tv Early Start CNN February 23, 2012 2:00am-4:00am PST
www.vitac.com good morning to you. it is, indeed, earl little, i'm ashleigh banfield. >> i'm zor raid da. >> we're bringing you the news from a to z. it is 5:00 a.m. in the east. mitt romney going on attack, did you watch it, against his latest challenger at the tippy top, rick santorum. only five days until the arizona and michigan primaries. was mitt romney able to lock in his home state? and a decision reached by a
jury in the lacrosse place. that player convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend in a drunken and jealous rage, but did he actually come out better than he could have? and there are new fears about chemical weapon sites in syria. the military is saying it would take almost as many troops as there are in afghanistan to protect those chemical sites. they're also concerned about those chemical weapons falling into the wrong hands and perhaps being used against civilians. and in america's constant battle of the bulge there may be yet another magic diet pill. it's the first prescription drug to battle obesity in a decade. we are going to tell you all about it. it's getting a lot of buzz. >> the pros and the cons. duel in the desert as they're calling it. five days left until arizona and michigan. it's been forever since we've had a primary, right? rick santorum has had his turn at the top, but is it over? >> a lot of score cards saying
that he may have actually missed his chance. with voters in mitt romney's home state watching, you saw the candidates battle over the auto bailout, earmarks, and their records with your money. the crowd was applauding a lot, particularly for mitt romney. cringing at times and booing rick santorum. here are some of the highlights. >> fighting to save the olympics, you were fighting to save the bridge to nowhere. >> you're entitled to your opinions but you're not entitled to misrepresent the fact. >> i heard that before. >> you're misrepresenting the facts. you don't know what you're talking about. >> yes, governor you balanced the budget for four years. you have a constitutional requirement to balance the budget. no great shakes. don't go around bragging about something you have to do. what michael dukakis balanced the budget for ten years. does that make him qualified to be president of the united states? i don't think so. >> a lot of sparring going on
there. cnn political editor paul steinhauser is live in mesa, arizona. a couple of things that stuck out, they were sitting. awkward. romney and santorum really don't like each other. kind of an understatement, wouldn't you say? >> reporter: you know, the sitting was an idea to make it a more intimate setting. it did make it more uncomfortable with the two front-runners sitting there. you can tell there was not a lot of love between them. for santorum, he was forced in a way to defend some unpopular decisions with conservatives. his vote in favor of no child left behind, his vote in favor of supporting planned parenthood, his support in the past of earmarks and his support back in 2004 of arlen specter's re-electi re-election, the moderate senator at the time. take a listen to this exchange between santorum and romney. >> the reason we have obama care is because the senator you supported over pat toomey in pennsylvania, arlen specter, the
pro-choice senator of pennsylvania that you supported and endorsed in a race over pat toomey, he voted for obama care. if you had not supported him, if we had said no to arlen spec tore we would not have obama care. >> why i supported arlen specter, number one, because arlen specter was a senator who was going to be the chairman of the judiciary committee at a time when the most important issue that was coming up in the next session of congress was two to three supreme court nominees. >> supporting arlen specter over pat toomey, that was a very tore tour rouse route. >> just about as torturous as six years later. >> in 1996 -- >> let's move the conversation along. >> reporter: not a lot of love there between those two gentlemen, huh? i talked to a top santorum advisor in the spin room after the debate and he said, not my candidate's best debate. nobody else hit a home run so they were not that concerned. the romney senior advisors were
ecstatic. they think he did very well. santorum was forced to defend these decisions. they're very confident they're going to win michigan and arizona come tuesday. >> the highlights were fun to watch so thanks for replaying some of those. paul steinhauser live in mesa, arizona. thank you. a former lacrosse player was found guilty in the murder of his ex-girlfriend. george huguely ultimately convicted of second degree murder in the death of ex-girlfriend yeardley love. the jury recommended a sentence of 26 years in prison. cnn legal contributor paul call an here to talk this one through. it was just this time yesterday, paul, we were talking about the options this jury had. they could have gone all the way, could have gone first degree. ultimately settled for second degree, but it still could mean a lot of time in the prison. so what's the situation? what is he facing and what could this judge ultimately decide to do? >> this is a very, very serious charge. it's called second degree
murder, but essentially it's murder with malaise. it's intentional murder. he's facing a stengsing range, it could have been 5 to 40 years. now that the jury has recommended 26 years the judge in virginia can give up to 26 years as the maximum sentence. so that would put him well into his 40s by the time he's out of prison. i should mention that in virginia they've eliminated the parole board so whatever time you're sentenced to you serve pretty much most of that time. unlike a lot of states where you get out on parole early. huguely's facing a very, very different life than he anticipated when he enrolled at the university of virginia. >> a lot of people would say, wow, 26 years, like you said with not a whole lot of options to get out on good behavior, that's a lot of time. was this something that his lawyers could look at as a break? because of course he could have gotten life? would they, therefore, actually start pouring over all of the
transcripts from trial looking for some kind of error that they could appeal on. >> they'll clearly be looking for some kind of error. this was a compromised verdict. the prosecutor sought murder one which would have been life imprisonment sentence. the defense was looking for manslaughter which could have been as little as 10 years. the jury found middle ground. i will tell you, from the perspective of the prosecution, they put in a very strong case that this was a brutal murder, that this young lady was beaten to death, and then i think most telling, that she was left to die in her bed. if you beat somebody brutally to the point where they're unconscious and then you walk out of the room instead of calling 911, you're leaving the person to die. so there were elements of brutality that went beyond even the physical beating, and i think that's what the jury must have been thinking about when they recommended this 26-year sentence, which is a very, very long sentence for a college
student. so there will be an appeal. >> that's the thing. you really think so? you don't think for the minute that after the violence, ugliness, a crying prosecutor in this case, that this lawyer isn't thinking, whew, we skated from a first degree. i'm taking this and running. i'm not going to take my chances on round two and end up sticking my kid in the can for life? >> ashleigh, after having represented people in these cases, anybody going to prison for that length of time, nobody's celebrating that. i have to tell you that when you take an appeal on a criminal case, you can never be sentenced to more than the initial sentence. so let's say hypothetically the judge gives 26 years or maybe even lesser, 20 years, you can take an appeal, get a reversal, and when you go back to trial maximum sentence you face is 20 years. that's the law in the united states. so an appeal is risk free to the defense. >> fascinating.
