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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  April 1, 2013 2:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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today? it wasn't. now we're told it was a hoax, one of the many on this april fools' day. we asked you about your best haikus about the news. the top, crazy princeton mom tells girls to marry her son girls are like no thanks. that's it for me. thanks for watching "the lead." "the swailituation room" starts right now with wolf blitzer. thanks very much. happening now, what seemed impossible just a little while ago is now on the fast-track in congress. why are lawmakers suddenly working together on something that could change the law on who can become an american stit zen? crude oil from canada flowing in the streets of an arkansas subdivision. residents forced out of their homes. what will all this mean for the bitter debate over the keystone pipeline? and a washington suburb, get this, pays $1 million to build a bus stop. riders say it doesn't even keep out the rain. i'm wolf blitzer.
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you're in "the situation room." right now fundamental changes in the works here in washington, change that will determine just who can become an american citizen. small groups of lawmakers in both the senate and the house, they have been working on comprehensive immigration reform, and they may introduce their plans when congress returns from spring break. why is congress suddenly cooperating on such a sensitive and important issue? our chief congressional correspondent dana bash is here in "the situation room," taking a closer look at what's going on. this potentially could be historic. >> it could be. and really the answer to why it's happening could be given with one figure, and that figure is 27%. that was mitt romney's record low among latino voters in november's election and why republicans are more willing than ever to get the divisive issue of illegal immigration off the table, but it's still very complex politically for the gop.
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>> i have legislation. >> bipartisan omit mix about one of the most polarizing issues, immigration reform. >> i think we have a deal. >> every major policy issue has been resolved. >> senate negotiators had already come together on some of the biggest flash points, a 13-year earned path to citizenship allowed only after specific border security measures are enacted and an employment verification system. the last piece of the complex puzzle is now in place. a low-skilled guest worker program that pleases big business, which wants more workers, and big labor, which wants to protect american jobs. >> the beauty of this program is that it rises and falls with the economy. so when the economy is booming, there will be more visas available for foreign workers and when it's not there won't be. that's something that we've never seen in the united states before. >> that's giving way to a tentative agreement in warped speed,s just four months of
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talk. thanks to president obama's unprecedented 71% win among latinos. exhibit a, marco rubio. he's a critical conservative member of the so-called gang of 8 working on immigration reform. >> there are 11 million human beings in this country today that are undocumented. that's not something that anyone is happy about. >> but rubio is also a rising gop star who may be eyeing a presidential run where republican primary voters are still reluctant to support what he's doing. recent polling shows just 38% of republicans support a path to citizenship for illegal works, one reason rubio released a cautious statement saying reports of a bipartisan deal are, quote, premature. sources familiar with the talks believe rubio will will ultimately support immigration reform but wants to signal a go-slow approach to conservatives traditionally wary of backroom deals. to lure other republicans, cnn is told gop groups in favor of
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immigration reform are gearing up to run more supportive ads like this. >> a modern economy needs modern immigration laws and senator graham gets that. >> but first things first. the deal still has to be turned into legislation, and that is ho happening as we speak. aides to the eight senators involved are working on it all week long and their goal is to formally unveil the bipartisan immigration bill early next week. wo when congress returns from easter break. but sources say we should expect this to go into the summer because of the fact that they understand that everybody out there, auflt constituencies, want to see a slower approach when it comes to studying this, when it comes to being able to amend this. that's ott eenl the only way for it to succeed. >> even if there's a deal, approval in the senate, that doesn't necessarily mean republicans in the house of representatives will go along with it. >> not at all. the good news, though, for people who have been working on this is that there is a proposal that has been going through a similar bipartisan group in the
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house and has some pretty conservative republicans on that as well, but they have been going much slower. they much prefer the senate going first. >> absolutely. dana, thanks very much. this note, later this hour i'll speak about immigration, also about guns with republican senator james inhofe. he's been visiting the u.s./mexico border today in texas. my interview with senator inhofe coming up. meanwhile, another fundamental question being hotly debated these days here in washington -- how we live as americans a flurry of fatal shootings took place across the country easter weekend. near miami a 4-year-old girl was shot dead while sitting in a parked car. in ohio, a man was shot dead when he walked out of a church service. in washington state, three people were shot dead after a fight erupted outside a bar. all of this comes amid a push to control gun violence so how is that effort going? our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin is here in "the situation room" with an update on this sensitive issue. and it's pretty sensitive.
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>> wolf, it is. tl's still strong resistance to any measures strengthening gun control laws in the country. the one bill that many democrats were most optimistic about is actually a watered-down version of what they had hoped to pass right after the sandy hook shootings. on baseball's opening day, a quiet remembrance for the victims of the sandy hook shooting. >> let us all stand in a moment of silent prayer. >> but it's all noise in washington, d.c., where congress has yet to act on democratic legislation intended to curb gun violence. >> any bill that does not include a universal background check is a mistake. >> this idea of private individuals transferring their weapons and having to go through a background check makes no sense. >> each senator is going to have to make up his or her own mind, and i respect that. >> what happened to the fierce urgency of passing the president's gun safety
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legislation now? these republicans have vowed to block a measure the administration considered most likely to pass, introduced by senator harry reid, it includes universal background checks for all gun purchases. policy supported by 90% of americans. >> shame on us if we've forgotten. >> to keep pressure on lawmakers in washington, the president will visit colorado on wednesday. he'll highlight a new background check law the state recently passed. also this week -- >> the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. >> on tuesday, the national rifle association plans to unveil its long-promised list much school safety recommendations. we're told it will include guidelines for training school security and proposals to allow armed guards on campus. and turning back to legislation here in washington, expect a senate gun safety bill, a vote
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on that, the week after next. democrats are not certain that they have the 60 votes needed to overcome republican opposition to that measure, wolf. >> because there will be a filibuster, i suspect, even as far as expanding background checks are concerned. so here's the question -- is it possible that the democrats, the supporters of expanded gun control, will wind up with nothing? >> is it possible? it is possible. it would be devastating for the white house and for democrats. at this point what'ses happening is democratic leadership is negotiating with republicans to look for some kind of compromise that would get them over that 60-vote hurdle needed to overcome republican opposition to the measure because it would be almost unthinkable at this point for the white house and for democrats to get nothing on gun legislation. some kind of background check measure seems very likely and within reach so they're really looking for that compromise. >> john king is here as well. some of the president's critics are saying maybe he waited too
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long. right after the newtown, connecticut, massacre there was a moment of opportunity he should have done it then instead of waiting three months. >> some will say that, but the president can offer legislation, propose ideas but he can't introduce it and move 0 it through the halls of congress. wolf, on this issue the manath the math. most republicans aren't with the president and some democrats aren't. now you have a question, most people assume on this day they'll get some form of expanded background checks but people even say don't bet the ren ranch on that. as for an assault weapons ban, magazine clip ban, forget about that right now. on part of that, the democrats. democrats up in 2014 don't want this right now. one thing some people say is the president should have called people into the white house and say, what can i get, as opposed to give me this this and this. then he may get a more robust background check. >> he loses either bay. if he does it that way, they say, why didn't you put specifics on the table to begin
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with? >> right. on this one, this issue has not even despite the tragedies, not many people have changed hands or said, i'm open to changing sides. the math is the math. >> let's move on to hillary clinton. word she's about to give her first public speech since leaving the state department. speculation on the front page. "new york times." what is she up to? what is she up to? >> there's a lot of excitement around clinton, former secretary of state. she did give one speech before to vital voices, a group very close to her heart, aand she's trying to decide what she's going to do next it's been 60 days since she left the state department, two months only. there's about, what is it, 19 months until the midterm elections so she does have a little bit of time to decide whether she'll run for president. i think we should give her a little space before we jump all over her. >> we're having withdrawals. >> she's fine.
