tv CNN Newsroom CNN March 20, 2013 10:00am-11:00am PDT
a florida college student is being called a hero after throwing a wrench in his roommate's apparent plot to go on a mass shooting. he called 9-1-1 after spotting 30-year-old james oliver seevakumaran with an assault weapon. police say seevakumaran fatally shot himself and they found an arsenal of weapons including about 1,000 rounds of ammo and four homemade bombs. here's ed lavandera. >> fredricka, imagine you are the roommate of this would-be killer. the fire alarm goes off in the middle of the night, you stick your head out the door to see what's going on and there's a gunpoint right at your face. for the first time we are hearing from this would-be killer's roommate. the fire alarm is blaring as he calls 9-1-1. his roommate and would-be killer james oliver seevakumaran has just pointed a gun right at him. >> my roommate just pulled the fire alarm and he's got a gun
out. >> where are you at? >> i'm in the university of central florida, orlando. the fire alarm went off. i opened the door to see what was going on and he's there with like 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, i slammed my door shut and locked it. >> are you in your room now? secured in your room? >> yeah. yes, i'm in the bathroom. i was definitely scared, but i was -- scared but calm. i was just taking cover like in my room behind objects. >> campus police released this dramatic helmet camera video of officers making their way inside the gunman's dorm room. this might be disturbing for some to watch, but this is the moment police find the 30-year-old lying dead on the floor. they also found that he apparently was planning a massacre with an arsenal of weapons and explosives. >> i don't think that you
acquire 210-round magazines and numerous .22 capacity magazines and that you purchased 1,000 rounds of ammunition and purchased the .45 ammunition, i don't think you just do that as a joke. >> investigators say they found a bizarre handwritten timeline for the attack. in seevakumaran's words he would visit this bar called the mad hatter, get drunk, then go back to his dorm, take a shower, shave up and then get equipped. scratching off items as he went down the list. the last item read "good luck and give them hell." the would-be killer's roommate lived with him for the past seven months. >> i tried to get to know him. we're not friends. he's just very antisocial. he doesn't want to know me. he doesn't want to make friends. he keeps to himself. >> reporter: police say seevakumaran was not targeting anyone specifically, but his roommate suggests he killed himself because he felt cornered.
>> i knew he was having money problems because of the whole process of him getting evicted from the apartment. and he was having trouble at work too. i think his hours got cut recently. he wasn't making a lot of money. >> police described him as a loner and someone who shows antisocial behavior. even his own family describes him as a loner, but someone with no history of violence. investigators have taken his computer and going through other writings and that sort of thing and still trying to come up with what his motive might have been. fredricka. >> all right. ed lavandera, thank you so much. and kansas city major says he doesn't know why a man rushed the stage as he delivered his annual state of the city address yesterday. james tells cnn's starting point quick action by his security detail left the man little time to explain himself. and james kept a cool head as it all unfolded.
>> this man just got done talking about -- [ bleep ] [ bleep ]. >> well, that was unfortunate. >> the mayor staying cool the whole time. the man was jailed and an investigation is now underway. today, it's the first day of spring, but you wouldn't know it. not by the sight of a plow like that. this is what much of the northeast and midwest are looking like, snow, tons of it. making people feel like it's the dead of winter really. parts of massachusetts buried under more than 15 inches of snow, sleds and all. the snow was still coming down in new hampshire and in maine. temperatures are bitterly cold. windchills in some areas in the midwest are well below zero. chad myers is in the cnn weather
center. all bundled up though you have some bare cherry blossoms behind you there on the tidal basin. it's supposed to be spring like there, shannon, but a lot of tourists have come to town and they're a little frustrated now. let's begin with you. it's the first day of the national cherry blossom festival as well. and those trees are not in bloom. >> reporter: yeah, fred. a lot of people are wondering if this is the first day of spring or april fool's day because as you mentioned last year a lot of these cherry blossom trees were in bloom, but right now i'm surrounded by the trees, but where are the buds? it's going to give you a sense of the development of where they are right now. take a look at this tree right here, fred. it's young. looks like it miefk planted not too long ago. but look at the buds right there. look closely. they're barely peeking out, obviously. forecasters and rangers are saying that the weather is making them a little bit shy. i want to show you a little bit of a difference here for this tree much older. that probably again plays a
factor, but these buds right here, fred, popping out a little bit more. hopefully in a few weeks we'll see a little bit more of that. park rangers tell us they expect peak bloom between april 3rd and april 6th. about 3,700 of these trees not just onned basin but in the area a gift from japan to the u.s. about 101 years ago. as you mention ed earlier, tourists are coming out here saying we're here in town and want to see the blossoms. because the weather has effected them, i spoke with the park rangers official and asked him flat out, you know what, didn't want to delay them anymore. take a listen. >> well, that is within the realm of possibility. you know, these things are very sensitive to the temperature and conditions. particularly we have very lows overnight, continually in the 30s, it will simply slow down the process of the budding. but we think there's a little bit of hope in the forecast. and a little bit of a warming trend that should push the buds
