tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 3, 2011 11:00am-1:00pm EDT
the race. >> and speaking of herman cain, he's going to meet with donald trump later today. a sign of republican political prowess. that's going to be interesting to watch, see how that turns out. really, martin, all we're really focusing on, at least in the early part of this week, is whether or not chris christie jumps into the race. it would really change everything, martin. >> it definitely would. thanks very much. we'll have your next political update in an hour. for a reminder, for all the news, go to cnnpolitics.com. that does it for me. i'm finished. suzanne malveaux takes it over from here. >> nice to see you martin. we'll get you up to sfeed for monday, october 3rd. an italian jury could come back any time now with a verdict in the amanda knox's murder appeal. the court conflicted the college student and her boyfriend in the death. experts testify during the appeal na dna evidence has been
contaminated. knox, speaking in italian, pleaded for freedom today. >> translator: i haven't done the things that her suggesting that i've done. i haven't murdered, i haven't raped, i haven't stolen. i wasn't there. i wasn't present in that crime. >> prosecutors painted knox as a demonic figure who killed for the thrill. they described the murder as part satanic ritual and part orgy. the trial of conrad murray enters a second week in about 45 minutes. that's the michael jackson trial. the emergency room doctor who pronounced michael jackson dead is expected on the witness stand first. dr. rachelle cooper says that murray never told her that he'd given jackson the anesthesia that allegedly killed him.
murray's three girlfriends are expected to testify as well. phone records show that he talked to all three in the minutes before and after jackson went into cardiac arrest. protests by the group occupy wall street have spread from new york city to at least three other major cities. police arrested more than 700 protestors on saturday when they marched on the brooklyn bridge. occupy wall street, that group says it wants to draw attention to corporate greed and immorality among other issues. well, this is a bumpy ride over the east coast. two planes landed in boston. that happened last night after turbulence knocked the passengers around. 11 people got hurt on a jet that was headed for munich, and the other plane, a jetblue flight from puerto rico dipped suddenly over the bermuda triangle. >> i saw the plane go down,
down, down. i said, oh, my god. >> it was so scary. i thought, my god, this could be it. it didn't last that long. it was quite a surprise. >> most of injured have back or neck sprains. one passenger got burned by hot coffee. defense secretary leon panetta is in israel today delivering a tough message. he said israel needs to get along better with turkey and egypt, otherwise he warns israel will find itself isolated in the middle east. the secretary wants israelis and palestinians to re-open peace talks without conditions. well, a deathbed interview with the lockerbie bomber. he tells reuters his role in the 1988 bombing of pan am flight 103 has been exaggerated. scotland freed him two years ago because he was thought to be near death from cancer. >> translator: please leave me alone. i only have a few more days,
weeks, or months. i want to die in my house among my family. i wish from god that i will see my country united with no fighting or war. i hope the bloodshed will stop in libya. >> nic robertson found ahim at his villa in august. he appeared to be in a coma at that time, but he's obviously regained krns. sunday night is not the same without at least one complaint by andy rooney. the commentator signed off last night after 33 years, and get this. 1,097 essays. >> a lot of you have sent me wonderful letters and said good things to me when you meet me in the street. i wasn't always gracious about it. it's hard to accept being liked. i don't say this often, but thank you. although, if you do see me in a
restaurant, please, just let me eat my dinner. >> okay. we'll let him eat his dinner. rooney leaves his job. he's 92 years old. and his "60 minutes" colleague called him the grump in chief. he did complain a bit. more details now. it's a legal and emotional cliff-hanger in italy right now. a jury is deciding the fate of american exchange student amanda knox. knox was convicted of murder and is now appeals her conviction. jurors are considering whether or not to set her free, send her back to prison. those are the options. earlier today knox broke down in tears after pleading with the jury. cnn's senior international correspondent matthew chance was inside the courtroom. >> reporter: there she is, amanda knox, being escorted into this perugia courtroom looking nervous and stressed.
she prepares for what must be the biggest speech of her life. 15 minutes is what she gets to stand in front of this court, and in her own words try to convince the judges and the jury that she did not kill meredith kercher and they should set her free. thin and at time choking through her tears and in fluent italian se delivered her emotional plea. >> translator: i am not what they say i am. perverse, violent. i respect life and people. and i haven't done the things they're suggesting i've done. i haven't murdered. i haven't raped. i haven't stolen. i wasn't there. i wasn't present at the crime. >> her former boyfriend raphaffe
sollectio also faced the court begging them for freedom. >> translator: i've never hurt anybody in my life. the charges against me for all these years are so out of character that i've always thought that everything would be cleared up. that didn't happen. >> reporter: i know you're back into imedia blitz -- afterwards outside the court neither family would comment. the parents of amanda knox and raffaele sollectio tight-lipped as the jury in this gripping case sdpdecides their fate. >> well, matthew joins us from italy. matthew, walk us through the possible decisions this jury could reach today. we're talking within just a few hours the fate of amanda knox. >> reporter: yeah. well, at least within the next
three hours we're expecting some kind of movement in the court. the jury is still deliberating what their decision will be. yes, what we're talking about clearly, first of all, is the possibility that amanda knox will have her murder conviction, along with raphaffaele sollecti quashed by this jury and she'll be free to go. it's not the only possibility. of course, the judge and jury could decide to uphold the first trial's decision and keep them in prison to serve out their 26 and 25-year sentences. the prosecution has asked for an increase in the sentences as well to life imprisonment. so apart from those options, there's a whole gamut of other possibilities on the table as well, suzanne. >> what do we know about the jurors? >> reporter: well, they're mainly women. there's five women and three men. two of those men are actually professional judges, which is requirement of jurors here in italy. they were listening extremely intently over the course of the
past few hours in court. listening to amanda knox with that extremely emotional plea. it must have had a big xwajt on them. she were speaking fluent italian. the years she spent in prison clearly improving her language skills, and so she was able to connect directly with them. she was also vep emotional. at times she broke down in tears, and the judge said that she should sit down if she wanted but she didn't. she composed herself. it was a very emotional episode and experience in that court. i expect the hope is on the amanda knox side that will be enough to help convince the jury, along with the evidence that's been put out there, she's not guilty of killing meredith kercher. >> all right. matthew chance will follow this story. here's a run downof other stories. first, you heard about the jury, but contested dna evidence is key to amanda knox's appeal. the expert who followed that dna trial, he's going to -- trail is going to join me live. the other high profile case
we're following this morning, we're outside the los angeles courthouse where michael jackson's personal physician is standing trial. plus, wall of fire. more than 2,000 feet high. just look at these pictures. incredible sights and sounds as the best of the best put it all on display at the miramar air show. also, the occupy wall street protests. it is gathering steam and spreading across the country. a possible showdown looming between union workers and the tea party. teamsters president james hoffa is joining me to explain why he wants them to go to war. ? just hold the bag. we need a portable x-ray, please! [ nurse ] i'm a nurse. i believe in the power of science and medicine. but i'm also human.
