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U.S. Supreme Court on Same Sex Marriage; Pope Francis Tackles Civil Unions; Texting and Driving

Aired March 24, 2013 - 16:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Welcome to the "Newsroom." These are the top stories.

A spring snowstorm is bearing down on the midwest right now and headed east. Heavy snow and strong winds are creating dangerous conditions. Where the system is heading next.

And today Pope Francis led his first Palm Sunday service. As cardinal, he reportedly supported civil unions. Will he bring that style of leadership to the papacy? This as the U.S. Supreme Court considers same-sex marriage cases.

And believe it or not, there's a relatively simple explanation for a car that wound up on the roof of this house in Glendale, California. The good news - no one was hurt.

First the severe weather hitting the midwest. A huge spring snowstorm is pounding the region from Missouri to Ohio. Susan Candiotti is in Dayton where the snow is falling and it is not expected to stop any time soon. Susan?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fred. Right. We're kind of between a bit of a wet snow and flurries right now. Things have subsided just a bit. And the temperatures, Fred, right now are just above freezing. And that's why you can still see snow, rather grass on the ground. You don't see anything, no accumulation on the pavement so far. And you could see over my shoulder, that's i-75. Traffic is still flowing smoothly at this hour but things are going to change as the evening wears on.

They've already had a tough go of it in Kansas City and St. Louis. The snowplows have been out. Snowy conditions there. Street crews hard at work. And they've seen the heaviest of the snow, they're supposed to continue to get light snow probably through Monday. Expected to get up to 10 inches there. And of course, you already know and have been seeing what's been going on in Colorado since Friday. Really horrible conditions out there. They were hit very hard. White-out conditions in some sections of the - of high-ways out there on Saturday, yesterday.

And in fact, 150-mile section of i-70 was shut down and there was a huge crash on i-25 involving about 20 to 50 cars that even involved a semi tanker that went up in flames. So huge mess there. They're still trying to clean up from that and get flights back in order. But, like I said, back here in Dayton and in the midwest, the worst is yet to come. They are predicting anywhere from maybe five to eight inches in some spots, possibly a little bit more in the overnight hours. Fred.

WHITFIELD: And then, Susan, this snow and this treacherous weather is in no way deterring all those NCAA fans. Many have descended on Dayton because there are a couple of tournaments there today in fact. Anyone concerned about getting stuck?

CANDIOTTI: Oh, yes, well, we talked to a lot of the fans. And you're right, it is happening right here at the University of Dayton arena. 13,000 fans in there. For the most part they just care about the game right now. Ohio State beat Iowa State and right now Temple is taking on Indiana. That game going on. They are concerned about the weather. But they're going to take their chances. Here's what some fans told us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll just take our time and go slow. Probably throw on ESPN and listen to the other games that are going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hopefully it stays like this around 5:00 or 6:00 by the time we get to Columbus so we don't have to drive in it. If you are driving, drive safely. Hope no one gets stuck in it.


CANDIOTTI: So the second of the two games ought to finish up about 5:00 or so Eastern time. Some people might hit the roads, others might stay the night and kind of ride out the storm to see how conditions are in the morning. Back to you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Clearly, many maintaining a pretty good sense of humor about it all. All right. Thanks so much. Susan Candiotti, there in Dayton.

So mid-Atlantic states are going to be hit next by this storm system. Meteorologist Karen Maginnis is tracking the storm from the CNN weather center.

KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It might be one for the record books in places like Cincinnati and perhaps into Dayton, Ohio, as this area of low pressure that we trekked all the way from Colorado, into the Central plains, starts to move across the Ohio River Valley. Then it looks like it gives out just a little bit and another area of low pressure just across the mid-Atlantic, that one takes over.

And for places like Richmond and Washington, D.C., extending up towards New York, you could see a little bit of snowfall. I do mean a little. Maybe one, two, possibly three inches of snowfall. But not a lot more than that. However, there are pockets across Illinois and Indiana where you could see some heavier amounts. Six to 10 inches. So roadways are going to be clogged because of this late season snowstorm. Across the Alleghenies, the Poconos, the spine of the Appalachians, definitely the higher the elevation the more snowfall you'll pick up. That will be the trouble spot going into Monday's forecast, it moves out, we start to see some clearing. Temperatures will be slow to rebound. Fred.

