tv CNN Newsroom CNN September 8, 2013 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT
administration. >> this is not iraq or afghanistan. this is not libya. this is not an extended air campaign. this is something that's targeted, limited and effective so as to underscore that he should not think that he can get away with this again. >> secretary of state john kerry is meeting with arab league ministers in paris today saying saudi arabia has approved international military intervention in syria. other support is uncertain and kerry emphasized urgency. >> some of the other countries that weren't certain whether they could but might have wanted to wanted to go home and consult with their leaders in order to get decisions. but everybody understood that the decisions needed to be made within the next 24 hours. >> president obama will address the nation on syria tuesday night at 9:00 eastern from the white house. before the president speaks to the american people, his team is pushing forward with a massive lobbying effort on capitol hill
to turn the tide of opinion in favor of a military strike in syria. pentagon correspondent barbara starr standing by with more now. barbara, who's taking part in the lobbying effort? >> reporter: it's as you said, don, 24 hours from now everything changes in washington when congress officially comes back to town. the lobbying blitz will be on. first thing monday morning. it is already started a little bit, however, on this sunday night in washington. the vice president joe biden meeting with key senators tonight to talk to them about this. give them his views and try to convince them that the military strategy is the right way to go. starting tomorrow, we will see house members take a look at the very graphic syria videos we have been showing of civilians according to the administration being gassed, senators will see the syria videos on wednesday. as part of the push, of course, the president tomorrow monday will conduct interviews with all
the major news networks including our own, wolf blitzer. he will address the country on tuesday night. so look for a very busy, busy first 48 hours of the week as the white house tries to take center stage, control the message and do some political maneuvering and arm twisting to begin to get the votes it needs. don? >> let's talk more about the votes. what about a tally in congress? what's the best estimate where things stand in the house and the senate? >> reporter: here at cnn we love to keep track of these sorts of things so, indeed, we are doing just that. our political team taking a look at it. here's the numbers they have come up with for us tonight. in the senate, so far, 25 yes votes, 20 no, 55 undecided. but across capitol hill, on the other side, at the house, clearly, a much more difficult proposition for the administration. take a look at this. 24 yes votes. 123 no votes in the house.
272 undecided. 14 unknown. the senate could vote were quickly in the next few days. the house we don't know who when it will vote. you have to look at the numbers and know that the white house wants to make more progress on trying to get some more yes votes. don? >> all right. barbara starr on top of it. have you very much for that. how things have changed. tomorrow is when u.s. senators and representatives get back to the offices after summer break with a brand new top priority. support for the president's push to strike syria all over the place on capitol hill. with democrats opposed. republicans in support. and many, many undecided. on the phone with me now, dayton, ohio, republican congressman mike turner. congressman, thank you for joining us. you're not convinced that a strike against syria is the way to go. why is that? >> well, don, i returned last
week to washington to receive a briefing from the administration and i tell you, the difference to what they're saying publicly and in classified breechings is not all that different. it is clear that the administration does not have a strategy. we do not know who we're for. we don't have a great understanding of the risks. they have an unexplainable policy with the president's imaginary red line with respect to chemical weapons they acknowledge had been used in this conflict. and more importantly, the president has shown no leadership in trying to offset sequestration. the automatic egregious cuts happening to the military and we're in the imposition of those the president had tens of thousands of furloughing over 12,000 people in my city alone were furloughed. >> let's stick with syria here. when you -- you said the president, you don't understand the strategy going in. what are the alternatives offered by members of congress? have you offered an alternative to the president? >> don, first, on the issue of
sequestration, it is related to syria. it is not a diversion. it is an issue of the president not fully funded military trying to draw us in to the conflict. the president hasn't done the homework. with respect to the use of chemical weapons, the president -- specific knowledge of this happening in the past. galvanizing the international community and the public. he needs to explain clearly how this is in our national interest. he says it is not his imaginary red line but he's not engaged the international community in a way that there is an international syrian response. this is a president who's with it until there's a crisis and then draw us in to a conflict but i don't think the american public supports. >> yeah. i understand that. but my question was, have you offered any alternatives, any other solutions than the military strike? >> well, i think the solution is the president, you know, the congress can't do foreign policy. the president needs to show leadership and engage the international community in this.
