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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  May 2, 2012 9:00am-11:00am EDT

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here on cnn. let's get to "cnn newsroom" with carol costello. >> happening right now in the "newsroom," afghanistan waking up rattled after being rocked by deadly explosions. this just hours after president obama says we could see the light of a new day in that country. this morning fresh calls saying the president's trip to afghanistan was about nothing but politics. anarchy in cleveland. new information today on the five men plotting to blow up a bridge. reports this morning they were all tied to the occupy movement. payback. walmart the megastore digging deep and cutting a check for almost 4,000 employees. a probe finding the company violated overtime laws cheating workers out of thousands of dollars. and searching for maddie. the parents of missing madeleine mccann going public this morning saying the little girl's brother and sister now want to join the search. the family holding out hope that their little madeleine is still
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alive. "newsroom" starts right now. after an emotional phone call with secretary of state hillary clinton, chinese human rights activist chen guangcheng is in a beijing hospital this morning and china is not happy. in fact, china is demanning apology from united states. we did manage to get this photo of chen a few hours ago. that means he was indeed holdup in the u.s. embassy and u.s. officials brought him here to the hospital. u.s. officials telling us that chen will get medical treatment and later reunite with his family to a safe environment. he fled his home in april where he was under house arrest for more than 18 months. he does say today he wants to stay in china. stan grant has followed this story from the beginning and is on the phone from beijing. stan, first of all, tell us about this phone call that chen had with hillary clinton because i understand at the end of it he said he wanted to kiss the
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secretary of state. >> reporter: you're absolutely right. it's one of the great human moments in what has been a very dramatic story. according to the u.s. officials who were involved in these backroom negotiations to try to allow chen to leave the embassy as a free man, they said they grew close to him. it was a real human relationship. they described him as being affectionate and constantly touching their arms and when he left he asked that the first conversation with be secretary of state hillary clinton. in the past clinton has raised chen guangcheng case in the past and has been a champion of his and now he had the chance to speak to her directly. he said to her in his broken english, you're right, i want to kiss you. she responded in a statement that she is very pleased he's out and having a chance to be reunited with his wife and children. she's also adding a more somber
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note hoping the u.s. government monitors this deal and that china keep its commitment. >> tell us about that commitment. chen doesn't want to leave china and doesn't want to come to the united states so the united states and china have come to an e agreement about how chen will be treated. >> what it boils down to is this. man placed in prison in the past campaigned against the one child policy here under house arrest for the last 18 months be allowed to live as a free man. they also saying that he should be able to attend a university of his choice to be able to study freely. they say that he and his family should be able to live without any harassment or threat and friends of his who helped in chen's escape also not face any retribution. the government here, the chinese government says they are agreeing to this but at the same time there's a hard line coming saying they are not happy with
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chen seeking refuge in the embassy and they are asking for the u.s. for an apology demanding an investigation and that those responsible for allowing him into the embassy be punished. >> we'll have to see if the united states decides to apologize to china. stan grant reporting live from beijing. president obama on his way back from afghanistan after a super secret history making visit. two hours after the president left on air force one, the taliban start. a suicide bomber targeting a compound that houses international aid workers in kabul. at least seven people were killed. 17 more wounded. the president is fine. while he was in afghanistan, mr. obama did turn the page on the u.s. mission there. he signed an agreement with the afghan president and that agreement spells out that most of our troops will be out of afghanistan by 2014. the president's visit was an amazie ining sight. wading into a sea of american men and women serving in
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afghanistan. he vowed he will not keep u.s. troops in afghanistan a single day longer than necessary but his address to the nation was very clearly aimed at the audience back home. >> as we emerge from a decade of conflict abroad and economic crisis at home, it's time to renew america. an america where our children live free from fear and have the skills to claim their dreams. a united america of grit and resilience where sunlight glistens off soaring new towers in downtown manhattan and we build our future as one people. as one nation. >> when president obama returns home in a few hours, he faces a somewhat cool reception from some corners. many critics saying his stealth visit was a campaign stop in his re-election bid and we want to turn to one of those critics right now. chad collins is a former u.s. army major who commanded a company of soldiers in afghanistan. he's in nashville this morning.
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welcome. >> good morning. >> good morning. you say this appeared all too much like a campaign stunt. why do you feel that way? >> well, i think more appropriately i said that i thought the timing was intriguing and certainly when you combine it with the hostage rescue that occurred in conjunction with the state of the union address and when you look at the timing in connection with the start of the political season election year, there are some questions that can be asked but i think most appropriately it's important and imperative that we send a clear message to our soldiers about the appropriateness of our mission there and their actions in afghanistan. >> i think some might say that's what the president was trying to do even senator john mccain who has been very critical of the president said "i think it's a
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good thing. it's always good when the president goes to where young men and women are in harm's way and many of us who have been involved in afghanistan are very supportive of the strategic partnership agreement." that's what john mccain said. and you could see by those pictures of the soldiers welcoming the president that they seemed to be happy to see him. >> absolutely. and i don't want to seem like i'm reversing my position here in saying this. i think we do have to be careful about the questions that we ask. i think the point that i want to stress is that the only thing more unsavory for american soldiers than prolonged conflict is the thought that perhaps they are being asked to return home before their commissimission ise so i appreciated the president's remarks last night. if we can declare we achieved the strategic objectives and our military mission is complete, we should bring our soldiers hope
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and hale them as conquering heroes that they are. if there are questions, it undermines the heroics of their actions there. >> take a look at these numbers. this is part of the agreement that president obama signed with mr. karzai. he wants to have a fewer one-third men and women than just a year ago. do you believe that will actually happen? >> difficult to say. without question afghanistan is an extremely complex problem. the security issue is one of those complex problems. the rule of law initiatives, the infrastructure development piece continue to hamper that region and will make security challenges there very difficult in the years to come. again, i hope that that is the case. i hope that -- i think every soldier relishes or former soldier as the case may be for me, relishes the idea of peace and end of deployment. i just want to ensure that we do
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it correctly. >> thank you for sharing your thoughts with us this morning. criminal charges expected this afternoon in the suspected hazing death of florida a & m drum band major. a source close to the investigation says several people will be charged for their involvement in the death of robert champion. band members say champion died after being beaten on a bus during a right of passage in november. three of the 12 secret service agents involved in the colombia prostitution scandal are refusing to take a lie detector test. we're told they were among the first who were dismissed from the agency when news of the scandal broke. and in an interesting twist, 120 secret service agents and their supervisors will begin an ethics training workshop later this morning at johns hopkins university in baltimore. the bad economy forcing california to come up with some pretty inventive ways to raise cash. the state now renting out the governor's mansion and it's
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ground. starting at a cool $1,500 bucks. you get marble fireplaces, a formal dining room, spiral staircase and newly renovated pool all for $1,500 a month. check out this catch from nova scotia. it's weird. rob marciano is with me. i've never seen a lobster like that. >> breaking news, you have to look at this carefully and think there's something weird about it. obviously. it's not man-made. this is apparently something that exist out there in the wild. >> radiation? >> well, lobsters grow symmetrically. i suppose from the spine on out. one half of this lobster's body doesn't have pigment. it looks like one half of cooked. when you throw these in the pot of boiling water they turn that
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bright, beautiful orange. we've seen this a couple of times in through the boston area. maybe two or three times in the past. the odds of it happening are actually 1 in 50 million. this is incredibly rare. right in that sweet spot of a pound and a half to 2 1/2 pounds where lobster meat is tender and succulent. >> they're not going to eat that? >> i think david bowie, eat your heart out here. it's good stuff. it's going to save the lobster's life. >> that's the bright note in the story. thank you, rob. just ahead on "newsroom," the building started popping. part of tyler perry's building going up in flames. fire crews try to find the cause. the alleged bridge plotters of ohio, the fbi says it gave them the fake bombs. if agents had not done that, would these men have gone through with their alleged plans? we're talking about that in a minute. the parents of madeleine
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mccann say they have new hope after the disappearance of their daughter nearly five years ago. we'll tell you why. "cnn newsroom" back in two minutes. we're america's natural gas and here's what we did today: supported nearly 3 million steady jobs across our country... ... scientists, technicians, engineers, machinists... ... adding nearly 400 billion dollars to our economy...
