tv The Situation Room CNN March 6, 2013 1:00pm-4:00pm PST
[ male announcer ] get adt installed for just $99. and ask about adt pulse, advanced home management here today. adt. always there. ...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. let's pick back up with the jodi arias trial. these jurors through the judge have been able to ask her questions. this is very rare. drew and paula, final thoughts? >> back to the sex issue again and the viewers have to be thinking why does a trial last
for two months? there's only one reason, this is a death penalty case. this judge has no choice but to let the defense and for that matter the prosecution go into all these extraneous issues that they would never otherwise be able to go into, all of the sex talk, the gossip, nothing unturned because this judge does not want to get reversed so it all comes in and unfortunately the arizona taxpayers, they are writing a check for this as we speak. >> very interesting. paula bloom, someone was yawning in the courtroom. obviously they are paying attention to a degree. >> that's right. i was wondering if you know that you're going to be able to ask questions, how does that affect what you ask as questions. i wonder if the lawyers are kicking themselves saying, why didn't we bring that up? >> if there are holes, they can
deal with it in rebuttal. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with me. wolf splitser begins right now. wolf? a powerful winter storm walloping the mid-atlantic causing huge power outages and prompting a state of emergency. president obama has a surprise dinner date tonight with republican senators. plus, knives on airplanes. there's outrage has the tsa considers relaxing its rules. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." all that coming up. we begin with a new wall street high. the dow reaching a record level for the second day in a row.
let's go straight to alison kosik. she's over at the new york stock exchange. how is it ending? >> wolf, it is another day for the history book. the reality is, though, still not much conviction behind the buying that we're seeing but an up beat employment report was not enough to keep the blue chips up in positive territory. private employers added 198,000 jobs last month. that's a good sign. this report is an appetizer to the main course coming in on friday and that's the official government jobs report. a separate regional report also pointing to an improving jobs picture. one strategist saying there is more and more confidence that the economy is on from the footing and it's not about to fall off a cliff either. it still maintains the question of whether stocks can maintain these record levels and this kind of momentum can't last forever, especially if you look
at history after the last two peaks, the dow fell 50 to 60%. if the jobs report misses expectations, that could be a very excuse for investors to take profits off the table. >> at least it doesn't look like the forced spending cuts here in washington are having much an impact on washington, does it? >> not yet. the real indicator is going to be when the discussions begin on the debt ceiling talks. i have a way to rattle the markets because that is something that rattled the markets last summer. wolf? >> that's a few months down the road. it looks like the continuing stop gap resolution will keep the government open through the end of the fiscal year ending through the end of september. alison, thank you. severe winter storm. in the mid-atlantic states, millions of people could see the biggest snowfall of the season. almost three feet in some areas.
more than 250,000 homes lost power and class was canceled for almost one million students. virginia is taking the brunt of the storm, driving on the state's roads has become treacherous. the governor has enacted a state of emergency and has enacted national guard troops. not far away from washington is joe. tell us what you're seeing there. >> reporter: wolf, quite frankly, now the big concerns are about potential flooding and power outages. thick, heavy, wet snow, beautiful to look at brought a late winter discomfort to almost everyone in its past. in the pittsburgh area -- >> it's beautiful out here. >> the snow is heavy. it's like mashed potatoes. >> reporter: in parts of virginia where the snow felt the heaviest, it meant trouble for
electrical wires. with tens of thousands of people without power across virginia, the governor declared a state of emergency. though officials on the ground realize that the situation could have been much worse. on the roads, work started well before the first flakes fell. late into the night at the salt piles in virginia, thousands of trucks loaded up to treat the streets, often with marginal success. luckily not much traffic to deal with. transportation officials asked everyone who could to stay off the roads. >> if you have to get on the road, use extreme caution, driver slower than you normally would. >> reporter: the warnings were heeded and by noon about a foot of snow had fallen in the shenandoah valley. transportation officials were saying main roads were generally passable but some secondary roads were not. in the city of winchester, which had been viewed as ground zero for the storm, the city manager was speculating that it could have been a lot worse. >> well, it's going real well,
to be honest with you. we've had a lot of snowfall but so far the accumulation is only about six inches here in the city. >> reporter: the few shop keepers who opened their doors reported almost no customers. pretty easy day at work? >> yeah, pretty much. >> reporter: back now live in virginia where it's just starting to rain a bit, more than 200,000 people said that they were without power in virginia. that number could go up this evening before it goes down. wolf? >> all right, joe. thank you. you can certainly feel the effects of the storm on the ground and in the air. this is the current delays. standard fare at least on this day. you don't see all of the flights canceled because of the storm, more than 1600. erin mcpike is outside of dulles airport. what's it like out there, erin? >> reporter: wolf, as you know, we've had a couple of sweeper
snow seasons around here but this storm lived up to some of its hype at least west of washington. with mound of slushy, wet snow and heavy gusts of wind, you mike think dulles airport would shut down for the day but they are ready. you don't think you're rusty? >> no, because you still practice. you have to practice. >> reporter: this team, lead by airport manager christopher brown, decides when each of the runways open and close. they keep the airlines updated on the conditions so the carriers can decide whether to cancel their flights. does this look bad to you? >> i've seen it a lot worse. >> reporter: i went along with mike as he plowed the taxiways. he plows nonstop and a relief team swaps in every six hours. how many times will you be out doing just this? >> they want to keep it down to
an inch, inch and a half of snow. it's continuous. >> reporter: despite the constant snow removal, major airlines canceled more than 1600 flights in preparation for this storm. >> it's hard to run full schedule and get all of your passengers with reservations on to the right aircraft throughout the day. >> reporter: airlines have learned through the past few years it's better for their customers and bottom lines to not fly through a storm but some planes still are coming in and out of dulles. >> many of our internationals have elected to try and operate and get their aircraft in and out of here today. >> reporter: like this one leaving for ethiopia. now, wolf, it's just really raining here right now and the operations team tells us that things are starting to get back to normal and they expect a pretty full operating schedule tomorrow, wolf. >> good news, erin, thank you. meanwhile, a rare event in
washington and the united states senate. you're watching live pictures of a talk -- yes, a talking filibuster, republicans and democrats -- that's democratic senator ron wyden talking right now. they are holding up the nomination for chuck john brennan. it's difficult to speak without stopping for all these hours. all are objecting to the written remarks by the united states attorney general eric holder who said a drone strike on american soil against the american citizens could be possible, possible under extraordinary circumstances. >> i rise today to begin to filibuster john brennan's nomination to the cia. i will speak until i no longer
can speak. i will speak as long as it takes until the alarm has sounded from coast to coast, that our constitution is important, that our rights to trial by jury are precious and that no american should be killed by a drone on american soil without first being charged with a crime. >> strong words from senator rand paul. he's also tweeting about all of this taking a cue from the snowstorm here in the d.c. area. he's filibustering about filiblizzard. also, senator rand paul will be a guest on erin burnett's "outfront." president obama sitting down with a group of republican senators at a posh d.c. hotel.
will political drama be on the menu? i suppose it will. plus, the white house tours so popular with the american peop people, guess what, they have been canceled because of the forced spending cuts and the anger is obvious. an industry can be a tough act to follow, but at xerox we've embraced a new role. working behind the scenes to provide companies with services... like helping hr departments manage benefits and pensions for over 11 million employees. reducing document costs by up to 30%... and processing $421 billion dollars in accounts payables each year. helping thousands of companies simplify how work gets done. how's that for an encore? with xerox, you're ready for real business.
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down? >> nothing wrong at all but it lowers debate to a new lower level. i can tell you on the senate floor, both republicans and democrats shaking their heads saying when is this going to stop? we have at the same time the department of agriculture two different conferences that could have been shut down. i would advise the president basically stay home for a ill wa while, don't go around campaigning and save money with the secret service detail. and by the way, when i go to the white house -- i don't go often. used to. not now. at any rate, when i go, there are a lot of marines standing there. how does telling a kansas high school group that they can't visit their white house -- this isn't the president's white house -- that they are going to close the doors for several months and they don't even know
what the sequester is going to do. we need serious debate on the debt and the crisis. this is not a good example. it's silly. >> what they are saying is they have no choice. this meet cleaver, the executive branch and legislative branch to make these types of decisions and touring the white house was not seen apparently by the white house as all that important. >> well, apparently not. i would remind the president again that it belongs to the people. i would also remind everybody that the capital is open and that's a pretty important place to tour. that's like a museum as well as a working place for the congress. my doors are open. i told the kansas people, no charge. you can come in. we'll give you a tour of the capital. i'm not really cutting back any person that's actually going to do that. that's just an extra duty that we do. i really questioned whether the secret service is in that bad of
shape and i requequestion the furlough and the numbers. we are not even through the continuing resolution that has just passed the house. we continue to give the president some authority there so he can make some decisions or the secretaries. i would simply add, just a few more golf trips or a few more golf trips and the secret service would have enough security to provide for the tourists. it doesn't make sense. >> virtually the whole government was told here in washington in the d.c. area, senator, it's a snow day. you don't have to show up for work even though so far -- and i was looking outside, it was snowing a little bit -- >> you're from buffalo. you're from kansas. >> this is considered a nice day. >> exactly. >> this is not to bad. obviously it's going to cost the taxpayers a lot of money. nobody is doing serious work today but they are staying home. >> well, we are doing serious work. we have a live filibuster with
respect to -- >> do you support that filibuster? >> i support the right of members to stand up if they don't feel they got an answer from the intelligence committee. obviously a lot of that is classified. but, yes, senator paul has questions and to try to influence opinions. >> no filibusters in the past rarely speak. this is an old smith comes to washington and filibuster where they are actually filibustering. they are talking, senator wyden and senator paul. you used to be a leader in the intelligence committee. i'm curious, do you think the president of the united states has the authority to order a drone strike to kill an american citizen on u.s. soil? >> he wiwell, he sure as heck n to clarify that as opposed to the attorney general making a general statement and the
language is unclear. that's up to the intelligence committee. i won't get up to that in any detail, at least from the standpoint that i know. i do have a lot of respect and confidence in senator chambliss from georgia and feinstein from california. they have pressed a he pressed and pressed the withohite house get a clarifying statement. >> lindsey graham made it clear to me that in exchange for major entitlement reform, social security, medicare, medicaid, he would support what's called a grand bargain and include major tax reform that could potentially increase tax revenues but you've got to have a big package deal. would you go along with that? >> i don't know what the plan is. i don't know what the list is. i'm serving on the finance committee. we're having a hearing tomorrow. the president's on the air every other whipstitch blaming
republicans we just want to eliminate these taxes for the rich. what is he talking about? he's been talking about on the campaign trail shutting down the oil and gas industry in kansas, shutting down agriculture, lending institutions, et cetera, et cetera, all sorts of executive orders and regulations. in terms of tax reform and the loopholes, where are they? what's the plan? where's the list? >> well, would you be able to get into negotiations? >> i'm always ready to get into negotiations. i know numbers are important but the policy is an important as well. yeah, we want to do that. max baucus, the chairman, orrin hatch, give this to the committee that knows ho how to do this and also, oh, by the way, we're going to shudder the doors to any high school group that wants to come to the white
house. what's that all about? it lowers the level of the debate and our debt and deficit crisis. >> senator roberts, thanks for coming back to "the situation room." appreciate it. >> you bet. ask me back. >> i will. college isn't supposed to be only for the rich but we're getting new numbers that is suggesting otherwise. college tuition including at state universities. as certified recovery specialists at lifelock, we're dedicated to getting you back on track from identity theft. to protect you from being a victim in the first place, we have specialists for that, too. ♪ [ alarm blaring ] ♪ [ lasers zapping ] ♪ yep. we make a pretty good team.
