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No Surprise North Korea Would Defy the International Community; Cyber Bullying Bill Introduced in Congress; New information Details What Prompted Pittsburgh Rampage; Gays are Increasingly Being Killed in Iraq.

Aired April 05, 2009 - 18:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Right now, the president overseas is denouncing a defiant North Korea. The U.N. Security Council just wrapped up a closed-door session -- they've been talking punishment. And the first of the funerals from the massacre in New York -- right now.

Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon.

Most of the world said don't do it, but North Korea did it anyway. The communist state is defying global opinion, launching a rocket claiming to have carried a peaceful satellite into orbit. The U.S. says a rocket was a cover for a missile test and that it failed.

Overseas, on the world stage, President Barack Obama fired back with strong words.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES: As a nuclear power -- as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it. So today, I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.


LEMON: But what does the launch really mean to Americans and how big a threat is a nuclear North Korea? Let's get some answers now.

CNN's Ivan Watson is in Turkey, President Obama arrived there just a short time ago. Richard Roth is also standing by -- he's at the United Nations monitoring the U.N. Security Council. To Ivan Watson first in Ankara.

Ivan, North Korea is declaring the launch a success, but the rest of the world disagrees, including President Obama.

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. President Obama landed hereabout four hours ago. This is his first visit to a Muslim country, but it's been overshadowed by this dramatic missile launch from North Korea.

Earlier today, speaking in Prague, President Obama gave a speech and he called on the international community to stand shoulder to shoulder against what he called North Korea's provocation.

Let's take a listen to what he had to say.


OBAMA: North Korea broke the rules, once again, by testing a rocket that could be used for long-range missiles. This provocation underscores the need for action, not just this afternoon at the U.N. Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons. Rules must be binding, violations must be punished, words must mean something. The world must stand together to prevent the spread of these weapons.


WATSON: And, Don, in addition to this, President Obama set a very ambitious goal for the national community. He said the world should try to secure all vulnerable nuclear material within the next four years.

LEMON: And, Ivan, let's take this forward just a little bit. The expectation of the president, his visit to Turkey -- talk to us about that.

WATSON: Well, he's coming here on pretty much a fence-mending mission to try to improve relations that really suffered between the U.S. and its NATO ally Turkey over the course of the Bush administration, largely as a result of the very unpopular war in neighboring Iraq. Now, the striking thing here, Don, is that President Obama is incredibly popular based on the interviews we've done on the streets in different Turkish cities. Turks seem to really like President Obama, even though just one year ago, the U.S. had only single-digit approval ratings in this country.

So, he's expected to get a pretty warm welcome here, in fact, the prime minister of Turkey, he said that he has big hopes for President Obama. He would like President Obama to be a voice for the silent majority here in the Middle East.

LEMON: Ivan Watson, thank you very much.

Just moments after North Korea's rocket left the launch pad, Japan requested an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council. And that's where we find our Richard Roth at the U.N.

Richard, the session just wrapped up. What are you hearing?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now, ambassadors who are speaking to the press. Despite the missile launch over Japan, a member of the U.N. Security Council, the Security Council -- all 15 countries, could not agree on a statement. Now, they only talked for two or three hours. They're going to continue at it over the next few days.

It just shows the divisions and splits and concerns over how hard or how soft to come down on North Korea, a reclusive nation which many in the west would like to reel back in. The council is already on record several years ago as directing and demanding the North Koreans not launch missiles like this -- Don?

LEMON: All right. That session is just wrapping up. And some of the members are coming out now.

Richard, at U.N., if you get any more information, we will get you back. Thank you very much for that.

Failure or not. Why all the concern over North Korean rocketry? Well, according to CNN's Jim Clancy, ballistic missile technology and countries who buy it are where we find the answer.


JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): North Korea's missile programs and the likes work of a reclusive dictatorship seeking a weapon of mass destruction. But to the west, the greatest risk is proliferation. North Korea markets missiles to some of the world's most dangerous destinations.

GREG THELMANN, SR. FELLOW, ARMS CONTROL ASSN.: The North Koreans have sold missiles to virtually every country of proliferation concern on the planet.

