tv The Situation Room CNN June 11, 2012 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT
new leadership can change the situation for them at all. alina? >> such a sad story. all right. poppy harlow, thank you for that update. thanks for joining us. i'm alina cho in the cnn "newsroom." i'll see you back in new york. "the situation room" with wolf blitzer starts right now. wolf? >> alina, thanks very much. happening now, an obama cabinet official cited for hit and run after allegedly causing two collisions within a matter of minutes. the white house cites health related issues. we're digging deeper. it's america's eye in the sky over iraq and afghanistan. now a security perimeter is set up at the scene of where an unmanned u.s. drone has crashed. in maryland. and how far should the u.s. go to jump start the economy? a bitter debate between the obama and romney campaigns. it's now playing out overseas. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
>> a member of president obama's cabinet is under investigation now for hit and run. after allegedly leaving the scene of one collision, then causing another. the white house says health issues were a factor. but there are so many unanswered questions. brian todd has been investigating the story for us. what are you finding out? >> there are a lot of unanswered questions, wolf. commerce secretary john bryson is now back in washington after the accident over the weekend. the information is still murky. we're told the secretary did have some kind of seizure at some point. the commerce secretary allegedly caused traffic accidents at two different scenes within about five minutes.
the sequence started just north of los angeles. at 5:00 p.m. local time on saturday, police say he was driving his lexus southbound and rear ended a car waiting at a rail crossing. >> at some point after that he got out of the vehicle, made contact with the individuals. for some reason got back in the vehicle and left the scene. when he left the scene, he struck the vehicle a second time. at 5:10 p.m. local time, sheriff officials say he collided with a second car at san gabriel boulevard and hellman avenue. when police got to that scene -- >> they found him unconscious behind the wheel of his lexis. the spokesman said he suffered a see soour. he was taken to a hospital for
observation overnight and then released. and he was given medication to treat the seizure. a washington hospital center doctor says seizure is an electrical storm in the brain. anyone can have one, he says, if they encounter periods of sleep deprivation or suffer head trauma. >> a seizure in this area, if it was close to the area would affect language and speech. >> for people who have history of these things. whether one occurrence or more than one, should they be driving? >> well, every state has different laws. and in general they agree that people with seizures are controlled should be able to drive. >> law enforcement officials in california say bryson has not
been formally charged with anything yet. >> what about the people in other two cars? what is the status of them? >> two or three people were treated by paramedics for pain. in the second car, one of the two people complained of pain but declined medical treatment. >> thanks very much for that. let's dig a little bit deeper right now. we just received new information on his condition. let's go to brianna keilar. >> we learned today that secretary bryson was back at work today. we've also learned he has not had a history of seizures. he had not had a seizure before. there have been some questions about the timing of some of the events in relation to the seizure. and we can't really clear that up, wolf. according to this official the timing of the seizure, the cause of the seizure, the sequence of the events, hard to figure out
because the secretary was driving alone and he has limited recall of the events. we heard about the limitations of the details they've given us. >> he was alone. he had a seizure. he was involved in an accident. i would refer you to the commerce department for more details. those circumstances, i think, speak to, you know, some of the difficulty in getting details. but beyond that, i just don't know. i would refer you to the congress. i'm certainly not a doctor. i was not a presiding doctor on the case. i would refer you to the department of commerce. >> if you take a wider look at the story and how it fits into the last week or so, this is another in a line of stories. that is convincing voters that he and the administration are
doing what they need to on the economy. we saw bad jobs numbers more than a week ago. that's been an umbrella, a cloud, well over the last week. there's the bipartisan fear over leak of classified information. and the president's own gaffe on friday where he said the private sector is fine. we do know if a blood test comes back showing the secretary that no alcohol was involved in the preliminary, it's expected he wouldn't be charged with hit and run. still, this is a distraction from what the white house wants to focus on. >> what do we know about secretary bryson? most viewers never heard of him. rereplaced gary locke, now the u.s. ambassador in china. tell us about him. >> he's not really a high profile guy. not as high profile as
gary lock. he said he's been an effective commerce secretary. even as he deals with trade and how american businesses relate to government, president obama, i wouldn't say he's one of the closest of the president's sourt of economic circle, and we do know from the white house, from jay carney, wolf, that president obama only learned about this this morning, and as of this afternoon had not spoken to bryson. his chief of staff was able to touch base with him. >> i'm surprised we haven't heard from secretary bryson himself. either going out, making a statement, reassuring the country he's okay or doing a television interview or something like that. i assume they're thinking of doing something that catches people to hold up in the department of congress. >> reporter: honestly, i don't know, wolf, if they are thinking of doing something. but i was interested to learn that he was at work today.
we know he's been in touch with his doctors. just trying to make sure his held situation is okay. >> thanks very much. we'll stay on top of this story for the viewers. other important news, it's been america's secret eye in the sky over iraq and afghanistan. now a version of the giant unmanned global hawk has actually gone down in the state of maryland. our pentagon correspondent chris lawrence is joining us with more. the drones have gone down in other countries what's going on? >> on the eastern shore of maryland. apparently right now the coast guard is quarantining off the area, establishing an security zone and looking to make a secure zone before they can get in there and look at the wreckage. basically the drone was on a routine training flight when it lost contact with the navy
operators on the ground. they scrambled a man aircraft able to put some eyes on that wreckage. he determined that it crashed and it did not hit anything on the ground. but this global hawk has really put in a lot here in the united states. it's done surveillance over some of if california wildfires. looked at damage after hurricane ike. it's also deployed overseas because it can fly 11 mooils high. well above the weather line. and if you go from about 30 hours at a time we're told it was a routine training mission. right now they're trying to determine if any pollutants in the water might cause trouble for the folks who have to come in and retrieve it. wolf? >> did you mention -- and pardon me if you did, where the drone was based?
