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Heavy Snow Hits Colorado, Kansas; Flash Lights Up East Coast; Historical Moment for Vatican; Senate Passes Budget Blueprint; Effects Of Forced Budget Cuts; Airport Flight Board Falls, Kills Boy; Suspect Possibly Linked To Three Murders; Two Teens Charged With Baby's Murder; Obama Middle East Trip; DOMA, Proposition 8 In Supreme Court; Enjoy Cherry Blossoms In D.C.; Study Projects Bigger Executive Bonuses; Boeing Announces Layoffs; FAA To Close 149 Control Towers; Chicago To Close 54 Schools; College Grads Try Apprenticeships; Georgetown Ousted From Tourney

Aired March 23, 2013 - 12:00   ET

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


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: You talked about hunkering down because it really doesn't feel like spring. You're not alone. That's the way it's feeling, kind of a good part of the country. In fact there's a pretty nasty storm heading throughout the Midwest and along the northeast. We'll be taking you throughout to see a little bit more about that.

In the meantime, all along the east coast, a bright fireball actually streaked across the sky last night and caught the attention of an awful lot of people. Experts say it was a meteor. We'll have more on that.

And in a real shocker, number two seed Georgetown University is out of the NCAA tournament. It lost to upstart Florida Gulf Coast University, 78-68, FGCU. They have only been playing division one basketball for two years now.

And the Jodi Arias trial has riveted people all across the country, but it's costing the state of Arizona a whole lot of money. We'll add it all up for you.

Wintry weather keeps pushing spring off the calendar in the Midwest. Take a look at I-70 in Denver. In parts of Colorado stretches of the highway were shut down in both directions because of a severe storm. The Denver area is bracing for more snow maybe as much as a foot.

And can you imagine trying to play soccer in this? The USA and Costa Rica teams braving the snow in the World Cup qualifying game, America beat Costa Rica and the snow. That wintery mess is headed toward the east coast as well.

Let's bring in Karen Maginnis for an update on what we can expect. More of the same?

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It does look like a whole lot more of the same with blistery conditions. Not just the snow. Not the reduced visibility, but the snow is going to be the extra added ingredient for your springtime pleasure. We take you all the way from right around Denver extending over towards the Kansas border. This is about 160, 170 miles in both directions. Interstate 70 is closed.

And this will move across the Central United States and as it does for Kansas, Nebraska, some areas could see as much or more than a foot of snowfall primarily between Interstate 80 and I-70 corridor.

Kind of an interesting elongation of a system that is going to continue into the next 24 and 48 hours, and yes, for the mid-Atlantic, this means you as well. Washington, D.C., that forecast is so difficult to pin down.

But until then, those winter storm warnings and watches continue and we'll see them develop for Washington, D.C. and New York, Fredricka, going into the beginning of the workweek.

WHITFIELD: Wow, what a mess. All right, thanks so much. We'll enjoy spring when it arrives for sure. All right, thanks, Karen.

I mentioned a flash of fire streaking across the skies from the Virginia area to Maine. We'll see more of that. See that dot right there? Caught on videotape, experts say it was probably a meteor and folks who saw it wasted no time tweeting about it.

One tweet, OMG, I saw a real meteor in the Brooklyn sky. It's all over the news right now. I thought it was some kind of firework. And seriously, after that massive meteor in California a few weeks ago, the one that hit Russia, and now this huge one tonight, little scary.

A first in the history of the Catholic Church, two popes meeting for lunch, Pope Francis met his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the Castel Gandolfo today.

Senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman is live from Rome for us. So Ben, a historic moment, why did this happen?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this was something that Pope Francis said he wanted to do. And he's consistently spoken very highly of Pope Emeritus Benedict since he stepped down in late February. What we saw was interesting. We were in the main square of Castel Gandolfo.

There were about 2,000 people. They watched as his helicopter flew over head. People were clapping and waving. There was a lot of hope among the people that Pope Francis would come out and make one of his unscheduled appearances.

