tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN March 6, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm PST
ations. >> there are. >> gloria thanks very much. i'll be back later today, 5:00 p.m. in the "situation room." "newsroom" begins right now. this is cnn breaking news. >> hello. we're breaking news here on cnn. the justice department is planning to bring charges against new jersey nart robert menendez. let's bring in evan perez. are the allegations here? >> eric holder in one of his final acts before he leaves office has signed off on prosecutors' requests to bring charges against senator robert menendez. this is a case that's been going on for several years. prosecutors here in washington for the justice department's public integrity section have been focusing on his
relationship with a doctor an ophthalmologist. and some lavish trips according to the government that the doctor provided to senator menendez along with campaign donations. according to the government the senator got these gifts and these donations and in exchange for that he tried to influence things in the government on behalf of the doctor. that includes a dispute that the doctor had with the medicaid administrator because he was being accused of fraud. and then secondly he was also pushing a contract that the doctor had a company that had a contract down in the dominican republic. and so this is the focus of the investigation by the justice department. we expect that these charges are going to come in the next couple
of weeks. this is something that's been a long time coming at the justice department. >> i want to bring in cnn's chief political analyst gloria borger now. give us a little more insight into senator menendez. we know he is a pretty high ranking democrat. >> yeah. he is a high ranking democrat. was head of foreign relations committee when democrats held control. what evan's reporting is outlining here is the classic charge of quid pro quo which is that you have a large contributor who's been very generous to you over the years. don't forget they had to pay back $58,000 in plane trips in 2010 for failing to disclose them. so this is somebody he was very close to. and the quid pro quo comes with
allegations that he intervened with federal medicare administrators who alleged his friend had been over-billing them. i think this is one of those classic cases. the justice department obviously feels that given the testimony they've now gotten that they can proceed with these charges. menendez has been fighting this for some time. >> and he's been an outspoken critic of president obama. he's been a polarizing figure within the party, right? >> yeah. he's been critical of the president on cuba for example very strongly. when he changed his cuba policy. given within the party. but i wouldn't say his criticism of obama is directly linked.
>> i also wonder what it's going to mean for the democratic party in general. we have the hillary clinton stuff this week and now this new information. how big of a shakeup is that party going through right now? >> yeah. i think you have to look at those things through very separate lenses. you know menendez is while a powerful person on capitol hill is not running for the presidency. you cannot equate using private e-mail with the sort of charges that the justice might be bringing against menendez. again, hillary clinton is in the presidential spotlight. and that's a very different level of scrutiny when you're a presidential candidate and i think hillary clinton has got to expect a lot more scrutiny. and by the way, she's had a lifetime of scrutiny as you
know. for decades. i think with senator menendez it's a very different story. >> and i know you mentioned that the charges could come some time in the next couple of weeks or so but this goes back to 2010 as you say. so what do you know about why now? >> well one reason is because these -- some of these allegations are nearing the end of their statute of limitations. the prosecutors, the investigators of the fbi have five years to bring charges like this. and so they're nearing the end of that time. so they have to act pretty quickly. i shoulded add ana that we've reached out to senator menendez's office. they are not yet providing a comment, but we should also say that he has very strenuously denied that he's done anything wrong previously. we've talked to him before. obviously these are allegations that have dogged him for many many years. and he has repeatedly denied he did anything wrong.
as gloria mentioned, he paid back the $58,000, the price of the trips he took with dr. meljen. he has denied wrong doing on this and other things. if you remember there were some allegations that he had hired prostitutes while he was down in the dominican republic. and also he had improperly intervened on behalf of a couple of wealthy bankers from ecuador. and so that also was being investigated by the fbi. we're told that both of those matters are not going to be part of this case that's going to be brought forward by the justice department in the next couple of weeks. >> all right. evan perez, gloria borger thank you to both of you. president obama is expected to address today's strong jobs numbers live in town hall.
