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CNN NEWSROOM

Two More Votes, No New Pope; New Orleans Teacher Vanished March 2; Coast Guard Lets Tug Fire Burn; Heart Warning For Z-Pack Users; FAA: Dreamliner Tests Can Begin; Senate Dems Unveil Budget Plan Today; Obama Meets With House GOP Today; $9.9M Paid In Priest Sex Scandal; American Airlines Opposes Knife Rule; Former AIG Chief Sues Government For $55B

Aired March 13, 2013 - 10:00   ET

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


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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- a procedure and you're off your feet for the weekend to watch basketball. I mean, it truly is a win/win situation.

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JOE CARTER, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I can hear the excuses coming in now, Carol. I can't possibly get off this couch or my bath robe doctor's orders. I can't do anything all weekend. I have to watch basketball.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: It's so bizarre. I wonder how many takers he'll get though. We'll be following that story. Thanks so much.

The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts now.

Let it burn, a -- actually we're going to take you to the Vatican. You can see the black smoke rising. No new pope just yet.

Also coming up, let it burn. A tugboat leaking crude oil is on fire off the coast of Louisiana right now. The Coast Guard says it has no choice but to watch and wait.

Getting Americans back to work, one taco at a time --

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow. You knew it was coming but it's still mind blowing, the new Cool Ranch Doritos Taco.

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COSTELLO: How Taco Bell's special shell is creating thousands of jobs across the country.

Plus, the speed camera controversy --

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just a scam, a money grab.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's an example of big brother gone wild in a budget crunch.

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COSTELLO: An Ohio judge makes a landmark ruling that has one police department crying foul and state leaders proposing sweeping changes. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

And good morning. Thank you so much for being with us. I'm Carol Costello. We start, of course, at the Vatican where billowing black smoke revealed the Catholic Church is still in search of a leader.

Cardinals have voted three times now and have not yet selected a new pope and this is where things get even more interesting. The cardinals entered conclave with no clear frontrunner and now we're left wondering, is the election deadlocked or is the process zeroing in on a successor to Pope Benedict.

Let's go to Rome and CNN's Chris Cuomo. Good morning, Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. You know what I figured out. It's not worth worrying about it because the only people who can give us good information about what's going on in the room are sworn to secrecy under threat of excommunication.

And that's good enough for this reporter for me to lay off and just let them have their process. So we have no clue what is driving us to black smoke. We only know it's there, but here is what else we know. This is like the end of the most important part of their day right now.

After lunch, after they're finishing caucusing and in about an hour, they will start to vote again. As we keep telling you, the voting itself, a very un-public thing. Not just their secret but among themselves. They don't really give speeches. It's more of a ceremony.

We got some more information today from a presser with Vatican officials. What they had to say was the votes are going a little more quickly than expected. They're not sure why, but taking about an hour a vote. That's why smoke came earlier this morning than we expected.

Also, we know that the Pope Emeritus Benedict was watching on TV. We know that we cannot say that we know for sure that he was not watching CNN. But we were just told that he was watching. He watched the entrance of the conclave.

And that is interesting because certainly he is a major influence on the minds of the 115 cardinals who are thinking what to do next. We also heard in the presser that Vatican officials have received a lot of smoke about entering the Sistine Chapel.

They would say only the cardinals' health is fine. They're all fine. The frescoes, the paintings are fine. They did not say that there was no smoke. Now I'm not being clever. I think that this is the Vatican's way of suggesting what they want to suggest.

And on the heels of that I will now bring us to some sound from the Vatican presser that explained the situation. Take a listen.

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REVEREND THOMAS ROSICA, VATICAN SPOKESMAN: We received concerned callers after they saw the quantity of smoke, whether or not the frescoes were ruined in the Sistine Chapel or were there severe respiratory problems by the people in it. They left the Sistine Chapel in good health, the frescoes are in perfect condition and this morning the cardinals went back to the Sistine Chapel in very good shape.

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CUOMO: All right, very nice. Obviously no word, though, let's bring in John Allen, our senior Vatican analyst, Father Edward Beck, Passionist priest, CNN contributor. He didn't say there was no smoke. He just said everybody was OK, right?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Yes. That's absolutely right. Let me make one other point. You said we don't know for sure that Benedict XVI wasn't tracking the conclave on CNN and that's true.

What we do know if he was watching CNN, he was probably taking it with a small grain of salt because he knows very well that in 1999 I wrote a biography of him, the last chapter of which contained four reasons why he would never be pope, a fact he's reminded me of more than once over the years.

