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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  April 23, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT

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misuse of campaign doe nass to cover up an illicit affair. this was all happening as the former u.s. senator and former presidential nominee was himself running for president. the former democratic star, wealthy trial lawyer could find himself going to prison. >> this political soap opera started at a bar in new york city where he met rielle hunter. the video shows just how close they had become. >> i'm so glad you like it. >> i love it. >> immediately, those close to edwards suspected an affair. behind the scenes, the
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government argues that edwards was orchestrating a massive cover-up. loyal and wealthy donors paid for his pregnant mistress to relocate. and personal aid andrew young would claim paternity. in the fall of 2007, a tabloid published the story on an affair. immediately, the campaign went into defense mode. >> when you were running for president, you flat-out denied having a relationship with rielle hunter, were you telling the truth then? >> yes. >> reporter: after being chased by reporters, eventually he admitted personal fill you're. >> there's no question i've done wrong and i take full responsibility for having done wrong. and i will regret for the rest of my life the pain and the arm that i ef caused to others. >> reporter: once a prominent politician preaching two americas, edwards himself was living two lives. he had fathered a child with his mistress while his wife elizabeth edwards was dying of
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cancer. the government indicted edwards on six counts, including conspiracy, issuing false statements and violating campaign finance laws. he faces up to 30 years in prison. >> permission so say conditions to be political. it's hard to shed all that. >> edwards spent the last year pr preparing for these trial and undergoing surgery for a heart condition. former top aides are expected to testify at his trial. rielle hunter has immunity. >> i did not break the law and i never, ever thought i was breaking the law. >> reporter: experts say the government has a tough unprecedented case to prove in the arena of campaign finance, but no matter what the outcome, it is the ultimate fall for grace from edwards who was once adored as the son of the south. joe johns, cnn.
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>> here's what we all have to keep in mind. it's not about whether he cheated on his wife, it's not about whether he lied to his teeth to his loved ones and supporters. it's about whether he broke the campaign finance law and that isn't exactly clear cut nor is it a slam dunk for the government. i want to bring in jeff toobin. you with me? >> yes, hi, brooke. >> tell me exactly what the government is alleging here as it concerns john edwards and these affluent donors. >> well, the allegation is fairly straightforward. it's that the money from these two people, which added up was an illegal campaign contribution. well in excess of what they were allowed to give. and john i had kwards knew that and commitmented the crime of violating the cam main law. >> that's the argument we're going to hear from the federal
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government. what about the defense here. what did they argue? >> the defense argument was that this money was not a campaign contribution. this money was there, two wealthy friends, contributors. it was their attempt to get edwards out of marital trouble, to put money up so that rielle hunter, the woman who had his baby, could be taken care of and it would not destroy edwards' marriage. that -- the allegation from the defense is that this was a personal matter, not a campaign contribution. >> okay, so given what you explained, what we'll hear argument wise, here's part of the law that could be trouble for edwards. it states the 2,300 donation limit extends to, quote, payments for personal expenses of a candidate, unless they would can be made irrespective of the candidacy. here you go. it sounds to me like he's got to
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convince this jury, even if he had not been running for office. keep in mind he's not a multimillionaire. why would he need the money? >> that's why we're having the trial. that's why it's proceeded. the government argument is look, this money would have never come for him but for his candidacy for president. a and that is going to be a tough argument for the edwards' legal team to refute op on their side, there is a point that there was a long standing versatile relationship between these two donors. one of whom is now 101 years old and unable to testify, and the other, fred baron is -- who is a wealthy texas trial lawyer, he has subsequently died. so their recollections will not
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be in the trial and the case will very much come down to the intermediary, andrew young, former edward aide who has become very much estranged, very bitter. wrote a book about edwards and his credibility will really be, i think, at the center of the trial. because he's the one who hand. ed the money. >> and he has a prosecutorial immunity as does rielle hunter. >> one more question. i have a list here. take a look. i have obviously the indictment, and this is attachment a. there's this who el list. voice mail message from rielle hunter. do we have any idea twha's in all these voice mails? >> no. the short answer is we don't. but edwards will not deny and his defense will not deny there's an extramarital affair. obviously there's been a child produced from the relationship. so the fact that they were in
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his phone contacts is not necessarily any proof of any crime. it's interesting his defense lawyer gave an opening statement today where he said john edwards is a man who committed many sins but no crime. and you can be sure that's going to be a theme played over and over again by the defense. look, this is not about what kind of husband he was, what kind of father he was. this is about whether he violated the federal code. and it will be interesting to see how the jury tries to sort out those two issues. >> jeff toobin, we'll be talking about this for quite a long time. jeff, thank you. i do want to go to joe johns. i understand joe is now outside of that courthouse. there he is. joe, tell me about today. >> well, you know, i just want to pick up what you and jeff toobin were talking about.