he could also address, of course the justice department's scathing report this week accusing police in ferguson missouri of racial bias and discrimination including racist e-mails about president obama that were sent by police officers. we'll take you there live to his town hall in just a moment as soon as he starts speaking. but first, let's go to ferguson. two days a a justice department slammed the police there for discriminating against african-americans and policing for profit. president obama says ferguson's situation isn't common but that it's also not the only case. >> just saw the ferguson report come out. i don't think that is typical of what happens across the country, but it's not an isolated incident. i think that there are circumstances in which trust between communities and law enforcement have broken down. >> so how does ferguson move forward? the mayor says the city must do better but ferguson's police
chief as you'll see in just a moment he's not saying very much. even after repeated calls for his resignation. we tried to get some answers. >> don't you think you should have known some of the things that came out? the racist e-mails? the numbers. were you just trying to build people out of money instead of telling your department to go ticket them? >> thank you. i'll be in touch. >> i've talked to everyone. i've given you literally every opportunity. we've been talking for days and days and days. all we want is an answer from you. >> i'm going to analyze the report and take action where necessary. >> does that mean you're going to stay around? >> i'm going to take action where nez. >> joining me now to discuss, montega simmons. also with us professor eugene o'donnell.
the president says this is not an isolated incident. how widespread do you think this problem is? >> well one group that we've worked with quite a bit, malcolm x grassroots has done their own research and while not being totally inclusive meaning not even including data from st. louis, they registered that incidents like what happened to michael brown jr. take place on average every 28 hours. meaning every 28 hours -- >> in that area? >> not just in that area. this was a national survey. and it was not all inclusive. meaning just from the cities they were able to survey. they showed these incidents to be rampant. meaning they were happening literally back-to-back. so this is a crisis. >> and when you're talking about these incidents specifically i want to make sure we're not mincing words here. are you talking about cops shooting african-americans? >> i'm talking about extra judicial killings which means either a police officer or a security guard or a vigilante,
someone who is in or perceives themselves to be in some form of authority is killing a black or brown person without due process. someone is being fired upon or violence is being exerted by in this case we're talking about place and the state without due process. >> so you feel like this is huge issue all around the country. eugene you were a prosecutors and nypd officer. how many other ferguson type situations do you think are out there? >> i think the root of the ferguson issue is a political issue. but at the same time i think police departments -- every police department should take a hard look at ferguson and should take a hard look at itself. this is an agency that was enforcing jaywalking 90% of the people. this is an agency that was doing illegal pedestrian stops and documenting them. so you could see them. you really have to say some of
these police departments, you know the management mirrors the kind of management you'd see in radio shack. problem, what problem? now, i don't want to absolve the political establishment. they're at the root of this. ferguson was affiliated to having a reasonable tax system. the legislature should be held to account for that. but police departments really have to look at -- in the mirror on this. and frankly we have failing schools. we have failing businesses and we have some police departments that are failed. camden new jersey shut down its police department. maybe this has to happen in some of these cases. when your agency is completely disdained by the community, where do you look then? you have to look inside, it seems to me. >> montague what do you think needs to take place to re-establish trust? >> i agree with what your other guest just said. in some cases these departments may need to be shut down. we need not just police reform
but we need transformation. ferguson is among a number of police departments throughout the county. and for those of us who live here we know they are not the worst out there. and so let's say ferguson is shut down you go a mile to the north and you're dealing with another jurisdiction that's inflicting the same kind of problems and violence. so we're talking about not just reform. >> you're part of this don't shoot coalition. have you had a chance to read the justice department's findings on michael brown's death as they pertain to darren wilson? >> i've had a glance, yes. >> has it changed your view of darren wilson at all, the fact he was cleared in this incident? >> not at all. unfortunately the findings were expected. meaning that usually in these cases is what we've seen is law enforcement and the voice of the
officers involved are given much heavier weight than witnesses. even though we've seen countless witnesses come forward and testify that his hands were up they're still not going against the findings. even if his hands weren't up in this case he was not -- he should not even have been executed in the way he was. >> obviously the whole catch phrase hands up don't shoot takes on a much more symbolic meaning moving forward. because it has been a point, a flash point in this conversation about race relations and law enforcement involvement with different communities throughout the country, really. eugene do you think there may have been a rush to judgment in this case? >> i'm sitting in a city where thousands of young african-american kids have been murdered in the last few years. a police officer, african-american police officer was murdered yesterday.
