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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  May 16, 2012 4:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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republican record on job. after getting a low-key endorsement from george w. bush romney goes to great lengths to avoid mentioning the former president's name. wait until you hear what's going on. and the house speaker john boehner joins the president for cold cuts. cold cuts over at white house for lunch, but he warns that without some big spending cuts there may be another debt ceiling crisis. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com the obama camp today launched an all-out assault on mitt romney's years as a high-powered investment company leader. vice president joe biden slammed romney's business record saying bane capital piled up cash while
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killing middle-class jobs. jim acosta is out on the campaign trail in florida in st. petersburg right now. here's the question, is mitt romney starting to feel the heat? what's going on? >> reporter: that's right, wolf, he is. at an event here in st. petersburg, florida, mitt romney did not take reporters' questions about his former private investment firm bane capital. in fact, his campaign went out of its way to block reporters asking romney about bane. it was all caught on video. >> thank you. thank you. >> reporter: standing in front of a mini national debt clock, mitt romney left no doubt about his message of the day. >> if i'm president i'm actually going to take responsibility and lead and get us on track to have a balanced budget. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: and after the event was over as romney was shaking hands with supporters along the rope line, aides to the gop contender made sure the
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candidate stayed on topic. this press aide physically stood in the path of reporters trying to make their way to romney trying to ask questions. the campaign even brought in a lone secret service agent to keep the press away from romney contrary to the agency's policy. a secret service spokesman told cnn secret service does not restrict the movement of the press within the general public areas or their movement within these areas. hours later the romney campaign admitted its mistake saying this was an error on the part of the campaign staff and volunteers. we reminded them that press is allowed on the rope line to record the governor's interactions with voters. the altercation with the media came hours after joe biden blasted the gop contender for his time at bane capital. >> does he think that experience will help our economy? let's take a look. look, with these guys, past is
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prolog. >> reporter: they tried to shift the focus of the monster, blaming a kansas city steel plant out of millions of dollars. >> reporter: the romney campaign released its own web video showing a steel plant prospering after bane's help. romney said little in defense of his ex-company. he did not answer a shouted question from cnn on the subject. last week at a speech in michigan romney did not mention bane by name, but he did say he wanted to transfer his private sector experience there to the oval office. >> finding solutions and opportunities an environment of change and turbulence is what i learned during my career and it's something they want desperately to bring to the presidency. >> reporter: the romney campaign says the president is playing the politics of envy, a line biden said in ohio he took personally.
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>> my mother and father dreamed as much as any rich guy dreams. they don't get us! they don't get who we are! >> reporter: romney did try to patch things up with reporters. he went back on his press chart tore talk to reporters about the rope line incident. he said the incident was not his doing, but wolf, he was watching. >> he clearly was. i've been through these campaigns over the years on many occasions. is it simply the case of the young press aide being overzealous or instructing her don't let jim acosta and other reporters get anywhere near the rope line? >> reporter: we did not get an answer to that question and it's a curious situation going on with the romney campaign right now because obviously reporters want to get inside that public area and get to that rope line and ask those questions. in the past mitt romney has
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taken questions from reporters along the rope line. just recently he was asked whether or not he would have taken out osama bin laden. even jimmy carter would have given that order. there are times when he's responded to the rope line and clearly the campaign did not want to do that today and it could only be speculated that it's because of the offensive from the obama campaign on bane capital that they did not want to deal with that question today, but the romney campaign isn't saying either way. >> at least they have the wisdom to admit a mistake and we can move on and reporters can do their own job. >> it doesn't happen often. >> they admitted their mistake. we all make mistakes, obviously. let's dig deeper with our chief political analyst gloria borger. why is bane capital resurfacing in such a big issue right now. >> this is a time of definition. as you know, wolf, voters know an awful lot about president
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obama, but at this point they don't know an awful lot about mitt romney. so what the obama campaign is trying to do is fill in part of those blanks, but there's something that worries the obama campaign. let's take a look at this number from usa today and gallup. the question is what would get the economy going in the next four years. romney, 55. obama, 46. that's not good news for the president. they need to discredit mitt romney as the economic manager, but this is what the obama folks have working for them. take a look at this. who is more in touch with the middle class and you see obama wins handily there, 51-33. so what's the best way to debunk the idea that mitt romney can manage the economy and solidify your own reearn as being in touch with the middle class? bain capital. he doesn't understand real people and look at what he did,
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look at these people that were laid off. barack obama can do a better job and did do a better job. >> romney did explain the closing of that kansas city steel plant by bain capital. he said this today, i'll play the clip for our viewers. >> the problem, of course, is that the steel factory closed down two years after i left bain capital. i was no longer there and that is hardly something that was on my watch and they also don't mention a couple of other things. one is that we were able to help create 100,000 jobs and oh, by the way he has no problem going out and doing fund raisers with bain capital and private equity people. >> here's the question, will the romney campaign and the candidate himself have to do more to explain the bain capital experience? >> i think you do, and you started to hear that in this radio interview with mitt romney, they say by the way, you want to turn this into a character issue about me and how did barack obama complain yet
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he's taking their money at fund raisers and by the way, i did create or help to create 100,000 jobs, but here's what they're also doing. they decided to take a turn and they're taking a turn to the deficit because all of the polling shows that over 60% of the american public believes that president obama has not done a good job managing the deficit. so we see this orchestrated response. we see it from the republican national committee, from congressional republicans and the house speaker john boehner and mitt romney talking about the deficit and how you have to get that down and how mitt romney can manage the deficit and the economy better than president obama. >> romney's got a story he could tell about bain capital with thousands of jobs that were created with sports authority or staples or dominos pizza. this is something we can discuss in the strategy session. >> those were republicans, so -- >> gloria, thank you.
