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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  March 20, 2013 6:00am-8:00am PDT

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israel, and despite the pomp and ceremony of his first visit there, huge concerns loom, like iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon. it's the latest test of obama's frosty relationship with the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. cnn's john king is in jerusalem this morning. john, this is president obama's first trip to israel. how delicate, how pivotal is this visit? >> reporter: well, carol, it is fascinating. i've been here in the past with president clinton, with president george w. bush, now president obama. in the past the israeli-palestinian conflict is always at the top of the agenda but given the event in this complicated neighborhood that is now more complicated and confused than ever, the israeli-palestinian conflict is down on the list. the president wants to share information and get information from his israeli counterparts about what's going on in syria. did the government in syria use chemical weapons against its own people. that's a big question. obviously the nuclear showdown with iran. the presidentister wants assurance if that diplomacy doesn't bear fruit that the
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president of the united states is prepared to put the military option on the table. and, yes, the president did say he wants to have peace in the holy land and he will make that a priority. no accident the president says that this is the first international trip of his second term. >> this is no accident. across this region, the winds of change bring both promise and peril. so i see this visit as an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations, to restate america's unwavering commitment to israel's security, and to speak directly to the people of israel and to your neighbors. >> reporter: now, remember, carol, the first big trip of the president's first term was that trip to cairo. he gave that big speech promising more outreach to the arab and muslim world. some israelis took offense, they didn't think he took enough time talking about their security,
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their ties to this land. so the president is here to make a statement to the israeli people but also do very important security business with the prime minister and other israeli officials. again, the crisis in syria, the confrontation with iran at the top of the list but a lot of issues in a very complicated neighborhood. the president has a packed agenda here. >> all right, john king reporting live from jerusalem. now let's turn to the international concerns ov over syria. ivan watson is in amman, jordan, and is following this potential tipping point in syria's civil war. >> reporter: did someone use chemical weapons on the bloody syrian battlefield? the syrian government accuses rebels of foyiring some kind of chemical weapon. damascus says it killed at least 25 people on tuesday. government tv aired interviews with survivors. >> it was the free syrian army.
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they shelled the neighborhood with a missile, and when people smelled the stench, they feel down and couldn't breathe. >> reporter: syrian rebels quickly denied the accusations, instead accusing the syrian government of carrying out a chemical weapons attack. some chemical weapons experts say soar they have seen little evidence to prove nerve toxins were used in tuesday's dead low attack but that hasn't stopped one senior u.s. lawmaker from pointing the finger at the syrian regime. >> i have a high probability to believe that chemical weapons were used. we need that final verification. >> reporter: the white house is repeating its warning to damascus that chemical weapons use would cross an american red line. >> we are going to be very clear to the syrian regime, as we have been throughout, and to all the syrian supporters throughout the world and then obviously to our partners in the region, that if this is substantiated, obviously it does suggest as the president just said, thangs t this is a
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game-changer and we'll act accordingly. >> reporter: it's hard to imagine that poorly armed syrian rebels with their homemade weaponry could have had the ability to fire a projectile with a poison payload. the syrian military, meanwhile, has scud surface-to-surface missiles. damascus is believed to fired several of these at towns with devastating, deadly results. carol, it's important to put this in context. whether or not chemical weapons were used yesterday, the important thing is more than 70,000 syrians have been killed in a conflict that has gone on for more than two years and shows no sign of ending for many syrians it doesn't matter whether an american red line was crossed. what matters is more than 100 people are getting killed a day, whether it's chemical weapons or bullets or bombs. these people are dying. carol. >> ivan watson reporting live from jordan this morning.
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congresswoman michele bachmann nearly ran through the halls of congress to avoid some tough questions. cnn's dana bash asked bachmann about comments me made at the conservative conference cpac. bachmann accused president obama of frivolous spending on a lavish white house lifestyle. listen. >> now we find out that there are five chefs on air force one. there are two projectionists who operate the white house movie theater. they regularly sleep at the white house in order to be readily available in case the first family wants a really, really late show. we are also the ones who are paying for someone who walk the president's dog. >> okay. so now watch what happens when cnn's dana bash asks bachmann about her allegations. >> reporter: congresswoman, can i ask you about your speech at cpac. you made some accusations against the president that were
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either questionable or untrue. can i talk to you about that? i want to ask you some specifics. >> well, the comments that i made about the president are during the benghazi debacle the president went missing. >> reporter: no. what i want to ask you about is the fact that you said -- you talked about the excesses that he's engaged in. the fact that he has a dog walker, which is not true. >> the big point in my speech was about benghazi. this was an absolute disaster. >> reporter: you also made accusations about the president spending money that other presidents also made. >> the real issue is there are four americans that are dead. the secretary of state was not in conversation with the secretary of defense or with the chair of the joint chiefs of staff. >> reporter: i think that's an important point. >> but this is the president of the united states didn't care about those four americans and they were killed. that's the point. we've got to focus.
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>> reporter: if you want to focus on that -- if you want to focus on that why did you bring up the other things? >> there's four americans that were killed. >> reporter: congresswoman, you're the one who brought it up. you're the one who brought it up. >> all righty then. the washington post report those claims by bachmann are all either misleading or unsubstantiated. south carolina's disgraced former governor may be the latest political comeback kid. mark sanford finished far ahead of the 15 other republican candidates in the primary for an open house seat. but sanford fell short of 50%, so now he's heading for a runoff. a recount is probably held to confirm his opponent. the winner of that race will face democrat elizabeth colbert bush. she's the sister of comedian stephen colbert and though she won her primary in a landslide, she'll have to fight hard to win on may 7th in this
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republican-leaning district. i'm joined now by cnn national political correspondent jim acosta. good morning, jim. >> reporter: good morning, carol. that's right. you summed it up very nicely. mark sanford, after being left for dead in the political wilderness in south carolina is very much back on the campaign trail, very much back on a comeback mission here in south carolina. he trounce, as you said just a few moments ago, a field of 15 republican opponents to win the republican primary here in the race for the open seat in the first congressional district. and how did he do it, carol? he pretty much went around the state asking the voters -- not the state, but the district asking the voters for forgiveness. he was very up front about the fact that he made some mistakes when he was governor of this state, when he falsely told voters that he was hiking the appalachian trail when instead he was traveling to argentina to carry on an extramarital affair. and it was that message of asking for forgiveness and atonement that connected with
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voters. i asked mark sanford last night at his victory party whether he feels like he's the state's comeback kid. here's what he had to say. >> well, you guys come up with all your own definitions on these things. we'll not interrupt -- you know, what i learned a long time ago, the media is going to do what the media is going to do. >> reporter: but this must feel like redemption? >> it's incredibly helpful at many different levels of what you suggest so it's been a remarkable journey and i just blessed to be here. >> reporter: now, he is not exactly the republican nominee just yet. as you said just a few moments ago, carol, he does have to face off in a runoff against whoever is the number two opponent in this race. there was not a clear second place finisher last night. there were two candidates who were really neck in neck for that second place slot. once that is sorted out, this
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may trigger an automatic recount unless one of those two candidates backs out. that runoff will occur in less than two weeks from today and as you said just a few moments ago, he'll have to go up against the sister of stephen colbert, elizabeth colbert bush in the general election come may. carol, this is a very conservative congressional district. a lot of the political insiders here in charleston, south carolina, feel that mark sanford is not only a shoo-in in this runoff but perhaps in that final general election battle in may. >> we'll see. jim acosta reporting live from charleston, south carolina, this morning. just ahead in the newsroom, more news on that unbelievable shooting of the executive director of the colorado department of corrections. he was shot as he answered his door. we'll take you live to colorado next. can acne cleansers be tough on breakouts
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as we told you at the top of the show, president obama is now in israel. he's meeting with leaders there, including the prime minister benjamin netanyahu. lots of pomp and circumstance as the president arrived at the
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airport. the star-spangled banner played, there was a big red carpet laid out for him to walk on, it was incredible. but one thing went terribly wrong. let's head to jerusalem now and check in with sara sidner. this is kind of embarrassing. >> reporter: it's embarrassing. we've got to give this guy a break, right? what happens is the limo that was here in jerusalem, the president came in in a helicopter and landed in jerusalem and then was going to be taken to his hotel by limo. apparently this morning before the president got here, to be fair enough, the person driving the limo accidentally put gas into a car that needed diesel. you know what happens, right? the limo didn't start. so the limo had to be towed. very embarrassing. luckily we don't know who was driving, we don't know a name. but i have to tell you, carol, i've done it myself before. sometimes when you're nervous and there's this big person coming in from the united states, the president of the u.s., these things happen
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sometimes. but no security issues. the president made it to his hotel. >> oh, that's good. i feel for him because it was such a beautiful welcoming ceremony. it really was. the entire star-spangled banner played and then i guess what was the israeli national anthem played. it was like gorgeous. and then this happened. >> reporter: yeah. you know, the good thing is that everything has gone smoothly. and to be fair, this happened long before the president got to jerusalem. you know, there's a lot of serious issues that are going to be discussed today. first the president will be talking with the president of israel and then he'll speak with the prime minister, lots of very important things on the menu. syria, iran, the palestinian peace process. so those things will certain ly be talked about. this happened around 10:00 a.m. our time and he didn't arrive here until 12:30, but certainly the person making the limo, this is starting to make news, it's all over twitter, probably feels a little bad but he'll get over it i'm pretty sure.