>> it was based at aifl air station pax river. they have about five of them. the other four go through routine training. this one was on the routine training when something happened. and it lost contact with the operators on the ground. the drone costs $175 million. >> for one drone? wow. thanks very much for that. chris lawrence, from the pentagon. al qaeda's affiliate in yemen is seeking recruits to carry out attacks on the united states. we have details of the new troubling developments. plus the battle for the white house becomes a battle of verbal gaffes. whose slip-ups are more damaging? president obama's slip-ups? mitt romney's slip-ups? ♪ [ acoustic guitar: slow ]
jack? >> the next congress will be one of the least experienced in decades. it might be more polarized than the current congress if that's possible. politico reports the house and senate will be filled with rookies and sophomores, unbound by the institution's traditions, that's a quote, who have virtually no experience doing serious legislative work. which means it will be hard to tell them from the current congress. the 2010 elections brought in new lawmakers. mostly republicans. remember the tea parties? then dozens of retirements were announced this year, plus the normal expected election turnover come november. all of which means the new congress could add more than 155 members with less than four years experience. some suggest it's a good thing. tim thw the out. i tend to agree, and the turnover will bring fresh blood into an unpopular constitution. and for good reason. the current congress is more partisan and less willing to compromise than ever. it could be argued a lot of them
don't know what they're doing. one democratic congressman told politico there are chairman of s s subcommittees who don't know which end of gavel to use. and the makeup of the new congress that will be elected in november is very much a wild card. we are running out of room to either make mistakes or do nothing. house speaker john boehner insists all the fresh faces have had a positive impact. bringing what he calls energy, enthusiasm and real world experience to washington. but what have they done for us lately? nothing. and it could get worse. here's the question. go to cnn.com/caffertyfile. post a comment on my blog. or go to "the situation room's" fa facebook page. >> the lame duck session will be
incredibly important. a lot of action. people think we're going to be able to relax after the election. think again. lit be a crazy period. >> and if they get it wrong, we were in huge trouble. >> yeah. thank you, jack. >> sure. there are also chilling new signs that al qaeda in yemen is aiming directly at the united states of america. a public appeal for attacks inside the u.s. our pentagon correspondent barbara star is looking into the story. what you finding out? >> well, wolf, i want you to have a look at what people are saying about al qaeda in yemen. the obama administration now starts every day worried that al qaeda in yemen is trying to attack the u.s.
an administration official tells cnn there's plenty of reason to worry. al qaeda's english language magazine just issued a call for fighters in yemen who have u.s. passpor passports, visas or anyone who can legally enter the use to attack vendors. the magazine details how to make explosives but then goes further. they have instructions on how to communicate with the commanders who approve attack plans. >> if they continue to target the u.s., and we see all indicates that it is, getting somebody with a u.s. passport or the ability to get inside is the best way to do it. many experts say it's now a bigger threat than the decimated ranks of the al qaeda organization, still hiding in pakistan. with political unrest still
weakening the government. al qaeda has already influx of fighters from saudi arabia, somalia and the united em rats. the fighters now 1,000 strong, triple the size of the group two years ago. operate in strongholds across southern yemen. it's a group with growing influence. >> providing water. hooking up houses to the electricity. sfwl the u.s. identified four core leaders. including the master bomb maker. said to be responsible for the failed effort to put an explosive device on a u.s. bound airliner several weeks ago. that failed because the alleged bomber was working for saudi intelligence. since then the u.s. believes al qaeda has taken steps to approve the security inside yemen. now air strikes using the drones
have been the major u.s. tool so far to go after al qaeda in yemen. but the group appears to still be flourishing. more fighters, more territory, and the u.s. believes they are coming out of yemen, directed for the united states. wolf? >> i know the u.s. ha had drone strikes targeting the al qaeda operatives. but is there any serious consideration of deploying special operations forces? commandos in yemen to try to get the guys? >> right now we know the special operation forces are working to help train yemeni forces to go after al qaeda operatives and strongholds. if they had a lead on one of those top four leaders on the ground, and they couldn't get a drone in, for some reason, would they send u.s. troops? so far they haven't done it.
the u.s. intelligence community believes remaining in afghanistan. still 90,000 u.s. troops there. more than 1,000 in yemen. and no u.s. troops in yemen. it's a little strange. but we're going to be following up on this story as well. barbara, thanks very much. disturbing video that has an elected official possibly facing child abuse charges. new developments in this shocking case. look what 22 inches of rain did in florida. epic flooding and a state of emergency.
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lisa sylvester is monitoring that. what's going on? >> the number comes from syrian activists. they report fresh shelling in the battered city of holmes. and they accuse the government of using helicopters to fire indiscriminantly on a town in northwest syria. the u.s. state department calls it a serious escalation and a desperate move. cnn cannot verify the reports of fighting in syria. and day two of the man hunt for the suspect in a shooting that killed two former auburn university football players and wounded a current player. police believe 22-year-old killed three people in all and wounded three more at an off campus apartment. two other men who fled with leonard are also being caught. police say they believe the gunfire broke out during a fight at a party. and this next video shows a man beating his stepson with a belt allegedly because the boy wasn't throwing a ball well enough.
a neighbor recorded it and eventually yelled at the man to stop. well, it turns out, he's an elected official named anthony sanchez who oversaw a powerful southern california water agency. he's now facing felon child abuse charges. and take a look at pensacola, florida, underwater after 22 inches of rain fell in the florida panhandle and parts of alabama. floodwaters inundated neighborhoods. officials are putting the damage at more than $20 million in pensacola alone. look at those pictures, wolf. >> pretty bad. lisa, thank you. they've been trading jabs and gaffes. the obama and romney campaigns carrying on a public spat over public spending. and it's getting nastier. and jeb bush suspects his father and ronald reagan would both have a hard time fitting into today's republican party. that's coming up in our strategy session. the medicare debate continues in washington...
