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Moammar Gadhafi Unleashes Attacks; Abuse and Neglect on the Rise Against Elderly; Sitting on Success; Pay Gap Narrows, But Still Exists; U.S. Troops Fired on in Germany

Aired March 2, 2011 - 14:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: We want to start this top of this hour though with a story that is developing, still developing in Germany. There's been an attack on U.S. military personnel at the Frankfurt Airport. Police on the scene tell CNN's Fred Pleitgen that two U.S. service members have been killed, two others are wounded and are in serious condition.

President Barack Obama made remarks on the incident just last hour.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm saddened, and I am outraged by this attack that took the lives of two Americans and wounded two others. I think the American people are united in expressing our gratitude for the service of those who were lost.


LEMON: That was the president just a short time ago.

The attacker is believed to be from Kosovo. He is in the custody of German police. A military source tells CNN the victims are airmen based in Lakenheath. That's in England.

And we're going to continue to follow this developing story and bring you the developments throughout the hour here on CNN. They are unfolding at any moment now.

Fast-moving developments also today in Libya to tell you about.

The Libyan military has dropped three bombs on Al-Brega. You see it right there on the map.

Residents say the opposition has apparently maintained control of the town, managing to drive out Libyan troops. And that's not the only place to see military action. Nearby, the Libyan military also bombed military camp on the outskirts of Ajdabiya.

We want to go now to Green Square in Tripoli, where CNN's Nic Robertson we'll be joining us in just a moment here on CNN. But again, we're hearing about obviously the opposition there being fought by Gadhafi and his forces. And so we'll get our Nic Robertson. He's joining us in just a short time here on CNN. The aerial bombings by the Libyan military have led some to propose the United States consider imposing a no-fly zone over the country. But Admirable Mike Mullein, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, well, has called that option a "complex operation."

The U.S. has repositioned two amphibious assault ships in the Mediterranean to provide humanitarian relief and the capability for emergency evacuations. One of those is the USS Kearsarge.

You're looking here at a photo of the ship from today as it went through the Suez Canal. And to give you some perspective, these ships must travel through there in order to get to the region.

Let me tell you about the capabilities of an amphibious assault ship. It has the ability to transport and land troops, tanks, trucks and cargo, also artillery. It can serve as a deck for helicopters. It carries anti-aircraft missiles and missile decoy launchers. It also has 600 hospital beds.

Well, today, the United Nations is still working to contain the humanitarian crisis happening at Libya's borders. So far, over 150,000 have arrived in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia. And thousands more are arriving hourly.

We'll follow that for you.



LEMON: Want to get back now to the situation unfolding in Libya. CNN's Ben Wedeman is joining us by the phone now. He is in Benghazi.

And Ben, I understand that you witnessed several bombings in Al- Brega.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We witnessed three separate bombing runs by Libyan air force jets. One of them seemed to be dropping a bomb in the area of Brega itself.

The other two -- the first one was by the side of the road where we were. We were with a group of fighters in the anti-Gadhafi camp who were preparing to launch counterattacks into the town of Brega, which had been overrun by Libyan army forces.

Apparently, the Libyan jet saw this large group of people, zoomed right above us, and dropped a bomb that fell by the side of the road just about 40 feet from where I was standing. In this case, fortunately, nobody was hurt and there was no damage.

Later, in the afternoon, we were outside of Brega, where a group of local residents and fighters in the anti-Gadhafi opposition were celebrating the victory after they had managed to run those forces out of town. There was a large group of people and, yet again, one of these planes zoomed right over us, dropped a bomb just a stone's throw away. There were casualties, but we didn't stick around to look because everybody was afraid at the time that there would be another bomb coming. So there was sort of a mad rush and panic just to leave the area -- Don.

LEMON: So tell us also about -- we're hearing the military also bombed in Ajdabiya, also a camp there as well.

