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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Lead U.N. Weapons Inspector In NYC; Obama Lays Out Stance On Syria; NFL, Former Players Settle Concussion Lawsuit; Kerry Addresses War Fatigue; U.S. Weighs Strike on Syria; New Tylenol Cap Has Warning Label; Exhumation Begins at Florida School; White House Briefing Senators Today
Aired August 31, 2013 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Brianna Keilar.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. It's 8:00 here at CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.
KEILAR: We begin this hour with breaking news on the crisis in Syria. We have gotten word that the United Nations weapons inspectors are out of Syria. They arrived in Beirut, Lebanon, just a few hours ago and they are carrying with them any evidence of a chemical weapons attack on a Damascus suburb from August 21st. So why is it so critical that these inspectors have left Syria? Well, with the U.N. team out the window is now open. It is thought for a possible U.S. military strike.
BLACKWELL: Look at this. This is CNN exclusive video, the chief inspector, Angela Cane, she flew straight to New York to brief U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon today. Sources tell CNN results of the chemicals weapons test, the full report may not be available for about a week. The sources also tell CNN that President Obama will layout his plans for a Syria strike for Republican senators, that's going to happen today.
And Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, today called the use of chemical weapons provocation by the opposition, that's according to our Jill Dougherty who is at the White House. He says if the U.S. has proof of a chemical weapons attack then to take it to the U.N.
KEILAR: So with the lead U.N. weapons inspector back in New York from Syria, we want to get started now at the United Nations. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is there. Nick, are we expecting anything to happen today, anything to come from this?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as we saw last night, Angela Cane, who led the weapons inspectors' mission into Damascus, she arrived late last night at John F. Kennedy at 11:00, and today it's said she will brief the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon as to what she heard when she was inside Syria during that weapons inspection.
Now we understood early on that Ban Ki-Moon would then take the initial findings presented by her to the U.N. Security Council and give an indication of what she said. That was seemingly reversed yesterday by a western diplomat who told me that meeting is unlikely to happen, that briefing is unlikely to happen.
Angela Cane will simply come back here and tell Ban Ki-Moon what she had learned when she was inside Syria or initial findings. There is a longer process here where the samples collected by her team inside Syria from the sites of alleged chemical weapons use will have to be sent to laboratories across Europe and we will have to wait for the results before the U.N. inspectors can present the entirety of their final report, and that could be weeks away, days away.
As you saw, Brianna, very clearly early on yesterday, we saw the choreography beginning, John Kerry laying out a very detailed impassioned case of what the U.S. believes happened and why they should retaliate. Barack Obama then saying he has not made a decision yet, but giving pretty strong indications of what is coming.
So while eyes are focused on U.N. and will continue to be so surely because for much of the world it's important to hear what the U.N. inspectors have to say, that doesn't seem to be something, which is figuring in the U.S. timeline now. Maybe they were watching more closely for when the U.N. inspectors actually left Syria -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Nick Paton Walsh at the United Nations this morning, thank you very much.
BLACKWELL: President Obama says he is determined to hold Syria accountable.
KEILAR: He made it clear yesterday that Syria's alleged actions demand a response, but he has not said what that response will be except that it won't require sending in troops on the ground.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: In no event are we considering any kind of military action that would involve boots on the ground, that would involve a long-term campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Russian President, Vladimir Putin, is slamming the U.S. accusing it of jumping to conclusions without providing evidence.
KEILAR: CNN foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty is at the White House. Hi, Jill. What is the latest?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: We are watching the schedule of the president closely because that would be an indication that something could be happening, but at this point it's blank. Now, you can draw or inferences, but of course behind the scenes, just because he does not have a public schedule it doesn't mean that he is not doing a lot behind the scenes, so we will try to find that out.
