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Crisis in Syria Continues; Eric Holder Under Fire; Children in Combat
Aired June 12, 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: We continue on hour two. Welcome back. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Top of the hour, Syria now in the middle of a full scale civil war. That statement, those two words uttered within the last two hours from the U.N. peace keeping chief.
Wave of violence rocking the country. More and more innocent people being killed. The Syrian regime denies doing that to him. I want to go straight to the United Nations, to Richard Roth, and we hear the words civil war. Can you give me a little context to that?
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR UNITED NATIONSL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the head of the peace keeping department for the U.N. was asked by two wire service reporters is it a civil war. I said within can say that. Short time ago I asked the peace keeping spokesman to put it into context. What does he mean, is this a civil war?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIERAN DWYER, U.N. PEACEKEEPING SPOKESMAN: Whether we call it all-out civil war, whether we call it partial civil war, civil war in some places, the point is that it's hugely escalated, that it's across nearly all parts of the country and that the civilians, ordinary Syrian people, are the ones that are suffering.
The military route by the opposition and the government has been escalated in the last four to five days. And what we're saying is that needs to stop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: But it's not stopping. And the peacekeeping spokesman says countries that are supporting each side need to stop. There needs to be unity in the Security Council to find a political solution.
That doesn't appear too imminent. And meanwhile, the peacekeeping department and the U.N. saying more U.N. unarmed observers turned back when trying to go to the Syrian town of al-Haffa and then three vehicles were shot, fired upon, source unknown, when departing the scene, a very bad, deteriorating situation, still getting worse by the day inside Syria -- Brooke.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: So, based upon what we just heard, what he told you, he said nearly all parts of the country in civil war. Are we to assume that means it's basically nationwide now? ROTH: Well, it certainly has spread. These unarmed observers, nearly only 300, they can't see everything.
Groups, opposition members, people reporting the increasing death toll, use of helicopter gunships, tanks, artillery, Syria totally violating the U.N. Security Council resolution, members split on what to do. Nobody wants to go in militarily.
BALDWIN: Richard Roth, thank you so much.
A little later on this hour, we're going to talk about kids here, this alleged torture, children 9, 10, 11 years of age in Syria. That's coming up.
Now to this. The phrase, "I'm staying put," this is what Attorney General Eric Holder said today in his testy exchange with Senator John Cornyn after the Republican jumped on the dog pile of lawmakers calling for Holder's job. Holder was defending himself to the Senate Judiciary Committee on really everything from these recent intelligence leaks to the botched Fast and Furious gunrunning sting.
Let's go do Dana Bash at the Capitol.
And, Dana, some of these senators, they really went after Holder, didn't they?
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They sure did. You mentioned John Cornyn from Texas. But he was the harshest, but he wasn't the only Republican.
Another Lindsey Graham, who, along with John McCain, have tried to make the case that they believe that the leaks of classified information were political, maybe even from the White House, which is why he was saying that he believes there must be a special counsel, somebody independent of the Obama administration to investigate.
Listen to what he was talking about with Eric Holder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: And you're not willing to embrace the idea that it would be better off for the country if you would pick somebody that we all could buy into from the get-go, rather than picking somebody -- two people that you say are great that I don't know anything about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Now, what Holder's response was, was I do know them and they're good lawyers.
The point that Republicans are making though, Brooke, is that they may be fine lawyers, but in the case of one, Senator Cornyn pointed out that he's contributed to the Obama administration, helped the president with his vice presidential pick and that they believe that just the appearance of conflict of interests is something that Eric Holder should want to get rid of.
Democrats, even those who have been very, very harsh about these leaks getting out there and the impact it's had on national security, they say that they are just fine with these two U.S. attorneys in D.C. and Maryland conducting this investigation, Brooke.
BALDWIN: What about also, Dana, Fast and Furious? Because I know the attorney general, he testified about that. That was the gun walking where the ATF would allow all these guns to be bought, right, in the United States. The criminals buy the guns, walk them back across the border in Mexico, ultimately led to the killing of one U.S. Border Patrol agent.
I know it has a lot of Republicans calling on him to resign. What did Holder say?