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the importance of andrew young. he's really critical in this case. he was the advanced man for john edwards in north carolina. he was close throughout the presidential campaign. a guy who took credit for fathering rielle hunter's child. well, today in the courtroom had some very interesting sfauk about andrew young. and some of this is incomplete because we haven't heard from him. he's on the stand right now, but i think the important thing to say is the judge indicated that not once, not twice, but three times apparently andrew young attempted to allegedly contact certain witnesses who were on the list to testify in this trial. which in and of itself would generally be considered a no-no. she also indicated, the judge did, that apparently of those three witnesses he allegedly tried to contact, one of those
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witnesses apparently was a woman he had, what was described as, some type of a one-night stand with in 2007. so why is that important? it's important because if he's the key and critical witness for the prosecution, the defense is going to be very much about the notion of trying to tear down the credibility of andrew young. >> dilute his testimony a little bit. this shows you a little bit about whether they're going even before he got on the stand. even before he got on the stand, brooke. >> we appreciate it. the prosecution star witness. thank you. still ahead, two cuban act actors arrive in america to promote their new movie but suddenly they disappear. nowhere to be found. are they in trouble? or are they just hiding? you got to hear this story. . [ male announcer ] it's simple physics...
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i'm back on the road safely. and i saved you money on brakes. that's personal pricing. now an international mystery on the tribeca film festival. these two cuban actors are missing. they were supposed to appear for their film "one night" but they are no shows. what we do know is that they landed in miami enroute to new york to this film festival, but they never checked into the new york hotel. now a third co-star did get to new york. joining me to untravel this mystery, nick valencia, wow.
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they were spotted in miami? >> they were spotted in miami. the third actor they were supposed to meet up with on friday, both of these two 20-year-olds, nay never showed. >> they were not traveling together, they were separate? >> they were traveling together. the third they were supposed to meet up with and they never showed pup. >> no one has heard anything from them? >> we have made relentless efforts to try to get in touch with border patrol, i.c.e., no one is talking. we just don't seem to know what they are. >> one question i have to ask, when you read about the plot of this film, it's about these teens in cuba deflecting and living, you know, the big city lifestyle in miami. might this with a huge p.r. stunt? >> is this a case of life imitating art? we don't know. but we do know those involved in the film are distancing themselves from this incident. the film's director, she has had
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interviews with other outlets. she said she was excited. they made long efforts to try to get these temporary visas for the actors to visit the united states for the first time. they show up here and they disappear. >> so what is the director saying? >> she is very disappointed. i have a full screen here. very disappointed. thank you very much here. i'm looking forward to the actors arriving from havana. they're going to love new york. i'm really excited for the new york audience to see how they react. >> as you point out, this is the first time they would have ever come to the country. they're on temporary visas. if they were to have said see ya, we want to stay in the u.s., legally, since they're on dry land -- >> right. the cuban foundation is often involved in cases like that. they told us wet foot-dry foot
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policy, if a cuban lands on u.s. soil, they are actually eligible for patrol. that's legal residency. they live here for year and a day, eligible for that residency. if they're caught at sea, the eligibility is not valid. . >> and if they're caught before the year and a day? they go home? >> there's a chance they do go home. but it's the year and the day that they're here that makes them eligible for parole. >> let's watch and see. we're going to be keeping an eye on this. >> i'm sure their loved ones are wondering where they are. thank you, sir. appreciate it. >> now this singer, jennifer hudson lost her mother, brother and a feoff ewe in this horrendous sill skilling spree. now the man charged is on trial. just a short time ago, the actress herself, star witness. witness number one. she took the stand. and she got emotional. sunny hostin is on the case. we're going to talk about that. then later, singer and beegee, robert gibb out of a coma. kind out why his doctors are absolutely stunned. emily's just starting out... and on a budget.
