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Report: China Hacks U.S. Weapons Systems; Cruise Passengers Describe "Terrifying" Ordeal; Setback for Defense in Zimmerman Trial

Aired May 28, 2013 - 19:00   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, America's defense compromised. According to a report, Chinese cyber spies breached more than two dozen American weapons systems.

Plus, an inferno at sea, yesterday's cruise ship had passengers scrambling for safety. What was it like in their own words tonight?

And a major setback for George Zimmerman's defense. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good to see you tonight. I'm Brooke Baldwin sitting in for Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, America's most advance weapons hacked by the Chinese. According to this report that was obtained by the "Washington Post," Chinese hackers have breached more than two dozen American weapons systems that are essential to our national defense.

Among them, you have the FA-18 fighter jet, the combat trip, the Aegis ballistic missile defense system and the advanced patriot missile batteries. U.S. defense and other officials, they're downplaying the report saying that some of the information is dated. But if Chinese cyber spies are able to obtain some of America's most sensitive weapons technology, isn't that a national security concern?

OUTFRONT with me tonight, we have Colonel Cedric Leighton. He is a former Joint Staff at the Pentagon and a national security analyst. Welcome to you. And Kevin Mandia is a top cyber security expert who did a separate report this year on Chinese military hackers. So gentlemen, welcome.

Colonel Leighton, let me just begin with you because, you know, from everything I have read, the biggest fear here, obviously, if in fact this is all true is the Chinese stealing, stealing our sensitive information about the specific weapons systems and then if and when there's a conflict, they would inherently have an edge. I want you to tell me how much of an edge they would have.

COLONEL CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RETIRED), NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Brooke, it's very, you know, it's hard to say exactly how that edge would manifest itself, but if you start going in to each of these weapons systems, the ones you outlined plus a whole dozen other weapons systems that are on this list, you could have a significant effect on the outcome of a future battle.

Because what you would do is go in to things like the source code for these weapons systems and all of them basically computer driven and at that particular point when you needed to, you could change the way that weapons system works potentially and if that happens a multitude of times, it could not only the outcome of individual battles, but it could possibly affect the outcome of a future conflict.

BALDWIN: So then the next question is, OK, what can the Pentagon do about this? Kevin to you because the crux of the public report, "The Washington Post" got their hands on the confidential report, but the crux of the public report is that the Pentagon is unprepared for a full-out cyber attack. Does that make you nervous?

KEVIN MANDIA, CEO, MANDIANT: You know, I know we're doing everything we can about it, but here's an unfortunate truth is that technology and how we advance our technology growing faster than how we advance the security and safeguards for that technology. So there always is a gap and we're never going to get it infinitesimal so there's always going to be some risk to cyber espionage.

BALDWIN: So it is that gap that perhaps is what the Chinese have, you know, seized upon. Colonel, back to you, let me just run through again just for our viewers who may not be familiar with these specific weapons systems.

As you mentioned, there are dozens of others, but specifically tonight we're talking about the F-35 joint strike fighter, the Blackhawk helicopter, which many of us are familiar with by just news, the FA-18 fighter jet and the Aegis ballistic missile defense system. How critical, sir, are these to our national defense?

LEIGHTON: Extremely critical. For example, let's take the joint strike fighter. That is really the quintessential new American weapons system for the first part of this century. It costs $1.4 trillion so far. It's been plagued by a bunch of cost overruns, but the reason for those cost overruns is because of many new added features to the aircraft plus it has to not only meet Air Force requirements, but also Marine an Navy requirements, as well.

And then there are the foreign requirements so the program costs a lot of money. Every time that something like this happens where the Chinese or others get in to the weapons system and hack in to the plans for that weapons system, it means that new plans have to be developed and those costs go up even further.

BALDWIN: So the thing is, you know, we know this, that the Chinese espionage, we are not breaking news here. I mean, this is not new. We know that the concern has surged. We know that the administration has expressed their concerns to Chinese governments.

So Kevin, let me end with you because reading this "Washington Post" piece, this is what the Chinese government insists he does not conduct cyber espionage on U.S. agencies or companies and the government spokesman often complained that Beijing is a victim of U.S. cyber attacks. So what more can the U.S. do?