WHITFIELD: Thanks so much, Karen. Severe thunderstorms tore through parts of the southeast in fact overnight and this is what they did to a building in Atlanta. A downed tree crushing part of an abandoned apartment complex. It also destroyed a truck. Luckily, no one was hurt. Downed trees in other parts of the city took out power lines and blocked many roads as well.

U.S. secretary of state John Kerry is in Amman, Jordan today after a surprise visit to Iraq this weekend. He says U.S. lawmakers worry that after years of receiving U.S. help Iraq is not behaving like an ally. Kerry has asked the Iraqi prime minister not to allow Iranian aircraft to use Iraq's airspace. U.S. believes the planes are carrying arms to the Syrian regime.

Our Nick Paton Walsh was there.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): What U.S. secretary of state John Kerry's first visit to Iraq really should have been about rebuilding the country's dwindling influence in a country where they've invested so much blood and treasure but still it was overshadowed by events next door in Syria.

First, U.S. officials clear they believe Iraq isn't doing enough to stop over flights from Iran to Syria of weapons and fighters intended to assist the Assad regime in its civil war. John Kerry said had he "a very spirited discussion" with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki on that but was asked for further information. So not quite exactly the concession he wanted there.

But also during this visit news broke of the resignation of opposition leader, (INAUDIBLE) something which Mr. Kerry described as being inevitable, saying they'd already begun working with (INAUDIBLE) who is effectively the leader now, with the transitional government. The government working with him and said this is all part of what he referred to as a continuum in leadership. And the opposition was bigger than one man.

But clearly putting a brave face there on a man who the U.S. has put quite a lot of investment into and an opposition which seems to be crumbling around and just as the U.S. begins to pick up its efforts to supply further aid but above all this is (INAUDIBLE) which should have been focusing on the country's own troubles overshadowed by the civil war next door.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Baghdad.


WHITFIELD: And back in this country, an accident in Southern California left a couple in their Cadillac sitting on the roof of this house.

And New York's mayor is spending millions of his own money to try to end gun violence. His TV ad blitz begins this week.


WHITFIELD: Starting Tuesday people in 13 states will start seeing TV ads aimed at gun violence.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Background checks have nothing to do with taking guns away from anyone. Closing loopholes will stop criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from buying guns.


WHITFIELD: Billionaire and New York mayor Mike Bloomberg is paying for the campaign himself through his anti-gun violence group. The ads hit the airwaves ahead of a key vote in the Senate on gun control. The National Rifle Association says the mayor is trying to intimidate senators.

Same-sex marriage will be front and center at the U.S. Supreme Court this week. The court will hear arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8 which bans same-sex marriage.

CNN Justice correspondent Joe Johns is here with details.

JOE JOHNS, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Fred, the battle over same-sex marriage in California has been going on for years and coming up this week it finally arrives at the U.S. Supreme Court. We talked to one of the couples involved in the case who, win or lose, have already assured themselves a small place in history with their legal challenge.


JOHNS (voice-over): Jamelle Thomas and Karane Williams have been together four years before they got married last October. Don't let the wedding dresses fool you. Their lives are not all satin and pearls.

AIRMAN JAMELLE THOMAS, U.S. AIR FORCE RESERVE: Well, I'm an airman in the United States Air Force Reserves and -

KARANE WILLIAMS, METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICER: I'm a police officer with the Metropolitan Police Department here in D.C..

JOHNS: Which makes this couple a case study in how America's married but unequal approach to same-sex relationships can play out.

THOMAS: As, you know, an airman, it's - you get a constant reminder that you're second class.

JOHNS: Jamelle is a federal employee but the federal Defense of Marriage Act bars recognition of same-sex marriage by the government which affects more than 1,000 federal benefits for spouses. Everything from filing taxes and receiving death benefits to who gets called as next of kin.

