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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  February 10, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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very much. that's it for me. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." for our international viewers " "amanpour" is coming up next. for our u.s. viewers "newsroom" with brooke baldwin starts right now. hi there. i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn. thank you so much for being with us me. i want to start this hour with the heartbreaking news that an american hostage held by isis is dead. in one final and disgusting act, 26-year-old kayla mueller's family received a private message from isis with a chilling attachment pictures showing the body of this young aid worker who gave her life to help others. >> i am in solidarity with the syrian people. i reject the brutality and killing of the syrian authorities committed against the syrian people.
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>> kayla in her own words there. here's what we still don't know. we do not know how she died. the absence of any kind of brutal torture video would suggest that isis is still sticking to its script that kayla mueller was killed last week in a jordanian air strike on this building. it's a claim jordan vehemently denies calling it total propaganda. regardless of her manner of death, the u.s. is clear on one thing. isis is responsible. >> there's no evidence of civilians in the target area prior to the coalition strike taking place. and that certainly would call into question the claims that are made by isil. what is not possible to call into question is that isil regardless of her cause of death, is responsible for it. this after all, was the organization that was holding her against her will. >> cnn has now also obtained a letter written by kayla to her family in the spring of last
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year during her captivity. in it she claims she was not suffering. she was healthy. she even had put on weight. of course we don't know if this letter -- you see here her own handwriting. it appears kayla mueller hero faith she could get out. let me read part of it for you. she wrote, i do not want the negotiations for my release to be your duty. if there is any other option take it. even if it takes more time. this should never have to become your burden. none of us could have known it would be this long but know i am also fighting from my side in the ways i am able. i have a lot of fight left inside of me. cnn's ana kacabrera is in prescott arizona, the hometown of kayla's parents. obviously our hearts and prayers go out to this entire community including this mother and father. what are you hearing from her parents? >> reporter: heartbroken, brooke. there's no other word to describe what they are feeling
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here today. this is a family who has suffered in siebls for about a year and a half. they had to carefully, strategically endure excruciating pain in silence in the hopes that those actions would ultimately bring kayla home safely the 26-year-old who was captured back in 2013. sadly, this conclusion kayla's death, is worst-case scenario. her family and friends are expected to speak here in prescott her hometown sometime this afternoon, so that's why you see all these cameras set up behind me. they did put out a written statement just a few hours ago because they want to make sure the world knows their daughter and this incredible legacy she leaves behind. i want to quote a part of that statement. her family writes we are heartbroken to share that we've received confirmation that kayla jean mueller has lost her life. kayla was a compassionate and devoted humanitarian. she dedicated the whole of her young life to helping those in
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need of freedom, justice, and peace. kayla was drawn to help those displaced by the syrian civil war. she first travelled to turkey in december 2012 to provide humanitarian aid to syrian refugees. she told us of the great joy she took in helping syrian children and their families. now, kayla clearly showing through her actions her determination, her resolve to really make this world a better place. certainly she did that in her short time touching many many lives. her parents say they're extremely proud of her and they'll now work to honor her legacy brooke. >> incredible young woman. ana cabrera, thank you so much. joining me now, two parents all too familiar with the fear and pain kayla mueller's parents have endured. debra and mark have been hoping for the safe return of their son austin since he disappeared in 2012 reporting in syria. austin didn't shy from conflict zones. in fact he was at the center of
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the arab spring protests in cairo's tahrir square. he travelled to turkey made his way to syria in 2012 once embedding himself with a rebel group fighting to oust the assad regime and then soon after he vanished. more than two years later, his whereabouts are still unknown. debra and mark have given cnn permission to show this video of austin with his captors. this is the last time they have seen their son alive, and they're joining me now. thank you so much for being with me today. so important to have this conversation. >> thank you, brooke. >> thank you, brooke. >> i obviously want to ask you a lot of questions about your son in just a moment. first, just on kayla mueller, i know when one of my producers called you all this morning, we had planned to talk to you all before this news about her death from the white house and her parents broke. we broke the news to you. you've been in touch with the mueller family in the past. i mean clearly this is very