CHARLES VICK, SR. FELLOW, GLOBALSECURITY.ORG: If they are successful, well, this is not so much North Korea having the missile but it's what Iran will get from it also.

CLANCY: Charles Vick has analyzed every facet of North Korea's missile program, tracing its origins back to the 1950s.

VICK: Who helped the most I would have to say is the former Soviet Union with the introduction of the Scud ballistic missile throughout the world and international sales that ultimately ended up in North Korea. And then North Korea took that technology, improving it from the Scud-B to the Scud-C and ultimately the Scud-D. We know it's No- dong-A.

CLANCY: Don't be confused by all the names. When Pyongyang sells Iran or Pakistan a missile, they get to customize it.

JOE CIRINCIONE, PRES., PLOUGHSHARES FUND: They take the No-dong missile from North Korea, they paint it with Pakistani colors and they call it the Ghauri. You paint it with Iranian colors and you call it a Shahab.

CLANCY: One prerequisite, you've got to Pyongyang in cash.

VICK: It's both a national project for regime preservation but it is also primarily an economic issue for getting hard currency to be able to buy things from the world economy.

CLANCY: The cash, like the missiles, comes cloaked in secrecy. In December, 2002, Spanish warships intercepted an unflagged vessel from North Korea and buried beneath layers of its cargo of sacks of cement, 15 Scud missiles bound for Yemen. The client list has included Syria, Libya, Pakistan, and more. But the customer that has these analysts most concerned -- Iran.

CIRINCIONE: Unlike North Korea, Iran does have an economic base. They have money to pour into this. They're still connected with the rest of the world even though sanctions have hurt that kind of trade.

CLANCY: Iran's close cooperation raises suspicions Tehran had its rocket experts on the ground at launch time. Their programs are in lock-step.

VICK: The duplication there is identical. I mean, there's no difference whatsoever.

CLANCY: In other words, if North Korea has succeeded in once again stretching the 1950 Scud technology toward an intercontinental ballistic missile, so, too, has Iran or any other country willing to pony up the cash to Pyongyang.

Jim Clancy, CNN.


LEMON: Iran, indeed, one of the wild cards here. So, what about Iran's nuclear ambitions? An insider weighs in -- straight ahead.

Also tonight, new information on what allegedly prompted a Pittsburgh man to go on a deadly rampage. You're not going to believe this one.

And you're on our broadcast tonight. We're taking your feedback on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or


LEMON: An emotionally harrowing day in Binghamton, New York, following Friday's deadly shooting rampage by a suicidal gunman. His 13 victims were identified today. Some of the first funerals are being held. And the vigil for all of the victims is about to get underway right now. All of this as the response time of emergency crews is being defended and new details emerge about the killer.

CNN's senior correspondent, Allan Chernoff, joins us with the very latest.

Allan, a lot to cover on a very sad day.

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very, very tragic here in Binghamton. And as you said, a memorial service is about to begin.

On the program, 14 candles representing all the victims, the Statue of Liberty and those famous lines from Emma Lazarus, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses." That, of course, is a reference to the American Civic Association where the massacre occurred. That was what the association was all about -- welcoming immigrants and tragically the victims were from around the globe -- from Brazil, China, Pakistan, Iraq, Vietnam, on and on. In fact, today, a funeral was held for the victims from Iraq and Pakistan at a local mosque. Tomorrow, their teacher, Roberta King, will be buried. She is the mother of 10, grandmother to 14; that family is still in shock.


JEFF KING, SON OF VICTIM: And you get ready, you go to work, you never think that the end of the day is going to so change your life. Especially here in Binghamton, you know, I still live here. It's a beautiful, quiet, safe community. And this is just so beyond belief.


CHERNOFF: The children say their mother loved teaching -- especially loved teaching immigrants because she learned so much from them -- Don?

LEMON: Allan Chernoff -- Allan, we appreciate it.

Near Tacoma, Washington, disbelief and grief in the town of Graham, where a 35-year-old man is suspected of killing his five children. The four girls and one boy, ages seven to 16, were found shot to death in the family's mobile home. The father apparently killed himself and was found in his car 20 miles away. Police say his wife planned to leave him for another man.

Your kid doesn't have to be on the playground to be tormented by bullies. Like everything else, bullying has gone into cyberspace, online. But we'll tell you what's being done to protect your child.


