tv CNN Newsroom CNN January 13, 2014 10:00am-11:01am PST
coming of age. it is a japanese holiday to honor japanese teens who turn 20 years old this year. now, they are legally permitted to smoke, drink alcohol and vote. well, good new day to them. thanks for watching "around the world." "cnn newsroom" starts right now. "cnn newsroom" starts right now. have a great afternoon. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com more trouble for chris christie. federal officials are investigating whether he misused sandy relief funds. the timing couldn't be worse for the new jersey governor. also right now, officials are trying to figure out why a southwest airlines plane landed at the wrong airport. the mistake could have sent 127 passengers over an embankment and on to a major highway. and right now, a lot of west virgin virginiaanses getting the news they have been waiting for. tap water is safe to drink, at least in some areas.
hello, i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we start with talk of impeachment surrounding the new jersey governor, chris christie. that's a word now being thrown around by the state assemblyman who leads the investigation panel into the traffic scandal. that panel ramping up on thursday with increased resources to investigate the scandal, including the appointment of a special counsel. john wisniewski is the head of the panel, he's a democrat. he just told reporters that the first subpoenas could go out on thursday. meanwhile, christie is facing another investigation. this one into money spent by his office in the wake of superstorm sandy. our investigation's correspondent, chris frats, has this cnn exclusive. >> reporter: when hurricane sandy hit new jersey, chris christie led from the trenches. and his skillful response to the devastating super storm rocketed him into political superstardom. but a new federal investigation into how the new jersey governor
spent some of the sandy relief money could threaten to wash away the foundation of his political brand. cnn has learned that federal investigators will examine the state's $25 million tourism marketing campaign, a campaign that was paid for with sandy recovery money. >> the jersey shore is open. >> the word is spreading. >> because we're stronger than the storm. >> you bet we are. >> reporter: a campaign that featured christie and his family during an election year. democratic congressman, frank pallone, a vocal christie critic, requested the investigation, and tells cnn it's now moving ahead. but he says this is not about politics. >> this was money that could have directly been used for sandy recovery. and as you know, many of my constituents still haven't gotten the money that is owed them, you know, to rebuild their homes or to put their -- to raise their homes or to help. >> reporter: pallone says promoting new jersey tourism after the super storm was a good idea.
but he has a big question about how much taxpayer money was spent to make those ads. the winning bid, a $4.7 million campaign featuring christie and family. the next lower bid that lost out was nearly half the price at $2.5 million. and wouldn't have featured the governor. the ads caused controversy as they hit the airways, while christie was running for re-election. democrats slammed him, arguing it gave the incumbent governor an unfair advantage. at the time, christie aides said the winning bid provided more value. but after an initial review of the sandy relief spending, the office of the inspector general at the department of housing and urban development has concluded there is enough evidence to launch a full-scale investigation. according to congressman pallone. >> taxpayer dollars that could have been used for sandy relief were used for ads promoting the governor, because he was in them, with his family, during an election campaign. >> reporter: but as bad as the george washington bridge scandal has been for christie, if the
investigation finds he improperly spent sandy funds, it could get far worse. tarnishing the signature achievement that has helped propel him toward the white house. and now we've heard from the governor's office. in a written statement, his spokesman says the strong campaign was part of an action plan approved by the obama administration. the statement said, quote, federal agency reviews are part of standard operating procedure with all federally allocated resources to ensure that funds are distributed fairly. he went on to say, quote, we're confident that any review will show that the ads were a key part in helping new jersey get back on its feet after being struck by the worst storm in state history. meanwhile, hud's inspector general office says they are investigating and congressman pallone tells us the investigation will likely take months and that the report will be released to the public. chris frats, cnn, washington. republicans initially were slow to comment on the christie drama, even slower to come to his defense. here's what we heard over the weekend. >> i thought he did an excellent
job by the very lengthy press conference. having gone through this, i know that you've got to answer every question. you can't leave any question unanswered. i think that he can now move on, as long as another shoe doesn't drop. >> he's handled it the best way you can possibly handle it. he's held a press conference, he's flatly denied it. if for some reason it's not true, the man has put his political career completely at risk. >> let's bring in our oh chief political analyst, gloria borger. these kinds of statements, the ones we heard from mccain, guiliani, how helpful are they to christie? >> they're helpful, because they're supportive of him, and they make the point that he's answered every question, in a two-hour press conference. but they do leave a little wiggle room here, wolf. you know, as guiliani said, look, if for some reason what he is saying is not true, he has put his political career at risk, and mccain says as long as another shoe doesn't drop. so you can see where republicans are coming from. but you know, they're also
