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Craigslist Prostitutes?; Rescuing Recess

Aired March 06, 2009 - 15:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: You know, we have always had the principle of, what good is a newscast if you can't actually connect with viewers while you're doing it?

Well, guess what? We have got a new way of doing this, actually talking to you, where we will see you while we're doing the newscast. It's called Skype. We're putting it to work. Here's what else we have got today.


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, TRUTV ANCHOR: The bruises and the injuries that she suffered also corroborate exact moments in her story.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): We reported it first. Now an amazing new revelation: Rihanna tells the judge she doesn't, does not, want to be protected against Chris Brown.

And this -- my report spurred comments about race. Is this a news story because Chris Brown is black? I will interview somebody who believes that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It has an indoor swimming pool.



SANCHEZ: The U.S. Postal Service is buying this house for $1.2 million, so they can relocate an employee. In this economy?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These grants will put Americans to work.

SANCHEZ: Wall Street not buying it, so, the president goes to Main Street, Columbus, Ohio. And we're there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have asked them strategically to just stop in the area of prostitution.

SANCHEZ: Craigslist being sued for advertising prostitution. We're looking at it -- well, sort of.

Finance officials, beware. Citizens are revolting.

And then there's this revolt. We will explain. This national conversation every day at 3:00, written about this week in "The New York Times," "Doonesbury," and "The Daily Show" begins again right here, right now.


SANCHEZ: And hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez. There's so much to talk about on this day.

I want you to first consider this. Usually, when a man is charged with beating a woman, the very first thing that happens is, there's a protective order put in place, so that he will stay away from her. But now we're learning that, in the case of Rihanna, she's actually telling the judge who's looking at these charges against Chris Brown that she doesn't want any kind of protective order put on him, that she wants to be able to communicate with him, that he -- she wants him to be able to talk to her.

Here's just a piece of the exchange. I want you to hear it. This is her lawyer talking to the judge in this case.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't want a no-contact order?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your Honor, Ms. Fenty does not request that type of order.


Do you understand that, sir?



SANCHEZ: Ms. Fenty does not request that type of order.

It seems, for anyone looking at their -- and people are talking about this story all over the country -- at the very least bizarre.

Ashleigh Banfield is joining us right now.

Ashleigh, it sounds crazy to anyone listening to this. These TROs, aren't they there to protect someone like her? The fact that she's rejecting it says what?

BANFIELD: Well, it could say a lot of things.

I think a lot of people would jump out right away and say, oh, this means reconciliation. It may and it may not. It may mean that she wants the opportunity to have conversations. Maybe she wants an explanation. This is all very raw to her. It may also mean that her lawyers are playing ball and saying, look, we will cooperate with you. We will be part of this. And she will testify. But don't make this as ugly as possible by putting out that he's absolutely to have no contact with her at all.

This just could be a massaging of the process. The bottom line, Rick, I don't think we should read a whole lot into that.

SANCHEZ: Well, shouldn't we...


BANFIELD: I know that sounds terrible. It sounds counterintuitive. But, legally speaking, it just could be strategizing, and that's all.

SANCHEZ: What are the legal repercussions either for her or for him out of something like this? For her to stand there, she's essentially saying to the judge, and in this case because she's a public figure, to the world, isn't she, I'm not afraid of this guy; I want to talk to him; I want to keep seeing him. That's helping his case, isn't it?


BANFIELD: Kind of. But you can't bring that up at trial.

If there's trial, that's not something that's admissible, because that's hearsay on his half. While she's been talking about hearsay on her half, if she chooses not to testify, he, on his half, on his behalf, lawyers can't just say, hey, she didn't even want a TRO. She didn't even want to be protected against my client.

That's just not something you can just bring up. They could bring up the fact, the facts exists, a very limited restraining order. A limited order exists in this case. And jurors can read into that what they want.

SANCHEZ: A.J. Hammer is preparing his newscast for tonight. It's called "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." It airs at 11:00 p.m. And he's joining us as well.

There's another -- look, there's two court cases going on here. There's the court of public opinion and then there's the legal case.


SANCHEZ: And one may not necessarily be more important than the other in this case.

I want to show you a picture. This is video from TMZ. Let's take a look at it. Go ahead, if you have got it. You will see -- no, this isn't it. We're looking at the picture -- this is the video from her of him leaving. There it is. This is him.

This is Chris Brown last night actually leaving with bodyguards. And we're told it's 3:45 in the morning. He's leaving a bar.

I'm just asking you, is this guy asking for trouble? With everything that is going on, what's he doing there at 3:45 in the morning leaving a bar? Oh, by the way, he's 19 years old.