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it's how this affects potentially other democrats. i talked to a couple of people today who know her well. they say these speeches this week is about where she's in her life and where she's been, not about where she's going potentially in the next chapter. she wants to talk about supporting women both economically, politically and the like, how she wants to salute her longtime chief of staff and good friend. she won't give us clues because i don't think she's thinking about it just yet much. the only issue is, if you're wolf or jessica and you're thinking of running in 2012, you're 0 calling people and trying to sign up activists. a lot of them are using this legitimately and some as an excuse, i have to wait for hillary. it does freeze some of the over people but it's silly season. >> or kirsten gillibrand, two of the women on the sidelines to see if another woman will get in the race. >> jim routenburg of the "new york times" -- >> is he running? >> no. he says the question hovers over hillary clinton's aevery move and has frozen in place the very early but for some important
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presidential maneuvering on the democratic side. until she makes up her side, john, a lot of democrats, whether the governor of new york, andrew cuomo, or others, they're really sort of paralyzed, right? >> yes and no. you have to at least make the phone calls. you have to try to set up the fund-raising team. and you have to take a lot of nos or at least no not nows. remember when mark warner now senator of governor, a credible candidate realized with clinton, obama, edwards, there was no ex-joex oxygen in the room. they have to do the legwork. they'll get a lot of, can't talk to you, waiting for hillary. >> the people close to hillary that i talk to vow she is truly undecided, exhausted and spent and focused on right now and not 33 months from now. >> she'll be doing some speaking, write a book about her four years at the state department, then make up her mind. it will also depend not only politically but also on her health. remember she'll be 69 in 2016.
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she had a headed injury. let's hope she's fine as far as health is concerned. that will be a big factor. >> everyone says she's in good shape, but a good question. and she has longer than anyone, she can wait the longest. >> right. thanks, guys. up next, crude oil from canada flowing through the streets of an arkansas neighborhood. a terrible accident that could have consequences for the white house. and coming up -- a million dollars, yes, $1 million, for a bus stop. and riders say it doesn't even keep out the wind or the rain. ♪ [ female announcer ] nothing gets you going quite like the power of quaker oats. today is going to be epic. quaker up. impact wool exports from new zealand, textile production in spain, and the use of medical technology in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy.
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an urgent cleanup operation now under way after a aruptured pipeline spilled thousands of barrels of canadian crude oil into an arkansas suburb this weekend. there are more than 160,000 miles of pipelines crisscrossing the united states, carrying oil, gasoline, other hazardous liquids. another 2 million miles carrying national gas.
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what's about the keystone hype line that would carry the same kind of oil that spilled in arkansas. lisa sylvester is here, she's been looking at this story. what's going on? >> i can tell you that before this pile line ruptured, many of the people who lived there said they didn't even know there was an oil pipeline in their neighborhood. we don't know the cause of the breach yet, but it's raising questions about whether the white house should move forward on another controversyial new pipeline. crude oil spewed out of the exxonmobil pipeline coiling its way through a suburban neighborhood in may flower, arkansas, some of it ending up at a nearby creek. but work crews were able to stop the oil from reaching lake conway, a popular fishing spot. but even after an round-the-clock ingi effort, thick tar remained. >> when i got here, you could have canoed down the street there was so much oil running through there. it was a mess. even after they shut it off
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somewhere upstream, if you will, there was still a lot of oil flowing down the street. >> reporter:. >> the pegasus pipeline can carry more than 90,000 barrels of heavy crude oil per day from illinois to texas. exxon did not put a hard estimate on the number of barrels of oils that spilled except to say it was a few thousand. the cause of the pipeline rupture is still under investigation. >> we are working as rapidly as possible to get this klein ecle and get people's lives back to normal. we will allow people in when the state agrees that it is safe and appropriate for people to come back and occupy their homes again. >> there are 160,000 miles of pipeline crisscrossing the united states. the arkansas oil spill comes as president obama is weighing whether to approve a new keystone xl pipeline, 1700 miles of pipeline carrying 700,000 barrels of crude a day stretching through the country's heartland. the keystone pipeline carries a
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dense canadian tar sands oil. critics say this lower quality oil can corrode over time. >> keystone xl is a dirty and dangerous pipeline that will literally cut our country in half carrying a dangerous fuel and will will cause runaway climate change. >> proponents say, however, it would lessen u.s.'s dependence on oil from the mideast and transporting it by pipeline is far safer than by road or rail. >> it would be equipped with 16,000 sensors that would monitor the flow of the oil so if there was any abnormal activity it would shut down quickly. not to mention that they studied all of the other risks to wildlife and vegetation and concluded this pipeline would be safe. >> for the families in arkansas, that debate might seem like a million miles away. the most immediate question on their mind? when can they return home. and authorities are monitoring air quality 24 hours a day now. environmental protection agency is also on the scene, and you can tell why when you see these
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pictures. it is clear that it is going to be a while before some of those folks can return home. exxon is putting residents up in hotels and are also boarding their pets. boy, oh, boy, just looking at those pictures, wolf, what a mess. >> yeah. this pipeline in arkansas was pretty old, right? >> yeah, it's about 40 year s old. this is part of the whole debate of adding pipeline over the years. president obama, it's up to him to make the decision now on keystone. >> the proponents of keystone say this would be a brand-new, highly efficient pipeline, state-of-the-art, safety procedures as opposed to these old ones that might have some problems. >> well, that's part of the whole argument, too. they said as the alternative, if you're going to transport it by road or by rail, that this is actually safer. but again environmentalists very much against keystone. >> see what the decision the president makes. thanks very much. coming up, if you thought a new gun control law would be a tough sell, you were right. but you might be surprised at where some gop senators are
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the obama administration isn't taking any it chances with north korea right now. after weeks of threats from pyongyang, lisa sylvester is back. she's monitoring that and other top stories in "the situation room" right now. tension on the korean peninsula is getting more intense. >> yes. potentially a very serious situation. the u.s. is moving a warship and sea-based radar platform to the waters near north korea. the new deployments will will help the u.s. keep tabs on the
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north especially if it tries to launch another missile. cnn has learned more deployments are possible. pyongyang is threatening to go on the offense, has been for weeks. we'll have more in the next hour in "the situation room". prosecutors will seek the death penalty for james holmes. he faces 166 counts of murder and attempted murder for the shootings at a theater in aurora, colorado. fwefl people were killed. the trial won't begin for almost a year as the judge delayed a start until february 3rd. the kcolorado has only executed one person since 1966. abd one of the stars of mtv's reality tv show "buck wild" 0 has die odd. shane gandy was found dead along with two other people in west virginia. mtv is reporting that his uncle was another victim while the identity of the third is unknown. the three bodies were found in a truck on a dirt road. authorities say they do not suspect foul play. and there is a new president in the running to win the hearts
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of baseball fans in washington. william howard taft, or bill, became the fifth person to join the fourth inning race at nationals home games. bill has a close connection to baseball. taft is credited with starting the tradition of the ceremonial first pitch. i was reading up on this. i think he'll inspire a lot of love and sell a lot of new merchandise. >> nice touch. i'm so happy my washington nationals won their home opener. your wash nationals as well. >> yes. >> they did well against the miami marlins. >> something about opening day makes you want a hot dog or something. >> stephen strasburg, bryce harper two hoax runme runs. very impressive. other news we're following, a lot of opposition to gun control is focused on the assault weapon ban, but some senators are balking at any restrictions, including expanding background checks and are willing to stop a bill, or
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try to, no matter what. also coming up, how much would you spend on what could be the fanciest bus stop in the world? one super stop outside washington may have set the record. it's infuriating a lot of people. your tax dollars at work right now. 0 oh, he's a fighter alright.
