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Cracks in Syrian Regime?; Olympics Begin; Assessing the World Economy
Aired July 27, 2012 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: And hour two.
Top of the hour. I'm Brooke Baldwin. All eyes on Syria. We are talking about potential cracks in the regime of Syria's Bashar al- Assad. We have talked a lot this week about the city there in the north called Aleppo. It's the largest city. It's the commercial hub and it's kind of like the New York City, if you will. Syrian government forces are massing around Aleppo for a showdown with the rebels.
But now the rebels in Aleppo claim to have captured this army installation. They released this video via YouTube. Also this. They claim to have captured yet another police station and the expected government push against the Aleppo rebels has yet to happen.
It still hasn't happened. There are suggestions the Syrian army is stretched so thin these days it cannot yet enter the city of Aleppo, at least not in the numbers it needs to take on these insurgents. That aside, what you're about to see next is tough to look at. Fair warning. But this is the aftermath of government shelling near a roundabout in Aleppo.
You see blood everywhere. Unconfirmed reports say the attack killed 15 people and wounded more than 20. Government forces continue sporadic shelling and we await this full-scale incursion, this offensive.
Just a short time ago, I talked to a Spanish journalist with El Mundo inside Aleppo, Javier Espinosa. He told me that right now the city is in the hands of the rebels.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAVIER ESPINOSA, EL MUNDO: They are just running the city. They are running the police and they're running the hospitals. They are running the factories. They're running everything and for the moment in the past two days -- I have been two days already here -- the shelling has diminished a little bit. It's not like the days before.
But the tension is increasing because they are expecting a major offensive tomorrow. There are a lot of rumors that the army will launch a huge offensive tomorrow. They say they have already seen 80 tanks arriving nearby by the city. And they are expecting this attack tomorrow. BALDWIN: Javier, let me jump in because you say tomorrow. I'm just curious because yesterday we have been reporting today I know the anticipation really has been building for this offensive, for this attack. Do we know why it's taking so long for these government troops to get to the city?
ESPINOSA: Well, those troops were coming from Italy in a long convoy that left that area some days ago, because I was there in Italy actually before coming here. And I saw the tanks moving.
But they were ambushed on the way. But they went slow. They didn't arrive like until last night. At least this is what the rebels are saying, that they arrived last night, and also special forces.
But, in the meantime, what is happening in the city is that there are still a lot of helicopters shooting against the buildings, shooting around randomly. They are not shooting against the Free Syrian Army. They're shooting against all the buildings without any purpose, well, maybe to make afraid the people and to make them to leave.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: That was Javier Espinosa talking to me inside of Aleppo.
Hala Gorani good enough to back with us again because it's so important to talk about Syria. I just want to pose the same question I asked Javier and that being we were on yesterday talking that this offensive would happen today. He says tomorrow. Is there trouble brewing? Why is it taking these Syrian troops so long?
HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's hard to predict.
This was the anticipation yesterday that potentially today would be the beginning of the offensive against certain parts of Aleppo that are held by the rebels. The big question is going to be when. The other big and more important question as far as civilians are concerned is how long is this going to take.
You will remember Homs. It's right here. For three months they continuously shelled Baba Amr. You remember that even that didn't end up completely eradicating the city of rebel-held areas. In Damascus, just a few weeks ago, the rebel-held districts were shelled for a week and then there were some ground attacks and the regime re-took control.
The question for Syria, we will see another Homs or we will see another Damascus?
BALDWIN: Tell me what you have been learning. I know you're talking to people just within Aleppo. What is happening now on the ground?
GORANI: Those neighborhoods that are not held by the rebels are emptied. The streets are empty. The people are scared and they're hunkered down. They're at home hoping and praying the fighting will not reach them. As for the rebel-held neighborhoods, you aired some very difficult video and some footage. That's Firdous. That's a district of Aleppo that was shelled.
BALDWIN: That's the roundabout.
GORANI: Absolutely. We saw the aftermath of that and typical aftermath of shelling images, very disturbing pictures of people with missing limbs and who have received shrapnel wounds that have either killed them or injured them very severely.
That's why we have blurred some of the images of the bodies there.
