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Anti-NSA Rally Targets Washington; Clamor to Delay Obamacare's Individual Mandate; Women Drivers Protest in Saudi Arabia

Aired October 26, 2013 - 16:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: All right. There we go. The right words are on the screen. Hello, everyone, I'm Don Lemon, thank you for joining us. It's the top of the hour. I'm here in New York.

Protesters are sending a message to the NSA the old fashioned way. Not waiting for someone to spy on their e-mails but going straight to Capitol Hill today. No eavesdropping necessary to figure out what they want. The rally was organized by a group called Stop Watching Us, a coalition of more than 100 groups from the political left and the political right as well. And they want the spying on Americans to end, and they want it to end right now.

Let's head out to CNN's Erin McPike, she's following this story for us and she's in Washington. So tell us more about these protests, Erin.

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, this is interesting because it is the largest rally we have seen yet, protesting mass surveillance by the NSA and also it was stamped with approval by Edward Snowden who, of course, was the whistle-blower who brought this all to light.

And, in fact, just a couple of hours ago, someone at the rally read a statement that was provided by Edward Snowden. Now, also, this is a very active rally as you may see. We saw some giant cell phones and giant laptops and a lot of big banners with the first and the fourth amendment on them. And basically they were just saying we need to stop mass surveillance and they're upset that there's not a lot of government oversight for it, Don.

LEMON: So, you know, the president had that kind of an awkward moment with Angela Merkel this week by phone and we've seen some outrageous reports about spying on allies in Mexico, Germany as well. We're talking about Angela Merkel, how is the White House reacting?

MCPIKE: Well, in general the White House says it really responds to these protests and these protests are about more the domestic side of it, you know, in terms of the NSA collecting data from private citizens of the United States. But the White House is responding where our allies are concerned and that is the surveillance of foreign leaders. And they're trying to calm some of the tensions that have arisen especially with Germany and saying that they understand the frustration, they've also acknowledged that Germany is sending a delegation in the coming weeks to the United States to meet with some of our diplomatic representatives. So, in general, the White House just understands where it's coming from, where Germany is coming from, but we'll see what happens with this. They're not talking about really tamping it down much, but President Obama has ordered a review. So, we'll see what comes of this in the coming weeks, Don.

LEMON: As you said, we shall see. And it looks like a beautiful day if you're going to protest or be out and do whatever in Washington, there behind you. Thank you, Erin. Appreciate it, in Washington for us.

Tomorrow on CNN's "State of the Union" Candy Crowley will talk exclusively to Congressman Mike Rogers about the latest developments on the NSA surveillance. Rogers is chairman of the House intelligence community. "State of the Union," it's tomorrow morning 9:00 a.m. Eastern on CNN and then again at 12 noon.

Today's GOP weekly address focused on the ailing Obamacare enrolment process. Congressman Fred Upton said because of all the problems with, he says the individual mandate, the requirement that nearly all Americans buy health insurance should be delayed. Upton's response comes after contractors who worked on blame the government for the problems that have riddled the site.

And guess who has been assigned to fix the mess, the government contractors helped to make the site? A government contractor, nonetheless. That is from Jeffrey Seins. He is the man the White House has made the point person on this repair. He has given the company called QSSI, the job of getting fully operational by the end of November.

Turning to Senator Ted Cruz now who led the charge against Obamacare, well, he spoke in Iowa today.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Let me tell you all right now the single biggest lie in politics. It is that Republicans are the party of the rich. What complete nonsense.

For a long time I've advocated what I call opportunity conservatism which is that every policy we think about, we talk about, should focus like a laser on easing the means of ascent up to the economic ladder. On how it impacts the least of those among us, how it impacts those who are struggling.


LEMON: Well, the Republican Senator Ted Cruz spoke in Iowa today. It is his fourth speech in Iowa in less than three months. And last night Cruz delivered the keynote address at the Republican fundraiser in Des Moines. Cruz stepped into the national spotlight during a recent 16- day partial government shutdown. Also Cruz easily won a presidential straw poll done by a conservative group done earlier this month some consider the values voter summit straw poll to be an early indicator of support in the Republican primary campaign. Sarah Palin is on the comeback trail after keeping a low profile for months. Her advisers tell CNN the recent government shutdown energize Palin who talked frequently with her buddy, Texas senator Ted Cruz. The shutdown highlighted the GOP battle between conservatives and Tea Party groups and establishment Republicans. That battle is right in Palin's wheelhouse.

