tv CNN Newsroom CNN March 11, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
instead of keeping the peace, the u.s. army soldier accused of going on a deadly house-to-house shooting rampage in afghanistan. afghans are outraged, so is president obama. and many now worry about retaliation. here at home, a better jobs picture and improving economy. now what for gop rhetoric on the campaign trail? and the people juggernaut film "kony 2012" join me. that and more ahead in the next two hours here on cnn. i'm don lemon. thank you for joining us. we'll begin with the alleged
murder of 16 afghan civilians by a u.s. soldier accused of acting as a one-man death squad. afghan officials say the shooting spree took place in two villages in kandahar province in the district known as the birth place of the taliban. sara sidner joined us with the latest on this story. sara, what do we know right now? >> reporter: president hamid karzai has released a statement saying 16 people have been dialed including 9 children, 3 women, and 4 afghan men. he's called this a deplorable 5k9 saying it's an act of terrorism that's unforgivable, and he is -- has been talking about what has to be done going forward. now, there is a full investigation going on, as you might imagine, from nato officials as well as afghan officials looking into this incident. what we're hearing from the international security assistance forces officials, they're saying there's one soldier, an army staff sergeant
who acted alone, who went off base around 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, went out to the villages and opened fire on civilians and then came back and turned himself in. they are saying this is absolutely only one person involved in this, and though we've been hearing from also afghan officials on the ground there saying -- questioning that, wondering if there are more soldiers on the ground. some of the witnesses saying they saw more soldiers on the ground. we know there are five people who are wounded that are being taken care of at coalition medical facilities in that area, but this is certainly a situation that has caused fear that there will be some sort of violent reprisals. this comes on the heels just last month of u.s. troops burning the koran mistakenly, but that created a lot of pressure on u.s. forces here because it exploded in protests that turned violent and ended up killing u.s. service members as well. don. >> sara, you said there were other soldiers on the ground it
is believed, but was there any indication that any other operations were going on in this area? >> reporter: well, there was absolutely no official operation going on in the area, that this was not a part of any kind of operation that had been set forth. this again, an individual had done this on his own accord and then turned himself in and now the army staff sergeant is in detention and is being questioned in all of this. and so they've disputed the claim by the taliban who on its official website has said that this was a part of a raid by u.s. forces. isf saying, no, this was an individual acting on his own. there's got to be an investigation into how this individual was able to leave what normally are extremely secure bases where you just can't go in and out without somebody seeing you, but at this point they're looking into all those aspects. there's a lot of concern, don, as you might imagine, that this is going to really make things difficult for foreign forces
that are here in afghanistan. this has very, very bad timing if you ask anybody on the ground here. they say the timing couldn't be worse. there will certainly be more pressure to move u.s. coalition forces out of this country sooner than later. >> sara sidner, as you said it comes not long after that accidental burning of the koran. thank you very much for that, sara. president obama called the incident tragic and shocking. he offered condolences to the victims' loved ones and said it doesn't represent the character of the u.s. military. of course, it probably isn't enough for most afghans. barbara starr joins me now by phone from washington. so, barbara, how is the pentagon handling this tragedy coming so shortly after that koran incident? >> well, you know, don, i have to tell you, you know, i don't think it would surprise anybody, the official word is that this will not deter the mission, sad and criminal as it is, but behind the scenes you can hear