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so what happened the day michael jackson died? we could learn a lot more today. this is day five of testimony in the trial of jackson's personal doctor, and its about to get under way. ted rollins is outside the courthouse in los angeles. ted, who do we expect to take the stand today? >> reporter: well, when testimony resumes, dr. rachelle cooper is on the stand. this is one of the emergency room doctors at ucla medical center. what she will testify to, as she did in the preliminary hearing, is that they asked dr. murray when michael jackson came in, what did you give him? what did you give him? he never mentioned propofol. >> and we can see live pictures here. we see janet jackson and i believe that's randzy that's beside her. they're walking into the courthouse now. ted, they have been attending every day of the trial. have we seen a change in their demeanor as the testimony has
evolved? >> reporter: well, absolutely during those emotional parts of trial, you can see it in the family's faces and their actions. katherine jackson has been a mainstay throughout this trial. she will not be here for the next week and a half because she's in europe with the jackson children. janet and randy arriving at the courthouse now. the jacksons have been here every single day so far. sitting in that courtroom it's easy to notice that the jury is well aware of their presence. >> we notice they were quite composed when they walk in. what are the crowds shouting? we saw people with signs. what is it like out there? >> reporter: it's a bit chaotic. there's the bulk of the people that are michael jackson fans, if you will. they chant justice for michael every time someone comes in. people from around the world have come by the courthouse here. a bit of a zoo, but what you might expect. >> all right. ted, we'll get back to you as the testimony gets under way. demonstrators say they want
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the dow jones down by 31 points or so, keeping a close eye on that. and in new york this weekend main street marched on wall street. more than 700 people linked to the "occupy wall street" protests were arrested on the brock lynn bridge. instead of backing down, organizers say this movement is spreading across the country. alison kosik is live at the new york stock exchange. some people expected the protests would fizzle out, but they're now gaining strength and spreading across the country. what's going on? >> reporter: exactly. yeah, when you say spreading across the country, big cities like chicago and seattle and l.a. that's where these sort of "occupy wall street" protests are spreading. it seems like they became more empowered after the arrests in new york when hundreds marched on the brooklyn bridge, essentially shutting down the
bridge to traffic for a few hours. they were ticketed and arrested and when they got out of lockout they went up to what they wanted to do, which is hold their signs at a park in the financial district. so really not much is letting -- they're not sort of slowing down any time soon from bha i see. >> i understand this is a group that's kind of a bit disorganized to say the least. it's not clear who is actually participating. tell us who is behind these protests, and what are they protesting? what's the main point here, if there is one? >> reporter: that's a really good question. you know, they're protesting just a whole list of things. it's pretty much you name it. corruption, they think that our political and economic systems are broken. you know, there really isn't one clear leader with "occupy wall street." you see a lot of people coming from across the country to come here to new york to protest their frustrations. day after day they stand out
there holding signs hoping someone will listen. there is no cohesive message this point. corporate greed, even they want a four-day work week but they blame wall street for all of the ills facing the u.s. at this point, suzanne. >> all of us would love a four-day work week. as fascinating as that is, we'll follow that. tell us about the markets. we see them go up, go down. where is wall street headed? >> reporter: we've got modest losses right now. it's become investors don't know where the economy is headed at this point. we began the day at losses because of worries about greece. greece released its draft budget proposal, but the problem is the bailout package waiting for them is not enough to cover their bills. then we saw some gains in the market what we got a stronger than expected manufacturing report and construction report, bullet we're back in the red in a bit on those fears about greece. suzanne. >> all right. thank you. appreciate it. here's your chance to choose the news.
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so dna found on a knife and a bra. attorneys for amanda knox say the evidence was contaminated and unreliable. while a jury decides knox's fate, we talk with a dna expert about the case. a great driver and he's... not so much. well, for a driver like you, i would recommend our new snapshot discount. this little baby keeps track of your great driving habits, so you can save money. amazing! it's like an extra bonus savings. hah-hah! he's my ride home. how much can a snapshot discount save you? call or click today. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada,
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up next, dna evidence could be key to bringing amanda knox back home or back to prison. an expert who says that evidence is flawed joins me to tell me why. then teamsters president james hoffa declares war on the tea party. he's going to join me in a few minutes to explain. at 11:45 eastern the supreme court now in session will break down some of the high profile cases on the docket. for the second time in almost four years, the fate of american exchange student amanda knox is in the hands of an italian jury. right now a panel of five women and three men is deciding whether to overturn her murder conviction. knox and her boyfriend were convicted of killing her roommate, but the defense says that the two are innocent and the dna evidence was unreliable
and contaminated. while the jury considers how the case ends, drew griffin looks at how it all started. >> reporter: american amanda knox was intent on spending her junior year of college studying abroad, an adventure of sorts which would land the 20-year-old in the picturesque italian town of perugia. it was late summer 2007. knox had moved in this house with three other girls, one was british born meredith kercher. knox settled in, took classes at the local university, got a part-time job and even found a new boyfriend, 23-year-old raffaele sollectio. the adventure soon became a nightmare. on the night of november 1st, 2007, knox's roommate, meredith kercher, was sexually assaulted, throat slashed and left for dead in the home the girls shared. as police searched for clues, knox originally told them she had spent the night at her boyfriend's place. just four days later, november
35th, 2007, amanda knox changed her story. after hours of interrogation, knox confessed to being in the home the night kercher died adding that her boss, a congo leez immigrant was there as well. kercher was killed after one theory after refusing to take part in a group sex game. november 6th, 2007, amanda and her boyfriend were arrested and so was lamumba but had a solid alibi and was released. the case was a media sensation in europe and seattle, knox's hometown. the tabloids labeling her foxy knoxy. november 19, 2007, police identify yet another suspect, 20-year-old rudy, an immigrant from the ivory coast who appeared to be on the run. he was caught in germany the next day. one month later he was charged with kercher's murder.
