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Chicago Teachers on Strike; The Day None Of Us Will Forget: Eleven Years Since September 11 Attacks; Andy Murray Wins U.S. Open; Presidential Candidates' Tax Plans Analyzed; Financial Help For First Responders; "I'm Not Getting Out"; Preparatory Drilling Postponed; FAMU: Hazing Death Not Our Fault; Angelina Jolie Visits Syrian Refugees; Kate and Will in Singapore; Wyoming Wildfires; Former Auto Exec In Standoff With Police; Dashcam Video Released

Aired September 11, 2012 - 07:00   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning to you and welcome to STARTING POINT here on this Tuesday. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm John Berman. Soledad O'Brien is off this week.

Our starting point, remembering the victims of 9/11. Eleven years after the worst terror attack on American soil, this morning a momentous victory for some of the heroes who paid the price to serve their country.

BALDWIN: Also this morning, here we go, day two this teacher strike that is absolutely reverberating across the country, thousands of Chicago public school teachers in this bitter, bitter dispute with the mayor, labor unions coming under siege. The question is, is a resolution at all in sight?

BERMAN: And four hours, 54 minutes later, history finally made at the U.S. Open, complete with some tears. What a moment.

BALDWIN: Huge show today. Take a look who will be talking to. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, also current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, Homeland Security Chairman Congressman Peter King, Homeland Security Adviser to President Bush, Fran Townsend, and author and actor and apparent teacher of at least a year, Tony Danza.

BERMAN: It is Tuesday, September 11, and STARTING POINT begins right now.

BALDWIN: And good morning to you. Thank you so much for being with us here. Our starting point here, no signs of progress. But no deal yet. We say yet, for these 30,000 teachers just about on strike in the city of Chicago, which means 350,000 students have yet another unscheduled day off.

BERMAN: The teachers want what they consider to be a fair contract. Casey Wian is at Manuel Perez Junior Elementary School in Chicago. And Casey, depending on who you listen to, there was some movement toward a deal overnight. But there are still some sticking points. CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, John. There are absolutely some sticking points. The two sides both say that a deal is within reach. But two major issues remain. And they weren't even talking about those issues last night. The first one is something that the teachers are actually not legally authorized to strike over, and that is the authorization of principals of individual schools to decide which teachers they want to hire. The union wants recently laid off teachers to get first priority for those jobs. Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel, and the school board, they want individual principals to have the hiring decisions in their control.

The other issue, also very contentious, is how teachers are evaluated. There's a new system that's going to be going into place, or at least proposed new system, that would evaluate teachers according to the union, in their view, too much on standardized testing. The union says that those teachers in lower income neighborhoods, those students nationally score lower most of the time, so the teacher evaluations in those cases are unfair.

Those two issues are remaining sticking points. Both sides pretty much acknowledge that they pretty much settled over the salary issue. So they say a deal is within reach. Negotiations are expected to resume at 9:30 local time this morning. But for now, no deal, John.

BERMAN: All right, Casey Wian on the ground in Chicago. Coming up in just a few minutes, someone at the center of the national debate on these issues, Randi Weingarten joins us. She is the president of the American Federation of Teachers.

BALDWIN: Look at other top stories. In America, remembering the 2,977 lives lost on September 11th, 2001, eleven years ago today. So at Ground Zero this morning, family members of the victims will participate in the traditional reading of the names. That ceremony will begin at 8:39. That is eastern time, and it will be marked by six moments of silence. Two at the precise times those planes hit the twin towers. Two at the times each tower then fell. And two to mark the exact moments of the attacks of flight 93 and the Pentagon.

BERMAN: The President and First Lady will observe a moment of silence at the White House before arriving at the Pentagon at 9:20 eastern. There will be a wreath-laying ceremony to honor the 184 lives lost there. And Vice President Biden will speak at a ceremony at the flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, that at 10:00 a.m. eastern. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta toured the site where those historic passengers and crew members took their own plane down.


LEON PANETTA, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: They successfully prevented an attack on the United States capitol. I am particularly thankful to them because on that fateful day I was at the U.S. capitol. Their example continues to inspire and to strengthen our nation.


BERMAN: Still so powerful. In the next half hour, STARTING POINT will be joined by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. That live and current New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg all live on STARTING POINT.

