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Palin: 'This Isn't a Campaign Bus'; Coach Resigns Over Player Perks; Congressman Says Twitter Account was Hacked; Smokers Fuming Over New NYC Ban; Will Sarah Palin Run?; Libyan Generals Defect
Aired May 30, 2011 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Happening now, eight Libyan generals and dozens of troops defect. South Africa's leader shows up in Libya on a peace mission. And NATO's chief says Moammar Gadhafi's reign of terror is coming to an end.
Has the war reached a turning point?
She started off on a motorcycle. Now Sarah Palin continues a bus tour of American historic sites. She says it's not a campaign bus, but she does plan a trip to Iowa.
And a lewd photo goes out to a college student on Congressman Anthony Weiner's Twitter account. He calls it a prank and says he was hacked. Is there more than meets the eye?
Wolf Blitzer is off. I'm Candy Crowley and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Anyone unfortunate enough to wind up in the hospital this Memorial Day may be in for a potentially dangerous surprise, a shortage of critical drugs. And it's getting worse.
Our CNN's Mary Snow is going in-depth for us.
Mary, what is this all about?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Candy, this has been a problem that's been around as the drug industry consolidates, but as one doctor told us today, in her 30 years of practicing medicine, she's never seen the kind of drug shortages she's seeing now.
SNOW (voice-over): At Westchester Medical Center, chief medical officer Renee Garrick says the staff now gets daily alerts about which drugs are in short supply and she says most people aren't aware of the shortages hospitals are facing.
RENEE GARRICK, WESTCHESTER MEDICAL CENTER: If you have a gasoline shortage, the world knows in about 30 seconds. So, we have drug shortages that can affect the ability to get the drug to the bedside in someone who has had a heart attack, someone who needs blood pressure support, someone who needs antibiotics. And I think public awareness of that is not what it should be.
SNOW: Each hospital is different. In Phoenix, for example, Shaneen Tahani (ph), a pharmacist at Maricopa Medical Center, said earlier this month the hospital had to reserve a supply of a hard-to-get drug to treat leukemia and lymphoma.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have had to reserve our supply. We have had to turn patients away. Sometimes we -- in order to treat more patients, we have had to reduce the doses of that drug.
SNOW: While shortages may not be a new problem, those who monitor them for the American Society of Health System Pharmacists counted 211 drugs in short supply last year and say it's not getting any better.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is getting worse, because, so far, in 2011, if you look at just the first three months of the year, so the first 90 days of the year, we tracked 89 brand-new shortages. So, that's almost, if you think about it, a new shortage a day.
SNOW: So, what is behind the shortages? The FDA says manufacturing problems and delays are the main reasons, as well as drugs being discontinued. In a statement, the agency told us most shortages involve older drugs made by fewer firms and says: "These drugs often get discontinued by companies and replaced by more profitable, newer drugs. FDA continues to do all we can within our authority to resolve these shortages."
But in the meantime, Dr. Garrick says hospitals are scrambling for alternatives, with shortages of some chemotherapy drugs a particular concern.
GARRICK: You either delay treatment until the drug is available or seek an alternative drug. But the alternative drug may not have been tested as part of that regimen, so you won't really know what the outcome will be. So that's why the chemotherapy shortage has become such a national concern.
SNOW: Now, lawmakers have also gotten involved. Legislation was introduced that would require manufacturers to give the Food and Drug Administration six months' notice if they plan to discontinue a drug or take any other action where there would be an interruption.
As far as the pharmaceutical industry, a trade group for drug research companies says there's a number of reasons contributing to why they might have shortages and they cite anything from natural disasters to shortages in raw materials. And that group says it's committed to maintaining good manufacturing practices and working closely with the FDA -- Candy.
CROWLEY: So, Mary, other than -- you said they have to turn patients away. Is there anything else these hospitals do to kind of make up for these shortages? Can they call another hospital or find it elsewhere? SNOW: Well, at the Westchester Medical Center we went to today, this is one hospital that said so far it hasn't had to turn people away. But what it's been doing is getting alternative medications. And it says it's been very aggressive about monitoring these drug shortages, but it says, as a result, it's really been a drain on resources, because you're taking people who are -- constantly, their job is to monitor the drugs.
But if they also buy drugs from a vendor, the cost is much higher than it would be. So, this is costing these hospitals, or this one in particular, a lot more money.
Thanks very much, our Mary Snow. Appreciate it.
