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Judge Set to Rule on Arizona Immigration Law; BP's New Oil Leak Estimate

Aired July 27, 2010 - 18:00   ET




Happening now; We are awaiting a federal judge's ruling on Arizona's controversial new immigration law. If an administration challenge fails, the law will take effect this week. Now, many immigrants are already preparing to leave.

A Taliban price list for safe passage across Afghanistan and reports of Osama bin Laden sightings. There are new details that are emerging from that massive leak of Afghan war documents, but who is behind the leak?

And new records from BP dramatically raise the company's estimate of how much oil flowed from that blown-out well. Can BP's new boss, an American, manage to sort things out?

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off. I'm Suzanne Malveaux and you are in THE SITUATION ROOM.

At any time now, a federal judge is going the rule on the Obama administration's challenge to Arizona's tough new immigration law. Now, the law is scheduled to take effect on Thursday. A controversial provision requires that local police who have made a lawful stop to determine a person's immigration status if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the country illegally.

Our CNN national security contributor, Fran Townsend, is standing by.

But I want to go first to CNN national political correspondent Jessica Yellin at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix.

And, Jessica, we know and we have seen the reports -- you have been reporting it now -- that there are already people, immigrants who are getting prepared to leave the state of Arizona.


We have interviewed them and seen many undocumented workers who are preparing to leave. The most striking sight this morning, early today, at the Mexican Consulate, we saw this, a line of hundreds of people waiting there. While the Mexican Embassy won't tell us, won't give us information, we are told by an advocate for many of these folks what they are there doing is getting documents, paperwork to take their U.S.-born children back to Mexico, because the children don't have any papers to live in Mexico. That is one story.

Another story we are seeing, look at this video of shuttered houses and communities where many people have left their homes behind. This is where many illegal immigrants have lived. And we are told that even in the last few weeks, the uptick in people fleeing has really dramatically increased and impacted businesses in the community which are also shutting down.

Suzanne, it is not only having an effect here in Arizona, but there is a trickle-over effect into the rest of the country. I will tell you why. I interviewed one illegal immigrant. We will call her Jennifer. She is with her three children. Her husband was deported to Mexico two years ago and killed there when he went back. So, she says she does not want to leave, but she is leaving Arizona. You might be surprised where she is going. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Because of the law, because they are afraid of what can happen.

YELLIN: Where are they going?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): To Los Angeles.

YELLIN: Oh, so you are not leaving the country?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "No. I want to move to another state," she says.


YELLIN: So, Suzanne, this might be solving an illegal immigration problem for this state, but not for this country -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Yes, it is interesting to see the reaction there. It just might be moving or shuffling people around.

Jessica, I want you to take a look at this new CNN poll here. It shows that 61 percent of white people support the Arizona law, but 94 percent of whites also say they would allow immigrants to stay in the United States if they have a job and are productive citizens. What does this tell you? What do you make of that?

YELLIN: That tracks exactly with what I am hearing on the ground here, Suzanne.

Overwhelmingly when we interview people who support the Arizona immigration law, they say they are 100 percent behind and it is long overdue. In the next sentence they say, but we think that people who are here illegally and yet working and not breaking the law should be allowed to stay. And they say they need the federal government to pass comprehensive immigration reform to create a path to citizenship or some sort of work visa.

So even these people that you see often on TV saying, yes, yes, I want this law, if you talk to them a little longer, what they are likely to also tell you is they would like to see a way for people to be able to stay and they are most angry with the federal government for not taking action and changing our system, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Fascinating. Fascinating reporting. Thank you very much, Jessica.

Well, according to the Department of Homeland Security, there are an estimated 10.8 million illegal immigrants that are living in the United States -- 62 percent are from Mexico -- 5 percent come from El Salvador, 4 percent from Guatemala, and 3 percent from Honduras. The Philippines, India, South and North Korea and Ecuador each provide 2 percent of the total.

Now, where do they live now? California has more than 2.5 million illegal immigrants. That's nearly a quarter of the total -- 16 percent live in Texas and 7 percent live in Florida. New York and Illinois each have 5 percent of the total.

