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How Hackers Can Kill; Colorado Wildfires

Aired June 14, 2013 - 18:00   ET


JIM ACOSTA, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, desperate measures as Colorado's most destructive fire keeps raging. We will talk to a man who took matters into his own hands and saved his home.

And CNN investigates a cancer charity ripoff, evidence that a family-run operation is putting profits over patients.

Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Jim Acosta. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

We have all heard the revelations lately about hacking and spying and all of the ways our privacy is being compromised, but this is about life and death. We're learning that cyber-attackers have the ability to disable certain medical devices that help keep millions of people alive. The FDA is worried enough that it's taking action.

CNN's Brian Todd is digging into this story. He joins us now live on this very important story -- Brian.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim, we have spoken to the cyber- security experts who alerted the FDA to this problem. They told us that it was so easy for them to hack into the passwords of devices like pacemakers and defibrillators that they had to tell the government immediately.


TODD (voice-over): A cyber-security firm has found major vulnerabilities that would allow hackers access to pacemakers, anesthesia devices, monitoring stations and other life-sustaining medical equipment, a threat so real, the FDA is taking action.

It's the storyline in a harrowing scene in the Showtime series "Homeland." Terrorists send a signal to a pacemaker, an attempt to take down America's vice president.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Call the doctor.

TODD: But it's not just the stuff of function.

Stuart McClure of the firm Cylance shows another device, an insulin pump that could easily be compromised.

STUART MCCLURE, CEO, CYLANCE INC.: All you need is a simple little antenna, something like a 900 megahertz antenna that you plug into your laptop, and you develop a little program to connect to this wirelessly over radio, and then you can take over the actual system itself, increase the maximum bolus, which is the maximum amount of insulin that can be dispensed, and then dispense that particular insulin to the patient.

And that's how dangerous this stuff can be and how very, very real-world it is.

TODD: McClure once demonstrated the technique on an industrial pump, overpressurizing it remotely.

(on camera): This is a wireless defibrillator, and McClure says wireless devices can also be hacked. McClure and his team have just told the FDA what they have done and the FDA has just put out the word to manufacturers: Tighten the safety standards of all of these gadgets, from fetal monitors to defibrillators like this one. Make sure that your antivirus software and firewalls are up to date. Use biometrics and sophisticated smart cards. Make those passwords tougher to figure out.

(voice-over): The FDA says, so far, it's not aware of any patient injuries or deaths from the hacking of medical equipment, but McClure says almost everything's wide open. Pacemakers and other cardiac equipment can be slowed or disabled. Monitors could shut off.

At Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston a few years ago, a glitch, not a hack, slowed down fetal monitors for women with high-risk pregnancies. The computer systems for these devices are interconnected, wide-open, and widespread.

DR. JOHN HALAMKA, BETH ISRAEL DEACONESS MEDICAL CENTER: On an average day, Beth Israel Deaconess has 15,000 devices connected to its network. Things you wouldn't normally think of as being connected to a network, like a monitor or an I.V. pump today are smart.


TODD: Dr. John Halamka says his hospital does firewall off its system to prevent hacking. But even with the FDA tightening up on manufacturers, experts say it's going to be a long time before those manufacturers really get safer devices in place.

The manufacturers may fight it because of the expense of that, and it may require recalls, Jim. So, it may be a long way away from really safeguarding these devices.

ACOSTA: And we want to underline, because a lot of our viewers might have missed it -- and you did mention it in the story -- that we're only talking about the potential for danger here.

TODD: That's right.

ACOSTA: But some of the experts that you have been talking to said that perhaps devices that are implanted on the brain could be hacked into it. TODD: That's right, and they have done it in labs. Stuart McClure of Cylance says there is something called a neuro brain stimulator. It's embedded into the brains of Parkinson's patients around others. These are stimulators that control the part of the brain that control tremor and shaking.

He says that they have the same what he calls attack vectors as these other pacemakers and things like that. They can be hacked into. They have done it in laboratories. It's scary stuff.

ACOSTA: Yes. This whole discussion of cyber-security and hacking, it really has opened up a whole new world in terms of what the potentials are out there for trouble...

TODD: Right, absolutely.

ACOSTA: ... not just for our national security secrets, but perhaps for people's medical safety as well.

TODD: It's wide open.

ACOSTA: Brian Todd, thank you.

TODD: Sure.

ACOSTA: And now to Syria and the controversy surrounding President Obama's decision to give military assistance to the rebels. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes refused today to publicly give any specifics. He said the administration is looking at the possibility of a no-fly zone, but he raised doubts on whether it would be effective. Take a listen.


