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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
House Vote Moves U.S. Closer To Shutdown; What A Shutdown Would Cost The Economy; Outsourcing Government Background Checks; 13 Hurt In Chicago Gang Shooting
Aired September 20, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the battle has began over Obamacare and government shutdown. And the ultimate loser? Probably you. Plus, Amanda Knox on trial again, but she says she won't face the judgment in Italy. The thing is, the U.S. government may decide, should this country force her extradition? And 850 snakes found in one man's suburban home. Jack Hanna explains how it could have gotten this far. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT, closer to shutdown. Congress voted to set up the bitter battle just 10 days before the government runs out of money. Approving a temporary spending measure, it would continue government operations, but in exchange, eliminate funding for Obamacare.
This was 42nd time that the House has voted to delay, defund or repeal Obamacare. Just like the previous 41 times, it will be a number one starter in the Senate, which means we are headed for grid lock and shutdown. President Obama tried to shame Republicans for their vote today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Right now, the debate going on in Congress is not meeting the test of helping middle class families. They're not focused on you. They're focused on politics. They're focused on trying to mess with me. They're not focused on you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right, obviously politics here front and center. Is there any way to avert a shutdown? OUTFRONT tonight, Texas Republican Congressman Blake Farenthold. Good to see you, Congressman. I really appreciate you taking the time. You said you want to work the Senate. In particular with Senator Ted Cruz to go ahead and get enough votes in the Senate to get rid of Obamacare. But here is what some of your colleagues in the other chamber have said about the likelihood of that success.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: In the United States Senate, we will not repeal or defund Obamacare. We will not. SENATOR TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: The only effective way to truly stop Obamacare and I think we ought to do it, to stop it would be totally reverse it. We don't have the votes to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So you really think you can get enough votes to do this. You're confident in that?
REPRESENTATIVE BLAKE FARENTHOLD (R), TEXAS: Listen, anything is possible. You have to remember that the founding fathers set up a government where there are two chambers in the Congress. We've passed and done our job in the House. Now it is up to the Senate. If they don't agree with what we do, they need to pass a bill. Amend what we had and send it back. We'll go to conference. We'll negotiate. We'll work something out.
Nobody on my side wants to shut down government, but we do want to take this opportunity to point out to the American people that Obamacare is bad for the middle class. You know, the president said you could keep your policy if you like it. That isn't happening. It said people will save money. You look again and again, costs are going up.
And you look at people who used to work 40 hours a week and have full benefits, we're now seeing people moved to part-time jobs. We'll go from full time work to having to work two 30-hour jobs with no benefits. That's not good for the middle class. That's not good for hard working Americans.
BURNETT: Polling shows the public is going to blame you, House Republicans if the government shuts down. No question about it, 33 percent will blame President Obama, 51 percent are going to blame you. This according to the "Wall Street Journal," people on your side could cost you the House, worth it for you?
FARENTHOLD: That's why I'm on TV tonight saying we've passed legislation in the House to fund everything in the government but Obamacare at agreed upon levels. We don't want to shut down the government. We just want to stop Obamacare. If the Senate can pass it, the government doesn't shutdown. It takes two to tango in shutting down the government and we don't want to do it.
BURNETT: All right, well, thank you very much, Congressman. We appreciate you taking the time on this Friday night.
BURNETT: All right, just in, I want to make sure you know that Speaker John Boehner's office is just telling CNN that the president has called him this evening saying that he will not negotiate with him on the debt limit. John Boehner's office tells us, quote, "The speaker was disappointed, but told the president that the two chambers of Congress will chart the path ahead."
We're told this was a very brief call. We're also reaching out to the White House for comment. But again, our understanding is that this call just happened a few moments ago and the president said he will not negotiate.
Our second story, OUTFRONT, stocks sink. All three major indices closing lower on this Friday. The Dow down nearly 200, totally a big about face from earlier this week, investors are watching this pathetic show in Washington closely. A game they've seen before. It's 776 days ago, one of the first and biggest of these fights cost the United States its top credit rating, sending stocks lower and eroding consumer confidence.
So what would happen if the government actually shut down? Mark Zandi is the chief economist in Moody's Analytics. He has testified on this to Congress. He has advised Republicans and Democrats.
So Mark, putting aside the reputation, long term impact of all this in this country, if the government shuts down a few days, I know it might not cost that much in terms of a dollar amount. If it closes for a few weeks, you're talking about a huge amount of money, right?
MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ANALYTICS: Yes. I think, Erin, three or four days, no big deal. I think the disruption would be quite modest. Three, four weeks, that becomes meaningful. That's enough to slow the economy down to zero growth in the current quarter. Of course, if it lasts six or eight weeks, that's a really big problem because it also means in all likelihood the Congress and administration didn't come together on the debt limit. Breaching the debt limit, that would be cataclysmic. That would be opening an economic Pandora's Box. So they have to get it together because the damage will mount day by day.
BURNETT: I think it is important to use that word "cataclysmic" on the debt limit. I mean, shutdown and the debt limit are two different things, but in Washington, they'll be one big thing. I mean, just a few weeks, your number, about quarter of a trillion dollars. Huge dollar amounts. Can you put that in English? A quarter of a trillion dollars, what exactly happens, what does that mean?
ZANDI: Well, that means a lot of economic activity. It means a lot of people's incomes will be lower, living standards will be lower. That means people aren't working. You know, if you have a government shutdown, the biggest loser, obviously, is federal government employees. Roughly half of federal government employees wouldn't be able to go to work. They're not earning income and that would show up in that number. That's a big number. That's a lot of economic activity. That's a lot of wealth and income. We'll be poorer as a result.
BURNETT: Right. Of course, trials get delayed as you've said. You know, America's food doesn't get inspected. This is something that affects all of us in various ways. Just a few of the ways that you've said it could hurt. Now I mentioned the loss of the credit rating in the United States and my question is, this kind of thing that's going on right now, this brinkmanship that happens again and again over the debt ceiling. And then I'm sorry, over the government shutdown that would become this debt ceiling debate. Does it jeopardize America's standing even more?
ZANDI: Yes, it does. Bottom line is if they can come together and pass a budget, increase the debt limit. If that happens then we're good, we're golden. We'll move forward and our economy will be just fine. If they take it to the point where the government will shut down for any length of time and more importantly if we've reach the debt limit, then financial markets are going to revolt, stock prices will fall, bond yields would rise and credit agencies would react to that.
BURNETT: All right, well, thank you very much, Mark Zandi. You heard it from him cataclysmic if that debt ceiling is not raised.
Still to come, the same firm that conducted Edward Snowden's background check also cleared the Navy Yard shooter, is the U.S. government's outsourcing losing lives?
Plus, the largest storm of the year about to make landfall on earth. We'll tell you where.
Then long lines, fist fights surrounding the frenzy of the iPhone 5, does this signal a return to dominance for Apple or is it a mirage?
And then 850 snakes found in a suburban home, including Burmese pythons, some of the most dangerous in the world. They're banned in the U.S. Jungle Jack Hanna is OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: Our third story, government gone bad. It turns out the United States government is outsourcing a lot including things that may be putting lives at risk. In fact one of the biggest private government contractors in the United States conducted background checks for Edward Snowden whose leaks lawmakers say cost lives and vetted the Navy Yard shooter. The company is called USIS. Is it to blame or is Uncle Sam the one holding the buck? Chris Lawrence is OUTFRONT with this investigation.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ed Snowden, Aaron Alexis, one thing in common. They were both vetted by this company. In fact, USIS performs more than half the government's checks.
MARK ZAID, GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS ATTORNEY: The problem is they're doing so many background investigations that they have a lot of young people who work for them.
LAWRENCE: Attorney Mark Zaid does extensive work with intelligence officials, representing them in the clearance process. While USIS touts its highly experienced team doing in depth investigations, Zaid said the investigators he's dealing with have virtually no military or intelligence background. Unlike the former FBI agents who used to do the work. ZAID: They were a state trooper for 20 plus years. They had knowledge of the process. They know what the government was looking for. They knew what questions to ask.
LAWRENCE: That was before the number of Americans holding clearances ballooned to 5 million, but the issues don't rest with contractors alone. The Navy was aware Alexis shot up someone's tires in 2004 and they made the call to still give him a clearance where Alexis could keep for ten years.
(on camera): Would shooting up someone's tires be enough to bar him from a security clearance?
REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY, CHIEF U.S. NAVY SPOKESMAN: There are certain criminal offense that's certainly would give us pause before we grant a security clearance. We just don't know enough about what we knew in 2007 for me to be able to completely answer that question right now.
LAWRENCE (voice-over): After Alexis got his clearance, Rhode Island police alerted the New Port Naval Station after an incident where Alexis told police he was hallucinating and hearing voices. But Navy officials indicate it was never red-flagged.
(on camera): What specifically should have happened there?
ZAID: Once that report came in, his local base access could have been suspended and likely should have been. Then that information would have filtered over to the clearance adjudicators for them to suspend his security clearance, pending further investigation, perhaps a mental health evaluation.
