Skip to main content

tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  May 11, 2012 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT

1:00 pm
that block today and they're setting up -- >> mr. feldstein? i've got ten seconds, literally here. do you feel safe? are you going stay? >> absolutely feel safe. it's safer here than back north. up north you can run into random shootings, congressmen getting shot. we're much safer. >> sorry to rush you along. the next show is coming on. stay safe, okay? good luck. i'm don lemon. thanks for watching. time now for wolf blitzer and "the situation room." >> don, thanks very much. happening now, a kidnapper on the fbi's most wanted list kills himself in front of his young captives as police close in. we're learning dramatic new details of the final moments of the man hunt. we're standing by for a news conference that's expected to begin any second. also, mitt romney keeps facing questions about alleged school bullying 50 years ago. is it fair for reporters to dig into a presidential candidate's high school years? an amazing find in the
1:01 pm
egyptian desert. a world war ii fighter plane almost perfectly preserved. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- >> we're getting new details from a news conference that has just begun. a dramatic case in mississippi and let's go live to jackson, mississippi. >> the department of wild life, fisheries and parks and special agents response team conducting searches of the area, thoroughly combing heavily wooded areas. it was the diligent effort of these men working in conjunction with the fbi. today we have special agent in charge dan mullens from the fbi that has concentrated efforts to help mississippi and tennessee law enforcement officers. the highway special ops, the department of public safety, bureau of narcotics, guntown
1:02 pm
police department, union countier is sheriff's department, desorto, and mississippi highway patrol, troopers who have to take up the responsibility when these members of the team are off doing this important work. as i said, the bureau of narcotics wild life fisheries and parks and tennessee bureau of investigation, the federal bureau of investigation, u.s. marshals service and the united states attorneys office. i want to particularly thank again the department of public safety. commissioner santa cruz and i talked frequently throughout the last week and this was a case that we knew had national implications and concerns. we knew also that two victims, 31-year-old jo ann bain and 14-year-old adrienne bain's lives had been lost and we wanted to find out why. i'm very proud of all of these
1:03 pm
agent, but particularly proud, of course, as governor of the public safety and the mississippi highway patrol and the bure over narcotics and all that have worked so hard to get us where we are at today. >> i will recognize now the public safety, the commissioner albert santa cruz. >> thank you. >> i just want to echo governor's brian's remarks there and to thank every agency that was involved with this. the bureau of investigation became involved with this on may 1st after finding out that the mother and older daughter had been killed. our number one concern at that time was for the safety of the other two children and the safety of the republic and the people in this area. our mbi agents and the
1:04 pm
mississippi highway patrol team immediately became involved in this search. we will have other people give you the details on how this search ended and like i said, there are no words that i can put out to thank these agencies for the hard work that they've done, and especially our assault team which worked diligently to bringing this to an end. thank you. at this time i'd like to introduce special agent mr. mcmullen. >> thank you. thank you. it's certainly a pleasure to be here on behalf of the fbi to say thank you. thank you to all of the officers, investigators, troopers involved in this investigation. the investigation that led to the ending of a nightmare for alexandria and kyliyah bain. this was an emotional, intense
1:05 pm
investigation. over a dozen law enforcement agentses were involved. i can't say enough about the outstanding work of the state police s.o.g. and the department of wild life fisheries law enforcement component. it was a ground fight also. we had a lot of technology involved. we had sources reporting, but as the governor said it came down to feet on the ground, but i'd be remiss if i didn't point out also the importance of the public and their cooperation. i believe this investigation demonstrated once again the cooperative nature of law enforcement in the state of mississippi at every level, the state level and the local level. we want to make sure that we maintain a cooperative spirit. we have to do that for the public. it's what the public deserves and it's what the public expects and again, on behalf of the fbi, thank you for reskewing these two children and also for capturing a top ten most wanted fugitive.
1:06 pm
thank you. >> good afternoon. i'm sergeant johnny post, director of public affairs of the highway patrol. at this time i would like to introduce two gentlemen that were very instrumental in bringing this to a close. our director of the special operations group master sergeant steve crawford and mississippi wild life fisheries and parks lieutenant ellington. >> all right. so we will ton to monitor the news conference and they're praising each other and they deserve an enormous amount of praise for what happened. adam mayes killed himself last night. the news broke last night. the woman and the eldest
1:07 pm
daughter is dead and the two little girls have survived and we'll update you if there's any news coming out of this news conference and there you can see they're giving themselves a well-deserved round of applause and job well done and we'll see what else is going on. let's move on to come other news right now. the predump theive nominee mitt romney is trying to keep his focus the weak spot and that would be the economy. allegations of high school bullying are complicating his effort. our national political correspondent jim acosta is joining us now. jim, this story doesn't seem to be going away all that quickly. what's the latest? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. mitt rom no was asked again about this alleged incident, bullying, in north carolina earlier today. he basically gave the same answer he's offered since this came up. it's another example of how mitt romney would like to stick to the economy.
1:08 pm
the story followed mitt romney to the battleground state of north carolina, popping up not in his speech, but in an interview with the local tv station. >> i was one who did some stupid things in high school and if anyone feels that they were offended by that, i certainly apologize. >> romney declined to say whether he remembered the incident first reported in "the washington post" that in 1965 in a public school, romney and other men, held down a classmate and cut off a chunk of his hair. it's not sitting with romney's former classmate. i know what an assault is, maxwell says this kid was scared and he was terrified. that's an assault. romney says he doesn't remember it and i find it difficult to belie believe. it's unfortunate that mitt simply hasn't owned up to his behavior. the romney campaign is quietly trying to put the matter to rest by issuing statements from
1:09 pm
former classmates like john french who said mitt never had a malicious bone in his body. trying to characterize him as a bully is absurd. a romney campaign person said french did not witness the incident. >> the real question is mitt romney a bully and the answer is no. >> reporter: romney's former lieutenant governor went on cnn to defend his character. >> his impulses are very kind impulses and there should be no debate about whether or not governor romney is a bully. >> sometimes people forget the magnitude of it. >> reporter: the romney campaign quick pounced on the president's comments. >> sometimes people forget the magnitude of it, you know, you saw some of that in the video that was shown. sometimes i forget. >> reporter: mr. obama's line, sometimes i forge instantly ping-ponged among romney on twitter and romney didn't forget to bring up the president's
1:10 pm
comments in charlotte. >> i don't forget that. i see that every day and i will do everything in my power to get people good jobs. >> look for romney to stick to the subject of the economy tomorrow even though he's scheduled to visit the liberty university in virginia. excerpts from romney's speech so far released from the campaign are all about jobs, but, wolf, i will tell you that later on this afternoon, not too long from now the romney campaign will brief reporters about what mr. romney is going to be saying at liberty university and we'll have to see whether or not there's a chance he may be talking more about his faith and more about these issues that matter a lot to christian conservatives who are waiting to hear what the romney campaign has to say in a little while from now. >> thanks very much. let's dig deeper right now. joining us, howard kurtz of cnn's reliable sources and he's with "the daily beast" and our chief political correspondent candy crowley and she's the host
1:11 pm
of "state of the union" airing on cnn. >> how big of a distraction for mitt romney is the whole high school bullying story that emerged. >> jim acosta could have spent the whole top of the show talking about the economy and said the piece was about the high school bullying story. so yes, it's a distraction. >> i don't know if they're dealing with it appropriately or not dealing with it. if you're in a campaign how do you deal with something 50 years old and conflicting memories and whatever. one of the things i thought of was george w. bush and the whole did he do drugs. he said when i was young and irresponsible i was young and irresponsible and -- boom and moved on. this, i don't really remember, but if somebody was hurt, i apologize. if he doesn't remember. i don't remember, by the way, bullying, shouldn't happen. people are stupid at 17, but here's my clear and direct response, it's a little mushy and i think it keeps it going. >> is it fair game?
