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Navy Yard Shooter Aaron Alexis Profiled; Grand Theft Auto V Released; Colorado Residents Recovering From Floods; Beyonce Swept Off her Feet; Russia, France Disagree On UN Syria Investigation Conclusion
Aired September 17, 2013 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RALITSA VASSILEVA, HOST: Hello, everybody I'm Ralitsa Vassileva. Welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet.
Security at a Navy base in Washington is called into question as investigators look for answers after a lone gunman carried out a deadly rampage there.
A wife's quest for justice after her husband disappeared without a trace. Six Chinese party officials are accused of torturing him to death. We'll bring you that CNN exclusive.
And the five year wait and of one of the biggest names in video games: Grand Theft Auto V is out.
The U.S. capital is coming to terms with Monday's mass shooting. Less than 24 hours ago, a gunman turned Washington's Navy Yard into a nightmare. The rampage killed 12 people, civilians and military contractors. The shooter has been identified as a contractor himself, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis was also a former Navy reservist. Alexis was killed, though details remain unclear.
Authorities are asking the public for more information about him. Forensic teams are combing the scene for clues. The Navy yard remains closed to all but essential personnel during that investigation.
Now let's show you where that is in Washington. The Navy Yard is right in the heart of the U.S. capital. The White House sits less than 5 kilometers away, as you can see. Security is tight at the yard. It includes headquarters for the naval sea systems command, which is the largest of the navy's five system commands. About 3,000 people work there.
The shooting happened at building 197. Police say Alexis used a valid pass to gain entry into the building. There is armed security at the door of that building and it's unclear how his guns got passed them.
Jessica Yellin reports now on how the massacre unfolded.
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chaos and confusion across the nation's capital. 8:15 am, an emergency call reaches Washington police word of a shooter at the Navy Yard.
CHIEF CATHY LANIER, METROPOLITAN DC POLICE: Within literally two to three minutes, Metropolitan police officers were on the scene. Now internal security had already engaged -- identified and engaged the suspect. We already had victims down at that point.
YELLIN: Inside, witnesses say, a fire alarm is pulled, mayhem breaks out in building 197.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As he came around the corner, he aimed his gun at us, and he fired at least two or three shots.
TERRIE DURHAM, WITNESS: He was far enough down the hall that we couldn't see his face, but we could see him with the rifle and he raised and aimed at us and fired.
YELLIN: A maintenance worker warns this man of a shooter. And the next thing he knows...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's when he got shot. I'm fairly certain he was dead, because he was shot in the head.
YELLIN: 9:09 am, the Navy alerts via Twitter one injury and orders the facility's 3,000 employees to shelter in place.
11:53, a Navy official says a suspected shooter is dead.
12:15, the Washington police chief announces shocking news, possibly two other shooters are on the loose.
LANIER: One being a white male who was last scene around 8:35, 8:40 this morning in a khaki tan military uniform.
YELLIN: Later, federal officials would say they believe there was only one shooter.
12:30 pm the president expresses his horror.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are confronting yet another mass shooting. And today it happened on a military installation in our nation's capital.
YELLIN: 4:00 pm, almost eight hour after that first emergency call, a break the FBI releases the name of the shooter, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, a military contractor from Texas.
Washington's mayor announces a terrible new number, 13, including the shooter, dead. And he speaks to what's on so many people's minds.
VINCENT GRAY, WASHINGTON MAYOR: We don't have any reason at this stage to suspect terrorism, but certainly it has not been ruled out.
YELLIN: Officials tell CNN the shooter was a military contractor, which could help explain how he accessed the secure facility. But they say his motive is still a mystery.
Jessica Yellin, CNN, Washington.
VASSILEVA: So many questions are being asked about security at the facility. Let's bring in now Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr with more on that.
Barbara, so how was he able to get inside with all these guns?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ralitsa, this is one of the key questions federal investigators are working around the clock to solve, raising that key question all over again one more time, could something, should something have been done differently?
STARR (voice-over): Heavily armed security personnel swarmed the Washington Navy Yard within minutes of the first shot. It's the deadliest military workplace shooting since the 2009 mass shooting at Ft. Hood that killed 13. Raising questions on how it could have happened yet again at a military installation in the U.S. Navy Commander Tim Jirus saw one worker shot.
CMDR. TIM JIRUS, NAVY YARD SHOOTING WITNESS: I think right now a lot of people are wondering, you know, just how safe the building is or how safe the office environment is.
STARR: Many of the security measures at the Navy Yard are similar to other bases. Captain Mark Vandroff spelled out the security procedures for Wolf Blitzer.
CAPT. MARK VANDROFF, U.S. NAVY: You should present credentials. Your DOD common access card to an armed security guard who then clears you on to the base. Then, to get into building 197, there's armed security at the door of the building.
