tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN September 18, 2013 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
crashing down. and then the man responsible for 12 murders. you know he heard voices, thought he was being followed, reportedly suffered from ptsd but he still got security checks. was it an oversensitivity to mental health issues that did that? plus his mother today spoke out for the first time. you're going to hear what she had to say. and police find two cars in a muddy lake with bodies inside. a lot of bodies inside. and these cars, you won't believe it. have they just solved a 40-year-old mystery? let's go "outfront." good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett. we begin with the breaking news. a record high stocks surge today dow jumping 147 points. dow and s & p closed at new highs. i think this is so significant. nearly five years to the day after the financial crash and crisis, when this country is still facing an unemployment
crisis, a major milestone, and a good one for the markets. well, the reason for the record, the fed announced it would not stop the flow of easy money. and it is that easy money that has been keeping interest rates at rock bottom levels for the past five years. so what does it mean? brent wilsey of wilsey asset management is out in front. first of all, do you believe in this rally? would you actually buy into it? >> erin, i've got to say i'm happy about the rally but we got to be cautious here. and when i look at things right now, we have to realize we're at lofty levels. and today just gave us another push above that. if you ask do i believe the rally, i'm about 30% or so in cash. not because i'm trying to time the market but because i started selling companies because they hit the target sell prices and i can't find anything to buy replace those companies. and erin, you've known me for a long time. i'm usually optimistic. i'm not so optimistic this time. i'm really cautious here. >> you're cautious about buying
in. what about the fed? because the reason this happened today is well, everybody thought the fed was going to say look, enough, we're not going to give you this krispy kreme doughnut every single day. we're going to pull back. putting you on a diet. then when the fed said no we're going to let the doughnuts keep flowing people thought look markets will surge, interest rates will stay low. does this mean that people shouldn't worry about rising rates? shouldn't worry for example about things like trying to refinance a mortgage or buy some sort of a big ticket item now because interest rates are sure to go higher and quickly? >> i would say they have a little bit of reprieve here, not to worry for a little bit longer. but maybe a couple more months, i mean they said today they're going to watch it and so forth. no set date. but what this should do is keep rates low, the auto sales are on fire. i mean gosh, autos, i talked to a guy today and he said i couldn't resist buying a car my payments were so low. housing market should continue to do well. we've got some good things but
it's not going to last for too long. eventually they'll take away those doughnuts and people will have to go on the diet. take advantage of it now. it's not going to last so long. >> calling a ford pickup truck a doughnut. sort of is in a lot of ways. good to talk to you again, sir. our second story out front breaking news also into the investigation into the washington navy yard shooting today. it's a horrific scene inside building 197. according to our barbara starr just reporting in the past two minutes we can tell you what it looks like in that building. at this moment officials are telling barbara there is still blood everywhere, extensive damage, broken doors and windows, bullet holes. they're telling barbara it could be several weeks before that building is able to reopen. more stunning details tonight on how a local navy base failed to report disturbing behavior by the gunman aaron alexis that could have saved those lives. jim sciutto, what are you
learning tonight outside the navy yard? >> reporter: what we learned today when alexis went to the rhode island police with the disturbing delusional story of being followed, controlled with a microwave machine, hearing voices that while as you say the rhode island police reported that to the rhode island naval station that, account went no further than there, did not come to the navy here in washington. still very serious questions as to how this was allowed to happen and at the same time still this overriding question as to why this happened. why did he do this? with aaron alexis's motives still unclear, two mysterious clues. newly discovered etchings carved on the shotgun he used. "better off this way" and "my elf weapon." information investigators are still deciphering. today secretary hagel and chairman of the joint chiefs dempsey detailed the first new measures to prevent a shooting like this from happening again. two department-wide reviews of security at military
installations and the granting and renewal of security clearances. >> well, obviously there were a lot of red flags as you noted. why they didn't get picked up, why they didn't get incorporated into the clearance process, what he was doing, those are all legitimate questions that we're going to be dealing with. how do we fix it? >> reporter: for aaron alexis the list of missed flags is alarmingly long. from two arrests to reports to police that he was hearing voices, to two recent self-admissions to veterans affairs hospitals for insomnia. despite this record, alexis's navy security clearance granted in 2008 was valid for ten years without review. >> where there are gaps, we will close them. where there are inadequacies we will address them. and where there are failures we will correct them. >> reporter: one change the defense department is not considering so far is making
