tv CNN Newsroom CNN July 17, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
playing soccer. i'm still in the recovery phase of that. >> we saw you playing soccer. you looked great. thank you so much. we really appreciate it. thank you. there's meg. you can see some of the pictures there. syrian rebels are saying the fight for damascus is on. troops fanned out today across the sprawling city of 1.7 million people. government caused by shelling shook the suburbs and attacked helicopters fired on a neighborhood near the capital center. the rebels claimed to have launched a final assault. that is open to question but reports say the regimes armed opponents are probing new parts of the capital to test what the government will do. fighting across the country has claimed 45 lives today. what we're looking at here is an
attack by government forces on the besieged city. one of the single most horrifying moments in syria occurred late last month. scores of people died in a town called douma as a result of government shelling. nearly three weeks later, we have our hands on video documenting this tragedy. she's live with us. take us back to what happened in douma on june 29th. >> reporter: the reason why it's taken three weeks to get our hands on that video is because the activists that wanted to shoot it were stuck there for well over a week and it was an ordeal to get the footage from damascus to us here in lebanon. we have to warn that the images are disturbing. the power is out in the streets. the three activists don't dare
shine a light. there's a sniper lurking. gunfire in the distance forces them to pick up the pace. the activists are part of the oppositions media operation. they smuggled themselves into the damascus suburb last month and risked their lives to document this. a massacre said to have taken place just hours earlier. among the corpses strewn about, that of a little girl. a man points to one of bodies and says he was executed, a civilian. points to a second corpse and adds this is his cousin, shot
because he tried to save him. residents are readying the bodies for burial. blood soaking through the funeral sheets. the names of the deceased scrawled. it's a grim routine that have dared stand up to the regime have grown accustomed to. the bodies dragged away and placed alongside others. residents say syrian security forces searching for weapons in some buildings wiped out members of several families. this man described what happened in one instance. they had two rooms. they put the men and women in from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. the living were trapped with the
dead. it was an execution. they asked where are the guns. there are no guns was the response and they executed them one after the other. at least 45 were killed in this one attack residents say. information cnn cannot independently verify. in the morning, the media team picked their way through rubble strewn streets but they would not be able to leave douma. the government bombardment relentless. many more were killed. the team that filmed this at the end of june was trapped for more than a week. it's taken this long to get the footage smuggled to lebanon. all that effort. all that risk to give the world a glimpse of syria's horror and
despair. it's a narrative of horror and despair that continues on a daily basis. we received word that douma was under assault today. that's not to mention the intense fighting taking place all over the capital. >> arwa, it's so horrifying to see the dead bodies of these families and young children who have nothing to do with the fighting and the syrian rebels. syrian rebels are pushing closer. this massacre, is this what's going on across the country where they are targeting innocent families collectively? >> reporter: that is what the opposition has been alleging since the onset. what we have been seeing over the last three days has sustained the gun battle taking place some ten minutes from
where the presidential palace is. it seems as if the rebel fighting force if not holding ground in the city most certainly capable of carrying out the hit and run attacks against government forces but then there's the government retaliation. they shell these neighborhoods where they believe the free syrian army, the opposition is operating from. they shell them and they go in on foot and carry out these types of massacres. it's difficult for us to determine fact exactly what is happening because the government is not allowing us access into the country. it continues to claim it is fighting these terrorist organizations with some sort of foreign agenda. >> that's why this tape was so important to underscore the humanitarian crisis and tragedy at the same time. thank you so much. we appreciate it. we've got a lot more to
cover this hour. take a look. still in clues, still no answers. >> it's just baffling to try to figure out the pieces to the puzzle. looking at it, it doesn't make any sense. >> it's as though they disappeared in thin air in broad daylight. >> family members brace for the worst. two armed men storm into a florida cafe ordering everyone to the ground. just when you thought that was the end of it, this guy comes to the rescue. another unbelievable rescue caught on video. a 7-year-old girl falls from a third story window right into the armies of a hero. >> she was still standing there. i just positioned myself. hopefully i would catch her.
