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House Launches Latest Bid To Kill Obamacare; Indictment Unsealed In Border Agent's Murder; Obama Pitches Tax Cuts In Iowa; Romney Urged To Sharpen Attacks; Penn State Draws $208.7M In Donations; Girl Jumps From Sky Ride During Storm; Study: Ads Stealing Phone Information; Russian Ships Heading To Syria; Carmakers Bounce Back After Bailout; Carmakers Bounce Back after Bailout; Cambodia: 24 Hours of Hell; Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes Settle Divorce; Same Sex Partners' Benefits Battle
Aired July 10, 2012 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I don't know if I can go on, but I must, to the next hour of CNN NEWSROOM that starts right now.
Good morning to you. I'm Carol Costello. Happening right now in the NEWSROOM, Fast and furious in the night of an American agent's death. New details from the border and what really happened to Agent Brian Terry.
A CNN exclusive, Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the ground in Cambodia investigating a mysterious illness of killing children.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: See how busy this is. Even as we're talking how the doctor got cold away to see another child gone into shock.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: We are at the hospital while doctors are scrambling to save lives.
The fight over benefits, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer going to the Supreme Court again. She wants to eliminate health care benefits for state employees' same-sex partners. This hour, we'll talk to one of the people who's suing the state.
A New Jersey jumper, a 17-year-old girl jumps 35 feet when she got freaked out by an approaching thunderstorm. The unbelievable video straight ahead.
But we start with this, happening right now on Capitol Hill. Republicans launch their first big attack on Obamacare since the Supreme Court upheld the sweeping reforms.
Lawmakers will hear from doctors, patients and, of course, each other as they begin hours of debate. The vote to repeal could come as soon as tomorrow, but the outcome may be more about symbolism than substance.
Congressional correspondent Kate Bolduan is live on Capitol Hill. It seems like deja vu all over again, won't it?
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You took the words right out of my mouth, Carol. That's absolutely right. I mean, what we're looking at today is the real lead up to the expected vote to repeal the president's health care law in the House.
That's expected tomorrow afternoon, but today we're talking about five hours of expected debate on the House floor, three House hearings about the -- about the implications and the impact of the health care law, and, of course, I think we actually are hearing from House Republican leaders.
They are going to microphones right now following a meeting with rank and file members. We'll be hearing from them this morning as well. This is all leading up to this vote, but the result of this vote is a foregone conclusion.
House Republicans are very much expected to pass this repeal of the president's health care law in the House, but it's not going anywhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate, Carol, as you know, and even if it did the president would veto any repeal of the health care law if it made to his desk.
But the result in the alternate universe that's Capitol Hill sometimes the result of this vote isn't really even the point. The point is political messaging and scoring political points in an election year.
Republicans showing their base, showing their voters that they are going to do what they have promised to do. As House Speaker John Boehner told CBS last weekend or so, he said we've got to pull this out by the roots, and that's exactly what Republicans will be doing today and tomorrow.
They are trying to score political points. We know that an overwhelming majority of Republican voters oppose the mandate, the crux of this law, as well as 55 percent, a small majority of independent voters.
Republicans looking to try to grab support from independent voters in an election year as well, Carol so political theatre, but with important political implications.
COSTELLO: Well, you have five hours of fun ahead of you. Thanks, Kate Bolduan.
BOLDUAN: You know it.
COSTELLO: It's been more than a year and a half since a U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a fire fight. Two guns from the "Fast and Furious" gun tracking operation were found at the scene.
Now, the FBI has unsealed an indictment charging five men with the crime and offered a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to four of their arrests.
Agent Terry was killed in a fire fight in Rio Rico, Arizona in December of 2010. One suspect has been arrested. He was arrested on the night of Terry's murder.
The government first handed down an indictment in the case late last year. Four others charged in the murder do remain at large hence, that big reward.
Agent Terry was killed by a single gunshot in the attack, and he died at the scene. That's what happened in a nutshell, but there are plenty of people who want to know exactly how this operation went down.
To help us, Tom Fuentes, a former FBI assistant director and CNN contributor, he joins us now. Good morning.
TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning, Carol.
COSTELLO: So tom, this happened in Rio Rico, Arizona. It's an area used by drug runners. Border patrol agents including Agent Terry were on a hill. Two others were nearby to observe traffic. What were they trying to do?
FUENTES: Well, they were trying to apprehend any drug dealers or weapons traffickers or other illegals coming in there through that particular area.
