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George Zimmerman Free on Bail; Snowstorm Threatens Northeast; Undocumented Immigrant Beaten By Agents; New Evidence May Turn up in Missing Child Case; FAA May Issue Licenses for Private Use of Drones; Longer School Day?; Single White Females

Aired April 23, 2012 - 08:00   ET


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome, everybody. Our STARTING POINT this morning, getting out. George Zimmerman walked out of jail overnight. We believed the state, his destination though and there he is, destination is being kept a secret for his safety. We're going to take you live to Sanford, Florida with the very latest on this case.

Also, a soldier vanishes after a night at the bar. This morning, new suspicions with the man who was with Kelli Bordeaux when she disappeared. Her family members will be joining us live.

And beware of this mess. Winter arrives in the middle of April. The northeast is already being hit hard and it's expect to get worse. It's Monday, April 23rd. STARTING POINT begins right now.

All right, wake up. If you're not up, wake up. That's Shakira featuring Pitbull. Let's get right to our panel this morning.

Congressman Ted Poe is joining us. He's a Republican from the great state of Texas.

Nice to have you, sir.

REP. TED POE (R), TEXAS: Good morning.

O'BRIEN: Appreciate it. A former judge as well.

John Fugelsang is with us. He's a political comedian.


O'BRIEN: I don't know. My vocabulary is very limited. Rabies isn't part of it.


FUGELSANG: Pit bull.

O'BRIEN: I love pit bull. I don't know. We are going to look that up.

Will Cain is a columnist for the He joins us as well this morning. Our STARTING POINT: a look at George Zimmerman. He's out of jail right now. He, of course, is the man accused of murdering Trayvon Martin and he was released overnight, walking out of that Sanford, Florida, jail, to destinations unknown because his location is being kept a secret. It's all out of concern for his safety.

Zimmerman has to wear a GPS tracking bracelet. Check in with authorities every three days, maintained a court-ordered 7:00 p.m. curfew.

His release comes just a couple of days after he issued a direct apology to the parents of Trayvon Martin. It happens at this bond hearing.

CNN's Martin Savidge is live for us in Sanford this morning.

Hey, Martin. Good morning.


O'BRIEN: Update on what's happening now.

SAVIDGE: Well, just as you point out, George Zimmerman left in the middle of the night. You know, ever since bond was granted on Friday, the question really became security. And especially for his defense and for his family. That's been the primary concern.

So we thought it might take a little more time but, apparently, they were able to organize and come up with a bond, $15,000. It's 10 percent of the $150,000. Then it was where will he go and how will he get there?

That was, of course, answered shortly after midnight last night when he left outside of the bonding area here and came out not with his attorney but with some other unidentified individual, wearing a coat -- part of that appears because it was chilly but the other part is covering up what he was wearing underneath, which is believed to have been some bullet-proof vest, body armor. Gets into the white vehicle and then disappeared.

Supposedly does not disappear, though, from authorities. He is wearing that tracking device and all of this had to be worked out carefully with the Seminole County sheriff's office how they would be able to maintain sort of that tether with him. And he will have to report in at least every three days on top of the telemetry that will be presumably be coming in every few minutes.

O'BRIEN: So, what's going to happen in terms of the court case? I mean, if he is out of the state, which, of course, is unclear would he have to be driven in? Is that something that going to be something that happens consistently? Or would that be something that doesn't happen for a little while?

SAVIDGE: Well, the first big question is, is he going to appear at the arraignment which, of course, is scheduled for next month. It's not certain that he will. And it isn't necessarily required that he has to.

So if that's the case, it could be that we will not see George Zimmerman, at least in any kind of legal proceedings, for some time, unless something unexpected comes up. We do not know.

So, at this particular point he could be gone for a while. His attorney says, look, as long as I can talk to him, it's not essential that I see him for building a defense in this particular case. So, he could be out of state, he could be down the road. Right now, we don't know.

O'BRIEN: And I'm sure they're not going to tell us if they want to keep him safe.

All right. Thanks, Martin Savidge, for us, updating us on that case.

MARTIN: All right.

O'BRIEN: Appreciate it.

Soldier vanishes after a night out of the bar. Kelli Bordeaux was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina when she disappeared, happened just about a week ago.

Nicholas Holbert works at the bar where Kelli was last seen. He says he gave her a ride home the night she went missing.

Now, Holbert reportedly has turned himself in as unrelated charge for failing to register as a sex offender. He says he has nothing to do with the young woman's disappearance. Listen.

You can't listen because his lips are moving but what he says, even though he had to report for not registering as a sex offender for an incident that happened when he was 16, he said that he had nothing to do with her disappearance. Also said that he actually dropped her off about a quarter mile away from her home. She wanted to get out and walk the rest of the way home. He is not being named as a person of interest in this case.