Meanwhile White House officials are briefing members of the GOP on Syria, and on intel and on what the next step should be. The president making the case that inaction is also a problem. Let's listen to what he says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Part of the challenge that we end up with here is that a lot of people think something should be done but nobody wants to do it. And that's not an unusual situation and that's part of what allows over time the erosion of these kinds of international prohibitions unless somebody says no when the world says we are not going to use chemical weapons, we mean it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOUGHERTY: From Russia, the president, Vladimir Putin, making his first public comments most recently about all of this and saying it's a provocation by the opposition who were out manned by the government. He said that if the U.S. does have this intelligence and proof it ought to present it to the United Nations' Security Council and if the U.S. doesn't do that that's an indication that they don't have the proof.
KEILAR: Jill Dougherty, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: Let's go to Beirut now. CNN's Mohammed Jamjoon is there. Mohammed, U.N. weapons inspectors arrived from Syria in Beirut a short while ago. What is next for these inspectors?
MOHAMMED JAMJOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, the inspectors that got here this morning, they went straightaway to the airport and they are on route to the Netherlands. They have taken this cargo that they are carrying with them, which constitutes testimonials from witnesses there in Syria as well as evidence collected from the sites that were attacked by chemical weapons. They will be analyzing that evidence. We expect it will take possibly a week, maybe two in order to get the results of the test that they are going to be doing.
But also today, we know now that the lead weapons inspector, Angela Cane, that she has arrived in New York earlier this morning. Now we have exclusive video we've seen of her arriving at JFK, in a terminal then being whisked away in a diplomatic vehicle. She is going to be meeting with the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon today in order to discuss what the next steps are she is going to be briefing him.
But I can tell you the mood here in this region is very tense. Now we're in Beirut. Beirut is just about a 45-minute to an hour drive from this capital of Syria, Damascus. People here are very concerned about what is going to happen next. There is a sense here that the strikes, even though there has not been a final decision made by Obama, there is a sense here and amongst the residents in Syria that I'm speaking with that these strikes are all but inevitable and they are very concerned about what this is going to mean not just for Syria, but for neighboring countries like Lebanon -- Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right, Mohammed Jamjoon in Beirut for us, thank you. KEILAR: Still to come on NEW DAY, the NFL agrees to pay out $765 million to former players that say the sport did not do enough to protect them from brain injuries, but is it too little too late? We'll talk to a former player.
BLACKWELL: Plus President Obama and his national security team weigh the options on Syria. We will talk more about them and take a look at some of those options with our expert panel.
KEILAR: Just days before the start of a new season, the NFL has reached a historic settlement with thousands of retired football players suffering from brain injuries. It's part of a class-action lawsuit, more than 4,500 former players and their families accused the league of not doing enough to warn about the risk of head trauma.
BLACKWELL: The agreement calls for the NFL to pay out $765 million, but for their part, the league does not have to actually admit any liability. Andy Scholes has been covering the story for us in "The Bleacher Report."
ANDY SCHOLES, "THE BLEACHER REPORT": Hi, Brianna and Victor. This case could have dragged on for years, but by settling it now the dark cloud hanging over the league will finally go away and players that have concussion-related injuries will get the help they need.
SCHOLES (voice-over): For years the NFL and its retired players have been at odds over how to address head injuries that may have occurred on the filled, Thursday the sides reached a landmark agreement that will end the fighting and put money towards medical exams, injury compensation, legal fees and medical research.
Here is how the money will be allocated, $75 million for medical exams, $675 million in compensation for cognitive injuries, $10 million for research, plus legal fees and other expenses related to the lawsuit.
JAMAL ANDERSON, FORMER NFL RUNNING BACK: I think it's a good day for thousands of football players who are dealing with different afflictions from playing the game of football.
SCHOLES: Numerous prominent players like Hall of Famer Tony Doorset, Super Bowl winning quarterback, Jim McMahon, and the family of Junior Seau who committed suicide last year are all involved in this case. A major part of this settlement centered around clearing the NFL from having to admit any liability or that brain-related injuries were caused by football. Many consider that a huge win for the NFL and its owners.
