tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN April 27, 2012 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT
and i wish you nothing, but the best. >> oh, man. what a day. i love you. you've done so much for me professionally and personally, and i know you're just going downstair, but i'm going to understand on a high note with you with our favorite song. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> love you, angie massey. wolf blitzer, to you, friend. thanks very much, brooke. happening now. >> this is the latest plank in the so-called war on women. entirely created, entirely created by my colleagues across the aisle for political gain! >> a heated political battle gets even hotter as the white
house issues a veto threat. also bill clinton making the case for president obama by invoking the ghost of osama bin laden. plus, space shuttle enterprise arrives with a bang in its new hometown, new york city. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com a sharp battle is unfolding here in washington over a bill to extend lower interest rates on student loans. millions of students are involved in this. it's a bipartisan goal, but there's partisan bickering over how to pay for it and now the white house is upping the ante with a veto threat. our congressional correspondent kate bolduan is watching this unfold. what are you seeing on capitol hill, kate?
>> this fight against student loans is about much more than student loans but it's drawn familiar battle lines. house republicans versus president obama and congressional democrats. >> reporter: defying a veto threat from president obama house republicans push ahead friday to pass a bill extending lower interest rates for federally funded college loan, about you it wasn't without a healthy dose of political theater. >> and they picked this political fight where there is no fight is just silly. give me a break. >> reporter: house republicans accusing president obama and congressional democrats of manufacturing a fight. >> people want to politicize this because it's an election year, but my god, do we have to fight about everything? >> reporter: democrats are accusing republicans of turning a non-controversial education measure into a war on women. >> what we're saying here today is stop your assault on women.
>> reporter: and president obama hammering republicans all week while speaking to college students in election-year battleground states. >> you've got one member of congress who compared these student loans -- i'm not kidding here to a stage 3 cancer of socialism. stage 3 cancer -- i don't know where to start. >> reporter: the thing is both sides insist they support ensuring the student loan rates don't spike, but once again, how to pay for it is at the center of the dispute. the republican measure covers the $6 billion price tag by cutting funding from part of the president's health care law focused on preventive care. >> we would prevent screenings for breast and cervical cancer. that would be the action that they would undertake if this fund is eliminated. >> reporter: but republicans
call that outrage hypocritical since democrats voted for similar cuts to the program already this year. >> you may have forgotten that several months ago you all voted to cut over a billion dollars out of the slush fund. so to accuse us of -- of wanting to cut women's health is absolutely not true! >> reporter: democrats though, wolf, throw it right back at republicans because the house republican budget for next year already calls for the student loan rate to jump. important to note that this is not likely to go anywhere in the democrat controlled senate. senate democrats have their own version of the bill that would be paid for by eliminating a corporate tax break and at the heart of all this is an important thing, wolf, a perfect opportunity for both sides to draw distinctions where they see political advantage. republicans attacking the president's health care law. democrats trying to appeal to
women voters. >> they'll extend the low interest rates for student loans at some point and they'll score political points in the process. kate, thanks very much. next week marks one year since u.s. forces killed the most wanted terrorist and the ghost osama bin laden is looming over the race for the white house as the obama and romney campaigns battle over foreign policy. jessica yellin is joining us now. tell our viewers what this is all about. >> reporter: wolf, this is about plague up the president's perceived strength as the general election kicks off. if you need proof the general election campaign has begun. >> he took the harder and the more honorable path. >> reporter: here you go. >> the president is the decider in chief. >> reporter: the obama campaign is out with this video as we approach the anniversary of osama bin laden's death. >> suppose the navy s.e.a.l.s had gone in there and it hadn't have been bin laden?
suppose they would have been ka captured or killed. it would have been hor believe for him. >> reporter: it comes after the president and first lady visited troops at fort stewart. >> i made a generation of promise. i said when your tour comes to an end we'll be coming home to an america that will forever fight for you just as you fought for us. >> reporter: and the same week vice president biden summed up the president's accomplishments. >> osama bin laden is dead and general motors is alive. >> reporter: the campaign is playing up one of the president's strengths. polling shows he beat mitt romney by 16 points when asked who can better handle the job of commander in chief? now the campaign is taking it a step further, asking whether romney would have gone in for the kill and pointing to this quote from 2007. >> it's not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billionses of dollars trying to catch one person. he was referring to the hunt for osama bin laden. what did he mean by that?
>> reporter: at the time romney clarified it this way. >> we'll move everything to get him, but i don't want to buy into the democratic pitch that this is all about one person, osama bin laden because after we get him there will be another and another. >> reporter: with voters so focused on the sputtering economy, will anyone remember osama bin laden's death on election day? the romney campaign calls the obama campaign's video a sad and divisive political move designed to try and distract voters from the economy. wolf, top republican pollster tells me that the killing of osama bin laden is one of the few areas that independent voters do see as a positive for the president and of course, independents are must-win voters this election, but still even for this group the killing of osama bin laden does not trump their concerns about the economy. wolf? >> are they planning special events next week in coordination with the first anniversary of the killing of bin laden over
the white house? i think that we're going to see the president acknowledge this more, but i wouldn't expect -- i actually don't know whether we'll see a special ceremony acknowledging the killing of osama bin laden. i'll let you know if they do. i suspect they'll do special things around it. it's the first anniversary and smart politics at this point, as well. all reit. thanks very much for that. >> the celebrity president. details of the effort to oust president obama using a new strategy. also, a daring escape by a human rights activist, how a blind man got away from police. all eyes in the sky as the space shuttle "enterprise" makes a dramatic entrance to its new hometown. great shot.
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the obama and romney campaigns may be fighting over national security and foreign policy and whether or not the president of the united states is a celebrity, whether he is cool and all of that is just a subtext. let's bring in our chief political analyst gloria borger. she's working this part of the story. it's clearly not going to be a major issue, all of this. >> no. most of it is going to be a sideshow. most of it will be about the economy. the polls show while most americans believe the economy is starting to stabilize, they are still desperately worried about their future and today we got some economic growth numbers that were less than the economists predicted, 2.2%
growth. that's not exactly robust. >> that's for the first quarter. >> right. it's not what the obama administration wanted and, you know, a lot of people are comparing president obama's re-election to another re-election in 1984 when ronald reagan was running and he had a high unemployment rate as well a and we went back to look at those numbers. you see unemployment 7.8 and the unemployment in this country was 8.2, but look at the difference in those growth numbers. 8.5%. so the economy was growing at such a fast pace during the reagan years that it inspired an awful lot of optimism that the recovery would continue and would be robust and that's one of the reasons ronald reagan won re-election. >> economic growth was exploding at that time. >> and we don't have that now. >> certainly not. it was 3% of last quarter of last year.
