tv The Situation Room CNN September 20, 2013 2:00pm-3:31pm PDT
batteries and snarky robert downey jr. attitude sold separately. check out our show page at cnn.com/thelead. that's it for "the lead." i'm jack tapper. i turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now -- >> the american people don't want the government shut down and they don't want obama care. >> this place is a mess. let's get our house in order. >> congress creates a new crisis with a vote that could lead to a government shutdown, putting workers' paychecks and public services at risk. plus, a survivor of the navy yard massacre reveals the gut-wrenching story behind this photo showing her desperate attempt to save her good friend's life. and iran's new president sends a message to americans that the age of so-called blood feuds, that age is now over.
but a top israeli official tells me he needs hard proof. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." right now, the u.s. government is one step closer to a potentially crippling shutdown in only ten days. house republicans pushed through a stopgap spending bill today that would keep the government running but it would also eliminate funding for obama care. that set the wheels in motion for all sorts of heated battles, pitting the house against the senate, republicans against democrats and even republicans against republicans. cnn's erin mcpike is on capitol hill with more on the shutdown showdown right now. erin, what's the latest? >> reporter: well, our viewers should keep in mind that the house of representatives has voted more than 40 times to stop obama care since it was signed into law more than three years ago, but they think this is the most significant of those votes, because this time, it forces the issue on the senate.
a rare moment for house speaker john boehner. a united republicans. >> the american people don't want the government shut down and they don't want obama care. >> the joint resolution is passed. without objection, a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. >> reporter: all but one republican voted for the measure and two democrats joined them, prompting this exuberant response. >> today when we acted, it wasn't just a group of republicans but it was a bipartisan vote. >> reporter: it was a show of force from conservatives, who insisted on defunding obama care as a condition for approving a bill that keeps the government running. but their effort is dead on arrival in the senate and democrats seized on the potential consequences. >> what is brought to the floor today is without a doubt, without a doubt, a measure
designed to shut down government. it could have no other intent. its purpose is clear. >> reporter: house republicans are working to shift blame for the threat of a government shutdown on to democrats who control the senate. >> now it is up to senate democrats to show some responsibility and follow the house's lead. >> reporter: they're putting the squeeze on vulnerable democratic senators up for re-election in red states. >> i want to know where senator prior stands on protecting the middle class. from the consequences of this horrific bill. >> reporter: cantor singled out arkansas senator mark prior and three other democrats, kay hagan of north carolina, mary landrieu of louisiana, and mark begich of alaska. but two of these senators have already told cnn they won't vote to strip money from health care. just ten days remain for the senate to vote on its plan to fund the government without cutting obama care and pass the
buck back to the house. now, house republican leadership announced today that the house will be in session next weekend and that is an indication that both sides expect that this fight will go down to the wire. wolf? >> certainly will. next weekend, not this weekend, next weekend, could be critical. erin, thank you. as this potential shutdown crisis begins to unfold, the president is trying to put the blame squarely on the republicans. cnn's athena jones is joining us from the white house. tell us more about the white house reaction to today's house vote. >> reporter: well, as you said, the blame game is well under way here. president obama wants congress to pass a spending bill that can actually make it to his desk. we know he's never going to sign this bill the house passed today. the president says that republicans are trying to push a narrow idealogical agenda, this anti-obama care agenda that he says threatens the economy and would hurt the middle class and today in missouri, the president continued to make that argument.
he called on congress to pass a spending bill in time to avoid a government shutdown and he called on them to raise the debt ceiling to avoid even more damage to the economy. let's listen to what he had to say. >> unfortunately, right now, the debate that's going on in congress is not meeting the test of helping middle class families. it's just -- they're not focused on you. they're focused on politics. they're focused on trying to mess with me. they're not focused on you. if we fail to increase the debt limit, we would send our economy into a tailspin. that's a quote, by the way, what i just said. know who said it? the republican speaker of the house, john boehner. the republican speaker has said if we don't pay our bills, we'll
have an economic tailspin. >> there you heard his argument about the debt limit. it's not just his opinion that not raising the debt limit would be bad for the economy. people like john boehner agree with that. >> so what's next for the president? >> reporter: well, you have folks like republican senator ted cruz saying this is just the beginning of this fight, this bill could go back and forth between the house and the senate several times, and that very well may be the case. but the white house's view is that this focus on obama care is a big waste of time, so you have the president and other officials here who are trying to make the case to the american people that if this all ends in a shutdown, republicans are to blame. now, of course, they're still hoping they can avoid a shutdown so with that in mind, the president is planning to speak with congressional leaders in the coming days. still no word on exactly when those conversations are going to take place, but as you know, they don't have a lot of time. >> he will be in new york for part of next week at the united nations for the general assembly meetings.