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china is demanding the u.s. apologize for interfering with chinese affairs. we'll hear more exclusive testimony today in the trial accused of murdering three of jennifer hudson's family members. a neighbor said he witnessed william balfour spying on the family two months before he allegedly killed hudson's mother, brother and nephew. the defense says the violence was connected to hudson's brother's drug dealing. investigators are trying to find out what caused a fire at tyler perry's studios last night. it broke out at the 60 acre complex in atlanta where he films a lot of his tv shows and movies. part of one building collapsed. no one was hurt. perry was there last night but refused to talk to reporters. five men in fbi custody accused of trying to blow up a major bridge near cleveland, ohio. several suspects call themselves
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anarchi anarchists. >> the defendants armed the explosives and left and went to a remote site and they then sitting there entered the codes they thought would blow up a bridge with innocent people traveling over it. >> investigators say the public was never in any danger. occupy cleveland leaders say the suspects don't represent the group. if this alleged plot had panned out, not only could people have died, it could have caused many other problems. transportation officials say there is a utility line on that bridge and at least one fiber-optic line nearby. turns out that's true of many bridges. listen to what a homeland security expert told cnn's brian todd. >> we found something under here, right, that's under a lot of bridges. >> many bridges, brian, have oil and gas pipelines. they have fiber-optic cables. that's how our financial system in america works.
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that's how we communicate. everything from internet to telephone run beneath bridges. you blow up a span, you cut the city off. >> clearly the fbi thought the men were a threat but were they really? we want to talk more about that with david. an author and expert on homegrown terror. david, welcome. >> good morning. >> so obviously the fbi infiltrated this group of five men. they provided them with what they thought were c-4 explosives and these men were going to blow up this bridge. in your mind, does that mean these five men were serious about what they were going to do or were they sort of goated into it? >> it's hard to know without reading the criminal complaint and reading transcripts of the conversations between them and the informant. i do know that in other cases i've looked at, you get a mixed picture. sometimes the suspects are hapless want to bes that are not
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able to light the right end of a fuse. they are coached and encouraged by informants who are often convicted felons on the fbi payroll trying to work off a charge and get a reduced sentence and so forth. they come to the attention of the fbi often with radical statements outside a mosque or online and then the fbi will begin to cultivate them so to speak or at least contact them, talk to them, see if they are serious about doing some kind of violence. >> i guess my question is once an fbi agent infiltrates this group, he's undercover. aren't there restrictions on how much he can incite the group to act? >> there are restrictions, yes. but the law on entrapment, which is the typical defense that is claimed after a case like this, is fairly strict. to prove entrapment, you have to
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show that you had no predisposition to do the crime. no predisposition. that means you were not willing to do the crime. you weren't interested in doing it. the agent really created the whole thing. and pulled you along. and the fbi and the justice department argue that they are very careful to give people exits. they suggest along the way, you know you're going to kill a lot of people and you're going to do a lot of damage. are you sure you want to do this? as you read the transcripts of the cases, those exit signs are not exactly in bright neon very often. they are a little subtle and often accompanied by some coaxing. the agent, the undercover agent, who is perhaps pretending to be an al qaeda operative and that sort of thing will say, well, the brothers expect you to do this. you said you were going to do this. what are you going to do for allah? so there's a bit of pressure that's built up at the same time that an exit is provided. >> although according to the fbi
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these five men went out of their way. they planted these fake c-4 explosives on the bridge. they tried to detonate them. it did seem like these five were serious about this and as a citizen, i would kind of want the fbi to go in and fare it out. even these kinds of people. >> the fbi normally creates a drama that goes all of the way to the conclusion where the bomb, the fake bomb, is set. the bomb provided by the fbi by the way. the cell phone provided by the fbi. the number provided by the fbi. so the whole thing is a theater of piece of drama which the suspect plays his part in. there's no question that the fbi does this pretty well. the question -- there are a couple questions that arise in these methods. most frightening terrorist
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attacks that have been foiled in the united states since 9/11 actually have been sting operations of this kind. so a couple questions arise. would these people have done this on their own without fbi involvement? another question is this the best use of limited manpower that's aimed at finding real terrorists? so these are serious questions that need to be addressed. and there's no question that these particular people who take their steps way down the road to the point of actually wanting to detonate an explosive that they think is there, are potentially dangerous people. the question is, well, would they have done this without government involvement? >> food for thought this morning. thanks so much for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> still ahead on "newsroom," thousands of walmart employees denied overtime pay are finally going to see the money. and later, george zimmerman's myspace page from 2005 has surfaced and you've got to hear
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some shocking comments he made about mexicans. "cnn newsroom" back in three minutes.
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this morning the prosecution continues to build its case against john edwards. young said she needed proof of the affair and today edwards' former chief of staff is expected to testify. joe johns has more for you. >> reporter: today in the john edwards campaign finance trial.
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cheri young is expected to wrap up her testimony. she handled the finances for the young family. she made the case that her husband had to come forward to tell the truth about edwards and his affair with rielle hunter because edwards hadn't done it. cheri young was a combative witness under cross examination but her credibility came under attack in the trial. the john edwards' defense team asked her how much money she and her husband made from a book and movie deal about the edwards case. she says she could not remember. after cheri young finishes testifying, the next witness expected to take the stand is a former aide for edwards who was reportedly present when he first met his mistress at a hotel in new york city. the main issue in the case is whether edwards intentionally accepted illegal campaign money to cover up the affair. joe johns, cnn, greensboro, north carolina. now is your chance to talk
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back on one of the big stories of the day. the question for you this morning. what does the resignation of a gay spokesman say about the romney campaign. rick was the mastermind of the message for the bush administration at the united nations. on all hot issues like iraq, afghanistan and the middle east. his expertise landed him a job as foreign policy spokesman for the romney campaign yet within two weeks he's out. why? you see before he was hired, he had a history of posting scathing tweets, some ridiculing the appearance of prominent women like hillary clinton. some might wonder why he was hired in first place when republicans are actively courting women voters. his resignation had nothing to do with those snarky tweets but with the fact that he's openly gay. something that angered social conservatives like brian fisher of the american family association. >> the homosexual agenda is a threat to america today.
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when governor romney picks someone who is an active homosexual and puts him in a prominent position he is sending a shout-out to the homosexual lobby. >> he cited hyperpartisan discussion of personal issues. romney could have declared his independence from others on the right. so the talk back question for you. what does the resignation of a gay spokesman say about the romney campaign? i'll read your comments later this hour. still to come on "newsroom," she vanished from a family vacation sparking an international search. hear why her parents are hopeful that the search will be resumed. a touch of sugar... and pure natural flavors. coffee-mate natural bliss. from nestle. add your flavor naturally.
