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Budget Battles Nationwide; Libya in Chaos; Interview With Ohio Governor John Kasich; 'Political Pop'; 'On the Case'; `There was a Terrible Roar'; Election in Chicago
Aired February 22, 2011 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everyone. I'm Brooke Baldwin. We'll get your rapid fire. That is minutes away. But first we have some breaking developments from the eroding situation in Libya. Moammar Gadhafi says he is not going anywhere. And that's actually a lot more than we knew just a couple of hours ago where no one was sure if the 42-year leader of Libya was even in his country or not. He had not been seen for several days while these public uprisings or revolt really has been raging on, and protesters have been clashing violently with the security forces on the ground.
The 40 plus year Libyan leader blames people, he used the word "rats," calling them rats who are high on drugs for what appears to be a significant loss of control, especially east of the capital in Tripoli. We heard and saw him today on state television.
But now I have a rare opportunity to speak with someone who is in that capital city tonight, where it's after 11:00 p.m.
And for this person's safety, I'm not going to tell anyone your identity, how we established this line of communication. But all I can say is that you are in Tripoli.
Tell me what you're seeing there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right at the moment, there has been a shooting not far from where I am.
There are bullets -- actually, I collected a bullet from my balcony, where I can smell a lot of fires, a lot of smoke everywhere. There is an (INAUDIBLE) in a lot of areas such as (INAUDIBLE) and were surrounding the area.
And there are major security trying to attempt to not let anyone protest. They are trying so hard to show that the country is fine, the country is not falling, the regime is fine. But that's not happening.
BALDWIN: Well, let me ask you, how safe do you even feel where you are? Do you even feel safe to get out and walk around the capital city at all?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I haven't walked out at all. I mean, most of the people I know haven't gone out for the last five days or so, especially women. BALDWIN: Staying home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been reported in some areas there were rapes. They were breaking into homes. Actually, we have three doors locked on us. We installed a new door just in front of my house to block any kind of breaking in.
BALDWIN: Just to keep it locked.
Let me ask you, why did you say especially women, women are afraid? Why?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because when a woman, especially where I am, when a woman is raped, it's a scandal. It's much scandalous than dying, actually, because it's her honor in risk.
BALDWIN: Her honor is being risked through a rape.
Did you watch Moammar Gadhafi's speech on state television today, and, if you did, what was your reaction?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My reaction, it was filled with sympathy and anger at the same time. I felt sorry for him.
BALDWIN: Why? Why?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But I'm -- I felt sorry for him because he's being desperate. He's willing to do whatever it takes, even if it means killing everybody, for him to be in power, which is ridiculous.
BALDWIN: Do you want him out?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want him out. Everybody wants him out. There's no question about it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's been lying. He's been saying that people are taking hallucination pills, people are taking drugs. I doubt that -- he is the one who has been taking pills and drugs to do what he's doing, and killed -- a number of people have been killed here in Tripoli or in Libya in general.
BALDWIN: In part of his speech, he specifically called on those who love him and who support him to go out on to the streets and to show their support. I'm just curious how many pro-Gadhafi demonstrators you're seeing, as we have seen in video, waving the green flags, vs. those who are vehemently opposed to him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have seen those videos. I can hear them, actually. I can hear the music. I can hear the dancing.
I think he's just trying to make fun of what's going on. He's trying to be in denial and try to show the world that there are people who love him. But that's even not true.
BALDWIN: But have you seen any of those people? Have you seen any of those people in support of him from the perch where you are?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually, I have...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have seen some of these soldiers paying some people to get out in the cars. And they have been passing out his pictures to hang them all around his cars.
But these are people who are being paid. These are people who are being bribed. These are people who are -- who's having personal interest in being with them, that they think that, after the system managed to heal itself, that they will have a position with him.
BALDWIN: We have heard, CNN has been reporting, according to witnesses there, that some helicopter gunships have fired into the crowds. Have you seen or hear of any of that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually, this is a big rumor. There have been threats. I do agree with that. There have been threats. But so far...
BALDWIN: But you have not seen it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So far, none of the people have seen it or have I. It's been rumored, so people can stay at home, so people fear going out the streets.
BALDWIN: I see. So you say perhaps it's out of fear.
Final question to you, and then I will let you go. If -- if what you want, for Gadhafi to step down, then what?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry?
BALDWIN: If Gadhafi steps down, if somehow he's out of power, what next?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A constitution, a parliament, freedom of right -- of speech, freedom of -- of -- of whatever kind of freedom. I cannot -- I don't know freedom to speak about freedom. I have born and raised in this generation. I have been brainwashed not to think that freedom is a right.