CUOMO: Well, we believe your information is better this time around.

ALLEN: Yes. I'm hopeful I'm a little more ahead of the curve this time around.

CUOMO: Now obviously the reason for the speculation about smoke is because it's happened in the past. We've seen it, right?

FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes.

CUOMO: And there's a little bit of cause of concern. What do we know what can happen because of the nature of the process.

BECK: Last time not only did it back up, and worried about the health of the cardinals and frescoes, literally speaking, smoke being white and gray. So there's been more attention this time to actually making the color very clear. We've seen black billowing. Even today, I mean, people said it looked gray. It's pretty black to me.

CUOMO: Well, it was eventually a darker color. It's tricky to tell. It's part of the genius of this process. That this little chimney, so simple in all our technologically driven society, the smoke comes out, not an easy reckoning every time. It adds to the mystery of it.

We go with it and we wait and we sound a little funny when we say we don't know what color the smoke is. But as you'll see when we do get white smoke and we will get it at some point, you will see it's not such a home run as you would expect.

Even though they have an entire process, John Allen, a second stove, that is only to make sure that color is discernible, right?

ALLEN: Yes, that's right. They've added what they call a fumigator, which is sort of placed immediately next to the stove which, of course, was first used in the conclave of 1939. You can actually see the date and year of all the conclaves its witnessed etched into the stone of the stove.

This fumigator is where the special chemical packets are placed, which is supposed to turn the thing either black or white. And then they each have tubes that feed and then connect and then lead to the chimney on top of the Sistine Chapel. I will say, despite the high- tech fix, the product is sometimes a little mixed initially at the end.

CUOMO: Right, exactly.

BECK: At the press conference, Lombardi got some laughter, when asked what are these chemicals and he gave them off, more like a chemistry lesson than a presser.

CUOMO: All the chemicals are designed to not hurt the frescoes inside.

ALLEN: There is one cardinal in the College of Cardinals who actually trained as a chemist. That's Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergolio from Buenos Aries, Argentina. So if he gets elected pope, at least maybe he could bring some fix, some chemical fix to this process so the next time they get clear black or clear white.

CUOMO: That in itself may be progress. All right, John, Father Edward, we'll leave it there for now. Back to you -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Who knew smoke was so complicated, right? Thanks so much to all of you. If you aren't getting enough of that chimney cam, head to cnn.com/live, watch it all day and all night live.

It's 7 minutes after the hour, time to check our top stories.

A team on horses expected in New Orleans today to join in the search for a 26-year-old second grade teacher. Terrilyn Monette went missing March 2nd. Her mother spoke earlier with CNN's Soledad O'Brien. Toni Enclade thinks somebody kidnapped her daughter.

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TONI ENCLADE, MOTHER OF MISSING TEACHER: I can't sleep at night. I can't sleep at night. I can't eat. I keep thinking about my child and where she could be. I just want her back. So please, if you're listening and you're watching this, please bring Terrilyn home. Please. That's all I want. I want her home.

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COSTELLO: Her daughter Terrilyn was last seen at a bar in a quiet neighborhood. She was celebrating her nomination as district teacher of the year.

A 30-foot wide ribbon of burned oil is streaming out of a barge off the coast of Louisiana after the vessel's tug hit a petroleum pipeline last night and burst into flames. The Coast Guard is letting the fire on the tug and barge burn itself out. It's also launching a cleanup effort.

CNN spoke earlier with the Coast Guard, the captain of the Coast Guard, Peter Gautier.

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CAPT. PETER GAUTIER, U.S. COAST GUARD: We've mobilized 6,000 feet of containment boom on scene, we've got another 10,000 feet that's on its way and will be there shortly as well as a couple swimmers and we're going to aggressively mobilize those and attack whatever oil we can pick up to protect the sensitive sites in that area.

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COSTELLO: All four crew members on the tugboat escaped the fire. One was severely burned.

The FDA is warning users of a popular antibiotic that it could lead to heart problems. The agency says Z-Pack can change electrical activity in your heart and could potentially lead to a fatal irregular heartbeat. The medicine will now carry warning labels.

And the FAA says Boeing can start testing a redesigned battery for its 787 Dreamliner jets. The move puts the troubled planes one step closer to returning to service. Dreamliners in the United States and around the world have been grounded since January after lithium ion batteries on two planes caught fire.