Joining me now is CNN national security contributor Fran Townsend. She has been homeland security adviser to President Bush and worked in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration. She is also a member of CIA's External Advisory Board.

And, Fran, we are now waiting to hear from a judge in terms of whether or not they will be allowed to proceed forward in this tough new immigration law -- illegal immigration law in Arizona.

Do you think the Obama administration was right in filing this suit, in trying to block this law from moving forward?

FRANCES TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: You know, Suzanne, their approach to this Arizona law has been a little confounding. They were critical at first. Arizona went in and changed the law and required it to be the police or law enforcement to make a legally justified stop and check the immigration status.

Frankly, what I don't understand is why you would not have used this period of time to ensure that the implementation of the law was legal. What their legal challenge is, in essence, Suzanne, is that the law is unconstitutional as it is written.

Well, courts really don't like to have to grapple with that. They prefer to look at cases, how is that law applied? And if this was a sincere and not ideological battle, you would have expected the administration, rather than cause the state of confusion caused by this lawsuit, as you say, where we await the ruling, you would have expected them to be working on the implementation piece of it.

MALVEAUX: So, you don't agree that that was a good idea?

TOWNSEND: I don't agree. And, frankly, I think Jessica Yellin's interview with Jennifer makes the perfect case. It's the perfect example of why you need a comprehensive immigration reform approach, you need a comprehensive national policy, not going state by state, because you just push the problem to a different state.

And, so, look, I hope what this leads to is a comprehensive immigration reform package.

MALVEAUX: Fran, in covering President Bush, you and I have been through the trenches, if you will, on this, because he tried and tried and tried to get comprehensive immigration reform passed, and it just did not happen. Congress did not have the stomach for it.

What can the Obama administration learn from that experience?

TOWNSEND: Well, interestingly enough, if they were sort of learning the lesson we learned the hard way, what you have to -- we under -- we came to appreciate that we had to do enforcement first. We doubled the size of the Border Patrol. We worked on immigration enforcement and border control.

But this administration talks about the comprehensive approach and yet criticizes the enforcement-first approach of a state like Arizona . Without tackling head on the enforcement-first path, they are never going to get themselves to a comprehensive immigration solution.

And, frankly, this president is really well positioned politically to actually deliver comprehensive immigration reform, where President Bush was really undone by his own party.

MALVEAUX: All right. Fran Townsend, thank you so much.

TOWNSEND: Thanks, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: BP named a new boss today. American Bob Dudley will replace controversial CEO Tony Hayward. One of the problems that he's going to have to help sort out, just how much oil actually flowed into the Gulf of Mexico?

Well, that answer could help determine BP's own future.

Our Lisa Sylvester, she has been digging into that.

And, Lisa, what are we learning today?


Well, Congressman Edward Markey says he has a BP document that estimates that the Gulf oil spill is at 53,000 barrels a day. How much oil has spilled into the Gulf is very significant, because it will ultimately be used to figure out how much BP will be fined by the government.


SYLVESTER (voice-over): After the April 20, explosion, BP initially pegged the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico at 1,000 barrels a day.

TONY HAYWARD, CEO, BP GROUP: I think the environmental of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest.

SYLVESTER: That number was revised upward to 500,000 barrels a day.

ROBERT DUDLEY, PRESIDENT AND CEO, BP GULF COAST RESTORATION ORGANIZATION: Five thousand is the estimate. And, again, it's not a BP estimate. It's a Unified Command Center estimate with the Coast Guard.

SYLVESTER: The government then brought in an independent team of scientists. The flow rate technical group on May 27 upped the daily flow rate between 12,000 and 19,000 barrels per day. Then, June 15, the team more than doubled the estimate to 35,000 to 60,000 barrels a day.

Now new BP records released by Representative Edward Markey show the company figured as recently as July 6 it was 53,000 barrels a day, on the high side of the latest range and well above BP's initial claims.