making the case that the governor went out, had a two-hour press conference, they want to compare that to president obama on issues like the irs and benghazi where they believe he has not been as forthcoming. they want to compare the two and say, look, chris christie answered every single question. but they're all waiting to see what the investigation turns up in the state legislature. >> could there be sort of a plus side for him? all the media attention that's been devoted to this story, given the fact a lot of conservatives think there is a liberal bias in the mainstream news media? >> running against the press is always guy idea. and as long as christie continues to answer every question. i think that could clearly have an impact, particularly within the republican party for him. but again, he's still facing now an ongoing investigation. the legislature has got
subpoenas out. and we're going to see more and more of this unraveling. and the point for christie and the problem is that he's known as a truth-teller. so he's out there telling the truth. i didn't know about this. i -- you know, i asked my aides. you've got an hour to come back and tell me. and he's saying they lied to him. if it turns out that he didn't tell the whole story, then i think it's a huge problem. >> presidents give state of the union addresses. governors give state of the state addresses. he's supposesed to give his tomorrow. there is going to be a lot riding on that. >> i think just as we saw in the press conference, chris christie will take charge. he's that kind of a politician. he's going to dive directly into his state of the state. and whether he mentions this or not remains to be seen. but i guarantee you, he's still going to say that job number one is doing what i can for the people of the state of new
jersey. >> are we going to hear from him today? any indication? >> don't know. >> still waiting. haven't heard from him yet. >> we have not. >> maybe he's writing a speech. i assume he's working hard on that. >> i bet he is. >> all right, gloria, thank you. for the second time in two months, a jet lands at the wrong airport on a very short runway. this time the southwest 737 missing its target by about seven miles, ending up at a tiny airport in missouri. rene, tell us what happened. >> reporter: well, wolf, really these passengers, they were within feet of going over a steep embankment at the end of that runway, all because the pilot landed at the wrong airport. but how could they make such a serious mistake? one pilot who knows both airports well says likely because the pilots weren't alert. they weren't using their gps technology. they likely just looked out their window, saw a runway, and assumed it was the right one. a hard landing, and the smell of burning rubber.
two indications to passengers on southwest flight 4013 that something was wrong after their plane landed at the wrong airport. coming within 300 feet of a steep embankment at the end of the runway. >> we had a really rough landing. we were all moving pretty close to the seats as we were landing, because the runway, i guess, is too short for the plane. >> reporter: the plane, carrying more than 100 passengers, was scheduled to land at missouri's branson airport sunday night. but instead, showed up at takeny county airport, about seven miles from the intended destination. >> the plane ended up landing at point lookout airport. >> reporter: the runway at taney county airport is about half the length of the runway at branson. >> we got a call saying the plane has landed at a airport nearby. and we're thinking, surely not a jet plane could land there. >> reporter: officials say if
the pilot didn't brake when he did, the plane could have overshot the runway and tumbled on to a highway. passenger scott schieffer captured the aftermath on video. it shows passengers evacuating the plane before being bussed to the larger airport. in november, a boeing 747 cargo plane also landed at the wrong airport. this time in kansas. on a runway half a mile shorter than it usually uses. despite fears the dream lifter would be stuck at the kansas airport indefinitely, it eventually took off without incident. southwest is hoping for a similarly successful outcome for their boeing 737. >> all right. well, wolf, the other part of this really makes you scratch your head, there are two pilots in the cockpit. neither one of them realized that anything was wrong, until it was too late. at this point oh, we should point out, we don't have an official cause of the mistake. it is all still under investigation. but this has happened before. since 2010, there have been at