1:12 pm
is it appropriate for journalists to look back at someone's high school and all of us did silly, stupid things. >> you, wolf? >> all of us did. is it appropriate? >> i think they passed every test except one. it was meticulously reported and four of the five witnesses were quoted on the record, but it's 47 years ago and so there is -- is there any statute of limitations on this sort of thing and it does feel a bit like a cheap hit and romney, i think, didn't help himself by not denouncing bullying and maybe owning up to it, but is it fair game? as you know, wolf, when you run for president everything in your past. >> years ago when barack obama was running -- we learned about his high school years in honolulu as well. playing basketball and we all remember the pictures. i guess the point is if you're running, candy, for president of the united states you have to assume everything in your life will be scrutinized. >> you absolutely do. i'm sort of a two minds of this.
1:13 pm
the people that i talk to outside of business, why do i care about this that happened 50 years ago? here's why i think it's important or why it matters at least to the romney campaign. he has not defined himself. most american people don't know what mitt romney is about yet. part of that is he's not the president. he's not that clear and they haven't been paying that close of attention so when something comes out that begins to define you that's negative it catches on. wait, i know mitt romney and he's this i kind of guy or that kind of guy and now they're reading these teenage stories about him without a whole lot else about who he has become. >> it tells us something about romney's character. >> yea. >> say it was absolutely true and he was a complete jerk. he was 17. i don't think it tells us very much about his character now and there's salacious interest. >> what he's not telling sus we haven't enough -- people have not seen enough -- >> people don't have a feel for
1:14 pm
romney who is a reserved guy and doesn't share about his faith and inner feelings. that's just the way he is, therefore you say he's more vulnerable to this kind of story. >> to this kind of story. >> should they have run these long pieces or should they not have run the long pieces? >> i don't have a lem with the portrait of romney as a yung student and clearly, it was a damaging anecdote. it was also clear, wolf that the post itself has reservations about it and it was published online and he was quoted as saying we felt uneasy putting it on the front page of the paper edition with the same thing saying barack obama embraces same-sex marriage and he didn't look like he was ganging up on romney in a week when gay sexual conduct was very much in the news. >> do you remember it all very briefly, "the washington post"
1:15 pm
doing any articles about barack obama? >> i don't remember a piece about what he was like at 15 or 16? >> i don't remember any, but i wouldn't go to the bank and that's the complaint from the conservative side. >> they're looking for dirt on mitt romney. >> obama indemnified himself in which he acknowledged he smoked pot and that got recycled by everybody else. >> he got to write the story and not a bad thing for a future presidential candidate. >> state of the union, sunday morning, 9:00 a.m. eastern and also at noon eastern. "reliable sources," 11:00 a.m. eastern sunday morning also on cnn. >> we'll have more on this sue. >> i know you will. >> thanks very much. a bomb-making genius intent on attacking the united states. emerging details about a key al
1:16 pm
qaeda player. president obama's fund-raiser, will it close the democrats gap with republicans potentially? plus, the remarkable discovery of a perfectly preserved world war ii fighter plane, but what happened to the pilot? ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] virtual wallet can help you be that person who's good with money. see what's free to spend. move money with a slide. save with a shake. feel good about your decisions.
1:17 pm
1:18 pm
save with a shake. today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines are now powering some of america's biggest cities. siemens. answers. ♪ [ sighs ] [ bird chirps ] [ bird squawks ] ♪ [ bird screeching ]
1:19 pm
♪ [ elevator bell dings ] [ sighs ] how mad is she? she kicked me out. but i took the best stuff. i'll get the wrench. ♪ [ male announcer ] kohler's tresham collection. life. with a twist. ♪ >> there's huge relief after learning this week that the latest al qaeda plot to bomb a u.s.-bound plane was thwarted, but experts see something more chilling, a bomb-making genius who is determined to try to keep blowing up passenger jets with ties to america. brian todd is working the story for us. what are you finding out? >> by all account, the destruction of this plot is not going deter al qaeda in the arabian peninsula from trying to attack again. the group is closing ranks and the chief bombmaker is still at large.
1:20 pm
new, ominous signs that the group responsible for this airline bombing attempt will keep targeting america. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and its master bombmaker ibrahim al asiri have captured significant territory in yemen, gained strength and resources. >> they have the money. they attack many banks to secure cash. there's a number of kidnapping operations that are secure and they're using this cash to buy new technology and basically to train more people. so we are facing a major threat coming from yemen. no doubt about it. mustafa alani of the gulf research center was briefed by saudi counterterrorism officials. alani and others think al qaeda in the arabian peninsula may have access to laboratories. it boasted its modest lab was now a modern one. al asiri may have similar bombs
1:21 pm
ready to target u.s.-bound plane and he's trained others how to make them and he's up against an adversary that's penetrated their ranks. they placed a mole inside the group, a man of arab origin who got his hands on the bomb and handed it to them. >> they have their own peoplen side. they have very strong connection to the leadership. they have connection to some of the religious leadership, and they have strong relation with the yemeni intelligence agency. so the task of using human intelligency cannot be done by the american. it needs to be done by the saudis. >> reporter: alani says he doesn't believe al qaeda allowed him to get close to ibrahim al asiri. he may be the most dangerous terrorist america faces. known as a savvy technician, he studied chemistry at a university in saudi arabia. he became radicalized during the iraq war and spent time in a
1:22 pm
saudi prison and developed a cold ruthlessness. 2009 he's seen hering hadding his brother. al asiri implanted a bomb inside his brother's body and got him close to prince muhammad bin nayyef. the bomb killed his brother and the prince survived. >> what does it is a about him that he's willing to send his own brother to kill a top saudi official. >> that tells everything about this man. this man is dedicated to jihad and he'll be willing to give his life. he gave his brother's life. that was a suicide mission. >> reporter: that was ken ballen who has interviewed several militants in the al qaeda peninsu peninsula. he says having a mole inside its ranks will not deter its group. he said it will strengthen it. the saudi infiltration of the group will become much harder and in that way, al qaeda in the arabian peninsula may be more of a threat now after this operation, wolf. you can be right about that.
1:23 pm
>> do we know if this mole was ever close to getting caught? >> we are not quite sure about that, but according to mustafa al a lshgalani. in these operations the handlers cannot have daily contact with the undercover agents and they have to do it by second or third hand contacts and they go days and weeks without talking to them and the mole has to operate on his own and al qaeda was on the lookout for people like this and they were wary of outsiders coming into the ranks and this was an incredibly dangerous operation. >> brian, thanks very much. keep up the good work. >> michelle obama dresses virginia tech university graduates and what she's saying to a campus that is still rebuilding from a deadly attack by a student five years ago. >> it may not be the end of the world after all. there's new evidence that a 2012 apocalypse just isn't true.
1:24 pm
more news. stay with us. great shot. how did the nba become the hottest league on the planet? by building on the cisco intelligent network they're able to serve up live video, and instant replays, creating fans from berlin to beijing. what can we help you build? nice shot kid. the nba around the world built by the only company that could. cisco.
1:25 pm
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
1:26 pm
a foim foiled suicide bomb in syria and mary snow is
1:27 pm
monitoring that. >> officials stopped a suicide bomb in syria's most populist city. state media reports authorities intercepted a stolen bookie trapped minibus. they killed the bomber before he detonated the vehicle carrying 2600 pounds of explosives. in damascus, suicide attackers killed dozens of people yesterday. here in the u.s. stocks are mixed while all three indexes ended down for the second straight week. investors reacted to a $2 billion trading loss of j.p. morgan. the company's ceo jamie dimon has cited errors in bad judgment. in our next hour we'll take a look at what happened to j.p. morgan and what it means for your investment sgloos take a look at this. it's a swarm of bees that attached themselves to the side of a jacksonville, florida building. no one was attacked and no one got hurt. beekeepers say the behavior was part of reproduction. he they used a vacuum and moved them to where they wouldn't make so many people nervous. >> may an experts say this year
1:28 pm
won't bring the end of the world after all. researchers have uncovered the remnants of the oldest known mayan calendar. the mayans used a series of cycles to track time and that december 21, 2012, only marks the end of one such cycle. the mayan calendar will, quote, keep going for billions, trillions and octill ons of years. >> octillions, who knew? >> it rallied bases. whose campaign gets a bigger boost for support of gay marriage? will it be his rival? they're standing by live for the strategy session. so what happened to the pilot of this world war ii fighter plane? o
1:29 pm
1:30 pm
four wal and a roof is a structure. what's inside is a home.
