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A Look At Curiosity Mock Up; Obama Undoing Welfare Reform; Tracking Hate In The U.S.; School Kicks Pregnant Students Off Campus; Aurora Suspect's Doctor Called Campus Police; Syria's Assad Shown In Public; U.N. Removes Monitors In Aleppo; Refinery Fire Extinguished; Olympic Results; Fake Uniforms And IDs; Store Owner Fights Robbers With Stick; Welcome Home, Dad; Paper Criticizes Komen Ads; Jared Lee Loughner May Plead Guilty
Aired August 7, 2012 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: CNN NEWSROOM continues right now with my good friend Alina Cho.
ALINA CHO, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Zoraida. Thank you very much. Good to see you, as always. I'm Alina Cho, in for Brooke Baldwin.
And happening right now, the man accused in the shooting spree in Tucson, Arizona, is expected in court at any minute. We are told that Jared Lee Loughner will plead guilty to at least one of the felony charges against him. The shooting left six people dead, more than a dozen injured, including then Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. We are monitoring that very closely.
But first, it has the world talking. Did life on Mars exist? As NASA works to find out, the space agency is now releasing incredible images of the rover Curiosity's decent onto the red plant. Just take a look at this. The very first color images of the mission. You can see the crater, if you look closely, in which the rover landed just a day ago. They're a little murky right now because the lens cover is dusty from the landing. The cover will be opened later to take clearer pictures of Mars.
Meanwhile, NASA also releasing this animation. Take a close look at this. It shows the surface of Mars. Close up photos. NASA is calling the crime scene photo because it shows details about the landing site.
And look at this. Low resolution photos were captured by a camera underneath Curiosity. Some 300 pictures were taken. Beamed back more than 150 miles to Earth. NASA compiled them into this video. They show the last two and a half minutes of what NASA calls an exciting ride.
The space agency just held a news conference revealing the status of the mission. One of the scientists actually got a little choked up as he talked about it. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEN EDGETT, NASA PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: I've waited a long time for this to come back. (END VIDEO CLIP)
CHO: Our John Zarrella joins us live from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, with all the details.
Hey, John, this is an assignment of a lifetime for you.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, yes. You know, it's great. There's always a lot of excitement, anticipation and, you know, they call it serendipity out here. Things that just happen. They don't expect to happen. And, you know, already we're getting some terrific images.
And, you know, this is a model that we've been showing everybody. This is Curiosity, the scale model. You can see how big this thing is. And if you come over here and you take a look, look down here. This is the Sojourner rover. 1997 it was flown. So look how far NASA has come from the time they sent this rover to Mars to this car sized rover.
And Rob Manning, chief engineer, is with me here.
And, Rob, you and I were out here when Sojourner landed.
ROB MANNING, FLIGHT SYSTEM CHIEF ENGINEER: A long time ago, 1997.
ZARRELLA: That was one of your babies.
MANNING: That was.
ZARRELLA: This one is too.
MANNING: This one is. And I can tell you, this is -- this looks like ten times harder. It's actually more like 100 times harder. But we were able to pull it off. It took us longer, it cost us a lot more money, but we really did. And we were able to -- this is by far the most complex beast we've ever put into outer space.
ZARRELLA: And, you know, I know you had said to me that the one wheel on -- is more complex pretty much than the Sojourner rover.
MANNING: Oh, yes. Exactly. The most -- this, the motors and the electronics, the control of this stuff has been monumentally challenging.
ZARRELLA: Now we're seeing a lot of images come down from the surface now.
ZARRELLA: Where -- tell us where we're getting some of these pictures from.
MANNING: OK. Now the very first images we saw came from one of these cameras. These are called the front hazard cameras. This is the front of the vehicle. And there's actually a pair -- two pairs. This is the right. This is the left. For one -- for redundancy, we have another pair right here attached to the second computer. But we're just using these two right now. And you -- we saw some fantastic pictures. And this -- and it was from this camera with the protective lid cover removed that allowed us to see --
ZARRELLA: Mount Sharp.
MANNING: Mount Sharp right ahead of us. Right there. It's a fantastic mountain. This is a mountain that's higher than Mount Rainier. And it's just a fantastic mountain. And we were right at the foot of it, only six kilometers, away.
ZARRELLA: And everybody's excited. They want to get there, I'm sure, as quickly as they can.
ZARRELLA: Now this is -- Also we have got a shot of one of the wheels from that camera, right?
MANNING: We did. We can get -- this -- it's a very wide angle fish eye lens. So it (INAUDIBLE) some of this wheels. These wheels were toed in a little bit for landing. But that's perfectly fine. We got a little of this wheel. And you can see even a little bit of the top part of the arm in that whole image.