and we got a great mayor here in the city trying to fix this but let's not deny the reality that police in america generally are pretty restrained. big city police departments, many of them. we saw the lapd an agency where the cops pull up they're subject to a full frontal assault. there is pretty clear evidence individuals were trying to take the officer es's gun and yt there is dismantling of that. the police using deadly force, that's automatically -- the reality is police departments all over the country, every single day, don't shoot people they could shoot because they exercise great restraint. that's the reality. and the other reality, again -- and this is a really important point. ferguson is about the police being ridiculously cavalier about it. but the disengagement of the
police. and this is the problem in the minority community. they're always being asked to have policing that is indiscriminate where officers are going around willy-nilly enforcing rules like they were in ferguson or the cops are feckless. they get there an hour late when they're called. they need to be proactive where they need to be. no political -- there should be no politics where there's silence in the face of cities we have thousands of kids being killed. that's unacceptable. and we need police strategies in those places to address those issues. >> all right. gentlemen, thanks to both of you for sharing your thoughts and providing some insight on the conversation. we do appreciate it. moments from now president obama could address this report on ferguson in addition to today's stellar jobs report. so stay here for that. plus investigators just minutes ago talking about the plane crash involving actor harrison ford. what happened in that cockpit?
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new jobs numbers are in. they do not disappoint. the february report is crushing expectations. the nation's unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low. right now president obama is actually speaking about this at a town hall in columbia, south carolina. let's join the conversation now. >> this morning we learned that our economy created nearly 300,000 new jobs last month. the unemployment rate went down. unemployment rate ticked down to 5.5% which is the lowest it's been since the spring of 2008. our businesses have now added more than 200,000 jobs a month for the past year. and we have not seen a streak like that in 37 years. since jimmy carter was
president. all told over the past five years, our businesses have created nearly 12 million new jobs. and what's more the unemployment rate for african-americans is actually falling faster than the overall unemployment rate which makes sense because it went up faster too, during the recession. but it's still too high. the unemployment rate across the country and here in south carolina is still higher than we want. which means we've got more work to do. and we've got to make sure those are good jobs that pay a living wage and have benefits with them. so we can't let up now. we've got to do everything we can to keep -- >> okay. so that again is president obama in south carolina right now at a town hall talking about the economy. he's also expected to talk about race relations given the ferguson report and also this weekend of course is the 50th anniversary of the march on selma and bloody sunday. and as the president mentioned,
the economy is really in an upswing. i do want to take a quick look at the markets right now and see ou things are looking on wall street. you can see in responding to the good numbers, the dow is actually down right now some 260 points and our experts will tell you that might have something to do with some concerns there on wall street that the feds are now going to hike interest rates. our chief business correspondent now has more on the jobs report and what it could mean for the u.s. economy. >> ana, a strong jobs report this month, a really strong report continuing a very good trend. look at this. 295,000 net new jobs created in the month. that is a very good number. and what's really a great number here the unemployment rate. the lowest since may 2008. 5.5%. that is the lowest since before the crash. a seven-year low. a remarkable number. it bears repeating when you look at the recovery how far we have come. back here 2010 2009 10% unemployment.
