tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN April 20, 2012 4:00pm-6:00pm EDT
obama was speaking in denver, not far from here, standing in front of greek columns. remember that? don't think he'll be standing in front of greek columns this time. i don't want to remind people of greece. he -- he laid out in his speech there at their convention how he would measure progress. he literally used these words, he said we measure progress differently than republicans, presumably, but it was the fact that he said we measure progress and then he described how it was he and his party measured progress, and i think it's interesting given the fact that he laid out what his report card would be to go back and score him on the very report card he laid out. he said, for instance, that we, the democrats measure progress
by whether people have good jobs that can pay for mortgages. okay. we're three and a half years later and he has not yet created a single net new job in america where three and a half years later there were job losses and 93% of the people that lost jobs had been women. on the measure that he himself put in place, creating jobs where people could pay mortgages, he fails, and there was another measure that he laid out. he said in a setting where you were having progress, you could measure it by whether people saw wages and incomes going up or going down. oh, yea, okay. for the last four years the median income in america has dropped by 10%. in barack obama's turn, the median income in america has dropped by $3,000. this, even as health care costs have gone up, gasoline prices have doubled, food costs have gone up.
second measure, he's failed. third measure he spoke about. he said to see progress you'll want to see people with a dream or an idea being willing to take the risk to start a new business. so what's happened in the world of business start-ups? they dropped by about 150,000 a year under this president. again, on the measure he himself set out, he's failed. now, a lot of other measures as well, we have record levels of people on food stamps. record levels of poverty. the number of people who dropped from the middle class into poverty has reached historic proportion. you have at the same time home values that have dropped by 30% or more in some cases and in some cases still going down. on almost every measure this president has failed. he's also failed overseas. senator mccain described one of the areas he's failed and that's with regard to israel and our
relationship with that country and the need to show solidarity with our allies. we're not closer to peace in the middle east by virtue of his policies in israel. the arab spring has turned into an arab winter. he failed to execute a status of forces agreement to make sure that the gains that were achieved at great costs in iraq would be able to be preserved and secured. he entered into an agreement with the soviet -- excuse me, with russia with regard to the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty which i think it was exceptionally one-sided. they're rushing to nuclearization with no slowdown in sitght and in regard to afghanistan, he made a number of errors with our relationship there. he is clearly out of ideas and out of excuses so it's our job in november to make sure we put him out of office. >> so mitt romney, the republican presumptive presidential nominee delivering
a speech in phoenix, arizona going after, not surprisingly, the president of the united states on domestic economic issues on national security issues, foreign policy issues and we'll continue to monitor what he has to say. there's been some speculation that he may make an appeal to hispanic voters around the country. we'll check in and see what he's saying on this story coming up later this hour. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com a courtroom drama at a bond hearing for the man who shot the unarmed florida teenager trayvon martin. george zimmerman took the stand and surprised everyone as he addressed the martin family only moments before the judge set a $150,000 bond. cnn's david mattingly is in sanford, florida. it was a surprise to folks with zimmerman on the stand. what did he actually say? >> that's right, wolf. we went into the courtroom today fully expecting to learn
something new about the evidence that the prosecution has against george zimmerman. instead we heard from george zimmerman himself and an apology. with his freedom on the line george zimmerman surprises the courtroom taking the stand at his own bond hearing and speaking directly to the parents of trayvon martin. >> i wanted to say i am sorry for the loss of your son. i did not know how old he was. i thought he was a little bit younger than i am, and i did not know if he was armed or not. >> reporter: attorneys for martin's parents called the apology self-serving saying zimmerman had many chances to express remorse before now. >> all throughout, tracy martin had tears in his eyes as he watched the killer of his son and it was devastating that he got to give a self-serving apology to help him get a bond. they were very outraged at that.
>> reporter: challenged by the prosecute on the timing of his apology zimmerman says he told police he was sorry and wanted to talk to martin's parent, but couldn't. >> why did you wait so long to tell mr. martin and the victim's mother, the father and mother, why did you wait so long to tell them? >> i was told not to communicate with them. >> another surprise, the prosecutor's own investigator called to testify by zimmerman's attorney. he revealed they do not know who threw the first punch during zimmerman's deadly fight with trayvon martin and voice testing has not determined who was heard shouting for help on the 911 calls. >> did you do any forensic analysis on that voice tape? >> did i? >> did you or are you aware of any? >> "the orlando sentinel" had someone do it, and the fbi has
had someone do it. >> is that part of your investigation? >> yes, it is. >> and has that given you any insight to the extent that you're aware of it as to the voice? >> no. >> reporter: zimmerman can go free on $150,000 bond, but safety is a problem. as a security precaution, zimmerman's father, mother and wife all testified by telephone. >> i've received hate mail. >> have you reported that to the police? >> no, i haven't. >> have you reported that to the state attorney's office? >> no, sir. >> did you keep those -- >> i'm sorry? >> did you keep that hate mail? >> yes. >> reporter: and security remains the overriding concern behind zimmerman's release. he has to somehow get out of jail and escape the notice of dozens of cameras outside of jail waiting to see any kind of movement there and then go back into hiding, wolf, where he was
before he turned himself in. >> we've heard from trayvon martin's family attorney. have we heard directly from the parents and the family? >> reporter: we heard -- we did not hear directly from the family. the parents walked out immediately after the hearing today and they let their attorney do the talking for them. they were very stoic as they were sitting in the courtroom, sometimes speaking quietly to one another, but when this was over they left quickly and let their attorney express their outrage. >> david mattingly on the scene for us. thanks very much. let's dig deeper right now with legal analyst sunny hostin who contributes to "in session" our sister network trutv. were you surprised that he was about to be released on $150,000 bond? >> i was not surprised that he would get some sort of bond package because in florida, quite frankly, the standard -- the burden, rather, is very high
on the prosecution. it's almost beyond beyond a reasonable doubt. so i suspected that he book given a bond package. i am surprised at the $150,000 bond. i think that's a bit low considering the gravity of the charge here. i mean with the -- bond of 150, that means he would have to put up about $15,000 in cash. while this is a family of limited means, i think that that could be considered very low. the prosecution asked for about $1 million. >> a lot of us were stunned to see he actually was up on the witness stand, jeffrey. what do you make of that? >> i thought today was a home run for george zimmerman and his lawyer. i thought they really ran rings around the prosecution. they got bail which is hugely, hugely important, and i think they exposed some weaknesses in the investigation in where things stand with the prosecution, and we'll see whether the prosecution can
remedy that by the time this case goes to trial, but today this did not look like a very strong case. a long way to go, but today it didn't look that way. >> do you agree with that assessment, sunny? >> no, i actually don't. bottom line is the prosecution did a fine job. they didn't want to tip their hand. it's just a bond hearing. you're not going to put out all of the evidence. all of the evidence they relied upon was in the affidavit of probable cause and in that affidavit it says very clearly that it was not a reser tagz of fact. i disagree with jeff. i don't think the defense ran rings around this prosecution team. i do think that the defense did a good job, and i think what we saw was two very good attorneys, very skilled attorneys doing what they needed to do for their positions. >> you want to respond to that, jeff? >> i just think the bail issue, for starters is just so important because this will have implications beyond just the fact that zimmerman is out. the fact that zimmerman is out
means that his lawyer can put this case in slow motion. he is going to want to delay, delay, delay because his client's out of prison and he now can ask for every test under the sun. he can let emotions cool and he will not have a client who was in prison demanding a trial and when are you going to get me out of here? this is an invitation to the defense to slow things down and from everything we've seen so far, that's precisely what the defense is going to do. >> based on what i've heard, sunny, and you know about this more than i do. second-degree murder is a very, very serious charge, and to be released on $150,000 bond which really means putting up $15,000 or so, it sounds pretty extraordinary to me, very unusual, but go ahead. give me your assessment. >> it sounded too low to me, but i've spoken with many of the attorneys in florida who indicate actually they thought it was sort of high. that that is a high bond for that charge in that area of
florida, but i do agree with jeff in that this is a win for the defense in the sense that it will put this case on the slow track, no question about that. defense attorney o'mara said today to me that this means that the stand your ground hearing, if they're even going have one is several months down the line. had zimmerman remained in jail, that's, i think, a hearing that we would have seen much quicker than that. >> sunny hostin and jeff toobin, guys thanks very much. mitt romney and rice, condoleezza rice. what's going on? a surprise pick by republican voters who say the former secretary of state would make a pretty good vice president. what's going on in that front? more secret service agents expected to be forced out any moment now. details of the latest fallout from the prostitution scandal. new information about the crash of a boeing 737.