What's next? What's next are the educated people, the civil people, the loved people, the peaceful people joining all together to rebuild this country again. I'm not going to call it the Libya of tomorrow. It's -- this is a term that everybody is getting sensitive of. It's going to be the real Libya, the Libya that nobody got to know so far.
BALDWIN: The real Libya. You say you have never known freedom. You would like to know freedom.
I thank you for -- I thank you for joining me and contacting us here at CNN.
And now, if it's interesting, if it's happening this second, you're about to see it. Rapid fire, let's go. Let's take a look at some live pictures out of Ohio. This very second, leaders are said to be holding a third and final hearing on that controversial bill that would end collective bargaining for state workers. Teachers can strike. So, could we get a decision very soon? I will be speaking with Ohio Governor John Kasich in just a minute. Stay tuned for that.
Also, Christchurch, New Zealand, shaken and badly battered by this 6.3-magnitude earthquake. Rescuers are frantically digging through rubble for hundreds of people thought to be buried under all those collapsed buildings. The quake struck broad daylight, lunchtime, when many people were at work.
At least 65 people are dead, but that number is expected to go much higher. And in just a couple of minutes, Chad Myers here will be giving us a new angle on that whole quake zone.
Next, Brownsville, Texas, hundreds of people, including the U.S. attorney general and the head of homeland security, filled a church for the funeral mass of Jaime Zapata. He was that U.S. immigration agent gunned down last week in a Mexican highway. The killers are believed to be with a Mexican drug cartel, and this is the first time in 25 years an American law enforcement official was killed in Mexico. Mr. Zapata was just 32 years old.
Americans are using their credit cards more wisely. At least, that's according to the U.S. government. Shoppers are apparently paying fewer late fees. The study comes just one year after the government enacted new credit card laws aimed at protecting people from all those crazy fees and fine print.
St. Petersburg, Florida, a manhunt citywide. Police there are scouring the area for a suspect they say shot a police officer dead just last night. It has been an especially rough few weeks for the police department there in St. Petersburg.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL FOSTER, MAYOR OF ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA: Well, I'm not going to lie. This city has been through hell. You know, it took 30 years to lose an officer in the line of duty, and, within 30 days, it's happened again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Officer David Crawford is the third St. Petersburg policeman killed on duty there in less than a month. The FBI and St. Petersburg police are offering a $50,000 award for in leading to the suspect's arrest.
And a woman who ran an anti-illegal immigration border enforcement group is sentenced to death for a vigilante raid gone wrong. Forde was convicted last week of killing a 9-year-old girl and her father during a home invasion. Prosecutors say the raid was part of this whole plot to rob drug smugglers near the Arizona-Mexican border in order to bankroll her group. Forde becomes the third woman on Arizona's death row.
And just days after we found out someone poisoned those famous oak trees at Auburn University, the college is getting some unexpected help, from all places, its biggest rival. A group of Alabama fans are starting a group on Facebook to help replace, maybe save those trees. So far, their effort has raised more than $36,000. Police arrested a guy who they say called into a radio station and said he did it.
And we are still learning some new details about the horrific attacks there on the high seas, pirates killing several Americans after hijacking this yacht. Coming up, the standoff between the U.S. Navy and the pirates, and I will be speaking with a friend of one of the victims.
Plus, more state lawmakers are playing political chicken with union workers. First, you have Wisconsin, then Ohio. Now there's a report Democrats in Indiana have left the state. Coming up next, I will be speaking with Ohio Governor John Kasich. We will be talking tough questions. Is this all playing politics, and what happens if a compromise isn't reached? Stay right there. Don't miss this.
BALDWIN: In Detroit, more than half of the city's schools could be shutting down forever, the school system's budget in the hole by about $327 billion. So a plan is on the table to close a total of 70 schools in the next couple of years. That would be on top of dozens of other schools that closed just last year.
But get this. If that happens, there would be a whopping 60 kids to each high school class. Coming up, we're going to get a live report from Wisconsin, where all of this anger over budget cuts began.
But, first, pretty busy day for Ohio Governor John Kasich. Late this morning, he was there in Cleveland to greet the president. President Obama, we should mention, campaigned against him, but Governor Kasich is there to greet him, nonetheless, as the president lands in Ohio to push his jobs initiative.
Meanwhile, and we have been talking about this throughout the last hour, unionized workers -- and there they are -- and our correspondent estimated 10,000, perhaps 15,000 of them descending on Ohio's capitol today, labor unease in another state in the heartland.