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>> walmart is paying up after
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failing to pay some workers overtime. thousands of walmart employees are getting their money. alison kosik is live at the new york stock exchange to explain. >> they are probably saying about time. walmart says it has to pay up almost $5 million to these thousand of workers owed back pages and damages and walmart will have to pay another half million dollars in civil penalties. some managers in walmart's vision centers and security departments weren't given overtime because what walmart considered them as is workers were exempt from these federal regulations that require overtime pay. walmart says that they corrected the problem at this point and they reclassified these workers and when we talk about these workers, we're talking about 4,500 workers in line for the money. the hits keep coming for walmart after last month's allegations that walmart bribed mexican officials to fast track store openings in mexico. shares of walmart not reacting.
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the dow down 48 points after a weak report on jobs. adp, private payroll processing firm, said private companies in april added fewer jobs than expected. of course now there are worries about what friday's government jobs report is going to look like. carol? >> alison kosik at the new york stock exchange. good morning to you. i'm carol costello. stories we're watching right now in the "newsroom." hours after president obama left afghanistan, a car bomb in kabul exploded. at least seven people are dead. more are hurt. two u.s. troops were killed in a blast in another part of the country and just yesterday obama said troops would not stay in afghanistan a day longer than necessary. human rights activist chen guangcheng is reunited with his family at a beijing hospital. the blind lawyer and chinese dissident escaped house arrest last week and took refuge in the u.s. embassy. hillary clinton, secretary of state, says she was pleased the
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united states was able to help him but china is demanding the u.s. apologize for interfering with chinese affairs. george zimmerman's myspace page from 2005 was full of crude comments specifically against mexicans. he called some want to be thugs and other comments he brags about his run ins with the law. the miami herald uncovered the old profile and zimmerman's attorney confirmed it is legitimate. also showed zimmerman had a very diverse group of friends. just last week we had new time lapse pictures of what madeleine mccann would look like now nearly five years after she vanished from a family vacation in portugal. investigators are saying she could be alive and they have hundreds of leads that have yet to be pursued. it's a development that's giving renewed hope to madeleine's parents just days before the anniversary of their daughter's disappearance. >> i think we are more hopeful now of finding madeleine than we have been at any point since the
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early days after she was taken. that's largely changed with the investigative review being undertaken by the metropolitan police. >> zain verjee is live in london. your heart breaks for this family. >> gosh, it is a parents' worst nightmare really. madeleine would have been nine years old by now. almost five years since she disappeared back in 2007 when the whole family was on vacation in portugal. so they are really optimistic. they continue to hold on and what they are saying is there is something like almost 200 new leads potentially after about 40,000 new pieces of information have been analyzed so they are clinging onto that. just listen to what madeleine's father had to say when he was asked by an interviewer here in the u.k. about whether he imagines or dreams of what it would be like one day if he ever met his daughter again. >> it's hard to go there because
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it would be so good but you do think about it being reunited and it has happened for many other families. there's no reason why at this stage it can't happen for us. >> the situation right now, carol, as far as the investigation goes is that the portuguese are saying the investigation is closed unless there are new and credible pieces of information. the mccanns are saying they have no doubt that one day the portuguese will reopen the investigation. the metropolitan police in u.k. are saying they support it and they really want this to happen but it cannot legally happen without portugal agreeing to do it. the mccann family by the way has continued to hire a private detective and see if they get anymore leads and they appeal to anyone who can still come forward with any information that could help. carol? >> zain verjee live in london for us this morning. the actress, betty white, using her celebrity status to
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help get a politician elected. it's all about how that politician treats dogs. yes. it's coming your way in five minutes. >> it's human nature to invent. it's human nature to try to make your life better. it's human nature to try to make the world around you a better place. it's really freaking hard. good ideas shouldn't find their ways on shelves because they're the ideas of people with the right luck or circumstance. they should find their ways on shelves because they are just great ideas. that's it. plain and simple. this is an rc robotic claw.
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>> betty white is not a political animal except when it comes to animals. the kind with fur. in a new campaign ad she's backing a congressman up for re-election in california and she is supporting the democrat, howard berman, because he likes dogs. >> betty, if you want a friend in washington, do you know what you do? >> get a dog. that's what i've been told. >> what else? >> re-elect congressman howard berman. the valley leader who fights for the humane treatment of all animals. >> a.j. hammer, we didn't show the part where he shows up with a little white dog. i would want betty white's endorsement. >> as an animal lover, i'm thrilled she's doing this. some are calling this the coolest endorsement ever. that's betty white and her hot in cleveland co-star we saw
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there. they are some of congressman berman's hollywood supporters. the congressman has reportedly collected big donations for this elections from stars like tom hanks and bette midler. berman's district was redrawn. that forced him into a bitter battle with representative brad sherman. you have berman versus sherman. stars like berman in part because of his efforts to fight video piracy in congress and not just because as betty puts it at the end of the commercial that we didn't see where betty says he's very nice blue eyes. >> there we see him with the dog. i like that. for me that was the money shot. let's talk about patrick dempsey's heroic rescue. pulled a teenage boy out of a car that crashed near his home. what happened? >> we talked about this the other day. dempsey was on the scene and police just released a relatively calm 911 call reporting the accident. a woman apparently, a neighbor
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of dempsey's is on the phone in this call talking to the operator. let's listen to that. >> there is a car accident. >> how many vehicles? >> it's one vehicle. it's upside down. >> is the person trapped? >> my husband and three other guys just pulled the boy out. >> so no parties of trapped? >> no. >> so dempsey still hasn't responded to "showbiz tonight" with any additional details about the accident or how he and his neighbors pulled that boy out of the car. everyone who was there deserves some credit. the driver turns out was only 15 according to the local sheriff's office and not 17 as has been reported but he's expected to make a full recovery thanks certainly in large part to dr. mcdreamy. >> i'm sure he'll be grounded. a.j. hammer, thanks so much. congressman paul ryan making a move to stop defense spending cuts. he says u.s. security cannot afford $600 billion in cuts but democrats say, wait a minute, we
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made a deal. coming up, we'll get into that fight. and our talk back question for you today. what does the resignation of a gay spokesman say about the romney campaign? i'll have some of your responses after a break. instead we had someone go ahead of him and win fifty thousand dollars. congratulations you are our one millionth customer. people don't like to miss out on money that should have been theirs. that's why at ally we have the raise your rate 2-year cd. you can get a one-time rate increase if our two-year rate goes up. if your bank makes you miss out, you need an ally. introducing gold choice.
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yeah! noooo. yeah! finding you the perfect place is all we do. welcome to pandora rocks the big board. 46 minutes past the hour. checking our top stories, human rights activist chen guangcheng is reuniting with his family today. the blind lawyer and chinese
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dissident escaped house arrest last week and has been hiding out in the u.s. embassy. secretary of state hillary clinton says she is pleased that the united states was able to help him out. china is demanding the u.s. apo apologize for interfering with chinese affairs. in a speech to u.s. troops, the president said he's committed to the 2014 deadline to turn security fully over to the afghans. mitt romney by the way released this statement. he said "i am pleased that president obama has returned to afghanistan. our troops and the american people deserve to hear from our president about what is at stake in this "success in afghanistan is vital to our nation's security." gingrich has released a video thanking supporters saying he'll keep working to defeat president obama. democrats and republicans are at each other's throats
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again over spending. republican congressman paul ryan has introduced a bill to stop automatic cuts to defense spending. this all goes back to that grand failure. you remember the super committee? remember. i know it's forgettable and not really so super. it was created under the law that lifted the debt ceiling. in other words lawmakers agreed to raise it on the condition of bipartisan supercommittee would cut $1.5 trillion from the nation's deficit. the supercommittee failed. so come january draconian automatic budget cuts will go into effect as in $1.5 trillion to cuts in defense and entitlement programs. that was the deal but it wasn't. some democrats are furious that ryan is trying to get rid of these cuts. joining us now, democratic congressman peter welch of vermont. welcome, congressman. >> good to be with you. >> nice to have you here.