STARR: Contractors are also scrutinized.
VANDROFF: But you go past armed security guards and then your credentials are computer read and there's a kiosk you go through and it either gives you a green or a red light. But the green light shows that your credentials are recognized as someone who is supposed to be in that building.
STARR: Not clear yet, did the suspect, Aaron Alexis, have wide-ranging access because he was an I.T. contractor? But everyone, including visitors, are subject to random searches. One security expert says, just like Ft. Hood, however, security fundamentally is not likely to change.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Security is a balance between total safety and freedom, right? So you have to provide some level in the middle so that people can actually get to work.
STARR: And Ralitsa, one additional detail emerging, a government audit did find, according to federal sources CNN has spoken to, that navy installations may have cut some corners on security access for contractors in order to save money. This government audit looking at a very specific program on how contractors are cleared.
Early days, yet, to get all the details on that, but we also know that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel now is very likely to have the department take another look at access and security clearances for the thousands of contractors that work at military installations -- Ralitsa.
VASSILEVA: Very important to do. Barbara Starr for the Pentagon, thank you very much.
Well, now turning to an unprecedented operation off the coast of Italy. The capsized Costa Concordia cruise ship has been successfully pulled upright in what one official calls a perfect operation. This time lapse video we want to show you now, it shows you the painstaking process step by step, degree by degree, which took place all day on Monday. You can see the ship being lifted there. And it's now sitting upright.
Hundreds of people were involved in uprighting this ship. But it took just 12 technicians to actually carry out what is an engineering feat never done before with such a heavy ship.
And this video is now showing the part of the Costa Concordia which was submerged. You see that there's quite a change from the ship's formally sparkling white exterior. 20 months underwater certainly hasn't done it any good. We see also damage there from the rocks. And you see it's dirty and quite damaged there. And there -- that's the ship upright. It will eventually be taken away to be scrapped.
For more on that, senior international correspondent Matthew Chance is joining us now live from Giglio Island. So Matthew, what's the next step?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the next step Ralitsa is that the salvage workers that are congratulating themselves, essentially, and be congratulated by the islanders here, for the great job they did in getting the Costa Concordia upright. They're now working hard to stabilize that structure, because even though it looks like it's OK sitting over there, in fact it's delicately balanced on an underwater platform that was constructed. It was tilted up sort of onto that platform.
It's also still for the most part underwater. Two-thirds of that ship is still under the sea. It's actually 55 meters tall. By far the biggest ship that's ever been salvaged in this way, twice as big as the titanic. For instance, 114,000 tons of metal.
So a very difficult operation, a very dangerous one as well, not least from an environmental point of view, because inside the Costa Concordia up 20,000 gallons of highly toxic liquids -- we're talking not just fuel and oil from the engines, but also chemicals used for the cleaning of the boat that was carried on the voyage there, the food stuffs that have rotted from the food for more than 4,200 people for 10 days was on board. It had only just left port when it hit the rocks here at Giglio. So a lot of food stuff has mixed with the salt water over the 20 months that it's been laying there, created this really noxious, toxic mix of chemicals inside. So it was a big environmental hazard.
The salvage operators, salvage workers have succeed in avoiding that liquid being spilled out into this pristine marine environment. So that's another big reason why they're being congratulated so much here today -- Ralitsa.
VASSILEVA: Yeah, that's certainly unprecedented.
And speaking though of the next step, the ship actually will not be towed until next summer, right?
CHANCE: Yeah, the first step has already happened, it's been turned upright. Now they're going to stabilize it, then they're going to eventually float it. You know, there are still 30 meters of that ship still under water, as I mentioned. They have to float it up to a point where it will be able to be towed to a shipbreaking yard that will then be broken down into pieces and sold off for scrap essentially.
The other operation that's got to be performed is a bit more of a grizzly one, which is of the 32 people that were killed when this ship hit the rocks here in Giglio in January 2012, only 30 bodies were recovered. There were another two bodies out there somewhere. And it's believed, or it's hoped, that they might be onboard the ship somewhere. And so before the ship it towed away, of course, and in the next few days perhaps, they're going to be looking for those bodies that may have been trapped in the crumpled wreckage in some way.
And so that will be one grizzly task that also has to be done.
VASSILEVA: And how are the locals reacting to this? Certainly they are getting their town back slowly. And this must be a big relief.
CHANCE: Yeah, a huge sense of relief amongst the townspeople here. It's an island of just 1,000 people. So it's a very small island most of the time. It's a big tourist attraction. It depends for its income on its pristine waters and its tourist trade.