And I guess that pass is a very popular transportation area, so they had ground sensors set up. They had surveillance set up, and they were just in waiting for the people to show up, the bad guys to arrive.
COSTELLO: And this is a particularly dangerous area, because the people they were waiting for, these people hold up the drug runners so they can rob them, right?
FUENTES: There are many dangerous people who are trying to do a number of illegal things in these border crossing areas. So it's not unusual that the subjects would be heavily armed and ready to shoot, if necessary.
COSTELLO: OK, you mentioned ground sensors. A ground sensor alerted agents that people were in the area, and the agents announced their presence, but the drug runners raised their weapons, and agents returned fire with non-lethal beanbag guns. Why didn't the agents use real guns?
FUENTES: Well, obviously, they were trying not to kill the suspects and just take them into custody. That kind of decision-making at this point is still under review and investigation.
And you have separate investigations of an inspector general's office investigation into the overall "Fast and Furious" operation, but now you have an FBI investigation because the U.S. federal law enforcement officer was killed in this operation or in this particular incident in Rio Rico, so that's the question.
Why did they do that? Why were they trying to give dangerous subjects the benefit of the doubt or the opportunity to surrender by shooting a non-lethal weapon first?
I think in hindsight the agents at that scene wished that they had used lethal force to stop the individuals from shooting back.
COSTELLO: And now the FBI in their big presser yesterday, they didn't say whether Agent Terry was killed with a weapon provided to the drug runners by the ATF. Can you read between the lines for us, Tom?
FUENTES: No. I think the evidence is unclear as to which weapon was responsible for the fatal bullet that struck him, and the indications are that the actual weapon that was recovered that had been part of "Fast and Furious" was probably not, but it was at the scene, and it was in the hands of these individuals who it could have been easily the gun that killed him.
COSTELLO: OK. So you're a former FBI agent. The FBI is investigating this. This has become so politicized, and people might think that the FBI is also tainted by politics in this investigation. Is it?
FUENTES: No, it's not, and the FBI, you know, if anything, gets criticized for not revealing information during an ongoing information, for not playing politics with this issue.
The issue for the FBI is that a U.S. federal agent was killed in the line of duty. That's the subject of their investigation. That's what they are trying to determine. How was he killed? Who killed him? Who is responsible, and how can they be brought to justice?
And the four subjects that were not apprehended, one subject was wounded and apprehended at the scene. The four others who are fugitives, they have been the subject of an intense investigation by the FBI as well as FBI counterparts in Mexico trying to locate these individuals, the other four.
So that part of the investigation is really irrelevant to the things ongoing on the Hill as far as the documents and as far as the holding the attorney general in contempt.
The FBI investigation is completely separate. If I could add one more thing, I think that the odds are very good because of the attention on this case, there's a good possibility that those four subjects are already dead.
And would have been killed by the cartels to silence them so that they could not be apprehended and could not discuss the nature of the firearm trafficking or the other drug trafficking and illegal activities. So there's a very strong possibility that these subjects are not alive anymore.
And that that would have been reason enough for the U.S. attorney's office in conjunction with the FBI in Arizona to go ahead and unseal the indictment and make it public and offer a reward and say, OK.
The efforts to covertly find them have not worked over these -- these months, since 2011. We'll go ahead and enlist the support of the public, but I think -- I would be very surprised if any of these subjects are ever found alive.
COSTELLO: Interesting. Tom Fuentes, thanks for helping us understand. We appreciate it.
FUENTES: Thank you, Carol.
COSTELLO: Also this morning, President Obama and Mitt Romney take their tax fight to the people. Both are stumping out west, and both want to extend the Bush-era tax cut.
The agreement ends there, of course. Republicans want the wealthy to get the tax breaks and Democrats, only the middle class.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Here's what's going to change is basically if we don't do anything, then everybody's taxes go up at the end of this year.
Now understand what I'm proposing is 98 percent of America, 98 percent of American families won't see their taxes go up, according to my plan.
The only folks who would see their taxes go up would be the top 2 percent, folks like me who don't need those -- those tax breaks or are doing just fine without them.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Small businesses are overwhelmingly being taxed not at a corporate rate, but at the individual tax rate.
So successful small businesses will see their taxes go up dramatically, and that will kill jobs. That will be another kick in the gut to the middle class in America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: In the meantime, a new poll is out this morning, and it shows the presidential race deadlocked. The ABC News/"Washington Post" survey asked registered voters who they would choose if the election were held today, 47 percent said they would vote for Obama and 47 percent chose Romney.
