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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  July 18, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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crap" that he pulled, abandoning his teammates. he reportedly plans to pursue a krur in the mlb. i turn you over to wolf blitzer. the city of detroit files for bankruptcy. plus trayvon martin's parents breaking their silence, speaking out for the first time since a jury found zimmerman not guilty in the killing of their son. and firefighters battling a massive wildfire burning almost entirely out of control. i'll speak with one of the 6,000 residents ordered to evacuate their homes. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> this is cnn breaking news. >> let's get right to the breaking news.
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a imagine americ a major american city, detroit, has just declared bankruptcy, the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of the united states with huge financial implications. let's go to poppy harlow. it came a little earlier than a lot of us expected. >> i think a lot of us were expecting this possibly tomorrow. it came at 4:06 p.m. exactly eastern today. the emergency manager, the man put in charge in march to take over the city of detroit, get its finances in order, his name is kevin orr, he along with the republican governor of michigan, rick schneider, filed for chapter 9 bankruptcy. this is so big because it's symbolic of the woes detroit has had. behind it you have stockton, california, a city of about 300,000 people. that was the biggest until today. detroit is a city of 700,000 people with $18 billion in debt. that is what drove it here. how did we get here, wolf?
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it has been going on for decades. you've had a huge population decline, population down 63% in the past six decades, fewer people paying taxes, the decline of the auto sector, corrupt politics, wasted money. the governor issued this letter that just came out saying that he does not see any alternative for detroit other than to file for bankruptcy saying it the only reasonable choice at this point in time because the financial situation has gotten so dire in the city of detroit. he also, though, pointed to this being a potential fresh start for the city of detroit. that's the hope. this goes to a bankruptcy judge, a federal bankruptcy court judge, who will have to approve a plan for detroit to emerge from bankruptcy. but the impact, what is the impact to real people here? city workers, current and retired, will likely see their pensions cut probably dramatically and their health care benefits cut as well. creditors, investors, everyone
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from investment banks to average joes that have their money through their investments in the city of detroit and those bonds will see a big cut to those. that's the down side. the up side, if you eliminate the debt, you get the city back on their feet. >> are those the major steps to get the city out of the bankruptcy problem? >> they are. about 11.5 billion of the debt is unsecured. technically in bankruptcy, the city does not have to pay that back. they have to pay back about 6.5 billion. they're taking that 11.5 billion owed down to about 2 billion. there are going to be legal fights over this in court, the creditors, pension funds, firefighters, they see that as way too draconian. they don't want that.
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now it's going to be in the hands of a judge. again, this being backed by the republican governor and emergency manager. we'll be live from you all day tomorrow. there's a 10:00 a.m. press conference where we'll get a lot more on this from the governor. >> detroit is needing to sell assets in order to start paying back all those creditors. thanks very much, poppy harlow with the latest on detroit. let's go to florida right now and the mounting backlash against the state's controversial stand your ground law in the wake of the george zimmerman murder trial. the governor with his first public comments saying while he mourns the death of trayvon martin, he has no plans to amend the law. this as scores of protesters remain there for another day and are refusing to back down. let's bring in john with the latest. >> those protesters in tallahassee at the government's office continuing their sit-in,
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now into its third day. the governor of course nowhere near tallahassee. he was in tampa today. nationwide these justice for trayvon rallies and vigils this weekend, this saturday, are beginning to take shape. >> we, the jury, find george zimmerman not guilty. >> for the first time since the george zimmerman verdict, florida's governor, rick scott, spoke publicly. the governor saying that right after the shooting he assembled a task force to evaluate the state's grand your ground law, even though zimmerman never invoked the law. >> they concluded we did need to make a change to the law and i agreed with their conclusion. >> there about two dozen protesters waited for a third day at his office. >> who do we want? rick scott! when do we want him? now! >> the group wants scott to call
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a special session of the republican-controlled state legislature in hopes they can get florida's stand your ground law repealed. the governor has already said that's not going to happen, the session or a repeal. >> we don't plan for him to give in easily. we want people to understand we're not going to leave until we show him this fight is for real. >> state democratic leaders gathered in fort lauderdale saying the fight against stand your ground is for real. they're calling for the legislature to at the very least look at amending the law. they acknowledge it won't be easbe easy but doing nothing could lead to a boycott of florida. >> if there's inaction by the legislature, if there's inaction by the leaders of this state, i see those voices gaining in popularity throughout this nation. florida has to act. >> the moves are not just aimed at the florida law. justice for trayvon rallies and vigils are planned across the nation this saturday to pressure
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the justice department to investigate whether zimmerman's actions violated trayvon's rights. rallies will take in hundreds of cities across the country. martin's mother will be at the new york rally. his father will be at the miami event. now, i spoke to miami police late this afternoon, wolf. they say, look, they expect it to be peaceful here and that certainly is the expectation at these rallies and vigils across the country. wolf? >> let's hope that stays like that. thanks very much. >> dramatic new insight from the jury room. an alternate juror reacted to all of the protests we're seeing
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in the wake of the not guilty verdict. >> i just don't understand the civil right complaint. i didn't see the evidence there that -- in the courtroom that would make anybody believe there was a civil rights case for this. the protests, you know, the people are going to be angry no matter what the verdict was. there's nothing we can do about that. >> just ahead in our 6:00 p.m. eastern hour, we're going to compare and contrast this alternate juror's interview with the interview job b-37 did with our own anderson cooper. meantime, the parents of trayvon martin are breaking their silence, speaking out in a series of television interviews since the first time the verdict was announced. on "cbs this morning," sybrina fulton responded to some of what juror b-37 had to say. >> did you hear that juror who spoke out with anderson cooper? and what did you think when you heard her say that she believes
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that trayvon played a huge role in his own death? >> i don't think she knows trayvon. trayvon is not a confrontational person. so instead of placing the blame on the teen-ager, we need to place the blame on the responsible adult. there were two people involved. we had an adult that was chasing a kid, and we had the kid, who i feel was afraid. >> joining us now to react to these latest interviews from the parents, and cnn panelist mark nejame. what in your opinion was the biggest failure here? >> well, i think the biggest failure was not charging george zimmerman immediately with a crime or even arresting him. he was taken into custody but he
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was never actually arrested that night. it took 40 plus days for there to be an arrest. i think what that points to is hou how we apply the presumption of inowe sinnocence and guilt in c like this. now that he's gone, he can't tell his story but there was a grown man standing over his body with the gun that he had used to kill him and that grown man was allowed to talk his way out of a police precinct and go home and sleep in his own bed and do that for the next 40 days. that to me is a real problem. and whether or not the police department was using all of florida's stand your ground defenses or -- i mean all of their self-defense laws and stand your ground or stand your
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ground on its own as the way to look at that and say it's okay for him to go home, it's a problem. the way the laws are written is a problem. and what juror b-37 says she invoked stand your ground as a part of the reason they acquitted and let george go home again. and that's a problem i think systematically in florida and across the country. >> let's let the florida attorney let mark nejame way in on that. what's your reaction? >> i agree with that in great part. we have a systemic issue that just permeates our culture. we have a great divide. we have inequities in the system. i've been doing this an awful long time. what concerns me is this was not the best state for the state but this case has become symbolic of all of inequities that exist in florida and throughout the country. and that i think is what has gotten so many so upset that we
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have a situation where we have a young teen-ager dead. we know he was unarmed, we know all the facts and people argue back and forth. what we have in this culture is we do have inequities in our system, with the police and the court system and otherwise. i think this has become a rallying point, a rallying cry for all the vast discrepancies and vast inequities that we have in our culture. so what i'm concerned about is that we're going to have a knee-jerk reaction to the stand your ground law. this is an nra-backed law. we have it in 30 states now. it's been since the 1990s with jeb bush in florida. we have a republican-based legislature. the chances of getting this overturned are really, really small. what we have to understand is we have an issue that is far more infectious in our culture. that's what i think so many are so upset about. of course it's a horrible tragedy with this young man's death, but this gets repeated every day on and on. let's me ask a question.