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. happening now, a million dollars. that's what you can buy in arlington, virginia, one bus stop. one bus stop. that's what it cost. we'll have details. caroline kennedy's support for the president could lead to a prestigious position in the diplomatic corps. and facing a crying child. the president shows off his parenting skills at the white house easter egg hunt. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." comprehensive immigration reform 0 in washington, lawmakers are turning their attention to the border with mexico.
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four senators actually watched as a woman climbed the border fence in arizona last week. and today another key lawmaker has been visiting the border in texas. senator james inhofe is joining us, the republican from oklahoma. senator, i know you're right on the border now between texas and mexico. you've been studying border security in advance of comprehensive immigration reform. one of your republican colleagues in the house steve king says the u.s. should just build what he describes as a great wall of china along the u.s./mexico border. do you think that's necessary? >> no, it's not necessary. while there are places where fences actually work, a lot of places they don't work. now, they've had tremendous success in the ayeirrizona bord some 260 miles i think it is with fences. some places don't work as well. where i am now is closer to the
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gulf. down here they have fences about half the distance. that isn't the solution to the problem. you know, anytime there is a demand to get to the united states, a lot of it would be for benefits, a lot of it for food stamps and aall the other things we have to offer, until that is collected i don't think we're ultimately going to be able to resolve the problem. i know there's a gang of 8, some four democrats, four republicans. my concern there is what they're doing on this what they call the path to legal immigration, the path to citizenship, you know, i've been privileged, wolf, to talk to maybe more of the naturalization ceremonies than anybody else has. and i look at these people who came over the legal way, the hard way, and i can tell you now that my heart bleeds every time i hear people talking about an easier way for illegals to become citizens. >> well, listen to lindsey graham. he's a republican from south carolina, one of the members of the so-called gang of 8.
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he was on cnn's "state of the union" yesterday. listen to this, senator. >> i believe it will pass the house because it secures our borders, it controls who gets the job. as to the 11 million, they'll have a pathway to citizenship, but it will be earned, it will be long, and it will be hard. and i think it is fair. >> so if these four republicans on this gang of 8, including lindsey graham and john mccain, marco rubio, senator flake from arizona a, if they're on board, would that be good enough for you? >> well, not necessarily, no. first of all, there are so many unknown things right now, there's -- when they talk about a path to citizenship, they don't have any of the details. we now know that pat leahy wants it to go through committee, it will have all of these amendments. i would say to my friends the republicans and democrats they don't know enough right now in terms of what they'd put together. there are too many change that's could take place. there's no specific path to
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legal entry. there's no specific path to citizenship. and there's not any answers in terms of the border. so it's a work in progress. that's what i would state. >> if you don't like it, will you filibuster? >> no, i wouldn't filibuster. this is not an issue i'm into as much as they are. i just know that i am concerned about the citizenship. i'm concerned about what's happening with those who have done it the legal way. and i want to hear the answers to where they're there are going to be fences, detentions. i'm the ranking member on armed serves. i need to know what of our equipment is going to be necessary on any ultimate solution to the immigration problem. i don't think we're there yet. i don't think they had the specific answers. for those who say that they do, they haven't gone through pat leahy's committee yet. >> speaking of filibuster, let's move on to guns.
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a new gun control legislation that might be out there, you've indicated with a few other republican senators you will filibuster new legislation. but here's the key question -- if that legislation only includes expanded background checks, doesn't deal with the magazines, doesn't deal with the assault-type weapons, would you still filibuster that? >> well, i can only speak for myself, wolf, and the answer can is yes. you may not have noticed, but at 5:00 in the morning last friday my amendment, the last amendment to the budget bill, actually passed. we got 53 votes. we now know in the senate we have 53 votes to stop any kind of effort for gun control. and also that affected the u.n. treaty on gun exchanges. i think you're familiar with that. so it did two things. it was pretty strong, saying that we're not going to accept gun control in the united states senate. we have 53 senators who say that
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right now. and as far as background checks are concerned, just look at it logically. anyone can get -- you can get a weapon from someone who has a clean background, off them $100 to get a weapon for you, and there's one fallacy that i see in every type of gun control, and that is there's this assumption that a criminal element somehow will obey that particular law. we know that is not going to be the case. i haven't seen one yet that will work and yes i'd be willing will to filibuster. >> a lot of your fellow republicans they look at the polls out there, there was a cbs news poll came out asked, do you favor background checks on all potential gun buyers? 90% of the american public, according to the cbs news poll say they favor it, 8% oppose it. you're under -- you're in the 8%. that's a small, small minority. >> no, i do not believe i'm in the 8%. i can assure you i'm not in the
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8% certainly in oklahoma. when they asked the question, do you want a background check? sure, everybody can say yes. they don't stop to realize that the criminal element is going to be able to get guns anyway. if you were to ask the question, the criminal element can get guns in spite of a background check, are you still for a background check? how would they answer that, wolf? i think they'd answer it maybe 90% the other way. >> but wouldn't it make it more difficult if all gun transactions required a background check? because right now there are these huge loopholes if you buy it at a gun show or buy it privately. anybody, any criminal could go out there and buy it. >> wolf, i disagree with that. i think they can buy it anyway. the criminal element can have access to guns, and the law-abiding citizens are going to comply with the law. you know, i just don't believe that you can have a background check that's going to have a material diminishing effect on the availability of handguns or any other type of gun. >> all right, a big battle
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coming up over immigration and guns. i know you'll be at the heart and right in the center of both of these battles once you get back to washington. senator inhofe, safe travels back here to the nation's capital. >> thank you, wolf. just ahead, your federal tax dollars helped build in million-dollar bus stop. you're going to find out who got your money, what you're getting in exchange. also coming up -- you're also going to find out who pops up behind this podium. an april 1st surprise at the white house xs i remember the day my doctor said i had diabetes.
