tv CNN Newsroom CNN May 2, 2012 8:00am-10:00am PDT
hello, everyone. i'm kyra phillips. it's 11:00 on the east coast. 8:00 out west. we've got quite a busy hour for you. live pictures right now. mitt romney speaking in virginia. so far no response to president obama's exit plan to afghanistan which he criticized last night, but we are continuing to monitor this live event. we will bring you the latest as it happens. renewed threats by the taliban less than 12 hours after president obama's surprise visit to afghanistan to talk troop withdrawals. today the taliban warns that they are launching a, quote,
spring offensive. that threat follows this deadly attack in kabul but a taliban suicide bomber two hours after president obama left afghanistan and the taliban claiming it's just a sign of things to come. let's go straight to nick payton walsh in kabul. when the taliban says spring offensive, tell us exactly what that means. >> reporter: well, something they were talking about two weeks ago but today their statements shortly after barack obama left made it clear they consider it a new operation ahead of them. something they called al faruq, an arabic term referring between a person who can distinguish between good and evil. many targets, principally foreigners, those assisting foreigners, afghan security forces and a variety of other tactics which, of course, this kind of statement is try to design fear through the afghans working with the nato campaign here. we saw this morning a suicide
bomber driving a car laden with explosives into the gates of something called the greenvilleage, secure compound popular with foreign contractors here and in the ensuing crossfire there were seven people killed, including one school child and ten schoolchildren injured, so despite the fact that it's part of this announcement of al faruq, it's clear the taliban want to cause no civilian casualties, that's certainly not the case today. the united nations condemning the attack for occurring 200 meters away from a school. >> this is something that the taliban has come forward and talked about every time this year. what is it going -- do you see anything different this time around? >> i think the big difference is the volume we're hearing from the united states about their departure. the previous rear that was something that was supposed to be happening in the years ahead. now it's happening and the surge is withdrawing by september and he says he wants the afghans in
charge of their own security and a steady withdrawal pace from september onwards. that means more troops leaving very soon indeed, and with that particular dynamic here, i'm sure if you're an insurgent you're not really trying to work out what you're going to do in the next month ahead or panicking particularly. you're just going to sit it out and see exactly how the land lies after that. that's the big concern here, that now with this pretty sizable speeding up of nato's withdrawal by many countries, including the united states, that we are going to see an insurgency. no longer is it back foot and moving forward and making its presence felt in different parts of afghan. >> thanks. president obama is vowing american troops in afghanistan won't remain there a single day longer than necessary and that's the key to his exit strategy for the longest war in u.s. history. he announce it had last night in an address from the war zone, but what about specifics? athena jones joins us now out of washington. what are you hearing about the president's plan? >> reporter: good morning, first
of all, forgive the news, just saw the president's helicopter land there on the south lawn. what we're hearing most talked about in the plan and the speech is really the timing of it. we know, of course, that it fell on the anniversary of the killing of bin laden. white house officials say that the president's intention was always to spend that day with troops, and really they are focusing on the idea that both president obama and president karzai wanted to sign this strategic partnership agreement before the next nato summit which is in chicago about three weeks from now when they will be meeting with nato allies and discussing the way forward in afghanistan. it was karzai, white house officials, who tell us want it to be signed on afghan soil so that's a little bit of the timing there, kyra. >> obama did not mention though the number of troops that i see here that would remain there after 2014 or even the cost of them being there looking ahead. >> that's right, and in many ways this agreement was short on specifics. it's really a framework. if you look at it it's only ten pages long and they lay out some of the broad elements they are looking at in terms of helping
train afghan security forces, helping them with the transition, but when it comes to exactly what the troops will look like after 2014, this is between 2014 and 2024 this agreement is talking about, the decade, those troop levels and how much money will be committed to afghanistan all remains to be worked out, not only with afghanistan but also with these nato allies that they are going to be talking to in a couple -- a few weeks from now in chicago when they make the next big announcement which is to say that afghan forces are going to move into the lead next year so the international forces are going to be taking a support role. but loss and lots still to be worked out, kyra. >> athena jones there at the white house. thanks. one of the few bits of positive news to come out of the secret service scandal. the "washington post" is reporting that none of the 12 women who partied with u.s. agents there at this hotel had any connection to terror groups or drug cartels. "the post-"cites congressional officials who saw documents
provided by the secret service to congressional committees. the paper also reports that 10 of the 12 women involved were paid by the agents. a man who oversaw the cia's enhanced interrogation techniques is now talking. jose rodriguez who led counterterrorism efforts at the cia said tactics like waterboarding did not amount to torture and that they did give investigators valuable information. he did do an interview today on cnn, and he downplayed the severity of those techniques used on terror suspects. >> if you actually paid attention and looked at the ten techniques that are used here, they are pretty -- actually pretty wimpy if you look at them one at a time, so, you know, these are things that i have no moral qualms on my own or anybody else who worked with me in doing. mindful of the fact that these are people who killed and who are going to kill more of our people. >> rodriguez has written a book
now defending cia policies in the wake of 9/11. he insists it's not a defense of torture but an explanation of methods certified as legal by the justice department. calls for rupert murdoch's broadcast license to be revoked, and i'm not talking about overseas. we're talking about right here in the united states. raining depends on technology. and when it takes a battery, there are athletes everywhere who trust duracell. they rely on copper to go for the gold. duracell. trusted everywhere.
smarter thinking from honda. i tell you what i can spend. i do my best to make it work. i'm back on the road safely. and i saved you money on brakes. that's personal pricing. the ethic scandal engulfing rupert new dock and his media empire have some questioning his u.s. interests now. a group is calling on the fcc to revoke murdoch's 27 u.s. tv
licenses. the group notes that a committee of parliament concluded that murdoch is unfit to lead his company. the group writes given the blatantly illegal pattern of conduct by news corp both in great britain and the united states the murdochs clearly do not have the requisite character to retain their broadcast licenses. news corp takes issue with claims that murdoch is not fit to lead his company, calling remarks by some british lawmakers unjustified and highly partisan. well, it could have been a showdown between the two biggest powers on earth. instead after six days at the u.s. embassy in beijing, chinese human rights activist chen guangcheng is being treated in a beijing hospital with his family at his side with understandings that they will be safe. beijing still wants an apology from washington for, quote, interfering in chinese affairs. still, the chen affair is no longer expected to dominate this week's visit by secretary of state hillary clinton whom chen, by the way, says he wants to kiss.
