tv The Situation Room CNN July 4, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT
we asked you to send us a few more unalienable rights. god bless america. i now leave you in the very capable hands of wolf blitzer in "the situation room." >> egypt's president and top islamist leaders are now under arrest. as the military moves to consolidate its power in egypt, huge crowds mover back into tahrir square right now. can egypt hold it all together? we have full coverage coming up. >> the prosecution in the george zimmerman case gets ready to bring out some dramatic witnesses, trayvon martin's family members. >> and locked up in gitmo, one signs a book deal and another has a profile -- get this -- on
match.com. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." as americans celebrate our democracy today, a key american ally is stumbling along the path to democracy. egypt's military is cracking down, this a day after ousting that country's first democratically elected president. mohamed morsi is now said to be under house arrest. he's refused an offer to leave egypt. communication outlets have been silenced and the crowd are now back in tahrir square. president obama met today with members of his national security team to discuss the situation in egypt, but why does egypt matter so much to the united states right now? how much should americans be concerned about the overthrow of an elected leader? our foreign affairs correspondent jill dougherty is
joining us right now. she's got some answers. the president spent a lot of this july 4th meeting with his top security advisers because for the u.s., for the entire region, the stakes are huge. >> they are. you know, wolf, americans have a big investment in egypt, whether they know it or not. egypt is a linchpin of the middle east, the largest arab country in the world. a cultural heavyweight with 83 million people. islamic fundamentalism, even al qaeda, have their roots in egypt. egypt is america's closest ally in the american world. they get $1.5 billion for military and civilian programs. >> if this were to be seen as a coup, it would limit our ability to have the kind of relationship we think we need with the
egyptian armed forces. >> reporter: egypt crows the suez canal, a crucial sea route for 4% of the world's oil supply and 8% of seaborne trade. egypt is only two arab countries along with jordan that made peace with israel. >> all these things are tied together. the aid is tied to egypt's peace treaty with israel. if our aid gets cut off, what happens to the peace treaty with israel? it's a hornet's nest. that's why the u.s. is trying not to stir it too much. >> reporter: egypt also had a claim to fame -- a democratically elected president and his muslim party, a message to the islamic world that democracy just might work. and there is a danger right now, and that is if the military violently repressed the muslim brotherhood, then they, in turn, could resort to violence. wolf? >> we'll see if we get any
additional statements from the president or his top national security advisers later in the course of the day i anticipate we might but we shall see. jill, thanks very much. we do expect to hear from the president in the next hour. he'll be addressing the american people on this july 4th. let's go to cairo rights now. the crowds seemingly coming back big time in tahrir square. i anticipate tomorrow on friday, a religious day in the muslim world, it will be huge. >> reporter: well, certainly this crowd that we're seeing tonight, perhaps they're bolstered by the fact that thursday night is the beginning of the weekend here in egypt, but also people are still celebrating, slightly smaller numbers than last night, still celebrating the ouster of the first democratically elected president of egypt, mohamed morsi. throughout the day we saw the signs that the military was really trying to reach out to
the people here at least to have very much accepted the military's move to push morsi out of office. we saw displays of egyptian air force planes, jets flying overhead in formation, forming a heart shape, a giant valentine for egyptian society coming from the military. now, wolf, i've gone to the encampment, the protest sit-in of the muslim brotherhood. they're in the north of cairo. they're still sitting there defiant, vowing to fight back but only to use force if attacked, they say. and surrounded by a ring of steal of egyptian military armored personnel carriers and troops blocking some of the entrances to that area, allowing people in and out. i asked one of the spokesmen of the muslim brotherhood where is mohamed morsi himself? i believe we have some sound
from that interview we can play for you now. >> apparently they're still afraid of the muslim brotherhood. in hopes that if we show up to the next election we might win it. i wonder how they'll see that. >> reporter: they're as you cuesicue -- accusing the military of trying to dismantle the brotherhood. at least three tv stations shut down, some of the employees arrested from pro-muslim brotherhood tv channels. it appears security forces are very much cracking down on what up until 26 hours ago was the party in power in this country. wolf? >> is it fair to say and i know, ivan, you've been watching both sides of what's been going on, the pro and anti-elements, is it
fair to say what both have in common is a lot of criticism of the united states, especially the obama administration for the various positions its taken? are you getting a sense there is criticism coming from both sides to washington right now? >> absolutely. a lot of anti-american sentiment here in these anti-muslim brotherhood protests that we've seen here. a lot of the demonstrators accusing the u.s. of installing mohamed morsi as the president here, claiming the muslim brotherhood is some kind of american puppet. then you go to the promuslim brotherhood crowd and they are accusing the u.s. as being part of a plot to push him out of office. it's kind of a lose-lose situation as far as the situation in egypt right now. >> why do some of the anti-morsi elements seem to dislike the u.s. ambassador in cairo, answer
patterson, a career diplomat, so much? >> it's easy to misconstrue and take statements out of context. i think that she's come out and had a number of meetings with the muslim brotherhood which clearly one significant segment of egyptian society does not like. and there's a long history of very close relations between washington and cairo and the government here and the u.s. ambassador is seen very much as the face of the u.s. government in cairo. so it's quite natural for that ambassador to become a lightning rod for frustration with u.s. policy here. there is a lot of, how can i say this, you know, the anti-morsi camp here, the anti-muslim brotherhood camp is very prickley at any suggestion that what we've seen here in the last 26 hours is a military coup.
and they're very quick to blame the u.s. government for any suggestion that this could be a coup, even though we've seen the military rounding up members of the muslim brotherhood over the course of the past 24 hours and deposing the first democratically elected president of this country. >> given those hard feelings, it's totally understandable why officials here in washington at the highest levels are very nervous about that u.s. embassy in cairo, which is closed right now for a good reason, they've pulled out all nonessential personnel and they have the huge concrete blocks around the embassy. ivan, we'll get back to you and all of our reporters in cairo. stand by. thanks very much. just ahead, can egypt get back on the road to democracy after what is widely seen as a military coup? we're taking a closer look at what could happen next. and later here in "the situation room," other news. locked up in gitmo.
