tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN May 6, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
be held there with people dying in the streets? i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the world lead. in the middle of all of this, ukrainians are supposed to go to the polls, pick a new president? russia now questioning the timing of ukraine's elections even though president obama strictly warned putin not to interfere. the politics lead, we are off to the races. it's just one primary in one state but today's key north carolina senate republican primary race is the one making establishment republicans the most nervous. and the pop culture lead. unless you've stayed there, you are nobody in that town. but now some big names in showbiz are turning away from the older school hollywood law. good afternoon, everyone. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin with the world lead.
the way the white house sees it, the future of ukraine is bound to the elections on may 25th. but russia today started poking holes in ukraine's election plans. while the pro-russian separatists tried to shoot holes in each other. you're looking at the twisted remains of a helicopter knocked down in the eastern ukraine city of slovyansk. and this video, while undated, reports to show ukraine's forces near donetsk. it's where pro russia forces have seized government buildings. ukrainian military is in the middle of the biggest offensive yet. but russia's foreign minister sergey lavrov pointed to scenes such as you just saw to lay the ground work for russia to possibly question the legitimacy of ukraine's elections. >> translator: the situation when they use an army against
their own population is quite an outstanding one. this is not afghanistan. this is a completely different situation. >> how very reassuring. president obama has said if russia interferes with ukraine's elections, it will target entire sectors of russia's economy. lavrov also dismissed the idea of more talks in geneva to ease tensions in ukraine unless the pro-russian separatists get a spot at the table. authorities claim that 30 pro-russian rebels have been killed. the violence we have seen so far there may just be the beginning. our senior international correspondent nick peyton walsh is near slovyansk. what are you seeing there? >> reporter: there is a second
assault that may occur in the days ahead. and despite the fact that they themselves lost four ukrainian soldiers, the militants said they lost ten of their own people. that's a lot of casualties. much more than an hour's worth of fighting and damage done on their highway. the ukrainian army pulled back right up the road. no sign of them holding the ground that they are actually taking. we saw inside the town, people are furious, funerals due to happen tomorrow. barricades being put up. a sense of siege. i've got to say, if the ukrainian army tries to move in, it will be an extraordinary bloody occasion. dealing with the population that is very hardened against them. there is talk about these elections. well, it's far from everybody's minds here. it's turning into a civil war, not a pre-electoral campaign.
>> we talk about the diplomacy going on versus the reality of what is going on. does it have any relevance to what you're seeing? >> reporter: it's kind of troubling to talk about the need to respect the geneva agreement, the main tenant is which both sides should refrain from violence. they are at each other almost every day here. that's far, far removed from what is happening. perhaps they have an autonomous timetable following around the elections, washington certainly believes they are trying to undermine that particular vote and sanctions, if that is the case. but i think we see diplomacy carrying on as a backdrop. what is happening is clearly pro-russian militants going towards referendum, merely five days away to join russia or at least separate further from ukraine. and i think diplomacy provides sort of an echo chamber of the noise that we're hearing here and an actual direction to get
people out of this mess. jake? >> nick paton walsh in ukraine, stay safe. they are holding a hearing where assistant secretary of state are testifying in front of the committee about the u.s. assessment of what is going on in ukraine. let's just say newlan was not falling for the support. >> there are russian agents on the ground. russia can still step back from supporting accept p supporting separatism and do the right thing. >> joining me is robert menendez of new jersey. good to see you, as always. president obama said last week, i believe, that if russia was meddling with the elections that he would impose these larger sanctions on entire sectors of the russian economy. in your judgment, are they meddling and should those sanctions be enacted?