cnn's stan grant is in the chinese capital. stan, let's go ahead and clear up some confusion about chen's willingness to leave his safe haven at the u.s. embassy. we've received conflicting reports. can you straighten this out for us? >> reporter: yeah. this has been an extraordinary story, you know. it's taken so many twists and turns. we heard today that chen guangcheng who escaped house arrest about a week ago has been holed up in the u.s. embassy pretty much ever since, left the embassy of his own volition, went to a hospital, was getting medical treatment and reunited with his family that a deal had been worked out between the u.s. and china for him to leave as a free man and a safe man along with his family. we're now seeing cracks in that, and that agreement is not even yet cast in stone. we're hearing from a very close friend of chen who has been posting on twitter and also confirmed with cnn that she had a conversation with chen and chen's family was being
threatened if he did not leave. the threats were if he did not leave there would be violent retribution against his wife and that's his children. that's why he's agreed to leave. the united states insisting that's not the case. a spokesman saying here three times it was put to chen, do you want to leave? do you feel safe? do you have faith in your future? he said yes. i want to go. all of this very much up in the air now, a very cloudy picture, and hillary clinton here, of course, for high-level trade talks. this issue they thought was going to go away. doesn't seem if it will be that easy. >> let's just put into perspective why this activist is getting so much attention. many interesting characteristics, his background, st stan. >> reporter: you know, a blind man, a very poor man, rural man who taught himself the law. he then went to defend the rights of women under china's one-child policy that w.h.o. said that they were being forced
into abortions and forced sterilizations. that led to the rough of the party. he was accused of organizing demonstrations, of disrupting traffic and of damaging property. he spent four years in jail. when he was released he was then held under lock and key 24/7 under house arrest before that extraordinary escape about a week ago which has brought about all of this. what's fascinating with chen guangcheng, population here of 1.3 billion, one man, but it's become a symbol for human rights here. hillary clinton has raised his case in the past, and you might recall the actor christian bale, better known for his role in "batman." he was here and tried to visit chen along with us and cnn. we were violently turned away that day, and that, again, real raised the profile of chen, and that's why we're talking about him again today. >> stan grant, we'll follow the story. thanks so much. well, the feds now launching an investigation into the university of montana. at least 50 victims say they were sexually assaulted, and law
well, if your daughter goes to the university of montana, you're going to want to hear this story. up to 80 allegations of sexual assault, even rape, by fellow classmates and off-campus predators. and now we've learned that the justice department has launched an investigation because it says local law enforcement dropped the ball. these allegations first surfaced last december. the allegations involve at least two members of the university of montana grizzlies football team and the head coach and athletic director have now been dismissed. we asked the justice department to join us, but they declined because of conflicts, but they
sent us copies of letters to the university's president informing him of the investigation. we also reached out to the missoula county attorney who issued a statement denying claims of gender discrimination or being slow in responding to the allegations. joining us now on the phone, the reporter who broke this story. gwen floria. tell me how did this all happen? how did you get the tip? how did you uncover the story? >> reporter: this started back in mid-december when i got a tip that two female students at the university of montana had been assaulted by several male students. we were able to confirm that. called the information which added the information that possibly date rape drugs were involved and also told they were starting their own investigation. they hired an outside investigator to look into it, and to be clear all the 80 assaults over the last three years that the justice department is looking into involved -- in and around
missoula, not just the university of montana. i think there are only 11 cases that involve university students. >> so does it look like there's a connection, gwen, to what's happening on campus and off campus? >> reporter: well, certainly some of the students i talked to said that when they went to police they were willing to pursue rape cases which as you know are very difficult. in some cases the police said there wasn't enough evidence to pursue the cases, and in others the county attorney's office said there's not enough to go forward with prosecution. >> now the football coach though was dismissed and also the athletic director. why? >> reporter: we don't know. we would love to know. the university said only it was time for a change in leadership. >> and what about the status of the two football players accused of sexual assault and rape? >> reporter: well, one is still awaiting trial. and he has been formally charged. the other has not been formally charged. he is under a civil no contact
order with the woman who has accused him. >> and what did the university tell you? what has been the university's response to the story you broke? >> reporter: they have held a series of forums around town and on campus to talk about sexual assault, but they have really limited the amount of information that's coming out, and i think that's really frustrating to people. i think they are following a very narrow legal lined. i think politically that has not worked so well. >> do you think there was a cover-up here, gwen, on behalf of the athletic program, they didn't want their athletes tied or -- or tied to these allegations of rape? >> reporter: you know, i think that's what the investigation is trying to find out by the justice department and it was just learned this morning that the federal education department is also going to pursue a title ix investigation, specifically against members of the football team. >> gwen, i know you'll be doing many follow-up stories. stay in touch and weied like to
stay in touch with this story as well. thanks for calling in. >> thank you. well, a high school player is being told that he needs to ride the pine and not for bad behavior. apparently he's too old, but this afternoon that may change. what he's doing to try and change the rules. a party? [ music plays, record skips ] hi, i'm new ensure clear. clear, huh? my nutritional standards are high. i'm not juice or fancy water, i'm different. i've got nine grams of protein. twist my lid. that's three times more than me! twenty-one vitamins and minerals and zero fat! hmmm. you'll bring a lot to the party. [ all ] yay! [ female announcer ] new ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat. twenty-one vitamins and minerals. in blueberry/pomegranate and peach. refreshing nutrition in charge!
well, erick dampier plays football and basketball for his high school and he does it pretty darn well. that's him right there scoring. but now he's being asked to leave the team. why? because his high school athletic association says he's too old. he was held back in elementary school because he has down's syndrome, making him 19 years old. >> i'm on the field with my team. >> so eric is fighting back, and he's taking on the rules. this afternoon he is testifying in front of michigan's state
senate education committee asking lawmakers to change the rules for special needs students. we'll be following this, and we'll definitely let you know how it turns out. well, he almost died after being hit by a bus nearly seven years ago, and this former new york city fire fighter isn't taking his life for granted. matt long not only overcame his injuries, this fitness junkie taught himself how to run again, and now matt is motivating others with his amazing story. dr. sanjay gupta has this week's "human factor." >> reporter: december 2005. new york city is in the grips of a massive transit strike. public transportation is completely shut down. new york city fire fighter matt long has no choice. he must hop on his bike to get across the city to the fire academy. so you needed -- this wasn't just training. you needed to get somewhere? >> i needed to get to work. >> reporter: four blocks and then disaster. a bus that had crossed multiple
lanes of traffic made a right turn, and in the process slammed directly into matt long. >> he didn't see me, didn't know i was there, whatever, and took me right under the front wheel. >> reporter: in an instant the self-described fitness junk he gone from dominating race courses to barely surviving. >> from my left leg, every bone, compound fracture, tib, fib, femur. the right side of my shoulder was crushed and the worst part was the bike and i became one, and it severed my abdominal wall, severed my femoral artery so i was basically bleeding out. >> reporter: long stayed in the hospital for six month and eventually underwent more than 40 operations. he had survived physically, but mentally he was battling nearly crippling depression. >> right at a table after a doctor's appointment i said i'm glad you prayed for me to live, i wish you prayed for me to buy
because i can't do this. >> reporter: learning how to live in his new body became long's biggest challenge. >> i didn't think about things i couldn't have, how i didn't run as fast as i used to run and i started saying i will. i will get back on the bike and back out on the run course and i will life my life the best we can. >> let's go rangers. >> reporter: now retired long coaches and regularly shares his story to motivate others to transform themselves. dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, new york. >> a college band member hazed to death. in just about two hours charges will be announced. so who ordered the cereal that can help lower cholesterol and who ordered the yummy cereal? yummy. [ woman ] lower cholesterol. [ man 2 ] yummy. i got that wrong didn't i? [ male announcer ] want great taste and whole grain oats that can help lower cholesterol? honey nut cheerios. a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion.
staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. and celebrex is not a narcotic. when it comes to relieving your arthritis pain, you and your doctor need to balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen, and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long periods. nsaids, including celebrex, increase the chance of serious skin or allergic reactions or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, which can occur without warning and may cause death. patients also taking aspirin and the elderly
are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers. do not take celebrex if you've had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergies to aspirin, nsaids or sulfonamides. get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history and find an arthritis treatment for you. visit celebrex.com and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion. got the mirrors all adjusted? you can see everything ok? just stay off the freeways, all right? i don't want you going out on those yet. mmm-hmm. and just leave your phone in your purse. i don't want you texting, all right? daddy...ok! ok, here you go. be careful. thanks dad. call me -- but not while you're driving.
it certainly won't be me, but you know what? we can join in on the excitement, right. as you said, wall street buzz says that the 18th of may is the day that the facebook shares should begin trading, but the date could also change depending on how well or how poorly investors respond in the next couple of weeks. here is what is for certain though. facebook is certainly in the final stages of its ipo, and the way ipos go is first there's a road show and that's when facebook executives will be going around to the big institutional investors to try to convince them that buy into the company. it didn't really last about two weeks, so that's why we get that may 18th date. now, it shouldn't take too much convincing if you ask me. i mean, think about it, kyra, the most anticipated ipo of the year. >> is it true because i read here that it's expected to be the biggest ipo in the technology sector ever. do you agree with that? >> it could be. it could be. just to put -- to put this out there. there is a huge element of hype built into this. this is a very popular company clearly.
