tv CNN Newsroom CNN March 12, 2012 11:00am-1:00pm EDT
i'm going to toss it to kyra phillips. >> isn't that all we do? >> we're just talking. what's wrong with that? >> guilty. >> thanks, carol. hello, everyone. i'm kyra phillips. the taliban want blood for the killing of 16 civilians, alleged by an army staff sergeant still in military custody. he turned himself in after the rampage. four afghan men t three women and nine children were killed. afghanistan's president calls it an unbelievable crime and they demand a public trial in front of the afghan people. president obama calls the killings tragic and shocking and vows to hold the killer responsible. the suspect is on his first appointment in afghanistan after several tours in iraq. a live report from kabul just moments for now. and it's a rainy monday in mississippi and alabama, including the park where mitt
romney appeared with comedian j jeff foxworthy. he learned to ay'all. he likes grits. now he's side by side with the most famous red neck. >> the fact that you would stand here in this pouring down rain to listen to the next president of the united states -- [ cheering ] >> meanwhile, rick santorum is coming off a big win in the kansas caucuses, aiming to symptom newt gingrich from building on his win in georgia on super tuesday. both men are fighting to be the more conservative alternative to front-runner romney. gingrich addresses an energy form in biloxi later this hour. gas prices back up again. the national price of self served regular shot up 3.5 cents over the weekend to $3.80 a gallon. a month ago we paid a mere $3.51. price of gas is said to be one
reason americans took 10.5 billion trips on mass transit last year. that's a 2% bump over 2010 and just short of the 2008 figure, when gas hit an all time hire. the pickup also gets the credit, since most people on buses and trains are commuters. another shocking report of a massacre in syria. opposition activists say 45 women and children have been stabbed and burned to death in the city of holmes. activists say the children were killed in front of their mothers and women and young girls were sexually assaulted before being shot and killed. this was in addition to the killing of 63 other people across the country yesterday. the latest came after talks between the u.s. special enjoy failed to come up with a plan for a cease fire. and the makers of the kony 2012 film about the african war lord are releasing a new film in response to the criticism over their approach.
joseph kony and his lords resistance army are accused of raping women and young girls and forcing boys to become child soldiers. >> there's nothing to hide. invisible children has been transparent since the 2004 when we started. we want to show this campaign is part of a strategy and model that's comprehensive and we standby it. >> critics have focused their attacks on children, the nonprofit film that produced the film, raising questions about its intentions and transparency. more than 26 years after space shuttle "challenger" blew up, another never before seen amateur video has surfaced. this one was shot on film, super eight, by a disney worker. he remembers the incredible sense of anticipation, he says, and the grasping for some sort of hope that someone survived. as you know, none of the
astronauts did. he dug out the film when another amateur video surfaced last month. now the case of the freaked out flight attendant. an american airlines flight was about to take off from ft. worth when one of the cabin crew seemed confused about where she was and told passengers the plane was going to crash. a scuffle broke out. two flight attendants were taken to the hospital. a passenger was spoke later with cnn. >> it wasn't until really she started trying to communicate with the other stewardesses and to the pilot that we knew there was a problem, and there was one instance where she actually started speaking in spanish. no criminal charges have been isfiled. and a new battle resumes in britain. the government there is said to be challenging a case brought by two british women before the european court on wrim's rights. they said the refuel sal to let them wear crosses is a violation
of freedom to manifest religion. uk officials disagree, saying the public displays of the cross are not a requirement of christianity. and it's the interview that whitney houston's fans have been waiting for. houston's daughter, bobbi kristina, opened up in an interview with oprah winfrey. bobbi kristina brown is the only child from the marriage to singer bobby brown. the teen says she's coping with the death as best as she can and talks about all the rumors. >> all that negativity, it's just garbage. that's not my mother:. that's not who she is. they just want to talk. they want to say what they want to say. they want to do whatever they want to do. in reality, i know who she was. her family knows who she was. you know who she was. >> she says she wants to follow her mother's legacy and become a singer. coming up, u.s. soldiers
alleged rampage. what this could mean for the mission in afghanistan. a live report from kabul is next ft. first two big moments in college sports. florida state coach leonard hamilton has not only achieved basketball history with fsu's first acc title, but he's also broken a racial barrier. it took 59 years, but coach did it. leonard hamilton is the first african-american to win the acc tournament. he knocked off duke and north carolina, beating two pour house teams. but coach, you said it best, you cracked into the echelon of such a rich tradition in the league. because of that you are today's rock star. good luck in the big dance.
at meineke i have options... like oil changes starting at $19.95. my money. my choice. my meineke. a u.s. soldier is accused of going house to house, killing 16 afghans, including women and children. the shootings took place in southern afghanistan. among the murdered, four min, three women, and nine children. the back lack from this could be deadly.
and afghan president karzai says what happened is unforgivable. this follows the deadly protest we watched unfold after u.s. troops burned korans after a decade of war in afghanistan, progress is being threatened there like never before. let's get to sarah who is monitoring the situation from afghanistan. sarah, any possible motive? >> reporter: at this point, they're not giving any information that there are some people talking about look into the mental health of this individual. this soldier, an army staff soldier who left around 2:00 on sunday and opened fire on civilians in villages that were about a kilometer to two kilometers away tr the base. a lot of questions as to how he got to the base, how he got that far, and that eventually came back to the base and turned himself in. that's the information that we have on that.
we've been seeing gruesome im e images come in from the villages that were affected. two villages were affected. we're hearing from villagers who were witnesses to all of this, for them saying a soldier came in, yanked them by the hair, shot them in the doorways. there was blood on the floors and wars of a home. we saw pictures of a baby lying in between two dead men, that baby is also dead with blood splattered on the child's head. some gruesome images, and a lot of anger coming from the villages where this happened. >> how will this move forward with regard to justice? i know there are calls this that soldier, indeed, others were involved to be braug before the afghan people and tried. >> yes. the afghan lawmakers, a closed parliament today in protest of what's happened there in the pern part of kandahar.