BALDWIN: When we go back into Aleppo and you know Syria, you have been to Syria many, many times, I want to hone in on this, because the violence just quickly the historian significance. This is what they call the castle?
GORANI: This is the Citadel. It's a 13 century medieval fort. It's a U.N. World Heritage site. Everything around it is probably some of the most important heritage for all of humanity.
Aleppo is the oldest continuously inhabited city on Earth. This is something that in other circumstances I would recommend truly visiting because everything that is around here is something of historic importance.
And the people who are living here just a few days ago, Bab al-Hadid is over, had some Free Syrian Army visitors in their street. They went in a hit-and-run fashion, took a street and held it for a few hours and then went straight back out.
But once the fighting truly reaches the center of Aleppo, this historic center, that means the battle for Aleppo is truly under way. Right now, however, remember, you're talking the Syrian army regime here with tanks and with helicopter gunships and also with fighter jets. The rebels at best have AK-47s, a few empty tank weapons and that's about it. It's a completely disproportionate battle that is not balanced.
It's going to be a question of in the longer term whether they get the kind of weaponry they need and the kind of defections they need to fill their ranks.
BALDWIN: I have two more for you, one being did you hear the sound bite with Victoria Nuland, one of the spokesperson for the U.S. State Department? Did you hear the word she used, massacre?
GORANI: Right, massacre. And it's interesting that you should ask that question because with my executive producer just minutes ago we were trying to decide in what instance do you use the word massacre? It's sad that you have to have that conversation regarding any country and regarding Syria in particular in this case. When do you describe it as a massacre, the indiscriminate and brutal and cruel killing of defenseless people? In some cases, then it becomes the question of whether or not we decide in the newsroom to use it.
Houla, we saw it there. In Aleppo, we certainly hope it won't come to that, but the fear truly is that it will.
BALDWIN: That's what the State Department is fearing.
One more question. I just want to show this. You have Turkey to the north. Aleppo is here. One of the concerns just hearing from the Turkish prime minister is that you have Turkish militants coming in.
GORANI: And Turkey essentially two days ago said we're happy to help you and we're absolutely against the Assad regime. However, we reserve the right to strike at bases of Kurdish militants if they seek refuge and establish bases on Syrian territory.
BALDWIN: This tells me Turkey could very much so get involved.
GORANI: Absolutely. It already is politically involved.
BALDWIN: I mean more than that.
GORANI: Absolutely. Militarily, it is allowing the rebels to establish bases on its territory and facilitating the transfer of arms, according to many reports we have gotten, into Syria as well.
And then one last point. You look at this map, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, and a small border there with Iran. You already have Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon with more than 120,000 Syrian refugees. They are lacking in funding and they're lacking in resources to welcome them all. This number will swell, will swell. Not might, will.
BALDWIN: Will, yes. Hala Gorani, thank you so much. Syria today.
With that said, there's a lot more happening on this Friday. Take a look at this.
BALDWIN: One of Hollywood's biggest producers behind some of the most violent films in history says in the wake of the Colorado massacre it may be time to look in the mirror. I'm Brooke Baldwin. The news is now.
(voice-over): Several people are behind bars accused of terrorizing a camp full of Jewish kids.
Plus, the countdown is on. Olympic fever officially beginning tonight. I will tell you which moments to keep an eye on.
And as Facebook stocks drop, I will speak with someone who says Mark Zuckerberg needs the boot.
BALDWIN: It's exciting. Forget Republican vs. Democrat, forget Yankee vs. Red Sox, Coke vs. Pepsi.
This is the time when we all get to root for one team, that being the United States. The Olympics begin today.
The Olympic torch on its final leg and the bells are sounding, 40 chimes from Big Ben. All of it is building up to big event tonight, the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics.
It's less than an hour away, though, TV viewers, you cannot see it until tonight. But I can show you right now the lay of the Olympic land. If you know London, this will be a quick London 101 for you. I was recently there for the diamond jubilee, which was awesome. But so I'm not there for the Olympics. We're going to live vicariously through everyone who is.
I want to begin though with Buckingham Palace. This is where -- one of the queen's residences. I learned the royal standard flag, it flies high when the queen is in residence. You have Buckingham Palace, beautiful, beautiful place.