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balfour has pled not guilty to
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the case. she appeared in the courtroom wearing all black, trembling and became emeegsal. >> what's fascinating is she painted a picture of a very, very close relationship amongst this family. she talked about the fact that she texted her mother every day. her mother texted her back every day. she slept in her mother's bed until she was 16 and often slept with her, even all of her fame, slept with her when she visited the home in chicago. and she also talked about the fact that she knew william balfour, they went to grade school with each other. sixth, seventh, eight grade and she never liked h im. and that the family was really against this relationship. >> she told her sister, i don't like him. >> yeah, they did not like the two together. they did not likehim. and she also mentioned that she was the one that identified the bodies. really a sad tale but a tale of a close, loving family. she knew something was wrong because she texted her mother that morning and he mother
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didn't immediately response. not just a celebrity but a grieving sister and mother. >> what about the case in terms of evidence. understand there's very little evidence. how does that help or hurt the prosecution? >> i think that hurts the prosecution. we're in the csi era right now. jurors just dppt that dna evidence. and i i feel thankful i'm not prosecuting cases right now. often times you don't have that type of evidence. my understanding is they found dna on the murder weapon, not the defendant's dna. they tested the dna from the defendant. they tested his clothes for gun resid residue. those are back facts. of course, there are good facfacts. he threatened to kill julia hudson and her entire family. a very ang are i person they claim. and also that the steering wheel that he was using did have some
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gun residue and he also had his bad alibi, told his girlfriend, if anyone asked, to tell them that he had been there since 10:00 a.m. so when you look at it, there's certainly motive but certainly some evidence. but not as much physical forensic evidence as the prosecution would like. >> even before jury selection, there was concern because of her celebrity status that jennifer hudson would be perhaps, i hate to use the word distraction. but people either on the stand or members of the jury, we know she will be in the courtroom for the duration of the trial, she will take the attention away. is that still a concern? >> i think that's still a conce concern. 24rr there are 18 people seated. people feel they know that person. so now it's not just a murder
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case. it's a murder case krov involving someone you know. i think that's a difficult hurdle for any defense team. >> she was the first witness out of the gate. do we know who's next? >> i suspect julia hudson her sister will certainly testify. we're going to hear from a medical examiner, from detectives. we're going to hear from william ba ba ballfour's girlfriend about this alleged alibi. we are. >> going to hear from a lot of witnesses. but i suspect another hudson family member will get on the witness stand. >> sunny hostin, thank you. see you tomorrow. now this still ahead, a chilling disappearance. a first grader goes to bed. the next morning her parents walk into her room and she is gone. police are now taking a look at new evidence. we're going to talk about that. plus, robotic legs hitting the retail market. wait until you see how this giant leap in technology helps people walk again. this is amazing. hey, dad, you think i could drive?