WEDEMAN: That would be Ajdabiya, where, apparently, not for the first time, those jets were also in the skies over this ammunition dump which has proved sort of a gold mine for the anti-Gadhafi forces. We were in Ajdabiya as well, where we saw that a lot of the ammunition, a lot of the equipment, including anti-tank guns and surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft guns, had been brought out of this ammunition dump and were being wiped -- the grease that is usually kept to keep those weapons from rusting was being washed off with gasoline, and they were being used -- or rather prepared -- for the defense of the town in the event that the government forces actually reached there.

So, yes, very much a day of intense air activity and bombings in this part of eastern Libya.

LEMON: Ben Wedeman, thank you. We appreciate your reporting.

Want to talk now about legendary actor Mickey Rooney. He is addressing the Senate today about a subject dear to his heart, talking about elder abuse.

And CNN's Kate Bolduan has been all over this topic for us, and she joins us now.

So, Kate, tell us about this hearing.


Well, of course elder abuse in and of itself is an important issue, but listen to this little factoid.

By 2025, it's projected the number of Americans age 65 and older will increase by 60 percent. And a new report by the Government Accountability Office finds that abuse, neglect and exploitation of elders is on the rise and likely very much underreported still.

Actor Mickey Rooney -- he's now 90 years old -- he says he is one of these victims. And he's also today one of the witnesses speaking at a hearing on this very issue, and it's happening now on Capitol Hill.

Rooney says he was victimized actually by his own stepchildren. And in his prepared testimony, as we're waiting to hear from Mr. Rooney to speak, in his prepared testimony he said the following: "I felt trapped, scared, used and frustrated. But above all, I felt hopeless. For years, I suffered silently, unable to muster the courage to seek help that I needed. Even when I tried to speak up, I was silenced." He goes on to say, "It seemed like no one believed me."

So, we're waiting to hear from him.

Rooney says that he suffered verbal, emotional and financial abuse for years, and he was actually granted a temporary restraining order against his stepchildren last month.

The Senate Committee on Aging -- it's a special committee -- is holding this hearing to really look at ways, Don, to combat the problem that they acknowledge is underreported, and really try to combat the problem with better coordination between federal, state and local agencies that are all in charge of adult protective services. They say it's something we need to talk a lot more about -- Don.

LEMON: And is that what they can do about this problem, better coordination? Is that what they're doing? Can they do more than that?

BOLDUAN: It sounds kind of like a Washington actor, "better coordination between agencies." But it's something that they say is very important to be able to kind of have top-down coordination.

And Senator Herb Kohl, the chair of this special committee, he's going to be reintroducing a bill later today that would create an office, as was described to me, within the Department of Justice to help state and local officials not just coordinate, but to better train and respond to this growing problem. Because they say it's not just people in nursing homes, but it's a growing problem outside of the nursing home.

And this office, it's been described to me to be modeled after the domestic violence unit out of DOJ. But bottom line, really what they're trying to do, especially bringing in Mr. Rooney, is to highlight this growing problem and draw attention to the issue, as it's a silent victim, very often, that doesn't have anyone to look after them.

LEMON: Kate, thank you very much. We appreciate that.

Up next on CNN, literally sitting on success. We take you inside the chair company that's "Building up America" by reinventing itself and attracting some very famous customers.


LEMON: The Emeco chair company started during World War II, providing the military with basic, sturdy chairs. But in the 1990s they were close to shutting their doors.

Now the company has distribution in over 30 countries. So how do they do it?

Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In rural Pennsylvania, this is the sound of success -- aluminum chairs being shaped, tempered, polished. But a few years back it was the sound of trouble for CEO Gregg Buchbinder.

(on camera): This company was ready to go out of business.

GREGG BUCHBINDER, CEO, EMECO: Right. Right. The company was really on its last legs.

FOREMAN (voice-over): The Emeco company started in World War II, making tough, lightweight chairs for military ships. And for 40 years, that kept Emeco afloat.

But in the 1990s, the big contracts were drying up, and Buchbinder, the new owner, was struggling to keep the doors open. Then, one day a salesperson slammed down a phone in a dispute over a small order.