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just getting details on the president's meeting with his top national security advisers at the white house situation room. we got a photo that the white house has just released. you see the president sitting there at the head of the table on this july 4th. all of his national security advisers, you see chuck hagel, john kerry, the new national security adviser susan rice with her back to us, eric holder, the attorney general. there is enormous amount at
stake for the united states at what happens in egypt and the president has been spending hours focusing in on this crisis, as egypt struggles to find its way after what is widely seen as a military coup. the united states is moving quickly to try to take some actions but it's unclear where the u.s. will go from here. it's struggling to deal with this new reality. let's bring in cnn's fareed zakaria, the host of "gps" and is "time" magazine's editor at large. also joining us is fouad ajami. "i now call on the military to turn full authority back to a
democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process and avoid any arbitrary arrests of president morsi and his supporters." fareed, as you know, there have been numerous arrests today of morsi, top muslim brotherhood leaders and it looks as if this is a direct -- they're saying to the president of the united states, you know what, too bad. >> well, it points out how difficult it is to do a soft coup or a clean and surgical coup because coups are messy. you've got to deal with the people who are going to agitate against the coup and the muslim brotherhood has enormous power on the street. it can bring out millions of people. so the army is trying in some way there to prevent that organization from being able to contest this coup and bring out street protests. i think what president obama was trying to do was to say, look, if you've done, this the only way you can justify it is to say
that this was a step to restoring genuine constitutional order and genuine liberal democracy. well, that means you've got to move pretty quickly to writing a constitution, setting up elections in which everyone, including the muslim brotherhood, can participate. getting us back on track if you believe the morsi government and president morsi got us off track from genuine democracy. but right now the military does not seem to be doing that. you're right, wolf. i don't see it as a direct rebuke to the president but the president is right in this regard, which is if this is going to be seen as ultimately a path to genuine democracy for egypt, the military has to stop the arbitrary arrests, stop shutting down televisions stations and move to restoring constitutionalism, the rule of law and political participation pretty quickly. >> fouad, is the egyptian military together with the
minute have ministry interior, which controls the police think trying now to simply destroy the muslim brotherhood? >> it looks like it, it looks like it. this is interesting that somehow the military could pull off a coup and it would not be a could you, it would be a path to democracy. the militaries could things in if a military way. this is it. what we're witnessing today, it a very sad day for democratic change. think of whatever you think of the muslim brotherhood. the fact is this man mohamed morsi was elected by millions of people a year ago to the day and now you take him under protective custody. this reeks of the pass in the arab world. the first coup d'etat took place in syria. we thought we came to the end of the coup d'etats in libya.
it seems it is not dead and remains the favorite instrument of political change. >> if there are free and fair elections in let say the next nine months to a year and let's say some of the supporters to what has happened over the last 24 hours in egypt, will president morsi, his political faction, will they be allowed to run in those elections? >> if they're not, then the whole thing will be a complete sham and, frankly that, will be very dangerous. because the real story here is that the islamic political movement in -- not just in egypt but in tunisia, morocco and potentially jordan have been joining the mainstream and joining the democratic process. there are many parts of the islam being political movement that have been very distrustful of this. they've wanted something that doesn't reek of a kind of western style of government. the muslim brotherhood embraced non-violence and democracy. and so for them to be ruled out of this process would be very
dangerous. it might marginalize them, it might push them underground and it might push some parts of them toward violence. this is probably the single most important thing to see is that the muslim brotherhood is included in whatever democratic process is now reestablished in egypt. >> what do you make, fouad, this offer the egyptian president apparently gave president morsi, that they he could get free passage, they'd let him leave the country for qatar, turkey or yemen and he's rejected that. what does that say to you? >> why would they want to make their life so easy? this man has ideas, an activist. for the muslim brotherhood, there is all very familiar, prison, torture. that's what they experience. when you say to morsi and say
make a run for it, live in a nice village in doha, go somewhere else, it doesn't quite work. that's not what the muslim brotherhood is about. >> in our next hour, the ambassador will join us live in our next hour. guys, as always, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> when we come back, other news we're following including some new evidence revealed in the murder case against the former new england patriot aaron hernandez. plus a major heist at one of the most famous jewelry stores in the world, $1.3 million. and goods just walked out. you're going to find out how. you're in "the situation room." do you think you can get the same great prices all in one place with walmart's low price guarantee? let's see. ok. every bbq's got to have... chips! walmart's always working to lower costs so you get more savings. hot dogs! you're going to knock it out of the park. you found a lower advertised price but walmart will match that right at the register. that's cool! you don't even need the ad with you!
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here's a look at some of the other stories we're monitoring in "the situation room" right now. court documents reveal the search of an apartment leased by former new england patriot aaron hernandez uncovered ammunition of the same caliber that killed his friend. and also a sweat shirt matching the one hernandez was seen
wearing the night his friend died. >> and senator mccain is spending tonight in afghanistan. he tweeted this photo of he and lindsay gram with hamid karzai. the trip comes as the united states prepares to draw down its forces in the region. north korea has agreed to south korea for working level talks to reopen a joint industrial complex. the complex was shut down in may due to increasing tensions and north korea's warning of potential war. and take a look at this. shocking video of a sinkhole around 20 feet deep that opened up in toledo, ohio, swallowing a car with a woman inside. listen to one of the 911 calls that came in just as it happened. >> yes, a car just fell through
the street. a car just fell into the street on detroit and bancroft. the hole opened up -- >> okay, listen, detroit and bancroft. what kind of vehicle? >> i don't know. a tan malibu. it is in the hole. it sunk in. >> the woman was pulled safely from the car, reportedly without much of a scratch. officials blame an old sewer issue. >> up next, a former substitute teacher turns into a no-nonsense judge. you'll find out more about the woman who keeps the george zimmerman trial under control. and the police tasked with protecting our monuments can't even keep track of their own guns. that's coming up as well. but first, our own dr. sanjay gupta has a previous of "next
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are something to smile about. book a great getaway now and feel the hamptonality happening now, a dramatic day expected tomorrow in the george zimmerman murder trial with the prosecution expected to rest its case. will trayvon martin's mother be called to testify before it's all over? plus, locked up in gitmo. detainees there are trying to break their isolation. one actually signs a book deal, another has a pretty high-profile get this appearance on match.com. and we're waiting to hear from president obama live. he's going to be addressing the american people on this july 4th. we'll have live coverage coming
up from the white house here in "the situation room." i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." the george zimmerman murder trial is in recess on this 4th of july holiday, but first time tomorrow morning, 9:00 a.m. eastern the court will be back in session with a no-nonsense judge presiding. the defense has asked the judge, debra nelson, so they could depose martin family attorney benjamin crump but she wasn't having any of it. watch this. >> we certainly couldn't have taken mr. crump's deposition during the trial day. the court doesn't expect mr. o'mara and myself to leave the courtroom -- >> you've left for other reasons. but now i have a jury sequestered that are going to be off on thursday and you don't want court on friday. that's saturday, sunday. i'm not doing that. >> we ask the court --
>> end of discussion. >> end of discussion she says. she's tough. this isn't the first time judge nelson has given the attorneys in her courtroom a bit of a slap on the wrist. here's cnn crime and justice correspondent joe johns. >> reporter: judge debra nelson is a no-nonsense, 13-year veteran of the bench. >> may i finish? i will let you finish of course. former substitute teacher married to an engineer and best known until now for her tough 30 year sentence to a woman who pleaded guilty for kidnapping a 1 day-old baby from a hospital. >> our position is -- >> i understand your position. that's my rule persian guing.