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some isn't related to the shooting like a tape of a woman known as witness number nine who claimed zimmerman molested her for a decade. >> it started when i was six. he's about almost two years older than i am. i would reach under the blankets and try to do things and i would try to push him off but he was bigger and stronger and older. >> jean casarez is a correspondent. do they get to cherry pick what they release. this is very damaging. if not as it relates to the facts of the case but george zimmerman. >> reporter: there's a potential jury pool out there. this was an anonymous phone call
that the defense confirms is a cousin. there was a second call the next day and the prosecution got it. they give it to the defense and it can be released. it's public. her first call was that the entire family is racist. the second call said that george beginning at age eight molested her when everybody was there. the whole family was there. she's really implicating much more than george zimmerman. >> the defense clearly wanted this evidence blocked. listen. >> my frustration is they are not relevant to anything that's at hand in the true case. they are not admissible. they're not going to get it into a courtroom. the frustration that i have is these allegations which george contends are untrue. now we need to spend our resources and time rebutting them. >> he does have a point. what do the accusations have to
do with zimmerman shooting trayvon martin and why is this being released? >> because it can be released. just as what you were saying the sunshine law. this case is a case where george zimmerman will have to take the stand because it's his mind. did he believe he was going to die at the hands of trayvon martin. then the prosecution in a rebuttal case would say the door has been opened to bring in this evidence that shows he's a manipulator as the family attorney said prone to violence. it's all in the hands of the judge. even if it's remotely relevant, the jury won't hear it. >> witness number nine did say something and that's whether it's racially motivated. listen to these allegations. >> i was afraid he may have done something because the kid was
black. growing up they've always made, him and his family have made statements that they don't like black people if they don't act like white people. >> this came out just days after the fbi concluded that zimmerman is no racist. the fbi determining that through its own investigation. the timing of this, the allegations, what do you read into that? >> think about it. that the family doesn't like black people unless they act like white mother. his mother is peruvian. his mother and father have an interracial marriage. he is half hispanic. he speaks spanish. they are saying they don't like black people unless they act like white people. that's talking against the peruvian. >> even if they do bring this woman on as sort of a character witness, my sense is the defense
would really go into her in terms of these allegations that may not even be provable. >> there has to be some credence to it. it's going to be a fight. this case is going to be dirty. many of it may not hit the courtroom at all. this reminds me in the sense of the casey anthony trial. >> all the twists and turns that the public is aware of that never come up during the actual trial. thank you so much. >> you're welcome. you are on a flight and you get a sandwich. you bite into the sandwich and there's a needle. it's happened on four flights. american and dutch investigators are on the hunt. wow. wow. but you can help fight muscle loss with exercise and ensure muscle health. i've got revigor.
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sewing needles found inside sandwiches on delta airline flights. we have more from washington. >> reporter: the fbi and local authorities are trying to figure out how the needles got into the sandwiches. a spokesperson said the needles were found in sandwiches on flights. two of the needles were found by passengers and one was discovered by an air marshal. when delta found out the airline says it notified all 18 flights from amsterdam to stop serving the sandwiches. here is what one passenger who got one said when she spoke to station kstp. >> i bit down on it so i wasn't biting down on the sharp side by the flat side. it could have been a bad injury
orally but had i taken a big swallow and swallowed it down i'd have a needle inside, that would be very concerning to me. >> reporter: gate gourmet provided the sandwiches. a spokesperson for the company said this is a terribly upsetting situation. first and foremost is the safety of the traveling public. there's nothing more important to us at all than the safety of the passengers and crews. they are fully cooperating with the fbi and authorities and is conducting its own full scale investigation. the company says it does provide food to other airlines, but have received no other reports or complaints. deb. >> sandra for us there in washington. it's a name you might be hearing around the water cooler today. marissa mayor. she's leaving yahoo to become
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we all know the saying, if you're handed lemons, you make lem lemonade. one guy didn't let the worst drought stop him from having the greenest lawn. he was armed with a tin of bright green paint. he is a painter and decided he wasn't going to paint for it. he painted his brown grass green. look at that. shoppers across the country are being warned if it's grown here, expect to pay more. this is the toll of heat wave. 27 states, the countries crops are shrivelled. both are staple items this
millions of products. 38% of the corn crop is in poor or very poor condition. chad meyers is hear to break it down. what is this going to mean when people go to the grocery store because prices are likely to go up? >> corn is in so many things. corn syrup in pop and cokes. corn flakes. you don't realize how much corn is fed to animals including in chickens and in beef. when you have to pay more to feed those cows, the cows will cost you more when they get to the grocery store. let me show you what's happened. they are calling it a flash drought. you've heard of a flash flood, it happens right away. this flash drought happened as soon as the crops hit the ground. it just stopped raining.