ZARRELLA: The dissent (ph) imager that took those incredible pictures. Where is the dissent imager?
MANNING: Dissent imager is located in the back of this vehicle right underneath here. And, you see, you can't quite make it out here but it is -- actually, I think -- oh, I'm sorry, it's over here. I'm on the wrong side of the vehicle. Yes, here it is. This is the (INAUDIBLE). This is the movie (ph), this is the camera that took the movie on the way down. In fact, the real high quality color HD quality image is still on Mars. We're waiting -- it's going to take us actually quite a long time to get all those frames down.
ZARRELLA: Because my understanding is what you do is that you get a pass like every couple -- twice -- once or twice a day, right?
ZARRELLA: So you send a bunch of commands up, tell the rover what to do --
MANNING: That's right, in the morning, when it wakes up.
ZARRELLA: Right. And then it carries out everything that you've asked it to do.
ZARRELLA: And then it sends all the information back.
ZARRELLA: You guys then take a look at it.
MANNING: We look at it while the rover is asleep. As this rover is asleep right now, it's about 3:00 in the morning. It's snoring. It -- very soon, though, it's waking up because Mars Reconnaissance orbiter is coming overhead. And then, very shortly thereafter, Odyssey spacecraft comes overhead also.
ZARRELLA: And MRO is the orbiter that got those pictures that were released today.
ZARRELLA: That showed what they're calling the crime scene photo now.
MANNING: The crime scene. Yes. Unfortunately, all these missions we leave stuff behind. We leave parachutes. We leave rockets. We leave back shells and heat shields. All -- you know, it's debris that we leave behind and it's not far away.
ZARRELLA: Before we leave, let me take -- take a look up here now. Now that is -- we all know what -- this is the drill. The hammer drill, right?
MANNING: This is the drill, among other things.
MANNING: This is kind of like Eddie Scissorhand. Yes, it's got all sorts of stuff on it. And the -- up here you'll see there's a mast. Now this mast right now on the vehicle is still on the stowed position. Those cameras are facing down in these pockets.
MANNING: And we've taken images of them. Just is seen is a little bit of light coming from them. We're going to do today -- we're going to -- first of all, we're going to use this high gain (ph) antenna to communicate with her. We'll send some messages up or commands up to that antenna, which points to Earth directly. And then, very shortly, within about two hours later, this is all happening tonight Pacific Time, and -- actually which is the morning.
ZARRELLA: The morning.
MANNING: Right in the early morning and mid afternoon. Then we're going to lift this up. There's a motor that's going to raise it up and we're going to take our first panoramic shots. One of the first things we're going to do is look at our tell (ph) targets to make sure the cameras are well calibrated and we know what colors are. Now we do expect one thing. I think what we've learned a bit is that that landing was dusty.
ZARRELLA: Yes. MANNING: You know, it's kind of like a helicopter. I mean it is a helicopter but with jet packs. So these jets have churned up a lot of stuff.
ZARRELLA: A lot of dust.
MANNING: So I expect this to have a little rouge color when we get the pictures.
ZARRELLA: You know, the audience out there, everybody -- of course the pictures are phenomenal. Everybody wants to see the images.
ZARRELLA: We know you guys are about the science, but the pictures is what really drives up --
MANNING: Oh, everybody. Everybody. Scientists too.
ZARRELLA: So when are we going to see those first images? You think tomorrow or will it be Thursday?
MANNING: Well, we'll get our first early images from this thing tomorrow. Over the course of the next week, we will get -- we will collect -- we will take a panorama, not with the fancy colors -- with the cameras --
MANNING: But these smaller NAV (ph) cameras, which are wide angled. We'll be able to get a panorama in black and white. Bring in wide angles which would fill out the field of view. That will be really nice.
ZARRELLA: And I know that's going to be spectacular.
MANNING: And that's later on this week.
ZARRELLA: Great. Rob Manning, he's the chief engineer.
MANNING: John, thanks.
ZARRELLA: Rob, thank you so much, as always, for being with us.
MANNING: Great to see you.
ZARRELLA: I'm sure we'll have Rob on many times during the next few days, Alina.
CHO: That's right.
ZARRELLA: So that gives everybody out there a pretty good idea of where everything -- you can tell everybody's really excited. (INAUDIBLE).
CHO: Yes, I'll say. I'll tell you something. My producer, Mark (ph), he said, big boys and their big toys. I haven't seen that much excitement in a long time.
All right, guys, thank you very much.
ZARRELLA: You got it.
