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Hackers Hit Government Website; Bitter Cold Hits Sandy Victims; Squatting at the Mansion; Catholic Hospital Chooses Law Over Church; Examining Aaron Swartz's Legal Battles; Norovirus Spreading Fast; Dreams of Being a Cheerleader; The Battle of 100 Pines Remembered
Aired January 26, 2013 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: The infamous Internet hacking group called Anonymous at it again, hijacking a federal website and promising to avenge the death of an internet activist by releasing government secrets. It's our top story this hour on CNN.
Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. Full of details in just a moment, but first, let's get you up to speed on the day's headlines. First, to Egypt where rioting has erupted over a court decision sentencing 21 people to death.
At least 30 people were killed in clashes with security forces today. This all happened after the court sentenced 21 people for their role in a postgame soccer riot last year. More than 70 people were killed in that riot.
A veteran Democratic senator says, he's going to retire. Iowa's Tom Harkin will not run for re-election in 2014. Harkin is 73-years-old, he has served ten years in the House before his election to the Senate in 1984. President Barack Obama released a statement just minutes ago praising Harkin's work on health care and his efforts to help Americans with disabilities.
Actor Burt Reynolds is being treated for flu symptoms in a Florida hospital. Reynolds was dehydrated when he went to the hospital and eventually transferred to intensive care. His spokesman says, Reynolds' fever is down and he's getting better. The 76-year-old actor is known for his role in "Smokey in the Bandit" and "Deliverance."
The search for three Canadians whose plane disappeared in Antarctica is over. The wreckage of the plane has been found close to the Queen Alexandra mountain range. The crew were flying from the South Pole to a nearby Italian base on Wednesday when the plane went off the grid. Officials say it's unlikely anyone could have survived that crash.
Thousands of people marched in Washington today, demanding tough new gun laws. Gun control laws. It's the first major antigun demonstration since the Newtown, Connecticut, shootings. It comes just days after a bill was introduced in Congress that would ban assault rifles, semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. We'll have more on today's march just ahead.
Internet hackers somehow managed to crack into the website of the U.S. Department of Justice today and they said they're not finished causing trouble. It's that group whose members call themselves Anonymous and they're angry about what they call the government's role in a death of a well known web activist.
Emily Schmidt watching these developments very closely for us today from Washington.
Emily, what is going on? Did these hackers do anything really damaging or is this just some sort of vandalism?
EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, it's a little too early to know right now, rhetoric here and what is really a real threat. But what we do know is this cyber attack was serious enough that it has prompted response from the U.S. government. In fact, we have a new status update from the United States sentencing commission. And it says, early this morning, the commission' website was hacked and defaced. The site was quickly pulled down. And it's currently being restored.
The commission is working to have the site fully functional, secure, and accessible as soon as possible. Now, this is what the website looked like earlier in the day as anonymous said it was declaring war on the U.S. government by targeting this website. It contain a long warning threatening to release sensitive information about the Department of Justice and what it calls warheads, those warheads named after Supreme Court justices.
Now, you may never have spent time browsing USSC.gov, so why this website? Well, Anonymous said the selection was very intentional and symbolic. It's targeting the very agency it believes has unfairly targeted hackers. Now, earlier today, we also heard from the FBI. They said, they were aware of the cyber attack as soon as it happened and they're handling this as a criminal investigation -- Don.
LEMON: Emily, thank you very much. We should tell you that Anonymous, the hacker group has inserted itself into several national news stories. They took a sort of vigilante justice role in the football team rape case that hit a small town in Ohio this month posting a video of one of the suspects in encouraging large scale protests. They were also heavily involved in the national occupy movement.
Today's Washington march for gun control featured a lot of people who describe themselves as first-time activists. Some marchers carried signs. Some calling for new gun restrictions and others featuring the names of people killed in gun violence, including victims of the Newtown, Connecticut, shootings. Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen told the crowd the new gun control legislation just introduces in Congress should not be a partisan issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: Now, these are common sense measures that we can take. These are not republican ideas. These are not democratic ideas. These are commonsense ideas that have the overwhelming support of the mainstream majority in the United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Meantime, a Milwaukee County sheriff has some pretty scary words for his residents. Sheriff David Clarke says, calling 911 and waiting for the police to come and help is no longer the best option. Instead, he says people should learn to protect themselves in case they get into a dangerous situation. And here is why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CLARKE, MILWAUKEE COUNTY SHERIFF: With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option. You can beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back. But are you prepared? Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can defend until we get there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Milwaukee's mayor is among those who are criticizing the sheriff's message. He says, Sheriff Clarke sounds like he's auditioning for, quote, "the next dirty Harry movie."
