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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  May 26, 2014 6:00am-8:01am PDT

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>> i hope everybody doesn't forget. it's kind of sad one day a year. but at least everybody remembers one day. >> let's make it every day. >> let's make it every day. with that. that's all from us on "new day." we want to thank you for spending the day with us. let's go to the "newsroom" with carol costello. >> hi, thanks so much. "newsroom" starts now. -- captions by vitac -- good morning. i'm carol costello, thanks so much for joining me. this morning in coffee shops and in college campuses this man's deadly rampage is reviving the debate over gun control. dodged by mental health issues all his life, yet was able to buy three firearms, his murder weapons. the father of one of his victims, chris mrds, is outraged
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and demanding action this morning. >> i can't tell you how angry i am! it's just awful. no parent should have to go through this, no parent, to have a kid die because -- in this kind of a situation. what has sdmangd have we learned nothing? these things are going to continue until somebody does something. so where the hell is the leadership! >> the killer's parents learned of their son's plans and raced to stop him. on the way there, they learned the massacre had already begun. cnn's kyung lah has more. this is where the rampage began, in the gunman's apartment. three people stabbed to death. detectives describe it as a
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horrific crime scene. from here investigators say he got into his bmw and just as he predicted in his youtube videos, would head straight to sorority. >> on the day of retribution, i am going to enter the hottest sorority house of ucsb, and i will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up blond [ bleep ] i see there. >> reporter: four blocks from the apartment, the al phi phi sorority. they heard loud knocking on the door and didn't open it. the gunman turned and shot and killed veronika weiss, katherine cooper, another woman seriously injured. less than two blocks away, the iv deli mart. another victim, christopher martinez who was just out for a
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sandwich. >> what about chris' right to live? when will this insanity stop? when will enough people say stop this madness? we don't have to live like this! >> reporter: at this point the pace is picking up. witnesses say he's driving his bmw to people on the street. one person is shot outside of these apartments, gunfire smashing windows. it is everywhere. a few blocks away the gunman shoots at a deputy and misses. officers now in pursuit. he makes it a few more blocks, striking a bicyclist. a couple blocks away he shoots three more people until there's a gun battle with deputies. it's four deputies who run across this park and fire into the suspect's car. they believe they've hit him in the hip, but he continues to drive. he's able to travel a few more blocks until he strikes a bicyclist, that bicyclist hit so hard, he caves in the
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windshield, the bmw crashing outside this apartment. >> i saw the driver get pulled out of the car. he looked very hurt. to me he was either unconscious or already dead. >> reporter: investigators say an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound is what ended elliot rodger's life. his motive, his all plan known to us, because he did exactly what he set out to do. kyung lah, cnn, isla vista, california. >> that heartbroken father you heard from thatn that report, richard martinez has much more to say about the son he lost in that deli and the anguish no other parent should face. listen. >> he's our only child, and he died on friday. i'm 61 years old now. i'll never have another child. he's gone. so the reason i'm doing this
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right now is to try to see if i can do anything to make my son's death mean something because that's all we've got. >> he's not going to grow up to be a man, to work in the world. what did we lose? >> i think he had the capacity to be much more than we were. he was articulate, determined, nice and tough. if there's all these things in the media about the shooter and there's nothing about the victims, then it sends the wrong message. people need to understand that real people died here, and they need to know -- put faces and names and histories to the
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people who died to make it real for them, that it could be them. because if you start talking about the people who died, then they're real. >> the politicians after sandy hook swore that they would do something. >> we're all proud to be americans, but what kind of a message does it send to the world when we have such a -- such a rutterless bunch of idiots in government? i can't tell you how angry i am! it's just awful. no parent should have to go through this, no parent. to have a kid die because in this kind of a situation, what has changed. have we learned nothing? these things are going to continue until somebody does something. so where the hell is the
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leadership! where the hell, these people we elect to congress, the people we spend so much money on? these people getting rich sitting in congress. what do they do? they don't take care of our kids. my kid died because nobody responded to what responded at sandy hook. those parents lost little kids! it's bad enough i lost my 20-year-old, but i had 20 years with my son. that's all i'll ever have. but those children lost their children at 6 and 7 years old. how do you think they feel? who is talking to them now? who is doing anything for them now? who is standing up for those kids that died back then in an elementary school? why wasn't something done? it's outrageous! >> cnn's sara sidner covered the story through the weekend and joins us from outside the sheriff's department in santa barbara. no matter where you stand, it's
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hard to listen to all that pain and anger. is there a sense that authorities, that someone could have done more to prevent this? >> reporter: that's what a lot of people are talking about today. people don't want to play the blame game. on campus, some of the students we spoke with talking about the fact that elliot rodger, the shooting suspect on a killing rampage would use everything and anything. he didn't just use a gun. he killed as many people by stabbing them to death as he did shooting them to death. he also used his car as a weapon, running into people, running over people. we were able to talk to one of the few people on campus that actually had some kind of relationship with a shooter. this is a neighbor who did not want to be identified. he said he lived a couple of doors down from elliot rodger. on seven occasions had time to try to talk to him. he said initially he had tried
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to get elliot, who seemed like a shy, timid guy, to come into the social scene on campus, to go out and have a good time. he said he simply couldn't get him to even have a real conversation, he muttered, only would give one-word answers and would refuse to go out and be social with them. then one night, and this is particularly poignant, one night he said rodger came home all beat up. his face was black and blue, it was scraped. he said he looked very bad. he asked him what happened. this is what he said he heard that night from rodger. >> he was so emotional. i can't describe how emotional he was. >> shaking and cry? >> shaking, adrenaline rush. he was saying i'm going to kill all of them, i'm going to kill
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myself. >> reporter: absolutely chilling words considering what happened. that's what the neighbor said. he said at the time this timid guy who was a slight gentleman, he said he was always very quiet, often stared off in the distance he never believed he would actually go through with something like this. it's poignant because the sheriff's deputies say that was the very first contact they had with elliot rodger. he was in the hospital, called the deputies saying he had been attacked. it turned out, according to the neighbor, that he was actually the aggressor as he described it in the situation at a party where he was trying to get a girl to talk to him. she refused. he got sort of aggressive towards her and some guys tried to push him out of the party and that is when the fight broke out. we know deputies had several contacts with him, the first one being that one. there were two more. the last one several deputies went to his apartment because his mother called the sheriff's department worried about his