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you say that a deal is a deal. what do democrats plan to do? >> well, the republicans with this ryan plan are running from the agreement that they made. the supercommittee had a shot. they could put everything in the table and included revenues which would have softened the cuts both on the pentagon side and on the domestic side. they failed. but the agreement then was automatic cuts would go into effect when we get back to washington in january and half would come from the pentagon and half from domestic discretionary. there would be shared pain. is it realistic that you would fence off the pentagon and in fact break the deal, try to have your cake and eat it too because the republicans refuse to include revenue as part of the equation. incidentally, realistically, can we get to the debt reduction that we need when we say that the pentagon has to make no contribution? keep in mind, the budget there was $670 billion last year. over ten years that's going to
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be 7 or 8 or $9 trillion. these cuts have to be part of the -- cuts in the pentagon have to be part of a balanced approach. >> you say you got 130 other democrats on your side. what do you guys plan to do? >> well, see our goal actually is to work with republicans to get a debt reduction accomplished. we do have to do that in this country. but what everyone knows who is not in congress is that this has to be approached eas a practica problem to be solved and not just an ideological battle. if it's a practical problem, we have to put everything on the table. it means democrats have to be willing to make some cuts in reforms and entitlements because we can do that and save money without compromising security. >> congressman, i think the american people have heard it all before that you guys can sit down together and come up with some solution, and it's been proved so many times in the past that you really can't. >> well, and the obstacle is an
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unwillingness to put everything on the table. the point is there were 100 republicans and democrats who said to the super committee, you know what, go big. go for 4 trillion and the way you would accomplish that is by including revenues and the pentagon and domestic discretionary so at the leadership level that's what we have to acknowledge because if you come up with a strategy which then gets doubled down where you take revenues off the table and now mr. ryan's latest plan is to take the pentagon off the table, it means that you really have nothing left except health care, help to get our kids into college and with student assistance, nutrition programs, all of these are being axed and it won't work but will result in enormously punitive impacts on the american economy and the american people. so mr. ryan is a leader here, and if he's going to be serious about it, he has to acknowledge that revenues has to be part of this. the pentagon has to make a contribution, and it's -- everything's got to be on the table.
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otherwise we just won't be able to succeed. >> congressman welch, thank you for being with us this morning. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> we asked to you comment on the big story of the day. what does the resignation of a gay spokesman say about the romney campaign? your responses after a break.
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we asked you to talk back on one of the big stories. the talkback question for you. who does the resignation of a gay spokesman say about the romney campaign? this from mary. there are gay republicans. i'm sure he wasn't fired for being gay. i bet it had a lot to do with his tweets, smiley face. this from debra it says romney
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has flip-flopped so much and on so many issues that he's now too diss to know which side he supports and why. >> this from eric. it could just be the person was not a good fit. i heard recently the mormon church was more accepting of gays. maybe this guy is just a little too out there. and this from kevin. here's a tip. keep your personal issues personal. the vast majority of conservatives don't give a flip about what you do in the bedroom. good riddance. he's one that's hypersensitive. grow up. keep the conversation flowing, i'll get to more in the next hour of "newsroom" and we're following a lot of developments in the next hour. >> we are following developments hours away from learning who will be charged in the hazing-related death of florida a&m drum major robert champion. we'll talk about the case and what to expect in this 2:00 p.m. news conference coming up at the top of the hour. >> i'm elizabeth cohen in atlanta. a new jersey mom is accused of taking her 5-year-old into a tanning bed. we'll talk about tanning bed
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dangers for kids and for adults later in the hour. >> thanks to both of you, and companies say they are hiring, and they are hiring with great-paying jobs. many people aren't getting job offers. business owners say many applicants don't have the required skills. next hour we'll talk with one business owner and hear why he says trade schools are the answer. ewell long awaited. goodnight, stuffy. goodnight, outdated. goodnight old luxury and all of your wares. goodnight bygones everywhere. [ engine turns over ] good morning, illumination. good morning, innovation. good morning unequaled inspiration. [ male announcer ] the audi a8, chosen by car & driver as the best luxury sedan in a recent comparison test. made with only milk... cream... a touch of sugar... and pure natural flavors.
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how your team responds when a key player is out is critical in the playoffs. nobody knows that better than jeb carter. >> i'm always healthy. what are you talking about? a lot of these teams are facing uncharted territory because it's been a long time since they faced lockout and the nba, shortened season. crammed a lot of games in here and a lot of older players are facing injury and young guys. boston celtics are dealing with both. suspended guard rajon rondo was out last night because he was suspended because he bumped a ref during the season opener. ray allen out with the injury. he's got that ankle injury so they look to the truth, the captain. paul pierce. he had to step up last night. a big, big game for him. scored the first nine point of the game. actually outscored the entire atlanta hawks team in the last 15 minutes. he had 36 points in all. 14 rebounds. this guy is 34 years young. some people call them old early in the season. then in the game, this is the best part. he sinks a free throw as the clincher. decides to tebow.
