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Russians Recover From Meteor Strike; Authorities Probing What Caused Fire on Carnival Triumph; National Parks Brace For Cuts; Meteor`s Sonic Boom Injuries Hundreds in Russia; Confirmation Dorner Died of Single Shot to Head; 5th Graders Accused of Murder Plot; Ex- Mayor Gambles Away $1 Billion, Gets No Jail Time; The Greatest: Michael Jordan Versus Lebron James

Aired February 16, 2013 - 17:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: It is the story that people cannot stop talking about. A meteor strike in Russia that injured hundreds and scared the masses. Well, today CNN tries to get to the site where one of the meteor`s pieces supposedly landed. CNN NEWSROOM everyone, I`m Don Lemon. That story in less than 90 seconds.

But first, we want to get you up to speed on the stories making headlines this hour. A truck bomb killed at least 78 people today in a marketplace in Central Pakistan. Nearly 200 others were injured and wounded. Police say the explosives were packed in a water tanker and detonated by remote control. The attack is just the latest in an ongoing campaign in violence against Shiite Muslims in the region, which is overwhelmingly Sunni.

At the Vatican, cardinals could mean sooner than expected to begin the process of choosing a new pope. The Vatican spokesman says, the conclave can start as soon as all 117 cardinals are in Rome. When Benedict XVI steps down at the end of the month, he is going to his summer residence while work is finished on his new home inside the Vatican compound.

In Detroit, icy roads and snowy squalls have led to the multicar pileups across that area. According to affiliate WXYZ, the 30-vehicle accident shut down part of the southbound interstate 75. Several people were treated at hospitals for their injuries.

An Idaho man could face up to a year in jail for allegedly smacking a crying child on a recent delta flight. Joe Rickey Hundley was sitting next to a little boy and his mother on Minneapolis to Atlanta flight. The boy began to cry as the plain descended into Atlanta. And according to court documents, Hundley used the n-word and then reached over and slapped the boy. The company Hundley works for says, he has been suspended pending an investigation.

Today is clean-up day in Russia. These guys are replacing windows and sweeping up broken glass just like people all over a huge part of Southern Russia are doing, just about every glass window in an area covering nearly 80,000 square miles smashed at the same time yesterday. NASA calls this a once in a century event. A meteor, pretty sizeable one, as a matter of fact, screamed out of the sky and slammed to earth. More than 1,000 people were hurt and thousands of buildings damaged.

CNN`s Phil Black is in Russia. He hit the road today, trying to find the sort where the meteor landed.

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We`re walking on a frozen lake. It`s about a 90-minute drive west. We`re here because locals say a big fragment from the meteor punched through the ice. And is now sitting at the bottom of the lake.


That was a very firm no. These police officers said it is prohibited for us to be here, to shoot video here, to try and walk any further. If part of that meteorite came down there, where those vehicles are, as locals say it did, the Russian authorities don`t want us or anyone else to see it.

The meteor`s final descent through the atmosphere was seen by people all across this region. At this Chelyabinsk school, students came outside to look at the trail of smoke it left in the sky. One student captured the moment on his phone. What were you thinking? What do you think your friends were thinking?

IVAN FURSOV, STUDENT: Firstly, I think it seems to be a terrorist attack. They guessed that it was a rocket bomb.

BLACK: And then there is the big blast, the sonic boom.


FURSOV: Yes. My ears have deafened, and everyone fell down like this. And the ground shook a little.

BLACK: It was awful.

FURSOV: Yes. Some girls were crying, screaming panic, and crying.

BLACK: There are a few isolated examples of really substantial damage caused by this meteor and its shock wave. Here at this factory, it is said to have knocked over the brick walls here by the road. Elsewhere across the city, mostly superficial. Glass and window frames and a lot of that is already being cleaned up and repaired.

Within a week or so, there should be few physical scars left from this city`s close encounter with the meteor. But it is likely to be something that people here will be talking about for some time to come.

Phil Black, CNN, Chelyabinsk, Russia.

LEMON: All right. Phil, make sure you stay right there. I`ve got a great guest right here in just a few minutes, an astronomer, he`s going to explain just what happened yesterday in Russia. And he`s got some pieces of space rocks that have made it to earth. It`s a fascinating conversation coming up, so make sure you stay tuned.

