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THE SITUATION ROOM
Newtown Gunman's Weapons Revealed; Tiger Attack; North Korea Puts Rockets on Standby; Boy-with-Gun Photo Sparks New Probe; Tiger Attacks Zoo Keeper; Adults Text More than Teens Behind Wheel
Aired March 28, 2013 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And happening now: inside the Newtown gunman's armed fortress. We have new details of Adam Lanza's very strange life and enormous arsenal.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: And an Army veteran now accused of plotting with al Qaeda after boasting online about his exploits in Syria's civil war.
BLITZER: A tiger attack. We have a live report on a new and terrifying incident at a zoo.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Kate Bolduan.
BLITZER: I'm Wolf Blitzer. We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
We now know it took less than five minutes, about 300 seconds, for Adam Lanza to commit one of the deadliest school shootings in sufficient history.
BOLDUAN: Documents from the Newtown massacre investigation were released just today. And it's more clear than ever that Lanza had an enormous stockpile of weapons and ammunition in his home.
BLITZER: It was enormous, indeed.
Our national correspondent, Susan Candiotti, has been covering the story since day one. She's joining us now with the latest.
It's chilling to go through all these documents, Susan.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It sure is. We wanted to make clear to everyone that the victims' families were first briefed on this information before it was released.
Adam Lanza shot his way inside Sandy Hook Elementary armed to the hilt with two handguns and an assault-style weapon with nine 30-round magazines. He left more weapons and bullets at home.
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Impressive on the outside, inside the home 20-year-old Adam Lanza shared with his mother, Nancy, more like an arsenal. Court documents reveal investigators found at least 1,600 unspent rounds of ammunition, two rifles, three samurai swords, a bayonet, and a seven-foot pole with a blade on one end and a spear on the other.
GREGG MCCRARY, FBI PROFILER: There's always a mix in every case -- and I don't think this is going to be any different -- a mix of depression, and paranoia. They're so sad and depressed, they're willing to die, and they're so paranoid and see the world as so threatening they want to kill other people. And the paranoia really creates this need to surround yourself with weapons.
CANDIOTTI: Lying in her bed, Adam Lanza's first victim, his mother, Nancy, a bullet hole if her forehead, a rifle on the floor. Elsewhere in the house, her week-long to-do list, starting with the day she was killed. Adam Lanza's massacre began at home, but the worst was yet to come.
JEFFREY GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: This was someone who was living in a world of violence, and somehow either planned on crossing over, or at some point was motivated to cross over and be the killer.
CANDIOTTI: One hundred and fifty-four bullet casings found at Sandy Hook Elementary shot from 30-round magazines, three found empty, another three with a handful of rounds left and three more 30-round magazines discovered on his body fully loaded.
Inside Lanza's Honda parked outside the school, a shotgun with two 70-round magazines. Right after the shooting, an unnamed witness told investigators Lanza rarely left his home, calling him a shut-in.
The witness described Adam as an avid gamer who liked the gory shoot 'em up "Call of Duty. " Inside Lanza's home, more creepy clues of what sources have described as Lanza's obsession with serial killers and mass shootings, several journals, three photos of what appear to be dead bodies in plastic covered in blood, and newspaper clippings, including an article about a 2008 Northern Illinois University shooting spree that killed five and injured 21.
Authorities also found books, including "Look Me in My Eye: My Life With Asperger's," "Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Mind of an Autistic Savant," and "Train Your Brain to Get Happy."
Experts say Asperger's and autism are not associated with violence.
GARDERE: This was a bizarre home situation between this mother and this son. It was not healthy. And this was certainly a young man, if he was getting treatment for whatever his psychological issues may have been, that it just was not working.
CANDIOTTI: Also found, two NRA certificates, one each for Nancy and Adam. Unclear what they were for. The NRA says neither was a member. And a sign more firearms were on the way, a holiday card with a check signed by Nancy Lanza, naming a gun model she had in mind.
(END VIDEOTAPE) MCCRARY: That same unidentified witness told police Sandy Hook Elementary was Adam Lanza's life. A former student there himself, it also became Lanza's killing field.
He shot 26 children and adults in less than five minutes. His motive? An obsession with mass shootings, to set a record? Why that day? There are many theories. Police tell me they have yet to settle on just one. The final report is expected around June -- Wolf.
BLITZER: It is chilling, Susan, Susan Candiotti reporting. Thank you very much.