thanks very much. other important news. the obama administration has another fight on its hands right now in coal country stemming from new rules proposed by the environmental protection agency. let's bring in renee marsh. this is very significant, what the president is trying to do through the epa. >> absolutely. it's a big announcement that happened today. the new rules are intended to cut carbon pollution generated from power plants, but it's getting major push-back. some coal industry advocates say the new rules will mean jobs lost and electricity price hikes and some expect this fight will land in court. president obama took on the coal industry with the environmental protection agency announcing the first ever carbon limits on america's power plants. >> power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution. new power plants, both natural gas and coal-fired, can minimize their carbon emissions by taking
advantage of available modern technology. >> reporter: the proposed new standards would roughly cut emissions from coal plants in half. new plants would need new technology that captures carbon so it's not released in the air. one coal industry group says that would make the process of generating electricity 60% to 80% more expensive for an individual plant. >> it is too costly. it is not ready for prime time but it's also in an environment and a market where we have other options that are much less costly. >> reporter: coal energy advocates argue the industry generates 40% of the nation's electricity and supports more than three quarters of a million american jobs, and they say these new rules could put it all at risk. >> what these regulations are going to do is make it impossible to build any more coal-fired power generation
plants in the future, which is a devastating development for a state like mine, which gets 90% of its electricity from coal-powered generation. >> there will be litigation. it will take some time to resolve. we are quite certain that this proposal is legal in its construction. we will defend it in the courts. >> reporter: al gore tweeting today's epa announcement is an important step forward for our nation and our planet. the proposal is part of president obama's push to tackle climate change, calling wildfires, drought, flooding and pollution linked health problems the awful alternative if climate change goes unchecked. existing plants are exempt from the rule outlined today. the agency is in the process of creating rules specifically for existing plants. when pressed today, the epa couldn't say if the increased costs for the technology would be passed on to the consumer. >> still some unanswered questions. a work in progress.
renee, thanks very much. renee marsh reporting. up next, this. >> the bullet missed me and it shattered the glass right next to where my head was. >> she escaped the navy yard massacre but her good friend did not. stand by for her terrifying story and the photo so many americans are talking about right now. also, israel now responding to a new olive branch from iran's new president, with caution and a demand, prove it. stand by for my interview with the israeli ambassador to the united states. nascar is about excitement. but tracking all the action and hearing everything from our marketing partners, the media and millions of fans on social media can be a challenge. that's why we partnered with hp to build the new nascar fan and media engagement center.
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thought someone had dropped a table. before she knew it, she was taking cover and her good friend was gravely injured. she vividly recalls her friend's face, remembers how moments after he got hit in the temple by a gunshot inside their office at the navy yard, she thought she could save him. >> i felt him breathe. >> reporter: she says she was just a few feet away from her friend and co-worker, vishnu pandit, when gun shots slammed all around their office. she never saw the shooter. you almost got hit yourself, right? >> yes. the bullet missed me because we were already -- i was already moving and so the bullet missed me and it shattered the glass right next to where my head was. >> reporter: pandit was down but she says when she checked his pulse, it was strong. she and her co-workers ignored their own safety and what happened next, while the shooter was still on his rampage, is right out of a movie. >> the security guard showed up
and they helped me get him to a chair to wheel him to the stairs. we put him in the emergency evacuation chair and i was talking to him and praying the whole entire time. >> reporter: what were you saying to him? >> i prayed that god would protect him and that we need him here, and that his friends loved him. >> reporter: laverne, a former navy medical specialist, says at that point pandit's pulse was still strong but there was another problem trying to get her friend, who had the nickname keesan, out of the building. did you know where the shooter was at this time? >> no. and i really didn't care. we had to get keesan out. that was an important thing. >> reporter: as they were descending the stairs they heard over a guard's radio that the shooter was right in the direction they were heading. she says they managed to sneak out a side door, got pandit to a
law enforcement vehicle which then sped outside the base to this corner. that's where these images were captured. laverne, the woman in pink, administering cpr, desperately trying to save her friend. >> then the ambulance showed up. they strapped him in. all of this happened within a few minutes of time, but it felt like a lifetime. >> reporter: vishnu pandit died on the way to the hospital. a doctor later said his injuries were not survivable. laverne now describes her feelings for the man she used to joke with every morning. >> that i miss him and that i won't be able to say good morning to him, that i will not be able to say good morning to him, but i know that he's in my heart and i know that his family loves him so much.
>> reporter: she says vishnu pandit had recently welcomed a grandchild who she described as the light of his life. he was buried yesterday. >> i know she also describes the heroism of others during those truly terrifying moments. >> she does. she says her supervisor, andy kelley, was fearless risks his life to go get help. she also says the security guards who helped her carry vishnu pandit out of the building actually formed a human cordon around her as they were making their way down the stairs. by the way, at certain points toward the shooter, so in any event the shooter came toward them, they would protect her. incredible acts of heroism there. >> a wonderful woman. i'm glad you did that report. thanks very much. still ahead, mixed reports whether bashar al assad is following through on the deal to give up his chemical weapons. could the best chance for peace still mean war? we will talk about that. and a disturbing video of a pedestrian hit by an suv. wait until you hear and see who was behind the wheel. [ man ] this isn't my first career. but it might just be my favorite.
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here's a look at some of the other top stories we're monitoring in "the situation room" right now. chicago police say an assault style rifle with a high capacity magazine was used in a mass shooting in a park last night which left 13 people injured, including a 3-year-old boy. the shooting which is believed to be gang-related was just the latest for the city which now has the highest number of homicides in the country. the incident has prompted chicago's police superintendent to call for a national ban on assault weapons. we'll have much more on this story coming up in our next hour. take a look at this disturbing video of a black suv driven by houston's police chief striking a man as he's stepping off the curb.
the police chief says he was at fault in the incident and is holding himself the a higher standard. he's accepted a one-day suspension without pay. police believe the man who was thrown several feet on impact may have suffered a broken arm. some adorable new video of the baby panda at the national zoo here in washington who turns four weeks old today. zookeepers say the panda, seen here with her mother, is growing exponentially and is nearly as round as she is long. she's expected to open her eyes in the weeks ahead and will become more mobile. the panda team performed her latest veterinary exam monday and hopes to conduct another one next week. coming up, a red line for iran's new president. a top israeli diplomat tells us about the test rowhani needs to pass in his overtures are to be believed. sfx: oil gushing out of pipe.