And Governor Kasich supports this plan, supports this Senate Bill 5 to eliminate collective bargaining rights for state employees.
And despite his busy schedule, and I know he is's on the road going from city to city at the moment, he's kind enough to pick up the phone and call me.
So, Governor Kasich, I appreciate that, first and foremost.
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO (via telephone): Well, I'm glad to be with you.
BALDWIN: But I want to ask, these workers say that you are using the state's budget crisis as an excuse, as a scapegoat to bust the unions. What do you say to that?
KASICH: Well, I mean, look -- yes,that's not why I'm doing it.
And, look, we have an $8 billion budget deficit in Ohio. I mean, that is just unprecedented. We have lost 600,000 jobs over the period of the last 10 years. Only Michigan and California have done worse. And we're in a situation here where we have got to restore entrepreneurship and job creation.
And so the collective bargaining legislation, which is really designed to restore some power to the managers that run our state, that run our local governments, that run our schools, is just one piece of a very significant reform program that you will see when I unveil my budget on March the 15th, designed to put the state in a position where we can create jobs and restore entrepreneurship and get Ohio moving again.
BALDWIN: I think people would agree with you that the $8 billion budget hole that your state is in is massive and folks on the other side would agree on job creation, but I want to specifically talk to you about negotiating.
In fact, we talked today to a union worker there at the capitol. I want you to listen and have you respond to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM BENEDICT, OHIO DEPARTMENT OF JOBS AND FAMILY SERVICES: I think we should bargain and we should sit down at the table and come up with an equitable solution. They -- they say they want to pay -- they are paying 14 percent of our pension now -- 14 percent of our salary into the pension. They want to pay less.
That may be an acceptable solution. We may have to pay more towards our pension. We're only paying 10 percent now. There may be some bargaining in there and some room to negotiate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So, Governor, they are saying they have compromised in the past. We know they...
BALDWIN: Hang on.
(CROSSTALK) BALDWIN: We know they compromised under Governor Strickland. They say they are willing to compromise again.
In fact, I spoke with State Senator Capri Cafaro last hour. She said she wants to sit down at the table with you, sit down at the table with Republicans and negotiate.
Why won't do you that?
KASICH: Well, first of all, look, the bill that we have in effect rights now was passed on a strict Democratic Party line vote 30 years ago. We're not saying that people shouldn't be able to sit down and talk about their pay, but you let -- you have to let managers be able to decide what's the appropriate level of contributions for pensions. That should not be negotiable.
It shouldn't be negotiable that people get step increases and COLA increases. Managers need to be able to manage their costs and that's exactly what we're proposing.
BALDWIN: I understand we're talking about SB5 and I understand this thing went into effect.
KASICH: Hold on. Hold on. Let me -- let me finish.
BALDWIN: This is my show. Hang on a second.
KASICH: Yes, but you asked a question and I just want to finish answering it. And what I'm trying to say is
BALDWIN: Go ahead.
KASICH: -- I am all in favor of people being able to talk, but there are some things that shouldn't be negotiated. There's things that managers need to control.
BALDWIN: But I have to jump in.
KASICH: OK. Sure.
BALDWIN: But I have to jump in because -- and I understand, but on the flip side, and you're saying you want to balance. You're saying that the power was with labor with this bill decades ago, and now, those would say why not then negotiate? Why legislate, why strip their right to negotiation all together?
KASICH: Well, there are some things they should be able to talk about, and there are some things that appropriately belong in the hands of management. Look, there's arbitration. There's a situation where an outsider comes in and imposes a settlement on a community that they can't afford. It drives up costs. It drives up taxes and it loses job.
So, what I'm suggesting is, we're doing is narrowing the scope of bargaining. That's appropriate to let management do what management does. And on the issue of pay and perhaps some other items, I'm not opposed to people being able to talk.
Let me just suggest to you that if we do not get a handle on pensions, if we do not get a handle on health care, a lot of these employees could ultimately be left high and dry, and I don't want to see that happen.
BALDWIN: Some of the employees, including, and I'm just speaking with State Senator Cafaro, she had mentioned simply the fact that closing the budget deficit, which I think you agree with and she agrees with, she was saying that there really is no connection, that there is sort of a fabricated connection between the budget crisis and eliminating collective bargaining. How do you respond to that?
KASICH: Well, that's not exactly right, and I have a lot of regard for Senator Cafaro. But, look, we believe that at least in the last year, it's -- the collective bargaining agreements have driven up our costs by a couple hundred million dollars. And in addition to that, local governments are going to get fewer resources from us. Part of this is to give managers the tools to decide what they want to do.