this unemployment rate has been steadily declineing. here are the sectors. important to point out you're seeing broad based job gains now. in food retail jobs retail and restaurant jobs tend to be lower pay. but you've seen some companies raising pay because they have to keep their employees, right? there has been a tightening labor market. business information services 51,000 jobs there. retail we talked about. construction 29,000. one thing to note here wages up about 2% year over year. you want to see stronger wage growth but the headline here this was a strong jobs report. another signal that the labor market is healing. >> all right. christine romans thank you so much. up next as harrison ford recovers from his crash landing in los angeles, we'll talk with a pilot who survived a crash landing in that same model aircraft. you'll hear his perspective on what may have happened in those moments before impact. plus gripping testimony in the
federal investigators say they have not yet spoken with actor harrison ford who is hospitalized still after crash landing his vintage airplane on a golf course in venice california. now, ford sent out this distress call just minutes after taking off. listen. >> 53178, engine failure. request immediate return. >> ryan 178 run a 21 clear to land. >> ford was trying to circle back to the airport. he was experiencing engine trouble he reported when he clipped some trees and came down on the eighth fairway just short of the airport. >> the investigation is ongoing. our plans for today, we are going to finish documenting the accident site. we are going to recover the
airplane later this morning to a local hangar here for further investigation. >> now, we hope to get an update soon on ford's condition. he is being treated for multiple injuries none of which are considered life threatening. his son sent out this tweet and i quote. at the hospital. dad is okay. battered but okay. he is ever bit the man you would think he is. he is an incredibly strong man. unlike modern aircraft ford's world war ii plane, figuring out what happened should be fairly straightforward. let's bring in pilot larry lee. he is joining us from kennesaw georgia. he actually owns two of these vintage aircraft. based on what we know here larry, what do you think the ntsb is going to do in terms of focusing their investigation? >> well ana, i believe they'll
be looking at what would have caused the engine to fail. unfortunately right after takeoff is the most dangerous time for engine performance. it's not been running for a i while, so it could be anything. you don't know whether it was a fuel issue an engine issue or mechanical issue. >> i know you have had your own -- i'm sorry. go ahead. i didn't mean to interrupt you. >> what we do know is that harrison did a wonderful job of putting it down safely and away from any populating areas. and that itself is quite a task in these aircraft that do not have much of a dplied ratio. >> and you know that all too well. you yourself was flying a plane like this and you also experienced engine trouble and had a crash landing, i understand it. tell us about that.
>> i did. unfortunately, the same aircraft a pt-22, this past summer i was flying in the atlanta, georgia, area. i had been flying for an hour when i approached a small grass airport i was going to visit. flu by the airport at low altitude to confirm the field was clear. and i'm pulling. to go around to land my engine stopped just 60 feet above a forest near the runway. those conditions there's not anything you can do except control your descent and keep the plane at a flying speed so its doesn't stall and spin into e the ground which is the worst thing that could happen. it's obvious from the way harrison's hit the ground he had it in a controlled manner. >> i mean it's so interesting that you had this a same kind of a plane, you crash landed you had engine failure and here we
are talking about harrison ford with engine fail what appears to be engine failure at least. you have one of these planes behind you. is it the structure of the plane itself that makes it so difficult to fly? or prone to these types of issues? >> the pt-22 is a 1930s designed aircraft. you have to remember that that was only 25 30 years after the first airplanes flew. but the 22 is also a trainer for the military and was designed to act like a higher performance aircraft. meaning when it gets slow and stalls it was designed to teach the students about how to maneuver and control a much heavier fighter jet or fighter aircraft. not a jet. and consequently to fly them currently, the pilots have to keep skilled and current in their ways of recovering their
aircraft in unusual altitudes and near stall conditions. i'm sure that harrison was out yesterday by himself practicing just those types of maneuvers. the engines are vintage from the '30s and '40s. although we all take care of them they're basically mandated to be overhauled on a regular basis. there are some wonderful shops that are still able to help us maintain these engines in a safe manner. >> all right. larry lee, thank you so much for joining me. we do appreciate your expertise on this. thank you. up next gut wrenching testimony in the boston bombing trial. a father recounts in graphic detail the moment he had to leave his son dying on the sidewalk. why the defense tried to silence that testimony. that's next. plus you're about to hear from a survivor of the boston bombing who came face-to-face with tsarnaev in that courtroom and