However, really it was a more solemn occasion. He met with Pope Emeritus Benedict for about two hours. They prayed together and had lunch together and had about a 45-minute meeting.

We don't know what they discussed, but clearly there are lots of things on the plate of the new pope who has to deal with governance within the Vatican, its finances, all the challenges facing the church. It was a historic first. It's never been seen before that two popes both dressed in white, prayed together, ate together and spent quality time together -- Fredrick.

WHITFIELD: My goodness, so what maybe next for Pope Benedict or Pope Emeritus?

WEDEMAN: The Pope Emeritus, he seems -- I mean, looking at the pictures, he looks quite frail. He has said that he wants to be hidden from the world. We understand that sometime within the next month, he'll be moving to a converted monastery on the grounds of the Vatican, but he's a studious man.

He's not interested in having an active public life. He's made that quite clear. So our understanding is it will be sort of a life of contemplation, study and writing in the back gardens of the Vatican. Not a bad place to spend your retirement.

WHITFIELD: Not bad at all. Ben Wedeman, thanks so much from Rome.

Earlier today, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the federal budget. It's mostly symbolic since it is nonbinding. It lays out the Senate's priorities, which are vastly different from the House budget passed by the Republican majority.

The Senate plan backed by Democrats increases government spending and it would also repeal those automatic spending cuts. Of course, those cuts are still enforced. Athena Jones looks at the ripple effects and how it will impact workers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Herndon, Virginia, is right outside of Washington. In a county filled with government works, federal contractors and the businesses that depend on them, here they are already feeling the effects of those steep budget cuts put into place three weeks ago and the reality is sinking in. Those cuts are here to stay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's getting real. I was hoping Congress would come together. As we go on now, they still have not come up with an agreement.

JONES: Keith fixes computers in Herndon for the Customs and Border Protection Agency. He's learned he will have to stay home from his job for 14 days so the agency can save money. That will cost him 20 percent of his pay. To make due, he's found a part-time job and is cutting back on expenses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They won't see me down at the garden shop as I used to be buying my plants and my dirt and everything to get my front yard looking nice.

JONES: He's also eating out less. Fewer lunch breaks at the deli near work. That's a being concern for the deli owner who says at least a quarter of his customers are federal employees and furloughs will eat into his bottom line.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They will be spending less money, not eating out as they are doing right now, so we're going to be having less business.

JONES: One small business owner and one federal worker, multiplied by thousands across a region that relies on government money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know we're going to lose probably $4 billion or $5 billion in the local economy due to cutbacks and they are going to continue next year as well.

JONES: They are still hoping Congress will act and fast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congress, get it together and let's do it tomorrow. Let's do it really, really soon. You know, you're talking 14 days out of my life I will not get paid for.

JONES: Athena Jones, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Heartbreak this morning as authorities try to figure out what caused an airport flight display board to collapse on a family. The freak accident killed a 10-year-old boy, critically injuring his mother, and hurting his two brothers. It happened in a new section of the Birmingham Airport in Alabama. It took six men to lift the sign. Larry Snyder was one of them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY SNYDER, WITNESS, HELPER: The family was crushed. The little kids crushed underneath the sign and everybody was scattering to lift it up. I helped lift it up and pull people out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: The family was returning home to Kansas from spring break in Florida.

A wild police chase and shootout that ended in Texas jump starting a complex murder investigation. The man killed by officers Evan Spencer Ebel could be linked to two killings in Colorado, the most recent the chief of the state prison system who was shot dead in his own doorway. Evidence also connects Ebel to the killing of a pizza delivery driver in Colorado and maybe the murder of a county prosecutor in Texas.