Now, if you're running a city and you want to give organized labor, you can. If you also are a manager and you need to control your budgets, then don't deny them the tools. And, by the way, I come from a labor town. And this is not any effort on my part to try to go after organized labor. It is all part of a package designed to let Ohio succeed, because we have been getting crushed.
This is not the only answer to our package, but it is a tool that will help local governments. It is a tool that will help the state, and I think it's totally appropriate.
BALDWIN: You have a budget crisis which you mentioned. Also, you mentioned the figure 600,000 jobs out of your state in the last I think it was 10 years. So, you have a jobless crisis as well, right?
BALDWIN: So, you propose to cut taxes, you propose to cut government, but hasn't that always been your agenda, Governor Kasich regarding -- really I should say, regardless of the prevailing economic conditions?
KASICH: Well, you know, in 1997, I was the chief architect of a program that I helped to negotiate with the Clinton administration that resulted in the first balanced budget, the paying down of the most amount of the national debt in modern history. We cut taxes on risk-taking in investment and we had one of the most prosperous times in our history. Doesn't that make sense?
And I was -- I fought for that for 10 years against Republicans and Democrats. And for that program, we got it. We were successful.
I'd like to take the same philosophy to Ohio, and all these things will work together, I believe, to get us out of the hole. The Midwest is getting crushed by the South and the Southwest, and we need to have a more pro-growth, job-creating environment. And this, in addition to all the other reforms, I believe will put us on that track.
BALDWIN: And you mentioned jobs. We know, you know, another Democratic president, President Barack Obama was in your -- you know, your neck of the woods today, talking jobs -- did you get any face time with him? Did you talk at all about any of this with Mr. Obama?
KASICH: Yes. I was -- look, President Obama came to Ohio 12 times to work against me, and it didn't work, and I -- when I was invited to be on the tarmac, I thought out of respect for him and out of respect for his position, I needed to be there.
It's his first visit since I've been governor. It was good to see him. I saw my old buddy James Sperling, had a little hug right there, and I'm going to be seeing the president this weekend at National Governors Association.
So, you know, I like President Obama. He's a smart guy, and I was glad to be there to -- to pay him the respect that he deserves.
BALDWIN: Well, Governor John Kasich, we appreciate you and your busy, busy day of going from city to city to pick up the phone and talk about the issue. Clearly, you're passionate and so are a lot of other people. But I appreciate it.
KASICH: Oh, that's right. Thank you for having me on.
BALDWIN: Thank you. Thank you.
A sea of orange blankets a building. Coming up: wait until you hear what was inside that made it impossible for crews to fight the flames there. Look at that.
Also, some devastating news: pirates killed four Americans after hijacking their yacht. But what happened in those final moments, and how did the U.S. Navy try and save them? I'll be speaking with one of the victims' friends, next.
BALDWIN: A terrifying scene at a recycling plant in Missouri. Take a look at this. Really, it's a sea of orange there, flames ripping through the side of this building. Crews spent more than 10 hours battling this thing. We're told the flames were impossible to control because of the 500,000 pounds of plastic inside. They are still there trying to figure out what caused it.
And now, a -- really just a tragic ending to that pirate hijacking off the coast of Somalia. Four Americans in total were on board the yacht, all of whom died. Their families and friends had been holding out hope for a peaceful ending to this standoff, but instead, the victims died at the hands of the pirates. Those are photos of the yacht owners, Jean and Scott Adam. And then there are two other victims, Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, who had joined the Adams on their round the world sailing trip that went so horribly wrong.
Last hour, I spoke with Clayton Schmit. He is a friend, a former adviser of Scott Adams.
BALDWIN: And the last time you saw Scott was just about six months?
CLAYTON SCHMIT, FRIEND OF SCOTT ADAM (via telephone): Yes, Scott would occasionally -- Scott and Jean would occasionally park the boat in some port and fly back to the States to do some business. And I have been following their trip around the world and was surprised to see him walking around seminary campus where he taught and I worked and we had a nice chat at that time.
BALDWIN: Yes, apparently, they spent half the year I think in Marina Del Rey and half the year, you know, sailing and traveling around the world.
I just want to begin with some of these e-mails. I know were you on the Adams' e-mail list. You got monthly updates about the travels on this yacht called Quest. What was the last update and what did that entail?
SCHMIT: Well, it was talking about, as they all did, where they were heading, and what their concerns were, what their hopes were, and they simply asked for people to pray for them as they entered into dangerous waters.
BALDWIN: So, they were aware that they were entering into dangerous waters. Can you be specific as far as what kind of concerns that they had?
