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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Protests Continue in Middle East; Boy Scout Files Indicate Pattern of Sexual Abuse of Children ; No Deal In Chicago Teachers Strike; Reno Air Races Return; "Endeavour's" Final Flight Postponed; Speedy Delivery; Focus On Foreign Policy; Royal Couple Filing Criminal Complaint; Another NHL Labor Dispute

Aired September 17, 2012 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: They changed the music while I was gone. Welcome, everybody. You're watching STARTING POINT.

There is chaos overseas to talk about this morning. Overnight, there was violence raging in Pakistan, in Iraq, and outside the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan. Hundreds of protesters in the streets after a deadly weekend for U.S. troops, including American soldiers killed by insurgents dressed as American military.

A sex abuse scandal rocking the boy scouts. Startling new reports claims the group failed to report hundreds of suspected child sex abuse as even covered up for them over more than 20 years.

And there's a tentative deal, but there is no class for hundreds of thousands of students. Chicago teachers are back on the picket lines this morning. And now, the mayor, Rahm Emanuel, in Chicago is taking it to the courts.

It's Monday, September 17th, and STARTING POINT begins right now.

O'BRIEN: Good morning. Welcome, everybody. Our "starting point" this morning, chaos overseas in the latest hot spot. Protests have become angry and violent outside U.S. and NATO bases in Kabul. An Afghan police official said at least 15 officers were injured in protests against an offensive anti-Islam film that was made by relatively unknown movie producer.

Demonstrators firing their guns in Iraq setting at least two police cars on fire near the U.S. embassy. It comes a day after four American soldiers were killed on an American base in Afghanistan by insurgents who were dressed as American military members.

Kabul, Karachi, Pakistan the two main hot spots this morning. More from Pakistan just ahead. First let's get right to Anna Coren live in Kabul for us. What's happening?

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Soledad, there were protests on the street, as you say, not far from the U.S. embassy here in Kabul. About 300 protesters attacked police and 15 officers were injured, including the commander. They burnt two police cars, along with a bunch of tires, and we approached the scene. However there were reports that guns were being fired and that they were attacking westerners. We had to keep at bay.

But certainly that violence that we've seen across the Muslim world has finally spread to Afghanistan. The government has really tried to keep a lid on it by banning YouTube so that people couldn't view that inflammatory video. But as we saw today, that violence has finally hit the streets here.

O'BRIEN: Anna Coren for us with an update from Kabul.

Rage building in other parts of the Muslim world. A suicide bomber blowing up his vehicle at a checkpoint leading to the heavily protected green zone in Baghdad where the U.S. embassy and several other western embassies are located, seven Iraqis were killed by that blast this morning. Anti-U.S. sentiment also flaring in Pakistan, police spent the weekend pushing back protesters who were trying to storm the U.S. consulate in Karachi. One person was killed. Reza Sayah has more from Islamabad in Pakistan this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Washington bracing itself for another wave of anti-American anger on Monday. This time the call for protest coming from Lebanon and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. "The whole world needs to see your anger, on your faces, in your fists, and your shouts," Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

On Sunday, anti-American demonstrations continued in Karachi, Pakistan, as police beat back scores of protesters in front of the U.S. consulate. That angry rally followed a flurry of protests over the past few days in places like Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Iran, where demonstrators railed against a low-budget film that insults Islam's prophet Muhammad.

The protests sometimes turn violent. U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died when armed protesters attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. U.S. officials say lost amid the tragedy and dramatic headlines was the fact that most were not massive protests but crowds numbering in the hundreds, sometimes in the thousands.

SUSAN RICE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: The mobs we've seen on the outside of these embassies are a small minority. They're the ones who have largely lost in these emerging democratic processes.

SAYAH: Susan Rice, the U.S. President to the U.N., said the attacks on U.S. targets began as spontaneous protests, rejecting earlier claims they were part of a plot to coincide with last week's anniversary of 9/11.

The anti-American protests have fast become the Obama administration's most pressing foreign policy crisis. But the White House faces other urgent challenges in the region. On Sunday, four U.S. soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, the latest in a breakout of insider attacks where Afghan forces target NATO troops. And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued to ratchet pressure on Washington to set a red line for Iran, claiming Iran is months away from being able to build a nuclear bomb.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: I think that there's a common interest of all Americans, of all political persuasions, to stop Iran. This is a regime that is giving vent to the worst impulses that you see right now in the Middle East.