And of course what the locals were most concerned about is that some of those toxic materials inside the ship would spill out, would cause irreparable damage to the sort of pristine environments around here. That would have ruined their livelihood essentially
It's also the sense that this eyesore of this wrecked ship on their coastline will soon, at least by next year, be out of the way. And so, yes, a huge sense of relief amongst the people of Giglio that this wreckage, this terrible chapter in their history may soon be coming to an end.
VASSILEVA: And so, Matthew, tell us a little bit about the planning, what it took to get to this point.
CHANCE: Oh, an enormous amount of planning took place. I mean, the technological -- the technical, rather, aspects of this salvage operation were really unprecedented, as I say. No ship of this size has been raised in the same way that the Costa Concordia was. A huge infrastructure has been built around it. It was on its side. You can see from the pictures of the ship where the water marks of the course of the past 20 months have stained the entire side of the ship. It was lying on its side.
We've seen those time lapse pictures, which really show how it was tilted on one side, a platform tilt it upright. A platform has been built on the seabed and then floatation devices were put underneath it and 50 chains, really heavy, thick chains used to slowly inch by inch pull it upright. It then came down to rest on that platform on the seabed.
So an enormous technical task, which, you know, appears to have gone off without a hitch, Ralitsa.
Matthew Chance on Giglio Island, thank you very much.
And it was relief all around for the Concordia's salvage team. Here's what salvage master Nicholas Sloane had to say after he and his team pulled that ship upright.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICHOLAS SLOANE, CONCORDIA SALVAGE MASTER: I think we need to get some sleep, but we'll have a quick beer and then maybe tomorrow we'll have a barbecue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you proud of what you did?
SLOANE: Yeah. I think the whole team is proud of what they achieved, because a lot of people said it couldn't be done. And that's what's nice about the challenge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VASSILEVA: That was salvage master Nicholas Sloane talking about how the salvage crew plan to celebrate this successful operation, but the huge task of removing and scraping the ship, as Matthew was telling us, is far from over.
You're watching CNN News Stream. Still to come on our show, we'll take you inside this lab in The Netherlands where scientists has crucial evidence from the chemical attack in Syria.
Residents evacuating in the U.S. state of Colorado where deadly flooding has left thousands stranded.
And years in the making, gamers finally get their hands on Grand Theft Auto V. We will tell you about reaction a little bit later in our program.
VASSILEVA: Russia strongly reject any suggestion that the Syrian government was responsible for a chemical weapons attack in Damascus. But that isn't how other world powers see it. The Russian and French foreign ministers were meeting in Moscow and reacted to the release of a UN report on that attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When anybody states that the regime or the opposition used chemical weapons, we have to ask questions without emotions in order to resolve serious questions by professionals who must look at every single episode, every single statement clearly and dispassionately and bring this to the security council so a final understanding can be reached.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VASSILEVA: Meanwhile, the French foreign minister disagrees saying Syrian government forces were responsible. But he also says France and Russia both want to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria.
Meanwhile the UN secretary general says the attack amounts to a war crime. Inspectors have concluded that chemical weapons were used against civilians, including children on a relatively large scale. The inspector said environmental, chemical and medical samples all show that surface-to- surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used. The attack was made worse by cold temperatures that kept the sarin low to the ground.
The report did not assign blame for the attack or indicate the number of people killed.
Much of the evidence collected in Syria was analyzed at a lab in The Netherlands. Their work is largely carried out in secret.
Our Frederik Pleitgen got rare access in this exclusive report.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The samples from chemical weapons sites are brought to this lab. The transport container is made to withstand a plane crash. Scientists used detectors while opening it to make sure they're not exposed to nerve agents.
Dr. Hugh Gregg is the head of OPCW's lab.
DR. HUGH GREGG, HEAD, OPCW LAB: The vinyl container is the sample itself, the samples that were collected in the field. We ensure that those seals are absolutely correct and that they haven't been tampered with. And then we're ready for that sample.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Samples are analyzed in a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer or GCMS, a device that breaks the samples down into its components and then identifies the chemical agents.
GREGG: The routine GCMS analysis that we would do for environmental samples can see things down below a part per million. They can see samples that have been there for weeks or months.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Under the threat of U.S. strikes and with Russian diplomatic pressure, Bashar al-Assad has agreed in principle to put Syria's chemical weapons under international control.
The OPCW would mostly likely take the lead, cataloging and monitoring the stockpiles. The organization has done it in other countries and knows how long it takes.
GREGG: For inspectors to catalog that, they would actually have to go and witness how many artillery shells, how much would they contain on an average fill. They would have to, you know, look at storage containers. They would have to figure all that out.
So cataloging something would depend on how many sites there are, how many different munitions there are. You know, it could take months.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Fred Pleitgen, CNN, The Netherlands.
VASSILEVA: In the Philippines, violence has escalated on day nine of a standoff between MNLF rebels and the military. And armed forces spokesman says 30 rebels have been killed in the past 24 hours. He says a total of 86 MNLF members have been killed and another 66 captured.