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welcome back top we continue to hear more gripping testimony from witnesses and victims at the boston marathon. one of those chilling emotional accounts came from bill richard. he lost his son in the bombing, 8-year-old martin richard. martin was the only child killed that day but his mom denise and his 7-year-old sister jane were both seriously injured. a third sibling wasn't hurt. the entire richard family was there standing at the finish line behind the barricade when the bomb went off. jane was devastatingly injured. she lost one of her legs. his wife was blinded in one eye. but the real agony for this father is when he had to make the decision to pick which child
to help. 8-year-old martin who lay dying or 7-year-old jane. he told jurors quote, i knew in my head that i needed to act quickly or we might not only lose martin we might lose jane too. she tried to get up and she fell. that was when i noticed her leg. she didn't have it. it was blown off. he goes on when i saw martin's condition, i knew he wasn't going to make it. it was the last time i saw my son alive. so bill richard made the heart breaking decision to leave his little boy to die near the marathon finish line and he grabbed his ailing daughter and raced her to the hospital where she survived. richard said he remembered the lingering smell of gunpowder, sulfur and burnt hair. there is no testimony today. but milton valencia has been in the courtroom. your reaction when richard took the stand? >> it was just pain staking,
heart wrenching for all of us. you couldn't hear a noise in the courtroom except for the crying the sniffles among jurors spectators. their emotions were on display as people were hearing this heart wrenching just gripping testimony by bill richard. we had had heard this story of martin dying before. the 8-year-old the youngest killed in the attacks but to hear his father giving this account of how he had to make this decision to recognize that his son was dying in front of him and he needed to do what he could do to help his young daughter jane this is a beautiful young girl he pointed out. she no longer has her legs now because of this explosion, but he made that decision that day he had to leave martin with his wife so he could attend to his young daughter. she tried to get up and couldn't. he tried to pick her up and he couldn't. and there was another quote that day where he said i just wished i prayed at that moment that
someone would come and help us and someone did. someone helped him. and they got jane to the hospital. jane him, and henry. they jumped in an ambulance. but he had to leave his wife there denise with their dying son. she later told him that martin died and he said he knew already. >> oh gosh. you know there are no cameras allowed in the courtroom, of course. but just reading these words of the testimony, it really does take you there and it's just so so sad. milton thank you so much for sharing with us. >> thank you. after sharing her own gut wrenching testimony this week, a survivor wrote an open letter to the suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev. we told you about rebecca gregory. she posted her letter on facebook calling the bombing suspect a, quote, coward. and saying she wasn't afraid anymore. her left leg was so badly mutilated in this blast she made the difficult decision to have it amputated. we spoke to her about the anticipation of seeing tsarnaev
face to face. her fear her anxiety, and then her courage. >> i had dreaded this moment for so long and i think the anticipation was so much more to handle than i realized. then when i got up there and sat down and stared at him, i wasn't scared anymore. and for the first time i almost felt like i was helping in bringing justice to something so horrific. i can't be angry and i can't hold onto that. because if i do then you know it's just going to put me in this limbo and i don't want to be in a limbo. i've been in limbo for so long. i chopped off my leg because it was holding me back. and i'm going to forget about him because that's what he's doing to you. just holding you back from living my life. >> so nice to see her smiling in those pictures.
we also asked rebecca about whether she thinks his life should be spared. this is what she said. >> i don't really have an opinion. i don't feel like it's my judgment to make. and unfortunately the events of that day, it doesn't change anything if he rots in prison for the rest of his life or does get the death penalty. and as far as me moving forward with my life it's not going to help me in worrying about it. i just -- i can't hold any anger or resentment in my heart because it's going to keep me from moving on and doing the things i want to do. still ahead here much more breaking news first reported here on cnn. the fed preparing to bring corruption charges against senator bob menendez. what led up to this moment? stay with cnn for special live coverage.
