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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
North Korea Celebrates While World Waits; Driven To Suicide; German Hacker Claims Ability to Bring Down a Plane
Aired April 12, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, North Korea says if one of its test missiles is shot down, it will respond with a nuclear attack. Should the United States shoot or stand down?
Plus, a big story you may not have heard about, the American doctor that people are calling a mass murderer.
And a German hacker says he can bring down a plane using just a cell phone, but does his claim add up. We investigate. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. Nuclear war is unavoidable. That's what North Korea says. It's unavoidable if any North Korean missiles are shot down. It says the country will respond with a nuclear attack, but can they or can't they do that? White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says they cannot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It is our assessment that North Korea has not demonstrated the capabilities to deploy a nuclear arm missile.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: But just yesterday, Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn said something very different during a House Arms Services Committee hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE DOUG LAMBORN (R), COLORADO: Quoting from the unclassified portion, which I believe has not yet been made public, they say, quote "DIA assesses with moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So which is it? It's kind of the most important question in the world right now. Joining me right now, Republican Congressman Peter King, he sits on the House Intelligence and Home Land Security Committees. Good to see you, Congressman. Whom do you believe here, Congressman Lamborn or the White House? REPRESENTATIVE PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Well, Congressman Lamborn was quoting from the report. But I think as you go on in that report and also based on what others have said in the administration and the intelligence community, I don't believe that North Korea has the ability to accurately deliver a missile.
You know, they may have -- they may have mastered militarization, but they still need to be concerned about stabilization and vibration as it leaves the atmosphere, re-enters the atmosphere. I don't believe they can send a stabilized missile to a target.
Now having a nuclear weapon is dangerous enough, but as far as being able to deliver a missile, I don't believe they can. You know, we don't know for certain. All we really know is they cannot do it yet.
BURNETT: Are you concerned about our intelligence at all though? You know, when you have the White House saying one thing, a DIA assessment saying another. Now I know that is part of how intelligence works. You get different assessments and you try to figure out what the bottom line is from that.
But, you know, we've heard from the former CIA agents that they're not confident at all in the intelligence that we have coming out of North Korea. Obviously, the Pentagon says, look, we are confident. But are you worried that we might not know?
KING: Well, it is really two things. One as far as intelligence coming out of North Korea itself, I mean, really it is a black hole for intelligence. It's very difficult to get any sort of human intelligence out of North Korea.
As far as knowing, you know, the missile delivery system that can be done through analysis and observation. So I would put them in two separate categories, missile intelligence and actual intelligence as to what Kim Jong-Un is planning and plotting.
I think based on the scientific evidence, even the DIA, in its reports, what it was saying is they still don't believe that they can accurately deliver a missile.
BURNETT: At least, you know, some people obviously are worried about that. I'm trying to understand exactly where we stand. You know, the National Security advisor, Tom Donilon, recently drew a red line, and here is where it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS DONILON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The United States will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state, nor will we stand by while it seeks to develop a nuclear missile that can target the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: But then Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said something pretty different last week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY: They have nuclear capacity now. They have missile delivery capacity now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And then, of course, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs said the KN-08 missile, which North Korea supposedly has could reach Alaska and Hawaii. Haven't they passed the red line that Tom Donilon drew?
KING: I would say probably not. The reason I'm saying, they're getting very close to it because I don't believe that they can deliver a nuclear weapon through a missile. They definitely have nuclear weapons. I think those nuclear weapons could be, for instance, brought into the United States by ship.
They could be brought into South Korea through tunnels. So they -- and can probably be used against countries such as Japan. So, yes, they do have nuclear weapons. They are not yet a long range threat to us, but you know, that day is getting closer and closer.
BURNETT: North Korea says they're going to start a nuclear war if Japan tries to shoot down the test missile as Japan indicated it would do. But, you know, they test missiles. The whole point of that, right, is to improve your technology. So one day you can hit the United States.
You can hit Guam. You can hit Hawaii. Should the U.S. let North Korea go ahead and do the test that we believe they can do imminently or should the United States say, you said you couldn't do it, we're going to shoot it down if you do.
KING: My thought is shoot it down except for this, if the missile is going to land in the ocean. We can also get intelligence from that missile. So that is something we factor in. Japan sees it as a threat to it then obviously Japan has the right to shoot it down.
I think we have to decide do we get more out of shooting it down or is it better to have it land in the ocean in the water and then we can use that for our intelligence purposes.
BURNETT: Thanks very much, Peter King, appreciate your time tonight.
