Return to Transcripts main page


Boston Bombing Suspect Speaks; Boston Suspect Has "Recovered Fully"; Judge Accepts Suspected Colorado Shooter's Insanity Plea; Riots Rock Key U.S. Ally

Aired June 4, 2013 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, the Boston bombing suspect speaks out for the first time since his arrest. Tonight, you'll hear Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Plus, the suspected Colorado movie theater gunman changed his plea today, and the parents of one of the victims are OUTFRONT.

And shocking new information about a tornado that touched down in Oklahoma, we're going to tell you just how big it really was. These images are stunning. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the Boston bombing suspect speaks. For the first time since his arrest, we are actually hearing directly from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, his voice. The reason for this is that he had a chance to talk to his parents and they recorded what has been their son's only phone call from jail. His mother asked him if he's in pain.


DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV (through translator): No, of course not. I'm already eating and have been for a long time. They're giving me rice and chicken. Everything's fine.


BURNETT: Now she also told him he needs to be strong. Here's what he said.


BURNETT (through translator): Everything is good. Please don't say anything.


BURNETT: Phil Black is in Moscow for us tonight. Now Phil, how did his parents -- and we could see his mother there in the video holding that -- looked like an iPhone or some sort of similar device up. How did they react to hearing their son's voice for the first time?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, for them it was very emotional. It was the first time they have spoken to him, had any contact since the death of their eldest son, Tamerlan. The first time they've spoken to Dzhokhar since he himself was captured and he was seriously hurt as well. Really, the first time they have spoken to him since their lives had imploded and they said that it took all their effort not to scream, not to yell over the course of that conversation.

But they believed it was their job to support him, to try to make him feel better. However, they think in the end over the course of that conversation it was really Dzhokhar who made them feel better, comforted them.


ZUBEIDAT TSARNAEV, MOTHER OF BOSTON BOMBING SUSPECTS: I felt like he would scream. When's going on? What's going on? He would ask the world, when's going on? But ma, instead, he was just calming me down. You know what I mean? He was trying to calm me down. Mama, you don't worry about anything.


BLACK: They say that Dzhokhar also tried to reassure them by telling that he's getting very good medical treatment. He's got a good doctor. He's healing. He's getting stronger every day. He apparently told them that the injuries to his face and neck are almost healed and he's only ongoing medical concern is a problem with one of his hands -- Erin.

BURNETT: I just think, Phil, you know, obviously flies in the face of what his parents had said originally, right, which is that he was being treated horribly and all these other allegations that they made. And just that brings me to this question, Phil. I mean, you can't overlook the fact that these are parents who still deny that their sons had anything to do with this and they're the ones who are putting the tape out there. Do you know why, what's their goal?

BLACK: It's difficult to know for certain, but certainly in their initial dealings the media, this family, these parents, they were erratic, often contradictory. We know that they were very unhappy with a lot of the coverage at that time. In the weeks since, they have really gone underground. They've gone out of their way to avoid journalists. They've been moving from house to house, region to region to try to stay ahead of them.

Now they have clearly deliberately come out and tried to present a more positive image of themselves, their family and particularly their sons. They speak throughout these interviews about what good men their sons were and how they do not believe they were capable of this crime. They said they had tremendous sympathy for those who were hurt and killed in the Boston attack, but they just don't think their sons were responsible for it. They still believe that they are the victims of some sort of elaborate set-up -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Phil Black, thank you very much. Reporting live for us tonight from Moscow. Republican Congressman Michael McCaul is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and he joins us tonight. Chairman McCaul, good to have you with us.


BURNETT: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told his mother everything is fine. He is not in pain. He is eating. Do you know anything more about his physical condition right now? Obviously, when he first was captured and put in jail, he wasn't able to talk.

MCCAUL: No. I think he's recovered fully. He's being treated very humanely. As he mentioned himself, he's given food and being taken care of. I think the question right now, this recording by the parents to release that with a video, which I saw, you know, appears to be an attempt to garner sympathy and support financially for the family.

What I find disturbing about the whole thing when I watch it was that we can't lose sight of who the victims were in this case, are in this case. The 260-plus wounded that day. You were up in Boston and you saw it. The three who were killed including the 8-year-old boy who was brutally, you know, killed.

And so, I think we can't lose sight of the fact about what this guy did, the brothers did that day and what he confessed to doing when he wrote down that note that we saw in the boat where he was captured. And then in the boat he also talks on the note about all the sort of radicalization process he'd gone through, how he wanted to join his brother in paradise. And this was retribution for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

BURNETT: Let me ask you this because when you talk about the mother trying to garner sympathy, you know, she -- after she released the tape that we have just heard and we've seen the video, she said, I know that my kids didn't do it. And now she said that before and people had said, look, this is a deranged person at the least.

