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Rocket Launch Unlike Any Other; Egypt Votes; Interview with Richard Branson; Plane Diverted, Fighter Jets Scrambled; Airplane Incident Does Not Appear to Be Terror-Related; Attempted Heist at the Bellagio

Aired May 22, 2012 - 15:00   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, welcome back. Top of the hour. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Much more in our developing news today. The military was scrambling two fighter jets at one point in time today after this incident on board a U.S. air flight.

Here's what we know now. The flight was heading from Paris to Charlotte when word broke of a suspicious passenger on board. The plane ultimately landed safely in Bangor, Maine.

Let's go back to Washington to Lizzie O'Leary.

And, Lizzie, I just spoke to a passenger who was on board that flight and he told me that the pilot got on the loudspeaker and said that there was -- the landing was because of some sort of headwind and fuel issue. Not the case.

LIZZIE O'LEARY, CNN AVIATION AND REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Not the case, Brooke. And certainly that's what a couple of passengers have told us, not just the one you talked to, but a couple others as well, that the pilot came on, said that they would be making that landing in Maine, did not say it was about a security issue and then came on later and apologized to the passengers.

Now, we should point out that a federal law enforcement source briefed on the matter says there was no national security threat. This does not appear to be terrorism-related. This source said that the woman in question here is being questioned, will likely undergo a psychological evaluation and there's no indication she was on any government watch list.

We have also heard separately from Congressman Peter King, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, that a woman handed a note to the flight attendants. There was some question whether she needed a doctor, saying she had a device inside of her.

Another passenger told me that there was an announcement over the loudspeaker asking for a doctor and then this woman was sort of in the back of the plane with the flight attendants and a doctor for some time until they landed. He also said that they didn't see those two F-15s which were scrambled to accompany the plane down, that pretty much things seemed relatively normal in the cabin until they landed and folks from Customs and Border Protection came on the plane and took this woman off the plane -- Brooke. BALDWIN: OK, so they're asking her questions as to why she would say this in the first place. Could face charges.

Lizzie O'Leary, we thank you very much in Washington.

Now to space. Private industry has officially gone galactic.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two, one, zero. And launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as NASA turns to the private sector to resupply the International Space Station.


BALDWIN: You heard him say it, today's successful launch by Space Exploration Technologies, AKA SpaceX, is the first commercial mission to the International Space Station. And if its Dragon spacecraft accomplishes its goals here, SpaceX, a private company, will be responsible for 12 missions to the ISS and the United States will no longer have to rely on Russia to get cargo up there.

And after what I'm sure was a collective holding of breaths there, SpaceX employees thrilled over this launch early, early this morning, really a milestone to proving that commercial businesses can, in fact, do space exploration.

And my next guest certainly banking on that as well. He's Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has also launched Virgin Galactic space line, which plans to provide six-passenger flights to space.

So, Mr. Branson, I don't know if you stayed up or woke up early to see this successful Falcon 9 launch, but from a private enterprise perspective, how exciting is this for you?

RICHARD BRANSON, CHAIRMAN & CEO, VIRGIN GROUP: It's tremendously exciting and huge kudos to Elon Musk and his whole team.

They have done a fantastic, fantastic job. And it now means that Virgin Galactic as a private company has had SpaceShipOne in space. You have had Elon. Another commercial spaceship company has had a successful, extremely successful launch, and it is the beginning of a whole new era of spaceship travels, so, a very, very exciting time ahead, I think, for all of us.

BALDWIN: You know, I covered the ending era of the space shuttles, the Atlantis launch this morning. And it just got me wondering how NASA felt this morning, right, seeing this SpaceX rocket launch.

So, here is the administrator, Charlie Bolden, speaking about that just this morning. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHARLIE BOLDEN, NASA ADMINISTRATOR: Hopefully the stories you tell today, and tomorrow and the weeks ahead will be stories of victory and triumph because the future will have some difficult times, but today it is a time for the United States, for SpaceX and the NASA team to celebrate.


BALDWIN: So, they're celebrating. He's obviously, hoping we will have boot prints on Mars in our lifetime.

My question to you though thinking ahead is space tourism and talk to me about Virgin Galactic. What is it? How many people do you hope, space tourists, to get into space?