and they also called on the u.s. government to consider having this person or whoever is responsible for this, try right here on afghan soil so it's a lesson to others. and that's the way they have put this. whether or not that would happen. it certainly wouldn't be protocol, but the full investigation is under way. that will include afghan officials looking into this. we know that both afghans and the u.s. and nato allies are on the ground trying to ascertain what happened. we heard from isap that this was only one soldier acting alone. there was no mission going on in the area. villagers heard from more than one soldier in the area when it happened. they are questioning the statement that there was only one person involved in this. there was a bit of conflicting information there. the afghan government is very upset about this and calling for a public trial the be held here
on afghan soil. >> could this impact the u.s. mission in afghanistan? >> absolutely. there's a fear that there's going to be violence against both soft targets and perhaps bases. there's certainly been increased security at bases and other areas. and there is a fear that this is going to further unravel or at least inflame the tensions that had already existed, especially after last month's burning of the korans by u.s. troops. so they did it mistakenly. it happened there where 40 people were killed, including several u.s. service members. there is a fear this is going to cause serious problems. you saw president obama coming out very quickly and saying how sad he was about this incident. but then you heard from president karzai, who was calling this an act of terrorism and unforgivable. >> sarah, thanks. as you just heard, the big questions right now are who and
why. the military is not releasing the identity of this soldier yet, but what with know is he was assigned to aspecial forces unit out of joint based lewis-mcchord out of washington state. that's where angela king is standing by. you've been doing digging. what more do you know about this soldier? what can you tell us? >> well, we've learned the staff sergeant served overseas. this is actually his first. but it's the other information that's making this case harder to take. he's 38 years old. he's married. he's a father of two children. and now he's accused of murdering nine children, three women and four men in their homes as they slept early sunday morning. and there are also reports that the staff sergeant was a member of the special ops team whose job it was to befriend local villagers and find community
members throughout the community. no doubt they will use the massacre to its advantage. and now everyone here at lewis-mcchord in washington state is awaiting for any potential fallout. as for any other details about this man, we are waiting for military officials here to release that information. as you can understand, details are coming out little by little, but we understand that u.s. military officials say there was no indication that the staff sergeant suffered from any type of mental disorder. things like post-traumatic stress disorder. more questions at the time to come of here in washington. >> what is going at this joint base? this is not the first time the soldier is accused of killing afghan civilians. >> i know. unfortunately it's not. back in 2010, four striker brigade soldiers were accused of killing civilians in afghanistan for sport. actually cutting off parts of their bodies and saving them for
trophies. last year the four servicemen were sentenced. the terms range between three years to a life term. this is the last thing anyone wants here. this community is definitely reeling over what's just happened, in light of what we saw the other four servicemen being sentenced to, or sentenced for right here at joibt base lewis mcchord. trouble time for folks here. >> lank ka king, thanks so much. people who tell on hard times are making a comeback. how one man turned a hobby into a career. next. americans believe they should be in charge of their own future. how they'll live tomorrow. for more than 116 years,
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well, the troubling economy has left millions of people jobless, but more and more of them are making a comeback. susan candiotti tee met up with one man who turned a hobby into a new career. >> sebastian is friendly. >> good morning. >> he's handy. and he has a growing business, making homes safe for children. but four years ago things were much different. he worked at lehman brothers.
>> we had really good benefits, vacations. so i saw myself staying there for a lot more years. >> but when lehman brothers tanked in 2008, amy, married, raising his first child and paying a mortgage was out of luck. >> just pick up where you are and say, okay, let's move on. >> amy was child proofing his home for his baby and then helped friends with his place, and a light bulb went off. it naturally become the business idea, which was there's a need for this. i'm pretty good at it. >> i had a phone call the next day. and i thought, this is a good start. >> three years later, amy may hire his first employee. customer like this mother of twins are finding him through momny groups. >> it was almost unanimous with everyone saying that sebastian
would be the one to call. >> his new colleague gives amy a lot f satisfaction, one safety gadget at a time. >> you just push right here. >> and you're able to get it out. >> very easily. >> nothing easy about starting over. but amy says. >> you have to believe in yourself. >> believe in yourself and don't give up. susan candiotti, cnn, new york. the tax man is calling. there are ways to get a refund, and it's all in the way you deduct. we'll have it for you next. s wh. you know, working, working, working, working, working, working. and now you're talking about, well you know, i won't be, and i get the chance to spend more time with my wife and my kids. it's my world. that's my world. ♪
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it's that time of year again. time to pull out the receipts and get busy on your taxes. we would all like to get a check, rather then send one to the irs. do you itemize or take the standard deduction? what's the best thing to do, alison kosik. i know you have a few tips on how to help us with a being. >> it's a burning, burning question, isn't it, kyra? the goal for everybody doing their taxes is to reduce their taxable income, and the amounts you can deduct are adjusted each year. it's important to stay on top of the changes. whether you're a first time filer or a pro at filing your own taxes. almost two-thirds opt for the standard deductions. single filers can deduct $5800. married couples filing jointly can deduct $11,600. and heads of households can deduct $8,500.
they list additional deductions for the blind. >> so, which rout do most people take in filing their taxes? >> okay, so the irs is going to allow you to deduct certain medical expenses, mortgage interests. taxes, charitable contributions as well as tax preparation fees. when it comes to deducting donations, it's important to keep records. collects all of your deductions. for cash donations. you're going to need a bank statement or written acknowledgment from the charity. be careful if you donate clothing, furniture or other items because the irs has rules in place to stop filers from deducting junk donations. only claim items in good conditions when you donate them. you can donate items worth more than $500 if you include a
qualified appraisal with your tax return. >> got it. alison, thank you for the tips. appreciate it. mpl rick santorum picks aup win in kansas. will this make a difference? plus mitt romney showing he's willing to do anything to win the south. it's all fair game, next. first a question for you political question junkies. which president had a dog name grits? i've found a new way to get my profile out there. check me out. everybody says i've got a friendly disposition and they love my spinach dip. five foot ten... still doing a little exploring. but... my sign is sagittarius, i'm into spanish cheese, my hairline is receding but i'm getting a weave. getting a weave. there's an easier way to save. who wants some ronald tonight!? who wants some ronald tonight!? geico. fifteen minutes could save you 15% or more.