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how many other young black teen-agers have been killed since trayvon? many. how many of their names can we name? none. >> no, that's not the reason. i'm sorry to interrupt here but there's a huge difference here, there's a hunk moshl difference. when someo -- a huge moral difference. when someone is standing over a black body with a gun, someone is going to be arrested. his body was not even valued enough that an arrest was even made. >> that's the point i'm making, though, is that we have this happen over and over again. i've been a defense lawyer for 32, 33 years. i've seen these injustices throughout a career. this is a tragedy like many others are tragedies. we need to understand this is not as uncommon as people think it is.
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we have inequities in our system. we have to understand it's more than this case. we have it where we have systemic inequities in our system where a lot of times we look the other way or accept it. we can't accept that. >> charles, you wrote about having a conversation with your teen-age son. without getting too personal, i wonder if you'd share with us what you said to them. >> well, i talked to my boys about the idea of running and things like that, particularly in front of police at night. and i try to talk about it in a way that doesn't make them too uncomfortable and say you really don't want that, you really don't want anybody to think you stole anything and just try to have a light conversation. i have yet to even sit down after this verdict to try to figure out how do i tell them that maybe what dad told you before is not even going to help, that in this particular case, george zimmerman said that
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he was suspicious of trayvon martin in part because he was walking too slowly. like there is no actual right pace that you could walk to relieve yourself of suspicion. i think that idea that there is nothing that i can do to protect my boys, there's nothing -- if somebody wants to project somebody else's crimes or criminality on to my boys because that person has an experience with somebody who looks like them or saw about it or heard about it or read it in a newspaper, there is actually nothing i can do. as a parent that, defeats you. that wounds your spirit, the fact that you cannot do something to protect your child. that is hard for me to do. i have yet to do it. i have yet to have that conversation with them because i can't bring myself to say it. >> and people all over the country are going to have to have these conversations in the aftermath of this trial. charles blow, thanks for joining
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us, mark nejame, thanks to you as well. tune in to anderson cooper 360 later tonight. he's going to sit down with trayvon martin's parents, he'll speak with them live. this is an all-new interview that will air only here on cnn. much more on this story. coming up later in the situation room, amazing new images of that raging california wildfire from one of the 6,000 residents just evacuated. she's here in the situation room. and italy claims it's about to nab an american ex-cia station chief accused of kidnapping this terrorist suspect. yep, everybody knows that. well, did you know some owls aren't that wise? don't forget i'm having brunch with meghan tomorrow. who?
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ordered evacuated and more than 4,000 homes have been threatened. jenny joins us on the phone. tell us what it was like. >> the fire has been raging out of control. they did a mandatory evacuate yesterday of the ottawa area. and i went home and packed up the car and i actually haven't left so i've been staying in pine cone, which is up the road. they have not been evacuated at the point. i'm here covering what i can with photos and talking with the the fire department as much as i can. >> we're showing our viewers, jenny, a horrible, horrible situation. how close were you actually to the flames? >> within feet. those claims -- what you see in the camera is pretty much what i was seeing from where i was
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standing. so it wasn't a lot of zooming, anything like that. it was definitely like that in my face. >> were you ever scared you were too close to those flames? >> there was a couple of homes that i was a little concerned, backed up a little bit. but it's all kind of part of the job and i've just been, you know, doing my best out there to stay safe. >> so you were evacuated from your home. do you have any idea of what your home is like right now, the status of your home? >> yes, my home is safe right now. there have been no structures lost here in idyllwild. everybody is safe still and all the residents are in tact. >> so is the situation getting better? is that what you're hearing? >> the situation does seem to be getting better. they're concerned with the weather change tonight possibly.
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i haven't had a chance to talk to any public information officers today but they did hold a press conference recentl. there's still concerns but they definitely are feeling more confident than they were last night. >> jenny, good luck to you and thanks for sharing these really, really well-done photos of what is a horrible situation. >> coming up, we're looking at the political fall out of the zimmerman verdict. should president obama get more involved and speak out publicly? all that coming up but first a preview of this weekend's "the next list." >> i'm dr. sanjay gupta.
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that some people on capitol hill have been hacked by the internationally feared group anonymous. and italy says a terrorist suspect was treated so badly, a chief himself been arrested. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> the backlash against george zimmerman's not guilty verdict is pro pettipelling more and mo cases into the spotlight and increasing questions on when and if the deadly use ofs f s fof f justified. >> there are people all over the country looking for cases similar to the zimmerman case. at first blush there are many of them with different verdicts but then you have to look closer.
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phoenix, arizona. daniel atkins is walking his dog past a taco bell. jude says atkins made a threatening move with some sort of bad. police find no such weapon and jude is charged with second degree murder. >> milwaukee, wisconsin. police say 76-year-old john spooner accuses 13-year-old darius simmons of burglarizing his hem two days earlier. the teen deny it is and the security camera records the explosive moments that he confronts the teen-ager and shoots the boy as his mother watches. >> he didn't appreciate the wrongfulness of what he was doing. >> this week he was convicted of murder anyway. >> what do we want? >> justice! >> in the wake of the zimmermann
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case, debates are raging over just when people do and do not have the right to use deadly force defending their lives and property. almost every state has castle laws, which generally say people in their own homes do not have to retreat from attackers before fighting back. more than 20 states have stand your ground laws, which extend that legal protections to situations outside the home. in almost every circumstance, however, the law requires reasonable judgment about the seriousness of the threat. that can make each case wildly different and that's the problem for cnn legal analyst mark nejame. >> the standards are typically what a reasonable person would do under the circumstances, do you reasonably fear for death or great bodily injured? we're all human beings. everybody is going to perceive something differently. >> it comes down to this -- whether or not a court buys self-defense as a defense
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requires looking at a person's state of mind, did he or she feel extremely threatened, did the circumstances warrant pronounced fear? that's different than almost any other kind of crime out there. someone robs the bank, all we care is did they rob the bank. we don't care how they felt about it. those details can make massive differences in the verdict and they can explain how some cases that look similar to the zimmerman case at first blush in fact may not really be similar at all. >> good point, tom. president obama issued a written statement on sunday after the verdict but he hasn't publicly addressed the zimmerman case now in nearly a week since the verdict last saturday night. some say it's time for him to speak out directly on the sensitive subject. at a white house briefing today, the white house press secretary, jay carney, was asked what the president thinks african-american parents should be telling their sons right now. >> and they're difficult and
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it's very, i think, helpful for and i believe the president thinks helpful for the fact that those conversations are taking place and that they're difficult and painful be discussed. amongst everyone in the country who is -- who are engaged in conversation in the wake of this, of this trial and verdict and the death of trayvon martin. >> let's discuss what's going on with our chief political analyst gloria borger and "time" magazine's new washington bureau chief. congratulations to michael. he just co-wrote this week's new cover story, new issue of "time" magazine "after trayvon." time is a corporate cousin of cnn. why hasn't the president gone on television and made a statement in a lot of people would like to hear what he has to say about all of this. >> i think it's a remarkable turn of events. it's because the white house
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doesn't think he can be helpful to the conversation. he proves himself when he weighs in on racial topics to be a devid divisive player. one of the most interesting drama is what will president obama write in his memoirs in this chapter about what he wanted to be saying at this time. everything we know about president obama, why he came to politics and how he came to politics, thesish issues he cares deeply about and he's allowing eric holder to speak in his surrogate. >> in his autobiography there's a lot about race and these particular issues. i think theis is something he would want to speak about. but he's president of the united states, he has an open investigation in his own justice department, which he cannot be seen to prejudicing in one way
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or another and there's a potential civil suit and also he's polarizing. so i think for one reason or another he issued a written statement now. i'm told they are prepared when asked with an answer. we don't know what that answer is but i think he thought he was going to be asked about this when he was interviewed by some latino journalists but he wasn't asked. >> he was ready to give an answer but none of those four journalists asked him a question, which was obviously surprising to me. >> listen to jimmy carter and hillary clinton, who may be a future president of the united states. reacting. not been shy in >> i think the jury made the right decision based on the evidence presented because the prosecution inadvertently set the standard so high that the jury had to be convinced that it was a deliberate act by zimmerman, that he was not at all defending himself.
