tv The Situation Room CNN June 4, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT
twitter @jaketapper. that's it for me and the lead. i will leave you in the capable hands of one mr. wolf blitzer who is right next door in the situation room. >> thanks, jake. democrats and republicans awaiting word on the decision from chris christie. for the first time, we hear the voice of the boston bombing suspect. how a 10-year-old stopped a home invasion robbery and sent the suspects fleeing. we're starting with a political bombshell from chris
christie christie. he announced at a quick news conference today about replacing frank lautenberg who died yesterday. instead he surprised the political world and both parties by not appointing a replacement at all. our national political correspondent jim acosta has the latest information for us. jim, how did governor christie explain his decision? >> governor christie set a special election to fill a open senate seat was all about the people. but democrats and republicans argue, it's really all about him. >> good afternoon. >> chris christie made it clear, that it was his authority and his alone to decide when the voters would be able to replace their late senator frank lautenberg. >> the right thing is to let the people decide, and let them decide as quickly as possible. >> in a big roll of the political dice, christie set the
election for october. the governor argued it wouldn't be fair to apoint a republican successor. as many in the gop wanted him to appoint a successor. >> i understand the political advantage that would come to me if i was the soul person who decided who represented new jersey for 18 months. i didn't feel comfortable doing that. >> reporter: his decision for a special election wreaks of politics, because it comes three weeks before the governor is up for re-election. christie is just trying to keep cory booker, the heavy favorite for his party's nomination off the november ballot. >> i'm cory booker, and i love newark. >> reporter: why? because a big democratic turnout for booker would help yes, sirty's opponent, who admits she's not that well known. >> i know that names can sometimes be tough to pronounce.
let me be clear, this guy is bono, i'm barbara buono. >> there's no political purpose of this. >> reporter: democrats point to the special election's cost estimated at nearly $24 million. the democratic governor's association said in a statement, governor christie might not know or care how many millions of taxpayer dollars the special election gambit will waist. the people of new jersey do. christie's move can actually help booker, who's already raising millions and sounding like a candidate. >> we have to reform a broken immigration system. deliver marriage equality to all americans, and bring sanity to our national gun safety laws. >> that may explain the differing reactions from the democratic and republican leaders in the senate. >> i won't question the path that he's chosen. >> i'm happy with what he's done. >> and the governor all but admitted to reporters he's managed to spice up his own
race. >> for all of you who are board with the governor's race, i've solved your problem. >> yes, he has. as for who christie will name as lautenberg's temporary replacement until the november election, no decision has been made, meanwhile, a senior adviser to cory booker said the mayor will make his decision at the appropriate time, but acknowledged he is very likely a candidate. some republicans are furious about this, wolf. one top gop strategist told me, it would have been helpful had christie waited until 2014, that's not going to happen. >> certainly not going to happen now. let's dig a little deeper right now with john king and our cnn contributor. how much is this going to hurt the governor with republicans out there? as jim reported, he could have named a republican right now to serve out the rest of lautenberg's term. >> he could have. he said state law strongly encourages him if not requires him to move further. the republicans already didn't
like him, they think he's too middle of the road. too friendly to obama. guess what, chris christie doesn't care many that's part of the great calculation. he thinks this is the right thing to do to get an elected senator as soon as possible. he thinks it's the right thing for him politically. he separates the two. if cory book er wins -- he want a big win on election day to propel him into the possibility of 2016. >> if he would have had that special election in november, it could have hurt other republican candidates. cory booker could have brought up other democrats to vote in november? >> it looks like he had three options here, right, he chooses someone who serves until next november, that helps republicans in the senate, helps the republican party at large. he could have picked someone who
served until election day this year, that may have helped cory booker, that may have made the margin by which christie is likely to win this race by a little less. his third option was to benefit chris christie most. so look, i don't think if you look at christie's career, if you look at the moves he's made. what he wants to do is be president, have will biggest re-election in a blue state as possible so he can go to the republican primary voters in 2016 and say, i won big in new jersey. you have to look at this move in that context alone. >> it's been a while since there was a republican senator from new jersey. i guess it's going to be a while longer before there's a republican senator from new jersey as well. >> hold on for a moment. i want to have another discussion with both of you in a moment president obama didn't just double down, he tripled down today, in his ongoing
battle with senate republicans over judges. he nominated three people to one of the country's most influential benches, leading republicans to accuse him of court stacking. our chief white house correspondent is joining us. jessica, what's the latest battle? >> president obama is pressing a new front in his battle with republicans. this one on terrain of the president's choosing, the courts. >> the president of the united states -- >> in the rose garden, sounded like a campaign season attack against do nothing republicans in congress. >> what's happening now is unprecedented. for the good of the american people, it has to stop. >> a feisty president obama named three democrats to the d.c. circuit court and demanded quick action from the u.s. senate. >> what i'm doing today is my job. i need the senate to do its job. >> the d.c. circuit court is
sometimes called the second highest court in the land. past members who have ascended to the supreme court include justices robert scalia, thomas and ginsburg. it also decides whether regulations can stand. this year it could rule on clean air, gun control and terrorism cases. >> this is not about principled opposition, this is about political obstruction. >> he's right, it's about politics. on both sides of pennsylvania avenue. the president complains, senate republicans have been keeping his nominees off the bench. >> congressional republicans, cynically used senate rules and procedures to delay and block qualified nominees from coming to a full vote. >> the president is trying to cram the court with democrats. >> they want to use the nuclear option to pack the d.c. circuit so we can pack the president's big agenda. >> there are 81 vacancies on the
federal court. there are only 27 nominees pending. the president has not nominated anyone to fillmore than half the seats. so he's responsible for some of those vacancies. as for republican objections to the rest? >> that's one more example of our government's basic inability to get anything done. >> if the judicial fight is another way for the president to try to refocus the conversation away from the recent controversies and focus on congressional inaction, a topic that really does bother the american people. another way the president did that today. he flexed his own executive muscles and issued five five executive orders from the white house. >> jessica yellin at the white house. let's continue our conversation with john king and ryan lizza. >> he's been criticized from the left for not paying attention to the courts. he hasn't been as aggressive in
pushing his nominees as he could. on the other side of this, if you look at the numbers, the republicans -- it's very rare for a minority party that does not control the senate to have obstructed as many judicial appointments as republicans have. it's complicated how you judge these things, from what i was reading today, they really have gone beyond what previous parties have done when they're out of power. there is a group of young senators, mostly on the democratic side who are sick of the filibuster, who are pushing harry read. republicans are playing a dangerous game here, they're pushing some of these younger democrats into going into this nuclear option. >> can the president beat the republicans on these nominations? >> that's a tough one to call right now. right now he's got the numbers. he has the numbers. to summon his own party, you see
john mccain say that on the budget. we're supposed to govern, we're supposed to have both. what the president did today, as jess noted, two women, an african-american, putting pressure on the republicans, heading into the election year. you're not only holding up my nominees, you're going to hold up the brand again. up next, what happened in a closed door congressional hearing in benghazi today. elijah cummings is standing by live. he's here to talk about what lawmakers learned. and the bombing suspect from boston, the emotional phone call to his mother in russia, she reported it, you'll hear it right here. i want to make things more secure.
