tv The Situation Room CNN March 7, 2013 1:00pm-4:00pm PST
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♪ ♪ a massive girl scout cookie heist appears to be solved. christopher morgan confessed to stealing, listen to this, nearly $19,000 worth of girl scout cookies. that's a lot of thin minutes. that's more than 5,000 boxes of cookies and people there are appalled. >> i just can't understand that. out here working hard to sell their cookies so they could do some of the things that they want to do. >> we're going to look at more security measures that we can put in place. >> the storage facility owner has pledged to reimburse the girl scouts for their losses
here. he fired that cookie they have who also faces charges. now let's go to wolf blitzer. happening now. >> former al qaeda spokesman captured and now being held near the site of the world trademark site in new york. and i'll talk with the key democrat who joined the republican's protest, senator ron wyden is standing by live. plus, a text message scam on a massive scale. more than 180 million messages sent. now a crackdown. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
he was behind the worst terror attack in u.s. history. now the son-in-law of osama bin laden is in the very city where al qaeda struck its deadly blow. he's now being held in new york city by federal authorities after being captured in jordan last week. cnn's crime and justice correspondent joe johns is coming in right now. what do you know? >> a member of the al qaeda inner circle, 47 years old, he's married to one of osama bin laden's daughter. he was born in kuwait but stripped from of his citizenship after the 9/11 attacks, though it's not clear at all how much, if anything, he had to do with the 9/11 attacks. he was taken into custody and held in jordan and apparently turned over to u.s. authorities only last week and that is how he made his way to new york.
>> this is a guy who was a high school teacher in kuwait who shortly before 9/11 popped up in afghanistan and started, you know, speaking in videotapes, made a number of threatening comments and disappeared. he's had, as i'm air wa, no operation in al qaeda or in the decade since. obviously there are civil charges against him. >> he is expected to appear in court tomorrow which suggests the intention of the department of justice to try the suspect in the united states. this has been a long-running debate and many conservatives have suggested that the military tribunals are suited for this type of defendant. the argument on the other side has been that federal prosecutors have a very high conviction rate on terrorism suspects tried in the u.s. >> it's very interesting, joe,
that they decided to bring them to new york where the u.s. has the prison facility. >> absolutely. one of the things we do know is that the law on this type of issue, especially as it relates to material support of terrorism, actually changed in 2006 and so it may be that they won't be able to reach back because the constitution and try him before that time. let's listen to one constitutional law expert i spoke with. >> until now, we thought that we could try them under these charges in the military commission system and it looks like it's not going to turn out that way which means that material support charges can be tried in the federal court system as they always have and they are highly successful in terms of bringing indictments and in terms of bringing convictions. >> so, wolf, we expect to hear a lot more about this suspect tomorrow with that presentment in federal court in new york city.
>> we'll see who represents him in that as well in federal court. thank you very much, joe johns. let's dig deeper with senator ron wyden of oregon. he's a member of the intelligence committee. your immediate reaction that we learned to the news today. you may have learned about it longer than we did. what do you think of the decision to bring him to new york? >> wolf, first of all, you can't as a member of the intelligence committee get into any details with respect to a particular case. but i think you know, i am for taking the fight to al qaeda and i think what we need to do is look at ways effectively as possible and do it in line with our values. they are very dangerous individuals who are spending time and doing good workplaci pg them behind bars. >> how big of a deal is he?
>> again, wolf, i just can't get into details but i think -- and you see this particularly in this whole debate about drones, we continue to face very real threats today and the challenge is to make sure, particularly given the fact that the president right fully has extensive powers as commander in chief, we recognize that there are checks and balances and that's why you're going to continue to have questions, for example, about military tribunals or federal prosecutors, some of the questions i know you want to get into the details on. >> i do want to get into the details. hold on for one moment. all right. this just coming in from capitol hill. the u.s. senate has confirmed john brennan to be the next cia director. the final vote is 63 in favor, opposed, 34. brennan is a former cia deputy director, certainly a top
architect of obama's drone program as well. he will replace the retired u.s. general david petraeus who resigned in november amid allegations of an extramarital affair. this follows by a 13-hour filibuster by rand paul. he demanded an answer about those potential drone strikes on american citizens on u.s. soil. that answer came in a letter from the attorney general a little while ago. eric holder writing to senator paul and while senator paul was talking to our own chief congressional correspondent, dana bash, he got to read the letter. >> reporter: it's literally three sentences long and he says that the answer to your question about can americans be killed on u.s. soil, the answer is no. are you satisfied? >> i'm quite happy with the answer and i'm disappointed it took a month and a half and root
canal to get it and that's what i've been asking all along and it really is what the senate should be about, advise and consent. i have a feeling since this was so difficult i never would have gotten this with routine letters to the white house. >> let's bring back senator ron wyden. quick question, senator. are you satisfied with the explanation of the attorney general, these three sentences? >> i think it's helpful, wolf. and what he said is consistent with what i went in with yesterday. if you're talking about a noncombatant in the united states, you cannot use lethal force. you cannot strike with a drone. what the earlier letter said -- and it was what i went in to yesterday, if you're talking about our country having to rappel a foreign power such
as 9/11, something of that nature, you have to use a military force. so we're continuing to root out more of the details about our policies and i can tell you, wolf, that this debate and in washington, d.c., it's just beginning and consistent with foreign soil. let's begin with yemen where the u.s. had an attack on anwar al awlaki. >> i can think of many instances, wolf, if you're talking about an american that is taking up arms against the united states, i can think of plenty of instances where our
country needs to use lethal force to deal with that kind of particular situation. what we're going to have to flesh out is, for example, what happens if our country has the wrong person or somebody thinks that they don't belong to one of these groups and the government does? those are some of the issues that we need to address. i've continued to say my bottom line is that every american wants to know why their government has the right to kill them. and until we make that very clewe have more work to do. >> not necessarily john mccain out on the senate floor really going after senator rand paul, some of the remarks he made during his filibuster yesterday. >> i don't think what happened yesterday is helpful to the
american people. but somehow to allege that the united states of america, our government would drop a drone he will. l-fire missile on jane fonda, that is -- that brings the conversation a serious discussion about u.s. policy to the realm of the ridiculous. >> you want to respond to senator mccain? >> wolf, i'm an admirer of john mccain. he's a special friend to nancy and i. i can tell you that this debate is not essentially about jane fonda. it's about the fact that the very nature of warfare is changing and it's changing so dramatically and we are now going to have to think through a new set of rules and a new set of approaches. for example, i have very strong beliefs and we shouldn't be practicing secret law until we
won our two-year campaign -- i made seven requests of the obama administration to get the legal analyses behind these drone strikes. we were essentially in the dark. so there's a lot of issues still to be dealt with. >> senator wyden, thanks as usual for joining us. >> thank you for having me. a dinner last night and now a lunch as a new charm offensive. one of them is here to talk about it. how was lunch today? representative chris van hollen standing by live this hour. up next, mauled to death by a lion. we have new details of the young woman killed while working her dream job. [ 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.
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he was raised by humans and never showed any signs of aggression. behind these gates at a central california sanctuary, the animal mauled a young intern to death and now everyone involved is trying to figure out how and why. cnn ted rowlands is near fresno. ted, what's the latest? what are you hearing? >> well, wolf, we're expecting an update within the next hour. one of the big questions is not necessarily why the lion reacted the way he did. it's why this young woman was inside his enclosure. >> what are you doing? >> what do you think we're doing? it's awful? >> reporter: sanctuary owner kept the gates locked a day after his 24-year-old intern was mauled to death by a lion. diana hansen had been working here for six months. her smile in these photographs
seem to show what her father said was an absolute love for the job. one of those cats was a 350-pound 5 1/2-year-old african lion who lived at cat haven since he was a few months old. this is iphone video taken by a cnn ireporter in december. investigators say diana was with another intern but was the only one in the enclosure when he attacked. >> apparently the other intern was outside of the cage and she was in the cage and i don't know why in the world she would ever be inside of the lion's cage. i can't think of why she would do that. >> though who knew him say he has no history of aggression. >> he eats about five pounds of food a day. >> this is a lion. >> this is him when he was a cub being held by jeff corwin. on the ellen degeneres show. >> we can't forget how powerful these animals are and it does
strike me as potentially dangerous for someone to be alone with a cat like this and you can see a tragic outcome when one potentially loses sight on the predatory ability. it does take some comfort doing something that she loved. >> i always got a premonition that i would get a call like this some day but she was so happy and it was her dream. so i never tried to discourage her but i always had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that some day i would get a call like this. >> hopefully we'll get an answer to what was this young woman doing in that lion's enclosure. >> we'll monitor that news conference with you and update our viewers on the new
information. thank you very much, ted, for that report. later tonight, the father of diana hansen will join erin to talk about that tragedy at 7:00 p.m. eastern right after "the situation room." north korea is threatening a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the united states. how legitimate is that threat? i'll speak with fareed zakaria coming up. n reliever used by physical therapists. that's chilly! [ male announcer ] bengay zero degrees. freeze and move on. [ male announcer ] bengay zero degrees. how do you keep an older car running like new? you ask a ford customer. when they tell you that you need your oil changed you got to bring it in. 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.
