tv CNN Newsroom CNN March 28, 2011 3:00pm-5:00pm EDT
robert kiley, told the "new york post," this is an insult, saying, quote, it makes me look like i'm cashing in on 9/11, saying i was there even though i was never there and i'm sick and possibly suing, trying to get a chunk of money. what makes it even more painful for him? he had friends who died on 9/11. at the bottom, in tiny letters on the ad,ed ad states, this is an actor portrayal of a potential zydroga complainant, referring to sick 9/11 workers who could receive money. the ad agency says it was well within its rights to use kiley's image because he sign aid release when he first posed for the photo. the firefighter is considering a lawsuit. cnn "newsroom" continues with brooke baldwin. hello to you. bombs and missiles followfalling on targets again. french war planes struck a military command center just a couple of miles south of tripoli. no word yet as to damage or
casualties, but here's one big question today -- were these war planes operating on orders from the coalition, from an american general, or, as we look at this map here, was this one of the first missions of the brand new nato-controlled enforcement of the u.n.'s no-fly zone? the answer to that means a lot, both operationally and historically. plenty to get to right now here top of the hour. we'll take you live to paris where the french military is talking about those specific air strikes. we're also going to take you live to the white house, looking ahead to president obama's speech that will be dedicated to the military action in libya. that's tonight 7:30 eastern. we'll also take you of course to the ground in libya. i want to begin the hour in paris where french military officials spoke to reporters about today's air striekz and their new role supporting the nato mission now over libya. i want to bring in cnn senior international correspondent jim bitterman there for me in paris. jim, i want to begin with this. let's talk about this weekend.
obviously a very busy one for the frefrnch air force. they reportedly destroyed tainchs, aircraft, ammunition, all in libya. >> reporter: absolutely, brooke. in fact, they've been busy all the way along. been very forward-leaning on the attacks against libya. in fact, they had the first attacks take place for french aircraft hitting targets on the ground. i think the french have carried on doing what they've been doing for the last ten days or so and basically trying to stop gadhafi's forces from threatening the civilian populations as well as the rebels. >> today also with regard to nato, very significant, this is day number one that nato is officially running the show in country, and big picture here, jim, we know france's relationship with nato is rocky. in fact, they just rejoined the alliance with the current president nichololas sarkozy. so how, jim, is the new nato situation, how will it work out here on forward? >> reporter: well, i think that
the french are part of nato now for good. i mean, they've gotten themselves several big jobs, including a major planning post with nato. and i think that they support nato. what the french were trying to do all the way along by putting together this coalition outside of nato was to avoid the problems they see from nato. one of the things they say is nato is going to get self-involved in yet another conflict on arab territory and that may not be good for the brand, may not be good for nato to be involved on the ground in so many arab countries. so they were trying to avoid that kind of image problem for nato. that's why they put together this 23-nation coalition, which was outside the nato auspices. >> well, jim, with regard to nato's image, historically speaking, would france prefer to go it alone, or would they prefer a role within nato? >> reporter: well, i think if you go way back in history, several decades, the fact is that the french have done what they've always done, go it alone. but the fact is that they understand there's a modern
world out there and they're now big partner players in not only nato but other european institutions because they realize they have to be. no longer is it the case that a country can take on outside military operations on its own. that's why they put together here in paris, saturday a week ago, this coalition of 23 different governments and bringing in some arab countries and other people into the acoalition because they felt they couldn't do it alone. >> but big picture with france, france the first country to recognize the transitional council as a legitimate government in libya. but militarily significant because it was the first country to strike military targets within libya. so why is france so eager to effect some sort of change in libya? >> reporter: well, i think there's two reasons as they used to say in "the godfather," business and personal. i think the business side is it's the right thing to do, basically the rebellion was
about to be crushed. if nobody acted, the rebellion against colonel gadhafi -- and this was a great opportunity for the world to get rid of gadhafi -- rebellion was going to be crushed. the french felt they had to act. but there's a personal thing, too. in that, president sarkozy, one of the first ventures into foreign policy when he took over, was to try to improve relations with libya, try to get libya back on board with the west. and it was a massive debacle. basically, it was criticized here in france. he looked like he was trying to curry favorite with the leader of libya. as a consequence, he was stung poernlly by that. i think a lot of analysts feel that, in fact, some of this has to do with the fact that it's a time to make amends for the critz criticism he took back then. >> jim, thank you so much. now i want to go live to libya, to reza sayah.
reza, let's first begin with anything -- before we talk sirte and the significance there and the upcoming battle, have you seen or have there been any reports of any air strikes where you've been today? >> reporter: no. benghazi is firmly in the hands of opposition forces, and this area we haven't seen air strikes. but within the past several hours french officials he telling us there were a fresh set of air strikes targeting what they called gadhafi command center in or near tripoli. of course, it's been french, british, u.s. fighter jets that have been launching most of the air strikes. again, today another set of air strikes, according to a french official, in or near tripoli targeting a command center, brooke. >> reza, here is a new town, we're all learning, gadhafi's birthplace. we know the rebels are moving westward toward sirte. is that the next big battle, symbolic battle as well, for rebels here?
>> reporter: well, it looks like it's the first battle in about three days. the opposition forces over the past 72 hours have been making it look relatively easy, rolling toward the west. this is the first time they're seeing resistance, little bit of fighting. that's probably because sirte is the hometown, the birthplace of colonel gadhafi. he has a lot of supporters, not clear how many have remained in this location. his tribe is based out of this place. rebel fighters telling cnn they're seeing some resistance, telling us that gadhafi loyalists using sha containry, trickery. one rebel fighter telling us that it looks like civilians have been armed. opposition fighters coming under fire from those sarm armed civilians. another rebel fighter telling us he and fellow fighters were approaching gadhafi soldiers who were waving a white flag, the universal signal, universal sign, of surrender. but as they were approaching on
them, they came under fire. so things heating up in sirte, again, the first resistance this opposition force has seen in the past three days, brooke. >> we know the rebels took a few key oil cities. what are rebels finding when they get to a certain city? are gadhafi's forces pulling out back, and if so, is it because the militia is weak or perhaps preparing for a larger battle ahead? >> reporter: well, they say they're finding tank units, some of them damaged by air strike, some of them still intact, which is an indication that the gadhafi forces ran away. but what's interesting is, for the past 48 hours, the opposition officials here have not been able to provide us with a death toll, whether it's civilian death toll, rebel fighters death toll or death toll from gadhafi forces. i think that's the best barometer that indicates how fierce the fighting has been. they've held a couple of news