i didn't know that. it's like a little double jeopardy. >> how do you like that? >> i like it. you won the bet, my friend. >> i did. >> no fellow any murder. i thought i'd bring it up. >> good to see you admit that on the air. >> i knew it was coming whether i it it or you did it. paul callan, thank you. it's eight minutes past the hour. we give you an "early start" to your day by alerting you to news that's happening and stories developing right now. they will be the big story tonight. u.s. officials are meeting with north korean officials in beijing to discuss whether north korea is willing to suspend its nuclear program. they'll also discuss human rights and humanitarian issues. this is the first time they'll meet since the death of kim jong il. >> and a new house contraception hearing is going to get underway today. don't get all excited popping popcorn and sitting by your tv. there will be no tv cameras aloud. it's an unofficial hearing. it was organized by nancy pelosi who claims that the republicans
blocked broadcast but the gop is denying that that's what happened. >> and president obama is headed to florida today. he'll address gas prices and pitch energy policy at the university of miami. this morning's washington post says that he'll promote an energy policy that the administration says will reduce dependence on foreign oil in the long term. >> because we like to do it, we're minding your business this morning. gas prices are up. the new national average for a gallon of gas is, you ready, sitting down? you might be lying down because it's ten past 5:00 in the morning on the east coast, $3.61 per gallon. that's up three cents just from yesterday. >> so christine romans in to talk about this. $6 in florida? >> well, some of these high-cost places you're going to see them go up. you won't see a national average like that. tom closer from the opis he
works for, he writes this funny blog. stop the hyperventilating. gas prices are going up. they go up every time this year. look, we're paying double or triple than we did ten years ago in the summer for gas. he thinks the national average will be something like $3.75 to $4.25. still hurts. california, chicago, although some folks in chicago yesterday were e-mailing me saying they haven't seen the price spike yet. >> they saw a reduction of ten cents. >> right. there's a variation around the country. i want to bring this back home and tell you $3.61 on average a gallon. up three cents in one day. you're watching your service station. you're watching the prices go up every day. it's probably going to continue. if you have an economy car with a 12.6 gallon tank, there's 43 bucks. your payroll tax holiday is disappearing when you're starting to see these numbers. now a couple of things here.
a lot of people are focusing in on speculators. you're asking me an awful lot about record oil industry profits and how much speculators in the markets are contributing to this. hedge funds, commodity funds and index pools, yes, they have been buying futures and they have been betting more the prices are going up than down. in part that's because they're watching what's happening around the world with iran. if we have to pick a direction and make money, it's that prices will go up. i brought some of these points up to you yesterday. let's talk about what we can do. don't be a jerk, first of all. jerks pay more for gas. when you're riding the brake and riding the gas, it costs more. >> shouldn't you just not be a jerk anyway. >> keep your car hydrated. check all of your air filters, belts, hoses, all of that stuff. battery, tires. don't put too much stuff in the trunk in the car. don't be a jerky driver.
you're like, i drive the same but the price is still going up. i get it. a lot of people are really angry about it. the president will be talking later today about his energy policy. almost a year ago he was talking about energy policy and how to use it. a little bit of everything approach to weaning us from foreign oil and more domestic production. >> super quick before the president does that, what you just put up, that list, does that make a big difference or are we just talking about couple dollars? >> you know, i'm not going to quantify because i'm not sure how much of a difference it makes. it does make a difference, but the price is going up faster than you can make a difference. >> christine, thanks. >> i know that tires make a difference. i've done it. so thanks for the reminder. tweet it out for us. >> i will. >> it is 13 minutes past the hour. time to check the stories that are making news this morning. the final four in the gop presidential race squared off one last time before the next crucial wave of primaries and caucuses including super tuesday. mitt romney and rick santorum, they went after each other on
taxes and spending as they battle for michigan and arizona. an fda advisory committee voting overwhelmingly in approving the qnexa. this would be the first prescription weight loss drug in more than a decade. the president of argentina declaring two days of mourning. 50 people were killed and close to 700 people were injured after a commuter train had trouble stopping, overshooting platform after platform, and slamming into a metal barrier at the end of the line there. >> an update for you out of italy. eight more bodies have now been found in that wreckage of the italian cruiseship "costa concordia." it sank a month ago. that means 25 people now are confirmed dead but seven people still a month later, seven people are missing. italian authorities are
expanding their investigation. seven more employees now are suspected of manslaughter, ship wreck, and failing to alert authorities. so the investigation continues. and talk about the price of failure. at&t has slashed the pay of its ceo as a direct response for the company's failed bid to take over t-mobile last year. gas prices will affect him. and it was not full on linsanity but the knicks didn't really need it as they routed the atlanta hawks 99-82. jeremy lin, you know him? probably heard of him. he had 17 points, 9 assists and all that he did by sitting out most of the fourth quarter. he may be facing his toughest test tonight when the knicks take on the miami heat.
there's a movie out about the 2008 election. it makes sarah palin look like a woman on the brink of a breakdown. the palin camp is not happy. they're blasting the film. >> i'm going to see that. so excited. also take a look at the picture. we showed this to you. it was remarkable. the school bus driver who got the kids off that bus was haled a hero, but now the entire state is telling the schools there to look under the hood of your buses. we'll explain what's going on there. l sleeping? l sleeping? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule. the first technology of its kind... mom and dad, i have great news. is now providing answers families need. siemens. answers.
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buffalo, new york. the charlotte news and observer. we'll begin there. north carolina officials, remember this moment? look at your tvs. when that bus caught fire. this woman was haled a hero. lindora richardson. she evacuated all the children off that bus and they watched as that happened. so they're inspecting the school buses now after the students and the driver were running for their lives. so the investigation revealed that the fire was likely caused by a wiring issue. the bus was built in 1999 by thomas built buses, that's the company. north carolina officials are ordering the school district to inspect all the thomas built buses from 1998 and 1999. i have to share this with you. i found this fascinating. at the time we had that story we said other buses had also caught fire. one of the local television stations there investigated the other fires around the state. they found that at least four or five buses that caught fire between 2010 and 2011 were these f 565 buses. although the company says, you
know, that they don't believe that those buses in particular have a problem. i'm shocked that they are just ordering this investigation now and not immediately after that fire happened. would you let your kids back on that bus? >> not on that one. i don't think that bus is ever going to drive again. >> that particular bus, right? >> yes. >> i would never do that. >> i think states and governments in general move at the pace of glaziers and molasses. >> but when children are involved. >> i think that they're ordering this investigation. i think that's a good thing. let's move you to buffalo right now because if you have ever gone on the maid of the mist cruise to niagara falls. remember, jim and pam got married on "the office." nobody? okay. maid den miz is a cool trip. it's something a lot of people do. if you're an american it might be hard to get that little cruise because there's some business going on. the tour company's been sold, actually, to an american outfitter and because it's been wrangling over a little spit of land, i love it that there's a
spit of land at niagara falls. it's a canadian spit. there's wrangling whether they can operate the american side of the tour. so you might have to go to canada to get your niagara falls tour. that's not such a bad thing because it's a great country. i'm just saying. i'm not biased. >> worried about those tours though. they make me nervous. >> those? >> they make me nervous. >> they don't go over -- >> you just never know, right? i would be the first. that would happen to me. no thank you. >> i can see you. >> i've been to niagara a million times. i watch it. i watch it from the edge. >> it feels safe. >> sorry, not doing it. 22 minutes past the hour. time to check your weather. rob marciano is in atlanta for us. good morning. >> guys, that is an intimidating amount of water. >> it is, isn't it? >> come on. this pour tour company. you don't get anywhere near the edge of the falls. you go under. >> i'll go repelling off mountains but not on that. >> plus the diplomacy between
canada. that tension is palpable. >> i don't know why this country allows canadians in here. i don't know what they're thinking. >> good morning, guys. watch this video coming out of colorado. we told you about the tremendous amount of wind that was in that area. wyoming, montana, idaho as well. take a look at the video coming through boulder especially. my goodness. kids at the bus stop couldn't stand up. that kid went flying. cars and trucks overturned. trees and power lines down throughout the low country of colorado. also on top of some of the mountain ridges. here are some of the numbers as far as what we saw in wyoming. 94 mile an hour wind gusts. lions, colorado, boulder, 98 mile per hour wind gusts. even the lowlands seeing some of that. that wind energy will be ejecting out towards the plains and in through the northeast. quick mover. it will have a lot of facets to it. one of which, not only the wind, the snow that's going to put a
strip of snow down across parts of the plains and into chicago. into the lower hand of michigan beginning tonight and through tomorrow morning could see as much as six to ten inches of snow in chicago proper. i suspect they'll be issuing winter storm warnings here. the southern part of this as it heads to the east it will be a severe weather threat. we had severe storms across the tennessee valley. we'll see it again tonight. isolated tornadoes with this. damaging wind will be the main threat. if you are traveling today, mostly tonight, chicago will see some delays and wind across parts of new york. the rain will begin to take shape for new york as well. all rain for the northeast. it will be a mild side of the storm. 41 degrees before the snows enter. by the way, it's snowing heavily right now in denver with that wind and warm temperatures yesterday, almost touching 60. right now it's 29 and snowing side ways. >> 60? really? 60? >> yeah. they had downsloping winds. it took things up 58 degrees officially. >> is that what they call a
shanook? >> there you go. another canadian term. >> i thought i would endear myself to you with that. >> nice work. there is this story that we hate to bring to you and yet every so often we have to. an 8-year-old girl shot and believe it or not the person in custody is another child. and believe it or not, the shooting happened at an elementary school. we're going to get you up to speed on how this went down. a federal judge in san francisco ruling same-sex spouses are entitled to health benefits. why the judge says the defense of marriage act is unconstitutional. you are watching "early start."