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mental health. here is how the sheriff responded when people asked what more could you have done to try to prevent this. >> it's a delicate question, a delicate balance. you want to certainly intervene and obviously try to prevent a tragedy that we've experienced here. in the sake token, you don't want to stigmatize people seeking treatment for mental illness. >> reporter: we noel yot rodger had been seeking treatment since he was 8 years old. again, obviously, no one thought he would carry out such a devastating attack. >> the other thing we should point out that when sheriff's deputies went to check on him that day, he had a gun and a
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plan in his apartment, right? >> reporter: that's right. it happened in april, just a month ago. as he was going through his manifesto, he wrote about it saying he thought that that was going to be it, that someone had found out about his plan and if they had gone inside, they may have found out what he was about to do. but the sheriff's deputies who went there said he was very timid, he was very shy, he was very polite to them and didn't give them any indication -- they talked to him for a while outside his apartment, gave him no indication that he was about to do something, that he was an aggressive type of person or that he was going to harm himself. so after talking to him a while, they left him alone. they had no search warrant. they had no -- a reason to arrest him, so they left. a month later, this happened. >> sara sidner reporting live. we'll talk much more about this this morning here in the "newsroom." president obama back in
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washington after surprising troops in afghanistan ahead of memorial day. >> i know it's a little late. but i was in the neighborhood and thought i'd stop by. to all of you, i'm here on a single mission and that is to thank you for your extraordinary service. >> in addition to thanking the troops, mr. obama also outlined a continued but limited role in afghanistan as the u.s. prepares to leave. cnn white house correspondent michelle kosinski joins us live now from washington. good morning. >> reporter: just in time for memorial day, just in time for trying to fix the va hospital mess and just in time for the serious foreign policy planning discussions that are going to happen as well as big decisions about what america's continued role in afghanistan will be in two remaining missions, training afghan forces and counterterrorism, the president suddenly arrives in afghanistan before the troops. one of his advisers says he's been wanting the do this for
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months, to thank them in person. he did that and, of course, this was a time for him to also list the accomplishments made by troops there. first and foremost being decimating taliban leadership. in a couple sometimes during his speech, the president got some big chief cheers, first when he told soldiers this is likely your last tour of duty in afghanistan. but the biggest cheers came right here. >> by the end of this year, the transition will be complete and afghans will take full responsibility for their security, and our combat mission will be over. america's war in afghanistan will come to a responsible end. >> reporter: so the president didn't mention the va scandal by name, but he did seem to allude to it when he talked about america's moral obligation, a sacred obligation to take care of its wounded warriors. he also talked about hoping that america would have a bilateral security agreement with
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afghanistan which both of the presidential candidates there in this run-off election say they are open to, and that would leave a limited force, as the president described it, to preserve the gains of soldiers there. president obama made it back here to washington just in time to take place in memorial day events today at arlington national cemetery. >> of course we'll cover that live 11:00 a.m. eastern. michelle kosinski, many thanks to you. still to come in the "newsroom," violence rages in ukraine even after a presidential election that monitors say reflects the will of the people. jim sciutto in kiev this morning. jim? >> reporter: we're in the square where the protest movement started. now an election for a new leadership for ukraine. we'll have more right after this break. narrator: these are the skater kid: whoa narrator: that got torture tested by teenagers
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and cried out for help. from the surprised designers. who came to the rescue with a brilliant fix male designer: i love it narrator: which created thousands of new customers for the tennis shoes that got torture tested by teenagers. the internet of everything is changing manufacturing. is your network ready? and now you get hit again.asis. this time by joint pain. it's a double whammy. it could psoriatic arthritis a chronic inflammatory disease that attacks your joints on the inside and your skin on the outside. if you've been hit by... find out more about psoriatic arthritis. take the symptom quiz at and talk to your doctor.
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in you crane he's known as the chocolate king. the billionaire who made his fortune in candy could soon by known as president. his name is petro pour chen co-. poroshenko is vying to be in charge of a country ripped apart by violence as pro-russian separatists clash with ukrainian citizens. just this morning, reports of gunfire and an explosion at the donetsk airport where militants stormed a terminal. cnn national correspondent jim sciutto is in kiev with more. >> reporter: carol, there were a lot of hopes that this election
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would extinguish the violence here. it hasn't happened yet. that's one of the reasons why here in the square where the protest movements started to remove the pro-russian president, these people here have no intention of leaving. you can see the pictures of more than 100 people killed here in clashes with the pro-russian government. they don't want to leave because they want to hold this government to account. many don't trust russia to keep its hands out of ukraine. you have had positive signals from russian president vladimir putin saying he would respect the results of the election. that remains to be seen. people here will trust those words when they see russia acting on them in the coming days and weeks. >> i was just going to ask you about that. with the assault on the airport, is russia really supporting this election? >> reporter: it's a question. you have these pro-russian separatists operating in the eastern part of the country. we spent the last couple days
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there, we saw areas where they supposedly shut down polling stations at gunpoint, intimidating voters. you still have many armed militants. we went through their checkpoints. there's some question as to how much control russia has over them now, u.s. officials, european officials, ukrainian officials saying russia is directing these groups. going forward, can russia easily pull them back if that's the desire of the government in moscow. it's an open question, a lot of these groups operating very independently. today's assault on the airport which we flew out of, there's still signs of a dicey situation, especially in the eastern part of the country. >> jim sciutto live in kiev, many thanks. be sure to join jim this afternoon on twitter. he'll host a q&a. tweet him your questions @jichlsciutto with #jiminukraine. gm has a major recall
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crisis. how much did ceo mary barra know about flawed parts and when did she know it? ♪ thoughtful combinations, artfully prepared. fancy feast elegant medleys. inspired dishes like primavera, florentine and tuscany. fancy feast. a medley of love, served daily. humans. even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify.
