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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  April 15, 2013 11:00am-1:00pm PDT

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>> i just shipped my bed. >> if you can't find what you're looking for in store, find it at right now and ship it to you for free. >> kmart says this ad has more than 7 million views now on youtube. that's it for me. "cnn newsroom" continuing right now with brianna keilar. hi, there, everyone. i'm brianna keilar in for brooke baldwin. the family of an alleged rape victim are on a mission to end the cyberbullying they say pushed her to end her life. we're moments away from hearing from the parents of audrie pott in a live news conference. pott was a popular california teenager who loved art, music and skiing. then september 2nd happened, the night a sleepover she attended turned into an unsupervised drinking party. pott passed out, woke up, and first got a hint of what three
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reported friends allegedly did to her. >> had no idea what occurred until she woke up the following morning and had some drawing on her body in some private areas. >> she soon learned students were sharing images of her attack. audrie posted this on facebook. they took pictures of me. my life is ruined. this is my worst day ever. pott killed herself eight days after that party. and on friday, santa clara county investigators arrested three boys current or past students at her high school, saratoga high. they're facing juvenile charges of sexual battery and distributing illegal images of a minor. >> well, we know that we did find photographs and we believe that she was aware that those photographs were out there. she was very upset by it. i know there were photographs out there. and that's probably what led to the suicide or at least was a huge contributing factor. it is a tragic case. it is so sad. >> terribly sad and galvanizing.
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days after her death, saratoga high had a teal day in her honor. that was her favorite color. and a vigil is planned for friday. her family has set up a foundation to stop cyber bullying and they also plan to sue the families of the boys. an attorney for one of the defendants gave this statement to kgo. much of what has been reported over the last several days has been inaccurate. most disturbing the attempt to link audrie's suicide to the specific actions of these three boys. we'll take you to the news conference as soon as it gets started. no specific student went to police about her alleged attack. the santa clara sheriff says their office was notified after hearing rumors among the students. i turn now to barbara greenburg. her high school paper reported that maybe ten students in all saw these pictures. ten students. why do you think none of them went to police? >> it is very interesting what happens when you have a group of kids.
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you get sort of this group think that goes on, where everybody assumes that it is somebody else's responsibility to do something. and that really concerns me in the deepest possible way that you have so many kids witnessing something so tragic happening and nobody takes responsibility. i think this is where there is a lot of room for parents' education, for parents it teach their kids that if they see something tragic, or an atrocity or something that smacks of emotional pain going on, that they need to bear some responsibility for their friends and their piereers. kids should be taught to look out for themselves and to look out for one another. >> and, barbara, stand by with us for just a moment. that press conference is now taking place and we're going to go ahead and listen in. >> these were young men who committed these crimes. it is our understanding that the hearing will determine if they should be released.
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the parents upon audrie's suicide were devastated and searching for answers. based on rumors some of her friends came forward and after a review of audrie's own facebook, the parents suspected that she had been violated in a terrible way, and that at least one photograph of a sexual assault in which she was a victim was passed around electronically to humiliate her. so they hired my firm to get to the bottom of this and to get some answers. and the first thing we did was hire the very best and we have conducted a diligent, exhaustive investigation and we have some answers. based upon the investigation we have conducted, sadly not only did these despicable things happen, but we believe that
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audrie decided to end her life as a result of what these young men did. we now know that during the labor day weekend of 2012 she attended a party at a friend's house, while her friends' parents were away. after consuming alcohol at the party, audrie became intoxicated and unconscious. she went to a bed to go to sleep. hoping to wake up the next day and go to school and start the school year, instead she woke up to an absolute nightmare. she knew right away that something was terribly wrong. this is the beginning of the horrible events that occurred and then she learned that at least one photograph was taken of her. those involved distributed at least one photograph in person and via text messages to other students at saratoga high school. in audrie's own words, the whole
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school knows. it is important to focus on what audrie was thinking. these are her words, the whole school knew. whether ten students had looked at this photograph or whether it was one, whatever it was, it was that much too many. if ten students saw this photograph, where were those students in coming forward and talking to these parents? how many more knew about it? we know how kids talk. if we know ten students saw the photograph, how many more talked about it? what we do know is what audrie was thinking and what she was thinking is that the whole school knew, and she felt that her life was ruined as a result of the distribution of her being violated. at a time when audrie should have been thinking about who her next date was going to be at the next school dance, she was
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dealing with something as a 15-year-old that hardly any of us are capable of dealing with. the sexual assault was one thing, when it is committed by three people who you knew, these were friends, and then to be publicly humiliated and disgraced in front of a whole student body, that was too much for this young girl to take. in audrie's facebook messages, we find writingings of a young girl who felt traumatized, humiliated, and shamed by what they had done to her. lisa, her stepmother, will speak to those facebook messages. audrie in her own words names two -- names two of the young men by name. and she recognizes what they did to her and she says as a result of what these young men did to her, my life is ruined now. on the day of the tragedy,
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audrie called her mother to ask her to come pick her up at school, and in her own words, i can't do this anymore, mom. please pick me up. audrie's mom, sheila, picked her up and when she got home, a tragedy occurred. there is more to this story and the parents deserve the answers. students at the school knew what happened. we now know today that at least ten students saw this photograph. where were they? i am urging parents, we, as a group, are urging parents to have a discussion with your children. if there is any information you know about this horrible event, and the aftermath of the distribution of not only a photograph, but defamatory words about audrie, please come
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forward. talk to these decorated police officers. our job is to find out the truth. it is important to note that this family has been waiting for seven months to hear from the families of one of these three young men. seven months. that's over 200 days and they have passed by very slowly. the first word we heard from any of these three young men's families was through a group of lawyers, three of them, criminal defense lawyers, who issued a public statement. silly us, maybe we thought that they would get some condolences. i'm sorry, mrs. pott, about your daughter. my son did something horrible, i wish to make amends. i'm sorry, mr. and mrs. pott, what happened was inexcusable. we will not tolerate that again. we will make sure it doesn't happen again.
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but instead what we got from this camp of lawyers were two statements. number one, that what we're talking about is inaccurate, and i'll let the parents talk about what's accurate and what's not. and number two, and i have to quote this, because it's worth quoting. and this is a quote from the criminal defense lawyers' camp. quote, most disturbing, most disturbing, they say, is the attempt to link audrie's suicide to the specific actions of these three boys. end quote. they will apparently have you all believe that what they did, and what audrie did have nothing to do with each other. that it is just a sheer coincidence that audrie was subjected to a sexual assault, and over the next seven days was humiliated. and then she decides to do this
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to herself, but there is no cause and effect whatsoever. frankly, this sent us over the edge. because it tells us that these boys and perhaps their families to this day refuse to accept responsibility. and that's what the court system is for when people who refuse to admit that they're wrong, then we'll use the civil justice system to prove that they're wrong and that's exactly what we intend to do. today, in santa clara county superior court, we will be filing a wrongful death cause of action against these three young men, and we intend to prove in a court of law that their actions not only for the sexual assault, but what they did afterwards, the despicable, horrific, traumatic, defaming and savage actions they did in the next seven days broke her. she couldn't handle it.
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and she did the worst thing a parent can ever imagine is that she ended her life. the parents of this county across the state, across this country, deserve a safe community for children. while we cannot bring audrie back, it is the family's goal that the community is made safer by hold these men accountable, by sending a message that the behavior that left audrie feeling alone will not be tolerated. serious consequences must be attached to this kind of behavior. our children deserve to grow up in a safe community. let me end in stating this, we hope that our message is clear, to do honor to audrie's name, we must make this world a better place by addressing the dangers of cyberbullying, sexual assault amongst teens, and harassment
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that happens to teenagers. talk to your children. let's educate. let's legislate. let's get our politicians involved and use audrie's name to make it better for children. thank you. at this point in time i'll have mrs. sheila pott say a few words. >> good morning. my name is sheila pott. i am audrie's mother. first, i would like to thank all of those around the world who expressed their love for audrie and the sadness we have all shared that she was driven to leave us in the way that she did. she was a joy to everyone that she was around, she warmed the room with her smile and made us laugh at her incredible wit and sense of humor. audrie had a kind and gentle heart that from a very young age she formed relationships not only with her friends, but adults of all ages. she had a quality for bringing joy and laughter to all those
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that she was around. there is not a day or an hour that passes that i'm not warmed by a memory of her. in the days and months that followed the investigation, i learned that there was a serious flaw in the laws that surround the assault on my daughter. i discovered that if a victim does not have the ability to -- as a sexual assault, it is seen as a lesser crime than if she was conscious and able to fight off her attacker. i learned in california, a sexual assault strikingly similar to the steubenville, ohio, case was not considered rape and could not be escalated to an adult court. i was outraged. it seemed that the system was not designed to protect those who could not protect themselves. to make matters worse, since we are now limited to the penalties present in the juvenile system, my daughter's attackers may
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never have to serve time, never have to register as sex offenders and since a juvenile's identity is protected, there would never be any future impact on these boys' lives. my immediate thought was if there was no public impact in their lives, how could this ever be a deterrence? no wonder this type of crime is growing in frequency. this further -- the further impact of social media being used to bully the victim makes it just that much worse. these types of crimes are not juvenile. sexual assault is an adult crime. these boys distributed the pictures to humiliate and further bully my daughter. if this can happen to my daughter, it can happen to anyone. these boys were not strangers to audrie. they were her friends. this breach of trust would be difficult for an adult to handle, let alone a young girl.
