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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  May 28, 2011 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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had a headphone jack and you unwind this little chord. this is a sticky pad. it turns into a speaker. the noise inside here, it vibrates and it sounds so loud just from this little $50 device, the rocket 2. and i have to tell you -- >> no more boom boxes. >> right. there's always a dude at the beach with a giant boom box. you have to come down in size. the cruisin' cooler goes from $350 to $1,400. you can get customized rims. it goes up to speeds of 14 miles per hour. and i can't say the monitor here but i know that our producer if we could show the cruisin' cooler. and she has been riding the cruisin' cooler for years. >> that's hilarious. >> is that functional, like a functional cooler?
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you put stuff in it. >> yeah. you ride your beer and drink it, too. >> oh, my goodness. >> unbelievable. already, fredricka, have a fine time. we'll see you tomorrow. >> all right. see you tomorrow. >> you bet. top of the hour right now, we're focusing on the things that are not so fun in joplin, missouri. more than 150 people still have not been heard from since the deadliest tornado on record hit there last sunday. 132 are confirmed dead. more than 1,000 people were hurt. the federal government has approved nearly $3 million in aid. and president obama actually plans to meet with survivors tomorrow in the city of joplin. all week, we've been hearing extraordinary stories of survival and, of course, about the people who died trying to save others. our paul vercammen is in joplin. you've been hearing from the
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victims there? >> reporter: when you get an idea of what happened here, a man named dean wells, 59 years old, was so busy helping other people get to shelter in spots of the store of the home depot, he forgot about himself. his memorial service was today. and to say that he was a bit of a character would be probably one of the vast understatements of the day. dean wells, the whistler, they called him, ten-year army veteran and former blackhawk helicopter crew chief. before the tornado smashed the home depot where he was a manage into this tangle of despair, by several accounts, wells directed at least a half a dozen people to safety when he could have saved himself. wells paid for his good deeds with his life, no surprise to his family, talking about their hero on a front porch. >> this is who he was.
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he helped anybody and everybody and he died doing it. >> reporter: dean showed adoration for his wife, sue, by spray-painting the ground. >> when it was our 42nd anniversary and our anniversaries were so special to him and me. >> reporter: dean made his mother proud and he made her laugh. >> well, he brought home all kinds of an pals when he was little to save. >> always helping other people. and i miss him. but i'm glad that if he had to lose his life, he lost it the way that he lived it. ♪ >> reporter: about that nickname, dean lived whistling. this is a recording of this devout churchgoer doing his rendition of "amazing grace." ♪
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>> reporter: how sweet the sound. ♪ >> reporter: and dean wells would whistle for pretty much anybody who would listen. he also entertained people often whistling at senior centers in this area. he will be missed. >> the president is going to be arriving tomorrow. how are people preparing and how highly anticipated is the president's visit? >> reporter: i think they're all looking forward to president obama coming here. he's going to speak as well at a local university. one thing that we are hearing is, people in joplin are talking about aid overseas. they don't think he should have come back from his trip shortly. but they're saying, if we can reach out to other countries in despair, let's hope the federal
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government steps in and helps this city. more now on the president's planned visit to joplin. he is expected to arrive early in the afternoon tomorrow and walk through some of the devastated neighborhoods that you saw right there as the backdrop with paul there. then he'll speak at the memorial service for victim set at 3:00 p.m. eastern time in joplin, sunday. cnn plans to bring that to you live as it happens. and here is how you can help the people of joplin, just logon to and check out our special page. it has all the tools that you need to try to make a difference. let's check in with our meteorologist, reynolds wolf. it seems that this weather, this entire spring, has just been so tragic, to tumultuous. are the people out of the woods there or is there more strange stuff on the way in that region? >> it's interesting that you ask because earlier this morning, we did have some storms developing north of joplin. but in terms of downtown joplin itself, i think they're going to be in pretty good shape for
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today, for the time being, looks like they're in the clear. the storms passing well to the north along the i-35 corridor, north of 44 also. but in the afternoon, we're going to see the potential for more rough weather to develop. from parts of the midwest to the front range of the rockies, you can expect that chance of severe storms. in the southeast, humid, very warm for you. scattered showers possible in the great lakes. out west, fredricka, it's going to be a combination of rain in the low-lying areas. in higher elevations, switching from raindrops to snowflakes. keep in mind, there are a couple of places, a couple of roads at yellowstone national park that are still blocked with up to 20 feet of snowfall. 61 in salt lake city. 61 in seattle. 81 in washington, d.c. 88 in atlanta. high humidity in atlanta. don't let it fool you. it's going to feel much warmer. 75 in boston. fenway park. 88 in miami.