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mitt romney's campaigning in arizona this hour. you saw some of his speech live here just a little while ago. he's walking a fine line on an issue that's tripped up more than one candidate in that state. we're talking about immigration. our national political correspondent jim acosta is here with more on this part of the story. it's a sensitive issue for this candidate. >> it is a tricky issue and mitt romney's visiting arizona is giving him a taste of what could be a critical test. after taking a conservative stance on illegal immigration during the primaries, romney is coming under pressure to hold his ground on the issue. for mitt romney this event with gop leaders in arizona was part of his victory lap, a celebration of his status as
likely gop nominee. >> to take the white house, the senate and to keep the house. >> reporter: a key question has come up over romney's efforts to win the nomination will cost him in the general election, especially on the subject of illegal immigration. the issue is at the center of a fierce debate in arizona, home of the toughest immigration law in the country. >> i do not believe that laws like arizona should be a model for the country. >> reporter: republican senator marco rubio one of his party's favorites for romney's running mate reignited the issue when he weighed in on the dream act. a bill that would put the children of illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship. romney would not offer citizenship, but some kind of legal status, an idea that could bridge the divide. >> we had to figure out a way to accommodate young people who found themselves in that unfortunate circumstance. a suppose person for romney said he will study and consider the proposal. >> the answer is
self-deportation which is people can decide to do better by going home. >> reporter: romney had a conservative position earning him the critic -- >> if you want to create a real job for a u.s. citizen tomorrow, deport an illegal alien today. it actually works. >> an informal romney adviser and co-author of arizona's immigration law, cobock told cnn he doesn't expect him to moderate his stance one bit. >> i think it would be unusual for a presidential candidate to being bah away from statements he has made in debates and he didn't show any sign of doing so. >> kobach saw this as an endorsement of the measure. >> seek them out and arrest them as sheriff arpaio advocates? >> i think you see a model here in arizona. >> he stated very publicly that arizona's law should be a model
for how the federal government enforces immigration laws and he's correct there, too. >> reporter: the romney campaign said he was not endorsing arizona's law only the e verify system used by employers to confirm the legal status of workers. >> reporter: recent polls show him losing the hispanic vote by 40 percentage votes which is why joe biden says he thinks the president has a shot at winning the state and after the event that happened in arizona, rom no is scheduled to meet at a hispanic roundtable because he hasn't had many interactions with latino voters? when you're running for a republican contest, if you're a conservative, to get the nomination you run to the right, but as soon as you get it and he apparently now has it you run right back to the center. so we may be seeing some of that pivot unfolding right now. >> that will be the test for him. the question is whether he ran off a cliff during the primaries
instead of running to the right on the subject of illegal immigration. it is unclear whether latino voters would take those positions he's had and be satisfied. >> if he pivots on this issue it will upset a lot of those on the right. if he pivots toward the center and does a comprehensive immigration reform a la john mccain supported by ted kennedy and george w. bush. that will be a sensitive issue. thanks very much. we'll watch it very closely. there's growing buzz about who romney could be choosing as a potential vice presidential running mate. our senior correspondent, joe johns will take a closer look. joe? >> wolf, this is a dance that mitt romney actually went through last time around. he was vetted as one of the potential vice presidential prospects for john mccain, romney, and one of his closest advisers, beth meyers, are at the very beginning of a delicate and potentially risky selection process. mitt romney can afford to take his time on the running mate thing. the republican convention isn't
until late summer. >> i don't have a list for you. i can tell you that we have an embarrassment of riches. there are a number of extraordinarily strong leaders. >> reporter: in the latest cnn/orc poll, we took a look at the early favorites. the biggest surprise on cnn's list of potential running mates is a blast from the past. former secretary of state condoleezza rice came in first. when respondents were asked who would you like to see mitt romney choose and rice has something in common with a bunch of other potential vice presidential candidates. she's already said she's not up for it. >> i'm not interested. >> in being vice president. >> in being vice president. >> 26% of republicans and independents favored condoleezza rice for romney's running mate, followed by former pennsylvania senator rick santorum at 21%, even though for the record santorum who recently suspended his campaign for president hasn't so much as endorsed romney, at least not so far.
in the second tier of possible running mate, the straight-talking governor of new jersey chris christie is tied at 14% with freshman florida senator marco rubio, a tea party favorite according to the poll. the cuban-american rube yo who could help romney in a key battleground state has expressed zero interest in the job so many times some people are starting to believe him. >> i'm not going to be the vice presidential -- no, i'm not. >> reporter: the third tier of potential running mates include house budget committee chairman paul ryan of wisconsin. louisiana governor, bobby jindal and virginia governor bob mcdonnell. one of the most prominently mentioned running mates ron portman who has twice held cabinet-level positions gets an as terrific here because he registered less than one-half of 1% in the polling. in ohio earlier this year i asked portman whether he's interested in the job. he said no. >> reporter: what do you think of running as vice president with this guy?