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>> i'm sure he will. sara sidner, thanks. we needed a little giggle this morning. we appreciate it. and we are continuing to follow that breaking news out of colorado. police search all night long for whoever is responsible for the murder of the executive director of the colorado department of corrections. tom clements was found murdered at his home near colorado springs. police called to his home last night following reports of a shooting. right now no suspects in custody. the governor of colorado has ordered all flags in colorado to be lowered in clements' honor. shell turner from kdvr joins us now. what are police saying this morning? >> reporter: well, at this point what they're focusing on is just finding the gunman in this case. police believe them to be here in the state of colorado. tom clements confirmed dead, the executive director of the colorado department of corrections. let me give you a look at the
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scene here. police have the area roped off. the clements' home is right around that bend we're showing you. what happened just after 8:30 mountain standard time last night, there was a knock at the door of the home. mr. clements opened that door and was shot in the chest. his family called 911, he was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead. the governor reaching out to employees this morning issuing a statement saying that he's never worked with a better person, that he is saddened. as you mentioned, flags at half staff and plenty of reaction coming in from state government this morning. now, police are saying there's no immediate danger in this area which would indicate that the gunman is fleeing to the state line, to the south of colorado springs or in a different direction but we are following this investigation right now. no suspects in custody. clements leaves behind a wife and two daughters. shaul turner, reporting live. >> i'm just looking at the neighborhood there. it would be difficult for police to find somebody. it seems to be a heavily wooded
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neighborhood. how do they know that the suspect has fled from that neighborhood? >> reporter: well, they have pretty much canvassed the area and given the all clear, that it is safe here for everyone else. there's no immediate threat. but what you can't see from here is we are just about five minutes away from i-25. major interstate that runs to take you right on out of colorado down into new mexico. that would be very easy for any suspect to jump right on i-25 and flee from this area and flee from the state. so they are, of course, pulling out all the stops. they are looking everywhere. but this immediate area declared safe. that suspect not assumed to be right here. >> all right, shaul turner from affiliate kdvr, thank you so much. as we told you before, the governor will hold a new conference next hour regarding clements' death. a dramatic day in the testimony in the trial of jodi
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arias. dr. richard samuels, the psychologist who diagnosed arias with ptsd facing sharp scrutiny after admitting arias lied to him repeatedly during his evaluation. >> do you have a problem with remembering what i said? >> no, i don't have any more problem than you do, sir. >> reporter: the courtroom battle between a defense witness, psychologist richard samuel, and prosecutor juan martinez escalated during samuel's third day on the witness stand. >> i do not assume that it was a lie. >> generally speaking if an individual lies to you about something that you consider irrelevant, then it's no harm, no foul, right? >> it depends upon what the issue was related to. she had attributed it to this made-up story. >> you don't know that, do you? >> no, i don't. i'm speculating. >> right. made it up right now. speculating. >> no clinical judgment, no. >> reporter: samuels was hired to explain how jodi arias, who's facing a possible death
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sentence, could have forgotten stabbing her boyfriend, travis alexander, almost 30 times, leaving behind this incredibly bloody skricrime scene. samuels testified that he thinks arias suffers from ptsd. >> she remembers the beginning of the attack and the end of the attack. >> reporter: but the rest of it arias claims she can't member. >> do you have any memories of slashing mr. alexander's throat? >> no. >> reporter: prosecutor martinez went to great lengths trying to discredit samuels, peppering him about his inconsistencies in his report and openly questioning the quality of his work. >> how much are you getting paid per hour? >> i get paid per hour $250. >> and for $250 an hour, you're saying that this is not -- you weren't paying enough attention to put whatever else -- >> i reviewed the report numerous times and i must admit i missed it. >> reporter: and, carol, no relief for dr. samuels today. he'll be back on the stand.
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he won't be facing juan martinez, though. today he'll face juror questions when court resumes later today in phoenix. >> thanks so much. still ahead in the newsroom, talkback question for you today, will newtown death photos force lawmakers to enact new gun laws? or tweet me @carolcnn.
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in missouri, charges expected to be filed today against a man who interrupted kansas city mayor sly james during a speech on tuesday. >> million dollars in investment -- >> this man has just got through talking about exactly [ bleep ]
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[ bleep ] [ bleep ]. >> that's not okay. affiliate kctv reports the mayor's body guards wrestled the man backstage. mayor james, a former marine, he was not hurt. he called the incident unfortunate. to michigan now where police got quite a shock during a patrol stop. it happened yesterday in c kalama kalamazoo. officers stopped to talk to a man sitting in a parked car. he said he just hit a deer and then picked it up to take it home for food. but when he popped the trunk, the deer hopped out. i guess they'll be calling for takeout now. >> now is your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. the question for you this morning, will the newtown death photos force lawmakers to enact new gun laws? gun control democrats are a frustrated bunch. despite polls showing a majority
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of americans supporting an assault weapons ban, democratic lawmakers can't get it done. senate majority leader harry reid now says such a ban has zero chance of passing. here's michael moore on "piers morgan live. ". >> this attitude of, well, we're not going to be able to -- this is why our side -- we have these we weinies on our side. this is what i actually admire about republicans. they have got the courage of their convictions. >> the nra's message does seem to be resonating, while a majority of americans are in favor of an assault weapons ban, polls also show support for gun control measures are fading. also are fading memories of newtown. we know dozens of children were murdered there, but moore suggests the horror of that day has now faded. he has an idea, though. if they wish, moore wants parents to release pictures of
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their children after they had been slaughtered by the gunman. >> in my blog i talked about a young man by the name of emmitt till, 1955, a young black kid that was murdered down south simply because he was black. and his mother insisted that there bow an open coffin because she wanted photographers, the news people, to see what happened to this 14-year-old boy, to see what racism and bigotry does. that galvanized the country back then. it was just three months later that rosa parks refused to get up out of her seat on that bus. >> no newtown parent we know of has offered the public a picture of their murdered child. the question, will newtown death photos force lawmakers to enact new gun laws? this morning president obama is in israel to discuss issues both sensitive and ominous.