BASH: He's really trying to tamp down on all of the attacks on him on this issue particularly because in the House, Republicans who run that chamber, they have set a vote for next week to hold him in contempt because they say that he's not giving them key documents on this whole controversy. He tried to put an olive branch out. Take a listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We have reached out to Chairman Issa, members of the leadership on the House side to try to work our way through these issues. We've had I think sporadic contacts and we are prepared to make -- I am prepared to make compromises with regard to the documents.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Now, he said what he wants is to avoid a constitutional crisis, but that offer was quickly rejected by House Republican leaders.
There's been a lot of frustration, literally years now in the making, over the back and forth on this. And the primary reason why Republicans are so angry they say about this is because initially the Justice Department told Congress that this was not, that this program did not basically have gun interdiction, and then that it was not the case, they had to recant that.
And what members of Congress obviously mostly on the Republican side want to know is, why did they change? Why did they initially not tell the truth to Congress?
BALDWIN: We will see if Justice does in fact turn over those documents. Dana Bash, thank you, live for us in the Capitol.
A lot more coming into the CNN NEWSROOM, including this.
BALDWIN: The feds don't, they have any answers, so now they are asking you, the public, to help them track down this serial rapist and killer and apparently his attacks involve PCP and reggae music.
I'm Brooke Baldwin. The news is now.
(voice-over): Kids blindfolded, shocked, burned with cigarettes, a shocking new report on Syria begging the world to wake up.
Hope you like your job, because one group warns the retirement age must rise or America is in big, big trouble.
BALDWIN: Women attacked, raped, shot, some left for dead. Cleveland has a serial rapist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN ANTHONY, FBI: This, like many cases that we all face throughout our career, we need the public help. And this is one of those cases.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Here's the case, one man linked to multiple rapes dating back to 1996.
We want to bring in Special Agent Vicki Anderson with the FBI in Cleveland.
Agent Anderson, we're talking here, I know the first rape happened in '96, the most recent rape in 2010. DNA all linked to the same guy and all these attacks, from what I understand, are happening within about a half-mile radius. So, I guess my question is, we still don't know who this guy is?
VICKI ANDERSON, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: That's correct.
We have reached out to the public, and are asking for the public's assistance in trying to help us identify this individual. We do have DNA linked to all of these crimes, the four rapes. And one of those actually resulted in a homicide.
So, we are asking the public to take a look the sketches that we have. We have one from 1996 and another from 2010, but a pretty good depiction, according to the victims, of this individual. So we're asking the public to take a look at the stretch and if they have any ideas, anyone that meets these characteristics, to please call us at 1-800-CALL-FBI, and report that information.
BALDWIN: We have got both sketches up here on the screen. So let's just keep those up, guys.
BALDWIN: And I know police, they announced some clues about this guy that they're using to track him down. It sounds like they have a lot to go on. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES CHURA, CLEVELAND POLICE COMMANDER: This male was smoking wet, which is marijuana laced with PCP. He was listening to reggae music. The auto he was in was either a Buick Regal or a Monte Carlo white in color.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So, they knew his car, this type of music, the drug of choice, this stuff called wet. And he has some sort of a very descriptive, unique scar on his face. Is that at all helping here as far as searching for this guy?
ANDERSON: We're hoping so.
And that's our reason for getting this out. Cleveland Police Department has been working on this case tirelessly. They have tracked down every lead that's obviously come their way. And they reached out to the FBI and said can you guys just help us get this out?
So, of course, we always reach out and help our local law enforcement when we can and when they ask. So, that's what we did here. And we're just asking for the public to take a look at this.
An individual with a large scar on his face two-and-a-half inches on his cheek, according to the victims, you would think is pretty recognizable. So, we're asking, if you know someone that has that type of scar, the reggae music taste may have changed over the years. It was important in 1996. But maybe he's changed his type of music. So, we don't want people to hesitant on, well, he doesn't listen to reggae music, but he does have a scar, I better not call.
Go ahead and call. We take any report, any tip seriously, and we will follow that tip until we track it down.