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and so forth. it's not a moral question, it was a legal question. >> my prayers are with the martin family and with every family who loves someone who is lost to violence. >> what do you make of their respective statements and potentially the impact on the current president of the united states? >> one of them is possibly running for president and you can guess which one. i think the other thing is they were answering different questions there. if you talk to people about how they react to the verdict, you have a group focusing on the legal technicalities of the case and what the jury had to decide and then there are those focused on the outrage of the situation, which is much broader and has much bigger societal impacts. >> and eric holder, who is focusing on the stand your ground law, which he thinks is an abomination. >> and hillary clinton, very different from jimmy carter. >> in that speech she looked
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like somebody who was seriously thinking about running for that democratic nomination. >> i don't think she's done anything yet to suggest otherwise. >> but she did not weigh in on the verdict itself. because as somebody who may be seeking public at some time, maybe the highest office, that's not something you ought to do. >> by the way, i thought she looked good, too. that rest she's had since leaving the state department seems to be working. rest is good. >> thank you very much for coming in. good cover story. >> coming up, the alleged treatment of a terror suspect picked up years ago leads to the arrest of a man italy claims is a one-time cia station chief in italy. >> and a u.s. hacker suggests it has compromised lots of people who work on capitol hill. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪
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we're following some important new developments in a story that goes back to the early years in the war on terrorism. the italians say back in 2003 the cia kidnapped a terrorism suspect and sent him away to be tortured in egypt. now a u.s. citizens whom the italians say was the usa's station chief in milan, italy, has been picked up in panama. if extradited to italy and convicted, he could spend years in prison. let's bring our national security analyst peter bergen,
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who knows this story well. first of all, peter, do you think panama will extradite this former cia station chief to italy where he will be tried for crimes? >> i mean, i think the u.s. government is going to put a huge amount of pressure on the panamanian government to prevent that happening. after all, the united states has quite a lot of influence in panama. so this may not happen but i think this precedent surely will cause a lot of people who work at the cia to be concerned. the cia station chief in milan who has been arrested in panama probably realized any trips to europe weren't smart. he probably calculated that panama was okay but that calculation clearly didn't work out. so you have the possibility of other cia officials being arrested in other countries for crimes that they've been convicted of in countries other thanes united states. i think that will certainly
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cause some worry at the cia. >> and just remind our viewers, i remember covering this story back in 2003 when there was this so-called rendition of a cleric, a man called abu-omar who was picked up in milan, isn't to egypt where supposedly not only was he questioned but he was tortured and the italians blamed the cia and put out a whole list, 20 or 25 former cia officials, all of whom escaped italy. but pick up the story. >> well, abu-o marmar is an egyn cleric. i interviewed him at some length. he was tortured in way egyptian jails torture prisoners, he was raped, crucified, beaten. he spent about four years on and off in egypt's jail. he's emerged something of a broken man. i don't think it's controversial
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that he was tortured in egypt, it's not controversial he was taken there by the cia. none of those facts are under any doubt. the question is to what extent is the cia culpable. certainly the cia station chief was working under orders. he certainly felt the italians kind of knew what he was doing. on the other hand the italian magistrate in the case, who i also interviewed, feels very differently and feels the rule of law is the rule of law and you can't just kidnap somebody on the street and take them to where they're tortured. >> now a retired cia station chief thinking he's having a trip for whatever reason to panama but obviously in deep trouble right now. we'll stay on top of this story, peter. thanks very much, peter bergen reporting for us. just ahead, the hacker group
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anonymous suggests it has compromised a lot of people who work on capitol hill. we'll take a closer look into what happened. i want to make things more secure. [ whirring ] [ dog barks ] i want to treat more dogs. ♪ our business needs more cases. [ male announcer ] where do you want to take your business? i need help selling art.