LAWRENCE: We've reached out to USIS to get a comment on Mark Zaid's criticism of some of their work force. They did not have any further comment, although it is a huge company, about 7,000 employees doing this work -- Erin.
BURNETT: It's 7,000 employees and you know, you get the feeling that a lot of these things are rubber stamped, frankly. That's the feeling you get. I don't know if that will be proven to be true, but as you know they get a lot of money from the federal government to do these checks. You looked into it. How much?
LAWRENCE: About $200 million this year, about the same amount last year. It's a lot of money involved. Look, the thing though here is that there are some things you could do to probably beef up this process. You could make a mental health evaluation mandatory. You could do a recheck every two years on arrest records and things like that. But that costs money and it needs manpower.
So from all the outrage and bluster that you hear from Congress, the next question has to be, would you actually allocate money toward this? Would you actually give the Office of Personnel and Management more money to hire more people to make some of these checks more extensive?
BURNETT: And again the thing you point out. If you have a contractor, they do the check but they know the government, especially when it comes to classified or clearance, right, will ultimately be the one that makes the decision. Maybe that makes them a little less careful or more lazy, right?
LAWRENCE: That's right. They put together the information. They sort of give it all to the government, but ultimately, it is the Navy, the State Department. It is the Office of Personnel Management. These are the agencies that have to make the final call. Not the actual contractor.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much. That's a problem when there is no accountability. Thanks very much to Chris Lawrence for that report.
I wanted to let you know, we are getting more information tonight about the victims of the shooting. Sylvia Frazier, we now know more about her, 53 years old from Waldorf, Maryland. She was an administrative technical specialist. And Mary Frances Knight, 51, from Reston, Virginia, she was a supervisory, information technology specialist. They were among the 12 murdered on Monday.
Now our fourth story, OUTFRONT, a mass shooting in Chicago. Thirteen people injured including a 3-year-old little boy. Police believe an assault style rifle was used in the gang shooting, which took place late last night. With that many injured it might surprise that you there is not a single suspect in custody.
Deb Feyerick is OUTFRONT in Chicago. Deb, this is I guess part of the crisis when you think about what's happening in Chicago with this ongoing gang violence. First and foremost, how are the victims especially that 3-year-old little boy who was shot through head and the ear?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we can tell you that the little boy underwent two surgeries today. That's according to the pastor who has been in close very contact with the family. He is expected to survive. Not clear whether there will be any sort of brain damage, but they do believe he'll make a full recovery.
As for the others, there were two teenagers who were also shot. The victims were those who were shot, all in serious to critical condition. It is interesting, what you say, Erin, about no suspects in custody. Part of the problem is that they do believe this is gang- related. So gang members tend to deal with justice their own way.
The pastor who I spoke to said whoever did that shooting better turn himself in. If not, there will be significantly more bloodshed on the streets of Chicago -- Erin.
BURNETT: I have to ask you this. I think it is so hard when people around the country see these headlines out of Chicago, right? Last year, Chicago, more murders than any city in the United States. The FBI is dubbing it the murder capital. How can America ignore this gang violence? This year in 2013, Chicago on track to have its actual lowest murder rate in years, in decades, so what tells the real story?
FEYERICK: Well, it's interesting because it is all relative. You know, last year they had about 500 murders. Now I think the number is close to 350 murders. There are still a lot of murders. But again, you're looking at the whole picture. It is unclear why it is coming down. There have been a lot of efforts, a lot of energy put in.
You know, the mayor has mobilized communities to make sure they get involved. There's a lot of creative policing going on. They've got a new database system. They're doing more with drug operations. They've also got police on the beat who know the kids who are supposed to be in community. They're trying whatever they can and they are trying to give kids an option. Some better choice they can make to break the cycle -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Deb Feyerick, thank you very much, reporting live for us from Chicago tonight.
Still to come, Amanda Knox back on trial. Should the United States extradite her to Italy?
Plus, the biggest day of the year for Apple fans, phones selling out around the world, but does it really mean that Apple is back on top?
And a monster storm headed towards land, the biggest storm on planet earth this year that's next.
BURNETT: Our fifth story, the money and power of the iPhone. Today is the day Apple fans have been waiting for and I mean waiting for this, the iPhone 5 available in nine countries, the U.S., Australia, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, Canada and Singapore. Tech enthusiasts lining up around the block, there were even fights that broke out to get their hands on these new phones.
You said that was only eight countries. Well, there you see it for the first time ever, Apple offered the new device in China on day one, which is a really big deal because one of Apple's two new phones, which is the cheaper and entry level iPhone 5c, which comes in five colors was designed specifically for emerging markets.