LEMON: Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., is taking questions right now. Let's listen in.

SUSAN RICE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: ... continue tonight and in the coming days. But the United States' view is that the most appropriate response to an action of this gravity would be a Security Council resolution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Did China and Russia agree that this is a violation?

RICE: Members expressed varying views on that topic. Almost everybody expressed real concern and we will now begin a process in which we articulate with more specificity how we characterize the nature of that concern. I don't want to speak for anybody else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Is there a need for technical assessment to see if it --this is clearly a violation for the council to speak in one voice?

RICE: We don't think so. We think that -- what was launched is not the issue. The fact that there was a launch using ballistic missile technology is itself a clear violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718 which prohibited missile-related activity, and called on the DPRK to halt further missile-related activities.

So we have certainly shared with our colleagues in the council our current best assessment of what transpired. Other members did. Perhaps, we will hear from others and garner additional information in the coming days. But frankly, that is not as important as the fact that what occurred, the fact of a launch was, indeed, in itself a clear-cut violation of 1718, given the language of that resolution.

Thank you.

LEMON: All right. U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, is taking questions there, also speaking out very strongly, echoing the president's sentiment. She is saying that this action merits a clear and strong response from the United Security Council.

As a matter of fact, we want to listen to part of her statement just moments ago as she made that.


RICE: Good evening. The council, as you know, met in emergency session today and we heard from council members, very uniform and strong statements of concern about the implications of this action for peace and security internationally as well as in the region. The United States expressed its strong view that the launch yesterday constituted a clear-cut violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718. And it is our view that this action merits a clear and strong response from the United Nations Security Council.


LEMON: Susan Rice offering up how she feels about it and talked a little about what the U.N. Security Council did today in that closed- door session.

Our Richard Roth is standing by there at the U.N., any more information that comes out, we'll bring it to you right here on CNN. We are monitoring it.

Now, we want to go to Texas, where firefighters have a battle on their hands as they struggle to contain several wildfires. The largest, a 12,000-acre blaze around the Panhandle town of Wheeler where strong winds are fanning those flames. Some of the 1,300 residents evacuated yesterday are now back at home. The fire is about 25 percent contained but the winds are making it tough to hold the fire lines.

Some two dozen homes are damaged or destroyed. Two dozen firefighters suffered smoke inhalation and hundreds of homes and businesses are threatened.

For the very latest on the weather situation, including that, we turn to now meteorologist Bonnie Schneider -- Bonnie?


You know, the fire in Wheeler was very particularly difficult to contain because of changing winds throughout the day yesterday. But now, that region just near the Oklahoma border is no longer under a red-flag warning. They're seeing a little bit better weather in terms of calmer winds.

However, as you head further south across Texas, we have red-flag advisories all the down through Austin and San Antonio, due to warm temperatures, high winds and low relative humidity. That humidity, that's down to 15 percent or less. So, very dry air across Texas.

To the north is just the opposite. Plenty of moisture falling in the form of snow across Cedar Rapids and into Des Moines, Ames, Iowa, Omaha. So, some really rough weather with whiteout conditions earlier last night. But the snow keeps falling.

So, we have a weather advisories posted, as you can see, all the way out to Michigan. Four to seven inches of snow in parts of Iowa, two to five inches as we look towards Michigan, north of Detroit. And at times, in Iowa, you may find that rain changing over to snow and fluctuating. Also, heavy rain sweeping through Chicagoland right now, that's making for some tough travel conditions.

Our focus on extreme weather continues to be the southeast and parts of the Midwest for the risk of tornados. Not quite out of the woods yet, we still have a tornado watch for parts of Kentucky into Tennessee as well as areas to the south. That's where we're seeing some strong storm. So, here's that watch across Indiana and lots of strong storms working their way through Indianapolis, Bloomington, down to Owensboro and Kentucky and Louisville, where we're getting frequent lightning strikes.

For those of you traveling for today, lots of delays across Newark, well into Charlotte, Rapid City, well, as you can see, it was closed there, that's the latest report, due to snow. It's been a really rough go of it for the weekend. Your forecast highs are starting to warm up, Don. As we look toward spring break week, we got good- looking weather for Florida, high of 87 in Miami -- Don?