out. >> reporter: and, fred, i know we have chad standing by. maybe that's the question he can answer for us and for the tourists. >> yes. because we know what it's supposed to look like. this is what it looked like last year. oh, full bloom cherry blossoms. gorgeous. wouldn't it be nice if folks could enjoy that during that cherry blossom festival? instead, chad, we're seeing what was right behind shannon travis there just barely a bud on the tree. so at least during the festival do you think it's going to get warm enough where those buds will kind of open up? >> no. >> we've got three weeks. >> yes, we have three weeks. it will happen. obviously it's going to come out. probably april 3rd the rangers saying april 3rd's probably the peak this year. but believe it or not those pictures that you were just showing that was march 17th last year. it was so early last year. we had temperatures 85 degrees by this time last spring where temperatures are now in the 35, 45 degree range. they're just a little bit shy when you see that. ames, iowa, picture from you
from instagram some snow on the ground there. a couple of buds. little greenery around some places across america. i like this picture. kind of on the beach. maybe that's the place to be on spring break or anywhere for spring. send your pictures pound, cnn spring and via instagram so i can put them on the wall to show to the world. >> gorgeous. i like your array of pictures. shannon, i'm sure it will happen. the longer you stand out there you'll see some kind of progress on a tree. all right. thanks so much, shannon travis and chad myers. appreciate it. happy spring anyway. >> anywhere. >> anywhere too. all right. president barack obama, well he right now is spending spring in israel meeting with the prime minister netanyahu. still to come, the significance of this trip and the u.s./israeli relation.
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>> president obama arrived in israel today. he had some interesting comments for prime minister netanyahu on the tarmac. he said "it's good to get away from congress." netanyahu laughed and said, believe me, i know. any reaction? >> so much for the charm offensive. >> does a comment like that actually have an impact, do you think? >> no, not really. you know, president's meeting with the president of israel, you know, he's got his legislative issues, the president's got his. comes with the territory. >> comes with the territory. >> i would rather be heckled than ignored. or as i like to say, you only tease the ones you love. >> wait, there's more. the full exclusive interview will be on "the lead with jake tapper" today 4:00 eastern time. all right. president obama says the u.s. is israel's strongest ally and greatest friend. the president is on his first visit to the jewish state since taking office. among the tough issues he's
discussing with israeli leaders the war in syria and iran's nuclear program. i want to bring in chief political correspondent candy crowley, anchor of cnn's "state of the union." candy, why is the president taking this trip now? is there anything to the timestamp? >> well, he isn't the first president to wait until his second term. i think you mentioned two of them, iran continued pursuit of nuclear weaponry is of great concern to both israel and the u.s. they have not been on the same page about when they think iran might acquire that capability. these are not netanyahu and israel and obama here not the best of friends. so anything they can do to kind of ease what has been kind of four years of tension between the two would be good so they get on the same page. egypt, you know, the arab spring and the transition from dictatorship, which might have been a dictatorship, but nonetheless certainly helped in terms of the middle east balance
of power because it did have a peace treaty with israel. that hasn't gone so well. we're talking about the war in syria spilling over into israel. there's no shortage of things to talk about. and i think i would also just add that presidents in second terms use a broader palette when they go after issues. they are looking at the history books. every president has tried to do something about middle east peace in particular between israel and the palestinians. i think that clock also ticks for the president. >> and how important is it for the u.s. and israel to see eye-to-eye, namely the leaders of this country, to see eye-to-eye specifically at a time when there are these reports of syria and the use of chemical weapons? >> well, the u.s. has been pretty clear about the broad use of chemical weapons in syria and sort of saying, look, we might in fact use force in syria or apply force to syria if we have
absolute proof of chemical weapons being used by the government in syria. so i think the two actually see eye-to-eye on that. i think the big problem really has been iran. they don't -- the u.s. and israel don't see eye-to-eye, but they have each other's back. i think that's kind of, you know, the best way to put it. it is -- it has long been the u.s.'s strongest ally in the middle east. and the u.s. has been israel's biggest friend. that doesn't mean that there haven't been a lot of bumps along the road. and there have been again particularly for these two men and it's been around iran. i know one of the reasons that the president took this trip and one of the things he wants to emphasize here is to assure the israelis, not just benjamin netanyahu, but the israelis at large that the u.s. will not let iran acquire a nuclear weapon. there's still probably going to be a difference of opinion about when one might say, hey, too late, we've got to move.