You've said before, though, that you think that she could have played a specific role in the radicalization of her son. Do you still think that, that it's possible she was specifically involved?

MCCAUL: You know, we don't know the answer, but I think it's very possible that she may have. I'm very stunned, but it's more interesting I guess. The idea that they're in a complete state of denial publicly saying that their son was innocent. Both of their sons were innocent. Had nothing to do with these bombings and it looked to me like some sort of ploy or PR effort to exonerate their sons for what they did.

Which we know they did and, of course, you look in Chechnya, they're becoming sort of local hometown heroes and I think the parents feed in to that frenzy, if you will. I think it's obviously very disturbing. I think the mother and the father played a role in this radicalization. BURNETT: The mother and the father. Now let me ask you then, this. According to his mother, Dzhokhar also said that he's getting money. I want to ask you about this because a lot of people may be shocked. Someone apparently opened a bank account for him. He's gotten about $1,000 so far. Now do you know whether that's true and anything about where that money is coming from?

MCCAUL: I don't know where it's coming from, but I do believe it is factually accurate that he is receiving money in a bank account as are the parents and, you know, really exploiting this tragedy and these killings and wounding 260 people in Boston to make money off of -- I just find it very offensive, that they're making money off of that tragic day in Boston during the marathon.

BURNETT: And I want to ask you also about another person that we have all been so fascinated by and then it seemed to go quiet and our viewers are familiar with this. You know, Tamerlan Tsarnaev's widow. You said a month ago, Katherine Russell is her name. That she's, quote, "right in the middle of this" and that she could have information.

Now we know she's been interviewed by the FBI. We know she lived in that very small apartment with the brothers. Sources say she placed a call to her husband when she saw pictures identifying him as a suspect in the bombing. She then called her husband. Obviously, the inference is that she may have warned him, but obviously we don't know. She's not been arrested. Now do you think that's going to remain the case and that's right?

MCCAUL: No. I think as, again, a former federal prosecutor, going after spouses is very dicey, if you will. You have to be careful about how you proceed and right what about you're doing and I think in this case, you know, clearly living in an 800-square-foot apartment. There are pressure cookers sitting around the apartment.

Again, it's hard for me not to believe that she didn't know and wasn't complicit in this or certainly had knowledge of the fact of what her husband had done. And so, but I think they're proceeding carefully with her. They're probably trying to get as much evidence as they can before they close in on her, but I do believe she's in the sights.

BURNETT: All right, thanks very much to Chairman McCaul there. It's pretty interesting that's she is in their sights. We're going to see how that develops.

So the judge in the Colorado movie theatre massacre was able to plead not guilty by reason of insanity today. We're going to hear from the parents of one of the victims.

Plus another home evacuated because of a giant sinkhole opened up beneath it. Why these sink holes could be a much bigger problem than we thought?

And Chris Christie set to appoint a new senator, a Democratic vacancy, but he could put anyone in that seat. Who he says should get the job?

And the Oklahoma tornado sets a record. Just how big was it?


BURNETT: Our second story, OUTFRONT, insanity plea. So this came as a shock and so hard for many today. A judge today accepted a not guilty plea from the suspected Colorado movie theatre gunman. James Holmes defense is he's insane. He's now 25 years old. He is accused of killing 12 and wounding 58 in the horrific July 28th massacre last year. And the question tonight, does Holmes plea add up?

Lonnie and Sandy Phillips are OUTFRONT. Their daughter Jessica was killed in that shooting last summer. Thanks very much to both of you. Sandy, I know that every day this is something that you're reliving and as this trial drags on, it has to be something that just does not go away. What was your reaction to the judge's decision to accept that insanity plea today?

SANDY PHILLIPS, LOST DAUGHTER IN COLORADO THEATER SHOOTING: Actually, we were expecting it. We've had a very good relationship with the D.A. and the assistant D.A. in Denver who keep the families very aware of what's going on and what could happen and what might happen. And I don't think any of us were surprised by the tactic that they took, unfortunately.

BURNETT: And as you say, unfortunately. Lonnie, you know, I have spoke Tom Teves who is another father and I know you know him, his son Alex was murdered that night, as well, in the shooting. And we had actually talked about this issue of whether James Holmes would be insane. He said he thought there's no way he was insane because he had planned this in advance and knew the repercussions of what he was going to do. And I know you know Tom well, too. I just wanted to play for you what he had to say and then get your reaction.