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gm is saying 47 crashes can be as tribted to crashes. that's 15 more than first confirmed. the switches have been blamed for 13 deaths. they've recalled more than 16 million vehicles, more than the company sold in five years since it's merged from bankruptcy in
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2009. christine romans live in new york with more on the gm recall crisis and the company's new ceo mary barra. >> reporter: good morning, carol. nearly 30 gm recalls this year, we should expect more this summer. it is a full fledged recall crisis at gm. there's one woman who has been on the job just one month before it all hit who has got to fix it. mary barra has become the face of gm's recall nightmare. >> my sincere apologies to everyone who has been affected by this recall, especially the families and friends who lost their lives or were injured. i am deeply sorry. >> reporter: as the recalls mount, so does the pressure on barra who has tried to stay ahead of the criticism. she appointed two outside legal firms to launch an internal investigation. she named a new safety chief, and she's restructured the company's engineering and quality departments, but still,
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the question lingers, how could she not have known about the faulty ignition switches that started it all when others new years before? >> i was not aware that there was this issue until the recall was introduced on january 31st. >> reporter: that was just days after she took over the top job at gm. >> auto experts say that's not surprising given gm's massive corporate structure. >> it's an enormous company. when outsiders come to work there, the first thing they say is it's mind-boggling. >> reporter: but barra is no outsider, her 30-plus year rise at gm started with an internship. she moved through numerous engineering and manufacturing jobs and several executive level positions, then ceo. that's why some senators found it hard to believe she wasn't aware, given that gm says its engineers detected the problem ten years ago. >> you're a really important
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person to this company. something is very strange, that such a top employee would know nothing. >> but it is important that i think we understand what your role was during your 33 years, and more important than that, that the investigation point out just who knew what and when did they know it? >> reporter: the results of gm's internal investigation are expected next month. until then, the ceo, mary barra has been meeting privately with lawmakers in washington, d.c., briefing them on the recalls. how she handle this is recall crisis will likely cement her gm legacy. >> if she turns this around, she could be a hero. the challenge for her right now is she's got to deal with this crisis. i think she's doing a lot of right things, insisting on recalls, getting this investigation done. she's hired outside consultants, but at the same time she's got to continue to run a car
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company. >> reporter: a car company whose sales have not slowed despite the steady drum beat of recall headlines. >> that drum beat continues again. friday there was the 30th recall notice of the year, 11 just last week. she's getting high marks from our sources in washington who say she's really briefing them on what's going on, but we are in the very early innings of this crisis for her, carol. >> i was going to ask you, how do you see this playing out for mary barra, but it's hard to say right now, right? >> it's hard for her to say. her manner has been very good, very communicative to the people in washington, d.c. she has got to show that she's not part of the problem, she's part of the solution, that there's a new safety culture at gm. i've been asking a lot of analysts and people who study gm's books, is this going to hurt them? sales are not down. in fact, traffic is up at the dealers. if they can even harness a little of that traffic to new car sales, they could actually make more money because of the
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crisis, people going into the dealers to have their older cars looked over. so it's too soon to say. also, it's interesting, bill hole stein who wrote a book "why gm matters" he told me people say, wow, that crisis is bad for gm, but i'm buying a chevy. some buyers don't realize gm is a big overarching brand with other companies. if you want to buy the gmc terrain, you're going to buy the terrain. as the economy continues to improve, she keeps this very grown-up and responsible -- she's handling the crisis from the pr perspective very, very well. if people want to buy a car, they're going to go buy a car, carol. >> twisted logic, but i get it. christine romans, thanks so much. still to come in the "newsroom," more on that massacre in a california college town as we learn more about the killer's troubled past, many are asking what, if anything, could have
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and no known dietary restrictions. treatment with xarelto® was the right move for me. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor about xarelto® today. for more information including savings options, download the xarelto® patient center app, call 1-888-xarelto, or visit elliot rodger's day of retribution ripped apart a california community and ended in the deaths of six young people. sara sidner has more on those who lost their lives. >> shots fired, shots fired. >> reporter: all six victims
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have now been identified. roger's roommates, 20-year-old cheng hong and 19-year-old george chen found dead with multiple stab wounds inside the gunman's isla vista apartment along with another man, 20-year-old weihan wang. the three men students at the university of california santa barbara were rodger's first victims before taking off in his black bmw to this sorority house. >> i saw a gunshot wound to her abdomen and side, and also one to her head. >> reporter: this is where police say he shot 22-year-old katherine cooper and 19-year-old veronika weiss killed right in the front yard. >> we need a second ambulance for another gunshot wound. >> reporter: less than two blocks away, rodger opens fire again at a deli mart killing 20-year-old student christopher martinez. surveillance video captured customers diving and scrambling for cover as the bullets flew.
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>> i'll never have another child. he's gone. >> reporter: cyy's kyung lah spoke to chris' father who blames the government for a lack of gun control. >> i can't tell you how angry i am! it's just awful! no parent should have to go through this, no parent! to have a kid die -- my kid died because nobody responded to what occurred at sandy hook. those parents lost little kids! it's bad enough that i lost my 20-year-old, but i had 20 years with my son. that's all i ever had. >> rodger's shooting spree injuring over a dozen more before, according to police, the 22-year-old took his own life. >> that was sara sidner reporting. one of the people named in elliot rodger's chilling manifesto, and here it is right here, it's quite lengthy, one of the people named in this manifesto was this childhood classmate, his name was lucky
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radley. this morning radley actually talked about what elliot was like when he knew him. >> how close were you? there's a reason i'm asking here. >> i went over to his house a couple times, played games with him. he sat at the same desk, table with me in my classroom. that's about as far as it goes. >> doesn't sound like you were close buddies or best friends or someone you dealt with every day of your life growing um. >> oh, no. >> which makes it very interesting, lucky, that your name came up in this so-called manifesto. it says "lucky would later go to the same middle school as me where he would become an object of my extreme jealousy and hatred. looking back, i can't believe i actually played with him as a friend in my father's neighborhood." what does it feel like to see that now?
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>> when i saw that, i was just shocked. i couldn't -- i didn't believe that was coming from him. when i heard everything, i'm still shocked. it's just a crazy feeling. i still can't believe it. >> chris mulhandi is a forensic psychologist from los angeles. welcome, chris. >> good morning. >> this shooter names this kid in his manifesto and calls him a friend. as you heard lucky say, he didn't even know him that well. strange, right? >> right. he's very narcissistic. he's got a lot of paranoia. everything gets magnified in his world. he's seething with envy, looking
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at all the things he doesn't have. he's an injustice collector. he holds on to every perceived insult he's received in his life. he's grandiose, feels the world owes him something, probably one of the most narcissistic individuals i've heard about in a long time. >> supposedly getting mental health treatment since he was 8 years old. was he born with a mental illness? >> it sound like he's had a chronic history of problems. whether that was something genetically loaded or something created through an environment, we don't exactly know at this point. but what is significant is it's been chronic for him. obviously many people were aware that he had problems and, in fact, some people were aware that he had harbored these kinds of hostile violent thinking. >> as parents kept tabs on him, they really did -- it seemed to
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me they did everything they could. he writes this manifesto, full at rage, anger at girls for rejecting them, anger at other young men for being more successful with the opposite sex. there had been reports that he was diagnosed with asperger's, his parents suspecting that he was perhaps autistic. but you say you think it's a case of narcissim. >> as berger's is a whole other kind of developmental disorder. i'm not saying he doesn't have that. i've never evaluated him. what you see in his writing, what you see in his video is pro found narcissim. he's so in to himself and all the things he thinks the world owes him, he's very entitled. he's seething with envy, and these are kind of classic narcissistic features. he is very obsessed with himself. you've got 140-plus pages of his own reflections upon himself.
