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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  May 16, 2011 2:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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back. >> all right. he has been called a political anger puppet and they are people that say he's got more than his 15 minutes of fame but, hey, it's just funny. >> he's funny and i think a lot of people agree with him this time around. >> the gas is too high. >> it is. too damn high. joe johns, that does it for us here in atlanta. it's wolf blitzer here in "the situation room." wolf, to you. >> brooke, thank you very much. the republican presidential race without donald trump. just hours ago, the celebrity mogul said he won't run for the white house. we're taking a closer look at his decision and whether his flirtation with politics created enthusiasm or was simply a distraction. plus, an influential player is now an inmate and charged with attempted rape and sexual assault. this hour the shocking case against the head of the international monetary fund and why he was denied bail.
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and president obama makes some high school students cry. this hour, the inspiring against the odds story that brought the commander in chief to their school. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." first this hour, the shrimping republican presidential field. we've seen prominent contenders opt out of the 2012 race in recent weeks, including former arkansas governor mike huckabee. say so long to the prospect with the biggest name, deepest pockets, and most outrageous remarks. that would be none other than donald trump. he announces an event to report the tv series, celebrity apprentice. >> after getting so many called from bob and from steve and everybody, i've decided that we are going to continue onward well "celebrity apprentice." we're going to continue making lots and lots of money for
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charity. i will not be running for president as much as i'd like to and i want to thank everybody very much. thank you very much. it's been a great season. thank you. >> let's bring in joe johns who is here with more. what led up to his decision? the only thing that i was surprised, joe, is the way he announced it, i thought after the last episode he didn't waste any time. he did it today. >> that's for sure. and some are saying it was about the ratings. political analysts and others are saying in hindsight it's just not that surprising that he dropped out though he shows in the poll if he got in the race, some are concerned that he will make republicans look extreme, especially considering how he handled the so-called birther issue. >> donald trump, back in february, speaking to a major gathering of conservatives. >> while i am not at this time a candidate for presidency, i will
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decide by june whether or not i will become one. and i will tell you the reason that i'm thinking about it is that the united states has become a whipping post for the rest of the world. >> his last-minute appearance at the conservative political action conference kicked off his latest flirtation with running for the white house. a few weeks later, this. >> i want him to show his birth certificate. there is something on that birth certificate that he doesn't like. >> the billionaire businessman, real estate mogul and real estate tv star makes headlines by questioning whether president obama was born in the u.s., reigniting a birther controversy which had been simmering since he ran for the white house four years ago. >> i would say very simply, why doesn't he show his birth certificate? why has he spent over $2 million in legal fees to keep this quiet and to keep this silent? >> reporter: just a few weeks later, the president asked the
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state of hawaii to release his long form birth certificate. whether or not pressure from trump was behind his decision, he took credit. >> i'm very proud of myself because i've accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish. >> the next day, speaking to a republican women's group in las vegas, trump uses profanities to make his point. >> we're going to tax you 25%. >> to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the donald. that's because he can finally get focussed to focusing on the issues that matter. like did we fake the moon landing? what really happened in
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rosswell? >> since then, we have seen it drop and the negative rise and national poll. wolf f. one more thing. trump goes out with bravado saying that he is convinced if he ran he would have run the republican nomination and the general election. >> lots of bravado. thank you very much. joe johns, let's dig deeper with trump out of the running in 2012 getting closer. look for the gop presidential race to get more serious. let's bring in our senior political analyst gloria borger. why did he decide not to run? >> because he actually wasn't going to win the presidency, nor was he going to win the republican nomination. i talk to people who saw his internal polling and his internal polling really started going south, wolf, after this whole birther issue and the president came out, showed his birth certificate and the more people saw of donald trump as a
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presidential candidate, the less they decided they wanted him to be president. he had a 64% unfavorable rating. that's pretty hard if you actually are going to win a nomination for the presidency, much less the presidency. i spoke to one republican who said, let's chalk this up as one of the more bizarre vinettes in american history. >> he did get some traction, though, in those polls when he asked likely republican voters who they like for the nomination. >> and that really tells you what kind of a vacuum there is in the republican field. he appealed immediately to a constituency in the republican party that does not like barack obama. with the birther issue, he had that ready made constituency. but republicans started to get worried, wolf, that the more traction he got, the more he was hijacking the conversation and made the republican party seem like it was very much out of the mainstream and so there were a
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lot of relief actually when he announced that he wasn't going to run. most republicans i spoke with always assumed this was about ratings. this wasn't about the president. >> earlier years about running he decided not to run either. >> when mike huckabee announced on saturday night that he wasn't going to run, he heard from republican candidates praising him because he has a constituency that they want to grab, particularly in iowa that has the evangelical christians. take a look at this poll. we asked republicans what their choice for the nominee was with trump and huckabee gone. you'll see mitt romney is atop
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23, 17%, gingrich at 13% and then paul at 12% and bachmann at 7%. >> you have the income coming in, they like it. >> one would argue, trump is making more money as a result of this. >> he's making a ton of money. >> yeah. >> thanks very much. now, a sensational sexual assault, a case made even more sensational because of the defendant. he's the head of the international monetary fund and he's one of the most important players in the world of international finance. right now dominique strauss-kahn is behind bars in new york charged with sexually assaulting a hotel maid. richard roth has more on the arraignment and the bail that was denied. what's the latest? >> reporter: the latest is that dominique strauss-kahn is headed to an isolation cell. le have no contact with other inmates. it's an astonishing turn of events for this financial bigwig that the leader of the
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international monetary fund is now going to be spending his days behind bars. >> dominique strauss-kahn. >> dominique strauss-kahn entered a criminal court facing sexual assault charges looking haggard after more than a day in police custody. one of the most powerful titans spent the night in a prison cell after authorities did a forensic examination of him, looking for scratch marks and physical evidence after a hotel maid's shocking allegations. in addition, he underwent a humiliating so-called perp walk publicly handcuffed. he was charged with several counts of sexual assault, including attempted rape and section assume abuse. the alleged attack was on a 32-year-old black woman, reported leanne african immigrant. the prosecution said he shut the door and prevented the woman
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from leaving, grabbed her chest without consent, attempted to remove her panty hose and forcibly grabbed her between her legs. bail should not be granted because he could leave the country and never return. >> the defendant has additional motivation to flee. we also know that the defendant has the personal, political, and financial resources. >> reporter: they say that kahn called the hotel asking for his phone to be delivered to new york proving that he wasn't fleeing. he could stay with his daughter in new york. >> the defendant is a well-known, well-respected international person. he is also probably the most easily identified individual in the world today as a result of the publicity that has been generated in the last 72 hours. >> reporter: the judge said the law applies to strauss-kahn as it does to any other defendant
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and said that he was about to board a plane. >> we are disappointed. he is still presumed independno. i would ask all of you to presume the presumption of innocence so we can get a fair trial. >> reporter: prosecutors say they believe strauss-kahn engaged in previous acts. he will appear in court on may 20th while the case goes to a grand jury. among the six counts against him followed by the new york prosecutors, the next one could be a term up to 25 years in jail and quite an iron thry. he could not himself get bailed out of the new york criminal justice system here. >> do we know that forensic examination of him, did they find scratch marks or any evidence ever a fight along those lines?