I want to go now to that shocking news that an entire nation still can`t believe really the entire world. South Africa`s national hero locked up in jail, charged with murder. And there`s a surreal angle to the story to tell you about. Reeva Steenkamp, the young woman shot dead allegedly by Olympian Oscar Pistorius, a reality show she taped did go on television today as scheduled in South Africa. The producers of the show say they consulted the woman`s family beforehand. It`s one of those celebrity competition shows, Reeva Steenkamp is a well-known model and activist. I want you to listen to these words. She taped an interview that could says, it`s prophetic, really.


REEVA STEENKAMP, AUGUST 1983-FEBRUARY 2013: You literally fall in love with Jamaica. You fall in love with being in love with love. It`s just one love everywhere.

I`m going home with a sweet taste in my mouth. I don`t have any regret, I don`t have any bitterness. I take with me so many amazing memories and things that are in here, that are in here. I`ll treasure -- I`m going to miss you all so much. I love you very, very much.


LEMON: Interesting, huh? A little context for you. She was talking about leaving and missing the people of Jamaica, not her family or loved ones. But it`s still a sad final few words. And as for Olympic track star Oscar Pistorius, he has been formally charged with murdering Reeva Steenkamp who was his girlfriend and he will stay locked up until at least Tuesday and a bail hearing is set for them.

To sue or not to sue. That`s a decision facing passengers from the Carnival Triumph after surviving the so-called cruise from hell. At least one woman has already made her choice, filing a lawsuit. The investigation to learn what happened to the Triumph could take a while.

And CNN`s Susan Candiotti has more on that story for us.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You can see the Triumph over my shoulder, way off in the distance, just to give you a sense of scale. That ship is the length of three football fields and has 13 decks in all. A team of investigators with the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as for the National Transportation Safety Board, are trying to figure out the source of Sunday`s fire that brought this cruise to a screeching halt.

They have a lot of work ahead of them as they try to go into the engine room and figure out where the fire may have started. It might even have been somewhere else. They have to look through all of the systems on board the ship. They`ve already spent time talking with passengers before they disembark, and went to the far corners of the earth going back home again. But they`ll also be examining the procedures that were followed after that fire took place. There is another engine room that they could have turned to as an alternate source of power. However, investigators are saying that might have been a risky move.


PATRICK CUTY, U.S. COAST GUARD SENIOR MARINE INVESTIGATOR: In this case, they may have been able to restore power, but really the safe thing to do was to tow the vessel back into port rather than try to reenergize a power system that was damaged by fire.


CANDIOTTI: Investigators will also be examining what`s called the voyage data recorder that among other things preserves conversations that took place aboard the ship`s bridge. And also stores all the kinds of data about what was happening aboard the ship, as well. We also talked with some of the crew members that went back aboard the ship this day. They tell us they are helping with the clean-up process. The investigation will take quite some time. Possibly up to a year before a final report is issued by the Bohemian government where the ship is registered.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, in Mobile, Alabama.

LEMON: Unless the President and Congress can agree on a new budget plan by the end of the month, it could have devastating effects on your bottom line. I`m talking layoffs, tax refunds and places we all go for family fun.


LEMON: President Barack Obama is in Florida this weekend, getting in some golf at an exclusive resort. A little while ago, fighter jets had to escort a Cessna out of a restricted air space near where the President is staying. The plane landed without incident and the FAA is now investigating.

And meantime, the President used his weekly address to reinforce a message he delivered in this week`s States of the Union address calling for new programs to stimulate the economy.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: We need to launch manufacturing hubs across the country that will transform hard-hit regions into global centers of high-tech jobs and manufacturing. We need to make our tax code more competitive, ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and rewarding companies that create jobs here at home.


LEMON: In our party`s weekly address, Alabama Congressman Martha Roby blamed the president for the billions in spending cuts that could take effect on March 1st.

REP. MARTHA ROBY (R), ALABAMA: As the clock is ticking towards his devastating sequester, the President has failed to put forward a plan to prevent it. Why? Because President Obama and Senate Democrats see his sequester as an opportunity to push through another tax increase.


LEMON: Well, she said the President should consider some of the alternative budget cuts already passed by the republican-led house.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio is headed to the Middle East. He left today on a week-long trip that will take him to Israel and Jordan. He planned meetings with the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers, which have comes just days after Rubio delivered the republican response to President Obama`s State of the Union address.

