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New Info on Suspected Atlanta Gunman; Interview With Bill Kristol; Egypt's Ousted Mubarak May Go Free Soon; Syrian Rebels: Poison Gas Kills 1,300; Facebook Chief Wants to Wire the Planet; Newest Medal of Honor Recipient an Unlikely Hero

Aired August 21, 2013 - 18:00   ET


JAKE TAPPER, CNN GUEST HOST: Thank you, Brianna.

Happening now, the words that helped prevent a shooting massacre.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He told me that he was going to -- had no reason to live, nobody who love him, and I just explained to him that I loved him.


TAPPER: We're learning what went on inside a Georgia school where students escaped a gunman's bullets and a bookkeeper became a hero.

Plus the view from Australia of the bored American teens charged with killing a native son and the dangers of murder on main street.

And can Facebook's founder really provide Internet access for the entire world? We'll have a reality check on Mark Zuckerberg's exclusive interview with CNN.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Jake Tapper, and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

He had an AK-47 and 500 rounds of ammunition and he was prepared to die, but this time when a gunman walked into an American school and opened fire no one was hurt. Now we're getting a better understanding as to why and the school's calm and quick-thinking bookkeeper had a lot to do with it.

CNN's Martin Savidge has new information about yesterday's shooting outside of Atlanta -- Martin.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, even now almost 24 hours after the incident that took place here, authorities say they aren't certain why the alleged gunman chose this particular school.

What they are sure of is that one woman inside made all the difference between life and death.


SAVIDGE (voice-over): The shaky cell phone video captures Tuesday's drama outside of the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy.

The apparent sound of a gunshot sent police running. What led 20- year-old Michael Hill man to this elementary school allegedly armed with an assault weapon and bent on dying isn't clear. School bookkeeper Antoinette Tuff was Hill's hostage.

ANTOINETTE TUFF, WITNESS: He told me he didn't take his medicine. He said he didn't have any reason to live and that he knew he was going to die today.

SAVIDGE (on camera): Those who know Hill to describe him as troubled would be an understatement. In July, he pleaded guilty to making terroristic threats, and according to his brother he posted online he going to kill him. For that, he got three years probation. Tim Hill told "Good Morning America" it was a warning sign.

TIM HILL, SUSPECT'S BROTHER: I had a feeling he was going to eventually one day do something stupid, but not of this magnitude.

SAVIDGE: Tim Hill told me growing up his brother was diagnosed with bipolar, had attention deficit disorder and a number of other mental issues. I went looking for Michael's last known address. This appears to be it, this house. Actually, more correctly, the couch inside of this house. You see, according to friends he had suffered a fire earlier this year at his apartment and ended up here, just blocks away from the elementary school.

(voice-over): The house was rented by a couple with kids who knew Hill from church. Parishioners told me they felt sorry for him. When landlord Kimberly Arnold met Hill, she felt something else.

KIMBERLY ARNOLD, PROPERTY MANAGER: He looked like it something that wasn't quite right about him.

SAVIDGE (on camera): What was that?

ARNOLD: He just was kind of forceful with his words but he just stared a lot.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): That was just over three weeks ago. Then Tuesday night she saw Hill again, this time on the news.


SAVIDGE: And authorities say that they really still have not figured out why Hill acted allegedly as he did. He has given a statement. They won't reveal what that statement is.

And then the other big question, Jake, is how is it that a convicted felon get his hands on a semiautomatic assault rifle? Authorities say he got it from an acquaintance, but they won't say anything beyond that.

TAPPER: All right, Martin Savidge, thank you so much.

Another shooting incident and more reason for schools around the country to prepare for the worst. It's a process that's been going on since the Columbine massacre in 1999 and reignited with the Newtown tragedy last year.

CNN's Brian Todd has been looking into that for us.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, here in Montgomery County, Maryland, at facilities like this one, Julius West Middle School, security procedures have been enhanced since the Newtown shootings.

And the incident in Atlanta was a reminder they have to accelerate the process.


TODD (voice-over): The staff at McNair Academy outside of Atlanta according to police handled this standoff well. Trying to calm the shooter, then after he surrendered a quick evacuation of the children while police secured the scene. Elsewhere in America, this is how they are preparing for those moments.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm getting confirmation that we have a shooter on the second floor.