And a stunning twist in Libya's civil war. As brutal fighting rages on, eight generals from Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's army have defected to Italy. A senior Italian official says the generals were joined by more than 100 soldiers. Some of them are now speaking out.
This comes as South Africa's president meets with Gadhafi trying to broker a peace deal.
CNN's Nima Elbagir is live from the Libyan capital with us.
Several Libyan generals have defected. They're taking with them soldiers. What does this mean? What is left? What portion of this is -- is this of the forces that Gadhafi has?
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Libyan generals, as you said, have been speaking up, and they say they bring with them news that Gadhafi's military capacity is weakening.
One of them, General Oun Ali Oun, told a news conference that the moment of glory is near.
Why this is such a big blow is because this news is coming within the same week that we're hearing reports of a deployment of U.K. and French attack helicopters. Now, these helicopters, because NATO says that they can limit collateral damage, they can be used to get really up close in terms of aerial bombardment.
And the concern, at least on the Libyan government's side, is that they could be used at this time of reduced military capacity within the Libyan armed forces, to clear the way for a rapid advancement of operation -- of opposition forces.
We have to stress, though, that, on the ground, there is still a territorial stalemate. We haven't yet really seen the impacts of this defection. But the rebels are very close. They are two hours away at Misrata. So, possibly, if the aerial bombardment were to happen, they could move quite quickly towards Tripoli, Candy.
CROWLEY: Nima, can you tell me, has there been any reaction from the Libyan government or anyone in an official capacity? ELBAGIR: The Libyan government is trying to brush this off. They haven't yet released an official statement, but definitely officials that we have been speaking to have said that, well, this is just another defection.
You know, Mustafa -- Jibril, the head of the -- one of the main Libyan rebel leaders on the National Transitional Council, was, himself, a justice minister in the Libyan government. So, they're just trying to put it within this context of try to portray the civil war as a power grab, as just -- as more disgruntled former top-level members of the regime trying to put them place -- put themselves in a strong position to take power post a Gadhafi step-down.
This, of course, all comes on the day that president Jacob Zuma was here. We had been led to believe by leaks coming ahead of his visit that he might be talking about a soft landing for Gadhafi. That has now been completely thrown aside by the Libyan government, who tell us that, actually, all he's come to get is the colonel's OK for the African Union road map, would allow -- which would allow Gadhafi to oversee political reforms and political dialogue, Candy.
CROWLEY: Well, so did Gadhafi agree to that? Did anything else come of this meeting? I know you spent the day following President Zuma around during this meeting with Gadhafi.
ELBAGIR: It's been a little bit of an anticlimax.
You know, we had all hoped -- you know, the hope had been here that Zuma, having had such a long relationship with Colonel Gadhafi, was perhaps coming to tell him what nobody else could say, that the colonel would need to step down for this conflict to come to an end.
But, instead, all that we have really heard is that the African union road map, which Gadhafi had agreed to on the 10th of April, so more than a month ago, was now going ahead. But -- so, really, we're not really hearing anything that new.
Gadhafi has said that he's agreed to a cease-fire, he's agreed to political reform, but that's not really what the rebels are asking for. They're saying that, without Gadhafi agreeing to step down, that nothing will go ahead, no cease-fire, no reform, and no dialogue -- Candy.
CROWLEY: CNN's Nima Elbagir, thank you so much out of Tripoli tonight. We appreciate it.
A CIA team recently returned to Osama bin Laden's compound to scour the site for intelligence information that Navy SEALs didn't have the time to collect when they killed the al Qaeda chief earlier this month. We're also getting a chance to learn a little bit more about what went on in that compound.
CNN's Stan Grant takes us back to the Pakistan town of Abbottabad, where he spoke with some of bin Laden's neighbors.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) STAN GRANT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One month on, killing Osama Bin Laden has not won America too many friends here.
This shopkeeper lives less than 200 meters from where bin Laden lived and died. He has more sympathy for the slain al Qaeda leader than foreigners, swearing at us, calling us pigs.
"Are Muslims terrorists everywhere?" he says. "Actually, America is the biggest terrorist."
Others, though, are friendlier. This boy, Zarar (ph), approaches us with a story to tell. He and his sister, Aza (ph), befriended bin Laden's youngest children and grandchildren. They say there were two boys, one girl, seven, four and three years old.
Zarar relives the cricket games he played with them. That's the white bin Laden house you can see behind us. Contradicting reports that no outsiders breached the bin Laden security, Zarar says he actually played inside the compound itself, getting a close look at his secret world.
