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Chick-fil-A Opposed to Same-Sex Marriage; Syrian Government Nearing Collapse?
Aired July 19, 2012 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Coming up: guilty as charged. That's how the president of Chick-fil-A responded to questions about his company's support of traditional marriage over gay marriage. Now the backlash begins. We're all over it next.
BALDWIN: Do you like your chicken with a side of opposition to same- sex marriage? That is what you're getting at Chick-fil-A whether you know it or not.
President and COO Dan Cathy ignited quite the controversy this past week in an interview with "The Baptist Free Service." When asked whether his company supports traditional families as opposed to same- sex marriage, here's what he said. I'm going to quote him -- quote -- "Guilty as charged. We are very much supportive of the family, the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."
Certainly not something you would hear out of Ronald McDonald anytime soon. But Dan Cathy and his Chick-fil-A executives have never shied away from religion and here's what Cathy said to CNN more than a year ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN CATHY, PRESIDENT, CHICK-FIL-A: The real reason why we're here in this business is to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that's entrusted to us and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Twitter, my Twitter, I was tweeting about this, gone crazy over Cathy's latest comments on same-sex marriage.
We just want to read you a couple of your tweets.
David Isebelli (ph) tweeted:"I couldn't be more happy that a godly company has the guts to stand firm against haters. The lord bless them."
Kobo (ph) tweets: "This changes nothing. My stomach doesn't understand bigotry. I only disagree with their stance on being closed Sundays."
And Ed Helms tweets: "Chick-fil-A doesn't like gay people? So lame. Hate to think what they do to the gay chickens. Lost a loyal fan."
Now, this controversy giving fresh attention to an interview Dan Cathy did on "The Ken Coleman Show" just about a month ago. And his comments went even further than that.
I'm joined by the host of the show, Ken Coleman.
KEN COLEMAN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Good to be here, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Wow. Right?
COLEMAN: It's a firestorm.
BALDWIN: It's a firestorm. People are calling Dan Cathy a bigot. The names continue, names I can't even use here on CNN.
But tell me a little about your personal experience with him.
COLEMAN: Yes, I have got to tell you this. Someone told me this a long time ago, that a man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an opinion.
I have interviewed Dan twice. I know some of his top leaders. I know what he stands for. He's a great family man. He's a great father. He honors his father. And he's a man that holds his beliefs very, very valuable. And he loves the Bible, he loves God, and he talks about that.
So what I can tell you is that this is not a man who is hateful. I think if people were to spend time with Dan personally -- and again, I don't know him very well, but in two interviews and observation tells me that the irony in this whole thing is that people that preach tolerance are being awfully intolerant right now with a good man who has a track record of servant leadership and being a real, authentic man.
BALDWIN: I have to press you on some of this. But let me just play a little bit.
BALDWIN: And then just to be clear, this was a phone interview. You have not talked to him since this whole thing blew up.
COLEMAN: No, I have not.
BALDWIN: OK. Let me play part of your interview and this is with Dan Cathy. This was June 16.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
COLEMAN: I think we're inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him, and say, you know, we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.
And I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Now, let me just go back and quote. He says, "We are inviting God's judgment on our nation."
Doesn't that sound a little uncomfortably close to Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, what they said, part of the blame on 9/11 gays and lesbians?
COLEMAN: That's for others to decide. I'm not here to defend Dan.
I will tell you this, though. I will defend his right and anyone who disagrees with him to have an opinion. I think we're at a place in our society where we have to step back and go, hey, it's 2012, Brooke, and I don't think it's about what Dan says, and I don't think it's about what Dan believes.
BALDWIN: You don't think this is about what he said?
COLEMAN: Hold on. I think it's about how we act with people that maybe we disagree with.
So I'm not here to diagram out his comments, what did he mean. I'm not getting inside of his head. But I will tell you that I think we have got to step back and say let's put the pitchforks down. This goes for people on the right as well. Let's pick up some coffee cups.
And I'm OK with messy conversations. These-type issues are messy. But I think messy conversations, Brooke, lead to productive conversations, which then lead to solutions. So I have got to tell you, to me, it's like, hey, how should we be acting when somebody says something that we disagree with?
BALDWIN: Yes. No.