Relatives of the Newtown victims joined President Obama today in a very emotional new appeal for tougher gun laws. The president sounded sad. He sounded angry that support for gun control appears to have faded since Newtown. And he tried to shame the nation and the Congress to take action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Less than 100 days ago, that happened. And the entire country was shattered. The entire country pledged we would do something about it, and that this time it would be different. Shame on us if we have forgotten. I haven't forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we have forgotten them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Driving home the president's message, a new $12 million ad campaign now being launched by a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns. It features Newtown family members.
BOLDUAN: That was not very long ago. I still remember when we were there, Wolf.
A former U.S. soldier who fought alongside Syrian rebels now stands charged of conspiring with an al Qaeda group. Eric Harroun's arrest comes a couple of weeks after pictures surfaced showing him in combat with foreign fighters.
Let's bring in our foreign affairs correspondent, Jill Dougherty, for more on it.
This sounds like such an unusual case, Jill. What more are we learning about this former U.S. soldier?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: There's some interesting details emerging. He told the FBI, for example, that he was in Syria for about 25 days and that he took part in about seven to 10 battles on the side of al-Nusra.
DOUGHERTY (voice-over): The American arrested apparently made no secret of what he was doing in Syria; 30-year-old Eric Harroun of Phoenix allegedly posted video of himself on YouTube showing the former U.S. soldier with rocket-propelled grenades and other military weapons.
Tuesday night, he was arrested at a hotel near Dulles Airport in Virginia, charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction outside of the United States while fighting alongside the Al-Nusra Front, a branch of al Qaeda in Iraq.
Prosecutors say Harroun served with the U.S. Army from 2000 to 2003. He allegedly crossed into Syria in January of this year and fought with the Al-Nusra Front against the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He is not being charged with attacks on Americans. Al-Nusra is one of the best armed and efficient fighting groups among the Syrian opposition, but also has been designated by the U.S. a terrorist organization mostly for its fighting in Iraq against American troops.
Harroun, whose Facebook page also shows him with weapons, allegedly was part of an RPG team carrying anti-personnel and anti- armor rockets. On March 12, he told the FBI, however, he hated al Qaeda, did not know any al Qaeda members, and would fight any regime if it imposed Sharia law in Syria.
DOUGHERTY: Now, it's important to note that that charge against Harroun is very specific, using the weapon without authority. There's nothing in that charge alleging that he used it as part of working with a terrorist organization.
And, meanwhile, his father is defending his son, talking with CNN. He said -- quote -- "It's not like he was working for al Qaeda." The father, Darryl Harroun, says he last talked to his son about a week ago, and when CNN spoke with him, he did not know about the arrest -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: And, Jill, just to be clear, there's nothing in there as well charging him with targeting any U.S. troops, correct?
DOUGHERTY: Exactly. Yes. It happened in Syria and it was fighting the government troops of Bashar al-Assad.
BOLDUAN: Jill Dougherty at the State Department for us, thanks so much, Jill.
Olympic track star and murder suspect Oscar Pistorius is now free to travel overseas. Today, a South African judge lifted some restrictions on Pistorius that were set when he was granted bail. That clears the way for him to compete in international competitions before he goes on trial for the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
And also in South Africa, a story that is very important to many folks, President Obama says his thoughts and prayers are with Nelson Mandela today.
BLITZER: The former South African president is back in the hospital. Doctors say he's responding to treatment for a lung infection. But at the age of 94, the legendary anti-apartheid leader's health has become a growing concern.
CNN's Robyn Curnow has more now from South Africa.
What's going on? What's the latest information, Robyn?
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is serious, I think, Wolf, this time.
He was rushed to hospital in the middle of the night. And as you said, he keeps on going to hospital. This is the third hospitalization in the last four months. What is clear is that at 94, he's not just old, he's frail. He's ill. He's sick. I think many South Africans acknowledge this, because they have watched him steadily deteriorate over the past few years.
CURNOW (voice-over): These are the most recent pictures of Nelson Mandela taken by CNN at his 94th birthday party, in his home, surrounded by his large family. He looked bewildered, uncertain, so different to the vigorous man who fought so hard, endured so much.
The former South African president has seemed frail and unsteady on his legs for some years now. Public appearances became increasingly rare, too much effort for a man in his 90s. Those he did make, Mandela sometimes dozed off during speeches and seemed confused.
His last official appearance was in 2010 at the closing ceremony of the World Cup in Johannesburg. Since then, he's been in hospital four times. In December, Mandela was treated here for a lung infection, and had surgery to remove gallstones. Now he's back in hospital, rushed there in the middle of the night, again suffering from a lung infection, say officials, although he's now responding to treatment, they say.