BRANSON: Well, in the very first year of Virgin Galactic's operations, we should take more people into space than Russia and America combined have taken in the history of space travel.

So there may be 500 or 600 people in our first year. So, the great thing about the commercial sector doing this is we can do it for a fraction of the price that government-run companies have done it in the past. And that's, obviously, good for the American taxpayer.

But, also, I think, we have got wonderful innovative people, a lot of people who used to work at NASA, who are dreaming big and I think there's going to be tremendously exciting times for people who actually want to become astronauts, want to go to space, and there's going to be exciting times for, you know, deep space exploration.

BALDWIN: How many people do you have on the list thus far?

BRANSON: We have about 550 people who have actually signed up and paid up to go into space, but that's the $200,000, so an expensive price. But over the years, that price will come down.

And, you know, I think that your -- both our grandchildren, I think, will definitely have the chance of becoming astronauts and going to space and maybe even our children. So, I think it is going to be very exciting.

BALDWIN: Sure. Sure.

BRANSON: When you think that Russia and America have just not -- have not really been interested in you and me going into space, and I think with commercial spaceship companies that we realize that most people would actually like to go into space if they had the opportunity.

BALDWIN: Of these 550 or so people, any names I might recognize?

BRANSON: Oh, lots, there's lots of well-known people amongst them, like Stephen Hawking, who -- who has always wanted to see more space exploration, wants us to colonize other planets, from his extreme to, say, Ashton Kutcher, myself, my children, lots of our friends anyway. Lots and lots of people would just love I think the opportunity to go up there.

BALDWIN: What about, though, Richard, concerns? There has to be at some point a concern that private enterprise, they're stepping in, they're going to create this new kind of space race, people, you know, wanting to get up there at any cost because there are multiple companies, right, multiple private enterprise companies. What about the danger? Does that worry you?

BRANSON: Yes, I mean, I think SpaceX and Virgin Galactic are the two principal companies I think in this area.

And, you know, we're not going to take unnecessary risks. I mean, obviously, if you're pioneering new technology, you have to accept that there are risks attached to that. But, you know -- but I think the risks for us are far less than they were for NASA 60 years ago, where, you know, they had -- like, for instance, the reentry was very risky with the NASA spaceship, with the Virgin Galactic spaceship.

Our pilot could -- our astronaut can be asleep and we come back into the Earth's atmosphere. But it doesn't matter which angle on the spaceship hits the atmosphere. So, I think technology has moved on and it's a great deal safer today than it was 10 years, 20 years, 30 years ago.

BALDWIN: And I suppose if people are concerned about cost, this is private enterprise and for the people who can afford that $200,000 ticket, they are the ones who fork over the money, despite the economy, despite other places perhaps that money could go to.

While I have you, I just have to take a turn. I was reading your Twitter page earlier today and you're tweeting up a storm about grabbing scissors and cutting people's neckties off, sir. Might I ask why?

BRANSON: I always find that sort of the tie and the suits is the most constricting thing a man has to wear. Women, you can dress as you feel comfortable. You look beautiful.

Why should men all dress as clones? So, I just think -- I have never worn a tie. I find them like a noose around my neck and so just as a joke I said, get your scissors and cut them off.

BALDWIN: Lesson learned, gentlemen. If you run into Richard Branson with scissors, walk the other way.

Richard Branson, thank you so much. Hope you're enjoying your time there in the Virgin Islands. Thank you, sir. Appreciate it.

A lot more to cover here. Watch.


BALDWIN: The Bellagio in Las Vegas, really, it's one of the toughest places to rob in the whole country and a bunch of geniuses botched a heist using pepper spray and blackjack. I'm Brooke Baldwin. The news is now.

(voice-over): One mother gets a phone call that she almost lost her son, gripping moments on top of a waterfall as one kid hangs on for dear life.

And here's one way to get out the vote. Take your top off.



BALDWIN: And if it's interesting and happening right now, you are about to see it, "Rapid Fire." Here we go.

