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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  April 22, 2010 1:00am-2:00am EDT

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man is out there somewhere. seth mcfarland tomorrow -- his clock ain't wound up too tight. time now for a man whose clock is always wound up, anderson cooper at ac "360." anderson. >> thanks, larry, keeping them honest tonight. the birthers are back and this time the legislators are listening. they're demanding he produce a birth certificate in that state and tonight you will hear from one of the arizona lawmakers who voted for the bill, keeping them honest. you think the ash from the iceland erupting volcano is bad. what if it is only the opening act. we'll show you its bigger brother that could be on the verge of blowing its top. and you will not be able to turn away from this mom's story, after complications from birth, she cannot move or speak, only move her eyes. the question and the court fight is over this. can she think and communicate, and should she be allowed to see
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her three young children? right now she is not. 2first up tonight, the birthers are back. legislators in a number of states are listening and arizona is trying to pass laws in response. the arizona house of representatives this week passing legislation to require a candidate to show a birth certificate in order to get on the proposal ballot. five other states are considering the idea. before we go further, let's get a couple things out of the way here so we're all on the same page. this is an official copy of president obama's birth certificate from the state of hawaii. the state went paperless so the original is on electronic form on a server somewhere. on the back is a stamp from the hawaii state registrar. doubters claim it is unsigned and bogus but the stamp is how they do it in hawaii. move this down and away. they also claim it doesn't have a raised seal, which you can see it does. the photos are from the nonpartisan factcheck.org, taken
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at obama headquarters in chicago. cruise the web, you will find plenty of other documents this one purporting to show mr. obama was born in kenya, even though the birth certificate actually gets the name of the country wrong, the republic of kenya, at the time it wasn't called the republic of kenya as it says it was right there. a lot of people are buying the notion of a foreign president. check this out, pretty stunning. "new york times" news poll, 1 in 5 said president obama is kenyan by birth, another 23% said they just don't know. only 58% said the president of the united states is an american. granted, that's a majority, still, can you recall any other time a significant number of people had any doubt about their president. here's what the editorial board writes about the president in their state. this is not a national thing, this is in their state. ken bennett who lives in the
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real world, not on conspiracy island, points out it could be uncondition sti tugsal for a state to impose its own requirements on federal office. the proposed legislation is worse than a foolish waste of time, suggests arizona is a place where any crackpot whim can be enshrined in law. keeping them honest tonight, we're going to ask whether this bill or anything like it is constitutional. and we'll take a look at the 20 of the birthers and what they believe. joining us now is arizona republican state representative cecil ash, who voted for the measure. thanks for being with us. do you believe barack obama is an american, born in hawaii? >> all the evidence i've seen is he born in hawaii. i saw ap berth certificate on the internet. you can't believe everything you see on the internet and i've never personally investigated it or studied it. >> it sounds like you say you believe it but don't believe what you see on the internet. you do believe he's an american, though? >> yes, i do. >> as you said, the certificate of live birth is available for anyone to see, it's been
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released. in hawaii, there are only electronic records at this point, the health department verified it and made public statements. why vote for something which perpetuates this false internet rumors. >> anderson, i think there's been a lot of controversy over the issue, created a division among a lot of people in the united states, for better or worse, many people don't believe he is a u.s. citizen, they believe he has divided loyalties, i suppose you could say. >> those people are wrong, he is a u.s. citizen. >> you're telling me that he's wrong. i've never investigated that. if he is, he has nothing to fear. >> but i mean the information is out there, it has been released, it has been shown there are some people who don't believe it but there are also some people that believe the moon is made out of cheese. you can say you never investigated it but i think you would probably say the moon is not made out of cheese. >> i certainly would. the reason i spoke up on this bill is simply because there is
