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Shooting Rampage At Sikh Temple; Protests At U.S. Embassy In New Delhi; NASA's SUV-Sized Rover On Mars; IOC: U.S. Athlete Doped; Boy Hugs Murray After Gold Medal Win; Romney Versus Reid; New Info On Temple Shooting Suspect; Temple Shooting Suspect Ties to Hate Group; High Tech SUV-Sized Rover on Mars
Aired August 6, 2012 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Just ahead in the NEWSROOM, 40-year- old army veteran Wade Michael Page, that's who law enforcement sources say is responsible for that deadly shooting at a Sikh temple outside of Milwaukee. This morning, we're learning more about him and that deadly attack.
Mitt Romney and the debate over his taxes. It goes on. Now Republicans are calling Senator Harry Reid a dirty liar. We'll delve into that this morning.
A rover the size of a mini cooper spends first day on the red planet. NASA's curiosity mission reaches Mars safely. Now scientists have a lot of work ahead of them.
And he stole the show as Andy Murray stole the gold medal in men's tennis. So how did a young fan, a little boy get a hug from Murray? There he is, moments after the big win. We'll talk to that little guy. NEWSROOM starts right now.
Good morning. Thank you so much for joining us. I'm Carol Costello. We begin with new details on the bloody rampage at a Sikh temple and the man who opened fire.
As mourners lit candles and honored the six people killed, a troubling image emerges of the shooter. New this morning, several law enforcement sources identified the shooter as Wade Michael Page, 40 years old.
He had served in the U.S. Army. Last hour, we learned from a Pentagon source that Page was discharged in 1998 for a pattern of misconduct. He may also have been a white supremacist. Page was shot to death after wounding a police officer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: Ambulance up, subject's down! Officer is down! Bring the ambulance!
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCH: Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: We have one officer shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: There is a news conference scheduled for just about an hour from now. CNN's David Mattingly is in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Any more word on the shooter?
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, this picture of Wade Michael Page is slowly coming together, still not enough to draw conclusions about him.
But we did hear from that Pentagon source who said he was discharged from the army back in 1998 for what he described as patterns of misconduct. No elaboration there. So we don't know what that misconduct might be.
We've also been able to confirm that the handgun he used in the shooting described as a 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol was purchased legally and it was purchased recently in the Milwaukee area. So that information now is also new.
Last night, I was watching as federal and local law enforcement brought a lot of resources to bear on searching his home. That's about five miles away from the temple here. They approached it very cautiously as if they were ready for combat.
Approaching it as if somebody might still be inside that house or that might be some sort of booby traps or any sort of explosive devices rigged to go as they went in. But they were very cautious.
They were able to enter that home without incident. Federal authorities carried out boxes of materials. We don't know what was in those. In fact, a local police chief here said he has not surprised at what sort of evidence they took into their possession at that location so the investigation still going on here.
We're hoping to learn a little more about what they're finding out about this man as they go along with the press conference that's going to be coming up.
In the meantime, this attack has just shaken the members of this temple to their very core. This group has been known for their charity toward the community about their openness.
And about their kindness and to have someone come in there and bring such violence and death to them right at their home has shaken everyone from the oldest to the youngest in that group.
COSTELLO: David Mattingly reporting live for us. Again, that news conference expected to take place in just about an hour. Of course, CNN will carry that.
The massacre deeply rattled the Sikh community here and around the world. In India's capital city, New Dehli, protesters gathered outside the U.S. Embassy.
They condemned the killings and called on the United States to better protect Sikh worshippers and temples. Also today, India's prime minster called on U.S. authorities to fully investigate the attack and motive.
Let's go up into space now for some better news this morning. A new NASA rover, the size of an SUV, is spending its first hours on the planet Mars. "Curiosity" had to complete a series of crazy maneuvers just to make it on to the surface.
That's the picture of the day. Early this morning, NASA got confirmation of the successful landing and you see that made engineers very happy.