THOMAS: I had had to list Karane as my sister just so that someone would call her in the event that I'm killed or missing in action or I'm hurt on the job. She can't be my emergency contact. She can't receive my remains.

JOHNS: Karane on the other hand as a District of Columbia employee gets the benefits of being married because the local government in the nation's capital recognizes same-sex marriage but only nine states in the District of Columbia have taken that step. So Karane loses status as a spouse just by crossing the Potomac River into Virginia.

KARANE WILLIAMS, METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICER: Why do we have to be married locally but federally it's nothing? We're friends. We wear a ring symbolically. It's ridiculous.

BILL CLINTON, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: What the bill does -

JOHNS: And now the Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA, first passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1996 is being challenged at the Supreme Court.

AMY HOWE, SCOTUSBLOG.COM EDITOR: It's being asked to decide there whether or not Congress can pass a law that treats same-sex couples who are already married under the laws of their state different from opposite sex couples.

JOHNS: Defenders of the law say Congress has as much right as the states to make its own definition of marriage.

AUSTIN NIMOCKS, ALLIANCE DEFENCE FUND: DOMA is important because Congress said it was important. I mean we sent our elected representatives to Washington, D.C. and they chose to say that marriage is one man and one woman for purposes of federal law.

JOHNS: And conservatives say the founding fathers never contemplated gay marriage.

CARRIE SEVERINO, JUDICIAL CRISIS NETWORK: Because it's clearly not what anyone understood as marriage at the time of the framing of the Constitution.

JOHNS: Still, same-sex families pay taxes and don't get the same benefits and the issue with DOMA really gets complicated if they have children who are also excluded from benefits.

THOMAS: When we have kids I would like them to be born in a post-DOMA United States.


JOHNS: Still, California is one of only a handful of states that gives most of the benefits of marriage to same-sex couples and domestic partnerships. One question is whether any ruling by the court on California could affect all of those other states in the same way. Fred?

WHITFIELD: Thanks so much, Joe Johns in Washington.

Bill Clinton signed DOMA into law when he was president. Now he's asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn it. In an opinion piece in the "Washington Post" he wrote, "The justices must decide whether it is consistent with the principles of a nation that honors freedom, equality and justice above all, and is therefore constitutional. As the president who signed the act into law, I have come to believe that DOMA is contrary to those principles and in fact incompatible with our constitution," from the former president.

Let's bring in our Richard Socarides. Richard was Clinton's gay rights advisor when he was president. Good see you, Richard.


WHITFIELD: So why do you suppose Clinton at the time agreed to sign DOMA, despite being a supporter of gay rights. And then have you to wonder whether his about-face will potentially make a difference.

SOCARIDES: Well, I think even though it was only 17 years ago when DOMA was pushed through Congress by the Republicans, it was politically very popular and President Clinton was six weeks away from a re-election and I think that sums up why he signs it.

I think the important thing now as he said in his opinion piece in the "Washington Post" two weeks ago, and as he has been saying since 2009, he's now a supporter of same-sex marriage. He's had the same kind of evolution that many Americans have had and he believes the bill is now unconstitutional.

WHITFIELD: So former President Clinton not the only one. Same-sex marriage has gained support from others, demonstrated in a very big way just in the past few weeks from Senator Portman, the American Academy of Pediatrics and then former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. In fact, this is what Hillary Clinton had to say most recently.


HILLARY CLINTON, FMR. SECRETARY OF STATE: LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones. And they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage.


WHITFIELD: So in today's climate will justices be in any way influenced by all of this? We know they're listening, paying attention, hearing it. Will they take these opinions into account?

SOCARIDES: Well, I think that on an issue like this, public opinion is very important. It is obviously not the only thing that's important. It's probably not the most important thing that's important, nor should it be. But I think that same-sex marriage advocates have made a pretty good case that the constitution protects them so now I think the court has to get comfortable with the idea that if they rule, that there is a right to same-sex marriage, that the country as a whole will be comfortable with it and I think public opinion polling has shifted dramatically over the last five years, over the last three years, now to where a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage.