A big cold snap brings an arctic chill to parts of the country.
Plus, an emotional legal battle in Colorado, religious values against secular law. The case surrounds the death of a woman and her unborn children and the debate over whether one person died or three.
LEMON: It's already claimed three likes. Now this arctic air system is wreaking havoc as it moves across the southeast. Snow, freezing rain, and dangerous amounts of ice causing scenes like this one in Virginia on roads across the country. This is Kentucky. Ise (ph) road blamed for this ten vehicle pileup. The great hand bus also sliding off the slick interstate. And in New York, the cold is so bitter the water in this fire hydrant froze solid. Firefighters forced to chip away at it.
Meteorologist Alexandra Steele is in the CNN Severe Weather Center -- Alexandra.
ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Don. Another freezing rain event, but this time for the Upper Midwest. Chicago has a winter storm watch posted for Sunday morning into Monday morning. That's when we could see the freezing rain. Here's Sunday afternoon. So from Sunday afternoon around 2:00, it will move in, through the afternoon. And then through Sunday night into Monday, the axis of this freezing rain and snow moves to the northeast.
Also in terms of temperatures, forget it, the arctic air is moving out. Temperatures coming up about 20 degrees. So, from the Midwest to the southeast, expect 20 degrees warmer than where you were at the beginning of the weekend -- Don. LEMON: Thank you, Alexandra.
As we shiver through this arctic blast, bear a thought for the victims of super storm Sandy. Many still don't have enough heat, holes in roofs and walls making small space heaters useless.
CNN's Susan Candiotti is in New York and visited some of these folks still struggling. Susan.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, three months into the cleanup following super storm Sandy, a lot of people are still waiting for repairs, and now they have this wintry blast that's just adding to their misery. Now, for some, their heat and power has been turned back on. But for others, well, they're still living with family or friends and still more are living in hotels or apartments being paid for by Fema.
Now, the owner of this house is in a battle with the city. They say it can be repaired. She has other experts telling her it needs to be demolished. She told us how tough it is on her family.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLE CHATI, MOTHER: It's hard. I mean, it's been emotionally hard from the beginning. You know, you first have the shock, and you don't realize what's going on. And then you basically go through the motions of what you need to do and what you have to do and all the red tape.
MIA CHATI, DAUGHTER: I just can't take this anymore. I just want my mom -- I just wish my mom doesn't have to fight with the insurance companies. And it's OK. I wish I could just get back in my house.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I'm sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CANDIOTTI: All of this can be so emotionally devastating, especially for children. And then as you walk around Staten Island, you still see things like this. Dotting the landscape, another sign that the cleanup has a long way to go -- Don.
LEMON: All right, Susan, thank you very much.
You probably know someone. We have all known at least one person like this, who prides themselves on how little sleep they need. But in the end, it's that lack of sleep making them a bit of a jerk. We've got the details. So you can judge for yourself, but first this. It's easy to say that you like to change the world, but this week's CNN hero recognizes a kid who is really doing it.
At six-years-old, Will Lorsy saw a man asking for food and decided to do something to help? Now, the nine-year-old Will and his friends are attacking hunger in their home town. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WILL LORSY, CNN YOUNG WONDER: One day when I drove home from a Little League game, I saw homeless man with a cardboard sign and said, "Need a meal." So I told my mom I wanted to do something.
SODERBERGH, FOOD BANK DIRECTOR: Will Lorsy is a 9-year-old child. I hesitate to call him child, I think he's in a category of his own. And as a 7-year-old, he decided he was going to take on this issue of hunger.
LORSY: Welcome to FROGS.
My group is called FROGS and it means Friends Reaching Our Goals, and our motto is having fun while helping others.
I want you to write what we can do for a spring project.
WILL'S MOTHER: Will's big personality does not come from me.
LORSY: Fire me up. Pepper me.
SODERBERGH: I think every time you meet Will, you look at him and you say, are you kidding me? But together with his buddies, they have raised over $20,000, or the equivalent of 100,000 meals for Tarrant Area Food Bank.
LORSY: How about some French baguettes? Made from India. The Indian peaches are a delight.
SODERBERGH: When you see somebody who gets so engaged and gets so much of the community engaged, it's an endorsement of the battle we fight to end hunger.
Thank you for your time, and remember that no matter how tall or small you are, you can make a big difference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So you know those times when you're not getting enough sleep? Maybe you're too busy. Maybe you have insomnia. It's hard for you, but your lack of sleep may also be hard for others to deal with. Wendy Walsh is a human behavioral psychologist.