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they're jabbing. they're punching. they're stumbling. the obama and romney campaigns are in a public spat over public spending, and it's going global right now. our national political correspondent jim acosta is watching all this unfolding. >> it's a nasty fight, but it's an important fight. look past the web videos under way between the obama and romney campaigns, and there's a real debate going on. not just in the u.s., but around the world, on how to get the economy moving again. mitt romney's campaign can't get enough of it, churning out another web video linking president obama's gaffe on the private sector to the weak u.s. recovery. >> the private sector is doing fine. where we're seeing weaknesses in the economy have to do with state and local government. >> the president' re-election team is fighting back by trying to turn romney's initial reaction against the gop
contender. >> we need more firemen, more teachers, the american people got the message. it's time to cut back and help the american people. >> cue the mayor in massachusetts on romney's record. >> local government was cut dramatically. >> at the heart of the back and forth might be the key question of the election. how far should the u.s. go to jump start the economy? revising the private sector comments, the obama campaign strategist argued on cnn's state of the union, public sector spending is critical. >> so bottom line, is the private sector doing fine? >> the private sector, we need to accelerate job creation in the private sector. >> right. >> one way to do that is putting teachers and firefighters and police back to work. >> that's the public sector. >> that will help accelerate the recovery. >> the romney campaign responded with this video, showing the
president touting his restraint on government spending. >> the only time government employment has gone down has been under me. >> the obama campaign notes the president did call for more teachers in the same speech, and even pointed to wisconsin's recalled surviving governor, scott walker, who stressed caution and slashing public spending. >> i know in my state our reforms allowed us to protect firefighters, police officers and teachers. that's not what i think of when i think of big government. >> the debate is playing out on the world stage. germany is arguing for more austerity and leaders in countries like spain backing president obama's call for more spending. >> we won't get there. >> in a german business journal, rom niece top economiced advise said it sets a dangerous precedent, aimed at undermining u.s. foreign policy.
romney is facing what could be a big test on his comments on teachers and firefighter. and the next week he is planning a six-day bus tour focused on small towns, where as you know, wolf, public sector workers wield a lot of influence. they carry with them a lot of votes. romney campaign just had a conference call a few moments. there was a surrogate who said his comments on teachers and police officers and firefighters were taken out of context. that is in conflict what many are saying throughout the day. we have to get back to see exactly what he was talking about. >> so they're trying to clean up what romney said. >> well, possibly. that's what the surrogate was saying on the conference call that just wrapped up. that's not what the campaign has been saying all day long. this is something, perhaps a new development from the romney campaign. >> thanks very much. let's dig deeper in the strategy session.
the republican strategist, mary math lin. this is a sensitive issue. romney seems to suggest, we don't need to spend more money to hire more teachers, firefighters, police officers. a lot of folks say what planet is he living on? i'm quoting david axelrod. they'll be upset about that because they think the country does need more teachers, firefighters and police officers. >> right. only people who live on another planet think in a parallel universe would think that is what mitt romney meant. he said it in the absolute conjunction with the ridiculously expensive recall, which validated that public workers, be they firemen, be they teachers, be they of any critical service, they need to get their salaries and pensions in line with what taxpayers can afford. it's clearly what romney meant. i'm sure the surrogate that jen just referenced meant we need pension reform. the only states having any growth are nose doing pension
reforms. that that's at the epicenter of what this campaign is going to be about. the president is reenforcing a negative impression that he thinks the public sector creates wealth or creates growth is in contradiction with what other democratic leaders have said about the private sector, the bad jobs numbers and the horrific 1.9% growth. >> and you reard romney say what planet is the president living on when he says the private s sector is doing fine. >> clearly the white house and the the president himself have already clarified the comment. i don't think it was the best six words the president could have used. but i think the american people understand where the president was coming from. and the attack from the republicans to try to paint him as out of touch are not going to stick. frankly, because in most polls, the american people believe it's this president who the one who understands the economic suffering.
middle class workers are going through them. the president is always the first one to say that we need to do more to continue to provide growth, to provide job creation in the private sector as well as the public sector. mitt romney's comments will come back and haunt him more. we're already seeing from the campaign they're trying to walk it back. it underscores what's already alive in their minds about a candidate, mitt romney, that doesn't care for the middle class. firefighters, cops and teachers, really important middle class workers who fight for our communities, invest in our children's future and keep us safe. >> mary, assuming you saw what the former florida governor jeb bush, very popular in florida, two-term governor, told bloomberg's editorial board earlier in the day. he said ronald reagan and george h.w. bush would have a hard time f you define the republican party, and i don't, as having an
orthodoxsy that it doesn't have a disagreement. doesn't allow for finding some common ground. he was suggesting they would have a difficult time fitting into, at least the certain brand of the republican party right no now. >> well, i worked for both of those presidents. you were there, too. it was very partisan then. they blamed aids and homelessness on reagan. said poppy bush was a wimp. this was a different day. it's not a different party. the party is still united around the same principles of limited government, lower taxes and regulatory policies that unleash the animal spirits in the market, which is what reagan did. which is why he created ten times as many jobs and the growth rate twice as great as this recovery. obama created the worst recovery, it tends to have a different dynamic on those trying to find common ground. we cannot sustain anymore of
obama's policies. the environment is different. i would also add that president reagan and poppy bush were famously, personally, publicly and privately very civil men. they never said about the opponents some of the things that come out of the mouths of the democratic leadership. >> mary is right. i did cover president george h.w. bush and reagan. when necessary, they were more than willing to compromise on sensitive issues with democrats who had majorities in the house and the senate. they were willing to compromise to make a deal. here's the question to you, maria. a lot of folks are disappointed that this president so far has not been able to come up with a real strategy of finding those republicans, cooperating with them, working out deals. >> the problem, wolf, is that there aren't any. this has been the issue with this president, and frankly, why the left has been a little bit
mad or miffed with him because they believe he's tried too hard to compromise with republicans. he's tried time and time again. and the problem is he hasn't found any republicans. where are they? i'll use one issue as a key example. immigration. something he was very good at. he gave us amnesty. problem is, for example, on immigration, there are 11 republicans today that just that few short years ago supported comprehensive immigration reform. including mccain, who had his name on the the bill. they're unwilling to support anything like that today. that is the problem. >> thanks very much. she waged a high-profile battle against breast cancer. now "good morning america's" robin rosh erroberts says she's facing another health threat. plus, e a growing struggle as months stretch into years for the long-term unemployed.
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close to 1 million americans are now unemployed, and the staggering number who have been out of work for six months or more. there's a lot of desperation out there, and many are losing their safety net. we have an in-depth look at the long-term unemployed. what are you finding out? >> this has been one of the most troubling and persistent aspects of the job market during the recession and recovery. why so many people have been unemployed for so long. with her tape measure and jeans, michelle is both hard at work and out of work. >> i believe in god, so something's gotta happen here. >> she's unemployed like the rest of the women retraining to get construction work. this project, a ramp at a local church is a volunteer job. sheer is 50, a college grad, and she hasn't had full time work in 18 months.