nonetheless it's important that they have the same goals. they don't always see eye-to-eye on how to get there. >> candy crowley, host of "state of the union," thanks so much. >> all right. michele bachmann pulled a fast move to avoid questions from one of our reporters. our dana bash tried to ask bachmann about allegations of spending of the family. here's what she said at the cpac gathering. >> now we're finding out that there are five shifts 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 to walk the president's dog. >> but when dana bash tried to follow-up,ba bachmann wanted to walk rather than talk. >> congresswoman, can i ask you
about your speech at cpac? you made some accusations about the president that were either questionable or untrue. t >> the comments i made about the president are that during the benghazi debacle -- >> no, the president went missing -- what i want to ask you about is the fact that you talked about the excesses that he's engaged in, the fact he has a dog walker, which is not true. >> the big point in my speech was about benghazi. this was an absolute disaster -- dana -- >> 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 joint chiefs staff. >> i think that's an important point. >> this is the president of the united states didn't care about
those four americans and they were killed. that's the point. >> if you want to focus on -- >> that's what's important. >> you're talking about a dog and four americans killed -- >> but congresswoman, you're the one that brought it up. you're the one that brought it up. >> all right. still no answers to the questions dana was asking. a follow-up to the cpac speech, boy, dana is dogged. and we'll see if we can bring you more of that a little bit later on here in the "newsroom". a marine who lost both his legs fighting in afghanistan claims he was humiliated by tsa agents. now one congressman is demanding action. smart phone. ♪ right. but the most important feature of all is... the capital one purchase eraser. i can redeem the double miles i earned with my venture card to erase recent travel purchases. and with a few clicks, this mission never happened.
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a california lawmaker wants answers from the transportation security administration. republican duncan hunter wants an explanation for reports of a double amputee marine being humiliated by tsa officers at a phoenix airport. let's bring in ra nae marsh in washington. tell us what happened at this alleged incident. >> well, fred, this california congressman, duncan hunter, he's raising questions about whether
tsa screeners at a phoenix airport humiliated a member of the military, a double amputee marine. now, congressman hunter is so upset about the allegations that he fired off this letter, two pages, to the head of the tsa demanding answers. but the tsa denies that its screeners did anything wrong. now, according to our phoenix affiliates, the marine -- he was in phoenix with a group of other wounded warriors from california for spring training baseball game. the group was there. you're looking at some video there. but when it was time for them to return home to california, the marine who lost both legs to an imp provised explosive device in afghanistan was humiliated. that's according to a man traveling with him. that same man says a tsa screener asked the marine to get out of his wheelchair and walk. and then that marine also had to remove his prosthetic leg. here's more from the man traveling with him. >> he cannot stand up by
himself. and i tried to explain that, and they don't want to hear it. i said, man, i'm sorry that has to happen to you. and he just goes, you know what, get me -- out of here. >> so they apparently walked away from that situation feeling very disrespected. but the tsa has a different story of the account. they say that closed circuit tv shows that tsa officers followed procedures and that the marine actually stood up on his own and willingly walked through security. the tsa also says that the marine actually never removed his prosthetics and he never filed a complaint. we should tell you though, fred, the tsa has a special program specifically to address how wounded warriors are treated at security points. and the program is simply designed to ensure that all of these folks get treated respectfully. back to you, fred. >> rene marsh in washington. thank you so much. victory for stephen
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the u.s. is investigating allegations of chemical weapons used in the civil war in syria. the pentagon correspondent chris lawrence is following developments for us. chris, do u.s. officials believe the syrian government or even rebels have actually used chemical weapons? >> well, fred, if you listen to the u.s. ambassador to syria, he says that he doesn't see any evidence that either the syrian government or the rebels have used chemical weapons. but the chairman of the house intelligence committee says on the other hand that he has -- that he feels very confident and thinks with a high probability that they have been used. so it depends who you're getting your information from. ultimately they're going to have to look at satellite images,
although they're not going to present an extremely detailed view. they can talk to some of the rebels on the ground to see what they've seen, although how much you can trust their word is debatable. ultimately it may come down to the doctors, having them examine people who claim that they have been victims of chemical agents and seeing what their symptoms really are. that's what they did back in december when there were rumors of chemical agents being used. and doctors found out, no, it was actually just riot control gas. >> is part of the feeling because of the number, the quantity of people that are being killed that raises suspicion for those who believe that chemical weapons may be used here? >> yeah. and of course, fred, you've got the rebels who have been really pushing the u.s. to get more directly involved. you know, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said just this week that his understanding of the opposition, the rebels, is less clear today than it was even six months ago.