LEMON: All right, very nice. Thank you very much for that, Bonnie Schneider.

You know what? It didn't take long for President Obama to get that 4:00 a.m. phone call. We'll take a closer look at what he said about the North Korean rocket launch, its link to Iran, and how he's handled his first international summit.

Also, you guys are weighing in. Here's what Jellyjams N.K. says -- says, "North Korea or N.K. suffers from little man syndrome. We have to have ironclad patience while not being forced to whip out the big stick." MrAshtonTaylor says, "Anything to reduce nuclear weapons is a good thing. I like the administration being proactive about this. Keep talking with others."

Onejimharris says, "They won't do a thing. Obama is too easy and fearful of other nations and their leaders. He's just all talk, nothing but air." Nardo58 says, "Let North Korea take care of North Korea. I have always thought this was much to do about nothing. North Korea is a non-issue." Whatisnormal says, "I believe President Obama will see North Korea's stunt for what it is, worldwide attention getter. Keep U.N. sanctions on and we will see."

Join us Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Tell us what you're thinking. We'll get your responses on the air. We're back in a moment.


LEMON: We want to tell you what's happening right now.

In Binghamton, New York, an interfaith vigil is being held for the victims of the mass shooting at an immigrant center that happened on yesterday -- yes, on yesterday. Also, a local prosecutor says even if emergency officials had responded faster, they wouldn't have been able to save the 13 people killed. Four other people remain hospitalized and are expected to recover. The gunman took his own life.

In Pittsburgh, details about what prompted the 911 call that led three police officers to their deaths. A police report says it all started -- it all started with a mother and son's arguments over a urinating dog. The 23-year-old son is suspected of gunning down the officers when they responded. His mother tells police he had been stockpiling guns and ammunition.

The U.N. Security Council has just wrapped up an emergency session over North Korea's defiant launch of a long-range rocket. But the member nations could not agree on any statements. The U.S. and others believe North Korea is really testing weapons.

President Barack Obama reacted to news of North Korea's rocket launch during his speech today before a huge crowd in Prague. Mr. Obama said now is the time for the rest of the world to stand united.


OBAMA: Now is the time for a strong international response, and North Korea must know that the path to security and respect will never come through threats and illegal weapons. All nations must come together to build a stronger, global regime. That's why we must stand shoulder to shoulder to pressure the North Koreans to change course.


LEMON: Well, North Korea represents a big challenge to the Obama administration, both at home and abroad.

We want to bring in our senior political analyst, Mr. Bill Schneider.

He got that 4:00 a.m. phone call pretty quickly. Some are saying that this is possibly the first international crisis of this administration?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it does appear to be, and it's a big crisis because of the testing of what the United States is calling a nuclear missile, not a satellite as North Koreans claim. He's handling it with balance. And I think that's the key word.

The administration is labeling this as a provocative action. They're calling for strong international response. But there was no action, no military action by the United States in response to it.

The president spoke in Prague, and there he also sounded a theme of balance. He called for ridding the world ultimately of nuclear weapons. He wasn't sure that would happen in his lifetime. But he also said, while there are nuclear weapons in the world in countries like Iran, United States would still need a missile defense system to protect Europe and the United States from those missiles.

He made an interesting observation in his remarks -- again, striking the theme of balance, when he talked about how the challenge of nuclear weapons has really changed.

Listen to what the president said.


OBAMA: In a strange turn of history, the threat of global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up.


SCHNEIDER: That's an interesting observation because it basically says the Cold War is over and people are worrying about nuclear conflagration across the world. But there are rough nations and nuclear proliferation, and that increases the danger of a nuclear attack.

LEMON: Interesting that he was giving this speech on nuclear proliferation just hours after this act was said to have happened. I'm wondering now about the report card, really, for his trip overseas, especially with the G-20.

SCHNEIDER: Well, the president said he thought he did OK. And I think that's basically what happened.

He did OK. He didn't get everything the United States wanted or everything he wanted, but he did change the tone of America's relationship with our allies, with other industrial nations. On issues like the fiscal stimulus, no, he didn't get big, new economic stimulus spending from our European allies. But on the other hand, he got some more spending to stimulate world trade and the international economy.