Hours later, "Curiosity" started working and sending back new pictures from Mars. John Zarrella has been up all night at NASA's jet propulsion laboratory in Pasadena, California. He joins us now with more pictures. Hi, John.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Carol. You know, one member of the science team said that it was like a gymnast the series of maneuvers that "Curiosity" had to go through, that "seven minutes of terror" that we've all heard so much about hitting the Martian atmosphere at 13,000 miles an hour and then the parachute deploying.
And then from there on, a series of pyrotechnic events before a sky crane lowered "Curiosity" to the surface and then the three tethers had to simultaneously be cut in order for this to be successful.
And had any one of the events gone wrong, that would have been the end of the entire mission. Right afterwards, NASA held a news conference, everyone beaming here.
And John Holdren, the president's White House science adviser talked about just how significant this was.
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JOHN HOLDREN, WHITE HOUSE SCIENCE ADVISER: Landing the Mars science laboratory rover "Curiosity" on the surface of the red planet was by any measure the most challenging mission ever attempted in the history of robotic planetary exploration.
And if anybody has been harboring doubts about the status of U.S. leadership in space, well, there's a one-ton automobile sized piece of American ingenuity on -- and it's sitting on the surface of Mars right now and it should certainly put any such doubts to rest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZARRELLA: Of course, the events of this dramatic landing viewed all across the world and in Times Square people gathered and reminiscent of those old "Apollo" days where we saw the "Apollo" landers coming down. People gathered to watch the event and they cheered as it was announced that "Curiosity" had made it down to the surface. And in a couple of hours, we expect at least one new image and that image should show "Curiosity" on its parachute descending through the atmosphere.
A picture taken by the Mars reconnaissance orbitter flying overhead at that time that "Curiosity" was making its plunge through the Martian atmosphere -- Carol.
COSTELLO: What are scientists hoping to find on Mars?
ZARRELLA: Well, what they're hoping to do -- they landed in the spot called the "gale crater." And in the gale crater they believe that one time water may have flowed there.
They're pretty sure, you know, there is all the evidence that water was on Mars at one time. But with the hammer drill that they have and with the chemical laboratory literally onboard "Curiosity," they will be able to detect not life itself, but the signature of life, the building blocks of life, carbon, water, methane gas.
If they find those things with "Curiosity" during the course of the two-plus year mission, they will be a step closer to answering the question of whether life ever existed on Mars and whether it perhaps still does.
But they won't be able to answer the question itself unless, perhaps, life sort of says, I'm here! But they don't expect that.
COSTELLO: That would be awesome.
ZARRELLA: They're hoping to find the -- that would be awesome. You know, serendipitous as they say, they love that word in the science community. Serendipitous events have happened a lot. So who knows?
COSTELLO: Yes, that's right. Who knows? John Zarella, thanks so much.
This bit of news just in to CNN, we are following the story of a U.S. athlete kicked out of the Olympic games on a doping violation, serious stuff here.
Judo competitor Nicholas Delpopolo has now been disqualified. The IOC says he tested positive for a banned substance after his match last week.
So let's head to London where the games are being played and check in with Zain Verjee. What more do you know about this, Zain?
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Carol. We're getting a little more information about this. What happens is that when an event takes place, the IOC will test the first five people in the standings for any kind of a doping offense. And then what they do is they pick two random people after that. Now Nicholas Delpopolo was one of those random people. He was tested and he tested positive for the substance known as -- I hope I get this right -- 11-nor-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid.
So that got him kicked out and disqualified from the standings. He was at number seven. This is bad news for the U.S. team. It really puts a cloud on the team as well as for all the events here and on doping.
But the IOC here is taking it very seriously and taking action immediately -- Carol.
COSTELLO: So Zain, I know you're just getting information in, but do we know what that stuff is?
VERJEE: I -- based on all those letters, you know, it's something that basically that is one of -- on one of the lists that you just can't use that particular kind of a drug to enhance your performance or you know, maybe it was randomly picked up.
Because what they do -- what they actually do here, they track the blood patterns of athletes over the years. And so what -- when they see any physiological change, one of the things they've been doing is seeing and testing to see whether there is any difference in the physiological makeup of the cells of athletes.