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101 in el paso. san francisco with 61. as we fast forward for the rest of your weekend, just to give you an idea, incorporating sunday and monday together, looking at the trend, mainly rain in the northern half of the country. everything to the south, very steamy for you in parts of the southeast, of course. then when you get into places like el paso, texas, going up to around 101. should stay in the 100s all the way through -- well, this time of the year is going to be warm for quite a while. >> we're in summer. >> yeah, exactly. >> doesn't the calendar -- the holiday weekend really says that. >> we're going to go from tornado season into hurricane season june 1st. >> next wednesday. >> hard to believe it's almost already here. >> it is. thanks, reynolds. maybe it's not good weather in all places that people can be excited about this holiday weekend, but millions of americans will find some relief in the fact that gas prices are actually dropping.
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aaa says the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded is $3.81 a gallon, down 15 days straight now. but let's not kid ourselves. that means that gas is still pretty high compared to last year. this weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, but if you try to go for a swim in a public pool, don't be surprised if it's actually closed this weekend. that's because the federal government is recalling 1 million pool and spa drain covers. the outdated design can allow up to 500 pounds of suction power, enough to actually trap a swimmer. critics say the recall is long overdue. in politics straight ahead, sarah palin is back in the spotlight and sounding and acting a lot like a candidate. we'll tell you what she's doing that's fueling speculation about a possible presidential bid this weekend. age.
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if you have high cholesterol, you may be at increased risk of heart attack and stroke. don't kid yourself. talk to your doctor about your risk and about lipitor. personal pricing now on brakes. tell us what you want to pay. we do our best to make that work. deal! my money. my choice. my meineke. just off the coast of a north carolina beach, divers have discovered a piece of history, a very large piece of history. this is an anchor believed to be from blackbeard's pirate ship. it is 11 feet long and weighs about 3,000 pounds. archaeologists say it was one of three anchors from "queen anne's revenge" which sank nearly 300 years ago.
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quite the find. sarah palin says she has the fire in her belly to steer america in a new direction. so the former alaska governor has jumped back into the spotlight with a multicity bus tour that kicks off tomorrow in washington. let's turn to paul steinhauser in washington. what's this tour all about and does it indicate that palin is ready to make an announcement anytime soon? >> reporter: a week ago, we weren't really talking about sarah palin when it comes to the race for the white house. but a lot of hints and signals the last week and especially this bus tour, which was just announced. it's kicking off tomorrow here as d.c. celebrates memorial day, as the whole nation does. and this bus tour is going to hit some civil war battlefield sites like gettysburg. it's also going to new hampshire, we know new hampshire holds the first primary in the race for the white house. a big hint. but is it a hint she's running for the white house or trying to get back in the limelight? when you look at sarah palin, she really hasn't made that many concrete efforts in the early
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voting states. trying to build up staff or reaching out to voters directly in person and also her contract with fox news is not being altered. she continues to be a paid contributor. that's also a telling sign. i don't know if this is the start of a campaign or just getting some more attention. >> where does she stand in the polls or does she even exist in the polls right now? >> reporter: she does exist. this is our cnn poll. a national poll of republicans and independents. look at that. right at the top is rudy guiliani, he's not running but he's thinking about it. mitt romney at 15%. sarah palin at 13%. basically all tied. another poll came out the day before that had her right there, too. she's very much at the top of this unsettled field. republicans maybe not so in love with the current crop of candidates. only 16% say they're very satisfied with the current crop of candidates. at the bottom, 4 in 10 so
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they're not satisfied. maybe there is a hunger for republicans to see somebody new. >> that big number, not satisfied, means there is room for anyone to jump in the ring. any takers so far? >> reporter: here's what we know. mitt romney, he's all but declared. this upcoming thursday, mitt romney will officially announce his candidacy. a few days later, rick santorum has all bedeclared. he will declare as well. and then there's michelle bachmann. she said she will make a big announcement in ohio later in june. we'll see what happens. >> that ever-so-important iowa. thanks so much, paul. appreciate that. a high-tech teenager uses his skills to preserve and honor the sacrifices of war heroes. that story straight ahead.