1:31 pm
home ptectorlus, from liberty mutual insurance, where the costs to both repair your house and replace what's inside are covered. and we don't just cut a check for the depreciated value -- we can actually replace your stuff with an exact or near match. and with the liberty mutual home gallery app, you can use a mobile device to easily catalog your belongings in advance, so you're always well prepared. home protector plus, from liberty mutual insurance, so your life can settle right back into place. to get a free quote, call... visit a local office, or go to today. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? i'm wolf blitzer. here are the stories we're
1:32 pm
working on on the next hour. does this mean your investments are at risk? we'll report it coming up. a former presidential candidate out on the campaign trail on trial right now. we'll be talking about the prosecution resting its case against john edwards. how did they do? and air traffic controllers watching movies and gambling all while on the job. a shocking report on safety in the skies. stand by. you're in "the situation room." right to our strategy session. joining us now the democratic strategist and cnn political contributor james carville and he's joining us in new orleans and in new york bay buchanon and she's the auth are on of a brand new book "bay and her boys." unexpected lessons i learned as a single mom. excellent book. thanks for coming in. let me start with you.
1:33 pm
i'm not happy with the fuzzy picture we're getting over there from new orleans and we still look like james carville and they certainly know how you sound. give us your quick reaction. what went through your mind when you heard the president announce his support for same-sex marriage. >> i was happy, and i think it was inevitable and when there's a parade the best place to be is to be the drum major and he grabbed the baton and got out in front of this and i suspect he was going make an announcement and probably the vice president's remarks in response to the question made him do it faster than what he planned on, but that happens in politics. >> do you think it will hurt him in north carolina, virginia and in ohio? in 2004 ohio voters passed legislation that banned same-sex marriage. >> it might, but if it does, i think it -- sure, you that something like this won't make some difference somewhere, but also he does seem like he's
1:34 pm
on the right side of history and romney looks more reactive in this kind of thing and they' going to bring up romney when he was pro-gay rights than kennedy was. i'll be totally honest with you. i'm not altogether certain that there's a political advantage with this one between now and november. long term, there's a real advantage for the democrats. >> i tweeted earlier that the president's historic announ announcement helped strengthen his liberal base while at the same time strengthening mitt romney's conservative base. would you agree with that? >> i would agree absolutely with that. i agree with james. i don't know how big a role this issue would be in the last couple of days and the key issue in this race is going to be the economy, but if i had to balance it i would say romney benefits and if this was a popular thing and if it was politically smart, barack obama would have done it months ago and he was pressured
1:35 pm
into this and the fallout is that he's now identified clearly with the left wing of his party more so. he's at odds with middle america and north carolina and virginia and mitt romney is on the side of this issue and people look at it in the majority and then he has the gay community that pushed him to do this and there's talk that maybe they're not happy to go to north carolina, and if this starts bubbling up, there could be issues that harm the democrats. >> what do you think about that, james? >> i think everybody will be fine going to north carolina. i think this is one of these things that the democratic party and it's a good place to be. zee a party of civil rights and the party of gay rights and i'm completely comfortable with that. there's some pushback, but if
1:36 pm
you look at public opinion on this, it's definitely, he's on the right side of history here and again, how -- the conservative base, i'm sure they'll get jazzed up about this and they're jazzed up already. i'm not sure that it's short term or wash, i'm almost positive long term that it's an advantage for the democrats. >> mitt romney and the president seem to agree. mitt romney has made it clear and he doesn't want to reinstate the don't ask, don't tell policy. he seems to be okay with letting the military personnel serve openly as gays. also he seems to be okay with letting gay couple, men and men, women and women adopt children. so in those two areas he seems to be on the same page as the president. is that a problem out there for social conservatives? >> sure. some of them will disagree with those and let me clarify on the
1:37 pm
adoption issue and he acknowledges it's a state issue and he did nothing to change it, but he thinks the best route for adoption is for children to is be a mom or a dad and that it's far better for children and those states that do choose to do otherwise he didn't make any attempt to change it. as for social conservatives, many of them, some of them out there are concerned about those issues. i heard a little talk about that today, but the big issue and the most passionate issue is about gay marriage and pro life and those issues governor romney is solid and they've started more behind, and this gives them more reason. >> stand by. we'll have much more to talk about including the first lady's commencement speech. we'll have a live report from virginia tech university and the graduation addresses in this election year. >> it's like a scene out of
1:38 pm
"indiana jones." we'll show you the extraordinary discovery from the egyptian desert. now's the time to move from to where you want to go. look up. with u.s. bank let's get the wheels turning. use our strength & stability to open new opportunities. to lend, and lift ...every business...every dream... to new heights of prosperity. good things are happening. just look up. with u.s. bank.
1:39 pm
powered by a second gen intel® core™ i5 or i7 processor. everything. and more. ♪ born to leap, born to stalk, and born to pounce. to understand why, we journeyed to africa, where their wild ancestor was born. there we discovered that cats, no matter where they are... are born to be cats.
1:40 pm
and shouldn't your cat be who he was born to be? discover your cat's true nature. purina one.
1:41 pm
a high-profile speaker of the virginia tech commencement ceremony, michelle obama. today she urged students not to let the 2007 gun massacre at the university define their school. our white house correspondent brianna keilar is there for us. virginia, clearly a very important state in the race for the white house. it's no coincidence that the first lady picked virginia tech
1:42 pm
to deliver this commencement address. >> reporter: certainly no coincidence and when you talk to students they were well aware of that, but they were happy to have michelle obama to speak here today. politics no doubt, played a role in her decision to speak here. so, too, did the uniqueness of this class. they were high school juniors when the shootings happened, but they still decided to apply and come to school here. it's time to graduate at virginia tech. >> i'm going to throw this and it's going to be great. >> reporter: kathleen whitley and rebecca clayton were high school juniors when the april 2007 shootings shocked this campus and the nation. now they're part of the first graduating class that applied after the tragedy. >> the shooting does not reflect any part of my four years here. >> it could have happened anywhere. >> reporter: still, the event has become synonymous with their school, something first lady michelle obama talked about when
1:43 pm
she delivered the commencement address here. >> when you all are out there in the world and you meet someone and you tell them that you're from virginia tech and they say, isn't that the school where -- i want you to interrupt them right there and say, yes, it is the school where we have some of the best academic programs and professors in the country. you say yes, that is the school i attend. that is virginia tech. >> i feel like every year there's a little bit less connection for every class. >> reporter: rachel webb did not know the victims, but like many students told us, she remembers them often. >> it's a rhone to come out to school every day and be excited to be at school because others can't. >> virtually no student that was here today was here on april 16, 2007, but it's still a powerful memory. >> reporter: and it had a surprising effect on the students now graduating. >> actually, our enrollments
1:44 pm
were up. it was quite amazing. >> reporter: alex is a rarity in this class. he committed to coming to tech in the days following the shooting and now he's graduating. >> we have a little bit to pack, but not too much. it's bittersweet, but we're excited for the next chapter of our lives. >> reporter: alex will spend the next six months in the philippines volunteering with his wife candidate before he starts an engineering job, but first, it's time to move. >> did we get newspaper? >> reporter: and here in blacksburg, virginia, it's also time to move on. mrs. obama's message at virginia tech was very much tailored to this class, wolf. she also talked about how she hon smord people that she lost when she was in her 20s, her dad and a friend through service and that's something that's been emphasized at virginia tech following the shootings, community service as a way to pay tribute to the victims. >> congratulate all of the graduates. i went there five years ago
1:45 pm
after the shooting and it's a wonderful, wonderful university and all of those grads should be very, very proud. brianna, thanks very much. let's go back to our strategy session and discuss the politics of graduation addresses a little bit with democratic strategist and cnn political contributor james carville and republican strategist bay buchanon. the president, james, will be speaking at barnard college, part of columbia university in new york on monday. mitt romney is addressing the graduates at liberty university in virginia. very different schools, shall we say. >> yea. if you can't accuse them of playing election politics by giving a speech in manhattan. >> no, the point i was going to make it's an all-women's school, barnard, and he's got a big lopsided majority among women voters right now, but i suspect he's trying to further increase
1:46 pm
that and mitt romney going to this fundamentalist university at liberty university and he's reaching out to evangelicals. >> i think so. you know, it's fine. there are probably other places that i would go and he might be making a specific speech about something. i think it's fine. i think it's great that the first lady went to virginia tech which is a great university. sometimes i wish i had the guts to do it in '92 and to the university of wyoming they would give a commencement speech and it would be funny to go outside the box a little bit and i'm sure we did it and i don't know how much good it does. >> tell us why mitt romney, bay and why he decided to go to jerryfa fallwell's university a he's a mormon. there are some on the campus who aren't happy that a mormon is giving the commencement address
1:47 pm
there. >> there were a few that spoke out, very, very phi, i might add. we're in the period where what's most important to mitt romney is that we pull the party together and the evangelical conservatives have had a real champion in the race in rick santorum. he only dropped out a month ago and to see how they responded after he dropped out to send an invitation to the governor saying come talk to us, we want to hear from you and be part of this campaign. it was a signal that they were ready to be a part of this great effort and so of course, we responded with a positive yes message and we're interested in being represented in this election. it's in virginia, this is great, i will pick up 1,000 volunteers from that commencement addressed and they'll be excited and energized and as james can tell you there's nothing better than a thousand young energetic
1:48 pm
volunteers in any campaign. >> if he could do that that would be very significant. virginia, the president won it, but it's certainly a battleground state now. congratulations all of the graduates barnard, virginia tech and a lot of great schools out there. they and their parents, their loved ones should be very, very proud. >>. a small child falls out of a fast-moving car and it was caught on tape. you'll find out. watching movies and a lot more all by air traffic controllers while on the job. [ male announcer ] if you believe the mayan calendar,
1:49 pm
1:50 pm
on december 21st polar shifts will reverse the earth's gravitational pull and hurtle us all into space. which would render retirement planning unnecessary. but say the sun rises on december 22nd, and you still need to retire. td ameritrade's investment consultants can help you build a plan that fits your life. we'll even throw in up to $600 when you open a new account or roll over an old 401(k). so who's in control now, mayans?