TODD: A full-scale drill on how to respond at Liberty Middle School in West Orange, New Jersey, complete with real police, actors playing panicked parents. These are the lessons from Newtown when 26 students and teachers were killed. Schools are now putting in new protections, tweaking measures already in place.

REX BARRETT, SECURITY CHIEF: It's changed school security in our minds as 9/11 changed our expectations.

TODD: Rex Barrett, head of security for Prince George's County Schools in Maryland, says since the Sandy Hook shootings, they have put more security cameras in place.

BARRETT: Schools will have a 50-inch plasma screen that it's a flat screen that has a display such as this, but they could see every camera in the school at one time.

TODD: At Julius West Middle School, Montgomery County security chief Bob Hellmuth showed us what they are doing with the new money they have been given by the state since Sandy Hook. It starts with electronic entranceways, locked doors you have to be buzzed through.

BOB HELLMUTH, SECURITY CHIEF: Consisting of a camera, intercom system and a strike release.

TODD (on camera): And then what?

HELLMUTH: And then when we get into the schools on the schools that we can, we're going put an entrance, a security vestibule.

TODD: Right about here.

HELLMUTH: Right about here.

TODD: A barrier.

HELLMUTH: On schools that we can do that. And what that will do is, when visitors come in, it funnels them into the main office.

TODD (voice-over): That's where they're asked to present I.D. But that's not all.

(on camera): Here in Montgomery County for many years they had what they call a call button. A teacher hits this, the signal goes to the office, the office then can call the police if necessary. But in other school systems around the country for the first time in some of them they are instituting what they call panic buttons. Strategic places around the school there are panic buttons that teachers and administrators can hit. You hit that and those goes directly to emergency call centers.

(voice-over): Training for teachers on lockdown in evacuation is also being stepped up. But Barrett says they tell staffers not to talk to a shooter.

BARRETT: They are not trained in hostage negotiation or conflict resolution as far as dealing with that individual.


TODD: Still in some situations like the one in Atlanta, Barrett says where the shooter slipped in right behind someone and presented himself so quickly the staffers really do have to talk to a suspect and in that event he says a personal calm and -- a calm demeanor and personal engagement he says actually getting to know the person is crucial in those situations. That appears to what have happened in Atlanta yesterday.

TAPPER: Brian, some communities talk about having police positioned, located at schools as a layer of protection. Is that something you're hearing about in Montgomery County?

TODD: They are doing it in Montgomery County, in Prince George's County and in Fairfax County in Virginia near here. But they are not doing it at elementary schools because there are just simply not enough staffers, not enough staffing within the police department to put a police officer at every elementary school.

In Fairfax County there's 135 elementary schools. They can't. They just simply don't have the manpower to place an officer in every elementary and middle school. But in the high schools and in Fairfax County also in the middle schools they do have an officer assigned all day every day to that school and they engage with the students, they talk to the students, get to know them. That's another kind of layer of security that personal relationship.

TAPPER: Brian Todd, thank you so much. There's growing anger on two continents over the killing of an Australia student in Oklahoma because the teenage suspects apparently had nothing better to do. One Australia newspaper showed the teen's mug shots with the headline "Faces of Evil."

Two of the suspects now stand charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 23-year-old college baseball player Chris Lane. Some Australians are urging a boycott of the U.S. suggesting that foreign visitors aren't safe in America.


TIM FISCHER, FORMER AUSTRALIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: There is murder mayhem on Main Street USA every day of the week. But you hide from that. You don't face up to that. You let your congressmen and senators escape and dance around the bush when it's a very real circumstance supported by the NRA.


TAPPER: The State Department says the U.S. respects the rights of Australians to express their views on any issue including this one. The administration is calling Chris Lane's shooting utterly senseless and tragic.

We're joined now by Michael Vincent and he's a correspondent for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He just returned from Oklahoma where he was covering Chris Lane's death.

First of all, when you watch reports like the one we have just aired about school safety, about what happened in Georgia the other day, what's your reaction? Do you look at us and think just what a crazy culture or is it more complicated than that?

MICHAEL VINCENT, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION: Look, I have been in this country two months. This was my first shooting -- attending to my first shooting.