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>> no evidence, no indication given to the authorities. he will appear before a grand jury before his appearance back here on friday. >> thank you for reporting for us. before he was arrested, many people thousand that dominique strauss-kahn had a huge future in his homeland of france. jim bitterman, how is this playing in france right now? >> well, i think people are stup fied. the pictures of the perp walk of dominique strauss-kahn being walked with two policemen in and out of the courthouse is amazing because just 72 hours ago, most people expected this man to be the next president of france and here he is in handcuffs and going to and from a jail cell. it really was an amazing site. and over the socialist party
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headquarters, there were even tears as people were trying to figure out how to react to this. basically, it's taken away their leading candidate, the man that they thought and hope would succeed nicolas sarcozy. >> are folks in france taking him seriously that he was set up bizarre cozy or a political enemy? >> well, you know, the fun three thing is, he himself started the conspiracy theories a few weeks ago. he said, you know, people are going to go after me because of my affiliations would women and try to get a woman to hang out in the parking lot and say that i had sexual relations with her or something like that. he even suggested that kind of thing could happen. so i think there's a willingness here to believe that it's impossible that this man could have been guilty of the kinds of things that he's accused of.
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on the other hand, when we heard the court presentation today, it was pretty dramatic and people's minds might be changing there. i don't think there's a real serious conspiracy theory. i think it's starting to fade now. >> so can we assume that sarkozy has an easier path to get himself elected? a socialist as well, sarkozy back and forth still has an uphill battle and may help him somewhat but not a whole lot. most of the voters that would have voted for strauss-kahn will go alone with some going to the center and possibly a few to the right. sar cozy is not likely to be
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watched. >> jim, thank you very much. a new olive branch from pakistan to the united states. it's the tail of the chop thear the u.s. navy s.e.a.l.s left behind on bin laden's compound. will it help repair relations between the two countries and why presidential candidate newt gingrich being accused of playing racial politics against president obama. i was driving in northern california. my son was asleep.
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washington's troubled finances. jack cafferty is here. jack? >> reporter: the $4.3 trillion debt ceiling was hit today. tim geithner as so informed the congress, it's no surprise. lawmakers don't appear to be any closer to an agreement on raising the limit further. the u.s. government relies on the debt ceiling to tell it how much money it can borrow. we spend an average of $118
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billion a month more than we take in. geithner says he can keep things going until early august and says all bets are off. congress has to agree on raising the debt ceiling by then or we're in big trouble. the united states could default on its debt obligations and that in turn could have devastating effects on our still shaky economy and actually royal markets around the world. a lot of republicans and some democrats are refusing to vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling without a promise to make meaningful spending cuts. while critics have warned against tieing those issues together, lawmakers are more concerned about all of this talk about debt ceiling and deficit reduction is likely to play out with the voters. some republicans think if they vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling further, voters, especially those and the highly vocal, newly powerful and conservative tea party will see a fiscally irresponsible.
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a new gallup poll shows that 47% of americans are opposed to raising the debt sealing. 19% are in favor of it. significantly, more than a third say they don't know enough about the topic to say one way or the other. should the congress vote to increase the nation's debt ceiling? go to file and post your comment on my blog. >> very good question, jack, thank you. senator john kerry says there's no need for the united states to apologize to pakistan for a successful raid that killed osama bin laden. kerry said it's critical to mend strained ties. can washington hit the reset button with pakistan? our foreign affairs correspondent, jill dougherty, is joining us live. jill? >> reporter: now that the world's most famous or infamous terrorist has been found in your country, it can't be business as usual. and the pakistanis are angry
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that they consider that raid on osama bin laden's compound as a violation of their sovereignties. so what is plan b for this relationship? a first step in the u.s. and pakistan trying to clear up their relationship. pakistan tries to give up the u.s. military helicopter in the operation to kill osama bin laden. u.s. government sources tell cnn tough conversations with senior pakistani officials. >> my goal has been to talk with the leaders here about how to manage this critical relationship more effectively. about how to open up the opportunities to put this relationship back on track. >> reporter: sources familiar with kerry's decision said that he told pakistanis that the $1.5 billion a year for five years, aid that he co-sponsored, is on
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the line, unless islamabad comes clean on who knew what and when about how they managed to hide in pakistan. they are committed to more cooperation on joint anti-terror operations and intelligence sharing. but a senior pakistani official says his government is asking 350 out of 400 u.s. military trainers in pakistan to leave the country. and u.s. doubts about pakistan's commitment to fighting terrorism fester. >> pakistan has become a collective safe haven for terrorists and terrorists leaders. >> but what can that president do to really pull this back and mover it forward because you can't go backwards? >> there's no silver bullet. >> reporter: pakistan says that the relationship can be saved but the administration should focus more on helping pakistan
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officials and their weak government rather that beefing up the military. >> education, health, power, fran structure so that they can have electricity, water, these are the things that people want and that they complain about and that the government has failed to provide them in pakistan. >> reporter: so experts, what they are really sayinging, is that by helping the civilian government would give it more clout and also help the pakistanis to put more pressure on their own military to fight terrorism without obsessing about that perceived threat from india and then finally, wolf, the state department is confirming that secretary clinton is going to be going to pakistan and her mission is to have indepth talks about the future of the relationship with the united states. >> she's not going to go at the end of this month, though, as originally, tentatively planned. she's going to delay that trip for the time being and send a deputy, if you will. >> right. we don't know exactly when it will be and you are right that they put it off. obviously when you bring in the secretary of state you want to
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make sure that you have everything ready. ne and that's why officials are going to pavement way. tensions mounting along israel's border. now both the u.s. and israelis are both pointing the finger at the middle east leader. stand by. and we know big leaders who will not be running for presidential election, like donald trump and mike huckabee. who stands to gain with them out? ♪ [ male announcer ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible.
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you can wipe two big names off the list for republican presidential candidates. mike huckabee and donald trump saying that they won't run. what does this mean for the white house? the democratic strategist, donna brazile and the republican strategist mare reis here. among the field out there, who wins by these two guys' decision to stay in television and not run for the white house. >> well, the whole field wins for the trump departure because he was sucking things out of the air but huckabee is likeable, had a great capacity for articulating complex ideas and made everybody play up. so we'll -- sorry, donald, you're fired and we're happy about that. but we're going to miss huckabee.