mental health counselling an automatic disqualifier on security clearance applications. in large part to avoid stigmatizing post-traumatic stress disorder. >> i still remain in that camp, that a man or woman should have the ability with treatment to overcome them and then to have a fruitful life and gain employment including inside the military. >> reporter: today as co-workers were allowed back into the scene of monday's horrific shooting, aaron alexis's mother spoke publicly for the first time about her son. >> i don't know why he did what he did. and i'll never be able to ask him why. aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone, and for that i am glad. to the families of the victims, i am so, so very sorry that this has happened. my heart is broken. >> obviously that coming from the mother. i know, jim, just sort of capturing everybody to imagine what she's thinking and to imagine how families may respond to that. i know that you're also learning something very important
tonight, though, about this whole question of not just about security access but whether anything could have been done to make this less horrific than it was. there are reports capital police responded to the scene but were then called back. obviously if true could be crucial. what do you know? >> no question this was particularly a capitol hill tactical team. kind of like an s.w.a.t. team trained specifically to respond to these types of events. attempting to come to the navy yard as the shots were being fired called by back by a commander. this may have been protective at the time. they didn't know if there were other shooters and called back as other units were responding here. but the capital police are launching an investigation to see why that happened and also could that team have prevented some of the violence that took place here. >> jim sciutto, thanks very much. we appreciate that reporting. still out front, the gop. does the gop have plans to be quote kamikazes and shut down the government over obamacare? we're going to ask an extremely prominent member in congress who
has taken a major stand on this issue, an issue which could cause this country to completely shut down at the end of next week. and then a 14-year-old kidnaped from her home. people feared the worst. but today she was rescued. and we now know what happened. plus as colorado battles rising waters, stranded victims are getting help from canines, dogs at work. we're going to show you that part of the story. and then the centennial state. it's not the only place underwater. nascar is about excitement. but tracking all the action and hearing everything from our marketing partners, the media and millions of fans on social media can be a challenge. that's why we partnered with hp to build the new nascar fan and media engagement center. hp's technology helps us turn millions of tweets, posts and stories into real-time business insights
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a miraculous one. but now that she is rescued, what do police think happened in this kidnapping? >> reporter: well, that is a very good question, erin. good evening to you. i should point out that ayvani perez is back home tonight by a couple of ways. number one the police cars that are still blocking her street and still guarding her home also because neighbors have seen her said she looks remarkably good considering the ordeal she's been through. and then there was a big huge boo kay of welcome back balloons all of which to this community and to much of the nation, actually, came as such a welcome relief. . so much bad news this week but this was a glimmer of good news, and it was delivered at a very hastily called news conference this afternoon. here is the chief of the clayton county police department talking about what went down and how this girl was returned. >> she's been reunified with her family. we currently have two suspects in custody. we're looking at some other
suspects, and i'll let the fbi talk about that later. she was recovered at a location in conyers, georgia. the investigation is still active and we're still receiving phone calls as we speak. >> reporter: okay. so the two important answers there is she's found and she's safe. the rest of it is still pretty vague, even though we have that lengthy press conference that was given by both the federal and local authorities. two suspects in custody, but not the two suspects whose image had been put out there and widely distributed. so they're considered to be still on the loose. and how was she recovered? in other words, was she found at the home wherever she was being held? or was it that she was dropped off by somebody? there are just so many questions here. and the real question that still haunts this neighborhood is, was this really a random act or was somehow the victim and the suspects connected in this case? the fbi said that was something
