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Incognito Apologizes to Martin; U.S. Negotiates with Taliban; Venezuela Arrests Opposition Leader; Another Snowstorm; Babies Born Using IVF; Chicago Student Found Dead

Aired February 18, 2014 - 14:00   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Great to be with all of you on this Tuesday. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

We begin with some news just into us here at CNN. An apology from suspended Miami Dolphins player Richie Incognito, straight to his ex- teammate Jonathan Martin. You remember this story. Let me send - let me read this tweet. He says, "I would like to send Jonathan my apologies as well. Until someone tells me different, you are still my brother. No hard feelings." On Friday, an independent report into the bullying accusations inside the Miami locker room was released. And so in that report it says that there was a, and I'm quoting from that, "a pattern of harassment" by Incognito and two teammates towards Martin.

So let talk about this. Aaron Nagler, let me bring you in, lead NFL analyst from the Bleacher Report. And so from what I've just seen, this is one of several tweets from this guy. Give me the bigger context.

AARON NAGLER, NFL ANALYST, BLEACHER REPORT: Well, you're right, the report came out and Mr. Incognito went on a bit of a tirade and deleted his account and now all of a sudden he's back on Twitter professing, as you see, his friendship for Mr. Martin, telling everyone he's been a big baby. Obviously I think some PR work has been done in Mr. Incognito's corner.

BALDWIN: You think?

NAGLER: I think after seeing what has happened with the bounty scandal last year in the NFL, you can expect the NFL to come down pretty hard. It's going to be a while before Incognito sees a football field again.

BALDWIN: Yes, that was my next question, I mean how long do you think the suspension will stick?

NAGLER: It's going to be - it's going to be significant. You look at Roger Goodell and his ongoing desire to quote/unquote protect the shield. You can expect a hefty suspension. I wouldn't be surprised if it was even a full year. It may not be that long. Maybe it's only eight games. But I think he's in for some pretty severe punishment.

BALDWIN: OK. Poof, out of nowhere, back on Twitter with a mea culpa. Aaron Nagler, Bleacher Report. Thank you, sir, so much.

NAGLER: No problem. BALDWIN: Let me shift gears now and move to the war on terror because there was one phrase we have heard over and over, that being this, "the U.S. does not negotiate with terrorists." But right now, the U.S. appears to be doing just that, reviving the idea of a prisoner exchange. Here's what we're learning. The U.S. telling the Afghan Taliban, if you give us one of yours, we will give you -- if you give us one of ours, I should say, we will give you five of yours. Those five in question are Taliban operatives currently being held at Gitmo in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The American in question here is this young man, Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, held captive since 2009. In January this year, the U.S. was sent this video by the Taliban, a proof of life video, which some predicted was a sign that they were ready to negotiate for his release. This coming after his father made the promise to his son, we will never leave you on the battlefield.


BOB BERGDAHL, FATHER OF BOWE BERGDAHL: A father does not leave his son alone on the battlefield. I do not live here. I live in Afghanistan. My cell phone is set on Afghan time. I will not leave you on the battlefield, Bowe. These people here will not leave you on the battlefield. Your country will not leave you on the battlefield. You are not forgotten.

To the people of Afghanistan (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE). May the peace of God and the blessings that come from God be upon you. May we somehow, after 12 long years, find peace in Afghanistan so that our soldiers and our American personnel can come home.


BALDWIN: Also today, his family released this statement. Let me read it for you in part. "We are cautiously optimistic these discussions will lead to the safe return of our son after more than our and a half years in captivity."

Bob Baer, CNN national security analyst, former CIA operative, joins me now.

And, Bob, let me just also, looking down, because this has just happened in the White House daily briefing, our own Joe Johns was asking specifically Jay Carney about this discussion with the Taliban, if you were. Let me just quote Jay directly. "We are not, to go directly to your question, involved in active negotiations with the Taliban. Clearly, if negotiations do resume at some point, then we will want to talk with the Taliban about the safe return of Sergeant Bergdahl." That just coming from the White House. What do you make of this, Bob?

BOB BAER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think there's almost definitely a back channel, whether it goes through Pakistan or political entities in Afghanistan. We are talking to the Taliban. I know the White House doesn't like to admit it. We've always talked to terrorist groups in one way or another, through intermediaries. Maybe they're not direct in negotiations. You know, it's what - we're leaving Afghanistan. It's what we have to do. BALDWIN: OK, so back channeling here. And, you know, obviously, Jay Carney also saying, we can't discuss all the details, but no doubt we're working every day to try to secure his release.