PETER KING, NFL WRITER, "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED": They are almost certainly going to be able to eliminate any future lawsuit from former players about head injuries. SCHOLES: While $765 million seems like a big number some think the players could have done better considering last year alone the NFL had a revenue of $9.2 billion.
DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You also consider the potential risk the NFL had of going to trial on each of these individually complex claims, the potential exposure was in the billions and that's a conservative estimate.
SCHOLES: The agreement is now in the hands of U.S. District Judge Anita Broody who must approve this deal. Former players can still voice their opposition.
SCHOLES: Only players who have retired by the time the concussion settlement is approved will be eligible for compensation, but all retired players whether they were involved in the lawsuit or not can take a baseline tests and those test results will be used to determine the amount of money they will receive from this settlement now and in the future, guys.
KEILAR: Andy Scholes, thank you so much. Joining us now is former NFL player, Chuck Smith. Chuck, you played professional football for more than eight years. You have suffered severe concussions and possible memory loss as a result of that and you are one of the players involved in the suit.
BLACKWELL: Are you happy with the settlement?
CHUCK SMITH, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Yes, I am happy, really happy. The reason I am happy -- I don't look at it as a lot of former players, but I look at it as an opportunity for the league not to end the dark cloud over the players' heads, but it's a bright light over all the new players that are coming up. It's a bright light over all the young players, the youth players, all the dads and all the moms who wanted answers.
And now I think you finally got an answer from the National Football League saying, you know what, it was an issue. It's something that happened and regardless if they admit that they are at fault or not, it's a day to honestly celebrate. The old players will be taken care of, but also an example for the young players, realizing there are things that you have to take care of along the way as a football player whether you are in the NFL or not.
KEILAR: Do you think they are doing better now with prevention?
KEILAR: Do you think they are aware of what they need to do to prevent it?
SMITH: Well, the first obstacle was figuring out, you know, who was at fault or the awareness and getting the awareness out there. So I think number one, the first thing that was accomplished here in this whole climate of conclusions and injuries in the NFL, and it has to do with all levels of football. I think, yes, it needed to be put out there in a way that everyone recognizes that it's there, and I think the first thing is getting international publicity for an issue that it's an international game now, and the NFL and football as we know it is not just an American game, it's an international game and it's an issue that we have to deal with now and help them later.
BLACKWELL: You know there are some people who disagree with you who are not happy with the settlement, who say that there have been traumatic injuries because of this game. People have died and some committed suicide, and they say it's too little too late. Essentially, is the game of football safe?
SMITH: Well, yes, I will say there is no game that's 100 percent safe. When you play basketball, you dribble the ball and there is a chance you blow your knee out. When you play baseball, there's a chance that if you throw the wrong pitch, you can get a Tommy John surgery on your arm. So there's no such thing as a 100 percent safe sport, but what they have done is they had put it on the table and say we have nothing to hide.
And there are a lot of people that you will never going to satisfy anyone, anytime to get a civil settlement and that's the issue here. Both sides had to give and take. So there will be old guys disappointed and old guys happy. There will be some owners that might be disappointed. There will be some happy.
But anytime you want to create a partnership, and that's what this is at the end of the day, them coming into a partnership saying we have to help these guys, I think there are going to be some people that are disappointed and happy. I think that's the price of doing business when you have such a large case as we have here.
KEILAR: Real quick before we go, you teach players how to prevent concussions?
KEILAR: What do you tell them?
SMITH: Well, what I teach is the most important part of playing a football player and I'll tell anyone around the world is the most important part of being a football player is eye control. If I can't see it, I can't tackle or protect myself. Another thing that also will help you in football, I have a tackle academy. I started Chuck Smith Tackle Academy in conjunction here in Gwinnet County around Atlanta, the first ever concussion institute in the southeast as we know it.