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what it will mean strategically and mitt could run up the middle or they could go around santorum or pawlenty. it's too early to tell the consequences of huckabee's departure. >> donna, who do you think wins among the republicans and who loses? >> well, right now none of the above is still the most exciting of all of the republicans because they only look good in comparison to each other. but i think in the interim you'll see some pressure put on sarah palin to perhaps toss our hat in the ring at some point. michele bachmann is a tea party, social conservative. but i agree with mary. mitt romney may be able to use this as an opportunity to really grab ahold of the fewer moderates and the republican party. but the feel field is wide open and there's a lot of void out there. >> with sarah palin, mary, i've
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always suspected and correct me if i'm wrong, she loves the money she's making right now, she loves doing television and giving speeches. you don't think she's going to run. you think she's going to stay on the outside just like huckabee and trump, right? >> well, i have and continue to take sarah palin at her word, which was, is, that she wants to make an impact. it's irrefutable that she's making an impact through her various media adventures. if she can continue to could that she's checked her own box. i don't know that she's motivated by money or fame that never seemed to motivate her before. i think she's in a situation where the consequences to her family would be so great that if she weren't to get in, that would probably be the reason why. >> what do you sni do you think she's going to run down, donna? >> well, i hope she runs. sarah palin, out of all the candidates, she has the name i.d., can raise the money, will excite the conservative base,
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and she will be plus positive for democrats who have to go out there and have to capture independence as well as moderates. so i hope she runs. it will give us a lot to talk about. of course, you and i will tweet away about it. >> well, i suspect she won't run but that's just me. let's talk about newt gingrich, mary. he's causing waves, as he always does, and i've been covering him for 20 years or more. he said this at a speech. i'm going to play the clip and then the explanation that he gave he to charges of racial bias, if you will, towards the president. the answer that he gave in part on "meet the press" yesterday. listen to these two clips. >> president obama is the most successful food stamp president in american history. more people are on food stamps today than at any point in american history and he's proud of it. i would like to be the most
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successful paycheck president in american history. >> this kind of automatic reference to racism, this is the president of the united states. the president has to be held accountable. he follows the same destructive political model that destroyed the city of detroit. i follow a model that rick perry and those used to create more jobs in texas. >> the charge that there's a racial overtone here, mary, go ahead. >> you know, sometimes newt does invite controversy n this case, this is absurd. let's talk about loblg jik. there are more white people who are recipients of food stamps. so if newt is a racist, he's an anti white racist. it's just absurd. what maybe liberals equate food stamps in blacks and they get so
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unwildly and we create programs that reduce job creation. we just had a different language, i guess, but there is racism attached to food stamps is some code that is shared by some people in the country that certainly is not the way newt was coming at it. i know that for a fact. >> donna? >> let me agree with mary. when it comes to the number of people on welfare and food stamps, the majority of the people are white. but let me also take another tact. and that s. when we have an economic downturn like we had back in 2007, 8 eight million people lost their job. 23% of those people that lost their jobs needed food stamps and help. it wasn't about conservatism or lib better ralism or whatever. it was about needing help. they couldn't make ends meet. so the reason why we've seen an increase in the number of
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americans who need these programs, whether it's food stamps or, by the way, it's not only called food stamps, it's called supplemental nutrition program. that enables people to get the kind of help that they need so they can feed their families. three-fourths of people on food stamps are people with children and one-third are elderly. so this has nothing to do with race and everything to do with the economic downturn that impacted the entire country. and whether conservatives have a solution to job creation, then bring it on. because i think right now we need an american solution to create new jobs and economic growth because the president said it best in memphis, our kids are no longer competing against each other. it's america versus china, versus india and versus brazil. that's what we need to focus on. >> good point. guys, thank you very much. president obama moved high school seniors to tears today,
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donna. you're going to find out how he moved them at the graduation ceremony. an entire town burned to the ground. stand by. down the hill? man: all right. we were actually thinking, maybe... we're going to hike up here, so we'll catch up with you guys. [ indistinct talking and laughter ] whew! i think it's worth it. working with a partner you can trust is always a good decision. massmutual. let our financial professionals help you reach your goals. ♪ i've seen the sunrise paint the desert.
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there is floodwaters in the mississippi. lisa sylvester is it monitoring the situation and she is here. lisa? >> the u.s. army corps of engineers may open the morganza spillway. nine flood gates are opened for the first time in 40 years but that's sending a wall of homes.
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deafening explosions. a libyan official says that the air strikes targeted one of moammar gadhafi's compound. he's facing an arrest on crimes against humanity. it was an historic liftoff for "endeavor" today. it blasted off for the international space station. this is the last ever mission. watching the spectacular launch? congresswoman gabrielle giffords. she's the wife of mark kelly and she's recovering from being shot in the head four months ago. today's liftoff was delayed two weeks because of a heater problem which is now fixed. half of an entire town is a smoked charred ruin. take a look at the images of
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slave lake. an out of control wildfire has triggered fires in dozens of towns. several of the town's residence has fled and escaping with just a few belongings. hundreds of firefighters are now on the way to help battle those wildfires. wolf? >> lisa, thank you. thousands of palestinians rally. the rally disintegrated into violent crashes with israeli soldiers. why do they expect syria started it as a diversion? and the head of the international monetary fund. also get a free flight.
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another source of violent contention as president obama prepares to talk about his policy in the region late they are week. the white house is accusing syria of deadly clashes along israel's border israeli forces opened fire on a large group of palestinians and tried to cross the border yesterday. kevin flower has more now on how the event turned violent. >> reporter: it was supposed to be a peaceful rally by palestinians marking the hundreds gathered to meet at the west bank of jerusalem to support the palestinians of from their homes 63 years ago.
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the violence began before any of the marchers made it to the checkpoint. hundreds of young palestinians let loose a dale luge of security forces while heavily armed military units responded with volley after volley of tear gas shells and rubber bullets. so scenes like this are playing out not obama in the west bank or gaza strip. thousands of palestinians come out to mark the day. in lebanon, thousands of palestinians and lebanese march along the fence that separates the two countries and in syria, thousands more gathered on the border with the israeli controlled heights. israeli military said scores of the demonstrators tried to infiltrate izzy territory and that soldiers opened fire to turn them back. both israel and the white house
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accuse syria of stoking tengs to distract from repressive tactics at home and theize see prime minister said that the demonstrations clearly illustrated that palestinians were not willing to accept a jewish state half of the palestinian government, he said, is made up of those that declare daily that they want to destroy the state of israel and that they are not a partner for peace. still, many palestinians are hopeful that increased pressure in the form of mass protest will bear fruit as it has in other arab capitals. >> we are going to follow the same methods to achieve our goal and right of return so that we can, again, pursue opportunity with the quality, with justice, and be free. >> until then, palestinians are planning more protests against israeli policies and both sides are expecting more violence. kevin flower, cnn, at the columbia checkpoint.