First up, a vaccine may one day help people with pancreatic cancer hopefully live longer. Doctors at a conference today in San Diego presented their findings on a study of the vaccine involving 70 patients and they say the vaccine is designed to trigger the patients' own immune system to then kill those cancer cells. It is still very, very early here in the testing process, but doctors believe the vaccine improves the pancreatic cancer survival rate when used with regular treatment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): We are the people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALES AND FEMALES (singing): We are the people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): The mighty, mighty people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALES AND FEMALES (singing): The mighty, mighty people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Fighting for children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALES AND FEMALES (singing): Fighting for children.


BALDWIN: Hundreds of moms and their strollers along with nurses and cancer survivors are demonstrating in Washington. They say that toxic chemicals are found in items they use every day, bedding, pajamas, furniture. They are supporting the Safe Chemicals Act, which would update laws governing the use of toxic chemicals in products.

And no this video here, this is just frightening. Let's pull this up full and you can see this little child on this little motorbike zigzagging around buses and cars, busy, busy city. Folks, this is China. This is yesterday. And I'm watching this and I'm thinking, do these bus drivers and drivers not know? Do they not see him? Why don't they stop?

Fortunately, a police officer saw the child, helped him to the other side of the street. The boy's grandfather was looking for him and finally found him safe and sound. For the first time in 5,000 years, regular Egyptians freely choosing a leader, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is there. We are about to take you live to Egypt.


BALDWIN: We are now less than 24 hours out of some historic elections in Egypt. Voters will be going to the polls in the country's first ever competitive presidential election.

A widespread revolution removed their former leader, Hosni Mubarak, from power last year.

And CNN International's Hala Gorani is there for us live in Cairo.

And, Hala, set the scene for me. How excited are Egyptians? What are they expecting for tomorrow?

HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very excited, very engaged politically for the first time, really, in this country's history.

And when you talk about Egypt, Brooke, you're not talking about a 300- or 400-year history, as you know. You're talking about a 5,000- year history. This is a country that just two years ago would have never dreamt of a situation in which candidates are running for the presidency in what is expected it be a free and fair election.

This is something completely new for Egypt. People are in cafes, out on the street debating politics openly, loudly, giving people their opinion without fear of retribution. All that said, there are major concerns going forward, Brooke, because some are saying, look, I don't really have the choice that I would like in this slate of presidential candidate running for office in Egypt.

The front-runners are either two Islamists or two former regime members, including Amr Moussa, who is probably best known in the United States as the former secretary-general of the Arab League and a former foreign minister under Hosni Mubarak.

But all in all, if you take the situation here and you compare it, for instance, to a country like Syria, 15 months after the revolution or after the start of the revolution, I should say, the situation here is a lot more promising. Then it becomes a question of how the parliament, for instance, decides what presidential powers to give the new head of state.


GORANI: But, overall, Egyptians here are engaged, Brooke.

BALDWIN: What about President Carter? I understand Jimmy Carter is there. You spoke with him. What did he say?

GORANI: Yes. Well, of course, the Carter Center has monitored many elections, over 90. And Jimmy Carter is very concerned because he says more restrictions have been placed on his monitoring mission than at any other election in the past.

Listen to what he told me.


JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Domestic observers who are temporary and the Carter Center, with major one here, are limited to staying in one place for 30 minutes.

GORANI: But why do you think they...


CARTER: I don't know. They say that the places are small, they're crowded, and to have multiple, you know, election observers stand there for long periods of time is not necessary and would create excessive numbers in the polling places.

I don't know agree with that analysis. I'm trying to tell you what they explained to us. We don't like it. But we will do the best we can. And I hope and pray that we will have a chance to make a final report that is positive.

GORANI: But you're saying it's unprecedented?

CARTER: Yes. We have never accepted this restraint before. And it's never been imposed on us. Usually, we get our credentials several weeks in advance.


GORANI: Well, I asked Jimmy Carter then, if you have so many restrictions placed on you and your team, why did you decide to come to Egypt anyway. And he said it was a very hard decision to make, but because of the historic nature of the event here in Egypt, he made the trip anyway -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Well, you mentioned the concerns.

Hala Gorani, thank you. We will talk to you tomorrow on Election Day. Appreciate it.

One political candidate wasn't quite getting enough attention, so, she took of her shirt, and so did some other ladies.

And home sales are soaring, giving the economy a boost, but why? We're going to give you the numbers you need to know.