this is not one where you just drag the military in to a conflict, especially after he's underfunded it with sequestration and i think he's having problems asking the community just as he is with his support in congress because he has an unexplainable policy. now chemical weapons used before. we know that over 100,000 people have died and just now turning to the case and should have been making the case and certainly working on when's obviously a devastating conflict that's happening in syria. >> you saw those video clips that came out yesterday, very disturbing. really hard to watch. did that have any influence on you or do you think it will on lawmakers in washington? >> i think certainly this is a devastated tragedy. and you see the affects here of assad's brutal regime and killing its own people. you know, certainly we have known for a while, 100,000 people have been killed. but the president needs to bring this to an issue of an
international community. this is not one where you watch a video and then you pull up, you know, battleships and began to engage in the conflict. make your case of what is our national interest and at this point he has no strategy that you clearly tell us who are we for in this conflict? we don't know what the geo political views are. someone else pro u.s.? pro our applies? we don't have a context oh than the president declaring this a crisis. >> we appreciate your time on a sunday evening. thank you, sir. >> don, thank you. congress returns to washington on monday. the big item on the agenda, of course, is the president's proposed military strike in syria. that will also be the topic when president obama sits down with cnn's wolf blitzer. see that interview here on cnn monday night 6:00 p.m. eastern on "the situation room." and then on tuesday, the president lays out his case on syria in a prime time address to the nation and we have learned
that speech will be delivered 9:00 p.m. eastern and you can watch that, as well, here on cnn. senator john mccain says if the president were to go for boots on the ground in syria, he'd face impeachment but is that part of the discussion now? and just ahead, reportedly, these are pictures of military personnel on social media protesting against a syrian attack. are they real? and what might military leaders think of this? that's all coming up.
welcome back, everyone. just days after endorsing president obama's plan to launch military strikes against syria, republican senator john mccain is sending a stern warning to the president. stick to the plan or face impeachment. in an interview with a phoenix radio station thursday, mccain said the president bungled the handling of sir why and should be careful not to overstep the limits of the plan before congress. >> no one wants american boots on the ground. nor will there be american boots on the ground because there would be an impeachment of the president if they did that. >> those are very strong words from senator mccain. president obama has said numerous times that his plan for syria is limited and does not involve boots on the ground but it happened in bosnia. could it happen in syria? here to answer that question is lieutenant colonel rick francona. he spent three years in syria as a military attache at the base
in damascus. is it going to involve boots on the ground like bosnibosnia? >> we hope not. this is mission creep. you start off doing one thing, it leads to something else and then you have a full-blown military operation. if the president is successful in keeping it to cruise missiles, maybe some aircraft launched cruise missiles without getting any troops in there that would be great. but don, these things have a way of spiraling out of control. you can't tell what's going to happen after that first three days, first four days of operations. we may have to take additional action, hit addition altar gets. this is a real problem. >> yeah. so, i guess the question is, you don't think that the u.s. should strike syria? >> well, i thought we missed an opportunity about 18 months ago to get involved in a meaningful way to support the free syrian army on the ground. now we are in the situation
where the syrians have crossed that red line. they have used chemical weapons. i think we need to respond. it's just i'm not sure the cruise missile response is the right way to go. we need to do in it a meaningful way and the slap on the wrist will not deter president assad using chemicals in the future. it may in the short term. if he feels his back is against the wall, he will use the weapons. >> lieutenant colonel, krit kicks argue that the obama administration hasn't presented concrete evidence that sir why's president was behind the deadly nerve gas attack in august. we saw the terrible pictures and then today a german newspaper citing german intelligence stated that government forces may have carried out the attack without president al assad's knowledge. if true, would this change things? >> it could his defense to say i didn't order it. it's a rogue element. we'll get to the bottom of it. it's hard to believe that
anybody would take that risk and use these weapons. first of all, they wouldn't have access to the weapons unless they had specific authority to use them. and the release of these weapons generally is not delegated below that level. the only other person in syria i think would have the authority to do this would be his brother. he commands the 4th armored division and the republican guard. those are the regime protection units in damascus. other than that, i don't see a rogue element having the capability of launching five simultaneous attack in to five different target areas without presidential authorization. >> lieutenant colonel rick francona will join us throughout the hour here on cnn. thank you, sir. >> okay, don. the congressional black caucus is often in the president's corner on the big issues but will they back him for military action in syria? i'll ask one of its members next. to work together. the timing, the actions,