CHO: All right, Chad Myers, what have you got to add to that?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It reminded me of a car salesman trying to show you the car. Going, look, there's the backup sensors, here's your camera here, here's your highlights, here's your high beams. It's kind of cool.
Here is, obviously, Gale Crater. They wanted to land in that little ellipse and they were only about a football field or more away from where they wanted to land, right there, perfect spot here.
We talked about it. I want to show you what it looks like. We talked about this a lot. This is the crime scene photo that they're talking about. Curiosity right here. It's a little darker here because when the jet packs were blowing and holding that sky crane, it actually blew some of this light dust away and got to some of the darker soil down below. When the sky crane cut and landed, it crashed over here. That's about seven football fields away. The parachute, you can actually see it from space right there. The parachute landed and the heat shield here a little bit farther away and that's about 1500 meters they're saying. Curiosity in perfect shape, ready to go.
It will be a while. I was listening to this one hour press conference. A little bit dry at times, but it was a great press conference. They don't really believe they're going to try any experiments, they're going to do anything really important yet for about two weeks. Two weeks of testing to make sure all these cameras work, all these spectrometers work, all these other things work. So, America, take a deep breath. You're going to have to be patient. This is going to take a couple of weeks, but we're all ready for some great pictures (INAUDIBLE).
CHO: Yes, but even those murky photos are pretty incredible, aren't they?
MYERS: Yes, it's good stuff.
CHO: Man, all the way from Mars. All right, Chad Myers --
MYERS: And one more thing I want to get to. Just for all the geeks out there like me. They are sending data back at 32k baud. We haven't had 32k baud since the day --
CHO: Chad, I don't know what that means.
MYERS: I know. You weren't even alive when I was sending data at 32k.
CHO: Thank you very much.
MYERS: You would call on the phone and put it down in the earmuffs, that's how slow this data is coming back.
CHO: All right. Chad Myers, we'll check back with you later. Thanks so much.
MYERS: All right. Sure.
CHO: A lot more news unfolding right now. The campaign ad wars are on. Mitt Romney, Barack Obama and the super PACs, making sure you see the message they want you to see.
Plus, one school's policy prevent pregnant teens from going to class. Now one group says that's discrimination and against the law. I will speak with them live.
CHO: Welcome back. Fourteen minutes after the hour.
Mitt Romney went to the president's home state today and unveiled a new campaign attack. In a speech outside Chicago, Romney said the president is quietly undoing the 1996 welfare reforms that weaned millions of families off welfare. Here's Romney today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You saw the welfare case load cut in half, and you also saw the number of people in poverty come down year after year after year. That was a great accomplishment. I hope you understand that President Obama, in just the last few days, has tried to reverse that accomplishment by taking the work requirement out of welfare. That is wrong. If I'm president, I'll put work back in welfare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHO: All right. We want to hold that thought for just a moment. First we want to talk about a campaign ad that some are calling the toughest and perhaps one of the most controversial of 2012. Joining me for that is CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein. He's the editorial director of the "National Journal."
Ron, great to see you, as always.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Hi, Alina.
CHO: This ad, I'm sure you've seen it, it features a man who lost his steel mill job and ultimately his health insurance after the plant where he was working in Kansas City was acquired by Mitt Romney's former firm, Bain Capital. The ad was made by a super PAC supporting President Obama. Let's watch it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When Mitt Romney and Bain closed the plant, I lost my health care and my family lost their health care. And a short time after that, my wife became ill. I don't know how long she was sick. And I think maybe she didn't say anything because she knew that we couldn't afford the insurance. And then one day she became ill and I took her up to the Jackson County Hospital and admitted her for pneumonia. And that's when they found the cancer. And by then it was stage four. It was -- it was -- there was nothing they could do for her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHO: All right, Ron, is that fair?
BROWNSTEIN: That's very tough, right? I mean -- and, look, it is at the core of the argument here for the Obama campaign. I mean, from the beginning, they're advertising strategy is overwhelmingly behind trying to make the argument that Mitt Romney embodies the problem, not the solution, on the economy. I mean this is their core argument that his experience at Bain Capital, while Romney says that is the centerpiece of why he would be better positioned to get the economy faster, the Obama campaign says it shows that he is someone who enriches the few at the expense of the many.
And, look, Alina, this really is, I think, the core of the tug a war between the two sides at this point, defining the meaning of the Bain experience, whether it equips Romney to be the solution, as he argues, or more as the embodiment of the problem as the Obama team argues.
