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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  March 26, 2012 9:00am-11:00am EDT

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care and thanks rod blagojevich for giving me his hair today. >> he kind of did that on the hair today. >> i have to agree! that is amazing! thank you, soledad. good morning to you. i'm carol costello. stories we are watching right now in the newsroom. the crown jewel of the obama presidency, the health care law, goes before the u.s. supreme court. it could be the most important justice have heard for years and begins in about an hour. tensions grow in the trayvon martin case the shooter not wanted by the law and not even charged but check out this wanted poster one group has put out for him. hearing from the whsergeantt bales' wife. he says her husband would not commit the crimes he's accused of. >> he loves children. he's like a big kid himself. tossed, handcuffed and
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dragged out. is how a trip to the oklahoma city airport ended for one man and it looks like you can see him there, he is face down. now police are under investigation. campaign ad or horror movie? hard to tell the difference. >> welcome to a place where one president's failed policies really hit home. welcome to obamaville. >> stephen king. you got nothing on rick santorum. the candidate's new ad says this grim horror will be reality if the president is reelected. call this a susan boyle moment. only this fintime the voice bels to a 17-year-old boy. you don't have to look like a star to sound like one. ♪ he is so good.
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he took the smirk off simon cowell's face. this morning we start with a monumental legal fight that gets under way at the u.s. supreme court in about an hour. the issue is president obama's health care law but, ultimately, the case could redefine the power of government, the freedom of your choices and even the presidential race. three days of arguments begin with the central question, is the individual mandate constitutional? it will require nearly every american to purchase some level of insurance or face a tax penalty. that part of the bill, that law, that part of the law rather is scheduled to take effect in 2014. the supreme court debate is considered one of the most important cases in years, and it's been years in the making. >> reporter: the political fight over health care was exhausting. historic. on the day it passed, democrats cheered. when president obama signed the law, vice president joe biden inadvertently told america how
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amazing it was. was it ever! and still is in so many ways. >> i have every right -- >> wait a minute. >> where are we going to go if this health care gets passed? >> it helped fill the tea party movement and led to a shellacking of democrats in 2010 and may decide who is president in 2012. >> i will laeliminate obama car >> all of this over a law many americans simply don't understand. >> i'm not that educated on it. >> i'm not very good at it. i just hope it's -- when i get older. >> i know what i hear on tv but i don't know intimately. >> reporter: children up to age 26 can stay on their parents' plan. the prescription coverage gap for seniors is reduced. insurance companies cannot drop coverage for people with
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preexisting conditions. states are allowed to cover more people on medicaid. new plans can't charge for a certain preventive services like mammograms and colonoscopies. the one aspect most americans do understand is the requirement that everyone have insurance, the widely reviled, individual mandate. >> i don't like forcing anybody to do anything, you know, whether or not they -- it would benefit them personally. it's not anyone else's place to tell them what they have to do even if it's taking care of their health. it's not anyone else's right. >> reporter: that is where the health care law is where it is today, in the u.s. supreme court. talk more about that. the supreme court debate is sweeping in scope and jaw-dropping in scale. three days, four sessions, six hours of arguments. that makes this the biggest supreme court marathon on a single topic in more than 40 years. that's because of the sheer complexity of the law.
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2,700 pages and 450 some provisions. so what can we expect when it's all said and done? the justices could strike down all or parts of the law. that may mean throwing out the individual mandates. supporters say that is the linchpin that makes the whole plan work, though. the justices could also press pause on some of the larger issues and decide on them later. the court is expected to release its rulings? june. another case that is stealing passionate debate about justice and trust in our legal system. just hours after this cand candlelight vigil for trayvon martin the city will address the city commission in sanford, florida. a noon time meeting and two other celebrities will join the cause. nba hall of famer patrick ewing and nfl star ray lewis demanding justice for the unarmed teen killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer. martin's family now plans to sue the homeowners association. the attorney for the shooting is
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revealing more about a possible defense strategy. he says george zimmerman suffered injuries in a scuffle with the teenager and fired the fatal shot in self-defense. so let's get more on this developing story and what is shaping up to be a busy day for those demanding justice. martin savidge is in sanford. good morning, martin. >> good morning, carol. you're right. >> reporter: there are tloof factit has been one month now since trayvon martin was shot and killed by george zimmerman. no doubt about that. george zimmerman has admitted he shot and killed the 17-year-old youth. the point has been he has maintained throughout that this was self-defense. there are a lot of people who disagree with that and many of them are planning to be here in sanford around 4:00 this afternoon. there is going to be a protest march and make its way to the civic center where this town hall meeting is taking place at 5:00 tonight. and it is expected that there is such a large crowd, first, they had to move the menu while it's at the civic center.
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there may have to be an overflow which is why this park is being set up to handle that. there is eventually going to be, we're told, a giant screen television so that everyone, whether they get to be inside the civic center or not, will at least have the opportunity to see what takes place. the trayvon martin family has already put out a notice they are asking everyone, they are appealing for calm. they understand that passions are still running very, very high. we should also point out that there has been at least some information now coming from craig sonner. he is speaking about what sounds like a defense tactic. take a listen. >> he sustained an injury his nose and back of his head. i believe it broke his nose. he had a pretty good cut on the back of his head that probably could have used stitches but in the time it took for him to get to the hospital, i think they opted not to put stitches in. >> reporter: so you're listening
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to george zimmerman's attorney talk about his injuries from an altercation that george zimmerman required him to fire a weapon that killed the 17-year-old youth. no charges have been filed that has not happened, but the investigation is continuing at this point. carol? >> martin savidge reporting live from sanford, florida. one group is adding to the volati volatility. the black panthers have issued a reward for george zimmerman. this ad is posted on the group's website. >> where is the money coming from? >> from the black community. we are already getting support from athletes and entertainers as we speak. by next week, we are looking forward to getting $1 million for the capture of george zimmerman.
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we will force our government to do their job properly and if they don't, we will. it is a very troubling time in the united states of america. we are in era of our so-called post-racial, harmony for all people but black people are being murdered all over america and we get the same treatment time and time again. so we're saying to president obama, you got to do your job on this one, buddy. we don't need a -- we neat to laugh and have a good time. our children are dying. >> okay. here is a closer look at that group. the new black panthers claim to have thousands of members but offer no exact numbers. they are a black separatist group and believes america should have their own nation. one group believe they are a hate group calling them, quote, racist and antisemitic. the black panthers in the '60s and '70s reject them on their
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ideas. an mj vuf of the u.s. military of malaria drug that is still being used in afghanistan. the army nearly dropped the drug known as mefloquine or lariam. it has the various side effects. the drug has been complicated in numerous suicides and homicides. and comes day after robert bales allegedly massacred 17 afghan civilians, including women and children. the wife of robert bales spoke out today in an interview on the nbc "today" show and said she had seen no indication there was anything wrong with her husband and doesn't believe he could have done the horrific acts he is accused of. listen. >> he loves children. he's like a big kid himself. >> and he is accused of killing nine children. >> right. >> innocent children. >> it's unbelievable to me.