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these individuals calculated their assault, harassed the victim with the photos and then took steps to cover up the evidence. there was no remorse here. these were not the actions of a child, but of a person whose value systems were so skewed, that they will do this again. i want to take serious steps to see that this doesn't happen to another one of our children. audrie's law is still in the research phase. i want to thank you yall for allowing us to tell her story and make changes to make our community and schools once again safe. >> the mother there of audrie pott talking to reporters in northern california. let's bring in our expert barbara greenberg, just for one last question before we go. it is very clear and you hear this from the attorney and also from the mother of audrie pott,
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her distress became so much greater following the alleged sexual assault because she found out there were pictures and we have seen other cases like this. why did this -- what is the effect of that on a victim? >> she expected, i'm quite sure, that her friends and her peers would give her support after the atrocity happened to her. and instead of support, she got further humiliation. and i think the combination of what happened to her, the assault, plus the lack of support, and further humiliation was just too much for her to handle, too much for anybody to handle. and even her teenage female friends were unable to support her, likely because they wanted to remain popular with the boys, and didn't want to lower their social status. very sad. and i think as a society, we need to do a lot of repair work here. we as parents need to teach our
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kids to be responsible for one another and as psychologists we need to educate parents. >> and that's something we heard from the family there, they don't want this to happen to other girls and they're trying to raise awareness. barbara greenburg, thank you so much for talking to us about this terrible incident. now, tonight, audrie pott's parents will speak live with piers morgan on cnn at 9:00 p.m. eastern. and up next, while north korea celebrates the world watches for the communist nation to make a move. up next, a live report from the region on whether the country's closer to launching a missile. plus, i'm just getting word gold has plunged 9% of the dow in the last couple of hours of trading. the reasons behind it next. we c- 8% every 10 years. wow. wow. but you can help fight muscle loss with exercise and ensure muscle health. i've got revigor. what's revigor? it's the amino acid metabolite, hmb to help rebuild muscle and strength naturally lost over time.
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♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] engine light on? come to meineke now for a free code scan read and you'll money. my choice. my meineke. ♪ a party in north korea as the communist country celebrates the birthday of the man they call the eternal leader, kim il-sung. this is the single most important holiday of the year in north korea, and it seems it was a peaceful one, but the world is watching, wondering if north korea will follow through on its threats to launch a missile from the korean peninsula. meantime, it is time to knock
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off the tough talk and ditch the nukes. that's the message for north korea from secretary of state john kerry. kerry was in japan today after a quick stop in seoul and beijing. take a listen to what he told cnn's jill dougherty today. >> what is important is government to government, north korea knows what it has to do. we're not, you know, changing our policy with respect to talking to them, because we need to make it clear that they have to move towards the denuclearization, they need to stop the threats, they need to stop the missile tests, stop the nuclear tests and we're prepared to come to the table under the meeting of the obligations in order to have a full fledged negotiation and we'll negotiate the full set of concerns that the north has. >> cnn's anna coren is live in seoul, south korea. many had expected that the missile launch would happen today. so what is the silence out of north korea telling us? >> reporter: well, it is hard to tell, you know.
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the thing about north korea is that they are just so unpredictable. today was an extremely auspicious day, the most important day on the north korean calendar. so they wouldn't want to necessarily upstage the celebrations of the anniversary of the birth of kim il-sung and they also wouldn't want a failure of a missile launch them wouldn't want that room for errors. that's probably why that missile launch did not happen today. but that's not to say it is not going to happen. the thing that the north koreans love to do is to catch the -- almost like a favorite past time for the north koreans. what we know is those two musudan missiles are positioned on the east coast of north korea, fueled up, ready to go. we haven't seen any movement, but that's not to say that they won't try and catch us off guard in the coming days or coming weeks. that's right, anna. what would you say they're predictably unpredictable in north korea. anna coren for us, thank you, there. back here at home, rebound,
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. we're getting more and more reports about a recovery in the housing market. in february, existing home sales hit a three-year high. but the best evidence might be the return of mortgages with 10% down, or even less. banks and others are relaxing the lending standards, making it easier for more people to buy a home. let's talk about it with rick newman, chief business correspondent for u.s. news and world report. so, rick, you know, a lot of us hear about these relaxing standards and the first thing we think about are the infamous liar loans when it seems like anyone could walk in and get a home loan. are we going back to those days? should we be concerned? >> i don't think so. i don't think we're going anywhere near those days when you didn't have to document your income and you could claim all kinds of things that may not
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have been true and still get a mortgage. this is really a return of the mortgage markets to something that is more or less normal. in there is nothing that says 20% down is a rule. it just so happens that became pretty much the peak standard during the last few years in order to get a mortgage. but we're going back to lower credit scores, what will allow you to get a mortgage, less of a down payment, and, the old rules are still in place. you're still going to have to pay a little bit more if you have less than 20%, you have to buy mortgage insurance, that's a standard rule, this is -- all this represents the mortgage market basically healing. >> okay. so they were too lax, which obviously we saw lead to the housing crisis. then they maybe were a little too strict in lending, so now normalizing. what about the super low interest rates that folks have been enjoying for so long. is that going to continue? >> thank ben bernanke for the low rates. this is the result of this so-called quantitative easing placed -- been in place more or less since the end of 2008.
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it is starting to work. it has taken longer than anybody would have liked, but we're finally seeing the sort of result that the fed was trying to get. which is that interest rates are low, and ordinary people can get loans. it is that second part that has been the problem for a while. this can't go on forever. a lot of people on wall street are warning that interest rates may start to go up by the end of this year. and at some point the fed is going to have to end all this stimulus. that's a big question on wall street. it seems unlikely that will happen this year. more likely maybe 2014 or early 2015 but it is coming. >> rates going up perhaps at the end of the year. i guess i understand why the market, certainly here in the d.c. area, is booming. rick newman, thank you. >> sure thing. up next, my hot topics panel faces off. first, john kerry says some foreign students are scared of america because of guns. plus, george w. bush revealed. the former president gives an interview and opens up about his mysterious painting.
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why won't some students come to the united states to study? not because it is too hard, but because it is too hirisky. that's according to secretary of state john kerry. today he told john doherty that gun violence in the u.s. is scaring off japanese students from studying here. >> we had an interesting discussion about why fewer students are coming to -- particularly from japan, to study in the united states. and one of the responses i got from our officials, from conversations with parents here, is that they're actually scared, they think they're not safe in the united states. and so they don't come. >> there has been a decline in japanese students visiting schools all over the globe because of a shrinking population in japan. that country does not see the frequency of gun violence that exists here, and laws in japan
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actually prevent private ownership of all firearms. in 2008, 582 japanese homicides, only 11 from guns. i'm going to open up the conversation now, ben ferguson is host of the ben ferguson show on the radio. and capitol hill goth is political correspondent for the welcome, ben, to both of you. american gun violence is turning off foreigners apparently. i want to start with you, ben. how should the u.s. respond to that? >> i don't think the u.s. responds to this at all because i think this is a ridiculous political point that he was trying to make. when you look at the overall number of students coming in from that country, overall there has been a decline consistently year over year, basically because of population issues, but i think for him to say one person said this and we should all start changing laws because fewer foreign students are coming here, there is a lot of foreign students coming here. i played sports in college. every one of my roommates was a
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foreigner and almost every one of my teammates was a foreigner and none of them had concerns about this scary america with all these guns in this country. i think it is a political ploy. i think it is bad pr for him to be doing this, representing america, acting as if there is some legitimacy to this. he should have said we don't have a problem in this country compared to other nations with violence, but that's not what he said because it is politics. still acting like he's a u.s. senator. >> kelly, what do you think? >> this is backyard for america. that's thing number one. thing number two, i think ben made a couple of presumptions here. i didn't hear senator kerry say this is why we have to change gun control laws. he shared anecdotes. >> he's implying. >> okay, you heard that. i didn't hear him say that. but, okay, we'll say he was introducing new laws, i didn't hear the secretary of state say that. but he also made a comment about how you were surrounded by a lot of foreigners in school. i'm a woman, i consider it rude for someone to ask my age, i
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won't ask yours. but the level of gun violence seems to be escalating even with the gun support rally where someone pulled out a gun and shot themselves. there is a sense that we have lost control in a way we haven't seen since the western days when people would settle disputes by doing a draw your weapon kind of thing out in the street. and there is sort of that image, i think, of our country becoming like that, where people think we're back in the pioneer days. i don't think that's a positive thing for america. >> let's talk, guys, now about former -- i want to move along to talk about former president george w. bush. because, first off, he's now a grandfather, so congratulations to him, big milestone there. the "today" show had some photos of his granddaughter, and while bush is likely to be grandbaby's favorite, he apparently recognizes the rest of the country perhaps not so much. listen to this response that he gave the dallas morning news about the fact that he paints. he said, people are surprised. of course some people are surprised i can even read.