TOM TEVES, FATHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: If you're insane, you don't think what you're doing is wrong. If you don't think what you're doing is wrong then you don't need to create a diversion that will keep the first responders from stopping you and/or capturing you. Also, one of the things that they put in there is he had on his dating site, because he had two dating sites that said, come visit me in jail. If you don't think it's wrong, you probably don't think you're going to jail.


BURNETT: Lonnie, what is your feeling?

LONNIE PHILLIPS, LOST DAUGHTER IN COLORADO THEATER SHOOTING: Well, Tom is a very emotional as I am about this and trying to keep controlled and think this thing through, neither one of us think that he is, the term crazy or mentally ill, he was seeing a psychiatrist. He had planned this too meticulously for it to be anything else other than to promote himself.

How it plays out in court really doesn't matter that much to Sandy and I as long as he's not freed and I don't think that will ever happen. Where he spends the rest of his life or whatever they decide to do with him is really no matter to us. We have kind of written him out of our lives. He's a nonentity to us.

(1915 CAPS)

LONNIE PHILLIPS: He had planned this too meticulously for it to be anything else other than to promote himself. How it plays out in court really doesn't matter that much to Sandy and I as long as he's not freed and I don't think that will ever happen. Where he spends the rest of his life or whatever they decide to do with him is really no matter to us. We have kind of written him out of our lives. He's a nonentity to us.

SANDY PHILLIPS: The only day we'll be in court is the day they sentence him and quite frankly the only insanity involved here is the fact that he was able to get his hands on all those weapons and 6,000 rounds of ammunition with not so much as a background check. That's the true insanity here.

LONNIE PHILLIPS: For our society to allow that to happen without a background check of somebody with his history, the fact that his parents knew he had a history and allowed it to go on and to allow him to get his hands on those kind of weapons is what I consider true insanity.


SANDY PHILLIPS: In fact, I don't know if you know this, but the AR-15 that was used in Aurora as well as in the Newtown shootings --


SANDY PHILLIPS: -- had been banned until 2008. If that ban stayed in effect and if our leaders in the government had done their jobs, neither one of those shootings would have been anywhere near as catastrophic as they turned out to be.

BURNETT: I mean, those are -- just points. Just frustrated so many people in the country who support what you believe in and the back ground checks.

But Sandy, Lonnie just said something - you said you'll be there on sentencing day, and in terms of sentencing that you -- Lonnie was saying that as long as he's never seen again. I know this has to be something you struggle with. And you've lost a daughter who lost her life and future. When you think of that tough choice of death penalty or life in prison, where do you fall on that decision?

SANDY PHILLIPS: I'd like to personally -- I'd like to see him spend his life in jail. And I'd like to see him be in the general population. Which, of course, won't happen. But that would be perfection for me. But either way, I don't care if he gets the death sentence or not. It's just much quicker to have it over and done with if he's just sentenced to life.

BURNETT: July 28th is going to be the one-year anniversary. And as I said, I know it's got to be every day for you, that you relive this and try to remember things about your daughter. But when people hear her name, Jessica, they say -- what do you want them to remember about her?

SANDY PHILLIPS: The joy that she brought to life. She lived very fully. And enjoyed every moment. And taught people around her to do the same. And she's impacted a lot of lives in a very positive way. Even though she's no longer here. But she lived large and she lived joyously, and she lived with nothing but love in her heart for other people. And I was her biggest fan and she was my biggest fan and that's what I miss the most.

BURNETT: Thank you for sharing just a little bit. We appreciate it.

OUTFRONT next, the sink hole that swallowed part of a Florida neighborhood. It is a problem across this country, and we have a special report tonight on a new and massive hole.

Plus, why did an airline take 100 kids off a plane? They were going on vacation. Did it have something to did with their religion?

And in our "Outtake" tonight, a bird, a plane? A pepperoni pizza?


BURNETT: Our third story OUTFRONT, sink hole. That sinking feeling. Another Florida home evacuated after a huge sinkhole opened up underneath it. It was underneath the backyard pool. You can see it here in Winter Park.

Now, thousands of Americans in Florida and in many other states live on top of sinkholes and are not even aware of the risk. Some are aware of the danger, but others have absolutely no clue. Our John Zarrella reports OUTFRONT.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Neatly kept lawns. A quiet neighborhood in Weeki Wachee, Florida. But beneath the ground, there's a commotion going on. John Furlow stepped in it literally.

JOHN FURLOW, HOMEOWNER: I came over and as I was walking out here, I stepped right here and my foot went down in the hole.