>> i'm happy representing these folks in ohio. >> reporter: this is essentially a name recognition question right now with some people who may be considered for the number two slot. the main thing the running mate's got to be, no big secret. >> the one quality that comes to mind is you want someone to run the country as president if that were necessary. >> senator kelly ayott of new hampshire, nikki haley of south carolina and former florida governor jeb bush. in jetting the candidates they're expected to use a question air similar to the one mccain filled out when he was being considered as a vice presidential running mate. wolf? >> joe johns, thanks very much. sources close to romney, portman is someone they're taking a serious, and closer look at. listen to what portman told john
king last night. >> a lot of people say the traditional school was get someone who locks you up a state and they think ron portman would lock you up ohio. no republican has won the presidency without wing ohio. >> i think he's going to win ohio and the top issue in ohio is jobs and the economy. it's true in lorraine county whereby the way theray 8.7% unemployment and people are looking around for leadership so i think mitt romney has a good opportunity to win in ohio. >> he's being coy. he's not saying yes and not saying no. >> they never say yes. >> portman is obviously someone they think is on the short list. i don't think romney himself knows yet. they're going to be extensive vetting. they want to avoid the mistakes that mccain made the last time. >> oh, absolutely. look, i think mitt romney faces some of the same problems that john mccain faced, for example. he faces a huge gender gap and a
gender gullch. he faces conservatives and he's got to unite the conservative base and this is a very different environment from 2008 and it's a better environment for republicans and mitt romney is facing an incumbent president in a very iffy economy and the republican party will be a parody in terms of money so it's not as much as they would need a hail mary as the mccain people did. >> you wrote a good candidate upon. according to steve schmitt and i'll put it up on the screen. mitt romney will run a very tight, very focused search process which will result in someone indisputably prepared to be president of the united states. go ahead and explain. >> it was his clear implication there, and i spoke with him again and he also made the point
that the romney campaign's a different campaign from the mccain campaign. the mccain campaign was a bit chaotic, it was a bit dysfunctional. it was looking for a secret weapon in sarah palin and then after sarah palin, there is a new threshold question, and i think mitt romney himself said it in joe john's piece which is the american public will not accept a vice presidential nominee whom they do not to be qualified to be president of the united states and that may be the result of what occurred in 2008. that really might be. >> gloria, thanks very, very much. we'll watch it unfold and we're not going know who the vice presidential running mate is for months. stand by. we'll watch it very closely. get this, almost half of the american households throughout pay zero federal income tax. is it fair to raise the tax burden on millionaires? that's coming up in our strategy
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adviser. thank you very much for coming in. donna, i got up this morning and i read "the wall street journal" and i read the first line because it has major political ramifications and it says this, rising layoffs, falling home sales and slowing manufacturing activity are sparking fears that the economic recovery is headed for a string time stall for the third year in a row. if that's true, if the economy's going to stall out over the next several months, issue number one is the economy and jobs. that's bad political news for the president. >> it's bad political news for voters and bad political news for consumers and bad political news for everybody. yes, it will have an impact on the presidential election and this president can point to 25 months of consecutive job growth. 32 months of manufacturing growth. he can also point to the fact that he's working to try to modify houses and loans so people don't get under water so they can get relief from the bank. i think the president will have
a credible answer if the economy stalls this spring, but nobody wants it to stall. >> we're talking about the political fallout if it does, if it's not improving because the right track, wrong track numbers, political pollsters. take a look at our cnn/orc poll. how are things going in the country right now in 43% say well. 57% say badly. but if we take a closer look and take a look at the trend. 43% say things are going well now. in february, 40%, last august it was 24%. so you see, people are becoming more encouraged right now, and that could have a positive political spillover on the president if those kinds of numbers continue. >> the president would very much like the election forward looking and the reality is it will be about his record and there are few americans employed now than when he took office. no presence anyone was leched with 60%.
and there's a consistent pattern where if you ask them about the policies and you ask about the record, the policies are unpopular and his challenge is to somehow change that conversation from his record to the future, but it's going to be hard to shake. >> there's going to be at some point he'll have to say, look, i've been president for almost four years. you can't just blame the bush administration for all of the bad things that are going on right now. >> the good news is that he doesn't have to say the name george bush. people know it. they know exactly how we got here and they're still feeling the pains of the great recession of 2007. what the president needs to do is to offer his economic vision and contrast it with that of governor romney, and he will see the american people -- they want to hear what can they do together. >> it's part of his economic vision and part of his economic vision is that if you make $1 million or more, pay at least 30% tax, income tax if you make
more than $1 million, and the polls all show 60%, 70%, 75% of the public think it's fair. >> when you look at how they get to the numbers and if your income goes up, your affected tax rate does go up and the average millionaire does pay 30% and ultimately this which is a poll-driven, empty policy doesn't create a zob and doesn't solve the deficit problem and doesn't roll the ball with real tax reform. >> people look at the republican nominee and he made $20 million and he paid 14%, 15% income tax on that. >> it was designed to make mitt romney look bad. that's exactly what the president's up to. i think people want more from the president. they want real progress, and i think what you're seeing there in the political landscape is the recognition that there's a problem. you have joe manchin from virginia. you saw john tester who tried to distance himself from the president and you saw on many front, the health care bill and
the keystone pipeline voting with the republican, so his policies, the things that actually get done and not what he talks about on the campaign trail are popular. >> on the other side, donna, you've heard this from republicans and conservatives and democrats as well. they say is it fair that the top 1% earners in the country wind up paying almost 40% of all of the federal income tax every single year and almost half, about 45% of american households, they don't pay any income tax at all. they pay zero every single year. so they say is that fair? >> first of all, it's not fair for them to pay zero because they're paying -- >> we're talking about federal income tax, and withholding social security, but in terms of federal income tax they pay zero. >> earned income tax credit just like mitt romney was able to benefit from the current tax code. >> almost half of households pay zero in federal income tax. >> wolf, we have been talking for 30 years about trickledown
economics, about rewarding those at the top and not making sure that we level the playing field that every american can benefit from the tax code. so this is about, you know, income inequality. it's about the wealthy having disposable income and making sure that we have a sound, common sense balanced plan. >> it is fair that richer people should be paying more because they can afford it. >> americans always supported a progressive income tax and half of the people pay nothing and if you look at the actual data, as income goes up, the average tax rate does go up. sure, we need a better tax code, but layering another alternative tax on top of the alternative bin mum tax, that doesn't create a better tax code. it's just another complicated mess. the president should be pushing for a fundamental tax reform. bowles-simpson gave him one and he kicked it into the gutter. >> you can't just blame the president. all of the republican house members on that commission rejected it as well.