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closing at 14,329. nasdaq and s&p also had gains. the recent rally driven by a series of strong economic reports indicating that wall street appears to be largely unaffected by washington's forced spending cuts. and facebook is unveiling dramatic changes to its popular newsfeed feature. it's designed to keep users active and to appeal to advertisers. this is the newsfeed's first major makeover since being launched. and this sounds like a case similar to the black swan. a judge has ordered three men, allegedly tied to the acid attack on this man, to be held in custody until the investigation is complete. police say the lead dancer confessed to organizing the attack but two alleged co-conspirators have also been detained. if convicted, they could face up to eight years in jail. and a flood warning is in
effect for the east coast of massachusetts through tomorrow morning as that powerful storm that already blanketed parts of the midwest and mid-atlantic states with heavy, wet snow heads north. meanwhile, more than 100,000 people are still without power in virginia where one ireporter sent us this picture. it is a picture of her postman delivering the mail on skis. what do they say, neither rain, snow, sleet, something like that? basically you'll get the mail to you. there you see it, as promised, even on skis, wolf. >> we got the mail delivered yesterday. i'm sure you did as well. >> it was a bunch of slush, a bunch of wet stuff but not exactly what they had called for. >> thank you. just months ago they were rivals out there on the campaign trail. now president obama is having lunch with paul ryan over at the white house. the ranking member of the budget committee, his colleague, chris van hollen, a democrat was also
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we just got a statement from the president praising the united states senate for approving, confirming the nomination of john brennan to be the next director of the central intelligence agency. john brennan as director of the cia, the qualities i val you auto so much, his commitment to working with congress, his ability to build relationships with foreign partners and his fidelity to the values that define us as a nation. that statement in part coming in from the president. the president also once again
insisted it was critically important for the united states to disrupt the terrorist attacks, dismantle al qaeda, its affiliate, and meet the broad array of security challenges that the united states faces right now. that statement just coming in from the president. meanwhile, president obama's also reaching out once again today to republicans. he seems to think the way to win concessions is through their stomachs. he had lunch today with a former campaign rival. let's bring in jim acosta. he's over at the white house. how did it go, jim? >> wolf, they had a lot to chew over but after it was over, paul ryan and president obama only released statements about their comments. they are rather tight lipped about this. it's not the only indication that the president's charm offensive might take a while. when an old rival pays a visit, better to start with the safe lunch and that was president obama's plan as he invited former gop vice presidential
candidate paul ryan to the white house. also at the table, ryan's counterpart on the house budget committee, chris van hollen. but the white house warns the bipartisanship is not in full bloom just yet. >> we are not unrealistic in our expectations. we are not naive that there are real disagreements. >> not because of the tough talk from the election -- >> remember this time when he was caught on videotape saying people like to cling to their guns and their religion. hey, i'm a catholic deer hunter. >> -- but because the republicans and democrats remain far apart on the issues. >> are you saying if we support -- >> how are you doing? >> just fine. >> still, both sides are trying. the night before nearly a dozen gop senators left toasting president obama's outreach.
>> i think we have a shot to get this done on a bipartisan basis. >> according to the menu, they dined on sea bass, lobster. judging by the reactions from john mccain and lindsey graham, a little wining and dining may help the wheeling and dealing. >> i'd like to congratulate my friend from south carolina for his really best behavior last night at dinner. he was on his best manners and everyone was very impressed. i yield the floor. >> but another dinner guest, senator pat toomey, said the president's plans may be hard to swallow. >> the president still wants to raise taxes a lot and i don't. i think it's a really bad idea. he thinks that's a good idea. so that creates a serious challenge. >> this week we've gone 180. >> a sentiment echoed by house speaker john boehner who welcomes the president to the capitol next week. >> i'm hopeful that something will come out of it. but if the president continues to insist on tax hikes, i don't
think we're going to get very far. now, the president did pay for dinner out of his own pocket so the taxpayers did not pick up the tab but it is how to pay down the deficit that is the real issue and, wolf, both sides are nowhere near an agreement on how to cover that check. wolf? >> any more dinner engagements, lunch engagements, anything else planned, as far as we know? >> reporter: not as much as we know. we'll have to wait and see. we'll see if they can move beyond the safe lunch, wolf. >> i suspect there will be more shm shmoozing going on. chris van hollen was there with paul ryan and he's here in "the situation room" right now. congress, thanks very much for coming in. >> good to be with you. >> how did that luncheon go? >> it was a good lunch. it was a good meal and a good conversation. >> how long did it last? >> it lasted a little over an
hour. it was a very constructive change. look, the president is trying to open every avenue of conversation and dialogue to get something done. >> was it just the three of you or other aides? >> just the three of us. >> so the three of you had lunch and had an opportunity talk. how was that relationship that developed in between -- i know you have a good relationship with the president. but what about with paul ryan? >> i think the relationship was developing very well. look, this is the first time they've had a chance to really sit down since the campaign and really sit down in a more intimate conversation for a very long time. so that's the kind of thing that i think is important to build trust. >> it's significant, i think, that the challenge -- these challen initial get-togethers are happening. did paul ryan speak out about medicare, how do deal with entitlement spending? >> i don't want to get into the details of the conversations but we talked about the big picture as well as some of the more
specific proposals. look, obviously paul ryan set forth his budget structure. we're going to be debating that in the house soon. we will have a democratic alternative but then we need to begin to bridge some differences and try and find a solution here. >> so do you think, based on what you heard, what you know, forget about the luncheon, where paul ryan stands, is there a grand bargain deal that you could see emerging in the coming months which would be significant entitlement spending cuts, significant tax reform, and the democrats want that tax reform to include increased tax revenue, the republicans say it should be neutral, there shouldn't be increased revenue coming in. they should cut rates to eliminate those loopholes and exemptions. that seems to be the big issue. is there a deal you can see? >> well, it's too soon to see the end of the story. but what we do know is there is
not a resolution here. we're going to face july and august, the debt ceiling, republicans in the past have threatened to allow the united states to default on the debt ceiling. the president says that's nonnegotiable. what he has said is that he wants to find a way forward and a smart way to deficit reduction which requires balance. the president says he's prepared to make additional cuts on top of the 1.5 trillion we have already made. he wants to make a balanced approach. if that means closing tax breaks that disproportionately benefit very wealthy people. after all, the last presidential campaign both mitt romney and paul ryan talked about. they are still out there. let's talk about them. >> the republicans say they are ready to close those loopholes. they eliminate the subsidies for big oil companies or whatever. they want to make sure that at the same time you reduce tax rates. is that at all doable, from your perspective?
>> their position in the past is that penny for penny, any time you eliminate a tax break, it has to go entirely into -- >> no new taxes. >> that's right. >> which they abandoned at the end of december, early january when they did raise taxes on wealthy people making $400,000 a year. >> some of them did. remember, a majority of house republicans voted no. >> the speaker voted yes. >> it did pass and that's the beginning. of course, the plans put forward by bipartisan simpson/bowles contain a lot more revenue. they also contain additional cuts on top of the cuts that we've already made. look, i think the road map is pretty clear to people who have been following this budget debate going forward. if you want to get to an additional responsible reduction, without hurting the economy, you end up overburdening seniors, we p don't invest enough if what happens our economy grow. and so you need that balanced approach and that's what the president's argued for and i think, wolf, as you know, you've
followed this a long time. that is the way to move forward on this debate. >> still a significant gap on that significant issue. i want to ask you about that story over the weekend in "the washington post" which suggested that the president's number one goal right now, number one goal was getting a democratic majority in the house of representatives in 2014 next year. that would require a net gain of 17 seats by the democrats. do you believe that that's the president's number one goal? >> the president's number one goal is following through on the commitments that the president made during the last campaign, adopting a campaign that strengthens the middle class, get the economy in full gear and deal with the deficit in a smart way. that's his agenda. his preferred approach would be to have republicans join him in that effort and that's why he's reaching out on all fronts. but you always have to have a plan a and a plan b. the bottom line is, the
president wants people who are willing to work with him get that agenda done. after you will, he ran on it, he won the election and there's good reason for him to deliver. >> if chris van hollen and paul ryan can work out a good compromise, if you will, i think everybody would be on track. >> that's right. >> so you're going to work with paul ryan? >> we get along very well personally. we obviously have big differences on the budget but we're looking for ways to bridge those differences. >> what did you have? >> lentils and then sea bass. >> sea bass? >> yes. >> a mediterranean diet. >> yes. we want to be in good shape for the efforts ahead. >> thank you very much. in the next hour i'll speak with republican senator bob corker who was with the president last night at the jefferson hotel. his take on the food, the diplomacy, negotiations, that's coming up in our 5:00 p.m.
eastern hour. other news we're following, including a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the united states. how concerned should the united states be about the latest saber rattling coming from north korea? we're going to talk about that and more with our own fareed zakaria. this is sabra hummus, a guide to good dipping. carrots...yes. chicken wings...uh ha, sure. chips...craveable. celery...this is fun. okay i love it, i love it. chicken nuggets... what's going on?
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a new threat from north korea followed by new sanctions against the country. today north korean officials said the united states is threat to launch a nuclear war and threatened to launch a strike against south korea and the united states. hours later, the council passed tougher sanctions against north korea whose ally joined in this
unanimous vote. let's get the latest from fareed zakaria. fareed, how real is this threat from north korea? do they really have a capability of launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike? >> no. the threat is not serious and they don't have that capability, certainly not on intercontinental level. the puzzle is, just when you thought the country couldn't get any weirder, it does. here's kim jong-un palling around with dennis rodman one week and threatening pre-emptive war the next. we're trying to figure out what this means. he's a young untested leader. is part of an attempted test, the strength of the new president of south korea? is it, you know, some kind of an internal power move? does he need to show that he's a tough guy to his generals who at the end of the day are the military backbone of the regime?
that's part of the puzzle. but at the end of the day, it won't mean anything more than this. for the first time, china has really from the start been on board with sanctions against north korea. they helped draft this resolution which tells you just how annoyed they are at north korea. they have, to a certain extend supported it in providing it with fuel and food and this seems to be the straw that broke china's back. >> yeah, because that is pretty significant because china together with the united states, all the other members of the u.n. security council, they are on board because in the past the chinese were the pro tetectors the north korea regime. >> my best sense is that we ignore him. in life whenever you face these kinds of things, if you're calm and don't get provoked, it loses
its sting. work methodically with the chinese to try to figure out what is the way to put the right kind of pressure on them? i actually think these sanctions may or may not strike. north korea is one of the most isolated countries in the world. a further round of economic sanctions is not going to have much effect. what we need to do is change the chinese regime's understanding -- their strategic interest there. china provides the fuel and food to keep it alive, that keep this regime alive. they've got to go to these guys and say, you know, the game's over. we need a different kind of north korea. and it may not work. it's a crazy regime but china is the only country that has any influence with north korea. we should channel all our effort in a kind of strategic dialogue with china to figure out what is the right answer. the chinese have their own fears and we need to address them. >> very significant that china is now on board.
f fareed, thanks for coming in. >> pleasure, wolf. in our 6:00 p.m. eastern hour, i'm going to speak with north korea with the united states ambassador to the united nations susan rice. is the u.s. ready for whatever happens? that interview coming up in "the situation room" during our 6:00 p.m. eastern hour. but coming up this hour, we're waiting to hear the latest on that deadly lion attack in california. we're going to get an update only moments from now from officials on the scene. we'll take it live when we come back. with hertz gold plus rewards, you skip the counters, the lines, and the paperwork. zap. it's our fastest and easiest way to get you into your car. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz.
