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CNN NEWSROOM

Four Killed, 218 Unaccounted For In Colorado; Obama Responds To Syria Deal; U.S. And Russia Reach Deal On Syria; Syrian Chemical Weapons Talks End; Blind People Can Shoot Guns In Iowa; Minor Rekindling Of New Jersey Fire Overnight; 12-Year-Old Girl Jumps To Her Death; Measles Cases Skyrocket; Government Shutdown May Be Looming

Aired September 14, 2013 - 12:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Here are the top stories we are following in the CNN NEWSROOM in this second hour.

Flooding nightmare in Colorado. Entire towns cut off. More than 200 people are unaccounted for, and the rain just won't stop. We'll take you live to one of the hardest-hit areas.

Diplomatic deal in Geneva, the U.S. and Russia agree on a plan to destroy Syria's chemical weapons. Will Syria follow through and what are the consequences if it doesn't? We'll outline nuts and bolts of the ground breaking agreement.

And highway crash in Ohio, a passenger bus overturned. Dozens are taken to the hospital. The latest on the injuries and the investigation.

First to a tense situation in Colorado, right now, hundreds of people are awaiting rescue after being stranded in record high flood waters. Check out these unbelievable new images from the Boulder area. At least four people have been killed. You see roads have been washed away, and now 218 people are reported missing from days of unprecedented rainfall in Northern Colorado.

The Boulder area has been the hardest-hit. They got the year's worst rain in just a matter of days. Ten miles away in Longmont, the challenge is getting through the flood waters as you see right here. Watch these firefighters in their vehicle are undergoing wakes of water there, splashing against the truck's windshield.

So now let's move 10 miles northeast of there to a town called Lyons. More than 800 people, including children, have been rescued, many by air and by the National Guard. President Obama declaring emergency for three counties allowing FEMA to launch the largest deployment in Colorado history.

And this is the view from above in Lyons, these pictures taken late yesterday afternoon, an amazing view of devastation. Neighborhoods isolated and cut off. Streets literally becoming rivers and lakes. And the storm isn't done yet, the massive system is now threatening neighboring states. We will have that forecast in a few moments. So one of the hardest-hit areas is Longmont, Colorado, just south of Boulder and CNN's Nick Valencia is there. So Nick, we are hearing that more than 7,000 people have been forced to evacuate there. What is the situation overall?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The situation is getting better, but the anxiety hasn't faded among these residents at all. As you can see behind me, they're still much so reeling from the aftermath of these floods that ripped through here. This is the Saint Drain River. On a normal day, Fred, you can cross this. You could just easily walk across it.

Residents here say it is more of a trickle than it is a river. But when you look at it, the water shouldn't be this high and shouldn't be flowing that fast. At its peak came up thigh high, washed out this roadway, caused a lot of damage. This road right here is closed by the officials.

Earlier we saw an assessment team here sort of surveying the damage to see what needed to be repaired and how much road was in fact damaged. But part of the problem all throughout these counties that got hit hard was the debris that came down from these walls of water from the mountains behind me here.

Those walls of water carrying sticks, mud, and debris like this. Check this out, Fred. Look at this. This is just a big tree trunk, many branches in the roadway, causing a lot of problems for first responders, problems trying to get through these roads that have proven impassable.

We heard earlier today in Jamestown just west of here, just west of Boulder, about 162 people were airlifted out of there because the National Guard, they couldn't get through roads. In neighboring Lyons, evacuations are ongoing there as well. That town made news throughout the last couple of days because it was essentially cut off from the rest of the world. Lots of problems here and anxiety is very much alive among residents that were affected -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Nick Valencia, thanks so much. We'll check back and get more on some of the rescue operations.

Now to this breaking news involving Syria, President Obama now responding to the deal reached between the U.S. and Russia to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons. Joe Johns is live for us right now from Washington with more details on this -- Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fred. The statement from the president that just came out is focusing on the incremental nature of the framework that's been announced on Syria. Three paragraph statement from the president says in part, we made important progress, much more work remains to be done, the United States will continue working with Russia, the United Kingdom, France, the United Nations and others to ensure that this process is verifiable and that there are consequences should the Assad regime not comply with framework agreed on today. If diplomacy fails, the United States remains prepared to act. That is a statement from the president of the United States today after this agreement on Syria was announced. We are told that the National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, briefed the president on the details of this. The statement also indicates that the president called Secretary Kerry as well as the U.N. ambassador to talk about this.

