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Washington Post: Government Mining Data From Nine Internet Companies; Security Versus Privacy; Murky Ways States Are Spending Oil Spill Cash; A "Man Cave" Built With Taxpayer Money

Aired June 6, 2013 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: "OUTFRONT" next, we begin with breaking news. We learned Uncle Sam is spying on the phone records of Americans, and now tonight we find out the government is in your computer, as well.

Plus, oil company BP has spent millions, billions of dollars on projects to restore the coastline after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. But you know what? Some of these projects are bogus.

And a new study says cheerful women are promoted less often than their, you know, gruffly counterparts. Does that add up? Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with our breaking news, Uncle Sam spying on you. We have new information just breaking tonight on just how much access the American government has to your private communications. And when we talk about that, we're talking about your phone and we're talking about your e- mail.

Jim Acosta is OUTFRONT at the White House. Jim, obviously this started with a shocking headline and it has grown bigger and bigger since then. What have you learned?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Erin. We have reached out to White House officials and so far they're not commenting on the stories that have appeared in the last couple of hours in "The Washington Post" and "The Guardian." Those reports state that national security agency and the FBI are also operating a program called prism, which allows those two agencies to tap directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. internet companies, that is according to "The Washington Post."

Some of the companies that are a part of this program include Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, YouTube and Apple so some very big technology companies. There are some slides that have been obtained by "The Washington Post" and "The Guardian" that were part of a presentation. We can put them up on screen, I believe. They will show you a little bit of what this program entailed.

These slides came from a presentation that apparently was unveiled to people who were involved in this program out in the Silicon Valley. The purpose of slides is to demonstrate according to "The Washington Post" that much of this information is so critical that it is used in the president's daily intelligence briefings over at the White House.

So this is a brand new controversy for the White House involving surveillance of ordinary Americans and it comes on the heels of a separate controversy about the surveillance of phone records that was very much a hot topic on Capitol Hill earlier today.


ACOSTA (voice-over): By all appearances it's a top secret program that's been going on for years, allowing the National Security Agency to collect phone records of millions of Americans from one of the nation's largest communications companies. Under a court order, signed in April obtained by the British newspaper, "The Guardian," Verizon is required to hand over to the government all call detail records between the U.S. and abroad or within the U.S. including local telephone calls.

Without commenting specifically on "The Guardian" story, the Obama administration cautioned the NSA was only compiling data and not listening in on phone calls saying the program is a critical tool in protecting the nation from terror threats. But some in Congress aren't buying it.

SENATOR MIKE LEE (R), UTAH: They basically said to Verizon give us your call logs. If they involve international calls, give them to us. If they involve domestic calls, give them to us. If they involve purely local calls, give them to us. We want all of them and that's a little disturbing to some of us.

SENATOR BARBARA MIKULSKI (D), MARYLAND: God, not one more thing and not one more thing where we're trying to protect America and then it looks like we're spying on America.

ACOSTA: The controversy spilled into a congressional hearing with Attorney General Eric Holder who is already in the hot seat over allegations the Justice Department has been snooping on journalists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to ask, could you assure to us that no phones inside the capitol were monitored?

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: With all due respect, Senator, I don't think this is an appropriate setting for me to discuss that issue.

ACOSTA: But the program also has the fierce defenders.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: So you keep up what you're doing. If you've gone outside the lane, you fix it. President Bush started it. President Obama is continuing it. We need it from my point of view.

ACOSTA: Intelligence committee members from both parties insist the program is authorized under the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court, which was expanded during the Bush administration under the patriot act and then renewed by Congress.

SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: It is lawful. It has been briefed to Congress.

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE ROGERS (R), MICHIGAN: This program was used to stop a program -- excuse me, stop a terrorist attack in the United States. We know that.

ACOSTA: But the president's critics argue it's another example of Mr. Obama walking away from his own tough talks six years ago when he accused the Bush administration of sacrificing civil liberties.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This administration acts like violating civil liberties is the way to enhance our security. It is not. There are no short cuts to protecting America.


ACOSTA: Now the White House is not saying whether other phone companies were involved in the collection of these call records and the president did not make any mention of the controversy during an event earlier today in North Carolina. But members of Congress are demanding answers.

One of the authors of the patriot act, a congressman from Wisconsin, he has sent a letter over to Attorney General Eric Holder. He says that these reports about these phone records that are being collected according to him is an overbroad interpretation of the patriot act.