>> what else do i need to do to myself? do i need to get a master's degree? do i need a better haircut? what is it about me that i can't get work? >> it's painful and the numbers show it's persistent. 12.7 million americans are unemployed. 5.5 million of them have been without a job for more than six months. >> having a college degree doesn't protect you. you're more lickly to be unemployed for longer if you're older. but it cuts across all races and occupations. >> the longer a person out is out of a job, the harder it can be to find work. >> a lot of the people are desperate. they want to get back to work. >> murray runs the program where these people were retrained. 70,000 more americans lose their extended benefits this week.
>> i don't think there's enough people who understand. or they would not cut off unemployment. she doesn't buy the argument that unemployment kept her from looking for a job. >> i lost everything except my faith and my mind. i've lost everything. >> now she started a construction company. a gamble. but after more than two years without a steady paycheck, one she's willing to make. >> stay positive. eventually it has to turn around. it just has to. >> what can folks who have been unemployed for a long time do to make themselves more attractive
to employers? >> this is a stigma. even though there's not supposed to be discrimination against them. they say what do they look for? the key is they say to stay engaged. >> it really is about being proactive. not just sitting back and waiting for something to happen. they have to take extra steps. they have to get involved. they have to network. >> it's all about staging engaged with the workforce, even if you're not working. trying to show employers you're pro active. >> millions more rr underemployed. so they're technically employed. but they're not very happy that they have to take this huge pay cut. can $125 billion stop the bleeding? spain gets a big bailout. what's next for europe and the
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on wall street the dow lost 143 point as excitement gave way to anxiety after spain's request for $130 billion backed bailout. erin, is $125 billion enough to stop the bleeding in spain? >> no. this appears to be the answer to those buying the debt and other experts. nobody thinks this is enough. the question is, is it setting spain on the right track? is it yet another band-aid? all we've seen out of europe, of course, is band-aid after band-aid after band-aid, and people really need to say they're going to step up. earlier this morning it looked like markets were really going to rally. you saw it in asia, for example, but here in the u.s., markets had time to look at it and say
is this enough? the answer is no. the answer is still no. although some are a little bit more omt mystic today. so you end up with the market dropping. i have to say, people seem to think that spain could need a lot more money. italy could need money. i've seen estimates of a trillion to 4 or $5 trillion is what europe needs to deal with the problems. this is a huge problem for the whole world. particularly here for the u.s. the u.s. is directly right now providing support for europe. so it comes right here at home to ben bernanke. they can bail out the southern companies like spain or greece. >> we're going to look at
whether these are really a new term, too big to bail out. and how big and bad the problem may be. i'm joined by one of the largest bond investors in the world. a lot of american pension money put into the economies and find out if he thinks we're going to be table to get out of this and how much worse it could get for all of us and our retirement funds? jack cafferty is here. he has the cafferty file. >> what does it mean for the next congress, the one we're going to elect in november, is one of the least experienced in decades. beth writes, it might mean nothing will get done. they won't agree on anything. they'll wait until the last minute to raise the debt ceiling, thus causing a drop in the debt ceiling. how could an inexperienced congress be any worse? tom in philadelphia, just like the congress does now, they'll
listen to contributors. remember, they are baulgt and paid for. maybe they'll get something done if they don't use the stall tactics. another says jack, we don't need experience. we need fresh minds with fresh ideas. kristin in washington says we'll continue to stall out in congress. it needs time, and we don't have time to learn on the job. jeff in north carolina writes it means the more senior members will have even more power in their chambers than they do now. it doesn't matter, jack, we're too far gone. send in the vultures. wayne in virginia says maybe with a bunch of new faces the old faces will quit, get voted out the next election, or come to the realization that people are genuinely tired of the same old b.s. and md writes, wo would even notice? name the last five things congress has accomplished.
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liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? i tell mike what i can spend. i do my best to make that work. we're driving safely. and sue saved money on brakes. now that's personal pricing. united nations workers flee as ethnic violence flairs. lisa sylvester is monitoring that. some of the other top stories in "the situation room" as well. what's the latest? >> hi, wolf, it's happening in western myanmar.
formally known as burma. fighting between muslims and buddhis buddhists. now 17 people have been killed in the violence, which was sparked wheng three muslim men were detained following the rape and murder of a buddhist woman. and dramatic moments of the british inquiry into rupert murdoch's media empire. former prime minister gordon brown lashed out at murdoch, basically accused him of lying. he also attacked the newspaper for its reporting of sensitive medical information about his infant son. >> i find it sad that here in 2012, members are coming and maintaining a fiction that stours only achieved and obtained through medical information or through me or my wife, which we never did, of course.
we cannot learn the lessons of what has happened with the media unless there's some honesty. >> this hearing could affect if murdoch keeps control of the british part of his media empire. things got ugly as passions flared at the soccer championship. fans scuffled with police ahead of the game with poland. ireland went onto lose 3-9. and in one of the biggest rivalries of the sport, france and england tied 1-1 in today's match in ukraine. and what happened to lei di gaga at her concert? new zealand last night? she was bonninged on the head with a pole one of her backup dancers was trying to move. her makeup artist later tweeted gaga suffered a concussion. her representatives now say she's doing well. shows you that accidents do happen. >> i saw her in concert at the verizon center here in
washington. it's painful to see that. i hope she's okay. she's a real, real talent. thanks very much. we wish her a speedy recovery. >> and you're in "the situation room." happening now a new warning that syria is planning a new massacre as horrific as the recent slaughter. and "good morning america" anchor robin roberts reveals she's fighting another potentially life threatening disease. linked to her battle against breast cancer. i'll ask dr. sanjay gupta if she can beat this. we want to welcome viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
senior u.s. officials now say at this very minute the syrian government may blame another massacre on the syrian people. the obama administration says it's troubled by the new moves of the al-assad regime. escalated shelling in the rebel stronghold of holmes. online images appeared to show more than a dozen explosions. an hour into that city. the state department says the president bashar al-assad is getting more desperate. now they're firing at random from helicopters on civilians and rebels.