He did not -- he was concerned about too much regulation of financial behavior that could intrude into American business. But there is going to be more reporting and more transparency in the financial sector. He's about to head to Turkey for the next two days. There, too, he has to strike a theme of balance.

He maybe tempted to try to portray Turkey as a model Muslim country, a moderate Muslim country. But he's got to be careful about that because the Turks don't regard themselves as a model Muslim country. They think of themselves as a secular democracy. So, the president, too, has to be very careful with the way he describes that relationship.

LEMON: Bill Schneider, appreciate it.

Let's dig a little bit deeper now into the hows and the whys of North Korea's decision to launch that rocket.

Nicholas or Nick Szechenyi is with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. He joins us now.

No surprise North Korea would defy the international community?

NICHOLAS SZECHENYI, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: No, they have a pattern of these types of provocative acts. This time they previewed it by announcing a window in which they would conduct this launch.

Somewhat of a surprise is the distance which this missile traveled. North Koreans tested the same missile in 2006, it basically fizzled. This time it went over Japan and fallen into the Pacific Ocean. We'll have to see the details. It clearly shows, to some degree, North Korea's technological program has advanced.

LEMON: Mr. Szechenyi, we just heard Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., come out and speak. What, if anything, can the U.N. do? It appears North Korea defies anyone and it may not matter to them, even sanctions at this point.

SZECHENYI: Yeah, that's a very good point. I mean, clearly the United States, Japan, South Korea, and some others would like a strong statement out of U.N. Security Council condemning the launch. Other countries, such as China and Russia, are concerned about provoking the North Koreans.

At the very least, as the U.N. process plays out, you might see a repeat of previous U.N. Security council resolutions, China urged North Korea to refrain from this activity. As you said, they don't tend to listen, and, you know, we'll have to see how they behave going forward.

LEMON: I'm not sure if it's coincidence. Tell me if the timing is suspect here. This happens as the president is overseas at the G-20, the NATO summit. And it just happens hours before he's giving a speech about nuclear proliferation. Was North Korea trying to make a point with the timing here?

SZECHENYI: Yeah. I don't think they would claim they timed it to his speech in Prague. There's a certain element of saber rattling here. They wanted to test the response of the Obama administration and what better opportunity for them than while he's on his first major trip to Europe?

LEMON: And I want to talk to you about Iran. As we have heard, the big question in all of this is why is this important? Why should the U.S. or anyone be concerned about this? Well, it's North Korea and really how much power they would have as a nuclear power. But also the people around them, the countries around them, what this offers to them, especially Iran. I want you to listen to the president then we'll talk about it.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We want Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations, politically and economically. We will support Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy with rigorous inspections. That's a path the Islamic Republic can take. Or the government can choose increased isolation, international pressure, and a potential nuclear arms race in the region that will increase insecurity for all. So let me be clear. Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile activity poses a real threat not just to the United States but to Iran's neighbors and our allies.


LEMON: Iran, Yemen, any of those countries, if they buy weapons from North Korea or use them as a source of weapons it means a destabilization of that entire region and lack of safety for everyone in that area, including the united states.

SZECHENYI: Yeah, absolutely. And the reason North Korea likes these tests is because they can use them to try to sell their technology to other countries. You recall a few weeks ago, the president taped an outreach message to the Iranians. It's fair to speculate the North Koreans might have seen that and thought, well, wow, if the president is willing to reach out to Iran, maybe he'll come our way as well. So it will be interesting to see how the parallels between North Korea policy and Iran policy transpire going forward.

LEMON: Nicholas Szechenyi, we really appreciate your expertise. Thank you.

SZECHENYI: My pleasure.

LEMON: In the background of all of this is the status of two American journalists snatched by North Korean border guards last month, Laura Lyng (ph), of Current TV, and her field producer, Yuna Lee (ph), were grabbed 19 days ago, both on a story near the Chinese-North Korean border. North Korea accuses the pair of entering the country illegally. A U.S. envoy to the United Nations says both detainees will hopefully be released soon.

But some fear North Korea will use them as pawns in their political chess match with Washington.