>> do -- we lost our connection. we apologize. sometimes that happens in live television. we actually lost our connection to the new york stock exchange, and alison kosik, but just to bring you up to date, what we were talking about, the "wall street journal" reporting that the facebook ipo that everyone is waiting for should be here on may 18th, and i'm told we've got alison back. you're back with us? >> i'm back. >> sorry about that. >> we'll get back into it. part of it is hype, and the other part of it is that facebook really thinks it will be valued at $100 billion. now one analyst says this valuation, it's not based on facebook's hard advertising newspaper. it's more of a general bet, and there are lots of questions as, to you know, how is facebook going to continue to make money and grow over the long term, but, still you can't deny t.facebook's ipo, kyra, it could be historic because of the amount of money it's expected to raise in this offering. >> well, i'll tell you what. and we lost her, sorry about that. apologize for the connection, but, you know, we told you yesterday about a story about
facebook, how you could actually go on facebook and say that you want to be an organ donor. no longer do you -- can you just put it on your driver's license, but on facebook, and apparently there were so many people that signed up to be organ donors that hospitals were overwhelmed with -- with the numbers, so we will follow up on that, too, and how that's going to impact the transplant list that exists here in the united states. all right. let's talk about nearly three months after whitney houston's death. her ex-husband bobby brown is finally breaking his silence. brown actually shot down claims that he's to blame for houston's drug habit. here's what he told the "today" show this morning. >> i didn't get high before i met whitney. >> on marcottics? >> on narcotics, no. i smoked weed, i drank beer, but, no, i wasn't the one who got whitney on drugs. >> so this was a part of her
life before me? >> way before me, yes. >> did you talk about it? did you worry about it? >> i worried about it when, you know, we first got together. >> houston and brown were married for 14 years, and brown says that he's now very much clean and sober. he apparently had dinner with huston and their daughter bobbi kristina just a week before houston's death on february 11th. in two and a half hours prosecutors in florida are expected to bring charges against several people accused of helping to kill robert champion. he's the drum major at florida aim & m university who died within an hour of what a medical examiner called a hazing incident aboard a band bus. by some accounts the incident was a brutal rite of passage called crossing by sea. my college george howell joins me with more. you've been following the case since the very beginning. what do you know about the charges? >> at this point we know that several people will be charged for the hazing-related death of robert champion.
keep in mind there were at least 30 people, we know at least 30 people who were on the bus when this happened back november 19th, and when you look at the medical examiner's report, it talks about how he was beaten on the back, the chest and the arms, so badly that he went into shock. he died from that beating. and -- and it raises many questions. obviously this could be a hazing-related case. they could be charged with hazing. that is a felony in the state of florida, but is it manslaughter? could it be murder? it will be interesting to see what the prosecutors have on the people that they charge in this case, but you get a sense from the family that this is what they have been waiting for for quite some time. in fact, at a press conference in april you get a sense of how they wanted this -- the answer here. take a listen. >> it hurts that we haven't heard anything. nobody go home and sit with us in the evening at night and the time i talked to my son was at night after he finished all that
accident, and i don't get that privilege to talk to him. my nights are the met emotional time for me, so to not hear nothing, not to hear anything, yes, i think we've been patient enough. >> and the main thing the champions want, and i've been following them since this incident happened, the main thing they want they want students to think twice, you know, to look at what happened to their son, to look at this case and to look at the people who will be charged in it and just think twice about hazing. >> do we still know if prosecutors are alleging that robert was targeted for a certain reason, or was this standing operating procedure for, you know, getting initiated? >> he was in line to become drum major number one, and he was very much against hazing, so people -- the family in fact believes that that could be one reason he was targeted. also the fact that he was gay, according to his attorney. that may have also been part of the reason, but the family says
the -- the most important point to them is that their son was against hazing. they think that is why he was targeted. >> in less than two hours we'll know the charges. george, thanks. we need to make a quick correction by the way, on this story. when it first aired in the previous hour some mug shots were seen in a monitor behind george and carol costello. well, those pictures are from an unrelated case. we just wanted to make that clear and cnn regrets the error. rolling in the dirt, carrying 200-pound logs drenched in a freezing lake. are we talking about navy s.e.a.l.s or olympic athletes? what if i told you it's both?
elite athletes who are mentally tough, too. insanely in shape, and they would be better with the london summer olympics less than three months away no. wonder so many of them are taking their training to hell and back in their quest for the gold. >> you're not hurt. >> seven, eight, nine, ten. >> you're not even doing anything! >> talk about getting schooled, and i mean seriously schooled by navy s.e.a.l.s. you're actually looking at the u.s. women's field hockey team right there. they and other olympians who have done this say that s.e.a.l.s training has actually been the key to winning. in the thick of all of that you saw katie reinprecht, the midfielder for the u.s. field hockey team. are you crazy? you didn't do this once but did it four times. >> luckily enough i've been around all four times, learned a lot each time, new things. >> it's amaze -- i'll get to
some specifics, but let me ask you, you know, why put yourself through this hell week. >> you know, i think there's a lot to learn with training with the navy s.e.a.l.s, obviously not skill-based and focusing on field hockey but there's a lot to learn about yourself and your teammates around you, and i think it's been a really good team-building exercise for us. learn a lot about leadership and what works and how to stay calm in extremely stressful situations, so i think we've been able to pull a lot from our sessions with the navy s.e.a.l.s and apply them into game-like situations. >> you'll in the only be ready for the olympics you better be ready for war. you better be careful, you'll be recruited, you and the entire team. let's start with one of the most difficult moments. take me to a point, and i don't know, you could be an absolute studdette and there wasn't a moment where you thought oh, my good can i make it a another second. maybe there was.
can i take it to the toughest part of the training and why. >> i guess i can say it was everyone reached a point where they felt that they would break. for the team that's the log pt, where you're split up into boat crews, there's six or seven of you, and you're responsible for carrying a huge log that's i think a little over 200 pounds, and do you all sorts of exercises with it, and -- and not only is it hard to just hold the log itself but to do crunches with it, to do lunges, to run with it. i think a lot of people feel like that's a breaking point for them where you so badly want to drop it or you can or you know there will be some sort of punishment waiting for you and then just running with boats on your head or carrying them. there's plenty of points where you just think this is it and then you find a way to push yourself a little more and get through it and get on to the next step. >> what's the punishment because i'm sure that these guys didn't
come up to you and go, it's okay, katie, we'll give you a lollipop and can you set on the sidelines while everybody else goes with you hell week. what's the punishment if you don't cut it? >> a lot of times, so the losing boat crews will do pushups for the winning beth crew so they will count out and there's all sorts of instructions on how to properly do it so obviously if you mess that up, you're going to be doing a few extra more, but a lot of times pushups and just holding plank until you do it right is the punishment and then you move on to the next step so there's really no break in between so needless to say the arms were quite sore after this last one. >> i can just imagine. was there ever a moment where you thought, wow, i can't believe he just said that to me? did you have to find that you had to toughen your skin? >> there are plenty of times. i remember the first time being called a cover girl because i didn't have enough sand on my face and you're just like what, i am like running and diving in
sand and i'm being called a cover girl. they say plenty of things to get you a little riled up, but you learn to just take it and do what they ask and try to do it to the best of your ability to hope they don't rag on you anymore. >> well, let me ask you this, cover girl. physically we're obviously seeing the video and we're seeing how challenging it can be. what about mentally? when you walked out of that or probably crawled out of that five hours of training, the first time, the second time, the third, even the fourth time, mentally how did that impact you not only as an as late but a woman? >> yeah. i think that's really the biggest challenge. it's just a mental test the whole time. physically you're pushed to your limits, and you just have to learn how to cope with it and take it step by step, and you learn a lot about yourself and the person next to you, and you learn what way to push each other to get the best results, and i think one of the most important things is calmness is contagious.
if you're in a really stressful situation and you're calm and you keep everyone around you feeling like they are in control, you get the best results, and i think each time we've gone to the s.e.a.l.s we've learned some sort of new lesson about what we're capable of convincing our minds, and i think that's been really important for us on the field, and i think it will continue to be beneficial for this team heading into the london games. >> and who is the biggest competitor at the london games? would it be argentina? >> i think argentina will be a big one considering our history and the recent victory in the pan ams. they might be gunning for us a bit, but really every game, every game in the olympics is going to be huge, and we don't look past anyone obviously, and i think it's going to be a really good challenge for us, and i'm excited for the team. >> yeah. katie reinprecht, we are excited for you and excited for the u.s. field hockey team. do mow a favor whether you win or don't win, but i know you're going to win, will you come back and talk to me and tell me how that training paid off and tell me how the games went.