HAMMER: What a dumb move. He needs to hole up somewhere and disappear for awhile.

Maybe he's saying, you know what? Why am I being persecuted? Why am I being victimized? When all of this comes out in the wash, everything's going to be fine.

Maybe that's what's going on in his mind. I don't know. But, as you said, Rick, the court of public opinion for the most part has really made up its mind. The preponderance of evidence there has told us exactly what we feel about this guy.



HAMMER: I think he's just making it work for himself. It's callous indifference to be hanging out at a bar or be Jet Skiing at P. Diddy's place in Miami, which he was seen doing last weekend.

SANCHEZ: He ain't winning that one, is he, at this point?


SANCHEZ: He ain't winning in the court of public opinion, to use, you know, bad English, as they say, but as my own football coaches used to say, in any way, right?

HAMMER: No. It almost seems -- it almost seems -- and, look, we don't really know what was going on there. But the reports are that, yes, he was hanging out in a bar with his bodyguards the very night after he was there for a scheduled arraignment, which, of course, was continued.

But it seems almost like he's living in some kind of a fantasy land if he thinks that's OK. And if he has any P.R. people working for him that are telling him this is what you should be doing, I don't get that at all.

SANCHEZ: All right, that's the court of public opinion. Let's go back to the real case now, the legal case.

Ashleigh, back to you.

Did you read the affidavit and find anything in there that might be a mitigating circumstance, a mitigating circumstance, or anything that he might be able to latch onto as a defense?

BANFIELD: I think the biggest thing that his defense might actually have is just the very reason she may not testify, because there are Supreme Court decisions and also laws in California that, combined, actually make it very difficult for any of her statements to come in.

They do not make it impossible. Let me repeat that. They do not make it impossible, but they make very difficult for her statements to come in. So, without the statements, it makes it a trickier case.

But, Rick, somebody called 911.

SANCHEZ: Right. Right.

BANFIELD: There's someone out there who saw something, heard something, knows something. And I want to know, at some point, just how much information can that witness give to this case? Because if that witness saw somebody they recognized as Chris Brown walking away from that scene, you don't need a whole lot more than that.

SANCHEZ: And she's walking out of the other side of this Lamborghini with blood coming out of her face. It just seems to me -- it seems like that's undeniable.


BANFIELD: Yes, that's what you call circumstantial evidence. And circumstantial evidence can be extraordinarily powerful, sometimes even more powerful than direct.

SANCHEZ: All right, Ashleigh Banfield, A.J. Hammer, you guys are the best. Thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.

BANFIELD: Thank you, Rick.

HAMMER: You got it.

SANCHEZ: There is a blogger who is all but calling me a racist for covering this story, for having that conversation we had yesterday and the updates today. He implies that, if Chris Brown were white, I would not be covering this story.

Let's say it's Brad Pitt hitting Angelina. Is he right? Think about it. I mean, let's look. I want to be totally transparent about this. And that's why I want to have a conversation about it on the other side of this commercial break.

You're not going to believe what happened today right behind one of our own reporters. She was doing a live shot. That's a crime, folks. And you will see it play out as it did.

And, then, did you know that craigslist is full of people prostituting themselves? We checked today. Trust me, there is no doubt about it after you look at the video. That's why the sheriff in Chicago is suing them. He's going to join me live to make his case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": Now the government is giving AIG $30 billion more. We gave them $165 billion. Now we're giving them another $30 billion. You know what AIG stands for? And it's gone!




SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back.

As we work our way toward the 4:00 strike, which is when the market closes, we want you to know that we're going to be watching what's going on, on Wall Street today. And, as you can see right now, it's down 103, 102, somewhat expected, given some of the numbers that came out today.

The president, though, is not dealing with Wall Street on this day. He's dealing with Main Street. That's why he's going to be in Columbus, Ohio, literally on Main Street, trying to sell his recovery package. We're going to be bringing you up to date on that. We have got reporters who are filing on that story. And we will have it for you in just a little bit.

In the meantime, I mentioned to you that this story has gotten such legs, no matter where you go here, whether it's the CNN diner, or you go to the makeup room or you go in most of the living rooms all over the country, there are people talking this situation with Rihanna and Chris Brown, including one blogger who decided to take the news media on, specifically me, for yesterday bringing this story and reading aloud the affidavit that was filed by police, which was released just before we went on the air.

Here we go. It's from need4trth.blogspot. This is what it says. And I think we have got that. I think we can put that up, if you possibly have it. And we will share it with you, some of the information that he seems to write.

He said: "That's a real underlying tone of CNN."

Pardon me. Let me take it from the top.