President Jacob Zuma though has asked South Africans to pray for him.
CURNOW: Well, this is his second night in hospital, that he's going to be trying to recover from this lung infection. We understand from authorities here in South Africa that he will be kept under observation, absolutely no word on when we will get any update on his condition, or if he's going to be released anytime soon.
I think many South Africans indeed just doing what they're told and that is to hope and pray for some good news.
BLITZER: We hope there will be some good news. And we wish him, of course, a speedy, speedy recovery, a great, great man. Thanks very much, Robyn, for that report.
Up next, we're going to take you to the jagged edge of a massive landslide that could swallow more dirt, more trees, even more homes at any minute. And we're just getting word of a public health scare -- 7,000 dental patients possibly at risk of contracting HIV and other serious illnesses. We have details. That's coming up.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BOLDUAN: We have breaking news coming into THE SITUATION ROOM right now. A serious HIV scare is unfolding in Tulsa, Oklahoma, right now, where health officials are urging 7,000 dental patients to get tested after what may have been a potential exposure to a number of blood-borne viruses, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, as well as HIV.
Joining me now on the phone for more on this from Oklahoma City is Susan Rogers, the executive director of the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry.
Susan, thank you so much for jumping on the phone.
These numbers sound absolutely terrifying. Some 7,000 people could have potentially been affected. Talk to me what you know about the situation and the conditions of this dentist's office.
SUSAN ROGERS, OKLAHOMA BOARD OF DENTISTRY: We were notified by the health department they were conducting an investigation of the potential hep C outbreak at an office, and I hate to use the word outbreak, but of a hep C contamination at an office where they had a known patient who believed to be contracted at the dental office.
And we assisted them in an investigation, arrived at the office, and just multiple violations.
BOLDUAN: Can you describe? I'm sure there's an ongoing investigation, but can you describe what violations you're talking about?
ROGERS: Yes. And based on those investigations, my board of directors decided to do an emergency hearing, and in lieu of that the dentist decided to voluntarily temporarily surrender his license until we could get through parts of the investigation.
There was multiple violations. One of them was, he was allowing his dental assistants to do the full I.V. sedation, which is a felony in Oklahoma. I mean, they're practicing dentistry without a license. He had sterilization equipment that he was separating and had tools that were for his known hep C patients vs. his unknown non-hep C patients.
And the tools that he was using, which is unacceptable anyway -- you're supposed to treat everybody like they have HIV/hep C. He was dipping the ones that he was using on patients that knew had hep C and HIV in bleach. Well, that was making them corrode, which was making them rusted.
BOLDUAN: It sounds like potentially gross violations of sterilization policies that are pretty standard across the country for these kind of dentist offices. Did you say that the dentist is cooperating?
ROGERS: Yes, he is through his attorney.
BOLDUAN: Through his attorney.
Now, with the limited time we have left, I'm sure there are many people who are worried about if they have ever come in contact with this dentist's office. What is your best advice as we're talking about some 7,000 patients of this dentist that could have been potentially impacted here?
ROGERS: This is not a normal circumstance. According to the CDC, they have never had a situation where they have had a hep C documented case out of a dental office.
He was an oral surgeon. That makes it exacerbated, because an oral surgeon has direct contact to blood vessels, different things every day, vs. a regular dentist. And...
BOLDUAN: So what do you want to tell patients? Where can they go to get tested? Who should they call?
ROGERS: If they will go to the State Department of Health Web site or the Tulsa County Health Department's Web site. The Tulsa County Health Department has have set up three places where they can go get tested for free. And that will be very helpful.
BOLDUAN: Wow. Susan Rogers, thank you so much for jumping on the phone with us. It's clearly, as a developing situation, something we will follow very closely.
Just to remind our viewers of the breaking news that we're seeing, some 7,000 patients of a local dentist in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have potential exposure to a number of blood-borne viruses, including HIV. They're telling everyone to seek treatment, and seek testing quickly. Thank you so much.
BLITZER: Scary story, indeed. Let's hope it gets resolved without too much, without too much disaster, but it's very, very scary.
We're going to update you on a massive landslide. Take a look at these pictures. There's new information coming in about the homes that are in danger as we speak right now. We're going live to the scene right after this.
BOLDUAN: Just one day since a massive landslide in Washington state sliced giant chunks of earth out of people's yards and destroyed one home. Just look at that video. BLITZER: Amazing pictures, very scary. There are now new fears, new fears that some residents will be forced to evacuate completely.