that they were still investigating, but the way they answered that implied that there is still a lot more to be found out here. so those are the serious questions, but right now the celebration is simple. she's safe, she's home, and let's be happy with that. erin? >> and obviously that is what matters the most. as you say, a week of such horrific news that you want to have that positive news. but as you said, two in custody, not the ones whose pictures were up. obviously that begs a lot of questions, but they said they're looking into others. do you know anything about the people that have been taken into custody or that they're looking for or is that still just a huge question mark? >> reporter: no, there's some little things that have been dropped out there. but they plant some pretty big seeds. one is a mexican national. that brings up an international connection. another one here is what they call a long-term professional criminal. so there are long criminal histories here. the connection we're still
waiting to go see that. >> all right. thank you very much, martin savidge. many questions to be answered on that. now our fourth story out front, colorado's deadly floods. the raging waters that we've been showing you over the past days have killed six, left nearly 450 stranded, and still at this point not having food and water. help, though, is on the way because there's been this. one of the nation's largest air operations in nearly a decade since hurricane katrina. 1100 people have been rescued thanks to these crews. anna cabrera is out front in longmont colorado with another part of the story. an unbelievable part we are so excited to share. because teams of unbelievable dogs are now digging through the rubble and mud. the horrific situation in colorado and saving lives tonight. here they are. >> reporter: it's go time for nebraska task force one. 80 members of an urban search and rescue team dispatched by fema. >> we're going through a trailer park to check out anybody still
there. >> reporter: today's mission includes chief, a 4-year-old golden retriever from the search dog foundation. >> come on, chief. >> reporter: he's one of four dogs helping out in the colorado floods. chief is very highly trained. he's evaluated on his intelligence, his drive, adaptability, and of course his nose. >> this way, chief. >> reporter: his job is to find people who may be trapped, especially in places with rubble and debris. >> go through. >> reporter: places like this mobile home park in evans, where flood waters buckled roads, splintered wood and moved homes off foundation. the whole team moves methodically through each property going door-to-door, front to back, making sure nobody is inside. >> how often does chief find somebody? >> very rarely will a dog ever find somebody. that would be a big big deal. but we have to be 100% sure. >> reporter: the benefit of having chief is his quickness and agility as he works his way over large piles and through knee-deep water.
>> this way, chief. >> reporter: k nine search specialist andrew pitcher listens closely to chief's bark, which could signify a human that needs help. >> it would be a difference of the bark. focused, alert, he would stay there. so this is just pure adrenaline rush right now. >> reporter: since their arrival in colorado, this team has covered more than 100 miles on foot. so far, they haven't found anyone buried. but they have helped track down some of the missing. >> if there's a dog that's going to find somebody, it's going to be chief. >> reporter: today, more buildings cleared. a success in its own right. >> good boy. >> reporter: and more good news. the number of people who are unaccounted for continues to drop. in fact, here in boulder county, we're down to just four people unaccounted for. that's down from 109 yesterday. mother nature certainly helping those search and rescue crews now as they do their work. a little cloudy now. we had a pretty good rainshower just a few minutes ago. but the forecast tomorrow calls
for mostly sun. i'm anna cabrera. back to you, erin. >> thanks to you, anna, reporting live in colorado tonight. south of the border, mexico getting hammered by serious and deadly storms at the same time. 80 people have died so far, and the hardest hit is a city many of you no doubt aren't familiar with. the resort city of acapulco. tropical storm emanuel triggering landslides and floods collapsing bridges, swallowing homes and cars, making the airport utterly inaccessible. right now at this hour relief supplies are running low and nearly 40,000 tourists are there stranded. the terminal at the city's airport as you can see is totally underwater. some of that water going all the way up as you can see just about to those barriers which would be about at your waist level or higher. so you can see complete devastation there. our fifth story out front could two cold cases from decades ago finally be solved? so sort of out of the blue, i mean, this is like what you read
in one of those scandinavian murder mysteries. officials say two muddy cars were pulled from the bottom of a lake in western oklahoma. and they contain the remains of six bodies. investigators say one car may belong to a teenager who disappeared with friends in 1970. and the other car could be linked to a case before those teens went missing. authorities are on the scene in foss lake, oklahoma trying to gather additional evidence, trying to figure out if this is related. ed lauvendera has the story. >> reporter: these cars have spent more than 40 years submerged at the bottom of foss lake in western oklahoma. investigators can peel apart the metal and hardware with their bare hands as they look for clues. two corroded rifles, a muddyed wallet and pursing and the remains of six people, three in each car. it's one fluke discovery that might have solved two long-forgotten mysteries in 1970, three teenagers in a 1969 camaro disappeared.
