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Syrian Troops Struggle In Aleppo; Obama Leads Romney In Three Swing States; Fed Wont' Change Interest Rates or Policy; Smart Car Police Chase; Boy Dies After Doctors Discharged Him; Eight Badminton Players Disqualified; President Obama Wowed By "Fab Five" Win; Royal Revelations; Chicken With A Side Of Controversy; Consumers Earn More, Don't Spend More; Boston Priest Faces Child Port Charges; Professor Wanted To Be School Shooter

Aired August 1, 2012 - 14:00   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: CNN NEWSROOM continues right now with Brooke Baldwin.

Hey, Brooke.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Suzanne, thank you.

Hello to all of you. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

We begin, all eyes on the bloodshed inside of Syria's civil war. I want to begin with -- really, it is a sobering look at some of the rebels fighting to topple the president, Bashar al Assad, in Syria. If you watch us every day, you know we've been following the fighting very, very closely. In particularly, this ongoing battle in Syria's largest city, this commercial hub, this is Aleppo. And what you're looking at here is some of the brutal street fighting. Brace yourself because you're about to witness a mass execution.

Here's what happened. And we believe this happened just yesterday. These anti-Assad rebels captured a group of fighters belonging to a pro-Assad militia. And you can see here, they're roughing up these men on the ground pretty good. They took them then indoors, 14 prisoners, and asked them all to say their names. You just want to listen for a moment. Of course, this is in Arabic.


BALDWIN: Interrogation complete. The men were then led outdoors where they were lined against a wall. There is all kinds of chaos. We even hear the words, "don't shoot." That admonition was not at all heeded. Take a look and listen.


BALDWIN: You don't need to see it. You just need to hear that to know it is horribly clear what's happening. A horrendous scene in the Syrian city of Aleppo. And then this. These are the bodies of the men who were executed, being loaded one by one by one into the back of this truck. And just to make sure we're on the same page here, these were men captured yesterday by anti-government rebels. They were interrogated. They were determined to belong to a pro-Assad militia. They were taken outside and executed. Fourteen men in all. And CNN's Ivan Watson, he is in this safe house just outside of the city of Aleppo. And I spoke with Ivan on the ground there just minutes ago. Take a listen.


BALDWIN: I understand, Ivan, that there's a bit of a back story with this execution. Something about these shooting victims double crossing the rebels. Can you tell me more about that?

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, what the rebels have been telling us is that the Berry (ph) clan or the Betty (ph) family, who many people in this region know about them. They're a large and power family closely associated with the Assad regime and accused of organizing a Shabiha pro-government militia. The rebels say that these Betty family fighters killed at least 11 of their fighters in an eastern neighborhood of Aleppo earlier on Monday. And it seems that on Tuesday the rebels were out for revenge. And they rounded up a bunch of these Betty clan members and beat them up and they are admitting that they investigated them, they judged them and then executed them for what they said were crimes against the Syrian people. They are not denying that the rebels carried out extrajudicial killings on the side of the battlefield.

BALDWIN: So you're saying this is one family and you use the word revenge, would you say then that this particular execution was isolated or, Ivan, is it more representative to what you're seeing overall in Aleppo today?

WATSON: Well, I think the Syrian government would argue that this is happening all the time, that the rebels are terrorists and they're committing heinous crimes all the time. What -- we don't know. I mean on the battlefield, it is messy and nasty and violent and brutal and terrible, terrible crimes are committed. And it looks like this happened in the battlefield. And now the rebels will have to answer to international opinion. There has been 17 months of condemnation of the Syrian regime for the atrocities that the Syrian security forces are accused of. And now I suspect that those condemnations will start to be directed at the rebels if they keep carrying out behavior and criminal activities like this.


BALDWIN: Again, Ivan Watson, our correspondent there on the ground, talking to me minutes ago on the phone from just outside of Aleppo. And I just want to turn the conversation here to the other side of the conflicts, specifically the government. Specifically Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. So joining me now from San Antonio, Texas, is David Lesch. He's a professor of Middle East history at Trinity University and the author of the upcoming book entitled "Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad."

So, David Lesch, welcome to you. And I want to begin where we left off with Ivan talking here about Aleppo. And it just -- hearing all of this, it makes me wonder, with these various sects, right, he was talking -- he was talking families and clans but also sects getting involved in various rivalries and revenge, it sounds like, playing out. Is there a danger here that the Assad regime, the government, gets reduced to just being another gang, albeit a gang with the biggest weapons, you know, the biggest guns?