All right, well, OUTFRONT now, Retired Colonel Cedric Leighton and former intelligence officer for the Joint Chiefs and David Kang, director of the Korean Studies Institute at the University of Southern California.
All right, good to have both of you with us. David, you just heard Congressman King. He said that, you know, had a little pause there at the end of the interview saying my instinct would be shoot down a North Korean missile. But we have to decide if we don't shoot it down, you know, you might get more intelligence out of it if it lands in the water and learn about where they are in the process. What is the right thing to do?
DAVID KANG, KOREAN STUDIES INSTITUTE, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Well, my sense is that the decision will be based on where the missile actually goes like Representative King says.
One of the questions is if we try and shoot it down and we miss, it looks a lot worse than if we don't try at all. Many of our missile systems haven't been tested in real world situations.
I'm not sure that we want to use this one as the first time. But that's a decision that's got to be made by the military.
BURNETT: All right, that's an interesting point, but you actually make me more scared. If we don't want to do it on a test because we're scared to look bad if we miss, I mean, what about when someone does it for real and we've never actually tested one an interceptor?
KANG: Yes, well, I think the issue is in a sense like, you know, it's not necessarily to be scared because they can't -- they haven't proven the ability to hit the United States yet. The issue is actually how we're actually going to deter them when they have the capability already to destroy Seoul and Tokyo?
So having a missile that works doesn't really affect the deterrence equation because we already have been telling them if they actually attack us, we will take them out. So in many ways, deterrence is quite stable. So I don't think there's that much reason to be worried.
BURNETT: That's an interesting point. You're saying, look, you know, they don't want to be wiped out. They know that would happen. But currently the White House says North Korea doesn't have the nuclear missile delivery, right?
I mean, obviously in contrast to the Pentagon report, which says that they do. Congressman King says they're getting closer and closer. But do you have confidence in the intelligence that the United States has or is there risk the U.S. is standing by while North Korea walks over that red line?
COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON, USAF (RETIRED), NORTH KOREAN INTELLIGENCE EXPERT: There's a big risk, Erin. And the reason I say that is because when you look at the fact that our human intelligence as Congressman King mentioned is basically a black hole when it comes to North Korea, we do have very good technical intelligence on certain aspects.
But the problem is judging intent. And when you can't judge the intent, then it becomes very hard to determine exactly where they're going in terms of red lines in this nuclear case. So in this particular situation, I am concerned that we're going to miss some major indicators although we've been watching the North for over 50 years. It becomes very important to be very careful with how we assess this and to be very careful in how we tell our national leaders what is really going on there.
BURNETT: And, Colonel, you know, the former CIA analyst, Sumi Terry, wrote in "The Wall Street Journal" today, you know, referring to the appeasement that's happened over the years as she termed it.
You know, Bill Clinton saying, all right, when North Korea acted up, well, if you back down, we'll give you food aid. We'll give you some money. And then George Bush, after they got a nuclear weapon, taking the country off the terror sponsor list and giving them more food aid.
And she writes, quote, "Mr. Obama should ignore the appeasement advice relenting now and giving Kim what he wants. Diplomatic concessions will only invite more dangerous behavior as it has in the past."
She acknowledges that could mean that you could really get to the brink, but is she right? There should be no concessions.
LEIGHTON: You have to be careful with that. Obviously, diplomacy involves concessions and doing things that may not be palatable to a domestic political constituency. But the problem we have here is that North Korea is playing both to the international constituency, us and the other parts of the six power agreement with North Korea, you know, the nuclear piece that we're dealing with there.
But we're also having a domestic constituency there and that is whether Kim Jong-Un is able to maintain his power. What he is trying to do is really create a situation where he solidifies the power base within the military and shows that he is strong against the United States.
And, of course, those goals on the North Korean side are antithetical to any goals on the U.S. side to keep them from a nuclear power.
BURNETT: All right, thank you both very much. We appreciate it. Of course, that missile launch anticipated really imminently could happen over the weekend. We're not sure.
Well, still to come, the dictator's wife. What we now know about the woman behind Kim Jong-Un.
Plus, a teenage girl allegedly raped and harassed takes her own life and we have a major development in the case we've been reporting on tonight.
A German hacker says he can hijack a plane using nothing but his cell phone. Do his claims add up?
And our shoutout of the night, this is great for a Friday. A tiny dog beats the ultimate police.
BURNETT: The world waits and watches to see what North Korea is going to do and whether that missile will launch tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, the North Koreans are celebrating, preparing for the country's biggest holiday of the year, which is the birthday of its founding father, Kim Il-Sung.