BALDWIN: What else are you doing other than getting the sketches out, pleading for the public for help? What else?
ANDERSON: Yes. We have put this on FBI radio, our FBI Twitter account, our FBI Facebook account. It's on the Cleveland Police Department Web site. It's on the Cleveland FBI Web site.
Of course, all of our local TV stations covered this yesterday and continue to cover it today. We have various knock-and-talk operations that we do as a task force in Cleveland that involve local, state and federal, going out to try to get information when people are reluctant to come to the police. We go out to them. And when we do those operations, we take this photograph with us and we ask people in those areas if they have any information to please give us a call.
(CROSSTALK) BALDWIN: Sure. Sure. And the fact the news, even though this happened beginning back in the '90s, the fact that now you know this is one guy because the DNA links them all. Let us know if you find him. Vicki Anderson, best of luck. Thank you.
The hunt here for a killer in Alabama. Police thought they had the suspect in the mass shooting that killed two former Auburn University football players, but a standoff ended with no one in handcuffs. But there's a new twist here today.
And news just in, word of a decision involving the KKK's effort to adopt a highway.
BALDWIN: Just into us here at CNN, word of a decision in the KKK's effort to adopt a highway in Georgia.
Let me bring in Nick Valencia.
So, KKK wanted to have their name on a strip of highway. No dice?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN PRODUCER: No dice, it seems at this point.
We just got off the phone with a Georgia state official who says the Georgia Department of Transportation is going to deny the application of the KKK to adopt a one-mile stretch of highway in northern Georgia.
BALDWIN: Wow. So, they are saying no, Department of Transportation. You think big picture this could be a First Amendment issue. I imagine they are taking it higher.
VALENCIA: Oh, this is a huge First Amendment issue.
And when I spoke to the KKK yesterday, they said if their application was denied that they would go to the ACLU. This is an interesting part of it, that there's already precedent set. A similar case happened in Missouri where the local chapter of the KKK there was allowed to adopt a section of the highway. They were eventually kicked out of that Department of Justice adopt a highway program because they didn't live up to their end of the deal.
BALDWIN: But they were allowed at one point in time?
VALENCIA: They were allowed and they were picking up the trash.
VALENCIA: They actually -- this case went all the way to the federal appeals court and the federal appeals court upheld the decision.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, but the fact is, Brooke, that the precedent has been set already. And it appears that the KKK has a fight on their hands on First Amendment grounds. BALDWIN: We will see where the fight goes. Nick Valencia, keep us posted, please, sir.
Coming up here, the house was surrounded, tear gas fired inside. Thermal imaging helped in this search. Police thought they had the suspect Auburn shooter trapped inside, but six hours later, they left with nothing. Desmonte Leonard is still on the run at this hour.
Police believe he opened fire at an off-campus party near Auburn University, killing three people, including two former Auburn football players.
Melissa McKinney from our affiliate WSFA is following this story.
Melissa, bring me up to speed. What are police saying about the scene at the home last night? I know they thought they had him and it sounds like they missed him.
MELISSA MCKINNEY, WSFA REPORTER: Brooke, you're exactly right.
That scene is basically nonexistent now. Authorities shut it down early this morning hoping to find a suspect, but to no avail. They worked for hours. You mention though those intense tactical methods. They threw in tear gas twice. They also used thermal imaging. They poked rods up into the insulation and parts of the attic where they thought that he was hiding, but he wasn't there.
And this comes as a shock to authorities because there were times when they came out to tell us that they heard coughing, they heard movement in the attic. And so we're basically living a mystery here right now. No one knows where this Desmonte Leonard is. But the one thing that authorities have been communicating to us all day today is this search is not over. They will not rest until they find the person who murdered three people here in Auburn. And as you can imagine, the community here is just distraught.
BALDWIN: Yes. What are they saying?
MCKINNEY: Yes. It's one of those things.
Here in Auburn, you never expect this to happen. We rarely see incidents like this in this community. A lot of times, we're over here for very happy events, college football games. It's not something that people expect to happen here.