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this memorial day weekend, the nation honors american service members who have died in battle. sandra endo has the story of one teenager who is trying to preserve the memories of war heroes online. ♪ >> reporter: one by one, 17-year-old ricky keeps the spirit behind these headstones at arlington national cemetery alive, online. you come here thinking what? >> well, it's sad because i come here and i look at the birth dates and the death dates and think, these are kids that aren't much older than me. >> reporter: the computer whiz started documenting after he heard about the recordkeeping problems at the cemetery. he posted them on his website
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called preserve -- what do you hope for when people logon to your website? >> i hope that they can go on and feel a little bit of comfort and knowing that they're not just a number of casualties? they're actual people. >> reporter: 211 graves were mislabeled here. and arlington cemetery has been under fire for keeping an antiquated record system of the roughly 300,000 men and women laid to rest here. >> we are actually in the process of modernizing our recordkeeping. it will make actually people who are doing sites like ricky's a lot easier because it's all going to be available on our website. >> reporter: for ricky, his project took on a deeper meaning as he learned more about one fallen soldier. >> what's special about this headstone in particular is it's the only one around it that has gold lettering. that means that he was a medal
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of honor winner. >> and keep us ever grateful for the life of ross andrew mcgin s mcginnis. >> he was fighting. someone threw a grenade inside the humvee. he threw his body over the grenade and saved everyone else. >> reporter: in an e-mail, mr. mcginnis thanked ricky for his wo work, showcasing the sacrifices of our nation's heroes. but there are still new sacrifices ricky will continue to capture. sandra endo, cnn, arlington national cemetery. casey anthony on trial. her attorneys have laid out a startling defense. you'll want to hear what our legal guys have to say about this. but if you've been diagnosed with p.a.d.,
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that can help you discuss p.a.d. together. call the toll free number on the screen for your free information kit today. the risk is real. take the next step. call today. this is day five in the long-awaiting casey anthony trial charged with killing her daughter caylee. but her defense shocked everyone with the claim that caylee died in her grandparents' pool. joining us is avery and richard. good to see you guys. >> glad to see you made it out
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of that nascar. that was great. >> we'll have to talk about that some more later. let's talk about this case. this really did surprise an awful lot of people who have been watching this case very closely, that casey anthony -- her defense team would now say that this child may have drowned in the swimming pool and that the grandfather, casey's father, was there. and that this whole case of murder or alleged murder is taking a completely different turn to now accidental death, richard. >> imagine the drama in the courtroom. the district attorney stands up there and outlines this intentional killing and chloroforming of this daughter and wanting to live the good life to get rid of this anchor so she killed her daughter. then the defense gets up and says, actually, the daughter drowned in a swimming pool and the father was holding the daughter. the mother came and they cried. and then it was an accidental drowning, however, the father decided rather than call the
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police, rather than call the paramedics -- >> a former detective himself. >> yeah, right. >> they're going to take care of the baby and bury the baby themselves which, in the end, fred, that little twist at the end there, i think that's just not going to be to believed by any rational jury. and i think they have a huge problem with the defense. >> avery, the remains of this child, caylee, were found like eight months after she was reported missing. so it has been made clear there was evidence that showed duct tape, that was possibly around her mouth, that there may have been some trauma to the head. but would it have been too late, eight months aft the fact of a decomposing body, to even determine whether drowning or suffocating, any of those things could have been causes for her death? >> that's a wonderful question. one of the important points here, especially with the defense, is that those are the sort of questions that can be raised. but i think the complication