Despite being neighbors, the brother and sister didn't know the bin Laden children's names. The children told them their father was the family courier they called Nedin (ph). Only now do they know who their playmates really were.
"My grandmother asked in Pashtun, 'Who is your father?' Aza says. "They said Nedin. They always said Nedin."
Through this brother and sister, we get to piece together daily life in the bin Laden compound. Rather than speaking the local language, the bin Ladens preferred Pashtun, the language of the Afghanistan- Pakistan border.
They were a normal family, friendly, the children said. They never saw Osama bin Laden. He remained well hidden.
They did meet the bin Laden wives.
"There were two aunties standing in the house," Zarar says."They asked me how was I? Where did I live? What did my mother do? I told them my mother was a housewife. They wore ordinary Pakistani clothes."
Zarar says he said he noticed the women were different from other mothers in the neighborhood."They spoke in a strange language," he says, "very poor Urdu. Then I thought probably they were Arabic."
And the children were different too. Even in this Muslim community, they were especially devout. "They were very religious," Zarar says. "Whenever I went there to play, they asked me to wait until afternoon prayer, and then they would stop playing later for evening prayer."
Aza shows us pet rabbits, a gift from the bin Laden family. After everything, she says, she misses her friends. "They were young. They were beautiful. I really miss them. They were the only children we played with." Zarar and Aza's father is a government official in the Justice Department, yet Osama bin Laden lived right next door and no one knew. The bin Ladens lived this way for years, in the heart of Abbottabad, a military city in the mountains, two hours' drive north from Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.
Now, the area is in lockdown. In recent days, it's been open for the CIA to collect material and information, but no such access for us. As we tried to get close, this is what happens.
(on camera): Roll. Roll on.
(voice-over): The police say they're under instructions to smash our camera. We get it back, but we'll not be going any further.
(on camera): Well, this is clearly as far as we're going to go. We're not going to get any closer to the bin Laden Compound.
Here, life continues as normal. Beyond here, though, 200 meters or so away, is the bin Laden house, still holding in so many of the secrets of his life here in Abbottabad.
OK. We're -- we're finished. Thank you very much. Thank you.
(voice-over): Stan Grant, CNN, Abbottabad, Pakistan.
CROWLEY: Here at home, shockwaves are rattling the world of college football with a resignation of a coach who led his team to multiple championships and titles -- details of why Ohio State's Jim Tressel was forced out and why the story may not be over yet.
Also, a lewd picture sent from a congressman's Twitter account. He says it was a setup. Others are alleging cover-up.
Plus, we're following Sarah Palin's bus tour happening right now. Is it a prelude to a presidential campaign?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: It's just -- it's heartwarming, and it's -- it means so much to so many of us to be able to physically be here and see the foundation of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: On the day when America honors its fallen, President Obama nominated General Martin Dempsey to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He also named Admiral James Winnefeld to serve as vice chairman. Dempsey is currently the Army's chief of staff. And the president tapped General Ray Odierno to fill that post.
The president called Dempsey one of the country's most respected and combat-tested generals. He asked Congress to confirm all three men as swiftly as possible.
Later, joined by retiring Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen and retiring Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the president marked Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery. After laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, the president said that serving as commander in chief is his most solemn responsibility, one that carries a special weight on this day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To those of you who mourn the loss of a loved one today, my heart goes out to you.
I love my daughters more than anything in the world and I cannot imagine losing them. I can't imagine losing a sister or a brother or a parent at war.
The grief so many of you carry in your hearts is a grief I cannot fully know. This day is about you and the fallen heroes that you loved. And it's a day that has meaning for all Americans, including me.
The patriots we memorialize today sacrificed not only all they had, but all they would ever know. They gave of themselves until they had nothing more to give.
It's natural when we lose someone we care about to ask why it had to be them, why my son, why my sister, why my friend, why not me. These are questions that cannot be answered by us.
But on this day we remember that it is on our behalf that they gave our lives -- they gave their lives.
We remember that it is their courage, their unselfishness, their devotion to duty that has sustained this country through all its trials and will sustain us through all the trials to come.
We remember that the blessings we enjoy as Americans came at a dear cost, that our very presence here today as free people in a free society bears testimony to their enduring legacy.
Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay, but we can honor their sacrifice. And we must.
And it is my fervent prayer that we may honor the memory of the fallen by living out those ideals every day of our lives, in the military and beyond.
