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Developing Designers; Six Million Pounds Of Explosives Found; Stock Market Update; Violent End For NFL Player; Royal Couple Are Having A Baby; Governor Cuomo Seeks Sandy Aid; School Kids Rushed To Hospital; High Levels Of Deadly Gas At School; Intel: Syria Mixing Chemicals For Weapons

Aired December 3, 2012 - 14:30   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN: The entire town of Doyline, Louisiana, has been evacuated. This is actually a town where a number of the scenes from the hit HBO show "True Blood" have been filmed. So this massive amount of explosives was found improperly stored, I'm talking about 6 million pounds of gunpowder.

Chad Myers, talk to me here. Why do they have this much gunpowder in one little place?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We simply don't know.

BALDWIN: We don't know.

MYERS: We don't. The number was supposed to be 1 million and then this is the place where a couple of months ago they had the explosion, one of the magazines exploded, the storage area.

They were going to inspect it and they went where is all this coming from, where's all this stuff. There is 6 million pounds now that has to be moved, packed very nicely, put in tractor trailers and moved some place much better than that.

BALDWIN: Look at all this.

MYERS: Outside on a pallet with cardboard boxes.

BALDWIN: So how, pray tell, do you begin this, I imagine, quite precarious process of packing this stuff up, as you mentioned neatly and slowly and holding your breath and getting it out there?

MYERS: Yes, all I can see is Wiley coyote in this action box. Literally, I mean, just very, very slowly. I mean, it's not that unstable, but you just don't want to be just moving this around with tractor trailers and forklifts. You have to check because some of these boxes are leaking too.

BALDWIN: Incredible.

MYERS: There's a complete disregard for the people there and the workers at this building. That's what the NTSB people there are saying about the -- they're saying about what they're seeing here, how these are just packed outside and not where they're supposed to be. BALDWIN: OK, not a job I would want.


BALDWIN: We wish them well doing this. Chad Myers, thank you so much. You probably heard the news, I'm sure you've heard the news, perhaps you have as well. Big news across the pond today, the excitement, you know what I'm talking about.

Excitement grows as word has spread that the royals, William and Catherine, are having a baby. Yes, it's true. It is official today. So what does the baby mean for the royal line of succession? Those details are ahead.

But first, back here at home, quick check of the big board for you as we are just about an hour and a half away from the closing bell. The Dow, a bit flat, down just about 40 points right now. Investors as we are counting down the days, folks, 29 days until that fiscal cliff. You know, talks in Washington sort of stalled at the moment. By Friday, all eyes will be on the November jobs report.


BALDWIN: There is an awful lot of speculation today about why, why a pro football player killed his girlfriend and then shot himself. Before Saturday's murder/suicide, probably most of you probably didn't even know who Jovan Belcher was, let alone he had a 3-month-old baby girl with his 22-year-old girl Kasandra Perkins.

Today, we are learning a little bit more about this couple, but really so far little is known about what prompted the violence. Kevin Powell, I want to bring you into this conversation, you wrote this -- this column, this op-ed piece for

You call it manhood, football and suicide. First, just welcome to you. I want to play a little sound and we'll talk about your piece, but I just want you to hear and our viewers to hear what one of belcher's teammates said and we'll talk about, you know, some of the athletes you've counselled. So first, listen to this.


SHAUN SMITH, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: Sometimes you got to go out there, let your emotion and frustration out on the field. That's what we did as a team today. Still, once again, we lost a teammate and we lost a friend.


BALDWIN: Kevin, you're not just an author and activist, you write in your piece how you've counselled some professional athletes and some entertainers, privately, and you -- to quote you, "They have been grappling with very warped definitions of manhood." What do they tell you is their biggest fear and how do you help them?

KEVIN POWELL, AUTHOR, ACTIVIST, AND BLOGGER: Well, you know, part of it is the lack of -- being able to express ourselves, thinking because we have been raised in a society that men have to be hard and tough.

That's the only way to conduct themselves and we don't talk about things as I say in the blog other than sports and sex. I also need to say that this is a case of domestic violence. We need to say Kasandra Perkins name loud and clear because this is a --

BALDWIN: Over and over.

POWELL: Over and over again because she was murdered and then the suicide happened. You know, I've gotten so many hits on and to my twitter and e-mail pages about this. And I think really once again this is a call for how we define manhood and issues of mental health in our society.

You know, it comes up again and again. But in the counseling work that I've done with athletes and entertainers, you know, oftentimes many men have not had any kind of role models or in a distant way with an agent or a coach.

I think it is critical that professional sports leagues and the entertainment world really think about the kind of people that we put around these young males and that there is real consistent counseling, counseling is available. Let people know there is nothing wrong with getting therapy, nothing wrong with it at all.