MANDIA: Well, I think it's time to embrace that this is the new normal. The Chinese are going to constantly make these denials even though they have one of the most controlled internet presences on the planet so they're very well aware of what's going on coming out of their networks.

This is just it. We have to be mindful of the security gap we have. We got to keep closing the gap as fast as we can and we have to give the best fight we can. There's no single technical answer to solve this. There's going to be some diplomacy and some nontechnical ways to address the issues.

BALDWIN: Colonel, final thoughts beyond closing the gap, which is clearly key?

LEIGHTON: Well, it is absolutely key and I think what we also need to do is we need to make sure that we have the right policies in place and what that means is real national cyber strategy that actually takes into account everything that Kevin just said plus also develops a public and private partnership that we really don't have in this country like some other countries have and that's going to be the key to success in this area.

BALDWIN: OK, gentlemen, thank you so much. Colonel Cedric Leighton and Kevin Mandia, I appreciate it so much for coming OUTFRONT tonight. I appreciate it.

Still to come, explosions were heard as a cruise ship burst in to flames. Passengers aboard the ship, they share their stories tonight.

Plus, an American woman, a mother of seven, arrested in Mexico. The charge, smuggling 12 pounds of pot into the country, but do the charges really add up?

And a major setback for George Zimmerman's defense, what the jury will never get to see.


BALDWIN: Here we go. The second story OUTFRONT, harrowing tales of the inferno at sea. Tonight, passengers who were aboard Royal Caribbean's "Grandeur of the Sea" are flying home and they are describing to us what we're told was really a frightening ordeal when their ship caught fire early Monday morning. Passengers report hearing explosions and scenes of panic as they watched lifeboats being lowered into place.

Erin McPike is OUTFRONT in Baltimore where the passengers are finally heading home tonight. Erin, tell me what you've learned as far as the fire goes and where it started.

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, they don't know the cause yet of the fire. What they do know that it was in the mooring area of a deck on the back of the ship. What I talked to some engineers today and they say when there does happen to be a fire on a ship like this and sometimes they're common they tend to be in the kitchen of the ship or the engine room. But the place on the back of the deck was just not very usual and so it's undergoing an investigation right now. It is dry docked in the Bahamas and will be undergoing repairs there -- Brooke. BALDWIN: And then what about the passengers? What about -- let me get this number, the 2,224 passengers. What about Royal Caribbean's response in getting them home?

MCPIKE: They started chartering flights today. They had hoped to get all 11 of the chartered flights back in to Baltimore today. As far as we know, only two of the flights have made it in but the passengers on some of those flights seemed to be in good spirits when CNN talked to them earlier today -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Good, good. Erin McPike, thank you.

And Jennifer Dobson was a passenger on Royal Caribbean's "Grandeur of the Seas." She is back in Baltimore tonight. She joins me OUTFRONT. Jennifer, Jennifer, welcome home. Let me say that first and foremost. We're glad you're safe. Take me back to the moment when you were notified something was terribly wrong. What happened?

JENNIFER DOBSON, PASSENGER ON ROYAL CARRIBEAN'S "GRANDEUR OF THE SEAS": Yes. It was about 3:00, 2:45, 3:00 in the morning. Alarm starts going off. I wake up my husband. We look at each other like, is this really happening? Go out in the hallway. We were traveling with nine other people and we weren't given the opportunity to go knock on their doors and make sure they were getting up. We were just told to get upstairs.

The crew that was in the hallway outside our room was in their pajamas, gym shorts and no one quite knew what was going on yet. We run up to the muster station and it was just kind of surreal. I've been on a lot of cruises and have never had anything like that happen. And at one point, I looked over the side of the ship. I kind of got myself out of line and could see the water glowing from flames.


DOBSON: And I knew it wasn't a small flame to make it glow that much behind the boat so, got back in line. I saw them lower the lifeboats, prepare the lifeboats. They started instructing us on how we were going to board. They give you a seasickness pill before you get on board. I was pretty sure we were about to get off.

BALDWIN: So you end up hanging out in the Bahamas for a little bit until you're able to get out of there and head home. When you talk about the flames you see reflected in the water and then you get off the ship and you see what we have been showing, the charred boat and the windows just gone.


BALDWIN: Did you have any idea it was that bad?