1:51 pm
1:52 pm
new information just coming in "the situation room" in the murder trial of jennifer hudson's family. mary snow has the details. what have we just learned? >> wolf, a verdict has been reached in the case of william balfour, jennifer hudson's former brother-in-law. the verdict will be read at 5:30 eastern time. earlier today the jury sent the judge a note saying they were split and asking for more testimony about testimony from an fbi analyst. balfour pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder in the 2008 killings of hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew. his attorney has said there's no forensic evidence linking him to the case. we'll bring you the information on the verdict as soon as we get it. law enforcement officials are searching the connecticut home of an alleged mobster and the suspect's lawyer says what they're really looking for is hundreds of millions of dollars in missing art. the pieces went missing in a 1990 heist of a boston art museum. they include paintings by degas and rembrandt. the u.s. attorney's office is
1:53 pm
not commenting. incredible video from china where a man jumped from a moving car to save his young daughter. she fell from the same car. according to state television the man says the 4-year-old girl crawled from the backseat into the passenger seat. she suddenly opened the door -- and the late freddy mercury was alongside his queen band mates on stage. he tells the bbc they're working on a way to give him a role in the london musical "we will rock you." they insist it's not a hologram. he calls it an optical illusion of sorts. it will celebrate ten years of the musical. it will be interesting to see what it is. >> it certainly will be, mary. thank you. the arizona sheriff is ending his bid for congress. you may remember he the sheriff resigned from mitt romney's campaign amid scandal in february. back then he denied allegations that he threatened to deport a former boyfriend. >> this is outrageous that this
1:54 pm
has been brought out because i'm a conservative republican and now they think that somehow there's hypocrisy because i'm gay. i've never worn it on my sleeve like this is who i am. i don't define myself. we're different in america and we celebrate our differences and we see it as a strength, the beauty of our country. >> at the time he stepped down as romney's co-chair in arizona and now he's suspending his congressional campaign to run for re-election as sheriff. it's a mystery born seven decades ago, but only recently discovered in the egyptian desert. what happened to the pilot of this plane? plus, the stunning revelation of a $2 billion loss by america's biggest bank. how did that happen? it is 28 miles a gallon. that's pretty awesome. park assist? no hands. i didn't think that was possible. make me want the fusion. it's pretty. it's fun to drive. and the fuel-efficiency... up to 33 miles per gallon. pretty awesome.
1:55 pm
it's the swap your ride sales event. get a fusion or escape with 0% financing for 60 months plus up to $1750 cash back. so i wasn't playing much of a role in my own life, but with advair, i'm breathing better 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. if you're still having difficulty breathing,
1:56 pm
take the lead. ask your doctor if including advair could help improve your lung function. get your first full prescription free and save on refills at at liberty mutual, we know how much you count on your car, and how much the people in your life count on you. that's why we offer accident forgiveness, where your price won't increase due to your first accident. we also offer a hassle-free lifetime repair guarantee, where the repairs made on your car are guaranteed for life, or they're on us. these are just two of the valuable features you can expect from liberty mutual. plus, when you insure both your home and car with us, it could save you time and money. at liberty mutual, we help you move on with your life, so get the insurance responsible drivers like you deserve. call us at...
1:57 pm
or visit your local liberty mutual office, where an agent can help you find the policy that's right for you. liberty mutual insurance, responsibility -- what's your policy? [ male announcer ] new icy hot arthritis lotion. powerful encapsulated menthol gets icy to dull pain, hot to relax it away. power past pain. here's a look at this hour's hotshots. in the west bank, a samaritan prayer service is marked to end the pass over holiday. >> in south korea, a fireworks show celebrates the opening ceremony of expo 2012. a convention being called the next world's fair. in egypt, people pause for friday noon prayer in tahrir square. in new delhi india,
1:58 pm
squirrels play in a garden. hot shots, pictures coming in from around the world. >> an amazing discovery in the african desert. a world war ii fighter plane trapped in time. officials are search for example clues and the missing pilot. barbara starr is joining us with more. >> wolf, this is extraordinary. the desert, the sahara desert coughed up a secret with not quite a full solution yet. it sat quietly for 70 years in the egyptian desert, waiting for someone to find it. the wreckage of a british royal air force p-40, one of hundreds of kitty hawk firebombers that took on the nazis across north africa. a polish oil work exploring the egyptian desert just came across the wreckage and took these extraordinary images, the plane, mostly intact, after decades in the desert. the cockpit controls, from an era gone by, enough to inspire even modern fighter pilotis. >> just thought what an amazing,
1:59 pm
amazing story for an aircraft 70 years ago to have gone down in the desert to be in such good condition and to be found intact after all these years. >> even some ammunition and guns remain. this ar kwief film shows the plane in action in world war ii. in north africa, its job, to protect troops on the ground fighting the nazis. >> it was an absolute workhouse. it flew extensively throughout that campaign, and some may well say it was decisive in tipping the balance in favor of the allies in north africa. >> records show the plane went down in the sahara desert on june 28, 1942. according to british newspapers, the pilot is thought to be flight sergeant dennis coping. >> i think the important part of the story is the story of the man that was flying it and what happened to him. it's believed he was flying the already damaged plane to a repair site when he crashed.