Mitt Romney, by the way, is holding a town hall in Grand Junction, Colorado today. Sure, taxes are the most likely topic, but if conservatives have their way, Romney will play hardball.
Ever since Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul behind the "Wall Street Journal" and Fox News said Romney lacked stomach and heart conservatives have rallied around the cause. Listen to what Rush Limbaugh had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Romney has to start treating observe math same way he did Newt and Santorum, folks. He's going to have to do that.
We are dealing -- Romney has got to realize that running a campaign on traditional American values is not enough, sad to say. That's the hard cold reality.
Simply running around and telling people he's going to fix the economy. What are you going to do with the economy?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: And you thought campaign was already nasty. Silly you. John Avlon is a CNN contributor. He also writes for "Newsweek" and "The Daily Beast." And he's here to discuss. Good morning, John.
JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning, Carol.
COSTELLO: So is Rush Limbaugh right? Are we dealing with something new in 2012?
AVLON: Well, I don't think there's anything new under the sun in politics, but what Rush Limbaugh is alluding to is that this race is going to get uglier.
It's going to get nastier. It's going to get more negative. When he talks explicitly about how Romney he believes needs to do to Obama what he previously did to Gingrich and Santorum. That's a very specific prescription.
For example, in Florida, when Romney was trying to beat back Newt Gingrich's surge in South Carolina, he outspent him 5-1. And 92 percent of the ads in the last week were negative. That's what Rush Limbaugh is encouraging Mitt Romney to do.
To go negative and to use a financial advantage to try, to you know, look, politics isn't beanbag, but that's the prescription Rush Limbaugh is saying that Mitt Romney needs to follow.
I think additionally, you know, it's not just an issue of going negative. I think Mitt Romney needs to lay out a compelling vision for what he would do as president, not simple police attack President Obama.
The -- the sort of, you know, attack and distract is insufficient. I think Romney's got to lay out a compelling vision for what he would actually do as president to really help built on this dead heat.
COSTELLO: But I think that's part of it, too, because some conservatives are angry that Romney is not getting out in front of issues like taxes and allowing Mr. Obama to define him as this clueless rich guy. Are they right?
AVLON: Yes. Well, look, running a prevent defense at this stage of the campaign is never a good idea. You know, the best defense is a good offense, and when candidates try not to lose, they invariably do lose.
So I do think Mitt Romney runs a risk of letting the other team, in this case the Obama campaign, define him. A lot of the -- of the criticisms and narratives that we see the Obama campaign using in this to date are exactly what Republican candidates and competitors did to Mitt Romney previously.
Talking about offshore bank accounts, talking about outsourcing, so it's a resuscitation of attacks we've seen, and they really do need a strong pushback.
Otherwise, you do fall into that trap of being defined by your opponent before defining yourself to the American people.
COSTELLO: OK, so the Obama camp tried to paint Obama as an outsourcer. The Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is on his way to Iowa to combat the president who is campaigning there. Priebus is going to accuse the president of outsourcing tax dollars. What?
AVLON: Yes. You've got to love this. This is the -- this is the I'm rubber, you're glue strategy. You say our guy is an outsourcer. You know who is the real outsourcer? It's you.
That's what they are trying here, and, you know, the thing is it does strain credulity. First of all, this big offensive by the RNC really rips off a series of ads that were launched by Americans for prosperity back in May arguing that the stimulus money went to overseas firms in effect.
Well, that was fact-checked by our friends at "Politifact" and found to be false or pants on fire in many cases. So I don't think this is necessarily -- this isn't breaking news, as the RNC would maybe have us believe.
This isn't a brand new offensive. It's a recycling of another attack designed to try to blunt the Obama's criticism of Mitt Romney's record at Bain.
COSTELLO: John Avlon, thanks so much for being with us.
AVLON: Thanks, Carol.
COSTELLO: In New Jersey, a young girl on a sky ride gave beachgoers a show, they will not soon forget. We'll show you.
COSTELLO: It's 17 minutes past the hour. Checking our top stories now. Right now, Republicans are launching their first effort to kill Obamacare since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld that sweeping reform. Lawmakers will hear from doctors and patients during several hours of debate, five to be exact. The House votes to repeal could come as soon as tomorrow, but the move will, of course, never get past the Senate because it's controlled by Democrats.
