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Health Care Public Option Plan Fails; Chaos in Honduras
Aired September 29, 2009 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: First of all, it appears there has been an earthquake in the Pacific Ocean, and they are now evacuating parts of American Samoa.
We have someone standing by who is going to be taking through that story there. We have been able to get them on the phone. We also have Chad Myers, who's going to be able to pinpoint for us exactly where this is and what the potential is for a tsunami if they haven't already spotted one. Our indications are that there is in fact a tsunami.
So, now we start talking about degrees, how dangerous is it, how high is the water.
Second story I want to tell you about, I was just told by Gary, one of our producers, who just came over to talk to me. He said -- this is important, folks -- the Senate Finance Committee has just voted down the public option. The Senate Finance Committee has just voted down the public option.
You know what that means? That means Democrats, like Schumer, are those who are involved in this decision and it sounds they have not been able to come up with enough votes to get this thing passed, despite whatever the objections are being raised by Republicans.
So, those are two big stories we're going to jump on right away.
In the meantime, here's what else we're going to have during this newscast.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): Off the coast of Latin America, a firefight over drugs.
In Latin America, Honduras' deposed president wearing a mask because Israelis are trying to poison him with gas. So he says.
(on camera): Will you allow CNN's crew to go into the embassy and film an interview with Mr. Zelaya?
(voice-over): What's really going on inside the Brazilian Embassy? Finally, we are allowed in. You will see what happens when we knock on the door.
Nobel Peace Prize winner and Honduran conflict mediator Oscar Arias joins me live. The woman sending shockwaves across the country with this tweet. "I'm in a board meeting having a miscarriage. Thank goodness." Why so many women can't believe she wrote that.
A whale of a story and you won't believe where.
We showed you this officer losing his cool with a teenager. Now he's getting a smackdown.
And guess what? The future is here. You can now join our national conversation on your iPhone as well for Tuesday, September 29, 2009.
SANCHEZ: All right. Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez. Here we go.
You know that earthquakes can often cause tsunamis in the ocean. It appears that that's going on right now in the Pacific. Stay with me here, We have got a couple of guests I want to bring in.
First of all, one of them knows what is going on, because we understand parts of American Samoa have just been evacuated. He is standing by in American Samoa and he is going to be taking us through this.
This is Alefosao Mapullino.
Mr. Fosao (sic), are you there, sir? Mr. Fosao, are you there?
ALEFOSAO MAPULLINO, AIRPORT EMPLOYEE IN SAMOA: Yes.
MAPULLINO: I'm here. And I'm not calling -- I'm not responding from American Samoa. I'm here in Samoa, not American Samoa.
SANCHEZ: Oh, thank you, sir. You're in Samoa.
Hold on just a moment. As we look at that picture, let me bring in Chad Myers in as well. He's our meteorologist.
Chad, as we start this conversation with Mr. Fosao (sic), just tell our viewers what you know, what you think the potential is here for a dangerous tsunami.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, the very latest from the warning center does have a five-foot wave, a five-foot wave on Pago Pago.
You will see it and I will show you on our Google Map in a little bit. I want to get to our guest, clearly. But there is an airport right there on the south side, and that's where they were evacuating because that's where the wave would have been generated.
Now, I don't know whether 5.1 was the largest wave, because we don't know what direction the wave went in. But we already know that there was a wave generated at least at some point. We will watch the direction. We will watch watches and warnings. And you can go to Samoa or American Samoa or Pago Pago. We will keep advised right here. Go back to your guest.
SANCHEZ: You don't have to do all that stuff, Chad. Stay with me, man. I want you to help me with this interview.
SANCHEZ: So, you ask the meteorological questions. Let me just get the basics out of the way.
Mr. Fosao (sic), what have you been told by authorities? What have you seen with your own eyes.
MAPULLINO: Yes, we haven't seen any big waves at the moment. It's been half-an-hour since the earthquake first was shaking. And at the moment, the whole airport at (INAUDIBLE) in Samoa has been evacuated, and no one's in the terminal. Every -- the whole stuff has been evacuated. And we are still watching the waves from the highest ground at the moment.