I don't mean to laugh Wendy but we all know it's unhealthy to not get enough sleep, but I mean, this is me. I'm a jerk sometimes because I don't get enough sleep, and I have insomnia. I had insomnia, I don't anymore. Magically, it disappeared. I wonder what happened.
WENDY WALSH, HUMAN BEHAVIORAL EXPERT: In this stage of your life. Who knows, it may come back.
LEMON: It may come back. It just went away one day. How does our lack of sleep affect others?
WALSH: Well, first of all, let's say that we do know that lack of sleep does affect our health. It can raise anxiety levels, even bone density, and it's links to obesity even. LEMON: Yes.
WALSH: Because we eat a lot during the day to stay awake. But it can affect our romantic relationships because we're less able to express and feel gratitude for the other person, and also we're more likely to feel like we're taken for granted.
LEMON: And it can be especially troubling for new parents, correct?
WALSH: Well, of course. Now, first of all, I would say the time of anyone's relationship where they have a small newborn baby and toddlers in the house is probably the most stressed time that any relationship can have anyway because you're projecting your own infantile memories and feelings on this baby and you're arguing with each other about what to do while the baby is screaming, and you have lack of sleep. So, in this particular time, sleep deprivation can make it very hard to remember why you are with this person and express gratitude.
LEMON: And I know that there are theories about why we may be more selfish when we're tired. And I know this is true. I don't think it's a theory, I think it's true.
WALSH: Because we're needy. We're selfish little babies. When you're overtired, you become more selfish. So, sometimes, you know me, Don, so you know I'm a sleep junky. I have said for many, many years I need to get my beauty rest every night. I'm still an eight to nine hour a night person. And friends don't ever call me after 9:00 p.m. That's why I have so much gratitude for the world.
But Don, in relationships, it's really important you get enough rest. Remember why you love that person, and not be so sensitive because when you're overtired, you're also more sensitive. You're a needy baby.
LEMON: Yes. But there all certain occupations where you can't just do. I mean, if you work the night shift, you're a physician, emergency worker, police officers, people who are in news, you can't always get eight, nine, ten hours of sleep. You sleep is interrupted.
WALSH: Yes. It's a difficult thing, and you have to make really hard lifestyle choices. But if you find your relationships are falling apart, it might be time to think about it. Also, one other study showed that if you have lack of sleep, if you're thinking of finding a new relationship by the way, you are more unapproachable. That we're more shut down when we're overtired.
LEMON: Let's talk about feeling appreciated. Why does feeling appreciated mean so much to us in our relationships? I mean, it sounds a lot like codependency. Why does it matter so much?
WALSH: Oh, there you go. All these Americans think that codependency means you can't be interdependent. That's a much lighter version. That's like codependency like. Remember, relationships are an exchange of care. We're supposed to trade care giving behaviors to each other. So if you're in an overtired state, you're not going to be as able to give that kind of care.
LEMON: Yes. I am a firm believer in naps. They're the most wonderful thing in the world.
WALSH: That's a good one. You keep taking those naps.
LEMON: Does it help?
WALSH: Yes, it does help. I have noticed just how happy you have been lately, expressing lots of gratitude.
LEMON: Thank you, Dr. Wendy. I appreciate it.
WALSH: Thank you.
LEMON: Always good to see you.
WALSH: Take care.
LEMON: In Florida, a squatter is using an ancient law to stay in a Boca Raton mansion, but as Terri Parker with our affiliate WPBF reports, the bank is now making its move to reclaim the property and kick the squatter out.
TERRI PARKER, WPBF REPORTER (voice-over): For weeks, neighbors knew there was trouble at this formerly empty water front home.
BECKY DAVIS, NEIGHBOR: I got an e-mail from the Homeowners Association saying that there were intruders living in the house.
PARKER: Twenty three-year-old Andre Barbosa had somehow gotten in and was claiming the house as his citing the little known adverse possession law.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I did walk around the back of the house, and I noticed that they had changed out all of the locks.
PARKER: But now, after neighbor outrage led to international news coverage, the owner of the house, Bank of America, has fired back, filing a lawsuit Friday to force Barbosa and his friends, some of whom drove off Thursday without answering questions. Their license plate taped over.
Bank of America says, in its complaint that Barbosa is a squatter in wrongful possession of the home without permission or consent. It asked for a permanent injunction restraining Barbosa and others from trespassing on the property, but some are questioning how Barbosa came up with the scheme in the first place.
