >> sir, thank you for your time
tonight. >> thank you very much. let's get some context on the day's big developments, in syria, yemen and libya, hafirst you hear those horrific accounts. we can't be there independently to confirm it. there was a report we've been unable to confirm of an alleged defection, perhaps syria's ambassador to france defecting. have you some indications or some sources suggesting not true. >> the spokesperson for the syrian embassy in london denied it, said an impersonator called this network france 24 and posed as the syrian ambassador to paris saying that that person had decided to resign because she, this was the invoices voic television, could not accept the violence, but it seems it was a hoax at this stage. this is the indication we're getting. >> we'll continue to track that. more importantly to the situation you see on the ground, escalating bloodshed in recent
days. the kidnapping, detention, call it what you will of this syrian-american blogger. what is your sense, you've covered the country for a long time. are we escalating to a tipping point or just more violence? >> i found it interesting the development in the northern part of the country where the government came out and said 120 security forces were killed by, quote, armed gangs. this fits into the narrative of the regime that these demonstrators are not internal, they're armed by the outside, that they're intent on causing chaos in the country. of course, you have an impossibility to verify this on the ground and some analysts suggesting that perhaps something happened in the northern part of the country, that perhaps there was a split anongs security forces and that could explain the large number of deaths. >> yemen, other question marks among many in the region, you see similarity in recent turns of events when it comes to libya and yemen in terms of the international pressure. >> why these two countries are
so important to americans. on the one hand, you have a nato operation that are the started more than ten weeks ago. you'll remember at the end of march this was going to take a very small number of days, a very short period of time, and it was going to. >> days, not weeks. >> exactly. days not weeks. it was going to force the collapse of the gadhafi regime, and it was going to protect civilians and it would be a great happy ending for everyone. instead, we're in week 11 right now. this could cost the united states billions of dollars when all is said and done. in yemen, you have another situation that concerns americans, because you have a country on the brink of civil war still, a very tenuous sort of agreement between the sides, but al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, the origin of several plots aimed at the west there, potentially taking advantage of the power vacuum in that country and growing its roots in yemen. >> and the question is, can we get a peaceful transition in both of those, either of those
countries, something that's going to keep us busy for weeks if not months, never mind days. >> we'll be talking about this, i think, in several weeks. >> thanks for stopping in here tonight. ahead tonight, a new warning for the obama re-election campaign, if the economy doesn't create more jobs, voters might not be in a mood to let the president keep his. and next, scandal can be lonely. democrats tell anthony weiner you're on your own. you'll findhem with their heads down, working their butts off. ♪ occasionally, they look up from their work, look behind them, see the pack in the distance, then put their heads back down and begin working again. the new chrysler town & country. quietly, convincingly the best-selling minivan in america.
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♪ one team. one planet bridgestone. last night we asked james carville his advice for anthony weiner. he had a two word answer, shut up. the congressman is following that advice today. almost. cnn caught up with him outside his new york city home and asked him about the call from eric cantor for weiner to resign. >> reporter: congressman cantor has called for your resignation. official call for your resignation. >> careful, guys. >> reporter: how do you feel about that? >> he's entitled to his viewpoint. >> reporter: would you consider it? >> i'm not resigning, no. >> just yesterday, weiner acknowledged sending a lewd photo over twitter to a college student and added he'd engaged in inappropriate internet
exchanges with roughly a half dozen women. will he survive political lit? a house ethics committee is being asked to see if he used government resources for his relationships or whether he otherwise violated the official code of conduct. mary snow is in the manhattan area, dana bash worked her sources on capitol hill fallout. dana, let's listen to this telling sound from the senate democratic leader, harry reid. >> i know congressman weiner. and i wish there was some way i can defend him, but i can't. >> what advice would you give him if he asked you? >> call somebody else. >> i hate to laugh, but it's just -- it's clear the democrats are saying, congressman, you are on your own. >> that's right. everybody is being so quiet, but that spoke volumes. absolutely spoke volumes. they aren making it clear he is on his own. as far as i can tell in doing reporting all day, there have been no explicit calls to him
privately saying it's time for him to resign, primarily because they know he does not intend to do that. nancy pelosi, a day after she already called for an ethics committee investigation, released a letter emphasizing it and making it formal. she didn't have to do that. it was a political move. a senior democratic aide told me it certainly adds pressure for him to go. they are not happy, and the words i'm hearing from aides and some lawmakers, i can't repeat. >> okay. republicans are trying to make a bit of an issue of this, and some of it is a gimmick but some of it is the way things go. they're looking at the election map and looking at democrats that would like to be in the next election, two democrats we know of betty sutton of ohio, she says she'll take $1,000 that he gave to her and give it to charities. $3,000 also returned, do we expect this to grow and mushroom? >> this is classic when people get in trouble, the campaigns of the other party pressure the vulnerable members to give money back. this is probably not a surprise.