2.2% the first quarter of this year. that's what economists say is anemic. it's certainly not enough to create a whole lot of jobs. >> and it was 2.5%. >> for the romney campaign, they think they have a winning issue here. >> they do, and it's the issue they're going to continue to hammer home. we've heard them take on the issue frontally this week over and over again. they een took the president on the fairness issue, but there were two themes, wolf, that we're hearing a lot of with some key word. the one word we're hearing is diversion, that this is a president they say who is more about image than he is about substance and the second thing is they're asking where's the president's full explanation for why he deserves a re-election. i want to read you something that came in a campaign memo from matt rhodes who is the rom no campaign manager. he said, quote, it's been a remarkably flailing campaign referring to the obama campaign with no discernible rationale for candidacy.
we now know that only one campaign is going to run on president obama's record of the past three and a half years in office and it's not the obama campaign. they're saying if he won't run on it we will. we're going to continue to remind you about it and that appeals to swing voters. swing voters are very worried about the economy and they're very skeptical about the recovery. >> how does the obama campaign fight back? >> well, they're saying every chance they get that they've created 4 million new jobs and what they're trying to say is that mitt romney would take you back to the bush years without mentioning george w. bush's name. take a listen to what the vice president said in new hampshire recently. >> if governor romney has his way we'll have the romney rule, and i mean it sincerely. i'm not saying it's a cute little deal. there's a romney rule. the romney rule says let's double down on the tax cuts for
the wealthy. look, folks, this is not about -- this is not about class warfare. this is about math. this is about math and people's lives. >> and they're also starting to portray mitt romney as an extremist. at one point they were talking about how he was a flip-flopper. now i think they've decided that it's much more a lucrative to talk about mitt rom no as somebody who became extreme during the primaries because that's another way to remain those independent voters, you know what? you didn't like him so much in the primaries. mitt rom no's poll numbers went down about between points with independent voters during all of those presidential debates among republicans. >> it was a tough primary and the democrats now including the obama campaign they'll keep hitting mitt romney in his own words as a severe conservative. >> as he said. >> they're not going let him go to the center. >> whatever that means. right. >> thanks very much.
>> new lines of attack in the race for the white house. we'll talk more about this and more on the strategy session. hillary rosen and mary matalin are both standing by live. the bizarre standoff that closed shops and subway stations in london. what happened? we'll tell you. and the twist that may mean lower gas prices for all of us. the best part of any great meal? delicious gourmet gravy.
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[ female announcer ] sometimes, all you need is the smooth, creamy taste of werther's original caramel to remind you that you're someone very special. ♪ werther's original caramels. mary snow is monitoring some of the other top stories in "the situation room." a calculated attack today in eastern ukraine coming just ahead of a major sporting event. what happened? >> wolf, authorities say explosions southeast of kiev were the work of terrorists. 27 people were wound including nine children when the success blast went off in a movie theater. ukraine's president vowed to punish those responsible. the country is set to co-host
the european soccer championships in june. >> a dozen people were injured in san antonio in a chain reaction crash that included an 18 wheeler and a school bus. the bus which carried middle and high school students flipped over. the driver of the big rig is critically injured. >> ney gosch yarths convince a man to give himself up for london police, that after a standoff closed down a huge shopping district and two subway stations in the city. the man claimed to have explosives when he began throwing things into the street from a window. authorities feared the man also had hostages, but apparently he did not. >> the sign that the price of gas, listen to this closely, drop in the next few weeks. analysts say the type of crude that gasoline is made from costs less now than tensions over iran's nuclear program. if supplies hold firm and that's a big if, experts prediction
that americans have already seen summer's peak prices. that would certainly be welcome news to a lot of consumers. >> certainly would be. those prices have been going up and up and up if they start going down a little bit, that would be good. thanks very, very much. >> we see how much devastation tornadoes cause when they touchdown, they level homes and neighborhoods. what comes afterward? we go back to the scene of a monstrous storm to find out. >> oh, my god. >> reporter: it's been one year since this ef-4 monster left its mark on tuscaloosa. a year since we last spoke to the owner of this crispy creme doughnuts. >> is all of this a total loss? >> a total loss. >> reporter: today evan smith is still working to rebuild. >> we're talking a year after this tornado came through here and we're still waiting for the concrete to be poured. >> that's amazing. you say how can it take 12
months? first came massive effort to remove debris according to city officials. 1.5 million cubic yards of it county wide. overall, 12.6% of the city was destroyed. most tornadoes hit a house, skip a house, hit a house. this was taking everything out half a mile or a mile wide. >> there were trees through her. >> gary survived by taking shelter in his basement. his home had to be demolished and now he's starting over. >> it does take a while to figure out how do you want to build back and do you want to build back? a lot of people are trying to decide and some just can't take it. it is a constant reminder every day of seeing it. you can see the difference best from satellite imagery. this was the corner of mcfarland boulevard before the tornado hit and here's the photo after the storm came true. there was debris everywhere.
>> we are left here with an empty field where the homes once stood. the tornado was on the ground for less than six minutes and overall, 53 people were killed in tuscaloosa alone. >> this was poured in place, kron crete. >> residents are rebuilding to be better prepared. >> are you worried this can happen again? >> yes. >> i think it's obvious that the tuscaloosa is on the path now. >> and though there are signs of progress. >> as far as me being in this business i'm not better off until i get the doors open again. >> reporter: george howel, cnn, tuscaloosa, alabama. >> later tonight there will be a remembrance ceremony at the university of alabama for the people who died in tuscaloosa one year ago today. the new ad by the obama campaign is focusing in on the killing of osama bin laden with former president bill clinton playing a starring role, while a republican super pac's new ad is slamming the president as a celebrity. we'll sort through the ad wars and that's coming up in our strategy session. emily's just starting out... and on a budget.
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>> with an apparent lock now on the presidential nomination, mitt romney finds himself playing a whole new campaign ball game. this time in the big leagues against the current champion team. jim acosta is following all of this for us. what's going on with mitt romney? >> things have changed this week for mitt romney that's for sure, wolf. for the first time in his bid for the white house romney is going up against an opponent who can do some real damage. >> reporter: hours before mitt romney met with college students in ohio for an event on financial aid. >> as an english major your options are you better go to graduate school. >> they were e-mailing out to reporters this link to the recovery.gov website, they had received $80,000 in stimulus money for, what else? financial aid.