DAVID LESCH, PROFESSOR, MIDDLE EAST HISTORY: Well certainly that's a -- you know, everyone's, you know, scenario that will -- could spill across the borders is that this sectarian nature of the Syrian country, not just the regime itself, will cause the existing fault lines to explode into an all-out civil war, which it appears to be. These are the sights and sounds of a civil war that you just played. And certainly the opposition have believed for many years, not just during the uprising, that the Alawite regime, in essence, is a family or a sect in and of itself that's now desperately trying to protect its ground. And in a sectarian environment, especially in the Middle East, you know, typically when there are changes of regime or the threats of changes of regime, these sects fight to the death because they're afraid if they lose, they will be wiped out, which, unfortunately, has happened in modern Middle East history.

BALDWIN: Fight to the death. And then, of course, you were quoted in this "Washington Post" article talking about perhaps the only way Bashar al Assad will leave his home nation is in a body bag. And I want to ask you about that in a moment.

But, you know, you're writing this book about the fall of the house of Assad and you talk about Assad being, you know, at some point in time, this humble family man. Not a larger than life type or perhaps as eccentric as we saw in Libya with Moammar Gadhafi or, you know, Saddam Hussein in Iraq. He was -- he was an eye doctor who didn't like blood. Kind of ironic, don't you think?

LESCH: Yes, I mean he -- he started out as someone who was always gracious and welcoming. Someone who was unprepretentious (ph) and unprepossessing. And yet -- and self-deprecating. Yet I think as happens in many authoritarian environments, the rulers grow more comfortable with power. And this certainly happened with Bashar as I saw over the years and in my meetings with him over the years, that he started to believe I think the people around him. The sycophants who praise him on a day by day basis in that he starts to believe the propaganda and the press surrounding him, that the well-being of the country is synonymous with his well-being. And I think that's a driving force behind his decision to repress be rebellion instead of making the necessary -- and implementing the necessary reforms and changes, is that he actually believes, he and his supporters, that they are the last thing that stand between stability and chaos.

BALDWIN: That is -- wow.

LESCH: And -- yes, go ahead.

BALDWIN: No, that's precisely what I wanted to ask you. If he -- if he believes, you know, with this seemingly insular view, that really it's up to him and his own people that his -- you know, right now his country needs him more than ever. That there is -- is there anything, David, that an outsider can say that he would believe for him to stop?

LESCH: No. And I think, you know, some people have written, typically in authoritarian settings, there's this alternate reality that's constructed and orchestrated around them that often is quite divorced from what is actually going on. And so I think he actually believes from day one that pernicious forces from the outside are working with unwitting accomplices on the inside.

And he just mentioned this in an interview yesterday to unseat the regime. And, you know, the Assads, both father and son, their mandate and legitimacy to rule was to provide security and stability. And so, in their eyes, they're still trying to do that. They're still attempting to do that. But the way they're doing it is actually causing more instability and therefore, in my mind, he's lost his mandate to rule.

BALDWIN: Just quickly, you mention you've met him multiple times. Obviously you're writing this book about him. We think of Syria, we associate that with slaughter. We associate that with Bashar al Assad. You've met him multiple times. When you first meet him, what's the first impression? Even today.

LESCH: Well, again, you know, when I first met him, he was very welcome, very gracious. Again, not the, you know, evil, brutal dictator that is often depicted today in the international community and in the western press.

BALDWIN: So it's a facade?

LESCH: No, I don't think it was a facade. I think, you know, people change. People -- you know the old saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely. You know, power is an aphrodisiac and I think he changed. And I witnessed this change. As I said earlier, he became much more comfortable with power and not necessarily in a good way. And you start to believe in the circumstances of the system that brought you to power and therefore you want to maintain that system.

BALDWIN: Then because of this power, do you think the only way he will ever leave his country and his people is by body bag?

LESCH: Well, I think, again, he truly believes that he's doing this for the good of the Syrian people. And there's not an insignificant amount of Syrian people who are not necessarily for the Assad regime, but are not -- don't see any other alternative.

BALDWIN: So then yes or no?

LESCH: I think he will probably leave via body bag because I don't see any negotiated solution happening.