>> i think there is another calibration to go right now which is looking at the oil company, the russian gas company and exports which is their arms exporter sending arms to syria, by the way, and looking at those three companies as potential targets of sanctions. >> the russian foreign minister said he's open to another round of international talks but wants pro-russian rebels in the east and in the south of ukraine to be included in those talks. is that on the table? >> well, i find it hard to envision that. look, the russians had a first round of geneva meeting with the europe, the united states, and the ukrainians. they totally disregarded everything that they supposedly had agreed to. they have not de-escalated. they have ratcheted up their activities in eastern ukraine. so going to a second round and suggesting that, you know,
russian separatist rebels should be part of any negotiation just simply to de-escalate would be simply outrageous. >> russia sanctioned a number of individuals in the u.s., including you. i'm sure you wear it as a badge of honor but how is it affecting you at all? >> oh, it's not affecting me except i won't be visiting russia in my travels abroad on behalf of the senate foreign relations committee. but that -- and to their detriment, from my perspective, to the extent that there could be a dialogue, they won't be able to have the dialogue with me as a leader of the committee and as an advocate for u.s. foreign policy. if anything, it hurts them. not me at all. i'm not going to stop speaking out for ukrainian independence and for the national security
interest of the united states not just for ukraine but beyond that, as i think we have discussed in the past, the message that the u.s. and europe send as to how we deal with the russians in this context is going to be viewed by the chinese as they look at their south china sea, the territorial states, the iranians as they sit across the table from us, how far can they try to take the deal. it's going to be looked at by many. and so this has a significant interest and i'm going to continue to speak up as i believe is appropriate. >> if that's true, senator, don't you fear that the united states looks weak and i mpotent? >> no, i do not think the united states looks impotent at all. you've seen the poll that says that americans do not want to engage militarily. nobody is speaking of that anyhow. but they do support 65% for sanctions. that's what we're pursing right
now. >> but by your own admission, senator, sanctions are not going far enough and the last time sanctions were announced, the russian stock market went up. >> well, the last time that the europeans announced their sanctions there, the market had a bit of a rally because they thought it was going to be worse. that doesn't mean that they weren't hurt. this is always a calibration. if you go too far, the russians say, well, let's invade eastern ukraine. if you don't go far enough, you don't add the equation of putin to see the risk. so getting this calibration right is important. i think the administration is moving in that direction. i also think that they are trying to lead the europeans, as chancellor merkel was here last week and i had an opportunity to share a dinner with her and a few others, i made it very clear that the u.s. will certainly be leading but by the same token, the europeans, this is happening on their continent and they need to understand that it's been
georgia, maoldova and they have to decide how close it's getting to their own security interests. >> thank you for your time, as always. >> thank you. coming up next, armed men go door-to-door kidnapping more girls overnight. will nigeria finally formally except the u.s.' offer to help. plus, she deeply regrets what happened. monica lewinsky breaks her silence after 20 years. what she thinks about hillary clinton calling her a narcissist loony toon. that's coming up.
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group of boko haram have already vowed to sell these girls and more than 200 that they have already abducted into a life of slavery and arranged marriages. he welcomes the offer from the u.s. to send a team to explain how the u.s. can help find these girls has been frustrating for the u.s. many officials not understanding why there have been many reluctance to accept the help before now. i asked representative bob menendez what he made of this reluctance. >> it is beyond my imagination. i cannot fathom why they have not readily accepted the assistance and have been out there asking for it. you know, boko haram is a real challenge to the nigerian government. whether they feel they are embarrassed by this challenge, this is the most populist and largest economy in africa whether it's the government's own history of its armed forces
sometimes committing human rights violations. i'm not sure what it is but it is unacceptable. >> cnn's isha sesay just spoke to a nigerian government official about this investigation. she joins us live from nigeria. it sounds like secretary of state john kerry spoke with the president of nigeria and there is some acceptable form of help? what is that? >> reporter: hi, jake. we spoke with president jonathan's special affairs assistant and we put it to him, what is the status of that offer of help from the united states? has it been accepted by nigeria? he was very clear and unequivocal that, yes, the nigeri nigerian government has gone ahead and accepted that help. he said we'll accept help from anyone. the reality of the fact is it's been three weeks since these girls were snatched from their