CNN's Dan Simon is standing on the edge of it all, and talked to one of them.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this gives you an incredible vantage point of this landslide. If you look next to me, you see that jagged edge? That's where the dirt just peeled away. That yard extended for at least another 150 feet.
If you look below, you can see all of those toppled trees from where the dirt and the rocks just took them down. It's quite possible that some of these folks will never be able to return to their homes.
Do you think you will be able to live here?
DELIA CURT, RESIDENT: Oh, no, I'm not coming back. There's no way they can guarantee me that this mountainside's not going to continue going.
SIMON (voice-over): Delia Curt was sleeping when she thought she felt an earthquake.
CURT: I have had one here before, so the house shook a little bit, and I rolled over and went back to bed until the door started pounding about 4:30 or quarter to 5:00 and people with flashlights, and it was from there everything went crazy.
SIMON: Wednesday's landslide on Whidbey Island 50 miles north of Seattle was estimated to be about 1,000 feet wide. Power lines, water mains and part of a major roadway also went tumbling.
She soon realized her days in this house were over.
(on camera): Tell me what went through your mind when you came out here and you saw your lawn?
CURT: I figured this is next. The house was going to be next.
SIMON (voice-over): In fact, the land continued crumbling as authorities warned her to get out.
CURT: And while I was standing here talking to one of the county workers, that whole side went down. So the other part of the hill went down. And he goes, I suggest you get out right now. So I did.
ED HARTIN, CENTRAL WHIDBEY ISLAND FIRE CHIEF: They're doing a geotechnical assessment of the slide area to determine whether or not it's likely that the slide will grow, or whether it will tend to stabilize.
SIMON: But experts here say a lack of rain in recent days makes this landslide harder to figure out. The aerial view showed breathtaking images of homes perilously close to the cliff's edge. Nearly three dozen homes were initially under an evacuation order; 15 homes have now been declared safe. Delia's is not one of them.
CURT: I'm going to work this morning. What do you do? You go back with your life.
SIMON (on camera): Now, landslides are common in this area. They're a regular occurrence, but everyone we talked to told us they have never seen anything like this one -- Wolf.
BLITZER: I have never seen it, and I have been covering these stories for a long time. Dan Simon on the scene for us, thank you.
The New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, is asking serious questions right now about a boy with a gun and a state investigation. Did authorities cross a line? We will have the story when we come back.
BLITZER: Happening now, breaking news. North Korea's leader has just put rockets on stand by to fewer at U.S. targets.
BOLDUAN: And a tiger attacks. We will have the latest on the victim and we will have a live report.
BLITZER: We will also drive home the dangers of texting behind the wheel. As it turns out, get this, adults are the worst offenders. They are worse than kids.
BOLDUAN: I'm Kate Bolduan.
BLITZER: I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: Let's get to the breaking news right now, another provocative move by North Korea's strong man who has been stepping up his threats of war against the United States.
BOLDUAN: CNN Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence is following this breaking news.
So what's the latest, Chris?
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, right now we've learned that the Korean, North Korean state TV has announced that North Korea's leader has signed off on a plan to put his rockets on standby for firing at U.S. targets, both in the Pacific, and right here in the U.S. mainland.
Well, forget about the mainland. North Korea can't reach here. But there are tens of thousands of American troops in places like Japan, Korea, and Guam that are well within reach of North Korean rockets and artillery. This is just the latest escalating move in sort of a tit-for-tat measure between the North Koreans, South Korea and the U.S., and it seems like no one is willing to back down.
LAWRENCE (VOICE-OVER): Pentagon officials were in no mood to back down, Hours after flying a stealth bomber over the Korean peninsula.
CHUCK HAGEL, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We will unequivocally defend, and we are unequivocally committed to that alliance with South Korea.
LAWRENCE: The bombers can carry up to 20 tons of conventional and nuclear ordnance. On Thursday, two B-2's took off from an Air Force base in Missouri. They flew more than 6,600 miles to a training exercise and dropped inactive payload on a South Korean island.
(on camera): Why do you think it's wise for the U.S. to respond and poke back at some of these North Korean provocations?
HAGEL: I don't think we're poking back or responding. The North Koreans have to understand that what they're doing is very dangerous.
LAWRENCE: But even the defense secretary admitted the U.S. is not sure how its actions are being interpreted in North Korea.
HAGEL: There is uncertainty in that government, and in their leadership, and intentions.
LAWRENCE: Pyongyang recently released intimidating new photos of its army and artillery. These are real enough, but North Korea is known to exaggerate its abilities.
