tv CNN Newsroom CNN February 8, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
for a day free of pain. [ female announcer ] try aleve d for strong all day sinus and headache relief. here we go, hour 2. welcome back, i'm brooke baldwin. in syria, mass bloodshed there again today. we have chris lawrence standing by at the pentagon. first i want to go in and see ivan watson. he is there in turkey. that is syria's neighbor. ivan, what can you tell me more today about the syrian army crackdown, especially as it applies to this battered city of homs? >> a resident broke up this morning at dawn to another day of this pretty vicious syrian military assault, artillery assault, on this city lobbing mortars, rockets, tank shell lz into -- shells into a densely populated neighborhood which has
been an opposition stronghold in the west of that city for the fourth day now. we've seen images of families cowering in basements away from the windows and still that has not done enough. activists say more than 50 people have been killed today alone in this onslaught. we're going to take a listen to what one of these activists has to say, but i have to warn viewers it includes the image of a dead child. take a listen. >> he was only about two years old. he got bombed in his house. this is what the u.n. has waited for. this is what the u.n. has waited for. they kill all the children, kill all the women. >> reporter: brooke, we're hearing a lot of this, the agony, outrage and fear from the people in this community that i've been talking to. one man i spoke with just about an hour ago said he had seen two helicopters firing into this
town, into this neighborhood. the syrian government says that the insurgents there blew up a car bomb that killed some civilians and security officers. we don't have more details on that claim. brooke? >> it's terrible to see images of these children and families killed in their own homes. i know the crackdown begins saturday -- i think i know the answer to my question. i'm going to ask it, anyway. is there any way of knowing how long the assad regime plans to keep going? >> well, this uprising started more than ten months ago, brooke, and by all accounts, it started peacefully with protesters camping peaceful, but calling for change. the government has consistently used force to try to crush these protests. and over the course of that time, there have been more than 6,000 deaths. the united nations high commissioner for human rights has repeatedly accused the assad
regime of carrying out crimes against humanity. doctors without borders came out today with a report accusing the government of using medicine as a weapon, saying it was deliberately targeting doctors and wounded people. we do not see signs that the assad regime will stop its onslaught. if anything, it seems to have accelerated induced force since the veto of russia and china that was trying to put more pressure on the assad regime. brooke? >> right, and we know china and russia vetoed that. it begs the question, what about military intervention? u.s. officials, every time we prod them, they only talk here so far about diplomacy. >> assad is off the reservation. he is being armed and supported by russia, perhaps others. the opposition is increasing the -- the armed opposition as opposed to the civilian opposition is increasingly also resorting to violence and
self-defense. that is not a dynamic that is in the interests of the people of syria or the wider regions. so before we start talking about military options, we very much want to ensure that we have exhausted all the political, economic and diplomatic means at our disposal. >> i do want to go straight to the pentagon to chris lawrence. chris, fill me in on something we had touched on before, the military review. this is a just in case scenario, you know, potential u.s. operations in syria. tell me about that. >> reporter: that's right, brooke, two administration officials have confirmed to cnn that for several weeks now the military has been preparing these what-if scenarios looking at the assets, coming up with contingency plans in case president obama were to request the military option. that involves looking at what assets are out there, what sort of missions they would be able to perform if asked, and perhaps most importantly, what the risk
to those troops, ships and planes would be. this is normally not the kind of thing that even gets to the president's desk unless it's requested, it's that preliminary. >> you ran through some of the options. do we have a realistic idea of -- i guess there wouldn't be a timetable yet. this is really just the what-if possible scenario. >> that's right. they're looking at several things. anything from humanitarian relief, expanding that program to providing support to the rebels or perhaps even military strikes on syria, although several officials say that is the most unlikely option. you know, several senators on capitol hill have put forward some options about a no-fly zone, about sort of the aenclavs where some of the civilians could be protected, but awfll o
these options have risks. the number of americans taking on debt is skyrocketing. a good thing or a terrible sign for the economy? we're asking that question. plus the catholic church furious with president obama all about birth control. the fight is taking a new turn. a gay man beaten on the street as he is just walking out of a store. now as police track down his attackers, he is speaking out for the very first time. that's next. vacations are always wasn'ta good ideaa ♪ priceline negoti - - no time. out quickly. you're miles from your destination. you'll need a hotel tonight we don't have time to bid you don't have to bid. at priceline you can choose from thousands of hotels on sale every day. save yourself... some money