The Gwinnet Medical Center has started that and with the great doctor, Dr. Shapiro, so you know, I am really involved in it and the first thing you teach them, the foundation of what we know as football is everybody around the world needs to understand vision, and it's called eye control. If I don't have vision, I can't see a person to tackle nor can I protect myself, and number two, to help limited flexibility and limited football ability, and if you can't bend your ankle you can't put yourself in a position to protect yourself.
KEILAR: How to be more effective and save your brain. It's not an arm or a leg when you are talking about a brain. It's an entirely different thing. Chuck Smith, thank you so much.
SMITH: Appreciate you guys letting me come.
KEILAR: Yes, of course. You know, Chris Christie versus President Obama. The New Jersey governor has had some scathing words before, but wait until you hear this, why Christie is bragging he kicked the president's you know what. I mean, we're just BFF a while ago, right? But first --
BLACKWELL: Serena Williams plays the third round match tonight in the U.S. Open against her opponent. Here is an open court look at some of her victories.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it is just starting to sink in, that she truly is one of the best players of all-time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me overall, she is the best I ever seen her play, but the whole package.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Serena's 16 grand slam singles titles have earned her at a seat at a table with (inaudible) Martina and Stephie.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERENA WILLIAMS: To have me being that little girl from Compton, mentioning my name with them, I feel like I am just like everybody else, and I don't feel like me being great or good, I know I am a player and I am good at tennis, and I get nervous and apprehensive, and I have all those feelings, but what helps me is I am strong mentally and it helps me get through.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Politicians, you know, they don't always say the smartest things. This is what happens, and this week -- we never have a week that is an exception and this week is no exception. So let's start in New Jersey where Newark Mayor Cory Booker is running for U.S. Senate.
BLACKWELL: There's always someone who makes the politicians say what segment. Booker is making headlines, but it's not because of what he is saying about the economy or education, and he says he doesn't mind when voters question his sexuality. In an interview with the "Washington Post" on Monday, Booker said this, "I love seeing on twitter when somebody says I'm gay, and I say, so what does it matter if I am? So be it. I hope you are not voting for me because you make the presumption that I'm straight." So what's the debate here, what it really means to be a man?
KEILAR: On Tuesday, his Republican opponent, Steve Lonegan took issue with Booker's comments calling the conversation about his sexuality weird. So here is what was said to the conservative publication, "News Max."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know if you saw the stories last year, they have been out quite a bit about how he likes to go out at 3:00 in the morning for a manicure and pedicure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Well, Lonegan's comments were in response to a previous statement made by Booker that an ex-girlfriend got him hooked on pedicures. Lonegan didn't stop there though, he also went on to say this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His peculiar fetish is how it was described. I have a more peculiar fetish. I like a good scotch and cigar.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Lonegan clarified his comments during a press conference on Thursday. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE LONEGAN, NEW JERSEY SENATE CANDIDATE: This election is not about validating Cory Booker's lifestyle. I don't care if Cory Booker is gay or straight. The problem is he is too liberal for New Jersey and I don't want him to bring his failed policies to the federal level.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Well, Booker later responded to Lonegan saying his Republican opponent missed the boat on what it means to be a man in America.
BLACKWELL: We were talking about this all morning, and actually not about this specific topic, but about the pedicure --
KEILAR: Are pedicures OK for a man? They get themselves into trouble when they talk about this.
BLACKWELL: I don't mind talking about it. I like a good pedi and it's a good part of grooming and habit. I think you should go and get a pedicure.
KEILAR: There you have it.
New Jersey is all over this segment this week. We will talk about the state's governor now, Chris Christie, and he says he kicked President Obama's you know what. Christie says that he beat the commander-in- chief during a football arcade game back in May. You recall that's when President Obama visited the state's coastline. So Christie made these comments on Wednesday during his "Ask the Governor's" radio show.