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the u.s. senate could vote in just a few days whether to authorize military action against the government of syria and lawmakers return to washington tomorrow after the month long summer break. after the senate acts, then the house will take it up. i want you to listen to republican congressman mike rodgers today. he says president obama has done, and these are his words, an awful job of making a case to strike syria. >> so they don't have strong relationships in congress today. that's a huge problem for them. and candidly have done an awful job explaining to the american people what is in our national security, what is the national united states interests in any level of engagement in a place like syria. >> so, on the phone with me now is congressman gregory weeks, democrat from new york. and member of the house foreign affairs committee. congressman weeks, thank you for joining us.
you heard congressman mike rogers say president obama has not made a good case to the american people and he also says that the administration has lost support in congress. is mike rogers right? does the president have your support? >> well, listen. the president, of course, has my support. i don't know if i'm going to vote on the issue. i'm undecided on that. i think to a person just about everyone has to praise the president for his courage to bring it to congress and letting us have our voice and letting us have the debate and understanding that the constitution -- being that it's constitutional to get it done this week, but, you know, to say that the president has lost leadership, et cetera, well, i disagree. i think a large portion of america, democrats and republicans for that matter, are looking through it through the prism of iraq and the bungled situation of a former president and then to try to turn it around and put it all on this president, you know, i get upset at times when you have a move of
conscience. when's the right thing to do as a vote of conscience and not play politics in it. >> you support the president. you will vote yes for a military strike? >> no, no, no. i said i'm undecided on this. yes, i support the president in general, on the whole. but what i do as i've done when bill clinton was the president and we had the kosovo issue, as i have done with george w. bush, with iraq and afghanistan, and i'm doing with president obama, with libya, i make decisions based upon the information that i receive and i try to -- i have to make a vote of conscience. i'm in a mode right now of undecided. i have some severe problems because it was an international violation or the violation of
the international norm of the utilization of chemical weapons and, therefore, i believe that there should be an international response and thus far i don't see that international response. and at least with the international community saying we should do something militarily and that gives me some severe doubts of going ahead with a strike. but i do give the president and the administration an opportunity to show me or to overcome that doubt. >> all right. well, representative, then what's he need to do -- what's the president -- >> -- it has not been conclus e conclusive. so we'll continue to listen and to the administration. i know the congressional black caucus will be meeting tomorrow and then in a classified session and hear what takes place. the u.n. inspectors have an opportunity to come back, as some of the other countries asked for, first. and then we see where we are. >> all right. so congressman, you have to let me in. you can't hear me. i went to get in here. i'm asking that comes on.
what's the president need to do to convince you? have you offered the president any other alternatives or solutions? >> for the president for me, i need to see one of two things. that there's an international response. we have the nato or eu or i know that there's others that are joining us with in any type of military strike if that's what's proposed. or two, if i'm told something in a classified setting that indicates to me that there's something that one of our allies or in danger, eminent threat or something of that nature. then those things are game changers for me. i'm like anyone else. if you're sitting on a sxwrur, you don't make the decision until the facts are in and the case is closed and that's not happened yet. >> what is the position of the congressional black caucus on military action in syria? you said you're undecided. what is the position of the
caucus? >> the caucus hasn't taken a position. nor do i believe they will? i think the job for the caucus is and what i know our chair is trying to do for us is for us to get as much information as we possibly can so that we can make a decision. these are decisions or votes of conscience and everybody has to vote his or herconscience. the chair is trying to make sure we get as much information as we can but the caucus has not decided or come out as a group one way or another nor do i think it will. >> representative meeks, thank you for your time on a sunday, as well. >> good being with you. ben jealous, the president and ceo of the naacp said he'll resign on the last day of the year. he said the constant travel kept him away from his family too much. i'll talk with him live in the next hour of the cnn "newsroom."