the farmers were thinking corn, corn, corn. corn is inflated in price because we make a lot of ethanol with it. rather than the 2 or $3 i used to get now you're getting 5, $6. now a very water expectant crop is not getting the water it needs and we are losing the corn crop. we are losing the crop as we speak. yooer n we're not seeing any rainfall in these corn areas. that is the bread basket. that's the area that is seeing a short term drought. i know there's long term droughts because it hasn't rained for a while in many spots. if it hasn't rained in a while you probably planted some soybeans because they are easier to grow in a drought area. here is indianapolis. this is the area in brown which the vegetation is much less than it should be and in the green much less than it should be.
here is oklahoma. the only real areas here in nebraska and parts of western iowa, they are green. there's more vegetation there because it's irrigated. they are pumping water out of the ground irrigating the plants. they are having bumper crops there. that won't be nearly enough to counter act. farmers are plowing trying to put beans into the ground. this season will be a disaster. it's going to be a lot of drought claims. i know there's some insurance but not every farmer can afford insurance. this is going to be a tough one. toughest since 1988 for sure. >> too bad. thanks so much. there is a fresh new face at yahoo. marisa meyer is making the jump from google to try to give yahoo is new sense of direction.
>> reporter: meet the brand new ceo of yahoo. 37-year-old marisa meyer. she was hired to lead the 18-year-old company and its 14,000 employees. she becomes one of only 20 ceos of a fortune 500 company. they have an amazing following, terrific brand and huge amount of potential. mayer got her start add grade school google. >> there's some new and exciting opportunity and challenge. >> reporter: she was one of very first employees. while there she held many different jobs in her 14 years. most recently, she served as vice president of location and local services. she will sit on the board at yahoo. she also sits on the board at walmart. let's talk about her management
style. she is talented but sometimes abrupt with an obsessive attention to detail. >> there's always interesting challenges. as long as i'm challenged i'm happy in my current world. >> reporter: she will face a couple of huge challenges at yahoo. first, she's the fourth ceo in four years and tat's not including the two interim. scott left the company after a huge scandal over his embellished college degree. she must define what yahoo is and what its future looks like. it's been struggle with identity for years. as if running a company isn't enough, she's expecting her first child. a baby boy due in october. an unstable economy in the u.s. has many employers concerned about their investment in 401(k)s.
here is poppy harlow at the cnn money help desk. >> we're helping you prepare for retirement. also important. with me is our two money experts. greg this question comes for you. take a listen. >> my question is about 401(k). i have quite a bit of money invested there. it doesn't seem to be growing. my question would be what's the best way to move that and where to move it to build on it? >> greg she also told me the market is so volatile now, you don't know where to put it. >> unless her 401(k), if she is still at her employer there's not much she can do in terms of moving it. the good news is it's not specific to her 401(k) program. today the s&p is sitting a little over 1300. it's not specific to her 401(k). a lot of people are feeling the same thing.
look for a target allocation fund that's closest to her age. allocate the money towards that and contribute as much as possible. >> i wonder if she should put a little less than maybe she is in her 401(k) and put it elsewhere in the market, an ira? >> a lot of our readers get frustrated. i think people underestimate the power of the 401(k). you can put a lot more than into an ira, up to 17,500 a year. it's automatic and you get an employer match. people are often not happy with their choices. a good rule of thumb put enough money to your 401(k) to get the employer match and if you want more choices go to an ira and fund that. you'll feel like you have a little more control about where the money is going. >> thank you both. if you have a question you can upload your question. the next story, this is a
story that's going to make your smile. two armed robbers storm into an internet cafe only to be chased out by a 71-year-old senior citizen. he is standing his ground. that's coming up next. this man is about to be the millionth customer. would you mind if i go ahead of you? instead we had someone go ahead of him and win fifty thousand dollars. congratulations you are our one millionth customer. people don't like to miss out on money that should have been theirs. that's why at ally we have the raise your rate 2-year cd. you can get a one-time rate increase if our two-year rate goes up. if your bank makes you miss out, you need an ally. ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense.