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difficult even for your family to handle. >> right. >> our hearts go out to the muellers and to everyone that loves kayla. you know we can't begin to imagine what they're going through. we just wish them all the best in the world. >> debra, let me go to you. let's talk about your situation with austin. i know he's been held captive for more than two years. unlike a number of other families we've talked about here you actually don't know who's holding your son hostage, is that correct? >> that's right. we do know that he is not being held by isis. the syrian government has told us he's not in any of their official facilities. so we don't know who's holding him. >> and you believe them? >> yes. we believe them. >> marc the last you heard
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anything about austin was actually directly from the people in syria on the ground there telling you your son is alive. as much as you can share with me, how were they able to prove that to you? >> well for one thing, the video was proof. that's the message that we took out of. that was the title of the video. austin tice is alive. since then we've heard from credible sources that he is alive and we should be patient. we're counting on him coming home safely. >> here's the thing that really just stuns me this frustration you all understandably have as far as communication goes. i've heard this from other people other captives who have been on my show. here you are, you're talking directly to the syrian government, and that's one direction of communication. then the other direction of communication is to the u.s. government. you know you're having to tell
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the state department some things. you're then breaking news to the fbi. sometimes the cia doesn't know what the fbi knows. isn't that part of this whole u.s. hostage policy review that you all are fighting for? >> exactly, brooke. you've got it exactly right. one main gap that exists in this policy is that there's no single person who had their sole objective the safest and soonest return of a hostage. the lack of interagency communication is appalling. and communication with the families is stifled by clearance policies and secret issues. you know as parents, we feel no one should have more information about our son than we do. that just seems the natural
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flow. >> yeah you know there's no question and i'll quote diane foley on this who's a friend of ours. you know we can do better. we've got to do better in doing everything that can be done to brick bring these amazing young people home safely. >> do you get the sense -- i mean i know the president asked for this hostage review last fall. do you get the sense it's moving in it the right direction, that some of the issues you have are being listened to and will be changed? >> yes, we do. in fact we were in washington last week. we met early last week with the team that's doing the hostage review. you know we came away from there feeling like they are committed and they are sincere and they're really making a thorough effort to understand the issues and where improvements can be made. so we're just hoping that, you know their recommendations get to the white house and are
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adopted because no families should go through a process like we've been going through. >> no no. 100% agree. i'm glad you feel this progress is happening. let me ask you about the issue of ransom. unlike some of the other isis hostages we've covered, a price has not been put on your son. if that were to happen you know the u.s. policy. the u.s. doesn't pay ransoms. let's say they take it a step further. we've heard, you know, that the government threat -- they'll sue the families for even trying to do that. as a parent, obviously you want to do everything you can. so what would to you in that situation? >> welt, il, i can tell you that we will do everything we possibly can to get our son home safely. and every situation is different. we don't believe black and white static rules are necessarily the best approach to these situations because they all vary
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so much. >> there's no handbook. >> there's no handbook. and there needs to be flexibility and pragmatism and creativeness around dealing with these situations. >> final word from you, debra, before i wrap this up? as a mother missing a son. >> well yes. i just want to say there are a lot of individuals in our government that have steadfastly worked with us. mclatchy news has been stellar in standing with our freelance son. our church the global community that assures us they're praying for austin and our family. so we do have many things to be grateful for. we have every reason to hope. and on this very sad day, we just want to say again that our hearts go out to the muellers
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and we are holding them up in prayer. >> right there with you, marc anne debra tice. thank you so much for the time. >> thank you, brooke. >> thank you, brooke. >> thank you. just ahead here on cnn, we are now getting word that isis is targeting more hostages. find out in which countries. plus murder charges in the case of the student from the university of virginia hannah graham. hear why prosecutors are sure jesse matthew is her killer. and police in ferguson missouri trying out a new device on their guns. it's a device we're told that isn't actually designed to kill. see how that works coming up.
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you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. we now know the man suspected in the death of university of virginia college student hannah graham has officially been charged. he's jesse matthew. he's been indicted on first-degree murder and abduction charges. hannah graham disappeared last september 13th.