The former vice presidential candidate will soon launch a national book tour and a trip to Iowa. Her aides say Palin may get involved in campaigns to unseat longtime Republican Senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham. Stay tuned for that one.

A police standoff in northern California that lasted more than nine hours has come to an end with the armed suspect in custody. Sacramento police and S.W.A.T. teams swarmed a home in Roseville trying to lure out Samuel Duran, a wanted parolee. Family members worked with SWAT team members begging Duran to surrender. And investigators had spotted Duran earlier in the day and when they called out to him, a gunfight broke out. Duran took off running and led them on a wild chase.


CELIA DURAN, SUSPECT'S MOTHER: My thoughts is on him right now. I just want to find him. I just want to know where he's at and how he's doing. That's just it. I just want to know where my baby's at.

It's a shame happen this way. I did not want it to happen this way and it did.


LEMON: We should tell you this, four officers were shot including a federal immigration and customs agent. None of them suffered life threatening injuries. Details as we get more on that as well.

First it was Barney's New York. Now, another retail shopping mecca in the Big Apple is a target for of a racial discrimination suit. And this complaint involves a Hollywood star.


ROB BROWN, ACTOR: This card isn't fake. It's my card. I have so much ID on me. This is my card. It's not a fake card. I just bought this watch. They weren't hearing it. All I kept hearing was it's a fake card. You're going to jail.


LEMON: OK. So he's an actor on HBO's "Tremea," very popular show. His name is Rob brown and he said he was racially profiled in Macy's Herald Square, just last June. He was buying his mother's graduation gift, a $1,000 Movado watch when undercover police officers arrested him and accused him of credit card fraud.

Brown is suing both Macy's and the NYPD. Macy's said it is investigating the allegations, the incident comes by the way on the heels of two young African-American shoppers who recently bought expensive items at Barney's New York and say they both were accused of using fake cards to make their purchases.


KAYLA PHILLIPS, FLING SUIT AGAINST BARNEYS: I had good intentions. I went. I bought my favorite bag. I wanted this bag. I deserved that bag. And then to find out, you know, I'm being accused of using someone else's card? I just really felt demeaned.

TRAYON CHRISTIAN, FILED SUIT AGAINST BARNEYS: Undercover cops on the left side that had regular clothes on that stopped me from the left side and acting like "Oh, I just got a call from Barney's saying your card is not real."


LEMON: NYPD says it is investigating both incidents and Barney's CEO Mark Lee did issue a statement saying this -- "No customer should have the unacceptable experience described in recent media reports, and we offer our sincere regret and deepest apologies. We want to reinforce that Barneys New York has a zero tolerance for any form of discrimination and our mission is to ensure that all customers receive the highest quality service, without exception."

Next, students escape a bus engulfed in flames. The dramatic rescue is next.

And when did you call police when a loved one has an emotional breakdown? Harrowing stories from families who regretted making that call, next.


LEMON: All right. Welcome back, everyone.

A close call for a group of high school students from Kentucky and this video bears that out. The students got out of this bus just before it was engulfed in flames on i-75 in Tennessee. They were on a field trip to the great Smoky Mountains when someone noticed smoke at the back of that bus.

Fire investigators say a candle sparked a fire in the Bronx that killed three children all younger than six years old. The fire came one day after the power company cut off the home's electricity because of unpaid bills. It took around 100 firefighters about 90 minutes to bring the two-alarm fire under control. Two more children are in the ICU, they are in stable condition. Awful story.

We're learning more about the woman who rammed her car into the White House barricades locking down the capitol in the midst of a partial government shutdown. A newly released 911 call shows Miriam Carey seemed unstable back in November of 2012.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miriam, she's outside now with the baby without any coat or anything and she's just like physically -- I definitely need to take her somewhere to get some help.


LEMON: So Carey died at the hands of Capitol police. The revelation raises further questions about when to call police in cases of emotionally disturbed people.

It seems like a no-brainer, just call 911, right? But some families did regret it because their loved ones ended up dead. Here's CNN's Rosa Flores with their story.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you doing to me?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Elsa Cruz was worried when her husband Samuel suddenly kicked her out of their apartment for no apparent reason. Samuel is a bipolar schizophrenic so she called 911.

ELSA CRUZ, WIDOWER: He died in his own apartment.