COLEMAN: Is it hateful? Is he a bigot? I don't think so.
BALDWIN: Let me just get to his charitable -- I'm from Georgia.
COLEMAN: Sure. I understand.
BALDWIN: I grew up with Chick-fil-A.
COLEMAN: Sure. BALDWIN: I know they have given so much. They have given this, though. They have given almost $2 million to groups that oppose, specifically oppose same-sex marriage. That was 2010.
This is a private company, though, and you know what, Ken? A lot of people say, it's a private company. If I eat there, great, if I don't want eat there, great. Get out of my business.
COLEMAN: I think that's right. And I'm going to come back to where he spends his money and how he believes and how a company acts is really not what we should be focusing on.
We need to focus on, hey, there are 45 percent of Americans -- that means almost half of every American believes as Dan Cathy does on gay marriage. So this is not some extremist view. It's just a man who made a comment or two here or there and he believes what he believes.
And while you may be bothered by it, I think we do have to say, wait a second. There's a lot of opinions out there and it's his opinion.
BALDWIN: Hang on, though, because it may be privately funded and I know it's his opinion, but it's a fast food restaurant. Shouldn't he be trying to gather as many fast food fans as he possibly can?
COLEMAN: Sure. He does. He does. Have you been to Chick-fil-A?
BALDWIN: Because according to my Twitter feed, he's lost a lot.
COLEMAN: He may have, but I can tell you, as a father of three, Ty is 6, Chase is 4, and Josie is 3, we're at Chick-fil-A all the time, and I have never seen any hate, I have never seen any discrimination.
They serve chicken to everybody. And it happens to be really good chicken.
BALDWIN: Let me read this statement, Chick-fil-A, today.
"The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurant is to treat every person with honor, dignity, and respect regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."
Key words here, key words, going forward. If that is the case, shouldn't he stop donating to groups who oppose same-sex marriage?
COLEMAN: I'm not going to speak for that. And it's not for me to comment on that.
BALDWIN: What do you read when you hear going forward?
COLEMAN: I read that he's not going to make any more statements and you won't hear any executives making statements about this.
And I'm a question-asker, much like you. I have a radio show every week and I interview A-listers from every walk of society. And I have got to tell you, the question I have is, we want faith out of politics, a lot of liberals do, people on the left. And I have got friends on the left who believe that.
I have got friends on the right that believe that as well. But should sex be in politics? And I think we have got to grow up. It's 2012. And can we not have some civility about someone having an opinion? And by the way, it's OK for you to disagree with whoever.
BALDWIN: I think there are a lot of people that would disagree, and I invite -- I want to hear what you hear on Twitter @BrookeBCNN.
BALDWIN: This is one of those stories, you either fall on one side or you fall on the other. And I know a lot of people because of his opinions that he's espousing, they're saying, heck no, I'm not providing any more money to this man, and others are going to absolutely stand behind him.
I like the messy middle. Let's get there and talk about it.
BALDWIN: Ken Coleman, thank you so much for dropping by. Appreciate it. Nice to meet you.
COLEMAN: Great to be here. Thank you.
BALDWIN: Now a lot more happening over the next hour, including this.
BALDWIN: Some people are calling it the tipping point in Syria, and the question today, where is President Bashar al-Assad and is his government on the verge of collapse?
I'm Brooke Baldwin. The news is now.
(voice-over): The video is spine-chilling, a 10-year-old girl walking along a Philadelphia street when this happens. The girl's safe, and now the suspect's been caught.
Plus, still no clues, but lots of questions over those two missing Iowa girls, questions that are hitting a little too close for one of the fathers.
DANIEL MORRISSEY, FATHER: You're telling the truth, and then they say, you're holding something back, and you're not, what more do you have to talk about? It made me feel like, yes, they were looking at me like a suspect.
BALDWIN: And he says it was God's will. George Zimmerman gives his account of the Trayvon Martin killing. It may sway public opinion, but it doesn't sway Trayvon Martin's parents. SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: God did not have a plan for Trayvon to die.
BALDWIN: That bomb blast in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists now has an American connection.
The Bulgarian interior minister said the bomber here, you can see him highlighted, the suspect here in surveillance video, had a fake driver's license from Michigan. That backpack you see him sort of walking back and forth with, he's got it on his back, they believe that's what actually carried the device. The bomber and the Bulgarian bus driver also died in that attack.