20 united nations peace keepers are being held right now. kate, what happened? >> a lot going on. syrian rebels detained them in a village near the israeli occupied golan heights. intense fighting has been happening there for days. the u.n. says it was, quote, a regular supply mission. if it feels like college is more expensive than ever, that may be because it is. a new report out shows the average tuition jumped more than 8% last year. that's due in part to a record drop in state funding for public universities which is down 9% per student. in the state of georgia alone, students are paying 77% more than in 2007. it's getting much more expensive. and a week after yahoo! stopped allowing employees to work from home, best buy is
following suit. best buy's new rules are not quite as strict. 4,000 employees who took advantage of the work-from-home program can still do it with manager approval. they used to be able to do it on their own. none of this has to do with store employees who obviously need to be there in the store to work. it's not every day you see a crane collapse on tv. take a look at this. a crane in oregon got caught on power lines and when the operator tried to untangle it, the whole structure came down. very scary scene but no reports of injury and oddly enough no one even lost power. >> lucky indeed. that's amazing video. >> never idea to put a crane in power lines. >> correct. >> thank you. >> no problem. sometimes the most productive meetings don't necessarily happen at work but rather over a few drinks and a good meal. coming up, we're taking a closer look at what president obama hopes to accomplish. he's going to a fancy dinner at a local hotel with a group of
people who almost never have anything nice to say about him. a bunch of republican senators are going to have dinner and drinks later tonight right here in washington. hotel is pet friendly before you book it, and i got a great deal without bidding. and where's your furry friend? oh, i don't have a cat. now you can save up to 50% during priceline's spring hotel sale use promo code spring for additional savings on all express deals, including pet friendly hotels. express deals. priceline savings without the bidding.
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♪ fixodent, and forget it. a group of republican senators is sitting down to dinner tonight at a posh washington, d.c., hotel. but what's really grabbing everyone's attention is their host, the president of the united states, who's been criticizing for failing to reach out to lawmakers across the aisle. our national political correspondent jim acosta, what is going on, jim? >> reporter: with a flurry of polls showing that the president is taking some hits, he's trying to warm up the political climate. the question is, whether this is a break from the big chill. on a cold winter day dubbed
sequester, president obama is hitting the defrost button with republicans in congress after both sides failed to work out a deal from the forced budget cuts kicking in, the president invited a dozen gop senators, including his toughest critics to dinner at a d.c. hotel. >> i think he's doing the right thing. we need to stop the campaign. the election is over. >> one of those on the list sets it's a step in the right direction. >> hopefully what i'm hearing is a sense of purpose, finally acknowledging we've got to look at the entire budget. we've got to take a look at social security, medicare. >> reporter: a white house official tells cnn that the president hopes to revise talks for a grand bargain on the deficit. yes, but we are not naive about the possibilities here. these are just conversations. getting from there to here is hard. >> the majority of the american people agree with me. >> reporter: after weeks of campaign-style meets, the white
house agrees it's a changed approach, one that started over the weekend when the president began calling lawmakers. >> is this a charm offensive? >> the president is engaging with lawmakers of both parties and will continue to do so. >> reporter: a far cry from last week when on the same day that the automatic cuts went into effect. >> julie, give me an example of what i might do? >> reporter: the white house argues that the president has tried a grand bargain before obama to be rebuffed by house gop leaders. both sides remain dug in with some republican leaders noting that they have skewered the obama administration for facing impacts about the automatic cuts. >> while the president has been out there playing chicken little, waiting for the white house to send over its budgets. >> reporter: democrats insist the gop is still obstructing the nominees, whether it's to the courts or the cia and whether
both sides have doubt that breaking bread can fix a broken government. >> for anyone to think that this is going to be a come to jesus moment, they've got another thing coming. >> reporter: but they are still going to try, not just at dinner tonight but also next week. that's when the president goes up to capitol hill to meet with lawmakers in both the house and the senate. it's something that he has not done in years and getting back to this dinner tonight, here's a menu from the restaurant where they will be sitting down and breaking bread. there's an $85 fixed price menu. get this, wolf, for $1776, you can have the 1776 meal, a very washington-esque sort of offering. but my guess is, wolf, they won't be picking that up tonight. >> who is paying for the tab? is there a host? what's going on? >> reporter: well, the president is the host. he invited these lawmakers out to dinner tonight but no word on
who is picking up the tab. >> if you find out, let us know. joining us now, a former obama special adviser, cnn contributor, van jones and ana navaro. she's also a cnn contributor. first to you, van. i think this could probably help to at least establish a dialogue but some say it could hurt. what do you think? >> i don't think it could hurt at all. this president has already put on the table that he wants to have a grand bargain. some people in the party are concerned about the grand bargain going too far in the direction of the republicans and so i think this only helps him and it's up to the republicans to show up and listen to him. they keep saying that he hasn't put itten oh t putting it on the table. >> i think it's a nice gesture,
ana, don't you think? >> i think it is astounding that it's not happened until now. i think the republicans are both there to have a dialogue. that's what they need. whenever you hear about a relationship going wrong, and certainly this one is, the best thing you can do is communicate and i think it is refreshing and good to see our two branches of government breaking bread. and president have a lot of good lick consider in store. >> a new book is coming out on fox news by roger ailes. an ex he were hcerpt has been r. it says, obama's the one who never worked a day in his life. he never earned a penny that
wasn't public money. how many fundraisers does he attend every week? i wish i had that kind of time. he's lazy but the media won't report that. let me let both of you weigh in on those strong words from roger van. first to you. >> well, this is the kind of stuff that is really disgusting at the end of the day. first of all, barack obama's hair is white. he looks like the black santa claus who shaved his beard off. you don't go looking from tiger woods to morgan freeman in three years if you're not working hard. there's a racial charge that some people find offensive. listen, if he's lazy from golfing, boehner is four times lazier because boehner said that he golfs 400 rounds every year. nobody calls boehner lazy. he's only left d.c. in ten weeks in his first term. bush was gone four months a year.
nobody called him lazy. this is the kind of stuff that really brings back into the mud, i hope tonight when they get together, the republicans and the presidents, they can get out of this nasty commentary that is going on. >> roger ailes has strong words about joe biden among other things saying, i have a spot for joe biden. i like him. but he's dumb as an ashtray. wow. dumb as an ashtray. i know joe biden. he is not done. certainly not dumb as an ashtray. >> we're taking excerpts out of a three-page article. i will tell you that i am happy that he used nicer words about you, wolf, than he did of these two gentlemen but he was equality harsh on newt gingrich who was his own contributor and his boss' son-in-law. i think you're dealing with
somebody who is unfiltered, refreshingly, politically incorrect to be in politics. i think it's going to be an interesting book. it gives you a good behind-the-scenes look at media and some of the political world and parts of it i found endearing. why is he doing this? i i don't know roger ailes but it is endearing to me that somebody who is 72 and looking at his mortality regrets his 10-year-old son grow up. >> he does say i'm a good journalist. >> he is an equal opportunity critiquer. >> he's blunt and a very, very smart guy. he's done an amazing job over at fox news. nobody can deny that. he said i wear a 42 short as far as my suit is concerned. it's a 42 regular. just want to be precise on that. but he is a very smart guy.
quick thought from -- >> and good being looking suits they are, wolf. >> thank you. quick thought from you, anna, first, and then van. what's going on with cpac, this conservative political action conference. they invite donald trump but they don't invite chris christie. what am i missing? >> i think you're missing the marketing part of it. they are putting on a heck of a show. just on my way over here i was talking to the head of cpac and they had the second largest spike in sales in tickets than they did in the entire conference and they are on track to have the largest attendance on record. they are on track right now to match last year which was a presidential year which is traditionally a much larger conference. they've had to move to a bigger hotel. are they the republican party? no, wolf. they are a private organization, conservatives who you get to invite to your house whomever you want. would it be the people i invite?