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cat haven sanctuary in dunlap, california, near fresno. we expect to hear about the tragic mauling of an intern killed by a lion, a 350-pound african lion inside a cage. we'll get an update. we'll go there as soon as he shows up into in the meantime, other news we're following, including important news concerning women. we're talking about the chief operating officer of facebook and sheryl sandberg is creating a lot of buzz. the cover story for our sister publication, "time" magazine. she says this. women are not making it to the top of any profession in the world but when i say the blunt truth, i say men run the world
and people say, really? that, to me, is the problem. let's go to nancy gibbs joining us from new york. nancy, you have some personal experience in this area. you're a woman. you're in the media. you're a mother. do you agree with sandberg? >> she make as very compelling case. she points to the fact that 30 years after women started surpassing men in education, graduating from college more, business school, law school, they are still vastly underrepresented in the top positions, whether in government or in the private sector and the numbers sort of make her case for her about what she refers to as the leadership gap so it's her suggestions of what needs to happen for that to close. >> in the article in the new issue of "time" magazine, sheryl writes this. when a woman excels at her job, both men and women will comment that she's accomplishing a lot but is not as well liked by her
peers. she is probably too aggressive, political, can't be trusted or is difficult. those are all things that have been said about me and almost every senior woman i know. that's the perception out there that she has. what do you think? >> well, she makes a fascinating case and has the data to back it up that success koor lates positive tiflt for men. the more successful men are, the more i can looked they are. but negatively for women. so that's very tricky. if behaving a certain way helps you get to the top but that behavior is a good thing for men but a bad thing for women, that's one more barrier that women have to overcome and cheryl's very eloquent about the kinds of things that women need to be aware of, how they are perceived, their behavior is perceived, not only external stereotypes that they are dealing with but internal barriers that women face about their own feelings about pushing to get into that corner office job.
>> not everyone is welcoming her views. maureen writing in "the new york times," people come to a social movement from the bottom up, not the top down. sandberg has co-opted the vocabulary of a social movement not to sell a cause but herself. sharp words. >> i have to say, i've been amazed at -- the book isn't even out yet so a great number of everyone commenting on it in many cases admit they haven't read it. that doesn't keep them from having a strong opinion about it but what strikes me more is how people say she's too rich and successful to have a right about he can spooing out about issues that affect women that she's so removed from and i'm sort of struck by the double standard that i don't recall that kind of response when jack welch rights about leadership but somehow when sheryl sandberg does, she doesn't even have a right to an opinion. i don't know at what salary
level you sacrifice your first amendment right but she's speaking out on a topic that she's hired thousands of men and women in her career and she's seen patterns in behavior that she's pespeaking to with someon with a lot of experience. i think the hostility has been striking. >> the cover of "time" magazine saying don't hate her because she's successful. we certainly don't hate her because she's successful. nancy gibbs, we certainly don't hate you because you are successful at the same time. thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you, wolf. dining with republicans. what do top democrats think about president obama's new charm offensive? we're going to hear from the house leader, democratic leader in the house, nancy pelosi. that's in our next hour. the former speaker. and straight ahead, criminals reaching you through your cell phones. thousands of people have been scammed. you're going to find out
zñ and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help people and businesses who were affected, and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy -- and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. we've shared what we've learned with governments and across the industry so we can all produce energy more safely. i want you to know, there's another commitment bp takes just as seriously: our commitment to america. bp supports nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs in communities across the country. we hired three thousand people just last year. bp invests more in america than in any other country. in fact, over the last five years, no other energy company has invested more in the us than bp. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. today, our commitment to the gulf, and to america, has never been stronger.
in romania, they are lighting lanterns. in florida, the sun sets on a beautiful evening. send them to email@example.com. it's been just over 20 years since the first text message was sent and now americans send more than $184 billion a month worth of text messages. that's a difficult number for scam artists to ignore and how they are sending these texts designed to get personal information out of you is a subject we want to explore right now. cnn's lisa sylvester is looking into all of this. there's a the lot of scams out there. >> there have been 50,000 complaints on scam text messaging. one of the biggest source of complaints, while it looks like an enticing offer that m coulds via text. this is what the message looks
like. hey, you, you can get a $1,000 gift card from walmart. >> it's tempting and they want to click on it. >> david gracie has received several of these. >> congratulations, you won a gift card and then after a third message, i knew i couldn't be that lucky. >> the ftc is cracking down, charging 20 people with sending more than 180 million unwanted text messages. first, spam text messages are illegal and the ftc says the so-called free gift cards are anything but free. if you click on the lirvnk, you have to put in more and more personal information. >> the offers include offers to apply for credit, include offers to sign up for a free trial offers of various products. at the end of the day, after they complete all of those
steps, they are often times presented with something that says, find three more people who will fill out this information. >> 60% of consumers said they received a spam text message in the last year. blocking the message is not so easy. >> the telephone companies have some methods in an attempt to block text messages but you need to know the number you want to block and the problem with these scams is that the numbers change so regularly. >> so what should you do if you receive one of these text messages? forward it to your carrier by typing in 7726, or spam. >> and what about that promise of a free gift card? >> when you had your people go through the process, did they end up with a gift card? >> none of any investigators received a free gift card. >> so they are offering gift cards from best buy and walmart. the ftc emphasizes that the retail companies have nothing to
do with the scams. the folks behind this are individuals and marketing companies trying to gather your personal information. the ftc is asking the courts to put a stop to it and want consumers to be rei mbursed. >> lisa sill vylvester, thank y after rand paul's 13-hour filibuster, the obama administration gave him the answer he wanted about the use of domestic drones but the u.s. is trying to figure out how far it can go in attacking militants abroad. president obama dining and dealing with republicans. i'll ask the white house press secretary jay carney about the new strategy that seems to be emerging. and i'll ask republican senator bob corker if it works. and a woman's rights activists after anti-semitic and anti-american comments come to life. and we're also awaiting a news conference this hour on the deadly lion attack.
it's due any moment. we'll have it for you. stand by for that. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." his feet may be sore but rand paul got what he wanted, addressing concerns about possible drone attacks on noncombatant americans. that was a vote to go ahead and confirm john brennan as cia director. this follows a dramatic 13-hour filibuster from senator rand paul. our chief congressional correspondent dana bash is up on
capitol hill. dana, you had a few times today to catch up with senator paul, including when he finally got the answer he wanted? >> reporter: that's right. the white house press secretary read this letter from the podium at the white house briefing before the senator even got it. he was quick to end the drama that took on a life of its own. cnn was there when rand paul first saw attorney general eric holder's short three-line letter answering the question, does the president have authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an american not engaged in combat on american soil? the answer was no. minutes later, declared victory and filibuster is over. >> i'm happy with the answer. i'm disappointed that it took a month and a half and a root canal to get the answer. it's what it should be about,
advise and consent. >>. >> reporter: you're announcing right here on cnn that you're going to let john brennan's confirmation go through today? >> yes. >> the nomination is confirmed. >> reporter: and john brennan was confirmed cia director, a remarkably fast ending to 28 hours in the senate. >> i rise today to begin to filibuster john brennan's nomination for the cia. >> reporter: rand paul's filibuster surprised even his own gop leaders. >> did they know you were going to do this? >> reporter: no. and in fact we didn't know we were going to do it for that day. >> reporter: for nearly 13 hours he demanded to know whether musing about whether jane fonda would have been attacked. >> i'm not a great fan of jane fonda. i'm not interested in putting her on a drone killing either. >> my feet were hurting by the
end of the day. you can't leave the floor and you can't sit down. 12 hours is a long time not to go to the restroom. >> reporter: but paul started getting help from colleagues. ironically, an old-fashion filibuster fueled by modern technology. twitter blowing up demanding that other senators come to his assistance. >> let me thank him for his courage and conviction. >> reporter: and senator mcconnell, of course, is somebody who is up for re-election next year and he showed up, wolf, at 11:00 p.m. last night to say that to senator paul but the issue is divided republicans big time. you saw john mccain and lindsey graham lash out at senator paul because they feel he's wrong on this issue. they feel the president is right
to make americans safer but this is a very strange bedfellows because lyiberals agree with rad paul. >> a the lot of liberals praisi rand paul. they are saying nice things about him. >> reporter: they are. and this is one of those issues. you know this very well, wolf, where the far right and the far left sometimes meet in the middle and on civil liberties, that is very much the case and it is an issue that divides republicans because, as you saw today, you have hawkish republicans standing up for the use of drones and lashing out at rand paul and him, you know, getting some support among the conservative base. it is certainly not clear cut which is questionable when some of the more senior members of the senate went to the senate floor and you heard lipd see grah lindsey graham say i don't remember you questioning george bush when he used drones.
