tv John King USA CNN May 31, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
new york. >> very cute. love those stick ponies. thanks very much. jeanne, that does it for me. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." john king usa starts right now. good evening everyone. tonight a new study raises significant questions about cell phone use and cancer risks especially among children and pregnant women. we'll talk to the crew of the space shuttle "endeavour." it will head to a museum after touchdown and some worry america is about to take a back seat in space. >> i think what's always at risk is as we transition to a new program and new vehicle there is going to be a period of time when americans aren't flying on u.s. space craft so that's a challenge. people leave, you know, engineers and operations people will move on and do other things. so it's the corporate memory that i think i'm most worried about. >> but up first tonight a number
of important developments in the middle east and north africa. most of them troubling. the brutal regime in syria declared general amnesty today but human rights groups and the obama administration are quick to label it a sham. designed they say to distract attention from a bloody crackdown. in yemen, civil strife spread after a cease fire agreement between the government and opposition forces in the capital city collapsed. the regime of moammar gadhafi in libya defiantly today again vowed to hold power, rejecting the latest effort to broker a diplomatic solution to the civil war there. the united states' top human rights officer in bahrain was recalled to washington after coming under attacks in media accounts that u.s. officials believe were orchestrated by hard line government officials. bahrain, remember, is supposed to be a top u.s. ally in the region. a lot of ground to cover. let's focus first on syria. the amnesty offer was for all crimes committed against the government prior to today. now, remember this. what we're about to show you is a crime in syria. people marching in the streets simply to demand more rights.
this rallying cry is worth noting. at this protest today faithful brothers do not forget that your sons could become the syrian teenager whose body was returned to his family mutilated, covered with cigarette burns 12 weeks into anti-government protests in syria the death of this boy and his apparent torture at the hands of the regime is a new rallying cry. these children in darya are marching in memory of hamza and we have photos of a funeral march in da ra a flash point of anti-government protests recently. we do not have our own reporters on the ground in syria because the government won't allow us in but cnn is well sourced in that country and working her sources tonight from beirut. >> reporter: john, we first have to warn our viewers that the images in this report are quite disturbing. but it is also exactly why activists say that they believe, firmly believe that the regime
is incapable of reforming itself and must be removed from power. on april 29th, anti-government protesters tried to break the syrian army siege on the city of dawra. eyewitnesses described at the time how security forces opened fire on them. dozens were killed and wounded. countless others detained. among them say his family was 13-year-old hamza, separated from his father in the chaos. a month later, the family received their son's body. hamza's face was bloated, purple. this video posted to youtube catalogs each of his wounds. much of it too graphic to broadcast. the narrator points out multiple gunshots before moving to his head. even more shocking? his genitals were mutilated. cnn cannot independently verify
what happened to hamza or the authenticity of this video. after it was initially broadcast, hamza's family was threatened. now they are too petrified to talk, even to close friends. a prominent syrian activist we reached via skype says she has no doubt it's real and that the regime had a message in releasing the boy's body. >> they wanted people to see this. they wanted people to get scared. they wanted people to know that there is no -- everything, no matter how awful, could happen to their family members if they continue to participate in this revolution. >> reporter: but far from cowing people the video has only made them bolder. demonstrations to protest come as death erupted. even children took to the streets risking a similar fate, vowing that his blood was not