least six other similar incidents. we can tell you, that plane is still there at the airport. we are paying close attention to what is happening there. and when it does take off, we will be sure to get those pictures turned around for you. wolf? >> do they believe they have enough runway to take off safely? >> well, at this point, you know, it's all about doing math here. so they're looking at the weight, they're looking at the length of the run way, and they're also looking at the weather conditions. the plan now at last check from the airport manager is that we could see this takeoff happen at 2:00 eastern time. the fact they're planning for this takeoff means they believe they will have enough runway to successfully and safely do this. but, of course, it's all about those calculations. again, we're waiting and watching for this to actually happen, wolf. >> we'll wait and watch together with you, rene. thanks very much. united states supreme court showdown. the court hears arguments in a high-stakes battle between president obama and congress. the case is a test of
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a decision today by the united states supreme court means arizona cannot enforce a law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. the high court refused to hear the state's appeal to reinstate the law it passed back in 2012. but a federal appeals court last year ruled the restrictions from were unconstitutional. legal challenges in other states are working their way through the courts. a high-stakes legal fight between the white house and congress played out before the supreme court today. at stake is the power of the presidency. at issue is the president's ability to make what are called recess appointments. the constitution says the president shall make appointments, quote, with the advice and consent of the senate. but it also gives the president the power to fill vacancies, quote, during the recess of the senate. notable recess appointments include dwight eisenhower as major general of the u.s. army. thurgood marshall as president appeals court judge and allen
greenspan of the federal reserve chairman. the case before the high court today involves three appointments president obama made to an agency that handles labor disputes and labor unions. let's bring in our senior legal analyst, jeffrey toobin, to talk about what's going on. you were there. you heard the arguments in court today. historically speaking, this is a very significant case. >> it is. and you could see that in court. there were lots of references to george washington, thomas jefferson, james madison, because the recess appointment power has been used by every president since george washington. but the supreme court has never really addressed how constitutional it really is. and under what circumstances. and you could tell that the court was fascinated by the case. but also a little intimidated by just the scope of the issue before it. >> the specific case you heard arguments about today involves two agencies of the u.s. government. the national labor relations board and the consumer financial
protection bureau. talk a little bit about the specifics of the arguments here. >> well, the case is really rooted in the partisan warfare we're so familiar with. because particularly when it comes to the nlrb, national labor relations board, republicans in the senate didn't want to confirm anybody. so the democrats who were in charge of the senate kind of manufacture recesses. the recess power came in the 18th century when the senate would be out of session for seven, eight months at a time. >> took a long time to get to washington. >> exactly. that's why they basically -- the framers of the constitution said, look, we can't have the senate out of session and the president unable to fill -- fill seats. but now what's happened is that the presidents and obama is not the only one to have done this by any means. with his allies in the senate, they basically do these quick recesses, put people in, and so they don't have to be confirmed by the senate. they can serve for about a year.
the constitutionality of those recess appointments during these sort of manufactured recesses, that's really what's at stake here. >> now, mitch mcconnell, the senate minority leader, i take it he was hearing these arguments himself today. >> he was there, senator mike lee was there, senator jefferson oh sessions was there. they are very -- they care deeply about the power of the senate. and they believe that obama has trampled over the senate. and their lawyer today, miguel estrada did i thought a fabulous job arguing their case. and i think -- they had a receptive audience for the argument they cared about. >> correct me if i am wrong, and i'm sure you have done some research in this. when he was the united states senator, barack obama, from illinois, he wasn't happy with the recess appointment of john bolten to be bush's united nations ambassador. >> that's one of the delicious parts of this whole argument. you have lots of republicans now who are opposing recess appointments who liked it when george w. bush was president.
barack obama, he didn't like recess appointments when george w. bush was president. now, of course, he's defending the practice. it's a classic whose objectionic gord situation. >> you like one thing and then you become the majority and like something else. >> and the court -- my record on predictions is not great with the supreme court. but this is even tougher than most. because you have conservatives who usually favor the executive, but they don't like obama so much. and vice versa. it's a very difficult case to call. >> only had one major mistake, right? >> yeah, but a pretty high-profile one. everybody on twitter remembers, i assure you. >> jeffrey toobin, thanks very much. hundreds of thousands of people in west virginia have been dealing with toxic drinking water. now some are finally getting to the all-clear to turn on the taps again.