Despite the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal Penn State did not lose the support of alumni. The university reports the school received close to $209 million in donations in the last fiscal year. It is the second highest annual amount in Penn State's history.
Now to a picture that's getting a lot of attention. You see that. That was a teenager jumping 35 feet from a sky ride. She landed on a New Jersey beach.
Our affiliate reports the teenager said she was freaked out when the ride stopped as a storm approached. She didn't want to get struck by lightning.
The girl was celebrating her 17th birthday, and she decided to jump to safety. She was not seriously injured.
In money news, be careful what you download. Pop-up ads on your smartphone can change your settings and take contact information without your permission.
That's according to a new study released yesterday. As many as 5 percent of free mobile apps use an aggressive ad network to make money.
If you thought it was a milder winter and a warmer spring, you're right. In fact, the past 12 months were the hottest ever recorded in the United States according to the National Data Center, and it doesn't even take into account the heat wave over the last few weeks.
All right, we're getting a bit more information on this story we broke just a couple of minutes ago. The Pentagon is now confirming that four large Russian ships with Marines on board are headed to the Syrian port of Tartous.
The ships have been closely watched the last few weeks by U.S. intelligence. All of this is evidence that Russia may be distancing itself from Syria.
A source with close ties to the top Russian officials told CNN's Christiane Amanpour Moscow would not resist a military intervention in Syria.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DMITRI SIMES, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR THE NATIONAL INTEREST: A top- level delegation hosted by the Center for the National Interest. It included senior Russian officials being there in an official capacity and working with private dinner, the situation was raised, and the answer was very clear. Russia would not welcome such an intervention. Russia would not approve such an intervention. It would not resist such an intervention, and this intervention would not become a major issue in the U.S.- Russian relationship.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Another sign that Russia is distancing itself. State media reports Russia will not deliver any new weapons to Syria as long as the situation in that country is unstable.
Mohammed Jamjoom is following developments from Abu Dhabi. Mohammed, what more can you tell us?
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, interesting these two reports that have emerged so far today about the ships.
You have Interfax, the Russian news agency, saying there are four ships that headed to the port of Tartous. That's in Syria. That's where the Russians have had a base for a very long time.
The Russians are saying it has nothing to do with the conflict in Syria. Rather that it's training exercise purposes only and that there are Marines are on board.
Then you have what U.S. officials have told CNN. They say that there are two ships that are heading through the Dardanelle Strait and they are on the way to Tartous.
And that these ships have been closely watched by U.S. intelligence for the last several weeks while docked in the black sea port of (inaudible).
So it's interesting. We're trying to find out still if the two ships the U.S. are talking about are actually part of the flotilla that the Russians are talking about, and we're trying to get more information.
COSTELLO: Do I still have you, Mohammed? His signal froze up, as they say in the biz. We'll try to get him back next hour. Thanks so much. Mohammed Jamjoom reporting live from Abu Dhabi.
We asked you to talk about on one of the big stories of the day. The question for you this morning, Obama's tax cuts. Are they enough to make you fall in love again? Facebook.com/carolcnn. Comments later this hour.
COSTELLO: Now is your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. The question for you this morning, Obama's proposed tax cuts. Will they make you fall in love? Here we go again.
If you're a Republican, it's class warfare. If you're a Democrat, it's paying your fair share. Whatever you believe, the president is going there again.
He wants to extend the Bush tax cuts, but only for those making less than $250,000 a year, and if Congress votes to extend the bush tax cuts to all Americans, regardless of income, Mr. Obama will whip out the presidential pen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I would veto it, and here's why. What I'm proposing is that we give a tax break. That we make sure that taxes don't go up on 98 percent of Americans, 98 percent. But to extend tax breaks for that top 2 percent of wealthiest Americans would cost us $1 trillion over the next decade.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Mitt Romney who signed Grover Norquist's no tax pledge insisted Mr. Obama's tax plan would crush small business people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: Small businesses are overwhelmingly being taxed not at a corporate rate, but at the individual tax rate. So successful small businesses will see their taxes go up dramatically, and that will kill jobs. That will be another kick in the gut to the middle class in America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Except only 3 percent of small businesses actually make above $250,000, and even if Mr. Obama's tax plan flies through Congress, it would only raise $968 billion over 10 years.
So the "talk back" question today. Obama's proposed tax cuts. Will they make you fall in love? Facebook.com/carolcnn. I'll read your comments later this hour.