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debt ceiling deja vu, the white house and congressional republicans squaring off over raising the government's borrowing limit. this time the stakes are higher. can you believe it? the independent vermont senator bernie sanders is not one of them. he's here to tell us why. i think you have a candidate like romney, somebody is george bush reincarnated. great shot. 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,
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president obama today hosted a rare bipartisan meeting with house and senate leaders. that doesn't mean there was a bipartisan spirit, but the president says despite the current gridlock he wants congress to get to work on his economic to-do list. republican leaders have their own views on this. let's go to our white house correspondent brianna keilar. she's standing by live. what do we know about today's meeting over there. >> reporter: what the president wanted about his congressional to-do list as he tries to run against the do-nothing congress. it was heej aked by speak are boehner who was drawing a line in the sand, he won't accept tax increases. he wants spending cuts and tax reform, but he won't accept tax increases. of course, that goes very much count tore what the president's
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position on this has been and so you see a debt ceiling battle 2.0 being teed up. today during this meeting according to the white house, president obama said he doesn't want a replay of last summer where the u.s. went to the brink of default, but on the flip side you're hearing from the speaker's office that the speaker was trying to communicate that he's not going to go along with anything unless it really deals with the debt crisis. here's white house press secretary jay carney today. >> my sense is that the tone was congenial. the discussion was productive and the sandwiches were delicious and that while the topic was raised and discussed, it was -- there was no other issue associated -- no problem associated with speaker boehner's remarks yesterday.
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>> we had again to another one of the -- >> you have to ask the speaker of the house whether or not he intends or he believes that it is the right thing to do for the american people, the american economy to play chicken with the full faith and credit of the united states government. >> reporter: now, wolf, an aide to speaker boehner said that president obama said that he would not go along with any spending cuts in order to increase the debt ceiling and then we heard something different from minority leader nancy pelosi who said that the president was trying to talk about balance, meaning compromise and maybe some tax increasesas well as some spending cuts. so we're getting differing versions of what was discussed at the meeting. >> the speaker did leave one opening there, brian a that he would not accept any tax rate
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increases and there would be tax revenue from tax reform, there were loopholes, for example, that's one area that they may be able to get to some sort of agreement. it was six, seven months and not such a long time and it was a tough time during the lame duck session. thanks very much brianna keilar at the white house. over at the u.s. senate they've been spending the day spinning their wheels in heated debates. let's take a closer look on the senate chamber where they're voting on five different plans with no chance of passing. dana bash is watching this unfold. one more reason described as the broken congress. >> the senate will spend the next hour and a half on these votes and they're being put up for one reason and one reason
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only to give political ammunition to use against the other. it is the first time she's so-called show vote have taken place and it's no wonder voters are fed up. here's how the dechl democratic leader described the day in the world's greatest deliberative body. >> they'll vote on the series of stunt budgets. >> if you're looking for a simple three-word description, what we face is this, duck and cover. >> again, the democrat. >> we don't mind wasting a day wasting show boats. >> and the republican. >> is anybody embarrassed by the fact that they haven't offered a budget in three years. >> reporter: for six straight hours senators argued knowing full well none of the five budgets before them had any chance of passing. it was republicans who forced the issue to make the political point that democrats have not
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passed a budget in three years. >> the democratic majority refuses steadfastly, adamantly to produce and lay out their vision for the future while investing considerable amount of time and effort in attacking anybody who does. >> reporter: all of this raises a big question with extreme joblessness atop voters' minds can republicans really score for not passing a budget? >> gop sources say yes since several democrats promise to balance budgets. >> i'll fight to balance schools, affordable health care. >> reporter: they're enforcing a vote on his budget which they won't support. they use this political theater totage protests on conservative plans. >> their proposals would take us back to the failed policies that brought this country to the brink of economic collapse. >> today's folks are nothing more than a republican attempt
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to promote a radical and unwelcome agenda of slashing middle class programs. >> the day'santics put on display, and divided, politicized washington talking past each other. >> congress has an approval rating of 11%. maybe that has something to do with the fact that we aren't doing our job. right outside the capital a glimmer of hope, they have a fix congress now caucus. >> it threatens the very foundation of our republic. >> reporter: unfortunately, only six showed up. >> reporter: the leading proposal of that new fixed congress caucus is to hit law makers where they hurt, their wallet. wolf, don't hold on anything like that getting through. when some things that members largely agree on both sides of the aisle are tied up in
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political knots, things like balancing the act and the idea that student loans should not go up. >> dana thanks very much. we should note that senator sheldon of rhode island is a democrat, not a republican. we put that up in the bottom of the screen. government regulations on wall street. one lawmaker says it's the other way around. the real truth is that wall street regulates the congress. they are enormously powerful. >> we'll talk about that and much more with the independent senator bernie sanders of vermont. he's here in "the situation room" and details of a potential harmful ingredient found in dozens of sunscreens.
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lisa sylvester is monitoring that and other top stories in "the situation room." lisa, what do you have? >> a convoy carrying six u.n. observers struck an explosive device yesterday. no one was hurt, but all vehicles in the convoy were damaged. the observer returned safely to the city. many report widespread violence that left at least 15 people dead. the fbi has officially started an investigation of j.p. morgan chase. it's looking into revelations by the largest u.s. bank of a $2 billion loss on risky investments like the kind that led to the financial crisis of 2008. robert mueller won't give details about the probe or what kind of potential crimes may be involved. and the sketchers gotwear company is paying $40 million to settle charges of misleading charges of the shape-ups shoes.
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the ad implies that just by wearing them you, too, can look like kim kardashian. >> things aren't working out. >> that's not completely true. i am working out. it's not someone else, it's something else. >> it doesn't exactly work that way. you still have to go to the gym. grab a pen. the ftc has set up a phone number for consumers to get more information. that number is 866-325-4186. 866-325-4186. and a new concern about potentially harmful ingredients in sunscreen. a study by the environmental working group, 56% contain oxy ben zoin, the american academy of dermatology says it is safe. >> i don't know about you, but that's just my gut.
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my conversation with a very fired up senator bernie sanders is next. he's had enough with banks too big to fail. >> these guys have learned nothing. we need to re-regulate and in my view, wolf, we need to stop breaking up these huge banks. [ male announcer ] no one just hands you the title, most advanced technology in its class. it needs to be earned. earned with smartbeam head lamps. earned with vented temperature control seats. earned with an 8.4-inch touch screen. and if you're driving one, you know what it means to earn something. ♪ oh! [ baby crying ] ♪ what started as a whisper ♪
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let's get back to the head of the class. let's solve this.
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a week after the nation's largest bank disclosed a $2 billion trading loss the director of the fbi says his agency has indeed opened an investigation into j.p. morgan chase. the outrage is still growing out there on capitol hill. >> senator bernie sanders of vermont is joining us in "the situation room."
