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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Wooing Canada; University Shooting; GSA Chief Resigns
Aired April 2, 2012 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, HOST: Is China trying to woo Canada away from the United States? And Mitt Romney gets testy when questioned.
And 911-calls the night Trayvon Martin was shot and killed. A voice analysis tries to pinpoint who was screaming. Let's go OUTFRONT.
OUTFRONT tonight, 99 percent. That's the amount of Canada's oil exports that come to America, according to the EIA. Well today President Obama met with his NAFTA pals, the leaders of Canada and Mexico, for a two-hour closed door meeting. But when they appeared in public, well, yes, the president slapped Felipe Calderon on the back. The other guy off there by himself, he's the leader of Canada.
This is how America's most special relationship is playing out because yes, sorry, Britain, Canada is the country that lights America's fires literally. Canada is the number one supplier of black gold to America. But if you were hoping there would be special bonding, you know like watching a basketball game together and snarfing (ph) down hot dogs or you know your wives meeting and getting along famously, nope.
Lorene Harper (ph) didn't even come. In fact the five-page joint statement after today's meeting was, well, let me put it this way, it mentioned the Budapest Convention on cyber crime but it didn't mention the Keystone Pipeline. It's part of a mini ice age in U.S./Canadian relations. Here's Stephen Harper on Canadian television in January.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN HARPER, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: Just because certain people in the United States would like to see Canada be one giant national park for the northern half of North America, I don't think that's part of what our review process is all about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: He's referring to a pipeline which Canada may build instead of the Keystone that would run from Canada's oil sands to the Pacific Coast. You know, closer to China. Yes. A lot of people have a problem with that pipeline because of environmental reasons. American pipeline politics go like this. Republicans tried to jam the pipeline as an amendment to a transportation bill last month, a shady back-doorway to get it done. While the president fast tracked approval of the lower end of the pipeline to get credit but not the more controversial northern extension required for the thing to matter.
Also shady. Now, there are real environmental concerns about this pipeline, but instead of resolving them, our politicians dig their heels in the tar and duke out the same old talking points. But as for Stephen Harper, well he took a road trip. Here is Harper in February getting front-page treatment on his visit to China. Prime Minister Harper, if you're listening to me now, can you imagine if that ever happened in America?
China knows Canada is an energy superpower. Chinese companies spent nearly $10 billion buying Canadian energy assets last year becoming what the EIA calls a potent presence in the oil sands. There's uranium deals too. Look we know President Obama seen here with Bo is a dog guy and Prime Minister Harper fosters cats. Here he is with one of his many felines. It seems like Prime Minister Harper actually told President Obama how he felt about him, though. One night when he performed a famous song.
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BURNETT: Maybe President Obama should try looking at Stephen Harper the way he looked at the world's most famous Canadian, Justin Bieber. Dan Kish of the Institute for Energy Research joins us now along with Susan Casey-Lefkowitz of the National Resources Defense Council and appreciate both of your taking the time to be with us.
Susan, let me start with you. I know there's a lot of environmental concerns and a lot of them very fair about this pipeline, but it does seem to be that the U.S. and Canada aren't quite linking together, tying together, being friendly together at the highest level the way you'd think they would be, considering how crucial they are to each other.
SUSAN CASEY-LEFKOWITZ, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: That's right. And thanks so much for having me on the show, Erin. Basically the U.S. and Canada have a real opportunity to be energy partners in the development of clean energy. But instead what we see is Canada is putting a lot of its eggs in the tar sand's basket, some of the dirtiest oil on earth and indeed what they're really looking for is how to get the highest price for that tar sands. And right now it's selling at a discount in the United States and so they're looking abroad. They're looking at Latin America. they're looking at China, and other parts of Asia. they're looking at Europe. Basically anywhere where they can get the most profit for their tar sands oil.
BURNETT: Dan, I'm wondering, though, what happens if Canada goes ahead, say, with that other pipeline, which there are plenty of people in Canada who also think of environmental issues, but they go ahead with that pipeline to the Pacific Coast, and they now invest in the infrastructure that leads them to China where it seems there's a lot more official respect for Canada, a country the U.S. seems to take for granted. Once that investment is put in, all of a sudden we aren't going to get 99 percent of their crude oil anymore.
DAN KISH, SENIOR V.P, INSTITUTE FOR ENERGY RESEARCH: That's exactly right, Erin. The Canadians have been our best energy trading partners. And trading partners, they're our number one trading partner in the world anyway.
KISH: But with what they consider to be a slap in the face in terms of the Keystone Pipeline, they have decided to actually expedite the umbrage by applying the northern gateway pipeline to the coast. And last week when they announced their budget for this year, they announced that they were going to have streamlining and expediting procedures to make that happen, and so they're going to look to sell their oil wherever. They have got huge amounts of oil, and the question is whether it comes to us or it goes to China or India or other places around the world.
