tv CNN Newsroom CNN May 20, 2012 5:00am-6:00am PDT
>> leads do that. >> you want to do these things in moderation. four to suveeven, can cause sleeplessness. we are talking about coffee and coffee alone, not just caffeine drinks. we're going to have our cup of coffee, enjoy these beans. thanks for joining us. we'll see back next week. time to get you a check of your top stories in the cnn "newsroom." from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, this is "cnn sunday morning." a proper plot uncovered in chicago. three self-proclaimed anarchists accused of planning an attack on today's nato summit are under arrest. wait until you hear what police call their other targets. and there's a new mrs. social network. mark zuckerberg marries just one day after an anti-climactic ipo.
and i'll have another, well, had another. the winner of the kentucky derby does it again at the preakness stakes. will he break the triple crown drought? and what's lurking in your furniture? safety precaution or death trap? "new york times" columnist nick kristof breaks it down live. good morning, everyone. i'm randi kaye. a lot to tell you about this morning. a major anti-war rally planned today in chicago tet that leaders of the nato nations are set to begin their summit. for several days now protesters have crowded the streets of downtown, but yesterday was their biggest gathering so far. police say there were only a handful of arrests during the protests even though things got pretty tense at times. >> look, look, look.
come on, come on. shoot, roll, roll. okay. so things are getting -- things are changing a lot here. this had been a very peaceful march for a long time, and then this police van tried to come through, knocked a person down right here, and they're calling out for a medic. they're calling out for a medic. >> that was your jim spellman reporting from the middle of the chaos last night. police say the nato summit also attracted three men planning attacks on the city. cnn foreign affairs reporter alise joins me. what are police saying they actually wanted to do.
>> reporter: an investigation that's been going on for some time and apparently these three men that traveled from florida, part of the occupy movement in the so-called black box were planning to attack the mayor's house, rahm 'emanuel and president obama's campaign headquarters. they were found with molotov cocktails, hunting bows, incendiary devices that could be used to wreak havoc at the summit. their attorneys say -- it's entrapment, they were set up, and this is a real peaceful group that someone infiltrated and set them up, randi. >> let's talk about the business of the nato summit, which is really key here. we know afghanistan certainly front and center with talk of withdrawal dates. where does that date stand now? >> reporter: well, randi, by the end of 2013, all afghan provinces will be handed over to afghan security lead. so afghan security forces
handling security, and the u.s. and the nato allies will be in some kind of train and assist. by the end of 2014, all nato troops will be out of afghanistan. but in order to do that, they have to train up the afghan security forces. president obama is really going to have his hat in hand looking for allies to try to make up some of the $4.2 billion cost for afghan security forces. u.s. officials are telling us they're pretty close to that, and then also, randi, today that meeting on afghanistan is tomorrow, on monday. today they're going to be talking about in this time of tight budgets, everybody, how do we do more with less? so today nato is going to get together to try to talk about shared resources. nato is going to be purchasing joint drones so all the countries can use thome. you know, those drones have been really popular for yus in pakistan, yemen, and they're going to be talking about how can they work with other countries, partnerships. you saw in libya it wasn't just
nato. it was qatar, uae, jordan, some other countries. they want to leverage how everybody can do more with a lot less resources. everybody facing a real budget crunch. >> and getting back to afghanistan, do we expect any type of announcement now that we have a new french president on his own time table for that country? >> reporter: he kind of alluded to it in his meeting with president obama and over at the g-8 summit. during the campaign he did say he wants all french troops out of afghanistan by 2012, and, now, interestingly, randi, the province that the french troops were in, that was one of the prove vin provinces where president karzai announced just recently would be handing over to afghan lead. he is going to keep some trainers, some people to support and assist. they will be out of a combat role. what u.s. officials are telling me is we're not thrilled that the french are leaving, but they're going to do it in a way that's consistent with what nato agreed to, which is to hand over
he's provinces to afghan security lead and then remain some training and assisting in the process, randidrandi. >> elise, thank you very much, from chicago this morning. hurricane season seems to be getting a head start off the east coast. tropical storm alberto spinning near the georgia and south carolina coast. it's not a really strong storm, but it still is a tropical storm with winds at 50 miles per hour. meteorologist reynolds wolf says it could break up soon. what's odd about the storm though is hurricane season doesn't actually start until june. while many of you were sleeping, italy was shaken by a deadly earthquake. six people were killed in the quake centered in northern italy. 50 others were injured. there are fears more victims could be found when officials reach remote villages. you can see some of the damage caused there. tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the devastating tornado that tore through joplin, missouri. 161 people died, but their
neighbors were determined to carry on and rebuild, but a year later there is still a shortage of housing. a sign of hope and normalcy. high school seniors graduating now after having spent the past year in a temporary school because theirs was destroyed. you can see more on how joplin is recovering and how you can help at cnn.com. in new york the home of the mets will become 40,000 members of the ultra orthodox jewish community today. sold out event at citi field is uniting them in protest against the internet. this is not the first time they've done something like this. in 2000 a powerful legislative committee representing several secretary of stat sects decided to spro hint internet access. andrew young will be honored for his 80th birthday today. the civil rights activist, former congress, and u.n.