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>> the deadly clashes along israel's border and broader unrest was very high on the agenda during talks between secretary of state hillary clinton and the king of jordan. >> we are here in washington to not only talk about our bilateral relations and challenges that we face but also that is a challenge for you will of us to get it right and the role of the united states is going to be crucial how the middle east moves in the proper direction but also our discussions with the president looking at ways of bringing israelis and palestinians to the peace table. because of all that is going on in the middle east, the core issue is still that the izzy palestinian izzy arabs. >> later in the week, here in washington. the u.s. says hundreds of
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billions of dollars in gold, some say we should sell it all. you're going to find out why and race to the top. you're going to find out which school beat out the west to the graduation day visit from president obama. >> you were inspired action in the united states." and if we're this happy about providing great customer satisfaction, imagine how happy you'll be receiving it. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze.
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president obama met today with the victims of the flooding in tinssy telling them that americans are grateful for their resilience. he also got a firsthand look at the damage caused when the mississippi rose to an historic level in memphis. flooding has left a path of devastation across parts of the midwest and south that's expected to cost billions and billions of dollar. the president had a more upbeat visit on his schedule in memphis as well. he spoke at a high school that won a white house competition, and he was essentially the prize. lisa sylvester is here with this positive story. >> reporter: president obama has repeatedly talked about the need to prepare u.s. students to compete globally. well, that's what the race to the top competition is all about. it highlights schools that have improved dramatically. the winning school in memphis
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got a visit from the president who delivered the commencement address. >> i got a surprise. i got a surprise. [ cheers ] >> it was a surprise one on one with the president, seniors at booker t. washington cheering, some overcome with emotion. the school beat out the rest of the nation winning the president's race to the top competition. >> you inspire me. that's why i'm here. i could not be prouder of what you do. >> reporter: and what a turnaround it has been. ♪ >> reporter: in just four years the school's graduation rate has jumped from 55% to 82% in a community with a zip code that is the poorest in memphis and where the median income is less than $11,000. christopher dean is a graduating senior who plans on studying psychology at the university of
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memphis. >> they always encourage me and tell me that there's no reason why i should believe and listen to the statistics. >> there are some very obvious by-products that we have to deal with every day. you can't teach a hungry child. you have to feed them first before they can learn anything. >> reporter: we spoke to principal alisha kiner who says you have to know your kids, know where they come from and catch things early if they go astray. that began by dividing the class by gender. >> there are obvious distractions that you avoid when you do that. but there's some real research out there that shows you that girls and boys learn differently. >> reporter: all that hard work paid off on this day, graduation day. christopher dean is now side by side with the president who gave the commencement address. >> success can happen here at booker t. washington, it can happen anywhere in memphis. and if it can happen in memphis,
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it can happen anywhere in tennessee. and if it can happen anywhere in tennessee, it can happen all across america. >> reporter: and the school now offers ap classes and some of the kids recently participated in a robotics competition. five years ago only a handful of students who left booker t. washington continued their education. now two-thirds will go to college. christopher dean got to spend a good part of the day with the president. he also introduced the president for the graduation speech and had a little fun with the president. take a look. >> the person who introduces the keynote speaker usually has to give vital statistics about the speaker that no one knows, like where he works. [ laughter ] everyone knows that. or to whom he's married to. everyone knows the beautiful first lady michelle obama.
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or when the speak er was born. that was a joke. the president clearly was tickled there. you could tell he had this great camaraderie with the kids. congratulations to them. >> a real uplifting story, booker t. washington high school. good work. thanks very much for profiling that. a real life sex scandal for a global financial tighten. dominic strauss kahn is behind bars now. ♪ [ male announcer ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible.
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jack's back with the cafferty file. >> question this hour, should congress vote to raise the debt ceiling? today's the day we hit it. $14.3 trillion worth. carol in maryland says to do otherwise would be to tell our creditors we will not honor our debts. the whole kabuki theater going on in congress is ridiculous. the republicans have admitted that they recognize that we have to and they will. in the meantime, congress acts in a manner that's not at all reassuring to the markets and, in fact, threatens to
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destabilize them. charlie in mississippi writes no, welfare warfare state needs are infinite. revenues are not. i have a huge problem with congress voting to raise the debt ceiling when they can't get government spending under control. if the debt ceiling is raised government will take it as a lbs to keep spending in a reckless manner. it's got to stop. that's what they should be voting on. i honestly don't know the answer to this. we're damned if we do. damned if we don't. set that aside. it's time for big oil and corporations to start paying some taxes. we can't continue the same pattern of printing money and sticking it to the middle class. mark in oklahoma, no, bring our troops home. stop wasting trillions trying to run other countries. that's what we should do. christian writes congress should be raising the debt ceiling. if they they'll to do so, the u.s. will sink deeper into our current recession. i know spending is high. i'm a democrat. we really don't need to default.
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it's ignorant. ron writes in the short term it seems obvious that they have to. however, i'd like to see a tie to legislation that makes real, absolute, positive steps towards cutting spending. both things must happen. why not do them altogether? and ed in maryland says if i could loan myself money indefinitely by raising my imaginary ceiling, i'd do it. if you want to read more on this go to thanks very much, jack. happening now, he's bailed out foreign governments. as the powerful boss in a key world agency. but there's no bailout for the chief of the international monetary fund. he's jailed on a long list of sex charges. pakistan agrees to return the wreckage of a secret u.s. helicopter which crashed during the bin laden raid. will that help put relations back on the right track? and he tantalized the media and the republican party by
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saying he might run for president. now the world's best known tycoon says forget it. was it all just a publicity trick by donald trump? breaking news, political headlines, jeanne moos straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we begin with a stunning sex scandal involving the chief of a powerful world agency. here are the latest developments. a new york judge today denied bail for dominique strauss-kahn, head of the international monetary fund. the judge agreed with prosecutors that strauss-kahn is a flight risk. viewed as a potential presidential candidate in france, strauss-kahn was arrested saturday aboard a paris-bound airliner facing a series of sex charges for all e allegedly assaulting a hotel employee. he'll appear in court on friday. he now faces criminal charges that many find shocking. the imf chief dominique strauss-kahn has been tied to
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previous allegations of sexual misconduct. brian todd has been looking into this part of the story for us. what are you learning? >> reporter: we've learned that strauss-kahn is the subject of one serious allegation that he wasn't even linked to until his arrest on saturday. and another incident in his past where at the very least his character and judgment came into serious question. his attorney and his wife vigorously defend dominique strauss-kahn saying the imf's managing director is innocent of the charges. prosecutors suggest there may be a pattern to his alleged behavior. >> some of this information from reports of conduct similar to the conduct in this complaint on at least one other occasion. >> reporter: he could be referring to an alleged incident that strauss-kahn's been linked to only since his arrest on saturday. french journalist tristan benoit says that strauss-kahn tried to rape her nine years ago in a
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u.s. apartment. they didn't respond to our inquiries on the allegation and one only mentioned it briefly in court. >> i can't respond to allegations that were made in a foreign country that did not result in any criminal prosecution. >> reporter: she did not report the alleged incident to french police at the time. why not? her mother told a french tv station what they told her daughter at the time. >> translator: there wasn't a rape, strictly speaking. there was an attack. for the rest of your life you would have on your resume, you know? tristane banone. that's the girl who -- well -- >> reporter: this reporter who wrote a profile of dominique strauss-kahn in a magazine says this with his wife, a popular tv character in france, american-born, ann sinclair. >> she's always beside him. she's really taking his arm wherever he goes. so yes, there have probably been some ups and downs, but she has been by his side.