BALDWIN: A Mexican politician is very much so shedding some clothing, she says, for the good of her country. And home sales on the rise, up 10 percent over this time last year.

Time to play "Reporter Roulette."

We begin with senior Latin American affairs editor Rafael Romo here in Atlanta.

And I saw this, this morning and I thought, what in the world? I'm sure we're about to show you. It's older your shoulder here, this candidate here in Mexico topless, as well as a number of other ladies behind her. And the question is obvious and that is why?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Well, it is a very crowded field in Mexico this year, presidential elections, congressional elections. And this lady, Natalia Juarez, is a newcomer. She's only been in politics for one year and she realized that her campaign was off to a very slow start.

BALDWIN: So, she needed to take her top off.


ROMO: ... decides she would do this. Exactly.

Now, as you can imagine, she is the best known political figure in Mexico because she is doing this. And we wanted to know why she would do something like that. And she says her purpose is to awaken people. Let's hear what she had to say about this.


NATALIA JUAREZ, MEXICAN CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE (through translator): Society is lethargic. We don't seem to be aware of our role. We need to get energized. We need to tell people, hey, wake up, because, if you don't, sharks are going to eat you up. Wake up, you citizen and politician.


ROMO: Now, she says if you were shocked by this, just wait a few weeks, because what is coming next, the next wave is completely over this. What's you have seen is nothing compared to what is coming next.

BALDWIN: The next wave as in another billboard?

ROMO: Exactly. This is billboard number one.


ROMO: There's more publicity coming up and she says this is nothing compared to what's coming up next.

BALDWIN: OK. I guess we will stay tuned.


BALDWIN: Rafael Romo, thank you.

New home sales numbers, they are out and they are surging.

Next on "Reporter Roulette," Alison Kosik is in New York. And I hope this is a sign the economy is on the mend.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a sign. We just hope that it sticks. Right?

This is a good sign because the housing sector, Brooke, actually makes up a huge part of the economy. And the fact is you're not going to see a full, sustainable recovery until the housing market gets its acts together. So, yes, there are signs the tide is turning for housing.

We got a report today on existing home sales showing that they hit a two-year high in April and these sale numbers are really important because they make up the big bulk of the housing market. And we're also learning that prices overall are rising, too. They're up 10 percent from April of last year. What it shows, Brooke, is that the housing recovery is happening and that housing is finally finding its footing.

BALDWIN: What are the cities, Alison, where this is most successful, where the housing markets are bouncing back?

KOSIK: OK, this are where you saw some of these markets really hit bottom. So, in Madera, California, prices are expected to rise 22 percent by the end of the year. Medford, Oregon, a 20 percent increase in prices is expected.

I know you want to go to see the full list. So you can go to CNN Money to see that.

Now, a lot of this happening, it's because, as I said, those places really got hammered during the recession. You look at places in Madera, they fell more than 50 percent from their peak. So if somebody had a home that sold for $375,000 five years, it recently sold for less than half that.

So what really happened there was Madera found a bottom, and, in fact, for Madera and the whole housing sector itself, you can't recover until you find that bottom. The hope is, is that we're at that or near that at this point -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Alison Kosik, thank you.

And now a California man under arrest today after police use forensic evidence to link him to the disappearance of 15-year-old Sierra LaMar. The teen has been missing ever since March 16, believed to have left home, walked to her school bus stop, but she never got there, likely the victim of an abduction. Police now are giving, still, few details about this arrest.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The discovery of Sierra's cell phone, her clothing, what she wore that day and her personal belongings have contributed to our belief that Sierra is the victim of murder.


BALDWIN: Joining me now live from San Jose, CNN affiliate KTVU reporter Tara Moriarty.

And, Tara, tell me about this arrest. What do we know about the suspect?

TARA MORIARTY, KTVU REPORTER: Well, we know his suspect is Antolin Garcia-Torres. He is 21 years old. He lived in Morgan Hill, just several miles from Sierra LaMar's home.

He apparently lives with his mother, his wife, who is pregnant right now, and his child. We know he has worked at some Safeways in the area and back in March of 2009, Morgan Hill police actually linked him to some physical assaults on three women within seven days in those parking lots of the Safeways.

