Return to Transcripts main page
CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS
Life in Prison for Hosni Mubarak; Janitor Tries to Blow Up School; Wisconsin Recall Election Tuesday; Celebrating 60 Years on the Throne; UCLA: P. Diddy's Son Earned Scholarship; Wiping Out Student Debt; George Zimmerman Ordered Back to Jail
Aired June 2, 2012 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN ANCHOR: From the CNN Center this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING. It's June 2nd. I'm Rob Marciano in today for Randi Kaye. Thanks for joining me.
Well he ruled Egypt with an iron fist for nearly three decades and now ex-President Hosni Mubarak is headed to prison for life.
In Wisconsin the job of governor is up for grabs as voters countdown to Tuesday's recall election.
And in Britain it's ready for a gala celebration. It's Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee; 60 years on the throne.
But first, the man who ruled Egypt with an iron fist for 30 years is now in a maximum security prison where he'll spend the rest of his life. Earlier today an Egyptian court found former President Hosni Mubarak guilty of orders troops to shoot and kill hundreds of anti- government protesters last year. And right now angry Mubarak are in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
The ailing Mubarak was taken by ambulance to the Cairo Police Academy where the verdict and his life sentence were handed down. He was wheeled in on a gurney under heavy guard.
Six of Mubarak's former military men were acquitted. That sparked an uproar inside and outside the courtroom.
Furious protesters called the verdict illegitimate and chanted "the people want to topple the regime". Some thought was the former president supporters the security is very tight; 5,000 police have been deployed.
And our senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman joins us live from Tahrir Square. Ben you -- as for your raucous there we join you last half hour. What can you tell us now? What's the scene like?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've got more people coming in to Tahrir Square. And just a little while ago we watched these protestors burned posters, plastic posters of Ahmed Shafiq, he's one of the presidential candidates. And he was Hosni Mubarak's former prime minister. And much of the anger at the moment seems to be going into the direction of Ahmed Shafiq because he's obviously got a very good shot of becoming president when the Egyptians go to the polls in the middle of this month for the second and final round of those presidential elections.
Now what's important to note here is that the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest and best organized political bloc has called upon its members to join the protest in Tahrir Square and normally when they say people should come out and protest, you do see large numbers, so it does seem that a lot of different political groups and many just normal ordinary Egyptians are heeding their call to come out and join these protests as the temperature mounts in Egypt following that verdict against Hosni Mubarak and his interior minister -- Rob.
MARCIANO: You know, Ben, just a few hours ago when we were watching the verdict being handed down. The judge said a lot of words before that. He spoke very strongly, almost to the point where he thought, hey, man, this guy is getting death penalty. But he talked about dark days during the regime. What happened to Egypt?
What do you make of what the judge said prior to the verdict?
WEDEMAN: Well, certainly as we listened and of course we were listening along with hundreds of others outside the court, we were expecting him to come out with a strong verdict. The life sentence, in fact. Initially when people heard that sentence, they celebrated. They cheered, they danced, they clapped. People were firing fireworks into the air.
But when they heard that six officials -- senior officials from the Interior Ministry including the head of the much hated state security apparatus had gotten off scot-free, innocent, that's when the mood completely changed and the anger started to erupt outside the court -- Rob.
MARCIANO: Ben Wedeman live for us in Cairo. Thank you, Ben.
Well, the verdict comes at a turbulent time for Egypt. The country's presidential runoff happens later this month on June 16th and June 17th. Earlier I spoke with an Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy about what the verdict means for Egypt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MONA ELTAHAWY, EGYPTIAN JOURNALIST: Despite the life sentence that Mubarak got, the fact that his sons were acquitted and all of those Interior Ministry officials were acquitted and on top of that not a single police officer over the past 15 months has been found guilty of killing the almost 1,000 people who have died during the revolution. All of that has called a tremendous amount of anger that you saw explode in the -- in the courtroom.
And the people weren't just chanting -- the people demand the fall of the regime. They're also very importantly chanting the people demand the cleansing of the judiciary.
Because this is all considered part of a very, very corrupt regime that remains very much in place.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MARCIANO: Mona also says people are so outraged they just want go out in the streets and demonstrate over what they consider a great injustice.
Back to the state now, George Zimmerman could be back in jail as soon as today. A Florida judge has revoked his bond and ordered him to surrender no later than Sunday afternoon. His bond had been set to $150,000 after he pled not guilty to second degree murder in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
The judge now says Zimmerman blatantly lied to him about how much money he had and was unfairly reaping the benefits of a low bond.