On to Georgia now, two teen boys are in jail on murder charges for allegedly killing a 13-month-old baby. The mother says the boys shot her baby while she was walking with the child in a stroller. She claims the older suspect initially asked her for money and shot her baby when she said she didn't have any. The suspect's aunt says her nephew is innocent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KATRINA FREEMAN, SUSPECT DE'MARQUISE ELKINS' AUNT: I am devastated, I'm sad because they got the wrong person. I hate what happened to that baby because no baby deserves to go through that. At the same time, they are taking someone to jail that is innocent. I'm 100 percent positive that he was not at that crime scene. He was at my residence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Police say the 17-year-old suspect will be treated as an adult in criminal proceedings.

All right, building support for U.S. allies in the Middle East. President Obama winds down a whirlwind trip. And Middle East peace envoy, George Mitchell, is joining us next to talk about the trip and what work the president still has to do.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: President Obama is heading back home after a four-day trip to the Middle East. Today, the president toured the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. Standing in awe before the temple carved in sand stone. The trip is being viewed as a charm offensive abroad.

First stop during this journey was Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu then to the west bank to build on relations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and then in Jordan's capital of Amman. The U.S. reaffirmed alliances with King Abdullah.

So overall, how significant is all of this? Let's bring in George Mitchell. He was appointed by President Obama in 2009 as special envoy for the Middle East peace. Thanks for joining us, Mr. Mitchell. Good to see you.

GEORGE MITCHELL, FORMER SPECIAL ENVOY TO THE MIDDLE EAST: Thanks for having me.

WHITFIELD: So first off, how significant was this trip overall?

MITCHELL: I think both significant and successful. The president had several objectives. He wanted to visit Israel itself, an important step. Connect and make his case directly with the people of Israel, which I think he did very well.

Second, to try to make the case publically and privately to both Israeli and Palestinian leaders that it is in their self-interest to sit down and negotiate a peace agreement between them. It's not a gift from one side to the other. It's in the self-interest of both Israel to get security for its people, the Palestinians to be able to finally get a state of their own.

He also reaffirmed the strong friendship and support with Jordan's king and he sent a clear message to Iran during his visit to the region that the United States will not accept a nuclear weapon in Iran's hands. I think overall he conveyed several messages and did so successfully. And the cap was the reconciliation, or the beginning of reconciliation between Israel and Turkey, two important allies of the United States in the region, who had been at odds in the last few years.

WHITFIELD: And that level was quite remarkable too because we're talking about those relations that had been warmed, cooled quite a bit after that 2010 flotilla incident where several died from that. It was the president who is getting credit for brokering that discussion, that meeting over the phone between the Turkish president and the Prime Minister Netanyahu.

MITCHELL: Well, that's right. Efforts began way back shortly after the incident. I myself was involved in that. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was heavily involved in it. Secretary of State Kerry now has been very actively involved and the president brought it all together on this visit.

The fact is, of course, that the difference between Israel and Turkey benefitted neither country. And it was -- to some extent, it should have been resolved earlier, but the fact is it's done now and hopefully they will rebuild the good relationship that they had, which will be beneficial to both and to us in the region.

WHITFIELD: You mentioned Iran being a top of conversation, but at almost every stop, every discussion with a leader, the president was riddled with questions about Syria. Syria kept coming up. The president made it very clear the U.S. has provided a lot of humanitarian aid and will continue to do so.

But also said, and I'm quoting loosely, "Assad will go. It's not an issue of if but when." How important is it for the president to sound so certain on that, especially while in the region?

MITCHELL: Well, of course, as you know, there's turbulence throughout the region arising out of the situation in Syria. Just today the press reports that the prime minister of Lebanon resigned because of internal differences within that country arising from the conflict in Syria.

So it's a destabilizing influence throughout the region, very important for the president to address. He's got to walk a very fine line there. The United States does not want to become involved in another military venture in the Middle East. We just finished a 12- year war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We're now drawing that to an end.

We don't want to get plunged into another long-term military presence. At the same time, it's very clear that we have to and do support the opposition to the government's regime there and that I think as the president has correctly said, the days are numbered.