BALDWIN: Do we know, Tara, if he had any relationship with Sierra? Did they know each other or total strangers?

MORIARTY: Well, the sheriff says that she believes that this is a complete stranger abduction.

Last night, they were able to talk to this man for the first time. They sat down with him for about two hours. They tried to glean some information from him. Does he know Sierra LaMar. They can't find any connection and, you know, he simply isn't talking.

But they did find DNA evidence and this is the key here. March 28th, they did find his DNA, they say, on her clothing, which was located in a bag within two miles of her home right about two days after she disappeared. They say that is his DNA, although tests proved it was inconclusive. They then sent that back to the lab. We're waiting for those results to come back.

They also say that her DNA was found inside his red Jetta which was seized on April 7th.

BROOKE BALDWIN, ANCHOR, "NEWSROOM": How awful for her parents. Tara Moriarty, thank you. San Jose and our affiliate KTVU and that is our "Reporter Roulette."

Just a couple of moments ago, the back-and-forth over Mitt Romney's business experience took a new turn and this time it is Vice President Joe Biden jumping on the attack, but did he stay on script this time?


BALDWIN: Having enough money to retire. We all need it, so really what's the best way for us to invest. Poppy Harlow is here with today's "Help Desk."

Hey, Poppy.


Here at the help desk today we're talking about retirement planning because it happens to people at any age. With me are some great experts. Ryan Mack is president of Optimum Capital Management. Stacy Francis is a financial adviser and president of Francis Financial.

We got an e-mail from Dennis in Virginia. Dennis is 64 years old and he'll retire in two years. He says, "My wife and I have around $1.3 million in savings. How should we divide the money in terms of stocks, bonds, et cetera?"

So, obviously, a little more risk averse at that age.

STACY FRANCIS, FINANCIAL ADVISER: A little more risk averse and often start with a 60/40 allocation, 60 percent stocks, 40 percent bonds, and then we deviate because that's not right for everyone.

It is going it be based on your goals and based on your risk tolerance and based on when you need the money. They may not need to touch the money immediately.

If they need the money immediately, then we want to take ideally a year's worth of their living expenses they're going to need to pull from their portfolio and keep that in a high-interest savings account and take the rest for the longer-term savings.

And then diversify.

HARLOW: What do you think the best time, Ryan, is to start planning. Really, when you get your first job.

RYAN MACK, PRESIDENT, OPTIMUM CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: Right out of college. Everybody goes through different stages of life. You have your accumulation phase, you have your conservation phase, and you have a distribution phase.

The accumulation phase, you're just starting your job. You need to learn as much as possible and read as much as possible and get that 401(l) and read the benefits package. You will be amazed to know how few people the retirement funds inside the 401(k). They might know about individual stocks, but they haven't really read through the 401 (k).

So learn as much, read as much and make sure you're grilling and having a good analysis of your financial adviser, if you choose to have one.

HARLOW: Absolutely. Or there's so much free out there online, you can do as well.

OK, thanks, guys. Appreciate it.

Folks, if you've got a question, send us an e-mail at any time to

Back to you.

BALDWIN: Poppy, thank you.

And now this between Cory Booker and Joe Biden. You might think Team Obama has a problem staying on-message, but today Vice President Biden kept the full-court press going on Romney's resume, questioning everything about his time at Bain Capital.

Jim Acosta was there for Biden's speech in New Hampshire or maybe you're in Washington, either way.


BALDWIN: OK, there you go. I think that's the White House over your shoulder. Let's talk Joe Biden.

ACOSTA: And it's not even the real one. This is just a picture behind me.

BALDWIN: Well, now, we're giving away all our secrets, Jim Acosta. Come on now.

ACOSTA: Truth in advertising, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Joe Biden, he hit the Bain themes hard today.

ACOSTA: He did and this was not unexpected. I mean, keep in mind that yesterday the president was in Chicago and this whole issue of Biden, excuse me, not Biden, but Bain and Cory Booker was brought up in the second question that was asked of the president at that NATO press conference.

And the president said, wait a minute, this is not a distraction in this campaign. This is what this campaign is going to be about.