DOBSON: It was crazy. The way they described it didn't seem that bad. The morning of, I went on the top deck to look over and see what I could see and didn't look that bad. Get off and it was just surreal. I can't believe we were on that boat. The fire started on three and that's where my room was. So, luckily we were mid ship and pretty far away from it. I met some other families that their room was destroyed and their things were not in good shape because that's where they fought the fire from.

BALDWIN: Jennifer, throughout this whole thing, how was the crew with you all?

DOBSON: Amazing.


DOBSON: I don't think I could have asked anything else of Royal Caribbean. They stayed calm. They brought us water. They brought us soda. They arranged for people to sit down if they needed to sit down. For four hours of standing on the side of the ship, I'm pretty sure the people in front of me were always smiling, answering questions. They took panicked passengers with ease. I couldn't say more about how they handled everything.

BALDWIN: That's wonderful. Just 10 seconds I have to ask. Are you going back, cruising again?

DOBSON: I will cruise again.

BALDWIN: Cruising again. Jennifer, thank you so much.

Still to come tonight, an Arizona mother in a Mexican jail tonight, accused of smuggling more than 12 pounds of marijuana. Her family says the whole thing, a big con job.

Plus, the latest of the London terror attack investigation. Did authorities have information that could have prevented that tragedy?

And wow. A newborn baby. Look at this. Found alive in a sewer pipe. We will show you more images from this dramatic rescue.


BALDWIN: Our third story OUTFRONT, an Arizona mother held in Mexico claims she's been framed. Yanira Maldonado is in a Mexican jail tonight accused of trying to smuggle more than 12 pounds of marijuana back in to the United States. But the thing is, her family says this whole thing is a huge mistake. And the pot found under her seat on a commercial bus, yes, they say that wasn't theirs.

Casey Wian is OUTFRONT tonight. And Casey, Maldonado was in court today. What happened?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're outside, Brooke, the family home in Goodyear, Arizona. No one's here because they're all trying to get Yanira Maldonado released from a Mexican jail. As you mentioned, there was a court hearing today. Been going on since 10:00 local time this morning. Four different witnesses we know of so far have testified at that court hearing.

The family was hoping that she might be released as early as today. Court officials say that's not going to happen because tomorrow, scheduled to testify, are the Mexican military personnel who apprehended Yanira and initially her husband, Gary. They're supposed to take the stand tomorrow and tell their side of the story.

Of course, Gary has made allegations that they were asked to pay a $5,000 bribe to Mexican officials to secure Yanira's release. He gathered that money up; by the time he got the money up, she was already shipped off to jail. One legal expert tells us this is just another example of Mexico's difficult struggles to try to reform its legal system.


GEORGE GRAYSON, PROFESSOR, COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY: It's quite typical. The court system, the judicial system there is even more corrupt than the police. And when you're brought in to a judicial proceeding, you don't get to face your accuser. You don't have an automatic right to a lawyer. You may be held before you're brought to trial for some weeks. And it's a closed proceeding. And the result is -- it really makes the inquisition appear like Judge Judy.

GARY MALDONADO, WIFE JAILED IN MEXICO: It's about getting money here. So, the military was only one there at the checkpoint. So from what I hear, that's a regular occurrence.


WIAN: Now, we are expecting a ruling on her future from that judge in Mexico by Friday. If he decides to hold her, this is really scary, Brooke. She could be held up to four months before trial.

BALDWIN: Yes, seems like in Mexico you are guilty until proven innocent. You are outside of the family home. What are they telling you? How optimistic are they?

WIAN: Well, they are optimistic. I'm in e-mail communication with family members who say that they're reading through interpreters of the court proceedings this morning is the prosecution's case is very weak. That according to the family. And of course, they say Yanira is absolutely in no way involved in drugs, so they're optimistic that she is going to be released. But as you mentioned, you just never know in Mexico.

BALDWIN: And finally, Casey, we were hearing today that, you know, this husband says that he had given or been asked to give this $5,000 in cash. And, of course, they're saying that she was absolutely set up. That she was framed. And in addition to that, a Mexican official agreeing. So what exactly would she have to prove?