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her disappearance made headlines nationwide. we've seen some of the surveillance video and heard from multiple witnesses, leading police to identify jesse matthew as the prime suspect in this case. he was take into custody in texas. he was on the beach just 11 days after graham disappeared. her remains were found in october, just a couple miles outside of charlottesville. today the prosecutor vowed to seek justice for the entire community there. >> the prosecutions for the abduction and murder of hannah will bring mr. matthew to justice for these crimes. crimes that were committed against hannah graham, against her family and against our community. >> we bring in a reporter with wchv radio. we knew the prosecutor pointed out that the jesse matthew was charged with first-degree murder not capital murder. do with ewe know why no death
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penalty here? >> we don't exactly know why. there was the press conference this morning where the prosecutor did announced first-degree murder murder charge. they were very quiet, but we know the family of hannah graham was notified about the state's decision. we do not know exactly why at this moment. >> okay. i know we've seen jesse matthew on those surveillance cameras, walking down the mall including one that showed him walking not too far behind hannah graham late that night. what other evidence do prosecutors have here? >> well there has been forensic evidence. we do know hannah graham was last seen with jesse matthew on the downtown mall here in charlottesville. he was last seen putting his arm around her, and he walked away with her. there has been evidence forensically linking him, dna evidence. police officers searched the vehicle. that led to a probable cause to search his residence. once they searched there, they left with bags of clothes.
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they do have evidence exactly linking hannah graham to jesse matthew. >> okay. we just may not know specifically what those pieces of evidence are. what about -- i mean there are so many other cases in virginia that people are wondering if they're linked to this man. there was that sex assault case from 2005 in fairfax, virginia. several other unsolved cases in the central virginia area. do we know, are there developments on any of those cases? >> well we do know that jesse matthew is charged with capital murder abduction with intent to defile in fairfax for a 2005 rape case which he's going to be on trial, it starts march 9th. he was charged with rape at liberty university. those charges were dropped. we also know he's been linked to the morgan harrington disappearance in 2009. that case is he forensically linked. he's currently a suspect. there's been no charges so far, but he is a suspect.
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forensically linked through dna. >> all right. thank you very much. just ahead here on cnn, hunting for new hostages. intelligence reveals isis plans to target and kidnap new victims beyond the borders of this war zone. and next we'll jump head first into this relentless winter weather slamming the northeast again and again and again. boston running out of places to put the snow. we're getting word of a roof collapsing and all kinds of eye reports. know diving, they're calling it. [ female announcer ] we help make secure financial tomorrows a reality for over 19 million people. [ susan ] my promotion allowed me to start investing for my retirement. transamerica made it easy. [ female announcer ] everyone has a moment when tomorrow becomes real. transamerica. transform tomorrow.
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boston massachusetts. i know you're so so tired of the snow. you're dealing with more than 70 inches piled up right now. more is on the way. it should be no surprise one of the most popular items today on boston.com is a breakup letter. let me paraphrase. dear snow i could say it's not
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you, it's me but that would be the biggest lie i've told. it is you. it is 100% you. now is probably a good time to tell you i've met someone. his name is spring. maybe next winter we can be friends again, but until then please lose my address. yours unfondly boston. it's a fun, light letter but when we're talking 70 inches this is serious, serious stuff. miguel marquez, let me bring you in. we've talked a little bit about the worries of roofs collapsing. case in point where you are. talk to me. >> reporter: we're right across the street from where one of these roofs collapsed. it's shut down the entire city. this is the problem. two feet of snow. that's the community center. you can barely see the sign. if you swing around this way, you can see just on the other side of the street there, this is a building that was built in 1859. the roof one side of it the wall and the roof have collapsed on to the building next to it. both floors the top two floors are a complete loss. fortunately, nobody was injured or killed in this thing.