We`ve all heard about the budget cuts coming March 1st. The dreaded sequester. Most of the noise has been about defense cuts. But this goes way beyond that and we`ll all feel its impact one way or another.

CNN`s Emily Schmidt looks at one agency bracing for those cutbacks.


EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If Richard Wood has seen one National Park, he`s seen them all or hopes to.

(on camera): How many parks have you been to?

RICHARD WOOD, NATURE ENTHUSIAST: Well, over 200, 250, approximately.

SCHMIDT: With great falls, Virginia checked off the list, there are about 150 to go.

WOOD: The National Park Service is, you know -- there is nothing like it in the world.

SCHMIDT: The National Park service covers more than 84 million acres in every state but Delaware and soon may do so with less because of mandatory budget cuts, known as sequestration slated to begin March 1st.

WOOD: It looks like the sequester is probably going to happen.

SCHMIDT: John Guarder works for a nonprofit group that supports the national parks and he`s worried about the looming changes.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Five percent is a lot for the park service.

SCHMIDT: The National Park Service is preparing to cut $110 million out of its $2.2 billion budget. That could mean shorter park hours, fewer employees, and possible closed camping and hiking areas when there`s not enough staff.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: A cut of this magnitude, which would be so damaging to parks over the course of a year, federal spending would save 15 minutes.

SCHMIDT: Guarder says, Yellowstone National Park could lose $1.75 million. The national mall, 1.6 million, the Statue of Liberty, $779,000. Still, one budget expert says the cuts are not too extreme.

ISABEL SAWHILL, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: I think almost any organization can sustain a five percent cut in their budget and not have it interfere with their basic mission.

SCHMIDT: Isabelle Sawhill says, taxpayers may not mind getting a bit less in service to help control government spending. Richard Wood agrees in theory. Just not here.

WOOD: I`m a big National Park Service fan. So, I want them to cut programs that don`t matter to me personally. No, I`m -- and I think unfortunately, all of us feel that way.


LEMON: Emily Schmidt joins me now from Washington. So Emily, cutting the parks budget is bad enough. What else is on the chopping block?

SCHMIDT: Don, you take a look at what is on the chopping block, it`s almost everything that you deal with. Every day. Let`s start with the food you eat. The Agriculture Department predicts immediate inspector furloughs, and that means meat and poultry plants which checked down nationwide for up to 15 days. The Agriculture Department warns that could create a meat poultry, even egg shortage, means you`ll going to pay more to get you on your table. The FDA also says, they`re going to be about 2,100 fewer food safety inspections each year, it could be more food borne illness that way.

When you fly, the Department of Homeland Security says, expect longer waits at airport security checkpoints, because TSA would reduce its workers and the Department of Education says, 86 percent of school districts wouldn`t be able to make up for the loss of sequestration in the 2013-2014 school year. Don, cuts could even impact programs, you don`t even know you need yet. FEMA says, the disaster relief fund for severe weather survivors will be cut more than $1 billion.

LEMON: Goodness. So what are the odds that lawmakers can actually find a way to stop these cuts from taking effect?

SCHMIDT: Yes. Odds that it could happen? There are some odds that it could happen. They have about two weeks left to try to do it. But at the same time, it seems like all they`re agreeing on at this point is that they think it`s pretty bad policy. The problem is at this point, they don`t agree on how to avert it. You have seen Senate Democrats this week calling for a plan that combine taxing millionaires more, reducing defense spending after the war in Afghanistan, ending foreign subsidies. They say, those things could combine to replace mandatory budget cuts. But Congressional Republicans say, they`re not going to support any plan that includes tax increases. So Don, these fundamental arguments haven`t really changed in the more than year that sequestration has been looming. We`re just not hearing a lot of optimism from Congressional leaders that anything might change now in the next couple of weeks.

LEMON: All right. Emily Schmidt, thank you very much. I appreciate that.

You know what, some commercials say, low T is robbing men of their manliness. Researcher has shown, a guy`s testosterone takes a hit once he gets married.

Ahead, our psychologist says, we`ve got that all backwards. And she wants to straighten everybody out.


LEMON: Dale Beatty lost his legs in the Iraq war, his community helped build him a home. The random act of kindness inspired him. And since 2008, he has helped provide homes to 17 disabled veterans.