conferences over the past 48 hours. we still haven't seen a death toll. that's the clearest indication of how tough the fighting has been so still waiting on that critical number. >> reza, we're waiting with you on that number. reza sayah in benghazi. we'll talk next hour. in just a couple of hours we'll hear from president obama on all things libya. he will be addressing the nation from the campus of the national defense university and cnn will carry that address live. we want to go to senior white house correspondent ed henry. let's talk about the timing of tonight's address. certainly no coincidence that the president will be speaking the day the operation is now in nato's hands. >> reporter: that's right, brooke. white house officials see this as sort of a key pivot point. they've been hammered for days now, president getting the brunt of criticism not just from republicans but fellow democrats on the hill saying that they have not gotten a full explanation of exactly how this mission will be carried out. and you know the mantra from the white house has been since the
beginning was basically the u.s. would be in the lead role for days, not weeks. as this mission has now gone into the start of its second week, there was great pressure on this white house to show it was turning it over. now that nato is assuming command and control, it's a perfect opportunity for the president to kind of show that pivot point. but there's also some paper for him here. it's not just opportunity. the fact of the matter is presidents typically explain a lot of this before a military mission. he's now doing it after the mission has started, and there are a lot of unanswered questions yopd just nato taking over command and control. >> look, we know a number of people are asking questions we have neb meshes of congress, last week speaker boehner sent that letter to the president with several questions for him. but you also have the americans. i think it was a cnn poll done just last week that only a third of americans want to see gadhafi go. so how is the administration responding to that? >> reporter: well, they are
going through this very carefully, but they see the pressure building on the president because, again, it's not just speaker boehner with that letter that had some 16 questions last week, about how are you going to pay for this? what if gadhafi does not give up power? what then? also, what if, while nato assumes command and control, what if this no-fly zone drags on for months and months with sort of a stalemate and the allies start getting weary and want the u.s. to step back up to a lead role? what then? these are all tough questions. what i find most interesting is the last time the president had a big speech like this was in probably january in tucson after that awful tragedy, the shooting there in arizona. he really rose to the occasion there. but if you think about it, the atmosphere was much different. the country was coming together. it was a sign of unity. in this case he's trying to rise to the occasion at a time when even democrats in his own party are very, very skeptical of this mission. makes the job tonight much tougher, brooke. >> what about finally the venue of the speech, ed. we know it's not just an oval
office speak, this is national defense university. why there? >> reporter: at ft. mcnair here in washington. aides say the president wants to highlight the sacrifice of the u.s. military not just in libya but ongoing operations in iraq, afghanistan, also helping right now, let's not forget, to deal with the aftermath of the earthquake and stsunami in japa. but i think the other significant thing is symbolic, which is that he chose not to do it in the oval office, perhaps because if you had done that it would suggest that it was on par with iraq, afghanistan, wars where at various times you've had over 100,000 u.s. troops, tens of thousands, on the ground in iraq, for example. in this case, he really wants to highlight the scope being very limited. he did it in the oval office, it might put it on the same par as afghanistan and iraq. >> interesting. the nuance and difference there. ed henry, thank you so much. live from the white house this monday. and also new developments at the crippled nuclear plant in japan.
folks, this is not good news today. for the first time, radioactive material has been found in multiple soil samples. we're going to go through the implications of that with an expert in studio. in case you've heard or read the headline, radiation from japan has reached the east coast of the u.s.? i'll tell you where and why there is no need to worry.
serious, serious stuff at the nuclear site in japan. it's gotten worse. here's the news today. reactor number three suffered a hydrogen explosion two weeks ago today. that is why the outer containment looks like a pile of match sticks. as you may have heard here first, the fuel at number three contains this mix of plutonium, we talked about this one or two
weeks ago, this is bad stuff. today the japanese are saying they are finding that stuff in the ground. plutonium in the soil. here's another issue that we're going to throw at you. reactor number two specifically radioactive water has found its way into a maintenance tunnel and might have leaked into the ocean. they're saying the level of radiation is 100,000 times higher than normal. and we're now getting reports of radioactive water turning up in other tunnels. joining me now, dr. chen dallas, nuclear expert university of georgia. let's talk first, we called it mox in the past, easy way, it's plutonium, the plutonium with the uranium, right/. >> the plutonium/uranium mix used in a lot of reactors. >> from what i read, they found it in five different soil samples somewhere around the plant. >> that's right. they found plutonium samples in this area here. it's really great they're
getting some kind of data out of this thing because they're not giving us data very quickly. these plutonium samples we don't really know how they got there. some of it could have come from an atomic bomb fallout from 30 years ago. more than likely it came from here. >> what does that mean specifically, if it came if the nuclear reactor number three, would that then imply there had been a breach in the vessel? >> that is definitely one possibility, that it was a breach. it could have come from a variety of other sources, from water. it could have come from atomic bomb fallout from years ago. >> but really do you think that would be it? or would it be something more recent? >> i think it's probably both. >> really? >> that's my guess because they won't giving numbers. they're only giving us quality taif data, hard to interpret. it's not a good move, though. the detection of plutonium here, one of my most negative experiences in my life was walking through plutonium fields at chernobyl. that's something i'd like to
save these people from having to do. >> what could that do to you? >> plutonium is a bad one because if you inhale or ingest it, it's a very powerful emitter of alpha radiation, very strong up close, right next to fitissu. if it gets on your clothes, it can't even penetrate your shirt or a piece of paper. but if it gets in your lung or in your stomach, it's extremely bad news. >> that was issue number one, the news today with the plutonium in the soil. the next issue here is you have the radioactive water, this highly, highly contaminated water now in some of these tunnels which i didn't even know there were tunnels. here are the four reactors, this is my best lay of the land, the turbines there, and then closest to the water is you have the underground tunnels. how is there water in the tunlds, cham? >> they're pumping water from the reactor to the turbines. as a matter of fact, they're circulating water to keep it circulating around the reactor core. >> to keep it cool. >> that's the most important thing, to keep these things cool
because they're very hot, thermally hot and radioactively hot as well. this water is circulating here. it could have gotten out in many ways, they had a 9.0 earthquake so the junctures could have broken off. >> so somewhere in here there's a tunnel under ground. what you can't really see is right here and down, this is the ocean. >> yes. the ocean is right here, and somewhere in this area here they probably had a number of breaches and that's how the water has contaminated. >> if this is highly radioactive water and you have workers who presumably have to extract it, correct? >> they have to get that water out of there. >> how dangerous is that for the workers? >> it's very dangerous. at the levels they're telling us now, if they go in the containment areas, it's very dangerous for them, which means to me they probably won't send them in there. >> final question -- is it possible, given the piecemeal information we're getting, could there have even been some sort of meltdown that we don't enl knven know about?