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a lot of division in the country and i believe this would put an end to any future controversy about a president's qualifications. >> you told our producer you voted for this because you get a lot of calls from constituents based on what they read on the internet. isn't it your job to lead and not say who knows what's on the internet. actually hawaii has released this information and it's factually correct? >> as i said, i haven't personally investigated that. i think that if -- >> there's plenty of things you believe you have not personally investigated why this are you holding onto? >> what we're requiring here is for a presidential candidate to demonstrate he is qualified. i don't think having any presidential candidate show he's qualified by demonstrating the requirements of the requirements, that there's any problem with that. >> you told my producer you thought the president spent a million dollars fighting the
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release of his birth certificate. and that raised concerns for you? >> that's what i've heard. >> you know that's actually not true? >> i don't know that that's not true. as i said, i haven't studied it. you get a lot of information on the internet. as you know, much of it is inaccurate. this has not been a focus of my attention for the last two years, i know it is a matter of controversy for many people. i looked at this as simply a means to end that controversy. >> you also said to our producer that the president identified himself as foreigner on his college application. >> yes. >> you know that's not true, right? >> i didn't know that's not true. >> that was a story put out on april fools' day, a fake ap news story. >> like i said, i'm reluctant to believe anything i read on the internet, including the evidence about his birth certificate. >> so the only way you will believe a birth certificate is if you see it for yourself at the state office in hawaii? to not believe anything that is
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put out by anyone, then how can you believe anything? >> well, it's not -- it's not my responsibility to check the qualifications. when someone comes to be on the ballot in arizona, it's a not my responsibility to check those qualifications. it's the responsibility of the secretary of state. all we said is if it's required that you be a natural-born citizen, he should determine that. you argue this in terms of what's happened to barack obama, i'm thinking in terms of the next nominees. >> this is all about barack obama. this is completely partisan, no? >> well, that's why i spoke up on the bill. they were -- the other side, the democrats were saying this is racist, it's to embarrass barack obama. i spoke up to say, this is not a matter of race, it's not a racist issue. i'm merely voting for the -- as you call it this birther's amendment. >> where was george bush born? >> i have no idea where george bush was born. >> that wasn't a concern for you when he was in office?
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>> the issue never came up. >> what about bill clinton, where was he born? >> i have no idea. >> so all of a sudden you're concerned about where the president of the united states is born, based on calls you're getting from constituents who are misinformed? >> actually, i did not get any calls from constituents until after this bill was passed. but i don't think there's any harm in requiring someone to demonstrate they meet the requirements for the position. nobody can deny, regardless of what you believe about president obama, nobody can deny there's been a controversy. >> but there's controversy about everything and there are things called facts and you know the facts. you are a leader, you know the facts. isn't it your job, when a constituent calls and says, gosh, i'm reading all this stuff on the internet that president obama was a foreign exchange student, to say, actually, no, he wasn't. isn't that part of your job? >> president obama is president now. for the future, this kind of
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controversy should not come up again, because they'll have to establish that up front. that will avoid this kind of controversy in the future. >> to your critics will say you and the other republicans only republicans voted for this, are simply pandering to a misinformed electorate. rather than setting the record straight yourselves, you're pandering, saying, i don't know, there's a lot of stuff on the internet and rather than say we need this bill, say a lot of this is false. >> our purpose was to avoid this kind of controversy in the future. that's appropriate, that's our job as leaders, to eliminate this kind of possibility in the future. >> state representative cecil ash, i appreciate your return. >> thanks, bye. >> let us know what you think. a live chat is up and running at ac360.com and what's driving all this. and the murder of a school principal getting results and
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no person except a naturalized born citizen shall be eligible to the office of president. flash forward, only 58% of
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americans in a recent poll said they believe president obama was born in america. arizona's house of representatives this week passing legislation mandating a presidential candidate produce his or her birth certificate to get on the state ballot. with us now, john avalon, author of "wingnuts." roland, let me play devil's advocate here. what's wrong with the state of arizona saying you know what, a presidential candidate should produce a birth certificate and we have the right to demand that? >> because they're stupid, they're stupid. these are the same people who always talk about state's rights. basically what they're saying is to the state of hawaii, we don't trust you. i would turn it on this head, how would state officials in arizona feel if another state rejected their birth certificates? it's not so simple as present a birth certificate. the other thing is, there's no standard birth certificate in the united states.
