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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  August 18, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT

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acting macy gray is also an activist. recently she has been getting treated for children at children's research hospital and has helped raise money for victims of hurricane katrina and has taken part in live earth a concert series bringing awareness to environmental issues. hello again everyone. i'm fredricka whitfield. you are in the cnn newsroom. let's get right to today. big development in syria. rebels are saying the syrian vice president has defected and they are trying to get him out of the country and into nearby jordan. observers view him as more powerful than the syrian prime minister who also recently fled the regime. syrian state tv did not say whether he had indeed defected but made a statement saying he would never think of leaving the homeland. some of the heaviest fighting in syria in the past couple days has been in the city of aleppo.
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ben wedeman says he was in aleppo visiting a rebel controlled hospital when it came under air attack from the syrian forces. we do want to caution you here, the story does contain some very graphic images. [ speaking in other language ] >> reporter: 12-year-old muhammad screams out in fear and pain. shrapnel ripped through his right leg in an air raid on the hospital in aleppo's shah district. three passersby including muhammad were wounded in the attack. the task of treating the wounded here, harder by the day, this nurse tells me. >> translator: half of our equipment no longer works.
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>> reporter: syrian government bombs marked and strafed the area twice striking the clearly marked hospital. rebels fired back fruitlessly at the plane. in an entrance way across the street from the hospital the blood is still wet where muhammad, wounded, took cover. nerves still on edge at the possibility the plane will strike yet again. >> watch your step. muhammad's brother abdul fled the emergency ward in panic after the second attack on the hospital and is afraid to go back in. the shelling and air raids have no rhyme or reason. the rounds smash into crowded
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neighborhoods far from the front lines. muhammad was in a back room when his apartment was hit. he had sent his family away just a few days before. thank god they weren't here, he says, but what am i going to do? where am i going to live? his neighbors clear away the rubble with exhausted resignation. the random nature of the shelling and the air raids on the rebel controlled parts of aleppo means that any building, anywhere in this part of the city could be hit at any time. in fact, this building was hit just 20 minutes ago. for many of the residents of aleppo it's simply time to leave. some go by foot. most by car or pickup, taking the bare minimum. the shelling he answered when i ask why he and his family are leaving. we don't know where it's coming
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from. their destination is what they hope is a safer part of town. but here no place is truly safe. ben wedeman, cnn, aleppo, syria. >> heavy fighting continues across syria today. opposition activists say at least 160 people have been killed. the men on the presidential campaign trail today here in the u.s. tossing barbs and pointing out how the other would destroy medicare. president obama campaigning in new hampshire this afternoon his third visit to the important swing state this year. and paul ryan with his retired mom campaigning in retiree rich florida. it has been a busy day. let's get right to mitt romney's running mate paul ryan, campaigning before a largely retirement crowd. ryan accused the president of gutting medicare to expand his health care reform law. >> you want to know what
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medicare is saying about this? from medicare officials themselves, one out of six of our hospitals and our nursing homes will go out of business as a result of this. 4 million seniors are projected to lose their medicare advantage plans that they enjoy and they chose today under this obama care plan. what's worse, is the president's campaign calls this an achievement. do you think raiding medicare to pay for obama care is an achievement? do you think empowering a board of bureaucrats to cut medicare is an achievement? neither do i. medicare should not be used as a piggy bank for obama care. medicare should be the promise that it made to our current seniors period end of story. >> the wisconsin congressman also took a dig at obama in this
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comment about his mom starting her own business. >> mom, i am proud of you for going out, getting another degree. i am proud of you for the small business that you created and, mom, you did build that! that's what america is all about. i'm so proud of her for that. >> and now to president obama in new hampshire where he didn't pull any punches either. let's bring in cnn's athena jones at the white house, the president really going on the attack today trying to set the record straight as it pertains to medicare, affordable health care plan, etcetera, right? >> reporter: exactly. it is really interesting listening to what paul ryan said down at the villages. these charges are going back and forth and we're at a time in the campaign where neither side wants to leave any of the charges unanswered but sometimes you feel like you wish all the
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candidates had footnotes with their speeches so you know where all of this is coming from. the president spoke on medicare at his first stop in new hampshire and is now at his second stop in rochester. the first stop in wyndham he was answering this charge from the romney camp that he is, as there he put it, raiding medicare, cutting $716 billion in order to help fund the affordable care act fund what they call obama care. i should say the independent fact checker politifact has rated the claim as mostly false. so the president didn't directly attack that number but he did talk about what he's done he says to strengthen medicare during his term, ex-the life of the program by nearly a decade, giving seniors access to prescription drug discounts and also free preventative screening, wellness tests, cancer screening, and that sort of thing. so he says it's the romney/ryan plan approach to medicare you should really be afraid of because they'll change the program as we know it. but, certainly, they don't want to let that charging unanswered.