spilled in vain. activists say they are not surprised that the regime could have committed such cruelty and claim it's not the first time a child has been targeted. this 11-year-old boy was allegedly shot in his home. this video shows the body of a child lying in the street amid intense gun fire as others try to recover his body. and here children lie wounded in hospital after security forces allegedly fired at their school bus. hamza's death has prompted international outrage, a facebook page calling itself we are all the martyr the child hamza had 60,000 followers by tuesday. the face of this 13-year-old from a village in southern syria. now the symbol of an uprising. cnn has made repeated attempts to reach the syrian government without success but on tuesday the ministry of interior did announce that there would be an investigation into hamza's case
and a medical examiner told syrian television that there was no evidence that the boy had been tortured. he claimed the condition of the corpse was due to decomposition. john? >> early on as the anti-government protests scored victories in tunisia and egypt we locked on to the term arab spring to describe the remarkable upheaval across the region known for its strong arm dictatorship but does that label still fit given the bloody uncertainty in syria, yemen, and libya? let's get perspective from our national security contributor and our guest. doctor, i want to begin with you on that point. when you watch those disturbing images should we all take the term arab spring and set it aside because of the urgent brutality we're seeing in syria and the major problems we see elsewhere? >> john, that is a very good question. i still remain hopeful that, in
fact, the arab world was living in a terrible nightmare and that we have seen the truth of the regime whether it's the regime in egypt, tunisia, libya, syria, or yemen. and the people have risen. it hasn't been pretty. it was much easier in both tunisia and egypt and we have now come to this terrible place where libya and syria are horrible monstrous regimes, the one in yemen somewhere in between, bahrain is complicated. we're seeing the great agony if you will of the arab world and the fight between hope and fear. >> and, doctor, do you believe it was the fruit vendor in tunisia? >> yes. >> who set himself on fire and became the symbol? >> absolutely. >> in syria now, a horrible thing to say but i guess the adults are used to this, being oppressed and denied rights. if you're 40 or 50 or 60 years old in syria you have lived for decades in this. now that we see children, do you think that will be jagr enourri
enough to maybe get some adults in syria who aren't sure if they should risk defying the government will that spark them? >> i think the mask has fallen in syria. we now see what the regime is all about. remember, john, he was the hope that he came to power 11 years ago. he lived in london. he liked the music of phil collins. people went to damascus and told us that there is a damascus spring if you will to use that term and this young man is better than his father. 11 years later we now see the truth. so hamza, a 13-year-old boy being killed and tortured, and displayed to the world, in fact, this is the emblem of this new fight in syria between the regime and the population. >> fran townsend, i don't think there is anybody left that thinks he is going to somehow be this reformer everybody dreamed and hoped that he might be and that he has perhaps occasionally teased the world that he might be. but the question is what now? some tough words tonight from secretary of state clinton.
she said that every day he makes his choices. by default he is not stepping in to do more. the secretary of the united states has not gone further and said he has to go. they said mubarak had to go. they said gadhafi must go. explain why any u.s. administration would be reluctant, there's the israel complication, the chess in the region, but when you see these pictures why can't the united states of america say enough? the line has been crossed? >> well, john, i think they are now in a near impossible situation. they've tried this sort of minimalist approach. first sanctions. now you've seen secretary clinton come out and make the strongest statement yet, a very strong statement by the administration expressing concern over the torture of this young boy. look, they have been reluctant to go further. i think you mentioned the complication with israel. but really the big worry here is syria is a base for hezbollah,
the shiite terrorist group. they are to the shiites what al qaeda is to sunni extremism and they are the most militarily capable, the most well armed, best deployed around the world. prior to 9/11 hezbollah killed more americans than any other terrorist group including being responsible for the beirut barracks bombing in lebanon in the '80s. and so what you're afraid of is hezbollah is largely bank rolled while they're in syria by iran. and what the united states is not wanting to do is get dragged into a proxy war with iran in syria. i think hasad has left them little choice. they have to now say this is unacceptable. and i expect what we'll see as much as we did with libya they'll try to put together an arab coalition that comes together so it's not just the united states saying he's got to go but what they're looking for is an arab statement from the gulf corporation counsel to say he must go. >> on that point, professor, the united states can only do so much in this region. >> sure. >> but it could if it had the
