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Libya Casts Historic Vote Today; Afghanistan Gets U.S. Ally Status; Syria Fires Grenades Into Lebanon; Severe Heat Threat Continues Through Much of U.S.; Training With The Smoke Jumpers; George Zimmerman Out Of Jail; Sharks Reappear Near Cape Cod; Party With A Purpose; Job Growth Slows in June
Aired July 7, 2012 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN ANCHOR: This is a historic day in Libya, after 40 years of Moammar Gadhafi's rule, Libyans lined up to vote in the country's first free election. They were electing a national assembly that will be responsible for appointing a transitional government.
My colleague, CNN producer Jomana Karadsheh, is live in Tripoli.
Jomana, it's a historic day. What's the mood among the people right now and is voter turnout good?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN PRODUCER: Gary, it's been an incredible day. People here, there's a sense of national pride. People are driving around Tripoli in their cars waving the free Libya flag and showing their inked fingers, a sign of pride in a post-revolution Arab countries these days.
The turnout so far has been pretty good according to the Electoral Commission. We expect to hear more when the polls close. They're expected to close in about two hours, possible extensions to that. But so far we are told more voters than expected have turned out.
TUCHMAN: Jomana, who's on the ballot today?
KARADSHEH: Well, that is one of the key issues here, Gary, is people are overwhelmed by the choice. Thousands of candidates are running in this election for the National Congress.
Most of them are virtually unknown to the Libyan population who, for more than 40 years, knew one man only, Moammar Gadhafi, and today, his picture was replaced by the pictures of thousands of people.
Some are individual candidates running. Others are representing more than 300 political entity, Islamists, liberals, different political groupings.
End of the day, Gary, they have to work together, no matter who emerges from this election and it's very hard to tell with no real polling who will come out from this election as a winner.
They are going to have to set their differences aside and work together and lead Libya down the road to democracy. TUCHMAN: Have the elections been peaceful so far?
KARADSHEH: Here in Tripoli things seem to be running smoothly. Security was tightened across the country. More than 13,000 Libyan army troops were deployed across the country.
But in the city of Benghazi and surrounding cities in the east there was some disruption to the voting. Some attacks by pro federalism protesters.
Those are protesters in the eastern part of the country where Moammar Gadhafi marginalized them for decades. They still feel that they are being sidelined by the central government here in Tripoli and they want more representation.
And many of those pro federalists have called for a boycott of the vote, although there has been a good turnout of voters in most polling centers in Benghazi.
There are reports of attacks on some of these polling centers and some acts of sabotage. We will learn more about this later on in the day.
TUCHMAN: Final question for you, Jomana, how will the election of the transitional government work?
KARADSHEH: Well, what is going to happen now, is 200 Libyans are going to be elected into this National Congress and they have about 30 days to name a prime minister for this transitional government who will have to put together a cabinet.
They have a long list of issues, Gary, to deal with, starting with security. People's expectations are really high. Many here feel that this election is something like a magic wand that is going to solve their problems.
Topping their list of issues, demands from their new elected officials is security. Libya is still far from stable. There are more than 200,000 people who are armed in Libya, militias that are divided along regional lines.
And what they want to see is a strong government that emerges that is able to reign in these militias and create a strong police and army force following that is basic services, including health care.
TUCHMAN: Jomana, looks like you could be standing in front of Hawaii or Tahiti. A very nice job, thank you for reporting for us, Jomana Karadsheh.
Well, the U.S. has given Afghanistan a gift, only a few other countries have, ally status. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the announcement during an unannounced visit to Kabul.
The ally status gives Afghanistan access to U.S. defense resources and training, ahead of the 2014 U.S. troop withdrawal. Clinton says the designation is aimed at keeping Afghanistan secure for the long term.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Our strategic partnership agreement is not aimed at any other country. Our goal is to work with the region and the international community to strengthen Afghanistan's institutions so that the transition is successful and the Afghan people themselves can take responsibility and the future of Afghanistan will be safer and more secure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TUCHMAN: Mrs. Clinton now heads to a donor meeting in Tokyo to gather financial support for Afghanistan.
Now to Syria, where the violence is spreading beyond the border, two rocket propelled grenades fired from Syria slammed into a Lebanese border town.
Two Syrian refugees were killed and two others wounded. Violence continues across the country. At least 34 people died in Syria today.
At a meeting in Paris, Secretary of State Clinton blasted Russia and China for blocking efforts to topple Syrian President Assad.