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right now fire officials want to bring this thing down as quickly as possible. they have engineers on site so that they can figure out how to pull this thing down. what the fire department was dealing with before that collapse was this. fire hydrants getting them dug out. they're all over the area here throughout the entire city. and they're buried. if there is a bigger emergency here you obviously need to be able to get to these and get water to where they need it to go. so they were digging these out today. now they're trying to figure out how to get that building down. one of the concerns they have is one of the subway trains goes right underneath that building. they're not quite sure how they're going to bring it down. they have a crane on stand by. they have engineers here. and they expect by either tonight or tomorrow that building will be down because they don't want the snow that's coming this week to bring it down the wind they expect tomorrow, and the longer it stays there, the ice will form and become even heavier on that building creating a bigger problem. >> my goodness. the age, the history on some of
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these buildings in and around the boston area. miguel marquez, stay safe to all of you in the boston area. thank you. more on our breaking news right now. we have unfortunately seen what happens to hostages at the hands of isis. it's used as pure propaganda and ruthlessly these men and women are killed when it serves their purposes. kayla mueller is this latest victim. but she will not be the last if isis has its way. new intelligence shows isis is working on plans to kidnap more hostages, especially those from the west. the hunting grounds could be lebanon, jordan. cnn justice correspondent pamela brown is breaking some of this news for us. exactly how would isis carry this out, pamela? >> well according to sources, brooke we're learning that isis would actually want to go into neighboring countries are such as lebanon and jordan and go into refugee camps, perhaps, in
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order to kidnap westerners who may be volunteering there to help the refugees in those areas. this is really disturbing. we've seen how isis has used hostages westerners as propaganda, exploited their hostages. they have been developing plans, according to a middle east security source who told our paul cruickshank this. they've been developing these plans since the middle of last year since around the same time they began beheading the americans. james foley was the first one we saw. what we've seen up until this point is isis kidnapping westerners that were actually in syria. now it looks like they're going to develop plans to broad than out, go into neighboring countries to kidnap westerners. >> so if we throw the map up guys is it just sheer geographic proximity and that's why members of isis would go to neighboring nations lebanon and jordan? specifically it's the westerners they'll be after. >> well westerners international hostages. we saw what they did with the
quote
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japanese. i think they're really just looking for any hostages that they can exploit as propaganda brooke. but these neighboring countries, there's a lot of refugee camps there. humanitarian organizations are working out of there. a lot of westerners volunteering in those areas. so the concern is that isis militants would go into those areas, into those neighboring countries and try to kidnap westerners that they can hold hostage. >> that is incredibly frightening. pamela brown, thank you. coming up next a new weapon on the streets of ferguson missouri. see this device? police are testing it out. it would make their guns nonlethal. we'll show you next. plus, "nbc nightly news" anchor brian williams still under investigation by his own network. now we're learning network executives got a progress report. we'll have an update for you coming up.
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just past the bottom of the hour. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. the police force in ferguson, missouri is the first and only department in america now testing out this new gun attachment designed to subdue or even injure criminals but not to kill them. ferguson the site of riots that erupted last summer in the wake of a police officer shooting and killing that unarmed teenager michael brown. so this new device let me show you, this is called the alternative. it clips to the end of a police officer's gun. designers say it acts like an air bag for the bullet here lessening the impact but still inflicting a lot of pain. i'm told you actually have the air bag or piece of it. show me how this works. >> yeah, so you saw it there.
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it doesn't look like much. it's a little orange device. on the end of it you will see this. this is what deploys. you probably can't see this too well but inside this is a spent round. the bullet is inside of this. the bullet goes in here and this would travel and hit the potential suspect in the center body mass which is where police officers are trained to shoot when they're trying to shoot to stop a suspect. it is only one round. there's a lot of controversy over there, but as you mention, we did end up talking to officials in ferguson who said they are indeed the first to use this the first to test this at a department in america. you're seeing some of the video there of how it works. it takes just, you know a second or so to put this on to the gun. it is pulled from the belt, put on to the gun, and then it's fired. right after it's fired, if the suspect doesn't stop if this
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does not stop a suspect, then the officer, in a split second can start firing lethal rounds. bullets come right out. one of the controversies, of course over this is that departments are saying, you know there's always a time differential. we're always worried about time. could the officer be put in any danger? the company's response to that it two-fold. one, they say to get hit with this -- and it's kind of a golf-ball sized device. it's heavy, it's metal. it would feel like a major league baseball player hitting you in the chest with a hammer. so that's how the company describes what this would feel like to someone that gets hit by this. if that doesn't stop you, they have the option to shoot you with regular bullets. but of course brooke this is all in reaction. looking at this product, it's all in reaction to what's happened across the country since what happened in ferguson with the killing of michael brown. brooke? >> gosh i guess i have a lot of questions. it's like how many different steps and how much time it would
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take, as you point out. so much of the discussion has been the training of the officers. how would ferguson determine that the training has been quote/unquote successful so then perhaps other police departments would put this to use? >> that's a really good question. they've gone through several days of training. we know that happened last week. i was there and spoke to the mayor who said look everyone is talking about whether we're doing anything. they want to see us try different things. this is just one of the things that we're willing to try. no other department is willing to try it. we are trying it. we're going to test it. if it doesn't work out, we won't use it. if it does then this is an option. it is not a panacea. it's not going to fix everything. but it is an option and gives a suspect one last chance to live. then after that, the officer can, if they feel their life is in danger deploy their weapon regularly. but it's controversial because no other department is trying it. there's a great deal of push back from law enforcement saying this just doesn't seem like something that's going to work.