but the bigger question is going to be, what happens with anthony weiner's friends and, you know, to be honest with you, from what i've heard from democrats, he doesn't have a lot of close friends. he's angered some democrats by the words of one democratic lawmaker to me today, grand standing, and others by criticizing the leadership. the question is, what happens when congress comes back, because if there's one thing going for him, john, it's that congress is not in town right now. so the pressure isn't mounting. >> what is the early reporting suggest to you about the ethics committee? the ethics committee tends to be very, very careful. they're investigating one of their own. anything they do sets a precedent for anybody down the line. the biggest question, is it government resources? >> it does. in fact, one democratic lawmaker i talked to, by the way, nobody will talk on the record, said it will be a game changer if we found out that he actually did use government resources to do any of this, sending the lewd photographs, the phone calls, it will be a political game changer. talked to several experts who know how the house ethics rules
work. even if he did, it's not a clear cut ethics violation to use a government phone or government computer for this. the other thing that's not clear cut is just whether or not he actually did do something that is not in keeping with the conduct of the house. i was told that never has a member of congress been actually punished for just that. it's been that and something else. >> so they used that to build a case to make the case bigger and deeper, not an official, well, you've embarrassed us. >> exactly. >> dana bash, thank you. congressman weiner hoped to be new york city's next mayor. the current mayor, michael bloomberg, had this take today. >> it's hard to believe, given the coverage that all of the press has given this situation that any voters in his district aren't familiar with the situation, what happened or whatever. and they will have an opportunity to express themselves in one year and four months from now. in the meantime, you know, i
keep saying, this country has lots of very big problems that maybe we should all focus on and congress should certainly get back to work and focus on. >> the mayor mentioned the election is more than a year away. mary snow you had a chance to interact with some of those constituents just today. what was their vote? >> reporter: really mixed across the board, john. there's some constituents who worry that there's going to be another shoe to drop and that anthony weiner will have no choice but to leave office. there are others who say, look. other politicians have survived scandals. he can, too. hang in tight. and others who say they're really just so shocked, he's been such a popular congressman in this district. they say they're angered, some say disappointed, saddened, but they don't quite know what to make of it yet and whether or not to call for his resignation. >> and, mary, it's a congressional district in the middle of one of the country's, perhaps the country's, most sort
of rock 'em, sock 'em volatile media markets. how much does the coverage, i saw the new york tabloid front pages today, they're having i'm going to say fun with this story. how much does that factor into the water cooler, that is the conversation in the district? >> reporter: so much of it, john. and you know, every -- we went to a couple of stops throughout the district, and, really, it was all anyone was talking about. and, of course, we saw in diners with some of the covers of the "new york post" and the daily news front and center, and that really is playing into this. and that is why, you know, you hear some of these constituents say they're worried. they're concerned that there's more, perhaps, damaging disclosures that will come out that will really force anthony weiner, force his hand. >> mary snow, live for us tonight in the congressman's district in new york. mary, thanks so much. when we come back, the day's other big headlines, including a new poll that's a message to president obama. help us get jobs, and japan's nuclear radiation, the
government says at least twice as much radiation escaped as we orangely thought. how much of that might have made it here to the united states? that's ahead. i love that my daughter's part fish. but when she got asthma, all i could do was worry ! specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different. we have access to great specialists, and our pediatrician gets all the information. everyone works as a team. and i only need to talk to one person about her care. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. the world needs more energy. where's it going to come from? ♪ that's why right here, in australia,