BALDWIN: David Lesch, your book will be "Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad." Thank you. Live during this show, we have it all for you. The biggest news. The biggest talkers. Roll it.

Listen to this. Two hundred thousand Americans die each and every year because of medical mistakes.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, these are staggering numbers.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: And we know more than we ever have about medical mistakes, yet the numbers continue to go up.

BALDWIN: Dr. Gupta's going to join me. I'm Brooke Baldwin. The news is now.

Chick-fil-A in the fray. As supporters and critics get louder, economist Ben Stein joins me live to talk about business and why the uproar may not hurt Chick-fil-A at all.

Plus, a prison using wolf hybrids instead of the guards. Why? To save cash.

And, "Vanity Fair's" new cover girl just so happens to be one of the brightest stars of London's Olympic games. And you're about to learn five things you didn't know about Kate Middleton.


BALDWIN: President Obama arrives in Ohio just as this new poll gives him a commanding lead over Mitt Romney. This new poll checks the pulse of three critical battleground states. Take a look at the numbers with me and you're going to see first up here Pennsylvania. The president is ahead 53 percent to Romney's 42 percent. That's an 11-point lead. Next to Florida. You see the president leading Romney 51 to 45 percent. And same story in Ohio, where again the president is campaigning for the ninth time this year alone. The 25th since he took office. The latest poll here giving the president a 50 to 44 percent lead there in the buckeye state over Mitt Romney.

I want to bring in White House correspondent Brianna Keilar here.

And so the president, you know, he is ahead in these polls. He has visited -- I know you've accompanied him a couple of times yourself to Ohio. Why is he in Ohio again? What will he be saying today that he hasn't already said, Brianna?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And he was in Akron where he's -- this afternoon, Brooke, less than a month ago. So this is a place he's become very familiar with.

The new thing today is that President Obama is touting a report by the Tax Policy Center. It's a middle of the road tax group. And this report says that Mitt Romney's tax plan would help the wealthier more than it would help the middle class. For instance, it says that if you were earning say a million dollars or more, you'd actually be taking home more of your earnings, 4 percent more earnings. If you're earning less than 200,000, you'd actually be taking home about 1 percent less in earnings.

Now, this speaks to President Obama's narrative where he's saying he's fighting for the middle class and that Mitt Romney's fighting for the rich. But the Romney campaign is saying, hold up, not so fast. This is not an independent assessment. That's what they say. Because they point to the fact that one of the authors on this report used to work for the Obama administration.

BALDWIN: Hmm. Well, Team Romney also saying hold up because they have released this new TV ad directed straight, of course, to the heart of Ohio's economy. Here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're up here in Linhurts (ph). Started in 1972 selling cars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 2009, under the Obama administration's bailout of General Motor, Ohio dealerships were forced to close.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I received a letter from General Motors. They were suspended my credit line. We had 30 some employees that were out of work. My wife and I were the last one there. And it was like the dream that we worked for and that we worked so hard for was gone.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (voice-over): I'm Mitt Romney and I --


BALDWIN: Tough ad. Obviously, you know, hitting straight at the administration's auto bailout claims. What will we be hearing to rebut that from the president?

KEILAR: Well, and we've already heard from the campaign. They're calling this deceitful. They say that it's a new low. And here's why this really matters so much, Brooke. In Ohio, one in eight jobs is tied to the auto industry. So the auto bailout is a very big issue. In Ohio, for the last five presidential elections, Ohioans have chosen the presidential candidate that goes on to be the president. So this is so important, this issue.

President Obama obviously supported the auto bailout. He signed it into law. You did see some dealerships closing because of that and now the Romney camp is saying that cost jobs. But this is an issue that, over the last certainly several months as this has really heated up, President Obama has kind of had the upper hand because Romney, at the time, back in 2008, the height of the financial crisis, he penned an op-ed, the headline was "let Detroit go bankrupt." He supported a managed bankruptcy. And so this is just more of this fight as the Romney campaign tries to undercut President Obama's -- what's really kind of been an advantage on this topic.

BALDWIN: Brianna Keilar, thank you.

The president in Ohio. Mitt Romney back in the U.S. after that trip abroad. He is resting today. Tomorrow he heads to Colorado, where he will be meeting with a group of Republican governors. And among them, three who are on that short VP -- short list, I should say. You have Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie of New Jersey and Bob McConnell of Virginia.