BURNETT: Susan, I -- a question about the pipeline specifically. I understand your issues with the tar sand oil and the damage that that does and obviously that's terrible for Canada, but the pipeline itself aren't there ways -- you know I understand Ted Turner says he has a lot of problems with the pipelines because the tar sands oil needs chemicals and high pressure to move along a pipeline so there's a higher chance of rupture. But isn't that something, for example that could get fixed? That the people who are on the left and the right of this issue could say we will, for example, build a thicker pipeline?
CASEY-LEFKOWITZ: You know, there's a lot that we don't know yet about the dangers of transporting raw tar sands in a pipeline. But what we do know is that it's more likely to leak. And once it leaks, it's harder to clean up. Rather than trying to find solutions for that, better is if we look towards cleaner energy solutions. You know we can really do better than increasing our imports of tar sands. We have a lot of other options for our energy needs. And when you look at Keystone excel, you know the irony here is that this isn't even a pipeline meant for the United States. It's one more pipeline that Canada is trying to build in order to export tar sands out onto the world market where they can get a higher price.
BURNETT: Now interesting points (INAUDIBLE) they would say obviously it's for Gulf Coast refineries which could serve both the United States as well as southern markets. But also to your other point, we don't have the ability green energy wise right now to replace the amount of oil the U.S. consumes per day and we won't for any time soon, even if all of the investment went in that direction.
CASEY-LEFKOWITZ: That's right and what's interesting here is that this is really an issue not about how much oil the United States is currently consuming or currently getting, but about where the growth is. Is the growth going to be in clean energy or is the growth going to be in dirty energy? Are we going to be moving forward or backwards in terms of our energy needs? And will we look at the damage that climate change is doing every day already in the United States in violent storms and floods and droughts and hurricanes? I think the only answer is that we need to be moving forward with clean energy. We don't need the additional tar sands that would come in a new pipeline.
BURNETT: Dan, would you agree with that? Are we in a position where we could choose to simply say no to crude oil, whether it comes from tar sands or not?
KISH: No. In fact I disagree with everything she just said because ultimately the oil through that pipeline is no different than any of the other oil that we're getting from Canada through pipelines today. And in addition to that, Venezuelan oil and in essence what Susan has told you is the real reason behind the opposition to the pipeline. It's all about global warming. And the -- and ultimately if the Chinese decide to buy that oil from Canada, they're going to burn it, so it doesn't matter whether it's burnt here or in China or in India or you name it. It's carbon dioxide and it knows no nation. And the Chinese have no intention whatsoever to reduce their use of oil. They're already selling more cars than we do and within a couple of years they're going to be at 30 million units per year.
BURNETT: All right. Well, we're going to hit a pause on that but we'll have you both back because obviously it's a crucial issue. Everyone let us know what you think. It's very hard when you get 99 percent of a country's exports when it's oil and you're a country like ours that uses so much to have that cut. Let us know what you think about how we should do something about it.
OUTFRONT next, breaking news. The manhunt for the gunman who shot and killed seven people today, three right now injured. And in political news, a clown, a comedian, a mind-reader walked into a bar and it is not a joke. It's a real-life situation that cost someone in the Obama administration their job today. And could a woman finally break through at the Masters?
BURNETT: We've got breaking news in California tonight. A gunman killed at least seven people and injured three others after a shooting spree on a college campus. The shooting happened at Oikos University (ph), a small Christian college in Oakland. Tonight the gunman is in custody, we're told. Our Dan Simon is live on the campus tonight. Dan, I know you got there this afternoon. What is happening there? And complete -- I would imagine shock and lockdown?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Erin. Investigators are still here at the scene. And we can tell you that there are reports that the gunman is a former student, perhaps a nursing student. At this point we don't have a motive yet. But what we do know is that at about 10:30 a.m. Local time the gunman comes into this school and starts shooting indiscriminately at people. We know that seven people are dead, three people are wounded.
This is described as a small religious institution here in Oakland. Let me tell you where we are. This is sort of an industrial part of town. We're right near the airport. There's a car dealership here. The university, if you can call it that, that's how they identify themselves. It's a very small campus that beige building behind me. At this point we know that investigators obviously still here at the scene trying to process evidence. But obviously a huge tragedy, seven people dead -- Erin.
BURNETT: And Dan, can you -- we're told the gunman is in custody. Do you know anything about him? About whether he was acting alone, about his motive, anything?