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just before the break i asked which president had a dog named gritz. the carters eventually gave the dog back and got a cat instead. not sure about the name of the cat. we're talking the fight for the republican presidential nomination shift thog the deep south. michigan and alabama are the crucial primaries tomorrow. they both predicted he's going to win the republican nomination. the latest poll show a tie between santorum and romney in mississippi. that flies in the face of romney's commanding lead in the delegate count. joining me now a democratic political consultant and republican strategist and blogger. do you know the cat's name? >> definitely not. >> neither one? >> no idea. >> we'll tweet about that next. want to ask you about the new
abc news poll out today. president obama running even with romney and santorum among registered voters. ed, your take. >> well, it's early in the campaign season. republicans are getting a lot of attention in their primaries. they should be getting a bump. we still have at least six months to go. and there's time. we always expected this to be a competitive election. it will be. >> santorum takes a big win in kansas. how does that impact tomorrow's contest in alabama and mississippi? >> well, it gives them a little bit of momentum going forward. he tried to bank well on doing good in the south to catch mitt romney and catch gingrich. for me, looking at our three candidates, we heard the democrats talk about how our field is weak and republicans are attacking each other. when we focus on his record, it shows what the vulnerabilities are. >> romney now said y'all. he says he likes grits. now we have jeff foxworthy
joining romney on the campaign trail. let's take a listen. >> i was able to avoid politics for 53 years. and somebody said why in the world would you get into it now? and the answer is it's too important. because i love this country. as a comedian, i've been to all 50 states. i've been to every part. >> all right. first of all, let me ask you guys, are you jeff foxworthy fans? >> sure. >> yes? >> ed, do we have a yes, a no? >> yeah, sure. why not? >> i'm from one a stop-light town in north carolina. i suppose i have to be. >> ed, where did you grow up? >> well, i grew up in l.a. but i've seen lots of "are you smarter than a 5th grader?" >> i'm going to have you put on your jeff foxworthy hats for a minute. you may be the nominee if -- ed?
>> if you manage to avoid a brokered convention. >> okay. doug? you may be the nominee if -- >> if you put the best compelling case to defeat barack obama and demonstrate you can win in november. with all our candidates are demonstrating now. we had a little fun there. let me ask you a serious question here. if we're looking at the tone that he's taking to try to win over these southern conservatives, is jeff foxworthy really the guy? >> it seems out of place. where blue collar comedy meets brooks brother comedy. it could be a good news bump. it could be mike dukakis vote. >> my candidate wants somebody who supported him. mike huckabee campaigned in south carolina with the nature boy. that ginned up excitement for
his campaign. barack obama campaigns with celebrities almost every day. raises a lot of money for them. >> let's move onto something i brought up this morning in the editorial meeting. be honest with me. did you see the hbo special "game change" over the weekend is this. >> i have seen enough excerpts to make me think i've seen the whole movie. i feel like i've lived it. >> hold that that. doug, did you see it in its entirety? >> i saw your segment about florida state. i was at the basketball games. i was focused on acc basketball over the weekend. i've seen so many clips and have read the book. >> full disclosure. with that said, game change repremiered on friday. sarah palin didn't come off looking too good. here's a clip. >> you can actually see russia from land here in alaska. >> oh my god. what have we done? >> i wasn't properly prepped.
>> she's on the verge of a complete nervous breakdown. >> tell me what to say, what to wear, how to talk. i am not your puppet. >> now it's aired in the entirety. the book has been out for a while. but a lot of people don't read the book. they wait for the it's movie or on the big screen. ed, could this change -- because this is the buzz out there now, the way candidates are vetted? >> i don't think it kpanged the way they're vetted. i think it reinforces they need to be vetted. in this case it wasn't done. in the summer of 2008, mccain needed a hail mary pass. that's what the palin nomination was. >> doug, what do you think? >> i agree with ed. certainly republicans didn't think barack obama was fully
vetted in 2008. that's still our job today. >> okay. were either of you, ed, you worked on the campaign. were you surprised at what you saw? obviously you didn't see the entire program, but you say you saw enough to get a taste. do you think it was fair? >> well, i do think there are a lot of elements that were exposed from the '08 campaign. there were things that appeared to be farly conveyed in game change. one thing i really appreciate is for the first time in a long time political staffers are the good guys. not the puppeteers behind the strings. very interesting to see. sbl interesting. doug, your thoughts? >> certainly any campaign staffer on the ground is trying to do good work.
certainly we hope to see more vetting of candidates and nor demonstrating the importance of the work that goes on. >> thanksing guys. that's fair game. >> from politics to a dance of a different time. march madness. we're turning to none other than ed wheelan. he predicted jeremy lin's success. who is he picking to win it all? he joins me live next. first pulitzer prize winner, who made a career on polarizing issues. his latest, a week long series on legislation mandating women get an ultrasound before terminating a pregnancy. and now newspapers across the country are actually pulling the comic this week, or placing it on other pages, citing poor
taste. aren't they designed to provoke thought? especially those of gary tr trudeau? so is freedom of speech facing its 15 minutes? does it require censorship? to quote the deal, gary trudeau's political satire. if we choose it, we can't yank the strip every time it deals with a highly charged issue. i'm not advocating choice or life. are newspapers editors making this a bigger issue by pulling trudeau? shouldn't the reader decide?
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we all have our favorites. i do. go as teches. yes, my parents taught there. gri up watching michael cage. i have to support the family team. there's one guy who has serious street kred when it comes to predicting the unpredictable. if you know basketball you know what ted-ex delivery guy i'm talking about. his predictions are always delivered on time. ed, great to see you. >> good to be here. >> tell me what your bracket looks like. >> i have three number ones. kentucky, north carolina, michigan state advancing to the final four. and i have florida state also joining them. >> kentucky, michigan state, oregon state and north carolina. why are these your picks?