BEN RHODES, U.S. DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Frankly, in Syria, when you have a situation where regime forces are intermingled with opposition forces, they're fighting in some instances block by block in cities, that's not a problem you can solve from the air. So, I think people need to understand that the no-fly zone is not some type of silver bullet that is going to stop a very intense and, in some respects, sectarian conflict that is taking place on the ground.


ACOSTA: No surprise, taking the opposite position, Republican Senator John McCain is strongly urging the president to impose a no- fly zone in Syria to help the rebels.

McCain told CNN's Christiane Amanpour he is troubled that the president isn't spelling out a more specific game plan for Syria.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: In my view, what is very curious is that the president of the United States himself didn't come out and say what the United States plans to do. I mean, if this is an escalation, I think the president -- the people of the United States deserve an explanation. And if he wants support, he's going to have to talk directly to the American people.


ACOSTA: It's only been a day since the White House confirmed its assessment that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons and crossed the president's red line, but the Obama team has been weighing its options in Syria for months privately. Some sources are giving us a rough outline of what may happen next.

And here's our CNN Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence with more.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Jim, U.S. officials are now confirming that they do plan to send small arms and ammunition into the rebels in Syria, but what does that mean for American officials and American assets?

With me, retired General James Spider Marks.

And, General, when you take a look at the lay of the land here on the map, and you take a look at the military options, you know, you're talking about small arms.


LAWRENCE: How much difference can that make against the firepower of Assad?

MARKS: Probably very little difference at all at this point. These are small arms, as you have described. We hope that it includes some anti-tank weapons systems. We don't know, and I don't -- I haven't heard that it's going to include surface-to-air, shoulder- fired surface-to-air weapons systems.

LAWRENCE: We don't think it is.

MARKS: That's unfortunate. These by themselves will provide very little difference at all, short answer.

LAWRENCE: And are we talking about -- are we talking about American weapons? Are we talking about American-made weapons, U.S.- made weapons going directly into the hands of the rebels?

MARKS: Oh, probably not. This is probably Soviet-model type stuff.

LAWRENCE: Kalashnikovs.

MARKS: Kalashnikovs, absolutely, being used and being supplied by the support of the United States, but from friends and neighbors in the region. LAWRENCE: So, we know this is going to be run by the CIA. Do you anticipate a small U.S. footprint in a few areas, as opposed to a larger presence?

MARKS: Oh, I guarantee you that the CIA already has a presence in Syria right now. I mean, the intended recipient for these weapons systems are the various leaders within these opposition forces that are out there, and the CIA's charter is to go identify, vet, recruit and get those folks on board so that these weapons systems can go someplace into some hands that can then do something about it.

LAWRENCE: So, maybe being flown into Turkey, driven over the border, given to the rebels in Jordan, perhaps, coming up...


MARKS: Chris, absolutely. In fact, what you will probably see is the U.S. coming into a port here, going around some major line of communications, a major road into the border area with Syria. And the U.S. may also try to fly weapons systems into Jordan and then through proxies get them in.

LAWRENCE: Train some of the rebels and send them in?


MARKS: Absolutely.

LAWRENCE: And when you take a look at the other option, no-fly, the White House has said they have got no stomach for it, the Pentagon basically saying they're not doing any new planning. What are the dangers of a no-fly zone, even a limited no-fly zone along the southern border?

MARKS: Right, no-fly zone along the southern border or even possibly up here, Chris? The deal is, with a no-fly zone, is there is a lot of coordination that needs to take place. It's just not aircraft flying.

LAWRENCE: Rescue crews, refueling.

MARKS: Absolutely, downed aircraft rescue. Refueling has to take place. And then what are the rules of engagement for these aircraft? Do they have the authority to shoot if somebody violates this no-fly charter?

LAWRENCE: OK. So, that's probably off the table, no-fly zone not under consideration right now, but obviously still, Jim, a lot of military options still on the table.

ACOSTA: And now to politics.

We are monitoring the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in Chicago, where right now Governor Chris Christie -- and there it is on screen -- is discussing how to respond to federal natural disasters with federal and state response. And you can see, there they are, the governor and the former president, sitting on the chairs across from one another talking about this. They haven't gotten into politics just yet, but with Hillary Clinton also at the meeting, plenty of other people are.

CNN's Erin McPike at the Clinton Foundation meeting in Chicago.