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welcome back. here's the latest news you need to know right now. president obama and the first lady are hosting a state dinner tonight for the german chancellor angela merkel and her husband. she'll be awarded the presidential nation of freedom, the nation's highest civilian award. and check out the gift the chancellor presented to secretary of state hillary clinton today. during clinton's last trip to germany a paper had both women in a similar pose and said who's
who? a gift is only possible because women now have a greater say in politics. from the looks of things, secretary clinton seemed to appreciate that. didn't she? when we come back, japan has increased its estimate of how much radiation escaped from the fukushima daiichi power plant. how much of that radiation made its way across the pacific to the united states? that's next. [ man ] ♪ trouble ♪ trouble, trouble trouble, trouble ♪ ♪ trouble been doggin' my soul ♪ since the day i was born ♪ worry ♪ oh, worry, worry worry, worry ♪ [ announcer ] when it comes to things you care about, leave nothing to chance. travelers. take the scary out of life.
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japan's government now acknowledges the crisis at the fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant was much worse than we were told how much radiation was released, confirms three reactors experienced full meltdowns. the nhk network reporting tonight the nuclear disaster task force finalized a 300-page plus report and japan's government promised to release a report about the health effects. the news validates the advocates like chief nuclear engineer consults with vermont's state government on the vermont plant. arnie, you were with us very early and throughout this crisis. and you long argued it was worse than they were tell is us. what do you make of this news now? how could they have not known? >> women, i'm not surprised. they're say these are all calculations.
all the instruments were blown to smithereens. they're call cue lating what these were. there's confusion and cultural issues too with the japanese, but the biggest problem is this combination of being a regulator and a promoter of nuclear power. there's a revolving chair situation in the japanese structure where executives go to work for the regulator and the regulator goes to work for tokyo electric. and that makes it hard to really see how serious the accident is while you're in it. >> as we try to judge the fallout, not only in japan, we'll see what the government report says, but we've talked about some radiation, relatively low amounts making its way across the pacific. you've seen evidence of what's called hot particles showing up on the u.s. west coast, in seattle, for example. how worried should people be? >> well, the radiation is initially comes out as a big cloud of gases. and that's what you can measure with a geiger counter.
but now what we're finding are these things called hot particles, and in the industry we call them fuel fleas because they're incredibly small. they're smaller than the thickness of your hair. in tokyo, in april, measurements indicate ten hot particles a day in what a normal person would breathe. and it's interesting, because in seattle, it didn't go down that much. it was about five hot particles a day. because most of the time, as we talked about back in april, the wind was blowing toward the west coast. that's why we were warning to wash your lettuce and things like that. now, what that means is that these hot particles can lodge in your lung or in your digestive tract or your bone, and over time cause a cancer. but they're way too small to be picked up on a large radiation detector. >> and so do you believe there
are enough of them that people in the west coast of the united states need to be worried? or is it a very minor concern? >> well, the average person breathes in about ten cubic meters a day. and the filters out there for april show they were breathing in -- per day, about five particles. these are charged, which is why we call them fuel fleas, too, and they latch on to lung tissue. you know, i'm still advising my friends to wash all of your vegetables to make sure you can get it off. but short of that, we're at a point now where you just can't run from the particles that are still in the air. >> we'll keep watching. i want to show our viewers satellite images of the fukushima nuclear plant march 14th compared to may 25th. when you look at this, three months since, do you get the sense looking at the new photos, number one first and foremost, do things appear to be under control now? >> no. the units are still leaking.