This shot of a beach landing exercise appears to be PhotoShopped. Some of the hover craft looked exactly alike. But there is genuine concern over a new missile North Korea unveiled at a parade last year.
SCOTT SNYDER: That rogue mobile missile would have the capacity to reach the United States. That's a different type of missile from the one that was tested back in December. And because it's road mobile, I think that it has raised concerns.
LAWRENCE: Raised concerns, but yet North Korea has never tested that missile. So there's no proof, and really, no clear idea of exactly where they are in the development process. No one thinks that that missile was ready to go. But it is something to keep its eye on over the next several years -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Chris, every day this week, there's been another threat from North Korea, news coming out of that region. How serious are Pentagon officials taking this latest threat this evening?
LAWRENCE: They take all these threats pretty seriously. Not so much some of the far-fetched ones, about you know, sending a nuclear bomb, or nuclear rocket into the United States. But localized attacks, they take very seriously.
And I can tell you, amongst South Korean officials, after North Korea torpedoed that ship a couple of years ago and shelled some of those border islands, the calculus changed in South Korea. They would, a lot of times, let some of these provocations go. They're much less willing to do that now.
And the U.S. officials are very invested in making sure that you don't see an escalation from one small attack around the Korean Peninsula.
BOLDUAN: Yes, especially in recent comments from South Korea. They've shown no sign of backing down from their position either.
BOLDUAN: Chris, thanks so much.
BLITZER: In New Jersey right now, questions are being raised about an investigation that was sparked by this photo. It shows a boy holding a military-style rifle. His dad posted it online, and then authorities showed up at their door.
Now the governor, Chris Christie, says he's concerned about the way the case was handled. Mary Snow is digging deeper into this story for us.
What are you finding out, Mary?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, a New Jersey man and his lawyers say police went too far. But police say it was their responsibility to investigate a tip raising concerns about the safety of a child, and others that child may come in contact with.
SNOW (voice-over): When Shawn Moore gave his son a rifle for his 11th birthday, had posted this photo on Facebook. What happened after that is now under investigation by New Jersey state officials.
Police in the small town of Carneys Point say they received an anonymous complaint about the Moores, and so did the state's Division of Children and Families. A police report states, "The caller believes the children in the home may be in danger from having unsecured firearms they could access."
Moore took this photo when he arrived home and said police and agency workers were at his house, asking to see the firearms in his safe. He had his lawyer on speaker phone and refused to open the safe with no warrant. He expressed his outrage online and then went on "FOX & Friends" with his son to tell what happened.
SHAWN MOORE, FATHER: The Department of Child Services, also known as DICUS, started threatening to take my kids if we didn't do that. And they were asking if I had anything to hide. If I didn't, why wouldn't I open the safe? And they kept telling me they were going to come back with a warrant.
SNOW: Moore says after an hour of arguing, the police left.
CHIEF ROBERT DIGREGORIO, CARNEYS POINT POLICE: In light of some recent school shootings across our nation, the Carneys Point Police Department takes these types of calls seriously.
SNOW: The Carneys Point police chief declined CNN's request for an interview, because the matter is now being investigated by the state attorney general. That came after Governor Chris Christie wrote the A.G., saying public reports about the investigation of Moore raised, quote, "troubling questions concerning the facts and circumstances surrounding the investigation, the manner in which the investigation was conducted."
Moore's attorney specializes in Second Amendment rights issues and hasn't ruled out a lawsuit.
EVAN NAPPEN, MOORE'S ATTORNEY: This was such an overreaction, and it really taps on a lot of fears that law-abiding gun owners have, that they'll be subject to an irrational raid by the government. It taps right into that.
SNOW: Now, the police haven't filed any charges, nor does it say it intends to. And the police chief says he, himself, is a hunting sportsman and that the department is not out to infringe on anyone's constitutional rights.
I also should add that the calls to the Department of Children and Families for comment weren't returned -- Wolf and Kate.
BLITZER: Thanks very much.
When we come back, a zoo caretaker attacked by a lion. We'll have the latest on this terrifying incident. That's next.
BLITZER: Just weeks after a deadly lion attack here in the United States, a tiger has now turned on a zoo caretaker.
BOLDUAN: Yes. Let's get the latest on this unfolding story in Canada. Paula Newton is joining us from Ottawa, Canada.
So Paula, what are you learning about this?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the good news is that it seems that the 51-year-old zookeeper will survive this attack.