Again, as we talked about just a little while ago here on CNN, there are already questions being raised in Washington, D.C. about how this might be enforced because there is no provision for enforcement in the event the regime in Syria does not comply with this agreement on chemical weapons -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Joe Johns, thanks so much for bringing that to us. The president's statement now on this framework, this agreement between the U.S. and Russia as it pertains to Syria. Thank you, Joe.

All right, France and Britain are praising a plan to get rid of chemical weapons, the stockpile in Syria. The agreement reached by the U.S. and Russia thus call for an aggressive time line, but as the Russian foreign minister says nothing is said about use of force. But you heard Joe in the response from the White House.

So let's talk about how this might be enforced. Senior international correspondent Matthew Chance joining us live from Geneva. So Matthew, you have the president's statement and they're still dangling the carrot that the U.S. may have some military action as a consequence, but give us an idea what the framework would say.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is a statement rather than a carrot from a Syrian point of view. But yes, the Americans have made it clear that they retain the right to unilaterally strike at Syria if the country falls into noncompliance with this agreement that's been made between the U.S. and Russia on how to get its chemical weapons out of Syrian hands into international control.

But any kind of threat isn't part of this agreement. Remember, the Russians who are strong allies of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, they were further opposed to the idea of a country like Syria being forced to disarm when another country, the United States, was potentially preparing military strikes against it, so that was their sort of line in the sand.

If these negotiations were going to go ahead through the Security Council, which is where they are going now, that issue of a U.S. threat of strike had to be taken off the table in some form in terms of this agreement, so that's what's happened.

The way it has been left now, if Syria doesn't do what it is told to do and doesn't comply with this agreement, then the issue will be referred back to the Security Council again and military action will be discussed along with other measures like economic sanctions.

So it will depend how serious noncompliance is according to John Kerry that will determine how serious the response will be -- Fredricka. WHITFIELD: All right, Matthew Chance, thank you so much. As we say, John Kerry has been in Geneva. Next stop, he will be heading to Jerusalem.

By the way, we have special programming note, CNN's Anthony Bourdain is already there revealing complexities of Jerusalem in the season premier of "ANTHONY BOURDAIN, PARTS UNKNOWN." You'll get to see that tomorrow, Sunday, 9:00 P.M. Eastern Time.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: The U.S. and Russia have agreed to an ambitious proposal to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart agreed on the deal after three days of intense talks in Geneva. Among other things, it calls for Syria to account for all of its chemical weapons within one week.

For a closer look at the plan and some of its challenges, I want to bring in General James "Spider" Marks. He is a CNN military analyst and he was also a commanding general at U.S. Army Intelligence Center. Good to see you, Spider.

MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Hi, Fred. Good morning.

WHITFIELD: OK, so you heard the president's comments, he's calling this an important piece of progress, this kind of framework that's been agreed upon. Do you think it is a realistic start to diplomacy?

MARKS: I think it is a very important first step, certainly is. I mean, it is a very long journey as the time line has made itself apparent. It is obviously very, very aggressive. I would suggest completely unattainable. That's OK. At least it gives a framework for how this thing is going to unfold.

But the key issue, Fred, clearly is what about this civil war? I mean, we could have a real hurry up and wait type of scenario where the inventory that the Syrians give in terms of what they have and where they have it, gets reconciled, our intelligence estimates bounce up against what they provide, and we all agree there's some gaps, then you galvanize the inspection protocol and get the folks in place.

Then you rush up to the borders, go what about this civil war here, guys, Hezbollah, the Syrian regime working together to try to kill insurgents and al Qaeda. Are you guys going to stop because this inspection will not take place if there's an active civil war, there has to be separation of powers and everybody has to agree to allow this to occur and that hasn't been addressed?