>> dana bash, thank you. now that the speeches have stopped, the smoke is clear, what was rand paul up to? why did he take so much heat from some fellow republicans? year ye gloria borger is here in "the situation room." >> it was partly about the constitution, sure. but it wasn't only about the constitution, wolf. i really think there was a larger issue if you take a step back and on that john mccain might agree with rand paul because it's really the issue of transparency. we have a new kind of warfare here, this drone warfare and people on both sides of the aisle want to avail a little bit on who makes the decisions on whether to drop these drones abroad and potentially of course here. how do they make these decisions and should there be some kind of an oversight court as senator feinstein has proposed to take a look at these decisions and when
we make mistakes, what should we do about informing the public about our mistakes. these are all issues that have to be addressed and were secondary to the filibuster. i believe now it's going to happen in the near future. >> i'm sure it will. listen to lindsey graham, the republican senator from south carolina. >> to my republican colleague, i don't remember any of you suggesting that president bush was going to kill anybody with a drone, you know. i don't even remember the harsher critics of president bush on the democratic side. they had a drone program back then. so what is it? all of a sudden that this drone program has gotten ever republican so spun up. >> he and john mccain are really, really not very happy
with senator rand paul and those who supported senator paul. >> is lindsey graham suggesting there's politics going on here? because i think that's what i heard from him and, of course, there is and what lindsey graham is saying is that if you want to have a referendum on the drone program, let's have a referendum on the drone program because i'm for it and so are 80% of the miles an hour people. so he is saying that rand paul was just raising a bogus issue. john mccain called it ridiculous. they don't believe there's a constitutional issue here but what they do agree on is that there needs to be some kind of oversight, maybe by the congressional intelligence committee, maybe by a judicial panel of how and when we use these drones. >> gloria, thanks very much for coming in. there's no doubt rand paul helped himself politically, established himself as a very, very credible senator. thank you. as lawmakers wrangle over
what-if scenario, the obama administration is looking into whether they can hit more aerial hits with no real ties to the 9/11 attacks or al qaeda. barbara starr has details for us. explain what is going on, barbara. >> wolf, as you just talked about, the constitution use of using drones in the united states may be one thing but now a serious look the a the reviews of the laws about how and when the u.s. can target drones on u.s. forces and overseas. just outside damascus, a military convoy is blown up by 50 roadside bombs. the syrian-based al qaeda affiliate took responsibility for this attack. now the growing strength of extremist groups across the middle east and africa has led the obama administration to begin a classified review of just who it can go after under its targeted killing program.
the issue, the current congressional authorization to use military force allows the president to use all necessary and appropriate force against any persons or organizations involved in planning or carrying out the september 11th attacks. it's been interpreted to include al qaeda affiliates. >> the problem that's emerging today, you're beginning to encounter groups that don't even have that first direct linkage to the core al qaeda network. >> it's got much more complicated. >> you certainly cannot isolate a single organization, whether it's al qaeda and maghreb and expect to be able to solve the problem even locally by going after that problem in a particular country or by an individual entity. >> under the current law, using a drone to take out al qaeda operatives in yemen is allowed
because that group is closely associated with al qaeda element responsible for 9/11. but the main group for the attack in india, it isn't so clear. they have members associated with al quite aeda but it's not core mission for that group. >> why don't we have a fresh legislative look at this to talk about just where we think force should be and shouldn't be used. >> the bottom line is, they want to make sure the legal framework is solid. if they want to go after some of these extremist groups which may not directly tie to the al qaeda of 9/11. >> barbara, thanks. north korea is threatening a nuclear attack against the united states and south korea if the sanctions go into effect. i'm going to get reaction from the united states ambassador to the united nations susan rice coming up in the next hour. up next, so what did
democrats think of president obama's outreach, dramatic outreach to republicans. candy crowley speaking with nancy pelosi. candy is standing by. and i'll ask the white house press secretary jay carney what's behind the president's change in strategy? my interview with him later this hour as well. 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.
getting back to that story, the son-in-law of osama bin laden has been brought to new york city. he's being held and is going to be arraigned in new york court tomorrow not far from the world trade centers. he has now been formally charged with conspiracy to kill u.s. nationals. he'll be arraigned tomorrow in u.s. district court tomorrow. the u.s. deciding to bring him to face these charges to new
york city as opposed to guantanamo bay, the facility in cuba. much more on this story later. but conspiracy to kill u.s. nationals is the charge of the son-in-law of osama bin laden. there was lunch today that included the gop chairman of the house budget committee and more get-togethers are already on the calendar for next week. president obama's clearly reaching out. so here's the question. will it pay off? let's discuss with candy crowley. he's the anchor of cnn's "state of the union." you had a chance to meet with nancy pelosi today. what does she think about this? >> she thinks that anything good of it that comes out of it is fine. she seriously doubts that after today there will be meeting of the minds over huge budget matters but there are two ways that you can go with this
outreach. you can say that he really knows he's got to cherry pick some republicans to get what he wants or setting it up for 2014 when the entire house and the third of the senate will be up for re-election or election of those seats and to be able to say, i tried. i had dinner with them, i brought them to the oval office but they still won't work with me. what i really need is a democratic house. i put both those scenarios to nancy pelosi and asked her if she thought this was more political than it was aimed at getting a policy agreed to. here's what she said. >> all of us come here to get a job done for the american people and certainly that is the case with the president of the united states. he's been very bipartisan in his approach. so i think that these meetings are not something to say, well, i'll do this with you now and do that with him later. i think it is, let's get some things done together to make elections less important. let's come together for the benefit of the american people,
first and foremost, that's our responsibility. so if he can diffuse some of their opposition to come of these issues, bravo again, for the american people. that's far more important than what happens in an election. >> so making elections less important. i'm not sure we'll see that day but nonetheless, as you can see, she thinks the president is sin sincerely reaching out. >> candy, thanks very much for that. i want to go out to california right now. that news conference is about to begin. it's beginning, actually. this is dale anderson, the sanctuary founder, cat haven sanctuary. a 350-pound lion mauled a 24-year-old woman working there. let's listen in. >> we've been incident-free since we opened in 1998. we are cooperating fully with the sheriff's department and
hoping to find out what happened. we cannot comment on the specifics of the incident, the safety protocols at this time due to the ongoing investigation. we look forward to a time when we have more information to release and try to minimize some of the confusion out there. we want to discussion the public about the information they are hearing and ask everyone to refrain from conclusions until the investigation is complete. and that's all we have to say right now. again, our whole staff is -- it's devastating. and -- >> very, very sad time over there at the sanctuary. the cat haven sanctuary. this was in dunlap, california, not far from fresno. that was dale anderson, the
founder of this sanctuary. obviously he's distraught. everyone feels so horrible about what happened, this 24-year-old woman, dianna hanson was mauled by this lion at this 100-acre northern california facility. her father, by the way, will be erin burnett's special guest later tonight right after "the situation room," 7:00 p.m. eastern. much more on this tragedy coming up. first dinner, then lunch. coming up here in "the situation room," i'll speak live with the white house press secretary jay carney and i'll ask him, what's behind the new obama charm offense? plus, so-called zombie cars that run the risk of starting themselves when you least expect. we have details of a major recall. that's coming up in "the situation room." if you're a scientist, we can see animals learning to communicate there are people
that have speech impairments because of strokes, tumors, lesions on the brain. and this is a prototype of what could be a new way for these patients to communicate. >> miguel on "the next list" sunday at 2:30 eastern. if you're looking to go to school, you deserve more than just exibility and convenience. here's a few reasons toto oose university of phoenix. our average class size is only 14 students. our financial tools help you make smart choices about how to pay for school. our faculty have, on average, over 16 years of field experiene. we'll help you build a personal career plan. we build programs based on what employers are looking for. our football team, is always undefeated. and leading companies are interested in our graduates. 'll even help you decorate ur new office. ok. let's get to work.
and every day since, two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf. we've worked hard to keep it. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help people and businesses who were affected, and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy -- and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. we've shared what we've learned with governments and across the industry so we can all produce energy more safely. i want you to know, there's another commitment bp takes just as seriously: our commitment to america.
bp supports nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs in communities across the country. we hired three thousand people just last year. bp invests more in america than in any other country. in fact, over the last five years, no other energy company has invested more in the us than bp. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. today, our commitment to the gulf, and to america, has never been stronger.
he's up in 2014. i have decided not to run for re-election in 2014. the senator just said in a statement. this decision was extremely difficult because i love representing the people of michigan and the united states senate and fighting for the things that i believe are important to them. he said he struggled with his wife barbara on this important decision and in the end, here's what he said. he said, we decided that i can best serve my state and nation by concentrate issing in the next two years on the challenging issues before us that i am in a position to help address. in other words, by doing my job without the distraction of campaigning for re-election. carl levin, the chairman of the senate armed services committee, 78 years old, will not, will not be running for re-election next year in michigan. other news we're following, arkansas's republican-led house and the senate has approved the most restrictive abortion bill in the country. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and other stories in "the
situation room." what's the latest? >> wolf, the governor vetoed the bill that bans abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy saying it blatantly violates the constitution. critics are promising to challenge the bill in federal court. and the death of venezuelan death of hugo chavez could take a toll on florida's real estate. some brokers are worried that some venezuelans may want to stay put for a while. hugo chavez died tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer. and subaru is recalling almost 50,000 vehicles with remote enanyo remote engine starters because they run the risk of starting themselves. a risk of carbon monoxide buildup. the recall will begin next month
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and for too long we've been governing in washington from crisis to crisis, with deadlines beyond which we fall off cliffs or sequesters are imposed or debt ceilings are breached. because of the unfortunate decision by republicans to impose the sequester, not do buy it down or to delay it, we are now living in the world of the sequester and there doesn't seem to be any indication from republican leaders that they want to change that in the near future. but that does mean we don't have an impending fiscal deadline to meet and there's a little room and time for constructive conversation about how we move forward in a bipartisan way to further reduce our deficit and do it in a balanced way and what the president has been trying to do is engage with lawmakers, republican lawmakers who have shown some inclination towards or interest in compromise, along lines of balance. when we talk about further
deficit reduction, we mean marrying entitlement reforms that produce savings with tax reform that produces savings and the combination would then help us achieve that $4 trillion goal of reducing our deficit over ten years. >> here's what the house speaker, john boehner, who had his own charm offensive going on in 2011. they played golf, tried to work out a deal, they didn't exactly work out a deal, as all of us know. listen to what he said today. >> this week we've gone 180. now he's going to -- after being in office now for four years, he's going to sit down and talk to members. i think it's a sign, a hopeful sign and i'm hopeful that something will come out of it. but if the president continues to insist on tax hikes, i don't think we're going to get very far. >> the republicans say they are willing to do tax reform. they are willing to do entitlement reform. they are not willing to increase tax revenues.