And, Erin, it is interesting to see these two men sitting across from each other. It didn't get too political, but I saw a tweet earlier that Bill Clinton asked Governor Christie, wouldn't it be nice if we could rule by fiat? And, apparently, the governor said, yes, how great would that be? Doesn't exactly work that way, obviously, but all of the atmospherics there in Chicago's has got everything talking about 2016, isn't that right?

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They sure do, Jim. And we saw a little bit from Hillary Clinton as well earlier today as well as yesterday, but a lot of 2016 talk here in Chicago already this weekend.


MCPIKE (voice-over): If you were putting together a fantasy team of 2016 presidential candidates, you would probably pick from this week's lineup and start right here in Chicago.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: It's called Too Small to Fail. It's designed to help parents and teachers, businesses and communities learn from the latest scientific research on brain development.

MCPIKE: Private citizen Hillary Clinton has turned her attention to a philanthropic domestic agenda, leaving attendees here at this week's Clinton Global Initiative meeting buzzing that she will be the odds-on favor for the Democratic nomination three years from now.

(on camera): Do you want to see her run for president in a few years?

VICTORIA SCHRAMM, CGI Meeting ATTENDEE: Absolutely. I think if there's any woman who can do it, Hillary is the woman.

RAHM EMANUEL (D), MAYOR OF CHICAGO: President Clinton, thank you very much.

MCPIKE (voice-over): The only other Democrat who got even minor attention this week and who could be in the 2016 mix is Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but he was a distant second fiddle to the main event. But the curious attraction at the Democrats' party in Chicago was the appearance of another potential 2016 hopeful, a Republican.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: This special election is not about playing politics. It's about doing the right thing.

JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON": You ain't lying, C.C. MCPIKE: Fresh off slow-jamming the news with Jimmy Fallon...

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now we're going to have a little fun.

MCPIKE: ... New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took the stage with Bill Clinton.

CHRISTIE: How do you give people a sense of hope and also do it in a smart way?

MCPIKE: It could easily be a preview of the next general election, giving political watchers a visual image now of political heavyweights pitted against each other sharing the stage. It may be a sly move by Christi, but it may not have sat well with the conservatives who would have to select him as their standard bearer.

BRANDON PATTERSON, FAITH AND FREEDOM COALITION ATTENDEE: He's more moderate, so that's probably why he's kind of got a bad rap from hanging out with Obama.

MCPIKE: Christie opted for the Clinton event instead of the Faith and Freedom Coalition's conference, a conservative cattle call of likely GOP presidential contenders going on in Washington. Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan all took turns addressing the party faithful.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: What the American people are seeing every day as they turn on their TV screens, as they see these investigations, as they see this overreach, is this is not what I bargained for.

MCPIKE: Of course, Paul Ryan won't face off against President Obama again. If the last two days are any indication, the next three years in politics are shaping up to be Hillary Clinton vs. the Republicans.

H. CLINTON: Good afternoon.


MCPIKE: Now, Jim, if we can possibly do any more tea leaf reading, CGI America will be held next year in Denver, which was the site of the 2008 Democratic Convention, and of course, Colorado's a big swing state, so I'm sure they will be ready to see Hillary Clinton again next year, Jim.

ACOSTA: That is a very good analysis of that, but I'm sure the folks at the Clinton Foundation would say, wait, wait, wait, this has nothing to do with 2016 politics. But, of course, we will have to see about that.

MCPIKE: Of course, not.

ACOSTA: Of course not. But it was interesting to see the husband of the potential presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, a former president himself, and Governor Chris Christie, who they may be going against one another in just a few short years from now. So, we will be watching that.

Erin McPike, thank you.

And speaking of Colorado, we are live there next for the latest on that unprecedented wildfire, and I will talk to a man who battled the blaze himself and saved his home.

And CNN investigates charities, disturbing evidence that donations are being squandered.


ACOSTA: There is a new glimmer of hope tonight for containing the most destructive wildfire in Colorado's history, but there's still widespread danger; 389 homes have been destroyed in the Colorado Springs area and at least two people have been killed.

CNN's George Howell is in Colorado Springs and he has the latest there for us.

George, how are things looking?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, you know, definitely some good signs out here. You can see the clouds overhead.

Just about an hour ago, the rain started coming down here. The sky opened up, the rain came down. A lot of people here credit it for this latest news, that the city of Colorado Springs has lifted its mandatory evacuation. Right now, a voluntary evacuation remains in effect. But I just spoke with Governor John Hickenlooper about that, and he's quite happy as well. Take a listen.


GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D), COLORADO: That rain just dropped 10 or 15 degrees off the temperature. Plus, it -- you know, I mean, it's a firefighter's best friend.

HOWELL: You got wet yourself here, yes?

HICKENLOOPER: Yes. I was standing right up there. You know, it's the first time -- my grandmother would always say, don't -- you're too stupid to come out of the rain. I was too happy to come out of the rain.


HOWELL: Good news for the governor, good news for a lot of residents here, but here's the issue. So, we got a lot of rain. What impact did lightning have, if any? We're waiting for an update from officials here within the next hour, but fair to say people are happy to see what's happening.

Officials are optimistic about their progress. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL (voice-over): Behind the fire lines, this is what firefighters are trying to prevent, homes and structures incinerated by fast-moving flames, an unpredictable fire. So far, more than 375 homes have been destroyed. But for those whose homes are still in danger, residents like Sue Schroeder are keeping the faith in officials who are overseeing the fight.

SUE SCHROEDER, RESIDENT OF COLORADO: We just sit around the TVs waiting to hear, and so your information has just been unbelievable. So thank you so much.

HOWELL (voice-over): Oh, you're very welcome.

SCHROEDER: We're very humbled by it.

HOWELL: You're very welcome.

SCHROEDER: Keep fighting for us.

HOWELL: I will.

I saw you walk up to the sheriff a minute ago.

SCHROEDER: We sure did, because we look to him for support and the guidance and information that we're all looking for, we're starving for, because we're out of the home.

HOWELL (voice-over): The Schroeders are among the more than 38,000 people who have been evacuated since the fire started. No one knows the personal impact of this ordeal on residents better than El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa.

(on camera): Throughout this process, people are walking up to you. They want to shake your hand, they want to thank you. I mean, what do you think about all that, these people that are paying such close attention to what you're doing?

TERRY MAKETA, EL PASO COUNTY, COLORADO, SHERIFF: You know, it's pretty moving. It's really a team effort. And when I have citizens approach me, I take it as, it's not just me personally. They're thanking the effort of my office and all my employees.

HOWELL (voice-over): It's the sheriff's office working with police officers working with firefighters and the National Guard to jointly search for hot spots and hold the perimeter of this wildfire.

At this point, more than 16,000 acres have been burned, but officials say they didn't lose any ground Thursday night. And for many here, that's comforting news.

(on camera): You have been able to look on the list. Do you know if your home is OK right now?

SCHROEDER: Yes, it's fine right now. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it is OK as of this morning, we saw. We do know that it's within a mile of one of the hot spots. And, quite frankly, we did not think we'd be standing here today thinking that our home would survive.

HOWELL: Are you worried?

CAROLYN SELVIG, RESIDENT OF COLORADO: You know, concerned, of course. How could you not be? Things are out of our hands. It is what it is.

HOWELL (voice-over): And for the things that can be controlled, like the prospect of looting...

MAKETA: I could not drive a road last night without coming across a law enforcement unit.

HOWELL: Sheriff Maketa says checkpoints and roadblocks are being strictly enforced to protect people's property as the fight continues to save it.


HOWELL: And, John, you know, while -- I'm sorry -- Jim -- when the piece was running, we started to get more rain down here again. So, you know, this may be good news. We're waiting to see exactly how much it adds up to when we talk to these officials here within the next hour, Jim.

ACOSTA: We will hope for the best. George Howell, thank you.

Some people in the fire zone are taking matters into their own hands. Dale Mielke had planned to evaluate, but he changed his mind soon after he took this video of his cabinet-making workshop. He thought he would never see it again. Take a look.


DALE MIELKE, RESIDENT OF COLORADO: Coming up the road. All the houses, it's about to burn across the road into Forbus' (ph) house now. We're going to leave. This is all the stuff I'm working on. All right, we'd better go.


ACOSTA: And Dale Mielke joins us on the phone now.

Dale, thanks very much for joining us.

And I just wanted to ask you right off the top -- we just saw your cabinet-making workshop there. It sounds like, from what our staff tells us, you were able to save it. How did you do it?

MIELKE: I started out by using some fire extinguishers that I had, and when I ran out of those, then I had buckets that had collected rainwater, just on accident, and I used that to put out the fire that was up in the soffit and the eaves. I just threw that up on top of it.

ACOSTA: And what was going through your mind as you were doing that? I mean, were the flames getting close to you at that point? What was happening?