>>. [ indiscernible ] >> we had many corporations that did not even blame taxes. once again, we are blaming the poorest americans and those who can least afford it and taken the brunt of the budget cuts and we're not talking about corporations that essentially paid no money. i think we need to have a broader tax discussion and not just focus on the millionaires. >> tax reform is essential, but unfortunately, i haven't seen the guts on either side so far to take that jump. maybe they will do it, but they need some political guts to do it. they had an opportunity with bowles-simpson and they punted. >> we need a gut check in this country because most middle class americans are tired of paying all of the taxes. >> have you seen the president talk about it, the republicans passed it and no one has done it. >> i'm an optimist. >> me, too. >> thanks very much. here are other headlines making news on the cnn political ticker. the west virginia, senator joe manchin, says he may not vote for president obama in november.
according to "the national journal," senator manchin says the first three and a half years haven't been that good to his state. he'll decide based on what's best for his constituents. the former west virginia governor is known for his independence. president obama heads to jimmy fallon's couch to talk student loans and he'll be on the show tuesday at the university of north carolina, chapel hill. it's all part of an effort to pressure republicans to keep student loan rates at 3.4%. the gop worries about the cost of extending the measure estimated at $6 billion. matt damon says he would kiss george w. bush on the mouth all in the name of aids relief. according to "the atlantic," the factor and activist praises the president's efforts to bring aids drugs to africa. he is an obama supporter, but disappointed on this president's work on poverty and disease prevention in africa. be sure to read the ticker,
cnnpolitics.com. do it all of the time. the taliban claiming responsibility for the deadly downing of the u.s. helicopter. also, the latest on the crash of a boeing 737. everyone onboard apparently killed. >> also, we go under cover in an international murder mystery that could bring down one of the most powerful men in china. if yh a standard power moonroof, your options are going to be limited. ♪ if you want standard leather-trimmed seats, you're going to have even fewer. ♪ and if you want standard keyless access, then your choice is obvious. the lexus es. it's complete luxury in a class full of compromises. see your lexus dealer. ♪ [ multiple snds ng melodic tune ] ♪
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afghanistan. a u.s. military official says all four crew members are believed to be dead. the official says the helicopter was flying in bad weather, but they can't rule out any action. >> after a choppy week on wall street, both the dow and the s&p finished higher for the week, breaking a two-week losing streak. the nasdaq finished lower for the third straight week. investors were reacting to strong earnings from corporate america and positive news out of europe, wolf? >> lisa, thanks very much. >> a 737 plane crashes and more than 120 people killed. was the plane fit to fly? we'll go live to pakistan. ♪
>> there are apparently no survivors in the crash of a boeing 737 that went down as it was approaching islamabad. cnn's reza is there. what's the latest you're hearing about this crash? >> reporter: this crash happened about five hours ago local time. pakistani television station showed what appeared to be live pictures of the black box, and it looks like they have recovered that important device and you can be sure that
aviation officials will get their hands on that as soon as possible to figure out what caused this plane crash. more than 120 people onboard this plane, all of them feared dead. the first pictures of the plane crash, its aftermath shows a twisted and mangled debris. parts of the plane including the fuselage bearing the logo and images that appeared to be personal belongings of passengers, including passports, cell phones and luggage. this plane crash happened at the border of islamabad at 7:00 p.m. local time. a lot of residential areas of this neighborhood. it looks like the plane crashed into some buildings, but the good news no reports of fatalities on the ground and hopefully it will stay that way. a twist to the story that adds to the tragedy, wolf, is that this airline belongs to an aviation company that went out
of business, its website says its maiden flight from karachi to islamabad is april 20th. this could have been the first, or one of the first flights of this aviation company as it restarted operations. can't imagine a worst way to start back up, wolf. >> are pakistani authorities suggesting weather could have played a role, as you point out? >> they say it could have. there were severe thunderstorms when this plane went down, but it's important to remember this time in a year, in this region there's a lot of thunderstorms and planes regularly take off and land in the islamabad airport, so officials say it's too early to reach any conclusions and also a lot of speculations about the airworthiness of this airplane. there are unconfirmed reports that this plane was about 30 years old. a lot of people speculating about the conditions and the upkeep of this airplane. all of these matters will be looked at by investigators.
>> i assume boeing will send them out themeses since this is a u.s.-made 737. thanks, reza, very, very much. >> an international mystery is captivating china. we retrace the steps of a tie to the communist party. the latest on a new search on a missing child case more than three decades old. [ woman ] my husband, hank, was always fun.
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power and politics are colliding if a murder mystery gripping china and the rest of the world. it centers around a british ex-pate rat and communist official. cnn shows us how it all went down. >> reporter: i'm walking in the footsteps of neil haywood, down this musty hotel corridor, the same hotel where the businessman was found dead last november.
it is a world far removed from the high life he once enjoyed as an influential political corporate networker. >> this is the room itself, one of the hotel rooms here in the hotel that neil haywood died in. >> reporter: this is a hotel that has seen better days. there are dead bugs on the floor, stained walls, skirting boards are busted and the furniture is chipped. there are exposed electrical wires and rattee old air-conditioning unit. the only decorations here, are faded plastic flowers and appropriately enough for this story, a jigsaw puzzle on the wall. >> to get to the holiday hotel we drive through the hills outside chongq withiingchongqin.
in its prime it was a high-end resort area, and now it is the scene of a murder mystery that has captivated china. cars outside the hotel entrance are a giveaway. we booked in here, surprised to be given rooms after several other tv crews were turned away. over lunch, waitresses here keep their mouths shut. they're well versed in saying nothing. yet behind closed doors, this is all anyone is talking about. with each passing day more details are emerging of haywood's business and personal links to one of china's most powerful families and how it all went terribly wrong. the communist party chief of chongqing, a metropolis of 30 million people in southwest china. now he's in disgrace, purged from the party leadership and hidden from view. his wife is being investigated for haywood's murder. dozens of other people have been arrested. this local man certainly knows
what's been happening. boshilai is under investigation and his wife is involved in the death of the british man neal haywood. haywood was found dead in a villa like this one attached to the hotel. this is the living room, and you can see here the same stains on the walls, the same nondescript furnishings. this is hardly a hotel villa. plain-clothes police are all over this hotel. what happened on the night haywood died? what does it mean for bo shi lay and his family? for now the answers to the
questions are locked behind the hotel walls and we can only peer through the windows. stan grant, cnn, chongqing. further complicating the case, they initially said he died from excess drinking or heart attack and his body was quickly cremated without an autopsy performed. british lawmakers are asking whether haywood might actually have been a british spy. critical steps toward a huge airline merger. we're learning new details. stand by for that. more firings expected in the wake of the growing prostitution scandal and dramatic developments in the cold case that suddenly white hot. the search for a child that disappeared more than three decades ago. sure that we were on schedule. the first technology of its kind...