"CNN has begun the indictment unbalanced and unchallenged. The world will soon be inundated with the case of a 'N-word' who almost killed a white looking woman. That's the real underlying tone of CNN and Rick Sanchez's irresponsible one-sided report. It was designed to help convict Chris Brown of the maximum sentence, which in the past was a public lynching and then burning.

All right, there you have it. I could go on and read the whole thing, but it goes on for quite a little bit.

By the way, we invited that blogger to be on the show and actually make his charge. And he refused to do so. Joining us now is Professor Boyce Watkins of Syracuse University. He writes about racism in America.

There's a big tussle going on in our country about this case. And I know a lot of people have been hesitant to write about it or even cover it. Now, some people say this is a very kind of tabloid story. But what I'm reading on the social networks and from people all over is that a lot of people find this to be a very important story.

Do you think what we did by following up on this story yesterday was wrong?


Now, I am the first one to help America understand that, you know, when there is an opportunity to vilify a black male athlete or entertainer, we usually jump on that. And that's something we have to think about.

But we have to realize that this relationship really transcended race. The same way you had Brangelina with a nickname with their relationship, well, there was also Crihanna. And there's a Web site,, that only talked about Chris and Rihanna's relationship.

So, this situation was far bigger than race. And this particular incident was about love and life and gender. I have five godkids, Rick, who would pay money to wash Chris Brown's dirty socks. They love him that much.

And what I had to talk to him about is to I have to help him understand that, if a man loves you, he's not going to put his hands on you, that violence has no place in a relationship. And I say...


WATKINS: ... that not to vilify Chris Brown, because the boy's 19 years old. You have got to remember that. He's not a monster. He's not beyond repair.

SANCHEZ: That's a very important point. That doesn't mean -- look, you and I were probably hotheads when we were his age, or certainly a lot more hotheads than we were today. At least, I plead guilty to that, all right?


SANCHEZ: I had schoolyards fight. Obviously, there's a difference between being a hothead and getting in a fight with a friend and hitting a woman, as he is alleged to have done.

Let me take you back to the original premise here and the charge that at least one blogger has made -- there may be others -- is it racist for the media to be covering this story, because Chris Brown is black? WATKINS: No. I don't think it's racist to cover the story, because if Brad Pitt were to punch out Angelina Jolie, we would be talking about it for the next 30 years.

What I want us to be careful about, though, is to understand that this story is not about Chris Brown. Domestic violence occurs in many families across the country and many ethnicities. And the reason I jumped on this story was not because of the pop culture aspect of it, but because I have had friends who have seen relatives killed in domestic violence situations.

One of my very good friends murdered by her husband in a murder/suicide. Her young children are now orphans because of this.


WATKINS: I have another friend whose husband burned her mother alive because of -- you know, in the -- and she called the police several days that day.

So, what I'm saying is, I'm reaching out right now to all the women that are terrorized by their mates, who are afraid to reach out, who are afraid to tell somebody. And I'm saying reach out and communicate, because violence has no place in a relationship.

But this is not about vilifying Chris Brown, because he's not beyond repair. He needs to pay a price for what he did, absolutely. But he's 19 years old. Make sure we don't forget that.

SANCHEZ: That's important. You're absolutely right.

Well, we have got people all over the country who have been talking about this. When I came in today and I was doing some tweets about it last night, I noticed that it was filling up the social networks. There were people on MySpace, on Facebook, on Twitter talking about this. So, we have been reaching out to the some of the people who watch this news while they're on the Internet.

One of them is Erika Turner. She's in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

What's your reaction to the charge you read and talked about on some of these blogs that we in the media shouldn't be covering this because Chris is black?

ERIKA TURNER, VIEWER: I disagree completely. I don't think this is a race issue or even an age issue.

Intimate partner violence happens every day, and it happens to celebrities. It happens to rich people. It happens to poor people. It's just important that, now that the message is out there, that we have a dialogue about this and we make awareness about it.

SANCHEZ: Erika Turner from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, professor Boyce Watkins from Syracuse University, who has written and spoken about this aplenty, my pleasure to be able to talk to both of you.

TURNER: Thank you.

WATKINS: Absolutely, buddy. Good talking to you again.

SANCHEZ: Likewise.

Fights do happen on school buses. Sometimes, it's kid stuff. This time, it's different. You will see it for yourself.

And take a look at this house. It has more than 8,000 square feet, six bedrooms, and was purchased for $1.2 million. By the way, it's the U.S. Postal Service buying it from one of its workers. They wanted to relocate. Pretty sweet deal for him, huh? This is a CNN investigation.

That's next.


SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back.

I want to check in on some of the folks who are watching our newscast right now and sharing information with us. Let's go over to MySpace. This is interesting. It just came in moments ago.