the mystery of what happened to jimmy williams, michael rios and leah johnson made headlines in the local newspapers. and the year before in april of 1969, john alba porter and two friends were driving around in a 1950s chevy and never seen again. more than 40 years later, two cars matching those same descriptions were found sitting right next to each other in this lake. >> it's been so long. it's been 44 years. there's a lot of things in between there that we can't answer because we don't know. it's like through the years, what happened? what happened? just a mystery. we don't know. >> reporter: debbie mcnamanam was 13 years old when her grandpa porter vanished. >> he was here one day and the next day he was gone. no trace, no clue at all. i mean, his bank account was there. his house was locked up. utilities were on. he just walked away. >> reporter: alvie porter as he
was known performed in wild wild west shows, riding bulls around oklahoma. porter's oldest son irving porter is now 85 and suffering from dementia after investigators stopped looking for his father he acted as his own detective, hunting down every clue he could. >> you spent a lot of time looking for him? >> you betcha. still looking for him. but this is going to help me a whole lot. >> reporter: last week, oklahoma highway patrol divers were testing new underwater sonar equipment when they discovered the two cars. it wasn't until the cars were pulled out of the water that the bones were found inside. divers went back in the water and found even more remains. the oklahoma medical examiner will use dna to identify the bodies. it could take days, maybe even years, to positively do that. alexa white's mother was john porter's sister. she hopes her mother can finally find the answer that is have eluded their family for more than four decades. >> it has been difficult not
knowing what did happen to her father. she never had that closure or the peace of mind or comfort. always that uncertainty and why did it happen, what did happen. why can't we find what happened. and i'm hoping that this will bring closure. >> reporter: and erin, now investigators are having the corroded cars pulled away. but what is fascinating about this story and eerie to think about really you heard from the woman there in the piece, she told me she used to bring her young children out here to that marina you see in the distance. the cars were found just there at the end of that boat ramp. she said she used to bring her kids out here to skip rocks on the lake. she had no idea that the answer and the clues to her grandfather's disappearance was literally just feet away underwater. erin. >> it is incredible. and this story just so riveting. it must be amazing to stand there and see those cars right behind you. thanks to our ed lavendara live
there in oklahoma at that scene. still out front our top story the dow today at a record high but gridlock in washington may bring it crashing down. the battle between potus and the gop. an unarmed man shot and killed by police. the police officer charged with a felony. police say a man murdered his wife and post-ed a picture of her body on facebook. now new video released showing the moment of confrontation. plus why the wife wrote about zombies. and also tonight, miss america live "outfront."