If they see even a slight tiny thing they say, boom, let's test this one for doping. It could have been that. We're just getting information though so I don't know.
COSTELLO: It is strange. You would think it would happen in track & field, not judo.
VERJEE: Right, exactly. But you know, this is an indication of just how seriously the IOC is taking it. It's any kind of a sport that they've got their eyes on. So this actually happened in the 73 kilogram judo.
He is only 23 years old. So it really is a disappointment for him, his family, the country, all his supporters and for any athlete here who just, you know, this kind of a scandal really clouds what's the Olympic spirit is all about.
COSTELLO: Yes. Let's talk about something good because it was a huge win for Andy Murray. I watched the match. It was like incredible. And the British, they're ecstatic, and also one young fan is especially ecstatic. Tell us why.
VERJEE: OK. Well, this is totally different story here with a theme all about the Olympic spirit. There is this 11-year-old boy, Carol. He just loves Andy Murray. And he was watching the match at Wimbledon. Andy Murray won.
He was sitting with his dad. His name is Henry Caplin, this is the kid. When Murray won, he just, you know, started crying. He got so emotional. He ran over, you know, past the scoreboard, weaved around the people and passed by Roger Federer's box with all his family and then leaned over the railing to try to get a hug from Andy Murray.
And he kind of opened up his arms and Andy Murray leaned up, gave him a big hug and said, quote, "anything for my fans." So Henry is so excited, totally thrilled that his idol gave him a hug.
He said even Murray was crying. He was sweating and the boy's t-shirt is all wet now. He's never going to wash it so he says.
COSTELLO: I wouldn't either. That's so cute.
VERJEE: I know. It's good story. We're trying to have a chat with him. He's actually around the corner.
COSTELLO: I'll let you go then. Thank you, Zain.
Dirty Harry conjures up a image of the Clint Eastwood movie, a tough crime fighting good guy, right? Well, some are calling the dirty Senator Harry Reid. It is not about the same reaction.
We'll talk with a member of Mitt Romney's campaign team about why Republicans are calling Reid a dirty liar.
COSTELLO: It is inescapable. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's accusations about former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's taxes are still causing serious political waves.
Republican senators are taking Reid to task. The Republican National Committee chair called Reid a dirty liar, an unusual choice of words even in these unusually partisan political times.
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REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN, RNC: As far as Harry Reid is concerned, listen, I know you might want to go down that road. I'm not going to respond to a dirty liar.
SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I think he's lying about his statement knowing something about Romney. This is what is wrong with --
CANDY CROWLEY, HOST, CNN'S "STATE OF THE UNION": You think the leader of the Senate is lying?
GRAHAM: I do. I think he created an issue here. I think he's make things up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just called him a dirty liar. You stand by that? You think Harry Reid is a dirty liar?
PRIEBUS: I just said it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Barbara Comstock is the Virginia Campaign Co-Chair for the Mitt Romney campaign and a Republican delegate in the Virginia's State House. She's in Washington this morning and joins us now. Good morning.
BARBARA COMSTOCK, ROMNEY VIRGINIA CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIR: Good morning. Good to be with you.
COSTELLO: It's nice to have you here. Mr. Priebus called Senator Reid a dirty liar. In your mind, is that an accurate description?
COMSTOCK: Well, like the White House and the Obama campaign, Harry Reid truly wants to change the subject from his failed leadership and the president's failed leadership in this economic and jobs crisis where we need to be talking about real jobs that are created and real economic growth.
But Harry Reid wants to talk about his imaginary friends and things he's resorted to these pants on fire liar strategy. I think it's actually a sign of their desperation and really how pathetic their record is.
That they will make up things now before they'll talk about, you know, 8.3 percent unemployment, 1.5 percent anemic growth. You know, the president last year said when it was over 2 percent growth that he couldn't raise taxes because that would hurt the economy.
Now the president's talking about raising taxes when there's a 1.5 percent growth. This is why they don't want to talk about their record and why Harry Reid set himself on fire in order to change the subject.