october of 2008, he was found guilty, sentenced to 30 years. his lawyers would get it down to 16 years on appeal. he had claimed amanda knox and her former lover were with him, but their trial wouldn't begin until january 16th, 2009. throughout both insisted they were innocent. the court didn't believe them. on december 5th, 2009, knox and raffaele sollectio were convicted of killing and sexually assaulting mare did it kercher. knox got 26 years in prison, sollecito slightly less. november 2010, knox and sollecito begin the long road to appeal. all the while remaining in jail and defiant. drew griffin, cnn. >> so the appeal of amanda knox's murder conviction focuses mostly on the dna evidence or what the defense says is a lack of evidence. joining us to talk about that is
greg, he's a dna expert and professor of biology and criminal justice at boise state university. he's also director of the idaho innocence project, and greg, you were also involved in gathering the evidence to support amanda knox's appeal. you're essentially -- you contend that there is not enough dna evidence to link her and the boyfriend to this murder. >> yeah. i'd say there is no physical evidence whatsoever to link either amanda or raffaele sollectio to the murder. and more importantly the day of the murder was committed, the italian police went in and took a lot of evidence and unfortunately they arrested amanda and her boyfriend before allowing the dna to be processed. all of that evidence taken from where the victim was killed the day she was killed, all of the dna points to one man, rudy gadai. >> how do you explain there was
some dna evidence on that night? the prosecution says there was dna evidence on the knife from amanda knox, and that it was also on this bra strap? >> yes. so the knife is found at amanda's boyfriend's apartment a few blocks away. no one can say why that knife was taken out of his kitchen drawer by the police. they took it, and they found as expected amanda on the handle. she'd been over that night, and then claims -- the police lab claimed to have found some dna from the victim, meredith kercher, on the blade. on its face that sounds like important evidence. zi >> right, sure. >> whether you look at the dna you claim is from meredith kercher, it's such a low level it's below the detection level that my lab, that the fbi, at that any lab i know of uses. it's at a level weapon don't lo we don't look at on purpose because
we haven't validated it. if you look at very, very low levels of dna. we shook hands. your dna is on my hand. if i tough this cup, my dnaor your dna could end up on the cup or your cells could leave my finger because they were there last and loose. we purposely set those levels through a very tough validation process at a certain level that we do not look below, the fbi does not look below. in this case they kept looking lower and lower and lower until they found this evidence, which i think is just spurious. the experts appointed by the judge, independent experts in this appeal process, he chose his own two people from rome. i don't know them. i know their work. they agreed with everything we said. they found potato starch on the blade. they said this is a cooking implement and not a murder weapon. no blood. >> thank you very much. we appreciate that. we'll see whether or not the jury agrees with the lack or lack thereof you say regarding
dna. thank you very much. we'll follow it closely throughout the afternoon. we want to turn the corner to president obama. he just made a statement at the white house. this is regarding jobs and the economy. i want you to take a listen here. >> ultimately, we still have to have congressional action. it's been several weeks now since i sent up the american jobs act, and as i've been saying on the road, i want it back. i'm ready to sign it. my expectation is that now that we're in the month of october that we will schedule a vote before the end of this month. i'll be talking to senator reid, mcconnell as well as speaker boehner and nancy pelosi and nt insisting that we have a vote on this bill. we've been hearing from republicans that there's some proposals they're interested in. that is not surprising, since the content of the american jobs act includes proposals that in the past have been supported by
republicans and democrats alike. and if there are aspects of the bill that they don't like, they should tell us what it is that they're not willing to go for. they should tell us what it is they're prepared to see move forward. i have to tell you that i can't imagine any american that i've been talking to that's not interested in seeing construction workers back on the job rebuilding roads and bridges, schools, airports, putting teachers back in the classroom to make sure that our kids are getting the best education and making sure our vets get help when they come home and that small businesses have further incentive to hire them. so i'm very much looking forward to seeing congress debate this bill, pass it, get it to my desk so we can start putting hundreds of thousands and millions of americans back to work. i will be continuing to put as much pressure as i can bring to bear on my administration and
our agencies to do everything we can without congress' help. ultimately, ey have to do the right thing for the american people. all right. thank you very much, everybody. >> you can see that was a tape that was just turned around at the white house. the president meeting with his cabinet putting some pressure on the house as well as the senate as members of congress come back from a brief recess. they are going to get back to work in ernest at 2:00 this afternoon. so the president pushing them a little bit, giving them a nudge saying he wants his jobs plan, his proposal, that legislation to be passed and to be passed as quickly as possible saying there will be some meetings about this set up by the end of the month. teamsters president james hoffa says that there is a war on american workers, and he is blaming in part the tea party. we'll talk to him right here in the studio up next. at adt, we get financing from ge capital.
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a man who says he will never apologize for standing up for the american worker, teamsters president james hoffa called for a war with the tea party speaking with a union crowd in detroit on labor day. take a listen. >> we have to keep an eye on the battle we face, a war on workers. you see it everywhere. it is the tea party. there's only one way to beat that war mplt the one thing about working people is we like a good fight. we have a war, and they're only one winner, it's the workers of michigan and america. we're going to win that war. president obama, this is your army. we are ready to march. you know what? everybody here's got a vote. if we go back and we keep the eye on the prize, let's taken these son of bitches out and give america back to america where it belongs. >> james hoffa joins us here in the studio.
thank you for coming. you do not back dpoun from a fight, even if it's a tough one. tell us why, first of all, explain what you meant when you said you believe american workers need to go to war with the tea party? >> they declared war on us. in the election of '10, of november of '10, they elected over six governors and basically took back the house. what do we see now? gridlock now, tea party republicans both at the state level in wisconsin and ohio and michigan and new jersey. we see it in the house in washington right now. basically gridlocking everything. what's their plan? cut back on everything that the workers have. take away unemployment. take away social security. take away medicare, medicaid. what's the debate in washington? every time the president tries to advance a plan to basically solve the economic problems, they want to cut social security. they want to cut things that are so basic to america, and the same thing with the states right now. in wisconsin take away collective bargaining. that's what's going on. >> you have a lot of governors
who will fight back, and local governments and state government that say we're not competitive here. we cannot run our own governments, support a balanced budget without making those cuts, and the union workers are the ones who have these excellent benefits, higher pay, and they just can't afford it. they say that model's outdated. they can't afford to run their own governments. >> isn't it funny 15 years ago we didn't havehis problem. do you know the teacher is a problem or ifireman or ems driver. they're not the oning -- >> they're saying the junes. >> it's not the unions. they're attacking the workers. when they articulate this at the wisconsin level, the ohio level, the new jersey level, it's basically taking people that have good jobs, that have worked hard, earned what they have to take it away by those who do not have those things. that is wrong. what we have to do is have more money in the system. why wasn't it 15 years ago this wasn't a debate? we weren't closing libraries and laying off policemen 15 years
ago. how have things changed? >> how do you work with the governors that say they can't afford to pay the union wages? they're not competitive anywhere. when you look at the private sector, they don't pay what they pay the union workers. how do those states stay solvent? >> you don't deal with them. you take scott walker in wisconsin. he is out basically to trdestro unions. this isn't an idea of what's fair. he's basically declared war on the workers on wisconsin. the idea is we're going to recall him. there's no getting along with him. etea party on a pramg that does not include and basically cut back what all the workers have. the same thing in new jersey. we have to go into the polls. we have the votes and turn those people out that have turned against the american worker. >> james, to be clear you say there's no compromises and ngtsing with these governors, kick these guys out and you