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here, fredricka, is that in the defense, if you just dealt with the science of what he alleges she went through in child abuse and zeroed in on that, then at least it's plausible. the problem with the defense, at least as i see it, is that that's created multiple conflicting defenses meaning he now has to prove that the cause of this mental problem that the defendant had was because of the behavior of the father, the brother, everybody else. and it's inconsistent. >> how will they go about that? >> i don't know how he's going to do it. he's trying -- george has been on the stand. and he said, well, you abused your daughter. he said, no i didn't. and that was the end of it. >> and he's very composed throughout. and apparently the prosecutors were asking questions to possibly get a rise out of him, to show that this kind of agitation that you're seeing now on the stand could certainly be now placed to the scene of this alleged accident. now, of course, he never did
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lose control, apparently. he was very much in control the whole time. so i guess no one really scored any points here, avery. >> well -- >> avery first. >> they have to have an explanation for her erratic conduct 30 days after the child goes missing and why her compulsive lying -- they're saying because of her long-term physical abuse, caylee has this trauma and they're going to bring in forensic psychologists who are going to say her actions are consistent with someone who suffered incest or sexual abuse by family members. that's going to be their explanation. >> go ahead, real quick. >> that's different than saying these are the guy that is did it, adding another layer here, which is unnecessary. >> let's move on to the case involving rutgers student, eight months after being accused of using a webcam to spy on an
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18-year-old student, tyler clementi. 19-year-old student, dharn ravi that this young man may have tried to coerce other eyewitnesses. where is this case going and how difficult will it be for prosecutors to prove? >> this is a very serious case for this young man, especially since the co-defendant has made a cooperation deal and is going to testify against him and lay out the case point-blank. he's in big trouble. he's facing a maximum of ten years on one of the counts there. it's bias crimes. it's basically an obstruction of justice. he recreated a web program -- i mean, it's really, really bad. and i think they got him dead to rights on this one. he's got to make a deal.
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they cannot go to trial on this case. >> avery, do you agree? >> bottom line, 15 counts -- yes, the co-defendant is going to testify. i just don't know how he's going to get out of this mess. a very serious matter. >> avery and richard, you're back in about 20 minutes. we're going to talk about the case that seems to be building against former presidential candidate john edwards involving campaign money and allegations of misuse of that money to cover up an affair. we're going to talk about that when we see you again later on this hour, gentlemen. thank you. and here's something that you haven't seen in four years, the border between egypt and the gaza strip open. we'll tell you what it could mean for israel straight ahead. [ 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.
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a look at our top stories right now. officials in joplin, missouri, say the number of people unaccounted for since sunday's tornado has dropped to 105. nearly 50 bodies have had identified since late last night. rescue teams are still searching through the rubble for possible survivors. president obama heads to joplin to tour the disaster zone and attend a memorial service tomorrow. president obama says poland's successful transformation to democracy makes it a valuable partner in addressing unrest around the world. >> we discussed the issue of how jointly we can promote
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democracy. the session that i had this morning with democracy promotion experts including many of the founders of solidarity who recently traveled to tunisia to share their advice and assistance is just a symbol of why poland is so important. it has gone through what many countries want to now go through and has done so successfully. >> the president is on his way back to washington at this hour. rare morning explosions rocked libya's capital city today. a government official there says one of the blasts hit a compound in tripoli belonging to leader moammar gadhafi. nato confirmed it bombed a vehicle storage area in a second strike nearby. meantime, russia has joined the call for gadhafi to step down, offering to negotiate his exit. and egypt has reopened its border crossing to gaza. that opens the door to the outside world for palestinians.