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there are different types of birth certificates and different states in different counties. if i don't have my original out of harris county in texas, if i get a duplicate, it might not have the raised seal on it but a vital statistics birth certificate. this is a nonsensical issue. they are playing to the nuts on the right. >> john, do you agree this is all about politics? >> yeah. it has become all about politics. it's feeding off a persistent fear that president obama is unamerican. and this becomes a symbol for that. it really has -- look -- this is something that the obama campaign put on the web in june of 2008. the republican governor of hawaii, linda lingual has backed. it should have been done a long time ago and became a very persistent conspiracy theory feeding into people's worst instincts and fears that have to do with whether or not president obama is truly american. that is absurd stuff and we see it getting currency now in state capitals, these people have to wake up.
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>> roland, i hate to bring race into this. do you think there is a racial component to this that he is viewed as other and that contributes to this? >> of course. you have people saying he was born in kenya, questioning his legitimacy. that's what we're seeing. i want to pick apart that ridiculous state official you just had. he said quote divided loyalty. he basically was saying that president barack obama has divided loyalties. he's not really loyal to the united states. then he kept talking about, to demonstrate that he's qualified. what does that mean? as you so put it, did any of the three to four previous white guys have to demonstrate they were qualified to be president? these are the games they're playing and this feeds into this continuing notion he's not legitimate. you have this guy in the army, about to be dishonorably discharged and court-martialed because he's refusing to go to war and saying he's not a legitimate president.
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this is playing to the nuts, the nuts out there who don't want to believe anything about this president. >> just -- you know, i'd add to that, there is a birther bill in congress that has half a dozen cosponsors. we've seen this stuff erupt before. it's lost its legitimacy or it should have and it's being pumped up by some folks saying this is a conspiracy. it began with some folks on the left. the hillary delegate in texas started this up. >> amazing when you look at the poll number, i don't know if this poll is accurate, cbs news and "new york times" poll, but only 58% of americans think that he was born in this united states. 20% think he was born in another country and 23% don't know or didn't answer. >> look at all the work we've done to debunk the fact he's a muslim and you still have people running around saying, oh, no, he's actually a muslim. let's be honest, there's some stupid americans who want to believe nonsense.
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let's go ahead and say it. >> no, i don't think -- the american people are smart. the problem is, have you a lot of people constantly stirring the pot, pandering the lowest common denominator. and everyone's entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. folks, the facts are clear. this is set and established. just because you have a bunch of conspiracy entrepreneurs trying to pump up obama derangement syndrome in people, that's where we have to say, look, this is not legitimate, this is wingnut stuff and appealing to the worst instincts of american people, we're better than this and smarter than this. >> it's one thing for people who have busy lives and aren't paying attention to news on a daily basis. i get why people don't have an opinion on it, or say, i don't know, there's a lot of information floating out there. it's one thing for people to be confused about it or form an opinion. it's another thing for legislators to actually act on it and use taxpayer time and money to focus on this. >> right. that's right. john, i know we want to be nice about it, i'm sorry, if we keep
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putting out fact after fact and people don't believe the facts, they're stupid. that's what we call them in the real world. maybe it's not nice or pc to call them that on television. this is ridiculous, a house of representatives in a state saying forget another state, forget a republican governor, forget the head of the health department, forget all of them, they're all wrong, we want to see it ourselves. >> the legislators in question aren't just stupid, they're cynical. there's a big problem ultimately it goes from an old quote by jonathan swift, you can't reason people out of something they weren't reasoned into. this is fright wing politics, about fear-based appeals designed to divide the american people and try to delegitimize a duly elected president of the united states. that's why we should all be offended by it. >> a lot of people will be offended, roland by you calling people stupid. >> go right ahead. if they believe he's a muslim and they believe he's not american, i'm sorry, anderson, they're stupid. >> i will leave it there.