And then there is this from Texas today. This long shot Tea Party favorite beat out Rick Perry's lieutenant governor to win the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat. He is Ted Cruz. He is the state's solicitor general. And he had the backing of Sarah Palin. Here he is last night claiming victory.


TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS SENATE CANDIDATE: Tonight is a victory for the grassroots. It is a testament to Republican women, to Tea Party leaders and to grassroots conservatives.


BALDWIN: Cruz now faces of against the Democrat, of course, in November for the Senate seat being vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison.

A brain surgeon admits to operating on the wrong side of a patient's brain. Just one of many medical mistakes happening each and every day in this country. Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins me next.


BALDWIN: We are getting some news right now, as this meeting has just wrapped up with the Federal Reserve. Of course the chair of the Fed, Ben Bernanke, speaking. And when he speaks, we listen. Let's go to Alison Kosik. She has a little bit more on some of the details of this meeting.

Talk to me about interest rates. Are they still going to hover right around -- right around zero?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. So that is actually where interest rates will remain until 2014. That has been no change.

The one thing that investors were really focusing on for this statement, Brooke, was what the Fed is going to say about whether or not it would pump more stimulus into the economy. And nothing was announced. But what we like to look at when the Fed comes out with its statement is its language. And the language kind of changed from what it said in June to what it said today.

So what it said in June was that it's prepared to take further action as appropriate. Kind of a little soft. Softer than what they came out with today, which they said they will provide additional accommodation as needed to promote a stronger, economic recovery. So they are coming out much firmer on the stance as to whether or not they will go ahead with any stimulus.

Didn't see much market reaction, though, to that. But that is certainly something that certainly caught our attention because what it really means is that the Fed wants to kind of put it out there that it's willing to act, but it wants to wait a little bit. It wants to wait until it gets a few more jobs reports. Because the Fed is going to meet again on September 12th and 13th and they want to see if this trend in the jobs market is really -- really downward. They want to see a couple more jobs report. And if that's the case, it could be that the Fed could step in with more stimulus.

But at the same time, you know what, I talked with an analyst earlier, Brooke, who said, you know what, the Fed may wind up just sitting back and doing nothing in an effort to try to push Congress' hand to try to do something fiscally. So the Congress can maybe do something about the fiscal cliff without relying on the Fed to help out too much.


BALDWIN: So I guess we wait to see what precise kind of help the Fed could provide once we get those jobs reports, as you mentioned, for the next couple of months.

KOSIK: Right.

BALDWIN: Alison Kosik, we will be watching right along with you, thank you, for us at the New York Stock Exchange.

KOSIK: Sure.

BALDWIN: And the Olympics. We're keeping tabs on the Olympics for you. We're going to bring you results as they happen. Don't worry. We've got a big spoiler alert graphic. So if you don't want to watch, you can just mute or turn away.

Also in London, though, we are learning much more about the duchess of Cambridge, including the fact that she likes to make her own strawberry preserves and sausage links. Did you know this? I swear. The Kate Middleton scoop you are about to hear you have never heard before. Live in London, next.


BALDWIN: The often maligned TSA getting kudos today for rescuing a woman at the Miami International Airport. Agents shown in this TSA video. Notice the woman. She seemed nervous. She had bruises on her face, scratches on her shoulder. Once they got her away from her traveling companion, she told them she had been beaten and robbed at a hotel by two women she had been traveling with. So the women were charged then with kidnapping, robbery, false imprisonment and battery.

Noted author and playwright Gore Vidal has died. He was perhaps best known for his best sellers "Lincoln" and "Myra Breckenridge." He also wrote two Broadway plays and a number of screen plays. Vidal was a liberal Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in New York and for the Senate in California. He died yesterday at his Los Angeles home of complications from pneumonia. He was 86.


LAUREN KORNACKI, LIFTED CAR OFF HER FATHER: Lift it up right here and just kind of -- I (INAUDIBLE) to your car -- just kind of threw it. Like I shoved my body into it as hard as I could.


BALDWIN: Tough gal here. Super strong. A young woman pulls a car off her father, saves his life. The car weighs, keep in mind, more than 3,000 pounds. Her father was working under this car in the family garage when a jack slipped. He was pinned. He wasn't even breathing.