It is an expensive phone for those markets, but it's a lot less expensive than the 5s. Well, you see it there with that gold background. I thought it would look really bad. That one is already sold out, sold out. So does this signal a return of power for Apple? I'm joined by the host of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS," Richard Quest. You have one of those sold out gold phones.
RICHARD QUEST, HOST, CNNI'S "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": We do. We have one of these phones. We went and did battle. This is that gold phone that you thought would be so gross. BURNETT: It looks lovely. I have to say.
QUEST: Demand has obviously far exceeded supply. In fact, there is a supply crunch. They sold out at all the major stores. Regent street in London, Fifth Avenue in New York, wherever you wanted to buy one eventually the 5s. The expensive one sold out. And I'm told you cannot get a gold one for several weeks, if not months.
BURNETT: OK, so now this brings me to my next question, which is in order to have everything be great, they had to sell 6 million of these things in a weekend. Now obviously demand is such they could have sold, I don't know how many, what, 10 million, but they didn't have enough. So how successful will this be? This is a company that has frankly struggled, right? Stocks down more than 30 percent in the past year --
QUEST: It hasn't had a roar-away success.
BURNETT: Are these phones going to be that?
QUEST: No, no. It is incremental. It is not quantum and that's the important thing about this. It is solidifying Apple's position in some sense, but it is not necessarily the knockout blow that people have come to expect from them. That's the dichotomy. That's the problem for the company at the moment. Yes, you've got 6 million sales, 10 million sales, whatever it is. But Android is still eating your lunch.
BURNETT: What about the Samsung Galaxy which is hot, hot, hot phone. This is this amazing new fingerprint technology for Apple. What I find amazing, what I saw, prizes being offered. You can get money if you are the first to hack the fingerprint.
QUEST: If you are the first, you could win a bottle of maker's mark, some erotic literature. Don't ask me why they offer that. Who knows? You could win $10,000, but this is the best one. Give me your finger. Apparently, there are now competitions to try to get fingerprints off people like this.
BURNETT: Stick it on that piece of tape.
QUEST: I've got on it this piece of tape and whether or not you can then use it reliably and repeatedly as a device to open it. That's why one U.S. senator has basically come out and said, he is seriously concerned about the privacy and security issues because once I've got your finger print, unlike a passport. I am out front with Erin.
BURNETT: You own it.
QUEST: I own it.
BURNETT: That's pretty amazing. All right, Richard Quest, thank you.
By the way, for those of you keeping track, there is only one thing other than a human whose fingerprint, paw print can reliably open one of these things. That is, a cat.
Still OUTFRONT, he says he will bring the only Jewish member of the Iranian parliament to the United Nations next week. So have things really changed in Iran or is this just a familiar story?
Plus, Italy wants Amanda Knox back to stand trial? So big question, should the United States extradite her?
And man versus bear. We'll tell you how this tale ends. That's tonight's shout out.
BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT, on a Friday night.
The most powerful storm on earth, a super typhoon barreling across the Pacific, packing winds of 162 miles an hour, threatening Taiwan and the Philippines. Now, the CNN weather center tells us that the t storm called Usagi is the most powerful hurricane on the planet so far this year. It is huge.
Look at the radar. The storm system measures more than 602 miles across. Hurricane Katrina, which also was, of course, a Cat 5, not when it hit land, but out in the sea, was about 400 miles wide. The storm over 157 miles an hour is classified as a category 5. Forecasters are hoping the typhoon weakens before it hits the massive city of Hong Kong.
Well, BlackBerry is on the brink tonight, the day after Apple is shining like a star with its new phone. Shares of the formerly top smartphone maker tanked 17 percent.
BlackBerry fell after warning investors second quarter losses will be close to $1 billion, 40 percent of its workforce is going to be cut. That was announced in the works this week. That's 4,500 jobs. In the meantime, BlackBerry is scaling back the number of phones it offers from six to four.
Now, according to a recent report, BlackBerry now accounts for just 1.2 percent of the sales in the United States, which is a pretty stunning number, considering that so many consider it to be a top technology.
Well, if you are a fan of "Breaking Bad", listen up, you could own a piece of the show, because on September 29th, 250 props are going to start to be auctioned off, including many of Walter White's possessions. He is the lead character.
Now, up for sale, the hazmat suit that he wore when cooking methamphetamine in season 1. His rundown 2004 Pontiac Aztec and, oh, a pair of his famous tighty whiteys.
