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Gun Control Debate Examined; Golden Globes Reviewed; A Look at the Economy; Robin Roberts to Return to ABC

Aired January 14, 2013 - 15:30   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": Bottom of the hour, I'm Brooke Baldwin.

Topping the news now, the national debate over gun control, heating up today. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, today, opened this two-day summit, here they are in Baltimore, on gun violence.

Mayor Bloomberg, who co-chairs the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, says it is not a Second Amendment issue. It is a public health crisis.


MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), MAYOR, NEW YORK CITY: Every day of the year an average of 33 Americans are murdered with guns. Here is another way to think about what that means. One week from today, President Obama will take the oath of office for his second term and, unless we take action during those four years, some 48,000 Americans will be killed with guns.


BALDWIN: The police chief in Newtown, Connecticut, was one of the very first people on the scene at Sandy Hook Elementary School and he now says he is absolutely haunted by what he saw that day.

Listen as he adds his voice to the call for tighter gun control.


CHIEF MICHAEL KEHOE, NEWTOWN, CONNECTICUT, POLIC: The ban on assault weapons, restrict the magazines that have so many bullets in them.


BALDWIN: You can expect to hear those words repeated hear in the coming days. Supporters of gun control say at no time in history has there been a greater chance for something to be done.

The White House working non-stop, as you know, to come up with this comprehensive plan. In our series, "The Next Four Years," Deborah Feyerick takes a look at how this issue may play out. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Over 30,000 gun deaths in the U.S. every year. The challenge, gun control.

REPRESENTATIVE CAROLYN MCCARTHY (D), NEW YORK: I lost my husband right before Christmas.

FEYERICK: If anyone knows the pain of losing someone to gun violence, it is New York Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy. Her husband was killed in 1993 by a deranged gunman in a mass shooting on the Long Island Railroad.

After years trying to pass tighter gun laws on Capitol Hill, she says it took the tragedy at Sandy Hook to unite public anger and political will.

MCCARTHY: You know the time is different because there so much anger. Why are we allowing this to continue to happen?

FEYERICK: On day one of the new Congress, McCarthy and other lawmakers introduced or reintroduced eight bills to ban or control the sale of guns or ammunition. Several Senate bills are on the way, but all are far from a done deal.

In his first term, President Obama passed no laws limiting gun use. Then Sandy Hook happened, a day Mr. Obama called the worst of his presidency.

Even before he is sworn in again, he's expected to review proposals from his new gun task force.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This is a team that has a very specific task to pull together real reforms right now.

FEYERICK: The White House is focused on a wide-ranging plan involving more than just firearms and ammunition.

On the table, reinstate the expired ban on assault weapons and limit magazines that have more than 10 rounds; close the so-called "gun show loophole" to mandate background checks for all gun buyers; ensure better access to mental health care; improve school security; and review the cultural impact of violent movies and video games.

Vice President Joe Biden says it is possible the president could also act unilaterally on his own.

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: The president is going to act. There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken.

FEYERICK: Even the most vocal gun advocates have come to the table. Last week, the NRA met with a gun task force. Walmart, the nation's largest firearms seller, reversed itself, joining other gun retailers in a similar meeting.

But tighter gun laws will not come without a fight. After Sandy Hook, the NRA said the answer was more guns, not less.

WAYNE LAPIERRE, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION: I call on Congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation.

FEYERICK: Meaningful gun control will take time. For those who have been fighting for decades, they feel the time is finally right.

DAN GROSS, BRADY CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE: What we are heartened by is the genuine exploration of what are the things we can do, respectful of the Second Amendment and law abiding gun owners, to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

FEYERICK: Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.


BALDWIN: well, President Obama says America is on its way to a good year when it comes to the economy. But there is a big if here. Ali Velshi has some thoughts. He's up next.


ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: All right, President Obama says he won't negotiate any spending cuts with a gun held up to the head of the American people.

From the CNNMoney Newsroom in New York, I'm Ali Velshi. This is "Your Money."

Apple gets a bite taken out of its stock. Toyota and GM are neck and neck again. First, gold and, now, oil, California will be a prospector's dream again. And stocks are up, but should they be?