History is filled with examples of dictators who have been toppled by revolutions and the result has been a worse regime. There's no guarantee that overthrowing a dictator produces a good result. It's a two-step process. Everything is focused on the first step and understandably so given the crisis that now exists. I think the president is thinking another step beyond that, how do we manage what occurs. That's critical.

WHITFIELD: OK, you know, Mr. Mitchell, thanks so much you talked about how important it was for the president to connect with all these leaders. It was very clear he made an effort to connect with the next generation by talking to young people while in Israel.

That seemed to have been a primary objective. Quickly in a word or two, how significant was that for the president to do that, how calculating and perhaps how smart it was to do that, in your view?

MITCHELL: Well, of course, it was calculated. You want to get the most favorable audience you can whenever you speak, and of course, addressing the leaders of the future is a sound thing to do in any country, including our own.

So I think it was a good choice, a good decision, a good speech, well received. How far it goes remains to be seen, the steps that will be taken in the future, Secretary of State John Kerry is returning to the region and trying to follow up on that. The steps to be taken in the future will be difficult, but important and necessary.

WHITFIELD: George Mitchell, thank you for your time. We appreciate it.

MITCHELL: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: We're going to talk further about whether lasting peace in the Middle East is even possible. We'll go deeper in talk with the former adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team and see what their point of view is on the trip by the president to the Middle East. That's in our 3:00 Eastern Hour.

All right, the hearing on same-sex marriage heads to the U.S. Supreme Court next week. So what are the legal implications of this case? Our legal guys will be weighing in on that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases on same-sex marriage. At issue the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8.

Let's start with DOMA. It's the federal law that defines marriage as a union between and a man and a woman. It keeps gays from getting the same rights. President Clinton signed DOMA into law back in 1996. He now says it should be struck down.

Let's bring in our legal guys, Avery Friedman, a civil rights attorney and law professor in Cleveland. Good to see you.

AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Hi, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: And Richard Herman, a New York criminal defense attorney and law professor joining us from Las Vegas. Good to see you as well.

RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Hi, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, so Avery, you first on this. Two pivotal cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, let's begin with DOMA. How much is at stake here?

FRIEDMAN: I think this is one of the great cases that the Supreme Court will hear this term actually that and Prop 8. But DOMA which was compromised legislation and as you said signed by Bill Clinton back in 1996 has always been questionable in terms of constitutionality.

And two federal appeals courts have held that that law that restricts personnel rights that is by the federal government violates the constitution. It violates the equal protection law.

In terms of the significance of it, it's really March madness. This is so important and so exciting because you have the solicitor general arguing against the constitutionality of this act of Congress and Paul Clement, who is arguing for it.

Those are the guys that did the affordable care case. They are back up in front of the Supreme Court this Wednesday. It's a showdown. We don't even know if the Supreme Court will even get to the merits of the case and deciding it.

WHITFIELD: So Richard, you know, how will this be argued when you talk about federal legislation that may in some cases, state something differently than what state law articulates?

HERMAN: Right, and that's the problem, Fred. The states that allow same-sex marriage are not bound by the federal laws and that's why you have this dilemma going before the Supreme Court. The issue before the Supreme Court, does DOMA discriminate against gays and lesbians.

And that is the issue the court will address. Avery said there's a huge procedural issue here and the court just could hang their hat on that and not address DOMA. But I think we know this is a very active court, the Roberts courts.

I think they are going to find a way to hear this it case. I think they are going to come down and invalidate the Defense of Marriage Act. If you think that the health care laws are complicated now, when this gets invalidated, not only health care, veteran benefits, estate tax laws, I mean, through the up, down and around, so many laws will be affected by this.

I think 1,000 provisions will be affected when this comes down. It's landmark legislation. It will be a landmark decision by this court.