Well, a janitor is facing charges this morning for trying to blow up a school. It happened Thursday at this middle school in Toronto. Police say the 67-year-old janitor intentionally cut the gas line. Teachers and students starting getting sick from the gas odor, but it could have been a whole lot worse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONSTABLE TONY VELLA, TOCOMA POLICE: So when he cut the gas line, he went to the kitchen area and then he attempted to light one of the stoves. So we're quite concerned that the situation could have been much worse. But the man has been arrested and charge and the most serious charge were looking at is a temp murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARCIANO: A staff pulled the alarm and got the students out safely.
All right. Your money. Wall Street ended the week on Friday with the worst day of the year. The DOW plunged 275 points, the biggest one-day drop since November. That erased all the gains we made in 2012.
What caused the dive? Investors did not react well to the government's May jobs report. Only 69,000 jobs were created. That's much less than the anticipated 150,000. The unemployment rate also ticks back up now at 8.2 percent.
Well the New York Mets are waking up and they're in the history books now. There you go. Johan Santana tossed his first no-hitter, first one in Mets history, striking out the last man he faced that didn't stop. And that beat the Cardinals, 8-0. And that leaves the Padres now as the only Major League team that still hasn't thrown a no-hitter. Congratulations to them.
Many high-profile names have been campaigning in Wisconsin as the state gears up for a government recall election and now some are asking why President Obama wasn't one of them.
MARCIANO: Tuesday is the recall election targeting Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker and big names have been flocking to the states to fire up Republicans and Democrats. Yesterday Former President Bill Clinton, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley were in Milwaukee campaigning as well.
CNN's Chris Welsch in Racine, Wisconsin, right now. Chris how bit of a surprised is it that President Obama has yet to come to town?
CHRIS WELSCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I want to just briefly begin by letting you know where I am. And it's obviously quite loud behind me, I'm in Racine as you mentioned. This is a joint Racine Tea Party and Americans for Prosperity event here in Racine.
For the last several days Americans for Prosperity, this is a conservative advocacy group. They were largely responsible for playing a big part I should say in the 2010 Republican takeover. They have been campaigning, getting the message out about Governor Walker's policies. They are very pro-Walker policies.
Now, I want a transition to how you started this story because the story of yesterday was President Bill Clinton, the big heavy hitter heading -- heading to Wisconsin to campaign on behalf of Governor Scott Walker's competitor, Mr. Barrett.
Now, Bill Clinton wasn't in the state. He's really the only the big heavy hitter to have come here. The Republicans have had quite a few. Last night I caught up with Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. She also faces a recall. Here's what she had to say when I asked her about Bill Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GOV. REBECCA KLEEFISCH (R), WISCONSIN: What's more obvious is that the President himself, the current President is not in town and that to me speaks volumes, his absence. I think what it says specifically is that the President doesn't want to be associated with a losing campaign and Tom Barrett's campaign right now doesn't have a whole lot of facts to stand on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WELSCH: Now, obviously she is taking that question -- the question obviously was about Bill Clinton but she wanted to talk President Obama. He was just about 30 miles away yesterday in Minneapolis, Minnesota; just across the border here from Wisconsin and he was not here in Wisconsin. She says that says quite a bit.
Now, we've reached out to the Obama re-election campaign. They would not respond directly to her comment but they did say a campaign election -- a campaign official I should say said on background that the campaign has been heavily involved in this race. The President, Mr. Barack Obama has thrown his support behind Governor Walker's challenger so they are playing a role in this even though the President is not on the ground --Rob.
MARCIANO: Well lots going on there in Wisconsin. Chris Welsch for us live in Racine. And we'll look for the election results come Tuesday. Thank you Chris.
Well a royal celebration is breaking out all over great Britain, its Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee, honoring a woman who has been on the throne for six decades.
And don't forget, you can watch CNN live on your computer all day long. Head to CNN.com/TV.
MARCIANO: That right there is some British party music. No better time to be a Brit than this summer, I'll tell you that. You have Wimbledon. You have the Olympics. And most of all Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee celebration. Britain is getting ready for a frenzied celebration of royal history.
Our Brooke Baldwin is in the middle of it all in London.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's almost like a party atmosphere here in London along (inaudible). You can see Union Jacks hanging from building to building really as far as the eye can see. And I want you to see this. Her majesty completely made of Legos.
Everything in these store windows is the color of the Union Jack. Every store. It's the white, it's the blue. It's the red.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The whole atmosphere is just much happier than what it normally is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Flags everywhere. It's just -- it's just really, really brilliant and everyone is so happy. That's the main thing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This year with the Olympics over, the jubilee. I don't know. The Euro football as well coming up. Wimbledon -- there's so much going on. It's just good to be British this year.