And today, some of the survivors of the explosion arrived at an airport in Israel. You can see just exactly how they're suffering from this experience. One day later, officials say 36 other Israelis were hurt and leaders there are condemning Iran for these attacks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Yesterday's attack in Bulgaria was perpetrated by Hezbollah, Iran's leading terrorist proxy. This attack was part of a global campaign of terror carried out by Iran and Hezbollah.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: But Iranian Embassy officials, they are dismissing all these accusations here.
I want to go straight to Atika Shubert. She's on the scene of the attack in Burgas, Bulgaria.
And, Atika, back to this fake Michigan driver's license, A., how do these investigators know it was a fake? B. -- oh, I'm now being told Atika can't hear me.
Atika, can you hear me?
OK. I'm going to go with no and hopefully we will work to get Atika back so she can talk a little bit more about this video we have been seeing about this particular suspect and again where, of course, Israel, Iran, how all that lies.
Let's continue on to developments in Syria. Hours ago, Syrian TV showed video of President Bashar al-Assad. And you can see in a moment the images. Here they are, broadcasts of him yesterday, and these are the first images since yesterday's deadly attack on his top officials. This comes as China and Russia have vetoed now the latest effort at the U.N. just this morning to bring sanctions against Assad and his regime. Opposition leaders claim violence in Syria today alone has taken more than 90 lives. And it now appears it's not a question of if, but when the Assad regime collapses.
I spoke with Mideast expert Andrew Tabler about this last hour. Here's what he told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW TABLER, FELLOW, WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY: I think increasingly it looks like Assad will try and shoot his way out of this, but be unable to do so over part of Syrian territory.
So you can see the regime's control shrinking, which it already has in a de facto sense. And with that, you would see some sort of collapse of Syria as we know it, at least for the temporary -- in the immediate term.
BALDWIN: There is a lot of fear, Andrew, about the stockpile of chemical weaponry that is believed to be inside of Syria. And if you can, walk me through the cost and the benefits if the Israelis were to go into Syria and try to raid this stockpile. How would that be beneficial, both to Israel, to the rest of the world, but also to Syria?
TABLER: It could be very dangerous, in the sense that you have 45 estimated sites or maybe more that could be bombed, and those would kill a lot of civilians in the process.
That could backfire politically and actually strengthen President Bashar al-Assad's hand on his way out. I think that's the reason why Israel's been very, very cautious about this, but, of course, concerned.
BALDWIN: Andrew Tabler, thank you.
We now do have Atika Shubert so I want to go back to the location, the location of the bomb detonation just from yesterday in Burgas, Bulgaria.
Atika, let's go to you. I want to talk a little bit more about this fake Michigan license. How do investigators know it was fake? What more do we know about the suspect?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what the Bulgarian interior minister is basically telling us is that just about everything on that card was fake, the address, the name. Even the photo just didn't match.
And this is basically how they know it's false. Unfortunately, it doesn't give them any more clues as to who exactly was the man who carried out this attack. What we do know is that security video was able to capture video of the suspect wandering around the terminal about an hour before the attack. The eerie thing is, he looks just like any other backpack traveler tourist, looking up flight schedules. He's got long hair, wearing shorts. He's got a backpack and sort of a bag up front, and authorities here believe that it was that backpack that was filled with explosives when he detonated it.
BALDWIN: Atika, what more do you know about what happened yesterday? Did he actually -- we see the video of him in the surveillance with the backpack on. Did he actually get on board the bus?
SHUBERT: Well, let me talk you through what the Bulgarian interior minister did with me this afternoon. He gave us a really in-depth look, and I'm going to show you by walking over here just a few steps.
Basically, a lot of those tourists were coming off a flight from Tel Aviv from there. They kind of walked up this way, and security camera footage saw this happening. They walked up, lined up, and you can probably see right behind me over here a whole bunch of buses lined up. That's where they were going.
And apparently the suspect lined up with them along the buses. There was a luggage compartment underneath the bus. He came over, looked as though apparently he was going to slip off his backpack and that's when he reached down and appeared to detonate.
