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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Ohio "House Of Horrors" Demolished; Report: Al Qaeda Conference Call Intercepted; Attorney: Fort Hood Shooter Wants Death Penalty; Is Al Qaeda Really "On The Run"?; Powerball Jackpot Hits $425 Million
Aired August 7, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, an al Qaeda conference call. That crucial terrorist intercept that prompted the United States to close 22 embassies and have terror alerts around the world was a conference call. The man making that claim is OUTFRONT tonight. Plus, Cleveland's Hosue of Horrors finally comes down, one of Ariel Castro's victims was at the demolition today.
And never before heard audiotapes of the San Diego mayor accused of sexual harassment speaking to his alleged victims. And who they are is shocking. You are going to hear them here OUTFRONT for the first time tonight. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, house of horrors gone, a demolition crew today leveled the Cleveland home where three young women were held captive for a decade. The debris trucked off to be shredded and burned without a trace. Michele Knight who has become the most vocal of Castro's three victims was there. She took a final look.
Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT in Cleveland. And Martin, what was the scene like today?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, it was incredible scene, I think in a lot of ways I anticipated some of it, but definitely not all of it. There was cheering. There was crying. There were church bells ringing. There were bulldozers demolishing and then Michele Knight in front of it all. Take a look at what happened.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): The 32-year-old Michele Knight showed up exactly where no one thought she would be outside the home in which she was a prisoner for 11 years. With the beaming smile and bright yellow balloons, she used the demolition to bring attention to the plight of missing children.
MICHELLE KNIGHT, SURVIVOR: Nobody was there for me when I was missing and I want the people out there to know including the mothers that they can have strength. They can have hope and their child will come back. They will. Just have the love in God and you'll see they'll come back. SAVIDGE: Knight who suffered the longest of the three captives has now become the most outspoken. The only one to appear in person at Ariel Castro's sentencing delivering a powerful unforgettable verbal blow.
KNIGHT: I spent 11 years in hell. Now your hell is just beginning.
SAVIDGE: Knight seems to embrace her new role hoping to become a motivational speaker.
KNIGHT: I feel very liberated that people think of me as a hero and a role model and I would love to continue being that.
SAVIDGE: Then came the moment the entire street had waited for as the aunt of one of the girls kidnapped was given the seat of honor behind the controls of the giant excavator and given the first destructive blow. For watching neighbors, the nightmare on their street is finally over.
DEBORAH SERRANO, NEIGHBOR: I'm glad they're doing what they are doing.
SAVIDGE: Google maps actually beat Cleveland to the punch by removing the image of Castro's home from the satellite view literally wiping it from the face of the earth. A few hours later wrecking finished doing the very same thing for real and the so-called house of horror is no more.
BURNETT: Just satisfying just to watch that as a person, but do you know what is going to go there once the last debris has been totally cleared? What replaces it?
SAVIDGE: Yes, there is a lot of debate as to what will happen. Right now there are a couple of ideas, one maybe a park. Keep in mind there are two other abandoned homes right next door that will be knocked down. Others suggest maybe a playground for the children. Either way Michele Knight herself suggested one thing she would like to see there, an angel, a way to symbolize hope and wipe away all the memories of horror.
BURNETT: Incredible she just kept such great faith. Thank you, Martin.
Now our second story, OUTFRONT, an al Qaeda conference call, when I say the words conference call, we are talking about 20 al Qaeda operatives doing something that seems, well, incredibly corporate (inaudible) and therefore shocking. According to a bombshell report today in the "Daily Beast," quote, "The crucial intercept that prompted the United States government to close embassies in 22 countries was a conference call between al Qaeda senior leaders and representatives of several affiliates throughout the region."
There is the claim. If this is true it will be a major change in how the terror network communicates. Not everyone thinks this report adds up. I want to bring OUTFRONT tonight Eli Lake, the reporter who wrote the article. Eli, always love having you on.
So let me just start with this, as you know, CNN hasn't confirmed the story. The information runs counter to what many believe is how al Qaeda has communicated. Bin Laden famously shunning using a phone. How did the conference call work from your reporting? Was it a traditional call in the sense that, you know, you pick up the phone in conference in other people?
ELI LAKE, "THE DAILY BEAST": I should classify we left some details out of that piece at the request of our sources. I would say it is not a telephone conference call in that sense. It was a kind of remote conference where people are in. It is something like a teleconference. There are some details I want to leave at that point at the request of our sources.