help from others in the region and yet what we see happening is the saudis working behind the scenes to try to block further regime change. the bahraini government complicit, the state department would say, in accounts in the news media smearing the top human rights official at the u.s. embassy in bahrain. >> sure. >> so do you see any effort in the region to push asadd aside or in this one oddly are the saudis and iranians allied in thinking we don't want meddling and we don't want more regimes changed? >> john, actually on syria, the assad regime has successfully sold us the idea it is either the assad regime or sunni fundamentalism. the muslim brothers in syria. this is the major fear in the region. this is how the assad regime worked its kind of side of the argument. so it's not really about what the saudis think the syrians are doing. i don't think the arab regimes as a whole are going to single out the syrian regime for condemnation the way they broke
with the gadhafi regime. it tells you the difference between the skill of the syrian regime, ability to play the game of nations as opposed to the lunacy of moammar gadhafi. i'm afraid the syrian people are alone in the way the libyan people are not alone. we have gone to intervene in libya but did not do the same and are not likely to in syria. it's really, you know, for the syrian people it's the bleak conclusion. they fight this regime alone. >> i want to ask you each in closing, fran to you first then to the doctor. most of these regimes are 70-year-old men, 75-year-old men. >> right. >> maybe in their 60s. assad would be one of the younger leaders in the region right now. i want the control room to show the pictures of the young children marching again and tell me what you think, fran, if you are one of these regimes that has been in power for decades handing off from old man to old man denying people their rights when you see the pictures of
these young children risking their lives in the streets. i believe that is more powerful than any words secretary clinton or president obama could speak. >> i absolutely agree. i think the picture of these children carrying placards and marching for freedom has got to be the most frightening picture that any of the regimes in the region can see. remember, the vast majority of all the populations in the arab world are under the age of 25. the majority of people are young people. they're children. they've got to contend with this. they've tried. they've talked education reform, health care reform, they've talked democratic freedoms to vote for business councils and that sort of thing. that doesn't get to the heart of this issue and i think, john, the point has to be you're going to have to deal with these children. they will not be what their parents were and that is go silently. >> we appreciate your insights tonight. we'll stay on top of this story and those pictures, they're moving but the reason those children are in the street is quite sad and disturbing.
appreciate you helping out tonight. still ahead we head to space and the final journey of the shuttle "endeavour" and the congressman who says his twitter account was hacked now uses the word "prank" and says he can't dwell on who sent a lewd picture to a college student under his name but why won't he call in the police? that's next. [ male announcer ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible. ♪ [ male announcer ] humble beginnings are true beginnings. they are the purest way to gauge success. ♪ maybe the only way to gauge success.
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congressman anthony weiner is anything but shy. he loves combative television appearances, uses a sharp wit in writing style in his social media postings and makes no secret of the fact he would like to be new york city's next mayor. but the democratic congressman is speaking with a different tone these days trying to move past what is either a crime or an egregious mistake. someone sent a lewd photograph from the congressman's official twitter account to a college coed in seattle. the congressman says his account was hacked. he also at times has used the word "prank" and he says he wants to move on. >> reporter: you say you were hacked which is potentially a crime. why haven't you asked the capitol police or any law enforcement to investigate? >> look, this was a prank that i've been talking about now for a couple days. i'm not going to allow it to decide what i talk about for the next week or the next two weeks.