the slumped shoulders in the voices of the military officials i've spoken to throughout the day. they are -- this is just a punch to the gut for them. they are both angry and furious that anybody in a u.s. military uniform could have done this, and they are absolutely heartsick. it does come right after the koran burning incident. they felt they were barely getting past that and now this. it just really couldn't be more disconcerting at this point. they're trying to take a very moderate attitude in public, not say anything that could incite any violence, but they are deeply, deeply upset about this, don. >> i have to ask you this before i ask you about this particular individual who, you know, they said turned himself in for this. what about the push for peace with the taliban? how will it impact, if at all, that? >> well, you know, what people have always said about those
discussions with the taliban is -- i think it was defense secretary robert gates who said all wars end by negotiating with your enemy, don't they? there's generally always some sort of political settlement, but, look, if the taliban perceives vulnerability on the part 69 u.of the u.s., on the pf nato and they get the sense they just have to wait it out a little bit longer before the u.s. packs up and goes, before nato packs up and goes, it could add a lot of problems to those talks with the taliban. it sort of takes away their incentive to talk and especially the top two, the karzai government. it just adds to the mix of how difficult this all is right now. >> absolutely. let's talk about the soldier accused of this rampage. do we know anything more about him? >> we are told, don, that he is a u.s. arm staff sergeant, that his unit has been serving in
this area which is a district in canada lhar -- kandahar provinc. we don't know how long he's been there. u.s. troops generally serve a one-year tour nowadays. he is not, we are adamantly told, he is not special forces, not special operations forces but rather belongs to what you would think of as the conventional army unit. >> and they're not giving a name? >> we do not have a name yet. it's certainly known to the army and the pentagon. they're not releasing it. >> barbara starr reporting. thank you very much. we'll continue to follow this developing story, the alleged murder of innocent afghans is far worse than other missteps by u.s. forces. but it's not the only mistake as we have been talking about. the u.s./afghan relationship was already under stress, severe stress from the recent controversy over the burning of the koran.
afghans were enraged by the des creation of islam's holy book. we must warn you in the video is graphic. pictures posted on youtube showing what appears to be a group of marines urinating on several bodies. remember that happened? these pictures infuriated many afghans. the video only added to many afghan civilians' loathing of the u.s. military. these incidents make the mission to win hearts and minds even more difficult. now the alleged mass car in kandahar province in a district no less considered the birth place of the taliban. more news overseas. we go to syria with u.n. special enjoy kofi annan and bashar al assad met for a second time in attempts to bring peace to the troubled nation. violent attacks killed another 32 people in cities across the
country, but annan remains hopeful that a peace deal can be reached. cnn's arwa damon has more now. >> reporter: at the end of kofi annan's two-day trip after meeting twis with president assad, there is no deal, just a series of proposals meant to bring about a cease-fire. the release ever detainees and unhindered humanitarian access, food and much-needed medical supplies in the hardest hit parts of the country. mr. annan saying if these proposa proposals were agreed to, they would lead to some significant change on the ground. >> it's going to be tough, it's going to be difficult, but we have to -- i am optimistic. first of all, i have been here for a very short period. almost every city wants peace. they want the violence to stop. >> reporter: the big question is how to put together a real plan to establish that peace. the syrian government continues
to say that it is targeting these terrorist-armed gangs. it says it will not give that up and that it blames them for the violence in the country. and the opposition for its part says it will not even entertain the notion of sitting down at the negotiating table until the violence ends. the violence seeming now to be centering on a province where there was an intense shelling of the capital and then a town not far from the border with turkey, residents were saying thee received a phone call from a syrian general telling them to hand over members of the free syrian army, hand over their weapons, or else face intense bombardment. >> a programming note, join us tonight at arwa damon and her team will give us an eye-opening tour of the besieged city of homs. it's called "72 hours under fire."