WHITFIELD: And Avery, is that how you see it as well? At issue really, you know, benefits, it may cost the workplace or insurance companies or is it about religion? About core believes in that respect that is at the center piece of this argument. FRIEDMAN: Well, some argue that. Some say this is a religious issue. As far as the federal courts have been concerned, they have looked strictly at the equal protection clause and looked at government action and whether or not it restricts personal freedom.

That's the issue. Certainly there are friends of the court for religious organizations saying uphold the law, uphold the law. Indeed there will be supporters of that. But at the end of the day, the court has to resolve whether or not personal freedoms are affected by restricting 1,000 federal programs and laws that will be affected with the outcome if it's held unconstitutional.

WHITFIELD: Let's move on to Proposition 8. Proposition 8 was passed by California voters in 2008 and amended the state constitution and took away marriage rights of same-sex couples.

But now two same-sex couples are challenging that. Richard, you know, how will this be argued that marriage of same-sex couples in a state that legalized it should be protected regardless of what the voters said?

HERMAN: Yes, I mean, is it equal protection? Can states ban the ability for gays and lesbians to marry? That's really the issue. The state of California has voted on it. They said marriage will be defined as a man and a woman and that's how we see it in California.

On appeal, it was reversed. The Supreme Court again has a procedural issue that they have to overcome. Will they overcome it? I believe they will. I believe, again, this will be another landmark decision by the Roberts court.

What will happen here, one, they could uphold this proposition eight and therefore, the law would stay in place in California. They could invalidate it, ban it and that would have nationwide impact on every state, which would now be required to recognize marriage by man and woman.

Or they could fall into the eight-state compromise, which says if you provide rights to same sex spouses, the same rights you would provide to married spouses, you must allow them to marry. But it would not affect state's abilities to ban and hold up a Proposition 8.

WHITFIELD: Avery, we can hear you agreeing on some points and then not agreeing on a lot of others.

FRIEDMAN: Yes, this is a very narrow case. And that is if Prop 8 is really affirmed by the Supreme Court and reversing the dismissal of it or the invalidation of it, that will only affect California. Here's my prediction.

In Prop 8, they will never get there. This case will be thrown out on procedural grounds meaning who has the right to bring standing? There's no standing here. That means the federal court of appeals invalidation of Prop 8 will remain.

HERMAN: Avery, David Boyce is arguing this case. He is one of the most brilliant attorneys in our country. I think the Supreme Court is going to address this issue. They are going to address it.

FRIEDMAN: They are on the same side here. These are the power houses in the profession. What a great, exciting argument coming up this week, both cases.

WHITFIELD: All right, we will all be at the edge of our seats awaiting that. Thanks so much. Avery and Richard, we'll see you again in about 20 minutes or so. We'll talk about the Jodi Arias trial and what it is costing tax payers and what it may be costing prosecutors and the defense as well.

And Casey Anthony, that name back again. Now we're talking about her life story being sold to the highest bidder perhaps. Can't wait to hear what Avery and Richard have to say about those things.

All right, despite a very chilly start to spring, the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival is underway right now in Washington. The blossoms haven't reached their peak, in some cases they haven't even opened the bloom, but there's still time for you to get to the nation's capital to perhaps see them just in time. Holly Firfer reports in "On the Go."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOLLY FIRFER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. is a great way to celebrate the arrival of spring.

ARABELLA BOWEN, FODOR'S TRAVEL: It is on right now through April 14th. Just imagine the National Mall taken over with thousands of pink petals everywhere you look. It's absolutely beautiful.

You can also watch the National Cherry Blossom Parade happening on April 13th, which has elaborate floats and marching bands from across the country. There's also a Japanese street fair that will be taking place that day as well.

Because remember, the trees were given to the United States by the government of Japan. Finally, there's a kite festival taking place on March 30th, which is great escape for families. You'll learn how to make and fly your own kites on the mall.

FIRFER: Many hotels are offering special deals.