We are following the heart wrenching story of the mysterious illness killing children in Cambodia. CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is there trying to figure this out. He'll join from us Cambodia.
COSTELLO: After the big bailout, American automakers have bounced back, and now they are revving up for more. Check out Chrysler's high-octane ad for its new Dodge Dart.
I thought it had words in it. It does, really, and at the end Tom Brady pops up. Chrysler isn't the only impressive comeback kid.
Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange, but Alison, before we get into Chrysler's increased profits. Let's start off on Capitol Hill because there's this big hearing on the auto bailout today. Why? ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and with this hearing, Carol, that's happening in Washington this morning, it really is bringing back tough memories for a lot of people.
You have to remember Delphi was General Motors' biggest supplier. So the big issue on Capitol Hill today in this hearing is how pensions were treated between Delphi's hourly and salaried workers as the industry was falling to pieces.
Now when Delphi went bankrupt back in 2009, it terminated the pensions of 70,000 workers, and the government wound up stepping in to refund a majority of those plans.
But the big problem with this, according to "The Detroit News," is that GM itself took over the pensions of most of Delphi's hourly workers. Now, many hourly workers are in the UAW Union.
As you know, this union is a huge force in the industry, which GM negotiates its contracts with. Now salaried employees didn't get the same treatments and the government took over their pensions and salaried workers say they are not getting as much money as they should be.
Now lawmakers they've got a lot of questions. They want to know how that decision was made. People in the former auto industry task force have refused to answer questions up until now -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Wow interesting. Ok so there's still some controversy lingering from the bailout, but overall automakers have been doing pretty good, right?
KOSIK: They 0- they really have. You know all three of the big U.S. automakers, they have been doing much better since GM and Chrysler took their bailouts. All three are making money, and just a few days ago each reported strong June sales. Chrysler has done especially well.
You know, you mentioned about the Dodge Dart commercial last night. It's first -- it made its first small vehicle in seven years with the Dart. It's viewed as the most important car that Chrysler is going to launch this year, but the thing is these companies they are not totally out of the woods though.
Ford recently warned that the problems in Europe would cut into its profits. And a few days ago there was a report on manufacturing overall that showed the first contraction in three years. So it's not a slam dunk just yet. We'll see how things flush out as -- as the months go on -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Alison Kosik reporting live from the New York Stock Exchange.
Thirty-one minutes past the hour. Checking our "Top Stories" now.
Right now President Barack Obama is heading to the battleground state of Iowa. His focus, pushing tax cuts for the middle class. Mr. Obama will hold a roundtable discussion in Cedar Rapids and Republicans will hold events there today as well.
The FBI has unsealed an indictment charging five men in the murder of U.S. border patrol agent, Brian Terry. The agency is offering up to $1 million for information leading to four of their arrests. One man is already in custody. Two guns from the government's "Fast and Furious" gun tracking operation were found at scene.
In Cairo, Egypt it's an act of defiance by lawmakers and parliament. They met today despite the fact they were dissolved by the ruling military. Riot police were in full force. Barriers were set up outside, but so far no violence.
Children sick with a mysterious illness and dying within a day of reaching the hospital. Yesterday we told you about doctors in Cambodia struggling to find the source of the illness -- the illness that's killed 64 children so far.
Our own chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is in Phnom Penh in Cambodia where he has exclusive video from inside the hospital where these children are being treated. Show us, Sanjay.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: We -- we did take a look inside the hospital, not only to give you an idea of just how crowded these hospitals are on a regular basis, but also inside the Intensive Care Unit where so many of these children have been treated and the doctor, there's been one doctor in particular who's been caring for them all along. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. PIETER VAN MAAREN, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: We are by no means at the conclusion of our investigation.
GUPTA (voice-over): An investigation into the mystery of what's killing some of Cambodia's children at a frightening pace.
VAN MAAREN: The majority of these cases and mostly under the age of three, were seriously ill, and many of them had died within 24 hours of admission.
GUPTA (on camera): I mean that's -- that's pretty frightening, I think, for people to hear.
VAN MAAREN: Absolutely.
GUPTA: There is there's a lot of diseases in this part of the world, many parts of the world, but to kill that quickly.