WHITFIELD: So that still needs to be, I guess, in writing or agreed upon in principle because this agreement is really about chemical weapons. It says nothing about stopping the civil war, nothing about stopping conventional weapons use, but you're saying inspectors won't possibly go in there to look at any stock piles, et cetera, if conventional weapons, civil war is under way. MARKS: Exactly correct. That needs to be supervised and ensured in some way. So as we've discussed in the last few days, the irony of all of this is that the potential of a military strike as it was laid out, and we surmised what that might look like, would not include boots on the ground, yet the diplomatic solution simply by necessity will. That has to take place.

So there is a very long road that needs to be walked down, and in military terms we call this trading space for time. A lot of time is going to be out there for Assad to do what he wants to do as the international community hopefully gets its act together and get ready to do inspections.

WHITFIELD: What are your concerns about the movement of chemical weapons, the stockpiles, yes, the framework asked there be some kind of roster made of listings of all weapons that that country has, and while they're trying to I guess get that together, there's a concern weapons are being moved, but is it your view that intelligence or U.S. military is still able to keep a close watch of that, via satellite, to see where things are being moved?

MARKS: Well, a number of ways, yes. For the record, I was the senior intel guy when we went to war in Iraq. I was Mr. WMD. I was the guy who was trying to find Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. So I'm intimate with how the intelligence community does its job quite professionally.

There will be gaps between what the Syrians declare they have and what our estimates are. That's just the start. And then what has happened since we put a spotlight, we, the international community, put a spotlight on the use of chemical weapons. These things have grown legs and migrated all over the place.

It would not be surprising to find they've migrated both into Iraq and across the border into Lebanon. That would be a big proliferation problem, but we have to expect that to take place. The bottom line, Fred, what they tell us, and what exists in reality is going to have to be verified. That takes a lot of time. There are a lot of unanswered questions as we know.

WHITFIELD: All right, General James "Spider" Marks, always good to see you. Thanks very much.

MARKS: Thank you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, straight ahead, we're going to tackle a legal issue now. Should blind people be allowed to shoot guns in this country? They can if they live in Iowa. It is their legal right, but is it a good idea? Our legal segment is coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Blind people in Iowa are allowed to carry guns and shoot them in public. You heard me right. State law allows it, but some law enforcement officers think that's a bad idea, and so do some entertainers. Take a listen to what singer, Stevie Wonder, had to say a little earlier this year, imagining himself with a gun.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVIE WONDER, SINGER: I was thinking, you know, I saw you on the TV talking about the whole gun thing and I was talking to one of my friends, I was like you should go get me a gun, me go with you to get a gun, and show how easy it is for me to get a gun, and imagine me with a gun. It's just crazy. We have to do something about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: People in Iowa are pretty divided over the idea of blind people shooting guns. Our Ted Rowlands explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good shot. Come down, squeeze real slow. That was a nine.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Michael Barber is completely blind, has been since birth. Even though he can't see his target, he thinks he has every right to own a gun to protect himself and his wife, Kim.

MICHAEL BARBER, BLIND GUN OWNER: I'm comfortable. I am. And I'm convinced that I could do what needs to be done if the time ever came.

ROWLANDS: This was the first time Michael practiced shooting his new handgun. He missed some shots, but also hit the target a number of times, including a few bulls' eyes.

BARBER: I would aim by hearing, by feel. You know, the person has to be in close proximity to me. You know, I hope I never have to do that, I really do. I would just as soon not, but you know, if I had to, to protect myself, yes, I would.

ROWLANDS: Not everyone is comfortable with blind people carrying guns. Cheryl Thomas is with Iowans for Gun Safety.

CHERYL THOMAS, IOWANS FOR GUN SAFETY: Where we have an issue with conceal carry, a person that's visually impaired and cannot see would be in public with a gun, potentially endangering public safety.

ROWLANDS (on camera): Lawmakers here in Iowa changed state gun laws three years ago. Before if you wanted to carry a gun, you needed permission from your local sheriff, now you can get a permit to carry a gun online, including someone completely blind like Michael.

(voice-over): Warren Wethington is the sheriff of Cedar County, east of Iowa City, he thinks the law is fine as is, and with a daughter in college that's blind, he believes those who are concerned don't understand guns or blind people.

SHERIFF WARREN WETHINGTON, CEDAR COUNTY, IOWA: People think that they're going to shoot blindly, just start shooting at noises, and people don't understand that visually impaired people are reasonable people, too.