KORNACKI: There was no tire and he was -- his body was angled this way. Then I came back and dragged him out and started CPR. Kind of like telling him, talking to him like don't -- you can't leave me. You know, you have to stay with me. Keep breathing.


BALDWIN: Stay with me, dad. She learned CPR as a lifeguard. Right now her father is in the ICU at a Virginia hospital. He is expected to fully recover from several broken ribs and fractures.

And from the annals of too funny not to show, a smart car with not too brilliant driver inside. Just look at the pictures with me. We kind of all had our eyes glued to these pictures earlier today.

When you ever see a smart car involved in a high speed chase. This guy led Houston police on a brief chase this afternoon after an officer tried to pull him over for a traffic violation.

The driver, you know, typically they are sort of stopped on the road. This guy actually just goes home with police in hot pursuit. No word on any charges. But our affiliate in Houston, KPRC, tells us the man driving that little car about 6'2" and 245 pounds.

Often times when we go to the doctor's office or to a hospital we put our trust, most of all our lives in the hands of the staff there. Are we putting too much faith in them?

Medical experts now say, an estimated 200,000 Americans die each and every year from medical mistakes. The 12-year-old Rory Stockton had faith in his doctor after he got cut and started feeling pain in his leg.

But he was under prescribed. The doctor said he was dehydrated and gave him Tylenol and sent him on his way. Rory died days later. His death was preventable.

I sat down with CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta today. He wrote this opinion piece in the "New York Times" just today.


So, Sanjay, you write that one, the goals of a doctor is do no harm. But you said this number 200,000 Americans die every year because of medical mistakes. That's frightening. Why?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I mean, some of it is exactly what you'd expect. It can be errors of judgment or technical errors in the operating room. They can be errors where people did not follow standard practice of medicine.

But one of the things I really sort of was getting at was that even over the last years, we've known these numbers to be high for some time, but it continue to go up. I think this idea that people order more tests, do more procedures in order to not have a mistake, not miss something.

But each time they do that, they inject the possibility of another error. So it was a sort of startling irony for me, which is why I wrote about it.

BALDWIN: That was the irony. You wrote about this defensive medicine and something else not being in the medical community that I found interesting is there are meetings, these M&M meetings where you all get together away from the public to discuss mistakes.

As we know mistakes happen and be very candid and learning about them. Tell me about this. It was your first M&M meeting. You heard about a patient with a viral infection and given antibiotics and that was the wrong solution.

GUPTA: Yes, so this woman, a very standard story. Someone goes in for an upper respiratory type thing. Doctors all know that it's almost viral. It could be bacteria requiring antibiotics, but almost always viral. You don't give antibiotics for that.

In this particular case, this woman had a severe reaction to the antibiotics. She developed what is known as Steven Johnson's syndrome, terrible blistering all over her body. It almost looked like she had been burned.

It's a very rare, you know, consequence of taking antibiotics. But the thing that struck me even then was it didn't need to happen at all because she didn't need those medications in the first place and now she was paying heavy price for, you know, getting that medication.

So it made me think a lot harder about every single medication I order, every procedure I perform and any test, you know, because it can have consequences.

BALDWIN: One of the other things I thought about in reading your article. I had ACL knee reconstructive surgery. They had a big yes on one knee and no on the other.

And I thought, my goodness, do they really not know which knee they are operating on, but it made me think of this story you tell about the CT scan hanging upside down and I presume the O.R. So they operated on the wrong side of brain.

GUPTA: I know. It's funny to see your response to that because it does sound so simple. It would even sound crazier not to do things like that, which I think what we realize. In this case, someone did have -- it was a trauma situation.

The patient was bleeding internally. Everyone is moving fast. The scans were hung up backwards so instead of right side. It looked on the left side. The surgeon recognized the mistake after already starting the operation. It was devastating for everybody.

The patient did OK, but how could this happen. Now in our operating room there's always a time-out. We basically say everyone stop, is this the right patient? Is that the right side?

BALDWIN: You literally ask those questions?

GUPTA: We literally ask those questions. Everyone is empowered to speak up, the nurses, the doctors, the anesthesiologist, are we doing the right procedure on this patient? Those are the questions I asked and it's a time-out. It makes everyone just take a breath, which I think is very important and avoids what you just described.

BALDWIN: Final question, what then happens to these doctors or nurses who make these mistakes? Do they get fired?