let's bring in jill dougherty. she's working the story. if the u.s. knows another massacre may be in the works in syria, what is the administration doing about snit. >> you know, essentially, wolf, what they are doing is bringing it to life. that's the first thing. talking about it. they share the grave concern by the un. they are also warning the president assad not to do it. they're warning the troops they shouldn't do it. after all, remember bosnia. and essentially they're not taking military action. that's the big question. would they actually do something on a military side? a spokesperson says no, that it wouldn't help to save lives. they would argue it would turn into a proxy war. so we're back to pressure, pressure, pressure and trying to peel away people who support the regime. >> increasing the sanctions as well. jill, thanks very much.
there are fewer and fewer places syrians can hide from the carnage spreading across their country. we have compelling new video from inside the fighting of the capital of damascus. here's ivan watson. >> this is a syrian rebel ambush. a roadside bomb hitting a convoy of buses carrying syrian troops. the rebel's camera captures soldiers running for cover in the city of douma, just a few miles from damascus. the sound of fierce fighting echoing at night has shattered the security bubble in the capitol. the experts say the battle for the two largest cities has begun. >> we've seen events pick up on the ground with more and more crashes occurring in areas of the country which the regime claimed to control, in particular, the largest city of the country's economic capitol.
and in both places we've seen not just armed clashes, but a revival of the protest movement and the peaceful dimension. >> the video shows the historic bazaar in damascus shattered. this is in protest against a massacre of civilians. allegedly by pro-government militia. >> this is a strong signal suggesting the historical and business establishments is at least partially broken. >> the strikes spread to neighboring areas, forcing merchants to reopen their shops. >> what we see is a regime whose narrative boiled down to chaos. but increasingly what we see is then end chaos.
the regime is incapable of imposing law and order. >> more than a year of violence compounded by economic sanctions is taking its toll on ordinary syrians. prices of basic commodities in fuel have skyrocketed. activist journalists sent us this video of a woman, complaining that she could only afford to feed her children rotting onions and stale bread, warmed over a wood fire because she can't afford to buy cooking fuel. the syrian regime is far from defeated. it has fervent supporters and vastly better weapons than the rebels. but with the soldiers now using the main sports stadium in damascus as a staging ground, the image of a government in control has started to crack. ivan watson, cnn, istanbul.
the syrian government has restricted access to the company. the photojournalist robert king was able to get inside syria. i spoke to him about his experiences and the disturbing video he was able to shoot while he was there. what do you make of the reports that we're now getting today that gunfire shelling is being confirmed. >> i think assad is losing his grip on power. people are finally beginning to stand up for themselves, and demand an end to the slaughter. >> do you see a split emerging among the supporters? >> i have heard, you know, rumors i was never able to visit the village. i hear from many sfa early in
the trip that they didn't have a problem. but as my trip progressed, their opinions towards the alowi regressed. i think the line has been crossed. i don't think there will be much room for forgiveness or reconciliation. >> so these massacres seem to be escalating. we're showing our viewers some video of a man who was obviously injured very severely. we also have your latest video, showing a bandaged, injured man, it's nighttime in syria. you were ready to leave syria. what was it like there? >> when we were leaving, it was very heavy shelling during that time. rockets were falling nearby the hospital. it was a bit of a scramble. they had to move the wounded to neighboring homes because there was so many that they just didn't have the space in the field hospital to treat all the wounded that day. some other big stories we're following in "the situation room."
the u.s. commerce secretary is now under investigation for a possible felon hit and run. after allegedly causing two car accidents in california over the weekend. the commerce department says john bryson suffered a seizure. police say he was found unconscious behind the wheel after the accidents, and there's no indication that alcohol or drugs were involved. the white house is blaming health-related issues. and a house panel will hold a hearing to decide if the attorney general, eric holder, should be held in contempt. republicans say he failed to respond to a subpoena for documents on the botched gun smuggling sting operation known as fast and furious. if the house oversight committee votes to hold holder in contempt, if full house will have to afroouf the measure. they call the move unfortunate and unwarranted. robin roberts is promising she'll beat the latest threat to her health. our own dr. sanjay gupta is here to tell us how and if the "good morning america" host can
survive. we'll have the latest on what's going on. and we're also learning surprising things about president obama's second term agenda if, and it's a big if, if he's reelected. and a former spy fears iran is getting dangerous information from national security leaks here in the united states. [ thunk ] sweet! [ male announcer ] the solid thunk of the door on the jetta.
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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? ♪ jack cafferty is here with the cafferty file. jack? >> wolf, more depressing news here. increasingly young americans can no longer afford to get sick. a new report shows millions of young adults are skipping necessary medical care because of rising health care costs. the survey was put out by commonwealth fund. it shows 41% of those between 19 and 29 years old fail to get medical care because it's too expensive. a lot of implications to this. none of them good. young adults aren't filling prescriptions. they're not getting recommended tests or treatments.
they're avoiding doctor visits and not seeking specialist care they might need. doctors say the young adults stop listening to medical device once they're told how much the treatment will cost. and those who actually do decide to get medical care wind up with loads of debt. 36% of young adults have problems paying off their medical bills. or pay the bills off all the time. some use up all their savings, others take on credit card debt or are unable to pay their student loans. others put off career plans because of money shoes or they haven't been able to pay for food or rent. growing medical debt is in part due to the tremendous cost to patients because of high deductibl deductibles, high kco-payments and the high cost of insurance overall. president obama's health care law has helped more young adults get insurance because they can stay on their parents plan until the age of 26.
but if the supreme court strikes down obama care, we'll know the answer soon here, young americans may face more medical problems. here's the question this hour. young people are foregoing medical care because of the cost. what does that mean to the future? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog. or go to our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. wolf? >> real problem, jack. thank you. >> we're also getting a fascinating new look at what president obama's second term may look like if he gets himself reelected, and that's still a big if. we're joined by ryan lizza. he's the washington correspondent from the "new yorker" magazine. he's written an excellent in depth article on the president's agenda. great reporting, ryan. what would be the two most important items on the president's agenda in the second term? >> well, it's a good question. it's also speculative.