REP. EDWARD MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: BP was either lying or they were grossly incompetent in the first week, in the second week, in the third week. And by being so wrong, it also delayed the massive response which would have been put in place earlier.

SYLVESTER: The amount of oil matters. First, there's the impact on the environment, and, second, the more oil, the more BP has to pay in fines.

FADEL GHEIT, OIL ANALYST: The EPA fines that, in case of accident, companies will pay fines of $1,100 per barrel of oil spilled. If they prove to be gross negligent, they will pay $4,300. That is a big difference.

SYLVESTER: Eleven hundred dollars for each barrel on the low end, $4,300 on the high end. Do the math, even subtracting out the amount of oil that BP says either evaporated or was captured, and it is a staggering figure, ranging from $3.5 billion to nearly $15 billion in potential fines.


SYLVESTER: Now, we have reached out to BP to get its response and they say all flow rates have been joint government and BP estimates and they say this new figure of 53,000 barrels a day is a figure that the Environmental Protection Agency asked them to use based on their projected collection capacity in order to figure out how much dispersant to use.

Now, BP clearly downplaying this new figure, and, Suzanne, there is certainly a lot of money at stake here -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Billions and billions of dollars. Thank you, Lisa.

Well, can an American help steer the British oil giant out of trouble and make things right on the Gulf Coast? We are going to take a closer look at BP's new boss, Bob Dudley.

Also, a Taliban price list for safe passage and reported sightings of Osama bin Laden. More details emerge from the leak of Afghan war documents. But who did the leaking?

And can Michigan turn around its battered economy by building batteries for electric cars? We will hear from the governor.


MALVEAUX: The Pentagon today confirmed the death of one sailor and identified another listed as duty status whereabouts unknown.

This stems from a July 23 incident in Logar Province, Afghanistan, in which the two service members apparently were involved in a clash with the Taliban. The dead man is identified as Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin McNeley, 30, of Wheat Ridge, Colorado. His body was recovered on Sunday. The other sailor is Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Newlove, 25 years old of Renton, Washington.

The Pentagon says search and recovery efforts continues and the incident is under investigation.

Well, as new revelations from the massive Afghan war document leak cause new fallout, there are U.S. officials now from the president on down who are voicing concern, but they are trying to downplay the disclosures.

I want to go live to our CNN senior White House correspondent, Ed Henry.

Ed, the president is basically saying that there is nothing new here. Do we get a sense that this is to reassure the public, or why is he putting out these statements?

ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you are right, Suzanne, it could to reassure the public after this massive leak, but, also, politically, the president trying to basically say, look, move along folks, there is nothing to see here, even though that may not be completely right, because while it is true that in general we have known for a long time that for example there was this allegation that the Pakistani intelligence service has been working closely with the Taliban, maybe plotting attacks, we didn't know the detail that is now laid out in the documents, the heavy detail about how extensive those contacts really are and how the Pakistani intelligence service may be plotting with the Taliban to launch these attacks against U.S. soldiers, launch assassination plots against Afghan officials.

And the second line of defense from the president as well is basically saying that, unlike the Bush administration, the Obama administration is not giving Pakistan a blank check.

Take a listen.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've substantially increased our commitment there, insisted upon greater accountability from our partners in Afghanistan and Pakistan, developed a new strategy that can work, and put in place a team, including one of our finest generals, to execute that plan. Now we have to see that strategy through.


HENRY: Now, I pressed Robert Gibbs, though, on the fact that, is there real accountability here, when even though the president has now approved some $7.5 billion in more U.S. taxpayer aid to Pakistan even though there are still these allegations that their intelligence service is working with the Taliban?

Robert Gibbs insisted that money has strings attached, that there are some real hurdles there, and that Pakistan has to show that these contacts essentially are not going on. They have got to go through a lot of hoops.

But you have to wonder if those strings are really working here, if Pakistan is getting the money and these allegations persist about contacts with the Taliban -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: And, Ed, we know that, obviously, the president is trying to convince the American people the efficacy of this Afghan war, at the same time convince Congress that this is a war that has to be continually funded. It seems that that is also part of the strategy.