CHO: It depends on what side of the aisle you're on, of course, right? And, of course, it just gets nastier and nastier as we get closer to the election.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney coming back with a new claim that the president's working to undo the 1996 welfare reforms. Let's watch that ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, POLITICAL AD: Under Obama's plan, you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job. They'd just send you your welfare check. And welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare. Mitt Romney will restore the work requirement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHO: Welfare to work goes back to being plain welfare. Is that fair?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, this is -- look, again, this is an argument between the parties. What Obama has done is make it easier for states to pursue waivers. The 1996 welfare to work -- welfare reform law that was signed by Bill Clinton, passed by the Republican Congress. And what the Obama camp -- team and the White House argues is this is part of their overall effort that, for example, we see with "Race to the Top" on education, to give states more flexibility to implement federal programs, which is generally an initiative that Republicans like and promote. And, for example, Mitt Romney talked about that on Medicaid and food stamps.
But what Republicans and Congress and now the Romney campaign are arguing is that this goes too far and allows states too much flexibility to undo some of the work requirements that were imposed as part of that '96 welfare reform.
It's interesting that of the states that have asked for waivers so far, two of the five, I believe Nebraska and Utah, are Republican states. So this is something that I think that is going to be a gray area and it's going to be played out. But there's no question that what Romney is saying is amplifying an argument that some congressional Republicans have already made and the White House, to be clear, has rebutted.
CHO: All right, we want to talk about a comment that a lot of people are talking about today. The president critiquing Mitt Romney's tax plan with a new name for Romney that's already becoming a bit of a buzz word. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's like Robin Hood in reverse. It's Romneyhood.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHO: All right, in response to that, Ron, Governor Romney's campaign told our Jim Acosta that the president's long on jokes and one liners but short on ideas. Your reaction to that today.
BROWNSTEIN: Well, in fact, we don't have a very good idea of what President Obama would do in a second term to try to get the economy moving faster, other than the jobs act that he proposed last September.
But on the issue of the taxes, what the president is referring to is the study by the tax policy center here in Washington. When Mitt Romney put out his tax plan in February, he said he was going to cut tax rates 20 -- marginal tax rates 20 percent across the board, but he would not reduce the overall tax -- share of taxes paid by people at the top because he would roll back their expenditures and tax breaks to equal the amount of revenue that would be lost by his marginal rate cut.
What the tax policy center said was, that's impossible. Even if you eliminate all tax breaks for people at the top, it would not offset the cost of lowering their rates as much as Romney has proposed and therefore if he does want to keep his plan revenue neutral, which is what Glenn Hubbard (ph), his advisor, said on the day that they proposed it, he would have to raise taxes on everybody else. The math said that if the plan was going to be revenue neutral, it would have to raise taxes on those below the top to offset the reduction for people at the top.
That is the core of the argument that the Obama team is making there. Not only in the president's rather catchy phrase, but also in their advertising. And we don't really have a full response from the Romney team to that, except to argue that accelerated economic growth would mitigate that effect.
CHO: All right, Ron Brownstein, great to talk to you, as always. Thank you.
BROWNSTEIN: Thank you. All right.
CHO: In Wisconsin, police are digging deeper into the past of the Sikh temple gunman. Specifically his ties to white supremacist groups, especially his ties to a far right band. CNN's Drew Griffin investigating the people behind the music. And you're about to hear what we've discovered.
CHO: Stories of heroism are emerging from Sunday's deadly attack at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Like the story of Satwant Kaleka. The 65-year-old temple president fought with the gunman who opened fire at people inside. Kaleka's son says his father had a bloody fight with the gunman, Wade Michael Page. Page shot and killed six people and shot a police officer eight to nine times before police turned the gun and killed him. Page is seen here in MySpace and FaceBook photos standing in front of a swastika flag.
And we have learned more about the white supremacist culture Page was involved with. Drew Griffin is here and -- to talk a little bit more about that.
And you were talking about the band, the far right band, "End Apathy," that he was involved with that you said is a pretty effective recruiting tool.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT CORRESPONDENT: And it turns out it's one of the bigger recruiting tools, if there is one, for these white supremacist groups because they have these music festivals which they try to attract young people to. It is a multimillion dollar industry. There are supposed hundreds of bands. And according to an author who actually studied this white power music scene, it is very effective in bringing in kids. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DVIN BURGHART, AUTHOR, "SOUNDTRACKS TO THE WHITE REVOLUTION": Today there are literally hundreds of bands with dozens of different record labels here in the United States. White power music has become a multimillion dollar a year enterprise drawing young people in and fueling them with these ideas of hatred and bigotry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHO: So you found out that Page was also a member of a white supremacist group called "Hammer Skin Nation." Apparently one of the most violent of these supremacy groups. What do you know about that?