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i'm not going to argue with you. thank you very much, guys. in case you want to see the actual arizona bill we've been talking about, we have it online at ac360.com. up next, take a look at this eruption. what could be worse than the icelandic volcano that shut down air travel for days, possibly another icelandic volcano, if history is any indication, getting ready to blow. we'll take a look at the evidence. the case of abbie dorn, who went into the hospital to delivery triplets, and ended up with brain damage and now the kids' dad doesn't want them to see their mom. her case along with jeffrey toobin and sanjay gupta when we continue. sfx: coin drop
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nearly six days after a volcanic ash cloud stranded airline passengers around the world, some good news to report. more countries opening their airspace and more flights taking off and landing and more people finally reaching their destinations. the worry is how long the ash coming from the volcano in iceland that may remain active for weeks, even months to come. the eruptions are spectacular. they may also be a sign that another volcano on the island could soon awaken.
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gary tuchman is in iceland and has this "360" dispatch. >> reporter: on a brilliantly clear icelandic day, it's easy to see the eruptions from a volcano that has caused so much chaos. but not far away, a glacier on top of one of iceland's most powerful volcanos over the centuries could cause more chaos. it's called reykjavik. our guide told us we could actually drive over 2,000 feet of ice to reach the peak of reykjavik. >> we're on the glacier and getting up to 2,000, 3,000 feet. >> reporter: we had arrived and on another planet. we are on the top. if this volcano were to erupt, this is where it would come ed from. this is the beginning of the crater, this valley, six miles wide. reykjavik is the volcano people in iceland fear the most. there have been very strong
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eruptions over the centuries. the last time it erupted was 1918. a long time ago, world war i. on the average, it erupts twice a century and why people think it's due. it's so powerful, in the worst case scenario, according to experts, the amount of water that could flood iceland if it erupted would be six times the amount in the amazon river per second. that gives you an idea why people are so scared of it, and why it's so carefully observed. you can see the volcano erupting right across from us. it's sunny out. you can see the big gray cloud, that's the ash, and it's heading in our direction because of the wind blowing this way, so we can't stay here that long. on the brown is snow. you can see the black stuff, this is the ash from this volcano erupting is a small rehearsal for what might happen. higher than reykjavik. the reason he said that, they have erupted together frequently and scientists aren't sure there is a reason why one erupts and the other one does, but people get very nervous about it. this is reykjavik and this is the volcano people in iceland
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are scared about. before we left reykjavik, we were completely quiet so we could hear this. that boom is the sound of the eruption of the active volcano, a chilling sound on top of this desolate glacier. >> gary, part of me think it is just hype. is there actual evidence this thing is near blowing or how do they study these kinds of things? what do the experts say? >> there are some scientists say the magma from one volcano could create eruptions at the other volcano. others say a coincidence they erupted near each other in previous centuries. either way, they're keeping a close eye. the good news is this current active volcano, experts told us this morning, the volcano is 80% weaker than last week. that's very good news, considering the last time when
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this volcano erupted, back in 1821, it lasted 15 months and was very strong. it's a little noisy out here today in reykjavik. the reason is because they have a public holiday tomorrow, it's called the first day of summer holiday. they celebrate summer two months early in iceland. this isn't like summer to me, about 28 degrees fahrenheit. >> reykjavik is kind of a big drinking town, as i recall, isn't it? >> reporter: it's a party town, anderson, but we're going to sleep after this is over. >> no doubt about it. i'm sure. gary, appreciate it. thanks for all the reporting this week. what about the ash from that volcano? will it continue to pose a threat to air traffic? that's what we want to know. joining me now is severe weather expert, chad myers. chad, what's the forecast in the air for the next couple days? >> for northern europe, all of ireland in the clear. for parts in different eruptions, parts of scandinavia may be in jeopardy if this goes up higher again.