WIAN: Well, what you've got to remember is that Mexican official who spoke to CNN who didn't want his name used expressing outrage and surprise that this case even has gotten this far. The Mexican judicial system operates in many different pockets. There are local officials, state officials and federal officials, and don't always agree. And there has been a long standing problem with corruption, bribes at every level of the Mexican judiciary. Officials have been trying to clean it up, but according to the family and according to some of the experts we've spoken with, this is an example of how it just hasn't happened so far.

BALDWIN: Casey Wian, thank you so much. We know you'll be following it for us.

Still to come tonight, George Zimmerman on the defense. A judge bars his legal team from introducing evidence that reveals a different side of Trayvon Martin.

Plus, a teenager in custody tonight after police found a supply of explosive devices hidden in the floorboards of his bedroom. What he was planning to do, and the strange excuse his parents have come up with.

Meantime tonight, shout-out. The view from inside a tornado. This video was shot by storm chasers Brandon Ivy and Shawn Casey. This was Monday afternoon in northern Kansas. Ivy said the tornado's wind speeds got up to 150, 175 miles per hour. Folks, that is EF-3 to EF-4 range for the tornado before the instruments were ripped off.

His specialized tornado intercept vehicle, that's what this thing is called. Here's what it looks like. One version visited our CNN headquarters in Atlanta, and as you can see, this thing is heavily armed, designed to withstand strong winds and flying debris.


BALDWIN: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT. Tonight, we start the second hour of our show with stories we care about, where we focus on our own reporting from the front lines.

So, beginning with this. One of two men wounded by police at the scene of that grisly attack on a British soldier was discharged from hospital today. A 22-year-old is now in police custody. The second man wounded, Michael Adebolajo, who was scene in this video here bloodied hands, meat cleaver in hand, remains is hospital under guard. Adebolajo was arrested in Kenya back in 2010 and known to British intelligence services, but that doesn't mean he was well-known. This is according to former CIA official Phil Mudd, who tells us the British face a substantial number of extremist threats.

Also tonight, a congressional committee subpoenaed the State Department for documents that led to the Benghazi talking points that were used to explain the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound. According Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, the State Department refused multiple requests to provide the communications amid the administration's other scandals. Law professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University tells us the Obama administration would be wise to turn over these documents to avoid the appearance of stonewalling.

Fast moving wildfire in California's Santa Barbara County scorched 1,800 acres - this is up from 1,000 acres Monday afternoon. U.S. Forest Service spokesman Andrew Madson tells us the flames are 10 percent contained and says nearly 900 personnel are in place to fight this fire. He also tells us the white fire, as authorities are calling it, is no longer threatening homes and has moved into the back country now of Los Padres National Forest.

U.S. home prices, they're seeing the biggest gains in seven years. New report shows that the S&P Case-Shiller national index rose 10.2 percent in the first quarter. But -- here's the but -- chief economist Stan Humphries of Zillow is cautious, telling us numbers in large metro areas with housing booms on one hand and foreclosures on the other skewed the numbers. He says the bottom line -- these appreciation rates will slow down.

Our fourth story OUTFRONT: a pretrial set back for George Zimmerman. A Florida judge overseeing this case against the neighborhood watchman is barring the defense from introducing some key evidence about Trayvon Martin at trial, including his familiarity with guns, previous marijuana use and his history of fighting. Zimmerman is accused of murdering the 17-year-old in February of 2012 and planned on using the information to back up his claims of self defense.

CNN's David Mattingly is OUTFRONT tonight in Sanford with the story.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Photographs of Trayvon Martin looking tough, flaunting an apparent fondness for marijuana and guns. They paint a disturbing even dangerous picture of a troubled teen.

But in spite of the threatening image they might project, these pictures won't help the man who killed him. Attorneys defending George Zimmerman failed to convince a judge these photos are vital in their arguments to a jury that Zimmerman killed Martin in self defense -- a pretrial victory for Martin's family.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: This information was not relevant. It was inadmissible. And so, we have to not let people get away with trying to pollute a jury pool.

MATTINGLY: But if potential jurors have seen the pictures in public, they will not be allowed to see them in court. Judge Debra Nelson also denied the introduction of Trayvon Martin's disciplinary records of school, text messages from his phone, possible evidence of prior drug use, nor his apparent interest in guns and fighting.

Defense attorney Mark O'Mara defended his decision to make the information public.

MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S ATTORNEY: The public opinion was swayed by a false presentation of this case way from the beginning, the defense had nothing to do with that. Actually, the state didn't have much to do with it. But the Martin family, through their handlers, presented a picture of Trayvon was and who George was that is wholly inaccurate and this evidence sort of shows that.

MATTINGLY: Jury selection is still two weeks away. What affect does now public image of Trayvon Martin might have on picking a jury remains to be seen. George Zimmerman chose not to attend the hearing. Afterward, his brother made a personal appeal to prosecutors.

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S BROTHER: I am calling on the state of Florida to do the right thing. The only just thing, what should have been done long ago -- I believe the time has come to withdraw the charge of murder in the second degree.


BALDWIN: And David Mattingly joins me tonight in Sanford. And when you look at the series of rejections that the judge handed the defense, it's easy to think that their job of defending Zimmerman just got harder. Is that the case?

MATTINGLY: Well, it does look that way, but when you talk to his defense attorney, Mark O'Mara, he says that he's actually feeling comfortable with the way things came out. The judge sent a message with all those rejections. She was saying she wants this trial to be about George Zimmerman's statements, his actions and the evidence that was gathered about that fatal encounter between him and Trayvon Martin that night in Sanford last year.

Mark O'Mara says if this ends up being about the facts and the trial -- facts in this case for this trial, he feels confident that the jury will go along with their belief that George Zimmerman was acting in self defense.

BALDWIN: OK. David Mattingly, thank you.

I want to continue the conversation because today's rulings was welcomed news to the family of Trayvon Martin and their attorney Benjamin Crump. Here they were.


CRUMP: We told you it was not evidence. It was information that the defense lawyers put up. We have to respect the rule of law. We have to respect the rules of evidence. We have to be responsible, all of us. And when people put something out there, we have to challenge it.


BALDWIN: But how will the rulings ultimately impact the case against George Zimmerman?

Joining me now Paul Callan, our CNN legal analyst and defense attorney. Also, Sunny Hostin, former federal prosecutor and our CNN legal analyst. And Mark NeJame is a criminal defense attorney for us in Florida, serving as a legal analyst here as we walk through this trial.

So, welcome to all of you.

And, Paul Callan, let me just begin with you because these rulings would seem to hurt George Zimmerman's case when it comes to backing up his claims of self defense. Do you agree with that? PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No. I totally disagree. I've got to take a contrarian view on this. I think it was an enormous victory for the defense in court today and I'll tell you why -- I know it's a strategic blunder by the prosecution.

The prosecutor brought up the text messages by making what we call a motion in limine to prevent the defense from mentioning this stuff. And you know something? Under the rules of evidence, the defense would never have been allowed to bring any of this stuff up because the rule in self defense cases is the bad character, the alleged bad character, of the victim is not admissible unless the defendant knew about it, because it's all about what you perceived when you fired the shots. If you don't know the guy, his background isn't going to, you know, influence your opinion to fire a shot.

And here, Brooke, what happened was, as a result of this hearing, everybody in Seminole County knows that Trayvon Martin wears a gold tooth, uses drugs, is seen holding a gun possibly, brags about fighting.

The prosecutors have tarnished his entire reputation before they even start picking the jury.

BALDWIN: Who else -- does anyone disagree with Paul? Paul, I hear you.

Sunny or Mark, do you disagree with him?


BALDWIN: Go ahead, Sunny.

HOSTIN: I disagree with him. I mean, I was in the courtroom today and it seemed to me that when Mark O'Mara was arguing these motions, it was a foregone conclusion. He knew that this information wasn't coming in.

But I will say this to Paul's point. It was masterful that the defense got this out there because now, the jury pool, the perspective jurors do know a different side of Trayvon Martin. They have seen I'm sure many of these text messages. They've seen the photographs of Trayvon Martin holding a gun and I think that could be helpful to the defense.

BALDWIN: Mark, this is pretty big today, the fact that the jury will not see the crime scene. How does that play?

MARK NEJAME, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY That didn't surprise me. Really, very few of these rulings surprised me. As was stated, most of this is known to be inadmissible. As it relates to the crime scene, I don't disagree on the judge's ruling on that.