Kyung Lah is in Seoul tonight. Kyung, what's happening in North Korea right now?
KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, every report that we're getting out of North Korea and this is primarily out of Pyongyang, is that the country is preparing for the 101st birthday of Kim Il-Sung, the founder of North Korea.
We're hearing that it is festive inside. The people are planting trees and flowers and everyone is quite cheery for North Korea and that they are even inviting visitors in from around the world, the visitors they accept as well as preparing for the Pyongyang International Marathon.
International as North Korea can get. So we're certainly getting this feeling that it's not like a war inside. That they're not preparing for a fight, but this is exactly the opposite of what North Korea is saying, telling the world that they want to launch thermal nuclear war on the peninsula as well as telling foreigners all over the peninsula both inside North Korea and outside North Korea to try to get out of Korea.
So, Erin, very much the typical North Korean game, what they're doing and saying quite the opposite.
BURNETT: That's pretty amazing. They're getting ready for this party and everyone there is celebrating, but there are some military preparations going on, right, that you found out about?
LAH: Yes, you are absolutely right. I actually want to turn your attention to this video that is quite rare. We don't see this all the time. This was captured along the North Korean-Chinese border.
What you're seeing there are helicopters and paratroopers running through these drills. Something we don't see shot from the outside looking in of North Korea so North Korea certainly keeping this military first posture quite high.
And that's also something, Erin, that we're seeing throughout the region, even though the United States and Secretary Kerry says that they're trying to lower the temperatures. The military posture remains quite high here.
BURNETT: Wow. That video is pretty amazing. Kyung, thank you very much. Reporting from Seoul tonight. And now our second story, OUTFRONT, the woman behind the man, as we heard Peter King say earlier, a lot of our intelligence about North Korea and its new leader, Kim Jong-Un is like a big black hole.
But Anna Coren has been able to gather some really fascinating information about one of the most fascinating people out there, Kim's wife.
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sometimes seen, never heard. The lady in red is Comrade Ri Sol-Ju, introduced to the North Korean people as Kim Jong-Un's wife last July. Seen here touring a new pleasure center, always a differential step behind the great leader.
PHILIP YUN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PLOUGHSHARES FUND: It was very little publicly known. I know that there were some reports that he had been married in 2009. There is speculation that he might even have a child.
COREN: Analysts say that introducing Ri Sol-Ju serves several purposes for the regime. It shows that the Kim dynasty is already thinking about his next generation and it helps Kim Jong-Un come across as more personable and connected to the people. But at the same time, it gives the 28 or 29-year-old leader an aura of maturity.
YUN: I think that announcing his marriage sort of just validates the fact that he is really a person who is an adult and can handle whatever it is that North Korea has coming at it in the futures.
COREN: Of Ri Sol-Ju's background, little is known. Though some reports say she is the daughter of an academic. The South Korean media has been rife with rumors that she is now a mother, especially after she and Kim attended a concert at which the Johnny Matis song, "When a Child is Born" was performed.
But in the country when most people struggle to avoid hunger, she has no shortage of designer outfits. In fact, she's been seen clutching what appears to be a Dior designer handbag at official outings, a brand selling for more than $1,000 south of the demilitarized zone, but unattainable to nearly every citizen in her own country. Anna Coren, CNN, Seoul.
BURNETT: Dennis Rodman said he saw pictures of that baby and said it was a little girl. Still to come, a major development in the case of a teenage girl who took her own life after being allegedly raped and harassed.
Plus, President Obama releases his tax returns. We went through them and we found something.
And a popular television program airs an episode about a school shooting. The families of Newtown, some of them are very upset. It's still too soon.
BURNETT: Our third story tonight, case reopened. Police have announced they are going to reopen the investigation into the alleged rape of Rehtaeh Parson, the 17-year-old from Canada who committed suicide after photos of the alleged assault circulated among her classmates.
Now police say they have new and credible information about the case that previously ended without criminal charges. The lack of an arrest was one of the reasons her mother says Rehtaeh was so struggling emotionally. Paula Newton is OUTFRONT.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bullying needs to stop.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There seemed little solace for some at this vigil, lighting candles, they tried to comfort one another. But in remembering Rehtaeh Parsons, they just couldn't forget how she'd been let down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just really wish the people would have stood up for her. More people should have fought for her and they didn't. And everybody who didn't should be ashamed.
NEWTON: The 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parson died last week after trying to hang herself. The Canadian teen's family said she was raped by four boys in 2011 and then humiliated and bullied after a photo of the allege incident was texted to high school classmates. Canada's prime minister echoed the outrage of many.