And so when it did, it really took this community, just sent shockwaves through the community, to be quite honest. And in fact this happened in an area of town where a lot of students and residents here say they typically feel very safe. It's very uncharacteristic of this community -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: I know the reward has been raised to some 30,000.
Melissa McKinney, we appreciate it. And we will be following it right along with you and hopefully they catch this guy. Melissa, thanks.
I know you have heard about the so-called rogue nuns. American nuns called out by the Vatican for disobedience and straying from church doctrine -- doctrine, rather. Well, the showdown between the nun and the church leaders going down at the Vatican -- the details live from Rome.
Plus, want to retire at age 65? Think again -- the new warning about why Americans are waiting a lot longer for the old golden years.
BALDWIN: All right, stand by for an update on the raging wildfires in northern Colorado, also the Vatican, and radical American feminists, AKA, nuns. And will anyone get to retire, ever? It's time to play "Reporter Roulette."
BALDWIN: Next on "Reporter Roulette," let's go to John Allen. He's our CNN senior Vatican analyst.
And, John, so there was this meeting today between a papal deputy and a group of -- and I'm quoting here -- "radical feminists." This is the Vatican's term here for the biggest organization of American nuns. Tell me first, who attended the meeting. What happened?
JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Hey, Brooke.
Well, in the meeting were two American nuns, Sister Pat Farrell and Sister Janet Mock, representing the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which, as you say, is the biggest umbrella group for women's religious orders in the states.
And on the other side was a team of senior Vatican officials led by American Cardinal William Levada, who I think you may be seeing pictures with the pope, who is the head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, basically, its theological watchdog agency that's leading this crackdown.
BALDWIN: So I talked to one of -- we had one of these nuns on the show a couple of weeks ago. She seemed pretty tough. I know that these nuns say they're going to take this back to their members, decide how to proceed from there.
I guess my question is, is that sort of an in-your-face move? It sounds like they weren't necessarily willing to take orders.
ALLEN: Well, listen, to say, we're going to go back and talk about this with our members is another way of saying, we're not ready to cave in, at least not yet.
ALLEN: Frankly, I think both sides have drawn the lines in the sand fairly clearly. The nuns have said that they don't want to be involved in something they would see as blind or uncritical obedience, that they think there are some important principles at stake here.
And on the other side, I had an interview this afternoon with Cardinal Levada, the Vatican follow who is behind this crackdown, who was equally clear that, if an outfit is going to officially represent the Catholic Church, then he is going to insist that it do so in ways that are consistent with the church's teaching.
So, while both sides in this meeting talked about the open atmosphere, that it was cordial and pleasant and all of that, I think the indications are that, at the level of substance, this is not a dispute that is going to get resolved any time soon, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Hmm, nuns are saying, thanks, but no thanks.
John Allen for us in Rome Italy -- John, thank you.
BALDWIN: And that's your "Reporter Roulette" here.
In other money news, looking at a combination that's really a harsh reality for many in these tough times. Talking taxes and bankruptcy.
Here is Poppy Harlow with today's "Help Desk".
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there. Thanks for joining us.
Today on "Help Desk," we're talking about taxes. What else?
Joining me this hour, Lynnette Khalfani-Cox is a personal finance author and founder of financial advice blog AskTheMoneyCoach.com. David Novick is a certified planner and adjunct professor of finance at NYU.
Thank you both for being here.
Question about taxes that we got from a man on the street here in New York. Take a listen to what he had to say, David.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I owe back taxes, which is the case, is it dischargeable as far as bankruptcy is concerned?
HARLOW: About how much?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten thousand dollars.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: All right, so what's your take?
DAVID NOVICK, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, PROMETHEUS CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: It is possible. It depends on what type of bankruptcy he's filing, whether he's filing Chapter 7, which allows for discharge of some of his debts, or Chapter 13, which is a payment plan.
If Chapter 13, it would not be possible. Chapter 7, it would be possible. They have very strict requirements, though. He should check with an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy law.
And if it's taxes that are less than two or three years old, it's not going to be discharged, but taxes that are older than that, it may be possible.
HARLOW: Lynnette, what about any forgiveness programs you can think of through the IRS or is that not an option?