GRIFFIN: It's a skin head group and it's a lose configuration. They have about a half a dozen quote unquote chapters in the United States. They have other chapters supposedly in Europe. No real measure of how big this group is, though, Alina, because it's very secretive. In fact, they say they are leaderless. They are leaderless for a point. They have taken over where the National Alliance failed. And where it failed was, the National Alliance had a leader. That leader was prosecuted. And that group fell apart.
So these skin head groups, they try to be very secretive. They're secretive about where their music fests take place until the very end. They don't like to be identified in public, which is what was sort of rare about this suspect, this dead suspect, because he was so wide open with his hatred.
CHO: Right. Right. You know, obviously easy to say this now, but some anti-defamation groups are coming out and saying white supremacist groups have actually seen a resurgence in recent times. Is that something that you've uncovered and seen?
GRIFFIN: You know, I -- those reports come out every time we have an incident like this, every time -- we've only had it once -- a black president becomes the president, is elected. They try to say that these white hate groups are resurging.
I don't see any evidence of that whatsoever. If you look at this guy, Page, you look at the last time we talked about a white supremacist acting out at the Holocaust Museum. That elderly fellow who fought in World War II. These guys are loners. These guys are losers. These guys are frustrated neo-Nazis who really have no power. And I think may partially act out because their movement, such as it is, isn't going anywhere. So I wouldn't -- I would -- it's very subjective to say whether or not the movement is growing or not.
CHO: Or the fact that they -- some people have suggested that they actually join these groups because a lot of these people are loners. They find solace in numbers, right?
GRIFFIN: Right. But the groups themselves, what really are they? Do they meet? Do they have any cohesive message or implementation or any political agenda that they actually act out on?
CHO: Or are they acting alone?
GRIFFIN: Very hard to say. The Internet suddenly makes everything a community. And, you know, anybody can put up a Web site. But very hard to determine whether or not these groups are on the rise or on the wane.
CHO: All right, Drew Griffin, thank you, as always. Great to see you.
Get tested or get out. A school in Louisiana apparently tells its students it suspects of being pregnant, take a pregnancy test or leave school. Naturally, the ACLU is threatening to sue. And we have just gotten a response from the school that could change everything. Don't miss this. It's next.
CHO: All right, some developing news about a Louisiana charter school that was facing the threat of a lawsuit from the ACLU. Delhi Charter School has been under fire for its policy of kicking pregnant students off campus and forcing them to home schooled.
This is the school's home page. The ACLU says that violates federal gender discrimination laws. But just this afternoon, within the past hour or so the school released this statement. Take a look.
"There have never been any complaints from students and parents about the school policy. However, in light of the recent inquiry, the current policy has been forwarded to the law firm of Davenport, Files and Kelly in Monroe, Louisiana to ensure necessary revisions are made so that our school is in full compliance with constitutional law."
Joining me now to talk about this is Louise Melling. She is the director of the ACLU Center for Liberty. Louise, thanks for joining us.
You know, we've just learned what the school plans to do or that it plans to make some sort of revisions to the policy. What kind of revisions would satisfy you?
LOUISE MELLING, DIRECTOR, ACLU CENTER FOR LIBERTY: They'd have to have a revision that said they wouldn't be forcing students to take pregnancy tests. They wouldn't be kicking students out who refuse to take the pregnant test and they wouldn't be kicking students who are pregnant out of the classroom.
Girls who are pregnant today deserve the right to be in class just the same as women who are pregnant deserve the right to be in the workplace. That's the law.
CHO: I read the policy about a page long in the student handbook or in the school handbook and it says in part that the reason behind this policy, which by the way has been since 2006, is that it wants to uphold and promote the character of its students.
You know, there's so much talk, obviously, especially in an election year about family values and there's a lack of family values. Here is a school that is trying to promote that. So what's wrong with that?
MELLING: You know, we can promote values, but what you can't do is discriminate against anybody. You can't kick a girl out of school because she's pregnant. She has a right to go to school. She has a right to be in class. She has a right to be in extracurricular activities.
A policy that kicks her out is, you know, it's reminiscent of a very, very different time. It's reminiscent of the '50s. I can't help but point out it's about character development if it's a statement about sex.
Then there's nothing to indicate, that I'm aware of, about the policy being enforced as to boys as well as to girls. But no matter what there's no policy that can justify kicking these girls out of class.
CHO: I'm curious to know female this is the first time you've ever heard of a school instituting this kind of policy before. This is a K through 12 school, by the way.
MELLING: This just came to our attention. You know, there certainly are historical incidents of this. This is the first time in recent history that's somebody's brought it to my attention.
CHO: Right. All right, Louise Melling from the ACLU. Thank you for joining us from our New York bureau. Good to see you. Thank you.
