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Child Held Hostage in Bunker; Dow Closing in on 14,000; Kerry Gives Farewell Speech; Syrian Military Claims Airstrike by Israel; Gates: High Talent Immigrants Hostage; $135,000,000 Home

Aired January 30, 2013 - 14:30   ET

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


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BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: In Southern Alabama, just outside of Midland City, it's a rural town, south of Montgomery, a gunman boards a school bus, kills the driver and takes a 6-year-old hostage. That little boy is now being held inside this man's homemade bomb shelter. The suspect is identified as 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dikes.

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MICHAEL CREEL, SUSPECT'S NEIGHBOR: I talked to the girl that was on the school bus and she told me that he came on the bus, with a gun, shot into the ceiling or the floor once and shot the bus driver three times after asking for a child -- two children between 6 and 8.

School bus driver apparently he did everything he could, he said can't do that, threw the bus into reverse, floored the gas and that's when the bus alarm came on. And tried to get out of the way, but by the time it was a little too late, he already shot the bus driver three times.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Shot the bus driver three times. Take a look at this. This is the dirt road that leads up to this property. Further up this road, SWAT teams have swooped in, wearing tactical gear, carrying shields.

Let's go straight there to George Howell who is on the scene for us. George, I understand you just have spoken here with what -- a neighbor of this suspect, what did he tell you about this man, Dikes?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, this is interesting. This particular neighbor tells me that he had a run-in with Dikes just a month ago. He says that he was basically driving on this dirt road, this private road that goes in front of Dikes' property.

He drove over this dirt berm, this speed bump created on the road, went across the road, but what he did, his pickup truck got stuck. When it got stuck, he hit the gas. He put ruts in that dirt berm and -- according to Jimmy Davis. Jimmy Davis says, you know, all of a sudden he found himself confronted with an armed man. Take a listen to what happened.

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JAMES EDWARD DAVIS, JR., SUSPECT'S NEIGHBOR: Mr. Dikes flagged me down and he stopped me and just wanting to cuss and using harsh words at me. I told him numerous times to calm down because my daughter was in the back seat. She then started screaming and I told him, I said, man, you need to calm down.

And I kind of exchanged a few words with him, nothing too harsh. And Mr. Dikes ran to his vehicle, maybe 20 foot from me, and I turned around to my daughter and was trying to calm her down, and he pulled a pistol out.

And by the time I seen the pistol, I took off on the truck pulling the trailer and I made it probably ten foot and he fired the gun twice, discharged it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: So, Brooke, here's the thing. Dikes and Davis, they were supposed to be in court today to talk about this menacing charge that Dikes apparently faced, but, again, now we find that he is held up in a bunker, just across the highway here, on his property, with this --

BALDWIN: Did we lose him? He was talking about where this property was because I want to know how police are communicating with this guy and this bunker again. This 6-year-old also reportedly -- this is a special needs child.

So this child apparently each and every day needs a specific kind of medication. We're going to work on getting George back up for us so we can sort of continue filling in the blanks on this story and the 6- year-old still being held hostage right now.

Have you checked your 401(k) lately? We have been peeking at ours a lot more lately as we watch this number here. The Dow today, stocks have been on a tear. We're especially keeping our eye here on the Dow Jones Industrial average. Why, because it has been closing in on it, flirting with the 14,000 mark.

Take a look at this here. The Dow is less than 2 percent, less than 2 percent from its record high that was set back in October of 2007. While the Dow now has been climbing, we found out this morning that the economy, despite the Dow, hasn't been growing.

In fact, it contracted in the fourth quarter of 2012. This is the first time that's happened actually in more than three years. So do we want to talk to? Stephen Moore, I wanted to have you on the show here talking about a little bit about this, our senior economics writer for "The Wall Street Journal." So welcome back.

STEPHEN MOORE, SENIOR ECONOMICS WRITER, "WALL STREET JOURNAL" EDITORIAL PAGE: Thank you. I wish we had better news to report.

BALDWIN: I know. We bring you on and it is all, like, Debbie Downer stuff. Let me ask you this because it is not if you have your 401(k) and you're pretty stoked looking at the Dow today. But my question is, when we're looking at Wall Street versus Main Street, why are they not in harmony?

MOORE: Well, it is a great question, because you're right. Investors have just made out like bandits in the last 60 days or so. The stock market has done very well, as you just mentioned. We're at or near an all time high.

And the economy just -- the real economy, for workers, really is still pretty poor. And this -- everyone was very shocked, Brooke, about the number that came out today. People were expecting 1 percent to 2 percent growth. We got negative 0.1 percent. Now --

BALDWIN: Why is that?

MOORE: Well, it's a little bit distorted because we had a big reduction in defense spending and that's because the Pentagon is getting ready for these sequester cuts that will start on March 1st. So they're starting to cut back on their spending to prepare for that.