BALDWIN: Look. It's all the corgis because the queen loves her corgis. Corgis, of course, on the Diamond Jubilee. Look. Here's the cab, a Union Jack cab right there.
Here at Henley's Toy Store they have the Union Jack flag. You can actually hear the national anthem. Bears. The Queen on a bag. Pocketbook. Even key chains. It is everything Diamond Jubilee.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I get excited because she's the second queen to be on the throne that long.
BALDWIN: You're exactly right. Do you know who the first queen was?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Queen Victoria.
BALDWIN: Brilliant. You know way more than a lot of other people I think about the queen. What does the queen mean to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, she's very important because looks after everybody and makes sure that everybody is safe.
BALDWIN: I did manage to find some members of the royal family. Catherine, how do you feel about her majesty, 60 years on the throne.
Just walking here around the streets of London, you can tell that this Diamond Jubilee is going to be one huge party.
Brooke Baldwin, CNN, London.
MARCIANO: Brooke, nice job getting the exclusive there with the new royal couple. The Queen's Diamond Jubilee only occurs once in a lifetime. So why not take home a souvenir.
Earlier, Reynolds Wolf and Nadia Bilchik showed us a few popular, if expensive items.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REYNOLDS WOLF, AMS METEOROLOGIST: What do we have here? First and foremost people are wondering, what the heck is it doing on the table.
NADIA BILCHIK, CNN EDITORIAL PRODUCER: This is the queen's signature drink and you and I are going to partake in gin, Dubonnet Rouge which is a French red wine aperitif, a little lemon -- she has it with two blocks of ice and that's what they call the Zara or the queen's favorite signature cocktail. So cheers, Reynolds.
WOLF: Ok. Is it the real deal?
BILCHIK: Of course, it is, Reynolds. Enjoy. In case you're --
WOLF: You've got to be kidding me. This tastes like water. This isn't the real deal. Guys, seriously it's not (inaudible) --
BILCHIK: But there's lots of other amazing memorabilia. For example, this chess set. Now the chess set we're seeing comes from the royal collection shop and it is hand crafted. It is quite magnificent. You're seeing pictures of London now and the flag and all kinds of things. You can buy the chess set in London.
For example, you've got the queen who's wearing the sovereign robes. You've got the rooks who are modeled after round towers at the Windsor Castle --
BILCHIK: And the pawns of choir boys from George's chapel and you can buy it at the royal collection shop for around $469.
WOLF: What a bargain. What an incredible bargain to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. It looks like something you don't want to play with. It looks like you don't want to mess it up. It's just beautiful.
BILCHIK: Well, it's absolutely special. But my favorite, of course, is the Marks & Spencer's lingerie collection. You have everything from flirty French knickers. They based it on the 1950s. Now, of course, Queen Elizabeth became queen in 1952 when she was just 25 years old and it's inspired by that era. So everything from girdles to lovely knickers and they call it the jubilee lingerie collection especially for you.
WOLF: What's in this drink? We've just gone from a chess set to seeing some very attractive people walking down Piccadilly Circus wearing lingerie. That's incredible.
BILCHIK: And even better, I'm now taking you to shoes. And not just any shoes.
WOLF: Well, of course.
BILCHIK: Aruna Seth shoes --
BILCHIK: And these shoes have around 3,000 Swarovski crystals. So you're looking at the ones with the full regalia of crystals. And those are around $4,600.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARCIANO: Reynold's Wolf right now is curled up in the corner there but he certainly looks happy. We'll have more on the royal family tomorrow. Be sure to watch a royal celebration. Elizabeth's 60 years as queen hosted by Brooke Baldwin and Piers Morgan Sunday at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time.
Well it comes to paying off student loans, this guy is not your average Joe. We'll meet an Ivy League grad creating a buzz for mowing down a mountain of debt. You won't believe how much, how fast.
MARCIANO: Now to a big controversy that's been brewing this week. UCLA is defending its decision to offer P. Diddy's son a $54,000 scholarship. The debate started with critics arguing the school shouldn't spend money on a son of a multimillionaire especially because the school is already strapped for cash.
But the university says, the full football scholarship was merit- based, justified and not funded with taxpayer money. It's paid for by athletic ticket sales and private donors.
But here's where the outrage comes from. In this clip from MTV's "My Super Sweet 16, P. Diddy gave his son Justin, a $360,000 Maybach car for his birthday. But Justin Combs responded to the criticism on Twitter saying, quote, "Regardless of what the circumstances are, I put the work in, period."