But what really prompted this was the reports of the intercept between the head of the al Qaeda branch in Yemen. It turns out that that intercept was actually kind of a board meeting for al Qaeda and representatives or leaders of its vast affiliates from North Africa to Southwest Asia. And this is actually something that al Qaeda has done from time to time for a few years now.
It is true that al Qaeda prefers carriers and Bin Laden famously had carriers using with thumb drives. But this is also another kind of capability. It is very important for how the senior leadership now in Pakistan can exercise control of the larger organization.
BURNETT: An obviously an organization that has totally changed, right, that used to be a core group in Pakistan, Afghanistan and is now a lot of other places. I know there is only so specific you can get. Just to make sure that I understand characterizing. This is some sort of a Skype-like technology or a technology, perhaps, Eli, that is only available now that people have and al Qaeda operatives assumedly have, smartphones that work in the middle of the desert, you know, that kind of thing?
LAKE: Yes, without going into detail I would stress that al Qaeda is very aware of American intercept capabilities and they are aware of the fact that they are watched very closely. I would just say that there are ways that you can have people meet virtually, so to speak, that you can in some cases cover your tracks and I would leave it there.
BURNETT: All right, well, let me ask you about that, then because cover your tracks and the issue of whether the U.S. government can pick it up goes right to the heart of what the U.S. government is trying to justify right now. If we are monitoring calls that that is OK with the NSA. You say three unnamed U.S. officials. As you know you come under criticism today. Intelligence and national security reporter for the "L.A. Times" basically suggested those officials want to help the NSA.
Here's what he wrote about you, since when have they started disclosing intercepts. Though it does give the NSA some badly needed political cover. I mean, he is pretty clearly implying -- what do you say to that?
LAKE: Well, first of all, I like him very much. He is a great reporter. I would just say, that, you know, these were not authorized disclosures. They were following another unauthorized disclosure, which is the Maklachi report, which first reported the intercept. Unfortunately, when you are dealing with vast intelligence bureaucracies and lots of people involved in intelligence gathering, there are going to be these kinds of leaks and the press you know we all sort of cover things.
And this, I think, our story was really prompted more by the initial disclosure and trying to get more resolution on that. I would also add another important point here. The NSA programs that have become so controversial have nothing to do with any kind of intercepts and capabilities that would be in this particular case. I think they are two very distinct things. It is a testament I think to the capabilities of the U.S. intelligence community, but I don't think this is any bearing on the particular controversial programs.
BURNETT: All right, well, thank you very much, Eli Lake. It's pretty incredible reporting there. And obviously Eli Lake has been proven right many, many times.
Still to come, the man who shot and killed 13 people at the Fort Hood Army base wants the death penalty. He is representing himself but he still has lawyers around him and they want to refuse to help their client die.
Plus, you heard of snakes on a plane. Now sharks on a subway. It actually happened today.
And then a massive manhunt underway tonight in California, a murder suspect on the run with a 16-year-old girl as his hostage. What is he doing with her?
And the most shocking crash video we have ever seen, we are going to show it to you.
BURNETT: Our third story, OUTFRONT, death wish, Major Nidal Hasan, the shooter in the Fort Hood massacre wants the death penalty. Now this is according to his standby attorneys. They are up in arms because they refuse to help their client die. He, of course, has been formally representing himself. Ed Lavandera is OUTFRONT with this bizarre twist in the case.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Defense attorneys appointed to assist Major Nidal Hasan say the army psychiatrist seems to be on a suicide mission after declaring "I am the shooter" in his opening statement. His standby attorneys told the judge that Hasan is working in concert with the prosecution to achieve a death sentence. Hasan started to object, but after hearing that the judge brought the court martial to a standstill. Military legal experts say they've never seen anything like this.
RICHARD ROSEN, FORMER MILITARY PROSECUTOR: There is no telling what he is going to do when he gets on the stand if he testifies which I suspect he will to tell his story.
LAVANDERA: From the start of the trial, Nidal Hasan has shown no interest in defending himself. Hasan says he switched sides in a war against Islam before killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 others in a savage attack at Fort Hood four years ago. Hasan has only asked a few questions of witnesses. He is a quiet bystander even though he is acting as his own lawyer. The attorneys assigned to help say they can't let it happen.