>> can i respond further? >> no. i refer you to the rules. >> there's a lot going on with all the media and racial tensions. and to keep a tight courtroom is imperative. >> reporter: but she has a very different style from the judge in what was perhaps the most celebrated television trial of all. >> she's not lance ito from the o.j. simpson case. i think judge nelson has a firm control over this courtroom. she's very quiet about it. >> reporter: maria clash said she is more like the judge who presided over the casey anthony trial. >> she drops the hammer immediately and then she enforces her own ruling and doesn't let anybody fly around without a net. >> i will not have any speaking objections in the courtroom. >> reporter: still, she has made some controversial rulings,
including keeping out circumstantial evidence of character traits, such as a tendency toward violence of trayvon martin and george zimmerman saying they will not be part of the case. >> this judge was very firm. the defense cannot bring in character information on trayvon martin, specifically that he smoked weed, that he liked to fight and took pick tootures of fighting on his cell phone. but if the prosecution opens the door to george zimmerman's character, that stuff may come in later. >> reporter: nelson also ruled in zimmerman's defense by keeping the prosecutor witness from testifying that it was trayvon martin's voice on tape. >> it was a key part of the state's case. she's given to one, taken from another.
>> let's talk a little built more abo -- bit more about the trial. the prosecution getting near the end of its case. >> joining me is the founder of a public defender training program known as gideon's promise. thanks very much for coming in. what do you think, danny. how important will the testimony of trayvon's mother be, saying the voice on the tape was of her
son's. it's going to be the final witness the prosecution calls. >> it's no surprise the mother will be the last witness. she will be the most emotional. it's well planned out by the prosecution. they're ending strong with the science, which is very compelling to jurors who watch a lot of csi and then they move into the final haeart string tugger. the prosecution wanted to introduce science on the recording and that was denied. and now they've gone back to trayvon's mother to say i hear the voice, that's my baby. they've clearly saved the best for last. >> the defense is not going to cross-examination her. they don't see any point in doing that. what do you think? >> i think that's right. i don't know that it would make sense to cross-examine trayvon's
mother. she's going to be an emotional witness. i think the defense can save their argument for closing where they can really make clear that while this is his mother, she's never heard trayvon martin screaming in desperation. the voices on that 911 tape are not regular conversational voices. while i completely agree with danny that this is going to be emotionally impactful because it trayvon martin's mother, i think when it comes down to just really swaying the case, i really think in closing the defense will be able to show that this is his mother, of course she knows this is important and of course if asked her opinion she's going to say this is son, she's not going to say those are the voices, the screams of george zimmerman. she has a bias. i think that will be brought out in closing. i don't think it makes sense to try to touch that on cross-examination. >> i think you're probably right. danny, let's not forget that the six jurors are all women. and i think most of them are
mothers, who presumably, at least from the prosecution's standpoint, will be able to relate to this mother. >> yeah, well, there are many different theories about when it comes to jury selection and a lot of stereotypes that really should be disregarded when you're picking a jury. you should just go by your instinct and that individual connection with that juror. but there's conventional wisdom that females may be more prosecution biased. however, there may be in this case because this is a self-defense case, you could also make the argument that the female jurors will be more zimmerman biased because they are concerned about crime and they understand and maybe even prefer a neighborhood watch person following and calling 911. you can't make global predictions about jurors. it really comes down to the individual connection they have with that witness, particularly trayvon martin's mother. >> good point. how do you think the prosecution has done, jonathan, so far? and they're kp getting ready to
wrap up their case. how have they done oaf these first eight days or so? >> i think they came in with a really difficult case. i think in order to win this trial they had to hit home run after home run after home run. and i think unfortunately for the prosecution some of the evidence didn't come in so well for them. i think what it all really boils down to is what happened during those seconds on the ground, which no one really can testify to. and i think in fact some of the prosecution's witnesses proved to be incredibly good for the defense, witnesses that seemed to corroborate zimmerman's claim that he was the one on the ground, he's the one whose back is dirtier. i think the prosecution didn't hit the home runs they needed. they've done maybe as well as they could but i think at the end of the day it not going to be enough. >> is it likely or possible, danny, assuming they doesn't n'a
conviction on second degree murder, they could get a conviction on manslaughter, even though the prosecution didn't call for manslaughter? >> yes and here's why. there if they are unable to prove that malice required, that ill will, that hatred to support a depraved murder charge and if they disbelieve the defense theory, then the appropriate conviction could be manslaughter. however, they still need to meet that burden and get the jury to buy into those charges, which they must disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. >> guys, thanks very much for coming in. don't forget, 9:00 a.m. eastern tomorrow morning this trial resumes. we'll have coverage here on cnn. >> just ahead, as the americans crowd the national mall here in washington, a disturbing study says the police who guard our national monuments can't even
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as americans gather at the nation's historic landmarks on this july 4th holiday, disturbing inspector general's report reveals a u.s. government agency which is supposed to protect all of us can't even keep track of its guns. cnn's brian todd has details. >> reporter: wolf, as you can see all around me, this is a day when all eyes are on america's iconic symbols and monuments, tens of thousands of people flocking here to the national mall. but there are serious new questions about the police force that is supposed to safeguard these people. they're tasked with protecting millions of visitors to america's monuments each year but a new report says the park police does a lousy job of accounting for its own weapons. the interior department says they've lost track of thousands of weapons, rifles, hand guns,
machines guns. the report said they found credible evidence of conditions that would allow for theft and misuse of firearms. could the park police do a better job of inventory control of their weapons? yes. but are there guns out there on the streets because of their poor record keeping? no. >> there's no indication guns belonging to the park police made their way into the hands of criminals. but the report says that hundreds of guns that were supposed to be melted down never were and were unaccounted for and at least two officers took guns home without permission. the park police didn't provide anyone to go on camera and said chief chambers wasn't available but its overseer, the national park service, issued a statement saying it's troubled and disappointed by the report's findings, the director saying he has no tolerance for this management failure and he's taken immediate steps to order implementations of the report's
recommendations to tighten up the standards. >> every stick of am mo, everything is accounted for but it not accounted for in the national park service weapons intrentory computer system. it is accounted for internally. the. >> the park service would not respond to that assertion. it says a former park police chief carried a police-issued handgun long after he was retired, which he wasn't supposed to do and that it was confiscated later by another police official. the story identified the former park police official as robert langston. but when we caught up to langston -- did a former park police department official ever confiscate a weapon from you? >> no one ever confiscated a
weapon from me. >> reporter: when we asked the inspector general's office about that, they said they'd never seen langston's documents, that it was the job of the park police to account for that. the national park service didn't respond to that. >> brian todd, thank you. >> they're locked away in limbo but detainees are reaching out to the world through a book deal and a dating site. chris lawrence has the details. >> reporter: they're locked up behind bars but some detainees are finding ways for their words to break through the isolation of guantanamo bay. muhammed has been detained without charges for 11 years. he just inked a book deal, a few months after slate published some of his memoirs, he describes his sometimes brutal interactions with interrogators. quote, if you [ bleep ]ing fall
asleep, i'm going to hurt you, the guard said, welcome to hell. the book will likely include more descriptions like this, "the guard, quote, turned the air conditioning all the way down to bring me to freezing. he brought ice cold water and soaked me all over my body. it was so awful, i kept shaking like a park inson's patient." >> was it hard to get him to open up? >> no, it was getting him to stop talking tended to be the issue. >> reporter: morris says the detainee was wired into american culture and spoke fluent english. >> when he was asked to describe his interrogations, he said he couldn't remember all, it was like asking charlie sheen to remember all the women he'd been with. clearly they're attuned to pop culture. >> reporter: in more ways than one. >> first dates are more exciting than anything. >> hey! >> hi. >> the folks at match.com never
imagined their sites getting dates for detainees but this man says his attorney helped him set up a profile. cnn obtained handwritten letters saying "thank you for signthey that may be classified. how can my sign be classified? anyway, keep me updated on my winks. in another letter, rahim complains that america has too many reward cards and advises the u.s. to make one card for everything. >> something that a lot of us can probably identify with in other handwritten letters he challenges john stewart to a competition on satire, and complains that the cleveland plain dealer cut back its circulation to just a few days a week, saying look, i need the
media to get out here and this is not a good sign. so while these letters, these handwritten letters and writings are really their only way to communicate with the world, it is also our window to hear what they're thinking. and surprisingly, wolf, how much american culture they have absorbed. >> it is amazing what is going on. good reporting, thank you, chris lawrence at the pentagon. coming up, we have new information coming up in the "the situation room" about nelson mandela's situation. also, a heist at one of the most famous jewelry stores in the world. ♪ hey! ♪ ♪ let's go! ♪ [ male announcer ] you can choose to blend in. ♪ ♪ yeah! yeah! yeah! or you can choose to blend out. ♪ oh, yeah-eah! ♪ the all-new 2014 lexus is. it's your move.