May God bless the souls of the venerable warriors we've lost and the country for which they died.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan produce a new generation of veterans, can America best honor its war dead by looking after the living? (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
CROWLEY (voice-over): On a day when those who fought and died for this nation are remembered, there is urgency in the voices that fear the same nation will forget those who survived.
PAUL RIECKHOFF, FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN VETERANS OF AMERICA: They're coming home in droves, and the window's closing,. We're worried the American public's attention and the political community's attention is going to shift in the coming years.
CROWLEY: The need is well-documented, but sometimes invisible to the public eye. In 2009, the Army had 3,400 soldiers with injuries so serious they were ineligible for further duty.
About 30 percent of those soldiers had post-traumatic stress, or a traumatic brain injury. Two-and-a-half years later, 8,500 soldiers have disqualifying injuries and 65 percent have post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injury.
Last year, there were 156 Army suicides.
GENERAL PETER CHIARELLI, U.S. ARMY VICE CHIEF OF STAFF: I don't think we as a nation, we as an Army, and we as the armed forces know the total effect of a decade of war. And I think that's what we're seeing. We have been fighting now for a decade in a different kind of fight, where everybody that finds themselves in theater finds themselves in danger.
CROWLEY: Yet, the Army does not have enough mental health specialists, nor enough knowledge about the brain and its reaction to long, repetitive deployments in a different kind of war.
CHIARELLI: I want Congress to provide as much as they can to these research efforts. I think they're absolutely critical. And I have got to tell you, I worry, given the fiscal situation, that some of the money that's being used to do this critical research is going to dry up.
CROWLEY: Also of concern, unemployment among new vets runs far higher than the general population, and one of every four vets between the ages of 18 and 24 is jobless.
Paul Rieckhoff founded Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America. He says they need reinforcement from the commander in chief.
RIECKHOFF: We need jobs. He can drive that message home, start it on Memorial Day, carry it through the entire year and stand with us in our goal to lower the veteran unemployment rate by Veterans Day.
CROWLEY: Most veterans come home and find a way to cope, but too many, having done their job for the country, need help to get about the business of living.
SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D), WASHINGTON: If we don't make sure that we help those men and women who are coming home today get a job, help with their physical and mental injuries, get through the benefits claim process, 20 years from now, our country will have on its conscience a high number of veterans who we have lost because of suicide, who are homeless on the streets, and who have been lost.
CROWLEY: Back now to the campaign trail. At least, it looks and feels like a presidential campaign. So what's the real story behind Sarah Palin's bus tour?
Plus, a top college football coach forced out of his job rocking the NCAA. We're following the fallout.
CROWLEY: She started off this weekend on a motorcycle, and now Sarah Palin is on a bus tour of key American historic places. It's already taken her to sites around Washington and Baltimore, and now Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: It certainly looks like a campaign bus. If you're not running for president, why the tour?
SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: This is not a campaign bus. This is a bus to be able to express to America how much we appreciate our foundation, and to invite more people to be interested in all that is good about America, and to remind ourselves we don't need to fundamentally transform America. We need to restore what's good about America. You can start by doing that right in here.
Now, I'm glad you guys are here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: CNN's John King is in Gettysburg.
You know, John, I would say to people the problem here is that if you want to keep your speaking fees up and you want to sell books, it can look a lot like a presidential campaign. So which is this?
JOHN KING, HOST, "JOHN KING, USA": You know, that's a great question. Is this self-promotion as part of a family vacation? Or is it testing the waters in the beginning of a presidential campaign?
You heard Governor Palin there saying, this is not a campaign bus. Candy, I just saw it. It's parked nearby here in Gettysburg. It sure looks like a campaign bus. It says "One Nation," has her autograph on it. There are some people. There are dozens waiting here in the Gettysburg National Park who are hoping she would stop by here tonight. We don't know if she will because they won't give us the schedule. That's the interesting thing about this. The Palin organization is kind of telling us the stops on an hour-by-hour basis, she will be there next, but they're not giving us the schedule.
However -- however, she, herself, did say today, even though she said this is not a campaign bus, she said she is contemplating still getting in the race. And listen here as she says she is certain -- she's not counting herself in, but she says she is contemplating it and she is certain the Republican field will get bigger.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PALIN: It's a continued process of contemplating what it is that we have in front of us as a family and what the field looks like. And it's going to be a changed-up build between now and when deadlines finally arrive for declaring. We hear rumors that Governor Perry perhaps would be thinking about running.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: And, you know, Candy, we're laughing about it because, in a bit, this is absurd. We don't get the schedule. We have to chase her along. And she's playing to the media attention. She knows how to do that were well.