Would you really pay $250 for those things? He actually wore them. They're not only tighty whiteys, they are secondhand. Anyway, the auction will probably do well. People went crazy last month over a custom made "Breaking Bad" Lego set. That's one hot show.
Well, now our sixth story OUTFRONT: Iran's full-court press to woo the Jewish people and the president of the United States.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is on a mission. Next week, he reportedly plans to bring the sole Jewish member of Iran's parliament to New York when he attends the U.N. General Assembly.
This could be a major gesture considering his predecessor talked about the destruction of Israel and called them an insult to human kind. Now, this bringing of the one Jewish member of parliament comes after a tweet from the Iranian president's account wishing Jews a blessed new year. Rouhani also tweeted yesterday that he is open to meeting with President Obama and wrote in "The Washington Post" that their exchanges have been, quote, "both positive and constructive."
So, is it time to trust Iran?
OUTFRONT tonight, Peter Brookes and Colin Kahl, both former deputy assistant secretaries, I'm sorry, of defense.
All right. Great to have both of you with us. You know, I mean -- this is an amazing moment that we are at. Whatever happens here, this is a moment in history.
Colin, you think the Iranian government is showing a genuine desire for dialogue? I was there for the elections. The sanctions are hurting them big time. So, you know, maybe -- maybe those sanctions worked. The president has now exchanged letters with Rouhani.
Do you think there's a chance the president of the United States and the president of Iran will meet next week?
COLIN KAHL, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I think there is some chance. Obviously, there's a lot of speculation about. I think, obviously, if they met, it would be a huge symbolic event. But I think what is more important is that there is a sustained, high level bilateral dialogue between the United States and Iran, because most experts believe we're going to never get past the nuclear impasse without a direct and sustained conversation between the United States and Iran. And that has been on the table from the Obama administration for a long time.
And if Rouhani is true to his word, hopefully, the Iranians will take him up on that offer.
BURNETT: All right. So, what do you think, Peter? Should the United States take Iran up on its word, or not? I mean, because it would seem that sanctions have done a lot of damage. As I said, we saw that there. But wouldn't Iran need to offer complete unfettered access to everyone of its nuclear sites with absolutely no restrictions, in order for this to be taken seriously? PETER BROOKES, SENIOR FELLOW, NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Yes. You're right. I mean, I think this is really a ruse.
But I think it's fair to test the Iranians' diplomatic intentions. You're right. It could be a pivotal moment.
BROOKES: Colin could be right about this.
But the fact is, is that, you know, having dealt with Iran for quite some time, especially under nuclear file, I mean, you have to be very skeptical. A lot of this stuff like I said, Erin, is theater. You know, they release some dissidents. They're bringing somebody to New York. You know, the tantalizing tweets, this hopeful op-ed, this media blitz we're seeing.
The fact is nothing has changed on their nuclear program. The centrifuges still continue to spin. You know, it would be nice as you said, if they would say to the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, you can have no notice inspections of any Iranian facility you'd like. But we haven't seen any of that.
So, we have to be very, very caution here.
BROOKES: And I think the president has to be cautious about use go his political capital early on in this game.
BURNETT: And, Colin, what do you think about the last time the United States met one-on-one with an Iranian leader? It was 1977 with shah -- President Jimmy Carter met with the shah about 14 months before the revolution.
Are there -- obviously, you know, a picture of Jimmy Carter with a shah, that's not really perceived by history as a great thing. Are there risks involved with the president if he meets with Rouhani?
I mean, keep in mind, Rouhani may be totally serious, right? He may really want to change things. But this is also a man who did brag when he is a nuclear negotiator, that when he made a deal with the west, he used that time to forge ahead with the nuclear program.
KAHL: Look, you negotiate and you make peace with your enemies, not with your friends.
BURNETT: You may have a good point.
KAHL: So, I think it is important to talk to him.
You know, I think there is some risk for the president. He could raise expectations or he could be perceived as somehow rewarding Rouhani before he has taken concrete actions. But I think the symbolism could be important. And remember, Americans have met with Iranians since the Jimmy Carter scenario, just that lower levels, and that was my point, that there needs to be a sustained dialogue on the nuclear issue and frankly, some of the other regular issues.]
And I think there's reason not to trust Rouhani but as Peter said, to test his intentions. And I think he believes that his economy is in shambles. He needs to break out of international isolation and that the supreme leader has given him some leeway to see if he can strike a deal with the West.
BURNETT: Peter, quickly before we go, what about the tweet? What about bringing the only Jewish member of parliament?
People get that two ways. One, he means it. Two, really? There's only one Jewish member of parliament?
What's the right way to look at it? This is -- you know, even if you're skeptical, isn't this encouraging to reach out to the Jewish people?