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growing questions about the former south african president, nelson mandela after the release of a court document revealing his health declined so dramatically that his family was considering taking him off life support. cnn has more outside the hospital in pretoria, south africa. and what is the latest information we're getting? >> reporter: well, wolf, this new information is indicating to us that it is just how bad
things got at one point. i must stress that this court document is dated the 26th of june. that is a week ago. and at that time it states that mr. mandela's family was advised by medical experts at this hospital behind me in the capital, pretoria, that they should consider switching off his life support machine. and that the family was, in fact, considering that probability instead of, this document says, prolonging his suffering. of course, things may have changed between that time and now. and these are the questions that are being asked tonight here in south africa, as recently as today. mr. mandela's wife said that he was fine. that he may be uncomfortable at times but he is not in a lot of pain a lot of the times. they are denying reports that mr. mandela is in a vegetative state. this is what some media reports
are stating tonight. and stating, reiterating that mr. mandela lies critically ill in this hospital behind me but that he is stable, wolf. >> thank you very much, we'll stay in close touch with you, we wish only the best for this south african leader. by the way, we're waiting right now. the president of the united states is getting ready to address the american people on this fourth of july. you're looking at live pictures coming in, of the white house. we'll have live coverage. that is coming up at the top of the hour. i'm anxious to hear if he says anything at all about what is going on in egypt right now. the president of the united states, who spent most of the day working with his national security advisers on the crisis in egypt. he is getting ready to speak. we'll have live coverage. also coming up at the top of the hour, a new egyptian leader is sworn in. the former president mohammed morsi is under arrest. i'll speak live with egypt's
ambassador to the united states. plus, a heist at one of the world's most famous jewelry stores. the equinox in atlantis blue is mine! i was here first, it's mine. i called about that one, it's mine. mine. it's mine. it's mine. mine! mine. mine. mine. mine. it's mine! no it's not, it's mine! better get going, it's chevy's independence day celebration. [ male announcer ] the chevy independence day celebration. now, current chevy truck owners can trade up to this 2013 chevy silverado all-star edition with a total value of $9,000.
year before it first became our national anthem. but it is rare the top military brass is on hand to perform it. watch this. >> ♪ ♪ ♪ >> among those singing, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general martin dempsey describes himself as a rabid fan of the washington nationals. they went on to win the game over the milwaukee brewers, 8-5. on a more serious note, general dempsey spoke to cnn's candy crowley. you are going to see why the
united states and the egyptians have closer ties than in the past ten years, on cnn's state of the union. an alleged jewelry thief is accused of stealing $1.3 million worth of jewelry from one of the most famous jewelry stores in the world, tiffany. authorities believe it was all part of an inside job. cnn's mary snow has more details. >> reporter: audrey hepburn's breakfast there helped to immort immortalize it. tourists snap photos, but it is what happened on the inside that was shocking. federal prosecutors charged ingrid okun, who was stealing jewelry and re-selling it. saying as alleged, ingrid okun
went from a vice president of a high end jewelry company to jewel thief. she was arrested in connecticut. her attorney declined comment. prosecutors say that okun worked there until february, when she was laid off due to downsize in. as part of her job she had been allowed to take or check out jewelry from the store for work-related reasons. the problem, they say, was that more than 160 pieces never returned. and then there is a tiffany security policy that prosecutors say that okun would have known about. according to a criminal complaint, tiffany's only does a daily checkout on inventory that is worth $25,000 or more. the pieces alleged to have been taken were all under $10,000. prosecutors say everything from tiffany diamond bracelets to rings were re-sold to an unnamed
international jewelry company just blocks away. >> it is the center of the american diamond and jewelry industry. a place people would want to go to to sell a large amount of goods. >> reporter: he represents new york's famous diamond district, crammed with people selling precious gems. he says that safeguards are there to prevent thefts, but he says that insiders pose a greater risk. >> they may have connections with the industry, and they may have a better understanding how to get around the law. but later it will come out. >> reporter: exactly why it came out now is not crystal clear. tiffany's is not commenting on its alleged inside heist. mary snow, cnn, new york. happening now, president obama speaking over at the white house. what, if anything, will he say about the crisis in egypt? that country has a new interim president, largely unknown to washington, even to many
egyptians. we're investigating, and the candid interview with the ambassador, he joins us live this hour. i'm wolf blitzer, we want to welcome our viewers from the united states and around the world. you're in "the situation room." president obama now speaking at the white house on this fourth of july celebration. let's listen in. >> and now, 237 years later, this improbable experiment in democracy, the united states of america, stands as the greatest nation on earth. and what makes us great is not our size or our wealth, but our values and our ideals and the fact that we're willing to fight for them. a land of opportunity, a global defender of peace and liberty, a
beacon of hope for people who cherish those ideals. and we have earned it, you have earned it, because as part of a long line of folks to fight for those ideals, we have been able to not only preserve this union but also to spread this light elsewhere. you, the fighting men and women of the united states and those who came before you, you have played a special role. you have defended our nation at home and abroad. you fought for our nation's believes, to make the world a better and safer place. people in scattered corners of the world live in peace today, are free to write their own futures because of you. and we have got all of you here today. we have army, we got navy. we got air force. we have got marines.