(voice-over): The backdrop is important here. Kantha Bopha hospital treats thousands of children suffering from dengue fever, malaria, and tuberculosis every week. And remember, this is a part of the world where bird flu and SARS originated. Still right away Dr. Beat Richner knew this was different. DR. BEAT RICHNER, KANTHA BOPHA HOSPITAL: It's a new picture for us. We never seen this in Cambodia before.
GUPTA: He is the head of the hospital, and he allowed us into the ICU where the patients are treated.
(on camera): Just to give you an idea of how busy this is. Even as we were talking, the Dr. Richner got called away to go see another young child in shock. That's what we're going to see right now.
(voice-over): The Dr. Richner says 66 children came to this hospital with the mystery illness. For 64 of them it was 24 hours of hell before they died. You heard right. All but two died.
(on camera): For many of these children, it started off rather mild -- a mild fever, but then things progressed quickly from there. For example, in Ratanam's (ph) case who is two years old, we don't know what's causing his encephalitis, but this is typically what happens, the fontanel over here starts to bulge and the eyes as you can see over here become dis-conjugate as well, from there it just becomes merciless, it goes from the head, to the brain to the lungs.
RICHNER: You see this lungs stage 42 and five hours later this is the lungs --
GUPTA: In the last few hours of life this unknown illness completely destroyed the child's lungs and there was no way to stop it.
(on camera): You've never seen anything like this before?
RICHNER: No, this is the first time at the end of April, and this makes us worried.
GUPTA (voice-over): Something called Enterovirus 71. Typically associated with hand, foot and mouth disease was found in more than a dozen patients, but that's only adding to the mystery.
(on camera): But would the enterovirus lead to this?
RICHNER: Never, never, never.
GUPTA: So it has to be something else?
RICHNER: I think so, but we cannot prove but we must look for.
GUPTA (voice-over): And that's where the investigation goes next. Cambodia health officials and the WHO say they are looking into whether expired medication, the wrong medication or inappropriate medications such as steroids could be to blame.
(on camera): And steroids can also make a relatively harmless infection something much more severe.
VAN MAAREN: Yes. That is a -- that is definitely a possibility.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: So -- so Sanjay, a question for you. Expired drugs may be causing this? How can they determine if those drugs were indeed the cause?
GUPTA: It's very hard to do. They talk about laboratory testing, but it's hard -- it's very hard to find, first of all, the presence of the medication and to confirm in any way that it was an expired medication or a bad batch of medications as well.
So, Carol what they -- I mean, they really have to do an investigation here. They go to the places where these children lived, to try and figure out what medications they were taking or had been prescribed, and then see if there's something in common here, investigate those medications and see if it's common amongst all the children.
So it's -- it's hard work, it's a -- but it's a real medical investigation -- Carol.
COSTELLO: And it's a global world. People travel a lot. I mean, how worried should people be if they are traveling to Cambodia, let's say?
GUPTA: Well I -- you know, looking into this, I would say probably not that worried, and here's why. It's a little bit of a puzzle as well. With this particular virus, it typically is contagious, so if you're living in a household, for example, another child in that household, another person, more likely to get it. In communities, they call that clustering.
But we haven't seen that at all over here. It's seemingly very sporadic, so I think while it's a mystery it's also a bit of good news. Probably not contagious, probably not at risk for people living outside those areas or certainly for people visiting either.
COSTELLO: Dr. Sanjay Gupta reporting live from Cambodia this morning, thank you.
Back at home. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer wants the Supreme Court to strike down domestic partners benefits in her state. Coming up, we'll talk to one of the men fighting against that.
COSTELLO: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are taking the high road on their split coming to an amicable divorce settlement. What's that? I know. It sounds like a foreign term. Let's head to Los Angeles and check in with showbiz correspondent, Nischelle Turner. Say what?
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN SHOWBIZ CORRESPONDENT: Yes, celebrities taking the high road, huh, Carol? I mean that's a novel idea.
But both sides have been telling "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" that they are actually pleased with the settlement that they came to. You know, I think they may be grateful though just to wrap this whole thing up as quickly and as quietly as they did. And I say that "quietly", because for all of the attention that this split got, they really did wrap it up from announcement to settlement in less than two weeks.
It was like 10 or 11 days, and it actually looks like that they meant what they said when they announced this settlement yesterday. They said that they are committed to their daughter's best interest and to keep the matter between the family private, and they are keeping things very quiet, Carol.
Now the settlement is confidential. The details in this agreement are not going to be officially released, and although he didn't go into specifics, Katie Holmes' attorney is telling CNN that most of the reporting out there right now about the settlement details is inaccurate.
