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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  May 8, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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man after being a woman. and donny and marie with me on "piers morgan tonight." >> just bad, and like you say, it's an act of god, and what can you do with an act of god? >> evacuations ramp up in the memphis as the swollen mississippi river rises higher and faster than expected. water is now overtake iing downn streets and downstream big decisions to make in louisiana. why saving new orleans could cost thousands of people their homes. also tonight, the strongest words yet from president obama on whether osama bin laden got high-level help while hiding in pakistan. meantime, we'll hear from the neighbors of osama bin laden. >> whenever our cricket ball went into the compound, the guy always said our ball was lost, gave us 50 rupees and asked us to buy a new one. >> a little boy who played with
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children living with bin laden talks about living next to the world's most wanted man. i'm hala gorani at cnn world headquarters in tonight for don lemon. you are in the cnn newsroom. we begin tonight in memphis, tennessee, a city under siege, if you will. the mississippi river keeps climbing higher and higher. this is what memphis looks like with the river at 47.5 feet. how high it goes won't be known for several days, but experts predict it won't be more than another foot. there is no other place for the water to go, put quite simply. the mississippi is the watershed for everything west and east of the rockies. eight states are dealing with this historic flood. cnn's david mattingly joins us live from memphis with more on the task ahead for residents in mississippi and elsewhere in the flood region. hi there, david. >> hi, hala. what we're looking at right now
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is an amount of water that no one has seen in the mississippi in generations. there's so much water here that it's pushing flood control systems to their limits all up and down the mississippi. i had an exclusive interview with a man in charge of that system, and he tells me about a grave decision he had to make early on in in flood and why he had to make this decision again before this is over. levees blown up, flooding 130,000 acres of rich missouri farmland and this is the man who gave the order, but the army corps of engineers major michael walsh now finds his decision questioned and misunderstood. >> in a sense are you playing god here, deciding who gets flooded and who doesn't? >> no, i don't believe that. i don't believe that. walsh's order to blow the levees did prevent record floodwaters from overtopping levees at illinois. now we find that that was just
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the beginning. walsh tells me there was so much more at stake. 80 miles of shore line along western kentucky on the ohio river. 120 miles from commerce, missouri down the mississippi to helena, arkansas. these are all areas with levees that could have been overtopped by the rising river walsh says, if he hadn't acted, and when the time came after consulting with scores of engineers and experts, it was his decision to make and make alone. so you're at the top of the chain of command. you didn't have to kick this up to the white house or anybody like that to say, hey, we're going to flood a significant portion of missouri. >> certainly we keep the vertical chain in alignment and informed on what decisions i make, but the decision in accordance with the program is for the president of the mississippi river commission. >> reporter: and that's you. >> and that's me. >> reporter: there wasn't much time. just eight days from an alarming weather forecast to walsh's
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worst fears coming true. how did this affect you personally? >> well, certainly i know many of the people who own land there and have been to their house, and i know them personally, and i was talking with them and they understood the difficulty of the decision that had to be made. >> reporter: was the right decision made, and would you make it again? >> well, that's a good question and frankly we haven't had the time to go back and look at it. >> reporter: that's because huge decisions and their human consequences are now looming in louisiana where another floodway could soon be open, flooding communities for miles. on monday we'll see a floodgate open and water pouring into lake pontchartrain to relieve some of the pressure that's on the mississippi, that all to prevent flooding in baton rouge and places from baton rouge all the way down to louisiana. there is another huge decision looming on a floodway that may affect thousands of louisiana people, people in louisiana just
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to protect those people in that area i just mentioned. hala? >> and i imagine time is of the essence here. these are decisions that have to be made quickly and will impact thousands of residents. >> reporter: what we're seeing is this flood is very slow moving, and it is moving all according to measurements and expectations. they are able to make plans ahead of time, but they are holding off on decisions to divert water out of the river and into the floodways to the very last minute because they don't want to do any unnecessary damage to the banks and not affect the big cities like baton rouge and new orleans later on down the road. >> david mattingly live in memphis, tennessee, thanks very much. as david just mentioned, there are already these plans to try to reduce the impact of the flooding on cities and towns downstream from memphis. jacqui jeras has more on that at the cnn weather center.