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control. also the dow close to a high mark. it hasn't hit since 2008 and a victim of vicious feeding is seeking justice today. time to play reporter roulette. let's go straight to the white house to chief white house correspondent jessica yellin. republicans, churches, they're lining up against this new birth control policy from the obama administration. first question, might we see any compromise from the white house? >> yes, brooke. in defense, i've been speaking to my sources who are saying the administration is looking for a way to essentially thread the needle. there will be no compromise on the fundamental principle that women will get contraception at no pay, and that won't change, from their point of view. but organizations, charities and institutions, they'll make sure they have a plan where they are uncomfortable. for example, women who work for catholic institutions, they're offered a separate contraception
plan on the side, and insurers won't charge women for that plan. that won't work on a national l l level, but owe fiblz sfficials e looking for a solution like that, brooke. >> is there any evidence yet that it's hurt president obama mil politically yet? >> this cuts both ways. while a majority of catholics object to this particular provision ordering catholics to comply with this provision, 60% of a majority of women believe affiliate groups should provide coverage. these are very important groups for the president on the reh re-elect and these are important principles for democratic voters. it might hurt on certain constituencies and help with others, brooke. next reporter, could the
wall street be at the end of an insurgence? we're flirting with it, right? >> not quite yet. we are quite close to 13,000 on the dow. in fact, you look at the dow right now, it's trading at the highest level in almost four years, 12,879. but remember, 13,000 is this really nice, round number, kind of more of a psychological milestone. and you know what, the market has some bigger fish to fry. it's got bigger issues to deal with, mainly the debt in greece. we'd like to see this get to the 13,000 level this time aroundment. a lot of americans seem to be borrowing more money. good thing, bad thing? >> a little of both. spend, spend, spend. it's the american way. in december rewrapped up plenty of it, plenty of debt.
americans spent $2 million just in december. it's coming from more people taking out student loans, so that's not a bad thing, taking out loans to go to school. it's also seen as signs of confidence because consumers are out there trying to get money and banks are out there lending mo money. of course, you flip the coin over and we have the downside. people may be borrowing more money because their incomes aren't growing. also, there is a danger taking on that debt load and taking on too much debt if you can't pay it off. there are two side but it shows the wheels of the economy are kind of grinding forward, brooke. >> we'll take it. next on reporter roulette, george powell joining me here in the studio. we showed this horrendous video yesterday of a victim breaking his silence. just a warning for you, especially if you have kids in the room, get them out now. here it is.
we see all these men. here's shot, kicking, punching brandon white. what did he say today? >> this is the first time for brandon white to speak publicly. it was a difficult decision to make but he decide to do put his face forward to talk about this a and basically put the attention on these men. you can hear in the video these men are laughing, making homophobic remarks through the whole thing. he said he was basically ambushed. he went into the corner store, came out, these men were waiting for him, basic lg recoally reco attack. kicking him, punching him, even threw a tire on him at one point. he said he was going to let it go. he was going to remain silent. but when he realized the video had been put on line and these guys were trying to get attention, he decided to turn the tables and put the attention on them. take a look. >> i was just going to be silent
about it and let it ride over because that's just who i am. i do situations my way. but by them going ahead and releasing it and putting it on the internet, they want the attention on themselves, they wanted to make themselves like they were brave, they were strong. but in my opinion, i'm the brave one. i'm the brave one. >> that moment of applause there. absolutely. 20 years old. >> 20 years old. what about these men in the video? >> well, atlanta police, through crimestoppers, say there's a $5,000 reward out for any information leading to the arrest of these men. >> none of them have been caught? >> not at this point. they hope that reward will make people at least start talking, contact them with tips. and brandon is also hopeful. >> we talked about cases like this before, and it's when you see a beating, and when they actually catch people involved, it's also the videographer
because they're part of it as well. >> and they also think these men maybe are connected to a rivgann that area, so they want to make a point to catch these men and get that gang out of the neighborhood. that was your reporter roulette for today. coming next, rick santorum says the money is pouring in after his big wins. in fact, he claimed the campaign raised a quarter million dollars last night alone. can he keep up the momentum without the kind of cash mitt romney has in the bank? we've got the scoop, next. [ kyle ] my bad.