First, President Obama spoke with reporters today emphasizing his position that the debt ceiling is not a license to spend more. It is about paying bills that congress has already agreed to.

He likened it to stiffing the waiter at a nice restaurant after gorging on a meal.

OBAMA: You don't go out to dinner, and then, you know, eat all you want and then leave without paying the check. And if you do, you're breaking the law.

VELSHI: The U.S. hit the debt ceiling on December 31st. The Treasury is using so-called "extraordinary measures" to put off any default on its obligations, probably until about the middle of February.

By then, Congress must raise the debt ceiling, otherwise the government can't pay all its bills. Some congressional Republicans apparently seriously considering risking a default on the ability of the U.S. to pay its loans or even a government shutdown in order to force the president and Democrats to agree to spending cuts.

But President Obama said today that Republicans will not collect any ransom in exchange for a deal that puts the U.S. government on a crash diet. We are not a deadbeat nation, he said, strong words from the president that are sure to provoke, already provoking, return fire from Republicans.

But in this case, the president couldn't be more right. This country needs to get a grip on spending, but messing with the debt ceiling is not the tool to use to do it. Passing a real budget is the way to do that.

On the money menu, investors took a bite out of Apple stock today with shares falling more than 3 percent. The sell-off followed reports that Apple has cut orders of iPhone components because of lower demand.

Apple hasn't said if those reports are true, but its share price has been coming down since it released the iPhone 5 in September. Today's price briefly fell below $500. That's first time it has done that in almost a year.

Meanwhile, the iPhone is going to see more competition later in the month from the new BlackBerry 10. The stock price for BlackBerry's maker, Research In Motion, soared more than 8 percent in trading today.

Plus, Facebook is rumored to be getting into the phone business soon as well.

Toyota beat out General Motors in global sales in 2012. GM sold 9.2 million cars globally, but Toyota said it probably sold more, 9.7 million cars. GM had been the number one automaker in the world, but will now have to cede that title back to Toyota. It's gone back and forth a few times in the last few years.

In the meantime, the Cadillac ATS, this is one sweet machine, made by GM, of course, captured the Detroit Auto Show's Car of the Year award. Chrysler's Ram 1500 got Truck of the Year. Both vehicles could see their sales go up for 2013 on the strength of those prestigious awards.

California could be headed for an oil boom. The Monterey shale formation is said to hold 400 billion barrels of oil or one half the quantity that lies under the sands in Saudi Arabia, but California's oil is stuck in the rock. It is hard to get to.

The Energy Department estimates that 15 billion barrels are accessible using today's drilling technologies. That's more than what is found in other large American formations in Texas or North Dakota.

The government is starting to offer leases. Oil companies are gobbling them up. Too early to say, but there could be a black gold rush headed out west in the near future.

That's it for me from the CNNMoney Newsroom in New York. I'm Ali Velshi. Same time tomorrow. I'm out.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALDWIN: If I haven't mentioned this in a while, I'm in Los Angeles today. That is significant because I was at the Golden Globes last night. I've covered political conventions, at the Diamond Jubilee in London last summer, but last night for me was a bit of a first, my first Golden Globes, my first Hollywood red carpet.

And by now we all know the winners. Yu had Ben Affleck and "Argo," "Les Mis," Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln" and Jessica Chastain in "Zero Dark Thirty.

I want to focus on the moment, the funny and the heartfelt, both on stage and what we saw behind the scenes.


BALDWIN: Can we first talk about your tats? Because I just wanted to know what they are.

LENA DUNHAM, BEST ACTRESS IN A TV COMEDY SERIES: so all my tattoos come from children's books. This one is Ferdinand the Bull. I have Eloise at the Plaza on my lower back. I've got an assortment of like childhood ephemera.

DAVID O. RUSSELL, DIRECTOR, "SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK": And I want to give a shout-out to Debra (ph) of Glenn Holmes School (ph) and all the parents and families there.

How do you know that?

BALDWIN: I know things. I do my homework.

RUSSELL: Oh, my God. You are all over it.