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agreement with u.s. airways. american airlines filed for bankruptcy protection last year and announced 13,000 job cuts in february. wolf? >> lisa, thanks very much. >> you're in "the situation room," happening now, a secret service agent joked about sarah palin long before he was caught up in a prostitution scandal. this hour we're learning more about some of the members of the secret service who have now lost their jobs. we're expecting, by the way, more resignations fairly soon. >> after three decades police may be close to solving the case of the first missing child featured on a milk carton. we're going live to a home in new york city where crews right now are frantically tearing apart a basement. >> and service members who dared to report sexual assault say they were forced out of the united states military and labeled as crazy. our own dr. sanjay gupta is investigating. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com another round of resignations in the secret service prostitution scandal. it could come at any time. a government source telling cnn at least three more members of the agency are expected to be forced out today. we're learning more about two of the three officers who already lost their jobs in this exploding scandal. brian todd has been investigating for us. brian? >> two names have been made public, wolf. both have supervisor positions. we've obtained more information about each man. one is taking serious heat for a picture and a joke he posted on facebook. on his facebook page he posts several pictures of himself in action, on protective detail. in one he's seen standing behind sarah palin and under the photo he posts a comment quote, i was
really checking her out if you know what i mean. david cheney is one of the secret service supervisors who lost his job because of the prostitution scandal in colombia. that's what they told cnn national security contributor fran townsend. palin responded to the facebook post. >> check this out, bodyguard, you're fired and i hope his wife sends him to the doghouse. >> he has an -- a posting which also says his father was a secret service agent. a former secret service official said chaney started on vice presidential detail when al gore was running for vice president in 2000 and he later protected vice president dick cheney. we tried repeatedly to speak with david chaney through calls to his lawyer and a visit to his house. he called sheriffs to keep us from being comboing on his door. >> they're not talking to anybody right now and again,
i've made it clear they want no one on the property. >> reporter: the neighbor said he spoke with cha america ey on occasion. >> what did you guys talk about? >> just wanting to get approval for whatever he was doing in the backyard. >> reporter: and how did you find him to talk to you? what was his manner like? >> very -- very personal, down to earth. >> reporter: another neighbor says chaney used to drive a long way to watch him play sports. >> and truly the best neighbors. fantastic. i really like them a lot. >> reporter: another describes him as gregarious. another supervisor who lost his job is identified as greg stokes. according to a radio program and a career posting on the university of maryland's website, he supervised the canine training unit outside washington. court documents indicate a greg stokes was involved in a divorce case from 2003 to 2005, a case in which there's correspondence from the secret service. his former wife was also a
secret service employee. attorney lawrence berger told cnn he's representing both chaney and stokes. he told us he's concerned about illegal leaks of privacy protected information coming from, quote, rogue elements within the secret service. the officers are getting, quote, a raw deal. wolf? >> you're also getting reaction from a former high-ranking secret service agent, a supervisor about this david chaney posting. the first woman to become deputy director of that agency, wolf. she told me that facebook posting and the joke are a violation of what she calls the sacred trust that they place in secret service agents. she told me overall short of an assassination, this is as bad as it gets for the secret service. that's very strong. >> very strong, indeed. appreciate your reporting.
thank you. we're also learning today that another member of the u.s. military is being questioned in connection with the prostitution scandal bringing the total number of military personnel under investigation up to 11 as we await for more resignations of secret service members. let's go to our white house correspondent, brianna keilar. she is also working the story for us. what are you hearing over there? >> reporter: wolf, at least three more secret service agents are expected to be pushed out today. this is according to a government source who spoke to cnn. so as you know, there are already three who have been pushed out including two supervisors. these resignations will come from among eight secret service agents who are on administrative leave. president obama has not had direct contact with mark sullivan. sullivan has been briefing a number of government officials including president obama's chief of staff and his deputy chief of staff, but not the
president directly himself which, of course, wolf, creates a sense of distance right now between president obama and sullivan. the white house says president obama stands behind sullivan, but wolf, we know how these things work. a lot of that will be contingent on what the findings of the investigation yield. >> i guess i shouldn't be too surprised, brianna. some republicans are raising questions about the president's leadership on this issue and other recent scandals. what's the white house saying about this? >> reporter: that's right because there have been a few lately. obviously, the secret service scandal is the largest, but there was also the exorbitant conference of the government agencies the gsa out of las vegas as well as coming to light pictures of service members in afghanistan posing with the remains of a suicide bomber in addition to this scandal involving the secret service. you've had some republicans like senator jeff sessions and sarah palin who governor sarah palin
who have raised issue with the president's leadership in connection with this and today white house press secretary jay carney responded to that saying they're politicizing this. >> it's a ridiculous assertion that trivializes. >> both the very serious nature of the endeavor that our military has engaged in in afghanistan and the very serious nature both of the work that the secret service does and the political nature of the institution, the -- and the seriousness of the investigation under way with regard to the secret service in the military and the incident in colombia. >> reporter: but by and large, wolf, most government officials including republicans are holding fire while the investigation continues. ann sullivan enjoys the support of important republicans, peter
king and darryl issa. >> brianna keilar at the white house. congressmen continue to demand answers about the secret service prostitution scandal and why it was allowed to happen. joining us now the chairman of the house homeland security committee congressman peter king. congressman, what can you tell us about these two secret service agents that we already know have been forced out, david chaney and greg stokes? >> actually, wolf, even though they've been removed there's still an ongoing investigation. as far as detail, the secret service is keeping them at close hold and i would rather not discuss it in public because what involves those two could pertain to the other nine ask i don't want to compromise the ongoing investigation. >> in principle, the fact that supervisors were also involved that raises serious questions that there was a cultural problem. this may not have been the first
time something like this happened. what's your assessment? >> reporter: well, the fact that supervisors were involved is indefensible and that's the job of a supervisor. the senior agent is to stop these things from happening and i'm not sure if it was the culture or not. i don't want to make that step until we find evidence of it. if it turns out there is evidence that's one thing, but right now i prefer to say that the right actions have been taken. three men who were employees and are no longer working for the secret service and again, supervisors have a special responsibility, but to say that that necessarily means that there's a culture, i don't want to make that stuff yet. i have a great regard for the secret service and unless we have the evidence i don't want to jump to that conclusion. what he told me when we met face-to-face on tuesday is that as soon as he gets evidence on any of the agents which he thinks is legally sufficient and his lawyers say they can move
he'll take tough, strong personal action against him, as the evidence comes in and as the investigation goes forward, once it reaches the level which he thinks is necessary and his lawyers say it's acceptable, he's going to take action and that's why we can expect to see action today or the next several days. >> and you still have confidence in mark sullivan, the director of the secret service. >> since he first heard about it, everything i've seen, he's doing the right thing and he moved effectively and quickly right at the start and he's continued to do that. from all i know and have heard and seen, this is a very tough and thorough investigation that following every lead, pursuing every lead and so, yes, the only way to judge him is how did he react when he first learned about it. after the moment he learned about it he has moved quickly, swiftly and effectively. >> we know the investigation is focusing in on members of the secret service and members of the u.s. military who may have