BLACKWELL: Here's what he said, I kick the president's -- you see it there on the screen, and for the football throw, and he threw, like, three or four times, and the president, poor guy, never got it through the tire. I on the other hand threw one and put it through the tire and declared the victory, and I got my prize which was a Chicago- stuffed bear.
KEILAR: So he is a Republican, running in a blue state and talking about palling around with the president, so that could be a good thing, and he talks about beating him so then he appeals to the people who may, you know, want him to beat the president --
BLACKWELL: Although I don't know what that picture of the governor and the president walking along with that Chicago stuff bear along the boardwalk really does for --
KEILAR: Yes, I know.
BLACKWELL: A serious turn here, Syria already in flames from civil war. Just ahead, we will ask a former general and ambassador about how a U.S. strike could impact the two-year conflict. But first --
KEILAR: Christine Romans has a preview of "YOUR MONEY" coming up in an hour from now. Good morning, Christine.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Brianna and Victor, the president says the Assad regime has crossed a red line, but is that red line clouded by red ink. The biggest bills from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have not come due yet, and some say the U.S. can't afford another conflict. That's all coming up at 9:30 a.m. Eastern on an all new "YOUR MONEY."
KEILAR: Bottom of the hour now. Welcome back, everyone. I am Brianna Keilar.
BLACKWELL: I am Victor Blackwell. We'll start this half with five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.
Number one U.N. inspectors are on the plane headed out of the Middle East on their way to Europe after spending most of the week looking at the claims the Syrian regime used chemical weapons to kill more than 1,400 people. Meantime, the White House is trying to decide whether to attack the Syrian regime and all the while Syria's civil war drags on. This new video posted on YouTube that shows air strikes earlier today.
KEILAR: And number two, as President Obama weighs a military strike in Syria the administration is trying to keep Congress in the loop. Today the White House is expected to brief Republican senators. The President has said Syria needs to be held accountable, but he hasn't said exactly how. President Obama did say any U.S. action would not involve sending ground troops and it would not be a long campaign.
BLACKWELL: Number three, South African officials say Nelson Mandela is still in the hospital, but that contradicts what two sources are telling CNN that the 95-year-old anti-apartheid icon has gone home. The president's office also says Mr. Mandela remains in critical but stable condition in the hospital. Mandela was admitted June 8th because of a lung infection.
KEILAR: And number four, another precedent-shattering moment for Pope Francis upon one of that. The Pontiff posed for what's believe to be the first ever Papal selfie. You heard me check him out there posing with a group of Italian teenagers, of course the picture has -- I know you're not surprised -- gone viral.
BLACKWELL: Number five she was one of four Supreme Court justices to overturn -- voted to overturn the federal law that defines marriages between a man and women. Well now Ruth Bader Ginsburg is set to become the first Supreme Court Justice to officiate a same-sex wedding ceremony. The couple will be wed today in Washington D.C. Now same- sex marriage has been legal in the district since 2009.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: We know that after a decade of conflict, the American people are tired of war. Believe me, I am, too. But fatigue does not absolve us of our responsibility.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: The Pentagon might be tired of war too, certainly U.S. troops may be. That is though a luxury the military can't afford.
BLACKWELL: And if the President calls for a strike on Syria the armed forces will be ready.
CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr joins us now from Pentagon. Barbara how does battle fatigue play into the planning of the Pentagon?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well you know, Victor and Brianna good morning. You know it's just as you said, in this country there is civilian control of the military. If the President of the United States orders action the U.S. military responds, no questions asked.
But the reality -- military families are tired and so many hundreds of thousands of troops have been on constant deployment for years, so there is a sense of weariness about it, the budget here at the Pentagon being cut, resources stretched thin. So that's the back drop of the current environment that we're looking at.
But the President is saying, of course that this will be a very limited strike, that this is not all-out war. So what you're looking at, right now at least, is five U.S. Navy warships with cruise missiles in the Eastern Mediterranean, most likely once the President -- if the President issues an order to be the ones that will be firing those Tomahawk missiles at targets inside Syria.