BARBER: I certainly wouldn't just begin shooting willy-nilly to protect myself. You know, especially if I didn't know for sure where I was coming from because I don't want to shoot innocent people. I would duck and hide someplace.

ROWLANDS: Michael says he plans to keep practicing at the gun range with an instructor so he is ready to use his gun if he has to. For OUTFRONT, Ted Rowlands, Des Moines, Iowa.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Our usual legal eagles, Richard and Avery are off this week so I have a couple other legal eagles here to talk about this case with me. Wendy Murphy is a former prosecutor and author of "And Justice For Some." And she is a law professor at New England Law in Boston. Good to see you. And Danny Cevallos is a CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney. Good to see you as well.

It used to be up to local sheriffs in Iowa who could deny a gun permit for any reason including blindness. Now permits can only be denied for a specific reason cited in state or federal law, such as domestic abuse or felony conviction. So Wendy, you first, is this one of those how did this become law anyway in the first place kind of issues?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, you know, it is very common for sheriffs or local police chiefs to have total discretion, and I think the issue is too much discretion encroaches on the rights of people with disabilities under the Americans With Disabilities Act. But here's the thing I find curious about the debate, aside from the fact I think it is in part propped up to force us to accept the reality, which is that second amendment, though an important right, is allowed to be restricted in certain circumstances.

I don't have a problem with that, but we are not talking about people having a constitutional right to shoot while blind. I read the second amendment. That is not what it says. It says that we have a right to bear arms. So of course people who are blind can get a license, of course people that are blind can own a gun.

That does not give them a constitutional right to shoot irresponsibly, nor can fully abled people with perfect vision shoot irresponsibly, because if you do that, you go to jail.

WHITFIELD: That gentleman demonstrates he is not being irresponsible. He is at a shooting range, apparently looking at the results there during target practice, he did pretty good.

MURPHY: Exactly. I mean, that's my point. If you can, if you shoot responsibly, you're fine and that goes for people with vision or without. But there's no constitutional right to shoot irresponsibly and that is not what we're suggesting is even going on here. We're just saying let's enforce the right to own a gun and have a license, and there's absolutely no reason not to give a license and a gun to a person who is completely blind.

WHITFIELD: Danny, is this an issue of public safety versus everyone's right to own a gun?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, everything comes down to a balancing test in the law. It is the individual's right versus the public's greater good. In this case, however, we have to remember that blindness is not a binary event. Vision is not either on or off. There are many different levels of vision. They are probably many legally blind people watching this broadcast now who do everything quite well.

In those cases, it's important to understand that if they can pass the other -- gun safety experts will tell you as long as they're aware of surroundings, target, and surroundings behind it, as long as they can do that, then they should be able to safely operate a firearm. But there also raises another issue, a concealed carry gives you license to carry whether in low light, pitch darkness.

There are circumstances where somebody with a valid conceal carry permit may be in a situation they can't see either. Iowans had a rule local sheriffs could exercise discretion and not give permits. Iowans weren't happy with that so they switched to what we call, a shall issue state.

So now they enacted legislature, Iowans now have the right if they can meet those minimal requirements to receive and use guns. It's not a law that was designed to hand guns out to a blind. It was a change where the law was believed to be now more fair. If it is or not, only time will tell. We'll find out if the greater good has been burdened by these individual rights.

WHITFIELD: All right, Danny, Wendy, fascinating case. There's more. We're going to see you in 20 minutes. We will talk about how a school district is watching just about every move students make, particularly on social media sites. They say it is a way to keep kids safe from bullying and other threats or is it an issue of privacy? Not everyone is buying that explanation. All of that straight ahead. We'll see you in 20.

But first, a fire destroyed part of the New Jersey boardwalk just months after a deadly hurricane damaged it. Business owners there say they will bounce back again. That's straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right, bottom of the hour now. Welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Here are five things crossing the CNN news desk right now.

At least four people are dead, 172 missing from record breaking flooding in Colorado. This is new video from around the Boulder area, which appears to be hardest-hit. Hundreds of people are waiting to be rescued from mountain communities that have been cut off by raging flood waters. There's more rain in the forecast today and that could jeopardize those evacuation plans.