SAYAH: Washington is putting a lot of pressure on governments in the region to crack down on violent protests, and those governments have responded with tighter security and the protests seem to be tailing off. In the meantime, Libyan officials say they've arrested a number of suspects in the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Stevens. It's not clear who these suspects are at this time, but Libyan officials saying contrary to earlier claims, there is no evidence al Qaeda was involved.

Reza Sayah, CNN, Islamabad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O'BRIEN: Let's get to John Berman now with a look at some of the other stories making news today. Good morning.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Great to have you back. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel expected to seek a court order today in an effort to force striking teachers to go back to work. The teachers are starting their second week on the picket line. A tentative contract agreement was reached over the weekend, but teachers and union leaders say the members need more time to review it. And they delayed any vote until tomorrow.

One year ago a movement was born. Today is Occupy's one-year anniversary and protesters are planning rallies in more than 30 cities around the world, including a march on the New York Stock Exchange. That's expected to begin in about 30 minutes. Everyone watching to see if the 99 percent make a comeback now. Occupy Wall Street started in lower Manhattan one year ago with protesters setting up camp, and that spawned similar protests in cities around the world. The movements happened because of widespread resentment over the economic slump, nagging unemployment, and people just plain fed up with the banks.

Prince William and the Duchess Catherine are in the Solomon Islands today celebrating the Queen's diamond jubilee. Meanwhile 9,000 miles away their lawyers are preparing to file a criminal complaint with French prosecutors against the photographer who snapped those topless pictures of Kate. Britain's royal family also plans to go to court today to stop the publication of more of those topless photos and to seek some damages.

The 49ers living up to the hype so far. They beat the Detroit lions 27-19 on Sunday night football and improved to two and zero on the season. Tight end Vernon Davis was huge. He caught two touchdown passes. And this was the big story line. Look at that friendly handshake between coaches Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz. They met before the game with a friendly hello, a lot different than last season when the two almost came to blows after a game. So a little friendlier this time.

How about some politics SNL style. "Saturday Night Live" opened its 38th season with a new President Obama. Jay Farrell was sworn in taking over the presidential impression.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY FARRELL, COMEDIAN: So America I know you're not in love with me anymore but I want you to know that my heart still beats for you, and I can prove it. I am so in love with you. That was fun, right? So, do you want that or this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: E-I-E-I-O.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: All right, that is a take on Mitt Romney again. Brace yourselves on the campaign trial.

CHO: He did such a good job. If you look at what he really looks like. They did a masterful job on his makeup.

We can tell you about the uprising overseas and the violence. That new violence comes with some criticism for prime minister. Let's get right to Jen Psaki, she's the Obama campaign traveling press secretary and also the former Obama White House deputy communications director. Jen, nice to have you with us.

JEN PSAKI, OBAMA CAMPAIGN TRAVELING PRESS SECRETARY: Good morning.

O'BRIEN: Let's talk about what's been happening overseas. You just heard a report, several reports sort of detailing some of that violence. Six American military killed in a weekend of violence. So what is the -- what is the U.S. plan to deal with these protests and deal with what seems to be escalating violence?

PSAKI: Well, first, Soledad, any president of any party is going to be dealing with crises. That's part of the job. And the President, I spent some time with him on the campaign trail last week when he was dealing with this and he was on conference calls and receiving briefings constantly while we were out traveling. And his primary focus right now is in ensuring the security of the people who are serving abroad, whether that's the military or diplomats serving in the embassies. And that's what he's working very closely with his team on right now.

O'BRIEN: Right, but that doesn't really answer my question, which is so what is the specifics of a plan to deal with this? This is the first time in a couple of years that we've seen insurgents wearing U.S. military uniforms, in order to be able to pull off some kind of an attack. It's something we haven't seen in two years. You're looking at an end to, you know, the complete drawdown in 2013 and you see a rise in these insider attacks. So what's the plan?

PSAKI: Well, look, I don't spend every day in the national security council. I leave that to people like Ambassador Rice, who spoke to this yesterday and my former colleagues who still work at the White House. Obviously this type of thing has happened before. They're focused day in and day out in doing everything they can to ensure the security of people who are serving overseas, people who are serving in the embassies. That's what their focus is, and they're working every day toward that.