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those plans, when will they be put into place? >> well, one of them tomorrow morning already, so this is a definite on one of these spillways, and it's kind of similar to what they it up in cairo where they exploded one of the levees where they spilled the water out to relieve the pressure. this won't be an explosion. they designed this system and will open up some gates in order to do that. let's talk a little bit about the system as a whole and the river, by the way, is cresting way up here into the boot hill of missouri. we're talking about hundreds of miles still for this thing to go before it empties into the gulf of mexico. so a lot of pressure is still built up here. two spillways we're talking about. first of all, the one opened tomorrow morning is the bonna carrie spillway. nobody lives here. this won't be a problem for anybody, and they are going to push that water through the six-mile area and move it into pontchartrain so it provides a little relief for new orleans.
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that is taken into account in the forecast now for the flood stage and for the forecast crest in new orleans. the forecast crest may 23rd expected to be 19.5 feet, that's half a foot below what the levees can hold so that takes into account that spillway, but they are a little concerned that that might not be enough. this is what it looked like, too, by the way, a google earth and nasa image when they did the spillway before back in 2008. they have done it nine times before so they know that it does work. let's talk about the second system. the next with enis the morganza spillway, north of baton rouge, and this is the area we're talking about here. if they were to open that thing up, that's really going to open up a huge area all the way here to the gulf of mexico, and there's a river in here, and that's expected to flood, and, yeah, thousands of people are going to be certainly in the way of that one. i want to show you some of the impacts that we're talking
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about. the army corps of engineers has said, yes, we want to do it. we were requesting the permission to open this. it hasn't been approved just yet. that could happen in the next couple of days, maybe as early as wednesday or thursday, so if it opens, what does that mean? authorities are telling us that that means seven parishes could be covered with 5 and 25 feet of water? that's an incredible amount. the deepest water is going to be near st. francisville, and then after that i'm talking about moving downstream and it could put as much as five feet of water in some parts of the cities like homa and morgan city. kind of a situation. a lot more people being impacted. kind of controversial again, hala. who are you going to say. if that water gets to new orleans, below sea level and pumps and all sorts of things and concerned about the pressure that this is going to cause and all the towns in communities all the way up and down the mississippi. >> some crucial decisions need
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to be made and they need to be made quickly and in the next several -- i guess in the next 24 hours really. thanks very much, and we'll talk to you a little bit later. >> behind the big story of the raid on osama bin laden's compound is a simple story of his children and grandchildren who played with other children in the same village. a tour of the neighborhood around the infamous compound is next. plus, two muslim imams kicked off a flight all because some passengers and the pilot weren't comfortable having them aboard. the latest on that story next. ♪ intellichoice proclaims that lexus has the best overall value of any brand. ♪ and j.d. power and associates ranks lexus the highest in customer satisfaction. no wonder more people have chosen lexus over any other luxury brand 11 years in a row. see your lexus dealer.
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well, one of our top stories this weekend has been the peek into osama bin laden's life in hiding in pakistan. five different views seized during the raid that killed mladen have been released by u.s. intelligence officials, edited, sound removed and national security adviser in the united states told cnn's "state of the union" that special forces pulled enough information from the hideout to fill a small college library. president barack obama is wanting answers from pakistan about why bin laden was able to hide out there for so long, not too far from the capital and in a garrison town. wants to know whether anyone in the pakistani government had a hand in t.bin laden's compound in abbottabad is less than 40 miles from the capital, and as we said in a garrison town.
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the compound close to a pakistani military academy. on cbs' "60 minutes" president obama says he must have had a significant support network in the country. >> we think that there will to be some sort of support network for bin laden inside of pakistan, but we don't know who or what that support network was. we don't know whether there might have been some people inside of government, people outside of government, and that's something that we have to investigate and more importantly the pakistani government has to investigate, and we've already communicated to them, and they have indicated they have a profound interest in finding out what kinds of support networks bin laden might have had, but these are questions that we're not going to be able to answer three or four days after the event. it's going to take some time for us to be able exploit the intelligence that we were able to gather on site.
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>> president obama didn't tell pakistan, an ally, that the raid on bin laden was coming. several children were living inside bin laden's compound, and just like any kids they like to play and make friends but as nick payton walsh reports from abbottabad, the neighborhood playmates couldn't comprehend who was living behind the tall walls. >> reporter: away from the high-tech hunt for terrorist number one is a simpler story of life in his village that we went to find. the eight or nine children in bin laden's house, some perhaps his grandchildren, played with others in the village, including this young boy, age 12. >> translator: the kids said the guy with them is their father nadine. once i saw his two wives, one speaking irdu and the arabic and had a brother, a fat guy with goatee and mustache. i don't know why they had security cameras installed outside the house. used to knock on the door for 10 or 20 minutes and someone used to come to talk. that strange for us.