been involved in this prostitution ring. do you have any indication at all that white house staffers are also being investigated? >> wolf, i'm focused on the secret service, and the homeland security committee. the secret service is within my jurisdiction and i'm not going into the lane of the military or the white house. that is for others, and i am focused entirely on the secret service and that's my responsibility and that's what i intend to stay focused on, it's the investigations that overlap and that's one thing, but right now i don't see that. the investigation of the secret service is conducting and what i'm doing is focused entirely on the secret service. >> do you know if u.s. investigators on the scene in colombia who had access have been able to question the women who were involved? >> my understanding is they've not yet spoken to the women although that would have changed
today and they've spoke tonight maids in the rooms and they've not made contact with the secret service as of yesterday or this morning. >> one final question, our david chaney who was relieved and been in the secret service since '87. he's the one that on his facebook page posted a snarky comment about sarah palin when she was a vice presidential nominee saying i'm checking her out and something look those li lines and totally inappropriate. when you heard that what went through your mind? >> that bothered me and i'm no moralist, but when it's your job to be protecting someone especially when that person is female and to be making those types of remarks and posting them is indefensible and entirely unprofessional, and it raises serious questions about him because again, you have an obligation to the person you're protecting. you have an obligation to the
secret service which has the professional duty to protect the president and the vice president and obviously, there were sexist remarks about sarah palin and any remark whether it was president obama or john mccain or george bush or joe biden. you cannot make any type of remark and post it. your own private thoughts and if you don't like someone or whatever, that's one thing, but to be going public and letting the world know how you feel. it puts a cloud over it because we are under the absolute belief and impression that no matter how a secret service agent feels toward someone they will guard them totally professionally and when you see that type of thing it makes you wonder. it was wrong and totally unprofessional. >> peter king, chairman of the house homeland security committee, thanks, as usual. >> thank you. >> scary close encounters between jets and birds. wait until you hear what famous americans were in planes that took a hit. newt gingrich is wasting about $38,000 a day in taxpayer
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the u.s. military is launching a now crackdown on rape. the pentagon estimates right now there were 19,000 sexual assaults within the u.s. armed forces last year alone. 19,000. most were unreported and unpunished. some assault victims who did come forward say they were pushed out of the military and essentially labeled as crazy. our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta has been investigating this story for us. sanjay has this report. >> reporter: doing the right thing was in 21-year-old's stephanie schroeder's blood. >> i joined shortly after 9/11. i thought it was the right thing to do. >> reporter: six months after enlisting in the marines she found herself training in a base
in virginia. on saturday she decided to blow off steam with some fellow marines. >> we went out to dinner. i got up to go to the restroom, and my attacker followed me and forced his way into the bathroom. i went to pull the door shut, and he grabbed it and he flung it back as hard as he could, and charged into the bathroom and slammed the door behind him. >> reporter: back on base, schroeder reported what happened to the officer in charge. >> i told her i need to report an assault, and she just looked at me and then she started laughing and said don't come bitching to me because you had sex and changed your mind . >> reporter: schroeder took a lie detector test about the assault and passed. she was forced to work with him side by side for over a year. meanwhile, her rank was reduced and her pay was docked. she says all because of the
incident. >> if you want to keep your career you don't say anything. you just -- bear it. you just deal with it. >> reporter: but dealing was a struggle. in early 2003, five months pregnant with her now husband in iraq, schroeder felt suicidal. she went to see an on-base psychiatrist. >> the first time he was very nice. the second time we got into the assault and shortly after that the chain of command said well, we're starting an administrative discharge against you. >> reporter: on june 30, 2003, schroeder received her discharge papers. the reason given for separation, personality disorder. a disorder that defines as a long standing pattern of maladapted behavior beginning in adolescence or early adulthood. >> it makes no sense medically for people to be diagnosed after being sexually assaulted as an
adult in the military to say no, you've had this all along. >> anu is a former marine and is witha a veterans advocacy group. >> it's extremely convenient to slap a false diagnosis on a young woman or man and then just get rid of them. >> reporter: i'll tell you as well the whole issue of a potentially false diagnosis leading to the discharge of these military members, wolf, that's what's at issue. we had the chance to talk to leon panetta and asked him about that issue specifically. listen to what he said. >> obviously, our goal here is to try and put in place what we need in order to deal with these cases as we move forward. >> there are procedures within the department of defense that allow these individuals to raise these concerns and determine whether or not they have not been treated fairly, but i think, and i hope that they'll follow those procedures to determine whether or not that has been the case.
>> and the pentagon also gave us a statement, wolf, if any military member feels they were discharged unfairly, there is a discharge review board which is something schroeder who you met in the piece, and it's been cumbersome and it's been many years and still unresolved, wolf. >> how often are victims getting psychiatric dischargees and does it really impact their benefits after they're discharged? >> i was surprised by the number, wolf. and people listen to a story like this and they think is this an isolated case? you found between the years 2001 and 2010, 31,000 military members were discharged because of the diagnosis of personality disorder. and you heard the description, personality disorders are usually something that come on in early adulthood and even adolescence and these are people being diagnosed for the first time and that is part of what raise people's suspicion. yes, one thing that you and i talk about all of the time,
wolf, is once you have a preist anying condition which they now have it's very hard to get insurance even through the va even after they leave the military and also things like the g.i. bill and educational benefits, they may not beelinible for either. some of the folks went into the military be being hopes of offsetting the costs in the future. >> what a story. thanks so much for doing it, and i want to alert our viewers. sanjay will have much more on this very powerful and important story tomorrow morning, sunday morning 7:30 a.m. eastern on "sanjay gupta m.d." only here on cnn. if the idea of starbucks using bugs in your drinks doesn't sit well in your stomach, there is an important development you'll want to see. stand by. a rare glimpse of dust. dust clouds in galaxies, hundreds of light years away. what these images could tell us about the universe.
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excellent news for starbucks fanatics out there who are upset about the company using bugs to color a few of its drinks. lisa sylvester is monitoring this story and other top stories in "the situation room" right now. lisa, what's the latest? >> hi, wolf. the coffee chain now says it plans to stop using an extract made of dried insects and will instead use one made of tomatoes. the organization change.org wants partial credit. they gathered 6,000 signatures to pressure starbucks to switch to a vegan-friendly coloring. >> and a dramatic new image of one of of mexico's volcanoes erupting east of mexico city.
scientists started recording activity tuesday and precautions are being taken for the more than 19 million people living there. schools were closed and residents were advised to avoid the outdoors. the last time the volcano erupted was back in 2000. >> it looks like a giant eye. it's an aging star hundreds of light years away. it's just one of a thousand amazing photos captured by nasa's special space telescope posted online. the telescope allows astronomers by working inside dust clouds and studying distant galaxies. and one of the country's most historic stadiums turns 100 years old today. boston's legendary fenway park is known for its huge left field wall nicknamed the green monster. it has been home to one of baseball's biggest stars including babe ruth and ted williams after ruth was sold to the new york yankees, boston won
the world series in 2004 and 2007 and a lot of people say the curse was finally lifted. >> it certainly was, the washington nationals are doing very, very well so far this year. thanks very much. >> a landmark cold case could be broken wide open at any minute. we're following the frantic dig for clues about the first missing child to appear in the milk carton and is new york city doing enough to make sure airplanes are safe from bird strikes? we're looking into the problem after a very scary emergency landing.