and he says he doesn't see any military option that gives some sort of understandable outcome. so he's urging caution. the u.s. military does have options. they've got air assets, jets, bombers, in the area. although one of the dangers is if you try to bomb a chemical weapon supply, you run the risk of disbursing that agent out into a civilian area. and so some of the other options would be trying to maybe bomb a runway to stop syrian jets from taking off or trying to disrupt communication between the regime and the actual commanders. but of course all of that is contingent on having really good intelligence so that you know what's about to happen before the attack actually takes place. >> chris lawrence at the pentagon. thanks so much. an intense manhunt is underway in colorado for the person who gunned down the state's prison chief. authorities say tom clements was shot at his home last night
after he opened his door. police are exploring the possibility that the shooting could be related to his high profile job. colorado's governor was emotional as he spoke about his friend. >> whether it's an act of retaliation for something that is yet we don't know about. it is also an act of intimidation. and my gut feeling i think t the -- insist we go forward with our work. that's the kind of thing tom would have understood, i think. and would have supported. >> police say a boxy shaped black car, possibly a 1990s model lincoln had been seen on the street where clements lived. they're talking to neighbors and searching the area near his property. now a huge comeback in south carolina just four years after former governor mark sanford derailed his career by telling voters he was hiking the
appalachian trail when he was in fact having an extramarital affair with a woman in argentina, well, he's back in the good graces of some republican voters in his state. sanford finished first in a special election primary for his old house seat, but he did not get enough votes to avoid a runoff. our jim acosta is in charleston, south carolina. >> reporter: fred, after he was left for dead in the political wilderness here in south carolina, mark sanford may be the comeback kid. sanford finished way out in front of 15 other republican opponents in what was sometimes a nasty and heated gop primary. but because he failed to capture more than 50% of the vote, he'll have to compete in a runoff against one of his challengers named curtis bostik still nearly after being forced out of his governor's office four years ago after misleading voters about an extramarital affair, it's a
remarkable turnaround for the former governor, one he talked about us last night. here's what he had to say. >> you guys will come up with your own definitions on these things and we'll not interrupt -- what i learned a long time ago is the media's going to do what the media's going to do. >> sure. but this must feel like redemption. >> it's incredibly humbling. as i just said. on many different levels what you suggest. and a lot of other issues. so it's been a remarkable journey and i feel blessed to be back. >> but sanford's comeback is not a sure thing just yet. he'll have to compete in the runoff in a couple weeks and then the general election in may when he goes up against the democratic contender. she is of course the sister of comedian stephen colbert and he's willing to pull out all the stops to help his sister within in this very conservative distri district. >> jim acosta, thanks so much. coming up. >> do you have a problem -- >> no, i don't have anymore
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later today a psychologist returns to the hot seat at the jodi arias trial. he's been grilled by prosecutors who are trying to discredit his claims that arias couldn't remember slashing her boyfriend's throat because of post-traumatic stress disorder. ted rowlands is following the trial in phoenix. >> do you have a problem with remembering what i said? >> no, i don't have anymore problem than you do, sir. >> the courtroom battle between a defense witness, psychologist richard samuels and prosecutor juan martinez escalated during samuels' third day on the witness stand. >> i do not assume it was a lie. >> generally speaking, if an individual lied 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 to attribute 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, sir. >> oh, really? >> samuels was hired to explain how jodi arias who is facing a possible death sentence could have forgotten stabbing her boyfriend, travis alexander, almost 30 times leaving behind this incredibly bloody crime scene. samuels testified that he thinks arias suffered from ptsd. >> that's correct. she remembers the beginning of the attack and then the end of the attack. >> but the rest of it arias claims she can't remember. >> do you have any memories of slashing mr. alexander's throat? >> no. >> prosecutor martinez went to great lengths trying to discredit samuels, peppering him about inconsistencies in his report on arias 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 -- you weren't paying enough attention to put whatever else was needed -- >> i reviewed the report numerous times. and i must admit i missed it. >> ted rowlands joining us live now from outside the courthouse. so, ted, can we expect the same kind of fireworks today and more questioning? >> absolutely, fredricka. he'll be back in the witness chair. this time he'll be taking questions from the jury. and prosecutor juan martinez gets to follow-up on those questions. so i would assume it's going to be another long day for dr. samuels. >> ted rowlands, thanks so much. keep us posted. all right. if you drink a whole lot of soda every day, stick around for this next story. a harvard study found tens of thousands die every year in part because of sugary drinks. at od,