DAVIS: I have heard that the theory is this kid is working for somebody else. He's just a warm body that has to occupy the house to make it legal because I don't know how he would have found this law that most of us had never heard of.
LEMON: Terry Parker reporting from WPBS, a CNN affiliate.
A woman collapses and dies in a Colorado hospital. Her unborn twins die as well. Now the hospital, a Catholic hospital, claims a wrongful death lawsuit in the case should not include the unborn babies. And wait until you hear the reason why.
LEMON: More now on our top story. Internet hackers crack into the website of the U.S. Department of Justice today, and they're promising to cause more trouble. The secretive group anonymous says, they're angry about what they call the government's role in the death of a well-known web activist.
Emily Schmidt is gathering new details for us in Washington. She's following the story very closely. They're making a very specific threat to release sensitive information. Emily, what are they talking about here?
SCHMIDT: Don, they're talking about this website that a lot of people may never have looked at. USSC.gov. And if you're interested in looking at it right now, if you pull it up, chances are it will still be down because of what these hackers, anonymous did, earlier today. They're upset because they believe that this U.S. sentencing commission website is part of what enforces penalties against hackers. And so they have targeted it because they think that it's a way to make a statement to the Department of Justice.
They say the Department of Justice basically doesn't back off from this, they're going to take action. And it's in response, it's been enough to elicit a response from the FBI saying, they're investigating this now, it's a criminal investigation.
LEMON: Yes. And Anonymous, they usually follow through on their threats. I mean, are these empty threats that Anonymous follow through? Do they plan on following through? Does the government believes that?
SCHMIDT: It's something interesting, when you take a look at some of the language they used, it's harsh language. They say that they have one file on multiple servers ready for immediate relief. They're using words like nuclear, multiple warheads they're saying that they could use against the Department of Justice, and the names of the warheads actually happen to be the names of Supreme Court justices.
So, is it rhetoric? Is it a threat? Is it something that they're ready to do? We don't know where this investigation is taking us, but you can take a look at what's happened in history. Just last year, the Anonymous targeted the FBI, Department of Justice, Motion Pictures Association, the Recording Industry Association.
They temporarily took down those websites because they were upset that the Department of Justice had cracked down on a website that used a lot of pirated media. So, we have certainly seen anonymous taking action in the past, that we have also seen some threats they have not lived up to.
LEMON: And this is classified information. If it is indeed classified information, do they have time to remove this information, the government to another site so that if they do put this up or go and hack into this website, that it won't be there?
SCHMIDT: You know, it's a complicated world. And it depends upon when this information was accessed.
LEMON: Got you. OK.
SCHMIDT: So, was the government able to know? All we know is that what they did early this morning, this cyber attack happened a little after midnight, has still impacted the USSC.gov website right now. So, you see that there's an impact. That's real.
LEMON: And let's talk a little bit more about Aaron Schwartz. Because I remember sitting here reporting his death, which was a suicide, right? And why do they blame the government? Because he started or at least was one of the people who started RSS, which was a big website, and Reddit, which is huge, Reddit.com.
SCHMIDT: Yes. No doubt. Aaron Schwartz, a huge internet activist. So, when he committed suicide two weeks ago, that is what Anonymous has said today was basically the final straw, the tipping point that caused them to take the action they did today. Schwartz committed suicide, and his family said it was because he was just faced with the pressure of facing federal computer fraud charges, charges that could have sent a 20-something to jail for up to 35 years.
His family says that drove him to suicide, but it's hard to say exactly if what the Anonymous said was a line that was crossed because they believe was the government was too harshly cracking down on his accessing of government information, if that's something that really was too harsh and led to this result.
LEMON: Good reporting. Thank you, Emily Schmidt. I appreciate it.
SCHMIDT: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: Let's get you up to speed now on the other stories that we're following here on CNN.
Hundreds gathered in St. Louis today for the funeral of baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial. Musial known as Stan the Man spent 22 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. Fans remembered him as one of the greatest hitters of all time. Musial died this week of natural causes. He was 92-years-old.
Longtime, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says, he will not run for re- election in 2014. Harkin served ten years in the House before his election to the Senate back in 1984. He is 73-years-old. President Obama has released a statement praising Harkin's work on health care and his efforts to help Americans with disabilities.
Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong says, he is ready to cooperate with an international agency tasked with clearing up doping in the sport. This announcement as the head of the U.S. anti-doping agency sat down with CBS to respond to Armstrong's Oprah confession.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRAVIS TYGART, CEO, UNITED STATES ANTI-DOPING AGENCY: It's amazing. You can go to almost any kindergarten in this country or frankly around the world and find kids playing tag or Four Square and ask them what cheating is, and every one of them will tell you it's breaking the rules of the game. No real athlete has to look up the definition of cheating. And it's offensive to clean athletes who are out there working hard to play by the rules.