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rick santorum is riding high off his hat trick with victories in minnesota, missouri and colorado. he did it with only a fraction of the money raised by mitt romney, newt gingrich. i want to bring in senior national correspondent dana bash who was up last night and spoke to rick santorum as well. how did this santorum sweep last night, how did he pull it off with so much less money in the coffers? >> we don't know exactly. we learn so much from exit polls which we didn't have last night. but generally the theory inside the campaign and outside is if you look at where he won these three states and the areas within the states that he won, they were a heavily conservative, social conservative, christian conservative areas, and that, of course, has been rick santorum's appeal all along. especially having gone through these three states. he actually told me last night that he was surprised that one particular town in colorado, he campaigned hard there, and he won big there.
remember last month he was endorsed by evangelical leaders. they coealesced around his candidacy. one aide told me, when rick santorum speaks to me, he understands conservative langua language. when mitt romney speaks to them, it's like he's speaking a second language or something a little lost in translation. >> would someone such as yourself in these states or another one, well, it was a contract, it was non-binding, it didn't mean very much. i imagine it forced santorum psychologically but also in terms of money. >> absolutely, both. particularly when you're talking about money. santorum himself told cnn this morning that last night alone they raised a quarter of a million dollars. before they had the results of the contest last night, as you mentioned, i was in missouri with the campaign. one of his senior advisers said to me, i said, where are you
going tomorrow, and he said texas. i said, why, and he said that's where the money is. as we speak, brooke, he had about a five-hour window where he's not doing any public events. in that window right now, he's with some big donors who i'm told wanted to meet him to give him money. still, never mind that, he is still making the case, as he did to me last night, and i want you to listen to this, that even though he's going to try to raise more money, he doesn't need it to succeed, and that was proof last night. >> let's listen. >> now we're in a little bit of a no-man's land. you've got campaigns that haven't spent months and millions in these states. and it's a whole different environment. it's much more real as to what the real temperature of america is as opposed to some of these states that have gotten a whole lot of extra attention from these candidates. >> now, even though rick santorum and his campaign will tell you money can't buy you love, and that was proof last night, they understand that they're going to have to add to
their coffers and add to their organization staff and they're doing that as we speak. the campaign is hiring people -- in fact, i just got off the phone with somebody. i called him and i said, what are you doing right now, and he said, i'm looking at resumes. that's a good sign. >> speaking of money, i want to talk about a man that has a lot of it and very strong organization when it comes to the campaign. mitt romney spoke out in atlanta moments ago. here it is. >> senator santorum and speaker gingrich, they are the very republicans who acted like democrats, and when republicans act like democrats, they lose. and newt gingrich's case, he had to resign. in rick santorum's case, he won by the biggest margin in senate since 1980. again, borrowing, spending and earmarking is not a good combination if you're a
republican and not a good combination in america. >> coming up, as israel and the u.s. talk openly about military action against iran, there is something happening on iran's border. it involves children and young adults. they're telling fascinating stories about life inside iran. stay with me. [ male announcer ] the draw of the past is a powerful thing. but we couldn't simply repeat history. we had to create it. introducing the 2013 lexus gs, with leading-edge safety technology, like available blind spot monitor... [ tires screech ] ...night view...