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>> good to be here. >> when you heard that j.p. morgan chase lost $2 billion in this one debt what was the first thing that went through your mind because i've been reading some of your statements. these guys have learned absolutely nothing, same old, same old and it scares me in terms of the future and the fact -- >> look, if these guys are continuing doing reckless debt which is got us to where we are right now which forced the american people to bail out wall street which led to this terrible recession with so many people it tells me that these guys have learned nothing and we need to reregulate and in phi view, wolf, we need to start breaking up these huge banks which control so much of our economy. >> how do you do that? you need legislation in order to do that. >> of course you need legislation. if you point out that wall street is enormously powerful with their campaign contributions and lobbying, you're right. what teddy roosevelt said these guys are too big.
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we have to break them up. you have six financial institutions that are equivalent to the $9 trillion, six banks. in my view and most people's views that's too big. >> because j.p. morgan chase says the $2 billion they lost yes, it's a lot of money, but they'll still make billions and billions in profits this year. >> what worries the american people is we need financial institutions to be investing in the productive economy, to be helping out business essex panned jobs, produce products and services and not being part of the great gambling casino that wall street is right now. that's what scares the american people. i know you're concerned that jamie dimon is on the board of the federal reserve in new york. why does that concern you? don't they need experts on the board of the federal reserve? >> no. the theory is -- of course, they need experts, but the conflicts of interest are so apparent they're laughable.
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here you have the fed which is supposed to regulate wall street and then you have the ceo of the largest wall street company on the board which is supposed to be regulated. this is the fox gaurgd the henhouse. we are going introduce legislation to end the conflict of interest and get the financial institutions off of the fed. >> because as you realize, i'm sure you agree, until now jamie dimon has had a sterling reputation as one of the most brilliant guys on wall street. >> it is not jamie dimon. it is the absurdity of having those people who are supposed to be regulating doing the regulating. they're supposed to be regulating and not sitting on board of the fed. >> monday night president obama went to a fund-raiser with wall street guys to raise money for his campaign. >> he said this. i'll put it up on the screen. he said i'll believe the free market is the best generator ever devised by man and it's at the core of who we are. i think risk takers and innov e
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innovators should be rewarded. i think all of us benefit from the freedom of free enterprise. that's obviously the message these wall street guys want to hear from the president of the united states. are you okay with that? >> i'm not because you have six financial institutions that control the financial industry. that is not free market. that is not competition. second of all, these six financial institutions issue half of the mortgages in america and two-thirds of the credit cards. does that sound to you like a competitive free market situation? it is not. it is monopolistic and unless you get a handle on that, two things might happen, number one reel be back for too big to fail. second of all, it is not good for the economy and the political system when so few institutions have so much power. campaigning against mitt romney and his period of bain capital
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and going to a fund-raiser including guys from bain capital seeking money for his re-election. >> what else is there? wall street will fund the romney campaign and they'll fund the obama campaign and they'll fund republicans and democrats. that's what they do. many people have the mistaken impression that congress regulates wall street. in truth that's not the case. the truth is wall street regulates the congress. they are enormously power isful and it remains to be seen whether we have the capability without an uprising of the american people. >> congress did pass sarbanes-oxley. these are regulations. >> absolutely, but also, let's remember wall street spent huge amounts of money to get the deregulation which brought us to the financial collapse, doing away with glass steagall. wall street has put huge amounts of money in campaign contributionings and lobbying,
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to do modest proposals in dodd frank. >> last time we spoke your endorsement of the president is lukewarm. how are you doing about that right now? >> i think you have in a candidate like romney, somebody who is george bush reincarnated. it's tax breaks for the rich and cut social security and medicare and medicaid, unfettered free trade. so if people liked the bush economic policy you'll like romney. i thought the bush economic policy was a disaster. i think obama is by far the preferable candidate. is obama doing everything i want, absolutely not, and among other things he has not been as strong as he should standing up to wall street. >> thanks for coming in. >> my pleasure. >> is bush a four-letter word for mitt romney? >> he was very critical of his predecessor because the predecessor put together $4
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trillion of debt. >> so here's the question why won't the man who wants to be the next president of the united states and he wants to be a republican president of the united states say the name of the last republican president? that and more coming up in our strategy session. and billboards, customized for you, tipped off by your own car. we're going show you the amazing new technology that could make it a reality. ♪
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street. for tens of thousands of americans, the suffering began when mitt romney came. bain was making billions at the same time and to the greatest american, and -- >> those guys are all rich and they had more money than they'll ever spend and they didn't have the money. >> bain capital walked away with a lot of money that they made off of this plant. >> all right. do you have idea with the first ad. >> it's pretty clear. one thing's for sure, and the extremely mislooet leading and ill timed. they're talking about a situation that happened two years after that romney was at
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bain capital and shows --? what about the first ad done by newt gingrich and his campaign? these attacks are certainly not very appropriate going after a private enterprise in the case of president obama and he's going after private enterprise on the very same day and he's going hand in hand to a private equity foirm raise funds and it's inappropriate for him to go after governor romney for something that happened after he was there and it goes to show he's desperate. and this is a desperation. and what i hear you saying is it was a desperate act by newt gingrich and a desperate act by barack obama. equally desperate, is that what you're saying? alice? >> i'm sorry. i thought you were talking to maria. certainly not. what we're focusing on now,
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we're focusing on the attack by president obama and it goes to show that he doesn't want to look at his record and he wants to focus on something that happened after governor romney was there and it's hypocritical for him to attack private enterprise and he's down in the polls. we're seeing poll after poll in battleground states for people extremely disapproving of his performance on economic issues and it's a strong suit for governor romney. >> maria, you heard bernie sanders, the independent senator from vermont basically say it is hypocritical for the president to go after mitt romney on bain capital and then go for a wall street fund-raiser for representatives from bain capital and hold out his hat for money. >> first of all, president obama is not attacking free enterprise. what he is doing is putting on trial mitt romney's contention that because he was so successful at bain capital that makes him best to be the steward
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of our economy when, in fact, what he did at bain capital was not create jobs. that was incidental, by the way. he created a lot of jobs in asia, china and mexico when he shut those businesses and the jobs went overseas and he made those businesses pile on debt and he walk withed away with millions. so the jobs he created were incidental. >> what about the hundred of thousands of jobs that exist today because of some of the companies that bain capital initially funded like staples or sports authority or dominos pays or what about those companies that employ middle-class folks and those are in the united states? >> sure. first of all, that claim was debunked. it wasn't hundreds of thousands of jobs -- >> there are 90,000 people who work at staples across the country and indeed around the world right now. >> but thanks not when mitt romney was at bain capital.