28 minutes past 5:00 a.m. and she's already singing. >> i am. >> look at you. >> yeah. >> 1:00 in the morning is your rise time and you're already cheery. >> always. i like getting up early in the morning. 1:00 is a little early. still. it beats the alternative, being in a bad, foul mood. how would i greet you that way? >> i greet our security guard every day at 1:30 or 2:30 in the morning and he looks at me like its i'm nuts. >> he says good morning to me. >> maybe it's because i'm nuts. i'm ashleigh banfield, everyone. >> i'm zoraida sambolin. >> we've been talking about ourselves. let's talk about the top stories. the tense moments at the final gop debate before arizona and michigan on super tuesday are leading into the big battle. mitt romney was fighting with his latest challenger, rick santorum, over government spending and a whole bunch of our arcane stuff.
lots of people didn't understand. both candidates are locked in a tight race for the next two states. and a day after the deaths of two western journalists in syria, including marie colvin on the left, there's a report in britain's telegraph newspaper that suggests, guess what, the military may be targeting specifically targeting foreign journalists. the report cites communications between army officers pledging to, quote, kill any journalists setting foot on syrian soil. an 8-year-old girl is shot and another child is in police custody after a shooting at an elementary school in washington. here's what police say happened. they say a little boy brought a gun to school in his backpack. that gun apparently went off accidentally towards the end of the school day and the bullet struck the little girl in the abdomen. she was rushed right away into surgery and this morning we are told that she is in critical condition. and some changes to a
controversial virginia bill requiring women to have ultrasounds prior to undergoing an abortion. the bill still requires the ultrasounds but lawmakers now changing it so that only the less intrusive abdominal ultra sounds are used. and a federal judge in san francisco ruling that the u.s. government cannot deny health benefits to spouses and same-sex couples. marriages, excuse me. the defense of marriage act is unconstitutional and violates equal protection of the law. and this morning, the "l.a. times" reporting in a rare conference call a group of sarah palin supporters blasted the upcoming hbo movie "game change." it's about the 2008 election. they say it's a false portrait and portrays palin in a harsh and unfair light. "game change" premieres march 10th. >> it's an hbo thing. i can't wait to see this.
>> just like "iron lady" came in on both sides of the fence. a lot of critics. >> that was good. >> i know. all right. so the latest debate before the contests that could change it all. i think would he have' said that almost before every contest, by the way. it was really -- >> because it does, right? it goes up and down, up and down? >> the political roller coaster. so exciting. mitt romney versus rick santorum. there were four on the stage, those two really going at it. it really comes at a crucial time for mitt romney too. >> yeah. in case you missed it, we have a lot of people weighing in this morning. republican strategist mat keelin is joining us, penny lee and anna palmer, money and politics reporter for politico. penny, thanks for joining us, i know you got up nice and early. penny, i'll begin with you. politico says that the debate drew blood. romney and santorum were fighting each other. we've played a lot of highlights. listen to them attack each other and then we'll talk about it.
>> we came to the federal government asking for help on transportation and security. i was fighting for those things. our games were successful. while i was fighting to save the olympics you were fighting to save the bridge to nowhere. >> don't go around bragging about something you have to do. michael dukakis balanced the budget for ten years. does that make him qualified to be president of the united states? i don't think so. >> who got in the most damage do you think? >> oh, man. that was like a wwf there. the problem is that neither one of them looked presidential. that was what the occasion would have asked for is that can they be presidential? both of them have been shrinking the mud on their negative ads, going out there back and forth. this is the chance to lift the debate and neither one of them did this. they got into washington speak, whether or not an earmark is or whether or not it belongs on a bill or not. so disappointing. so disappointing that they could not lift. i say that disappointing, but at the same time we have a president going forth with an
agenda and putting out a strong plan. we want to say let the mud fighting continue, but really for the american people it was a disappointing debate. >> matt and anna, matt, i'll begin with you, who do you actually think came out a winner? >> i think romney probably won the night because he's blunted santorum's surge. we've seen different people pop up to take romney on as the front-runner. >> how did he blunt his surge? >> i think that santorum got off message last night. he had to go on defensive. aspeny was saying, both guys are on the attack and the american people are looking for somebody that has a positive vision up against barack obama's, so the longer this thing goes on i think the more the president is actually benefitting. >> anna, you know what, i'll have you weigh in on something else. contraception is still something we're talking about. santorum had to defend funding title 10 which is a family planning act for low income and ininsured patients. let's listen and we'll talk about it. >> i think i was making it clear that while i have a personal
moral objection to it even though i don't support it, that i voted for bills that included it. and i made it very clear in subsequent interviews that i don't support that. i've never supported it, and on an individual basis have voted against it. >> big boos on that one. and defending no child left behind. so do you think perhaps now he's going to get the mantle of flip-flopper? "the new york times" said it sounded i voted for it before i voted against it. will it stick? >> i think he has a hard time now kind of going back and forth, particularly as you come up to this next primary kind of convincing people that what he says now is what he believes. kind of goes back to what romney's been dealing with for a long time on the campaign trail. >> i have a final question for the three of you. my rule here is a one word answer. our john king asked the candidates in one word to describe themselves. who are's what they said.
consistent, courage, res so he lurt, cheerful. so now i ask you, i thought it was an unusual debate. one word to describe last night's debate. no caveats. no explanations. i'll begin with you, penny. >> no one said conservative. that was the missing word. >> matt? >> stalemate. >> and anna? >> no winners. >> that's two words. thank you. you're going to join us again at 6:00. i appreciate it. still to come on "early start", what do you think would happen if the assad regime failed in syria? specifically, the chemical weapons that they have. we'll have a live report that just may shock you as to what it would take to get those under control. also, some very threatening letters claim to go have pathogens in them sent to lawmakers and the media. ain't the first time, folks. hollywood's big night coming in three days.
but what's the latest gorilla stunt plan by actor cohen. turns out he wants to walk the red carpet kind of like gadhafi. how do you think that's going to go over? what do you think the academy has to say about that? find out. you're watching "early start." but with advair, i'm breathing better so now i can take the lead on a science adventure. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator, working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair.