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right now the eruption is only going 15,000 feet. that's not where the planes fly. the planes are flying at 30,000 feet. they have to land in 15,000 feet. but if they can fly over it, that's okay. we don't have to worry about the jetstream. let's go to the graphics. i will show you where the winds will go in the next seven days. they will go up into, 30,000 feet. this is the jetstream, the volcano on the upper center of your screen. there's the surface, going back towards greenland and jetstream back towards denmark and saturday, still back towards greenland, a pattern where it depends how high the ash goes, whether it goes to the east or goes to the west and where it's going now, it will actually go from east to west, almost toward canada, but never actually getting there. europe is in the clear. >> what's the potential of this kicking back up in the days ahead? >> absolutely. i don't -- the volcanologist said i don't give numbers on it. i would give it a 90% chance of a larger eruption.
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>> you've been talking to a vulcan? >> i have. yes, fly and be free. no. i would say there's a better than 50-50 chance this erupts again, for sure, larger than it's erupting now maybe not bigger than the original eruption but certainly an another eruption to come. this isn't over. >> in terms of airways, are they close to returning to normal? there has to be a huge backlog of traffic. >> huge backlog, anderson, tens of thousands of people just waiting on flights. this is showing this. i know this doesn't look like a lot. we show this all the time in the u.s. it's 3:00 in the morning there and there are a lot of planes in the sky because people are trying to get other people to where they want to be. it is thousands, tens of thousands of people are waiting on flights they lost five days ago and there may not be an opening until, some say, may 5th, for them to get on a plane. >> yikes. chad myers, appreciate it, on top of it. thanks. still ahead, childbirth. this story is unbelievable. a mom paralyzed in childbirth,
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unable to speak, and her parents are now fighting for her right to see the triplets that she almost died giving birth to. her husband, now her ex-husband won't let the kids see her. we'll take you up close in this complicated case. also "crime and punishment," beloved principal murdered and police are hoping new clues will lead them to his killer or killers.
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still ahead, who killed a popular middle schoolteacher? was it one of his students? more in "crime and punishment" report. but first, joe johns has important updates on news. >> anderson, the coast guard is searching for 11 workers still missing after a massive explosion on an oil rig off the coast of louisiana, 126 people were on the rig in the gulf of mexico, when the blast happened last night. 17 injured, three critically, the cause of the explosion is under investigation. the house ethics committee launched a formal investigation into sexual harassment allegations involving former u.s. congressman, eric massa, the democrat stepped down last month, after allegations became public that he had inappropriate
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physical contact with male staffers. gm paid off the last of its government loan of $5.8 million was ahead of schedule. a high-tech face lift for benjamin franklin. the treasury department unveiled a new $100 bill today with new water marks and embedded security threat to try to stop counterfeits. this is the first remake of the c-note in 14 years. what's that song, all about the benjamins? >> it will have that blue stripe down it? >> that looks kind of tacky. >> well, i gets to stop the counterfeiters, they have to do what they have to do. the big feather, too? >> it looks like a mistake. >> it does look like a mistake. i wondered if we had bad video or something. all right, joe, thanks very much. time now for the beat "360" winners and time to come up with a caption better than we put on the blog everyday. tonight's picture, former illinois governor rod blagojevich, star of tv and stage.
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arrives for a court hearing in chicago. all that humble pie, not too kind to the waistline. >> the winner, i'm celebrity, get me out of here, check, the celebrity apprentice, check, the biggest loser, here i come. ouch. brad, your beat "360" t-shirt is on the way. still ahead, she almost died giving birth to triplets. bristol palin had a run-in with her ex. still ahead, she almost died giving birth to triplets. he won't let the kids visit her and their parents disagree. who's right? we'll take you inside this case. smart...you're staying at this resort for free? how? welcomerewards from hotels.com. see when i accumulate 10 nights, i get one free.