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this is a very narcissistic individual. he may have other things that were wrong with him, but what comes to the surface as leading to this tragedy is the narcissistic component of the self along with the paranoid features. that's what i'm seeing. this is a person who felt on to every sense that he had been wronged, has no gratitude for any of the good things that have happened to him in his life and only focuses on that which he believed the world owed him and other people had and was denied. that's kind of classic narcissim intersecting with some paranoid issues. >> so knowing that, saying that, was there anything anyone could do to prevent him from playing out his anger in a violent way? >> i think it was attempted. i think somebody brought it forward. i heard that it might have been the parents even that brought forward that there were concerns about what he was posting. he engaged in what we call
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leakage which we see in many, if not most offenders that will do something like this. they'll talk about it beforehand. they'll make these kinds of social networking kinds of communications like on youtube as he did, and that stuff needs to be noticed and reported. it was. police went out to try to deal with him. the question was, and we need to see what comes out in any full reviews of the situation which i'm sure will be done, was enough done to see if he had guns? to do a search? was there a tlsh hold reach where they could have been done? the opportunity presented itself. people knew about him. people were concerned. why did he still have guns, why was he allowed to have guns knowing what was going on. i suspect more will be revealed as the investigation unholds to answer those questions. >> we'll continue digging. kris, thank you so much for your insight. i appreciate it. still to come in the
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"newsroom," the sterling family may be trying to sell the l.a. clippers, but the first deadline is around the corner to kirk donald sterling out of the league for good. that comes tomorrow. we'll talk about that next. off-t really off for me. i've got a lot to do. that's why i got my surface. it's great for watching game film and drawing up plays. it's got onenote, so i can stay on top of my to-do list, which has been absolutely absurd since the big game. with skype, it's just really easy to stay in touch with the kids i work with. alright, russell you are good to go! alright, fellas. alright, russ. back to work!
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the first deadline in the effort to kick donald sterling out of the nba is up tomorrow. that's when sterling is supposed to respond to the nba's charge that his conduct has damaged and continues to damage the league. it comes as his wife sits down with potential buyers over the sale of the team. on sunday shelly sterling reportedly met with the former microsoft chairman steve ball r ballmer. according to cnn there are six serious bidders. let's talk about that. with me, senior writer for cnn, l.z granderson and brian
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claypool, a season ticket holder. thank you for being with me on this memorial day. brian, we know donald sterling turned over the sale of the team to his wife. does that mean she can sit down with steve ballmer and negotiate a sale? >> happy memorial day, by the way, carol. how ironic that on memorial day, on a day where our veterans have fought for equality in our country and fought for freedom in our country that we're talking about a man who wants nothing to do, and a woman who really wants nothing to do with equality in our country. getting back to your question, shelly sterling can talk to whoever she wants to try to negotiate a sale of the team. at the end of the day, carol, she's in the going to have any interest in the clippers, because in 2005, she signed the same agreement that donald sterling signed that says that neither one of them can transfer their 50% ownership in the l.a.
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clippers to each other unless the board of governors of the nba approves that by a 3/4 vote. she's not going to have a say in who the clippers get sold to. >> l.z, i'd like you to address this. shelly sterling wants to remain a minority owner. donald will be completely out of it. the nba commissioner may have complicated matters when he said, there have been no decisions about other members of the sterling family. i should say this sterling applies specifically to donald sterling and donald sterling's conduct only. so what does that mean for mrs. sterling or sterling's children? >> well, that was made before the nba really started to do its investigative work and put together what seems to be a really impressive case, not only against donald sterling, but also against shelly sterling. "the l.a. times" reported a couple days ago that there were several employees of the clippers who talked specifically about shelly sterling, her
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racist behavior around the organization and how they don't want her either. you have players like lebron james, players in the league saying they want no sterling to be a part of the clippers franchise. while she may have a desire either for tax reasons or just vanity reasons to want to hold on to a portion of the team, the reality is she doesn't have the support in the league office nor with the players to make that happen. >> brian, i think l.z brings up an important point, i would think lebron james is a very powerful person here, he could lead a boycott if any sterling family member has a stake in the clippers. that sort of settles how the mab is going the fight this, doesn't it? >> i think he makes a great point. i think another angle, carol, that the nba is going to carry out here, is they're going to also go after shelly sterling on this morality clause. there is evidence -- there's testimony under oath, carol, years
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that if implicated, shelly sterling being a racist. i think if the nba was smart, what they do, what they should do is broaden the umbrella at this hearing and also include allegations against shelly sterling to prove that she is also racist so that they can capture this all in one hearing and stop her from having any ownership in the clippers based on this same clause and article 5 that she has also done things that have morally impugned the nba. >> the thing that's interesting -- i was going to say, the thing that's interesting about that is that i don't think the nba wants to really air out that dirty laundry because ultimately the question is if you knew this about the sterlings, why didn't you do something sooner? do something ten years earlier. there's video of her portraying someone in the government trying to identify the race of the
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occupants of the apartments they were renting and nba had this information ten years ago. they don't want that dirty laundry out there. if i can just say one more thing and that is thank you to our veterans and those who are serving on this memorial day. >> absolutely. okay. so i would like to wrap this up by pondering who will eventually own the clippers because i don't think it will be the sterlings. i don't think it will be any sterling. shelly sterling approaches steve ballmer. is he out of the picture because shelly sterling sat down with him, do you think? >> he was involved with a group trying to keep the seattle sonics at a time in seattle. this is a man in which the league knows. he was sitting next to adam silver a couple weeks ago at a clippers game. he would be ideal. there's also rumors about grant hill. the longtime nba player leading
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a group trying to get the clippers and of course there's magic johnson. he is a known person with leadership ideas that the league has vetted and knows. >> thanks so much. i'm back in a minute. fancy feast elegant medleys. inspired dishes like primavera, florentine and tuscany. fancy feast. a medley of love, served daily.
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later this morning, president obama will deliver memorial day remarks at arlington national cemetery. the service will include a
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wreath laying cemetery at the tomb of the unknown soldier. many people have started gathering to pay their respects at what's described as the saddest acre in america. section 60. since september 11th, that's where more than 2,000 soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors have been laid to rest. let's bring in cnn's pentagon correspondent barbara starr. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, carol. here memorial day 2014 at arlington. we're hearing some of the motorcycles rev up. some of the older veterans coming through here also on their motorcycles to pay their respects here this morning. families and friends and colleagues have those fallen on the battlefield have been streaming in here since the gates opened at 8:00 this morning. and one of the things that is so remarkable every year, we see so many small children being brought here by their parents to visit fathers, brothers, uncles, sisters.