that's tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. next, we're going to discuss three provocative top pics, money, politics, and sarah palin. lz and will will join me live. plus, u.s. vets and mental health. more and more veterans are coming home from war zones needing special attention. straight ahead we'll profile a former soldier's efforts to get the help he needs. [ male announcer ] if you were building the perfect laptop,
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>> we'll see. >> okay. let's start with money, specifically the economy. more than 200,000 jobs have been added to payrolls for three straight months. we got the report on friday, and unemployment is down from a year ago. here is how the political debate over the economy is playing out. look. >> this is an anemic recovery after a long recession. 37 months in a row over 8% unemployment for the people in the united states. the longest streak since the great depression. >> we took another important step in a long road to recovery, and we got a long ways to go, but we've created 3.9 million private sector jobs in 24 consecutive months of adding jobs to this economy, and that is tremendously important. >> surprise, surprise. democrats and republicans disagree. so, will, is the recovery really under way and what's it going to mean for the presidential race? >> first, we have to recognize reality. by almost any indicator, job
groet or construction, industrial loans, car sales, that big plunge we took in 2008-2009 looks to have started to turn up. now, there are many questions about whether that upward turn will continue, what kind of jobs we were adding. you know, there's still a lot of debt out there in the economy. there are threats externally like iran. so will this curve continue? that's really hard to predict and no one should get in the game of celebrating or predicting that, but if it does, i'll tell you, clearly that will be bad news for gop presidential election hopes. >> will, you know -- lz, i should say, timing is everything. and the republicans will say, well, obama is just a lucky guy because all of this is happening as you heard lindsey graham say this is anemic. if you talk to anybody in the obama administration, they will say it's our policy. is it a reflection of policies or is it just he's the luckiest guy in the world? >> well, if that's the case he is still the most unluckiest guy in the world because he walked
in a situation that was abysmal. you have these gop candidates and leaders constantly bashing good news for america. i mean, i can't think of anything more unpatriotic right now than the ongoing onslaught of 200,000 jobs being created in this country. that's cause for celebration but what you're see something the core of this party and that they're more obsessed with trying to win the white house than being focused in on trying to turn this country around because you celebrate news like 200,000 jobs being created and how can we keep this going -- you're right, they're playing the game. both sides are trying to make this look good for their party, and i think what really needs to happen is they need to look good for the country. and the leader that does that is the leader people are going to get behind. >> i think that's tough to do in an election year. i think when everyone is so concerned about the economy, that's the best thing you have. you're not going to let that go and say the economy is improving. what are you going to hit the
other side on? right, will, the republicans are not going to let that go. >> probably not. but the future is still uncertain. >> i want to talk about this since we're talking about in an election year, the republican race keeps going on and on. alabama, mississippi next on tuesday. so what about these comparisons that everyone is talking about to 2008, obama versus hillary clinton. nicolle wallace was saying democrats were weren't energized back then. >> enough to make me squirm, but, you know, look, this isn't a movie about campaign staff. this isn't even really a movie about mccain and palin. it's a movie about -- >> yeah. wrong sound bite. other sound bite. >> the major animating force in 2008 was their anger at the bush legacy and the bush years. it's not passion, love, and affection for hillary and obama. the romanticizing of the election. >> okay.
it was interesting to watch, and i like nicolle, and she's been on the show with me and we've spoken, but i remember there was passion for women behind hillary clinton, lots of passion. there was definitely passion on the left behind barack obama, especially from african-americans. sure, we always romanticize history a bit, but there was passion then. so, will, is this right? people weren't energized by hillary and obama? remember, everyone said the media is in love with obama. there was no passion there? >> no, i have to disagree with nicolle as well on this. i think there was passion. and there does seem to be a lack of passion for these four guys that the gop is putting forward right now. but i draw one other comparison. in 1980 we had an election where george h.w. bush won iowa and the race muddled along for months. people talked about bringing gerald ford back into the race much as people talk about bringing jeb bush or mitch daniels into it.
the point is not, hey, mitt romney or whoever the eventually nominee could end up being like reagan. the point is at that point in 1980 reagan wasn't reagan. we don't yet know who these guys are, what kind of passion they will elicit come november. it's just when you draw parallels you need to take very, very, very long views. >> and it was june, lz, before it was even decided. still into june back in 2008. this is only march. >> absolutely. you know, i will disagree with will a little bit here in that i think part of the reason why we're not excited or you don't see people ebs sighted for the four guys, we do know who they are and we don't like them. that's what you're seeing at the polls. a flip-flopper in mitt romney. a philandering liar in newt gingrich, and then ron paul, you know, he has some good ideas backed by some that aren't so good. what you're really seeing is four people that it's hard to get inspired by because they're uninspiring people. to have so much baggage, they
should be called samsonite party. >> our view of the future is always painted over by our view of the present. when when he talk about the economy, what we think about the economy and these guys will be different than what we think come october. >> the other sound bite he saw was nicolle wallace talking about "game change. they didn't deny it was inaccurate, she just said those were her comments. we didn't get a chance to talk about it because you guys went on and on and on. happy birthday, lz. 50, 60, how are you? >> you're in tribouble. i turned the big 4-0 yesterday. >> answer the question, lz. >> unlike you, i'm not afraid of the question. >> oh, man. >> stop it. happy birthday and see you guys next week. even after they return home from wars, some veterans find themselves facing a new battle.