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it is 40 minutes past the hour. welcome back to "early start." the shelling of homs continues almost nonstop in syria. american journalist marie colvin and french photographer remi oscleet killed yesterday. the syrian government denies any responsibility. it says journalists entered its territory at their own risk. >> the u.s. military beginning to weigh its options should bashar al-assad and all of his so called henchmen fall. the analysts are suggesting that
tens of thousands of troops would be needed on the ground to secure the chemical sites that syria has throughout that country. cnn's barbara starr is live in washington with some of this exclusive information. barbara, i was reading some of the notes that you've been disseminating throughout cnn. i was absolutely astounded not only at the amount of chemical weaponry that syria has been able to amass but also at what it would take to try to contain this. >> reporter: it would be really a significant challenge, ashleigh. good morning. the u.s. military is looking at these options to be ready in case the president were to ask for them. they don't sit around and wait. they like to have it ready to go. would it really happen? what they're saying basically is syria has one of the largest chemical weapons programs in the world. dozens of sites spread across the country. what happens if the assad regime falls? if those chemical weapons are not secure. the military says it might take
tens of thousands, maybe 75,000 troops even to secure those chemical weapon sites. that means if they were to go into the middle of a civil war in what they call a non-permissive, hostile environment. the question is would this really happen in the military -- the u.s. military is very clear, they are lock step with the president, of course. they want to see a diplomatic solution to the situation in syria. the u.s. position is they want diplomacy, pressure on assad to go. they don't want it to get to this point. it's still very telling that people are looking at the possible worst case scenario. >> barbara, i don't know if you can answer this question, but what is the concern exactly here, that if the assad regime falls, that those members of his military and members of the executive would be able to make off with those weapons or is it that perhaps the opposition might end up being less friendly than we think they are? >> reporter: well, you know, that's the big question. what would happen?
look at it this way, right now the c.i.a. assesses that the syrian regime forces are in control of the chemical weapon sites, that they are being guarded by syrian forces, but what if the situation got even worse than it already is and the syrian forces either walked away from the facilities or the assad regime falls and there is no control over them? you have a very fractured opposition. you already have very credible reports that al qaeda operatives are inside of syria. and you have hezbollah. a lot of concern that iranian-backed hezbollah that operates in that region and in syria would get its hands on some of this, take it across the boarder, and the ultimate doomsday scenario. had hezbollah got its hands on these chemical weapons, what new threat could that pose to israel? these are all the doomsday scenarios.
military commanders are very well paid to look at those types of scenarios and figure out what to do about them. >> quickly before i let you go, is there any word in the pentagon about assad potentially doing what saddam hussein is, and that is use chemical weapons on his own people in homs and the other communities that are being shelled. >> reporter: you know, when you ask this very serious question the answer you get is, you know, a deep breath and certainly he has to realize that would be the end, that the international community, including russia, which currently supports assad, in that type of doomsday scenario they would move very quickly. that's what they don't want to see happen. >> it's sickening. just a sickening prospect. barbara starr, excellent, excellent reporting. thank you. ashleigh, we touched on this earlier. the growing danger that foreign journalists are facing right now in syria after american marie colvin and remi were killed. the protester paid tribute to the journalists in homs. that is a place where they were
killed in that shelling attack. reports say the syrian regime denies any responsibility for their deaths. you're seeing they're paying tribute on your screen. officials say they sneaked into the country and they knew it was at their own risk. marie colvin's mother talked to cnn about her daughter's commitment as a war correspondent. >> died doing what was really, really important to her. she said she needed one more day to finish the story, it was a big story. she needed one more day and she would come out today. one day we missed. from the time she was a little child she was committed to doing things that were important. i'm going to miss her so much. and i just hope we can bring her home one more time. doesn't look good. >> wow. all right. coming up in our 8:00 hour on "starting point", soledad
o'brien will talk to rosemarie colvin. she'll be here to share her thoughts. tough to watch that. >> that's tough to know that she's having trouble even recovering the body of her own daughter from that war zone. brutal story all around. coming around, more deaths in the cantelope lysteria deaths. is your child having problems with scoring poorly on tests. how an ipad could help you and help your child to increase those scores. you're watching "early start." you know, i have done something worthwhile. when i earned my doctorate through university of phoenix, that pride, that was on my face. i am jocelyn taylor, i am committed to making a difference in peoples lives and i am a phoenix.
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your city looks really fantastic this morning. >> i bet eight mile's looking just as nice. 49 minutes past 5:00. time to get you caught up on news. the debate last night, it was on cnn. and rick santorum's spending and voting record was under fire at the final gop debate before the key primaries in arizona, michigan, and all of them super tuesday states coming along as well. mitt romney leading the attack. and kind of hoping to pull away, especially in michigan, his home state. also making news, the jury in the university of virginia lacrosse murder case says 26 years would be appropriate in prison for george huguely. this is after he was found guilty by that jury of second degree murder in the death of his ex-girlfriend, yeardley love. and two more deaths have been linked to last year's nationwide list steer yeah outbreak from contaminated cantaloupes. that brings the death toll to 32. cdc says that the number could
go up as well depending on how many more deaths are officially attributed to the outbreak and not to previous medical conditions instead. and officials say threatening letters claiming to contain dangerous pathogens have been sent to u.s. lawmakers and to media companies. house speaker john boehner's office reportedly received mail with a powder ji substance that turned out to be harmless. the fbi is currently testing other letters they have. sasha cohen having a run with the oscar police. the academy's not happy that the actor wants to walk the red carpet dressed not like that, but it's a character from his new movie, "the dictator." the red carpet's not a place for promotional stunlts. if he doesn't oblige, cohen will not be allowed to attend. don't they know that's what he does? >> everybody else likes to do the stunting too. new study found kindergarten students who used ipads in the classroom scored better in every single literacy measure that they were tested on.
researchers say it's not just about the test scores. the students were also more motivated and excited about learning. here's what i'm trying to do. i'm trying to see who funded that study so i could share that information. >> i talked to experts that say the more time a child spends in front of a screen, the more detrimental it is to the capacity to learn. so that's an intriguing little counter point. >> they say before the year of 3 you shouldn't even have tv. >> i think they put that number up to older kids. would every' trying to get that. >> it's so difficult as parents of kids because i have heard both sides of that study. do not put your child in front of a tv screen. it is critical. it is detrimental. other studies that have said, no, we've determined there's absolutely nothing to tnchts the american academy of pediatrics is very firm on their position on this. >> remember baby einstein. >> american academy of pediatrics, they don't budge on that one. still ahead, the hits and misses from last night's gop debate held right here on cnn. did the roller coaster race take another turn? is there some agenda behind
those yummy little cookies that the girl scouts sell? there is a lawmaker who says yes and going after the girl scouts. full on, calling them a radical organization that promotes abortions. really? these are comments that have people in his own party laughing, but does he have a point and where does he get his info? i'll give you a hint. the internet. back in a moment. i am loving this greek yogurt. i like yoplait. it is yoplait. but you said it was greek. mmhmm. so is it greek or is it yoplait? exactly. okay... [ female announcer ] yoplait. it is so greek. your doctor will say get smart about your weight. that's why there's new glucerna hunger smart shakes. they have carb steady, with carbs that digest slowly to help minimize blood sugar spikes. [ male announcer ] new glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes. it's got 10 speeds, my friend. ♪ is it fast?