But, at the same time, you do, when you come to a small town like this, get a sense of the Palin factor. There are people who have been waiting. It's in the 90 degrees here. The heat is rather oppressive there. And people have been waiting for hours just to get a chance to see her, many of them saying they support her, at least would like to see her get into the race because she thinks she would add something, that they like her family values, they like her Christian values, they like what she says about certain issues.
And so when you think about the other candidates in the race and this Republican field, until she makes a definitive decision, there's no question she will have an impact on the race.
CROWLEY: I sort of liken figuring out politics to reading goat entrails, so I want to give you one here and ask what you make of it.
As we know, Sarah Palin is a contributor to FOX News. She's apparently doing an interview on the bus tonight with our former colleague Greta Van Susteren. What does that tell you, since FOX News has let go a couple of people who are running for president?
KING: Well, it tells me it's one of two things.
Either Governor Palin has privately assured the FOX management that she is not running for president, and this is a family vacation and a way to raise her profile, maybe improve her image, but not a presidential candidate. Either she's promised them that, or FOX simply has a double standard when it comes to Governor Palin and the other contributors, because they told Newt Gingrich, they told Rick Santorum, they told Governor Huckabee that, if you explore running for president, you can no longer be on the payroll. They put those -- they put -- in the case of Senator Santorum and Speaker Gingrich, they took them off the payroll temporarily and said, make your decision and decide whether you're coming back. Then Governor Huckabee said he was not running.
Greta Van Susteren was allowed in the motorcade today. She did do an interview with Governor Palin. So, either she has privately assured them, "I'm not going to run," or there's simply a double standard.
CROWLEY: John, we will have more of you tonight up there from Gettysburg on your program starting at 7 Eastern Time "JOHN KING USA." Thanks.
We also want to bring in now our CNN senior political analyst, David Gergen.
David, you know, go ahead, read the -- read the goat entrails for us. What is this about?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, she's not a great candidate, but she sure is great theater. This woman has -- has a knack, almost a genius for stirring up the press, getting the press, that she always derides as the lame stream press, to follow her around, get all this publicity.
I think, Candy -- I still don't think she's going to run. She might, but I don't think so. But I do think she was in danger, because all the signs pointed for her not to be running. She was beginning to fade a little bit. Michele Bachmann was the new darling, you know, of the conservatives. And, you know, she's stirring up a lot of excitement, as almost a second Sarah coming.
And I think by this -- this escapade, this bus escapade, which was a lot of fun, Sarah Palin has managed to put herself back in the spotlight. And it will -- it will increase her speeches. It will increase her book sales, and it keeps her relevant. You know, her issue here is to stay relevant, because I do think that, as long as she's relevant, she could have a big impact on who, ultimately, the candidate is. Her endorsement or her rejection could matter in this campaign ahead.
CROWLEY: Sure. You don't have to be king. You can be kingmaker. And it's still...
CROWLEY: ... there's still kind of nice about that. Listen, John was talking about, you know, a group, perhaps 100, 200 people who have been waiting in 100-degree heat to see her.
Have you seen anyone else on the campaign trail on the Republican side at this point that generates the kind of excitement, not in the numbers, but let's just talk about the passion that she does seem to bring to the table?
GERGEN: No. There's no one else out there that I can tell. I think Mike Huckabee had a little of that going for him. But when he pulled back and pulled out, I think it opened up this vacuum, especially amongst social conservatives, among Tea Party types, that she can fill.
That's the other aspect of this, Candy. You know, this -- if there's anything -- there's anybody this all helps, it's Mitt Romney, because it suppresses and gives a sense that the other people are trying to take on Romney don't have the excitement; they don't have the sizzle that she has. And that diminishes them in ways.
So there is -- there are subtle psychological impacts from Sarah Palin doing this, even though I think it's mostly about her. I do think it has a ripple effect.
CROWLEY: And do you think that in the end it is going to come down to that? It will be Mitt Romney versus someone seen as more conservative, both socially and fiscally?
GERGEN: Well, I'm not sure it will be someone socially and fiscally more conservative, but I do think at least one person will emerge as the non -- as the anti-Mitt, as the alternative. And it may be, too. We can't quite tell, you know, the dynamics of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida and the like.