STEPHEN HARPER, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: As a parent of a teenage daughter, I mean, it's just -- you're just sickened.
NEWTON: He went on to say that it's clear some bullying may now be crossing the line into criminal activity. In this time of reflection and rage, politicians, justice, and school officials are admitting they needed to do more.
MALINDA DAYE, HALIFAX REGIONAL SCHOOL BOARD: And it just cannot go on anymore. Somebody has to stop this. We have to stop this. We hold accountable positions.
NEWTON: This online petition adds thousands of supporters daily demanding criminal charges be filed and more. That people stop using words and deeds on social media as weapons of so-called social assassination.
SHERRI BAIN, PETITION ORGANIZER: It's too late for Rehtaeh. You know, she's gone. But what we can do is take a look at how we failed her and make sure that doesn't happen for any other children.
(END VIDEOTAPE) NEWTON: Rehtaeh's funeral will be held this weekend and her family tells CNN that although it has been an incredibly painful few days, they are comforted by the fact that justice officials may yet file criminal charges and that so many now realize the pain their daughter endured. Paula Newton, CNN, Ottawa.
BURNETT: We continue to follow that story. There is also another case similar to Rehtaeh's in California that I wanted to tell you about today. Police arrested three teenage boys in the alleged sexual assault of a girl named Audrey Pott. She is 15 years old. She committed suicide after pictures of that attack were posted online.
Still to come, it's being called an abortion clinic horror. How did it happen and why isn't it being reported? We have a special report from A to Z on this story.
Plus a German hacker claims he can hijack a plane using only a cell phone, but do his claims add up?
And tonight's shoutout, a wild police chase in Hawaii caught on camera. The suspect, a Chihuahua. Traffic cameras in Honolulu spotted the dog running along one of the busiest highways in the state.
Police officers gave chase as you can see. They tried to corner the little guy, but he kept getting away. Guy tried to get out of the truck. He kept getting away. He kept getting away.
This is what happened as a result of what you saw, that was the morning rush hour in Honolulu and it was pretty painful. Then 20 minutes later, that means the traffic was probably over an hour, the dog surrendered. So tonight, we give a shoutout to this little guy who so briefly outsmarted so many humans.
BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT. On a Friday, we start with stories we care about where we focus on our reporting from the front lines. So tonight, we begin with the president's taxes.
His 2012 federal tax return came out today. He and Michelle paid $112,000 in taxes on adjusted gross income of $609,000. So that puts the effective tax rate for the Obama's at 18.4 percent. Pretty low and frankly almost competitive with Mitt Romney's rate in 2011 at 14.1 percent.
Now, NYU professor Daniel Shaviro tells us three main deductions were responsible for the president's low rate, state and local taxes, home mortgage interest and the $150,000 the Obama's donated to charity. Maybe there is a reason he doesn't want to take away the home interest deductions.
Well, it was a rough day for Carnival Cruise Lines. Its ship Fascination has failed CDC inspections and what inspectors found onboard was anything but fascinating. Maybe it was in gruesome way. Flies, some roach -- is that a baby roach? And the absence of a sneeze guard at the salad bar.
The ship which was generally inspected during unannounced visits twice a year failed. In a statement to OUTFRONT, Carnival says all violations will be resolved within 24 hours and say it's the first time that a Carnival ship has failed in the past five years.
Now, tensions rise in North Korea. There's a call to strengthen American diplomacy. In a "Washington Post" editorial that really got my attention today. Experts say the United States president are weakening the foreign service by making political appointments instead of filling positions with people with expertise, career diplomats. They say the share of top leadership positions filled by diplomats has plunged from 61 percent to 24 percent.
As we reported on this show, about a third of current ambassadors are political appointees made by President Obama.
Well, an update on the conflict in Mali. According to a new report from Doctors without Borders, 70,000 refugees who fled the violence in Mali had been met with appalling conditions at a camp in the Mauritarian desert. In January, there were four toilets for 12,000 people. The recommended minimum is one per 20. Now they don't use toilets in the same way in these camps. But even so, that was abysmal.
A lot of people are getting sick. Waters also in short supply. We reached out to the U.N. refugee agency who set up the camp and haven't yet heard back.
It has been 617 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?
Well, the market continued its bullish climb, rising 2 percent for the week, just shy of hitting 15,000 on the Dow for the first time in history.
And now our fourth story OUTFRONT: abortion doctor on trial. This is a disturbing story.