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so we like to keep you in the pop culture loop by getting you all up to speed on what's trending on the interwebs and social media. let's get you to a yahoo story. there's a lawmaker in indiana who says that the girl scouts are radical, that they promote abortion, and that they promote homosexuality. this is him. it's republican representative bob morris. he's a state representative. he is not backing down either. he just says to all of us, go on the internet. i did my research. he said the scouts are encouraged to look up roll models who endorse feminist, lesbian and communist agendas. the critics need at the do more research by doing the google. he's pulled his daughters out and said that they were in the girl scouts but he decided the girl scouts were, instead, not promoting the conservative christian values that he would have liked to see his daughters ascribe to. of course, the organizations
behind planned parenthood who are accused of being a part of this saying we have nothing to do with the girl scouts. a lot of critics are saying this is balderdash. >> i was on a path to becoming a girl scout. >> i was a browny. loved it. from google we have the olympics. get it? olinpics. get it? talk about whether jeremy lin should be added to the u.s. basketball team with all of his success? what do you think? they're saying maybe next time. team u.s.a. chairman tells "time magazine" that jeremy lin has not paid his dues yet. that was jerry colangelo saying that. he says if lin keeps playing at a high level he'll very likely receive an invite to join the u.s. select team which acts as a kind of indoctrination to the olympic program for younger players. some people say he should go play for china. i don't believe that's going to happen.
>> what are all the sports fans saying they're not going to win against miami? >> of course they are. >> look at you. of course they are. not even an issue. >> i'm wearing my t-shirt. >> here's the next story. i love this one. i am always on a diet. little itty bitty one has -- >> that's because i don't eat like you eat, ashleigh. >> i'm all about the bacon, egg and cheese. little magic pill, apparently. it's supposed to peel off the pounds. it's the first one in a long time in fact that's being released as a diet pill. is it magic? is there anything to this that you need to be concerned about? we're going to fill you in. a gop debate last night on cnn. rick santorum versus mitt romney. the moments, the issues that you will be talking about today. you're watching "early start." eating right, whole grain. [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios... five whole grains, 110 calories.
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and a very good morning to you. it is a very early start. i'm ashleigh banfield. >> i'm zaraida sambolin. five days to the michigan primaries. against the latest challenger sitting at the top rick santorum trying to end his losing streak. jury finally came to a decision, dut it really didn't take long. this young man george huguly a second degree murderer. the jury has recommended against a maximum sentence, but wait till you hear how long they think he should be behind bars.
a lot of talk about the diet pill getting the nod now. safety concerns for women who want to become pregnant and also concern for the safety for your heart, as well. baby you can drive my car, you just have to fill it up because i'm not going to pay for your gas at 6 bucks a gallon in some places. it is a reality. don't worry, though. it's not necessarily 6 where you are. but up another three cents as you slept overnight. can somebody stop the spike in the price at the pump. >> if they could, i'm sure they would. the dual in the desert. big debate held here last night with john king. five days until michigan and arizona and rick santorum getting his turn at the top. will he stay there is the big question. >> i'm not so sure he pulled it off. in fact, a lot of people were saying it was a big fizzle. depends, though. depends on how you feel what they were talking about.
in mitt romney's home state, michigan, they were watching like hawks because he was talking about auto bailout there and pushing on the earmarks issue and both guys were going after each other on their records with people's money and their votes in congress and while they were governor, et cetera. sometimes the crowd was applauding and cheering and sometimes the crowd was actually booing. so, if you missed it, we have the highlights for you. have a look. >> while i was fighting to save the olympics, you were fighting to save the bridge to no where. >> you're entitled to your opinions. >> i heard that line before. >> misrepresent the facts. and you're misrepresenting the facts. you don't know what you're talking about. >> balance the budget for four years and constitutional requirement to balance the budget for four years. i'm all for -- i'd like to see it federally. don't go around bragging about something you have to do. michael dukakis balanced the budget for ten years. does that make him qualified to be president of the united
states? i don't think so. >> did you see them sitting beside each other and not standing at podiums? this is something new. "new york times" characterized it that they seem like squirmy school children crunched into classroom desks. paul steinhauser not only watched it, but getting up, not even close to the crack of dawn. >> not even close. >> in australia they say there is a tall poppy syndrome. is that really what we see here with rick santorum and his performance last night? >> yeah, you know, for the first time in 20 debates he was the man in the midal and he did get some whacking from romney. it was a good one to go out. we had drama, we had conflict and centered on santorum and romney forced santorum to defend
himself and santorum's support of no child left behind and planned parenthood funding and support of arlen specter back in 2004 and romney also pointed out this to rick santorum, take a listen. >> let's not forget that four years ago, well after romney care was put in place, four years ago, not only endorsed me, and this is the guy who is really conservative and we can trust him. >> there you go. take that, rick santorum. listen, i spoke to a top santorum aide after the debate was over and he said, listen, not my candidate's best debate but nobody hit a home run, they were not that concerned, ashleigh. >> not only that, paul, but you had to sort through all the big hits last night and while it was a lot of fun to watch and actually a bit of a puzzle, do you think that what they did will actually resonate with the
average guy out there? will they get it? will romney say, hey, i kind of hit it out of the park? >> you know what, romney did not have his best performance. that is definitely the case. he didn't have any big screw ups either. that was enough. his job of taking santorum down was successful enough. he didn't have to raise the bar that high. he took a page out of newt gingrich's playbook. listen to this. >> we have to restore america's promise in this country where people know with hard work and education that they're secure and prosperous. for that to happen, dramatic, fundamental change in washington, d.c. create more jobs and have less debt and shrink the size of government. i'm the only person in this place -- >> the question is misconception. >> you know, you get to ask the questions you want and i get to give the answers i want. >> fair enough. >> take that, john king. you know, newt gingrich was successful going after the
moderators and mitt romney did that last night with our john king. romney advisors were pretty happy after the debate was over saying they are confident and they'll win michigan and arizona. let's be honest, newt gingrich had a good debate and was it enough to get him back in the game? that's debatable. >> always a popular strategy to take a hit when you can at the media. they got that one in there, by the way. i believe john king trumps all of us in super wonking us. >> hands down, he sure does. >> paul steinhauser, thanks for getting up so early. good to see you. eight minutes past the hour. george huguely convicted of second degree murder in yeardley love. paul callan is here. paul, second degree murder and facing 26 years in prison. are you surprised by the
verdict? >> no, i'm not surprised by the verdict. it essentially was a compromise by the jury. the prosecutor was seeking murder one, which would have meant life in prison. the defense was hoping for manslaught manslaughter, which could have meant as little as ten years in prison and the jury found middle ground and they found, basically, intentional murder. when he struck her and beat her in the room and left her to die that he knew that he was killing her and that was the ultimate conclusion of the jury here. >> you know, when we listen to the details of this murder case, you know, we discuss all the legal issues all the time, but a family here lost a daughter, lost a sister. do we have any reaction from them? >> there has been a reaction and i thought, ashleigh, mr. chatman the prosecutor said it all. there were no winners in this case. there was tragedy on both sides. a tragedy for the huguely family and a horrible, horrible tragedy for the love family and ultimately huguly will spend
most of the rest of his life in prissen and this wonderful daughter that the love family had is gone. so, you know, this is just a horrible tragedy for all concerned. >> there's some talk from huguely's lawyer that they're looking forward to some corrections in what happened here. that's what they're looking for. what legal options does he have? >> well, huguely's lawyer is hinting that he will take an appeal in the sentence. the judge will sentence huguely in april and he can sentence him up to the amount recommended by the jury, which is 26 years in prison and later there will be an appeal. i don't know that there's a lot to reverse this case on. one of the criticisms may have been that the prosecutor got a little too emotional in his summation. he actually cried in front of the jury. something you almost never see a prosecutor do. i'm sure there will be a claim that he ejected too much emotion
causing the jury to reach the wrong verdict and that is a hard road to follow. strong evidence for the prosecution here and a threat to kill by huguely the day before. huguely was a trained lacrosse player and a very, very big guy who knows how to be violent and he used that violence against yeardley love. >> there's adequate evidence to support this conviction. i doubt you'll see a reversal of this. >> paul callan, thanks for coming in early with us. 11 minutes past 6:00. we always talk about the magic pill that will melt off all the pounds. you can eat all the pizza you want and still not suffer when you step on the scale. but the pill was rejected once. so, why is it safe now? >> that's a good question. we'll try to find the answer to that. first, a quick check of your travel forecast. rob marciano live for us in
atlanta. >> pretty active weather pattern shaping up. take a look at these numbers. 90 plus in wyoming and colorado. not just the higher elevations but some of the low country, as well. 88-mile-per-hour gusts in boulder and some of these levels a lot of wind damage and roads closed because of that. that wind energy comes into the plains today and another front of severe weather across the eastern third and also a decent amount of snow forecast for parts of the high plains and the western great lakes. some of our computer models predicting four to six to eight inches of snow just north of omaha, but chicago you could see six to ten inches of snow by this time tomorrow morning. temperatures will be cooling there, 41 degrees in chicago. be on the warm side in new york. all rain when it gets to you tomorrow night. "early start" coming right back. . that's why there's new glucerna hunger smart shakes.