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scene after what's been described as a suspicious package was found at the katy, texas, high school. the local school district confirms that all the students and staff at seven lakes high school were evacuated for a safety issue around 10:00 a.m. local time earlier today. a following statement was posted by the school district's website. students have been evacuated to an enclosed area on the baseball and football fields. water is being provided to students and staff as needed, in order to avoid investigation interference, parents are being advised to not come to the school and pick you the students at this time. life skill students have been evacuated to seven lakes junior high. all this information, by the way, is coming in from our houston affiliate, kprc. so it's a disturbing story. we're told that harris county sheriff's office bomb squad is now on the scene. the fbi has been called in to help with the investigation. and once again, parents have been told not to come pick up their students.
they're all on the baseball and football fields right now, awaiting further information. we'll stay on top of this story, get you more information. but it's clearly a disturbing story out of katy, texas, just outside of houston. we're learning right now -- also hearing that in the last hour or so, some people in west virginia are being allowed to once again use their tap water. for the last four days, 300,000 people have been forced to live on bottled water after a toxic chemical contaminated their water lines. alexandra field is joining us now from charleston, west virginia, with the very latest. what is the very latest, alexandra? some folks have been told the water is okay, is that right? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. 5,000 water customers now being told they can finally turn on those faucets and start letting the water run and cycle through. those customers are mostly large customers, businesses in west virginia, hospitals and office buildings. by the end of the day, 25,000 people should get the all-clear to start that flushing process. but there's still a long way to
go until 300,000 people have fresh water running from the taps again. the water company says the customers will be told when they can turn their faucets on according to what joan they're in. they're asking for people to wait for confirmation in order to avoid overloading a system that has been down for days now, wolf. >> so you say 5,000 customers have been told the water is okay for them. but we were told originally what, 300,000 people were told you can use the water to flush a toilet, but that's basically it. you can't boil it, you can't drink it. certainly you can't take a shower. you can't take a bath. you can't do anything with it. so 5,000 folks are told go ahead, it's okay. what about the rest? >> reporter: right. 5,000 sounds like a small number right now. but the goal here was first just start with getting the hospitals up and running. and two of those hospitals got their water going this morning. that was a real priority, because these hospitals have real needs when it comes to water. everyone else is still being asked to be patient. and this process of turning the water isn't just as simple as
turning on your faucet and taking a swig from it. there are instructions that are going out to water customers. they've got to run the water for a certain period of time. let it filter through to ensure that it is safe. even after that, customers are being warned they can still smell that trace of licorice scent, but they are told if they have followed the instructions, it should be safe for drinking. still to get 300,000 people using their faucets again certainly could be a matter of days right now, wolf. >> that facility where these chemicals were stored, was it regulated by anyone? >> reporter: that is the question that everyone is asking. and wolf, what i can tell you is that the dep had not sent inspectors to that plant since 1991, when the plant was operating in a completely different way, under different ownership. that facility now is a chemical storage facility. the dep says there is a difference between a storage facility and facility that manufacturers chemicals. as a storage facility, the plant did not need water or air pollution permits so the dep
didn't have to send inspectors that's raising concerns. chief among those concerned, governor of west virginia who says it's certainly time to start talking about how to beef up regulation and oversight of similar facilities. here's what he told us. a county emergency services official has described the tank over there as an antique. would you agree with that? >> i have not seen the tank personally. obviously, it had a problem if the liquids were escaping from it. >> reporter: and will you be calling for closer, tighter, stronger restrictions on these kinds of storage fashion it's? >> absolutely. we need to do what we can to see this kind of incident never happens again. there is no excuse. >> reporter: the dep says that at the request of the governor right now, they are inventorying similar sites that exist across the state of west virginia and from there will begin to draft proposals, wolf, about how they can enhance or establish some regulatory oversight for these kinds of facilities. >> so the dep, what is that, the department of environmental