A once respected Philadelphia physician is on trial tonight for murder. Dr. Kermit Gosnell is accused of killing seven infants and a 41-year-old woman while performing illegal late-term abortions. Investigators describe the doctor's practice as a, quote, "House of Horrors".
And as our Deb Feyerick reports, this is a case with allegation that's truly are unimaginable.
DEB FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Women's Medical Society seemed ordinary, a neighborhood clinic serving poor women in West Philadelphia. But prosecutors say it was a mill for illegal abortions, at least seven babies allegedly delivered prematurely then killed with a scissors, a snip to the spinal cord.
Seth Williams is the district attorney.
SETH WILLIAMS, PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: It was a house of horrors. Beyond any type of definition and explanation I can humbly try to give.
FEYERICK: The accused is a once respected physical on trial for the murder of seven infants, plus the murder of a 41-year-old woman who overdosed on an anesthetics he allegedly gave her.
Seventy-two-year-old Kermit Gosnell was not board certified, as either an obstetrician nor as a gynecologist.
Latoya Ransom is one of Gosnell's patients. She describes his office.
LATOY RANSOME, FORMER GONSELL PATIENT: I seen blood on the table that he had the utensils on.
FEYERICK: Police have been investigating him for illegally selling prescription painkillers. The price list shows Gosnell charged less than $2,000 to end pregnancies up to 24 weeks. The grand jury found in a 40-year career, he and the under-credited assistants who worked for him may have killed hundreds of viable fetuses. He allegedly destroyed most of his files.
JOHN MCMAHON, GONSELL ATTORNEY: We should look back and see if the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt proves he did these things.
FEYERICK: Gosnell is facing the death penalty.
For OUTFRONT, Deborah Feyerick, New York.
BURNETT: And the story continues. I mean they're saying on some of the instrument that's the women who went in that clinic came out with gonorrhea and Chlamydia. One of the former workers said that when she had to kill a child that was viable, his face hadn't been fully formed, she heard a scream like an alien. It is unimaginable.
And the story came to my attention on Twitter this week. Some of you said look at this story. And frankly, it hasn't gotten much attention in the media at all it seems. A lot of people are asking why.
I want to bring in CNN contributors Reihan Salam and Donna Brazile, as well as Irin Carmon, a staff writer at "Salon" who covers women's reproductive issues and politics.
Great to have all of you with us.
Reihan, why do you think this is the case, recently, this case, and the grand jury as he's gone to trial, has not gotten coverage?
REIHAN SALAM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think there are many reasons. One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of folks who cover reproductive rights have actually been aware of the story for while.
SALAM: Yet, it hasn't made it to the front page. I think there are a lot of reasons. Think about the story of Amanda Knox, the young woman accused of murder in Italy. That got saturation coverage. Think of our own poop ship, think about these stories that resonate for whatever reason because they connect to people.
And I think what we have here is a situation which low income, poor, extremely vulnerable women were just not considered much of a story. They were failed by multiple local and state agencies. They were even failed by organizations that are devoted to reproductive rights that are trying to protect women.
And I think it's a very good thing that a lot of activists on the pro-life side as well as activists on the pro-choice side said, wait a second, these women matter. Their lives matter and we need to cover this story.
BURNETT: Irin, let me ask you about this, because there are many people out there as you're aware on the right who are saying, look, pro-choice people on the left who aren't covering the story, because they're pro-choice and this hurts their agenda. It's such an awful, horrific thing. It will make people more averse to abortion. That's bad for them. So, they're not covering it.
What do you say to those people as someone who reports on this issue?
IRIN CARMON, STAFF WRITER, SALON.COM: Well, I would tell them, you know, come on down. We're talking about health disparities all the time. We're talking about the fact that the reason that women went to this clinic is because they did not have -- they felt they didn't have an alternative. Even though abortion is legal, it cannot be covered by Medicaid.
As a result, even though, you know, abortion is safer and cheaper when it takes place early in gestation, these women felt they had no choice but to go to an unsafe provider. Again this is a story about health care.
BURNETT: About 2011, this began. A lot of people in your line of work did cover.
BURNETT: As Reihan said it did not make the front page.
CARMON: And I would also --
BURNETT: Is this a left-right divide?
CARMON: In fact, I think it did make the front page. The grand jury report came out in 2011, there was tons of coverage. Honestly, people who are not familiar with the case, I don't know where you've been. The case just started. There was a gag order in between where the lawyers were not allowed to talk to the media.
So, there's lots of reasons why people weren't covering it. I don't think it's a left-right issue because FOX News wasn't covering it. Conservative politicians started talking about it this week.