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kelly, do you think he earned some points from his critics for that one? >> absolutely, for being very witty. the other thing too is does anybody remember why al gore lost the first election? wasn't because of hanging chads in florida. it wasn't because people don't know how to count votes, it was because of beer, i like to say. because of the -- everyone remembers -- sometimes people forget that the greatest predictor of who wins the presidency has never actually been pulled ov epolls over the t has been who do americans most want to have a beer with. and bush won two times in a row against gore and kerry. americans have liked george w. bush, even people who didn't agree with his policies. i don't think it is surprising to see us say congratulations he's become a grandfather. and also his daughter jenna is lovely for anybody who has met her. she's a lovely person. it is not surprising americans are happy for him and the new chapter in his life. >> ben, he's not -- he's not beloved. gallop took a presidential poll, bush had a 53% approval rating.
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only richard nixon did worse. what do you think about that? >> i'm not surprised. media changed so much. remember, barack obama ran against george bush, not john mccain, in the first election. and even in the midterms and even this last election there were continuing to be people that were running against george bush who hadn't been on a ballot in, what, seven years. it has been since 2004 for goodness sakes and so i think there is a lot of this where he -- i don't think he worries about it. i also say that. because he's walked away from the spotlight. he is going to have a presidential library open. he's a family man. i think history, once people get away from it and start judging barack obama for his presidency instead of him acting as if he's always inherited problems, remember, obama has been president for almost five years. that's a long time. >> and i will say as we wrap this up, it does -- it did appear, guys, that he isn't too worried about it and said about as much to the dallas morning news. >> president carter who is -- who became very beloved after he
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left office, even though people didn't think he was a great, competent president. there is similarities there. >> we'll see. time will tell. kelly and ben, thanks to both of you. >> thank you. >> thanks for having us. now, just ahead, a shocking crime rattles a small community. three people murdered. what authorities found inside the house that could provide a motive. morning, brian! love your passat! um. listen, gary. i bought the last one. nice try. says right here you can get one for $199 a month. you can't believe the lame-stream media, gary.
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now to the search for suspects in a grisly triple murder mystery in idaho. the only witnesses to the crime, two tiny girls. the youngest is only two months old and was found still wrapped under her dead mother's arm. the three people were found shot to death in month in the tiny community of holbrook near the utah border. the victim, brent christianson, his 32-year-old son trent christianson, and the son's
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fiancee, 27-year-old yvette carter. their bodies were found inside this rural home, which authorities say also housed $100,000 marijuana growing operation and the makings of a dogfighting ring. dozens of pit bulls were taken from the property, but the big concern today is for the two little girls, the baby and her 2-year-old sister who were found wandering the house unharmed or who was obviously the 2-year-old was. the children are with relatives now. the humane society is caring for the dogs and police are searching for the driver of a red semitrailer seen in the area. a brazen attack caught on video as a bus driver pummels a passenger. up next, you won't believe what led to this bizarre beatdown. at od,
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a bus driver in lincoln, nebraska, is in serious trouble for beating a passenger. check out this security video. the unidentified rider gets pulled for of all things asking about the bus route. the driver identified as 43-year-old troy fisher punched the man dozens of times, even physically dragged him off the bus. fisher has been fired and faces assault charges. just in to cnn, gold taking a big plunge and hitting a two-year low. this as the dow tanks today. let's go now to zain asher, live in new york. zain, what's going on here? >> gold trading below $1400 an ounce, down 9% after falling 6%
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on friday as well. a year and a half ago, gold was trading up $2,000 an ounce. many thought it had a lot higher decline. the reason for today's sell-off, slow growth in china, but in general it started gaming steam last week when goldman sachs advised shorting gold. also the big rally in stocks has gotten the attention of investors who are parking their money into gold to protect against market volatility as well. in general, gold is used to hedge against uncertainty so the fact that gold is falling might indicate people are feeling better about the economy. >> that may be good news. zain asher, thank you for that. up next, outrage as families of 9/11 victims learn a fee will be charged to reserve a pass for the memorial. should people be charged to pay their respects? my panel weighs in next.
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it is just a little fee, just two bucks, but it is not just any museum. the 9/11 memorial and museum in new york recently created a $2 service fee for visitor passes reserved in advance. 9/11 family members are exempt, but that hasn't prevented criticism. one retired firefighter who lost his son on 9/11 told the new york post the fee amounts to making money off the people who died. but the memorial president says the fee helps cover operational needs of the museum and that it only applies to advance reservations. so let's talk about this with my panel, jenny hutt, an author and a talk show host on sirius radio. and in los angeles, david begnaud, the radio host of news
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breaker with david begnaud. so, first off, guys, i'll start with you, jenny, is it proper or do you think this is offensive to the victims and their families? >> right, so i don't find it offensive as long as it is not really a for profit endeavor. if this is just to cover operational costs it okay with me and the fact that the direct 9/11 families are exempt from having to pay this fee also is a better thing to be than if they had to pay. >> what do you think, david? >> look, if it takes two bucks to reserve a spot, for me, if i'm traveling from across the country to visit this memorial spot, i don't have a problem paying it. everything is an operational cost. millions were put up, up front, to make this possible. and i think it is an amazing place. i'll pay two bucks. want four bucks, i'll pay it. i personally don't have a problem. >> we should point out, if you do get your pass day of in person, there is no $2 fee. this is just for in advance passes. so let's move on to our next topic, this is a story that
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involves both anne frank and justin bieber. bieber visited the house in amsterdam last friday, the day off during his tour in europe, and he left this description in the guest book. he said, truly inspiring to be able to come here. anne was a great girl, and here's where he got in trouble, he said, hopefully she would have been a belieber. some of the folks normally girls who are kind of crazy for him. those comments have drawn scorn from around the world and. anne frank was 13 when she started writing and now famous diary about hiding in her family's home for two years. they were found by nazis in august of 1944 and she died the next year in a concentration camp. what do you guys make of this, of him putting his foot in his mouth here? >> well, look two schools of thought, i mean, in the beginning, apparently, when he first went in, they gave him a pop culture lesson and said anne frank loved pop culture. she had one celebrity photo on her wall.
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he assumed because she was into problem would she be into bieber? it smacks of total arrogance. i get the guy is a teenager, but what world does he live in? it is like it is not the right thing to write in a guest book. what is interesting, brianna, is this, why would they put out that comment? if you and i signed that guest book, our comment wouldn't be on cnn. number one. but why do they put out justin bieber's comment? >> we should tell our viewers that the anne frank house takes the comment and put it on their facebook page. >> of course they do. because he's justin bieber. but that's why they did it. because it -- we're talking about the anne frank house. i would prefer it if he had said, look, anne was this exceptional, incredible young woman who had unbelievably tragic circumstances and my goodness, if she could have been a belieber, that would have been an honor for me. had he been gracious and graceful, i wouldn't have as much a problem. but the guy is going through a bit of an idiot phase, if you will, he's had a lot of mistakes over the past six months and
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this is just another one of them. do i really think it was about being arrogant? no, i think it was about being ignorant and it is unfortunate. i would rather he was focused on the circumstances where she lived what it looked like, my gosh, i've been there, it is -- it is really mind blowing and incredibly sad, and that's what i think about, that the compassion toward anne. it is just tragic. >> a lot of the people who have read the diary of anne frank are people who are justin bieber's fans. so it is not like we're having to explain to his fans the story of anne frank. they get it. and so i think even young people, some of whom -- >> he doesn't get it. >> obviously this is -- >> exactly. he lives in another world. >> both of you very sort of upset about it. and i will say that we do have some prominent figures in the jewish community who have come to his defense in the anne frank house itself and taking the high road here. the fascinating thing is there is a lot of discussion around this. jenny hutt and david begnaud,
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thank you for joining us. we'll be right back. thank you orville and wilbur... ...amelia... neil and buzz: for teaching us that you can't create the future... by clinging to the past. and with that: you're history. instead of looking behind... delta is looking beyond. 80 thousand of us investing billions... in everything from the best experiences below... to the finest comforts above. we're not simply saluting history... we're making it.