2:00 pm
these bullet holes, a mystery. was he shot down? hi he tried to make himself a shelter from the hot sun, but no remains have been found. he may have died in the burning desert looking for help. and british military authorities will visit the wreckage in the desert in the coming days, we are told and try to determine whether it is feasible to try and search for the remains of this young world war ii pilot lost so many years ago. wolf? >> amazing story. barbara, thank you. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, new calls to bust up mega banks now that j.p. morgan chase has reviled $2 billion training blunder. four years after america's financial crisis, are your investments at risk? complaints of air traffic controllers taking naps, watching movies, playing games while they were on the job. a whistle-blower raising a red
2:01 pm
flag about safety along one of the busiest flight paths in the nation. we're standing by for the verdict to be read this hour in the trial of the man charged with murdering three family members of the entertainer jennifer hudson. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- it's blatant proof that wall street mega banks haven't stopped taking big risks that could threaten the u.s. economy. j.p. morgan chase's $2 billion fiasco is giving people flashbacks to the 2008 financial meltdown. many americans are wondering how this could happen and what it could mean for their own finances. mary snow is joining us now. she's got the beginning of our
2:02 pm
coverage. a shocker, i must say, mary. what's going on? >> yea, this certainly was a shock, wolf. rating agency fitch cut its rating on j.p. morgan chase. now not only is this the nation's largest bank. the news came from a highly respected ceo who managed to steer his company through the financial crisis better than most. j.p. morgan chase's ceo jamie dimon waited until after the markets closed thursday to make the stunning announcement that the bank lost $2 billion this quarter, a loss he blames on slopeness and bad judgment. >> they were gross mistakes, they were self-inflicted and we were accountable and what happened violates our own standards and principles by how we operate the company. this is not how we want to run a business. >> cannot believe that a ceo respected as much as im. >>y dimon who a month earlier said oops, we've got it wrong. >> the author of "exile on wall
2:03 pm
street" says while it is not life-threatening to the bank it raises much larger concerns. >> the question is are these big banks including j.p. morgan too big to manage? they were taking actions to protect the company and they lose money. it's as if i went out and took insurance out on my house and a month later i said oops, i lost $100,000 of the insurance policy. if you're doing something to protect yourself, how do you lose money? people are still scratching their heads. >> reporter: the head scratching focuses on the chief investment office in london. that's where one trader in particular was taking such large insurancelike bets that he gained the nickname the white whale and it involved complex training instruments that are similar to the ones that triggered economic chaos in 2008. university of maryland professor cliff rossi who managed risk and major bank says because of the complexity of this business it can't be fully regulated. >> there will always be area, dark areas of the market and the
2:04 pm
shadowy areas if you want to call it that that will remain very murky and very difficult to exactly know am a time like this arises when the other shoe falls and now you've got a problem. >> now j.p. morgan chase's problem is amplifying the debate over stiffer regulations in the so-called vocal rule, named for former federal reserve paul voker. just last month ceo tidimon was asked about it, and he said it was a tempest in a tea pot. >> "the new york times" reports that the securities and exchange commission opened a investigation into potential civil violations linked to the $2 billion loss. it would not comment if they were looking into the matter. wolf? >> thanks very much, mary snow. wall street investors appeared to shrug off the j.p. morgan bombshell. bank stocks took a hit, but the
2:05 pm
indices closed little changed from the day before. that doesn't mean there won't be consequences. our chief correspondent ali velshi is joiningis right now. explain to us how this trading by j.p. morgan went so horribly wrong. >> well, first of all, when you think of investment banks like j.p. morgan, what they typically do is they take people with a lot of money and they pair them up with companies that require some kind of finance in order to expa expand. it's called proprietary trading and it's not the customer's money and they use it to take directional bets on industry on companies and stocks or on bonds or in this case, on loans and this makes the banks a lot of money in the case of j.p. morgan and lost them a lot of money. now let's talk about what this it is and say you owe me money and i'm not sure you're going to pay me. i can buy an insurance policy on that loan so that if you default on your payment, you get paid
2:06 pm
out. investors would buy insurance on these loans. j.p. morgan was betting that those loans wouldn't default. guess what? just like aig in '08 the loans started to default. j.p. morgan was acting like a bookie because those investors had nothing to do with the underlying loan and this isn't like me buying a loan on that money that you owe me, they were just betting on loans in general and j.p. morgan had nothing to do with the underlying loans. this was just a whole lot of betting and j.p. morgan betting that the economy or various loans would go a certain way and this is the kind of thing that has people very worried because j.p. morgan was thought to be better and smarter than this for risk management and they were flashbacks of 2008 and it's what happened at aig and it happened at lehman and a lot of other places. is this -- are we in danger of these too big to fail banks engaging in risky behavior that
2:07 pm
could affect the economy. >> i can't tell you how many people ask me is it safe to keep my money with j.p. morgan chase right now. what's the answer? >> my normal instinct would have said absolutely yes, but fitch lowered its rating on the company and we need to shine a light into the shadowy corners to find out how serious it is. if this is as serious as it is it won't make a difference to j.p. morgan and the economy, but we need to see where else this is going on, wolf. >> is j.p. morgan chase, ali, too big to fail? >> yes. they're all too big to fail. that's the problem. that's what hasn't changed since 2008. if one of these big banks got into big trouble there would be no choice, but for governments and taxpayers to step in. again, it does not look likely that we're close to this. j.p. morgan is a profitable and financially healthy company and it was during the financial crisis, but when stuff like this happens and the boss comes out and says this is not the kind of thing we're supposed to be doing and it's unclear how much he
2:08 pm
knew about it that makes me a little unsteady. i only thought about lehman brothers. that was once the goal standard as well and we know where lehman brothers is right now. i'll not saying that j.p. morgan chase will follow lehman brothers. >> but your mind goes that direction and that's the problem. >> these are people's life savings that are at stake right now. the stakes are enormous. ali, thanks very much. the j.p. morgan chase debacle is new fuel for the 2012 presidential race as well and it's driving home the very different positions taken by president obama and mitt romney on financial regulation. romney is called for the repeal of the reformulation president obama signed into law after the 2008 financial crisis and president obama slammed mitt romney while promising to stay tough on wall street. >> wall street speculators reaped huge profits by making bets with other people's money.
2:09 pm
manufacturing left our shores. a shrinking number of americans did fantastically well while most people struggled with rising costs and the lowest job growth in half a century where else would he want to help slash the investments that have always helped the economy grow while at the same time stopping the regulations of the reckless behavior of wall street that helped the economy crash? somehow he and his friends in congress think that the same bad ideas will lead to a different result. or they're just hoping you don't am remember land the last time we did it their way. >> constant tug between the obama administration, wall street. this is going to add fuel to that. >> sure it will. i spoke with the senior
2:10 pm
administration official today, wolf who believes this is not good news for the people who want to repeal or scale back. j.p. morgan chase has become exhibit a again. the whole idea for scaling back financial reform is that the banks are healthier and that reform will keep them from getting even healthier because it will get in the way and it will cost an awful lot of money and the banks shouldn't have to pay for that. now, barney frank, who is one of the authors of financial reform said today in a statement, j.p. morgan chase, entirely, without any help from the government has lost in this onest is transactions five times the amount they claim financial regulation is costing them. the big existential question here, wolf, is if you had all of the financial regulation in place including the volker rule that mary snow was talking
2:11 pm
about, would it have prevented this $2 billion loss at j.p. morgan chase? a lot of people i talked to today said no. >> what are the republicans saying about all of this? >> well, they're tiptoeing around this. as you pointed out mitt romney has been for less regulation. today his campaign put out a statement that to me sounded like it could have been written by a democrat. j.p. morgan's reported $2 billion trading loss demonstrates the importance of oversight and transparency in the derivatives market as president, governor romney will push for common-sense regulation that gives regulators the tools to do their jobs and gives investors more clarities. that's a little vague and today senator bob corker of tennessee called for a hearing and he said we need to have a hearing into what happened at j.p. morgan. so it's clear republicans want to get to the bottom of this because they know politically what happened to this $2 billion
2:12 pm
loss is very difficult to explain. >> on the other side, senator bernie sanders wants to break up these banks because it's too big to fail and it's too dangerous. j.p. morgan chase, jamie dimon, they were the gold standard -- i hate to use that pun. the gold standard. >> they were. >> especially jamie dimon whose reputation is sterling, by all accounts, brilliant guy and for this to happen on his watch must be such a humiliation. >> as you saw today he was quite critical of his company, calling it sloppy and he's been quite outspoken against some of these regulations saying they would strangle the banking industry, but i think he's going to be under the spotlight. you know who else will be under the spotlight? all of the regulators. the securities and exchange commission and the fed because these are the people who are supposed to be watching the banks so they'll be under the spotlight, as well. >> as ali said, nobody wants a
2:13 pm
repeat of what happened. >> you heard part of the new york times saying the securities and exchange commission. the sec has launched a federal investigation. >> right, they're going to be watched, too, because they should have known about it and maybe they did. we'll see. >> gloria, thank you. great story. air traffic controllers who were supposed to be monitoring the skies were apparently taking naps and playing computer games and a whistle-blower filed a complaint. we're looking at a smoking gun potentially. and president obama accused of stunning aloofness that could threaten lives. we'll tell you what's going on. students blossom. that's why programs like... ...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.