This is a great country but the amount of gun violence is shocking to Australians and in this case this young man in the prime of his life came to this country for an education, to play his beloved game of baseball, was jogging past three children who then decided to get in their car, find him and as the court heard yesterday shoot him in the back before escaping.

He staggered to the side of the road. He died there as a woman tried to give him resuscitation. That to Australians is a shocking crime. I ask, is it a shocking crime to Americans?

TAPPER: It is a shocking crime to Americans. But I understand you have a different perspective.

For viewers who are not aware, in 1996 there was a tragedy in Australia in Port Arthur, Tasmania, and 35 were shot dead. Then you guys began -- Australians began the process of banning guns in Australia and it has been -- it was a long process but it did happen. Was it as contentious as the way you see gun fights are fought, rhetorical gun fights are fought here in the U.S.?

VINCENT: The man you heard before, Tim Fischer, he was the deputy leader of Australia at the time.

The man who was his leader, the prime minister at the time, John Howard, has since won the Medal of Honor, the Presidential Medal of Honor from George Bush for his contribution to the U.S.

He himself has advocated -- and he was the one who took this forward and brought in the -- this is a very conservative man who was backed by very conservative elements of Australia who brought in this gun control. The decision to get rid of up to a million guns, semiautomatic, automatics, crackdown on gun -- create gun license, create -- ensure guns were locked up safely at gun clubs. Make sure that farmers if they needed them had to get a license for shotguns.

Even people's old family heirlooms were given into this gun buy-back because people were so shocked at how one man with several guns could kill 35 because he was mentally ill.

TAPPER: One of the differences, obviously, between our two countries is we have -- and gun rights advocates would make this argument -- we have enshrined in our Constitution a mention of the right to bear arms. There are those who interpret it the right for a militia, for a force to bear arms, but it's right in our Constitution just like we have freedom of the press in our Constitution, which does not exist in the constitutions of other countries.

Does that play a role when people look at the United States? Do people consider that that's one of the reasons there's such a tradition of gun ownership here?

VINCENT: Look, I'm an observer in your great country and I won't want to influence any debates here. I will leave that for the many, many commentators you have in the gun debate here in the United States.

But being in Duncan, Oklahoma, having just come back from Duncan, Oklahoma, this is a quiet, peace, rural, agricultural Oklahoma town and it took three young men -- I keep saying that -- they're not men. These are children. These are children. Three young children to have access to one gun to end the life of one Australian and that again is just shocking for Australians to know that that can take place as casually as it did, as the court heard yesterday, that this young man had so much to live for.

And yet because of these three children who also apparently had a shotgun in the back of their car when they were arrested, they could take someone's life because as the court heard they were bored.

TAPPER: I don't mean to diminish the tragedy of it all and certainly, you know, all of our thoughts and prayers go to the Australian people who have been touched by this tragedy, something that upset a lot of us and in this country we have been covering it since it happened. So thank you for coming and sharing your views. We appreciate it.

I think we can all agree too many people who shouldn't have access to guns in this country do, including these three children. So thank you for sharing your views.

VINCENT: Thank you for having me.

TAPPER: Coming up next, can Sarah Palin make a comeback in politics? I will ask conservative pundit Bill Kristol about his prediction that Palin could resurrect herself.

A school bus flips over. We will tell you what happened and how the kids on board are doing now.


TAPPER: A high-profile conservative and possible presidential hopeful is getting pushback in his campaign to cut funding for Obamacare. Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas was heckled at a town hall meeting in his home state yesterday. Take a listen.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: There is a new paradigm. Gentlemen, thank you for sharing your views. You know, part of the First Amendment is about respecting the views of others.


TAPPER: Cruz's supporters at that meeting outnumbered his opponents and they applauded his effort to defund the president's signature health care law even if it leads to a government shutdown.


CRUZ: I have publicly committed along with a number of other senators that under no circumstances will I vote for any continuing resolution that funds even one penny of Obamacare.



TAPPER: Let's bring in prominent conservative commentator Bill Kristol, the editor of "The Weekly Standard."

Mr. Kristol, good to see you as always. Thanks for being here. Do you think that this crusade by Cruz is destined to fail?