USADA also want some answers, giving Armstrong until February 6th to talk to them, but his lawyers say his busy schedule means that won't happen.
The Taliban says it carried out a suicide bombing today that killed ten police officers in Afghanistan. Two senior officers including the head of a counterterrorism unit were among the victims. A dozen civilians were injured.
Mali's government is claiming a big victory, saying it has retaken a rebel stronghold. Forces loyal to the West African nation were helped by French troops. They're trying to disclose Islamist -- dislodge Islamist militants. Those fighters have controlled the northern part of Mali since last spring.
The Catholic Church says, life begins at conception, but a Catholic hospital chose to ignore that when it was sued by a grieving husband and father in Colorado.
Kyung Lah has more on the lawsuit that made a hospital decide between the church and the law.
JEREMY STODGHILL, FATHER: There wasn't one person who went into the ER, there were three.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jeremy Stodghill's wife Lori, seven months pregnant with his twin boys. It was New Year's day, 2006. Lori was vomiting and couldn't breathe. Jeremy rushed her to St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, Colorado.
STODGHILL: Lori looked up at me and then her head went down on her chest.
LAH: In the lobby of the emergency room, she went into full cardiac arrest from a pulmonary embolism. Lori Stodghill, just 31 years old, died, and so did her 28-week along unborn twins.
STODGHILL: I didn't even get to hold them. I have the autopsy picture. That's all I've got.
LAH (on camera): He sued the hospital and its owner, Catholic Health Initiatives, which operates nearly 80 hospitals in 14 states. He filed the wrongful-death suit on behalf of his wife and his unborn twin sons. In court, he was stunned to learn the hospital's defense.
(on camera): How many people did the hospital say you lost that day?
STODGHILL: One. Since they weren't born, they weren't people. They weren't -- they did not qualify as a person.
LAH (voice-over): That's right. Catholic Health Initiatives has argued that, under Colorado law, to be a person, one must at some point have been born alive, a glaring contradiction to Catholic Church teachings, which says life begins at conception.
Catholic Health Initiatives would not speak to CNN on camera but said, in a statement, "In this case, as Catholic organizations, we are in union with the moral teachings of the church."
That doesn't appear to add up in this case. As a Catholic organization, the hospital is supposed to follow the church's teachings, laid out in the ethical and religious directives from the U.S. Conference of U.S. Bishops -- no abortions, no contraceptives, no direct sterilizations like vasectomies." And it clearly states, "Catholic Health Care Ministry witnesses the sanctity of life from the moment of conception until death."
While the moral debate continues, so does Jeremy Stodghill's legal battle. After he lost in the lower court, the defense lawyers for the doctors and the hospital owned by Catholic Health Initiatives went after him for $118,000 in legal fees, garnishing his wages.
He's now bankrupt and struggling to care for his daughter, 9-year-old Libby, on his own.
STODGHILL: The tears, the pain, the heartache, still, seven years later.
LAH: That pain is why he won't give up. He's now appealing to the Colorado Supreme Court, asking them to decide if his sons were people under the state's laws.
(on camera): Will it make you feel better to get some sort of answer from the Catholic Church?
STODGHILL: I don't know. Perhaps, it will be closure.
LAH (voice-over): A permanent reminder, next to his heart --
STODGHILL: That's the footprints of the boys.
LAH: -- a tattoo, two sets of footprints and the words, "our sons." Children, in his eyes, fighting to get a church and state institution to see them that way as well. (on camera): The Catholic Bishops of Colorado would not speak to CNN on camera, but released this statement saying, quote, "We will undertake a full review of this litigation and of the policies and practices of Catholic Health Initiatives to insure fidelity and faithful witness to the teachings of the Catholic church," an appearance of back pedaling from the hospital's current legal stance.
Kyung Lah, CNN, Canyon, City, Colorado.
LEMON: Kyung Lah.
And we should add that, according to the "Canyon City Daily" records, the wrongful death lawsuit claims that his wife's obstetrician never made it to the hospital, and there was no attempt by doctors to save the two fetuses carried by his wife.
Internet pioneer, Aaron Swartz, creating a huge controversy after he died. Some hackers say the U.S. government is to blame for his suicide. We're looking at the federal case, United States vs. Swartz, next.
First this, last year was the best year for new home sales since 2009. Now existing home sales are currently at a five-year high. As Christine Romans reports, this is what the housing recovery looks like.