But Kate, I have to tell you, he had lacerations on his neck. It is clear what this Siberian tiger, this mother with two cubs, intended to do to this man. And it is very clear he's lucky to be alive.
The zoo itself said, look, this wasn't supposed to happen. He was cleaning a pen that the tigers were not supposed to be in. They have two separate pens: one for day, one for night. He found himself in a pen with that Siberian tiger clearly wanting to protect her cubs.
Now, police are investigating, as well as workplace safety. You know, Kate, in terms of these kinds of facilities, a lot of people wonder, you know, whether it's in the United States or Canada, what kind of regulations are actually there.
This zoo says, "Look, we've been in this business for 53 years. Nothing like this has ever happened before." But they are Siberian tigers. Those Siberian tigers, they have only been on the property for about four years.
So as I say, authorities in Quebec now investigating. But that is one lucky man. Can you imagine how terrifying for everyone at that zoo this morning?
BOLDUAN: And do we have any information about what's the future for the tiger? Do we know what's going to happen to her?
NEWTON: They've not said yet. She is in what they say isolation, and they will certainly investigate to see if any measures need to be taken.
But it seems, from the information the zoo gave us, Kate, that there seems to have been some confusion, so they may have to actually change procedures.
But as I said, it is a question for authorities right now, workplace safety investigating and seeing exactly what those procedures are, so that this doesn't happen again.
BOLDUAN: Clearly it seems something went wrong. That's for sure. Paula Newton in Canada for us. Thanks so much.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, indeed.
Coming up, a surprising new study on what adults are doing behind the wheel. Lisa Sylvester got some details.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, texting while driving, you're actually...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right. We all know we shouldn't do it, but Kate, have you ever, ever -- be honest -- been guilty of driving and texting at the same time?
BOLDUAN: No, I never -- we've all been guilty. I mean, you do it.
BLITZER: Just at a red light.
BOLDUAN: That's still texting.
BLITZER: I know. I (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
BLITZER: Don't you.
BLITZER: No stop sign?
BOLDUAN: You're ridiculous. There are no caveats here.
BLITZER: No more texting and driving for anyone. Very dangerous.
BOLDUAN: Thank you. I'm aware. Thank you.
So those who turn out to do it most may not be who you would think. Our Lisa Sylvester has been looking into this, and she's behind the wheel with some very surprising results of a new survey.
Hey there, Lisa.
SYLVESTER: Hi there, Kate and Wolf. So we're doing a demonstration here. We actually have two cameras. But this is a common scenario, as you and Wolf were just saying.
You're driving along. You hear your phone start to buzz, so you pick it up to check a text message or e-mail. And instantly, it's a lot harder to concentrate to drive and text at the same time.
But believe it or not, it's not just the teens who are doing it. So are a lot of adults.
SYLVESTER (voice-over): You take your eyes off only for a few moments to respond to a text. But all it takes is seconds. This video is part of a national campaign aimed at young people called "It Can Wait." But it turns out it's not just teenagers who are texting while driving.
(on camera): Don't do as I do, do as I say, right?
(voice-over): Their parents are actually much worse.
JONATHAN ADKINS, GOVERNORS HIGHWAY SAFETY ASSOCIATION: We're finding that people tend to justify their texting, saying, well, there's a lot of traffic, or I'm at a light. But the thing that we tend to forget about is we have to react to what other drivers do, and we don't know how distracted they are. They may be speeding. They could be drunk. So you really need to just put your phone down and focus on driving. SYLVESTER: A new survey conducted by AT&T found 49 percent of adult commuters admitted to texting and driving. Compare that to 43 percent of teens.
Of those adults, 98 percent said they know it's unsafe. Sixty percent said they didn't text and drive three years ago, and 40 percent admit it's a habit.
Sending or receiving a text message takes the driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. If you were driving 55 miles per hour, it would be like having your eyes closed while driving for the length of an entire football field.
TOM PECORARO, DRIVING INSTRUCTOR: Driving is 90 percent visual, it's 5 percent touch, and 5 percent hearing. So anytime you take your eyes off the road, you're reducing your ability to control that vehicle by 90 percent.
SYLVESTER: So, 39 states and the District of Columbia actually ban texting while driving. And for good reason, too, because every single day, there are about nine people who die in accidents because of distracted driving.
And I can tell you, Wolf and Kate, firsthand, that trying to do it here with our demonstration, it's actually very difficult to keep your eyes on the road, keep your eyes on the phone at the same time. So just don't do it. Don't text and drive, Wolf and Kate.