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lester kenny and his wife are packing boxes to ship overseas. they're the founders of care packages from home. it is a volunteer organization that sends goodies to servicemen and women in iraq and
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afghanistan. since it began 5 1/2 years ago, they have sent items to 150,000 troops. and although it is a labor of love, a more personal reason drives kenny. in 1940, he enlisted in the national guard and was transferred to the army division and ended up in the philippines. then, japan attacked pearl harbor. one day later, japan invaded the philippines. the fighting became so one sided that the u.s. had to surrender. and on april 9th, 1942, american soldiers were brutally forced to march to a p.o.w. camp, 80 plus miles away, in 100 degree heat with no food or water. >> it was called the baton death march, not because of how many died, but because the way they died. >> reporter: he says there are no words to describe what happened. >> you couldn't take another step, you were killed. and they just killed you for no reason except for the fact that you did not move. >> reporter: he made it to the p.o.w. camp, and was eventually
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shipped to japanese coal mines and survived until the end of world war ii. >> it was a feeling of freedom that you can't ever describe. >> reporter: now a retired professor of economics, he and his wife live in california. he had never stopped thinking about his days as a prisoner of war, the loneliness, the fear. that's the reason he started sending packages to the troops. >> they know where i've been, maybe they do, maybe they don't. but the one thing they do know, they do know that we care. at 92, he is one of the few remaining survivors of the bataan death march. how did he survive? >> i think my first thought after that was i can't die because the japanese want to kill me. and they're working hard to do it. if i die, then they win. and i just was making sure that they did not win. >> reporter: dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, reporting.
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top of the hour, i'm brianna keilar in for brooke baldwin. fights between detainees and guards with improvised weapons, hunger strikes. it might sound like a prison riot, but it's not. this is all happening in guantanamo bay, cuba. you may not have even thought about the u.s. detention facility lately, but you can be sure there is a lot going on down there. in today's new york times, one of the detainees wrote a scathing op-ed detailing those hunger strikes that have been going on for about two months now. the article is titled gitmo is killing me. and he says, quote, there are so many of us on hunger strike now that there aren't enough qualified medical staff members to carry out the force feedings. nothing is happening at regular intervals. they're feeding people around the clock, just to keep up. he then goes into disturbing detail about the painful feeding tubes used to give the detainees food and says he would not wish this cruel punishment on anyone. some people, however, are not
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swayed. here's retired general james spider marks this morning on cnn responding to that op-ed. >> let me tell you, that guy has no rights. i have no sympathy for that guy. he is a prisoner of war. he made a very bad choice leaving yemen and going to afghanistan and getting into a fight post 9/11. i'm not going to attribute any veracity to that guy's op-ed piece. he has no rights. he is a prisoner of war. there is a job that needs to be done at gitmo. and they chose the conditions under which they are living. >> joining me now is carlos warn, a federal public defender who represents 11 of the detainees at guantanamo bay, two of whom are taking part in the hunger strike. so, mr. warner, what do you say to people like general marks who say the detainees in gitmo have no rights? >> it is more than two, probably the vast majority. we know 130 out of 166 men are striking. in general spider marks has a
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cool nickname but it ends there. he knows nothing about guantanamo. i bet he's never been to the base. i can promise you his words go straight there and drive the resolve of these men deeper. listen, this individual that was described in the new york times has an amazing amount of rights. first, he's a human being. second, our own government has said that he's cleared for lease. that he should be released. people like spider marks have told our government and president obama that this person shouldn't be there, and he remains there dying, starving himself to death because president obama refuses to pick up and follow through with his promise. he's letting these men die. he's not only not intervened in -- with his promise, but he could end this hunger strike today and he's chosen not to. so the left it has to wake up and i come from the left. the left has to wake up and recognize that president obama is causing this hunger strike in guantanamo bay. >> so when you say he needs to do something to end this, what
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does he need to do? what would get these detainees eating again so that they aren't being force fed by the medical staff there. >> we were -- i was on the base the week after this began. second week in february. and the demand then was that the men wish to voluntarily surrender their korans by their own will for the military instead of having them searched by the muslim linguist that worked there. for the past two months, that demand has been exactly the same. if they're allowed to voluntarily give up the holy book to the military, then they will start eating again. this is not a new demand because this is exactly what the military allowed in 2007 when there were hunger strikes. but i don't think the military knows that it allowed it back then or otherwise refusing to allow the same condition. even though we're dealing with exactly the same people who are hunger striking. so they don't understand why there is no military continuity
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and frankly i don't either. and president obama could end the strike today by just picking up the phone and making a phone call. instead, he was in court, brianna, today, uttering the words of dick cheney, which shocked me, saying that the courts have no place in guantanamo. that's what our president decided to do instead of -- instead of calling and ending this current crisis. >> now, let me ask you about this, mr. warner. it is not just an issue of the hunger strikes. around the same time in early february, you started to have detainees who were obstructing surveillance cameras and windows. they were obviously trying to -- it appears prevent being seen by some of the guards who were there, there was a scuffle just this last weekend as guards tried to move some of these inmates into basically individual cells so that they could keep a better eye on them because of some of the things that were taking place here over the last couple of months. what is going on with that? and obviously you can see there is a concern for even the safety
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of the guards as they ultimately had to file -- fire some less than lethal rounds at detainees. >> men were shot and we believe -- we haven't been able to talk to our clients yet. i asked for a call with my clients today or tomorrow to try to get their side of the story. but, yes, that was the condition, but the military could have ended that without resorting to force. because the men were willing to draw back. they were willing to deescalate with this one demand that they had, that remains constant, which is going to go away soon. but they have said that they would have gone back to normal if they were allowed to surrender the korans. and they said that for the past couple of months. instead the military chose to escalate by coming in and taking away all freedom that they have, injuring the men and, in fact, the news reports which is what i have to go on were that this was a drawn out battle that they had. a pitch battle for a long period of time.
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and this all -- i'm sorry, go ahead. >> wouldn't you say it is also just more about the uncertainty of this? the detainee in this op-ed is talking about 11 years behind bars or being detained there. you said yourself the only way out is in a box. and that is the feeling of these detainees. >> brianna, that's exactly right. that -- look, what sparked it was the way the military, the new command in the military is behaving there. but that the flame -- the fuel to the fire is president obama, the hopelessness, the fact that these men have realized that president has no intent at all to follow through on his promise and, in fact, is going to let them stay there and die there and they're not going to do it quietly. so, yes, again, the president -- the second part, we can end this strike -- >> carlos, carlos, i'm so sorry, but we have some -- we have some breaking news. otherwise i wouldn't cut you off so abruptly. carlos warner, thank you for joining us. let's go to boston. apparently there has been an explosion at the boston
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marathon, i'm told. one of our producers is there on the ground, talking to us by phone. what can you tell us, matt? >> it was about 15, 20 minutes ago, near the finish line here in boston. i heard two explosions. first one i thought close to the finish line from where we were. it was big. i saw a big mound of smoke come up. and about ten seconds later, across the street from me, on the sidewalk, another big explosion. people are hurt. they have stopped the boston marathon. everyone rushed indoors. i'm now inside the mall looking out on the scene. i can see swarms of police officers treating people on the scene. i count at least five, six people hurt. but i have a feeling there are more. >> so you're seeing -- describe the injuries as you can see them, matt. and how far away are you from the area? >> i'm in the area now, but 30 feet away from boilston avenue where the scene is happening. i'm elevated up on the corridor
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where one mall goes to the other. i see one woman walking away now limping, covered in a sheet. i see three or four people on the ground being treated by paramedics. but i have a feeling there are more off to the left where i can't see, which is where that explosion was just across the street from me. it was a pretty big explosion. i could see there were a bunch of people piled around what may have been a trash can or something there across the street. i'm not entirely sure. >> describe the scene of where this took place, matt, for someone who isn't perhaps familiar with the boston area. is this an area that obviously has, you know businesses or what is it? >> this is the finish line at the boston marathon, the very final mile. so it is not only crowded with runners who are running down street, but also crowded with crowds lining both sides. i mean, thousands of people on both sides. we're now being moved out of the mall. i'm not going to have eyes on the scene anymore, but i can