>> i sure will. >> okay. i'm going to be following you, katie. thanks so much. >> thank you. >> all right. romney needs newt's endorsement. newt needs big money to pay off his debt, so does one plus one equal millions? that's fair game. first, a quick question for you. our political junkies out there. newt gingrich suspending his campaign for president, so how many primaries did he win? be the first to tweet me the right answer @kyracnn. i'll give you a shout-out right after the break. ♪ ♪ ♪
today training depends on technology. and when it takes a battery, there are athletes everywhere who trust duracell. they rely on copper to go for the gold. duracell. trusted everywhere. we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much, i appreciate it, i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money ? if your bank takes more money than a stranger, you need an ally. ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense.
how did the nba become the hottest league on the planet? by building on the cisco intelligent network they're able to serve up live video, and instant replays, creating fans from berlin to beijing. what can we help you build? nice shot kid. the nba around the world built by the only company that could. cisco. and here's what we did today: supported nearly 3 million steady jobs across our country... ... scientists, technicians, engineers, machinists... ... adding nearly 400 billion dollars to our economy... we're at work providing power to almost a quarter of our homes and businesses... ... and giving us cleaner rides to work and school... and tomorrow, we could do even more. cleaner, domestic, abundant and creating jobs now. we're america's natural gas. the smarter power, today. learn more at anga.us.
all right. before the break i asked how many primaries newt gingrich won during his run for the republican nom anything. the correct answer two. george and south carolina. congratulations, adam, from nashville, who is the first to tweet me the right answer. well, richard grenell is openly gay, a republican and was recruited by mitt romney's campaign to be foreign policy spokesperson, but after just two weeks on the job he resigned. republican strategist boris epstein and democratic strategist keith boykin join me now for "fair game."
what happened here, did he get pushed out because he's openly gay and romney's campaign couldn't take the heat, or is he out due to the controversial tweets mocking women like hillary clinton and callista gingrich? boreies? >> absolutely did not get pushed out. the speaker with the romney campaign. they put out a statement they did ask him to stay on. he does have immense experience and is a valued spokesperson in the republican party. let's look at it this way. we hope to get to a country where we don't have to talk about whether someone is gay or not gay, straight or transdepender when they stay or leave a job. we hope to talk about things on the merits. why he left is up to him. it was a personal decision. the campaign asked him to stay. the biggest issue here is this is a distraction play by the obama campaign, so desperate after three years of unemployment above 8% and gdp that's crawling now at barely 2%. that's all they can talk about is a spokesperson leaving the romney campaign. total inside baseball. not without anybody's time. >> keith? >> nice pivot, boris, nice try, but the reality is this is not a
democratic conspiracy or an obama campaign diversion. this is something the republicans themselves created. republicans created this controversy because the people on the radical right, the conservative fringe, are very upset about this guy being in this position, and that was what caused the controversy. you have a republican party, i'll remind you now, that when a gay u.s. soldier stood up and asked a question at a republican debate, they debate, they booed and hissed him and not a single republican candidate on the stage challenged them on that. that shows the department of the trenl dis, the depth of the trouble -- >> of course keith is -- i'm sorry. >> this leads me right into my next question. boris, a lot of vocal evangelicals like brian fisher, with whom i talked to last week, didn't like grenel from the start. here is a little bit from that interview last week. >> personnel is policy. when governor romney picks somebody who is an activist
homosexual and puts him in a prominent position, he's sending a shout out it seems to me to the homosexual lobby. >> boris, romney and evangelicals, can they come together? >> absolutely. mitt romney is the standard bearer of the republican party. he won 29 states and territories, over 40% of the vote in the primaries. he is the one the republican party has put out there to face-off against barack obama who has been an awful president for 3 1/2 years. now, mitt romney has the big republican tent behind him. he's put them together now, and we are as one team going up against democrats to replace the president in power. he has evangelicals, he was business conservatives, the whole big tent like ronald reagan did. >> mitt romney is still trying to suck up to the evangelical right wing. that's why he's going to jerry falwell's liberty university where people are still debating whether he's a member of a cult. they don't accept it as
traditional christianity. you have people in the republican party who are so opposed to mitt romney they don't even vote for him. he didn't win a single state where evangelical constituted a majority of the electorate in the republican primary. i think mitt romney has tried to do everything he can to prove he's, quote, severely conservative. >> there's not one state out there where evangelicals are a majority of the republican party. you just don't understand the way the republican party works. we'll let you think you can beat us just by talking about fringe issues like this. >> i'm going to put the plug in there already. we're going to talk to one of mitt romney's advisers before that speech at liberty and then after that speech we're going to talk with falwell himself. so one more question before i let you go. newt gingrich is out. he's also out about 4 million bucks. now the romney camp says it's going to help pay down that
debt, but here is the question. is he really paying for an endorsement? keith? >> you know, i don't know the answer to this. i'm not a republican so i can't say, but i think this is customary. what candidates do when they back out of races, sometimes they seek some sort of financial support to retire their debt before they can actually endorse somebody else. i can't say whether he's buying his endorsement or not, but the truth is mitt romney and rick saner to rupp and newt gingrich, none of these guys like eve other. it's not surprising they're withholding endorsements. they just don't like each other. it's going to be tough to pretend they have a big tent when they come together in charlotte, in tampa, i'm sorry. >> why is romney's camp going to help gingrich out and pay down this debt? >> well, the first part of keith's question was correct. this is customary, it's something that's done by a gracious winner in a primary. >> even though they attacked each other fiercely throughout this entire campaign? >> but the point is barack obama did not do this for hillary clinton in 2008. hence the still remaining
tension between the hillary clinton camp -- >> she is the secretary of state. >> why? because he needed her support and her votes behind her to become president. mitt romney does have the support of newt gingrich. he's going to be going out there endorsing him. rick santorum's folks have come mitt romney as well. you saw his campaign manager being hired on the mitt romney team. the republicans are coming together, as we always do, and that's why we will win this election in november of 2012. >> final thought. >> barack obama is famous for creating not only a big tent but a team of rivals, much like abraham lincoln talked about. that's the reason hillary clinton is part of the administration. that wasn't to win a campaign or election. that was after he was elected. so i think the idea that those two don't get along is just nonsense and you know better than that, boris. >> i disagree with you, but you're the democrat. >> that's fair game. we'll be talking again. >> thanks, kyra. the john edwards trial playing out like scenes from a soap opera. the critical moment that led an edwards' insider to write a
sex, lies, and videotape. that's the john edwards trial and what it's coming down to. his former aide's wife cheri young getting grilled in court again. you can see why. she already admitted to videotaping rielle hunter's house and possessions to prove a payoff. what's next? joe johns is there. >> reporter: today in the jon edwards campaign finance trial, cheri young is expected to wrap up her testimony. she is the wife of edwards'
former right-hand man andrew young. she handled the finances for the young family. she made the case that her husband had to come forward to tell the truth about edwards because edwards hant dodn't don. it was a combative witness under cross-examination. the john edwards defense team asked her how much money she and her husband made from a book and movie deal about the edwards case and she said she could not remember. after cheri young finishes testifying, the next witness expected to take the stand is josh brumburger, a former aide who was reportedly present when he first met his mistress at a hotel in new york city. the question is whether edwards accepted illegal campaign money to cover up the affair. joe johns, cnn, greensboro, north carolina. >> young continued to come under fire for her husband's decision to write a tell-all book.
on the stand she pointed to the moment that was the turning point for her husband. an abc news interview in 2008 in which edwards did not acknowledge having fathered rielle hunter's child. he then felt it was time to reveal all. connecticut one step closer to making it illegal for employers to place job ads that discriminate against candidates who are qualified but unemployed. the bill passed the state senate. now it's up to the house. opponents have argued the bill would allow other characteristics to gain protection and take away those already in place, such as race. and the daughter of moammar gadhafi is calling on the u.n. to investigate the killing of her father and brother. her plea was made in a letter to the u.n. security council. you will recall gadhafi was killed last october and the exact circumstances are still unclear. her brother was killed after her father was captured. she, her mother, and two other brothers fled libya around the time that rebel forces took control of tripoli last august.
thanks for watching. you can continue the conversation with me on twitter @kyracnn or on facebook. cnn "newsroom" continues now with fredricka whitfield. live from the cnn headquarters in atlanta, where it's noon eastern time, 9:00 a.m. on the west coast. i'm fredricka whitfield in for suzanne malveaux. the commander in chief has returned home from the afghan war zone. president obama marked the first anniversary of the killing of osama bin laden with an unannounced trip to afghanistan. >> i will not keep americans in harm's way a single day longer than is absolutely required for our national security. >> within two hours of the president's departure, a suicide bomber rocked kabul. at least seven people were killed. the taliban is claiming responsibility for the attack.