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officials say hundreds passed through the border town today. israel worries terrorists will use it to ship arms. the egyptian government has supported an israeli blockade imposed back in 2007. the former military commander known as the butcher of bosnia is expected to appeal a judge's order that he faced trial for war crimes. the judge ruled that ratko mladic is physically and mentally healthy enough to face charges of genocide. ivan watson has more, including mladic's strange request in detention. >> reporter: this is the courthouse where the most wanted war criminal in europe is currently being held. and on friday, the debate was about the medical status of the man who's been on the front page of all the serbian newspapers. the defense and the prosecutors offering die met trickily opposing views and opinions
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about his health. first,his son -- >> he's in very bad shape. his health is very deteriorat g deteriorating. we are asking the court to send him to the hospital. >> reporter: but court officials ruled on friday that ratko mladic is fit for extradition to the hague. >> translator: we have an official statement by doctors that he has a list of chronic diseases, but he is medically capable of attending the hearing. after the hearing, the court delivered a opinion that he is of sane mind and body and fulfills all the requirements to be delivered to the hague tribunal. >> reporter: defense attorneys have three days to file an appeal for ratko mladic. the deputy prosecutor of the court, who spoke with cnn, told us that on thursday night, shortly after his arrest when he first appeared before a judge here, mladic was angry, abusive. he accused the deputy prosecutor of being a cia agent. on friday, his manner changed.
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the deputy prosecutor said he received an apology from ratko mladic and also several requests from court officials. mladic asked for books by the russian authors leo tolstoy. he also made a request some might not expect from a man who is described by some observers as the butcher of bosnia. he asked for fresh strawberries. >> that was ivan watson reporting. after months of review, the criminal investigation into former presidential candidate john edwards may be about to head to court. our legal guys are ready to jump on this case. and it's a big movie weekend. the long awaited "hangover xxii" is coming out. what's this option? that's new. personal pricing now on brakes.
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is former presidential candidate john edwards about to be indicted for alleged misuse of campaign money to cover up an affair? avery friedman and richard herman are back. avery, you first. are we looking at a potential trial here with an indictment that precedes it or are we looking at possible plea deals? >> both actually. there's, i think, little doubt
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that the justice department is going to indict john edwards. but they're going to have to prove a case that is very novel both in facts and law. the bottom line on it is his big donor, buddy mellon, gave him $4 million, $700,000 of which has been applied to rn reasielle hu and a cover-up. the only witness left, the discredited andrew young, the former campaign aide. >> about the money, prosecutors are going to have to prove, if there was money that was transferred to rielle hunter, that it came from that mellon money and not perhaps from john edwards' own bank account, because he had money, too. >> sure. >> so that's going to be difficult, is it not? >> well, i don't think it's going to be difficult, fred, since his former finance chairman, fred baron, already gave interviews with the government to say that he
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absolutely took that money and used it for a cover-up to cover up his relationship with her. they'll forensically trace the funds. the issue is a violation of public trust. the department of justice is not going to put up with that. he raised some $49 million, $50 million from campaign donations. if they applied any of that money to cover up his relationship, that's improper. that's what they will indict for. i guarantee you john edwards' hair is all messed up these days and he is absolutely sweating this one out. but they'll probably make a deal. >> apparently as part of discussions about a deal, a deal might mean that john edwards would have to give up his license to practice. and he doesn't want to do that. so is that going to potentially be the real sticking point, avery, as to whether he would plea or not? >> well, the risk is bigger than that, actually. that would be the least he would look at if the indictment comes down because the government's not going to go away. but richard mentioned fred