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first up, john edwards, oval office contender to defendant. he's inside a courtroom right now, charged with using campaign cash to hide his mistress. and today, a young girl disappears from her very own bedroom, sparking this intense search. this is arizona. tucson police and the fbi are now looking for the 6-year-old. police say they're examining a new evidence and con 23ir78 a screen was removed from a window in this little girl's bedroom. >> at this point, we haven't focused on anyone. we're still trying to determine where isabel is. question ear trying to find her and bring her home safely. obviously we're following up on all the leads we've received. we're making sure that our investigators check each and every one of those. >> isabel's parents say they put her 20 bed around 11:00 friday
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evening. when they went in the next morning she was gone. the street blocked off because of the continuing search of etan patz has now been reopened. the the search was closed yesterday without any obvious remains to be found. but the fbi went back today to do another check. a field test of a possible blood stain found in the basement is negative. a stain, some possible strands of hair and a piece of paper will be sent to the fbi laboratory in quantico, virginia. . george zimmerman is out of jail on bail. the parents of trayvon martin say it's tough to see their on's killer freed again. in the meantime, the police chief in sanford is resigning over the handling of this particular case. and mitt romney and marco rubio,
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there they are together on the campaign trail today. the republicans, nobody, they're not in florida. they're in pennsylvania, holding down a town hall at a trucking business. >> i don't think i have any comments on qualifications for individuals to serve in strarous positions in government at this teenage. that's something that we're going to be considering down the road as we consider various potential vice presidential nominees. >> i'm not talking about that ro prosesz anymore. >> he's been asked a few times but hey, we're reporters. we ask things. major giuliani endorsing romney. they squared off back in 2008. and president obama focuses on the violence in syria. he said his recently established
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atrocities provencial board will meet a today at the bhous. >> we need to be doing everything we can to prevent and respond to these kinds of atrocities. because national sovereignty is never a license to slaughter your people. just in to cnn, a new report when social security and medicare will run shorts. both programs are in serious trouble. you need to hear this. plus it's got a lot of you talking and a lot of you delay. we're going to take you live in the middle of the snowstorm that is causing big, big headaches today. >> my name is jad. cy host and produce radio lab. so radio lab is a kind of crazy, slightly psychedelic adventure through a big idea. >> it's big problems that make us curious.
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>> radiolab is reinventing what you can do on the radio. >> kind of like these big, usually one-word titles, the stuff that everybody has been thinking about that really has no answer. like what is time? what is space? what is consciousness? like how do i know i'm conscious?
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>> just in, a new report shows when social security funds may run out. time to play "reporter roulette." you clearly drew the short straw
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today among the cnn cadre of correspondents. uh obviously it's still pouring down so the question of melting is a big fat no. >> it's not melting melting yet, brooke. it's been a heavy snow and a relentless one. 18 hours now and still coming down. it's above my ankles now, about five inches deep. but they were in areas just down the road where it was much deeper in higher elevations. check out these trees down here. it's starting to weigh down a lot of these prime trees and some of these other trees where the foalage is ju agag agage -- just popping out now. more snow can gather on the trees. this limb right above me looks like it may come down on top of me any second now it's got so much snow on top of it. that's been the worry with snow potentially in some areas and in reality in other areas, snapping
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off trees and compromising power lines. about 16,000 customers in this area right now, brooke, are still without power. that number got up into the mid 20 thousand a couple of hours ago. they're scrambling to get people's power on right now. >> someone who lives in pennsylvania said luckily it's melting where he is but he hates the snow. thank you so much. next, a new report shows when social security cash could run out. also we're going to talk about walmart in the middle of a scandal. we go to you for both of these stories. first, tell me about the report just in. social security is in trouble. how soon before benefits run out? >> it looks like benefits could run out by 2033. not a huge surprise. every year this gets kwors and worse. everyone who works may not reap the benefits when we reach 62
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years of age. this is happening bust social security isn't collecting as much in payroll taxes because of that tax cut that president obama signed this year. also, newer people are working and contributing to it. millions of people are still out of work. also, we're living longer so that means people are getting those checks for a longer period of time. that means more money is going out than coming in. but congress could come to the rescue. but they would have to make some politically unpopular changes to the program. >> we shall see if that i do that. >> walmart making accusations for briberies and payoffs. what's the story? >> this is a really stunning story that came out of the new york times over the weekend that alleged -- that walmart, there was widespread bribery and a cover-up in 2005. you know, "the new york times" says walt mart paid $24 million in bribes to officials to get construction permits to build walmarts in mexico, meaning zoning approvals. and here's what. >> es really interesting,
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walmart in mexico, wound up telling the headquarters of walmart all about this. but walmart, the headquarters there concealed it from norths in the u.s. and mexico. they just wanted it to go away. walmart is now trying to repair the image saying many of the stories are more than six years old pl if these accusations are true, it's not a reflection of who we are or what we stand for. on wall street you look at the shares right now, walmart shares down about 5%. what are the legal ramifications of this? what kind of even ifs can be imposed and which execs could be fired in this big mess. brooke? >> thank you. humans using robotic legs. i know you think this had to have been science fiction. we're going to learn how this amazing innovation is hitting the retail world. our favorite go-to, what is she?