he wants the unfinished business of the first term. a lot of what he doesn't isn't looking so good this week. it will depend on the circumstances he faces. what makes this year unusual is we know whether romney or obama wins, they are going to face first, right after election day, this fiscal cliff, which some people call taxmaggedon. when the bush tax cuts expire. when severe cuts go into effect automatically. that's going to the be first issue no matter what. and can you go back to, if boehner is still in power and mitch mcconnell is the minority leader in the senate, can you go back to the brand bargain that they try to put together in 2011. so some version of, you know,
simpson-bowles will be the first thing they do no matter who is elected. but if obama is reelected, you also say he's going to make a major push on the environment, also immigration reform. >> i think this is a choice for the president. if you look at the unfinished business, the stuff he started laying out in 2007 and 2008, but was not able to accomplish in the last few years, i think the two biggest things are one, something substantial on climate change, and then, two, a comprehensive immigration reform. and if you think through the politics of those two things. i think it's very unlikely, and i couldn't get almost anyone at the white house to tell me it was likely, that he would push hard on climate change. that the economy will prevent the politics for that issue from changing.
if he manages to win and he manages to get through the fiscal cliffs, that the first big domestic reform would be on immigration. a big reason for that will be nonwhite voters. and specifically hispanics. and the lesson some republicans could take from that is they need to moderate on that. many observers say no way, that's not going to happen. that's what the white house is telling me on immigration and how the politics of that issue could change after the the election if obama wins. >> before the end of this month, they have to rule whether or not the health care reform law is constitutional, mandates requiring people to purchase health insurance. if the supreme court rules 5-4, let's say, that it's unconstitutional, what does the president do in a second term if he's reelected? does he start from scratch on health care reform?
>> if they just take away the mandate but leave the rest of the law intact, that's not a terrible problem to solve. it would mean they have two choices. they could replace the mandate with another policy. there are some smart options out there. if you don't be want to do that because it's too hard to get through congress, you have to get through congress to take away the other insurance market reforms that are part of the health care bill. if you don't take those reforms away, the rest of the bill is going to send the insurance costs through the roof. you know, highly inflationary. so obama has a choice. do you patch it up with the new mandate that may be just as controversial, or ju scrap all the additional parts of the law that the mandate affected? they may not have to make the choice. the dream court could decide to get rid of the mandate and the
insurance reforms. >> we'll know in the next two or three weeks what the supreme court does. the second term, what would obama do if reelected, thank you very much for coming in. thanks, wolf, appreciate it. a popular pastor arrested after his teenage daughter goes to police. why he says he should have never been arrested. and why was the british prime minister's 8-year-old all alone at this pub? ...the united states would be on that list. in 25th place. let's raise academic standards across the nation. let's get back to the head of the class. let's solve this. what's today's dare? erase the damage of 100 blow-drys
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testimony today from the first of jerry sandusky's alleged sex abuse victims. now 28, the man known only as victim four, told the court that sandusky tried to force the then 14-year-old to have oral sex dozens of times while showering on penn state's campus. he said that sandusky wrote him a letter saying, quote, love never ends. sandusky, a former penn state assistant football coach is charged with sexually abusing ten boys over 15 years. and in suburban atlanta, megachurch pastor is facing family violence charges. they stem from his friday's arrest for punching and choking his 15-year-old daughter. he told thousands of parishioners that he argued, but they did not do it. he blamed the devil for the controversy and said all is well in the household. and a high level family mishap involving britain's prime minister david cameron and his wife samantha. they left their daughter behind at a pub about a mile from their
country residence. apparently, each thought that the other had the 8-year-old when they left in separate cars. the daughter was giving pub staff a hand when the dad came back to catch her about 15 minutes later. a bartender said the incident happened a couple months ago. and don't try this at home. a man in china apparently decided to try a few stunted while driving on city streets over the weekend at about -- oh my gosh. at about 25 miles an hour. he climbed onto the open door and window frame, staring the car with only his right hand. a driver behind him shot this that you see there. he says the daredevil barely missed him and other drivers on the road. new word on whether he was pulled over if he simply sped away. no idea why somebody would try that. none whatsoever. >> he's nuts. that's what it is basically. thanks, lisa. she fought and beat cancer. now "good morning america" host robin roberts is battling a rare
blood disorddisorder. can she survive a second potentially life threatening disease? our own dr. sanjay gupta will help us better understand what she's facing. and wildfires are raging along dry land, as fast as 40 feet every second. we'll show you who is at risk. good morning! wow. want to start the day with something heart healthy and delicious? you're a talking bee... honey nut cheerios has whole grain oats that can help lower cholesterol. and it tastes good? sure does! right... ♪
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[ 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. popular morning tv star enjoying new heights in her career suddenly faces a ating diagnosis. rob inroberts told the world she's suffering from a rare blood disorder. it's even more gut renching because she thought her worst health problems were behind her. mary snow has more on what's going on and what rosh bbin is facing. >> she just said got home from first treatment. all wept well.
my family and i are comforted by your prayers, love and support. see you in the morning at g robin berts faces a bone marrow traplant. it will take months to prepare for it. the disorder was once known as leukemia. doctors say thes no longer the case. five years aer battling breast cancer and beating it, abc's robin roberts has a new fight. she made the surprising announcement this morning on tv. sometimes treatment for cancer can lead to other serious medical issues, and that's what i'm facing right now. it is something that is called mds. it is a rare blood disorder that affects the bone marrow. >> from myelodysplastic syndrome or mds, there are many new cases each year in the u.s. we turned to dr. gayle of the
wild kor nel medical center. she explains the cells grow abnormally and the problems can arrive with red and white blood cells and platelets. >> if you have too few white cells, you may be prone to infection. you may feel short of breath or tired or the usual amount of exercise you can't do anymore. some patients will notice they get bruises, even though they don't remember having an injury. >> while most cases involve order patients, people can develop mds after cancer treatment. robin got her diagnosis the same day that "good morning america" finally beat the "today show" for the first time in 16 years. in may, roberts was undergoing an unpleasant bone marrow test when she learned she would be interviewing president obama the next day. an interview that went onto make history when he declared his support for same-sex marriage. roberts is going public now because she started chemotherapy
treatments in advance of a bone marrow transplant. the good news is, she has a bone marrow match. >> my big sister is a virtually perfect match for me. she's there with diane and ann sweeney, and she is going to be my donor. she's going to be my donor. thank you, jooe sauce. jesus. and doctors tell me that is going to be a tremendous help in me beating this. >> how serious is this? >> this is a serious dig know sis. one to be taken with a big lump in the throat. i think that it is curable. so there are patients who are definitely cured with this diagnosis. but the treatment is very difficult. and it's not a guarantee. >> robin roberts is determined to beat this, and she says her doctors have told her she's younger and fitter than most
people fighting this disease, and that she will be cured. and she has many people in her corner. among the outpouring of supporters, first lady michelle obama tweeted barack and i have you in our prayers. we believe in you. thank you for bringing awareness and hope to others. we wish her the very best. >> we certainly do. we're confident we can beat this. let's do in depth with dr. san ya gupta. walk us through what the treatment will be like. >> it's interesting. mary alluded to this. the bone marrow itself, they are defective cells coming out of her bone marrow. that's what this disease is. so the first treatment is, i think what robin was talking about in the tweet. getting chemotherapy again and getting a form of chemo therapy.