SIMON: At this time no motive. But he is described as an Asian man in his 40's. One thing that's interesting that we're just learning right now is according to the "San Francisco Chronicle" he went into a Safeway grocery store in the town of Alameda (ph). That's about five miles away from here, went to the customer service desk at that grocery store, told the person who was working there that he just shot some people. And then we know that he was arrested a short time later in the parking lot. Whether or not that employee alerted police, we don't know. But we know that he was picked up there in the parking lot of that supermarket.
BURNETT: All right, Dan Simon, thank you very much. Reporting live for us. As we get more information and find out more about that shooter, we're going to bring it to you.
We have another developing story though to tell you about, the chief of the General Services Administration. Now, the job of the GSA in government, and you know you may roll your eyes at this whole concept, but it's a government group supposed to minimize costs for government agencies. Well, the chief has resigned amid reports of lavish spending at a training conference in Las Vegas. Brianna Keilar is at the White House for us tonight and Brianna, a pretty incredible report. I know it came after a scathing report from the inspector general on that conference. What did it say?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's pretty amazing. Eye-popping, of course, the price tag of really what this -- what is really a training conference that took place at the M Resort (ph) outside of Las Vegas for about 300 people, part of the GSA, which part of its job is really to be the landlord for the federal government, because the federal government has thousands of buildings that it owns across the country. So the price tag, over $800,000, Erin. And then even more eye-popping than that is what was paid for during this training conference, according to this report.
Seventy-five thousand dollars to hire a company to do team building exercises. One of them was a bicycle building project, $6,000 for commemorative joins and more than $6,000 on what's basically swag, canteens, key chains, t-shirts, these giveaways to mark this conference. And than also some employees from the GSA were staying in luxury hotel suites, some of them two-story suites that normally go for $2,200 per night, although they did get a discount for that, Erin, but it was still quite expensive.
BURNETT: Wow, that is -- that's incredible. And obviously so you now have at least one person whose lost their job completely, right?
KEILAR: Yes, Martha Johnson (ph), the head of GSA, has resigned. And then according to a senior administration official, two other top officials were fired.
BURNETT: All right, well thank you very much Brianna with the headlines and it's pretty shocking. Sort of brings you back to the halcyon days of the banks dare I say. Our political panel is here with me now, CNN contributor John Avlon, Reihan Salam, columnist for "The Daily" with me here in New York and former domestic adviser to President Obama Melody Barnes is in Washington. All right, Reihan, how damaging is this in your view for the Obama administration?
REIHAN SALAM, COLUMNIST, "THE DAILY": Oh, it's definitely not damaging for the Obama administration. They moved very swiftly, but what I'm going to say and you're going to think I'm crazy is I actually think this was a little silly. The General Services Administration, if it's run well, could save tens of millions of dollars or much more than that. So you spend a little bit of money on a team-building exercise if that makes you a more effective team, that's fair enough. Giving these people autonomy to do their jobs well is really what should matter, not nickel and diming them. If you save tens of millions, hundreds of millions of dollars if you spend a little bit of money on a nice hotel room, that's OK with me.
BURNETT: OK, I'm one of these people who think --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
BURNETT: -- the whole like rope thing and falling down with your colleagues is just a ridiculous joke no matter who does it --
BURNETT: -- and they shouldn't do it then --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: This is -- come on. I mean this is basic, right. If you're working at the GSA, you know you should always ask yourself if you work in government what am I going to say at the inquest. That's a good thing to think about when you're hiring a contract to hire comedians and clowns and mind readers. This is just totally ridiculous --
BURNETT: Yes, there were comedians and clowns --
AVLON: It's completely indefensible.
BURNETT: Well you know there were a lot of banks who you're supposed to run the test of would you be OK if it appeared on the front of "The Wall Street Journal". It clearly did not do that.
AVLON: That's right. BURNETT: But Melody, what's your take on whether there's any fallout from this?
MELODY BARNES, FMR. DOMESTIC POLICY ADVISER TO PRES. OBAMA: Well I think this goes to a question of good judgment and good judgment obviously was not exercised here. That's why I can assure you that the president was furious and that's why action was taken so swiftly. You know I've been in rooms with the president talking about issues of the budget and he looks, as he often says, line by line. That's why last year about $17 billion in improper payments, that money was saved.
That's because he made it clear to all of us that we have to tighten our belts. He's made some decisions that aren't even popular necessarily with some in his own party because he believes that we have to get those fiscal reins in hand. This does not add up to what the president believes is a priority in terms of the nation's budget and using taxpayer dollars wisely.
BURNETT: I want -- I'm going to move on although I want viewers to weigh in on what Reihan said, whether you think these, you know, what are they called when you're supposed to fall down and trust people to catch you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trust exercises.