Let me switch gears because I wanted to talk to you too about this new explosive interview with the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, because for months and months he has been saying that Edward Snowden's NSA leaks were just absolutely devastating to national security. Here he was just last week.


JAMES CLAPPER, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: As a consequence, the nation is less safe and its people less secure. What Snowden has stolen and exposed has gone way, way beyond his professed concerns with so-called domestic surveillance programs. Terrorists and other adversaries of this country are going to school on U.S. intelligence sources, methods and trade craft.


BALDWIN: Way, way beyond. That was James Clapper one day, and now the interview with "The Daily Beast" he says this, quote, "I probably shouldn't say this, but I will. Had we been transparent about this from the outset right after 9/11, we wouldn't have had the problem we had." Does that sound like a total 180 to you, Bob Baer?

BAER: It does. They don't want to admit it, but, you know, frankly, getting into this metadata and running algorithms through it and data analytics is, you know, it's done on a private basis and it doesn't surprise me that the NSA did it, and they should have come out at the beginning saying, hey, guys, you know, we've done this in the past, we sometimes have to run algorithms through this stuff and we will be looking at your metadata.

And it's not really a big thing, but the fact is that they hid it and that Snowden also walked -- Clapper's absolutely right, this guy has done more damage to U.S. intelligence than I've seen anybody do. And he's gone way beyond this brief of, you know, protecting privacy of Americans. So he's right on both accounts. What do you do about it now? It's going to cost us billions.

BALDWIN: What do you do about it now?

BAER: It's going to - we're going to have to redo all our software. I mean it's going to cost billions upon billions of dollars to fix this.

BALDWIN: Bob Baer, thank you.

Now I want you to take a look at what's happening down in socialist Venezuela amid this growing challenge to the iron-fisted government there. Troops enter the building of the leading opposition. One -- look at this with me, one raises a gun. Then there's this brief discussion. And then he kicks -- there he goes, kicks his way in. Reports say the troops tried to haul off several people, but a crowd outside simply would not let them. Supporters of the government are marching today in Caracas, a scene of days of strident opposition, protests here. The government claims Washington is behind all of this and that three American diplomats expelled on Sunday have until tomorrow to leave Venezuela.

Also this, within the last 90 minutes, we have confirmed the arrest of the Harvard-groomed leader of Venezuela's opposition. This is him, Leopoldo Lopez, white shirt here, in police custody. He is charged with murder in connection with violent protests. CNN's Karl Penhaul has just arrived in Caracas.

And, Karl, let's talk about this guy here. Leopoldo Lopez. He's in custody right now. Is there any reason to believe he is in danger?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think, Brooke, right now, because of the very public way he turned himself into the security forces, I think that in many ways guarantees his safety. In some ways, you can also see this as a media ploy by Leopoldo Lopez to get perhaps the international community involved because we've already heard from Secretary of State John Kerry calling for an end of the arrests of anti-government protesters by Venezuela's socialist government. And the fact that Leopoldo Lopez was an Ohio State graduate and also a graduate from Harvard also puts additional pressure on the Venezuelan government to respect his rights.

But also what this is likely to do is to galvanize his supporters. His supporters are certainly going nowhere after his arrest. In fact, right now, several tens of thousands of them are blockading the main six-lane freeway that cuts through the heart of Caracas. Now, so far, there have been no clashes with security forces, but certainly the Venezuelan government is in no mood to tolerate these kind of tactics by opposition forces. In a public address on Sunday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that Caracas must be a zone free of what he calls fascism, because what he accuses the opposition of doing is both drawing on help from the United States and through radical right- wing elements to stir up trouble.

And certainly talking to some of the young protesters, anti-government protesters out on the streets today, they say their demands have grown much larger now. They don't just want the government to tackle the rising crime wave, they don't just want the government to bring the economy under control, but these anti-government protesters say that the socialist government comes this far and no further. They believe that this, in a sense, is their Arab Spring. They want an end to the socialist government, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Just all these pieces of video, the throngs of crowds. As you're reporting, so far, no clashes. Karl Penhaul, let's stay in close contact with you, for us in Caracas, Venezuela.