Number two, a Greyhound bus flips over in Southern Ohio on the northbound side of Interstate 75 around 4:00 this morning. About 52 people were on board and at least 34 of them were rushed to the hospital with injuries. The bus was on its way from Detroit to Cincinnati.

And the U.S. and Russia agreed on a framework plan to rid Syria of its chemical weapons stockpiles. U.S. Secretary Of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reached the deal after three days of intense talks in Geneva. Moments ago we heard from President Obama that said the agreement represents an important concrete step toward ultimately destroying the weapons.

And number four, the Texas giant roller coaster ride reopened today at Six Flags over Texas. It was shut down nearly two months after a woman fell to her death in July. Rosa Esparza's family filed a million dollars wrongful death lawsuit this week. They are accusing Six Flags of negligence. Park officials say an investigation proves otherwise.

Number five, tonight, CNN takes you inside the 10th Annual Style Awards in New York City. Catch all of the red carpet glamour, best back stage moments, tonight 7:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN.

All right, there's been a rekindling overnight in the fire that destroyed dozens of shops along New Jersey's iconic boardwalk, but flames haven't extinguished the town's heart. They say they will come back. This is the front page of this morning's "New Jersey Star Ledger." An amazing shot of the boardwalk with the headline, "We will make new memories."

Margaret Conley is live for us now from Seaside Heights, New Jersey. So Margaret, give us an idea of where the investigation stands right now?

MARGARET CONLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, I want to start by showing you the difference of these two scenes. These businesses here were lucky. They didn't get hit by the fire. You can see a lot of residents checking the scene. Behind me, they had to dig a trench. They built over the old boardwalk, had to rip out the board walk and stop the flames.

The flames were raging for about nine hours. The firefighters were spraying with water as early as this morning. You can still see some smoldering behind us. In fact, investigators are going through the debris, trying to figure out what caused this fire. We talked to some police officials. They say smoldering could go on for days.

WHITFIELD: And then Margaret, what are some business owners telling you? I saw the front page of "The Ledger," folks are saying we're going to build back, but that's going to be tough.

CONLEY: Yes, we talked to a lot of business owners that saw their businesses go down in flames. A lot of them were watching them from this business owner, David, they were watching him from his restaurant. Here is what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DAVID BOUKILI, OWNER, JIMMY'S BREAKFAST: It is like heartbreaking. You have no idea. I mean, I just called my wife, I told her pray. That's all I told her. Pray. The wind shifted west, and I'm thinking that business is going to go, too. I said honey, just pray. My phone was dying. I said just pray. Heartbreaking. I don't know how to explain it. It's just bad, bad, bad dream.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CONLEY: Now David was able to avoid the flames and he's been offering up coffee and free food to a lot of workers who are trying to clean up. Governor Christie is meeting with business owners like David this afternoon in about an hour at 1:30.

WHITFIELD: All right, Margaret Conley, thanks so much, from Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Appreciate that.

Did you know measles is making a comeback in the U.S. because kids are not getting vaccinations? Coming up, we'll tell you who the government is pointing the finger at now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Guess what, Anthony Bourdain is back with new episodes of his Emmy-nominated series, "PARTS UNKNOWN." Tomorrow night season premier he heads to Jerusalem.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The old city is divided into four quarters. There's Muslim quarter. There's a Jewish quarter, there's a Christian quarter, and there's an Armenian quarter. Each one functions independently, but people that live in a certain area are all from that religion.

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST, CNN'S "PARTS UNKNOWN": Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now we're walking in the steps of Jesus Christ.

BOURDAIN: As I so often do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So this is Via Dolorosa, which is the last trip Jesus did before he was crucified so people feel very emotional. They come here and they feel like, my God, I am walking in the steps of Mohammad, David or Jesus.

BOURDAIN: It's like Jesus was here. I feel like I should be --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little more biased?

BOURDAIN: That's too late for me.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: You can catch that season two of that premier of "ANTHONY BOURDAIN, PARTS UNKNOWN," tomorrow night, 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: A 12-year-old girl climbed to the top of an abandoned cement plant in Florida and then jumps to her death. The sheriff's office says Rebecca Sedwick had been bullied for months by girls at school and on social media. Her mother eventually pulled her out of school after she was hospitalized for cutting her wrist.