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tell you there were thousands of people in the area. i don't know how many are hurt. i can only count six or seven from what i've seen so far. >> what are people there who witnessed this saying? what are their concerns and do you think these were members of the crowd that were injured or were these people taking part in the marathon? >> it looked like it was more members of the crowd, it looked like it happened on the sidewalk, not on the street itself. in the first big explosion that i heard, when i looked up the street, it didn't look like it was on the street itself either it looked like it was off to the side, on a sidewalk, but perhaps the parking lot or the bulling, i'm not entirely sure. it was off in the distance. >> is this -- the finish line for the boston marathon, where is it in terms of -- is it near any of these sites that might be familiar to people? >> yeah, i mean, the big one is probably by the mall, where i'm inside right now, which is attached to the prudential center, the tallest building in boston. >> okay. and i want to tell you, matt, we are looking at some live photos here, what appear to be
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authorities -- it is hard -- difficult to make out, but it does appear that it is a stretcher, if i'm not mistaken, although we're not for sure about that. we're seeing some authorities walk down the street there in boston. we can see a number of police vehicles. do we have mike brooks on the phone? >> i'm here live with you, brianna. >> we have mike brooks live with us. mike, what can you see, especially as lurking at the pictures here? >> yeah, it does look like fire and ems are there on the scene. it is hard to see. and the small monitor here, trying to get a larger monitor up to see what is going on. it looks like boston fire, ems on the scene. at least one stretcher from what i'm seeing, brianna, and then i'm reaching out to some of my sources now to try to find out exactly what is going on up there. you know, as i look, it looks like a number of patients being treated. i'm going to get up here, walk over and take a look at this a little closer. i see at least one, two, three,
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four, possibly four patients there being treated at the scene. a large number of fire personnel, ems, brianna, there on the scene. don't -- it is hard to tell exactly the extent of injuries that we're looking at right now. but what it does look like a number of ems teams working on multiple patients there at the scene, brianna. >> and, matt, i think you're still with me, at what point in the event did this happen? >> initially near the end of the race, i mean, most of the top finishers had finished an hour or two ago but my brother is running and he had 45 minutes to go. so still a lot of people left on the race. 25,000 plus people had run and the rest were still coming. >> so, matt, talk to us about this -- take off your producer hat for a moment and put on your brother hat. your brother was in this race, and i'm sure -- and obviously you're right there near where this happened. how much concern do you have
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having gone there for what is supposed to be a very -- almost a joyous occasion in a way where your brother is doing something so difficult, and instead this happens. >> i believe my brother is fine because he was a good 45 minutes away from the finish line. we're trying to contact my other brother and his kids now because they were somewhere on the other side of the street. we're hoping they're okay and they should be okay because we think they're another block or two down on the other side. but it is tough to get phone signals out now. i was lucky enough to get to you. i have three other family members dialing, my brother and sister-in-law to make sure they're okay and to tell them to stay away from trash cans. i don't want to say that's where the explosion came from, but people here are theorizing. >> to luke palumbo, the director of elite intelligence and protection. he's overseen security at a number of major sporting events. lou what goes into security at an event like this and to try to
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prevent something like this? and are you surprised that this happened? or is this something that is obviously just ultimately a fear and sort of a vulnerability of something like a marathon? >> well, i think it is a vulnerability is conservative. as we all know, you know, we're very poorous as a nation. you would always hope that events like this would not take place, but i will tell you, it is in the forefront of the minds of law enforcement anytime an event like this is staged. you're hoping the intelligence community has kind of an edge on things to where there is information floating around regarding a possible threat, they would be on it. a lot is going to go into this now. at this point, you're going to have the fbi in response, boston pd, bomb squad, the atf, you know, emergency medical, they're going to be pulling cameras in the area. there is a whole process under way right now. but the reality of the situation is it is almost impossible to protect an event, especially one
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that is over a protracted space as a marathon is. and, you know, i hate to say it, but these are the times that we live in. >> so when you see that they're pulling cameras, they will be looking obviously to see, we have heard from matt some people wondered if it wasn't from a trash can in the area. what will they be looking for? >> on the cameras, they're going to try to pick up activity. depending on how far back -- >> let me tell you, just a moment. we're looking at pictures now of what appears to be that explosion with smoke rising. we actually could see -- it did appear we saw at least one person fall down, though it looked like perhaps their injuries were minor. we're look just to give you a sense of what was described as two huge bangs, two huge explosions that happened there at the boston marathon. and witnesses reported seeing the smoke that you just saw
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there. we're looking at authorities rushing to the scene. some of the first pictures that are coming in to cnn from our affiliate wbz. this happened just moments ago near the finish line of the boston marathon. and, lou, are you able to see these pictures? >> i am. i am watching them. >> what are you seeing as you see that explosion and you see the authorities rushing toward the area? >> well, at this point, you know, there are attempting to identify first and foremost what exactly took place and without going too far out on a limb, i would conservatively say that these were probably planned explosions. at this point they're handling a crime scene. on top of the fact that they're trying to render aid to anyone that may have been injured. they're now dealing with this as a crime scene. they're trying to identify exactly what took place, what explosive was used, if an explosive was used, the nature of it, accelerants. they're reviewing cameras. there is a whole undertaking at this point and i will say to you
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that they will gather a tremendous amount of information probably in the next few hours as to exactly what took place in those garbage pails if, in fact, that was the location that the explosion occurred. >> and i just want to bring people up to speed on what we're looking at. two explosions there at the boston marathon. this happened near the finish line of the event. at least -- it seems at least six people were hurt, that is according to one of our cnn producers who was on the ground. and also if we can go -- is that right, we have adam wagner on the phone as well? actually we have alina cho with us, who is -- who can describe some of what she is seeing there on the scene. what can you tell us? >> obviously, brianna, these pictures are just terrifying to watch when you see the people as we did a moment ago, just running away from that large plume of smoke.
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what we can tell you, as you've been reporting, is that cnn has confirmed there have been a pair of explosions in downtown boston near the finish line. i went to school in boston, brianna. i'm an alum of boston college. so i can just tell you that this happened in cookly square, in the center of downtown boston. this is a day, i might add, the third monday of april, when this race is run every year, on patriots day, that is traditionally a festive day, people take the day off of work, lots of people out on the streets. and so you can imagine the streets of boston were jam-packed today. and as matt, our producer pointed out, about half of the runners finished, but half had not. this race was in progress. as we have been reporting, our early reports are that half a dozen people have been injured. but these are very preliminary reports. i have seen some early tweets
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online from the boston globe breaking a witness report hearing two loud booms, runners, the press room is on lockdown. someone else, an explosion went off in downtown boston. obviously a terrifying scene, very early on. we're still trying to gather more information and we'll bring that to you as soon as we get it. >> on the phone now to boston where actually one of our white house producers adam idner is there, he's there on the scene and on the phone with us. so, adam, we understand from matt, one of our other colleagues, there appears to be half a dozen people, that's just a rough estimate, of folks that he saw injured. can you tell us anymore about what you're seeing? can you see the scene? and sort of what is the -- what is the mood there? >> well, currently, brianna, i'm about one mile from the scene. i was about a little over a mile when the explosion -- right now
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people aren't in a panic as right after it happened. i would say the people are relatively calm for the most part. no one seems to know exactly what happened yet. as alina said, this is a festive day in boston, a new england holiday. and everybody is calm where i am. we'll see how it gets when we get closer. >> and obviously they will -- i know you're making your way, i can hear you sort of huffing and puffing a little bit as you try to head to the scene there. you said it is a new england holiday. this is something that takes place obviously 26.2 miles in boston, and it finishes up in sort of a dramatic fashion there in downtown boston near the boston public library. you obviously have been familiar with this event for many years,
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adam. what do you think -- news of this is going to spread. this is something -- do you think people have ever even really thought about this as a concern? do they take precautions? is there normally any concern? >> there was certainly a lot of security here for the boston marathon, lots of police officers along the way, lots of uniform, military personnel. i would say the finish line near the library is one of the most secure areas of the route. i would say that and the starting point. i've watched the marathon many times. i was at the red sox game today. at the end of the red sox game it happened on marathon monday, almost every year since i was a little kid. and i know the security, they take it very seriously. we saw a lot of security here today. it is difficult to see that this could happen. i don't think many people here were prepared for this. >> certainly not. do we have matt, our cnn producer on the phone? >> yes, i'm still here.