This will keep the U.S. pilots out of Syrian airspace, no boots on the ground, militarily, very limited operation, partially you know there is war weariness but there is also very much a sense of military strategy that they are not going to get more involved in this, no appetite to get involved in Syria's civil war.
KEILAR: Barbara Starr at the Pentagon thank you.
BLACKWELL: Well with the U.S. military strike on Syria looking more and more likely, we put together a panel of political and diplomatic and military experts to talk strategy.
KEILAR: Christopher Hill served as U.S. ambassador to Iraq. He is currently the dean at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver; retired Army Major General James "Spider" Marks is a CNN military analyst; and Andrew Tabler is a senior fellow on Arab politics at the Washington Institute where he focuses on Syria. Good morning to all of you, gentlemen.
MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST (Ret.): Good morning.
CHRISTOPHER HILL, DEAN, UNIVERSITY OF DENVER, SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: Good morning.
KEILAR: Ambassador first to you, at this point grade the Obama administration's efforts so far to sell a military strike to the allies and the American people?
HILL: Well I think we -- we have to kind of differentiate this. On the one hand this is an effort to respond to the use of banned weapons, to respond to the use of chemical weapons, weapons that have essentially been banned for almost 100 years. But I think the administration has encountered some really -- really sort of some head winds in this, because I think there's a broad perception which I share which is that there has not been enough of political contacts -- there hasn't been a sort of diplomatic strategy for dealing with Syria.
That said and all that criticism said, I think it is important that we respond to the use of chemical weapons. If Assad can get away with this in -- in front of the entire international community, this is going to happen again and again. So I think the administration has to respond but I think its finding itself in a very lonely position. The U.N. hasn't done anything. Other allies spoke early and have since been very quiet about it. If you look at our Congress, very few Republicans have stood up to say anything, except McCain saying that the administration is not doing enough.
So I don't think it's been a very good week for anybody.
BLACKWELL: General Marks, I want to follow up on something that you said earlier in the show today that any comparison of what's happening now in Syria, what will happen in Syria likely and what happened in Iraq is a false comparison.
We had yesterday Secretary Kerry stand up and make the case for going without the U.N. and not to wait for the report kind of skipping over another European country as you know years ago we were talking about freedom fries after France decided not to go with us into Iraq. And yesterday I heard former U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson talk about the need for a coalition of the willing.
Is it any surprise that this is not popular? You've got Americans wincing at this plan with the residents of the Iraq plan and the start into that war?
MARKS: Clearly the immediate scar tissue very visible on everybody is our experience in Iraq and so we tend to go back to what we learned from that experience and what we didn't know in advance of the decisions to liberate Iraq and -- and -- and the operations that we conducted there.
What we see in Syria is, again, a far different situation in that for the course of two-plus years, almost three years, and years and years of Assad's regime, both his father who was a murderer and then his son who is as brutal, what we have seen in Syria we have acknowledged as an atrocity, yet we have chosen to try to fence it in and keep it in its box.
What we have done is in essence walked up to this edge, now with the use of chemical weapons we have said that there's an outrage. And I completely agree with Ambassador Hill that something must be done. This is in violation of international law, but there isn't -- and my point is that there isn't a comparison between what we know now relative to what Assad has done and what we knew then, relative to what Saddam Hussein was capable of and was going to do.
KEILAR: And Andrew to you, we've heard from Mike Rogers, he's the Republican chairman of the House Intel Committee, he says that the U.S. has to act simply to really reinforce President Obama and that red line that he talked about on chemical weapons. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MIKE ROGERS (R), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: I believe when the President called for a red line, and by the way that red line has been crossed numerous times, the full credibility of the United States was put on the line, some 60 years of walk softly and carry a big stick is at stake here. And one of the reasons the world behaves in so many places is because of the strength of the United States and its conviction that we will do things when we say we're going to do things. I think all of that is at stake here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Is that at stake here, Andrew? Does the President have to strike?