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baron, the campaign manager. he's dead. he can't testify. again, the only witness left is the discredited campaign aide. that's it. and nobody believes andrew young anyhow. i don't know how the government is going to make their case. >> interesting. anything could happen. it seems like this has been going on for so, so long, this whole discovery phase. we still have yet to hear whether the grand jury will conclude an indictment or not. let's move on to something else, a lot of people are looking forward to "hangover ii." you guys probably saw the first "hangover," right? >> well. >> big weekend, "hangover ii," people are lined up, it almost didn't happen because the artist who says that he patented that actual tattoo that mike tyson wears right there, that it makes another appearance in this movie but on someone else's face. that artist has a real problem with this and says it's like
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copyright infringement. richard, the movie hits theaters anyway. what does that say about the case for this artist? >> the case is strong. he copyrighted that particular design and he brought a lawsuit to try to stop the movie from going this weekend to try to force some sort of settlement with the studio. the judge said, it's going to cause irreparable harm to the studio so i'm going to allow them to show the movie. however, i find a likelihood of success on the merits for you, mr. artist, so those words are going to be very scary for all the defendants in this case. and they are going to absolutely structure a settlement. look, the movie made over $37 million in one day this weekend. >> wow. and so, avery, the artist, all he really wants is to get recognized and i imagine to get paid for this, too. the movie gets to continue on. it just means that ultimately he may be able to shave off some of
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the profits and pocket it himself? >> that's what he's looking to do. u.s. district judge perry who heard the case, the federal judge, rejected warner brothers' argument. warner brothers argued you can't copyright a tattoo. that was their argument. the federal district judge -- >> is that true? >> she said it was silly, of course you can. but the idea of blocking the opening of "hangover ii" and all that's with it -- the federal district judge was right, you're not going to block the opening. it was the right thing to do. but in a way, it's correct because the judge still has to hear the merits of the case, even though there's a likelihood of prevailing, i think this tattoo artist is in pretty good shape for the future. >> the attorneys for the movie are trying to do a little added research, vigorous research to see if, did he really patent this? might anybody else have a similar if not identical tattoo that has more cultural roots or
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something that wouldn't necessarily be patented, richard? >> well, that's great, fred. that's a great theory i think you've given them. i've never seen this tattoo before. it's pretty bizarre. and when you look at the movie, the first thing anybody says is, that's mike tyson's tattoo. it's just a natural reaction. >> avery? >> but the tattoo artist didn't originate that. this comes from a tribal design from africa, a variation on it. >> that's what i thought. >> that's your point. they're going to hire -- warner brothers should be hiring fredricka to defend this case. that's exactly what the defense is. i think it's a good one. but there's going to be a very close examination of the two tattoos. i think the tattoo artist prevails in the case. >> okay. we'll see. richard, who prevails? >> settlement, settlement. >> all right.
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gentlemen, thanks so much. always good to see you. have a great weekend, richard and avery. >> wonderful to see you. >> have a wonderful holiday. >> happy memorial day. >> thank you so much. talking about "hangover ii," probably means it's part of your plan this weekend. stay tuned because we're going to have a review of the film at 4:00 eastern time. not talking about lawsuits at 4:00. we're going to talk about whether you need to see it. here's an update on other cases that we have been following for a long time. bishop eddie long will not be going to court. he reached a settlement with four young men who accused him of sexual coercion. also closed, the case against two new york city police officers accused of raping a drunken woman that they escorted home back in 2008. on thursday, kenneth moreno and franklin mota were found not guilty but were found guilty of misconduct. both men were fired immediately after the trial and now could face jail sentencings because of
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that. in the case of jared lee loughner, it's on hold. a federal judge declared him incompetent to stand trial. loughner is accused of killing six people and injuring 13 others, including arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords back in january. he was moved to a hospital in springfield, missouri, yesterday. most people see a tornado and run. but some run right for it. we'll show you the startling images caught on video by a special breed of people called storm chasers. [ male announcer ] a moment that starts off ordinary
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it's one thing to see the fearsome power of a tornado from a distancement but some risk their lives trying to get the closest view possible. they are the storm chasers, experts who spent the week trailing twisters state to state as they tore across the midwest. >> it's coming. >> we're good. >> my god. >> yeah, let's get up there.