GUPTA: They can be. They can be sued. There's a whole malpractice system out there and there is damages within hospitals. But the point of these meetings ultimately as sort of unsettling as it is to think about is that we openly discuss these mistakes so they don't happen again.

It's unsettling to think that medicine moves forward as a result of mistakes, but it does. The worst crime of all would to be just sweep a mistake under the rug and never talk about it and this avoids that.

BALDWIN: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, opinion piece in the "New York Times" today. Thank you.

GUPTA: Thanks for having me.


BALDWIN: By the way, Dr. Gupta's novel is called "Monday Mornings." It is a "New York Times" bestseller. It is fiction, but based upon his experiences as a surgeon and talks a lot about medical mistakes in this novel. And guess what? It is now becoming a TV show.


BALDWIN: You're smart. I don't need to tell you this, but here is a tip. If you are an Olympic athlete don't try to lose on purpose. Eight female badminton players got expelled from the Olympics today because they deliberately made sloppy mistakes. It included the number one rank badminton doubles pair from China plus four South Koreans, two from Indonesia so why? Why would an Olympic athlete play to lose? Well, they had already qualified for the quarter finals before they played last night matches.

So they allegedly played so terribly last night like repeatedly serving into the net so they might get easier opponents in future matches. The audience booed their performances.

Meanwhile, President Obama was wowed by the fab five American gymnasts who won the team gold medal.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATS OF AMERICA: I had a chance on the way over here to call up the women's gymnastic team for bringing home the gold.

I have to tell you, when I'm watching, you know when people run track I understand. I know how to run. They're just much faster. I know how to swim. They just swim much better than I do. These gymnastics folks, I don't understand hold up they do what they do.


BALDWIN: Mr. President, nor do I. The president went on to say he couldn't even walk across the four-inch balance beam. He said he asked gymnasts how they keep from falling and busting their heads when they flip-flop around like they do. It's amazing. Kudos to them and congratulations.

And you know, athletes are not the only ones making a splash at the London Olympics. Take a look at Kathryn Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, so lovely. She's getting rave reviews of the games for her easy breezy style, which landed her on top of "Vanity Fair's" 2012 international best dressed list.

And on -- take a look at this, onto much coveted cover of the magazine September style issue. The "Mail on Sunday's" royal editor, Katie Nicholl has some pretty fun. She's always got the scoop this Katie Nicholl gal.

The surprising revelations about Kate inside the magazine and Katie Nicholl joins me live. It is so wonderful to see you. Last time I saw you I was in London for the diamond jubilee.

Looks like bluer skies for the Olympics for you all now. You know, I read the article and what really jumped out at me, Katie, was this revelation that both William and Kate are foodies. Not only the fact that they love some food, she's the head chef.

KATIE NICHOLL, ROYAL EDITOR, "MAIL ON SUNDAY": Yes, you wouldn't think it to look at her. She does eat. She loves a little bit of junk food, but her favorite meal to make for Prince William is roast chicken.

Don't be surprised if happen to be in Kensingston. Anyone over here for the Olympics goes to Kensingston. You are likely to see her filling up her cart as you call it over there or shopping trolley as we call it over here in the aisles because that's what she does.

The whole point is to show how very normal and down to earth these two are. This is her first solo "Vanity Fair" cover. As you point out, this international best dressed list is incredibly prestigious.

It's the third time that she made it, which means she may make the magazine's prestigious hall of fame next year. So we have to watch this face.

BALDWIN: We look at her here. I think the fact that, you right about how we see her in these beautiful, beautiful clothes, but do we say the word frugal? Would that be fair? She goes to places like Top Chop and she rewears clothes?

NICHOLL: She does. I mean, she's nicknamed the Duchess of Thrift over here because she does recycle her clothes just like the queen does and particularly if an expensive haute couture gown, McQueen for example, Jenny Pakim, some of the British designers.

She's really affiliated herself with, she will recycle those dresses, but she's clever. She'll team it with a different pair of stilettos or a different clutch.

She's not afraid to bring things more than once, which have gone down as you can imagine over here in every session Britain very, very well. She dips into chain stores, high street stores.

I would imagine because of the success of the Duchess of Cambridge we call it the Kate effect. You know, she wears something, it sells out. Everyone wants to wear it. You know what, when it's not two and a half thousand gown, Joe Public can buy it.