And needless to say, Erin, with this new story, this new revelation that emerged in "The Washington Post" and "The Guardian" about internet traffic and the use of internet by ordinary Americans across the country, there will be more questions about the patriot act in the coming days -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Jim Acosta, thanks very much. Jim is going to stay with us. I want to bring in James Banford now to the conversation, author of "The Shadow Factor: The Ultra Secret NSA From 911 to the Eavesdropping on America." Jim, let me just ask you about this because you heard, you know, Jim Acosta reporting. Senator Feinstein says this is legal. Mike Rogers says that this has stopped a terror attack. So what's the problem?

JAMES BAMFORD, AUTHOR, "THE SHADOW FACTORY": The problem is it massive surveillance. We went through this problem with the Bush administration, warrantless eavesdropping. It was an outrage that government can turn the surveillance on average citizens without any suspicion whatsoever. And here this is a enormous increase in that. This is communications that are local. These aren't even international communications at all.

These are communications from people speaking to their neighbors, people that are under no suspicion whatsoever. There has to be a limit at which time the government has to stop the surveillance. And you're not going to get the intelligence people to voluntarily want to stop the surveillance. That's what they live for. That's all they ever want to do is get more and more information.

And the problem is there is very little oversight from Congress. So the only way to have this is have leakers come out like happened this week with "The New York Times" -- or rather with "The Guardian" in London and "The Washington Post" today saying what's going on because you certainly don't get it from the administration and you don't get it from Congress.

BURNETT: Well, Jim Acosta, you know, Lindsey Graham said today, he is not bothered by this and I just want to read how he put because I know there are some viewers who might relate to this. He said I'm a Verizon customer. It doesn't bother me for one bit that the National Security Administration has my number.

Because what they're trying to do is find out what terrorist groups we know about and who the hell they're calling. You know, Jim Acosta, it seems like a lot of people feel that way, right. If you're not doing something wrong, why would you care? Then if you find out later that there is some Tsarnaev brothers carrying out an attack and had we known they were on these web sites or talking to this jihadist, we may have saved an 8-year-old boy's life, they would have say this is worth it.

ACOSTA: Well, that's been the trade off in recent years, Erin. It started in the Bush administration after September 11th and it is carried in the Obama administration. Americans, members of Congress, and Republican and Democratic administrations have made this decision that well we're going to have to sacrifice some of these civil liberties in order to keep the country safe.

Having said all of that, you do get the sense, Erin, that the dam may be breaking to a certain extent with respect to frustrations about the patriot act and about the surveillance programs. Lindsey Graham was talking about phone records earlier today. He was not talking about what appears to be sort of a bundling of government surveillance, not just phone but internet as well.


ACOSTA: And that is obviously going to concern many members of Congress. We listen to Barbara Mikulski, who is the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier today expressing her frustrations to Eric Holder saying, you know, in the past the standard operating procedure has been to brief the members of the intelligence committees about these matters.

But she expressed her frustration that perhaps many more members of Congress should be hearing about this because they don't want to be hearing it from their constituents that they're being blindsided by all this.

BURNETT: All right, well, thanks very much to both of you. We appreciate it. We want to hear from all of you, what do you think? Whether you think is worth it because obviously, if they're going to be monitoring you, the phone isn't enough. They have to be looking at your e-mail and your Facebook and everything else. Now we have more online with instant message than anywhere else. Do you think it's worth it if it prevents one terrorist attack or is privacy more important?

Still to come, oil company, BP, has been giving states millions and all in as you know the numbers add up to billions and billions of dollars and a lot of this money has gone to restore the ecosystem destroyed by the BP spill. Some critics say a lot of this is going to absolutely nothing.

And then an update on the Trayvon Martin murder trial, a huge setback for George Zimmerman's defense. Today, we have a special report on that.

Plus, is the secret to getting ahead being a grouch and does it matter if you are a woman?

And then Justin Bieber set to be launched into space. We'll tell who you have to thank for that later in the show.


BURNETT: Breaking news. Back to the top story tonight, the government spying on you, your phone records and private communications. "The Washington Post" and "The Guardian" reported that U.S. intelligence has a broad secret program that basically is allowing access to the central servers of nine leading U.S. internet companies. That includes Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, YouTube, all Apple, all of those big companies.

And "The Post" says that it was provided a detailed briefing presentation on the program called prism. They got all the evidence, but here's the shocker. Apple is responding saying we never heard of prism. We don't provide any government agency with direct access to our servers and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order. Obviously somebody here is, well, something doesn't add up. We're going to get to the bottom of that, obviously, a crucial question for all American citizens tonight.