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": I think it will not be to defund all of Obamacare as of September 30. I don't think it's impossible to delay key parts of Obamacare.

And my advice, not that Ted has necessarily asked for it, would be to start off by trying to defund it all fine, but have a plan B. I think going after the individual mandate -- the president himself suspended the employer mandate, as you know. Why not suspend the individual mandate as well?

These exchanges have huge privacy and security problems and other problems. Why not suspend them? I think it would be -- a more rifle shot approach might be better, but Ted Cruz is doing fine for now. Certainly conservatives are excited about his call to defund all of Obamacare.

TAPPER: I interviewed Governor Rick Scott, Republican of Florida, on my show earlier today and he said that there should be -- that any move to repeal Obamacare should be accompanied by a move with something to replace it.

But I don't hear Republicans calling for the repeal of Obamacare to talk about all the uninsured people who are covered by Obamacare or will be covered by Obamacare. What happens to them? Don't you think that's important?

KRISTOL: Yes. Republicans have paid a price for the failure to aggressively push their own replacement for Obamacare.

There are good conservative reform ideas out there. But for now, look, the great advantage of delaying Obamacare, just delay the damage it will do. But you do then have to move ahead with a replacements and I do believe that Paul Ryan and others and I think Bobby Jindal is involved in this, there's efforts going on across the Senate, the House and the governors actually to come up with a big replacement package, a little bigger than the ones they have introduced so far in Congress that I think will be unveiled early next year.

Maybe I wasn't supposed to know that.


KRISTOL: And this is a news network, so why not say it?

TAPPER: I appreciate it.

KRISTOL: I think Republicans will be in better position in that respect.

It's a good talking point for the Democrats now, oh, what would you do? But, hey, for now can't we just delay the imposition of something that is going to cause damage? I think that's a pretty easy case for the Republicans to make over the next few months. But they do need by the time we get into the serious election season in 2014 and certainly by the time a presidential candidate runs to have a serious, really serious and thought-through replacement and conservative reform agenda on health care.

TAPPER: I want to get your reaction to another sound bite from a different Republican who was at the town hall, former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint.


JIM DEMINT (R), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: When you have someone with the courage of a Ted Cruz to stand up and say we promised to defund Obamacare, that's what we should do. Every Republican up there made the same promise when they ran for the House or the Senate. But something is wrong and they don't have the courage that they seem to need. But you can change things.


TAPPER: Do you think the reluctance of the Republican Party, at least in the Senate, and some of the establishment Republicans in this town and throughout the country to embrace the movement to defund Obamacare even with this government shutdown risk, is that an issue of courage or is there something else factored in?

KRISTOL: No. I think it's an issue of tactics and judgment.

The establishment Republicans are a little bit too cautious and timid some of the time, maybe much of the time. The activist militant Republicans are a little bit too -- maybe go a little too bold sometimes and think you can go further where you can. I think the truth is somewhere in between. I don't think it's a bad debate to have, but I don't think either side -- I think the establishment is unfair to the activists when they say they are just totally insane, irresponsible people.

The idea of delaying of Obamacare is a good idea. I think Jim DeMint is unfair to a lot of senators and congressmen when he says it's a lack of courage.

TAPPER: You think it's tactics.

One last thing before I let you go. You said this week that Sarah Palin could resurrect or rehabilitate herself with a 2014 Senate bid in Alaska. So you do believe she has a political future potentially?

KRISTOL: I was asked, how could she have a political future?

TAPPER: How could she.

KRISTOL: I think the way she would do it is to run for office. If you run for office and win, if she were to defeat, win in a tough Republican primary and defeat an incumbent Democrat, she would be a freshman senator. And she could join Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and Marco Rubio and Kelly Ayotte.

And it would be a much more fun bunch of Republican senators than it was five years ago, before any of them were in the Senate. I spoke to the Republican National Committee this last week and they were pretty upbeat, contrary to all the media coverage of Republicans are in terrible shape. And one committeeman said to me look at who we got in the Senate. Look at Ayotte and Rubio and Cruz and Mike Lee and Tim Scott. Look at the House members, Paul Ryan, Tom Cotton and lots of others, Martha Roby

Look at the governors, Christie, Jindal, Scott Walker. These are all people who are in their 40s. I think most everyone I mentioned in their 40s.