we have got coast guard. and we have national guard. that is all right, national guard, we love you, too. and up here with me are incredibly capable and brave men and women from each service branch. and we salute you one and all. we salute our soldiers like specialists heidi olsen, who, when she was wounded by an ied in afghanistan gave life-saving treatment to another injured soldier and then another. she had to be ordered to stop and give treatment, and for her courage she was awarded a bronze star. give her a big round of applause. we salute our sailors, like petty officer joe marankowski, who serves wounded warriors in
their care and throughout their recoveries. thank you, joe. we salute our airmen, like staff sergeant adam ibarra, who helped save nine lives in 11 combat search and mission rescues in afghanistan in 2012. give adam a big round of applause. we salute our marines like corporal amber pheiffer, who was shot and attacked in helman province, who stayed on to serve as a drill teacher. and we salute our petty officers, he was one of the first to rescue a crew off the coast of north carolina when hurricane sandy struck and saved the lives of five mariners.
so every day, men and women like them and like all of you are caring for the ideals that inspired that american dream, 237 years ago. defending our nation, our freedoms, with strength and sacrifice is your daily charge. and it is the charge of all of us, the charge of all who served worldwide, including our troops that are still in harm's way and their families back home. they serve, too, and so we think of them. we pray for them. and on behalf of all americans i want to say thank you and wish you all a very, very happy fourth of july. you have earned it. so god bless you, god bless your families. god bless the united states of america. and with that, let me turn it back over to the marine band. >> the president of the united states, addressing folks at the white house -- all over the country on this july 4th
holiday. we'll continue to monitor what is going on over there. we know he spent much of today focuses on the crisis in egypt, although he didn't mention anything about egypt in his public speech just now. it is just after midnight in egypt, this is the end of the first full day of the post-mohammed morsi is era, and the country is facing a very uncertain future after the coup that ousted the first democratically elected leader. he met with members of the top national security team in the white house situation room. some of them have been talking to egyptian officials as the u.s. cautiously tries to adjust to the new reality in egypt. meanwhile, the head of egypt's supreme constitutional court was sworn in as the interim president of egypt. we'll take a closer look at adly mansour. we'll take a look at the closer
situation in egypt, as we bring you the latest on this fast-moving story with the enormous ramifications around the world. ivan, what is the very latest there? >> reporter: well, it is shortly after midnight here and the crowds of people celebrating the overthrow of the first democratically elected president of egypt, mohammed morsi. they are thronging in tahrir square, for the second straight night, firing fireworks. this is the beginning of the egyptian weekend, thursday night. that may contribute to some of the celebrations. meanwhile, the new interim president is sworn in. the former top judge in the land. and the muslim brotherhood, the supporters of mohammed morsi is, they are, of course, denouncing the ouster of their elected president. and they're accusing the military of trying to dismantle
the muslim brotherhood. there is a new boss in town, the egyptian military, back on the streets of cairo, forming a ring of steel around the protest camp of the muslim brotherhood in the north of the city. supporters of the deposed president mohammed morsi have gathered here, determined to defend the man, who until his overthrow wednesday night was the first democratically elected president of egypt. the crowd here has been chanting "down with military rule." and repeating another warning to the defense minister of egypt. they're staying here until the end. the brothers say they are the target of a military coup. >> in the beginning it was a military coup, now it seems to be turning into much more than a military coup. throughout the past night there has been very questionable
attempts by the military to dismantle the military. >> reporter: the opponents have moved swiftly against the brotherhood and the media. the headquarters are a burned out area. they drove to these stations, shutting down at least three tv channels and arresting some of their employees. as for the former president. what is the situation right now of mohammed morsi himself? >> we have not spoken with him, we have no direct lines of communication. as far as we know he was taken to the republican guard headquarters, and then after last night, he was moved to the ministry of defense and separated from his presidential team. >> reporter: as the egyptian army made its show of force wednesday night, some soldiers made a show of their beliefs.
>> what the people want is what will happen. we are the only source of legitimacy at this moment. >> reporter: the protesters yelled traitors, and stand guard at their makeshift gates. what was the party in power is now forced to take shelter behind weak barricades. wolf, the muslim brotherhood are vowing to fight back using legal means. they're also calling for marches on friday, the muslim holy day of the week, march marches for they call legitimacy. they say they will only use violence if attacked. >> right now it looks like the
state-run militaredia, they're on board, is that right. >> reporter: it seems there is a real shift in the media. and we're seeing huge displays coming from the military that are really striking today. air force jets from the military, flying maneuvers in the air. a giant valentine to the egyptian people as the jets made with the vapor trails. a huge heart in the sky. also, the colors of the egyptian flag. and i saw people cheers on the ground, of course, there is a huge love affair between parts of the egyptian society and the egyptian military in the wake of this move. a lot of disputes as to whether or not this is a military coup. it does appear to be a coup when you look at the significant crackdown on the leaders of the muslim brotherhood, and their media outlets. but it does seem to be a coup
that has substantial popular support. wolf? >> certainly does, all right, thank you very much for that, ivan watson, and the crowd getting enormous behind you in tahrir square, even though it is midnight in cairo. up next, was what happened in egypt a coup or not? this is a very, very sensitive subject, a lot of debate going on. we'll show you why the distinction is so important. and we'll also talk about the rapid developments unfolding right now. the egyptian ambassador is standing by to join us live this hour right here in "the situation room." just by talki. it grabbed the patient's record before we even picked him up. it found out the doctor we needed was at st. anne's. wiggle your toes. [ driver ] and it got his okay on treatment from miles away. it even pulled strings with the stoplights. my ambulance talks with smoke alarms and pilots and stadiums. but, of course, it's a good listener too.