The rebels stormed the southern city of Zamboanga on September 9 taking more than 100 hostages. They're believed to be upset by a piece deal between the government and a rival rebel group.
The mayor of Zamboanga says 149 hostages are now free, though it's unclear if any civilians remain held by the rebels. The army is urging them to surrender.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIG. GEN. DOMINGO TUTAAN, PHILIPPINES ARMED FORCES SPOKESMAN: The situation is getting better and hopefully we're able to have this concluded as soon as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VASSILEVA: More than 82,000 people have been displaced by the siege on Zamboanga. The government has pledged tens of thousands of dollars to help them.
You're watching News Stream. Still to come, for lovers of video games, it might seem like Christmas has come early. Rockstar Games releases Grand Theft Auto V and we will review it. That's coming up next.
VASSILEVA: The five year wait is over for fans of one of the biggest names in video games: Grand Theft Auto V is out in stores worldwide today. It's set in a fictional version of Los Angeles and the area around it. And for the first time, the games allows you to play as three main characters.
So, is the latest Grand Theft Auto worth the wait? Stephen Totilo is the editor-in-chief of gaming website Kotaku. And he has already played through the game.
So Stephen, how does playing as three main characters work?
STEPHEN TOTILO, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, KOTAKU.COM: It's very good. And it's sort of like playing as an interactive ensemble television drama. At any time in the game you can basically jump out of the body of one of the characters and go into the next. So it's kind of like watching a scene switch in a TV show.
The game is set across a huge, sprawling recreation of Los Angeles. And some of the terrain to the north of it in Northern California. It's kind of a parody. It's definitely not for kids as well. But it's fun.
And it took me 42 hours to get through the game. So it's very long as well.
VASSILEVA: 42 hours.
Well, some felt that the previous game felt a little bit too dark, too serious. Is this a return to a lighter side?
TOTILO: Lighter -- it's a parody. It's a parody of American culture. These games have always been that. It's fairly low brow. There is some political commentary in there as well. But, you know, parents be warned, there's sex, there's drugs, there's making fun of a lot of people. Everybody is kind of ridiculous in this game world. Everybody is a bit of a fool is there to be mocked, except your characters, your characters are bank robbers or thieves in some way. And they're getting together and they're going on these heists. And in that case, the game gets, you know, more serious.
It's consistently fun. It's a very entertaining game. And beautiful, as well, as you can probably see from the scenes that you're see. It's fun to tour through.
VASSILEVA: So your verdict is it's a fun game, worth the wait.
TOTILO: Yeah, it's very much worth the wait. It's doing something new. It's also I would say better than the Grand Theft Autos that have come before. So well worth your time to spend.
Even if you don't have a full 42 hours, I think you should play it.
VASSILEVA: I was wondering, I mean, did you sleep? Did you eat? 42 hours straight?
TOTILO: Yes. Thankfully, my job as editor-in-chief of Kotaku, which is a gaming site. We are -- this is my job. This is what I get paid to do. So, yes, but even still, I was thinking about it yesterday, 42 hours over the course of about seven days. It still meant I was playing this game for six hours each day. And it's not the only thing I had to do for my job. So it's tough.
But also I have a loving wife and she was able to sort of help me through it. But, you know, people have far more arduous tasks in their life then playing Grand Theft Auto, so I consider myself fortunate.
And I bet a lot of people are calling in sick today and that's how they're getting their Grand Theft Auto time in.
VASSILEVA: And they need understanding wives.
Well, I wanted to also ask you in two weeks they will be switching on Grand Theft Auto online. What can we expect on that?
VASSILEVA: Well, one of the areas where Rockstar Games and developer hasn't sort of conquered the gaming world yet is in online. They've tried to do a lot of things with that.
And this is something a lot of developers want to do now. The days of playing a video game as a solitary experience are pretty much in the past. So they try to get more and more of these games connected. And Grand Theft Auto online is going to take this recreation of Southern California that I described and allow multiple people to go in it together. So instead of going on a bank heist on your own, you're going to get a bunch of friends together and you're going to case the bank out together and then you're going to go in and you're going to try to pull off the robbery.
Or maybe you're going to all jump in airplanes and just fly across the fake Hollywood sign and over -- their version of Beverly Hills. So it's going to be something for a bunch of people to get together and play, which is something that Rockstar has been wanting to do for a long time. So that will go live in early October. It's free for people who already bought Grand Theft Auto V. And it's something that's going to extend the life of the game I think for a long time.
Because believe it or not, people burn through these games really quickly. The game may sound long to you and to other folks, but people have been waiting awhile. They're hungry. You know, they've been trying to even like crack the code and get to the game early for weeks. And they're going to get through it quickly.