Well, the L.A. Times reports the defensive back graduated from a New York prep school with a 3.75 GPA and was also offered scholarships from Illinois, Virginia, and Wyoming.
We asked CNN education contributor Steve Perry to weigh in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE PERRY, CNN EDUCATION CONTRIBUTOR: Here you have a kid who's a hard-working individual who wants to establish himself as such. He says he wanted to be known as Justin Combs, not just as P. Diddy's son and this is the first step in that direction. As somebody who works with children from all socioeconomic backgrounds, I understand how important it is to not be judged by anyone other than yourself. That's truly what ameritocracy is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARCIANO: On that same note, on college campuses, there are two phrases that are sure to evoke a pained expression -- finals week and money -- student loans. And with an MBA from Harvard, our next guest handles the finals just fine. But more impressively is how he wiped out more than $90,000 of student debt in seven months.
I spoke with Joe Mihalic just about an hour ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE MIHALIC, PAID OFF STUDENT LOAN: I bought a house. I bought furniture for the house, I bought two cars and a motorcycle -- a road bike -- I bought a lot of stuff and I was spending about $1,300 a month in entertainment, going out with friends, dinner dates, traveling and things like that.
And then one day in august I sat down at my computer, looked at my student loan balances and even though I had paid off $22,000 in principal and interest over the past two years, I still owed $91,000. And so for the next eight plus years, I'd be making about $1,100 a month in payments towards this student loans.
And that night I tried to fall asleep but I couldn't sleep because I felt trapped. Every dollar I was making was allocated. It was already allocated to the student loans the retirement fund and zeroing out my monthly credit card balance.
I couldn't afford to start a family. I couldn't afford to start a business. I couldn't afford to buy a business and turn it around. I couldn't afford to take a year off from work and travel around the world or go do something humanitarian in a developing nation.
So I felt trapped. It felt as though there was a gun in my head. So the next day, I went on Craigslist and started looking for a second job. And then I zeroed out my savings and just took steps to pay down my loan in seven months.
MARCIANO: What kind of steps, like getting a roommate, or having a garage sale? What did you do?
MIHALIC: Yes, basically. You pretty much nailed it. I got two roommates from Craigslist that are still living with me now. I sold a lot of stuff on Craigslist which is today's version of a garage sale. I started a landscaping business with my buddy. I sold out my second car, my motorcycle and my road bike. I stopped contributing to my 401(k). I took my savings which were about $30,000 and I basically just flushed them down the toilet on student loans. I mean not literally but put it toward --
MARCIANO: You paid it off. What part of you felt like you're flying without a net where your co-workers and colleagues who just graduated along with you saying you're crazy, don't do this.
MIHALIC: You know, actually my friends were really supportive. They understand where I was coming from. I think they saw that there was a larger purpose to it all. It was really never about the money. It was more about the freedom. Just finding freedom. Being free and having options.
MARCIANO: One last question Joe. Did you calculate how much interest money you saved by doing this.
MIHALIC: I haven't really done, done it. Again it wasn't about the money, it's more about (inaudible) I haven't looked at the net present value. I mean I took losses when I cashed out my stocks and my IRA. I took losses. And probably keeping that money would have been better for me in the long term. So I never really did the math. But I would have paid, if I had gone to full term with law. I would have paid $42,000 in interest. I probably saved about $30,000 in interest alone.
MARCIANO: Well, I guess you hit the nail on the head. People say money doesn't buy happiness right, but debt can cause misery. You got rid of that and that lifted you emotionally.
MIHALIC: Yes. Exactly.
MARCIANO: All right. That's a good lesson for us all. Joe Mihalic who got rid of his $90,000 in student loans in less than a year. Congrats and good luck on your career.
MARCIANO: Now the question is will there be a job for him and others when they graduate?
Presidential candidates are talking about it and the latest job numbers, well, they don't look that great.
MARCIANO: OK. Let's get you caught up on today's top stories. An Egyptian judge sentenced former President Hosni Mubarak to a life sentence for ordering troops to shoot and kill hundreds of anti- government protesters last year. And right now, angry Mubarak opponents are in Cairo's Tahrir Square. The judge cleared Mubarak's sons and several aides. Furious protesters called the verdict illegitimate and chanted, "the people want to topple the regime."
To Syria today. The Arab League takes up the worsening crisis there. But while leaders talk, fighting in the streets continues. At least 13 died today, according to the opposition. At the same time, Moscow and Washington are still locked in a dispute over Russia's arms trade with Syria. The U.S. says the U.S. weapons are strengthening the regime's hold on the country. Moscow denies it's selling arms.