Meet our CNN hero of the week.


DALE BEATTY, MILITARY VETERAN: I`m a combat-wounded Iraq veteran. As I was recovering at Walter Reed, my community approached me and said they wanted to help build a home for my return.

People would come and work on my project just because they respected the sacrifice that I had gone through. All veterans have been called to be responsible for the guy to your left and the guy to your right. Other veterans haven`t had it as easy as I have. So I sat down with my battle buddy John and we decided to level the playing field.

I`m Dale Beatty. And it is now my mission to help other veterans get the support and homes they deserve from their communities. There is thousands of veterans right here in our midst. People don`t realize the need that is out there. Couple of our homes can help any service- disabled veteran regardless of their age or war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the young why we`re all here today.

BEATTY: It is just getting the community engaged, to get a ramp built or a foreclosed home remodeled or an entire house built from the ground up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Narrow doorways that I couldn`t get through. I had to crawl in on my hands and knees. To have them build a new bathroom was unbelievable.

BEATTY: We want to make their life easier, safer, just better. And their emotions are being rehabbed as well.

I did three tours in Vietnam. For 35 years, no one cared. Purple Heart Homes said, welcome home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is great to be home after 40 years.

BEATTY: Regardless of when you served, we`re all the same. They just need to know that somebody does care about them.



LEMON: If you watch much TV, you don`t have to watch that much, you see it and know it by now. Men are not truly manly unless they`re bursting with testosterone. For men suffering from so-called low T, low testosterone, there are pills and potions and lotions to help save the day, injections as well. And it seems as for all of them where testosterone is held up as a barometer that determines how much a man is really a man. How much of a man you are.

Well, psychologist Wendy Walsh`s new book is available for preorder on Amazon, "The 30 Day Love Detox." Wendy, OK, listen. I see these commercials over and over and over. Before we get to this whole low T thing, the questions that we have for you. How much of this is created by the pharmaceutical industry?



WALSH: I mean, I think that this belief system is that we have to create some kind of new ailment that people need to get fixed. And I don`t think that men are suffering that much. From low T.

LEMON: OK. So before we -- men who get married. Married men. It says that your testosterone is supposed to lower once you get married. Is that true? Can that happen?

WALSH: No. In fact, that`s what`s exciting about this new research out of Simon Frazier University in Canada. Is that lots of research shows that married men tended to have slightly lower testosterone levels than single men. Now remember, lower testosterone levels doesn`t necessarily mean lower sex drive. It doesn`t necessarily mean less chest hair or whatever. It`s just, you know, an anomaly about how people are made up.

But the thinking was always that once you sort of domesticated a man and had him loading dish washers and changing diapers, that somehow his testosterone would lower. But this new research actually says that -- and I love this, and I love to tell women this, men with slightly lower testosterone are more likely to get married. They have better bonding abilities. They`re the good guys.

LEMON: Because they`re not -- anyway. I won`t go there. WALSH: Exactly. So, the single men with the higher testosterone may be in multiple relationships, less likely to be monogamous, et cetera. And by the way, there`s testosterone in women, too. Remember.

LEMON: Yes. And if you want to call them relationships. It`s relations but not necessarily relationships. And listen, I want to say, you`re not a medical doctor but with all of these ads, the dangers of low T, you say, as you just said sex drive, it doesn`t have a lot to do with sex drive. It doesn`t have -- may not have anything to do with sex drive. But it also has something to do with environment, right?

WALSH: Well, I think we have to understand that there`s got to be a much greater definition of manhood and manliness than just virility. And ability to, you know, get up and keep it up because the truth is, the great guys are the good fathers and the ones that are able to keep their genes in evolution`s chain for a long time. And that means learning how to be good dads and be head of households. And we don`t see those role models in our media as much.

But you know, environment does play a role. For instance, in women, where you would have, you know, sort of waning sex drive around menopause, you would think, now we have the advent of the cougar. And one study I read was fascinating, it said, well, cougars erupt if you`re in a very permissive environment where there happen to be young men who are interested and then all of a sudden women`s sex drive doesn`t wane in their late 40s and their 50s.

However, if they live in perhaps a smaller town, or more conservative town, where it would just be considered a scandal, then there are fewer cougars, so environment does play a role, as well.