They know this not just because from the camera video, but because of the impact of the blast, the way it caved in the side of the bus, but also the way the body was found. The head was found 50 meters away, scattered body parts, all seemed to indicate this was a suicide bombing, and of course, the type of explosive and detonator indicated that this was, indeed, a suicide bombing.
BALDWIN: Incredibly gruesome.
Atika Shubert, thank you for us in Bulgaria.
We're getting some news here just into here us at CNN, and it's about the FBI raiding offices in Trenton, New Jersey. We have those details for you next.
BALDWIN: All right, to this news that we have just gotten here at CNN. Federal agents, we have learned, have now raided City Hall, the City Hall in the capital of New Jersey, in Trenton, New Jersey.
This is just one day after searching the mayor's home, as well as the homes of his brother and also a campaign supporter. The big question is why. Why are they raiding his homes? It's not totally clear why these raids happened, why they were conducted, and authorities aren't exactly saying much, but the mayor himself, Mayor Tony Mack, did respond to yesterday's raids of his home, saying he had not -- quote -- "violated the public trust in any way, nor have I violated any of my public duties."
We're on the story and we're making calls. Obviously, as soon as we get more, we will bring it to you live.
Soon, you will be able to like that cute dog video your friend posted and then registered to vote all on, yes, Facebook. Washington State officials announced a new Facebook app that will allow state residents to register to vote online. It's called MyVote. It's this app and it's expected to go live some time next week.
Washington is the very first state to allow voter registration through the social networking site.
Disappeared into thin air, how relatives describe these two missing cousins, and now FBI divers, they have now been traveling to Iowa to get in these murky waters of this nearby lake.
BALDWIN: The search for these two missing girls in Iowa now getting the help from the FBI, this dive team now going to be searching the lake in Evansdale where bicycles and purses were found belonging to 10-year-old Lyric Cook and her 8-year-old cousin, Elizabeth Collins.
Divers, they're going to be using sonar equipment to scan what's left of the lake that's been drained over the course of the last couple of days. Now, these little girls were last seen by their grandmother back on Friday when they left for a bike ride, and police have yet to name any suspects, but they have questioned the dad of one of these girls.
He says he is flat-out offended by the interrogation. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL MORRISSEY, FATHER: You're telling the truth, and then they say, you're holding something back, and you're not, what more do you have to talk about? We can going over and over and over it. You know? So I don't know.
QUESTION: Did it make you feel like a suspect?
MORRISSEY: Well, it made me feel, like, yes, they were looking at me like a suspect. But as far as from what I know, I'm not -- I know, I know the truth, you know what I mean? I know what -- I'm telling the truth. So, sure, sure, it was offensive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: He says it's offensive.
Let's talk to Jim Spellman. He's right there standing near the lake where the FBI will begin, if they haven't already, begin searching.
We just heard, Jim, from Daniel, one of the girl's fathers. He finds it offensive that he's being questioned. At the same time, he and his wife do have criminal records. Does that at all play a role in how they're being questioned?
JIM SPELLMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think so, Brooke.
It's been really interesting to me, because as the investigation has clearly focused more on the family, with Daniel there being questioned and walking out of the interrogation, yesterday, they did some extra searches of the grandmother's house and they took some computers.
As that's been happening, the family has known they have become more of the focus. And they say that they had nothing to do with this. So, yesterday -- this was very unusual -- three of the family members came to me, and they said, we want you to look into our background, because there's this pending case with Daniel involving methamphetamine.
And we know that the mother of Lyric, Misty, was in jail again on drug charges and recently had violated her parole and was back in jail. We want you to report on all this, do the background checks, find everything, and report on this and get this out there, because we know it's going to become a topic and we know it had nothing to do with her disappearance. So we wanted to get that out there as quickly as we can.
It's very unusual in a case like that. I have certainly never had anybody come up to me and say, look into this. And these are pending cases, so we had to go -- it wasn't in existing records, so we went and found that out. Clearly, that's informing the way the police approach dealing with them, and appropriately so.
SPELLMAN: I think everyone would agree, even the family. They say, look, we know the police are going to have to do this. As irritating as it is to us, we're going to cooperate.
And indeed the police say they have been cooperating. And all the of the searches, they have done without warrants. The family's consented to everything. I think it really shows how little else they have as far as leads go. They had 1,000 people out here searching fields and paths and everything. And police say that they found nothing of any value in the investigation.