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>> reporter: he says he didn't note names of the children he played with. >> translator: we used to play cricket next to their house. whenever our cricket ball went into the compound, we knocked on the door and asked for the ball, but the guy already said our ball was lost and gave us 50 rupees and asked us to buy a new one. >> reporter: it seems that nadine now is dead. does that make you sad? >> yes, i feel sorry for uncle nadine, never took anything wrong. he took my grandmother to the hospital and asked her to call her if she needs help and would drive her anywhere. he was a great person. i feel sorry for him >> reporter: viewpoint of a child who this to point had never heard the name osama bin laden. nick payton walsh, cnn, abbottabad. >> through the eyes of a child around the bin laden compound in pakistan. ahead, the hunt for bin laden and the role of enhanced interrogations. we examine the renewed debate
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over waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques and whether they helped uncover the first clues that led to al qaeda's leader. stay with us. right now, all over the country discov customers are gettinfive percent cashback bonus at home improment stores. it pays to switch, it pays to discover. [ airplane engine whines ] [ grunts ] [ dog barking ] gah! [ children shouting ] [ grunts ] [ whacking piñata ] [ whacking piñata, grunting ] sadly, no. oh. but i did pick up your dry cleaning and had your shoes shined. well, i made you a reservation at the sushi place around the corner. well, in that case,
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it's clear that that -- those techniques that the cia used worked, and to have taken them away and ruled them out i think may be a mistake. >> we went to a lot of trouble to find out what we could do,
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how far we could go, what was legal and so forth, and out of that emerged what we called enhanced interrogation, and it worked. it provided some absolutely vital pieces of intelligence. >> donald rumsfeld and dick cheney defending those so-called enhanced interrogation techniques once again in the wake of osama bin laden's death. let's talk about it with cnn contributor errol lewis, cnn contributor for new york one. thanks for being here. >> good to be here. >> unsurprisingly former bush administration officials are defending controversial techniques that were then abolished by the obama administration. what do you make of this now, coming out on the sunday talk shows and saying, look, our methods worked. >> i think there's a genuine debate that went on, and it went on during the campaign in '08. it's continuing on the airwaves today and it's a debate over torture. >> yeah. >> i don't really go for the
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euphemism of enhanced interrogation techniques. if you described the techniques, 90% plus would call it torture, slamming people's bodies across the wall, threatening to kill their families, putting them in a box win section, horrible techniques and there was never a question of whether or not it worked, though there were a small subset of people who said we shouldn't torture possible terror suspects because it doesn't really work, and the much more i think -- >> it's a question is whether it's moral. >> is is it wrong? is it wrong, and it's wrong, and that was the decision that the administration made was that they weren't going to do it. they never said we're not going to do it because it doesn't work. they just said we're not going to do it. >> and it's still an open question how much of that information could have come out, right, regardless of what method you used? >> sure, sure. this is not -- this is far from a clear-cut case despite what secretary rumsfeld said. there were over 100 data points
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that we are told that led to the actual operation, and whatever they got out of a torture session of a particular suspect was only one of those over 100 points. this is a very tenuous affair, and then the other case that's always referred to is a name that we allegedly got from khalid sheikh mohammed after he was waterboarded 100 times. that's not a ringing endorsement of the effectiveness and no morality of torture as a technique. >> it's not effectiveness but the morality of it and that question in the united states is answered how by the majority of americans? do they support these, quote, enhanced interrogation techniques or not? >> you look at polls and they say no. hala, let me remind you also, one thing cheney was getting at, the former vice president, saying the justice department should not be looking at bush-era operatives to see what they did and how they did it, but the justice department has