once the cells are removed, then she will be eligible for the bone marrow transplant. that could be some time away. when the bone marrow transplant is done, you're essentially putting healthy cells back in the bone marrow with the hopes the marrow will now start to produce healthy red blood cells, healthy white blood cells. so it's a long process. so this could take months. sh that right? >> it could. then you have to see if it's working. it can vary from person to person. >> it's a lengthy process. >> and during this lengthny process, will she be healthy enough to be on television? will she be in a hospital during these many months? what do we expect? >> typically not. as you might guess, in sort of piecing this together in your mind, when you're givinining
chemotherapy, you may destroy good blood cells. if white blood cells are affected, she'll get the infections again, as you just heard. there may be periods of time when she's not able to work or more likely to be in the hospital. but overall, you know, people can continue to have their normal activities. >> how common is this, sanjay, that someone who goes through treatment, in her case for breast cancer, winds up a few years later getting this complication as a result of that treatment? >> it's not common. and that's an important message. first of all, mds or myelodysplastic syndrome as a whole is not complicated. a lot of people going through chemotherapy are probably wondering, will i get this as well? the answer is no, not likely. it's relatively rare. but it's a known side effect or complication or consequence, if you will, wolf, of getting chemofor something else.
>> let me switch gears and pick your brain. the commerce secretary john bryson, he was allegedly in two hit and run accidents. apparently the commerce department says he had a s seizure. what could happen? a seizure could drive someone to hit a car, wake up, smash into another car? >> it's possible, wolf. people think seizures and the general thinking is people think of a seizure where you have the violent jerking of your limbs. that's not always the case. you can have partial seizures where someone can be more confused. if you didn't know the person, you may think they're still coherent. there's different types of seizure. and this is my area of expertise. a new onset seizure in somebody who never had a seizure as an adult is something that doctors certainly have to be very
serious about. children can have seizures because of a high fever or infection. in an adult, you have to make sure the patient doesn't have something else going on in their brain. a tumor, for example, could they just had a stroke? could there be infection in the brain? could there be an abnormality in lab values? this is an important sort of set of investigations that need to take place. so you never find out why. he basically has a seizure. never has one again. never show what exactly happened. he did spend the night in the hospital. almost sounded potentially to me, and i don't know much about it, but from what little i know, like almost a mini stroke, if you will. >> it could be, and that's comes to mind for me as well. he traveled there shortly after. someone with a new diagnosis of
a tumor, they may be more likely to keep him in the hospital. a mini stroke, further testing. maybe treatment. but that is certainly a possibility in terms of what could cause a seizure. >> and our viewers should know by now, dr. sanjay gupta is himself a neurosurgeon. when he says this is his area of expertise, he is absolutely right. thank you very much. >> you got it, wolf. thank you. a former u.s. spy takes us inside the secret life of the cia, tells us what it's like to give an order to kill. and we're tracking a wildfire that's been spreading very fast and could change course any moment. all energy development comes with some risk,
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attacks, kill list, plans for the u.s. drone program. the white house, president obama, the attorney general, eric holder, others continuing to take heat from critics over recent national security leaks. just how big a hit does national security take from the recent leaks? who better to ask than someone with decades of time on the inside? >> ambassador henry crumpton is joining us here in "the situation room." he's the author of the book "the art of intelligence: lessons from the life in the cia clandestine service." meaning spying. >> that's correct, yes. senator mccain says that the recent leaks in "the new york times," for example, in his opinion, the most egregious anyone can remember and really undermining the national security, as someone who has been in the front lines in the intelligence service. is he right? >> yes. it's a major issue. it does undermine the u.s.
security. secrecy provides us a big advantage. when we can't protect our secrets, it gives the enemy opportunity. >> without violating more secrets, what is so dangerous about what we learned? what specific subject causes you this much grief? >> what we don't know in the public is the sources and methods used in these operations. and those sources and those methods, they could be exposed because the hostile intelligence service, with these leaks, that gives them opportunities. it gives them reference points to work and uncover those sources. >> so when the cyber warfare, used to try to undermine iran's nuclear program, apparently a joint u.s.-israeli clandestine operation. people have known and speculated about that for a long time. what is so dangerous about giving more information? >> well, apparently confirmed this. that gives the opposition the
iranians greater reference to study the problem. they can redirect resources based on this information. they've been out this for a long time. and so it's a big problem for us. >> is is that a big intelligence negative fall, for example, than the doctor in pakistan that the cia used to find bin laden? >> i can't really compare them. . i don't know the extent of the iranian issue. it could be worse for all i know. sfwl the cia doctor was sentenced to 5 years in prison for collaborating, helping the cia. something that has been on the front lines of the operations, how does that impact the men and women engaged in the clandestine service? >> it's a profound impact.
here apparently is an example where a source collaborating with the cia has been exposed and now sndsed to 3 # years. >> not necessarily morale. i don't see the morale issue. but it's a question of trust related to the policy masters. >> the kill list that the president apparently has to sign in order to have a drone go ahead and target for assassination from al qaeda op trative. whether in afghanistan or pakistan. or whatever. is that also something the american public should know much about. the process of how that is determined. my personal view is that we should know more about it, the public. because it's about the changing nature of warfare. and this is just one example. and how do you make the decisions that have a direct impact on the lives of people all around the world? so i am certainly against the leaks, when you go to the sources and the methods.