BALDWIN: I love it and I love that people call her the people's duchess because it's so, you know, so similar to the people's princess and on the people duchess.

Final question, just a quick little congratulations to you. You're about to have baby number one. Let's talk about Kate and a possibly future baby number one. I know the tabloids were all over it a couple of months. What's the timing, Katie Nicholl? Do we have any idea?

NICHOLL: Well, I think you have to look at their schedule over the next few weeks. They have a big diamond jubilee tour coming up in September. They are going to some places that are so remote, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 26 hours away.

I think it would be unlikely that we're going to have news of a baby bump any time before that. My money is on probably the New Year. I think let her get Christmas out of way. Let her come back, chill out and I think we'll have a New Year announcement. I really hope so because I think these two will make formidable parents and you can read all about that in the article.

BALDWIN: I don't know. I mean, if their on an island in the Pacific, you never know what can happen. Katie Nicholl, thank you so much. We will all be watching and reading in "Vanity Fair." Thanks for writing it. We appreciate it. Good to see you.

A fast food restaurant in a storm of controversy here, I'm talking about Chick-Fil-A. The owner taking stand, this has been out for a little while here, a stand over same-sex marriage. The question we're asking today is, is this good for business?

Our favorite go to guy, Mr. Economist himself, Ben Stein joins me next live and we're going to ask him how he would advice the fast food chain.


BALDWIN: Allow me to quote a little Oscar Wilde for you. He said the only thing worse than being talked act is not being talked about. We're going to have to see exactly how that plays out when it comes for Chick-Fil-A.

The company has been putting Oscar Wilde's word to the test really since Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage.

More than half a million people signed up for today's Chick- Fil-A Appreciation Day. The line outside of one in Houston, but on Friday, same-sex couples plan to gather for what they call national same-sex kiss day.

Let me bring in economist and author, Ben Stein, he's live for me in Los Angeles. So Ben Stein, you say you like Chick-Fil-A, but they made a mistake. Why?

BEN STEIN, ECONOMIST AND AUTHOR: I think their sandwiches are incredibly good although McDonald now has a copy cat sandwich that is just as good.

But let me just say, there's no need for this man to get involved in this controversy. It doesn't do his business any good. I live close to West Hollywood. Almost everyone I know is gay.

I'm very for them having all their rights. It doesn't do the business any good for him to get into this fight at all.

BALDWIN: I was wondering how with all this press here over the last couple of week how this has affected how much Chick-Fil-A has taken a hit. So take a look at this because we found this graph. This is the latest what we found from "Ugov" grand index tracking surveys.

You can see other fast food chains. That's the yellow on the bottom and Chick-Fil-A is this to peak and then boom it sloughs off. That's precisely when that interview was published. Ben, if you were advising Dan Cathy right now, what would you tell him? How does this company come back from this?

STEIN: They'll come back. They have an incredible product. They'll come back. There's no doubt about that. I would say I am American citizen. I have the right to say whatever I want. You are my customers you have the right to boycott or shop with me.

The city of San Francisco, city of Berkeley, city of New York, they have to right to kick my restaurants out. They can't do that under the constitution, absolutely forbidden.

He can say what he wants. I don't think he should, but he can say what he wants. The city, state government cannot get involved. They absolutely cannot get involved. It violates the constitution.

BALDWIN: Let's cut your mike for a second if you need to clear your throat.

STEIN: I'm fine. I got worked up over this.

BALDWIN: We'll let you go in just a moment.

STEIN: I'm sorry I choked. I think it's a very emotional issue. People don't want to be told they can't marry someone they love. It's very emotional.

BALDWIN: I know it's very emotional, but at the same time other people say it's a private entity and if you don't want to buy the chicken. I want to move on.

STEIN: Absolutely right. Why get involved in all?

BALDWIN: I want to talk about the latest personal income numbers because when you look here people made more money in June, but apparently they were not spending it. When you look at this graph, they were saving it instead of shopping. So what's the deal, are we still in hunker down mode?

STEIN: We are in hunker down mode. I think there could be another leg to this recession. The only business talking good is residential construction and buying in some parts of the country. The auto industry is slumping.

The auto industry is slumping. General retail is slumping. Manufacturing is slumping. We are looking at a possible second leg to this recession and I'm just terrified.