ROMANS (voice-over): Last month, David and Grace Chu got married.
DAVID CHU, NEW HOMEOWNER: Come on in.
ROMANS: Now they're about to close on their dream home, a brand new four-bedroom, five-bath colonial.
DAVID CHU: We weren't really looking for a new home.
ROMANS: This house was on the market for just two weeks before the seller accepted their offer. That's a good sign. More than 30 percent of all homes sold in December were on the market less than a month. The average time on the market for all homes, 73 days.
SUZANNE SUMMERS, SALES ASSOCIATE, COLDWELL BANKER: I try to tell my clients, if they really love the home, you know, be ready. Be ready for a bidding war. Don't be afraid of it.
ROMANS (on camera): Here are numbers. Existing home sales are at five-year highs, up more than 12 percent from this time last year. And new home sales are up 8.8 percent, despite a drop last month.
(voice-over): At the same time, rents are rising.
DAVID CHU: Our rent has gone up 40 percent over the past two years, so I think that has really pushed us in particular to look for a home. ROMANS: The Chu's new house moves more money through the economy than the sale of an existing home.
MICHELLE GIRARD, SENIOR ECONOMIST, RBS: Building new homes creates jobs in the construction sector, furnishing a new home with new appliances. Starting from scratch means that it feeds through the improvement in home sales, and on new home sales side in particular, feeds through more broadly to the economy.
ROMANS: It sounds like the Chus are just beginning.
GRACE CHU, NEW HOMEOWNER: The interest rates are low so it's great timing.
Christine Romans, CNN.
LEMON: The Internet hacking group known as Anonymous seeking revenge for the recent suicide of Internet pioneer, Aaron Swartz. The activist group and the Swartz family say federal prosecutors went way too far in pursuing computer crime charges against Swartz. Swartz could have faced up to 35 years in prison. He was accused of downloading millions of academic articles from MIT's digital archive. They say this was ridiculously out of proportion. Opponents say stealing is stealing.
So let's talk law and justice now. Holly Hughes is here. She's a criminal defense attorney
So, Holly, do you think the case against Aaron Swartz was too extreme?
HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & FORMER PROSECUTOR: Don, you have to draw the line in the sand. And at this point, the basic bottom line is he did, in fact, break the law. He was stealing. What is not being reported is there was a plea bargain in the works and he could have done as little as six months in prison. So to say that blaming the criminal justice system for what is a tragedy -- I mean, this young man chose to take his own life -- that's what's out of proportion in my opinion.
Legally speaking, if someone had broken into your home with a gun and stolen a million pieces of documents out of your home, you would want them prosecuted. Everybody would be up in arms. But because he did it with a computer, everybody seems to think that's excusable.
LEMON: So there's no difference between breaking into someone's home, their personal property -- personal property is personal property whether it's --
HUGHES: That's exactly right. Yes.
LEMON: -- breaking and entering or a computer?
HUGHES: And it does not belong to you. These are one of the tenants we learn in kindergarten -- don't take things that aren't yours.
HUGHES: This young man, he was brilliant. And there are other ways to go about it. Lobby the legislature to change the privacy laws. There are ways to accomplish what it is he was trying to accomplish without breaking the current law.
LEMON: It's a tragedy.
And his supporters and family don't want to hear that. But you're saying that's what the law says.
LEMON: I want to get your reaction to a quote from Aaron's family. "Aaron's death is not simply a personal tragedy. It's a product of a criminal justice system ripe with intimidation and prosecutorial over- reach. Decisions made by the officials in the Massachusetts U.S. attorney's office and at MIT contributed to his death."
What do you say to that?
HUGHES: I saw this family is in pain and they're looking for somebody to blame. This young man was troubled. He has a history -- if we read about him, he has a history of suicidal ideations, of very deep depression, what he himself called sadness, and trying to overcome that. And let's be real clear. It wasn't the Department of Justice. They were willing to make a deal, down as low as six months. MIT is the one who did not want to accept it, because they are the victim in this case.
So I understand completely where his family and his parents are coming from. They're looking for somebody to blame. But, Don, that could be said about anybody who is charged with a crime who then takes his own life. It's not that simple. It's not one factor that forces you to do it. This man was brilliant. He could have gone on and done so much more.
LEMON: You took the words -- I look at -- he was brilliant. He started these web sites.
LEMON: I mean, Reddit, which is just an amazing web site.
HUGHES: When he was a child, 11, 12, 13, 14.
LEMON: In his 20s, yes.