BROOKES: Well, I'm surprised by what he said. But I also see what Israel said today and Benjamin Netanyahu. And they're not buying it.
So, you know, these are people who live in that neighborhood. Obviously, they have a tremendous amount at stake in an Iranian program and what Iran has done.
Remember, Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism and supports Hezbollah. The president has to be thoughtful about that. So, once again, you can test their diplomatic intentions but be cautious to see through the theater that I think is being presented.
BURNETT: Peter, Colin, thank you.
BROOKES: Thank you.
BURNETT: Our seventh story OUTFRONT on a Friday: Amanda Knox is back on trial. She is accused of murdering her roommate while studying abroad and she now faces a retrial in Italy that starts later this month.
Now, at first she was convicted. Then, she was acquitted. Then that was overturned. It is all very complicated in the Italian system.
But this is now back to a high court. And this morning, Knox told NBC that she has no plans to go back to Italy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANDA KNOX, ACCUSED OF MURDERING ROOMMATE IN 2007: I was already imprisoned as an innocent person in Italy. And I can't reconcile the choice to go back with that experience. It is not a possibility. It is -- I was imprisoned as an innocent person. And I just can't relive that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Choice is an interesting word, though, because it's not really only going to be her that decides if she goes back. The United States government will.
So, should the United States extradite Knox back to Italy?
CNN legal analyst Paul Callan is OUTFRONT.
Now, some people say, well, look, if the most recent verdict in Italy was acquittal, by the way, it was from a lower court. She had been convicted. That was the most recent, was acquittal. Why should the United States send her back?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, people say that's double jeopardy. In America when you're acquitted, that's it. You can't be found guilty subsequently. We live by that rule in the United States.
CALLAN: This is the Italian system. The Italian system does not recognize a conviction until all appeals have been exhausted and the entire process is finished.
And I will add, even in the United States, if you're convicted by a lower court and it goes up on appeal, the appellate court reverses, and then you -- and then the prosecutor appeals to the Supreme Court, it can get reinstated just like they did in Italy.
BURNETT: And the reason that the United States should send her back, possibly should send her back in your view, is because the U.S. needs to respect Italian laws and extradite people they want? Why? Because you know what? We might want someone extradited here.
CALLAN: This is a very important concept. Ironically it was the Reagan administration that proposed and it said bringing fugitives back should be liberally interpreted by the countries, Italy and the United States, very, very important. So, what's going to happen if there is a murderer in the United States? He flees to Italy and we want him back?
The Italians are going to say you don't recognize our system of justice.
BURNETT: Or terrorist or something else, right?
CALLAN: And a terrorist is a very real possibility. And if the Italians say you don't recognize our system of justice. We're not going to extradite.
And, frankly, you know, people disagree with this verdict but she was convicted on the testimony of the accomplice with corroborating physical evidence that some would say wasn't that clear.
Do you know who was convicted on similar evidence recently? Whitey Bulger in Boston, right? Accomplice testimony --
BURNETT: Very fair point.
CALLAN: -- with old evidence that was kind of suspicious. Nobody has got a problem with that.
BURNETT: So, let me just play quickly one other thing she said to Matt Lauer, because he asked her about her relationship with the family of Meredith Kercher, her roommate. She was accused of killing her, and just find out whether you think it's believable.
Here's Amanda Knox.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KNOX: I don't -- I don't want to be forever separated from them because at this point, Meredith is a part of my life. And I only knew her for a very short amount of time. But she'll always be there. And I want to be able to share that with them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Believe her?
CALLAN: Well, all I know is this is a public relations campaign, because extradition is a political act in the end. And if the American people support her, the president and the State Department are not going to send her back.
Do I believe her? She is not very persuasive when she talks. There's a little bit of ice there. You know, she's kind of an ice queen.
And I don't know that she makes a good witness in her own behalf. So, we'll see.
BURNETT: Paul Callan, thank you very much. Let us know what you think about this extradition issue.
Still OUTFRONT, the newly crowned Miss America at the center of another controversy. Some in India are saying her skin is too dark for her to be a beauty queen.
And a man found housing more than 800 snakes. We're going to talk to Jack Hanna about how this could have happened. And Jack tells me his own story about an anaconda that tried to kill him.
And our shout-out tonight, speaking with animals, man versus bear. So, just take a look at that. You can see get -- your eyes acclimated.
What do you do when you're hiking down a trail and a big brown bear is walking on the path? After all, it considers it to be its path. This guy decided to yell at the bear and it actually worked. The bear got off the path (INAUDIBLE) around the man. The shout-out goes to the guy for yelling, because it turns out that's what you are supposed to do in this situation. The National Park Service says if you do encounter a bear, the thing to do is to yell and make noise.