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>> reporter: hi, wolf. the case is moving forward because of leads the police say they got from the former carpenter. he is 79 years old. according to sources he had befriended the little boy and even given him money. this basement is only a half block away from where the patz family lived and this carpenter had been in his basement with the boy the day before the boy disappeared and the reason the fbi says it is cautiously optimistic is because when investigators sent in a cadaver dog to the basement about ten days ago it picked up a scent. the fbi also questioned this carpenter and during that time sources say that the man blurted out quote, what if the body was moved and that led to this massive excavation that began yesterday and is still going on at this hour. we need to point out that mr. miller is not under arrest.
he is not in police custody and his attorney says he has nothing to do with the disappearance of etan patz. >> i am not saying anything further other than mr. miller denies involvement with what happened to this beautiful young boy and he is going to remain cooperative to the extent that's reasonably possible given this investigation. >> the fbi's been here to investigate the case. he cooperated with them and went to the site and he doesn't have anything to do with it. >> reporter: and that is mr. miller's daughter. meantime all this excavation work is still going on. at one point fbi agents earlier this day even put together sort of an assembly line, wolf, to pick up and carry out huge chunks of concrete that they're pounding away at in the basement. i am told they're digging at least six feet down that deep, below the cement surface of that
basement trying to get any indication as to whether any of that earth or floor had been moved or changed in any way and they plan on being here probably through monday. wolf? >> susan candiotti on the scene for us. thank you. etan patz's disappearance has had a huge impact on this country. cnn's tom foreman joins us nor with this part of the story. it's hard to believe 33 years. >> it's amazing to see the story come up again and the thing is even if you never heard about this story, if you never heard his name, and if you're too young and you just don't recall it. the simple truth is it has changed our world in terms of missing children because it really was the first case, and because of the rise in local news and the technology of transmitting images and the instant live capability of television at the time became a national cause. the baffling disappearance of the 6-year-old boy electrified the whole country in 1979.
etan was walking alone to his bus stop for the first time that day. he was eager for school. the distance was only two blocks and suddenly he was gone, with few clues or witnesses to shed light on what happened. his face was one of the first of a missing child to ever appear on a milk carton, a national manhunt ensued and even as the leads led nowhere, public awareness grew about the whole problem of missing kids. five years later president reagan signed legislation which led to the creation of the national center for missing and exploited children. >> etan was the face of the movement. in many ways he was the first missing child. he was america's missing child. >> reporter: ernie allen is president and ceo and has followed the patz case for years. >> they make things better or worse for missing children? >> it's bad in that it created in many ways too much fear. i think it was good in that it
awakened the nation, and it made parents think that we couldn't anymore engage in benign neglect and assume that the world was a better place. >> etan was officially declared dead in 2001 as part of a civil lawsuit filed by the family against a drifter. a judge found ramos responsible for the death and ordered him to pay the family $2 million. [ inaudible ] >> the parents made it clear their lawsuit was never about the money, but justice. still ramos has never paid the money or been criminally charged in the patz case. he is currently finishing up a 20-year sentence in a prison for molesting another boy and he's set to be released later this year. whether the family will know anything more about etan's
disappearance by then depends as it has for 30 years on the slow, steady work of investigators following a long, cold trail. what we do know is this, so many of the technological changes we've seen over the years, efforts to track children, efforts to set up amber alerts and things to let whole communities know that a child is missing and to coordinate police, forts to find them have been dramatically improved, all these years driven first by the case of etan patz and the results have been dramatic, worse. in 1990 the center for missing and exploited children that they only had a 62%, 65% rate and now it's much closer to 97%, 98%. so huge, huge improvements and hopefully some answers for the family and for the whole nation in the next few days. >> it's been a sad story all around. thanks very much, tom. tom foreman reporting. a watchdog group is taking direct aim at newt gingrich
thousands of taxpayer there ares every single day. he's continuing to damp camp and he's getting secret service protection even though mitt romney is considered the all, but certain republican nominee. lisa sylvester is looking into the story. he's out on the campaign trail and he has secret service protection and that's not chief. >> newt gingrich's bid for the white house has been limping along. the former house speak's camp is so low on cash that earlier this month it rented out its donor list. one expense gingrich doesn't have to worry about is his personal security and car service. that's because they're being picked up by the taxpayers. you see them here, the men and women in the background at campaign stops. it's newt gingrich's secret service detail. gingrich and mitt romney both have secret service protection, but unlike romney, gingrich has fallen way behind in the delegate count and all, but admits he has no chance of being the gop nominee.
still gingrich wants to ride it out until the convention and riding along with him, his security detail. >> when we look at the numbers -- >> the cost to taxpayers can run to $38,000 a day for one candidate according to 2008 testimony from the secret service director. candidates can opt out of secret service protection. ron paul, for example, has done that. david williams of the taxpayers' protection alliance says it's time gingrich pulls the plug. >> a lot of people will look at this story and read about this and hear about this and say see? this is why i don't trust washington. they don't get it. they don't understand that $40,000 is a lot of money to me. a lot of money to my neighbor, and they say politicians lose sight of money. they talk in millions, billions and now trillions and they forget that us people out here in the land, $40,000, boy, that's our income for a year. >> reporter: former secret service agent larry cunningham says a typical detail includes
coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week. >> we have the vehicles and the agents and there's the area beyond the immediate perimeter, if you will, where a significant security infrastructure exists with local police and other first responders. >> reporter: gingrich spokesman r.c. hammond dismissed complaints about the security detail, quote, we think taxpayers make tax experts and security experts need security experts so if we need tax advice we'll check in with the tax experts. watch dogs say cutting off $38,000 a day isn't going to narrow the deficit, but it will send a powerful message. >> it would be a hugely symbolic gesture for newt gingrich to say listen, our country is in bad shape and symbolically i'll do this. i understand the campaign is pretty much over so let's just save money wherever we can. >> we contacted the secret service, but they could not comment on this story and gingrich, it's clear, has no
intention of giving up secret service protection and as long as he remains a candidate he will continue to have around the clock detail on a taxpayer expense. >> that's almost $4 million right there of taxpayer dollars that will be used to try to protect it. you can see how it could add up considerably and you heard what david williams said $38,000, $40,000 that's a person's salary for an entire year and that's what they're spending on one day. >> ron paul has declined secret service protection and says he doesn't want to waste taxpayer dollars. >> thanks very much for that, lisa. >> a scary new emergency landing raising concerns about bird strikes and how safe you are when you fly. also where do chimpanzees go to retire? we're catching up with some in a fascinating new place. i went to a small high school. the teacher that comes to mind for me
is my high school math teacher, dr. gilmore. i mean he could teach. he was there for us, even if we needed him in college. you could call him, you had his phone number. he was just focused on making sure we were gonna be successful. he would never give up on any of us. everyone in the nicu, all the nurses wanted to watch him when he was there 118 days. everything that you thought was important to you changes in light of having a child that needs you every moment.