LYNNETTE KHALFANI-COX, FOUNDER, WWW.ASKTHEMONEYCOACH.COM: There are a couple of options through the IRS. You know, there's an offer and compromise where you sort of settle what you owe.
COX: Really tough requirements. The IRS wants you to really prove that you wouldn't be able to pay off your debts over a period of six years or so, which is the other one, the installment agreement.
Right now if you owe up to $50,000 in taxes you can essentially create a payment plan with the IRS. You don't have to talk to an agent. You just go online and fill out the form as you pay it off as long as 72 months or six years time.
HARLOW: Better to do this directly with the IRS than working with a debt collection agency?
KHALFANI-COX: I think so. Absolutely. Especially because a lot of the debt collection agencies will charge a fee or they're going to sometimes do things that might not necessarily be in your best interest.
So better to just work out a deal with the IRS directly. Handle it in a forthright manner and as quickly as possible so you don't wrack up additional penalties and interest.
HARLOW: All right, thank you, guys. We appreciate it.
And, if you have a question you want our financial experts to tackle, just upload a 30-second video with your question to iReport.com.
BROOKE BALDWIN, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": Poppy Harlow, thank you.
The smell, the sounds? No longer. We try to avoid traffic, don't we? But now one group says it has hard time to prove diesel fumes from these big semis could cause cancer.
BALDWIN: You love sitting in traffic, right? Yes, I didn't think so. An international cancer research group is giving you another reason to shut your windows if you sit still in your car. It says diesel fumes cause cancer.
Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has the details. Elizabeth?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The World Health Organization made a change in the way it classifies diesel exhaust.
It used to be that the WHO said that diesel exhaust was probably carcinogenic. Now, they're saying that it's carcinogenic. The WHO did this after reviewing hundreds of studies.
Now, it may not seem that important that they took out the world "probably," but taking that word out could lead to several changes. For example, some cities use diesel fuel to power their buses. Maybe now, with this change, they would think about using other kinds fuels.
Or school systems, sometimes you see school buses idling in front of schools while the kids get on and off the bus. Now, maybe schools will have stricter rules about idling.
The folks who make diesel fuels say they spend billions of dollars on trying to make it as safe as possible and that the fuel is safer than it used to be.
BALDWIN: Elizabeth Cohen, thank you.
Coming up next, let me just warn you right now. What we're going to show you here, this is video from Syria. It's touch to watch, but it shows the brutality suffered by children in the government crackdown.
You'll hear the heartbreaking details of this U.N. report released today about how children as young as nine in Syria are being tortured and killed.
BALDWIN: I want to talk about Syria here. I just want the take a brief moment to show you some footage we really actually debated whether or not we wanted to air, to share this with you. So I just want to give you a clear warning.
This is very difficult to watch, but we made a decision here at CNN. We need to air this video because it illustrates the atrocities occurring now in Syria. So just another warning, it's tough to watch.
That's really an understatement. This is amateur video that was shot very recently, perhaps as recently as today. Let's roll it. You'll see these two toddlers. One is crying. Another is clearly wounded. It's tough for me to look at this.
We're told three children were in that room. Two of the children died as did a man and a woman. Their mortal wounds were caused by Syrian government shelling. And this is the only portion of the video we have elected to air, again, to illustrate the atrocities happening each and every day in Syria.
As it is, we received this horrifying footage just as the U.N. has released this equally troubling report concerning the plight of children in Syria.
Joining me now from New York is Radhika Coomaraswamy, the U.N. special representative for children in armed conflict. Radhika, I welcome and I just, if I may, want to begin by quoting from part of this report.
It says, quote, "Children as young as nine years of age have been victims of killing, maiming, arbitrary arrests, detention, torture, and ill-treatment, including sexual violence and use as human shields."
Are you saying that the Syrian government is deliberately targeting children?
RADHIKA COOMARASWAMY, U.N. SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE: What I think the Syrian government is targeting communities and the children are part of that targeting.
What we see in other parts of the world, of course, we see killing and maiming. In the crossfire, children get killed. We see sexual violence, a lot, prevalent in many wars.