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we expect to hear more of that coming from the president today and as we move forward, fredricka. >> what about on the issues of the economy, taxes, the president also trying to offer some clarification as it pertains to those items as well? >> certainly. this is part of what's been the president's theme all along dating back to the last campaign, really the idea that it's democrats, president obama and democrats who are going to be looking out for the middle class and that the romney camp is only going to be looking out for the wealthy. let's listen to what he had to say on that. >> governor romney's tax plan would actually raise taxes on middle class families with children by an average of $2,000. ask governor romney and his running mate when they come here on monday if that's fair. ask him how it'll grow the economy. ask him how it will strengthen the middle class. they have been trying to sell this trickle down snake oil
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before. >> so there you go. it's yet another repetition of the themes we've been seeing. he did also say, trying to bring it home to families there in new hampshire that middle class families with children would see their taxes rise under the romney plan by an average of $2,000. so again these are the themes we expect the president to keep hitting as he travels across the country. >> all right. agtena jones at the white house, thanks so much. >> thanks. >> all right. he is 73. she is 27. he claims she convinced him they were in love and was tricked into buying her a $775,000 apartment and then dumping him. well now he is suing. does he have a case? our legal guys weigh in.
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all right. in houston a family says a drunk driver killed their 18-year-old daughter katherine emily jones a year ago but they claim the strip club where the driver was drinking is actually the one to blame because of its drink policy. the family is now suing the strip club. all right, gentlemen. we've seen cases very similar before where not only the person who was convicted of intoxicated manslaughter may be held accountable but then they go after maybe the outfit where the alcohol may have been served which is the case here. so now we're talking about rick's cabaret. apparently this night club had a policy of sorts of a discount to how much you would drink. so, richard, at issue here is whether the night club should be held culpable. what is this family up against?
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>> houston, we have a problem with rick's cabaret. they have big trouble here, fred. the promotions that these clubs do, and i only know this because i represented some of these clubs, so let's get that straight. but what happens is the entertainers, the, quote, entertainers that come in, they have to sell a certain amount of drinks and this way they get promotions and benefits for themselves because they have to pay a fee to work there. so they pump the booze into the patrons. this guy, who was in there drinking that night, had about 15 drinks. he ran out of money. >> right. >> they threw him out. they didn't get him a cab. they didn't drive him home. they just threw him out of the club. he gets in his car. he got caught, cracked up, killed someone. three times over the limit. he's serving 15 years in prison for manslaughter. and now the issue is whether or not the club knew or should have known that he was intoxicated and they kept pumping him with alcohol. >> well of course. >> they did not make arrangements to get him home safely. they just unleashed him on to
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the streets. i think with that incentive, that plan that they had there, they're going to get a few witnesses to say he was loaded and they kept throwing shots down him. the club is going to get hammered here, fred. >> so avery apparently there is videotape showing or at least the teen's family alleges there is videotape of erasmus ramirez whose picture you saw drinking at rick's cabaret. >> right. >> is an establishment, does it have a responsibility to call a cab? is that universal or does that have to be a policy that has to be posted and common knowledge? >> no. >> well, most states have what are called dram acts. it places responsibility on the, well, the strip club, they call it a gentleman's club. i've never been able to figure that one out. but in any event, texas has a dram act. it's been on the books for 35 years. unfortunately, the texas supreme court watered down, diluted that saying we're going to divide up responsibility. well, based on the evidence in
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this case, fredricka, if a jury finds that rick's cabaret was 51% responsible for the death of emily jones, then they're responsible for the whole thing. the family will never be able to collect off of ramirez. it'll never happen. i think based on what we see now the family has a good shot at a wrongful death case against rick's cafe under the texas dram act. >> we did attempt to obtain a statement from rick's but they have not responded just for the sake of some balance here. all right. let's move on to another case involving a new york condo estimated at $775,000. apparently this i tilian theater director antonio palenda was convinced it was love, that because of this relationship with this young dancer natasha dimon walker that he would buy this condominium for her. apparently then she dumped him and he says i want my money back and some.