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what i'm saying is -- >> that company exists in part because of the initial work that bain capital did to help them get off the ground. >> and what i'm saying is that that job creation for someone like mitt romney at bain capital is incidental. their main priority is to make money for themselveses and for investors and they were very good at that and the fact of the matter is they were not voting a rich guy in chief and they want to get their friends made richer and we're voting for somebody who is working out for the middle class and they want to grow the economy and make america competitive. that is not what mitt romney did at bain capital as his number one priority. >> that was to make money. >> we all know governor romney is strong on the economy. he created job, and thousands and thousands of jobs and was led when it comes to as his time in governor. let's look at the 23 million americans who are currently out of work and the income that has
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gone down 400,000 per home and the person with the weakest record on job creation in this race right now is president obama. they continue to create jobs. >> when mitt romney was governor, he was number 47th. his state was 47th in job creation and that is not a record you want to tout. >> and 23 million are out of work currently. >> thanks to the bush economics which romney embraces. >> here's something curious that we heard today and alice i want to see if it sounds as curious to you as it did to a lot of us. here is mitt romney earlier today. >> he was very critical of his predecessor for the debts the predecessor put in place. he was critical of his predecessor because the predecessor put together $4 trillion and called his predecessor. >> the predecessor, president george w. bush. why can't he sfimply mention
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george w. bush by name? >> i don't understand what difference it makes. he's happy to have the endorsement of george w. bush and the bush family. i don't understand what difference it makes. what is striking is here we have four years after obama's been in office and we have the president still blaming his predecessor for the terrible economy and they did the same thing, blaming obama's predecessor for the weak economy when obama has no one bus himself to blame. his policies, president obama's policies have failed to make it to the american people. >> maria, go ahead, quickly. i don't think voters are going to blame president obama when the day he took office there were 800,000 jobs that were being lost and that was thanks to the bush economic policies and that's why he doesn't want
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to say bush's name by name. >> we'll continue this conversation. thanks to both of you. it's touted for keeping you safe on the road and directing you to your destination, but will it start directing advertisements right toward you? stand by. how facebook will soon help the state of california earn billions of dollars in revenue. 
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millions of drivers are lining up for safety for the security on the road, but the onstar system may soon be giving them more than that. we're talking about targeted ads. cnn's lisa sylvester and she has details. what is this all about? >> advertisers can change your driving experience. this is an idea that onstar owned by gm is looking at. it started in the early stages, but how about billboards on the road tailored to you. imagine a road where you're driving and the billboard ads you pass are tailored
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specifically to you. you like coffee? a starbucks up ahead. traveling with kids? there's a bathroom rest stop coming up. father's day is almost here, need a reminder? it might sound like the future like the movie "minority report," but onstar has applied for a patent that could make targeted ads like these a reality. >> a lot of efforts in silicon valley trying to find this pool this information and advertisers are willing to pay good money to know their ad is going to the right person. >> reporter: public ads targeting individual consumers is a growing trend. take, for example, facebook. you can see here i'm a mother of two and the ads that pop up, here's one for baby gifts and gear and another one for suave beauty. my producer brad on his facebook page, has credit card offers and outdoor adventure company.
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google recently changed its privacy policy to make it easier to focus on ads for specific information gleaned from google youtube searchs. >> connecting to onstar. >> reporter: but all of this does raise a concern about privacy. a lot of information could be collected on where you shop, eat and vacation. santa clara law professor dorothy clancy has studied the word advertising. >> people said that it was visual spam. they didn't like the idea of being manipulated inside their cars. >> onstar's patent is still very early on. the company, like others routinely files p s patents to it the direction later on. onstar emphasizes there's no guarantee that will ever happen. even still the company made clear, if it proceeded it would only use data volunteered by customers in a statement saying, quote, if a customer were to choose to participate it would
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be very clear what the parameters were. everything we do would be with customer consent and direct opt-in. changing the way consumers receive information and bringing the future a little closer. now onstar says this technology wouldn't be used only for advertising, but it could also be used to let drivers, for example, know about accidents and alert them to bad weather, but this is still in the early development stages and onstar says it would be up to customers to opt in and to choose whether or not they want to use the service. >> it's amazing what this new technology can do. it knows everything about us, our whole lives right there. thanks very much. countdown to facebook's initial public offering and why ripples were spread far beyond the shareholders. also, a critical day in the trial of john ed arwards and we closer to learning whether he'll go to french for corruption. s.