hillary clinton is in china. she's there to talk economic strategy, but the name on everyone's lips is chen. that's chen guangcheng who we are told is in a hospital in beijing. he's the blind human rights activists who was convicted and thrown in jail for leading protests against the government. he spent six days under american embassy protection after escaping house arrest. it's still not clear if he left the embassy by choice. a friend of the activist says chinese authorities threatened his family. and this is central cairo in egypt today. angry protesters are rioting because a candidate for president is not being allowed to run. demonstrators have camped out in cairo for several days now, and today was especially violent. at least 11 people were killed by rocks and fire bombs. much more on egypt's violent election season later on this hour. and this video has just been released of a deadly duck boat
accident in philadelphia. it happened in july of 2010. a barge slammed into a tour boat throwing more than three dozen people into the delaware river. two hungarian students were killed in that accident. a wrongful death lawsuit filed by their families is about to go to federal court. and the nfl's tampa bay buccaneers announced today they are signing free agent eric le grand. le grand was paralyzed from an injury during his junior year at rutgers university. legrand won't play for the buccaneers, but the team says his perseverance, character, and spirit are an inspiration. he showed some of that tenacity during an interview back in november. >> i can't stay down. there's someone out there that's always worse than you and that's what i tell myself. if there's somebody out there worse than me, why am i complaining, why am i crying? i have a whole world behind my back waiting for me to get up
out of this chair. >> a huge inspiration. president obama arrived at the white house just a short time ago after his unannounced trip to afghanistan. the commander in chief landed in the war zone under the cover of darkness. he returned home in the middle of the day having rallied american troops, refocused attention on the killing of osama bin laden, and shown the world that u.s. power remains dominant. let's go live to athena jones at the white house. how does the white house respond to criticism that this was a political device used in an election year? >> reporter: well, fredricka, i don't think anyone would believe that this has nothing to do with politics, but from the white house's point of view, they, first of all, the fact this trip to afghanistan fell on the one-year anniversary of the killing of bin laden is part of all of it, but that the president always had the intention of spending that day with troops. they say that the signing of this graeme was really about the two presidents getting together on afghan soil to sign this strategic partnership agreement
ahead of the nato partnership in chicago where they will be meeting with various allies who are there in afghanistan and talking about the way forward. i should mention when it comes to politics, it isn't all positive politics, of course, for the president as well. this is an incredibly unpopular war. if you look at some of our recent polling, more than 70% of people are against it. more than 60% say things aren't going well and the u.s. isn't winning there. so having this agreement to maintain a commitment to afghanistan through 2024 suspect a wholly positive thing to some people. >> athena, apparently there were a few items left out of the spem speech. what have you learned about that? >> reporter: there has been some criticism the president didn't talk about troop numbers that will stay behind after 2014 or the amount of money that will be committed to afghanistan after 2014. these are issues that senior administration officials tell us will begin to be discussed at nato with all the other allies who the u.s. is hoping will contribute. also issues like afghan readiness, the readiness of their security forces, what the
karzai government is going to do to battle corruption. this whole issue of pakistan. we know the president touched on pakistan a little bit in this speech yesterday, but we also know that the relationship between the u.s. and pakistan has been really, really strained ever since that raid on the bin laden compound. you know, he wasn't hiding in the mountains of pakistan. he was in this garrison town, and, of course, the whole issue of drones. there's a lot that still needs to be worked out, that needs to be dealt with over the coming years, and this is really in a way just the beginning, kind of a framework to continue talking about future frameworks and future agreements, fredricka. >> athena jones at the white house. thanks so much. i want to bring in wolf blitzer. the white house points out this was the first time a sitting u.s. president has spoken to the american people from inside an active war zone. president obama was clearly speaking to his audience here at home. take a listen to the focus on the future. >> we emerge from a decade of conflict abroad and economic
crisis at home. it's time to renew america, an america where our children live free from fear and have the skills to claim their dreams. a united america of grit and resilience where sunlight glistens off soaring new towers in downtown manhattan and we build our future as one people, as one nation. >> so, wolf, did this trip and the dialogue of the president kind of redirect the overall talks over the next six months come election day? >> look, obviously all of this is within the political context. there's a major election about to happen in the united states six months from now. there will be an election. so everything is within a political context. i would have liked to have seen the president a lot more transparent with the american people in his remarks last night. >> what do you mean? >> well, you know, he talked about the troops that are coming home. what he didn't say is that he basically tripled the number of troops since he took office.
there were about 35,000, 36,000 troops in afghanistan, u.s. troops in afghanistan in january 2009 when he took office. he increased that number to well over 100,000 troops in afghanistan. he doubled and tripled down on what president bush had done. now there's still about $90,000 u.s. troops. at the end of the summer there will still be about 67,000 or so u.s. troops. i wish he would have been more transparent with the american people and explained how much this is going to cost all of us taxpayers, $2 billion a week right now, $120 billion a year. probably $200 billion between now and the end of 2014 when all u.s. combat forces are out of afghanistan. if you do the math, take a look at $200 billion. you add up all sorts of really important programs in the united states, food for children, health for poor women, all sorts of things along those lines, it's a lot more money that the united states is spending in afghanistan than spending on some of these vital programs here at home. he didn't get into the money.
he didn't get into the final troop levels, and he certainly didn't answer the unanswered questions, what happens after 2014. how much is this going to continue costing american taxpayers between 2014, 2024. we know it's going to be in the billions and billions of dollars. how many troops will remain. will they have immunity from prosecution from afghan law if they do remain in any significant numbers in afghanistan other than just protecting the u.s. embassy in kabul. none of this was addressed by the president. it would have been good to hear him bluntly and say as commander in chief, look, this is going to be treacherous. this is going to be dangerous. he did say that, but he didn't get into the specifics that i would have liked to have heard. >> and securitywise this was a big risk taken by the white house. but how did this define or even perhaps redefine the president's perceived command of his office or perhaps even his foreign policy? >> you know, it speaks volumes and i pointed this out repeatedly yesterday, that ten-plus years after the u.s.
went in right after 9/11 and liberated afghanistan from the taliban, a president of the united states still needs to fly into afghanistan under such enormous secrecy in the middle of the night. he can't be there during the daylight hours. he arrived at around 11:00 p.m. local time. he left by 5:00 a.m. local time. he was only there in the middle of the night because it's so dangerous. he didn't get into the whole aspect of hamid karzai. some of the stuff that hamid karzai has done and said about the united states, he's the partner, the strategic partnership agreement with which the president signed this deal, it just sort of speaks volumes about the pitfalls, the problems that the united states has right now, but you know what? it's the president's war right now. he has doubled and tripped down, as i said. he's going to have to deal with this. what i don't like about what mitt romney said is he really didn't explain what he would do differently in that statement that he put out. he put out a wishy-washy statement himself. it's going to be up to romney
himself and his national security advisers to explain where he disagrees, if he does, with the president when it comes to afghanistan. i suspect on afghanistan they agree more than they disagree, and that will be to the irritation of a lot of other folks who think it's time to get out of there as quickly as possible. so this will be an issue i suspect one way or another between now and november of this year. >> six months to go. thanks so much, wolf blintzer i washington. here is rundown of some stories we're covering. criminal charges are under way in the marching band hazing death. how serious will those charges be? we have the details on the investigation. also, your chance to own a piece of facebook is coming up, but how much will it cost you? and a seeing eye dog helps one of its own kind. video you have got to see. y. it creamed unbelievably a $500 cream and now women have made regenerist microsculpting cream also unscented. women love it.
in original and also fragrance-free. actually it can. neutrogena® ultra sheer provides unbeatable uva uvb protection and while other sunscreens can feel greasy ultra sheer® is clean and dry. it's the best for your skin. ultra sheer®. neutrogena®. hey, it's sandra -- from accounting. peter. i can see that you're busy... but you were gonna help us crunch the numbers for accounts receivable today.
i mean i know that this is important. well, both are important. let's be clear. they are but this is important too. [ man ] the receivables. [ male announcer ] michelin knows it's better for xerox to help manage their finance processing. so they can focus on keeping the world moving. with xerox, you're ready for real business. or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business, it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities. that's why we extended $6.4 billion in new credit to small businesses across the country last year. because the more we help them, the more we help make opportunity possible.