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i have no idea what happened, but he would not -- he loves children and he would not do that. >> the u.s. government, by the way, paid out $860,000 to the families of those afghan victims over the weekend. that's according to afghan officials. $50,000 for each of the dead. and $10,000 apiece for the wounded. also new this morning. north korea has moved a long-range rocket to a launch pad apparently getting ready to test-fire it. the news comes as president obama arrives in south korea for the start of a two-day nuclear summit. and it comes amid a warning from the u.s. and its allies. white house correspondent brianna keilar is traveling with the president. >> reporter: carol, president obama had some tough words for north korea's new leadership. he said if north korea moves forward what it's calling a satellite launch that u.s. and many other countries see as a
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thinly veiled long-range missile launch it will isolate itself. >> i want to speak directly to the leaders in payongyangpyongy. we are admitted to peace. your provocations and pursuit of nuclear weapons have not achieved the security you seek, they are undermined it. >> reporter: president obama also addressed iran's alleged ambitions to build a nuclear weapon, reiterating that there is a window for a diplomatic solution but that window is closing. the stated purpose of this nuclear security summer mitt is to keep tabs on nuclear material and make sure it doesn't fall into the hands of terrorists, but it's really the meetings on the sidelines that are getting so much attention. president obama has had a number of meetings with world leaders. he met with russian president
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dmitry medvedev and one of the things they talked about was syria. it's no secret that president obama has been upset with the russians, along with the chinese for vetoing that resolution on syria. he stated there was some differences today. he also, though, said that he and president medvedev agree the efforts by coffkofi annan must succeed. he spoke with the president of china. he is looking to china to pressure north korea and try to get them to stop this missile launch. carol, back to you. >> brianna keilar reporting. movie director james cameron back on the surface of the pacific ocean after diving so low to the bottom of the world. it's true! the director of "titanic" hit a spot called challenger deep. the deepest part in the world's ocean. challenger deep, more than 35,000 feet deep, that is seven
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miles underneath the water! took cameron two and a half hours to get down there. he is the first one to make it down there as a solo diver. talk more about this in a few minutes with zane vergy who is live in london. how important is the case before the supreme court this morning? so big that people camped out in front of court all weekend. wind, rain, heavy pollen could not keep them away. we will talk to one woman who has been on the sidewalk since friday. an atlanta newspaper says the cheating scandal that hit local schools may actually be a national problem. we will tell about it later. rick santorum lose his cool with a reporter on the campaign trail. we will tell you what the reporter asked, plus santorum's testy response. i'm walt gale,
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i worked at the colorado springs mail processing plant for 22 years. we processed on a given day about a million pieces of mail. checks, newspapers, bills. a lot of people get their medications only through the mail. small businesses depend on this processing plant. they want to shut down 3000 post offices, cut 100,000 jobs. they're gonna be putting people out of work everywhere. the american people depend on the postal service.
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pandora rocks the big board. let's talk more about the health care law going before the u.s. supreme court in just about an hour. it's not just a constitutional debate, it's a hot ticket. some people have been camping out on the sidewalk or paying people to hold a spot all weekend to get one of the few dozen tickets available to the public to get inside the court and, yes, it's been raining in d.c. kathy mcclure got in line on friday. she is the founder of boat health care.org and sports the health care law. you've been literally waiting in line to get a ticket to go
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inside the court since friday? >> that's right. carol, friday afternoon. >> people say you're crazy. >> i'm sorry? >> some people might say you're crazy. >> well, maybe they don't have a dog in this fight. i do because i have sick children who are chronically ill. i'm here because my kids' future really depends on this law surviving the constitutional challenge. it unites on the sidewalk is nothing compared to lifetime of affordable health care for them. >> a lot of people in america are against the individual mandate. they think it's unconstitutional because, of course, it forces them to buy insurance whether they want it or not. what would you say to those people since you support the law? >> well, you know, government tells us to do a lot of things. for example, we are all required to have automobile liability insurance and what is going on right now in our country is that people who don't have insurance
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coverage are actually costing all of us money. we pay each one of us who has insurance, actually pays about a thousand dollars a year for those that show up in the emergency room. so really the mandate is all about individual responsibility. it means we should all plan for the inevitable need for health care and people who don't cover themselves, they create a problem for everybody. so that is really the whole issue with the mandate. it's a matter of dollars and cents for insurance companies to make this a viable program that it's necessary. the mandate was a republican idea before it became socialism. >> i want to ask you about the emotions surrounding this law. it has split this country. people are passionate about this law. what do you think that is? >> i think the law has been framed in a way that's really --
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it's more about emotional issues rather than the nuts and bolts of how the law works and really what it takes to solve our health care problem in america where we spend, you know, $3 trillion on health care, and, yet, 30th among developed nations in our outcome. what -- what this law is a first step toward is to bring everybody into the fold, to have everyone covered so that they can get the care they need, so that we can be less sick, healthier nation, let's put it that way. >> of course, plenty of people in this country that vehemently disagree with you and probably standing in line with you. do you talk? >> oh, yes. the majority of people in line are being paid by companies to hold spots for important senators and congressman and other vips. there are not that many of us that actually have a personal stake in this.
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although the people who are in line for these companies, for the senators and congressmen that don't want to sleep on the sidewalk, they are working poor people and they don't have health care. so what does that say? you know? and one of my feelings, carol, is that these supreme court proceedings that are going to decide, and affect everybody in this country, they ought to be on television, you know? every american should be available to see this and decide for themselves whether the court is -- how the court is -- understanding how the court is considering this issue. >> we tried. >> i know you did. >> they won't let us in supreme court. thank you so much. we will let you get back in line. >> thank you. >> we will check back with you tomorrow. thanks, kathy. rick santorum has a web video out called "welcome to obamaville." >> imagine a small american town two years from now, if obama is reelected. >> this video takes a dark look
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at what would happen if president obama is reelected. we will talk more about this after a break. most of us cannot live without our cell phones but the carriers are getting much love for the customers these days. i'm sure you know why but we will tell you more after a break. a pgeget t totogegethther, yoyou u cacameme t to o ththe. bebecacaususe e heherere a at, wewe'r're e ononlyly a abob. fifindndining g yoyou u ththe e isis a allll w we e do. wewelclcomome e toto h hot. colors are more vibrant, this good... words are pin sharp, everything is more brilliant. because when a screen becomes this good... it's simply you and the things you care about. the stunning retina display. on the new ipad.
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turning now to the campaign trail. rick santorum is attacking mitt romney as being unable to unseat president obama. santorum says anybody but romney would be better to top the gop ticket. >> why would we put someone up who is uniquely, pick any other
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republican in the country! he is the worst republican in the country to put up against barack obama. why would wisconsin want to vote for someone like that? >> okay. so help me understand what this is from. the big thing going around the internet right now is "the new york times" reporter was in the audience when rick santorum said that, "the new york times" reporter pressed santorum about that. santorum came back and said, what you're saying basically is a bunch of bull. is that what we are watching? >> reporter: yeah. that sound right there is from last night in wisconsin. santorum campaigning there in advance of wisconsin's primary. he has been using this line a while that romney is the worst candidate to go up against president obama in november. why? so called romney care. santorum says it takes away from the so-called obama care, the national health care law.
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you're wife. a "the new york times" correspondent asked santorum about what we heard a second ago and this is how santorum responded. he said -- he said quit distorting my words. it's bull and then, of course, used the profanity. this morning, rick santorum defending that. he was interviewed on another network this morning and he said, listen. if you haven't cursed out a "the new york times" reporting you're not a true republican. santorum campaign are fund-raising now off of that incident last night, the back and forth between him and the "the new york times" reporting and trying to raise money off of it. santorum won big in louisiana over the weekend but he is still very far back in second place. take a look at this. the delegate count right now. mitt romney more than 2-1 advantage over santorum but not halfway to the 1,144 delegates need to do clench a nomination. a bunch more today backing romney. mike lee, a tea party caucus member in the senate and congressman mccarthy of california, number three house
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republican, both endorsing romney today. >> when you said rick santorum was on another network? would that be fox? >> could be, could be. i think that is the one. >> santorum has a new web video out and paints a bleak picture of an obama second term. let's look a bit of that. >> imagine a small american town two years from now if obama is reelected. small businesses are struggling and families are worries about their jobs and their future. the wait to see a doctor is ever increasing. >> paul, this is pretty apock l -- apock lipt tick.