LEMON: Yes. I can`t believe you said that. Actually, I can. It is you, Dr. Wendy. But, you know, here`s the thing. That`s probably why, though, there are all these commercials and all these products to get your testosterone levels up. Because really, for a man, I mean, it`s a big part about getting up and keeping up. That`s really a big part of it for a man. Come on. Let`s be honest.

WALSH: It is. But let me tell you this. One-third of men over the age of 50 have some form of erectile dysfunction but they don`t all have bad sex lives. So, what happens, as men age their testosterone may go down, women`s testosterone goes up. They meet somewhere in the middle. They have far more sensuous connections, sex becomes far more than a genital experience and plenty of people are growing closer in later years. So, that`s the good news.

LEMON: OK. Thank you, Dr. Wendy.

WALSH: All right.

LEMON: I wish you could see the faces and reactions here in the studio. All men, by the way.

WALSH: They don`t like me to talk about erections, do they? (LAUGHTER)

LEMON: See you, Dr. Wendy. All right. So --

WALSH: Yes. See you tonight.

LEMON: See you tonight. On to other news now. Experts are now saying the meteor that broke up over Russia was so big, it had nearly 30 times the power of Hiroshima, the atomic bomb, Hiroshima. So how did something that big and that powerful go undetected? We`re asking an expert. That`s next.


LEMON: Half past the hour. Getting you caught up on headlines.

An Olympic track star and one of the most famous people in South Africa, spending this weekend in jail. Oscar Pistorius won`t know until Tuesday if he`ll even get out on bail. He has been formally charged with the murder of his girlfriend. Pistorius is the athlete they call "Blade Runner," after the prosthetic legs he wears on the track. He broke down sobbing in court yesterday when a South African judge read the murder charge.

The head of Iraq`s spy school was killed today. But there are conflicting reports about his death. Local officials say he was killed while confronting two suicide bombers who had just killed his two bodyguards. The police say he died when bodyguards killed two bombers, then accidentally set off their explosives by shooting one of their dead bodies.

At the Vatican, cardinals could meet sooner than expected to begin the process of choosing a new pope. A Vatican spokesman says a conclave can start as soon as all 117 cardinals are in Rome. Benedict XVI steps down at the end of the month.

Fire in the sky over Russia. It was the event that sent thousands of Russians staring at the heavens and then running for cover.





LEMON: Obviously, some very scary moments. And a reminder our planet is spinning around in a very unpredictable neighborhood. It left a lot of us wondering, was the sky falling?

Joining me now is David Dundee, astronomer with the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, Georgia.

Thank you for joining us. NASA calls this a meteor, a tiny asteroid. You`ve seen the video, heard the sonic boom. How do you describe this, big, little? What is it?

DAVID DUNDEE, ASTRONOMER, TELLUS SCIENCE MUSEUM: Well, it`s big for a meteor and tiny for an asteroid. The reason that this asteroid may -- or small meteor made such a large impact, if you will, on the Russian landscape is that it was traveling at 33,000 miles per hour. And as it decelerated, it`s kind of like a swimmer doing a belly flop from a very high diving board into water. But you`re traveling a lot faster. That energy has to go somewhere. It went into light that you saw on the street when it was heating up the column of air.

LEMON: That`s what caused the shock wave and damage?

DUNDEE: Yes, the shock wave is what happened. And the injuries, where it happened, because people naturally went to their window, and saw this bright light, because light travels faster than sound. And then the sound arrived, and shattered the windows when everybody was looking out their window.

LEMON: Is there a way to warn or predict about the next meteor or next close encounter?

DUNDEE: Best radar, even the best military radar, we have a very difficult time detecting something 50 feet or less across. This is a kind of an unpredictable event. Unlike the asteroid that passed the earth yesterday, we had plenty of warning and knew where it was coming and where it was going.

LEMON: Yes. Yesterday, I was talking to some colleagues and they were like, where should we go, down in the basement? And I said I think we`re going to be fine. It appears that Russia seems to be the bulls-eye for these meteors -- 1908, 1947 and yesterday. Why is that?

DUNDEE: Well, Russia geographically is, what, six times across --

LEMON: Larger land, yes.

DUNDEE: -- and so you have a big target.