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we stopped and we spoke to one young mother, brittany jacobs, who brought her very young son here to visit the grave of his father. i want you to listen to what she had to say for just a minute. >> to me it's important for me to raise him and let him know about his father. his dad would want him to know about him and i want him to know about him and how great of a man he was. i want him to always grow up knowing it and seeing it. i don't want it to come as a shock to him. this morning he was asking questions. he was, like, mommy, why can't daddy come from heaven. is daddy hurting. those are things right now that we're going through. >> what do you tell him? >> i tell him daddy is not hurting. daddy is heaven. he can't come see us. i told him he's in our hearts. he's having a hard time understanding that. >> christopher jacobs served five tours in the war zone before coming home. he was killed in a training
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accident here in the united states. carol? >> barbara starr reporting live for us this morning. i'll be right back. [ male announcer ] celebrate every win with nicoderm cq, the unique patch with time release smartcontrol technology that helps prevent the urge to smoke all day long. help prevent your cravings with nicoderm cq. that helps prevent the urge to smoke all day long. first the cookie at check-in. then a little time to kick back. earn double hilton honors points with the 2 "x" points package and be one step closer to a weekend break. doubletree by hilton. where the little things mean everything.
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good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. this morning in coffee shops and across college campuses, this man's deadly rampage is reviving the debate over gun control. elliott roger was able to legally buy three handguns. his murder weapons. all six of the people killed were students at the university of california at santa barbara. george chen was the first to die. he shared an apartment with roger and was slasheded to death along with another roommate and
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friend who was visiting. katherine cooper was gunned down along with veronica weiss. just minutes later, christopher martinez became the final victim because he walked into a deli for a snack. what his father has to say is sure to echo in congress. sara sidner covered the story throughout the weekend and joins us now from outside of the sheriff's department in santa barbara. good morning, sara. >> reporter: good morning, carol. you know, the students are talking about this. there is going to be a day of mourning at uc santa barbara school. the student who was actually the shooter in this actually went to santa barbara city college. lots of students in this area and lots of conversations going on not just about what happened but also about the politics of all this. there's a conversation about gun control but there's also a lot of talk about the fact that this
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guy ended up stabbing as many people and killing them as he did shooting people. police say this is where the sinister plan of a disturbed student began to unfold. three people, all stabbed to death, are taken from the apartment of 22-year-old college student elliott roger and then police say roger turned his rage on strangers carrying out a chilling plan he detailed on youtube. >> from the day of retribution, i am going to enter the hotte t house and i will slaughter every single spoiled stuckup blonde [ bleep ] i see inside there. >> reporter: police say roger pounded on the door but never made it inside t.
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when we arrived, blood and flowers marked the spot where three young women were shot. two killed. you're there at the fraternity. just down the street. what did you see? >> i came up and basically there was a young girl laying right here and she was -- i could just tell immediately that she was gone. i saw a gunshot wound to her abdomen and on her side and also one through her head. you could tell she wasn't bleeding anymore. she was gone. there was another girl right here. >> there were more than one? >> there were three girls. there was a girl right here and she was really, really struggling. you could tell she was just barely able to move her eyes. and just moving her arms slightly. then there was another girl right here and she was kind of laying down crouched. she was still conscious. she was talking.
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she immediately got on the phone with her mother and was telling her mother about how much she loved her and she wasn't sure she was going to make it. and then it probably took a minute or two and the one right here passed away. >> reporter: the third victim there survived but the drive-by shooting spree continued snatching away life with reckless abandon leaving families in searing emotional pain. >> he was the most warm, loving, kind hearted kid you could ask for. it's just -- you talk to people that know him, they would tell you he was a great kid. >> he had a beautiful soul. he was kind and thoughtful. >> his son, 20-year-old student christopher ross martinez, just wanted to grab a bite to eat at this market. he lost his life instead.
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he along with five other innocence are dead. all victims of a young man with a deadly plan. guns, a fast car and plenty of ammunition. and that is what a lot of people are talking about. we did talk to a neighbor who actually saw some of that ammunition as he peered into the window of the suspect's apartment. he said he looked around and when he looked down on the floor, he saw a huge box filled with ammunition. carol? >> sara sidner reporting live for us this morning. that heartbroken father you heard from in sara's report has much more to say about the son he lost in that deli. >> the politicians after sandy hook swore they would do something. >> we're all proud to be americans. what kind of message does it send to the world when we have
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such a rutterless bunch of idiots in government. i can't tell you how angry i am. it's just awful and no parent should have to go through this. no parent to have a kid die because in this kind of situation. what has changed? have we learned nothing? these things are going to continue until somebody does something so where the hell is the leadership? where the hell is these people we elect to congress that we spend so much money on? these people are getting rich sitting in congress. what do they do? they don't take care of our kids. my kid died because nobody responded to what occurred at sandy hook. those parents lost little kids. it's bad enough that i lost my 20 year old, but i had 20 years with my son. that's all i'll ever have.
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they lost their children at 6 and 7 years old. how do you think they feel? and who is doing anything for them now? who is standing up for those kids that died back then? in an elementary school. why wasn't something done? it's outrageous. >> mr. martinez's words so emotional and so powerful maybe something will change. i say that because republican peter king, a congressman in favor of some stricter gun control laws says the tragedy in california reinforces the need to expand background checks. king along with other lawmakers is calling for a review of gun control legislation. it's something sandy phillips has been fighting for ever since she lost her daughter, jessica, in the shooting at an aurora, colorado, movie theater. sandy joins me now by phone. good morning, sandy. >> good morning, carol. how are you today? >> mr. martinez's words were just so emotional.