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government spending may not get a whole lot more wasteful than this. look at this, one bus stop, $1 million. an eye-popping amount aof money for something that may cost a few thousand dollars at most. here is the latest on this bus stop that sounds a little bit like highway robbery. what's going on? >> a good way to put it. ever wonder what a $1 million bus stop looks like? you probably have not because you probably didn't even know one existed. but it does. you paid for it. i paid for it. the folks out there paid for it. and some call it government waste at its finest. a million-dollar home, million-dollar luxury car, . million-dollar bus stop? >> it's outrageous. >> 1.1 million. >> i'd rather have that in my pocket. >> call this the mother of all bus stops. it cost taxpayers a busload of money located along busy columbia pike in arlington,
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virginia. even if you don't live there, you paid for it. about 800,000 came from federal tax dollars in the form of grants. >> they're saying $1 million for a bus stop. do you frs that? >> i understand that. we've heard that criticism and we're going to be evaluating this stop and we'll look at ways that we might be able to save money on the future stops. >> so the million-dollar question is, how does a bus stop rack up such a high tab? the county says stainless steel, heated pavement, and heated seating. and you see this electronic board? it tells you when your next bus is coming. but not even some bus riders think it's money well spent. >> this is cute, but cute aain't warm, cute ain't dry. >> one transportation consultant wonders how the county could rack up such a bill during the time when cash-strapped federal and state governments are slashing budgets, jobs and overtime. >> the average person realizes that when you pay a million
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dollars for a bus stop that doesn't keep you out of the rain and wind there's something wrong with management. >> well, this bus stop has been up now just for 14 days, but the public outcry is so loud plans to build 23 more are on hold, and the county says they're trying to figure out how to build the other bus stops at a cheaper price. >> just put up a little sign that says "bus stop." you can do that pretty cheap. you don't need all of that fancy stuff especially in a time of budget cutting the way we're going through right now. 800,000 federal tax dollars for this silly bus stop? >> a lot of money, wolf. a lot of people not too happy about it at all. >> whoever did that should may be look for new work. that's ridiculous. thanks very much. her father was a president of the united states. her uncles were senators. her grandfather was an ambassador. and she's had cousins in congress as well. now caroline kennedy has been asked to serve her country as an ambassador. our foreign affairs correspondent jill dougherty is
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over at the state department looking at what's going on. update our viewers. >> wolf, you know, press secretary over at the white house jay carney was asked about the kennedy news, and all he would say is he has no personnel announcements to make. but, you know, another celebrity rumored for an ambassadorship was anna winltor, the editor in chief of "american vogue." sources are now saying that she appears to be out of contention. wolf? >> a lot going on over here as far as diplomatic ambassadorial positions are concerned. basically, in every administration, what, about a third of the major diplomatic posts are given to major political supporters, not career diplomats. is that right? >> they are, and it's pretty contentious. that's one of the questions, should it happen or shouldn't it? in political circles, her family name is solid gold. caroline kennedy, the only living child of slain president
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john f. kennedy. >> i've never had a candidate who inspires me the way the people say that my father inspired them. but i do now, and his name is barack obama. >> she endorsed barack obama in 2008, was a national co-chairperson of his 2012 campaign. now, according to a democrat familiar with the discussions, he's asked her to serve as his ambassador to japan. the 55-year-old lawyer, mother of three, author of ten books heads the kennedy presidential library and is known for her privacy. but she's come close to running for office. last month on cbs she was quizzed about becoming an ambassador. >> are you interested? >> sure. >> do you like japan or canada better? >> what? i don't know. which is closer to 57th street where you are? >> some career diplomats say political patronage is a bad
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idea. >> the consistent and growing use of political pate roronage appoint outsiders into our diplomatic service has seriously weakened our diplomatic service over time and is continuing to do so. >> and johnson also says that, by the way, since 1980 almost 100% of the ambassadorships to japan, u.s. ambassadorships, have been political appointees. wolf? >> a lot of those countries they prefer to have a high ranking political appointee as opposed to a career diplomat. they suspect someone closer to a president or secretary of state will have greater influence in presenting their points of view. there are advantages and disadvantages in this battle. i've been hering about it for a long time going on. i suspect we'll be hearing about it for a long time down the road. jill, thanks very much. the white house had its own april fools' day joke today with a special message from not the
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president but a president. >> it looks like you were expecting somebody else. april fools' on all of y'all. i'm kid president, and i hope everyone has an awesome day. >> that's kid president, the youtube sensation. his videos have been seen millions of times. he stepped to the white house in what the whiets house billed as a special message. he was also at the easter egg hunt at the white house. coming up, you can't please everyone, that lesson especially applies to the gop, which is having a lot of trouble making its members happy. and a murder mystery in texas where federal agents are now foin jojoining the hunt forr is killing prosecutors.
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session. joining us our cnn contributor, the democratic pollster cornell bolster and terry holt. thanks for coming in. republicans, they're going through a difficult period right now given the loss this time, this presidential election 2008, this gallup poll, a couple of questions among republican voters, self-identified republican voters. is the party inflexible, unwilling to compromise? 26% of republicans said they were or they don't stand up for positions they give in too easily, 14% said they were.
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they seem to be of two minds right now, and a lot of people in the middle. what's going on? >> it's been a party out of power and it's been a while since they've held the white house and the republicans are going through a public discourse over the future of the party and who the new leader will be, but i think this question is a little bit con stritrived in a vacuum. if you ask republican voters whether or not they should spend, they would say no. on immigration i think that you'd see with more dialogue that more republicans would be ready for more compromise. i think it has a lot more to do with what the issue is than what that general framework is for the question. >> but as a brand, though, you look at that poll more broadly, the number two issue open endedly that people came up with after that poll was looking out too much for the wealthy. so being branded is a party that's not flexible, not compromising and a party that's
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not looking too much for the wealthy and is the brand problem if you'll be the majority again and particularly, the fax fairness debate that we've been having over the last couple of month and i don't think they've handled the tax fairness as well and this was a predicate of this problem. >> i would disagree with that, but the republican party has to get back to main street. main street issues and talking about how problems on main street should be affected here on washington, d.c., and for that, i do say we are a party that needs to really grapple with some big issues and we'll be competitive nationally. >> the democrats were out of power between 2000 and 2008. give them some advice. how do they improve their brand? improve their game so they have a shot of winning the presidency in 2016. >> in all fairness, i was one of the dean guys that came in when the grassroots threw out the people and said no, we'll have dean come in and come up with the ideal strategy which most of
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the insiders as you know in washington, insiders panned. >> it was a great idea. >> when it was successful they loved it, but i would argue that they do need sort of the grassroots shaking -- >> the republicans? >> the republican party, shaking up some of the establishment. i think there are too many people, too many consultants getting fat and other institutions and not enough shake-up. the grassroots said no, we'll shake it up. you like the reince priebus proposal? >> i would say this republican national committee is doing a great job, and -- and honestly -- no, they are. they re-focused on the grassroots just like youio said and ultimately our biggest mistake in the last two big election cycles is we didn't take the ground game seriously and we didn't recruit new people with energy to organize in a scientific and up-to-date way. we took the ground game for granted. in fact, we thought the economy was going to beat barack obama in the last election and we need to get back to the roots of the
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party which are the grassroots of this country. >> and really quickly, also from a brand and policy standpoint, the issue of taxes bringing this back to the issue of taxes that was once upon a time the key pillar of the republican brand. that has been undermined, i think, over the last couple of years along with national security that has not held your brand up in a major way. >> guys, thanks very much. cornell, good discussion. when we come back, the threats from north korea, they haven't gone unnoticed by the pentagon. the military is ready to keep a close watch on north korea and willing to put ships right now in harm's way. it's a hawk with night vision goggles. it's marching to the beat of a different drum. and where beauty meets brains. it's big ideas with smaller footprints. and knowing there's always more in the world to see. it's the all-new lincoln mkz.