BUCHBINDER: And I asked her -- I said, "Who was that?" And she said, "Oh, somebody -- Giorgio Armani." And at that point I realized there's something more significant here than just a chair that was for the government.

FOREMAN: He discovered that top designers were buying the chairs secondhand. They adored the clean lines, excellent craftsmanship.

(on camera): It signaled a turning point for this company.

BUCHBINDER: Absolutely. A big turning point for us.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Aiming at this new market, Emeco developed new styles, some selling for a few hundred dollars, some for thousands.

On the factory floor, Dennis Tangent preached the old gospel.

(on camera): What you're selling here is fine American craftsmanship.

DENNIS TANGENT, EMECO: That's all it is, and it's preached every day. And everybody here is an inspector. And everybody -- my whole crew is very concerned about the quality of that item.

It's not a chair. It's a work of art.

FOREMAN (voice-over): And sales soared.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have pretty much settled distribution in 30 different countries.

FOREMAN (on camera): Thirty countries?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, 30 different countries.

FOREMAN: That's much bigger than it used to be. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, that's definitely much bigger than I thought it would be, too.

FOREMAN (voice-over): From 15 employees a decade ago, today Emeco has 70 in the factory alone.

BUCHBINDER: It's grown.


FOREMAN (voice-over): Not a bad buildup from helping everyone else sit down on the job.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Hanover, Pennsylvania.


LEMON: All right. Breaking news here on CNN.

We showed you the pictures from the traffic cam just a short time ago. These are much better pictures.

And this is a wildfire that has been going since Monday in Brevard County and Volusia County in Florida, shutting down a 21-mile stretch of I-95. These pictures are courtesy of our affiliate WFTV.

Again, this fire has been going for days now. They only have it contained to about 25 percent. And it has burned some 16,000 acres.

Again, look at these pictures. And no signs of stopping now.

Our Chad Myers says that this is just the beginning. This fire is not over, and you're going to see more this season. Chad Myers is going to join us in just a little bit to talk about this and the rest of the forecast.

We're going to check your top stories right now.

Bombs are falling in Libya today. Witnesses say Gadhafi's forces have been trying to retake two towns in eastern Libya. The Libyan military has dropped three bombs on Al-Brega, but rebels say they beat back Gadhafi's mercenaries in that city.

In Germany, two U.S. Air Force airmen were shot and killed outside a terminal of the Frankfurt Airport. Two others were wounded. The interior minister for the state of Hesse said the gunman was a Kosovo national.

President Barack Obama made an appearance at a press briefing last hour to express his sadness and outrage about those attacks.

Make sure you stay with us throughout the day for updates on this developing story on CNN.

Also developing today, a medical emergency for tennis star Serena Williams. A spokeswoman tells "People" magazine she was treated for a hematoma on Monday. That's after a blood clot was discovered in her lung last week. Now, she's been off the court since July because of ongoing trouble with her foot.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled 8-1 that the Westboro Baptist Church has the right to protest at places like funerals for fallen troops. The Kansas church and its members are known for staging protests and holding offensive signs at funerals. A father of a fallen Marine had sued to stop them, saying those protests amounted to target harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

If you've ever stayed in a hotel, well, you need to hear our next story. We're looking at where germs live in your hotel room and how to avoid them.

Don't go anywhere.


LEMON: Some developments in Libya to tell you about. And CNN's Nic Robertson, joining us now from Tripoli.

Nic, what are you seeing?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, there's a big pro-government rally in the center of Tripoli tonight. I would say 2,000 to 3,000 people.

A party atmosphere, waving green flags, pictures of Moammar Gadhafi, chanting in support of him. This is the place where he gave a speech to the people a couple of days ago, about a week ago now, around this ancient square in the center of the city. Tonight it's women, children, men coming out.