joe biden's office, the vice president confirming birds hit the c-32 carrying the vice president when it landed in santa barbara, california. the state department says a bird was sucked into the engine of a plane carrying secretary of state hillary clinton from brussels to paris. you may remember cnn's own ali velshi was on the flight from new york to los angeles that was forced to make an emergency landing yesterday because of a bird strike. our mary snow is taking a closer look into what appears to be a growing problem. mary, what's going on? >> wolf, the incident on thursday, the emergency landing is still being investigated. it is not certain the kind of bird that struck the engines, but here in new york the city has stepped up efforts in recent years to cut the risk of bird strikes and that's because the population of canada geese has been increasing and they flock to areas near the city's major airports. just moments after delta flight 1063 took off from jfk airport thursday, it was clear something went wrong.
>> delta 1063 has had an engine failure on the right engine declaring an emergency due to a bird strike. >> reporter: passengers described smoke and a loud noise in the cockpit. >> 1063, we'll clear the right. we lost the right. >> the plane landed safely and everyone was okay. but there was visible damage to the engine. the problem stems from spots like this with the main culprit, canada geese. this sanctuary is in the shadows of jfk airport and wild life biologist steve garber who once worked for the airport counts 300 species of birds. >> because this is such a metropolitan built up area there aren't too many spots to land and if birds see other birds, it's an there. >> reporter: a host of things has been used to control canada geese. but it's not just jfk. it was la guardia airport where u.s. air flight 1549 took off
when a flock of canada geese struck its engines and it landed on the hudson river. in response, the city started working with the department of agriculture to euthanize canada geese to cut down on the risk of another midair mishap but they only have a small window over the summer when the geese are malting and can't fly. now the city is the target of a lawsuit over this garbage transfer center. it's being built right near an la guardia. this attorney represents advocates suing the city to try and stop it. >> birds like garbage. so what we're saying to the city is this doesn't make any sense. this is 2,000 feet from the la guardia area airport runway and all it can do is attract more birds. >> reporter: for years the city has maintained it's safe. >> the faa thinks it's safe and they're the professionals. >> reporter: the city also says there was garbage kept at the site up till 2001 without incident. and it says this new facility will be covered. critics point to thursday's
emergency landing as one more reason they don't want anything else attracting birds so close to runways. the city says last year it euthanized 575 birds. it's down from roughly 600 the year before. it is on track to carry out the program again this year in june and july. >> we have a sense how common all this is, mary? >> reporter: much more common than you might think. according to faa statistics, the faa says there have been over 100,000 wildlife strikes between the years of 1990 and 2008 and that includes civilian and mel tear aircraft. it's really when those large birds can do damage to the engines that we hear the reports about it. >> mary snow reporting from new york. thank you. snacks of roses and cut-up fruit. inside the cushy new haven where chimpanzees can go to retire.im e that could adapt to changing road conditions. one that continually monitors and corrects for wheel slip.
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factory to produce books and paper. in egypt, thousands take part in friday prayers in protest of the ruling military government. and in india, look at this, the national fisheries development board opens a new building designed as, you guessed it, a fish. hot shots, pictures coming in from around the world. for decades, chimpanzees have been used in all kinds of research. but what do you do when it's time to retire them? let's bring in cnn's john zarrella who caught up with a few of them at a fascinating new place. john. >> reporter: it really is, wolf. you know, the question is becoming really a concern. because in the near future, they may not be able to use chimpanzees any longer for invasive research. so what do you do with nearly 1,000 chimpanzees that nobody would want anymore? here's a real special place where some of them might end up.
a red rose snack. some like the stems. others the petals. and cut-up fruit, mm-mm. but you get the sense they'd prefer you hand it to them. here, have some more. >> susie, you're not catching very well. >> reporter: this is chimp haven, sitting on 200 acres outside shreveport, louisiana. there are forested habitats. great for climbing. fruits and veggies are always scattered around. in essence, this is a chimp retirement home. >> we look at what a chimpanzee needs. we base that on what they're like in the wild. they need a lot of friends, a lot of space. >> reporter: there are 130 of these great apes here. there's a growing chance that in the near future hundreds of chimps now in research facilities might need a home like this. legislation awaiting action in
congress would put an end to all invasive research using chimpanzees. and a much anticipated study commissioned by the national institutes of health, nih, found the use of chimps in most cases, quote, unnecessary. the growing concern for sanctuary and laboratory officials is what to do with all these animalses if suddenly they can no longer be used for research. chimps can easily live more than 50 years. and the daily cost for care between $25 and $50 per animal. >> we could probably take 40, 50, 60 more chimpanzees if just this outside area was completed. >> reporter: money is the reason it's been sitting unfinished for six years. ever since the contractor went bankrupt and costs escalated. the chimps here come from a variety of backgrounds. henry was a pet. he lived 15 years in a cage in a garage before his rescue. 50-year-old sarah was used in
cognitive research. so these chimpanzees behind me, there are five of them, are here for one very specific reason. nobody else will take them. they were at one time infected with and carry the aids virus. most of chimp haven's animals were research supple. >> it's amazing to see them experience breeze for the first time. some of these chimps haven't even had outdoor access before. >> reporter: right now if the laws were to change there aren't enough sanctuaries for all the chimps. many would likely stay in the research facilities where they've already spent most of their lives. now, sunday at 8:00 p.m. on "cnn presents," we're going to take the viewers on a cross country journey with ten chimpanzees who spent decades in what is now a defunct research facility. from that facility to a sanctuary here in florida. it's really fascinating stuff. wolf. >> i'm looking forward to it,
john. ow taxpayers paying the bill for any of of this? >> yes, they do. in fact, that unfinished portion we just saw of that enclosure, it could be finished for $1 million. taxpayers already footed the bell for the construction of what's built. and for about 1 million bucks they say it could be finished and they could take all these other chimps. but there just aren't enough federal dollars there, although they are subsidized. but they have to raise money as well to offset the subsidies. there just isn't enough money. it sits there wasted, wolf, right now. where it could enclose a bunch of chimps. e government doesn't have the money to fenniinish it. >> how many chimps are involved in this? >> there's 130 there now. if legislation goes through, if laws change, you could be looking at 1,000 chimpanzees in half a dozen research facilities around the country that are going to be looking for homes. >> john zarrella, thanks very much. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf btz