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lots of action on capitol hill today starting with an alarming claim by the internationally feared hacker group anonymous, suggesting they compromised the e-mail of house staffers. what do we know? >> e-mails here on capitol hill were not hacked. but certainly the claim did leave a lot of frayed nerves here because basically what this activist group, anonymous, said
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was they got into the e-mail addresses. but officials say they got information from an outside vendor that many people here on capitol hill use and that the passwords were not accurate. capitol police and the fbi are both vettiinvestigating. the senators say it does give them pause because it makes them remember that everybody, including them, are vulnerable. >> and a day-long hearing on the irs, what's the latest? >> it was a long day. it was less than trying to get to the bottom about why some groups waited three years for tax embryonic stem cexempt stat. >> the man under fire for
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leaving out some information that others were targeted, too. >> progress? i have no idea what that stands for. teddy roosevelt ran for president under the progressive banner. >> they got an unexpected assist from the republican relentlessly leading congress's probe. >> do you know of anyone that you would say in your opinion had political motives in the role or treating of tea party groups? >> no, i do not. >> reporter: two irs employees gave the same answer. >> no, sir. >> reporter: after some half a dozen irs hearings and 16 transcribed interviews, republicans have no proof of white house involvement in irs targeting. democrats were fed up and tensions high. >> the chairman -- "usa today" continues to raise questions about whether the white house "directed" the targeting. >> would the gentleman yield? >> of course. >> i would hope you are not
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linking the two. i have never said it was the president. >> despite no evidence the president was not involved, issa will not let him off the hook. >> for years the president bashed the tea party groups. he was very public against these groups and on his behalf, perhaps not on his request, the irs executed a delaying tactic about the very groups that he talked about. >> i'm always shocked when the ranking member seems to want to say about the person charged with the hand in the cookie charge says what hand, what cookie? >> reporter: and he objected to the use of "boy." >> that is something i grew up
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using as a child and the word boy was not intended to mean anything else. >> thank you very much. >> reporter: basically, wolf, what this revealed is that partisanship continuing to go on, but the irs inspector general, who took a lot of incoming in this hearing, for what investigators say was shoddy work, he says more reports are going to come out that make the irs look even worse than they do now. coming up, a taliban explains why they tried to assassinate a teenage schoolgirl. and the wait for the royal baby is giving rise to all sorts of conspiracy theories. wait until you hear what some people are now wondering. ♪
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it's rare to get a clarification from terrorists. mary snow is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what happened, mary? >> well, wolf, this comes from a taliban commander in a letter to a pakistani intelligence source released to cnn. he explains why they tried to assassinate malala, the pakistani teenager who survived a bullet in the head. the letter says the attempt to assassinate her wasn't because she advocated education for girls, but because the criticized the taliban. fortunately, nobody was home when a small plane crashed into a maryland trailer park this morning. witnesses say it had just taken off from a suburban airport about 20 miles northeast of washington. cnn affiliate wjla reports the pilot was conscious and alert after the crash, but was rushed
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to a hospital trauma center to treat his injuries. the guardian reporter who broke the story about national security agency leaker edward snowden now plans to write a book about it. it won't be out until next year. the publisher promises it will contain new revelations about how private industry cooperates with the u.s. government surveillance of ordinary citizens. and the world is honoring an ailing nelson mandela on this, his 95th birthday. the former south african president, who's been hospitalized with a lung ailment since june, is now said to be steadily improving. that's according to current south africa president, jacob zuma. mandela's condition has been described as critical, but stable, until now. and wolf, to honor his legacy, people were asked to perform today 67 minutes of community service, marking the years he's spent doing public service. >> he was a great, great man, indeed. i had the privilege of interviewing him back in 1998,
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in cape town, and as i've often said, one of the great moments of my journalistic career. coming up, could the global media be camped outside the wrong hospital as the world awaits the arrival of a new royal baby. that's next. and just at the top of the hour, two jurors, two accounts of what happened behind the scenes at the george zimmerman murder trial. we're breaking down the interviews. that's coming up. [ male announcer ] who loves social networking as much as you? identity thieves. they can find your personal information and do some serious damage. like your birthday or your mother's maiden name. you need a new friend. lifelock. we scour billions of data points every day, and if we discover that any of your personal information is misused... lifelock is there. call us at 1-800-lifelock or go to today. [ male announcer ] you wait all year for summer. ♪
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saving time by booking an appointment online, even smarter. online scheduling. available now at another day has come and gone. so far, there's no word about the arrival of a royal baby. the wait is beginning to give rise to questions as to whether we're waiting outside the wrong hospital. here's cnn's royal correspondent, max foster, in london. >> reporter: wolf, to give you a sense of the investment, really, that the media organizations have made here, there's a huge press pen here outside the london hospital. all the major u.s. networks, many networks from around the world, all the ladders representing still photographic positions. they've been here for well over a week thousand. but a degree of concern that this may be the wrong hospital, simply because the duchess is currently staying in barkshire, she's overdue, and there's always been a contingency she
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would go to the local hospital in barkshire, and that seems more likely as she gets more overdue. she's still staying there, but the palace insists the plan is still to come to this hospital in london. this is where she wants to have the baby. so for now we're staying put. wolf? >> max foster, thank you. as we wait for the royal baby, please be sure to tune in tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern for a cnn special, "will and kate plus one." happening now, conflict between jurors in the george zimmerman trial. the areas where they didn't see eye to eye. we're learning more now that an alternate juror is speaking out. plus, trayvon martin's parents turn up the heat on the obama administration. they're getting ready to open up once again on cnn tonight. plus, detroit files for bankruptcy. it's an historic financial crisis for one of america's most major cities. i'll speak live with the governor of michigan this hour.
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i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. you're in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. we begin with the breaking news, though, that we're following, just coming in. chilling new images just released of the boston bombing suspect, dzhokhar tsarnaev, covered in blood as he was being arrested by police. cnn's brian todd has the behind the scenes photo for us. brian, what is going on here? why are these photos now being released? >> wolf, these photos are jarring. first, we have to say this, incredible photos released by a sergeant with the massachusetts state police named sean murphy. he is a tactical photographer. he was infuriated by the release of the "rolling stone" cover, by the picture of dzhokhar tsarnaev, on the "rolling stone" cover. he felt it was disrespectful and an insult to law enforcement, so he, on his own, has released these pictures to boston magazine and he's given at least
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a short interview and some quotes to boston magazine to accompany these pictures. here's -- you see them right here. these are images never seen before of the capture of dzhokhar tsarnaev, from that boat that was in the backyard of that house in watertown, massachusetts, on april 19th, the night none of us will really ever forget. these are some pictures, again, never seen before, of dzhokhar tsarnaev's capture. sergeant murphy said that he wanted people to see this as the face of terrorism, and not that "rolling stone" cover. a couple of quotes from him, that he felt that this was insulting. quote, i hope that people who see these images will know that this was real. it was as real as it gets. and he believes this is the better image of terrorism than that "rolling stone" cover. wolf, let's look at these pictures again. you see in this one in particular, the laser scope paint of basically the targeting of dzhokhar tsarnaev on his head. they've got the laser scope from their rifles on his head as he emerges from that boat. very, very dramatic.
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you see him pulling his shirt up, when they asked him to do that, to make sure he had no weapons on him. so he does that with the laser scopes on his head. there's a picture of him climbing you have to boat. you see him swinging his leg over the boat right there. there is another picture of him with a laser scope on it. that's a picture of them attending to, i believe, one of his feet after his capture. again, very dramatic photos. and there's the one we were just referencing, just as he's emerging, you see the scope right on his forehead. they were trained on him in case anything happened, and just incredibly dramatic, wolf. >> and both of us were in boston, a night and day neither one of us will ever forget. brian, thanks very much. the editor of "boston" magazine, john wilson, is joining us on the phone right now. sir, give us the backstory. what happened here? was it strictly the result of that cover of dzhokhar tsarnaev on "rolling stone" that prompted this police officer to release these photos to you? >> yeah, there's no doubt.
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he's been sitting on them, obviously, since april and i don't think he ever felt compelled to release them at all before. i think he was genuinely worried about the impact on the families of the victims and i think he was also worried that certain impressionable people might be lured to replicate that by the kind of glamorous-looking photo that is on the "rolling stone" cover. >> the quote that's in your story, from this police officer, "what "rolling stone" did was wrong. this guy is evil. this is the real boston bomber, not someone fluffed and buffed for the cover of "rolling stone" magazine." when you got these photos, the police department in boston, what did other police officers say to you about releasing all these pictures? >> well, this happened so fast that no one has frankly had a chance to say anything. we're in sort of uncharted waters here. and murphy is as aware of that as anyone.