Back to the States, George Zimmerman could be back in jail today. He's been free on bail for weeks now after pleading not guilty to murdering Trayvon Martin. But and what the Martin family attorneys are saying, a significant move, the judge revoked Zimmerman's bond yesterday because he says Zimmerman blatantly lied to him.
Martin Savidge is in Sanford, Florida.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rob, the clock is ticking down for George Zimmerman. He is going to have to turn himself in either later today or by mid-day tomorrow to be in compliance with that judge's order. The state maintains that it really all comes down to money. Here's what I mean by that.
If you'll harken back to the original bond hearing, George Zimmerman and his family had maintained that they didn't have any money, and thereby bond should be set low. But then it was revealed there was a lot of money sitting in a Paypal account as a result of donations that had been made to a George Zimmerman defense fund. And then the state on Friday revealed they had transcripts of recorded conversations between George Zimmerman and his wife a couple of days before the court hearing, in which they were talking about that money. In other words, when they were questioned at the hearing, they lied. At least that is what the state maintains.
BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, ASSISTANT DA, DUVAL COUNTY: Why did they lie about it? Why was it necessary for the defendant's wife to unequivocally say they had no money? When in fact she knew he had money. So this can all be tied to the defendant, and that is why our position is that his bond should be revoked.
SAVIDGE: After the court hearing, Mark O'Mara, who is the defense attorney for George Zimmerman, tried to put the best face on things. He says that of course his client will comply and turn himself in, but he hopes he won't be behind bars for long.
MARK O'MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: They'll give us a day in court to explain George's behavior and look at all the circumstances, even the discovery that came out today, in determining what he's going to do about letting him back out on bond.
SAVIDGE: Also speaking out was the attorney who represents the family of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin -- that's the young man who George Zimmerman is accused of killing. And he raises the question here, if George Zimmerman was lying about the money, what else might he be not telling the truth about? And that is especially important when it comes down to a self-defense case in which there was only one survivor -- Rob.
(END VIDEOTAPE) MARCIANO: We are just 156 days from the general election, and our new CNN/ORC poll shows that the race between President Obama and Mitt Romney is now a dead heat. CNN's Paul Steinhauser is keeping a close eye on the race, and is here now to tell us how the candidates are responding to yesterday's dismal report.
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Good morning, Rob. It's arguably the single most economic number in politics, and Mitt Romney was quick to react to the disappointing May unemployment report.
MITT ROMNEY, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The president's policies and his handling of the economy has been dealt a harsh indictment.
STEINHAUSER: The president's Republican challenger says he can do a better job on jobs than Mr. Obama, who acknowledged he still faces stiff economic headwinds.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're still fighting our way back from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The economy's growing again, but it's not growing as fast as we want it to grow.
STEINHAUSER: So what do you think?
ROMNEY: Jobs are job one for the presidency.
STEINHAUSER: And Americans agree. Jobs and the economy remains the top issue on their minds. 52 percent of people questioned in our new CNN/ORC poll say the economy is the most important problem facing the country, far ahead of everything else. And they're divided on which candidate will better jump-start the economy.
Thirty-one percent say things will get better if Romney wins in November, and 28 percent say the economy will improve if the president is reelected. All of that leads to basically a tie right now in the race for the White House. 49 percent of registered voters say they back the president; 46 percent say they support Romney. With just over five months to go until election day, keep your eyes on the unemployment level -- Rob.
MARCIANO: Well, a beautiful day in the east, even a little bit cool, you might say. But there are some fires burning out west. Now time for my personal favorite part of the show, not only because it's weather but more importantly, my good friend and colleague Reynolds Wolf is here to get us up to speed. Reynolds.
WOLF: Rob, you're a brother from another mother. And let me tell you the top stories that we're finding really is going to be the issues out west, as you mentioned.
The four corners really under the gun, especially in terms of the fires in New Mexico. Let's go right to the video. And you can see it plain as day, an immense blaze continues to roar across the landscape. You have got the dry ponderosa, you got the chaparral. A lot of the grass, it's going to be very difficult for the men and women to really battle the blaze. The winds are expected to drop a little bit, but with the very low humidity, it's going be really a tall order for them. No question about it.
Still a lot of foliage up there in the hillsides, and it's going to be tough. They have a lot of guys on the ground. There's certainly a lot of the earth-moving equipment, and of course you see a lot of the aircraft out there, fixed wing and rotary. It's going to be a long haul for them, and let me tell you, they are motivated, they're up to the task, but it's not going to be easy.