SANCHEZ: Why did authorities tell you that they have evacuated the airport?
MAPULLINO: It's an emergency plan. And we are about nine feet above mean sea level. So, that's why we have this evacuation plans because of lower ground.
SANCHEZ: Chad, bringing you back in, I think I heard you say something about five feet. Can you give us a non-meteorological answer to what exactly that means, how much what could that cause in a place like Samoa, for example?
MYERS: From wave crest to across was five feet. Now, some surfers may call that a two-and-a-half foot wave, because where you would go from where you would go down.
But I want to -- we will just take you right to the area. There is a subduction zone right there. You see that dark area right through there.
MAPULLINO: That is a trench. That trench will at times take the land going this way and the land staying over there. And it could shift and almost like an elastic band pop back up, as it is not going down anymore. It wants to pop back up. And that's where the waves could be generated back into the Pacific ocean. And here is that airport that he was talking about at (INAUDIBLE)
It's right -- literally right there, Rick. You can see the breakers and you can see the runway right there on the map.
SANCHEZ: Mr. Fosao (sic), are you safe right now, sir?
MAPULLINO: Yes, we are. We are safe and still watching the earthquakes and the waves. But at the moment, we can't see any -- any sort of big waves.
SANCHEZ: Well, we are getting reports as you just heard from our meteorologist that there are some indications of a tsunami, although slight, small, perhaps not as large as the ones we have dealt with in the past.
What have you heard directly from people or from authorities about parts of the country, either Samoa or American Samoa, that are already being affected by this, if at all, sir?
We haven't -- haven't any -- we haven't had any public announcement on the local media. But for the airports here at (INAUDIBLE) as I said previously, I haven't seen any -- any big waves coming our way.
SANCHEZ: OK. We will keep checking back with you, sir. Thank you so much for taking time. Thanks so much for taking time to talk to us now.
MYERS: Hey, Rick?
SANCHEZ: Yes, Chad, go ahead.
MYERS: I just want to kind of put it all into context where our caller was from, up here, compared to American Samoa here. The five- foot wave was -- was found here near Pago Pago.
The 2.5-foot waves, 2.5-foot wave up here, now, that doesn't mean that that is the biggest wave, because you want to kind of take and take a look at where that subduction zone was. You almost want to take a perpendicular wind, a perpendicular wave going that direction. The biggest wave may actually have missed those islands, thank goodness, and maybe generated down into the South Pacific. It may have gone a different direction.
We still don't know yet.
SANCHEZ: How far is Hawaii from that? (CROSSTALK)
MYERS: Hawaii is four-and-a-half-hours away, now, not by plane, clearly. But Hawaii would be a four-and-a-half-hour wave trip away from where this is.
SANCHEZ: So, they should be cool, then?
MAPULLINO: There's a watch in effect for Hawaii, but there's not a warn in effect. If they know that there's a large wave headed to Hawaii, that will clearly be upgraded to a warning. Right now, it is not.
If you are in Hawaii proper, you have a few hours to prepare, but make sure you find out whether a wave is on its way or not before you do anything without a radio.
SANCHEZ: All right, Chad Myers, there you go. Thanks. Thanks, man. Appreciate you bringing us up to date on this stuff. I know you're good at explaining this on the fly, as usual.
And, if anything changes, just holler at me, OK?
MYERS: Absolutely, sir.
SANCHEZ: All right.
Let me tell you something else that is going on. This is important. We have been telling you about what's going on with the health care reform legislation. And the Senate Finance Committee has been diligently working on this all day long.
You know, the big question is really all about the public option, right, whether the government will step in and create competition with the insurance companies and the health care system. Well, there was a proposal. It was voted down. Let me just check the numbers here. It was voted down 15-8. That was a proposal that was established by Rockefeller.
We understand it's not completely dead yet. There is another proposal now being introduced by Schumer, New York's Schumer, and that one is going to be considered now. But at least at this point, it doesn't look good. Thank you, Andreas (ph).