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>> reporter: even during an affair he had a few years ago. shortly after joining the imf strauss-kahn was investigated for what he later acknowledged was an improper relationship with a female employee. the relationship was consensual and there was no favoritism or any other abuse of power. but strauss-kahn did apologize to the imf, his family and the employee. i asked his attorney debra katz about that case. does that case have any relevance here? >> a different kind of standard, civil standard. the fact that he engaged in an improper relationship with someone at work shows his character and poor judgment but may not be relevant legal toll this issue of sexual assault. >> reporter: but he may have other legal problems in france. the attorney for that young woman tristane banone now says he's preparing documents against strauss-kahn. so if he gets clear of this, he may be facing something in
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france. >> he was considered a front-runner for the presidency of france. >> reporter: this changes everything and in a very dramatic way. he was considered a potential candidate for the socialist party against nichololas sarkoz. analysts say now even if he's not convicted here he's so politically damaged by this that he probably can't run. but he was way ahead. this is dramatic for the french political scene. >> sitting in a new york city jail right now awaiting what will happen to him. a top executive, indeed a presidential candidate accused by a hotel housekeeper. prosecutors special units aimed at evening the odds in those cases. deborah feyerick spoke to one who. >> this is a special victims unit. think about it now, in this case a chamber maid unwittingly triggered an international incident by going up against one
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of the most powerful men in the world. linda fearsteen, a quick check of hotel records would have discovered who was in that room. still, detectives, investigators, special victims units, they did not blink in going after him. >> they're taught to take every victim to start by believing that everyone coming forward is telling the truth. are there exonerations, are there cases where the crime has not happened? absolutely. and they would be able to work that out, i think, as well. but here the beauty is that this woman reported immediately, which is not always a factor with sexual assault victim. the police were called in immediately. uniform cops refer it to these very specialized and specially trained detectives, and it seems, from the outside at this point, that everything was done right, most especially crediting the victim. >> you have a hotel worker going up against one of the most powerful men, the ahead of the
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international monetary fund. what sort of evidence needed to be met for police to believe that something in fact did occur? >> that's a great question. obviously body fluids and where it is. if it's on the bed of the alleged offender may not be terrifically significant. if it's on the clothing of the victim -- and i don't know where it is -- that will be awfully significant. most hotels in this day and age have cameras in corridors. is there tape of this woman leaving the room, what condition was she in both in clothing disarray and in emotional distress, what emotional condition was he in when he left the room if these things are filmed? >> will this lady have to testify? >> oh, yes. this case is entirely based on the testimony of the young lady who made the complaint. this case could not proceed without her. >> investigators and police went immediately to the airport to get him off the plane. is that an extraordinary measure? >> if the special victims unit
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detectives had probable cause meaning a witness who they believe told the truth, made an immediate outcry, found evidence to support it which is not needed but icing on the cake, then they did the only thing that they could do, which was to stop this man before he left the country. >> this young lady has to be terrified. >> this is what they're so good at. the detectives, whose pictures i saw in the paper today, one of whom i worked with for 20 years. they're the nicest guys in this business. they're chosen not only for skilled detective work but because they have the manner to hand hold scared witnesses through this process. >> reporter: mr. strauss-kahn is being held at rikers island. we're told he'll be kept isolated from the general population. linda fairsteen, she says it's likely he'll be given a chance to reapply for bail. but right now he's in that jail, rikers island, until the next hearing friday. >> deborah feyerick with this
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part of the story. a brilliant economist and a very skillful politician now caught up in the messiest of sex scandals. let's learn more about the man at the center of this controversy. fareed zakaria, thanks very much. let's get right to this man. you know him, dominique strauss-kahn. were you shocked, like all of us, or is this something that we should have been bracing? >> no, i was completely shocked. i know him professionally. he is one of the smartest people you can find in the world really on macro economic policy. he was a perfect head of the imf in that sense, in the sense that his professional capacities were in some ways unmatched. he was a very good finance minister of france. presided over a period of growth for the french economy, cut the deficit. you know, in professional terms, he was highly competent, he was also very arctic lat and a
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charming conversationalist. i was stunned. >> i read one of the recent interviews you had with him on your show. you pressed him hard about whether he wanted to get back into politics, run for the presidency of france. he didn't want to get anywhere near any of that. >> he's very savvy. the issue was he could not be seen as using the imf platform and running for a political campaign in france. because remember sarkozy appointed him effectively to that job, so he would have to resign from his position at the imf. on the other hand, i had made it -- indicated that i was going to ask those questions and nobody told me, you know, look, you shouldn't ask these questions. so he liked the fact that the subject was brought up constantly. he knew the polls. he's a very political character. he knew that he was leading in the polls. he knew that the french socialists were in disarray. and he knew that the greater the
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speculation, it only served to enhance his stature. but he also knew he couldn't publicly say anything while he was head of the imf. >> our jim bittermann, our correspondent in paris, told me something i wasn't aware of. he recently gave an interview to the french newspaper in which he said, i might be set up. there might be political dirty tricks against me and i'm bracing for that. is french politics that nasty? you know france. >> i think french politics can be somewhat nasty. there's a small elite of people that run france, all of whom look very much like dominique strauss-kahn. highly educated. they've all gone to the same schools. they live within one square mile of one another often in government-owned apartments. but i think that it would be tough to imagine that this was a setup. it would involve too many people. look, of course everybody's presumed innocent until proven guilty, but this strikes me as
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unusual. now, it is true that he had personally warned sarkozy or so the reports told, to stop with the dirty tricks. in other words, he had some concern that sarkozy had operatives who were spreading rumors about him. apparently he's said to have confronted president sarkozy and said, stop spreading these rumors about my private life or i will go to the courts. so there's certainly some history of back and forth and dirty tricks. but this one seems difficult to imagine as being part of a sting. >> fareed zakaria, thanks very much. >> a pleasure, as always, wolf. >> pakistan has it, the united states wants it. now looks like the pentagon will be getting it back. we're talking about the wreckage from that helicopter that crashed during the raid on osama bin laden's compound. also, as the u.s. reaches its debt ceiling, some people are saying gold. g-o-l-d, gold, is the answer. they want the u.s. to sell off
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its reserves. donald trump bows out of the race he was never officially in.