WHITFIELD: So this is a constitutional issue. That's why it has gone to the U.S. Supreme Court. But you have to wonder whether the Constitution will be interpreted differently in part because of an evolution of the times and because of public opinion.

SOCARIDES: Well, I think, you know, the interpretation of the Constitution has always evolved over time on a lot of issues. We didn't used to think that women should have the right to vote. We used to think it was OK to have racially segregated schools. So that is part of our history. That is part of what makes us the great country we are that we're able to see our Constitution as a living, breathing document and the principles in the constitution obviously are what should prevail.

But the principles of equal protection, the basic idea that everybody, if they play by the rules, and if they're willing to accept the responsibilities, that everybody else is willing to accept that everyone should have the same rights.

WHITFIELD: Richard Socarides, thanks so much for your time. Appreciate it.

SOCARIDES: Thank you, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: A husband and wife say they are "very, very lucky" after their car went airborne and wound up on the roof of this house. We'll hear from them about how this happened.


WHITFIELD: Checking some stories. More testimony is on tap in the Jodi Arias murder trial this week. Defense psychologist Richard Samuels is back on the stand tomorrow for more cross examination. Jurors could also ask him additional questions. The defense is also expected to call a domestic violence expert.

Colorado's governor is speaking out about the death of the state's prison chief. Evan Spencer Evil is a suspect in the shooting death of Tom Clements. Evil was also the son of a friend of Governor John Hickenlooper.


GOV. JOHN HICKENLOPPER (D), COLORADO: I sort of felt like I was caught in a nightmare that I couldn't wake up from. All these things kept happening to people that I loved and they didn't seem to be connected in any way. To me, the emotional toll has been much deeper than worrying about security.


WHITFIELD: Evil was killed in a shoot-out with sheriff's deputies in Texas. Authorities say Evil once belonged to a white supremacist gang. As prison chief, Clements cracked down on Evil's former gang.

When you see the video you're going to ask yourself how did this happen? A car missed a turn on a steep hill and wound up on the roof of a house. Here's Leanne Suter of affiliate, KABC.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was so scared. I thought this would be the end because it was very bad.

LEANNE SUTER, REPORTER, KABC: (INAUDIBLE) and her husband were in this cadillac when it went air borne and landed on a neighbor's house. She says they came down the hill and couldn't stop as they rounded the corner.

As soon as we hit the corner the air bags deployed and I on't even see where we're going from there because the view was obscured. I just heard that we stopped.

SUTTER: (INAUDIBLE) says when she opened the door she saw the edge of a roof. The back end of the car came to rest on the edge of a retaining wall. Paul Harrison who lives down the street heard the accident.

PAUL HARRISON, NEIGHBOR: It was just smash, crash, boom. And my neighbor Brad Nelson who's walking his dog says, "Paul! Quick! I think there's been an accident." He grabbed a ladder and helped the (INAUDIBLE) off the roof. One man was inside the house when the crash happened but he wasn't injured.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was one person inside the house but not in the area of the - where the car landed.

SUTTER: In order to remove the car, the fire department called for a crane to do the heavy lifting. The caddy has major damage but remarkably, the roof needs only minor repairs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My neck is pulled and my back is hurting but I don't think I broke anything and I consider myself and my husband very, very lucky.


WHITFIELD: OK. That was Leanne Suter of KABC in Los Angeles. Very close call.

All right. There is a winner in that $338 million powerball jackpot. And that person lives on the East Coast. We'll tell you where the lucky ticket might have been sold.


WHITFIELD: Stories making headlines right now - a spring snowstorm is pounding the midwest right now. Strong wind gusts are making visibility on the roads extremely difficult from Missouri to Ohio. The storm is now moving east and will hit the mid-Atlantic states later on today and tomorrow.

In Southwest Florida, searchers have found the bodies of a sky diving instructor and his student. The two men had been out with a group and didn't return after their third jump. Authorities did not say whether their parachutes were open. Both men were from Iceland.

The Carnival Cruise ship Dream is back on the high seas. The ship set sail Saturday for its first cruise since a fail generators forced the ship to abort a cruise while docked in the Caribbean. Passengers had to be flown home after power aboard the ship failed and toilets overflowed.