And that's why we wanted to concentrate this, because when we pick up on the fact that there's a bit of a national conversation going up on a story, we want to get the best folks to talk about it. We think Boyce Watkins is one of those.

"Thank you, Boyce Watkins. We need to use this terrible story and do something about domestic violence in this country."

There's something else that I want to show you now, something that sparked some outrage. This is in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a high school student captured on tape charged with assault. He's not going after another student, which is bad enough, by the way. He's going after the bus driver in this case.

She suffered a broken hand, burst blood vessels in both eyes, cuts and bruises, and a swollen cheek the size of a softball, as it's described. And now we learn he's been charged with assault at least five times before, four of them involving women. His parents say he's mentally ill. Wow.

Here's something else to share with you that grabbed our attention today. It's a British cabinet official. He arrives for a conference in London when all of a sudden, bang, he just gets a face full of goo. There's no security, none, surrounding Business Minister Peter Mandelson.

And now you get a load of this? The attacker collects herself, and then walks away, scot-free, no repercussions, it seems. The assailant represents an environmental group that goes by the name Plane Stupid.

You're not going to believe the ad that we found today on craigslist. It will make you blush if you look at them. It appears to be a -- well, blatant prostitution. And that's why the sheriff in Chicago joins me live. He's suing craigslist. Is he doing the right thing?


SANCHEZ: Once again, the president is out there today. He's not on Wall Street, which hasn't, you might, been particularly kind to him of late. He's on Main Street, Columbus, Ohio, selling his recovery packages and his stimulus packages and his budget.

We're going to see how the president is faring. We're following it for you. And we're going to be joined by Patricia Murphy in just a little bit.

First, though, I want you to take a look at this. This is a story coming out of Miami, again having to do with just how far police go in any particular case.

This is just past midnight, as you look at this video, and you see these police officers who are coming to the scene. Now, you see that guy in the circle all the way at the top. He says something. Police respond. They go to the elevator and that's when the violence begins.

Watch this report as it's filed by Derek Hayward, one of my favorite reporters, from WSVN in South Florida.


DEREK HAYWARD, WSVN REPORTER (voice-over): It is last December 5 just after midnight when young men get into an altercation, and Fort Lauderdale police are called in. It is inside the lobby of this building next to the nightlife of Riverfront.

Joshua Ortiz is not seen fighting. He is in the elevator with his girlfriend waiting for his friends to join him, when he is confronted by police.

JOSHUA ORTIZ, DEFENDANT: We just want to go home. What's your problem. And he's like, oh, yes, you think I got a problem? And he gets very close to my face, like I would say about here, and then pushes me into the corner of the elevator. And, mind you, the whole time my hands are in pocket, in my jacket pocket, the whole time, when I was talking to them, when they proceeded to attack me, the whole time.

SGT. FRANK SOUSA, FORT LAUDERDALE POLICE: It's very easy for one to make a determination when they weren't present there. The totality of that video isn't shown there.

HAYWARD: Fort Lauderdale police say the internal affairs department has more of the video. And the department insists we are not getting the whole story.

SOUSA: You can clearly see Mr. Ortiz make a movement towards the officers.

HAYWARD (on camera): And do you -- their response is justified, then, the shove, the punch?

SOUSA: I won't sit here personally and say if the officers' response was justified. That's why we have the procedures that we have. Internal affairs has deemed it to be appropriate at this point.

HAYWARD (voice-over): Joshua suffered a broken nose. And after being handcuffed on the lobby floor, he was charged with five counts of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer. But the state attorney is dropping the charges.


SANCHEZ: Again, Derek Hayward out of WSVN in South Florida, for my money, one of the finest reporters in that market.

Let me tell you something else. This is something we have been following out of Sasha Herriman. She's CNN's own correspondent, who was filing a story today when suddenly something happened behind her. Watch this.


SASHA HERRIMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There were so many suitors and potential life partners that it became -- do you want to film it?


SANCHEZ: Film it? You bet.

These are two guys who are actually caught, at least on video, not by police. They get away in their motorbikes. They just smashed with a sledgehammer a jewelry counter, did away with plenty of jewelry, including watches, Rolexes, we're told, and then so cocky, in fact, they popped wheelies as they left. We're told police are looking at them, but, so far, they have not been able to find them.

Once again, as we get to 4:00, when the market closes, we're going to be checking to see what goes on there. That's why we're looking at it now. You see it right there, as a matter of fact. I'm looking at it. You're looking at it, down 115.1 at this point.

There are some economic indicators having to do with unemployment today that came out, taking the unemployment rate to the highest level in 25 years, according to reports. We're going to have the latest on that in just a little bit.