Big Ben, remember, that was recently renamed Elizabeth Tower in honor of her diamond jubilee year, the 60th year for her, so Big Ben, the Thames, the Eye, kind of awesome views from the city if you get to go around.
This is the part we have to talk about. Six miles this way, you have the River Thames, the Olympic Park. This is where all the action will be happening. You have the Olympic Stadium, where I know I will be on my sofa with a little popcorn tonight watching the opening ceremonies. That happens here.
I saw this picture and I thought what the heck is this? This is the multimillion-dollar sculpture that's been put up and it will remain in London as a memory of the Olympics in this particular summer. And then this building here, this is the Aquatic Center. This is where we will be watching a lot of the swimming events.
This is the Olympic Village. Some 10,500 athletes are all housed right here. And then one more thing I want to show you because who doesn't love watching a good gymnastics event? The O2 arena right here. This is the stadium. This is this massive arena right on the Thames. This is where we will be all watching the gymnastics.
This city here has been preparing for years. This is the time lapse really of the metamorphosis for this summer and the fun has already begun. I'm not just talking sports. I'm talking singing. Fair warning. Plug your ears if you don't want this song stuck in your head the rest of the day. But take a look at how some Olympians are easing the Olympic stress in this viral video. Sorry. Had to do it.
But we have to talk Mitt Romney and London. He will be there tonight at the opening ceremonies. And if political gaffes were an Olympic sport, the Brits would be handing him a gold medal right about now.
The Republican presidential candidate's trip to England has been one false start after another. He tried to walk back his criticism of London's Olympic preparations on CNN's "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT." Here he was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's fabulous. And these Games, you know, great weather, enthusiasm on the part of the people here in London. I think you're going to see terrific games that will be long time in our memories.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: I want to bring in chief political analyst Gloria Borger.
Gloria, during his visit...
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Oops.
BALDWIN: You laugh already.
During his visit Romney was hoping to tout his own experience, Salt Lake City, running the Winter Games back in 2002, but thus far not working out so well for him. Is it?
BORGER: It's not exactly working out the way the message meisters would have wanted it to work out.
As you point out, he was supposed to go there. It would remind people that he really helped the Olympics in 2002. It was plagued by scandal. It was $400 million in the red. It was post-9/11. There were security issues. And he salvaged the Olympics.
Instead, he steps in it when he goes into London. It's not great to be critical in London. You get in a tiff with the prime minister which turns public. And, by the way, Brooke, he also admitted that he met with the head of British intelligence, which you're never supposed to do.
BORGER: So it didn't exactly work out the way they have intended.
As Romney says, once the Games start, you forget all of this and that's what they are hoping.
BALDWIN: Team Obama has to be loving all of this. In fact, I know they will be airing an aid during the opening ceremony tonight. Here is part of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe that the way you grow the economy is from the middle out. I believe in fighting for the middle class, because if they're prospering, all of us will prosper.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Gloria, is there a sense that the Obama campaign really is capitalizing on Romney's Olympic problems here in the U.K.?
BORGER: You think so? They have almost been kind of gleeful about it, to tell you the truth, Brooke.
Jay Carney made a point of saying that the president had been briefed on the Olympics. David Axelrod said he was almost speechless about what Romney had said. And Michelle Obama is there. She hasn't had any problems.
And so it's clear from this ad they're going to throw a positive ad out there. By the way, the RNC is going to throw a negative anti- Obama ad out there during the opening ceremonies. But they have decided to take advantage of this because Mitt Romney really has made some missteps.
BALDWIN: After London, Romney is headed to Israel and then to Poland here. How important is that second leg of the trip for you?
BORGER: Well, it is important, because as long as he was going to the Olympics, they had to put something on in addition.
You will remember back in July of 2008, then candidate Obama took a trip to Europe. But he also went to Iraq and Afghanistan. He was in Berlin, if you will recall, with hundreds of thousands of people listening to him. I don't think Mitt Romney is going to have that.
But what this is doing, you go to Israel and you remind people that President Obama, not candidate Obama, President Obama has not been in Israel since he took the oath of office. And, so, Brooke, I was noticing today it's no surprise that today President Obama signed a pro-Israel defense pledge, which, by the way, had been passed by the Congress last week. But, somehow, he decided to sign it today.