Kelli's brother and sister, Matt Henson and Olivia Cox are in Fayetteville, and they join us.

It's nice to talk to you. We certainly appreciate you both joining us. Thank you for being with us.

And what are you hearing from authorities about what's happening in this case? Do you feel like they are keeping you very much updated on what they are learning and what they know and I guess don't know?

Olivia, why don't you start for me?

OLIVIA COX, SISTER OF MISSING SOLDIER KELLI BORDEAUX: You know, authorities say they are getting tips, they are following every lead that they get. They are trying to make sure that everything is meticulously combed through and nothing is unseen. O'BRIEN: And how about any sort of feedback on what those tips are giving? I know, for example, Matt, that there was a tip about a pond and that pond has now been searched and no indication that, in fact, anything came out of that. Tell me a little bit more about that, if you know.

MATT HENSON, BROTHER OF MISSING SOLDIER KELLI BORDEAUX: Well, yes, ma'am. They searched the pond twice, actually, and they didn't find anything. So, actually, we look at it as a good thing, obviously. So, yes, they are -- there's a lot of different leads, so they are just trying to make sure that they cover everything.

O'BRIEN: And you feel like they're doing a good job and they are being responsive to --

HENSON: Yes, ma'am. Yes, ma'am.

O'BRIEN: OK, that's good news.

Now I know your sister is married. Her husband apparently was visiting his dad and has he been cleared in this investigation?

HENSON: He has.

O'BRIEN: OK. Good news there as well.

Tell me a little bit about your sister. I know that she is -- we have been showing some pictures of her. She is a very petite woman, probably about 5'1". Tell me a little bit about her personality.

Would it be unusual for her to go missing? Would it be unusual for her not to reach out and call you guys and just check in?

HENSON: Right. That's like -- you know, at first people -- you know, people understand, they talk about an AWOL soldier, but you don't go AWOL from your family, you know? That's not -- you know, we're very close-knit. That's not something, you know, that is even a possibility really. Especially not knowing anything, you know?

O'BRIEN: And, Olivia, you agree she'd be checking in with you all the time because you guys are close?

COX: Oh, yes. I mean, I text her nearly every day, I mean, at some point, joking and just carrying on with my baby sister. Everything is upbeat and everything is positive. She had big goals, big plans.

HENSON: Right. Everything was pointing up in her life. She was wanting to excel and really, you know --

COX: Make her life successful and live it to the fullest.

HENSON: Right.

O'BRIEN: Let's talk for a minute if we can about Nicholas Holbert. His the young man, he says that he drove Kelli, I guess, almost all the way home, a quarter mile short is what he is saying to home. He's now gone in for report to authorities because I guess he failed to register as a sex offender when he moved to his new address.

Has your sister ever mentioned him or talked about him in any way, shape, or form? He describes them as friends. And that they were friendly and met at the bar where he worked.

COX: Kelli has that way about her. Everybody would consider Kelli a friend. I think anyone that meets Kelli would consider her a friend.

She is a jubilant, happy person. She's just infectious. You know, you want to be friends with her as soon as you see her walking into a room.

So, I can understand him saying that. You know, we don't know him. She's never mentioned him prior and we have contact every day. But, I mean, Kelli is a responsible person and would not go off, you know, with him or anything like that, knowing --

HENSON: Especially, if she had known his background, and there's no way she would have -- obviously, she wouldn't have taken a ride from him.

O'BRIEN: OK. Well, I know that the search is continuing and that you guys are hoping to hear some good words soon. We wish you the very best of luck in this case. We're going to be watching it very closely. Thanks for talking with us.

HENSON: Thank you.

O'BRIEN: You bet.

COX: Thank you. We are not going to give up. Thank you so much.

O'BRIEN: I know you're not. Thanks. Appreciate it.

You can expect in other news a massive mess in the Northeast today. There's snow that's falling, pretty hard already in some areas. The wintry weather is expected to affect states from New York, all the way down to West Virginia.

Let's get right to Brian Todd. He's live in DuBois, Pennsylvania this morning, where it is a beautiful scene.

But quite a mess behind you. Good morning, Brian.


We just talked to a state trooper from the Sandy Township area. He stopped by here a second ago and told us really not any major problems on the roads yet but they are worried about it. We got Interstate 80 right behind us. And as you can see, a lot of truck traffic coming through here. This is a major artery for truck routes going east-to- west and vice versa. The Pennsylvania turnpike is a couple of hours south here, a lot of truck traffic.