BALDWIN: Also this morning, this dispute that had stalled for quite some time the construction of the 9/11 museum at Ground Zero appears to be settled this morning. Just last night New York governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie struck this deal so construction of the $700 million museum, which was supposed to open in 2009, is expected to resume very soon. No date has been set yet for that opening.

BERMAN: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula suffers a major blow. Yemen's military has killed the second in command there. Abu Said al Shihri, he was responsible for improvement and fundraising. Local officials say he was killed by a U.S. drone strike on a car.

BALDWIN: Participation is building for release of the iPhone-5 tomorrow. Not only could it apparently boost Apple's bottom line a JP Morgan economist says the sales could give a significant boost to the overall U.S. economy. Yes, our economy. He estimates it could add between a quarter and a half percentage point to the country's GDP in the fourth quarter. Analysts expect Apple to sell 8 million iPhone 5s in the last quarter.

BERMAN: Eight million one, counting me.

A scary moment during WWE's Monday night raw. Wrestling commentator Jerry "The King" Lawler collapsed during last night's live broadcast. Co-Host Michael Cole broke the news to fans with an empty chair right next to him.


MICHAEL COLE, WWE CO-HOST: I want to preface this by saying this is not part of tonight's entertainment. This is a real-life situation. My broadcast colleague Jerry "The King" Lawler earlier on tonight collapsed mid-match while on commentary. He was -- fell out of his chair to the floor below, doctors were here immediately. Emergency personnel stretchered him out of the arena to the back where he received cpr.


BERMAN: Cole clearly shaken there. Lawler was rushed to the hospital. A statement on WWE's Web site says he suffered a heart attack.

BALDWIN: History made at the U.S. open tennis tournament. Andy Murray becomes the first British player to win a Grand Slam -- he was almost in disbelief -- men's title in 76 years. He defended defending champ Novak Djokovic in a five-set thriller that lasted four hours 54 minutes, tying the record for the longest men's final in U.S. open history.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANDY MURRAY, TENNIS PLAYER: Well, I've been in that position many times before and not one, you do think, you know, is it ever going to happen, you know and then when it finally does, you just -- you're obviously very, very excited, but mainly relieved to have got over that last hurdle.


BALDWIN: Murray had previously lost four Grand Slam finals, including Wimbledon just this year. But he's been on a bit of a roll now. He also won the Olympic gold medal.

BERMAN: He was so exhausted last night. But he was more like a puddle.

BALDWIN: After five hours. Hello.

BERMAN: The major news today, of course, it is day two of that massive teacher strike that has people all over the country questioning the state of our education system, 30,000 teachers affected, 350,000 students. And right now, no sign of a deal.

BALDWIN: Joining us now is the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, the Chicago teachers union an affiliate of Weingarten's association. Good morning.


BERMAN: Before we even get into the minutia that is so, so crucial in Chicago right now, can you help hit this home for us nationally. Why should teachers across the country pay attention to what's happening in Chicago?

WEINGARTEN: Well, I think it's why should communities pay attention to what's happening in Chicago. Between the need to actually help kids really learn how to apply knowledge, not rote memorization skills, combined with the poverty that is increasing in this country, combined with all of the budget cuts, it has made situations all across the country really difficult for both parents and teachers. And a lot of that is playing itself out in Chicago.

So, what the Chicago teachers want is books on time for kids. They want to make sure that kids have low enough class sizes. And what's happened is that the administration is basically not listening to them, and that's why you've had this strike.

BALDWIN: I want to talk to you about the crux it seems, how to evaluate the teachers which you touched on. What you do with laid off teachers. We've heard from the school board president David Vitale last night and he is saying this should be resolved today.

WEINGARTEN: Look, I'm on my way out there today. I'm on the phone with folks in Chicago all weekend long. Both sides did a lot this weekend to try to get to resolution.


WEINGARTEN: But what's happened is they were so far apart, the union has been raising these issues for months, for months, because they want to make sure that teachers -- if you listen to teachers, in Chicago, they're saying we're open to the longer day. But let's actually make sure that the time that we have with kids is about teaching and learning, not about test prep.

And so that's -- so when you listen, what's happened is this weekend, because no one wants a strike. We want to serve kids. What happened is this weekend finally there was enough kind of movement, and I'm cautiously optimistic that there will be more and more movement, that the teachers want to make sure they can help kids and have the tools to help kids and that kids have things like social workers, and wraparound services. That's what it's really about.