BALDWIN: Today. Coincidence? Maybe not.
BORGER: I don't think so. I don't think so.
BALDWIN: Maybe not. Gloria Borger, thank you so much.
BALDWIN: Got some news just in for you on the case against James Holmes, the suspected gunman in that horrendous Aurora, Colorado, massacre.
We are now hearing new details about the package he apparently sent before that shooting. Stay right here.
BALDWIN: Here we go. Just into us at CNN, new information on the case against James Holmes, the suspected gunman in the Colorado massacre.
CNN's Drew Griffin has been digging on this.
And wow. Tell me what you know.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
We have been chasing this lead for a couple of days. But now it's been confirmed by James Holmes' own attorney, Doug Wilson, who filed court papers just today admitting now that James Holmes was a psychiatric patient of a Dr. Fenton. And his communications with her are protected.
Dr. Fenton, Lynne Fenton, she's the medical director at student medical health services at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Campus. She is the person who was sent that package that we talked about on Monday. It was sent from James Holmes, now, according to Holmes' attorney, sent to his own psychiatrist who was treating him at the University of Colorado campus prior to the shooting.
BALDWIN: OK. Wow. I have a lot of questions for you, one being do we know how often he had sought treatment, what kind of treatment he was seeking?
GRIFFIN: These the only details we are getting.
When we asked directly these questions of university officials on Monday, the answer was very vague. When we back to them yesterday, they said we didn't give you the complete answer but because of the gag orders now in place, we're not going to give you much more answers.
But again this is a court filing by Holmes' own attorney seeking the disclosure of what was in that package and stating that this guy was a patient of a psychiatrist.
BALDWIN: Do we know based upon any of these sessions, however many there were with this Dr. Fenton, did she ever sound an alarm bell?
GRIFFIN: We don't. BALDWIN: We don't know.
GRIFFIN: We don't have any idea what kind of communications took place between Dr. Fenton, Mr. Holmes, the school -- was school officials alerted that anything was taking place? We just don't know that yet.
GRIFFIN: But what we do know -- and this development just took place -- is that James Holmes, the alleged shooter, was seeking psychiatrist help prior to that shooting.
BALDWIN: This is the first public acknowledgement of that. So, this is new. Final question, when did this package arrive?
GRIFFIN: Right. It arrived on Monday, according to the school. It was arrived on Monday and was turned over to the authorities on Monday.
GRIFFIN: And that is that which the defense attorney here is protesting.
He's saying because this was a communication between a patient and a psychiatrist, that it is privileged. And that is what this court document is about.
BALDWIN: James Holmes, a psychiatric patient prior to the shooting.
Drew Griffin, thank you. As soon as you know anymore, let us know. We appreciate it.
BALDWIN: After -- here, another major story unfolding. Have you have ad this, terror at a Jewish summer camp? After several teens allegedly drove through firing paintballs and shouting slurs, they are under arrest and facing hate crime charges. We're on the case.
BALDWIN: A group of Jewish boys and teenagers say they were terrorized at a summer camp in Pennsylvania. Now police have made some arrests.
Police say on three separate occasions, these five individuals, two of them juveniles, drove a truck recklessly through this camp taunting the campers. Witnesses also say the suspects yelled anti-Semitic slurs and threatened to kill them and shot at them with paintball guns here. The suspects now face a slew of charges, including ethnic intimidation.
I want to bring in criminal defense attorney Seema Iyer. She's on the case with us today. Seema, welcome to you.
SEEMA IYER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Hi, Brooke.
BALDWIN: This is hate crime vs. reckless crimes. How difficult is it to really prove a hate crime?
IYER: Hate crimes are incredibly difficult, Brooke, because they are very touchy-feely, for lack of a better term.
For instance, you have to prove the intent of the victim, the intent of the defendant, that the defendant intended for the victim to feel as if they were a target.
So, a hate crime is all about intent and perception, whereas a reckless crime -- today, we could go to the crime scene and we can see how that truck plowed through the camp, how everything is destroyed. Reckless is right in front of you, the depravity of the driver.