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mitt romney battling with his latest super challenger, rick santorum over spending and voting and just about anything else they could come up with. both the candidates having to awkwardly sit next to each other are locked in a pretty darn tight race for the next two states. also making news, this one is really intriguing. the u.s. envoy is meeting with north korean officials today. not happening there, it's happening in beijing. but nonetheless, they'll discuss whether north korea is willing to suspend its nuclear program. officials are also going to be talking about human rights and humanitarian issues. good luck with that. bankruptcy judge is approving some $370,000 in bonuses. yeah, you're seeing the sign on your screen saying solyndra for nearly two dozen employees at that controversial company. the solar panel company that got $500 million loan before it went
ahead and declared bankruptcy and some of those same employees who were about to get the bonuses approved by a judge just got pay raises of up to 70%. that should get your blood boiling. there could soon be a new diet drug on the market. the first new diet drug in 13 years and it's called. we have an expert to weigh in on this. dr. lewis doctor of the comprehensive weight loss program at cornell medical center. thank you for joining us this morning, we appreciate it. >> good morning. >> good morning. first, we want to talk about the results and then talk about the possible side effects here. there were some clinical trials. what were the results in terms of weight loss? >> the studies presented to the fda were in more than 3,000 and showed that the average person lost about 10% of their body weight. that's a really good result for
medical treatment of obesity. >> so, this is not the first time that the drug has been up for approval. a company behind it submitted the drug to the fda back in 2010. back then it was actually rejected. what has changed? >> several things have changed. first of all and on individuals who are not making any progress by telling people to eat less and exercise more and, secondly, the only options we have beyond that are surgical. so, we've got to do something else. the second thing is, there's new data. up to two-year data showing that it's effective out to two years and there's a good safety profile. >> but there are some risks. i was reading risks to women who potentially want to have children and then something about a risk to the heart. >> well, when we look at the
safety in women who could be having a child. something where a strong education program and limited distribution can prevent that from happening. only certain pharmacies will carry it and those pharmacists will be instructed who can get it and they won't give it to women who could potentially have a problem with it. as far as the heart issues are concerned, it lowers heart issues and have many beneficial effects but the fda has recommended that an outcome study where we look at how people do in the long run. do they have heart attacks, strokes, that will be done once the drug is approved. >> i thought i read something about heart palpitations. >> some side effects like that that may be seen. in general, the overall cardiovascular profile is beneficial. one of the outcomes of the study is looking at do people have
heart attacks or strokes? people who lost 10% more weight than the group that got a placebo pill had fewer heart attacks and strokes. >> an fda advisory panel that approved this. it's not on market right away. when do you think it could make it to market? >> the fda has to make the final decision and that's going to take at least two months. and after that, it may take a few more months. so, i wouldn't expect it for at least three to six months and then it could be available. but this is not something that you're just going to go to your local pharmacy and get. >> thank you very much, thanks for coming in this morning. >> thank you. still ahead, the hits and the misses from last night's cnn gop debate. did the roller coaster ride take another turn? brand-new concerns over whitney houston's daughter,
bobbi kristina. reports that her drug problems are "out of control." you're watching "early start." [ technician ] are you busy? management just sent over these new technical manuals. they need you to translate them into portuguese. by tomorrow. [ male announcer ] ducati knows it's better for xerox to manage their global publications. so they can focus on building amazing bikes. with xerox, you're ready for real business.
that's the lowest since november of 2001. >> i don't know that i always believe them. not always so accurate. >> you know who you do believe, ms. christine romans. >> i believe everything christine romans says, especially when you have a data wall to back you up. >> i have a data wall with lots of different sources of data. we can really make sure we cover our bases here. >> is it a great thing because you can buy a house cheaper. >> depends if you're a buyer or seller and depends on where in the country you live. all real estate is local. i want to show you what it looks like. remember, we were all in shock from september 1 1th, a decade ago. the whole world was a different place then and that's where home prices are now. you look at this chart, you can see where we have come from the peak in prices in 2007 when you had prices that were well over $200,000 on average for the price of a house and now more like $154,000, that is real money that has hurt people. let's look at where things are going now.
this is where i'll bring in zillow. so, 2011, according to zillow home prices down 4.7% and 2012, almost another 4%. real estate is so wildly different. i want to break this down and show you according where prices are still falling. places like atlanta another 8% drop. zoraida, prices down about 8%. cleveland, sacramento, minneapolis, st. paul. these are parts of the country where home prices are still falling. let's look where things appear to be bottoming out. places like dallas ft. worth, san diego, pittsburgh, miami ft. lauderdale probably won't lose any more ground and then you look at places where prices are rising. where the bottom is probably in and things are getting a little bit better.
how about baltimore, maryland, phoen phoenix, which has had a huge crisis there in housing and foreclosure. there are a few places, los angeles and washington, d.c., where prices are starting to move a little bit higher. but, again, it's been a very tough road, but many people are saying that with home prices so low and mortgage rates at rock bottom, a good time to buy if you're in the right position. >> i still wanted to know where new york is on there. >> let me look, new york, new york. >> i always love new york prices. it's always fun to watch. >> down 1.7%. >> wow. >> i would call that on the cusp between bottoming out and still a little bit weak. >> there you go. thanks for that. you are fast. that's little print. small print. you don't even wear glasses. >> dean went to it with the camera and then i follow like a little puppy. let's talk about money and politics and how they have been battling it out, especially last
night. the candidates just hammering each other at the cnn debate. newt gingrich even going so far to push the president for supporting what he said was legalized and fante. is that fair? michael jordan suing a chinese company for identity theft. you are watching "early start." ] don't just moisturize. improve the health of your skin with aveeno daily moisturizing lotion. the natural oatmeal formula goes beyond 24-hour moisture. it's clinically proven to improve your skin's health in one day, with significant improvement in 2 weeks. for healthy, beautiful skin that lasts. i found a moisturizer for life. [ female announcer ] daily moisturizing lotion. and for healthy hair every day, try new pure renewal hair care, with balancing seaweed extract. only from aveeno.