I'll tell you something else that is not going to be easy. The temperatures in parts of the desert Southwest. Take a look at these temperatures, going up to 102 in El Paso. In Albuquerque, 96 degrees. But I'm telling you, near this fire, it's going to be much warmer, certainly up there. 91 in Salt Lake City.
We actually have a big ridge of high pressure that's really encapsulating much of the West and the central U.S. There is plenty of warm temperatures, but a bit of a cooldown in parts of the Northeast and certainly in the Great Lakes. And with that, we've got some scattered showers in parts of the central Great Lakes and in parts of the Northeast, Boston with the heavy rainfall this morning right near Fenway. We're going to see, again, breezy conditions for the Great Lakes.
Severe storms also possible in the Central Plains. We're going to keep a sharp eye on that. There will be the chance of having some strong storms and maybe even some tornadoes, Rob, in the foothills of the Rockies before the day is over. I'll send it right back to you.
MARCIANO: Lots going on, and not only weather-wise. But Reynolds, we've known this and we saw it all throughout the morning that you're a multi-talented guy, and much, much tougher than this, so we're going to introduce the folks to what you did with these Air Force guys who are tougher than nails, and only a handful can make it into what's called the Mob. And our Reynolds Wolf trained with these bad boys firsthand, and we're going to show you that story in just a couple of minutes.
MARCIANO: Well, whenever there's a war and someone has to be first in, and last out, the Air Force has a team. It's the 5th Combat Communications Group, better known as the Mob. If that doesn't sound scary enough, you don't want to mess with those guys. Well, Reynolds Wolf got involved with them. You got out there, they suited up. I love this story. You got to see firsthand what it takes to be one of these guys. Amazing stuff.
WOLF: Absolutely. Well, think about it when we go into theater, it doesn't matter if it happens to be, say, Afghanistan or Iraq, someone has to go in first. And when they do so, they've got to establish places where the soldiers can sleep, where they can communicate, where they can get fresh water. I mean, basically everything. And these guys are the ones who do that job, and the talents they have are truly amazing.
WOLF: In modern combat, targeting and taking out enemy combatants is crucial to military success. There is one elite Air Force unit that lays the groundwork for it all.
COLONEL JOSEPH SCHERRER, COMMANDER, 689TH COMBAT COMMUNICATIONS GROUP: We just had a team in Afghanistan working with Army Ranger forces that were up-close-and-personal with the Taliban, and they were feeding downlinked imagery to be able to find, fix, target and finish those adversaries out there.
WOLF: That team is the 5th Combat Communications Group, also known as the Mob. They are literally the first to deploy and the last to leave.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're always first. First ones out the door, first ones in excellence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we go out, we're building up for installing initial communications. And make it so that we can actually get up within just a few days and have communications with the outside world.
WOLF: This is really the first step to base building. I mean, this is it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
WOLF: All begins here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
WOLF: To get a better understanding of what the Mob does, I was made an honorary member for the day. From communications to shelter, to air traffic control and supplying troops in the field, the Mob does it all.
You guys make the complex look easy, and it's not easy at all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's training, that is all it is. Just training.
WOLF: There is a lot to this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We put the tax dollars to work.
WOLF: But their mission doesn't come without risk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our business is a life and death business for soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.
WOLF: So again, we're covering a lot of ground. These are guys who are going to deal with electronics, they are going to deal with engineering, but they are also going to be soldiers, don't they?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They may be in an environment where bad guys want to do them harm. They need to be prepared to face that as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Follow me, follow me.
WOLF: Yes, sir, yes, sir, right behind you. Right behind you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back up against the door, let's go. Roger that. Wolf.
WOLF: Yes, sir.
This aspect of the training brings it home.
WOLF: Shouldering a weapon in, well, let's say adverse circumstances.
That was intense. How can you not respect these airmen that are out here doing this stuff? Seriously, from the high tech gadgetry to all the electrical engineering, to the day-to-day tactics to this stuff, it's amazing. A lot of respect for them.
SCHERRER: We pick up and go someplace where we have never been before potentially. It requires us to operate as a team, to depend on each other, and to rely on each other's expertise to get us through potentially hazardous and stressful situations.
SR. AIRMAN JAMES FERGUSON, U.S. AIR FORCE: Whoever the higher up is, makes that call, like I want to send the Fifth Mob out, we're already good. You know, we're basically a plane ticket away.
WOLF: Always ready?
FERGUSON: Oh, yeah, always. Everybody loves the Mob.
WOLF: Reynolds Wolf, CNN, Robbins Air Force base.