iran in the spotlight here after defense secretary leon panetta suggested that israel could attack iran in the next couple months. but as the rhetoric rises, there is a story you need to hear that's happening on the iranian border with afghanistan. here to tell it, pete walsh. >> reporter: many have been grateful to leave afghanistan, but few grateful to come back. here at the border of iran, we discreetly film every day how iran's fiery neighbor reports dozens of immigrants struggling
to make whatever they can on the streets. many cross the border to work as illegal immigrants, but now after the crackdowns are being pushed back towards a war, they're still continuing. they simply went back towards the war. some didn't make it back alive. a 22-year-old killed in an accident, but the youngest few return as adults. beginning a slow process of aid workers, we are uniting them with their family who needed the money they were earning in iran who sometimes send it straight back again. they come hungry, given clothes and food, those age 12 still carrying stories of a yet harder life in iran. >> translator: i told you my father was in iran. so he took me there, but he made me do hard labor collecting plastic and metal trash to sell
to factories. the money i earned disappeared. the iranian police found me and sent me back here. >> translator: -- >> reporter: many here who are 15, older before their time, are fearing they have to go back. >> translator: it was very hard. i had to carry very heavy things. they put a lot of pressure on me. that's why i have kidney problems. it hurts all the time, especially in the morning. >> translator: i now have a problem in my wrist. if i sit still for a long time, i can't stand up because i have a pain there. >> translator: now what will i do? shall we starve? i know i can't find work in afghanistan, so i'll have to go back to iran or go to pakistan. >> reporter: iran is purging
itself of illegal afghans from falling into a system of illegal community trying to get home to their families, back to a life where outside help begins to leave, they somehow face great uncertainty. coming up next, a chilling 911 call. the social worker who dropped off josh powell's little boys moments before he blew up the home. plus, police find a mother in the woods with a baby in her arms. what happened before that discovery is haunting. sunny hostin is on the case. she's next.
simpson and her 11-month-old daughter. police found her on the ground holding her bleeding baby. she also had a cut to her own neck. add to this an odd encounter this church pastor had with her and her baby just a couple months ago. >> she came running in yelling, take my baby, take my baby. i just kind of stood up and stepped here and she more or less just tossed her baby in my arms and said, tie me down, tie me up. possession, possession. she kind of hit her chest a couple times and said, i'm possessed. i'm demon possessed. about that time, she put her hand over her mouth and she wouldn't say anything else. >> sunny hostin is on the case brchcase. before we get to the pastor, what kind of charges is she face sng. >> she is being charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action in this terrible
tragedy. now, what we know is what you just said. she had this strange encounter at a church that she had never been to before, and basically saying that she had been demon possessed, so many people are wondering if there is a mental health issue going on. people are speculating that perhaps it's post-part um depression. a lot of questions about this woman's mental health. >> the pastor said he picked up the phone and called 911 after she left and said all of that. could, should authorities have taken away the baby? >> you would think so with a report like this, with someone saying that she would harm her children. because my understanding is that she also wrote a note while she was in the church asking them to prevent her from harming her child. don't let me harm my child. so when you have that kind of evidence, of course, child services should have been involved. of course, this woman should have been interviewed. of course, this child should have been taken into protective
custody. >> mothers harming their own children. it's something unthinkable to so many parents out there, but is this something that happens more often than we think? >> you know, it's interesting, i did some research today and found that between 1976 and 2005, there was a study done and 60% of children are typically killed by their parents. in fact, the parent is the perpetrator in most homicides of children under the age of 5. out of the 60%, brooke, 30% by fathers, 29% by mothers. so while rare, the killing of a child under five, when it does happen, it often happens at the hands of a parent. isn't that remarkable? i was really surprised at that. >> it's a stunning number, and it brings me to the story of josh powell and his two little boys. we know what happened to them, the tragic ending of their lives on sunday after the explosion of the house. we now have this chilling audio that the sheriff's office in washington state in this county
has released the 911 calls from sunday. this is from the social worker. yesterday the court-mandated visit of these two little boys. they were taken to the house by the social worker, and minutes later powell set the house on fire with the kids inside. take a listen. >> do you know the exact address of the house? >> it's 8119 189th street court east in puyallup. >> ob, stay on the line. do you know if there's anyone in the house? >> yes, there was a man and two children. i just dropped off the children and he wouldn't let me in the door. >> okay, stay on the line fort fire department. >> such a selfish act by josh powell on these two little boys. now that the father is gone, do you think the parents of susan powell, do you think they'll
ever find out what happened to her? >> investigators are indicating that the search for her still continues. she disappeared, as you mentioned, in 2009. her body was never found. she was never found. so they say they will still continue to look for her. it's interesting, in all the e-mails and phone calls that josh powell made before blowing up his home that contained his two children, he never mentioned susan powell. no mention of her whatsoever. so investigators are still somewhat baffled by this case, and they certainly are going to continue. let me also say this, brooke. about seven 911 calls were made when this happened. the first one was made by the social worker. and she asked them to come to the home. they told her that it wasn't an emergency. so a fail, fail, fail when it comes to this system, this emergency response system, and just a fail, i think, in our system for protecting children in the united states. >> it is so frustrating and i know it's a tough job for the 911 dispatchers, but it's a
frustrating situation definitely to hear playing out over the phone. sunny hostin, thank you so much. now this. in egypt, vorak may be out of power but the country is far from calm. at this soccer match, politicians, dozens were killed. a young woman, some of whom call one of the world's bravest bloggers, joins me in studio live, next. up, salad, cheddar bay biscuits, dessert and choose one of 7 entrees. four courses for only $15. offer ends soon. i'm jody gonzalez, red lobster manager and i sea food differently.