BERMAN: You're talking about these things. But the holdup here seems to be or one of the major holdups seems to be on the issue of testing and evaluating teachers. What is wrong with using standardized tests as one means to evaluate teacher performance? It's 25 percent of their evaluation, not all of it.

WEINGARTEN: Nothing is wrong with -- answering the two questions. Have I taught it? And have kids learned it? Nothing's wrong with that. That's what we're doing across the country. That's not the issue here. The issue here is that there's such a fixation on testing that testing is driving it, and what are these tests about? These tests are about rote memorization as opposed to how you make sure that kids actually know things and creatively think.

BALDWIN: Let me just press you on that for a moment, because we understand from Chicago public schools, they say that the growth on tests, that's only based on 25 percent.

WEINGARTEN: Actually, look, I -- I -- you know, neither the school system or myself should be talking about the substance of what's going on in the negotiations, but that is not what's going on in the negotiations. The issue in terms of the Chicago negotiations on evaluation is that the good -- the best evaluation systems are ones where there are a whole bunch of measures. What's happening here is that testing is actually driving teaching, and that doesn't work. The tests that are currently administered, the testing experts have said they have no validity in terms of evaluating teachers.

We have negotiated evaluation systems all across the country. The ones that really work, like the ones in New Haven, are ones that are done correctly, and carefully, and collaboratively.

BERMAN: There are studies, including from the Manhattan Institute of Higher Learning, that say value added measurements which include testing can be effective ways in evaluating teachers.

WEINGARTEN: Right. What I'm saying is that the issue is the fixation on testing as opposed to the tools and conditions and the other measures. But once -- let me talk about Tennessee for a second, where it's exclusively on where there's exclusively on testing. What's happening right now is that there was a revolution of parents and teachers because it wasn't about actually teaching kids. Everything become about the test. You're starting to see that throughout the country. If you have, in Chicago, the equivalent of 18 to 25 days that are focused on test prep as opposed to on project-based learning, as opposed to on teaching, that's not good for kids.

BERMAN: Let me be clear, they're talking about 25 percent of the evaluation --

WEINGARTEN: Actually --

BERMAN: And in Florida it's 50 percent. So in Chicago it's less than some places.

WEINGARTEN: Actually that's not the fixation that -- what I've heard from the table is absolutely the opposite. But, my point is, the issue is, there has to be multiple measures. It has to be answering the question, have I taught it, and have kids learned it? But you have to have the tools and conditions to help kids learn and to level the playing field for kids. If a child comes in hungry to school, we have to make sure that child is fed. If a child comes in without the kind of services that -- after-school services and other things, we have to make sure that that happens. We have to meet kids where they are.

BALDWIN: Parents are frustrated because they're not able, some of them are so frightened by some of the picket lines they're not even dropping their kids of for the contingency plans for schools. So many other questions we have for you with regard to politics, the President not exactly taking sides, Mitt Romney. So stay with us. We're going to talk to you next hour about how this is factoring in nationally.

WEINGARTEN: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Thank you very much.

BERMAN: Ahead on STARTING POINT, a couple in Massachusetts is now suing a Roman Catholic diocese because the church refused to sell them a mansion. Why they say this is discrimination.

BALDWIN: Also ahead, CNN going in-depth on economic issues, all this week, so coming up next, both President Obama and Mitt Romney, say they want to change the tax code, but what will happen to your money under each candidate's plan? Christine Romans breaks down the numbers for us. You are watching STARTING POINT.


BERMAN: All right, welcome back to STARTING POINT. It's 17 minutes past the hour. "Minding Your Business" this morning, all this week, CNN is going in-depth on the biggest issue, of course, the 2012 election, that being the economy.

BERMAN: Today what we're going to look at is what would happen to your money under Mitt Romney and President Obama's tax and investment plans? Christine Romans has been breaking all of this down, analyzing each candidate's plan and she's here for us right now.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, you guys. Would you like to know what your tax Bill is going to be exactly one year from now? Obama wants to tax the rich more. Romney wants to cut income tax rates for everyone, even the very rich.


BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not proposing anything radical here. I just believe that anybody making over $250,000 a year should go back to the income tax rates we were paying under Bill Clinton.

MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will not raise taxes on the American people. I will not raise taxes on middle-income Americans. We're going to make sure that Americans have the money to pay their bills.


ROMANS: All right, details are thin for Romney's plan. But here's what we do know. What would happen to income taxes, income tax rates -- Romney wants to cut income tax rates by 20 percent for every income level. Obama wants to split up the higher tax bracket and tax the rich more.

Now, the big question is what would happen to some big deductions like carried interest -- that's something that really rich people know about -- the child tax credit and the mortgage interest deduction. We just don't know what Romney has planned for those quite frankly. Again details are thin.

Now for investments, the differences in the plans can begin with taxes on the rich. High-income earners making $200,000 a year or more, their capital gains and dividends are currently taxed at 15 percent. Romney wants to keep it that way. But Obama wants to raise taxes on capital gains to 20 percent and dividends as high as 39.6 percent. We don't know how this will be paid for. Romney's running mate Paul Ryan addressed this over the weekend.


PAUL RYAN, (R-WI) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now the question is, not necessarily what loopholes go, but who gets them. High income earners use most of the loopholes. That means they can shelter their income from taxation. But if you take those loopholes, those tax shelters away from high income earners, more of their income is subject to taxation and that allows us to lower tax rates on everybody, small businesses, families, economic growth.


ROMANS: All right, but no more details about which loopholes would be closed.

We wanted to do a comparison of what would happen to the median income family making say $50,000 a year. But you just can't really do that given the information available for Romney's plan on taxes. We asked the Romney campaign for an analysis of what would happen to the average family under President Romney, and they said they have not done an analysis of an average family. The official we spoke to who didn't want to be named said that anyone who says Romney wants to get rid of the child tax credit is wrong. That's not true. This official would not explain what Romney would do to any other tax credits or that one, for that matter.

BERMAN: These details are really, really important by the way. If you don't say who would lose the mortgage tax deduction, you're not really sure whose taxes are going up and down.

ROMANS: A lot of people have been asking about the carried interest. That's something that people like Mitt Romney benefit from. He gets richer and richer every year because of that particular tax deduction. A lot of people have been asking what happens to that one as well. We know he would lower the marginal rate for everyone by 20 percent. OK, but what about all the other stuff that goes around it?

BERMAN: A lot of questions.

ROMANS: We'll find out at the debates.

BERMAN: We're going to continue this in-depth conversation tomorrow on STARTING POINT. Christine will look at everything, the housing situation in this country, breaking down president Obama and Mitt Romney's plans to help homeowners.

ROMANS: I can only imagine the reading material at night. If you have a personal economic story you would like to share with us please do. Go to our CNN iReport website. Check out our assignment page. Let us know, are you better off?

BERMAN: And ahead on STARTING POINT, moving over Heidi Klum. Who is the new number one most dangerous celebrity on the internet?

BALDWIN: Dangerous?

BERMAN: We'll tell you. Find out. You're watching STARTING POINT.


BERMAN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT everyone. Stories in the headlines, a hacker from the group Anonymous is taking responsibility for crashing the Web site of the massive web hosting company Go Daddy. Millions of websites that use Go Daddy servers also appear to have crashed yesterday. The company says service was restored to most of its clients within a few hours.

BALDWIN: She is young. She's smart and talented, and dangerous. Actress Emma Watson of "Harry Potter" fame tops McAfee's 2012 list of the most dangerous celebrities to search for online. The software security firm says many sites use her name to trick people into downloading malware or steal your personal information. So watch out when you search her name apparently, there is a one in eight chance of finding a malicious site. After Watson on the list you have favorite celebrities, Jessica Biel, Eva Mendes, Selena Gomez, Halle Berry, and John Berman.

BERMAN: Yes, right.

BALDWIN: But anyway, the only guy, in fact, to crack McAfee's top 20, Jimmy Kimmel.

BERMAN: I'm outraged that anyone would pick on Hermione.

A gay couple in Massachusetts is suing the Catholic diocese of Worcester. They claim they're refusing to sell them a mansion because they're gay and are afraid they'll stage same-sex weddings there. The two men, who are married, want to purchase the million dollar Oakhurst mansion and turn it into an event hall. They say they were mistakenly sent a copy of an e-mail in which a monsignor told a real estate broker after checking with a bishop the deal was off. An attorney for the diocese said financial concerns and not discrimination ended the deal.