Back in the U.S., slow and steady is proving to be a losing combination for thousands of people who have been without power now for a full week.
Crews are still trying to restore electricity to some 300,000 customers in the mid-Atlantic and the northeast. If that wasn't bad enough, temperatures are going to be even hotter in some of those cities today.
Let's turn to meteorologist Alexandra Steele to see where the big dangers are today. And a perspective at how bad this heat wave has actually been.
ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hi, good afternoon, Gary. You know, we were just talking about, of course, all of those power outages.
Just so you know, this heat wave we're experiencing has some seriously long legs. I mean, two weeks ago, of course, this is the heat wave that began, but it began on the west coast.
And it was the same heat wave, more or less, that exacerbated the wildfires, that moved into the upper Midwest. Remember last Friday that strong ratio that put everything without power and we're seeing the same heat in the northeast and southeast and mid-Atlantic.
So this has certainly been historical. Over 4,500 daily records, but what's even more interesting than that and more notable?
Over 240 in the last two weeks alone, records we've seen not just a daily high, not just a monthly high, but places like Atlanta, hit temperatures they've never seen on any day on any month ever. Denver hit 105, never been there, have been there the last two weeks. Nashville hit 109. They had never been there and now they have, but relief is coming, but it will come at a price and I'll show you that.
So as we head toward today temperatures will be in the 100, 105 region in Washington. Tomorrow you hit 101. Here's where the quadrant of heat remains, St. Louis though, 103 today, 96 tomorrow.
But then on Monday, you can see the cold front comes down, cooler air making its way, migrating farther, farther south and then pretty much (inaudible). But then it does come with some serious consequences, a potential for some damaging storms.
Right now we do have a thunderstorm watch posted for New York City. New York, what they could see are damaging wind gusts like we've seen with the Derecho's in the last week and a half.
There's where that storm is now making its way to New York. This is the area under concern today, New York, Pittsburgh, Washington, Baltimore so certainly big populace areas will be really impacted by some strong storms potentially today.
And Gary, it's that cool air that's really helping kind of in tandem with the moisture fire them off so it's the heat release.
TUCHMAN: Alexandra, what so unique about this, I mean, it's hot in July we're used to that, but for much of the country it was a warm winter. So we haven't had cold weather for so long in so many parts of the U.S.
STEELE: That's right. There's nothing cold about this cool air, nothing cold about our past winter. You know, this pore tends what we have coming for the summer, really, brutal and deadly.
And we've seen that because you know, Gary, the night time temperatures that don't drop staying in the low 80s, without a sea, which many people in the north don't have, that's really where it's becoming quite deadly.
TUCHMAN: Alexandra, thank you very much.
Overseas, too, much rain is the problem. In Southern Russia, flash flooding has killed more than 100 people. You can see entire city streets are completely submerged. Cars are stranded. Floodwaters rose 20 feet and people were asleep. Some were rescued by police after seeking refuge on roofs and trees.
Back in the U.S. and to a series of killings in the state of Ohio. Police are investigating four deaths in Newton Falls that's about 60 miles from Cleveland.
They're trying to determine if three bodies found in a home and one found nearby are connected to another man who apparently committed suicide in a cemetery. Police say one child was able to escape the shootings in that home.
As times change so do criminals. You won't believe what a guy is caught on tape stealing and why he's doing it.
TUCHMAN: It seems the black market is going green. Thieves are making big bucks stealing recyclable material like cardboard and oil from sidewalks and back allies.
Susan Candiotti shows us why it's so lucrative.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's 3:00 a.m. and a man emerges from a professional looking truck behind the Red Rooster Restaurant in Damascus, Maryland.
He wears a seemingly official vest, but instead of unlocking some padlocks he snaps them off. What's he after, believe it or not cooking oil.
PAT MILLER, RED ROOSTER: For somebody to just come up and do that sort of thing, I don't know why anybody would ever want to mess with that nasty stuff.
CANDIOTTI: This alleged thief messed with them before. The restaurant surveillance camera caught the action.
MILLER: The worst thing is they even cut the locks off. I mean, come on.
CANDIOTTI: The cooking oil rip-off came right before the Red Rooster's monthly grease pick-up.
MILLER: Anything we cook on the flat grill goes into a drawer and we dump it in a bucket. Same with the chicken fryer and the barbecue.