MIELKE: Yes. Well, they were close enough to singe my mustache and my eyebrows.


MIELKE: So, I was trying to stop it from getting any further into the workshop. I knew it was small enough that I could have a positive outcome on it, and so, I just kept thinking, I don't want to lose the workshop, I don't want to lose the house. So, I did what I could while I was still not in imminent danger.

ACOSTA: And, Dale, it sounds like, I mean, if it was singeing your mustache and eyebrows, that it was right on top of you. My understanding is that you also tried to save your neighbors' house as well, but that was just not a successful battle in the end.


I was a -- I'm a retired firefighter from the city, so I knew some things that we should do. So I tried -- while there was still time, I tried to throw all the stuff off their deck, the firewood, all the stuff that was burnable or flammable, and it just had too much of a head start, so I wasn't able to, you know, stop it before it got to the house part.

ACOSTA: And where are you right now, Dale? What's it look like where you are at right now?

MIELKE: I'm at my house. I look over the east part of Black Forest. It's cloudy. I see helicopters still flying around, a little tiny bit of rain, but it's much cooler than it was the last couple days, so it's very encouraging.

ACOSTA: And we just heard from our George Howell, talking to the governor there, Governor Hickenlooper, that, you know, because of the rain that is starting to fall, that people are starting to feel a bit more optimistic there in Colorado. Do you feel the same way? Do you think it's going to be enough rain to make a dent in this fire? What do you think?

MIELKE: No, it's not even close to enough rain to stop it, but it can help slow it down a little bit, and that's what they need, just so it puts out some of the dust fires that are in the pine needles, and that helps to knock it down, but any of the big fire, it's not enough to do that, to stop that.

ACOSTA: Well, Dale, it's a remarkable story that you were able to save your house, and, hopefully, your mustache and your eyebrows will grow back and everything will be OK, but all the best to you and your family in what is some very difficult circumstances.


MIELKE: All right, thank you very much.

ACOSTA: All right, thank you, Dale.


ACOSTA: And coming up, police rule out a couple of major reasons why a sports bar's deck may have collapsed. We will have the latest on the investigation, as well as a newly released audio of the 911 calls.


ACOSTA: Happening now: a charity ripoff revealed. We're investigating an operation that's apparently squandering donations and getting away with it.

Plus, the feds take on the New York Police Department over a program that gives cops a lot of leeway to stop you and frisk you.

And singing happy birthday can cost you cash? That may be changing.

Wolf Blitzer's off today. I'm Jim Acosta and you are in THE SITUATION ROOM.

If you have ever pulled out your checkbook to send money to a worthy cause, pay attention to this next story. Over the last year, CNN has teamed up with "The Tampa Bay Times" and the Center for Investigative Reporting to expose some scandalous charity practices.

What we have learned is that a small but aggressive group of charity operators appears to be more interested in enriching themselves with six-figure charities -- excuse me -- six-figure salaries than helping others.

Watch what happens as Drew Griffin of CNN's Special Investigations Unit tried to get some answers.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Drive down these country roads outside Knoxville, Tennessee, and into this small industrial park, and you will find the headquarters of a family conglomerate of cancer charities that return lavish salaries to their owners, but according to their own tax records, donate very little to dying cancer patients, and the last thing the people running this charity want to do is answer questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't -- don't turn your camera on me. OK?

GRIFFIN: Across the country in Mesa, Arizona, another outpost of the conglomerate. It's called the Breast Cancer Society. Its CEO and executive director? The man escaping in the truck, James Reynolds Jr. (on camera): Excuse me, sir? Mr. Reynolds? Hey, excuse me, Mr. Reynolds. Right here, buddy. Mr. Reynolds? Hi. Hi, can you stop for a second? No, where are you going, Mr. Reynolds? Mr. Reynolds?

(voice-over): Back in Knoxville, there's another cancer charity, the Children's Cancer Fund of America, and this one run by yet another member of the family, Rose Perkins.

(on camera): Hi, is Rose Perkins in?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's unavailable and she's not doing any interviews at all.

GRIFFIN: Why won't she do interviews? She's running a charity here for kids with cancer, right? That seems like a good idea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's what -- I've been just told to tell you she's not doing interviews.

GRIFFIN: Can you tell us what you guys do to -- any positive things you do with the money you collect?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can send your questions to her e- mail...

GRIFFIN: OK. What is it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we'll answer it.

GRIFFIN: If you were asking us for money, what would you say you did with your money?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We help children with cancer.

