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University of Texas Faces Lawsuit On Its Admission Practices; Starbucks To Start Including Calorie Counts On Its Menu; Home, Pond, Strip Club Searched; Marathon Medal Returned To Boston; Party In Miami; Scottie Pippin Assault Suspect; Jim Carrey Calls Own Movie "Too Violent"; Remembering Bobby Blue Bland

Aired June 24, 2013 - 16:30   ET



ABIGAIL FISHER, PLAINTIFF: And I'm very confident that you wouldn't be able to use race in the future.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Now, Abigail Fisher did not file her lawsuit out of the blue. She was handpicked by conservative activist Edward Bloom, whose group bankrolled her. Bloom also picked THE Shelby County, Alabama as the plaintiff in a case challenging the Voter's Rights Act. Supreme Court rulings on that case and same-sex marriage are also expected this week.

So no sweeping verdict on affirmative action today, but there is a new caveat to the college admissions process. Schools will have to show the policy is absolutely necessary to achieve diversity on campus.

And joining me now to discuss what this means for his school is William Powers, Jr., president of the university of Texas at Austin.

Bill, thanks for joining us. Will today's decision result in any change in UT's admissions practices?

WILLIAM POWERS JUNIOR, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS: Well, thank you, Jake. The class that was admitted for this coming fall will remain intact. The process is for our admission that due follow Gruder (ph) will be used as we go forward this coming fall for admitting the next class. So it will not have any immediate changes. And what this case did today, it left intact the scheme that was put in place by Bachy (ph) and Gruder (ph) that a narrowly tailored use of ethnicity and race is permissible in college admissions.

TAPPER: Now, the court said that the school, your school, has to prove under strict scrutiny that there is no other way to achieve diversity than by the plan you have now that considers race as a factor. How will you do that given that you have this other plan in which the top 10 percent of high school students across the state are admitted, and that also allowed for a diverse class?

POWERS: Well, the standard the court used, the strict scrutiny standard, which is generally applicable in cases of race, is the standard that we have litigated this case and designed our program with an eye to all along. We think we meet that standard, we think we will meet that standard when we go back to the fifth circuit. The automatic admissions standard that we used for 75 percent of our class is a useful -- it is one useful way to diverse a lot of class that using if along thus not achieve the kind of diversity that is necessary to give our students and education, all of our students not just the minority students, the education they need to work and increase them with diverse work place and world.

TAPPER: I'm sure you've heard from a lot of taxpayers given that every time you fight to defend this rule you are, by definition, spending taxpayer moneys. Are you going to keep fighting to preserve the system you have now?

POWERS: Well, we will continue to defend our admissions practices and litigate this case. We think they are necessary to achieve the kind of education our students deserve, our state deserves, the country deserves and, yes, we will continue to litigate this case and argue for our admissions practices.

TAPPER: As you know, there has been a lot of shift in public opinion on admissions processes that take into account race. They are less popular than they've been in a long, long time and even many liberals who have supported taking race into account in the past now think that there may be other better ways to do it, including class. President Obama himself has said that he didn't think his daughters should be getting any preferential treatment because of all the benefits and advantages they have.

Is it time to start thinking more about wealth and economic standing and less time about race?

POWERS: Well, in our admissions practices, we use a holistic review and we do take into account first-time college goers, economic wherewithal. So we do take other issues into account. And that's important for our students as well. They are going to be out working in a world that is more diverse than the world they grew up with. So those are important. But race continues to be an issue in America. We have made a tremendous amount of progress over the last 50 years in our country, and I might add that higher education has been a huge part of helping diversify our country, along with the military and along with a lot of people in the workforce. But race continues to be an issue and making sure that we have all kinds of diversity in our campuses but ethnic diversity as well. So it's time to focus on those other forms of diversity in addition to making sure that we have that an ethnically diverse, full force and that requires an ethnically diverse higher education.

TAPPER: All right, William Powers, president of the University of Texas at Austin, thank you so much for your time.

POWERS: Thank you, Jake.