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>> okay. matt, take us back, describe to us where you were. you were waiting for your brother. he's running in the marathon. you said he still had about 45 minutes to go. tell us again what was your vantage point and describe the scene right before and right after you heard these explosions. >> sure, i was on boylston avenue, where the runners make their final mile to the finish line. it is packed with runners on the street and spectators on both sides. but 30 minutes ago at there point, i guess, there was a big explosion about 100 yards toward the finish line from where i was standing. it wasn't in the middle of the street. it was off to the side of the street, the sidewalk, i'm not entirely sure. i heard a big boom, saw a giant plume of smoke, and then about ten seconds later about 30 yards from me, or even 20 yards, across the street, another big explosion, didn't seem as big as the first one, went off, on the
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sidewalk. and that's when everyone started to scramble. there was a mad push for people to get away from the scene, not knowing if there were more explosions to come. but it seems like those are the last ones that i saw. but moments later, they stopped running of the marathon, they stopped the race. and they started clearing out the area and ambulances and emts swarmed in. >> what were people saying, matt, the folks who were there for the -- >> i'm sorry, i'm having trouble hearing you. people were saying they were scared. we got shoved into a building and there were people who were freaking out inside the building saying they weren't sure if something was going to happen inside the building, if that was a safer place to be. but everyone went on the sidewalk and found their way off boylston avenue and the cops rushed everyone away from the scene. >> we're looking obviously at scenes, this is right during one of the explosions that has happened near the finish line of the boston marathon coming to us
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from our affiliate whdh, this was moments ago as the marathon was approximately half finished. the top runners had come through a long time before there were these two explosions. one of which you're seeing the aftermath of right there, smoke coming up in a big plume. we're hearing from one of our producers there on the ground that it was this large bang on one side of the street and then not far away there was another one that appears to be smaller. you can see just how many people there are at the end near the end of that final stretch of the boston marathon. crowds obviously gathered there in the bleachers to watch. runners coming through for what is a huge event in boston. and you see the security personnel there running to investigate the scene. if i have lou palumbo on the phone with me, lou, when you're looking at these -- at the
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security staff running toward the event, what are they trying to do? are they running toward the victims? are they trying to -- we're seeing obviously there some of the ems carrying some of those who are injured. what are they trying to do and how do they secure this area obviously in case there is even more danger. >> well, the first thing they are doing is they're running to render aid to anybody that they feel may have been injured as a result of these explosions. at the same time, the radio calls are going into headquarters to get additional resources there because they have to now figure out what took place there. they have to contain the area, treat it like a crime scene. there is a number of things that have to take place simultaneously. but the initial response is driven by people in need. >> and, we're going to head now, thank you to all of you, stand by for my colleague wolf blitzer. he will be taking over coverage right now following two explosions it appears in boston during the boston marathon. wolf, to you now.
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>> brianna, thanks very much. this is a dramatic development, clearly certainly unexpected. we do not know what caused these explosions. we do not know the complete extent of the injuries. we do know that at least half a dozen people appear to have been injured in these twin explosions right at the finish line of the boston marathon. it is a 26-mile, 385-yard marathon. and it was wrapping up, wrapping up. when you look at these devastating pictures at the finish line, these are pictures shot just moments ago. mike brooks, our law enforcement analyst is standing by. you look at these pictures, mike, you say to yourself, what happened here? obviously we don't know, i know law enforcement is on the scene, but it is pretty gruesome. >> it really is, wolf. you see people rolling around. i'm looking at this smoke, and i spent a lot of time on the fbi's joint terrorism task force in washington, worked bombings all over the world, i look at this, i'm thinking maybe a black
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powder kind of device, wolf. it is early -- it is hard to say. but i'm just hearing also from my sources in boston that police and fire right now, they're responding to a suspicious, possible suspicious device, excuse me, at the mandarin hotel on boylston street. right now, everybody is at a heightened state of alert, needless to say, because you always worry we had two devices that we're hearing now, wolf, but you always are concerned as first responders of more devices. so right now they are -- that whole area downtown is shut down. and we see a number of people, i'm hearing that they're -- from my sources up there also there might be two critical injuries, still trying to find out whether, you know, the extent of injuries of the people, with these first two devices. wolf. >> it could be two explosions. it could be even more than two explosions.
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clearly time to coincide with completion of this marathon. literally thousands and thousands of runners participating in this annual event in boston, but you look at these aerial shots, coming in, you see some serious damage in the buildings nearby. >> you do. and when you have -- whether it be a pipe bomb, what kind of improvised explosive device that was used today, wolf, there is. there is a lot of damage. and now you've got a very, very large post blast scene. we see first responders now, police, fire, ems, you know, in the area, you see them, they have precautionary lines, because they don't know exactly what they have. early on, something like this, you're always concerned -- we have seen a number of incidents here in the united states where there have been secondary, third -- third devices, that were used against first responders who were there coming to the aid of those who have been injured. >> is it possible -- it is
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certainly possible, it could have been a generator exploding or some gas lines exploding, something along those lines as opposed to foul play. we obviously don't know what caused these -- at least twin explosions. >> no, we don't. and that's that's why we're very -- we use a lot of caution in talking about this because we don't know. if i'm looking right there, from what i saw from that, is that something that is typical, atypical of a gas explosion, a generator explosion? it is hard to say. but to have two of them happen at that same time, you know, we don't know exactly what caused that. we're trying to find out more from people who were there on the scene. >> let me bring in matt frucci, our cnn producer on the scene. an eyewitness to what he saw. and for viewers, matt, just tuning in right now, just methodically tell us where you were and what you saw. >> sure. i was on boylston avenue, the
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final stretch of the boston marathon, final mile or two. packed with thousands of spectators on even side, packed with thousands of runners making their final sprint to the finish and about 100 yards up from me, closer to the finish line, i heard an explosion, turned and saw a big plume of smoke rising out of what looked like a sidewalk or a parking lot, not entirely sure. it wasn't on the street. it was off the street. that much i could tell. everyone sort of paused, wondered what the heck that was, ten seconds later, about 20 yards from me, on the other side of the avenue, another big explosion. it seemed smaller than the first one, but maybe it was just much closer and i turned away obviously, so i'm not sure it if it was bigger and that's when there was a mad scramble for people to get out of the area. after that, we were able to see emts and ambulances move in. i saw six or seven injured people being treated, but i think that the maine inju injur
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where were i could see on either side. >> was it an explosion from an city infrastructure, gas line or generator or something along those lines or did it look like something obviously much more serious, much more sinister, some sort of foul play? >> my first instinct is it was some type of pipeline or manholes exploding because it looked like it was coming from the sidewalk itself as opposed to anything on top of it. but i didn't have a great look at it. that's my first gut instinct on what it was. i did hear some people say watch out for the trash cans, they heard it was the trash cans, but that may be mob mentality, trying to figure out what the heck it is. i'm not sure. i didn't see fire. i only saw smoke. even on the explosion, it was right across the street from me, i never saw anything that looked like fire or explosion, more
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like smoke just exploding up. >> how close were these explosions? we think there were two to the actual finish line. >> that, i don't know. i would say about a mile or so. >> so it wasn't at the finish line. it was at least a mile or so away which could be indicative of -- you're near the finish line. how close are you to the explosion? >> i was about 20 yards from the second explosion, probably about 100 yards from first explosion and my boston geography isn't as good as it should be. i'm not sure about the mile off the finish line or closer or further. >> and as far as injuries are concerned, you saw, what, half a dozen people injured? >> well, i'll tell you, the first thing i saw when the second explosion went off, and after we sort of got out of the way of that and tried to figure out where to go next, i did see what looked like about six or seven people, maybe even more, piled around where that explosion was. and then i looked, separate of that, after we were able to get a good angle on the scene later
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where i couldn't see the exact explosion point, but then i could see about six or seven people, i don't know if they were the same people or different people, but they were being treated on stretchers by emts. >> and i assume that the bomb squad and other law enforcement, they have basically cordoned off the whole area. we're seeing -- showing our viewers these dramatic pictures of police and other law enforcement coming in, in the middle of all of this. we see some runners apparently trying to get away. >> yeah. i'll tell you, the first instinct of everyone, we didn't know if there was a third explosion or fourth explosion. i know after that second explosion, a bunch of us got forced into a building. and there were some young women there who weren't sure if maybe the building was a danger and the building could explode. people didn't know where to go in those terrifying moments after the explosions. we didn't know what it was. we didn't know where they were coming from. we didn't know if there were more. >> did it look like there was a significant damage to some of the buildings nearby? i'm trying to look at some of
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the storefronts there. and it looks like some windows were blown out. >> i only saw blownout windows. it doesn't look like there was extensive damage on the second explosion, which i had a better viewpoint on, which seemed to me the smaurler explosion. looking up, down, at that first explosion when it went off, it did look bigger. it looked like a more sizable plume of smoke in the second one. >> i just want to repeat for our viewers, we don't know the cause of these at least twin explosions. we don't know what happened. could be anything as far as we know right now. but we do see the destruction and we do see some pretty serious after effects from these twin explosions at the -- about a mile or so from the finish line of the boston marathon. literally thousands and thousands of runners had been participating on this day. matt frucci, one of our executive producers in the area. matt, were you running or just happened to be watching? >> my brother is running the
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boston marathon and he was about 45 minutes away from finishing. we were there to encourage on my brother. >> so -- you did a good job, hopefully, encouraging him. mike brooks is still watching. you're looking at these pictures as all of us are, give us your sense of what it looks like to you. i want to cautious our viewers, we don't know what the cause of the egs ploegs explosions was. >> i'm looking at the large picture here in the studio. it is hard to tell whether or not that is smoke, whether or not that is steam. you talk about possible infrastructure, that's always a possibility. because an in older cities like new york, boston, baltimore, washington, they have now and then electrical volt that will explode. usually with that you'll have a good amount of fire. if i'm there and i'm an investigator and talking to witnesses, i'm going to ask them what did you see, what did you hear, what did you smell? all of these kind of things and, you know, so, i mean, that's all important in the early stages of an investigation like this. especially, you know, you try to find out what the source of this
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explosion -- these explosions were. >> we have an eyewitness, another eyewitness, joining us on the phone now, josh matthews. josh, where were you and what did you see? >> i'm sorry, i can't really hear you. can you speak a little louder, please? >> where were you, josh, and what did you see? >> so we were -- we were on the corner of bass avenue and con avenue. we heard two explosions and we didn't think much of it to begin with. but as soon as we saw the cops running to the scene, we just got out of there. >> and basically that's all you saw, as soon as you heard the explosions, saw the explosions, you ran away, so you don't really have a good sense of what's going on right now. >> yeah, i'm actually in a dorm right now, in northeastern, but, yeah, we just saw the runners stop running.