TAPPER: Good bench, you think?

KRISTOL: Yes, not just a good bench. It's a good starting team. TAPPER: All right, Bill Kristol, thank you so much. We're appreciate your coming here.

Coming up, Bradley Manning sentenced for the biggest military leak of classified information in U.S. history and he finally says why he did it.



TAPPER: And up next: the fate of ousted Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak after a court ordered him to be released from jail.

And my interview with an unlikely hero who is just days away from being awarded America's highest military honor.


TAPPER: Happening now: new questions in Egypt. Was the Arab spring fight for democracy all for naught? The strongman who was toppled in that revolution, well, he may soon be free.

Plus, an unlikely war hero on surviving a death trap in Afghanistan and the bravery that's earning him America's highest military honor.

Plus, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg tells CNN about his campaign to bring the Internet to the world. Can he do it? We will have a reality check.

Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Jake Tapper, and you are in THE SITUATION ROOM.

A potentially explosive new development in Egypt. In the midst of the country's bloody power struggle, the man who was ousted in the Arab Spring revolution two years ago, Hosni Mubarak, well, he may soon be released from jail.

Let's go to our senior international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh, in Cairo. Nick, do we know what's going to happen to Mubarak when and if he's released?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't know when. We're pretty sure that he is going to be released. It's been a complex day of legal jargon. But in short, the last of three corruption cases he's facing was again put to a judge. Mubarak's lawyer says, "Look, he's repaid the money he allegedly got improperly. He's also been in jail now for as long as Egyptian law allows without him having a conviction for a crime. That's two years."

The judge agreed he should be released. Prosecutors have said they're not going to be appealing which is their right. So technically the path is clean for him to be released.

Now, that could have already happened. We simply don't know. Suggestions from officials it would take a little bit longer. It could be tomorrow. It could be the day after.

But this is, above all, a political decision, Jake. You can't imagine the generals in Egypt or the interim administration letting this happen without having full oversight. So the real question why is it happening right now -- Jake?

TAPPER: Nick, stand by for a second. I want to bring in another subject. An international investigation is under way right now into new claims of a chemical weapons attack against hundreds of Syrians. A warning: we some have very disturbing images that we will be showing.

Syrian opposition activists have posted videos online of purported victims. They claim the al Assad regime used chemical weapons against more than 1,300 people in the countryside right outside of Damascus, including, tragically, children.

The Syrian government denies the report. The White House says it can't confirm claims of an attack, but a U.N. team is on the ground in Syria right now, hoping to investigate.


JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Really, what we're looking for is unfettered access to the witnesses. The opportunity to visit the site where this allegedly occurred. The opportunity to collect some physical evidence without manipulation from the Assad regime. And let's let the investigation move forward. And we'll judge the results accordingly.


TAPPER: The United States and other U.N. Security Council members have been meeting behind closed doors this afternoon to discuss the new chemical weapon allegations. I want to bring in Nick Paton Walsh in Cairo, bring him back, along with our senior international correspondent, Ivan Watson.

Both of you have covered Syria and Egypt closely. Ivan, I want to start with Syria. How surprised are you about these claims of chemical weapons?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think the death toll, if anything close to what the opposition is claiming, that's what's truly is astounding with claims of up to perhaps 1,300 killed.

The claims of chemical weapons being used, I think, both sides in this war, as well as the patrons that are behind both sides, are all in agreement. I mean, I'm talking the Syrian government, the Syrian rebels, the U.S., Russia, the most vocal defender of the Syrian government. They are all in agreement that some chemical weapons have been used in the past on the Syrian battlefield. What they don't agree upon is who has been using them.

In this case the Syrian government denying that they fired any kind of chemical weapon at, in one case what was yearly a rebel-held community. And the rebels, of course, accusing the Syrian government of carrying out these attacks.

It has taken months for these U.N. chemical weapons inspectors who have been on the ground since Sunday, for the Syrian government to agree to let them in the country. A big question is going to be will they be allowed to visit the areas where these latest claims of chemical weapons attacks are said to have taken place, Jake?