in other words, if you eliminate loopholes or deductions or exemptions, at the same time you have to balance that by lowering tax rates so there isn't an increase in tax revenue. if they hold firm to that, what does that mean? >> wolf, the president believes and the american people support the simple proposition that we need to reduce our deficit in a balanced way and that means spending cuts and savings from entitlement reform as well as more revenues that come from tax reform. you know, what the speaker forgets to say is that only two months ago he supported tax reform, closing loopholes for special interests that he said would generate over a trillion dollars and he could apply that to deficit reduction. two months later, he says he can't do that. we're only asking that he support the general proposition that he supported only two months ago. and i would just say that i know that leaders in the republican
party are saying that we can't deal with revenues, no more revenues. and the most well-connected to give up the special tax breaks and loopholes and exemptions and deductions that doesn't fall only to senior citizens and middle class families to bear the burden. so the president is meeting with and talking with lawmakers who have expressed interest in that general proposition, that we can move forward with the president leading the way with democrats making tough choices on entitlement reforms and republicans going along with the idea that we can reform our tax code in a way that contributes to the deficit reduction and doesn't ask that it be borne by middle class folks trying to get by. >> so do you think there can be what is called a commonsense caucus, republicans, democrats that would not necessarily include the republican
leadership and specifically not just the speaker but someone like paul ryan who had lunch with the president today, the former vice presidential nominee. how did that go? le. >> well, the lunch went very well and the president found it very constructive. the fact of the matter is, wolf, there are dirfferences. there's no question, not just on broad spectrums but as the president said in his inauguration, we shouldn't expect that we need to resolve all of our differences before we can move forward and find some common ground and achieve some compromises on these key issues and the president believes he can do that. and we're not -- the leaders matter and we will continue to engage with the leaders, whether they are chairman or the speaker or the minority leader in the senate but we're also talking to the president -- the president is also talking to those republicans in the senate and
the house who have expressed interest in moving forward. and let me say, it's not just about fiscal issues. we have seen a very bipartisan movement on immigration reform. this is a big ticket item and priority of the president and something it used to have and has again bipartisan support and that's progress and the president will be talking about that when he visits the republican conferences and democratic caucuses on capitol hill next week. steps to reduce gun violence, investments that help us become more energy independent and make us competitive economically with the rest of the world. >> bottom line, the schmooze offensive will continue in washington. let's hope it all works out and a good deal that will benefit the american people. jay carney, thanks very much for coming in. >> wolf, thanks for having me. just ahead, what it was like when a dozen republicans dined with the president last night. senator bob corker was at that
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so what was it like when president obama sat down last night for dinner with a dozen republican senators? one of them is joining us now, senator bob corker of tennessee. senator, thanks for coming in. >> good to be with you, wolf. >> take us behind the scenes. what was it like inside that room? i take it it was 2 1/2 hours of talking? >> it was a good dinner, wolf, from the standpoint of 12 legislators and chief executive officer of our country talking about the biggest issue we face, which is the fiscal issue, and
it was very frank, very sincere, very open and broad ranging and it was a great opportunity to see just what people's touch points were, meaning that, you know, when somebody would raise a point and somebody would disagree, the president maybe would talk about where he would want to go, maybe somebody would push back and vice versa. it's a really good way of sort of understanding how much commonality existed and what items were bridged too far. i thought it was really constructive to do that and i think set a good foundation for hopefully future discussions. >> it sounds to me like the atmosphere, the collegiate was better than you thought it would be. >> it wasn't like it was something odd. we all candidly there was a lot of joking around when it first began and then we got down to business and even there it was
very respectful. i think people -- i think the president walked away saying that it was one of the best meetings he had been involved in probably since he's been here and i think people on our side, the 12 senators that were there felt like there was a lot of sincerity and straightforwardness. again, it's a dinner, wolf. it's a long way from a dinner to solving our nation's biggest problem if it's easy to solve, we would have already done it. it was a beginning and it laid a positive foundation and trust. how we got there, i don't think we quite visualized. >> you have to crawl before you walk and walk before you run. this is going to take a while. assuming it moves in the right direction, how did it end, the dinner last night? what's the next step? did you guys discuss what happens next? >> you know, wolf, the president was coming on tuesday to talk to democrats, coming in thursday to talk to our whole caucus. i don't think that is fully
visualized. yesterday was more about talking about grammars. it was not a negotiation. i don't think we know how to get there. the big issues have always been dealt with with presidential leadership and even though these were 12 republicans sitting around the table, i think to a person they want to see that leadership here and that engagement and i think all of us know that's what it's going to take for us to solve this problem. and you know, again, there was a lot of back and forth regarding that. i don't know the path forward. what i do know, wolf, i think that over the next four, five months we probably have the best environment possible to deal with the biggest issue, the big issue of a grand bargain around our fiscal issues. if the environment is right, we're kind of moving forward on a cr right now. it looks like the house and senate are actually functioning the way we are supposed to. there will be budgets after that. my sense is moving towards the
debt ceiling around that time frame, we have a good opportunity to do something really big for our country and i hope we'll take advantage of it. >> that's supposed to happen around july when you have to raise the debt ceiling. so is that sort of a deadline that you have to reach some sort of grand bargain, if you will, in dealing with entitlement reform, tax reform, coming up with some sort of big picture agreement? >> so wolf, there was never any discussions about a looming deadline. it was more the reality that between now and the first of august is probably the best opportunity for getting the deadlines and it's just the environment that we're in. i think everyone would agree that the best time frame is then. you're right. entitlement reforms have to take placement i think everyone knows that. how we get there, obviously there's some overlap and
commonality and there's disagreement. i think it's good to have a meeting like this where people understand what the boundaries for each other are and hopefully we can take advantage of that in some format. again, wolf, i don't think anybody at this point knows the best way forward but laying a foundation of trust and discussion is certainly a good way to start. >> i'm encouraged by it. i think it's a step in the right direction and i'm sure that you will a of you guys are pretty happy that the president picked up the tab for that delicious dinner at the same time. he was the host. he invited you. maybe you'll invite him next time and you'll pick up the tab. >> look, i don't think anyone was sitting around wondering who would pick up the tab but i assure you if they want to do it again, i will pick it up. >> you're a good man. indeed. if you invite me, i'll be happy to sit along the sidelines and see what is going on? >> you know, as much as everyone loves you, maybe the conversation wouldn't have been
quite as free flowing. >> i suspect you're right. good to have you here in "the situation room." >> thanks a lot into coming up, is there a growing republican divide between the old and the new guards on capitol hill? what's going on? there's some deep divisions right now. we're going to talk about that in our strategy session. plus, the state department forced to pull the plug on an honoree about to receive an award from first lady michelle obama. what's the story behind this pr nightmare? ocuvite has a unique formula not found in your multivitamin to help protect your eye health. ocuvite. help protect your eye health. if your a man with low testosterone, you should know that axiron is here. the only underarm treatment for low t. that's right, the one you apply to the underarm. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18. axiron can transfer to others through direct contact. women, especially those who are or who may become pregnant, and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied as unexpected signs of puberty in children or changes
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joining the form obama special adviser, van jones, and the former bush white house press secretary, ari fleischer. van, when you hear all these republicans all of a sudden saying nice things about the president following a dinner meeting at the jefferson hotel last night, do you as a strong democrat start to get a little nervous? >> you know, in a way, i do, but i was listening to senator cochran. i started feeling kind of optimistic. i mean, first of all, in some ways, maybe by doing this reachout, it takes away the last kind of objection to working with obama. because he really has put forward a number of attempted compromises in the past. they say, well, he never reaches out. so now that's sort of gone. and maybe it lets the best of both sides come forward. i do get nervous when i think about this entitlement reform. are they going to go after medicare and social security? we can deal with that later. today, i think is a good day for america. i was very encouraged hearing senator corcoran. >> do you think, ari, the
republicans could blink as they did at the end of december, early january when they finally went ahead and raised taxes, something they had vowed they wouldn't do. would they do that again as part of a grand bargain? >> well, it depends on what the definition of grand bargain is. i think if entitlements are put on the table and meaningful changes are made in entitlements to save the program, medicare and social security for the next generation, who won't get them the way seniors today are getting them, because they're going bankrupt, i can see some changes being made. i think carried interest and some other tax provisions could be put on the table. you know, it takes the president turning what i call the era of ill will in washington into an era of goodwill. that's why the dinner last night makes so much sense. we need a lot more of that in washington. it's the nitty-gritty of being the president who has to work with the legislature. he should do a lot more of it, and it should be reciprocated. >> i know, van, you liked senator rand paul's decision to filibuster on those potential drone strikes to target u.s. citizens on u.s. soil. and other white house, eric
holder, the attorney general, has responded. rand paul is satisfied and john brennan has now been confirmed as the cia director. were you satisfied with the statement that was released by the attorney general? >> well, i think i'm satisfied it's the beginning of a conversation. first of all, you know, rand paul is somebody who a lot of peep don't like a lot his position on civil rights has been objected to. but on civil liberties, he was a hero yesterday. and i think you have to be willing to give the devil his due. i think we should have a much more robust conversation about drone strikes and all these technologies, and especially when you talk about not just americans being hurt, but even overseas, some civilians, children have been hurt by drone strikes. i think it was good to see an honest filibuster. not putting a poster on door and putting a letter under it. i think it was an honest conversation, and i think it's just starting. i hope it's not the end. >> it's interesting, ari, you hear van jones say rand paul has been a hero as a result of what he did yet.
john mccain and lindsey graham say he's ridiculous for what he did yesterday. there seems to be an emerging split among these republicans in the senate. what do you make of this? >> i think van also slipped in a reference to the devil in there too, but we can ignore that for a moment. you know, wolf, it's true. there is a split in the republican party, there's a split in the democratic party. senator diane finestein, the californian democratic was one of the most vociferous objectors to the president's drone program. i support a vigorous approach abroad, using drones to kill terrorists. i draw the line, like rand paul does, at home when it comes to defending the american people, we do not use the military on american soil, particularly against americans. and so i thought what rand paul did was a great wake-up bell for the nation, to focus a spotlight on a problem that's something we should talk about. and one of the worst mistakes we made in the bush administration was after september 11th, we were so worried about preventing
next attack, we did everything through executive power, instead of investing in congress, and took years to invest in congress and to make things bipartisan and congressional. drones now too. this putting it on the table, debating it, taking it public and healthy for america. i salute rand paul for taking a stand and making it public for america. >> nice to see ari fleischer and van jones agreeing on this issue here in "the situation room." thanks for coming. >> the era of goodwill has begun. but hands off the security -- >> i'm sure it won't last all that long, but at least in this day, the era of goodwill is here. guys, thanks very much. when we come back, controversy at the state department just before the first lady was supposed to present this woman, take a look, with a distinguished award. you're going to find out why it didn't happen. lobsterfest is the king of all promotions.