2:14 pm
let's invest in our teachers and inspire our students. let's solve this. my new place isn't that far away. it's 15 miles away ! with this droid razr by motorola on verizon 4g lte, we can video chat on skype. you're gonna get lost ! this has gps. well, that makes me feel better. me too. i'll go get two from the back. the droid razr by motorola now only $99.99. hurry in, offer ends may 13th. verizon.
2:15 pm
but last year my daughter was checking up on me. i wasn't eating well. she's a dietitian, and she suggests that i try boost complete nutritional drink to help get the nutrition i was missing. now i drink it every day and i love the great taste. [ female announcer ] boost has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to help keep bones strong and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. and our great taste is guaranteed or your money back. learn more at [ dad ] i choose great taste. i choose boost.
2:16 pm
john edwards' lawyers are trying to get the corruption charges against him dismissed, but the trial judge said no. edwards' team will start presenting the defense's case on monday, and a lot of people want to know if the former
2:17 pm
presidential candidate will take the stand. joining us now, diane dimond, she's special correspondent for "the daily beast" and has been watching this trial every single day. diane, did the prosecution who has now rested, did they make the case that the money that went to rielle hunter was in effect from campaign contributions? >> reporter: well, you know, that is really in the mind of the jurors that have been watching this. did they have a smoke gun? did they have someone say that john edwards said, you know, this might be a campaign contribution, but let's go ahead and do it anyway? no. they did have andrew young, his wife sherri young and a woman named wendy button who had been a speechwriter for john edwards testify that he knew where this money was coming from, but not that he thought that it was illegal. in fact, john edwards told all of those people and even more that this was a completely legal thing. he had checked with legal experts and there was no problem, let's just keep doing
2:18 pm
what we're doing. >> that's the burden of proof. they have to show that the money they knew this money was a campaign contribution. that's a pretty high bar, despite the fact that they think john edwards was an idiot and a bad person, a liar, disgusting. they have to prove, the prosecution that this was a campaign contribution and they knew it. is that right? >> right. >> and the language is even more specific. they have to prove that john edwards willfully and knowingly knew that he was violating the federal election campaign act. it's a really high bar and of course, it is because it was passed by the united states congress. they were the ones that would have to stick to this law. so can they prove that he knowingly and willfully did this? i don't know, but as we heard today in court there was a motion to dismiss the case which failed. the prosecution said, look, this
2:19 pm
crime began when john edwards was in iowa. he learned that his mistress was pregnant. he called his aide, andrew young in north carolina and said get her out of the state. the implication, wolf, is that he was in iowa. it was right before the iowa caucuses. it was a campaign reason to get this woman out of the state not as the defense has said to try to keep it out of elizabeth edwards' sphere of information. i think one of the most damaging things that we've seen here was the abc interview that he did in 2008. we saw it yesterday. that was the end of the prosecution case and in it john edwards, we now know just blatantly lied about several things and one of them was i already told my wife. elizabeth knows everything. quote, unquote. she knew in 2006. they're in this courtroom saying this was not about the campaign. it was about hiding it from elizabeth. well, wait a minute. i thought elizabeth already knew everything in 2006.
2:20 pm
so they've got themselves in a corner here, and i know that they were wishing this motion to dismiss went their way today, but it did not. >> a lot of lawyers and criminal defense attorneys don't believe john edwards will take the stand. what's the thinking there now that his attorneys will be able to call witnesses? >> reporter: well, i'm going to bet that he doesn't, but i am -- a lot of people don't believe what i believe. there is an attorney here from raleigh, north carolina, who has been every single day. he's represented a lot of politicians and a lot of lawyers in court and they say they just cannot help, but get on that witness stand. they just think that they can convince people that they are right and you know, wolf, john edwards started his career as a lawyer, convincing juries to give him multimillion dollar settlements in damages cases. his ego may be in check by now or it may be not, and he may decide to tell his team i'm
2:21 pm
taking the stand whether you like it or not. the big outstanding question is whether rielle hunter will be here and i'm not convinced she'll be here either. >> reporter: >> we'll watch it together with you, it would be a dramatic moment indeed. diane dimond, thanks very much for joining us. >> you bet. we're also watching another trial very closely. in a few minutes we're expecting to get the verdict in the case of the man charged with killing three members of singer and actress jennifer hudson's family. we'll get the verdict as soon as we have it. >> also facebook's billionaire co-founder giving up his u.s. citizenship could make him even richer.
2:22 pm
fore! no matter what small business you are in, managing expenses seems to... get in the way. not anymore. ink, the small business card from chase introduces jot an on-the-go expense app made exclusively for ink customers. custom categorize your expenses anywhere. save time and get back to what you love. the latest innovation. only for ink customers. learn more at uh, nope. just, uh, checking out my ad. nice. but, y'know, with every door direct mail from the postal service, you'll find the customers that matter most: the ones in your neighborhood. print it yourself or find a local partner. and postage is under 15 cents. i wish i would have known that cause i really don't think i chose the best location. it's not so bad... i mean you got a deal... right? [ bird cries ]
2:23 pm
go online to reach every home, every address, every time with every door direct mail.
2:24 pm
2:25 pm
a verdict is expected any minute now in the case of a man charged with killing three members of singer and actress jennifer hudson's family. mary snow is monitoring that and also some of the other top stories in "the situation room." what else is going on, mary? >> wolf, earlier it appeared the chicago jury was having trouble reaching a decision, sending a note to the judge saying it was split in its deliberations, but adding, quote, we are trying. hudson's former brother-in-law faces first-degree murder, home invasion and burglary. when the verdict comes in, we'll bring it to you live. facebook co-founder is giving up his u.s. citizenship ahead of an initial public offering valuing the social network at more than $90 billion. the move could reduce the tax bill for the brazilian native now living in singapore. it's becoming a growing trend of others living outside the u.s. looking to do the same. and dramatic surveillance video of a shoplifter being wrestled to the ground by a georgia grocery store employee.
2:26 pm
the man was apparently trying to flee the store with steaks and got into a brawl with a woman trying to stop him and that's where the police stepped in. the suspect was charged with shoplifting, drunkenness -- >> bad idea. thanks for that. >> president obama has been called aloof before. not like this. he's being accused of being cool to a deadly chapter. a look inside george clooneyay home and the fund-raiser he held for president obama. and michelle obama explains how she was able to tune out voices of doubt. so, by combining your auto and renters insurance, we can save you $600. $600? wow, you're like a magician or something. shh. david copperfield doesn't like it when customers say that...
2:27 pm
ha, so he's a "magician," huh? can he do this? ♪ or this! or, how about this! wow, that was really impressive. it was... uh, i think we'll go with the $600. yes, we will. [ male announcer ] combine auto and renters with state farm, and save an average of $600. ♪
2:28 pm
i wish my patients could see what i see. ♪ that over time, having high cholesterol plus diabetes... or family history of early heart disease... can put them at increased risk for plaque buildup. and they'd see that it's more important to get their cholesterol where their doctor wants. and why for these patients, when diet and exercise alone aren't enough, i prescribe crestor. adding crestor lowers bad cholesterol by up to 52%. and is also proven to slow plaque buildup. [ female announcer ] crestor is not right for everyone. like people with liver disease... or women who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant. tell your doctor about other medicines you're taking. call your doctor right away
2:29 pm
if you have muscle pain or weakness, feel unusually tired, have loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark urine or yellowing of skin or eyes. these could be signs of rare but serious side effects. is your cholesterol where your doctor wants? ask your doctor if crestor is right for you. [ female announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astra zeneca may be able to help. a powerful explosion rocks syria's largest city. opposition groups in aleppo
2:30 pm
killed a party. earlier syrian authorities said they foiled a suicide bomb in aleppo. it may be a new card on know anti-government forces and there are questions about who is behind the violence. fouad ajami joins me from new york. it looks like it's entering yet another want chaer perhaps even more bloody and brutal if you can imagine. that was in away, you could tell that this was the radicalization of syria foretold. if the powers were not going to come to the help of the syrians, the arab govern ams were not coming, if turkey was not coming, if nato was not coming, now here we are in month 14 and we were destined to enter this phase of bloodshed.