protection in the state of west virginia? is that right? >> reporter: that's right. >> so it's a statewide agency. i take it there were no local regulators, state regulators. did the federal government get involved, any federal agency get in there and examine some of these storage facilities? >> reporter:el with, the u.s. attorney here says that this is an investigation that's going to involve all layers of government. it could take a number of weeks now to figure out what really caused this leak. we know that it started with a hole toward the bottom of the tank that chemicals seeped into the soil. the material built up, breached a wall. it's going to take some time to understand who was taking a look at the infrastructure out there, what were the problems, was anyone aware these problems existed, could this essentially have been stopped before it got out of hand, turning off the water supply for 300,000 people. the other issue here that we're looking at, wolf, is what kind of chemical this really was. we know it's something that was used to clean coal, but it wasn't listed as hazardous or toxic. therefore, the requirements for
oversight of how it would be stored are different from, say, if it had been a listed as toxic type of material. so questions now about what kind of chemical this really was. >> they've got to learn lessons from this, make sure they understand fully the blunders that occurred to ensure that it doesn't happen again. 300,000 people in west virginia for several days now without any water, except for some bottled water, which can be rather expensive. of all right. alexandra, thanks very much. it's a deal designed to keep iran from developing nuclear weapons and it's set to take effect a week from today. but a push for more sanctions could derail that, at least that's what the obama administration is suggesting. we'll have the very latest right after this. [ male announcer ] need help keeping your digestive balance in sync?
top israeli officials and leaders gathered today to pay their respects to ariel sharon. >> 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 -- >> mourners remembered the former israeli prime minister as a towering military and political figure. the vice president, joe biden, led the u.s. delegation. he praised sharon for his tenacity and described him as a complex man. sharon died saturday after spending eight years in a coma. the israeli president perez says sharon contributed, in his words, an unforgettable chapter to the history of the jewish state. the effort to prevent iran
from building a nuclear weapon faces a critical test, starting a week from today. iran says it will begin scaling back its nuclear program january 20th. that date marks the official start of a six-month interim deal. iranian officials agreed to curb the country's nuclear program in exchange for relief from some worldwide sanctions. but a push to add even more sanctions, the administration believes, could derail the entire agreement. our chief national security correspondent, jim sciutto, is here watching what's going on. first of all, what happens a week from today? >> well, those iaea inspectors go into iran and verify that iran is taking steps it promised to do. one of the steps is to stop enriching uranium to 20%, in effect a step below weapons grade. and they also start converting some uranium they have already enriched to 20% down to a lower, safer grade, as well. you also have some of the rewards starting to kick in. so as of february 1st, a payment is going to go to iran, a $550 million. this is liberating some of those
frozen iranian assets overseas, and some other restrictions are going to be lifted, for instance, on airplane parts, auto parts, going into iran. oh other forms of sanctions relief start right away and be stretched out over the six-month period. >> but as you know, a bipartisan effort in the senate right now, led by a bunch -- not only republicans, but democrats, as well. bob menendez, for example, chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, a democrat, chuck schumer from new york, another democrat. they want to impose tighter, stricter sanctions against iran right now that wouldn't go into effect for six months, but they want to pass the legislation. >> a big problem for the administration. administration has been making the argument, no need to do this right now. if you do that, you're going disrupt the diplomatic track. and this is what the iranians are saying, as well. i corresponded yesterday with the deputy foreign minister, and i asked him, what happens if they pass new sanctions legislation. he said the enactment of sanctions by the senate will ruin the entire agreement. we hope we will not have to face that. this has been a consistent point of view from the iranian side. the administration he can oh owes that. the administration also makes
the point, listen, if iran breaks any part of this deal, congress could act in a nano second to enact new legislation, new sanctions. so why do this now? why disrupt the diplomatic path? they even go further to say, if you do that, you're increasing the chances for war. trouble is, they have been making this argument ever since i was in geneva a couple months ago when this agreement was signed. and the -- to this point, the senate is not listening. now, our information, though, is there is no rush to bring this sanctions bill to the floor of the senate. the trouble is, if you have more senators signing on right now there are 58, 59, that puts pressure on harry reid. he doesn't want to do it. but if there are more senators who push him to do it, that might be hard for him to resist. >> if the president were to veto legislation, you need two-thirds -- you need 67 to override a presidential veto. and we'll see if that gets that far or if they could cool things down. >> that's right. that's the nightmare scenario for the administration there. but there are scenarios -- >> supporters in the senate, democrats and republicans, they think the iranians are bluffing.