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one of the americans killed in the attack in libya. congressman elijah cummings is the ranking democrat on that committee. he joins us now live from capitol hill. congressman thanks very much for coming in, you were in that closed door hearing with the former ambassador. was any new ground covered? >> no, there was no new ground covered, wolf, i can tell you one thing. he needs to come before the full committee as he has requested. he did an outstanding job. i can tell you i heard from no more credible witness than ambassador pickering. he did a great job. and so chairman issa said he wanted him to do this closed door deposition first. the admiral wanted to come
before the full committee because some things have been said about him in the report, saying it was incomplete he was covering up for the administration. he wanted to come before the full committee so the entire public could hear his testimony. the chairman has agreed he would come within -- now be able to come within two weeks, he first had to pay a price of sitting down to a five or six hour deposition which he did today, and he did in a very courteous thoughtful way, he showed us that this was a complete nonpolitical vision, and as he said -- at 81 years old, i think this was his effort to try to make sure that generations yet unborn who will go into our various embassies and become diplomats will be protected. >> quick question on that, the most criticism of ambassador
pickering, he never questioned the secretary of state hillary clinton and the allegation that some republicans -- did he ever explain why he never asked her questions that night? >> during the hearing, it was clear that he did have a two hour discussion with her. i think he made it very clear that he had enough information to conclude that hillary clinton was not responsible in this instance. and that was very clear, and again, i think that when he comes before the american public in a hearing, that will be made even clearer. >> the chairman of your committee, darrell issa had harsh wordses the other day for the white house press secretary. let me play the clip.
>> their paid liar, spokesperson. he's still making up things about what happens and calling this local rogue. there's no indication. the reason that lois learner tried to take the fifth is not because there's a rogue in cincinnati, it's because this is a problem that was coordinated in all likelihood right out of washington headquarters and we're getting to proving it. >> talking about the irs investigation. he said jake kearney is a paid liar and those officials were instructed to go out and single out those tea party groups by washington. you want to respond to that? >> first of all, i think his allegation is very unfortunate. and i have not seen one scintilla of evidence to say that the white house had anything to do with these employees targeting a certain group. and i think -- again, i said it to our chairman, our committee. it's important that we have credibility. it's important that our
committee has credibility. so that when we month deuce a product, the public can feel confident, and we must be in search of the truth. we cannot put out allegations, and go chasing trying to find some facts that don't exist. hopefully, that rhetoric does none of us any good. we must get to the bottom of the irs situation. i wanted to get that done more than anybody else, as i said during the hearing, we have two things i want. i want truth and so we can establish trust. those kind of comments have no place in our dialogue here on capitol hill. >> listen to some of the emotional testimony today from tea party supporters and what they went through as part of this irs investigation. listen to this. >> i'm not interested in scoring political points. i want to protect and preserve the america that i grew up in, the america that people cross
oceans and risk their lives to become a part of. and i'm terrified it is slipping away. >> is this limited to the irs? the stories about people having osha and atf and fbi start investigations in them. just have american citizens scared to death of what their government is capable of doing, once they cross the threshold they've crossed here? >> these conservative groups, these tea party other yen theed groups say they were singled unite for special treatment as opposed to progressive or liberal groups on the other side. they say this is not what america is supposed to be all about. >> let me make it clear, i think every single american should be treated fairly. and definitely should be treated fairly by the irs. there's a lot that has to be done within the irs, and i'd say that this is a transformative moment, if we allow it to be, wolf. there have got to be changes, i talked to danny werfel. the acting commissioner the other day, i think he's laid out
a plan to straighten this stuff out, to make clear regulations, so folks know exactly what the guidelines are, and to get rid of those people who treat people in an unfairway. let me tell you, when we look at a tax exception, we have to be clear as to what the law is, i think that if it's a group, they should not be doing any kind of political efforts, they should be just concentrating on social welfare issues, it should be exclusive, we have to clear that up, so there is no ambiguity with regard to the citizens or with regard to the irs when these kind of issues arise. >> you agree, congressman, the same standards should be held for the left and the right? >> that's exactly right. let me tell you, i believe in the constitution of the united states, i believe that everybody has to be treated fairly.
and whether they're on the right or left. i'll fight just as hard for true to vote as i would for the naacp. i know that constitution is what brinds us and allows us to move forward in this society. >> as usual, thanks very much for coming in. >> it's my honor. >> elijah cummings, the ranking member of this critically important committee. when we come back, we're hearing the voice of the boston bombing suspect, dzhokhar tsarnaev. plus, the congressman that led a delegation to russia for talks on the terror attacks. i'll ask did he thinks there's anything that could have been done to prevent the boston marathon massacre. ideas, goals, appetite for risk. you can't say 'one size fits all'. it doesn't. that's crazy. we're all totally different. ishares core. etf building blocks for your personalized portfolio.
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happening now, the boston bombing suspect's voice revealed for the first time since his arrest. dzhokhar tsarnaev's voice in the message to his mother, which she taped. questions about a 10-year-old girl getting a lung transplant she so desperately needs. what she told lawmakers on capitol hill that has the child's parents responding. police credit a 10-year-old boy with foiling a robbery and scaring intruders. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in the situation room. for the first time since his arrest, we're now hearing the voice of the boston bombing
suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev from a phone call he had with his parents in dagestan, russia. what do we know, phil? >> reporter: what we know about this phone call comes from a partial recording made by the mother which she has released and her account of the rest of the conversation. dzhokhar's parents tell us they were not allowed to talk about specifics in the boston case, much of this conversation really became an attempt by his parents to comfort him, to find o how he's doing, his health and well being, they admit for much of the conversation, it was really dzhokhar comforting them. they only had two sons, both are accused of a terrible crime. one is dead and they do not know when they will see the other. all they have now are photos and the recording of one brief
conversation with their youngest. when he spoke to them, his mother asked if he's in pain. >> reporter: the mother told her youngest son, you're my life, you need to be strong. even one week later, listening to this call again is an emotional experience. she said she was surprised by how calm he was during their conversation. >> i felt like he would scream, what's going on. what's going on, he would ask the world, what's going on? instead, mama -- he was trying to call am me down, mama. you don't worry about anything. and killed by police and run over by his brother while trying to escape.