GEOFFREY CORN, SOUTH TEXAS COLLEGE OF LAW: The defense lawyers are in a terrible predicament because they have to stand by and watch the person they are charged with assisting to represent himself essentially put the noose around his own neck. They view this as fundamentally inconsistent with their ethical obligation as lawyers.
LAVANDERA: Fort Leavenworth Kansas is where Nidal Hasan would end up if he is convicted and sentenced to death. There hasn't been a military execution since 1961. The legal road to the death chamber is full of detours created by appeals and ultimately presidential approval. Based on recent past cases even if Hasan gets the death penalty, it is possible he may never be executed. But military law expert, Geoffrey Corn, says the legal drama we saw unfold on this day will not derail Hasan's murder trial.
CORN: I suspect she is going to make Major Hasan acknowledge on the record that he understands the immense risk he is assuming.
LAVANDERA: So the question is what will the judge do? What will happen next? Several military legal experts that we spoke with today anticipate what the judge is going to tell these three standby attorneys for Major Hasan is that they have to continue doing the job that they've assigned to do and keep moving forward. The prosecution has its case to put forward.
What they are really concerned about here is how this case will look on appeals. We mentioned so many potential pitfalls for military trials especially death penalty cases. They are worried about how this will play out in the appeals process. We'll find out tomorrow morning in what the judge said and hopefully get a clear answer when everyone reconvenes 10:00 a.m. Eastern tomorrow morning -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Ed, thank you very much in covering that trial for us here OUTFRONT.
And now our fourth story tonight, OUTFRONT, is al Qaeda really on the run? Today, President Obama seemed a little bit unsure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Al Qaeda's top ranks have been hammered. But core of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on the way to defeat. Al Qaeda affiliates and like minded extremists still threaten our homeland, still threaten our diplomatic facilities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right, so does it really lessen the threat if the core of al Qaeda has been "hammered," quote/unquote, but al Qaeda affiliates have spread and actively plot against the United States? It is hard to know. One thing we do know is that the Obama administration has just stepped up its use of drones to kill terrorists. Just how effective are they?
Barbara Starr has this OUTFRONT investigation.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Within hours of learning al Qaeda in Yemen was planning a major attack President Obama increased drone operations in a frantic effort to find the terrorists. Operations have been cut back, but now the gloves were off as senior administration official tells CNN. National security trumped everything else.
In the last week and a half five drone attacks over Yemen. About one-third of all attacks so far all this year. Drones remain controversial. President Obama insists only al Qaeda is targeted.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: And even then the use of drones is heavily constrained. America does not take strikes when we have the ability to capture individual terrorists.
STARR: But there is a cost. One is civilian deaths.
DANYA GREENFIELD, YEMEN EXPERT, ATLANTIC COUNCIL: The civilian casualties that come from these drone strikes I think really has a very, very negative impact both in terms of our ability to protect our security interests and in terms of the long-term relationship that we have with the Yemeni people and with the Yemeni government.
STARR: Another cost congressional concerns the president can order to kill Americans overseas such as the American-born Yemeni cleric, Anwar Al-Awlaki in 2011.
SENATOR ANGUS KING (I), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Having the executive being the prosecutor, the judge, the jury and the executioner all in one is very contrary to the traditions and the laws of this country.
STARR: Are drones really effective? The latest strikes have killed 20. The major players behind the current threat, the al Qaeda leader in Yemen, and a master bomb maker remain at large.
GREENFIELD: The whack a mole approach of going after one leader and another leader really doesn't systematically get at the root of the problem. (END VIDEOTAPE)
STARR: With drones flying overhead, the U.S. quietly right now does have a number of Special Forces on the ground part of the overall effort to use all they can to find out who is behind the current threat in Yemen -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Barbara, thank you. Still to come disturbing new information about the San Diego mayor accused of harassment. Was he actually targeting victims of rape? We have never before heard audio. We are going to have that for you coming OUTFRONT.
Plus, one of the largest Powerball prizes of all time and a man films a woman stealing his package from Amazon. What's he doing to get her back?
BURNETT: Our fifth story, OUTFRONT, jackpot. People are lining up across the country for a shot at a half a billion dollar Powerball prize. A winning number will be announced in just a few hours. It is the third largest Powerball jackpot ever at $425 million. So the number it seems like are chosen at random, but the thing is there might be a way to predict the winner.
Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT with the answer to whether is that is possible. It's pretty amazing claim. You are looking at trends over the years. What do you see?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If I could predict the winner, I wouldn't be at work right now. There have been lucky states. There have been states that have produced more winners than others, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. They produce a lot of winners. But that's for a lot of reasons, chance, the number of people who are playing.
But those are the states that you could call them lucky states. There have also been lucky numbers. Numbers that have won or shown up in winning sequences more often, 23, 8, 26, 36, 56 and 29 as the Powerball. Those have been the luckiest numbers so far. It doesn't mean they will be this time, but that what has been so far -- Erin.
BURNETT: That is kind of amazing to me. I am no probability expert, but it would seem to me, you know, statistically you go one to 20 or whatever the numbers and they each have an equal chance. So that in and of itself what you're reporting is fascinating. Let's say you are the winner of this $425 million prize. You get the lump sum. What do you get?
FOREMAN: You get a lot of money. If you got $245 million as a lump sum you could buy the fastest production car in the world, which can go about 250 miles per hour. Look at it go. You don't have to buy just one of them. You can buy 98 of them or you can get the Elizabeth Taylor diamond. Don't settle for one. You can get 27 of them. That is more value than those thefts we have been talking about lately or if you want to celebrate somewhere you can rent the country of Liechtenstein for about a month. I'm sure if you do pay per view movies or mini bar you have to pay extra for that -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Tom Foreman. And, of course, as Tom will tell you odds of winning are one in 175 million. They're really tiny but if you win, wow.
OUTFRONT next, day two of a massive manhunt in this country. It began in California. A murder suspect is on the run and has a 16- year-old girl with him. Why?
Plus a late night host has compared Russia and its leader to Nazi Germany. Is that fair?
And the most shocking crash video we have ever seen. We are going to play the tape for you with the outcome next.
And our shout out seeking justice, this is home surveillance video. She goes up to an Arizona man's home and she steals his Amazon delivery. Now Tim Lake, the man whose delivery was stolen, is not taking this lightly. He put up signs asking for information who the woman is who stole his stuff.
He created an e-mail address asking for tips to get back his delivery, which he says was ice cube strays and Keurig k-cups. It is valued at $22. Now Tim tells us he has no lead so far, but our shout out goes to Tim Lake. Not only trying to bring a potential thief to justice, a man of principle. We support that, but he also has a great sense of humor.
BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT, where we start with stories where we focus on reporting from the front lines.
Well, today, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran is operating 7,000 nuclear centrifuges, 1,000 of them, Bibi says, are newer model. Expert Kenneth Katzman (ph) tells us Netanyahu believes the newer models can enrich uranium a whole lot faster than the older ones. This comes a day after Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, said, though, he's ready to enter, quote- unquote, "series negotiations about the nuclear program. Katzman believes Rouhani is sincere but says Iran will require sanctions relief to do a deal. Many others fear Iran will use sanctions relief to plow ahead with an alleged nuclear weapons effort.
In China, a closed circuit camera inside a tourist bus captured a horrifying crash. We're going to show this to you. It's just unbelievable. This bus driver, you see him here, driving, he missed his exit apparently. Instead of going around he started backing up down the highway. Then -- look at that -- a truck plowed into the back of the bus sending him through the window, through that side window. And we can report, it's miraculous, he is alive. He doesn't appear to be wearing a seat belt and passengers on the bus don't seem to have them at all. Chinese media reports are unclear on the passenger's condition. It appears one of them maybe in a coma.
Here in the United States, 86 percent of people wear seat belts and still nearly 4,000 died in 2011 because they weren't wearing one.
And a story out of New York City that's getting some national attention, some of the strange story. Around midnight last night, someone got off the subway and forgot something. It happens all the time. But it wasn't a cell phone or a wallet or a prosthetic, which apparently happens often.
No, this person forgot a dead shark. When we call the transportation authority to make sure this is on the up and up, the woman responded, you mean a fish tail? Anyway, they say no one actually claimed the shark, but this is what it is like here in New York. Just another day.
It has been 732 days since the United States lost its top credit rating. What are doing to get it back? Well, stocks fell for the third day running, but there was a bright spot. Tesla Motors, the company that makes electric cars shocked everybody. It had a big profit. Analysts on Wall Street thought they'd lose money. Demand for Tesla's Model S, which retails for $70,000 is strong. That car, after all, is Motor Trends Car of the Year.