maintain these are the salary level and benefits level we insist on? zool absolutely, absolutely. we have earned these levels, and the answer is, they don't want to negotiate. this idea they want to negotiate or this is about a decent deal, that's not true in wisconsin. in wisconsin there was $120 million gap, and they said okay, we'll work on that. he said no, i want to get rid of collective bargaining for workers. there isn't a deal there to be made. that's what's wrong with it. everybody has an idea we can deal with these people. they went to war, and we tried to deal with them at the very beginning and they would not deal with us. since they had the house and the senate at the state level, they passed all these different things. >> let's talk about the bigger picture here, because you're fighting for higher wages and benefits and these packages here. what about jobs in general? people can't get jobs at this point. what you are you doing to create jobs? are you retraining folks? are you looking at the bigger picture. >> this is the problem with america right now. america right now is awash in
cash. the corporations have trillions of dollars overseas. apple as $80 billion in the bank. what are they doing? sitting on the sidelines. they want obama to fail. what are they doing to create jobs? let's take the teamsters. we're doing very well. we deal with ups and companies and good wage increases and maintain our health care and pension. it can be done, and the idea that there's no money in america, there's something wrong here. the problem is the tax base is wrong. 15 years ago we didn't have this problem. what has happened in between has been the bush tax cuts that basically have been in all the years but eight years since since they passed those. that sucked all of the money out of the economy. there's not enough money for states and federal government, and everything is cut, cut, cut. if we didn't have those cuts, which have proven they don't work, we've had those tax cut force eight years now, and what's happened? we have record unemployment. let's go back to the clinton era tack code and get more money in
in economy that trickles down to the states and we'll have an america to be proud of. >> you mentioned governor chris christie. there's a locality of talk about him jumping into the race. what do you make of na? >> he couldn't win. all these people -- the more they move to the right, the less opportunity they have to win because that's not where america is at. america wants fairness and quality of sacrifice, they don't want billionaires and millionaires paying less taxes than a teamster or plumber or teacher. that's not right in america. we have to change that. once we change that, we'll have enough money to run this country. >> james hoffa, we have to leave it there. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. a new supreme court term begins today, and one court watcher says it could be a doozy. we'll look at some of the more provocative cases the court is likely to consider. [ male announcer ] it's a fact:
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a reminder to vote for the choose the news winner. text 22360 for the story you'd like to see. text 1 for mandela reality show. a behind of scenes look at nelson mandela's grandchildren. text 2 for a baby-saving device. how this cheap and portable invention is saving lives in india. text 3 for bartering is hot. i'll show you how to get on the action so you can barter for goods instead of paying for them. the winning story will air in the next hour. well, south carolina republicans just announced when they're going to hold their presidential primary. our senior political editor mark
preston is part of the best political team on television is live on the political desk in washington. first you had florida deciding to have their primary very early in january. made the party angry. now south carolina makes this announcement. what do they say? why is this important? >> reporter: this is a huge, important story, suzanne. as we talk about republicans choose their presidential nominee, south carolina just in the past few moments, in the last 10, 15, 20 minutes decided it's january 21st for their primary. what this means is that everything is going to cascade backwards. candidates now right after christmas will be campaigning in iowa trying to woo the iowa caucus voters. the iowa caucus will be held in the first and second week in january followed by new hampshire. what we don't know is what will happen to naevada. to sum it all up, they hope this nominating process would not start until february, however, it will start in early january. we will see iowa, new hampshire,
nevada, south carolina, and florida voters all weighing in on the republican presidential primaries. so a big development as the campaigns now are trying to calibrate and figure out how they can win the republican presidential nomination. >> gives them less time there. i understand that her main cain is sitting down and meeting with donald trump shortly. this comes after perry and romney did the same. what does this say about where he is in his campaign? >> a month ago we wouldn't have seen herman cain meeting with donald trump. it shows he came onto the national scene. he gets a second look by republican voters. he was on jay leno on friday, we saw him on the sunday shows yesterday. herman cain won the very important florida straw poll recently, and he's starting to show he gets double digits in national polls. does this mean herman cain can win the nomination? he's probably a still a very, very long shot. but it shows herman cain is part
of the conversation and suzanne, he has a new book coming out tomorrow. the title is called "this is herman cain: my journey to the white house." >> it might be a reality tv show. you have the book, and you meet with trump. sarah palin has done this before. we'll see if it works for him as well. thanks, mark. latest political go to cnnpolitics.com. here's one to think about over your morning coffee. which are more environmentally friendly? a, cars, or b, motorcycles. the answer coming up next. might surprise you.ll, i because this is how people and business connect. feeling safe and secure that important letters and information don't get lost in thin air. or disappear with a click. but are delivered. from person to person. and, sometimes, even face to face. have a great day. you too. for some of the best ways to connect and protect... it's all in the mail.
cars or motorcycles? well, pat yourself on the back if you said cars. according to the discovery channel's "myth busters," despite having much bigger engines, sophisticated engines on cars, they reduce the amount of pollutants they pump into the air. it is the first monday in october, meaning this is the first day of the new term for the supreme court. this could be a blockbuster year for justices. >> the supreme court term so far is shaping up to be pretty interesting but it could become absolutely explosive and enthralling. it could be the most interesting one in a century. >> how so? here's a look at a few of the cases that could make this year a landmark year for the high court. health care reform. at issue is whether it's constitutional to require americans to buy health insurance. that's the so-called individual mandate. second, television indecency. the court will consider whether policies on profanity and sexual
content violate the free speech rights of broadcasters. and, third, electronic surveillance. at issue -- whether the government violated a drug suspect's rights by secretly installing a gps tracking device on his car. our cnn senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin joins us from new york. i don't know if you agree or not, jeff, enthralling perhaps the cases here? what jumps out at you? >> well, health care reform really could be the biggest case that has been before the court since bush v. gore. but here you have president obama's major achievement as president of the united states and the supreme court very likely will issue a thumbs up or thumbs down in the next -- you know, before the -- july of next year. it is a huge, huge case. >> jeff, what about the make-up of the court? it's changed. has it at all changed its rulings or its character now
that you have three female justices on the court? >> well, i think more important than three female justices is you have four democratic justices. i mean the political polarization that we see in congress we see in the supreme court now. there are five republicans on that court, there are four democrats on that court and that really tells you pretty much all you need to know about how they resolve most cases. >> do we expect to see the same kind of 5-4 split that we've become accustomed to over hot-button issues? >> we sure do. i mean justice anthony kennedy is the most moderate of the five republicans. he holds the key to virtually every hot-button issue, including health care. it's -- john roberts is the chief justice but it is anthony kennedy's court. >> okay, jeff, appreciate your time. we'll be looking out very closely following a lot of those cases. thanks. reminder to vote for today's "choose the news" winner. 22360 for the story you'd like,
1 for mandela reality show. why nelson mandela's grandchildren say they plan to star in their own new reality tv show. even though critics say they're going to ruin their grandfather's image. text 2 to find out about a new baby saving device. we'll show you how this portable and cheap incubater type device is now saving lives. text 3 for bartering is hot online and in person. we're going to show you how more and more people are exchanging goods instead of buying them. the winning story is going to air next hour. pills. the afternoon tour begins with more pain and more pills. the evening guests arrive. back to sore knees. back to more pills. the day is done but hang on... her doctor recommended aleve. just 2 pills can keep arthritis pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is lara who chose 2 aleve and fewer pills for a day free of pain. and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels.