And I think Grand Theft Auto Online is going to be the thing that either does or doesn't have the staying power to keep people playing even longer, which is something Rockstar wants, gamers want. So, yes.
Stephen Totilo, editor-in-chief of gaming website Kotaku, thank you so much.
TOTILO: Thank you.
VASSILEVA: You're watching News Stream. Still ahead, a widow seeks justice for her husband. Accusations, the once rising star of China's Communist Party died in a brutal death in custody. We will take you live to Beijing.
And we will update you with the latest information on the shooting at a U.S. Navy yard as details emerge about the gunman.
VASSILEVA: I'm Ralitsa Vassileva at the CNN Center, you're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines this hour.
There were signs of division between France and Russia at a news conference in Moscow today. French foreign minister Laurent Fabius says Syrian government forces are clearly to blame for the chemical attack near Damascus on August 21, but his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov says the UN report does not assign blame.
France, the U.S. and UK are seeking a tough UN resolution with sanctions if Syria fails to give up its chemical weapons as promised.
A team of engineers successfully hauled the Costa Concordia into an upright position on Tuesday. The ship ran aground off Giglio, Italy last year. 32 people died. The Costa Concordia will eventually be towed to a salvage yard broken up and sold for scrap.
The highest court in Bangladesh sentenced a senior Islamist leader to death, obviously a tougher penalty than the life sentence originally handed down by the country's war crimes tribunal. Abdul Quader Molla was convicted of mass murder. His supporters say the charges were politically motivated.
At least 40 people are dead in Mexico after storms trigger floods and landslides. The Pacific coast was battered by the remnants of Tropical Storm Manuel while the Atlantic coast suffered as Hurricane Ingrid made landfall there. Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes.
And now to a CNN exclusive, a landmark trial gets underway today in China. It could shed light on the inner workings of the Communist Party. Six party officials are accused of torturing a party member to death. CNN's David McKenzie is joining us now live from Beijing.
David, what have learned?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Ralitsa, here in China the 80 million odd Communist Party members are effectively above the law. They don't answer to the courts, they answer to a shadowy internal disciplinary group that investigates them for possible corruption or other wrongdoings. And in this case, it's a rare look inside of the brutal world of Communist Party justice.
MCKENZIE: In a quiet tea house, Wu Qian agreed to secretly meet us. She says she's been followed by state security ever since her husband died.
When she last saw him, he was barely recognizable. Calls at 1:00 am to Wen Jo (ph) hospital after he was missing for more than a month.
WU QIAN, WIDOW (through translator): The man I saw at the emergency room was like a skinny beggar. His hair and beard was long. And his body was covered with bruises. I was completely astonished and I shook him. When I touched him, I felt his body was cold.
He was tortured. I knew it from the moment I saw the bruises on his body. It's evident that he was tortured for a long time.
MCKENZIE: Before his brutal death, Yu Qiyi (ph) was a rising star of the Communist Party, allowing his family to live a life of privilege.
(on camera): Then after a business trip to Beijing, Yu (ph) was picked up by party investigators for, quote, minor misconduct. Driven into town, and according to the indictments, after weeks of interrogation, tortured to death in one of these rooms.
Prosecutors say six men drowned him by dunking his head in ice water in a building called The Garden of Ultimate Justice.
(voice-over): Falling victim to a shadowy system called shuang guei (ph) designed to curb corruption in the party.
(on camera): Hidden from public view, defense lawyers say that interrogation, torture and even suicides are common. But this case gives a rare look at the hidden world of Communist Party style justice.
(voice-over): In this case, the party is taking action against the interrogators, but Wu is pushing for more justice. For her husband's torture and killing, the six men are facing only assault charges. She says she will stop at nothing to fight the shuang guei (ph) system.
QIAN (through translator): The only thing I can do now is to stay strong and have faith. This system is evil. It's sinister beyond our imagination. All I want to do now is to reveal the truth.
MCKENZIE: She says her husband deserves it and wants others to avoid his fate.
MCKENZIE: Well, Ralitsa, some have said that this trial of the six interrogators shows some level of openness in the Chinese legal system, but we learned from the family's lawyers that they were in fact thrown out of court proceedings today. And throughout the day CNN's broadcast of the story has been blacked out in mainland China really indicates the sensitivity of this subject certainly for the people in China and the government as well -- Ralitsa.
VASSILEVA: So does this trial show that the government is reforming the system?
MCKENZIE: I think it's too early to say, Ralitsa. Certainly there have been signs of legal reform overall in China.
The Communist Party runs the courts, the police, every aspect of the legal system. Often trials here, particularly political trials are more show trials that are determined before this -- the trial starts or the lawyers even enter the courts.