WOLF: Rob, I never felt older or fatter than when I was around the young men and women of the Mob. They're amazing human beings. They are wonderful people. You know, as I said earlier in the show, if you're searching for a hero, you need to look no farther than the men and women of the United States armed forces. They're truly amazing at what they do. They're always motivated, they are always ready to go at a moment's notice, and they always perform. There's no failure with these people.
MARCIANO: I know your heart is in the military, the men and women behind that, your dad was a military man. I'll tell you, you looked like a natural out there. I was ready to salute you. You looked like a field general. And the way you were holding that gun, good form. Tell me what it felt like.
WOLF: To tell you the truth, I mean, just sensory overload, especially during the live-fire missions they have. That's the bottom line of it is, of course, they set up bases. There's so many things they do, but at the end of the day, they still have to shoulder a rifle, they still have to fire rounds, they still have to possibly take rounds. They still have to take, you know, casualties. It is really mind-numbing to see just the job of just being just a soldier, shouldering a weapon, but then doing everything else on top of it. I mean, it's pretty overwhelming. It really is.
MARCIANO: Good stuff out there.
WOLF: Thank you very much.
MARCIANO: You didn't look that old.
WOLF: Thank you.
MARCIANO: Maybe a few pounds. Good stuff. Thanks, Reynolds Wolf.
Speaking of heroes, baby carriage on the runaway, and a trucker was there to save the day. Caught on surveillance videotape. We're going to show it to you full coming up.
MARCIANO: Checking stories happening across the country. An 11-year- old boy who attended President Obama's rally in Minnesota on a school day was shocked when the president offered to write him an excused absence note.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really? He's going to really write me an excuse note? Mr. Ackerman, please excuse Tyler. He was with me. Barack Obama.
And then I kind of want to brag at school and tell them, look at what I got.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARCIANO: Kind of want to brag? I'd be flying that thing around until I graduated high school. All right. Tyler, keep that one handy. He had a front row seat, by the way, in the VIP area. So a lucky kid there. Got to shake the president's hand as well. He says he was already excused for class, so not needed.
In California a Little League concession stand was a victim of a snack attack. Police say three adults and a teenager girl raided the stand and left a Hansel and Gretel type of trail -- chips, cookies and candy behind. The trail led to a house a few blocks away. Police say they found the snack bar's register inside the house, and they arrested the suspects for burglary.
And a Seattle truck driver is being called a hero after he ran to the rescue of a baby stroller on the runaway. Check it out. Jeff Blackburn says he saw the stroller start running down the hill away from the mother and was worried it was going to roll into a busy intersection. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF BLACKBURN, GARBAGE TRUCK DRIVER: I hit the brake and ran out of the truck and tried to run over and grab it. And luckily when I was honking the horn, there was a FedEx truck that was coming through the intersection, and he stopped because had my horn honking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARCIANO: He says the baby boy was smiling when he got to him, but the mother, as you can imagine --
MARCIANO: Can you imagine being the mom there? It's crazy stuff. Good on everybody.
"CNN NEWSROOM" starts at the top of the hour. Of course, Fredricka Whitfield is here to take things over. What do you have this morning?
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: How are you?
MARCIANO: Great to see you.
WHITFIELD: Good to see you too. I know you had a very busy morning. We're going to have a busy day, beginning with our legal guys who are with us every noon Eastern time on Saturday. And we're talking about the case of a woman in Texas who says her husband at the time bought her a $1.5 million worth of merchandise, gifts. But then come to find out, the woman says, the purchases were made with the involvement of a personal shopper that her now ex-husband was having an affair with. And so now that Texas woman -- I know it's very sordid -- now this Texas woman says she is suing. She wants that store, Neiman Marcus, to take the merchandise back. We'll tell you what Neiman Marcus has to say about that.
MARCIANO: A brewing legal battle.
WHITFIELD: What do you think? I know. It's going to get our guys talking. And I know it will fascinate a lot of people when they try to deal with their own returns that they want to make, maybe not $1.5 million.
MARCIANO: Listen, some high-end stores will take everything back. And some won't.
WHITFIELD: And some won't. You know, you've got to know that return policy. And then are you planning for retirement?
MARCIANO: Not well. But yes.
WHITFIELD: I mean, not that it's around the corner, but you know, you really do spend your lifetime sort of, your working lifetime trying to plan for your retirement. So, Daria Dolan is going to be with us. She's going to reveal what she believes are five big mistakes people make in retirement planning. Then are you a big diver?
MARCIANO: Like underwater?
MARCIANO: I've done snorkeling, I've done diving. I'm just not crazy about the whole underwater thing.