HUGHES: Very handsome young man. A lot to live for. So sad.
LEMON: Some are calling for reforms to computer crime laws based on Swartz's case. Do you think laws will be changed?
HUGHES: I think they will. And I think you'll see that as a result of this, because, again, the world has lost an incredibly bright light, who had a good goal, but went about it in the wrong way. So I think we'll see a lot of lobbying of the legislature for reform in this matter and, hopefully, they're successful. Hopefully, we can avoid something like this in the future.
LEMON: Thank you, Holly.
LEMON: So I had the flu, right? You were worried about me?
HUGHES: 12 days, you were sick as a dog.
HUGHES: I don't want you to breathe on me, but I was worried.
LEMON: I'm sure I had this new thing that was going around.
LEMON: So you thought the flu was bad?
LEMON: Details on a new strain of a vicious virus that is spreading fast. I'm going to tell you about it.
LEMON: Look at that. Just a week ago, I was just there. We were all focused on that building and that city. Well, the District of Columbia. Live shot of the capitol. Is that Photoshopped? It's so beautiful. Live shot of the capitol in Washington as the sun sets on our nation's capitol, one week out from the inauguration, the president of the United States.
OK, let's move on and talk about Pepsi, because Pepsi says it's removing a controversial chemical from their Gatorade drink. It follows the petition by a teenager who wanted the ingredient, brominated vegetable oil, found in fire retardants, and was used legally in Gatorade orange and lemonade. Yum. It's used to keep the flavor evenly distributed.
OK, if you had the flu, you know it's no joke. The influenza now rampant across most of the U.S., many people are taking extra precautions. The same measures might not protect you from another highly contagious illness. It's called the norovirus, also known as the stomach bug.
CNN's Lisa Sylvester has more on the new strain that is spreading fast.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The norovirus, you might have heard of it before. There have been several major outbreaks on cruise ships in recent years.
The norovirus in layman's terms is a stomach bug. We're at the height of a new season with a new strain.
The norovirus spreads through food or drink that has been contaminated. You can also get it if you touch a contaminated surface or object and then put your hand to your mouth.
Symptoms include abdominal cramps, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue. It hits you all of a sudden.
DR. GARY SIMON, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: It's very contagious. There's multiple epidemics of it. And other than cleaning the area, there's not a whole lot people can do about it.
SYLVESTER (on camera): The norovirus is so contagious because it's so hardy. Your typical hand sanitizer, that alone is not going to do it. Typical disinfectant wipes to wipe down surfaces, normally that would be fine, for instance, with the flu virus, but not the case with the norovirus.
What you really need to do is wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
(voice-over): And when you wipe down surfaces, make sure you use a bleach-based solution.
Most people infected recover after a few days. In rare cases, it can be fatal, particularly for the very old and very young and those with weaker immune systems.
According to the CDC, there are more than 20 million cases of the norovirus each year, resulting in about 800 deaths in the U.S.
SIMON: So infectious and requires such a low concentration of virus, it is rapidly spread through a population. That's why you see outbreaks on cruise ships, in dormitories, in places where people are in close contact with one another.
SYLVESTER: The top-five ways of protecting yourself, according to the CDC, wash your hands often, wash fruits and vegetables, cook shellfish thoroughly, clean surfaces and wash soiled laundry, and when you're sick, don't prepare food or care for others.
LEMON: Lisa Sylvester reporting.
And doctors say if you're unable to hold fluids down in a 12-hour period, you may be getting dehydrated and need to see your doctor.
OK, from lunch lady to the sidelines of an NFL game. Details on how she hopes to be serving up a lot of cheer for the Indianapolis Colts.
LEMON: So you think getting a seat at the Super Bowl is tough? Try getting a parking space. As authorities in New Orleans locked down the area around the Superdome, spots to park a car or R.V. are getting harder to find.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREGORY REAVES, DISTRICT MANAGER, PLATINUM PARKING: We have got about 500 spaces still left. We have spots listed anywhere from a low of $75 all the way up to $300 or $400 with a great view of the Superdome.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Of course, that is chump change compared to the cost of a ticket. On stubhub, the cheapest ticket right now more than 1700 bucks. More than 1700 bucks.
For all week, we'll be covering the run-up to the big game. And next Saturday, CNN will be live in New Orleans with a take on the biggest sporting event in the country. What it means to the city, how it became such a cultural phenomenon, and more. "Kick Off in New Orleans, A CNN Bleacher Report Special," next Saturday afternoon at 4:00 eastern.
You guys know I'm from Louisiana, so I will be watching very closely. That is my city, New Orleans.