CANDIOTTI: That goop is used by refiners to make biodiesel fuel for powering cars and trucks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They cut us a check for $160 every time we fill it up.
CANDIOTTI: A great deal for honest businesses. But thieves also are cashing in ripping off the waste oil and selling it on the black market for $500 a pick-up. The refining industry says it's a nationwide problem.
TOM COOK, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NATIONAL RENDERERS ASSOCIATION: A 100 percent profit for them if they steal it and sell it.
CANDIOTTI: A similar situation for recycled cardboard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We lose approximately $100,000 per week due to cardboard theft.
CANDIOTTI: It's hard to tell legitimate recyclers from thieves since the cardboard left on sidewalks for pick-up seems up for grabs. RON BERGANMINI, CEO, ACTION ENVIRONMENT GROUP: For somewhat obvious reasons, they don't make it a high priority, so the risk of getting caught is low and then the penalties are low.
CANDIOTTI: But Ron Berganmini is looking to change that.
BERGANMINI: It is a serious problem. We're here to help.
CANDIOTTI: He's petitioning New York City Council to stiffen those penalties. After all, thieves can make hundreds of dollars a night with just a truck and a late night hunt for cardboard. Easily pay any fines if caught.
BERGANMINI: It's a bad economy so people are out looking to hustle to make themselves money.
CANDIOTTI: Illegal green siphoned from the green economy.
Susan Candiotti, CNN, New York.
TUCHMAN: If flying through the air towards a major wildfire sounds unbelievable to you, wait until you see the elite smoke jumpers at work when we return.
TUCHMAN: Political debates in American talk shows can get heated, but nothing like in Jordan.
OK, that's scary stuff. A Jordanian member of parliament threw a shoe and he then pulled out his pistol when a discussion with a former MP got heated and it was all on live television.
It seems he was accused of buying his way into Jordan's parliament. The host stepped in to break up the fight. A police report has been filed. Aside from some bruised egos, there were no injuries.
Higher humidity and lower winds helping firefighters battle a fast- moving wildfire in Northern California. The blaze has scorched more than 1200 acres and destroyed five homes near the town of Redding.
Crews hope to have the fire contained later today. Firefighters in Washington state hope to have a fire line built around this blaze today. The fire broke out in steep terrain east of Seattle. So far there are no reports of injuries or damages.
Colorado's monstrous Waldo Canyon fire, the good news, it's now 95 percent contained. The fire, though, was the most destructive in state history and required help from the most specialized fire crews in the United States.
This week, I got a firsthand look at how the smoke jumpers train and as I found out, it's not for the faint of heart.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the entire USA, there are only 430 of them. They are among the firefighting elite. They are the "Smokejumpers."
And many of them are in Colorado right now marching onto aircraft, which is their transportation to the action. Their job? To fly into the fires just as new ones are starting up and stop them from getting bigger.
This is video the smokejumpers just brought back. It's hard to spot the flames from up here 1,500 feet, but the smokejumpers are trained to see them and it's all very clear when they're on the ground.
Nowhere near any roads and sometimes quite a distance from any civilization. If they don't get to the blaze quickly, the flames will often spread rapidly. Smokejumpers court disaster every day they're on the job.
(on camera): When you talk to people you know that aren't close family, you tell them what you do, what do they say to you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They think I should have my head examined.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Part of the reason for that is because of how they get to the fires.
(on camera): Firefighting is not an occupation for the timid particularly in this specialty. Take a look, these guys just don't fight fires, they sky dive into potentially deadly combustible wilderness.
(voice-over): We were invited to watch the smokejumpers train in this canyon near Grand Junction, Colorado. After the smokejumpers land, their equipment is attached to its own parachute.
STEVE STROUD, SMOKEJUMPER: Inside the cargo you find our hand tools for fighting the fires.
TUCHMAN: The smoke jumpers who all work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Interior also have MREs, water and sleeping bags in their cargo boxes.
Because they may be in the wilderness for up to 48 hours while hauling gear on their backs.
PHILIP LIND, SMOKEJUMPER: It usually weighs between 120 to 140 pounds and will hike out of that situation.
TUCHMAN: The fires in Colorado have been unpredictable and relentless, but there are so many other ways to get hurt including lightning and bad parachute landings.
Philip Lind who's once seriously hurt when he missed the target.
LIND: I had a branch of a tree puncture me and come through this pelvis and eviscerate me and fortunately, the personnel I was with was a trained paramedic.