BURNETT: Yes, that (INAUDIBLE). All right, turning to the campaign trail today, there was something that happened that was pretty incredible. Mitt Romney asked a question about Mormonism. I want to play it for you before we get the reaction. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Why don't you give me your question?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Well, in the Mormon book it says there were -- a blackness came upon all the children of --
ROMNEY: I'm sorry, we're just not going to have a discussion about religion in my view. But I -- if you have a question, I'll be happy to answer your question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess my question is do you believe it's a sin for a white man to marry and procreate with a black?
ROMNEY: No, next question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: John Avlon, sort of felt like that moment with John McCain when a woman said President Obama was a Muslim and she was so angry, he said no, no, no ma'am, no ma'am. AVLON: Yes except in that case it was John McCain defending President Obama. There's no one to defend Mitt Romney from one crackpot making a slur against his religion.
AVLON: Look we're going to have a conversation about the Mormon faith but we can do it without empowering religious bigots who show up at campaign rallies to try to, you know throw, throw a live grenade --
BURNETT: Reihan, it's also -- I mean you know I think -- I forgot who it was, it was Tom Friedman or someone who did an analysis in "The New York Times" once the Koran versus the Bible in terms of which has more hateful lines in it. And according to that analysis in the op-ed it was actually the Bible. My point is simply that all of these books have some pretty hateful things in them.
SALAM: I think that's fair to say. And I also think that the people who are most deeply skeptical of Mormonism tend to be devout evangelicals. They tend to be people who are on the Republican side of the spectrum. And so I think that as we get into a general election we're actually going to hear about this much less than more.
BURNETT: Melody, how will the Obama campaign deal with this? I mean I would imagine they don't really want to talk about religion either but sometimes it becomes something you can't avoid.
BARNES: Well I hope that this is not evidence of where we're going on this campaign. You know people are hurting. The nation has serious issues in front of it and I think what Mitt Romney is saying is also what President Obama would say. Let's focus on the issues at hand. And as we can talk about issues of health care and unemployment and the policies behind them, the policies of candidate Romney, of President Obama, I think that's where the nation wants to be focused.
BURNETT: So the other thing that I noticed today, vis-a-vis Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, was the polling and the women polling in particular. OK, 18 points higher among women, that's how much higher we've seen the lead for President Obama 51 to 42 among all registered voters, but really you're seeing it in women and particularly women under 50 years of age. How come?
BARNES: Well, you know, I think one, this isn't a case of death by a thousand cuts for candidate Romney and there are some are self- inflicted, some are party inflicted. We've got the attacks on Planned Parenthood in Congress and all over the nation. We've got this 19th Century view of family planning. All of these things create a lens through which women, young women in this case, are viewing the candidate and that helps them shape their opinion about issues of the economy and policy and health care.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Melody --
BARNES: And that's why I think --
(CROSSTALK) BARNES: -- a problem for Mitt Romney.
AVLON: What I'd add to that is, is that that 30 point gap, that two to one margin among women under 50, that isn't a gender gap. That is a chasm. That is a real crisis for the Republican Party right now. And they really need to do a better job of reaching out. It's not just deploying Ann Romney, who is an enormously effective surrogate. It really points to the problem the Republican Party has in this front in the wake of those debates about contraception. This problem did not exist before these primaries. You know that kind of gap didn't exist before these primaries --
SALAM: -- a little problem with the narrative here, which is that the gender gap between Obama and Santorum is 15 points, whereas the gap between Obama and Romney is 18. That's a pretty big difference. That's three points and --
AVLON: How do you account for that?
SALAM: That's a great question, so what I'm saying is the narrative that we're hearing isn't quite right if Santorum is doing better with women than Mitt Romney. This is definitely a big problem, but it's something that I think --
BARNES: But we still have a major gap between President Obama and both candidates Santorum --
SALAM: Indeed, Melody, but the thing is that if there's a three- point difference there presumably Mitt Romney can do better over time than Rick Santorum if the issue is contraception given that they have strikingly different views on that point --
BARNES: But what I was saying is --
SALAM: And of course we're seeing these numbers flip back and forth --
BARNES: -- that I don't think this is just an issue of -- I said contraception, family planning, those form a lens --
SALAM: And I think that Santorum has a very different view on contraception and family planning --
BARNES: -- through which people are viewing a whole range of issues, including and most importantly the economy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well I mean --
SALAM: The economy is indeed very important.
BURNETT: Go ahead, John -- AVLON: It is. But I mean this just speaks to a larger problem the Republican Party has. You know demographics are destiny and if they keep having a gender gap that is in a chasm of 30 points with women under 50, they're struggling with Hispanic voters. Obviously African-American voters, this becomes a real problem for the Republican Party --
BURNETT: They're getting smaller and smaller and smaller --
AVLON: Yes --
BURNETT: -- rather than --
AVLON: You cannot (INAUDIBLE) a political coalition on white men as your core base indefinitely going forward.