So if you take out -- what has happened in government spending, the economy grew by about 1.3 percent. That's still pretty anemic and I think it suggests we're not out of the woods yet. Brooke, let me tell you some good news because I don't want to be the grim reaper here.

BALDWIN: Bring in to me, Stephen Moore. Give me some good news.

MOORE: Since January, the economy has actually done a lot better. You have seen the numbers on housing. They're much improved. That means more construction jobs, right? We have seen some of the initial unemployment claims numbers that are down, meaning that it looks like we're going to get a pretty decent jobs report on Friday.

The energy picture looks pretty good. So, you know, it's discouraging that the fourth quarter was so lousy. Let's keep our fingers crossed we get a revival of growth this quarter.

BALDWIN: Right. That was the first quarter. Now we're looking obviously at the current quarter and the Dow looking awesome, if I may. You mentioned luxury homes. I don't know if you've seen this pad in Dallas, Texas, stick around, Stephen Moore. We have some pretty amazing pictures here as we look at that because the luxury home market is booming. I don't know if you're looking for that.

Stephen Moore, I'm going to let you go. Thank you so much as we keep watching the Dow, hopefully we'll hit 14,000 today, we'll watch, about an hour and a half away from that closing bell.

Let me move on, getting some breaking news now involving Syria. The Syrian military is claiming that Israel has bombed a research facility. Senior international correspondent Sara Sidner, she is just getting mic'd up. We'll talk to her about what is happening next.

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BALDWIN: Want to take you live here. This is special moment on Capitol Hill. We want to eavesdrop for a minute. You're looking at long time Massachusetts senator, he's been the chairman of the senate -- Senate Foreign Relations Committee, forgive me. John Kerry here saying his goodbye before coming the next U.S. secretary of state. Take a listen.

JOHN KERRY, FUTURE SECRETARY OF STATE: -- the part that they play in our democracy. I will share with you now that I've come to this moment in the journey I can say without reservation that nothing prepares you for it. Many times now in 29 years I've been in my desk here on the floor, starting way over there, number 99, listening as colleagues bid the Senate farewell.

Sometimes a farewell speech signals a complete departure from public life, sometimes a new journey, altogether, sometimes forced departure, sometimes a leap for freedom. I'm grateful that at this moment, thanks to my colleagues, serendipity and the trust of our president, while I'm closing a chapter, it is not a final one.

I assure you, amid the excitement and the possibility I do feel wistfulness about leaving the United States Senate and that's because despite the obvious frustrations of recent days and years, a frustration that we all share this place remains one of the most extraordinary institutions of any kind on the face of the earth.

On occasion we all heard a senator leave here and take their leave condemning the Senate for being broken, an impossible setting in which to try to do the people's business. Well, I want to be very clear about my feelings. I do not believe the Senate is broken certainly not as an institution.

There is nothing wrong with the Senate that can't be fixed by what's right about the Senate. The predominant and weighty notion that 100 American citizens chosen by their neighbors to serve from states is different as Massachusetts and Montana can always choose to put parochial or personal interests aside and find the national interest.

I believe it is the honor of a lifetime, an extraordinary privilege to have represented the commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States Senate for more than 28 years. What a remarkable gift it has been to carry the banner of senator from Massachusetts just as each of you feel that way about your states.

BALDWIN: Calling it an honor of a lifetime, helping represent and serve the good people of Massachusetts. John Kerry, we have learned, will be taking the spotlight that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be vacating.

She has her farewell ceremony this upcoming Friday and then Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan will help swear in Senator Kerry at his new post, the secretary of state, this coming Friday. Certainly we will show that to you live.

Meantime, now this -- breaking news here as we're getting word, this is from the Syrian military. They're saying Israel bombed a research facility of theirs. This is right around the capital city of Syria, Damascus. Senior international correspondent Sara Sidner has gotten up on this for us. Sara, tell me what you know. SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We have been able to confirm with the help of Barbara Starr there that the U.S. military has actually confirmed there was indeed a strike along the Syrian/Lebanon border. Now they say that the Israeli planes flew over that border and struck some time overnight, our time.

We're now in the evening of the next day. That was Tuesday into Wednesday. What I can tell you, as I have spoken to the prime minister's office, the foreign affairs office, the military, several people in the military, none of them will confirm or deny this information.

They're simply not commenting on the information. But I also spoke with a very high ranking former senior intelligence official who said that there are situations going on right now between Syria and Lebanon, particularly Hezbollah, that are quite disturbing to Israel.

Over the past few years they have information that says that Syria has been handing over, transferring, if you will, scud missiles. The significance of scud missiles is that they can carry chemical weapons warheads.