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jack cafferty's thinking about the war on terror. he's here with the cafferty file. >> senator john kerry, chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, was in pakistan today meeting with government and military leaders there in ab effort to mend relations between the two country. tensions are running high even three weeks after the raid that killed osama bin laden in abbottabad. but senator kerry says the u.s. and pakistan have agreed to cooperate on future terror targets and pakistani officials are committed, he says, to finding new ways to fight terror within their borders. we'll see about that. secretary of state hillary clinton scheduled to travel to pakistan some time in the coming weeks all part of the obama administration's careful balancing act, keeping up foreign relations while staying
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tough on terror especially as the president's campaign for re-election in 2012 begins to kick into a higher gear. president obama enjoyed a much needed boost in his personal approval ratings following the death of osama bin laden on may 1st. but according to the latest gallup poll, his approval ratings have now dropped back down to 46%. that's where they were prior to the bin laden raid. right around the lowest levels of his presidency. being tough on terror might be a good strategy for winning over some american voters, but it took us ten years to find bin laden. and what if there's another attack between now and the 2012 election? that brings us to the question, which is this -- would a terror attack on the united states make you more or less likely to vote to re-elect president obama? go to and post a comment on my blog. wolf? >> jack, thank you. today is the day the treasury department here in washington has been warning would come. the u.s. hit the debt limit set by congress, freezing the
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government's power to borrow money. what should the government do now? some experts think they have the golden answer. cnn's mary snow is in new york. she has the answer for us. how serious is this? >> reporter: the treasury department is not in any rush to sell uncle sam's family jewels but the talk by some economists to sell gold and other assets is loud enough that the treasury department has addressed that to say why it is not in favor of it. as the united states plowed past its debt ceiling, the treasury secretary maneuvered to allow the government to keep bore oeg till august. congress is nowhere near an agreement to raise the debt limit to buy time for lawmakers to negotiate spending cuts some conservative economists think the u.s. should sell assets like land in the west leased for farming and ranching and the federally owned tennessee valley authority. chris edwards of the think tank the kato institute, which advocates limited government,
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thinks the u.s. should sell its $400 billion worth of gold. >> i think selling gold would be a good message. it would show that congress and the white house are willing to consider new ideas to pay down the debt. that shows progress and a reform mindedness i think that will calm financial markets. >> reporter: the treasury department thinks the opposite would happen. the treasury department's assistant secretary for financial markets writes on the department's blog, a fire sale of the nation's gold to meet payment obligations could undercut confidence in the united states both here and abroad and would be destabilizing to the world financial system. even if the u.s. sold its gold, it would only buy a few months's time since the u.s. bore oes about $125 billion a month. barry bosworth a former economic adviser in the carter administration said if the u.s. sold gold at any other time, it wouldn't be a big deal but selling it now would be a bad signal.
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>> if people are going to sell assets to support their consumption like the ongoing budget deficit that we have, then i think it's a terrible idea. the notion that you can sell off the family jewels to continue to spend the way you are for a while longer. >> reporter: wolf, the treasury department says if the u.s. wanted to sell its gold there would need to be public input and oversight and wouldn't be tied to the debt issue. here is a question. who was coming and going from bin laden's compound in the months and years before his death? our sources now, we're getting new information. plus details of what caused panic on an international flight and forced the plane to make an emergency landing. we're out there every day with clients like jetblue -- financing their fleet, sharing our expertise, and working with people who are changing the face of business in america. after 25 years in the aviation business, i kind of feel like if you're not having fun at what you do, then you've got the wrong job. my landing was better than yours. no, it wasn't.
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panic in the sky during a flight to indonesia. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and the other important stories in "the situation room." what else is going on? >> take a look at these pictures showing a dramatic end to a flight that passengers will probably never forget. you can see crews spraying water on one of the engines of this cathay pacific jumbo jet. it caught fire on its way from singapore to jakarta creating panic on board. they say there was a series of loud bangs followed by the plane shaking uncontrollably. the plane returned safely to singapore and no one was hurt. the chief prosecutor of the international court is accusing moammar gadhafi of crimes against humanity and he's seeking arrest warrants for the libyan leader and two relative. the allegations include widespread attacks on civilians and torture. a government spokesman denies the allegations and says the court is relying on media reports to reach, quote, incoherent conclusions.
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three, two -- zero. >> and it was a flawless liftoff for space shuttle "endeavour" now on a 16-day final mission to the international space station. wounded congresswoman gabrielle giffords was among those wat watching. her husband mark kelly is commanding the mission. very nice liftoff there. >> we've got one more after this one and that's it, basically, until they revive it or not. >> have you ever seen an actual in person? >> not in person, no. but i've seen it on television. thanks very much. mending fences after the bin laden raid. pakistan agrees to return the wreckage of a secret u.s. helicopter that crashed in the al qaeda compound. and was donald trump just playing a publicity trick? he now says he'd rather be a tycoon than president of the united states. jeanne moos will take a closer look. building up our wireless network all across america.
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relations with pakistan certainly have been strained more than ever by the u.s. raid on the bin laden compound. but as a u.s. senator visits pakistan, there's word of an important first step toward trying to patch up the relationship. joining us from islamabad our correspondent stan grant. senator kerry is in pakistan where you are right now. all of a sudden the pakistanis decide to hand back to the united states a key piece of equipment. tell us what happened. >> reporter: yeah, this has really been a contentious issue, hasn't it? the helicopter downed during the raid on the bin laden compound. literally there was speculation they were going to hand over part of that to the chinese. now they're saying they're going to return the damaged tail of that helicopter to the united states. this is all about what senator kerry is calling concrete steps, wolf, in trying to get this relationship started again. in his words, he came here to
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mend some fences, to move the relationship forward, but not without some tough talk as well. he told the leadership here, the president, the prime minister, the heads of the military and the sbeintelligence that there those in the united states questioning this alliance. they're asking tough questions about how much pakistan knew about bin laden's presence in the country, whether there was any collusion. when i asked him directly about that, he said there was no evidence to suggest that, he didn't want to make any more conjecture. he simply wanted to be able to draw a line in the sand and move the relationship forward. there's another question here about pakistan's condemnation about the raid. third concerned about the secrecy. they believe that it violates pakistan's sovereignty. this is what senator kerry had to say about that. >> my goal in coming here was not to apologize for what i consider to be a triumph against terrorism of an unprecedented consequence. my goal has been to talk with
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the leaders here about how to manage this critical relationship more effectively, about how to open up the opportunities to put this relationship back on track, where isolated episodes, no matter how profound, don't jeopardize the larger relationship and the larger goal. >> reporter: now, the bottom line here from senator kerry is this, wolf, he says to the pakistanis, we're in this together. pakistanis also losing thousands of people, tens of thousands of people who have been killed during the last ten years as a result of 9/11 as a result of going after the insurgency. he said both countries have to move beyond these differences. >> one thing that would reassure the u.s. if the pakistanis return to the united states, let's say, mullah mohammed omar, the head of the taliban who everyone believes is hiding out in pakistan. or ayman al zawahiri, that would
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be a significant source of reassurance. here's the question. did you get in your impressions of your conversations with senator kerry, that he trusts the pakistanis? >> reporter: i put that question directly to him. i said here is a bottom line question. after all of your discussions, after all of your talks with the leadership here and their reassurances and the talk of moving the relationship forward, can you trust them? do you really believe there was no collusion, that no one in the military or the intelligence or the government was working with bin laden? he said that there is no evidence to suggest that. he's going to await any of the various inquiries that are under way in this country before making any comment. he simply did not want to go there, wolf, but it's central to this relationship. you mentioned mullah omar, al zawahiri and the pressure is on in this country to make sure that they are not found here. if they are here, that they are rounded up and handed over, because this is not just crucial to pakistan but also crucial to
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the effort across the border in afghanistan. wolf? >> stan grant reporting for us from islamabad. stan, thanks very much. there's new information coming out about bin laden's activities while hiding out in pakistan. let's go to chris lawrence. he's working this part of the story. what are you learning about visitors coming to the bin laden compound during the five or six years he was living there? >> reporter: well, wolf, that he didn't have many. according to a u.s. official who talked to us, this official says that visitors to this compound where bin laden was living were few and far between. now, why is that news? because it contradicts and disputes another report out there in which a taliban leader in afghanistan says bin laden did have visitors, that he did have access. in fact, he says, this taliban leader, that he was one of those visitors, that he came to see bin laden about two years ago. right now u.s. officials are
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saying all the intelligence suggests that these visits were very, very infrequent. but all that said, they did not have 24/7 surveillance on this compound, in part because they didn't want to tip off bin laden or anyone else living there, that they were watching the place. think of a drone perhaps buzzing overhead constantly for weeks, months or even years. but they are sort of sounding the alarm about how much information, that information that came out of the compound, how much has been released publicly about that saying a lot of sensitive information has walked out the door. they say it's time for officials to exercise some discipline, dial it back on how much they're talking about this information, wolf. >> thanks very much, chris lawrence at the pentagon for us. president obama, by the way, will make a major speech -- sweeping the arab world. we're just getting in some details right now.