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>> it's shocking and scary. i guess for the voters that santorum is going after in the primary it may help them. are they putting this on tv as a paid commercial some i talked to a top santorum aide. they said no, they are not but part of an eight-part series portraying what the country would look like after an obama re-election. >> paul, thanks. the tension keeps growing in the trayvon martin cases and calls for george zimmerman to face charges. we will talk about that with will cain and lz granderson. will cain is getting tweets you wouldn't believe. we will talk about that next. li.
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apocalyptic. good morning.
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i'm carol costello. stories we are watching right now in the newsroom. we are hearing from the wife of a soldier accused of going on a killing spree from afghanistan. sergeant bales wife says her husband would not commit the crimes he is accused of.
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>> he loves children. he is like a big kid himself. >> the united states government paid out $860,000 to the families of victims over the weekend, that is according to afghan officials. $50,000 for each of the dead and $10,000 for each of the wounded. tensions grow in the trayvon martin case. the shooter is not wanted by the law. he is not even charged but check out the wanted poster and the reward one group has put out for him. the crown jewel of the obama presidency, the health care law, goes before the u.s. supreme court. it could be the most important case justices have heard for years. it begins in about an hour. some people have been waiting in line all weekend for a seat to witness history. of course, another contentious topic is the trayvon martin case and all anyone is talking about and the rhetoric surrounded what happened that night in sanford, florida, is growing even more heated and nasty. ask will cain who wondered there is a rush to judgment
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considering george zimmerman and will is hammered now on twitter so he joins us now and cnn contributor lz granderson is also with us. you had the conversation personally because you're friends about this very issue. will, i want to start with you with what exactly you said in the twitter verse and on air that has some people upset. >> right. one thing i didn't say that i want to say i think got lost in my and lz debate last night. there is a personal tragedy here one for trayvon and his family and i feel awful for their fmly. what i said that provoked so much backlash on me i am unwilling to join the outrage at this point. i feel like a lack of facts. several elements to this case. the personal tragedy which we just talked about. which i just talked about. there is the potential racial profiling aspect that george zimmerman might have racially profiled trayvon. did george commit murder?
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and the florida stand your ground law. i think a lack of facts to contribute to the outrage. i guess i fear a sense of mob mentality and i want slow down and maybe we need more facts before we come to conclusions. >> lz, how do you feel about that? far athletes are joining in. sinbad is speaking at a community meeting later today and ray lewis and patrick ewing will be there. this has seemed to mushroom something seemingly out of control now. >> i don't think it's out of control. i think it's directed and focused on one thing, george zimmerman. why hasn't he been questioned? why hasn't he been arrested? will and i did have a heated debate last night because i think he still is missing the reason why people are so outraged. it's not necessarily that people want to hang george zimmerman. it's the fact that the police department didn't properly
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investigate this murder, that they bungled it and looked like they tried to cover it up and they didn't go through the proper steps that you would go through in a situation like this and a lot of people feel it's because of trayvon's race and that is where the out rage is focused in on. it's not about hanging george zimmerman as much as this man hasn't been questioned properly and he wasn't even drug tested. it seems as if the police department was working to exonerate him as opposed to finding out exactly what happened. that's why we say justice for trayvon and not hang george zimmerman. >> the reason i say spiraling kind of out of control you have this group putting out a nted poster with a $10,000 bounty on george zimmerman who is getting death threats and he's in hiding and can't come out. his lawyer says, wait a minute, the whole story is not out and, will, you will join in any im. i time. george zimmerman apparently
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suffered injuries? >> lz and i continued our debate last night over a beer after our segment and shows the way we feel about each other and how complicated this topic is. my position possess lz is this. however improbable the possibility exists that george zimmerman chased trayvon down but at the point he met him and said what are you doing and trayvon bake the attacker. i'm not saying that happened but the possibility exists and if that possibility exists, then i can't active at conclusions. under the stand your ground law, my understanding is the police needed evidence at that point to almost disprove george zimmerman's self-defense claim. >> lz? go ahead. >> i was just going to say that, you know, there are other pieces of the puzzle that we do know are true. we know that the police chief that stepped down, as a matter of fact, told reporters that george zimmerman wasn't racially motivated, didn't know the race of the victim, and then we hear
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the 911 tapes and george zimmerman identify trayvon as a black person. why would the police chief hear the reporters one thing and now that the 911 tapes are out we hear the truth. these are the details we are talking about that is making us look at the sanford police much more carefully because we are just saying there is some inconsistencies here. now, the police report, the initial police report didn't have anything at all put into it about george zimmerman having injuries. nothing about a nose being broken, nothing about gashes and blood. that was put in the second the later police report. why would you show up to a murder scene and see someone with a gun and if they are bleeding, if they have a broken nose, you probably would put that in the initial report but why wasn't that put in until later? these are the type of inconsistencies that have people wondering what the heck is going out down in sanford, florida. >> last word, will. >> as i said in the beginning there are so many different implicated
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complicated aspects of this case. this morning, on soledad o'brien's show, i said there may be a case, maybe, for legitimate outrage over racial profiling but that also doesn't lead you to the conclusion that george zimmerman acted in a way that wasn't self-defense. there are so many different aspects of the case that you have to analyze individually and it's not leading me to conclusions right now. but if it does, i will be rye there with everybody else with outrage after we have the facts. >> interesting conversation and i'm sure these kinds of conversations are going on across the country so thanks so much for sharing your passion with us this morning, lz granderson and will cain. >> thank you. a woman is charged with breaking into simon cowell's home while he was there. find out how she got in and what he was doing when it happened. that's in showbiz headlines that is coming your way next rrg james c james.
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the hunger games makes box office history over the weekend. no surprise there. the much anticipated thriller posted the third highest domestic debut of all time. a.g. hammer -- i messed up your name. i was so into that. a.j., you got more about this movie? >> i do and how much it made. we are talking about 155 million bucks. unbelievable. the film made more than $68 million on friday alone. now, only two movies have ever had a better opening weekend. it was last "harry potter" film and "batman" sequel "the dark knight." but considering the fact those two were both sequels it is the best opening weekend ever for a brand-new franchise so we can only imagine how big this whole thing is going to get from here. the film also took in another $60 million overseas for good
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measure. now, we already there are going to be two sequels to this film and make linesgate the studio behind the film very happy. a new pact of young actors unknown before the weekend but now can't walk down the street without mobbed by their new fans. >> i can't imagine. somebody broke into simon cowell's house while he was in it? >> this is according to the london newspapers. saturday night an hour and a half after simon finished his judging duties on "britain's got talent. >> apparently a woman got into his home by using a brick to smash the window. she was in his bathroom before apprehended by security and police. security at simon's house as you would well imagine is supposed to be excellent. he has tall fences and high tech gates. supposed to keep people out. now, of course, he is reportedly taking steps to shore up his system.
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i don't know if there is any truth to the rumor there will be lions and tigers roaming the property now but simon will do whatever he needs to do and he certainly can afford to do it. >> like that commercial, get a watch panther! that geico commercial! >> i was thinking that. watching his every move. >> thank you, a.j. appreciate it. he will be back bus the next hour with more showbiz headlines. coming up the queen of soul celebrates a birthday and a new album. we're back in a minute. this good... colors are more vibrant, words are pin sharp, everything is more brilliant. because when a screen becomes this good... it's simply you and the things you care about. thstunning retina display. on the new ipad.