There's more than a 99 percent conviction rate here in China. And most people end up confessing to their crimes to try and get a lighter sentence.
This system, people believe is not sustainable, or analysts have told me is not sustainable in China in the long-term, but fixing it or changing it will be very tricky for a government and a party which is one and the same thing in this country because it could open up more reforms in other areas, particularly the political sphere and they're certainly most interested here in maintaining control over the country, not necessarily justice -- Ralitsa.
VASSILEVA: David McKenzie in Beijing, thank you very much.
Now let's return to our top story. Authorities are seeking more information about the main suspected in Monday's mass shooting at Washington's Navy Yard. Pamela Brown profiles Aaron Alexis.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Law enforcement officials say 34- year-old IT subcontractor Aaron Alexis entered Navy yard building 197 legally with a valid military issued I.D. and intent to kill. His motive, unknown.
VALERIE PARLAVE, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FBI WASHINGTON FIELD OFFICE: We are looking to learn everything we can about his recent movements, his contacts and associates.
BROWN: A picture is emerging of a complicated man, at times quiet and polite, who spoke several languages and worshipped at this Buddhist temple.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's incredible this is all happening because he was a good-natured guy. It seemed like he wanted to get more out of life.
BROWN: Other times he could be explosively angry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He might be angry sometimes, but I don't believe that he's going to kill others.
BROWN: Alexis was born in queens, New York, joined the Navy as a reservist in May, 2007. According to Pentagon officials he was discharged in January 2011 following a, quote, pattern of misconduct. While it's unclear what that misconduct was, he did have several run- ins with the law. He was arrested in Seattle in 2004 for shooting out the tires of another man's vehicles, described in the police report as an anger-fueled blackout. His father said his son was suffering PTSD after helping post- 9/11 rescue efforts at ground zero.
In 2008, cited and briefly jailed for disturbing peace in Georgia and arrested again in 2010 for discharging a gun in public in Fort Worth, Texas, where he lived until recently, never charged in that case. Alexis had been staying at this hotel, not far from the Navy yard since last week and the law enforcement source tells CNN Alexis recently purchased one of the guns used in the shooting at a gun store in Virginia. He also passed two security clearances last September and this past July before starting work at the Navy yard.
His violent rampage has left his family devastated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very hurtful. Our hearts are going out more to the victims, the people that got hurt, because, you know, more lives lost, we don't need that right now.
BROWN: This is still a very fluid situation. We've learned from law enforcement sources that Alexis had made contact with two Veterans Affairs hospitals recently. Right now investigators are still looking into the circumstances surrounding both of those situations. But at this point, it's believed that he made contact with those hospitals for psychological issues.
Also, we're learning more about the weapons. We've learned that three weapons were recovered from the scene, that Alexis walked in with at least one weapon, believed to be a shotgun, that he bought just days ago. And now we're learning that perhaps he acquired two other weapons from guards at the Navy Yard building.
Officials believe that he bought one of the weapons, a shotgun, at a gun shop in Lorton, Virginia. Officials are going to be going to the gun shop today trying to get paperwork, trying to piece together how he was able to acquire the weapons and carry out this attack. Back to you.
VASSILEVA: And Pamela, do we know how he got past security? There's heavy security with guns.
BROWN: Well, we know he had a military issued ID. So he was able to have legitimate access into the military installation.
Now normally what happens is you go through a checkpoint with your car. You could be randomly selected to have your car searched. It appears in this case that did not happen.
And then once you get to the actual building we've learned from witnesses, people who worked there, that there's not necessarily metal detection that you have to go through if you're an employee and if you have a military issued ID.
But we don't know specifically right now what the circumstances are about how he actually gained access, whether he was able to use his gun, his weapon to gain access or whether he was able to just breeze right through the front entrance. We just don't have that answer right now.
VASSILEVA: Pamela Brown in Washington, thank you very much.
BROWN: Well, this latest killing has already triggered debate in the U.S. over gun control. An editorial in the Washington Post condemns what it calls, quote, "nauseating familiarity of these events that include the school shootings at Columbine and Sandyhook." It says, "each atrocity provides a jolt to the nation and then recedes with little effect until the next unimaginable event occurs, except each time a little more imaginable."
It also goes on to say, quote, "but for the politicians nothing changed. And now another massacre, another roster of funerals again, again, again."
And remember, President Barack Obama pushed for universal background checks for gun ownership after 20 children were killed in Newtown, Connecticut but those measures never gained traction. And there have been more than 20 mass shooting during his time in office.
Still to come on News Stream, flood water continuing to devastate the U.S. state of Colorado. We survey the damage so far and find out how the residents are coping with it.
VASSILEVA: This week on Leading Women, Dr. Helene Gayle, the president and CEO of Care USA. Her passion for health care took her from working physician to president and CEO of one of the world's leading humanitarian organizations.