BALDWIN: Still ahead special coverage of the September 11th terrorist attack 11 years later, including a momentous change this morning, a long, long time coming, that will help our many heroes exposed to toxic dust and smoke and the fumes there at Ground Zero. The mayor of New York during that fateful day on 9/11/2001, Rudy Giuliani, joins us live from lower Manhattan.

And also with us current New York City mayor, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and an agreement which is now paving the way for the completion of the September 11th museum. That was a contentious fight there. It has been solved. We'll tell you all about it. You're watching STARTING POINT


BERMAN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT, everyone. We're marking 11 years since the September 11th terror attacks that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people in New York, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon. And this morning, a victory for those who were exposed to toxins at Ground Zero.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, 50 different types of cancer are now being added to the list of the World Trade Center related diseases that will now be covered by the federal government under the 9/11 Zadroga Act.

It is, of course, welcome news for hundreds of first responders and volunteers whose heroic actions 11 years ago today left them sick, left them bankrupt. Here is Athena Jones with more.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I lived on Staten Island at the time and I could see the smoke coming from the tower.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ernie Vallebuona rushed to the World Trade Center site on September 11th, 2001, to help with rescue and recovery efforts.

ERNIE VALLEBUONA, 9/11 FIRST RESPONDER: There's a lot of confusion, a lot of smoke. You couldn't -- you couldn't see when you were trying to walk through the smoke to search for survivors, you could barely see your hand in front of you.

JONES: Then a New York City police detective, Vallebuona spent six months at the site. A few years later, he was diagnosed with cancer.

VALLEBUONA: In 2004 is when I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

JONES: His cancer now in remission, Vallebuona had to use his retirement savings to pay bills his insurance didn't cover and is hoping to recoup some of that money.

VALLEBUONA: It's been something that they've been talking about for, you know, 10 years now.

JONES: Vallebuona and other first responders made sick by the chemicals and dust are still waiting for compensation from the government. Payments to some who developed respiratory, digestive and other conditions should begin in the next couple of months under a law President Obama signed in January of 2011.

The Zadroga Act, named after New York Police Detective James Zadroga, who died of a respiratory illness after working at the World Trade Center site. It sets aside some $2.8 billion to cover their claims.

Attorney Noah Kushlefsky represents Vallebuona and nearly 4,000 other first responders who became ill.

NOAH KUSHLEFSKY, KREINDLER AND KREINDLER LLP: Now people are terribly sick. People can't support their families. This program is in a very real sense a lifeline that is going to help people put their lives back together after they stepped up and did things that nobody else was willing to do.

JONES: For those just now getting sick, Vallebuona hopes the fund will ultimately send this message.

VALLEBUONA: Just fight your cancer, ma'am, don't worry about money. Don't worry about co-payments or medications, we got your back.

JONES: Athena Jones, CNN, Washington.


BERMAN: In the hours and days after the September 11th attacks, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani emerged as a figure of comfort, not just for this city, but for the entire country.

Few will ever forget the images of them walking around Ground Zero soon after the tower fell. He's joining us this morning right now from Ground Zero. Good morning, Mr. Mayor.


BERMAN: Eleven years later, for so many of us it is still an indelible memory. Many of us in the city were down there. We saw the towers fall, we saw you walking around. We're seeing a picture of you right now with that mask, a famous image of you. As you stand down there today 11 years later, tell me about your feelings.

GIULIANI: Well, they're very mixed, obviously. There's always just tremendous sense of loss, very good friends that I lost. The people that I saw die, the people that were reported to me dead immediately thereafter.

Father, Judge Pete Gansy, my goodness, so many then there's also a feeling of resiliency about it. I mean, New York City has come back. It's handled it. I asked them to be stronger than they were before, and they've become much stronger.

BERMAN: We are 11 years after now, and some communities around New York have scaled back their commemorations. Some towns in New Jersey not doing commemorations today and the ceremony down there at Ground Zero today is somewhat different, too. Is it time to change how we commemorate this anniversary?

GIULIANI: Sure. I mean, it's only natural that as time goes by, it might not be as long or it might not be as intense, I mean people have to move on with their lives and they do.

But I think there always has to be a remembrance of what happened on this day forever and certainly now, because it's not over yet. I mean, this is not a memorial, really.