TAPPER: Coming up, if your white chocolate mocha frappuccino isn't enough to give you a jolt, it might once you realize how many calories are in it. Starbucks is making a move that could hit forever change your daily caffeine fest.

Plus, we say so long to a rock and roll hall of famer who left the lasting mark on pop culture with one soulful blues ballad.


TAPPER: Welcome back to the LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Now it is time for the Money Lead.

If your daily Starbucks fix is about as necessary as oxygen, there is a good chance your order just rolls off the tongue. But if you've never paid attention to how many calories you're consuming, prepare to get tongue tied. Starting tomorrow, Starbucks plans to post calorie counts next to all of its menu items. That mean, no more running away from the truth about the scam.

The LEAD's Erin McPike joins us now with more.

Erin, why are they doing this?

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Actually, there is a good reason, Jake. And that is because according to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama care, all fast food chains with 20 locations or more locations throughout the country will have to post nutrition info on the walls sometimes next year.

But Starbucks has already started doing in some cities that require it and they are just getting ahead of the game already.


MCPIKE (voice-over): You may not be shocked to know your caramel drizzled whipped chocolate frappuccino from Starbucks is a little on the heavy side, but most customers could stay blissfully ignorant until now. Calorie counts have long been posted on Starbucks' web sites and store pamphlets, but tomorrow, the info will be posted front and center on 11,000 in menu boards. That's one for each of the company's nationwide locations.

CLAIRE O-CONNOR, STAFF WRITER, FORBES MAGAZINE: It is very educate a consumer. It is not going to be surprise them how many calories in our frappuccino. This customer is -- maybe will treat themselves with a cake pop, but they're also the same person who will spend $30 on a spinning class that day to burn it off.

MCPIKE: The move from Starbucks comes ahead of the FDA requirement that will force all chain restaurants to post nutritional information by the end of 2014.

O'CONNER: I think Starbucks is doing now is just being in front, I don't even know if you call it trend, but I think it is a movement towards transparency in all things consumer.

MCPIKE: Of course, Starbucks is famous for offering all kinds of variations for many of its drinks. Plus, the number of calories will vary depending on the size of the cup but the basic information will be there for all to see.

Now, you will be able to see that a white hot chocolate can have as many as 640 calories and a mocha cookie crumble frappuccino can have as many as 590. There are also 20 items that will have 200 calories or fewer. Will any of this make customers rethink their choices? We are about to find out.

Tomorrow, Starbucks are putting calorie counts up on the menu boards. Do you think it will change people's choices?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that many people would only order black coffee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That would be helpful to me because I look at every label.

PAM JOHNSON, STARBUCKS' CONSUMER: I don't think it will make any difference. I think everybody knows when you get caramel mocha latte, with a ton of cream, you know it has 300 calories or more.

MCPIKE: Of course, for those in New York city, knowing these nutrition facts is nothing new.

NANCY HOEHNEGARTH, DIRECTOR, NYSHEPA: Calorie labeling is one of the steps that we need to take to combat New York's unprecedented obesity epidemic.

MCPIKE: In 2008, the city's board of health voted unanimously to have all chain restaurants post facts. Some studies have shown posting nutrition facts makes no discernible difference for most consumers. But at 2011 Stanford study found that after this info was posted in New York City Restaurant, customers reduced their caloric intake by six percent.

Fast food chain like McDonald's and Panera have also got ahead of the game, voluntarily sharing news that a tasty lunch like this may set you back several hundred calories. For some consumers, knowledge is power and knowing the facts is a welcome change.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's OK to inform people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything in moderation, right?


MCPIKE: OK. So I actually have one of these for you, Jake.

TAPPER: It's very sweet. What is this?

MCPIKE: This is a mocha frappuccino. Obviously it's a venti, OK?

TAPPER: That means that's the largest.

MCPIKE: That's the largest, 20 ouncer, I believe.

TAPPER: Look at this chart! It's like the periodic table. MCPIKE: I know. So, here we go. Mocha without whip cream, whole milk, 390 calories, six grams of fat. It is not going to kill you.

TAPPER: But it has whipped cream.