Also, I can go on live right now and pretty much find anything, but prostitutes? That's right. One sheriff suing craigslist because he says prostitutes are just a click away. He joins us live.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Monkey bars, kickball, we all remember recess. But according to a recent study for the Centers for Disease Control, in some communities, those memories are all that's left.

SARAH LEE, CDC RESEARCHER: Nationwide, we know that 67 percent offer recess every single day for all students in their schools for at least 20 minutes.

GUPTA: CDC researcher Sarah Lee says that leaves more than a third of schools offering recess to just some students or not at all. And the reason may surprise you.

LEE: Definitely, schools are crunched for time. And one of the biggest reasons is because of the pressures for improving test scores, within core academic subjects.

GUPTA: But along with higher test scores may come higher obesity rates.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The equation for the increase in obesity we've seen over the last few decades is lack of physical activity combined with higher intake of energy through food. The more activity kids can get through physical education and through recess, the better.

GUPTA: So in an effort to bring attention to the problem, Lee has joined with the Cartoon Network's Get Animated program to spread the word. And she's starting to get some major league help.

DWAYNE WADE, PLAYER-MIAMI HEAT: Recess very where everything started for me. When it came to loving sports. And just wanted to be active and wanted to get out there with the rest of the kids.

GUPTA: Lee and Dwayne Wade agree. Recess can do as much for a child's brain as it does for their bodies.

WADE: It's not just about sports but you get to meet other kids, and you get to gain relationships.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is evidence that shows recess can actually improve classroom attentiveness, concentration and time on task.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.



SANCHEZ: There's a major story coming from a sheriff that handles crimes in Chicago, Cook County in Illinois. He is actually suing Craigslist. He says that they are in some ways supporting prostitution. We wanted to get down to the bottom of this, so we decided to check for ourselves. Let's do it together. Let's go over to Craigslist. In fact we've got them on the big plasma over here. You ready to go? Shoot it. Here we go. All right. That's Craigslist. You get to pick any city you want. What city do you want to pick? Michael, what's your favorite city? Chicago, all right. That's a good one. That's where the sheriff is. Let's go to Chicago. If you go to Chicago, now we are going to go to, what, services, right? Let's see. Where is services? We're scrolling down. To services. Right? And there is erotic. See, erotic right there? I'm going to click that right there. And there you get something that lets you go in to actually see some things that I frankly wouldn't want you to see here live on CNN. I certainly wouldn't want my kids to see. All you have to do is tell them you're 18 years old and you're in. What do you see when you go there? We prepared a couple of graphics that you can see. Obviously we kind of sanitized these a little bit. Let's go to the first one. The first one shows this one. You can see it's Britney. She's saying that she'll do $150 for whatever it is that she's trying to -- by the way, folks, this stuff is very, very blatant. We're going to look at another one. This one comes in as well. It's a donation that she's asking for. See the word there, donation? $250. Obviously we're not going to show you the entire ad. But if you were to see the entire ad you would see for yourself that there was nothing at all when you look at this ad that makes you wonder exactly what it is that Britney and the donation gal are trying to get you to buy.

Joining us now is Tom Dart. He is in Cook County. He's the sheriff there. He's kind of furious about this and wants to do something about it. As a matter of fact, he's suing Craigslist and holding them responsible. Sheriff, thanks for being with us. Make your case, sir.

TOM DART, COOK COUNTY SHERIFF: Thanks for having me on, Rick. This is not my first effort with Craigslist. For the last two years, frankly, since I've been in office we've been making arrests after arrests off of Craigslist. So I reached out to them with numerous letters, conversations with attorneys, getting them to keep the rest of their Craigslist with all its valuable tools it has, but just remove the erotic services or at a minimum at least monitor it. After two years of nothing but frustrations, and no help whatsoever, we finally had to bring the lawsuit. Because as you just pointed out, any person, under any analysis, will realize what we're talking about is prostitution. They're facilitating it. And too many of our arrests are involved with juveniles who have gotten involved with it through Craigslist.

And we can't allow that.

SANCHEZ: You make an excellent point. I'll be remiss if I tell you as a dad and father of four, I'm not bothered by seeing what my kids can do when they go on the Internet. But Craigslist has responded to this. We asked them about this case. This is the response they gave us. I'll read it to you. It says, "criminal activity is completely unacceptable and we continue to work diligently to prevent it. Craigslist has a long history of cooperation with law enforcement."