So, therefore, they're focusing on the family. They really need something to change in this case, Brooke, to bring these girls home.
BALDWIN: Well, let's talk a little bit about the lake behind you. You can tell that the water level is so much lower. They have been looking in this lake. I know the parents said they don't think the girls are at the lake. They think they have been kidnapped. Do we know, has the FBI arrived? Where are they looking now?
SPELLMAN: Yes, they have been draining this lake for the last few days now.
It's -- it went much slower yesterday than they had hoped it would, so they sort of changed their tactic a little bit, and they have stopped draining or they will shortly stop draining it, and they are bringing in these FBI teams that have two different kinds of radar. As well as the part of the lake that you can see, there are deeper sections, some maybe as deep as 20 feet, that draining wouldn't be able to get to anyway.
So they say they want to leave about 6 feet of water throughout this whole area so that they can use their equipment properly. So, that's their next thing. Tomorrow morning, they say, at the latest, they'll start, maybe even later today, Brooke.
BALDWIN: OK, we'll watch for that. Jim Spellman for us in Iowa. Jim, thank you.
A major break this afternoon in this case out of Philadelphia that really sends chills down the spine of any parent. I'm talking about the attempted abduction of this 10-year-old girl in South Philadelphia, captured here by surveillance cameras.
Here she was walking home from a store Tuesday, holding her 2-year-old brother's hand, when a man -- you can see it here. See this man walks up behind her, grabs her at one point in time, tries to snatch her and then she fell and he -- there he goes, he runs away.
The manhunt began for him. So this hour, that manhunt, according to Philadelphia police, is over. Police have arrested the suspect. His name is Carlos Figueroa-Fagot and police are throwing the book at him. Take a look at this list of charges police announced just less than an hour ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPTAIN JOHN DARBY, PHILADELPHIA SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT: Attempted kidnapping, unlawful restraint, indecent assault, aggravated indecent assault, corrupting the morals of a minor, interference with the custody of a child, simple assault, false imprisonment and unlawful contact with a minor. It's a combination of a number of felony charges and misdemeanor charges.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Police say widespread publicity about this case put so much pressure on the suspect that he told police he felt like he couldn't, quote. "walk, talk, or breathe on the streets," talked to his family and decided to go ahead and turn himself in.
George Zimmerman apologizes to Trayvon Martin's family, but he says he has no regrets. The first television interview that has many legal analysts a little confused over why he spoke in the first place. We're "On the Case," next.
BALDWIN: In his very first TV interview since he shot and killed 17- year-old Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman says he is not a racist, says he is not a murderer and says he cannot second-guess or judge what happened that night because, quote, he says, "It was in God's plan." Jean Casarez is a correspondent with "In Session" on TruTV. Jean, let me just read this. CNN, of course, reached out to Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, just to the see how his client did in the interview.
I'm going to quote him. He said, "I thought George came across as sincere and it went well." What do you think? Good or bad?
JEAN CASAREZ, "IN SESSION," TRUTV: You know, I really try to look at both sides here and I do think that it is amazing that the interview was done because he's facing life in prison. This is a very serious offense and the credibility of George Zimmerman is truly almost the entire case.
I think it bore so well for the defense, one part of last night, where he describes the way he was injured because you picture yourself being pinned under someone and having your head banged on the concrete and he talks about that Trayvon Martin tried to suffocate him, but that is all going to be assessed against the evidence, right, injuries, the gravity of the injuries.
And, so, there were a lot of questions of fact, but that was probably the strongest point, I think, for George Zimmerman last night.
BALDWIN: OK, so, we have a little bit about that struggle. We have some of the sound. Let's play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, ACCUSED KILLER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: After he couldn't hit my head on the concrete anymore, he started to try to suffocate me.
And I continued to take -- push his hands off of my mouth and my nose, particularly because it was excruciating, having a broken nose and him putting his weight on it. That's the point in time when he started telling me to shut up, shut up, shut up.
SEAN HANNITY, TV HOST, FOX NEWS: Did he say anything? Because you said he was talking a lot about the gun. Did he say he noticed the gun?