it was another reminder of the difficult task ahead for romney taking on an incumbent president with a whip smart political team. though billed as official visit, the campaign-style stops to hammer the republicans on student loans earlier this week not only got the jump on romney, but seemed to be getting under the skin of house speaker john boehner. >> people want to politicize it because it's an election year, but my god, do we have to fight about everything? >> reporter: former white house adviser and cnn political contributor david gergen says romney is in for a whole new ball game. >> he's been playing with a aa a-league here against some of these opponents on the republican side and now he's moved up to the major leagues because he's got to learn to hit in major league pitching now. it's surprising how rapidly they want to come out and keep him on the defensive and especially on the bin laden style. >> it's one thing george bush said that was right. the president is the decider in chief. >> reporter: consider bill
clinton's comments on the killing of osama bin laden in the obama re-election ad. >> he took the harder and the more honorable path and the one that produced, in my opinion, the best result. >> reporter: it was a continuation of the carpet bombing from vice president joe biden. >> you can't say for certain what governor romney would have done. >> who do you want answering the phone? >> reporter: all of a sudden it's like mr. obama is turning around the 3:00 a.m. question and aiming it at romney. >> you know what makes barack obama happy? newt gingrich's baggage. he has more baggage than the airlines. >> presumptive gop flom me at the pro-romney super pac aren't dealing with baggage. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: as the new ad for karl rove's super pac puts it, the republican mission this election year is taking down a celebrity president. there was a sense of frustration
also in a memo released by romney campaign matt rhodes who compared the president's re-election team to a lawn sprinkler, spewing out attacks, quoting here, in seemingly random directions hoping to get somebody wet, but wolf, by the looks of it the obama campaign is nowhere near running out of water. >> this is only just beginning. by all indications, hundreds of millions of dollars are about to be spent over six months in these attack ads by these camp caves. >> so far mitt romney has been lucky. he's been going up against republican opponents who have been good with self-inflicted wound, whether it be rick perry with oops and that has not happened with the obama campaign. and there may be gaffe, but they're not showing that at this point so it's a different level of ball game here for mitt romney at this point. >> this is the major leagues. those are preliminary games. >> pre-season's over. >> it will be brutal.
thanks very much, jim acosta. let's dig deeper in our strategy session. joining us are cnn political contributors and the democratic strategist hillary rosen and mary matalin. guys, thanks very much. let me play a little clip, first of all, a little bit more about the obama for america ad featuring the former president of the united states praising president obama for going ahead a year ago and ordering the killing of bin laden. >> he had to decide and that's what you hire a president to do. you hire the president to make the calls when no one else can do it. ♪ ♪ >> that's a pretty effective ad, mary. as a professional, you've got to admit that's good. >> i think it's a good ad. the question is will it move voters? is it effective in that way? and for that to be effective in
what is going to be a cacopho cacophonious season is it has to make applausible argument, the express attack on romney is that he's indecisive or that he would not with actionable intelligence make the same decision to go get osama bin laden and i don't think voters would think that if any president, let alone the one with the more hawkish party, when they do say they know something about romney, what they say they like most about him is his ability to make decisions and solve problems. it's a good-looking ad. i just don't know if it will be effective with voters. >> it does show the president had the guts to go ahead and give the green light to that navy seal mission to go into pakistan and kill bin laden, because it was by no means going to be 100% certain. >> i think the conversation with mitt romney in this ad is the least effective part of it.
if, ebb deed, this campaign will be a referendum on the president, what you have in this ad is the most popular former president saying these are tough decisions. i've seen this guy work. this is a president we can count on and he has done the right thing and a good job. ry enforcing that with that kind of a validator is really significant for president obama, and i think that ultimately that's going to remind voters that we have felt secure over these last several years with president obama. >> you're absolutely right. mary, i'm sure you will agree, as well, that bill clinton is an excellent surrogate for the obama-biden campaign especially in florida, ohio, pennsylvania, wisconsin, michigan and some of these battleground states. >> no doubt about it, he's a very effective surrogate, but people aren't voting for bill clinton. they're not voting against george w. bush, and we have found a little correlation
between surrogate support and votes. that's just the truth of it. also, i think, there's a negative about it because people really like clint as hillary just pointed out, they like clirpt and they like mrs. clinton and they think both of them were more effective and are more effective right now than this president. so it's a tricky surrogate. >> actually, president obama is getting very high approval ratings on his foreign policy activity, and so i think that that validator is exactly the right thing and that's what people are expecting from this president. >> hillary, there's always a new ad with the crossroads that's pro-republican and pro-romney, if you will, anti-democratic super pac is putting out and they're making fun of the from says for being a, quote, celebrity. let me play a clip for you. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> the preezy of the united
steezy. ♪ i'm so in love with you ♪ ♪ >> all right. the ad winds up, hillary, as i'm sure you've seen with a very, very damning indictment of the president saying stufrnt, young people in this country because of the economy and the failure to improve it create jobs. they're in deep trouble right now. >> i'm of two minds in this ad as a kind of a professional ad maker. on the one hand, you really see a down to earth person who has engaged with real people. on the other hand, the false charges of where the president is, but i have a sense this ad might not be as effective as karl rove is hoping. as a practical matter, president obama has presided over 23 straight months of job creation. that is -- that is indisputable. he has an economic record to run on, and i think that once those, you know, facts get repeated over and over again, you know,
adding on the human side of him and comparing that to the alternate of, i'm not sure they'll want to be attacking president obama's humanness. that's know going to be a winning message for them. >> the first part of the ad presumably could even be effective for the president in energizing those young people because it makes him sort of look cool. >> you know, in a week where numbers came out showing over 50% of college graduates were underemployed, i think young people, as well as all people, would rather have a hot economy than a cool president. he might have been a cool candidate, but he's been a lukewarm president on the economy. they don't feel those jobs. they're not jobs created sufficient to grow the economy. 200,000 or under 200,000 jobs a month does not keep us at any kind of growth rate that this country needs to progress and to grow the economy. they just don't feel it.
young people don't feel it the most. so i think the part that we didn't show about how bad the economy is and who is being most affected by it is not -- touches right to what people are saying in polls, particularly young people. they still like him, but they're not enthusiastic and they're not going turn out, so they say. >> very quickly, hillary. there's no doubt that the enthusiasm level for young people this time around is lower than it was four years ago for the president. >> there's no question, and we have seen that in every, you know, for reelects for presidents going forward. we saw it with bill clinton, as well, in '96. what we do know and young people have said as well as all americans have said that this is a president who wakes up every day, fighting for them, thinking of them and understanding what they go through. he only paid off his student loans just a few years ago. this is a president that young people relate to and are going to continue to count on. >> hillary rosen and mary
matalin, guys, thanks as usual for coming in. the white house and congressional republicans are bickering over the extension of those low-interest student loan, but for millions of college graduates, paying off those loans is increasingly difficult. we're taking a closer look at the numbers. and later, the space shuttle "enterprise"'s final flight to its new home in new york city. ♪
okinawa ending years of strained relations and calls from the locals to cut the u.s. military presence there. japan's foreign minister calls the agreement satisfactory. most of the marines will now be stationed in guam as part of a larger military buildup in asia. >> a man trying to find out more about where he came from finds himself on a missing children's website. steve carter was adopted from an orphanage in hawaii at only 4 years old. on a gut feeling he checked missing kids.com. there in front of him was an age progression image of him. cnn's suzanne malveaux spoke to carter today. >> steve, what did you think when you first saw that photo and you recognized yourself? >> i thought, minus the mullet, it was pretty much spot on on what i looked like. >> how did you react to that? >> it was a bit shocking, i have to tell you, to see yourself and to realize that, you know what?