in less than two hours a florida state attorney general is expected to announce criminal charges in the suspected hazing death of florida a&m drum major robert champion. the 26-year-old was a member of the university's famed marching band. he died after being beaten on a fan bus following a football game in november. george howell has done extensive reporting on this story for us. how many people are expected to be charged and how serious will these charges be? >> that is the big question. we know several people will be charged in this case. how many people at this point we will learn at 2:00 p.m. again, this happened back in november, november 19th of last year. robert champion, the 26-year-old, was on the bus with several other band members when according to the medical examiner's office he was beaten so severely to the back, to the arms, and to the chest that he
went into shock, fredricka, and he died from that beating. at this point there are many questions. you know, obviously how many people will be charged. but also what are the range of the charges. we know hazing in the state of florida is a felony. could this also be manslaughter? could it also be murder? those are the questions we will learn more about at 2:00 p.m. just a few months ago i spoke to hln law enforcement analyst mike brooks about this case, an investigator himself. i wanted to find out what do prosecutors look into in a case like this? here is what he had to say. how do you determine the level of culpability, who did ba? >> that's a great question. as a law enforcement officer, i want to know who were the ones delivering the blows, the serious blows? was there one person who delivered the most blows that may have caused his death? we don't know. were there other people who might not have been involved at all? >> the champion family has been waiting for the last 5 1/2 months for this day, for this moment to learn who is involved
in the death of their son. at 2:00 p.m. eastern we should learn more. >> it's taken a long time. is this any indicator it may be a difficult case to prosecute, especially since many of the witnesses may ultimately be defendants as well unless there are some plea deals? >> that is certainly a possibility. and, as you heard what mike brooks had to say a minute ago, also the number of people who were on that bus. obviously, you have to speak to everyone. you have to find out who did what on the bus, and certainly that has taken some time. when you talk to the champions, again, their attorney conducted a civil lawsuit, a civil lawsuit has been filed. they spoke to people, and in their civil lawsuit, they point the finger at the bus driver, which is very interesting. they say the bus driver knew what was happening all along and, in fact, they allege that hazing like this happened on the bus routinely when the band traveled around. but, again, whether the bus driver is involved in this, we have yet to see.
we should learn more at 2:00 p.m. fredricka, also want to point out another story that just came to light. the university of florida, the alpha fi alpha fraternity has been put on interim suspension since people were charged with hazing. this is another hazing-related case just coming to light today. we learned it from one of our cnn affiliates. again, obviously schools are cracking down on hazing, and today we're seeing law enforcement step in on this case. >> all right george howell, thanks so much for the update an both of those stories. here is a question for you, do you have your money ready? there are reports that facebook has set a date for its initial public offering, but will it be a good investment? i'm new ensur. clear, huh? my nutritional standards are high. i'm not juice or fancy water, i'm different. i've got nine grams of protein. twist my lid. that's three times more than me! twenty-one vitamins and minerals and zero fat! hmmm. you'll bring a lot to the party. [ all ] yay! [ female announcer ] new ensure clear.
it's the moment many investors have been waiting for, facebook's initial public offering. alison is here with details on that. so what date is facebook setting? >> okay. so may 18th, fredricka, is the day that facebook shares should begin trading publicly. "wall street journal," reuters are saying that date could also change depending on how well or poorly investors respond during the next couple weeks. what's going to happen is since fayebook is in the final stages of its ipo, it goes on the road. ip os go on the road, meaning facebook executives go around to institutional investors to try to convince them to buy into the company. that puts that ipo date around may 18th. it shouldn't take much convincing. this definitely is the most anticipated ipo of the year. fredricka? >> that's an understatement. people have been waiting and waiting and waiting. so this is expected to be the biggest ipo as you just said in the technology sector.
they value facebook at $100 billion. is facebook really worth all that? >> there is a big element of hype that's sort of built into this, but think about it. this is a really popular company, and as with any ipo, especially the ones that are hyped up as much as this one is, investors like to get in at a low price. you know, with this ipo, as you said, facebook is looking to be valued at $100 billion. why wouldn't big investors want to get in on it, right? but remember, this valuation, there's a caveat, it's not necessarily based on facebook's hard advertising number. it's more of a general bet. there are a lot of questions that remain. how is facebook going to continue to make money. how is it going to grow over the long term. but hype -- but with all this hype or not, facebook's ipo really could be historic. >> alison kosik, thanks so much. appreciate that. president obama spiking the ball in afghanistan. can the romney campaign keep up with the incumbent's media
blitz? we'll throw it to our political panel. hey dad. see how the carrots i grow make that new stouffer's steam meal so tasty. actually, the milk from my farm makes it so creamy, right dad. dad can see... boys! don't you think stouffer's steam perfect bag should get some credit? my carrots. my milk. [ female announcer ] new from stouffer's. farmers' harvest steam meals taste so good we'll bet the farm on it. i'm one of six children that my mother raised by herself, and so college was a dream when i was a kid. i didn't know how i was gonna to do it, but i knew i was gonna get that opportunity one day, and that's what happened with university of phoenix. nothing can stop me now. i feel like the sky's the limit with what i can do and what i can accomplish. my name is naphtali bryant and i am a phoenix. visit phoenix.edu to find the program that's right for you. enroll now.
with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine living your life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18.
people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. ask your doctor about cymbalta. imagine you with less pain. cymbalta can help. go to cymbalta.com to learn about a free trial offer.
here is a rundown of some of the stories we're working on. a historic speech from the president turns the conversation from the economy to foreign policy. the romney campaign looks to swing back. then it's a dog lead dog world. an amazing story of friendship. and veganism. how young is too young for your kids to cut animal products from their diet? it is a powerful image, the president of the united states addressing the american people from a war zone. standing in front of military vehicles and an american flag. the white house says president obama's trip to afghanistan was not political, but it does point out the benefits of running for office when you already have the job. let's bring in our political panel to talk about that and more. democratic political consultant ed, espinosa, and republican analyst lenny mcallister.
how difficult is it for an opponent, in this case a republican opponent, to run against an incumbent with that backdrop. ed? >> you know, it's always challenging for a challenger to go against somebody has got the benefit of incumbency. but in this particular case, romney's challenge is he doesn't have a wide breadth of foreign policy experience, and a lot of what he relies on are gop talking points. now, the president has a pretty good record on this. i think the one-year anniversary of taking out osama bin laden is significant. and he's continuing that record. stabilizing the region out there. it's always going to be a challenging place in the middle east, but al qaeda is at bay. the world is a little bit safer. and it's important to remind people of that. >> so, lenny, do you agree this is going to be tough? >> it's a little difficult, definitely. the power of incumbency means something, but you have to remember we were able to celebrate this on may day
yesterday, but we still have cringe friday coming up. it's a good thing for governor romney this election is going to be more about the national economy than it is going to be about foreign affairs. as long as you have cringe friday coming up every first friday where this administration has to spin the fact that unemployment still stays high, governor romney has a sh because people, unfortunately, are distancing themselves just a little bit from 9/11, but when they go and see pink slips and not paychecks, they're going to still vote with their pocketbooks, not based on this presidential display that we had, a good one yesterday, but still it's going to be more about pocketbooks than presidential displays from last night in afghanistan. >> let's shift gears a bit. newt gingrich officially ending his campaign for the white house in just a few hours. the handwriting has been on the wall for a while. gingrich finally decided to get out of the race last week. here is what he said.