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legitimacy, legitim o . the dictionary defines coup as a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics, especially the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group. but president obama seems to be going out of his way not the use the word "coup ". his top administration officials voiding the word, as well. and the officials are concerned. jake tapper takes a closer look at why. >> reporter: as the protesters roared in tahrir square in egypt, president obama and his top advisers were hunkered down in the situation room monitoring it. >> we're monitoring it very closely, and continue to believe that of course, the egyptian people deserve a peaceful, political solution to the current crisis. >> reporter: hours after
egyptian president mohammed morsi was removed from power by the military, president obama released a carefully worded statement. and what he did not say might have mattered most. he avoided using the word "coup." he didn't call on the egyptian military to restore power to the democratically elected civilian government, but rather to aid democratically elected civilian government. in other words, not necessarily president mohammed morsi's government. the president has yet to appear before the cameras or comment publicly on this middle east situation. but back in september, the president highlighted the rocky relationship with the morsi government in an interview. >> i don't think that we would consider them an ally. but we don't consider them an enemy. >> reporter: the thinking of the president now, according to a knowledgeable source is that while the administration is not explicitly supporting the removal of morsi from power, they hope they can push the
military in a new direction. if the president had used the word "coup" there could be legal ramifications, regarding aid. as cnn explained. >> if this were to be seen as a coup, then it would limit our ability to have the kind of relationship we think we need with the egyptian armed forces. >> reporter: currently the u.s. gives $1.5 billion to egypt annually, mostly in military aid. in his statement, the president said he directed a review of the implications under u.s. law and our assistance to egypt. could that aid disappear? he never says, he just raises the subject and then leaves it there. and that may just be the point, to push the egyptian government to hold new elections as soon as possible, the process, that would include the supporters of the muslim brotherhood. so while what happened in egypt fits the definition of a military coup, don't expect to
hear that four-letter word from president obama. or at least not yet. >> and wolf, all of this hedging by the administration may not matter much to the anti-morsi crowds in the streets. they viewed the relationship between the white house and the egyptian government as far too cozy, which is why anti-american and anti-obama signs popped up. >> seeing both sides there, unfolding in the streets of cairo. are not very happy with the u.s. policies. all right, jake tapper next, he is a mystery to many both inside and outside the country. brian todd is standing by with a closer look. and more countries refuse asylum to the nsa leaker, edward snowden, but one country could actually offer him citizenship. ♪ this summer was definitely worth the wait. ♪
president, adly mansour, who was just sworn in today. he just became the head of the new constitutional court. but to many people inside and outside of egypt, he is something of a mystery. cnn's brian todd has been taking a closer look at the new president. mansour. tell us, brian, what you're learning. >> adly mansour, from what we're learning, may not be ready for the world he is thrown into. he has never held a political post and may be too nice a guy for this job. >> i would like to congratulate our armed forces. not exactly the words of a man who will shake things up. and that may be precisely why egypt's military picked adly mansour to be the country's interim president during this frightening time. does your friend have a job you would want? >> absolutely not, short term, i think it will be a headache.
>> reporter: nathan brown, a professor, has known mansour for about 20 years. he and others say he is a figurehead, a powerful source for the egyptian military. he could also serve the military's purposes. a married father of three, mansour cut his professional teeth inside egypt's judicial system and spent the last 20 years in the supreme constitutional court. elevated to chief justice only in recent days. in that sheltered world it is almost impossible to assess a judge's political leanings. >> unlike our courts, they issue judgments as an entire body. so we don't know how justices voted. >> but he says mansour doesn't even like to talk politics. >> very, very reserved. >> is he a lamb getting thrown in with the lions? could he just be eaten alive in this situation? >> well, in a sense, yes, but
nobody is asking anything else from him, other than to stand at the helm and put his seal of approval on what is negotiated elsewhere. >> reporter: still, brown says, mansour will have to maintain an even keel in one of the most cutthroat political machines, and he has a tough set of challenges, to sign off on another set of rules. to decree what egypt's basic law is and to be a strong symbol to unify the country. >> unifying the country, that is something that people right now would see it as impossible. can he do it with his personality? >> no, i don't think he can do it right now. the muslim brotherhood feels they have been cheated out of their democratically won office, so there is no way he can reach out to the brotherhood. >> but brown says that mansour can set the tone, and lessen the acid rhetoric and try to offer the muslim brotherhood a legitimate path in egypt's
future. and brown says that mansour has already tried to do that. >> but it will be hard with mohammed morsi, other leaders of the muslim brotherhood, in prison, or at least under house arrest. >> and that will be one of the toughest parts here, because of the fact that morsi and some of the key leaders of the muslim brotherhood are put under house arrest. and are being held. getting them back in the poll bottom community would be the most difficult. he will need to be the mediator between them and the military. >> thank you very much. coming up next, here in "the situation room." the egyptian ambassador to the united states. he is standing by to join us live. we have lots to discuss. one question i want to ask him, has he spoken to the new president just sworn in? plus, surprising developments in the case of the girl who disappeared just six years ago.
madeleine mcc . elected leader's overthrow, and we're seeing reports of mass arrests, egypt, ambassador to the united states is here in "the situation room." plus, developments to the tiny country, offering hope to the u.s. leaker, edward snowden. plus, technical difficulties causing a problem in a serious trial. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." a day of fast-moving developments in egypt, where state-run news agencies are reporting that the deposed president, morsi, is now under
investigation along with dozens of members of the muslim brotherhood party. they reportedly are barred from leaving the country. and party members have been arrested by security forces. cnn's senior correspondent is in cairo, watching all of this unfold. what is the latest, ben, that you're seeing? >> reporter: well, what we're seeing is that cairo on a thursday night is celebrating more than usual in tahrir square. once again, jam-packed. the celebrations continuing. of course, the city is bracing for the possibility of trouble tomorrow. the muslim brotherhood supporters will be holding demonstrations and marches in the city. we've heard of clashes in the delta, where according to some media reports as many as two people have been killed. there were fights outside cairo university, as well, wolf, between supporters and opponents
of muslim brotherhood. but by and large, when you go around cairo it is surprisingly normal after just one day, after what some people call a coup, some call a revolution, i'm calling a coup illusion. >> all right, fortunately the violence has not really grown, relatively quiet right now. let's hope it stays right now. let's get more with egypt's ambassador to the united states, mohammed tafik, you're very happy about what happened? >> i think egyptian people have will and will carry out it peacefully. >> you served under president morsi, what was the problem with him? >> i think president morsi was not able to be the president for all egyptians.
he basically addressed his own group. he was unable to convince egyptians that he was linked for their good. and in the end, the vast majority of the population could not continue under his rule. >> but he was democratically elected? >> that is true, and at first, we all had very high hopes. we wished success for president morsi. unfortunately, he was unable to forget his past as a member of the muslim brotherhood. he continued to operate in exactly the same way. he did not open up to the different parts, the different groups in egypt. he only looked at his own group. >> but they took this constitutional step and removed him from power. i know you don't believe this was a coup. but a lot of other people say this seems to be a coup.