Here's the rest of the information on the tsunami that we will continue to follow for you.
So, by the way, perhaps the best guess on this or one of the persons who's been most adamant about looking into this, most engaged, is Congressman Weiner from New York as well. He's going to be joining me here in just about five minutes or so to break this down for us.
But, in the meantime, let me bring you up to date on one of the other stories that we're following for you. This has to do with Honduras. As you know, I had a chance the other day to talk to the Honduran president -- maybe I should say presidents, because I talked to the guy who is the de facto president and the guy who's the ousted president, who snuck back into the country and is right now hiding in the Brazilian Embassy there.
I asked the president de facto, please, let us by our crews, let our CNN crews get in there, and interview this man to try and get the truth or an explanation for this once and for all. Originally, he said yes.
Then he didn't let us in. Well, last night we got a call from Tegucigalpa, where the president said we would be allowed in. And just today we have video of John Zarrella going in and knocking on that door to talk to Zelaya. That's the story I'm going to bring you after the break.
Let's go ahead and get a break in now. It's 10 minutes after the hour. When we come back, that, plus the latest on health care and the latest on what's going on in the Pacific.
Stay with us. We will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF: Hello?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: All right, there we go. We're starting this today with that knock on the door that we hoped would lead to understanding what is really a screwed-up and volatile situation that's going on right now in Honduras.
You can get out of that now, Dan. We're going to show it in just a little bit all over again, so come back to me, if you could.
The elected president in Honduras was thrown out and the Supreme Court has given a congressman the presidency. All right, this is the man the people of Honduras elected to the presidency. That's Jose Manuel Zelaya. I told you about this yesterday. You see why he's wearing that? He's bunkered down in another country's embassy.
He's going to be locked up if he sticks his head outside. And he's wearing that mask because he says that commandos from Israel are secretly trying to poison him with mysterious gas.
Now, meanwhile, his followers are taking to the streets. All right, let me show you the other guy, this guy. That's Roberto Micheletti. He's the guy who says he's in charge, the de facto president of Honduras.
He's cracked down on travel, has shut down demonstrations. And look at this. These are soldiers storming television stations and making off with broadcasting equipment there. That is not the image of democracy that the world wants to see when it comes to Honduras. All right, we are the one show that has drilled down on this story, because we believe that country is on the brink and this matters to all of us.
In that vein, I asked de facto president Micheletti on this show just a couple of days ago if he would give us permission to enter the Brazilian Embassy and interview his enemy, Mr. Zelaya, the ousted president.
Last night, we got a phone call from Micheletti's office telling us, OK, they are going to let us go in and interview Zelaya. They are going to let us go into the Brazilian Embassy. So, here now is this tape of John Zarrella, our correspondent, trying to do just that.
Let's watch this exclusive together.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi.
ZARRELLA: We're going to have to leave.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's up here, John.
ZARRELLA: Oh, you're up there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, John.
ZARRELLA: Hey, man. Hello.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. Sorry, you guys. You weren't able to reach him?
ZARRELLA: No, we can't get anybody. And the authorities were very gracious, gave us this opportunity. And now we don't understand what the situation is.
This is the opportunity that the authorities have given us. And, you know, it's a lost chance for Mr. Zelaya, is what it comes down to.
Well, please pass on, you know, to Mr. Zelaya. Make sure that he knows that we were here. We made every effort we possibly could in order to get this facilitated, in order to get his side of the story for the world. And it's a terrible loss off an opportunity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: We have been fighting and scratching to get that interview, and you see how it ended up. So, it's not Micheletti who is now keeping us from talking to Zelaya. It sounds like it was Zelaya or Zelaya's people who is keeping CNN from speaking to Zelaya.
Apparently, he doesn't want to be interviewed. And certainly, look, we don't get that.
Let me bring in somebody else, somebody who's extremely respected. This is -- this man is the president of Costa Rica. This is president Oscar Arias. He's a player in this situation that we're looking at here.