On another note, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. spoke out about this on "This Week" this morning with George Stephanopoulos. We'll try to get that to you later on in this broadcast to tell you what she said about those two journalists.

Meantime, we have new information on what allegedly prompted a Pittsburgh man to go on a deadly rampage. A live report is straight ahead. Six gay men killed in ten days. Is it a coincidence or a sign of something more sinister inside Iraq? An in-depth report on why gay Iraqis are in fear of their lives.


LEMON: In Pittsburgh, new details are emerging about the alleged killer of three police officers. 23-year-old Richard Poplawski was wounded in yesterday's four-hour gun battle with police. He's expected to survive.

Mark Willis, of affiliate WPXI, is at Pittsburgh police headquarters tonight.

Mark, we understand a criminal complaint is sheds light on the circumstances behind the shooting.

MARK WILLIS, CORRESPONDENT, WXPI: Don, good evening. I have the criminal complaint in my hand now. It details 22-year-old's Richard Poplawski's murderous rampage yesterday afternoon.

In it, it describes how this started. It started as an argument between Poplawski and his mother because the dog urinated on the floor. That quickly turned violent. When the first officer arrived at the house thinking this was a domestic dispute. Richard Poplawski stood behind his mother and fired the first deadly shot into the first officer's head. And then laid down in the living room and said he was injured and he was standing down, according to the criminal complaint. That's when he fired the second shot into the second officer who came to the door. In all, three officers were killed, one of which was a 14-year veteran of the force who was actually off duty and heading home and responded to a call he heard on the radio -- Don?

LEMON: Very interesting. This started with a fight over a dog. So, Mark, talk to us about right now at police headquarters. We've been talking about the killer. People are mourning the deaths of the three officers. What are they doing, what are you hearing at police headquarters tonight?

WILLIS: It's a somber mood right now among Pittsburgh police officers. Take a look behind me. You can see a black ribbon draped over the entrance here at Pittsburgh police headquarters. We've also seen people come and they've laid roses in front of the front door here of the headquarters. Also the flags that are to my left are at half staff now.

It's a very sad day here at Pittsburgh police headquarters. Yesterday the police chief spoke and spoke of these officers as family -- Don?

LEMON: Mark Willis of our affiliate WPXI, we appreciate you joining us tonight.

Let's talk about the economy. Since the start of this recession, more than five million jobs have disappeared, including over two million this year alone.'s Poppy Harlow is in New York.

Poppy, last month was even more disappointing.

POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM: Don, the job picture keeps getting worse and worse. Economists hoping for leveling off. That's not what we heard on Friday. The total number of folks, take a look at here, March alone, 663,000 American jobs were lost. That pushed our unemployment rate up to a 25-year high of 8.5 percent.

Don, as you said, more than two million jobs have been lost in the country over the past three months, just since the beginning of 2009.

I also want to talk to you, folks, about what parts are getting hit the hardest. Look there, Hispanics and African-Americans getting hit much harder in terms of job losses than whites. The minority is getting hit much harder. For white Americans, on average, their unemployment rate is lower than the national average but much higher for Hispanics and blacks -- Don.

LEMON: If you want to learn what's going to happen in the future, what's happening now, look at history. How do the job losses stack up against comparable recessions?

HARLOW: It's unbelievable. April 1st, we entered the 17th month of this recession. So far, as far as we know, it's not over. When you look at the job losses in this recession, 5.1 million. When you look back at 1981 to 1982 and the mid-'70s, those recessions were 16 months long. About as long as this one but they had half or fewer of job losses.

So the job picture in this recession is the worse we've seen in decades which is very, very troubling for people, Don. When you lock at the sector hit, don, I am sure you can guess, it those manufacturing, all those jobs in construction jobs.

LEMON: I was going to ask you where the most jobs are being lost. Manufacturing and construction?

HARLOW: It is. It's the same sector month by month that keep getting hit, manufacturing jobs, construction jobs, professional and business services, those are losing more than 100,000 jobs. The only bright spots we heard about are education and health care.

We talked about this, Don. You can't outsource teachers or physicians, right, so those jobs adding a few thousand last month. But the job picture is getting worse and worse.

LEMON: Poppy, thank you.