>> kentucky and north carolina are probably the two best teams in the country. and i just don't see anyone beating them. michigan state is up there with them. they're close. they also have a good coach. i'm a little wary about their road. they have a tough bracket. but i think they'll get there. and florida state i believe a sleeper is coming out of the east regional. i don't think syracuse is going to make it past kansas state and around two. and i could have just as easily picked vanderbilt or wisconsin, but i thought florida state was the best. >> you called it with jeremy lin. when you did your bracket and started thinking about the teams, tell me how it works here. how do you find your method to your madness? >> i just look at history.
i see what made historically an ncaa champion. it's always one of the winningest teams in the nations. especially in the recent years there's been a rush to the pros by the pros tects, sord of a one and done era of the best player ls. and recently teams that have won are teams that have been able to keep the core together for two or three years. >> now you're still with fed-ex, right? >> yes. >> are you the guy everybody turns to? are you the guru? . does everybody go to you? >> i've had a few people on the
route ask for bracket help. this is such a random thing picking brackets. once you get past the top group and above the bottom group, the smaller colleges that get in. all the teams range between three a and 14 are actually very close. and it's not surprising a lot of them get knocked out. there's a lot of upsets and drama. >> you've ticked your teams. >> i think people know about jay crowder because he's playing so well.
i'll give you a couple. eliholman plays for detroit. i think norfolk state is playing missouri. and detroit is playing kansas. >> if they upset the two-seed, which i think is possible, either one would put himself in the draft discussion. >> okay. i missed the second one. you said eli holman. >> and kyle o'kwin. >> i have you on the record now. i don't know. i'm starting to see maybe you
should leave fed-ex and become a recruiter or scout. what do you think? >> i have my people working on it now? >> when did you get your people? now you're being represented? . nothing is happening, though. >> it sure sounded good. >> great seeing you. >> and i did pick michigan state to win it all. >> we didn't say that. you're right. are you filling out your bracket? if so, why not go ahead and go head-to-head with me, or should i say the whole team? we got up very, very early. stayed up late, got up early. put all our picks in. visit cnn.com/brackets and join
the march madness cnn group. right after the break, facebook and privacy concerns. nothing new x right? a sixth grader punished at school for facebook comments made on her own time. is it a violation of privacy? we'll talk about it. look, every day we're using more and more energy. the world needs more energy. where's it going to come from? ♪ that's why right here, in australia, chevron is building one of the biggest natural gas projects in the world. enough power for a city the size of singapore for 50 years. what's it going to do to the planet?
time now to go to stories making street level. center county, pennsylvania a. hearing in the jerry sandusky case. former assistant football coach remains under house arrest and is not in court this hour. also in pennsylvania, the capital cities of harrisburg at a fiscal dead end. the first ever default on general obligation bonds more than $5 million. harrisburg is more than $300 million in debt portland, oregon, a jury awards almost $3 million in what's being called a wrongful birth suit against an
oregon hospital. a couple had sued over faulty prenatal test five years ago. it showed that the unborn child did not have down's syndrome. it turns out she did and does. parents claim they would have ended the pregnancy had they known. the judgment is meant to cover the extra lifetime costs of the joining girl's care. a middle school student is suing her school. they discovered several posts, including some one where she said she hated a school hall monitor. the lawsuit alleges that school employees violated her first and fourth amendment rights. her posts were punished by did i tension and suspension and a meeting with police where she was forced to give away her facebook password. the school maintains that the girl's rights were not violated. >> from the turks, to boston, ask the rhode island family flying home when a 2-year-old
refused to sit down for takeoff. the parents struggled, other parents waited. finally, she was buckled in but it was too late for the pilot. he turned the plane around and kicked the family off. her parents say they don't understand. >> we were just trying to control a 2-year-old child who was scared and wanted to be held by their mother. >> the airline jetblue said that they did not comply with the rules and removed the family for the safety and crew on board. the mecca for the so-called tech know four square and twitter were debuted by southwest before they even became popular. this year, everyone has their eyes on high life, an ap that shows users if friends are nearby. they are investing in the festival. home you can take advantage of all of the momentum. a day after he said he felt
great, tying ger woods had to withdraw from the golf tournament with an injury. woods started limping around the 10th hole and finally gave up after complaining about his achilles. now the question is, what is next for tying ger woods. some wonder whether he will be able to play in the masters next month. as romney's strategy gone too far? first there was this -- >> i'm learning to say ya'll and i like grits and stranger things are happening to me. >> now he's pairing up with the most famous redneck, jeff fox worthy. [ todd ] hello? hello todd. just calling to let you know
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comedians? >> i'm dating myself here but mitt romney has been trying to downplay expectations in alabama and misses. he said it was an away game. let's be honest, his campaign spent a long time away from there. he's gotten dorsment from both state's governors and now jeff foxworthy. >> i avoided politics for 53 years and my friends would say, why would you get involved in this and i say it's too important. i love this country. >> now, i promise you that was jeff fox foxworthy and mitt romney. take a look. brand-new numbers released in the last hour. here's alabama and it looks like a dead heat to me. american research group, gingrich, 34%. romney, 31%. go to mississippi, same story. look at this. romney on top of 34.
in dead heat with santorum in the 20s. ron paul in the single digits here. >> speaking of ron paul, we haven't heard from him lately. what is his strategy? >> he's not been campaigning in mississippi oral bam ma. of course, santorum won that event and he's hoping that newt gingrich gives up. listen to what he said in the sunday talk show. >> he can stay as long as he wants but i think the better opportunity to make sure that we nominate a conservative is to give us an opportunity to go head to head with governor romney at some point and hopefully that will occur sooner rather than later but we'll wait and see what the speaker decides. >> as a speaker, he doesn't sound like a candidate that is about to give up. kyra? >> paul steinhauser, thank you so much. thank you for watching. continue the conversation with me on twitter or on facebook. cnn "newsroom" continues right now with our suzanne malveaux.