HENRY: Right. Yes.

And there's a big development. Just in the last couple of moments, the House has now just passed that massive war spending bill the president wanted done on an emergency basis, tens of billions more for Afghanistan, as well as Iraq. But you are right. It was a tough battle, because a lot of the president's fellow Democrats in the House didn't want to sign on this, some of them already anti-war, but even more so now, and really inflamed about this leak, suggesting that maybe this is a lost cause.

It was tough. It took Speaker Pelosi several hours to finally round up the votes, but she has gotten it done, a big win for the White House to get this through, despite all this controversy, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: OK, thank you, Ed.


MALVEAUX: A Taliban price list for safe passage across Afghanistan, this is just one of the stunning items still emerging from the leak of tens of thousands of war documents.

There is now a concerted effort to find out who did the leaking and how.

I want to turn to our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.

Barbara, do we know anything more on that end?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, now details, items, pieces, clues, all of it beginning to e pieced together about how this happened.


STARR (voice-over): Private 1st Class Bradley Manning now the focus of an expanded Army criminal investigation into the disclosure of nearly 90,000 classified documents, according to Pentagon officials. The widened investigation is looking at potential accomplices and which government computer systems the information came from.

GEOFF MORRELL, PENTAGON SPOKESPERSON: There is a slew of people who have access. It will be, as all these investigations are, very difficult, but we are determined to find out who is responsible for this and to make sure they pay or are held accountable for it.

STARR: Manning already under military arrest for allegedly illegally downloading classified video and documents. Months ago, he told a former hacker how he did it.

In a series of online chats between Manning and former hacker Adrian Lamo, Manning said he pretended to listen to music while downloading classified material. The logs, posted by, read, "Manning listened and lip-synced to Lady Gaga's 'Telephone' while exfiltrating possibly the largest data spillage in American history, pretty simple and unglamorous."

The former hacker eventually tipped off federal authorities.

CNN producers continue to pore through the documents, thousands of revelations from field reports about the war, some offering detailed insights. In November 2007, a trucking company called Four Horsemen International reported that it was approached by the Taliban with a price list for what it would cost the truckers to ensure safe passage through Taliban areas, $500 for each truck driving across Southern Afghanistan, $50 to $100 for shorter routes in the east.

There are even second- and third-hand reports of potential sightings of Osama bin Laden, according to documents given to the Guardian newspaper, but not posted on the main WikiLeaks site. In this 2006 report, bin Laden is said to have been in meetings with other top Taliban and al Qaeda operatives where suicide bombers were given up to $50,000 to conduct attacks.

(END VIDEOTAPE) STARR: Now, military officials say Manning is not cooperating with military investigators, that he has invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and is refusing to talk. He remains in U.S. military custody in Kuwait -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Thank you, Barbara.

Allegations of mismanagement on a massive scale. Did the Pentagon really lose almost $9 billion? We are going to have details of a very troubling report.

And former Vice President Al Gore questioned by police -- new developments in the wake of controversial allegations.

Stay with us. You are in THE SITUATION ROOM.



MALVEAUX: A long-awaited energy bill makes its debut in the Senate, but is it really what President Obama wanted?

Also, BP's new CEO and the massive task ahead. Can he lift the company out of crisis?


MALVEAUX: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is introducing the Democrats' long-awaited energy bill. But it is a far cry from the reform that President Obama had been calling for.

It does contain changes in the wake of the Gulf oil disaster, including lifting the liability cap, reorganizing the Minerals Management Service, which oversees offshore drilling, and it strengthens prevention requirements.

Want to get more with our CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger.

Gloria, you know, following President Obama during the campaign and in the first year, when he talked so much about energy legislation and moving forward, this is not what they were talking about.


GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It is not the energy bill he wanted. It is not the energy bill Harry Reid wanted. But it is the energy bill that they believe that they can do, perhaps, that they can pass, and that it's palatable.