TUCHMAN: The smokejumpers put out the fires by clearing fuels with their equipment and digging fire lines. Also building backfires to stop the wildfires in their tracks.
They have to get along with each other because their lives depend relying each other.
(on camera): Are there times when you're fearful?
LIND: Most certainly. I think all firefighters have moment when they're fearful. We like to say courage is not the absence of fear, but making of action in spite of it.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): And there has been no shortage of action this fire season.
TUCHMAN: They're not only brave men and women. They're very kind and nice brave men and women too. It's enjoyable spending time with them.
The crews know if it's safe to parachute is to fly 150 feet above the terrain, see if there's smoke, rocky terrain, once it's okay fly to 1500 feet and the smokejumpers do their jumping.
Well, should convicted prisoners be provided air conditioning? What if the temperature in their cell is over 100 degrees? Our legal guys Richard and Avery will give us their take. It should be very interesting.
If you have to go out today, just a reminder, you can continue watching CNN from your mobile phone. You can also watch CNN live from your laptop, just go to CNN.com/TV.
TUCHMAN: Is it cruel and unusual punishment to deny prisoners air conditioning during the heat of summer or is discomfort just what convicted criminals deserve?
In one South Texas prison a lawsuit says the indoor temperature exceeded 110 for four days. Last summer, four inmates died at several other prisons due to heat-related causes.
Another lawsuit has been filed in one of those deaths. Let's bring in our legal guys, Avery Friedman, civil rights attorney and law professor is in Cleveland.
And Richard Herman, a New York criminal defense attorney and law professor joins us from Miami. Gentlemen, thank you very much for joining us.
This is a provocative topic and they are saying overheating conditions violate the eighth amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Avery, what's your take on that? AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Yes. I think this week may answer the question coming up shortly. A three-judge federal appeals panel, which rejected the question of foreseeability, negligence, but the court seemed to be very concerned about this question, how many more people have to die?
That was the statement by one of the federal appeals judges before we take a look at doing something about the 21 of the 111 state prisons in Texas.
I think the three-judge panel is going to say, Gary, it is cruel and unusual punishment, 126 degrees, 143 degrees, it's time to do something about that.
TUCHMAN: Richard, prison officials accuse or accused of not providing enough fans, ventilation, water, refusing to follow local and national prison standards.
A Texas law requires counties to maintain temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees. This is what's interesting the law does not apply to state prisons, right?
RICHARD HERMAN, LAW PROFESSOR: Does not apply to state prisons, Gary. You're exactly right. I don't think that the circuit court is going to come down as hard as Avery thinks.
I think they may make some remedial suggestions to provide fans, but this is Texas. Don't mess with Texas. It's very, very tough sentencing state.
You know, I don't know what percentage of people in Texas have fully air conditioned homes? These individuals are incarcerated. There's a purpose for incarceration.
Deterrence, protect the public. It should be a just punishment. I understand that. But whether it really rises to the level, this gentleman was 345 pounds. His body temperature was 109 degrees, Gary. So the conditions are deplorable.
TUCHMAN: I want to read to you what the state of Texas is saying. The state of Texas says that steps are taken to address heat. Outside activity restricted, frequent water breaks, allow additional showers, fans and blowers used.
I mean, some people might argue there are millions of people in the United States that don't have air conditioning in their homes why should inmates have air conditioning.
FRIEDMAN: That has nothing to do with it. Gary, it has nothing to do with it. The issue isn't whether or not we've made prisoners comfortable. That's not the issue.
The issue is whether or not the extreme temperatures of 120, 130, 140 degrees constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. I think it does.
I think will there are ways of addressing it and the three-judge panel is going to order Texas to make some changes in those 21 prisons.
TUCHMAN: Avery, and Richard, OK, we move on now to another topic. Davis, he is a man sentenced to 162 years in prison with no parole for an armed robbery spree that started when he was 18.
This was his first offense. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week a state cannot mandate a life sentence without parole for juveniles convicted of murder. Is there a similar argument in this case, Richard?
HERMAN: Well, you know, Gary, the judge, the sentencing judge, clearly has discretion here. He's not bound by the mandatory minimum requirements. However, this judge had his it against this defendant here and stacked the sentences, which led to this incredible sentence.
For a first time offender to get this sentence, you know, the rules in the federal court especially are the early bird gets the worm. All the other co-conspirators and defendants ran in with their attorneys cut deals because their lawyers advised them they were facing a prison sentence like this.