COSTELLO: But, Barbara, fair or not, in politics a charge unanswered is a charge believed.
COMSTOCK: It's been answered.
COSTELLO: Not by Mitt Romney. He said he isn't going to give more than two years of his tax returns. Even some GOP strategists, like Ed Rollins said Mr. Romney should just release more than two years of tax returns and be done with it. And then the issue would just go away.
COMSTOCK: Carol, it's been answered. Governor Romney himself answered this is false. He has already put out hundreds and thousands of pages of tax returns and gone beyond what is required by the law.
But Harry Reid who hasn't passed a budget in three years literally wants, to you know, get out there and make things up so that he doesn't have to talk about the failed record of this president.
Mitt Romney and those of us out there talk together grassroots are talking about how we're going to create jobs and how we're going to get this economy turned around because Mitt Romney turned around every enterprise that he's gone in and taken over.
And that's when I'm out, you know, going door to door and talking to people in Virginia, in Northern Virginia, they want people that talk about real economic growth and real jobs, not imaginary friends and made up stories.
COSTELLO: Barbara, do you think that President Obama or someone from his campaign should tell Senator Reid, either name this anonymous source or don't talk about it?
COMSTOCK: Well, I think the Obama campaign has decided they're going to make up a lot of things. I'm not going to give them advice. What I'm doing and what the Romney campaign is doing every day is going out and talking about the great vision of Mitt Romney who believes in this country, believes in entrepreneurs.
He believes that you have built it and we can get this economy turned around. He's not going to disdain entrepreneurs like, you know, President Obama came to the Commonwealth of Virginia to tell us that we didn't build it. And then he tells us the private sector is fine.
COSTELLO: The weird thing about this political campaign -- I guess all political campaigns is the Democrats would say that Mitt Romney's lying about what President Obama said, you know, that --
COMSTOCK: Watch the whole tape. We would love for you to watch the whole tape.
COSTELLO: This vicious circle and no real plan is ever laid out.
COMSTOCK: No. Here's the difference with us and Harry Reid. We put up the whole tape of what President Obama said when he disdained our entrepreneurs and you've seen the reaction all over the Commonwealth of Virginia and all over the country.
They're upset the president is attacking entrepreneurs and he's trying to impose all kinds of new taxes on entrepreneurs and in Virginia, he wants to go ahead and gut our military and provided no leadership on the sequestration that is going to come.
And gut our military in Virginia and could cost up to 200,000 jobs in Virginia. The president and his people aren't talking about that. That's why you want to see they're trying to do the silly side stories instead of talk about real issues.
Virginians care about, that the American people care about and how we can get this economy moving again. And Mitt Romney knows how to do that.
COSTELLO: Barbara Comstock, thanks so much for joining us this morning. We appreciate it.
COMSTOCK: Thank you. COSTELLO: I'm hearing we have new information about the alleged shooter in Wisconsin. We're going to get to that after a break. We'll be right back.
COSTELLO: We are learning more about the man suspected in those deadly shootings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Ted Rowlands, he's in Wisconsin. He's been investigating. He's on the phone from Oak Creek. Ted, what have you learned?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, Carol, we've talked to a couple of neighbors of Wade Michael Page. These are neighbors that live in an apartment in South Milwaukee where Page lived with his girlfriend.
Up until about three or four months ago, according to these neighbors, they identified him in a photograph that we showed them. This is a photograph of Page as a lead singer in a white supremacist punk band.
They also said he would carry on his back a guitar case often. They said he was not very sociable. In fact, one neighbor we talked to said every time he tried to talk to Page, all he would do is sort of grunt at him and walk into his apartment.
He says all he would do is lift weights, come back and forth and every time he tried to engage him, he had trouble. He did talk to his girlfriend occasionally.
But for the most part, described as a very standoffish person that apparently was in this band, this white supremacist punk band that's -- it's called "End Apathy," that according to these neighbors that live next to him for several months.