He is also world-renowned as a mediator of this type of conflict and as you probably know, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mr. President, thank you for being with us, sir.
Mr. President, where are these negotiations right now?
He says it's very little...
SANCHEZ: He says neither side wants to -- neither sides seems wanting to get this thing resolved.
These pictures that we just saw, Mr. President, of these troops going into the television station, and walking out with equipment, is that the new democracy of Honduras?
OSCAR ARIAS, COSTA RICAN PRESIDENT (through translator): No. A de facto government is not a democracy.
SANCHEZ: So, you don't think Micheletti's government is legitimate?
So, what this president from Costa Rica just said is that he doesn't believe that Micheletti's government is constitutional. It's the de facto government. And what he's proposing as the mediator in these talks is to bring about, or bring back order, constitutional order, and a constitutional government.
But that would mean that you would then have to put Zelaya back in power and the Supreme Court has said that he violated their constitution.
ARIAS (through translator): This is a constant debate that we have been listening to since I started mediating this problem.
SANCHEZ: He says, as he reads the constitution, yes, they could figure out that he violated it, but under the terms that they used, it's not something that they respect because it's not an impeachment, as one would expect in a situation like this.
So, he disagrees with the action that was taken to oust this president, although there's been general confusion about that.
One final question. Do you believe that Micheletti should send troops and forcefully remove Zelaya from the Brazilian Embassy, sir?
ARIAS (through translator): No, he should not. What he should do is, he should oblige by the Accord of San Jose. SANCHEZ: So, Mr. President, did you just say that he should put Zelaya back in office?
ARIAS (through translator): Here's what I want done, a conciliatory government that re-respects the constitution.
SANCHEZ: I'm sorry, sir. I didn't understand the last thing you said. Did you say that Zelaya should be put back in power?
ARIAS (through translator): That's what the international community is asking for, the United States, and that is what the Organization of American States, the OAS, is also recommending.
ARIAS (through translator): Including the government of the United States.
SANCHEZ: Mr. President, thank you so much for taking us through this, this is an important story, one we're going to stay on top of. And we thank you, sir, for changing around your schedule, so you can talk to us today.
We showed you this video when we first got it back in November. A deputy beats a 15-year-old girl in a holding cell in Washington State. There's a conclusion to this story that you need to know about.
Also, who's being paid in Congress. Who's being paid what, or by whom, to decide what type of health care reform you as an American need? This is an important part of this story. It's not just what decisions they're making. It's who's giving what to whom, not to mention the fact that we have just learned that the option, the public option, has been voted down.
Stay with us. We're going to be all over that in just a moment.
SANCHEZ: Wow, look at these comments that we're getting already.
Go over here real quick. I know. We're like loaded for bear with this show. And we're going to be running out of time, and there's so much stuff to talk about.
But look at MikeinSanDiego after I reported this just moments ago: "Wow. The public option is dead? So goes the public option, so goes the health care bill, and so goes the Obama presidency."
All right, we have made a real impact with many of you by constantly following the money in this health care debate. I happen to think it's as important a part of this story as anything else. We're one of the few news outlets who have actually chosen to make this breakthrough. All right, here's the latest on what is going on with your future health care or lack thereof. As we reported just a few minutes ago, the Senate Finance Committee has just voted down an effort by Rockefeller, Senator Jay Rockefeller, to add a public option to the health care bill.
Now Senator Charles Schumer, as I mentioned to you, is offering a similar amendment, but that's not expected to pass either, to be honest with you. Even many Democrats think that the public option is too controversial, too controversial.
Yet, look at this. According to CNN's Opinion Research poll conducted just a month ago -- by the way, there was another one in "The New York Times" this weekend that had that number even higher -- 55 percent of you say they favor a public option, 55 percent.
Forty-one percent of you say they oppose the idea.
Democrat Anthony Weiner is a Democrat from New York -- Congressman Anthony Weiner, I should say. And, look, this guy is heavily invested and as engaged in this debate as probably anyone there.