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really pretty much scaled back. all they are looking at is an investigation to see if what torture was done was done within the guidelines that existed at the time. >> right. >> and it's hard to believe that that would be out of line. if they play by the rules they were supposed to play by, even though those rules have now changed, then everything should be fine. >> but it's interesting that they are coming out now talking about it again. quickly, how does this affect president obama politically? it's a long -- we're a long way away from the actual election, but politically, how is this affecting president obama nationally? >> i don't know if we're that far away to tell you the truth. there's some polling data, believe it or not, that says how the president does and is perceived on foreign policy tracks quite closely with how people think of him generally, so this will stand him in good stead, but, again, in march of 1991 the first president george bush was, you know,
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overwhelmingly approved after he won the first gulf war and turned out of office a year later, so, you know, the white house can't sleep on this, but they certainly are enjoying a bounce in the polls right now. >> thanks very much, joining us live from new york on this sunday evening. >> thank you. >> coming up next, two imams, muslim imams, traveling to a conference on prejudice, are removed from a plane despite being cleared by security officials. you'll hear the reaction from the imams and the airline after a break. but first, unemployment takes a positive turn and there is surprising news concerning a staple in the american home. allison cosic is getting down to business >> reporter: recovery in the u.s. job market is getting stronger. the economy added 244,000 jobs in april, and the private sector tacked on 268,000 jobs. that's the biggest monthly
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increase in five years. for the first time in 20 years, there are fewer american homes with a tv. according to nielsen, the number of households with tvs has dropped more than 2% in the past year. one reason, a growing number of young people watch movies and tv programs online, and streaming video seems to take a lot of energy. over the past decade the power needed to run computer servers has increased by more than 10% every year. the internet already uses more electricity than u.s. car and truck production. that's this week's "getting down to business," allison kosik, cnn, new york. [ manager ] you know... i've been looking at the numbers, and i think our campus is spending too much money on printing. i'd like to put you in charge of cutting costs.
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when you're resonsible for this much of the team, you need a car you can count on. ♪ two muslim imams are removed from a flight in memphis even though they passed through security twice. apparently that wasn't good enough for the pilot as cnn's allan chernoff explains >> reporter: irony sheer that the two imams were on their way to charlotte for a conference about islamaphobia. they were dressed in traditional muslim garb.
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the two imams masudur rawman and mohamed zaghloul boarded the flight in memphis but the plane operated by regional carrier atlantic southeast airlines returned to the gate for security to re-screen the men. >> the only reason that the pilot has cited is that some of the passengers didn't feel comfortable, but when the passengers were asked whether anybody felt uncomfortable none of them indicated that they were. >> rahman and zaghloul passed security a second time but in spite of pleas from a delta agent the pilot would not allow them back on the plane. federal regulations give the captain authority over all aspects of the flight including who may board the aircraft. >> we'll let them check our staff, our luggage, our body and then they said, okay, you guys are good. you can go. when we are entering into the plane, the supervisor, mr. russell, he said,
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mr. rahman, sorry, i was pleading to the pilot to let you go. he's not allowing you to go. >> the imams were invited into delta's sky club until they waited for the next non-stop flight six hours after their original flight was scheduled to depart. he compares his experience to that of civil rights activist rosa parks. >> reminds me of the black lady that was kicked from the bus because of racism. >> delta deferred comments to the flight's operator, atlantic southeast airlines which told cnn compensation and reaccommodation on the next available flight were immediately offered to the passenger and the passenger's travel companion. we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused. meanwhile, the two imams flew back to memphis on sunday afternoon without incident.
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their attorney says the attorney wants delta and southeast atlantic airlines to institute training programs for delta pilots to ensure this doesn't happen again. allan chernoff, cnn, new york. >> in the headlines tonight, memphis officials are bracing for the worst flooding in more than 70 years. the mississippi river is expected to crest at 48 feet by late tuesday or early wednesday. residents are urged to evacuate the low-lying areas that could be engulfed by the historic flame. security scares today forced two passenger flights to be diverted to nearby airports. a continental flight was diverted to st. louis seen on the left when a, quote, unruly passenger tried to open an exit door during the flight. he was removed from the plane. then there was a delta flight diverted to albuquerque on the right when a suspicious note was found in a restroom. no threat was found eventually.