COSTELLO: So, Ted, this punk band, "End Apathy," did it play around Wisconsin?
ROWLANDS: It was based in North Carolina and what we've been able to find is an interview that we believe Page did for an internet web site talking about the band and in that interview he mentions playing in the Midwest and in the North Carolina area. It's unclear if the band was still active while he was living here in Wisconsin.
We do know that he apparently is from Colorado who had served time in the Army and then found himself in North Carolina for an extended period of time before coming to Milwaukee.
He did enlist in the Army in Milwaukee. So he has ties to really three different states. And it's unclear whether this band was active. We're trying to find the other band members and trying to determine just that, if they played here in Milwaukee area.
COSTELLO: And just a few more questions. Besides the band that the suspect was in, did he work? ROWLANDS: According to a neighbor, he says that he worked as a delivery truck driver. A white nondescript truck parked outside occasionally. But again, when we asked, you know, do you know what company it was? What was he hauling?
The neighbor said well the guy would never talk to me. He would just literally grunt at me and walk into the apartment next door. So according to this neighbor, he was a delivery person of some sort.
We talked to the land lord that the lease was under his girlfriend's name. So we don't have an occupation listed for Page. We're still working on that, what he exactly did. But according to this neighbor, he was some sort of a delivery truck driver.
COSTELLO: Interesting. We know from the Pentagon that he did something, a series of wrongs while he was in the military in the Army. He was discharged in 1998. Do we know anything about his service in the military?
ROWLANDS: Other than he was demoted and he was discharged with patterns of misconduct. So this was obviously not an honorable discharge. And we don't know specifically what caused him to be demoted.
We don't know specifically patterns of misconduct mean. But we're working on that as well. Clearly, he had trouble in the military and he did enlist here in Milwaukee.
After spending time in North Carolina, he did come back here to Milwaukee. However, what we've traced in terms of his family, it goes back more to the Colorado area than Wisconsin.
COSTELLO: Great reporting. Ted Rowlands live from Wisconsin this morning. Much more after a break.
COSTELLO: Thirty minutes past the hour good morning. I'm Carol Costello.
Checking our "Top Stories" now.
The International Olympic Committee has disqualified American judo fighter Nicholas de Poppolo for a doping violation. The IOC stripped the 23-year-old of a seventh place finish at the London games after he tested positive.
Syria's prime minister has fled the country. That's according to opposition forces. The Syrian government says he was fired. Either way he is the highest profiled official to leave the embattled Syrian regime.
The man accused of shooting former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will be back in court tomorrow where he could enter a guilty plea. "The Los Angeles Times" and the "Wall Street Journal" reporting Jared Loughner wants to change his plea to guilty. Six people were killed at a Tucson shooting last January, 13 more were wounded including Giffords.
And just minutes from now, just about 30 minutes to be exact, police in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, due to hold a news conference on the shooting rampage at a Sikh temple.
Several law enforcement sources tell us the gunman has now been identified as Wade Michael Page, 40 years old. He's an Army veteran. He was booted from the military for a pattern of misconduct.
Ted Rowlands our reporter also found out that he belonged to a punk rock band in what's termed actually as a punk white supremacist band and his neighbors said he was not very friendly.
Let's head back to Wisconsin and check in with Brian Todd. He found out more about what kind of job this suspect had. Tell us more, Brian.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Carol. In addition to what Ted has been reporting about various jobs that this alleged gunman had, we found out from a former landlord, a gentleman by the name of Kirk Wines that the suspect worked making welding supplies and worked on a night shift.
This landlord said he saw no signs of violence. That he -- he never suppose a bad word about anybody. He had no idea that anything like this was coming.
But some additional information that at least for a time, you know, in piecing together maybe the mosaic of where this man worked, the landlord telling us that it was his understanding that he worked making welding supplies and that he worked on a night shift.
Some neighbors have told us that they had seen the suspect walking his black Labrador retriever in the neighborhood. That he seemed like a pleasant person, very quiet. Kept to himself. On various accounts say that he had a girlfriend. There are some accounts that say that he broke up with that girlfriend and then moved from one side of the street to the other.