You know, I can point to what Ambassador Rice said yesterday. We've seen this before. Unfortunately, this is a response to a video that we had nothing to do with that is disgusting and we have repudiated strongly. And now we're working every day to make sure that we can address this, and make sure we can ensure the security of our people serving abroad.

O'BRIEN: Here's a little bit more of what she said specifically about Libya. Let's play that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICE: Our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo. What we think then transpired in Benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate, as this was unfolding. They came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are readily available in post-revolutionary Libya, and they escalated into a much more violent episode.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: So her theory is that there are people who saw the video, there was a protest over that anti-Islam video, extremists then saw opportunity there and they brought heavy weaponry, and that turned in to what was an attack. As you know there are others who say, no, this was actually well coordinated among those, Senator John McCain. Let me play you what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: Most people don't bring rocket- propelled grenades and heavy weapons to a demonstration. That was an act of terror. And for anyone to disagree with that fundamental fact, I think, isn't really knowing the facts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: Does he not have a point? That if you're bringing a rocket- propelled grenade --

PSAKI: Well, I don't think we can -- what can't be lost here is this is a political campaign season, as well. Senator McCain is a strong supporter of Mitt Romney's. Mitt Romney came out when we knew, when the world knew, that there had been American deaths, he came out and attacked, criticized the President for identifying with the attackers. You know, he's been known to, as the President said last week, to shoot first and aim later.

O'BRIEN: All true -- PSAKI: But Soledad, I don't have access to the intelligence, either. Neither do you. I don't know what Senator McCain has access to --

O'BRIEN: But you can't claim a question about whether or not it was premeditated is solely political, right? I mean that is outside of politics. That is a valid question. Were people angry about a movie and then it sort of spurred into an attack or was it a coordinated attack that leveraged the movie? That's a relevant question outside of politics.

PSAKI: Ambassador Rice was very clear yesterday about what the U.S. government has found to be the cause here. You know, I refer you to what she said. She has access to the intelligence that you and I don't have and most of the American people don't have.

So you know, I can't speak to what Senator McCain has seen or hasn't seen, but I'll point you to what Ambassador Rice said yesterday, and of course this is the focus of what she and her team and the national security council at the White House are working on every single day now.

O'BRIEN: Ambassador Richard Williamson, who as you know, is a policy adviser for Mitt Romney, said this in the wake of the latest -- what happened last week and then the weekend, there's a pretty compelling story that if you had a President Romney, he's a policy adviser obviously, you'd be in a different situation. "For the first time since Jimmy Carter we've had an American ambassador assassinated. The respect for America has gone down, there's not a sense of American resolve and we can't even protect sovereign American property."

Do you think that that is true, that there is a drop in the level of respect for America overseas, especially in the Middle East?

PSAKI: I have to say that's an absolutely outrageous statement. Many Republicans have come out and said it's an outrageous statement. You know, the President is someone who said, "I'm going to go after Osama bin Laden." And he did. And he's dead. He said, "I'm going to go after al Qaeda." And he's decimated them. He's restored our place in the world. This is a crisis we're dealing with, the President is focused on every single day. But when advisers are making statements like that I think it really brings into question whether Mitt Romney and his team are ready for prime-time and ready to face a crisis like inevitably he would if he were elected president.

O'BRIEN: Jen Psaki is the Obama campaign traveling press secretary. Thank you for talking to us.

PSAKI: Thank you, Soledad. Have a great day.

O'BRIEN: Likewise.

Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, a shocking investigation claims that for two decades the boy scouts covered up accused child molesters in their ranks. One of the reporters who broke that story is going to join us up next. And it is not your usual security training. Military personnel, law enforcement officers, government workers, all getting ready for how to deal with a zombie apocalypse. Easy for me to say. We're going to tell you why we think get real to that this morning. STARTING POINT is back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. I'm Christine Romans minding your business this morning. U.S. stock futures are lower after a big run-up last week to nearly five-year highs. News of more Federal Reserve stimulus pushed stocks to the highest since late 2007. This week's focus turns now to new manufacturing and housing data.

Apple stock hit an all-time high of $695 a share on Friday, ultimately closing at $691 a share. This morning it's up again in premarket trading. Stock is up nearly 70 percent year-to-date. Of course iPhone is a big moneymaker for apple and the new one isn't even out yet.