Budget season in Washington, what fun. Competing plans from Republicans and Democrats and the GOP is on the attack this morning.

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SENATOR JOHN THUNE (R), SOUTH DAKOTA: The Democrat budget as we know it today is going to hurt jobs, hurt the economy, make it more difficult for our job creators to get Americans back to work and that ought to be the fundamental question that we ask about the budget process as we enter this next week.

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COSTELLO: Yes. Senate Democrats will release their budget today. Now to get a budget passed, both sides are going to have to use the dreaded "c" word and that would be compromise.

So today, President Obama heads back to Capitol Hill for a meeting in the lion's den with Republicans in the House. Our chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash joins us from Capitol Hill.

Dana, the president has been trying to fend fences lately, but it's proved to be a tall order.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And you said he's going into the lion's den today. Of all of the meetings he is having, and he is having meetings with House and Senate Republicans and Democrats, today's meeting with House Republicans is going to be the one to watch for obvious reasons.

House Republicans, they are the ones who -- the only part of the government, the Republicans have control over, and they, of course, have been the ones to stop his agenda in its tracks from their perspective standing up for their principles.

The obvious question is, what can come of it? There were pretty low expectations talking to an unscientific group of Republicans, Dedrie Walsh, our congressional producer talked to many of them yesterday, I talked to some as well.

And they say, you know, we're glad he's coming. We've asked for this, but the truth is we don't know him at all. It's really going to be starting from square one from the Republicans.

Interesting tidbit is that most of the House Republicans only know divided government. The majority of those in the Republican caucus of the House were elected in 2010 and 2012, so they don't know anything different so that -- they've only been in Congress to try to stop the president's agenda.

COSTELLO: Yes. This has been pretty normal for them. A question for you, there are competing plans out there, the House Republicans released their budgets, Senate Democrats will release their budget, and they're completely different, is there any sort of --

BASH: They could not be more different?

COSTELLO: -- common thread?

BASH: I mean, not really. They both have to do with the nation's fiscal situation. That's about it. They could not be more different. You're exactly right. The Democrats, as you can imagine, falls along Democratic principles. Listen to the pretty new Senate Democratic Budget chair describe her budget.

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SENATOR PATTY MURRAY (D), BUDGET CHAIRWOMAN: Our budget is balanced in terms of creating and growing the economy and dealing with our debt and deficit responsibly. Our budget moves us to a much better place in terms of managing our debt and that is exactly what we need to do right now as we deal with this very fragile economy as we get back on our feet.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BASH: Now, let's talk specifics. How will they do it? A trillion dollars, that's trillion with a "t," Carol, in new taxes, a trillion dollars in spending cuts, and we should note that this is the first time Democrats who run the Senate are producing a budget in four years.

So yes, of course, there are differences. We've seen the president produce budgets, which he is supposed to do by law. This is the first time that we are really going to see when it comes to Congress, the stark differences.

Of course, the House Republicans, we talked about their budget yesterday. Paul Ryan balances the budget he says in ten years, but he does it mostly by keeping spending much, much lower and actually cutting taxes for --

COSTELLO: And eliminating Obamacare, right? Dana bash, thanks so much. You have a tough job, Dana Bash. But we appreciate you doing it.

The actress, Valerie Harper, inspiring all of us as she fights terminal cancer.

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VALERIE HARPER, ACTRESS: I really think that if we had less fear and resistance like -- to death, life would be happier.

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COSTELLO: The actress shares the greatest moments of her life, just ahead.

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COSTELLO: At 16 minutes past the hour, time to check our top stories. One of the U.S. cardinals taking part in electing a new pope is facing new fallout from the sex abuse scandal back home.

The Los Angeles Archdiocese has agreed to pay nearly $10 million to four men who say their former priest, Michael Baker, molested them years ago. The lawsuits claim Cardinal Roger Mahony knew that baker was sexually assaulting boys and allowed him to continue as a priest.

The larger sex scandal rocked the nation's archdiocese. Mahony retired two years ago, but new revelations led him to being relieved of his public duties.

American Airlines joined the chorus of critics calling on the TSA to reverse the decision to let passengers carry small pocket knives on board planes. Delta and U.S. Airways also oppose lifting the ban, which was put in place after 9/11. It's set to take place April 25th.