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"titanic" director turned explorer james cameron has done it. >> welcome back, man. >> yes, he completed a one-man plunge almost seven miles down to the deepest known point in the ocean and he just resurfaced. zain verjee is following this from london. what is cameron saying about this trip? >> reporter: hey, there, carol. he is saying that hitting bottom never felt so good. seven miles under water in the pacific ocean. that san area off guam. the deepest point of the ocean there. he said it was so amazing. he said every second you see something cool. he described the amazing fish that he said he saw. he is also collecting samples for scientists who have never been that far down and they want to study some of the species out there. listen to how he put it after he
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went down two hours and 36 minutes. >> this is a long way down. when you go past "titanic" and past bismarck and you go past where the meres can go and you're only two-thirds of the way there, it's raze. >> it's crazy. >> reporter: where he was to give you a basis of comparison was deeper than everest is tall. >> i would jump out of a plane before i would do that. that would be so claustrophobic for me. >> i would do it. >> you would? you're braver than i. let's talk about "britain's got talent." >> with long hair. he doesn't have necessarily the look but he has the voice. just listen to this.
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♪ >> reporter: everyone went totally nuts for him there. what a booming voice. this guy's name is jonathan antoine and only 17 years old. before he performed, simon cowell was i don't know how great you'll be but after he belted out those notes, he said he would be a superstar. simon also said maybe drop your singing partner because she isn't as good but jonathan said no, for now. >> for now, right. but you can bet in the future he will consider that. i hope not, though, because what a great story. zain, thank you so much. atlanta newspaper says cheating on standardized school tests
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kerry glassman. good morning. >> good morning. >> so no shopping for a kind of
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food
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checking stories across the country in atlanta. the atlanta journal constitution says there is evidence to show cheating on standardized school tests may be happening across the country. paper looked at records from almost 70,000 public schools, and found what it called high concentrations of suspect scores similar to those it found when it uncovered a cheating scandal in the atlanta public school system.
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>> no! no! >> take a look at this video. a man at the oklahoma city airport apparently being dragged face-down out of the city's airport. this happened last month when police say the man was trying to get through airport security to talk with republican presidential candidate newt gingrich who was in oklahoma at the time, and not in the airport. there's an investigation under way now to see if police used proper procedures in that incident. in california, stormy weather is letting highways and knocking out power to thousands of customers. nearly 2 inches of rain fell in parts of southern california. the nascar race was halted because of the conditions. we're following a lot of developments in the next hour of the cnn "newsroom." let's check in first with martin savage. >> carol, we're anticipating thousands are going to be on hand for what is planned to be a demonstration. it will start with a protest march through the streets of sanford, this on the one month since 17-year-old trayvon martin was killed by george zimmerman.
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many people still angry he's not in custody. that anger is expected to boil over at a town hall meeting tonight. i'm dan lothian at the white house. it's the president's signature accomplishment, but is it constitutional? that's the question before the supreme court. coming up at the top of the hour, i'll tell you what this all means for the obama administration. and i'm rob marciano, the cnn severe weather center. the storm moving across southern california into the rockies. enough about weather. everybody wants to know how you're doing in your march madness bracket. break that down. >> i'm thinking that's probably not true. thanks, rob, thanks to all you have. >> and did you hear in tim tebow is joining the jets. a news conference with the new york media happened this morning. a big spotlight for someone expected to be the backup quarterback. we'll talk about that in the next hour of "newsroom."
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this tournament is just flying by, isn't it? the final four is now set. we're in the cnn center bracket lounge to show the survivors. good morning, jeff. >> good morning. we've made it from 68 down to the final four. it's actually a really solid final four. could make for some interesting match-ups saturday. here's the big board to show what we're seeing. kentucky, lure louisville, ohio state and kansas.
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kentucky, the only number one seed left in the tournament and i have to say right now they are probably the big favorite. kentucky, a big winner yesterday over baylor, showing why they are the number-one team in the country. baylor came into the game asking -- the bears wanted to wear the neon yellow jerseys, and they said no, you have to wear dark jerseys. so they went with camouflage. it did not matter. kentucky dominated. the highlights, a 16-0 run early on. the wildcats were up by -- [ no audio ] >> hey, jeff, are you still there? >> i'm still here. i'm still loving the ncaa tournament. apparently i'm cutting out a little bit. john calipari, kentucky coach, has the wildcats going back-to-back, and they are the team to beat. kansas also now into the final four after beating north carolina yesterday. the jayhawks pulled away with a 12-0 run to end the game. the final kansas 80, north
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carolina 67. the all-american had 18 points and 9 rebounds. tar heels coach roy williams used to coach at kansas, loses to his former team. afterward he said, quote, too emotional for me. it was a big win for the jayhawks over their former coach. here is the schedule for saturday. the final four. first of all, the blue grass battle. louisville versus kentucky. that one is first. then the night cap. the number-two seeds. ohio state versus kansas. both these games are rematches from earlier this year. kentucky beat louisville, and kansas beat ohio state. so carol, of course, we all made our final four picks before the tournament started. i'll not doing this to brag, i think it's just important to bring up what we've discussed. carol, first, let's look at your final four. you have one team left. >> ohio state. >> the buckeyes. i take it you're rooting for the buckeyes at this point. >> oh, yeah. >> meanwhile, let's just take a gander at my final four. hey, i got three out of four correct. kentucky, ohio state and kansas. i really do think kentucky and ohio state are the best. and i think kentucky will win it
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all. we shall see if i'm correct. >> whatever. >> i know. and sometimes, you know, i just get it right. and next year i'll get it wrong. >> sometimes i just get it right, blah, blah, blah. uh-uh. thank you, jeff. i think. we'll battle it out after the show. >> for sure. and good morning to you, i'm carol costello, just ahead in the "newsroom," the supreme court putting president's health care law to the constitutional test. it's a moment supporters and opponents have been waiting for years for. this is the law that helped give rise to the tea party and the debate is about to begin. the wife of the afghan massacre suspect speaks out. she says sergeant robert bales loved children, and is a big kid himself. campaign ad or horror movie? hard to tell the difference. >> welcome to a place where one president's failed policies really hit home.
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welcome to obamaville. >> stephen king ain't got nothing on rick santorum. the candidate's new ad says this grim horror will be reality if the president is re-elected. new developments in a case that has gripped the country. the killing of 17-year-old trayvon martin. this morning we spoke to a friend of george zipper man, the neighborhood watch captain. he has talked to zimmerman and what he said is coming up. also, we're hearing from trayvon martin's family members. they're taking part in a town hall in about two hours. we asked them what happens if no one is ever arrested in their son's death. martin savage is live in sanford covering that part of the story for us. martin, tell us more about what his parents are saying. >> reporter: well, you know, essentially right now the fate of george zimmerman rests in the hands of angela corey, the special prosecutor in the state of florida that will have to make one of three essential determinations. number one, she could charge him. or two, she could clear him.