But this is the one conflict in which we're seeing really the torture of children and detention at a very high scale, summary executions of children. So this is really quite disturbing for us, what is happening in Syria.
BALDWIN: It's interesting you say this is the one conflict. Is this the worse you've ever seen when it comes to kids?
COOMARASWAMY: I've been here since 2006, I must say. After Bosnia and Rwanda, I've taken this post in 2006, and I must say I've not seen such large scale violence against children, such as in the torture of children and the summary execution of children.
I don't think I've seen it in any - I've seen a lot of children being killed in crossfire. I've seen children recruited as soldiers. I've taken testimony from children who were victims of sexual violence, but I must say, summary execution of 49 children under the age of 10, that I've not seen that anywhere else.
BALDWIN: This is clearly not just caught in the crossfire. I want to go and just continue quoting part of your report.
Quote, "Most child victims of torture describe being beaten, blindfolded, subjected to distress positions, whipped with heavy electric cables, scarred by cigarette burns and, in one reported case, subjected to electrical shock to the genitals."
I know you say that in your tenure this is the worst you've seen. When it comes to the Syrian government, what does this tell you? Have they just completely spun out of control? COOMARASWAMY: Well, I think they, as I said, in international humanitarian law, the basic premise is that combatants, soldiers, should be celebrated from civilians and that civilians have to be protected in armed conflict. The parties must do that.
In this conflict, that's not happening and, in fact, the whole community, whether it's a civilian or a combatant, are being targeted and this is leading to large-scale violence, especially of children.
So, this is great concern for all of us. The point is, first, we would hope there would not be war, but if there is a war, there are rules of war. And in rules of war, you protect the children.
BALDWIN: Obviously, the children are not protected. We've been hearing that the U.N. is basically saying now that Syria has devolved into a state of war. Those words uttered really for the first time.
Should we fear, at this point, Radhika, that the horrors facing kids will then become even worse?
COOMARASWAMY: Well, I think, yes, it will become even worse in civil war because then both sides are on the offensive.
What has happened, however you characterized it earlier, it was mainly the Syrian government forces on the offensive and you had Syrian rebels resisting in small pockets.
But if it's a full-scale civil war then there will be much more violence. Whatever you call it, if that's what happening, then they'll be large-scale violence.
BALDWIN: Radhika, my final question to you. I'm sitting in Atlanta. You're in New York. We're what seems like a world away from what's been happening really the last 15 months in Syria. It's escalated the last really four days.
And I sit here and I'm frustrated. I look at these pictures. I was in Europe the last two weeks. People are talking about what is happening in Syria, but there seem to be no solution.
Just speaking to an American audience, what are we left with? What can we do? Is it just nothing?
COOMARASWAMY: There are two things. One is in the short-term we have to find ways of stopping the violence and stopping the civil war. And there are parties around the table at the security council that can influence both sides. It's really important that this war just stop.
But in the long-term, I think people have to be held accountable for these terrible crimes. And I think in that sense, perhaps, the United Nations and others are gathering information which will be on record and which, at one point, will, I think, be used if there is accountability.
And there should be accountability because these are horrendous war crimes and crimes against humanity. BALDWIN: Absolutely, there should be accountability. Radhika Coomaraswamy, thank you for your work. Be right back.
BALDWIN: After more than three decades, it turns out a dingo really did take her baby.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH MORRIS, CORONER, NORTHERN TERRITORY AUSTRALIA: The cause of the death was as the result of being attacked and taken by a dingo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: That was a ruling today from an Australian coroner in the case against Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton. The case goes all the way back to 1980. Chamberlain-Creighton and her family went camping in the Australian wilderness when her 2-month-old daughter disappeared.
Mom always said that a dingo stole her baby. Her story became the subject of that 1988 film called "A Cry in the Dark," starring Meryl Streep.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MERYL STREEP, ACTRESS: No. Please, no. A dingo took my baby!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Chamberlain-Creighton was sentenced to life for murdering her daughter. She actually served three years before new evidence of her daughter's torn clothing was found near a dingo den and, today, after multiple inquests, appeals, even a prison sentence, vindication for this mother.