tune in for that. these pictures on social media, reportedly military personnel protesting against the syrian attack. are they real? and what might military leaders think when they see these? that's next. but first, growing up in washington. thomas was shuffled from home to home. 22 in all. today dr. sanjay gupta tells us about this young man's recovery after a tragedy nearly took his life. >> and i hated seeing you walk out of the door. >> 20-year-old thomas knows what it's like to have people walk out of his life. >> my dad took me from my mom at birth. >> but his father was ill and had difficulty caring for him. >> i was in 11 homes before the foster care system. >> he was 10 when his life changed dramatically. >> i was shot. >> by a 14-year-old who was living in the home where he had been taken in at the time. >> i had to learn how to walk again. >> fortunately, the paralysis was temporary but suffering from a different kind of pain. >> it was anger.
it was rage. it was aggression. >> and then the nightmares began. >> when i close my eyes, i remember seeing mist being shot. >> the sixth grader was moved in to foster care and was prompted diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder, adhd. >> i got the treatment. >> he went on to live in 11 different foster homes. as a senior in high school, he asked his best friend's mother whom he'd known his sixth grade if she would adopt him and she did. >> it was a greatest day. >> he completed an internship talking to legislators about aging out of the foster system. he's back at school now studying psychology at cheney university. dr. sanjay gupta, cnn reporting. ♪ turn around ♪ every now and then i get a little bit hungry ♪ ♪ and there's nothing good around ♪
it is a promise of allegiance to serve and protect and obey the orders of the commander in chief yet some members of the military appearing to openly yet anonymously voice dissent on president obama's desire to strike syria. rosa flores has the details now. >> reporter: don, cnn has not independently confirmed that the people in these photographs are indeed active members of the military. but let me tell you, these photographs have a lot of
traction online. and they're raising some serious questions. political messages, like these, posted on a facebook page by a group called the armed forces tea party showing anonymous people in military uniform condemning a u.s. military strike on syria have gone viral. this one reads, i didn't join the marine corps to fight for al qaeda in a syrian civil war. this other one directed to the president, quote, obama, i will not deploy to fight for your al qaeda rebels in syria. wake up people. what do you think these messages will do? >> the messages on facebook, i think it creates an awareness that there is a difference of opinion within the military. >> reporter: jose vasquez served in the army for 15 years and understands why these service members are speaking out. he's not linked to the facebook page but says he was honorably discharged as a consciousness
objector, leaving the military on the grounds of freedom of thought. >> in my case, i just did a lot of reading, went to college, understood that the majority of the people injured in war are civilian casualties by and large. >> reporter: as for the punishments here, we talked to retired u.s. army general marks about this and he said they would have to identify the section of the uniform code of military justice that would apply in this case. after that, it would be circumstantial. they would have to take a look at the type and manner of service of the individuals involved. but then again, keep in mind that there are a lot of ifs here. this is if these individuals are actual active military members. if they are identified and if the d.o.d. decides to take action. don? >> all right. rosa flores, thank you very much for that. u.s. military personnel on the record sort of voicing opposition to the president. i want to bring back lieutenant
colonel rick francona and from dallas, retired general james woods. he commanded marines in and out of combat at any every level. first to you, francona, what is your reaction to this? >> well, as rosa said, i think it's important that we determine that these are actually members of the military. looking at those uniforms, you can tell from some of the ribbons these are not first term service members. these are people that served, a lot of decoration, purple hearts. those people know the rules and what they're doing would be in a violation of the rules. everybody has freedom of speech but not in uniform like that. so, i doubt that these are really members of the military. >> major general? >> yes. good afternoon. glad to be with you. i would agree with lieutenant colonel francona. these service members know exactly what the rules are.