BURNETT: And we are back with tonight's "Outer Circle".
We go to India where controversy is following the new Miss America, an Indian American. She had a lot of racist hate directed at her in the United States when she won.
But Sumnima Udas is in New Delhi, and I asked why the color of Miss America's skin is such a big issue there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUMNINA UDAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, while people in the U.S. are discussing the Americanness of the new Miss America, here in India, fiery debates on prime time chat shows and social media. Many here wondering if Nina Davuluri could have ever won a beauty pageant here in India. That's because she is considered too dark skinned to be considered beautiful.
If you look at all the previous queens, they're all fair skinned. Almost every single Bollywood actress is fair. And look at any matrimonial ad in the newspaper and you'll see a prospective groom looking for a fair skinned bride.
In fact, the cultural bias against dark skin is so deep rooted, that you'll often hear people say very casually and without any hesitation -- oh, she's pretty even though she is dark. The message being conveyed is that there can be no beauty without fair skin -- Erin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Pretty incredible. Sumnima, thank you.
And now, let's check in with Anderson Cooper with a look at what's up on "AC360" on this Friday.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Erin.
We have more on the mass shooting in Chicago to tell you about. Thirteen people shot including a 3-year-old toddler. Tragically, these events become almost common place in Chicago. My guest, Father Michael Pfleger, a long time community activist, and NBA Hall of Famer star Isaiah Thomas asked this question -- why is not this tragedy getting the same attention as the shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, for instance?
I'll also talk ahead to the brother and sister of Sylvia Frasier, one of the victims from Monday morning shootings. They honor her tonight. It's a remarkable interview that remember a remarkable woman. Those stories and tonight's "Ridiculist" and a lot more at the top of the hour -- Erin.
BURNETT: Our eight story OUTFRONT: snakes in the suburbs, 850 snakes to be exact.
Authorities on Long Island, New York, found snakes along with turtles, turtle eggs and at least three tarantulas at the home of Richard Parrinello, an unlicensed reptile dealer. Two were six-foot Burmese pythons, incredibly lethal snakes that are not allowed to be imported into the United States.
OUTFRONT tonight at the Columbus Zoo, Jack Hanna, along with a python named Hanna.
There is glass behind you, right?
JACK HANNA, COLUMBUS ZOO: Oh, yes. There'd better be glass. Yes.
BURNETT: I mean, even you. I just want to make sure.
So, that python behind you gives a sense of the scale. I guess that's a reticulated python, you were saying. But the animal is huge. We know that this man had at least two Burmese pythons which are incredibly lethal. You can't import them into the country.
How dangerous were these snakes?
HANNA: Dangerous is a term we all apply. It could be if the snakes got loose, as we saw what happened to the young boys, I think it was in California several months ago. But also, in 1988, Ohio State campus where a young man had over 150, but these are venomous snakes, in an apartment. It took us until 3:00 in the morning, seven hours to get them out of there.
And another time I had in 1986, a man in a farm called. He said, "Mr. there's a huge 16-foot snake. I looked at him." I went over there, there was a python. I'm not sure what type it was, it was huge, over 200 pounds. And he did have children on the front porch.
So, if that happens -- that's an if, by the way -- you'll have a train wreck that will take place.
BURNETT: I mean, a train wreck. This guy lived in the suburbs. This was in his garage. He's married, had a 10-year-old son, 888 snakes --
BURNETT: -- that we're not Burmese pythons. Some of them, though, of course, were lethal. We don't know yet exactly which was which. But this sounds pretty terrifying.
HANNA: Well, it -- yes, it could be terrifying. Remember, there are reputable snake breeders in this country that have the proper permits and do a great job, because a reptile like a snake, a python, whatever it is, it's still living creature. And in zoological world, in the animal world snakes are very important. So, I can't say this applies to everyone, but if he had the right permits, which I guess he didn't, I don't know.
BURNETT: Yes, he didn't.
HANNA: There are other things he did in the township. I understand the snakes are well taken care of. But that's not the point. The point is, but was it bullet proof where they had the snakes? Something that may be not ever be bullet proof, but in zoological parks, we do the best we can and reputable snake dealers do the best they can. But you saw what happened again in California.
BURNETT: And, you know, you're standing there and someone looks at you and goes, Jack Hanna, he knows what he's talking about, he knows snakes. You were bitten by an anaconda. You don't take it lightly to talk about snakes.