ambassador is being honored for his life's activity. he turned 80 in march. oprah, the queen of all media, is giching the commencement speech at spellman college in atlanta. she received a an honorary degree from there in 1993. spellman is a historically african-american liberal arts college for women. graduation is at 3:00 eastern. they are supposed to keep us safe, but some of the materials found in your sofa may actually pose a risk to your health. i'll talk about this with "new york times" columnist nick krist kristof. a very good morning to washington, d.c. it's going to be a lovely day. of any small business credit card! how does this thing work? oh, i like it! [ garth ] sven's small business earns double miles on every purchase, every day! woo-hoo!!! so that's ten security gators, right? put them on my spark card! why settle for less? testing hot tar... great businesses deserve the most rewards!
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i'm talking about your couch. maybe you're sitting on it right now watching this program this morning. but some of the products used to make that couch, specifically flame retardants may pose a risk to your health. joining me is "new york times" columnist nick kristof. this is the focus of your column out today. most of us probably think of flame retardants as critical to our safety and not a threat. you cite new reports that show the tobacco industry, whose products are the focus of numerous health concerns is a responsible for the widespread use of these chemicals. >> it's a fascinating story. i relied on some awesome reporting by "the chicago tribune." they found the reasons we have flame retardants is not so much to protect us from fires, because they don't really work. what happens if there is a fire is there is toxic smoke that is more likely to harm us. the reason we have them is that,
first of all, the cigarette lobby was under pressure years ago to reduce house fires caused by smoldering cigarettes, dozing smokers, and they didn't want to go to a fire safe cigarette, so instead they surreptitiously backed a move toward furniture that was less likely to ignite in theory. the chemical lobby, in particular three company that is make flame retardants, they got behind this and organized a series of small groups like citizens for fire safety, which sounds like it's a public advocacy group and the fact is the only three members of that are the three manufacturers are flay retardants. they ended up pushing these laws through that require us to have useless flame retardants in our couches even though there is a lot of concern about their toxicity. >> risks of one of these
chemicals you talk about has been documented in medical studies. it's been labelled a health hazard by several agencies including the world health organization. why is it still being used? >> it was a great surprise to people. it had been taken out of kids' pajamas a generation ago and we pretty much thought it was out of things. then a duke university scholar tested a bunch of materials and found chlorinated tris kind of all over. it's found in baby mattresses. it's found in nursing pillows. and there's no way even a very educated consumer can find out about it. i talked to one toxicologist who was buying things for her granddaughter to arrive shortly and she couldn't tell what nursing pillow, for example, would have flame retardants like that. >> how do manufacturers actually decide? when they look at the products,
how do they decide which products get the flame retardants and which ones don't? are there certain criteria they have to look at? >> well, one of the problems has been that there are some states, and california was the first, that required flame retardants in uproholstered furniture. this was originally done by legislators who are genuinely trying to reduce household fires. the upshot of that was if a manufacturer wanted to sell in california, then they would just put flame retardants in all of the foam in all their cushioning so they could sell it in california as well as other places and didn't have to have multiple lines. and so that has really been the problem. the federal government hasn't regulated these and we have a patchwork of state regulations, and some of those like california are still pretty rigorous. >> i know you point out in your column that lisa jackson, the head of the environmental