So earlier this afternoon, Joe Biden -- it took a little time for the vice president to get to this part of his speech -- but he went right after Mitt Romney's experience at Bain capital and here's what he had to say.


VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Your job as president is to promote the common good. That doesn't mean the private equity guys are bad guys. They're not.

But that no more qualifies you to be president than being a plumber. It doesn't and, by the way, there are an awful lot of smart plumbers.


ACOSTA: Now, you know, you heard the line there about the plumbers, Brooke. I did ask the President Obama re-election campaign whether or not that line about the plumbers was actually in Vice President Biden's speech. It sounded like one of those things that you would not want the vice president to say when he says he's defending middle-class workers to say something about plumbers perhaps not being qualified to be president of the United States.

BALDWIN: What did they tell you?

ACOSTA: They said that they're checking. They have not gotten back it me on that, but you saw that the vice president did have some teleprompters there. So, there was an attempt it keep him on script.

I will tell you, though, I have gotten a response from the Romney campaign to Vice President Biden's speech and they basically say Vice President Biden is repeating the same misleading attack on free enterprise that has been repudiated by the president's own supporters going back to the whole Cory Booker matter.

And you heard in that statement I just read, this phrase, "attack on free enterprise." That is the same line that Mitt Romney used last night. It is also the same line that is in the Romney campaign's web video on this on this Bain matter.

So, the vice president, the Democrats have their talking points on Bain and now the Romney campaign is starting to amass some ammunition on this issue, as well, Brooke.

BALDWIN: So it continues, back-and-forth, back-and-forth. Jim Acosta in Washington. Jim, thank you.

How many times have you heard you shouldn't text and drive? Some states have laws against it, but you probably still do it anyway.

So, can you face charges, though, if there is an accident and you're not even in the car. We're on the case.


BALDWIN: Texting and driving, it's a big no-no. Wait until you hear this big lawsuit.

Sunny Hostin is on the case. And, Sunny, the reason that we're talking about this is this suit isn't just going to the student who crashed while driving. It goes after the person who sent the text.

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Isn't that something? Pretty remarkable and the suit is pending in New Jersey.

I think what's so remarkable about it, Brooke, is that after doing research on this, I think this lawsuit may pass the "Sunny Hostin smell test." Because the bottom line is we're all familiar with that aiding and abetting theory, right? If you aid someone and abet someone in committing a crime, you, too, could be held responsible for the crime.

Well, that is the argument here. The argument is, if you send a text and you know the person is driving, for example, if someone texts you back and says, hey, I can't text you, I'm driving, but you continue the conversation, you continue texting, well, the law may be able to provide some responsibility for that.

BALDWIN: So, is that the case here because that was my but, my but was, you know, how would you know if that person was driving or not? Was that the case in this instance?

HOSTIN: It's too soon to tell. One of the attorneys, the attorney that is bringing this case says, yes, absolutely, there is some indication that the woman who was texting knew that the person was driving home from work.

If that's the case then I think it's quite possible that the judge will let this case go forward.

But, what makes me a bit concerned as an attorney, is, you know, where do you draw the line? I am certainly very responsible, I think, when I drive, but how about walking and texting, which you know, Brooke, I'm an offender. I text sometimes while I'm sitting here on set and ...

BALDWIN: Well, watch that when you're in New Jersey because there's a town that will slap you with 85 bucks worth of ticket if you do that.

HOSTIN: That's right, but if I'm walking and I fall because I'm responding to your text, does that mean then I can sue you?

So that's really, I think, one of the questions. Where do you draw the line?

This lawsuit can certainly open up quite a can of worms because the bottom line is, half a million U.S. drivers injured in distracted driving-related accidents every single year, Brooke, every single year. A lot of us out there are doing it.

BALDWIN: Right. It is, where do you draw the line? We'll have to wait and see exactly how the judge rules and then the fallout from said ruling.

Sunny Hostin, thank you. No texting and walking. Me either.

An afternoon hike turns into an eight-hour rescue. A young kid stuck under this waterfall. He'll join me next along with one of these heroic rescuers to talk about this just horrifying ordeal.


BALDWIN: Hanging above almost certain death, a rushing waterfall, folks, 270 feet over the ground was 13-year-old William Hickman. He's clinging to the rocks as these rescuers are stretching this ladder over the falls to reach him.