no. but you know what, they are good showmen. they are entertaining. >> van, ana makes an excellent point. donald trumps draws a lot of people in. >> i love it. i hope that every republican event and conservative event from now on has a front and center. i don't understand why the conservative movement is doing. every day you hear them saying they are going to rebrand, go in a different direction, reach out, include immigrants and get better and then literally before the day is out now that they are going to have donald trump who does -- maybe it's penny wise and pound foolish. but is it the kind of attention that they need? i love that donald trump is once again becoming a spokesperson for the conservative movement. >> you can't confuse cpac and the conservative party. they are two different things, guys. >> i would leave it on this
note. if they invited chris christie, he would have been a big draw at the same time but there's always next year. we'll see what happens then. knives on airplanes. the tsa is thinking about allowing pocket knives and other banned items back on board. we're going to hear from a critic who says it's a very dangerous idea. if your tires need to be rotated, you have to get that done as well. jackie, tell me why somebody should bring they're car here to the ford dealership for service instead of any one of those other places out there. they are going to take care of my car because this is where it came from. price is right no problem, they make you feel like you're a family. get a synthetic blend oil change, tire rotation and much more, $29.95 after $10.00 rebate. if you take care of your car your car will take care of you. britta olsen is my patient. i spend long hours with her checking her heart rate, administering her medication, and just making her comfortable. one night britta told me about a tradition in denmark, "when a person dies," she said,
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board. david mattingly is in atlanta. david, what's going on? >> reporter: wolf, the knives we're talking about are not all that big. this is an example of one. the blades allowed are only going to be a little more than two inches in length and half an inch in width. but this and other items that they intend to allow is enough for very large groups to be arguing that tsa may be for getting about passenger safety. you will still have to remove your shoes. if you're carrying a bottle of water, forget it. but a hockey stick will be okay. so will a small pocket knife. tsa's changes to what you soon will be able to carry through security and on to an airplane already face stiff resistance. >> if some type of argument could escalate, guess what, someone pulls out a knife then i'm here and have to defend myself and make sure the other
passengers are safe. >> reporter: the decision includes allowing golf you be whiches and pool sticks. the tas says it doesn't pose a threat to the aircraft. allowing officers to better focus on high-risk threats like explosives but travelers have their own ideas. this family is on their way home to chicago from disneyland. >> i'd actually prefer if they would change the rules on the lick quids because i've lost too many things. in fact, on the way here, i had a jar of peanut butter. i had no idea that that counted as a liquid and a gel. i'd rather see them change the rules on that than the small knifes and golf clubs. >> reporter: this man carries a knife all the time except when he is flying. this couple, however, isn't worried. >> one of the stewardess to
carry a knife. >> i know we have marshals on the planes to protect us. >> reporter: the flight attendant union says it will further endanger the passengers. calling the decision dangerous and ill-advised. and these two groups will be challenging the tsa's proposed new rule changes. they have a little more than a month to do it. wolf? >> the box cutters, they obviously will not be allowed under any circumstances, right? >> reporter: that's right. no box cutters. and larger knifes like this one. this particular knife, it looks in place so that the blade doesn't move. very different from a pocket knife. this also will not be allowed but those smaller knives and that sports equipment is enough to generate quite a bit of criticism about the tsa's plans. wolf? >> it doesn't take effect for at least 45 days or something like
that? >> reporter: it's going to be the end of next month. plenty of time for these groups to muster whatever political power they might have to focus on the tsa and make a fight out of this. >> david, thanks very much. david mattingly in atlanta for us. we're going to have much more on this story generating lots of interest across the country. that's coming up in our 6:00 p.m. eastern hour of the situation room. the president of the flight attendants union will join us. millions are mourning but others are celebrating the death of hugo chavez, revealing a deep divide in venezuela. we're going there live. that's next. drug and alcohol abuse is up. and those dealing with grief don't have access to the professional help they need. when you see these issues, do you want to walk away or step up? with a degree in the field of counseling or psychology from
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hugo chavez gave us everything. that's what one mourners said today. others remember chavez as a tyrant, a corrupt man who supported brutal regimes in iran, libya, syria, and elsewhere. cnn's shasta darlington is joining us from caracas. what's the mood been there, shasta. >> reporter: wolf, this has been a day of mourning wearing the red shirt and red cap and there were plenty of people crying or silently marching and there were also a lot of people celebrating but what they were celebrating was his life, the life of this man that they felt changed venezuela forever, that they say reduced poverty, gave them
education and food. you saw people who were mourners, waving flags and chanting sl chanting slogans. just a lot of very raw emotion here, wolf. the opposition we haven't heard a lot of today. they are laying low. this is time for the people who supported chavez to get this out of their system, to come to terms with the man who was the president for 14 years is no longer here, wolf. >> so what happens next in the coming days and weeks, shasta? who takes charge? when will the elections take place? >> reporter: the elections have to take place in the next 30 days a he we've already seen a bit of a campaign mood here with the vice president nicol nicolas maduro, the man hand-picked by chavez to take over if he couldn't resume
presidential duties. accusing the united states of a number of bizarre things, not only accusing the united states of trying to intervene in politics but that they could be behind chavez's cancer. what we will most likely see is the opposition leader running against him in the elections and if polls have it right, this will be won by maduro. he will benefit from that sympathy vote and a lot of people here in venezuela have benefited from this oil-backed socialist policy, wolf. >> do you no he if those two americans who were expelled from the u.s. embassy in caracas, have they actually left the country already? >> reporter: wolf, one of them
was not here. he was in the united states. the other was given 24 hours. i should point out that the state department said that the whole business was not true, they denied all of it and to analysts it sounded more like trying to fire up the bases ahead of a much more important announcement, which was chavez's death, which we know came an hour or two after the other announcement. >> sounding like the acting president is trying to campaign in this election, one of the reasons why he was making those accusations against foreign enemies of venezuela being behind the poisoning of chavez and the expulsion of those two americans. thanks, shasta. the funeral is supposed to take place, by the way, on friday. a vicious attack involving a famous ballet troop. why a russian ballet dancer says
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acid attack scandal. phil black is following this for us from moscow. >> reporter: wolf, suspicion has always been the likelihood that it was from someone who works there but still surprised when one of the leading dancers confessed he planned the whole thing. this video shows a leading dancer with one of the world's greatest ballet companies. he says, i'm suspected of organizing the acid attack of the director. he's then asked if he did it. and he confesses. i organized this attack but not the extent that it happened, he says. this is the result of what happened. his head wrapped in bandages on the night sulfuric acid was thrown on his face outside his home. it is a shocking contrast to the
beauty and grace of the art form both men have dedicated their lives to. the theater is known as a house of intrigue, rivalries and jealous sees who work here. professional differences have never before come to anything like this. police say the two men had a hostile working relationship but have not offered any details of the specific motive. he performed in the title role in last year's production of ivan the terrible. the story of a russian czar with a violent reputation. police say he directed two other men to carry out the attack and they've also confessed. one threw the acid, the other was a driver. receiving treatment in germany, he doesn't know how much of his eyesight will come back. he's confident he'll return as the artistic director just as he was always sure it was a colleague, a ballet dancer who
used violence to try to drive him out of that job. there's a lot of public speculation here about precisely what the motive was and the most popular theories revolve around the dancer's alleged frustration with the slow progress of his career, perhaps his girlfriend's career. she's a dancer there as well. wolf? >> phil black, thank you. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, a u.s. senator takes the stand on principle, stands up for hours speaking of the possible use of drone strikes against american citizens on american soil. the storm that fizzled. washington shuts down ahead of heavy snow sweeping across the country. guess what, the nation's capital gets mainly rain. and united states delegates drinking on the job, including a drunken rampage. an american diplomat tells his counterparts to sober up. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world.
i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." it's sort of like a movie moment in washington. an old-fashion filibuster. not the threat of nonstop thinking but a member of the united states senate actually refusing to yield the floor for more than five hours today. senator rand paul has been doing just that with the help of some fellow republicans and at least one democrat. the issue, the possibility that drones could be used against american citizens on u.s. soil. watch this. >> i will speak until i can no longer speak. i will speak as long as it takes until the alarm has sounded from coast to coast. that our constitution is important. i will speak today until the president responds and says, no,
we won't kill americans in cafes. no, we won't kill you at home in your bed at night. no, we won't drop bombs on restaurants. is that so hard? we can't have our rights guaranteed by the intentions of our politicians. nobody's questioning the authority of the president to repel an invasion. but i am questioning the authority of the president to kill noncombatants. if you don't have the right to be secure in your person, you don't have any other rights. no president from no party gets to be judge, jury, and executioner. it's not enough to say, i haven't done it yet, i don't intend to kill anybody but i might. >> let's find out what's going on, what's behind all of this. our chief congressional correspondent dana bash is up on capitol hill. a long time since we've actually seen a filibuster unfold with senators with nonstop speaking.