protection agency, she's really trying to do something on her own. she's been hindered in her efforts to improve regulation in washington. you also have new jersey senator frank lautenberg, whose own legislation was introduced over a year ago. everything is just stalling out. the white house has yet to okay jackson's plan. where do we go from here? >> well, this is really frustrating i think for consumers because you have these flame retardant chemicals, some of them do raise real concerns about safety, especially for small children who are more likely to wander around in the dust on the floor, and for pregnant women, especially in the first trimester, yet there isn't much consumers can do. i think the only real solution is to address this at the federal level. most of the toxicologists think senator lautenberg's legislation is the way to go but the chemical industry has been very, very aggressive in blocking it,
and it really seems to me they're adopting the same tactics that cigarette lobby adopted a generation ago. >> for anyone watching from home right now if they're wondering if their product as home has it, you're saying there's really no way to know, right? >> yeah. unless you are incredibly well-versed in chemistry and household chemistry, you're not going to get very far trying to figure out whether you're own couch, whether the nursing pillow you're using has these chemicals. >> that is really frightening. thank you for bringing this to our attention, nick. thank you very much. >> thank you, randi. and we want viewers to stay connected to cnn even on the go. yes, we make it so easy for you. grab your mobile device, logon to cnn.com/tv, and you can take us with you anywhere you go. you can watch cnn. it's that easy. now, to anne frank's life like we've never seen before. i spoke with her cousin who found a treasure trove of
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welcome back. anne frank's closest living relative is sharing never before published stories and photos of the fame. you know the story. they went into hiding during world war ii. she kept a detailed diary until she was taken away to a concentration camp at the young age of 15. that diary was published and helped the war understand the horror of the holocaust. her cousin and his wife helped write the book "anne frank's family." i want to welcome both of you to our show this morning, buddy and gurdy. nice to have you on. buddy, i want to start with you. how did you stumble upon all of these letters and poems and where were they found? >> well, they were found by
gurdy my wife. she wanted to clean up in the attic. in our attic there were lots of suitcases and closets from my grandmother and mother, and gurdy went up to clean up and she got nosey and she opened a trunk or a closet. come on, tell us about it. how did you find it? >> what did you think then when you found all of this? >> it was amazing. i couldn't believe it because there were so many letters and photographs, more than 6,000. can you imagine? i had to read all this archive. it was amazing. i had to do -- i had to read and work with it for 2 1/2 years. >> and what do you think all of this says? is there something gerti that really stood out to you that it says about your -- about the family and the times in which they were living? >> yes. they talked about like when otto was in auschwitz and when he
could come home and when he wrote from amsterdam after the war and after before the war. maybe you can tell a little bit about. >> well -- what about -- >> i have another question for buddy. what are the earliest memories of anne? because you're first cousins. i'm just curious, what was she like as a child? >> well, she was a normal child. she was not a wonder child at all. her talent for writing, that came out when she was in hiding. i mean, she was always writing before. she loved to write letters to us every time. we received letters almost every week from her during her time they were in holland, but as a child she was a normal child. we had a wonderful childhood together as long as we were able to play together. she was a wild little animal, a girl, and we had a wonderful
time, play time together, hide -- we played normal things. we played hide and seek and she love d the theater. that's what she loved the most. >> i have been to the anne frank house in amsterdam. it's so interesting to hear these stories from you because it really does paint a different picture of what i think we've all thought about anne frank. and your mother once wrote that you and anne had a lot in common. did you see it that way? >> yes, we had a lot in common. we were both mad about the theater and films. i mean, i became an actor after my schooling, and the last thing she saw, she got a letter, she got informed that her cousin, buddy, me, started acting school, and the last thing she has in her diary, one of the last pages that you heard from