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diplomacy a chance. iran's president rowhani is calling for a constructive approach to global disputes including his nation's nuclear program. in a "washington post" op-ed article he wrote to move beyond impasses whether in relation to syria, my country's nuclear program or its relations with the united states, we need to aim higher rather than focusing on how to prevent things from getting worse, we need to think and talk about how to make things better. meantime, a watchdog group says syria has submitted what's described as an initial disclosure of its chemical weapons program. bashar al assad faces a deadline tomorrow to declare his poison gas stockpiles under that new u.s./russian deal. it's a remarkable turn of events when you think about it. only a week or so ago, the united states seemed to be on the brink of attacking syria with air strikes and it's all playing out only days before president obama addresses world leaders at the u.n. general assembly. but for israel, it's very, very skeptical right now of all of this, especially about iran.
i asked the israeli ambassador to the united states for his take on rowhani. >> this is the same rowhani who back in 2004 bragged about smiling at the west and installing centrifuges for a nuclear weapon. he says iran never wanted a nuclear weapon. american intelligence knows that's a lie. israel intelligence knows that's a lie. in the "new york times" article he says the window for solving the iranian nuclear program is closing. what is he threatening there? that they're going to make atomic power for peace? >> you don't see any significant change between this new president and ahmadinejad? >> may be a change of style, if there's any seriousness to this approach, he has to fulfill basic requirements which is he has to cease enriching uranium, has to take the stockpile they have and ship it abroad, has to close that underground secret facility that was made to prevent the west from preventing him from getting a nuclear weapon, close that and he has to close the plutonium reactor.
>> could that be done through dialogue? i raise the question because there's a lot of speculation, the white house is indicating that maybe the president next week at the united nations general assembly, president obama would meet with president rowhani. how would you feel about that? >> president obama has said that rowhani's words have to be tested, and there are four security council resolutions that iran has violated. remember how hard it was to get a security council resolution on syria? here you have four of them. they're in violation. let them comply, with what the international community has demanded of them, then we can talk. we believe the talks can proceed only after they have stopped the enrichment, only after they shipped the stockpile abroad and after they close that plutonium reactor. >> you would be upset if there was a meeting next week based on those four conditions just laid out between president obama and president rowhani? >> we believe rowhani has to be tested and this is how he can be tested. this is a man who has lied about the nuclear program in the past.
he's bragged about lying about the program to the west in the past. test him. see if he's serious. >> prime minister netanyahu will be speaking at the united nations next week, too, right? >> he's scheduled to. >> and scheduled to come to washington to meet with president obama. remember last year's speech, he drew that ourglahourglass, if y will, time is running out. how much time do you believe the israeli government in allowing a peaceful resolution of this nuclear issue that has been at the forefront in iran? >> well, remember he drew that red line and -- >> that was netanyahu. >> drew the red line to keep the iranians from acquiring the amount of enrichment they need for one nuclear bomb and he succeeded. but what they did do is install thousands of additional centrifuges. some of those are of a new generation that can increase the enrichment rate by five-fold which means they can break out for a nuclear bomb in a very short period of time and create not one bomb, but several bombs.
indeed, the time has grown much, much shorter. wolf, no country has a greater interest in resolving this peacefully than the state of israel. we have the most skin in the game. but for that very reason we have to be very careful. we have seen the iranians lie about this program time and again. >> let's see what happens. rowhani will be in new york next week. we'll see what he says. i know he will be sitting down with christiane amanpour as well. syria. do you think this u.s./russian deal to destroy eventually syria's chemical weapons stockpile, can work? >> we hope so. we think that it's interest not just of israel but of the entire middle east and global security. if it will work, we certainly will be there to support it. but syria and iran, what ties in is the credibility of the american military threat. that's what got people to talk about a diplomatic solution in syria and we believe the threat of a continued military threat on the table stands the best chance to bring the iranians around. >> do you believe the threat president obama put out there
convinced bashar al assad to, a, acknowledge he does have chemical weapons, b, to promise he would detail where they are, how much he has and eventually destroy them? was it the u.s. military threat that did that? >> i think the israeli -- the american military threat was so credible that it certainly brought the russians around. and convinced them to cooperate. >> so what is the israeli government's reaction to what's happening in syria? you're right next door so you obviously have a lot at stake. what do you think the u.s., the international community, should be doing? 100,000 people have been killed over the past two years. >> we're not going to get dragged into the syrian civil war. clearly, bashar al assad is a man who killed over 100,000 of his own citizens. he has provided tens of thousands of rockets to hezbollah and lebanon that are aimed at our homes. he himself tried to make a secret military nuclear facility several years back, you remember. >> which israel destroyed. >> it doesn't exist anymore, put it that way. thank god it doesn't exist anymore. the world would certainly be a
better place without him. we are not going to be dragged into that internal civil war but we want to see the chemical weapons removed and we want it to be verifiable and a commitment on the part of the international community that that happened. >> i know you're wrapping up your tenure in washington, four and a half years going back to israel, good luck to you. thanks for all the times you came here on cnn. >> my great honor. just ahead, we will continue this conversation as bashar al assad already cheating on the deal to give up his chemical weapons? we will talk about that. and whether the best chance for ending the syria crisis is war. fareed zakaria and sebastian junger are both here. and a catholic conservative's explosive comments about gays. chris cuomo asked some very tough questions in a fiery exchange that you will want to see. [ male announcer ] campbell's angus beef & dumplings. hearty cheeseburger. creamy thai style chicken with rice. mexican-style chicken tortilla. if you think campbell's 26 new soups sound good, imagine how they taste. m'm! m'm! good!