Sounds to me like they're saying they're doing everything they try and make sure they can to stamp this out. Are they lying? DART: They're doing virtually nothing. As you pointed out initially, when you go to the site, it says you have to be 18 to get to the site. What happens if you're 10? There is no screening. You don't have to put in a date of birth. You don't even have to fake a date of birth. It tells you you have to be 18, but there's no enforcement. Their entire monitoring system is based on the people that go to the site. So the guys looking for prostitutes, they're supposedly be so offended by something they see they're going to flag it a number of times and then it's removed. We called their bluff on it, Rick. What I did is we put on our own ads. I put on one ad saying I'm 15-year-old looking for companionship. I got hits on that. Then I put another one that says I'm a 14-year-old looking for sex. That was on there until we took it off.

SANCHEZ: Let me ask you a question. Because it looks like technology in our society moving so fast, everybody in our newscast would certainly recognize that. We've got all these plasma screens, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter. We're communicating with people in their own phones, on their computers. Things are moving fast. Some folks would say, look, if you're going to sue them, you've got to sue ma bell. After all, a lot of prostitution deals are done on the telephone as well. It's just that communication now allows people to talk to themselves this way. Is that a valid argument?

DART: No. Because the one -- the major difference here is, they're going beyond just being a nebulous type of site where people put on together. They actually put together a format and a platform where you can put in your ads in this one section. Mind you, they have a free section. So if you're just looking for casual sex among consenting adults, they have one for that. But this one here, they have it set up where you can have woman for man, man for woman. They actually have 21 separate categories.

SANCHEZ: You're saying, sheriff, they know exactly what they're doing and they're trying to play coy. That's what you're saying. That's what I'm hearing.

DART: They absolutely know what's going on. I've sent them the letters. I've sent them the photographs. I've informed them of all the arrests I've made. I've informed them about the underage girls that we have taken in, who were being used by juvenile pimps. We've charged people with juvenile pimping, human trafficking, prostitution, the whole nine yards. We're telling them, just be responsible, work with me. Guess what, get rid of the erotic services or at least monitor it and I'll go away. You won't hear from me.

SANCHEZ: We're going to follow it. Tom Dart, a man with a great name for sheriff, by the way.

DART: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: thanks for being with us.

Let's go to Glenda Umana. Talk about sheriffs and law enforcement, she is checking on a story today about a new way of bringing cocaine into the United States. This is fascinating. Que pasa, Glenda, how are you?

GLENDA UMANA, CNN EN ESPANOL: Como es das. this is not only into the United States, it's in Spain. The imagination doesn't have limits for drug smugglers, Rick. This 66-year-old man, he's from Chile. He was entering Barcelona Airport when the police discovered a cast made of cocaine in a broken leg. It's the first time officials in Spain, they say, they've seen a cast made entirely of compressed cocaine.


UMANA: Now, they also found drugs hidden inside six beer cans, and inside the legs of two small folding stools.

And Rick, we have to notice, Spain is the major European gateway for cocaine to Latin American. They pay special attention from passengers coming from Peru, Colombia and Chile. Of course, Rick, this causes serious problems for thousands not involved in the drug trade.

SANCHEZ: And then some. Fascinating, though, to pretend you've got a broken leg and fill up a cast with cocaine. What will they think of next?


UMANA: Spanish. Have a great weekend. (Spanish) Ciao.

SANCHEZ: Thank you so much.

All right. Here's what's next. President Obama's economic policies are not so popular on Wall Street. All you've got to do is look at the numbers to figure that one out, right? So he's taking his show to Main Street, USA. By that I mean, Columbus, Ohio. Why is Senator Chris Dodd mad as hell and not going to take it anymore? Dems and Republicans agree on this one. I'll tell you exactly what it is that they agree on. Has to do with three letters, once again.

Also if your business was facing a financial crisis, would you buy mansions from employees at full price to relocate those employees? You're not going to believe the amount of money involved in this one. In this economy? Are you kidding me? Why is the postal service doing something like this? It's a CNN special investigation. It's an exclusive and it's next.


SANCHEZ: You're talking to us, and we're talking to you. Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez here in the world headquarters of CNN. Let's go to Myspace first. Robert, ready? All the way here with the little orange and the yellow. Go in. Good job. Well, "It's like cops just can't beat people up anymore without getting caught on camera." Interesting comment coming in, on Myspace. Let's flip this around, Rob, if you can. We're going to go to Twitter. "Wow," he says, "a cast made of cocaine. That's innovation. Hopefully they crack down on this." There's a good Friday comment. "Good job covering it." We thank you.