And now, our sixth story OUTFRONT, international manhunt. Mexico now helping American authorities search for eight-year-old Ethan Anderson and his 16-year-old sister Hannah. These two have been missing. Their mother was found dead inside the burning home of a family friend, James DiMaggio, on Sunday. And since that time, the children have not been seen.
Sources also tell CNN they found remains of the child in that home that are consistent with an 8-year-old boy but we cannot formally confirm whether those remains are Ethan's. The children's father, though, is still holding out hope.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRETT ANDERSON, FATHER OF MISSING CHILDREN: I can't fathom what you were thinking. The damage is done. I'm begging you to let my daughter go. You have taken everything else.
Hannah, we all love you very much. If you have a chance, you take it. You run. You'll be found.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Paul Vercammen is OUTFRONT in San Diego.
And, Paul, you know, police -- obviously, we are hearing from the father. Police heard from friends of Hannah. What are they saying about DiMaggio's relationship with her or the family? PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, if these charges prove to be true, this is a case of absolutely shocking betrayal among best friends. By all accounts, DiMaggio and the father Brett Anderson knew each other for more than 20 years. He became so close of a friend to the family that DiMaggio was considered an uncle to the children. He knew them since birth.
So, this is just crushing. You heard the father make that appeal, Erin, for DiMaggio to give himself up. They knew each other very well, so much so that a source close to the family said at one point, they believe that DiMaggio lived with the children's maternal grandmother. So, very close linkage here, Erin.
BURNETT: People are obviously speculating about what the relationship might have been between DiMaggio and the 16-year-old Hannah that he is allegedly is with now. Do you know anything about that? I mean, at this point, a lot that is speculation.
VERCAMMEN: Well, detectives say they certainly are chasing down the rumors that there might have been some sort of romantic relationship. A neighbor said that he knows of a recent instance where DiMaggio took the 16-year-old girl, just them, on a trip to Hollywood. So, detectives are going to talk to her friends in her high school and find out if there was something on social media that could provide clues to their relationship and their whereabouts, because right now there has not been a single report of the sighting of DiMaggio or Hannah, this 16-year-old girl, nowhere in sight today, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Paul Vercammen, thank you.
And now our seventh story OUTFRONT: Never before heard tapes. We have obtained exclusive voice mails from embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to one of his accusers. Now, at least 13 people have accused Filner of unwanted sexual advances. But what's shocking about the latest allegation is that these women say they were targeted because they were rape victims.
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT with this exclusive investigation.
BOB FILNER (D-CA), THEN-U.S. CONGRESSMAN (through voice mail): Your newly favorite congressman, Bob Filner
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The voice mail caught Ledonna Lewis Fernandez off-guard. A too friendly message from a man of power she just met whose voice she recognized.
FILNER: Bob Filner, you know, the one who fell in love with you during your last speech. I just want to -- are you going to be in town for a couple of days or are you going back because I don't want to wait until you come back to have dinner with you.
MASTER SGT. ELDONNA LEWIS FERNANDEZ, USAF (RET): Yes, it creeps me out. Creeps me out. The guy has got problems. LAH: Fernandez is a retired U.S. Air Force master sergeant. During her 23 years of service, she says she was raped three times. She had just met the then-10 term congressman at an event a year ago to help her fellow military sexual assault survivors.
FERNANDEZ: He looks at my card and says, Fernandez, are you married? Do you have a husband? Very quick, very direct. I said, no, I'm divorced. Well, you're beautiful and I can't take my eyes off you and I want to take you to dinner. I was kind of shocked like really.
LAH: Then came the call which went to voice mail.
FERNANDEZ: I do believe that he used his position in order to forcefully, OK, you want to go out with me because I'm a congressman.
LAH: At the same female veterans event last August where Filner met Fernandez, he also met Gerri Tindley, an Army veteran who says she was raped while in the military and bore a son from the sexual assault.
(on camera): And you were there talking about your sexual assault.
GERRI TINDLEY, ARMY VETERAN: Yes.
LAH: Filner was in the green room also preparing to speak.
TINDLEY: He got as close as he could to me. His jacket was touching my jacket. I was bent down and he was bent down with me, rubbing, like he came like he was consoling me.
LAH: But you felt weird at the time?