That's the neighborhood where that house is being searched. We also know from the police chief here at Oak Creek, John Edwards who has told me that the suspect had a criminal record. He didn't want to go into a lot of detail about that. But he did say that even though he had a criminal record, he had not had any contact with law enforcement officials in this general area, Carol.
So -- piecing together some details about his life in addition to his Army service as we've been reporting. He was an Army specialist. He had been, he had gotten the rank of sergeant at one point but was disciplined and reduced in rank; this according to a Pentagon spokesman George Wright.
George Wright also said that he was discharged from the Army in 1998 for a pattern of misconduct. He started out as a Hawk Missile repair specialist and then kind of migrated into the field of psychological operations in the Army, this all coming from the Pentagon -- Carol, so piecing together bits and pieces of information about the suspect's past.
COSTELLO: Right. I know you talked to police quite a bit, Brian. And they described to you the viciousness of his crime.
TODD: They did. The police chief went into some detail with me about just what happened. He said the gunman started inside and then came outside where officers, the first officer, when he confronted the first officer. He said, he shot him at very close range in the words of the police chief, inches, just feet away from that officer and shot him eight or nine times.
That officer has come through at least a couple of surgeries and is apparently, according to the police chief, resting comfortably. I believe he is still listed in critical condition but eight or nine times being shot. And this was as that officer was tending to one of the wounded civilians, Carol. So he may not have had much of a chance to look around and defend himself before the gunman came on him.
And at that point, the police chief tells us that other officers came to the scene, started shouting commands at the suspect. The suspect apparently just ignored those commands. At that point an officer shot and killed him.
COSTELLO: Brian Todd reporting live for us from Wisconsin.
And stick with us. We'll have live coverage of that police news conference out of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, that is scheduled for the top of the hour. Just in about 25 minutes. We'll carry it for you live. We'll be back.
COSTELLO: CNN is working to confirm a report by "People" magazine that Natalie Portman said "I do" on Saturday night. Of course, she married her fiance of two years and the father of her baby.
Showbiz correspondent Nischelle Turner is in Los Angeles with more.
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: I like when we're working to confirm some good news for you, Carol. That's always a good thing. But yes this is what we can tell you. Natalie Portman did reportedly marry her French dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied over the weekend. They have been engaged for about two years. You know the groom was a choreographer of "Black Swan" and the guy that she famously thanked during her 2011 Oscar speech.
People.com is reporting that Portman said "I do" on Saturday night during the night time Jewish ceremony at a private residence in the Big Sur area of the California Coast.
Now according to "People," the couple was surrounded by friends and family including Miss Ivanka Trump -- Trump excuse me who is tweeting pictures from Big Sur this weekend. And she said that she was also attending a wedding there.
Now the Oscar winner first met her now husband who is a trained ballet dancer on the set of "Black Swan" in 2009. They started dating during filming and they announced in December of 2010 that they were engaged and they were expecting their first child. Now their son is Aleph is 14 months old.
So not only was the film "Black Swan" career changing for her, she won her first Golden Globe, as well as her first Academy Award for that movie. You could say that it was pretty much life changing Carol because she met her husband. Now she's got a baby. So "Black Swan", two thumbs up for Natalie Portman.
TURNER: You know.
COSTELLO: That's right. Two thumbs up and more if you add them. Nischelle Turner, thanks so much.
COSTELLO: Catch more entertainment news on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" at 11:00 Eastern on HLN.
This weekend rain showers do more than wash away the competition on the track in Pocono, Pennsylvania. The storm's responsible for sending several people to the hospital. We'll be back.
COSTELLO: Its 43 minutes past the hour. Checking our "Top Stories" now, the gunman who shot and killed six people at a Sikh temple outside of Milwaukee according to police was an Army veteran who may have been a white supremacist. Multiple law enforcement sources telling CNN the shooter was 40-year-old Wade Michael Page.