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[ male announcer ] engine light on? come to meineke now for a free code scan read and you'll say...my money. my choice. my meineke. just one day before the first lady michelle obama and the secretary of state john kerry were set to present awards to women from around the world for putting their lives at risk in defense of women's right, a big change of plans. cnn's aaron mcpike has details. >> reporter: smearra ibrahim, the 26-year-old egyptian woman
pictured here said just yesterday her twitter account was hacked. that six months ago, she personally didn't write, today is the anniversary of 9/11, may every day come with america burning, or this one, calling the saudi ruling family dirtier than the jews. but those tweets and others has become the center of what has become a public relations disaster for the obama administration and the white house. in 2011, egyptian soldiers detained ibrahim and objected her to a virginity test, that she said made her feel as if she'd been raped. she spoke out and sued the egyptian military. her bravery got attention. last year, "time" magazine named her to its list of the world's most influential people. and this friday, both first lady michelle obama and the secretary of state were going to honor her and other women. >> we initially selected miss ibrahim because of the incredible bravery and courage she displayed at the time of the
tahrir square protests. >> reporter: but the holocaust museum tells cnn they alerted the state department to the tweets on tuesday, which were anti-american and anti-semitic. samuel toddros broke the story in the "weekly standard". >> many egyptian activists spoke out at the time when she tweeted those racist marks that, samira, those remarks are totally unacceptable, that this is anti-semitism. >> reporter: sensing a looming impairme embarrassment, the state department changed course thursday. >> we as a department became aware very late in the process about samira ibrahim's alleged public comments. after careful consideration, we've decided that we should defer presenting this award this year. >> reporter: todros doesn't buy
the claim of being hacked. >> it's a claim probably made by the u.s. embassy in cairo. >> reporter: wolf, there's still a ceremony tomorrow for the nine other women being honored, but samira ibrahim will be on her way back to egypt. wolf? >> erin mcpike, thank you. and happening now, a new blow to al qaeda. a member of the bin laden family captured and now charged. north korea threatens a nuclear attack. the united states ambassador to the united nations, susan rice, responds. senator rand paul calls off a dramatic two-day filibuster. did he get what he wanted from the white house? and new york's ban on big, sugary drinks only days away and coffee servers and drinkers are confused. and why thousands of sharks are now on the move, scaring people away from the florida beaches. i'm wolf blitzer along with kate balduan, you're in "the situation room."
today, senator rand paul called off the old-fashioned filibuster. he began yesterday morning, that cleared the way for john brennan to be confirmed as the cia director, a couple of hours ago ago. senator paul had been demanding answers about the administration's policy on drones. our chief congressional correspondent, dana bash, was watching the action all day. >> reporter: cnn was there when rand paul first saw attorney general eric holder's short, three-line letter, answering paul's question. "does the president have authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an american, not engaged in combat on american soil? the answer to that question is no," said holder. minutes later, paul came on cnn, declared victory and filibuster over. >> i'm quite happy with the answer. and i'm disappointed it took a months and a half and a root canal to get it, but we did get
the answer. and that's what i've been asking all along. it really is what the senate should be about. advise and consent and find out what policies are. >> so just to be clear, you're announcing right here on cnn that you are going to let john brennan's nomination now go through? maybe they could even hold a vote today? >> yes, we'll hold it as soon as people want to. >> voting began within the hour. >> the nomination is confirmed. >> and john brennan was confirmed as cia director. a remarkably fast ending to a dramatic 28 hours in the senate. >> i rise today to begin to filibuster john brennan's nomination for the cia. >> rand paul's filibuster surprised even his own gop leaders. did they know you were going to do this? >> no. in fact, we didn't know we were going to do it for that day. >> reporter: for nearly 13 hours wednesday, paul stood on the senate floor, demanding to know whether the president think hs he can use drones to kill americans on american soil, even musing about whether jane nfond
would have been targeted for mounting a north vietnamese tank. >> i'm not so fond of jane fonda, but i'm not interested in putting her on a drone list. >> my knees were hurting. i was sneaking candy bars -- >> we saw. >> there's a candy drawer, and i see y'all caught me with half the candy bar in and half of it out of my mouth. my wife said, can't you chew with your mouth closed. >> i did see you had water there and you were trying not to drink it. >> i decided to drink very little water and have no caffeine. >> reporter: he stopped talking after midnight, only because nature was calling. >> 12 hours is a long time to not go to the restroom. >> reporter: as the evening wore on, paul did start getting help from colleagues. twitter was blowing up with conservatives demanding other senators come to his assistance. >> let me thank him for his courage and conviction. >> reporter: even the gop leader, paul's senior home state
senator, whose up for re-election next year, showed up after 11:00 p.m. but the issue exposed a divide among republicans. john mccain lashed out at paul. >> to allege that the united states of america, our government, would drop a drone hellfire missile on jane fonda, that -- that is -- that brings the conversation from a serious discussion about u.s. policy to the realm of the ridiculous. >> reporter: t"the wall street journal" said the same. the wll"the wall street journaly took after you this morning. >> "the wall street journal" is right on a lot of issues and they're wrong on this issue. to just say, you're an enemy combatant and a hellfire missile drops on your house, that's what they're saying. and with every fiber of my body believe that that is unjust and unconstitutional. >> our report from our chief congressional correspondent, dana bash, speaking with senator
rand paul. president obama, meanwhile, followed up today on his dinner last night with a dozen republican senators by having lunch with another republican, the former vice presidential nominee, the chairman of the house budget committee, paul ryan. democratic congressman chris van hollen, he was at the lunchon as well. he told me a little while ago that it was a good meal and a good conversation. congressman ryan issued a statement, thanking the president for hosting what he called a frank discussion about washington's budget challenges. gad to see these guys having a few meals together. let's hope it works. >> as we've said yesterday, one meal is not going to make the grand bargain, but there's enough time to be cynical. it's just a start. that's absolutely right. it was a big blow to al qaeda reported today. he was a member of osama bin laden's inner circle, a spokesman for his campaign of terror against the u.s. and his son-in-law. but now suleman abu gaith is in
u.s. economy and there's a federal indictment with lhis nae on it? joe john has the latest on this. >> here it is, kate, it's just out this afternoon, late this afternoon, in fact. this indictment was unsealed today, federal prosecutors charged suleman abu gaith with conspiracy to kill americans on 9/11 and before 9/11 and for his propaganda efforts on behalf of al qaeda afterwards. the indictment says he warned the u.s. that a great army is gathering against you, called upon the navy of islam to do battle against the jews, the christians, and americans, and warned the storm would not stop, and told muslims and children not to board any aircraft and not to live in high-rises. >> suleman abu gaith is charged in an indictment unsealed on thursday with conspiracy to kill americans from at least may 2001 to 2002, including the september 11th attacks.
he was a face of al qaeda terror, a known propagandist for the organization, and son-in-law of osama bin laden. he appeared in scary video recordings in 2001 and 2002. >> translator: oh, man of the nation, woman of the nation, this is call for jihad. >> this is a guy who was a high school teacher in kuwait, who shortly before 9/11, popped up in afghanistan, and started, you know, speaking in videotapes alongside the imam. made a number of threatening statements and then disappeared -- >> turkish media reports say that abeauty gaith left iran where he was hold, and then to turkey, where he was arrested, but released by the courts, because he had commit nod crime there. the trail ended in jordan, where he was taken to custody for good and handed to u.s. officials last week.
the fact that this suspect has been brought to new york sends a message that the department of justice has not abandoned its sometimes controversial attempts to try certain international terror suspects, especially those associated with the 9/11 attacks, in civilian court, as opposed to military tribunals. abu ghaith is expected to appear in court tomorrow. hopefully we'll hear a little bit more about the case against him. of course, if he is convicted, he could get life in prison, wolf. >> it's interesting that they sent him to new york as opposed to guantanamo bay, the prison camp there. what was their theory? >> well, this is a civilian charge as opposed to a military charge. that's where the military tribunals are at gitmo. so it's also important to say that the justice department has been pushing for a long time to try these suspects in new york, because they think civilian courts can do a very good job. they have a great track record of actually getting convictions
on almost 100% of the terror suspects who come through the federal civilian courts. >> interesting story. >> yeah. >> more news tomorrow on that. joe johns, thanks so much. now to that deadly lion attack in california. wildcat sanctuary in fresno is closed, this the day after the 24-year-old intern, diana hanson, was mauled. there are a lot of unanswered questions about why she got into a cage with her favorite lion, a 35 350-pound cat named couscous. the founder of the cat haven sanctuary spoke out just a little while ago. >> we want to caution the public about the information they're hearing and ask everyone to refrain from conclusions until the investigation is complete. and that's, that's all we have to say right now. again, our whole staff is, it's just, it's devastating.
and -- >> i'm so sorry. >> father of the mauled sberp says he's taking comfort in the fact that she loved working with those wildcats. >> such a sad story. flood warnings are in effect as a powerful weren't storm moves up the east coast. some new jersey residents have been urged to evacuate flood-prone areas. just look at some of these pictures. some of them are in communities still trying to recover from superstorm sandy. this is the same storm that dumped snow on the midwest. and check out this video from indiana. you can see a falling tree -- see the falling tree, and it takes out a power line. a police car happened to be there with its dash cam camera rolling at that very moment. >> that's scary stuff. >> sure is. a ban on sugary drinks about to go into effect in new york. and if you thought sodas were only affected, guess again. also ahead, a new tactic to try to get one of the most valuable sports teams in the world to change its politically incorrect name.