TINDLEY: I felt very weird.
LAH: Did you say anything?
TINDLEY: No. You are a congressman. What am I going to say to you?
LAH: How many women within your organization have come forward to you?
TERA JONES, NAT'L WOMEN'S VETERANS: Seven to eight vets. I know I've spoken with personally.
LAH (voice-over): Those women told Tara Jones, the head of the veteran support group that Filner made unwanted advances from groping in some cases to verbal passes in others.
JONES: He went to dinners, asked women out to dinners. He has groped, grabbed breasts, buttocks, you know, the full gamut.
LAH: One of the primary missions of Jones' organization is to help military rape and sexual assault victims. In Congressman Filner, Jones saw a champion for their cause -- the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee who spoke openly about sexual abuse against military women, even marching with them at awareness campaigns earlier this year, and often the keynote speaker at female veteran events.
FILNER: Two-thirds of women in the military have been sexually harassed.
LAH: Jones, retired Navy and a San Diego activist, publicly threw her support behind Congressman Filner in his race for mayor last fall.
JONES: Thank you, Congressman, for so much you have done to women veterans.
He preyed upon people who were vulnerable who he knew probably nine times out of 10 would not speak up.
TINDLEY: How can you be a representative, take an oath, and be a predator?
LAH (on camera): You use the word predator several times. You feel he was a predator within your organization?
FERNANDEZ: He knew all the women and what we have been through. So, whether he had a conscious thought or not, it's an easy prey.
LAH (voice-over): Mayor Filner checked himself into a two-week therapy Monday to help him deal with his behavior. We called his spokeswoman who declined our request to respond to these latest allegations. So, we went to the mayor's office and ran into his chief of staff.
(on camera): I'm Kyung Lah from CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, nice to meet you.
LAH: Do you have two seconds for me to chat with you?
(voice-over): Lee Burdick speaks to Filner daily for briefings while the mayor is in therapy. She says she is busy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll let you know one way or the other.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
BURNETT: Kyung, obviously, there, you know what happened? Did the chief of staff ever come out? Did you get a chance to talk to her?
LAH: No, that door when the door closed, that was the last I saw of her. She officially had no comment, Erin.
BURNETT: Officially no comment. Now, you know, you talk about Filner. I mean, the reporting there, Kyung, was just -- it was unbelievable and it was so moving. Now, I know he is still mayor. You're talking about how he went into the therapy program for two weeks at the beginning of this week. But he hasn't resigned from office.
So, is anything being done to officially investigate the charges? I mean, you now have found out more information than anyone else has.
LAH: We do know that there are multiple investigations underway. A lot of that is not being talked about publicly. We do know there are also multiple recall efforts underway. And there have been numerous calls for the mayor to step down. But, Erin, as we saw, when you go to his office he is still the mayor, he remains the mayor of San Diego despite the swirling charges and the growing drum beat of women who keep coming forward and saying that Bob Filner, alleging that he did this to them.
BURNETT: Right. Kyung Lah, thank you very much.
And as Kyung reported, of course, these aren't just women alleging. These are women who were victims of rape and the mayor was aware of that.
Well, the guardians of knowledge have assembled 1,000 people from 90 different countries are meeting in Hong Kong this week and they're talking about the future of Wikipedia. And, of course, you probably heard of it and probably used it today, the world's most popular encyclopedia. Wikimania as it's called brings together Wiki staffers, editors and other information junkies for a series of meetings that will determine how information is gathered, posted and put on Wikipedia's hundreds of millions of users. The online encyclopedia currently offers 30 million articles in 286 languages. There has been nothing like this in the history of human kind.
That brings me to tonight's number: 7,000 pounds. According to CW 39 SciGuy Eric Berger, that's how much Wikipedia weigh. So, Berger got this number by estimating -- the encyclopedia made of 2.4 billion words. So if you published that in a traditional encyclopedia, it would be 1,800 volumes and that's the weight.
As a point of reference, the encyclopedia Britannica global edition which used to be the standard had 30 volumes. That is not just when you print off Wikipedia. I was curious what it really weighs, you know, it's ethereal state, when it's online.
Two years ago, Bezas (ph) calculated the electronics signal of the Internet weighs about 50 grams, the size of a large strawberry. So, the online version of Wikipedia must be, I don't know, w weren't sure, what, a little piece of a strawberry seed?