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i'm back on the road safely. and i saved you money on brakes. that's personal pricing. facebook is upping the size of its initial public offering this friday by 25%. the company will sell an additional 84 million shares that could bring in $16 billion. many expect the wealth to spread beyond facebook. cnn's dan simon takes a closer look. >> reporter: real estate agents, car dealerships and high-end retailers are hoping for a ripple from the facebook ipo, but nothing is for certain, that is, unless you're the guy sitting in this chair. >> over the next five years the state can expect to get $2.5 billion to $3 billion in tax revenue? >> correct. >> reporter: that's the california state freshier, bill lockier whose office is
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expecting a windfall of facebook millionaires. he noticed that for every $1 billion the state could produce 20,000 jobs and these are good jobs in the middle class, solid jobs. >> clearly the facebook ipo is unprecedented and whenever people try to draw comparisons to their ipo they're at a loss because there are no compariso comparisons. >> it's produced a little bit of ipo mania, websites like who owns facebook show the expected net worth. >> there's nothing like a big, conspicuous success to drive the next generation in start-ups and that's very good for the valley. >> technology executives see the wealth as a broader phenomenon, one that can spawn the next facebook or technology company. >> investors to pour money into start-ups there has to be a return and they're going fund the next generation of risky start-ups. >> the biggest lottery winner is
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mark zuckerberg himself. how he plans to use his wealth is unknown except that he's signed on to the giving pledge. the bill gates-warren buffett number tiff that includes billionaires like zuckerberg that give most of their money to philanthropic causes. >> that continues to be the way he thinks. >> reporter: the thinking here in silicon valley is the facebook ipo is a once in a generation event, destined to change many lives and launch innovative start-ups. done simon, cnn, menlow park, california. >> you're in "the situation room." surprise twist as john edwards' legal team rest the case. they keep the scandalized presidential candidate out of prison. the vice president was on fire today, stand by to hear what he's saying right now, and see
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it for yourself. the car races through the city and crashes at 80 miles an hour. the elderly couple inside say it's proof that their hyundai sped up on its own and went out of control. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com now john edwards may be only a few days away from learning if the scandal that imploded his political and personal life will cost him his freedom. the former presidential candidate's lawyers rested their case today. there are questions about their strategy after they didn't call his daughter kate to testify as a lot of observers expected. the defendant and his ex-mistress weren't called either. our senior correspondent joe
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johns is covering the corruption trial in north carolina for us. joe, so wrap it up for us. what happened today? >> reporter: wolf, the court just finished up a conference on jury instructions with the lawyers. certainly a bit of a surprise that we got to this point today, just 24 hours ago the defense was suggesting there might be a big finish in this trial, but for some reason somebody decided to put on the brakes. a trial of many twists, the prosecution's case against john edwards lasted three weeks with the case put on by the edwards' defense team took less than three days. defense attorney abby lowell would put edwards himself on the stand or rielle hunter. he might recall to the stand andrew young. in the end lowell rested his case without calling to the stand edwards' daughter kate who has been by the former senator's
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side almost constantly throughout the indictment and trial. the decision suggesting karen shanahan that the defense attorney chose almost at the last moment that they should quit while they think they're ahead. >> on balance we like where we are and the risks, let's get this case to the jury. the last witness for edwards was a former fbi agent who was hired to follow the trail of hundreds of dollars of hush money, money that went from edwards' wealthy donors to his fixers and his mistress. testimony saying a lot of the money supposedly intended to hunter never made it to her, but instead went to andrew young and his wife. andrew young used the affair to cash in. we have at least three jurors with financial back grounds and they speak the language of an auditor. so very, very smart move. >> reporter: aside from all of the sorted details the trial
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raised a critical question that could affect political campaigns for years to come, asking what is or is not a campaign contribution and where is a dividing line between donations and personal gifts. >> reporter: closing argument are expected today along with the judge's last-minute jury instruction that should take the better part of the day. the jury expected to start deliberating on friday, wolf? >> we'll stay in close touch with you, joe, thank you. a lot of questions remain to be asked including john edwards' defense team plan enough doubt, diane diamond wrote an article that he seemed unprepared and struggled to get the witnesses to the stand. is the edwards' defense team losing it? diane dimond is joining us from the trial scene in north carolina. abby lowell got a pretty good
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reputation out there. what was the bottom line point you were suggesting? >> i'll tell you, even abby lowell will tell you that he annoyed this judge from the get go. she even stopped him cold and said i believe i was speaking and then he goes ahead and speaks anyway. so i think that may have rattled abbe lowell a bit. he does have a very good reputation in the past. i was, like everybody else, completely shocked that they said seven witnesses over two days and a little bit of cross-examination on their seventh witness today. it was -- it was a listless end to this defense and pretty surprising. >> yea, a lot of people never thought john edwards himself would take the stand, but a lot of them thought that kate his daughter would, very sympathetic, harvard law school, grad. what happened? they didn't need her testimony? >> well, you know, that's the
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$64,000 question. i don't know, but you know, whenever there is something that could help you, it could also hurt you, so i was thinking in my mind that maybe they didn't call kate because how would that make it look? this man has humiliated his wife, made a baby with another woman and now he's going put his taught or the stand to testify for him and open her up to some tough cross-examination? i think maybe kate said i don't want to do it or maybe john edwards said you what? i'm done putting people through things. we just don't know. it's pure speculation at this point. >> was she there at the trial today, kate? >> no, not at all. yesterday she came and we were all ready for her to testify. she brought a friend with her. she was dressed up very nicely sitting in the front row right behind her dad next to her elderly grandparents and the day was over and she walked away without saying a word, not to
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the court and not to us. >> the burden of proof is not on abbey lowel and the defense team and they have to convince the men and women of the jury that he is guilty of a crime, not guilty of being a bad person because that's not necessarily a crime, but guilty of a crime. what worry they saying? what are the experts you're talking to, do they think they passed that burden of proof? they made that case beyond a reasonable doubt? >> reporter: no, not all of them. in fact, i don't find one of the legal people out here who have sat in on that trial that said it's a sure thing he's going to be convicted. reali realize, wolf, that they're going have to prove that john edwards willfully -- willfully and knowingly violated campaign finance law. that's a big bar to cross. that means he knew it was illegal and he said i'm going break the law anyway. so that's one thing and the judge will instruct the jury on that tomorrow, but they also
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have to figure out exactly what is a contribution. is it for the sole purpose of a campaign to influence a campaign, the purpose or just one of the purposes? it's a parsing of the language that sort of reminds me of the bill clinton days, but they hope to figure it out by the time they instruct the jury here tomorrow. >> and begin jury deliberation i presume on friday. diane, thanks very much. we'll check back in with you tomorrow. a new explosion between the catholic church in the united states and the obama administration. at issue, plans for the president's health secretary to speak at a prominent catholic university right here in washington, d.c. brian todd is at georgetown university. brian, tell our viewers what this is all about. >> reporter: wolf, this venerable catholic university is deep into a simmering, political dispute between the catholic church and the obama admin striegz and it seems none of the three parties are about to back
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down any time soon. america's oldest catholic university gets a strong rebuke from its own church. the catholic arch dicis of washington calling it shocking that georgetown university invited health and human services kathleen sebelius to speak at an awards ceremony. sebelius is the architect of the provision implying employers to offer insurance that includes access to contraceptives and birth control. the washington archdiocese says the health care law stumps on religious freedom because it doesn't allow catholic institution to be exempt from the birth control mandate. it is a challenge to the bishops. >> what do you say to that? >> i think the administration at georgetown has done a good job at standing up for the students and i think they're being supportive of the student body. >> reporter: she says her group, the school's public policy
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institute only want sebelius to talk about the public service and not about the mandate or con stra sepgz. none of the top officials could go on camera with us. john dejoya said -- it is committed to the free exchange of ideas. >> while firmly entrenched in this controversy, georgetown university has become a symbol of the broader political battle between the kcatholic church an the obama administration. >> reporter: he finds himself increasingly at odds with leaders, at issues with contraception, abortion and gay marriage. >> catholic bishops are a force because they're economically liberal and socially conser conservati conservative. when a democratic president is moving -- there's going to be conflict. this, i think, is -- is the
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reality is is the kind of rules that the obama administration has taken on socially related issues are going to cause problem with the most conservative catholics. >> reporter: we were told kathleen sebelius could not speak on camera with us, but her office says her message to the students will be about honoring their achievements. no word on whether she will speak about the health care law. wolf? >> brian, there are other issues between georgetown university, jesuit school,s you point out and the catholic leadership here in washington, aren't there? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. as a matter of fact, last week the catholic arch dicis here in washington issued an editorial in their catholic standard newspaper and one passage is telling saying georgetown has undergone a secularization due to no small part of the fact that they found inspiration and sources other than the gospel and catholic teaching.