Now, what the government really wants us to see when they brought us down here this evening is just how much support they say there is for Moammar Gadhafi, and also that there are women and children here. They say when you look at the rallies in the east of the country, they say there are no women and children, and they're trying to make the point that they say that Moammar Gadhafi has lots of support.

This is a very big square. And as I say, there's 2,000 to 3,000 people. It's far from full, but it is -- we're told this is where people are gathering here every night now.

And as we drove down here, we saw more shops, more stores open than we've seen in the last two days. But this is, as I say, coming on the heels of a two-and-a-half-hour-long speech given by Moammar Gadhafi earlier today, really to rally the nation. And this is part of that effort -- Don.

LEMON: All right. CNN's Nic Robertson.

Nic, thank you very much with that breaking news here on CNN.

You know, you can't run out and buy one right now, not just yet. But Apple has unveiled its new iPad 2. The CEO, Steve Jobs, introduced the new tablet just a short time ago.

And CNN's Dan Simon was at today's unveiling. He's live for us now in San Francisco.

So, Dan, Jobs actually made an appearance. That was a surprise.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Don. We expected to see the new iPad being unveiled, but we did not expect to see Steve Jobs. And he did appear to look painfully thin, in my estimation, but still had that usual stage presence that we always see from Steve Jobs. He's been out since January 17th, so it was good to see him here today.

Let's talk about the iPad 2. This was widely expected today. It's faster, lighter. It comes in two colors, black and White. And it's also got two cameras, Don, a front camera and a rear camera.

Let's let Steve Jobs tell you about it. Take a look.


STEVE JOBS, CEO, APPLE: This iPad 2, what have we learned? What can we improve?

Well, it is an all-new design. It is not a tweaked design. It's not got marginal improvements. It's a completely new design. And the first thing is, it's dramatically faster.

We have a new chip we call it A5. Our chip wizards have come up with this, and it's great.

It's dual-core processors, two processors inside, and so we get up to twice as fast on CPU performance. But we've really gone all out on the graphics performance, up to nine times faster graphics. The graphics on this thing are wonderful.

The same low power as A4. We don't want to give up any of that legendary battery life. And even though others are starting to ship, I think this is going to be the first dual-core tablet to ship in volume.

So A5 is a really quite an achievement and is going to give us something that's up to twice as fast on CPU performance, up to nine times faster on graphics. And the first iPad was no slouch.


SIMON: And Steve Jobs called 2010 the "Year of the iPad," noting that 17 million units were sold last year. He called 2011 the "Year of the Copycats." He was joking, because there are so many companies now coming out with their own tablets. But he thinks they have leaped ahead of the competition, if you will, with this new design, which by the way, Don, will go on sale March 11th. A lot of people thought it would go on sale much later than that, but it will be available in just a couple of weeks -- Don.

LEMON: Ah, very soon. Dan Simon, appreciate that. Thank you.

Get ready, everybody.


LEMON: OK. You want to go "Off the Radar"? What do you think?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I would rather not go off the radar, but if you want to get there, there's a microscopic look at Hotel Hygiene in the making.

LEMON: I do not need to hear this.

MYERS: Things are not looking so good in some of these places. The first thing you want to do - OK. There are just some basic, basic things. I used to work at some place called Budgetel back in Omaha, Nebraska. And we were good. We were fine. Never sleep on the comforter.

LEMON: Never.

MYERS: Pick it up and move it over and put it on the chair. Just don't even let your kids jump on it. That does not get washed every night. That gets washed, like, maybe once a month.

LEMON: If then.

MYERS: If then. Also, take a little thing of - I call it jelly. The little jelly that you squirt on your hands. Put it on a little washcloth and wipe off all the knobs. Wipe off the alarm clock, the remote control. All those things harbor germs, and those are the doorknobs and telephones and all those things.

Hotel rooms aren't properly disinfected, something I saw in an Atlanta TV station. They would wash the cups, the glasses, in your room, they would just rinse them out in the sink of the room, wipe them out and put them back. Don't use the glasses. Use the paper ones or the plastic ones or Styrofoam ones that they give you because you know, at least they're wrapped and clean. You don't know if the glasses ones are going to be clean.