so i'm not going to be giving anything more about that today. i think i've been pretty responsive in the past. >> reporter: but you're here, which we appreciate, but you're not answering the questions. can you just say why you haven't asked law enforcement to investigate what you are alleging is a crime? >> you know dana if i was giving a speech to 45,000 people, and someone in the back of the room threw a pie or yelled out an insult, would i spend the next two hours responding to that? no. i would get back -- >> this is not that situation. >> i would get back -- you want to do the briefing? do you want to do the briefing, sir? >> you said from your twitter account a lewd photograph was sent to a college student. >> sir. >> answer the question. was it from you or not? >> sir. permit me -- do you guys want me to finish my answer? >> reporter: yes. this answer. did you send it or not? >> if i were giving a speech to 45,000 people, and someone in the back threw a pie or yelled
out an insult i would not spend the next two hours of my speech responding to that pie or insult. i would return to the things that i want to talk about to the audience that i wanted to talk to. >> all you have to do is say no to the question. >> let me try this question. the woman who allegedly got this tweet or it was directed to, the 21-year-old college student in seattle, she released a statement to "the new york daily news" yesterday saying you follow her on twitter. is that true? did you follow her on twitter? if so, how did you find her? what was the reason? >> you know, i have i think said this a couple ways and i'll say it again. i am not going to permit myself to be distracted by this issue any longer. >> all you have to do is say no to that question. >> you are very good at -- why don't you let me do the answers and you do the questions? >> as soon as you answer the question asked you sir we will. >> i'm with you, buddy. >> you follow an awful lot of women on twitter. is there a reason you have so many ladies that you're following? >> by the way, in related news,
i have the famous hash tag scrappy chasing crazy. i passed michele bachmann today in the number of twitter followers. i will give you that additional fact. >> is that a result of this? >> unfortunately it probably is. >> congressman, you understand what's going on here, the frustration. we appreciate you coming out and talking to us. you're smiling. you're cooperating. and that gives good -- you're not answering the question. can you answer the basic zbhe did you send it -- >> this is now day three. you have statements my office has put out. >> reporter: but they don't answer the questions that we have. >> and there are going to be people who -- look. this is the tactic. the guy in the back of the room who is throwing the pie or yelling out the insult wants that to be the conversation. >> reporter: you are the one who said you were hacked. that is a criminal, potential crime. >> dana, i have to ask that we follow some rules here. one is you ask questions i give the answers. >> reporter: i'd love to get an
answer. >> that would be reasonable you do the questions and i do the answers and this jack ass interrupts me. how about that as the new rule of the game? >> congressman -- >> let me just give the answer. the objective of the person who is doing the mischief is to try to distract me from what i'm doing so for the last couple of days that has happened. i made a decision. i'm not going to let it happen today. i'm not going to let it happen tomorrow. you're doing your job. i understand it. just go ahead and do it but you're going to have to do it without me. >> that's about 2/3 of the feisty seven-minute exchange there with reporters. one thing the congressman has not done and would not talk about there is asked the capitol police or the fbi to investigate. should he? would that clear all this up? our senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin is with us as is former federal prosecutor mark grass an expert at cyber crimes and dana bash who you saw trying to get some answers from the congressman. let me start there. he clearly wanted to come out and talk to reporters to show i'm not hiding and yet he would
not answer the most basic, simple, not controversial questions about how do you know this woman? what did you, by any chance, send this photo? why won't you call the police? what's he doing? >> reporter: we don't know the answer to that. you saw me and our congressional producer ted barret really pressing him. it was fascinating. this is the second time he came out today to talk to us. we were outside his office waiting to talk to him. he came back. he went into his office. he said hold on. i have to get a tie on. he understands as i said in the questions and answers the optics of not wanting to run away and he comes and says the same thing over and over again. to me i think one of the basic questions is why if you say that you were hacked haven't you asked the police to investigate? that's what i asked over and over. you saw he didn't answer. >> let's bring in the lawyers on this. mark, i'll go to you first because i've worked with you on cases in the past where you deal with these kinds of issues. why? if you're a politician especially a politician with huge ambitions, and this is now a controversy that could get in
your way, is there a way the congressman could call the capitol police or the fbi? you understand the technology. and have someone come in and say this was not sent from his blackberry. this was not sent from his official computer. we have looked at all the computers he has access to. this is not from him. >> yes. i mean, you can mostly show that through computer forensics. what you do is you track it back from the recipient back to twitter using their internet protocol address. from twitter you figure out what the source was and it's either going to point back to one of anthony weiner's computers, his blackberry, his cell phone, or it's not going to point there. and that's the kind of thing you do when you conduct an investigation. even if it does point to his computer that doesn't necessarily or definitively show that he did it because hackers could have hacked his computer. but it's good evidence that at least the first step you have to do, look for that stuff. >> and so, jeff, let me just ask you this as a courtroom veteran. i guess it's both a legal