people have been looking for you for that long i i was shell shocked and at the same time it was the first time i'd ever seen a baby picture of myself so to see that along with a picture of what mark would look like at 28 is pretty amazing. >> carter believes his mother kidnapped him and left him in the orphanage under a false name. he has since made contact with some of his long, lost relatives. >> a man trying to escape oklahoma police didn't get far before his pants exploded. authorities say the man was hiding a portable meth lab in his jeans. it blew up leaving meth trickling down his leg. the trooper said something seemed fishy when he noticed a chemical smell coming from the passenger. wolf? >> thanks, mary. >> the campaign can certainly take a toll on political spouses especially if you're battling an illness like multiple sclerosis. ann romney spoke about that in an interview with "entertainment
tonight" and she spoke about the funnier side of her husband. she was asked about the portrayals of mitt romney on "saturday night live." >> they're not accurate, but they're funny. >> how are they not accurate. >> actually, mitt is a very funny guy and he's not -- i mean, he doesn't comb his hair when we're not going places. it's, like, all over the place. >> he doesn't have perfectly coifed hair in the morning? >> would you ever do it? would you go on snl? >> that would never cross my mind and yes, of course, that would be a great thrill. >> the presumptive gop nominee has said in the past that he is open potentially to appearing on snl. we'll see. the white house and congressional republicans are bickering over the extension of low-interest student longers but for millions of college graduates paying off those loans is increasingly difficult. we're looking at the numbers and an amazing sight over the skies of new york city, the arrival of
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the white house asking for answers on any potential white house involvement in colombia. that secret service prostitution scandal. senator chuck grassley, the ranking member of the judiciary committee is joining us on the phone from iowa right now. you wrote this letter asking for answers. i take it you received no reply from the white house, is that right? >> no reply and we followed it with a couple of e-mails and phone calls today and still don't have an answer, and it took them just two days to come to the conclusion that there were no problems with the colombia situation in the white house like there was in the secret service, and i would think that if it only took two days to do the investigation on their part and come to the conclusion there were no problem, they ought to be able to answer my letter in a matter of seven day, but we do not have an answer.
>> the white house earlier in the week after you wrote that letter asking questions, they said that their council's office of the white house had done a review and had found nothing to substantiate suggestions that white house officials either from the communications office and from the advance team office or anything along those lines played any role whatsoever in the secret service prostitution scandal. do you have any hard evidence that they did? >> no, but what i -- the reason i made my inquiry is because there's sucha i close working relationship between the secret service and the defense department with those people in the white house communication office and then with the advance team, it was just a natural and also we had several phone calls from people in previous years that had been in those arrangements, they didn't make any accusations, but they said legitimately, you ought to look for and see if there was any connection. and i don't -- i hope there isn't, but i think we -- if the white house is accurate in saying what they did, they ought
to make their information public, but more importantly, i had in mind that the inspector general ought to be looking into it so that we get an independent decisions saying there wasn't anything wrong. >> earlier in the week after the white house received your letter with all these questions, jay karn e the white house press secretary said and i'll quote him, he said there's been rumors published on the internet by people with no editors and no conscience, but there is no, there is no specific allegation of any kind of misconduct here and only out of due diligence have we conducted this review. are you suggesting that you're not satisfied with the white house legal council office review when they say that there's no evidence that anyone from the white house was involved? >> i think i have a right to see that information if they want to share that with us and maybe that's the end of it, but they aren't sharing anything and you just kind of wonder why they haven't answered our letter, and you kind of wonder what they
have to worry about, you know? they can surely answer your letter and transparency is something that this president says he stands for. >> i'm sure at some point they will answer your letter. they may not give you the information you're looking for, but i'm sure they will answer your letter at some point, senator. would you stay in close touch with us and let us know if you hear from them? >> yes, i will, and i'll inform my staff to do the same thing so they can get back to your staff as well. >> senator chuck grassley is the top republican on the senate judiciary committee. i appreciate you joining us from iowa. appreciate it very much. >> thank you very much. you bet. >> the house of representatives today shrugged off a white house veto threat and voted to extend the low interest rates on federal student loans. the gop measured with subsidized student loans by taking money away from health care funds that benefit women. while that political battle plays out, the red everyoninging and threatening to drown out a
generation of graduates. let's bring in erin burnett. she's been crunching the numbers for us on student loan debt and these numbers are huge. share a little bit with us. >> they are huge. when you look at the situation for the average college graduate wolf, you're looking at 25,000, that's the debt load they graduated with and that can affect your ability to get married, buy a home, start a family. it's a real noose around the neck of our entire society. this extension of the stafford loans which is what you're referring to to pass the house today, only about .0016%. .0016% of the budget, that's what it would cost to extend it. it's not a lot of money. it's evidence of the political dysfunction in washington that they can't get it passed, but when you take a step back, low interest rates, and this was supposed to be a temporary program and they were supposed
to pop back just like if you got an adjustable rate mortgage on your home. similar to housing incredible rock bottom interest rates ended up causing the price of tuition to rise. there have been studdes on that and tonight we'll focus in on a long-term solution and extending this year in and year out, that is not going solve it and we need a long-term solution and not having tuition surge in the country. you can think of it this way, erin, three weeks -- three weeks maintaining 90,000 u.s. troops at $2 billion a week, that's $6 billion right there. $100 billion think of the money being spent in afghanistan and rather for student loans and reducing the debt. we'll be watching at 7:00 p.m. eastern. $2 billion a week the u.s. is spending keeping troops in afghanistan for at least another two and a half years. >> parts of new york city came to a standstill today as residents stopped to look at a very rare sight. we'll show you what happened right after the break. the worlds more energy.