But wash your hands all the time! And use the hand sanitizer. And there's that bedspread thing.

I know. How do you know? It says choose a hotel that uses impervious mattresses and pillow covers. And they're called the allergy barriers.

LEMON: Do you have those?

MYERS: We do. I don't know.

Did you know your body secretes or gets rid of 1.5 million skin cells, hair cells a night? So that's you. But, so was that guy before you.


MYERS: Did they get them all washed off? We hope so. With the Clorox? I hope so.

LEMON: I didn't need to hear that.

MYERS: I know. You and I spend -- 50 nights in a hotel a year. I know.

LEMON: I know. I always wear the flip-flops.

MYERS: Absolutely.

LEMON: You get athlete's foot or whatever once, you never want it again.

MYERS: I didn't get to that one. Yes. Absolutely. Good stuff.

LEMON: Thank you, Chad. It's gross, but information you need to know.

Not sure if it qualifies ooze a silver lining, but the same quake that devastated Christchurch, new Zealand has unearthed some buried treasure. Details coming up. And what you missed.


LEMON: Want to check some stories you might have missed. Health officials in Boston may have a fifth case of measles on their hands. The latest: a professor at U Mass Boston. It has the school scrambling to alert schools and staff who may have been exposed there. Most college-age Americans have been vaccinated, but the campus health center is offering measles shots just in case.

On the second day of March, Apple unveils its second version ever the iPad. CEO Steve Jobs took the stage in San Francisco for the big reveal. He says the new tablet's thinner and faster than the original, but will sell for the same price. It starts shipping late next week and will be available from both Verizon and AT&T.

News that Dreamworks may do a movie about Wikileaks has the secretive group tweeting up a storm. One message today reads, "This is how B.S. ends up being history. Spielberg lines up a Wikileaks film based on books by opportunists." Steven Spielberg, of course, is a partner in the movie studio, but there's no confirmation he's involved in any Wikileaks project.

It devastated the city, but last week's earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand also unearthed a bit of history. Two time capsules turned up from the wreckage of the statue of the city's founder. Both are now in the hands of museum officials, who will get a first look at the contents. The city's mayor calls the discoveries a miracle.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: In Germany today, an attack on the U.S. military bus at Frankfurt airport. At least two American airmen were killed and two other people wounded. One person is in custody, and President Obama says he's "saddened and outraged" by the attack, and the U.S. would spare no effort, no effort, in determining how it happened.

Joining me to talk about all of this, the attack and other top stories here internationally, is CNN International anchor and correspondent Michael Holmes. Michael, the attack seems to have really come out of nowhere.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Really at one of the busiest airports in all of Europe, too. If you've been to Frankfurt Airport, you know what I mean. It's a logistical hub for the military as well. As you said, these are two airmen from actually a base in the United Kingdom.

And so it appears they were on their way to a deployment. Were really just sort of transiting, if you like, through Frankfurt. That's what appears to be the case, when this happened. The reports are that a man had a conversation with some of the servicemen and opened fire on them.

Police have got a young man from Kosovo actually, I think he's 21, in custody and trying to just work their way through this. As I say, it's a logistical hub for service members heading to Iraq or Afghanistan. So, yes, a real tragedy there.

LEMON: A significance of this, the president coming to the briefing room to talk about it.

Can we talk about Libya now? Gadhafi launching a ground and air assault on the rebels, on the protestors there and people he believes is causing the uprising in Libya. And he warned of a bloodbath if the U.S. or NATO gets involved.

HOLMES: That was another one of his long speeches. This was, I think two-and-a-half hours I think it was. And yes, again, blaming just about everyone else for what's going on in the country from al Qaeda, warning that if the U.S. or Europe get involved in what's going on in Libya, there would be a bloodbath. Thousands and thousands of people would die, he said.