MELLING: Thank you.
CHO: Breaking today the psychiatrist who treated the suspect in the Colorado movie theatre rampage actually contacted campus police weeks before investigators say James Holmes carried out the shooting spree. We're about to hear from an investigative reporter who's been all over this.
CHO: We have new details about the alleged Colorado movie theatre gunman. They show just how concern his psychiatrist was about his behavior. She revealed James Holmes' name to campus police.
Our Denver affiliate, KMGH, has learned that the school psychiatrist, Dr. Lyn Fenton, called University of Colorado police six weeks before the shooting.
Twelve people died, 58 were wounded after Holmes allegedly opened fire during a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises." Holmes had withdrawn from the university's PhD program the month before the massacre.
Investigative reporter John Ferrugia from KMGH joins me now with details. So John, good to see you. Do we know what the psychiatrist told campus police?
JOHN FERRUGIA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, KMGH: Well, we know she called campus police for two reasons. First to let them know sources say that she had serious concerns about Holmes' behavior. That he could be a threat to others.
And secondly, she asked the campus police for a background check. Did he have a criminal record? And what she was told was he had no criminal records. There were no warrants for his arrest out and the only contact that he'd ever had with police that they could find was a minor traffic ticket.
CHO: And then campus police did not do anything about that, did they ultimately?
FERRUGIA: Well, essentially, what happened with the campus police, the campus police because there were no warrants, there was nothing that they had on him. The only way they could have acted is if the psychiatrist has said, look, he's a danger to others.
I'm going to sign paper work, which will allow do you go pick him up and put him in 72-hour detention. We can do an evaluation for 72 hours. We know that Dr. Lynn Fenton did not do that. So the police had no way or no reason to go pick him up.
The other thing she could have done, which we don't know whether she did or not. She could have taken him to an emergency room to have a brief evaluation of him to see whether others thought he might be a danger or she could have consulted with someone else.
We don't know what she did in that regard. What we do know is that she did not give the police the authority through the paper work through 72-hour hold to go pick up James Holmes.
CHO: But we know that she was concerned enough that she apparently broke doctor-patient confidentiality and went to campus police and gave them James Holmes' name. So do we know what provoked her to take that step?
FERRUGIA: Well, you're exactly right. We do know what she did with regard to the police. We also know that the police are one segment of what is the threat assessment team at the University of Colorado.
So not only did she go to the police, she talked to other people on her threat assessment team. Now remember, she's part of this threat assessment team. She helped put it together.
So yes, she broke confidentiality. She thought basically that he might be enough of a threat or enough of a danger to others that she felt that was a bar she had to cross, which she did.
Now the psychiatrist that we've talked to, forensic psychiatrist that we have spoken with said this is a very, very important thing to understand because that tells you the level of the concern that she had.
It had to be very high before she would break that confidentially. But indeed, we don't know specifically what he told her and what caused her that concern because she hasn't spoken and neither has the university.
CHO: Well, the answer to that question is very important. We know you'll be digging into it. John Ferrugia, investigative reporter with our affiliate, KMGH. We thank you for joining us.
Sniper fire, massive destruction, rebels telling people to stay off the streets. This is what our Ben Wedeman has seen in one of Syria's largest cities.
Plus the country's dictator showing his face publicly for the first time in weeks, smiling.
CHO: A smiling Bashar Al-Assad was shown today on Syrian state television. This is the first time that we have seen the Syrian leader in nearly three weeks since the assassination of four of his top aides in a bomb attack. In this video, Assad is meeting with an envoy from Syria's top ally, Iran.
Meantime, fighting from Syria's largest city, Aleppo, has become so intense that the U.N. today pulled its monitors out of the city out of concerns for their safety.
CNN's Ben Wedeman is braving the fighting and talked with us this morning.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): People very worried here that the government forces would launch an offensive to try to retake control of the city. Just an indication of how nervous people are, we've watched all day as merchants have filled up pickup trucks with goods from their stores trying to move them out of the area controlled by the Free Syrian Army.
They're worried they will be damage (inaudible) to those commercial areas. As far as the humanitarian positions goes, it continues to be very difficult. We watched about 100 people lined up at about 6:30 in the morning. It's the only oven that works and functioning in the district.
Most people say they have run out of cooking gas. Some say they are cooking their meals over firewood. Some have moved from the more dangerous areas of control by the Free Syrian Army to areas that are still under the control of the rebels, but are not being shelled quite as much. Others are moving to those parts of the city that are still under government control.
Others are still moving from country side. I've seen even more going over the border into Turkey. But there definitely is a move away from the areas where there's expectation of fighting.