And this -- actually, this fragment I have with me today is from the impact that happened in 1947. And that is mostly --


DUNDEE: You can tell, it`s pretty heavy. And it`s made of mostly iron and nickel. That`s different from what happened yesterday. That was mostly a stony meteorite, as best we can tell. This one -- most of it did not break up in the atmosphere. But actually came down and made craters in 1947. So 1903 is a similar event because it was more of an air burst that wiped out the trees in Siberia.

LEMON: I`m surprised at how heavy this is for its size.


LEMON: You said it`s mostly iron.

DUNDEE: That`s one of the tell tale signs you have a meteorite and not a meteor-wrong.


LEMON: Boom. That`s funny. With the bursts yesterday, how much of a danger was the planet really in?

DUNDEE: Globally, very little. The meteor, if it -- if it came over a more populated area, obviously, you`d have more injuries. But it`s not like a climate changer, like the one that hit in 65 million years ago that made the demise of the dinosaurs possible. But certainly the asteroid that passed us yesterday, if that had hit, it would have wiped out 800 miles worth of real estate very quickly.

LEMON: Goodness. Are the two events connected?



DUNDEE: No. And we know that for sure.

LEMON: Just a coincidence?

DUNDEE: A lot of people have asked that. But you`ve got to know that the two events were separated by about 14 hours. The earth is hurtling around the sun at 19 miles per second, so in 14 hours, we`ve covered a lot of real estate, going around the sun, so we`re in a different place. So these two items were not connected in any way. Just cosmic connection. Cosmic coincidence, I should say.

LEMON: Good stuff. Can I keep this?

DUNDEE: Uh, no.


LEMON: Let`s see if you can get it back.

Thank you, David Dundee. Appreciate it.

DUNDEE: My pleasure.

LEMON: Thank you for joining us.

DUNDEE: Thank you.

LEMON: Any time. Any time.

Moving on now. Police promised $1 million to anyone who helped them catch accused cop killer, Christopher Dorner, but despite help from the public, it`s possible no one will get the money.


LEMON: In Southern California, an autopsy confirms rogue ex cop, Christopher Dorner, died of a single bullet to the head. It`s not clear who fired the shot. But evidence suggests it was self- inflicted.

CNN`s Nick Valencia says investigators are still trying -- tying up many loose ends.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, the manhunt for Christopher Dorner is now over. But there are still many lingering questions that have been left unanswered. One is, what happens to the million-dollar reward money put forth by the city of Los Angeles for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Christopher Dorner? As it stands right now, no one is expected to receive that money, not even the couple that were tied up by Christopher Dorner, or the man he carjacked. Both called police and tipped authorities off to his whereabouts.

And yet, still another question looming is how much of a role did authorities play in the death of Dorner? And did they intentionally set fire to the cabin where Dorner engaged police in a shootout?

At a press conference Friday, the San Bernardino County Sheriff`s Department reiterated, they did not mean to set the fire and also talked about how they believe Dorner died.


UNIDENTIFIED CHIEF, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY SHERIFF`S DEPARTMENT: While we were still compiling the information, and putting our reports together, the information that we have right now seems to indicate that the wound that took Christopher Dorner`s life was self inflicted.


VALENCIA: Dorner is now dead, but with so many questions left unanswered, Dorner`s supporters hope the investigation into his allegations of police abuse and corruption don`t die along with him -- Don?


LEMON: Nick, thank you very much.

Fifth graders are accused of plotting to murder a girl in their class, and police say the two boys were armed with a stolen gun. How the alleged plot was thwarted, coming up.


LEMON: One firefighter is dead and three others in burn units today. It happened in Bryant, Texas, late last night when a Knights of Columbus hall was engulfed in flames. Nobody was in the building when firefighters responded. They`re investigating what caused that fire, of course.

I want you to watch this now.




LEMON: That was a dramatic end to a high-speed chase in Indianola, Iowa, Friday night. Police say the car was going 130 miles per hour when it T-boned an empty cruiser. The driver was killed, but incredibly, a little boy in the mangled car did survive. He`s being treated for injuries. Police say they did not know a child was in the car until after that crash.

A black nurse says she was banned from caring for a newborn child because of her skin color. Tanya Battle is suing the Michigan hospital where she has worked for 25 years. According to the nurse, the baby`s father said he did not want African-Americans involved with his baby`s care. Her lawsuit claims this note was on the baby`s medical chart. It reads, "Please, no African-American nurses to care for baby, per dad`s request." Her attorneys described the nurse`s reaction.