President Obama is launching another trade complaint against China with the World Trade Organization. The White House claims Beijing is violating trade laws by imposing more than $3 billion in duties on U.S. auto exports creating an unfair advantage for China's automakers and parts manufacturers. The President will make an announcement today while campaigning in Ohio, Soledad, coincidentally, a state that has been hit hard by manufacturing job loss.

O'BRIEN: A state everybody is watching very closely in the next 50 days to the election?

BERMAN: It's 50 days.

ROMANS: Not a coincidence.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: Thank you, appreciate that Christine.

The Boy Scouts of America, this story is so insane, now accused of covering up sexual abuse going back decades. The "Los Angeles Times" has gotten a hold of hundreds of documents that detail allegations against Boy Scout personnel and volunteers. And the files appear to show a pattern of protecting the accused, and even sweeping it under the rug.

Let's bring in one of the reporters on this story for the "L.A. Times." Jason Felch is with us this morning. Nice to talk to you. This is so shocking. And 1,600 confidential files is what you had a chance to look at between 1970 and 1991. Explain to me where they were kept, and how they were found and how you got access to them.

JASON FELCH, REPORTER, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": For the last 100 years the boy scouts have kept these files confidentially in national headquarters, which now is in Irving, Texas. They've never been released publicly. But they have started to come out through civil litigation. So the files that we looked at came out in a 1992 civil case in California. And there are thousands more that have never been released.

O'BRIEN: So of those 1,600 cases, 500 of them were allegations that came from tips from people within the Boy Scouts. For example some boy scouts themselves, sometimes the parents, sometimes people who are working for the boy scouts, sometimes an anonymous tip. Of those 500, how many times did the boy scouts say let's call the police and investigate this alleged sex abuse on children?

FELCH: Not as often as you'd hope. We found that in 80 percent of the cases where they were the first to learn about the abuse, there was no indication in the file that they actually called the police. In 100 of those cases, we actually found clear indications that there were efforts to cover up the abuse, keep it from parents, keep it from the public, keep it out of the press.

O'BRIEN: How did they do that? Give me some details on that? So, someone was suspected of --

FELCH: There are a lot of ways.

O'BRIEN: If they were suspected of child abuse or serial child abuse, how would they cover it up?

FELCH: Well, one of the most common ways was that they would catch the alleged perpetrators, one of the scoutmasters, having sexual relations with one of the boys, and instead of turning him in to police they would ask him to resign and they would actually help him write a letter to parents explaining his departure in some other way. So we saw excuses ranging from chronic brain disease to duties at a Shakespeare Festival explaining why these alleged molesters were actually leaving the boy scouts. The truth was they were leaving because they had been caught.

O'BRIEN: You tell the story of a guy named Art Humphries who was working with the Boy Scouts in the late 1970s through the 1980s. And he -- even though he was accused by a 12-year-old boy of sexual assault, basically, they went on not only to keep him on, but also write a letter of recommendation. I'm going to read a little bit of that letter because I want you to tell me what happened to Mr. Humphries.

It says this, "I'm attaching a jamboree application for Mr. Art Humphries. I believe the attached letter is a recommendation and the newspaper write-up will give you a well-rounded picture of art. If selected I'm sure he will add much to the handicap awareness trail at the 1981 jamboree."

This was written by a council executive for a guy who they knew had accusations against him by a young boy. What happened to him?

FELCH: That's right. Mr. Humphries continued to work in the scouts, despite their knowledge of his pattern of sexual abuse. Until he was arrested in 1984, on that -- when he was arrested he eventually pled guilty to sodomizing 20 boys. And what never came to light in the trial was the fact that the Boy Scouts had known. In fact when the Boy Scout official in charge of Art Humphries' troop was asked by the press, you know, did the Boy Scouts have any knowledge of Mr. Humphries' behavior, he said no. What the Boy Scout confidential files reveal is that, in fact, they had known since 1978 that Mr. Humphries was molesting children.

O'BRIEN: So the scouts today have released a statement and it says this. In the more than 100 years that the BSA, Boy Scouts of America, serves youth, society has learned about this important issue. The bsa continuously enhanced its multi-tiered policies and procedures which now include background checks, comprehensive training programs, and safety policies. That's from the spokesperson from the Boy Scouts of America. They released that on Sunday. So, does that mean that the problems that existed -- I mean, it sounds like they're saying those are problems back then, but those problems don't exist today.