It's going to be very close to impossible to replicate the weather conditions, the time that this occurred and all the relevant factors that would make it relevant for a jury to view this.

So, that didn't surprise me at all. You can replicate this pretty much with a video and matters such as that.

I will say, though, that what this ruling allowed to have happen is that it streamlined the case. The case basically is supposed to now be only about the facts that occurred at that fateful moment.

Now, why is that important I think forensics are going to dictate what occurs in this case. The enhancement of the tape, is it going to be clear as far as what was said? The closeness in range as it relates to the shot, the fatal shot. Those are going to become relevant and I think the defense needed to make his record, but I think they're planning and anticipating going forward on the forensics.

BALDWIN: Now, Paul, the judge did agree to hold a hearing on whether the state failed to turn over some evidence, including photos of a firearm in someone's hand, as well as some deleted text messages. How could this help the defense?

CALLAN: Well, you know, in the end, I don't think they're going anyplace with that, because even if there was a ruling in favor of the defense, what would the punishment be? They're not going to dismiss the charges against George Zimmerman. The stuff has been turned over in advance of trial. So, in the end, that plays not a bad way for the defense or the prosecution.

It will mean nothing ultimately.

BALDWIN: Sunny, what will you be looking for?

NEJAME: I don't necessarily -- I'm sorry.

HOSTIN: I mean, Brooke, I think Paul is right. If anything comes out of it, perhaps sanctions.


HOSTIN: There was, you know, a lot of discussion, of course, in the courtroom today about that and a witness that came up and testified. Very, very dramatic. But ultimately, the judge is going to deal with it on June 6th and if anything comes out of it, I suspect could be sanctions.

BALDWIN: Now, Mark, go ahead and jump in. What were you going to say?

NEJAME: I think that there's going to be -- I think that there's going to be fireworks on June 6th over this issue. You're accusing a prosecutor of prosecutorial misconduct for hiding the ball, for hiding evidence in a murder case, in a homicide case. I do think that ultimately at the end of the day, it will be much ado about nothing.

But I think we're going to have an early Fourth of July at the court hearing, and the reason is, is that the things that were supposedly held back, which came forward through an employee at the state attorney's office as we understand it. I think that's very significant if, in fact, they make a claim, they can prove that that wasn't turned over timely, then I think that will be the last vestige of hope that the defense has to say we need more time to get in to what else might have been held back.

I don't think the judge will grant it, but I think it will set a good record that if they're hiding the ball and it's proven that the state was holding back evidence, that that will be a significant issue that could have a play in the event of a conviction.

BALDWIN: OK. Paul, final question to you and the prosecutors requested multiple times, this gag order. Again denied. Did that surprise you?

CALLAN: Yes. It does surprise me. There's so much publicity poisoning the jury well as the judge, I'd be very concerned and I think I'd be inclined to impose a gag order.

So, I put that in victory for the defense category because they can continue to talk about Trayvon Martin's background. They can continue to say things that, in fact, help their case ultimately.

I'm a little surprised there's no gag order as we get this close to the trial.

BALDWIN: Hmm. Paul Callan, Sunny Hostin, Mark NeJame, thank you all so much. Appreciate it tonight.

Still to come, an Oregon teenager under arrest, suspected of planning what he was hoping would be bigger than Columbine, that kind of high school attack. His mother says there's a medical condition that explains everything.

Plus, a manhunt underway in Kentucky for that killer behind the ambush of a police officer. The officer's widow shares her emotional story tonight.

And a newborn baby found alive inside this sewer pope after it was flushed down the toilet. He's OK. We'll show you the images of this dramatic rescue.


BALDWIN: We are back with tonight's "Outer Circle" where we reach out to our sources all around the world. And we begin with China where this newborn baby boy found alive inside the sewer pipe after being apparently flushed down a toilet.

On their official social media account, authorities say they have found the mother who tells them she regrets what she did. Tonight, the baby is recovering in a hospital and Hala Gorani has the incredible story here of this baby's rescue.


HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The dramatic rescue began after cries from a fourth floor apartment toilet. Alarmed neighbors saw a tiny foot and called the fire department.

Unable to pull the baby out, rescuers went to the floor below and sawed away the entire section of sewer pipe.