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what's your policy? ...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. the white house hosted the always fun and sometimes chaotic easter egg roll today inviting 30,000 visitors to the annual event. the first lady michelle obama stuck to her healthy eating message, cooking pasta with the weatherman al roker and chef ann burrell. >> come to the white house and cook. how many people believe that's going to happen? >> the president showed a touch with one crying 5-year-old and he was shooting with some pros
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from the washington wizards and didn't get much better. in all, the president hit two of his 22 shots, but who's counting with the beautiful weather, no one seemed to mind, at least no one other than the president himself. happening now, a powerful response to north korea's threats. the u.s. military showing muscle after kim jong-un's new declaration of war. a second texas prosecutor is dead, authorities are on high alert fearing another one will beguned down, and the broken leg that horrified the nation. how doctors are trying to heal the college basketball player kevin ware. i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome the viewers in the united states and around the world. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- [ speaking foreign language ] >> north korean troops gunning for an american target in
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another propaganda video from the regime that's going to new lengths to threaten the united states. now the u.s. is sending more firepower to the region taking kim jong-un's missile test and the new declaration of war very, very seriously. our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr is following all of the latest developments. tell us, barbara, what you are learning about the latest u.s. response. >> wolf, there are tonight, more u.s. military moves to protect against a north korean provocation and more questions about what exactly north korea may be up to. the u.s. navy is moving a war ship closer to the north korean coastline. it's also sending this ocean-going radar. the worry? north korea may be planning more ballistic missile test launches. u.s. officials say this missile called the musadan may be fired in the coming weeks.
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with a 2500 range, it threatens south korea, japan and southeast asia. if fired and headed for land the navy ship would then try to shoot it down. the ship along with two f-22 fighter jets and b-2 bombers are wash wish's latest move on the test board to challenge a north korean provocation. the u.s. strategy -- >> it's about showing the south koreans and our friends in the region that we are ready to protect them in the face of any threat. >> there are new images of kim jong-un looking ready for war, but is that his goal? >> i would reiterate that we haven't seen action to back up the rhetoric in the sense that we haven't seen significant changes in the north in terms of mobilizations and repositioning of forces. >> but analysts say that's small comfort. >> this new leadership that's unpredictable that will fire off
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a missile that will sit down with dennis rodman and say he wants obama to call him. >> his recent successful missile and nuclear test played, perhaps, into the regime's ultimate goal, to not give up its weapons crown jewels. >> can't put it past them the idea that they are also trying to establish a new equilibrium in which they are accepted as a nuclear weapon state. >> and now it looks like that north korean underground nuclear test was more advanced than originally thought. experts say there were almost no radioactive emissions of that underground test. that means north koreans most likely buried it deep underground, possibly shielded it doing anything they could to keep the u.s. from figuring out what exactly was going. wolf? >> i assume, barbara, nearly 30,000 american troops stationed along the demilitarized zone
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just between north and south korea, they're in a much higher state of alert right now. >> look, they are always on a much higher state of alert. right now the guidelines are watchfulness. they are not -- they are not seeing major offensive moves by the north korean military, but the timing of any provocation could be very short. the worry is that things could erupt and spin out of control and they want to stop it before that happens. >> let's hope that happens, that it doesn't spin out of control. barbara, thank you. add to all of this, by the way, south korea's new president sending a threat of her own today by promising swift, swift military action if the north does anything at all provocative. >> translator: if there is any provocation against south korea and its people there shall be a strong response without any political considerations. >> the south continues to hold military exercise wets united
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states and they will continue through april. other news we are following, texas authorities are racing to figure out who's killing local prosecutors and now several dozen federal agents are on the case as well. a district attorney was found dead along with his wife only two months after he promised to track down the killer of his assistant d.a. cnn's ed lavandera is following this deadly mystery. ed, what's the latest? >> reporter: well, wolf, right now there are few answers and many people wondering just exactly what is going on, and that has created a sense of unease and a frightening situation for the people here in kaufman county. who's next? it's the question gripping kaufman county, texas. >> i was very, very scared and it's really hard to imagine that something like this happened in your neighborhood. >> reporter: courthouse security has been beefed up in the kaufman town square and law
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enforcement officers say special security measures are being taken to protect other elected officials. there seem to be few leads and no suspects in the hunt to find the killers of mike hasse and mark mclellan along with his wife cynthia. the uncertainty of what might happen next is chilling. rick perry talked about the threats. >> this, i think, is a clear concern to individuals who are in public life and particularly those who deal with some very mean and vicious individuals, whether they're white supremacy groups or the drug cartels that we have. >> reporter: this is the courthouse where mike hasse and mclellan would come to work. we've spoken to several law enforcement analysts that have taken a closer look at the details of the murders and they all say the same thing that they're struck by the simplicity of the details of the attack. mark hasse struck as he was
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walking to court. mclellan killed inside his home and these men were followed and studied in some way and they killed them in the areas where they felt most at ease and part of their routine. >> a lot of focus has issued to the aryan brotherhood gang. the white supremacist group was actively plans to retaliate against officials who was against the leddership. mclellan down played that angle in the murder of mark hasse. in an interview to wfaa-tv, he said hasse's work on aryan brotherhood cases was minimal. >> stratford global intelligence and he's a veteran law enforcement officer. you have an individual who can work by himself to conduct some loose surveillance. if you look at the assistant district attorney that was attacked after he parked his car
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in the parking lot and was walking to work. those patterns are predictable and they're not complex murders to carry out. >> with no significant leads, investigators must look at all possible i, could it be another organized group like a drug cartel or one person with a violent vendetta. >> wolf, this is what makes this situation so complex and daunting daun daunting daunt for investigators. going through the case files that might connect mark hassy and mike mclellan is a daunting and laboring task for these investigators, going through the thousands and thousands of cases that they might have had handled and it's a pain staking, slow process because the vendetta and the grudge could have come from anywhere, wolf? >> ed la van der is is live on the scene. very much and the district
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attorney was killed and doug low is joining us and he's a d.a. from neighboring anderson count i and you were friend, mr. lowe with mark mclellan. sorry for your loss and for the loss of the community. tell us a little bit about him. >> you know, mike was basically a big bear of a guy. never met a stranger, was a real friend to me and all of the prosecutors around and you saw the clips of him. that's what mike was. he said what he meant, and i'm sorry this tragedy followed him, and i mourn the loss of a friend, a fellow prosecutor who was obviously gunned down and it's early in the investigation, but it may appear that he was killed for what he did for a living. >> that is certainly the suspicion out there. i want to play for you, mr. lowe, a clip. this is mike mclellan issuing some tough warnings at a press conference after his assistant
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d.a. had been killed. listen to this. >> we're going to find you. we're going pull you out of whatever hole you're in and we're going bring you back and let the people of kaufman county prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. >> do you think that these two deaths, these two killings of these two prosecutors may be related? >> you know, it's not for me to say. i'm going to rely on the texas rangers and the fbi to sort that through, you know? it doesn't appear to me to be a coincidence, but do they have a tie that's related to organized activity or to when he did over there? i'm just not prepared to say. we're just -- we're just mourning his loss right now. >> you heard governor perry speculate about white supremacists being involved or mexican drug cartels. do you have any thoughts on that? >> you know, mike and i share a common highway that brings drugs down from dallas into east texas
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and so we deal with a lot of bad, bad people in our county, and we've talked about the threats that we face and like i say, i think that there is probably more than coincidence, but i'm not ready to say based on what i know that there is a tie and bakaly stop it at that. >> before the killings of these two prosecutors back in december the department of safety did issue a statewide warning stating that the aryan brotherhood of texas was planning retaliation in their words against law enforcement personnel. was that just a coincidence? what do you think about that? >> my understanding is that mike's office had been involved with several participating agencies and the office of internal affairs for the state prison system and the fbi and that they were included in that
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well list of threats, that my jurisdiction is the home of five security unit, and i have not expected a direct threats to any of those, sorry, but i have not personally been threatened boy them. has security increased around you and others in your count. >> we're mindful of it and we're working with the local sheriff to say here are our concerns. frankly, my staff is worried and the families of the staff are worried so we're going to look at those issues and develop a plan that -- that hopefully meets whatever circumstances come up. >> for you and all of your doug, and around son county, texas. good luck to you.