>> reporter: you know, rand paul started at 11:47 a.m. eastern, to be precise. it's been more than five hours since he has been on the floor. he spoke without any help for three hours straight and then got assistance from other republican senators and a democratic senator ron wyden and that's one of the things that makes this so interesting and that this is not a knee-jerk partisan event going on here. this is, as you just played, rand paul talking over and over again about a very specific issue that he is concerned about, which is the u.s. using drones in america to target american citizens and it's important to note that senator paul has said he actually voted for chuck hagel, one of the president's most controversial nominees, crossed party lines to do that, and john kerry as well. it hasn't all been, though, very serious. i want you to listen to one moment of levity that everybody
is going to get. >> keep some water nearby. trust me. >> reporter: now, as i said, wolf, this has really stuck to the issue at happened. some of the old-fashion filibusters that we've read about has led to senators singing songs, reading recipes, wasting time in order to keep the floor going. we are not going to see a vote on brennan tonight. it will not be at least until tomorrow and that was decided moments before i came on with you. >> making his point indeed. dana, don't go too far away. the outrage began as eric holder alluded to the possibility, the possibility that drones could be used to kill americans in the united states on u.s. soil. our pentagon correspondent chris lawrence is picking up from there. chris, give us a little background. >> wolf, basically these senators are arguing that what
is just hypothetical today may not be so tomorrow and now it looks like president obama himself is going to have to come out publicly and explain how a president could use this deadly power. senators are demanding to know when it's okay for the government to target and kill americans on u.s. soil. >> do you have abundant evidence that he was involved in terrorist plots. >> but what if at that moment -- >> he's sitting in a cafe. >> it's happened overseas when the u.s. took out american al qaeda member al maliki in yemen. could they take out an american terrorist on u.s. soil. >> sitting at the cafe not doing anything imminently, the use of lethal force would not be appropriate. >> but it's that kind of vague description that kept senators grilling eric holder. >> why is it not so hard for
potus to just say no it is not constitutional to kill on u.s. soil. >> i thought i was saying no. >> but in a letter to senator rand paul this week, holder left open an extraordinary circumstance where it may be necessary and appropriate under the constitution for the president to authorize the military to use leet tal force within the united states. holder explained that the target would have to pose an imminent threat, like the attacks on ninnin 9/11. >> even if it was to stop an imminent, immediate terrorist attack. >> but legal scholars argue once we see the rationale, we can decide whether the government is acting legally or not. >> dana made mention that this fight is not coming down partisan lines and she's right. republican senator lindsey
graham basically supporting the administration's power on this matter, saying that the administration does need to use drones, that it should retain that power do protect the homeland and attorney general eric holder indicated that president obama himself will very soon come out and explain more fully the administration's policy on the use of drones, wolf. >> i'm anxious to hear that explanation. chris lawrence, thanks. the classic filibuster was by the passionate character played by jimmy stewart and mr. smith goes to washington. remember this? >> i had some pretty good coaching last night and i find that if i yield only for a question or point of order that i can hold it until doomsday. >> love that film. let's discuss what's going on. our chief political analyst gloria borger is here and john king from boston. senator rand paul may be
flattered but what's really behind what is going on right now? >> you heard rand paul earlier. he believes that he is debating a very important constitutional issue, that is what he considers to be illegal government overreach. and i think, wolf, you can actually make the case that this is a result of the administration's earlier reasoning that it didn't need to be more transparent about the question of drones, which came up at john brennan's confirmation hearing to run the cia. and that transparency is an issue on the side of the aisle as well. you have this confluence where you have rand paul, not a ron wyden of oregon, a democrat on this side of the issue. >> it's interesting, because attorney general eric holder said it would be an extraordinary circumstance that the president would order and in effect the assassination of a
u.s. citizen on u.s. soil. al maliki, a u.s. citizen who was targeted for assassination in yemen. i suppose that's different to do it in the united states without so-called due process. >> it would be remarkably different. he's not on a battlefield, if you will. at least yemen was known and as gloria is right, you have libertarian types who question the president's power like rand paul, aclu who says that was a broad overreach of presidential power. there's that specific issue and eric holder is trying to leave that little bit of wriggle room. this is a debate that goes all the way back to 9/11. in the media days after 9/11, when you had the patriot act, goes back to the republican, how much power does a commander in chief have. it's interesting that senator barack obama often criticized and vice president dick cheney to expand the power of the presidency, this is what this
president is trying to do now, saying that i don't think it will happen but i'm not going to absolutely say that it would not happen and part of this is also a hangover from both republicans and democrats that did not do enough oversight. >> and for rand paul it really comes down to a basic mistrust of government. i mean, if you look at eric holder's letter, he says the question you have posed is entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no president will ever have to confront but because he refused to completely close the door because there are always extraordinary circumstances, if you don't trust the government to do the right thing and you don't think there's enough oversight, then you're going to be on the floor filibustering. >> guys, hold on a moment. i want to get to another story unfolding right here in washington. the president reaching out to rank and file senators, republicans tonight. he's invited 11 republican
senators to dinner this evening at a hotel only a few blocks away from the white house. let's get some details from our chief congressional correspondent dana bash who's still with us. dana, any chance something really significant potentially could come out of this dinner other than a great meal, maybe a little good wine? >> reporter: i think let's hope for their sakes they at least get that. i don't think there will be any announcement large or small out of this dinner in but that's not the point. the point is for senators and the president from the other side of the aisle to establish a baseline understanding of each other at a human level which simply does not exist right now and that is really the core of the problem. you talk to people all across washington that you've seen the past several years that there has been a breakdown of basic fundamental relationships that can allow them to get to the next level and make a deal on key issues. in fact, that's an issue that lindsey graham who is going tonight to help the president arrange this dinner made earlier
today. >> it's sad that it makes news. if ronald reagan had dinner with members of the senate, you'd have a hard time getting your editors to report it. the fact that there is a lot of interest in a dinner between the president and a handful of republican senators is a pretty good statement about where we are at as a nation. >> reporter: now, if you take a closer look at this list that senator graham helped put together, i think what is most interesting is that the president is not going to be sitting with some -- or few remaining moderate republicans, they are some of the most conservative tea party-backed republicans who are going to be breaking bread with him tonight. senator pat toomey of pennsylvania, ron johnson of wisconsin, and both of them actually spoke to the president, at least senator toomey spoke to
the president and he said he's going to try to get to know the president and talk about the key issues that he wants to get through to the president, especially tax reform. >> would love to be a fly on the wall at that dinner tonight. we'll see what happens. dana, thanks very much. gloria, you wrote a column on cnn.com. you wrote, recently a senior administration official told me, there's this myth in washington that somehow if we all sat down around a table, republicans would miraculously be more willing to work with us. that's ridiculous, he clearly thought, just absurd. so why has the white house, at least on this day, changed course? >> because they have nothing to lose. the sequester fight over the forced spending cuts, there was a poll, washington poll that showed a two to one margin widely people don't support the cuts. the president's popularity has suffered as a result of this. wolf, they have nothing to lose.
even if they show that it doesn't work, that they are not all going to get together, they've at least still made the effort, which is what the public wants them to do. >> what's your take on this, john? you've been watching white houses and congress deal with these kinds of issues for a long time. >> well, i think in a word it's pathetic that it's taken four years and a month to get to this point. that's not just blaming the president. it's blaming all of them. he'll sit down with the senate tonight. no, they are not going to come away with a deal to pass the sequester and maybe when they get into the nitty gritty fights down the road, the president will understand the republicans a little better and they will have at least some basic personal baseline and the question is, wolf, does he follow it up? he is going to the hill next week. he's done that in the past. the question is, as the second-term president, who may think he's right on the sequester, every day wasted and
the political rally is, unless there's a huge swing in 2014, that's a long time away. in the meantime, between now and then to get anything done he has to deal with the house republican majority and the significant senate republican caucus and so why not get to know each other. it's ridiculous it's taken so long. >> and there is an opening if they can get passed the forced spending cuts as you get to the summer, lindsey graham has done that, john boehner has done that. if he can talk to some of these conservatives and find out what they might agree with, maybe he would enhance his legacy as opposed to endangering it. >> i know the dinner is going to be delicious. let's hope the outcome is productive. guys, thanks very much. >> we've been sequestered from the dinner. >> let's all go out ourselves.
okay. we're just getting this in to "the situation room." c in. cnn has confirmed that mitt romney will be joining the private sector. he'll be joining his son's investment firm. the republican presidential nominee will serve as the chairman of the firm's executive committee advising on matters of private equity. he's had his office space over that firm's boston's office since the november's elections but now mitt romney will be back in the world of prit ate equity. he's done really well in that over the years. i assume he'll do well down the road as well. coming up, preparations are under way for the vatican to pick the next pope. we're going to get a look at it from cardinal theodore
mccarrick, he's in rome. the storm slammed other areas in this region. we'll have that just ahead. flap chicken wings...uh ha, sure. chips...craveable. celery...this is fun. okay i love it, i love it. chicken nuggets... what's going on? pita chips...delicious. sabra hummus: dip life to the fullest. the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf., and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy. we've shared what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. bp's also committed to america. we support nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs and invest more here than anywhere else.
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that will be here for you now -- and down the road. i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is. went into snow emergency mode. hundreds and thousands of workers were told to stay home. but while some places outside washington, d.c., were hit pretty hard, washington itself got a whole lot of rain, it got wet, a little wind, not much more. brian todd is out and about. he's on the national mall right now. brian, it passed over us. maybe we'll get some snow eventually. it hit some other areas pretty hard. >> it did, wolf. and maybe we will get it eventually. not sure when. you can see behind me, virtually no accumulation inside washington, d.c. a lot of rain, some freezing rain. there was some heavy snow.
none of it stuck. snow plows working overtime in virginia. a jackknifed trailer truck outside of washington. the casualty of a snowstorm of a storm that crept towards the nation's capital. it signaled a warning to officials in washington who remembered a previous snowmaggedon. it stranded thousands of motorists as they traveled home. >> the best thing the city can do is stay off the streets. >> the federal government technically closed. we found some agencies locked up completely. elsewhere we were met by security guards telling us no one was working. capitol hill is fully operational. we're told that hearings are going on in congress today and here, one of the biggest
agencies, the department of health and human services, it is operational at least partially. we can walk through the front door, talk to security guards in here. we're told that the office of the secretary is operational, as it is 24/7. otherwise, some people have trickled in to work and we're told that many are working from home. a top health and human services official says that they remain up and running to make sure that the hospitals were functional. what has got officials jum pea is the uncertainty as you can see on the d.c. side, no accumulation. we went across the river to arlington cemetery where we saw some snow had stuck. the bad weather did not prevent hearings from being held on schedule. some 100,000 people work for the government in the washington area and a third of those people would work on a day like today, through telework and using
blackberries and laptops. the government agency looks like it's opened and fully functional. the air and space museum of the smithsonian institution open and a popular destination today. you can see in here, lots of people inside. despite the overwhelming snowfall inside the city, the mayor says this about closing the government. >> i would rather err on the side of caution than put people at harm's way. >> reporter: and it's turning more to a rain event and now the city will turn its attention to potential flooding in this area. we'll see how that develops in the days ahead. >> brian todd, thank you. after all of the dire predictions, washington, as you can see, has been spared at least for now from the latest snow. let's get our forecast from alexandra steele. what's the latest? >> wolf, let me show you this map. here's washington within the
beltway. we know what happened at reagan national to dulles. they had six inches of snow. 25 miles west of washington they had a foot plus. you can see from chantilly and fairfax, very close to washington, just because the mall downtown didn't get snow, doesn't mean that washington wasn't impacted. it certainly was. those who live in washington certainly have to come to the mall area to work. it was impacted. we had 20-inch snowfalls in fisherville, virginia, 20, warren county, warren county, charlottseville, almost ten inches. the problem is the rain-snow line. temperatures have been at 35, 36, 37 degrees and with temperatures like that it's just not going to snow. higher up in the atmosphere it just came down into that warmer air. washington right now is at 40 degrees. no snow is happening. so it is all rain now.
the storm system will move. coastal flooding. you can see gusts right now. in dover, delaware, 40 mile-per-hour wind gusts. this storm will move out of washington. boston is where we will have its sight set on next. we're going to see with snow and 40 mile-per-hour winds tomorrow and coastal concerns, battering waves, and coastal flooding will be the issue then. >> alexandra, thanks very much for that forecast. appreciate it. coming up, a political odd couple doing good around the world. surprising new details in the unlikely relationship between former presidents george h.w. bush and bill clinton. we've got the news and you're in "the situation room." ç i remember the day my doctor said i had diabetes.