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now for stories the affiliates are covering across the country. forget about the leaves turning colors. in some cases the snow is already falling. all right, it was just a little dusting in central pennsylvania, barely enough to make a snowball, but it was snow. in san diego, people from miles away said they could feel the boom from this wall of fire and fireworks show. unbelievable. it is part of the annual air show. flames can reach 2,500 feet. 11 years ago they actually made the "guinness book of world records." time to flex those muscles. these folks in rhode island proved you can do anything, even pull a 179,000-pound jet. that's right. if you work together. they did it. it was all well worth it raising thousands of dollars for
multiple sclerosis research. top of the hour. i'm suzanne malveaux. want to get you up to speed. amanda knox summed up her plea to an appeals court in italy today with four words -- i did not kill. jurors are now deciding whether or not they should overturn her murder conviction from 2009. now lawyers for knox and her boyfriend argue that dna evidence used to convict was contaminated. >> translator: i am not what they say i am, perverse, violent. i respect life and people and i haven't done the things that they are suggesting i have done. i haven't murdered, i haven't raped, i haven't stolen. i wasn't there. i wasn't present at the crime. >> a jury found knox and her boyfriend guilty of the slashing murder of her roommate. now prosecutors portray the crime as part satanic ritual,
part orgy. a massachusetts man will be in courtt this afternoon on terror charges. federal prosecutors say this man planned to fly model planes filled with explosives into the u.s. capitol and the pentagon. prosecutors want the judge to hold the 26-year-old physics grad without bail. the nobel committee awarded the prize for medicine today. it went to three scientists who made strides in our understanding of the immune system. well, one of them died friday from cancer. apparently the nobel committee did not know and the rules say a prize cannot be awarded posthumously. it is not clear how this committee will handle this delicate situation. dr. conrad murray's trial in the death of michael jackson entered its fifth day. it happened just a few minutes ago. now the emergency room doctor who tried to revive jackson is now back on the stand. the jury may also hear today from murray's three -- yes,
that's right -- three girlfriends. phone records show that the doctor spoke with all three women in the minutes before and after jackson went into cardiac arrest. 18 passengers from two separate planes are nursing some bruises today. there is extreme turbulence that rocked lufthansa and jetblue flights last night. both landed safely, however, in boston after some pretty scary dips in the air. >> it was so scary. i thought, my god, this could be it. but it didn't last that long. it was just -- it was quite a surprise. >> i had the coffee jump everywhere. we started screaming. oh, my god. so scared. >> the flying coffee that the lady's referring to actually burned one of those passengers. protests by the group occupy wall street have spread from new york to at least three other major cities. police arrested more than 700 protesters on saturday when they
marched on the brooklyn bridge. occupy wall street says it wants to draw attention to corporate greed and immorality, among many other issues. for the first time since 1996, tiger woods is not ranked in professional golf's top 50. he started this year at number two. well, woods has won 14 majors. but he hasn't won a tournament since november 2009. coincidentally or not, that was about the same time that he had problems in his marriage tan fell apart. sunday nights are not going to be the same without at least one complaint from andy rooney. the "60 minutes" commentator signed off last night after 33 years and 1,097 essays. >> a lot of you have sent me wonderful letters and said good things to me when you meet me in the street. i wasn't always gracious about it. it's hard to accept being liked. i don't say this often, but
thank you. although, if you do see me in a restaurant, please, just let me eat my dinner. >> all right. we'll leave you alone. he leaves his job, he is 92 years old. his "60 minutes" colleague morley safer called rooney america's grump in chief. more details now on our lead story. it is illegal and emotional cliffhanger playing out in a courthouse in italy now. right now a jury is deciding the fate of american exchange student amanda knox. knox was convicted of murder and is appealing her conviction. now earlier today she made an emotional plea to the jury and talked to them about the time that she spent in prison. >> translator: i am the same person that i was four years ago. exactly the same person. the only thing that has progressed now from four years
ago is my suffer iing. in four years, i've lost my friends, and the most terrible unexplainable way. >> cnn's becky anderson joins us live from italy. becky, paint a picture for us if you will. what was it like inside the courtroom when knox made that statement? >> yeah. quite the most highly charged 40, 45 minutes this morning. around 9:30 local time, it is just after 6:00 now, suzanne. this was knox's last chance to convince a jury at this appeal of her innocence. she effectively said -- i paraphrase here -- but she said i didn't do it, i didn't kill her, i didn't rape her, i didn't steal, i didn't do it. those effectively the words that
she used today. the jury have been out now for some time about eight hours. we were told not to expect a verdict before 8:00 local time. let me tell you, they are in this building here. they've been out for about eight hours. local time, 8:00 is two hours from now so we are expecting a verdict any time. it seems at least to those who have visited knox who is back in prison, which is about 40 minutes away today, that she is confident that this verdict will be overturned on appeal. my colleague paula newton spoke to an italian mp, member of parliament who's been in to see knox today. and he reported that she was extremely confident and that she'd been singing religious songs. she may think that she's free, we will not find out until this jury and the presiding judge comes out in a couple of hours' time. >> becky, do we have any sense of how she's spending her time? it must be rather agonizing here but you said she's singing religious songs. do we know how she is spending these hours just waiting?
>> yeah, just waiting. so is sollecito. he's also in prison. that was of course her former boyfriend who also made an impassioned speech today, a plea trying to convince this jury that he is also innocent. it's a very difficult situation for everybody included in this. and that includes of course meredith kercher's family who are also here. lest we forget, suzanne, there is a victim in all of this. the beginning of november 2007, meredith kercher was brutally sexually assaulted and murdered. there is one man already inside for that, doing 16 years, a man called rudy guede, but the other two, knox and sollecito were convicted of murder in 2009. what are they doing? they are sim 34ply waiting. if indeed this verdict is overturned, there is a possibility that amanda knox who has been inside now for some time -- she was 20 when meredith was murdered. she's 24 now. she could be back on a plane on the way to seattle hours after this jury decides.
tonight she'll have to pick up her stuff, do the paperwork. she could be out of there and back state side before you know it. >> this could be a very dramatic turn of events. we know that there is a jury that basically her fate is in their hands, there are eight -- two judges, six civilians, five women, three men. their decision doesn't even have to be unanimous? is that right? it is majority rules? as many decide that she gets to go home, that's the way it goes? >> yeah. yeah. effectively, even-even she's out of here. interesting, isn't it? the way the italian justice system works. first of all they haven't been sequestered so they've been exposed to all media, be it social media or media across the tele and the papers, for example so they could easily have been machine plated by what the media has been saying. eight of them, five women, three men. two of them are judges in this case. one of them is the presiding judge, a guy called helmand. he is there to help the jury
decide, not to tell them what to say but to help them. that wouldn't happen anywhere else in the world. he will be up here outside this building just hours from now to tell us what the verdict is. >> very interesting system that they have there in italy. becky, thank you. we'll be standing by obviously to await any kind of decisions that are many cocoming out of t. stay with cnn for the very latest on the amanda knox appeal. we'll bring you the jury's decision as soon as we get it. here's a rundown, some of the stories we are covering over the next hour. first, praise from former vice president dick cheney. after a drone strike killed an american-born terrorist in yemen. kind words come with some strings attached, however. and then, could we be sinking into another recession? you're going to get answers from the new york stock exchange. and, plus, for better or for worse? with a deadline in mexico city, a two-year marriage contract -- i'm not kidding -- with a clause to opt out.
also, the constantly changing faces of our sun. we've got some stunning images just released by nasa. >> is math fun? >> yeah, math is a lot of fun because you're active, can you use it when you're cooking. if you're going to use two eggs or three eggs, stuff like that. >> looks like the kids just got a brabd new math teacher. we'll have more on that. nd new . we'll have more on that.