HANNA: Yes. No, I don't. And again, I will tell you something, I didn't do as much about snake. It was 1972, I was helping a guy filming snakes in the swamps of central Florida. I didn't pay attention, I took my eyes of it. It was a 17 footer, way over 200 pounds.
BURNETT: Seventeen feet?
HANNA: As a matter of fact, the guy on the beach was taking pictures of -- yes, huge. He got both these fingers -- I still have scars up and down here -- in his mouth. You know how long it took the snake to let go of me, almost 30 minutes. The man said, Jack, don't pull your hand out. It was frozen on me. He grasped, it takes quite a while to let know, because he knew he couldn't eat me. I used to weigh 220.
At that point I learned a big lesson, that these snakes have a lot of teeth. Not venomous, it didn't kill me, and I could have last two fingers, but that's someone like myself who didn't know much ability snakes happened to me, even though I was in the business back then. (INAUDIBLE) having snakes, in Tennessee, we had little garter snakes and copperheads and things like that which are venomous. But, you know, you respect that.
BURNETT: Wow. I'm looking at guy behind you and again, I'm glad there's glass because he's coming over.
HANNA: Yes, you know, it brings back memories. You know, remember something, these snakes can go up to a year -- as a matter of fact, there's a snake in Erie, Pennsylvania, a beautiful reptile place, that has not eaten in almost two years and the snake looks magnificent.
BURNETT: But, you know, the Web site for this guy, Richard Parrinello says he ships the snakes to his customers. You know, trafficking snakes I know can be big business. It always amazed me when you look at what people traffic illegally, Jack. You're looking at guns, you're looking at drugs, and you're looking at wildlife, you're looking at snakes.
Los Angeles International Airport, number one entry port for snakes. How would he transport these snakes, considering he didn't have a license, right? He's promising people on the web, I'm going to get you the snake safe.
HANNA: Right. Obviously, he was doing what he was doing. I don't know anything about how he operated, but obviously a lot was not correct and right, permits are illegal. But, yes, it's not very difficult to ship a snake. I'm not talking about on this size, that's a little bit more, that's difficult.
But you can take a snake on a plane and tell them it's a belt and you don't know what's inside that briefcase or you don't know what's inside that suitcase down there. The snake is squirmy. Most of these snakes, a lot of time, they never move an inch, never move. So, he's in there like this, the x-ray machine -- you can ship snakes pretty easy. They don't bark. They don't make any noise, do they?
BURNETT: Let me ask you, Jack, something you would know. So, he 's selling these snakes illegally over the Internet. And his Web site promised and I just want to quote what it said, see if you understand what this means.
All animals are guaranteed to arrive healthy and sexed properly. Do you know what that means?
HANNA: His guarantee is dollar healthy and sexed properly, right?
HANNA: Well, to sex a snake is not an easiest thing. I'm not person knows how to sex a snake. But it's not something that's easy, though, I know that.
So, if you sell it to the general public, Joe blow walks in there, says it's a male snake. Joe blow doesn't know it's a male or female snake. My name is Jack Hanna. I'm a male. That's Hanna, a female snake.
BURNETT: Jack, thank you. You took a scary story and made it have a little bit of fun, too. Thanks so much. We really appreciate it.
BURENTT: All right. Still OUTFRONT, a princess in Los Angeles. Yes. A princess in Los Angeles accused of having a slave, suddenly serious charges dropped.
BURNETT: A princess in California got a get-out-of-jail-free card when human trafficking charges against 43-year-old Saudi princess Meshael Alayban were dropped today. Now, the princess was free on a $5 million bond, which was posted, this is a very important detail, by the Saudi Arabia consulate, was described as, quote, "smiling broadly" as she left the courtroom today.
This is her home in Los Angeles and Alayban was accused of holding her maid as a virtual slave at this $3 million home, withholding her passport and pay. Now, prosecutors couldn't corroborate the allegations so she's free.
Now, we've covered human trafficking on the show before, and the statistics are unacceptable. The International Labor Organization estimates 12.3 million people are currently enslaved enforced slavery or sexual servitude around the world.
Saudi Arabia is considered a tier 3 country when it comes to human trafficking. That is rock bottom. That means that Saudi Arabia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so.
That is an awful truth with a country that America views as an ally. And this case proves that human trafficking is a problem in America as well because the Justice Department estimates says 17,000 people are trafficked into the United States every year. So, we hope this case isn't ignored and serves as a wake-up call for Saudi Arabia to tackle this awful cancer, and the United States, too.
Thanks so much for joining us. We'll see you again on Monday. Have a wonderful week.
Anderson starts now.