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'Border Patrol' Game Outrages Activists; Entertainment Headlines

Aired April 26, 2006 - 14:30   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: An update now on this developing story, that attempted bank robbery taking place in an L.A. suburb of Baldwin Park. Well, apparently, we're being told, an employee came to work, was about to open up the bank, when they noticed an armed man inside the bank attempting the robbery. Well, this very quick-thinking employee then locked that armed alleged bank robber inside the bank, where a stand-off is ongoing right now.
It's not believed that any hostages are inside, but officials say that this alleged bank robber has fired his weapon during this stand- off, but it's not clear if it was directed at the surrounding police officers. So, of course, when we get any more information on this situation taking place in Baldwin Park just outside L.A., we'll bring that to you.



WHITFIELD: It's an all too familiar spot for Karl Rove. The president's top political adviser arrived at the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C. today for his fifth round of testimony before a grand jury investigating the CIA leak case. Sources say Rove met earlier today with Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. The grand jury has been investigating charges the White House leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame after Plame's husband Joe Wilson criticized the administration on Iraq. Rove has not been charged with any crime.

Well, it's a busy time for the grand jury investigating an infamous Capitol confrontation. For more congressional aids have been subpoenaed in the case involving Georgia Congressman Cynthia McKinney and a Capitol police officer. They're believed to have seen McKinney resist the officer, reportedly by using a closed fist to punch him when he tried to stop her from bypassing a security checkpoint. McKinney first described the flap as racial profiling, but later called it a misunderstanding. The grand jury reportedly heard from the officer within the past week.

The tune will be familiar, but the words are controversial. Hispanic entertainers, including Gloria Trevi are recording a Spanish language version of the U.S. national anthem to be distributed to Hispanic radio stations. They say it's an attempt to show Hispanics in the United States are loyal Americans. But with an immigration debate raging across the country, many conservatives see it differently. They say it's a sign Hispanics in America don't want to assimilate. Coming to America without the proper papers is generally a very dangerous act of desperation. Its also the subject of a sadistic new video game, as CNN's Dan Simon discovered in a report first aired on "PAULA ZAHN NOW."


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The creators of a video game called "Border Patrol" won't win any awards for graphics or creativity, but could take home a prize for bad taste.

(on camera): This isn't some expensive game for the Xbox. It's simple, free and on the Internet and, according to the Anti-Defamation League, dangerous.

JONATHAN BERNSTEIN, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: It puts in the mind of the player that they should be resorting to violence.

SIMON (voice-over): The objective? To shoot and kill Mexicans crossing into the U.S. The game's targets? Mexican nationalists, drug smugglers and most outrageous, breeders, pregnant women running with children. The more you kill, the higher your score.

CRIS FRANCO, COMEDIAN/SATIRIST: You're killing a pregnant woman, and if you can feel good about that, well, have at it.

SIMON: Sarcasm comes naturally to Latino comedian Cris Franco. All joking aside, though, Franco was concerned when we showed him the game.

FRANCO: What sort of makes it innocuous is sort of the thing that makes it so very dangerous, is that you might have kids getting up there and they're killing Mexicans. You know? And now that's a fun thing to do I gather, in our world. I think most people of conscience would not think this was a good way to spend your time.

SIMON: "Border Patrol" has become a showcase on hate group Web sites, alongside other games that target African-Americans, homosexuals and Jews. USC professor Peter Vorderer has written books about the aspects of video games on society.

PETER VORDERER, UNIV. OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: I don't think that a game like this would attract anybody who is serious player, other than those who share that sentiment or attitude.

SIMON: Still, Vorderer says that certain children can be swayed by such violent images.

VORDERER: If somebody knows nothing, let's say, about a specific ethnic group and the only way he or she learns about that ethnic group is through the media -- in this case, through a video game -- then this video game has a great potential of, you know, impacting that person's view about this ethnic group.

SIMON: And that fits right in with the goals of the National Alliance, a white supremacist group. Shaun Walker calls himself the chairman and CEO. He says teenagers who might not read his books instead will buy one of its games.

SHAUN WALKER, WHITE SUPREMACIST: We gain several thousand new customers immediately that we wouldn't have had contact with.

SIMON: Walker's group is behind a game called "Ethnic Cleansing." The goal? To kill anybody who isn't white. The National Alliance says it has fulfilled a niche for people who want their entertainment skewed toward their racist ideology.

WALKER: This allowed all the racially conscious white people that play video games to suddenly have a pro-white video game. So it was unique, and it's proven to be successful.

SIMON: How successful, the group won't say, but the game sells for $15. As for "Border Patrol," it's unknown who created the game. But what some call entertainment, others are calling violent and racist propaganda.

Dan Simon, CNN, Los Angeles.


WHITFIELD: Some pretty powerful images there. Find them on CNN's "PAULA ZAHN NOW" weeknights at 8:00 Eastern, 5:00 Pacific.

The Supreme Court is weighing in on the immigration debate. It heard arguments today on whether companies that use recruiters to hire illegal immigrants can be sued for racketeering. Some current informant workers at Mohawk Industries in Georgia want to sue the company under the RICO anti-racketeering law. The company, which makes floor coverings, says it never knowingly hired illegal workers.