ZIMMERMAN: He said, "you're going to die tonight, (INAUDIBLE)," and took one hand out of my mouth and I felt it going down my chest towards my belt and my holster. And that's when I -- I didn't have any more time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So will that description, because it is contradictory to the 911 call, will that -- let me just say, what kind of impact on anyone's opinion of Zimmerman, especially the people who matter most here, the jury pool, how will that impact them?
CASAREZ: It's a good question. I think a lot of people will find him sympathetic last night. I mean, we're not thinking anymore about the money and the codes that he and his wife had in conversation, of what to do with the money that became money that was used in part for his bail.
But I think, also, the 911 call emulates from the beginning. That's when it was happening. So that will be the standard. And then you look at the statements he made, the interview he did, because, remember, any of this could come into a court of law, and what inconsistencies are there, because that will help determine whether you believe George Zimmerman or not.
BALDWIN: Where does this go next? What's the next step in the legal process, Jean?
CASAREZ: You know, they have asked for a dismissal of the judge. The defense says that the judge is now biased and he cannot give George Zimmerman a fair and impartial trial.
And remember, if they do this stand your ground hearing, it's all in the hands of the judge, whether, in fact, George Zimmerman was standing his ground and believed he was going to be killed that night. If so, the charges can be dismissed right there. It's all over.
The prosecution is firing back, saying, we want the judge. We want Judge Lester. So I think that will be interesting to see the outcome of that.
BALDWIN: Wouldn't this be judge number three. That the initial judge recused herself, so am I correct that this would be the third judge if, in fact, he goes away?
CASAREZ: Yes, they're on the second judge now. The first judge recused herself because her husband is a member of the firm that George Zimmerman originally went to. A different issue now, but, yes, we'll see if we're on to the third judge.
BALDWIN: Jean Casarez, thank you.
CASAREZ: thank you.
BALDWIN: A sting operation recovers a masterpiece and the search is on for the real Mona Lisa.
BALDWIN: If it's interesting and happening right now, "Rapid Fire," let's go.
First up here, a Bulgarian government minister says the man who blew up that bus yesterday killing five Israelis had a fake driver's license from Michigan. You can see the surveillance video here. We've highlighted this suspected bomber who also died in the attack along with a Bulgarian bus driver.
Israel blames Iran for the blast, but Iranian embassy officials dismiss the claim. Thirty-six other Israeli tourists were hurt. That is the sound of automatic gunfire. The death toll in Syria, up again today. Opposition leaders claim more than 90 people killed today. Attempts to bring U.N. sanctions against Syrian officials failed again this morning, again vetoed by Russia and China.
A controversial mosque in Tennessee plans to open in just a couple of weeks after a judge's ruling yesterday. The expansion of the Islamic center in Murfreesboro has met with community resistance over lawsuits, over concerns of an increased risk of terrorism there. But now, after two years of legal wranglings, a federal judge ruled it can open.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IMAM OSSAMA BAHLOUL, LEADER, ISLAMIC CENTER OF MERFREESBORO: Today, we can all celebrate that freedom of religion is, in fact, existing in America and it's a day where I want to extend my hand to everyone, even the people who is in the opposition. We want nothing, but to have a good relationship with everyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: The mosque still has to pass inspection and get a permit before members can use the new mosque.
A sting operation in Miami leads to the recovery of a Henry Matisse masterpiece. It is "Odalisque in Red Pants." Here it is, stolen from a Venezuelan museum and replaced by a forgery nearly a decade ago. And today, two people under arrest, charged with trying to sell the $3 million masterpiece to undercover FBI agents at a Miami Beach hotel.
Her smile has intrigued us for centuries. Today, researchers may be a little closer to discovering the mystery of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Listen to this. Archaeologists believe that they have found the skeleton of Lisa Gherardini who is thought to be the inspiration for da Vinci of this painting under an altar of a former convent in Florence, Italy.
So what are they doing? They're going to identify the remains through carbon dating and compare her DNA to her son's then use facial reconstruction to match her face to the Mona Lisa. Wow.
Jeremy Lin, you know the deal. Brought "Linsanity" to New York. Now, he is with the Houston Rockets, a team he is hoping to blast off again.
But first, the 64th annual prime-time Emmy nominations have been revealed. A lot of folks already calling out their pick for outstanding drama series. Did your favorite TV show make the list?