GRIFFIN: How do you do that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you mean how do we do that? We help children with cancer.

GRIFFIN: Yes, how?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We provide them a financial assistance.

GRIFFIN: Financial assistance? And do you have any idea how many...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you have any other questions, please send them to her e-mail.

GRIFFIN: OK, my question...

(voice-over): Rose Perkins did e-mail us and tell us her charity "has a clear conscience because we feel we are making a good difference in people's lives," but also told us an interview is "not something we can consider." That may be because of the questions we'd like to ask her and the other members of her extended family, who are essentially making a living on your donations.

Rose Perkins, the CEO of the Children's Cancer Fund, is paid $227,442 a year. Her ex-husband, James Reynolds Sr., is president and CEO of Cancer Fund of America. He gets paid $236,815. And James Reynolds Jr., president and CEO of the Breast Cancer Society, has a salary of $261,609.

It's money that comes from donors like you, who in 2011 sent these three charities $26 million in cash. How much of those donations actually went to helping cancer patients? According to the charity's own tax records, about 2 percent in cash.

Example -- the Cancer Fund of America raised $6 million through its fundraising campaign in 2011 and gave away just $14,940 in cash.

But that is not what you would hear from the telemarketers hired by the Cancer Fund of America, run by James Reynolds Sr.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, how much of my $10 will go -- who is this to?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cancer Fund of America support services. One hundred percent...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... of the donation goes into the fund where we purchase medical supplies for these cancer patients. We also do the hospice care for the terminally ill, and we supply over 600 hospice offices with medical supplies all over the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But how much of my $10 will go...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It goes 100 percent towards the charity itself. I'm calling directly from the charity and not a telemarketing agency.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, well, that's great, then.

GRIFFIN: According to the Iowa attorney general's office, which gave us these recordings, those phone call statements are one great big lie. The callers were telemarketers being paid to make the call. The state of Iowa fined the telemarketing company $35,000 for making "false representations."

As for donations to other charities, the Cancer Fund of America claimed on its 2011 tax filings it sent $761,000 in so-called "gifts in kind," not actually cash, to churches, some hospitals and other programs around the country.

When we called or e-mailed those other charities to check, many of them said they did get something, things like these supplies. But several of the groups told us they never heard of the Cancer Fund of America or don't remember getting a thing.

The Cancer Fund also takes credit for serving as a middleman, brokering transfer of another $16 million worth of gifts in kind to individuals and other charities, many of them overseas. Those contributions double up both as revenue and donations on the same tax forms.

Back at the Cancer Fund of America's corporate office, even the chief financial officer, who by the way, has a salary of $121,000, couldn't explain what was happening.

(on camera): We just have all these -- North Mississippi Medical Center, never heard of you. Yolanda Barco Oncology Institute, nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know if that's one of the ones that we looked at, but again, you would have to talk to him.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): The "him" is James Reynolds Sr., the founder, who finally told us in an e-mail, his boy thought it unwise to talk to CNN. Even though in a different e-mail he called the news of phantom donations, quote, "most disturbing."

As for his son, James Reynolds Jr., and his charity in Arizona.

(on camera): Hey, how are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The camera needs to stay outside.

GRIFFIN: OK. Can he stay right there? Is Mr. Reynolds here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry, he's not in right now.

GRIFFIN: The public relations officer for the Breast Cancer Society, Kristina Hixson, who by the way, is married to James Reynolds Jr., sent us e-mails telling us the Breast Cancer Society's "guiding mission is to provide relief to those who suffer from the effects of breast cancer" and that "we've made a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of men and women." But declined our request for an on- camera interview.

And when our camera found James Reynolds Jr., he made sure we got the message with a single finger salute.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Knoxville, Tennessee.


ACOSTA: In a statement posted on its Web site today, the Breast Cancer Society in Mesa, Arizona, claimed the financial information in Drew Griffin's report was "grossly ignorant at best" and that 75 percent of its revenues went to its programs.

But if you look at the organization's tax returns for 2011, that is not the case. The charity reported raising slightly more than $13 million in cash and donating $312,000 in cash to 798 unnamed recipients. That works out to a little less than 4 percent. The remainder of the donations were in those so-called gifts in kind. And the value of those gifts was determined solely by the Breast Cancer Society.

Still ahead, in Louisiana, more bad news and more questions after a deadly explosion at a chemical plant.


ACOSTA: Take a look at this. The video is dark, but you can see flashlights picking out rescuers helping people dumped into the waters of Florida's Biscayne Bay last night after a Miami area sports bar's deck collapsed.