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passengers on both flights were able to reach their destinations after their unscheduled stops. the woman's whose accusations of rape after the gadhafi regime received worldwide attention has managed to flee libya. she crossed into tunisia with help from a defecting military officer and his family. back in march you'll remember he rushed into the tripoli hotel where journalists were saying and she accused gadhafi elements of raping her. she says she hopes she can attain protection from a western government. more amateur video showing government troops moving into syria where a 12-year-old boy was killed today. a human rights group says soldiers fired into a crowd killing several people, including the boy. cnn has not been granted access into the country and cannot confirm these reports. cnn has requested access to
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syria for seven weeks now. in the latest incident in protesters' on going struggles of political freedom we're hearing of violence from other places. we're having difficulty confirming firsthand. meanwhile, the syrian government says three soldiers and three security officers were killed during clashes with what it called armed terrorist groups. can the u.s. afford to remain friends with both india and pakistan, especially after bin laden was found hiding comfortably in pakistan? next, an argument for ditching relations with pakistan all together. [ woman speaking chinese ] thank you. do you have an english menu? no english. [ speaking chinese ] [ gasps, speaks chinese ] do you guys like dumplings? i love dumplings. working with a partner you can trust is always a good decision. massmutual -- let our financial professionals help you reach your goals.
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the raid that killed osama bin laden is exposing long held trust issues, trust issues between the u.s. and pakistan. president obama is demanding to know how bin laden managed to safely hide inside pakistan for so many years and not in a cave somewhere but relatively close to the capital islamabad. and the pakistanis are angry that they didn't know about the raid beforehand. let's bring in gordon chang who writes about international affairs as a columnist at forbes.com. you wrote an op-ed for "the daily" gordon saying this is the last straw. the u.s. should dump pakistan and fully partner up with that country's bitter rival india. but if that happens, gordon, who moves in, china, saudi arabia?
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is that eventually in the u.s.' best interest? >> clearly when it's going to be china and saudi arabia that do move in, they already control the country and we pay for it, and, of course, no one wants to see pakistan move closer to beijing and riyadh, but we've got to recognize that we've got to make a guy because india is going to force us to do this. just last week they ruled us out of their $10 billion fighter contract and relations have cooled in the obama administration. this isn't something we can be friends with both. we have to make a choice. >> isn't an imperfect relationship with a very important strategic ally in the war against terrorism, an imperfect relationship better than cutting ties all together? >> well, clearly we have tried to work with the pakistani intelligence services and with the pakistani military, and we've been -- we're doing this for over the course of more than
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two decades, and really the most important issues in the world, nuclear proliferation and terrorism, but things have only gotten worse on both fronts so it really hasn't gotten us anywhere, and that's why i'm questioning the relationship with pakistan because in many ways it inhibits our ability to deal with these important issues because we're trying to engage islamabad so it hasn't worked, and we need to sort of reverse course and try something that has the hope of actually achieving better results. >> that's what you think should happen. but that's not likely to happen. what's likely to happen with regard to the us' relationship with its very important ally pakistan? >> well, what's going to happen is there are going to be calls in washington to get tougher with pakistan, and we've also started to hear that, but we've had these calls of getting tougher with pakistan. >> tougher how though? >> for two decades. that's the question that you want to know because we've been saying this all along, and we haven't been doing it.
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we've been getting really bad results, and as we saw on sunday, the pakistani government was harboring the person that we wanted most, bin laden, and they were doing it at least since 2005. so, you know, clearly what we've been doing hasn't worked, and to continue to do something that hasn't worked doesn't make sense to me. >> well, the pakistani government, i mean, that hasn't been proven, potentially elements within the isi, potentially elements within the military, but all of that is still an open question, not high level government officials, is that what you're suggesting? >> well, you know, look at it. bin laden didn't have guards at his compound during the time of the raid which meant that he felt very comfortable living there. you know, that compound stuck out like a sore thumb, you know, visible in all directions. just down the road from pakistan's west point. you know, i mean, what more evidence do we need that he was being harbored by the military and the isi, the intelligence services and they are the pakistani government. they are the ones with the real power, so, you know, the
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question is like who else was there, so this has been going on for a very long time, and it's not just bin laden. it's the network. last week pakistani tried to sever our relationship with afghanistan. things are just going from bad to worse. >> all right. gordon chang of forbes.com, thanks very much for joining us on cnn. a colorado school is using a unique approach to teach children on their own terms. we'll tell you why and how effective it is after the break. this is our advisory board. our field research team. and our product development staff. we know military lives are different. we've been there. that's why our commitment to serve the financial needs of our military, veterans, and their families is without equal. and why, we'll always be there for you... both here... and here. usaa. for insurance, banking, investments, retirement and advice. we know what it means to serve. let us serve you.