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that the diocese is supportive overall from moving away from catholic teaching and that's in the context over the dispute with kathleen sebelius. >> thank you. joe biden says republicans just don't get what democrats are all about. >> my mother believed and my father believed that if i wanted to be president of the united states i could be, and i could be vice president. >> stand by for more of joe biden's all fired up and he's going after mitt romney. plus, a young girl adopted in the united states is caught in a legal battle between two families and two countries and now the state department is stepping in. wait until you hear what prince william and prince harry are saying about their grandmother the queen. [ wind howling ]
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joe biden in the vice presidential role of attack dog went after mitt romney and the republicans saying they just don't get what democrats are all about. >> i resent the fact that they think we're talking about we're envy, that job and wealth with envy that we don't dream. my mother believed and my father believed that if i wanted to be president of the united states i could be, and i could be vice president. my mother and father believed that if my brother and sister wanted to be a millionaire they could be a millionaire. my mother and father dreamed as much as much as any rich guy dreams! they don't get us! they don't get who we are! they don't understand, it seems to me. they just don't get it.
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romney is friends with those at the very top pt the rest of them fend for themselves and america will turn out all right. well, folks, you saw it happen and what his philosophy brought us. you saw what it brought you. the last time this philosophy was in play which was eight years before we took office, the last time this was in play you saw what happened. a lot of you are still dealing with the consequences of that philosophy that caused this great recession. governor romney not only wants us to bring back -- he not only wants to take us back to the future, he wants to double down on those failed policies. >> let's bring in our chief political correspondent candy crowley host of cnn's "state of the union." joe biden is really fired up on this. here's the question, is this what the president wants for him to go out there and rev up the crowd? >> that's what vice presidents
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do. they plan to play the attack dog role and the president stays above the fray and stays presidential and joe biden also brings to this table the middle class, working class roots and that's what that gets, too. this whole idea, that all these rich people, they don't get us. we've got dreams and they don't understand what we're all about. it helps not just with the normal attack dog role, but because he has roots in the middle class in the blue collar community. >> i've been looking at the whole vice president -- joe biden as president of the united states and his vice press deshl potential running mates and i've looked at all of the other presidential candidates and maybe with the exception of tim pawlenty, i don't think any of the others whether rick santorum or rick perry, and i don't think any of those will be on his
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short list once he does have a short rs. >> none of them have featured prominently in the chatter and none are coming up for mitt romney. >> some of those, i don't think fit into the plan of someone that is ready to step into the presidency. they pale in effect, and if you look at someone like newt gingrich and can you imagine having me as vice president? they seem to make him ineligible. at the moment, certainly the president's decision on same-sex marriage will say i am personally for this, may have helped romney in this way. he does not need someone so conservative to kind of prove his credentials. he's been able to say, wait a seco second, i'm not for same-sex marriage and that's in the evangelical community and he's bringing those folks on, so he
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may not need a michele bachmann type and he could go more toward a tim pawlenty. >> or ron portman. there are safer choices, right i read about my blog on cnn.com/situationroom. a gay prosecutor denied judgeship, his pattern of, quote, homosexual advocacy. there are a lot of hazards to being a news anchor. getting hit with a drink isn't one of them. what one umpire's really bad day on the job happened. ♪
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sad news to report. we're learning about the death of a member of the kennedy family. mary snow has the latest details. what's going on? >> wolf, the westchester county medical examiner's office is confirming to cnn that mary kennedy has died. the wife of robert f. kennedy, jr., and she's said to be 52 years old. police in westchester county, new york, had said earlier they were called to a property and this property belonged to robert f. kennedy, jr., they're investigating a possible unattended death at a building on that property. the couple had filed for divorce in 2010 and they have four children. no official word on the cause of
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death. again, the westchester county medical examiner's office confirming that cnn that mary kennedy, age 52, has died. >> sad story and our deepest condolences to the kennedy family for that. also news of a music legend's death. lisa sylvester has that. >> wolf, johns hopkins hospital confirming that chuck brown has died. brown is known as the god father of go-go, a popular style of music invented here in washington, d.c. brown's 1970s hit "bustin' loose." let's listen to some of chuck brown's music. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> chuck brown, the pioneer of go-go was 75 years old. and the city of fullerton, california, will pay $1 million to the mother of kelly tom a the unarmed homeless man beaten to death by police officers last year. as part of the deal thomas' mother will no longer seek legal action against the city, but it does not affect a wrongful death suit filed by thomas' father. two officers are charged in his death. virginia is denying judgeship for a gay prosecutor. the republican-controlled house of representatives voted to reject tracy thorn beglin. discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is not acceptable. and there are bad days at work and then there's the day this umpire had, watch as the
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toronto blue jays player upset by a called third strike pegs his mel met into the ground and bounces up to hit the umpire in the side and to make matters worse as the umpire walks off the field after the game, throws a drink at him. talk about a rough day on the job. that player was ejected from the game and could face possible suspension. >> i'm assuming he will. tough day in baseball. thank you very much. a child adopted in the united states was allegedly stolen from a family in guatemala. this is a gut-wrenching dispute. we'll bring you all sides. and the man accused of being the butcher of bosnia goes on trial for war crimes and appears to threaten his victims again. and is a fake police officer killing drivers out there on the highway? we'll take a closer look at a case creating a lot of fear right now. [ male announcer ] if you have yet to master the quiet sneeze...