Now, it is as you said on a day when there was another couple of attacks, bombing runs that we should tell you about, too. One on an oil area in the country. Ben Wedeman was very close to one of those bombs when it happened.

So, also some fighting in a university near El Brega. Gadhafi's forces made some inroads there, and apparently have now been beaten back. You just see a lot of activity on the ground now with his security forces and the rebels who are determined to see this through.

LEMON: On now to Pakistan. There's another political assassination in Pakistan. The government's minister of minorities assassinated in the capital of Islamabad. HOLMES: Yes, Shahbaz Bhatti is this man's name. He is the minority minister killed, the second minister killed in as many months in Pakistan. All-over blasphemy laws. I'll explain that in a second.

What happened her was he was leaving for work, not well protected, just him and a driver, by the way. And a car cut across him in front of him, got out, and you can see the result. He was hit with eight bullets. A lot than that more were fired.

Pamphlets reportedly left at the scene described he was a Christian infidel. He was the only Christian in the Pakistan cabinet. It was signed by Taliban al Qaeda in the Punjab, which is a region, of course, in Pakistan.

This blasphemy law is essentially - it provides for the death penalty for anyone who criticizes the Koran or the prophet or Islam in general. And there's been a lot of controversy over it. A Christian woman was actually sentenced under this law and there's been a big reform movement to try to get it modified. You're getting a lot of the extremists now, a lot more extreme elements in Pakistan resisting that. You can see what happens.

LEMON: All right. On to Afghanistan now. This is a lot of unrest. General David Petraeus apologizing for air strikes that killed Afghan civilians. Some of them were children?

HOLMES: Some reports say all of them were. Yes. There are reports that all of these kids were -- nine of them.

We've had this happen again. It's been a big, big issue for the U.S. military and coalition forces in general there. The ISA forces. It appears what happened was a rocket was fired at a U.S. base, not fired. This is in the east of the country, very mountainous area. And helicopters were dispatched to where they were told was the point of origin of that rocket. They picked out targets, turned out it was these kids collecting firewood for their families.

Of course, General Petraeus put out a huge apology about this. An investigation has been launched. But it just appears they got the wrong guys. There was one report these kids are aged from 9 to 15. I saw one that said two sets of brothers, these kids just out there getting firewood for the families.

Interesting, Hamid Karzai, a quote from him said that, "NATO should focus more on terrorist sanctuaries." Now, that's a phrase he usually uses when he means in Pakistan. He's urging attacks in that area and not around where this happened.

I mean, just another terrible thing. We've seen this happen before.

LEMON: Yes. Sad all the way around. He did apologize, but still.

HOLMES: It does a lot of damage to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. You don't win hearts and minds that way. LEMON: Absolutely. Thank you, Michael.

HOLMES: Good to see you, Don.

LEMON: Appreciate it.

You know, it is getting better, but it's not there yet. Next, we take a closer look at pay equity to see how far women still lag behind men in the workplace.


LEMON: Time now for today's "Big Breakdown." We're taking a closer look at women in the workplace. A new White House released a report in conjunction with women's history month show the pay gap has narrowed but still exists.

I'm joined by CNN Student News anchor Carl Azuz. So, the Obama administration took this on. Carl, what do we know about this? This is a first comprehensive report like this.

CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: It has. And there are a lot of norms that were in the place say 40 years ago that have totally reversed today. One of the first ones I want to look at is in the field of education. For one thing, across the board, more women than men are earning college degrees. That's a big shift from 1969 to 2009.

However, those degrees are concentrated in certain areas, and they don't include engineering and computer science. In fact, women are getting fewer than 20 percent of the degrees in engineering and computer science, and that's decreasing. More of the degrees women get are in health, education, on nursing, fields like that.

LEMON: Yes, right.

AZUZ: And one of the things I thought was interesting was that across the board, at all academic levels, women have higher graduation rates than men.

LEMON: There you go. Well, let's talk about the pay then because there's a pay gap.