And now our second story OUTFRONT, slick spending. This is incredible, oil giant, BP is giving states as you are probably aware, hundreds of millions of dollars and a lot of this money is going to projects to supposedly restore the ecosystem along the gulf coast. Money is part of a billion dollar fund set up after the deep water horizon oil spill.

But you know what? Some of these projects are going to leave you dumb founded. They don't add up because they're doing more harm than good or nowhere near areas affected by the oil spill, sort of a gouge BP, but for what are? David Mattingly has an OUTFRONT investigation.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Critics say it's a plan for destroying one of the most beautiful beaches in the gulf, but Alabama's commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources says his state is perfectly justified in restoring this undeveloped beach by building a convention center on top of it.

GUNTER GUY, ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES: We believe we lost millions of visitors. We don't believe it. We sure we did. We lost millions of visitors. You got to understand. There was oil in the water for 87 days.

MATTINGLY: A one-time wind fall from BP gives the five Gulf States a billion dollars to restore damage natural resources and their loss of use from the massive 2010 oil spill. Alabama wants to spend most of the money it's received so far replacing a lodge and conference center destroyed by a hurricane in 2004.

(on camera): You're not going to see another place like this in the area of the gulf, this much undeveloped beaches.

GUY: That's correct and I agree with you. We have almost three miles, but we need to have a place where people can come and enjoy it.

MATTINGLY: This isn't enough?

GUY: We don't think it's enough.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Alabama plans to spend $85 million on the project. So far, less than 10 percent of its share of the funds is earmarked for restoring the natural coastline. By comparison, Louisiana plans to spend 100 percent restoring marshes and fisheries and wildlife habitat. Florida, more than 90 percent restoring beaches, wildlife, oysters and sport fishing.

(on camera): What is Alabama doing wrong here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they're not rebuilding their ecosystem.

MATTINGLY: Aaron Viles of non-profit environmental group, Gulf Restoration Network, says what Alabama is proposing is not restoration.

AARON VILES, GULF RESTORATION NETWORK: This is absolutely an economic development project.

MATTINGLY: They're going to make money off of this?

VILES: Yes, absolutely. Somebody has to be hired and build it and design it. If you're talking about that, yes, there is an economic development component of it. But it's restoration project addressing injury.

MATTINGLY: The state's going to be making money off of this.

VILES: When you say the state is making money --

MATTINGLY: People paying for hotel rooms and conference space.

VILES: Well, sure, the state -- we should. We lost people coming to our coast.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): But there could be other losses as well.

VILES: You are doing more harm than good by plopping down a huge beach front development on important habitat.

MATTINGLY: One example, endangered Alabama beach mice, the only place in the world you find them is on this coast. They don't co-exist well with crowds or construction.


MATTINGLY: A spokesman for the federal agency overseeing how these states are spending this money says none of these projects is yet considered a done deal. That every restoration proposal. Even the noncontroversial ones are still very much subject to public opinion. So ground breaking could still be months away, longer if there are lawsuits.

BURNETT: And, David, let me just ask you about Alabama because you were talking about them particularly. That just seems incredible, less than 10 percent. But are they the only state with questionable projects? You know, it makes it look like Louisiana is perfect, but are they alone?

MATTINGLY: If you look closely at all the projects from all the states, you can raise that question with just about every state. Does this project really have anything to do with the oil spill? But by and large, most of this money is going to natural restoration. The Alabama project stands out because critics say it looks more and more like an economic development project and not a restoration project as this money was intended for.

BURNETT: But there also are some, I believe from your reporting though, in Mississippi, Texas, and Florida, right?

MATTINGLY: That's right. One stands out in Mississippi. There was a $10 million project there that is proposed an education program that's going to be constructed at an existing facility that some ways inland where the oil never made its way, obviously. But Mississippi saying that educational program is important to helping future generations understand what happened in the gulf with the oil spill.

So everyone has their arguments for them. The other states may look at them and say you don't need to be spending money like that, but this is all BP money. We asked them if they wanted to participate in this story. They didn't want to be interviewed. BP in this case is just signing the checks and the states and federal government are getting together and deciding how it's being spent.

BURNETT: It's pretty amazing. A blank check, of course, can create all kinds of issues. Thanks very much, David Mattingly, with that investigative report.

And still to come, a secret room hidden in a government warehouse. Just how much did taxpayers pay for Uncle Sam's man cave? Yes. That is not a joke.

Plus, Pope Francis made a very bold statement trending all day to day on the web. We're going to tell you what he compares to stealing.