CNN has just obtained some of the 911 calls. Take a listen.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need a rescue at Shockers in North Bay Village.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is the address?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The -- oh, my God, the thing just collapsed in the water! Shockers Grill in North Bay Village.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miami-Dade County police and fire, where's the emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I'm at Shockers Bar and Grill, and the deck just totally and completely collapsed. There's at least 100 -- at least -- people in the water right now. Other people are going to save them, but it's horrible.


ACOSTA: Wow. Well, about 100 people were on the deck watching last night's NBA playoff game when the deck collapsed. About two dozen people were hurt. "The Miami Herald" reports authorities still don't know what caused the collapse but have ruled out overcrowding and criminal activity.

A second person has died as a result of the explosion and fire at a Louisiana chemical plant. Yesterday's explosion also injured about 100 workers, although only a handful remain hospitalized. Plant officials say the fire now is out, and they're cooperating with investigators in trying to find out what caused the blast.

A political fight has broken out between two people you would think would be allies. Coming up, why New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is blasting U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. That's coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ACOSTA: Hundreds of thousands of people a year are often stopped and frisked by the New York Police Department. Now a new twist in a high-profile lawsuit. CNN's Mary Snow reports.


MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Twenty-five-year-old David Ourlicht says he's been stopped by New York City police so many times, he's lost count. That's why he's at the heart of a lawsuit filed against the NYPD that's now attracted the attention of the Justice Department.

DAVID OURLICHT, PLAINTIFF: It's fear. That's the primary thing. Whether I'm driving in a car and -- and a police car goes past or sirens come or anything, my heart drops.

SNOW: Ourlicht is one of four named plaintiffs in a federal class-action lawsuit challenging the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy. The suit, filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights, claims minorities are routinely stopped for no legal reason.

OURLICHT: Maybe I am being targeted, you know, because I have, you know, my white friends don't have the same experiences that I have.

SNOW: A judge is now deciding the case that has prompted protests in the city, and the Justice Department is weighing in. It filed a brief, making clear it's not taking sides, but it says, "if a judge decides the policy is unconstitutional," it recommends an independent monitor of the NYPD be put in place.

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK CITY: We think that a monitor would be even more disruptive than an I.G. This is just a terrible idea, and it's not needed.

SNOW: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city's police commissioner have strongly defended stop-and-frisk. The city says the policy has dramatically cut crime and that officers stop people based on suspicion in high-crime areas.

BLOOMBERG: You have a right to be safe, and we have an obligation to make sure that you're safe. And we have to do it consistent with the law. We believe we've done that.

SNOW: And while the Justice Department isn't commenting on the constitutionality of the city's policy, CNN legal contributor Paul Callan says its involvement sends a strong signal.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: If they truly believed there was no merit to the lawsuit, they wouldn't be saying, "Hey, you know, if you find against New York City, knock on our door, and we'll monitor the New York City Police Department."

So, the very overture being made by the Justice Department would seem to indicate that they've taken a side against New York City and the New York City Police Department's stop-and-frisk policies.


SNOW: And Jim, the use of independent police monitors isn't unprecedented. They've been used in Los Angeles, and they're currently in other cities that include Seattle and New Orleans -- Jim.

ACOSTA: An important issue we'll be watching. Thank you, Mary.

Up next, could presidential elections be a turning point in Iran? CNN's Erin Burnett is there, and she will join us live.


ACOSTA: Former vice president, Al Gore, is challenging President Obama's defense of NSA surveillance tactics. Gore told "The Guardian" newspaper that the programs exposed by the NSA leaker are unconstitutional.

"The Guardian" quotes him as saying -- and let's put it on screen -- "It is not acceptable to have a secret interpretation of a law that goes far beyond any reasonable reading of either the law or the Constitution and then classify as top secret what the actual law is."

Meantime, the search goes on for NSA leaker Edward Snowden amid speculation about where he might travel next. Singapore Airlines says it received an alert from the British government to prevent Snowden from boarding any flight to the United Kingdom.

It's believed that Snowden is still in Hong Kong, but no one knows for sure, and the manhunt is still on.

CNN's Erin Burnett is in Iran right now, in Tehran, to be specific, and she's going "OUTFRONT" at the top of the hour, looking at the presidential elections in that country.

A very important day in those elections, Erin. What is the government in Iran at this point saying about the turnout?