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the united states is adamant about keeping the threat of military action on the table, even while moving forward with a deal for syria to give up its chemical weapons. let's talk more about syria, iran and the united nations meeting in new york next week. joining us now, fareed zakaria. also joining us, sebastian junger, the author of the important book "war." sebastian, you wrote a very provocative, important article in the "washington post." let me read a sentence or two from it. referring to syria, at some point passivism becomes part of
the machinery of death and isolationist becomes a form of genocide. it's not a matter of how we're going to explain this to the syrians. it's a matter of how we're going to explain this to our kids. you're saying that war actually may be the answer to what's going on in syria right now. explain. >> my first war was in bosnia and every war i've covered since then has been ended or drastically reduced by u.s. military action, by nato military action. i think a true anti-war position doesn't just mean ignoring a civil war like we did in rwanda. it means eventually after all diplomatic efforts have failed to use military threat and eventually military action. in bosnia, a two-week nato campaign ended a genocide. amazingly, in the united states, the only people i knew who are against that were my fellow liberals who thought there was never a reason to use violence,
and i think that's wrong. certainly looking back on world war ii, imagine had we not entered that war what the results would have been for the world. >> you speak as a war correspondent. fareed, what do you think about that? >> well, i think the question really is it's not enough to be outraged by what's happening in syria because there's all the reason in the world to be outraged, but how would an american military intervention stop the suffering? as i can see it, american military intervention, even if it is successful, would depose assad. we know what would happen, assad and the alawites and supporters of that regime would fight back as insurgents, there would be phase two of the civil war in which the sunni militias that are currently opposed to assad will go on a rampage and slaughter the alawites and their supporters, then there would be infighting among them. we have seen this movie before. this is exactly what happened in iraq. so i'm perplexed by sebastian's point that american military intervention has always stopped and solved wars.
i'm thinking of iraq and afghanistan, i'm thinking of vietnam, you can think of lots of cases. we can always pick one's history to prove one's point but let's stick with this particular case. if the united states deposes assad, if anyone could explain to me how the civil war in syria which is really a deep sectarian struggle, would end, i would be much more comfortable with it. i think what is more likely to happen is frankly, it would escalate and you would then have a blood bath between the two sides with the assad regime fighting back as insurgents, the militias each trying to take power and simultaneously rid the country of the alawites. it strikes me as a fairly messy situation. >> go ahead, sebastian. >> well, i was speaking very specifically about civil wars that we intervened in. i was completely against invading iraq. these humanitarian crises started in the '90s after the fall of the berlin wall. and we did end war after war,
sierra leone, liberia. in terms of syria, our president is not saying we're going to do something, we're going to intervene to end the war and depose assad. in fact, he's specifically saying he's not trying to do that. his point as i understand it is that when weapons of mass destruction are used against citizens, against civilians, it is contrary to humanitarian law, it's a crime against humanity, and if we let this pass, in some sense it's not even about the syria syrians, it's about the future of the world. if this passes, the next time someone does this it might be even worse. we have to draw a line that there are certain crimes against humanity that cannot occur without some kind of consequence for the government that perpetrates them. >> just to be clear -- >> i agree with you. i agree with what the presidents doing. i agree with what the president is doing and i very much support the idea of taking the chemical weapons out. all i'm pointing out is it won't end the civil war. >> i don't think anyone is
suggesting it will. >> you know, i guess what a lot of people are wondering, i want you to weigh in first, fareed. there are now these reports that even as the syrians supposedly were going to alert the world where their stockpiles are and that they're going to go ahead and eventually allow them to be destroyed, suggestions are they are being moved around, concealing, hiding some of these chemical weapons. what's your assessment? is this deal going to work? >> i'm sure they are hiding some of these. but i still hold out hope for the deal. here's why, wolf. if you are concerned about these chemical weapons and the precedent it sets and the dangers, and i think sebastian and i both agree this is a real problem, then anything we can do to secure some large part of this arsenal and potentially destroy it is a good thing. remember, the military strikes don't do that. the military strikes are purely punishment. you don't ever attack a chemical weapons depot because that would actually release the toxins into the atmosphere. so the negotiated strategy with the threat of force of actually
securing them is a more effective way of actually dealing with the problem of chemical weapons. we won't get 100% of that. i'm absolutely sure the syrians will cheat. but if you look at the iraq example, the inspectors actually got most of the chemical weapons out of iraq, which is why when we invaded, we found nothing in there. >> let me get both of you to quickly weigh in on what we heard from the israeli ambassador. sebastian, first to you. he clearly is not very excited or happy about the possibility that president obama will meet at the united nations next week with the new iranian president rowhani. what do you think about all of this? >> i believe that the threat of military force does act to coerce people into good behavior. it's why police carry guns. but i think if you are going to do that, by the same token, you also have to reward good behavior. and if the iranians are asking for a negotiation, as long as this country and the world
community is very, very strict about what they deem acceptable behavior, i think you have to sort of take it on good faith that at least it's the start of a dialogue. >> sebastian, fareed, to both of you, thanks very much. fareed, by the way, has a very important interview, an hour-long interview sunday morning with the former president of the united states, bill clinton, 10:00 a.m. eastern. also 1:00 p.m. eastern. fareed and bill clinton, our viewers will want to see it. here's a look at what else is coming up on cnn later tonight. cnn tonight. at 8:00 on "ac 360" a new resident of a small north dakota town wants to make it all white. >> it's not hate. it's the first amendment. >> but see how some long-time locals are fighting back. and on "piers morgan live" at 9:00, who's really to blame in the death of michael jackson, as the defense rests in the wrongful death trial. what does it mean for the doctor already behind bars for his death? piers gets conrad murray's side of the argument. it's all on cnn tonight starting
with "outfront" at 7:00, "ac 360" at 8:00, and "piers morgan live" at 9:00. tonight on cnn. just ahead here in "the situation room" a heated exchange on cnn's "new day." chris cuomo confronts a leading catholic conservative on an issue front and center inside the church. homosexuality. can save by sharing. like carpools... polly wants to know if we can pick her up. yeah, we can make room. yeah.