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>> yes. >> why not. he actually played 44 of the 48 minutes so some say he might have been tired. celtics go on to win the game, 87-80. rajon rondo is back for game three which is friday in boston. so the bulls also facing injury without their superstar, derrick rose. he's gone for the rest of the season. he's obviously the reigning mvp. he tore his acl. did present the game ball. got a standing ovation, but that was about the only thing chicago had to cheer about, because, boy, they missed him a lot. their offense was out of sync. the 76ers grooving all night long. shot 69% from the field. philly put the game away with a 36-14 run in the third quarter. it was over early. sixers even the series with the bulls one game apiece. nhl playoffs last night, excited about the playoffs, this is a good time to be a sports fan. devils/flyers game two of their series. new jersey playing without their injured stud ilya kovalchuk. look at this guy. david clarkson literally crashes on top of the net, hits the rebound and goes on top of the
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crossbar. taking one for the team. devils win, 3-1. series is also even. now they go to the turnpike -- up the turnpike and game three is in newark tomorrow night. if you like the playoffs? >> i only like baseball and football. i'm boring, okay, i admit t. >> two good sports to like. >> thank you, joe. next hour of cnn "newsroom" starts right now. and good morning to you. i'm carol costello. just ahead in the "newsroom," a chinese activist telling hillary clinton i want to kiss you. this morning we've go the new pictures of chen guangcheng in the hospital and we're learning about china's chilly response towards the u.s. response. we're also learning more about the man who shot and killed 17-year-old trayvon martin from his social media page. see what george zimmerman posted about mexicans on myspace that could have an impact on his trial. a new jersey mother is facing charges this morning after her 6-year-old daughter suffered burns in a tanning bed, so exactly what regulations are
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in place to try to keep this from happening to other kids? we've got the answers for you. plus, a spin on normal looking for work story you're used to hearing about these days. we're talking to an employer who has plenty of jobs open but cannot find any qualified workers. but we start with the latest out of china. after an emotional phone call with the secretary of state hillary clinton, chinese human rights activist chen guangcheng is in a beijing hospital, and china is not happy. in fact, it's demanding an apology from the united states. we managed to get this photo of chen a few hours ago. that means he was indeed holed up in the u.s. embassy. u.s. officials telling us chen getting medical treatment, and he'll later we unite with his family to a safe environment. chen fled his home in april where he had been under house arrest for more than 18 months. he does say he wants to stay in china. cnn's jill doherty has more on chen and his emotional
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conversation with hillary clinton. >> reporter: carol, there were some fascinating details coming out of this briefing with senior administration officials. they described how mr. chen had been injured, he hurt his foot, how he was in this embassy. he wanted to stay here in china, and when he agreed to leave the embassy with his agreement, with the chinese government, he wanted to talk to secretary of state hillary clinton. when they got into the van, we're told, the senior officials, these diplomats, had left their phones in the embassy as they were required to. they had to search around to get a phone. they finally got one and the conversation began. he thanked secretary clinton for the attention that she and the u.s. government have been paying to his case, and then in broken english we're told he said i want to kiss you. so a lot of thankfulness for his situation, and if it is carried out the way it's supposed to be
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carried out, it could give this man a new life here in china. carol? >> jill dougherty reporting. five men accused of blowing up a bridge are described as anarchists. they were part of the occupy cleveland movement. the local couple is dismissing them as a small fringe of the cause and cancelled yesterday's may day events when word of the irests got out. we're also learning how catastrophic their attack could have been. a homeland security expert says bridges are a vital link for more than just transportation. here's cnn's brian todd. >> reporter: they thought about all sorts of plots, including blowing up a cargo ship in the cuyahoga river running through cleveland. they surveyed the area and settled on their target. the route 82 brecksville high-level bridge, a major artery connecting two
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interstates near cleveland according to a criminal complaint accusing five young americans of conspiring to blow up the bridge with c-4 explosives. >> the defendants planted the explosives at the base of the bridge and they armed the explosives. the defendants left and went to a remote site and they then sitting there entered the codes that they thought would blow up a bridge with innocent people traveling over it. >> reporter: but the men, when authorities say are self-proclaimed anarchists with nicknames like psycho and scabby were being duped. federal officials said they had been tracked for months by an undercover fbi agent and informant. the explosionives they were given, according to officials, were fake. >> at no time during the course of the investigation was the public ever in danger. >> reporter: but if they had been successful, they could have brought down a 150-foot high bridge that accommodates about 15,000 vehicles a day. potential casualties and damage to the bridge in cleveland were part of what could have happened in this plot, but one homeland security expert says american
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bridges have another important vulnerability to damage and destruction. i scoped out major bridges in the washington area with randy larson of the institute for homeland security. >> we found something under here, right, that's under a lot of bridges. >> many bridges, brian, have oil and gas pipelines, they have fiber-optic cables. that's how our financial system in america works. that's how we communicate, everything from internet to telephone run beneath bridges. you drop a span, you cut the city off. >> reporter: transportation officials in ohio say there's one utility line on that bridge and one fiber-optic line in the area near it. when i asked larson how officials can secure the bridges, he said the only way is better intelligence and law enforcement, and in this case, he says, that worked. we could not get comment on the charges from attorneys for four of the defendants, but the lawyer for one of them, defendant brandon baxter, says he'll enter a not guilty plea. he says his client has suffered from mental impairments. brian todd, cnn, washington. president obama is in the
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air right now returning to the united states after his unannounced trip to afghanistan. the president met with the afghanistan president, hamid karzai and the two men signed an agreement to outline cooperation between the two countries once u.s. forces withdraw in 2014. >> we're building an enduring partnership. the agreement we sign today sends a clear message to the afghan people. us a stand up, you will not stand alone. it establishes the basis for our cooperation over the next decade, including shared commitments to combat terrorism and strengthen democratic institutions. >> in short, mr. obama will turn over security to the afghan government in 2014. >> we will not build permanent bases in this country, nor will we be patrolling its cities and mountains. that will be the job of the afghan people. >> not american troops. that means in 2014 most of the nation's men and women will come
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home after what will be 13 long years of war in afghanistan. i'm sure you remember october 7, 2001. the war began less than a month after the 9/11 attacks. by that december, about 2,500 u.s. troops were in afghanistan. >> go, go, go. >> today there are about 90,000 u.s. troops in the country. president obama says by the end of august 23,000 troops will come home, and by 2014 that number will likely decline, although the u.s. will still have a presence in afghanistan. it's unclear how many troops will remain. >> now the plans to draw down u.s. troops faces many skeptics. they believe it expects too much too soon from the afghan security forces. james "spider" marks is a retired army general who serves as a cnn contributor. welcome, general. >> hi, carol.
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>> thanks for being with us is this to your time frame simply too ambitious? >> well, this has been in place for quite some time, carol. we've always known from day one that we weren't going to be there forever. sadly we didn't know on day one that we'd be there for 13 years. so the 2014 time line has been in place for some time. we're drawing down the 90,000 to an indetermined number of folks, but i think within the final numbers that remain it is more important to look at functions performed and there are two parallel missions, and i would say it's training the afghan security forces to continue to make sure that that's going quickly. and then the second mission is to target and go after taliban as well as remnants of al qaeda and their surrogates within afghanistan. and the united states, with, you know in, partnership with nato as well as our afghan partners, will continue to do that. >> so supposedly in 2014 there will still be a u.s. presence there, and you explained why. do you know how many troops that might entail?
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>> no. carol, frankly not at all. again, it -- it will be what is necessary to continue to train and ensure that the afghan security forces are meeting a standard that they can sustain. we need to train, equip, advise and sustain the afghan security forces as they go forward. they will certainly take the lead in terms of routine operations and requirements on the ground, but the united states and nato partners need to be there to ensure that that's taking place, and as i said we'll also go after bad guys as they -- as we develop intelligence and we can precisely do that, minimize collateral damage, but what's key to that, sorry, carol, what's key to that is that our sustaining security agreement with afghanistan must allow us to have a capture or kill mission going forward. >> okay. i want to turn the conversation to politics for just a moment because there are some who are complaining that president obama went over to afghanistan on the one-year anniversary of osama bin laden's death and that this was purely political spectacle.