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good rubbing to everyone. >> yes, sir. >> prosecutors decide whether to accept james holmes offer. we'll have details from inside the courtroom. a new way to combat gang wars. the special deal offered by police. [ male announcer ] this is bob,
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ask your doctor about once-a-day xarelto®. for more information including cost support options, call 1-888-xarelto or visit prosecutors announced they're seek the death penalty against the alleged colorado movie theater shooter james holmes in exchange for life in prison. cnn's james spellman is in colorado and joins us now with the latest. jim, you were inside the courtroom. what was the mood like in there? >> reporter: it was very tense to begin the day, wolf. on one side there were victims and family members of people murdered in the theater that night. on the other hand the journalists and sitting amongst us reporters james holmes' parents. the d.a. came out and said he had told no one of his decision, not even his prosecution team.
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he spoke to 60 victims personally and in the case of james holmes justice is death. you can see james holmes' parents sort of collapse into each other. a few sighs, but pretty stoic on the victim's side. they knew that this was definitely an option. for some of the family members and friends, wolf, of these victims it's welcome news. listen to brian beard. his friend alex sullivan was gunned down in the theater last summer. >> he took one of my good friends from the earth, and the only way that death is served justice is with death. give me a front row ticket. i want to be there for it. >> why is that? >> why? he took my good friend from this earth. >> for other victims and their family, wolf, the most frustrating thing is how long all of this is taking. it will be at the very minimum a year before this trial is over, and that's if there's no more delays. >> and it could be several years before there is any execution
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given the appeals process that will take place. so what happens next? the immediate period ahead? >> reporter: well, one thing is that at this point, james holmes has refused to enter a plea and the judge entered a plea for him and a standard not guilty plea and he could change that to not guilty by reason of insanity which would further delay things and that's why a lot of the victims and their families want that deal to be taken. as long as he's not out again and they'll take that deal if they don't have to deal with him anymore, any time they come to court it's heartbreaking to sit in the same room with him and to go through the news again and again and the seemingly endless string of hearings. >> jim spellman on the scene for us. thank you. other news, a new jersey judge ordered the winner of a $338 million powerball jackpot to pay back child support to the
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mrth of his three children. the man is expected to net approximately $152 million after taxes. he told the judge today that his children will now live with him. >> another $506 million has been returned to victims of bernard madoff's notorious ponzi scheme according to a trustee bringing the victims' payouts so far to more than $5 billion. over four years since madoff's conviction, more than two-thirds of the billions stolen is still unaccounted for or hasn't been returned. the ponzi scheme was the largest ever. college basketball player kevin ware is vowing to make a comeback after his shocking injury during an ncaa tournament game. we'll talk to an orthopedic surgeon about whether that's even possible. what's ahead for kevin wear. also, strong emotion in the staid rum on opening day for major league baseball. we'll tell you what happened. more than two years ago,
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new information on former south african president nelson mandela's health. lisa sylvester is here and she's been monitoring the story and some of the day's other top stories. what are you learning? >> hi there, wolf, south africa's presidency, we are told the nobel laureate met with his family at the hospital where he's been spending the last few days. he is being treated for pneumonia and a recurring lung infection. there is no significant change in his condition and this is the second time in the past month that he's had to be hospitalized. if you were expecting barbara walters to return to "the view" and confirm reports that she's
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retiring in 2014, you were wrong. the 83-year-old journalist reiterated there's been no comment on those reports and that she had no announcement to make. walters promised if and when there is an announcement that she'll be making it, no surprise, on her show. as baseball fans across the country kicked off opening day, the memory of those killed in the sandy hook shooting massacre in connecticut was close at hand. this was the scene at yankeestate stadium. >> today, both the yankees and red sox are wearing a special ribbon on their uniforms to honor those lost and those affected by the tragedy. in addition, this ribbon is painted on the field in front of both teams' dugouts. now at this time, let us all stand in a moment of silent prayer as we remember the children and the teachers that lost their lives in this tragedy.
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and our hearts go out to all of the victims and their families during that moment of silence the names of each victim appeared on the center field scoreboard. well, meantime, a day at the ballpark, we all know this, it can get a little pricey and a survey of major league teams cnn found refreshments can vary widely in price depending on the ballpark. it turns out that mets fans at new york's city field shell out the most for a hot dog at $6.25 while cincinnati reds fans at great american ballpark can get one for justa i buck, and when it comes to beer, a lot of folks want to know this, you can expect to pay the most here in washington, d.c., $8 for a 16-ounce can. the best deal in case you were wondering is a 14-ounce beer for just $4 at the arizona diamondbacks chase field. $8, most expensive beer. 16 ounces. >> that's a big glass. >> just the thought of it wants
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to go get a hot dog and a beer and go watch a baseball game. >> the cracker jacks? >> i don't know. next time we're at nationals stadium i'll find out and i'll bring some back to you, wolf. how about that? >> i'm happy the nationals won today, as well. still ahead, a college basketball player hoping to recover from a really gruesome injury. will louisville's kevin ware be able to play again? i'll speak to an orthopedic surgeon. a brutal abduction of foreign tourists and it turns out one of them was an american. hey, this is challenger. i'll be waiting for you in stall 5. it confirms your reservation and the location your car is in, the moment you land. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. and you see the woman you fell in love with. she's everything to you. but your erectile dysfunction - that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready.