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>> listen to it! >> oh, man! >> oh, it's getting big, big, big. >> that's huge. >> i've got it all on video. i've got it all on video. >> sounds like a waterfall. wedge tornado. >> it is on the outskirts, the western edge of waiverly now. it is in a more populated area. >> oh, my gosh. oh, my gosh! there it is. there it is. oh, gosh, that is a monster tornado.
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>> it's crossing the road. >> oh, my god! back up. oh, no! stop. oh, no, what did it destroy? oh, it's a trailer house. slow down! >> very large tornado. >> we just had a power flash. >> oh, my gosh. >> hopefully they'll get everybody out of there and safe. >> the motion is tremendous. david, are you still with us? >> it's another killer tornado. it went across highway 81. it intensified and almost got us. it intensified right on top of us.
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>> this was a violent tornado. you see how it's carving out kind of a v-shaped debris cloud. this was live for a kood good 2 minutes. watch this as it comes into goolsb goolsbee. a lot of folks left town, they were in their safe spot because homes are obliterated down in goolsby. >> right there. you got it. we've got a funnel. >> tornado on the ground, tuchman, arkansas. >> as you recall this week, those systems proved to be very deadly and devastating for so many towns throughout missouri and other parts of the midwest.
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tomorrow, president barack obama will be looking firsthand at joplin, missouri. he is expected to arrive early in the afternoon. first he will walk through some of the devastated neighborhoods and actually talk to some of the survivors. then he's scheduled to speak at a memorial service for the victims. cnn plans to bring you that coverage live beginning at 3:00 eastern time. maybe this summer you're thinking about putting your house up for sale. well, how can you spruce up your home for the competitive edge in this tough market? that's straight ahead. [ male a] 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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despite glimmers of hope in some sectors of the economy, when it comes to real estate, times are still pretty tough. if your home is on the market and you're hoping to get some bites from home shoppers this weekend, listen up. christine romans has some tips in today's edition of "smart at new rich". >> reporter: yvonne and her husband are looking to sell their home in western new york. >> it's been now a month. but last year we had it on for almost a whole year and we didn't sell it. >> is there anything you did in between to get the house into shape so that it would be ready
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for the new real estate market that you're -- >> oh, yes. when we redid the kitchen -- and we fenced in the whole back yard. >> reporter: but they priced it too high and have now lowered their asking price to $329,000. it's a buyer's market. that means number one, it has to be priced right. number two, it has to look good. enter steven, home and style designer and author "no place like home." >> my first thought was, i wish this was a mirror. i wish this was here to bounce light into the room a little bit more. >> reporter: we asked him how to help this house sell in a sea of homes for sale. >> you don't have a dining room. so that's one thing in this house that you have to sort of make people feel like they have a space to gather in. when i see the table, i almost think because you have this great light fixture is to center the table. >> reporter: and spring is traditionally real estate's biggest selling season. but according to fannie mae, home sales are expected to
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remain soft in the near term and the spring season could deliver disappointing results. so in this climate, when it comes to sprucing up your house to sell, it can be something as small and simple as paint color that can make a really big difference. for a couple hundred dollars, you could redo the whole bottom floor. gray is the new beige. it tells prospective buyers that your house is different than all the other ones on the block. >> i think for very little money, you can tweak a house all over the place. >> reporter: and perhaps at the end of the day, the most important thing to keep in mind, it's all about coming home. >> there are simple things that create that mental illusion for people coming in as a prospective buyer to say, i could see myself living in this home. and that's really key. >> reporter: christine romans, cnn, new york. >> now you've sold your home, hopefully? how do you like your coffee? cream, sugar? how about with some sweet peas?
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