a father of 12 is dead and chicago prosecutor say the three teenagers accused of taking his life were in it for fun. they were playing pick him out and knock him out when they attacked the 62-year-old. he was collecting cans in this alley to pay for a dress for his daughter. investigators say that after the teens attacked him they posted what they did on facebook. one of his sons viewed the video
to identify his father who was knocked down for several hours and died a day later. >> they punched him in the face. he fall unconscious on the ground. when he fall on the ground his head bounce off the floor. >> defense attorney joey jackson is on the case. joey this crime is on video. maybe there will be a plea deal but will prosecutors consider that option given how heartless this crime is. a man is collecting cans to pay for a dress for his daughter. >> it's so tough. your heart goes out to the family. people going out and thinking for amusement purposes it's funny in order to harm somebody else. it's tragic by any means. at the same time the prosecutor
not with standing the fact that it's on video and easy to prove may in light of their tender years and young age entertain plea discussions. that's going to be a matter of talking with the family and public attraction. >> when did it become okay for teenagers to think this was even remotely funny to go out and assault someone. the charge is first-degree. do you think the prosecutors will have a hard time proving that? with first-degree they have to prove intent. would it have been better to charge with manslaughter given the fact there is video posted on you tube. >> what's interesting is that under the law it is first-degree murder. we normally think of murder has intent to kill. you'd normally be right. when you do it in the commission of a felony murder under illinois law if you're
committing a forcible violent felon y and a murder occurs, it's first-degree murder. they have to establish they were attempting to rob him and he died even if it's not anticipated because you punch him and he hits his head and it's traumatic it still constitutes murder. the argument will be for the other teams whether they were aiding, abetting or whether they were there while the one teenager hit and punched him. >> let's talk about something completely different. this story a little bit more upbeat. a senior citizen saves the day at an internet cafe. it shows how two men entered with guns pointed at customers in florida. then you see this 71-year-old samuel williams. we're going to see him in a minute. the two are entering the store. samuel williams is going to fire back. he pulls out his concealed weapon and he begins firing at the two robbers who then run out. the two suspects were caught.
williams, here he comes. he takes them on. he whips out his gun. the suspects, the perps just go returning. he is facing no charges in this particular case. the stand your ground law did work the way perhaps some people think it's supposed to work. >> it's about time. in light of recent stories we've been talking about, don't have to name them, mr. martin. here it's an instance of robber be ware. someone decided to stand their ground and the protection of themselves and others it's appropriate that he acted legally and avoiding threat and saving the lives of many people that were there. thank goodness in this instance for stand your ground. >> it looks like he was a decent shot. nobody got hurt or got in the way. thank you so much. she's an actress, a mother
leaders or members. they issued a statement that says the vast majority of the parents and you'll we serve value their rights to address issues of same sex orientation within their family and spiritual advisors and in the appropriate time and right setting. movie stars on capitol hill shining a spotlight on real life tragedy. jada pinkett smith is an advocate for the group don't sell bodies. she spoke about americans becoming enslaved in the sex trade. >> fighting slavery doesn't cost a lot of money but the cost of allowing it to exist are much higher. it robs us of the thing we value the most, our freedom. we know what that freedom is worth. we have paid a high price to defend it here and abroad. >> she says her daughter first drew her attention to the problem of human slavery. brown university pulling joe paterno's name from an
outstanding student athlete. his legacy end and in disgrace back in september in the wake of that sexual abuse scandal involving jerry sandusky. calls for a statue to be torn down are ramping up. it says take down the statue or we will. he died two months after he was fired. as olympic athletes begin arriving this london major holes in security put the man in the hot seat. he faced hostile questions about his companies failure to recruit enough security staff. >> it's a humiliating shambles, isn't it? >> it's not where we want to be that is certain. >> it's a humiliating shambles for the company, yes or no? >> i cannot disagree with you. >> the british government has
called in more than 3,000 military personnel to make up for the contractors security shortfalls. > a young girl falls from her apartment building three stories up. she survives with no scratches thanks to one man who refuses to be called a hero. it's going to be joining me, next. big splash with the employees. [ duck yelling ] [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] ...forbusiness.com. ♪ ha ha!
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this video from new york is one the more interesting things you're going to see all day. no, we're definitely not overselling this. look up in the right corner of your screen. that's a 7-year-old girl standing on top of an air-conditioner. she falls, stumbling down into the hands of a driver. this is the catch of a lifetime. the girl's mother says the child is autistic. we're lucky to be joined by the man who caught that girl, stephen st. bernard. he's on the phone.
you say you're not a hero but a lot of people would disagree with that. how did you know this girl was in trouble? >> she was standing on top of the air-conditioner and she was just smiling and going back and forth without a care in the world. she just looked happy. i knew she was in trouble because there was no other way down. >> you can see some people there also on the ground. did they call for you to help them? what was happening then? >> the kids that you see in the background, all of the kids were the ones who turned around and was calling me. they were calling out for anyone and said look up. i saw the little girl on top of the air-conditioner. >> we understand that you are a city bus driver. were you at the time this was going on were you in the middle of driving that bus? >> no.