they are not to protest in uniform. if they want to protest to their congressman and senators, they're certainly more than welcome to write to them and tell them what their opinions are but it is against the rules to protest in that manner. >> i want to read something to you from white house chief of staff denis mcdonough saying of the u.s. plans, be careful, very targeted and very limited in our engagement in syria. is that possible with hezbollah, al qaeda, syrian forces, opposition fighters on the ground? first to you, lieutenant. >> well, don, it's possible to do that at the beginning. but not knowing what the reaction will be, will the syrians react? will there be a hezbollah reaction? will they try to bring in israel? these are things we don't know yet. it is the reaction to those unknowns that determine where we get in to the mission creep and
we have to do the boots on the ground that everybody does not want to do. >> general williams, you know, i have put this question to lieutenant colonel francona earlier. do you think the u.s. should strike syria? >> well, i think the strike is something that should be done after a lot of consideration. you know, ultimately at the end of the day, there has to be an analysis by the president's staff, by the pentagon, what the successful outcome would be. so ultimately, i think the question should be asked is, what is the expectation of the outcome after you shoot these weapons? >> that was -- that's my next question to you. so say, you know, what is -- what would be deemed a success if a strike does happen? is it the assad administration surrendering? what's the success? >> well, i think that depends. i think if you look at this
strike as equivalent to hitting somebody in the head with the hammer, the question is, after you hit them with the hammer, what do you expect them to do? do you expect them to capitulate and not do something? do you expect them to change their behavior? if they don't change their behavior, what do you expect them to do after that? if they don't change their behavior, what do you expect to do after that? >> okay. you know, both of you have spent many years in the middle east. you know the cultural, religio s religious, political forces in play. what do you think is the biggest obstacle to ending this bloody conflict? colonel francona? >> this is going on for two and a half years in syria now and there's so much emotion and anger released. and what was possible maybe a year and a half ago, two years ago for a solution to bring the parties together and come up with a method where the -- either assad could leave or there was some accommodation for
the rebels, i think we have gone far beyond that now and i don't see any diplomatic solution on the horizon. this has to play itself out militarily. whether that involves external force coming in or you have them just fight until they don't want to fight anymore. this has gone on far too long to just quit. >> general, you want to respond to that? >> yeah. i think one of the challenges that we're going to have as a nation is that if you start something of this magnitude, the question is, how much commitment do you want to make? you know, we have spent a little over $600 billion in afghanistan, roughly $800 billion in iraq and, of course, those numbers keep going up. so ultimately, the american people need to get in to the debate and make sure that they're fully engaged with what's going on. if they don't like it, certainly
let your congressman or senators know. if you have an opinion, absolutely participate in your government. if you're not interested in doing that, then certainly, those decisions will be made in washington, d.c. but at the end of the day, it's about how much blood if we do put bots on the ground are you willing to spend as the american people to make that commitment? so ultimately, the people have to be committed to understanding what their politicians want to do. and as i've said many times, it is the politicians that start wars in this country. that's certainly by the constitution. certainly the president leads that effort. and at the end of the day, what generals and troops on the ground will have to do is try to clean up those messes and make it a successfulout come but, again, what is success here, i haven't heard that defined by anybody at this point. >> general williams, colonel
francona, thanks to both of you. >> sure. >> thank you, don. caught in the middle of the battle, syrian christians, many fear for their lives, even in supposedly safe havens. their story is next. [ chainsaw buzzing ] humans. sometimes, life trips us up. sometimes, we trip ourselves up. and although the mistakes may seem to just keep coming at you, so do the solutions.