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: You know, this is interesting, Jim, because the government, they're trying to get results quickly. They're going to have it within 24 hours of the polls closing. And they closed just about four hours ago, a little bit -- just about that time. The big question is whether it will go to a run-off.

Now, the supreme leader, the ayatollah, had said the high turnout would deal a blow to Iran's enemies, referring of course, to the west and to the United States.

And, you know, as we said, whether from patriotism or from pressure, a lot of people did turn out, at least here in Tehran. And I want to emphasize, here in Tehran, obviously the big city is very different than the countryside. We didn't see what happened in the countryside. There are more votes there than here in the big cities, but in the big city, we saw long lines early in the day. We have been told that usually those happen later in the day. So that would seem to indicate turnout was higher.

At another polling station we visited at the end of the day, the campaign official from the government was very eager to say, "Oh, turnout is 60 percent."

It seems like they're going to be able to report a high turnout number that they had said was so important to the legitimacy of these elections.

But of course, Jim, we did talk to plenty of people today who said that they weren't voting, and none of them really wanted to talk about that on camera. There was frustration. They said, we voted before, and nothing has changed. So, quote/unquote, "What's the point?" But they, of course, did not want to talk about that on camera.

But we did see plenty of people voting, plenty of them voting for more conservative candidates, as well as for the man running as the reform candidate, Hassan Rowhani, and the big question is, of course, whether this will go to a runoff when those first results come in, Jim.

ACOSTA: And we know you will have more on this critical story at the top of the hour. We encourage our viewers to watch that, coming up on "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT."

Coming up, did you know you're supposed to pay if you sing the song "Happy Birthday"? I'm not paying.


ACOSTA: If you sing "Happy Birthday," it could cost you. We're not talking about the cake. We're not talking about the candles. CNN's John Berman explains.



(singing): Happy birthday to you.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR (voice-over): No, Mr. President, don't do it. Not that song. Not another White House controversy. Wait, stop! Not the kids, too. Don't put them in this kind of legal jeopardy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Happy birthday...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Happy birthday...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Happy birthday...

BERMAN: I know it's pretty much the most famous song in the English language. I know we've all sung it, everyone from babes to bombshells. Happy birthday, indeed, Mr. President. UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Happy birthday...

BERMAN: But if your "Happy Birthday" is too big, too public, and you don't have permission, it could cost you: $150,000.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Happy birthday...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Happy birthday...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Happy birthday...

BERMAN: Or $112,630 euros, for those who once dared to sing to former Pope Benedict, had they been charged.

That's the cost for the unauthorized use of those 16 little words, according to Warner/Chappell Music, which claims it owns the rights to "Happy Birthday."

PROF. ROBERT BRAUNEIS, THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: It's a case in which I think that the previous owners of that song, the predecessors of Warner/Chappell, at some point, didn't think themselves it was protected by copyright, but then maybe they saw an opportunity.

BERMAN: Now, one documentary company is trying to challenge that, filing a lawsuit Thursday to have the song returned to the public domain.

BRAUNEIS: The arrangements are certainly still under protection, but nobody plays those particular piano arrangements when they perform "Happy Birthday," so that's not economically significant.

BERMAN: Warner/Chappell has its reason for fighting: $2 million reasons in fact. That's how much they make, $2 million, every year on that song. It's why so many TV shows and movies go to ridiculous ends to not sing "Happy Birthday," even though they mean "Happy Birthday," from The Three Stooges...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): ... a birthday cake, if you get a tummy ache and you moan and groan and woe, don't forget we told you so.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): ... a birthday cake, if you get a tummy ache and you moan and groan and woe, don't forget we told you so.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): ... a birthday cake, if you get a tummy ache and you moan and groan and woe, don't forget we told you so.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you like that.

BERMAN: ... to "Two Broke Girls," who'd be even more broke if they didn't try this version.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Happy birthday to you! BERMAN: Even Mr. Rogers.

FRED ROGERS, CHILDREN'S TELEVISION HOST: Happy birthday, happy birthday, dear friend. We sing to you.

BERMAN: Even Mr. Rogers. If it's not safe for him, can it be safe for any of us?

(singing): Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to -- oh, never mind...


BERMAN: ... I can't afford it.

(on camera): On behalf of CNN, I apologize for my singing. I should also mention that CNN reached out to the music company Warner/Chappell, but a spokesman for the company declined to comment on the lawsuit.

John Berman, CNN, Washington.


ACOSTA: That story makes me feel a year older.

All right. I'm Jim Acosta. Thanks for joining us tonight. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.