>> my guess or prediction is they had partial meltdown from the top down. kind of like candles do, they melt from the top down. they uncovered those reactor cores a little and so they melted from the top down, which means the pellets would have filtered down to the bottom. which means they could be reacting with each other. >> right now. >> right now. but we don't know. >> okay. we don't know. cham dallas, thank you so much for helping us all understand what's happening there today. >> thank you. now let's watch this. >> my understanding is you get blurry eyes, your heart slows down. just kind of like a numbing effect. >> a numbing effect. have you heard this story in that was wildlife expert jack hannah describes what happens when you're bitten by a cobra snake. why are we talking about this? because one is missing in new york city right now. it disappeared from the bronx zoo. it has not been found. the big question, where is it? and then, do you remember on friday we showed you former house speaker newt gingrich
this was from michele bachmann. >> now he has us engaged in yet another third middle eastern war and so i think, talk about march madness, can anyone say jimmy carter? that's kind of where we're going. >> michele bachmann uncovers a parallel to jimmy carter. as you may have heard already, newt gingrich called for a no-fly zone before we did it, now apparently against it. jessica yellin is back. we missed you. she is our national political correspondent. jess, tell me what is going on here. >> right. some of these potential presidential candidates do seem to be doing a political dance, brooke. it's not just newt gingrich, but here we found some sound from mike huckabee, former governor of arkansas a month ago he told john king that he clearly fav favored intervention. listen. >> i think i make it very clear the united states is not going to stand by and watch a country slaughter its own people in cold blood. there is a sense in which there's a virtual genocide going
on. >> would you inl pose a no-fly zone in. >> i think the no-fly zone would be very important because that way you keep him from flying mercenaries in. >> clearly for a no-fly zone. then last week, days after the u.s. intervened, he sounded a different tune on fox business news. he said that he worries about the u.s. feeling the need to jump in whenever there's a crisis like this and asked, where do we draw the line? mike huckabee. >> if we get rid of the devil we know, is the devil we don't know going to be perhaps even worse? that's one of the issues that i don't feel has been resolved. what exactly are we going to see in place? >> right. >> if we get rid of gadhafi. >> huckabee's folks say the fact that he said, well, where do we draw the line? why are we there? that's not a change in position. and newt gingrich has said his flip-flop wasn't a flip-flop. he always opposed a no-fly zone. he only said he was for a no-fly
zone because the president wanted gadhafi to go and the only way that could happen was with ano-fly zone. but he didn't really want one. >> okay. so this is fairly unfamiliar territory for the republicans. my question is, do they risk being labeled soft on gadhafi? >> well, broadly speaking there are really two schools of thought in the republican party right now. one is, don't spend any money on overseas military campaigns period. but i think you're talking about the other camp, republicans who backed the iraq war during the bush years and do they seem like they're being softer on gadhafi than saddam hussein, for example. of those republicans i speak with, they object they say to the way the president is executing the libya effort. they say they did want him to take military action but they wanted him to do it more quickly, weeks ago when the rebels had momentumment they're not going to cry if gadhafi goes, but they don't like the process. >> okay. jessica yellin with a little bit of color from the republicans here with regard to what's
happening in libya. jessica, my thanks to you. now this. >> i'm sorry, but they seem to be against everything that i believe in, and so i don't want them necessarily in my neighborhood. >> not in my neighborhood, he says. he's talking about muslims. did you watch this? this is part of the cnn documentary. a lot of people are talking about it today, taking to cnn.com. all kinds of feedback. that is trending and is next.
let's get you caught up open the other top stories much the date. the supreme court rejecting a georgia man delaying his execution. the justice has turned away appeals without comment. he was convicted of killing a savannah police officer more than 20 years ago. he claims with more time he can prove his innocence. and now to the video i have not been waiting for. have you seen this snake? it's missing, and it's deadly. hoping your answer is no, the 20-inch poisonous snake went missing from an exhibit at the bronx zoo's reptile house. the exhibit is now closed indefinitely. the people who run the zoo say it is it confined to an enclosed nonpublic area of the building that i won't be visiting anytime soon. reaction to soledad o'brien's much-talked about documentary over the weekend. did you watch this, "unwelcome muslims in america". there's been so much reaction.
we'll air it again this coming saturday in case you missed it. soledad chronicled the dramatic fight over the construction of an islamic center and mosque in murfreesboro, tennessee. it ultimately ended up in court. i want you to watch this and then we'll speak with soledad o'brien. >> testing, one, two, three. >> reporter: for months, kevin fisher and other opponents had tried everything to halt the construction of the 53,000-square-foot islamic center. >> hey, how you doing? we went through every conceivable means to ensure that our rights were upheld. the meetings at the commission, we went through petitions, we went through speaking with our representatives, our mayor. >> reporter: armed with his bullhorn, fisher attended another commission meeting in september. once again to press local officials to halt construction of the mosque. >> i'm full down here, sir. try upstairs. >> he's the one that told me i
couldn't go in and speak. >> reporter: the meeting was so crowded he couldn't go in. >> next on our list -- >> reporter: a member of the muslim community did get to speak. >> so you see, i'm actually not very different from any of you or your kids orz your grandkids except for one thing. i was born and raised as a patriotic american muslim. on september 11, 2001, my religion was had hijacked by extremists. >> oh, technical issue. i was listening to every word. sorry, soledad o'brien. we'll all get to watch it on saturday night. i know that, and i know you have gotten huge reaction. you were tweeting about it. i know cnn.com has gotten amazing feedback. what have you heard so far? >> yeah, we were a trending topic on twitter last night. from all sides involved in the documentary because we've been following this story for the last ten months, really watching it unfold. i think people felt we were very fair and accurate in depicting what exactly happened in murfreesboro, tennessee, both
people who oppose and support the mosque. they felt we did a good job showing what happened over the ten months. then in terms of feedback from people who were watching the show and i had my four kids plunked down watching last night, we had a lot of conversations about just the discussions that are going on about islam and muslims and sharia law and overwhelmingly people were very positive in their assessment of how the documentary was. i do hope that anybody who only got to hear the part where the technical difficulties came in will have a chance again to watch it as we rerun it on saturday. >> don't you think, bottom line, no matter what side of the issue you fall on, i feel this documentary, from what i read on dot com, it's getting people talking, that's a good thing. >> here's the thing about documentaries. we have an hour to lay out a story of something that's unfolded in a community that has 140 churches and one mosque. and that one mosque wanted to expand. and when you do that, you actually have enough time to allow all sides to tell their side of the story. >> it can breathe, as we say.
>> yeah. and people have a chance to really have their perspective, whether you agree with it or not, heard and reflected on. that's really been sort of our agenda and our goal in our documentary series, which we call "in america." to look at these stories happening in america and allow people to tell their own story, because often everything is done in eight-second sound bites. >> you have the luxury of getting to work in documentaries, which is lovely. >> yes. we recognize the luxury, trust me. >> the documentary soledad is timely because we know tomorrow the senate is having a hearing on muslims and specifically discrimination, what should we expect out of that hearing? >> you know, it's interesting. we were talking to senator durbin's office, one of the two holding that hearing, and what he had said was that he was very interested in examining the spike in anti-muslim bigotry with the koran burning, the vandalism at various mosques which we talk about in our
documentary, hate crimes, hate speec speeches and other forms of discrimination against muslims. that's what he hopes comes oust the hearing, more specific conversations about that. >> we'll continue that conversation tomorrow. we'll look for your doc saturday, saturday night reairing. soledad o'brien, thank you so, so much. in case you missed it, you can catch the entire documentary "unwelcome: muslims next door" 8:00 p.m. eastern on saturday. go to cnn.com/belief for more on how american muslims are increasingly being treated, again, cnn.com/belief. and it is a bold move by the "new york times," but will people really pay to read articles online? we will tell you what just took effect a little over an hour ago and how it will, if you read "new york times," affect you.