So, there's the difference. It's really between perception and action.
BALDWIN: With everything you know, Seema, might federal charges be filed?
IYER: Several charges will be filed, as well as a -- federal crime, sorry. There's a new federal statute, as of 2009, and this targets exactly what you're talking about, federal hate crimes.
Now, as a prosecutor, the D.A. is going to say, you know what, let's talk to the feds because I want this group of people to face more serious incarceration, so that is one benefit to pursuing a federal case.
And, of course, these people could now be facing both state and federal charges for the same act.
BALDWIN: What about these young people, though, also involved? We mentioned the five individuals, two of them juveniles. You have a 17- year-old and a 16-year-old. Do you think they should be prosecuted as adults?
IYER: Sixteen and 17 is really tough, Brooke, because you're closer to being an adult, as opposed to whether there was a 13- or 14-year- old. So, the court's going to look at age and the court's going to look at conduct.
Now, the three main perpetrators, they, apparently, were more involved in the conduct part of this crime. So, the other two, if they are looked at as more of accomplices, that they weren't as involved, that they are young, there's more of an opportunity for them to rehabilitate, they're doing well in school, the court's going to look at all these factors.
The D.A. is going to want to try these young people as adults, whereas the defense attorney is going to say, let's keep this in family court. They're just kids.
BALDWIN: "On the Case" with us today, Seema Iyer. Seema, thank you.
IYER: Brooke, thank you.
BALDWIN: And now to something that has captivated the country, online. Thirty years, five friends, one example of how you really can't stop Father Time. After the break, we're going to be talking with one of the men in the pictures. Don't miss this.
BALDWIN: Now to a vacation tradition perhaps you're going to wish you started way back when. My family did something sort of like this in the mountains of North Carolina for a number of years.
Here's the picture. These five teens sat down and posed for this picture at a lake in California. The year was 1982, 30 years ago. These five guys didn't think they would make this into a tradition, but then they did.
So, I want to show you their pictures that span three decades, but first, I want to bring in one of these guys here, John Dickson. He's the guy on the far right of this photo, no shirt. Older John Dickson joins me now live from L.A. John, welcome.
I love how this story has so totally caught on on CNN.com and, these pictures, I mean, I was reading something like 40 million hits here for this one story. So, before we fast-forward through the years, tell me about this first photo. Why did do you it? What was happening in '82?
JOHN DICKSON, TOOK PHOTOS OF SAME FRIENDS OVER 30 YEARS: Oh, well, hi, Brooke. A pleasure to meet you.
This lake, we go to Copco Lake in Northern California. One of the guys in the photo, the guy on the left, John Wardlaw, owns a cabin in Northern California and, so, he invites his friends up every year.
And, in 1982, he decided to invite all his friends up and, so, we hung out. It's a free vacation and we just have a good time, a group of guys, you know, enjoying themselves at a lake in a cabin right near the border of Oregon.
We had a good time and we -- you know, before the end of the trip, we took a group photo. That's all we did really in '82. We didn't do anything more than that. We had a good time.
BALDWIN: Just a photo. Fast-forward to '87. We'll throw up the '87 picture. I'm going to ask about that jar there, John, in just a moment here.
But then how did this really become a tradition? I mean, every five years you would do this. Why?
DICKSON: Well, what happened is we would go every year. So, we would go. We were there in '83, '84, '85. And we all realized we there in '87 and John Wardlaw, the guy on the left who owns the cabin, said, hey, let's recreate that photo that we took back in '82.
And, so, we retook. You know, we posed exactly. We tried to get into the position we had. John Molony had a jar and, you know, Mark Rumer had a hat. We just kind of recreated the photo.
BALDWIN: And in the jar a cockroach? Did I read this?
DICKSON: We captured a cockroach in the jar because, just imagine, this is a group of guys. We do pranks. We're just weird, having a good time.
BALDWIN: A bunch of dudes.
DICKSON: We captured a cockroach in the jar and then we gave the cockroach some food, so we threw a butterscotch candy in there. And then we thought maybe the cockroach would be lonely, so we cut out a picture from a magazine of actor Robert Young and we tossed that in there.