Take a look, in no particular order, you have HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" getting a big old nod. Also, got a lot of friends who will love this one. "Breaking Bad" just returned for season 5. And Don Draper. It's "Mad Men."
So, what other shows got nominated for best outstanding drama series, you ask? That's next.
BALDWIN: I really need to start watching more TV, because I've only seen like half of these. The 64th annual prime-time Emmy nominations are out today. Before the break, we ran through three of them here. These are the shows up for outstanding drama series. Did your favorite show get a nod?
Here are the other three. British TV series, "Downtown Abbey," hoping to take the top prize. Also HBO's medieval fantasy series, "Game of Thrones," and Showtime's "Homeland," also nominated. The winner will be announced September 23rd.
So much for "Linsanity" in New York. Can it catch on in Houston? They are hoping. In about an hour, the Rockets are going to be holding a press conference to announce their new point-guard, Mr. Jeremy Lin.
Five months ago, he -- of course, we covered it -- was the toast of New York, coming off the bench to lead the Knicks to a seven-game winning streak. That was back in February, but then a knee injury ended the Harvard grad's season. Houston scooped him up, along with a three-year, $25 million contract.
Rafael Nadal won the gold at the Beijing Olympics back in 2008, but he will not repeat that this year. He is pulling out of the London games. The tennis superstar was going to carry Spain's flag in the opening ceremony, but he says he is not in the right condition to compete because of that ongoing knee problem.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, he came out from behind the bench and went in front of a TV camera in this rare interview last night. Did you watch this?
He sat down with my colleague, Piers Morgan. He declined to give, I'm sure Piers tried, the nitty-gritty behind the biggest judicial event of the last generation. Of course, you know, that was the upholding of the individual mandate requiring nearly all Americans to carry health insurance.
He, Scalia, ruled against the mandate and it was his fellow conservative, Chief Justice John Roberts, who was the surprising swing vote.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIERS MORGAN, HOST, "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT": You must all be all highly intelligent, very opinionated. Are there clashes there?
SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA: There are clashes on legal questions, but not personally. The press likes to paint us as, you know, nine scorpions in a bottle and all that. That's just not the case at all.
MORGAN: Well, the big buzz at the moment is that you and Justice Roberts have had a bit of a parting of the ways. You've gone from being best buddies to warring enemies.
SCALIA: Who told you that?
MORGAN: I think I read it in some of the papers. Credible sources.
SCALIA: You should not believe what you read about the court in the newspapers because the information has either been made up or given to the newspaper by somebody who is violating a confidence, which means that person is not reliable.
MORGAN: So you've had no falling out with Justice Roberts?
SCALIA: I'm not going to talk about -- no. I haven't had a falling out with justice Roberts.
MORGAN: Loud words exchanged?
MORGAN: Slamming of doors?
MORGAN: Nothing like that?
SCALIA: Nothing like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Justice Scalia, a conservative, as you know, says actually one of his best friends on the highest court in the land is liberal justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
And, now, let's look at this. This is a new poll that actually shows Chief Justice John Roberts is now more popular with the liberals than conservatives. This is a new CBS News/"New York Times" survey, found, you can see the left hand column, that 9 percent. Those are the 9 percent conservatives questioned that had a favorable opinion of the chief justice with 8 percent finding him unfavorable.
And then on the right, the liberals column here, you have 13 percent had a solid opinion of him while 8 percent did not. Just a little bit of a difference there. Overall 73 percent of Americans didn't know who Chief Justice Roberts was or had no opinion of him, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
I want you to watch "Piers Morgan Tonight" when he interviews Senator John McCain, senator from Arizona. You remember the story, battled Barack Obama four years ago. So what advice might he have for Mitt Romney? "Piers Morgan Tonight," 9:00 Eastern, don't miss it, only here on CNN.
"America's toughest sheriff," Joe Arpaio on trial for civil rights violations. We're going to take you to Arizona for an update, next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALDWIN: We are a couple minutes away from, here he is, Wolf Blitzer, with "The Situation Room." Hello, Wolf Blitzer. You have a big, big, big show coming up.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": We've got a huge show, lots of important guests right at the top of the hour.