However, this gentleman decided his attorney advised I guess not to go in and make a deal, incredibly stupid move and look at the sentence he's got. There's no way he's going to get out.
He's going to have to become a rat to get out. He may not have any information to provide the government and he will die in prison.
TUCHMAN: Avery, let me ask you this. The prosecutor in the case says Davis was violent, fired shod, brandished a gun, threatened to kill one man and during the trial, Davis was described as learning disabled, bipolar.
And five other accomplices cut plea deals and they are given sentences from nine to 22 years and Davis says he was never offered a plea deal. So is it fair a guy like this faces all his entire natural life in prison is what in effect this will be?
FRIEDMAN: Well, the argument and the argument being made in the Court of Appeals is whether or not 162-year sentence constitutes an eighth amendment violation. Cruel and unusual.
Gary, this isn't a first offender. This is a first, second, third, fourth, fifth sixth and seventh offender with a gun, shooting at people. Five witnesses testified against him.
I don't think in a million years that you will ever see a federal appeals court conclude that this constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Sorry that he did it once or three times or six times or seven times. He did it.
Unfortunately, there are sentencing rules which are going to come under review by Congress, but absent congressional action to modify things, which I don't think is realistic that sentence is going to stand. HERMAN: And Gary, I tell you, I have personal firsthand experience with the 11th Circuit in Atlanta on appeals where they upheld an 845- year prison term on a white collar insurance fraud, 845 on a white collar insurance fraud, upheld by the 11th Circuit. No chance that the 11th Circuit will overturn this one.
TUCHMAN: Avery and Richard, the moral of the story.
FRIEDMAN: I agree.
TUCHMAN: The moral of the story, crime does not pay, right?
FRIEDMAN: That's right.
HERMAN: The moral of the story is don't shoot people and try it seven times, Gary. I think that's what this case is about, pretty easy.
TUCHMAN: The second moral to the story. Avery and Richard, thank you. You both will be back in 20 minutes from now to talk about the bathtub that one prosecutor says is essentially a murder weapon. We will see you guys shortly.
Just in time for summer beachgoers. Here come the great white sharks. This is not a promo for "Jaws 4" or "Jaws 5." I don't know where we in the sequels there, but find out why some locals are actually glad to see the giant creatures so close to shore.
TUCHMAN: Top stories now.
George Zimmerman is a free man. One day after a Florida judge said he was flight risk, Zimmerman was able to post a $100,000 bond to get out. He is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman says it was self-defense. A previous bond was revoked after he failed to disclose public donations.
We officially know how Mary Richardson Kennedy died. Medical examiners say the estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. hanged herself and died from asphyxiation. Toxicology reports say there were no traces of alcohol in her system, but the report did find three antidepressants. Kennedy took her life back in May.
Pamplona, Spain, the annual running of the bulls is on. Of course, there are the usual hazards. Six runners, including a 74-year-old man, were hurt on the first day, but no one seriously as of yet. The races will be held for eight straight days. They end on July 14th.
Beach goers at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, are staying close to the shore these days. They're worried about something lurking beneath the usually calm waters. Brian Todd finds out more.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Gorgeous weather and it's the height of summer. But they're only going in waist deep and it's not because the water's cold.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I grew up watching "Jaws" back in the '70s and vivid memories and I don't want to relive that.
TODD: This is what they're worried about on Cape Cod.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody out.
TODD: Not far from where "Jaws" was filmed great white sharks are back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tuesday was the most recent sightings by one of our spotter pilots, two white sharks.
TODD: Each measuring at least 14 feet. Authorities have identified 20 of these predators right off the cape over the past three years and believe there are many more lurking.
A group called "Cape Cod Shark Hunters" works with the Massachusetts division of Marine Fisheries to track, photograph and tag the great whites.
We're out off the cape looking for the sharks with John Chisholm of the Marine Fisheries Division. We spot abundant marine life here including hump back whales.
It looks like a harpoon, but it's a listening nation. These buoys carry receivers that track the migration and behavior of great whites that have been tagged. What's drawing them here?
JOHN CHISHOLM, MASSACHUSETTS DIVISION OF MARINE FISHERIES: We know they're here looking for seals. That's why we placed these in strategic locations where we have documented seals.
TODD: The population of gray and harbor seals on Cape Cod has made a comeback in recent years. Every expert we speak to points to that as the magnet for great whites.