BURNETT: OK. Let me bring that part up, the FOX News part. According to a source we did, there were only four national radio and television transcripts which mentioned Gosnell's name more than three times, which is a little bit than Irin was saying. But that is all we could find, two from FOX News and two from NPR.
That does make the argument that this isn't only on the right, obviously. More like it's not being covered by anyone.
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That is correct. The "Philadelphia Inquirer" had over 300 stories in their press.
BURNETT: So, the local Philadelphia press did cover it.
BRAZILE: And also in terms of the pro-choice groups, Kate Michelman (ph), the chair emeritus of the National Abortion Rights to Action League. She also wrote about this story and why this was a very important story. So, I think people have tried to bring it up to the national level.
But, of course, as you well know, maybe it's not as sensational as some people believe it should be. I think when desperate women seek out, you know, help and they have so few options, poor women in particular and they are forced to go to someone like this provider, it should cry out for us to talk about abortion laws. It is after all a medical procedure and it should be regulated as a medical producer.
BURNETT: Donna, do you reject the argument made by many on the right? I mean, as you know, all you have to do today is go on Twitter and go on the blogosphere, and the allegation is there. They say the mainstream media and those who are pro-choice have ignored this story because it makes abortion look horrific.
BRAZILE: You know, of course, I reject that because your own evidence demonstrates that. The mainstream right-wing media with all of their various platforms online and other places, Breitbart was only online institution that covered it.
Look, this was a failure. This was a horrible, grisly story. And Irin is right, there was -- there was a gag order issued. We should all acknowledge that this story has not been on the national radar by either the left or the right.
BURNETT: All right. On that issue of the gag order, which Irin mentioned. Let me show you this picture Reihan and for everyone to see. This was taken by a reporter for Phillyburbs.com. This is the media section of the courtroom. You can see what I can see. I know cameras are not allowed in. That means you're not going to have cameramen sitting there. But that is -- that is not coverage, right? That's not people who are in there bringing a camera and there is a gag order. There is no one there.
SALAM: Look, I mean, there are certain trials that receive saturation coverage. There are certain incidents that receive saturation coverage because they seem to speak to a larger national issue. If you look at the Trayvon Martin incident, for example, it's something --
BURNETT: But doesn't this speak to one of the largest national issues --
SALAM: Of course, it does. That's exactly right. It absolutely does.
And I think that, you know, it's very good thing that there's with some specialists on the issues who tackle them. I think it's silly to say that everyone is culpable.
But it is absolutely true that there are some stories that resonate and we all have to ask ourselves, why didn't this resonate? Why haven't we had that kind of saturation coverage that we have for the other stories that we decide are more compelling. That is a real concern.
BRAZILE: Trayvon Martin resonated on Twitter, as well. Trayvon Martin resonated on Twitter.
BURNETT: Well, the same as this story. That's a very good point.
BRAZILE: And once it became a national story, then we started to have a conversation about it.
SALAM: And I think that's a good thing. I think that actually speaks well to the way grassroots folks can influence the stories that get covered. I think people have a voice and it's an improvement.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much. I appreciate all of you taking the time. Hopefully answering a lot of the questions some of you out there asking these questions, hopefully you got some answers to that tonight.
Well, a German hacker says he has developed an app to hijack a commercial jet liner in flight with nothing but a cell phone. It's a terrifying idea, like something like from a movie.
But does it add up? Tom Foreman has a special report OUTFRONT.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The new Android app called PlaneSpoilt allegedly exploits a security weakness, mimicking a ground based navigation system and sending false information to planes in flight. By manipulating the data stream, a user can change instrument displays, make oxygen masks drop or take over the autopilot.
At least that is what the inventor Hugo Teso suggests.
HUGO TESO, SECURITY CONSULTANT: You could also at a certain level gain some control on where the airplane is going, if it's up, down, turning, these kinds of things could be done.
FOREMAN: Teso who is a pilot and security consultant says he's trying to warn the aviation community about a potential danger. But many do not believe he can do what he says because of two key problems.
Problem one, Teso's invention has so far been demonstrated only on a flight simulation program. The Federal Aviation Administration and European officials say cracking into the controls of a real airplane is much more difficult. Therefore, a hacker cannot obtain full control of an aircraft.
Even Teso admits that.
TESO: None of our applications and code can be used against a real airplane. We did that purpose for security reasons.
FOREMAN: He also admits to problem two, at any time on any plane subjected to such an attack, the pilot can override the hacker. Simply turning off the autopilot and taking control again. That's why aviation experts are widely greeting this news of a hijacking app with a yawn.