but this is a bigger question that needs some discussion. >> you were involved in the initial stages of using drones for assassinations, right? >> well, we don't use the term assassination. >> what determine do you use? >> targeted killing. >> what's the difference? >> i think there's a fundamental difference when you talk about what you do on the battlefield. you may discuss how do you define a battlefield? assassination is usually not on the battlefield. that's a fundamental difference, i believe. >> did you have any moral qualms about this when you were running these kinds of operations? >> no, the only qualms is when we couldn't find the al qaeda leadership sooner and engage with them with greater deadly force earlier. >> you had bin laden years ago, long before 9/11, but there was a delay, and he survived. >> yes. we had an opportunity in the late summer of 2000. we identified bin laden, his location through human sources. we flew a predator drone over that compound, and we had bin
laden. >> who do you blame for the failure? >> well, it's several different entities. first and foremost, it's a failure to understand that we were at war with al qaeda. and therefore, we had restricted resources, restricted authorities before 9/11. and that was both the clinton and bush administrations. >> the book is entitled the art of intelligence, lessons from the life in the cia's clandestine service. harry crumpton is the author. thank you so much for coming in. >> thank you. northern colorado is burning and homes are under threat right now. wildfire has gone from 2,000 to 40,000 acres in just a couple of days. ne relief in sight? we'll ask our meteorologist, chad myers. and no amount of couples counseling seems to be helping. two giant turtles call it quits after 115 years. [ male announcer ] when a major hospital
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sprawling wildfire in northern colorado is growing exponentially and now spans almost 40,000 acres. it was first measured at two acres early saturday. windy conditions certainly aren't helping. the high part fire is far from contained. our meteorologist and severe weather expert chad myers is joining us.
is it fair to say this fire is out of control? >> 100% out of control. 0% containment. when they say they have 80% done, we'll know at least they're on their way. right now at 0%, they have nothing stopped. the fire is going in all directions. now you have to understand that number, 37,000 acres, somewhere 60 square miles. most of it up in national forest. i understand that. but there are now 100 buildings, structures. they don't say houses, outbuildings, garages, 100 structures now destroyed most toward the valley just to the northwest of fort collins, colorado. it is a mess here. this is now with the winds at 30 miles per hour today, better than yesterday where the winds were gusting to almost 50 miles per hour. so some relief. you asked will there be relief? yes. will there be rain? absolutely not. will there be some relief from the wind dying off? yes. at least they can fight the fire with a wind of five or ten miles
an hour. you can't fight a fire when the winds are blowing 40 or 50. >> so it's going to get worse before it's under control. >> yes. it gets bigger. will they be able to contain it just to wild land, at this point yes. good stuff today. they were able to get a little bit of control around some of the properties. but there's fort collins. here's i-25. then the fire to the west of fort collins. this is inci web. inci web.org. you can go online to that website. ite put it on my twitter feed and eevery single wildfire going on in the country right now. >> chad, thanks very much for that report. chad myers reporting for us. jack cafferty is the coming back right now with the cafferty file. >> the question this hour is young people are foregoing medical care because of cost. what does that mean for the future? lisa writes as someone who just got an apauling bill for $25,000
for an approximately one hour procedure to break up a kidney stone, i can see how people forego treatment because of cost. bob in ohio writes, the young are caught in the same dilemma as the old. the old choose between food pills and utilities. i'm getting the young are juggling a student loan, a mortgage and raising children. greg in washington writes quite frankly, tough bounce for these young spoiled youth. they seem to have plenty of money to go on vacation, to party and ask parents and grandparents to foot the bill while they go to college so they can get off their duffs and be responsible. i don't care about their future till they begin to care themselves. congress better start thinking how to help the poor in this country. these young people will have serious medical problems down the road through no fault of their own. judy in virginia beach writes it means they'll be staying home with mom and dad even longer.
i have a 26-year-old and 29-year-old, both having college degrees living at home because they can't get a job and can't afford to live on their own. they're waiting tables, et cetera and can only afford their car payments and student loan payments. my husband's retired and we still have kids at home this is not the american dream any of us dreamed about. boomer writes from missouri, a co-worker nearly died of pneumonia because he didn't want to pay the deductible to go to the doctor. if you want to read more go to the situation room's facebook page. >> it's going to be very, very important over the next few months. this month, the supreme court will decide whether the president's health care reform law is constitutional. and if they say it isn't constitutional, a lot of experts think it will be a 5-4 decision against the president of the united states, who knows what's going to happen next? they start from scratch i think. >> we should get that decision sometime this month, right?
>> right, just before they go into recess, supreme court, july, august and september. they need time to recuperate from the decisions they make that affect all of us for the next 30, 40, 50 years. it appears after 115 years, can the thrill is gone. look at this. two giant tortoises decide they're no longer happy together. to any successful busi. which is why at wells fargo, we work with you to get to know the unique aspects of your business. we can recommend financial solutions that can work for you that have helped millions of business owners save time, reduce expenses, and maximize cash flow. as the number one small business lender for nine years running... we're with you when you need us. so you can be there for your customers. wells fargo. together we'll go far. wells fargo. recently, students from 31 countries took part in a science test. the top academic performers surprised some people.
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three-day nationwide program. and in london, a 41-gun salute is fired in honor of prince philip's 91st birthday. hot shots, pictures coming in from around the world. they've had couples accounting, sex therapy to no avail. in austria right now, a pair of giant tortoises together for more than a century have grown apart and need their space. here's cnn's jeanne moos. >> you would need a neck rub too if your marriage just broke up. no more happy anniversaries. for bibi and poldi. both are said to be 115 years old and they were brought up together. but it was love on the rocks after bibi the female took a chunk out of her mate's shell. >> translator: they just go at each other. at first it was is the female who attacked the male and bit
him. now you get the feeling they can't stand the sight of heech other. >> reporter: zoo coopers don't understand what went wrong after 115 years of togetherness. people posting online vin plenty of theories. every time she wanted to talk about the relationship, he will retreated into his shell. my guess is she caught him making eyes at the 90-year-old bimbo in the enclosure next door. he gave the wrong answer when she asked, does my bum look big in this shell? what makes this breakup even more ironic is the song made famous by a certain singing group. who could forget the turtles ♪ the only one for me is you and you for me so happy together ♪ >> reporter: now it's happy apart for these tortoises. talk about irreconcilable differences. >> translator: there's always the that they will bite e