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taking a walk, going for a jog. just the simple task of standing on your own two feet. it's something perhaps you and i take for granted. but for those who have lost that ability, it can be more than difficult. but there is this new crazy, amazing technology that is nothing short of miraculous. i mean, look at this. allowing people to walk and stand again. it's clearly changing lives. take a listen. >> it was great to be moving toward again basically on my own. you know, it's an amazing piece of technology that, you know, all of a sudden takes somebody who can't move their legs and helps them move them. >> i was walking on my own and i don't know how to describe it. it's amazing. >> i was thinking maybe i was going to feel like a bag of bones when i stood up. they said to lean forward and push up. i did that and the unit kicked in and i stood right up and it
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was one of the most amazing moments i've ever had. >> these are people without use of their legs. tell ne how it works. >> we have been progress of the progress over these robotic suits over the years. but here's the deal, actually seeing them co-to market and see them work, that's where it gets inincredibly exciting. they're created for people with ms and paralysis. they're battery powered and they can strap right over the clothing in a matter of minutes. and one size does fit all. as long as you're between 5'2" and 6'2" and weigh a max of 220, you can get right into the suit. also, a lot of technology happening behind the scenes. 30 different sensors.
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two motors, once at each hip. you move the left catch, that will tell the right foot to move forward. >> so that's the trigger. i'm thinking if these people don't have usage of their legs how do that i tell the legs to move. you're telling me it's triggered by what they're holding in their hand? >> imagine, the computer going doing the work behind the scenes. it's packed in the back. also the battery, it's also packed in the backside. it has three hours of battery life. so really nice to be able to -- you see the legs they're pretty smooth motion. there's a physical therapist behind them. right now in the stages they're creating you always need a therapist walking alongside with you. but if again, first time these people have stood up and started walking. >> it's beyond stunning. and i guess for these rehab facilities who are now able to use these. and patients who can use them,
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how much does this robotic suit cost. >> we're looking at about $130,000 for the device all in. they are working on a program called exo hope where they're helping a lot of the rehab facilities out. even the wealthiest need help with funding. i should note the top ten u.s. rehab facilities have purchased the exo suit. and they're working with over 250 individuals right now. most individuals, the average number of steps the first time they strap that suit on is over 200 steps. in terms of progress and data capture, that's what makes it remarkable. we have seen suits over the years. there are a number of different companies working on it, but actually come back to many ewith some data, that's powerful. >> that is amazing. thanks for sharing. >> thank you. and there is apparently a new trend inside some prisons. inmates using secret codes. in fact, an ancient language that has prison guards very worried. we're going to take you behind bars into the secret world next. ♪
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forget high-tech criminals. there are inmates going seriously low tech toby pass these prison guards using a language that hasn't been used in five semplryes. it's a civilization that used to once live in what we now know is mexico. the way they use to communicate is now used for drugs and a lot more. >> prisoners are using an ancient aztec language to build a new empire right inside prison walls.