basel, which was my home, that i finished drama school and that was a big thing for her. >> that's great that she knew that. i know she talks about the troubles of being occupied there, but she's also pretty chatty just about everyday life. so i'm curious gerti, how much do you think she really understood about the situation for the jewish penal and what they we they were facing at that time? >> i think she understood a lot. she knew she's a jew, a jewish girl, and she couldn't do what the other children did, and it must have been for her very, very sad that she couldn't skate anymore, that she could not go with bicycle anymore, and i think for her she was such a lively, sweet girl, and then she was locked in, and i think it was very, very sad. >> buddy, what do you
understand, buddy, about the time when your family hadn't heard anything from anne and her family. what was the thought? what did you think happened to them? >> it was a horrible time. we knew they were in hiding somewhere, but we had no idea where. it was not possible for the family to let us know where they are. it was too dangerous because every letter or every postcard was censored by the german army, so their helpers were not allowed to let us know where they are and especially our grandmother, the mother of father frank which lived with us in switzerland. she was desperate. she had no idea where her son and her family was and it was a horrible time for us not knowing where anne and the family were. we had no idea, not even when ott tow frank was liberated in aush auschwitz. we knew then what happened. >> now you have this book "anne
frank's family." would wha would you like peop--e people to take away from it? >> this book is so informative about everything in the family, from the old ages on. our forbearers up to the modern times. it's hard for me to say which part is the most interesting one because the whole book is so interesting. >> i'm sure it's all very interesting. certainly her diary was read by so many and i'm sure this book will be as well. buddy and gerti, thank you very much for your time. >> thank you for having invited us. thank you. >> thank you. >> and you can catch that interview and much more later on today. check out my "newsroom" blog. just go to cnn.com/randi for stories and guests that you may have missed or they were so good you want to see them again. an stargazers, get ready to view the moon and sun in a way that hasn't been seen this
♪ you ain't seen nothing yet >> and good morning, los angeles. beautiful shot there. hurricane season is getting an early start. this morning a tropical storm is brewing off the east coast, so reynolds, want to bring you back in here. how big of a storm is this and where might it hit? >> it's not a very big storm, but it is significant that the hurricane season hasn't even started yet in the atlantic basin and yet we're already talking about the first one.
this storm named alberto with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour. it is not stationary at this point. it is actually moving and doing so at the west-northwest at 6 miles per hour. the latest forecast we have includes a bit of a warning that we have along parts of the coastline, especially into georgia and then south carolina. a tropical storm windchill in effect for those areas. expect enhanced rip currents, possibly heavy rainfall, but on radar it does not appear that impressive for the time being. latest forecast we have brings it farther to the north right off the eastern seaboard interacting with that warm water from the gulf stream, but still a lot of dry air vectoring in from the west. as we fast forward into tuesday, wednesday, thursday, it is forecast to weaken the farther it goes north and should die out. we'll keep sharp on it for you though. out to the west we have a different story. that, of course, is the eclipse. the reason why i say out to the west, if you wap to happen to be
western u.s., conditions could be almost perfect in parts of the desert southwest if you can see through the smoke. the moon is going to be passing between the earth and the sun. the best viewing will be in eastern asia and the western u.s. it's a partial eclipse. much of asia-pacific and the western two-thirds of the u.s. will have the best shot at it. for lubbock, texas, best around 7:30. albuquerque, 6:28. as we sweep our way a bit more towards the northwest, grand canyon at 5:25, back over to reno, 5:15 p.m. and then back to california and redding, best time to view it really getting under way around 5:12. it's not going to be a quick moving process. it's going to be kind of slow. the thing that sets this apart is that the ring, the ring of fire, is going to be very, very distinct with this one and randi, as we have been telling people all morning long, you don't want to view this with the naked lie. you want something like welder glasses, protection for eyes. standard sun fwlaglasses won't .