now a brand new era for "new york times" and perhaps you et cetera readers. if you're used to downloading whatever you want from the web site, that has officially changed, starting this afternoon, the "times" who click on more than 20 articles a month, it will cost you 15 bucks a month for the basics up to $35 if you want unlimited access on your phone or tablet. cnn's allan chernoff visited the "times" to find out about the change. >> reporter: the "new york times" is trying to harness a force that's been wrecking the
newspaper business, free access on the internet. executives plan to walk a fine fine lion to generate revenue from avid readers willing to pay while still retaining casual customers who boost ad revenue with clicks. after much research, the "tiemdz" believes the fine line is 20 art dells every four weeks. >> we're as confident as we can possibly be in a research setting. obviously, whenever research hits the real world, there are changes. >> reporter: whatever the right number of clicks is, the "times" intends to become the largest general interest newspaper to emulate what business papers, the "wall street journal" and "financial times" have done, collect subscription fees from online customers. >> when i say it's a bet on the future, we want to maintain the most robust kind of newsroom, full of talented journalists. and in order to do that, it seems sensible to begin asking some readers to pay for it. >> reporter: as newspapers have
given away their product for free online, paper subscriptions and advertising have dropped. the prestigious "times" is no exception. its online readership and web advertising have steadily grown, but that hasn't made up for the drop in print revenue. the paper needs a's second stream of online revenue, and executives believe now is the right time to start charging. >> a few things have changed recently. you know, one is that people are more used to paying for digital content with the add vent of apps and app store and the ease of purchase through apps. >> reporter: still, the "times" anticipates the vast majority of online readers will not reach the limit. it is counting on the most devoted of those readers to reach for their wallets just like they used to for the daily newspaper. allan chernoff, cnn, new york. still to come, syria's leader bashar al assad, is he as ruthless as his father was?
>> we showed you the scene just last week. today we have gotten even newer footage, shot the same day, it was wednesday, in the same town south of damascus where we told you about the reports of authorities opening fire on civilians. listen to just a piece of that. obviously horrible scenes there in syria. an apparent government crackdown against people who have taken to the streets demanding more freedom and a closing of the gap between the rich and the poor. syria, deep ties to iran, shares a border with iraq, deeply involved in lebanon, and still in a state of war with israel. clearly, big picture, the arab world is watching to see what happens in syria. joining me now from his post in abu dhabi, cnn's mohammed jamjoom. what are you hearing today in terms of the antigovernment protests and the bloody
crackdown by the assad government? >> reporter: brooke, contradictory reports out of the city of daraa where these protests have been happening in the country's south, we spoke to eyewitnesss there. one told us there's a very much more steeped-up security presence in the city, that they fanned out across the city early this morning, that they started tearing down tents put up in a town square where protestors were camped out. they started tearing down their signs. another eyewitness says security forces numbers in the thousands had camped out on the roofs of nearby government buildings, some of them firing into the air to try to disperse crowds. now, the syrian government in a statement on syrian television, they deny this. they say that there were no clashes, that they did not shoot at any of the protestors or into the air. a lot of contradictory information. it's been very difficult to verify because the syrian government has not allowed us to have access to the country, report from inside syria. as you said before, so many videos coming out, so many reports coming out of activists
and eyewitnesss there that really tends to lend credence to the idea of these crackdowns going on. we've gotten so many accounts and it's interesting, even more, that there are protests today because just yesterday we were told by the syrian government that they would lift the emergency law, that the protestors there have been demanding they lift. now, they did not say when they would lift it, but the protestors were speaking, saying they're committed to continue coming into the streets even though the government is making conciliatory remarks and making concessions. the protestors saying too little, too late. we want more rights. we're going to continue to none straight. >> maybe the syrians would hear -- once they hear from president assad, we don't know when that will be, we're just told he'll be addressing the country at some point soon. but when he does speak, moham d mohammed, what should syrians expect to hear? >> reporter: this is going to be very interesting. it's remarkable not only that the syrian government is saying that they're going to make some of these concessions now, that's extraordina
extraordinary in itself, but the fact that the president is feeling compelled to address the nation. we're told could be 24, could be 48 hours. it's going to be soon. we just don't know at this point. what we're hearing from people on the ground there, they expect that he will try to make more concessions, that he like other embattled leaders in this part of world that have been taken by surprise by the protest movements will try to offer concessions, will say mistakes were made. we just won't know until we hear it. it's really causing a lot of concern in this part of the world as to what exactly assad will do to quell the 'do discontent in his neck of the woods. >> i think for some americans who are familiar with syria, they know how ruthless assad's father was. do syrians believe that bashar assad, the son here, would take measures as extreme as his father did? >> one of the reasons people are so upset right now, the people we're speaking with, the ones gathering and demonstrating, is
because they saw bashar assad as somebody who would try to reform. when he took power after the death of his father, he promised reforms. he knew there was discontent in that kr that country, that people are getting angry. it's been ten years. many are calling it the lost decade, lost opportunity. nothing was done. the government insist there were economic reforms. the people say there's still a huge gap between the rich and poor and they want their rights. this is fueling the anger. they say bashar assad is a young leader, could have changed things. instead they see more of the same. instead of breaking with the past, they see him staying with the past. that's what making them so upset. they say this is too little too late. they're saying they want regime change altogether. >> mohammed, thank you. i want you to look at this picture. this is certainly something you don't see every day.
the only u.s. president to visit castro air cuba has just arrived in havana, so on the record jimmy carter is there at the invitation of the cuban government to talk about ways to improve u.s. relations with the communist island, but there is speculation his real mission is to win the release of an american who has just been sentenced to 15 years in cuban prison. i want to go live to havana. let's go back to who this american is and why cuba put him in prison for so long. >> reporter: well, brooke, allen gross was a subcontractor for usaid in cuba when arrested in 2009 and he was working to connect people to the internet and that's where the agreement stop. cuba accuses him of illegally bringing satellite equipment into the country to connect groups of people with the
ultimate goal of destabilizing the government. washington, on the other hand, says that he was simply helping jewish groups communicate better with the rest of the world and wasn't doing anything illegal, but to put this in context. you have to remember that for cuba all usaid projects are legal because, among other things, they seek regime change, brooke. >> shasta, what are the signs as we talk about allen gross, what are the signs that his case is even on carter's radar? >> reporter: well, to begin with the timing. as you mentioned, it was just this month that he was sentenced to 15 years in prison and lo and behold here comes this visit. now even when he was sentenced, foreign diplomats were saying that there was a chance that cuba could release gross early for humanitarian reasons. both his mother and his daughter are battling cancer, and they say that more than anything cuba just wanted to show the world that the united states is still up to what they call the same dirty old tricks, that under president barack obama these
programs aimed at destabilizing the country haven't ended and that they might be willing to let him go now. also you have the fact that secretary of state hillary clinton talked to carter shortly before his departure. we assume this was the topic of conversation, and finally from the cubans, they are the ones who put a visit with jewish leaders on the agenda. that's where carter is right now. he's visiting with the main jewish leaders here in cuba as we speak, brooke. >> well, obviously shasta darlington, let us know if we do see that release. that will be news and we'll bring you back on. thank you. and we're not going too far from libya. we'll take you back there in mere moments. reza sayah is there to tell us how far the rebels have advanced on gadhafi's hometown and also ahead wolf blitzer has fresh news off the political ticker. he is next. ♪