i had just finished about 45 minutes earlier. >> you're a neighbor. what was going through your head? did you actually think that you could catch her or were you simply trying to break her fall? >> i thought i could catch her. it never occurred to me, never crossed my mind that i wasn't going to be able to catch her. i just wanted to make sure i was in the right place at the right time. >> and what's so amazing is that you definitely were in the right place at the right time. did she -- did somebody -- why did she jump at that moment? or was it more of a fall, do you know? >> well, i don't think the child is aware of the fact that she was in danger. she just looked so happy and free-spirited up there. i guess she looked down and saw me and said, you know -- like she just came to me. that was god's will. >> that is remarkable.
now, you -- obviously you're catching a child and she's 7 years old -- 6 years old, you're catching this child. did you get hurt at all? >> well, i tore the left tendon in my biceps muscle. >> okay. have you spoken to the girl or her parents since this happened? >> about ten minutes ago to be exact i saw the mother and i saw it little girl. >> did the little girl recognize you? what did the mother say? >> she thanked me and gave me a hug and thanked me very much. and the little girl just smiled at me. >> you know, it's amazing, mr. st. bernard, a lot of people wouldn't have gone in and done that. you did. were you just acting on gut? why'd you do it? >> that should be a normal reaction from anybody. i mean, that's a child. i have a 7-year-old daughter.
and all i could think about was saving the little girl. and if i didn't catch her, how could i live with myself? what would my daughter think if i didn't catch her? >> well, steven st. bernard, thank you so much. you saved this little girl's life. you are indeed a hero. thank you so much for joining us and giving us your thoughts as you were catching this child. thank you, sir. >> okay. well, an 83-year-old woman loses the love of her life then has to pay more than $300,000 in federal estate taxes. why? because she's a lesbian. and she's taking her case to the supreme court. her story next. ( whirring and crackling sounds ) man: assembly lines that fix themselves. the most innovative companies are doing things they never could before,
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propped up on a motorbike. her sign reads "not homeless, need boobs." she got a panhandling ticket. just a few minutes away from the top of the hour. wolf blitzer and "the situation room" up next. what do you have coming up on the show? john sununu top advisor in the romney campaign is going to join us to explain some of the comments he made earlier today among which he said i wish this parent would learn to be an american. he has some explaining to do. precisely what did he mean? on a very different subject, bill richardson, he'll join us live in our 5:00 p.m. eastern hour. and in our new 6:00 p.m. eastern hour the former president of the united states, bill clinton, he's in south africa right now. he's got some thoughts on nelson
mandela and his legacy. he spoke exclusively to cnn in south africa today. we'll hear from bill clinton in our 6:00 p.m. eastern hour. so we got a lot of news coming up right here in "the situation room." >> great lineup. okay. wolf blitzer, thanks. well, she's 83 years old. and she's suing the federal government over the defensive marriage act. she got hit with a $363,000 tax bill when her partner of more than four decades, thea spyer, passed away. they were married in canada in 2007. but since gay marriage is not recognized by the u.s. government, she was hit with the estate tax. i spoke with edi last hour and i asked her if the tax bill is what inspired her to take action. >> right after thea died i had a heart attack. and i was quite sick. and at the same time i'm devastated by the loss of the great love of my life and very
sick. and had to deal with pulling together enough money to pay the tax. okay. and it was deeply upsetting. and there's a film about me and thea. and i thought, i have documentation of a real marriage. and if my government can't accept that, can't see it and accept it, i have to fight for it. and that's really how it came about. >> after 40 years of being together, did you feel that you were past having to do this? you're 83. there are a lot more ways you could be spending your time right now. >> well, there are a couple of things. one, there used to be a thing called common law. in which case we would have been married just by virtue of the number of years we lived together as married. we had no idea that being married would be drastically different in our lives. i mean, we lived together as if
married. we never considered ourselves single. but it did. we received -- when the notice appeared in the "new york times," we received letters from people from every walk of our lives and from every age. i mean, really, play mates, schoolmates and colleagues. just everything. wishing us joy and well. so everyone treated us differently. >> and edie tells me she filed suit for one reason, so that other people won't have to go through what she's been through. well, we all know the saying, if your hand in lemons, make lemonade. listen to this. one guy in indiana didn't let the state's worst drought in years stop him from having the greenest lawn on the block armed with a tin of bright green paint, he decided to paint his brown grass green. and on a lighter side of politics, it took a couple of tries, but president obama