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among the thousands of casualties in the syrian civil war, many are christians. they're caught in the middle of the fighting. singled out and afraid al qaeda linked elements among the rebels are out to cleanse syria of christians. many back the assad regime. christians are on the run. filling refugee camps in lebanon or sanctuary in monostairs. they hope for asylum in christian-friendly europe. here's nic robertson.
>> reporter: guns blazing, youtube video that claims to show al qaeda allied rebels storming into syria's oldest christian community. maalula. we cleanse maaloula from the assad dogs and thugs this commander shouts to the camera. it's more youtube video cnn cannot independently confirm. but i was here. at this tourist cafe a year ago with its owner. a syrian christian from miami. she'd come back to sell tea and cakes. to the thousands of american and european visitors who used to flock here. war was killing her business. but her real fear, al qaeda linked rebels. >> for now, in our area here, it's fine. but what i heard in aleppo, they killing and they destroying many of church and very, very old
church. >> reporter: i don't know what's happened to her since our interrue last year but the worst fears of violence coming to maaloula have been realized. the place i saw was a tiny sleepy town an hour's drive from the capital. where ancient aramaic was recited in the churches. its significance spiritual, not military. in lebanon now, syria's christian refugees shelter in monostairs. on the run from sectarian violence at home. they join saturday in prayers for peace. promoted by pope francis in rome. but even here, as threats of u.s. strikes on syria loom, they don't feel safe. aida told us to hide her identity. >> translator: we can't go out. we can stay only in the monastary. we go the supermarket or an
embassy appointment. but we stay here, especially hearing about the tense situation in lebanon. we don't go anywhere. >> reporter: she is not alone. aid agencies say syria's 2 million christians are often targeted in syria for suspected sympathies with assad's regime. two top bishops have been kidnapped and a wl-known priest disappeared. increasingly, many are turning to europe's christian countries to take them in. maaloula may only be small but the capture at the hands of islamists is symbolically huge and sends shock waves that will be felt all the way to rome. nic robertson, cnn, beirut, lebanon. you've been hearing a lot of assad's regime. we take a look at the powerful family next.
the war in syria may result in the end of the assad family dynasty starting with his father. brian todd traces the family history now. >> reporter: recognize the boy on the swing? it's bashar al assad. as he looked on, his father many believe envisioned a dynasty. but he likely wouldn't have imagined it taking the turn it has. >> is this a dynasty and crumbling right now? >> it's a mafia dynasty and
definitely crumble. >> reporter: experts say to understand what's happening in syria now, it helps to know about the strange regime built by the current dictator's late father, hafez al assad. >> he was the most cut throat cunning leader in a region full of brutal dictatodictators. >> reporter: hafez al assad rose through the levels of the syrian air force. he thrived in the back rooms of syrian palace intrigue and where according to most accounts betraying friends, killing and banishing enemies put you on the fast track. in syria, more than 20 successful and unsuccessful coups between 1949 and 1970 when hafez al assad took power. he was involved in three of them. through the '70s, '80s and '90s he played the middle east power game for a like fiddle negotiating and fighting peace with israel while keeping america from being a full enemy. that was the contradiction.
hafez stayed in power by torturing and killing enemies from within. by making friends with terrorist groups like hezbollah. in 1990 and '91 when president bush needed a coalition, look who was on his side. >> bush met with syria's president assad, despite the fact that the u.s. considers syria a haven for terrorists. >> reporter: how did the dynasty unravel after the death of hafez in 2000? >> ruled so brutally as a minority, part of the muslim sect over majority sunnis who resented them. and bashar al assad's had other difficulties changing the old ways of his father. >> hafez al assad had a closed system. couldn't travel or communicate well. international news is limited. when bashar came in to power, he lifted the restrictions on travel, allowed them to read newspapers and the internet. how do you control the system?