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we just heard a lot of sirens and just people were kind of frantic so we knew that it was a bad situation, so we had to get out of there. >> well, we'll stay in touch with you, josh, and get more information obviously as it is coming in and just to let our viewers know, these are pictures that we're getting in, these are pictures taken just a few moments ago. you see the ambulances, the first responders, the fire engines, there on the scene now, near the end of the boston marathon. two explosions, at least two explosions, possibly near the mandarin hotel in boston. maybe other locations in there. we saw that explosion going off right behind those flags and you see the runners, some of the runners falling down after that explosion. we don't know -- we don't know what the cause of the explosion was. we are awaiting official word from law enforcement to get some indication of what caused these explosions. we are told that at least four people are now in the emergency room over at massachusetts
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general hospital, that according to a spokeswoman for the hospital. no word of their conditions right now. we heard from one of our producers, an eyewitness to the second explosion, suggesting that at least half a dozen or so people were injured, perhaps many more. you're looking at these pictures of that street, normally it would be filled with runners coming close to the conclusion of this boston marathon, but right now it is -- the law enforcement has removed all the people from the area as a result of these explosions that occurred. very dramatic developments. we don't know if there is a connection to the boston marathon, which is a major sporting event in the united states, or if it was something less sinister, a pipe explosion, a gas explosion, a generator explosion, something underground at boston. we're trying to determine what exactly happened. but you can see -- you can see the smoke coming in from that explosion right now. matt frucci, are you still us
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with there? >> i am, yes. >> matt, let's walk through this boston marathon. your brother, you say, was running. there are literally thousands and thousands of people who participate. is there any special security in advance of a boston marathon? in other words, did you and others have to go through magnetometers or be screened or anything along those lines? >> no. there is absolutely no security like that. i mean, the bulk of the security -- just road closures, making sure people didn't go down roads they weren't supposed to. but no frisking, no checking of bags, nothing like that. >> so -- and this mandarin hotel, are you anywhere near the mandarin in boston? >> i'm not sure. i am inside a corridor in the copley place hotel, i can look down on 20 or 30 ambulances on the scene now. >> you see more people being removed? >> i don't. i think we're far off from the site, so this may be a staging area where the ambulances are before they go into the site.
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but i count at least 20 or so here lined up right now. >> normally in a situation like this, if it is something sinister like a terrorist event, law enforcement as a precaution, and mike brooks is still with us, they would go ahead and take measures assuming if there were two explosions there could be more. here and perhaps elsewhere, right? >> absolutely, wolf. that's one thing i know the task force is on the scene now and you see all the ambulances staging. once you have an incident like this, i know most cities, boston included, it will have a mass casualty incident plan in effect where they will bring in a number of medic units, fire department personnel, additional law enforcement, to shut this area down to find out exactly what happened or is there anything else. again, we don't know the source of the explosion right now. but we're not -- when i see and we hear now from our producer up there that they are staging a
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large number of ambulances there, that says to me that, you know, this -- they were expecting maybe some more, possibly injured people there, could they be expecting something else? that's always a possibility. >> so, that's as a matter of precaution, if you will, just worst case scenario, this say coordinated type of terrorist attack, they would undertake those kinds of sort of preemptive or preventive measures. >> absolutely. and i know there are a number of cameras in and around the streets in that area of boston. so they will try to be reviewing those. but when you have an area like this, wolf, where you have 26.2 miles of spectators who can come and go, it is very, very difficult to, you know, to totally secure an area like this. i know when they have incidents in washington, the marine corps marathon, those kind of things, they will bring dogs in and sweep the finish line and they'll sweep the beginning, but
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unless you have anybody making a threat, it is really hard to protect that whole 26.2 miles of the marathon. >> one inkrieging notion, one intriguing thought here, and i'm curious, mike, i'll ask matt to weigh in as well, it is a state holiday, in addition to the boston marathon. it is a state holiday in massachusetts today, called patriots day. and who knows if that has anything at all to deal -- to do with these twin explosions. >> that's always a possibility. especially with it deemed patriots day there in boston, wolf. you never know. i've learned -- i've learned to say never to say never when it comes to incidents like this happening on any anniversaries, on any days like this, patriots day, but, again, we still do not know the source of these explosions, wolf. >> we don't know the source and we want to be caution. we don't want to overly
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speculate on what happened near the end of the boston marathon earlier, the boston red sox, they had a game in boston today, they beat tampa bay elsewhere in boston over at fenway park. this is happening at the end of the boston marathon. at least two explosions have injured at least six people and these are very, very early reports coming in. lots of sirens, lots of emergency personnel have been called to the scene and you can see people being put on stretchers and taken away by these first responders who are there right now. matt frucci, our cnn executivew watching his brother run in the marathon. part of boston's -- massachusetts, i should say, patriots day, did you notice earlier in the day, matt, any special patriots day events going on, anything pointing to a special day in massachusetts? >> well, everyone gets the day off from work for the most part,
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and it is two huge events in boston. not only the boston marathon, where 25,000 plus people run, but i believe it is always opening day of fenway. so they also have that going on. it is a traffic nightmare in a ways, but one of the busiest days in downtown boston. >> so it is a holiday, and people -- a lost people don't go to work and is there no school today either? >> correct. there is no school on patriots day in massachusetts. >> so the kids are home, watching the marathon or watching the boston red sox play over at fenway park. that game is now over and as a result, a lot of these people are probably home right now watching television, watching the horrific pictures coming in. and when i say horrific, i mean it. the smoke, the devastation coming in. we don't know the full extent of the casualties. we don't know what caused these explosions. but a lot of people already beginning to draw some conclusions. patriots day, boston marathon, a special day in massachusetts.
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and who knows what is going on right now. we're watching what is going on. mike brooks, our law enforcement analyst is helping us now. matt frucci, our cnn executive producer, who happened to be in boston watching what is going on, he's there as well. as we look at these pictures, you got to be worried, mike, that if it is some sort of -- hopefully it isn't, it is some sort of terrorist incident that there isn't going to be follow-up elsewhere. >> you're absolutely right, wolf. and, you know, in other cities, if this does wind up being a terrorist event, improvised explosive device here in boston, other cities are also going to be placed on high alert. new york, washington, most major cities, because you don't know the extent of this. but, again, right now, it is pure speculation because we don't know the source of the explosion. but you just don't know. and, you know, and out of abundance of caution, i'm sure there are other places in boston right now, if anyone sees anything, please pick up the
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phone and call 911. if you see something, say something. this is not the time right now, in this day and age, anytime, wolf that if someone sees something in their gut they think it is suspicious, to pick up the phone and call 911. see something, say something, wolf. >> good advice. we are being told by the boston globe it is now reporting that the lennox hotel in boston out of an abundance of precaution, we're told, is being evacuated right now. and also out of an abundance of caution there are activities going on in new york city, alina cho is watching what's going on in new york. what are you learning? >> wolf, we're just getting a report in that counterterrorism crews are being deployed around landmarks in new york city. a boston police source on the scene has actually confirmed to cnn there were, quote, multiple explosions resulting in serious injuries. if you know the boston area, the green line subway line is called the t, it is quite popular, it
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has been shut down between kenmore and the park street stations. and as you've been reporting, wolf, at least four people are in the emergency room at massachusetts general hospital. as you know, i went to college in the boston area, i'm an alum of boston college, and i remember watching the boston marathon each and every year. as matt has been pointing out, it is a holiday, patriots day. the third monday in april. and it is a very festive day, kids are off from school, many, many thousands of people out in the streets, just this year we can report that 26,839 people ran this year's boston marathon. and from what we understand, wolf, about half of those runners had finished, but half had still not finished the race. so it was fully in progress. meanwhile, some other reports that i've been seeing from other
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outlets is that some of the spectators were so bloodied that they were taken to a medical tent that was actually set up for fatigued runners. so thank goodness that was in place there, but you see the scene there, you see the chaos, the people running, the smoke, witnesses described it as sounding like claps of thunder, and that the smoke had risen 50 feet in the air. but, again, at least half a dozen people injured. but you've been pointing this out, wolf, very, very early reports of -- with thousands upon thousands of people in the streets of downtown boston near a very crowded area of copley square. you can imagine that number will surely go higher. wolf? >> we're told that the 2013 boston marathon, which was taking place today, 26,839 people were participating. that includes registered runners and people in wheelchairs.