And when we took that original photo, for whatever reason, John Molony picked up the jar and he held it up just when we took the photo because our little mascot at the lake was there and we've been holding a jar up ever since.
But it was really John Wardlaw's idea to duplicate this in 1987.
DICKSON: And we've just been doing it every five years, ever since. We just thought it would be fun to duplicate it and so we're going to keep going.
BALDWIN: As I look at the pictures, you know, some you all have begun to gray. Some weddings ring, they're on; they're off. What have you learned? What have you learned ...
DICKSON: And I have ...
BALDWIN: Congratulations to you.
DICKSON: I now have a wedding ring myself. I met my wife, Sharon Calubid, during the 2007 photo and I married her right around the time of the 2012 photo.
BALDWIN: Congratulations to you, though, no ladies allowed in the picture. John Dickson, we appreciate it.
DICKSON: Yeah, you're welcome. And this shirt -- just to prove it's me -- this is the shirt. We wear it ...
BALDWIN: I believe it's you, John Dickson. I believe it's you. Thank you so much. And I think this story might inspire a bunch of other people to kind of do the same thing. I think it's just a fantastic tradition. DICKSON: Oh, it's fun. It's a fun thing to do. Great thing. I suggest everyone do that.
BALDWIN: John, thank you.
Millions of dollars at stake. A huge bath salt bust by the feds in more than a hundred cities. We're going to talk to a father who lost his son to the deadly synthetic drug. What he's trying to do to prevent other families from going through this.
BALDWIN: They come with catchy names, Bliss, Vanilla Sky, Scooby Snacks. I'm talking about these synthetic drugs, fake pot and those bath salts we heard so much about after that face-eating zombie attack in Miami back in May.
Poison control centers got 13,000 calls about synthetic drugs last year. That is four times as many as the year before and, so, this week, the feds cracked down and they cracked down hard.
Look at all these boxes and bags here. In those boxes and bags, drugs. They seized almost five million packets of fake marijuana and nearly 167,000 packages of bath salts in raids across 30 different states. They also seized $36 million and arrested 90 people.
The raids are welcome news to Lance Dyer. He lost his 14-year-old son, Dakota, to the so-called "designer drugs" back in March. Sir, welcome. I am sorry for your loss.
We were just talking in the commercial break. I asked you about the "88" around your neck and you said that was Dakota's football number.
LANCE DYER, SYNTHETIC DRUG ACTIVIST: Yes, ma'am. That was his number. He played for the Bremen Blue Devils out in Bremen, Georgia.
BALDWIN: So, the reason you're here with me today is because of your son and what you're doing to honor and stop this from happening to other parents.
But I just have to begin with Dakota. Take me back to March. What was he taking? What happened?
DYER: March 8th, Dakota was contacted by two of his friends on social media, Facebook, and they had mentioned synthetic marijuana, what they were calling "legal weed," asked him to try it. Oh, we can hook you up.
Dakota declined four times. Finally, he said something about, well, maybe, and they said, we will hook you up with our man. On Friday the 9th, sometime between 6:00 and 7:30 that afternoon -- we live in downtown Bremen -- he jumped on his bicycle and road up to Walgreens, a local store that we have to get a drink. I don't remember exactly what he went for, but it was not uncommon.
He comes back. He was in the house with me and his mother all night long. We watched normal TV programs. At 12:30, me and him were sitting on our kitchen counter, drinking a glass of milk and eating Chips Ahoy cookies, discussing the next day. We were going to our local sporting goods store to get him his body armor for spring practice.
I believe at the time the movie was called "Battleship" that had just come out. Him and some of his buddies wanted to go to it on Sunday. Everything was fine. Excuse me.
We, me and my wife got up the next morning. We left. We had errands to run, certain things. We returned back home at exactly 12:10. We know that his last text message was at 11:46.
So, sometime between the time we left home or maybe right prior to that, Dakota made a 14-year-old decision when he accepted it. He made an even worse decision when he smoked it.
Within a matter of hours, he went through a psychosis is what they call it, or psychotic episode. He took a handgun and took his own life. He was alive when he found him at 12:10.
BALDWIN: He was?
DYER: yes, ma'am. And as un-newsworthy as this is to the nation, it is to me.