Pearl Harbor is a memorial. This is an ongoing war against us by Islamic extremist terrorists who want to come here this very day and do exactly the same thing they did 11 years ago and what they did in 1993.

And we've -- we're fortunate that we've stopped about 40 of these attacks. Meaning the government stopped 40 of these attacks, most of it by really good work, and every once in awhile by just dumb luck like the attack in Detroit at Christmas Day two years ago.

BERMAN: Mayor, one of the big changes down there this year is politicians will not be speaking. This is the first time that's happened. What do you think about that?

GIULIANI: I don't care. I mean, I think it was perfectly appropriate for the mayor to make some changes in the program. Anything he did, somebody's going to criticize it.

I think the fact that we change the nature of the ceremony a little bit, make it a little shorter, make it a little more compact, I'm not really offended by that. I'm upset that the memorial isn't done yet.

I was here last year. It was supposed to be done this year. Now it's not going to get done, I don't know, for a couple of years. I don't quite understand that. BERMAN: There is a deal --

GIULIANI: -- that has me more upset.

BERMAN: They say there is a deal now --

GIULIANI: I know there's a deal, but --

BERMAN: Mayor --

GIULIANI: That's what we were told last year, too.

BERMAN: That's true.

GIULIANI: I hope it is -- I hope it gets done. Somebody's got to feel a sense of urgency about this. I do. I was here. I saw it happen. I have a sense of urgency about it. I wish everybody else that's involved in this would have that same sense.

BERMAN: Mayor, there is another big story going on around the country. The teacher's strike in Chicago, when you were mayor here you had a lot of experience dealing with the teachers union there. What do you make about how the mayor in Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, how do you think he is handling the situation there right now?

GIULIANI: Well, I mean, it seems to me he's bargaining for exactly the right things. He's asking to be able to evaluate, if there's a difference between good teachers and bad teachers. That seems almost common sense in 21st Century America.

Why teachers should be worried about having their managers evaluate them. Every worker in America has their managers evaluate them. Every professional does.

So I think he's -- what he's trying to do is to try to get that whole union turned around to worrying about the children. Not worrying about themselves and how they're going to be evaluated.

BERMAN: Mr. Mayor --

GIULIANI: I hope he wins. I hope he wins.

BERMAN: Speaking of hope he wins, I know you've been a supporter of Mitt Romney. We are just out of the conventions right now and it does appear that his opponent, President Obama, has received something of a bounce in the latest CNN poll.

He is now leading mitt Romney by six points. That's roughly a four- point bounce according to our polling. Is there something wrong right now with the Romney campaign?

GIULIANI: No. No, no. I mean, he got much more favorable coverage on the mainstream media than Mitt Romney did. I mean, basically flaunting coverage. So you get that kind of coverage, I'm not surprised he didn't get a nine, ten percent bounce. In some polls it's only 1 percent or 2 percent. So I think Mitt Romney is in good shape. I mean, the fact is, most important thing that happened last week, not all the speeches, it was the fact that our unemployment rate is still over 8 percent.

The number of people off the rolls is catastrophic, 368,000 people and this is the 43rd month that President Obama has given us eight-plus percent unemployment. He wants a second chance. I don't think they're going to give him a second chance to screw up our economy as badly as he did the first time.

BERMAN: All right, Mayor Rudy Giuliani down at Ground Zero. Thank you very much for joining us this morning.

GIULIANI: Thank you very much.

BALDWIN: Take a look at some other stories here on this Tuesday, including Missouri Congressman Todd Akin. He is back on Capitol Hill. He sounds determined to remain there.

This is the very first time he's been spotted in Washington since his comments about quote/unquote "legitimate rape" prompted fellow Republicans to call upon him to drop his bid for Missouri's Senate seat.

Akin says polling data suggests he's going to win the race against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill come November and he makes it very clear he is not backing down.


REP. TODD AKIN, (R) MISSOURI: I'm not getting out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're saying September 25th will come and go and you'll still be in the Senate race?

AKIN: That's what I'm saying. I've tried to say it about five times, but I know you want to hear -- all right. Thanks, guys.


BALDWIN: Other news on the Hill here. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. still has not returned to work. He has been released from the Mayo Clinic where he was treated for depression. His family says he is still under medical supervision and there is no timetable for his return to Congress.