he wrote a message admitting he and his brother were responsible for the boston marathon attack the men's parents insist their sons are innocent. tamerlan's strong religious beliefs and his attempts to pass them on to his youngest brother. >> i will pray, because it is an obligation, that's our religion. we not pray, what muslim we are? so that's -- we are not muslim, we cannot call ourselves muslim if we don't thank our alla five times a day as it's written in koran. >> dzhokhar also tried to reassure his parents by telling them he's getting good medical treatment. he told them that most of the injuries to his face and neck have healed and his one ongoing
medical concern is a serious problem with one of his hats. joining us now is dana rohrbacher of california, just back from leading a congressional delegation to moscow. i know you met with russian intelligence officials. first of all, give us your reaction to what we just heard in phil black's report about this phone conversation between dzhokhar tsarnaev and his mother in dagestan. >> it confirms for us that we're dealing with a radical islamic terrorist situation. these people are obviously fanatics, muslim fanatics and the fact that she wants her son to be strong and brings up the koran in a situation where three americans are dead and hundreds of innocent people whose lives
have been shattered by what her son is accused of doing, the fact that she would talk about the koran shows you just how fanatical a family these two terrorist young men came from. >> did you get any information from russian intelligence or other sources that they were part of some sort of organized terror operation? or were they acting individually maybe inspired by some sort of a fundamentalist thought, if you will? >> i think it's more the latter, but let us just note that we have as much a threat of islamic terrorist coming from young people like this, as there is coming from al qaeda or some saudi finance terror network some place. the fact is, this is a threat to all of our lives, our families and our children. in russia, what we were there to do was to point out and to learn
from them how they are coping with this, and trying to find out how we can expand the arena of cooperation between russia and the united states in dealing with the radical islamic terrorist threat which is taking the lives of both of our people. >> based on your conversations with russian intelligence officials, you and your congressional tell gas station, was there anything that could have been done that should have been done that could have prevented this terror attack in boston? >> not within the context of our relationship today. but it's clear that we need to change the relationship to expand the areas of cooperation between russian and american officials. for example, when this family immigrated into the united states and other families that are immigrating into the united states now, from that region, we don't have an input to -- from the russian government to suggest whether or not these are
radical, people associates with radical islam or not. that would be something very useful to us, considering that we know now that radical muslims don't have to be part of a terrorist network, they may take it upon themselves to start killing people in the west as we saw in the boston marathon. >> you know, congressman, the russians did alert the fbi to tamerlan tsarnaev. they had extremist connections. the fbi checked it out and they gave him a clean bill offalth. >> that should suggest to us, that i don't think the fbi dropped the ball, i think that the -- what that reflected was the fact that the fbi and russian intelligence don't have the level of cooperation they need, and do not have the interaction that they need to deal with a threat that takes the lives of russians by the hundreds as well as americans as we saw from 9/11 in the past. >> a quick question on your
delegation, you had other members of congress with you, you also had steven seagal on your trip. what was his role? >> because he's a black belt and a very well respected actor. i've known steven seagal for a long time, he's a personal friend. and he knew we were going to russia, because of his black belt in karate and things, he's gotten to know many of the leaders of russia, including putin, and was able to use that influence to make sure we got to talk to the very top people, so that we could try to find ways of expanding our areas of cooperation. sometimes actors could actually go out and rather than just act they can do good things. i worked for one, his name was ronald reagan. >> are you suggesting steven seagal may have a little political ambition like ronald reagan had? >> i don't think he has a
political ambition, but he has an ambition to do good for his country. he's taken on this challenge of radical islamic terrorism that's taken the lives of people. he helped us get down to the school where hundreds of young children were murdered by chechchec chechnian radical terrorists. he's helping us understand the radical insurgencies they're having to deal with. >> i know he's very popular in russia, including as you point out with the russian leadership, what i hear you saying is steven seagal could open up doors that united states congressmen like you and your colleagues couldn't open up during your visit to russia? >> well, let me put it this way, we usually have to rely on the state department, and quite frankly, we should be having our own contacts as well as what the
state department wants us to meet, we shouldn't just have to rely on the bureaucracy to inform us on everything. and seagal opens some doors. we have dialogue with knees people. not just diatribe which we've had in the past. great dialogue. >> the congressman from california, welcome back, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. up next, a major explosion on a college campus, a we now know what caused it. and taco bell speaking out about this disgusting photo that went viral. plus, pizza delivery like we've never seen before. by drones. the verizon share everything plan for small business lets you connect up to 25 devices on one easy to manage plan. that means your smartphone, her blackberry, his laptop, mark's smartphone but i'm still on vacation. still on the plan. nice! so is his tablet, that guy's hotspot, the intern's tablet--
>> well, wolf, the blast blew out windows and caused struck oural damage. a fire official says seven people were taken to the hospital, but no one suffered life threatening injuries. the official also says the small fire was extinguished by the building's sprinkler system. scientists have uncovered and are digging up the remains of what is believed to be triceratops in wyoming. the trio was likely a male, female and young dinosaur, at least one of whom was brutally killed. one of the three skeletons may be almost complete. would you pay for a year's worth of checked bags or extra leg room on your flight? united airlines is making that option available with two new subscription programs. one where travelers prepay as little as $349 for a year's worth of checked baggage fees or $499 to reserve seats in economy
plus offering more leg room. prices vary based on destination and number of passengers. now, imagine one day having your pizza delivered to your home by drowns instead of the usual pizza delivery guy. dominos is having some furniture with the idea. the franchise in the u.k. posted video of an unmanned drone delivering two pizzas in heat wave bags. don't expect to see that being used any time soon in the u.s. taco bell has released an updated statement about this photo circulating on line, showing an employee licking a stack of taco shells. the shells were used for training back in march before the launch of a new product and were in the process of being flown out. taco bell says two employees used the shells to take what ended up being an unacceptable
image and the incident was investigated. taco bell says it deplores the impression the picture has caused any of its viewers. a devastating weapon being used by the syrian regime. a bomb that literally sucks the oxygen out of people's lungs? how a 10-year-old foiled a home invasion robbery and sent the suspects fleeing.