the difference in the picture, though, it was cold in march so you could see steam. sort of like breathing on a cold day. now it's hot, so you don't see the steam coming out of the plant. but there's still emitting radioactive gases, and an enormous amount of radioactive liquid. so the only thing that's going to make this go away is time. they're going to need another year or so before this radioactive material cools down to the point where it doesn't boil anymore. until it stops boiling, you're going to be cranking out steam and radioactive liquids. >> and if you look closely at the newer photo, you see what appears to be blue, i would call it spray paint, a blue covering of some sort. what's that? >> they started a program where they sprayed down a resin on the site to keep down these hot particles we were talking about. after the explosions, there's a lot of radiation on the soil. and you'll recall guys in the
white suits with the respirators on. that blue stuff is a resin and it's designed to keep the dust down. because if the dust comes up, it will make even more hot particles, which is really difficult to work in. >> we have video from tepco, the tokyo electric power company and it is of unit one. i want to ask you, arnie, when you look at this video, as someone who understands the design, the engineering in here, what are you seeing? >> it frightened me. what it's showing is that the nuclear reactor core has melted, and it's somewhere down below the floor. and you can just see boiling water and boiling steam coming out of that hole in the floor. it's the closest yet they've come to approaching that radioactive core. so that was the first thing. the second thing is that the -- these were taken with a robot. the robot measured a dose in that room of 400 r.e.m. per
hour. we call that ld 50/50. it's a 50% chance you'll get a lethal exposure in one hour. >> so if somebody was in that room for an hour or more they're likely dead or seriously -- >> if they're in that room for an hour, it's a quick death. it's not ten years out, it's a 50/50 chance you'll die within a week. >> and so let's take everything we've talked about in this conversation over the last several minutes, and take us back to the beginning. when we had conversations and you were critical about the size of the expansion zone, how far out people were when they were evacuated, is it -- do you have proof now to say they should have done this and what is "this"? >> there's a lot of proof coming in, largely because of the internet. we're not getting it from the japanese government or from the u.s. government. but we're finding in trenches along the sides of roads, roadside ditches, exposures on the order of 200 times normal. they found plutonium off site
about a mile away from the gate. so this accident is severe. and the cost of cleaning it up is going to be astronomical. i'm betting that it's going to exceed $200 billion with a "b" dollars. >> remarkable. this story is important not only for the people of japan but for people around the world. thank you for your help and insights. next we get an update from a crime scene in texas. ttd# 1-800-345-2550 ttd# 1-800-345-2550 ttd# 1-800-345-2550 and talk to chuck about ttd# 1-800-345-2550 rolling over that old 401k.
more now on this hour's breaking news from southeast texas. authorities are awaiting a search warrant in what may be some kind of a crime scene in hardin, between houston and beaumont. earlier reports called it a mass grave. now there seems to be some doubt about those initial reports. let's check back with our homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve. >> reporter: a federal law enforcement official told cnn as many as 20 bodies might have been found at a home in hardin, texas, that children might be involved. we've been continuing to check our sources at the federal, state and local level and we now are getting a slightly different picture. according to lee frijaya, assistant fire chief with the fire department, he says, quote, there are no signs of bodies or graves at this time. this he are still waiting for a search warrant. also captain rex evans of the liberty county sheriff's department spoke to cameras,
here's a bit of what he had to say. >> earlier today the liberty county sheriff's office received a call indicating that there was a crime scene here on county road 2049. deputies and investigators have responded here to the scene. to. we have found some circumstances that have raised some questions. and we have requested a search warrant. as soon as that warrant arrives here at the scene, we will further our investigation. >> so the situation at this point in time, john, still very much in the air. law enforcement has not got than search warrant. as far as we know has not gotten on to the property, has not completed their investigation into this situation. we'll bring you the latest when we have it. >> jeanne meserve tracking that for us tonight. thanks so much. we'll keep on top of that starry to find out what is happening in that small town. the message is quite simple,