BOWEN: A great way to experience the festival is to look for hotel packages that include perks like metro cars, trolley tours.

FIRFER: Guided tours of the cherry blossoms are available by foot, bus or even boat.

BOWEN: It's absolutely beautiful, great celebration of spring and a great way to escape all these gray days we have been having.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Gorgeous. You can find out more about the National Cherry Blossom Festival at cnn.com/travel. Experts with the National Park Service tell CNN they don't expect the trees to be in full bloom until about the second week of April. That would be like almost after the festival ends. Good luck.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Here's a look at our top stories.

A historic meeting is unfolding in Rome today. For the first time in century, a pope is meeting another living pope. Pope Francis is meeting with his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The two are lunching together at Benedict's home. The 85-year-old Benedict has been living there since he resigned last month citing health.

Winter weather keeps pushing spring off the calendar in the Midwest in this country. Take a look at I-70 in Denver. In parts of Colorado, stretches of the highway were shut down in both directions.

The Denver area is bracing for more snow, maybe as much as a foot. And can you imagine trying to play soccer in this? The USA and Costa Rica teams braving the snow in the World Cup qualifying game. America beat Costa Rica and the snow.

All right, it looks like some Wall Street chief executives will be cashing in this year. A new study finds bonuses at Wall Street firms are heading up 15 percent this year that despite the concerns of some investors and politicians. The projected pay increase comes after last year's 5 percent bonus boost, which was considered disappointing.

A bracket-busting upset at the NCAA basketball tournament. Georgetown is out defeated by a Florida upstart. We'll have details after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Boeing is announcing some major layoffs in its Seattle area factories. It is eliminating approximately 800 employees from its 787 and 747 programs by the end of the year. Boeing says that these reductions have been expected and come as production is streamlined. It adds that an additional 500 jobs will be reassigned within the company.

The force spending cuts are kicking in forcing the FAA to close air traffic control towers at 149 regional airports across the country. Although that's 40 fewer than initially thought, the shutdowns which start next month will save the FAA $637 million. Many controllers say they are worried about safety with fewer working towers.

And Chicago announced that it will close 54 schools in a move to cut costs. The 53 schools, elementary schools and one high school are to close by August. Most of the schools are in black and Hispanic neighborhoods. That's leaving some parents fuming mad and blaming the mayor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KAREN LEWIS, CHICAGO TEACHERS UNION PRESIDENT: This policy is racist. It's classist and we have to continue to say that our mayor, who is away on a ski trip, gets this information right before spring break. How are our children going to spend next week?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Enrolment in Chicago public schools has dipped 20 percent over the past ten years.

When most of us hear the term apprentice, we think of manual labor jobs. A new model is turning college graduates into apprentices. Christine Roman shows us how it works in this "Smart is the New Rich" report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the American dream. But for too many college graduates, this is the American reality, an average $27,000 in debt when they leave college and a job market where 1 in every 7 can't find full-time work.

But there's a new model that could change the way students learn the skills they need to make it in the work world. It's a little less Ferris Bueller and hopefully a little more Carter Diria.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How old are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm 26 years old.

ROMANS: This is where future 26-year-old bosses are currently learning the skills they need to be successful. Not in a college classroom but on the job.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to be joining in on the kickoff call with Ben and Jerry's.

ROMANS: Working 40 hours a week in New York City as part of a pilot program for a "Enstitute," a non-profit that co-founders, Shaila Ittycheria and Kane Sarhan, think can change how students get the skills employers need. Not only on college campuses but through full- time on-the-job apprentices.

SHAILA ITTYCHERIA, CO-FOUNDER, ENSTITUTE: Both business skills and technical skills. They can learn ops and they also learn marketing, business development.

KANE SARHAN, CO-FOUNDER, ENSTITUTE: It's about taking whatever they learn and putting it into other scenarios.