FLORES: She thought she was calling for an ambulance but instead they sent the police.

CRUZ: Bang. That's it. And I shouted "What happened? Did you hurt my husband?" Never answered me.

FLORES: Police in New Rochelle, New York, said Samuel lunged at them with a knife and they determined he was a danger to himself or others, an EDP, an emotionally disturbed person.

COMMISSIONER PATRICK CARROLL, NEW ROCHELLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: We had a record of possible violence. It was a good shooting. In other words, the officers were justified in using deadly physical force.

FLORES: Where is the line between helping and hurting? Police try to answer the question all the time. About 25 percent of Americans have some form of mental illness. Miriam Carey was shot dead by D.C. law enforcement.

AMY CAREY-JONES, MIRIAM CAREY'S SISTER: She had a baby and she did suffer from postpartum depression with psychosis.

FLORES: She rammed her car into barricades at the White House with her one-year-old in the back seat.

AMY CAREY-JONES: They felt there was some particular threat, Miriam was not firing any shots, there were no weapons, so we're still very confused as a family as to why she's not alive.

FLORES: New York City's police say it responds to about 100,000 EDP calls a year. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said he would be OK. He said, just go away.

FLORES: Hawa Bah made one of those calls.

HAWA BAH, MOHAMMED BAH'S MOTHER: I tell the people, I said, my son's sick. I want an ambulance to take him to the hospital.

FLORES: She was in New York from Guinea visiting her son, Mohammed. He had no known history of mental illness but she said he appeared depressed.

(on camera): So there were a lot of odd things that you started noticing?

BAH: Yes, something like that and the house were not clean as usual before.

FLORES (voice-over): Police kept her outside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is where they forced the door open, you can see where the metal is bent.

FLORES: Police say Bah charged at them naked with a knife. They say they tazed him, shot beanbags at him and then fired fatal bullets, all while his mother promised to step in to mediate.

CARROLL: We don't know the dynamics involved with family members and if we can't confirm that, then we won't do it.

FLORES: During his 28 years with NYPD Patrick Carroll commanded the emergency service unit that often responds to EDP calls. He is now chief of the New Rochelle Police Department whose officers fatally shot Samuel Cruz.

CARROLL: In 20 years police officers in this department have only fired their guns twice and this was one.

FLORES (on camera): What would you tell another mother who has a sick -

BAH: If you ask me today, I can tell them, don't call ambulance.


LEMON: Rosa Flores joins me now. Rosa, tough situation. What are police saying about these shootings?

FLORES: You know, the police won't specifically talk about these cases, you know, they always say our mission is to protect the life, but these families are suing.

LEMON: Yes, they are -- both families are suing, right? And what are the families asking for in these lawsuits?

FLORES: It's really interesting because they're asking for a change in policy. They want these two police departments to implement something called the Memphis model. It requires 40 hours of training for these police officers and then in these cases when they're actually out in the field, it requires them to not only have themselves present, law enforcement present, but also medical professionals and family to be more involved because in all of these cases, these families want to help and police officers always say, "No."

LEMON: It's a tough situation.

FLORES: It's really tough.

LEMON: I was involved in that, with someone I dated, I would call their family when they would do it and not police but it's a tough thing because you worry (INAUDIBLE).

FLORES: It's a call. Because you want to help your loved one and in these cases, these families say we call 911 so we can get an ambulance.

LEMON: Right.

FLORES: But the cops show up.

LEMON: A tough one. Thank you, Rosa.

Appreciate your reporting.

A woman in Saudi Arabia jumped in cars today and did the unthinkable. A live report from the Middle East on why this is a really big deal.


LEMON: Welcome back, everyone, I'm Don Lemon in New York.

This next story will make you appreciate the little things you take for granted. You know, women in Saudi Arabia they can't drive and today they protested against that ban. That was a small outcry, it was a small outcry if you go by the numbers but advocates say the defiance sends a big message to the Saudi government.

CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom has been tracking the protest. Mohammed joins us now. Just how many women got behind the wheel today?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Don, we're hearing at least 23 women have driven today. That's just the number of confirmed now. We're expecting that there will be more women throughout the night going out and driving. That's what many supporters of this October 26th women's driving campaign are telling me.

But let's remember, this is remarkable for Saudi Arabia. This is the last country in the world where women can't drive. And the organizers of this campaign have told me even if a handful of women had gone out today, they would have been pleasantly surprised. More and more have been going out the past two weeks. This is an open-ended campaign and they think more will go out. We're seeing a lot of videos of women driving today and we're even seeing some funny videos emerging from Saudi Arabia about this.