analysis, a courtroom analysis, and a bit of a political analysis watching the witness there. the witness being congressman weiner. what did you make of that? he clearly, and we need to be careful here, the congressman says he was hacked or it was a bad prank or something happened to him and he says he didn't want to do it and wants to move on. when you watch him taking the questions but not answering, grade the witness. >> you said earlier that was 2/3 of dana's interview with him. can i see the other third? i thought it was so entertaining and so amusing that i just wanted it to go on and on because, you know, dana was doing her job and he was not responding. look, i think you need to put this in a little -- that as a strictly legal matter it is theoretically possible that some crime could have taken place here, some sort of wire fraud, some sort of criminal impersonation. but we're talking about one tweet. as far as i'm aware there has never been a criminal prosecution based on a single
tweet that was or was not hacked. and certainly there was no obscenity here. this was a lewd photo. it was not obscene under any xeefr conceivable definition. i think weiner just wants to get this over with, sort of basically ignore questions today as he clearly was ignoring dana's questions and wait it out in hopes that this thing would just go away which it probably will. >> but you say it probably will. you live in new york city. he wants to be the mayor of new york city. it is the most feisty, combative media market in the united states of america. now you've also both been around high profile cases and high profile clients. mark, to you first. if you were his lawyer, he has hired an attorney, if you were his lawyer now what would you be telling him to do? >> well, you're in a difficult situation because you don't want to make this seem like the crime of the century. it's a minor, as jeff pointed out, it's a minor type of thing. if he was anybody but a member of congress, and he tried to get the police to investigate it, he could scream all he wanted.
no police agency would ever investigate this type of crime. on the other hand, he's got a political dimension. he's got to demonstrate to the electorate that he didn't send this. and the only way to do that is through computer forensics and investigation. >> i just think there's another point that needs to be raised here that hasn't come up yet. look, clearly weiner looked like a jerk in that interview and anybody who was watching could see that. but it's also important to remember that the person who has been pushing this story the most is andrew breitbart who has been consistently inaccurate in portraying democrats, members of the obama administration, is doing things on video that they have not done. most notoriously in the shirley sherrod case. you can understand why weiner does not want to get into a long-term fight with andrew breitbart because all that is going to do is give him more publicity and probably not settle this issue once and for all. >> and he's right.
this is, john, probably a lot more political than it is legal. on the question of if this was just an average citizen they wouldn't have the ability to have this investigated. he is not an average citizen. he is a a member of congress. i was talking to a law enforcement official very familiar with the protocol on capitol hill and as a member of congress if he just picked up the phone and called the capitol police and said, hey, somebody hacked my twitter account there would be an investigation and he would be able to get to the bottom of this and prove in fact as he said that he was hacked and that's really the thing that's most baffling. >> so if that's baffling first to mark and then to jeff would you advise him politically, you're lawyer, if he said this is important to me, i need this to go away. i need this to go away politically and prove this was not me what would you tell him to do? >> well, first thing to do if he wants to do it politically is just get up and say it wasn't me. just flat out say i didn't send that. and then explain what the nature of his relationship is with this twitter follower and then it's
done. the second thing is to do the forensics and prove that it didn't happen. but in a sense all of that elevates the importance of this relatively minor thing as being a crime. and by the way, the police, the capitol police and fbi don't have to wait for him to ask. whatever evidence there is of a crime is evidence of a crime and they can investigate it right now. >> i think weiner has made his decision. obviously he could have answered the question today. he could have said simply i did not send this tweet. he didn't say that. obviously all of us can draw suspicious conclusions from that. it looks like what he's doing is simply brazening it out in hope that the circus moves on and people pay attention to something else tomorrow. >> we'll end the conversation on that point. if the circus does not move on i think we can all remember past political issues where that answer changes or the decision changes if the circus does not move on. thanks for your help tonight. ahead tonight, reality tv meets
republican presidential politics. sarah palin is having dinner with donald trump. complete with a limousine ride. no kidding. but next, the shuttle "endeavour" is on its way home which means commander mark kelly can check up on the surgery his congresswoman wife had while he was up circling in space. [ woman speaking chinese ] thank you. do you have an english menu? no english. [ speaking chinese ] [ gasps, speaks chinese ] do you guys like dumplings? i love dumplings. working with a partner you can trust is always a good decision. massmutual -- let our financial professionals help you reach your goals.