You see, William, was on a hike, got a little curious and nearly paid for it with his life. It took hours and hours for these rescuers with Snohomish County to reach him.

I want to bring in William. He's William Hickman. Joins me now, thank goodness, looking good, safe and sound.

Also want to mention I have John Morton on the phone. He is one of the rescuers with Snohomish County who pulled William to safety.

William, my first question to you is, so, you're out hiking with your dad and your brother and this is the Wallace River, right, so, what happened? You slipped?

WILLIAM HICKMAN, RESCUED FROM WATERFALL LEDGE: Yes. I went in to go wading and slipped in the water.

BALDWIN: So, not only, though, William, do you slip in the water, you then end up going over a 10-foot waterfall and you got caught on a ledge. Tell me what that felt like and what you saw looking down.

HICKMAN: When I landed on the ledge, I was relieved to be alive and I knew I was safe there for the time being and it was a great feeling.

BALDWIN: It was a great feeling to be saved. I'm sure it was.

John, let me bring you in. I understand this wasn't your crew, per se. This was one of the initial choppers. They came in and they had these safety ropes here.

I understand one of the ropes snapped. It actually broke on some of the rocks, trying to rescue William. Can you give me a sense of panic here on the scene or were your guys and girls cool and calm?

JOHN MORTON, VOLUNTEER RESCUER: Our first two rescuers were inserted by the helicopter and then they moved to where William was, just above him, and used kind of a standard two-rope system to see if they can get down and access to where he was and secure him so that he wouldn't go any further downstream.

And that's when one of the primary lines broke on one of the rescuers and his backup brought him to shore, which is just the way that is supposed to work.

BALDWIN: Thank goodness for the backup lines.

William, when you're hanging on this ledge, what was your dad doing during that time? Was he talking to you?

HICKMAN: Yes. He was talking to me, trying to keep me calm, making -- just trying to make me concentrate on him and not on the situation so I wouldn't freak out.

BALDWIN: Not freak out because you're sitting above a 270-foot waterfall. How dangerous -- tell me how dangerous it was to lay out this ladder and cross across it and rescue William?

MORTON: We didn't actually cross across the ladder. We were just using that ladder as sort of one step.

BALDWIN: Got it.

MORTON: But it's an extremely dangerous environment. He was very fortunate to have ended up on the small ledge rather than down the stream and, of course, it happened in the dark and had no particular access.

But everything was complicated, but a very technical rescue and it took more than 50 people to pull it off and it was done in fine style and we're happy with the outcome. Couldn't have been better.

BALDWIN: Final question to you, John. You all had to camp with William before the chopper could come in in the morning?

MORTON: That's correct. We got him up to the landing zone at 1:30 in the morning and they had dropped off some supplies.

BALDWIN: William, I was reading something that some of the rescuers said you were a young guy because you were asking lots of questions. What questions were you asking them?

HICKMAN: I was asking whether or not they had a plan and one of the guys said, yes, and I asked him if he was sure it was going to work and before that I was asking for supplies and things like that so I could stay warm.

BALDWIN: You wanted to make sure they could pull this off and get you to your dad and back home and you did.

Final question to you, William, are you going back to the Wallace River? Are you going back to hike?

HICKMAN: I do want to go back and show my family where I was sitting.

BALDWIN: Just maybe not from that spot. Maybe from a safe place.


BALDWIN: William, thank you so much. Best of luck to you and, John Morton, thank you so much. Congratulations on an amazing rescue. Appreciate it.

And now to Wolf Blitzer. We go here with a look at what's coming up on "The Situation Room." Wolf Blitzer, hello.


BALDWIN: I feel strong. You?

BLITZER: I feel very strong. I'm getting ready for an excellent show. Do you want to know who's coming up at the top of the show?

BALDWIN: Bring it on, Blitzer. Bring it on.

BLITZER: Ed Gillespie, one of the senior advisers to Mitt Romney's campaign, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, he'll join us. We've got lots of questions for him.

Also going in-depth, President Raul Castro of Cuba's got a daughter who has now been granted a visa to visit the United States. She's headed to a conference this week in San Francisco. What's going on? We have a Cuba expert to talk about the latest twist in U.S.- Cuban relations.