AZUZ: Yes. There has been a pay gap for a very long time. It's narrowing as you said. It still exists.

There was a report taken about -- a survey taken about 1979, so we're looking at roughly 30 years ago. It found that women made 62 cents for every dollar that men made. Now, that has decreased for full-time salary and wage earners. Now, women at full-time levels are making around 80 percent of men's salaries.

But one thing that has completely reversed was that it used to be in recessions generally unemployment rates were higher among women. Now, in more recent recessions, we've seen unemployment rates higher among men.

LEMON: 1979 to 2009, 62 percent to 80 percent. As we said, it's getting better. It's still not there yet.

AZUZ: It is.

LEMON: What are the most prevalent jobs for women?

AZUZ: And as I mentioned, too, you know, they're getting degrees largely in what the White House characterizes as traditionally female occupations.


AZUZ: And so, you see here the fields they go into include secretaries/administrative assistants, nurses, teaching, cashiers, nursing and home health aides. Those continue to be the most popular. And as I said, the number of women who are getting degrees in engineering and computer science is on the decline. So, it's not expected that this would change anytime soon, Don.

LEMON: It's interesting, though. As we said, at least it's going up. It's not there yet, but at least it's going up. And let's hope it gets, you know, to some equity --

AZUZ: A hundred percent.

LEMON: Yes, 100 percent there. Thank you, Carl Azuz from Student News.

AZUZ: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: And let's tell everyone, if you want to know more about this, go to Ali's blog, You can get more information on this.

Rutgers University will now feature gender-neutral dorms in the wake of suicide of a gay student. Details on how this program will work, coming up next.


LEMON: Breaking news about that shooting in Germany at the airport there and it's in Frankfurt. Two U.S. service members killed, and two others injured.

We want to go now to Vlora Rustemi. She is a reporter and she's joining us from Kosovo.

We're understanding that a Kosovo national is in custody. What are you learning about that, Vlora?


Just a few minutes ago I talked to interior minister of Kosovo, Mr. Bajram Rexhepi, to get the latest information on this story. And what he confirmed is that the suspect is from Kosovo. He is believed to be from a northern city of Mitrovica. And he is believed to be 21 years old.

The minister actually did not confirm his identity, and when I asked him about what he thinks the motive of this act was, he said that it's either a terrorist act or the man is crazy. These are the words that the minister said. He said that he is getting all the information, the minister, he's getting all the information from the U.S. embassy in Pristina, and that he can say only this until now because he's waiting for more information from the U.S. embassy.

LEMON: OK. So, Vlora, he wouldn't give you a name. Did he tell you anything just about the history of this person exempt that he's 21 years old and he's from a northern city in Kosovo? He didn't know anything about the history of this man?

RUSTEMI: Yes, he did not have any more information. Only he said that he is -- he holds a Yugoslavian passport and I believe this is the information that he got from the U.S. embassy because he was referring the information that he got always from the U.S. embassy in Pristina. And he said that he has a Yugoslavian passport and a German passport. Yugoslavian, meaning that he has a passport from -- that was issued by Serbia before the independence of Kosovo. This is all the minister could actually say until now. He said he's waiting for more information to come.

LEMON: And, Vlora, when he said just about the motive, he said it's either terrorism or he's just crazy. So, he really doesn't know the motive.

RUSTEMI: No, he doesn't. And actually when I asked him, he was -- the way he replied, he was basically kind of sounding like he was upset because he said, it's either a terrorist act or he -- the man is crazy. It cannot be anything else other than this.

LEMON: OK. Vlora Rustemi joining us from Kosovo, again, to update us on the situation happening at the Frankfurt airport in Germany -- two U.S. service members shot and killed, two others injured. We're keeping our eye on that story.

On to other news now: beginning this fall, Rutgers University will allow male and female students to live in the same dorm room for the first time. It's part of a pilot program at Rutgers called gender-neutral housing. This fall, about 20 to 30 students will be allowed to choose their roommates regardless of gender, and students must apply to live in the gender-neutral rooms which will be reserved for sophomores, juniors and seniors.