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this is a measure of how deeply he feels that i think he felt conflicted on some level about releasing these photos, but i also think he felt like it was something that he, frankly, had to do. >> that red dot on his face, that's the -- that shows where the snipers were targeting him, potentially, right? >> that's exactly right. and these other pictures are pretty amazing as well. are these all of the pictures that the sergeant has, or are there more in the works? >> no, we have hundreds, and our plan at this point is to run more traditional, sort of magazine-style photo essay in our september issue and there'll be a lot more to see, of these photos. they're very, very dramatic. and also, a lot -- i think this is important to say, but i think the sergeant also really wanted the focus in terms of the heroism here to be on the law enforcement officers. and we have -- there's a lot of really dramatic photos of what
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they were up to as well. >> and what do they show, basically, just give us a little summary. >> well, you're seeing some examples of it, but i think you see a lot of the deliberations going on in the war rooms. you see some of the equipment that was used. there's a lot that we don't know about, because no one allowed to see any of it, including how they had to forcibly ram cars out of the way in order to kind of create a crime scene or a perimeter -- excuse me -- there in watertown. and really, i think, kind of see the way these events were weighing on the folks whose job it was to sort of find the guy. >> very different firs of dzhokhar tsarnaev than the picture that was on the cover of "rolling stone" magazine. and i understand why a lot of these people, especially the police, are upset about that. brian todd is still with us. you wanted to make point? >> just to reiterate what you were talking about, my team and i were only about a hundred yards away from this scene when these pictures were taken and all of this was unfolding.
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at these very moments when he's about to come out and when he's coming out, just before all these events unfolded, we heard the police say, "come out on your own terms, we know you're in there, come out with your hands up." one of them said, "you will not be harmed." but clearly they were ready for anything, as you can see from the training of these laser scopes. one of them said, we know you're bleeding, we know you're tired. those were some of the words from the police officers that accompany these pictures at those very moments. >> let's bring in our legal analyst, jeffrey toobin and sunny hostin. jeffrey, what do you make of these latest developments, these brutal, graphic, gruesome pictures of dzhokhar tsarnaev? >> well, wolf, there's only one issue in the tsarnaev case, whether he's going to spend life in prison or get the death penalty. and i think this whole controversy over the "rolling stone" cover, which these photographs flow out of, just show how raw the emotions are about this. and how if this case goes to
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jury in the boston area, you know, tsarnaev is in a great deal of trouble. it all suggests to me that his lawyers are going to try to delay, delay, delay as much as possible. because anything going on now would not be to his advantage. >> you think that a plea deal, sunny, potentially could be in the works, whereby he would plead guilty, get life in prison without the possibility of parole, but avoid potentially a federal death sentence? >> you know, i think that's possible, wolf. it's always a possibility when you're looking at a case like this. i think before that decision will be made, though, there's no question that the government, the prosecutors will speak to the families here, will speak to those that are affected and make that determination in conjunction with them. although, of course, it is the prosecutor's decision whether or not to seek the death penalty, whether or not to offer a plea. i suspect that that will be a decision made with the input of the families. >> all right, guys. stand by. john wolf, are you still with us? >> i'm here?
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>> how angry are the folks in boston over that "rolling stone" magazine cover? >> well whereby they're angry. yesterday, i wrote is a fairly softly worded, i thought -- i wouldn't call it defense in any way, but it was an understanding of the cover, and saying that i thought some of the outrage was out of proportion to what happened, and i heard from a lot of people who did not agree, let's put it that way. and it's very raw. i think that -- i don't have a sense of when things are going to begin to heal. i will say that sergeant murphy felt strongly that the families had just begun this process of healing, had just begun to sort of regain their privacy, and i think he felt that this cover doubly victimized them by dragging them out at the worst possible time, just as things were beginning to heal. >> i suppose that if "rolling stone" had the opportunity to have a do-over, they would have
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used the picture on the right, on their cover, as opposed to the picture on the left part of the screen on the cover, but we'll never know for sure on that. all right, john wilson, the editor of "boston" magazine, thanks very much. sunny and jeffrey, they're sticking around. we've got more to talk about, as is brian todd. still ahead, jurors at odds in the george zimmerman trial. an alternate juror revealing how he differed with some of the thoughts that the women, at least one of the women, on the jury discovered in the course of this try. and it was the backbone of american industry, but now it has officially declared bankruptcy. we'll does detroit's new move that just happened with the governor of michigan. members of the american postal worker's union handle more than 165 billion letters and packages a year. that's about 34 million pounds of mail every day.
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today in detroit's financial crisis. the motor city has now officially declared bankruptcy. it's the largest bankruptcy filing ever for a city in the united states. the governor of michigan, the republican rick snyder, is joining us now. governor, it's pretty shocking, even though a lot of us have been reporting about this in the previous months, there was no way the state of michigan, for example, or anyone else, could have bailed out detroit, without making it go into bankruptcy? >> that wouldn't have been the right answer, wolf. again, this was a very difficult decision to make, but it's the right decision. if you look at it, this was 60 years in the making. and it's really a situation where detroit's debt, $18 billion, basically, detroit's broke. and more importantly than the financial condition is the lack of services to citizens. now, i'll just give you one illustration. for police response times, they're at 58 minutes now, versus the national average of 11 minutes. the citizens of zroit deserve
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better. so out of respect, i think this is the right course of action, because we can resolve both of those issues through a structured fashion, through bankruptcy. >> how long is that going to take, in your opinion? >> well, my hope is we can get through it by fall of next year. i mean, it will be an extensive process, but it's a process where we'll have an opportunity to address the creditor's issues, get those resolved, and put in a plan, a place for improvement for services in the city. because there are a lot of great things going on in detroit, outside of city government. the private sector is doing great, young people are poomovi to detroit, and we'll solve this, obstacle and then we can grow the city. >> what happens to all those pensions for current and former city employees? >> well, to the degree they're already funded, they're not part of the bankruptcy. it's really the unfunded portion, which there is an unfunded portion. and there was a lot of mismanagement and lack of funding over a number of years. and that needs to be addressed. >> governor, what's going to happen to those people? >> well, what i would say is, that will get addressed appropriately in this process. and our hearts all go out to
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someone who's living their retirement on a pension. as a practical manner, the bankruptcy process is a better process in the sense that they can have more thoughtful representation. so one of the first things they ask for is to get representation for the retirees that really wasn't possible without being in the bankruptcy situation. >> do you have a ballpark number? how many people, directly, are going to either lose their pensions, their medical benefits, other guarantees that they thought they had from the city of detroit? >> again, people shouldn't speculate on simply losing things. to the degree the pension fund is funded, is a resource. one of the things to remind people is bankruptcy is a situation that allows you to maintain current things while you work through this process. so tomorrow should be hopefully a regular day in detroit in terms of services, in terms of employees coming to work and getting paid. so let's continue that process, but use the court system appropriately in a thoughtful fashion to get resolutions, so these issues can be put behind
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us and detroit has a bright future. >> was there a role for the federal government in trying to save detroit from going bankrupt? >> well, again, i didn't believe it appropriate for the federal government to help. the federal government has been helpful on a number of fronts. we got a number of deals to remove blighted structures. so i hope there are specific programs that the state and federal government can help to deliver better services and better results for the citizens, but it shouldn't be about writing checks. it's about showing real results and better services and outcomes for citizens. >> will 911 calls be responded to as efficiently, as quickly as necessary. >> well, the point is, tomorrow they should be the same as what they are, but what i would tell you is they're not being responded to good enough today. and that's really part of the bankruptcy process, in addition to dealing with creditors, the city actually gets to present a
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plan for improvement. and this improvement plan can be investments to make those times get better, to actually show better response times, and that's critically important, because i respect the people of detroit, and they deserve a better answer. and they're my customers, along with the other 9 million people of michigan. >> and very quickly, teachers, when school resumes in the fall, are they all going to be wo working? are they all going to get paid? >> well, with teachers are a separate system the in the city of detroit. so they're not part of this. in fact, we've been working with the detroit public schools for the past couple of years and we're seeing good improvement there. so education's improving. let's resolve the city government issue so we can have an exciting -- >> what about police and firefighters? >> there's been major cutbacks. this is really about getting the stability and stopping the decline, by using bankruptcy in a thoughtful fashion, so we can grow the city of detroit. >> and all those people who invested in detroit municipal bonds, their going to lose a lot of money, right? >> well, again, there will be cutbacks to creditors in terms
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of this process. but realistically, there were promises that couldn't be honored. $18 billion in debt. let's get those resolved and get them to some number that they know they're going to get paid down and let's move forward. >> governor rick snyder, you've got a handful over there. good luck to you, good luck to all the folks in detroit and in michigan. thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> you would have thought that a major american city like detroit would have to file for bankruptcy? up next, it's like something out of a mob novel. a potential witness in a trial found dead. and the parents of trayvon martin are speaking out about the controversial acquittal of grmz grmz. any projects on my home. i love my contractor, and i am so thankful to angie's list for bringing us together. find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. uh-oguess what day it is!is?? huh...anybody? julie! hey...guess what day it is??