FELCH: These files are, for the most part, 30 or 40 years old. And since that time the Boy Scouts have changed a lot of their policies about how they protect children in the organization. The question is, and the question we don't know the answer to, is, are those policies working? The Boy Scouts continue to keep a confidential perversion file. They continue to keep records of sexual abuse in the organization. But those are -- have never been reviewed by an outside entity, by an independent auditor, and, in fact, they've never been reviewed by the Boy Scouts of America to see what's working and what's not.

O'BRIEN: And they've also been aggressively in court keeping these old files from being released, correct?

FELCH: That's right. There's ongoing litigation today in several different places with victims of sexual abuse suing the boy scouts and demanding that these files be released in an effort to establish that there was a pattern of neglect here. And the Boy Scouts have filed in court to prevent those files from being released.

O'BRIEN: Clearly there's going to be much more about that. Jason Felch, reporter with the "L.A. Times." It's a fascinating article. Thank you for talking with us.

FELCH: Thanks, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Still ahead on STARTING POINT, government and military personnel are about to learn training that involves preparing for a zombie apocalypse. Are they serious? It's our get real and it's up next. Our STARTING POINT team heading in to talk about that. Ron Brownstein is with us, Bridget Siegel, and Will Cain. We're back in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. I'm John Berman with a quick look at some of the 207 stories today. Warren Buffett has finished treatment for stage one prostate cancer. The billionaire investor completed his 44th radiation Friday. Buffett is 82 years old.

After 125 days in space, two Russian cosmonauts and American astronaut Joe Acaba touched down last night in a Soyuz capsule in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz spacecraft is the only way to travel to the international space station, not because of its stylish comfort, but because the U.S. shuttle fleet was decommissioned last year.

Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban are the new "Idol" judges. They take over for Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, and they join Mariah Carey and "Idol" original Randy Jackson for a four-person panel.

O'BRIEN: Who sticks out in that picture. Everyone is wearing sort of muted colors and then there's Nicki Minaj. That's going to be a good show.

Our team this morning, welcome everybody. Ron Brownstein, last time I saw you was at the DNC.

RON BROWNSTEIN, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, "NATIONAL JOURNAL": Yes.

O'BRIEN: Nice to have you back with us. He's the editorial director of the "National Journal." Bridget Siegel, a former campaign finance director for John Kerry's presidential campaign. Will Cain, columnist for TheBlaze.com. I missed you, Will. I don't think we've gone this long without hanging out.

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Take a moment.

O'BRIEN: -- I do. Kumbaya, Will Cain. Now let's fight again. And of course, John Berman is with us as well. Our get real this morning, the Centers for Disease Control advises Americans to be ready for anything from national disasters to pandemics and a major security firm thinks that means an outbreak of the undead as well.

A firm named "Halo" is offering training to fight off a zombie attack as part of its counterterrorism summit next month. It is no joke. More than 1,000 military, government law enforcement personnel will attend that summit.

The CDC has warned of scenarios where diseases could turn the human population against each other. Earlier this year, of course, they were forced to say that there were no zombies, but this is going to be part of their actual training. It's part of bringing a little bit of levity, intended to add levity to dire scenarios the summit goers will encounter.

CAIN: Some of it sounds fun.

O'BRIEN: Fun?

CAIN: They take over the 44 acres of Paradise Point in San Diego, where they will have a Middle Eastern village, a pirate's haven, cyber attacks, your phones can be hacked while you're at this conference, and of course, the zombies.

BROWNSTEIN: Apocalypse Disneyland. "The Walking Dead" is coming back in two weeks. I think we all need to be ready for season three. This is kind of global training.

BERMAN: What is the demographics for the zombie attack?

BROWNSTEIN: I'm thinking, you know, probably pretty broad-based.

O'BRIEN: You know why? People talk about it, and part of the whole idea of preparing for disaster is having people have actual conversations. I think it's not necessarily a bad idea.

BERMAN: I think the CDC has had tongue in cheek very directed and smartly about the zombie thing for some time. They get a lot of attention --

CAIN: Don't jump the shark. The zombies, vampires, walking dead is no madness, be clear about that.