COSTELLO: Most of it? What does that mean?
TURNER: Unfortunately. Well, the thing I was saying is you're right, what does that mean because the only thing that we actually know is that there was a settlement. So I don't know what else is going on, but he says the stuff that you're hearing, the little tidbits, most of it is --
COSTELLO: Oh, like the Scientology stuff?
TURNER: Probably that kind of stuff. When people are speculating about custody and all of that, they are saying don't speculate because we're not going to tell you. So whatever you think, don't worry about it.
COSTELLO: Ok. Point taken. You know how much I love football, and it's never too early to talk about the Super Bowl, and I'm not the only one, right?
TURNER: Right. And you know what? I love the whole pageantry of the Super Bowl. The game and the halftime show. We're talking about the halftime show here, and we're talking about maybe Van Halen, you know. David Lee Roth isn't always the most direct person, and this next story is an example of his kind of roundabout way of communicating.
He released an open letter addressing what he called rampant rumors that Van Halen would be playing the Super Bowl halftime show. He wrote in, you know, thanking people for saying that Van Halen would do it but that Roger Goodell really isn't on board with Van Halen. And then he went on to say but we're really happy that you put our name out there.
You know, they kind of cancelled some tour dates, about 30 of them recently.
TURNER: But I think that they want this to show like we can play the halftime show and we want to let everybody know that we're not done basically. So he's kind of lobbying and not lobbying at the same time. It's a Van Halen way.
COSTELLO: Ok. So if Van Halen does the halftime show, I'd faint. I'd -- I don't know. Jump.
TURNER: Might as well jump, baby. Might as well jump.
COSTELLO: That's a good one. Nischelle Turner, thanks so much.
TURNER: Bye, Carol.
Today may or may not be a day of historical significance. We could be celebrating the anniversary of aliens visiting our planet. Just depends on who you believe.
COSTELLO: 46 minutes past the hour. Checking this morning's top stories.
House Republicans gearing up to battle over Obamacare. A hearing happening right now to repeal the health care law. As you know, the Supreme Court upheld that law last month. A vote in the house could come tomorrow, but of course, the vote isn't really expected to go anywhere because it will then go to the Senate which is controlled by democrats.
The clock is ticking for DirecTV and Viacom to make a deal. If they fail to reach one by midnight tonight, some DirecTV customers may lose popular channels like Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon.
This is no ordinary take-your-dad-to-work visit. Prince William showed his dad, Prince Charles, around when he stopped by his search- and-rescue base in Wales yesterday. William flies a bright yellow seeking chopper which he showed off to his proud papa. "The Daily Mail" reports their meeting was delayed several minutes because William was on standby for an emergency call.
A same-sex benefits dispute may turn up on the Supreme Court docket in the coming session. At issue, health coverage for same-sex domestic partners of Arizona state and university workers. The Arizona governor -- Republican governor Jan Brewer has asked the high court to hear the case.
In 2009 Brewer signed a law eliminating the same-sex health benefits. Lambda Legal challenged the state law and so far federal courts have said Arizona must continue providing benefits to same-sex partners.
But here is what the state is saying. "It is not allowable for same-sex partners to have benefits under the state law because the state constitution defines a spouse as someone of the opposite gender." That statement from Doug Nick of the attorney general's office in Arizona.
Keith Humphrey is a plaintiff in the case. He's fighting against it. Tara Borelli, a Lambda Legal staff attorney. Welcome to you both.
KEITH HUMPHREY, PLAINTIFF, DIAZ V BREWER: Good morning, Carol.
TARA BORELLI, ATTORNEY: Thank you, Carol.
COSTELLO: Good morning. Keith, first of all, tell us why it's so important for gay couples to have same-sex health benefits.
HUMPHREY: I think that same-sex couples deserve the same opportunity to provide the love and care for their families that our heterosexual colleagues have. For me, it's a simple issue of equal pay for equal work that I do for the state of Arizona.
COSTELLO: And do you have -- you live with your partner, right, and there are special circumstances.
HUMPHREY: I do.
COSTELLO: And you need these benefits to -- tell us, to what?
HUMPHREY: Sure. My partner is a stay-at-home dad. He cares for the two children that we adopted out of the foster system several years ago. In about 2009 he was, unfortunately, had a torn carotid artery inside his brain which requires pretty significant medical care. And having these health care benefits from the state was quite a blessing to be able to make sure that we could provide care for him without public assistance.