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so if you live in new york or you're just visiting, guess what, your coffee order may soon get a little bit more complicated. >> coffee is not supposed to be complicated. it's all part of mayor michaooi bloomberg's ban on sugary drinks. mary snow is in new york and has been tasked with trying to figure this all out. mary, "the new york times" called it the coffee conundrum. what's going on? >> people want their coffee orders simple, kate. we're talking abt coffees this size. lattes won't change, because they have milk, but large coffees with sugar is another story. at least one coffee chain is bracing its customers and we found many were surprised to find out the breadth of this city ban. along with that cup of coffee, a side order of new rule. dunkin' donuts is handing out these flyers to its new york city customers on how new
regulations spills over into its coffee business. it's part of the ban on supersized sugary drinks that goes into effect tuesday, as part of the city effort to fight obesity. to comply, dunkin' donuts will no longer put sugar in coffee over 16 ounces. you'll have to do it yourself. >> i'm surprised. i thought it was just like soda and like iced teas. i didn't even know it was coffee until just now. >> it's annoying. i believe it's unnecessary. like, there's so many other things to worry about in this city. >> reporter: the city isn't banning restaurants from putting sugar in coffee. the department of health says the limit for a barista is four packets of sugar for 20 ounces and customers themselves can add as much sugar as they want. but dunkin' donuts says it wants to cut down on any confusion. mcdonald's also says it will tell customers to add their own sugar in coffee over 16 ounces. both places say they've been prepping workers to be ready. at restaurants, sodas this size is what the city doesn't want
served. this is 20 ounces. now, this one is still okay. it's 12 ounces and customers can order as many as they want. but at restaurants like this one that prides itself on texas-sized servings, it makes a difference. >> oh, everything's big. >> reporter: eric lavigne is the director of dallas barbecue, which has ten restaurants. are you going to stop using those 20-ounce glasses? >> we will when the law says we have to. right now we're sort of in limbo and we're allowed by the city law to hold off until about june. >> reporter: the city says it will not enforce violations for about three months as restaurants adjust. lavigne is waiting to see the result of a lawsuit filed by restaurants, beverage companies, and others to try and stop the city from its ban on supersized drinks.estimates all the change will cost his businesses tens of thousands of dollars and a lot of headaches. >> a lot of aggravations, menu changes, sign changes, digital boards, facebook, websites, information, training, computers, everything. >> now, another big company
that's holding off making changes right now is starbucks. it says there are a few gray areas it's sorting through and it's using the city's three-month evaluation period to see what changes it needs to make to be in compliance. so, kate, the ventis are safe for now. >> should i get a venti skim latte and ask them to put sugar in it, they will put sugar in it, or i have to do it myself, even though it's a latte, which is milk? >> it's very confusing, right? if you're at starbucks, they will put it in there for you, for now. >> i'll take a venti skim latte with a splenda. a heartbreaking loss for the justice of the supreme court, sonia sotomayor. she's revisiting the past. our own anderson cooper went along with her. anderson will show us some of that emotional interview.
president obama signs an expanded version of the violence against women act. kate's here and she's got that and some of the day's other top stories. >> many folks are saying, finally, because this has been a political football for quite a while. the add provides support for organizations that serve domestic violence victims. the president called it a day of advocates and survivors and both were on hand for the signing ceremony at the interior department. listen. >> today's about the millions of women, the victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault, who are out there right now, looking for a lifeline, looking for support. because of this bill, they'll continue to have access to all the services that joe first helped establish 19 years ago, national hotline, network of shelters, protection orders that carry across state lines. and because of this bill, we're
also expanding housing assistance, so that no woman has to choose between a violent home and no home at all. that's what today is all about. >> the violence against women act was first passed in 1994 and has been reauthorized by congress ever since. venezuelans are waiting in line for hours to pay their respects to the late president hugo chavez. 2 million reportedly have already filed past his glass-topped casket and officials have decided to have his body elm babalmed and remain display for at least another week. his funeral will take place tomorrow. and the last of the cardinals who will be pick the next pope is now at the vatican. a vietnamese cardinal was the 115th cardinal elector to arrive. there's still no date, though, with for the conclave, when the cardinals will be locked in the sistine chapel to begin the formal election process. we are waiting, waiting, waiting to find out when it will begin. and he's been house speaker, he's been a presidential candidate, but will newt gingrich be the next celebrity
apprentice? he tells radio host laura ingraham he's opening to appearing on the hit reality show, adding this, quote, republicans would be so much better off to relax and go on shows like that and be interesting. looks like that's yet another topic for us to talk to him about, because he's going to be joining us in "the situation room" tomorrow. >> well, we know there is one republican involved in "celebrity apprentice," and that would be donald trump. >> that's true. >> at least he gets out there. he hasn't yet, at least, seriously, got sboten into the y of presidential candidate, but there's always 2016, wolf. >> we'll see what happens, and he'll be here with us here tomorrow in "the situation room." meanwhile, new taunts and defiance by north korea after its provocative nuclear tests. now the united nations security council is pushing back. i'll speak about that and more with the united states' ambassador to the united nations, susan rice. she's here. this is america.
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the united states of lighting the fuse for war. >> defiant words as the u.n. security council unanimously approved tougher sanctions against the communist sanctions today. even north korea's key ally, china, was on board. cnn's ana corrine has more on the sanctions and the threats. >> reporter: we're used to fiery rhetoric out of north korea, but not quite like this. facing tough u.n. sanctions, pyongyang for the first time is threatening to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on the united states and south korea. it comes just days after the belligerent state said it would scrap the 1953 agreement that effectively ended the north korean war. >> we have to do some new thinking on how to deal with north korea. otherwise, you cannot get out of this vicious circle of crime and punishment and crime and punishment. >> reporter: north korean
expert, professor chung yi-moon thinks the sanctions will do nothing to deter north korea's determination to become a nuclear state. the only time sanctions worked was back in 2003, when pyongyang agreed to enter into six-party talks. but after four years and only six rounds of meetings, north korea walked out, and there has been no further dialogue to this day. >> that was cnn's ana corrine. joint military drills between the u.s. and south korea will get underway next week, and that's when north korea claims it will walk away from the armistice. >> and ambassador susan rice is joining us from the united nations right now. ambassador welcome thanks very much for coming. >> good to be with you, wolf. >> what do you make of north korea's threat now to launch a preemptive nuclear strike against south korea and the united states, if these latest u.n. sanctions just approved go into effect? >> well, they will go into effect, wolf, because today, we
unanimously passed another round of very strong sanctions against north korea, because of its february 12th nuclear test. and these sanctions will make it very much more difficult for north korea to finance and procure materials for and technology for its nuclear ballistic missile programs. we've heard these sorts of threats from north korea before, and, frankly, they are not going to achieve anything. the better course for north korea would be to recognize that it is isolated internationally, the entire international community is united in its opposition to the nuclear program and behind these sanctions, and north korea ought to, instead, heed president obama's call to return to the path of peace and to uphold its international obligations. but, past records suggest that we may see more provocation. >> well, provocation is one thing, but do they actually have
a capability of striking the united states right now? >> well, wolf, i'm not going to get into sensitive discussion of their technical capabilities, but the united states has the ability to defend itself against any north korean ballistic missile attack. i think north korea really ought to think carefully about continued threats and provocations, refrain from those, and recognize that the path it's on is leading to the impoverishment, the greater impoverishment of its people and the isolation of its leadership. even china, wolf, has had a belly full of north korea, and is more frustrated than i've seen it in many years. >> because the chinese decision to co-sponsor this resolution, that's a huge deal, given the fact that china is the made sponsor, if you will, the main supporter of the north korean regime. >> well, china and the united states negotiated this resolution intensively over the last few weeks. and it contains some very strong provisions that previously china
had been reluctant to contemplated. and now, given the latest in the series of provocations, and the fact that north korea is pursuing a course of action that threatens china's interests, its economic interests, its interests in regional peace and stability, as well as that of the larger international community, they, too, agreed it was time for much tougher action. >> as you know, there are nearly 30,000 u.s. troops along the demilitaryized zone in south korea, facing potentially a million north korean troops on the other side, with heavy artillery. are they going on a higher state of alert as a result of these threats coming from north korea right now? >> well, i can't comment on the alert status of our forces, but i can tell you that we are always vigilant and prepared for the sort of threats that we've heard from north korea in recent days. we'll be in the process of an annual military exercise with south korea, which is something
that we do regularly, and that, obviously, also is the reason for our particular vigilance about what may be going on in the north. >> in recent days, dennis rodman, the nba star, he visited north korea and he actually spent two days with kim jong-un, as far as we know, the first american to actually meet the new young korean leader. and he came back and he told george stephanopoulos this. >> one thing he asked me, give obama something to say and do one thing. he want obama to do one thing. call him. >> he wants a call from president obama? >> that's right. he told me that. he said, if you can, dennis, i don't want to do war, i don't want to do war. he said that to me. >> as you remember, going back to the campaign in 2007/20, you were a key adviser to the then candidate for the democratic presidential nomination. he left open the possibility, he said he's ready to talk without preconditions, with any of these
leaders around the world, including these totalitarian regimes. do you think that this dennis rodman proposal is something the president should pick up on and call kim jong-un? >> wolf, i don't see president obama picking up the phone and calling kim jong-un anytime. but the united states has been and remains open to a negotiated settlement, open to the resumption of the six-party talks, which the resolution today reaffirmed, which is, our preferred means of ensuring that the korean peninsula is, in fact, deneutralized. >> a year or so ago, you were here in "the situation room" and i asked you to look into the camera and speak directly to bashar al assad, the syrian leader, and you did. and you said this. i'll play the clip. >> i'd say the united states stands with the people of syria, fully and unequivocally, in their aspirations for peace, for democracy, and for a brighter future. your days are numbered and it is
time and past time for you to transfer power, responsibly, and peacefully. the longer you hang on, the more damage you do yourself, your family, your interests, and indeed, your country. >> all right. we're seen on cnn international as well, they're probably watching in damascus. do you want to speak to the syrian leader once again right now? >> well, wolf, i think the message that the united states has been conveyed and that i delivered last year applies this year. the fact is that, unfortunately, tragically, this war has intensified. bashar al assad has used an ever-more deadly attacks and tactics against his own people, including scud missiles of all things. and the country is becoming increasingly fragmented. and the rebels are gaining territory and holding territory. the region is at greater risk. and assad can't last. and there's no question about that. the only question is how much destruction he will reap before
he goes. >> are you still confident his days are numbered? >> yes. >> ambassador rice, thanks very much for joining us. >> good to be with you, as always, wolf. >> a great interview. >> she's tough. >> she's got a big job, that's for sure. so here's a question. do you like football? >> of course. >> i love football. well, it is one of the most profitable sports teams in the world, but critics say it has one of the most offensive names and they're trying a new way to force the redskins to change. plus, thousands and thousands of sharks spotted off the florida coast. we'll talk to philippe cousteau about this amazing sight.