BERMAN: An enormous ice floe has forced Royal Dutch Shell to postpone preliminary drilling off the north slope of Alaska, just one day after the controversial project got started.

The chunk of drifting ice is more than 32 miles long and 12 miles wide. That is a big piece of ice. It has forced Shell's drilling ship to move off the well site. It's expected to try and return and re-anchor in the next few days. BALDWIN: Florida A&M University is not responsible for Drum Major Robert Champion's hazing death. Champion himself is to blame. That is the blunt message in Florida A&M's motion to dismiss a wrongful death suit filed by his family.

The university's attorney says Champion should have refused to participate in the hazing and should have reported it to police or the university. Champion's parents say Florida A&M is partly to blame for their son's death because it failed to stop a culture of hazing.

BERMAN: Actress and U.N. Ambassador Angelina Jolie visiting with Syrian refugees at a camp in neighboring Jordan today. The trip is drawing attention to the plight of more than 250,000 Syrians who have fled their country during these past 18 months of bloodshed.

More than 81,000 people have escaped to Jordan. The country's foreign minister says they've reached their limit, in absorbing all these refugees.

BALDWIN: Britain's Prince William and Katherine Middleton are in Singapore this morning. This is the beginning of their nine-day tour of Asia. Today, they visited the Botanic Gardens where an orchid is named after them.

It's the Vanda William Katherine orchid, there you go. They also saw an orchid named after the late Princess Diana, of course, William's mother. They are visiting four countries as part of a world tour celebrating Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee.

BERMAN: You know you've made it when you have an orchid named after you, new goals in life.

Our special coverage of the September 11th terrorist attacks 11 years later will continue in a moment. Just ahead, new developments on the museum at the site of the World Trade Center.

BALDWIN: And a deal reached overnight finally resolving the political, the emotional, and the financial interests in the city's most hallowed site. Coming up next, the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg joins us live. You're watching STARTING POINT.


BERMAN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT, everyone. Some top stories to tell you about right now. Evacuations are being ordered in Wyoming as a wildfire continues to burn on Casper Mountain.

The sheep herder hill fire has burned through 10,000 acres, and destroyed at least six structures so far. No word yet on the cause of that fire.

And authorities say another fire broke out last night in the area of Elk Horn Canyon. They believe the new blaze was caused by a lightning strike.

A former auto executive has been found dead in his suburban Detroit home after a 20-hour armed standoff with police. It is not clear whether the 50-year-old killed himself or was shot to death by police.

Before he died, he shot and killed 12-year veteran Officer Patrick O'Rourke, a father of four. Police say Coley had just gone through a divorce, was about to be evicted from his home and was facing mounting legal and financial problems.

Dramatic dash cam video from Oak Creek, Wisconsin, taken as officers responded to the deadly shootings at that Sikh temple last month. Lieutenant Ryan Murphy can be seen taking cover as gunman Wade Page comes into view and shoots him.

Murphy survived the attack. Officer Sam Lenda who fired off a shot that hit page can be heard screaming at the suspect and his fellow officers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got a man with a gun in the parking lot. Get down!


BERMAN: Chilling. After being hit by Officer Lenda's bullet, Page who killed six in the temple attack took his own life.

And next on STARTING POINT, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg joins us live from Ground Zero, as we mark 11 years since the September 11th attacks. You're watching STARTING POINT.


BALDWIN: And welcome back to STARTING POINT on our special coverage here of the September 11th terror attacks. Here we are, 11 years later. I was just flying into New York last night and I saw this One World Trade, live pictures here, Ground Zero where that building is nearing completion.

A memorial ceremony will begin in just about an hour to commemorate the 2,997 lives lost. And for many of those, mourning the victims a chance to move forward was reached last night. A dispute that had stalled construction of that 9/11 Museum at Ground Zero appears to be settled with a new deal finally in the works.

We're going to talk to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg about that here. Mayor Bloomberg, good morning, first and foremost to you, good morning.


BALDWIN: Before we --

BLOOMBERG: Good morning.

BALDWIN: Before we talk about that dispute that's finally solved here, I do just want to ask you, here we are 11 years later. I mean, of course, I remember I was in Washington 11 years ago on -- it was a Tuesday morning -- how do you feel walking around Ground Zero?