You know, Harry Reid complains that he had to do this on his own, without any Republicans. But it is also true, Suzanne, that there are lots of Democrats up for reelection who are a little nervous about any kind of comprehensive energy reform, because they don't want to touch the carbon tax issue right now. MALVEAUX: So, what did they have to give up?

BORGER: Well, they had to give up almost everything, I mean, really. This is -- this is just essentially a response to the disaster in the gulf, but it is not about climate change. It is not about renewable resources. It is not about the long-term big picture stuff, and the president today made it very clear that it is something that he intends to revisit, but it is not just something they could get done before the election.

MALVEAUX: Cap and trade is almost like the curse words to say it. Cap and trade.

BORGER: You can be sure if they revisit it, it will be called something else. I can assure you of that.

MALVEAUX: And how about the Republicans?

BORGER: Well, I talked to an aide who is not particularly happy about the timing of the legislation and saying that there is no way to get anything passed by September. It was a press release and a check the box exercise, and by the way, it is not completely noncontroversial, because you mentioned lifting the liability cap, and there are a lot of Republicans saying, what are you doing to do lift it and make it unlimited? What is that going to do to the independents out there? So, there is some controversy here, so it is a question of will they get any Republicans on board and when will it happen?

MALVEAUX: All right. Gloria, keep us posted.

BP today named a new CEO to replace the controversial Tony Hayward. American Bob Dudley is an oil industry lifer they say. He was raised in Mississippi close to the oil spill disaster zone. Our CNN's Randi Kaye has a closer look at BP's next boss.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At BP, he is Mr. Fix-it. Just days after the deepwater horizon exploded, Bob Dudley, an American with 30 years in the oil business was summoned to the gulf where many say he has two things going for him. One, no British accent, and two, a fondness for the coast.

BOB DUDLEY, INCOMING CEO, BP: But I grew up in Mississippi. I grew up in swimming and fishing off of the gulf coast, so, on many levels this effort is personal to me as it is to others.

KAYE: Now 54, Dudley was born in Queens, New York, but grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where his father taught physics. Dudley has a passion for sailing. When he was younger, he was a competitive swimmer. Married with two children, the soft-spoken Dudley will be BP's first American CEO, a job he lost to Tony Hayward three years ago. He earned a chemical engineering degree from the University of Illinois, and an MBA from Southern Methodist University. He spent two decades climbing the ranks at Amoco and when BP swallowed Amoco in 1998, then CEO Lord John Brown groomed Dudley for a top job at BP. For five years, Dudley headed up BP's joint venture in Moscow with Russia's third biggest oil producer. After that, he was head of renewable and alternative energy for BP.

DUDLEY: It is tragic.

KAYE: He has been overseeing the oil giant's daily operation in the gulf for more than a month. Investigative reporter Tom Bower, who has written books about the oil industry, does not believe that Dudley is the answer to BP's problems.

TOM BOWER, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: I believe that Dudley got the job because he was the last man standing after Hayward was taken out. He is more like a Band-Aid rather than a miracle cure.

KAYE: Dudley's friend former Shell executive John Hofmeister believes he brings both credibility and competence to the job. He says that Dudley's cool demeanor has earned him the nickname iceman.

JOHN HOFMEISTER, FORMER SHELL EXECUTIVE: Where you won't get the fleshy reaction, because Bob is a listener. I think he listens closely to what is being said and he wants to understand the point of view.

KAYE: Compared to Hayward, Dudley has been relatively gaffe- free, though he recently told PBS that BP's safety violations mainly resulted from just one accident, pointing to the 2005 explosion at BP's Texas refinery. 15 workers died.

DUDLEY: In terms of attention and lack of attention to safety, it is not our culture.

KAYE: Not our culture? BP has long been criticized for putting profit before safety, and for decades the company has come under fire for ignoring warnings of corroded pipelines and falsifying paperwork and running the company to failure, an allegation BP have denied. The company had violated the clean water act, and had been put on federal probation. When Tony Hayward took over as CEO three years ago, he promised to make safety the soul of the country, and little changed, so now it is up to Bob Dudley.