But still, the baby remained wedged inside. So sewer section and the baby were taken to the local hospital where firefighters and surgeons working together carefully began removing the pipe piece by piece.

An hour later, success, a newborn baby rescued, the after birth still attached.

Chinese media said he's a baby boy, now in stable condition.

Hala Gorani, CNN.


BALDWIN: Unreal.

And now, let's check in with Wolf Blitzer who's sitting in for Anderson tonight for a look at what's ahead on "A.C. 360".

Mr. Blitzer, good to see you.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: A pleasure always, Brooke. Thanks very much.

We're going to have much more on the breaking news tonight. Another storm system unleashing at least four tornadoes, already in Kansas tonight. We are going to speak with a storm chaser who's right in the middle of it all.

Also tonight, this explosion rocking a suburb of Baltimore.





BLITZER: A train carrying chemicals hit a truck, caught fire and blew up. You will hear from an eyewitness.

And keeping them honest tonight, potentially incriminating evidence left unexamined sometimes for decades. Rape kits sitting on the shelves while the clock is running out on potentially convictable rapists.

All that and a lot of more coming up right at the top of the hour -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: All right. Wolf, thank you. We will see you in "A.C. 360".

Meantime, our fifth story OUTFRONT tonight, shocking details about this alleged Columbine copycat. His name, 17-year-old Grant Acord. He made his first court appearance just this afternoon. And according to prosecutors he wanted to outdo the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School that left 15 people dead.

Court records detail his plan to use a stash of homemade explosives, including napalm and Molotov cocktails. The target, the teen's high school in Albany, Oregon.

Miguel Marquez was in court earlier. Tonight, he comes OUTFRONT.

Miguel, what evidence did prosecutors use to back up their claims?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they found a lot of evidence in the secret stash in the mom's house. Underneath the floor board, underneath the carpet, they found not only six bombs but they also found his notebooks and in the affidavit that they released today, it explains some of his plan. I'll read parts of it for you because it is shocking to even think of.

At 7:30, leave home with stuff in trunk. At 11:00, drive to smoke spot to gear up. At 11:10, get gear out of truck, carry duffel in one hand, napalm firebomb in the other. Walk towards school with airport stock. Blasting out a car. He had even had background music planned for this thing.

Drop double, light and throw napalm, unzip bag and begin firing. (INAUDIBLE) the Russian Grim Reaper is here. Enter the school and shoot and throw bombs throughout the school. Kill myself before SWAT engages me.

Chilling stuff, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Incredibly chilling. Thank goodness police stopped him. How did -- they how did they know about the plot?

MARQUEZ: There was a tipster. It turns out it was a high school classmate of Mr. Acord's who heard him talking about it. Other classmates heard him talking about bombs before. But they had -- didn't think much of it.

Apparently, Mr. Acord was very quiet, they didn't really pay much attention to him. This one student, though, told his mom about it. His mother then called authorities and they were able to spin out the investigation from there.

The investigation is still going on. And one thing that was really amazing to see in court today is this, you know, 17-year-old, 140- pound gawky kid accused 19 really heinous things -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: But then, Miguel, you have this mother, you know, from what I've read, she's come out. This is according to her lawyer, saying that her son suffered from this very rare form of obsessive compulsive disorder, which has an acronym called PANDAS.

I talked to a clinical psychologist today. She said, you know, it's caused by strep throat.

What exactly is the mother saying about that? MARQUEZ: Yes. Look, it's very -- the mother's not blaming everything on that, but she is saying she has dealt for several years with this PANDAS. He, apparently, I'm told by some people who know the family that he was diagnosed with this condition. It is a reaction that the immune system has to things like strep bacteria infections and it can be very, very debilitating in some people.

But other doctors we spoke to said they have never seen anyone react like this kid -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Miguel Marquez, thank you.

Next, a Kentucky police officer ambushed, shot to death. Now, his widow is speaking out.

Officer Jason Ellis was repeatedly shot after stopping to clear some kind of debris from the middle of the road over the weekend. The manhunt for his killer continues.

Alina Machado is OUTFRONT with that story tonight.


ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As Amy Ellis what she misses most about her husband.

AMY ELLIS, WIDOW: His goofy smile. The way he always made us laugh, his smell, just being able to hug him and kiss him and just seeing him with our boys.