beds in northeastern nigeria and the president of nigeria himself has admitted they have no idea where these girls are. but today nigeria accepting help from the united states, we'll need to take a listen to some of my conversation as he details what that assistance actually is. >> confronting and said today john kerry and said america has offered assistance in the area of high technology. >> reporter: it has been accepted? it's going ahead? >> i've said it before, we will take help from anyone. >> reporter: you heard that it has been accepted. we'll take help from anyone. so jake, whatever has gone on in
the days gone by, the situation has changed now and the u.s. is coming in to help with efforts to find these girls. jake? >> isha sesay, thank you so much. keep up the great work. how involved will the u.s. be? joining me now is richard downey, deputy director of the african program for center for strategic and international studies. he's also a former bbc cropp correspondent. he said after weeks of the u.s. pleading for the nigerians to accept help from the u.s., they are now formally accepting the assistance despite some sparsing earlier. u.s. policy makers have been so frustrated. what do you think, are the nigerian leaders embarrassed? why do they seem to be dragging their feet on this? >> i think there is some embarrassment. nigeria is a proud sovereign nation and is used to helping out in the region of west africa
rather than asking for help itself. maybe their also a worry, a concern that having overt support from the united states could make the situation worse because boko haram, this terrorist group may be very quick to seize on this partnership. >> richard, let's talk about boko haram, the name of the group means western education is sinful. they have been called nigeria's taliban. they have declared war on the west, on western education, especially women getting a western education. how dangerous is this group to nigeria? how dangerous and how big of a threat are they to the entire region? >> well, it's a very dangerous situation and for the last ten years boko haram has operated in nigeria, con tradcentrated in t
northeast but also in the last few weeks in the capital. it borders west africa, central africa that allows the group to pass through without anyone stopping them and have shown their ability to limnk up with other terrorist groups. so there are a whole host of reasons why we should be worried about boko haram. >> the leader of the terrorist group said there's a market for selling humans. he said it as casually as if he was discussing the stock market. how widespread is the trafficking of humans in this region? >> well, there's a market for everything in this part of africa and again it's a function of the poorest and under governed spaces. from west africa north through the sahara up to north africa
has been used for a smuggling route for not only people but drugs, cigarette, all kind of contraband goods, you name it. >> we should also mention that the lives for young women in nigeria even not women -- young women in slavery is not necessarily what we would hope there to be. there's genital mutilation, women are clearly second-class citizens. what is it like for a 13, 14-year-old girl in nigeria? >> well, you're right. it's very tough. and particularly in the northeastern region where boko haram predominantly operates. it's particularly tough. girls even before boko haram arrived on the scene didn't get much access to education, to schooling and that really has limited their ability to go on to get good jobs and to rise through society. you see this at the national level as well, a lack of female representation in politics and maybe that's part of the reason
why the government is not being asphyxiated on this crisis as the rest of us have been. >> richard, thank you so much. coming up, an eye-opening cnn investigation about dozens of veterans dying as they waited for care at v.a. hospitals. now two veteran groups are demanding that the v.a. chief step down. what does president obama think? plus, is your home in one of the areas that could be hit the worst dear sun, meet your biggest competitor: philips slimstyle led bulb. beautiful quality light with a slim design, at a slim price.
. welcome back to "the lead," the buried lead today is 273 days, 273. that is the average time a veteran waits for his or her paperwork to process through the veterans administration, according to a top official. this news comes at a time of epidemic veteran suicide. dozens have died waiting for months to see a doctor according to an investigation conducted by cnn. and now two senators along with two major veterans group are calling for the head of the veterans department to resign. they are not the only ones. our drew griffin has been on
this story for months. drew? >> the issue is this. and vets know this all too well. veterans have been dying waiting for doctors' appointments, waiting months and months and months at v.a. hospitals across the country. that's caused tremendous pressure to reduce wait time and our report has found in phoenix and possibly many more hospitals the wait times may have been eliminated simply by purging the list. they have been trying to figure out how it's possible 1.5 million veterans request for medical service disappeared last year. and what we've heard from the government's own watch dog is the record keeping, the data, and the oversight is so bad at the v.a., you simply can't tell what happened to these vets. today on capitol hill, republican senators have had enough. they are now calling for eric sinseki to resign.