they won't end this deal, because they stand to lose too much in terms of the easing of the sanctions, billions of dollars that would begin pouring into iran right away. >> exactly. no question. there's so many question marks here, both from the administration's reactions and the iranian's reactions. but we have to watch every day to see how they react. what we do know is that it would -- it would upset the iranian sade. they made that clear. we don't know what they would do in response. >> interesting. to have the influence over a lot of these democrats he normally would have on a sensitive issue like this. says a loot abo lot about the president and some of these democrats on this issue. >> 16 democratic senators. >> jim, thanks very much. the former defense secretary, robert gates, is defending his new book, his blunt criticism of president obama, but he blames partisanship in washington for focusing on the negative statements rather than his positive remarks about the president. let's bring in our senior white house correspondent, jim acosta. what are the critics saying about gates, and specifically, jim, about the timing of this book? >> reporter: well, wolf, as you
know, critics have been saying that robert gates should have waited to put out this book, and now gates this morning is saying that his book has been hijacked for political purposes from people across the political spectrum. he's in the middle of this media blitz, as you know, wolf, talking about his new memoir "duty." and at the same time, we should mention, he's doing all of this after recently injuring himself. you'll see him in interviews these days wearing a neck brace. and if you think he's holding back in any way in light of the controversy that the excerpts from his book created last week, guess again. no regrets from former defense secretary, robert gates. >> the truth is, i think the book is very even-handed. i don't fill vial my anybody. >> reporter: gates fired back on the "today" show, arguing the juicier excerpts have been taken out of context. >> not really surprised. but in a way, disappointed that the book has sort of been
hijacked by people along the political spectrum to serve their own purposes. >> reporter: in his tell-all, gates revealed he had little confidence in president obama's support for the war in afghanistan. and in another interview on cbs's "sunday morning," gates said while he admired the president, he believed mr. obama was only focused on getting out of afghanistan. >> it's one thing to tell the troops that you support them. it's another to work at making them believe that you believe as president that their sacrifice is worth it. >> reporter: it doesn't get any better for vice president joe biden, who according to gates, planted seeds of doubt in the president's mind about military commanders. >> where i have particular problem with the vice president was in his encouragement of suspicion of the military. and the senior military with the president. >> reporter: detractors claim gates put out his book soon, two-and-a-half years after leaving the pentagon.
while president obama still has three years left in office, and u.s. troops remain in afghanistan. even some of gates' fellow republicans argue, he should have waited to issue his scathing critique. >> if i had given him advice, i would have waited. >> my preference would be that people would refrain from writing these sorts of things until the president is out of office. >> reporter: as he kicks off a tv tour, gates doesn't plan on staying quiet. even if it means weighing in on 2016. and whether hillary clinton would make a good president. >> actually, i think she would. >> reporter: as for biden -- >> well, i suppose to be even-handed, i would have to say i suppose he would. >> reporter: now as for the prospect of returning to government service, robert gates is saying thanks, but no thanks. that's why he was so candid, he says, in his memoir. at the same time, we should point out, gates is scheduled to return to the pentagon later this week. that is to sign some of his books. wolf? >> when he says to be even-handed, he thinks biden would be a good president as well. this after writing in the book that the vice president of the
united states was basically wrong on virtually every foreign policy and national security decision, major decision, over the past -- not just of the past few years, but over four decades since he was a junior senator from the state of delaware. why does he think he would be a good president if he has been wrong on almost every single national security issue of the day? >> reporter: it's a very good question to ask, wolf. and, you know, it is interesting, because if you look at all of the officials in the obama administration, he does seem to single out joe biden for the harshest criticism. at the same time, he says in the interview, if you look at the fuller interview, wolf, he seems to be saying what in jest that vice president biden would make a good president. i think this sort of goes into the same category of some of the other contradictory things that robert gates seems to be saying about members of the obama administration. talks about how the president is not fully committed to the war in afghanistan, but at the same time, says that he agrees with just about every decision that the president made when it came to the war in afghanistan.