Colorado expected to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples. State lawmakers in both chambers have approved the bill. Now the governor, a Democrat, expected to sign it into law. While it legalizes civil unions, Colorado's constitution says marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

Turning now to your money, Hank Greenberg, former head of bailed out insurer, AIG, you remember AIG? Well, Mr. Greenberg is doubling the size of his lawsuit against the government and by the way, you the taxpayer, to $55 billion.

Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange. Remind us again why taxpayers might be a little outraged at this.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, Hank Greenberg is kind of a persistent guy with even lawmakers in the past calling him somebody who's got a lot of chutzpah doing this.

You know, what he did was he updated his complaint yesterday in a lawsuit that's already in the process and what this lawsuit alleges is that when the government bailed out AIG in 2008, he's saying it was unconstitutional and cheated shareholders out of billions of dollars.

You remember the government spent $182 billion rescuing AIG during the height of the crisis. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. This is really clearly it. Greenberg, though, he's going at this alone.

The company says no, we are not backing your effort because then you've got AIG's current chief, he's been very outspoken about the fact that company has paid the government back in full plus almost $23 billion profit on top. His thinking it would be a PR nightmare for the company to turn around and sue for money -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Alison Kosik reporting live from the New York Stock Exchange.

Still ahead, our talk back question today, is Mississippi's anti- Bloomberg bill a good idea? Facebook.com/carolcnn or tweet me @carolcnn.

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COSTELLO: Now is your chance to talk back on one of the stories of the day. The question for you this morning, is Mississippi's anti- Bloomberg bill a good idea? Lawmakers in Mississippi are saying nanny Bloomberg do not mess with us. They passed what's known as the anti- Bloomberg bill.

It prevents Mississippi from banning food based on nutritional information. You know, like large sugary sodas. This after a New York judge struck down Mayor Bloomberg's much ballyhooed soda ban. Thirty for a fight, Mayor Bloomberg says, bring it on.

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MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK: If we are serious about fighting obesity, we have to be honest about what causes it and we have to have the courage to tackle it head on.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COSTELLO: So back to Mississippi. According to the Trust for America's Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Mississippi has the highest rate of obesity in the entire nation, 35 percent of adults are obese in the state of Mississippi.

Still, the author of Mississippi's anti-Bloomberg bill, a restaurant owner, says consumers, not the government, should decide what they can buy and apparently most Americans yearn for high calorie fast foods and they want to eat it freely.

Case in point, the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco, Taco Bell customers went loco last week because they could not find the new taco at the local restaurants venting on Taco Bell's Facebook page, you lied to me, I thought we had a better relationship than this, and why, Taco Bell, why?

Hate to say it, but Taco Bell fail. Seriously, Doritos loco taco is no joke. Taco Bell told "The Daily Beast" it sold 1 million nacho cheese tacos a day last year. It had to hire 15,000 new people to handle the load.

Clearly we want to eat what we want when we want and we have an obesity problem in this country. Talk back question of the day, is Mississippi's anti-Bloomberg bill a good idea? Facebook.com/carolcnn or tweet me @carolcnn.

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COSTELLO: Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you for joining us. It's about 30 minutes past the hour. Time to check our top stories.

President Obama goes back to Capitol Hill today for the second of three visits this week. The president will face a challenge in meeting with House Republicans today. Of course as you know, they oppose raising taxes. The president does not. Congress set for its first formal budget debate since the president took office, though, four years ago.

Mars, Mars, may have supported life at one time. That's what scientists are saying after studying data from NASA's "Curiosity" rover. "Curiosity" is on a two-year mission to Mars that began last August.

Roman Catholic cardinals resume voting for a new pope at the top of the hour. Black smoke poured from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel earlier this morning and, of course, that means no one was elected to be the next pope.

Let's get the latest now from Rome and CNN's Jim Bittermann.

JIM BITTERMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Carol. In fact, yes, the black smoke came out. At first it looked a little gray but then it went to black and the crowd kind of groaned when that happened. There are still a lot of people coming out, despite the awful weather we're having this afternoon. A lot of people turning out in this square and when we went through and talked to people afterwards they said look, we're disappointed, it would have been nice to have been here for seeing the pope elected or whatever, but in fact they should take their time and pick the right person and let them carry on at the pace they need to carry on at.

A lot of people that I talked to anyway are staying around, they're basically saying they're going to come back this afternoon to see about the second vote and the third vote today and how that turns out, and maybe even come back tomorrow if necessary before they get a pope -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Jim Bittermann, thanks so much.

Here at home, those annoying speed cameras are cash cows for a lot of cities and that in part makes them unconstitutional. That's what a state --