JULIE GAFKAY, ATTORNEY: It was shocking to her. She was very upset. She was very offended. She was in disbelief.


LEMON: The hospital has not commented to CNN. We`ll follow up.

Two fifth grade boys armed with a knife and a stolen gun are accused of plotting to kill a girl in their class. Two fifth grade boys. The boys told police, the girl was rude, and she was annoying. The plot crumbled with when another student rated them out. Parents in the rural town in Washington are shocked.


BRAD MADDOX, PARENT: I`ve got a son here. And I was a little freaked out. So I didn`t know what to do.

DENNA BALCOM, PARENT: This is my first year having her in a public school. I`ve home-schooled until then. It was scary for me, but I thought they handled it very well.


LEMON: I`m going to bring in defense attorney, Holly Hughes.

Holly, we`re talking about, what, two boys, 10 and 11. 10 and 11 years old.


LEMON: How does the judicial system there deal with it? How will the courts deal with them?

HUGHES: In the state of Washington, a child under 8 is presumed not capable of committing a crime. The same presumption holds if you`re between 8 and 12. However, the state can overcome that presumption by having what they call a capacity hearing. That has to be held within 14 days, under Washington state law, of the child`s first appearance in court. So they`re going to have this capacity hearing, and they`re going to determine if the child could understand that his actions were wrong and the nature of the actions.

And they`ve got some really good evidence. It`s very chilling to listen to the statements of these two young boys. Not only did they show no remorse when talking about it, they had planned this out to the "T." The older boy, the 11-year-old, was going to lure the girl away and stab her while the 10-year-old stood watch with a fully loaded gun to hold off anybody who came to rescue her if they heard her screaming.

They had a list of six other students that they intended to also injure, because they found them annoying.

And when the police were driving these two young boys back into the police station, the one was saying, well, if I find out who told them about our weapons, I`ll kill them too. I don`t care how long they put me in jail. When I get out, I`ll kill them.

LEMON: Goodness.

HUGHES: All of these statements will be used in the capacity hearing.

LEMON: Speaking of the weapon, the gun, one boy stole the gun from his older brother. So when a fifth grader gets hold of a gun, who is responsible here? The parents? Can the parents be arrested?

HUGHES: No, the parents cannot be arrested, not for this. They might be -- let me rephrase that. They could be charged, possibly, with neglect. But it all depends on the circumstances. You know, did they even know the older brother had a gun? Was it locked?

I mean, these boys, even for their young age, seemed to be very smart, very cunning, very manipulative, able to plan this out, to the point where they were thinking about holding off first responders with a weapon. They also had a 3.5 inch knife they planned to stab the little girl with. They planned it out very well.

LEMON: Where do you get that at 10 and 11? I don`t understand it. I don`t --


HUGHES: That`s a fantastic question. Talk to Dr. Wendy about that one. Yes.



As this plays out.

HUGHES: Absolutely.

LEMON: We`ll switch gears and talk about the former mayor of San Diego, Maureen O`Connor, gambled away $1 billion she stole from her dead husband`s charity to fuel her gambling habit. How did she get -- she got a sweetheart deal, no jail time.

HUGHES: Right. She was actually very ill and had had a brain tumor, and in removing that tumor and treating her, her attorneys and her doctors got together and were able to make the argument to the federal authorities that, because the brain tumor was pressing on her brain in a certain area, it was suppressing her ability to exercise good judgment, to exercise impulse control, which ordinarily she would have had.

This is a woman who has a long service record, service to the community, being a good mayor, being involved. So what she did was, they put forth all her medicals, they talked to them, said, look, you know, we will let you repay this money, because she stole it from a charity, her husband`s charity after he passed away. And they want the money repaid. So they`re looking at all the alternatives here.

If they incarcerate her, nobody gets paid back. At least if she is out and functioning, now that the brain tumor has been treated, removed, she can earn money. She can pay back, try to make it right.

LEMON: She started gambling I think a decade before the brain tumor was diagnosed.

HUGHES: Right.

LEMON: And then you said there are cases where people --


HUGHES: There are actually documented cases where a brain tumor has caused someone to engage -- the case I`m thinking of specifically was a female teacher, started having sex with her students. Once the brain tumor was removed, they hooked her up to the machine, showed her images that would ordinarily cause a pedophile to respond. No response whatsoever. So it can affect impulse control.