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a group of native americans asking the federal government to step in, arguing that the name violates trademark rules because it's offensive. so why wouldn't the team just make the change? this has been a discussion that's been going on for years. the answer, in part, tradition. but also, money. brian todd is joining us now. he's outside the u.s. patent and trademark office in alexandria, virginia. brian, we're hearing about a name change a lot recently, aren't we? >> reporter: we are, wolf. because native american groups are now renewing their fight to go after the redskins' trademark. they're trying to force a name change by going after the team financially. they've had the nickname for about 80 years and for about 50 of them, native americans have tried to get the washington redskins to drop their name and logo. they've always failed. now, native americans are arguing before a federal trademark board that the team should lose its trademark
protection given by the government. but they're still targeting the nickname. >> it comes from a time when bounties were issued against us and our people were skinned. that's the history that we want to just bury at long last. and this revives it. this keeps it going and makes it possible for all sorts of other racial slurs to be used against us. >> reporter: native american leader susan shone hargrove has tried for more than 20 years to get the redskins trademark protection stripped. the redskins' owner, dan snyder, as always vowed not to change the name. but team officials say they've never intended to offend anyone. they say the name honors native americans. >> i suggest that the people really closely look at what we do as on organization to represent the good values in business and sports. >> for native americans who say this really is an offensive name, how do you respond? >> well, i'm not going to respond to that, because i don't know if that's been proven. >> reporter: since they've not been able to directly legally
force the redskins to change their name, native american groups feel the trademark route could work indirectly. what happens if trademark protection is stripped? >> it's fair game for everybody to use the name redskins and to use the logos. and i put that, if you started a business and had a very successful name and trademark and were doing quite well and all of a sudden everybody you knew could use that name, could use that trademark, that would adversely affect your business. >> reporter: and business for the washington redskins is very good, indeed. the team brought in $373 million in revenue last year, much of it from mud slide sales. last year, the redskins were the fifth most valuable franchise in any pro sport. under pressure and new rules from the ncaa, several colleges have dropped native american nicknames in recent years. st. john's university went from being the redmen to the red storm. miami university in ohio used to be the redskins too. now they're the redhawks. but no pro sports franchises have dropped nicknames in recent
memory, and it seems unlikely the washington redskins will anytime soon. that federal board may not rule on the effort to strip the team's trademark for at least a couple of months. now, with all the talk of morals and money here, there is some irony to this story. the redskins got their nickname in the early 1930s when their owner at the time, george preston marshall, became enamored with the indian garb worn by the team's head coach, william lonestar dietz. but the irony, dietz's own claim that he was native american were always in dispute. wolf? >> what was their name before the redskins, brian? >> reporter: some irony there, too, wolf, their nickname was the boston braves. so the irony seems to be endless. >> we'll see what happens. brian, thank you. and heartbreak for supreme court justice sonia sotomayor. the catholic school she went to when she was growing up in the projects is closing because of financial troubles. justice sotomayor went back to blessed is sacrament school in
new york and cnn's anderson cooper went along. listen. >> is your being here, is it a protest in any way? or is it a statement? >> i can't protest anymore, don't you know that? >> yes, i do. >> no, but it's a return to a place of importance to me and a moment to share with kids who i know are suffering. >> and anderson is joining me now. anderson, it's so interesting. i've watched her in the supreme court in action so many times, but this is really a very different side of her, a very personal side. i mean, she's so accomplished. why is this one school so important to her? >> it is very much a personal journey for her to go back. i mean, this is blocks away from the apartment that she grew up in. she grew up, as you know, very poor, living in the projects. projects which are now named after her. and she really credits this school with kind of forming her, in those very early years, of learning discipline, learning the difference between right and wrong. and she really puts a lot of credit in this school and the other schools that she attended in the parochial school system.
and she really is heartbroken, as she said, to see this school close. and she wanted to go and kind of share in the sadness with some of the kids. and she actually sat down with a couple classrooms of kids and the kids were crying. i mean, it was very emotional. here's some of what she said to the kids. >> you know something, sweetie? i'm so glad that all of you took part in trying to save your school, because you can't really sit back and let people do things to you. you have to get up and tell people what's important. >> the kids didn't really understand why the school was closing down. they made youtube videos, tried to raise money, as the parents did, but it wasn't enough to cover the shortfall that the archdiocese says they're experiencing. they're closing some 24 parochial schools in the new york city area in this year. >> so she says she's heartbroken, so was she critical in any way of the catholic church and the fact that it is closing so many schools? >> she wasn't.
i mean, look, she, you know, she says she understands the financial situation that they are facing. her concern, though, is by closing these schools that, you know, the next generations of doctors and lawyers, which these schools have been able to churn out for generations, and lift people out of poverty through education, she's concerned of what impact that's going to have, and it's going to have a negative impact. >> absolutely. and did i read this correctly? she was valedictorian of her class, right? >> i believe so, yeah. >> certainly. she's one of three catholic school students who is now on the supreme court, justice roberts and scalia as well. >> pretty impressive. we'll definitely be looking forward to it. you can see the full interview with justice sonia sotomayor on "a.c. 360" tonight at 8:00. >> i think anderson was valedictorian of his class, too. >> i did not mean to diminish anderson cooper. he's a very accomplished man, as well. thousands of sharks swarming off the florida coast.
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quite a sight off of florida's atlantic coast. a huge swarm of sharks, just lack at that, thousands and thousands of them, on the move, heading back north, as spring approaches. beaches were closed and people were told to stay out of the water. all of this coming during the busy spring break season. but it's such an amazing sight. i wanted to talk more about it with environmentalist and cnn special correspondent, philippe cousteau. philippe, i can't take my eyes off of it when i see these pictures. but when our viewers see these images and this video, they're either going to be in awe or
they're going tor terrified. there are really two camps. the beaches were closed, as i mentioned, but people will wonder, are they in danger when this massive migration happens. there really isn't too much danger, is there? >> there's not too much danger, kate. and i agree with you, it is such a beautiful sight. and there was a lot of bad news about sharks and how sharks are declining around the world, but this is the kind of thing that you love to see. thousands of spinner sharks migrating north along the coast of florida. usually happens a little bit earlier in the year. this year, it's happening a little bit later. so some of the swimmers, because we're getting into the beach season, are a little nervous, but there's nothing to be afraid of. there are certainly no recorded fatalities from spinner sharks. very rarely does anyone get bitten by a spinner shark, and that's usually if they're spear fishing or if there are dead fish around or anything like that. no one on the beach has anything to be afraid of. they have put up red flags, just in case, but this is certainly a sight to enjoy as opposed to be afraid of. >> and you've had the lucky chance to see this type of annual migration yourself. tell me more about it.
i mean, i'm fascinated by all of this. where are the sharks going and how far are they actually traveling? >> well, they spend their winters a little further south in southern florida around the keys and further south into the gulf and the caribbean. and then they head up north, towards the carolinas for the summertime. that's basically what they're doing. they're taking advantage of changing, shifting currents to ride those currents up north to spend their summer a little further up along the coast. and, you know, the great thing is, again, that when you're out there, and i have seen these from a helicopter myself, you can see a shadow there of a helicopter filming those sharks. i've seen it myself. it's just an absolutely awe-inspiring sight. and the funny or the irony of it is that you have a lot of swimmers in the water and just, you know, maybe a hundred yards away you have sharks. and people are so often afraid of sharks, i think this is a great reminder that they really are not these deadly monsters of the deep that are trying to target and attack people all the time. they have a very important role
to play in the environment and they should be treasured for the majestic animals that they are. and seeing these types of large migrations of sharks, which is increasingly rare around the world, is just a remarkable and awe-inspiring sight. >> i did want to ask you about that. you look at these pictures, but this also comes at a time of great concern for shark populations. i mean, the estimations are in the tens of millions, 70 million. i saw one estimate of 100 million sharks are killed every year. and it's important when you see this, and we talk about that, to remind viewers why it's so important to preserve these populations and to save this animal. >> well, you still, you bring up a great point, right? you still hear that the only good shark is a dead shark. but, in fact, sharks are really important to keeping the health of the environment, to help maintain the health of fish stocks, commercial fisheries, and fish that people rely on for protein. so they help maintain the balance of the oceans and we need healthy oceans to have healthy humans around the world.
and sharks should be treasured and protected, not feared. >> next time you head up in a helicopter and you get to see this shark migration, i expect an invitation. >> absolutely. you got it. >> philippe cousteau, great to see you, thanks so much. >> interesting story. we'll continue to watch those sharks. meanwhile, rand paul declaring victory in the standoff over the drones. but is he causing a split within his own party? erin burnett is going "outfront" on that in the next hour. erin's joining us with a little preview. erin? >> that's right, wolf. the rand page heard around the world, trending on twitter and around the world. well, rand paul joined us to talk about whether he regrets what he did and what he thinks he got out of it. and he is not afraid of john mccain, lindsey graham, or "the wall street journal" editorial page, all of whom have pilloried him today for what he had to do. so we get into detail, wolf, on what exactly is okay when it comes to drone strikes or not to rand paul. also, our interview with paul hanson, the father of dianna hanson, the 24-year-old
intern who died at cat haven, that horrible story. our interview, he is an incredible father. he talks about his daughter's love of cats, from when she was a little girl, when they would go to school, they would say, your daughter is very artistically talented, but she only wants to draw big cats. she had this love from when she was a child and he talks about that and has no regrets about what she did. we have that interview coming up at the top of the hour, too. we'll see you then. >> we'll take a quick break and we'll be right back. impact life expectancy in the u.s., real estate in hong kong, and the optics industry in germany? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing. it's a challenge to balance work and family.
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