Take a look at this music video that was made by (INAUDIBLE) in which he talks about how women shouldn't be driving as the perspective of Saudi men. This is called "no woman, no drive."


JAMJOOM: Now we've also seen videos of women driving just going to the mall, to go to the salon saying they don't want to have to wait for drivers to take them. They're saying that really the fear barrier in Saudi Arabia has been broken for women. Their time has come and they want to see that law changed.

I should add one more thing, Don, we've heard from the Riyadh police that at least five women were stopped from driving today but that they were released into the custody of their male guardians who came to pick them up, Don?

LEMON: Ah, very interesting. That Bob Marley tune, we like that. Listen, besides not driving, what other restrictions do women face in Saudi Arabia? I mean, have they been given any more freedom recently?

JAMJOOM: Look, they've been promised more freedom, Don, but they haven't really gotten that freedom. The king there is seen as a cautious reformer. He's made a lot of pledges towards women there. Says that they should be more empowered, but let's look at the facts.

Women in Saudi Arabia cannot go to school. They cannot travel. Cannot open a bank account. They cannot do practically anything without the permission of their male guardian. We get back to this guardianship system in Saudi Arabia. They do not have the control over their lives that they want. And they say they need that to change.

I grew up in Saudi Arabia. I can tell you what I'm seeing today is remarkable and these women are very brave to be doing what they're doing risking arrest, risking possible punishment or ostracization there in Saudi Arabia. So this is very big in Saudi Arabia, a very conservative culture. Don.

LEMON: Well said, Mohammed. Thank you, Mohammed Jamjoom in Beirut for us.

Coming up a superhero arrives ahead of Halloween in time for a very special surprise.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Two big news making interviews ahead at the bottom of the hour. First a question I had to ask the woman in charge of the Obamacare roll out, will Kathleen Sebelius accept a delay on that individual mandate.

Plus, former vice president Dick Cheney opens up about his heart. You're going to hear about this unprecedented move he made right after taking office.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: Baby, it's cold outside. Freezing temps slammed a swath of the U.S. this morning. Stretching from the midwest to the mid-Atlantic to the deep south. Here's Cleveland, holiday decorations in the window. Whoo whoo kids frolicking in the first snowfall of the year.

Meteorologist Karen Maginnis has more on the chilly temps in Atlanta.

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Don, we have to go all the way back to 1968 to see temperatures that are even close to cold in Atlanta. We drop down to the 30s, not record-setting temperatures, but very cold for this time of year. Typically we would see temperatures like this in mid-November.

What happens as we go throughout the afternoon, well, if you're headed to southern California, you're not worried at all about temperatures this cold. Readings will be in the 80s. And it will be fairly comfortable, nice rebound coming up for the northeast and New England. They'll be just about seasonable levels as we go throughout the afternoon. And the southeast a little chilly. But watch this in the next three days.

Temperatures warm up very nicely. In the southeast they could be running as much as 10 degrees above where they should be for this time of year. But flip that with what happens over the next several days. The jet stream dipped across the southeast, plunged the temperatures. We'll start to see the jet stream rise further to the north as we go in towards Sunday and into Monday. But just as the jet stream rises to the north and the east, across the interior west we're looking at a dip in the jet stream as a winter storm starts brewing there.

So, from western Montana, Bozeman and Billings and all the way down to the Wasatch and the (INAUDIBLE) and the front range that's where we're expecting some snowfall develop. So it may seemed that winter arrived early, but just wait, it could get worse across the interior west and we could see as much as a foot of snowfall.

Don, back to you.

LEMON: All right. Thank you, Karen. Appreciate that. Stay warm out there.

Halloween is coming up, and temperatures really tell us that. One I would add, a little early, though, we can give him a pass, he has got a really good excuse. Sergeant First Class David Worths traded his fatigues for a Spiderman costume to surprise his daughter, Jessie. He just got home from deployment in Afghanistan. Jessie had no clue he was back. The mask came off and then the tears poured out. We think we even saw the sergeant get a little misty as well.

I'm Don Lemon. I'll see you back here at the top of the hour. We're going to go to Sanjay for a little bit.

And a programming note for you, watch "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown South Africa" tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

I'll see you back here live at the top of the hour.