But as you can see, it's really started sticking to the roads yet. The reason that temperatures have hovered around 33 degrees, maybe a little closer to freezing, but not there yet to stick to the roads. So that's one thing that we're going to be worried about.

But what they are worried about is downed trees and downed powers lines. I was told a short time ago by an emergency management official here that there was a downed tree this morning just east of here. They have cleared that but the problem is going to be all of the foliage on these trees here.

Our photo journalist Khalil Abdullah (ph) is going to pan here and show you all the foliage that has come out. It's April 23rd, after all. We are one week away from the beginning of May, believe it or not, as you look around here.

The heavy snow on the trees is going to be a problem. That's going to pack snow on these trees. It's going to really weigh them down. The trees are going to collapse onto power lines. That's what they're fearful. Some 3,000 power outages just west of here in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. So, they are dealing with that. We've seen a lot of electric trucks go by already starting to address some of this, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Well, what a mess. What a mess.

Brian Todd for us this morning -- thank you, Brian.

Let's get right to meteorologist Rob Marciano for a look at where it's going.

Hey, Rob. Good morning.


Some places have already gotten 10 inches of snow. Take a look at some of these totals. Upstate New York is reporting 10 inches, at Newfield, New York. Ridgebury, Pennsylvania, eight inches, Locke, New York, near the Finger Lakes there, seven inches.

So, you get the idea of this storm and how big it is. It's a huge actually, encompassing a wide range of real estate. The front side of this is pretty warm, the back side obviously where Brian is very cold -- not very cold, but cold enough, right? Hovering at the freezing mark.

And because it's right there, you know, falling wet snow and the ground is still warm. But as Brian pointed out, those trees with all of the leaves, that's going to create a problem.

Pittsburgh, you're still raining and probably change to snow later on, probably a couple of inches of snow there. Same deal for Buffalo. Buffalo, for the year, their biggest snowfall has only been 6.4 inches. So, if they get more than that, this will be the biggest snowfall of the season. Right now, they are in the process of changing from rain to snow.

Four to 10 inches just outside of Pittsburgh expected maybe five to 10 southeast of Pittsburgh, and as much as a foot in some spots. But the other thing is going to be the wind gusts. It could be 30 to 40-mile-per-hour winds tonight into tomorrow. So, that will just, you know, wave those tree-loaded -- snow-loaded trees around even more.

Look at the temperature difference. Right around freezing here, close to it, just above. Fifty-seven degrees in Boston, 53 degrees in New York City. You'll be a little bit drier. And breezy but those winds will also create some problems, Soledad, at the bigger airports.


O'BRIEN: I was going to say. That's going to be a hot mess. Snow and high winds. You will be sitting on the tarmac for a long time!

MARCIANO: Exactly.

O'BRIEN: All right. Thanks, Rob.

Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT: Pretty shocking footage of a migrant worker appeared to be tased over and over again by border patrol agents and then he dies. (INAUDIBLE) shocking video. The journalist who uncovered the story will join us next.

And a 9-year-old boy takes on a shark and the boy wins. He's got the incredible footage to prove it. We'll show you that story.

Here's Take Five. "State Trooper".

I know that song. I should have gotten that out. This is off of John's playlist and also on my playlist. Let's listen for a moment, shall we?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see Hernandez Rojas on the ground surrounded by more than a dozen officers. Pay attention to the officers extended arm. You can clearly see the sparking of his taser as he fires two wires carrying more than a thousand volts of electricity into Hernandez Rojas.



O'BRIEN: A coroner in his report said there were traces of methamphetamine in his system, and he died of a heart attack. They say it's unclear what exactly brought that on. The U.S. attorney and the Customs and Border Protection offices say they have no comment on this story.

Joining us this morning, the woman who shot that video at the incident. Her name is Ashley Young, investigative journalist, John Carlos Frey, who's been covering the case since the very beginning. Nice to see you. Thanks for talking with us. Ashley, let's begin with you, if we can. Walk me through back to 2010 what happened that you came upon the scene.

ASHLEY YOUNG, SHOT VIDEO OF IMMIGRANT BEING TASERED: Good morning. I was coming back from having dinner in Tijuana, and I was walking across the pedestrian overpass that leads back into the United States, and I heard a man screaming, (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE), which in Spanish means "help me." And it wasn't necessarily his words that kind of took me by surprise.

It was the way he was saying it. And, it was very -- it was a very desperate cry for help. I walked over to the end of the pedestrian walkway, and I saw him in this kind of triangle park area, which I later learned is a kind of a detention area, release area for people getting deported back to Mexico.

And, I saw kind of two border patrol agent on top of him. And, he was handcuffed and his pants were to his knees, and it seemed as though his feet were also bound at the time. And then, over the course of 25 minutes, it just escalated and several more officers showed up. And I witnessed Anastacio being tased five times.