But clearly, because they're -- the Sarah Palin we're watching -- you know, Mitt Romney, I'm not sure he could get 200 people to come out there and stand and wait, not knowing if he's even going to come at this point. He could with a couple of victories.
But I do think that she sort of -- the excitement surrounding her, the fact that we're talking about it, I think in some ways underscores the fact that there isn't an enormous sense of excitement about Romney or Pawlenty or Huntsman yet. One of them may catch fire. But right now, Sarah Palin is the one with the sizzle.
CROWLEY: She indeed is a force. That's for sure. Thanks so much, David Gergen. We appreciate it.
GERGEN: OK, Candy.
CROWLEY: Turmoil in college football. A coach who was supposed to be able to win cleanly resigns and swirling -- amid swirling controversy.
And a congressman says he's the victim of hacking. That's how Democrat Anthony Weiner is explaining a lurid (ph) photo posted on his Twitter account.
Plus, it's long been banned in restaurants, workplaces, shops and the subway. But smoking is now illegal in New York City's open places. Why some are fuming.
CROWLEY: An update now on the number of dead and missing in Joplin, Missouri. Lisa Sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now -- Lisa. LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Candy, the number of people still missing from that killer tornado in Joplin has now dropped to 29. That's down from 43 yesterday as officials continue to work to identify remains. The most recent death toll is 142, making the May 22 tornado the single deadliest since recordkeeping began.
And in Syria, witnesses report the city of Rastan (ph) under siege, surrounded by government tanks and soldiers with water and electricity cut off. Twelve people are reported killed since yesterday, when Syrian forces moved into the region to end protests against the rule of President Bashar Assad. CNN has not been granted access into Syria and is unable to independently verify the accounts.
Human rights activists in Saudi Arabia say that authorities there released a 32-year-old woman who was detained for driving a car, an act of defiance she posted on YouTube. Amal al-Sharif (ph) has not been charged, but the case remains open. Saudi religious edicts ban women from driving, although it's technically not against Saudi law.
And visitors to the PBS Web site saw a shocking story claiming that the late rapper Tupac Shakur, dead almost 15 years, is alive and living in New Zealand. The fake article was the work of hackers who also posted sensitive PBS information. They say they were motivated by a recent "Frontline" episode about Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier suspected of leaking government secrets -- Candy.
CROWLEY: The hacking thing is out of control, it seems.
SYLVESTER: It is. And you know, it's pretty -- kind of scary when you think that people's personal information also was posted online, as well. It wasn't just getting into it.
CROWLEY: Big companies, they say, well, nothing really essential was, you know, was gotten by the hackers, but, you know, the day is coming. Pretty much now.
CROWLEY: Thanks so much, Lisa Sylvester.
A scandal has cost a champion coach his job, sending shockwaves through the world of college football. What's behind the resignation of Ohio State's Jim Tressel?
And is it a prank or a scandal? Details of a lewd picture sent from a congressman's Twitter account.
CROWLEY: He brought Ohio State a national championship for the first time in decades. And at a time when college football has been rocked by recruiting scandals and rules violations, Coach Jim Tressel was held up as someone who could win cleanly.
But today after months of controversy that included suspensions and a fine, Tressel resigned. That's now the subject of a "Sports Illustrated" cover story. Joining me, Andy Staples of "Sports Illustrated."
Andy, as I understand it, three months ago Tressel was suspended after he admitted that he didn't report that some of his players had gotten favors they weren't supposed to be getting, perhaps -- price reductions on tattoos and some money from a local tattoo parlor owner. I told you, I'm not great at sports, but I'm pretty good at politics. And this seems to me to be more than about tattoos. What's it about?
ANDY STAPLES, "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED": Well, it is more than about tattoos. First of all, it's about the violation Tressel committed. He lied to the NCAA, basically, which is the governing body of college sports, when they came and said, "Hey, we got this letter from the Department of Justice that this tattoo owner, whom we raided, had some of your guys' stuff. And we just wanted to see if it was stolen." And what they found out was that the guys had been trading it for cash and tattoos. That was a violation, obviously.
It came out that Tressel had been tipped off to that last April, April 2010. And then a couple of times he signed a form saying he didn't know of any violations. And then after the violations were discovered, he still didn't mention that he'd known about it. So that was a pretty serious deal.
Usually coaches who get accused and basically found to have lied to the NCAA don't survive with their jobs intact. So it's not that much of a surprise that he lost his job. The timing is a little interesting, though.
CROWLEY: Tell me why the timing is interesting.