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since the arab spring began, there was hope in the middle east. then there was this just last week in egypt. this soccer match erupted into sheer mayhem, killed nearly 80 fans, thousands injured. cla clashes spread across egypt and lasted for days. the rise of violence is a sign that hope from the arab spring is withering or spoiling. this is an egyptian blogger who is here in atlanta for an egyptian forum. thank you. >> thank you. >> i wanted to just begin with the images from that soccer match in egypt. and you sit here with a bracelet with january 25 on your hand. when we see images like this,
the sheer violence. this wasn't just about soccer, was it? >> unfortunately, violence has been going on all over the country for a while now, and i believe it's somehow politically motivated to make it credible that a year ago, in his famous speech, he was trying to make a revolution, and he said it's either me or cape. i think he's still running things but behind the scenes. former members of the ngb, all the businessmen whose business was dependent on his politics, are now trying to up hold their corruptness. >> i'm sure it's frustrating for you and for a lot of young people in egypt.
i want to get a little to about you before we move on talking about women in egypt. a couple accolades, if i may. the daily beast named you one of the 17 bravest bloggers. you're on newsweek's 150 most influential women in the world, and you are 29. >> thank you. >> you started acting at a very young age. why? >> it started very personal. a long time ago, i was trying to steal the backs. it took a while to understand that there are new ways to defend my cause. until i actually do, if you don't have the tools to do it, in 2006 -- introduced for the very first time to martin luther
king. after that i worked with my organization on translating a comic book about martin luther king. i'm so happy to say, it was very new to people then. now it's moved everywhere, it's moved all over the region, and they are everywhere trying to teach people how to make it happen effectively. >> you helped bring the message of dr. king to the people in egypt and spoke of unity. these are images of tamijah. you're going to see plenty of women in these pictures, and the same is true of pictures taken across the middle east. they're coming, i'm told, but it's women basically standing shoulder to shoulder with men in a very public display of strength. there was sort of an equality merging between men and women.
here they are. >> yes, it's the same exact thing we've seen in egypt just a year ago. but when the resolution was over, again, we were escorted. women go to t-- men go to the st and women go to the shore. we had parliament just a few months ago, and -- >> no women in parliament? >> there are eight women. two of them are appointed and wet just on the -- we would not win because of the qualified. all the qualified women, none of them have already won a seat. none of the men have won a seat.
>> you got your masters at tufts university, so you know what it's like living in america. tell the american audience what life is like for a woman in egypt versus here. >> it's completely different. there is much, much difference. we are in the 21st century and women are just struggling to have a car in space. so this patriotic from women in the milgd, they have nowhere t., >> quickly, are you hopeful? >> of course. you can live for four months without food, you can live for four days without food. in puerto rico, you can live without four minutes from air.