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this one's a talker. some circus elephants are about to lose their jobs forever. ringling brothers circus just announced it's fazing out all of its elephant acts within the next three years. this will mark an end of an era. there's nothing quite like seeing those elephants perform a synchronized dance routine. their treatment of elephant bs has come under scrutiny in the last few years. i spoke with the communications director at the miami metro zoo for his reaction to ringling brothers' big decision. >> i applaud the decision. i think they're doing something smart. i think they're realizing the social conscience now is respecting elephants. it's no more having elephats
dance and do tricks. they are majestic, intelligent animals and need to be displayed in a way that respect what is they are. >> describe to us how these circus performances are tough on the elephants or challenging for them. >> absolutely. elephants need a lot of area to walk long places to walk. having them do tricks of not natural behaviors, traveling from city to to city constant traveling all the time, it's stressful. going to climates that often are not warm climates. elephants are very sensitive to cold. these are all things that magnify themselves in these animals. i've traveled over to africa and india india many times. they're truly one of the most majestic in the world. in a perfect world everybody would be able to go out and see an elephant in africa and asia. we don't live in a perfect world. i went to the zoo and saw an elephant and learned about the elephant. i didn't see an elephant doing
tricks. i learned through education, through programs about the elephant. it fostered a love for me in these animals. zoos provide a window to teach kids -- good zoos. not roadside attractions and things that call themselves zoos that have-- these types of facilities have a way of presenting a window no educate and inspire kids to protect these animals for generations to come. >> our thanks to ron miguel for his expertise. up next, a baby girl kidnapped at the hospital. 17 years later the truth is out. how her real parents accidentally found her. plus more on the breaking story. the justice department preparing to file charges against senator bob menendez. but first, having a child born with a fatal genetic disease is heart breaking. finding out that disease was preventable, unthinkable. a georgia couple is now sharing their story to save other
families from the suffering they have faced. >> reporter: the golds may look like a typical family, but look closer. 6-year-old eden can't walk talk, or do most anything a girl her age could be doing. she has a progressive neurological disorder ml-4. it's a rare genetic disorder of people of central and european jewish descent. her development stopped at 18 months. doctors say she'll be blind by age 12 and will probably not live beyond early adulthood. >> every dream we had for our daughter was just end bed with one phone call. >> reporter: the family thought they were screened for genetic diseases before they got married. their first child was born healthy. >> my doctor tested me for eight diseases and randy's doctor tested him for two diseases. neither one of us tested us for
ml-4. >> reporter: the couple didn't want other families to suffer the same fate. they started a screening program for genetic diseases common. a counselor delivers the results over the phone. >> the mission is to make sure that parents know they should be screened for genetic diseases before they get pregnant. we can provide them information on how to have healthy children of their own. >> reporter: just like the golds who added another daughter to their family. >> eden is here for a reason. she saves lives every day. >> reporter: dr. sanjay gupta, cnn. i've lived my whole life here in fairbanks, alaska. i love the outdoors, spending time with my family. i have a family history of prostate cancer. i had the test done and that was when
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a baby kidnapped at birth, never seen again until 17 years later when the child's biological parents accidentally discover her. >> reporter: it was in this neighborhood that zephanie nurse grew up. raised by an accused kidnapper. >> and the type of life the child had was a great life. >> reporter: nurie lives down the road. she said the defendant was a good mother protecting the girl from a rough neighborhood. >> she was a loving person. >> reporter: now she stands accused of snatching zephani when she was just days old from the hospital where she was born. the girl's true identity discovered 17 years later when she was enrolled in the same school as her biological sister.
the resemblance so striking that authorities were called in. to hear the judge grant the defendant bail. the conditions? no contact with any potential witnesses including her own husband. and the girl she's raised as her own for the past 17 users. >> the accusers would like to get this matter finalized as quickly as possible so all parties included. >> reporter: the woman's lawyer wouldn't comment on a potential plea. he said only their looking for a speedy conclusion. >> firstly they know their child is not dead she's not missing anymore. but i think that it's not an easy way of saying there's closure. there's an open ended issues that they must -- that they are dealing with. >> reporter: zephani remains in
the care of the department. >> she's a very feisty assertive young person. >> reporter: a young woman that her biological parents are desperate to get to know. >> i'm over the moon. i'm really happy. extremely happy. my daughter's back and that's it. >> reporter: after a childhood spent if the care of an alleged kidnapper just months before her 18th birthday it'll be up to zephani where she spends her time. top of the hour. the justice department is preparing to bring criminal charges against a leading democrat on capitol hill. senator robert menendez. these charges would be for
corruption. evan what are you learning now about these allegations? >> well ana, these are corruption charges that the justice department is going to bring. we expect it will probably be another couple weeks before they are officially announced. attorney general eric holder has already signed off on the request from prosecutors to bring these charges. now, this centers around the relationship menendez has had with a prominent democratic donor and a friend of his, someone who's given to his campaigns and to the democratic party. salman melgen. he took trips with him and didn't disclose them later on. later on he paid $58,000 to reimburse for the cost of those trips. the government and fbi here in washington at the justice