BOWER: He pursues just profits and not safety and maintenance and not seek immediately to change BP's culture, which is a long-term job anyway, then he will fail, and that of course is the risk of appointing someone like Bob Dudley.

KAYE: In the gulf, Dudley has helped to create BP's gulf coast restoration project.

DUDLEY: We are here as partners for the long haul. We will work with you everyday to get this right. While it won't bring things back, we are deeply sorry.

KAYE: But make no mistake, Dudley is a company man. In his first statement as the newly-named CEO, he praised Hayward. "I have the greatest admiration for Tony, both for the job he has done since he became CEO in 2007, and for his unremitting dedication of dealing with the Gulf of Mexico disaster." Remember, it was under Dudley's watch that the well was finally capped and the oil stopped flowing. Maybe he got lucky or maybe Bob Dudley really is the guy who will turn BP around.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New Orleans.


MALVEAUX: It could happen any time now, a federal judge's ruling on the administration's challenge to Arizona's tough new immigration law.

And the high profile victim of a notorious stalking crime calls on Congress to get tougher on stalkers.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


MALVEAUX: More on the top story, Arizona's controversial immigration law, and a federal court ruling expected any time now that could block it or allow it to take evident as early as Thursday. Our CNN's John King host of "JOHN KING USA" is here with more.

John, I want to set the stage here. Obviously, this is a real standoff between President Obama and his administration and the state of Arizona. Attorney general Eric Holder says this is a matter of the state usurping the government's responsibility to protect the border. That's the legal argument. The political argument the president says could open it up to racial profiling. A majority of Americans agree with the Arizona law, so does the president in some way win by having a very important voting block of Hispanics on board for the mid term elections?

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: There are without a doubt those who say the president's political calculation is to prove to Latinos look he did not keep the promise, Suzanne, you remember from the campaign and then he promised early after he was elected he would pass comprehensive immigration reform as he called it his first year. That did not happen. We are halfway through the second year and still has not happened. Math tells you it won't happen before the election, so having failed to keep that promise, this suing Arizona to challenge a law that many Latinos, it's hard to say most, but most Latinos in Arizona according to polling in that state oppose it, and could the president say, I'm trying to fight the fight for you and challenging this law? No question about it. This court decision, we will get a temporary decision perhaps today or perhaps tomorrow, and the court battle will carry on. It is being watched not just in Arizona but several other states have pending, you know, proposed laws just like the Arizona law. So when this judge decides in the short term and then in the bigger picture could come all the way to the supreme court, it has huge ramifications not just on this year's campaign, this year's immigration policy debate but what happens after the elections.

MALVEAUX: And real quick, you've got a special guest for show, the Arizona governor Jan Brewer.

KING: An exclusive conversation with Governor Brewer tonight and maybe we'll have a judge's decision by then. If not we're going to talk to her about the police training underway, about the political climate underway in her state, and about how she continues to be defiant saying that the federal government is wrong and they are not helping me to secure the border and I can do that by state rights alone.

MALVEAUX: We are looking for to that interview. We will watch that.

She was a victim videotaped through a peephole. Now ESPN reporter Erin Andrews is calling on Congress to strengthen federal stalking laws.

And banning bullfighting in Spain? One major region of the country moves to tighten animal rights laws, but how far will it go?



MALVEAUX: She was the victim in a notorious stalking case and now she is calling on Congress to enact a tough new anti-stalking law. ESPN reporter Erin Andrews told lawmakers about her ordeal that culminated with her stalker videotaping her through a hotel room peephole while she was undressed. The man was eventually convicted and sentenced to two years. Andrews does not believe that was enough.