But the sheriff says Rebecca was still, quote, "absolutely terrorized" by girls on social media. The night before she died, the sheriff says Rebecca texted a boy that she had met online saying quote, "I'm jumping, I can't take it anymore," end quote.

So it is a really tragic story, and there are others just like it, kids bullied every day at schools all over the country. Now one school district in California is doing something about it. The Glendale Unified School District has hired a company to monitor and analyze students' social media posts.

School officials say it will help them find out about bullying and other problems so they can take action before anyone gets hurt. But critics say this is big brother gone wild and a huge invasion of privacy.

Richard and Avery are off this week so I am joined by a couple of other legal experts, Wendy Murphy, a former prosecutor, author of "And Justice For Some" and she is a law professor at New England Law in Boston. Good to see you again. And Danny Cevallos is a CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney. Good to see you as well.

Danny, you first, what's your take on this. Does the end justify the means? Is it enough that a school district would try to get ahead of bullying and police social media?

CEVALLOS: Well, there are two issues. Number one, can the school district listen to or read what students post publicly online? And secondly, can they punish a student for their off campus speech? The Supreme Court held years and years ago that students have first amendment rights of expression like you or I, however, differently, the school may punish them if the speech creates a substantial threat of disruption of school activities.

The issue today is that technology has outpaced the law by so much that how do we define what's on campus speech, if a statement made on a Facebook account is posted off campus, obviously will make its way on campus when someone accesses their phone or computer on campus, and the Supreme Court actually really avoided this issue. Most commentators agree. It will be difficult.

The issue is even though anti-bullying laws may have good intent, good motive behind them to prevent bullying, some of them in certain states may ultimately be unconstitutional for suppressing off campus speech, beyond the boundaries of what the district or the law is permitted to do.

WHITFIELD: So Wendy, according to the "L.A. Times," this company, which is called "Geolistening" would give the school officials a report every day that categorizes posts on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and would analyze them based on how they relate to cyberbullying, harm, hate, despair, substance abuse, vandalism, and truancy.

These are their words, according to the "L.A. Times" reporting. Does this cross the line, to what extent can a school district, whether it employs a third party to do so or whether it does it itself, say we're going to pay attention to what's being said, what's being done by our student body off campus.

MURPHY: Yes. First of all let me say hooray for Glendale. This is not only an important and good move we need this kind of leadership. Danny framed the question as may a school act. I am going to argue that the school must act and that schools that aren't doing this proactive oversight probably could get in trouble by a lawsuit filed by someone like me or by a federal oversight agency like the Department of Education Office For Civil Rights. Why might that be, I have had cases like this, had suicidal girls facing exactly this problem who because of intervention, legal intervention, were saved from that despair.

WHITFIELD: The school district, not a parent, to say let me pay attention to what kind of conversations are taking place online, but the school.

MURPHY: Right, the school. Sometimes schools don't act until the lawyers make them act. This is an area of expertise of mine. Let me explain why schools will act as long as the right lawyer gets on board. They don't want to be told the answer of the question may they, they want to be told they must act and why.

Because what we're calling bullying, especially when it happens to girls and is, quote, unquote, "based on sex," which is the most common form of bullying, it is actually a civil rights violation under title IX or VI or IV, depending on the school. These are federal civil rights laws that forbid discrimination in education, which includes harassment, OK? Harassment is a kind of bullying.

If it is harassment and there's no doubt that this case we just talked about that you showcased was in fact harassment based on sex, that girl had someone intervene and sent to the school, you must act to protect her because these are civil rights violations and the school is duty bound to protect her from that harm. Now, we think about cyberspace as somehow not being the school's responsibility.

And Danny is right, the case law is very vague as to whether cyberspace is on campus, and schools must act if only on campus, but the law is moving in the direction of telling us that cyberspace is on everyone's campus, and the test is not whether you're clicking on your phone, it is whether the harmful effects of the behavior in cyberspace are interfering with a student's right of access to education. And it happens all the time.

WHITFIELD: Danny, your turn. CEVALLOS: Response to that is this, when it comes to anti-bullying laws, the bottom line is that they sometimes seek to guarantee a comfortable school experience, and while I would love for that to happen, I think we would all love to get free ice cream in the mail, it becomes an issue whether or not the school or the law is able to guarantee that fair and pleasant school experience. Bullying has been around for millennia. The idea we can stamp it out with anti-bullying laws, maybe it is true, hopefully it is. But I doubt it.