SCHMIT: Well, they knew very well that this was dangerous place. That's why they signed up with the flotilla that was a safer way to proceed through that area, but they had this tremendous heart for mission and I once asked them before they struck out on this trip, are you taking any firearms to protect yourself? Obviously, this is a dangerous venture.
And, you know, for two reasons, one they thought this was a mission trip and they didn't foil it was right to protect themselves in that way and to carry firearms. Two, they said that if you bring firearms on board a yacht and you stop at a port and they are found, they can confiscate the boat. So, they said all we've got to protect ourselves, if it comes to that, is a flare gun.
BALDWIN: The Adams' Web site had indicated that it had traveled a couple of times before through the pirate-infested waters of the Indian Ocean near Yemen and Somalia.
Coming up next, I'm going to talk to someone like, who survived that deadly earthquake in New Zealand, what she saw, how she's doing 24 hours later.
Also, the clock is ticking for Rahm Emanuel. Just hours from now, President Obama's former chief of staff could find out whether he is the next mayor of Chicago. So, how are his chances, and where is he spending this final, final day, final hours of voting? Jessica Yellin is live in the Windy City. We'll check in with Jessica, next.
BALDWIN: Well, here's something that's definitely trending today, this place I've never been there. Hope to get there in my lifetime, one of the most beautiful countries on the earth. Today, one of -- its largest city is in ruins after a massive earthquake. I'm talking about Christchurch, New Zealand. And that is what a lot of you are talking about today.
The 6.3 magnitude quake struck during the middle of the day, lunchtime. Office buildings collapsed, people were inside. The tower of Christchurch cathedral crumbled to the ground. Rescue operations were treacherous. Watch this.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
BALDWIN: You saw the people racing for their lives. The quake killed at least 65 people. That number we're hearing is expected to go up.
But on the phone Jan Culhane, she lives in Christchurch.
Jan, tell me -- tell me where you were around 1:00 in the afternoon when this thing hit?
JAN CULHANE, EARTHQUAKE WITNESS (via telephone): Well, I was in my own home, in my lounge watching my program that I watch every day when I have my lunch. I'm a retired lady.
BALDWIN: So, Jan, you're watching your television and then -- and then what happened?
CULHANE: And the tremors, it was a terrible roar. The television went off. The power went off, obviously. The house absolutely shook.
BALDWIN: Your house was shaking. Was anything falling off the walls?
CULHANE: Shaking, shaking. Everything falling off the walls. Fortunately, we have heavy furniture secured to the wall, but pictures falling off the wall, my vase of flowers, water everywhere, and I was in a lazy boy chair, I had a hard job getting out of the chair and outside to check on my husband who was on the garden.
BALDWIN: And he's OK?
CULHANE: He was in the garden picking tomatoes and he had got flung off his feet and was having a hard job getting up, his knees and --
BALDWIN: But is he OK? Is he OK, Jan?
CULHANE: He is, he is.
BALDWIN: He is OK. Let me ask you this as we look at these pictures of sort of the aftermath here. Did you have, you know, something as simple as water? Do you even have water and electricity here 24 hours later?
CULHANE: We have electricity. We have electricity. We don't have any water as yet. We have -- we had quite heavy rain last night and we were able to get rainwater into buckets for ourselves, for flushing toilets and -- and all that sort of thing.
BALDWIN: And I know you're suffering through some aftershocks.
BALDWIN: I imagine sleeping is tough.
CULHANE: It was so frightening. It was an awful night. Every time you thought you might drift off -- of to sleep, there was this awful, you know, rattle and bang and the housing shook. Not pleasant.
BALDWIN: I can't imagine, but I am glad you and your husband are OK. Stay safe.
CULHANE: Thank you very much, Brooke.
BALDWIN: I appreciate it. All the way from New Zealand -- how about that?
And now, a little closer to us, Jessica Yellin with the "Political Ticker," in particular to Chicago, voters there electing a new mayor for the first time in two decades -- Jess.
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Brooke.
And it's historic because it's the first time in 22 years that there's a mayor's race in this town, and there's no member of the Daley family on the ballot -- Mayor Richard Daley, the mayor here for 22 years.
But, instead, there is an all-star cast running to take his seat. Among them, the former Senator Carol Moseley-Braun, also a former ambassador, who during this race has become known for, among other thing, her many verbal gaffes. There's also a guy named Gary Chico, who used to be chief of staff to Mayor Daley, all in the family, right?