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has gingko for memp$y and concentration. plus support for heart health. ( crowd roars ) that's a great call. one a day men's. does a mom who can't move or speak for herself have the right to see her own children. that's the question at the center of a bizarre legal battle. today, a judge ruled she severely disabled woman has a right to her parents on her behalf. she was seriously disabled at the birth in 2006. she now lives with her parents, the triplets live with their father. he says it would be too traumatic for them to see their mom. joe johns has an up close look at this case. >> reporter: this is abbie dorn. she's unable to walk or talk or take care of herself. it she lives at her parents home in south carolina. abbie has been like this for
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almost four years. before that, she was living in los angeles, a chiropractor, newly married and excited about starting a family. abbie and her husband had trouble conceiving and tried invitro fertilization and found out she was having triplets. four years ago, she gave birth to two boys and a girl. a few hours later, something went terribly wrong and abbie started internal hemorrhaging and that caused her heart to stop. when the ordeal was over, abbie was brain damaged. her parents say she did not lose control of everything. she communicates by blinking her eyes. they say she blinks to tell them what she thinks. what she's telling them, they say, is that she wants to see her children. >> she gives me a long blink when i ask if she wants to see her children. she also looks very longingly at pictures of her children. we have made a large board for her and she looks at her children all the time. >> because she hasn't seen them for two years, they were 1-year-old when abbie's parents brought her home to south carolina to care for her.
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by then, abbie's husband said he wanted to move on and they were headed for divorce, living on opposite coasts. her husband had the kids and now lawyers representing the two of them are waging an ugly battle over visitation. >> he has been told by the neurologist and neurosurgeon she's not capable of any cognitive thought process or interaction with the children and until we get an updated neurological report, he really can't assess what is best but it is not his goal to keep the children away from her. he believes it's his right to make the decision and when it's age appropriate, where they can understand the horrible tragedy, he will be the first one on a plane to take them to see their mother. >> introduce abbie to the children by way of photographs, stories, little antidotes about their life together, and then from there, go on to contact, via skype or other kind of media and then from there, have the children go with their father if
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he wants to accompany them to south carolina, where they can see their mother for essentially the first time. >> joe johns, cnn, washington. let's dig deeper into legal and medical issues surrounding this case, cnn senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin and chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. abbie's parents are saying she responds by blinking in response to questions. does that give any indication of the state her brain is actually in? >> if in fact she was able to respond, hear some sort of command and make some sort of movement, in this case, blinking of the eye, to give some sort of communication, it would. a lot of times, it's hard to parse out someone is in fact responding to a particular thing or whether or not they're just blinking their eyes. people who are in persistent vegetative state can have sleep wake cycles, eye movements, all sorts of things. >> i want to bring in jeff in a moment. sanjay, there have now been studies, i did a thing on "60
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minutes" on this, and put people thought to be in comas, persistent vegetative states, inside mri machines and ask them to respond to things and see areas of their brain light up in response to what's being asked. and there is a level of cognition even though we don't know there is. in this case, why shouldn't this woman's kids come and may have some deep response to them? >> when it comes to this study you were talking about, this woman, i believe, in england, a traumatic brain injury, specific areas of the brain affected, and can render someone into a coma and seemingly unable to communicate. that's a very different situation when someone simply didn't get enough oxygen to their brain for such a long period of time, it caused cells in the brain to die. the brain can't respond because those areas of the brain, the area of the brain where you swing a racket for example, when told you're playing tennis, those parts of the brain don't exist, they've simply died away as a result of that lack of
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oxygen. >> jeff, legally, what are the big issues here? >> i think there is a factual issue in many more respects more important or determines the legal issue. that's what you're talking about with sanjay, whether she has any cognitive function at all. any judge will want that question answered first. it won't be enough simply to have her parents say we know we can communicate with her. they will need an independent evaluation whether she is like terri schiavo, completely in a persistent vegetative state or like some people with als, tony judd, the writer, who's been writing recently about his experience with als. that she would certainly have more right to access if she had cognition. if she didn't -- >> if she had some level of cognition, she would have a greater legal right to access to her kids? >> she would have a greater legal right and they would have certain rights to have a relationship with their mother.