And someone in New Jersey just got $338 million richer. One ticket sold in the state matched these six numbers in the Powerball lottery. If the winner takes a lump sum, they would receive a cool $211 million. Lottery officials will hold a news conference Monday to reveal where the ticket was sold exactly.

All right. This week the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on same-sex marriage. It will consider the constitutionality of both Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.

CNN's political editor Paul Steinhauser checks out some new polls and what they say about changing levels of support for one of the most hotly debated issues in the country.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Hey, Fred. Same-sex marriage will be in the political spotlight this week as the Supreme Court hears two high-profile cases involved in a hot-button social issue.

A week ago Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio changed his mind on the subject. Here's what he told our Dana Bash -


SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R), OHIO: My son came to Jane, my wife and I, told us that he was gay and that launched an interesting process for me which was rethinking my position, talking to my pastor and other religious leaders and going through a process of at the end changing my position on the issue. I now believe that people ought to have the right to get married.


STEINHAUSER: And earlier this week, Hillary Clinton announced her support of same-sex marriage. So what do you think? According to our CNN-ORC poll conducted just last weekend a majority support same-sex marriages. And that number's been on the rise over the past few years but our survey indicated a wide partisan divide with Democrats and independents supportive and Republicans opposed.

And there's a wide generational divide as well with most younger people but only a minority of seniors supportive of same-sex marriage. Of course, when it comes to the two cases in front of the Supreme Court, the only votes that matter in the end are those of the nine justices. Fred?

WHITFIELD: Thanks so much, Paul.

All right. The Catholic church is also dealing with this issue - the Pope reportedly had some surprising thoughts about civil unions when he was cardinal. Will he bring that to the Papacy?


WHITFIELD: The Catholic Church is also dealing with this issue, the Pope reportedly had some surprising thoughts about civil unions when he was cardinal. Will he bring that to the papacy?


WHITFIELD: Thousands gathered to hear the new Pope lead Palm Sunday prayers. Pope Francis urged his followers to reject corruption and greed and to reach out to the poor and the forgotten.

Pope Francis is being seen as a pragmatist. His stance on same-sex marriage in Argentina may bear that out. As cardinal he reportedly supported civil unions.

Our Rafael Romo explains.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): A cordial Vatican meeting between the president of Argentina and the new Pope with the two Argentines exchanging gifts. But their get-together Monday was in sharp contrast of the war of words between the two leaders less than three years ago.

In mid 2010, Argentina was polarized over a same-sex marriage bill supported by Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner who called the church's actions against the measures attitudes reminiscent of medieval times and the inquisition. Then the Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio blasted the bill dubbing it, "a destructive attack on God's plan."

POPE FRANCIS, CATHOLIC CHURCH LEADER (through translator): The church has asked Catholics to oppose this and that's exactly what I'm doing has a catholic.

ROMO: But some say the future pontiff was much more conciliatory than he appeared. Marcelo Marquez is a gay rights activist and former theology professor at a catholic seminary near the argentine capital. He says Bergoglio told him in private in 2010 that he favored gay right and went as far and say he didn't oppose gay civil unions.

MARCELO MARQUEZ, GAY RIGHTS ACTIVIST (through translator): He told me he understands homosexual people should have their rights protected in society. He also said he believed that Argentina was not ready for a gay marriage law but said he'd favor a law granting civil unions.

ROMO: Marquez says the meeting happened after he sent Bergoglio this letter on behalf of gay Catholics supporting the same-sex marriage bill. "The New York Times" reported Wednesday that at a private meeting of bishops, also in 2010, the cardinal Bergoglio advocated that the church in Argentina support the idea of civil unions for gay couples.

A senior Vatican official said the Roman Catholic Church could neither confirm nor deny the report at this point. The official added that while Pope Francis might have expressed such view while he was a cardinal, he should be given time to develop his policy position as pontiff.

Marquez who still describes himself as a devout catholic says in a second meeting the then-cardinal gave him an autographed copy of a book titled "the Jesuit" based on his life and works as priest. Marquez says Bergoglio once again touched upon the topic of gay rights in Argentina.

