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Muslim Brotherhood Detentions in Egypt; Suspected Atlanta School Gunman in Custody

Aired August 20, 2013 - 15:00   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour here, hour two. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Want to take you back and explain to you what has been happening in Atlanta area elementary school, very, very frightening moments an hour ago. All of these kids, we're talking pre-K all the way through fifth grade running, filing out of the elementary school after police report shots fired inside the school. Thank goodness all the kids, all the faculty, staff, they're OK. This alleged shooter is in custody. In fact, we just heard from police moments ago talking to parents who were gathered in this nearby parking lot just trying to calm them all down.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's be patient. Let's trust in it. We don't want to put out too much information now on this investigation because it might hinder us in our investigation and prosecution later, but a suspect is in custody. He's in custody and he's en route to our investigative bureau now to be interrogated, OK?

I just want to reassure this crowd that everyone is OK. Everyone's OK.


BALDWIN: Words parents want to hear. Everyone's OK.

David Mattingly joins me live from the scene in Atlanta. HLN law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks joins me here in studio.

David Mattingly, first to you. I think I still see a lot of parents over your shoulder waiting for their little ones to be able to come home. Tell me what you're hearing.

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, about the only people who aren't OK right now are these family members, scores of them in this shopping center parking lot waiting for their beloved little children to be delivered to them in school buses.

That's the arrangements that's been made. In spite of the reassurances, naturally everyone very upset. Very few details right now about what actually happened here. An assistant chief for DeKalb County police addressed the parents here and was saying again that no one was hurt. Many of the children were being left to sit outside on a playground where they were safe. And others were sheltering in place inside classrooms, inside the school, but, again, emphasizing over and over and over again that these children are safe.

Now, about the suspect, we know that he's been taken into custody. Not many other details other than he is a white male. We don't have confirmation on what kind of weapon he was carrying, how many and how many shots he may have actually fired and what the circumstances were. The assistant chief talking to parents did say that that man did give himself up without a struggle to police there on the scene.

The reason why the kids haven't been able to be coming here right away is because they were processing what has become a crime scene and they want to search the school thoroughly and make sure there is nothing else there that might affect the safety of the children who were standing there sheltering in place and out on the playground.

But, as you can imagine, you can see them all behind me, scores of family members here waiting for their children to be delivered. A good sign, there was about a dozen buses also assembled here. Those buses have departed, presumably to go to the school, and now possibly to bring the kids here. You can bet there will be some very happy reunions coming up here shortly.

BALDWIN: I don't blame those moms and dads one bit for being a little anxious. David Mattingly, thank you. We know you will stay there for us.

Mike Brooks, just watching the kids running out, clearly, your point, it looks like a plan was in case. You see this I think it was the assistant chief of DeKalb County, very animated, understandably so.


You have parents there. They want to know what happened. You have got them there at the Wal-Mart where they were told to go and then the kids would come there by bus. It's just a short distance right down Second Avenue from where all this took place. but still, they want to know what happened. They want to make sure their child is OK.

Understandably, the chief was trying to put out a little bit of information that, yes, we do have this gunman in custody and they're taking him to their criminal investigation division to talk to him.

BALDWIN: We're hearing new details from affiliates. But we just don't want to go with it quite yet until we have a better sense of I guess what is exactly happening. The case is still very fresh.


BALDWIN: Mike Brooks, thank you very much. Now this.

BROOKS: Thank you, Brooke.

To Egypt now, where the military government is taking new and aggressive steps to consolidate its hold on power. The Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader has been taken into custody, along with another high-profile preacher and hard-line of the movement. A total of about 100 Brotherhood members have been rounded up. And "TIME" magazine editor at large Bobby Ghosh has some strong views, great sources when it comes to this part of the world and really reasons why the U.S. gave money to Egypt in the first place and whether or not we need to question that.

Bobby Ghosh, nice to see you again joining me from New York.

First, let me just begin with this. A senior Democratic senator says the transfer of this aid we keep talking about, the U.S. military aid to Egypt, has stopped, but there is no indication of how long that will even last. Then we heard from our chief White House correspondent saying about an hour ago they insisted the aid has not been cut off, but you argue either way, it doesn't matter. Why?

BOBBY GHOSH, DEPUTY INTERNATIONAL EDITOR, "TIME": Well, I think either way it should be.

Whether it already has been, in which case it would be a good idea, or it hasn't, I don't think United States gets a great deal for its money. In fact, it gets almost nothing at this point. And I have said before that, whereas the aid itself is a very small carrot, the threat to remove it is a very large stick, because it's not simply the U.S. removing a billion-and-a-half dollars, there are other donors who will step in the Arab world to fill that.