SALAM: These numbers flip. OK, the president's approval rating --
SALAM: This should be huge. The president should be doing incredibly well. The unemployment numbers look a lot better --
BURNETT: His approval ratings are rising by the day, Reihan.
SALAM: His approval rating is 47 points. This is when he's at his best. He's not facing a unified front. He's facing a divided Republican Party and it's at 47 percent. So you know I've got to say --
BURNETT: We're going to hit pause there.
BURNETT: All three is a long way from being done. All right OUTFRONT next, audio analysis of the 911-calls the night Trayvon Martin was killed. Everyone has been saying who was yelling out for help. Well this analysis actually took those voices, which seemed impossible to pick out and has an answer on who it was.
And the government could lower sugar prices, but one family is standing in the way. There's a number of things wrong with the reason you pay more for a Hershey bar.
BURNETT: We start the second half of our show with stories we care about, where we focus on our own reporting, do the work and find the "OutFront 5".
Up first a JetBlue pilot will be held without bond until at least a court appearance Thursday. Clayton Osbon made a brief court appearance today. He's charged with interfering with a flight crew after an apparent mid-flight meltdown. Court documents show the co- pilot became concerned over Osbon's behavior and locked the captain out of the cockpit. Passengers restrained him after he banged the cockpit door. The 49-year-old had been in the hospital since Tuesday's incident.
Number two, China is cracking down on websites, specifically blogs spreading rumors of a possible coup. Out Stan Grant who is in Beijing told us at least six people have been detained and more than a dozen sites have been shut down. The rumors of a coup have been spreading on blog sites since the mysterious disappearance of Bo Sheili (ph), a one-time rising star who could have been the next leader of the Communist Party. China says it will lift the restriction on sites later this week and we will be monitoring that.
Number three, Mali has been hit with sanctions in an attempt to restore constitutional rule. A group of West African nations decided to close the borders and freeze Mali's account with the Regional Bank. An Africa expert told OUTFRONT Mali's economy will struggle with the closed borders. The expert said Mali's gold companies will have a hard time operating under the sanctions, especially with access blocked to key ports in neighboring countries. The United States remains concerned about possible Muslim extremists in the north of Mali.
Number four: we've learned as many as 1.5 million credit and debit card numbers were compromised during last week's data breach at Global Payments. The hackers stole card numbers from the company that processes card transactions. We're told the thieves didn't get access to names, addresses or Social Security numbers.
Visa says it's scaling back its use of the company, Global Payments.
Well, it's been 242 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?
Well, we get tax revenues for now. The U.S. now has the highest corporate tax rate among developed nations. Japan was number one but it cut its rate on April 1st from 39 percent to 38.01 percent.
That is lower than the combined federal state rate of 39.2 percent in the United States.
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CROWD: No justice, no peace.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Race had nothing to do with it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are asking for justice, justice, justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Was a recommendation to arrest volunteer neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman for manslaughter the night Trayvon Martin was killed overruled?
Well, that is the question being asked by the attorney representing Trayvon Martin's family tonight in a letter to the Department of Justice.
According to Benjamin Crump, police chief Bill Lee and Florida state attorney Norm Wolfinger decided not to charge 28-year-old George Zimmerman despite a recommendation from the homicide investigator on the case.
This comes as surveillance video of Zimmerman in custody the night of the shooting was enhanced by ABC News and a company called Forensic Protection.
In the video, a gash or mark on the back of Zimmerman's head appears to back his claim that he was attacked by 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
David Mattingly is working the story for us tonight and he is OUTFRONT.
And, David, good to see you.
The Martin family says they have evidence of this meeting. What was the state attorney's response?
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we heard some very strong language, the strongest yet we've heard from any official in this case coming from the state attorney Norm Wolfinger. He wrote, "I am outraged by the outright lies contained in the letter by Benjamin Crump to Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ray Austin. I encourage the Justice Department to investigate and document that no such meeting or communication occurred."
And he goes on to describe it as irresponsible rhetoric and another falsehood.
So, again, the strongest language that we've heard from any public official used in this case being directed right now at Benjamin Crump, the representative for the family of Trayvon Martin.
BURNETT: David, as you're speaking, we're seeing the video which, of course, we first saw last week of George Zimmerman going into police custody after, apparently, he had received medical attention.
Now, obviously the zoom-in shows that there was a gash on the back of his head. Some people say look, though, he's walking fine, he certainly does not look like a guy who almost was just injured to the point of death.