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and they're against it. they're worried about it. so there's a lot of controversy, but it is being tried. >> sarah, thank you so much. appreciate it. now to the investigation nbc is definitely not touting with pride here the one focused on its own "nightly news" anchor brian williams who admitted he misled the public on some of the details he gave on his iraq war coverage. nbc leaders got a progress report on that internal investigation under way. let's go to our senior media correspondent, brian stelter. before i ask you about that progress report there are new developments today about a meeting at an apartment of one of the execs. >> i can report that brian williams sat down with the head of all of nbc universal, the ceo. he runs all the cable channels all the broadcast stations that nbc owns. we don't know what the outcome of the meeting was. we know they left together and appeared knob eded to be in good spirits. this is significant because on sunday burke had an emergency meeting with his nbc news
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executive leadership at his apartment as well. so now we know basically this has reached the top of nbc with brian williams and the ceo. now we wait to see what happens. frankly, this looks pretty bad for brian williams. it's hard for me to imagine a scenario where this is going to end well for him. but anything is possible and very few people know what's actually going on. >> what's the progress report of this internal investigation? >> last night williams was not in the room for this but the guy in charge of nbc's internal investigation presented what he's learned so far to the nbc executives. they called this a progress report and he's not done yet. the timeline i'm told is sooner rather than later. everybody, i think, wants to get this cleaned up. it's been almost a week now. every day that goes on this is just a worse crisis for nbc news. i've never quite seen anything like this where the anchor has stepped aside for the time being. he says he'll be back but people aren't sure if he'll be back. meanwhile, as you know lester holt has started to fill in for brian williams. he did just fine last night. the ratings seemed steady.
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it wasn't as if viewers rejected him in the anchor chair. whether we like it or not, nbc is paying attention to that data right now. >> no matter where you work you have a lot of bosses. so who ultimately decides brian williams' fate? >> steve burke is the ceo of all nbc universal. he reports to the ceo of comcast, brian roberts. happens to own nbc and operates nbc news. brian roberts is the kind of guy who likes nbc news, appreciates having it. he just doesn't want it to be a distraction. he doesn't want it to be an embarrassment. right now this is an embarrassment for comcast. he's involved as is steve burke, the ceo of nbc universal. right now comcast is busy. they're trying to get a merge approved with time warner cable. they don't want this distraction. that's why they're trying to resolve this sooner rather than later. >> whatever that really i guess, means. >> a lot of people want brian pms williams to have a second chance.