WHITFIELD: Well, this might really fascinate you, because off the coast of Greece, there was a discovered city, a sunken city. It was discovered back in the '60s, but only now have these divers had a chance to go in the deep and discover this city, which is they believe the expanse of eight football fields. It's extraordinary. There are public buildings. One diver describes it as kind of swimming over kind of like a Bronze Age map, 5,000 years old. We're going to be talking to an archaeologist, archaeological diver about the discovery, what you'll find. Is this open to other divers? I'm a diver, actually gone diving off the Greek coast, and I didn't see a thing. But this I would like to see.
MARCIANO: Well, I'm sure-- maybe you can talk him into a map, you know, and get some--
WHITFIELD: Yeah, or maybe a dive trip.
MARCIANO: Now you're thinking.
WHITFIELD: Now we're talking. All that straight ahead, noon Eastern time.
MARCIANO: Great. We'll see you at the top of the hour. Good to see you.
WHITFIELD: All right, thank you.
MARCIANO: Well, he's just starting out in the movie business and guess what, he is directing Oscar winner Kevin Spacey in a short film. You're going to hear his story coming up.
MARCIANO: This sounds like a Hollywood script. Young filmmaker finds out about an important competition at the last minute, enters, and wins. Then a major Hollywood star plays the lead role in his film. But this is real. Now, earlier I talked with Ben Leavitt about directing Oscar winner Kevin Spacey.
BENJAMIN LEAVITT, WINNER, JAMESON FIRST SHOT FILM COMPETITION: He was really, really a pleasure to direct.
MARCIANO: You must have learned a lot. What are some of the big things that you learned? LEAVITT: Always know what you want. That is the key. You know? It's -- even if you don't know what you want, at least just pretend you do. Just have the--
MARCIANO: Fake it until you make it.
LEAVITT: Exactly. Exactly. I think that's really, really important.
MARCIANO: So what's this moment like for you? I mean, the premiere is tonight. Your life must be crazy now?
LEAVITT: It's been pretty nutty, yes. The premiere is tonight. And then people can go see the film on Jameson Whiskey's Youtube page. And that's what I'm really excited about, just that everybody out there can go see this film on Youtube very easily. But I'm really excited for the premiere. It's going to be a scene.
MARCIANO: Dana, I want to ask you, you're the producer. You started this production company that I guess the goal is kind of discover undiscovered talent. I mean, how tough is it for a young director or an actor, whatever it may be, to get their first break? How difficult is this?
DANA BRUNETTI, FILM PRODUCER: It's extremely difficult for anybody to break into this business, as a lot of businesses. But we've always worked to try to open up new avenues for filmmakers to be able to get exposure to the work, or get a shot to basically get out and reach an audience. That hopefully leads to other productions and other opportunities for them.
MARCIANO: And how successful has it been? You've been around almost 10 years now, right?
BRUNETTI: We started with Triggerstreet.com, which was an offshoot of our production company, which is a platform for aspiring filmmakers and writers. It's been very successful, it's still going. A lot of people have gotten a lot of exposure and a lot of opportunities from it.
MARCIANO: Kevin, you mentioned Don Lemon -- I'm sorry, Jack Lemmon.
KEVIN SPACEY, ACTOR: Don Lemon, doesn't he work here?
MARCIANO: Yes, he does. You'll see him later tonight.
SPACEY: Where is Soledad, by the way?
MARCIANO: She's not a weekend player. I'll tell her you said hello.
So Jack Lemmon, you mentioned, is one of your mentors. You know, you're a two-time Oscar winner. I mean, you must be feeling now the need to mentor some of the young talent coming up. Do you find that in your soul now? SPACEY: It's been a big part of my life for actually the better part of the last 10 years. You know, I moved to London in 2003 to start a theater company, the Old Vic Theater. And we had a program there called new voices, which is all about supporting, and nurturing, and encouraging emerging artists, whether they be actors or writers or producers or directors. And as Dana said, when Triggerstreet.com started now nearly a decade ago, the whole idea really stems frankly from a philosophy that Jack Lemmon passed down to me, which was that if you've done well in the business, you wanted to do well -- and I've done better than I could have possibly hoped -- then it is your obligation to spend a good portion of your time sending the elevator back down.
MARCIANO: "CNN NEWSROOM" continues with Fredricka Whitfield.
WHITFIELD: I wanted to hear more.
MARCIANO: Listen, I don't want to drop names, but earlier today I talked with Kevin Spacey.
WHITFIELD: Fascinating. Great. Well, you have a great afternoon. And then see you again bright and early.
MARCIANO: Yes, tomorrow.
WHITFIELD: In the morning. All right, Rob, thanks.