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jill dougherty joining us. the speech thursday at the state department. >> reporter: thursday, right, wolf. we got good information if our producer over at the state department elise lavit. this speech will be a major one. it has really been in the planning stages for a while. but the neighborhood, the mideast has changed a lot. just imagine, mideast peace process basically dead in the water, killing of osama bin laden, then also arab spring. so a lot has changed. here are the three major points that we'll look for. one will be on the arab spring. we're told that the president will be saying there is a change in the region, but that change has to happen by the people themselves. that the u.s. can't dictate it, the u.s. can't impose it. the next one on the peace process. we expect that the president is going to lay out some markers as they put it, on the mideast peace process where he's going to like to see the israelis and
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the palestinians going, but there won't be a big major bill clinton type of speech. there's not the circumstances for that. then fim lfinally syria, big is. expect him to come out stock on syria. he might even go so far as to call for a transition. that will be very significant with president bashar al assad. then the last one, osama bin laden. you'll hear something that we expect that we've been hearing from u.s. officials which is the ideology of osama bin laden is basically over. he is history. this ideology has nothing to do with what the people who came out for arab spring want. they want something else and they want improvement in their lives, not that ideology. wolf? >> jill dougherty over at the white house. we'll have live coverage on thursday of the president's speech on the middle east. thousands of louisiana homes sacrificed to floodwaters to save major cities including new
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orleans. john king is there. he's getting a firsthand look with the governor bobby jindal. john is standing by to join us live. also is newt gingrich distancing himself from the house gop plan to replace medicare with a voucher program? you'll hear what he's saying that's raising talk. "saturday night live" spoofs us once again. we'll show you their version of "the situation room" and me. >> announcer: this past year alone there's been a 67% spike in companies embracing the cloud-- big clouds, small ones, public, private, even hybrid. your data and apps must move easily and securely to reach many clouds, not just one. that's why the network that connects, protects, and lets your data move fearlessly through the clouds means more than ever. ah! fiber one honey clusters cereal! that's really good! it tastes good, so there can't be fiber in it! it's actually got about half a day's worth of fiber.
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mississippi floodwaters are inundating thousands of louisiana homes right now in an effort to save baton rouge and new orleans. john king is in morgan city,
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louisiana, he'll be anchoring his show "john king usa" from there at the top of the hour. tell us what's going on right now. because this is an awful situation and enormous dilemma. >> it is remarkable what we're seeing here, wolf, some small communities being sacrificed to protect larger communities like baton rouge and new orleans. i'm in morgan city right now. this is the town's flood wall. you should be able to walk down there. that's a wharf down there. instead four feet of water and the water slowly rising there. that is why this state is taking remarkable extraordinary measures to keep the water from get toog high here and in other communities. we flew over. people have probably heard the morganza spillway. we heard from bobby jindal. we flew right over that. nine bays were closed on the spillway today. 11 bays were open. 11 different base. why are they doing that? they're altering the flow of the
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water sending it into the low lying communities. a lot of farm land is under water and 15,000 homes eventually could be under water. they're hoping it won't be that many. but they're sacrificing the small low lying communities. down to baton rouge, further south to new orleans. as you fly over you see the water slowly coming up. not quite as quickly as officials thought it would rise. but there's ab drought ahead of this flood. so water the seeping in. as the spillway sends the water one way, they're worried about back floods in some communities. improvising is part of this effort. they took a barge and sunk it down into the water. they're pouring in rock, pouring in steel essentially making a makeshift dam to keep the water from coming up in other populated communities. use the dam to divert it into marshland and to protect
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communities with tens of thousands. governor jindal here says probably 2 million to 4 million in crop loss alone. they took a phone call from president obama today. he believes there's been good cooperation between the state, local and federal officials. he believes they're doing -- especially because they had a warning -- they're doing what they can to mitigate this. but this will be a challenge for louisiana not for weeks but for several months. >> those people already have a lot of problems over these many years. we'll be watching "john king usa" at the top of the hour. he'll have more on this store. many people have done this at one time or another, but when you're president of the united states, the world watches when you drop your blackberry. this happened as the president was arriving in in memphis today to visit flood victims and deliver a commencement address. aides scrambled to pick it up for him. but the president picked it up
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himself. no damage apparently done. there are signs of a republican rift on the house gop proposal to replace medicare with a voucher program. newt gingrich appears to be distancing himself from the plan. let's bring in gloria borger to talk about this. how much of a distance is newt gingrich doing from paul rye yans's proposal? >> enough. they've gone home to their districts. we know that it passed the house, this plan, they've gone home. it is not popular back home. republicans are saying why are we going out on a political limb when we know this plan won't go anywhere. then there's newt gingrich who seems to think the same thing. listen to him on "meet the press" yesterday. >> now what paul ryan is suggesting, completely changing medicare. >> that's too big a jump. what you want to have is a system where people voluntarily migrate to better solutions, better outcomes not one where
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you suddenly impose -- i'm against obama care which is imposing radical change and i'll be against conservatives imposing radical change. >> reporter: when he was asked about the ryan plan by a reporter for "time" magazine, the reporter asked would you vote for the plan if you were in the house? and the answer was sure. so he went from sure to this being a radical plan. when you're a presidential candidate you have to have one message and stick to it. we were talking about newt gingrich's discipline problem as a presidential candidate. that might be a good example of it. >> there was another example, i was confused because president obama is having these mandates. so many republicans hate the mandates that you must buy health insurance. i was surprised to hear that newt gingrich say he supports mandates. >> reporter: which is very confusing because the president's plan is all about mandates. mitt romney's plan is all about mandates. today newt gingrich had to go
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and do a web video clarifying, kind of, where he stands. here is another issue for newt gingrich. he's used to being a professor, a lecturer, he's a policy wonk. you can explain these nuanced distinctions taking your time. when you're running for president, you say mandate, people think, mm-hmm, that's the president's plan, you don't support the president's plan, do you? so these things can become problems for him as a presidential candidate. i got to shift gears on you, wolf, because i know you work all the time, probably as hard as the presidential candidate, but i didn't understand that you actually still work on saturday nights, too? when i saw this on saturday night, it kind of confused me. take a look. good evening. i'm wolf blitzer. and this, this is "the situation room" which three nights a week also doubles as my bedroom.