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or the third is she could take the evidence she gathers and then turn it over to some sort of grand jury. there is the very real possibility, of course, that george zimmerman may never be charged. and that was the question that was put to the family of trayvon martin. and here's how they responded. >> we have just decided that once we get to that bridge, we'll cross it. we really don't have an explanation or answer of what we'll do if he's not arrested. we just know that something positive will come from this. and we're in the process of creating a foundation so that this doesn't happen to other people, and then they'll have the same support that we have. >> reporter: that is sybrina, the mother of trayvon martin. meanwhile, preparations for a large crowd for tonight's demonstration and town hall meeting. and that will begin -- protest gijs at 4:00, and the town hall meeting begins at 5:00 eastern
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time. >> and martin, we're hearing the comedian sinbad will be speaking at the community meeting, patrick ewing will be there, ray lewis will be there. who else? >> reporter: you know what, let me consult my list here. i had celebrities showing up. we've got the reverend al sharpton, jesse jackson, santonio holmes, sinbad, the comedian. and then, of course, the parents of trayvon martin, as well. they've been very outspoken and they continue to press the cause for their son. in this town. >>, and of course, you'll be at that town hall meeting. martin savage in sanford. a friend of george zimmerman is also speaking out. joe oliver says he has talked with zimmerman since the shooting. our own george howell spoke with him this morning. he joins us from sanford. what did he say? >> reporter: carol, first off, i want to talk about one thing we learned just the other day from zimmerman's attorney, that he plans to use the stand your ground law here in florida as
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his defense if his client is arrested. initially, he planned to just argue self defense in that case. but now -- determined that's the appropriate route to take. now, as far as joe oliver, again, this is a friend who has known george zimmerman for a long time and still staunchly defends him. take a listen to what he had to say to me this morning. >> he's in hiding. he has changed his numbers. his mother-in-law has no idea or any way to get in touch with her own daughter. so, yeah, they're all concerned. they're all in fear. this was not a racial incident. this was an incident where someone who was just trying to do the right thing ended up in a very, very bad position. >> reporter: we also saw joe oliver talking with the reverend jesse jackson, who is also here in florida to be part of this rally. obviously, reverend jackson has a different take on it. he believes that -- well, first of all, he told me he believes
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that george zimmerman acted as a vigilante. they also believe that there are issues, concerns with the black community here in sanford about how the police department handles cases when it relates to the black community. again, a lot of people expected today, including reverend jesse jackson who you saw there who will be part of the rally, carol. >> george howell reporting live from sanford, florida. thank you. also right now, monumental legal fight gets under way at the u.s. supreme court. at issue is president obama's health care law. but ultimately, this case could redefine the power of government. and your freedom of choice. at this very moment, three days of arguments are getting under way with the central question. is the individual mandate constitutional? over the next hour -- we'll break it down for you. we'll look at the impact this could have on the average american, the way it could shape the presidential race. but first, we explained the law and exactly what led up to today's hearings. the political fight over health
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care was historic. on the day it passed, democrats cheered. when president obama signed the law, vice president joe biden inai inadvertently told america just how amazing it was. this is [ bleep ]. >> reporter: was it ever. and still is. in so many ways. >> i had every right -- >> well, wait a minute. >> where are we going to go? if this house here gets -- >> reporter: the health care debate helped fuel the tea party movement, led to a shell acknowledging for democrats in 2010 and may decide who is president in 2012. >> i will eliminate obama care. >> the first thing we need to do is repeal obamacare. >> reporter: all of this over a law many americans simply don't understand. >> i am not that educated about it. >> i'm not very good at it. i just hope it's working by the time i get older. >> i know what i hear on tv, but i don't know it intimately. >> reporter: that's despite the fact that some aspects of the law are now in effect.
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children up you to age 26 can stay on their parents' plan. the prescription coverage gap tore seniors is reduced. insurance companies cannot drop coverage for people with preexisting conditions. states are allowed to cover more people on medicaid. and new plans can't charge for certain preventative services like mammograms and colonoscopies. actually, the one aspect most americans do understand is the requirement that everyone have insurance, the widely reviled individual mandate. >> i don't like forcing anybody to do anything. you know, whether or not they -- it would benefit them personally, it's not anyone else's place to tell someone what they should have to do, even if it's taking care of their health. it's not anyone else's right. >> reporter: and that's the big reason why the health care law is where it is today. in the u.s. supreme court. >> and just so you know, the part of the law that requires the individual mandate does not
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go into effect until 2014. but, of course, right now there are already political implications, depending on who you talk to. obamacare could sink president obama's re-election bid. actually, republicans are sure it will. senator lindsay graham said as much on cnn's state of the union. >> the process was bad, the substance is going over like a lead balloon. the vice president whispered to the president when he signed the bill two years ago, this is a big fing deal. now it's a miss. >> let's check in with dan lothian. dan, the obama campaign actually sent a mass e-mail to supporters out, not only embracing the term obamacare, but raising money off of it. so is it a mess, is it not. >> reporter: it was david axelrod who spent the e-mail around with the re-election campaign. and in essence, what they're trying to do, not only just the campaign, but also the obama administration, is to show that
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health care reform is not a political liability. republicans have been hammering away, saying this is like an albatross around the president's neck, that it is a political liability. and that's what they said was the reason behind the president himself, not celebrating the two-year anniversary last friday. but they're saying the campaign, and this white house, that it is not a political liability, and they're laying out, as you pointed out just a few seconds ago, the benefits of health care reform. that those in their 20s move back in with their parents can get coverage. seniors, benefits for seniors and also that over the long haul, it will bring down the costs of insuring all americans. and in that e-mail, david axelrod writing, quote, so next time you hear someone railing against obama care, remember what they're actually saying they want to take away, carol. >> you know, what dan. we talked to a lot of people. most americans do not understand this law. they don't understand what's in it. they don't understand what it means for them. and that largely is the fault of the democratic leadership, isn't
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it? >> reporter: you know, messaging has been critical to a lot of the misunderstanding, at least from the white house perspective, to health care reform. and, in fact, you heard the president himself and other senior aides here in the white house say that they have not been able to fully explain health care reform to the american people. and that's why a lot of people -- you look at the polling, americans are still divided about what they think about whether or not there are benefits in this law for them. and so certainly, there is a lot of reason for this white house to take the blame for not messaging properly, explaining to american people how they can benefit from this. the republicans are saying, look, it doesn't matter if they explain this, you know, from now until kingdom come. that they will never be able to convince them that this thing is nothing other than a failure. >> dan lothian, live at the white house for us. and in just about 35 minutes, we'll take a closer look at the reform's impact on you. our senior medical correspondent, elizabeth cohen, will break it down for us and
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explain why the president thinks the individual mandate is needed, is necessary. also, the wife of the u.s. soldier accused of going on a killing spree in afghanistan is speaking out this morning. and defending her husband in an interview on nbc's "today" show. sergeant robert bales' wife, carolyn says she can't believe her husband could commit the horrific crimes he's accused of 689 >> he's like a big kid himself. >> and he is accused of killing nine children. >> right. >> innocent children. >> it's unbelievable to me. i have no idea what happened. but he would not -- he loves children. and he would not do that. >> military investigators say they suspect bales committed the attacks against civilians during two separate operations. he has been charged with 17 murders and 6 attempted murders. the "new york times" is also reporting this morning the use of a controversial malaria drug in afghanistan -- that drug is
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now under review. it's been linked to psychotic behavior in the past, including suicides and homicides. the new black panthers are taking a stand for trayvon martin. >> we want justice! we want justice! we want justice! got to have justice! >> they claim to have raised $10,000 to find george zimmerman. and they want the bounty to reach $1 million. >> sit around in the morning, take the abuse. security. that's what matters to me... me? i've been paying in all these years... years washington's been talking at us, but they never really listen... listen...it's not just some line item on a budget; it's what i'll have to live on... i live on branson street, and i have something to say... [ male announcer ] aarp is bringing the conversation on medicare and social security out from behind closed doors in washington. because you've earned a say.