(on camera): Here's a pod of seals. This is an area where they've tagged a lot of sharks. We're told that the sharks are very stealthy, they'll lurk on the bottom, come up and grab the seals even this close to shore.
Scenes like this make people wonder how close the sharks could be. The dead seal washed up on shore. Things to look for in a seal that's been attacked, teeth marks possible tearing that could be what you're seeing right here.
TODD (voice-over): An expert later looks at our video and says this was likely a shark attack victim. The sharks aren't scaring folks off. They're actually a top attraction this summer and even good for business.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some quality great white shark t-shirts being sold it's awesome.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think folks in general love to see sharks, love the idea of sharks. I think sharks fascinate people.
TODD: One marine biologist points out a human hasn't been attacked by a shark in these waters since 1936, but with the seal population making a comeback, and the seals proximity to the swimmers, authorities here are getting increasingly concerned. Brian Todd, CNN, Chatham, Massachusetts.
TUCHMAN: A bathtub is the key to a murder case playing out in Illinois. Remember Drew Peterson? That bathtub could hold the key to whether he gets convicted. Our legal guys will be back to explain.
TUCHMAN: Later this month, former Illinois Police Sergeant Drew Peterson goes on trial for killing his third wife Kathleen Savio. This week a judge ruled the bathtub Savio drowned in will not be allowed to be brought into court during the trial.
Prosecutors consider the tub a key piece of evidence in the case. Our legal guys are back, Avery Friedman in Cleveland, Ohio, and Richard Herman is in Miami, Florida.
Gentlemen, so Drew Peterson goes on trial later this month for the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Of course, he's the main suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife and, of course, he was married to two wives before that.
That's another story. Actually interviewed the husband of his first wife once, a strange interview, but that's a story for another day. Anyway, Savio's body was exhumed, second autopsy determined it was a homicide after the suspicion of the fourth wife.
State police removed the tub after the autopsy. The prosecutors want that tub to be shown to jurors. Avery, how important is that and why isn't it happening?
FRIEDMAN: Well, prosecutors are claiming that the bathtub is the so- called murder weapon. Actually, it is. What the prosecutors wanted to do, Gary, was haul the bathtub into court to use it during their opening statement.
And Judge Edward Vermilla who is handling this matter is showing discretion. He is employing judicial temperament and saying no, maybe, but not right now.
The tub belongs in the house and the jurors may have to see that, but if there are complications getting into the house, believe it or not that bathtub may, indeed, be coming into the courtroom.
TUCHMAN: So Richard, is that an unusual thing, I mean, if I'm a prosecutor I might say let's take a field trip to the house. What I understand not only is the bathtub not there.
But there are new people who live in the house and might be saying I don't want the bathtub to be reconstructed in the house that I've paid for. But how likely is that to possibly happen, Richard?
HERMAN: I think that's the only possibility. The judge may direct them to reinstall it and bring the jury on a field trip to the house to see the bathroom conditions.
It's way too prejudicial and inflammatory to bring the tub into the courtroom and let the jury gaze their eyes upon that tub. More importantly, Gary, if this is the central piece of the prosecution's case, they are woefully in bad shape here.
I mean, they better have something better than this tub and they better have something better than this hearsay statement that the fourth wife allegedly made to the pastor that she seemed to have seen him carry some body or some bag out.
I mean, they better have evidence here because like Denzel said in "Training day" it's not what you know, it's what you can prove. And right now, this prosecution case looks extremely weak to me, extremely weak, Gary.
TUCHMAN: Well, Avery, let me just ask you. I mean, why is prejudicial to bring the bathtub into the court? I mean, the jurors are adults. The prosecutors will talk about it. The defense will talk about it. Why can't you do that?
FRIEDMAN: Well, because there's a responsibility on the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt and it would clearly be prejudicial. The judge is handling it right.
We're going to hear experts who will say in so many words it would have been impossible to justify Drew Peterson's explanation on how his third wife, Kathleen Savio, died.
They're going to be able to show and I think they're going to meet their burden, I don't agree. I think this is a good case for the prosecution, and tying in the expert with the tub.
If the owners of the house, by the way, are not going to let the juror in, that bathtub may be coming into court. The judge is looking for a way to get access to that bathtub in the context of where the crime occurred and we're going to have to wait and see. Trial starts on 31st of July, Gary.