LEMON: Your kid doesn't have to be on the playground to be tormented by bullies. Like everything else, bullying has gone online. We'll tell you what's being done to protect your child.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: All right. Bullying used to be on the playground or hanging out in the yard. Not anymore. Cyber bullying laws, now you have to have them. They are a new necessity in today's digital age or are they the latest assaults of First-Amendment rights? Those are the pros and cons of the proposed Cyber-bully Prevention Act drafted by California Congresswoman Linda Sanchez. It would make electronic bullying a federal crime.

The bill bears the name of Meagan Myer, a 13-year-old Missouri girl who killed herself in 2006 after harassed online by the parent of a former friend. The adult in the case was convicted, but it was only on a misdemeanor count.

Representative Linda Sanchez joins us live from Washington for some tough questions surrounding her proposed legislation.

Congresswoman, we appreciate you joining us. My first question is, just give us a little snap shot on this proposed law and then I want to talk to you -- talk more about it.

REP. LINDA SANCHEZ, (D), CALIFORNIA: Sure. What this bill tries to do is create a federal definition for what cyber bullying is. I believe that it is very narrowly tailored so it doesn't conflict with people's free-speech rights. But it's meant to have offline consequences for people who use electronic means to threaten, intimidate, or harass, and who do it in a repeated and severe way.

LEMON: We talked about Meagan Myer, that case was in Missouri. How and why are you involved in this? Why are you championing this proposed legislation?

SANCHEZ: Unfortunately, what happened in the Meagan Myer case was they were not able to prosecute in Missouri the woman who engaged in this behavior because there was no state law that existed. Missouri now has a state law that prohibits cyber bullying. What we found is some states do have legislation which prohibits this kind of behavior. Most states don't. So this bill would cover all states. And as I said, it would create a federal definition for cyber bullying and minimal -- at least a minimum of consequences for this kind of criminal behavior.

LEMON: Let's talk a little more about that. Some of the critics are saying this proposed law is unconstitutional. Your argument to that?

SANCHEZ: That is a narrowly tailored, again, because it seeks to punish severe and repeated behavior that is meant to intimidate, coerce or harass, much like we have laws against stalking or child pornography. You have to narrowly tailor it so you're not interfering with people's free-speech rights.

LEMON: Let's talk about your chances of getting it passed. You can get it passed, it could be changed. It could be watered down. Are you OK with that, because it could be better than nothing?

SANCHEZ: Given legislation that has come through the House and been successful in terms of Internet safety programs, I think that once we begin educating members to the seriousness of the problem -- and it's growing in seriousness -- I think we'll have a lot of support for this legislation. I'm working to try to get the support and hearings necessary in order to get it passed through Congress.

LEMON: Representative Linda Sanchez, we appreciate it. Thank you.

SANCHEZ: My pleasure.

LEMON: Meantime, a new holy war appears to be underway in Iraq this time against gays. At least six gay men have been murdered in the past ten days.

I spoke to CNN's Frederik Pleitgen about this trend.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Don, what we're hearing from the Iraqi authorities is that these six allegedly gay men were killed in two separate incidents after they were disowned by their tribes.

Let me tell you a little bit about what's been going on in Baghdad, especially in the Sadr City neighborhood, a Shia slum in Baghdad. It's where Shia clerics have been anti-gay sermons and practically calling on violence against gay people.

This no something that's new here in Iraq or in Baghdad where gay people tell us they had to fear for their lives in the past couple years.


PLEITGEN: Kamal (ph), 18, and Rami, 21, when they walk Baghdad's streets, it's only in brief. In furtive moments they let their feelings for each other show. We changed their name and protecting their identity. Here's why.

(on camera): What's the worst thing you have experienced?

PLEITGEN: "After the fall of Baghdad, I was kidnapped for money, "Kamal (ph) tells me. "When they found out I was gay, they started raping me by force. They did it almost every day."

I met a man who became my lover," Rami (ph) adds. "Later, he told me he had weapons and was in a terror group, the Medhi Army, and he started threatening me."

(voice-over): No one knows how many people have been killed in Iraq for being gay. But aid organizations say even an allegation of homosexuality can be a death sentence.