And a woman takes the idea of drive through to a whole new level. We're going to show you the stunning video.


BURNETT: Our third story, OUTFRONT, tonight, an elaborate man cave built with your tax dollars. I mean, isn't that what they're supposed to be for? Look at that. Wouldn't that be nice to have this yourself? It is one of one of the many amenities hidden inside a secret room in a government warehouse.

In an OUTFRONT investigation, Brian Todd went to uncover other wasteful secrets and the government agency that is behind it.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): How is this for a man cave? A private space with a couch, chairs, TV, a weight set, this isn't your cousin's basement. It's a U.S. government facility, a warehouse in Landover, Maryland, overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency, leased and operated by a private contractor for $1.6 million of your tax dollars a year.

ROBERT ADACHI, EPA INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE: When the auditors first saw it, it was overwhelming.

TODD: Robert Adachi was the lead auditor for the EPA's inspector general, who just issued a report on the facility. The document looks like a brochure with pictures of other man caves in the same warehouse. Here's a space with an even larger TV, a chair, art work on the wall, some had personal photos and pinups and --

ADACHI: They had put in refrigerator, microwave ovens.

TODD: That black object, bottom center, that is a hair trimmer. I spoke about all this with taxpayer advocate Ryan Alexander.

RYAN ALEXANDER, TAXPAYERS FOR COMMON SENSE: We hired these people. We paid taxpayer money for these people to manage our inventory, take care of the warehouse and as far as what we can tell from what the inspector general found, they didn't do any of that.

TODD: And the report says these personal spaces were hidden from security cameras by partitions, curtains and piled up boxes.

(on camera): The EPA said we couldn't get access inside this warehouse, but EPA officials say as soon as they learn what the inspector general found, they had the private contractors who operated this building escorted out. They prohibited them from coming back and they began taking inventory of everything inside.

(voice-over): It's not just the little get away spaces that's raised concern. Those little specks on the box lower right --

ADACHI: We did take pictures of where they took rat traps and rat feces throughout the building.

TODD: One place the contractors did keep immaculate, their 30 by 45 foot gym with updated equipment including --

ADACHI: Pictures show also a computer that was attached to some speakers and it appeared to be used for music.

TODD: There was a security breech, expired passports of EPA employees with all their identity information lying there in open boxes. Did we mention the inexplicable inventory?

(on camera): Pardon my language, but what the hell do we need with pianos in an EPA warehouse?

ALEXANDER: It's a big question. Why the EPA has pianos and why they had all these other inventory in the warehouse? Why they had all the stuff we weren't using?


TODD: An EPA spokeswoman says the pianos had been at EPA Headquarters for award ceremonies, receptions and other functions there and then they were moved to the warehouse. The agency said in a statement that moved quickly to address all of these problems and indeed the inspector general gives the EPA high marks for its fast response. We called and e-mailed several times the private contractor that operated that warehouse -- Apex Logistics of College Park, Maryland. We never heard back -- Erin.

BURNETT: Brian, sure is nice to see our tax dollars so hard at work.

Still to come, just days away from his trial, George Zimmerman's defense suffered a major setback. We have a special report.

Plus the pope's surprising comments about the seventh commandment and what you might have on your dinner table at this very moment.

And the IRS boldly went where no one has gone before. And guess what? Another great use of your tax dollars. They used your money to pay for this. It wasn't pennies, everybody. Yes, special report next.


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

I want to begin with breaking news out of Turkey. The Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has literally just arrived back in Istanbul after a four-day visit to several North African countries. He left Istanbul as the country of Turkey was erupting in unrest.

But there is a large crowd -- this is a live picture here. It is at least 2:30 in the morning I believe in Istanbul right now. There are thousands of people greeting him at the airport. In a tweet, Erdogan said, "We already expressed our sorrow of excessive use of force." There are some tweeting tonight, "We will die for you," for Erdogan. He is, of course, as you can see, getting a welcome there at the airport tonight.

Well, search and rescue efforts have been called off in the building collapse in Philadelphia tonight. Six people have lost their lives, 14 injured.

Now, before the search was called off, rescuers found a ray of hope. There was a 61-year-old woman pulled out of the rubble 13 hours after the collapse. Mark Hopkins of the Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue tells us surviving a building collapse comes down to more than just the conditions. In some cases, the will of a person also matters. And he says he has seen people who based on what he knows should not have made it out alive and they did in the midst of tragedy there seems at least there is one miracle.