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happening now, trayvon martin's parents are making an appeal to president obama. is he doing enough, saying enough about their son's death? plus, two different takes on george zimmerman's trial, from a jury and an alternate. they don't agree on some key points. and a shocking discovery conducted to the trial of the reputed mom boss, whitey bulger. a man who was preparing to testify against bulger turns up dead. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." trayvon martin's parents say they want america to know that their son wasn't just a teenager in a hoodie and a victim, he was a fun-loving child. they're speaking out on national tv now for the first time since george zimmerman was found not guilty in their son's death. and they're explaining why they found the jury's verdict to be so shocking and devastating. >> i was in a bit of shock.
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i thought, surely, that he would be found guilty of second-degree murder, manslaughter at least, but i just knew that they would see that this was a teenager, just trying to get home. this was no burglar. this was somebody, somebody's son that was trying to get home. >> you were stunned by the verdict? >> i was stunned. absolutely. i couldn't believe it. >> we're going to talk more about martin's parents in just a moment. an alternate juror in the zimmerman trial also now going public, saying he agrees with the not guilty verdict. he's giving us additional insight into the trial after juror b-37's exclusive interview with our own anderson cooper. brian todd has been comparing these two jurors for us, what they had to say. what are you coming up with? >> this is a crucial moment after the verdict.
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for the first time, her now hearing how some of the jurors might have seen key portions of this trial differently. and we're learning about the testimony they agreed on, which could have well led to this verdict. they're the only two jurors we've heard from since the verdict. juror b-37 spoke to cnn's anderson cooper. alternate juror, e-54, who also wanted anonymity, spoke to tv station wofl, fox-35, in orlando. >> not guilty. >> reporter: they both agree on the verdict. both think it was george zimmerman's voice calling for help in that crucial 911 call, and they both believe zimmerman didn't racially profile trayvon martin. but the two jurors have polar opposite views on whether zimmerman should have gotten out of his car and followed martin that night. juror b-37, you're going to hear from first, followed by the alternate with wofl. >> i think he's guilty of not using good adjustment. when he was in the car and
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called 911, he shouldn't have gotten out of that car. >> i was fine with that. you know, he was -- i think at the time, he was trying to keep an observation and communicate to the police and was not being confrontational. he had the right to be where he was. >> opposite takes on whether zimmerman should have even been there. what do you make of it? >> both of these focus on fault, not just legal fault, but moral fault. and underlying every jury trial are questions of moral fault, that goes to the underlying ways as to the way jurors perceive judgment. >> reporter: we compared the two views with a former public defender. both jurors felt rachel jeantel's accounts of her phone calls with trayvon martin were important, but on whether jeantel's testimony was credible overall -- >> i didn't think it was very credible, but i felt very sorry for her. i think she felt inadequate toward everyone, because of her education and her communication skills. >> i did pick up some credible
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information from her. again, i do think she was credible. >> each one of us knows how to trust someone or not trust someone based on our own instincts. those two people, the alternate and the other woman, were able to debate the issues of who were credible, you might have a different outcome. that's the beauty of the jury. >> what do these interviews tell us that we didn't know before about how jurors think in these trials and the pressure that they're under? >> that pressure of deciding and judging another human being is incredible. and here we have ordinances wrestling with it -- they're wrestling with it, at that moment, about how we can do it, how can we process it, and did we go a good job? >> ferguson says what adds to that pressure is the fact that jurors are not trained for this task. they're given very little preparation for it. then they're told to decide. and for many of them, they're given more power than they ever had before. this is enormous stress and it certainly played out in the zimmerman trial, wolf. >> certainly did. brian, thanks very much. brian todd reporting. let's bring in our senior legal analyst, jeffrey toobin, our
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legal analyst, former federal prosecutor, sunny hostin, and defense attorney, danny cevallos. i learned earlier, the department of justice, jeff, is now asking the sanford police department to hold all of the evidence, everything they have, pending this investigation by the justice department, as to whether or not civil rights charges, if you will, hate crime charges can be filed against george zimmerman. what do you make of this? >> it just shows this is a serious investigation and this is how it works. they certainly wouldn't want to give away the evidence and then have to collect it all over again to study it. this also answers a question that i think a lot of people have is, will george zimmerman get his gun back? this decision by the department of justice guarantees that the answer to that question is no, at least for the foreseeable future. >> sunny, when you and i spoke earlier, and i know you're going to be speaking to trayvon martin's parents later, you were sort of disappointed that the jury, that the six members of the jury, they didn't hear a whole lot about who trayvon
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martin really is, the 17-year-old kid during the course of this trial. you think if they would have, it might have made a difference? >> i think so. i mean, it's sort of prosecutorial 101. you have to put the victim back into the courtroom, in front of the jury. you have to breathe life back into the victim. you have to humanize the victim. and it was very clear, from anderson's interview with b-37, that juror, that she said, i didn't know trayvon martin, i only knew that he was from miami. well, that's not enough. the jury needs to morally have a connection to the victim, usually, in order to convict. there have been just so many research studies about that. and i think that is an area where the prosecution strategically decided not to open up the door to character, because perhaps they didn't want bad character to come in. and i think that that may have made the difference, quite frankly, with this jury. >> do you think, danny, it's a double-edged sword? the you hear all sorts of positive things about trayvon martin, maybe the defense could have also brought in some
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negative things? >> possibly. but sunny's absolutely right. trayvon martin ultimately was not humanized. and to the extent the prosecutors tried to humanize him, that was overwhelmed by the prosecutor's decision to introduce so much testimony of george zimmerman speaking, and then george zimmerman, his activities in the months leading up to the incident. as a result, the jury had copious evidence of the personality of george zimmerman, and they could identify -- and you can hear that in the jurors' voice. you can hear that in her words. so it seems that any evidence that let us look into the life of trayvon martin, if any, was eclipsed by all the george zimmerman evidence. wolf? >> yeah, go ahead. >> can i just say one thing? remember, this isn't an abstract issue. there were significant numbers of texts with trayvon martin, talking about getting in fights with people.