The Pentagon tells CNN he was discharged from the military for patterns of misconduct. We are expecting information shortly, in just about 15 minutes from this room. You're looking at that. This is from the Oak Creek Police Department. The police chief, John Edwards, that's his name, he'll hold a news conference at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. When that news conference begins of course, we'll take it for you live.
Opposition forces say Syria's prime minister has defected but Syria's government said he's resigned. Either way, it's the highest profile departure from the embattled Syrian regime; comes on the same day as an explosion in the state-run TV building in Damascus. Several people hurt. But Syria says the television station will continue to broadcast.
In money news, Knight Capital is getting a $400 million life line after suffering a massive loss in a trading glitch last week. The firm acts as a middle man by completing investors orders to buy and sell stocks. Much of that is for retail brokerages.
In weather news, a NASCAR fan is dead and nine more are recovering this morning after lightning strikes outside the racetrack in Pocono, Pennsylvania. Fans were warned to take cover. A severe storm moved throughout area. The race was stopped just past half way.
In sports, NFL players punished over bounty-gate could be back on the field sooner than expected. ESPN is reporting New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and several others could see their suspensions cut in half. But Vilma would have to drop the lawsuit against the NFL commissioner. Both sides will be in court this Friday.
It was a landing that seems more like science fiction but NASA did it. And the Curiosity rover is now on Mars. What scientists hope it will accomplish during its two-year mission on the Red Planet.
COSTELLO: The Red Planet now has another mechanical earthly guest. To the delight of NASA engineers, early this morning the mini cooper-sized Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars.
I love these shots. They were so happy because man, it was a precarious landing. Curiosity is already beaming back new pictures from the Red Planet. The mission is simple. It's the search for life.
Dr. Steve Lee is the curator of the Planetary Science of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. He's also a research scientists for the Space Science Institute. Dr. Lee, welcome.
DR. STEVE LEE, CURATOR, PLANETARY SCIENCE, THE DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE AND SPACE: Good morning. Thanks for having me.
COSTELLO: Well, we're glad you're here. Why is Mars so important?
LEE: Well, it's the first earth like planet in our solar system. And one of the things we know about Mars -- we've had lots of spacecraft there in the past. And we see evidence that liquid water flowed across the surface of Mars. The question is right now, the atmosphere is very thin, very cold and you cannot have liquid water. So first thing is why did the water go away? How long ago was water there?
But most importantly on the earth, everywhere we find liquid water, we find life, bacterial life, microbes. So we're looking for evidence of that on Mars.
COSTELLO: Ok. So these pictures that you're looking at, they were sent back already by the Curiosity this morning.
COSTELLO: Do they tell you anything at all? LEE: Well, first of all, they tell us that Curiosity is safe. We see the wheels sitting on the surface. It's in a nice flat area. So there is nothing dangerous nearby.
The second thing is they can actually see the rim of the crater that they landed in. And I expect today we're going to turn around and look in the other direction. We're at the foot of an 18,000 foot- high mountain that they're going to spend the next two years driving partially up the side of that. So we'll know what the area looks like. We know that the spacecraft is safe. That's the important thing right now.
COSTELLO: So besides the presence of water, what would be another incredible find on Mars?
LEE: Well, what Curiosity is really looking for is evidence that the environment, the climate was such that life could have been supported. And so if they find the chemical signatures of what we call a habitable environment, that's going to be an amazing advance.
We know that liquid water was likely in this area. But were all the other chemicals, the nutrients that would be required for life to exist. If we can find those, there's a possibility that we would find evidence that there were bacteria there in the past.
This rover is not equipped to actually find life itself. But to look for the signs that the climate could have supported it.
COSTELLO: Yes. I don't know. When you say life and, you know, the absence of life and maybe there was life at one time, in my mind I'm seeing bones and skeletons lying there and maybe the rover would pick up pictures of that kind of stuff.
LEE: Well, what we're really expecting if life existed there, we're talking about bacteria. We're not talking about little green men with ray guns. So there are on the earth when we get big colonies of bacteria, sometimes they can alter the rocks, alter the environment. And in fact, it's fossilized in the rocks. There could be evidence of that. That would be a real exciting find. We're not expecting it. We're just expecting to look for the chemistry.