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among them iran's pursuit of nuke enclosure wclear weapons a concern syria used chemical weapons. in a "washington post" op-ed one middle east expert describes things this way. this odd couple's ties are the most tenuous we've seen between the white house and jerusalem. from the beginning the obama administration has prompted a batten down the hatches mentality in netanyahu's circle, end quote. joining us news is the author, aaron day-to-day millvid miller. he is now vice president and distinguished scholar at the woodrow wilson international center for scholars. good morning. >> good morning, carol. >> we often hear things aren't good between netanyahu and president obama, but how strained are they? >> you know, with the exception of david and dwight eisenhower whose relationship it was probably more strained and tense, this has got to be the most dysfunctional relationship
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between an american president and an israeli prime minister probably in the history of the relationship. that's saying quite a lot because you've had a couple of pretty dysfunctional pairs. i think the president frankly is in israel because of the intersection of politics on one hand and policy on the other. you know, being good on israel helps him politically with republicans who continue to hammer the fact that somehow he's anti-israel. even among members of his own party, so i think he wants to clear that issue away to create a new relationship not only with netanyahu if he can but with the israeli public. and then there's some serious issues, not only syria, but the reality is if barack obama doesn't want to be the american president on whose watch iran gets a nuclear weapon and on whose watch the two-state solution to the israeli-palestinian problem expires, he's going to have to find a way to work with netanyahu. and by the way, vice versa,
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because the prime minister bears a lot of responsibility for the soap opera that has been the u.s./israeli relationship. >> let's talk about iran and nuclear weapons. there's these stringent like terrible sanctions now placed on iran but that doesn't seem to be stopping the country from developing a nuclear weapon, so what can israel or the united states do now? i mean what will the -- if we could be a fly on the wall, what are they discussing as an option? >> look, i think the president is telling the prime minister that they have done about all they can on the sanctions side. now they're trying diplomacy. i think he's going to make a pitch to the prime minister. give me the time and the space to work with the p-5 plus 1 to see if we can work out some deal on enrichment. but i'm giving you my assurance that if in fact sanctions and diplomacy don't work, i'll have your back on this one and i will make good on what i've said public loly
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publicly, that we will use every option, including military force, to make sure they do not get a deliverable nuclear weapon. >> so is the biggest fear from the united states' standpoint that israel on its own will attack iran? >> i think the odds of that happening, and there was a lot of concern of that last year, really aren't great. i think the israelis understand that there's no real end state if they strike. their capacities are limited, the regional complications are immense. what they want to do is, frankly, make this barack obama's problem. and it is a challenge to the united states. we can't afford to see iran with a nuclear weapon for all kinds of reasons. it would be transformative in a negative sense for the region at large. so i think they are going to cooperate on this. obama's tenure, his legacy and his status as a lame duck are going to compete with one another and netanyahu may also
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be looking at the end of his tenure as a prime minister having served longer than any other prime minister in israel's history, so time is not an ally right now, it's an adversary. and i think it's going to compel both men to try to find a way to work together. >> aaron david miller, thanks so much. we appreciate it. >> thanks, carol. political buzz. a look at the best political topics of the day. 30 seconds on the day. playing with us, jason johnson a political science professor for politics 365 and kate dawson, former chairman of the south carolina republican party. welcome to you both. >> good morning. >> let's start with a tough one. first up, chemical weapons in syria. syrian forces versus the rebels, both accusing each other of using chemical weapons. some experts debate whether any chemical weapons were used but
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chairman of the house intelligence committee says there is a high probability they were. >> that they are either positioned for use and ready to do that or in fact have been used. both of those scenarios i think we need to step up in the world community to prevent a humanitarian disaster. >> now, remember, president obama called the use of chemical weapons in syria a red line. that the united states would have to act in some say militarily if syria starts moving around those chemical weapons. so our question, is it time for the united states to intervene in syria? jason? >> i don't know if we can afford to intervene at this point seeing how the sequester is going to be limiting our military capacity in the next couple of weeks and next couple of months. no. i think it was nice rhetoric by barack obama, but we've much more important things to be looking at. we have to make sure iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon, we have to make sure the two-state solution doesn't disappear in israel. whether or not the syrian government in the beginning of their civil war was using chemical weapons doesn't need to be a priority right now.
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>> for once i agree with the president, laying the marker down. the united states of america has never sat on the sidelines when people have created this type of chaos against their own people so i think certainly senator mccain and senator graham along with the president have laid a marker down what is proper and right. this is a serious thing. when people use chemical weapons against themselves, what else will they use against their neighbors. i think the president was correct, he was right, it's very serious and something that should concern the american public. we're certainly weary of war and conflicts, but we're a country that looks out. >> topic two, senator harry reid, a democrat, is dropping a proposed ban on assault weapons from a new gun control bill because he says it has no chance, zero -- i kooechbt get it out. it has zero chance of passing but reid says another senator could bring it up as an amendment in the future. in a recent abc news/washington post poll, 57% of americans say
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they support an assault weapons ban. the nra opposes it. now liberals like michael moore are slamming democrats. >> this attitude of, well, we're not going to be able to -- we're not going -- you know, this is why our side. we have these weinies on our side. well, if we can't get the votes, you know. >> michael moore says introduce the bill. let republicans vote against it. so my question, are democrats weinies for not bringing an assault weapons ban to the floor. katon? >> for once this dysfunctional place called washington is trying to come together with an agreement, and certainly the second amendment stands fairly firm in this argument. again, there has been a lot of pain caused in america and more from the mental health side than probably the gun control side. whether michael moore calls somebody a name or not i find comical, but at the end of the day i think partisanship maybe will work out and they'll work
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an agreement. senator reid was probably being very pragmatic on what the vote was going to look like in the united states senate. >> weinie isn't good enough. we need like gerkins, this is prepostero preposterous. put the bill forward. if the republicans don't like it, if conservative democrats don't like it, that's fine. but this idea of self centering legislation because you don't think it's going to pass, that is not what people vote for. they vote for senators to push through policy, not to back up because think it's going to be inconvenient or they can't pass it. >> now on to the buzzer beater, 20 seconds on the clock. republican congresswoman michele bachmann was practically running away from cnn's dana bash refusing to answer questions about claims she made about the president at cpac, the conservative conference. she accused the president of wasting taxpayer money on lavish perks and excesses like chefs and a dog walker. those claims are either misleading, unsubstantiated or completely false. as you can see, michele bachmann
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wasn't exactly eager to answer questions about that. my question this morning, how does making false claims about president obama impact the republicans' rebranding efforts? jason. >> you know, the republicans have such a rebranding problem going all the way back to their primary. but in all honesty, lies about the president and his lifestyle is not nearly as bad as having a cpac committee where somebody was talking about how they support save lavery. republicans need to get specific with policy and not talk about personality and all these other social issues that don't really matter. talk about the budget and things that they're good at. >> katon. >> well, look, that's why we have cnn and why we have reporters. michele bachmann needs to answer those questions. but at the end of the day, cpac is a good organization. it brought a lot of things to light. but you've got to tell the truth and you've got to have facts when you're a public official. that's why we have primaries and general elections. >> all right, thanks for playing today, appreciate it. >> thank you.
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>> thank you. coming up, we'll have more on that unbelievable shooting out of colorado. the executive director of the department of corrections, the man in charge of all of the prisons in colorado opens his front door and is shot in the chest. more to come next. [ engine revving ] ♪ [ male announcer ] every car we build must make adrenaline pump and pulses quicken. ♪ to help you not just stay alive... but feel alive. the c-class is no exception. it's a mercedes-benz, through and through. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial services. through mercedes-benz today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe?