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hoping to pull ahead, again. george huguely is waiting sentencing for the death of yeardley love. a jury has recommended 26 years in prison. a judge will decide his fate in april. a connecticut hospital worker is in custody this morning for allegedly shooting two supervisors. police say it happened after a disciplinary dispute. the shooting victims are reported in serious, but stable condition. some changes to a controversial virginia bill requiring women to have ultrasounds prior to undergoing an abortion. the bill still requires that the ult ultrasounds happen, but at least lawmakers now say they're changing it so only the less intrusive abdominal ultrasounds are used. eight more bodies found in the wreckage of that italian cruise ship that ran aground. that means now 25 people are confirmed dead, 7 people still missing. italian authorities have now expanded their investigation
and, guess what, seven more ship employees are now expected of manslaughter, ship wreck and failing to alert authorities. michael jordan, superstar, now suing a chinese sporting goods company for using his good name to sell shoes. but not his official shoes. along with his number, 23, apparently jordan says this is not about the money, about principal and protecting his good name and his brand. it is 32 minutes after the hour the latest debate right here on cnn. >> you couldn't miss it. mitt romney versus rick santorum is what the headline really comes out to be. by the way, if you look at the front page of "new york times" the two guys. four on stage, but the two guys were really the headlines. and it really comes at a crucial time for mitt romney, as well. he's just trying to recapture all that mojo he was getting
leading up to all of this. the mojo. is his mojo rising especially with endorsements. matt is joining and penny lee and anna palmer money and politics reporter for politico. first things first, guys, we have another endorsement rolling in for mitt romney and it's where he needs it, in michigan. where he was born and grew up. this one is the "detroit free press" giving and this follows yesterday's detroit news endorsement. but, matt, did the endorsements matter at this point and have they mattered along the way? >> ashleigh, i don't think endorsements from newspapers are a big deal. some local politicians are a bigger endorser and mitt romney needs to get the momentum back and start taking the race to the president instead of santorum and the other republicans. >> so, a lot of us were wondering what kind of fireworks
and sparky moments might actually recapture momentum for any of these four. i want to play this particular moment. this is where mitt romney was going hard at earmarks with rick santorum, have a peek. >> our games are successful. fighting to save the olympics, you were fighting to save the bridge to no where. >> penny lee, just a quick snippet, but you get the idea. do you think that was a little home run. >> it was a great sound bite. why did mitt romney who wants to run as the outside washington get into a debate about the process of earmarks for goodness sakes. that just, you know, put him into places that he never should have been. again, he missed an opportunity to lift the debate and actually speak to the american people about his vision. he has a 59-point vision to take this country in a direction on economics. didn't mention it once. instead, he got into this verbal
battle and really lost an opportunity. >> anna, jump in on that. is it fair to call you a super wonk, as well? you must have been in your element watching this stuff last night. for the average guy out there, they're probably like, ear what? voting records on who? why aren't these guys telling me like it is? >> i think it was a real missed opportunity. first, there was no love loss between romney and santorum and really on voting and how many votes it takes to get a supreme court, you know, nominee. those things aren't going to win voters at the polls next week. >> let me play this other little moment. this might be more of what some of the average guys respond to. it's when the audience responds. sometimes cheering, sometimes booing. this is a moment when rick santorum was trying to fend off the attacks of support at one point for title x and have a listen to how he tried to sort of push back against mitt
romney. >> i think i was making it clear why i have a personal objection to it even though i don't support it i voted for bills that included it and i made it clear in subsequent interviews that i don't support that. i never supported it. and on an individual basis, have voted against it. >> matt, you know, he made a good point and, yet, that audience, which is primarily made up of republicans and a bunch of journalists still booed. is that where it is at when you hedge a little and have to fudge around something and you get a, i'm not buying it. >> sounded a lot john kerry back in 2004 and as penny said earlier, they got into the weeds of policy debates and the average voter looks at this thing and says, tell me how you're going to make my life better over the next four years and not earmarks and how you voted for this and you didn't
mean to vote for that. get back to the substance of taking on the president and they're going to continue to see their negatives go up. >> anybody want, you can all chime in at once. any winners, yes or no? >> yes. >> barack obama. >> well, i wasn't expecting that, but, okay, i'll take that. >> his numbers keep going up, the more debates are out there. >> isn't that funny how you're the democrat on the panel. >> go figure. >> penny and matt and anna, thanks for getting up with us. 37 minutes past the hour. whitney houston's only daughter reportedly in a bad way. a new "us weekly" story says "she is facing out of control problems." the "us weekly" senior editor is going to join us and tell us why family members are very concerned about this young girl.
it is 40 minutes past the hour and there are new concerns this morning about the health and welfare about whitney houston's only child. according to some reports family members are pretty worried about 18-year-old bobbi kristina brown. >> sources tell "us magazine" that bobbi's problems are out of control. that story is in the new issue. joining us this morning, bradley jacobs senior editor at "us weekly." thank you for getting up early with us this morning. we have gotten some glimpses of bobbi since her mother's death. i'll put one up here. probably the one we have seen the most. this shot of her actually going
to the funeral. we heard a lot of stories about her and she was hospitalized a couple times after her mother's death. what do you know about her health and state of mind? >> she has been out of the picture and living her life in los angeles with her mother. she hasn't been around sissy and now the family is realizing they are having problems. her mother wanted her to get help and that was a big source of tension between them. also, whitney and bobbi kristina always behaved more like girlfriends than mother and daughter which contributed to their kind of strange dynamic. >> there were some reports that she disappeared after the fu funer funeral. that she did not attend the post funeral dinner. some folks said she was found in a hotel room, perhaps doing drugs.