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as a general, president comes over, mingles with the troops, talks to them face to face. do they consider that political? >> that's nothing but a good thing, carol. the fact that the commander in chief spends time with his soldiers in harm's way, his service members in harm's way is nothing but a good thing. in fact, as long as the president is there, as long as he continues to do that, i know he's flying home, that's a good thing. now, clearly it's not serendipitous that he signed the accord on the one-year anniversary of osama bin laden's death, but that's good when the president spends time with his service members. that's great. >> general marks, thanks for being with us this morning. >> okay, carol, thank you. when the president returns home in just a couple of hours, he, as i said, could face a cool reception from some. critics say his stealth visit to afghanistan was a thinly veiled campaign stop in his re-election bid, but his likely opponent in that race is not piling on. presumptive republican nominee mitt romney had this to say in a
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statement. quote, i am pleased that president obama has returned to afghanistan. our troops and the american people deserve to hear from our president about what is at stake in this war. success in afghanistan is vital to our nation's security, end quote. 3 of the 12 secret service agents involved in the colombia prostitution scandal refuse to take a lie detector test and they were the first let go. in a twist, 120 secret service supervisors are taking ethics training workshops at john hopkins. the school has partnered with the agency extensively in the past. still to come on "newsroom," george zimmerman's myspace page from 2005 has surfaced, and you've got to see some of the shocking comments he made about mexicans. plus, it's still a scary time out there for people looking for work, but some business owners say they have the help wanted sign out but people are not
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i've still got hours of battery life. it's an ultrabook. you bring great shame upon this coffee hut. with a long-lasting ultrabook, everything else seems old fashioned. ultrabook. inspired by intel. checking our top stories at 15 minutes past the hour. human rights activist chen guangcheng is at a beijing hospital and will reunite with his family today. the blind lawyer and chinese dissident escaped house arrest and had taken refuge in the u.s. embassy. secretary of state hillary clinton says she's pleased the united states was able to help out, but china is not so
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pleased. it's demanding the u.s. apologize for interfering with chinese affairs. the tampa bay buccaneers have signed defensive tackle eric la grand. he won't play for them. he played for rutgers and was paralyzed in a game in 2010 in a game against army. he was told he wouldn't walk again and live on a ventilator but five weeks after the injury he resumed breathing on his own and was later to stand upright. the bucks want to recognize his character, spirit and perseverance. this morning the prosecution builds its case against john edwards as the wife of his former close aide heads back to the stand. she testified while she videotaped the home and possession of the senator's mistress rielle hunter in 2008 saying she needed proof of the affair. today edwards' former chief of staff is expected to testify. george zimmerman's myspace page from 2005 was full of crude comments specifically against mexicans. "the miami herald" uncovered the old profile and zimmerman's
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attorney does confirm it's legitimate. the page is called only to be king again. it shows zimmerman had a diverse group of friends, but in some comments he brags about runnins with the law, and in one post he wrote i don't miss driving around scared to hit mexicans walking on the side of the street, soft wannabe thugs messing with people's cars. in the meantime, sanford, florida, has picked an interim police chief. richard mirs on the left comes from colorado springs and starts in sanford on friday. former sanford police chief bill lee on the right is on administrative leave after being criticized for the way the department handled the trayvon martin investigation. today a florida state attorney is expected to announce that criminal charges will be filed in the suspected hazing death. you'll see him here, robert champion. a drum major at a&m university and his death was ruled a homicide. george howell joins me now.
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how many charged? >> that's the question. we know there were at least 30 people on board that bus when robert champion was beaten to death. again, beaten so badly according to medical examiner's office, beaten to the chest, the arms and the back, that he went into shock and died from that beating, but, you know, the questions carol is today how many will be charged and what will the range of those charges be? we know that hazing in the state of florida, it's a felony. could this manslaughter? could it be a murder case? you know, that's really what we'll find out at this 2:00 p.m. news conference. this is something that the family has been waiting for for five and a half months. happened back on november 19th of last year. they have been waiting very patiently for this, but listen to this clip. we can talk about it on the other side back in april where they explain how they wanted answers. >> i think we've been patient enough, and we need to hear something kind of answer because there's no real mystery.
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we know who were there. we have to get rid of the hazing, and the only way to do that is to send a strong message that it won't be tolerated. so far just look. has a strong message been sent, you know? will it had a to happen again? >> that's -- i mean, it's taken so long for them to, you know, come to this point as far as arresting people, right? >> yeah. have things changed at the school? have these -- has this fight been worth it for those parents? >> well, you saw the university a few weeks and a few months after this happened taking steps to, first of all, make sure that students know that hazing is not permitted, not allowed on the campus. certainly the fact that this case has gotten so much attention and that these criminal charges are coming, clearly that has caught the eye of many students, maybe those who think that hazing is okay, but the one thing this family wanted to do, wanted to make sure that students see what happened here and think twice about hazing. >> george howell, thanks so
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much. coming up on "newsroom," it was the bird strike seen around the world, and now this video from a passenger has him in trouble with the government. we'll tell you why. plus, when betty white is for you, who could be against you? the golden girl getting political. our political buzz panel weighs in. [ kate ] most women may not be properly absorbing the calcium they take because they don't take it with food. switch to citracal maximum plus d. it's the only calcium supplement that can be taken with or without food. that's why my doctor recommends citracal maximum. it's all about absorption.
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just about 22 minutes past the hour. welcome back. new car sales numbers are in, and they are good. alison kosik is live at the new york stock exchange. tim us about it. >> continues the winning streak for automakers with april being a really strong month.
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sales industrywide were up 9% and analysts say it's not a blip or you can say it's because of the weather. it's actually because we're seeing stable growth in these car sales. let me run down some of these automakers and let you know how they did. chrysler had the best april in four years. toyota says its sales were up 12% when you compare them to last year. now ford and gm say their results slipped, but they are still optimistic so that's a good sign. gm increased its forecast for car sales and ford's fuel-efficient vehicles, they are doing pretty well and we're seeing all this strength being reflected in manufacturing overall. one of the strongest parts of the economy right now so what you're seeing, carol, are consumers and all that pent-up demand for cars coming back. want to trade in the old and buy new. >> so is this going to translate into jobs? >> and that's a good question. we are seeing that, at least with chrysler, toyota and gm, all saying earlier this year that they are hiring. now, gm says, yeah, we'll have to see about more job creation as the economy gets better, but the big wild card for the u.s.
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auto industry that you'll have to keep your eye on is europe's debt crisis. yes, it's still lingering there, but the weak sales, can you see them already cutting into ford's first-quarter earnings, so really the question is how far will that go, but for now let's go ahead and focus on the good news that automakers are stronger in april. >> i do like focusing on the good news. it's so unusual these days. >> me, too. >> alison kosik, thank you. >> sure. now is your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. the question for you this morning. what does the resignation of a gay spokesman say about the romney campaign? rick renaud was the master of the message for the bush administration at the united nations and all the hot issues, like iraq, afghanistan, the middle east. his expertise landed him -- landed him a job as foreign policy spokesman for the romney campaign. yet within two weeks he's already out. why? well, you see, before he was hired he had a history of posting scathing tweets, some ridiculing the appearance of
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prominent women like hillary clinton and callista gingrich and some might wonder why he was hired in the first place since republicans are courting women voters. the resignation had nothing to do with the snarky tweets but the fact that he's gay that has angered some like brian fisher from the american family association and here's what he said on snm >> reporter: >> the homosexual agenda represents the single greatest threat to religious liberty and freedom of association today. from governor romney picked somebody who is an activist homosexual and puts him in a prominent message, he's sending a shout-out, seems to me, to the homosexual lobby. >> in a statement he cited the hyperpartisan discussion of personal issues for his resignation. republican pundit david frum said romney missed an opportunity to, quote, declare his independence from others on the right. he apparently did not. so the talk back question for you today.
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what does the resignation of a gay spokesman say about the romney campaign? i'll read your comments later this hour. coming up next, we take you through the buzz saw. critics calling the president's surprise trip to afghanistan nothing but a campaign stop. and unemployed workers aren't the only ones struggling right now. some employers say they can't fill positions because they can't find qualified people. a cnn special report. i'm freaking out man. why? i thought jill was your soul mate. no, no it's her dad. the general's your soul mate? dude what? no, no, no. he's, he's on my back about providing for his little girl. hey don't worry. e-trade's got a totally new investing dashboard.