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very, frankly, unpleasant texts, and a photograph of him possibly holding a weapon. all of that would likely have come into evidence, if the prosecution had put in evidence of his good character. so i'm not sure the prosecution made a mistake in how they went about it. >> sunny, do you want to weigh in on that? >> you know, the judge had decided that the defense couldn't properly authentic a lot of that evidence. i'm not so sure that it would have come in, even if the prosecution had opened up the door. i think on balance, it's very clear that this jury didn't know the real trayvon martin, or didn't have any idea of who trayvon martin was. and as a prosecutor, as a former prosecutor, that just doesn't generally work. >> what's your gut tell you, danny? do you think the justice department will launch a civil rights case against george zimmerman? >> no, the justice department will certainly look into it, but to prevail in a civil rights case, they must show that the underlying constituent was tied to a racial animus. the jury down at the trial court
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never found that -- that necessary intent to begin with, so it seems highly unlikely that the justice department can build on what was not found at the trial court level, although they would get to do it brand-new. >> danny cevallos, thanks very much. sunny hostin and jeffrey toobin, we rely on all three of you all the time. you're doing great, great work for us and our viewers. thank you. coming up, we're going to talk a little bit more about the pressure on the president of the united states to address the issue of racial tensions after the zimmerman verdict. and we'll also tell you what we're learning about a stunning twist in the trial of the reputed mob boss, whitey bulger. a would-be witness is now found dead and an autopsy has just been conducted. i want to make things more secure. [ whirring ] [ dog barks ] i want to treat more dogs. ♪ our business needs more cases. [ male announcer ] where do you want to take your business? i need help selling art. [ male announcer ] from broadband to web hosting to mobile apps, small business solutions from at&t have the security you need to get you there.
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hi! hi, buddy! that's why the free wifi and hot breakfast are something to smile about. book a great getaway now and feel the hamptonality when she's happy, she writes about bunnies. when she's sad, she writes about goblins. [ balloon pops, goblin growling ] she wrote a lot about goblins after getting burned in the market. but she found someone to talk to and gained the confidence to start investing again. ♪ and that's what you call a storybook ending. it's not rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. today we heard trayvon martin's mother urge president obama to investigate her son's death, quote, with a fine-tooth combed. but the white house says the
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president won't get personally involved in the justice department's decision on whether or not to pursue civil right charges against george zimmerman. president obama appeared before cameras today, but he still hasn't spoken publicly about zimmerman's acquittal. neither has the first lady, michelle obama, or the vice president, joe biden. the white house says the president's written statement that was released on sunday after the verdict clearly expressed his views that martin's death was a tragedy, but that jurors have spoken with their verdict. the white house press secretary, jay carney, says the president has spoken about racially charged issues like this before, and he will again. >> so, you know, again, i don't know when he will next address these matters, in some regards, it's up to, you know, people who interview him, or -- but, you know, he is -- he hasn't shied away from these issues in the past and i'm sure he won't in the future. >> we're joined now by two guests, david web, who is the co-founder of the new york city tea party, the host of "the
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david web show" on sirius xm radio. and the democratic pollster, cornell belcher. guys, thanks very much for coming in. david, let me ask you first. do you believe the president has shown leadership in the aftermath of this verdict? >> i think it's what i expected. i didn't expect the president to weigh in. and wolf, i'm not a big fan of white houses, regardless of administration, weighing in, even on issues like this. there's a department of justice. they report to the president. i think it's appropriate. i think his statement was appropriate, to put out. and maybe just to avoid more of the political fighting that goes on and what happened after he made his initial statement in 2012. >> a lot of people, as you well know, cornell, think as our first african-american president, he has a special responsibility to speak out on a sensitive issue like this. >> well, it's tough, wolf. i can be, first and foremost, a black man. he cannot be first and foremost a black man. he must first and foremost be the president of the united states. which means when you have a case
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that the justice department is looking into, he as the chief executive, he can't get personally involved in that. it would be wrong for him to do so. but i'm heartened by what carney said today, though, at some point the president will speak to this. because let's understand, and i worked for the president back in '08 when he made the racial -- he made the big speech on race. and it was important. and he talked about both sides and tried to bring both sides together. and the president's race was, at some point, we've got to get beyond this and not play typical politics. i think he is uniquely qualified at some point, but not until the justice department is done, at some point the to try to speak on this and try to bring our country together racially. >> was it appropriate in your opinion, david webb, more than a year ago, march 2012, after the whole story developed and the killing of trayvon martin, the president saying, publicly, and i'm paraphrasing a little bit, that if he had a son, that son would look like trayvon martin.
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was that appropriate? >> i don't think it was appropriate, wolf. i think that was wading into it, as cornell talked about, there's a department of justice and i think the president is the president of the united states. it polarized an already tragic situation with more of a race narrative. so i think that was a wrong thing for the president to do. >> do you agree, cornell? >> i do understand, though, the frustration among the minority community on this. because we have a case that, the court came down one way, and look, we can debate whether or not they follow the law here, but we can't debate that this is sort of not square in the court of moral justice. when you look at this morally, it does not square. >> but on justice, it's not necessarily a moral issue. i understand moral outrage, and look, disappointment, you have parents who are missing their child who was shot and killed. we have got to get towards solutions in this country. and cornell, this is where i think, if we have leadership, whether it's in the white house or the purported leaders out there, that they step forward and talk about what we do in the
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communities to address problems on both sides and on all sides, not just from a black perspective. >> and i couldn't agree with you more. and quite frankly, i think there's something to be said about taking what your organization, the tea party has done, over the past couple of years, and taken their protests into organizing and challenging people in primaries. and for better or worse, i would argue worse, i bet david would argue for better, that the tea party movement has defined a lot of the policy agenda in this country. it would be interesting to see, you know, hoodie registration drives. you know, the year of the trayvon voter. organize, put political pressure on our leaders, hold them accountable. if they don't change some of these laws that they want changed, challenge them in primaries. >> go ahead, david. >> well, why don't we work on addressing the laws? and look, i'm a fan of reviewing sunset. i wish we had it in our system. review the laws. i have problems with the florida stand your ground law, where it's being applied and used by gangs when gangs interact with
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each other. so there are things we need to look at. those, i think, are rational steps we should take. >> you've said, and correct me if i'm wrong, in the past that trayvon is dead because we haven't had enough of a national conversation about race, is that right? >> i think this is part of the problem of kicking the can down the road. and again, part of it is, we all want to turn the heat down immediately, but the conversation gets cut off. the conversation that says, you know what, regardless of what the law says, there is something fundamentally not right about this child who was just headed home, armed with nothing more than candy, you know, confronted by a man who thought he was suspicious, when, again, he was just a child heading home with candy and he ended up dead. and you can have whatever argument you want, but there's a racial argument to that, and we can't debate that racial argument, because we're always sort of bringing it down. and at some point, we've got to have this conversation, because people are dying. >> let's continue this national
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conversation -- >> but i want to have it honestly, and when you have jesse jackson calling florida an apartheid state, when the number of blacks and whites that use stand your ground relatively even, we don't need that kind of rhetoric. that doesn't help us move that very conversation that you're talking about. >> david webb, cornell belcher, let's the three of us continue this conversation in the days and weeks to come. thanks to both of you for coming in. >> thank, wo you, wolf. a potential witness dies unexpectedly. is it tied to a high-profile mob trial? we're going live to boston. at university of phoenix we know the value of your education is where it can take you. (now arriving: city hospital) which is why we're proud to help connect our students with leading employers across the nation. (next stop: financial center) let's get to work.