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but can you imagine a situation where brian williams is across from a president or politician and challenges them on misleading statements? is he going to have any credibility to do that? that's what nbc is weighing those two sides. >> brian stelter, thank you very much. just ahead, charges dismissed. how the troubling allegations of domestic violence against a star nfl athlete quietly went away. did this just become roger goodell's new problem? we'll discuss that. >> also ahead, somehow the american hostage's letter to her parents was delivered. so who were the cell mates she mentioned in this hand-written note and who brought her letter home? stay here. [ male announcer ] we know they're out there. you can't always see them. but it's our job to find them. the answers. the solutions. the innovations. all waiting to help us build something better. something more amazing. a safer, cleaner brighter future. at boeing, that's what building something better is all about. ♪ ♪
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in our house, we do just about everything online. and our old internet just wasn't cutting it. so i switched us from u-verse to xfinity. they have the fastest, most reliable internet. which is perfect for me, because i think everything should just work. works? works. works! works? works. works. a judge has dismissed charges against carolina panther
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greg hardy after his accuser was a no-show. hardy, this guy here was convicted of attacking his ex-girlfriend in a bench trial last summer. according to court papers he dragged this woman, seen here after he was found guilty. he allegedly choked her, threw her on to a pile of guns bragging that they were loaded and at one point, hardy, according to these documents, said he threatened to shoot her if she went to the media or police. he appealed. he sought out a jury trial. that was actually supposed to start monday. now the charges have been dropped with many many questions as to why. in a press release, this is what the prosecutor is saying. quote, the da's office has also been made aware that the victim has reached a civil settlement with mr. hardy. what's more the da revealed investigators had a tail on holder to try to get her to come to court. he said without her, the case
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couldn't go forward. >> we encourage domestic violence victims to not only report incidents of domestic violence but to participate in every level of the prosecution. we need that participation in order to gain justice for not only the victims of domestic violence but for this community. >> let's talk about this with cnn's sports analyst christine brennan and stacy hanowitz a florida prosecutor. welcome to both of you. >> thank you. >> hi brooke. >> stacy, you're up first. my first question is just simply legal. so they've reached this settlement. does that mean that this ex-girlfriend, this accuser would have had to have physically been in this jury trial, would have had to have testified? >> well prior testimony is used in a number of cases. in north carolina you have to vouch for the person's credibility once that prior testimony is moved in. in this case i don't know if they made an attempt to use the
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prior testimony or if they could vouch for her credibility. it appears to be that they didn't have the transcript at the time of the original trial. they started comparing some things and there were some inconsistencies. with regard to, you know did he pay her off not to come to court, certainly it's an ethical obligation of the prosecutor even if money is accepted before hand we still go forward. in this case they made every attempt to get in touch with her. it's my understanding she wanted nothing more to do with the case. they felt as though they needed her. >> here you have this football player. we know didn't end up playing last season. i think he was in for one game but he was paid in full all $13 million. we know officially the justice system has spoken. with the nfl, with this new policy if he's now been cleared legally, does the nfl have a leg to stand on here? >> absolutely it does brooke. in fact everything that people have been hearing about that we've been talking about the last six months about the nfl and its get-tough policy on domestic violence it's all
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going to be brought to bear now on this case and greg hardy. basically, robert muller and his reports, the investigation that came out last month, and the nfl is now saying we can do basically whatever we want to do. we do not have to tie our prosecutions our investigations and our punishment to the u.s. legal system. and in this case i think that's terrific. because if you look at what greg hardy allegedly did, found guilty of doing by a judge a year ago, terrible. it's worse than ray rice. it's worse than the elevator video. the totality of it is extraordinary, trying to choke her, dragging her around by her hair. it's terrible. the nfl now can actually mete out punishment in a big way against him. my question is why should he ever have the privilege of playing another down in the national football league? that's just my opinion. but the nfl, especially led by women leaders now, brooke will be making these decisions. and that is now new. that's new as of the last six months in the national football league.
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>> but christine, let me stay with you. i agree with so much of what you're saying given what i've read about this. when you're in the inner football circles or just chatting about next season the conversation involving greg hardy, it's not about sex abuse or victimization or accountability. it's about which team gets him. >> right. and that's frustrating. it's frankly disgusting. but that's our world, right. people love the nfl. the super bowl gets great tv ratings, the most-watched event ever. then of course we do care about domestic violence but it's as if people are saying not on sunday. don't bother me with it on sunday. you're right. now we're getting the football pundits coming into the mix. the difference is there are top women leaders now in the national football league who have been put in place for this exact purpose. and now this is the test case brooke. we will see if the nfl is going to do what we believe it will do and be really strong and tough on people who go slide through the justice system but now they have to deal with the nfl and its new tougher system.