TAPPER: And that's right; you say latest, Ivan, because of course, there was an incident that the Obama administration months later said that they believed happened in March: chemical weapons allegedly used by the Assad regime.

Nick, with your experience covering the Syrian conflict, do you think that we're now going to see more chemical weapon use: starting in March, perhaps again today and even more going forward?

WALSH: Many see this as perhaps Bashar al-Assad testing the boundaries of what he can get away with. The death toll is remarkable, if that's the case. And the fact that multiple places were hit at the same time in and around Damascus.

The question, of course, is: Is this a further red line which prompts the international community towards action? Well, they've shown very little stomach for that in the past.

Is he also thumbing his nose at U.N. inspectors currently in Damascus, trying to get away with this while that is happening and perhaps blaming the rebels? Or is he even using the presence of those U.N. inspectors as almost like an alibi to say to them, "Well, we wouldn't do this if you were simply in the hotel down the road from where my palace is"?

Unclear precisely what the real events on the ground have been. But if this does pass and if it was the regime, we are perhaps likely to see this kind of death toll again, Jake.

TAPPER: And if it is, we should say that CNN has not confirmed these numbers of up to 1,300, as you both suggest has been put out there by the opposition. If it is accurate, it would be the worst chemical weapon attack in the region by -- I think, since Saddam Hussein in 1988.

But let's go back to Egypt for a minute. Ivan, you were in Cairo when the revolution happened two years ago. If Mubarak is released, is it a sign just simply that the revolution failed?

WATSON: If he's released, I think it's -- we then know that the counter revolution has been completed, and there have been -- there's been some humor about that from Egyptians, saying, "Well, look at what we have right now. We've got the Muslim Brotherhood in prison. We've got Mohamed ElBaradei, the famous liberal activist and politician and former Nobel Prize winning IAEA chief, he's left the country, evidently. And if Mubarak is released, then basically, we're rewinding the clock back to 2010. It's just we've had hundreds of people, perhaps close to 1,000 killed in the last couple of weeks," and that will not be forgotten any time soon.

TAPPER: All right. Ivan Watson and Nick Paton Walsh, thank so you much.

Coming up next, the CNN exclusive: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg opens up about the challenge of realizing his new dream that's much bigger than social media.

And he was a hero on one of the deadliest days of the Afghan war. Staff Sergeant Ty Carter tells me what he went through and what he's going through now.

But first, as we count down to the return of CNN's "CROSSFIRE," he's -- here's co-host Newt Gingrich with a vintage clip.


NEWT GINGRICH, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": The new "CROSSFIRE" is going to bring a lot of new things to television, but it's also going to bring some that have been on a long time.

I want to share with you 21 years ago a topic that we're going to be talking about for the next few years, maybe for the next decade. Hillary Clinton.


GINGRICH: If Hillary Clinton has a public life, if she is a professional woman who gave up baking cookies to have a full-time profession, if she goes to the bar association luncheon to praise Anita Hill, if she is the head of the Children's Defense Fund at one point, if she's on the Legal Services Board as a full professional, I would assume she'd want to be in the fray.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So Mrs. Bush is wrong?

GINGRICH: Mrs. Bush is talking about the wife as a wife. Not talking about the profession.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... subtle distinction...

GINGRICH: It's not a subtle distinction. It's a distinction that every professional woman in the United States has to make in terms of how they're dealt with.




TAPPER: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is trying to make another big idea a reality. He's launching a campaign to make Internet access available across the planet. Zuckerberg talked about this project in an exclusive interview with CNN "NEW DAY" anchor Chris Cuomo.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): When you visit the Facebook campus, you get the sense that anything is possible.

MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK FOUNDER: We want the campus to feel like a little -- a little city or village.

CUOMO: And now Zuckerberg wants to make the entire world like the Facebook campus, in a way. By providing Internet access to the entire world. The idea is called Its target: the five billion people around the globe without access to the Net.

ZUCKERBERG: Here, we use things like Facebook to share news and catch up with our friends. But there, they're going to use it to decide what kind of government they want, get access to health care for the first time ever, connect with family hundreds of miles away that they haven't seen in decades. Getting access to the Internet is a really big deal. I think we're going to be able to do it.