But if the U.S. pulls out its aid, then there's a very good chance the Europeans do the same. It forces companies that were going to invest in Egypt to reexamine their investment. It could lead to a reduction in the sort of investments that Egypt is able to allow. It becomes a far less likely place for people to invest, not just Americans either.

So I think a threat to remove the debt would be taken very seriously by the generals, certainly more seriously than they have the fact that we give them the money.

BALDWIN: I want to talk about Egypt just really as a player in the region and the relationship with the United States. We heard from the president a couple of days ago talking about Egypt and calling it the cornerstone of Middle East peace.

But you write in this fascinating article -- quote -- "Washington should stop pretending Egypt is an important player in Arab affairs, pay more attention to countries that are. It should stop giving the generals," to your point, "the $1.5 billion a year. The money is better spent on countries where the democrat experiment" -- this is the word you use, experiment -- "still has a chance of success. Are you saying that democracy is doomed there? Everything we saw in Tahrir Square pointless?


GHOSH: Well, no, it was not pointless. It was a moment of hope and two years ago when that happened it was -- it brought Egypt back into the center stage of Arab affairs, someplace, a place where it has not been for many, many years despite what the foreign policy establishment in this country says. When the Arab spring happened, Egypt became, once again, the laboratory for this great experiment, this great new political idea which is a post-dictatorial democracy. Thanks to these generals the experiment has now failed, thanks to the generals and thanks the failures of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt is now once again a what? It's a poor country. A country with very few resources, a country that is no longer at the high table of Arab affairs and a country where now we have to worry about the potential for terrorism and instability, so in short a country like Yemen, and that's where Egypt has descended toward that point. It is something to be regretted but it is something to be reckoned.

BALDWIN: Bobby Ghosh, thank you so much joining me "TIME" magazine. Appreciate it.

GHOSH: Any time.

BALDWIN: Police say they were bored so they decided to kill someone. Three teenagers in court right now after allegedly gunning down a young man in a senseless and random act of violence.

Chris Lane was this Australian baseball player visiting the town of Duncan, this is in Oklahoma, where his girlfriend and her family live. Police say this is where he was killed, shot in the back before these alleged teen suspects sped away.


DANIEL FORD, DUNCAN POLICE CHIEF: There was people that saw him stagger across the road, go to a kneeling position and then collapse on the side of the road.


BALDWIN: CNN's Alina Machado is here, along with CNN's Amy La Porte.

Ladies, hello.

Alina Machado, let me begin with you first. As we talk about how they're in court, walk me through the charges they face and whether or not they will be charged as adults.

ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At this point, Brooke, we don't know exactly if they will be charged as adults. We have to wait for the charges to come down. All we know right now is the teens will be charged in connection to the murder.

We're hoping to learn more very soon. Now, police say Chris Lane was jogging Friday afternoon when he crossed paths with the suspects, ages 15, 16, and 17. Those teens, according to authorities, were on a mission to kill and randomly shot Lane in the back. Witnesses reported hearing one gunshot. A woman told police she saw the 22- year-old fall to the ground and she tried to help him by performing CPR. Another woman stopped and called 911. Paramedics took Lane to the local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The teens were seen speeding away in a car. Police later caught up with them thanks to surveillance video from nearby businesses. The police chief says one of the teens contacted investigators and told them exactly how the killing happened and the location of the murder weapon.

This story is chilling and devastating, especially for the victim's girlfriend, Sarah Harper. She posted an emotional tribute on Facebook saying -- quote -- "You will always be mine and in a very special and protected place in my heart."

BALDWIN: Hard for her. Hard for the family.


BALDWIN: Back in Australia, right?


This is a story that's really hurt two countries. Not only have you got the girlfriend here, you have got the victim's family at home. His father actually spoke to Australian media. Let's play that.


PETER LANE, FATHER OF VICTIM: He's left his mark, as we know. And, you know, there's not going to be any good come out of this because it was just so senseless. It's happened. It's wrong. And we will just try and deal with it the best we can.


LA PORTE: Incredibly emotional sound from the father, but actually it's shocked Australia so much that you have this guy.

Tim Fischer, he was the former deputy p.m. during John Howard's reign. That name might ring a bell. He was the prime minister that basically oversaw massive gun reform in our country after a massacre. He has been a really strong proponent of gun control. Basically, he wants to send a message to Congress by saying, Australians, boycott America.

He actually put this quote out to Australians. I want to read it to you. "Tourists thinking of going to the USA should think twice. This is the bitter harvest and legacy of the policies of the NRA that even blocked background checks for people buying guns at gun shows. I'm deeply angry about this, not because of the callous attitude of three teenagers, but it's a sign of the proliferation of guns on the ground in the USA."