WHITFIELD: The methods evolved so much. Everyone would agree. Danny Cevallos, Wendy Murphy, thanks so much to both of you. Appreciate it. Great to see you.

MURPHY: You bet.

WHITFIELD: All right, this week's CNN Hero is planting a seed of solution for the problem of limited access to fresh produce in her North Carolina community. Meet Robin Emmons.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBIN EMMONS, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: There's a magic in gardening, you can drop a seed into the earth and from that there's an amazing fruit that is delicious and so good for your body. That's a miracle. Here in Charlotte, 73,000 people live in low income neighborhoods and don't have access to fresh fruit. Call this the miracle mile, pretty desolate in the way of healthy food options. There are barely any super markets. Once they get there by bus or a neighbor's car or on foot. They are paying a very high price for the food.

I'm Robin Emmons. I believe everyone should have access to fresh food. I grow it and bring it to communities in need. We have about 200 volunteers that come out and help us harvest the food. They bring the food to the community and cut the cost in half, compared to what they would pay at a grocery store.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Six months ago I was diagnosed with diabetes. I am unemployed now, so sometimes you have to buy the cheaper things. These are beautiful. I couldn't believe all of the fresh vegetables and the price was phenomenal. It is making me and my family healthier. I started growing food in my backyard.

EMMONS: Today, I grow on nine acres of land. Since 2008, we have grown 26,000 pounds of food. I feel like I am giving them a gift, a healthier, longer, more delicious life.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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WHITFIELD: Measles is making a frightening come back in the United States, and health officials are pointing fingers at parents that refuse to vaccinate their children. Elizabeth Cohen has more.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Fred, the Centers for Disease Control came out with new measles numbers this week. If these numbers continue, 2013 will be the biggest number for measles cases in this country in the past 17 years. There were 159 cases of measles January through August, and largely this is because of people who don't want to vaccinate their children.

And measles is extremely contagious. When someone has measles, they spread it to about 90 percent of people they have contact with if those people have not been vaccinated, and measles can be dangerous. It is not a nuisance illness. Look at this information. Out of 1,000 children that get measles, 1 out of 3 will die, and children under the age of 5, two out of five of those children will be hospitalized if they get the measles.

This is of concern to all of us, and here is why. Even if you want to, you cannot vaccinate a baby. Children can't be vaccinated until their first birthday. Imagine if your child were playing with an older child that had measles. That older child could get your baby sick and your baby could possibly die. That's why doctors say this is a very black and white issue. The message is get your child vaccinated -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Elizabeth Cohen, thank you so much for that.

The fall budget battle is about to get under way, and as the battle lines are drawn between Democrats and Republicans, Americans may have to brace for a government shutdown.

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WHITFIELD: Battle lines are being drawn again between Democrats and Republicans over the federal budget, but are Americans ready for another possible government shutdown? As our political editor, Paul Steinhauser finds out not so much.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Hi, Fred. We're just two weeks from a possible federal government shutdown. Front and center in this latest budget battle, the new health care law.

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REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: For the sake of our economy we will continue to do everything we can to repeal, dismantle, and defund Obamacare.

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STEINHAUSER: That's House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress. But some conservatives want to take things a step further, insisting they won't agree to fund the government unless Obamacare is delayed or defunded. The government runs out of money at the end of the month. Three-fourths of those questioned in our CNN/ORC poll say a shutdown of a few weeks could cause major problems or even a crisis. Democrats in Congress are pointing fingers at the Republicans.

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REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: Now Americans face the prospect of another Republican manufactured crisis to shut down the government.

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STEINHAUSER: So who would you blame if there's a government shutdown? Half say congressional Republicans with a third saying President Obama. Americans can start signing up for the new health care law starting next month, and the White House won't budge.

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JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We will not accept anything that delays or defunds Obamacare.

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STEINHAUSER: But our poll finds support for the measure is dropping, 39 percent say they favor most or all provisions of the law, down 12 points from the beginning of the year -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, thank you so much, Paul Steinhauser.