CUOMO: And the word "we" is the key word here, because this isn't just about Facebook. Zuckerberg has done something extraordinary to achieve the extraordinary. Reached out to the biggest players in social media and mobile data, a.k.a. his competitors, in part, to work together.

(on camera): How did those calls go?

ZUCKERBERG: It varies. But I mean, in general, these are companies that we have deep relationships with and have worked with on a lot of things for a long time. So this kind of came out of a lot of discussions that we had.

CUOMO (voice-over): So a team of the best in the business is coming together. But for a task this size, uniting five times the global presence Facebook has already, is going take a lot more.

(on camera): What about the how? Like how -- how do you do this? Like how developed is the plan?

ZUCKERBERG: You know, we have a plan, a rough plan for what we think we're going to need to do to pull it off. And, of course, the plan will evolve over time, and we'll get better ideas.

But, you know, if you look at the trends, I mean, data is becoming more available to people. Apps are getting more efficient to run. There are new business models to help more people get online.

CUOMO: It's also good for Facebook and these other companies, right, because mobile access to the Internet is where your business lies, right?

ZUCKERBERG: You know, if we were just focused on making money, the first billion people that we've connected have way more money than the rest of the next 6 billion combined. It's not fair, but it's the way that it is. And we just believe that everyone deserves to be connected and on the Internet. So we were putting a lot of energy towards this.


TAPPER: Zuckerberg will need to put a lot of energy into the project. Providing Internet access around the world? That's not a simple task. Let's get a "Reality Check" from CNN's Tom Foreman -- Tom.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Jake. You know, he says he has rough plans; going down a rough road, too, frankly.

This idea of one connected world has been out there for a while, before Mark Zuckerberg raised it. He has ventured (ph) a very ambitious effort with all of these partners. That is to be sure. But one look at the globe shows you why it's going to be so tough.

We've highlighted in gold here all of the countries that are really well-connected: the United States; Canada, a place like that; Europe; many of the Asian countries. All the other colors and all the other dark red sort of places out there, those are places where they're not widely well-connected. They all have hot spots, yes, but others not so much.

And look at one country, Mali here in Africa, because the whole continent there has struggles. Let's look at some of the details of Mali, if we bring it up over here.

This is a population of about 15 million people, average annual salary $1,500. That is barely getting by. Very hard to have any kind of extra money to kick into a project like this or to sustain it. And accordingly, Internet usage very low, just about 2 percent there.

Why is it so hard in places like that? Well, much of the population is rural. There are people who are far away from the centers where you can easily set up everything you need for them which is really the key. That's what we're talking about: infrastructure. Do you have the roads? Do you have the reliable electricity? Do you have the reliable support, even if you put the resources in there for people to do this through cell phones or otherwise.

This, Jake, these fundamental basic things are why Mark Zuckerberg faces a huge challenge, even with these powerful partners -- Jake.

TAPPER: But Mali is just one such example, Tom. There are a lot more countries that present similar challenges, not just Mali.

FOREMAN: Oh, yes, absolutely. In fact, you know, I want to bring in one graphic here to show you what we're talking about. This is the growth of the Internet over the past 15 years, and look at developed nations like United States, look at how it's shot up. 15 years ago we had 11 percent usage of it; now we're up over 70 percent usage in this country. That's developed nations all over the world. Huge growth.

But now watch what's happened in the developing countries. They had zero 15 years ago, and they're only up to 24 percent now. And I'll guarantee you, Jake, this is the easy pickings. This is the work that was done in the cities, in the big places that have somewhat reliable infrastructure.

It's important to bear in mind, as laudable as this goal may be and, in fact, as Chris pointed out in his interview, as it may produce revenues for these countries and revenues for these companies that may be important to the world, much of the world still doesn't have reliable clean drinking water. Getting beyond that problem, which we've worked on for generations, to provide Internet to everybody is a very, very tall order -- Jake.

TAPPER: Indeed. "Reality Check" with Tom Foreman. Thank you so much, Tom.

Coming up next, he's about to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Staff Sergeant Ty Carter tells me about the work he did during that horrible battle and the friends he lost.


TAPPER: Five days from now Army staff sergeant Ty Carter will receive the nation's highest military award, the Medal of Honor, for his heroics in Afghanistan.