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at 45 minutes past the hour, we have breaking news out of paris, france. french police have raided the home of international monetary fund chief christine lagarde. the imf is a group that helps struggling countries in trouble manage their finances. we're going to get more information on this developing story as it comes to us. it's a strange story out of paris. as you know, la guard is the first woman to head up the imf. we'll keep you posted. today the state of colorado is going to do something the federal government has not. sign new gun legislation into law. colorado's governor will sign
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bills that require universal background checks for gun sales, make buyers pay for those checks and limit the size of ammunition magazines. but today's historic signings come as colorado warns the death of the executive director of the department of corrections, the man in charge of colorado prisons. tom clements was shot and killed at his home last night and right now police have no suspects. colorado state representative rhonda fields is in the newsroom. welcome. >> thank you so much for having me. >> thank you for being here. you know, i want to start with the shooting death of tom clements. when you heard about it, what went through your mind? >> i was very shocked and saddened. our director is such a kind leader. he was very competent. i'm not quite sure why someone would do that. my heart goes out to his family. >> and i'm sure it does even more than most because you have tragedy in your own life with
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gun violence. >> absolutely. absolutely. so i -- i know firsthand what it feels like to lose a loved one. >> let's talk about these gun laws in colorado. maybe the secret to getting gun laws passed is a democratic governor and most chambers of the state legislature being democratic. is that it? >> you know, basically it just takes bold leadership. it's putting together the right policy that makes common sense. it's a reasonable approach to require background checks to purchase a gun. we've limited the capacity for high-capacity magazines. and then you also mentioned paying for your own background check. so these are just reasonable measures to keep our community safe. >> when you look at the federal government's efforts to pass some sort of gun control measures, what do you think about the lawmakers in washington? >> well, you know, i think they need to get busy, because to make our nation a lot safer, we
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need to have common gun safety reform across the nation. so i think they need to get busy. >> there seems to be consequences about these gun laws signed -- or these gun control measures signed into law in colorado, because one company that manufactures ammunition has threatened to move out. you know, they employ hundreds of people, so what do you say to that company to make them stay? >> you know, nothing in the legislature and in the bill that woe created indicates that they need to leave the state of colorado. so, you know, this is a business decision that they're making. i wish they would not do that. we would like for them to stay. however, it's their choice to do what they think that they need to do. >> but is it worth it? >> absolutely. i mean the legislation that we're signing, if it's going to save a life, then i believe that we should be protecting our citizens and our children and
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our community. >> colorado state representative rhonda fields, thanks so much for joining us this morning. >> thank you. >> and as i mentioned, the colorado governor, governor hickenlooper, will hold a news conference right at the top of the hour in about ten minutes -- actually about 12 minutes. of course we'll bring that to you live. still ahead, we'll also read your responses to our talkback question of the day. will the newtown death photos force lawmakers to enact new gun laws? or tweet me @carolcnn. everyone has their own way of doing things. at university of phoenix we know learning is no different. so we offer personalized tools and support, that let our students tackle the challenge of going back to school, like they do anything else... their way.
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talk back question of the day, and it's at a hot one. we have 300 comments already. the question for you this morning, will the newtown death photos force lawmakers to enact new gun laws? this from dennis, "perhaps, but i'm in the sure those photos should be in the public domain. i personally don't think i could bar to look at them." and charles says, "pictures like that need not be sthoun to the public." glen says, "nope, we love guns in this country and we have accepted the heartbreak and misery that gun violence causes. to be an american means you are willing to accept the death of a loved one to keep the price of guns going." or tweet me @carolcnn.
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it is a very busy morning here at cnn. back to that breaking news out of paris. french police have raided the home of international monetary fund chief christine lagarde. the imf is a group that helps struggling countries in trouble manage their finances, so it's a very powerful financial organization. jim bittermann is on the phone. i believe jim's in france. why did they raid her apartment? >> reporter: well, this dates back to a case that started 20 years ago in france. it's in connection the businessman, bernard cattier, a french businessman. the imf were aware of the fact that the police were investigating this matter when she was named the director. but in any case, the case has been dragging on for some time now. basically, she appointed an
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arbitration panel to look into the case of the businessman who had sold a property to a bank that was then owned by the french government and the question was, did she know that the arbitrator had had business connections, at least but bernard cappier's lawyer. if the case, did she know that the arbitrator that she was naming was dealing with the same lawyer as bernard tappe, and did that in some way allow bernard tappe to, in the end, get a favorable verdict from the arbitrators, which ended up with tens of millions of euros going into bernard tappe's pocket. it's really a long-standing case, and the police raided her home, because they were trying to turn up any further information. there's a very dogged prosecutor who's been pursuing the this for some time. and the prosecutor had apparently ordered the police to look into her personal, her home, for whatever they could find in her home, that might
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indicate that she had some kind of knowledge about the background of the arbitrator. >> jim bittermann, i'm sure you'll keep on this story. again, french police have raided the home of the international monetary chief, christine lagarde. of course, we'll keep you posted on this story. the next hour of "cnn newsroom" after a quick break. zap technology. arrival. 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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happening now in the newsroom, four homemade bombs, guns, and a checklist for a massacre. >> he just pulled a fire alarm and he's got a gun out. >> the 911 call that saved lives at a florida college. and you know the westboro baptist church, we'll talk to a man who has moved in across the street from the church and painted the rainbow flag on his house. and would you pay $100 to meet mr. or mrs. right? the new high-tech, high-priced matchmaker hot in silicon valley. hoop heaven is here. the ncaa tourney is underway. see if you can meet me in a bracket challenge. you're live in the "cnn newsroom." and good morning. thank you so much for being with
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me. i'm carol costello. it is a busy wednesday morning. the search is on for whoever shot and killed colorado's prison chief. tom clements, the man in charge of all the colorado prisons, was shot in the chest, at his house, outside of colorado springs last night. there was a knock on the door, he answered the door, and then somebody shot him in the chest. clements was rushed to a hospital where he later died. right now police do not have a suspect description even. clements was the executive director of the colorado department of corrections and he spent 30 years with the missouri department of corrections before moving on to colorado. this morning, colorado's governor has ordered all state flags to fly at half-staff today. today is also a big day in colorado where the governor is set to sign three gun bills into law. one limits magazine capacity to just 15 bullets. the other two deal with background checks and how to pay for them. lieutenant jeff cramer of the el paso county sheriff's office -- actually, we're going to get to lieutenant jeff cramer in just a
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moment, once we get him on the phone for sure. and also, governor hickenlooper, the governor of colorado, is expected to hold a news conference any minute now. when governor hickenlooper begins speaking, we'll take you to colorado live. we're also learning more about a potential massacre averted. we've now got tape of the 911 call placed by the roommate of a university of central florida student who apparently amassed an arsenal in his dorm room. it was just after midnight on monday when this man walked in on his roommate and almost became james oliver martin's first victim. >> he just pulled a fire alarm and he's got a gun out. >> where are you at? >> i'm in the university of central florida of orlando. the fire alarm went off. i opened the door to see what was going on, and he's there with some sort of like gun -- like large assault gun. i don't know if it's a real gun. i don't know what it is, but i just saw it and i slammed my door shut and locked it.