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from behind closed doors in washington. whwheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! whwheeee! ! whwheeee!! whwheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
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ahah h heaeadsds u up. whwheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! evevererytythihingng y youou l , nonow w momobibilele.. dodownwnloloadad t thehe n nep totodaday.y. the killing of trayvon martin in sanford, florida has
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been making news and provoking reaction across the country. that's an understatement. in the street, in churches. union baptist declared yesterday hoodie sunday. the church members wore headed sweatshir sweatshirts. the pastor said we're all going to look suspicious like trayvon martin. phoenix, arizona is one of several cities demanding justice for the teenager. demonstrators later bowed their heads in prayer. and celebrities are chiming in on the internet. music mogul diddy posted this picture on twitter of himself wearing a hoodie and holding martin's picture. and actress mea pharaoh posted a picture of her 20-year-old son and wrote, it is not safe for a black male walking the streets of america. we worry. no question the trayvon martin case has hit a nerve from coast to coast and on social media. but members of trayvon martin's family want more. they want answers. and an arrest. they're expected at a town hall today at eatonville, florida,
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set to begin in less than two hours. cnn contributor roland martin will be the moderator. he joins us now live. what should we expect to come out of this meeting? >> reporter: well, first of all, you're going to have trayvon martin's family, the attorneys there also. you have the president of the naacp, a state rep and head of the paul pierce bar association, local bar association. so obviously talking about the case, but also what's the next steps. you know, one of the things that i've often said is, will this be a moment or will it lead to a movement? and so many people do not want this to simply end with trayvon martin. they want this to expand into a serious social justice movement. trying to bring in all of these young voices. because we remember, after gina sticks, a lot of people talked about what it could it lead to. lots of assumptions and then for the most part, it dissipated. and so a number of folks across the country don't want this to
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happen, and carol, i talked to individuals, lawyers all across the country, national bar association, naacp, defense and legal education fund, many people. that's what they want to happen, for this to be a much more massive movement across america. >> and i would assume they want it to be a peaceful movement. >> reporter: well, of course. i mean, first of all, nobody wants it to be a violent movement. obviously, many people are talking about invoking dr. king in nonviolence. but when you talk about the anger and the frustration, i have to remind folks what did dr. king write in -- letters from birmingham jail. his book was called "why we can't wait." so you're hearing people talk about that. saying what must be done not just in terms of confronting stand your ground laws but also dealing with these type of cases, how do you combat them in state houses across the country. what happens with congress. and so just like what happened in matio, the civil rights
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movement was born in 1955. you saw the montgomery bus boycott in 1956, and folks want to use the same pattern to have the kind of social justice change this country desperately needs. >> i ask that because of this new wrinkle in this matter. the new black panthers, the group that the southern poverty law center calls a hate group has a bounty on zimmerman, wanted dead or alive. we're going to play a bit of what one of the members had to say, and then i'll get your thoughts on the other side. >> by next week, we're looking forward to getting $1 million tore the capture of george zimmerman. we're going to force our government to do their job properly, and if they don't, we will. >> so did you have a chance to ask them -- trayvon martin's parents about the new black panthers and what they want to do? >> reporter: well, first of all, i think we overestimate the influence of one group compared to other folks. i have talked to attorney ben krump, what he has said at the
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trayvon martin family has made it perfectly clear, if they want george zimmerman arrested according to the law. not by any individual, not by any group through the legal means. and so you will have a grand jury and panel on april 10th. they want to see an indictment come out of that. and him arrested that particular way. i also talked to hasheen, i have interviewed those guys over the course of the last 20 years, and so what they say is african-americans are tired of seeing things happen and they fall by the wayside. they also have been involved in other cases across the country where they say things then fall apart when people want them out of the way, then the family is calling them afterwards. they did not get the permission of the family in this case. and they said they don't have to. i expect people to say, look, if you're going to step out there and support someone, at least be in accordance with the family, in accordance with attorneys, because they have a legal
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strategy involved. and so, again, different people can do whatever they want to do. and so the family has made it clear, though, they want george zimmerman taken care of by the law and by law enforcement officials, and not by any group, not by any individual. >> roland martin, thanks for clearing that up for us. we appreciate that. we want to take a closer look now at that group, the new black pen they ares. they claim to have thousands of members, but they offer no exact numbers of the they're a black separatist group that believes african-americans should have their own nation. groups believe the new panthers are a hate group, calling them, quote, racist and anti semetic. the original black panthers reject them and their ideas. obamacare isn't a dirty word anymore. just ask the obama campaign. they're using the phrase in fund raising efforts. but what happens if obamacare dies in the supreme court? our political buzz just ahead. and the ncaa tournament started with 68 teams. now it's down to the final four.
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kentucky, louisville, kansas and ohio state are still dancing. a look at some bracket-busting, next. america is facing some tough challenges right now. 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, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy. what makes us number one in motorcycle insurance? we love bikes. we love riders. and most of all, we love to ride. perfect hair every time.
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the ncaa final four is set. the kentucky wildcats and jayhawks advanced with wins yesterday, and that sets up the semi final matches for saturday. kentucky against in-state rival louisville in game one and kansas taking on ohio state in game two. both games are rematches from earlier this year. in case you don't remember back that far, kentucky beat louisville and kansas beat ohio state. but -- >> you really bummed? you came over here so bummed
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out. my bracket is horrible. i'm just really bad at this. and -- >> well -- >> you shouldn't feel bad. there are experts beyond experts that have completely blown their bracket and i'm not doing well. >> good. >> here's your bracket. there's a lot of red on the map here. but more importantly, you've got, surprisingly, ohio state. >> i know. that's a shocker. >> to win it all. and why did you pick ohio, besides the obvious? >> why did i pick ohio state? because they're a physical team, and i think that that's important. >> okay. well, they've got their hands full against kansas. which as you remember, we profiled thomas robinson on this very show, before the tournament even started. and so we've got an emotional play with him, and so that's going to be quite a game. just to make you feel better, we'll go back to -- we'll go to my bracket. and it has, as you'll see in a second, nearly -- nearly as much red as yours. now, i went for -- kind of an all-tornado bracket. i figured that kentucky would be
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a slam dunk. if you remember, the crimson tide of alabama won the college football national championship, and their stake just got absolutely devastated last year by tornadoes. well, kentucky, i was just there with the tornadoes a couple weeks ago. and i figured, with all the talent they have and the heartbreak they've had with the tornadoes, this would be a slam dunk. and i'm still sticking by that. >> so hopefully kentucky will win and then they'll play ohio state and ohio state will beat them. >> in it your eyes, yes. >> in my eyes. >> in kentucky -- the kentucky/louisville match-up is going to be one for the ages with pitino and calipari. >> thank you, rob, for updating us, i think. more than 13,000 fans, by the way, are competing in the cnn march madness bracket challenge. check out this link to see where you are on the leaderboard, cnn/bracket. it was a national contest in south korea to find just the right questions to ask president obama on his visit. you won't believe what the grabbed prize was for three lucky south koreans.
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our political buzz, just ahead. today, we stand against the tyranny of meager travel cards. battle speech right? may i? capital one is issuing a venture double miles challenge. show us how much you spent last year and we'll give you 2 miles for every dollar spent on your travel reward card. up to 100,000 miles! hawaii, here we come. claim your miles at capitalone.com today! what's in your wallet? can you play games on that? not on the runway. no. can you play games on that? ♪ when your chain of supply goes from here to shanghai, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ chips from here, boards from there track it all through the air,
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♪ ♪ wow... ♪ [ female announcer ] sometimes, all you need is the smooth, creamy taste of werther's original caramel to remind you that you're someone very special. ♪ werther's original caramels. checking our top stories now, the supreme court putting president obama's health care
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law to the constitutional test. it's a moment supporters and opponents have been waiting for years for. this is the law that helped give rise to the tea party, and the debate is just about to get under way. a friend of the watchman who shot 17-year-old trayvon martin is speaking out on his behalf. joe oliver says george zimmerman was trying to do the right thing, but ended up in a quote, bad position. family members plan to take part in a town hall at noon and hold a news conference this afternoon. pope benedict xvi moves on to the next leg of his journey, a three-day visit to cuba. it was once an atheist state. political buzz your rapid-fire. the best political tokts. three questions, 30 seconds on the clock. cnn contributor maria cardona on the phone -- i'm messing myself up. for the funnier side, comedian, dean obidala, and will cain.
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welcome to all of you. >> thanks, carol. >> first question. obama care is a term that's been used by president obama's re-election campaign. but what does it do to the election? if obamacare dies at the hands of the u.s. supreme court, will? >> i think it would be very bad for president obama. i think if his signature legislation, his centerpiece, his -- the thing he can hang his first term on, the issue that he can hang his hat on, first term, were deemed to be so far outside the purview of american governance, so far outside the view of constitutionality, i think that would have a very damaging effect on him politically. if, by the way, in the reverse he does win, i think we have a new question we need to debate every day and that is what is the limit of american governmental power. >> maria. >> well, i think it depends on what the supreme court does, carol. i think if it comes down 5-4, people will see it as sort of a wash, because they'll see it as sort of a political decision.