No matter where you stand politically, this is a tragedy that's really shocked Australians.

BALDWIN: Awful. Amy and Alina, thank you both very much. We will follow it for sure. Now to this just in to us here at CNN, news on the pitch heard and seen around the world. Remember this? A-Rod beaned on Sunday night and now that pitcher has been suspended. Ryan Dempster of the Boston Red Sox has been suspended for five games, fined an undisclosed amount of money for intentionally hitting Alex Rodriguez. Boston fans, of course, loved it. As you know, A-Rod is currently appealing his suspension for his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Coming up next, adults behaving badly. Their targets? Innocent children. Have you heard this? Two day care workers fired after allegedly posting pictures of these little kids with very cruel captions. Now the department of social services is investigating. We're going to talk about that.

Plus, vicious -- I don't even know if vicious does this story justice -- vicious letter to a woman whose grandson has autism. The anonymous writer had a lot of things to say, including suggesting the 13-year- old be euthanized. Is this illegal to write a letter like this? What can parents do? That's next.


BALDWIN: Two day care workers whose job it is to be caring are accused of being downright cruel to some kids under their watch. They allegedly posted pictures to Instagram mocking these kids for their impediments and appearance.

CNN's Chris Cuomo has the story.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ethan Jordan is a happy, energetic 2-year-old, but here he is sitting in a highchair, which he no longer uses, his usual smile replaced by a frown, and his mother is heartbroken about it, that's because workers at Heavenly Haven Learning Center Two placed him in the chair and posted this picture to Instagram purely to make fun of him.

The day care center's manager joined in poking fun at Ethan's delayed speech development writing in part "thinking, because sure can't talk." In another incident the employee also mocked another child for his teeth. When Ethan's mother, Melissa saw the photo on Instagram she was furious. She alerted the day care center and the media.

Both the employee and the manager have since been fired for violating the day care's privacy policy. In a statement the day care says, a Heavenly Haven's position on the actions of the employees involved zero tolerance and the employees have been terminated. Virginia's Department of Social Services is now investigating.


BALDWIN: I can tell you that the mother of one of the kids who was targeted on Instagram, she talked to CNN.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MELISSA JORDAN, PHOTO OF SON POSTED ONLINE: Don't make fun of each other for our shortcomings. Things that are out of our control and things that we need extra help with, we don't tease each other about. When this came out I figured it's so foreign to me that's why I figured, they don't care about Ethan. He's not important to them if they can do this to him. That's how I felt from that.


BALDWIN: I want to bring in two voices here, Kelly Wallace, CNN digital correspondent who focuses on family issues, and attorney and former prosecutor Faith Jenkins.

Ladies, I tell you, I am not a parent, but I looked at these pictures, I read the captions. This infuriates me, Kelly Wallace.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It infuriates me as well.

As a parent, the first thing I think about, Brooke, is I want to make the decision about whether I'm going to put pictures of my kids on Instagram. I don't want day care workers doing that. Number two, the comments, the mean-spirited nature, poking fun at children. As the mom said, you know, this is how people learn how to be bullies. What horrible behavior.

Then I think also, Brooke, there's now an extra pressure, I think, for parents. I'm going to talk to my baby-sitter. I think all parents now have to make sure that sitters, day care workers, day care centers have policies to prevent people from posting pictures of their kids on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It's a whole new world really.

BALDWIN: You would think it would go unsaid, but I guess you can't assume anything anymore these days, Faith, because when you look, the pictures, they're egregious. but I don't know if this day care center had policies that Kelly is talking about. But when you look at -- did the employee do anything wrong? Did the employee break the law by posting the photos?

FAITH JENKINS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: First, the day care center actually said they did have a policy and by posting these photos they breached the privacy policy of the day care center.

Also, as an employee working in a day care center, you have a duty to act in the best interests of the child that's in your care. It's a higher duty for people who work with children in this capacity. They obviously breached this duty. As a result now, you're looking at this is not a child that suffered physical injury perhaps but now the government is investigating to see what other things were going on at this day care center because only these pictures were discovered did this issue actually come to light.

BALDWIN: Kelly, back to your point though about looking into policies and making sure they're in place. You know social media is this vast abyss. How do you as a parent -- I always think in segments like these, what's the takeaway?

If I'm a mom, my kids are in day care, what can you really do to protect your kids from this kind of cruel at this?

WALLACE: I know, Brooke. It's so scary, because really you can't protect them from everything.

You can have conversations. We have a baby-sitter. So, as a parent, I can have a conversation and reinforce that conversation with my baby-sitter. If my kids were in day care, I would have a conversation with the administrators at the day care center as well to confirm what policies they have to make sure they're checking the accounts of -- the social media accounts of their workers to make sure they're not posting inappropriate things.