says test samples obtained by his company show multiple attacks in his country including sarin, he doesn't say when it was used or by which side in the country's 2-year-old civil war. a closer look at some of the other weapons being used, weapons that have claimed close to 100,000 lives so far. tom, what's going on. >> there's been debate about this ever since it started. what is the assad regime using on its own people? the evidence seems to be mounting some very serious weapons. there's information from the u.n. a report of cluster bombs. and many people may not be familiar with this term, i want to explain what this is. the first thing we're going to do is show you a video. this is a russian test from some time back. look at the blast created by this weapon. this is often compared to a small level nuclear weapon,
there's nothing nuclear about it, but the force is so great, that's what people say. let me explain how this happened. what they're doing here is harnessing the same principle that makes a cole mine explode when there's too much dust in there. i'm going to bring up a bomb. when this thing drops into a space, what it does is it sprays out a very fine particulate of metal. very fine metal dust that can cover a large area. as that spreads out and all the air spreads in between it, the whole thing becomes explosive, when a second blast goes off, it all ignites and puts out a tremendous shock wave. essentially, any living thing caught in this area is being crushed from all sides as the air itself explodes. that is why this is considered such a fiersom weapon. >> why would this be used,
what's the point? >> there are specific uses for this type of weapon, wolf. any time you're trying to hit a narrow area. you have a series of streets that are narrow and you want to attack people, any kind of underground hiding area. we heard rebel forces there had tunnels. 23 one of these landsouts side of a tunnel, it can send a shock wave through that tunnel and kill people way back inside tunnels that you could not reach with shrapnel thrown with a bomb. any time you're looking for a massive impact. it comes back to what i said a moment ago, when you're looking for something that is very big, very powerful and very lethal, thermo barrick weapons come to mind. that's one of the reasons why the world community is so concerned that they appear to have been used by the syrian regime in this conflict. >> just when you think it gets bad, it gets even worse. >> we'll continue to follow this story. coming up, the health secretary, kathleen sebelius
speaking out about controversial rules preventing a young girl from getting the transplant she needs to stay alive. home invasion robbers caught on tape. they weren't counting on a 10-year-old boy whose quick thinking foiled their plan. teac. i'm a firefighter. i'm a carpenter. i'm an accountant. a mechanical engineer. and i shop at walmart. truth is, over sixty percent of america shops at walmart every month. i find what i need, at a great price. and the money i save goes to important things. braces for my daughter. a little something for my son's college fund. when people look at me, i hope they see someone building a better life. vo: living better: that's the real walmart.
responding. our national correspondent jason carroll has been working the story for us. he's joining us now with details. what's the latest, jason? >> sebelius was really in the hot seat today, wolf. she was supposed to be attending a hearing focus on the budget but sebelius faced tough questions about whether department guidelines are standing in the way of this little girl getting the medical care that she needs. sarah's parents say her daughter, if she does not get a lung transplant, she will die. she is ufring from cystic fibrosis. they say it could be a matter of weeks or months for her. right now she is on a wait list for children but not on the wait list for adults. her parents are ask that guidelines be changed so that sarah, for that matter, all children, who are in a critical situation, can then be moved to an adult list. sebelius pressed on the issue earlier this afternoon. >> mother and a grandmother, i can't imagine anything more agonizing than what they are
going through. i talked to janet, mother of sarah, about this case. what i've also done is looked very carefully at the history of the rules around lung transplant and organ transplant -- >> it's simple -- >> dr. price -- >> i'm going to reclaim my time. it simply takes your signature. it simply takes your signature. a study i know you ordered, and i appreciate that, a study will take over a year. this young lady will be dead. >> unfortunately there are about 40 very seriously ill pennsylvanians over the age of 12 also wait for a lung transplant and three other children in the philadelphia hospital at the same acuity wait as sarah. the worst of all worlds in my mind is to have some individual pick and choose who lives and who dies. i think you want a process
that's guided by medical science and medical experts. >> well, sebelius has ordered a transplant policy review but a change in policy could take years. they heard what sebelius said today during the hearing and issued the following statement. it reads in part, secretary sebelius has said if she makes an exception for sarah she will have to make an exception for all children. we are confused, to say the least, by this. we haven't asked that an exception be made just for sarah. what we are asking is that all children in similar situations be treated the same as adults in the system for allocation of lungs. her parents basically saying, wolf, that they want a fair system, not just for sarah but for all children moving forward. but again, for sarah, time is running out. >> yeah. time is quickly running out. let's hope for the best. thanks very much for that report, jason. when we come back, police credit a 10-year-old boy with foiling an alleged robbery and scaring off the intruders. the dramatic surveillance video
is coming up. at the top of the hour, millions spent on a conference that included free baseball tickets, free drinks, and a presidential suite, all paid for with your tax dollars by the irs. we have new details on what else we have new details on what else they spent your money on. i want to make things more secure. [ whir [ dog barks ] i want to treat more dogs. ♪ our business needs more cases. [ male announcer ] where do you want to take your business? i need help selling art. [ male announcer ] from broadband to web hosting to mobile apps, small business solutions from at&t have the security you need to get you there. call us. we can show you how at&t solutions can help you do what you do... even better. ♪ can help you do what you do... even better. we know it's your most important videoconference of the day hi! hi, buddy! that's why the free wifi and hot breakfast are something to smile about. now, get great getaway rates
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here's a look at this hour's eye report. hot shots. they participate in a annual seafarer's festival. in new jersey passers by paint a card public art fair. runners participate in a road race dedicated to the boston marathon. in oklahoma, storm clouds swirl. hot shots, pictures coming in from our cnn ireporters around the world. new york police are looking for two home invasion robbery suspects whose plan was turned upside-down by a quick-thinking 10-year-old boy. take a look at this surveillance videotape. you see the first suspect dressed as a fedex delivery man entering the home. he leaves the door open and the second suspect enters. at the top of the stairs you see them kicking in a door. but what you don't see is that the boy slamming the door on one suspect's arm.