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if she really is incapable of any kind of communicative activity, i think the ex-husband would be more within his rights in saying there is no reason. >> what about the legal rights of the children? in divorce cases, the courts give an attorney to the kids. don't the kids have some right to a relationship with the mother? >> they do. i wouldn't be surprised if this case proceeds along, if a lawyer is assigned to represent the kids. at the moment, the father, the guardian speaks for them. and they're too little really to have an opinion in this. this case at the moment is much more about the mother's request or at least purported request to see her kids. >> you know, it's interested, the father is concerned about bringing the kids to see her, because he's afraid the kids might get traumatized and feel somewhat responsible for her condition. on the flip side, i haddad who died when i was 10 years old and wasn't able to go see him in a hospital and will never forget that. i don't understand -- it's
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interesting the way the dad sees it versus the way the parents see it. >> yeah. it's a tough question. anderson, you were older, obviously, at the time, 10 years old, these children, i think are 2 1/2, 3 years old. to say that it's harmful really assumes a lot of things, assumes they identify this woman is even their mother, number one, and number two, it identifies they may have some sort of guilt. the father is saying they will feel badly because they may think somehow they are to blame for the condition she's in. this happened during childbirth. as you know. finally, they would even remember it, at 2 1/2, 3 years old, the way you form memories and store memories later on in life. it's very different. it changes around the age of 5 or 6. i think it's a hard case to make it is somehow harmful to the children. >> don't kid yourself, there is also a money subtext to this case. there is a multimillion dollar
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damage award that the mother received and the ex-husband is looking for a piece of that money. so that is, as usual, something that taints the whole process. >> good to keep in mind. jeff toobin, thank you very much. sanjay gupta as well, thanks. if you are interested, there are a lot of resources for parents with disabilities. you will find it on our website. tomorrow on the program, dennis quaid will join us. his most important role as a father, on a mission to prevent medical mistakes like the one that nearly took the lives of his newborn twins. can he win the war against health care harm? interview with dennis quaid tomorrow. join the live chat ac"360." a lot of folks talking online about abbie and the story about the birthers in arizona. next on the program, who killed a popular middle school principal, shot to death in his home, did he know his killer? and later a star quarterback accused of sexual assault. police won't charge him, why is the nfl punishing him.
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he was a popular principal, beloved by his students and committed to turning the school around. now, the victim of a murder. who killed this inspirational leader and why? in tonight's "crime "crime & punishment" report, here's randi kaye. >> reporter: for the first time in years, the principal wasn't there to meet his middle school students in washington d.c. >> he was right there everyday.
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every time i saw him, i used to walk up to him and give him a hug. >> reporter: last thursday, when he didn't show up for work, a concerned co-worker drove to his house after school and a door was unlocked and light on upstairs. he called police. investigators found him dead. they say he was shot at least once. >> this is not a random event. there were no signs of forced entry to the home. >> reporter: betts' family can't make sense of it. >> it's unfathomable to the family it was someone he knew, couldn't have been someone he knew very well. >> reporter: a few things were missing including his suv. this dark blue xterra was discovered later miles away. two people were seen getting out of it but witnesses didn't ask any questions. police are asking lots of questions, such as is the same person who was driving betts' car the same person who killed him? had he let someone inside? why was his door unlocked? did he know his killer or killers? investigators say he was last
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seen alive around 11:30 wednesday night, the night before his body was discovered. he was an outstanding star and hand-picked to save the troubled urban school. his students adored him so, 100 of them were allowed to remain in his middle school for ninth grade. a white principal with mostly black and hispanic students. race didn't weaken the bond. they mourned him at a weekend vigil. today, on their first day back since his death, raw emotion. >> i couldn't believe it. when i saw the news, that's when i started crying. >> reporter: 12-year-old anthony smith showed us his arm where he had written, "rest in peace mr. betts." >> everybody liked him. i wouldn't think anybody from the school he know would try to hurt him. he was a nice person. >> reporter: at school, a