My exclusive interview with the House Speaker John Boehner. We go through a lot of important issues, domestic, international, Syria. I think you're going to be interested to hear what he has to say about what the United States should be doing in Syria.
In the 5:00 p.m. Eastern hour of "The Situation Room," Dan Rather is coming in. He's got some strong views -- I don't know if you've seen the piece he wrote about media manipulation, if you will, on CNN.com. Take a look at that piece. We're going to discuss that and more.
And then in the 6:00 p.m. Eastern hour of "The Situation Room," my interview with Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She is very, very angry at Russia and China for vetoing yet this latest U.N. security council resolution on Syria.
So the war of words between the U.S. and Russia, between her and Vitaly Churkin, the Russian ambassador to the U.N., heating up, big time. I'll leave it like that.
Good to see you, Brooke. Thanks so much.
BALDWIN: Thanks, Wolf. We'll see you in five minutes. Appreciate it.
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known for being one of the most controversial law enforcement officers around and now that controversy and his tough stance on immigration may have caught up with him.
He is on trial right now and protesters are outside in full force. Here you go. A Mexican tourist filed a class action lawsuit, accusing the sheriff and his department of racial profiling.
He says he was held even though he had his papers with him. Casey Wian is at the courthouse for us in Phoenix now. And, Casey, just talk to me in terms of the sheer importance of this case in Arizona.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's very important, Brooke. Case got underway this morning and you mentioned that one Mexican tourist who's involved in this class action lawsuit.
We should point out it also names four American citizens who claim that they were targeted by the Maricopa County sheriff's office run by Sheriff Joe Arpaio because they appeared to be Latino.
This lawsuit also seeks to represent every single Latino person in Maricopa County who has ever been pulled over by the Maricopa County sheriff's department while riding in a vehicle, so many people the attorneys can't even count who it would be. They say that Latinos in Maricopa County because of these crime suppression sweeps are living in fear, even if they are here legally. Here's what one demonstrator had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The message is, you know, game over for Arpaio. Now's the time. We've been putting pressure since 2007 since he got access to 287-G which allowed him to perpetuate these crime suppression sweeps which we call raids.
And, finally, you know, not only is the DOJ, but this case, Mendez V. Arpaio, like, this is something that's going to change the total wave of how both Arpaio and any law official, any sheriff across the nation, takes actions and abuses policies, abuses power and violates human rights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIAN: Now, Sheriff Arpaio's attorneys in court today saying basically that is nonsense. That all of these law enforcement activities were perfectly legal, that no one arrested, no one who was questioned was targeted because of their race or their ethnicity, Brooke. This case is expected to go on until early August.
BALDWIN: Until early August? Do we know at all in that period of time if Sheriff Arpaio himself will take the stand?
WIAN: We do expect he will be called to the stand by the plaintiffs in this case early next week. It is not a jury trial. It's just being heard by one judge, so he will be forced to answer questions, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Casey Wian, we'll be following that right along with you in Phoenix. Appreciate it.
And before I let you go, a Burger King employee in Ohio has been fired after a picture he took went viral. Have you seen this? Yep. Those are his two feet standing on two open bins of lettuce. Two other employees were also fired after they posted these pictures online.
What is Burger King saying? They're saying this. Quote, "Food safety is a top priority for all Burger King restaurants and the company maintains a zero tolerance policy against any violations such as the one in question."
And home video you are about to see is like watching a horror movie. You know something bad is happening, but you can't always turn away. Take a look. This car going 70 miles per hour the wrong way.
You see this? On the left side? It hits someone. It's a Mississippi highway. Hits this SUV just as the family taking the video feared, the driver had some sort of medical episode we're told and amazingly no serious injuries there. Frightening stuff.
Finally, today, a ballpark vendor in the wrong place at the wrong time. Marlins/Cubs game, Wrigley Field last night, Marlin's Jose Reyes crushes a home room. Right field bleachers, look again. The ball nails a vendor in the lower back.
The vendor walks away OK. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Those vendor haves to know don't turn your back too quickly.
And that's it for me in Atlanta. I'm Brooke Baldwin here at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.
Now, to Washington, Wolf Blitzer, "THE SITUATION ROOM" begins right now. Wolf?
BLITZER: Brooke, thanks very much.