BALDWIN: Can I get this is CNN from you?

JEFF DANIELS, ACTOR, "THE NEWSROOM": Hello, I'm Will McAvoy. This is CNN.

BALDWIN: Good luck.


BALDWIN: Thank, Jeff Daniels, for that, by the way.

Here are these two lovely ladies who are hysterical, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler. Today, they are getting rave reviews for co-hosting the Globes last night.


TINA FEY, ACTRESS: Tonight, we honor the television shows that have entertained us all year as well as the films that have only been in theaters for two days.

AMY POEHLER, ACTRESS: That's what makes tonight so special. Only at the Golden Globes do the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat-face people of television.


BALDWIN: Then there was the moment, look at this, when jaws dropped, former President Bill Clinton strolled on stage there at the Beverly Hilton to introduce the film "Lincoln."

And then there was the moment where people today are still parsing the still famously private Jodie foster's acceptance speech for her Lifetime Achievement Award.


JODIE FOSTER, ACTRESS: I have given everything up there from the time that I was three-years-old. That's reality show enough, don't you think?


BALDWIN: There was a serious side to the evening. I talked to Chris Dodd, who heads up the MPAA, the Motion Picture Association of America, but he's also former U.S. senator who represented the state of Connecticut, Newtown, for 34 years.

And I asked him, on the red carpet, I asked him about the tragedy at Newtown and the meeting he was in with the vice president and then some of these Hollywood executives last week to talk about gun violence and the entertainment industry.

Here's the senator.


CHRIS DODD, CEO, MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA: The vice president and I have been friends for 36 years. We're delighted to be there, delighted to be asked to come and we want to very much be part not only of the conversation but helping the country heal.

I represented Newtown, Connecticut, for 30 years in the United States Senate. I know the town well. I can't even begin to describe. As rich as our language is, it does not capture the feelings the American people have for the events of that day a month ago.

And, so, all of us need to be thinking about how we can be a stronger and better country and certainly the industry that I work with every day has demonstrated that, giving parents control, giving them choices, giving them good education about how to make the good choices is something we're going to continue doing.

BALDWIN: But, Senator, I was in Newtown and it was a horrific story to cover, but when you talk to people all around the country, some people point to the fact that, look, it is the violence in the movies.

I know your group is in charge of rating the movies, that the rating should be NC-17, that some of the people, for example, the Columbine shooters, you know, one day hoped that a film would be made in their honor.

What do you say to the people who say things and then movies need to change, too violent?

DODD: Well, look, they make choices. There are all sorts of films out there for people, the American people, to absorb and take a look at. We're a diverse country. The world is that diverse.

But our ratings system does give people choices and controls. That's why we have the ratings. For almost 50 years now, the ratings have been in place and we're dong a better job all the time of giving more information to parents so they have the tools to make the choices for themselves, their children, what comes in their homes and what their children or families want to go see when they go see this remarkable entertainment. And, again, the choices are wide and varied.

BALDWIN: Would you be willing to change any guidelines?

DODD: Well, we're all looking at everything we can do. That's what the purpose of those meetings are. That's what the purpose of this analysis is going to be. And, certainly, this industry is a dynamic one. It's constantly going over about how we can all do a better job.

BALDWIN: Do you agree with the fear that's out there, though, that, you know, people who have committed these mass murders have been influenced by what they see in film?

DODD: No, no, no, no. Again, the studies have shown over the years, including the most recent one here, that while those people need help, in my view and, obviously, those -- the mental health piece is one that I hope gets the most attention in all of this, by the way, but also the idea that people because they watch something go out and commit mayhem, I think that's been pretty much discounted.

You may argue about the coarsening and so forth about what people see, but there's no evidence I know of that says because you see this, you then go out and hurt people.

BALDWIN: Final question, you know Capitol Hill so well from all your years, how much change do you think truly is possible when it comes to perhaps the most far fetched broad idea would be this assault weapons ban? Do you think that's even possible in this Congress?

DODD: Well, I think it is possible. Again, we'll see. The president is going to be talking a lot about it.