>> thank you. i'll have another and another. i no know that sounds a little funny, but now just one mores to go for the triple crown. plus, she made a name for herself saturday night but on this sunday morning, it looks like kristin wiig is saying good-bye to her "snl" cast mates. ♪ how are things on the west coast? ♪
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before they could get their offer together. we really missed a great opportunity -- dodged a bullet there. [ banker ] so we talked to them about the wells fargo priority buyer preapproval. it lets people know that you are a serious buyer because you've been credit-approved. we got everything in order so that we can move on the next place we found. which was clear on the other side of town. [ male announcer ] wells fargo. with you when you're ready to move. 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. welcome back to cnn sunday morning. i'm randi kaye. here are the morning headlines. at least six people are dead following an earthquake centered in northern italy. 50 others were injured. there are fears that more
victims could be found when search crews reach remote villages in the region. it was a 6.0 magnitude quake, by the way. the leaders of the nato nations meet today in chicago for several days now protesters have crowded the streets downtown. what is expected to be the biggest demonstration of all is scheduled for later this morning in the grant park area. it's billed as a major anti-war protest. the war in afghanistan, of course, is going to be front and center on the agenda for president obama and the other nato leaders. what a week for facebook founder mark zuckerberg. first, he made billions off the ipo on friday when he took his company public and now an even bigger change and, of course, it comes through a status update on facebook from zuckerberg and his long-time girlfriend, priscilla chan. the status update was very simple, married. yes, it was announced on facebook. here is the wedding photo we have for you. zuckerberg actually wore a suit. an off-duty firefighter was in the right place at the right
time. he spotted a house on fire and now a colorado family is calling him their hero. here is nelson garcia with cnn affiliate kusa. >> 10:00 the lightning struck, 11:00 super man showed up. >> chad reeves looks inside his home thinking it could have been much worse. his wife, sister, and friends were hanging out at the house when the night got exciting. >> scariest sound i think we have both ever heard. >> chad had just gotten home. >> like girls always do, i thought they were making it up. >> reporter: lightning had struck their rooftop and a fire started. that's when nate kelly drove by, saw the flames, and like superman hopped over this fence in a single bound. a guy dressed in regular clothes. >> i thought there were a couple kids trying to mess with us. >> some kid with a flannel shirt, jeans, and a ball cap jumped over my house asking where my hose was. >> reporter: they didn't know
yeley was an off-duty firefighter. >> he was fighting it without the nozzle on. >> reporter: flames burned. right above where a 5-month-old jackson was asleep. >> my 5-month-old lives right up there in the room on the right, and the fire literally burned out the trusses above him. >> a few more seconds they would have toppled on top of him. so he saved his life. >> reporter: and their home. flying across the rooftop like the man of steel. >> i thought i could make it. >> reporter: nearly putting out the flames single handedly until the fire department arrived. >> i believe without god putting nate in our path my son would be gone. >> what's the chances of an off-duty fireman hopping the fence to tell us we need to get out of na house? >> he's amazing and he's going to tell you that he's not amazing, but he is amazing. >> we think that he's superman. he literally appeared and disappeared just within an
instant. >> i don't view myself as a hero. i'm just there to help. >> reporter: mild mannered, fast as lightning. >> i never thought i would come across something like that off duty. >> superman. >> that was nelson grarcia reporting for kusa. grab your mobile phone and go to cnn.com/tv if you're on a desktop or a laptop, you can watch cnn live so you don't miss a thing. well, it is one of the rarest feats in sports. up there with that four home run games in baseball. 60 point nights in panel, and super bowls are actually more exciting than the commercials. it's horse race's triple crown. we are so close right now. joe carter here with us to talk a little bit about this. i saw the finish last night. it was something. >> i was out doing stuff as well, enjoying my saturday. it was a beautiful day and then it's like 6:15. turn on the race.
wow, what an exciting finish. so many people thought this horse could not win again and he did. what he was able to do two weeks ago at the kentucky derby got a lot of attention. >> that was the first time for him. >> first time winning the kentucky derby. he had won smaller races before, but what he did yesterday i think turned people into beli e believers. this horse is incredible but not only once did he beat the favorite twice. yesterday down the stretch, as they say, he went from fifth place to second place. then in the final 100 yards he made his move to bode bodemeister, the favorite, by a nose. an incredible finish. i love the backstory. his name came from the fact that his trainer loves cookies. every time his wife would break out the cookies, he'd take one and then say, i'll have another. >> that is great. >> and his owner, paul redham, actually picked this horse up on the cheap, if you will. he scooped the horse up for
$11,000 at an auction a few years back. >> you know, when seattle slew, when i read he sold for $17,000, i thought that was unbelievable. now we're in modern times. $11,000, i went back to youtube which i never watch, and saw that auction at $11,000 and just imagined those poor folks that were sitting in the seats going if i bid $12,000 i could have had the derby winner, i could have had the preakness winner. >> it's so true. when you look at the math on it, obviously it takes a lot of money to stable these horses and take care of them, but between the two races alone $2 million this team has now earned based on an $11,000 investment. >> that's a pretty good return. >> i know a lot of people hoping facebook returns as well. affirmed is the horse that was the last to win the triple crown in 1978. there's the horse affirmed. i'll have another needs to win the belmont in three weeks from