BURNETT: Well, an IRS official said no rules were broken and no fraud occurred. In hindsight though, the agency probably should not have used taxpayer dollars to make a "Star Trek" parody video for a conference which was replayed today on Capitol Hill.


FARIS FINK, IRS OFFICIAL (as Spock): I'm afraid without skilled leaders, anarchy is spreading across the planet like a virus.


BURNETT: The man you just saw playing Mr. Spock is IRS official Faris Fink. May be an appropriate name. It was kind of a Fink-like thing to do.

Darrell Issa in a disbelief after watching the parody had this question for Mr. Fink.


REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: What were you thinking?

FINK: It's embarrassing. And I apologize.


BURNETT: Fink went on to say he regrets the videos were ever made. Now, here's why. OK, get ready for this. I hope you're sitting down.

An inspector general report we went through found this -- the IRS spent a total of $50,187 on videos for this conference. Of which 2,400 was used to construct a mock set of the Starship Enterprise. It took 62 staff hours to produce the final video. And $4.1 million were spent on the conference.

At least they think because supporting documentations, i.e. receipts, are missing. Yes.

It has been 672 days since U.S. lost its top credit rating. Behavior like that may be part of the reason why. But, anyway, what are we doing to get it back?

Stocks bounced back today. The S&P breaking a two-day slump.

And now, our fourth story OUTFRONT, George Zimmerman denied tonight. In a pivotal pretrial hearing today, a Florida judge denied a request by Zimmerman's defense team to allow certain witnesses to testify confidentially. Zimmerman is facing second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. His trial begins next week.

But before it does, the judge has to make some crucial decisions, including whether or not the prosecution withheld evidence.

Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT with the story.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The exchanges were heated and testy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have a problem remembering things? Or do you have a bad recollection of things?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After 33 years, you learn to sort of box off things that need to be remembered and others that sort of you can let go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unpleasant things you kind of want to put to the side.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, not necessarily unpleasant things, sir.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember you.

SAVIDGE: Emotions ran even higher when Zimmerman's defense team accused the prosecutor of deliberately withholding key evidence from Trayvon Martin's cell phone.

DON WEST, ZIMMERMAN DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We caught you hiding the information and confronted you about it and you never gave it to us.

SAVIDGE: At issue, images in the teen's phone of a handgun and marijuana and texts seemingly about a gun deal.

Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda says the defense was given everything.

But a tech expert from the state attorney's own office testified he, too, was concerned not all of the phone's contents had been handed over, and now fears speaking out will cost him his job. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think that that potential is worth the risk you took in disclosing it?



KRUIDBOS: I think all of the information being shared is important in the process to make sure that it's a fair trial.

SAVIDGE: Judge Debra Nelson postponed any decision on the matter until after trial.

Next, came the debate over the infamous 911 call that captured the screams and gunshot the night Martin died.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just screaming outside.

SAVIDGE: The defense wants to block one expert's analysis that Martin is the one pleading for help and begging for his life. A senior audio engineer with the FBI testified the recordings quality is too poor to make an interpretation and warns against any attempt to do so.

HIROTAKA NAKASONE, FBI AUDIO ENGINEER: From my experience, what's going to happen to the output of the ultimate approach is nothing come out. But that number will be completely meaningless, confusing. It might mislead in the worst case.

SAVIDGE: Just what the jury will hear about that call is considered by many to be one of the most crucial questions in this already highly contentious case.


BURNETT: Marty, I know. I remember when we were all first reporting on those 911 calls and listening to them, they were fascinating and seemed so crucial. I mean, the judge's decision on whether the voice analysis will be admitted is certainly going to be central.

When do you think we'll get -- we'll find out?

SAVIDGE: Well, I think we're going to find out hopefully tomorrow because, of course, it's anticipated this trial is going to begin on Monday. And the testimony is going to be a key factor in all of that.

I think what also has to be determined and the reason that call is so crucial here is because there's so few eyewitnesses. Really, it's that recording that is the kind of ear witness to what happened. And the attorneys that you talked to say if can you determine who's screaming for help, then can you probably figure out who the aggressor is here.

And that's always been one of the key questions in this entire case, Erin.

BURNETT: Martin Savidge, thank you very much. It's going to be one of the most important trials in very, very long time.

And now to the sin of wasting food. Since a lot of you are having dinner right now, today, Pope Francis addressed what he called a, quote, "culture of waste" during an address in St. Peter's Square.

Here's what the pope said. I want to quote him. "Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of the poor and the hungry."

Now, this comment made newspaper headlines and even started trending on Twitter.