JEFF PRICE, PROF. OF AVIATION MANAGEMENT, MSU DENVER: Well, if he's able to hack into an actual flight management system onboard an aircraft, that would pose a risk. But so far, all he's done is hacked into a PC.
FOREMAN (on camera): So, on your next flight, keep your seat belt fastened and tray table locked. But don't worry about the guy on the phone. He maybe playing Angry Birds but he is probably not flying the plane -- Erin.
BURNETT: Thanks to you, Tom.
Still to come, a popular television program airs an episode about a school shooting. Is it too soon?
Plus, Margaret Thatcher's death continues to divide Britain. Critics are using a 75-year-old song to tear her down.
BURNETT: All right. Anderson Cooper with a look at what's coming up on "A.C. 360".
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Erin. Our lead our story is a story you've covered. We're going to have much more on the story that you just cover, this man, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who run an abortion clinic in Philadelphia. His criteria for taking patients wasn't the life or health of the mother, it was cash and whether the women could pay.
There were plenty complaints, warning signs missed and yet state regulators did nothing year after year. Dr. Gosnell, as you know, is now on trial, facing eight counts of murder and the death penalty if convicted. We'll have more of that with the writer and director of a documentary about the clinic and a lead reporter for "The Philadelphia Inquirer."
Also ahead tonight, North Korea continuing its war of words, warning that if provoke, Tokyo would be, quote, "consumed in nuclear flames." Secretary of State John Kerry is in South Korea right now. We'll go live there for a report on the U.S. response. All that at the top of the hour and more, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Anderson, we'll see you in just a few minutes.
And now our fifth story OUTFRONT: too soon after the Sandy Hook shooting?
"Glee's" latest episode which aired last night centered around a shooting inside a high school.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's get started.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone spread out and hide. Over there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The images of students crying, running and scrambling for cover were too much for some residents of Newtown.
Here's Andrew Paley, the father of two boys who survived the December shooting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW PALEY, RESIDENT OF NEWTOWN, CONNECTICUT: We're in a healing process here in Newtown. And it's too soon for those of us so close to what happened on 12/14 that it would have reopened wounds that we're trying to heal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Some in Newtown, though, have a different view. The boyfriend of one of the teachers who died at the Sandy Hook shooting wrote on Facebook, "As long as it keeps the subject in the public's mind, I'm all for it."
OUTFRONT tonight, political comedian Dean Obeidallah, CNN contributor L.Z. Granderson, and Michael Medved, a conservative commentator for Salem Radio.
Michael, let me start with you. Was it too soon?
MICHAEL MEDVED, SALEM RADIO: No. I mean, first of all, it's been months. Secondly, the Newtown families are on TV virtually every day talking about the issue of gun control.
I think that, look, what "Glee" does is they try to engage what is on the public's mind. This issue is in the public's mind. I think the one thing I object to about the way they handled it is they go from the school shooting to the idea of gun control.
And, again, this notion that somehow there is some direct connection between law abiding firearms owners and incidents like the one dramatized in "Glee" or the one in Newtown I think is specious and very manipulative.
BURNETT: That's interesting. It is a fair point there is no legislation out there that is past since that would have prevented Adam Lanza from that shooting.
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, POLITICAL COMEDIAN: You know, but going back --
MEDVED: Not even close.
OBEIDALLAH: We'll talk about the "Glee" episode itself. To me, it could have been more insensitive if they had sung the song's "Annie, Get Your Gun" or "Jannie, Get Your Gun" from Aerosmith.
It was ridiculous, honestly, in that you have to watch the episode. Reading about it is not enough. Reading about it is not enough. They have children cowering. Students cowering in the class. The teachers are saying things -- I love you, just like the teacher in Newtown did.
BURNETT: You feel like it was reenactment. They haven't mentioned Newtown. But it was a direct --
OBEIDALLAH: To me, it's exploited. Believe me, I'm someone from the entertainment industry, I understand why. This is not "Law & Order," this show. This is a comedy/drama show.
And they're just showing it to get ratings and it did bump up 20 percent last night. So it worked.
L.Z. GRANDERSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I don't think that's necessarily fair. I don't think they did that just for ratings. If you look at the history of the show, they always address the socially controversial (ph) issues. They've talked about abortion. They've about teen suicide. They've about coming out and bullying. So this is the lexicon of the things they write about. I thought the episode was actually pretty tastefully done. It was suspenseful, but you did not see any violence.