TUCHMAN: OK, well, the jury selection begins two weeks from Monday, July 23rd. Now we move on, gentlemen, to another story not nearly as serious, but I think pretty interesting. This is a story of a stolen --
TUCHMAN: I think it's interesting.
HERMAN: I know it's interesting.
TUCHMAN: Maybe it's --
HERMAN: Come on, Gary.
TUCHMAN: Maybe a little farcical, gentlemen.
FRIEDMAN: Maybe it's interesting. I don't know how serious it is.
TUCHMAN: We have to tell our viewers about it first. This pertains to a stolen doggy web site. Scott Smith says his ex-girlfriend Anna Kamara stole the web site they created. It's called sammyandthecity.com.
Smith is suing her, $500,000 he says his girlfriend changed passwords, listed herself as the sole owner to trademark the lucrative web site. What is the web site?
It's the dog of Scott Smith. He made a web site thousands and -- 40,000 followers. I don't know why 40,000 of you are looking at that. Maybe something about it that's interesting.
My question for you is, does this lawsuit have merit? Let's start with you, Avery?
FRIEDMAN: Well, no. I mean, Scott Smith, the plaintiff here, is not going to get out of this case. I don't even know -- the better question, what is the lawyer who represents Smith really thinking in pursuing it?
Maybe he's trying to get an injunction, I don't know, but $500,000? The web site has never generated one nickel. So how on earth does Scott Smith intend to prevail in this case?
By the way, Anna has not been served with the papers yet. Let's see if she brings a counter claim. She claims she has c-co-ownership of the dog.
TUCHMAN: Richard, this woman denies changing the passwords and locking her ex-boyfriend out of the site. The site features Smith's dog, Sammy, in various pictures and videos around New York and nana was the photographer, everyone acknowledges that.
Smith has created a new site in the meantime called everybody lovessammy.com, but either way, do you see any merit in this, Richard?
HERMAN: Dog poop, Gary. That's what I see here. That's the PG rated version of this. Really, this is a ridiculous case. It goes to show you anybody can start a lawsuit for about $175, $225, buy an index number and file a complaint and ask for the world. Anybody can do that.
Does the case have merit? It has absolutely no merit like Avery said. Generate nothing income, no damages. They re-established a website off and running.
There are conflicting claims on whether she stole the words or not, the password. He got his hump up. He saw her carrying her iPhone and tried to take it from her. They charged him with larceny and put him in jail for that. So it's ridiculous. TUCHMAN: Avery and Richard, very interesting.
FRIEDMAN: No bone of contention here.
TUCHMAN: No bone. I think we can go on for hours with doggy jokes and maybe continue after the show.
FRIEDMAN: We have a whole list for you, buddy.
TUCHMAN: Gentlemen, it's great seeing you. Thanks for joining us today. See you next week.
FRIEDMAN: Take care, Gary.
TUCHMAN: Well, the Essence Music Festival has taken over New Orleans, Louisiana, this weekend. But what you may not realize, it's a party with a purpose. Our very own Fredricka Whitfield will show us.
TUCHMAN: If you were in the big easy this weekend, there's only one place to be, the 2012 Essence Music Festival. Super stars like the queen of soul Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige and Chaka Khan are performing.
There have been also hopes to empower those in attendance. The woman whose seat I am keeping very warm right now, Fredricka Whitfield is in New Orleans. Tell us more about it. Hi, Fred.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Gary. Lots of powerful panels and, of course, powerful music and musicians. Just take a look behind me. That's Charlie Wilson of the Gap Band who has launched a single career right now.
And you can see a huge crowd has turned out just to get a glimpse of Charlie Wilson, a picture of him and maybe a chance to kind of summon him over and ask him a few questions. It's happened like that all morning long here at the convention center.
Also today, talk about those powerful panels. National Urban League Mark Morial will be returning to his home city, once mayor here in New Orleans. He along with Congresswoman Maxine Waters and a number of other people will talk politics today.
What's at stake be for you. Just four months away from the national election. And then among the great panels that have been taking place here, I had the privilege of talking to Vanessa Williams and her mom Helen Williams who had come out, co-written a book together "You Have No Idea."
It really talks about that mother/daughter relationship and the resiliency of family going through it all from Miss America to that solo recording career to acting on the big screen and the small screen and on Broadway as well.
And then today, I had a chance to talk with Marianne John Baptiste, actress, know her from "Without A Trace" come out with a new movie called "Won't Back Down" about education reform.