BALDWIN: But, you know, I sit here and wonder, I can think of, you know, a number of men who seem like pretty impressive role models, you know, to youngsters, I'm sure yourself included, and there is no dearth of role models out there. But this lack of expressionism, what would you say to young boys, to fathers, to men right now, to change that?

POWELL: Well, what was said to me in e-mails today, I want to create a space for my sons, these are fathers, where they understand they can express themselves if they're hurting, feel pain, if there is any kind of emotional issues, if they don't like sports, nothing wrong with that as a boy.

If they like the art, techies, it is OK to be a "geek," quote/unquote, but we create this male prison where if you're not a certain type of way, we use language that is derogatory, use homophobic language, and that's part of the issue.

I've seen this happen over and over again and this is a great tragedy as you said at the top, the 3-year-old girl is left without both parents now.

BALDWIN: That's the person I keep thinking about when I read this story. You talk about domestic violence also, you have to talk about gun violence and I want your opinion here on what Bob Costas said during halftime, in case others have missed it, here is what he said and we'll talk on the other side.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BOB COSTAS, NBC SPORTS: -- handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. In the coming days, Jovan Belcher's actions and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows, but here, wrote Jason Whitlock, is what I believe, if Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.


BALDWIN: Now, Kevin, a lot of people could say Jovan Belcher could have killed his girlfriend without guns, he's listed, you go to the Kansas City Chiefs website, 6'2", 228. What is your take on what Bob Costas, very impressive sportscast, stepping into the fray? What do you make of what he said?

POWELL: Well, in my blog, I say we have got to get some place why violence and gun violence is not a solution for all of our issues and conflicts. I do think, you know, there is something wrong when we had over a million people killed in our country since Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King were assassinated by guns in 1968, you know, I think we need to have tougher gun laws.

I do think, you know there needs to be better security for the athletes. I've counselled again a number of athletes who I cannot name, but who said the reason why they carry guns is because they fear for their own safety.

BALDWIN: The athletes themselves.

POWELL: Yes, but the problem is when they turn around and use these weapons as Rae Carruth did back in the late 1990s or Jovan Belcher just did, they use it on their intimate partners, their loved ones, it becomes an act of domestic violence using that gun that they got really easy access to. That's not acceptable.

BALDWIN: I'm glad we had the conversation. I want to push everyone to your piece, go to and perhaps Kevin Powell, perhaps, Congress is listening. Thank you.

POWELL: Thank you.


BALDWIN: It is the news royal watchers all around the world has been waiting for. England's Prince William and his wife duchess of Cambridge Catherine are expecting their first child. She apparently is not feeling so great. She's been admitted to the hospital with severe morning sickness.

Mark Saunders is in London for us. And, Mark, obviously, want to ask you how she's doing, but, first, I have to get you to just clear this up because I did a heck of a lot of homework, for the diamond jubilee this year.

I remember reading the rules did in fact change this year that in terms of, know, if they have a little girl as their first child, she will undeniably become the queen. Is that correct?

MARK SAUNDERS, ROYAL BIOGRAPHER: No, I don't think that's entirely correct. I don't think the rules have been changed yet. I think --


SAUNDERS: They will be changed, yes. As you know, the first in line -- if it is a boy, a male heir, if they have a boy, he would be first in line. But if it was a female, she would give way to any males that were born after her.

But that rule -- I think I'm right in saying it would have to be an act of parliament to change it. And it would just go through uncontested because the vast majority of people in this country.

I mean, the queen herself wants it introduced, but we're still assuming that it might be a girl. It might be a boy and we won't have to worry about it until the next time.

BALDWIN: Did the palace give any word as far as a due date is concerned?

SAUNDERS: No. I mean, remember, the palace has been caught short a bit here. They weren't expected to make an announcement at all. It is only because Catherine was taken into hospital suffering from what we now know to be acute morning sickness, had that -- they knew that they would never be able to keep that a secret.

So they pre-empted the newspapers, I suppose, by making the announcement. But it's less than 12 weeks, we're told, but that's really all we know at the moment.

BALDWIN: Less than 12 weeks. How has the news been received where you are?

SAUNDERS: Just absolutely marvelous. I mean, you remember what it was like during the summer. The royal family in this country are just -- they are currently the biggest stars and it's just what we needed really, could have ended this year.

The queen's celebration of her diamond jubilee was tremendous then we had the most amazing Olympics. And now just to round the year off comes this announcement. I mean, it is right up there with the queen and James Bond this one.

BALDWIN: It has been a tremendous year for the U.K, but I remember being in London over the summer and I had conversation where people were saying, despite the fact, of course, William and Catherine were in love and were to be married, certainly behind closed palace doors, you know, they would have had to make sure -- made sure that she could conceive, correct?