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syrian president bashar al assad in an interview with fox news tonight says syria does in fact have chemical weapons. dennis kucinich asked him whether he's willing to open up the sites for inspectors for real. here's what assad said. >> we didn't say that we are joining partially that agreement or that organization. we joined fully. we sent a letter, we sent the documents and we are committed to the full requirements of this agreement. >> the agreement of course is to destroy dechemical weapons. assad said it will take time to destroy the chemical weapons stash and cost $1 billion. that though is just a fraction of what experts said it would cost. leon panetta and robert gates criticizing the way the president of the united states has handled the syrian conflict. both adamantly said they wouldn't have drawn a red line in the first place. it got harsher from there. gates who served under presidents bush and obama says the middle east is a powder keg
and using force in the way the president had originally suggested would have thrown gasoline on the fire. president obama meantime has sent a letter to iranian president hassan rohani that according to the white house says "the u.s. is ready to resolve the nuclear issue in a way that allows iran to demonstrate its nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes." now, this is significant because many of the u.s. have said they have to get rid of the nuclear program all together. it's a dream come true for iran which has insisted the u.s. allow a nuclear program. in an interview tonight with ann curry of nbc news, rohani spoke out >> translator: we have time and again said that under no circumstances would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. nor will we ever. >> rohani also said he has the full authority to make a nuclear deal with the west. it sounds definitive. but as he said, iran has said this again and again and many remain dubious. expert ken net katzman says
iran's leader will almost certainly overrule any deal if he thinks it overrules them obtaining a nuclear weapon in the future. joanna alfonso's death was posted on facebook allegedly by her husband. you see him there, derrek medina. in the diary entitled an insane woman she writes about zombies, bath salts and a troubled marriage. during one shopping trip she said medina's eyes wandered and it made her blood boil. she said i find myself uncontrollably jealous like want to murder type of deal. this reportedly shows the final confrontation between the two. there's a point later in the video where debris flies into the air. that may be when the shooting actually happened. now our sixth story out front, the united states facing a government shutdown again. this is just 12 days away and the biggest story in this
country and quite frankly the biggest national security threat it faces the congress has to reach a deal. if they can't it's embarrassing, avoidable and our accounts of losing the aaa rating isn't even worth keeping count of anymore because washington is simply too dysfunctional to govern. today both speaker boehner and president obama said they want to avoid a shutdown. >> there should be no conversation about shutting the government down. that's not the goal here. >> what i will not do is to create a habit, a pattern, whereby the full faith and credit of the united states ends up being a bargaining chip to set policy. >> the truth is, though, both sides are okay with a shutdown if they don't get their way. boehner says the house will pass a budget bill this week that defunds the president's health care law. that's obviously a nonstarter, won't go anywhere in the senate and the president is making political hay out of it. >> imagine a situation in which
a democratic speaker said to a republican president, i'm not going to increase the debt ceiling unless you increase corporate taxes by 20%. and if you don't do it, we'll default on the debt and cause a worldwide financial crisis. >> so is a shutdown in ininevitable? jason chafitz, good to have you with us. passing a government funding bill that does not fund obamacare as i know a lot of people want to do, you're included on that as a nonstarter obviously it can't pass the senate. we all know that. it's even dividing republicans in the house. so why do you think that's the way to go? >> well, i don't think it necessarily divides the republicans in the house. look, i was elected, too, just like the president was. we're talking about fully funding the government at its current levels with the exception of obamacare. now, we're not here to just gravitate to what harry reid
wants to do. the united states senate will have to have this debate in house we're poised to pass this on friday and then the senate should immediately take this up and begin deliberations. >> the "wall street journal," i don't know if you saw this, but they sort of likened you and others like you to kamikazes that you were going to blow yourselves up as the torpedo striking the giant u.s. aircraft carrier which is obamacare. love it or loathe it, it is big. it's three years old. it's passed. it's passed again. it's passed the supreme court. it's there. and the "wall street journal" wrote about this this way. in terms of your taking on the president. "if this works it would be the first time. the evidence going back to the newt gingrich congress is that no party can govern from the house and the republican party can't abide the outcry when flights are delayed, national parks closed and direct deposits for military spouses stop. sooner or later the gop breaks. the kamikazes could end up ensuring return of an all democratic rule." that is a risk you're willing to take? >> no. that's awfully dramatic.