BLITZER: It's a scary, scary situation. I hope people get the message. It's a horrible thing to do.
BOLDUAN: And to be clear, Lisa, you were under controlled circumstances. You're not doing anything illegal in the demonstration you were giving.
SYLVESTER: That is absolutely correct. But I can tell you, you can see it's a wide-open space where I am right now. So no cars, and that's a really key thing to do.
But when you're on the road, that's not the case. And that's the thing that they say. A lot of people think, well, I'm at a red light, or traffic has slowed down, so I'm OK here.
But the truth is, you take your eyes off for just a few seconds, we've seen it time and time again, what can happen.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely right.
BLITZER: Don't do it. Bad thing to do. Very bad.
BOLDUAN: Take your own advice.
BLITZER: I'm not going to do it.
BOLDUAN: OK. Everyone watch to see if Wolf ever does it. Keep him honest. Lisa, thanks so much.
Want to get you caught up on some of the other top stories we're watching this hour. Remember those long voting lines in Florida and other parts of the country last election day? President Obama's attempting to make good on a State of the Union pledge to try to fix that problem.
Today he signed an executive order establishing a bipartisan panel to address the lines and other voter irregularities. That bipartisan panel will be led by two election lawyers, one from the Obama 2012 campaign and the other from Mitt Romney's campaign.
It's another break with tradition for Pope Francis, who celebrated Holy Thursday mass, washing the feet of 12 prisoners at a youth detention center, instead of holding the service at the usual Grand Basilica in Rome.
The act of foot washing, as many of you know, on the Thursday before Easter is part of Christian tradition. Francis has been widely known for embracing simplicity, humility and much more.
And he has gone by many a name.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN "DIDDY" COMBS, RAP ARTIST (rapping): You're still here. You're rocking with the best. Don't worry if I write songs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Quite a change, from Pope Francis to P. Diddy. But now we can also call Sean "Diddy" Combs "Forbes" magazine's wealthiest hip-hop artist in 2013 with an estimated net worth of $580 million. Coming in second on the list, Jay-Z, $470 million. And Dr. Dre in third place, $350 million. Rapper Brian "Birdman" Williams, No. 4, worth about $154 million. And rounding out the list, 50 Cent, whose net worth is $125 million. That's a lot of million dollars.
BLITZER: "Fitty" -- "Fitty" Cent.
BOLDUAN: I know. I said it right. I knew you were going to make me do it. I even practiced.
BLITZER: I know. I was congratulating you.
BOLDUAN: Are you proud of me?
BLITZER: He is worth how many?
BOLDUAN: About $125 million. And you know what's interesting about this, actually?
BLITZER: Not worth "fitty" cents.
BOLDUAN: Not worth fifty cents. This is all -- most of this money comes from their work outside music. This is all the extra stuff that they do. Diddy has got vodka and all sorts of things.
BLITZER: Good for them.
BLITZER: Erin Burnett is going "OUTFRONT" right at the top of the hour on a very different story. She has a preview. What's going on, Erin?
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, we have breaking news at the top of the hour out of North Korea. We are just learning that Kim Jong-un has just called an urgent military meeting at the supreme headquarters in Pyongyang. We have a special report on that, and we'll be joined by the defense secretary for the Pentagon, George Little.
Also the woman from Georgia who is on vacation in Hawaii. Kate and Wolf, I know you were talking about it. She lost her camera seven years ago, and it was found. Every kid's dream come true, right? You put that bottle in the ocean. This one actually washed ashore. Thousands of miles away. She'll be our guest "OUTFRONT."
And our essay tonight, Prince Albert and the most expensive penthouse in the world. We'll go to Moscow.
Back to you guys.
BLITZER: We'll see you at the top of the hour. Erin, thank you.
Up next, police are looking for this man. And when you see the video, it's hard to believe he got away.
BOLDUAN: Check out our video of the day from California. This has had me giggling all day. A convenience store camera catches this guy, an oddly-dressed guy in what appears to be a feeble and pretty weird attempt at a break in. The poor thing.
After throwing a rock at the window, as you see, an alarm sounds, and he fled. You just got to see what happens when he runs. And -- well, he first fell down and then he ran down again. Despite the strange get-up, police, shockingly, have not yet found him. And they're asking the public to help I.D. him.
I just say you let the poor guy alone.
BLITZER: All right. Very interesting. But you know what else is interesting? I want our viewers to know, in case they don't know...
BLITZER: ... this is your penultimate show here in THE SITUATION ROOM. Did you know that?