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our top story today, an american soldier went on a house-to-house shooting spree in two afghanistan villages according to officials in afghanistan killing 16 people. the circumstances of that incident are still not known. but here at home we've seen an increase in the number of soldiers returning from war zones with mental health problems. cnn's athena jones has more now.
>> another army achievement medal. >> reporter: jessica is proud of her husband's service. hal spent his tour investigating ied and suicide bomb attacks. >> you see a lot. one of the bombings in the markets killed women and children. i mean, it changes your whole perspective on life. >> reporter: when he returned to civilian life in maryland, he had a hard time coping. he learned later that he had post-traumatic stress disorder. >> i drank like a fish when we got back. really, i was just trying to suppress and kill the pain of what i saw over there. so it took a little while for me to actually get around to the idea that, okay, i need help. >> reporter: they contacted a veterans affairs medical center last may. >> i didn't have a choice. it was time to make a change. his moods were all over the place, his eating habits were up and down. we weren't even sleeping in the same bed because he would have flashbacks and nightmares.
>> reporter: paul got an appointment with a primary care physician, but he says the doctor didn't perform a full valuation and instead gave him medication to combat anxiety and depression. the mental health handbook says all new patients must receive a comprehensive evaluation and treatment planning within 14 days. the va says 95% of cases meet those requirements. but the department's own survey found 37% of vets have to wait longer than 14 days for an appointment. and once referred to a specialist, 52% have to wait more than two weeks to be seen. that was the case for paul. the pills he was prescribed in may only made matters worse and he didn't receive therapy. by july he was suicidal. >> they admitted me to the psychiatric ward over at the va clinic for a period of almost a week. i didn't meet the ptsd specialist until the end of august. even though they all knew i had
ptsd it was the end of august before i actually could meet with an actual ptsd psychologist. >> reporter: lawmakers are putting pressure on the va to improve. >> when a veteran has the courage to stand up and ask for help, va must be there with not only timely access to care but also the right type of care. >> reporter: thev a says it's reviewing mental health services at all its facilities. for the rains, some things are improving. they say paul's psychologist is great but they meet once, sometimes twice a month. >> i'm heading in the right direction. the question is will the va actually be there to stand by me and help me through the process. >> reporter: athena jones, cnn, fredrick, maryland. up next, more on our top story, the deadly shootings of 16 people in afghanistan. allegedly by an american soldier. plus, some of the big stories we'll be focusing on in the week ahead. uotes online, stm with our smartphone app. you name it, we're here, anytime, anywhere,
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david cameron and his wife samantha this week. tuesday the president and prime minister head to ohio for an ncaa tournament game and wednesday is the state dinner back here at the white house. then friday president obama heads to chicago and atlanta to fund raise. i'm poppy harlow. following the strong jobs report, wall street will focus on a key number of economic indicators this week. we'll get the latest retail sales data and two important inflation readings. also earn frtion a number of retailers. central bankers will meet for a one-day meeting on monetary policy. rates are not expected to change, but wall street will be all ears for what the fed has to say about economic conditions across the country. we'll track that and all the business news of the week for you on cnn money. up next, an update on our top story. a u.s. soldier is accused in the fatal shooting of 16 afghan civilians. we're back right after a quick break. you ready?