hello there. >> nice to see you. >> happy monday, my friend. >> great to see you. >> well, let's get started. live from cnn headquarters in atlanta, where it's 12:00 noon. i'm suzanne malveaux. sick minded american savages, that is what the taliban is calling the u.s. military. an american soldier allegedly killed 16 afghan civilians in a shooting spree over the weekend. president obama and leon panetta are in damage-control mode offering condolences and promising to find out what caused all of this. and in syria, women and children slaughtered in cold blood. opposition activists say at least 45 civilians were massa occurred in the city of homs. the details, they are shocking. the activists say that children were stabbed to death in front of their mothers. women and girls sexually assaulted before being killed. the road to the republican
nomination, taking a southern swing. candidates fighting for votes tomorrow in alabama and mississippi. mitt romney got some help on the campaign trail in alabama today from, who else, comedian jeff foxworthy known for his redneck jokes. he's urging those to rally behind romney. you can barely see him behind the umbrellas but you did hear him. >> i avoided politics for 53 years and even my friends say, why would you get into this? and i say, it's too important. while i don't like politics or big government, i love this country. jerry sandusky's lawyer want prosecutors to turn over more information before the trial on sex abuse trials. the judge is hearing the arguments today. defense attorneys want details about where and when alleged abuse incidents actually occurred and the names of people who were there or nearby.
sandusky's trial is set for may and he denies abusing young boys. so what could make an american soldier kill 16 innocent people, the people he's supposed to be protecting? we're going to go live in afghanistan in just a moment. first, i want to go to barbara starr at the pentagon. what do we know, first of all, about the soldier, this guy who allegedly went on the shooting spree? >> suzanne, here's what we have. he is an army staff sergeant and came from washington state. this is what you call conventional army. but he went to afghanistan and his unit was attached, assigned, if you will, to a special forces green beret unit. so in this remote area, they were working to helpville villa in the mission. they were to help people in the area, to gain their trust and to
work to keep the taliban out. this guy was assigned to security duty at the outpost. he would stand guard duty, man the gate, that sort of thing we are told. yesterday morning, about 3:00 a.m. local on the ground, he walked out, conducted these crimes by all accounts it is being investigated, walked back in. what has happened in the subsequent hours is a firestorm of controversy, of course. the green berets, we are now told, have moved out and talked to the villagers. they have said, this is an autrocity, that they have nothing to do with it. lending help where they can providing medical care to the wounded. the suspect has been moved to a larger base in afghanistan. they are not saying exactly where he is. investigation fully under way. it is very likely that there will be charges in the coming
days. >> and barbara, what kind of situation does this put u.s. soldiers on the ground? are they simply sitting ducks? i imagine there's a lot of anger and frustration and it could get to a boiling point, a breaking point on the ground. >> well, look, i have to tell you, with all of the military officials we've spoken to in the last 24 hours, you get two feelings, suzanne. one is anger. anger at what has happened, anger that any u.s. military person could have done this. and you also get a sense from them -- i don't know how to explain it other than you hear the flumped soldiers in their voice, a sense of discouragement. they have been through so much. they just got passed the incident of the inadvertent burning of the koran. they are still working on the investigation of the marines urinating on dead corpses. it has been tough going in afghanistan. commanders say every time they turn a corner, then they feel
like something else happens. so there is right now i think no question a sense of discouragement. officially the policy is, the mission goes on, nothing has changed. u.s. troops sticking to the plan set by the president to be out of afghanistan most lie by the end of 2014. but this is human nature at work here and there is a lot of discouragement right now. >> and barbara, in light of what has happened here, do you think that the pentagon might be considering pulling out u.s. troops even earlier at a faster pace because of what t deteriorating on the ground? >> i think a lot of people wonder, it's a really logical question. okay. something will change and this war will get wrapped up. i have to tell you, suzanne, there is a full-blown nato commitment to stay until the end of 2014 at the least. afghan president karzai very strong in his criticism
obviously of what has happened. but whether that translates into some fundamental change between nato and afghanistan remains to be seen. i want to get back to one of your points. are u.s. troops at risk? absolutely. they do feel the risk. they are concerned about more violence emerging in the coming days. they know the toll ban aliban i a call for violence. they certainly hope it doesn't happen. that's why you see some of the units, like the green berets, moving out into the villages, trying to talk to villagers, saying this is an at tros see, and that they are very upset. >> thank you, barbara. how are the people responding? sara seidin is live in kabul.
>> reporter: let me tell you what is happening. at this point there are a bunch of people that gathered in front of the outpost in kandahar and they were sort of yelling over the barbed wire and chanting a bit. what we're hearing from those villagers is a great deal of anger, particularly pointed at u.s. forces. one mother saying look at what has happened. our 2-year-olds are dead. are these the taliban that they are after? how can these 2-year-olds be taliban? also then saying, we were told by this outpost to come back home, to come back to our village and we did that after immigrating to another part. we can never trust them again. this is playing into the hands of the taliban that is now using this saying that this is really the real mission going on here, that people don't care, that these foreign forces don't care about the afghan people.
of course, you have the u.s. government and military saying we do care. this is a deeply regrettable incident. they are very saddened by it but there is a lot of anger coming out of that area in kandahar, as you can imagine. >> you have the afghan president saying this is an unforgivable act, calling it terrorism as well, and there definitely seems to be a sense of mistrust. you've covered this time and time again. when i was in afghanistan, i talked to the afghan soldiers, the american soldiers. there is a big challenge just communicating and making sure that they turn to the person beside them who they are training with and can trust them. is that broken, essentially? >> reporter: i think it's certainly strained and bruised, to use a word that you can sort of say, look, this is a situation that has gotten more strained and that tensions have been inflamed because of it. it was interesting, we spoke to one of the tribal leaders in that area. some people uneducated, they
really don't understand how a trained soldier could do something like this without someone from up above or his command or some sort of mission to have been under way. there is a great deal of misunderstanding as well that if, indeed, this was one person standing alone, the villagers don't believe that. that's going to be very difficult to translate. they want to see justice, particularly an eye for an eye in this case and there's going to be a lot to do with this investigation in tamping down the violence that erupts from this. >> sara, please be safe. very high tension there in afghanistan. well, here's your chance to talk back on the biggest story of the day. today's question, is the afghanistan war worth it? the u.s. invaded afghanistan after the 9/11 attack, the terrorist attacks killing 3,000 people. number one target was osama bin laden.