Still to come, men sneaking up on women and stealing their hair, cutting it off and taking it. We'll tell you why and where.
Plus, during his interview with the president, Jay Leno compares Russia to Nazi Germany. Does that claim add up in any way?
And two of the NFL's biggest stars launch a rap career.
PERINO: We are back with tonight's "Outer Circle" where we reach out to sources around the world.
So, tonight, we go to Venezuela where thieves have been making serious money off of women's hair. What they've been doing is, you know, you're walking on the street, they sneak behind women and they cut off a chunk of their hair and then they sell it. It's bizarre. It's disturbing.
And I asked Rafael Romo about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, it's hard to believe but something as simple as letting your hair down in Venezuela can make you a target for criminals. Authorities in the coastal of Maracaibo have recently noticed an increase on the number of attacks against women with long hair. The thieves grabbed them by the air, pull out some scissors, and cut a chunk and flee, everything happens in just a matter of seconds.
In Venezuela, they call these thieves piranhas because just like the meat-eating fish found in South America, they are fast, ferocious and see to have very little compassion for their unsuspecting long hair victims. It's also happening in neighboring Colombia. Stylists say it is quick and relatively easy money for thieves because they can sell natural hair for more than $500 -- Erin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Thank you, Rafael. It's just bizarre.
Well, in Russia -- is Russia Nazi Germany?
Tonight, there are more comparisons being made about Russia's crackdown on gays and lesbians and the Nazi's prosecution of Jewish citizens, homosexuals and others that Hitler wanted to eliminate.
Here is Jay Leno speaking to the president last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY LENO, THE TONIGHT SHOW: Suddenly, homosexuality is against the law. I mean, this seems like Germany. Let's round up the Jews, let's round up the gays, let's up the black -- I mean, it starts with that. You round up people who you don't like. I mean, why is no one in the world outraged at this?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: But does that comparison really fair? Dean Obeidallah, Stephanie Miller, and Reihan Salam join us.
And what do you think, Stephanie? You make any kind of allegation that somebody is doing something like Hitler. You need to be really, really sure about it. It isn't something to be done lightly or in a trite manner. Was Jay right?
STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO HOST: I think so. I'm worried for you and I in certain countries because we have long hair. And I think the comparison is valid, you know, Erin, in the sense that Hitler started with the gays and the gypsies if you'll recall. And, you know, I think there was some talk about of us boycotting the 1936 Olympics, when people thought, oh, he'd never go that far. But, you know, when you have 84 percent of Russians against gays because they are afraid of arrest, I think the world has to seriously question what is happening in Russia, regarding gays. I really do.
BURNETT: Dean, she raises the very fair point. It started with Hitler with laws. First, you have to do this with people and then that and then you wear a star and then we round you up. And then we're going to euthanize, right? I mean, it starts with something that people can look the other way on. And then it can become something else.
So, is it fair?
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, COMEDIAN: It can escalate. And let's be honest, though, when you are getting history lessons from Jay Leno, I think there's a problem on things. I like Jay Leno, I would rather hear Letterman's view on history.
The Nazis, they criminalized homosexuality, 100,000 gay people were rounded up. You are getting away from thousands died in concentration camps. You know, this is not that situation. It's alarming. The law is despicable.
BURNETT: The law bans the propaganda of non-traditional relationships around minors. That's the law.
OBEIDALLAH: I think when we use the term Nazi so quickly, it's a disservice of those who died and suffered in the Holocaust and the atrocities of the Nazi. I think let's use the specific instance of what is going on with the people, the young teenagers that are gay and getting beat up that's more moving to me than compelling than calling them Nazis.
BURNETT: Reihan, are people trivializing the Holocaust by making this comparison, or is it fair?
REIHAN SALAM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, I think that this is a very inflammatory way to talk about what is a serious issue going on for a long time, that's the broader erosion of civil liberties, property rights protections and everything else in Russia. Mitt Romney in 2012 described Russia as America's number one geopolitical foe and he was mocked for it. The thing is that he was absolutely right. One issue after issue -- Syria, they actually barred adoptions of Russian children. OK. Fair enough. Maybe they can do that.
But then they have also barred U.S. NGOs from operating in Russia and they've also been jailing political dissidents. So, I think that what happened here is because you have this issue regarding gays, lesbians and transgendered people, it's actually gotten a lot of Americans who weren't engaged with this very serious humans rights abuses --
BURNETT: To think about it.