Sunny Hostin is on the case with us, as always. Sunny, this is a long time gone by. We're talking three decades where this woman, this mother, is falsely accused. She lost her child back in 1980. What kind of legal recourse does she have?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: You would think she wants legal recourse, right? Because everybody remembers that film with Meryl Streep, "A Cry in the Dark," and remembers hearing about this case. When I heard that it was back in the news, it brought me right back.
Interestingly enough, Brooke, she says she's at the end of her legal journey. She has gotten everything out of the legal system that she wanted. She walked out with a death certificate so she can finally put that to rest.
And what a legal journey it's been, right? I've been doing some research on it. Apparently, four coroner inquests, one murder trial, as you mentioned, one judicial inquiry and various federal and high court appeals over 30 years. The baby would have been 32 years old this year, but this is, as she says, the end of her legal journey.
BALDWIN: I can't say I blame her just wanting to finally move past it.
Let's move to the next case. It takes us to Massachusetts. This town has officially banned cursing in public. This town of Middleborough voted to fine people who drop some of these forbidden words out in the open.
So they are looking at something like 20 bucks per vulgar violation. My question to you is, isn't this a First Amendment issue?
HOSTIN: It sure is. I live in New York City. My god, imagine if you would try to do something like that here. People would be paying money just all over the place.
But the Supreme Court has already spoken on this. You're right. I mean, this is constitutionally protected speech. The Supreme Court has found the government really can't prohibit public speech just because it contains profanity.
So I understand where they're going with it, but they're not going to be able to get very far with it.
BALDWIN: OK. So this ultimately winds up with someone saying, sorry, but freedom of speech. You can drop those f-bombs whenever you like. We just hope you don't too often.
HOSTIN: I think that's right.
BALDWIN: All right, Sunny Hostin, thank you very much.
Coming up as always, top of the hour, Mr. Wolf Blitzer, my friend in "The Situation Room." Wolf, it's been so long.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You were in London. We watched your excellent - first of all, how are you feeling? We got a little scare over there.
BALDWIN: I had a dodgy oyster and a little bit of hypothermia, but I'm fine. Thank you very much.
BLITZER: Because it was that Sunday morning when you were anchoring our coverage with Piers, I was watching and it was hard to watch because the weather was so bad.
BALDWIN: Yes, it was not fun, but seeing a thousand boats up the River Thames for the hour-and-a-half that I made it before having to get taken care of, I guess.
But then being back there I felt perfect on Tuesday in front of Buckingham Palace and I must say - actually, standby. Guys, just roll the clip.
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BALDWIN: Hi everyone, I'm Brooke, here in London, sitting beside this fellow British man, my new "besty," Piers Morgan, and we have had the best time here covering the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
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BALDWIN: Can I just tell you, Wolf, that the second I saw Piers when were hanging out in London before the show, he said, "Don't you know that Wolf Blitzer is going to be so jealous of me?"
BLITZER: I was. I was totally jealous. Piers is a great guy.
BALDWIN: He is.
BLITZER: I love Piers, but that was so much fun. I felt so bad when I heard you had hypothermia.
BALDWIN: I'm fine.
BLITZER: That's pretty serious.
BALDWIN: I'm fine and I ...
BLITZER: You actually had to go to a hospital too, is that right?
BALDWIN: I was in hospital as they say, the HRH, and was perfectly taken care of and fine and whisked myself away to south of France and I'm quite fabulous actually right now.
BLITZER: The south of France. We want details.
BALDWIN: I know. In the commercial break, my friend.
Meantime, you have a show. Tell me what you're working on.
BLITZER: You know, I went to this luncheon at the Brookings Institution here in Washington, a think tank sponsored today, and Hillary Clinton was there, Shimon Peres, the president of Israel.
But Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, was very tough on what's going on in Syria right now. She also said the Russians are - it looks like they're on the verge of sending attack helicopters to the Syrian army, to the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.
And the implication is, if the Russians do that, that's a game changer. We're going to go in-depth on that front here in "The Situation Room."