Marcelo, first of all, I want you to know I have always treated gay people with respect and dignity, the future pontiff said according to Marquez. I have accompanied many homosexual people during my career to tend to their spiritual needs.

Rafael Romo, CNN. Athens.


WHITFIELD: The Pope's reported proposal when he was cardinal to allow civil unions for same-sex couples showed a willingness to compromise. So does that mean he will bring that perspective to the church as Pope?

I asked CNN senior Vatican analyst John Allen.


JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Well, I think in terms of style we've already seen indications that he intends to be Pope his own way. I mean, the night of his election, the master of ceremonies, that is the Vatican's guy who's in charge of the fine points of ritual, attempted to put on him a piece of dress which he just refused to do. You know, he has been told various times is to stop add a living and h has indicated that he intends to keep doing that.

So, you know, in terms of the stylistic so, I think he is going to blaze his own path. Now, whether or not the positions he took as a cardinal are going to track with the positions he takes as Pope, I think, is another question. I mean, there are precedents for times when cardinals have taken very strong positions before they came into the papacy and then had to moderate those positions once they were on the job. For example, eight years ago Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger entered the papacy with a very strong position against Turkey's candidacy to enter European Union on the grounds that it might water don the Christian identity of Europe. But as Pope, he upheld the Vatican's official diplomatic line which is neutrality on Turkish candidacy as long as human rights guarantees are upheld.

So, we have to see if the level substance, how much of then cardinal Bergoglio's positions are going to be picked up in terms of the policy positions he takes as Pope.

WHITFIELD: So, the Italian edition of the Pope's book "to heal from corruption" is being released. It reflects ideas Francis developed during Argentina's economic crisis back in the 1990s. Can you elaborate? What did he do?

ALLEN: Well, Cardinal Bergoglio began thinking about the issue of corruption and the economy and political life in the 1990s when Argentina was going through an historic economic meltdown. And basically, he drew the conclusion that corruption was in some ways the worst kind of sin. His argument is that most sinners at least carry the hope for forgiveness because on some level they recognize they're doing something wrong, whereas people who were on the take who have been bought off feel like they've won the lottery.

In this book, it was his attempt to sort of puncture their conscience and say, look. I mean, you know, this idea of pursuing individual gain at the expense of the common good is only going to carry you so far and eventually whether it is in this life or the next, you're going to have to answer for this behavior. It is a position that was of course very close to him, near and dear to his heart because of this situation in Argentina. And I would expect it is going to continue to be a major theme of his papacy.

WHITFIELD: Will it give us insight into how this new Pope will deal with say corruption or even the child sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church?

ALLEN: I think it will, Fredricka. I mean, one of the things about this book is that even though it is aimed primarily at corruption in the economy and in political life, he also acknowledges that the thread, the menace of corruption, exists everywhere, including inside the church.

And I think this very strong sort of clean hands approach he takes in the book, this very strong rejection of the idea of corruption, will also carry over into how he confronts not only the child sexual abuse scandals in the church, but also let's remember the Vatican itself particularly in the form of the Vatican bank has been dogged by accusations of financial misconduct and irregularity and so on.

I think it would be very difficult for Pope Francis to given this strong anti-corruption track record he has not to be seen as somebody who will take a firm line against the idea of corruption also in the zone of life over which he has most direct control which is the Vatican and the church. (END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Vatican analyst John Allen in Rome.

OK. Let's talk a little sports action on the greens. If Tiger Woods wince this week's PGA tournament, and he's leading by the way starting the final round, he will be back on top of the world rankings. If he gets a win.


WHITFIELD: All Right, the NCAA tournament is gaining momentum and bracket busting Cinderella stories continue to unfold.

Andy Scholes joins me now with the Bleacher Report.