It's only in Internet cafes that Kamal (ph) and Rami (ph) dare keep in touch with other gay men through chat rooms. But even then, there is the risk of entrapment.

"I would rather commit suicide than let my family find out I am gay," Rami (ph) says.

PLEITGEN (on camera): What are the cover stories that you usually use to stop people from knowing?

"When I'm with a group of friends, I tell them that I've met girls," Kamal (ph) says. "I also have to be careful the way I dress. I can't look gay.

(voice-over): Being gay was hard enough under Saddam Hussein, but at least they could have small, private gatherings like this one.

This photo, we were told, was taken in the '90s. Now with militias roaming the streets, showing any sign of being gay is impossibility.

When we asked Iraqis, we found wide-spread intolerance.

"I consider gays to be criminals and terrorists," this man says.

"We, as an Islamic society, consider it to be against the law," this man adds. "So they should be punished by the law."

PLEITGEN (on camera): Why do you think people here hate gays so much?

"I don't know," Rami (ph) says. "So many people here have gay tendencies but still they hate us. Maybe it's just jealousy."

(voice-over): Even with all of the oppression they face, these two men say they can't change the way they are.


PLEITGEN: So a lot of gay people have told us that they can't be open about their sexual preferences, that this is something that can get them into a lot of trouble in Iraq -- Don?

LEMON: Frederik, we appreciate it.

Here's what you guys are weighing in.

Davidsever says, "I really don't believe North Korea is an issue. I think the majority of issues arrive because we try to control others too much."

Patriot2008 says, "What does Japan say about North Korea? The missile was over their air space. What say they? We will support, but Japan must lead."

Zbowling says, "I think it's funny that North Korea told its people it was successful. Same old Kim. That's how he rolls."

Rossvictorytwit says, "Hopefully, it will stop there and it hasn't been 100 days yet. I see why presidents age so quickly."

And we want you to be part of our show. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or, we'll get your responses on the air.

This is something I don't do every day, sparing with a former heavy weight champion. I'll tell you why I was going toe to toe with Smokin' Joe Frazier -- He actually laughed at me -- straight ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: It's a war by remote control. Tiny planes sent into combat zones. Precision is necessary here, but pilots are optional.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick has CNN's "Edge of Discovery."



LEMON: All right. Get ready to laugh. Lessons from a legend.



LEMON: This way?

FRAZIER: No, left leg.

LEMON: All right.

FRAZIER: Good jab. Good jab.


LEMON: All right. It's a good thing, you know, that I like my day job because this past week I sat down with boxing great Joe Frazier, an African-American first in the world of heavy weight boxing, to talk about his life, his career, and one of his most famous fights with Muhammad Ali back in 1971.


FRAZIER: Let me see to make sure. I say in '71, and in '71, we had two other fights since '71. And '71 was the best of everything. Everyone lost a whole lot of money. Because he kept on, "I'm going to whoop you, Joe Frazier. I'm going to whoop you." I said, "Take it easy man. The fight's going to come. Are you afraid?" I was afraid he wasn't going to show up. Most people bet because it is now. That's what they said. A guy dies at the ring side in '71. So how could we forget that?

LEMON: You're friends now, though?

FRAZIER: Yes, we'll been friends all along, until that bell rung. Until that bell rung, you stand on your own.


LEMON: One of the greatest rivalries of all times, Muhammad Ali and "Smokin" Joe. My conversation with Smokin' Joe Frazier airs tonight at 7:00 and 10:00 p.m. eastern, only here on CNN. By the way, he told me if you guys laughed at me, to say that I'm a lover, not a fighter. That's what he said. OK. Here's how you guys are weighing in.

Suemarks says, "Number one thing to blame for increasing violence involving the man or boy next door, we look for simple answers. There are none."

Meowchi says, "I think what we're really worried about is not so much a successful launch as what the launch means to the black market."

Joemercersr says, "Based on what I see, he can handle what is on his plate," -- talking about the president -- "He is definitely showing a great presence abroad."

NathanEberly says, "The news media also holds responsibility to figuring out what exactly this "satellite" was that North Korea launched."

Twitter, MySpace, or Facebook or, that's how you get your responses on the air.

Meantime, it's time for the next hour of the CNN "NEWSROOM."