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teachers at a colorado school have adopted a unique approach to education modelled on the belief that children learn in their own way. so instead of grades, they use levels, for instance. deb feyerick went to the school to check it out. >> reporter: victor and dulce garcia are both 11 years old. ask them what grade they are in you won't get a traditional answer. >> level seven. >> and you are six? >> and what about reading? >> level seven. >> and are you? >> seven a. >> at hodgkins elementary school outside denver, colorado, there
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are no grade levels. in fact, there are no grades period. kids are grouped not by age but by what they know. >> we're talking about facts from a nonfiction book. >> jennifer greg's literary class is made up of kids from 8 to 10 with four different reading levels. >> it's so individualized. we're filling in the gaps so that they can move on. >> it's known as standards-based learning modelled on the belief that every child learns in their own way. >> every student and every class is learning at exactly the spot that they are supposed to. >> principal sarah gould helped put this system in place two years ago. >> for the first time, every child is getting exactly what they need and when they need it and how they need it. >> nobody moves to the next level without testing. >> at the equivalent of a "c" or higher. >> how many of you have gone up a level this year? >> wow. >> the entire school district has been on an academic watch
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list because a below average standardized test scores. vicky marshall helped convince people they needed to try this and make it work. >> their biggest concerns were around how are you going to assign a grade point average. >> but changing course is not easy. educators estimate it takes three to five years for standardized test scores to go up. so far 300 schools nationwide have tried t.half couldn't stick with it. wendy batino who helps implement this model says without strong leadership and community support it work work. this is how it works. the superintendent's last two, two and a half years on average. it's really hard to leave sys m systemic when you have that you have turnover. >> and though scores haven't gone on, she's still on board y.? because discipline problems dropped 77% since the change and students now are more motivated than ever.
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debra feyerick, cnn. >> soledad looks at the education system in "don't fail me, education in america" at 8:00 p.m. eastern next sunday. next, cairo, illinois was spared the worst flooding and across the river in mississippi lots of angry farmers. we'll tell you why. plus, will weather affect the commute tomorrow? it's your morning commute tonight. building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible.
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gee, in illinois, the town of cairo is breathing a huge sigh of relief. now it appears the small town has been saved from catastrophic flooding from the mississippi river but it was a hard choice pitting residents of the town against farmers of missouri. cnn's ted rowlands spoke to people on both sides. >> reporter: cairo, illinois, sits between the mississippi and the ohio river. many believe the entire city would be underwater. if not for the controversial decision to blow open this levee.
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the explosion opened a two-mile hole flooding more than 130,000 acres of farmland in neighboring missouri. when you look at that, what do you think? >> i'm very sad. i look at that and i don't have a home. >> reporter: marilyn's farm has been in her family for three generations. it would still be dry if the federal government hadn't blown up the levee. >> i feel like we're having to suffer for somebody else. >> glen's doors are pushed out. >> reporter: these farmers have 2,000 acres underwater. >> we have to tell you that that might blow it. the waters kept rights and we knew they would blow it. we don't like it but we have to accept it. >> reporter: the plan in 1928 that cairo, a city of 15,000 at the time was in danger of flooding, the levee would be open to save the city, but back then things were much different. cairo was a vibrant river
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community. this is what it looks like now. most of the businesses downtown are gone and most of the people have left as well. in fact, less than 3,000 people remain. many believe this is in fact is not a town that was worth saving. >> would you rather have a missouri farmland slighted or cairo underwater. cairo. >> i've been there. >> if the governor -- >> have you been there? >> yes. >> oh, you know what i'm saying. >> you've been there lately? >> yeah, you know what i mean. what do you mean? mean, i want to know what you mean about it. >> reporter: cairo is predominantly african-american. people on both sides say there is a racial component to the debate over whether the city or the farms should have been saved. >> there's nothing but blacks there, you know. this town here is built, was built on racist, you know, long time ago back in the years ago, you know. ain't nothing changed. >> reporter: cairo's history
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racial tension dates back to the 1909 public lynching of will james who was suspected of raping a white woman. in the 1960s the city closed the public pool rather than allow blacks to swim. on the missouri side, many people feel the federal government may have been overly sensitive to the race issue and pulled the trigger too soon to blow up the levee. >> i do believe that the government was worried about some of that. i don't think that should have played any role in it. >> reporter: people of cairo seem to have been out of woods. take a look at the water levels of the mississippi. this is water from the mississippi in a spillway. it has been dropping considerably over the last few days. we should note that every person that we have talked to in the city of cairo has been very empathetic and absolutely feel bad for their neighbors in missouri, but they also absolutely agree with the decision by the u.s. government to open up that levee and spare their city.