Here's another story we think is fascinating, so we've decided to not only cover it, we've decided to have some of our special investigations unit folks look into this case. There's a good possibility something like this might make you a little bit irritated. Maybe even a little bit mad. Let's start with a picture. Look at this house. This is a house that's worth $1.2 million. Somebody who worked at the postal office lived in this house. So they wanted to relocate this guy. And they decided the only way they could relocate him is to buy his house from him and then they'd try to sell it so he can move somewhere else. That's an indoor swimming pool, by the way. Guess how much his house cost? $1.2 million that they are taking on. In this economy.

Abbie Boudreau is joining us now from the SIU unit. Wow. It's a sweet deal for him. Who wouldn't want in this economy for someone to give him market value for this home. Since no one seems to be able to get it. Can you do us a favor? Pretend you're a realtor. Take us through this thing. What kind of house is this, by the way?

ABBIE BOUDREAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is an absolutely gorgeous house.

SANCHEZ: Let's go to the videotape.

BOUDREAU: It's $1.2 million. Five acres.

SANCHEZ: Look at this. Look at that picture. What's with the lake?

BOUDREAU: It's a lake front property. This neighborhood is isn't where people go for summer homes. But there you can see the indoor swimming pool.

SANCHEZ: I've got one of those. Not.

BOUDREAU: Of course, we all do. No, it's an absolutely gorgeous house. It's about 30 minutes away from Columbia, South Carolina. And like I said, it's five acres. You know, it was originally on the market for $2.9 million. And then it was reappraised by the U.S. Postal Service for $1.2 million. That's what they purchased it for.

SANCHEZ: This is the U.S. Postal Service. It gets a little complicated when we try to explain it. They don't get your taxes but they are commissioned to sell stamps, which we all have to buy, and then they take that money and do what it is they want with it. In this case buying and trying to sell a $1.2 million house. Shouldn't they have a limit on how much they're going to buy from their employees to relocate them? Doesn't that make sense?

BOUDREAU: Now they do, as of two weeks ago when we called and talked to them and they told us, oh, yes, we're having ...

SANCHEZ: Well done.

BOUDREAU: I can't take credit for that. But I will tell you, it's a coincidence.

SANCHEZ: What's the cap now.

BOUDREAU: The cap now is $1 million.

SANCHEZ: Still kind of high.

BOUDREAU: Well, it is, yes. It's pretty high. Considering the Food and Drug Administration is capped at $330,000. But can I also add a little bit of how this works?


BOUDREAU: USPS has a contract with the Cartus Relocation. That's a government contractor. That's how it works. Cartus actually deals with the details to buy and sell.

SANCHEZ: It's not that you couldn't understand like that might not happen in the past. Sometimes stories are good because they're timely. In this economy, in these times, with Wall Street as we're looking at it right now, pretty much flat, down almost 300 yesterday. You look at this and you go, it doesn't make sense.

BOUDREAU: Are they going to be able to resell the house at this point?

SANCHEZ: Good luck. For $1.2 million in this economy? Who's going to buy it.

BOUDREAU: Well, it's the most expensive home purchase in a two county area in that region. Also, the Postal Service said we try to come out even. When we buy a house, we want to resell it and we want to come out even. We know that's not the case. On average they lose about $58,000 per house. And of course that adds up.

SANCHEZ: Let us know. You're going to follow up on this?

BOUDREAU: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: We'll keep checking back with you. I bet you it might be awhile. Just a hunch. Abbie Boudreau, thanks for being with us.

Here's what else we're going to have for you when we come back. Barack Obama pretty much having a tough time with Wall Street. We know that. But how about Main Street? That's where he goes today. Main Street, Columbus, Ohio. We'll take you there.


SANCHEZ: All right. Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez. First thing I want to do is look at the Dow. Because everybody in the country seems to be looking at it these days. And it's getting close to the witching hour which is 4:00. Looking over at my clock over there, we're looking at this. It's 39 -- 45 down. Pretty much flat. Not necessarily real bad. Nonetheless, the Wall Street has not been good so far to President Barack Obama. Where did he go today? He goes to Main Street, not Wall Street, selling his recovery packages in Columbus, Ohio. We've been following this story. As we look at this, we look at a specific political strategy that the White House is undergoing.

Two people to talk about this with. First of all, our own Wolf Blitzer, who's coming up next in THE SITUATION ROOM and we're going to have Patricia Murphy joining us in a little bit. Wolf, let me begin with you. What's the strategy here?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: The strategy is selling the idea, the complicated strategy that there's so much the president is trying to achieve so quickly, and to try to point out that it's all related. You can't just focus in on the economy, you can't just focus in on one issue like health care or energy, or global warming. Or education. They're all related. And if you deal with all of them, especially health care reform, the president believes his top advisers believe that in and of itself will help the economy recover. Just as if you deal with global warming and green jobs, that will further create new jobs. Jobs that will survive over the long-term.