Isha Sisay talked to her about her path to success.
ISHA SISAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: She's a leading figure in international development, a woman on the move. In Kenya, Ethiopia, India visiting film missions, in Washington advocating for the poor. In Atlanta, attending an event featuring Rwanda's President Paul Kagame.
Such is the busy life of Helene Gayle, CEO of Care USA, one of the world's best known humanitarian organizations.
I visited Gayle at the headquarters in Atlanta.
So tell me about your role here at Care.
HELENE GAYLE, PRESIDENT, CEO, CARE USA: My job is really to lead this organization, make sure that we're continuing to think not just about what's going on today, but what -- where are we going in the future, so that is working with donors, because we're an organization that is reliant on the generosity of individuals, institutions, corporations, foundations.
SISAY: A trained physician, Gayle became Care USA's CEO in 2006 overseeing a staff of more than 6,000 and a budget of more than half a billion dollars, according to Care.
Your story can be called one of transformation. How did you go from being a pediatricians to leading a global organization like Car?
GAYLE: Well, you know, I guess in some ways I think of it as coming full circle. I went into medicine and chose pediatrics and then public health because I really wanted to do something that I felt gave back. But the more you work in health and look at health inequities, the more you realize a lot of that is not necessarily just due to a particular disease. But it's really also linked to underlying societal issues, poverty, inequity, lack of access to safe drinking water or housing et cetera, all the things that, you know, we focus on in Care.
SISAY: Care says in 2012 its services reached more than 83 million people in 84 countries.
Now you are the first female, the first person of color to head Care in it's 60 plus history, a major milestone. But give me your thoughts on that achievement.
GAYLE: Well, you know, I think it was just a matter of time. Women are playing all sorts of different roles in our society. I happen to have been the one that came at this point in time in Care's history. If it hadn't been me, it may have been another woman.
I'm pleased to be there, but I know that there will be one day when this is just not going to be so unique.
VASSILEVA: And next week we will have more on Helene Gayle and the family background that helped her pave the way to her success. In the meantime, you can get the latest from our Leading Women series by logging on to CNN.com/leadingwomen.
Coming up on News Stream, major flooding still wrecking havoc in the U.S. state of Colorado, which has (inaudible) residents as they surveyed the unbelievable damage.
VASSILEVA: Now we want to update you on those devastating floods in the U.S. state of Colorado. The death toll has now risen to eight. And hundreds more remain unaccounted for. The damage to buildings and roads has been massive. In some areas, homes have been swept away by walls of water. Thousands of people are cut off by the flooding and are waiting to be rescued by helicopter. Air evacuations may be the largest ever undertaken since Hurricane Katrina.
Some residents are now returning to their devastated homes to get a look at the damage and they just can't believe what they're seeing. CNN's Kyung Lah reports from Lyons, Colorado.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The water was this high that day. And here's what's left of our apartment.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, my god. Oh, my god.
(voice-over): What else can you say? Two feet of thick mud and sewage covering this entire home in Lyons, Colorado, a town pummeled with pounding rain and flood waters for days.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a walker and that's the other one.
LAH: This is where Abe Vasquez's (ph) 78-year-old mother barely escaped from. We stepped, or tried to step through the living room, our feet slowly sinking as we spoke.
(on camera): Do you understand standing here how people could have lost their lives?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yeah. Easily. This could have -- you know, thank god it didn't happen, but it could have.
LAH: Is it hard looking at your mom's house?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. It is. Very hard.
LAH (voice-over): The water just beginning to recede reveals the extent of damage to Vasquez's property -- cars stuck in debris. What was pavement leading to his business gone.
(on camera): How many years did it take to build this place?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since '79.
LAH: And in 24 hours.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's gone. It's hard.
LAH: By ATV, the only way to travel now, Vasquez (ph) wanted to show us the rest of his town where many residents have yet to be able to return. Dotted with snapped power polls, roadblocks and heavy machinery, people walking where cars failed them. Rescuers at the National Guard more visible than the evacuees who left here. As the two branches of the St. Vrain River bisecting this town nearly swallowed it whole.
(on camera): If you want to understand the force of the water, this used to be a roadway, a bridge went right over. Take a look at where the bridge is now. Right over there, there's the black bridge, covered with trees. Those houses in between all flooded.
And take a look at that, that's a car completely flipped over.
(voice-over): In this neighborhood, explains Vasquez (ph), the flood pushed entire houses around like furniture. As we talk, Kelly Hunt (ph) walks up. She can see the roof of her home, but can't get to the other side of the river.
(on camera): Are you saying your house was picked up and moved?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Our house has been picked up and moved several feet. Today is our first day up here since we've been evacuated. And I feel like it's worse than I thought it would be. We lost absolutely everything we own.