University officials decided to try the program after the death of Tyler Clementi. And you may remember him. He was a freshman who committed suicide last year after a student allegedly recorded a sexual encounter between him and another man, and then posted it online. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The whole event that occurred really like affected Rutgers and I feel like this is them reaching out and like making a change.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's good pr for the university. Whether or not they were thinking about this before, the whole Tyler Clementi thing is another issue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody should either be forced to live with somebody that they don't want to live with.


LEMON: Organizers of the program say about 55 other universities already have gender-neutral housing. Several schools, including a higher university, Emory University and Columbia University, will begin allowing coed rooming in the fall as well.

A proposed Texas House bill would create tough state punishments to those who knowingly hire unauthorized immigrants. Violators could face up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. But it's an exception in the bill that is drawing the attention here. Apparently, you would not be in violation of the law if you are hiring a maid, a lawn care worker or another house worker.

Now, last hour, I talked with a Texas state representative and I asked him if this exception would actually encourage immigration to Texas.


AARON PENA (R), TEXAS STATE REP.: From my perspective, that's probably true. But this is something that's proposed by Representative Riddle because, quite frankly, at least where I live along the border, you'd put maybe half the population in prison and have them committed as felons when they simply hired somebody who's looking for work.


LEMON: All right. So, that takes us back to our social media question of the day. We wanted your take on the proposed Texas bill and its exception.

Jim writes: "Oh, so it's OK for poor immigrants to keep up your yards and gardens and clean your houses. But it's not OK for them to get a regular job since they are not citizens. That view is elitist and stuck up."

Robert writes this: "Once again, another politician is trolling for air-time without resolving the basic issue of immigration. We need a myriad of migrant workers and we need to control unlawful immigration from all borders. The best tool for doing both is by monitoring, not fluff-ball state or federal bills."

James Doe says: "The exception is acceptable because the problems do not arise from individuals hiring individual migrant workers, but rather from big businesses cheating migrant workers and domestic workers of fair wages by hiring cheap labor."

And here's what Kim writes, she said, "Do we really want to give Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California back to Mexico? After all, we did take it from them while attacking Mexico City."

All right. Be back at a moment after the break.


LEMON: Time right now for a CNN political update. Shannon Travis joins me now from the political desk in Washington.

What's crossing right now on the Ticker?

SHANNON TRAVIS, CNN POLITICAL PRODUCER: Hey there, Don. Well, you, me and probably a lot of our viewers are really concerned about where gas prices are going. They're creeping up right now.

Well, one of the potential 2012 presidential candidates is making a claim about why they might be rising. Haley Barbour, you know, he's the Republican governor of Mississippi, listen to what he told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today as reported by my colleague, Peter Hamby. This is a quote, "This administration's policies have been designed to drive up the cost of energy in the name of reducing pollution, in the name of making very expensive alternative fuels more economically competitive."

Now, those are words from the governor of Mississippi, Hailey Barbour. He's citing as evidence something that the current secretary of energy, Steven Chu, said in 2008 when he was not the secretary. That was from "Wall Street Journal" piece. Back then, Chu said, quote, "Somehow, we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe," close quote, in order to force consumers to be more fuel efficient. Chu later said that that was mistake comment.

Today, the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, got a question about this and he said, look, this is all coming in the context of 2012 policies.

Moving on really quickly, President Obama, hey, if you want some real estate, President Obama may have some to sell you. Not him specifically but the government. He wants to form a panel to look at selling off unnecessary, unneeded government real estate. The panel would include both private sector and public sector people to recommend how to sell off this unwanted, unneeded real estate.

And if this actually happens, an administration official tells us that the sale of these kind of properties could possibly bring in $5 billion over three years -- Don.

LEMON: All right, Shannon Travis, we appreciate that.

I'm Don Lemon. Thanks for joining us.

The NEWSROOM continues right now with Brooke Baldwin -- Brooke.