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the staff recently confiscated a letter written in the afghan language and translated it. >> the constitution that is written in stone. he says his letter sparked an investigation because it says what. >> it's numbers, the violence within the penitentiaries line. also means violence out on the streets could rise as well. >> officers say they will use super code to call shots outside of prison for drugs and guns. >> they're trying to get over the system. >> the guards say the more they know, the better. >> for us being diligent and trying the learn the language,
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that's how we combat that type of activity. inmates will often learn the language before they get to prison and then teach it to other inmates. also they're not allowed to receive books that are not in english, all because of this. >> a couple minutes away from mr. blitzer. wolf, nice to see you. >> the president was over at the hol cast memorial museum and he ordered the intelligence community to start preparing intelligence reports to try to take on the issue of mass atrocities and genocide. as you know, the intelligence community is always looking at national intelligence estimates. estimates on whether iran, for example, is trying to build a nuclear bomb, what's going on in north korea, is al qaeda getting ready for more terrorist operations in the universitted .
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we're going to get into that, fran townsend, our national security contributor will be with us to discuss it. the president says they're on the losing side in syria, they better make quick decisions unless they want to be charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes and stuff. >> we saw mitt romney ahead in the primary in pennsylvania and he's out with florida senator marco rubio. we have a little bit of the sound from early today. >> there's only one person that's running for president that understands that, there's only one choice running for president that can help us do that. he has beened to be here today.
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his name is mitt romney, the next president of the united states! >> so despite the florida senator's gaffe last week, which he laughed off saying, if i were vice president, do you think seeing them together in pennsylvania, this might be some sort of audition? >> he's still a young guy, marco rubio, he's got a huge future ahead of them. but i don't think mitt romney, based on everything i know about mitt romney, based on those close to him don't two to take him on now. hi's going to want someone more seasoned, more prepared, in case of an emergency obviously to be president of the united states. there are others who have had that kind of experience, rob portman, special budget director.
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remember, what florida and ohio are critically important, if he does go with someone in florida, i wouldn't be totally surprised if the former governor jeb bush who's obviously very important down there, speaks to hispanic voters, he might have a shot. they're only beginning the vetting process right now. they're asking a few of the candidates to start aseming all their tax returns. back from the brink of death, robin gibbs of the bee gee is baffling doctors. we're going to talk about that next. or ec-onomical. pa-tato, po-tato, huh? actually, it's to-mato, ta-mato. oh, that's right. [ laughs ]
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two men in utah allegedly set up these boobie traps. i'm not talking holing in the ground here. the utah county sheriff's office sent these pictures.
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>> that could have been us, you know, we could have gotten hurt for no reason. >> that would easileasily, easi killed someone. >> they confessed, according to a sheriff's spokesman saying they did it to trap an 3458s. doctors, they are absolutely baffled by this mirraculous tur around for robin gibbs. he was one-third of the gee gees, he had happensed into a coma. and three days ago doctors thought he was not going to die. >> robin is fully conscious,
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lucid, able to speak with his loved uns. no so we' in a coma, and you know, it is amazing and we ran this buy a doctor not involved with this hearing. it's amazing, but it does happen. what's amazing is that he came out of his inevitable situation. advanced colon cancer, then he has aggressive chemotherapy. one of the big risks for that is that you're going to get pneumonia, from complications from the chemotherapy. and, you know, you sort of wonder what made him slip into it and how did he get out of it? >> we don't know.
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it may have been the infection that caused the pneumonia got into his brain. liver failure when your liver fails, it can't filter toxins that go to your brain. that might have had something to do that you end in a coma. it does happen that people slip in and out of comas. but the fact he's talking to people and he's lew s ee'sly si. >> what does hi future look like 34edically? >> he does still have an uphill battle, colon cancer is really tough, so he still has to battle that, he's crossed sort of this problem, he's gotten over this hump. so that of course is good news. >> as he is awake and talking, we have just a minute left with you. what the doctor said to you-the
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doctor said -- >> it was interesting before we gave him all the details of mr. gibbs health situation, he said oh, yeah, that happens. when we told him how sick he is, he was surprised. you've just gotten over pneumonia and liver cancer and chemotherapy, that and coming out of a coma is really amazing. let's take a quick look at the markets and let's see how the markets are, you can see it down to 12,926, there's a big apple, there is an earnings report that comes out tomorrow. apple shock if you have it, you're going to be watching it very, very closely. in the meantime, wolf blitzer in "the situation room" right now. president obama


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