And then the big draw, Rahm Emanuel, former chief of staff to President Obama, one time top aide to former President Bill Clinton and many term congressman from this area who became known for championing the whole Congress on your Corner concept where they go out and do lots of retail politics. Rahm Emanuel doing tons of retail politics, more than 400 stops where he just greets voters during this race.
And a lot of the issues he's been tackling, Brooke, are the same thing you've been talking about on your show, about budgets, how to rein in but on a city level, the pensions, the deficit -- how to do it all while keeping jobs, growing jobs and keeping a healthy education. So, it's sort of a microcosm of the national debate.
The election is, of course, today. Polls close at 7:00 local time, and it might not end here. If no one gets 50 percent, there will be a runoff on April 5th -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: Jessica, quickly, Rahm Emanuel's former bosses, President Obama and Clinton, do they endorse him?
YELLIN: Bill Clinton did. He came to town and did some event that caused some anxiety in town among other leaders who thought they should get his endorsement. Barack Obama -- President Obama did not explicitly endorse him but made some very positive comments about him, that Emanuel has generously used in his campaign ads -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: Jessica Yellin in Chicago -- Jess, thank you.
Today, the Dow has tanked. Protesters are not letting up in Wisconsin. "Reporter Roulette" is next.
Also, I am just getting some late-breaking news here about the risk of cell phones to your brain.
Stay right there.
BALDWIN: OK. Anger over budget cuts, the market is taking a nosedive, and a brand new study about cell phone risks. Time to play "Reporter Roulette."
And I want to begin with Kate Bolduan in Madison, Wisconsin on the budget battle showdown there -- Kate.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Brooke.
Well, the budget battle continues, really, and it really remains at a standoff. Both sides, neither side is showing any signs of backing down. The governor is set to speak in a fireside-esque chat a little later this afternoon. He remains firm that these budget-cutting measures are essential in order to tackle $137 million deficit that this state is dealing with just this year.
I just came from a press conference of union members though, and they are say they are already offering up concessions when it comes to contributing more in terms of their health care and their pensions, and they don't think that this issue of collective bargaining has anything to do with budgetary measures, with saving money.
And when it comes -- and that's really what it comes down to, this issue, where either side stands on the issue of collective bargaining rights, and neither side is shock any signs, Brooke, of backing down this evening. You can be sure protests will continue tomorrow, and we're looking forward to hearing from the governor this evening and what he has to say.
BALDWIN: We will all wait and watch for that. Kate Bolduan for me -- thank you, Kate.
Next on "Reporter Roulette," the Dow dropping nearly 200 points here in the last few hours of trading. What is going on? Felicia Taylor is live in New York.
And, Felicia, what's happened?
FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, basically, the Dow reacted to what's happening in the Middle East. Main factor dragging down the market, of course, were the soaring oil prices. Crude prices soared about 6 percent to end the session at $95 a barrel. That has everyone concerned now about rising gas prices, and that could have an impact on the economic recovery.
Also, one of the things affecting trade today was something called the fear index. It's known as VIX index. It spiked by double digits, and that reflects the expected volatility to come which is pretty much the fear of unknown. What investors don't know is how serious the issues in Libya will be or if those tensions are actually going to spill into other countries -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: Felicia Taylor in New York -- Felicia, thank you.
And next on "Reporter Roulette," senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen here in Atlanta.
And, Elizabeth, talk to me about this new study, what, just out now talking about radiation from cell phones activating the brain much more than previously thought.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. People have wondered, experts have wondered what happens when you spend, let's say, 50 minutes like this, right? You've got this phone up to your head. What does that do to the cells in your head.
And what they found in the study in the "Journal of the American Medical Association" is that it activated cells. In other words, cells were doing their usual thing that they usually do, but they were doing it much more actively. The cells were making glucose, that's one of the things that the cells do, but it just kept going and going and going. The cells were clearly more active than when the phone was not next to the person's head.
BALDWIN: So, help me understand if they're active, active, active -- is that harmful as well?
COHEN: We don't know.
BALDWIN: We don't know. Of course, we don't know yet.
COHEN: We don't know what that means and the wireless industry has always said that there are no proven health -- bad health effects from having a cell phone up to your head. So, we asked the author of this study, well, what do you do? And here, this is what she does. This is what I do.
BALDWIN: This is what you do, this is what Sanjay does.
COHEN: Exactly. You once notice that everyone in the medical unit walks around with these things.
BALDWIN: Yes. When you see everyone in the medical unit walking at CNN around with head phones, you know, that's what we all need to be doing.
COHEN: Because why not, right?
COHEN: Why not?
COHEN: You know, if the cell phone is bad, if it is bad to be walking around like this all the time for hours a day like, you know, you and me and other people.