BOLDUAN: Well, yes, I am aware. BLITZER: Tomorrow, sad news for me, but happy news for you. Happy news for all of our viewers. You are moving on from nighttime to morning.
BOLDUAN: Not even daytime. Early, early morning.
BLITZER: Wait a minute. We're just getting some -- an interesting caller coming into THE SITUATION ROOM right now. Stand by for a moment. Who's calling? And can you tell us who you are?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR (via phone): Yes, I can, sir. Would you like me to do that now?
BLITZER: Yes, please identify yourself. And tell us what's going on.
CUOMO: Well, I'm a big Wolf Blitzer fan. I like to be known as that person foremost. Otherwise I'm known as Chris Cuomo, very lucky to be named to the morning show with one Katherine Jean Bolduan.
BOLDUAN: No one even knows my full name. I feel like we're getting married.
BLITZER: This is exciting. So it's going to be Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan in the morning.
BOLDUAN: Chris and Kate.
BOLDUAN: Get up early.
BLITZER: It's going to be very, very exciting. I'm very excited. You know, that means...
BOLDUAN: Chris is supposed to be on vacation right now. Chris, go back on vacation.
BLITZER: This is very important. Because we're letting our viewers know that pretty soon we're not going -- we don't know exactly when the two of you will be co-anchoring our brand-new...
BLITZER: CNN morning show. That means you're going to have to get up very, very early.
BOLDUAN: We're going to get very -- I feel like I'm entering spring training. The calisthenics, the crunches.
BLITZER: Chris, I want you to know this. So from now on -- because she's going to have to get up early -- when you watch the 6 p.m. hour of THE SITUATION ROOM, that will be like late-night TV for you guys.
BOLDUAN: Yes. Exactly. It's going to be late night. It will be right after -- well after we have dinner.
BLITZER: It's going to be like "Nightline" almost or something like that. It's going to be very, very late, and it's going to be hard for you to get -- what time are you going to have to get up in the morning?
BOLDUAN: I mean, I'm planning on, at first I'll be getting up at 2. I think Chris can probably pull it off a little better than I. But he's going to teach me.
BLITZER: All right. You got...
BOLDUAN: He's going to teach me how to wake up in the morning.
BLITZER: Chris, you got some advice for your new co-anchor?
CUOMO: Well, look, the best thing that Kate has going for her, herself, is being herself. She's very lucky. She's not like people like me, Wolf. You know, people like you and Kate, you can just be yourselves and be successful on TV. I have to figure out a way to fake it every day.
CUOMO: You'll be fine.
BLITZER: No. You're going to be terrific. You are terrific. You've got a lot of good experience. But I guess one of the most difficult things will be that early morning wakeup call. Very early.
CUOMO: Very hard. Very hard. Very hard. Your body takes on a different reality. Nobody works harder than the morning crew because just the grind.
But you know what the key is, Wolf? This is what I learned when I was on "GMA," working with Rob and Sam and all them. You have to love what you do. That's what gets you up in the morning. Because otherwise, it is artificial. It is still dark out a lot of the time.
BLITZER: And you know, we're going to...
CUOMO: Very tough.
BLITZER: I know, I've been speaking...
BLITZER: ... with your husband Michael.
BLITZER: And we're going to have a special early morning wakeup call for you. And I want you to listen...
BOLDUAN: I think Michael is going to make me sleep in the other room.
BLITZER: I think you're -- I think you're going to want to hear how that early morning wakeup call...
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BLITZER (via phone): This is CNN's Wolf Blitzer. Your phone is ringing.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BLITZER: How is that?
BOLDUAN: I never heard that before. That's amazing.
BLITZER: That's pretty good. Would you like that?
BOLDUAN: That will be my wakeup call every morning.
BLITZER: And Chris, if you want that ring tone, you know, we can get that for you, as well.
CUOMO: I want it, but I want you to add my name. Because to hear you say my name, that will pop me up at any moment at any hour of any day.
BOLDUAN: Everyone stands at attention when Wolf Blitzer calls. Chris is so sweet.
BLITZER: Let me just congratulate both of you on behalf of all of us at CNN, on behalf all of our viewers out there. Very, very nice. You'll be here tomorrow?
BOLDUAN: I'll be here tomorrow, and I'm going to steal your line. I hope, no matter what, I'm always a member of the Wolf Pack.
BLITZER: You are. You will be a member of the Wolf Pack.
Hey Chris, thanks for interrupting your vacation a little bit. Good luck in the mornings with Kate.
Thanks very much for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts...
BOLDUAN: ... right now.