>> i am committed to this party. i am committed to defeating obama. we will find ways to be helpful. i think it's pretty clear governor romney is only going to be the nominee. we will do everything we can to be sure he is effective. >> gingrich is expected to elaborate, perhaps, on his throwing of his support behind romney later on today. but this is after months of very nasty attacks against romney. will people forget that, lenny? >> well, it's going to be something that gingrich is going to have to try to smooth over over the next several months. i mean, they have gone after each other hard. again, if there's a template in play, it is from four years ago when senator clinton at the time and senator obama at the time really went after each other hard. if you look at the administration now, you have senator clinton now secretary of state and you have another former rival in former senator biden who is now the vp. there is time to smooth this out as we get into late august. there's an opportunity for
gingrich to focus on president obama and not so much on governor romney and pivot from here. it's a good thing it's early may. >> ed, do voters forget? >> well, voters can, but there are ways to remind them. the main difference between 2008 and 2012 is that clinton was relevant in that primary process. newt gingrich has not been relevant since south carolina, and what he has done is just gone on this slash and burn tirade where he's really tried to take down romney with no benefit for himself -- sorry, no benefit to the party, no benefit to the process. gingrich might be able to smooth that over. i don't know that romney has much incentive to do that, but these are things that can come unearthed in the general election. more important romney has given democrats plenty of things to go after on his own. he's the gift that keeps on giving from $10,000 bets to saying corporations are people, my friend, and a litany of other things he said. we didn't need newt gingrich to remind people about mitt romney.
we just needed mitt romney. >> all right. finally, you know, romney adviser who is openly gay quits the campaign because of what he says the hyperpartisan discussion of personal issues, end quote. richard grenel being criticized by some on the far right. the romney campaign said we are disappointed that ric decided to resign from the campaign for his own personal reasons. we wanted him to stay because he had superior qualifications for the position he was hired to fill, end quote. so is the romney campaign leaning further to the right to appeal to social conservatives, ed? >> i'm going to give the romney campaign a little credit here because i think they did the right thing in that they're bringing people on board regardless of their race, religion, gender, or orientation. it's a situation where the far right really tugged at the campaign and, you know, made their voices heard and they weren't real happy about it. it was the right decision to bring him on board. it's too bad he had to leave,
and it just shows that, hey, in certain parts of the republican party, they're 50 years behind the times. >> lenny, final word on that? >> well, this wasn't a republican party decision. this was a decision between governor romney and this gentleman and what they should have done is been able to find a way to work this out. this was something that was known about this gentleman when he came into the fold with the campaign. they should have kept him there and basically provided an environment where he did not resign, where they were able to shield him from some of this criticism. let's face it, governor romney's going to be the nominee and these conservatives are not going to vote for president obama. therefore, there was an opportunity to try to smooth this out and not force him out. unfortunately, this resignation came down anyway. >> lenny, ed, thanks so much. always good to hear from you. thanks so much. we've got some breaking news we want to go to dallas now. our ed lavandera there. you have been hearing about the nfl's new orleans saints alleged bounty program. well, now, apparently some charges are being imposed. ed has more on that.
ed? >> reporter: fredricka, several week ago we reported on the punishment that was levied against the team officials with the new orleans saints, but now the nfl has announced the suspensions of various players involved in this bounty program. pay for performance scandal, if you will. of course, all of this stems back to the nfl's investigation that it says had found that players were paying themselves and paid by the defensive coordinator in a pool of money that had been collected for hits that would end up with players getting carried off the field or carted off. now the nfl says that four players in all will be suspended. the main player here, jonathan vilma, a captain of the saints, defensive side of the ball, has been suspended for the entire season. jonathan vilma. will smith has been suspended for the first four games. anthony hargrove suspended without pay for eight games. scott fujita suspended without pay for the first three games.
hargrove and fujita no longer play with the saints. this is much better off for the new orleans saints compared to what it could have been. in the initial investigation nfl officials said they found anywhere between 22 and 27 players had participated in this program, but the commissioner of the nfl roger goodell said he wanted to focus the player punishment on those people he believed were leaders of the team and were involved at a significant -- in a much more significant level in this pay for performance or bounty program, whichever way you want to call it. but that's what the saints here are facing now, four players, two really that are only left on this team, two have moved on to other teams, but two players essentially that will be punished because of this bounty program, and one of them, vilma, who will be out for the entire season. >> ed lavandera in dallas. thanks so much. suspensions, not charges being imposed on at least four players of the new orleans saints. thanks so much, ed. seeing is believing. a blind dog has his own guide.
the heartwarming video you have to see. time now for the help desk where we get answers to your financial questions. joining me this hour, gregg olson is a certified financial planner and partner at lennox adviser. lynette calfoni-cox. first question to you. aaron from michigan. aaron is 30 years old a reserve member of the u.s. navy. he wants to know how he can start planning for retirement. always good to start at 30. >> right. and i have to say hats off to him for starting to plan at such an early age. i think a couple things, one is to go ahead and get started, wharf it is you choose to do, whether it's mutual funds, individual stocks and bonds. sometimes people are who younger think they have to have a big lump sum or a lot of money to invest. take the slow and steady approach. he should take advantage of any potential military benefits that might be available. those kind of things can really add up over time.
he has decades potentially until retirement. take the slow and steady approach and make sure he's broadly diversified. don't just jump into one asset class. >> even if it looks very attractive. greg, your question comes from tracy in wheaton, illinois. she wrote in that she is planning on getting married soon. how should she and her fiance merge their finances. i guess maybe should they? >> well, as a financial adviser and a happily married man, i'm qualified to answer this question. i would say slowly. take baby steps. this is not a hard, fast rule here. this is more of a feel question. maybe start by opening up a joint checking account together and paying the bills. and then maybe switch to opening up an investment account together. the best advice i can give you though is do it slowly. and wait until she gets married. planning for the wedding is really stressful enough. >> it certainly is. i can tell you that. thank you, guys. we appreciate it. send us an e-mail anytime to email@example.com.
this man is about to be the millionth customer. would you mind if i go ahead of you? instead we had someone go ahead of him and win fifty thousand dollars. congratulations you are our one millionth customer. people don't like to miss out on mon that should have been theirs. that's why at ally we have the raise your rate 2-year cd. you can get a one-time rate increase if our two-year rate goes up. if your bank makes you miss out, you need an ally. ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense.
holding down the fort while you're out catching a movie. [ growls ] lucky for me, your friends showed up with this awesome bone. hey! you guys are great. and if you got your home insurance where you got your cut rate car insurance, it might not replace all this. [ electricity crackling ] [ gasping ] so get allstate. you could save money and be better protected from mayhem like me. [ dennis ] dollar for dollar, nobody protects you from mayhem like allstate.
good friends can often guide us through tough times in life. case in point, two good friends in oklahoma that also happen to be man's best friend. here is jeanne moos. >> reporter: he is a 2-year-old golden retriever, but the one thing he can't retrieve is his sight. this is more or less what he has seen since birth, but now tanner the blind dog has a guide dog. meet blair a 1-year-old female. tanner also has epileptic seizures. after his adoptive owner died
his seizures got worse. a retriever rescue group bought him here to the woodland west animal hospital. >> it was more than one time i have recommended putting tanner to sleep. >> reporter: though the situation looked bla, so d the solution. >> just your everyday street dog. >> reporter: blair was a stray bought in with a gunshot wound to the leg. she was a nervous wreck until she and tanner bonded in the play yard. take it from a singer whose eyesight matches tanner's. ♪ knowing you can always count on me ♪ >> the two of them together have had a remarkable effect. >> reporter: the sight of a sighted dog helping a blind one reminded us of a special kind of fetch played by a deaf dog and a hearing one. this is the dog that's not deaf fetching the dog that is deaf over there. fetch benson. >> reporter: buffy fetched benson by grabbing his collar in her teeth. >> good girl, buffy. >> reporter: blair prefers to use the leash.
>> she's a service dog for another dog. >> reporter: does she realize he's blind? >> oh, yes. i don't think there's a doubt. >> reporter: one thing is for sure. they're up for adoption as a two-fer, and offers are pouring in. tanner's ease yours used to come every day or so but after two months of togetherness, he's only had a couple. ♪ in good times, in bad times ♪ i'll be on your side forever more ♪ >> they're pretty much inseparable at this point. >> in this case love really is blind, and blair keeps tanner on a short leash. jeanne moos, cnn. ♪ that's what friends are for >> reporter: new york. >> something tells me you adopt one you must take the package deal. they go together. fighting in the streets of cairo today was so violent that at least 11 people were killed. we'll tell you why this new wave of violence is happening. [ female announcer ] everything that goes into a lennox system
is engineered for comfort. like parts that create your perfect temperature and humidity or the parts that purify the air. together these parts can cut your heating and cooling bills in half. which is quite comforting. and here's the best part... call now to get up to 1,375 dollars in rebates. or zero percent financing for 18 months on select lennox home comfort systems. offer ends june 15th. plus download our free lennox mobile app with an energy-savings calculator to show how much you'll save with a lennox system. if your current system is 10 years or older, start planning now. and take advantage of special financing. so call now to get up to 1,375 dollars in rebates. or zero percent financing for 18 months on select
lennox home comfort systems. offer ends june 15th. and download our lennox mobil app -- free. ♪ lennox. innovation never felt so good. 11 people killed in the streets of cairo today. furious egyptian protesters and an unknown group threw rocks and fire bombs at each other. egypt's military government officially banning some candidates from running for president in three weeks. the protesters say the generals are steering the election. let's get to michael holmes with cnn international.