MACHADO: Jason Ellis, a police officer in Kentucky for the last seven years, was killed early Saturday morning on his way home from work. He was 33 years old, the father of two young boys, and Amy's best friend.

She says they had been inseparable since meeting in college 12 years ago, on Valentine's Day.

ELLIS: There's no words to express the sadness that I have, the anger that I have.

MACHADO: Authorities aren't sure if Ellis was targeted or if his killer intended to shoot whoever stopped to clear debris from the freeway exit ramp where he was ambushed. Obviously taken by surprise, his weapon was still holstered when he was found.

His boss, the chief of police, is vowing revenge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can assure you we won't give up on this person until we have him either in custody or in the front sight of one of our weapons and I personally hope the latter is the choice.

MACHADO: A memorial of flowers and balloons sits in front of the Bardstown Police Department. There was a vigil Monday night. Hundreds showed up. The officer's 6-year-old son lit the first candle. ELLIS: He knows that daddy's not coming back but we will see him again one day in heaven -- and he got hurt yesterday, and that's when he started letting it all out. He just screamed and screamed and screamed, he wanted his daddy. And we all sat there and cried with him and said we know, we do, too.

MACHADO: The pain of losing her husband is easy to see on Amy's face. She struggled as she spoke with reporters but says she finds comfort in her faith and in the outpouring of support she's received from the community.

ELLIS: It's overwhelming. I can't even explain how good, you know, it makes me feel that people are honoring him, you know, through this horrific tragedy.

MCHADO: A tragedy that has shaken a young family to its core, and the killer is still at large.

(on camera): Police say they have no one in custody or any solid leads. There is a reward being offered for information leading to the killer's capture -- Brooke.


BALDWIN: Alina Machado, so sad. Thank you.

Still to come tonight, race car technology that could save your child's life.


BALDWIN: Tonight, an innovative idea that is putting children in the same seats as pro-race car drivers. Sound dangerous?

It's not. It just might actually save a life.

Last week, ahead of Sunday's Indy 500 race, Erin got a first-hand look.


ERIN BURNETT, ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT ANCHOR (voice-over): For most athletes, winning a championship is the ultimate accomplishment. But for Scott Dixon, it's keeping his two little girls, Tilly and Poppy, safe.

SCOTT DIXON, INDY CAR CHAMPION: What you want your kids to be and that's safe.

BURNETT: Dixon is a two-time IndyCar series champion, an Indianapolis 500 winner and the winningest driver in the history of the Indy racing league.

While you may not know him, he's a household name among Indy car fans. Dixon's success hasn't come without some bumps in the road. In 2003, he had an accident that could have ended his career. DIXON: Broke my wrist and ankle, fractured my pelvis.

BURNETT: Last year, he crashed again. This time, the outcome was very different. He walked away almost unscathed after slamming into a wall and crushing the side of his car.

DIXON: The technology has changed from, you know, the foams they used to put together to carbon fiber seat, which had no give to them, to now where they're making the seats out of special foam that, you know, enable the body to slow down at a much, you know, slower pace and a longer pace, you know, so you don't have the big jolts and big impacts. That for me was a big breakthrough.

BURNETT: The hexagonal rebounding foam that saved Dixon's life is now being used for an entirely new idea -- car seats for children. The company that created the innovative foam used in Indy cars including Dixon's, Bald Spot Sports, partnered with engineers from Dorel Juvenile Group, to build a car seat called the Advance 70. It protects young children inside impact crashes.

So, is it really safer?

Julie Vallese helped test the car seats. She's a consumer safety expert for Safety First.

JULIE VALLESE, CONSUMER SAFETY EXPERT, SAFETY FIRST: Side impact crashes are about one in four on the road. While they may not be the ones that happen most often, they do tend to be the most violent, and that's why side impact protection is so important.

The Advance 70 is not only superior in safety, it is affordable for parents.

BURNETT: And Dixon is buying in. He isn't taking any chances with his two girls.

DIXON: As we all know, it's a part of everyday life, there are crashes. For me, it's more about peace of mind. That's what we tell them is that, you know, they're very safe, they're just like daddy's race car.


BALDWIN: I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks so much for being with me tonight.

"A.C. 360" starts now.