ROMANS: The first class has 11 participants chosen from a pool of 500 candidates living together in a 3,600 square foot loft. It brings a unique perspective. She spent a year at college costing $58,000 a year before deciding it wasn't for her. She now apprentices at "Flavor Pill," a digital media company getting paid minimum wage. WEEZIE YANCEY SIEGEL, FROM STUDENT TO APPRENTICE: In school you have a teacher who tells you what they need, if you need help talk to me. Being an apprentice I do a lot of scheduling and assisting, but I also get to see what's happening through the departments.

ROMANS: So what's in it for "Flavor Pill?" According to Weezie's boss/mentor, Sascha Lewis --

SASCHA LEWIS, CO-FOUNDER, FLAVORPILL, WEEZIE'S BOSS AND MENTOR: The benefit that we're getting from the apprenticeship concept is it's a longer-term relationship. There's a deeper commitment as opposed to an internship.

ROMANS: Apprenticeships are hardly a new concept. There are 358,000 registered apprentices in the U.S., but a majority of those are in traditional skill trades like electricians, carpentry and plumbing.

If institutes push into innovative new industries is successful, it could help make apprenticeship an attractive alternative to college.

ROBERT LERMAN, PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: We have been trying the college route for decades have haven't gotten good results.

ROMANS: For Weezie and for "FlavorPill," the apprenticeship has paid off.

LEWIS: She would definitely have a full-time job here if and when that opportunity comes available for both of us.

ROMANS: Christine Romans, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All eyes are on the NCAA tournament. We've already seen some pretty stunning surprises. Here's "Bleacher Report's" Andy Scholes.

ANDY SCHOLES, "BLEACHER REPORT": Hi, Fred. Well, this is one of the craziest first two days in tournament history. Thursday, we saw the Ivy Leaguers Harvard take down New Mexico. But the biggest upset of round two belongs to 15th seed Florida Gulf Coast as they shock the world last night by beating two-seed Georgetown.

You may have never heard of Florida Gulf Coast before. That's because this is only the second year they have been eligible for the tournament. The Atlantic Sun conference champions went on a 20-2 run. They get the win in their first ever tournament game and becomes just the seventh 15th seed to beat a two seed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just came out and just played our hearts out. We know it's win or go home from here. Just have a great feeling, just excited. I don't know what to do still with myself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: If your bracket was in bad shape after the Gulf Coast win, it probably only got worse after 13th seed La Salle beat four seed Kansas State. They it outscored by 18 in the first half and were able to hold on for the win. This coupled with the Florida Gulf Coast win left zero perfect brackets out of the 8 million filled out on ESPN.

The action continues this is afternoon with round three. We'll see if Harvard can keep their Cinderella run alive as they play Arizona. Another one to keep an eye on is top seed Gonzaga taking on Wichita State.

The Heat streak continues. Lebron James poured in 29 points last night as Miami took down the Detroit Pistons 103-89, for their 25th consecutive win. They are just eight wins away from tying the Lakers for the longest winning streak in NBA history. They will host the Bobcats on Sunday. For more, check out bleacherreport.com. That will do it. Back to you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Thanks so much, Andy. For more sports news, log on to bleacherreport.com.

All right, next, the Jodi Arias case, a psychologist is on the stand. Will the diagnosis of PTSD work with this jury?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: The Jodi Arias trial seems never ending and it's costing taxpayers a pretty penny. So far that tab is $838,000 in legal cost for Arizona's Maricopa County. This week's testimony focused again on Arias' series of lies.

The psychologist for the defense tried to explain why despite her lies he diagnosed that she suffered from PTSD after killing her ex- boyfriend. Our legal guys are back. Avery Friedman in Cleveland, Richard Herman in Las Vegas.

All right, gentlemen, so Avery, you first, how convincing is this argument of PTSD despite her confessions?

FRIEDMAN: It's terrible. What happened is that Richard Samuels, who is the expert, testified that he treated based on the first justification by Jodi Arias. Remember, the ninjas coming in and the intruders. And then afterwards, he started treating for the second one.