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going on. jason? >> reporter: well, wolf, the space shuttle "enterprise" has finally parked itself here at jfk airport. it has been a day of anticipation and excitement for new yorkers as a piece of space shiftry has finally made its way to its new home. an historic landing as the shuttle "enterprise" approached jfk airport riding past a crowd of cheering admirers including one of "enterprise's" first pilots, major general joe engle. tell us what it's like being up there and flying an aircraft like a space shuttle. >> it's a wonderful feeling. it's a very gratifying feeling for someone who has devoted their career to test flying like myself and all of the other astronauts. >> reporter: "the enterprise" began its final voyage at dulles airport. it did a much-anticipated flyover in new york city, passing mono ups like the statue of liberty, and the intrepid
sea, air and space newsemuseum. i reporters tracking its progress along the way. >> out on long island, the shuttle stopped traffic as onlookers took shots as it passed overhead. it was a rare sight for new yorkers to see the spacecraft piggybacking onboard a retrofitted 747. new york beat out more than two dozen other cities bidding to host the enterprise. >> clearly, we all wanted it so badly and there were certain parameters and new york has just a fabulous population. we are so excited that we'll be able to take care of it and perpetuate its honor and history. >> reporter: the enterprise wasn't the enterprise at all. it was supposed to be named the constitution. they got the name changed to the fictitious ship. not surprisingly, he was one of the ones who showed up. >> the first time i saw this ship was in september 1976 when
it was out of page dale. the hangar doors open and out came the enterprise which was named after the starship enterprise on "star trek." >> reporter: it was a bittersweet moment that the program is no more. leonard nimoy, hope that it it will live on in a new generation. >> it was really cool because i've never seen a shuttle ever land in my life. >> the enterprise is scheduled to be here until june 6th. that's when it will be loaded on to a barge, and then it will sail up the hudson river to its permanent home onboard the intrepid. once there, it should be open to the public, we are told, wolf, some time around july 19th. organizers hope while here in new york city the "enterprise" will live long and prosper. wolf? >> reporter: jason carroll. thank you. you're in "the situation room." the star witness against john edwards tells the court, the
former presidential candidate made him feel scared for his life. this hour new and am dra theaic testimony about the sex, the money and the political power. a former prostitute tells us she's planning to sue the united states embassy in brazil. stand by for that interview and more scandal embarrassing the united states government. and is google giving terrorists, potentially a vifrpa you will guide to attack israel? a new internet is raising security fears in israel. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com we begin this hour with an election-year fight to win over young voters and it got a whole lot testier today. the house speaker john boehner pushed through a republican bill
that would give the president something he uponed, an extension of lower interest rates on student loan, but the bill would pay for the lower rates by cutting some health care funding including health care funding for women. the president certainly doesn't want that, so now he's threatening a veto. speaker boehner is calling the fight silly. >> ladies and gentlemen, this is beneath us. this is beneath the dignity of this house and the dignity of the public trust that we enjoy from our constituents. they expect us to come here and be honest with each other and to work out these and not pick this political fight where there is no fight is just silly. give me a break. >> let's bring in our chief political correspondent candy crowley, the host of cnn's "state of the union." you had an exclusive interview today with the speaker and you sat down with him, what did he say? >> he did talk about the veto threat and he said, look, the
senate will take this bill up and we'll work something out. his main message not as heated as that, his main message is this is going to get done. we are going to get done that those interest rates don't go up on student loans and it will be done ahead of time. how they fund it, obviously, that's still out there and they'll figure that out. i also talked to him about mitt rom no. you may be surprised as i was that he hasn't yet spoken to mitt romney. >> why? >> i don't know, he said he has called me and i called him and we're playing phone tag. >> he's speaker of the house. >> i found that interesting myself. i asked if he had any advice on the vice presidential front and here's what he had to say. >>. >> whoever he's happy with. >> do you see anybody around up here that you like? >> there are a lot of people that i like, but this is a personal choice for governor romney, and i'm confident he'll have a running mate that will be
helpful to the ticket. >> and if you had to say, look, my number one, what i really would look for in a v.p. if i were mitt romney, what is that quality? >> i think the number one quality is are they capable of being president in case of an emergency. >> does that fit someone like, say, marco rubio? >> it fits a lot of people. >> does it fit him? >> fits marco, fits senator portman, governor daniels. there are a lott long list of people. >> doesn't want to play that vice presidential game. do not throw his name in the ring and they'll have to start talking first. >> you'd think after all these weeks that you would pick up a phone call. >> i said to him, you know, he said we've had a lot of republicans in the race, and i said, but he's it now. >> the leader of the republican party now for all practical purposes. i imagine they'll get around to it. but it isn't a priority. >> i suspect after our
conversation they'll be speaking probably within the next few hours. >> thank you, wolf. let's get to the former democratic vice presidential nominee john edwards. today his trial zeroed in on a relationship gone wrong and not with his mistress necessarily, but with his former aide, now the star witness against the one-time presidential contender. andrew young suggesting under cross-examination that a man who might have been leader of the free world, get this, made him feel scared for his life. our senior correspondent joe johns is covering the edwards trial in north carolina. he's joining us now. wow! pretty dramatic stuff happened today, john. >> reporter: that's for sure, wolf. a dramatic first week, in fact, in this edwards trial ending up with the jury being reminded that the government star witness had a huge role in this case and he's gotten immunity from prosecution, a book deal, a possible movie deal, hundreds of thousands of dollars while on the other hand, john edwards pretty much just got indicted.
recounting the moment he and john edwards finally had it out and parted way, andrew young, the top edwards aide who falsely claimed he had fathered a child with his boss' mistress and marshalled the cover-up was now claiming he was afraid. young said he felt threatened by edwards and feared for his life. he said he and edwards went for a drive on a lonely north carolina road. he said edwards was driving erratically after learning young had received $725,000 from wealthy donor bunny mellon without telling edwards. young said i was scared for my life. it was bizarre. young told the court, i said if he won't tell the truth i was going to tell the truth. edwards responded to him you can't hurt me, andrew. you can't hurt me. defense attorney abbe lowell asked young if he had threatened edwards with exposure of the whole story. young said he and his family did everything that he, edwards,
asked us to do. he completely abandoned himself from us and he walked away from us and i was extremely angry. drilling down on the cost of shepherding john edwards' mistress across the country while she was on the run from the media, andrew young admitted under cross-examination that he got hundreds of thousands of dollars more from two rich benefactors than he actually spent on hunter's expenses. defense attorney abbey lowe pressed for more. young said he had attributed expenses to rielle hunter that he actually spent on himself or his family for lavish trips to a disney cruise and trips to san diego, cabo san lucas and legoland. and they pressed the issue of young's dream house on ten acres in north carolina with a $100,000 sound system. lowe pointing out that young had gotten a construction loan to build the house and did not have to draw down on the money because he had hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank from bunny mellon. the cross-examination by
edwards' lawyer ended with lowe quoting a line from his book asking him are you concerned that people will see you as a cold-blooded schemer who was motivated by ego or greed or the desire for power? young, of course, i'm concerned about how people see me. lowe, isn't that exactly what you are? >> the defense is now saying they're dirty, too and that they're playing in the same sandbox. >> reporter: with the end of young's testimony his wife sherry was called to the stand who talked almost regretfully about how many different jobs her husband did for the edwards family, things he was never able to do for my family, she said, i allowed him to do that. they'll pick up next week where they left off with the wife of andrew young on the stand. still no word yet on when rielle hunter, the mistress of john edwards will show up here at the courthouse. >> we'll stay in close touch with you, thank you. let's go to brazil right noi where a former prostitute is preparing to sue the united states embassy in yet another
scandal involving members of the united states military as well as the state department employee. cnn's shasta darlington spoke with the woman and her lawyer. >> reporter: wolf, we traveled to a working-class suburb of the brazilian capital to talk to the woman at the heart of the latest prostitution scandal involving u.s. security. the photos show a broken collarbone and what appear to be tire marks across her abdomen. she uses these pictures to tell her story. fajeda says she worked for three years as a call girl and stripper at the nightclub apples in brasilia. she and three co-workers left the club with a group of americans from the u.s. embassy security team. we had drinks and chatted and then we each set a price, she says. in brazil, prostitution is legal. the police report says the men, three marines and one embassy
employee called for an embassy van and driver to pick them up, but the lengthy police report has contradictory accounts about what happened next. after they left this strip club in the van, fajeda says he was violently thrown out of the car by one of the marines after she argued with the brazilian driver. other witnesses say she was rudely forced out. the marine says she simply stepped out of the car and injured herself when she tried to get back in. everyone agrees the van took off while fajeda was holding on to the door handle. >> that's when it dragged me and ripped the skin off my leg, she says. i let go and then the back tire drove over me. literally right over me. according to the police report the van stopped and the other women got out and then with the embassy staffers inside, the van drove off, leaving fajeda in the road. this week in brasilia, u.s. defense secretary leon panetta said the men are disciplined.