COSTELLO: Can you imagine if there were fossils? Oh, my goodness.
LEE: That would be remarkable.
COSTELLO: Oh, it would be incredible. The NASA engineers, that picture -- I just love it when they're all jumping for joy upon the safe landing of the rover, Curiosity. It was extreme joy. Tell us what these scientists were feeling.
LEE: First of all, many of these folks have spent the last six years or more -- so six years of their lives toward what happened last night. They've been absolutely devoted to this.
And when they know that all of their hard labors are successful, it's like having your first child. You know, it has all its arms and legs and toes and fingers. So that's the first thing.
The second thing is they're just excited that we're going to be able to do amazing science with this rover over the next many years. And, you know, it's what we all live for. So we're exploring another world.
COSTELLO: Wouldn't they rather land -- I know, wouldn't they rather land some sort of spacecraft, a manned spacecraft on Mars? I know that's not really possible yet. But that would be the ultimate, right?
LEE: Well that, is. And that is something we've been working toward. Before you can do that, especially to safely land humans in an alien environment, you need to know everything there is to know about that. So we need to know about the chemicals or any of those going to be harmful and curiosity has a radiation detector. So it can tell us the background radiation, the amount of radiation coming in from the sun is going to be dangerous and how to protect for that.
So this is an essential thing to do before we can launch astronauts. It's also a lot cheaper.
COSTELLO: True. Dr. Lee, you were a lot of fun. Thank you so much for being with us this morning.
LEE: Thank you. It's a pleasure.
COSTELLO: Curiosity may be searching for lines of life on Mars. But the Mars rover gets credit for creating jobs on earth. According to NASA, the project has supported 7,000 jobs in the last eight years. Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange to tell us more.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDEWNT: Curiosity is doing so much, isn't it. Even as NASA has been cutting jobs but this Curiosity mission has still been supporting plenty of people. In fact the project has a $2.5 billion budget. NASA tells CNN Money that curiosity is responsible for 700 jobs, 400 at the agency and 300 scientists at outsource.
But if you look at what's happened over the years, it supported 7,000 jobs. The biggest beneficiary, United Launch Alliance. That is a rocket design company. 1,500 workers took part in creating the actual launch vehicle. Another company called Aerojet part of the Gencore made the actual engine that lo lowered rover in the final seconds before landing.
Now General Dynamics made the deep space tranponder and pioneer aerospace made that parachute that helped Curiosity descend. But you know what, there are a bunch of other companies, Carol, that also helped create these key pieces. So it looks like it kind of takes a village to, you know, have space travel these days -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Hey, anything that creates jobs, we're all for in this country, right? KOSIK: Yes, especially when they're interesting ones like these.
COSTELLO: I know. I hope they find something. That is just so incredible to me. Alison Kosik, thank you so much. Alison reporting live from the New York Stock Exchange.
There's another big test for American Olympian Gabby Douglas today. We're going to take you live to London for that.
COSTELLO: For the most part, feeling tired, getting headaches, a random pain is absolutely normal. But what if the aches persist? In today's "Daily Dose", Dr. Lisa Masterson from TV's "The Doctors" says for women that may be a sign of something serious.
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DR. LISA MASTERSON, CO-HOST, "THE DOCTORS": There are symptoms that women absolutely shouldn't ignore pertain to persistence, unexplained, and new on set. Fatigue is something we feel all the time. But if it keeps going, you can't explain it because you have plenty of rest and that's something you need to talk to your doctor about. It can be sign of a heart attack or stroke because it presents differently.
Headaches, these are something also that are very common. But if it's extremely severe and comes out of the blue, a new onset, then that is something again you want to consult your doctor because these could be more serious signs of things like cancer and other medical conditions. So, please, if these persist and are unexplained or new on set symptoms happen, talk to your doctor.
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COSTELLO: Advice taken. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining us today. "CNN NEWSROOM" continues right now with Kate Bolduan.