BALDWIN: It's incredibly newsworthy.
DYER: Bremen police officers, Sergeant Dobbs, first and foremost, he was the first officer on the scene. Our EMS, our first responders, Haralson County sheriff's department were all there.
They dropped in the floor beside me with my son. You couldn't ask any better when it comes to public service than what our small town has. He was put in one of AmbuCare's ambulances.
The staff and nurses of Higgins Hospital there in Bremen -- we live right across the street, actually, from the hospital, came out of the hospital, went into the back of the ambulance, worked on my son and transferred him straight from there to Life Flight and he passed at 5:10 that afternoon in Evanston.
BALDWIN: So, you have amazing people who helped you in that moment, but still, in this moment, you are here because you lost your son to synthetic marijuana. You remember every detail because I can tell you love your son very, very, very much.
DYER: Yes, ma'am.
BALDWIN: Quickly, for the people watching, a lot of parents, tell me what you're doing with these mailboxes. This is why you're here. How are you trying to help?
DYER: We wanted to give back something to those men and women that were in that floor with me that day. We thought what could we do to help them to bring not only synthetic marijuana and bath salts off the street, but prescription and nonprescription medications and narcotics, as well.
And we run across, just on the Internet, where they sell these prescription drug drop boxes for $1,900 up to $4,900 a box and we thought there's a way we can do this without it costing taxpayers or without it costing municipalities money.
BALDWIN: We have these pictures. So, these are the boxes, right? There are eight of them now?
DYER: Yes, ma'am.
BALDWIN: And now the requests are in for even more and more because people are dropping off drugs to get them off the streets. Good on you, Mr. Dyer.
DYER: We delivered the first one to Haralson County, my home county, to all the jurisdictions there, city of Villa Rica. And then we delivered one to Douglas County and it kind of hit the local news.
We had 12 requests at the time. Now, as I came into the studio, Winder police department called me. They wanted another one. That put us at 398.
BALDWIN: Wow. Well, Lance Dyer, I have a feeling after being on CNN with me you might get a couple more calls. Sir, I truly appreciate it. Thank you. It is a pleasure to meet you. I'm so sorry, but hopefully, we can help.
DYER: Thank you. I hope you can, too.
POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there, everyone.
Here on "The Help Desk" today, we're talking about how to pay for college. With me, Donna Rosato and Greg Olsen, out two money experts.
Donna, this question came in for you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How bad is it going to be for my children when they go to college, in eight years he's going off? What is their college debt going to be like? And how are we going to pay it down?
HARLOW: It's a question I hear, over and over.
DONNA ROSATO, SENIOR WRITER, "MONEY": Oh, yeah, these are scary times. Today, someone who attends a public school pays $30,000 a year, a private school, $60,000 a year. Those are very daunting numbers.
The Department of Education says that, if the numbers continue on the same rate within 15 -- by 2016, the payment for a college education, the tab is doubled in the past 15 years. But, you know, that is the sticker price. You apply for financial aid. You won't have to pay that whole tab. The key is, this woman has a lot of time, you know? Put the money in a 529 plan where you get tax breaks.
Choose the college wisely. We talked about this earlier. You don't have to pay for the most expensive school. State schools often give in-state students tax breaks.
And look for other sources of funding, need-based aid, grants, scholarships, those kind of things, those can really cut your tab.
HARLOW: What do you think, Greg?
GREG OLSEN, PARTNER, LENOX ADVISORS: I remember being a junior in high school and reading "Money" magazine's guide to the best values in education and I still think there's some great research out there that you can do to pick a college that's going to be the best value out there, so your child is not encumbered with debt when they graduate.
HARLOW: And for what that child, or young adult, specifically wants to do.
ROSATO: There's a great rule of thumb that you should base the amount of debt you take on to what you would expect to earn in the first year after graduating.
So a teacher's probably going to be able to take on less than, say, like a pharmacist or an engineer.
OLSEN: One hundred percent.
HARLOW: All right, guys. Thank you. Appreciate it.
If you've got a question you want our experts to tackle, you can upload a 30-second video with your "Help Desk" question to iReport.com.
BALDWIN: Poppy, thank you.