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earlier this week, president barack obama spoke in el paso, texas, and while the topic of the speech was immigration reform, it also seemed as though the president was taking a victory lap after the capture and death of osama bin laden. let's take a look. >> thank you. thank you. feeling good, el paso? i'm feeling good, too. >> he's got the tie wrong, doesn't he? >> i think he's pretty good. he's very funny. >> he is very funny. >> i don't mumble. >> no, you don't mumble. first of all, you have better ties. secondly, anybody in the crew knows that it's way too cold to be anyone's bedroom. you like to keep this studio 50 degrees. >> breaking news, we stay here, we work all the time. >> nobody sleeping in this studio, right. >> flattery. >> it was great. >> thank you. would a terror attack on the united states make you more or less likely to vote to re-elect
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president obama? jack cafferty has your e-mail. that's coming up. new details coming into "the situation room" on what dominique strauss-kahn is experiencing behind bars.
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getting new detail on what's going on for dominique strauss-kahn, the head of the international monetary fund is in a jail in new york city right now, rikers island. lisa sylvester is getting those details for us. what's going on? >> reporter: this new information is coming in to us. we can attribute it to the new york department of corrections, a spokesperson there. it gives us a sense of what his life will be like. he'll be separated from the general prison population. his cell is only about the size of 11x13. so we're talking a very small space here. he'll be woken up in the morning at 6:00 every day. he'll have an hour of recreation time. he will be allowed to have three visits per week. this does not include his attorneys or any doctors and such, but a very different lifestyle that he will have. and wolf, we even have information, if he makes it back in time for tonight, what he will have for dinner.
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just a little more information here. turkey burger, mashed potatoes, steamed carrots, two slices of whole wheat bread. a very different lifestyle for him as he goes forward at least for the time being. >> a bottle of good french wine. >> no bottle of french wine there. fruit drink or tea. no wine, wolf. >> that doesn't sound too bad. sounds like a nice meal. thank you very much, lisa si sylvest sylvester. >> the question is would a terror attack on the united states make you more or less likely to vote to re-elect president obama. brian in colorado, doesn't matter at all. history shows that bush was re-elected after the worst terror attack in history on u.s. soil. obama rejuvenated the search for the number one terrorist and was relentless in finding him. bush had pretty much given up on him. there is nothing this president has to prove when it comes to terror. steve in illinois. more. he knows how to track 'em down now and he will.
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cheryl writes that will depend on how it is handled. if handled like katrina, no, never. rose write, i don't plan to vote for obama no matter what. if there was a terror attack on the united states prior to the election, he'd be the one to blame. it would have happened on his watch. after the killing of bin laden, i would say the chances of an attack are now greater. duane in pennsylvania, i don't think george w. bush would have been re-elected if not for the attacks of 9/11. it's what you can get the american people to believe after the fact. m. writes based on his intellect alone, i'll vote for him anyway. you may have forgotten which party got us into this debacle, but i haven't. bruce writes i don't live my life worrying about some nut coming after me. hell we have fluff of them living here in the united states. and i sure don't vote based on thap they call everything a terror attack, they want us to live in fear. i'm not going to. what they do to the dollar, that's the real terror attack. lou write, you could bomb me, chase me with bees or move the
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boogeyman into the house next door, nothing you could do to me would keep me from voting for obama again. it is not that i have every confidence in his leadership, it is the risk of having republicans in control of the house, senate and presidency that scares me to death. you want to read more on this, go to the blog, >> will do, jack. thanks. see you tomorrow. donald trump for president of the united states. was it all just a trick? cnn's jeanne moos standing by with the store. and a slow moving disaster picking up speed. john king is live from louisiana. right at the top of the hour. ♪
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vo: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurae. here's look at today's hot shots in pakistan. a street vendor, a young one, offers a dish of sweet snacks. dancers perform for cricket fans before a match. in london a bright green parakeet blends in with leaves in hyde park. in florida, photographers set up their equipment before the final launch of the space shuttle "endeavour." hot shots, pictures coming in to us from around the world. he certainly got everybody talking, but was donald trump's possible presidential quest all just a trick? here's cnn's jeanne moos.
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>> reporter: it was breaking news worthy of animated hair. we heard it on tv. >> breaking news right now on news nation. >> i will not be running for president, as much as i'd like to. >> he fired himself. >> reporter: fired up ourselves we ran outside to spread the news like a town crier. donald trump is definitely not running for president. >> hurrah. >> reporter: donald trump is not running. >> thank god. >> thank god. >> reporter: did you hear the big news? >> no, what? >> reporter: donald trump is not running. >> oh, high five, excellent. >> reporter: i'm not allowed to. folks could be a little more serious about it. after all t donald was. >> this is very serious. i'm seriously thinking about it. i've never taken it seriously like this. i think you'll be surprised at what my announcement is. >> reporter: donald trump is not running. >> surprise, surprise. >> surprise, surprise. >> reporter: trump's decision is seriously bad news for the country's comedians. >> this is a great time for this
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nation's greatest man. me. >> donald trump has been saying he'll run for president as a republican, which is surprising since i just assumed he was running as a joke. >> reporter: trump is a running gag is over. how do you think he came out of this looking? >> silly. >> ridiculous. arrogant. >> he made a fool of himself. and i kind of like him. >> reporter: when bill maher went on letterman. >> why are we listening to this curiosity. >> right. >> from the '80s. >> reporter: two disagreed on whether trump is serious. >> with you he is really running. >> no, he's absolutely not running. >> reporter: even bet on it. >> let's wager a week's pay. mine against yours. >> reporter: now that probably wasn't serious. did you have a favorite high point or low point of the trump noncampaign campaign? >> i just turned him off, i put him on mute. >> reporter: and it will be a muted presidential race without the donald throwing his hair into the ring. jeanne moos, cn