O'BRIEN: So, John, tell me a little about this man, Anastacio Hernandez Rojas. Who was he?

JOHN CARLOS FREY, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Anastacio Hernandez Rojas was an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. He came to the United States when he was 16 years old. He had five U.S. citizen children lived in the United States for over 25 years, held a construction job for all of those years.

He was found to be undocumented and was in the process of being deported when this incident happened.

O'BRIEN: I want to play a little clip from the documentary, and you're narrating it. So, let's have folks listen, and I'll ask you, John, another question on the other end. Let's play that.

FREY: Sure.


FREY: You can see Hernandez Rojas on the ground surrounded by more than a dozen officers. Pay attention to the officer's extended arm. You can clearly see the sparking of his taser as he fires two wires carrying more than a thousand volts of electricity into Hernandez Rojas.



O'BRIEN: John, what was the story that you felt wasn't getting out that you wanted to tell by showing this videotape?

FREY: Well, just a quick correction. That's actually John Larson, the correspondent's voice on there.

O'BRIEN: Oh, my apologies.

FREY: What I wanted -- no problem. What I wanted -- what I wanted was actually for this to be exposed. This case has been buried. This happened two years ago, and the press release from the border patrol and from the San Diego Police Department is basically that this man was combative. Taser was applied to subdue him.

He fell to the ground and had a heart attack and died. And in the videotape, we clearly see that that's not the case. There was never a mention of how many officers were involved. There was never a mention in police documents than this man was beaten. He ended up having five broken ribs and severed spine.

He was bruised all over his body. This beating took place over the period of about half an hour. He was handcuffed, and he was also tied around his ankles as Ashley says. This is information that's all new.

O'BRIEN: So, let me play a clip where the border patrol agents are telling him to stop resisting. And then, Ashley, on the other side, I'm going to ask you a question. Let's play that, guys.




O'BRIEN: So, John has said this is important because the resisting part of the story could be critical if any case were ever brought forward. Ashley, did you see him as you watched this transpire for roughly 30 minutes, did you see him resisting in any way?

YOUNG: No. He wasn't resisting. The only thing that they could potentially make a case for is that his body was convulsing as he was being tased, but he wasn't resisting.

O'BRIEN: So, John, why do you think that this is so important that quit resisting, quit resisting that we're seeing on camera?

FREY: This is a very public area. There are hundreds of pedestrians that are coming, too, and from Tijuana, Mexico here. It was dark. People were starting to gather. They were trying to get a look at what was happening. And I think that the officer yelling "quit resisting" was more for the crowd to let them know that they were actually in the middle of some sort of a melee.

It's very clear on the videotape as the officer is yelling "quit resisting," there is a man lying on the ground with over a dozen officers standing around him. There's no way, at least, by the videotape, that the man is in any way, shape, or form resisting.

O'BRIEN: John Carlos Frey and Ashley joining us. Thanks for being with us and appreciate you, Ashley Young, sharing that videotape with us. It's really disturbing, and it was interesting to watch if this actually brings this case a little more to the forefront. Thanks. We appreciate your time.

We were talking a little bit earlier about cases like this. Appreciate it. And, you know, it's, obviously, hard to see on the videotape, but as you zoom in, you do see someone who's bound at the hands and bound at the ankles, literally, at the point where they're saying "quit resisting."

POE: And the question, this happened two years ago. There was an investigation and, still, we don't have the written report as to the total findings. The justice department and border patrol is not releasing the information that they gathered under the pretext that's an ongoing investigation.

O'BRIEN: So, it's not close.

POE: It's not close and use that phrase to keep from releasing information about the original incident.

FUGELSANG: It wasn't mentioned, but according to Reuters, the medical examiner did rule this as homicide, and Mr. Hernandez Rojas had no criminal record.

O'BRIEN: Although he did have methamphetamine in his system, as well.

POE: And that does affect people when they are being tased. There is examples of that that it affects them because they're under -- if he was under the influence of methamphetamine.

O'BRIEN: It would be interesting to see if this case continues to be under investigation and no one continues to look into it or if it just, at some point, is resolved.

Still ahead this morning, she might be the worst prom queen since "Carrie." A Texas prom queen arrested. Prom queen (inaudible).


O'BRIEN: She accidentally called herself melt (ph) this morning. She's accused, though, of a pretty terrible scam. We'll tell you what this young lady did.

And it's no fish story. Nine-year-old boy catches a shark from his kayak. We got the video to prove it.

If you're headed to work, you could follow our show at our live blog, which We'll see you on the other side of this commercial.


O'BRIEN: God, I love that music. Shark boy has struck again. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, shark boy. Keep him up, keep him up. Do what?