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memorial board quickly filled up with cards and letters. as students searched for words to express their grief, counselors helped them cope. on a message posted on the school's website, the chancellor called betts' death unspeakably tragic. while colleagues and family members grieve, police hunt for crews at his house and car. if they're right and brian betts did let his killer inside, police want to know why. randi kaye, cnn, new york. coming up next, bristol palin taking the stand, talking about the scary call she got after her mom's e-mail was hacked. details on that ahead. something to make you smile before you go to bed at night. this has gone all over the net. note to self, don't wear flip-flops and don't let somebody videotape you. the embarrassing video ahead. . t orthotic center. backed by foot care scientists, its foot mapping technology
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identifies the areas you put pressure on then recommends the right orthotic. for locations see drscholls.com. i'm ed whitacre, from general motors. a lot of americans didn't agree with giving gm a second chance. quite frankly, i can respect that. we want to make this a company all americans can be proud of again. that's why i'm here to announce we have repaid our government loan, in full, with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule. but there's still more to do. our goal is to exceed every expectation you've set for us. we're putting people back to work, designing, building, and selling the best cars and trucks in the world. with our 100,000-mile, 5-year powertrain warranty to guarantee the quality.
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got a great shot for you tonight. but first some important news, joe johns joins us again. >> pittsburgh steeler ben roths will be suspended for the first six games this fall. the nfl citing conduct
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detrimental to the league p.m. namely a drunken night in georgia ending in rape allegations. and the pope benedict makes a rare commencement about the widening sex abuse scandal. he spoke about his meeting with victims of abuse. he said he shares in their suffering and the catholic church would take action to deal with the crisis. in a tennessee courtroom, sarah palin's daughter, bristol testifies against a former college student accused of hacking into her mother's e-mail account two years ago. bristol told the jury she got hundreds of text messages and scary anonymous phone calls, some from boys saying they were at her front door and waiting to be let in. david kernel this is defendant in the case and pleading not guilty. >> thanks, joe. tonight's shot, and the reason why flip-flops are so perfect to wear to an outdoor music festival. not. this video is all over the web,
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taken in california. i don't know what this guy is on, i'm not saying he is, not saying he's not, i don't know. watch him just try to get into his flip-flop. let's move that banner if we can. >> oh, no. look likes the earth is moving under his feet. do you remember that song? >> yes, exactly. and then he decides to just sit down. it's easier when you sit down and try it. actually reaching for it, actually getting it, yeah, not so easy. then somebody helps him, a good samaritan comes along and helps him, he doesn't acknowledge the samaritan, he sort of gets it on. then he just decides to reflect on the whole experience. he's just kind of reflecting, collecting his thoughts, getting ready to get up because that, we know, is going to be a big move. >> what's in the backpack. that's whey want to know. >> and then watch what happens, they go off, boom. he's like hey ladies. forget the flip-flops, how's it going, ladies.
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>> he's trying to be cool. >> trying to be all cool. it's so sad. what's worse, it goes on and on. they're like -- they're like, later. they take off and then it's just him and he decides to carry them. it's pathetic. sad stuff. again, note to self, if you go to a music concert, don't get wasted and don't do flip-flops and don't let somebody take your picture. >> that's the big one. at the top of the hour, you will meet an arizona lawmaker who says president obama was born in this country and doesn't believe a lot of the stuff he's hearing on the internet, including, that's where the birth certificate is. anyway, we're keeping them honest ahead, you'll see for yourselves. when i grow up, i want to write a novel. i want to go on a road trip. when i grow up, i'm going to go there. i'm going to work with kids. i want to fix up old houses. [ female announcer ] at aarp we believe you're never done growing. i want to fall in love again. [ female announcer ] together we can discover
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