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be vulnerable when it comes to the re-election over. let's talk the numbers over with cornell belcher, a democratic pollster who knows the white house operation quite well. let's start, washington post/abc news poll matched the president up against most of the leading republican contenders. the president does okay, 50% against most of the republicans. but against what i'll say the best known of the republicans right now, at least the person who ran last time, mitt romney, 46% for president obama, 49% for governor romney. speaker gingrich, 50% for obama, 44% for gingrich. i'm hoping we can show the numbers to the viewers. we must be having a technical problem with that one there. if the president comes in, mitt romney essentially runs even if you tate margin of error out with the president of the united states right now. now, governor romney is better known. if you're the president, you're in a dead heat, a long way out, but -- >> but, look, you have to take romney seriously. i'll also say at this point, you know, in june, 1995, at this
point, dole had a nine-point lead on bill clinton. so these polls are going to fluctuate. what you see now is romney is in the battleground states and campaigning. president obama isn't campaigning right now. they're on the attack. they're in campaign mode. he's not in campaign mode right now. you look at the osama bump, what was important was not the top line, but underneath that, he's a strong, decisive leader, he's good at protecting them which is what george bush had in aces and had held up for a long time. it is a really important variable. >> george h.w. bush had good numbers on foreign policy and leadership too and he lost in 1992 because people thought the economy was heading south and it was not getting better. let's dig deeper. washington post/abc news, how is the president handling his job overall. 47% approval, 49% disapprove. how is he handling the economy? 40% approve, 59% disapprove. six in ten americans disapprove of the president's handling of the economy. this in a poll that came out days after the government says
unemployment is 9.1%. that is a problem for any incumbent. >> it is a problem. let's be clear, in the end, this election is going to come down to a choice. it is going to -- president obama or whoever the republican nominee, which, by the way, i'm not sure it is going to be romney. he's up four or five points over palin now. it is who they trust more to deal with the economy, who they trust more to understand that the problems with their lives now. that said, given where the unemployment is right now if you look at where reagan was with job approval and clinton was with job approval at high unemployment rates, his job pool was between 47 and 51%. it has been a fairly steady trend line. they think he's doing a good job and they see him trying. they're not happy with the economy now. i'm not happy with the economy now. >> the president made it clear, he was at a news conference with angela merkel at the white house, and he made it clear he's not happy. some think we may dip down into a double dip. listen to the president. >> i'm not concerned about the double dip recession. i'm concerned about the recovery
we're on is not producing jobs as quickly as i want it to happen. >> unemployed americans want that even more than the president does. but that's the key, it is an economic question, it is also a psychological question. the president says the economy is not producing jobs as fast as i would want that to happen. if you ask the american people, the economists will tell you we're in a recovery and have been for some time. it is not robust, but we're in a recovery. if you ask the american people, are we in a recovery, 43% say yes, the recovery has begun. six in ten americans think we're still in a recession. >> that's the major problem facing the re-election -- the campaign that we're going to be challenged with is making people feel that. because clearly they don't feel, oh, that number, i will admit, that number has gone up over the couple of months but it is still not where it needs to be. all the economists say it and the data is there to say it. the president has a story to tell to turn this around but he's not in campaign mode yet. >> he's still the president of the united states. i'm sorry, the president every day is out talking about his
initiatives, going to key towns, going around the country, an auto event the other day. how hard is it, what advice do you give him on talking up the economy, but if he sounds too optimistic, people say look around my neighborhood, my family, mr. president, disconnect. >> the number one thing he has to do is get something done. and when america right now is upset about the economy and the deficit because they see washington fighting and nothing getting done, if he delivers and gets something done, he'll have a wonderful story to tell. >> you say a wonderful story. listen quickly this is tim pawlenty, former governor of minnesota, one of the republican candidates. they're trying to hone their own economic message. listen. >> the president is satisfied with a second rate american economy produced by his third rate policies. i'm not. i promised to level with the american people to look them in the eye and tell them the truth. >> any sense the republicans have come up with a new economic narrative or more let's g