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clinton says she was pleased the united states was able to help him out, but china is not so happy. it's demanding the u.s. apologize for interfering with chinese affairs. more explosive testimony expected today in the trial of william balfour accused of murdering three of jennifer hudson's family members. a neighbor says he saw balfour spying on the family two months before hudson's mother, brother and nephew were killed, but the defense claims the deaths were connected to hudson's brother's drug-dealing. time to check in on the presidential trail. presumptive republican nominee mitt romney talking about the economy in chantilly, virginia. later romney visits republican national headquarters in washington. political buzz is your rapid fire look at the best political topics of the day. three questions. 30 seconds on the clock. playing with us today, cnn contributor maria cardona on the left and georgetown professor
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george metsler on the right and the sultan of mark, dino badarlla. first question for you, a foreign policy spokesman for the romney campaign who happens to be openly gay resigned. apparently under pressure from some social conservatives. what does this say about the romney campaign, maria? >> well, it clearly says, carol, that there are certainly no profiles in courage there and that they would in no way go out of their way to stand up for somebody who in their own words they believed was the right person for the job. now, look, if he was going to resign, they should have used the excuse of his miso.j.nistic tweets but to go back to the issue of his having to do it because they had to kowtow to the ultra right wing conservative, social conservatives on the issue of gay rights, for gay and lesbian rights, i think it it is not bode well for the romney campaign.
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>> chris? >> you know, i think in this particular case what it says is that the spokesperson can't become the story, and i think in this case clearly the romney camp wanted him to stay on. they made him very clear he wanted to do that, but he was becoming the story. when there's so much of a distraction and the spokesperson is the story, i think they had no choice but to accept his resignation and not engage in these distractions, so we're going to move on to talk about jobs and the economy. >> dean? >> i think mean romney needs to get a become bone. remember the rush limbaugh, he attacked sandra fluke and profit cute. mitt romney's response was i wouldn't have used the word and now the american family association, a group like neo-nazi and the klan comes out against the leader and romney gives in. how is he going to be our president and stand up against enemies against us? not being partisan. really concerns me. mitt romney should have stood up for this man's rights as an
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american. >> let's talk now about president obama's surprise trip to afghanistan. here's stephen colbert's reaction. >> the general election hasn't even officially kicked off, but today barack obama used taxpayer dollars to campaign in a key swing state, afghanistan. we've been fighting there for so long i believe they now get three electoral votes. >> at least one republican, senator jim inhofe, blasted the president saying the trip was basically a campaign stop, although others like john mccain and mitt romney were fine with. guys, your turn now. was the trip a political move? chris? >> well, first of all, only three, that's all they get? but i think, yeah, was it political, of course it's political, but a couple of things here. i think what this demonstrates is that elections have consequences, and so as the commander in chief, i am very happy that the president has taken the opportunity to spend some time with the troops in afghanistan.
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i also think it's particularly bad for him to criticize the commander in chief when he's on foreign soil. i think that's particularly bad for him, so is it political? of course it's political, but, hey, they are the party in power. that's what you got. >> maria? >> no, it's not political, carol, because, look, if president obama was not running for re-election, he still would have made this trip, so to me in my mind that makes it not political. does it look political? are too many going to look through a political prism, of course they are, and i'm glad to see that senator inhofe is not disappointing in terms of the gop continuing with their latest version of the faux anger chronicles and criticizing it as it being political because that's what's going to happen. the opposition is going to look at it that way. we're in an election year, but that's the power of incumbency. you get to do this as commander in chief. >> dean? >> carol, i like maria, but i'm going to have to be honest. it looks political, but it's an election year. this is what they do.
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>> i said it looked political. >> i think you were saying an incumbent president and look mitt romney visited a fire house in d.c. in, new york with rudy giuliani. i think make it more political. obama should go to switzerland and visit romney's bank accounts there. that makes it more political, the ultimate political. after "mission accomplished" with president bush all bets are off. do whatever you want as president. >> under the third question, 20 seconds each. betty white, now she's a golden girl of california politics. listen to this ad running in los angeles. >> betty, if you were a friend in washington, do you know what you'd do? >> get a dog, that's what i've been told. >> what else? >> re-election congressman howard berman, the valley leaders for fights for the humane treatment for animals. >> one great reason to like howard but he's also unbelievable. >> and he has very nice blue
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eyes. >> i'm howard berman, and my friend and i approve this message. >> treat a dog right, win betty white. president obama and mitt romney have their dog issues. which one needs betty whitemore, maria? >> let's see. in this dog-eat-dog political season i actually think it's romney that needs him more, because, look, what the president talked about in his -- in his book happened when he was a very young boy in indonesia. it was cultural. what romney did, he did when he was an adult, and he put the family dog on top of the car, so i think romney is the one who needs betty whitemore here. >> chris? >> look, this conversation is really going to the dogs. >> enough of the dog puns. >> enough. and so i think it's probably the president that needs betty at this point more, but really i think i need betty more. i'm trying to become a point guard in the nba, and i think probably what would happen is
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betty can probably give me an endorsement. hey, betty. >> she's a powerful woman, that betty white. >> no question. >> dean? >> you know, betty white is great, but you know who they need, justin bieber's endorsement and the kardashian. they move people. betty white, i like betty white, a great comedian, bieber, kardashian. where's lindsay lohan in all of this and who let the dogs out? i won't even -- obama should do a parody of "who strapped the dog to the roof." >> sorry. we'll never stop talking about this, never. >> thanks for all playing today. appreciate it. >> thanks, carol. leave it to vice president joe biden to turn a routine photo-op into something more. this morning he hosted a cinco de mayo event in washington. yeah, i know, it's a few days early and also a celebration of mexico, but you might not have known that from mr. biden's toast. it's bad luck in the irish tradition to toast with water,
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but -- so i'm not going to do it. i can hear my grandfather saying joey, no. let me tell you my toast was going to be without the water. to friendship, to mexico and to america. happy cinco de mayo, everyone. welcome. >> as you could tell, his joke was taken in good cheer, even if there was none in the glass. the gathering includes america co's ambassador to the united states, hispanic media and mexican-american members of the administration. a bit of breaking news to tell you about. we have an update on today's top story. controversial chinese activist chen guangcheng left the u.s. embassy today but a friend told cnn he's in the out of danger and was threatened by the chinese government. we'll take you live to beijing.
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cnn. controversial chinese activist chen guangcheng left the american embassy under duress today contradicting reports that he departed of his own volition. friends and family are now telling us chinese authorities threatened chen's family if he did not agree to leave the embassy. he was in the u.s. embassy. stan grant is working his sources from beijing, not an easy thing to do, so, stan, what have you learned? >> reporter: yeah. this story continues to take more twists and turns, you're right. a very different story is emerging from those close to chen guangcheng. we've heard from a close friend of his who has been tweeting a conversation she says she had with chen that paints a very different story from one we're hearing from u.s. officials and also the chinese officials. according to the u.s. and china, a deal had been struck where chen would leave the embassy. he would be a free man. he would not continue to suffer any harassment, and he'd be reunited with his family. now according to this family
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friend, chen did not want to leave the embassy. he was being threatened by chinese officials. they said if he continued to stay there, then there would be violent retribution taken out against his wife and his children. now, the friend says that the wife was told that men with sticks will be waiting for them back in their village if he did not leave and that cameras had been installed inside their -- their home back in their village as well to document what they would do to them if he did not leave. now, this is a very, very different story, as i say, and what's contingent on this deal is china holding up its side of the bargain. if you go through the various points of this -- of this agreement, carol, one of the significant things here is that china would prosecute or at least investigate those who had been holding chen under house arrest. they would also ensure his safety going forward, and the u.s. has said that it will continue to monitor this deal to ensure that it wasn't broken, that it appears to be cracking right now as we speak.