Many of the civilians here, they are exhausted. They're worried. The children that we've seen are clearly traumatized by weeks of intense fighting.
CHO: That was CNN's Ben Wedeman from the Syrian city, Aleppo. We will talk more about the situation with our Hala Gorani in the next hour.
Other stories we are following right now. The FBI is investigating a fire that burned a mosque in Missouri to the ground. This is what the mosque in Joplin looked like before Monday's fire.
Take a look at what it looks like now, destroyed. Back on July 4th, a man was seen throwing some kind of incendiary device at the building causing part of the roof to burn. The feds are offering a $15,000 reward for any information about that man.
A huge fire at a refinery in California has been extinguished. Firefighters were able to put the blaze out at the Chevron facility in Richmond overnight.
Fire started after a diesel leak late last night forcing the plant to shutdown all operations. The refinery is the largest in Northern California and the shutdown is expected to cause a spike in gas prices.
Fake military I.D.'s, fake uniforms, badges, even a full NASA flight suit, a man is busted with all of this and much more. Exactly, how did he get them?
Plus a welcome surprise you just have to see.
CHO: That's my first experience with the spoiler alert. All right, we're getting in results from this afternoon's Olympic Games. So if you don't want to hear them and we hate to tell you to do this, but put your TV on mute just a minute.
And remember you can actually watch the Olympics live on TV. The network airing it will broadcast the competition tonight in primetime, but of course, you can watch the events streaming live online.
All right, this is your last chance. Here we go. We're going to tell you a big result. Another gold for the U.S. as gymnast, Aly Raisman wins the individual floor exercise today.
Earlier she took home the bronze on the balance beam and she ends these games as the most decorated American gymnast with three medals. Good for her, Aly Raisman.
Police in Florida want to know what man was doing with dozens of fake I.D.s and uniforms. The 52-year-old Roy Antigua was arrested this month for a parole violation.
Investigators found phony military, law enforcement and medical I.D.s and uniforms including federal badges, police radios and even a full NASA flight suit and helmet. Go figure.
Surveillance cameras rolling as two masked men wielding knives trying to rob a convenience store in Massachusetts, that's right we said tried. Are you watching this video closely?
Apparently, the would-be robbers haven't counted on the store owner picking up a stick and fighting back. The owner was ready for the men after being robbed at gun point just last week. Neighbors ran to his aid holding one of the suspects until police got to the scene. Here is a scene we never get tired of showing. A teenager gets the surprise of her life when her dad who is stationed in Afghanistan showed us unexpectedly during a big moment in her life. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her dad just got in today.
GINA DAVIS, SURPRISED BY FATHER'S RETURN: He was here to see it. He's been gone for so long. I missed him so much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHO: What a cute girl, 14-year-old Gina Evans. Here's the back story, she was getting karate's top honor, a black belt, when dad crashed the ceremony, much to the delight, of course, of his family and everybody else there.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Greg Evans was at sea for nine months. So welcome home, dad. Everybody in the family, everybody in that town probably very, very happy. What a great surprise.
Medical screenings to keep you healthy. Why some doctors are outraged at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure group.
And the alleged gunman in the supermarket shooting that wounded Gabby Giffords in court and we're told a plea deal could come very soon.
CHO: The world's largest breast cancer advocacy charity is facing scrutiny over its latest ad campaign. A paper written by two professors at Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy accuses the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation of using misleading statistics in ads about mammograms during breast cancer awareness month.
The paper says, Last October's ads exaggerated the benefits of mammograms while saying nothing about the risks. Komen responded saying while mammography is not perfect, it still is the best tool for early detection and treatment.
So what's the bottom line when it comes to breast cancer screening? I asked our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.
CHO: Professors at Dartmouth have come out and say that they believe that a widely respected organization, Susan G. Komen for the Cure may be overstating the benefits of mammograms and ignoring the risks. What's that all about?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, I spoke with one of these experts at Dartmouth and this is how they feel. They say there can be a down side to get a mammogram and they don't feel that Susan G. Komen reflects that in their advertising.
I know it sounds crazy because we're all told to get our mammograms starting at age 40, right? So here is what the Dartmouth folks are saying. They say, I can say to you, Alina, get a mammogram because it could save your life.
That's true. Everyone acknowledges that. But what you don't hear is that it could also lead to this. There's a possibility that you could get a mammogram and it's going to find some tiny slow going cancer that would never cause you a problem.
But because our technology isn't good enough to detect if it will or won't cause a problem, we're going to have to give you chemotherapy and other treatment and you're going to have to suffer through that treatment when maybe you didn't need.