It's amazing, because you wonder if this is going on elsewhere and parents just didn't notice it yet. This mom, a credit to her for finding the picture, and then she was able to take action after she knew it was happening.

BALDWIN: Yes. Apparently I guess a friend found it. Who's not somewhere on social media? You eventually get caught because it's just obviously photographic evidence out there in cyberspace. But it's a takeaway I think for parents for sure. Kelly Wallace and Faith Jenkins, thanks to both of you.

Speaking of cruel things and adults behaving badly, this next story is even worse. The target here is this 13-year-old severely autistic boy. He's from Canada. His name is Max. A neighbor sent this anonymous letter to his family that is so incredibly heartless, prosecutors are now looking into this. This is just a portion of the letter.

And I'm quoting: "I hate people like you who believe just because you have a special needs kid you are entitled to special treatment. God, do everyone in our community a huge favor and move. Vamoose, scram, move away, and get out of this type of neighborhood setting. Go live in a trailer."

But this is far from the worst, as Max's mother explains.


KARLA BEGLEY, MOTHER: The part about donating his unretarded body parts to science because he's no good for anything else, that -- that made me want to puke, and then when it ended saying to euthanize him.


BALDWIN: What? What? The neighborhood is holding a rally in support of this teenager. Unreal.

They sold millions of albums, had a bunch of hit songs, fans that spanned the globe, but, tear, they broke up in 2002. But there are reports they could be getting back together for one show. Who am I talking about? When we come back.

We will talk about the much rumored 'N Sync reunion next.


BALDWIN: Oh, boy bands in the late '90s. Couldn't listen to the radio without hearing ear worms like this one. Well, it's 2013.

Backstreet Boys are still kicking, New Kids are still on the block. So why not 'N Sync? The boys are now reportedly talking about a reunion.

Joining me is Lisa France, senior producer at and a huge 'N Sync fan.

LISA RESPERS FRANCE, CNN PRODUCER: I'm going to try not to scream.

BALDWIN: It's OK. Screaming is OK when it comes to boy bands.


FRANCE: You may have to hold my hand. I'm so excited.

BALDWIN: You're so excited.


BALDWIN: Tell me about this possibility. This is a one-time thing. Right?

FRANCE: Yes. Justin is going to receive the Michael Jackson...


BALDWIN: Justin.


BALDWIN: Timberlake.

FRANCE: Yes, we are a first-name basis. Hello? That's totally my boo.

So Justin Timberlake is going to receive the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award at the MTV Music Video Awards on Sunday. The rumor is that he's getting back together with the other members of 'N Sync for the show.

BALDWIN: What do you think of all of these boy bands? We were talking in the commercial break about Backstreet Boys and New Kids coming back. That show was pretty awesome a couple of years ago. Now did you have hard feelings after your boo Justin broke away from these guys? Was that difficult for you?

FRANCE: It was really hard for me because I loved them together. But I understood. Justin and I discussed it. It was difficult for him, too.


FRANCE: But, I mean, why should One Direction fans have all the fun, like, seriously? The music of the '90s was all that so bring them back.

BALDWIN: That's so great. So, VMAs, that's this Sunday for those of you like Lisa and maybe others who will be tuning in for that.

Meantime, let me turn and talk Marissa Mayer, the Yahoo! CEO. Right? She's been in the news for a bunch of reasons recently, but there's a lot of buzz about this photo spread in "Vogue." Here she is. The shots are beautiful.

FRANCE: She looks gorgeous. She's also a rock star. Come on. In the geek world, she's an absolute rock star. But people have a problem because she is a woman in a position of power. If this was a man, would we also be focusing on fashion and what said man might be wearing to the office? But I think she looks fabulous.

BALDWIN: You think it's OK? It's not just another pretty face?


BALDWIN: It's not just about femininity and she's this hard-core...

FRANCE: I think it's fashion, it's fun. She's a celebrity. Celebrities are always seen looking their best. At least they should be. I shouldn't say they're always seen, because we can talk about some people, but we won't.

BALDWIN: Another time.


FRANCE: Another time. Bring me back to talk about that. But, yes, she's the head of Yahoo!. And why shouldn't she look gorgeous?

BALDWIN: OK. You look gorgeous, by the way.

FRANCE: Thank you. So do you.

BALDWIN: Thanks for coming by. Thank you.

Lisa France, everybody, big 'N Sync fan. We appreciate it.



Coming up, we have to talk -- on a much more serious note -- the city of Chicago turning into this war zone, because when you look at the number, 12 people, 12 shot across the city just last evening, safety a continuing concern for people who live there. And now a proposal for the federal government to get involved, but will that help? What is the solution there? We will talk about that coming up next.