O'BRIEN: They're taking pictures of him and share them on. Bring it in. Bring it in. That's Hunter Stevens. He's nine-year-old old. Already, a veteran shark fisherman. He and his dad, Kevin, were out fishing in their kayak in the beach off Galveston, Texas. When Hunter hooked into a black tip shark. This is the first of the season. He caught a bigger ones, I guess, on past trips.

Hunter, you know, -- hunter says. see the one got away, apparently. That's pretty cool. I would be terrified, though, like, if I were Hunter's mom, no going out in the kayak to catch a shark.


POE: And he's going for a shark. He's not going for red fish or flounder. He is purposely fishing for shark.

O'BRIEN: Right. Yes.

FUGELSANG: Yes. He's like a nine-year-old from "Jaws."


O'BRIEN: Yes. It's a little disturbing. Bigger boat. Bigger boat.

FUGELSANG: We're going to need a bigger kayak.

Still ahead on STARTING POINT, chances you've had a brain freeze. Well, apparently, scientists are beginning to figure out what causes that.

Plus, we'll talk about drones over America. The FAA is opening up the skies to thousands of spy drones. Universities, apparently, want and small towns want them, even just people who are interested to just get one. We are going to talk to a lawmaker who says he's got some serious privacy concerns. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in a moment.



O'BRIEN: Good choice, Congressman. That is "Eye in the Sky" by the Alan Parsons Project. The other congressman we're going to be talking to in a moment will join us in just a few minutes.

A potentially promising new clue in the case of Etan Patz. Police and FBI investigator will be back on the scene in New York City this morning. They are of course trying to solve the 33-year-old mystery. The six-year-old boy vanished back in 1979. Over the weekend investigators discovered a stain that they say could be blood that is being tested right now at an FBI lab. Let's get right to CNN's Deb Feyerick. She is live in lower Manhattan with the very latest. Good morning, Deb.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Soledad. A little bit of excitement this morning when police came to remove one of the big dumpsters that a lot of the concrete slabs that had been removed from the basement apartment were put into. I spoke to a source familiar with the investigation who says it's really not the concrete slabs that they are interested so much as what is underneath. As a matter of fact, official digging down four to six feet to see if they can find any sort of remains of the six-year-old boy who disappeared within a block and a half of his home. It was the first time he had been walking to the school bus and he never made it onto that bus.

New leads developed over the weekend. Forensic experts tested some of the walls with a chemical that picks up organic material and did test positive for what could be the presence of blood on a concrete slab. You mention that slab was removed. It's being taken to the lab.

Investigators have been closed lip about the entire investigation. I don't think they don't want to get anyone's hopes up so they will not saying whether they found any remains what the stats of the dig is. It's a huge excavation, 800 square feet. They tore up the floor and looking to see if they can find anything.

You have to keep in mind that here in this very sort of chic area of downtown Manhattan, Soho, the father and the apartment the little boy lived is about a hundred yards away from the basement apartment that is now being searched. So it's very small this whole area. But clearly it could be significant. And investigators think that this is the lead that they have been waiting for. Soledad?

O'BRIEN: We should point out that even though they live in the same neighborhood, that neighborhood has changed so much in that 33 years. Soho used to be a lot of abandoned buildings and kind of really a down trod in some parts of Wooster. I used to live there in the '90s when it was just starting to turn around and come back, a big difference from when this little boy disappeared.

We have other headlines to get to. Zoraida has got a look at those for us. Good morning.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. This just in. Rudy is now on board. Former New York City Rudy Giuliani is the latest to endorse presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Giuliani made it official this morning on FOX News. A couple of months ago, Giuliani did say Romney, quote, "changed his position on virtually everything."

Search and rescue teams in Tucson, Arizona, are now on the hunt for missing six-year-old Isabel Mercedes, and they believe she may have been abducted. Isabel's parents say they last saw her in her bed Friday night and woke up Saturday and she was gone. Search crews and helicopters are combing that area. Dogs are searching the home. Tucson police chief joined us earlier. He says investigators found, quote, suspicious circumstances in Isabel's bedroom.


ROBERTO VILLASENOR, TUCSON POLICE CHIEF: We have a window that was opened and a screen removed. We are labeling it as suspicious circumstances and possible abduction mainly so that we keep all possibilities open. We don't want to focus on one path. We want to be open to all leads that come in.


O'BRIEN: If you have any information in the disappearance of Isabel, call the number on your screen.