And, oh, feel like a broken record here. Folks, it's happening again. A snowstorm pounding parts of the U.S. And this is what it looks like. Some in the northeast could get another foot of snow. Listen, I know, it has been a brutal winter. Shows no signs of letting up. Chad Myers is here with more of this wintery mess.

A foot, you say? CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, you know what, Vermont and New Hampshire, you know, they can handle it. They want it. They want to go play in it. It's not for New York City and it's not for Boston, I guess.

BALDWIN: Oh, yes. Yes.

MYERS: If you want to go upstate and you want to get the snowmobiles out, like you need more, but there is more coming.

Look at the numbers, Brooke, though. The third snowiest year ever in Detroit, 77 inches of snow already this season. Now, this is not just this year, this is the snow season, really from October to now. Toledo, 72 inches. Indianapolis, 52. And there's the big number, New York City, 57 inches of snow already. And it's not done.

Now, what is done, though, is some cold air, because I think we're going to start to get warm air in here. And we could even get the chance of severe weather later in the week. The snow way up here for this storm, but it starts to warm up tremendously. We even have some flood watches out now and even a couple of flood warnings likely as it gets warmer because some of that snow could melt so quickly, Brooke.

BALDWIN: OK. Do we know when this will be over?

MYERS: Let me go talk to Punxsutawney Phil and see what he says now.

BALDWIN: What's going on there? Sorry, I have to ask.

MYERS: I do believe we are finally breaking down -- the pattern finally broke down. And we have been in this pattern for a long time. Ridge, ridge, warm out west, dry, trough in the east, very, very cold. Finally that is breaking down for this storm. It's going to come back, don't worry about it, this is going to come back, the cold air comes back, but this is the first breakdown we've seen all season. I finally get to wash my car, maybe, probably get dirty again anyway, but finally. The salt is still stuck on it for like months now.

BALDWIN: Yes, my car is just gross too. Chad Myers, thank you very much.

MYERS: You're welcome.

BALDWIN: And coming up, spanking your child, is it an effective form of discipline? Do you do it? Maybe not. What about giving permission for teachers, for others to spank your child? It's a proposal by one lawmaker. It has a lot of people talking today.

Plus, a remarkable new study about IVF, in vitro fertilization. You don't want to miss this. You're watching CNN. Stay right here with me.


BALDWIN: A debate over discipline is erupting in Kansas. Have you heard about this? The state is looking into a new spanking law. You heard me, spanking. Not to get rid of spanking, because it's perfectly legal there, but to let those who are doing the spanking spank harder, use more force. This is what's coming from KCTV, our affiliate. They're reporting this bill proposed by Democratic State Representative Gail Finney allows schoolteachers, allows babysitters, whoever has the guardian's written permission to hit a child harder. Let me quote House Bill 2699, quote, "corporal punishment means up to 10 forceful applications in succession of a bare, open-handed palm against the clothed buttocks of a child acknowledging that redness or bruising may occur on the tender skin of a child as a result." OK? But many child experts do not want this bill to pass.


AMY TERREROS, PEDIATRIC NURSE: Twenty, 30 years ago, we didn't sit in car seats, and yet we do now. And so maybe they did spank or were spanked as a child, but now we have research that has shown that it is less effective than time-out, it tends to lead to more aggressive behaviors with the child.


BALDWIN: A county prosecutor suggested the bill to the state representative, so, quote, "it is easier to prosecute the abusers who often claim their rights of discipline as a defense," end quote. That coming from Kansas.

Also, we're learning today, it turns out, even more women than ever before are using medical help to have their babies. The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology is reporting there were a record number of babies born through in vitro fertilization, IVF, in 2012, about 2,000 more than the year before. Huh. CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is here.

And I read that this morning about all these IVF babies. I was surprised. But we got into this whole discussion this morning with my team because half, you know, wasn't surprised, the other half said, you know, no big deal. How many more babies are being born?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know what, it's a lot more. So when you look at it, it's 61,740 babies being born a year, according to this new study. So that's -- you know, in 2012. So that's a lot of babies.

And what's really notable is that the number of IVF babies is going up and the number of babies being born in general is going down. So the birthrate in general is on the decline, but IVF babies are going up. And that doesn't even count people who use other kinds of things like -

BALDWIN: Right, this is just IVF.

COHEN: This is just IVF, right.