and now for the latest on the cnn political ticker, let's go to wolf blitzer live in washington. last time you and i spoke it was last wednesday before i left for vacation. i tell you what, you totally called it when the president was cutting his trip to latin america short. you said he has to come back and has to address the americans and here we go, tonight, 7:30. >> 7:30 p.m. eastern at the national defense university here in washington. he'll have an audience there of a lot of colonels and up, as far as military personnel who study at the national defense university. obviously going to have a teleprompter to read the speech, a very, very carefully drafted speech because he's got to make the case to a skeptical public
out there why the united states effectively is at war. i'll be listening closely, i know you will, brooke, to see if the president actually says the united states sen gaging in war. i suspect that word war will not be used. he'll use some other euphemism for war but when all practical purposes when you've launched 185 or so tomahawk cruise missiles at sites in libya and launched hundreds of jet fighter sorties and bombing strikes against various targets in libya, it certainly sounds like war, even though i suspect the president will not use that word. he's going to have to explain why he is now making the case, a lot of his critics said, you know what, attorney days ago, two weeks ago is when he should have gone on television and made the specific speech to the american public instead of now, and his critics, as you know, they have been arguing is much more concerned about what the united nations thinks and what the arab league thinks, what the european allies, whether france or britain, what they think than what the u.s. congress thinks, and that's a charge that resonates because, you know, to
a certain degree when he was in the opposition to the war in iraq, when the secretary of state hillary clinton was a senator and in opposition to the war in iraq, they made some of these same arguments that his critics are now leveling against him so he's got some explaining to do, and i'm sure, you know, he's got a very strong speech ready to go tonight at 7:30 p.m. eastern. >> do you think, wolf, to your point, that he likely will not use the "w" word, will not say war, likely humanitarian mission, operation, and another point and ed henry was making this to me earlier, when we think about a presidential speech speaking about afghanistan and iraq and he's generally in the oval office and this time he's very much at the war college very much on purpose, i imagine. >> the national defense university. there's a separate war college some place else in pennsylvania so let's be precise. this is the national defense university here on a military base, ft. mcnair, in the district of columbia, so it's obviously a military-related installation where a lot of the
smartest, the best military officers come to spend some time studying on defense-related national security issues. >> why there, wolf? why give a speech there? >> i think some of his aides thought he would be more effective speaking before an audience as opposed to simply looking into a camera from the oval office and delivering prepared remarks that way. you know, when you're surrounded with military personnel, and remember, this is the most difficult decision a commander in chief can make when he orders young men and women into battle to risk their lives. it doesn't get more difficult than that and it doesn't get more serious than that so i think the president, i don't know this for sure, i suspect he wanted to thank these military personnel who are going to be there in the audience for their service to the country and for what not only they are doing but all the other fighting men and women who are out there. >> okay. wolf blitzer, we'll most definitely be watching 7:30 eastern time. >> it's a big, big speech for the president, and i think the stakes are really serious right
now. >> absolutely, wolf. thank you so much. we'll get another political ticker update for you in half an hour and updates online. go to cnnpolitics.com or hop on twitter for more on the president and the libya speech there. now, top of the hour. watch this. a woman in libya burst into this hotel full of journalists. she's screaming. she's crying and desperate to get her story out, and today suddenly it is, and now it's created this whole new firestorm and a world of rage. i'm brooke baldwin. the news is now. she claims more than a dozen men raped her and held her prisoner. those men she says are members of moammar gadhafi's militia. now, they are responding. hours from now president obama tells the country his plans for libya, but will he convince critics this is not another war? plus, scary new estimates of just how much radiation is leaking in japan.
it's no longer the air that has experts concerned. it's the sea. and a deadly cobra on the loose in america's biggest city. ven yom so powerful it can kill a human in mere minutes. the hunt is on. i'm brooke baldwin. a civil war in libya is a much different affair today for several reasons here. first, the opposition forces, mostly amateur, less sophisticated soldiers fighting to remove moammar gadhafi from power. well, we hear today they are close to a place that is very, very symbolic to this whole struggle, andthal that's colonel gadhafi's hometown. they are already claimed complete control of several key cities here. benghazi in the east, second most populated city and the oil cities between there and the capital. now, the rebels say they are able to gain ground relatively easily only because of those coalition air strikes have paved
the way over the course of the past week. but now the different part here. you have the opposition fighters saying they met tough resistance today near moammar gadhafi's hometown of sirte, and the u.s.-led coalition air strikes, that's now a nato mission. want to go right to benghazi now and cnn's reza sayah. reza, what are you hearing about the fighting west of you? well, this is the first time the opposition forces have seen some resistance over the past 72 hours. it was a pretty impressive three days for them. they have made it look relatively easy, gaining about 200 miles in territory, at least five key towns, until they came to sirte. colonel gadhafi's birthplace, his hometown. he's got a lot of supporters there, his tribe, the gadhafa tribe is based there. when you talk to the opposition leaders, they anticipate a fight here because of those reasons, and they are getting it. according to rebel fighters talking to us, gadhafi forces
and loyalists using subterfuge trickery to fight off the opposition forces. one rebel fighter telling us that gadhafi forces have armed civilians with weapons, civilians shooting at rebel fighters. another rebel fighter telling us he was approaching gadhafi forces who were waving a white flag, the universal signal for surrender and as they were approaching them they came under fire, he says. thee accounts we can't independently verify, but we've heard these types of stories over and over again, an indication of some of the challenges these opposition forces face. at this point rebel forces say they have pulled back from sirte. they are regrouping, strategizing for their next move into sirte that could come within the next 24 hours. brooke? >> quickly, just so i'm understanding. we're talking sirte. is it about 100 or so miles from tripoli, the capital, where you have moammar gadhafi's compound, and is that the next big battle
for sure? >> reporter: yeah. it's a little more than 100 miles east of tripoli. it's about 225 miles east of tripoli, if they get sirte. if rebel fighters get sirte, the next stop would be misrata which is just about 100 miles east of tripoli. that would be the logical staging ground for what would be the final attempt to go into tripoli which is the ultimate destination for these rebel forces so it's too early to talk about tripoli. i think it's a long way off, but two more stops in this progression west. it's sirte, gadhafi's hometown, misrata and then the ultimate target which is tripoli, brooke. >> we know they are moving towards sirte as you're reporting. we know over the weekend they captured el brega and ras lanuf, two key oil cities. once they get into the cities, are the gadhafi forces pulling back because they are decimated or perhaps preparing back in tripoli for a major battle down
the road? >> reporter: we're hearing different accounts. some of them are dying in battle, but we're hearing all sorts of accounts, that they are jumping into civilian cars, suvs, unmarked cars and taking off back west. it's unclear where they are going, but it's an indication of surrender. some of them might be going to places like misrata, to tripoli to regroup, but, again, until they got to skirt, the rebel forces making it look easy. over the past 72 hours, about 200 miles in territory they gained, and one of the keys, they acknowledge, are the air strikes. they are hoping for the air strikes to continue, the air strikes facilitating that push west. >> i know that a lot of the opposition reports were elated once the no-fly zone was in place and there's international intervention and how is the news about nato's takeover today being received by the rebels?