She's part of a smart panel today talking about education reform. She talks about her perspective coming from the U.K. and here to the U.S.
MARIANNE JEAN BAPTISTE, ACTRESS: I think it's pretty much the same. There certainly needs to be some kinds of reform in the U.K. as well as, you know, here in the United States. You know, there's the issue of schools failing.
Children that are not receiving adequate education, being allowed to leave without having a decent reading level or math. So I think it's -- I won't say it was a global issue. It's probably a first world issue at the moment.
WHITFIELD: You have two daughters. They're in school here in the states. Overall, what would be your frustrations or what would be the things that you celebrate as a parent about what you see and their evolution of education?
BAPTISTE: What's frustrating is the amount of work I have to do.
WHITFIELD: Darn homework.
BAPTISTE: I can't remember my parents doing as much work with us as I do with my children. You know, literally having to sit down with them. But I mean if that's what it takes, that's what you do.
I think that's what makes the difference, reading with your kids, doing the extra stuff. For some of us, having to leave work and go home and do that, can be quite trying, but you just have to do it.
WHITFIELD: That's Marianne Jean-Baptiste, the actress. So later today, I'm going to be moderating a panel called the "Women's Agenda," how so many women shoulder it all from being the primary breadwinners in the family to tackling education for their family, health care, managing it all.
This as black women continue to outnumber black men in their bachelor and master degrees over the past 20 years by 50 percent and how we're also talking about 70 percent of black children are now being led by single parent families so all that straight ahead.
I'm going to have Dr. Julianne Malveaux, along with me as well as Constance White, the editor and chief of "Essence" magazine, among others as part of that panel later on today. We'll bring you much more of that conversation your way -- Gary.
TUCHMAN: Fredricka, it's great seeing you. Have great time there. We look forward to seeing you later this afternoon.
WHITFIELD: All right. Good seeing you too.
TUCHMAN: Thanks, Fred.
Lackluster job numbers turn up the heat on the campaign trail. What effect will this have on the November election only four months away? We will take a look.
TUCHMAN: New numbers show jobs are being created just not very quickly. Government reports 80,000 jobs were created last month, well below the 95,000 many experts were counting on. That leaves the unemployment rate at 8.2 percent.
There was some good news. The manufacturing sector added 14,000 jobs, higher than expected, but presidential candidate Mitt Romney says that is not good enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a time for America to choose whether they want more of the same, whether unemployment above 8 percent month after month after month is satisfactory or not. It doesn't have to be this way. America can do better and this kick in the gut has got to end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TUCHMAN: For his part, President Obama put a positive spin on the report calling it a step in the right direction. Dan Lothian has that.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Obama's battleground bus tour drove over a big speed bump when dismal job numbers overshadowed his campaign message.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's still tough out there.
LOTHIAN: At a rally in Poland, Ohio, the president didn't dwell on negative news instead played up private sector gains.
OBAMA: The businesses created 84,000 new jobs last month. That overall means businesses have created 4.4 million new jobs over the past 28 months including 500,000 new manufacturing jobs. That's a step in the right direction.
LOTHIAN: Unemployment remains at 8.2 percent and voters are divided over who can best handle the economy. A recent CNN/ORC poll shows 48 percent of registered voters think Mitt Romney, 47 percent President Obama.
Looking to keep a tight grip on the battleground states of Ohio and Pennsylvania that voted for him in 2008, the president pushed his message of manufacturing gains especially in the auto industry to working-class voters. He began the final day of his "Betting on America" bus tour with breakfast in Akron, Ohio, where the president was joined by three union workers from a nearby Goodyear tire plant.
OBAMA: You've been there 20 years and still there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
LOTHIAN: Then the president toured the Summer Garden Food manufacturing plant near Youngstown, a business the campaign said was expanding and creating jobs.
At Carnegie Melon University in Pittsburgh, his biggest event of the tour, there was one final appeal for a second term.
OBAMA: And if you still believe in me like I believe in you, I hope you will stand with me in 2012.
LOTHIAN: The president told supporters at almost every stop on the two-day bus tour that he was tough enough to handle negative ads from his opponent and outside groups, but he admitted that he was being outspent. The first time that's ever happened to a sitting president. Dan Lothian, CNN, Pittsburgh.
TUCHMAN: Coming up in the CNN NEWSROOM, the polls close in Libya. We'll have a live report from Tripoli. Also, a report on widespread police corruption in Puerto Rico.
"YOUR MONEY" starts now.