The reason I'm terrified is that neither party knows what to do about it. Mr. Romney may say he knows what to do about it. He doesn't. Mr. Obama says he knows what to do about it. He doesn't. Nobody knows what to do at this point.

BALDWIN: Well, at least we heard yesterday that the speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader agreed on funding the government through the next six months. STEIN: Well, that's fine.

BALDWIN: Here is my question. If we're making more money, but we're still holding onto it, what's going to make us spend again?

STEIN: I don't know. I honestly don't know. I'm having dinner with Warren Buffet on Friday. I'll ask him. He always says he'll start hiring more people when people start spending more money.

It's like a vicious cycle. Where does it end? There has to be some confidence. I would like to see both parties get together and say we're not going to let anymore banks fail.

We're not going to let South Eastern Europe fail. We're not going to let Spain fail. We're not going to let there be a big financial collapse. That might lead to some consumer confidence.

BALDWIN: I think you're not the only one that would like to see Washington work together. Ben Stein, we appreciate you as always.

STEIN: I would love to see it.

BALDWIN: We appreciate it you coming. Thank you very much.

STEIN: Sorry for getting emotional. I apologize.

BALDWIN: No, it's OK. I appreciate the emotion. Thank you.

A parent trying to cope with the loss of his son, he allegedly goes from mourning to planning a devastating attack.


BALDWIN: A Catholic priest busted for child porn in Boston. Police say they found pornographic images of young girls between the ages of 8 and 10 on his computer in the parish directory. His arrest came after this two-month investigation. This priest has been placed on administrative leave and will not be allowed to function as a priest.

President Obama in Ohio at this hour, he's focusing on this particular battleground state today. New polls, by the way, just released say it appears to be paying off.

Plus protecting the public from vicious murderers when one state prison had layoff prison guards, they brought in a special kind of dog breed. Here it is. Is it working?


BALDWIN: To parents nothing could be more tragic to losing a child. One professor went from mourning his son's suicide to murder plot at his son's school. This is according to prosecutors in Orange County, California.

I'm talking about Rainer Reinscheid. This is a professor at UC Irvine. He's now charged with an arson spree at the high school his son had attended university high school in Irvine.

And police say he also planned on killing students and administrators at the school where his son had discipline issues before taking his own life.


TERRY WALKER, SUPERINTENDENT, IRVINE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT: The student was engaged in stealing something from the local student store, but it's a minor event. It didn't lead to a suspension even or an expulsion.


BALDWIN: CNN's Casey Wian is following this one for us today.

And, so, Casey, this professor that we're talking about, we mentioned he was caught setting -- trying to set fires at this high school. Can you tell me more about that?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brooke, that's right.

It was just outside this high school in a little park area. He was caught police say red-handed with some kind of an accelerant and a pile of papers getting ready to set a fire. They had increased patrols in the area because there had been several small arson fires over the past several week.s

And that's an unusual event in that area. They caught him and had no idea he was a suspect in this string of arsons. They arrested him. He was bailed out almost immediately. They continued an investigation. And what police discovered was really, really disturbing. You mentioned the suicide of his son, his 14-year-old son, which occurred back in March and followed some relatively minor disciplinary action at the school.

He was forced to pick up trash on campus. Apparently, though, following that suicide, police say it really set off the father and changed things. They discovered these e-mails that he sent to himself and his wife that described some very, very disturbing plots at the high school.


TONY RACKAUCKAS, ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: He appeared to be very serious about all this. He was clearly starting fires and working on burning the school down.

So, that was the beginning of his threat. He said that he was going to -- in his e-mails to his wife, he indicated that he wanted to acquire some firearms and go to the school and just do a great deal of violence at the school, including sexual assaults and then random violence against the kids.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WIAN: Now, Reinscheid is being held without bail. We have reached out to his attorney. He has not returned our calls. I want to point something out to you that we discovered that's very, very chilling.

This guy is a very accomplished researcher. He came up and discovered a protein that affects memory in the brain and could be a potential future treatment for Alzheimer's. Now, during the time that he discovered that, two years ago, I want to read you something that he wrote about that discovery.

"It may better help us understand post-traumatic stress disorder, which involves exaggerated memories of traumatic events," a little bit of foreshadowing there. I can't anything more traumatic than someone losing their 14-year-old son to suicide. We will have to see how that -- those words play out in this case, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Casey Wian, thank you so much for us in Los Angeles.