>> reporter: well, i think like much of the world, they are anxious to see if this changes the complexion of this operation with nato taking the lead. there are some member states in nato, namely turkey, who is probably not as enthusiastic about these aggressive air strikes as other countries so they are waiting to see once nato takes full control of the military operation what this means. openly, even today at a news conference, they said they want these air strikes to continue. when you look at these tank units, the gadhafi tank units, it's not the rebel forces' weapons that are destroying the tanks. it's these air strikes, that's clear, and that's an indication that without these air strikes they wouldn't be moving forward. >> well, we will all be watching to see what happens next in sirte. reza sighia in benghazi, my thanks to you. as we wait to hear from the president talking about the operation in libya, there's
another country in turmoil. coming up, why witnesses say people are sitting home in syria afraid to walk outside. we'll hear about the men outside their windows. that's ahead. plus, many americans are thinking about their taxes this time of year, but there is one group out there that is prone to cheating the irs. who might that be? got a guess? we'll get the answer next. [ ma] america's beverage companies are working together to put more information right up front. adding new calorie labels to every single can, bottle and pack they produce. so you can make the choice that's right for you. ♪
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included new york city. and a drug resistant superbug is spreading through health care facilities in southern california. a soon-to-be published report by the los angeles county public health department says it's striking primarily older patients on ventilators. the bacteria for short called crkp has been around for a while, thought to be rare but 350 cases were reported in the last six months of 2010. and damning testimony over the weekend from a star witness in the amanda knox case in italy, the american college student serving time for the murder of her roommate. a witness who placed knox near the scene of the crime now admits to using heroin when the killing happened. the witness also claims he saw students in costumes the night he placed knox and her boyfriend near the victim's cottage, but the defense pointed out meredith kirchner was killed the day
after halloween. here's a recall you probably haven't heard about before. volkswagen is saying the new jettas could shut down from the driver honks the horn. 70,000 cars are being recalled, and you go to church on sunday? apparently it could be make you fat. according to a new study americans who go to religious activities are more like throw gain weight than those who don't go too often. the people who did the study it's probably because church-goers have a bigger social network and have more friends and more opportunities to eat and drink. and love this story. check out the surprise from jillian sharp from kettering, ohio what, she got at school on friday, big hugs. her dad wasn't due back from iraq until later that night but alas he managed to get home a little early and surprise her. >> daddy, i'm 5 now. i used to be 4. >> i know, you're 5.
>> i'm this much happy. >> precious, hugs and tears flowed through the school gymnasium. the other reason daddy and doubter were happy, it was pizza night, of course. in new york, they have a bit of a snake problem. we're talking about a 20-inch poisonous snake just like this one seen there. it's missing from the reptile house at the bronx zoo. zoo officials say it is confined to an an enclosed non-public area of the building. wildlife expert jack hannah says things like this, they do happen. >> the bronx zoo is one of the finest in the country and my understanding is that the cobra escaped behind the scenes. snakes escape behind the scenes in zoos throughout country. not very often obviously. >> not very often, we hope. take a look at the sign. the reptile house now closed indefinitely. okay, parents. should 7-year-old girls be wearing push-up bikini tops? hmm. think about it. one clothing chain thinks so, but first, who is most likely to
cheat on their taxes? alison koszic live in new york. talking about some bad, bad boys here. >> reporter: we are, but pointing one thing out straight away but we're not bashing men. i tweeted this story earlier and getting harangued on twitter so i want to put this out. this is not about male-bashing. this survey was done by an ad group and here's what he said. the typical american to cheat or their taxes is youj, single, under 45 years old and male. they had this air about them like they are entitled and the survey quoted them as saying that they are special and they deserve to be treat that had way compared to the people who said they don't cheat. one thing to point out survey did not -- said that the cheats are not limited to rich or poor, that people who cheat generally have the same income levels as those who don't. the survey goes on to say, you know, the tax cheats, they show a similar sneaky activity in the
other parts of their lives, and they fessed up to cheating on their taxes, yeah, they are likely to keep the wrong change if a cashier gives them too much money, have a friend pretend to be a former boss for a reference check, and they are also likely, more likely, to wear clothes and return them and file false insurance claims, but once again, i'm just the messenger here, brooke >> i know. come on, gentlemen, that's a no-no. now to this story. >> yeah. >> i read about it this morning, had to get on, calling it the bikini backlash. abercrombie & fitch introducing padded bikini tops and the store is selling them in the children's section. alison, what? >> reporter: yeah. so the way this bikini was originally marketed, it was originally marketed as a push-up bikini top and they took off the words pushup and are calling it striped triangle, but the fact is the top is padded, and, you know, this is marketed to like second grade girls, 8-year-olds and a sociology professor said
this would encourage girls to think about themselves in a sexual way before they are ready, but you know abercrombie, kind of par for the course. >> what are they saying? have they said anything today about this? >> reporter: they haven't, but here's what i have to say. i'm a mom an 8-year-old girl, and they can advertise and sell this bikini all i want. one opinion. i have a choice. i don't have to buy it for her, right? >> right, walk on, walk on by. your little one wants, it walk on by. alison kosik. >> just say no. >> say no to the busty bikini for the little ones. alison, thank you. and now to this. i wanted to take you back to the middle east and syria where with the situation is escalating by the second. one witness says there are men in black shirts, the description we're getting, roaming the streets and terrorizing civilians, entering homes and firing shots. who are the men and will the u.s. get involved there? hala gorani just walk night studio here, been monitoring
potential? >> well, it has the potential, an entirely different situation. in the middle east as opposed to north africa. there we're seeing protests in more isolated pockets in several cities. a completely different power structure. seeing the newest video we have from the south of syria, daraa, where the uprise gsz began, you'll remember, brooke, just a little more than a week ago. we've seen dozens of deaths there. this is amateur video that cnn can't independently vet and confirm but it cross-checks with information we're getting from eyewitnesses. let's pause and listen. >> i know we can't independently confirm it, but it looked to be, i don't know, bodies, people, gunshots. who -- who are these people, and what are they demanding? >> well, the demonstrators want very simple thing. they want economic opportunity.
they want an end to corruption, to cronyism, but most importantly they want the freedom to be able to say things publicly, to criticize the regime publicly and assemble free lip and today according to be sources at cnn, they have repeatedly asking reporter status but we've been denied. in daraa today hundreds of army troops have been deployed which is significant, a new development over the last 48 hours, and that security forces have cleared the central part of the town, the omari mosque, the organizational structure of the protests. there's a very tense city in daraa. >> there's a coastal town where we're seeing crowds. >> army troops deployed there and before the commercial, hearing that --
>> black-shirted men. >> now who are they? >> we don't know yet. >> we don't know. possibly security apparatus belonging to the state, secret police. we're hearing reports that overnight they are going door-to-door. it sounds like typical intimidation tactics coming from the security forces. >> let's listen to this. so what are the chances syria could become another tunisia? >> okay, that's the question that everyone is asking, okay. what are the chances? is this the next domino to fall? certainly the regime is trying now to quiet the demonstrators, one by repressing them, but, two, we understand in the next two days the president bashar assad will go on television and address his compatriots and offer recessions and reforms. will that be enough? also, there's such contradictory information and gestures coming
from this regime. on the one hand say these are outsiders stoking the unrest and on the other hand they are freeing some political prisoners and people are saying if this is coming from the outside why are you offering concessions for the reforms. the big question is will, a, the demonstrations start in earnest over the next couple of days and, b, what will the response be to bashar assad's address to the people and over the weekend, of course, we were expecting him to speak on television. he didn't. now we're thinking two days, three days. >> kept getting e-mails he's going to speak, going to speak. that was my blackberry situation all over the weekend. >> thank you very much. still to come here though, we want to talk japan. urgent situation there after weeks and weeks of talking about the threat of radiation from the
fukushima nuclear plant. there's frightening discoveries now in the soil and we're getting closer to president obama's major address on the situation in libya. that is tonight. how will he convince his critics that the operations overseas isn't just another war. stay right here. it's seriously a superfood. if you want to build a healthy heart, it's about being active and it's about putting the right fuel in your body. it's that simple. and here's the good news -- it's never too late to start. quaker oatmeal is proven to help lower cholesterol. it's a staple in my diet. in fact, it's the only cereal i eat. it powers you up and it makes you feel great. are you eating quaker for breakfast? ♪
hot off the cnn political ticker. let's go to jessica yellin live in washington. jess characters item number one, the big speech tonight, president obama's speech. >> yes, brooke. you know, a lot has been made from the fact he's not delivering it from the oval office or even the white house. a lot of analysts and outsiders interpreting this he may be downplaying it or what does it mean? in my count during president bush's time in office he gave at least five nationally televised responses about the war in iraq or war in iraq in operations outside the white house, atlanta, georgia, cincinnati, ohio and ft. bragg and president obama himself gave a speech from were west point so i don't know how much to read into the location. maybe that's one of the reason because it seems people are playing politics with all of this. we asked folks do you agree of the way members of congress are
handling their job? guess what the hauled showed. 32% of people approved of the way republicans are handling the job and 35% of democrats. in case you're wondering, that's within the margin of error. not so much approval for either party, brooke. >> we'll begin watching with john king at 7:00 and watching the speech live at 7:30. thank you very much, jessica yell be, and here if you haven't heard about what's happening in japan today, now there's some new disturbing developments there. with three types of plutonium found at that troubled nuclear plant. this is huge, huge news from tokyo. a report straight ahead, and i'm getting brand new information about the safety in the airport. just how harmful are the body scans in the security line? a revealing new study has enough the been released. we'll get you to the news next.