Congressman, how are you?
REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: I'm doing well, Rick. How are you?
SANCHEZ: You want to speak English or Spanish?
WEINER: I'm going to do a Brooklyn accent, so you decide. Maybe you need to translate.
SANCHEZ: One of my producers just said, look, if you get confused talking to this guy, just let me do it. I'm from New York.
SANCHEZ: I don't know what to say.
It appears that you, as a Democrat, as a guy who likes this public option, who likes getting the government involved in this thing, you're losing. And it may be because you began five yards behind the finish line. I mean, didn't you give the health insurance companies a huge big start by beginning the debate with universal health care off the table and the public as something we might do, but we really don't want to do it?
WEINER: Well, one thing for sure is, everything the health insurance industry has asked for in the Finance Committee up to now, they have gotten. It's a good playing field for them. We in the House are going to keep pushing for a public option. And frankly the president, who's our cleanup hitter, ultimately I believe is going to wind up mediating this dispute, and he says he wants a public option.
But you're exactly right. The real easy answer here is Medicare for all Americans. We give it to people who are 65. Why not 55? Why not 45? Why not do it? It's a low-overhead program. Sure, it has a financing problem, but so does all insurance at this point.
But at least we know it has very low overhead. We're not putting any into profits or advertising. So, that really was the smart place to start. We didn't. But we are going to try to get closer to that in the final product.
SANCHEZ: Let me just be real blunt with you real quick.
Hey, Dan, you there? Put that side panel back up. As the congressman was talking, I was looking into how much -- you mind if I do this? I want people to know how much money you have gotten from the people who contribute to your campaigns.
I want them to know how much money you have gotten. In fact, I took the figures out. I'm doing this all the time now, because I'm seeing this -- maybe it's a coincidence, but I'm just seeing this thing where people who get a lot of money from these corporations, they tend to vote one way.
People who don't get a lot of money, they kind of vote another way. I don't know. Call me crazy. So, let me just go through what you get, right? This is you. This is Anthony Weiner. Health insurance corporations gave you $21,000. Health professionals gave you $131,000, health institutions, $46,000. PhRMA gave you $7,000.
All in all, you have gotten $207,439. And that's according to what? Angie, is that Common Cause we got that from? Common Cause.
All right. That's probably right, right? That's probably about right?
WEINER: Who, me? I have no idea. You didn't up what I got from Time Warner. Did I get money from you guys?
SANCHEZ: Oh, stop that.
WEINER: Why didn't I?
WEINER: Listen, whatever it is, if I'm getting money from the health insurance companies, they're not giving it to me anymore, because no one can accuse them of influencing me.
SANCHEZ: Hold on. Hold on. I'm on your side here. I'm about to show viewers the difference between a guy who fighting them -- because it looks to me -- we have checked -- just about everybody gets money. It's a question of how much money you get.
I want to show you somebody else now. I'm going to show you somebody on the other side. Let's pick Representative Eric Cantor. He seems to be the antithesis of you. English is my second language, by the way.
SANCHEZ: Ready? Eric Cantor, let's check him.
He got $478,000 from health insurance companies, $535,000 -- let me put my glasses back on -- $535,000 from health professionals, $218,000 from health institutions. PhRMA gave him $278,000, for a whopping $1.5 million.
I don't know, call me crazy, but here's a guy who says let the health insurance and the corporations handle this. Then I'm talking to you, a guy who's saying, no, we in the government should step up.
And is it just a coincidence that the guys who are pushing for health insurance to deal with this are getting a lot of money from the health insurance companies, or am I nuts?
WEINER: No, look, you aren't nuts. The fact of the matter is, the health insurance industry has enormous sway in Washington because, frankly, they donate a lot. But also, they represent the status quo. What we're trying to do here is shake up the status quo a little bit.
You want to monitor something interesting? Take a look at how health insurance stocks have done and how they're going to do now that the Senate has voted down the public option in their committee. You can almost see a direct correlation. But frankly...