2:31 pm
here's what neil writes today and i'll put it up on the screen as far as this most recent attack on the intelligence compound in damascus, 55 people at least killed, 400 injured. the attack put a spotlight on the growing involvement of islamic jihadists in the the five bashar al assad, particularly those from an iraqi branch from al qaeda that has been openly agitating to join the fray. that prospect raised fears that syria was heading into the kind of chaos and bloodletting that plagued iraq and served as a training ground for terrorists. do you accept that? >> well, wolf, i have great respect for neil farkwar and we should not be spes tying who did this. we've seen this movie before, these cruel deeds in both lebanon and iraq and the explosions go off and we don't know who did them and no one claims any responsibility and if indeed, there are elements of
2:32 pm
jihadists coming from syria to iraq, then the chickens come home to roost the jihadists were killing shia and killing americans. so, yes, there is a kind of -- there may be an involvement of the jihadist, but don't foreclose the possibility that this is the syrian regime doing this particular deed in order to make sure that no foreign gathering, no foreign help can come to the rescue because once you have jihadists and once you have these car bombs then you discourage others from coming to the help of the syrian people. >> you wrote a powerful article in "the wall street journal" the other day and among other things you said this about president obama and his strategy in syria. you said this, his aloofness from the big storm that began in tunisia and swept across legypt libya and now syria has been nothing short of stung. >> he's a cool guy, but he's
2:33 pm
also cool to history's call, if you will. these, vents that took place in the arab world, the so-called arab spring had many, many chapters in indeed, the president answered the call of duty in lakia and he answered it with great reluctance, but in the case of syria, with the syrian case the obama administration has been very skilled. they've run ut on the clock and they have sig will nahhed in any way they can and they're not coming to the rescue and when you have the nato secretary-general, mr. rasmussen repeating day after day that no help to the syrian people is coming, it tells us about the abdication of the obama administration because the power is in the hands of the united states. the arabs are waiting. the turks are waiting. everyone is waiting on president obama and i think he's not going to answer this call. >> fouad ajami, thanks very much. we'll continue to stay in very close touch.
2:34 pm
>> thank you. >> few ad is the arthor of a new book entitled "the syrian rebellion." full disclosure to my former o professor at johns hopkins. a verdict is coming very soon for the actress and singer jennifer hudson. we' also, air traffic controllers who were supposed to be monitoring the skies were apparently taking naps and playing games. a whistle-blower filing a frightening complaint. it, i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money ? if your bank takes more money than a stranger, you need an ally. ally bank.
2:35 pm
no nonsense. just people sense. cause we want to show them something new. you ready? let's go. walmart can now convert your favorite dvds from disc to digital. no way. if hulk smash disc... it's no big deal. now you'll never break them, scratch them or lose them. we can use that. you'll never break them. so what do you guys think? we love it. it's only two bucks per disc. that's cool. that's the walmart entertainment disc to digital service. bring in your favorite dvds to your local walmart photo center to get started. don't go in there. don't go in there. they don't listen.
2:36 pm
2:37 pm
the first lady michelle obama is offering advice to college graduate as they get ready to head into a very difficult jobs market. she gave the commencement speech today at virginia tech university and spoke about the doubts she had to overcome when she was young. >> some of you may have grown up like i did in neighborhoods where kids had very -- very few of them had the chance to go to college. for being teased for doing well in school was just a fact of life, where well-meaning, but
2:38 pm
misguided folks questioned whether a girl with my background could get into the kinds of colleges i dreamed of attending, but i worked hard and i did my best to tune out those voices of doubt, including the ones inside my own head, and eventually i was accepted to princeton and i got that education that my dad had always dreamed of, but the truth is, graduates, there will always be folks who make assumptions about you based on superficial things like where you're from or what you're wearing or how you look. there will always be folks who judge you based on just one thing that you say or do, folks who define you based on one isolated incident, and here at virginia tech, i know you all know a thing or two about what that's like, but you also know that in the end, people can only define you if you let them.
2:39 pm
in the end, it's up to each of us to define ourselves. it's up to each of us to invent our own future with the choices we make and the actions we take. >> the first lady speaking to graduates at virginia tech university today. congratulations to all those graduates. now to the president. he's raising cash and shooting hopes and also in los angeles, the white house says the president played basketball with batman and spider-man this morning, otherwise known as the actors george clooney and toby inning wire. clooney hosted a $15 million fund-raiser for the president on the basketball court of his los angeles home. the president told the star-studded crowd that he could raise all that cash because, in his words, everybody loves -- they like me, they love him, the president's words. >> barbara streisand, billy crystal, salma hayek, robert downey jr., rob reiner among the guests.
2:40 pm
cnn's piers morgan asked rob reiner about clooney's political appeal. listen. >> you are obviously a movie man. george clooney put on the event at his house. whenever i see george clooney i get a sneaking feeling that we one day will be considering him as a serious candidate for president. what do you think? >> well, i don't know what his thoughts about that are, but i do know that if he ever decided to run for elected office he'd be terrific. he's obviously very articulate, knowledgeable. he is very passionate about issues and he does walk the walk. you saw what happened in his being arrested with his father in washington. he has been a very deep and caring person when it comes to the issues. so like i say, he's very articulate. he's not too ugly to look at, and i think he'd do very well. i don't know that he's
2:41 pm
interested in running for public office, but if he decided to do so i think he'd do very well. >> i expect rob reiner is right. you can see much more of that interview with rob reiner on "piers morgan tonight," 9:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. >> air traffic controllers allegedly napping and watching movies while on the job. just ahead, alarming details revealed from a whistle-blower sent to the white house. that report sent to the white house and the verdict expected any minute now in the case of a man charged with killing three members of singer and actress jennifer hudson's family. recently, students from 31 countries took part in a science test. the top academic performers surprised some people. so did the country that came in 17th place.
2:42 pm
let's raise the bar and elevate our academic standards. let's do what's best for our students-by investing in our teachers. let's solve this.
2:43 pm
2:44 pm
guilty on all counts. the verdict is now in in the case of the man who was accused of killing jennifer hudson's -- members of jennifer hudson's family. william balfour convicted first-degree murder all three counts. convicted of home invasion, residential burglary, possession
2:45 pm
of stolen vehicle, aggravated kidnapping. william balfour, 30 years old, jennifer hudson's former brother-in-law. the victims, jennifer hudson's mother darnell donerson, 57 years old and he killed her in her living room. jennifer hudson's other bro, brother, he killed him as he lay in bed and jennifer hudson's nephew, julian king. investigators believe he was shot in the head as he lay behind the front seat of the suv all of this occurring in october 2008. the evidence against him was enormous the assistant state attorney saying that balfour, quote, was fueled by his obsession, his jealousy, his determination to catch his wife julia hudson with another man. going on, jennifer said in her closing arguments she didn't want him around, her family didn't want him around, but in
2:46 pm
his mind she was his wife and if he couldn't have her no one else could. guilty, all counts. william balfour, 30 years old. he is now expected to spend the rest of his life in prison convicted on all those charges. our own ted rowlands has been in the courtroom. as soon as he comes out we'll get a little flavor of what was going on inside when the verdict was read, but there you have it, william balfour, jennifer hudson's former brother-in-law guilty on all counts. we'll take a quick break and we'll hear from our man on the scene ted rowlands as soon as we come back. [nk sweet! [ male announcer ] the solid thunk of the door on the jetta. thanks, ster! [ meow ] [ male announcer ] another example of volkswagen quality. that's the power of german engineering.