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i know you have been in that place. >> every time one of these killings happen, it takes you right back to your own phone call getting the news that your daughter has been taken. and he got it right. he is showing the frustration of millions of americans at the nra and many of our politicians. he's got it right. we do have to take action. we can no longer sit on the back row and watch it happen time after time after time. >> well, you know what some people are going to say. this young man killed three people with a knife. he didn't need a gun to kill. he also tried to run over people with his car. he used whatever weapon was at hand. >> yes. you know, we know that with weapons that he had in his car that he could have done a lot
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more damage ain a lot shorter amount of time had the police not been able to intervene as quickly as they did. so that argument is really not much of an argument. you know, the chinese guy that came in and stabbed 22 children and none of them died. stabbing has to be done in close quarters. a gun does not. a gun with the kind of power that he had and the kind of ammunition that he had, certainly can take out a lot of people in a very, very short amount of time. we found in aurora that in 90 seconds he was able to kill 12 and wound 68. so that wouldn't have happened with a knife. you know, when i went to work for brady right after my daughter died, i had the same kind of outrage that richard martinez currently has. we have to do something. and unfortunately our system moves very, very slowly but there is a momentum now and he
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can be a part of that. everyone can be a part of that. you don't have to lose a child to become active in this cause. >> the other thing people are going to point out, sandy, is under california law -- actually california law has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country. so under california law, if the shooter in this case this young man had named someone specific to a psychiatrist because a psychiatrist knew he had violent tendencies but he never named anyone specific like i'm go to shoot so and so. if he had done that, the psychiatrist would have been required to report it to the police and then this young man could have been banned for owning guns for five years. does that law need to be changed or is it enough? >> i don't think there's any one solution unfortunately. it would be nice to sugar coat this and say this one thing is going to work. certainly expanding background checks will make a difference. right now he didn't have to go
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to a federally licensed firearms dealer. he chose to and he was able to purchase his guns but you can purchase them online. you can go to a private seller without a background check at all. so we have to start there. and then we can close the loopholes to other laws as well. we have the same situation in aurora with the young person that took our daughter's life and 11 others. he was able to go legally and buy a gun because he had not been hospitalized. so, yes, there's a lot of cleanup to do. like i said, no one solution will solve the problem. but we need to start somewhere and we know that background checks work. stopped over 2 million people from buying handguns and guns that shouldn't have. >> just to make things clear for our viewers.
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this young man in california had no criminal history. he had never explicitly threatened anyone and he had never been committed to a mental institution yet he had been treated for psychiatric problems since he was 8 years old. that means it was perfectly legal for him to own a firearm. >> kind of insane. >> we'll see what happens from here. sandy phillips, thank you so much for joining me this morning. i appreciate it. >> carol, thank you for having me on. i appreciate it. >> any time. what more could have been done to stop this attack? family, mental health experts all raised red flags and this young man met with law enforcement but managed to kill six people. at the bottom of the hour i'll talk to a retired law enforcement agent about stopping something like this from happening again. are you ready grandma? just a second, sweetie.
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a frightening scene unfolding in ukraine just hours after citizens voted in what international observers hailed as a free election. a battle breaks out at the airport in the troubled region of donetsk. state media reporting that troops are clearing them out and military reinforcements are already in route. nick paton walsh has more. >> reporter: i have just come from the airport where it was clear that pro-russian separatists are there. we saw a military helicopter pass overhead and fire near the airport.
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received incoming fire from pro-russian militants hidden in a woods nearby. at 3:00 this morning, militants it separatists, burst into the airport and demanded they leave their position around it and at 7:00 this morning flights were suspended from there. we understand from ukrainian government official its speaking on behalf of anti-terror operation here to push against pro-russian separatists that a deadline was given for militants to leave the airport by 1:00. they ignored it and in went the ukrainian military saying they fired two shots from a jet flying overhead. that began intense gunfire that we heard. we saw the jet continually flying overhead. helicopters moving in. barrage of heavy weapons. light gunfire. worst fighting i have seen so far this this crisis in ukraine. intensity in the middle or very close to the middle of this one of the many cities in the region here and the key part of the infrastructure which the government had said they would really not allow to be taken by the militants. it comes, carol, just hours
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after the ukrainian president-elect poroshenko said he would want a peaceful way out of this. we don't even know how many people have been killed so far. we do know there were helicopters and jets flying over what was the once peaceful civilian international airport. carol? >> nick paton walsh reporting live from ukraine. defense secretary chuck hagel speaking out about allegations the va tried to cover up delayed wait times for sick veterans. he's not mincing words. >> it makes me sick to my stomach because it is clear responsibility that we have. >> next, why hagel says he's standing by the man in charge of veterans affairs though. be right back. how much protein
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you're looking at live pictures of arlington national selt a cemetery. in less than an hour, president obama will lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier. many families have already started gathering at section 60 to pay their respects. since september 11th, that's where more than 2,000 soldiers, marine, airmen and sailors have been laid to rest. this memorial day defense secretary chuck hagel is speaking out about the ongoing
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veterans affairs scandal in addition to cooked books, the va admits 23 veterans died because of delayed care. up to 40 more deaths are under investigation. cnn chief washington correspondent and host of "the lead" jake tapper sat down with hagel. good morning. >> we talked about a lot of things including as a vietnam veteran what this day, memorial day, means to the defense secretary, chuck hagel, who served in vietnam and has shrapnel still in his chest. one of the first questions i asked is what about this va scandal. please react to it as you would react as a veteran. here's what he had to say. you come at the va controversy, va scandal from an interesting perspective. not only are you a veteran, you were once deputy administrator of the veterans administration. are you appalled when you see these stories? >> well, i suspect i'm not
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unlike any american. it makes me sick to my stomach because it is clear responsibility that we have as a country, as a people, to take care of these men and women and their families who sacrificed so much. i know systems are imperfect. i get that. but when you've got what we do know and we need to get the facts, let's see exactly what happened, why it happened, how it happened, then we've got to fix it. then we have to fix it. sure. i many, everybody is upset with this. >> carol, interesting perspective from secretary hagel. he was once the deputy administrator for the va during the early years of the reagan administration and that was a time when there was a very controversial administrator that referred to vietnam veterans as cry babies and said agent orange
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was no worse than acne and hagel was so upset and he resigned and a few months later the administrator was forced to resign as well. he knows what a va controversy looks like up close and personal. >> so in light of that, some lawmakers called for va chief eric shinseki to resign. where does hagel stand on that? >> he's not there nor will you find any members of the administration openly calling for shinseki to step down. much like president obama, he didn't exactly offer a very strong defense of the defense secretary. it was more along the lines of what we heard from president obama a few days ago which is let's see what the facts are and let's have these investigations run their course and let's fix the problem. it was not a full throated defense though of course also not a call for him to step down. >> i can't wait to hear more. jake tapper, many thanks. you can catch the entire interview today at 4:00 p.m. eastern on "the lead" with jake
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that corporate trial by fire when every slacker gets his due. and yet, there's someone around the office who hasn't had a performance review in a while.