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disturbing story coming in from california. police in fresno county say one person is dead from a lion attack at a place called cat haven in the town of dunlap, 30 miles from fresno. it's a park for large cats. on its website, they offer guided tours of some of the rarest lions in the world. fresno police did not say if the lion has been killed. we just called cat haven, by the way, and no one answered that m in. we're trying to get more information. we'll share it with you as it comes in. other news, the number of refugees displaced in the syrian civil war is now reaching one million people. kate's back and she's monitoring that and other stories in "the situation room." >> can you believe that number, wolf? it really is astounding. the u.n. refugee agency, two years since the bloody war
began, represents 5% of syria's total population. the country is spiralling towards a full-scale disaster, 14,000 people spilling across the border. 1400 people spilling across the border daily. and take a look at this from sicily. an extraordinary fiery explosion from europe's highest volcano in europe. experts say people living in the area are not in any danger despite spewed lava covers the roads. i'm sure it's amazing video. a very sad story. valerie harper is suffering from terminal brain cancer and may have as many as three months left to live. she is best known for her role on the mary tyler moore show. the show was so popular, 50 million people, if you can believe it, tuned in for the
famous wedding episode. take a look. >> can you believe i took the subway, mary. there was this one weirdo who tried to write graffiti on me. >> listen here. your dress is shot. >> no, it's not. >> i'll never be able to wear it again. >> harper, who battled lung cancer back in 2009 doesn't think of dying but rather being here now. valerie harper is 73 years old. such a sad story but such an amazing career and she's fighting a good fight. >> i remember those shows. it brings back a lot of memories. >> for so many people. >> she's a great lady. gabby giffords returns to the scene of her shooting to push for tighter gun control. here's the question. is congress ready to act? i'll ask a key u.s. senator when we come back. everyone has their own way of doing things.
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growing push for tighter gun control across the country. former arizona congresswoman gabby giffords and her husband mark kelly returning to the place where she was shot in the head two years ago and urging the senators to support background check legislation. >> well, gabby has a message for not only senator flake and senator mccain but all members of congress. i'm going to turn the podium over to my wonderful wife, gabby giffords. >> be bold, be courageous, please support background checks. thank you very much. >> senator joe manchin, the democrat from west virginia is here in the situation"the situa"
that's very moving when we see the recovery that she's made. here's the question, are you going to be bold in terms of dealing with the issue of background checks? >> we're working strongly and very much in a bipartisan manner, wolf. we're looking at all of the rights of people that have guns, people that come from a gun culture, people that don't come from a gun culture and i think we've got a working group that's moving favorably forward. >> so walk me through where we stand right now in terms of expanding background checks because right now private sales you don't need a background check. you go to a gun show you don't need a background check. if you're giving it away, you don't need background checks. where do you want to tighten it up? >> nobody is going to take anyone's guns away and no one is going to take your second amendment rights away. that's not happening at all. we're not asking on any of those infringements. what we're saying is if you buy a gun, transfer a gun there should be a criminal and a mental background check. and with that being said, that
means at gun shows, that means online sales, and individual transfers. those i understand a member of our family probably gave us our first gun and we handed down to our children and grandchildren, they are all exempted. going to someone's farm and hunting with it, exempted. we've looked at all of the things that we do culturally, that's not where our problems are. the problems is keeping the guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them. >> so do you have any republicans that join you? >> mark kirk, bipartisan since -- >> from illinois? >> from illinois. mark and i are working on this bill and we've had chuck schumer with a tremendous input. >> he's a democrat? >> he's a democrat. >> and tom coburn has been invaluable. he come from oklahoma gun
culture. i come from gun culture. everyone comes from a constituent base. if he's not, it's because of something that maybe a constituent doesn't approve. >> the executive director of the nra, you have an a rating from the nra. when it comes to background checks, he recently said this. i'll play the clip. >> this so-called universal background check that you're hearing about all over the media and from president obama and some of the other politicians in washington is aimed at one thing. it's aimed at registering your guns. and when another tragic opportunity presents itself, that registry will be used to confiscate your guns. >> okay, senator. respond to wayne lapierre. >> he must be talking about a different piece of legislation. hopefully they've understood where we're coming from.
this, what we're doing, bans any registry. this is not where we're going and it's not what we intended. no permanent records from the sta standpoint, when they do it they keep it on file for 20 years. but there's no registry. >> none of this confiscating your guns? >> none of that. >> who are you talking to at the nra because they seem to be an a different page. >> there might be legislation that goes down that path. >> but yours is the main one, right? >> i think ours is the main one that makes sense. >> it seems like the only one that has bipartisan hope of agreement. >> i agree with you. i hope that the nra and anybody who has any fears or paranoia, it's not there. i would not be working on this legislation. i would not be -- >> have you spoken to wayne lapierre about this? >> i have not. i spoke to him a long time ago. i've been working with people within his organization and we've been transferring back and forth. >> the polls show the overwhelming majority of people want expanded background checks,
even the majority of nra members want expanded background checks. let's talk about a couple of things. making it more difficult for the huge magazine clips. are you ready to deal with magazines? >> that's not in on legislation. our legislation has a commission on mass violence. everyone is being looking at the guns and, sure, that's the end result of what p happens. the the bottom line is how does one get a gun and use it improperly. mass violence, we need to address that. we do that in this bill. we have people with expertise of guns. if you're going to talk about a gun and you think it should be banned, you better know what it does and does not do. >> where do you stand on assault weapons ban? >> i do not support that. >> you want one piece of legislation that deals with background checks? >> that's correct. that's what i've been, working on. a criminal and mental background check and also a commission on mass violence, which at the end
will let us know exactly where our problem is and how we can correct them. >> have you talked to people at the white house? are they on board with you? >> i haven't directly talked to the white house on that. they might be going in a different direction. the bottom line is, when we bring people from both sides, people that have a culture of guns and people that come from a nonculture of guns and they are willing to work together, hopefully the white house and everyone else will listen. >> senator manchin, thanks for coming in. >> thanks for having me, wolf. tonight, piers morgan will look at the illegal guns that are out there. that's 9:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. up next, from fierce political rivals to the very best of friends, you're going to fine out what former president george h.w. bush is revealing in some newly published letters about former president bill clinton. zero degrees. medicated pain relief you store in the freezer. brrr...see ya boys. [ male announcer ] bengay zero degrees.
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it's a relationship that should make any politician here in washington stop and take note. two former presidents, one a republican, george h.w. bush, the democrat who defeated him, bill clinton, now so close they almost seem like family. >> thank you all. >> they were one-time rivals. >> my biggest problem with governor clinton is that he's on one side of the issue one day and on the other the other day and we cannot let the white house turn into the waffle house. >> now, best of friends. a political odd couple doing good around the world. their relationship, the subject of several newly published letters by george h.w. bush. >> may all the democrats forgive me this close to the election, i love george bush.
i do. >> i so appreciated your words about our relationship, about our friendship, bush wrote to clinton after a 2006 award ceremony. it was from your heart. i hope you know, i feel the same way. >> they've become really great friends. in fact, almost like family. and that's part of a jealousy problem for the rest of the bush kids. they think they have this other brother named bill clinton. >> and until you've been on the ground and have seen it, it's hard to imagine the scope of the challenge that lies ahead. >> they first came together after the 2005 tsunami in southeast asia and traveled extensively over the years. here's what bush wrote to close friend and former "time" magazine columnist, clinton is a fascinating character. he has opinions on everything, no matter what. during that relief trip, bush like many others before him, could be confronted by the legendary problem of staying on schedule. i had always heard that bill
clinton had his own time, clinton standard time. he does. i, on the other hand, am compulsively on times. >> you should have seen him going from town to town, country to country, energizer bunny here killed me. >> and love of talking. i soon realized as the trip got under way, if we got in a bind or answers to be given to questions, it was reassuring to know that he is the man. >> president clinton is a phenomenal couple. they were the perfect couple. because president clinton could talk and talk and talk and president bush would listen and listen and listen and be the straight person for the jokes. >> but writing to him after clinton nodded off at a martin luther king day sermon. i could indeed feel your pain, bush wrote, invoking the famous catch phrase. i have been there myself, more than once i might add, and it
physically hurt as i tried to keep my eyes open. two political open siposites. the newly updated book of george h.w. bush letters just released this week. when we come back, stunning stories of diplomats drinking, one even going on a drunken rampage ini had sue the united nations. you're going to hear what one u.s. ambassador wants to do about it. that's next. why turbo? trust us. it's just better to be in front. the sonata turbo. from hyundai. the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf., and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. today, the beaches and gulf
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let's bring in our senior united nations correspondent, richard roth. he's got the details. what are those details, richard? >> reporter: wolf, u.n. meetings never usually begin with a happy hour sign outside, but one american diplomat has gone public with a major scolding about the drinking behavior of some of his colleagues. put 193 countries, who all want something from each other? one place, and you are bound to have some drinking. it can ease some tensions and perhaps lower barriers to agreement. in a rare rebuke to the world, a u.s. diplomat, monday, in public scolded fellow diplomats for drinking on the job. >> as for the conduct of negotiations, mr. chairman, we make the modest proposal that the negotiating rooms should, in future, be an inebriation-free zone. >> reporter: there are stories of delegates bringing in liquor to close negotiations on christmastime u.n. budget talks, that usually drag on way past midnight. the most famous u.n. drinking
incident occurred more than two years ago overseas, when a united nations chinese undersecretary general for economic affairs went on a drunken rampage, telling his boss, the u.n. secretary general, ban ki-moon, i know you never liked me, mr. secretary general, well, i never liked you either. he later apologized. there are just a handful of establishments where diplomats can eat or drink, especially during years of renovation here at u.n. headquarters. so in those late-night negotiations, diplomats have had to look elsewhere for those special beverages. >> in the past, the french have brought wine, the canadians have brought canadian whiskey, the russians, and this is a sort of current practice, they kind of crack open a bottle of vodka. the sort of dispute is whether they crack it open before the negotiations or whether they do it afterwards, but there's a sort of tradition of drinking. >> reporter: several diplomats denied seeing excessive drinking on the grounds. >> of course, in diplomacy, there are a lot of receptions. there is a lot of dinners. there are a lot of lunches that
take place, and people may have a drink on those occasions. but in my experience, drink has never come into the question of negotiations. >> my national response is there should be no drinking during business sessions. and i'm going to give very clear instructions to that effect to my delegation. >> what about after? >> after is a personal matter. we all have our private lives, don't we? thank you very much. >> reporter: behind the drinking is frustration that non-western countries are not interested in reforming the organization at those late-night meetings. >> let's save the champagne for toasting the successful end of the session. >> reporter: a spokesman for the u.n. secretary general said it's up to the member countries to, in effect, police themselves. wolf, the u.s. diplomat, joe torsella, he's also been on the warpath about excessive business class travel overseas. >> he's got a mission. thanks very much, richard roth, at the united nations. just ahead, we'll get the behind the scenes view of the secret meeting about to take
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will determine the next pope. nearly all of the 115 cardinals eligible to participate are now in rome. the last one is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. i spoke about that process a bit with the archbishop emeritus. cardinal, you're over 80, you can't yourself vote to elect the next pope, but take us a little bit behind the scenes with where you are at the vatican right now. what's going on. and what should we expect? a long conclave, a short conclave? what do you think? >> well, this is a guess, but i think i'm not going to put money on it, but this is a guess. it seems to me, as one listens to the conversations of my brothers who can vote, i think maybe we're talking about maybe a three to four-day conclave. the last one was only a day and a half or two days. i think there was an ideal and
obvious candidate with cardinal ratzing ratzinger. he went in with a lot of support and it became rather clear he was going to be elected, so that was a short conclave. now, there are many different people. there's leading candidate that's so outstanding that everybody says, oh, we're going to vote for him. so you're going to have a -- you're going to have men talking to each other and trying to figure out what is the best thing to do, to find the nature of the house, that election. last time, 40% of the cardinals voted for this year were also voted for eight years ago. so some know the drill and know the experience, but 60% are new. so that's going to be a difference as we work it out. >> and this note. today's news conference scheduled by american cardinals, it was abruptly canceled. a spokeswoman saying the cardinals won't be doing any
further interviews, due to leak concerns. happening now, a snow emergency. a dangerous winter mix on the east coast and the warnings that didn't necessarily pan out. dinner diplomacy. the president shakes up his strategy for dealing with republicans. knives on planes. we'll debate a new easing of the rules. would passengers be at risk? lion attack. a deadly incident at a haven for wildcats. trial twist. jurors, yes, jurors get a chance to ask questions in the tawdry jodi arias murder case. and sellers beware. wait until you hear what a real estate agent was caught doing in a client's home. i'm wolf blitzer along with kate balduan. you're in "the situation room."