kennedy space center in florida closing out the next to last flight of the shuttle program. commander mark kelly and his crew have been in space for two weeks and a day. they successfully completed the mission's main objective, delivering and installing a special particle detector for the international space station. its 600 computer processors will help scientists from 16 countries try to understand the origin of the universe by searching for wild sounding things like anti-matter, dark matter, and cosmic rays. this is shuttle "endeavour's" final mission of course. it will go to a museum when it lands. i spoke to the crew about what for most of them will be their last time in space. >> as you begin to prepare to come home and you look down i am tempted to ask knowing that this is your last shuttle mission, like a vacation to the grand canyon, are you tempted to call down and say can we extend the rental a little bit? >> john, these missions are really complex. there is a lot of risk and we develop a plan way ahead of time. yeah it would be nice to have an
additional day in space to look down at our beautiful planet and enjoy zero gravity. but tomorrow is the right time to come home and if the weather holds up we got a little bit of a cross wind issue we're looking at but we'll hopefully be on the runway at about 2:00 in the morning tomorrow. >> mike, if i got the stats right here you've had 26 hours on six space walks during your career. i'm just wondering. i know it's work up there and your time is limited and you have a lot to get done but knowing that you won't be flying off the side of a shuttle again, did you take any extra time on this trip just to reflect, just to have a nostalgic moment? >> yes, i absolutely did. each time you get to do a spacewalk it's a lot of work but it's also very much a blessing. and since those six spacewalks on the russian side i had three spacewalks out of four here on our mission so it's a total of nine now. i can't believe it. i didn't even think i'd ever get to do one.
but it's always good especially near the end of the spacewalk when you know you have most of your tasks done to just be able to hold on tight and look out over the edge and look at planet earth go by or look up and see the moon and the stars and the planets and look forward to where we're going to be going next. >> 4,000 hours, 40 different aircraft. on your second space flight, we're obviously in a transition. a lot of questions about the future. american manned space program. what goes through your mind when you're zipping around and you disconnect from the space station and now you're preparing to come home? >> well, what occurs to me is how special it is. yesterday we did undock and fly around and the space station was absolutely spectacular. this mission we put the final touches as far as the assembly of the space station so we can declare the space station complete. and in doing so the space station is so huge that even when we back off to 600 feet we
can barely catch the entire space station in our field of view. as we traveled all the way around the space station, we're taking wonderful photographs and so being a part of this mission and being a part of the completion of the space station and the retirement of the space shuttle, i can't think of a better thing than an aviator would like to be a part of in his career. >> in ten years, five years, maybe 15 years, what will some kid be learning in science class that they will trace back to the last flight of the shuttle "endeavour?" >> well, i hope that ams will have a long legacy and help unravel more secrets of the universe complementing those that hubbell is helping build as well and i think that's been important for me personally is to know that we've contributed to science and will contribute to science and the understanding of the universe for decades, generations to come. i think that's pretty special
and we look forward to those new discoveries. >> do you have, commander kelly, any apprehension as we go through this transition? you're the second last shuttle flight, the final mission will take place just a few weeks down the road. any apprehension that in this period of transition something will be lost whether it's scientific discovery or just the great sense of adventure that is manned space flight? >> i don't think the adventure will be lost. i think what's always at risk is as we transition to a new program and a new vehicle there is going to be a period of time when americans aren't flying on u.s. space craft so that's a challenge. people leave, engineers and operations people will move on and do other things so it's the corporate memory that i think i'm most worried about as people go. but, you know, over time we'll get the right mix of people and nasa has an incredible work for us. it's very talented. and from the late 1950s to
today, we take on great challenges and we've never failed. so i think the future is bright. there's going to be a period of time where we're going to develop our next generation of launch vehicles and it'll be a challenging transition. i expect great things. >> you made a tough personal decision, tough family decision to take this mission with your wife in a very delicate stage of her recovery while you've been up in space and she has had surgery. it was obviously a tough call. any moments during the mission from when you took off now as you prepare to come home where you question that call and said, oh, boy, should i be here? >> no. i don't have any regrets. we trained as a crew, the six of us, for over a year and a half to get ready for this flight so when january 8th happened, when that day came, didn't look likely that i would be on this
flight but her recovery went well enough and things lined up with her being able to go to rehab in houston that i was able to rejoin my crew and complete this mission. certainly no regrets. there are periods of time over the last 16 days that, you know, you miss your wife and your kids and i think that's true for all of us. but in hindsight, it was absolutely the right decision. we got all of our mission objectives done. we did four very challenging spacewalks. we got the ams installed and another pay load on the outside of the station so for me it was certainly the right decision. >> gentlemen, thanks for your time. have a wonderful final moments to your journey. we'll see you back on earth. >> you're welcome, john. i have to say that was pretty cool. i'm on the cnn express. that's late last night in gettysburg, pennsylvania talking to the crew up in space. nice how technology works in our favor sometimes. when we come back though questions about technology.