OBEIDALLAH: I feel so bad for the parents. Any Newtown parents watching their kids making their last videos of their loved ones on the phone, I can only think of them, the parents.
BURNETT: There was the father you heard from earlier also spoke about what upset him specifically about yesterday's episode. Michael, let me just play what he said. There's something in here I want you to hear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PALEY: What's really upsetting is that no one, none of the producers reached out to Newtown to let the residents close to this know that this episode was airing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Michael, shouldn't they at least have done that?
MEDVED: I don't really believe so. First of all, this is about high school skills, it's not about tiny elementary school kids. It's a different setting entirely.
Look, the truth is, we've had a whole bunch of other school shootings, and the knifing that took place at the community college in Texas. There was another school shooting today in Virginia.
So, the idea that permanently, the families who, of course, everyone feels terrible for them, I'm sorry they've suffered so much. But there's been intent by some of the family members to control the dialogue.
And I think that's impossible on something like this that really is a national tragedy, and it's become a very big national issue.
BURNETT: L.Z., do you think there's something also to the fact of what Dean said, which is that they then turn to a conversation after this scene, to gun control? That they would be using "Glee," watched by a lot of people with a lot of points of view into something that's pushing one political point of view?
GRANDERSON: Well, "Glee" is a very liberal show. I mean, it's a left-leaning show. You sort of expected that to be the next part of the conversation.
And when you read the reports, you know they plan on revisiting this plot line for the remaining four episodes of the season. So, I suspect that we're just beginning to see some of the ways that the writers as well as Ryan Murphy feels about this conversation.
But with that being said, that is also reflective of larger society. We also in the real world started talking about gun control soon after the tragedy. So, I don't think that's out of the norm either.
BURNETT: All right. I got --
MEDVED: I think our politicians jumped in. And basically, this is what I hate. I hate --
GRANDERSON: Not just politicians, though.
BURNETT: All right. Quick, Michael, and then we've got to go.
MEDVED: Including the president of the United States led the conversation in that direction.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks to all three of you. Have a good weekend.
Every night we take a look outside the day's top stories. For something we call the OUTFRONT "Outtake". Days after her death, the tributes have continued to pour in for Margaret Thatcher, including an emergency session of the British parliament, held just so members were paying their respects.
But that's not what all of them did. Some of them boycotted the public remembrance and a lot of people in Britain have taken to the streets to openly celebrate Margaret Thatcher's death -- drinking champagne, burning pictures and dancing to the Wizard of Oz song's "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead", currently the number one song in the British charts.
That is right, more than seven decades after it first appeared in the Wizard of Oz, Thatcher's critics have organized enough so that not a lot of people could buy a lot of copies of the song and get it to number one, and secure four or five seconds of replay on the BBC radio's weekly music show. Of course, there's something unseemly about celebrating the death of a person.
What surprised us the most is the emotion displayed by the Brits this week. For years, we thought you were proper, uptight, stoic. And frankly, this behavior outside of a football caught us a little off-guard.
I mean, it's America that's supposed to be big and brass and have a heart on its sleeve, do inappropriate things. Yet, when we stop to think about it, it might be the Yanks who are the less exciting people.
Let me go back to parliament for a moment where it began.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Speaker, first of all, the business secretary called the Conservative European policy crackpot and absurd.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Yelling, screaming, real emotion. Just compare it to how our lawmakers act here in the U.S.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's clear is that the Republicans are hell-bent on spending just for its own sake, no matter how mindless or senseless. We know the economy is slowly rebounding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: They're so bored with each other, that the rooms are empty when they present their pie charts and arguments.
Britain may have lost one of its former leaders. But has America lost its fire?
The essay is next. The reason people on all seven continents are having a party on this Friday night.
BURNETT: Three hundred celebrations in more than 50 different countries on every other continent are happening right now. Why? It's Yuri's Night. On this day in 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space. His 108 minutes orbiting Earth paved the way for all the rockets and shuttles and space stations since. And every year since 2001, thousands around the world have gathered to celebrate his flight on Yuri's Night.
A lot of people in the U.S. have never heard of it, because even though Yuri's flight was a huge breakthrough for all of mankind, America tends to celebrate Americans, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin. Even though there are space agencies in more than 20 countries around the world and there is something called the International Space Station, many Americans think of everything as just NASA.
And that's too bad, because in a time when most of the rocket related stories are talk about nuclear attacks, it's nice to know that people from many countries are celebrating the accomplishments of one man who made so much possible for so many.
"A.C. 360" starts now.