VASSILEVA: And that was Kyung Lah reporting.
Well, authorities plan to drop food and water to some cutoff towns if they cannot find a way to land rescue helicopters there to help people out.
Let's check in at the world weather center now. Weather conditions obviously important. Mari Ramos is standing by with more on that. Mari, how is the forecast looking?
MARI RAMOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know what, find a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. That's why some of those flood victims are being able to return to their homes and those helicopters able to fly after tremendously heavy flooding.
Now when you look at Boulder, Colorado, one of the hardest hit areas, in the last seven days, Ralitsa, they've had over (inaudible) of rain. Their average for the entire year is 521 millimeters of rain. So they had about 80 percent of their yearly rainfall in just a period of a week. And that's the kind of disaster that we see.
So 2013 is already the wettest year on record. And the 230 millimeters of rain that fell this last Thursday alone is twice as much as their single day record that they had. And that was back in 1893. If you do the math, that's 43,000 days since they've had that record. And now, of course, shattered by this tremendously heavy rain.
When we look at the forecast for this area, we are looking at generally a drier weather pattern. Partly cloudy skies, maybe a pop-up thunderstorm on Wednesday, but overall much, much drier.
We've finally broken that pattern of that moisture, that funnel of moisture that was coming in to this area. So as we head through the next few days, sunshine for the entire rest of the week.
So finally they're catching a little bit of a break in that region.
They're starting to see a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel also into parts of western Mexico, but the death toll there, over 20 people killed. Here you see five of the coffins of those flood victims. Here are pictures from Acapulco in the western side of Mexico. This is after a storm called Manuel was bringing some very heavy rain across that area. In some cases, over 200 millimeters of rain leading to deadly floods and landslides across the region.
And this picture is from the eastern side of Mexico along the Gulf of Mexico in the state of Veracruz. There, they had very heavy rainfall and landslides. And unfortunately in this area, the rainfall does continue. And you can see it right there with the remnants of what was Hurricane Ingrid.
Monterrey, Mexico already had near recordsetting rainfall almost their entire month's worth of rain just in the last couple of days. So very significant rainfall across this area. And unfortunately expect it to continue.
Let's head to the other side of the Pacific. I want to take you to Japan.
Let's roll the pictures from that area. Here they're also reeling from the remnants of a tropical cyclone. This is pictures from Kyoto. A river here burst its banks, taking an entire community with it. At least two people have been killed across Japan as the storm was moving through that area. Now in the aftermath skies are clear and we're able to see the damage.
Look at this, this picture is taken overnight. This is in Kushiro (ph). And here you're seeing very heavy rain, a lot of standing water. They're finally starting to clean up, Ralitsa. And the threat for mudslides does, of course, go down now that the rain finally came to an end. We're looking at drier days ahead also for this hard hit part of the world.
Back to you.
VASSILEVA: Mari, thank you very much.
Well, a fan got a little too touchy feely at a Beyonce concert in Brazil. He nearly yanked the pop star off the stage. Jeanne Moos reports then it was Beyonce who came to the man's rescue.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's normal for Beyonce fans to get carried away. Here's a guy who tried to carry away Beyonce.
Fans at this concert in Brazil used their cell phones to capture the shirtless guy snatching Beyonce from every angle. After her security grabbed her back, she did what she always does, kept singing. And even came to the guy's rescue.
Fans are always getting over excited at Beyonce's concerts. Remember the guy who slapped her butt as she walked away?
The butt slap was hitting below the belt, but Beyonce never seems to freak out. She invites her fans to sing with her, she touches them.
This guy at a concert in Nashville became known as the fan who caught the holy ghost. He describe it to the British paper Metro as an out of body experience. She even hugged him. Moment later, he fainted, told Metro he framed the t-shirt Beyonce had pressed against.
At a concert this summer, a fan even grabbed Beyonce's hair. Though in this case we're talking the kind of fan that blows air.
Her security had to extricate her locks.
As for the Brazilian guy who lunged at her, he loves her, she loves him. Since he wasn't wearing a t-shirt to frame, he'll just have to keep watching the gifs someone made of him sweeping Beyonce off her feet again and again.
How do you say attempted kidnapping in Portuguese?
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
VASSILEVA: Well, finally it's time to go Over and Out There. When you're visiting 10 Downing Street it's probably best advice to be on your best behavior, right? Well, a member of the British and Irish Lions Rugby Team clearly wasn't on Monday. He put his hand in the shape of bunny ears behind the had of British Prime Minister David Cameron. That's England center Manu Tuilagi pulling a photo bomb as he and his teammates posed as a function to honor the Lion's 2-1 series victory over Australia.
And that is News Stream for now, but the news continues here on CNN. World Business Today is coming up next.