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the state department is intervening in a heartbreak child custody case. 5i7-year-old girl adopted in the united states is caught in a legal fight between two families and two countries. here's senior latin american affairs editor rafael romo. >> reporter: it's the story of a child with two identities if and two countries and two sets of parents that claim her as their own. in missouri she goes by karen, but in guatemala loid a-roa rodz calls her angeli. i'm going to give her all my love and i'll do everything possible so that she learns to love little by little because i know she doesn't remember me. >> reporter: that is what rodriguez said last august when a judge ruled angeli belonged
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with her and not with her adoptive american parents. the state department says the 7-year-old should not be returned to guatemala because the two country his not yet signed an international treaty dealing with abducted children. >> there are privacy concerns related to this, and there are legal concerns related to this but beyond that our view of this is that the appropriate venue for contesting thissor cases like this would be in the state courts. >> reporter: according to guatemalan authorities angelwas snatched from her home and sold to an international adoption agency. the agency falsified documents to make herrel ij for adoption, something the adopted parents in missouri didn't know. rodriguez says she hopes to go to court in the united states to get her daughter back. we reached out to the adoptive parents who refused to comment. last year a family representative says the adoptive
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parents will continue to advocate for the safety and best interest of their legally adopted child. they remain committed to protecting their daughter from additional trauma as they pursue the truth of her past through appropriate legal channels. in guatemala at least ten people have been charged with human trafficking in the case of this adopted girl. so far two of those people have been convicted and the others are awaiting trial. authorities found multiple cases of falsified births and their certificates and paperwork as well as alleged thefts of babies. >> what a tragic story indeed. thanks for bringing it to us. this just coming in to "the situation room." the house of representatives has voted on the violence against women's act. it's a law protecting battered women in the united states and
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it's been around for two decades and a nasty fight has been around renewing the law. let's bring in kate bolduan. what has just happened, kate? >> reporter: the house passed the republican version of renewing the violence against women act. it's a party line vote in the house, but that does not mean -- i should say that the fight is far from over. democrats and many advocacy groups say the house version of renewing this law does not go far enough to offer assistance for victims of domestic violence as well as native american victims and gay and lesbian victims of domestic violence. the senate last month, wolf, passed their own version of bipartisan support renewing the violence against women's act and expanded that included such expanded provisions. republicans say, for example, it's unnecessary to specify in
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this law that gay and lesbian victims are included because they argue that all victims are already covered. they say democrats are picking a political fight. democrats very much disagree that the law allows for discrimination because of ambiguity in the language. the fight is far from over. the house and senate need to go to conference to hammer out differences, but the white house has issued a veto threat against the white house version and at the center of this, wolf, election year politics and both sides trying to win a key vote, female voters. >> kate, thanks very much. >> you'll update us on the house version. they'll try to reconcile it if they possibly can. the man accused of being the butcher of bosnia appeared to threaten his victims as he went on trial for war crimes. he is charged with orchestrating a campaign. our senior international
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correspondent nic robertson is covering the trial at the hague in the netherlands. >> brutal murderous allegation delivered in precise monotones by the prosecutor. for the most part radko mladic took notes or stared menacingly at the public gallery a few feet away. the case as the prosecutors laid out, backed up by graphic videos. this one the aftermath of serb shelling in a sarajevo market. if he had remorse, it didn't show. >> whenever i come by sarajevo i kill someone in passing. >> reporter: mladic into -- they provide evidence of this aspect of the campaign of terror. he will describe his orders to
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shoot at anything that moved down below his perch. >> reporter: victims will get their say, too, quoting from one woman. >> up to that day i had been raped by almost 50 of them. i didn't want to see who was coming in, who was going out, and whenever they would bring me back i would just tear my hair and say oh, what are they doing to us? >> reporter: not visible on the courtroom cameras, other victims struggling with grief and anger. sitting in the courtroom there just a few feet away from mladic i'm reminded of the times that i met him during the bosnian war. he's lost none of his intensity and not for the first time he drew his finger across his throat looking at some of his victims, an indication that he wanted to kill them and for the first time the judge told him that wasn't going to be tolerated. even his lawyer can't control
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him. does it help you as his lawyer when he makes these gestures in open court? >> of course not. of course not. every time i try to tell him that i disagree, but i cannot -- handcuff him. he does what he wants. >> reporter: his victims who waited almost two decades for this had hoped for so much more from mladic and got so much less. she survived the detention camp. >> when i saw the first pictures of shelling of sarajevo and the victims. they were shot by scorpions. 16-year-old boys, you heard it yourself. and seeing him almost laughing at that, smiling at that. something just broke in me, and i had to leave the court. i had some bad -- i had a tough moment outside. >> reporter: many had traveled almost a thousand miles from bosnia. this day, bittersweet. justice has begun, this victim
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says, but the international help is too late. they should have stopped the killings. in the history of this court, mladic's trial is billed as the biggest, most important. his faith, though, only part of the healing. >> it takes more than one lifetime and more than one generation, but we'll be there, we must be there and i am glad that you're here because we need the world to watch us and watch over us still during this process and this is the way to do it. >> reporter: one trial at a time, 18 months or so before mladic's verdict is expected. it won't be the last time these banners are brought out. nic robertson, cnn, the hague, the netherlands. >> mladic's trial comes after a landmark war crimes ruling last month when another international tribunal found charles taylor guilty of atrocities in
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neighboring sierra leone. a terrifying video of a car speeding out of control. and on a very, very different note, prince william, prince harry, they give a rare tv interview. even rarer what they're saying about the queen.