powerful winter storm that swept across the country plowed into the east coast today with mixed results. virginia seemed to get the worst of it. it's under a state of emergency right now. but here in washington, d.c., we got off relatively easy. and that's raising questions about the forecast and why so much of the federal government simply shut down. let's begin our coverage this hour in virginia. that's where cnn's joe johns is standing by. joe? >> reporter: wolf, the power, it's really just calmed down here a lot since early this morning, when we had all that snow in winchester, virginia. now the concerns are more about power outages and potential flooding as all that snow begins to melt. thick, heavy, wet snow, wufl beautiful to look at, but hard to deal, brought a measure of late winter discomfort to almost everyone in its path. in the pittsburgh area -- >> oh, it's beautiful out here. the snow is very heavy.
it's like mashed potatoes. >> reporter: in parts of virginia, where the snow fell the heaviest, it also meant trouble for electrical wires and the tree limbs closest to them. with tense of thousands of people without power across virginia, the governor declared a state of emergency. though officials on the ground realized that the situation could have been much worse. on the roads, work started well before the first flakes fell. late into the night at the salt piles in virginia, thousands of trucks loaded up to treat the streets, often with marginal success. luckily, not much traffic to deal, transportation officials had asked everyone who could to stay off the roads. >> if you have to get on the road, use extreme caution. drive slower than you normally would. >> reporter: the warnings were heeded, and by noon, about a foot of snow had fallen in the shenandoah valley. transportation officials were saying main roads were generally passable. but some secondary roads were not. in the city of winchester, which
had been viewed as ground zero for the storm, the city manager was speculating that it could have been a lot worse. >> well, it's going real well, to be honest with you if we've had a lot of snow fall, but, so far, the accumulation has only been about 6 inches here in the city. >> reporter: the few shopkeepers who bothered to open their doors this day reported almost no customer traffic. >> easy day at work? >> yeah, pretty much. >> reporter: now, the governor's state of emergency authorizes up to 200 members of the national guard to help the virginia state police with weather-related issues. 50 of those troops are expected to work in the central and northern parts of the state. wolf? >> joe johns in virginia for us. joe, thanks very much. kate balduan is here. you know, kate, we had been told we were going to get a lot of snow here in d.c. >> and not so much. that's not necessarily what we got, that's for sure. it's been more of a messy mix of
snow, slush, and rain. still not awesome, but it's still not what they said it was going to be. much of the federal government shut down anyway. so did forecasters or the feds overreact? let's bring in meteorologist alexandra steele for more on this. she's in the cnn weather center in atlanta. so, alexandra, the forecast, 5 to 10 inches of snow is expected. that's clearly not what we got. so what happened? what changed? did the system change course? >> no, what happened was this. it was the temperatures, kate. you know, the rain and snow stayed right over washington and just never gave up. the asphalt, the warm, warm march sun angle, all those factors. temperatures now in washington are 39. d.c. never got above or below 37 much of the day, but there was snow. where joe was in winchester, 9 inches. here's where the bullet was, in areas of augusta, fishersville, they did get 20. linden, 20.
blue mountain, albemarle, most places just west of washington picked up 6 inches, plus. 25 miles west had 12 inches plus. the storm is moving. boston, kate and wolf, will be the next target, expecting snow and also some very strong winds. we'll talk about that coming up in just a while as well. >> keeping an eye on that as well. alexandra steele, thank you. thanks so much. from a sudden change in weather to a sudden change in the president's political strategy. he sits down for dinner later this hour at the jefferson hotel. you're seeing some video and pictures of it right there and you're looking at a live picture right now. he'll be sitting down with 11 special guests. they're republican senators, including some of his harshest critics. it's the start of the new outreach campaign by a president who's been accused of being aloof and not very social. let's bring in our national political correspondent, jim acosta. jim, it sure does say something about the state of things when it's news the president is sitting down for dinner with lawmakers. >> reporter: it certainly does, kate. that's right. and the dinner getting started
in less than a half an hour from now. just about four or five blocks from where we're standing here at the white house. and with a whole bunch of new polls, kate, showing the president has taken some hits, when it comes to his approval numbers, after his handling of this so-called sequester, he is looking to change the political climate here in washington. the question is whether this will be just a break from the big chill. on a cold winter day dubbed s w snowquester, president obama appears to be hitting the defrost button when it comes to his chilly relations with republicans in congress, after both sides failed to work out a deal to prevent those forced budget cuts from kicking in, the president decided to invite nearly a dozen gop senators, including some of his toughest critics, to dinner at a d.c. hotel. >> i think he's doing the right thing. we need to stop the campaign. the election is over. >> reporter: one of the senators on the list, ron johnson, says it's a step in the right
direction. >> hopefully what i'll hear from the president is a seriousness of purpose. finally acknowledging that we've got to look at the entire budget. we've got to take a look at social security and take a look at medicare. >> reporter: the president hopes to revise talks for a grand bargain on the deficit. "yes, but we're not naive about the possibilities here. these are just conversations. getting from here to a deal is hard." >> the majority of the american people agree with me. >> reporter: after weeks of campaign-style events blaming republicans for budget gridlock, the white house acknowledges it's a changed approach, one that started over the weekend when the president began calling lawmakers. >> is this a charm offensive? >> the president is engaging with lawmakers of both parties. and will continue to do so. >> reporter: a far cry from just last week, when on the same day the automatic spending cuts went into effect, the president dismissed the notion he should be altering his tactics. >> well, julie, give me an example of what i might do. >> reporter: the white house argues the president has tried a grand bargain before, only to be
rebuffed by house gop leaders, and both sides are still throwing hard punches. house speaker john boehner is questioning whether the white house visitor's senator is canceling its tours for political reasons. >> it's just silly. and i want to know who's being laid off at the white house. is this what's going on? all i can say is that the capitol is open to visitors. we welcome the american people to come to their capitol. we've been preparing for the president's sequester for months. >> democrats insist the gop is still on trubstructing the president's nominees, whether it's to the courts or the cia, and no wonder both sides have doubts that breaking bread can fix a broken government. >> for anyone to think that this is going to lead to some sort of kumbaya or come to jesus moment, they've got another thing coming. >> reporter: they are going to try not just tonight, but also later next week, when the president goes to meet with lawmakers. wolf, here is a copy of the menu
at the restaurant where they'll be sitting down later on tonight. it has an $85 fixed price menu. also an option for a $1,776 menu. i don't think they'll be taking part in that tonight. but we also should note, we talked to the pr folks for the restaurant that's putting on this affair. and they say that the chef who is preparing the meal has had diplomatic training, culinary training with the state department. a little diplomacy might go a long way, even at the dinner table, wolf. >> is the president picking up the tab? >> reporter: we still have not heard back from the white house on that, wolf. don't know. >> let's find out. thanks very much. jim acosta at the white house. now to a developing story out in california. a deadly lion attack. cnn's paul vercammen is joining us right now with the latest information. what do we know, paul? >> reporter: well, we've been able to confirm with the fresno county sheriff's department that there has been a worker killed at the cat haven wildlife park. that is just about 45 miles east of fresno. authorities also confirming the
call went out at 12:30 today and the cat was put down. now, as for cat haven, as we said to you, it's in the foothills east of fresno at ant 24,300 feet. on the website, project survival runs cat haven. they say they're dedicated to the innovative preservation of wildcats. and dale anderson, the owner, that's been around for about 20 years, is well known on the talk show circuit. he's been on ellen and jay leno often showing the cats there. all manners of cats and leopard z s and what not. we understand from one of the affiliates that the cat they believe was put down is named couscous, sort of a celebrity cat, if you will. that's we know right now, it was at 12:30 today that someone was killed at this park and this park is now closed. >> paul vercammen, you'll update us on it when you get more information. thank you. there's an urgent new warning today about the spread of a deadly bacteria that's nearly impossible to kill, because it's resistant to antibiotics. up to half of the patients
infected with this so-called super bug die. the center for disease control is calling it a nightmare and say hospitals need to take action now. one of the main recommendations, more hand washing to prevent the bacteria from spreading. sounds simple, but clearly not done enough. >> not enough. safety officials now think it's okay to carry certain knives on airplanes. air marshals, flight attendants think it's not such a good idea. we'll have a debate on this very sensitive subject. also ahead, senator rand paul has a big gripe with the obama administration, and he's talking about it. and he's talking, and he's talking. >> i will speak until i can no longer speak. i will speak as long as it takes. ng and would always come to my rescue. but as time passed, i started to notice max just wasn't himself. and i knew he'd feel better if he lost a little weight. so i switched to purina cat chow healthy weight formula. i just fed the recommended amount...