>> they are no longer in this country. they were reduced in rank and they were severely punished for that behavior. i have no tolerance for that kind of conduct, not here or any place in the world. >> reporter: questions about prostitution made for awkward moments at the u.s. state department briefing. >> members of the foreign service are prohibited from engaging in notoriously disgraceful conduct which includes frequenting prostitutes and engaging in public or promiscuous sexual relations or engaging in sexual activity that can open the employee up to the possibility of blackmail, coercion or improper influence. so the degree to which any employee requires investigation, that's the standard that they're held to and what a subject to be talking about on bring your kid to work day. >> reporter: fajeda says she is no longer working as a prostitute. she turned down an offer of $2,000 from the embassy for medical expenses because it
wasn't enough for a broken collarbone, three broken ribs and a punctured lung. >> meanwhile, her attorney is preparing a civil suit. it's not a question of money. it's a question of honor and reputation, he says. if money will make them suffer and recognize how much pain they've caused then let it be money. machado says brazilian prosecutors are considering criminal charges against the americans including assault, but since the men are no longer in the country, it is not clear whether they would ever face trial in brazil. both the criminal and the civil lawsuit are likely to be launched within a week, wolf. >> shasta darlington with an amazing story for us. excellent reporting from shasta in brazil. thank you. we're about to give you some rare access inside syria only moments after a bming on the streets of the capital. we're going to damascus. that's coming up next, and the vatican taking on a group of american nuns. why pope benedict says they're
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as explosions rocked syria's capital today officials in america's capital were making it clear that the united states will not send observers to monitor a rapidly failing cease-fire. today's bloodiest attack targeted syrian security forces. itn correspondent bill neely is in damascus. >> reporter: in the heart of a capital, a bombing that has blown syria's cease-fire to pieces. the target, riot police and troops. the attacker, a suicide bomber with an explosive belt. syrian forensic teams looked for evidence. the regime desperate to stem a tide of attacks that is turning damascus into a battleground and if president assad loses control of damascus, he loses everything.
the troops and riot police who survived were clearly shaken. they've been deployed close to a mosque to confront demonstrators after friday prayers. a suicide bomber took the fight to them. nine died, most of them security forces, and more than 20 were injured. this bombing is significant not just because it happened here in the capital of the city of damascus. a bomber wearing a suicide vesta, tacking troops may be common in iraq, but not here in syria. not until now. syria's crisis is no nearer to being solved. there's meant to be a cease-fire here and little evidence of it. poorious supporters of syria's president shouted is this what freedom looks like? is this what protests lead to? >> they're getting jumpy because bomb attacks and shootings are now becoming more common in damascus, soldiers targeted as
never before. >> u.n. monitors are stationed close to the scene of the bombing. they didn't visit it. they were on the road to another town. there are only 13 of them in the whole country. more than 200 others still haven't arrived. but there is no peace to monitor here. no real cease-fire to keep. >> bill neely is joining us now from damascus. bill, first of all, your impressions. how many days have you been there? what's it like on the ground? i know there are restrictions as to what you can see and do. >> reporter: well, we just arrived yesterday. we've had no particular restrictions at the moment. we were freely able to go to the scene of that suicide bombing today and once the police and security forces knew that we were accredited press, they didn't try to stop us filming and, in fact, quite the opposite. i think they wanted the scene to be filmed because they want the
world to know that it's not just they who fire at rebels or fire at civilians, but they, too, are under attack. but i was really struck by the fact that so many -- i mean, dozens of police and troops were really stunned, the way they were looking. they were rubbing their faces and talking quietly among themselves and some seemed almost numb by this. these kinds of attacks are not frequent in damascus and they haven't been, but they are growing in number and growing in intensity. the death toll is rising as well, and i think this war is gradually coming to the capital damascus. >> it seems that all hopes of actual, genuine cease-fire, those are all gone for all prak cal purposes based on your own eyewitness account? >>. >> i think this peace process, if one can call it that is being
undermined by both sides. it's being discredited by dozens, if not hundreds of attacks. it has to be said it's not being helped by the united nations' slow arrival of monitors. it's in absolute tatters and today's attack is just one more blow to that peace process. >> bill neely from itn in damascus. we'll stay in close touch with you, bill. good luck over there. i appreciate it very, very much. not often we get to speak to a western rotorer allowed into syria under any circumstances at all. appreciate it. >> a u.s. navy drug bust off the coast of panama nets a huge cache of cocaine. we have details and extraordinary pictures. >> the man accused of killing trayvon martin is back in court after new information is revealed about his finances. we'll update you on what happened today. [ male announcer ] aggressive styling. a more fuel-efficient turbocharged engine.
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>> just coming into "the situation room." new developments in the secret service scandal. you learned some steps are about to be taken. >> new standards of conduct have been sent out by the deputy director of the secret service to all secret service personnel, wolf, in response to the colombia prostitution scandal. here are the new rules and guidelines and forgive me for looking down to read them. before any international trip they will receive a state department briefing and state department officials will also be involved and they will be told if there are any off-limit establishments or areas, meaning strip clubs or places where the prostitutes are will be deemed off limits before the trips.
foreign nationals are banned from the hotel rooms of secret service personnels on these trips. even before the president gets into the host country get a foreign national and those are the prostitutes back to your room on the president's trip hotel staff and they excluded as well as any government officials from the host country involved in the trip. also any laws in the united states would apply to secret service personnel traveling overseas. it's legal here, maybe it's not legal back home and some other guidelines on alcohol consumpti consumption, and it is allowed with an agent or officer is off duty, but they must not consume alcohol within ten hours of reporting for duty and they are in the protectee's hotel, meaning the president's hotel and no alcohol consumption for those staying in that hoetel an some of those agents were part of the motorcade team, and the military plan that brings in the trips they will now have a
second supervisor from the office of the professional responsibility. that's the internal affairs division of the secret service so they're getting a high-ranking chaperone on these trips. >> these rules not only apply to the secret service agents and the uniformed officers. >> anyone under the control of the director of the secret service receives these guidelines and they go into effect immediately for the next time the president leaves the downry. new rules and stand arards of conduct they will be strictly enforced. >> i'll bet they had this a long time ago. you'll have this at the top of the hour on jt john king usa" for the north american viewers. >> new details revealed for the man charged in the trayvon martin death. why that could affect george zirmman's bail. stand by.