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prince william and prince harry usually leave it to other people to talk about their royal relatives, but now in a rare interview they're spilling some of the beans about the queen. let's bring in cnn's royal correspondent max foster joining us from london. why are they doing these introduce now? >> well, it's interesting, isn't it? i think what's happened is the royal wedding was such a big deal last year and since them william, harry and kate have become these mega stars and they're always in the media and they're aware the spotlight is on them, but in the summer, the spotlight is meant to be on the
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queen. the diamond jubilee, and what they're trying to do is put the spotlight on her so the interviews are entirely about the queen and not about them. let's have a listen. >>. >> as i learned from growing up, you don't mess with the grandmother. >> she hasn't friended you on facebook? >> no, she hasn't? has she friended you? >> hopefully after this interview she will. >> the jubilee concert and they had good access and to have prince william speak, and harry does do the occasional interview. >> katie couric in the interview with both of the princes and we'll also hear from kate, the duchess of cambridge? >> one day, wolf, one day. what i've been told is that it may happen, but certainly not in the foreseeable future. you see her making public speeches and she was
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uncomfortable and she was uncomfortable during her engagement interview and she does get inspiration from the queen and the queen has never given an interview. as long as things are going well, why give an interview and sort of risk things going wrong and william and harry are pretty good at it, really. >> they are pretty good at that time. looking forward to seeing the interview. a scary scenario on the highway. someone may be impersonating them and killing drivers who pull over. two people are already dead. we'll have the 38est on the frightening case. imagine this, you're driving your car and suddenly this happens. [ indiscernible ] we work with you to get to know the unique aspects
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drivers in mississippi are in high alert right now after two people were found murdered on the side of a highway. it's especially worrying that there may be a fake police officer who killed them. mary snow has more.
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mary, what are you learning about the victims? >> one was a retired grandfather and the other a casino worker. both were murdered three days apart and authorities are poring over forensic evidence as they hunt for a killer. 74-year-old tom schlender was the first victim found dead in his car shot multiple time ones a remote stretch of highway. his family says his wallet was missing when he was found and there was no indication of any problem when he spoke to his daughter by phone just hours before his death. >> it's hard to imagine your father in that situation. >> i mean, this is a violent end to a very kind man's life. >> reporter: tom schlender was found may 8th at 1:30 in the morning. three days latera u authoritie found -- 48-year-old rory ann
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carswell and authorities say she was on her way home from a jock at a casino. >> the common denominator in both instances is we believe both vehicles were on the side of the road. >> reporter: that is why authorities believe the killer may be posing as a police officer. they say nothing was wrong with the victim's cars. phonesic teams are comparing shell casings from both locations. mississippi drivers have been told to be on alert. if they're suspicious of a police car pulling them over they're advised to pull on their hazard lights and dial 911 to verify they are legitimate or wait to pull over in a well-lit crowded place. the possibility of someone posing as a fake officer is just one theory. >> there is no vehicle description or no description of anyone involved in this. could it be someone who maybe was pulled over to the side of the road and these victims were
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good samaritans that pulled over to help this person? that's also another scenario that has to be looked at by law enforcement. >> u.s. marchshals and the atf e working with law enforcement. the atf says it is also working with fbi profilers to find the killer. wolf? >> i hope they find that killer soon, mary, thank you. imagine this, your driving your car and suddenly, this happens. wow! cnn's paula hancock has more on one couple's terrifying ride. >> footage of a car crash here in south korea has gone viral.
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we have almost 2 million online views in just a week and it has sparked a government-led investigation. the 30-year-old son of the couple in the car who only wanted to be identified by his sir name, quan, says that he wanted to post the footage of this crash online to prove that his father was not at fault. the footage is from a camara tach ta attached to the rear-view mirror. his parents, both in their 60s, heard a weird noise before the hyundai accelerated. it shows it swerving to avoid other vehicles and driving through two red lights. it owe vently crashed into a stationary car at a speed believed to be around 18 miles an hour. quan says his mother underwent an operation for internal bleeding. his father has fractured ribs and fingers. an investigation is under way.
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they are currently investigating four other cases of sudden, unintended acceleration. they did send a statement saying the vehicle is being investigated by the korean national forensics service. there is no time estimate for the investigation. japanese carmaker toyota recalled millions of calls back in 2009 due to cases of sudden, unintended acceleration. >> thanks very much, paula for that. here is a question. if you love facebook and you love musicals, then this clip is definitely for you. we are talking about mark zuckerberg, the musical. >> my mother. i just found my mother on facebook. and suddenly, i see, how dangerous this sight can be ♪
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a look at hot shocks. the thermal reactor. a lot of countries have invested as a clean alternative. >> in germany, police drag a protesters away from an occupied camp. >> in brazil, gay activists hold a rainbow flag in front of the presidential palace. in france, fall tcons are used scare away pigeons. mark zuckerberg, one of the youngest billionaires, named "time" magazine's person of the year. now, he can add one more to his resume. he has his own musical.
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>> reporter: face this, mark zuck zuckerberg are, the movie about you takes two hours. it takes less than four minutes to tell your life story in zu r zuckerberg, the musical. ♪ harvard, he is a student at harvard ♪ ♪ doesn't want to be bothered ♪ he is building facebook . >> reporter: using songs borrowed from caps. ♪ this is the dawning of the page that you share with us ♪ >> reporter: borrowed from hair and west side story. ♪ my mother, i just found my mother on facebook and suddenly, i see how dangerous this site can be ♪ >> reporter: you will find this musical on youtube, not broadway. >> everyone that you see performing is a july yard
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trained musician. >> reporter: zuckerberg, the musical covers every phase of facebook from -- >> scene number 7, expansion. >> reporter: to facebook's role as the champion of democracy. ♪ arab spring, revolutions covered ♪ >> reporter: cdza says it creates music video experiments. their first experiment was called -- >> history of liyrics that are not lyrics. >> reporter: put your lips together for their next video the history of whistling. 26 songs covering 98 years. now to ride the noise of facebook going public. they are hoping you will like their song about the like
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button. >> anything you can like, i can like better. >> no, you can't. >> yes, i can. >> reporter: finally, we are getting to mark zuckerberg taking facebook public. ♪ now he is a rich man >> reporter: go ahead and mock markey but cdza doesn't just sing about facebook. they are on it. jeanne moos. >>. ♪ zuckerberg, the musical >> reporter: new york. that's it for me. thanks for joining us. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." the news continues next on cnn good evening. i'm john king. vice president biden visits ohio saying mitt romney is a greedy rich guy that doesn't get the middle class. plus, tonight's candidate report card grades governor romney on this campaign's

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