You can certainly feel it. I know shoppers certainly did. We didn't buy as many groceries, clothes, cars, this past spring, And, today, the government is reporting the economy slowed in the second quarter.
The nation's GDP, the gross domestic product, grew at an annual rate of 1.5 percent. That is down, 2 percent in the first quarter. Still, that is apparently slightly higher than the analysts expected. It is fueling hopes for more stimulus from the Fed.
And I want to bring in Erin Burnett. She's the anchor of "Erin Burnett OutFront." And, Erin, great to see you. You know, you've been reporting so thoroughly on Europe and the financial problems there and we've been talking about that. You have the higher food prices because, you know, of course, the drought. The budget cuts that are killing the government jobs. There's all kinds of headwind. Have we hit a wall?
ERIN BURNETT, HOST, "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT": Sort of seems like we have, Brooke. When you have a crisis caused by excess debt, it always takes an incredibly long time to get out of it because every extra bit that you get ends up going to paying down that debt
So that's what we're sort of still seeing. It was, obviously, a debt crisis for our entire country. So it's going to be a long hard slog.
The question is even if the fed did a little more, would it help? They've done things three or four times and every time it's been a little bit less effective. So there is the expectation they'll try to do a bit more. The question is, how helpful will it be?
And, of course, with the GDP -- sure, a little better than expected. But if you're anywhere below 2 percent in terms of growth -- and, again, as you just said, we were at 1.5 -- that means you're not creating enough jobs to even keep up with population growth.
So, you're not going to be working away at the "hole" of jobs that we have with these kinds of numbers.
BALDWIN: I want to turn the corner. I want to talk Facebook. We are -- and I'm cheating, looking at the clock -- five minutes away from the closing bell. The Facebook stock, Erin, has been getting hammered all day long. It's down more than 10 percent.
Investors are not happy the very first earnings report here out, even though it did make a lot of money. The stock has been on this rough ride really ever since the debut. Can they recover?
BURNETT: Well, that's the big question. I mean, it just keeps falling and falling. No doubt the IPO, the way it was handled, was poorly done, just to be generous there in how I say that.
The question is, though, Brooke, can they make money as a company? They have to start selling more ads and selling more ads on smartphones, which is where now about half of people access Facebook and they haven't been able to do that.
So, there's a real question on their viability on that front, but also a question as to what Facebook provides. Is it a utility that will become a fad? Will people use Facebook now and something else down the line?
Or has it established itself so much that it's here to stay and they'll eventually figure out how to make money? In which case as the stock plunges some people might say, it's a buy.
But it's a real question right now as to whether this really has the staying power that so many people thought it did at that IPO. BALDWIN: Speaking of staying power, when you think Facebook, who do you think of? Mark Zuckerberg. There was this Reuter piece today by John Abell and he basically said that, you know, Zuck should keep the hoodie, ditch the title, bring in a new CEO, go back to what he's good at, strategy. Any chance in the world that would happen?
BURNETT: Well, he's a micromanager in the good sense of the word and the bad sense of the word is my understanding talking to people in the company.
There is a role. There's a precedent for this. The founders of Google left and brought in a professional manager and they did that for years and, now, they're coming back in their late 30s, ready to run the company.
There's a precedent for him to do it, but it certainly doesn't seem like it's anything he'll do in the near term. But he could, Brooke, eventually do it and say, look, I'll be the chief genius. I'll be in charge of all this. I'll have someone else run the operations and the financials and we'll make that work.
But it doesn't look like he's there yet.
BALDWIN: OK, 30 seconds. What do you have coming up tonight?
BURNETT: We're going to be talking more about Mali, Brooke. As you know, we just got back from there with the, now, as it turns out today, the most heavily-funded al Qaeda offshoot is now really the boss of North Mali.
And today, the U.N. came out and said they only have half the funding they need for the humanitarian crisis. It's what we saw firsthand. It's a horrible situation. We're going to have more on that and how people can try to make a bit of a difference there with that crisis.
BALDWIN: Erin Burnett, we appreciated your reporting then. We'll look forward to it tonight. "Erin Burnett OutFront," 7:00 Eastern, only here on CNN.
And now, be right back.