BROWNSTEIN: We've got Brad Pitt all the fire power coming.

O'BRIEN: It's not done yet. I'm going to say no. I think there are about ten more versions and then it will have lived its life. Still ahead --

CAIN: Undead.

O'BRIEN: Ahead on STARTING POINT this morning, President Obama and Mitt Romney agree on two major national security issues that deal with Iran and Syria. But it's how they disagree on those issues that could have a big effect on foreign policy. Barbara Starr takes an in-depth look this morning at where they stand on two crucial red lines.

And then Kate caught on camera topless. The royal family is fighting back. Live report is coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. Back on the picket line and 350,000 kids are out of school. Today is the second week for the Chicago teachers' strike. The two sides did reach a contract agreement over the weekend, but the teacher's union said their members need more time to review it. Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the strike is illegal. He is going to court to try to force those teachers to go back to work.

CNN'S Kyung Lah is live for us in Chicago with the very latest on this dispute. Good morning, Kyung.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Soledad. What that has meant is that there won't be school today, there won't be school tomorrow. The union delegation is going out to their membership to go over this long and complicated contract.

And meanwhile, as you did say, the mayor is trying to go to the courts to get some relief to try to force these teachers back into the classroom. And what that has meant for this city, for 350,000 students, is that they are trying to find a place to stay. Now this elementary school is one of 400 drop-in centers around the city. And joining me now is Principal Tara Shelton. You are running this drop-in center. You're also the principal of this elementary school. What kind of a burden is this strike now putting on people who are trying to scramble for -- for getting kids a place to stay?

TARA SHELTON, PRINCIPAL, SOUTH LOOP ELEMENTARY: Well, some of the parents are ready for kids to get back to school. They need someone to take care of their children, education is very important to them.

So, we are a dropping-off center and right now at this time it is not an inconvenience for us. We're serving kids that we're normally used to. This is our routine to provide quality activities for kids for the morning hours. So right now it's not a burden for the schools, but I'm sure the parents are feeling overwhelmed by the process.

LAH: And overwhelmed, thank you, Principal Shelton. Overwhelmed is certainly something that we've seen parents expressing trying to figure out if they're not going to go to the drop-in centers where they're going to put their children. They're going to face that same burden, Soledad, tomorrow.

O'BRIEN: Whoever watching it obviously thanks for that update. Let's get to John Berman. He has a look at some of the other stories making news. Good morning again.

BERMAN: Good morning, Soledad. You know, we're keeping our eye on new anti-American rage flaring this morning overseas. The latest hot spot is Kabul. Hundreds there burning cars and firing their guns, rallying against that low-budget film that mocks the Muslim Prophet Muhammad. Afghan police say at least 15 officers were hurt there.

The Reno air races are back. One year after the tragic crash that killed ten spectators and a pilot, the planes were back in the skies yesterday over Reno. Officials holding an emotional ceremony before the event got under way, releasing a single white balloon into the air for each of the victims.

The final space flight of the space shuttle "Endeavour" now set for sunrise tomorrow. Bad weather forced NASA to postpone today's flight. "Endeavour" will take off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida flying piggyback on a 747 first to Houston and then to its new home, the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

Now get this, chock up another NASCAR fan for life. This adorable baby is Shawna -- no, the baby is Katie. Shawna is the mother. Shawna went into labor Friday and was on the way to the hospital with her boyfriend when she realized she wasn't going to make it. So the couple pulls into the parking lot of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHAWNA ARNOLD, GAVE BIRTH IN SPEEDWAY PARKING LOT: I'm like I'm not going to make it. I'm not going to make it. And I had a contraction and I stood up in the back seat and I said I'm not going to make it, my water just broke! (END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So she wasn't going to make it obviously at that point. Shawna and her boyfriend managed to self-deliver the baby in the back seat of their Saturn sedan. Everyone is doing great. That's the good news. The great news is, the Speedway says baby Katie will get two free passes to the races every year for the rest of her life.

O'BRIEN: Why just two?

CAIN: Good point.

O'BRIEN: How about three?

You know what? I think the choice between that and drugs in a hospital -- go to the hospital. Tickets maybe not worth it. They should give her three tickets, really, mom, dad, baby.