why do you believe this was not a coup? >> well, let's look at the facts. you had very large numbers of people demonstrating against morsi. you had close to 15, maybe more than 15 million people in the streets and squares. and then, the president at the time, he had the choice. he could have said i hear you. and i'm going to talk with you. and i'm going to do what you want. but instead, what he did, he started mobilizing his own people. and together wind advisot with muslim brotherhood leadership, what happened is they were actually inciting their people, their supporters, to violence. so egypt, as a country, was facing a very serious situation. >> will morsi remain under arrest? will his supporters in the muslim brotherhood remain under arrest? will their news media, the
muslim brotherhood news media organizations, will they are silenced? their leaders under arrest? what is going on? >> first of all, regarding putting people under arrest, that is a legal issue. we have been very unhappy with president morsi's neglect of legal matters. he has not been adhering to orders by the courts. and now we want to go back to good legal practice. >> you're the ambassador to the united states. and you're in touch with u.s. officials here in washington all the time. you saw the president's statement that was released last night. and in that statement, he said i now call on the egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return the government back through a transparent process and to avoid any arrests of morsi and his supporters. but there have been a lot of
arrests since this statement was released. >> not a single arrest will be made in an arbitrary way. this will be in accordance to the law. people who are suspected of having committed a crime will be dealt with, with correctly. and with due process. >> what is the crime that president morsi committed? >> i don't know, this is something that we're going to have to see. >> what about the other muslim brotherhood leaders? are they suspected of committing crimes? >> well, we have to wait and see. i'm sure that in due time the public prosecution will give us all the details. right now, what we have seen, what we have seen in the past few days is clear cut, incitement to violence. >> have you been in touch -- have you been speaking to u.s. officials here in washington in the past 24 hours? >> yes, i have. >> and what is the message they say to you? >> the message they say is what they have been saying all along. they support egypt's democracy,
they support, they want to see egypt succeed as a democratic state. and that is exactly what we feel the egyptian people as a whole feel. and so we are going to work towards that objective. >> we know what the public statement that the president released last night, but in private are they saying anything at all critical to you about what has happened with the egyptian military and what it has done? >> well, the egyptian military has not done anything. >> but what has the white house or the state department or the defense department, i know you have good relations with all of them. have they raised any concerns, direct concerns in the conversations with you? >> the issues we discussed are how to make egypt succeed. and i think we all agree on that. we want to have a true democracy in egypt. the time for exclusion is over. we want an exclusive system, democratic system that respects human rights. that respects minorities, that respects women. and that is why the egyptian
people had the revolution. >> as you know, i went to cairo early january of this year to interview president morsi. and we did a long interview. and he told me flatly in that interview he was invited to come to washington to meet with the president of the united states. and he would be here, he said -- this is early january, by the end of march. obviously, that never happened. what happened? what was the problem? >> well, i don't know, as far as i know i was not aware that president morsi had been invited to come to washington on a specific date. >> there were no specific dates, he told me. but he was convinced he would be here in washington, he said we'll have dinner. we'll get together. he would be here in washington by the end of march. here is my speculation, and you tell me if you think it is on base or not. in the -- after that, all of a sudden, this whole uproar developed about what he had said a few years earlier when he was the leader of the muslim
brotherhood, when he said that jews came from pigs and apes, you remember that? >> of course. >> and the videotape came out, and he really didn't back away. and he said it was -- it was obvious, he said that jews were from pigs and apes. they were not about to walk away from comments like that. you're familiar with that whole uproar? >> of course, i am. this is exactly what i would say. president morsi did not manage to get away from his muslim brotherhood past. he remained part of the muslim brotherhood. and he remained dedicated to the muslim brotherhood, and was unable to perform his duties as president of all egyptians. >> here is the question, did officials say to you he is not coming because he is not rejecting those comments about jews being descendents of pigs
and apes? >> this is not the time of language you use in diplomacy. >> i know it is not, it is awful, but did they raise -- >> oh, yes, everybody said. >> what did they say? >> basically, they had serious concerns with that. >> and they said that basically morsi is not coming to washington, as a result of that? >> no, as i said before. there had been no date set for morsi to come to washington. there had been hopes. >> there was a lot of talk in the interview that i did, we spent more than an hour or two together. he kept talking about, he will be here by the end of march. it never happened. and that is what people said to me, it never happened in part because of those comments that he didn't back away from. all right, so what is going to happen next in your opinion? because let's look ahead. egypt and the united states have a critically important relationship. the president, in his comments yesterday, he did raise the issue of u.s. law. if they determined this was a coup they may be suspending a
billion and a half dollars in largely military aid to egypt. what is your position here on that? >> well, i think there is a broad agreement in egypt between the different political parties. between the religious leaders. everybody agrees on the road map ahead. first of all, we have to start working towards presidential and parliamentary elections. this is what we wanted all along. we also have to work on national reconciliation. we don't want to exclude anyone or repeat the mistakes made by the morsi government. we want egyptians to feel that they have a stake in the success of egypt. and once we do that, we are going to go on the right track and we're going to achieve our people's aspirations. >> mr. ambassador, good luck to you. good luck to all the people of egypt, this is a critically important issue. egypt, the largest of all the arab countries, important in the
region and important worldwide. certainly, this u.s.-egyptian connection is critically, critically important. but hopefully it will turn out okay. >> thank you very much, and happy fourth of july. >> thank you, very much, mr. ambassador, we really appreciate it. >> up next, massive military aid to egypt. we're looking at the crisis and what impact it could have on the u.s.-egyptian military to military connection. also, horror stories emerging from the so-called no-fly list. innocent american civilians locked away, sometimes for days. "and one of the most efficient trucking networks," "with safe, experienced drivers." "we work directly with manufacturers," "eliminating costly markups," "and buy directly from local farmers in every region of the country." "when you see our low prices, remember the wheels turning behind the scenes,
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descendent, descend the crisis in egypt puts close ties and more than a billion and a half dollars in u.s. aid to egypt on the line. and most of that military assistance. our cnn correspondent, chris lawrence, has more. >> reporter: well, the relationship between the egyptian and u.s. militaries may be the strongest of any ties between the two countries.
we've learned that they have made calls to the egyptian counterpart over the last week, asking them to protect americans in egypt, stay away from violence and letting them know that the u.s. does not want to take sides in this crisis. the army that overthrew egypt's first democratically elected government was largely built and trained by the united states. it is estimated the u.s. bought 80% of egypt's weapons, including 100 tanks just this year. the pentagon helped to train egyptian troops in joint exercises like these. >> and then maybe we can transition to a blocking machine. >> reporter: so far this year, the u.s. has sold 12 f-16s to egypt, another eight are scheduled for delivery. in the last 30 years, the u.s. has sent more foreign aid to egypt than any country, except israel. that money bought passage through the suez canal, and
personal relationships with egyptian officials. top pentagon officials have had at least four talks in the past week with the egyptian counterparts, letting them know they are not taking sides in the crisis. >> but there will be consequences. >> reporter: in an interview with cnn's candy crowley, general martin dempsey warned that if the egyptian military were to remove the civilian government, billions of dollars would be at stake. >> if this were seen as a coup, it would limit the type of relationship we think we need with the egyptian forces. >> reporter: u.s. told cnn they could still talk with their egyptian counterparts, and dempsey was only referring to aid with dollars attached. john kerry signed off on $1.5 billion in aid. and the united states is scrambling to figure out if they may have to cut it off. >> it is premature to suggest we
cut it off, we are taking steps. >> whatever happens it will l e likely not affect the soldiers deployed to the sinai peninsula this summer. they are going there as observers in part of the peace-keeping force to keep peace with israel. and because they're part of an independent international group, it is not directly tied to u.s. aid, wolf. >> interesting point, thank you, very much, chris lawrence over at the pentagon. coming up, there is now new hope for edward snowden, the u.s. leak. and a man who spent time locked up with roaches, all because of his name. [ male announcer ] you wait all year for summer. ♪ this summer was definitely worth the wait. ♪ summer's best event from cadillac.