banning candidates doesn't sound very democratic in a new egypt. what's going on? >> ironically, these were rules that were laid out for candidates. they had to do things like get enough signatures to be qualified. they had to not be recently out of jail. they had to not be the offspring of foreign nationals. and a couple of these people have fallen victim to these rules. the rules basically excluded people, and it was all laid out. what this has shown though is the fragility i suppose of the social and political situation in egypt at the moment and that the people who didn't qualify get their people whipped up like this, and it also shows what the military rulers at the moment are prepared to do to quell that sort of dissent. this was the group that was fighting them was said to have been plainclothes thugs allied with the military. >> this is a first election post hosni mubarak's rule. first democratic election in egypt ever, presidential. >> so is this what egyptians say
they expected to take place? these are kind of the growing pains in a new democratic society. >> it's a historical thing. you're talking thousands of years of history. this is the first truly democratic election if it goes ahead as planned to be held in egypt's history for the presidency. the parliamentary elections were held a few months ago and the surprise there was the muslim brotherhood and the ultra conservatives got the majority in parliament which was a big surprise to everyone. it's a very big deal for egypt. >> so we have seen, you know, this spring uprising period, that crowd protest promote change. so protest over what is and s isn't happening, might it promote some change? might those candidates who are trying to run find their way into the process after all? >> the answer to that is no. there is no appeal. the electoral commission who decides on who can be on the list and who can't, there is no
appeal. there is some concern, some doubt about whether they are completely free, completely impartial, but they have made the decision. there is no right of appeal. the most controversial one and some of these people who are protesting today were supporters of abu ishmael. he was disqualified because his mother held an american passport for a time. he's an ultra conservative who supported this rule when it was introduced. he seems to have forgotten his mother had an american passport at one time and he is fervently anti-american in his rhetoric. >> so he stands one of the best chances. >> he's not getting in. he's been band. the best chance the muslim brotherhood has a candidate who is highly regarded and also the former arab league boss, mussa, he's one of the front-runners at the moment with the list they have. whether the presidential
elections actually happen now is a concern. if this sort of protest continues and grows, will they be able to hold the election under those conditions? >> painful process. you feel for the egyptian people. they have been through so much. >> just want a little democracy. >> michael holmes, thank you so much. so how young is too young to go vegan? we'll look at the health concerns the diet could pose for your kids.
for some parents? >> there is tremendous um branl and outrage not about the message necessarily because it's a fundamentally good one that animals should be treated with respect and care, but rather how it's delivered. there are a lot of pictures in the book that depict sort of cute and cuddly animals in laboratories with running sores and bruises and, you know, the author is taking a tear amount of heat for that but she really does stand behind her message saying it's important kids really understand the price animals are paying to be part of the food chain. >> it's more than that. it's not just about what anyone should eat, but apparently the book spends time about kids not going oruraging the to go tozoos, circuses, or aquariums. >> it's true. not all veg ians believe this. there are several to believe animals shouldn't be used r entertainment. there are a lot of ethical and moral issues around how oanimal
are treated in circuses. i think there are people in the zoo community who would say what they're doing is fostering a better life for animals. >> and how is this different than vegetarianism? >> vegetarian iism you pay attention to how much animal products are going into your diet. a lot of vegans won't use fur or wool or leather in their homes or in their furniture or clothing. a lot them also will avoid products they know to be tested on animals. some even go further and cut out things like refined sugar because sometimes animal bones are used to refine that, a lot of beers and wines are used also in the process. and they also will stay away from things like circuses and zoos. >> is there any way of knowing how many parents think their children should be raised vegan?
>> we took a poll asking people's attitude and it's pretty much in line with what i find. we had a great article from emily smith and 48% of the respondents said they felt as long as kids were getting adequate nutrition in the diet, they didn't see a problem with that. it was about 30% said that when kids are old enough they should be able to decide for themselves. now, again, you know, it's a very fraught issue, and people aren't arguing with the fact that animals should be treated better and we really do need to take a look at what goes into our and our children's diet. they're really worried about how the message is being delivered. >> what's believed to be some of the health concerns as it pertains to kids who might become vegans? >> well, i'm not a health expert myself, but all the health experts i have consulted have said that, again, kids don't necessarily eat that much. so it's not even a matter of what they're eating so long as
they're getting the right nutrients into their bodies, enough protein. they might have to take some "b" supplemen supplements. it doesn't necessarily matter if there's animal in there or not. it's really up to a very informed parent to decide how they're going to be raising their children. >> kat, thanks so much, joining from new york. appreciate it. a blind activist is out of hiding in china. we'll tell you why he says he wants to kiss hillary clinton. [ male announcer ] this was how my day began.
a little bird told me about a band... ♪ an old man shared some fish stories... ♪ oooh, my turn. ♪ she was in paris, but we talked for hours... everyone else buzzed about the band. there's a wireless mind inside all of us. so, where to next? ♪ your doctor will say get smart about your weight. i tried weight loss plans... but their shakes aren't always made for people with diabetes. that's why there's glucerna hunger smart shakes. they have carb steady, with carbs that digest slowly to help minimize blood sugar spikes. and they have six grams of sugars. with fifteen grams of protein to help manage hunger... look who's getting smart about her weight. [ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes.
we're watching what's happening in china today where it's still not clear if a prominent human rights figure left u.s. protection on his own. we're talking about chen guangcheng. he had been at the american embassy. he was convicted of leading protests against the chinese government. a friend of chen's tells cnn that the blind activist was forced to leave the embassy by officials who threatened his wife. those questions are hanging over today's official visit to china by secretary of state hillary clinton. she is there to talk strategic and economic policy, but she has been a firm advocate for chen guangcheng and his human rights causes. clinton called chen after he left the u.s. embassy today. chen reportedly told her, quote, i want to kiss you. and you're about to see just how sensitive this human rights
case is in china. cnn's stan grant has been following all sides of chen's story from his conviction to his house arrest and his escape. watch this report. stan and his crew are followed, chased, and left beside a road and physically confronted by chinese police. >> okay. it seems as if a car is following us. we've turned down this dirt road and we're going to try to lose him. we're trying to get to chen guangcheng village. this area is in lockdown. it has been for 18 months while the blind activist was under house arrest, guards visible still today. this is where chen's supporters say his family is being held. we want to speak to them, but we don't even get close. a car is quickly on our tail. we've picked up a local driver. he took a lot of convincing. he no hes about chen and knows the risks. yes, i have heard of him, he
says. local people should know of him. he campaigned against family planning policy. i know he was under house arrest. the car is still following us and we've been driving now for about 20 minutes. this just goes to show how difficult it must have been for chen guangcheng, the man they were holding under house arrest, to have managed to escape. our driver is becoming more nervous. he won't slow down. we go down dirt roads, past local markets. it gets dangerous, sometimes ending up on the wrong side of the road. whoa. the cat and mouse game is continuing. we're back in our car i think as you have just seen. as we pulled out, that same vehicle pulled out and they're following us again. >> still behind us? >> yeah. >> same car? >> yeah. it's fallen into a routine now. >> reporter: finally our driver has had enough and pulls over. we're left by the side of the road. is the driver going to leave us here? as police approach, he speeds
off. we get the sense people here are scared, even if they're aware of chen guangcheng, they won't admit it. i'm just a truck driver this man insis insists. i spend a lot of time away. i don't know what's going on. no sooner are we inside another car, the chase is back on. this gives you an indication of just how seriously security takes this issue and the lengths they will go to to stop us trying to tell the story of what's been happening to chen and his family. when we stop, they stop. where we go, they go. >> that's them. >> yeah, they're coming. >> reporter: we stop at a local watermelon stand and hope to throw them off the scent. no chance. watching on the same black car. at no point have the people inside identified themselves. watermelon in hand, we decide to ask some questions. is this about chen guangcheng? >> translator: i don't know who chen guangcheng