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welcome back. here is the latest news you need to know right now. the house just now overwhelmingly defeated a measure that would raise the government's debt ceiling. the 318-97 vote is not a surprise. republican leaders wanted to show there is no support for a higher debt limit without significant spending cuts. the pentagon is working on a new
strategy on how to respond to cyber attacks. a spokesman tells cnn all options would be on the table including the possibility of military force not just a cyber response. the world health organization today announced it is going to list cell phones as a cars pote cancer hazard. it is now in the same cancer category as lead, engine exhaust, and chloroform. earlier today i talked with dr. keith black the chairman of the neuro surgery department at cedar sinai hospital in los angeles. >> assuming the government would not allow anything with the possible risk of brain cancer being sold but what the government cannot tell you currently is that the cell phones are safe and what the world health organization has done with their class 2 b classification is looked at the best scientific evidence that we had and said that based on their analysis the 31 scientists from 14 different countries analyzed
the data and, yes, the data currently shows that there is a possible link between cell phones and brain cancer, that there has not been, you know, the perfect study, that all of the studies are flawed and can lead to the wrong conclusions because of design or not being powered enough in terms of their statistics but to the best evidence that we have now there may be a possible link so you should use the cell phone cautiously. up next tonight day three of sarah palin's bus tour. she went to mount vernon, virginia. she was in gettysburg, pennsylvania. tonight new york city. a limo ride. dinner with donald trump. go figure. [ man ] ♪ trouble ♪ trouble, trouble trouble, trouble ♪ ♪ trouble been doggin' my soul ♪ since the day i was born
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sarah palin's one nation bus tour of the nation's historic sites is in new york city tonight for a stop at trump tower. the trump adviser tells cnn palin and her husband todd are having dinner with donald trump and his wife tonight. cnn national political correspondent jessica yellin joins us with cnn's peter hanby who is following the palin bus. you are watching the pictures there of the donald. to you first, this is the star of sarah palin's alaska meeting the star of celebrity apprentice. should we just leave it at that, this is reality tv? or is there some deep plirt cer political meaning here? >> i think that from a political point of view this is a low point for the media the way this
is getting covered. this is a woman not running for president as far as anyone knows. she has made no indication she plans to run and there is news about the coverage that no other person who is actually running for president is getting. they're all desperate to get coverage and we can't give them the time of day in some instances but there is a fascination around sarah instances. but there is a fascination around sarah palin, and some political operatives on the republican side are even glad she's getting this kind of coverage because it's making tea party activists happy. >> all right. peter, come into the conversation and help me out because ms. yellin is stating we're overplaying it. she is not a candidate of president. we should make clear of that. but she also said she is contemplating it, peter. and essentially, if you listen to what todd palin has been saying and governor palin has been saying. part of it to see if the family likes the road, because running for president is a lot more gruelling than three or four months running for vice
president. >> that's right. and actually, you know, sarah palin generally gives the same answer. i talked to todd palin today and asked him what her thinking is. he said it's going to be her decision ultimately. but he sounded very positive about the potential for a run. he said that his family has been tested, they've been through the gauntlet of politics. so, you know, todd seems to be encouraging it. and i tend to disagree a little bit with jessica. i think a lot of people believe because she's not really building out steering committees and states and talking to key operatives she might not be running. she has the ability to keep her options open longer than anybody else. and when she drove into philadelphia today, her bus was being circled by local news choppers, she had one of the largest media i've seen here in philadelphia. no one else has been able to command that kind of attention. and that affords her the ability to wait a little bit longer than other people. and she's unconventional and she says that. i tend to agree.