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up next, catholic conservative's heated exchange with our own chris cuomo over homosexuality and the church. >> there's nothing pope francis has said that would give relief to the people saying all of a sudden now the conservatives should shut up. we're not going to shut up. publd against obamacare, just to prove their allegiance to their party's right wing. okay - they've said their piece. but now they've gone even further...
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the leading contender to be the next chair of the federal reserve could have another unofficial title as one of the most powerful women in the world with the least recognizable name perhaps. here's our chief domestic affairs correspondent, jessica yellin. >> wolf, janet yellin is a brooklyn native, the mother of one and after a messy selection process the smart money is on her to become the nation's next fed chair. oprah winfrey, hillary clinton, on the list of the world's most powerful women. time to add janet yellin. >> you ever heard the name janet yellin? >> no, i have not. >> no, this is the first time. >> never heard of her. >> reporter: yellin is poised to become the first woman nominated to run the fed. >> who's going to run the what? >> reporter: the fed. short for federal reserve. the agency oversees all u.s.
banks ensuring the money supply is stable. it's one of the most powerful jobs on the planet. do you know what the fed does? >> don't they regulate interest rates. >> reporter: money. control the money. >> they control interest rate and stuff like that. >> i do know that they have two functions. first is to maximize employment, and second is to control inflation. >> reporter: wow. how do you know that? >> well -- >> reporter: are you american? >> no. >> reporter: where are you from? >> holland. >> reporter: for 19 years the fed was run by the famously inscrutable alan greenspan. >> increased uncertainty can induce a higher discount of those returns. >> reporter: then came ben bernanke, the great recession, chaef money and a more user friendly fed. >> the economic recovery continued at a moderate pace. >> reporter: now the president has to fill those shoes.
>> janet. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> reporter: yellin has degrees from brown and yale, taught at harvard and got tenure at berkeley. her son is an economist, her husband has a nobel prize in economic theory. the 67-year-old has been on the fed for more than a decade. she's been a trail blazer for women in her field. >> at the highest level since central banking there are very few women. >> reporter: she ran the san francisco fed where she was known for standing in the lunch line with office staff and for her work on jobs and wages. she recently said unemployment is not just statistics to me. that's why so many democrats like her. but she's also seen as a pretty safe choice on wall street. what have you heard about her? >> that she's very -- and probably continuing the policies of bernanke. >> reporter: now, if she gets the nod, she is subject to senate approval. but at this point it looks like
she'd get it. there is a good deal of support for her. and i will add, wolf, that there is no family relation that i know of. she is not my aunt janet. i point out she spells her name wrong. it should be spelled i-n, not e-n. >> good point. jessica, thanks very much. pope francis's explosive new attempt to try to shift the catholic church's focus on a number of critical issues including homosexuality and abortion is certainly fueling a heated debate inside the church community. our own chris cuomo talked about it earlier today with the president of the conservative catholic league. and the exchange got testy. >> the catholic church is not about homosexuality, abortion, the poor or environment. it's about salvation. and people are tied up on the microissues on the left and right and we've lost the focus of what the catholic church should be about. it's a change in tone. it's a change in style.