ERIN ANDREWS, ESPN REPORTER: This crime hurts families, and it violates people. It affects your everyday life, the way that you communicate, the way that you travel, the way that you take double- glances at people. It affects everything in your life. It is vile, and it is threatening. A lot of people who are targets of stalkers and of crimes have said to me, they live in constant fear. They are always afraid. And unfortunately, now I understand that, and I always will. This legislation is not the end all be all today, but it is the very beginning, and that is the biggest reason why I wanted to be here today. We have to make sure that people that even think about committing this crime or want to violate other people, they are held accountable, and I'm going to continue to speak and try to get stiffer and harsher penalties.


MALVEAUX: Andrews also encouraged stalking victims to seek help and not be ashamed. Lisa Sylvester is monitoring some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now. Hey, Lisa.

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Suzanne. The man to be al Qaeda's number two commander has resurfaced. Al Zawahiri is heard on an audio tape posted on Islamic web sites talking about the botched Times Square bombing and promising continued attacks. He also claims the terrorist group is close to victory in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although it's unclear when the message was made, it's the second said to be from al Zawahiri this month.

And the search for a former NBA player missing in Tennessee for over a week becomes more frantic. Nobody has seen Lorenson Wright since he visited his ex-wife and children at their home. Police say there are no leads on the 6'11" player's disappearance and there is now what they call a high level of concern.

In the Barcelona's Catalonia region, an end on bullfighting draws near. Lawmakers will vote on whether to ban the sport tomorrow. If it is outlawed, it is going to be the first time a region in mainland Spain has made such a stand. Although it's tradition and part of the culture of the country, the number of bullfighting countries in Spain have dropped by one-third in recent years because of the lack of funding. Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Thank you, Lisa.

Electric vehicles can they power up Michigan's battered economy? I will ask the governor in a one-on-one interview.


MALVEAUX: General Motors is giving new pricing details about its closely-watched electric car. The company says that the Chevy Volt will start at $41,000 with a three-year lease running about $350 a month. Both GM and the home state of Michigan have a lot riding on the success of electric vehicles. I caught up with Governor Jennifer Granholm during the President Obama's trip to Holland, Michigan just a couple of weeks ago. They were attending a groundbreaking ceremony for a new company producing batteries, an industry that Michigan hopes will create hundreds of jobs. But there are still questions about whether it can turn around the state's battered economy.


MALVEAUX: I don't have to tell you how difficult things are for people in Michigan, 13.6 percent unemployment. How important is this new industry for your state?

GOV. JENNIFER GRANHOLM (D), MICHIGAN: That's the whole thing, this is a whole new industry, so what you're going to see here is 1 of 16 battery plants that are coming to Michigan or having been built in Michigan. Those 16 plants wouldn't be here but for the stimulus dollars. Those 16 plants are going to create 62,000 jobs here over the next ten years. That's a huge amount of jobs for us.

MALVEAUX: What is the risk of actually putting in so much into one specific industry?

GRANHOLM: Well, the issue is, are we as a nation making a commitment to becoming energy independent? Right now, with the internal combustion engine and our reliance on foreign oil, the issue for us is are we going to have an electric vehicle, are we going to become independent of foreign oil, and if we do, we don't want to replace our dependence on foreign oil with a dependence on foreign batteries.

MALVEAUX: Retraining workers takes years. Can you say when you think the economy back here in Michigan is going to come to life?

GRANHOLM: It's not going to be overnight, that's for sure. It's taken us 100 years to be so reliant on the auto industry. Our focus on Michigan has been on diversifying our economy. This is one sector of that diversification that builds on the automotive strengths. But truly we are hungry and we've got a lot of tremendous workers who know how to do advanced manufacturing. You can't go to another state that has people like we do, who know how to do programming of robots, machining, the kinds of technology that go into the vehicle.

MALVEAUX: You've said before you want Michigan to become the battery capital of the world. A lot of these jobs are assembly jobs. They're paying like $14 an hour. How do you go from people getting out of poverty and unemployment to solid middle class?

GRANHOLM: As a nation, in the past several decades, we have seen our manufacturing industry go, go to low-wage countries, and the question is, do we need a partnership with the federal government to crack the code to keep manufacturing in the United States? We haven't had that partnership up until now. So what this demonstrates is that in order to be competitive for manufacturing in the United States, you have to have a partnership with the government. Korea is doing this exact same thing. They are making a commitment as a country. So is China. So are other countries. We've got to do the same if we want to keep this manufacturing infrastructure here.