MCPIKE: The whip cream will. You add that on here, for venti, cold, another 110 calories and 11 grams of fat. Now, at 500 calories, this is like a Quarter Pounder with cheese.

TAPPER: It's a Quarter Pounder with cheese, a liquid Quarter Pounder with cheese. And I have to say this is very complicated and difficult. I need a protractor to read it.

Anyway, Erin McPike, bottoms up. Thank you so much.

MCPIKE: Well, I have to tell you one thing. I am actually not going to drink this because I'll start convulsing. So someone in the newsroom, you're going to drink this next.

TAPPER: With some insulin.

Hash tag, you're it. Come up with more honest things for Starbucks offering say the fattuccino or perhaps a blueberrymuffintop. Hit is up @theleadcnn. Use the hash tag honeststartbucks.

Coming up on the LEAD, it is not the first time a Jim Carrey movie has got fast, but it is the first time Carrey is the one doing the bashing. Why he says he can no longer support an upcoming comedy that stars him.

And this little guy has only been at the national zoo for a few week and he has already over Washington. We'll have the latest on Rusty, the runaway red panda.


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jack Tapper. It's time for the "Sports Lead." It's never a good thing when police have memorized your address. Investigators sifted through the woods and searched the pond not far from the home of New England Patriots' player Aaron Hernandez this morning.

This after police searched Hernandez's home for a second time over the weekend and the SUV parked in his driveway. They're investigating the murder of a friend of his, Odin Lloyd whose body found a half mile from Hernandez's house, shot to death according to law enforcement sources.

Police tell us they also took a copy of a surveillance tape from a strip club in Providence, Rhode Island as part of the investigation. Hernandez still has not been named as a suspect.

He won the Boston marathon in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 22 seconds, long before two bombs exploded near the finish line, but the biggest step he took happened today. The men's champion came back to Boston to return his medal saying he wanted to honor the victims of the terror attack and their families. Through a translator, the Ethiopian told the crowd sports should unify and never be used as a battleground.

We want to warn Cleveland, this next story might be hard to watch. Tens of thousands of fans partied in downtown Miami this morning at a victory parade for the NBA championship Miami Heat. Lebron James complete with a victory cigar led the team to its second consecutive title. It's Miami's third title in franchise history and everyone is already talking three-peat, four-peat, five-peat.

The man who helped Michael Jordan win his six-NBA title says now a suspect in an assault investigation in South California. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says they want to talk to former Chicago Bull Scottie Pippin after a man was severely beaten at Nobu, the sushi place in Malibu.

The alleged victim was hospitalized with the head injury. Witnesses tell police that Pippin was one of the men involved in the fight. Pippin is an NBA hall of famer and still works in the Bulls' front office. He's a special adviser to the team's president and chief operating officer.

Did Jim Carrey just bury his own movie by bashing it before it even comes out? The pop lead is coming up.


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. The "Pop Culture Lead" now, the upcoming action comedy "Kick-Ass 2" is getting big thumbs down not from critics, but from one of the movies' biggest start, Jim Carrey who plays Colonel Stars and Stripes, is pulling his support for the sequel less than a month before it opens in theatres.

The movie is about a group of young want-to-be superheroes with no special powers who decide to fight crime. The gun control advocate Carrey says in the aftermath of the Newtown school shootings, he believes the movie is too violent. Carrey tweeted, quote, "I did "Kick Ass" a month before Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience, I cannot support that level of violence. My apologies to other involved with the film. I am not ashamed of it, but recent events have caused a change in my heart."

The truth is violence in movies and on TV was supposed to become a front and center issue in the wake of the massacre, but for the most part Hollywood has gotten a pass including from President Obama who has had no problem taking the gun industry to pass. So what kind of impact if any could Carrey's decision has on this debate about violence in the entertainment industry?

Joining me now live from New York is Christopher John Farley. He is the editor of the "Wall Street Journal's" entertainment blog, "The Speakeasy." Chris, this was a pretty bold move by Carrey. Not as bold as giving the money back but bold nonetheless. Do you think it will have any impact?