but it's not a doctrinal change in substance, that also should be noted. >> i feel like this may count as the pope's first miracle. because to hear you saying these things is going to be very shocking. because it really sounds like you're one of the people he's sending this message to, to be fair, mr. donahue, isn't it? you have bashed on these issues for years and years, most infamously recently saying that the church had a homosexual problem, not a pedophile problem. really incendiary flagrant divisive stuff. >> chris, let me just say -- >> are you saying you won't to that anymore? >> oh, no, i will always tell the truth. if 81% of the victims are male and 100% of the victimizers are male and if 78% of the victims are post pubescent, the word in the english language is not pedophilia, it's called homosexuality. >> no, it would be called --
>> that's a made up term to make people feel good. >> you noi know very well you can never find a pedophile in prison, it's never about homosexuality, it's about criminals and wrong acts. you're saying you won't do this anymore and the pope is asking you. >> when men have sex with adolescent men, it's homosexuality. it's not pedophilia. less than 5% of the priests involved in molestation are pedophiles. i will never stop telling the truth. and the pope never said we should either. i'm against gay bashing, to say that because you're gay you're going to be a molester. >> that's exactly what it sounds like. >> no, no. if most of the molesters are gay, it is true. it is not true that most gay priests are molesters. that's a gay-bashing comment. people have to make critical distinctions. i have nothing against gay people anymore i do against straight people. i do against molesters straight or gay makes no difference to me. i'm not going to lie about the figures. what i just said about the
figures is absolutely true. it's not negotiable. >> with e that's the problem, isn't it? so many say it's not only negotiable but irrational. >> explain it. they just made it up. do you think i made up those figures, chris? >> i think you're parsing them. >> no, i'm not parsing them. >> i think the most important part is your motivation. you just heard what the pope said. >> the pope didn't say -- >> why don't we try to move past the parsing rhetoric. >> this is the problem with the left. trying to take what he says and run with it like "new york times" did. bishops are on the run because they're concerned about abortion and homosexual and gay marriage. the obama administration is hoisting this on the bishops. the bishops are reacting. there's nothing pope francis has said that would give any relief to these people who are saying all of a sudden now the conservatives should shut up. we're not going to shut up because we're in constant compliance with what the pope says. >> happening now, dramatic turn
ands by syria and iran, at least potentially. is president obama finally making progress on two of his most pressing problems in the middle east? also, ousted republicans launched a shutdown battle voting to defund obama care. and on the day the new iphone goes on sale, hackers already targeting its trademark fingerprint scanner, even offering a cash prize. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." one is a long-time thorn in president obama's side, one a more recent concern that exploded into a full-scale crisis. now there are some small signs of what may be some positive developments regarding iran's nuclear program and syria's chemical weapons. but with unreliable players in a combustible region, it's way too soon to celebrate. our senior international correspondent, arwa damon, is
standing by. our chief national security correspondent jim schuto is here. let's begin our coverage with jim. what's the latest? >> it appears syria has met its first deadline. submitting an initial counting of chemical weapon stockpiles. spoken with administration officials today, they say they have not reviewed this initial counting. it's in the hands of the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons, but they do consider it a positive sign. one of many positive signs from america's two most difficult adversaries in the region, syria and iran. just two weeks ago the obama administration had only stern words for both syria and iran. >> if you want to send iran and hezbollah and assad a congratulatory message, you guys can do what you want. >> reporter: now it's an entirely different conversation. the new president of iran calling for prudent engagement in an op-ed in "the washington post" and a meeting with president obama.
the white house reiterating its openness to engage. meanwhile, syria's submitting an initial accounting to the organization for the prevention of chemical weapons appearing to meet the first deadline to surrender its stockpiles. >> we have a document now that we didn't have yesterday at the ocbw and we'll be looking at it and making assessment. >> reporter: critic says without active planning, diplomacy is alive again in the middle east. but reality checks will come very quickly. with iran, the question is will it commit to strict limits on the production of nuclear fuel? and with syria, will the security council produce a resolution backing the chemical weapons deal including punishing syria if it fails to comply? >> i had a fairly long conversation in which we talked about the cooperation in which we both agreed to continue to provide -- >> reporter: throughout, failure could come much more quickly than success. >> the fruits of this may very well be realized on successor
administration. >> so we're looking at months, even years you're saying? >> potentially. i mean, even the syria case may go on for a number of years. >> uh-huh. >> and the iranian nuclear program is even more complicated and difficult. >> reporter: even the positive gestures come with qualifiers. iran's president may be tweeting, but the iranian people are still blocked from twitter, facebook and all social media since the 2009 election protest. and, wolf, that's one thing that's not looking like it's changing in iran. >> there was this report in israeli newspaper the iranians might be on the verge of having a nuclear bomb what within six months or so? what are you hear sng. >> this from a senior israeli official part of a broader campaign by the israeli government including prime minister netanyahu trying to discredit this iranian outreach as just media spin. but i spoke to an administration official, said that the administration official position is that they have time and space with the iranian nuclear program and iran is not at the breakout point. >> we'll see what the prime
minister netanyahu says next week. jim, thanks very much. despite apparent cooperation from syria, there's new concern about its chemical weapons. a u.s. official with actions on the latest on syria tells cnn the regime, i'm quoting now, actively moving stockpiles in the last 24 hours. our senior international correspondent arwa damon is joining us from beirut. arwa, if the syrians are moving their chemical weapons stockpiles around, what's the bottom line as far as trusting them to deliver the goods when all is said and done? what are you hearing over there? >> reporter: well, wolf, there's a lot of skepticism when it comes to whether or not the assad regime will actually be fully forthcoming in declaring all of its chemical weapons stockpiles. the nature of the movement, the motivation behind it, we are not entirely clear on that. it could very well be that the assad regime is trying to move
around its stockpiles ahead of any potential investigative team arriving in country, or it very well could be that they are consolidating them for that very purpose, easier access if and when inspectors do arrive. this is going to be a very short timeline though. one that the organization that deals with accountability when it comes to a country's chemical weaponry has never dealt with before. normally countries have 60 days to declare their chemical weapon stockpiles. these syrians had a week. the big challenge of course is going to be getting into the country and the logistics of actually trying to see if the assad regime did declare all of its stockpiles. and of course the even bigger task of trying to eventually destroy them, wolf. >> arwa, what about the fighting that's going on apparently between various factions, different factions among the rebels themselves not fighting against the syrian army but fighting amongst themselves? what are you hearing on that
front? >> reporter: you know, there have been growing battles between the rebel fighters themselves, namely between the mainstream free syrian army and the more extremist groups like the islamic state of iraq and syria, that is al qaeda's branch in syria itself. they were clashing earlier in the week up against the turkish abort e border. they have clashed there in the past. we really are seeing the radicalization of this revolution that so many activists had been warning about well over a year ago beginning to take hold. and that is why a lot of the mainstream moderate opposition activists that we've been talking to will tell you that they actually have two enemies right now, the assad regime and these extremist jihadist groups. >> what a situation unfolding there. all right, arwa, thanks very much. arwa damon reporting for us. up next, house republicans here in washington voting to
kill obama care, but once again this time the stakes are much higher. important new developments in the battle over a looming government shutdown maybe in ten days. plus, shock and anger after 13 people are shot in a park including a 3-year-old little boy. we're going live to chicago. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] some things are designed to draw crowds.