OUTFRONT tonight, Father Edward Beck, a CNN contributor.

As a lot of people listen to this, you know, we were talking about when we were all growing up, you know, don't throw away your food. There could be a starving child at the time. It was an Ethiopia where there was a famine. You have to think like that.

But 30 percent of all food in the United States is thrown away every year. Right now, there are people who are going to throw away things on their dinner table. It is fair to say it's the same as stealing food from the poor?

FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Not only that, but listen to the statistic. We make up like 4.5 percent of the population of the world. The U.S. does. We consume 25 percent of the food -- 25 percent of the food for 4 percent and we throw a third of it away.

So, if people are starving, I think you can say there is something morally unjust about that. Remember, this pope is all about equity especially for the poor. Who's going to be their champion? Who is going to be their voice?

So, he wants us to think individually, every person makes a difference. If you waste food, there's something sinful if somebody else doesn't have their food. Like someone in the greenroom is eating a big salad. I said to her, you know what we're talking about tonight, right? You can't -- you have to eat that whole salad tonight.


BECK: She goes, there's no way that's happening.

I said, well, you are going to take the rest and give it to a homeless person on the street? She said, I never thought, maybe. I mean, just to have that consciousness I think is what's he's getting at.

BURNETT: Right. So, to make people aware, people are trying to do that.

But what do you think about the fact this made headlines and is trending? The sense of the pope or someone religious saying what you're saying, which is think with this and make sure you think about the poor is not unusual. Coming out so directly and saying, if you throw away food off your plate into the dishwasher disposable, it's the same as stealing from the poor -- that is a very aggressive way of saying it. It's a strong way of saying it.

BECK: It is.

BURNETT: But it trended. Why do you think it caught the mind, I have to be honest, of younger people who are on the social media sites?

BECK: Because we all do it. And we lost a sense of responsibility for even doing it. We don't even think about it.

It's kind of a toss away society. And young people are kind of used to it now. Everything is very ephemeral, even food. And it's not for me and I don't want it and I get rid of it.

And I think, you know, you have to stop and think, well, what is happening with that though? And the globalization right now of the economy, the whole processing of food and how it's done, you don't even think of the connections anymore.

BURNETT: No, you don't. But this pope, it seems he's going to be activist. He has been tweeting. He is very active in frankly not just religious way but a political way.

BECK: Yes.

BURNETT: He is -- this is not just about the church. This is bigger than that.

BECK: And if you look at what he did in Argentina, it is the same thing. He was constantly getting involved in the politics. He said, you can't be divorced from it. If you're going to fight for human rights for people, which is the gospel, Jesus championed the poor, the outcasts, you have to get involved in the social structure of what that means. And that's political.


BECK: It's not just religious. The two do meld.

BURNETT: No separation of church and state. This is --

BECKEL: I know, not in this way.

BURNETT: Not in this way.

All right. Father Beck, thank you very much.

And still to come, a new study says cheerful women are less successful than grumpy ones. I guess I better become nasty. Does it add up?

Plus, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a major announcement today, and, of course, it means it gets reported OUTFRONT.

And Justin Bieber has spent a quarter million dollars on a plane ticket. Is he high? Not yet.

And tonight's shout-out, fortunate customers. This is video of a minivan crossing several lanes of traffic and running into -- a Taco Bell. Look at that mother rushes to save her child.

According to CNN affiliate WXIX, there was only minor injuries reported. It's incredible.

Now, police say they believe the person driving that minivan, a female, was having a medical emergency when the crash occurred. Our shout-out tonight goes to the customers who have quick reflex and that mom which you can see did not miss an instant and rushed and saved her child.

We'll be right back.


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

And tonight, we go to Russia where President Vladimir Putin has announced he and his wife are getting divorce. Actually, it's kind of amazing. The first time they've been seen together in, I don't know, years and years and years. They gave an interview.

Phil Black is in Moscow and I asked him why after 30 years of marriage, the couple has finally decided to formalize going their separate ways.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, there has been years of speculation and rumor about the true nature of this marriage. Inspired by the fact that Lyudmila Putin is almost never seen in public, the most popular gossip has linked Vladimir Putin to other prominent Russian women and suggested his wife was dispatched to live in a convent. Now, this ex-first couple has confirmed what they describe as a civilized divorce.

Lyudmila Putin says she doesn't like to fly. She doesn't like publicity. So they almost never saw each other. They went on to live very separate lives and now, they say they are making this joint decision.

They married back in 1983 after a three-year courtship. They went on to have two children, two daughters. They say now live in this country and also have a very low profile.