nobody's talking about killing each other or doing those types of things. we're talking about fully funding the government. nobody is talking, nobody is talking about a government shutdown. what we're talking about is not funding obamacare, which we believe is an absolute disaster. the democrats themselves, the chief sponsor of it called it an absolute train wreck. it's not ready for primetime and it would be disinogenuous to fud something not ready. >> a lot of people agree with you. the truth is that if you don't fund obamacare and go ahead and fund everything else you are going to cause a government shutdown. that's the truth. >> no, no. that's the democrats' choice. that's the president's choice. >> if he accepts not funding his signature achievement of his entire presidency. >> i didn't come here to rubber-stamp what the president was supposed to do. and look, we're going to take a vote. there's 435 members of the house of representatives. if the majority vote that way it will be passed to the senate. that's the constitutional role and responsibility. they're that's what we're posed
to do in the house. >> let me ask you about what speaker boehner says, though, because i know you and he have not always seen eye to eye on this issue of the funding of obamacare. he said in march, "do you want to risk the full faith and credit of the united states government over obamacare? that's a very tough argument to make." he was basically saying, we can't defund it. that would be a crazy thing to do at this point, even though he doesn't like it. now of course obviously he's going along with that in part because of people like you and your strong views on this. did you force his hand? >> well, look. if we were doing what we were supposed to be doing, the united states senate for instance would be passing appropriation bills. we'd be going through regular order. i wish the american public and the national media would be forcing the hands of likes of harry reid to say, let's get back to regular order where we have debates and we actually have votes. not just wait until the last second and do a continuing resolution. this is about a 75-day funding mechanism. it's hardly the end of the world. we're talking about fully funding all the rest of
government. we're not talking about a shutdown. to say otherwise would be irresponsible. >> all right. well, obviously a lot of people do but this is going to be something that goes down to the wire. and congressman, i'll look forward to talking to you again as this happens over the next 12 days. thanks so much, congressman chaffetz. please give us your feedback on that interview @erinoutfront. the events surrounding jonathan ferrell's death are sparking major controversy. lena muchado is out front. >> 911. hello. >> i need help. >> where are you at? >> there's a guy breaking in my front door. >> there's a guy breaking in your front door? >> yes. >> reporter: it was around 2:30 saturday morning. police say the man in question, jonathan ferrell, a motorist, apparently seeking help after a car crash, immediately approached the three responding officers. one used his taser to try to
subdue the 24-year-old. officer randall carrick then allegedly shot ferrell ten times killing him. they discovered he was unarmed. less than a day later, carrick was behind arms charged with manslaughter. carrick's attorney told cnn the use of force was justified. he did not elaborate. >> it's unheard of. >> reporter: another lawyer who does not represent carrick but frequently defends police officers says he can't remember a case where an officer was charged within 24 hours of an incident. >> i have spoken to officers who are saying things like, who's got our back? did they charge too quickly without reviewing all the facts? >> no justice. >> no peace. >> reporter: some in charlotte are questioning the use of force in this case. >> young black men are shot down in the streets even by police officers where it seems to be
okay to shoot first and ask questions later. >> reporter: charlotte police chief rodney monroe declined a request for an interview, but scott mcclatchie does not believe carrick's actions the night of the shoot wrg racially motivated. >> it was a very panicked, frantic call that regardless of the race of the person trying from the woman's perspective to break in, i believe the police response would have been exactly the same. >> reporter: the ferrell family says they believe their son's case is a reflection of just how violent our society has become. for "outfront" alena muchado, charlotte, north carolina. >> i want to bring in mark o'mara cnn legal analyst. he represented george zimmerman in the trayvon martin murder earlier this year. you heard alena there on the story. the optics here, white police officer, young unarmed black man shot, killed. the white officer now charged with a felony of voluntary manslaughter. did the trayvon martin george
zimmerman case where it took almost two months for charges to be brought influence the decision to charge the white police officer so quickly in this case? >> it very well may have. what may have happened was the police department said we need to make a decision quickly for fear of what happened in the zimmerman case. the delay in charging the zimmerman case led to this ground groundswell of concern. having said that, i think another issue you have to look at is the forensics that they may have had available to us. we don't know very much yet, but i will tell you a couple of relevant issues to look at to really decide what happened that night is not just how many shots, although ten certainly seems excessive. but if the shots happened at close range, suggesting that the victim the eventual victim of the shooting was very close and even more importantly, if the trajectory of the shots were sort of perpendical that might