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if you think campbell's 26 new soups sound good, imagine how they taste. m'm! m'm! good! vo:remember to changew that oil is the it on schedule toy car. keep your car healthy. show your car a little love with an oil change starting at $19.95. for the 42nd time the republican-led house of representatives has voted to try to kill all or at least part of obama care. this time the measure is attached to a bill funding the federal government. with the senate and president obama certain to reject it, the stage is now set for a government shutdown in only ten days. following the vote both the president and house speaker, john boehner, made their respective cases to the american public. >> the american people don't
want the government shut down. and they don't want obama care. >> the house has listened to the american people. now it's time for the united states senate to listen to them as well. >> right now the debate that's going on in congress is not meeting the test of helping middle class families. it's just they're not focused on you. they're focused on politics. they're focused on trying to mess with me. >> let's get some more now with our chief political correspondent, the host of state of the union, candy crowley, and our chief political analyst, gloria borger. let me play a clip from your interview with the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi. >> is the spending level okay with you? >> no. no. no. >> no? >> no. >> how far away are they from what you could deal with? >> what we could deal with is
what we agreed to in the budget control act, which is a bipartisan agreement. so i think it's really important to note that there are lots of excuses that they use. but for many of them, i call them legislative arsonists, they're there to burn down what we should be building up. >> so in other words as far as nancy pelosi's concerned, there are other problems beyond the defunding of obama care. >> well beyond. >> that she hates in this legislation. >> absolutely. she said, look, the chips program, the children's health insurance program she says is basically gutted. it's not just about obama care which they believe the senate will take out, but it's about the spending levels which many democrats say they were set a long time ago. that's not how republicans view it. >> need to come up with something to keep the government funded. >> and then don't forget we have raising the debt limit coming up. and i think -- i was talking to
one house republican this week, wolf, who predicted to me sad to say, that this could go on up until christmas. that we could have a series of short-term, short-term, solutions and then go right up to the brink of the new year. >> that would be awful, don't you think? >> it would. but it would not be unheard of. i believe we have passed this way before over spending issues. maybe not in the exact same circumstances, but certainly we've been up to christmas eve while they wrestled with it. we saw the fiscal cliff. it's always the same issues. i think the debt ceiling, which i also asked nancy pelosi about, will be really interesting because as far as they're concerned they're sticking with the president's position chrks is by the way we're not going to negotiate. but when you say but lots of presidents have negotiated around a debt ceiling as one of the -- >> what did she say? >> she said, well, the cupboard is bare. there's nothing left to deal with. no more spending cuts. >> there may be some flexibility. >> i think so. >> also an opening move, obviously. you don't want to put all your cards out. >> you're speaking with
republicans, obviously there's friction among republicans. and ted cruz, the senator from texas, you hear his name. >> i think some republicans dislike ted cruz more than they dislike nancy pelosi at this point. what's going on the backstory behind all this, wolf, is that they were home in their districts this summer and this grass roots movement started by ted cruz, and he's in some of these ads, is complaining that the party has not fought obama care enough. so these republicans feel up against the wall. they went out, they did this, attached obama care to this question of funding the government. and then earlier this week ted cruz said, oh, well, that's not going to go anywhere in the senate. now he backed off of that. he may well lead a filibuster, but i had one republican say to me this is a senior house republican that ted cruz is a demagogue and a half. he said they have been shooting at us from behind, putting us in a bad position. the first punch is thrown and where are they? they're out the door.
so cruz had to do a little bit of a correction there and say he's going to leave the senate. >> we should say the house would have been to this point regardless of what ted cruz said. so he did make them look bad by making it look even more useless than other people already thought. well, yeah, what you're doing we can't do anyway. >> they're going to get primaried. a lot of these guys are worried they're going to get primaried from the right. >> candy will have much more sunday on "state of the union" including your exclusive with nancy pelosi. thanks very much. also much more on the obama care battle, the looming government shutdown coming up right at the bottom of the hour, right after "the situation room," look for a heated debate, you know where, on "cross fire." it was one of the first images captured in the chaos here at the navy yard in washington. a woman on the ground despera desperately trying to save her colleague's life. no one was entirely sure if it was related directly to the shooting until now. brian todd has had a chance to speak with this woman.
>> she vividly recalls her friend's face, the moment he got hit in the temple. she thought she could save him. >> i felt him breathe. >> reporter: she says she was just a few feet away from her friend and co-worker when gunshots slammed all around their office. she never saw the shooter. you almost got hit yourself, right? >> yes. the bullet missed me because we were already -- i was already moving. and so the bullet missed me and it shattered the glass right next to where my head was. >> reporter: he was down, but when laverne says she checked his pulse, it was strong. she and her co-workers ignored their own safety. and what happened next? while the shooter is still on his rampage is right out of a movie. >> the security guard showed up, and they helped me get him to a chair to wheel him to the stairs. we put him in the emergency
evacuation chair. and i was talking to him and praying the whole entire time. >> reporter: what were you saying to him? >> that i prayed that god would protect him. and that we need him here. and that his friends loved him. >> reporter: laverne, a former navy medical specialist, says at that point pandit's pulse was still strong, but there was another problem trying to get her friend who had the nickname keson out of the building. did you know where the shooter was at this time? >> no. and i really didn't care. we had to get him out. that was the important thing. >> reporter: as they were descending the stairs they heard over a guard's radio that the shooter was right in the direction they were heading. she says they managed to sneak out a side door, got pandit to a law enforcement vehicle which then sped outside the base to this corner. that's where these images were captured. the woman in pink administering
cpr desperately trying to save her friend. and then the ambulance showed up. they strapped him in. all of this happened within a few minutes of time. but it felt like a lifetime. >> reporter: he died on the way to the hospital. a doctor later said his injuries were not survivable. laverne now describes her feelings for the man she used to joke with every morning. >> that i miss him. and that i won't be able to say good morning to him. that i will not be able to say good morning to him, but i know that he's in my heart. and i know that his family loves him so much. >> she says he recently had welcomed a grandchild who she described as the light of his life. he was buried yesterday.