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and retro, before 1950 that was the standard portion size which was 6.5 ounces. around about the 1950s it jumped to a standard 12-ounce can and later grew to the 20-ounce curve bottle and all the way up now to the two-liter bottle. that's 42 ounces. and while that might seem like a whole lot, as i'm a reformed soda junkie and would down one of those a day. >> wow, that's extraordinary. that's a lot of drinking of sweet soda drinks. how are scientists able to kind of single out the soda or the sweet drinks were part of the reason why people were dying? >> well, they put -- there are a whole lot of links to this. they looked at the increased amount of calories people were drinking, how much sugar they were intaking every day and then linking that to obesity-related illnesses, to diabetes, cancer, heart disease, once they factored out other factors in that including lack of exercise and sort of other behaviors, they were able to they say specifically link this increased amount of calories and sugar to
the deaths every year. >> wow. okay. so the report also shows that mexico had the highest death rate from sugary drinks and the u.s. actually ranks third. bangladesh of all places has the least of the problems with sodas. but the soda industry, what are they saying to all this? >> shockingly enough they are not on board with this study. and they released a statement saying it is more sensationalism than science and said the researchers made a huge leap when they take beverage intake calculations from around the world and allege that those beverages are the cause of the deaths, which the authors themselves acknowledge are due to chronic disease. there's a certain amount of discrepancy, but it can't be conditioned denied that more people are getting in more calories from sugar and soda on a regular basis now. >> all right, kat kinsman, thanks so much. still to come, silicon valley's tech nerds, they are millionaires and some of the smartest people in the country, but when it comes to love they are clueless.
you won't believe what they are doing to get a date. ek... i'm like...yeah, ok... little did i know that one week later i wasn't smoking. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop these stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away as some can be life-threatening. tell your doctor if you have a history of heart or blood vessel problems, or if you develop new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. people around you...they say, you're much bigger than this. and you are. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you.
an iraqi immigrant became a big winner on the tenth anniversary of the iraq war. he picked up his check for his $1 million win in the illinois powerball lottery. >> she told me, you win. i tell him, how much. she tell me $1 million. i said, no, you joking. i swear to god, $1 million, you won. >> yalda came to the u.s. to escape the war and took a job as a janitor and he'll scene the job despite his lottery win. if you're looking for love in california's silicon valley, one dating service might be able to help you. that is if you have $20,000.
matchmaker amy anderson guarantees eight quality matches. lori segal has details. >> reporter: computer nerds cracked the code, but when it comes to the language of love, they're enlisting a little help. meet amy anderson. >> hi. >> reporter: you're a matchmaker. >> it is an old world business. >> reporter: an old world business with tech pricing. it costs members 20 grand. members who go to the parties but aren't promised dates, $2500. how much is the most a client is putting out there to find the right match? >> a lot. people will put so much into the process, anywhere from 50 to in some cases if we're doing a nationwide search $100,000. >> reporter: many of her clients work in tech. >> the most valuable resource you have in the world, whether you're an entrepreneur or not, is time. if you have a professional that
can help you find the right person, i think it will save a lot of time. >> reporter: like many businesses in the valley, amy gets a boost when tech companies are doing well. facebook site yo brought in customers. >> facebook has been really important for us for a multitude of reasons. we have got and lot of clients from their pre-ipo and post-ipo like google in 2004. >> reporter: what people are paying for is the one thing for which they don't want to rely on an algorithm. >> about an hour long, and within a few days, she'll match you with a couple of people. >> there is often a lot of metrics by silicon valley standards that people look for, ethnicity, religion, personality type. >> reporter: about you end up here, you go through boot camp. >> remost hove the hoodie. take it off right now.