But Lyudmila Putin described Vladimir Putin as a loving husband and father and someone that she will always be close to -- Erin.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: And our fifth story OUTFRONT: can being too cheerful prevent a promotion? If you're a woman, yes.

Now, the experiment, which I want to mention, was based in Germany, which I know one of our guests wants to talk about that very specific fact. It asked men and women to rank who would be the best leader based on whether the candidate was cheerful, prideful or showed no emotion. See, that's where the German thing matters. Among the candidates, cheerful women were ranked least likely to lead.

What do these findings really add up to?

OUTFRONT: syndicated radio show host, Michael Medved, comedian and radio show host, Stephanie Miller, and CNN opinion writer and comedian, Dean Obeidallah.

OK. Great to have all of you with us. I love these kinds of topics.

Stephanie, let me start with you.

It also found that women who tooted their own horn were more likely to get promoted. Hey, that works with men and it works with women. I mean, that's just reality, isn't it?

STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO HOST: Well, I want to call B.S. on this study, Erin. I don't know. What's the point?

How big a bowl of bitchy do we have to eat in the morning to be taken seriously? Do we have to drink an entire gallon of carnation instant bitch? I mean, is this a little retro? Can you not be a nice person and succeed?

I mean, I'm the boss of "The Stephanie Miller Show" heard at radio stations around the country, and on XM Sirius. And my co-hosts and friends on my show, we've been friends for many, many years and we socialize together and, you know, I just think this sounds very retro to me.

BURNETT: I don't know, I might ask them. They might say, look, what we love about Stephanie is she can be a nasty, you know what. That's why we love her. All right.


MILLER: Thanks, Erin.

BURNETT: Dean, in all seriousness, I know you disagree with the point that Stephanie is making about being --

DEAN OBEIDALLAH, COMEDIAN: Right. First of all, I've been on Stephanie's show and she's not nice at all.


OBEIDALLAH: I'm kidding. You can be nice. BURNETT: Stephanie is very nice.

OBEIDALLAH: Here's the point I think. And it's based on my speaking of women in the corporate world and being a lawyer and big law firm in New Jersey when I first got out of law school, there was a handful of female partners, not one would be described is pleasant or cheerful, I can assure you. You know, tough as nails, take no prisoners, real killers and sharks.

BURNETT: That's because you're a bunch of lawyers.

OBEIDALLAH: That's how they achieve success. And the nice women didn't make it.

BURNETT: And I got a lawyer in my family --

BURNETT: It's funny. And the corporate world as well, look at Fortune 500 companies. There are only 20 CEOs, (INAUDIBLE) 80 men.

So, in that world, we have the one that everyone talks about, Marissa Mayer, from Yahoo, she took over about a year ago. What has she done in that year? She's done a great job. Revenue up, stock price doubled.

And how is she described by her former colleagues at Google? Doesn't understand managing any other way than intimidation or humiliation was just a nightmare. And she's a successful CEO.

So, is that the model that other women are going to follow or other corporations that they're going to hire as CEO?

BURNETT: I'm just looking at the screen again. Michael Medved, that just sounds like a traditional successful male CEO.

MICHAEL MEDVED, SYNDICATED TALK RADIO HOST: Exactly. That's the point about this ridiculous study, is first of all, the key to it is it also shows that men who are too cheerful as the study describes it don't do as well. They like prideful.

Now, you got to go to German culture. This is a German study.

My mother was born in German. My mother's entire family was German for many, many generations.

BURNETT: So, you got to layout (ph) your friends before you bring them down. OK.

MEDVED: Yes, right, exactly. There are many wonderful things about German culture. But cheerfulness is not one of them. We're not talking about this is (SPEAKING GERMAN), which is cheerfulness. It's not something that is normally typical of that kind of approach.

Now, here in the United States, take a look -- the female politicians who actually succeed in this country like Hillary Clinton, I know Hillary from law school. She is a very cheerful, positive person. Erin Burnett has achieved great success by being cheerful, likeable, accessible.

MILLER: Thank you.

MEDVED: And the idea that somehow -- well, there's no question. Not to mention Stephanie Miller. I'm agreeing with her for the second night in a row.

OBEIDALLAH: Which is ridiculous.

BURNETT: But, you know what, can I make a point about Hillary Clinton? Hillary Clinton did not used to be that. Now we have seen pictures of her having a beer and drinking and being cheerful, her popularity skyrocketed. Whereas before, when she was much more stoic, people didn't like her, because they thought she was too masculine.