break that streak. this is big news. bodemeister is not going to race at the belmont. >> really? >> that's according to his trainer. he said the bus stops here. that's huge, huge news for i'll have another. i would assume that for the first time in seven races we're going to see i'll have another probably up there in the favorite category. but big brown was the last horse in 2008 to win the first two legs of the triple crown, so here we are, one race away from this horse making history. >> even if you don't like horse racing, you can't turn away from this. >> it makes it relevant. >> the belmont is longer, too. >> it is. >> it's going to be interesting if he can do it again in a longer race. >> and it's a quarter mile longer than the ktentucky derby test. that's what makes the triple crown so hard to win. most horses after they win in the kentucky derby falter. only 11 horses in the history of the sport have been able to win
all three races. >> i loved what you said yesterday, the preakness is the jan brady of the race, the middle sister. >> what is the belmont, the marsha? >> the tough, older sister. >> thanks fun. thank you very much. from france to the studios hh. stars like eva longoria gathering in the french town for the 65th tth annual event. all the entries for the highest award are male. it looks like kristen wiig may be leaving her spot as a cast member on "snl." here are some highlights from what was likely her final appearance. >> i have some great news. i'm planning on proposing to kat tonight. >> oh, my gosh. >> she thinks this is just going to be a casual dinner and just
with family and friends, and she has no idea that i'm going to pop the question, okay? >> oh, my god. >> how romantic. >> i bet she's going to cry. >> my god. >> last night's "snl" which was the season finale e fured an emotional sendoff to wiig at the end of the show. we'll be sorry to see her go. define yourself or be defined by your opponent. that is the task ahead of president obama and the man who wants to replace him, mitt romney. a preview of this week's "state of the union" coming next. those surprising little things she does
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and let's go to washington now. cnn's "state of the union" is coming up at the top of the hour. host candy crowley is joining us with a preview. you have a slew of exclusives. i can't even keep track. let's start with the two men with very big stakes in this year's presidential election. obama campaign adviser david axelrod and rnc chairman reince priebus. both sides engaging in this war of words. who is resonating do you think? >> i think they're both resonating with their bases, and i think that that's part of what's going on. the folks they had like to resonate with now, both sides, are the independents, those kind of swing voters, maybe s6%, 7%, 8% of voters at this point. what they're trying to do really at this point, what they're arguing for is who gets to
define mitt romney. this is the time when the lesser known candidate, which is mitt romney as opposed to president obama, has to say here is what i'm about, here is what you can expect. we saw him come out with a new ad saying, here is what i'd do on my first day in office. meanwhile, the president's re-election committee would also like to help define mitt romney and they're defining him as this sort of corporate raider, private business guy that didn't care about the lives of the middle class people that lost their jobs in some of the companies that closed while mitt romney was working at bain capital, a company he founded. there's definitely is struggle which i think came to the fore this week through the ads in trying to define who mitt romney is. we're kind of in that period of the election cycle. >> what about this bombshell this week, "the new york times" reporting that this group of high-profile gop strategists were planning on targeting obama and bringing up once again reverend wright. how has this proposal, which has
now been scrapped, how do you think it's hurt the romney campaign, if at all, and maybe republicans? >> first of all, it is, as we like to say, a distraction for mitt romney. this was not something he knew about, not something he approved of. this was sort of one of those super pac things and it was even just a proposal to a super pac. we could do this. but it just hit with such force. i think we learned a couple things. first of all, the so-called super pacs, which are basically very healthy people who in this case is a man who says he's worried about all this government spending, who have a vested interest in one side or the other. they're not allowed to talk to the campaigns. you're out on the campaign trail and you want to talk about jobs and you want to talk about what you did in the private sector and you're mitt romney and the neck thing you know you're being asked about a "new york times" story about whether or not you're going to bring up reverend wright. this is not what you want to be talking about, and it has such an instantaneous reaction from
people, particularly on the democratic side who say this is racist, what does this have to do with anything? they're just bringing up old stuff, et cetera, et cetera. it just became toxic almost overnight. it shows you, a, what it says about these outside groups that really can do some damage even to people they're trying to help, and, b, it shows you that no matter how much we talk about it, the race issue, which was always just kind of below the surface four years ago, remains there. >> yeah, it certainly does. candy, thank you very much. we'll keep it here for the show. and we'll be right back. acing ty 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.