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>> stacey moving forward final thoughts. sounds like the charges are dropped. >> listen it's very common. in domestic violence cases, it's a hand-holding procedure. women don't want to come forward. i see this every day. when they go to the police it's horrific acts that happen upon them and then late their decide not to go forward. nothing is going to change if they don't come into court and testify against the person that's done the victimization to them. so please even though we see this case and it's high profile, it should be a message for lots of women that these guys are going to go free if you don't come to court and you choose not to participate. >> stacey thank you so much. and christine, appreciate both of you. ahead, new revelations from one of president obama's former top advisers. the inner circle apparently had feared a terror attack at president obama's first inauguration. now we know what they did to prepare for that. stay with me. okay, listen up! i'm re-workin' the menu. mayo? corn dogs? you are so outta here! aah! [ female announcer
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used to be the good old days if you were single you'd walk into a bar, a restaurant scope out the spot next to the cutest prospect in the room.
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maybe your bestie would set you up on a blind date. no more. the latest installment of "love, inc. inc." >> it's kind of weird to believe that that code the ones and zeros, could significantly change the course of your life. from here it doesn't look like much but in some cases, that data could lead to love. >> we run all of their properties through our algorithm to decide who's the best for you and give a score. we show you the best people for you. >> those lines of code might not exactly look like your perfect match, but they're the formula for dating apps like hinge. how do you apply big data to love? >> we present you each day with a group of people and you say yes or no to each of them. and we can just learn those trends statistically to say, like oh people of a certain religion you always swipe left or you always swipe right based on their height or ethnicity or who the friend is in common or
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what type of job they have. >> it does seem a little funny or ironic you have these tech nerds. i envision the tech nerds in the hoodies playing cupid to a degree. >> yeah in a sense. in our tech pod back there, we have a board and we post photos of couples we've made. >> here's a surprising thing about dating apps. most of them aren't profitable. at least not now. it's match first, make money later. and yet, they have huge valuations. in december hinge got $12 million from investors, bringing them to over $20 million in funding. tinder is reportedly worth nearly $1 billion. tinder finds you options based on your location. swipe right if you're interested swipe left if you're not. and they just announced how they'll turn a profit. you guys are very much capitalizing on things we all do anyway which is kind of this fear of missing out, right? >> there's two things that our use verse always asked us for. you might accidently swipe
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because you're going too fast and you can bring that person back. and to change your location because a lot of people might commute to work. they travel to different locations. those we call tinder plus. that's a premium. >> match.com says 31% of u.s. singles met their most recent first date online. with more and more options, it's almost addicting. >> we do know people are addicted. the average users uses tinder for over ten minutes a day and swipes a lot. >> here's how biological an three polgs describes it. >> it's called dating overload. it's one thing you have to control, the addiction to keep on swiping. get to know somebody. you may well find the love of your life. >> do you ever feel like you almost have a responsibility when you're playing cupid? >> it's kind of crazy to think, like you know, people are getting married, having babies even and if we botched that
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algorithm, that baby might not have been born. >> that is the line of the day. >> look the good news is there's more options than ever. you have your smartphone which is the ultimate disrupter. you can literally swipe through people all the time. the bad news is sometimes people just keep swiping even if they're on a date or something and you have to be very very careful about it. you heard helen talk about people just not taking it serious enough because there's so many options. >> well that's the thing. it's almost like you're on the train, you see people doing this constantly. i know what you're doing. so it does make you wonder that you're not really thinking too much about who this person is what they're about to see if you're smoochable. >> i got the inspiration for this whole series because i was at a bar, and i saw these people that were clearly on an online date. she walked away to the bathroom and i could see him pull out his phone and start looking on tinder. i thought, oh my god.
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so we have to do this responsibly, if we're going to do it. but there's good news because a lot of people are finding their ultimate match on tinder on hinge, online. >> i was in one of my best friend's weddings thanks to match.com. we'll see you tomorrow for more on this all week long here on cnn. thank you. >> thank you. all right. top of the hour here. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. i want to begin with news no one wanted to hear. kayla mueller, the young american aid worker abducted by isis is dead. the family of the 26-year-old from arizona learning of her death in the most hideous way, an e-mail privately sent from isis with a chilling attachment. apparently photos showing her body. the body of the young woman who dedicated her life to helping others. how she ended up in syria explained in this youtube video. >> i am in solidarity with the