BALDWIN: Why take the risk?
COHEN: Why take the risk? Why not used one of these? Plus, your hands are free. You can greet people, say hello. Right, exactly.
BALDWIN: Like you're always doing, Elizabeth Cohen. You do set example. You do, indeed. We thank you for it, Elizabeth. Thank you.
And that is today's "Reporter Roulette."
He doesn't like elevators, he has a lot of female bodyguards and he's ruled Libya with an iron fist for decades. So, really who is this man? Who is Moammar Gadhafi? You are about to hear some fascinating facts, including how, and I'm quoting, "a voluptuous blond" travels with him.
Joe Johns has that. "Political Pop" is next.
BALDWIN: We have been talking a lot about Libya. But to understand that country, you need to understand its leader, Moammar Gadhafi. We wanted to give you a little bit of insight into this leader who has been in charge for some 42 years, just about.
Joe Johns joins me in D.C. with the "Political Pop."
And, so, Joe, Gadhafi -- I mean, he's an interesting guy. That's my adjective of choice. Let's talk about this tent. This tent that's been, you know, talked about all around the world for the past couple of years here when he visited New York.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's a Bedouin tent. It's been seen before and you look at the pictures of the tent, and you say, how bizarre.
JOHNS: You may not buy it. But this cable from WikiLeaks actually offers an explanation for the tent. It's Gadhafi's traditional site for receiving visitors, conducting meetings. It's supposed to be his non-verbal way, if you will, of communicating that he's a man close to his cultural roots. So there you go.
BALDWIN: OK. So that's the tent. You mentioned WikiLeaks. It also had mentioned -- I have my little copy -- "Gadhafi relies heavily on his longtime Ukrainian nurse who has been described as a voluptuous blonde."
Travels with a lot of ladies, doesn't he Joe?
JOHNS: Yes. Well, he certainly travels with a lot of ladies, and he has just a whole ton of people who at least used to travel with him.
The truth is now he doesn't travel with as many guards armed to the teeth who are women as he used to. This is his visit in 2009 to the United Nations General Assembly, and in this example he only had one female guard with him, which was unusual. On the other hand, there's issue of his nurse, and I guess you've heard a lot about that.
BALDWIN: Right, that was the nurse, the Ukrainian nurse.
JOHNS: Yes. Right.
BALDWIN: So we all know about the tent getting close to his roots. We know about the ladies. What about other quirks about Moammar Gadhafi?
JOHNS: Well, let's see. He doesn't really like to fly, can't fly more than eight hours. When he rents a building where he's going to stay, he has to stay on the ground floor of that building for some reason. A bunch of little things like that.
He likes horse races. He loves flamenco dancing. Has a lot of interesting things about this man that are somewhat unusual.
BALDWIN: Unusual, fascinating, interesting. We'll leave the Moammar Gadhafi conversation there, but do I want to talk about our "Political Pop" from yesterday, because it was awesome. And I loved how we were talking about -- what was it Ian's (ph) on State Street, the pizza deliveries, people buying them from all around the world there in Wisconsin?
What do you have new today?
JOHNS: Well, there's this picture that we got a hold of just yesterday, and it is a picture that appears to be of a guy standing perhaps in Egypt, somewhere in the Middle East -- there you go -- holding a sign that says, "Egypt Supports Wisconsin." And we started checking it out because we didn't know whether it was real or not.
JOHNS: And it turns out apparently it's real. This guy took this picture last Friday. He claims he did it to show solidarity. We contacted him on an Egyptian telephone number that we got through Facebook.
JOHNS: He says he took it to show some solidarity with Wisconsin, and he started reading about it. Then he wrote a blog about it. Then he started getting a lot of e-mails from other people who were skeptical whether this was a hoax or not, saying, "Well, your hair looks red. You might be Irish instead of Egyptian," or whatever.
BALDWIN: No. But really, he's Egyptian. You were joking yesterday about the investigative journalism you were doing for your pizza segment, and my friend, you done good.
Joe Johns, thank you so much.
JOHNS: There you go. You bet.
BALDWIN: Still to come here, a man is dying from cancer. Doctors say he has mere months to live. But the feds want him behind bars. Think about this. Should he spend his final days at home? Should he be in prison?
We're "On the Case" straight ahead.
BALDWIN: And now to my friend Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."
And Wolf, I know you asked your followers on Twitter to suggest some questions for your big interview with Senator Scott Brown. I understand it was a pretty revealing interview.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: You know, we just taped it. We're going to air it in the coming hour, Brooke. I think you and our viewers are going to be interested.