>> today i'm calling for the culture, from top to bottom, and all across the country, secretary shinsceki is unwillin or unable to do so and change must be made at the top. i ask the secretary to submit his resignation and ask that it be accepted. that means receiving the care and support that they earned. >> drew, general shinseki is part of the cabinet. >> jay carney read a statement out loud that he gave us in print that the president stands behind eric shinseki to stand behind him until the general inspector report comes out. they are sticking by their man right now. >> he won't talk to cnn? >> this is really puzzling,
jake. we have been on this for six months and have been asking for an interview with a cabinet secretary of a veterans affairs committee for six months. we get virtually no response from the v.a. on this and we're not alone. congress has been stiffed by him and families we have found out, a family that i talked about two years ago whose world war ii vet died from contracting legionella at the pittsburgh v.a. they have been trying to reach eric shinseki for a one-on-one meeting. they don't even get the courtesy of a response. i don't know why this guy is not talking. >> a lot of people who work at the v.a. who are under paid but work hard and it's a department that has a lot of problems and it's puzzling why he wouldn't speak to you after all of the work that you have done. coming up next, if republicans have any shot of
taking back the senate, they are going to have to beat back the tea party first. next, the one race that the establishment is worried about right now, one that could hold the key to november. plus, hillary clinton opening up about a painful chapter on her husband's presidency on the same day that a little lady named monica lewinsky is coming out to talk about her affair with mrs. clinton's husband. frequent heartburn? the choice is yours. chalky. not chalky. temporary. 24 hour. lots of tablets. one pill. you decide. prevacid. ♪ 24 hour how did i know? well, i didn't really. see, i figured low testosterone would decrease my sex drive... but when i started losing energy and became moody...
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call your doctor right away if you have muscle pain or weakness, feel unusually tired, have loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark urine, or yellowing of skin or eyes. these could be signs of rare but serious side effects. crestor! yes! [ female announcer ] ask your doctor about crestor. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. welcome back to "the lead". time for the politics lead. we're still six months out from election day and in many ways, the battle for control of the senate starts today in north carolina where it's primary day and voters are heading to the polls to decide the most important ranks that perhaps you've never heard of. three main challengers, the republican establishment has bet big on state house speaker tom tillis, marquee names, such as
jeb bush, mitch mcconnell and mitt romney are in that corner. but not so fast. the republican's grassroots wings are making this nasty. peter hamby is in charlotte. peter, tillis needs 40% to avoid a runoff. but what are you hearing on the ground right now? can he do it? >> reporter: well, if you talk to people here, they would say most definitely there was going to be a runoff. but there's been lots of outside spending. tom tillis, the state house speaker, the front-runner, as you mentioned, and people are saying that tillis will crack that magic number. i spoke to a pro in raleigh who pegged it at 47%. i don't think it will be that high but tillis has been steadily creeping up.
that's sort of the consensus now that he will break that number and avoid a runoff and if he doesn't, as you mentioned, it's going to go to a runoff in mid-july, which could be a really troublesome thing. jake? >> of course, the precedent here is when ted cruz kept an establishment candidate from winning his primary and the way that the republican party is facing here with tea party challengers and if the lieutena lieutenant governor did not fend off a race and ted cruz went on to win. >> that's right. it's interesting, jake. the funny thing is that a lot of primaries, the national press has made this a traditional establishment versus tea party
narrative for a senate race sort of but it's a little bit limited for two reasons. one, tom tillis is actually very conservative. that was texas and came really pushed through a lot of landmark conservative legislation, lots of budget cuts, a strict voter i.d. law and the other thing here is that the two candidates were challenging him, among others, are not that strong. they haven't raised a lot of money. some of the big conservative outside groups like the club for growth, the senate conservative fund haven't endorsed in this primary. so, look, if it does get to a runoff, anything can happen. as i said, a low turnout could be tough for anybody perceived as an established candidate but tillis has lots of money from outside groups propping him up.
jake? >> peter hamby, thank you so much. let's bring in our political panel to dissect this and more. gloria borger and jonathan martin. what i love about this race is that kay hagan is meddling in the race about tom tillis. what is she saying? >> she's talking about his views on the affordable care act. >> trying to paint him as a liberal? >> yes, that's right. trying to bloody him up and trying to get that 40%, the magic number. but you see in north carolina what you saw in missouri two years ago where democrats went in late, jake, and tried to boost todd akin, they did that, got their candidate and what happened? the rest is history. >> she wants a runoff.