>> be on time. geeks are notorious for being late. >> it has 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. >> wow. nuptials too. lori, seems very pricey along the way. are singles, you know, really willing to pay that much for a date? clearly you have some that walked down the aisle, but in great volume, really? >> yeah, look, $20,000 for eight matches. it seems insane, but the idea is people are willing to pay this. i got on the phone with amy today, she said i'm seeing a boost because it is warming up and geeks want to come out of their caves, stop coding and meet people. the idea is time is money. they're building these companies. they have everything. they have a lot of money, but the one thing they don't have is love so they go to amy for that. >> oh, my. what a business. now, does she feel like there
are others too, or is this a very unique idea, enterprise she had? >> she's a entrepreneur herself. you look at silicon problem, you think of a solution. now she's helping people. she's putting geeks through, you know, through the boot camp, take off the hoodie, stop texting during the date and she's seeing a lot of success. >> go, girl. go, amy. lori, thanks so much. >> thank you. members of a kansas hate group are seeing red. and orange, yellow, green, blue and violet? we'll explain. ♪ [ female announcer ] from meeting customer needs... to meeting patient needs... ♪ wireless is limitless. [ female announcer ] from finding the best way... ♪ to finding the best catch...
alternative folk singer michelle shock is singing out about her anti-gay rant in san francisco. it got her booted off the stage and ever since venues around the country have been canceling her upcoming shows. according to published reports, the born again christian had an uneventful show until she said that gay marriage would be the downfall of civilization. that prompted the audience to walk out. shocked now says she was misunderstood. here's part of the statement she gave to cnn. saying, quote, i do not, nor have i ever said or believe that god hates homosexuals or anyone else. i said that some of his followers believe that. i believe in totolerance comes m fear and these people are
genuinely scared. the westboro baptist church says it approves of its new neighbor across the street, a modest house now painted the colors of the gay pride flag. westboro is infamous for strident anti-gay message. it says the brightly colored home helped shine a spotlight on what it calls a very sin the bible condemns and therefore is welcome. the house was bought by a gay rights activist aaron jackson and he spoke a short time ago with cnn. >> it wasn't done necessarily on purpose. i was checking out the church through google earth and walking down the street and i saw that there was a for sale sign in front of the home of the westboro baptist church and it hit me. i'm going to buy that house and i'm going to paint it the pride flag. >> jackson says the house wl serve as a temporary residence for volunteers who work on equality initiatives. that's it for me. i'm fredricka whitfield. see you tomorrow.
don lemon takes it from here. hello, everyone. don lemon here. i want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. at any moment now u.s. president barack obama will hold a news conference with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu it will happen in jerusalem. the president is on his first trip to israel as commander in chief. he arrived there this morning, 6:12 eastern time, just after noon in tel aviv. i want to turn things over to wolf blitzer in washington to get us to that news conference. it should begin at any moment, wolf. >> it is a very important news conference, don. they'll be taking questions from reporters, but opening up with formal statements. let's go to jerusalem right now. jessica yellin is standing by. john king is standing by. john, first to you, give us a little sense of what has happened so far in the hours since the president arrived. >> wolf in the hours since he's
arrived we have seen the optics that both governments want. that's a friendly, happy, upbeat reception. people talking washington, people talk here in jerusalem, across israel, about the frosty personal relationship between president obama, and president netanyahu. you would have no hint of that from watching the last few hours unfurl. air force one landed in tel aviv. a big celebration, even a joke from the prime minister that maybe he and the president should go out bar hopping. said he would give the president a despise. the president went to president obama went to the residence of the israeli president shimon peres, schoolchildren singing there. he's now in the private meetings with president netanyahu and that is the key question. in the private meetings, can they make progress on working cooperation when it comes to the iran nuclear program? what is their assessment of the assad government and the potential for chemical weapons used in syria? can the president nudge this prime minister and tomorrow when he goes into the palestinian territories, the palestinians back into a peace process. so what we have seen so far is the celebration and the pomp and
and so, of course, the israel jazz more reasisraelis have more reason. they want to pressure the president to do something. they want the u.s. to press for some sort of at least international coalition to take action. but you see a little bit of distance on this between the u.s. and the israeli position.
it is what you see between the u.s. and israel also in iran and on a number of issues. some daylight, but overall, a larger shared view that something needs to be done, wolf. >> and i just want to remind our viewers, we're standing by for the news conference. they will open with opening statements, and then there will be two questions from each side, two questions from israeli journalists, and two questions from the american journalists traveling with the president. is that right? >> that's correct. two and two, we say. so you're correct. and so you'll get four questions total, but we all know the u.s. journalists tried to squeeze as many questions into each of theirs as they can. compound questions, that's the trick. and benjamin netanyahu has a tendency to be a little-long winded too, so we could hear a very -- this could go on for a while. >> we're going to have live coverage here on cnn. stand by for a