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of those 15,000, 233 men, 11,606 women representing the united states and u.s. territories, 56 countries and territories represented, countries all over the world participating as well. so you have a huge, huge event this boston marathon, clearly marred by what we're seeing right now, these pictures that are coming in, showing the results of at least two, maybe more, explosions in boston, and at least half a dozen people, we're told, who have been injured. and that is a very, very early preliminary number, i want to warn all of our viewers here in the united states and around the world, initial reports after these kinds of incidents are often either overly exaggerated or underexaggerated but could be inaccurate. so we're just sharing with you what we know. we do not know, want to repeat this, we do not know what caused these explosions at the boston marathon.
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but we do see a lot of runners there. these were pictures taken a little while ago, who are clearly in a very, very serious worrisome state as a result of what has happened on this day, patriots day holiday in the state of massachusetts as well. so steps are being taken throughout the boston area out of an abundance of caution, for example, the kennedy library has just notified everyone it will be closed for the day. tonight's forum has been closed as well. we're getting tweets in from all sorts of individuals, tad romney, the son of mitt romney, he says we're okay, in a cab a few minutes before the explosion, thanks for everyone's concern. our prayers are with the victims. lots of information coming in right now. a lot of it very, very preliminary. so we're just watching it and trying to get a better sense. we're expecting law enforcement at some point to have a briefing and tell us what is going on, what they know. you can see the shattered -- you
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can see some of the shattered glass in those areas right now. mike brooks is still with us, our law enforcement analyst. what else should we be looking for, mike? >> you know, wolf, looking at this scene, it is -- it is not -- it could be disturbing to some people. a lot of blood there on the scene, wolf. so, again, we know that there have been at least dozens injured. i'm hearing from my sources there now, don't know how many critical, but if anyone who was watching is listening to us and see anything at all, i don't care if you're in boston, i don't care if you're in washington, d.c., any city, if you see something that looks out of place, let somebody know. i'm looking around, wolf, we were talking about possible infrastructure being involved in the explosion, you know, right
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there, if it was a steam explosion, something like that, from an that from an undergroun vault, i don't know if you would have these kind of injuries. but i'm looking around also, having worked many, many bombings myself here in the united states and overseas, and it just doesn't look good. let me just put it that way. >> it doesn't look good indeed. the president we're told has been notified by his aides of what's going on in boston. preliminary information. there you see what just occurred a little while ago, that explosion. one of the explosions going off and runners -- some of the runners actually falling from the impact of that explosion. we have some eyewitnesss who spoke out just a little while ago to what they saw. let's play the tape. >> i was just on the other side of the finish line. the explosion looked like it was right outside the marathon sports, right by the finish line, or the building next to it. i was over there literally two minutes before, walked down a little bit, heard two big explosions, large plumes of
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dust, smoke, glass. obviously everybody was going crazy. at first it almost sound like a cannon blast, but it was so strong it almost blew my hat off. everybody started running the other way, a few people were running toward the injured to help out. and there were some really, really bad injuries. some people were very badly hurt. >> there you're hearing from a witness it sounded like an explosion. >> we're also told that the massachusetts national guard had already been deployed on the scene because of the boston marathon. they were already there. we'll see what they come up with. we are getting a statement in from the new york city police department, the deputy commissioner paul brown, issuing this statement a few moments ago -- we're stepping up security at hotels and other prominent locations in the city through deployment of the nypd's critical response vehicles until more about the explosion is learned. so out of an abundance of caution they're taking some preliminary steps, stepping up security in new york city as
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well. elizabeth cohen is our senior medical correspondent. had what are you seeing, what are you hearing about triage efforts under way right now dealing with the injured? >> hi. >> elizabeth, can you hear me? are you there? >> yes, i am, wolf. we see injured. we know some of them have been taken to hospitals in the area. but there are other triage efforts i understand under way right now as well. >> right. as we understand it, this is a huge event. i grew up in boston, been to this event many times. the presence of medical staff is very obvious and apparent. you can go to the mayor's blog and a week ago he spoke about the number -- someone wrote about the number of staff, 50 extra emts and paramedics, four physicians, ambulances, medical tents, bikes. so this is a place where there is already a big presence of emergency medical staff. now, obviously you want to get people who are really injured to
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a hospital as soon as possible, and there are many great hospitals right there in that area, but it is good to know how well staffed that area right there is. >> so there's a lot of doctors, nurses on the scene just to deal with some of the runners who could collapse as a result of running 26 miles-plus. there is some of the dramatic video we're showing our viewers of the one explosion that occurred right near the finish line at this marathon. and we're getting word from some of the hospitals that individuals, elizabeth, have already been brought into the emergency rooms and there have been -- they're being treated. >> right. we're getting word that that is happening. and of course in a place like boston that has such a well-organized medical system, these emergency rooms are already on alert because this is a huge event. so they knew even before this that they needed to be ready to receive people. now, they weren't thinking about an explosion. they were thinking about heatstroke or orthopedic injuries. but at least they were there and
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they were staffed and ready to handle large numbers of people. so, again, this is very close to several different hospitals, for example, mass general hospital, one of the nation's most prestigious hospitals, is quite close to the scene. >> it's an amazing event, you know. mike brooks, it could just be an infrastructure explosion, as i've been saying. it could be just something from a gas pipeline. it could just be something from some sort of steam or generator or whatever, but the coincidence happening on a major event, the boston marathon, opening day of the boston red sox over at fenway park, it sounds suspicious to me. >> you know, wolf, if we could go back to that picture we just had up there just a second ago from our cbs affiliate there on the scene where you see a thermal event and you see what looks like a large amount of smoke, that picture right there. if you look at that, that says
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to me it looks like some kind of explosion. again, it's hard to say whether it's a steam explosion, but you look at the smoke, you look at that white/grayish smoke and at that thermal event. that's something of size. now, if it was going to be an electrical vault or something like that, you would most likely have more fire than this. it would continue on. as we've seen, it would blow other caps off of the street. i'm sure that bomb experts and the fbi explosives lab down at quantico, everybody will be looking at this to figure out exactly what happened. there on the scene also you have teams from the fbi jttf, wolf, that are out for special events like this. and they're able to go and do a diagnostic test. they can probably already know with fairly good certainty what
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kind of -- what the source of this explosion was, because you can go around, take a preliminary swab to see whether there's explosive residue, those kind of things right there in the medimmediate area to say whether it was an explosive device or incendiary device. >> we don't know the answer to those critically important answers. we do suspect, do believe that law enforcement at some point, probably sooner rather than later, will be making a statement in boston, updating us on what exactly happened. we are getting in a statement from the vice president, joe biden. he just spoke out a few minutes ago. he said, i'm speaking here, they just turned on the television in my office and apparently there has been a bombing. i don't know any of the details of what caused it, who did it. i don't think it exists yet, but our prayers are with those people in boston who have suffered injuries. i don't know how many of them there are. i'm looking at it on television right now.
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it's interesting, mike, he uses the word "bombing," which could be different obviously than an explosion. i don't know if he's just hearing -- assuming the explosion is a bomb or whatever, but if it was a bomb obviously that escalates what we're seeing. >> well, you know, it's the vice president who's putting this out there, wolf, and so you would think that the vice president would have some kind of briefing. you know, keep in mind also, when you have something like this, opening day at fenway, patriots day, they already had a joint operation center set up for police, fire, ems, all of the counterterrorism assets that you with will for this particul event. they set that up every time you have the boston marathon. as elizabeth cohen said, they already have these assets in place. it's bringing in more assets but when you hear the vice president send out a message talking about a bombing and not an explosion
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and then you see the efforts of new york city sending their emergency services out there to some of the icons in the city, to me it kind of -- i would lean more as a former investigator and working these kind of things towards the bombing side of things. >> we're just getting word that d.c. metropolitan police now also, like new york, has gone to aheightened state of security out of an abundance of precauti precaution, that perhaps this is not just some sort of gas leak or some sort of infrastructure explosion in boston, a generator or whatever. so d.c. police, like new york police, going to a heightened state of alert right now to make sure that they are prepared if, in fact, it is something more sinister, meaning it's some sort of coordinated terrorist attack in boston. so we're watching what's going on in new york, we're watching what's going on in washington, d.c. but first and foremost right now