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...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. happening now. the first step to recovery after a horrifying basketball injury. what will it take for kevin ware's leg to heal? plus, a cnn exclusive. we're on the front lines with u.s. special forces during a very dangerous fire fight. >> and guns and gangs. a new idea to get them both off the streets. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." you don't have to be a college hoops fan to be caught up in the story of a louisville player kevin ware and the really terrible injury he suffered on
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the court. his leg broke during a crucial game, in such a gruesome way that we're not even going show it, but you can see the horrified reaction from his teammates and ware is now recovering from surgery to reset his leg and promising to make a comeback. here's our senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen. >> wolf, you don't see an injury like this all that often in basketball, and while it was gruesome, it's surprisingly easy to fix. >> a high-stakes game. louisville versus duke to see who goes to the final four. with six minutes to halftime, louisville guard kevin ware jumps to block a three-pointer. >> he's landed that jump a million times. why this time did it go wrong? >> it looks like all of his body weight is rotating on the tibia and it'sa i high-reaction force. >> so he's up high and his whole body weighs on that shin bone.
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>> correct. >> dr. james kercher is an orthopedic surgeon and used to treat the chicago bulls. we asked for his thoughts on ware's injury. we're not showing it, but you can tell from his teammate's reactions it's gruesome. >> what do you think his fracture looks like. i would expect it would look something similar to this, and a break like this needs a metal rod. surgeons align the broken bones and drill a line through the shin bone and insert the rod usually titanium. >> this goes inside his bone because the bone is hollow? >> correct. >> then the bone heals around it. >> in the end it looks like this and already the next day he's up and walking with crutches. >> so apparently kevin ware told his teammates i'm going to be back at it like i never left. can that really happen? >> absolutely. the bone is going to heal and it will be just as strong as it was before. >> with ware's injury, they had to be especially careful because
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the bone broke through the skin that means that dirt from the basketball court could get into the wound so they had to wash out that wound before they started the surgery. wolf? >> elizabeth cohen, thanks very much. we are joined now by a leading orthopedic surgeon which specializes in sports medicine in washington, dr. j.r. wattski, i'll give you greater respect. you brought an example of what's going on. i'm pretty amazed that after what looked like such a horrific disaster yesterday he's already up on crutches. >> yeah. the beauty of this proceed sur that we can stabilize the fracture acutely with the rod as we saw from elizabeth's presentation there. we'll take it first in approach to the knee where we're going to make an incision just along the side of the patella tendon which gives us exposure to the tibia and looking at the other model and the entire tibia along its length, we can place a rod through a small drill hole that
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measures around a sent meter down. >> that would be that titanium rod that she was talking about. that will stay in there forever, is that right? >> typically. it's rarely necessary to remove it it. sometimes there will be irritability from locking screws or bolts that go above or below the fraukt you are, but that's not necessary. >> you've done this procedure yourself? >> yes, i have. >> what's the recovery time? what can we expect in the day, weeks, month aed. >> if the fracture is extensive and commonuted with several pieces we'll be slow with allowing the patient to am bull eight. and the patient will start within four to six weeks and do an elliptical. >> so he will be heavy for rehabilitation for months and months and months. >> that's correct. >> and when do you think, and we all hope that he'll be able to get out of a basketball court and start playing ball? >> extensive athletic ability and functional demands necessary
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to perform at his elite level is significant so he clearly has big challenges ahead of him, but has a good chance to return from similar accidents in the past. >> the rehabilitation, do they in back to the level that they had before the injury? >> i think that's always the question, you know? the level of performance they need is so dramatic that missing a step is challenginchallenging. >> you've seen the video. it didn't look like anybody bounced on him. it seemed like a freak accident. >> it was a bending moment and a rotational moment resulting in a fracture at both levels. how do you prevent that and young guys watching us right now who were playing basketball. what do you tell them? i think that maintaining optimal flexibility and maintaining strength and this is just bad
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luck. this was a very unfortunate event. >> he looks like he's a strong guy, and the fact that he's already had this procedure and he's getting ready to go to atlanta for the final four to watch his team louisville perform. that's very encouraging. >> that's very encouraging. your patients would do that as well within a few days and be on a plane and watch what's going on? >> i think i'd prefer they'd rest longer, but if they were at the final pour. >> our thoughts are with him and his family and best of luck. >> cnn is on the front lines in afghanistan right now. stand by for an exclusive look at a very dangerous fire fight. u.s. special forces, they are taking on the taliban right now. >> right on the back side! change engineering in dubai, aluminum production in south africa, and the aerospace industry in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections
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>> we have an expect report for you now. cnn takes you to the front lines in afghanistan and right into a fire fight between american troops and the taliban. cnn's ana coren went with u.s. special forces to eastern afghanistan who are working to track down an ied maker when they came under fire. >> reporter: as rounds of gun fire ring out in the distance u.s. special forces run straight into the thick of it. they're the military's elite and this is what they're trained to do. they don't just fight back. they hunt down the enemy. we come under heavy machine gun
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fire less than 400 meters away. an incoming round flies close overhead. we take cover behind a mud brick wa wall. >> keep going! >> with the attack coming from three different directions, special forces spread out across open farmland. >> around the back side. right on the back side. >> reporter: their only cover in this valley, low-lying ditches and sparse undergrowth. >> all right. this is what we're going to do. we'll continue on this [ bleep ] riverbed until we get to the left side and we'll flank her with us, okay? >> for a brief moment they pause, as special forces operates the enemy firing position with a 40 millimeter grenade launcher. the fire fight rages on. >> we've got intelligence that there was an ied maker in this
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area with a number of associates. we've come into these open fields and the soldiers are taking fire and we don't know where the enemy is, but we do know there is a taliban strong hold from here at the base of these mountains. >> with enemy fire getting closer, special forces are exposed as they move along the banks of the river. a soldier reloads, preparing for another assault. >> move it in! . >> we run toward the compound where an insurgent staged one of their attacks. >> they quickly secure the area, not knowing what's behind these walls. >> somebody looking back that way? >> no. >> he's right around the corner. movement inside has everyone on high alert. >> somebody just ran across the door, yeah, and back again. >> soldiers locate the enemy firing point with spent cartridge casings littering the
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ground. >> they're taliban which we're getting reports that they probably are, then they may not necessarily live in these area which is means when they go into other people's compounds that they may get some intel relayed back to us and that's what we're hoping on. >> apache helicopter gunships circle the valley searching for the enemy who have made their escape, but they've already vanished, blending back into the community and the landscape. >> i admire their resiliency and their conviction for sure. there's a degree of mutual respect, but it doesn't mean we want to kill them any less. >> while america's war may be finishing up soon, these brave soldiers know it's yet to be won. anna coren, cnn, nijrab, eastern afghanistan. >> anna is one of our truly, truly courageous journalists and we thank them for bringing the extraordinary fire fight to our viewers in the united states and around the world.