wolf. >> what a sad story that is. brian, thanks very much. deepest condolences to the family. up next, new details about a horrific shooting in chicago including a 3-year-old boy. and hackers are fighting to be the first person to break into the fingerprint security system of the brand new iphone. stick around. la's known definitely for its traffic, congestion, for the smog. but there are a lot of people that do ride the bus. and now that the buses are running on natural gas, they don't throw out as much pollution into the air. so i feel good. i feel like i'm doing my part to help out the environment. it's been that way since the day you met. but your erectile dysfunction - it could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right.
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mass shooting in a park last night which left 13 people injured including a 3-year-old boy. the shooting which is believed to be gang-related is just the latest for the city which now has the highest number of homicides in the country. the incident has prompted chicago's police superintendent to call for a national ban on assault weapons. hong kong is bracing for a super typhoon and now the most powerful storm on the planet this year. winds are topping, get this, 160 miles an hour making it the equivalent of a category 5 hurricane. storm warnings are up in the philippines, taiwan and south china. people are being warned to take this storm, obviously, very, very seriously. huge layoffs and losses at blackberry. the company announced it's slashing its global workforce by 40% with 4,500 job cuts. it also will warn it will report a loss of almost $1 billion -- billion for the second quarter. blackberry shares tumbled in the news. the company said it's looking
for ways to survive including a possible sale. apple fans were lining up to get their hands on the new iphone 5s that went on sale today. but hackers also have their sights on this new iphone, specifically the new fingerprint scanner used to unlock the phone. already there's a $13,000 reward being offered to the first person who breaks into a phone by lifting someone's fingerprints. and joining us now, christina warren, she's a senior tech analyst joining us from outside the apple store on the upper west side of manhattan. christina, why are these hackers doing this? >> reporter: so they want to see -- any time anyone says anything is unhackable, they want to say, actually, you know what, it's not. they want to break into it. so they're trying to prove it's not unfathomable. they want to see if it's possible to lift a print off of the iphone 5s and recapture it and use that reproduced print to
get into the phone by that. >> is it just the challenge of doing this? is that the goal? it's just a huge challenge for these hackers to do it? >> reporter: it's important just a good challenge, but also partially a way to beef up and improve security. if all kinds of eyes are on this project and if they're able to unearth a security vulnerability, then it can be solved. and all of our devices will be more safe. >> we've seen in the movies stealing fingerprints, if you will, i don't know if we've ever seen it in the real world. tell us if this is a possibility, unlikely, what are you hearing from the experts? >> reporter: you know, i think -- is it technically possible? probably. i would say that somehow, some way there's probably a way to bypass this security scanner or touch id. but how likely, you have to consider someone who has the ability to capture the print,
the ability to have a free printer and print it out and the proper device or real finger to affix the fingerprint onto unlock. what are the chances that happening for the average person? i would say pretty much slim to none. and honestly the people that would be most alarmed are people like diplomats and the nsa is spying on them anyway, so i don't think they should be too concerned either. >> christina warren, the senior tech analyst. christina, thanks very much. >> reporter: thank you. remember, you can always follow us and see what's going on behind the scenes here in "the situation room," on twitter. go ahead and tweet m me @wolfblitzer. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. get ready "crossfire" starts right now. tonight, on "crossfire," high blood pressure politics. >> just do your job. >> is the cure to funding obama care or shutting down the
government? on the left, stephanie cutter, on the right, newt gingrich. and in the crossfire, a key architect of the president's health care law and one of the opponents defunding obama care, just what the doctor ordered or a poison pill? tonight on crossfire. welcome to "crossfire." i'm stephanie cutter on the left. >> i'm newt gingrich. today the vote to keep government running and defund obama care. good for them. also today the president signalled deep down he realizes he needs to compromise. >> nobody gets 100% of what you want. you know that in your own lives and own families. i don't know how many people are married here, but you know you better learn not to get 100% of what you want. >> you know, he was addressing that to the congress. but i wonder if he's also
signaling that he knows over the next couple weeks he's not going to get 100% of what he wants either? >> well, newt, the president has always said if somebody has a good idea to improve obama care, he is open to it. but i have a question for you. if doing the exact same thing twice is the definition of insanity, then what is the definition of doing something more than 40 times and expecting a different result? this is insanity. >> it's courageous. >> supreme court ruled against them, a national election was held on this, they've lost the vote every single time on repealing obama care. so what is the end game here? >> i think the end game here is to consistently watch as more and more negative news, more and more problems, 41 out of 82 deadlines have been missed. the system's not ready. it's totally not ready. even here two nights ago governor o'malley, strong supporter of the president, said there are things we need to fix in obama care. >> absolutely. but that's not what they're attempting to do. they're attempting to throw it out, to repeal it, to get rid