Former North Carolina senator John Edwards' criminal trial begins today. He is trying to avoid spending 30 years in prison. A sentence Edwards faces for allegedly misusing money from his 2008 presidential campaign. He is accused of accepting nearly $1 million in illegal campaign contributions. Prosecutors say he used that money to pay the expenses of his mistress Rielle Hunter and hide their extramarital affair from voters. Edwards said he didn't believe he was doing anything illegal. Edwards could also be fined $1.5 million if he is convicted.

Police arresting a Texas prom queen for allegedly faking cancer and scamming people out of $17,000. According to "El Paso Times," 19- year-old Angie Gomez told her family, friends, and fiance she had six months to live back in 2011 after battling leukemia since childhood. She set up her own charity foundation called "Achieve the Dream." Gomez claimed the illness forced her it to miss her senior prom, so the high school held another one just to her. Someone called police complaining she didn't seem to be sick, and they investigated. She was put in jail with bond set at $50,000.

This one is for you, Soledad. Scientists have finally figured out the cause of sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, also known as brain freeze. You probably experienced brain freeze, the paralyzing instant headache brought on by cold drinks or ice cream. Researchers have figured out it is triggered by an increase in blood flow in an artery that feeds the brain. It is believed to be a protective mechanism used by the body to keep the brain from getting too cold. I think you would be able to figure that one out.

O'BRIEN: It worries me we are spending a lot of scientific money on that research for brains, like don't eat ice cream fast.

SAMBOLIN: It may help with migraines.

O'BRIEN: Oh, yes, OK. Then I support it!

SAMBOLIN: I do too!

(LAUGHTER) O'BRIEN: I was against it. I was for it and now I'm for it.

JOHN FUGELSANG, POLITICAL COMEDIAN: That money has proved brain freeze is caused by putting cold things in your head?

O'BRIEN: That's right, Dr. Fugelsang!


O'BRIEN: When people think about these high tech unmanned drones, usually we are talking about the military to spy on enemies overseas or carry out attacks. The Federal Aviation Administration, though, just released a list of more than 50 domestic institutions across the country that have applied for their own private drone programs. It includes small towns, universities too.

The list has some lawmakers worried about privacy. This week, Congressman Ed Markey drafted a letter to the FAA chief, writing this, "The agency has the opportunity and the responsibility to ensure that the privacy of individuals is protected and that the public is fully informed about who is using drones in public airspace and why."

Democratic Congressman Edward Markey of Massachusetts joins us this morning. First and foremost, tell us what your concern is and what you know about the drone program so far.

REP. EDWARD MARKEY, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: Well, what we know is that the FAA has already begun the licensing of drones for police agencies, for some other public institutions. But they are saying they could license upwards of 30,000 drones, public and private, that is commercial as well, in the United States by the year 2020. That is, within eight years, we could have 30,000 of these drones gathering information about Americans flying over the heads of the American people.

And that is something, to me, which I think we should have a big public debate about in terms of how much data is collected and who is collecting the data and how long can they keep this data, are there any privacy protections whatsoever that the FAA is imposing upon private sector companies gathering information about Americans from the sky?

O'BRIEN: So we know that some of the information they are gathering for example at Utah State, they are interesting in water and agricultural research. Kansas State wants to study plant productivity. And so when you look at it that way, you think what a smart idea, a drone could fly over the crops and actually, you know, save resources for the school and do something pretty efficiently. I'm certain that's not what you're worried about, right?

MARKEY: No. There was a Dickensian quality to these technologies. They are the best of technologies and worst of technologies simultaneously. Yes, they can provide tremendous public service to our country and he just listed some of those things. But it also has the potential to invade the privacy of Americans, to degrade and to debase Americans. So we have to basically deal with the fact that the technologies only are as good as the human values which we instill within them. And we must have a debate about it, because some of these drones are only going to be the size of humming birds which can just perch themselves on top of buildings, on top of homes, and begin to gather information about ordinary Americans. And it would be the private sector, not the public sector that would be doing it.

O'BRIEN: How is it different than, say, a security camera or the big cameras they put on the things they roll? I've seen them in major cities for parades and things like that except the fact they are mobile and you could fly them around.

MARKEY: Well, the difference is that they could be the something the size of the palm of your hand floating over your home looking at what is going on in your backyard as you walk around your neighborhood or a store which is gathering information about you for the purposes of just remarketing to you advertising from other companies.

So all of this should just be no. This is just -- it's un- American for this kind of information to be gathered for commercial purposes without their first being a debate in our country that these eyes in the sky now perhaps the size of the palm of your hand floating over your house are able to gather information that could be used actually in a detrimental way that could harm your family.

O'BRIEN: Congressman Ed Markey, thank you, sir. Appreciate it.

MARKEY: Thank you.

O'BRIEN: It's pretty crazy when you think about those drones because some of them are quite large but then some of them real, I wouldn't think that number of drones and how they manage that process.