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cnn is committed to bringing this kind of serious reporting. >> other news we are following right now. new information emerging about tourists brutally attacked in brazil. we now know that one of them is an american. it happened in rio de janeiro, a city preparing to host three, yes, three huge international, vent events, shasta darlington is in brazil. >> reporter: wolf, we've gotten confirmation from the u.s. embassy that one of the two foreign tourists kidnapped and brutalized aboard a minibus in rio de janeiro this weekend is an american citizen and we don't know if it is the man or the woman, and police want to protect the identity of the victims. this nightmare began on saturday morning when the two foreign tourists boarded a minibus in the copa cabana beach area of rio de janeiro. shortly afterwards three men got onboard and they forced all of the passengers off and they
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started to brutalize these two. they tied the man up and beat him. they sexually assaulted the woman. they took their credit cards and drove around gas stations and took out money. they lasted for a good six hours and they dumped these victims in a city of rio de janeiro. they have since arrested two men suspected of these crimes and they're searching for a third man. it's also interesting because the police investigator said that since they published pictures of these two suspects, another brazilian woman has come forward and said that she was attacked by them a week earlier. this is obviously a horrific crime, but it also comes at a terrible time for rio de janeiro as it gears up for three major international events. the first one is in july when pope frances is expected to come and celebrate world youth day. there will will be millions of youth coming to brazil and coming to rio de janeiro. next year we'll have the world cup and it will be played in
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maracana stadium. this is going to make people ask and question whether rio de janeiro has solved its historic problem with violence and whether they want to come at all, wolf. >> shasta darlington on the scene for us. horrific, horrific attack. we'll continue to monitor what's going on in rio for all of our viewers. when we come back, we're heading to the city of syracuse. syracuse, new york. upstate new york is attempting to call a truce in a fierce gang war. we have details on a special deal that is now being offered. we went out and asked people a simple question:
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how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing. but even though we're living longer, one thing that hasn't changed: the official retirement age. ♪ the question is how do you make sure you have the money you need to enjoy all of these years. ♪
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>> like so many cities all
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across the united states, syracuse, new york, is embroiled right now in a fierce gang war, but police are hoping to call a truce with a special deal that starts with putting down the guns. our national correspondent deborah feyerick is joining us. she's been in syracuse. she's got the details. what's going on, deb? >> wolf, the thing that's gotten lost in the gun control debate is the fact that majority of crimes are being committed by a minority of people, gangs that are holding entire neighborhoods hostage. well, now there is a program that saw a 60% drop in youth homicides in boston, a 40% drop in youth homicides in cincinnati and they're hoping the same will happen in syracuse. >> this is what most people think of when they think of syracuse. what they don't think of is that like many mid-sized cities -- >> 20-year-old black male -- >> syracuse has a serious gang problem. >> you have i.d. on you? >> reporter: and where there are gangs, police say there are always guns.
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more than 30 confiscated while we were here. >> the rival groups standing out in front of the store. some kids kind of came in from behind the houses to the empty lot over there and they were armed with sawed-off shotguns and fire from across the street. >> reporter: syracuse is roughly 1500 gang members belong doing 27 different gangs. the detective sergeant is familiar with all of them. what percentage of crime do they account for here in syracuse? >> the violent crime, they account for the majority of our violent crime. >> reporter: now syracuse is launching a bold initiative. >> we want to give you an opportunity to change your life. >> reporter: in a courthouse meeting, 0 gang members face police, prosecutors, state and federal law enforcement who offer them a deal, a truce. put down the guns and in exchange, gang members get critical services like job training, addiction counseling, tutoring, ignore the deal and if
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anyone else is killed, every member of the shooter's gang will be rounded up on outstanding violations, charged with conspiracy to murder and will face 20 years to life if convicted. >> we're coming after with you any and everything that we can, not just the shooter but any and all of those who are associated with the shooter. >> reporter: as surveillance photos and much of the gang members dead or in prison flash on screen, several men shift uncomfortably. police make it clear there is no hiding anymore. >> there is no parole in the federal system. >> reporter: derrick wilson was shot three times and served ten years for drugs and gun crimes. he says there's no way he's going to take the fall for another guy's actions. >> hold on. i'm not going to jail for what i did. i can go to jail for what he did? maybe i need to talk to this guy then. so it's going to resonate throughout the community. >> reporter: that's what everyone in the truce project is counting on, especially this woman who has a $50,000 budget to coordinate more than 15 social service networks.
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how far does that stretch? >> reporte >> very far. >> reporter: two gang members walk in separately asking for help. one wants to get his ged and the other needs a job. >> these are some of the brightest individuals that i have met. they have made poor choices in life, yes, but that does not mean they need to be locked away. that does not mean that they can't be changed, they can't be helped. >> reporter: the final message of the truce project is perhaps the most important. only your family, not your gang, will grieve for you when you're dead. >> my son will have been taken away from me for 11 years. and the pain is still here. again, i'm asking all of you, please, please stop killing one
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another. >> reporter: so far, 15 known gang members have actually come and sought services. when you think of the cost of this program, it's about $300,000. it's a grant over two years. think in the amount of money that is saved by not going to trial, by not incarcerating people but instead by giving them an option, an alternative. syracuse really thinks this is the way to get back their streets and to stop this gang violence which is not only plaguing syracuse but other mid sized cities, wolf. >> interesting stuff going on. since syracuse police began this approach, have any gang members violated the terms of the truce? >> reporter: well, as a matter of fact, one young man who was supposed to attend one of the meetings, he was shot dead. he couldn't decide which gang he wanted to belong to. and so there was action street justice taken. now the syracuse police, fbi, atf, u.s. marshals have all launched a massive investigation and there will be charges
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forthcoming. >> debra, thank you. lessons to be learned all over the country from this experiment. cnn's erin burnett is going "outfront" at the top of the hour with an investigation into an all white student organization stirring up serious controversy at a university campus. erin is joining us now. what do you have? >> we're doing a special investigation of this towson university, an all white group is going to patrol at night. there is a rise on black on white crime. we have a special investigation on what they're doing and whether that claim really adds up. that's coming up at the top of the hour. plus, the story that has everybody talking today, do you go to a school like princeton to get an mrs degree if you're a woman in the quote from the woman who wrote it, princeton women, we almost priced ourselves out of the market. the best thing can you do whether you go to college is get a husband. she is "outfront" tonight and that is coming up, too. >> thank you. when we come back, some are
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tomorrow starts here.
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. an algleged robber is a global laughingstock. >> reporter: call it the glass half empty approach to purse snatching, in australia, they're calling him -- >> the country's dumbest crook. >> reporter: here he is following a woman in a shopping center. he grabs her bag and heads for the door, heads through the glass door. he is momentarily knocked out. >> there was a lot of blood around and glass shards around. i'd say he'd have to go to hospital. >> reporter: an parent accomplice arrives as he drags away the alleged purse snatcher, a tattoo store owner tries to stop him. but eventually backs off when the accomplice threatens him. >> he said i have a gun. i have a gun. i'm going to shoot you. >> reporter: the two escape in a stolen car. they can't escape infamy on the
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internet. why is it glass is such an idiot magnet. it's as if it has some graphtational pool. just last week security camera video of this genius surfaced. at first he forgot to put on his black pantyhose mask. as' proechd this mom and pop grocery senator reading, california, police believe the pa jomas featured little chickens. he sure acted chicken when the rock he threw set off an alarm. and then he tripped. next thing you know his escapade is being put to music, popularized by bennie hill. and the pink panther. ♪ >> one youtube dr did a parody re-enactment. when man meets glass, glass usually wins. for instance, when an air rage over mising two flights caused this chinese executive to try to batter his way