Again, this was a -- this event that happened in my state, Newtown, Connecticut, was different than anything else in many ways. You're talking about 20 first-graders. I have a 7-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old daughter and anyone who has had children, and this goes beyond description in my view, tragedy doesn't even capture the feeling that people have about this event.

So, my hope is that people, despite their long-held views on certain issues, are willing to step back and realize what happened and then asked themselves, can we not do a better job on mental health on this issue, on controlling the weapons of violence that get to the wrong hands?

You know, every day, 300 people -- every week, rather -- every week in this country, 300 people ...

BALDWIN: but is this going to get done?

DODD: Well, I think so. I'm optimistic and confident. We've seen it in the past when people have risen to the occasion. And my hope is that will happen this time as well.


BALDWIN: Senator Chris Dodd with me on the red carpet last night at the Golden Globes.

Her nickname is "Ruby the Heartbreaker." Today, she's been called to an Italian courtroom. She's said to have been part of those so called "bunga-bunga" sex parties involving Silvio Berlusconi. A report from Milan, next.


BALDWIN: You think certain American politicians are a tad crazy? I've got four words for you -- "Ruby the Heart Stealer." She's the star witness here in the sex trial of former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi.

Our senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman explains the case against Berlusconi. He says it's like a trashy romance novel and "Girls Gone Wild," all wrapped in one.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The star witness in the Silvio Berlusconi sex case, Karima el-Mahroug, otherwise known as "Ruby Rubacori (ph)," or Italian for "Ruby the Heart Stealer," showed up in court. There were lots of journalists waiting for her, but she never took the stand.

And the defense team for whom she is a witness said they don't need her to testify. The judge told her that she could go. The prosecution says they will use a deposition given by her in 2010 in this case.

Now, the defense wanted to have the entire trial postponed till after the elections taking place here at the end of February. The judge said no. The trial must go ahead.

No matter what the outcome, however, it's going to certainly complicate Silvio Berlusconi's attempts to return to power here in Italy.

I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN, reporting from Milan.


BALDWIN: Some of the hottest stories in a flash here, Rapid Fire."

All but three states are in the grip of this widespread flu, California, Hawaii and Mississippi. And in parts of New York are getting a flu shot, perhaps, as you know, has been very difficult. Ever since Cuomo declared a public health of emergency, some pharmacies report they've seen a run on the flu vaccine.

Tony Zerilli, one of Detroit's most notorious gangsters, says that he knows where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. Zerilli says Hoffa was buried in this field just outside of Detroit and that the plan was to rebury Hoffa further away, quote, "upstate," but Zerilli says that second burial never happened.

Here's what he told TV station WNBC.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How certain are you that Jimmy Hoffa's buried here in this field?

TONY ZERILLI, ALLEGED FORMER CRIME BOSS: Well, I'm as certain as I could possibly be. If I had money, I'd like to bet a big sum of money that he's buried over here.


BALDWIN: Jimmy Hoffa was last seen in 1975 when he was 62-years-old.

Her battle with a rare blood disorder has played out on morning television, but today, "Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts appeared on air with some fantastic news.


ROBIN ROBERTS, HOST, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": The last bone marrow test showed no abnormalities. The majority of the marrow is my sister's and it is healthy, praise God.

What all this means, by doctors, waiting for this information, to be able to tell me I can begin the process of returning to the anchor chair. I'm coming home.


BALDWIN: Coming home.

Fifty-two-year-old told her fellow hosts she will be doing a dry run behind the scenes next week.

And Justin Timberlake fans, the wait is over. He released a new single earlier today. Check it out.

It is called "Suit and Tie," features Jay-Z, Justin, because we're friends, so I guess I can refer to him by his first name. Justin Timberlake is going to be on the upcoming album he's calling the "2020 Experience." It comes out later this year. It's his first album since 2006.

Hey, quick thank you to the L.A. bureau and the Golden Globes crew for hosting me here in Los Angeles. I'm back in Atlanta tomorrow. We'll see you then.

Let's go to Washington. Joe Johns at the helm of "The Situation Room." Hey, Joe.