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if it is thrown out, like in will's mind, then i think that it would -- it would be -- hinder president obama. but not necessarily in the way that people think. it would actually really energize the liberal base and get people to focus on insurance companies again, the fact that folks need insurance companies to get out of the way so that health care can really be delivered and focus on the promise of real health care reforms, which is what the administration is doing right now. >> dean. >> you know, i actually think if it was struck down, i think it's republicans' worst nightmare, because this is the thing they have been running against. president obama, like dr. evil, cooked up his plan to make us do things no one wants and the master plan for the next four years. i think perhaps -- if it is struck down, i think president obama will say, i accept the ruling of the supreme court, that's what a responsible leader does. we tweak the law or maybe it goes away. i don't think any of us know really what the supreme court is going to do, strike down all of it, part of it or none of it. and i think there will be repercussions for all three scenarios.
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>> okay. second question. there's a new web campaign ad. take a look. >> imagine, small-american town, two years from now, if obama is re-elected. >> i just wanted to get the full effect for people here. this is part of an online ad called obamaville, put out by the santorum campaign. it is absolutely post apocalyptic. is it effective? what do you think, maria? >> i actually got a little chuckle out of it. and what i thought was, so, given that he has said that republicans -- if romney is the nominee, they should vote for obama because romney would be worse, is he saying this is actually also a reflection of romney wins that it would be romneyville? and that also got me thinking, what would santorumville be? it would be women barefoot and pregnant with 15 kids, everybody being home schooled, nobody going to college. i think that would be the huge nightmare if that were the case and that would be santorumville.
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>> you should talk to the obama campaign. will. >> yeah, i think it's pretty clear. if obama is re-elected, there will be shoes strewn about, without a pair, sitting next to empty playgrounds and people holding gas nozzles to their temple. yeah, i think it's a little bit desperate and i think the santorum campaign in general has taken on a tone of did he say peration, suggesting there could be no worse republican than mitt romney to put up in this election. desperation is rampant here. >> dean. >> i want to see that movie, carol. that looks cool. "the hunger games." there is so much going on. i don't know if it could get nominated for a short film oscar. i don't think rick santorum is being desperate. i think this is a man who spoke in biblical terms during the campaign, saying our laws in america and the bible must agree. saying he's against birth control, which i find hypocritical because he wears a sweater vest, which is birth control. i think this is consistent with rick santorum and his religious
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theme that he has been running the last six months which he has gotten some traction on. >> okay, dean, you want to see the movie? there are eight parts to this thing so keep an eye on the internet. >> go to netflix for this thing. this is great. >> really, there are eight parts? >> this is the first of eight parts. >> really? >> yes. keep an eye out. your buzzer-beater now. 20 seconds each. third question. the president, as you know, is in south korea today, and before he went, the u.s. embassy held this contest to solicit questions for the president. one of the winning questions was this. what are your thoughts on the korean people? the winners got copies of the audacity of hope. korean version, of course. but really, that's the prize? you can get a copy off amazon right now for 7 bucks. dean? >> they can get it on ebay for probably $3. look, not the best gift. i think they should have given them an etch-a-sketch of mitt romney, better prize and these kids could have fun. how much money can we spend? we have no money, we can only send angry e-mails.
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so i don't know what better gift the president can give. it was funny, a nice gesture by the president. >> will? >> may not be the best gift, but i'm not sure they're the most penetrating questions, either. what do you think of the korean people? he's really going to be real -- real flame-throw on that question, i'm sure. maybe the gift matches the questions. >> maria. >> oh, come on. people love contests. and how cool is it to say that you won this contest, and that your question is now going to be asked of president obama, and you're saving yourself seven bucks to boot. it's great. i love it. >> you're saving yourself seven bucks to boot. hey, it's a tough economy, all right? >> exactly. everyone is being affected by the recession. >> maria, dean, will, thanks for playing with us. we appreciate it. >> thank you. health care in the high court. the outcome of a landmark case could lead to big changes for you and your family. we'll break it down for you after a break. and cheating on standardized tests. an investigation find red flags in nearly 200 of the largest
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[ male announcer ] dow solutions use vibration reduction technology to help reduce track noise so trains move quieter through urban areas all over the world. together, the elements of science and the human element can solve anything. [ all ] shh! [ male announcer ] solutionism. the new optimism. health care reform is now being challenged in the country's highest court. more than two years after president obama signed the affordable care act into law. yes, that's really it's name. the u.s. supreme court is just about to start hearing arguments on the constitutionality of the new law. in the next few days, six hours of arguments, for and against health care reform, will be heard by all nine justices. people began camping out as early as friday to get one of the coveted 50-plus seats available to the public. they were allowed into court just about an hour ago. a ruling is not expected until
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late june. now, one of the big issues going to be debated and that will take place tomorrow, is over this individual mandate. the requirement in the health care law that requires everybody to buy insurance. elizabeth cohen is here to explain exactly what the individual mandate is. and why people are so darned passionate about it. >> right. people are passionate about the individual mandate, because in this country, we don't tell people that they have to buy something. just by virtue of being a citizen. you have to buy something. and that's what's gotten people all upset about this. so that part of it is going to be discussed tomorrow. and today what's going to be discussed is the flip side to that. it really ends upper take to the benefits that people could get from health care reform. so let's take a look at a couple people who we invented to see how they're going to do under health care reform and what will happen if the supreme court changes all that. so i want to introduce you to my friend, eddie, the entrepreneur. there he is. eddie earns $80,000. he is an entrepreneur, so he doesn't have an employer. so unlike you and me, he doesn't
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get insurance through his employer. so under health care reform, eventually what will happen is he will spend $4,500 on insurance. that's what he would be required to pay. and carol, if he doesn't pay, look at that penalty there. he gets a $2,000 penalty. so what this all rests on is what will people like eddie decide to do? will they buy insurance? or will they pay the penalty? the penalty costs less, right? but you don't get anything for it. if you fork over more money, you actually get insurance. and if you want to know how you can put in your income and you can figure out what this means to you, go to cnn.com/empoweredpatient. we have a link to a calculator and you can figure out what your insurance would cost and what your penalty would be. >> and the reason the obama administration wants this individual mandate requirement is because it pays for the other things in the law. >> exactly. because i want to introduce you to two other people who need that payment. so the individual mandate is going to help pay for people like maria, the musician. maria only earns $25,000.
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she will only have to pay $1,726 for insurance and the government is going to give a big subsidy. that's why that cost is so low. the reason why the government can give the subsidy is because of that individual mandate that you mentioned. now, in her case, she will have a penalty of $695 if she doesn't -- if she doesn't, you know, pay -- if she doesn't buy it. so, again, that's going to be her choice and it will be fascinating to see what people will do. will they pay $1700 for insurance or pay $700 as a penalty? again, you don't get anything for the penalty. you just pay it and it goes away. >> another factor i think people don't understand about the individual mandate, and this is from the obama administration's viewpoint, right? so if you force everyone to buy insurance, that means the insurance companies have more money, right? so that they can afford to cover people with preexisting conditions. so they can afford to do that. >> right. the whole thing about the individual mandate is that if
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you bring in everyone, okay -- everyone, including healthy people, you get more money in that pot. and that means, theoretically, that insurance companies can afford to insure people with preexisting conditions. because before -- or right now, if you have a preexist -- if it you're an adult and you have a preexisting condition and you try to get insurance on your own, good luck to you. because insurance companies are going to say why should i insure you? you had a heart attack last year. or even a heart attack ten years ago. i don't want to pay to insure you. that's going to be expensive. health care reform says, uh-uh, you've got to say yes to these people. and where that money comes from to say yes to these people is the individual mandate. >> right. and, of course, on the other side, people don't want the individual mandate, because it infringes on my rights. the government shouldn't force me to buy anything i don't want to buy, especially something as expensive as health insurance. >> that's right. and some people made a comparison to auto insurance. you can't drive your car without auto insurance. it would be illegal. but that's for the privilege of driving. for the privilege of owning a car and driving, you have to get insurance.