explains. >> reporter: no weekend qualms about a u.s. drone strike into yemen that killed a top al qaeda operative who was also an american. thumbs up from the former vice president. >> i think the president ought to have that authority to order that kind of strike, even when it involves an american citizen. there is clear evidence that he's part of al qaeda, planning and cooperating, supporting attacks against the united states. >> reporter: okay, by the former head of the cia. >> we are nation at war and as a belligerent have a right to kill or capture enemy combatants trumps the fact that one or another of those combatants might have u.s. personhood wrapped around them. >> reporter: and the former ranking democrat on the house intelligence committee is in, too, but she wants the obama administration to be transparent about its legal justification for killing an american without due process. >> i believe there is a good case, imminent threat, beyond our ability to arrest him, the authorization to use military
force against al qaeda. he was complicit with al qaeda but i think the justice department should release that memo. >> reporter: in fact, two americans were killed in the u.s. attack. the target, anwar al awlaki, a master recruiters linked to several plots against the u.s., including the ft. hood shootings, and samir khan, an al qaeda propagandist. despite his approval of thes strikes, something eats at dick cheney, something president obama said in cairo in 2009 about the u.s. reaction to the 9/11 attacks. >> the fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our traditions an our ideals. we are taking concrete actions to change course. i have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the united states. >> reporter: cheney says now that the obama administration trying to protect the country approved the killing of an american citizen, the president should rethink his suggestion that the bush administration's
tactics were un-american. >> they, in effect, said that we had walked away from our ideals, or taken policy contrary to our ideals when we had enhanced interrogation techniques. they've clearly moved in the direction of taking robust action whether they feel it is justified. >> you'd like an apology, it sounds like. >> well, i would. i think that would not be for me but for the bush administration. >> reporter: still the larger picture is worth noting again. asked if the obama administration is waging a successful war against terror, cheney says yes. candy crowley, cnn, washington. tonight on cnn, the premier of erin burnett "out front." remember are indiscusses the drone attack in yemen with her first guest, defense secretary leon panetta. "up front" begins at 7:00 eastern. all the best to her. here's your chance to "chuz the news." text 1 for mandela reality show. some of nelson mandela's grandchildren star in a new reality tv show about their
lives. we get a sneak peek behind the scenes and got to ask them what they think of the criticism they could be ruining their grand father's image. text 2 to learn more about a new baby saving device. it acts just like an incube baiter but it is affordable and costs a fraction of the price. we'll show you how it is already saving lives in india. or text 3 for bartering is hot. with the economy in such bad shape, more and more people are bartering for goods they need and want. and it's not always in person. i'll show you some of the websites that are also being used. so you can vote by texting 22360. text 1 for mandela reality show. 2 for baby saving device. or 3 for bartering is hot. winning story will air later this hour. the recession officially ended two years ago. right? but a growing number of economists say we could be headed for another one. alison kosik is at the new york stock exchange with details of a
new report. for a lot of folks it does not feel like the recession ended two years ago. what are the economists saying about the outlook of the economy? >> suzanne, if you ask the economic cycle research institute they'll tell you we're in a recession now or it's inevitable that we're going to go into one, especially when you look at all the negative factors weighing on the economy. home prices are extremely low. no jobs were created in august. manufacturing is slowing and economists expect greece to run out of money this month. an analyst from the ecri was on "american morning" today. listen to his take. >> in this case we have a conceptual underpinning of how recessions and recoveries take place in this country. in a market economy recessions are part and parcel of a market economy so we're not going to get away from them. looking at the facts, we see that the forward looking indicators -- not one, not two -- dozens of leading indexes are falling. there's contagion among those
indexes. they are falling in a way that we only see when a recession is under way. >> but, the jury is still out. not everybody agrees that we're in a recession now. case in point, fitch ratings coming out today saying it does not expect a double-dip recession for the u.s. but one thing that most economists can agree on here, suzanne, is that the likelihood its ane creased of having a recession because the global economy is undeniably slowing down. >> do they see this as a repeat of 2008 when you had all these bailouts, you had the market that was very volatile, the bankruptcies that were happening in corporate america? >> no, no. most economists say you know what? this would not be a repeat of 2008. if we are in a recession or we're going into one, it would be more mild because what's different now is that the credit markets aren't frozen like they were back in 2008. companies are making money. they've got loads of money on the sidelines but keep in mind because our economy right now is so fragile, if we get any big
negative shock, all bets are off. you have to also remember what happened in 2008 in the early part of the year. pretty much everybody thought the recession would be mild. obviously it didn't turn out to be that way because we got that big shock from lehman so you really can't predict what's going to happen. >> all right, alison kosik, thank you. 'til death do us part. well, not if some lawmakers get their way in mexico city. they're offering an opportunity to bail out of the marriage after just two years. it's an option to renew. you can't make it up. that story next.
ultimate exit strategy. yep, that's right. disposable marriages. couples who would sign a two-year marriage contract with the option to renew. our senior latin american affairs editor rafael romo joins us with this unusual story. this is something we've been laughing, talking about it. our whole team. but you're happily married. right? >> i am happily married. five years. >> she renewed the contract? >> yes. >> tell us. tell us why this came up. how did this come about? >> well, the sponsor of the bill says that it is a matter of public policy. he says we have just like in america 50% of couples end up being divorced within ten years. in mexico city. that's correct. it only applies to mexico city. what he says is that it costs a lot of money to the legal system, it costs a lot of money. it clogs the courts and so what they want to do is just limit it to two years and if at the end of two years they're not happy, it is basically a no-fault divorce and they can do that. as you can imagine, people are not very happy on the one side,
some people like it, some people don't but opinions basically in mexico city are split right down the middle. let's take a listen to what people are saying. >> translator: it's like renewing your vows after two years if you want. if there's a fight, they can plan what to do from the beginning. >> translator: if you're making a commitment to share your life with someone, it better be for more than two years. it has to be for the rest of your life. >> and this is expected to be voted on some time this week. whether it will pass or not this week we don't really know. >> do you think it is going to pass? >> well, the prd, the party sponsoring this, has majority in mexico city at the local legislature. so back in 2009 they approved the law -- approving gay marriage in mexico city. it wouldn't happen in the rest of mexico because the rest of the country tends to be more conservative but in mexico city it happened. >> that's a good point. because aside from brazil, mexico, the most catholic really
in the world. so this is just mexico city. would not really fly outside of mexico city. >> that's right. back in 2009, the catholic church voiced strong opposition to the bill legalizing gay marriage. as you can imagine, this time around they're also doing the same thing. let's take a listen to what they said. >> translator: mexico is suffering very serious problems precisely because we're losing family values. i think that instead of creating all kinds of comfortable rules for political purposes, legislators should focus on promoting strong marriages and family values. >> and that opinion basically reflects a good portion of mexico as a country, not necessarily just mexico city. because mexico city tends to be a lot more liberal than the rest of the country. >> you certainly hope that in those two years if they're married there are not kids involved and they get caught up in all that because that only complicates things. >> according to the bill,
everything will be predetermined, who gets custody of the children, who keeps what property, bank accounts, everything will be written down at the time they marry so if at end of two years they decide to call it quits, no need to argue. everything is on paper. say bye-bye or in this case adios and it is over. >> okay. well i can't tell you how many people quietly not publicly would say, hey, that's not a bad idea. but it's generating a lot of discussion. thank you so much. very interesting story. so what happened the day that michael jackson died? testifying today, those who tried to revive jackson and some who were quite close to his doctor.an ..a toy drum. hiya folks, so the other day i tried to buy some camouflage pants but i couldn't find any. [ rimshot ] thank you, thank you i'll be here all week. in fact, i'll be here for the next 18 years. [ rimshot ] is this really necessary? come on ma, laughter is the best medicine! i'm just glad i stocked up on the real stuff. tough crowd. [ male announcer ] get low prices every day on everything to prepare for cold and flu season. we're so confident in our low prices,