So let's talk election. Fifty days until Election Day and CNN is going in-depth to take a look at the issues that matter the most to voters. We tackle the economy.

All this week we're going to take a look at another big issue in the election, which is foreign policy. As Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr tells us, the two candidates can be defined by where they draw those red lines, in Syria and in Iran.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney agree on two crucial national security issues. Iran will not be allowed to go nuclear and Syria will not use its chemical weapons.

But if it looks like either might happen, they differ on what could trigger sending U.S. troops into action. On Syria --

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.

STARR: The White House won't say what it will do if the red line is crossed. Seizing dozens of chemical weapons sites would be tough, requiring tens of thousands of troops on the ground. Romney has openly called for covert action.

MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would, instead of watching what's happening in Syria, from a dispassionate distance, I would be leading in Syria by encouraging our friends there like the Turks and the Saudis to provide weapons to the insurgents in Syria.

STARR: But he, too, hasn't said how or when he would use U.S. troops. The bottom line on Syria, President Obama's red line, moving or using chemical weapons. Governor Romney, advocates greater U.S. involvement now.

On Iran, the candidates agree. Iran cannot be allowed a nuclear weapon.

OBAMA: We are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

STARR: Romney has a different take.

ROMNEY: Clearly we all hope that diplomatic and economic pressures put on Iran will dissuade them from becoming a nuclear capability nation.

STARR: The bottom line on Iran? President Obama says the regime would have to take direct steps to acquire a nuclear weapon. For Governor Romney, the red line, merely having a nuclear capability without actually moving ahead to produce a weapon. But in the case of Iran, many believe the red line already has slipped.

MICHAEL O'HANLON, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: We said that any enrichment was unacceptable in the case of Iran, yet here they are with hundreds of kilograms, if not thousands, of material.

STARR (on camera): Neither candidate is advocating war with Syria or Iran. Both of them, in fact, have expressed hope that the sanctions will work. But if the red lines get crossed, both of those countries pose serious national security challenges to the United States. Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.

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O'BRIEN: Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, Kate Middleton isn't taking the topless photo scandal sitting down. She's on tour. We'll tell you how the royal family is trying to stop those photos from spreading.

And no deal in sight between the NHL and players. Are we headed for another season-ending lockout? STARTING POINT is back right after this.

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O'BRIEN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are in the Solomon Islands this morning continuing a year- long celebration of the queen's diamond jubilee. Nine thousand miles away in Paris lawyers for Will and Kate are in court. They're filing a criminal complaint against the photographer who snapped those topless photos of the duchess while she was on vacation in the south of France.

We're told not everyone in the royal family wanted the case to go to court. Max Foster is traveling with the duke and duchess. He joins us from the Solomon Islands this morning. So what happens in court today, Max?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's several proceedings taking place. Basically, the palace is doing whatever it can at this case in France. There are civil proceedings against the magazine. The editor could potentially end up in prison if they win this case.

Ad they think they will because the privacy laws are very tough in France. They also immediately will have an injunction against the magazine from publishing or republishing the pictures and taking the existing ones offline. And they're also -- they've also filed criminal -- well complaints which would have sought criminal charges against the photographer who actually took these pictures. They don't know who the photographer is.

The magazine isn't revealing it, but they're pressing ahead with criminal charges, as well if they can. Meanwhile, other magazines and publications in other countries are publishing these magazines. But the palace is very much focusing on France.

I had a chance, Soledad, to speak to the duke and duchess today, and clear that she feels completely humiliated by this and William is angry about it. He sees the association to his mother. He sees what's happening to his wife, could potentially turn into what happened to his mother. She was pursued until her death by paparazzi. He doesn't want that to happen and he's drawing a line under it and that's what all this is about. They're putting on all smiles during the tour.

O'BRIEN: I was going to ask you that. I know we have a long delay so everyone will just bear with it. But as they do the tour, and you've been traveling with them, do they seem unhappy and upset and angry? In the pictures, we're seeing she looks quite relaxed and they look very happy.

FOSTER: Well, yes, they made a determined effort to put that look on, I mean, basically this all came at a very unfortunate time. They wanted to do this tour, but do it on behalf of William's grandmother. He's here on her behalf.

So they're carrying on regardless. But I have spoken to them, and they are upset and they are angry and they're pursuing this. It is their legal action so behind the scenes it's a different scene from what you're seeing on TV. They're doing it for the people at the Solomon Islands I think.