CHO: And in fact that happens for every life saves by screening, two to ten women may be in that category, right?
COHEN: Right. If you get a mammogram, there's a chance it will save your life. There's an even bigger chance it's going to detect something that would never be a problem. It's cancer, but it would never become a problem. They'll have to treat you because they found this cancer.
CHO: It's so interesting. I think a lot of women out there will be watching and saying, all right, what's the bottom line?
COHEN: Right, the bottom line is you need to have a discussion with your doctor. I mean, there are pros and cons to having mammograms. So you need to think, what do I want to do?
I'm going to get this and it could save my life. It could also lead to treatment that I didn't need. Sort of weigh that with your doctor and decide what you want to do.
CHO: And finally, the standard in the United States though is still if you're 40 and over, get a mammogram annually, right?
COHEN: That is still the standard. That is not every group says that, but groups like the American Cancer Society say that, that's social standard.
CHO: All right, great, thank you, Elizabeth.
CHO: Hi, everybody. Thanks for joining us. I'm Alina Cho.
At this moment, a pivotal court hearing is happening about Jared Lee Loughner. The Arizona mass shooting suspect is facing a decision that could save him from the death penalty and save survivors from reliving last year's massacre at trial.
Loughner is expected to plead guilty today for the attack that killed six people and wounded 13 including then Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Among the victims, Dorwin Stoddard, he was 76 years old. His widow wants Loughner to take the plea deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAVY STODDARD, WIDOW OF TUCSON MURDER VICTIM: I think life in prison would be a lot worth and also because I think he may have a chance. His mind is kept under sedation to the point that he's whole, he might learn about the Lord and that's important to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHO: And the former congresswoman, Gabby Giffords, also supports the plea. This statement in from Mark Kelly, her husband, "Gabby and I are satisfied with this plea agreement. The pain and loss caused by the events of January 8, 2011 are incalculable. Avoiding a trial will allow us and we hope the whole Southern Arizona community to continue with our recovery and move forward with our lives."
But first a judge must determine if Loughner is mentally competent. For the last hour, he has been hearing testimony to help him make that call.
I'm going to go now to CNN legal contributor, Paul Callan. So Paul, first of all, this plea deal, is this something you expected? Are you surprised by this?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: I'm not surprised.
Defense attorneys in a case like there do everything possible to avoid the death penalty. Obviously, this is the kind of case where there is no question that he was the person who fired the fatal shots.
So, really it's a fight about sentencing. And a life sentence is considerably better than the alternative -- that's for sure -- for the defendant.
CHO: But take me through the process right now.
First the judge must decide if he is not insane. Walk me through what's going on in court today.
CALLAN: I will tell you, and this is a touch-and-go situation because Loughner has -- he's broken down in court. He's been dragged out screaming.
He's exhibited active signs of mental illness at many court appearances. Here is what the judge is trying to decide. To be competent to stand trial or enter a plea, you have to understand what's going on in the courtroom, understand the charges against you and be able to at least provide minimal assistance to your own lawyers.
It's a very low standard. However, if you are delusional, if you are ranting and raving, you don't meet the test. And Loughner has failed the test on other occasions. Two psychiatrists have previously said he's incompetent to stand trial. He seems to go in and out of competence.
Today, the judge is looking at him, saying is he as of today competent to stand trial and enter a guilty plea?
CHO: All right. And then, if not, if he is not competent, then the plea deal almost becomes moot, doesn't it?
CALLAN: The plea deal is off. If he's found not competent, he goes back to the mental hospital and he remains under psychiatrist treatment until at some day in the future he becomes competent again and then is brought back to court.
This goes on with severely mentally ill defendants frequently in the criminal justice system. As a matter of fact, sometimes they are in mental hospitals for the rest of their life, sometimes a couple of years and then they come competent and they come back to court. We have to see what happens with Mr. Loughner...
CHO: Is there a standard length of time that Loughner would be -- let's say he was deemed incompetent to stand trial. Is there a standard length of time he would be locked up as you as say before they would make that determination again about going to trial?
CALLAN: Because he has criminal charges pending against him, he can remain locked up pretty much indefinitely as long as he's found not competent to stand trial.
At some point, though, if prosecutors decide to drop the charges, he then is just treated as a normal mental patient and he could be if harmful to himself or others remain in a facility, but psychiatrists could decide to release him. That's why I think prosecutors will want to leave the charges hanging over his head even for a number of years if he's incompetent to stand trial.
CHO: Paul Callan, thank you for breaking it down for us, as always. Great to see you.
CALLAN: Nice being with you, Alina.
CHO: All right. And stay with us because we will go live to the courthouse for any new developments on this case.