So can we tell anything definitively from the video?
MATTINGLY: Well, we can definitively tell you that this has become sort of a Rorschach test for people involved in this. They look at the mark on the back of Zimmerman's head. Some see a gash, an evidence that he was telling the truth, that he was attacked by Trayvon Martin, and injured in that fight. Others look at it and see just a mark and say that there's no evidence here that he was telling the truth. But we know that he did tell police that night what had happened. This mark, if you were inclined to believe that that was evidence that he was in a fight, would back up that claim.
We had someone at CNN also enhance that video to look at that mark. We were able to punch up the definition in the video. Again, this was very poor quality video we were working with from the surveillance camera -- able to punch up the definition, able to punch up the contrast. And all we can say is that we see a mark. We don't see any actual color there that would indicate if this is an actual wound.
So, at this point, that was a very long explanation to tell you we just don't know.
BURNETT: Certainly you're right. It's become the real test for people as they see it.
David Mattingly there for us from Florida.
Well, the evidence continues to be scrutinized as evidenced by the fact that everyone has watched that video again and again and again. But the question we all have is: are we any closer to learning what happened the night Trayvon Martin was killed?
Tom Owen is an expert in biometric voice analysis who has been working on identifying the source of the screams for help which can be heard in the background of the 911 calls. What he did was stream together those screams, blocked out other sound and produced this audio clip.
(AUDIO CLIP PLAYS)
BURNETT: Then he compared that audio on a computer to George Zimmerman's voice from his 911 call.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Hey, we've had some break-ins in my neighborhood and there's a real suspicious guy. It's Retreat View Circle. The best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: The result, Owen says the calls for help are not George Zimmerman. And he's OUTFRONT with us to explain why.
Good to see you, sir.
I want to know if George Zimmerman, of course, told police it was he calling for help. How can you tell that it wasn't? What's the technology?
TOM OWEN, OWN FORENSIC SERVICES LLC: Well, basically it's a biometric system which is able to delineate two different voices, out of context and even out of the same language, if need be. And that's a new technology. That's not the old technology of voice identification as it's been practiced for 70 years. It's the same technology used by the CIA, the NSA and the FBI to follow terrorists and al Qaeda members and so forth by following their voices.
BURNETT: So, Tom, obviously some of where you're getting this audio is neighbors who were seeing what was happening and called. So it's not a phone that was right by where the scuffle was taking place and there could have been background noise.
So how good is the audio source? I mean, is it good enough that you can say for sure or not?
OWEN: Yes, the audio sources are pretty good. It's a rather high signal-to-noise ratio in the Zimmerman tape and there's a 14 db single to noise ratio in what I refer to as the screen tape and that's adequate to make a comparison.
BURNETT: And so, on a percentage basis, I mean, are you sure it was Zimmerman or you just mostly sure or what?
OWEN: Well, I feel confident within a reasonable degree of scientific certainty that it's not Zimmerman's voice.
BURNETT: OK. So stress causes fear -- stress can cause the voice to change. Obviously as we heard there from the screams, very different than the other call where he was incredibly calm.
How do you tie those two together technologically? How can you tell when a voice which is calm, becomes a voice which is terrified?
OWEN: Well, a voice that's terrified, as you put it, raises in pitch. And pitch -- the tracking of pitch is one of the algorithms we use in addition to spectrograms, which measures for frequency of the voice, the time of the voice, and the amplitude of a voice.
And it's just like, think of it as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. When he sings tenor, you can recognize him. When he sings falsetto, you can recognize him. And he's the making the same spectrograms in terms of acoustic energy. But one is at a greater, higher pitch.
BURNETT: So, are you -- you're saying you're sure with scientific degree of certainty that it was not George Zimmerman calling for help. Are you sure that it was Trayvon Martin? I mean, I know the family hasn't allowed you yet to have access to his voice in a regular setting. So are you able that say that it was him?
OWEN: No, I haven't made that statement whatsoever. I can't -- I have nothing to compare with, so I can't say that it's Trayvon Martin.
BURNETT: And are you -- do you plan on testing it or asking the family to test it, or no?
OWEN: Yes, I am. I'm going to see them shortly. BURNETT: Oh, you are. And so, you're going to have a conversation about it. Have you talked to them about it at all or you have no idea which way they're leaning?
OWEN: That's all I'm going to say right now.
BURNETT: All right. Well --
OWEN: On that matter.
BURNETT: OK. Well, hopefully if you do move forward with that, we'll get a chance to talk with Tom again and see if he is able to come out very clearly and say that it was Trayvon Martin calling for help that night.