>> you have course. of course. kay hagan is vulnerable. >> almost as vulnerable. >> that's right. we had a poll in our paper last month. her approval numbers were 44/44. as many folks disapproved as those that approved. that is so key in the state that it drops off between presidential years and off years. a big prop for her. >> we can't understate this. the fate of the control of the senate really does hang in the balance. >> six seats. >> and kay hagan loses and you have a couple other states and all of a sudden obama thinks he has gridlock now, just wait. >> that's no surprise that you have the chamber of commerce and american crossroads spending millions of dollars because they know, they believe that they lost about a half dozen nate races that they did not need to lose.
so now the establish strikes back here and they are pushing. they don't want that to happen. >> and this primary is almost like a proxy for the presidential race. >> yeah. >> you have establishment folks like mitt romney backing one candidate, rand paul backing another, mike huckabee backing another. now, we have some new cnn orc polling out this morning showing jeb bush and rand paul tied among potential presidential hopefuls. 13% support all five candidates within the polls. paul ryan, huckabee, chris christie. what are republicans saying about the poll numbers? >> they are saying it's early, gloria, and then, of course, they are looking into the internal of these polls trying to figure out what it means. what it does mean to everyone is this race is a jump ball. there's nobody that comes out at you and says he's the prohibited favorite and also it's not going to discourage anyone from running. if you're rick santorum and you're at 2%, you say, i was in
bad shape last time and i almost won and if you're chris christie and you say wait a minute, i'm only four points back and look at what has happened to me here. so, you know, this race, you know, early on with mitt romney, he was a problem hhibited favor. >> jonathan, one of the things that these guys do to try to help them get out in front is to do favors and get out there. jennifer jacobs, a nice scoop this afternoon, guess who is going to be doing the fund-raiser for the republican governor of iowa, early caucus state, none other than jeb bush. >> i'm shocked. >> shocked. >> i'm sure it's all about the good brand of re-election. >> exactly. >> look, i tend to sympathize with the pollsters who say, well, it's early yet. but there is some importance to these numbers. when you've got consultants and donors who are going at this
like jeb bush and say, you've got to do it, you've got to do it, it's easy for them to say, you're winning big or, look, you're poised to do really, really well. look at your numbers here among x group or x group. the case is a little bit harder. >> by the way, speaking of jeb bush, not only is he out raising money, he's out raising money for nikki haley. so choosing those states wisely. >> so let's talk about it in the same cnn poll, democrats are overwhelmingly behind. 64% say the former secretary of state would be their choice for the democratic nominee. it's down from january where it was at 70%. >> what's happened to her, jake? >> but i should say, there's also some news from her past, hillary clinton's presidential candidacy has an effect of causing a i love the '90s feel
and monica lewinsky is out with a have the vanity fair" tease that is out, talking about the blue dress and the affair and what she went through. do you think this hurts hillary clinton's candidacy at all? >> no. >> not at all? >> i don't think it has any impact on her candidacy, particularly if she's getting out younger voters who don't care about what happened in the '90s. i think what monica lewinsky did come out and say is that she did not see bill clinton has a sexual predator, which is what rand paul has called him. she said it was a consensual affair. was it inappropriate? absolutely. she made that case. in a way, it could help, if anything at all. >> what do you make of it all? >> it's may of 2014. so it's going to jog memories about the 1990s for, what, a couple of days maybe at the most but i think we'll be on to the
next thing here soon. look, i think the clinton folks had to know that monica lewinsky at some point was going to come back up. if the clinton folks would rather have her now than say right before november. >> i give monica lewinsky credit for putting this out there. she turned 40 and good for her. >> jonathan martin and gloria borger, thank you. a staggering apocalyptic report on climate change right here in the united states. are you living in the danger zone? plus, hollywood heavyweights taking a stand against an l.a. institution. why ellen degeneres and jay leno are saying that they will no longer step foot in the beverly hills hotel.