he dropped his gun, the boy picked it up and fired at the suspects. one of them fired back but both shots missed and the suspects fled. new york police are asking anyone with information about the crime to contact them. happening now, the irs steps over the line. new details on a conference that produced outrageous videos and cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. plus, the search for a u.s. marine reservist apparently kidnapped in mexico. many americans are wondering if they're safe south of the border. more than 100 passengers were thrown off an airtran flight. now unorthodox jewish school sin vest gating why its students got the boot. i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. you're in "the situation room." this hour, the internal revenue service is bogged down
even deeper in controversy. a new report by a federal watchdog suggests the agency that monitors our tax dollars isn't spending it wisely. it details $4 million worth of expenses at an irs conference and a lot of it questionable at best. chief correspondent dana bash is breaking it all down for us. >> part of what is so stunning here is that this lavish spending happened at the very same time that the irs said it didn't have the resources to deal with, the influx of those tea party applications for tax-exempt status. and the way the irs wasted taxpayer dollars is stunning. paintings of albert yin stein, michael jordan, abraham lincoln and even bono from u2, all made on-site at an irs conference by an artist hired to perform leadership through art and paid $17,000. taxpayer dollars. it's just one example of irs excess. detailed in this new inspector
general report which zeros in on a 2010 irs conference in anaheim, california, which cost taxpayers a whopping $4 million. nearly 2700 irs employees stayed at three hotels with no attempt to negotiate lower rates. the problem, instead of using in-house irs planners, the irs hired outside organizers with no incentive to bargain because they got a 5% commission from the hotels. in fact, each event organizer got paid $66,500 by uncle sam from this one conference. >> they didn't negotiate, they didn't bid it. this was 2700 folks. so they could have gotten a considerable reduction. instead of what they said is we will pay full boat but we want perks. >> reporter: the hotels threw in 24 tickets to the los angeles angels games, free drinks, and upgrades like this lavish presidential suite. an irs division head stayed here
the irs even made swag for employees to take home like this tote bag with a special logo made just for the conference. this bag was made in china, by the way, so was this leather folio and they got notebooks like this and bottle openers, all of these gifts and trin gets added up to $64,000 taxer. may be as outrageous as wasting this money is the fact that the irs did not appear to follow the very rules it requires each and every tax payer to follow. >> attempting mod lags of frequency now. >> sorry about the uniforms, captain. the dry-cleaner gave me the wrong order. >> for example, this "star trek" spoof, the inspector general said this and other videos made for the conference cost $50,100. the i.g. says no one know it is that cost is accurate because the irs, the agency that requires taxpayers to keep receipts, did not save its o s documents to show what it spent. the new commissioner says the irs has already made changes. >> we must ensure that we continue to have the right
controls and oversight in place to prevent wasteful or inappropriate spending. >> reporter: one conference workshop should have helped. it was entitled "political savvy, how not to shoot yourself in the foot." and, wolf, here's the kicker, the people who were in charge of organizing this conference which wasted all those taxpayer dollars, they were given a bonus, money and other things that totaled $6,000 to say thank you for the organizing this. >> they were bringing in expensive motivational speakers or comedians or others, as well, right? >> yes, they had somebody to deal with helping people get happier and apparently, according to a source, this wasn't in the report but according to a source on the house side, that cost about $11,000 to make people happier. >> being happy is important, i guess. thanks very much, dana, for that report. let's talk about these controversies and a lot more. joining us now is senator
lindsey graham, republican from south carolina. what's your reaction? you hear about those numbers? >> i'm not happy. >> in the seem of billions of dollars, it is millions of dollarses in taxpayer money. >> it's an attitude more than anything else. i mean, put yourself in the shoes of a hardworking american family paying their taxes, trying to run their family business and barely getting by and they see their government spending the money this way. it's the difference between spending someone else's money and spending your own. and people in government tend to not treat government taxpayer dollars as they would their own. and that's a cultural problem. >> you know, we hear these stories coming e g uing up all . i've been comping washington for years. you always hear about outrageous government, taxpayer money being wasted. here's the question, senator, what can you, what can members of congress really do to make sure these practices end? >> well, just make sure that people that we nominate to do the job understands the
difference between, you know, accountability and frivolous spending, put the right people in place. have oversight, expose it. you're doing more than the congress is doing by airing this. i mean, it's good that the house oversight committees have dug in and found these abuses, but this is why you need an independent media, to look at the way the government spends people's money. i think you've probably -- your network and other networks have done more to change the habits in washington by exposing the story than any hearing will have. >> thank you for that compliment. we'll continue to try to do our best on these kinds of stories. let me get your quick reaction, if you don't mind. darrell issa who is the chair of this invest gatory committee on the house side, on "state of the union" with candy crowley on sunday and said this. >> their paid liar, spokesperson, picture behind, he's still making up things about what happened and calling this local rogue. there's no indication -- the
reason that lerner tried to take the fifth is not because there's a rogue in cincinnati, it's because this is a problem coordinated inll likelihood right out of washington headquarters and we're getting to proving it. >> did he go too far in calling jay carney the president's press secretary a paid liar? >> yeah. he's actually done a very good job on benghazi and all of these issues of trying to find the truth. he's right. ms. lerner didn't take the fifth amendment because it was some rogue. i don't know where this goes but it's very disturb that she would take the fifth amendment and the prior commissioner, actinging commissioner, said he only went to the white house one time, the easter egg hunt, and he actually went 150 something times. jay carney calling the president's press secretary a paid liar doesn't help get to the truth. it's a distraction. it's inappropriate. if somebody called darrell a lie
er, i would defend him. >> shouldn't have called carney a paid liar. harsh terms. let's talk about syria for a moment. i know you're passionate about that, as is john mccain and he actually visited syria the other day. the french are now saying they have no doubt that chemical weapons were used, that this red line that the president and others have spoken about has been crossed. do you believe the red line was crossed? >> oh, yeah. there's no doubt that chemical weapons in my view have been used against the rebels in syria. but let's just put this problem in context. if you provided heavy weapons to the rebel forces, could some of those weapons work their way in the hands of al qaeda extremists who are now in the fight? the answer is, yes, they could. but here's the dilemma we face as a nation. if this war goes on six more months or a year, the king of jordan is going to be deposed
and his kingdom is going to collapse. some of the strongest forces for moderation peace in the mideast will be silenced. if this war goes on much longer the radical islamists we're worried about getting weapons to are going to have access to chemical weapons and that's a game changer for the world. if this war goes on much longer and the russians continue to supply advanced weaponry to assad, then the national security dynamic fundamentally changes if risk for the war going on longer is far greater than arming the rebels in my view. >> what about a no-fly zone, would you support the u.s. participating in that? >> yeah, i would rather do that, quite frankly. i would rather crater the runways using international forces, american forces to be involved no, boots on the ground, to neutralize the air power that assad enjoys. you could -- there are four airfields they're using. you could stop flying from those airfields. you could use patriot missile batteries into the rebel-held
areas to give them some breathing room without having to provide the rebels anti-care craft weaponry that could be used when they -- against us or our allies. i think we could do a no-fly zone without interjecting weapons into the rebel ranks. >> you know, senator, after iraq and afghanistan the american public doesn't want to get involved in another war. >> i got it but i hope the american public doesn't want radical islamists to have access to chemical weapons and that's what's going to happen if this war continues to go on. i hope the american public understands that the king of jordan is a very valuable ally to this country, second only the israel, and i hope the world understands, not just the people of the united states, that if the syrian conflict is creating regional instability and this is a difficult decision to make, but i'm trying to prevent the war from spreading. and i hate to say this to a war-wary public, there is no substitute for american leadership and that's just the
way it is. and i embrace that. we don't need boots on the ground but we need to be leading and ending this war because we'll pay a higher price later if it continues to go on. so those are our options. >> options are not good ones. >> they're not goost good ones. >> very quickly on egypt before i let you go. very harsh statement today from the secretary of state john kerry. egypt sentenced 43 non-governmental organization workers including some americans to jail today for just doing their job, trying to promote human rights, if you will, democracy, kerry saying this decision runs contrary to the universal principle of freedom of association is incompatible with the transition to democr y democracy. you know, some members of the senate like rand paul want to cut off aid to egypt right now, $1.3 billion in military assistance this year alone. is it time to cut that aid, u.s. taxpayer money going to egypt? >> well, they serve harder for a person like myself and senator
mccain who condemned this just as hard as secretary kerry. with what friend like this you don't need any enemies. egypt's revolution, the arab spring started in tunisia and spread in egypt, the big prize, the largest arab nation, it is the center of the arab world, and to see this happen, these organizations have worldwide respect and to condemn them and consider them criminal enterprises and put people in jail, sentence them to prison for doing what they do all over the world says a lot about egypt. but having said that, the egyptian military is the glue that holds the country together. i wish we could just withdraw from the world and nothing bad would happen. egypt has made it so much harder for lindsey graham to help them. they made it so much harder to make the case that american aid should be given to the egyptian government in light of this court decision. but having said that, we have to do what's best for us. and if egypt falls apart and it
collapses and becomes a failed state, that would be the biggest blow to our national security in israel's national security short of radical islamists, nuclear weapons or chemical weapons, nightmare for the region. as long as we have leverage there is hope and quite frankly the only leverage we have is our resources. >> senator graham, thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you. up next, we're following some breaking news in turkey right now. tear gas used by police right now in i stan bul. we're live with the latest in these violent clashes. the stakes for the u.s., turkey being a major nato ally, we also have dramatic video of a police raid that killed a 7-year-old girl asleep on a koump. . co. u. ch.