SANCHEZ: You mean they're running -- if you and I were to go to a health insurance company right now, they would be walking around in their underwear high-fiving each other?
WEINER: Well, I'm not sure...
SANCHEZ: Or with underwear on their heads? You know, celebrating, lampshades, whatever it's called in those commercials?
WEINER: I'm not sure they're not wandering around in their underwear anyway. But putting that aside, look, there is no doubt about it, on a serious tip here. There is no doubt that the public option is not going to make health insurance wealthy. So, that's why they're lobbying so hard to stop it.
Up until now, we have made remarkable progress, all things being equal. The health committees in the House of Representatives have all pushed for a public option. Nancy Pelosi said she's going to have one in. And the president of the United States, if he gives the word and puts the finger on the scale, we're going to wind up having that and all American citizens will benefit.
SANCHEZ: The problem it, it really tends to be something that a lot of Americans want. So, Americans don't have as much -- their pockets aren't as deep as the people who don't want it. Let's just leave that at that.
By the way, I heard you say 30 percent of the money that I pay -- I think I heard you say this on Bill Maher the other night. Thirty percent of the money that we, as Americans, pay for health care goes to the insurance companies.
If we're giving them 30 percent, then they must just be doing a bang-up job, right? I mean, they have got to be giving us the best damned health care system in the world, because even Tony Soprano, even Gambino doesn't charge 30 percent juice for protection.
WEINER: Well, let's remember something about that number. They're not doing any checkups. They're not operating on anyone. They're not actually providing any health care, they're just taking our money and giving it to doctors and hospitals, and pocketing some on the side.
SANCHEZ: So they're charging 30 percent o move the money from here to there?
WEINER: Yes. It's not always 30 percent, but that's about the range.
It's about $300 billion each and every year that doesn't go into health care or doesn't go into cutting taxes or building roads. It goes into health insurance profits.
But make no mistake about it, that's their job. They're doing what their shareholders want them to do, taking in as much money as they can and paying as little out as they can. The only issue is whether or not we in Congress should be advocating for the shareholders of those companies, or whether we should be advocating for the taxpayers and the patients. That's why a public plan that has about a four percent overhead is a much better deal for taxpayers.
SANCHEZ: Wow. I could talk to you for a while.
By the way, did I really just say a little while ago that they were running around with their underwear on, high-fiving each other?
WEINER: Well, like I said, you have no idea what goes on in health care companies nowadays.
SANCHEZ: Can we erase that, by the way?
Congressman Weiner, thanks for being with us. We'll do this again. OK?
WEINER: Muchas gracias.
SANCHEZ: Igualmente. The more we learn about the terror plot involving this man, the scarier things are getting. I'm going to take you through the newest details, including the three suspects that are still at large.
Also, more on that situation with the tsunami I told you about at the beginning of the newscast. That's the kind of stuff that's scary, especially when they start doing evacuations.
Chad's all over it. I'll check back with him.
SANCHEZ: All right.
Coming up, authorities are taking down a ring of alleged terrorists, and they're doing it without violating the U.S. Constitution. We're drilling down on how they're doing that, exactly.
Oh, and is it a real terror plot? Because we have heard of these types of arrests before.
The answer when I come back.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back.
Look, if you're like me, you're glad that this guy named Najibullah Zazi is cooling his heels behind bars. Right? I mean, how could we not all think that way.
After all the flimsy terrorist arrests post-9/11, Zazi might just be the real deal this time. And we have gone through a bunch of these.
Here's Zazi last month. This is him at a beauty supply store outside Denver where he purchased large amounts of hydrogen peroxide.
That's a problem. Zazi's not a beautician, folks. He's not dying here.
The fact is, he ran a concessions cart in New York, drove a Denver airport shuttle. And according to the government, was plotting all the why to make and detonate homemade bombs filled with hydrogen peroxide. That's a bomb-making recipe.
How does he know how to do this? Most of us wouldn't know how to do that. Because he was taught by al Qaeda.