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children, 3 women, and 4 men. military officials say the gunman left his base at 3:00 a.m. and carried out the massacre in two villages. in syria peace talks ended in a no deal. special envoy kofi annan and syrias a president bashar al assad met for a second time today in attempts to bring peace to the troubled nation. annan is proposing a cease-fire and a release of detainees. he's asking relief agencies be allowed to deliver much-needed aid. joots going to be tough, it's going to be difficult. >> as they met, opposition groups reported that violent attacks had killed another 32 people in cities across the country. israeli air strikes into gaza have killed at least two civilians today. that's according to palestinian medical sources. they say 18 people have died over the past three days, and dozens more are hurt. israel says it's striking back after more than 100 rocket
attacks into its territory from gaza. a hamas leader says the palestinians were meeting tonight to talk about a possible truce. the last of the inmates involved in governor haley barbour's controversial pardons are all free. they had to wait while the mississippi attorney general challenge the pardons in state supreme court. he claimed barbour violated the constitution when deciding to pardon more than 200 prisoners before leaving office. four of them were convicted murderers. late last week the court upheld the governor's pardons. severe weather hammering the houston area and now a tornado watch is in effect for parts of louisiana. jacqui jeras tracking it all. >> we're watching western louisiana right now from just east of shreveport down towards lake charles. got this line that's producing strong to severe thunderstorms and we could see some damaging winds or an isolated tornado out of it. take a look at the video we have from the storms as they move through the houston area earlier today. they dumped down record rainfall, 2.81 inches to be
exact. and you can see a lot of roadways were flooded by this. this is finally a surplus now for the houston area. it's been ridden with drought for well over a year. so some real great drought relief for much of eastern texas while western parts of the state still dealing with dry conditions. now the plus side of this system is our temperatures have been crazy warm. we have had very mild temperatures. minneapolis, 64. that's a record high for you. 49 in kansas city. a little rain-cooled there, and 66 in chicago. these warm temperatures are going to be a little bit more widespread by tomorrow. look at this. some of you will be seeing temperatures around 20 degrees above the average. now, our storm system is going to start to move to the north and to the east. we'll be focusing in on parts of the great lakes for that threat of severe weather from chicago to detroit. you can even see this early in the morning for tomorrow. so be aware of that. if you're trying to travel today, just want to mention we've got quite a few delays out there.
a lot of these due to the winds from boston and newark, looking at 30 minute delays. san francisco, 30. you're over an hour at west palm beach and that's due to the volume. >> all right, jack committethan much. the people of japan stopped to observe a moment of silence for the victims of last year's earthquake and tsunami. among those paying their respects, the japanese emperor. exactly one year ago a powerful 9 magnitude earthquake unleashed a wall of water that swept away lives and homes. it also triggered the world's worst nuclear crisis in a quarter century. cnn was one of only a handful of journalists allowed back on the site. >> reporter: a year after these reactors exploded in a triple meltdown, reporters were reminded this is still one of the most hazardous places on the
planet. we wore head to full proftectiv gear and hazmat suits. this is our first look on the ground at the reactors. this is the heart of the nuclear problem in japan. what you're seeing over my shoulder are the reactors. there are four of them. the two you see over my right shoulder, those are two of the reactors that exploded in the early days of this disaster. when you take a look at the reactors, you can see they have a long way to go. this is a year after this disaster, and you can see that the force of the explosion crippled those buildings. you can understand how so much radiation escaped from this point. an army of 3,000 workers are now here daily in shifts to control the melted nuclear fuel and contain the furd spread of tthe
the radiation. a control center monitors the safety 24 hours a day. the highest risk we still see is if something goes wrong with the reactor says the plant manager. the plant is in cold shutdown, but the nuclear fuel needs constant cooling and the situation is far from over. tepco says the plant won't be decommissioned for at least 30 to 40 years. the challenges evident as we drive around the fukushima plant, debris still mangled from the tsunami sits untouched because of radiation concerns. these blue tanks and these larger gray ones hold water contaminated with radiation. tepco is continuously challenged with finding more space for the water. work conditions and safety while they have improved since the early days remain a constant concern. this man used to give tours to the public at the fukushima nuclear plant. before the accident i explained to many that the nuclear power plant is safe, she says. now that this has happened, i feel very sorry i ever said