O'BRIEN: Max Foster for us this morning. Thank you, Max. We appreciate the update. Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, the replacement NFL refs causing a big problem in the new season already. We'll tell you why some people say it has the game resembling professional wrestling more than the NFL. Should they get off the field? We'll talk about that.

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O'BRIEN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. Time for some Monday morning quarterbacking from me. The talk of the replacement refs in the NFL nearing a breaking point. Some harsh words for some of the fill-ins after yesterday's game. NFL is not the only league dealing with a labor dispute. The NHL is under yet another lockout. Right now, there are no plans for any negotiations.

Sarah Kwak is a reporter for "Sports Illustrated." She covers the NHL. So let's start there. Back in 2004-2005, same thing and it was devastating, wasn't it? I mean, it just -- have they even gotten past that hit that the league took?

SARAH KWAK, REPORTER, "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED": I think some people that it took about five years to really get over it and that they're basically at a point where, you know, they're both seeing record revenues. Everything is great and now they're right back to where they were eight years ago.

O'BRIEN: What's this hockey fight about this time?

KWAK: This time it's about revenue sharing. It's about money. Let's be honest here, it's always about money. It's always about money. Right now, as it stands, the players and the owners split hockey- related revenue, 57 percent going to the players and 43 going to the owners. The owners think that's way too much to be giving to their players. They want it to come down to under 50 percent.

BERMAN: That's a big cut.

KWAK: A huge cut, yes.

CAIN: Can I say, Sarah, I'm the casual fan you're talking about. I didn't come back. I didn't come back after 2004-2005. You lose people like me. Has hockey always been under this problem where the player salaries try to mimic those in the NBA and NFL and they just don't have the same revenues?

BROWNSTEIN: It's a lot lower.

O'BRIEN: It is. If you're talking percentages, right, it doesn't matter what the number is if you're talking percentages.

BROWNSTEIN: The absolute numbers of the players --

KWAK: Yes, the absolute numbers are much lower. But at the same time, it's about percentages. It's about what the owners feel like they deserve versus what the players deserve.

BROWNSTEIN: Can I ask you about some calculations? It is a great sport. It's very exciting in person. It doesn't have the TV revenue. Their foothold in the American conscience has always been more tenuous than the other major sports. Don't the owners fear the cost could be enormous?

O'BRIEN: Back to 2004-2005 where everyone --

BROWNSTEIN: Why are the owners taking the hard line? Why do they believe they can survive this?

KWAK: I think that, you know, Gary Bettman did say at one point our fans are the greatest fans in the world. They'll come back.

O'BRIEN: Send them to Will Cain. He did not come back.

Here's a little bit from the "Washington Times" about the refs. Sixty out of control minutes of football that at times resembled professional wrestling more than the NFL, in the first half authority slipped from the referees and toward on field anarchy.

BROWNSTEIN: "The Washington Times," a sufficient government authority? The "Washington Times?"

O'BRIEN: I believe we have a moment.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. I'm just saying.

O'BRIEN: So do you think that was true? Was it anarchy? Anarchy is kind of a big statement, anarchy, really?

KWAK: It might be anarchy within the confines of what a football game is supposed to be. You're supposed to have arbiters or policemen on the game that say this is allowable and this is not. When they're not able to -- if the players are not going to respect the authority of these people who are supposed to be there for their safety and for just the general enjoyment of the game, then I think that's when the NFL is really going to have an issue.

O'BRIEN: Like a substitute teacher in school.

CAIN: An extremely good point. I look at this and I say have they actually affected the outcome of a game yet? I haven't seen that yet. The point of the players respecting them, that's a really good point.

O'BRIEN: Substitute teacher.

KWAK: Why listen to them? Actually losing the casual fans on this as well if the games aren't --

CAIN: That's different.

O'BRIEN: Come on, Will Cain. Hockey wants you back.

Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, more anti-American violence to tell you about. It's breaking out in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Pakistan. Can the United States do anything to counter the outrage? We're going to talk to Congressman Peter King right at the top of the hour.

And the Boy Scouts hit with an explosive expose. A new report on the perversion files. Claims they covered up suspected child molesters for decades. Details on that right here on STARTING POINT. We're back in a moment.

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