robert gates is not holding back. he says he could have waited until 2017, but didn't want to do that, because he wanted some of the lessons that he thinks that the country should learn from afghanistan to be talked about now. so a lot to discuss coming out of that book, wolf. >> yeah. i'm going to have him on in "the situation room" thursday and we'll talk about these issues and a lot more. jim acosta, thanks very much. alex rodriguez band for the season, but he's not going down without another fight. can he really hope, though, to be back in the field this year? we'll take a closer look. [ male announcer ] legalzoom has helped start over 1 million businesses. if you have a business idea, we have a personalized legal solution that's right for you. with easy step-by-step guidance, we're here to help you turn your dream into a reality.
going to update what we know involving the evacuation of the school in katy, texas, outside houston, texas. you're looking at pictures courtesy of our affiliate, kprc, in houston. houston fbi is now assisting with the katy, texas, high school evacuation. harris county sheriff's office remains the lead agency. they're looking into a suspicious device, potential explosive device, as explained by our affiliate, kprc. they issued a statement, the school district, a little while ago saying students have been evacuated to an he enclosed are. water is being provided to the students and staff, as needed. more than 3,000 students, by the way, attend this high school in katy, texas.
it's the seven lakes high school there. so they're on the scene. authorities are checking out this suspicious package, potentially described as some sort of explosive device. the kids, students, they're all on the baseball field or the football field. we'll stay on top of this story, update you as we get more information. dennis rodman's latest controversial trip to north korea is now over. he arrived in beijing earlier today to a swarm of reporters wanting answers. once again, justifying his trip and his motives behind the trip after apologizing last week for a drunken tirade on cnn. he's now saying he is sorry. here's cnn's karl penhaul. >> reporter: basketball's bad boy, dennis rodman, is back from north korea, back to face the music. >> i'm just very happy for the fact that we are actually trying to do something good for the world.
and that's what i'm happy about. and i'm just sad for the fact that everyone is trying to break this down into pressure on me. and i don't know why. i haven't done anything wrong. i mean, literally, nothing wrong. i'm sorry for what's going on in north korea, about certain situations. i'm not god. i'm not ambassador. i'm no one. >> reporter: when dennis rodman comes to the arrival hall, he'll be stepping into a sea of controversy. he's criticized for statements he made about ken neth bae, accused of taking payment from the north korean authorities. he's been ridiculed for singing happy birthday to kim jong-un. pandemonium with the press, travelers still trying to come out. press gathered around both doors to see rodman as he comes through, and now rodman's security team are worried about the situation here. they're calling on the chinese to do their job and to push the press back. right now there is no sign of that. >> i'm sorry about all the
people and what's going on. i'm sorry. i'm not the president. i'm not an ambassador. i'm dennis rodman, just an individual, just showing the world the fact that we can actually get along and be happy for one day. i would love to see -- i would love to see -- >> reporter: as you can sigh, chaos here. more media today than any other day. chinese police are in the middle there, rodman's personal security team are in the middle there. he's just on the other side, unsure how he's going to get out right now. he's scheduled to fly back to the u.s. sometime later monday. karl penhaul, cnn, beijing airport. >> we'll hear what he has to say once he arrives back here in the united states. still ahead, alex rodriguez fighting a decision that keeps him out of baseball for an entire season. stay with us. [ male announcer ] this is kevin. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today?