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senate floor, and he's been speaking almost nonstop for several hours on the senate floor, in an old-fashioned filibuster against john brennan's nomination to head the cia. some of his fellow republicans, along with a democrat, have joined him on a vote -- joined him and a vote on brennan's nomination has been delayed. paul says he's doing this because the administration won't rule on the possibility of a drone strike against americans on u.s. soil. >> no american should be killed by a drone on american soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court. that americans could be killed at a cafe in san francisco or a restaurant in houston or at their home in bowling green, kentucky, is an abomination. it is something that should not and cannot be tolerated in our
country. >> attorney general eric holder says there's little chance, if anyone, that an american terror suspect sitting at a cafe or anyone else in the united states would be the target of a drone strike. listen. >> the government has no intention to carry out any drone strikes in the united states. it's hard for me to imagine a situation in which that would occur. we have, within the united states, the ability to use our law enforcement capacity. and as a result, the use of drones is, from my perspective, something that is entirely, entirely hypothetical. >> holder talked about drone policy during an appearance before the senate judiciary committee. he got a little heated. >> certainly did. there's another reason that a lot of people are worried about drones flying over the united states. the fbi is investigating a claim that a drone was spotted near one of america's biggest airports. brian todd is following this story for us. brian, what do we know? >> wolf and indicate, this happened at midday over jfk international airport in new york, where the security situation in the air and on the ground is very sensitive.
what's got officials concerned is not only the sighting of this possible drone, but just how close it might have come to a passenger yet. on a approach to new york's jfk airport, an airlines captain spotted something very close to his jet. here's what he said to the control tower. >> what did you see? >> we saw a drone, a drone aircraft. >> roger, what altitude did you see that aircraft? >> about 1500. >> the fbi now says the unmanned drone came within 200 feet of the passenger plane. alialia said the copilot saw it too. the flight landed safely. the incident is under investigation by the faa and the fbi, which is asking for the public's help in finding the aircraft and its operator. a source with knowledge of the incident says investigators have interviewed the pilot and others on board the altalia plane.
experts say even small drones can pose a risk to commercial jet ifs they collide with them or get sucked into their engines if birds sometimes do. the incident also raises questions about rules governing these vehicles. unmanned aircraft can be as small as this drone or smaller or as big as a passenger plane. around faa rules, you can fly it recreationally like this, but not more than 400 feet off the ground and not near an airport. if an operator does fly one within three miles of an airport, he or she has to let air traffic control know. experts say most drones are small, weighing on the about five pounds, and are made of a carbon fiber substance, meaning many of them can't be detected by radar. they're not allowed to fly in restricted air space. but could a terrorist weaponize one and attack places like new york or washington anyway? >> well, i think some classified programs that the department of defense operates in the district of columbia could potentially detect and neutralize a drone or
a manned aircraft going into that air space. >> reporter: alan frazier with north dakota university says a big concern he says is that more people are using drones in unauthorized ways, breaking the rules. he says even media entities like paparazzi, trying to get photographs of celebrities, have at least inquired about using drones. and he said he's heard of documented cases where they've used them. and one law enforcement official told us that they are also looking into the possibility, the possibility that this could have been a law enforcement or even a military aircraft, but, wolf and kate, alan frazier, that expert we spoke to, said it's probably unlikely that it was a law enforcement aircraft, because if it was flying that high, as the pilot said, it would have been flying too high to be used effectively for surveillance, and the people flying it, if they were law enforcement, would have known better to have sent it up that high. we'll see what this thing was. >> we'll get more information and update our viewers. thanks very much. still ahead, a soldier missing in action for 33 years has now been found.
we have details coming up. and later, a stunning change in the rules will allow small knives and big sticks aboard airliners. flight attendants are furious. we'll hear from one of them. [ woman ] my boyfriend and i were going on vacation, so i used my citi thankyou card to pick up some accessories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? and with all the points i've been earning, i was able to get us a flight to our favorite climbing spot even on a holiday weekend. ♪ things are definitely looking up. [ male announcer ] with no blackout dates, you can use your citi thankyou points to travel whenever you want. visit citi.com/thankyoucards to apply. you name it...i've hooked it. but there's one...
the body of hugo chavez moved the to a military academy today. kate's got that and some of the day's other top stories. >> so many in that country mourning his death. thousands of people watched and took part in the procession as the casket of the late venezuelan president was transferred from the hospital where he died yesterday. it was taken to a military academy, as wolf said, in caracas, where chavez will lie in state until friday's funeral. the country has declared seven days of mourning and closed
schools for the rest of the week. former democratic congressman gabrielle giffords was at a gun control rally today at the site in tucson where she was gravely wounded in a mass shooting in 2011. giffords and her husband, mark kelly, are supporting legislation requiring universal background checks for gun purchases and transfers. a senate committee takes it up tomorrow. and it sure seems like the records just keep on tumbling on wall street. the dow jones industrial average closed at a record high today for the second day in a row. the dow rose 0.3% and the s&p 500 is now closing in on its record high, set in october 2007. you'll remember, that's just before the financial crisis. positive economic news is driving the rally. crazy, crazy news. talk about crazy news. a soldier missing in action for 33 years has been found. the man fought with the soviet army during the invasion of afghanistan in the 1980s. it turns out he suffered a
serious head wound, but was rescued and nursed back to health by a semi-nomadic tribe. he's lived with his rescuers ever since and even went on to marry, but he says he is eager to be reunited with relatives. what?! what a crazy story. >> that is an amazing story. these are live pictures over at the jefferson hotel here in washington. the president is just arriving right now, about 11 new republican senators are about to arrive as well. they're supposed to have dinner at 6:30 p.m. eastern. that's in about four minutes or so, from now. early dinner, 6:30, a little early, but they want to have dinner, maybe have some cocktails first, then they'll have dinner, get down to some serious talk. >> got a lot to talk about, so they need an early reservation. >> it's a start. i'll take it. >> hopefully something positive will emerge from this. up next, we're going to speak with a flight attendant who's angry about the rule change that will soon allow small knives and other potential weapons to be carried aboard airlines. take her car out. this is awesome!
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there's a lot of debate underway right now, but a change in the rules for what you can take on board an airplane. >> federal officials have decided it's now okay to bring some small knives on board, along with pool cues, golf clubs, and hockey sticks. some people see it as a convenience and other people think it sounds pretty dangerous. first, let's go to cnn's david mattingly at the atlanta airport. this is big news for everyone who travels on a plane, david. >> reporter: that's right, kate. and the knives we're talking about aren't all that big. this is one of those pocket knives that would actually pass the tsa test that's coming up next month. it's less than 2 1/2 inches long, it's about less than a half inch wide. so that would be okay, according to the tsa. they want to be able to allow things like this to go through security and on to airplanes, because they want to spend more time looking for the things like explosives, things that could
actually bring an aircraft down. but critics of this plan say that by allowing these knives is and those other mitems on to a plane, that passenger safety may actually suffer. you will still have to remove your shoes. if you're carrying a bottle of water, forget it. but a hockey stick will be okay. so will a small pocket knife. tsa's changes to what you will soon be able to carry through security and on to an airplane already find stiff resistance. >> if some type of argument could escalate, guess what, someone pulls out a knife, then i'm here, i have to defend myself and make sure all the other passengers are safe. >> reporter: the decision includes allowing ski poles, pool cues, even golf clubs. the tsa says these items don't pose a catastrophic threat to the operation of the aircraft. >> our greatest threat is ieds,
whether that's explosive or an electronic ignitioner. >> i actually prefer if they would change the rules on the liquids, because i've lost too many things. in fact, on the way here, they took -- i had a little jar of peanut butter, and i had no idea that that counted as a liquid and a gel. >> reporter: this man carries a pocket knife all the time, except when he's flying. >> i would prefer that they stay off airplanes. >> reporter: this couple, however, isn't worried. >> well, i guess it's -- >> i guess i want the stewardesses or something to carry knives to protect us if needed. >> i know we have flight marshals on the planes to take care of us. >> reporter: the flight attend coalition says the law will further endanger the lives of all flight attendants and the passengers. and the federal law enforcement officer' association calls the move dangerous and ill advised. and these groups will continue to challenge this proposed rule
change. they have well over a month to do it, before it takes effect. kate? >> we'll see what they have to say about that. david mattingly, thank you so much. groups representing air marshals and flight attendants, they're asking the tsa to reconsider changing the rules about these small knives going on planes. we're joined now by the president of the association of professional flight antes, laura gladding. she's joining us. also, bob frances, the former vice chairman. laura, first to you and i'll let bob weigh in. what's your biggest concern? >> i think the whole decision was absurd. and i have many concerns. again, we weren't consulted. i'm all for a review and we all are, periodic reviews of the policy. but knives are a no-starter. nobody should be able to bring any type of weapon on an airplane. absolutely not. when i entered the building today, they checked my bag, and i said, what are you searching for, she said, you know,
weapons, and i said, would a pocket knife be allowed, and she said no. i'm in a building in new york, it's not allowed here, why would it be allowed on an airplane? >> bob, what do you say? >> i think that i agree with the tsa administrator. i think what you have here is his wanting to use his resources in the most effective way he can. he's in the business of countering terrorism. he's not in the business of making sure that somebody doesn't get cut, perhaps. so, i think that that's his job and he's doing what he should do. he's cutting back on the burden, on screeners. he may be able to use them, those resources more effectively in other areas. i just, i think it's risk management, it's what we do in safety. and there's no reason that the same rules should not apply to security. >> lauren, i want you to respond to that, but a former chief of
the transportation security administration, kip holly, goes even further than this current proposal, telling cnn, they ought to let everything on that is sharp and pointy, battle axes, machetes. while you may be able to commit an act of violence, you will not be able to take over the plane. what do you say about that? >> you know, the whole thing, again, is absurd. i first reader those comments and thought, it must be a joke. it's insanity. as the passenger said, the flight attendants would then have to be armed to protect the passengers. what kind of a job has this become? it's just -- it doesn't make any sense whatsoever to me. and we were never consulted, never had any kind of communication that this was going to be happening. and we're virtually just letting bats and knives on airplanes. i don't think the passengers like the idea, the flight attendants don't like the idea. it's just a very dangerous place to go. >> bob, let me ask you. the flight attendants union put out a statement, calling this move a poor and short-sighted decision by the tsa.