lend credibility to why the officers shot. on the other hand if he was 10 or 15 feet away or god forbid if there were shots put into the victim when he was on the ground that's going to suggest why they may have charged him so quickly with a crime. >> obviously unknowns to us at this point. you just heard in that report and something you're well aware of, look, as some are saying african-american men are unfairly profiled in america. this is something charles barkley has said to me he agreed with the verdict in your case but he also has experienced that himself. it's something the president's talked about. it's reality. but do you think race played a role in ferrell's death? when you think about this situation, if a white guy is running down the road at a white cop, would he have been so quick to shoot? >> well, we have to look at what the cops are thinking about to begin with. they had 2:30 in the morning. they had a woman who was screaming that there was a sort of home invasion, violently knocking on the door. the other thing the woman told the police was that she was
looking for a gun. obviously that doesn't mean that mr. ferrell was armed, but when a gun enters the mix the cops respond in a heightened level of concern or fear. now, when they look at it and when mr. ferrell was coming towards them did they look at him and for a moment's notice say, he's black, i'll act a different way? there's no evidence to support that. i certainly hope it didn't happen. but we've talked many times you and i, erin, and other people that there is this concern the way blackma bla'blackmai black way blackma bla mailes are iden in the system. up next the newly crowned miss america. she's highlighted diversity as one of her greatest assets. there was yet major controversy just minutes after winning her crown. people calling her unamerican, a terrorist. she is "outfront" live with me on set next. a judge tells a couple they can't name their child messiah.
who's to say a higher power has intervened? and the shoutout tonight, a near miss. this video out of australia, a 20-year-old man disregarded warnings, proceeded to walk across train tracks. he did not see the express train traveling at him. coming right at him. the train hit just enough of his leg to knock him to the ground. obviously a miracle. he's lucky he wasn't seriously injured. we don't know why he did such a stupid thing. maybe he was texting. but anyway, the shout out tonight goes to the police who charged him with entering a rail crossing when warning signals were operating an the bars were down. we're disappointed the offense carried a fine of only $2100. but you know what, hopefully he and a lot of other people are going to learn one hell of a lesson.
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our eighth story outfront, controversy over the crown. for the first time in its 93-year history, miss america is a woman of indian heritage. >> your new miss america is miss new york! [ cheers and applause ] >> miss new york! >> she was crowned on sunday night. within minutes of that emotional win that you see there, she was greeted by something shocking. a lot of hateful and racist tweets. some people calling her a terrorist. another person saying if you're miss america, you should have to be american. well, tonight she is taking on
her critic and she joins me "outfront." thanks for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> there's that moment you're crying with joy and shock. watching your face watch you can is kind of an amazing thing. but then those tweets happened. did you expect it? >> i did expect it. it was something i had experienced when i won miss new york. i knew that going in should i win miss america i was going to experience it on a much larger level and scale. it was an unfortunate situation. but for the negative tweets they receiveds, for one negative tweet i received dozens of positive tweets and support from not only indians but the american people across the country and from the world for that matter. it's been such an honor. >> so you didn't feel that it was just indian americans that were supportive of you. >> absolutely. >> i'm sure they were incredibly excited as they should have been but it wasn't just that group. >> no. this morning i saw a video tweeted out by students of duke
university tweeting cultural again tensy. their hashtag was stand with nina. >> you met with vanessa williams today, right? >> i did. >> first black woman to ever win the miss america title back in 1983. she received unbelievable backlash at that time. one point she said there was an angry minority who felt that boy being black i had tarnished the miss america crown. it rocked me to my core >> yes. >> did any of this rock you to your core? your parents were born, raised, grew up in india. you are first generation. did anything make you think twice about ever competing for miss america? or just about the situation? >> just responding how you feel about your country. >> the thing is, i have always -- it's something that i've grown up with with a stereotype which is why i started my platform, accept broug