ZARRELLA: It was a sinkhole right under the Furlow's bedroom. So why on earth live in a home where a sink hole beneath it? JOHN FURLOW: We put everything in to this house in the beginning.

TINA FURLOW, HOMEOWNER: Even our inheritance. We thought we'd live and die here. We didn't have a plan b.

ZARRELLA: Now they wait for an insurance settlement so they'll have the money to fill the hole.

If you thought the Furlow's problem was isolated, well, you'd be wrong. 9239, sinkhole. Down the street, 9191 sinkhole. Several other properties on this street all dealing with sinkholes.

There is a bit of consolation for the folks in this neighborhood. The sinkholes beneath their homes can be dealt with. The ground can be filled and the homes reinforced. That wasn't the case on February 28th. The 911 call came in from Seffner, Florida, near Tampa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The bedroom floor just collapsed, and my brother- in-law is in there underneath the house.

ZARRELLA: Within hours, the world was buzzing about a bizarre and tragic event. A rare, catastrophic collapse sinkhole had swallowed a young man lying in his bed.

Geologists say it works like this. A cavity slowly develops in the limestone bedrock. Over thousands of years, it widens, eventually breaching the limestone surface. Then the clay and sand above collapse into the hole, and everything is swallowed up.

While catastrophic collapse events are rare, sinkholes in Florida are certainly not. According to state insurance statistics, between 2006 and 2009, there were nearly 12,000 claims in the state's most sinkhole prone counties. Weeki Wachee happens to be in one of those counties. Many of the people here are retirees to Florida.

PAUL BRASWELL, WEEKI WACHEE, FL RESIDENT: We came from Colorado, and I didn't even know how to spell sinkhole.

ZARRELLA: Now they're living with one.

Sinkholes are just a part of Florida's natural geology. They can open up just about anywhere in the state. Fortunately, they rarely have deadly consequences. Erin?


BURNETT: All right. John Zarrella, thank you very much. Amazingly frightening when you think about these are around the country and how many people do not know that their lives are at risk right now.

Still to come, the widest tornado ever recorded strikes the heartland of this country. So, how and why did it get so big? Bill Nye explains next.

Plus, why everyone should be putting on sunscreen. Even if you have absolutely no intention of sunbathing.

And why this photo of the woman in red has become a symbol of outrage and protest.

And tonight's Shout Out, how to deliver pizza. So, a Domino's franchise in Britain release a video of what they call the Domocopter. A drone designed to deliver pizza. So, yes, they can murder you and slaughter you in your home, but they can also deliver pizza. Hyping it up as a greener way to deliver, although it's just a concept for now. Shout out tonight go to the Brits for improving an American staple. Pizza delivery.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't do this, a OUTFRONT Shout Out update. Last night, remember this picture of the Taco Bell employee licking a bunch of your taco shells? Today Taco Bell said they're firing the employee in the photo. They say the shells were never served to customers but I must say, Taco Bell, how do you know?


BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: We start the second half of our show with stories where we focus on our reporting from the front lines.

I want to begin with this story. An orthodox Jewish high school in New York City outraged after 101 students and eight chaperons were kicked off an AirTran flight to Atlanta. Some of the students say they were treated unfairly because of their religion.

Southwest Airlines owns AirTran and says the students would not stay seated or turn off the cell phones after being asked to. So, when they failed to comply, according to the airline, they were kicked off and put on other flights. Southwest tells OUTFRONT that Monday's flight with 137 seats was full and delayed 45 minutes because of the incident.

Airline expert Jim Tillman (ph) says it's unlikely every single student was being unruly. As individual ticket holders, he says that's an unfair use of the airline's authority.

Well, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, today called on Iranians to vote for one of the eight approved candidates in the coming presidential election. They would not only be votes of confidence in the Islamic republic he said, but of authenticity in the election process, according to a reporter who attended the ayatollah speech. Now, the eight candidates were among the guests, they were all there.

Expert Kenneth Katzman tells us that many consider Saeed Jalili, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, a front-runner in the race. Others say that he's only considered that because we know his name in the West. We shall see.

Well, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has called for a special election to replace Frank Lautenberg, the Democratic senator who died Monday. In the meantime, Christie says he will name an interim senator to serve until the special election, which is slated for the 16th of October. Christie said he would like the person to, quote, be as much like me as possible.

You know what, governor? That's a tough thing to say.

Patrick Murray of Monmouth University Polling Institute writing for CNN says the New Jersey Republican hasn't had a U.S. Senate win in more than 40 years. We'll see what happens.