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someone whose poor performance is slowing down the entire organization. i'm looking at you phone company dsl. check your speed. see how fast your internet can be. switch now and add voice and tv for $34.90. comcast business built for business. good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. in southern california, a young man wallowed in his loneliness and then looked into a camera and gleefully described the slaughter he was about to
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unleash. cnn's pamela brown has more. >> reporter: we spoke to a close friend of the rodger family. his name is simon. he said there was a desperate search under way to find elliott rodger as the shooting rampage was taking place because his parents received the e-mail he sent them with a manifesto attached. his mother read it at 9:17 p.m. pacific time according to this family friend. she knew something was wrong under a found hit retribution video on youtube and called 911. there was a search to find him. they were in the car on the way to santa barbara. their worst nightmare came true when they found out the person behind the shooting was their 22-year-old son. they admit that hindsight is easy and ask what more could they have done? they are going through grief coming to grips with the loss of their son and knowing what he
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did. carol? >> pamela brown reporting. there were warning signs from elliott rodger but no one as able to stop him from murdering six people on friday night. in the weeks leading up to the attack, sheriff's detectives went to rodger's home because relatives were worried and authorities were alerted on april 30th. >> the relative indicated there was concern about his well-being and the person from the mental health department had been contacted our agency and ask that we conduct a welfare check to determine if he was a danger to himself or anyone else. and deputies from the sheriff's office contacted him. they found him to be rather shy and timid, polite, well spoken. he explained to the deputies that it was a misunderstanding and he was able to convince them that he was not at that point a
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danger to himself or anyone else and wouldn't have met the criteria for an involuntary hold to examine him further. >> rodger wrote about that meeting in his manifesto which cnn obtained a copy of. this manifesto says "the police interrogated me outside for a few minutes asking me if i had suicidal thoughts. i tactfully told them it was all a misunderstanding and they finally left. if they demanded to search my room, that would have ended everything." he had guns in his room and his plan was already in the works apparently. lou is a retired law enforcement agent. he joins us live this morning. good morning. >> hi, carol. >> this is such a tough case. you heard what that deputy sheriff said. he said they went to his home. they checked him out. he answered the door. he seemed very timid and they left without worry because the kid convinced them it was all a
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misunderstanding. sound plausible to you? >> absolutely. it happens every day. we encounter people every day in the street and when we question them they give us the answers that they know we're looking for. at that point we have no alternative legally but to let them go on their way and in the instance of it young man, they had no justification to further their actions by forcing entry into his residence and searching and so on and so forth. they just did what we normally would do. these welfare checks are a bit more common than most people realize and most of the time the focal point of them are the elderly. i was involved in one myself. we got a heads-up from the family that hadn't been able to contact their father by the time we got to the residence, the father had expired. he was in his late 80s. they're not that uncommon and police are limited or restricted as to what they may or may not do in conducting these checks. >> wherever these tragedies
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happen, there are people who always ask could we have prevented this? and some people say yes if there were stricter background checks to buy weapons. for example, this kid had no criminal history. he had never explicitly threatened anyone. he never had been voluntarily committed to a mental institution. it was legal for him to buy a gun. should that change? >> absolutely. i've spoken to this for the past few years. i think what should happen at this point, carol, is the federal government should establish a mandate that states are required to follow. it would not restrict or inhibit you from obtaining a concealed weapon, for example, with prerogative to carry it nationwide. what it would do is ask you to comply with the same vetting process that we comply with in law enforcement which includes but isn't limited to minnesota multiscreening, word association, interviews with psychologists, criminal history, firearms training and then
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education in a classroom setting to inform you on what laws of force will allow you to do. it would not infringe on anyone's rights to carry. it would give more people the prerogative to carry in a capacity they might like. one final thing i would like to say. we need to explore changing the ages for these children to buy handguns. in other words, right now you can buy a long arm at the age of 18. you can buy a handgun at 21 years of age. maybe we need to up the ages on these handguns to perhaps 25 because we're looking at this demographic that's consistently demonstrating their participation in these types of events or occurrences. >> i should have mentioned that this kid was being treated -- he was undergoing psychological treatments since he was 8 years old. he had just never really hurt anyone. he had never specifically threatened anyone. there were these blanket -- i guess blanket threats.
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does that make a difference because once you -- once you say you can't own a gun because you're being treated psychologically, isn't that a slippery slope? >> not in my opinion it isn't. i'll tell you something interesting. earlier today a former deputy director of the fbi pointed out something rather interesting. in virginia tech, the individual who obtained two high capacity handguns was adjudicated by a judge to be mentally defective. that was nowhere to be found in the community where he could purchase a firearm. we have a broken system. we have a broken system when it comes to mental health and apparently with the regulation and control of these firearms. we need to sit down and put our thinking caps on and start to problem solve. the point i'm trying to make is even if it's reported, who is it reported to and then how is that information further communicated
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to business establishments that sell firearms ? we have to address these issues. these cases are no longer an anomaly. we are not addressing this problem. not in any capacity. i don't want to hang the burden of this incident on gun control because this isn't a gun control issue. this is a mental illness issue. one that we just continue to gloss over. >> i have to ask you one more thing because people will bring this up. this young man stabbed three people. he used a knife to kill. then he used the gun to kill three more. he also tried to use his car to kill someone. so it's stricter laws? is stricter gun control laws the answer in this case? >> absolutely not. if we go back a month ago in the state of pennsylvania, if my recollection serves me correctly, we had an individual who attempted to -- successful in stabbing 20 people followed
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by an incident in new jersey in a shopping mall with a homeless person that stabbed two people and killed one. we have a consistent demonstration of aggression or attacks with the one common denominator. mental defectiveness. it has nothing to do with the vehicle so to speak in which they deliver their message. it has to do with someone's mental state of mind and the fact that we need to figure out how we're going to address how would you say disseminating information that these people are in existence and we need to prevent them from getting their hands on handguns for example. >> lou, many thanks. still to come in the news, pope francis wraps up his visit to the middle east. right now he's conducting mass in jerusalem. ivan watson is there. >> reporter: that's right,
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carol. the pope and his denunciation of anti-semitism at the holocaust museum in jerusalem and his call for palestinian/israeli peace. we'll have more on that after the break. hey. i'm ted and this is rudy.
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nothing says you care like a milk-bone brushing chew. teacher layoffs. and a 60 billion dollar budget deficit. that's what john perez faced when he became speaker of the california assembly. so he partnered with governor brown to pass three balanced budgets, on time. for the first time in thirty years.