There were 100 questions by jurors, Fredricka and asking the psychologist. Wait a minute, which story do we believe. He said, well, the second story based on my 35 years of experience is probably the better one.

It's mind numbing in terms of lack of credibility. And again, the tab keeps growing because every defendant has a right to counsel in a criminal case. So that's what's going on. That's what went on this week.

WHITFIELD: Then, Richard, the defense psychologist on cross- examination, Arias should have been retested after she confessed to the killing so that cannot help.

HERMAN: When you use words like speculation, I speculated, that's really bad, Fred. Jurors come to these cases and they bring with them their common sense. So although an expert is sworn into testify, the judge will say you don't have to go with the expert.

This guy, this is arguably the biggest case he's had in his career. He left notes home. He admitted that he relied upon a fiction, stories, lies and made a report. Then he was told those were lies and he said I didn't need to go back and redo it.

I was OK with my report any way. A jury hears that and rejects it. The defense needs to say how this fog came about, how she couldn't remember things. But you have been in stressful situations. I think we're vivid. We remember everything under stress.

Here she likes to conveniently say I forget what happened when I almost took his head off. It's not going to fly with this jury. It's not going to fly. This guy is a horrible witness.

WHITFIELD: Then gentlemen, we were looking at this video. It was interrogation video showing Jodi Arias and kind of her body language sometimes doing a head stand and playing with her hair.

This is shortly after the murder of her ex-boyfriend and perhaps it shows a rather cavalier Jodi Arias. It's hard to know what's going on in her mind there, but Avery, we're looking at this videotape, but jurors have not seen this, right?

FRIEDMAN: And the jurors will not see it.

WHITFIELD: So prosecutors would not want to introduce this?

FRIEDMAN: They want to introduce it like crazy. The prejudicial effect of this bizarre behavior would outweigh the value. There's some powerful stuff that was taken on the 15th of July, 2008, at the time of the arrest. There's some motive evidence in there. The judge said too much prejudice with the bizarre behavior. It would be powerful. It's just not getting in.

WHITFIELD: OK, we're going to move on to another case because we're running out of time. I know you have lots of thoughts on this one, involving your favorite person on the stand or at least your favorite defendant. Casey Anthony, that name has come up again. She wants to sell the rights of her life story.

All of this included to the highest bidder. Now is this something that could potentially be challenged in court because already there's an offer of $10,000 on the table. But the man says he wants to be able to make money from selling this tale whether it be in books, movies, et cetera. Will this find its way back in court again? HERMAN: Before I answer this, just remember if you think Jodi Arias is a slam dunk guilty conviction first-degree murder, I have one word for you. Casey Anthony, but moving on from that, this is bankruptcy court. They try to raise as much as she can for the creditor. The judge is absolutely going to allow this to occur. Raise as much money as she can.

WHITFIELD: Going to allow this?

HERMAN: Absolutely. But Fred, remember we talked about the Zanny, the nanny and that old defamation case, which I kept saying was ridiculous. Well, guess what, they are going to get zero now based on the bankruptcy, which everyone saw coming.

WHITFIELD: Avery, you get to button this one up.

FRIEDMAN: The nanny is going to get nothing because according to Casey Anthony's lawyers they didn't assert their claim in time. That gets tossed out on procedural grounds. I think there will be money raised, but don't look for a whole lot more. She will not make one nickel in this case.

WHITFIELD: OK, thanks so much, gentlemen. Always good to see you. You can catch our legal guys every Saturday at around this time. You don't want to miss them.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: We're tracking the progress of the spring snowstorm across the country. Also ahead at 2:00 Eastern Time, Washington State has approved legalized recreational marijuana. I'll talk to the man helping state officials deal with this decision.

Next stocks have been on the tear, but how long will this run last? "YOUR MONEY" with Ali Velshi starts right now.