Meanwhile, a new study has found that using sunscreen daily protects against skin aging. Now, you may have heard this before. It could be intuitive, right? But this actually the first study to quantity sun screen's anti-aging power and it's not just whether you're going to the beach. It's just in general light, walking down the street, in your car.

Hundreds of adults under 55 were placed in 2 groups, those who applied sunscreen regularly and those who apply it at their discretion. After four and a half years, those who use it daily did not age as quickly.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta's advice is, save your money. He says people collectively spend billions of dollars on products and creams to stave off aging and the main ingredient that actually does it is a sunscreen.

It has been 670 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?

Well, tech heavy NASDAQ today lost 20 points. Apple, the big -- one of the big losers. The trade agency ruled today that several older Apple products, some of the iPads and iPhones violate a Samsung patent and cannot be sold in the United States. And now our fourth story OUTFRONT: riots rocking a crucial American ally in the Middle East -- by far, the biggest economy and most important country so far in terms of its strategic relationship to the United States to be rocked by these protests. New video tonight from Istanbul as protesters in Turkey took to the streets for a fifth day running in more than 60 cities across the country to voice opposition against Prime Minister Erdogan.

So far, two protesters have died. The Turkish medical association says more than 3,000 injured, 26 are tonight in serious or critical condition.

This comes less than three weeks after Turkey's leader appeared alongside President Obama at the White House. He received a full Secret Service detail in his trip across the country. Turkey is a crucial strategic ally for America in the region. It borders Iran, Syria and Iraq.

Ivan Watson is in Istanbul. He's been covering these protests, dealing with the tear gas himself.

And, Ivan, I know Erdogan actually left the country on a four day trip to North Korea. So, all this is going on at home and he left. He's dismissed the demonstrations as the work of extreme elements. He's blamed Twitter and called it a menace to society. The pictures, though, seem so much more significant than that. How are people reacting to the fact that he just left the country?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Actually, it may have actually helped because his political style is rhetoric, so confrontational and actually insulting. Since he's gone, his deputies and other officials in the government have actually apologized today and tried to calm the atmosphere a little bit and it seems to have worked. The crowd behind me here, it's 2:30 in the morning, much less agitated than it was last night. Maybe because police helicopters haven't been circling overhead shining their spotlights on them, but maybe also because of the kind of kinder tone that the government has taken.

In the capital where our Nick Paton Walsh of CNN is reporting, he hasn't seen teargas all day. He saw flowers on the armored personnel carriers of the police that had been firing teargas and water cannons at people in previous days. So, maybe there's a message there to the government that a softly approach will calm people down. That we are hearing reports of violence in some of the eastern cities of Turkey right now -- Erin.

BURNETT: And when you talk about some of those eastern cities, you know, it just makes me think of a lot of the country obviously supported him. He won elections with close to 50 percent of the vote, when often in Turkey I know people get a lot less. You have to do coalitions. I mean, the guy appeared to have a mandate. He's been in power for a decade, tripled the income of average Turks.

Where are his supporters right now?

WALSH: Well, it's an interesting question. He did get 50 percent of the vote in the last national election. And he actually kind of issued a veiled threat. He said, you know, I can get my 50 percent out. I'm having a hard time keeping them in their homes, which raises fears of clashes between the supporters and opponents and that even the specter of civil war.

We went to the neighborhood that Recep Tayyip Erdogan grew up in here in Istanbul. It's actually about a mile from where I'm standing. And there, they are still hard core supporters of this. They say he's the best thing that's ever happened to this country. They have very negative things to say about the demonstrators. They call them vandals and looters.

And they say we're waiting in the homes, we're ready to fight for the prime minister if he asks us to come out. We come out with just a word.

And those are ominous warnings, not the kind of thing that Turkey probably wants to see if it wants to continue growing economically in the years ahead.

BURNETT: All right. Ivan Watson, thank you very much reporting live as we said from Istanbul tonight, where people are still there at 2:30 in the morning. We'll see if it continues to quiet down. Well, we can now confirm what a lot of people suspected. Friday's Oklahoma's tornado was record. It was for the record books in a lot of different ways. The National Weather Service said today that the twister was the widest tornado ever in the United States registered.

I mean, that's pretty amazing. It was 2.6 miles wide. It was also not just wide, it was fast. It was a rare EF-5 which is a measure of tornado intensity, the highest level of that. Over, I believe, 210 miles per hour at its peak.

The death toll is now up to 19.

Tom Foreman is at the magic wall.