It just so happens Zazi allegedly has confessed that he did train with al Qaeda just last year at a camp in Pakistan. That's important. Now, that's what separates him from the pretenders. You know, the guys in the past. We've told you about them -- the arrests in Liberty City, the arrests in Lackawanna. No links to al Qaeda there.
It looks like Zazi is behind bars because he should be behind bars. And as I said, as an American, I can't help but be glad of that.
And here's something else I'm glad about. Zazi was extradited under United States federal law from Colorado to New York. He wasn't sent to Gitmo, the legal purgatory of Presidents Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld -- or President Bush and Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld.
It's got to make you proud to watch him here being walked from that chopper by highly trained U.S. marshals, not unknown private contractors wearing hoods, or Egyptians that no one's ever heard of.
And as a journalist, you can't help but be glad for the rest of us who look at this scene and see that it was all recorded by the New York City Police Department and released to the public in a democratic fashion. I'm even glad that Zazi is afforded a real live criminal defense attorney, just like our Constitution says that he's supposed to be allowed to have, even if at first blush we tend to hate the guy just for defending this accused terrorist.
Najibullah Zazi pleaded not guilty today. Also today, The Associated Press is reporting that law enforcement officials know three of Zazi's alleged co-conspirators. Their whereabouts, by the way, are still unclear. The alleged bomb-making material may be out there as well.
One more thing. I can't help but mention this. By all indications, Zazi has nod been tortured. And incredibly, that's an important part of this story as well.
Just think about that.
This is a drug interdiction, U.K.-style. I'm going to take you through the fight as it happened off the South American coast.
And one president is in the palace, another is hiding in Brazil's embassy. The showdown in Honduras, as we told you at the beginning of this newscast, continues.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back, I'm Rick Sanchez, here in the world headquarters of CNN today.
It's unsteady and uncertain Honduras, three months of wondering who is in charge in that country. This man says that he is, that's Micheletti, assumed power in a coup. He says the elected president Manuel Zelaya is going to be arrested if he sets foot back in the country.
He's actually in the Brazilian embassy now. He's saying if he sets foot outside the embassy doors, he'll arrest him.
He's also restricted some civil liberties in Honduras, public gatherings, and he's actually sending troops in to stop the media, including some television stations.
As for this man, he wants to be restored to power. Zelaya told the United Nations General Assembly last night, "A dictatorship is taking hold of my country."
By the way, you wonder why she's wearing that on his face? He says that Israeli agents are trying to sneak poisoned gas into the embassy where he is and kill him. No real verification on that. We'll be all over that.
I'm coming right back, and if it's been a while since you saw a boat shot up with machine-gun fire from a helicopter, then today's your lucky today, because we it, and it's in "Fotos."
SANCHEZ: All right, imagine you're walking down a beach and you see a humpbacked whale lying there. That's the scene in Virginia, Virginia of all places. The 25-foot humpback whale was found beached several days ago, but so far no one has been able to figure out exactly what to do with it.
The problem is that no one has been able to find the landfill that will actually be big enough for this carcass, so days later the dead whale is just still sitting there.
Further out to sea and much more lively now -- the British Navy intercepts drug runners. They arrest smugglers, seize five and a half tons of cocaine, and then do this. They sink the boat. Why? To make sure it wouldn't be used for smuggling again.
And finally this -- we showed you this back in November when it happened, a police deputy in Washington State savagely beating a 15- year-old girl after she appears to have flipped a shoe at him, as teenagers are prone to do.
The sheriff's department tells us the Deputy Paul Schene for this action has now fired over this incident. They think he went beyond the pale. Criminal charges are also pending. We put calls to the deputy and his lawyer, but they have not responded. We'll wait.
Listen to these words, "I'm in a board meeting and I'm having a miscarriage. Thank goodness." What? That's what one blogger put on her Twitter account, and she's getting hammered for it. A lot of women are really not happy about this, not happy with Penelope Trunk.