CHRISTOPHER JOHN FARLEY, EDITOR, WSJ ENTERTAINMENT BLOG, "THE SPEAKEASY": Well, it's two tweets so I don't know how bold it is. He sent out two tweets all told about this. We'll see if he continues this campaign. Will he pull support by not going on talk show, not writing editorials, not making movies that have this kind of violence in it? The name of the movie is "Kick-Ass." This is "Kick-Ass 2." It kicks butt. People's butts will be kicked. He seemed to be surprised by that. I'm shocked myself what he's shot.

TAPPER: In fact, the creator of the "Kick Ass" comic series released a statement saying he respects Carrey's opinion, but he's shocked by the announcement and he notes that Carrey knew full well what the movie was about. He goes on to say, quote, "like Jim I'm horrified by real life violence, but "Kick Ass 2" isn't a documentary. No actors were harmed in the making of this production."

It doesn't really seem like Hollywood wants to go after Carrey for breach of contract but maybe that could change, I suppose, if he actually goes through and does not promote this movie?

FARLEY: Well, you know, we'll see whether he has a change of heart because at least the first version of this movie was really more a comment on comic and violence. And that was more like "The Hunger Games," which is a film about the kind of violent images and violent things that kids are forced to go through in society, rather than trying to exploit the kids themselves through the cinematic process.

Based on the trailer so far, the second will follow into that. One of the stars of the movie was only 11 at the time of the movie. There is a lot of rough language was used. Her character is involved in a lot of violent scenes and so that didn't turn you off in the movie, it would surprise you that now the second movie would suddenly be something you have to draw the line on.

This may have been something that was very spontaneous on the part of Carrey. He may have a change of heart. I mean, tweeting is something you do after dinner, after drinks, after whatever. After he considers it, after he hears some people from the film, after he hears from his lawyers are maybe he'll have a different view on whether it crossed the line.

TAPPER: In fact in a bizarre way, it's almost an advertisement for the movie. This is really violent and I don't like it anymore but there might be people out there to find that appealing. Christopher John Farley, thank you so much.

FARLEY: Thank you.

TAPPER: He was a rock 'n' roll hall of famer who was often called the "Sinatra of the Blues" and even if you've never heard his name, the odds are you have heard his music. Legendary Blues singer, Bobby Blue Bland died last night at the age of 83. Bland was born and raised just north of Memphis. So you might say Blues was in his blood.

He had several hit songs including the 1973 classic "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City" is one of his hit songs. That same song was later sampled by rapper Jay-Z and it's now being used in commercials for the Chrysler 300. And here's another albeit sombre pop culture reference "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City" was the same quote tweeted out by alleged Boston bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, just hours after the marathon attacks.

The "Buried Lead," this is what we call stories you might not have heard about. It sounds like a fix up gone very bad. A red panda sent to the Washington, D.C. zoo to mate with his female counterpart ended up escaping from the zoo. His name is Rusty and he apparently got away sometime last night, but the panda has since been located.

He was found hanging out in a tree near the zoo a couple of hours ago. Zoo officials managed to capture Rusty and get him back to safety. Had he not been caught, we might have been forced to cover this story anchorman style.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The mood is tense. I have been on some serious, serious reports but nothing quite like this. I tried to get an interview with him but they said nope, you can't do that. He will literally rip your face off.



TAPPER: Thanks, Mr. Burgundy, I'll take it from here. Hash tag, you're it. We asked you earlier to come up with more honest names for those calorie-rich Starbucks menu items.

A reporter sent in "liquid crack" and @philmikens keep it short and simple, he tweeted, "cellu-latte." That's very clever. Make sure to follow me on Twitter @jaketapper and also @theleadcnn and check out our show page lead for video, blogs and extras.

That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I now turn you over into the able hands of Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM." He's back from Italy where he was given this very prestigious award and walked around prancercise style. Wolf, it was very impressive.

WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN "THE SITUATION ROOM": Everyone in Urbino, Italy, Jake, for giving the Urbino Press Award this year. It was great honor. Thanks very much.