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ted rowlands, cnn, illinois. >> travel problems in the streets and weather in the rest of the country, we're joined by jacqui jeras. what should people look out for on this sunday evening? >> lots to look out for. the water cover roadways, the number one thing. literally hundreds and hundreds of roads all the closed across the valley because of that. this is the big picture for tomorrow, and we're watching for problems for thunderstorms across the upper midwest and winds will be our other big travel issue, especially across the southwest and then again into the northeast. if you're traveling tomorrow a couple of pick cities where we could really have delays. chicago and o'hair expecting heavy delays in the afternoon because of showers and thundershowers. boston, logan, maybe moderate delays and this is moderate because of the winds. the later in the day, the more they can slacken off a little as the low pressure system starts to move out. salt lake city, we're expecting to see a lot of delays at the airport as well as roadways. slow going. leave a little bit early out the
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door tomorrow morning because we're going to see fog in the morning and also plenty of shower activity all throughout the day. a couple of other pick cities. just kind of picked basically the four worst for the morning commute. chicago i mentioned and denver. lots of winds here, minneapolis and st. paul. rain and thunderstorms on and off and especially salt lake city. if i had to pick one location in the nation,halla, that's probably it. >> on tuesday adoption and child welfare advocates will hold a congressional briefing to bring what they hope will be revolutionary reform to the adoption process. they say national policy should move beyond finding families to helping families after the child is theirs. advocates say the case of a tennessee woman returning a boy she adopted to russia is a prime example of the need for post-adoptive services. >> we think of adoption as a win-win. you go into a new family and love conquers all the and everything is okay. well, you know, if the kid has
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been abused, neglected, sexually abused, whatever, they need some work. they need some help, and the parents and the family need to get the services and supports in order to help the families succeed. >> some of the groups involved include the child welfare league of america and the adoption institute. if you don't know who debbie wasserman schultz is you will very soon. she's now in charge of the democratic party's entire campaign operation. you'll hear from her next. ♪ ♪ ♪ introducing purina one beyond a new food for your cat or dog.
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she's a mother of three and a member of congress and if that weren't enough to keep florida's debbie wasserman schultz busy, she's taking on a new job, chairwoman of the democratic national committee meaning she's in charge of leading democrats to victory over the 2012 elections and spoke about it with cnn political editor mark preston. >> reporter: debbie wasserman schultz should be enjoying this mother's day at home. the past few years she's been on the road constantly as a regular on the democratic campaign circuit, and next year she will be rolling again. >> we must trumpet president obama's agenda from the roof tops. >> reporter: as one of president obama's top supporters in the 2012 election. >> the reason i do this is to make sure that my children have the most promising future and that my constituents' children have the most promising futures. >> reporter: 44 years old this, mother of three was hand picked by the president to be the new
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chair of the democratic national committee. one of only a handful of women to lead the party. a fierce partisan, a defender of democratic priorities, a political pro who has mastered the art of television and speaking her mind. >> 25 years old when i first ran to the florida house of representatives. >> i believe i was ready to serve. mitch, you remember the good ol' boys in the democratic clubs. had other plans. >> reporter: put her way, define the old boy network and becoming the youngest woman to win a seat in the florida house. two years later she found out she had breast cancer which she kept hidden even from her children. >> even that they have known that had died to that point and they were, you know, a couple years younger, had died of cancer, so i just didn't feel like i could convince them while i was going through all the surgery that i was going to be okay. >> reporter: she beat the illness with the same fighting spirit she brings to politics, a
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zeal that draws praise from colleagues and scorn from political opponents. penny nance of the conservative group, concerned women for america, says that debbie wasserman schultz is positioned to the far left of the democratic party and we wonder if that signals that the democrats''s attention for recruitment. the new dnc chair couldn't care less. >> my only goal right now is to re-elect barack obama and re-elect debbie wasserman schultz and make sure we can turn the state legislatures and the governor's mansionses blue, blue, blue. >> reporter: a high bar but on this mother's day one that's within her grasp. mark preston, cnn, washington >> i'm hala gorani at the cnn world headquarters in atlanta. i hope you have a great week. and a good night.

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