he was killed a decade later in pakistan. and, yeah, a majority of people, 60%, say the war in afghanistan has not been worth it. that's according to a new abc washington post poll. newt gingrich says it's time to reassess the mission there. >> i think we need to reconsidering can the whole region. we need to understand that our being in the middle of countries like afghanistan is counterproductive. we are not prepared to be ruthless enough. >> almost 1900 americans have been killed in the war in afghanistan and the taliban are vowing revenge for this weekend's attack. some republican lawmakers say that the shooting rampage, allegedly by an american soldier, should not change the mission. >> i under the frustration and i understand the anger and the sorrow. i also understand and we should
not forget that the attacks on the united states of america on 9/11 originated in afghanistan and if afghanistan dissolved into a situation where the taliban were able to take over or a chaotic situation, it could easily return to an al qaeda base for attacks on united states of america. >> that brings us to today's "talk back" question. is the afghanistan war worth it? go to face book.com/suzannecnn. >> here's a look at the stories that we're working on. are u.s. troops safe in afghanistan. how these killings could impact troop on the ground, u.s. security in afghanistan and the entire region. he's being accused of killing men, women, and children. he is a father himself. what would cause an army
sergeant to go house to house killing innocent afghan civilians? we're going to delve into the psychology of all of this. plus, we take you live to washington state to get the mood of the alleged soldier's home base. like these sweet honey clusters... actually there's a half a day's worth of fiber in every ... why stop at cereal? bring on the pork chops and the hot fudge. fantastic. are you done sweetie? yea [ male announcer ] fiber one. are you done sweetie? yea [ male announcer ] nyquil cold and flu relieves your cough 50% longer than tylenol cold multi-symptom nighttime. [ snoring continues ] [ male announcer ] because snoring sounds better than coughing.
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a ruthless shooting spree leaves 16 civilians dead in afghanistan. the military is not releasing his identity yet but we know that he was assigned to a unit out of the joint base lewis mccort. our affiliate is outside of the base right now. what did you learn about this soldier and how is the community responding? >> reporter: well, suzanne, at this point, military officials here at the base aren't releasing a lot of information but we have learned he is a staff sergeant who was stationed here at joint base lewis mccord.
how long he had been stationed here, that's one detail we are waiting to find out. we're learning more about his military circumstances, in terms of what he was specifically doing in afghanistan. but we have learned, have confirmed that he has served two tours in iraq and we've learned that he's a father of two and 38 years old. this is not the first time, the first tragedy to come out of the base where you are? >>. >> reporter: that is correct. this is a very difficult time for military families here because last year four soldiers were sentenced between three years to life in prison for killing afghani civilians back in 20106789 the military says these soldiers, they killed
afghani civilians for sport and collected some of their body parts as basically keeping those body parts as souvenirs, so to speak. so this is just the last thing that anyone wants to hear about, servicemen accused of gunning down these families in afghanistan. it was hard enough to deal with the sentencing last year but now folks are having to deal with this. >> angela, also there are reports that for that particular base, 12 suicides last year, nine the year before. what is going on in that community there? >> reporter: well, this is a hard time. this is a strong military community. folks here -- we have lots of families, thousands of families throughout the base here in tacoma, washington, that are obviously very concerned about
what has been going on over the past couple of years and now this. anybody who drives through this gate behind me this morning are absolutely heartbroken by the news that they are hearing today and later on this evening , in fact, we've learned that there will be a vigil called freedom bridge. it's an overpass about a block away from the main gate here. that's currently adorned in yellow ribbons to honor soldiers serving overseas. but tonight that backdrop is going to serve as the stage for this vigil for those 16 people killed in afghanistan. so really a tough time for folks here who are doing the best to support these soldiers. now they have to deal with this news. >> absolutely. angela king, thank you so much. why did americans ditch the car for buses, trains, ferrys, more than 10 billion times last year. we'll explain. from the postal service, you'll find the customers that matter most: the ones in your neighborhood. print it yourself, or we'll help you find a local partner. and postage is under 15 cents.
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the new york stock exchange. what is going on? >> i guess you can guess this, gas prices. gas is more expensive these days and it's happening more and more where we see people gravitate towards public transportation. $4 per gallon is a tipping point and much of the country is at or close to that mark. you know that high gas prices are not the only factor for the crowded subway trains. the labor market is picking up. people have a job to commute to. there are apps and new technology and countdown clocks above your head on the subway platform. if you ask me, they are not all that accurate. you get the point. things are getting better technologically with mass transit. >> it's quite pleasant. ten million.
put that in perspective for us. >> okay. so ten billion trips, that's the highest number of trips taken since 1957 and historically more people take mass transit when you see gas prices go higher. you saw this in 2008 when gas prices hit a record in the 1970s it happened as well with the air rain and oil embargo and crowded buses and trains, guess what, they are likely to continue for the time being because gas prices are at a record for this time of year. $3.80 a gallon, not likely to retreat any time soon. suzanne? >> all right. i don't mine being a cramped sardine. that's all right. >> come to new york then. >> yeah, the last time i was in new york i took the subway there. it was beautiful. >> beautiful? >> really. no, i'm not kidding. before it had trash. and the last time i went it was really nice and displays and the whole thing. i enjoyed it. >> i need to know what subway
you were on. i'd go on that one. >> aliso, we'll get back to you in al little bit. >> okay. all right. sick of getting junk mail begging you to refinance your home at a cheap rate? what is the best way to do that and save money on your house? >> here are four ways to unlock the money in your house. if mortgage rates are 2 percentage points less than the rate that your paying, you need to refinance. even if you've done it recently. a the 15-year, 3.36%. next, appeal your property taxes. most people who do get money back. on average, around $1300 a year. that's according to value appeal.com. do your homework. call the assessor's office to make sure you understand the formula. the assessment is often only a fraction of the real value that determines the tax.