>> right. >> she's unconventional. >> yeah, she gets a lot of media attention. do we have a responsibility to give this kind of coverage to the other candidates who are also actually running and who the voters out there should be hearing from with at least equal attention? but i've made my point. i'll tell you one thing i found sort of interesting when i was talking to some -- one republican, top republican operative saying we're actually very glad that sarah palin's getting this much coverage because were she not getting this much attention, a lot of tea party activists no doubt would be complaining that none of the candidates in the field really speaks for the tea party and might be clambering for a candidate who speaks to their issues. and because she is satisfying that, there's not a lot of attention to those folks inside the field right now. and it's sort of placating this constituency for a moment. >> i'm going to make a little defensive at the program here,
we've had senator santorum, gingrich, we've had other candidates on, we've invited michele bauchmann the other day and the others on. but a lot of people say she's taking this tour, number one, to see how her family feels about it. does her young family want to go through a year plus presidential campaign? others say she's also trying to test the brand. see if she can help the image a little bit. i want to put numbers up. her overall favorability rating, in the republican party, her standing is higher. but if you look at these numbers. urban america, she has a high unfavorable, suburban, high unfavorable, rural america is where she's the strongest. so in gettysburg, pennsylvania, yesterday you see a lot of people who want her to run. my question is, is part of this to see if she can change that suburban number? because many elections are won in the suburbs and that's where she had a problem last time with independents and moderate republicans. >> definitely. and that is a big challenge for her. and, you know, her appeal exists
right now in an -- in the way the voting structure exists. in iowa, the structure of our system plays to her strength. she can slowly ease into sort of becoming a candidate who could appeal to the suburban voters if that's what she chooses to do. and so, you know, you could see a path for her potentially. if she chooses to run. so yes, john, and i don't mean this as a criticism -- i mean it as the media broadly. the attention she gets by the media broadly outweighs the attention many other folks get. not you. >> you can throw harpoons my way. we're friends here. mr. hamby, we don't get a schedule, do you have any idea where you're going next? >> we will be at ellis island tomorrow. she has been pretty illusive. and we're going to go up through new england, hometown of boston, the thinking is we're going to end up in new hampshire later in the week. and i talked to palin yesterday, and she confirmed a report that
eventually she's going to end up in iowa at some point, probably a different leg of this whole bus tour. but right now, we're just waiting at palin's hotel to see where she's going to be next. >> enjoy boston, my friend. i'll send you a restaurant recommendation. enjoy new hampshire, as well. jess, peter, thanks for coming in tonight. when we come back, secretary of state hillary clinton tonight, tough new words about syria. we don't just make a sunroof... ..we make the heavens wide. we don't just make a crossover... ..we make a statement. the cadillac srx. we don't just make luxury cars, we make cadillacs.
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strong words about syria late this afternoon from secretary of state hillary clinton. the brutal regime declared general amnesty today. but human rights groups call it a sham designed to distract attention from a 12-week bloody crackdown against demonstrators. here secretary clinton a bit earlier. >> president assad has a choice. and every day that goes by, the choice is made by default. he has not called an end to the violence against his own people. and he has not engaged seriously in any kind of reform efforts. >> secretary clinton also said she is very concerned over reports a 13-year-old boy was tortured and killed while in syrian government custody. there have been more protests in the streets today. the question is, will the death of the boy be the tipping point in syria? among the