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we don't tell people that for other things. just carol costello, to be an american to be in this country, we don't make you buy something. this is unusual. but some people will say, that's terrible. and we're infringing on carol's rights by making her buy it. other people would say, you know what, everyone is going to get sick at some point. and it protects you and frankly, it protects the rest of us if you get insurance. and the reason it protects the rest of us, if you don't have insurance, what are you going to do when you get sick? you're going to go to the emergency room. and when you go there and you rack up a bill that you cannot pay, i'm going to end up paying for that. as a fellow citizen, a fellow taxpayer, i'm going to end up paying for that. those are the two arguments. >> those are the arguments the u.s. supreme court will be hearing tomorrow. and by the way, the individual mandate doesn't go into effect until 2014, if the u.s. supreme court keeps it constitutional. >> right. so it all gets extremely confusing. but the individual mandate is sort of the template. without the mandate, this whole thing kind of falls apart. >> elizabeth cohen, thank you. >> thanks.
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singer aretha franklin back in the news. and this time she is celebrating a couple of milestones. aj hammer is here with more details. hi, aj. >> reporter: hey there, carol. yeah, aretha celebrated her 70th birthday in new york city over the weekend. so happy birthday to the queen of soul. everybody is wondering what is up next for her. she is doing an album with her old mentor, clive davis. they don't have any material just yet, but i'm certain it will be spectacular. you might remember, davis helped revitalize her career in the '80s so everybody hoping they can recapture some of that old
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magic together. i for one will never tire of listening to the queen of soul singing, one of the greatest voices and a nice woman with a great spirit on top of that. >> i know. she is so down to earth. thanks, aj. we appreciate it. want information on everything breaking in the entertainment world? aj has it at 11:00 eastern on hln. guess what, the new york jets are introducing their brand-new quarterback today. you've probably heard tim tebow is the new kid in town. wonder how starter mark sanchez feels about that. really. we'll have more on that story. in less than ten minutes. ♪ when your chain of supply goes from here to shanghai, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ chips from here, boards from there track it all through the air, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ clearing customs like that hurry up no time flat that's logistics. ♪ ♪ all new technology ups brings to me,
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you don't want to miss any of this! an investigation of a possible nationwide school cheating scandal. the "atlanta general constitution" looked at public school test scores in all 50 states and the paper found suspicious results and red flags like changes in test scores in 196 of the nation's largest school districts. carla zeus from cnn's student news is here that. doesn't bode well. that means there could be widespread cheating in schools done by teachers across the country. >> a lot of people are saying, where there's smoke there's fire. and what the "atlanta journal constitution" did in order to find this data, they looked at information from 69,000 public schools, across the country. and what they found were these
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sort of wild fluctuations in test scores in hundreds of cities. it's not specific to one region. this is a coast to coast phenomenon. and after examining these changes in test scores, they found many of the results highly unlikely. and what i mean by that, in one school system, for instance, about 4 2% of fourth graders passed a math test. the next year, the school system was under investigation. 4% of the students passed it. so the ajc says this does not prove cheating, but it raises a lot of strong suspicions, carol. >> so how does this affect students? they're the ones hurt the most in this. >> and they are. they do get hurt by this. in some cases, if you have eraser rates where teachers are accused of changing answers, students advancing through grades but not learning. and what about the students that could benefit from tutoring? they're not going to get the tutoring they need. they're going to be moved through the system and not going to learn what they need in order to advance as students.
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education secretary arne duncan was asked about this by the "atlanta journal constitution" and he was saying that schools, testing organizations, districts, everybody needs to have methods in place to make sure students' education and their test scores are being measured fairly. the reality is, carol, those safeguards are just not in place. >> so who is doing the cheating? is it just the teachers? is it the principal? who is it? >> it's all over the map. teachers are accused, principals, administrators. and what a lot of people blame for this is the federal government's focus on test scores as a means of measuring student achievement. that's where fingers get pointed, whether it's the obama administration, the bush administration's no child left behind program. in so many instances, these test scores are used to evaluate teachers. in some sense as they determine funding for schools. in some places they're used to determine teacher salaries. also, schools are evaluated -- they're threatened with closure under no child left behind if they do not show student
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achievement. and ultimately, experts say all of this creates a culture that can tempt cheating. we have a lot more on this on cnn's new education blog, called school of thought and can be found at cnn.com/schoolofthought and also a link to the atlanta journal constitution. >> thank you so much. >> thanks, carol. new york jets reasonable signed their quarterback, mark sanchez to a lucrative long-term extension, so why are they bringing in another quarterback, tim tebow? ing account fees. at e-trade, our free easy-to-use online tools and experienced retirement specialists can help you build a personalized plan. and with our no annual fee iras and a wide range of low cost investments, you can execute the plan you want at a low cost. so meet with us, or go to etrade.com for a great retirement plan with low cost investments. ♪
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actually create those micro fine scratches in the denture, and that's where bacteria can grow and thrive. these are the very bacteria that can cause bad breath. dentists do recommend that you soak your denture in polident. polident doesn't scratch the denture surface, and it kills 99.9% of bacteria that are responsible for causing bad breath. by using polident and soaking your denture every day you can feel confident your dentures fresh and clean. okay. let's talk tim tebow. because there's a big news conference scheduled in new york. tim tebow is expected to talk at that news conference to the likes of many new yorkers. so let's head there and check in with jason carol. at the jets' training facility, right? so what -- yeah. >> set the scene for us. >> reporter: well, you know, i think there are a lot of people, carol, who are wondering why there's been so much attention focused on someone who is going to be a back-up quarterback.
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when i talk about attention, i'm going to have the camera swing around here so you can see, there's more than two dozen camera crews here. and, again, this is all for a back-up quarterback. this is really sort of unprecedented. but you have to wonder, you know, when you see -- when you hear about all this attention being paid to someone like a tim tebow, it really is more about tim tebow's back story. this is a guy who, look, arguably is great when it comes to his athleticism on the field. but it's really about him off the field, as well. you know, this is a man who is a devout christian. we have seen this on the field when he does his tebowing moves, you know, that sort of thinker pose when he gets down and he kneels. we have seen that. he's the self-proclaimed 24-year-old virgin. so i think there is so much attention to a story like this. because of this man's back story. that's why you're seeing all this attention sort of being generated about a press conference for a back-up quarterback, which, by the way, is about to start in about an hour from now, we're hearing. it's just going to be tebow up there, no one else.
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>> i like how you said self-proclaimed 24-year-old virgin. i don't know why that made me laugh. some people are saying, oh, my gosh, tim tebow is this big sensation, in godless new york city. what's the deal? >> reporter: well, look. when it comes to religion, it's a very sensitive topic. and i think once again, that's why so many people have interest in this young man. it's going to be interesting to see what he says when he gets up there. how he's going to handle questions, you know, from his critics who say, you know, we're hearing that when you come here to the city, we're hearing that you come with sort of a mixed record in terms of your throwing abilities, things like that. how will you handle yourself when you're here in the city? it's just going to be very interesting to hear what this young man has to say when he faces the new york press and press from all around the country. >> it will be. i can't wait until it begins. i'll be watching, jason carol. thank you so much. jason carol reporting live from the jets' training facility.

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