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a potential witness in the trial of accused boston mob boss, jaime whitey bulger has been found dead, two days after prosecutors dropped him from their witness list. he was prepared to testify that bulger forced him to sell his business under threat for his life three decades ago. our national correspondent, susan candiotti is in boston. she's been following the story for us. what are you learning, susan? >> hi, wolf. you know, the unexpected death of steven rakes didn't come up in court today, but it was all that anyone was talking about. rakes had been dropped from the government's witness list on tuesday and today we found out that a jogger found his body about 30 miles away from his home, alongside a roadway. and everyone, of course, is wondering, is this a hit? did he die of natural causes? was suicide involved? well, a huge investigation, of course, is underway, and the preliminary autopsy shows that there were no obvious signs of
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trauma, so they're waiting for toxicology results right now. rakes, as you indicated, was prepared to testify for the government that he was the victim of extortion, that whitey bulger forced him to sell his liquor store. however, they had earlier testimony from another star government witness, that might have contradicted that. if, in fact, rakes had testified, it might have undermined the government's case. we don't know for sure, but certainly a very interesting twist today. and yet there was another. at the very end of the day in court, the government's star witness, steve phleflemmi took stand. he was a partner of whitey bulger, but he was only on the stand for about ten minutes. as he was leaving, there was a very tense exchange between whitey bulger and steve flemmi. and they exchanged some expletives, a word that we cannot say on the air, but it begins with the word "mother." and then the day ended. so it's probably going to be a
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good indication that we're going to have a very interesting and possibly heated day tomorrow. wolf? >> as we get more on the cause of his death, this potential witness, let us know. all right, susan, thanks very much. coming up, a massive mountain fire threatening thousands of homes. right now, we're going live to the fire zone. you really couldn't have come at a better time. these chevys are moving fast. i'll take that malibu. yeah excuse me, the equinox in atlantis blue is mine! i was here first, it's mine. i called about that one, it's mine. mine! mine. it's mine. it's mine. mine. mine. mine. mine. it's mine! no it's not, it's mine! better get going, it's chevy model year-end event. [ male announcer ] the chevy model year-end event. the 13s are going fast, time to get yours. right now, get this great lease on a 2013 chevy cruse ls for around $149 a month. ...and a great deal. . thanks to dad. nope eeeeh... oh, guys
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right now in california, crews are desperately working to contain a wildfire in mountains east of los angeles. it's forced thousands of people from their homes. cnn's casey wian is near the front line and is joining us now
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with a live report. what's the latest, casey? >> reporter: well, wolf, just about a minute ago, a large c-130 tanker flew over our heads to drop fire retardant on this flame, which is over this ridge, over my right shoulder. you can see some of the heavy smoke that has developed over the last couple of hours. we're about two miles away from the fire line, but there's ash and heavy smoke in the air here. you may wonder why this town of idyllwild, population 4,000, is under mandatory evacuation order about five miles away from here. the officials say the problem is this is the only road in and out of this town. you can go one way, and you can go the other way, and that's it. they're very concerned, if the fire jumps that ridge, they would not be able to get all of these people out of this town safely. they say they're really making progress, fighting hard against this fire. the good news is the wind has not been too bad. the difficult challenge the
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firefighters are facing is the temperatures are up around 100 degrees on those fire lines. the humidity here between 5% and 10%. also, these crews are camping out in those mountains fighting the fire. it's 100 during the day. it's getting down to 38 degrees at night. so they're really battling some difficult conditions. so far, though, no major loss of structures. only about six residences in remote areas have been lost, one commercial building, and thankfully, no loss of life, wolf. >> but the fire has not yet been contained, is that right? >> reporter: absolutely not. the latest number on containment we're expecting to get an update in a couple hours, but as of right now, they're still saying only 15% contained. 23,000 acres, thereabouts, have burned. they say that's not an unusual size for a wildfire in southern california. what is unusual is that it's happening in july, not in late september or october, wolf. >> very high temperatures as well not making it easier for all those firefighters.
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casey, thanks very much. we'll stay in close touch with you. reality tv that's unreal. guess what? cnn's jeanne moos is standing by next. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, it helps pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay. and could save you thousands in out-of-pocket costs. to me, relationships matter. i've been with my doctor for 12 years. now i know i'll be able to stick with him. [ male announcer ] with these types of plans, you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital
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i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is. reality shows that aren't all that real.
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cnn's jeanne moos reports. >> reporter: which of the following is not really a real reality show? >> clam kings. duck dynasty. meet the tanners. the real housewives of new jersey. >> long island landscapers. >> reporter: actually, there were three imposters. "meet the tanners" is seemingly about a family obsessed with tanning. >> it is empty. >> whoa, young lady. >> your vitamin c levels are spiking. we have rules in this house. if you sass me, you go to the shade. >> reporter: meet the tanners got burned in reviews. what do you think? >> ridiculous. >> reporter: what do you think? >> i wouldn't watch it. >> i think i'm related to some people like that. >> reporter: but it turns out there's nothing to not watch. >> "meet the tanners," sunday at 8:00 p.m. >> reporter: the fact that you thought this was a real show says a lot about the state of tv. this was an ad for public broadcasting's new york
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affiliate, channel 13, a campaign called tv gone wrong. >> i thought it was real. >> i thought it was real, absolutely. >> i thought it couldn't be worse than the kardashians. >> there's also something fishy about "clam kings." >> what business you got talking about my family's clams? >> when it comes to being the best, these two aren't shucking around. >> you want a little ground to pound? >> i would definitely watch this. >> reporter: there's one more unreal reality show. >> this week on the season premiere of long island landscapers. >> let's do flamingos. >> elegant birds. >> the spoofs were dreamed up by ad agency cgi. they sat around dreaming up over the top fake reality shows. >> i think it's one of those things where all we try to do is make each other laugh. >> reporter: they tried to strike a balance between too over the top and believable. some ideas were rejects. >> called redneck rabbis, and the tag line was they're quite unorthodox. >> reporter: this bunch of kids had a definite favorite.
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"meet the tanners." >> yeah. >> i would watch it. >> definitely. >> reporter: but "long island landscapers" didn't make the cut. >> no. >> reporter: the fake reality shows are meant to make the real ones seem like more boo boo, less honey. jeanne moos, cnn. >> here comes honey boo boo. clam kings. >> reporter: new york. >> jeanne moos, for that kind of reporting. by the way, while the tv spots are set to air on networks like usa and tv land, it appears they won't be seen on tlc or bravo, the homes of many of television's biggest reality shows. tomorrow here in the situation room, among my guests, we're going to speak to the jury consultant who helped the defense team come up with the six women in the jury. first interview on television with the jury consultant. a lot more coming up on that morrow. remember you can always follow what's going on here in
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"the situation room." on twitter, tweet m me @wolfblitzer. you can tweet the sho show @cnnsitroom. anxious, as always, to hear from you. thanks for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." erin burnett "out front" starts right now. out front next, shocking news. detroit becomes the largest city in the united states to file bankruptcy in history. plus a shocking development today in the whitey bulger trial. a potential key witness turned up dead today. and new photos of dzhokhar tsarnaev to counteract "rolling stone's" controversial cover, but do the new images of him glamourize him even more? let's go "out front." good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett. out front tonight, we begin with the breaking news. the city of detroit has officially filed for bankruptcy. it is