LEMON: Wondering where she gets $1 billion. Her husband was the founder of Jack in the Box.

HUGHES: That`s exactly right. (CROSSTALK)

HUGHES: And it came from that charity. He had funded the charity and said you can`t financially profit personally. But you can be a trustee and do good for others.

LEMON: Thank you, Holly. Appreciate it.

HUGHES: Always.

LEMON: Who is the best NBA player of all-time? Michael Jordan, Lebron James? Or who is it? Our Rachel Nichols caught up with King James to get his answer. The exclusive interview is next.


LEMON: The NBA`s best players are gathered in Houston this weekend for the annual all-star game. It also happens to be the 50th birthday of the great Michael Jordan, which has sparked a lot of discussion and debate about who is the greatest of all time. Is it Jordan? What about Lebron James? What about Magic Johnson? Who is it?

Rachel Nichols, of CNN and "Turner Sports," sat down with Lebron for an exclusive interview.



RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN CORRESPONDENT & TURNER SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Dwyane Wade said that after one of these games, the last week or two, and said, who are you right now.


LEBRON JAMES, BASKETBALL PLAYER: He did, he did. He said who are you? I said I`m your best friend, right? He said, I don`t know who you are. You`re from another planet.

NICHOLS: Most of us don`t know what it is like, to have that kind of accuracy. Can you compare it to regular life so that most of us can know what it feels like, looking at the basket?


JAMES: Well, the way I`ve been shooting the ball, just feels like you`re on the beach, you have a tennis ball, no matter what shot you take, it will go in -- you know, I haven`t shot 100 percent yet.

NICHOLS: But you want to. You were close one night.

JAMES: Yes, I was close. I missed the layup. I missed the layup.

NICHOLS: And that bothers you. JAMES: During the game I didn`t know, but I said 13 or 14 -- layup.

NICHOLS: You tweeted this year, "I`m not M.J. I`m L.J."

JAMES: Right.

NICHOLS: How sick are you of being compared to Michael Jordan?

JAMES: You know it is not a sick thing. I`m not sick of it. It`s just that Mike is Mike. A man has to be himself. I don`t want to be Mike. I am who I am.

NICHOLS: Everybody is so focused on your basketball right now --


-- but there are all of these other parts of your personality that we`re seeing, whether it is you playing catch with the fan the other night --


-- or you tackling the guy out there, making the half court shot, or we actually saw you joking around with your family in the commercial, or you have a cartoon series.

JAMES: A lot of people think it is kind of like staged, it is just -- Like you say, I don`t know, it happens, me, the instance with the fan, the basketball, I don`t know, I went over there and said hey, give me the ball. He threw it to me light, I said give me a better pass than that.

NICHOLS: And we have talked over the years. You said I have more fun I play better basketball. There is a relationship.

JAMES: It is.

NICHOLS: Well, you`re playing the best basketball of your life arguably, is this the most fun?

JAMES: It`s just fund. On this level, you know, it is hard to find that balance. And I`m happy that I am at the point in my career where I found the balance. And you know, I`m back to having fun and loving the game I have always loved.


LEMON: Make sure you catch Lebron James and the NBA all-star game tomorrow night on our sister network, TNT. Coverage begins at 5:00 eastern. Tip off, 8:00 eastern.

The Harlem dance craze has affected the nation.




LEMON: Coming up, CNN. Of course, we get in on the action.





LEMON: The Harlem Shake viral video has people dancing across the nation, from sports teams to gray-haired grandma`s, possessed by the sudden urge to dance spastically and post it online. Here are a few of our favs, starting with the University of Georgia swim team.




LEMON: A quick explainer for you, for the baffled, unhip, or dedicated dorks. Harlem Shake videos start with one person dancing alone. Then when the base drops, everybody bursts into spastic dance moves, flailing and bouncing around. Some CNNers decided to have a little fun on their own today, right in front of CNN`s iconic red letters. Watch this.




LEMON: YouTube says that Harlem Shake videos have been viewed by 44 million people -- or at least 44 million times worldwide.

I was not in that video, thankfully.




LEMON: It was fun though.

I`m Don Lemon at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. I`ll see you back here one hour from now.

"The Situation Room," Wolf Blitzer, right now.