Andy, what gives? Lots of surprises.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Lots of surprises, Fredricka. The experts said this year's tournament would be wide open. And hey, they were right. Last night we saw one of the top seeds fall as Gonzaga lost to Wichita state. This afternoon, another juggernaut almost went down. Ten seeds Iowa State used a 13-0 run late in the second half to pulled even with two-seed Ohio State, but the Buckeyes were failed out by Aaron Craft to nail a game winning three with less than a second remaining. Ohio State survives today, 78-75 and heads to the sweet 16 for the fourth straight season.


AARON CRAFT, OHIO STATE JUNIOR GUARD: I'm just very blessed and fortunate to be able to be part of this and be able to make a shot like that for this university like that. It feels great. Hopefully we can keep this thing going.


SCHOLES: Well, the biggest upset of the tournament so far belongs to 15 seeds Florida gulf coast who stunned two-seed Georgetown on Friday. The eagles try to become the lowest seed ever tonight to reach the sweet 16.


EDDIE MURRAY, FLORIDA GULF COST SENIOR FORWARD: Nothing's really expected of us but we expect it of ourselves. You know, all the pressure on all the teams we will be playing on here out. So, I really like the position we are in.

ANDY ENFIELD, FLORIDA GULF COAST HEAD COACH: No 15 seeds made the sweet 16. It should goal of ours, I would think. We will tell our players that. And thanks for reminding me.


SCHOLES: Florida gulf coast tips off against San Diego State at 7:00 eastern. And a match that you don't see very often, a 12 seed taking on a 13-seed will also take place tonight as Ole Miss Squares off against La Salle.

For in-depth analysis on today's tournament action head over to

Tiger Woods was looking for a record eighth win at Bay Hill today, but Mother Nature would not cooperate. Tiger was two holes in his rounds this afternoon when severe weather moved into the area. The tournament has been suspended until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow with Tiger holding a three-shot lead over the field.

So, Fredricka, we are going to have to wait another day to see if Tiger can get the win and regain golf's number one ranking for the first time since October of 2010. Certainly has been a long time coming for Tiger.

WHITFIELD: It has. And what if this means a lot of calls in to sick, you know, on Monday. People want to stay home and watch the tournament.

All right, that so much, Andy. Appreciate it.

All right, Mazda motorsports has launched a campaign using young professional race car drivers to warn teens about the dangers of texting and driving.

Our Victor Blackwell introduces us to one young racer who promoting that very message every time he hits the track.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drivers, come get in line.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Race car drivers on a racetrack. No big surprise. What might surprise you is that the favorite to win this race is just 17-years-old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Half the field this side, half the field this side of Tristan.

BLACKWELL: He's Tristan Nunez from Boca Raton Florida. He started racing go cart at 13 and then graduated to this at 15. Before, he was a license to drive through his neighborhood.

TRISTAN NUNEZ, TEEN RACE CAR DRIVER: My mom and myself actually feel safer driving on a racetrack as professional drivers than driving on the regular roads where people have no idea what they're doing.

BLACKWELL: He revs up to about 150 miles per hour around this track. At that speed there can be any little distraction can be an injury, could be death.


BLACKWELL: Actually that can happen at any speed. Before the start of the 2012 racing season a little distraction off the track nearly created a major problem.

TRISTAN NUNEZ: I was with my mom in the car. We almost got in an accident because she was facebooking, e-mail, whatever, distracted.

DIANE NUNEZ, MOTHER: We almost rear-ended somebody. And you know, that when we really - it really hit us. You know, he is like, mom, you got to put the phone down.

BLACKWELL: So Tristan and his mom, Diane Nunez, had an idea to inspire other people, especially young people, to put the phone down by branding his car the "don't text and drive" car.

DIANE NUNEZ: We put it all over the car and put it on his suit, and then, put it on the Web site and it just took off.

BLACKWELL: You've got the bracelet because when they raise up their hand --

TRISTAN NUNEZ: With the phone they see it. Exactly. So, I mean, it just serves as constant reminder not to do it.

BLACKWELL: Hundreds of teens have pledged to not next and drive. Some have even signed Tristan's car as part of a pledge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just distracting. You get caught up in another world. Completely separate from what you're trying to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's not really a lot of teenage race car drivers out there. So, it was definitely good for them to go on to a teenager's car.