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>> shortly after that call, police found the alleged gunman dead by his own hand, along with thousands of rounds of ammo, homemade bombs, and a checklist that called for a mass killing. >> oh, he instantly just raised his rifle at me and before he could get it all the way up, i just slammed the door. i was not trying to -- i was not going to let him shoot me. i just slammed the door, locked it, and moved away from the door, in case he fired at the door. i took some cover in my room, so he wouldn't like, be able to -- bullets wouldn't be able to penetrate anything and then i just called 911. and they pretty much handled it from there. >> babakani said his roommate
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was a loner and may have had money problems. in hours, the president will hold a news conference along with shimon peres. earlier, they toured israel's iron dome, the nation's air defense system, and right now security is a haunuge issue for both countries. first it was iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, and now growing concern that syria has unleashed chemical weapons on its own people. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin is in jerusalem. good morning, jessica. >> reporter: good morning, carol. you know, the president's arrival -- go ahead. >> no, no, no, i was just going to prompt you about syria. maybe we should start there. >> reporter: yes, so there are these new concerns about chemical weapons, possibly, in syria, and, you know, the fact that this is now all rising to the surface, just as the president is arriving here in israel certainly brings new
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urgency to the question of u.s. intervention in syria. but, you know, that all leads right back to the question for israelis, iranian involvement in the region, iranian -- the iranian nuclear program, which all, again, connects to israel's own security. so i'm constantly now being asked, will the question of syria dominate talks here. will that overtake all other issues? and quite simply, it just brings new urgency to the syria question and the matter of u.s. possible involvement in syria. but it will not overtake iran on the agenda, because the two are in israeli's mind, interconnected, and for israelis, nothing is more important than the question of iran's nuclear program, and so now these two issues, both syria and iran, will dominate talks here, as the president heads into a day of talks and several days of important events here in israel. >> jessica yellin reporting live from jerusalem this morning,
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thanks. in other news this morning, a new york city subway worker is safe this morning. that's after he got trapped 75 feet below the ground in a chest-deep mixture of mud and concrete. it happened at a construction site in a tunnel below second and east 95th. took 160 firefighters four hours to rescue this man. he emerged shortly after midnight. french police have raided the home of imf chief christine lagarde, just last hour, as part of an investigation into claims that she abused power while she was still the french finance minister and help to secure a payment for a businessman's supporter of then president nicolas sarkozy. lagarde denies any wrongdoing. more problems for carnival cruise lines. it is canceling another ten trips on the "triumph." that's the ship that had to be towed to sure after an engine fire. it won't return to service until june 3rd. guests booked on the cruises get a full refund, reimbursement for travel costs, and 25% off of
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future cruises. the threat of another mass killing is the latest incident underscoring a plea from the nation's mayors. now leaders for law enforcement are joining the call for tighter gun control laws. >> i spent 35 years protecting families. >> putting criminal behind bars. >> i've been shot. >> i've known good friends killed in the line of duty. >> criminals can get guns -- >> because we don't have background checks on all gun purchases. >> i hunt with guns. >> i'm a life member of the nra. >> and background checks won't change that. >> this is the first person you saw in that ad, chief jim johnson of baltimore county, maryland. he's also the chair of the national law enforcement partnership to prevent gun violence. chief, welcome. >> good morning. thanks for being here. the senate dropped the ban on assault weapons from its gun control bill, because it could have killed the whole bill. what are your thoughts on that? >> well, the national law enforcement partnership to prevent gun violence is pressing forward. tens of thousands of small town chiefs to major city chiefs, all
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across america, we know how to make our society a safer place. nearly 30,000 people killed each year by firearms violence. and certainly the assault weapons ban, which we strongly support, eliminating high-capacity magazine as to no more than ten, and a national background check will make our society a safer place. >> the liberal activist michael moore called democrats, well, he called them weenies. he said they don't have the political courage to get through a such bill through the legislature. do you agree? >> certainly i believe our elected officials, many have worked very hard to press forward an assault weapons ban. they have listened to the collective wisdom of police chiefs and other advocates, all across america. millions upon millions of moms and dads, who want meaning of change. and i think they've worked hard to do it. certainly, we believe, we've carried forward law enforcement, a very strong message, an assault weapons ban is needed to make us safer, along with these national background checks and capacity on these magazines.
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>> but it does seem like the other side is winning at the moment. because when you look at the polls, the majority of americans are for banning assault weapons. there's a lot of support out there. yet the democrats will not bring a bill to the senate floor, because it has no chance of passing, zero. >> we do know that 55 to 60%, no matter what poll you look at, favors a national background check -- i'm sorry -- ban on assault weapons. >> why can't senate democrats get it done, then? >> well, certainly, i believe, we're all working as hard as we can to bring about this meaningful change. we've had ample time to sit in front of these elected officials and advise them why this is necessary. 90% of the american public wants a background check. let's get this done. >> and a final question, and i'll just run this by you, michael moore, the liberal activist, you know, the filmmaker, he was on piers morgan live. he said, maybe an idea do push these gun control laws through congress is to release the
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autopsy photos or the photos of these murdered children in newtown. what do you think of that? >> i don't think the american public wants to see this. i don't think that's necessary to bring this issue forward. if that's what it takes, i think it's a pretty sad commentary on the issue. you know, i've seep these photographs throughout my career, and frankly, they'll etch lasting impressions on your mind that will never, ever forget. the trablg that occurred must be addressed. national background checks are needed, capacity on these magazines, and certainly bring back the assault weapons ban. the american society wants it, our public wants it. and they will listen to us. >> baltimore county police chief, jim johnson, thank you so much for joining us this morning. >> thank you. just ahead in the newsroom, a message of tolerance. a message of tolerance, where there had been one of hate. we'll introduce you to the man who painted the rainbow equality
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the head of colorado's corrections department shot dead in his own home. tom clements was shot in his house at his house in colorado last night. he was answering the door when he was shot. clements was rushed to the hospital where he later died. right now police do not have any suspects. lieutenant jeff cramer from the el paso county sheriff's office joins me now on the phone. welcome, lieutenant. >> thank you very much. >> how did the shooting go down? >> well, we're still trying to put some of those pieces together, of course. but after receiving the 911 call from the family member of mr. clements last night about 8:37, reporting a shooting, we, of course, responded and upon our arrival, did confirm that mr. clements was deceased on scene. our investigators have been very busy, from the onset of this investigation, continue to be busy throughout the night, and are still on scene this morning, processing the crime scene. and surely at this point, take advantage of the daylight that we now have gathered, to make
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sure that they're making all necessary observations and searches of the outside of the home as well. >> yeah, i wanted to talk a little bit about the manhunt that's surely going on right now. the neighborhood, is it safe now for residents the there? >> well, we don't have any reason to believe that the local residents here are facing any kind of imminent threat. however, because we don't have a suspect, we certainly can't describe the suspect's whereabouts. we do want folks to at least remain vigilant, and if they make any observations that are suspicious or concerning in nature, to let our office know so we can respond to that nature as well. >> you mentioned that one of mr. clements' family members was home at the time. did that family member see anything? >> -- we've done a number of interviews through the night, and it is correct that one of the family members was home, but we're not describing at this point where that family member was inside the home at the time of the shooting and therefore the level of observation that may or may not have made of the actual event. >> i would imagine, because this
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man was head of the prison system in the state of colorado, that there are many, many, many suspects that you might -- well, not suspects, i should say, but many people you'd have to investigate. >> well, it certainly creates a dynamic in this investigation that we're very sensitive to, because of the role in which he served. we do recognize that there could be a number of people, for a number of different reasons, that may want to target him for a crime such as this. however, we're also very cautious to make sure we remain open-minded to all of the other possibilities as well, so that we don't miss something along the way during the course of the investigation. >> i interviewed several people out of colorado this morning. they all describe mr. clements as a kind man. tell us about him. >> well, i didn't know him personally, but those are the same reports i'm hearing, and certainly, serving in the capacity that he did, obviously, in a position where he has a great level of influence over the department of corrections, and of course, you know, our executives who serve in similar
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roles are certainly very valuable to the law enforcement community as a whole, and therefore to the public as a whole. so certainly, our thoughts and prayers as the sheriff's office with el paso county certainly go out to those employees and friends and family members of mr. clements this morning. >> thank you very much, lieutenant jeff cramer, for joining us this morning. and just another reminder, we're expecting the governor of colorado to speak in just about ten minutes. he's expected to hold a news conference right outside of colorado springs when governor hickenlooper begins speaking. we'll take that live. the weather, the weather in topeka, kansas, called for some clouds, but today those in the westboro baptist church is waking up to a rainbow. the house is spreading a message of tolerance in front of the church, infamous for its hateful, anti-gay ideology. those rainbow colors you see on house across the street, they're a symbol of the pride and the
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diversity of the lbgt community. you see them often in gay pride parades. we're joined now by aaron jackson, the man behind the rainbow pride and one of the cofounders of planting prees. welcome, aaron. >> thanks for having me. >> thanks for being here. you do charity work. you were previously a cnn hero, but gay issues is kind of outside your wheelhouse. what inspired you to buy this house and then paint it? >> i'm sorry, i think i lost you a little bit. did you ask why did i buy the house and paint it? >> i did. >> okay. well, you know, roughly, every year 4,000 kids, 4,000 lbgt kids kill themselves, roughly due to the message out there that they're less than. and i wanted to participate in help changing that message. and i thought no better place to start than the westboro baptist church. >> so you buy the house -- i think you went to a google map and tried to look for a property near the westboro church?