The foreign minister of Jordan, Nasser Judeh - Jordan is right next door to Syria, has an enormous amount at stake in what's going on in Syria, thousands of refugees have been pouring into Jordan.
We'll go in-depth with Nasser Judeh on what the latest is because you've been watching and you've been reporting all these late developments. A U.N. envoy now saying a full-scale civil war basically is in effect and they're torturing children.
BLITZER: So that's going to be a big chunk of the show.
A lot of other political news. The latest exchanges between President Obama and Mitt Romney are getting increasingly more intense. We're going in-depth on that as well.
BALDWIN: Mr. Blitzer, we'll see you in a few.
BLITZER: Good to have you back.
BALDWIN: Thank you.
Mike McQueary? Remember him? The grand jury report named him as an eyewitness to child rape in the investigation of Jerry Sandusky. Today, jurors are hearing from McQueary himself. Hear the star witness, day two of Sandusky trial. We're going to take you live to the courthouse for the very latest there.
BALDWIN: It was sexual. It was wrong. It was perverse. Those are the words of the prosecution's star witness in the Jerry Sandusky trial. Michael McQueary is on the stand and the story he has to tell is horrifying.
He claims he saw Sandusky raping a boy in a Penn State shower back in 2001 and investigators were never actually able to identify the boy. He is simply referred to as Victim Number Two.
Jean Casarez is a correspondent for TruTV's "In Session." She is now outside the courthouse. I know, Jean, you were inside, so walk me through some of the key moments from Mike McQueary's testimony today.
JEAN CASAREZ, TRUTV'S "IN SESSION": First of all, Mike McQueary was very confident on that stand, a very bold voice, a very tall, tall man. He was a quarterback for Penn State when Jerry Sandusky was the defensive coach for Penn State.
He testified that in 2001 that he was at home that night. He was watching a football movie, decided I'm going to go and do some work. He went to the Penn State campus, the athletic building, the coach's locker room, and he walked in the first door and he heard some slapping sounds, he said.
He said he felt embarrassed, didn't know what it was, thought he knew what it was, didn't know if he should even see it at all. So then he went in the second door to where his locker was. He stood near his locker and looked in the mirror.
It's a very small angular building and in the mirror he saw the reflection of two people, a man and what appeared to be a little boy. He said he turned around then to actually get a actual visual look at it and it was Jerry Sandusky, he said. A little boy had his hands on the wall of the shower with Jerry Sandusky behind him, Jerry Sandusky's hands wrapped around the little boy's waist.
He said the little boy came to about Jerry Sandusky's chest. He believes the boy was 10- to 12-years old. He said, at that point, his locker, he shut it really, really hard. He wanted to make a lot of noise.
And then he walked a few steps. He said it was three to five feet from them. They broke apart and he saw Jerry, he saw the little boy. He said there was eye contact between them all and then he went up to his office, called his father and said what do I do?
BALDWIN: So this is his testimony, just to be clear. We also heard from, you know, the first accuser coming forward against Sandusky. What did he say? How did he appear?
CASAREZ: This was a young boy just turned 18-years old, just graduated high school. He walks into the courtroom this morning and he's petrified. He walks in and you see him sort of look like this.
He sits in the witness chair and he begins to detail how he met Jerry Sandusky, how Jerry started to put his hand on his leg as they were driving in the car.
When it got to the point where he had to testify in regard to the first alleged sexual act that Jerry Sandusky did to him, he said - and he termed them his private parts - he started to sob.
And before that he was - just sort of like getting the courage, sort of hyperventilating, started to sob before he got those words out.
And on cross-examination he was attacked - I'll say - because for so many people that he spoke to, he told them nothing happened, at all, that Jerry always had his clothes on.
BALDWIN: And he is I know in his 30s now, a grown man and just breaking down on the witness stand, telling what he says happened so many years ago.
Jean Casarez, thank you so much. We'll be following that trial, of course, very closely there with you.
In the meantime, that's it for me. Good to be back here in the seat. I'm Brooke Baldwin at the CNN world headquarters.
Now to Wolf Blitzer. "THE SITUATION ROOM" begins right now.