Also, there's a new way to interact with me on CNN, and it has to do with a phone. Got the hint? I'll be right back. Stay with us.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SANCHEZ: We have just gotten in some breaking news. I told you at the beginning of the show the Rockefeller proposal for the public option was voted down. I also told you there was a new run being proposed by Senator Schumer. We have just learned that one has been voted down.
And tomorrow, if we get a chance, don't you think it would be a good idea to figure out of the guys who voted yea and the guys who voted nay, how many of them got in totality how much money from the health care companies? That would be a good segment for America, don't you think? So I promise you we'll look into it and try and bring it to you.
Meanwhile, every day you watch our national conversation as we come to call it, and now you can get closer to all of CNN right on your own iPhone.
The CNN app is available starting today. It's 1.99 at the Apple store. You can get breaking news alerts and live streaming video and a whole lot more. And we're going to continue to do this with many other companies so that we can get our word and the truth, as they say, out there.
How is a woman supposed to react, speaking of Twitters and social media, in a miscarriage? Should she be condemned if her reaction isn't what yours might be? What if her reaction is "Thank goodness I had a miscarriage"?
That's Penelope Trunk, and that was her reaction. And she's getting hell for it, and she and I will talk about it when I come back.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez.
If I only had a nickel for every meaningless tweet that I have read -- not all are that way, but from time to time they are. But one from a nationally syndicated columnist seems to cross all kinds of lines.
Penelope Trunk is the CEO of a career advice site and has a blog as well. She sent out some shockwaves when she posted this explosive tweet. Maybe it's because you can put yourself when she's writing it.
"I'm in a board meeting," she writes, "having a miscarriage," she writes. "Thank goodness, because there's an f-ed up three-week hoop jump to have an abortion in Wisconsin." Having a miscarriage, "thank goodness"? Wow.
A lot of people, especially parents would find her relief and the tone of that tweet disturbing. Others think it's a prime case of TMI, right, just too much information?
First some facts. She lives in Wisconsin. She says that women who are trying to get an abortion there have to wait three weeks to have the procedure, and the point is that women waiting three weeks to get an abortion are normally relieved when they suffer miscarriages because then they don't have to go through the rigmarole of it.
But would you tweet about something like that, or want the world to hear about something like that? Let's ask her. Penelope Trunk of brazencareerist.com. Did I get that right?
PENELOPE TRUNK, CEO, BRAZENCAREERIST.COM (via telephone): Yes.
SANCHEZ: Are you there?
You know, I'm going to ask you a tough question, young lady. Do you have no shame?
TRUNK: Why are you asking?
SANCHEZ: Well, because that's -- I mean, my dad, you know, says, you know, you don't -- you don't hang your underwear out so everybody can see it. That's a very personal thing to be talking about, isn't it?
TRUNK: Well, I think we each decide when it's personal. Personal means each of us decides when we want to share what we're doing.
And I actually thought a miscarriage at work is no big shakes -- 75 percent of women have miscarriages, and they last about three weeks. So most women who have miscarriages have them at work, so it's not -- it's not like it's that big a deal.
SANCHEZ: I get that, and I appreciate your honesty. Look, I appreciate the fact that you're willing to come on and talk about this, because you're getting a lot of --
TRUNK: You're welcome.
SANCHEZ: You're getting a lot of grief from this. There are people who are very offended by this. What do you say to them?
TRUNK: I'm not really sure they are offended. I think what they should really be offended by is that I was going to have to drive to Chicago to get an abortion, and we have laws in this country --
SANCHEZ: Maybe it's the fact that you're treating the birth of a human being so casually like, you know, they are gone. Do you see why people might have a problem with that?
TRUNK: Well, it seems like everyone in the whole world would prefer miscarriage over an abortion, even the Pope. Who wouldn't prefer a miscarriage over an abortion?
SANCHEZ: Stay right there. We're going to go to CNN.com/live. Thanks so much Penelope. Stay right there.
Wolf Blitzer standing by with a whole heck of a lot of news in "THE SITUATION ROOM." Take it, Wolf.