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richard, you know, is this kind of jilted love, bad real estate move, is this, i guess the road to a good, legal, solid case? >> it depends, fred, i'm sure they were in love there. he is 73. she is 27. i'm sure this was just true leave at first sight. this guy, he was submiten, pumping her with gifts left and right, jewelry, everything under the sun. she wants a condo on the upper westside of new york. he puts down $775,000. we hear there is a written agreement calling for a balloon payment of the 775 six years from now. what she is saying, guess what? i'm not even going to pay that because this was all a gift. you intended to give me a gift. you gave me a gift. i'm not going to pay it. so he is jilted, what is it, hell has no fury like a man scorned? he is going after her in court trying to get everything
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overturned. if there is a written agreement that says this is a six-year balloon repayment on that note, he's getting nowhere. she is going to be in there for six years without paying one dime on that note. >> that's right. >> really. avery? >> yeah, look. i give the guy credit. he is 73 years old and falls in love. it's been characterized as a luxury condo in manhattan. $775,000. that's not a luxury condo. he gave it to his 27-year-old girlfriend. fine. so even if he can establish that it was alone and no interest alone the first time he can go back to court is in 2018. >> my gosh. >> there is no case there. so the bottom line is say good-bye to the lawsuit. the earliest this guy gets back into court is 2018. >> meantime we're seeing a lot of pictures of the dancer and natasha dimon walker's attorney did release this statement saying mr. calenda's allegations
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are a gross mischaracterization of the facts and an assault on ms. diamond walker's reputation. she is a serious and talented artist now dance wg the martha graham dance company and will defend herself against these false claims. >> yes. well i'm sure it was love at first sight. >> that is what she is going to do. absolutely. >> all right. >> you say she'll likely be able to stay in that unit for a while. >> yes. >> i think so. >> all right. >> for six yeerps at least. >> case closed at least according to the legal guys. we know it still has a long road ahead for those two in court. thanks so much. good to see you. all right. avery and richard, catch them every weekend noon eastern time. meantime tune in to cnn sunday at 2:00 eastern to see how one artist is taking the peaceful sounds of the ukulele to a whole new level. >> to me the ukulele is truly the instrument of peace.
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you can't possibly be angry when you're strumming a ukulele. it is very difficult. like when you can pick up an instrument and just do that it's like, ah, i made that sound. you know, that thing that just made the room light up or made everyone smile. you know, i just created that. you know? and there is a joy in that. and i wish everyone could feel that. >> and tomorrow 2:30 eastern time a texas mother worries about her 14-year-old daughter who got the west nile virus from a mosquito bite. the virus has killed more than 20 people nationwide this year. we'll look at the very real impact this year's outbreak is having on her family and communities across the u.s. a route map shows you where we go.
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it's been three years since the pennsylvania swim club was accused of being racist toward minority children. but this week the justice department announced they settled the discrimination case against the club. cnn's susan candiotti first covered the story for us and caught up with the boy who was at the pool that day. >> reporter: marcus allen will never forget what happened just before we met in 2009. he was 12 years old and visibly shaken after he and his friends arrived at a predominantly white private philadelphia swim club. he said they heard this. >> why are these black kids
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here? then they were saying oh, i'm afraid they might do something to my children because i don't know if they might steal my -- might try to steal some of my stuff or harm my children. and like i was amazed they would think something like this because we're just like you. we're just like your kids. >> his mom had a signed, paid contract to use the pool for her summer camp but after the first day the club's director pulled the plug telling local media the kids changed the, quote, atmosphere and complexion of the club. i replayed for marcus his unforgettable reaction back in 2009. i see tears coming down your face. why does this make you cry? >> because this is kind of like sad that, like, people were still thinking like this when i felt like these days was over. >> reporter: you know you touched a lot of people when they saw you that day and they saw your reaction. >> well, i'm glad people saw,
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felt what i felt. >> reporter: when it happened, marcus's mom swung into action. civil rights complaints were filed with the state of pennsylvania and the u.s. justice department got involved. the valley club was sued, went bankrupt, and the property was sold for over a million dollars. on thursday, the justice department settled the case. proceeds from the sale will be divided among the children, camp, and counselors. what does this mean to you? what should it mean for all of us? >> it should mean never jajuan book by its cover. meaning, don't judge someone by the color of their skin. >> i think it's a great life lesson for these kids. they experienced something terrible and justice prevailed. >> reporter: marcus is about to turn 15, a running back hopeful for his high school football team with big dreams for his future. >> i think everyone can see things differently and realize, yes, there is still some wrong
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in the world but together we can make a difference and actually make a change. >> reporter: a change marcus concedes that isn't guaranteed. susan candiotti, cnn, philadelphia. >> all right. that's it for me. thanks for being with us this afternoon. in the newsroom i'm fredricka whitfield. at the top of the hour we'll have much more of the newsroom but first the future of medicare and what it means for you. sanjay gupta md just moments away. [ pilot ] now when you build an aircraft, you want to make sure it goes up and stays up. [ chirp ] with android apps, you get better quality control. so our test flights are less stressful.
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