SANCHEZ: Is it a mistake ...

BLITZER: It's a complicated strategy but it's one they're going forward with.

SANCHEZ: Let me ask you -- Would it be a mistake and I'm sure some would argue this, and I'm sure you've talked to people on both sides everyday on your show. Some would argue it's a mistake to just push this on Main Street at the expense of Wall Street or vice versa. Right?

BLITZER: Their argument is that Main Street is obviously much more important than Wall Street, but people are affected by what happens on Wall Street. And as you know, Rick, and all our viewers know, people have lost 30, 40, 50 percent of their retirement funds, their 401(k)s, their savings. They are both related. You can't just deal with one. You've got to deal with both.

SANCHEZ: That's a great point. So Wall Street for those people you just mentioned becomes Main Street. Wolf Blitzer, look forward to seeing you in just a little bit.

BLITZER: You've got it.



SANCHEZ: As we look at this situation, there's something else that's going on. You and I sat here the other day and had a conversation about AIG. And in that conversation we were seemed to be told by economists that AIG has to be saved for all of us to be saved. Now we're hearing people like Christopher Dodd and we're hearing Senator Jim Bunning, a Republican and a Democrat, by the way, say almost to hell with AIG. MURPHY: They had a hearing yesterday to look at AIG and ask two fundamental questions. Who's in charge and how much more money do they need to be saved. The disturbing situation is nobody's in charge of AIG, there is no single federal regulator that is looking at AIG's entire health picture and nobody could answer the question, how much more for AIG not to go under. That was met with incredible frustration by the senators. It was called a lost cause. A bottomless pit. The great enabler of the meltdown, a story of malfeasance, incompetence and greed.

SANCHEZ: Unbelievable. And they're from Republicans and Democrats alike.

MUPRHY: Both alike.

SANCHEZ: Thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.

When we come back, a president was assassinated, an asteroid almost hit us and a few folks won hundreds of millions in the lottery. Those are a few stories we didn't get a change to tell you this week. What we missed, when we come back.


SANCHEZ: They only give me an hour and we pack it full every day. That missing boat, judges behaving badly, pork in the budget, Chris Brown and Rush, Rush, Rush, Rush. Enough with Rush already. We didn't have time to show you some really important stories this week. So let's do it.

Like this. West Africa, a nation in shock. The elected president of Guinea-Bissau assassinated Monday. Diplomats say soldiers did it but nothing is absolutely confirmed. It's a small country and the killing of the president will not help things.

Jerusalem. Watch the left side of the screen. A bulldozer smashes into a police car and bus. At the controls? A Palestinian who was shot and killed. The Israelis call it a terror attack, but don't know his motivation.

Out in space, a close call. Did you know this asteroid missed us by the whisker this week. It zoomed past about 45,000 miles away. It's not a very big rock but if it hit earth, it would have ruined a lot of people's lives.

Back on solid ground, you had a chance to own stuff that once belonged to Gandhi. His watch, his glasses and other things that went on the auction block yesterday. Sold to an Indian businessman for nearly $2 million. Only $2 million?

That's chump change to these folks. Ten employees of a New Jersey insurance firm hit the Megamillion lottery. $216 million. Baby! Safe to say they are all now retired.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like many kids, Alec Loorz was inspired by something he saw on the big screen.

ALEC LOORZ, FOUNDER, KIDS VS. GLOBAL WARMING: It all started when I saw Al Gore's movie.

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: I've been trying to tell this story for a long time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After seeing the documentary, Loorz wanted to convince friends global warming is real.

LOORZ: I wanted to give presentations like Al Gore does, so I applied to the organization that handles his training session. I was only 12 years old at that time, so they told me I was too young.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That didn't stop Loorz. He became speaking at schools in California and started a program called Kids vs. Global Warming. More than 2,000 children have joined the 14 year old's cause. He also started a sea-level awareness project, setting up polls at California beaches to show where future sea levels could be if nothing is done about climate change.

LOORZ: I have kids coming up to me saying, I really want to get involved. What do I do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last year, Loorz finally met former Vice President Gore and became the youngest trainer for his project. Loorz real dream, however, is getting his peers to act.

LOORZ: We are the future but we're more than that. We're here now, so let's work together to change the world and not just occupy it.


SANCHEZ: Gady writes to us, "Of course I'm furious about that house. Why couldn't they give that house to me?" That's what we're all asking, right, Murph.

MURPHY: I ask that every day.

SANCHEZ: $1.2 million. Not bad. Wolf Blitzer standing by now. He is in THE SITUATION ROOM on this Friday. Have a great weekend, Wolf.

BLITZER: You, too, Rick. Thanks very much.