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today, the deficits are gone and we've invested an additional 2 billion dollars in education. now john perez is running for controller, to keep fighting for balanced budgets. democrat john perez for controller. all right. these are live pictures of pope francis now conducting mass in jerusalem. he's actually wrapping up his trip to the holy land later today but his visit will long be remembered filled with incredibly powerful images like this one. this is pope francis pressing his palm against a graffiti covered wall. it's israel's imposing separation wall. erected to keep palestinians out of israeli territory. palestinians see it as a symbol of israeli oppression. the pope told the crowd he knows about this wall and he put his
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forehead against that wall and he prayed. with me to talk about this, cnn international correspondent ivan watson and father thomas. welcome to both of you. >> thank you. >> ivan, i want to start with you. why was the pope's gesture so powerful? >> i was in bethlehem yesterday and palestinians were delighted because that separation barrier, which was built by the israeli security forces, is really a symbol of what they consider to be oppression of occupation. they call it the apartheid barrier. by walking up to it and showing the cameras the graffiti that you see in those images, they believe that the pope was bringing attention to an occupation that has gone on for decades here. it was interesting that when the pope was meeting with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu today, prime minister netanyahu actually said to him, you know, we wish for a day when
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there won't be any further acts of terrorism, when we won't need this wall. the pope actually didn't respond to prime minister netanyahu. he basically asked for the room tour cleared of journalists before he issued a response to the prime minister's assertion there. >> interesting. so the vatican spoke and said the pope's stop at that wall was not planned. this trip was not supposed to be political but it most certainly turned out to be. why did the pope press this way? >> it's hard to enter the holy land or the middle east without having political ramifications. i think what the pope was trying to do is to show that religion can be a force for reconciliation, for building bridges, rather than a source of violence and conflict. and by inviting the leaders of israel and palestine to come to the vatican to pray for peace,
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this is bringing together two people who have never wanted to be in the same room with each other. i think this is an extraordinary achievement of the pope showing how he's trying to build bridges between people who are in conflict. >> and ivan, the father mentioned the pope invited leaders of palestine and israel to pray for him in rome. will they go? >> both offices of the palestinian authority and israeli president both indicated they're open to this and welcome the initiative. there's something to keep in mind here. israeli president is stepping down from office in about two months and he's not really the big decision maker, the power broker in the israeli government. that's prime minister netanyahu. this is a good symbolic gesture. everybody agrees with it. whether or not it will actually change anything on the ground after negotiations between the israelis and the palestinians
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that were brokered by the u.s. collapsed last month, that's a big question. just to underscore how complicated it is here, carol, the mass that the pope is currently performing is taking place where jesus is believed to have eaten the last summer. huge christian symbolism there. it was also the focus of some israeli jewish protests because it's on top of the tomb of king david and some israelis protested against the pope even coming to this place. that shows you how complicated jerusalem is and how complicated the holy land is and what a high wire act the pope is walking on right now. >> and it also shows the pope was willing to push some buttons. will he continue to press like this? >> i think he's done a marvous job during this trip of reaching out to muslims, to jews. he's giving home ae ining hope
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encouragement to the small christian population being attacked by jewish extremists and muslim extremists. i think that he's there to build bridges and to bring people together, to point out the only way toward peace is reconciliation and mutual respect and understanding. and i think he's going to continue to do that. >> thank you so much. i appreciate it. still to come in the "newsroom," a massive mud slide in western colorado. eight square miles now covered. jennifer gray has more on the conditions of this very unstable area. that's next. when you save money on hotel rooms, it's just like saving money on anything else that costs money. like shoes, textiles, foreign investments, spatulas, bounty hunters, javelins...
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to talk with an insurance expert about everything that comes standard with our base auto policy. and if you switch, you could save up to $423. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? unbelievably big is how emergency crews describe a massive mud slide. 250 feet deep. this entire area remains very unstable. right now three people are missing. one witness said the mudslide sounded like a freight train. meteorologist jennifer gray joins us now to tell us exact write where this is. >> it just happened in colorado. a lot of rain has fallen in the past 24 to 48 hours. this is radar from the past 24 hours. we'll zoom in a little bit. we'll concentrate it right over that one area. the showers came through
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yesterday and even on saturday evening. this is the rainfall totals about an inch of rain which doesn't seem like a lot but if the ground is already saturated, it's not going to take a lot more to cause some of these landslides out there. the area is still very unstable. the good news is the system that caused rain in portions of colorado is going to be pushing out as we speak so conditions should be improving. more of a dry pattern through the next couple of days to let the area dry out some. what happens is the ground gets extremely saturated from the rain and because the slope is so steep, it can't hold the weight of the water within the soil and that slope fails so that's where you get those landslides unfortunately. the good news is it looks like we'll dry out a little bit. >> that's better news. thank you so much, jennifer. still to come, this memorial day we pay tribute to service members that paid the ultimate sacrifice.
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president obama arrives at arlington national cemetery in moments. you'll see it live. in 1953. afghanistan, in 2009. orbiting the moon in 1971. [ 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 is without equal. begin your legacy. get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve.
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in just a couple minutes, the president will lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns. you can see they are getting ready over there. let's bring in cnn's pentagon correspondent barbara starr live at arlington national cemetery this morning. >> reporter: good morning. we're just down the hill from where the president will appear shortly at section 60 in arlington, the place where more than 800 troops who fought on the battlefields of iraq and afghanistan have been laid to rest and it's always on memorial day you can see the people who have come here to pay their respects. families, friends, colleagues, battle buddies. so many people are here. and like so many years in the past, we see so many small children getting older with
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every year but still so much small children being brought here by their parents to pay their respects. many of them having lost a parent in the war. so this is a place of great sadness but also i always say every year it's a place of great love. there is really nothing like seeing some battle buddies coming here, pausing, spending time at their buddy's grave side and paying their respects. we'll hear from the president shortly. we're beginning to hear some in the background here some of the assembling of the ceremony where he will lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown. for the people that think maybe memorial day is a day off from work, a day to go to the beach, to barbecue, to go to the pool. absolutely go and have fun but around the country people are indeed pausing and taking a moment and paying their respects to the nation's fallen. carol? >> i like to think people take a moment to pay their respects and
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enjoy the love of their families which they should certainly honor because there are so many where you are today who cannot share the love with their family today. barbara starr, thank you so much. thank you for joining me today. i'm carol costello. "@ this hour" with berman and mckayla starts now. hello there. i'm john berman. >> i'm michaela pereira. it's 11:00 a.m. in the east. 8:00 a.m. out west. we know it's one of the most somber acts of the presidency. paying respects at this hour president obama will honor service men and women who sacrificed their lives for the nation. >> he's laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown at arlington national cemetery and making remarks at the memorial day ceremony. you're looking at a live picture there of the secretary of veterans affairs, eric shinseki, of course an honored veteran injured in the vietnam war.
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he served as chief of staff for the army itself under presidents clinton and bush. of course now he's embroiled in a scandal at the veterans affairs department. as a veteran, as an honored veteran of service, he is there today to remember his brothers and sisters who gave their lives in service of this country. >> the men and women who served our nation with dignity and honor and with the ultimate sacrifice. 147th memorial service held here at arlington. it's a beautiful and very warm day. 87 degrees i'm told in arlington. a big crowd gathered there. we want to hear the sights and sounds so we'll make sure to keep quiet so you can pay your respects at home as well. >> the first thing we'll see in just a little bit is the president who will lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns which is one of the most sacred sites in our nation. it was placed there and built in 1921. inscribed with words that