COSTELLO: And so Tara, I turn to you. Is there something in the Arizona state constitution that would really prevent gay couples from having health benefits?
BORELLI: Not at all. In fact, Arizona has been providing these benefits now since 2008, and in fact reported on one of its state Web sites that the program was working well. There's simply no reason to tear down this important health coverage that's such an important safety net for these families.
Arizona hasn't been able to produce a good reason, and every court that decided this case so far has agreed that there simply is no excuse for this kind of discrimination.
COSTELLO: Yet the case may wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court. What do you suppose will happen?
BORELLI: I think it's highly unlikely that the U.S. Supreme Court would be interested in taking this case. It's at a very preliminary stage. Arizona began appealing the case very early on, and, in fact, before it even introduced a shred of evidence about many of its defenses, including, for example, cost. There's negligible costs to this program. Arizona argues differently, but they have never put in a scintilla of evidence. They should be put to that test in the trial court, and I think that's an important thing to happen before the Supreme Court would consider taking this case.
COSTELLO: And Keith, why did you decide to get involved in this?
HUMPHREY: Well, for me it -- it's an issue of just simple fairness and equality in our society, something that I feel like I had the time, space and willingness to do to fight for equality for my fellow gay and lesbian employees in the state of Arizona.
COSTELLO: And Tara, anti-gay legislation has been cropping up across the country. It's a slow chipping away of rights that gay and lesbian couples have won. Is this a concerted effort by some across the country to chip away at the gains that gays and lesbians have achieved?
BORELLI: I think we have seen that in many places in a whole realm of important spheres, including the amending of state constitutions to strip same-sex couples of the basic right to marry the person they love. And some of these discriminatory laws are actually giving rise to cases that might be far more interesting to the Supreme Court than this one.
For example, there are now two requests to the Supreme Court to hear cases about the constitutionality of the so-called federal Defense of Marriage Act, including a Lambda Legal case, Solinsky vs OPM (ph). I expect that the Supreme Court will be interested in those kinds of cases which present far more important issues of national importance.
COSTELLO: Keith and Tara, thanks so much for being with us this morning.
HUMPHREY: Thank you, Carol.
BORELLI: Thank you.
COSTELLO: 65 years ago, our planet had some very unusual visitors. Really? Still ahead, celebrating one of our most enduring mysteries on earth. Are we really alone?
COSTELLO: It's an alien anniversary, or is it? 65 years ago Roswell, New Mexico famously entered into folklore. July 8th, 1947, that's when reports started coming in of a UFO crash a couple of hundred miles outside New Mexico City. For years the government has maintained it was a weather balloon. Skeptics though say it was a flying saucer with dead and alive aliens on board.
About 15 years ago, in its bid to put the matter to bed once and for all, the government released its comprehensive 231-page report on exactly what happened, and it came to the same conclusion. An Air Force research balloon was responsible for that famous crash. But even today there are many who believe it was an alien accident. So the mystery endures. Happy anniversary, Roswell.
For today's "Daily Dose" we have a recall to tell you about. The produce company Pacific International has announced a voluntary recall of its 19 cases of bulk romaine lettuce. The produce may possibly be contaminated with salmonella. It was sold at Vons and Pavilion Stores in California and Nevada. The company says the lettuce was sold in bulk produce bins from July 2nd through July 4th. No produce sold in cartons or bags are affected.
Don't forget, for your chance to "Talk Back" on our question of the day. Obama's proposed tax cuts, will they make you fall in love? Facebook.com/CarolCNN. Your responses next.
COSTELLO: We asked you to "Talk Back" on one of the stories of the day. The question for you this morning. Obama's proposed tax cuts. Will they make you fall in love.
This from Pamela, "Yes. It would make me fall in love. It helps the 98 percent, it's the right thing to do as they are the ones who really need the help."
From Ken, "Tax cuts? Obama? Surely you jest. Tax hikes? Tax everything that moves or sits still."
This from Mary. "Only $968 billion? We've got to start somewhere? Why not there? If it doesn't get passed, that will be $968 billion not raised."
And this from Wade, "Obama has put bush policies on steroids as far as I'm concerned. We got Bush-whacked twice."
Keep the conversation going. Facebook.com/CarolCNN. Thanks as always for your comments.
And that does it for me today. Thanks for joining me.
"CNN NEWSROOM" continues right now with Ashleigh Banfield.