So, you know what I mean? That kind of goes against the study completely.


MEDVED: That has always been an unfair of --

OBEIDALLAH: Politicians are not in the courtroom. The fact Michael and Stephanie agreed two nights in a row is shocking. Get a room, you two. You are clearly in love. I cannot take this anymore.

Look, alpha males run the world and the boardroom --

MILLER: It makes me want to go out and do shots with Erin Burnett and Wolf Blitzer and Hillary Clinton and God knows who else.


OBEIDALLAH: Let's be frank. That's part of --

MEDVED: Alpha males --


MEDVED: -- being cutthroat, being cutthroat, and being ruthless and being determined and being focused is not contrary to being cheerful.

BURNETT: That's true.

MEDVED: Take a look at Franklin Roosevelt, right?

BURNETT: You have to be both.

MEDVED: Take a look at any successful American politician, whether it's Reagan or Roosevelt or even to some extent, Barack Obama. Obama won against McCain and against Romney because he was viewed as the more optimistic, cheerful of those candidates. Now, I don't buy that, but I think that is a factor in American politics. (CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: Maybe if President Obama got a little of his cheer back, things would turn up. I have to leave it there, guys. Thank you. I tried to cheerfully break it off.

All right. Every night, we take a look outside the day's top stories for something called the OUTFRONT "Outtake".

So, if you're not a fan of Justin Bieber, we have some news for you tonight. He's about to be launched into space.

Before you get too excited, you should know this was Bieber's idea and he is going to return. The CEO of Virgin, Richard Branson, announced via Twitter today that the Biebs and his manager Scooter Braun have signed up for the Virgin Galactic suborbital flight.

Now, Virgin plans to send a test flight into space by the end of the year. So passengers will experience weightlessness and go up there. By the way, you can get really, really sick if you do that. So, I used to be obsessed and now I'm not. But anyway, I couldn't afford it.

But some people like wealthy celebrities can. They can afford a $250,000 ticket price. Are you kidding me? He's worth $110 million. I guess for Bieb, you know, whatever.

Now, this wouldn't just be an occasion for Justin. He says he plans to do some work while he's up there. And he tweeted today let's shoot a music video in space. A music video in space. That would be cool and ground-breaking, right?

No. Actually, not at all. Bieber wouldn't even be the first Canadian to do it, never mind the first person. Earlier this year, Chris Hadfield, an actual Canadian astronaut and commander of the International Space Station, recorded, filmed and edited a cover of the David Bowie song "Space Oddity." Remember this, everybody?


BURNETT: He did a good job.

And while Justin is one of the more famous people, one of the most famous people, frankly, here on Earth, when it comes to outer space, there are much brighter stars.

OUTFRONT next robot hands. And sort of predictable (INAUDIBLE).


BURNETT: Tired of doing housework? An idea that's currently being developed for war may also do your household chores. This is no joke.

Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A basketball-playing robot? Just maybe.

Here on a workbench at iRobot in Boston, a vision is taking shape.

(on camera): How hard can you hit that?

CHRISTOPHER GEYER, IROBOT RESEARCH SCIENTIST: I can hit it, this will not damage it. STARR (voice-over): Under a Pentagon contract, the company is developing this low cost rugged and highly maneuverable robotic hand that could revolutionize the war zone, high tech business and your home.

GEYER: Typically, we build robotic hands like tanks. They have to be very durable. To make them durable, we have to machine them out of metal and that's an expensive process.

STARR: Instead, these fingers are made of cheaper, molded rubber but inside --

GEYER: Again, there are about 100 barometers inside here that are able to measure a sense of touch.

STARR: And that means the robotic hand has knowledge.

GEYER: There are pressure sensors that know whether it's holding on to something. So, just like you have a sense of touch.

STARR (on camera): Just like my finger.

GEYER: Just like your finger.

STARR (voice-over): The robot can even pick up a key and unlock a door.

(on camera): What can this do in my house?

GEYER: This could do -- in your house, this could do all the things that we currently do with our hands right now. This will give us a greater capability to use hands for cleaning in the house, preparing things, cleaning things.

STARR: Doing the dishes?

GEYER: Maybe some day doing the dishes.

STARR (voice-over): The Jetsons had Rosie the robot. Now, for the rest of us --

(on camera): Could this be the beginning of a robot in every kitchen?

GEYER: It could be the beginning of a robot in the kitchen. STARR (voice-over): Barbara Starr, CNN, Boston.


BURNETT: "A.C. 360" starts right now.