2:47 pm
right now lease the 2012 jetta for $159 a month. trouble with a car insurance claim. [ dennis ] switch to allstate. their claim service is so good, now it's guaranteed. [ foreman ] so i can trust 'em. unlike randy. dollar for dollar, nobody protects you like allstate. lastin florida we hadulf's best toreans. tason in years. in alabama we had more beautiful blooms... in mississippi we had more good times... in louisiana we had more fun on the water. last season we broke all kinds of records down here on the gulf. more people more good times. this year we're out to do even better... and now's a great time to start. the sun's out and the beaches are even more relaxing.
2:48 pm
you can go deep sea fishing or enjoy our world-class restaurants... our hotels and rentals have special deals for the whole family. go golfing, kite boarding, or build the worlds biggest sand sculpture... with the world's best sand. so come on down to mississippi... get yourself down to louisiana... we'll see you in florida... you know you want to come to alabama. the gulf is america's get-a-way... and we're 100 percent ready to see you. come on down and help make 2012 an even better year for the gulf. brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home.
2:49 pm
>> i just want to repeat the breaking news, william balfour jennifer hudson's former brother-in-law convicted on all counts including first-degree murd murder. there you see the shos of the courtroom, convicted of first-degree murder, invasion, ashes khussed of killing donnell doners donerson, 57 years old, jennifer hudson's mother, jason hudson, 29, and jennifer hudson's
2:50 pm
nephew, julian king, only 7 years old, all of this occurring in october 2008. ted rowlands is inside the courtroom and as soon as he comes in, we'll get a flavor of who what was going on. william balfour, 30 years old will spend the rest of his life in prison,first-degree murder, killing three individuals. >> other news we are following. more reason for fliers to be nervous right now. shocking new complaints of air traffic controllers sleeping on the job and goofing off. brian todd has been looking into this story for us. what's going on? >> at least one whistle blower has been raising red flags at the faa over this issue. the agency designed to protect them says someone has to start playing attention. listen to some of these complaints about behavior. napping in the control tower while controllers are supposed to be monitoring air traffic, watching movies or video games while on the job, leaving their shifts early and slowing down air traffic arrivals and departures to increase overtime
2:51 pm
pay, all described by a whistle blower named evan sealy. he was stationed in new york at the faa control center there. his accounts are detailed in a new report sent this week by the white house. the most serious incident he witnessed, a near miss in mid-air in january, 2011, that he says was caused by careless and casual language used by controllers speaking to pilots. the result, an american airlines boeing 777 came within a mile of two c-17 military cargo planes with altitudes only 200 feet apart. he says he was been ostrasized and threatened but reportedly still works for the faa. this government report says he and other whistle blowers need to be taken more seriously by the faa and a spokesman for the air traffic controllers told us, quote, we are concerned when we hear about rare examples that
2:52 pm
deviate from the high standards we have set for ourselves and we are determined to work with the faa to correct any such issues. the letter to the white house from the special counsel says their investigation has substantiated most of the allegations made by the faa against the controllers. the report outlines corrective measures taken including disciplinary problems against several managers. they are getting after this. ha la hellacious problems with the control towers. >> the first time they have been accused of taking naps while they are accused of doing their business. thanks, brian. thanks, very much. >> i want to get back to the verdict in chicago. william balfour, 30 years old, a convicted first-degree murder. convicted of home invasion, residential burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle. jennifer hudson's former brother-in-law. there you see the pictures of the courthouse ted rowlands has
2:53 pm
been inside. sunny hostin, who has been monitoring this trial. what do you think that william butler convicted on all counts. >> i am somewhat surprised. this wasn't a slam-dunk case for the prosecution. this was very much so a circumstantial case. with the missing forensics, i was a bit concerned that the jury would be unable to convict, because we hear so much about the csi effect and jurors really want fingerprints. they want forensics. they want gun powder residue on a defendant's hands. a lot of that evidence was missing in this case. so i'm surprised at the fact they were able to come to a verdict in a short amount of time, because it is friday. they have only had the case for a couple of days. earlier today, they were split. they were split down the middle
2:54 pm
in terms of guilt or innocence. so i'm really a win for the prosecution and justice for the husband and famil for jennifer hu hudson. that was not an easy case for this prosecution. >> jennifer hudson, the actress, singer, she was there at that trial throughout. isn't that right, sunny? >> that's right. she was the prosecution's first witness first witness on the stand. she has been there, day in and day out, as she said she would be. her fiancee, also there with her in the courtroom. she did leave when evidence was going to come in, specifically evidence about the shooting death of her nephew, her 7-year-old nephew. some of the more gory details about her mother and brother. she was not in the courtroom for that bit of testimony. by and large, wolf, she was there every single day. >> ted rowlands has just walked out of the courtroom. he is joining us now.
2:55 pm
ted, tell us how it went down inside. we know he is guilty on all counts. >> reporter: yes. it was an emotional scene in the courtroom. it always is when a verdict, a jury verdict is read. jennifer hudson was with her fiancee and her sister, julia, holding hands with both of them as the verdicts were read. she broke down in tears after the verdicts were read. immediately, when the first murder guilty verdict came down, david, otunga, her fiancee, said, yes. she responded to that. after the third murder verdict was read, which was the last verdict to be read, she started to cry, breaking down. she had tissue in her hair. it was a very emotional scene inside that courtroom. >> she had been there almost every single day. is that right? >> every single day, yes. a lot of people were surprised she was there every day. she did leave the courtroom during emotional testimony or
2:56 pm
graphic testimony, specifically when the coroner was on the stand or medical examiners were on the stand, even some crime scene investigators. they were giving her a heads up. she would get up and leave and she would be right back in the courtroom as soon as that witness was off the stand. she was here every single day. she never missed a day at all of the 11 days into three weeks of testimony. long days, sometimes going until 6:30, 7:00 at night. >> the former brother-in-law, william balfour is convicted. he had pleaded not guilty. his lawyer had argued, there was no, quote, forensic evidence linking him to the killing. how did the prosecution effectively make the case that it was obviously a very effective prosecution? >> reporter: they had some hurdles because of the lack of dna. they said in the closing arguments, dna meant, do not ac
2:57 pm
quit. they worked around that there wasn't that csi evidence. william balfour had no dna or fingerprints left at either the hudson home and the vehicle where the 7-year-old, julian king, the little boy, was found dead. he had no fingerprint or dna, either one of those. however, there was incriminating evidence. a lot of it was what he had said to the hudson family. specifically julia hudson, threatening this exact scenario multiple times, saying, i am going to kill you but i am going to kill your family first and you will be the last to die. this was the theme of the closing closing and the opening and a lot of the witnesses that took the stand for the prosecution. emotion was at the heart of this case. >> sunny hostin, i want to make the point that some of the strongest evidence included a cell phone record that showed that belfour was near the scene of the murders and gun residue found on his clothing and the
2:58 pm
staring wheel of his car and the key to jason hudson's suv found on belfour when he was arrested. jason hudson, 29 years old, jennifer hudson's brother. that's pretty compelling evidence even if there was no direct forensic evidence. certainly, enough to convince members of the jury that he was giltdty, sunny. >> that's right. it was very much a circumstantial case. a strong circumstantial case with the evidence that you just outlined. what's interesting to me is the jury didn't ask for a lot of evidence to be taken back into the jury room. they did ask for those cell phone records and so it goes to show you that that blueprint, that sort of social media blueprint or cell phone blueprint is very important when prosecutors try cases. it can place the defendant at the scene of the cripe. that's clearly what happened here. >> the fact that he is guilt of first-degree murder, does that mean he will get life without the possibility of parole or is
2:59 pm
there a possibility of parole or we don't know yet? >> reporter: no, there is no possibility of parole. he will get life without parole. the sentencing guidelines are cemented. there is no leeway here for the judge. when the sentencing takes place, there is no other option in this case for william balfour. he will be sentenced to life without parole. >> without patrol. the death penalty in illinois on hold at least for now. that's why he is going to get life without parole as opposed to the death sentence. jennifer hudson has now left the courtroom. she has moved on. is that right, ted? >> she has left the courtroom. she was allowed out along with her family before anybody else was allowed out and she presumably has left the building. we asked if she would be making a statement following this. the point we asked, the answer we got was, probably not. so at this point, we don't know if she will say anything. we bve