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carol? >> so i'm a little confuses because u.s. officials brought chen to that beijing hospital. chen talked with the secretary of state hillary clinton on the phone and had this emotional conversation. at the end of the conversation he said, you know, i could kiss you, so what are we to make of that? >> again, we're not hearing from chen himself. this is the critical thing here. now, according to -- to the friend she is the only person that says she is in contact with him is this friend. we've been on the phone to her, and she is painting a very, very different side of the story, but our right. those questions immediately came to us as well. why would the u.s. take him out of there if he thought he was under threat? why would they publicize this deal and why would they say that they are going to ensure his safety? all of this still up in the air, but a very different side of the story emerging from a friend of chen's.
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carol. >> stan grant, i know you'll remain on the story. live from beijing this morning. still to come on "newsroom," job fairs are crowded so why can't employers get the workers they need? we've got a special report for you. s ] hi, i'm new ensure clear. clear, huh? my nutritional standards are high. i'm not juice or fancy water, i'm different. i've got nine grams of protein. twist my lid. that's three times more than me! twenty-one vitamins and minerals and zero fat! hmmm. you'll bring a lot to the party. [ all ] yay! [ female announcer ] new ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat. twenty-one vitamins and minerals. in blueberry/pomegranate and peach. refreshing nutrition in charge! in blueberry/pomegranate and peach. how did the nba become the hottest league on the planet? by building on the cisco intelligent network they're able to serve up live video, and instant replays, creating fans from berlin to beijing.
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our correspondents work fast. more on that breaking news out of beijing, china, for you. chen guangcheng, the chinese dissident holed up in the u.s. embassy, american officials brought him to the hospital and
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got a deal with the chinese government and one of chen's friends tweeted he was already being threatened by chinese officials. his family was being threatened and he didn't really want to leave the u.s. embassy. our jill dougherty who is in beijing just interviewed the assistant secretary whose name is kurt campbell, assistant secretary of state, i should make that clear, and he said, quote, i was there. chen made the decision to leave the embassy after he knew his family was safe and at the hospital waiting for him. and after twice being asked by ambassador locke, the american ambassador locke if he was ready to go, he said let's go. we were all there as a witness it his decision so he hugged and thanked us all. the americans are sticking by the story and disputing this friend who was tweeting from beijing about what's happening to chen. we'll follow this story and have much more throughout the day on cnn. turning our attention to economic news now. there's a simple formula to an economic recovery, getting
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good-paying job to those who need them, but some employers say they are hiring, but they simply can't find workers, so all this week we're looking at those businesses that have positions to fill but can't find people to fill them. we'll be going across the country starting today in the northeast in the new hyde park area of new york. new york state has an 8.5% jobless rate in the latest labor figures. that's slightly higher than the national average, and today we're profiling a company called day and night all service. the company installs and services commercial refrigeration and air conditioning. despite the economic downturn, the company has expanded in the last five years. 140 employees are on staff, but more are needed. the owner matt share joins us now. good morning, matt. >> good morning, carol. >> so you must be frustrated. >> it's quite a challenge. >> why is it a challenge? >> so there's -- so i think it
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starts going back a good decade plus, and this funding that's been cut and school systems used to see shop programs that no longer exist. parents, there's a certain romanticized notion that it would be nice for every child to have a college education, and -- and, you know, some of the programs have been cut, and as a result there's -- there's just a lack of talent, young talent coming into the industry and the trades and the plumbing and refrigeration, hvhc, commercial cooking equipment, we certainly have a challenge finding young talent that's interested in working in refrigeration. >> i don't know if you've read the book "shop craft as sole class" written by an ivy league graduate and he's talking about the very thing that you're talking about now that this love of fixing things with your hands, of working with your hands, it's gone in this country and how sad it is.
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you're saying it's not only sad but we need these kinds of people with the love of working with their hands in this country. >> absolutely, carol. there's so much that's been offshored in terms of manufacturing, and there's -- you know, some of the most incredible products that come out of -- that are made in this country that are -- that are then attempted to be replicated elsewhere, but in terms of everyday trades and having the proper level talent on hand, you know, it's something that goes back again. it starts in the home and, you know, we're trying to and some of the trade organizations trying to let people know in the school systems that there are other alternatives. it's not for everybody, but there's certainly alternatives and a great wage to be earned and a career to be had. >> okay. so how many employees do you need and where might they apply?
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>> so, if -- you can go online to,, eitheror and look up career opportunities, but we through each of our opportunities, all-service plumbing and all-service cooking repairs and day and night refrigeration and day and night air conditioning, each of the divisions at time we could use two qualified, three or four-year veterans and then in terms of our training program, you know, we're always interviewing and recruiting and looking for the right people. >> well, we hope we'll help you out here. thank you so much, matt sher, for joining us this morning. >> thank you again. >> tomorrow we'll head on the other side of the country to san francisco. we're going to talk to a business owner who is also having a hard time finding qualified employees and what he's doing about it, and be sure to check out our website for more information. [ male announcer ] whoa, megan landry alert.
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whaaa -- oh megan -- when did you get here? [ clears throat ] ohh yea no, let's... [ male announcer ] introducing the beautifully different nokia lumia 900. only from at&t. rethink possible. now to a mother and a tanning booth. in new jersey, she took her young daughter to a tanning booth, and the little girl suffered some serious burns. her name is patricia crensell. she's due in court today facing child endangerment charges. she actually is dethigh what happened. she says her daughter got burned while she was playing outside. had nothing to do with that. that's painful to look at. medical correspondent elizabeth cohen is here. new jersey law bans kids under the age of 14 from going to a tanning bed. >> for a reason, right? for a reason. tanning bed is 15 times stronger
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than just sitting outside, and kids are more vulnerable than you or me to uv rays, and so a kid who gets a sunburn of any kind more than doubles the chance that they will get melanoma later, so why in the world would you want to take your kid into a tanning bed where it's 15 times stronger? >> actually why would you as an adult want to go to a tanning bed? >> yes, that's true. the american academy of dermatologists say we should ban them all together for commercial purposes so absolutely. when you look at it indoor tanning not only can it cause -- is it associated with skin cancer but it's associated with eye damage. it can weaken the immune system, and if that is not enough, it can cause premature aging of the skin, and who wants that, and if you go to patient -- wow, that's quite a tan. >> was that -- >> oh, my gosh, so confused, but we have more about the dangers of indoor tanning for children and teenagers. >> i wish we had more time but we had so much breaking news but we had to squeeze new though
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because i do think the popularity of tanning beds is coming back. hear about kids going to spring break, go to tanning beds before if they can look healthy. >> if they are going on spring break, why do they need to do that? >> you know the reason why. you did it. >> so they can look better before. i did the whole baby oil and tin foil in the '70s before we knew. now there's no reason for it. >> i did the tanning booth thing but not anymore. cnn "newsroom" continues right after a quick break. [ male announcer ] this one goes out to all the allergy muddlers. you know who you are. you can part a crowd, without saying a word. you have yet to master the quiet sneeze. you stash tissues like a squirrel stashes nuts. well, muddlers, muddle no more. try zyrtec®. it gives you powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because zyrtec® starts working at hour 1 on the first day you take it.
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claritin® doesn't start working until hour 3. zyrtec®. love the air. so why exactly should that be of any interest to you? well, in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. like the transatlantic cable that connected continents. and the panama canal that made our world a smaller place. we supported the marshall plan that helped europe regain its strength. and pioneered the atm, so you can get cash when you want it. it's been our privilege to back ideas like these, and the leaders behind them. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping people and their ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours.
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hello, everyone. i'm kyra phillips. it's 11:00 on the east coast. 8:00 out west. we've got quite a busy hour for you. live pictures right now. mitt romney speaking in virginia. so far


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