And, Tom, can you show us how this monster storm developed? It wasn't just intense and fast. It was wide. It also seemed like it would be one or the other, but not this one.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is really unusual, Erin. We talked about a lot of hyperbole when we talked about storms in superlatives. This one deserves them. In your lifetime, you may rarely see anything like this.

This is the town up here in El Reno, Oklahoma, right here. Look at the town size right here compared to the storm size overall. This was the path of the storm.

It was on the ground for quite a while; 6:03 p.m. is when it formed way over here. It moves, stayed there until 6:43 p.m. It covered almost 16 miles. If you do the math there, you realize on any given area, it could have been grinding away for two minutes or more.

And as you mentioned, it was not only strong, well, well, well over 200 miles per hour at the strongest area, but quite wide, 2.6 miles across at its biggest area and EF-5.

And one more thing to note, Erin, at one point the officials say it went from a mile across to 2.6 miles across in less than a minute. So it was not only moving this way and grinding away, it was not only big. It was explosive in the way that it was reaching out and roping more people in -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. And, Tom, please don't go anywhere, because I want to bring in Bill Nye the Science Guy to get your reaction.

So, Bill, 2.6 miles wide, as Tom saying, I mean, just incredibly rare in a lot of ways, can you just give some comparison on how huge that is relative to a typical tornado and what would have possibly made it so wide?

BILL NYE, THE SCIENCE GUY: Well, what would make it so wide is more heat energy in the atmosphere and just fundamentally, if you think of a tornado as being a half mile or three quarters of a mile wide, this thing's about four times that. Maybe a little over four times that as wide. So, as a first approximation, if it's four times as wide and you're looking at the same area, it would be 16 times as much energy. Now, the problem is probably somewhat more complicated than that but it's on the order of two times 10, 20 times as much energy --


NYE: -- in a tornado. And you guys, I appreciate it. Everybody's saying this is a very rare event. You may never see this again in your lifetime.

Well, if this is the third tornado to go through very nearly this track in the last, say, since 1999, the last 14, 15 years, maybe it's the beginning of something that's troublesome. So, this is really something for everybody to consider.

BURNETT: A frightening trend.

Now, Tom, what about this? I mean, obviously, this tornado, the one we're talking about, went across the plains. So, 2.6 miles of damage across the plains.

But what if it had gone through the center of a major city, Oklahoma City, like the Moore tornado did or what would happen if a storm that wide went through a major population center?

FOREMAN: The size of this, Erin, has spurred a lot of weather folks around the country to consider that very idea. Think about what Bill just said about the size of the whole vortex here working and look at the comparison.

If we were to move on from El Reno and put that same storm over Washington, D.C., look at this. This would be coming all the way across here. If you put it over the center here, it would get the capital to Lincoln Monument, the White House and virtually all of downtown in one big stroke.


FOREMAN: If you move it up here to New York City where you are, Erin, look at this. This is the island of Manhattan right here. You twist that storm and put it over the island and basically cover the entire island. That's how big this thing is.

And we are fortunate in a way as a nation that generally these form in less populated areas. But, of course, if f you live there, it's a terrible, terrible thing. The fatalities are awful. That is measure of this storm.

BURNETT: Bill, you talk about how things have changed. So, and obviously I know this is a geography and all things that go in to where this form. But already we're seeing bigger ones and that's becoming a trend, is there going to be a chance that all of a sudden where this happen would change, too?

NYE: Well, yes. Just keep in mind that we had tornadoes in Brooklyn last year. I mean, that's just extraordinary. And so, you can't say that any one storm is associated with climate change. But all of the climate models we have so far indicate that storms like this will become more powerful because there's more heat energy in the atmosphere.

So, as the air goes across these large sections of North America, dragging across the ground, starts to tumble and encounters the so- called tongue of air coming up from the Gulf of Mexico and they apparently get tipped on the side and create these extraordinary storms. Now, if that starts to happen further and further east, this catastrophic scenario that you all just spelled out is something I'd like to stroke my chin about.

But in the short term, what we can do is make sure that people in these areas have storm shelters or people often call them safe rooms. I much prefer the term storm rooms, where you wait out the storms.

You notice this one was only about 45 minutes and so all you got to do is get in a safe place less than an hour.

BURNETT: All right.

NYE: So, this is possible to do something about it at a reasonable cost.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much. Bill, Tom, appreciate it.

And still OUTFRONT, a big development in the murder trial of the "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius today.

Plus, are working moms destroying education in America? That's what one governor said today that he thinks and he said it on camera. So, you'll get to see it.

And in Florida, almost $600 million just waiting around. Somebody out there, this is your money. Why have you got claimed it?