ANDREW TABLER, SENIOR FELLOW, THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE: I think at this point he does. It's not just a rhetorical box or a rhetorical corner that he's painted himself into. It's just that continued use of chemical weapons -- and I don't think this has been the first instance in Syria -- causes this problem to get worse. It leads to the breakdown of the country for refugees to flow outside of Syria's borders, and as all of Syria's neighbors are U.S. allies and it threatens to destabilize those countries, we have a lot invested in the regional security architecture. And this has been knock-on effects on the economy, on gas prices, on the stock market and we have even the regime supporters in the Syrian electronic army attacking our major newspaper Web sites, in "The New York Times" in the United States.
No matter what happens in the next couple of days the war in Syria is going to continue, and unfortunately Syria is not Las Vegas, what happens there is not going to stay there, unfortunately.
BLACKWELL: Elaborate if you would about the larger audience for this -- this strike.
TABLER: I think what we're going to have is a -- is a situation where we're going to have, you know, the launch of missiles to hit regime units that were responsible for the use of those weapons. I don't think we're going to hit the stock piles themselves and Syria has one of the largest in the Middle East. I think we're going to also other kind of military facilities hit and really now the question is when and where and what kind of message to send to the Assad regime both in terms of the CW red line as well as their overall position in the conflict.
KEILAR: Ambassador, a closing thought from you on what you think we should expect and also what the risk here is as retaliation.
HILL: Well I think it's important to understand that Bashar al-Assad is not the most popular leader in the Middle East; virtually there is -- virtually no country apart from Iran that is supporting him. So I think when -- when he's hit and I do expect a strike, I don't think there will be much complaints from anybody except maybe that we did not hit them harder.
I think the Iranians are worried about this and I think frankly given this new Iranian government I hope there are some efforts and back channel of the U.S. to be talking to the Iranians. It's another story, but it relates to this one.
So my sense is that as much as the build-up has been on this -- on this retaliation for the use of chemical weapons, Syria will go on being what it is, which is a, you know, a miserable conflict without end until someone steps in with a political process and gets different countries together and comes up with a political way forward.
KEILAR: Ambassador Chris Hill, Major General "Spider" Marks, Andrew Tabler -- thank you all for your insights this morning.
TABLER: You're welcome. KEILAR: And next on NEW DAY -- big bold and red: new warnings about to appear on every bottle of extra strength Tylenol. We'll tell you about the possible danger.
KEILAR: Next time you buy a bottle of Tylenol, you may notice a new warning label on that bottle.
BLACKWELL: Yes, the maker, Johnson & Johnson made the change with the aim of reducing the number of accidental overdoses from this popular reliever. Our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has more -- Elizabeth.
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ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, Victor, these warnings are big and they are bold. What the cap is going to say is "Contains acetaminophen", that's the active ingredient in Tylenol and always read the label.
Now they're doing this because acetaminophen overdoses have become all too common. In this country each year there are 56,000 visits to the emergency room because of acetaminophen overdoses and 500 deaths. Now, some of those deaths are intentional -- people were trying to hurt themselves and many of them are not. Now of many of these overdoses are not actually just on Tylenol.
Here's what ends up happening. Let's say for example you have surgery and your doctor prescribes Percocet. Well, Percocet has acetaminophen in it which a lot of people don't know. So you take the Percocet -- maybe it's not working for you. You want to take something in addition so you take Tylenol. Well, that's more acetaminophen. And then let's say at night, you're having trouble sleeping, you want a little bit of help and then you take some Nyquil. Well, Nyquil has acetaminophen in it.
So you've just gotten a triple dose of acetaminophen. If you do that for about a week you run the risk of going into acute kidney failure. And so they're hoping that with this new label, people will know to look at all the acetaminophen that they are taking, not just the acetaminophen that's in Tylenol -- Brianna, Victor.