STAPLES: Well, "Sports Illustrated" will be publishing this cover story, it will actually be out later tonight. It's by George Dohrmann, who's a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter. And he found some stuff that's been going on in Columbus for a while involving tattoo parlors and the Buckeyes and, you know, this has been going on for a little longer than people think.
And, you know, Ohio State kind of had to shift the narrative a little bit here because they really need Jim Tressel to take the fall for this. Because if Ohio State -- if it comes out that Ohio State was not paying attention to this, was not doing what it should have done to stop this, then the program could face some pretty serious penalties. You're going to be talking about lost scholarships. You'll be talking about being banned from playing in bowl games. And they don't want that to happen.
If they have a Jim Tressel problem, all they need to do is get a new coach. But if they have an Ohio State problem, then they've got to deal with a whole lot of other issues.
CROWLEY: Is there a suggestion among anyone that you've talked to or anything you've turned up in this story that he's being scapegoated, or is it that he -- is it the lying to the NCAA?
STAPLES: Well, he was going to probably lose his job anyway, because he lied to the NCAA. But if you look back at the history of those cases -- we've looked at the last 175 or so dating back to 1989 -- almost every coach who gets accused of that loses his job. It's just sort of the way it goes.
A longtime accomplished coach once told me there are only two things you can get caught doing that they won't forgive. You can't get caught buying a player, and you can't get caught lying to the NCAA.
So when he did that, when it was proven with those e-mails that he had lied, that was pretty much the end for him. A lot of people didn't want to believe that. And Ohio State was in a tricky position, because here's a beloved coach. He's dominated the Big 10. He kills Michigan every year. He's won a national title. How do you get rid of him? And it seems like Ohio State...
CROWLEY: Why do you take three months to get rid of him?
STAPLES: Well, it's tricky. Remember, you've got boosters. You've got fans who would revolt if they just turned around and fired Jim Tressel. It's a very delicate situation for them.
But I think now they finally came to the point where they realized we can't go forward with this, because if this keeps going, the NCAA is going to hit us even harder. And a lot of people will lose their jobs, and the program could lose scholarships. And that that point, they could be dealing with some of the problems that the University of Southern California's program is dealing with right now, where they're basically trying to dig out of the rubble of some pretty severe NCAA sanctions.
CROWLEY: So in essence, they had to look as though they were taking their time looking at it, because he was so popular. But he almost had no chance from the beginning?
STAPLES: Right. Right. But, you know, you can't tell that to your fans. You can't tell that to fervent believers in the guy. And this is a guy who everybody thought, you know, had a squeaky clean image.
And it doesn't really square with the actual facts. Because if you look back, he was at Youngstown State before he was at Ohio State. There was an issue there where the star quarterback from one of his better teams was taking money and cars. And since he's been in Ohio State he's had NCAA issues with Maurice Clarett, who was the star running back on the 2002 national title team; Troy Smith, who was the quarterback to one of the 2006 Heisman trophy; and now with Terrell Pryor, who's their current quarterback, who's also now being investigated by the school and the NCAA in a separate investigation for the cars he's been driving since he's been in Columbus.
CROWLEY: Andy Staples, completely fascinating. Sports and politics. Thanks so much. We appreciate it.
The latest edition of "Sports Illustrated" focusing on the Jim Tressel investigation comes out Tuesday. More details will be available soon on SI.com.
A lewd picture sent from a congressman's Twitter account. A prank or a cover-up?
CROWLEY: Set up or something else? That's the question behind a lewd photo sent from a congressman's Twitter account. CNN senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash is working the story for us.
Dana, what do you know?
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that the congressman is saying that he was hacked and that we should take his word for it, and conservative bloggers are trying to build a case suggesting, not so fast.
BASH (voice-over): It came from Anthony Weiner's Twitter account over the weekend, a photo of an anonymous man's bulging underwear. The lewd picture, immediately deleted from Weiner's account, was sent to this 21-year-old Seattle college student but also available for the public to view on Twitter.
Outside his New York home Monday, Weiner, an outspoken liberal Democrat, insisted to CNN it was the work of a hacker.
REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: I was hacked. It happens to people. You move on.
BASH: It's not clear who sent it. Weiner tried to brush it off as a prank and a distraction.
WEINER: This is a prank, not a terribly creative one, and it's a distraction. Look, you know, you've got the Republicans who are playing games with a deadline (ph). You've got a Supreme Court justice refusing to recuse himself despite conflicts in interest. You have a health-care act that is under siege. You know, this is -- this is a distraction.