When Carter first landed in the war zone, he looked around at the place he was stationed, in Combat Outpost Keating, and thought, "This is a death trap," and he would soon learn how right he was. I interviewed him for my primetime special that's airing tonight at 10 p.m., "An Unlikely Hero."


TAPPER (voice-over): October 3, 2009, hundreds of Taliban fighters are attacking the U.S. troops below the Minna (ph) Valley. Combat Outpost Keating is in chaos. Specialist Ty Carter is pinned down in a disabled Humvee with three other troops: Brad Larson, Stephan Mace and Justin Gallegos.

TY CARTER, TO RECEIVE MEDAL OF HONOR: We all knew that sooner or later fire power is going to breach.

TAPPER: Then they realized the situation is worse than they thought.

CARTER: There were insurgents 30 meters in front of me.

TAPPER (on camera): In the camp?

CARTER: In the camp. Yes.

TAPPER: You'd already seen them in the camp?

CARTER: I had.

TAPPER: Sergeant Justin Gallegos, who was trying to help a badly wounded Specialist Stephan Mace. CARTER: Bullets were impacting all around him. He turned to fire and he was taken down. The bullets hit him, and they spun him around and he laid down on the ground.

TAPPER: But Mace is still out there, still alive, just out of reach.

CARTER: That's when I said, "Hey, Sergeant Larson, Mace is arrive. I can get to him. He's right there."

And I think he looked and he says, "No, you can't get to him."

I said, "No, he's right there."

And he told me, he says, "You're no good to him dead." And I knew -- I knew he was right, but it ate me up so bad.

I need a break. Hold on.


TAPPER: Be sure to watch my special report, "An Unlikely Hero," which will air tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern and then again at 10 p.m. Pacific only on CNN.

Still ahead, Jeanne Moos.


TAPPER: What's a driver to do when a moose hogs the road? When truck meets moose, CNN's Jeanne Moos reports, it's the moose that kept on trucking.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When you're on a wilderness road in British Columbia, think of this as the equivalent of being stuck in traffic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just want to get by.

MOOS: Outdoor rider Bernie Barringer and a fellow bear hunter were headed back to camp when this moose with two calves refused to move.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really would like to get through.

MOOS: For about five minutes they let the moose stare them down. Then they gingerly tried to get around her. But was the moose intimidated by this big truck? The driver had a theory.

BERNIE BARRINGER, FILMED ENCOUNTER WITH MOOSE (via phone): We felt like there must be wolves or a grizzly bear around there because she would not leave the roadway.

MOOS: Several times she bluff charged, trying to protect her calves, one of which she accidentally kicked while charging.

BARRINGER: She actually ended up ramming the truck four different times.

MOOS: The men were no longer chuckling after this slam.

BARRINGER: At times it was a little bit scary, but we really breathed a sigh of relief when we finally drove away.

MOOS: The truck had a heavy-duty bumper guard, so it wasn't damaged.

(on camera): The last time we saw something like this, it wasn't a moose. It was a camel.

(voice-over): A camel at a drive-through zoo in Missouri. The family ran out of treats, and the camel acted like "Jaws" and even followed the car.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, he's coming with us!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Camel on the run!

MOOS: Moose on the run!

(on camera): And then she chased you.

BARRINGER: She actually left the calves to do that.

MOOS: The irony would have been if you were hurrying home for moose dinner.

BARRINGER: Yes. They're wonderful. They're better than beef.

MOOS (voice-over): Some animal lovers had a beef with the cat-and- mouse truck and moose game. So Bernie disabled the comments after posting the video.

BARRINGER: There were some real vulgar attacks saying that we were harassing her.

MOOS: But Bernie says they were patient during the encounter that lasted 15 minutes. The moral of the story: don't mess with Mother Moose, even if you call her miss.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you doing this?

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, no relation to her, CNN, New York.


TAPPER: Don't mess with moose, don't mess with Moos.

This final programming note: My special report, "An Unlikely Hero," will air tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern and again at 10 p.m. Pacific.

You can follow us and what's going on in THE SITUATION ROOM on Twitter. Just tweet the show, @CNNSitRoom, or you can tweet me, @JakeTapper, all one word.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.