CAIN: The cat is out of the bag on this. There has long been a recognized ability of the government to surveil us from the air. It's a question they can't do thermal images. The prevalence, I think is the real problem here is the prevalence that Mr. Markey is upset about.

O'BRIEN: We're going to take a break. Still ahead on STARTING POINT, don't tell the kids, but momentum is building to make the school day longer. Dr. Steve Perry is going to join us and tell us why he supports that idea coming up next.

And the show is being called the younger version of "Sex and the City," but does HBO's "Girls" have a race problem? We'll talk about that coming up.



O'BRIEN: Not yet, it's not, thank god! I haven't figured out what I'm doing this summer. That is Alice Cooper, of course. Most kids are done with school by 3:00 p.m. and that time is a -- we're going to have to rush home to work on the farm before dark back in the olden days as they say. Well today there's a push to get rid of that old and make school days in America a few hours longer.

Steve Perry is the founder of Capital Prep Magnet School and he joins us this morning. Steve, always nice to see you. You know, I'm on the Board of the After-School Corporation right, so a big focus for us is talking about lengthening the school day. We have these conversations all the time.

This is something you've done already at your school. Why did you decide to lengthen the school day? What did your school day look like?

STEVE PERRY, FOUNDER OF CAPITAL PREP MAGNET SCHOOL: Our school day goes from about 8:15 to 4:00. And for 180 days is the typical school year but at our school, it's 201 school days. We are a year- round school because the research is clear when you open a school that is supposed to serve children and not the needs of adults what you do is you give children more academic support.

O'BRIEN: So in "The Washington Post" there's an op-ed by Peter Orszag who is the former Director of the Office of Management and Budget and current Vice Chair of Global Banking at Citigroup and he writes this. "We're no longer an agrarian economy. Most schools still get out at 3:00. Time for a change, schools remain open until 5:00 or 6:00. That would be a couple hours longer, Steve, than you're doing. The results he says, he writes, "Would be a better educated students and less stressed parents." That's from "The Washington Post".

Do you agree with that, Steve?

PERRY: I do agree, if what they are given, the children, is, in fact, more and good instruction. Simply giving someone more water doesn't necessarily take care of the issue. You need something that is more substantive and in the case of too many of our schools it doesn't matter if you gave them six hours of it or ten hours of it, the actual academic preparation that they are getting is not up to par. So that's a bigger issue, it's the quality of the instruction, not just the length of instruction.

And what we see in many schools is that most teachers teach approximately three hours and 45 minutes a day out of the six and a half hour day. And in order to be able to extend the school day you need to make some fundamental changes and many of those changes are not going to occur within the traditional school system because this school system has been designed to meet the needs of adult at this point.

CAIN: Hey Steve, it's Will here. You know, something I hear a lot of parents complain about is the amount of homework that's sent home with their kids. If you lengthen the school day like this do you think they would have to intern them, lessen the amount of homework kids are sent home with? PERRY: Absolutely not. In fact, in preparation -- it's not that they just complain about the homework. In many cases they are complaining about what the homework is when it's just busy work. And they have every right to be upset about a kid getting diddles that just come home and don't challenge their child in any way, shape, or form or improve upon what they have learned during the day.

We know that children have more capacity to take on more information than we typically give them. And we tend to -- we tend to think that children themselves are often overworked and that's not the case. Kids are really ready to go. We just need to give them hard work that they care about and that they engage in.

O'BRIEN: But if you looked at a school system or a country that has a school system that is considered to be the top of the charts, that would be Finland and actually Finland has significantly fewer hours in school than, you know other -- not only other countries but certainly the United States so doesn't that completely contradict your point?

PERRY: No, it doesn't. Because part of my point was you can't just give them more. You have to give them better. So it's not just either -- either/or. You give them more days and more hours, or you give them quality instruction. It has to be quality instruction first and then you have to extend it. Especially from children from historically disadvantaged populations -- that's black, that's Latino, that's poor. Those kids need more time with qualified skilled instructors and not less. That's where the problem lies.

We're having this conversation often times about two different populations. Those children who have access to quality instruction at home and support and those children who do not. Those children who do not had been found over and over again to benefit greatly from these programs all the way back to the war on poverty.

We can look at the war on poverty with the upper bound programs and what they call the trio programs doing support services. They are summer bridge programs into college. They are after-school programs while in high school. These are the programs that have taken an entire generation of people from historically disadvantaged populations and put them in the middle class by giving them more instruction that's good.

O'BRIEN: Dr. Steve Perry for us. Steve, nice to see you. I fully support it. I need my kids I tell you in school until 5:00 p.m. I vote for that, right?