$57.69 -- the largest single restitution pay-out from confessed bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. Rudolph was ordered to pay $2.3 million after pleading guilty last year to a string of bombings in Birmingham and Atlanta. In reality, he doesn't have anywhere near that much money.

About $1,700 was found in a trailer he rented. Another $2,600 was raised from his belongings. Emily Lyons, who lost an eye, endured more than 20 operations and still has shrapnel in her body. She received the most of any of Rudolph's victims, a whopping $57.69.

He pleaded guilty to his role in a horrific nightclub fire. Now he wants the victims' families to know he's story. The tour manager of the rock band Great White set off pyrotechnics during a concert in West Warwick, Rhode Island, about three years ago. One hundred people were killed. He's now written letters of apology to the families of each of the victims. They'll receive them after his sentencing early next month.

If you think she's a tough girl on the small screen, you got to hear what this "Lost" actress did in court. The news keeps coming, and we'll keep bringing it to you. More LIVE FROM next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: Well, you know how weddings are. You get dressed up, you sit through the ceremony, and you suffer through an endless accordion rendition of the "Macarena." Just cut the cake, already. Well, Eric D. Adams of Ohio may have let his sweet tooth get the best of him.

Stunned witnesses say a kerfuffle erupted when Adams got impatient about the cake cutting and allegedly stabbed the bride's father and brother. He's is now jailed on $250,000 bond and faces two counts of felonious assaults. Adams is the bride's stepfather, so there may be more here than meets the eye. One of the men is hospitalized in fair condition. The other was released.

We'll know where to find "Lost" actress Michelle Rodriguez, at least for the next few days. Rodriguez chose to spend five days in jail for driving under the influence instead of doing 240 hours of community service. She'll do her time in Hawaii where the ABC series is taped. So why not community service? Her lawyer says Rodriguez has a hard time even going out for a meal without people asking for her autograph. Well, don't be surprised if it happens in jail too.

Straight ahead, entertainment news with A.J. Hammer of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." A.J., what's on tap?

A.J. HAMMER, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Well, Fred, there's a lot of speculation floating around, people wondering is Britney Spears pregnant with her second child? One magazine says it's 100 percent true.

And there's been an injury on the set of "Desperate Housewives." We're going to tell you who when LIVE FROM continues.


WHITFIELD: Lots of dish coming out of Hollywood today. Why is a "Desperate Housewife" sporting that eye patch? Does Mrs. Federline really have another baby on board? And names are finally being named in one of Tinseltown's tackiest rumors. A.J., who just knows who we're talking about, is going to share.

HAMMER: No, I'm not, I decided I'm not going to.

WHITFIELD: Oh come on, please tell us.

HAMMER: All right. Yes, we're talking about Kevin Costner, Fred. Kevin Costner, there's the name, here are the sorted details. Costner stands accused of performing a sexual act while getting a massage at a Scottish hotel during his honeymoon back in 2004 -- during his honeymoon. The female accuser says she was working at the spa inside the prestigious hotel when Costner allegedly exposed himself and carried out a sex act while she massaged him.

Well the accuser says she told her bosses, but they didn't believe her, and she was fired. She ultimately filed a complaint. The woman recently agreed to settle her case out of court. There has been a settlement here. Costner's name had not yet been revealed when the woman first filed the claim, but later the British tribunal chairman decided there was really no reason for it to be kept a secret. So it's no longer a secret.

Costner's publicist issued this statement to CNN regarding the alleged incident. They said, quote, "This is old news to us. This is not about Kevin Costner. It is about a dispute between a hotel and an ex-employee. I have never discusses these accusations with my client."

Let's switch gears now, shall we? Is Britney Spears pregnant again? Well according to "US Weekly" magazine's Web site, Spears and husband Kevin Federline are indeed expecting their second child together. The magazine say Spears was spotted at the swimming pool in Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas over the weekend and that she was visibly pregnant, trying to cover it up a little bit at the same time.

The 24-year-old Spears and 28-year-old Federline have been married now since September of 2004. The first child, Sean, is now seven-months-old. Federline, you may remember has two other kids from a previous relationship with actress Shar Jackson. Now CNN contacted Spears publicists. They did not respond to the news. No big surprise there.

And "Desperate Housewives" actress Teri Hatcher is doing better at this hour. Hatcher's right eye was injured while she taping a scene for her show after a light bulb exploded on the set this morning. Hatcher said glass lodged in her right eye and scratched her cornea. She goes on to say that she was taken to an excellent eye doctor and is now sporting a lovely eye patch. Hatcher says she will be back to work in just two days.

And coming up tonight on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," we're going to explain why Angelina Jolie has come out of hiding in Africa and is now speaking out. I had the chance to speak with her this morning. We're going to tell you exactly what she has to say about her private life and her very public mission. We'll get into it all on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern tonight on CNN Headline Prime.

Fred, she is doing some good work while she is pregnant.

WHITFIELD: Wow, that is incredible. Well you've got a full plate this evening, as always. A.J. Hammer, thanks so much.

HAMMER: Thank you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Well his jacket may be green, but his heart is golden. Now the PGA star is taking his good will to the Gulf Coast. Phil Mickelson is my guest in the next hour of LIVE FROM.



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