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here's a rundown of some of the stories we're working on. next, a good try or political failure? presidential candidates putting on southern charm to win some votes. the taliban are already talking about revenge. are american lives in danger after a u.s. soldier is accused of going on a killing spree? anticipate want to earn rights in the march madness brackets, i'll tell you how to do that in 15 minutes. so if you have any doubt that the republican race is on a southern swing, all you have to do is listen to the candidates. >> i'm learning to say y'all and i like grits and stranger things are happening to me. >> unlike one of my competitors, i have had grits before. and that may explain as much as anything. >> the governor said i have to
say it right. good morning, y'all. good to be with you. i guess i started right with business biscuit and cheesy grits. >> not exactly sure what he w t meant by that. but turning on the charm in southern mississippi. bringing in jim and editor and blogger crystal wright. she's also a d.c. delegate for newt gingrich. i don't know what it is about the whole grits thing. they seem to be obsessed with the grits thing. you know, you have to admit it, right, you watch these guys. they are not the first to kind of do these changing the cadences to win over their audiences. do you remember the al gore
growl that turned into jesse jackson in front of black audiences, the first time he did, even bill clinton joked he must have had his wheaties or something. these guys change for their audiences. do you think it endures the voters when romney at least tries? >> i'm a former dnc adviser. i don't want people still to think i'm advising on the dnc. >> there you go. >> but on these issues of the cadences, i worked for al gore in 2000 and that caused a lot of trembling. for mitt romney, i think it's almost like somebody going up northeast and talking with a fake thurston accent. i think gingrich has an opportunity to say, i'm one of you. >> and crystal, gingrich is your guy. what did he mean by the walmart
comment? can you explain that to us? >> well, you know, i'm a southern gal. you might not know this. i was born and raised in richmond, virginia. my parents still live there. i get a little offended when people start using y'all and they are carpet baggers. i think to jamal's point, gingrich is probably more southern than any of the other two and the other two look like carpet baggers. but as far as the walmart comment, you know what i wanted to tell newt, you better go easy on walmart. so i think part of it can be a charm offensive but also very alienated. what the voters are saying, quit the southern talk and just talk to us about the issues because we know you're faking it. so -- >> for the record, when i lived in nashville i went to walmart every day. >> well, okay. you got one up on me, jamal. >> crystal is not the walmart
gal. >> no. >> let's talk about religion. religion played a significant role and we practically heard a confessional from gingrich before a church crowd. here's what he said. there are things in my life that i have been very public about saying were, in fact, well short of the glory of god and i had to go before god to seek forgiveness. do we think that gingrich and santorum could actually split the religious votes in the southern state and actually give mitt romney the upper hand? crystal first. >> yeah, that's what is happening. what we're seeing and everybody is surprised by, romney could really pull a second place in alabama and mississippi because of santorum and gingrich. what i think we're going to see at the end of the day is gingrich will probably pull off both of the wins. santorum is going to be struggling but he did win kansas over the weekend.
they are splitting the eve van gel cal vote. not a great thing for either of them. you're seeing folks in the south. they are coming to terms with the fact that romney may be the nominee. >> and jamal, i want to turn the corner a little bit here. president obama, when he was a candidate, faced some of the same criticism as romney, that he was elitist, or out of touch, despite the fact that he was abandoned by his father and largely raised by his grandparen grandparents on food stramps. we saw romney campaigning with jeff foxworthy. he's known for the redneck jokes. this is a little bit this morning, the two of them together. >> we're going to get this thing won. jeff foxworthy is going to make all of the difference in the world and you voting multiple times could really make a difference. just kidding. good to be with you. thank you. >> kind of hard to see him there.
there was a lot of rain pouring down. he reminded the crowd that he wanted to go hunting. he said it was the second time he had cat fish. again, more food references there. is it better, jamal, just to be yourself? >> it absolutely is better to be yourself. at one point i remember when john kerry was running, i wanted my friends in the kerry campaign to have an, i am a northerner speech. acknowledge it. let them know who you are and where you come from and then start asking questions about their values. all the things that they really care about and forget about my accent, my birth certificate and where i come from and let's just talk about who i am and who you are and what we want to do for the country. you come off a lot better. >> i want you guys to stick around. we're going to get a chance to talk about game change. it's the hbo movie about the 2008 mccain-palin campaign. you're going to hear about why
senator mccain did not watch it. working, working, working. and now you're talking about, well you know, i won't be, and i get the chance to spend more time with my wife and my kids. it's my world. that's my world. ♪ that's my world. you know what's exciting, graduation. when i look up into my student's faces, i see pride. you know, i have done something worthwhile. when i earned my doctorate through university of phoenix, that pride, that was on my face. i am jocelyn taylor, i am committed to making a difference in peoples lives and i am a phoenix.