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1988 bombing that brought down pan am flight 103 over lockerbie. 270 people died in that tragedy. al megrahi spent ten years in prison in scotland before being released on humanitarian grounds in 2009 which was very controversial. he was released back to libya. he had prostate san ter and wasn't expected to live much longer. he had been living in libya for the past two years. our nic robertson had visited his family there and we got this video of him lying there apparently in a coma and being treated by his family in this palatial tripoli villa. he was comatose, near death, and apparently now has died. on the phone with us we have burt ammerman. he's joining us by telephone. thank you for calling in. you lost your brother in 1983. he was on pan am 103. how is your family receiving this news that the lockerbie
bomber has died? >> well, it was 1988, but for me i'm pleased. you refer to when he was released in 2009, that was when i was most angry in this 24-year journey. that's been tempered somewhat with the removal and death of gadhafi from power. he was the big fish, and megrahi as far as i am concerned became a minor actor once gadhafi was killed. what is not happening and should happen is the gentleman that was arrested a couple months ago, the intelligence chief of libya under gadhafi, has the key to the truth of what happened in pan am 103, and our government, the british government, and anyone in the free world should be interrogating him very, very aggressively to find out who else was involved because megrahi was not the only one and libya i firmly believe was not the only country. >> how did you feel though, certainly he wasn't expected to live as long as he did when he
was first released on humanitarian grounds back to die in his home country of libya. were you surprised that he lasted that long and how frustrating was that for your family? >> oh, yeah. that was a true act of betrayal by our government and by the british government, in particular by the british government, because he truly was released just for aisle and big business. our government did not do anything to keep him confined in scotland. on humanitarian reasons was a spoke. he massacred 270 people, 259 at 31,000 feet. when they said he was released just for three months, it's now almost three years later. that was a black page in the history of pan am flight 103, but with the removal of power from gadhafi and his death, that helps quite a bit. >> and do you believe -- what do you think he actually knew? obviously now it appears he will be taking it to his grave according to these reports that
he has died, but what do you think he knew and what do you think his role actually was? >> he was a high level official in the libyan intelligence agency, so he got his marching orders directly from gadhafi or gadhafi's top assistant. he knows who else was involved in libya, but gadhafi, he knew who he was dealing with either from iran or syria. i firmly believe that either iran or syria were involved in this also, and this intelligence chief or the new [ muted ] knows exactly who is involved and that should be pursued so we get the other individuals that did this despicable act. >> give me an idea of what's been going on behind the scenes for family members like yourself, those who lost family members in 1988 to try to get answers. >> it's been a struggle. it's been a 24-year struggle. no matter what we've done we've succeeded either by embarrassing government officials or pressuring government officials in all honesty with the help of the media.
we've never really had many people come forward and say you're right, we're going to do everything possible. it's always been political pressure. we often say we've met the enemy and it's our own government, but we've succeeded and we've done a lot of things. this is a better place today than it was 20 years ago for people traveling overseas. >> i want to bring in new york senator chuck schumer who is also on the line with us. senator, good morning to you. what do you make of this news this morning that the lockerbie bomber is dead? >> well, look, this man was a horrible man, al megrahi. it would have been better had he not died in freedom, but died in prison. that's what he deserved, and i still believe that the scottish government perhaps with the participation of the british government created a major injustice when they let him out. having said that, the only legacy we have is in the memory of all those who were lost,
including a good number from new york, people from syracuse university, a fellow from brooklyn and the neighboring local parish, whose family i knew, we have to just make sure we continue this battle against terrorism on airplanes. we made great progress and we have to keep it up. >> will we ever know do you believe now with him dead, do you think we'll ever know what really happened aboard that flight and why? >> well, you know, both the scottish and british governments have not been forth coming. the whole deal smelled of a trade for oil for this man's freedom and that was almost blasphemy given what a horrible person he was and the terrible destruction and tragedy that he caused, but i don't know if we'll before get to the bottom of it now. usually history does have a way of coming