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is that how you came to buy the house? >> it was all kind of random. it wasn't done, nerls, on purpose. i was checking out the westboro baptist church through earth and i was walking down the street and i saw that there was a for sale sign in front of the home and right away it hit me. i was like, i'm going to buy that house and paint it the pride flag. and roughly about six months later, i did. and then it took me about another six months to do it, to paint the home, due to weather. it was too cold. so i had to wait for it to warm up a little bit. >> just a reminder for folks who are not familiar with the westboro church, these are the people who protested funerals and then hold up hateful signs, you know, condemning homosexuality in america and elsewhere. so, have you heard from the folks at the westboro church about your house? >> well, they sent out some pretty vile messages via twitter and through some, you know,
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released some statements to the press. but shirley felts, one of the main spoexpeople, she came and she was over at the house yesterday. she didn't come into the house, but she was in our front yard, taking pictures, and she did say that she loved our colors, so we're very happy to hear that she's pleased with our color patterns. >> so what will the house be used for? >> well, we plan on creating anti-bullying programs that we would like to spread throughout the, you know, throughout our school systems across the country. and we're going to place volunteers in this home to help promote those programs. the home will just basically be the artistic value of this home. the home will just literally be where volunteers will stay to work on furthering equality initiatives across the country. >> aaron jackson, thanks so much for joining us this morning. we appreciate it. >> thank you for having me. >> we'll be right back. at od, whatever business you're in, that's the business we're in
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now's your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. the question for you this morning, will the newtown death photos force lawmakers to enact new gun laws? gun control democrats are a frustrated bunch. despite an abc news/"washington post" poll showing a majority of
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americans supporting an assault weapons ban, democratic lawmakers just can't get it done. the senate majority leader, harry reid, now says such a ban has zero chance of passing. here's liberal activist michael moore on piers morgan live. >> this attitude of, well, we're not going to be able to -- we're not going to get -- this is why our side, we have these weenies on our side. well, if we -- we can't get the votes. you know, this is what i actually admire about republicans. they've got the courage of their convictions. no matter how crazy their idea is, transvaginal probes, they will not step back. they will not -- >> look at the nra. >> -- they will go forward. >> the nra's message does seem to be resonating. while a majority of americans are in favor of an assault weapons ban, polls also show support for gun control measures is fading. moore also cites our fading memories of newtown for the dip in gun control pressure.
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moore suggests that our memories are fading. moore says if they wish, he wants parents to release pictures of their children after they've been slaughtered by the gunmen. >> in my blog last week, i talked about a young man by the name of emmett till, in 1955, a young black kid who was murdered down south, simply because he was black. and his mother insisted that there be an open coffin, because she wanted photographers, the newspeople to see what happened to this 14-year-old boy. to see what racism and bigotry does. that galvanized the country back then. and it was just three months later that rosa parks refused to get up out of her seat on that bus. >> no newtown parent we know of has offered the public a picture of their murdered child. talk back question for you, will the newtown death photos force lawmakers to enact new gun laws? or tweet
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me @carolcnn. and as i've been telling you, we are awaiting a press conference live from colorado springs. the governor of colorado set to speak on the shooting of the state correctional official. you can see the podium set up. when governor hickenlooper is behind that podium, we'll bring it to you live. [ male announcer ] it's red lobster's lobsterfest our largest selection of lobster entrees, like lobster lover's dream or new grilled lobster and lobster tacos. come in now and sea food differently. visit now for an exclusive $10 coupon on two lobsterfest entrees.
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good morning. welcome to the newsroom. i'm carol costello. this morning, the u.s. marine corps is banning the use of all 60 millimeter mortar rounds in its training exercises. the move comes after one of those rounds exploded inside a tube at the hawthorne army depot in western nevada. seven marines were killed, eight others wounded. joseph is a munitions expert for welcome. >> welcome. thank you. >> first of all, just explain to us how this weapon works, how these mortars work. >> the mortars are one of the simplest pieces of armament you would find in the military.
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it's basically just a metal tube and there's a firing pin at the bottom and that firing pin is either always on or it's activated by a manual trigger and you basically just drop a round down the tube and out it goes. >> and sometimes it expels the mortar shell automatically and other times you have to physically pull the trigger, so to speak. >> right. >> what do you suppose happened that day in western pennsylvania? >> well, the specifics haven't come out yet, but there's a number of places where a catastrophic failure could have occurred. the mortar round could have prematurely detonated in the tube, because the fuse was improperly set, the fuse malfunctioned, the fuse could simply have gone off, the initiator cartridge could not have propelled the round out of the tube properly, and then the tube could have -- the mortar round could have slid back into the tube and then detonated. the firing pin could have malfunctioned and fired after the round was supposed to have left the tube, and it failed to
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function. there are any number of possible combinations of factors. >> has the military experienced problems with these weapons before? >> i'm not aware of any specific incident involving this type of mortar, but training accidents do happen. >> but the military has suspended the use of these kinds of weapons for a time, while they investigate. what will they be looking for? >> they'll be looking to see whether this was a problem, potentially with the training, whether the crew improperly followed the training procedure, either because of not understanding the training requirements, not understanding how to operate the mortar, or because they weren't trained properly. they'll also be looking to see if there's a mechanical problem with the mortar round itself, the mortar, or any other piece of associated equipment. >> thank you so much for being with us today. we really appreciate it. >> thank you. as we've been telling you, the governor of colorado is set to speak at my moment outside of colorado springs.
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this morning, a tragic shooting took place. the man in charge of all of the state's prison systems was shot and killed in his home. in fact, there was a knock on the door. he answered the door, and someone shot him in the chest. the suspect is still on the loose. we're going to take a break and we'll come back with much more.
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i am telling you, it is not stopping today. more developing knew to tell you, this out of minnesota. this is at a middle school in new prague, minnesota, an hour and a half away from minneapolis. the school is now on lockdown. there was a call of an active
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shooter in the area. that's about all we know. this is happening in new prague, minnesota, at a middle school, about an hour and a half away of minneapolis. an active shooter, the police are now investigating. that middle school now on lockdown. we're working to get more information for you. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] some day, your life will flash before your eyes. ♪ make it worth watching. ♪ the new 2013 lexus ls. an entirely new pursuit.