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welcome back to "the lead," time for our national lead. the white house is out in full force on one of president obama's big second-term priorities, recognizing the effects of climate change. this morning, the white house pushed out the third u.s. national climate assessment put together by 300 experts. it's over 800 pages and it might
scare the nitrites out of you. floods, hurricanes, extreme heat, wildfire. sounds like a passage out of the bible. tom foreman, this is very much pushing immediate effects right writing that climate change is happening now. >> they are trying to not make this a problem of the future but a problem of today and even though it's a global problem, they want to talk about what it does in our world and these are the effects that they are talking about. let's start with the northeast for about 64 million people live up here. remember superstorm sandy and all of the damage that came from that? think about all of the huge snowstorms that have swept through here in recent years. what they are saying is that these extreme weather events, these extreme precipitation events are going to continue and a real target there will be infrastructure, roadways, railways, bridges, and electrical supplies. let's move down now and talk
about the southeast. you see all of that coastal land out there. this is where they are saying that as this changes, these billion dollar weather events -- and let me bring in a map. when i say a billion dollar weather event, i mean events that cause more than a billion dollars worth of damage. the redder the area, the more they have seen those types of events and you can see that the southeast gets an awful lot of that. so if that continues at a higher level, as they predict, in places like new orleans, tampa, charleston really get hammered. this may produce a longer growing season but also a more unpredictable one where they may have longer droughts and earlier frost. so the cost of food can go up and the availability of food can be changed. move out of the great plains, water is always an issue there. the water becomes even worse and becomes more unpredictable. if you look at places like the
southwest down around southern california, arizona, places like that, you're talking about a greater instance of wildfires as things dry out and become less favorable for growing conditions and sort of the same thing happens in the northwest because then you start talking about insect infestation, things that kill vast forest. bottom line, jake, no matter where you live, there's something in this report for you. >> what is the report saying will happen if we do something or if we do nothing? >> the report is saying, if we do something, the effect continues because it's not all manmade. they are not saying that. they are saying there are other effects. if we do nothing, they are still saying you get a 4 to 5 degree increase in temperature and that is if we do something. if we do something, that is what you get. but if you do nothing, they are saying it's much worse. 8 to 9 degrees. it's part science, part politics, jake, but very pointed. >> tom foreman, thanks. wolf blitzer is here with "the
situation room." wolf, you were the senior correspondent? >> yes. sorry you didn't make chief. you were there when the monica lewinsky scandal made news. >> monica lewinsky was pretty honest. i'm sure she's gone through very, very difficult years. it's been a decade basically since we've heard from her. she opens up and tries to do something that was very damaging to her and make something positive out of it and try to tell folks out there, you can go through public humiliation on social media and elsewhere. remember drudge was the first one reported about her affair with the president. but if you work hard, maybe she can inspire others to come out of this and do something positive. you spoke about it. we're going to speak about it in "the situation room" as well. coming up in eight minutes. wolf blitzer, thank you so much. coming up in our pop culture lead, if these walls could talk,
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switch now and add voice and tv for $34.90. comcast business built for business. welcome back. the pop culture lead, it's nicknamed the pink palace. it's where stars have flocked. elizabeth taylor honeymooned in the bungalos out back. the sultan who owns it has managed to alienate so much. >> reporter: the beverly hills hotel, a haven for hollywood's elite. now some stars are rushing for the exits. >> i know a number of people are
canceling events at the hotel and it's all economic. >> reporter: jay leno, his wife, and actress francis fisher took part in a protest on monday protesting not the hotel per se but its ownership, an investment group. they want people to be aware of the new sharia laws being boycotted in brunei for the stoning of anyone who commits adultery or is homosexual. >> it's being people stoned to death. hello? >> reporter: ellen degeneres said that they will not patronize the property. the talk show host tweeted i won't be visiting the bel-air or
beverly hills hotel until this is resolved. >> the actions that they are taking is unfound the. >> reporter: groups shunning the company's hotel put their focus in the wrong place. >> it's going to hurt our employees and this has nothing to do with them whatsoever. it's not their fight. >> reporter: he says celebrities want to influence the state department to take action, in fact at a monday briefing marie harf addressed development in brunei. >> let me be very clear, we have concerns. >> reporter: she was asked whether diplomats ever stay at dochester hotels. >> i can check. i don't know the answer. >> reporter: the mayor is introducing a resolution before the city council that would urge the sultan. >> we have a history of standing
strong against injustice. >> reporter: the legendary property has been around for over 100 years, longer than beverly hills itself. >> it's not for a boycott of the beverly hills hotel but it's a focus on the government and their laws and not a statement about the hotel. >> reporter: ted rowlands, cnn, los angeles. that's it for "the lead." i turn you over to mr. wolf blitzer. new al qaeda threats. more sdochoolgirls are kidnappe vowing to sell them into slavery. and arresting dozens of terrorists accused of plotting attacks. wildfires exploding out of control. more than 1,000 are forced from their homes as scorching heat causes high flames in oklahoma. and ukrainian troops crack down on