what do you know about that? >> there was a daily beast report and two sources saying that she did disappear to do drugs afterward and that she couldn't be reached. her cell phone was turned off. the family has disputed that. what is not in dispute is that bobbi kristina has a lot of issues and problems that she's going through for a while. she'd like to emulate her parents' lifestyle. she saw her parents doing drugs and she, you know, wanted to live that lifestyle. she had aspirations to be a musician and actress like her mom. it's been troubling in the family and they've been urging her to get help for a long time. >> you mention she's 18 years old and turning 19 actually in march. is somebody in her family trying to take control? and can they, given her age? >> well, she is almost 19, as you say. i mean, she's an adult and she can do what she wants. you know, she was very close with her mom. she is, you know, she does see
her dad. there were pictures bobby brown, whitney and bobbi kristina out to dinner in beverly hills just a week before whitney died. she is in contact with them. of course, we all know about the houston family. they're a big family, they're important and warm family and i think that bobbi kristina has been here and the funeral, of course, since all this happened with her mom and they're doing their best to look after her, but she is an adult and she can behave as she chooses. >> bradley jacobs, senior editor "us weekly" thank you for your time this morning. time to get you caught up on the top stories if you're trying to make your way out the door. the final four in the gop presidential race. here on cnn before the next crucial wave of primaries and caucuses, including big old super tuesday, which is right around the corner. mitt romney and rick santorum just going at it. taxes, spending, voting, as they
battle for michigan and arizona, two big prizes. at least 29 people were killed overnight in baghdad in a series of terror attacks. there has been no claims of responsibility yet, but authorities in iraq say the wave of bombings and shootings appear to be a coordinated effort by militants there. and the jury in the university of virginia lacrosse murder case has recommended 26 years for that young man george huguely. he was found guilty of the lesser count of second degree murder in the killing of his ex-girlfriend, yeardley love. 19 students and alumni from the university of california davis is suing the school over that right there, remember that? the campus crackdown on occupy protests last fall. campus police pepper sprayed the sitting protesters who had set up an occupy camp back in november. utah senate approved tougher tanning laws. they passed a bill requiring
minors to have parental permission for each visit to a tanning salon. the bill now goes to the house. >> snooki will not go to utah. tonight linsanity meets lebron and the new york knicks star jeremy lin is taking his talents to south beach now where the knicks meet lebron james and the miami heat. can't wait to see what happens there. >> he's a big deal. >> which one? >> yeah, i know, right. who's going to get more ink. >> one is more of a proven deal than the other one. soledad o'brien, gets all that press for all the fabulous reporting. hey, look, your interviews get traction, my girl. >> i was trying to decide if i thought lebron james is, you know, i don't know, that's a tough matchup. coming up at the top of the hour, 15 minutes or so on "starting point" we're going to be remembering a fearless war correspondent. she was killed while telling the world about the horrors that were unfolding in front of her in syria.
we'll talk to her mother live this morning. also can you kick the habit cold turkey? apparently, there's a pill for that. dr. sanjay gupta will join us to talk about addiction. "early start" is back right after this commercial break. metamucil uses super hard working psyllium fiber, which gels to remove unsexy waste and reduce cholesterol. taking psyllium fiber won't make you a model but you should feel a little more super. metamucil. down with cholesterol.
good morning, orlando. katy perry is waking you up with "part of me." orlando, you look a little cloudy. >> it's hazy because they will have isolated storms but 86 degrees. there's that trade off. >> i'll take the 86 degrees. 50 minutes past the hour. president obama will address the sky rocketing gas prices later today. right now gas prices are the highest they've ever been in february and we all know they're getting higher. >> i get sick of hearing that. aaa says they jumped more than 3 cents just as you were sleeping. good morning. there is talk of the prices going up another 20 cents by monday.
yeah. there's that for your weekend to contemplate. in orlando, florida, they're already paying $6 a gallon at one station there. and there are new fears that higher gasoline costs could affect the economy and the outcome of the presidential election, as well. man, oh, man, jim lacamp. it's a good thing you're here with us today because a lot of people are jumping at their pitch forks and they want to go somewhere and complain to someone. so, who should they be complaining to, jim? >> actually, it's a perfect storm, ashleigh, because a lot of reasons why oil and gasoline prices are going up and a lot of people point to concerns about israel and iran or the fact that there's sanctions on iran that ships out a lot of oil. increase demand from around the world like places like asia and the middle east. fact of the matter is, we have ultralow interest rates, not only here, but around the world.
when you have ultra low interest rates, what happens is unfortunately small business owners and medium size business owners that you'd like to see take advantage of that aren't. they don't have enough demand to justify increasing their loans. what we're seeing happen is big institutions and speculations and hedge funds are using ultralow interest rates to borrow money to buy things like oil and gas and silver and gold and other commodities and that's driving the price up. so, even though -- >> you kind of lost me there. you're so incredibly smart. you did lose me there for a bit. are you telling me they're kind of doing some hedge investing. borrowing money to invest in oil and gas. >> yes. what we're seeing happen is that ultralow interest rates are designed to boost the economy. they are driving up the prices of commodity. the way that it works is edge funds and speculators and even pension plans are saying, look,
we can borrow money very cheaply and use that money to invest in things that might go up in value or go up in price. that include hard assets like gold and silver. >> if that's the case, i'm thinking about all the mortgage-backed securities. is there a possibility that that speculation could burst and the bubble would actually benefit all of us, if it does burst and prices would go down? >> well, what you're talking about, and that's a very good point. the reason that housing prices haven't gone up because of ultralow interest rates is because there's already too much debt in the housing system. now, could too much speculation in oil and gas lead to a burst in these prices? yes, it could. but, unfortunately, what we could see happen first is another spike like we saw in 2007 and that really derailed our economic recovery at that point. that's what i'm concerned about.
sometimes when you start to see these prices move up, it causes even more speculators to come up and jump on the band wagon. that pushes prices even higher. >> i thought i had it all figured out with iran and with supply and demand and the strait of hormuz and there you go with hedge funds. thank s a bunch. >> it's not exclusive. >> thank you. okay, so, we're going to clear up the confusion. christine romans is going to weigh in, as well. >> it's interesting because it is all tied together. you have speculators who are looking at what's happening in the world and they're saying, we think oil is higher before it's lower and we have a lot of money to invest. we're going to buy hard assets and things you can touch and feel like gold and silver and gas and oil contracts. you have activity in the future's market that is telling us that this fear over iran is driving up prices more than they
should be based on supply and demand. you always have speculation in the oil markets, you always do. whenever oil prices go up, we all start screaming about investors who are driving up the price of oil. one thing that is interesting to me, demand in this country for ga gasoline is not up. >> that's the interesting thing about this. kind of the moment in the oil markets where we're watching it go up and it's making people a little bit concerned. he's from the oil price information service. he says, don't get hysterical. he thinks $3.25 to 4.75. all you can do is fill up today. unless you have a million dollars in the bank and you can buy oil futures, i'm not sure that is a fill bet. >> fill up today with 100 cans that you can store in your basement. >> don't put gasoline in your basement. >> i'm kidding. christine romans doing the job for us this morning.
a whole bunch more on "starting point" president obama and rick santorum under attack. from last night's debate we'll hear from both campaigns. cold turkey in a pill. why not just shut off addiction? dr. gupta investigates. so we switched to the bargain detergent and i found myself using three times more than they say to and the clothes still weren't as clean as with tide. so we're back to tide. they're cuter in clean clothes. that's my tide. what's yours? so i used my citi thank you card to pick up some accessories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? we talked about getting a diamond. but with all the thank you points i've been earning... ♪ ...i flew us to the rock i really had in mind. ♪ [ male announcer ] the citi thank you card. earn points you can use for travel on any airline, with no blackout dates.
enjoy vitafusion calcium gummies today. and that is "early start" the news from a to z. >> "starting point" is next with soledad o'brien. >> nice to see you. our starting point this morning rick santorum. kind of had a target on his back. here's how it went. >> a new television ad that labels him a fake. why? >> because he's a fake. >> i'm real. i'm real. >> santorum's campaign to join us this morning and talk about how she thinks that debate went last night. also a fear of chemical weapons getting into the wrong hands in syria and talk this morning of needing some 75,000 troops to make sure that doesn't happen. we