BURNETT: We are back with tonight's "Outer Circle" where we reach out to sources around the world.

So, tonight, we're going to go to South Africa. That's where Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius was in court today for a pretrial hearing. He's accused of premeditated murder in the debt of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp.

I asked our Robyn Curnow who is in South Africa when Pistorius will be in court again.


ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, while one of Oscar Pistorius family members recently told me that Reeva Steenkamp has been dead for almost four months and strangely and sadly enough, that's longer than the time her and Oscar spent dating. Of course, it's a relationship and a tragic ending not only define his life but that of her family's, as well.

And, of course, also, today, Oscar Pistorius taking one more step in what will be a long, legal process. He appeared very briefly in a Pretoria magistrate's court. Proceedings were adjourned until August the 19th where it's expected a trial date will be set.

But also, again, ironically, sadly enough, August 19th is Reeva Steenkamp's birthday. She would have turned 30.

Erin, back to you.


BURNETT: Thanks to Robyn.

And now, let's check in with Anderson Cooper with a look at what's coming up on "A.C. 360".

Hi, Anderson.


Yes, we're following the breaking news tonight on the program. In Missouri, floodwaters have breached two levees. Authorities telling CNN that it's only a matter of time before a third near the town of West Alton gives way. Sandbagging isn't working. So, officials are sending massive trucks to get rocks. Martin Savidge is on the scene with a live report.

Also, Erika Brannock lost her leg in the Boston marathon bombing. She never met the woman who helped save her life. Our Randy Kaye has tracked down the mystery hero. We'll tell you who she is and how they found her. We're keeping them honest.

Also tonight, fires, collisions and disabled ships. So, who is keeping tabs on the multi-billion dollar cruise ship industry? It turns out, practically no one. No ships are registered overseas not obligated to comply with U.S. safety regulations. We're going to investigate that.

Also, "The RidicuList," and a whole lot more at the top of the hour, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Anderson, thanks so much. And we'll see you in a few.

Now, our fifth story OUTFRONT: Blaming mom. Actually, no. Let's be more specific here. Moms who have jobs outside the home.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant spoke his mind today and as sometimes happens, that can cause a problem. A moderator asked him how America has become, quote, "so mediocre with education."

Here's what the governor thinks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. PHIL BRYANT (R), MISSISSIPPI: I think parents became -- both parents started working and the mom is in the workplace. It's not a bad thing. I'm going to get in trouble. I can just see -- I can see the e-mails tomorrow.


BURNETT: Yes. Didn't happen tomorrow. It happened tomorrow.

But you know what? Reaction has been pretty harsh.

OUTFRONT tonight, our contributors, Reihan Salam and L.Z. Granderson.

OK. Good to see both of you.

Reihan, what do you think? Do working moms deserve the blame for the drop in educational quality in America?

REIHAN SALAM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think it's actually men who are much bigger part of the story. When you look at households with children right now, 25 percent of them are headed by a single mother and you've got another 15 percent are families in which the mother is earning more than the married father.

So the issue is that if you look at those single mothers, most of them would prefer to have a husband who could help them carry the economic weight of the family. And also in a lot of the cases with women who are out-earning their husbands, the same is true, they would be quite happy if their husbands were carrying more of the weight.

But what we've seen happen in the last 30, 40 years is that men's relative economic position has really deteriorated partly because they have higher dropout rates --

BURNETT: So you think that's what he was saying, and he wasn't actually saying that when women made the decision, some women obviously don't have the choice --


SALAM: Look, exactly. Women generally haven't had that choice.

Now, I don't know what he was saying, honestly, but I think that actually if you're going to be sympathetic to what he was saying, partly it's this: there used to be intense discrimination against women in the labor force, right?


SALAM: There's a lot less of it now than there was before. And when you have that intense discrimination what it meant is that a lot of very smart women who could have done amazing things in the workforce were at home with their kids providing some stimulation for their kids, they were oftentimes more likely to be teachers back in those days whereas actually a college educated woman now has a ton of different opportunities, not just to be a teacher at the local public school, right?

So, clearly, that's going to have an impact on educational quality. This is not about blaming anyone. If that's what he was doing, he was wrong to do so. But it does have an effect. These changes in family structure have an effect on children.

BURNETT: All right. L.Z., what do you think about Reihan?

L.Z. GRANDERSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, I've been covering education for a long time. I went to graduate school to pursue education. And I have to tell you that for me the reason there's been a decline in education has nothing to do with working moms or stay-at- home dads. It has everything to do with the culture's focus on the importance of education.