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they're leaders of industry, but maybe losers in love. silicon valley geeks are getting help in fighting a mate, if money's no object. >> reporter: silicon valley's computer nerds cracked the code to successful tech companies, but when it comes to the language of love, they're enlists a little help. meet amy anderson. you're a matchmaker. that's an old job, right? >> it's an old world business. >> reporter: an old world business with tech ipo pricing, access to link and drink events like this one, plus a guarantee of a quality matches cost members 20 grand. members who go to the party but aren't promised dates pay up to $2,500. how much is the most a client is willing to put out there to find the right match? >> a lot. people will put so much into the
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process, anywhere from 50, to some cases if we're doing a nationwide search, to $100,000. >> reporter: most of amy's clients work in tech. >> the most valuable thing in the world is time. >> amy gets a boost when tech companies are doing well. >> reporter: facebook's ipo brought in customers. >> facebook's been really important for us, for a multitude of reasons. certainly, we've gotten a lot of clients from their pre-ipo and post-ipo, just like google in 2004. >> reporter: but what these people are paying for is the one thing for which they don't want to rely on an algorithm. >> you come to her office and she goes over several questions, which are about an hour long, and within a few days, she'll match you with a couple of people. >> there are often a lot of metrics by silicon valley standards that people are looking for, ranging from
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ethnicity, religion, personality type. >> reporter: before you end up here, you go through boot camp. >> reporter: okay, so remove the hoodie? >> take it off right now? >> did she outlaw from anything? any habits that died hard when you met amy? >> like being on time. geeks are notorious for being late. >> reporter: it's been great. i met two people. one of them i was in a relationship with for a while. >> reporter: and amy boasts results. 45 couples in exclusive relationships and nearly 20 marriages. >> not bad. lori is here. so can anyone be a client of this matchmaker or does she just work for silicon valley execs? >> reporter: well, look, anyone who can pay up. she's based in silicon valley, near san francisco. to generally the people who can pay in that area happen to be tech executives, happen to be these kind of geeky, nerdy guys. that's why you see her kind of laying down the law saying, you can't wear the hoodie and can't text while you're on the date.
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>> so how much does it cost? >> the prices are pretty steep. it's $20,000 for eight matches. so you've got to be really committed to this and you've got to be making some money to be able to do this. but you can attend these events for $2,500. so it's not cheap, but you've got to be willing and willing to pay and committed to looking for love. >> but can't you just hang out at a gym or a coffee shop? there are plenty of those out west. >> reporter: very true. i think these guys spend too much time inside coding. >> i think so too. coming up in the newsroom, our talk back question today, will the possible use of chemical weapons -- actually, that is not our talk back question today. we're going to be right back. [ lisa ] my name's lisa, and chantix helped me quit. i honestly loved smoking, and i honestly didn't think i would ever quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. it put me at ease that you could smoke on the first week. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation,
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we're going to go live to colorado springs, colorado, now. this is the colorado governor, hickenlooper. he's going to talk about the chief of the state prisons was shot and killed at his home earlier this morning, actually, last night around 8:30. so let's listen to the governor. >> last night at his home. our thoughts and prayers are with his life, lisa, and their two daughters, certainly with all the employees of the department of corrections, who tom worked so hard with. tom's family has requested privacy at this time and we sincerely ask the community and
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the media to respect that request. you can imagine this is the hardest time that anyone could possibly go through. they are grieving, as we are all grieving. we lured tom away. he was retiring as the number two guy in corrections in missouri after 31 years. he was far and away the best choice we could find anywhere in the country. he understood the importance of building a team and operating an surprise where your staff is motivated, focused. he understand the importance of making sure that as you released
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prisoners, especially those who had been incarcerated for extended periods, that the better job you did at preparing them for returning to the community, job training, making sure they had medication, they had mental illness, that this dramatically would decrease the chances of them being reincarcerated. you know, he first turned us down. was going to go to another state and then upon reflection, came to colorado and we are so grateful for the time that he gave us. he was a dedicated, committed,
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funny, caring expert at corrections. he had a sense of humor that all -- you almost can't describe it. but his sense of timing when he would let a zinger fly was so unpredictable, and yet so astute. he was a great friend. to me, to i think all of us, in many ways, he helped define what a public servant is. he did his job quietly and intently. he cared deeply about his staff, his family, and the community. in his approach to corrections, he was all about best practices and using data and information
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to continuously improve the way we do things. how do we make our prisons safer? not just for the employees, but for the inmates. how do we do a better job of preparing inmates for returning to the community? his unfailing good nature would come through in everything he did and his, the depth of his caring about, again, not just the people he worked, but the inmates that were there, about those of us here that he worked with was remarkable.
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when i first interviewed him, we talked about, was called administrative segregation. i had an old friend whose son who had gone on the wrong track and had been arrested and put on administrative segregation for a long period of time, you know, solitary confinement. at that time, we had a very large number of people in administrative segregation. and part of that interview was tom had thought deeply about it before he ever came to interview with us, and his own experience in missouri, and saw how it was doomed to failure, that number of people, in many cases, people who had been in administrative segregation and solitary confinement for years would be released directly into the community, which is a very, for
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those individuals, really emotionally traumatic. and he laid out a plan, to analyze the issue, get what the facts were, and make sure we moved in the right direction. that we segregated those people that were a danger to other prisoners or staff, but that we begin that a more active rehabilitation on a large number of the others that were in administrative segregation for other, in many cases, not sufficiently important reasons. tom was an unfailing partner in the repurposing of ft. lyons, the prison we closed a couple of years ago. he saw the impact of that facility on the community. he was committed to making sure that we did everything possible to try and put that building
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back to good use. he was so dedicated to his staff, and he would have town hall meetings at the various prisons around the state on a regular basis. he would ask in those meetings, almost always, how do we uplift staff? how do we help our staff do a better job, but also, how do we uplift them and make their days better and easier? tom clements dedicated his life to being a public servant, to making our state better, to making the world a better place,
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and he is going to be deeply, deeply missed. questions? yeah. [ inaudible question ] i can't hear you. there's too much -- say it a little louder, please. [ inaudible ] not that i know of, but, i mean, it's an active investigation, so we can't talk about the investigation, but we don't know anything at this point, or enough to make -- to answer that kind of a question. [ inaudible ] the -- we are certainly going to, as we get information about this, we will make sure that our cabinet members are safe and
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that everyone is -- that we anticipate every possible eventuality. i don't think this -- what little we know was something that was directed at the cabinet. corrections is a very difficult job, you make difficult decisions all the time that affect different people. [ inaudible ] >> you know, an incident like this, in some ways, whether it's an act of retaliation for someone that we have yet to know about, it is also an act of
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intimidation. and my gut feeling, i think the cabinet is good with this, that we go forward with our work. that's the kind of thing that tom would have understood, i think, and would have supported. so we expect to sign the bills, answer questions, and try to continue to move this state forward. >> all right. we're going to break away from news conference. this is colorado's governor john hickenlooper. he was talking about the murder last night of tom clements, the chief of all of colorado's prisons. mr. clements, according to police, sheriff's deputies, rather, there was a knock on his door last night at his colorado springs home. he answered the door and somebody shot him in the chest. a family member was at home at the time, but saw nothing. police are still looking for a suspect. they do believe the suspect has left that neighborhood right now. you heard just a little bit of the governor talking about this landmark gun control legislation he's about to sign into this law
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today. that law would require stringent background checks in the state of colorado and also impose limits on magazines, just a bit of irony there, as mr. clements died from a gunshot wound. let's head back live to colorado and check in with jim spellman. were you at the press conference? the governor was clearly emotional. >> reporter: yeah, indeed. no, i'm heading down towards the scene of the shooting, carol. i tell you, i've touched base with a couple of people in law enforcement, and people are just shocked. everybody, at this point, seems to feel, and certainly the investigation is centered on finding somebody who may have had some sort of personal beef with mr. clements through the prison system. they're looking at family members or people that were recently patrolled. someone who would have that kind of connection with him. just shock in this community of law enforcement people, that are not easily shocked, that something so personal could happen to somebody like this, carol? >> take us back to last night,
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when that knock on the door came in mr. clements' neighborhood. this neighborhood was an upscale, beautiful neighborhood. wooded, but there's a highway nearby. >> reporter: yeah. it's not far off of the road. it's some place where people who work in colorado springs or denver both might live. like you said, it's a nice neighborhood. almost has the feel of a resort home. 8:30 in the evening, just about, knock at the door. mr. clements opens the door and apparently then is immediately shot in the chest. a family member, we're not sure who, calls 911 and he's declared dead at the scene. we know that he's married and has two daughters. we don't know who was home, who called this in. but, you know, immediately they began searching this wooded area. they used dogs, and now we know, this morning, that we've called in the colorado bureau of investigation, a statewide agency that has a lot more resources that we can bring to an expanding search. as far as we know at this point, they don't have a suspect pinpointed. we know, though, that just law enforcement agencies across the
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state are working on this. they take this personally, carol, and they want to be sure they find this guy. and you say they take this personally, because i have been struck, and i interviewed a colorado state legislature earlier this morning, and she too spoke in glowing terms of clements. governor hickenlooper, he was emotional, and that's unusual for the governor. >> and the couple of people i've been able to speak with on background have had nothing but good things to say about him. he was working here in colorado just over two years, but he just left a great impression on people. but this was not a guy who you would see on the news a lot, not an extremely public figure. certainly not anybody i've ever been aware of any controversy around. that's one of the reasons why investigators here feel that it must have been a direct link with somebody involved, somehow, in the prison system, because he's just not a guy that normally you would associate, you know, being a public figure.