BLOOMBERG: Well, it's -- if you're a family member, I don't think you've forgotten at all and my job is to make sure that those who didn't lose a relative don't forget. Our freedoms are fragile and if we forget, somebody will come again and try to take them away from us.

This time, they weren't successful. Who knows about the future? That's why we have the museum and the memorial, to make sure that people understand that what we take for granted, we shouldn't be taking for granted.

And we have young men and women who are willing to fight overseas and work on the streets of our cities to keep us safe and, hopefully, they will be in the next generation will want to do the same thing. It's up to us to explain to them why.

BALDWIN: Let me just say, we will never forget. You brought up 9/11 Museum, Mayor Bloomberg. I want to ask you, finally -- in sort of the 11th hour last night, this resolution was reached. Can you just talk to me a little bit about some of the intricacies of the deal and why it took so long?

BLOOMBERG: Well, you know, if you look back, it probably didn't take that long. We've been working on this for, let's say, 11 years and the Senator Inowye from Hawaii said to me it took 40 years to build the museum and memorial for World War II.

He thought it was amazing we got it done in this length of time. There was never any question that we were going to finish the museum. Governors Christie and Cuomo were 100 percent committed to it, but everybody has their responsibilities and they want to make sure that their interests are protected.

And that takes time. We do want to make -- a real fight. I would say it's simply a discussion. Nobody ever had a real fight. There was always more information you needed and more discussion and come to an agreement.

And not everybody -- when you have two parties and everybody has to pay part, you discuss and you come to something that's fair. And I think that was done here, but it was never mean spirited nor was it ever in doubt.

And, yes, it got done just before the 11th anniversary, but the most important thing is that we build this safely. We haven't lost any lives on the site, the World Trade Center site since 9/11, with the exception of two firefighters who died very tragically. And we want to continue that record.

And we want to build what's right so that generations from now it still stands and has the message that we want. And then we want to do it as economically as possible, not an unlimited amount of money for anything in our lives, as you know.


BLOOMBERG: Lastly, a date is important, but only because it's a date.

BALDWIN: Let me ask you about the museum because I know there was a lot of talk be about whether or not one would have to pay a fee to enter this museum. Do you know that yet if that's on the table, paying a fee or if it will be merely a donation?

BLOOMBERG: Of course. No, we certainly will have a fee. That's the only way to pay for what we have to do. We have to provide security. We have to provide cleaning services. We have to provide maintenance. We have to constantly reinvest in technology and exhibits.

And the money has to come from someplace. Hopefully, we'll get the same kind of monies and support from the federal government that other memorials, national memorials around the country do. We hopefully will be able to continue to raise money from generous corporations and private donors, individuals who believe.

But we'll also have to charge money to go into the museum. You know, in our lives we all understand somebody has to pay and it's not just going to be the other person. We all share in this together.

BALDWIN: Mayor Bloomberg, since I have you and since so many of us were talking about Chicago. If I may, I would like to turn the corner and ask you one question.

You've had your own battle with the teachers union over teachers' evaluations I want to read something you said in June. Quote, "the union is not there to help our students. Don't ever think that. The union is there for its members, to protect them. When they're sex offenders, they protect them.

When they're criminals, they protect them. They do anything to protect them. They don't focus on the students. They just use the students as a ploy." Some could say that is quite harsh. What do you make of what Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanual is doing and the strike in Chicago?

BLOOMBERG: I'm not familiar with what's going on there, other than what I read in the papers. Mayor Emanual is trying very hard to do what's right for the students. That's his responsibility. The union's responsibility is to protect their members, to get the best working conditions, the most money and the fewest hours.

And that's fine, nothing wrong with that whatsoever. So they'll continue to do that here in the city. We work with the union and we are committed to making sure that our children get an education that they are going to need.

That's the most important thing. Our school system should not be run by the people that work there. Our school system should be run for the students.

BALDWIN: Mayor Michael Bloomberg, live for us this morning from Ground Zero. Sir, thank you so much.

BLOOMBERG: You're welcome. BALDWIN: Still ahead this morning here on STARTING POINT, real life drama at the WWE, a wrestling legend suffers a heart attack and collapses ring side during a live broadcast.

BERMAN: Plus, standoff in Chicago, those striking teachers in a nasty fight with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, leaving hundreds of thousands of children are sitting home again this morning. We are live on the picket lines. Top of the hour, you're watching STARTING POINT.