Meantime, in Indiana, a lunch lady at South Ridge High School is chasing her own football dream. She is in an on-line competition to win a tryout for the Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders. Yeh. And 20- year-old Tella Toney is also changing what students think about their cafeteria workers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TELLA TONEY, LUNCH SERVICE DREAMS OF BEING COLTS CHEERLEADER: I've been wanting to be a Colts cheerleader for a long time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ORALEE COTTON, FOOD SERVICE DIRECTOR: They have never had a lunch lady as far as being this young, to do something that neat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, Tella has a lead of 1200 votes in the contest already. Cheerleader auditions, still two months away. Good luck, Tella.
Let's see what Wolf Blitzer has. "The Situation Room" is straight ahead.
Wolf, what do you have for us?
WOLF BLITZER, HOST, THE SITUATION ROOM: Don, thank you very much.
Lots coming up in "The Situation Room." Gloria Borger's exclusive interview with the vice president, Joe Biden. Kate Bolduan takes up behind the scenes into Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's world. And our own Lisa Sylvester takes a closer look at how the Obama daughters, Sasha and Malia, have grown up before our very own eyes.
All that and a lot more coming up right here in "The Situation Room."
LEMON: All right, we'll be watching.
Thank you, Wolf Blitzer.
150 years ago today, the first regiment of freed slaves found themselves in their first bloody battle. It is a Civil War story, a black history story you probably haven't heard. Make sure you stick around. The story is next.
LEMON: You're going to like this next story, I promise. I have a Civil War story for you now. It is a black history story that you probably have not heard before. 150 years ago today, in 1863, the first regiment of freed slaves found themselves in what their commander called their first stand-up fight. Union officers didn't even know if these soldiers would even fight. And if they did, could they win? Those answers came in Florida at the Battle of 100 Pines.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Good morning, gentlemen. I am Colonel Robert Gould Shaw.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: In 1963, while the men in the famous 54th Massachusetts, portrayed I the movie "Glory," were still training --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One, two. One, two.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: -- another regiment of black soldiers, the first South Carolina Volunteers, was already in its first battle.
JOHN GOURDIN, CIVIL WAR HISTORIAN & AUTHOR: This area would probably be the site of the Battle of 100 Pines.
LEMON: Not the most famous fight, but maybe one of the most important of the Civil War.
FRANK OFELDT, PARK RANGER & HISTORIAN: Yes, there were other bigger and more known battles, but that engagement up the St. Mary's was their battle, their battle to prove themselves, and to open the door for 180,000 African-Americans to join the Union Army.
LEMON: In May, 1962, Union General David Hunter ordered that all the slaves in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida were free. He quickly formed his own regiment of freed men, but without Washington's permission. Eight months later, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation meant the First South Carolina Volunteers could be formally recognized by the War Department.
Their commander, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, was eager to test them on an expedition to Florida.
OFELDT: Here we are at Fort Clinch, where the First South Carolina served. Their involvement here at the fort site, obviously, arriving in January, But they're immediately are going to go on that mission.
GOURDIN: Well, that one night, the night of the 26th of January, in 1863, a confederate cavalry unit and the First South Carolina, a regiment of African descents, clashed --
GOURDIN: It's known now as the Battle of 100 Pines.
GOURDIN: And these troops were fighting. And they knew that they had to win this fight.
When the smoke cleared, the First South Carolina was still standing. And the cavalry unit was gone.
LEMON: Only two soldiers, one from each side, died that night. But history had been made.
OFELDT: We'll never forget those men. And I'm teary about that, because that is a sacrifice to our country that they have laid down. Not just to their country, but to their race.
GOURDIN: Thank you.
OFELDT: Thank you.
GOURDIN: Very well said.
LEMON: A battlefield unmarked, but remembered.
GOURDIN: Think back, 150 years ago. Here is where the slaves that were brought from the coast of Africa proved that they were men. This is the area where black soldiers from the First South Carolina earned their right to be called soldiers.
LEMON: Told you that you would like it. My thanks to producer and editor, Peg Davis. Nice job with that.
Women will soon take up position on the front lines of battle, as soon as the final acts of defense secretaries -- one of the final acts of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that this week lifted a ban on women in combat units. But for one combat unit in the Air Force, this is nothing news. There, women have been side by side with men, fighting on the ground for more than a decade. That story will air one hour from now, here on CNN, and we'll debate that an hour from now, one guest says women shouldn't do it and that is a woman.
The SITUATION ROOM with Wolf Blitzer begin now. I will see you back here, one hour from now.