that. kanesaki also lived here. she's now an evacuee uncertain of when or if she can ever return home. a year later she and 78,000 others of the legacy of this accident paying the price of nuclear energy going wrong. >> we are joined live now by our reporter. where are you now? >> this is, if you will, another part of japan's disaster. remember, there were -- it was a triple disaster, the earthquake, the nuclear disaster you just saw and then this, the tsunami region. there's about 350 square miles here in japan that was completely decimated by that tsunami, and, dorn, this area you see behind me, it looks like it might be desert or undeveloped farmland but this was a suburban community. there were 7,000 people who lived here, hundreds of homes. one out of ten people died in
this particular community, and this looks like it may have been the entry way to somebody's house or maybe part of a store, and it's now been turned into a shrine. there's a family grave site here and some flowers were that left here to mark what happened yesterday, which was the one-year anniversary of this disaster. this was just one part of it. this was a triple disaster this country now has to recovery from. >> it looks like no one can be seen for miles. coming up, remarkable video of a rescue caught on tape. 19 crew members pulled to safety, but what happened to their ship? details next. but first, during the civil rights movement, dr. martin luther king, jr. traveled throughout the deep south battling injustice, but have you ever wondered how dr. king learned about issue that is impacted the lives of african-americans? many people simply wrote to him. 100-year-old amelia boynton is one of them and today she's making her mark. considered one of the pioneers of the civil rights movement,
boynton helped organize the selma to montgomery march in 1965 known as bloody sunday. she was one of the 17 hospitalized after being beaten by police. that incident brought national attention to the voter rights movement and led to the signing of the 1965 voting rights act. all this week activists mark the 47th anniversary of bloody sunday by recreating the imagine and other activities. they say the push for voter rights is just as relevant today. so for her fight against injustice and contribution to history, we choose amelia boynton as our person who is at 100 years old making their mark. .
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now an egyptian court has acquitted the man. cnn's international desk editor is the here with more. why was this doctor acquitted? >> he was tried in a military court, not a civilian court. many say that because of that, he was garnered favor, and the judge presiding over the case said the statements they received from witnesses is contradictory. based on those grounds, they acquitted him. but the accuser's attorney is saying we're not going to stop here. we're not going to accept this verdict and they're going to take it possibly to authorities outside of egypt even if they have to go as far as the international criminal court. >> you said this was a military court, no the a civilian court or a criminal court. so any other options? >> well, not in this situation given the fact that it's a heavily military-run state at this point, but, again, these women -- they're not going to stop this fight. they were really ehuh mile hum.
also a remarkable helicopter rescue in italy. >> this is right off the heels of the "costa concordia." this one, it was a cargo ship that ran into a reef in the south -- it was the southeast coast of italy, and four helicopters came in and rescued the 19 crew members in this ship. as you can see, they're going down -- it's really dramatic video, and they're pulling one of the crew members up here and all of them were saved. no one was hurt, and actually everything is fine now. >> very interesting. >> happy ending. >> that's good. we've seen stories like this before. someone does something silly or something illegal, then they post the video of themselves doing it on the internet and then they get caught. so what is the latest version of this? >> okay. so there's a 50-year-old doctor in japan who posted a video of himself cruising down the road
at three times the speed limit. so you can hear the sound there of him going as fast as he can here, but he was going about 77 miles per hour in a 25 miles per hour zone. what happened is prosecutors suspected he was actually turned into prosecutors after they saw this video because they said he suspected he was driving over the speed limit. so he has his camera in the backseat as you can see. how they determined the speeds is they looked at the distance he covered in the time that had lapsed in the video. that's how they figured it out. if he is sentenced he could face 6 months in jail and $1,250. >> was he showing off the car to see how fast or just how good a driver or -- >> why would you do that, right? the reason he said he did it was because he wanted to show off the beauty of the ferrari and make his own promotional video for the ferrari. >> well, there you go.