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a little while ago. look at these pictures coming in right now. more tear gas. demonstrators in tear gas by turkish police in istanbul. we're watching what's going on because it's been several days now that these demonstrations have taken this kind of turn, especially late into the day. we're going to go to our own eye van watson. he's on the ground right now. we hope he's okay. we're going to join him shortly and get the very latest. he's got an eyewitness account of what's going on. turkey, a nato ally, a key ally of the united states, all of a sudden plagued with enormous, enormous demonstrations that have escalated not only in istanbul but in akara and other cities as well. we'll go live there in just a few moments, as soon as we can connect with ivan watson. in the meantime, we learned today the tornadoes hitting oklahoma are so powerful they are actually setting records. the national weather service says the twister that hit el
reno, oklahoma, was 2.6 miles wide. they say that's the widest tornado on record in the united states. officials also say the storm was an ef-5. that's the most powerful category with winds in excess of 200 miles an hour. friday's tornados in oklahoma killed at least 19 people. our meteorologist chad myers is in el reno for us right now, was there friday when the tornado hit. chad, give us some context for the enormity of this tornado, how big was it? >> you know, i talked about this the past couple of days, thinks there's no way ef-3 was going to hold because this is the widest tornadoes i've ever seen. 2.6 miles across. the damage is spotty in between that 2.6 mile swath. think about carousel, a ma
merry-go-round. the main tornado itself. and i'm thinking this carousel moving down the road and the horses, as they spin, hitting things as they go. 2.6-mile wide tornado. we took some pictures today. we went back to moore to kind of see whether it was getting cleaned up. and it is but it's slow. it's going to be years before everything gets put back together. then we went to the 2.6-mile area, side by side there's nothing on the one side except basically farmland, some wheat down, but on the right, think about what a 2.6-mile wide ef-5 tornado could have done to this, the damage in moore would have been twice as wide and probably twice as bad in some spots. because even though the national weather service did not find ef-5 damage, there's these mobile radars that go around very close to the storm, scientific researchers, storm chasers but they're doing science again, and they found that the wind speeds near the
surface, wolf, were near 295 miles per hour in some of these small horses going around the main carousel. 295 miles per hour. i can't imagine what that would have done to a city. i can see what it's done here in el reno but what it would have done to a major metropolitan or residential area would have been catastrophic. >> that's pretty depressing information, chad. thanks very much for your excellent work out there. we're also watching dangerous flooding right now in missouri. today a second levee was breached near west alton where the missouri river joins the mississippi and north of st. louis, up to 30 homes as well as some businesses could be effected. people in the same vicinity were told to evacuate yesterday after the first levee breached. still ahead, america's military brass out in force up on capitol hill today. they faced off with lawmakers who are very angry about sexual assault in the u.s. armed forces. and a new ruling in the case against colorado massacre
suspect james holmes. cnn is investigating how he was able to buy a massive stockpile of ammunition. we had never used a contractor before and didn't know where to start. at angie's list, you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare written by people just like you. no company can pay to be on angie's list, so you can trust what you're reading. angie's list is like having thousands of close neighbors where i can go ask for personal recommendations. that's the idea. before you have any work done, check angie's list. from roofers to plumbers to dentists and more, angie's list -- reviews you can trust. i love you, angie. sorry, honey. thto fight chronic. osteoarthritis pain. to fight chronic low back pain. to take action. to take the next step. today, you will know you did something for your pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is a pain reliever fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day,
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america's top military brass face congress today and problem of sexual assault within the armed forces center stage. the hearing was unprecedented and at times very emotional. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr reports. >> reporter: the entire joint chiefs of staff faced the senate armed services committee, including its seven female senators. the chiefs are under unprecedented pressure to deal
with rising sexual assaults in the ranks. >> it's shameful, it's repulsive, we're failing our efforts to protect our people from sexual assault. >> reporter: in senators believe it's time to change the law. this isn't about sex. this is about assaultive domination and violence. >> reporter: one proposal, take the decision to prosecute away from commanders. >> removing commanders, making commanders less responsible, less accountable will not work. >> you have lost the trust of the men and women who rely on you, that you will actually bring justice in these cases. they're afraid to report. they think their careers will be over. >> reporter: air force captain, a victim's advocate, says they do fear retaliation. >> one of my clients was involved in an unprofessional relationship and there's concern there's going to be repercussions regarding her training and her future in the air force.