SALAM: -- to think about it. I think that's good news.
BURNETT: That's a fair point. Let me play what the president, because when you hear me show the question that Jay asked, do you want to ask what the president said because obviously, he is going to Russia, as we know, despite the Edward Snowden massive snub and despite this .
Here's how he answered Jay's question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRES. OF THE UNITED STATES: I have no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgendered person in ways that intimidate them and harmful them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: He says that and he's skipping a one on one meeting with Putin at this point, which is a big deal, no president since the Cold War has done that. But he's going to Russia anyway for the G-20 meeting. So, he has a problem with how they are treating homosexuals. He's a problem with Edward Snowden but he's still going.
OBEIDALLAH: The G-20 is an important meeting. We're the leader of the free world. We're the biggest economy. We have to go. We show leadership. Try to get the other countries to influence Putin.
Here is the problem and Stephanie hit on it --
BURNETT: So, You think to do that is still to go --
OBEIDALLAH: Here's the bigger problem -- 76 percent of Russians in a recent poll agree with this law. It's not just changing Putin. It's changing the minds of the average Russian. I think boycotting is not going to do it. We have to somehow engage them.
BURNETT: Stephanie, what do you think, though, because you brought up the analogy of the 1930s, when the U.S. could have -- there was the possible boycott of the Olympics, right? We're looking at a similar situation here, I mean, at least with the Olympics coming up --
MILLER: Yes. I mean, you know, there is also shades of Stalin, you know, in this as well Erin. I got to say, you know, I think the president did take a stand by, you know, cancelling this meeting with Putin and I think that you have to look the president has done more for gay rights in this country than all the other presidents combined. But I do think it's time to put that forward and take a stand around the world with what is happening in Russia.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks to all of you. We appreciate it. It's an interesting food for thought. You think the president went far enough, he won't tolerate it but going to the G-20 anyway. Let us know, of course, on our Twitter, our blog, our Facebook.
Well, every night we take a look outside the day's top stories for what we call the OUTFRONT "Outtake."
Sports and singing is up tonight. For decades you watched professional athletes break into the music business, tried rap, country, jazz, no genre has been safe from this horrific trend. And while there have been a few moments of musical magic, it usually ends with something frankly, horrific.
And now, there is a new contender, the Manning brothers. Not a bad name but the new commercial for Direct TV, Eli and Peyton Manning of football fame show up hip-hop skills. Now, to be fair, they look like they knew they were bad. I don't know. I think they actually might think that they look like they think they are bad but they actually think they are good.
Anyway, a lot of athletes lack self-awareness. Here are some favorites.
(MUSIC VIDEO CLIPS)
BURNETT: We had to let you out of your misery. There are so many more. Find any, please send them our way.
And next, really hot new tablet that we have found that I guarantee you actually have not seen demoed or tested. It's full of incredible features. And guess what? You cannot get it.
BURNETT: Now, a new tablet that you can't get your paws on. So a visitor to North Korea happened upon this Samjiyon, a tablet available only in North Korea. That's why we're saying you can't get it. But it retails for about $200. It features a 2-mega pixel camera, 1 gigabyte of RAM, 16 gigabytes of internal storage, runs Android, and even comes with Angry Birds. All right. It's not perfect in every front. Some of those specs aren't great, some of them are shocking, Angry Birds preloaded.
In North Korea, there are no Internet capabilities but it does have intranet (ph) and a TV tuner to get state-run television. North Korea. When people think -- most people don't think of the desperately poor, isolated, internet-blocked, nuclear armed dictatorship is invasion. A friend of mine spent some time in North Korea and during one trip he visited a cement factory. Even though the factory was outdated and much of machinery in it had been totally broken, it was working. The workers built parts that were different from Western parts. They created workarounds to make a decades old plant work run perfectly without manuals, without training, without any kind of modern technology, with pure and simple ingenuity and talent
From cement factories to touch-screen tablets, North Koreans recreate a lot of wheels, which is pretty amazing because most people in those places are contend to let the others do the creating and just ride the coattails of a few innovative companies. It's easy to dismiss a place like North Korea and imagine that it's in the Stone Age. But while it's regime is a tragedy, here is to what the country can add to the world when its people are finally free.
"A.C. 360" starts now.