how do you basically perpetuate rule? >> reporter: bashar al assad was apparently warned that he couldn't do that. analysts say when he brought in the internet, it was against the advice of the security staff, the old cronies of his father saying it would be dangerous and trouble controlling it. they were right. brian todd, cnn, washington. >> thank you, brian. it's graphic and hard to stomach. 13 different videos allegedly showing the aftermath of a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government but what they don't show is evidence of who's responsible for the attack. and rare interrue with u.s. media, syrian president bashar al assad denied he he did, however, say if in fact we do have them and i'm not going to say yes or no, there was centralized control.
he suggested as before, perhaps the rebels had something to do with it. he basically said there has been no evidence that i used chemical weapons. >> i want to bring back cnn military analyst lieutenant colonel rick francona and retired general james williams. what do you make of assad's comments? >> would you expect him to say that. of course he's going to deny he had the weapons or ever used them. that is par for the course. he's trying to shift the blame to the rebels. the rebels just don't have this capability to launch five simultaneous attacks against five targets in damascus. >> general, you agree? >> well, i think colonel francona is right. ultimately, when any leader makes comments, they're making for the consumption of the po public they're in control of and certainly the world public.
whether it's true or not will be proven at some point in the near future. >> general, we talked about, you said what exactly is success if there is a military strike? public skepticism over this august 21st attack is growing despite what some call compelling evidence. what does the administration, in your estimation, need to do to sway the skeptics here? >> i think you have to lay out a program. every leader, regardless whether you're the president, general, colonel or a ceo of a company, you have to lay out the vision for your people to understand what you expect to accomplish so that they can back you up. if you have no vision or they don't believe in your vision, they will protest you, which is happening now. i believe a lot of the public does not believe that the case has been made. i think the debate in congress and the debate among the average citizens are very helpful. and ultimately, sure you could
strike, our military is very capable, but we ought to have a full plan, a full understanding of what we expect to do a month from now, two months from now, a year from now. otherwise i believe the american public will continue to protest. >> all right, gentlemen. sit tight. thanks again. see you soon. we are going to update you on other headlines next, including a terrible accident in connecticut where more than a dozen children had been injured. [ male announcer ] this store knows how to handle a saturday crowd. ♪ [ male announcer ] the parking lot helps by letting us know who's coming. the carts keep everyone on the right track. the power tools introduce themselves. all the bits and bulbs keep themselves stocked. and the doors even handle the checkout so we can work on that thing that's stuck in the thing. [ female announcer ] today, cisco is connecting the internet of everything. so everyone goes home happy.
we are not going to go far away from the big story, but briefly bring you other stories. first one up, more than a dozen children had been injured after a terrifying accident on a children's swing ride. it happened today at the oyster festival in norwalk, connecticut. police say it appears the ride lost power and threw children to the ground.
13 children were injured, two seriously. >> a second day of rain adding to the misery in parts of utah. look at that. roads were inundated yesterday with muddy water after 3/4 inch of rain fell in 50 minutes near highland, south of salt lake city. people were evacuated, but no injuries were reported there. first, the double-takes. then 911 calls started. a woman tied up in the bed of a pick-up seen driving around waco, texas. it's not real. it's very clever. it's a life-like decal made by a waco company. a lot of people say this is taking marketing too far. the decal seemed so far too real for comfort or for good taste. >> i wasn't expecting the reactions we got, nor was i really anything that we certainly condone or anything else.
it was something more or less we had to put out there to see who notices. >> critics call the decal depicting the woman as a hostage offensive. in just hours, congress returns to washington. we've got some just updated numbers on how some members of congress may vote for or against a strike in syria. it looks like the president has a lot of work ahead of him. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
hello, everyone. don lemon here. top of the hour. you're in the cnn newsroom. we begin with the big week ahead. congress returns to washington divided. many members still unsold on the president's plan for a military strike in syria as we look at live pictures from the capitol. their constituents want a no vote. the white house chief of staff dennis mcdonough took to the sunday shows making the case. >> this is not iraq or afghanistan. this is not libya or an extended air campaign. this is something targeted, limited and effective so as to underscore he should not think he can get away with this again. >> secretary of state john kerry met with arab league ministers in paris today. he says saudi arabia approved international milit