>> reporter: another proposal, commanders will no longer be able to overturn guilty verdicts. lieutenant colonel james wilkerson sexual assault conviction was thrown out by his commander. his alleged victim -- >> i was just shocked. i was stunned. i asked why, and they told me that the convening authority doesn't have to give a reason why. >> reporter: the chiefs insisted crimes are being investigated and prosecuted. >> it's a crime demand accountability, they see it differently. >> coming into each of those from 17 to 22 or 3, gee whiz, that's the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur. >> reporter: but it was the committee chairman who reminded everyone of the risks when
troops cannot trust each other. >> discipline is the heart of the military culture and trust is its soul. the plague of sexual assault erodes both the heart and the soul. >> now, senator john mccain who is one of the most plain spoken members of the u.s. senate went even a step further me said the sexual assault crisis is so severe that when a mother recently asked him if her daughter should join the military he said he could no longer unequivocally recommend it. wolf? >> that's pretty shorking to hear that. all right, thanks very much, barbara. up next, a ruling that could affect whether the colorado movie massacre suspect lives or dies. later, the dispute about why more than 100 high school students were booted from an airtran flight. (announcer) born with a natural
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happening now, new mexico, sister of a u.s. marine reservist tells me his apparent kidnapping. does she have a reason to believe he's still alive. plus, vn cnn investigation. how the colorado movie massacre suspect was able to buy so much ammunition legally and easily. and a class trip takes a controversial detour when more than 100 high school students are thrown off, thrown off an airtran flight. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." a judge is allowing colorado movie massacre suspect james holmes to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity. holmes was in court today for
the ruling. he said no when the judge asked if he had any questions. as the case moves forward, we're now learning more about holmes' purchase of huge amounts of ammunition, legally and online. here's drew griffin of cnn's special investigation's unit. >> here is the plain truth, even if james holmes was declared certifiable insane the day before he opened fire on an aurora, colorado, movie theater there would have been nothing to prevent him from buying thousands of round of ammunition online. >> that's disturbing. if i can go and fully equip myself that easily, it's ridiculous. you know? >> reporter: quinton caldwell had to duck for cover and crawl out of that theater as bullets flew. it would be days, even weeks later, he saw just how easy it was for the joker to amass his arsen arsenal. all shipped anonymously through online purchases. james holmes bought tear gas canisters, multi-round magazine
holders, and on june 28th, 4,300 rounds of ammunition from a company called bulkammo.com. >> by this piece here, buy this piece here with anonymity with s. the part that kills me, nobody says, why are you buying this at once. >> reporter: in most states you can buy as much as you want, in 1987, congress passed and president reagan signed the firearm owners protection act which restricted sales of fully automatic weapons but also pretty much deregulated any restrictions on buying ammo. it made it legal to buy ammo through the mail and also removed most requirements for dealers to keep track of anyone who was buying ammunition no matter how much. >> ammunition sales is -- is not regulated to sell ammunition you don't have to have a license, no one knows who is selling ammunition.
and to buy ammunition you don't have to provide any identification, at least since 1986. >> mike bershard, the former assistant director of field operations with a atf says virtually anybody can buy ammunition, whether that be an insane college student from colorado or a radical islamic terrorist. >> if you're a felon you can go online, if you're a terrorist you can go online. they will ask you a question are you prohibited by law from possessing it, hit the box no, put your credit card down, and it will show up at your doorstep as soon as the shipper can get it there. >> that's 500. >> reporter: the ease of buying ammunition is literally celebrated on these youtube videos called unboxing. >> you can see here, this is 9,000 rounds of .9 millimeter luger. >> reporter: we found hundreds of ammo purchasers opening thousands of rounds of ammunition. >> 500 rounds of .22 pci, mini
mags. >> reporter: and posting their videos online, mostly to push the speed and ease of their purchases. >> fast shipping, good prices. >> reporter: i found out just how easy it was back in 2005 in a report to expose the ease of buying this .50 caliber military style sniper rifle. before i shelled out $2500 to buy this gun, i wanted to make sure i could buy ammunition. that turned out to be as easy as ordering flowers. with just a couple of clicks on my computer i ordered and paid by credit card for 50 .50 caliber armored piercing rounds. they were delivered in a week. shells as long as my hand delivered no questions asked by ups. according to court documents released last month, james holmes received six packages from bulk-ammo.com, a company that is continually celebrated by ammo openings on youtube.
>> this ran me, with shipping, $212. >> reporter: according to corporate records bulk-ammo.com is based in knoxville, tennessee. the company did not respond to our interview request. the other companies were james holmes bought his tactical gear, gun magazine, tear gas canisters, also refused comment. but it is clear no matter what james holmes bought or how crazy he may have been, everything james holmes purchased to carry out his horrific carnage was legal. >> drew griffin is joining us now. pretty eye-opening report, drew. have there been attempts to regulate the sale of ammo online? >> you know, shortly after the colorado shooting, wolf, two bills were introduced. one t in the house, one in the senate to regulate online ammunition sales. reproduc reintroduced again this year. one senator calls am knew --
ammunition sales the black hole. the mere and false report earlier this year about the government trying to buy up ammunition, wolf, it's been great for the online ammo business. website wes searched were selling out of certain types of bullets, limiting quantities to buyers and trying to fill lots and lots of back orders. wolf? >> excellent investigation. good report, drew. thanks very, very much. up next, a marine reservist apparently has been kidnapped in mexico. we're investigating the potential danger for americans who travel south of the border. and later, a 7-year-old girl killed in a police raid. the disturbing video played in court today. vo: traveling you definitely end up meeting a lot more people but
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in a detroit courtroom today a jury watched dramatic video of a police raid that went terribly wrong. a police officer shot and killed a 7-year-old girl who was sleeping on a couch. he's now on trial for involuntary manslaughter. the video which never has been shown in public was shot by a crew for the tv show "the first 48." while the picture is blurriy, you will clearly see the flash of stun grenades behind the curtains and hear loud bangs over the sound of barking dogs. watch this. >> policeman's defense says the girl's shooting was an accident.
now to new york, we've all heard stories about students getting kicked off a school bus for misbehaving but how about a whole class getting kicked off an airliner. let's bring in mary snow. she's got details. what happened, mary? >> wolf, 109 people were kicked off the flight, 8 adult chaperones, the rest all students. there were different accounts of exactly what happened but all agree they've never seen this many passengers kicked off a plane at once. high school seniors from an orthodox jewish school in brooklyn were traveling to atlanta monday for a class trip. the airline says they were told to leave because some kids wouldn't stay in their seats and others wouldn't turn off cellphones but a chaperone accuses flight attendants of overreacting and blowing things out of proportion. one student tells cnn, quote, they treated us like we were terrorists. i've never seen anything like it. this student even suggested they were ejected because they are jewish. a passenger on the plane denies
religion had anything to do with it. he says a group of 8 to 12 kids were unruly and ignored the flight crew. take a listen. >> they were switching seats. they weren't paying attention to them. asked a few times, went to the pilot if pilot was nice. said, hey, guys, we're going to try to depart here. faa regulations are a lot stricter than new york public school detention, you know, and if you guys have to listen -- have to listen to me. they did not -- >> now, southwest which acquired and air a tran said in a statement when the students failed to comply, they were asked to leave the plane, del delaying the flight for 45 minutes. the group was eventually put on other airtran flights. the school says it's now investigating. wolf? >> let us know if you get more, mary. thanks very much. up next, a u.s. marine