Scott Brown is a Republican senator from Massachusetts, and he writes very candidly in his brand new book about how he was physically and sexually abused as a young boy, that he's held this all of these decades. He's now 51 years old. He's held it to himself, didn't tell his mother, didn't tell his wife, didn't tell his daughters.
BLITZER: They all have just learned about it. And he has an amazing story to tell, and it's got significant ramifications for a lot of young people right now who may be going through the same thing, and he has some advice for then. He's hearing from thousands of them over the past few days.
We're going to share what he has to say. That's coming up in the next hour, Brooke. It's going to be a fascinating interview.
BALDWIN: I have heard all about his book, and I cannot wait to see your dialogue with the Massachusetts senator. Appreciate it, Wolf. We'll look forward to it in "THE SITUATION ROOM." Thank you.
And let me ask you this. Should you be forced to give your boss the password to your Facebook account? Have you ever thought about that? Sunny Hostin has.
She's "On the Case." That is next.
BALDWIN: Millions of us are on Facebook. You post pictures. You talk about what you're up to, what you're thinking, you're feeling. It's personal information you probably just want to share with your friends or just your family. But what if you had to share that information with your boss?
There's a man, Robert Collins. He says he was required to fork over his Facebook log-in information in order to be re-certified as a corrections officer for the state of Maryland. Collins says he had to watch while an interviewer read his personal Facebook page.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT COLLINS, MARYLAND CORRECTIONS OFFICER: I was not harming anyone. None of my friends were harming anyone. We simply were trying to maintain a peaceful discourse and speak about everyday life events, speak about our aspirations of things, and just try to motivate one another. And to have my privacy invaded in that way made me feel violated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Sunny Hostin is "On the Case."
Sunny, it is a new world we live in, but let me ask you this. What does the Maryland Department of Corrections have to say about all this?
SUNNY HOSTIN, "IN SESSION," TRUTV: Well, we did get a statement from them today because this has been, you know, a hotbed topic lately.
HOSTIN: They say that they are going to suspend their process for 45 days to make sure that their procedure is, you know, being used consistently and appropriately. They say they do not demand any personal social media information from applicants, but I will say that they also say that the department only asks an applicant to provide the information, and if they do provide the information, it's done so voluntarily. And if the applicant doesn't provide the information, it's not held against them.
So that is the statement of the Maryland Department of Corrections.
BALDWIN: Well, what about this? I mean, what reason would, say, a department, an employer cite to ask a corrections officer to reveal their Facebook log-in information? HOSTIN: Well, it has to be a pretty compelling reason, Brooke, because that's the balancing test. It's the employer's interest in getting the information and an employee's privacy right.
In this case, they are saying they want to make sure that gangs don't infiltrate the Department of Corrections, and that, I think, is certainly a compelling interest. But there was no indication that this particular corrections officer was involved in gang activity. And isn't there a less creepy way, quite frankly, to get that information?
BALDWIN: Yes. It makes you wonder. It makes you wonder. But would it even be legal for an employer, Sunny, or a prospective employer to require workers or job applicants to give them access to their social media pages, personal ones?
HOSTIN: Well, that is the million-dollar question, Brooke, and I've been debating a lot of my legal friends today. I've been calling a lot of lawyers, and I think we all agree that it's creepy. We think it's sort of toxic to the workplace, but we can't agree as to whether it is legal or illegal, primarily because this is such a new area in the law and there's not much law on it.
I think it's a dicey question. I think certainly if you require someone to pass it over, that is borderline illegal. That probably won't pass legal muster. But if you're asking them voluntarily to do it, perhaps it's legal. I think that the employers will probably lose this one because it sounds like sort of coerced voluntary consent, so very dicey legal question.
BALDWIN: It is dicey, and we don't have time to get to the second case. I think a lot of people's ears though are perking with this whole Facebook and work and password conversation. So let me just finish with this. If you're at work and you're on a work computer, and you log in to your personal Facebook account, wouldn't your office, your workplace have access to that anyway?
HOSTIN: It depends on the policy, but typically yes. Your employer can monitor your e-mail usage, your Internet usage while you're at work. It's a very different situation, Brooke, if you're at home on your Facebook page, or on your e-mail page, and your employer is logging in. That's different, and that's not going to pass legal muster.
BALDWIN: Sunny Hostin, thank you. We'll get to that second case about that prison inmate with pancreatic cancer tomorrow, I promise.
HOSTIN: Yes. Yes.
BALDWIN: Thank you.
Now to Wolf Blitzer in Washington in "THE SITUATION ROOM" -- Wolf.