BALDWIN: Do we think this is because people are waiting later? Do we think this is because people are having a tougher time giving - or conceiving au naturel? What do we think? COHEN: Uh-huh. You know what, no one knows for sure, but the waiting longer for giving birth is probably the best bet. And the numbers are really pretty significant. If you look back to 1980, the average new mom was 22. If you look now, the average mom is 26. And so the average isn't the issue, because 26, most people don't have trouble conceiving. But if you're waiting until your late 30s or your early 40s, that's when it can start getting a little bit dicey.

BALDWIN: You shouldn't - you shouldn't be waiting too late, they say, right?

COHEN: Right. They say not to wait too late, because the difference, even when you're using IVF -


COHEN: Of the success rate in the late 30s versus in your early 40s is a huge difference. So I think sometimes doctors get anxious that someone in their late 30s, married, ready to have a child, and says, oh, I'll wait to use, you know, some kind of assisted technology until later, that can be a problem. You're going to be much more success at, say, 37, then you are going to be at 42.

BALDWIN: Don't put it all off.

COHEN: Right. Go -- just go see someone. Just go sort of see what's going on. It's worth asking a question.

BALDWIN: OK. Right. Elizabeth Cohen, thank you very much.

Coming up here, Jimmy Fallon, anyone, launching into his "Tonight Show" hosting gig last night. Tons of celebrity guests. I mean the cameos just kept coming. Everyone's buzzing about this. Did you see the evolution of hip hop with Mr. Will Smith? We will play a clip, we'll discuss, coming up.

Also ahead, a college student in Chicago found dead in his dorm room. And the thing is, he had been there for more than a week. Why did it take so long to find him? That's coming up next. You're watching CNN.


BALDWIN: It was a foul smell that raised the alarm in the halls of a University of Chicago dorm. What police found was downright gruesome. A student found dead in his dorm room. And police say he had been there for more than a week. Evelyn Holmes with our affiliate WLS in Chicago went to the university and talked with shocked students who knew this young man.


EVELYN HOLMES, WLS REPORTER (voice-over): A moment of silence as a school community mourns the death of fellow student Nicholas Barnes.

SEAN WANG, STUDENT (ph): Nick who, you might not have known him, but we believe God knows him and he cares for him. He cares for his family, his friends.

HOLMES: Police found the decomposing body of the University of Chicago student in his campus dorm room after others noticed a strange odor in the hallway and alerted authorities.

EVA KENEBREW, STUDENT: While I was going to my friend's room yesterday, I - I like smelled this foul smell.

HOLMES: The 20-year-old was found face down on the floor of his room where he lived alone at the school's international house residence hall. Investigators say Barnes had last used his university key card to enter the dorm a little before 11 p.m. on February 7th.

JORDAN GINSBURG, STUDENT: I don't understand how the people that lived next door and like people that are responsible for his well-being could have not seen that he has been gone for a week.

RYO ATNEI, STUDENT: And it's uncomfortable, yes. I mean I can't believe no one noticed.

HOLMES: University officials informed students about the death by e- mail, which reads in part, "university staff are making every effort to understand the circumstances surrounding Nicholas' death. Nicholas was an excellent student, admired by faculty and peers alike." Nicholas Barnes was a third year student from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He majored in dramatic studies and studied aboard in the college's Vienna program in fall quarter of 2012. He was involved in the campus literary publication "Sliced Bread."

MADELINE KOWALSKI, STUDENT: Just mostly confused and shocked that this could have been going on since like February 7th or whatever it was and that we had no idea.

HOLMES: This afternoon, students remain shocked by the news and are still looking for answers.

NOLAN ROBINSON, STUDENT: It helps us to know the person who died and to talk about why this is important and how we can move past this.


BALDWIN: Evelyn Holmes with our Chicago affiliate WLS with that story.

Coming up, members of Northwestern University's football team pushing to unionize. Should they get the benefits of a full-time job? That's coming up.

And, did you watch Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show," off to a huge start. All kinds of special guests. Quite a few surprises, including, did you catch the pop and lock and the robot and the twerking, or maybe one of them twerked. Will Smith and Jimmy Fallon, the montage of hip hop. We'll show you that coming up next here on CNN.


BALDWIN: Just about the bottom of the hour. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

And now a college football team trying to form a union. A handful of football players from Northwestern University are making their case today before the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago. They say, since most of the players on a team get scholarships, they should also get the benefits of a full-time job. We'll keep you posted.