Well, the focus is on now what's going to happen to George Zimmerman. The next question is what responsibility the homeowners may have in this case, because it could be very, very big money that homeowners in that gated community will have to pay as a result of Mr. Zimmerman's actions.
And Osama bin Laden's wives are going to jail. The question is: how long?
BURNETT: Whether George Zimmerman is ever charged criminally for the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin remains to be seen. A grand jury is scheduled to meet next week. There is no indication of an arrest tonight. In the end, it may be the homeowners of the retreat at Twin Lakes who pay the price to the death of Trayvon Martin.
The homeowners association of this community had proudly announced the appointment of George Zimmerman as the, quote, "captain" of their neighborhood watch in their community news letter last fall, and it may come back to haunt them.
Paul Callan is a former prosecutor and civil trial attorney, and he's OUTFRONT.
So, explain why this is so important regardless of what actually happens to George Zimmerman, charged with first-degree murder, charged with manslaughter, whatever it might be.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Very, very important because even if he's found not guilty or not charged with this crime, there could be a civil lawsuit based on a lower standard of proof, not beyond a reasonable doubt, against the homeowners association. They're going to say, hey, the homeowners association allowed him to patrol with a gun in hand. Maybe there will be a claim from Martin's family that they didn't adequately train George Zimmerman. There would be thoughts of theories that could create what we call a negligence theory against the homeowners association.
BURNETT: And how much money could we be talking about here? CALLAN: Well, in a situation like this, you could be talking about over a million dollars easily in a case like this. You have the death of a young 17-year-old man who, you know, undoubtedly suffered terribly before he died, was in fear of death. A jury could award a lot of money. And that money would have to be paid by the homeowners association that put together and employed the security force that George Zimmerman was captain of.
BURNETT: Now, even if they didn't necessarily pay them. I understand some may have been paid, some may have been, you know, volunteering.
CALLAN: Volunteers, yes.
BURNETT: But still, if you name the person as your captain and give them that responsibility, it doesn't matter, I would imagine, whether they were paid or not by the homeowners association?
CALLAN: Not, it doesn't. And you don't have an obligation to provide security. But once you assume that responsibility and you create an organization, you have to do it in the right way. It has to be done properly. People have to be trained properly.
And the real thing I'd like to know is did they know he was carrying a gun, you know? Because most of these homeowners associations and these neighborhood watch programs do not allow people to carry guns --
CALLAN: -- for precisely the kind of situation that developed here.
BURNETT: How come and is it where someone -- so obviously if there is a guilty verdict in the criminal case, I would imagine, makes it very -- you're going to get a guilty in the civil case, correct?
BURNETT: But because the burden of proof is lower, it could be like an O.J. Simpson story. You don't get the guilty in the criminal but you could get it in the civil. How common is that?
CALLAN: It's not that common, but there are certain cases that people become so emotional about. I swear -- I had two attorneys in my law firm today, I thought they were going to get into a fistfight about this very case.
Passions are so high. On one side, people think Zimmerman acted properly. On the other, people think that it was, you know, a terrible misuse of force and that Zimmerman should be arrested. Feelings are very, very high on both sides.
And in that kind of case, you might get an award from a civil jury even if no arrest is made.
BURNETT: Paul Callan, thank you.
CALLAN: Nice being with you.
BURNETT: Now let's check in with Wolf Blitzer because he's in for Anderson Cooper for "A.C. 360" tonight.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks very much. We'll have more on the breaking news ahead on "360". A deadly shooting at a college in California, a suspect is in custody, but a stunned community is searching for answers as to why anyone would target the small Christian school. We'll have a live report.
Also tonight, Anderson is debuting a ground-breaking study called Kids on Race, the hidden picture. "360" teamed up with a renowned child psychologist to scientifically measure children's attitudes on race and what they found is for many kids as young as 6, race does matter and they have some pretty provocative things to say about it.
Those stories, a new analysis of the surveillance video showing George Zimmerman at the police station after the shooting of Trayvon Martin. It's all at the top of the hour -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Wolf. Looking forward to seeing you then.
And now to our "Outer Circle" where we reach out to our sources around the world and tonight, we begin in Pakistan where a judge has sentenced several of Osama bin Laden's family members to 45 days under house arrest for living in the country illegally.
Nick Paton Walsh is following the story from Kabul. And I asked him what will happen to Osama bin Laden's wives after they serve their time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, Yemen has made it clear it will take back one of bin Laden's Yemeni wives, but Saudis, Saudi Arabia has not given that many welcoming noises as yet. But what's clear within two weeks, they will be deported as Pakistan tries to flush out these remaining traces of bin Laden's time hiding out in what appears now to be at least four of its major cities.