today france and italy joined the list of countries that won't take in the u.s. leaker edward snowden. those are the countries in red. the countries in yellow are the ones still considering snowden's request for asylum. however, he may have another chance right now with iceland. he's apparently officially applied for icelandic
citizenship and a lawmaker there has introduced a bill to grant him that citizenship. the bill's fate appears uncertain right now. the u.s. government's secret no-fly list is the target of a new lawsuit filed on behalf of people who found out the hard way they have the same name as someone on the list. as cnn's renee mar shows us the hard way only begins to describe the nightmares they've been going through just because of their names. >> wolf, here's the controversy. if you're a traveler, you may not know you're on the no-fly list and there's no official way to find out. because of that the aclu is suing on behalf of americans who can't fly and the u.s. government won't tell them why. abe mishal, a husband, father and former u.s. marine says he's no terrorist, but he was stopped at chicago's midway airport in 2010. >> i was surrounded by around 30 tsa and chicago police, and she told me that i was on the no-fly list and the fbi was on their way to the airport to speak with
me. >> questioned for hours and then released, he was never allowed to board his flight to washington. another american citizen, 29-year-old medical student rayhan mottwala says he was stranded overseas when he was detained in a roach-infested detention center in thailand for more than a week. officials there detained him after he refused fbi questioning without an attorney. in late june he was allowed to fly home. in both cases the men say they don't know why they weren't allowed to fly. the government won't talk about specific cases, but the fbi's website says if watch lists weren't secret, terrorist organizations would be able to circumvent the purpose of the terrorist watch list by determining in advance which of their members are likely to be questioned or detained. even after the fact, mishal has still not officially been
informed he's on the no-fly list. he was told that by an airline employee. >> being a former united states marine, being on a list like this is just completely crazy. >> the government's position here is truly outrageous. it's saying it can put americans on a blacklist of suspected terrorists that bans them from flying and that when they ask the government for the explanation they need to correct the errors or the misunderstandings that led to that deprivation that they can respond with letters that say nothing. >> letters that say they can't confirm or deny an individual is blacklisted from flying, but acknowledging they've reviewed the case and made corrections where necessary. the american civil liberties union has taken the issue to federal court suing on behalf of 13 american, four of them veterans who say their names are on the no-fly list. >> we're not asking the government to send a letter to a known terrorist in afghanistan saying, listen, we've put you on the no-fly list. what we're saying is that when
americans have already been denied boarding on planes and they get an explanation. >> reporter: as of october 2012 there were 20,000 people on the no-fly list. fewer than 400 are u.s. citizens. as for mishal he says he hasn't flown in three years, missing a wedding, a graduation and a funeral. neither man knows whether they remain on the no-fly list. really, the only way to find out is to buy a ticket and try to board. meantime, mishal says the fbi offered him a way off of the list by becoming an undercover informant. we reached out to the fbi. no comment about that allegation. wolf? >> what a story. thanks very much, rene. rene marsh reporting. let's take a look at the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. south africa's government today denied reports that nelson mandela is in a so-called vegetative state.
the former president remains in critical, but stable condition. however, court papers released today filed more than a week ago say the mandela family was advised to take him off of life support rather than prolong his suffering. there are surprising developments right now in the mysterious disappearance of a british girl during a family vacation in portugal back in 2007. british police say they believe there say possibility madeleine mccann is still alive and they've identified 38 people of interest as they describe them they want to question. the george zimmerman trial is taking the day off, but our jeanne moos is not. her take on the trial's technical troubles, that's next. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion.
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or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history. and find an arthritis treatment for you. visit celebrex.com and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion. visit celebrex.com and ask your doctor about celebrex. we know it's your videoconference of the day. hi! hi, buddy! that's why the free wifi and hot breakfast are something to smile about. book a great getaway now and feel the hamptonality the healthcare law gives us powerful tools to fight it... to investigate it... ...prosecute it... and stop criminals. our senior medicare patrol volunteers... are teaching seniors across the country... ...to stop, spot, and report fraud. you can help. guard your medicare card.
don't give out your card number over the phone. call to report any suspected fraud. we're cracking down on medicare fraud. let's make medicare stronger for all of us. the george zimmerman trial picks up tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. eastern when the prosecution is expected to begin wrapping up its case by calling a family member of trayvon martin, possibly his mother, to the stand. we'll have live coverage. the attorneys in the george zimmerman trial may know the law, but as cnn's jeanne moos shows us, when it comes to computers, let's say they're technically challenged. someone should plead guilty to a
technical fiasco. it started with one ping. >> do you remember -- >> and ended with a task aid. that left even the witness laughing. >> one of george zemerman's former professors was testifying via skype when a prankster started calling in. >> go ahead. >> okay. >> could you repeat the question? >> the skype names of the callers kept popping up on the screen. >> start again, please. >> and i'm only laughing because i've had this happen to me before. >> not in the middle of a blockbuster nationally televised trial. >> look at that screen there. >> they kept trying to decline the call, but it was like playing whack a mole and then came a classic understatement from zimmerman's defense
attorney. >> there's now a really good chance that we're being toyed with. >> you think? >> apparently whoever set up the skype wasn't aware and neither was i until about ten minutes ago, that skype has a do not disturb mode that would have prevented this. twitter accounts surfaced with names matching those that interrupted the trial. one salman apologized saying i am so sorry for that. i didn't know he was on the tv. while a second salman called the first one fake. it wasn't you, bro. >> the judge got cross. >> turn down the volume and hang up the phone. >> okay. that didn't work. >> when they finally gave up on skype and switched to an old-fashioned speaker phone, even that was a challenge. [ indiscernible ] >> order in the court. order up some tech support so we can at least see the witness? >> jeanne moos, cnn -- >> even you're laughing. >> no, it's ridiculous.
>> new york. >> excellent, excellent word to describe that. >> that does it for me, i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. please have a happy and safe fourth of july celebration later tonight. the news continues next on cnn. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good evening. i'm randi kaye, coming up, a cnn special self-defense or murder, the george zimmerman trial. first, here's the news you need to know right now. president obama met today with his national security team in the white house situation room to discuss the ouster of egyptian president mohammed morsi. president obama urged egyptian officials to avoid arbitrary arrests of morsi and his supporters. he is detained at the ministry of defense. warrants have been issued for the muslim brotherhood. the south african government is denying reports that nelson mane