KEILAR: Elizabeth Cohen, senior medical correspondent -- thank you.
BLACKWELL: This weekend Florida may start to dig up its tragic past. After a year of delays, crews will begin exhuming what are believed to be the unmarked graves of boys who once attended the Dozier Reform School in Florida. It's closed now but some former students say they were beaten there decades ago, and they remember school mates who disappeared without explanation.
CNN's Ed Lavandera has been following the story for five years and he explains how the Dozier saga reached this point. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Thirty-one rusting crosses with no names mark the spot where students from a now-defunct all boys reform school were laid to rest long ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got something right there.
LAVANDERA: Now a team of scientists from the University of South Florida is trying to unravel the mystery.
ERIN KIMMERLE, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA: Even if we can't name them, just the fact that they are not, you know, lost with trees growing through them I think is a big service to the community.
LAVANDERA: For decades state officials insisted 31 boys were buried here on the grounds of the school once known as the Dozier Reform School for boys. But the bodies were never properly accounted for. Some died in a dormitory fire in 1914, others from a flu epidemic in 1918. But what haunts this place is the school's painful history. Over the last few years, dozens of former students have come forward to say teachers and administrators of the Dozier School dealt ruthless beatings, sexual abuse and even murder.
Using high-tech equipment, the researchers found evidence of at least 19 more bodies buried in this area. Their research of school records also showed the bodies of another 22 boys who died at the school were never accounted for.
OVELL SMITH KRELL, BROTHER DIED IN DOZIER SCHOOL: This baby hears him.
LAVENDERA: Ovell Smith Krell's brother Owen was sent to the school in 1940 and she never saw him again. She says her family was told Owen died of pneumonia but another student told her family a much more sinister story of what happened.
SMITH KRELL: He looked back and my brother was running out across the field, an open field, and there were three men shooting at him with rifles. I believe to this day that they shot my brother that night and I think they probably killed him and they brought him back to the school and buried him.
LAVANDERA: Ovell was recently swabbed for DNA with the hope that it can be matched to her brother. Before Dr. Kimmerle's discovery in the cemetery, a Florida state investigation in 2009 determined there was no evidence of criminal activity connected with any of the deaths or abusive treatment at the facility. One former school administrator has denied allegations but admits spankings did take place.
No matter what is found during these exhumations, criminal charges are highly unlikely, but dozens of former students have called that investigation a cover-up and an attempt to whitewash the school's brutal past.
GLENN HESS, STATE ATTORNEY: You have to have witnesses and looking at all the statements that have been taken, nobody could place a name with a homicide victim and a perpetrator.
LAVANDERA: Generations had passed, young boys are now grown men and they're still searching for answers buried long ago.
BLACKWELL: Ed Lavandera joins us now from Marianna. Ed, this is a big day for the former students, for their families. Give us an idea of what is going to happen today.
LAVANDERA: Well, there are teams out here and they will spend the next few days. They have the areas cordoned off, the area you see right behind me is the area where the 31 white crosses have been here for several decades. But it was in that area beyond there where you see that white tent in the background where the researchers had found the evidence of possibly more bodies.
So over the course of the next few days they will begin exhuming and looking for bodies buried in there and then try to begin the process of piecing together what may or may not have happened on these school grounds for so long.
BLACKWELL: Any idea on when some answers will be available?
LAVANDERA: You know, it's hard to say, because we have no idea how long it will take to kind of do all of the research -- several months for sure. And then what kind of conditions the bodies are in and then what kind of evidence they will be able to take away from what they find in the corpses that they dig up here. So it's really hard to say what they will be able to do. That's why they have taken DNA swabs from many family members in hopes that they can reunite families with loved ones and then bury them elsewhere if they choose to do that.
BLACKWELL: All right, Ed Lavandera, live in Marianna for us this morning. Thank you.
KEILAR: And we'll be right back with some breaking news on Syria.