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here's a rundown of some of the stories that we are working on. next, the trial of michael jackson's doctor, conrad murray. we'll talk to a former prosecutor about the testimony that's expected today. and then the convicted lockerbie bomber who was said to be in a coma? well, he's now lucid and he's talking about the bombing. and later, when politicians speak, truth-o-meter listens. we'll separate fact from fiction on comments the president and a republican candidate made. well, day five of the
michael jackson death trial is just getting under way in los angeles. the focus is on the day he died and what dr. conrad murray who was at his side, what he was doing. holly hughes is with us now, a criminal defense attorney and a former prosecutor. you and i were talking about the significance here. but what is the purpose of having this string of doctors, these emergency workers testify today about jackson trying to revive jackson? >> well, what they're going to tell you that is the most important is that when they asked dr. murray what is michael jackson on, what have you given this patient, he never mentions propofol. and that goes to krshsness of guilt. if you honestly think i just gave him a small amount and it is not responsible, you're going to include that because you want your patient to get the very best care. they are trying to revive this man, save his life. essentially. when you don't include that, everybody's got to stop and wonder why. the second thing is, they're
going to ask all these doctors what else did conrad murray say in your presence. what was his attitude, what was his affect like, was he nervous, was he scared, was he on the phone. all of that plays in to his mindset and that's what we're talking about, the standard of care. where was his head? what was he thinking? >> the other thing, about the phone calls, he was making phone calls, we know he was on the phone because we're talking about not just one, not two, but three girlfriends that he was on the phone with apparently before and after michael jackson's death. what is the significance of these women coming forward? >> well, what it's going to do is it is going to nail down the time line. in every case, the time line is essential because it is going to show once again what's his mindset? he is on the telephone speaking with one of his girlfriends at about 11:57 a.m. she said all of a sudden i don't hear him anymore and i can't get him to respond to me on that phone call. so we can assume from that,
that's about the time that dr. conrad murray has discovered michael jackson either already deceased or in some kind of medical distress because she says he just stops. there's just deadness. i can't get him to respond to me. but we know that 911 is not called until much later. so when all these ladies start taking the stand, you better believe the prosecution is going to write down what time was that an what time was that? to establish the pattern. we're also hearing rumblings that conrad murray was on the phone with another girlfriend while in the ambulance transporting -- racing michael jackson to the emergency room. >> why would he be on the phone with her? >> precisely the point, suzanne. which is why the prosecution wants these witnesses to testify. if you know he's already deceased, then i guess you feel like, well, there's nothing else i can do, i might as well just call one of my honeys. i mean i don't know but that's what the prosecution is going to argue. >> you said the cell phone guy is going to be important, too. because he's going to be able to tell very precisely who called
whom at what point. >> that's exactly right. the second thing is he'll give up what we call subscriber information. he can tell you who that phone belongs to, not just that he was on the phone. conrad murray can't now get up there and say i was talking to a doctor friend of mine for advice. that cell phone person is not only going to nail the time line which is corroborated by the girlfriend's testimony, girlfriends, plural, but then he is also going to be able to say, and that phone is assigned to -- and he'll start listing out these names and that just ties all that evidence in to a neat little package. >> you wonder if the girlfriends are all going to show up together or come in separate times. >> you wonder if they knew about each other before this trial. >> they know now. >> they sure do. >> thank you, holly. we'll be following the story. vote for today's "choose the news" winner. text 22360 for the story you'd like to see. text 1 for mandela reality show. behind-the-scenes look at nelson mandela's grandchildren filming their own reality tv show. text 2 for baby saving device.
learn more about the revolutionary invention that's saving lives in india. or text 3 for barter somethiing. find out how to barter for goods instead of pay for it in these tough economic times. the winner later this hour. the lockerbie bomber is speaking out just weeks after his family said he was in a coma. hear what he is saying about the bombing.
weeks or months. i want to die in my house, among my family. i wish from god that i will see my country unite with no fighting or war. i hope the bloodshed will stop in libya. >> cnn's senior international correspondent nic robertson joins me from london. nic, you went to megrahi's home just a few weeks ago. first, when you listen to him -- right -- and you hear this and he says, i have days, weeks, months left, before when you visited the family said he was in a coma. he was on his deathbed there. do you believe anything that they say now? >> you know, i think the evidence is still there that this is a very sick man but the type of cancer that he has is one where people do recover. when i saw him his family told me that he hadn't had medication, hadn't been seen by a doctor, wasn't eating properly. and this is why he was slipping in and out of a coma. i think we have to take what he says with a grain of salt,
probably a pinch of salt, probably a large pinch of salt. but what he is doing here is essentially what his family did when i met them a month ago which is to say that he's innocent. what's interesting here is he says this information will be revealed in the coming months perhaps, but he's not saying what it is. and really, if he can defend himself and is well enough to speak, the question really remains -- if he's not to blame, then who is? he says he won't say at this time. >> nic, do you think he has any valuable information to offer? >> it would seem that he would. he claims that he's been unfairly treated by the justice system, that he is innocent, that he is not the guilty person, and therefore he must, as an operative within libya's intelligence organization -- let's not forget when he got off the plane and came back to libya two years ago, he was met at the
f foot of the steps of the aircraft by the head of libya's intelligence system who's still on the run, wanted by interpol, wanted by the international criminal court. the implication is megrahi, if he is not guilty by his own admission, then he must have some information about who else might be. he must be able to point the finger in a better direction. there are also others in the former government of gadhafi who would also have that information but he must have something if he is to prove his innocence. >> nic, just finally to kind of button this up, if i can, do you think that megrahi and his family -- do you think they are essentially playing with people, that this is a game here in terms of we can see that he's sick, but whether or not he's going to die tomorrow or the next day or the next month here? i mean this comes up over and over and over again. what do you think is the point of that? >> i think the point is that they want to be left alone, that he doesn't want to be a political pawn in all of this.
this is his view and he certainly knows that there is a movement to bring him to the united states to answer some of those key questions in the united states. the scottish first minister a month ago said he had seen the pictures of megrahi and he looked too ill to be brought back to scotland. the interim government, national transitional council has said they won't send him back out of the country. i think this is again an effort by him and by his family to head off the possibility that he could be sent out of the country to face questioning. they say he wants it die in peace at home. >> all right, nic robertson, thank you very much. we appreciate your excellent reporting, as always. calling out the politicians. we put their statements to the test with the truth-o-meter. and can we solve our children's math and science problems by taking them to sesame street? elmo thinks so. stick around. he's going to tell us why.
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want to bring you some live pictures here that we are getting in just now from our affiliate wfaa. this is pictures that we're looking at emergency crews at a chemical plant at magna blend, inc. this is waxahachie, texas. this is unbelievable. look at that smoke. just billowing out. black smoke and a tremendous fire. this fire broke out around 11:00 this morning, we are told. this black smoke is coming from this chemical plant. it is on the 1600 block of west
287 in waxahachie. this is an industrial area and we are told that this chemical company houses a blend of chemicals that are hazardous to the environment. you just see those flames whipping through that industrial complex there. now because of the potential danger from this fire, from the smoke and from the chemicals, if you just take a look at -- it's fierce, it is just getting bigger and bigger. black smoke, unbelievable. because they believe there is potentially hazardous materials and the kinds of chemicals that are going into the air, wedgeworth elementary school, which is nearby, is keeping the students inside. the administrators and the students are inside of the elementary school. they do not want to be exposed to what we are seeing here which is just an unbelievably big fire and some of those chemicals in that industrial complex there. we're going to keep an eye on
this story as this develops and bring you more information as we get it. but you can see there, really very dramatic pictures and potentially a very dangerous situation on the ground for folks who are there outside of the magna blend chemical plant in waxahachie, texas. prisoner executions, the nation's rising debt and disaster declarations. politicians have been talking about all that lately. but the question is, can we believe what they're saying? angie is with us from the st. petersburg "times" and politifact.com feeding some comments to their truth-o-meter. angie, start with this one from republican presidential candidate gary johnson. he said, "it costs more money to put a person on death row than it does to lock them up for the rest of their lives because of attorney fees." what do you make of that? >> we rated this one half true.