the head of the air marshals group is also outraged, telling cnn that flight attendants are going to be sitting ducks. you say you agree with the tsa's decision, but don't the flight attendants have valid concerns here? >> i think it was very unfortunate that the flight attendants and the marshals' union or group were not asked and discussed this with the tsa before the rule was proposed. but i -- >> you're a former vice chairman of the ntsb. why do you think that the flight attendants and the air marshals' associations weren't brought into this conversation earlier? they sure seem to be broadsided by it, blindsided by it. >> i can't answer that question. it's a question to have rule making is and how it's done, and i just express my own opinion. but i do think that small knives or bats or whatever are in the
cabin. sure, they propose or pose a threat to someone, perhaps, getting cut or hit, but it's not going to be even close to taking down the aircraft, which is the mandate of tsa. >> but, bob, it might not be the mandate -- it might not be able to bring down the plane, but they could certainly, a lot of us remember the days when planes were hijacked when somebody had a knife. they grabbed a flight attendant for example, put the knife up against that flight attendant's neck and said, i'm going to kill this person unless you fly me to havana or someplace else. that could be a serious problem. >> if the pilots are doing what they're trained to do and the reason that they're behind a locked door, they are not going to do that. they are not going to give in and let anyone back there, no matter how many knives there
are, tell them what to do with the aircraft. >> and they're not going to care about a flight attendant or some other passenger getting kill requested? >> they're going to have to do what their rules tell them to do. of course they'll care, but they're not going to endanger the aircraft for what may or may not be a serious threat. >> in fairness to the tsa, laura, and we've got to go after this, but in fairness to them, they say they're just complying with what the rest of the international community is doing. europe, asia, they have these limited restrictions on these pocket knives. >> right, i understand that. but, look, 9/11 happened here. it happened in the u.s. and what are we saying? that we don't want to be safer than the rest of the world? of course we do. and 9/11 happened as a result of the knives. and in response to, you know, the pilots would do what they have to do, why put them in that position? why put us in that position? why endanger people on the other side of that cockpit door?
it doesn't make one iota of sense to me. >> this debate will continue and i think there's 45 days for the tsa to reconsider if they will. still ahead, a shocking confession if the ballet acid attack. we'll look at what an insider calls the perverted passion in the dance world. and then, sex, lies, and horror. an extraordinary day in the day of jodi arias, accused of murdering her ex-boyfriend. two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf. and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars
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jurors. that does not happen very often, at all. it's only allowed in a handful of states. we'll explain that in just a minute. but first, cnn's randi kaye explains how we got here. >> this case has court watchers riveted. not only because of the severe brutality of it, but also because of the couple's salacious sexual relationship. they videotaped themselves having sex and took provocative photos. on the day of the murder, june 4th, 2008, the two snapped naked photos of each other at alexander's home, right before the killing. what exactly happened that night is still unclear. in part, because investigators can't get a straight or at least consistent story out of arias. >> do you remember stabbing travis alexander? >> i have no memory of stabbing him. >> reporter: the couple first met back in 2006, at a convention in las vegas. she was an aspiring photographer. he was a salesman and motivat n
motivationmotivatio motivational speaker who was active in the mormon church. they started dating a few months later, even though he lived in mesa, arizona, and she lived hours away in california. arias soon converted to mormonism like her boyfriend, and agreed to be baptized. on the day of her baptism, she told the court, alexander tied her up while they were both still wearing sacred garments, then forced her to have anal sex. >> after this encounter, on this spiritual day, how did you feel about yourself? >> i didn't feel very good. i kind of feel like a used piece of toilet paper. >> reporter: arias claims alexander often abused her, physically and sexually. but on the couple's phone sex tapes, played in court, she seemed to be enjoying herself. >> the way you moan, jodi, sounds like you're a 12-year-old girl having her first orgasm. it's so hot. >> reporter: how things turned from phone sex to this is still
a mystery. but investigators say there's no question travis alexander suffered. the medical examiner says he was stabbed first, then shot. so it may have been taken him some time to die. crime scene photos show his hands, bruised and bloodied, which may indicate he struggled to fight off his attacker, who was stabbing him. randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> and as we mentioned just a moment ago, the trial took an extraordinary legal turn today. arias answered questions directly from the jurors, well, the questions coming from the jurors. that's only allowed in three states, including arizona. cnn's miguel marquez is live in phoenix. miguel, you were inside the courtroom, so tell us about these questions that the jury was asking. >> reporter: well, clearly, this is a jury that is either unsure of what jodi arias testified to or is skeptical as to what she testified to. a lot of the questions having to do with what happened that day,
june 4th, 2008, the day that travis alexander died. here's a little sample of some of the questions that were put to her by the judge today. >> why is it that you have no memory of stabbing travis? >> i can't really explain why my mind did what it did. >> why did you place travis's body back in the shower? >> i could only speculate, because i don't remember. >> why would you take the time to delete the photos off the camera after you killed travis? >> i -- that would go with all the other things that i did that day, when things happened, i don't have memory of it. >> now, the judge got about a hundred queries from the jurors,
was there were many parts to some of those queries, so we are up to over 150 questions at the moment. the judge asking them in rapidfire style. jodi arias answering them fairly quickly for the most part. many of these questions having not only to do with what happened on that day, most of which she says she does not remember what happened on the day that travis alexander died. short-te she remembers the gun going off and she remembers nothing else. perhaps the most damning question of her that was asked of her during that time was, how is it that the single casing from the bullet fired from that gun ended up on top of a pool of blood. she says, and she's said repeatedly, that the gun was the first thing to go off. you would think that the gun would then be covered in blood, given how much had happened to travis alexander's body after the fact. there were many questions about her relationship, not only with travis alexander, but with other men that she had dated, and how those relationships went. her relationship with her family. there was one juror in particular that seemed to take
her side of it and ask specific questions about how it was she got into the closet and why she feared for her life. kate? >> it all comes down to a question of was it self-defense or was it murder? that is the big question they're trying to answer. miguel marquez, thanks so much. a stunning con fissifessione acid attack that hit russia's famous ballet. and a real estate investor caught on camera doing things he shouldn't do in his client's home. transit fares! as in the 37 billion transit fares we help collect each year. no? oh, right. you're thinking of the 1.6 million daily customer care interactions xerox handles. or the 900 million health insurance claims we process. so, it's no surprise to you that companies depend on today's xerox for services that simplify how work gets done. which is...pretty much what we've always stood for. with xerox, you're ready for real business. ♪ whoo! ♪ all around the world
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story for us from moscow. >> wolf, suspicious has always focused on the ballet itself and the likelihood someone who works there was responsible, but it was still a huge surprise that one of the company's leading dancers confessed he planned the whole thing. this video shows a leading dancer with one of the world's greatest ballet companies. he sayi'm suspected of organizing the acid attack on artistic director of the theatre. he's then asked if he did it and he confesses. i organized this attack, but not to the extent that it happened, he says. this is the result of what happened. his head, wrapped in bandages on the night acid was thrown on him. it is a shocking contrast to the beauty and grace to the art form both men have dedicated their
lives to. the theatre is famous as a house of intrigue for the powerful ambitio ambitions, rivalries. the professional differences have never before come to anything like this. police say the two men had a hostile working relationship. he performed in the title role in last year's production of ivan the terrible. the story of a russian czar with a violent reputation. police say he directed two other men to carry out the attack and they've also confessed. one threw the acid. the other was a driver. sergey is receiving treatment in germany and doesn't know how much of his eyesight will come back. he's confident he'll return as the artistic director. just as he was always very sure it was a colleague, a ballet dancer, who used violence to try to drive him out of that job.
there's a lot of public speculation about precisely what the motive was and most popular theer aries revolve around the dancers alleged frustration. his girlfriend's career, he's a dancer at the theatre as well. >> thanks for that r report. erin burnett is "outfront" starting at the top of the hour on a wild situation happening in the u.s. senate. what do you have tonight? >> seven hours and i think we're five or six minutes now, pretty incredible, that rand paul has been filibustering the nomination for the new cia chief. for a very serious reason. he says that this administration has not category said it will use drones to kill americans on american soil. seven hours and five minutes and rand paul has not taken a bathroom break. i know these things seem small, but he has not taken a bathroom break. he has -- he's been sticking with it today.
he's our guest at the top of the hour. we'll see if he will come aout and talk to us and also, taylor swift versus tina fey and amy poehler. >> are you going to get a phone from the senate floor? >> i'm trying to figure out how it's going to happen and when he worry, he may decide to take that bathroom break. >> no time, is that right, straight to the studio. thanks. also still ahead for us in "the situation room," a couple notices that things keep going missing from their house. and what they found on a surveillance camera can only be described as pretty creepy. lobsterfest is the king of all promotions. there's nothing like our grilled lobster and lobster tacos. the bar harbor bake is really worth trying. [ male announcer ] get more during red lobster's lobsterfest. with the year's largest selection of mouth-watering lobster entrees. like our delicious lobster lover's dream, featuring two kinds of lobster tails. or our savory, new grilled maine lobster and lobster tacos. my favorite entree is the lobster lover's dream. what's yours? come celebrate lobsterfest
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