BASH: Gennette Cordova is the Seattle college student the tweet was allegedly addressed to. The 21-year-old issued a lengthy statement to "The New York Daily News," admitting Weiner did follow her on Twitter but insisting that she never met him.
"There have never been any inappropriate exchanges between Anthony Weiner and myself, including the tweet/picture in question, which apparently had been deleted before it reached me," said Cordova. She blamed an anonymous person for harassing her, quote, "many times after the congressman followed me on Twitter a month or so ago" After she sent the tweet saying, quote, "I wonder what my boyfriend @RepWeiner is up to."
As for the Twitter account Weiner says was hacked, he's still using it. He tried to downplay the swirling story with tweets like this: "More Weiner jokes for all my guests. #hacked." Trademark Weiner humor.
WEINER: I used, "Vote for Weiner; he'll be frank. Vote for Weiner; he's on a roll. Vote for Weiner; he'll relish your votes."
BASH: But questions surrounding the lewd photo quickly became the subject of a serious Internet war between liberal blogs, suggesting it's a right-wing conspiracy, and conservative blogs questioning Weiner's hacking claim.
Andrew Breitbart, a conservative blogger whose BigGovernment.com first reported the story, suggested to CNN there should be a, quote, "forensic analysis to determine the veracity of Congressman Weiner's hacking allegation, which certainly bears criminal implications."
BASH: A spokesman for both the Capitol Police and the FBI tells CNN they're not yet investigating this alleged hacking of a member of Congress' Twitter account.
Now, Weiner's spokesman tells CNN he has actually hired a lawyer to, quote, "explore the proper next steps" and get advice on what civil or criminal actions could be taken.
And Candy, again, his office is downplaying this as a prank, saying that this is something that they are loathe to treat as nothing more.
CROWLEY: Oh, my. Dana Bash, thanks very much.
Next up, the backlash against a new no-smoking zone.
CROWLEY: Smoking is now illegal -- get this -- in New York City's open spaces. Here's Richard Roth.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Summer is finally coming to New York. Reading, tanning, and eating. But another activity is now banned in parks and at beaches: smoking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a great idea.
ROTH (on camera): Why?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We should all be able to breathe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have asthma, and I can't stand smoke.
ROTH (voice-over): The mayor of New York can't stand smoking either. He signed the new law, the latest crackdown after smoking was banned in bars and restaurants.
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK: In this case it came from the public that said, "We want this stopped."
ROTH: The outdoor smoking debate is now fuming. A protest smoke-in was held Saturday at a Brooklyn beach. AUDREY SILK, SMOKER RIGHTS ADVOCATE: This is a symbol of freedom. Soon you're going to be holding up your cats and dogs, your McDonalds, your cotton candy and saying the same thing, because they're going to ban that next.
SHEELAH FEINBERG, COALITION FOR A SMOKE FREE CITY: Second-hand smoke is a danger. It's a known carcinogen, and any exposure to second-had smoke, according to the U.S. surgeon general, is unsafe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody is smoking in America. You go to Israel, everybody is smoking there. Or you go to France. Nobody smokes.
ROTH: In a Greenwich Village park, the people were defiantly puffing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ban is -- is dumb. I think it's ludicrous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Bloomberg is a social engineer. I don't like what he's doing. He's telling people how to live.
ROTH: For now, the city may just be blowing smoke. Cards and signs are the first method to encourage smokers to stop and smell something else.
(on camera) Smokers will not have to worry about the New York City Police Department. A tiny Parks Department team is supposed to advise people not to smoke. In the end, it's going to come down to public pressure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not going to enforce it. And I'll just walk away.
ROTH (voice-over): Smokers face an initial $50 fine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was just told, as I lit my cigarette, that I'm not allowed to go in the park anywhere.
ROTH: Smoking is even banned at public plazas.
Nonsmokers look forward, at least, to the end of one particular pain in the butt.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was in a public park and he'll go, "Mommy, what's this?" And have picked up a dirty cigarette butt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you stop smoking, everybody is going to get fat, and then they're going to be on a Twinkie patrol. You know, you weigh (UNINTELLIGIBLE); you're getting too fat. Come on, man. Let us live.
ROTH: Richard Roth, CNN, New York.
CROWLEY: I'm Candy Crowley in THE SITUATION ROOM.
From Gettysburg, "JOHN KING USA," starts right now.