SAUNDERS: Yes, absolutely correct. I mean, not just one. We need an heir and a spare. So she needs another one as --

BALDWIN: An heir and a spare. SAUNDERS: An heir and a spare. I mean, I don't know how Harry will be feeling tonight, because that's it. He's been shunted back further down the line. It seems to get better and better. They are now senior members of the royal family, William and Catherine. And once again, proven they're the ones that are going to lead the royal family into this -- over the next lord knows how many years.

BALDWIN: Huge congratulations, of course, to them. Save me a commemorative coffee mug, Mark Saunders. If I were Harry, I would be thinking pressure off. Mark Saunders, thank you so much for us there in London, huge news.

Just in to CNN here on -- getting some disturbing news on Syria, a U.S. official is telling us Syrian forces have started combing chemicals that would be used to make deadly gas in attacks against civilians. More on this in just a moment.


BALDWIN: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling on friends in high places today in hopes of getting more disaster aid for his state. We caught a glimpse of the governor entering the White House a short time ago heading in to meet with the president. Governor Cuomo said New York needs more than $40 billion to help clean up the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy and then potentially to prepare for future storms.

At least 49 elementary school students and adults had to be rushed to an Atlanta hospital today because of a carbon monoxide leak. Here is the thing. Firefighters discovered the highest levels they have ever recorded of the deadly gas near the school's furnace. Listen to the firefighter.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously with carbon monoxide, the danger is going to be an affixant, it could actually stop people from breathing. These children have been in the classroom since 7:30. Our readings in the classroom were not quite as high as our reading at 1700 was near the actual furnace area.


BALDWIN: I want to bring in George Howell here. I know, you brought in what I can only presume is a carbon monoxide detector. Tell me about it and were there any of these in the school?

HOWELL: This is a professional carbon monoxide detector. This is what we use here at the CNN Center. You know, this will run you a couple thousand dollars. Couple thousand of dollars for this. It is important to check, but for your home, $17, $17 is all it takes to get one of these in your home, to monitor for carbon monoxide.

Look, we checked around also, in the state of Illinois, it is required in all schools. In the city of New York, all schools had these, but in the city of Atlanta, it is not required to have these carbon monoxide detectors in schools. We were surprised by this. BALDWIN: So not required, thus meaning there were none.

HOWELL: There were none. A surprise to us, but a shock to these parents, Brook and imagine, you know, they found out their kids were in this school, with levels at 1700 parts per million, that is the highest level, as you mentioned, that this fire department has seen in the city of Atlanta. And you can imagine the scare. Take a listen to this parent, just after she learned what happened.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is unorganized because these folks know these children -- they aren't doing anything about it, one baby in the hospital, he telling her to go get in line to sign the paper. That is not right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My baby is at the hospital. She already has bronchitis and asthma and I told him that. They wouldn't check for me or nothing.


HOWELL: So look, you know, all this happens, certainly not through a carbon monoxide detector, but teachers and parents in the school, they all started to feel sick. Someone in the school called emergency crews.

They got there and they realized there was a big problem in the school. They rushed everyone out, some 500 people and they evaluated everyone. We know that at least 49 people were rushed to the hospital, five adults, 44 kids and so far from what we understand, the kids are doing OK.

BALDWIN: I would be furious as well as those mothers were. George Howell, thank you.

I want to break away from this because we're getting some breaking news as we mentioned on Syria. I want to get straight to our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, for new details here as we're talking about, you know, potential chemical weaponry.

Now we're not only talking about it, not only existing in Syria, but the fact that you're hearing now from a U.S. official it is being nixed. Tell me what you know.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brooke, now we know what is going on. Over the weekend, the U.S. got intelligence that Syrian forces were beginning to start mixing chemical agents.

Essentially putting two chemicals together that would allow them to make deadly Sarin gas. This is extremely serious news regarding the war in Syria because until now there has not been that mixing together, the next step would be to put that deadly Sarin into artillery shells.

The U.S. believes, Brooke, that the Assad regime is looking at the possibility of some kind of limited chemical artillery strike on its own people, on rebel forces. Officials tell us they hasten to add they don't believe Assad -- Bashar Al-Assad has made the final decision to go ahead with a strike.

But that that's what these preparations could be aimed towards and they also acknowledge they honestly just don't know what he's up to, a lot of diplomacy behind the scenes.

We saw Hillary Clinton come out in public earlier today and, again, warned the Syrian regime not to do this. This is a very serious development. Until now we have not seen this step with Syria's chemical weapons stockpile -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: It is a tremendous development and we'll wait to see what the U.S. response is, be it verbal or an action. Barbara Starr, thank you.