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tnchtsz apparent kidnapping of a u.s. marine reservist is raising more questions abilities the safety of americans in mexico. the fbi believes armando torres iii was abducted three weeks ago while visiting his father's ranch. his father and uncle vanished as well. local officials tell cnn the kidnapping could be tied to a land dispute involving the father. i spoke just a little while ago
with the wife of armando torres iii in texas. tell us why you're concerned about identifying you letter of yours, melissa. why are you afraid of being identified? >> mostly, you know, it's my children that i really want to protect. it's just all this media attention. it can be pretty bad since it's, you know, a kidnapping. >> it's a very sad story and all of us hope it obviously he gets out of there quickly. has anything ever happened to your family similar to this before? >> never in my life. that is why i'm in shock. >> i know you are. when was the last time you spoke with armando? >> the same day, and he got taken. >> and tell us -- tell us about that. what was going on? what was he doing in mexico? >> well, i didn't even know he was going to go to mexico. he just sent me a text that he
was going out of town. >> and then the next thing you knew he was in mexico. what have you heard? what were the circumstances surrounding his being kidnapped? >> well, they just basically said he was in the wrong place, wrong time, you know. he had nothing to do with anything that was going on. i'm not really sure on the details of what happened but nothing i can probably speak on either. >> has there been any communications with those holding him? are they asking for something in return for his release? >> no, they have not asked for anything. we would be good to ask for something but they don't want anything. >> so have there been any what they call proof of life that he's still okay? >> about a week ago some sources said that, you know, they were alive. that's what's really kept me fighting, you know, that there's still some proof of life. but they weren't specific as to
what proof of life meant. we haven't gotten any bad news either, so no news is good news. >> tell us a little bit about armando. what's he like? >> well, he's your typical marine, always talking about guns, his marine brothers, his marine corps. he's funny. easy to get along with, great father. >> did he often go to mexico on visits like this? >> never. >> is this the first -- you're saying that is the first time he's been there? >> absolutely. he hasn't been there in a long time. >> he hadn't been there but he had been there before. this was not an often occurrence, he didn't go to mexico very often, is that what you're saying? >> yeah, he didn't, he didn't go often. >> you must know his father and his uncle. they're gone as well. they've disappeared together with him. what are they like? >> i've never really interacted with them, you know, on a daily
basis. but, you know, that's his dad and that's his uncle. >> we're hoping that they are released as well. tell >> what are you telling them about your dad? >> my son just kind of wants to hear his voice and i told him that he's working. you know? they cry for him but, you know, i just try to occupy their mind with other things. >> melissa, thank you so much for joining us. good luck to you. good luck, of course, to armando. we hope he's out of there asap, as soon as possible. >> i hope so, too. thank you so much. now americans' fears of whether travel to mexico right now is dangerous, maybe even deadly. let's bring in the pentagon correspondent chris lawrence looking in to this part of the story. big picture, what are you seeing, chris? >> wolf, u.s. official tells us it doesn't appear the criminal networks or drug cartels targeting u.s. citizens but the
sheer amount of kidnappings and violence begs the question, should americans be going to mexico? americans flock to mexico for its beaches and bars. ♪ but bloody murders have stained the image of all that sun and sand. and some americans have seen their trips turn terrifying. this arizona mom was recently released after a week in jail after mexican authorities accused her of smuggling drugs. >> it really scared me. >> reporter: for weeks authorities searching for a young marine kidnapped while visiting his father. so-called express kidnappings are on the rise. >> will you be picked up maybe in a pirate taxi, taken off to an atm, they would drain your account as best they could and then at midnight go back to the same atm with the card and take more money out and then let you go. >> reporter: take away terrorist attacks and trips at war, in the
last decade, more americans have been murdered in mexico than any other country in the world. and that number jumped from 35 in 2007 to 113 2 years ago. >> there were certain places in mexico you don't want to go on vacation. >> reporter: the state department warns of anywhere in the red scones. the areas in green like cancun are considered safe spots. >> we're not seeing the things happening ifou're in cabo san lucas or even cancun with a safer record than orlando does, actually. >> reporter: travel writer reid says you heard right. as recently as a year ago, the murder rate was higher in the city considered disney world's front door. >> so it doesn't necessarily mean that anyone should consider canceling their trips because of this. >> really, american tourists
show no signs of doing that. one of the reasons that the number of americans killed in mexico is so high is that so many of us go there. this year, 20 million americans will go to mexico. that's the entire population of new york, l.a. chicago, houston, philadelphia and phoenix. and when you look at the rates based on those kind of numbers, most of the parts of mexico that the americans are going are about as safe as finland, wolf. >> interesting stuff. good report. thanks very much, chris. up next, very different story. a lonely moose. look at this. a lonely moose finds a surprising meat. i'm the next american success story. working for a company where over seventy-five percent of store management started as
hourly associates. there's opportunity here. i can use walmart's education benefits to get a degree, maybe work in it, or be an engineer, helping walmart conserve energy. even today, when our store does well, i earn quarterly bonuses. when people look at me, i hope they see someone working their way up. vo: opportunity, that's the real walmart.
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but she's still going to give me a heart attack. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. . end of an era at an oregon high school. friday's commencement at redman high school with 29 valedictorians. yes, 29. they all have a grade point average of 4.0 or better. starting next year, they'll compute grades differently hoping to produce only one valedictorian. true love is hard to find and sometimes our affections can be very misplaced. our jeanne moos discovered this applies to animals as well as people. >> reporter: northern colorado can be a lonely place for a moose. nothing to do but eat and -- whoa! who's that hot number. >> only been up since last monday. >> reporter: no surprise that a young moose is curious about
bronze statue that looks like a ms. >> strange thing is trying to mate with a statue. both male. >> reporter: bob's neighbors placed the statue on the property here in grand lake and then left town. ever since, a bull moose has been courting the statue and by courting we mean the full court press that we can't quite show. >> he's in love! >> he's nuzzling and kisses and he licks him and he walks around and then he, you know, he gets on top of him. >> reporter: how many times has bob seen them moosing around. >> myself personally, four times. >> reporter: wow. this is no one night stand. who knew a statue for a couple of thousands of dollars 60% off at a going out of business sale would be so irresistible? the owners are thinking of anchoring it down and worried the real moose will knock it over. after all, the actual moose is probably twice the statue's
weight. but moose aren't the only ones making amorous miscalculations. >> it's a deer chasing -- chasing you rrn it's not always easy giving a deer a cold shoulder. >> this is awkward. >> reporter: no more awkward than this. no privacy. unrequited love. enough to make a moose say, bull. maybe a little barry white would help. statue or not, can't get enough of your love, babe. ♪ ♪ i don't know i don't know why ♪ >> reporter: jeanne moos, cnn -- >> keep it up, moosey. >> reporter: new york. >> jeanne moos. not moose by the way. it's not even moose mating season yet so wildlife officials say that doesn't explain the behavior. remember, you can always follow what's going on behind the scenes here in "the situation room" on twitter. tweet me.
you can always also tweet the show. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. the boston bombing suspect seeks out for the first time since his arrest. tonight, you 'll hear him. plus, the suspected colorado movie theater gunman changed his plea today and the parents of one of the victims are outfront. and shocking new information about a tornado that touched down in oklahoma. we're going to tell you just how big it really was. these images are stunning. let's go "outfront." good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett. the boston bomg suspect speaks. for the first time since arrest, we are actually hearing directly from dzhokhar