and michelle obama having a physical face-off at the white house. nice spandex. but it was the first lady who actually got it off to a running start. take a look. >> we're going to start with a stair race. are you ready to do this? >> i was born ready. ♪ ♪ it's the eye of the tiger it's the cream of the fight ♪ ♪ rising up to the challenge of our rival ♪ ♪ and the last known survivor spreading the night ♪
♪ and he's watching us all with the eye of the tiger ♪ >> i love that he's doing the full-on push-ups and not the knee push-ups. this is all about pushups. good for her. this was the let's move initiative to fight childhood obesity. while republicans were watching returns in three states last night the president was putting new york's top fashion designers to work, dubbed the runway to win fashion show. the obama reelection campaign hoping to raise money by selling tote bags. t-shirts and all these different accessories made in america by two dozen designers. you can buy the collection online today. the event was hosted by "vogue quest editor and scarlett johansson. and naturally republicans they were not going to let obama's campaign logo on designer goods
go to waste. what do they do? they put out this ad blasting the event. a couple minutes away from "the situation room" with wolf blitzer. wolf, what do you have coming up? >> we've got a lot of politics coming up on this day after the santorum trifecta. all three states big wins in all three states. very impressive day for rick santorum. where do we go from here? i just posted my blog on our "the situation room" website. this is not going to be over, brooke, as you know, any time soon. newt gingrich says this could go all the way to to august. we're going to get democratic reaction and the democratic party chair debbie wasserman schultz, she's standing by to join us live during the 5:00 p.m. eastern hour. we're also all over what's going on in syria. this is a horrible, horrible
story. there are new information that's coming into "the situation room" on what potentially the u.s. can do about all of this. so we'll be all over that story as well. we have a lot coming up right here in "the situation room." >> wolf, we'll see you in ten minutes. thank you, sir. now what ifb waiting for. take a look at the video. if look up, you're in the other room? come back. take a look. this is a robot, a military robot. we're going to tell you all about it. kind of scary, right? that's next. ♪ in here, machines have a voice... ♪ [ male announcer ] in here, medical history follows you... even when you're away from home. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities, creating and integrating solutions, helping business, and the world...work. rethink possible.
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more. president obama's campaign has rurchd some 200,000 donations to two chicago brothers. the third brother is a fugitive casino owners with alleged tie to violence and corruption in mexico. rafael romo has more on the story. >> pepe car done, known as the czar of casinos, the entrepreneur who was born in mexico, but raised in iowa, owns several gaming establishments in the city of monterrey he jumped bail in iowa in 1994, and disappeared. he has since been linked to violatens and corruption in mexico. two of his brothers had raised about $200,000 for the obama reelection coffers, but the campaign decided to return it after the times raised questions about the money and the donors'
fugitive brother. >> we didn't know who these folks were and they themselves were not the guilty party. the vet didn't go deep enough, obviously. when we found out about these entanglements, we returned all the money they donated and raised, and we'll continue to do that. >> reporter: senior political strategist david axelrod says the obama campaign has 1.3 million contributors, and sometimes it's hard to vet every individual supporter. >> i was surprised. >> reporter: manny sanchez an attorney and staunch obama backer, said he attended an organizers organize -- the rocas-car done brothers were there, but there was no mention of pepe. >> i know latino families are often big. just because one sibling has an issue, i don't know that that
natural le reflects on the two i met here in chicago. >> reporter: they own marketing and advertising companies. >> the appearance doesn't look good, but i can tell you this, nothing anefarious was involved >> reporter: so far cnn has been unable to reach him in mexico or his brothers in chicago. >> the $200,000 that was donated, was it donated by the two brothers themselves? >> not by those two brothers. they were what they call in politics bundlers, highly successful people at raising money for a particular candidate, in this case barack obama. so they raised money from family members, from fellow business people, and they were able to come with those $200,000. >> have the two brothers,
excluding the other guy, have those two brothers ever been accused of any crimes? >> not at all. the only reason the obama campaign returned the money is because of the link to the brother in mexico and the suspicion he might have had something to do with trying to influence the campaign. >> and so this fugitive brother, what's his role in members ka politics? >> he's a character in mexico. >> character? >> to say the least. he owns many casinos in the city of monterrey, not only that, according to media reports in mexico, he has donated millions to political campaigns in mexico at the state and federal level and apparently that helped him get the licenses to open casinos in months raye, so obviously if you are running in the united states, you don't want to be linked to somebody like that. >> again he's in where? >> monterrey. >> monterrey, mexico. rafael romo, thank you so much.