Diane NUNEZ: I know we're not going to stop it but at least it will bring more awareness to people.

BLACKWELL: Tristan was the big winner on this day at road Atlanta. And he tells teens who look up to him the key to his success on the track is the same key to staying safe on the road.

TRISTAN NUNEZ: You have to have 100 percent focus. You can't lose your focus for any reason at all.


BLACKWELL: Mazda is also working with a project called yellow light. It grants scholarships to teenagers who produce the best 60-second public service announcement against distract driving. Go to for details -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Thanks so much, Victor, crossing the finish line with a winning message.

All right, when traveling to other cities and countries, the best way to get a real taste of the place is through the local food.

CNN i-report has teamed up with "Travel & Leisure" magazine to create a global list of 100 places to eat like a local. Here's CNN Sumnima Udas with a sample of Indian food from New Delhi.


SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, I'm Sumnima Udas in New Delhi. And when I want to eat like a local I come to Paranthe Wali Gali. It's one of the most crowded areas in the city so you have to come in one of these.

Delhi is all about street food and Paranthe Wali Gali, which literally means the narrow street that sells Paranthes which are these round flatbreads stuffed with all kinds of ingredients is a local favorite. And what I love about this place is just the madness of it all. You really feel like you're in the middle of all of this action and it doesn't get more authentic than this.


UDAS: So there are 45 different types of Paranthes here and I'm going to order the one of with the Nuchi (ph) which is chili, one of the most popular dishes here.

Thank you. Here is my food and for less than $1 you can get an entire meal. So he's Manish Sharma, he's the owner of this place. So tell me, what makes this place so special?

MANISH SHARMA, RESTAURANT OWNER: This (inaudible) was started by my forefathers in 1872. And there were 16 shops here but we have still the four shops here.

UDAS: And the cooking style is the same for the past 100 years.

SHARMA: Yes, this is the same process to making the paranthe in 1872.

UDAS: How many people come here every day?

SHARMA: About literally 1,000 or 1,500 people come here and enjoy the paranthes.

UDAS: So I'm completely full but the whole point is not to stuff yourself with just paranthes because this whole street is full of all kinds of delicacies. For instance, this place they sell some of the best luci (ph) in town, which is essentially yogurt with water.

So those places in the guide book, that's OK for tourists. But come to Paranthe Wali Gali if you want to eat like a local.


WHITFIELD: Yum. Sign me up. For more information, go to and click 100 places to eat like a local and see which i-reporters and restaurants made the final list.


WHITFIELD: In Washington a special treat for some significant others some military vets.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Their husbands devoted their whole lives to the military and these women need to be pampered and taken care of.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just really thrilled that everything came together and their outfits were provided, shoes were provided, hair and makeup done. Limousine, everything is amazing. Allows them for even a few hours just to have fun and focus on themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like every woman is beautiful in their own way. Makeup just enhances their beauty. I love seeing people, and a woman just happy like right after I do a makeover on them. It is like an instant like wow.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our job is to dress ladies and make them look more beautiful. Since we are doing this, we thought we'll do special way and help them to look beautiful for the night.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone looks amazing. What woman doesn't love fashion? It looks like the evening is going to be amazing.

SERGEANT TRAVIS MILLS, U.S. ARMY: I think I did really good job. I'm not used to seeing her like this on a daily basis. So, you know what, this just makes me night probably about 100 percent more better. My wife is so pretty but she always is. She went to the beauty shop -- but she's always pretty. She looks phenomenal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She looks amazing. Haven't seen her all day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think she looks fantastic. All the time.

FRANK ZANTI, POINT TO POINT LIMOUSINE: This is what our country's all about. These young men putting their -- themselves in harm's way for our every day freedoms. That's what it's all about.


WHITFIELD: One of the husbands, a quadruple amputee, was honored at the fashion show where the models were all active duty troops or veterans. It was organized by the non-profit Luke's Wings. And in case you are wondering, the women got to keep those designer dresses and shoes.

All right, Al Pacino takes on Phil Spector tonight on HBO. It is a film about the legendary music producer's murder trial. But did the director get it right? His wife weighs in.