One of the wives' testimony suggesting that he'd been there for about a decade, two cities in the north, one of which he fathered two children and then in Abbottabad where the Navy SEALs caught up with him and where also, he fathered two further children. So, even though Pakistan is expelling these women, has torn down the house where he hid, these questions remain as to how it was it possible the world's most wanted man hid inside Pakistan undetected for nearly 10 years -- Erin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. Thanks to Nick.
And now to Syria where rebels will soon get their first international assistance, and this is very interesting. It's in the form of cash from some Gulf nations. For its part, the United States has promised specialized communications equipment.
Ben Wedeman is following the story from Beirut. And I asked him how much money rebels like cash they could expect to receive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, whatever the SNC receives from the United States, it's likely to be just a drop in the bucket compared to what they really need. The U.S. is doubling its contribution to the Syrian opposition to $12 million. The U.K. has given $800,000. But it's mostly in the form of nonlethal aid, basically medical equipment and communications.
The SNC for its part wants money to pay the salaries to the fighters of the Free Syrian Army and to lure those still with the regime into switching sides. And that could cost as much as a million dollars a day. They're much more likely to get the kind of money they want from oil-rich conservative states like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and there's no saying what strings might be attached -- Erin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And that might say it all.
Well, now, the viral video about Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony. Kony 2012 racked up a hundred million views in less than a week in March. But now, the group behind it says they have a follow-up video coming.
Nkepile Mabuse is in Johannesburg and I asked her what might come in the sequel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, the release of Kony 2012, the sequel, is absolutely aimed at silencing the initial video's critics. There are those who say that Invisible Children simplified Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army. We understand that this version is aimed at an international audience. It will have more information about the group and its leader and it will also include more voices from the Central African republic and Democratic Republic of Congo where the LRA are believed to have subsequently moved.
So, it does sound like it will be a more accurate, more updated version. But I think the work that Invisible Children set out to achieve initially has already been achieved with African countries actually committing more troops to search for one of the world's most notorious warlords -- Erin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, candy, cookies and candy, cookies and cereal. Which single family in America is pushing sugar prices up?
And what does golf's greatest event have to do with how much women are paid?
BURNETT: And now, a sweet story that turns sour. Today, the window opened up for America to up its sugar quotas, which could mean prices plunge at the grocery store.
This is a story some of you know we're passionate about. In January, we went OUTFRONT on the rising costs of sugar in this country during the Florida primary when the sugar barons and their family threw big, big bucks into the race. The Fanjul brothers are the ones behind Domino, and Red Pat (ph), they're fixtures of Miami society.
And they've used their billions of dollars to push for more protectionist trade policies. Protectionist trade policies mean growing more sugar in the United States instead of importing cheaper sugar which brings us to tonight's number -- 44 percent. That's how much less would you pay for food with sugar, and it's like candy bars if sugar coats were eliminated, according to Mark Perry, professor at the University of Michigan. Perry estimates big sugar costs American consumers $4 billion a year.
Next, well, a woman and a green jacket.
BURNETT: This week, the Master's golf tournament kicks off in Augusta, Georgia. The announcers' voices seem almost muted. They're in such awe of the Masters' tradition. There's nothing like the Masters and donning that fabled green jacket. Members get jackets, too, but there are only 300 of them and they're there by invitation only.
As a result, the club has been slow to admit numbers that don't look like other members. The first black member was not invited until 1990 and women still can't join. This year, that could change.
Ginni Rometty is the new CEO of American icon IBM. She got that job the right way by hard work, dedication and sacrifice. Her former boss said it best when he said, quote, "Ginni got it because she deserved it. It's got zero to do with progressive social policies."
This puts Augusta National in an awkward position because IBM is one of the three biggest sponsors of the Masters and the past four CEOs of IBM have all been given a green jacket and membership. I'll bet they're going to do the right thing and do that Ginni, too. And I hope she doesn't graciously let them off the hook and say, oh, I don't want it.
But as a modern woman, I bet she'll put the jacket on for the photos and take it off because it's bulky and, frankly, a padded jacket. And she's a modern woman who can say, hey, I want to look nice and be the CEO of IBM. And when the tournament is over, I hope this moment become a symbol, not of something Augusta National should have done, frankly, ages ago but of something really important for all women in America. That's the pay gap.
Today, we found out the most financially savvy women in America have enclosed it. A study by GMI found that female chief financial officers are paid 16 percent less than men. They're still among the wealthiest of Americans, earning $1.3 million year. But men of the same accomplishment make $1.5 million.
If the most educated, ambitious and successful women in America can't close the pay gap, we have a big problem. So, here's hoping Ginni Rommetty gets her jacket and we all start for equality when it's earned and deserved.
Anderson Cooper starts now.