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suspended baseball star alex rodriguez plans to fight back as early as today with a federal lawsuit aimed at avoiding the 162-game band that was handed out over the weekend. the key witness who said he provided drugs to rodriguez and helped him pass a test. he explains how he told arotd to take a testosterone logen zerks
e. >> put one of these in his mouth about 10 or 15 minutes before game time, or before he went into the field. a player could take it right before game time and by the time they get back into the locker room after the game, and there was any possibility of testing, they would test negative. they would test clean. >> rodriguez' attorney called the investigation and the suspension a traf vesity. he spoke to our own ashleigh banfield about the lawsuit and what he thinks about the evidence in the case. >> i'm not afraid of the evidence and the evidence that was brought before that panel. anyone without an agenda or anyone concerned that they would not get fired if they didn't vote for major league baseball would look at that evidence and that evidence and say no way, would i want my sister, my
cousin convicted on that type of evidence. >> what about this lawsuit? what's the main argument here, rachel? >> it's going to have to be that there was an issue with the legal process. because the supreme court has ruled several times in fact that any time these two parties in a labor dispute agree to arbitration, that arbitration is binding unless there was some sort of gross misconduct with the legalities. and alex rodriguez whether he likes it or not did agree to this arbitration as a member of the players's union. it's in the deal with major league baseball. so the only argument that his lawyers can now make to the federal court is to say there was some groce bias on the part of the arbitrator. this is no longer about the evidence in the case. the only argument in federal court is was there a problem with the legal process and everyone i have spoken to said they don't have a leg to stand
on there. >> does it set a new precedent for baseball, he gets a full season with no positive drug test. that's what, a $25 million fine in effect because he's not going to get paid? >> it ushers in a new era in the way that sports leagues in this country are going to go after cheaters. in the past they relied on drug tests and you were penalized. what major league baseball did after realizing there was such a big steroid epidemic in their sport, they decided to go after this much more aggressively, they hired investigators, they hired ex-fbi agents and theying a aggressively went after -- they investigated, they interviewed tony bosh, they obtained physical evidence. this is what alex rodriguez has been convicted on so to speak not any drug tests. alex's lawyer would say he
always tested positive. you have to understand the nature of drug tests in sports. obviously sports leagues are behind cheaters when it comes to steroids and peds, there's no way you can develop a test until that illegal drug is in use. that will always be an ineffective way of trying to catch people who cheat in sports. going more pro actively against potential cheaters and also upping the penalties so that guys who are tempted to cheat will take a step back and say wow, if i do get caught, maybe i'm out of baseball for a year, maybe even longer, i'm not even going to mess with it. they have found that those are the more effective avenues than just relying on testing. >> rachel, thanks very much. >> thank you. let's do a quick check of the market s right now.
there you see the dow, it's down 109 points. stocks have been pretty tepid, we'll see what happens when the fed's so called beige book comes out on friday. very different story coming up, a baby panda about to make her public debut here in washington at the national zoo. we're going to meet b obo. mine was earned orbiting the moon in 1971. afghanistan, in 2009. on the u.s.s. saratoga in 1982. [ male announcer ] once it's earned, usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection. and because usaa's commitment to serve current and former military members and their families
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so you have time to focus on the things you love. ink from chase. so you can. bobo the baby panda is getting ready for the spotlight. >> reporter: at just 17 pounds, 5-month-old bow bow is already a heavyweight in the world of conservati conservation. >> 58 sent meters. >> reporter: a rare success in the long fight to preserve the giant panda. >> pandas are notoriously difficult to breed. >> reporter: there are many reasons. pandas are naturally solitary and don't mate well in
captivity, artificial insemination is uncertain and even when new ones are born, they often tonight make it. >> unfortunately, they're very, in the first month or so, they're very fragile. and u you often don't know there's anything wrong. >> reporter: the panda's american journey has been key to the species's survival. >> this is the crate that ling ling was shipped in in 1972. >> reporter: u.s. scientists have been stud -- researchers in the national zoo are now among the top authorities in the world for breeding them, yet birthings like this remain rare. >> every year you kind of hope for it. and every year it's been a disappointment since 2005. >> reporter: habitat loss has left only 1,600 pandas in the wild, some 300 in captivity, small wonder that this new arrival, this rare bear is being
treated with such care. tom foreman, cnn, washington. >> very cute little bow bow. that's it for me, thanks for watching, i'll be back at 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room," newsroom continues right now with brook baldwin. >> good to be with all of you on this monday. i'm brooke baldwin, stay with me, because any moment the southwest airlines jet that randed at the wrong airport, is set to take off. you heard me right, the wrong airport. let me explain how this happened u passengers on this flight, it was headed from chicago's midway airport to branson airport in southwest missouri, they experience this bumpy landing. suddenly they realize they had landed in missouri, but the wrong place. >> it was a really rough landing, we were all moving pretty close to the seats when we were landing because the run way was