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the judge in the trayvon martin shooting case is deciding whether to raise bond -- raise the bond for the defendant george zimmerman just days after he was released from jail. it turns out zimmerman has received more than $200,000 in donations on the internet, a fact he didn't reveal during his court hearing last week and that has now prompted new legal wrangling. cnn's martin savidge is following the case. >> reporter: wolf, it was another surprising day in the case of george zimmerman. last week you may remember that george zimmerman took the stand and apologized. this week now comes the revelation of the fact that he has raised over $200,000 online. this at about the same time his attorney had been arguing that the family was indigent, broke and had no money at all. they bonded this particular case should be raised and maybe raised significantly. the judge has three possible courses of ak he could take. one is raise the bond.
two is revoke the bond or the third is don't do anything about the bond. today he decided not to render any kind of decision because he simply says he doesn't have enough information. the judge wants to know where did the money come from and who had control of the money and when? until he has that information he decided to hold off on that decision. after that decision, mark o mare a the attorney for george zimmerman tried to look at the bright side and he said the new found wealth shows one thing, he has a lot of support. >> i'm quite happy that there are enough people out there who felt it in their hearts that want to support. >> they saw this money as indicating something else, that you simply cannot trust what george zimmerman has to say. >> he did not come forthright to the court when he understood completely what the court was requiring about his financial status and his ability to pay a
bond, and it they went so far that his attorneyen choired about that website. the special prosecutor's office inquired about that web site. >> in fairness, we should point out that trayvon martin's family has always been raising money online and it will eventually be used for advocacy group. it's $1,000 deeper. let's dig in with jeffrey toobin? what do you think as far as this pretty development is concerned. it is certainly embarrassing for the defense thing here and they've done a somewhat unclear situation, at least to me, and i assume to the judge which is who controls this money? presumably at some level george zimmerman controls it, but actually how the mechanism works
of extracting the $200 that's something the judge needs to look into. i do think it's very likely he'll raise the bond and i don't think the defense will have much of a problem with that, and the problem is that he'll get angry enough to lock george zimmerman up. >> does it pass the smell test that the attorney would not have known about this going into this legal proceeding last week? >> i actually think it does pass the smell test. it's an unusual situation. most lawyers aren't used to dealing with fund-raising in this way. mark o'mara is a really experienced -- lawyer with a very good reputation. i don't think there would be any reason for him to simply know about this and he was careless in not finding out because how much money was involved or wo has it. ask it's not to suggest any activity. >> thank you very much.
all right, this just coming into "the situation room" right now. an unprecedented controversy rocking the secret service as all of you know and now cnn has identified the agent who actually triggered the prostitution scandal that exploded during president obama's trip to colombia. drew griffin of cnn's special investigations unit has just returned from cartagena. he has this exclusive report. drew, tell our viewers what you managed to uncover. >> reporter: wolf, it may not mean much in the whole long run scheme of things and we're talking about a culture that needs to be changed. that's certainly the message from capitol hill, but we've identified the one agent now who had the run-in with the escort who started this entire scandal. here's what we've learned. jo a hotel security guard at the hotel caribe says the commotion began in the senth floor hallway. through hotel records can confirm three agents assigned
rooms on that floor a patiently left cartagena early. sources with knowledge of the investigation had indicated to cnn that two agent his been cleared, but that the agent who stayed in room 707 may already be gone from the service. according to hotel records reviewed by cnn, agent arthur huntington was checked into this room. two sources with knowledge of the investigation say it was huntington who had the dispute with the escort named dania suarez. suarez has now hired an attorney and through statements credited to the attorney demands she was an escort, not a prostitute. her attorney isn't talking. earlier this week a man who identified himself as arthur huntington declined comment to a cnn producer. yesterday cnn returned to arthur huntington's home where the door was gently pushed shut. the home was just listed for sale this week. wolf? we've been trying to reach
arthur huntington since monday. multiple calls and multiple trips to his home. there has been no comment, no word he has an attorney. we'll wait and see when and if he appears in public. >> what's the secret service saying about all of this? >> the secret service has been very tight-lipped about all of this. as you can imagine, this is somewhat of a personal matter and a personnel matter for the secret service. we have been busy all week clearing all of the agents and narrfainarrowing it down to the and it was the one agent that sparked the entire controversy that has the entire service. >> he is no longer a member of the secret service and no longer affiliated and completely severed his ties. we don't know if he was fired. we don't know if he was retired. the sources tell us he is no longer with them. >> martin savidge -- excuse me, drew griffin, thank you very much for that report. we are also learning more about
the secret service agent in question, this pivotal role in the prostitution scandal. brian todd went to the neighborhood where he lives just outside of washington, d.c. tell us what you're seeing there, brian. >> reporter: wolf, we are here in saf earna park, and this is arthur huntington's house. as drew mentioned, my colleague and i have being knocked on this door several times today, no response todd and no response to our phone calls and we'll let a vehicle pass here, excuse me, and no response today, we have combed up and down the neighborhood, trying to talk to arthur huntington about what kind of a neighbor he is. most of the neighbors say they either don't know anything about mr. know huntington or won't comment about him, however, i did reach someone who does not live in this area who identifies herself as a friend of the family and when i asked about the situation or about mr.
huntington. the quote is i would question the allegations. as to this particular neighborhood, we spoke to a neighbor who did not want to go on camera. this neighbor describes the family as being a very nice family. the family says that arthur huntington's wife leads a bible study group in the neighborhood. they have two boys. the neighbor believes the boys range in age from around 8 to a little bit older than 12. the ages are very unclear at this point. the neighbor says the two huntington boys are home schooled. the neighbor does say that he does not know ath you are huntington well and doesn't hang out with him. he says he's never here and he's always gone. the family is going through a tough time and i asked the neighbor if you don't know him, how do you know? he said the wives talk in the neighborhood. another person described the family as being nice and did not want to say anything further and did say that from when he knows of arthur huntington that this is, quote, totally out of character, but when we approa
approached other people in the neighborhood it was hostile. we got fairly hostile responses. one saying don't you have any sense of decency, why are you hounding this nice family and another told us just to go away. >> do we know how long huntington served inside the secret service? >> we don't have that information yet, wolf. we're trying to get it. we know from what we talked to with the neighbors that apparently the huntingtons haven't been in this neighborhood for too long. this is all information that we'll get in the coming days. as drew said in his piece, my colleague paul kors indid come to the house yesterday morning and knocked on the door right there. when he knocked on the door the door jimmied open a little bit and the door was loose and paul called in and said hello? can someone talk to us and they closed very slowly and came to without anybody responding. i know people have been here
over the past few days and no one responding to our inquiries today. >> brian todd on the scene for us. drew griffin breaking the news in "the situation room." trouble in the catholic ranks. nuns, yes, nuns are being condemned by the vatican. . ...the mickelson exxonmobil teachers academy... ...and astronaut sally ride's science academy are helping our educators improve student success in math and science. let's shoot for the stars. let's invest in our teachers and inspire our students. let's solve this.