it got complicated quickly because we have 50 states with 50 different sets of rules for legal costs and appeals processes. so it's true in some states. in other cases it's a much closer call. so half true. >> all right. and new jersey governor chris christie says president barack obama failed to stand up for the bipartisan debt solutions of the simpson-bowles commission. true or false? >> we gave this one a mostly false. now you may recall that this commission released very specific proposals back in december and the president did not immediately endorse all these specifics. but we talk to some fiscal experts who told us that since then obama has been much more supportive of a bipartisan compromise much like the commission suggested where both sides have to do something they don't like basically. so we gave this statement a
mostly false. >> okay. and this comment from senate majority leader harry reid. he said president obama has declared disasters in 48 of 50 states this year. what is the truth-o-meter show? >> we rated this one mostly true. we went and counted the declarations and we found 42 of 50, which supports his general point that there have been a lot. there was hurricane irene and we've also seen wildfires, tornadoes and flooding in many states. so mostly true on this one. >> all right. angie, thanks. good to see you. kids in the u.s. are struggling, to say the least, with math and science. sesame street, you know sesame street? we love sesame street. determined to get them back up to speed so they kree recruited as an assistant teacher. here's ""smart is the new rich"" author christine romans.
>> elmo, what does stem mean? >> that's hard. what does stem mean? >> remember, elmo, that's science, technology, engineering and the "m" is the easy one. >> math! >> elmo, do you like math? >> i like math. >> yeah. because everyone likes to count. >> can you count for me? >> 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. >> is math fun? >> math is a lot of fun because you can add things. can you use it when you're cooking. if you're going to use two eggs or three eggs, stuff like that. >> why is it important to get kids excited about stem, about science, technology, engineering, math and why is sesame street trying to make this part of the season this year? >> well, as a nation we recognize we're falling behind in these areas and it's always been sesame street's tradition to sort of give kids a head start, a leg up. and when you actually boil down the s.t.e.m. curriculum, it is perfect for preschoolers because it is about asking questions and investigating -- >> and experimenting.
>> right. that's how you learn. >> experimenting. >> you've learn some words like i'm told you've learned about amphibian. >> um-hmm. >> and balance. >> um-hmm. and ingredient. and liquid. >> why are you learning these words? >> because they're really cool words and it's really fun to learn what they mean. >> you also learned engineer. what's an engineer. >> well, when you build something. you engineer. >> so it is creative. >> yes. that's a good word -- creative! >> static numbers and math and tables but something you are trying to show kids is part of learning and part of life. >> it is very physical. s.t.e.m. is fun. it is physical fun. it is about testing out things and any question kids have we encourage parents not to answer the questions that kids have but explore the answers with their kids together. >> this generation of preschoolers may thank elmo and his friends as they grow older because demand for these types of jobs involving math and science is expected to grow 17%
by 2018. so, for more information about those jobs and other high-tech growth jobs in the sector, check out christine's book ""smart is the new rich."" we are also keeping a very close eye on developing story here out of texas. you're looking at affiliate pictures wfaa. this is a fire that is growing. this is at a chemical plant. this is out of waxahachie, texas. a fire broke out about 11:00 this morning, we are told. you can just see what kind of condition the billowing smoke, black smoke and fire that's spreading. there is an elementary school nearby. they're keeping those kids inside because of what looks like a very ominous and dangerous situation. we'll have more about this chemical fire, talk to our own chad meyers about it after the break. americans are always ready to work hard for a better future.
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want to bring you back to this chemical fire that we are watching. this is a dangerous situation here. i want to bring in our own chad meyers. this is a chemical plant here. there is an elementary school that's next to it. but if you take a look at pictures and the black smoke and the fire that seems to be rapidly spreading, what does this say to you? it looks like it is actually -- just traveling right down -- is that water? >> well, what really concerns me now is getting toward these tanker cars and the tanker cars don't seem to be getting out of the way. you never know what's in the tanker cars. that's the dangerous picture for me. it is kind of an oil services company. they make things that you put in your engine, they treat engine oil like a restore engine oil product. they will take and they'll use products that will take regular
crude and make it into more things that your car and people around can use. now those products obviously made of petroleum themselves. that's why this is such a black smoke. this is really probably a choking smoke even for the firefighters. they would have to be in there with respirators just to get to this. >> is this a highly flammable type of material that we're talking about where this chemical plant -- >> i haven't seen anything that isn't burning. i think everything in the entire place is flammable at this point in time. this is near 35e. if you live around dallas you may look in the sky, look toward the south. you'll see this thick, thick black smoke. it is actually on radar. this smoke is so thick, i can see it on the radar. the smoke is so thick that the radar believes it is raining. that's how much stuff is in the air. so a very -- if you're smelling this anywhere around waxahachie, and the wind is blowing south to north -- not so much into dallas-ft. worth, you need to be out of there.
this is dangerous toxic smoke that's burning. >> i'm looking at the highway you mentioned there which is not far at all. i am imagining if you're in one of those cars, you need to get out of there. roll up those windows and get out of there. >> that highway is going to be shut down. 35e. 35 splits from where you go to oklahoma all the way down towards waco. it splits around dallas-ft. worth. 35w goes to ft. worth, 35e will go to dallas. this is the dallas side of that 35e and w. as soon as this starts to heat up, this will be the next thing. you'll see this fire along those tanker cars and who knows what possibly can be in those tanker cars there. >> when you take a look at the color of this smoke, the fact that that is -- i mean that is so thick and it is so black, i would assume that that is really not a good sign, that that means that that is even more harmful than just a regular smoke as you'd see from wood burning, for instance. >> right. and you wouldn't put wood or
water, things that are non-toxic into a diesel fuel additive. it has to be almost a petroleum distillate already or some other byproduct of petroleum to add to regular diesel fuel to make it maybe flow better, or maybe make it just makes your engine smooth or running. that's the kind of products they're making, this no-smoke oil additive, this restore engine oil additive. once you get an old car and your rings start to wear out, you'll put these oil additives in your engine to make the car smoke a little bit less. but you can clearly see the toxicity of this. >> it might be a little too early to say, but look at that fire. it's so powerful right there. >> we see firefighters but they're not even going near this thing at this point. >> do we have a sense of how big this is? you said you could see from a radar because of the color, the thickness of the smoke. it looks like this is really getting out of hand very quickly. >> hard to say but i would say
we're at least at three acres now and it is spreading along the grass lines and along the highway. it will get all the way obviously to 35e. that's why it shut down. it will burn along the railroad tracks. those railroad advertise will burn -- ties will burn instantly. you got to get those cars out of there. >> i'm being told it is waxahachie, texas. that's the way they say it from there. chad, appreciate your help and really taking a look at this developing story. we'll definitely get back to this, these pictures just very dramatic pictures and potentially a very dangerous situation where those folks are. chad, thanks again. we're going to pose the "choose the news" winners on my facebook page. that's facebook.com/suzannecnn. "cnn newsroom" continues after this with randi kaye who's in l.a. to switch your current medicare coverage is earlier this year. it begins october 15th and ends december 7th;
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