finished yet and we can shatter that -- no, no, no. just another minute. bye. >> i watched it over the weekend. i felt like i was reliving the campaign. i used to talk to those guys all the time. i want to bring back jamal simmons and crystal wright. so i want you guys -- did you see the movie? >> yeah, i did see it. >> crystal, did you see it? >> you know, i saw the movie and i've got to say i fell asleep halfway through it. >> no way. >> i'm going to make it up. >> i don't believe you. >> oh, it's true. it's true. but i can still speak to it. >> i want our viewers to see the two main characters. steve schmidt was the campaign director and nicole wallace, how they reacted to this. >> i think it's a story of when cynicism and idealism collide when you have to do the things that are necessary to win, to
try to get in office and do the great things that you want to do for the country and i think it showed a process of vetting that was debill stated by secrecy, that was compartmentalized, that failed, that led to a result that was reckless for the country. >> true enough to make me squirm. listen, this isn't a movie about mccain and palin. this is about the gray space area where 99% of our politics take place. >> mccain didn't agree with that. here's what he said over the weekend. >> of course i'm not going to watch it. it's based on a book completely biased and unattributed quotes. and what i don't understand, even in the tough world of politics, why there continues to be such an assault on a good and decent person, sarah palin, a fine family person, a person
whose nomination energized our campaign. >> and another clip from the weekend, he acknowledged -- steve schmidt had said in a statement that it was a true story. that it was very factually accurate and mccain was confronted with that and he said i'm sorry that steve schmidt actually said that. crystal, do you think this is an example of one particular campaign gone awry or do you think it speaks to a broken political system? >> no. we don't have a broken political system. game change, remember, only focuses on a few chapters about mccain and palin and their ticket. the bulk of the book was devoted to barack obama and hillary clinton. in fact, it paints a very unflattering portrait of barack obama and the freshman senator more concerned with grabbing headlines and an ego maniac, the people of illinois in the
senate, he was more concerned with maybe running for president. even harry reid said, you know, obama, i think you should drop out and don't focus on the senate. people who worked on the senator's pack at the time actually referred to barack obama as the black jesus. i think there are two sides to every story. i think mccain should have never picked sarah palin hases had vice president nominee. however, she is a great political activist who stirs up the base, gets people excited about participating. and it's a smear job. this movie is a pac ad. come on. >> the movie makes the same point you just d. which is that she isn't qualified to be president. jamal, you've been on many campaigns. they evolve. >> too many. >> what kind of compromises do they make to get to the finish line?
>> good candidates do not compromise their values or things that they believe in. sometimes you may take a position that's a little more to the left or right than you are. crystal ee advice rated president obama and it came out in the movie and book about how honorable a person john mccain really tries to be. the problem for mccain is is he a little hot-headed, hot-tempered. he really didn't know the consequences of that move and i think that ref ver bretted back to him. there was a point in that film where the crowds were erupting at the name barack obama and they were shouting things like, kill him. and senator mccain stood up and said, he's a good man. you know what, let's not do that. >> yeah, i remember that moment.
crystal, jamal, great to see both of you. we'll pick it up another time. thank you. >> thanks. want to earn brag rights? the one person who always does better than you when it comes to march madness. we'll tell you how coming up in a few minutes. illa glass for a stunning display in a more compact form. and you'd choose an intel® core i7™ processor for maximum processing power. everything that you could ever want in a laptop. introducing the dell xps 13 ultrabook™ everything. and more. ♪
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it's march madness and what could be this year's ncaa cinderella story. college basketball and kentucky go hand in hand. when you think about kentucky basketball, they are not the first unit that comes to mind. well, think again. >> reporter: a mid-major program and roster of players whose resumes don't match those of the bigger programs and are in the midst of what can only be described as a cinderella season. they ranked tenth with 30
minutes and one loss. it's all they can talk about in this small kentucky town. stop in for lunch at rudy's and you will get your fill of basketball. >> we believe they can go all the way. >> reporter: that fuels a team. isaiah canaan is the leading player. but do they have what it takes? >> we are not a one-year wonder. we've won a the lo of championships. >> ivan was a sophomore the last time they went to the tournament and credits the coach on keeping
them focus canned. >> i have the best kids in the country. >> reporter: it's those qualities that they say are key to the success. >> it's what you talk about, day in and day out, how you represent the program and don't seek yr honor, honor will find you. they have been unselfish and good things are happening. >> reporter: and racer fans expect good things to keep on happening. >> for sure. >> final four. final four. >> all the way. all the way. >> reporter: rob marciano, cnn, atlanta. >> enjoy the march madness bracket challenge. it's not too late to test your skills. go to cnn.com/brackets to join
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about the fallout after a soldier allegedly goes on a killing spree in afghanistan. 16 civilians now dead. what is the biggest threat to american soldiers on the ground? >> well, it's just that. our enemies are going to use this incident which, of course, does not represent the american military or american values or policy but they will use it against us as a recruitment tool and to whip people into an absolute frenzy. you can understand how people could be and how it could be used in that way. so i think we've got to take the threats of revenge from the taliban very seriously and frankly what this means is, we've been in afghanistan for an extended period of time now for a decade and so, you know, there's bound to be -- troops have done multiple deployments. i'm making no excuses for this.
but what it means is that commanders on the ground really have to watch troops for signs of mental illness, of battlefield fatigue and this sort of mental break that results in this sort of a tragedy. >> and our own sara sidner was reporting earlier that afghans have a hard time believing the nato mission and u.s. troops, the higher ups when they say, we didn't order this, this was just kind of a rogue event that happened. how do they convince the afghan people that this was an isolated incident? >> well, suzanne, i think the administration, nato, and i.c.e. are all trying to dot right things. there have been multiple calls to afghanistan to president karzai and leaders there. but, frankly, what we are not known for doing is swift justice. secretary panetta has called for an investigation. this shouldn't take very long to understand the magnitude and the seriousness of the crime
committed. it's clear that this is an individual who once the investigation is completed should face a court-martial and this case ought to be expedited. >> you talk about civilian killings, koran burningings and now this latest attack. is it time, because it's such a tense situation, it's evolving into this type of situation that u.s. troops should pull out faster. >> the violence has gone both ways. we had two soldiers sitting in uniform shot in the back of the head. there's been violence on both sides. they were successful in terms of pushing the al qaeda and taliban back. we end up in the tribal areas. if we pull out too quickly and afghan forces get overwhelmed, we will lose those gains that we
fought for so hard so i think we have to be very careful and deliberate about how we hand over mission and an area to afghan forces to ensure their success. >> all right. fran townsend, thank you very much. is the afghanistan war worth it? diplomacy is useless in a land where ideals and principles are deemed not required, our assistance will always look at as an attack on their culture. and it's not a matter of was it worth it but rather something we had to do. we cannot stand by and be a meek country when we are considered to be one of the strongest. margie says, i used to think the answer was yes but the longer the war goes on, the more it seems the answer is clearly no. david writes, no war is worth what it costs in human life, money spent or hatred elevated.
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