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>> everyone can now take a virtual tour of israel. the first middle east country to participate in google's street view service, but the 360-degree images of city streets also raise security concerns. cnn's lisa lab has the story from jerusalem. hundreds flock to jerusalem's old city and now you can tour the cobblestone streets from your home computer. this week israel joined google's street view service, offering up close-up images of its streets and world famous tourist attractions in tel aviv, and haifa. >> we have religious site as it speak to our faith. our hope is they see these treasures, the beauty of these and that after they see and browse virtually from their pc or from their mobile they will
fall in love with the country and also come and visit. >> and so you think it can be used as a tourist attraction? >> absolutely. >> many israelis love the idea and they agree it will attract a lot of tourism to israel, but in a country where security is paramount, many others are concerned that google service will provide a convenient road map for terrorists to plan attacks against israelis. >> there is very valuable information for everyone who is gathering intelligence or pre-operation intelligence especially if they're using statistical weapons like rockets and missiles that hit an area, not a pinpoint target. jo i'm here with iro canan and an influential blogger in israel. it was a well-known establishment that was the site of a terrorist attack about ten years ago and it was just a few hundred feet across from the
prime minister's residence. you can see it here, what happens when we pan over to the residence. >> you get a big blur? >> why is that? >> the government gave permission of give photos of specific places in israel and if taking a photo of a street is open and putting it up on the internet is not a security risk, why is this blurred and if it is a security risk why isn't my house blurred? >> can you see your house from the google program? >> yes. definitely. >> are you comfortable with that? >> no. definitely not. >> they can find your house now. >> not only find my house, but plan how to penetrate it and get me. >> and, wolf, when you see the close-up view of these streets you can also get a first hand view of the conflict between israelis and palestinians. for instance, you can see the separation fences between israeli and palestinian areas
and you also, when google's cameras map jerusalem they caught a vigil of the kidnapped soldier gilat shalit who has since been released. all of the checkpoints are blurred out. >> fascinating story indeed from jerusalem. elise, thanks very much. a series of explosion nos ukraine leads to a probe. mary snow is monitoring those stories. >> a wave of bombing southeast of kiev were the work of terrorists. 27 people including nine children at ia movie theater were injured. ukraine president vows to punish those responsible. >> the u.s. navy seized $3600 million worth of cocaine out of the ocean. drug smugglers were spotted in fast boats off the coast of panama, that's when a naval war ship to give chase, throwing $5,000 pounds of cocaine
overboard. the drugs seized will be turned over to the feds. finishing the season with the lowest winning percentage in nba history isn't a title you'd want on a t-shirt, but it's all the charlotte bobcats can say after last night's 104-84 loss to the knicks. it belongs none other to owner michael jordan. he knew a season of rebuilding would be tough, but he never thought it would be this bad. it's got to hurt, wolf. >> very painful for michael jordan, i am sure. thanks very much for that. american unins helping the poor, but the vatican says they're doing something wrong. we'll e plain what's going on and why it's making these nuns angry. >> the president turning into a comedian and he's not the only one. a sneak peek at one of the you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
here is a change of pace. a lot of us are getting ready for one of the most star-studded nights of the year at least in washington, d.c. we are talking about the white house correspondents association dinner. many celebrities are expected to attend tomorrow night along with the president, top government officials, lots of washington journalists. as always, the president is expected to give a joke-filled
speech but he'll have to compete with previous presidential performances. >> members of the white house correspondents association, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. >> here i am. [ laughter ] >> i am married to the president of the united states. and here's our typical evening. [ laughter ] >> 9:00, mr. excitement here is sound asleep. [ laughter ] >> and i'm watching "desperate housewives." >> ozzie, mom loves your stuff. [ cheers and applause ] >> tonight for the first time, i am releasing my official birth video. ♪
>> i want to make clear to the fox news table that was a joke. that was not my real birth video. that was a children's cartoon. call disney if you don't believe me. they have the original long form version. >> just look at the options the republicans are kicking around. palin, huckabee, gingrich, trump. that doesn't sound like a field of candidates. that sounds like season 13 of "dancing with the stars." i tell you who could definitely beat you, mr. president. 2008 barack obama. you would have loved him. >> this is a tough holiday for rahm emanuel. he's not used to saying the word "day" after "mother." [ applause ] >> you just saw seth myers from
two years ago. this year's headliner is late night talk show host jimmy kimmel who showed up at the white house briefing room a few hours ago to give everyone a preview of his routine tomorrow night. >> so obviously the secret service thing is something that i'm going to talk about, but i'm not necessarily going to do 30 jokes about it. probably 20. i have never been in the white house before. i probably will never be asked back, either. but it's really very cool actually. >> very cool. jimmy kimmel. a very, very funny guy. looking forward to seeing him tomorrow night. when we come back, we'll switch gears. there is trouble right now within the catholic ranks. i didn't catch that. to speak to a representative, please say representative now. representative. goodbye! you don't like automated customer service, and neither do we. that's why, unlike other cards,
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so they matter most to us. if you're caring for a child with special needs, our innovative special care program offers strategies that can help. catholic nuns in the united states under fire right now by the vatican. the surprising move is raising questions about the church's politics and its priorities. our mary snow is taking a closer look at the story for us. mary? >> wolf, u.s. nuns are under the microscope and a group representing their leaders is carefully watching its words as it figures out how to respond to a vatican reprimand while others are privately wondering what it will mean for the future.
to get a sense of the work catholic nuns do consider sister mary scullion. >> this block was filled with abandoned houses. and, you know, there was a lot of violence on this block, gun violence. >> reporter: sister mary took her fight to end homelessness to this philadelphia neighborhood more than a decade ago and moved in. the nationally recognized group she cofounded, project h.o.m.e. turned empty buildings into homes and built a school that created jobs. >> a lot of people in the community are grateful to her for being here and opening up so many doors to a lot of people who thought their lives were just ending. >> reporter: sister mary is eager to talk about her work, but like many nuns she is not willing to publically speak about harsh vatican report that unnerved many communities of nuns in the u.s. the vatican is taking disciplinary action against the leadership conference of women religious, a group that says it represents about 80% of catholic
nuns in the u.s. after an investigation, the vatican cites the group for having themes of radical feminism. it also says while there has been a great deal of work on the part of lcw rrk promoting issues of social justice it is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death. there are also clashes on views of homosexuality. lcwr said it was stunned and is largely silent as it prepares a response. a second group cited is expressing shock and anger. >> the way the church then gets portrayed again is as dismissing women. women who are -- there is more of us serving in the church than there are on the guys and there are certainly more women that are faithful in their daily service to the church. that makes me mad. makes me sad. >> sister simone campbell head as justice lobby. she says there are suspicions nuns were targeted because they supported president obama's
health care reform law while u.s. bishops did not. the u.s. conference of bishops says it's not about politics but catholic doctrine and cites comments made years before the health care reform fight. father reese of georgetown university thinks the issue is the vatican wanting to control the message and says nuns have been under suspicion for years. >> these are women with ph.d.s, with degrees in theology. you know, they want to discuss things. they want to be heard. i think the vatican has a hard time dealing with discussion and a hard time listening to these sisters. >> the bishop of seattle was named to lead reforms of the nun groups in question, a process that could take up to five years. a spokesman for the u.s. conference of bishops says both sides met in rome this week and both sides are not inclined to work out their differences in the media. wolf? >> do we know when we'll get a statement from the group of nuns, mary?