There is a lot seems to be going on behind the scenes, but indeed a U.S. official says they can confirm there was an Israeli air strike on the Syrian/Lebanon border. Israel is not commenting on that information right now.

BALDWIN: OK, Sara Sidner, when you get more information on the strike, on the Syrian/Lebanon border, we'll bring you back up. Sara Sidner, my thanks to you from Israel. We'll be right back.

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BALDWIN: As President Obama throw his support behind an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws. One man has a lot to say on that particular subject. He's Bill Gates. Remember just a couple of years ago, Gates testified before Congress, saying hiring immigrants at Microsoft is the key to its growth and he sat down with our very own Christine Romans, who joins me live. Christine, what is he saying now?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know, I told him that looks like the only consensus you get in Washington now is about immigration reform and what would he like to see? Does he think it is possible? He said quite frankly this is the best chance for real reform in years. Listen, Brooke.

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BILL GATES, MICROSOFT FOUNDER: Our immigration system makes it very hard for those people to come in. So if somebody is being offered a job here, for over $100,000, there is other jobs created around that job, you don't want to discourage a company from having to put that --

ROMANS: Do we discourage them?

GATES: Absolutely. You can be a student at UC Berkeley, foreign born, get this wonderful subsidized education, Microsoft offers you a job for over $100,000 a year and we have to say, if the country will keep you. Most of those students are told they can't stay, get out of the United States.

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ROMANS: He says, Brooke, that that part of the immigration system, this immigration for smart -- he calls it smart talent, people who come here and create jobs, who already are here, get educations, want to take a stem, science, technology, engineering, math degree, they can't.

That part of the immigration system has been held hostage by the problem of illegal immigration, and the real thorny problem in Washington for fixing that, he says, you got the best chance in years for both of those to be fixed.

He's very concerned, of course, about high tech, skilled workers coming into this country because they're leaving here and starting businesses somewhere else.

BALDWIN: Look at you. Yesterday, Nobel Prize winning Paul Krugman, today, Bill Gates and I look forward to tomorrow. Christine Romans, thank you so much.

It is the lifestyle of the rich and the filthy rich, if you will. We'll show you the most expensive home for sale right now in America, got a very famous neighbor.

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BALDWIN: OK, we're about to show you the most expensive home on the market right now in the U.S. going to give you a moment. I want you to think about where it might be. The answer, I think, might surprise you. We'll get to that in a moment.

But first, did you know that the sales for luxury homes, they are up. Billionaires have been really on a buying spree for more than a year and sales really took off toward the end of 2012. Look at this.

Sales of $1 million plus homes, they spiked in November, up 51 percent over a year earlier. And now the most expensive home for sale in America is, where is it? Not San Francisco, not New York. It is in Dallas, Texas. Look at this.

You can see it all the way from Google Earth, the property. It is more than fit for J.E. Ewing. This is the Crespi Hicks estate, multiple pools, multiple homes, asking price, a cool $135 million. Look at that, 25 acres near downtown, 42,000 square feet.

You can see here, three separate buildings. Morgan Brennan, you wrote about this in "Forbes" magazine. I looked at the pictures of the home. Apparently, it is a pool house and guest house and main house that you can probably get lost in for days. What makes this estate so pricey? MORGAN BRENNAN, STAFF WRITER, "FORBES": Well, a lot of it is in the eye of the beholder. In the case of super luxury real estate like this, also in the eye of the seller and what they believe their home is worth. So in this particular case, the sellers here believe their home is worth $135 million.

I have it on some -- from some good sources that they put over $100 million into restoring and new construction in this house. It took almost a decade to do that. So that, plus the land, $135 million.

BALDWIN: I'm, like, are they growing diamonds? What's going on with this price? We know the neighbors reportedly are, Laura and George Bush, a former president here. So what is behind this spike? What is behind this trend in buying up these luxury homes?

BRENNAN: Well, we have actually seen, as you mentioned, we've seen billionaire buyers coming into this market, both domestically and from abroad, and plunging down record amounts for homes across the U.S., trophy homes across the U.S.

And so as these sales happen, more potential sellers believe that they can sell their homes and they put them out on the market and maybe put them out with a really lofty price tag. Sometimes the market supports that, sometimes it doesn't.

We saw another major record-breaking sale, mentioned San Francisco, this was in Woodside, and that's $117.5 million sale that happened in November. So in some cases I guess billionaires are buying these massive luxury estates.

BALDWIN: I guess if you can afford it. I think I would rather take a vacation around the world, but that's just me. Morgan Brennan, "Forbes" magazine, good to see you. Thank you.

BRENNAN: Good to see you.

BALDWIN: Much more on our breaking news here. We're watching the severe storms ripping across the country. Look at this, tornado pictures out of Georgia, deadly tornado. We're going to talk with a storm chaser and Chad Myers coming up.

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