okay. today we have a disturbing discovery in japan, jimmy carter visiting cuba and some news into cnn on the threats of body scanners at the airport. time to play "reporter roulette" beginning with marty savidge in tokyo. marty, what are people finding now there? >> reporter: tepco tells cnn that it found traces of plutonium in five different locations at the fukushima nuclear facility. three different types of
plutonium, these as a result of soil samples the company said it took on the 21st and 22nd of march so roughly one week ago. it says that none of the samples came back at any level that would be a threat to human life. still, it is disconcerting and the company couldn't say whether or not it came as a result of problems at the nuclear plant. only one nuclear reactor that uses plutonium and that's reactor number three. it has a mixture of uranium and plutonium but, again, the company couldn't say for certain whether this is some plutonium that came from somewhere else or whether it actually came as a result of the problems they have been having at fukushima. meantime, other developments today. large quantities of water, highly radioactive water some out of the turbine room of reactor number two and in the tunnels for electric cables outside of reactor number two. what they would like to do is put the water somewhere else and pump it out of the areas they found it but there's no space in which to place it.
the discovery of the highly radioactive water though in the electric cable tunnels could also explain why there are high levels of radiation in the seawater surrounding the plant. it's possible that that may be the way that that's getting into the ocean but again, tepco, the operators of the facility could say for sure. marty savidge and now back to you. >> jimmy carter lands in cuba, but is he there to talk about relations between cuba, and u.s. next i want to do to shasta darlington. who is alan gross and why might he be on president carter's agenda? >> this visit very much is about bilateral ties. cuba has announced the biggest shakeup to the so yost zeile government in decades.
expectations are high that carter will try and secure the release of gross. he was a contractor for usaid. the united states says he was just trying to help the jewish community connect to the internet but cuba says his work was subversive and illegal, that he brought in the illegal satellite equipment to help connect people to the internet and that the ultimate goal was to destabilize the government and that's why this issue has become so politically important and will have to see how it has played ought over the next three days. brooke? >> we know the last time he visited cuba, raoul castro not there at the airport, and who was there this time and what does that really mean? >> reporter: well, brooke, that's a good question because there was a stark contrast. back in twugt, as you mentioned, fidel castro, then the president, greeted president
jimmy carter, ex-president jimmy carter. they played the national anthems and they gave speeches. there was a lot of pomp and circumstance. this time cuba's foreign minister was at the airport, they handed both jimmy carter and his wife a bouquet of flowers. they got in the car and drove off. he then headed to the center of the city to meet with jewish leaders which is an important meeting of the u.s. contractor allen gross who the united states says was helping the cuban government. >> now information just into us here at cnn, the new article highlighting the effects of body scanners. i know you've gotten this information. do we need to be worried? >> reporter: what this researcher says there's a tin
little risk. >> that's not -- >> that's my perm. not the one i use but i'll put this in perspective and we'll talk about the bad scatter machines that they are talking about. if you go through one of these machines you're getting the equivalent of two minutes of radiation that you would get at an airplane. two minutes in an airplane is equal to one of these back scatter machines or to put it another way and translate it into real people. follow me here. 100 million passengers, and they each take seven one-bay flights her year. >> okay. not frequent flyers, probably what a lot of people do. over the course of the lifetime of those 100 million people you would see six extra cancers. >> because if. >> that could be attributed to
the back scatter machines, an approximation. >> so a small probability? >> it's a teeny, tiny risk. >> do the numbers change at all children versus adults. >> yes. let's look at some numbers. >> okay. >> with you they sort of invented 2 million 5-year-old girls. if each of them took a round trip flight per week, you'd see an extra case of breast cancer over the course of their lives because of the radiation because of the back scatter machines. my girls travel a lot but not that much. >> finally you know, even though it's low, is there any way to avoid the machine all together? >> you know, it's interesting. i think people have different perceptions of risk, and so some people will see these numbers and go what's the big deal?
i'll go through one of the machines and other people say it does lead to extra cases of breast cancer or cancers when you look at the big picture. i want to avoid these things, and you can always opt out and what that is is you say to the security agent i want to go through the regular old x-ray machine and pat me down with your hands. you can always do that. in fact on thursday for my column i've actually asked doctors what they do. what do you do? >> i was going to ask, you've got little ones. >> i'll reveal that later. maybe i'll reveal that in my column, but i was curious to see what doctors, people who work for the american cancer society what, did they do? >> where do we find your column. >> cnn.com/health on thursday morning. >> got it. >> and you'll see what ten prominent doctors do, including our own sanjay gupta. >> that's my litmus test and that's your "reporter roulette" for your monday. accused of horrific abuse, soaking a foster child in acid, killing his twin sister.
we've told you this horrific story, a story out of south florida. the couple appearing in court today. we're learning even more about what went on inside this, quote, house of horrors, and i'll tell you why the man is wearing a vest in the courtroom. plus, getting personal in barry bonds perjury trial. the player's former mistress takes to the stand and is telling some pretty interesting secrets, and we can just leave it there for now. sunny hostin going to tell the whole story on the case but first this. thinking of moving to a new city, check out this list. the fastest growing metro areas in the united states according to the census bureau. number five, cape coral, florida. the town grew 40% in the last ten years taking the number five spot there. and then the i don't know if anyone there calls it raleighwood. stephanie thinks they do. i'm calling it rtp. raleigh, north carolina, the research triangle grew only 42%
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here we go. according to the u.s. census bureau, 53% population growth since 2000, st. george, utah and the fastest growing area in the u.s. with a 92%, palm coast, florida, area south of jacksonville nearly doubled in the last decade, florida, okay. and it's a scene that sticks in your mind. take a look at this with me. a pickup truck parked alongside a florida highway. the unconscious driver in the grass nearby. a boy with severe chemical burns in the front seat of that red pickup. the body of his twin sister stuffed in a trash bag in the back. that's why there was the tarp covered up there. an horrific scene. just the beginning of this story. today jorge and carmen barahona were in court today for the first time since being charged about torturing the children and killing the girl.