Still ahead on STARTING -- I'm serious --

FUGELSANG: And Finland hasn't been cutting school funding for 30 years.

O'BRIEN: Exactly this new show is being -- it's called "Girls" it airs on HBO, our corporate cousin. And it's being compared to "Sex and the City" for a new generation of women. We're going to talk about with Sharon Waxman from straight ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: We're back everybody. It is being called the younger generation of "Sex and the City" but there are some who say HBO's new show "Girls" lacks some minorities especially when it's taking place in New York City. HBO of course is owned by the parent company of this network.

Let's get right to Sharon Waxman from She joins us. Good morning, you've seen "Girls". Do you like it? I enjoy it.

SHARON WAXMAN, CEO, THEWRAP.COM: It's interesting. It's definitely something different.

O'BRIEN: Ok so give me the premise of it for people who haven't seen it yet.

WAXMAN: Yes, well so -- I really feel like it's kind of "Anti- Sex and the City" in a way although it's definitely for women. I mean, these are women who are young women in their early 20s who are not gorgeous, not glamorous, don't have great jobs and in the episode last night they spent half of it at an abortion clinic.

So it's really it's kind -- it has more of the feel of kind of an indie movie than have the kind of a glamorous HBO show actually. And it's interesting in that it's out there on a limb. I mean, there is very explicit sex and there's a lot of anxiety in the show all the way through about the sexual lives of these -- of these young women.


O'BRIEN: Which I guess is where those comparisons to "Sex and the City" are coming from. Where some of the criticism has come from is that the entire show takes place in New York City and yet, they really don't have much diversity, if any diversity on the show, right?

WAXMAN: There's a lot of different ways to sort of -- to parse the show. That's definitely one aspect that's a little bit strange for people who live in New York City which is this wildly diverse city. And by the way "Sex and the City" had the same issue. It was very, very white.

Every time, by the way, every time television does this you think what world are you living in? Because the show is so -- it's sort of forward-looking and so ahead of the curve on so many things on sexual issues just for example, as I said, last night, there -- this whole plot line about this girl having an abortion. There's this girl who has to go home and ask her parents for money.

And so it's very sort of real life bleeding the edge, you know cutting edge issues, yet this one thing where it's very clear that everybody -- we live in a world where things are not black and white, by the way. Things are multiracial and multi-everything, you know? It's -- that's the reality. You don't see that in the characters. It's kind of a little odd. Jenna Wertheim in the "Hairpin" wrote this "These girls -- or girls are like us. They are like me and they are like you, they are beautiful and they're ballsy. They are trying to figure out. They have their whole entire lives ahead of them and I can't wait to see what happens next. I just wish I saw a little more of myself on screen right alongside them." Black girl is what she is writing about.

And then there was a tweet back I guess from one of the writers named Leslie Arfin, a staff writer on the show who said what really bothered me most about "Precious" was that there was no representation of me. That was her response to the original tweet.


CAIN: Sounds like a joke.

O'BRIEN: Do you think so?

WAXMAN: That is a joke.

FUGELSANG: Yes, it does sound like a joke.


O'BRIEN: Of course, she is being sarcastic. But I guess that her point being -- I guess it seems like she's not necessarily taking the question of representation seriously to me because this is the same conversation, Sharon, that we had about "Friends".


O'BRIEN: Remember when Oprah asked when are you all going to get a black friend?

WAXMAN: Yes, exactly. This is a pattern you see over and over in mainstream television programming. In defense of the show, you know, you can't say that people do tend to hang out with members of their own race. That is kind of a social pattern and you see that over and over on college campuses, among Asian students and African- American students. But, at the same time, it does feel out of step, you know?

Nobody walks around in a world where everybody is white -- I watched the show last night with an eye -- couldn't be every character would be of the same race and it actually was. That seemed a little -- that seemed funny to me.

O'BRIEN: Sharon Waxman, joining us from Nice to see you. Thanks. Appreciate it.

WAXMAN: Yes. Thanks.

O'BRIEN: "End Point" is up next with the panel. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) O'BRIEN: Video just in. Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards arriving in court. His criminal trial begins today. He, of course, is accused of misusing money from his 2008 presidential campaign and accepting nearly a million dollars in illegal campaign contributions. He faces 30 years in prison.

It's time to get to "End Point" before we run out of time. Eight seconds, sir.

POE: Supreme court hears the Arizona law case this week. Two most important cases probably in our lifetime the Arizona case and healthcare bill. They will rule this summer. It will be very interesting.

O'BRIEN: Yes, it will be. We're going to be watching that and talking about it tomorrow.

Let's get right to the "CNN NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello which begins right now. We'll see everybody back here tomorrow morning.

Hey Carol, good morning.