celebrating diversity through cultural competency. the girl next door is evolving as america evolves. she's not the same person ten years ago and not ten years down the road. i wanted to be the first indian miss america to be that new symbol for the organization and hope and let young girls know that regardless of race their socioeconomic status, their religion, anyone can become not only miss america but anything. because i am living my american dream right now. >> so let me ask you something about this. beauty pageants are complicated topic, right? >> they are. >> a lot of women are watching you thinking she's so put together, so amazing, so poised. some of them are probably thinking but she did a beauty pageant. let me confirm this. you're using your winnings to try to pay for your medical school, right? >> absolutely. >> so i want to get your reaction, there's a proposed law in france that would ban anybody participating in beauty pageants if you're under 16 years old. parents could go to jail for two years and $40,000 fine. one of the men who authored the legislation said let us not make our girls believe from a very young age that their worth is based only on their appearance. obviously to get to miss america
you participated in pageants all through your childhood. >> correct. >> do you think pageants should become a relic of the past? >> no. well, first of all, i participated in the miss america's outstanding teen program when i was 16. and through that program, i gained $25,000 in scholarship money, and because of that i was able to graduate debt free from the university of michigan. and now that i'm applying to medical school, i just won a $50,000 scholarship from the miss america organization and i won 10,000 from winning miss new york. so i have $60,000 to put towards medical school. >> right. >> that's what i love about the miss america organization is that it is so scholarship based. we provide $45 million of scholarships available to young women across the country. >> so you're not ever feeling like gosh, i'm judged too much by how pretty i looked and amazing i looked in that dress? that's why a lot of people watch miss america. let's be honest. >> that's very true. it's very true that's why we have a swimsuit competition, on tv, cater to the media and that's a reality.
what many people don't see is the 10-minute private interview we have with our panel of judges. they ask us any kind of question is fair game. that's where miss america is won. because you have to be well spoken, to talk about your platform and several causes. >> i wish you the best of luck. thank you so much. thank you for bringing in your crown. >> absolutely. >> i was going to ask to put it on but i can't. eight months pregnant it would taint your crown. thank you very much, knee that appreciate it and wish you so much luck. till stil to come, a tennessee judge has ruled a couple cannot name their child messiah. but a higher power has intervened. oh, yes, church and state, there's messiah. e. build character through quality. and earn the right to be called a classic. the lands' end no iron dress shirt. starting at 49 dollars.
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it's official. messiah is allowed to keep his name. i'm not talking about that messiah. we're talking about this messiah, the story we've been following for a month in august a tennessee magistrate ruled that the parents of this little fellow, messiah deshawn martin, would have to change their son's first name because quote messiah is a title that is held only by jesus christ and that naming him this places an undue burden on him that as human being he cannot fulfill." seriously as you can imagine, that didn't sit well with the parents. they challenged the decision. today a judge ruled forcing the parents to change the name of their child is unconstitutional and that this little guy is
messiah. now, some people might be offended by that decision. but we celebrate it. because in america, church and state are separate. and parents should be allowed to choose their own kid's name. now, there are a lot of unusual names in the world. some of them frankly offensive. when we hate them, though, do you really want to let the legal system decide which are appropriate and which aren't? that's an interesting question. when it comes to the religious overtones of this case, though, consider this. the most popular given name on planet earth is mohammed. as always, we want to know what you think. let us know on twitte twitter @erinburnett of @outfrontcnn. of @outfrontcnn. piers morgan is next. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com anything we purchase for the paper cottage goes on our ink card. so you can manage your business expenses and access them online instantly with the game changing app from ink. we didn't get into business to spend time managing receipts,
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it i'm stephanie cutter and this is cnn. this is "piers morgan live." welcome to our viewers around the united states and around the world. tonight, a mother's anguish. >> aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone. and for that, i am glad. to the families of the victims, i am so, so very sorry this has happened. my heart is broken. >> i'll talk to the spiritual adviser who has been by the side of the shooter's mother all day today. also, you heard rick warren tell me this last night. >> there's no way a gun should ever get in the hands of a mentally ill person. >> tonight i'll talk to a woman
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