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somebody that you would randomly go after, just because of their position. but that's obviously way early in the investigation, carol. but that's what their thoughts are at this moment. >> and it's just a bit of irony that the governor is set to sign this landmark gun legislation later this morning. tell us about that. >> reporter: yeah, he's going to sign this legislation. it's been heated contention there in the statehouse over this. long, hours and hours of testimony from people on all sides of the issue. essentially, it's background checks and a magazine ban, is my understanding, at this point, are the two main parts of that. but just to be clear, mr. clements was not a person that i've ever heard associated with this debate, at all. so, and nobody i've spoken to, so far, in the early hours of the investigation, feel like it's linked. but certainly the irony is not lost, that it's the day that the governor is set to sign this legislation. you know, we've had so many incidents here, columbine, of course, the aurora theater shooting, and it's -- guns have been so, you know, so much on
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people's minds, to have a gun used, killing somebody in such a personal fashion, right at their own front door, it's just hard to come to terms, carol. >> it really is. and just going back to the controversial nature of this landmark gun legislation, there's actually an ammunition company in town, threatening to leave the state, because these bills were passed into law. >> reporter: yeah, a company that makes magazines. and, you know, they make magazines in different capacities, but certainly, they make the higher capacity magazines and, you know, they feel this would be bad for business. they've been talking about leaving. that's something that opponents of the legislation have certainly brought up, that it would hurt the economy, just as things are getting back on track here. you know, it's a lot for these legislators and the governor to weigh, weighing those sorts of issues with, you know, crimes like this. >> and when will the governor come out and actually sign those bills into law? do you know, jim? >> i believe that's scheduled for later this afternoon. i don't know if that's changed,
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because of what happened today. i would tend to doubt it, but i think he's scheduled later this afternoon to sign that. >> jim spellman, i'm sure you're still on the case trying to get more information for us and u.s. >> sad story out of colorado springs, colorado this morning. we'll be right back. ♪ [ female announcer ] from meeting customer needs... to meeting patient needs... ♪ wireless is limitless. [ female announcer ] from fiing the best way... ♪ to finding the best catch... ♪ wireless is limitless.
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all your important legal matters in just minutes. protect your family... and launch your dreams. at we put the law on your side. i'm carol costello. a lot of breaking news. thanks for sticking us. newsroom continues now with ashleigh banfield. thank you very much, carol. thanks for joining us. as carol mentioned, a lot of breaking news. the president in israel. the first foreign trip of his second term. many israelis sort of feel as if they got the short thrift in his first term and the expectations not necessarily soaring right now, either. but when they speak to reporters any second now at the home of israeli president shimon peres,
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both leaders are sure to stress their, quote, unbreakable bond. especially in the face of perceived threats from iran and now syria in particular. u.s. officials are telling cnn that they, quote, can't confirm nor corroborate that either side in the syrian civil war has used chemical weapons. that issue took on a sudden urgency with these comments that came yesterday on cnn. >> we need that final verification, but given everything we know, over the last year and a half, i, mike rogers, chair of the intelligence committee, would come to the conclusion that either positioned for use and ready to do that or, in fact, have been used. >> mike rogers with the intelligence committee, the chairman at that. cnn's jessica yellin is traveling with the president and she is live in jerusalem. she joins us now. jessica, this, obviously, all breaking at a time when, perhaps, iran was going to be
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bigger on the agenda. and you know, the relationship with israel is now syria and this potential issue trumping the original agenda. >> reporter: hi, ashleigh. i would say that it pushes syria up on the agenda and brings new urgency to the question, will the u.s. intervene there? i interviewed tiby lipny, who is a minister in the government here, and she tells me that israels are clear in their estimation that chemical weapons were used in syria. she would not say that it is tied to the assad regime, she would not say who was behind it, but she is not the only israeli official now to go on the record and say in israeli estimation, chemical weapons were used. that is not what u.s. officials are saying. so, again, to emphasize, the white house is not sharing that same assessment at this point. but, clearly, this adds a new measure of urgency to the israeli perspective on this consideration. syria is right over the border from israel. there are a number of concerns
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for israel in this regard. one, chemical weapons, any attack there could actually hurt israelis, because it's so close. there's a potential refugee problem, and they'd be concerned that chemical weapons could get to their enemies, hezbollah, in lebanon. but beyond that, ashleigh, you asked if this would overtake iran as a concern, and the answer is no. because this trip for the president is largely about israel's security broadly. and the u.s. assuring israelis that the president stands for keeping israel safe, and when it comes to security, there is no bigger concern in israel than iran getting a nuclear weapon or nuclear capability, so that will always be the number one issue on the agenda and syria now will compete for some attention as well. >> well, with a busy agenda, you're going to be following this, the president. we are watching live. this was scheduled to start any moment now, the president, shimon peres, and also our united states president,
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president obama, scheduled to speak any moment. we'll wring it to you live the moment it does happen. chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin, thank you for that. when it comes to difficult and challenging jobs, being the director of a prison is certainly near the top of the list. and you can bet they're not going to win a lot of popularity contests with inmates and possibly even enemies on the outside of prison as well. and that may have been the case with tom clements, the executive director of colorado's prison system. he was shot to death at his home last night. at a news conference moments ago, colorado's governor was emotional in speaking about the man and the job that he did. our jim spellman is live on location. he's in el paso county and joins us by telephone. first, the most critical detail. if you can shed any light on this, jim, the report that this man was shot as he opened the door to his home, which may, and i just say may, suggest that this could have been a targeted hit. >> reporter: right.
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here's what we know at this point. it was around 8:30 last night, knock comes at the door, mr. clements opens the door and is immediately shot in the chest. a family member called 911 and mr. clements was declared right there at his home. now, we know he's married, his wife's name is lisa and they have two daughters. we don't know what family members were home or who called 911 at this point. now, immediately the police started searching the area. it's a heavily wooded area, kind of an excerpt of colorado springs in a place called the plaque forest. they were not able to find anybody immediately, so as the investigation progressed, they almost immediately began focusing on somebody who may have had some connection to his work in the prison system, somehow, somebody recently patrolled, somebody who may have had some sort of grievance with their sentence or treatment inside jail. obviously, ashleigh, we all know, it's very early in the investigation, but that's where they're putting a lot of their attention at this point. >> and jim, it's not just