MALVEAUX: Let's talk about Korea. Some of the critics say, okay, you've got $151 million of federal stimulus money that's going to this company. You've got about $130 million that's coming from the Michigan taxpayers through these tax credits as an incentive here to do business.


MALVEAUX: How do you respond to critics who say this is a subsidy, that you've got Michigan taxpayers who are subsidizing a Korean company to build a Korean factory here?

GRANHOLM: But they're hiring American people and partner with an American company. Truly, we cannot be victims of globalization. We have to go out to the globe and say, if you want to do business in America, you need to invest here and hire American workers. Frankly, all the batteries right now in the world are all manufactured in Asia. So if we want that technology to come to the United States, we want to be able to recruit the companies to come here and hire our citizens. And hopefully as they are here, partner with an American firm.


MALVEAUX: Underscoring how critical the auto industry is, the white house has just announced that President Obama will travel to Michigan on Friday, visiting plants owned by Chrysler and GM. Well, they are cats that look like notorious historic figure and they have their own website. Our CNN's Jeanne Moos takes a most unusual look.


MALVEAUX: Here's a look at "Hot Shots." In Kabul, Afghanistan, children play on a Ferris wheel. In Puerto Rico, Venezuela's synchronized swimming team performs their routine at the Central American and Caribbean games. In the Iraqi holy city of Karbala, kids cool off by jumping into a river. And in Germany, a curious frog peers into the camera from its perch atop a rock. "Hot Shots," pictures worth a thousand words.

There's a website devoted to most unusual cats. Their owners say they look like Hitler. CNN's Jeanne Moos takes a look.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When somebody puts a Hitler mustache on President Obama or President Bush, it's downright disturbing. But when the mustache is natural growth on a cat, then what you have is cats that look like

And every time Stephen Colbert in the U.S. or Graham Norton in England mention it --

GRAHAM NORTON: Cats that look like

MOOS: The four-year-old website spikes.

NORTON: This is an accident, right? They're cats, happen to look like Hitler.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, they're bred.

MOOS: Cats that look like Hitler are referred to as kitlers, the latest kitlers, the bestest kitlers, with names like Adolf. Have you ever seen cats that look like Hitler? [ laughs ]

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, that's cool though.

MOOS: Yeah, well some gave it the cold shoulder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no, no. We're leaving.

MOOS: Okay. The website was created by a Dutchman and is now by Englishman. It even includes a section called "We Hate Kitlers" where those who are offended can sound off. "I myself think this site is a disgrace. Hitler killed every living thing there was and he would kill these cute cats if he was still here."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tasteless is what I would say.

MOOS: But when the website's operator poses the frequently asked question, aren't you glorifying Hitler, he responds, "Hitler was a disgusting pus-ridden lump of excrement. I think it's entirely appropriate to reduce him to an object of ridicule." Do you see the resemblance?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Except for the mustache, no.

MOOS: Hitler cats now prowl YouTube posted by their owners. Some seen as aggressive as their namesake. And while Hitler himself rants in perpetuity -- [ speaking foreign language ]

MOOS: -- the Hitler cats speak their own less guttural language. After this latest mention by Stephen Colbert.

STEPHEN COLBERT: Adorable uber-ralas.

MOOS: Cats that look like Hitler got the Colbert bump, trending as the hottest animal website searched on Google. One of the website favorites got the supreme compliment, heil Hitler and quavered with Adolf's resemblance to Hitler.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He looks more like Charlie Chaplin with a comb over.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


MALVEAUX: Remember, you can follow what's going on in THE SITUATION ROOM. I'm on Twitter. You can get my tweets at You can also follow THE SITUATION ROOM on Facebook, at

I'm Suzanne Malveaux in THE SITUATION ROOM. "JOHN KING, USA" starts right now.