Also Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. If you saw my interview yesterday with Hamid Karzai, Karzai hates Congressman Rohrabacher and won't allow him to step foot in Cuba anytime soon because ...

BALDWIN: In Afghanistan.

BLITZER: Allow him in Afghanistan. You're right. I have Cuba on my mind., Afghanistan on my mind, but he's not letting him come into Afghanistan and Rohrabacher will respond to the specific charges leveled by Hamid Karzai yesterday.

So we've got a lot of stuff coming up right here at the top of the hour.

BALDWIN: I look forward to that one. We were talking about that in my morning meeting.

Wolf Blitzer, thank you. We'll see you at the top of the hour.

It is one of the toughest places to rob in all of America, but two guys tried ripping off the Bellagio and, yeah, didn't so much work. Blackjack, pepper spray and a wig, you've got to see this.


BALDWIN: In case you are robbing a casino, you could plan every detail like they did with the "Ocean's Eleven" crew or you could do it this way. Police say the guy on the floor here tried to rip off $115,000 in chips from, of all place, the Bellagio.

Here's how, according to investigators. Michael Belton walked in, wearing a wig and sunglasses and then his accomplice sprayed a blackjack dealer in the face with some kind of chemical. Belton goes in for the chips, grabbed them and he got this far, as far as the floor.

But the accomplice actually got away and I asked a gaming expert how he slipped through the casino's fingers. Here's what he told me.

DAVID SCHWARTZ, DIRECTOR, UNLV CENTER FOR GAMING RESEARCH: Well, I think most who get caught -- the number one priority is going to be the safety of the guests and the safety of the employees.

After that, it's recovering property. Once that guy had done his thing, he was no longer an immediate threat. They were focused on getting the chips back which is why the attention was put there.

BALDWIN: With the long odds, why in the world do you think people even try to walk into places like the Bellagio or try to get away with money or chips? Why are they thinking they'll pull it off?

SCHWARTZ: I think you see people doing it in the movies, "Ocean's Eleven," and they think it looks pretty glamorous, it looks pretty easy and they have so much money lying around it's easy to grab it, but in fact, it's very difficult.

And I think it's also the fact that they say, well, we know how the last guy tried it messed up and I'll try to do something different and I think I can beat the house.

BALDWIN: I'm no gambler, but I do know this. If you're going to walk in and try to grab a bunch of chips and walk away, don't these chips have serial numbers or something on them to identify them because you have to go back in to cash them in they're going to bust you.

SCHWARTZ: It's difficult to talk about the specific procedures that they have at a specific casino, but many of them do have serial numbers or RFID-chips embedded in them.

Also, there are only a select number of people who will be playing $5,000 chips, so you can imagine, if a number of them start coming back in, security will be looking right at that.

BALDWIN: The last time I remember we talked, David, it was two years ago and that guy ran off with $1.5 million in chips. Again, it was the Bellagio. I remember the video. He had the motorcycle helmet. He was heading out to his motorcycle. They did catch him.

Here he was. They caught him something like two months later, so has anyone, movies aside, actually pulled something like this off and not gotten caught?

SCHWARTZ: There's been a couple of cases where people have just held up change booths or just grabbed money and ran out and they might have gotten away with it a couple of times.

Eventually, they get caught, but in general, if you do this, there's so much surveillance and there's so many people around you'll probably get caught.

BALDWIN: Yeah. Don't do it.

Now to this. Prince Charles and Camilla, the duchess of Cornwall, are in Canada. They're visiting a street mission that provides community services and attending a medal ceremony in Ontario.

This whole four-day tour of Canada begins Sunday, all as part of Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee celebration and it turns out their visit here has been pretty positive. A lot of people turning out to see them.

Certainly nothing compared to the media craze surrounding newlyweds, Prince William and Kate Middleton, last summer, but that could change because we are all headed to London -- some of us -- to see the masses of crowds counting down to Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee. That is celebrating 60 years since her coronation in 1953.

Join Piers Morgan and me live from London for this royal extravaganza beginning June 3rd.

And that'll do it for me. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Now to Wolf Blitzer in Washington. Wolf to you.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, thanks very much.