don't be bragging. thank you. appreciate it. up next, insider tips on how to pick a winning bracket for march madness. i need all the help i can get. there he is, peyton manning. the sweepstakes, where is the legender nfl quarterback headed to? lots of speculation. i think john worthheim from "sports illustrated" can offer us some insight. ♪ [ male announcer ] offering four distinct driving modes and lexus' dynamic handling, the next generation of lexus will not be contained. the all-new 2013 lexus gs. there's no going back. ♪ why you fell in love with her in the first place. and why you still feel the same. but your erectile dysfunction --
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okay. peyton manning, lots of talk about his emotional farewell and expert tips on filling out your march madness brackets. grab pencil or pen and some pap paper. we're going to give you some information. we're talking to jon wertheim. the nfl bounty right there. let's start with the nfl now. specifically, peyton manning, jon. very classy good-bye to the colts who decided to release him. here's how it ended. >> i go with just a few words left to say. a few words i want to address to colts fans everywhere. thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. i truly have enjoyed being your quarterback. >> so jon, peyton manning won't land with just any nfl team.
who is on the short list right now? >> every nfl team that wasn't thrilled with their quarterback immediately started investigate i ing. the short list, several say miami, but it looks like a two-team race between arizona and denver. it's interesting. arizona has a great receiver in fitsgerald. denver is intriguing because if he goes to denver, that will mean the expulsion of tim tebow. i suspect that will be a media story. so it's interesting. we'll see where peyton ends up. another team may come in at the last minute. but right now, i'd say between arizona and denver. >> can you imagine the expulsion of tim tebow? do you think that will happen? >> i mean, even if you listen to john elway, they didn't seem to love tim tebow as much as the rest of the country. you have a chance for peyton
manning, three time mvp. you say look, all bets are off. >> we know he's in arizona today right? visiting? >> yeah. exactly. >> he missed much of the last season. all of last season after having two vertebra fused together. is this a 100% deal he's ever going to be healthy enough to play again? >> exactly. you talk to people in indianapolis. they say you can speculate all you want, but there's no guarantee he's going to play another down. we're talking about four different procedures. it's not a run of the mill injury. it's a spinal fusion. he's going to have to get some medical clearance before we can see him in a uniform. that's the unknown. they haven't been transparent, not that they have had an obligation to. but it will be interesting to see what team clears him to
play. i don't think that's a given by any stretch. >> you heard it it from jon wertheim. okay. here we go. let's talk some march madness. it kicks off this week. we want everyone to go to cnn.com/brackets. they can match their skills against me and the other anchors here. jon, you wrote the book called "score casting." you say that some of the stats that you have in the book can help me put together a winning bracket. the first one is ignore momentum. why? >> yeah. treat your brakcket like a portfolio. a team is hot. they have won four in a row. step back. take as many data points. when a team wins 30 games, that's going to predakt a lot more over the last three or
four. we get hung up on the small sample sizes of recent play. >> that means i'm going to hand it off to an expert and let them do it. next, you say think big. what do you mean? >> the fun of the brackets is finding butler and picking the upsets, but you have to go with the blue chips. big schools from big conferences tend to win. it's been 20 years since a small team has won. but the big schools win this event. >> game sites matter. why? >> yeah. in college basketball, even controlling for quality, the home team wins two-thirds of the time. if there's ever a tossup game and the site is clearly closer to one school than the other, they are going to have more fans. we think because the fans rattle the refs. the fact of the matter is home
team means a ton of different in college basketball. so pick the closer team. >> you said finally, we all love a big upset but reason trumps emotion. those are your tips from jon wertheim. i expect an e-mail with with some help very shortly. remember, you can test your skills in the official ncaa brak e et challenge game. head to cnn.com/brackets. join the cnn group to see if you can pick the brackets better than i can. we're back in a moment. okay-y... okay??? i've been eating progresso and now my favorite old jeans...fit. okay is there a woman i can talk to? [ male announcer ] progresso. 40 soups 100 calories or less. with listerine® whitening plus restoring rinse. it's the only listerine® that gets teeth two shades whiter and makes tooth enamel two times stronger. get dual-action listerine® whitening rinse.