sunny, let's begin with court today. what happened? >> well, certainly they pled not guilty today, brooke, but i think the real issue here and the real highlight came from what the government had to say. take a look at what happened today in the courtroom. >> your honor, at this time state of council would provide to counsel the notice to seek the death penalty as to carmen barahona. furs the state will provide to counsel and to the clerk the state's notice of intention to seek the death penalty against jorge barahona. >> so that really was the headline, the prosecution, the government is seeking or could seek the death penalty against this couple accused of murdering their 10-year-old adopted daughter. >> sitting there and listening to this, death penalty. i didn't see any reaction in either of the barahonas. is that common when a defendant
is hearing prosecutors announce that they would want the death penalty? >> i wouldn't say it's common, brooke. i wouldn't say it's uncommon. all defendants act differently when they hear that they may be subject to the ultimate punishment. i will say this. their defense attorneys likely prepared them for this possibility and that may be a reason why we're not seeing any reaction from either defendant. >> so we see in this picture, carmen barahona with the rozbury, maybe it's a red prison jumpsuit and you see jorge barahona there in some sort of a padded vest. what's the story with the vest, sunny? >> a lot of people are reporting this is a bulletproof vest because there's been so much outrage against these two defendants but in my experience that looks like a vest that is used when an inmate is on suicide watch. his defense says he's so
emotional and just so out of it he can't really help in his defense so i think that this could be a vest used for an inmate on suicide watch rather than a bulletproof vest. >> now i want to move on to case number two. pretty graphic testimony today in the perjury trial of home run king barry bonds charged with lying to the federal grand jury about his use of steroids and his former mistress was on the stand today. sunny what, did she say? >> wow, this was i thitestimony think that no person would want to hear, she says he had bad ayne, balding, bloating and skszual dysfunction so certainly evidence that the prosecution wants to show he was using steroids and, again, this is a
perjury case. he went in front of the grand jury and said i didn't take any steroids. however, the prosecution now needs to prove that he did take steroids proving he's guilty of lying to the grand jury so i think unfortunately very uncomfortable evidence for barry bonds, but it's evidence that has to come forward. >> you're being kind. the testimony was much more graphic than that. what about barry bonds? what's his defense? >> he's maintained his innocence all along for so many years. he says he doesn't use steroids, didn't use steroids and what's interesting is his long tm trainer greg anderson is refusing to testify and is being held in jail on contempt charges because he wasn't testify and
witho think his defense is pretty good. >> and this woman in libya, sure you've heard about it. storms into a hotel in tripoli and is screaming and crying and desperate to tell her story and the whole thing caught on video. you will hear what she is accusing moammar gadhafi's men of doing to her in her own words. that's next. than many other allergy medications. omnaris. omnaris. to the nose! did you know nasal symptoms like congestion can be caused by allergic inflammation? omnaris relieves your symptoms by fighting inflammation. side effects may include headache, nosebleed and sore throat. [ inhales deeply ] i nipped my allergy symptoms in the bud. omnaris. ask your doctor. battling nasal allergy symptoms? omnaris combats the cause. get omnaris for only $11 at omnaris.com. consider this: over 70% of firefighters are local volunteers... these are our neighbors putting their lives on the line. and when they rely on a battery, there are firefighters everywhere who trust duracell.
what happens when rape becomes a weapon in a time of war? i want you to watch some video with me. take you back to saturday, tripoli during breakfast time at a hotel where all these foreign journalists are staying in libya. you see the woman there being covered, sort of the right part of your screen. the woman says she was grabbed at a checkpoint, says she was tied up, beaten, gang-raped for two days by libyan leader moammar gadhafi's thugs. her face is bruised. she showed her ankles, her thigh bruised as well, and as reporters there try to intervene, the woman gets hauled off by men working for libya's government.
the government first calls her crazy and then claim she's a prostitute, but i want you to watch. this is when cnn's nic robertson questions the government's story. >> yes, nic. >> nic, could we not discuss her -- no, no, listen. nic. nic. nic, could we please. this is a -- nic, please, could we just to respect her, her daughter, her family, to respect, this is a very conservative society. could we not expose her in public, please. if i said something, i said what i knew. i don't want to repeat anything i'm said. i'm no withdrawing from what i said. i don't want to make it even more known, more public. this is a criminal case. >> so you heard nic, nic's voice there. the woman's family says she's a law student, not crazy, not a
prostitute but right now the biggest concern is we don't know where she is. the libyan government says she has been released and is with family and her family says that's not true. her family says she's being held hostage and because of the high interest in the story she is trending in the newscast today. coming up here in mere minutes, "the situation room" with wolf blitzer and you'll be looking forward to the president's speech at 7:30. >> a little more than two and a half hours from now waiting for the president to clarify the mission in libya and we'll speak with our military analysts and get a full sense of what's going on, the stakes as we've been noting all day certainly significant for the president right now. he's got some explaining to do. what is the exact nature of the u.s. mission? is it simply to do what the united nations security council
resolution 1973 laid out, namely to protect civilians and enforce a no-fly zone, or is the mission more significantly, mainly what the president of the united states said is the u.s. policy in libya, the removal and regime change of moammar gadhafi so all of these issues are up for grabs tonight. see how the president handles it all, full coverage, of course, before and after. brooke? >> see you in five minutes on "the situation room" and i'm sure woolf has heard about this story and get this straight. vice president joe biden's team puts a reporter in a closet at a fund-raising event and a guard stands outside the closet door apparently. now that the vice president's team apologizing but what's the story behind this? joe johns is all over it next. ♪
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i've personally covered presidential fund-raisers where the pool reporters are kept in a holding area, living room, dining room, across the street so they can listen to the audio feed or whatever of the speech. apparently scott powers' holding room was a storage closet. actually took a picture of it. there you go. the glamorous side of political reporting right there. they did give him a bottle of water though. >> bottle of water in a storage closet. he said i was kidnapped, kind of news to me, calling it closetgate. what did he say on the phone to you? >> it wasn't really a guard outside the closet. it was more like a kid, like somebody just right out of college. he doesn't seem to be too upset about it. the biden press office has apologized, and he pretty much chalks it up to inexperience, you know, advanced people right out of college, again, they give him a bottle of water so all is fair. >> well, from one vice president to one vice presidential
hopeful, geraldine ferraro, she passed over the weekend. >> that's right, and reelally jt an icon, an amazing figure of history, the first woman vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket, the female trailblazer who came long before the likes of sarah palin or hillary clinton. it's almost hard to imagine the kind of what some people would call double standard treatment she had to face. here's an example of it though, a question from a debate on "meet the press" all the way back in 1984. >> miss ferraro, could you push the nuclear button? >> i can do whatever is necessary in order to protect the security of this country. >> including that? >> yeah. >> interesting question. you can read the full memorial tribute to geraldine ferraro online at cnn.com. >> all these anecdotes about