And this is what I'm talking about. You know, if you look at the number of dollars that we spend to keep someone incarcerated versus the number of dollars we spend for Pre-K education, despite the fact that we know that a child that has Pre-K education may not end up in jail, you would begin to see what our focus really is on. During the height of the --

BURNETT: What about the issue of women? What about the issue of women specifically? That women who now are working outside the homes, why education quality in America has dropped?

GRANDERSON: Well, I mean, this is all part of it. They don't exist in silos. They don't exist independent of each other. They're all interconnected.

When you have 33 states during the height of the recession ramping up the amount of dollars that's being spent for prisons and dropping the amount of money that's being spent for Pre-K, as well as higher education, you see a correlation between more working moms, the decrease in education, and why you have more high school dropouts.

You can't look at these things as individual factors. They're all connected.

BURNETT: I see -- I see your point.

But, Reihan, what about this? Finland, top-rated country in the world for education, 70 percent of mothers work outside the home.


BURNETT: There's clearly no correlation there between women working outside the home and a drop in education. That's why it seems to me that all these arguments that people are trying to make, even the one that you made, is a real stretch.

SALAM: Here's the thing. If you're looking at Finland, if you're looking at Sweden, France, Germany, these are societies in which about 2/3 of 15-year-olds live with both biological parents. In the United States, it's actually 50 percent and declining rapidly.

BURNETT: So single parent --

SALAM: So, the experience of family disruption -- look, and again, these single parents, they don't want to be single most of the time. They would prefer if they were in stable relationships. But what you see happen is this huge disruption of family life that has gone much further in the United States than it has in a lot of other rich countries and that creates huge problems for kids.

BURNETT: Right. Thanks very much to both of you and everybody, please weigh in on what you think. Women leaving the home, part of the drop in American educational quality or not.


BURNETT: So, every night, we take a look outside the day's top stories for something we call the OUTFRONT "Outtake". And tonight, the city of Zephyr Hills, Florida, is at the center of one of the biggest mysteries in America. Actually I might say in the world right now, because on May 18th somebody, somebody walked into this Publix supermarket and bought a Powerball ticket. The Powerball ticket.

And when the numbers were drawn down that night, that person had the only big winner. There are 13,000 residents of the city that could have gone into that Publix supermarket. And they began the most exciting guessing game on Earth. And why not? It is a $590 million ticket that somebody bought at that Publix. It is the biggest single ticket winner in Powerball history.

I can't believe this. Well, it will be if someone claims it, because as strange as it sounds, nobody has claimed it. A lot of people think you have a year to claim a lottery prize. But you know what? That is just a falsity. A falsehood?

In Florida, you have only 60 days to claim a lump sum Powerball payout, which in this case because you've got to pay Uncle Sam, $370 million is all you're going to get. That would sure make you think differently about taxes, wouldn't it?

Since the draw was on May 18th, though, that only givers 43 days for the winner. It's not a lot of time, especially when you consider that the winner has to then travel four hours to the lottery headquarters in Tallahassee to claim a prize that size.

If you are the winner and you do miss the July 17th deadline, you're going to lose a heck of a lot of money. But you still get some. Until November 14th, you can claim a lifetime payout. That's when you get your payment divided into 30 payments over 29 years. Now, that's if you believe there's going to be solvency in the state of Florida over that time, which is a whole other debate. So where's the fun in that?

OUTFRONT next, a warning for Americans.


BURNETT: Awful news from India today. Authorities say a 31-year-old American woman was gang-raped just outside Manali, a popular tourist destination. The woman was reportedly hitchhiking back to her resort.

She got into a truck with a group of men around 1:00 in the morning. Allegedly, they took her to an isolated area and then raped her. No information has been released on the victim's condition. Police are currently searching the area for the alleged perpetrators.

But this horrible event is just the latest in a string of rapes in India. In December, a 23-year-old woman was gang-raped on a bus. She died of her horrific injuries. In March, a Swiss tourist was raped by six men. In April, two children, young children were raped in separate incidents in New Delhi.

And these are just a drop in the bucket, people, of the events. These are just the ones we hear about. These attacks sparked public protests around the country, demanding better protection for women, and the Indian government passed new laws against rape. But it's really about enforcing them. And the rape culture itself, which seems unchanged.

It's a culture that believes the person to blame is the woman, a culture that does nothing to punish the men who perpetrate these heinous acts. The protests have been called a turning point. But clearly not enough is being done. Hopefully, India's authorities will follow the protesters' lead at last and understand it's not just about changing the law, it's about meaning it and enforcing it.

"A.C. 360" starts right now.