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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Controversial Bill Signed by Governor of Indiana; Negotiations to Limit Iran's Nuclear Power Extended; Hometown of Germanwings' Copilot Coping with Tragedy. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired March 31, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:13] WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm Wolf Blitzer sitting in for Anderson.
Tonight, a real shocker in the Germanwings 9525 tragedy. Not only was Andreas Lubitz have playing homicidal, first officer suffering from severe depression during his flight training back in 2009, the airline actually knew about it. Bear in mind this was a major episode of an apparently chronic mental illness that just a year later would reportedly require injections of anti-psychotic medication to treat. Yet the airline let him keep training and ultimately put him in the cockpit. That's one key development today but far from the only one.
According to the French magazine (INAUDIBLE) and the German newspaper "Bild," video recovered from a cell phone at the crash site shows the chaos from the passenger cabin moments before it hit the mountain. The French police are throwing cold water on the reports. That said, so much has leaked so far and so much of it has been correct.
So, again, tonight a lot to talk about. First, let's go to our justice correspondent Pamela Brown. She is joining us from Dusseldorf, Germany with the very latest on the investigation.
Pam, Lufthansa, the airlines, that they're saying they want to set the record straight that they did in fact know about the co-pilot's issues with depression. That's right, isn't it?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right, Wolf. This is really a stunning development here. We're learning today from the airline that back in 2009, Andreas Lubitz handed over medical documents self-reported that he had this bout with depression when was going through training. But before today, we heard from the Lufthansa CEO, in fact, right after the crash, and he said that the company didn't know anything about his medical issues and he was 100 percent fit to fly. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Might there have been signs, could there have been indications that this person might have been mentally unstable?
CARSTEN SPOHR, CEO, LUFTHANSA: No, the pilot has passed all his tests, all his medical exams. And we have at Lufthansa a reporting system where crew can report without being punished their own problems or they can report about problems of others, any kind of punishment that hasn't been used either in this case. So all the safety nets, all the safety nets we are so proud of here have not worked in this case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Lufthansa making this announcement today and in a press release saying it did an internal review after the crash found these medical records from 2009 that Lubitz gave to the company and then Lufthansa saying that it gave those documents to investigators here in Dusseldorf to help with the investigation - Wolf.
BLITZER: Pamela, these reports about a video taken inside the plane and recovered from the crash scene, it's a horrific video, supposedly. What are you learning about that?
BROWN: It really is horrific. We know that today bill newspaper as well as a Parisian publication came out with these articles saying they had viewed this cell phone video apparently from the last minutes of the flight 9525, that this was cell phone video found at the crash site that they viewed. You can hear screaming in the video, apparently, until those last moments, metallic banging on the cockpit door, presumably the captain trying to get in. But Wolf, right after those reports came out, the main French official who's in charge of all the rescue workers on the ground came out saying this is wrong, that is unwarranted, that there is no way that they could have seen the cell phone video because these videos, or these cell phones collected from the crash site haven't been analyzed and exploited, Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes. Other people have seen those saying they have found cell phones there and maybe those other cell phones have video as well. We're going to get in depth on that.
Pamela, thanks very much.
One quick question, though, before I let you go. The co-pilot's girlfriend, there's new information coming out that she knew about his mental illness. What are you learning about that?
BROWN: That's right. I spoke to a source with firsthand knowledge, Wolf, and the source says that the girlfriend knew that Lubitz had psychological issues but that she didn't know the extent of the issues. She's apparently optimistic that he would work them out. She knew he was taking treatment, going to see these two doctors recently who had eventually deemed him unfit to work. The source said the girlfriend was just as surprised as everyone else when she had learned what her boyfriend had done - Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Pamela Brown, reporting for us. Thanks very much.
All of this, of course, raising serious questions about why knowing what Lufthansa knew back in 2009, the airline still kept this guy on the payroll. Joining us now, our aviation correspondent Richard Quest, our aviation
analyst Miles O'Brien, also joining us the clinical neuropsychologist, Gary Kay who developed a cognitive test for pilots in use today by the FAA and airlines in fact around the world.
Richard, just last week, Lufthansa, as you know, was saying the co- pilot was quote "100 percent flight worthy without any limitations." But if a pilot did, in fact, have serious episodes and taking psychotic medication, can they ever become 100 percent flight worthy from their perspective?
[20:05:25] RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: We need to know what happened after he returned in 2009 and finished his training. Because that tells us whether there was the correct procedure and process. It's entirely possible that something has gone horribly wrong in terms of following through from what he said in 2009. We don't know that. He could have had full medical evaluations, post that severe depression and still passed all his tests.
That is why - what, I mean look, clearly, obviously, Carsten Spohr saying 36 hours after the event that this pilot was 100 percent fit, should never have said it. She should have said I don't know, I'm not sure, I need to check, whatever. But the truth is here, we still don't know what Lufthansa did when they gave him the job. That's the important bit, not what happened in 2009.
BLITZER: Miles, the fact the airlines knew about the co-pilot's condition, no one had hired him, trained him, do you think that points to how these so-called low-cost carriers are struggling with rapid expansion, low ticket prices, maybe even a pilot shortage at the same time because that has been suggested?
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: It is a tragic case and point, Wolf. What they do is they hire people with zero time, they run them through a school, give them 500 or 600 hours and then put them in the right seat of an airliner. And guess what, once they start flying, you know what they have to do? Then they have to pay the airliner back to their training. They have to pay back for their training.
So there is a disincentive for the airline mid-training to drop someone because guess what? He won't pay you back. So this is just one example of these low-cost airlines cutting corners, in particular, on the most important safety item on the plane, the human being in the seats. It's time we started treating pilots, better. It is time to start paying them better. It is time we started insisting they get a little more rest. We don't force them to fly with minimal fuel. And guess what, we should also allow them to be able to take five minutes to take a bathroom break before they get on the plane and fly to Dusseldorf.
BLITZER: But miles, let me follow up. This is a subsidiary of Lufthansa, one of the major carriers of the world with an outstanding reputation.
O'BRIEN: Well, you have to ask yourself why did they create a subsidiary, Wolf, because they wanted to do it cheaper. It's as simple as that. There's no reason to have a subsidiary. You've got a great mainline airline, a legacy carrier with a great tradition. Germanwings is an offshoot of that where they create a whole new set of work rules, a whole new set of pay. And that's what this is about.
BLITZER: Richard Quest, what do you think?
QUEST: I agree with Miles' second half of his answer that pilots need to be paid better, their conditions need to be changed, that all the last part, I totally disagree with Miles' first part. He has elegantly taken one plus one and came up with three on the first part of his equation. The reality is that these airlines are regulated and monitored by the same regulators that do the other legacy airlines. And to suggest otherwise, I think is injurious to the industry.
BLITZER: Go ahead, Miles.
O'BRIEN: Well, I think the industry needs a little bit of a wake-up call here. The regulators, generally speaking, have been lap dogs to the industry. They've been steam rolled by an industry that said we can't afford to pay our pilots properly. We can't afford to treat them right. We need to put them in the right seat with only 600 hours.
It's all non-sense. They can pay pilots well. The problem is passengers want to pay $99 to fly New York to Los Angeles and the airlines are a competitive business, and so they figure the way to pressure and to squeeze out some money is at the expense of the pilots.
Regulators need to step up to the plate here and insist we get better because we have pushed the system to its limits. The layers of safety are not what they used to be.
QUEST: But Miles, you cannot take those facts and simply condemn an entire low-cost industry when there is frankly not the evidence to support you accusation. You are just in one fell swoop (INAUDIBLE) the entire airline industry in Europe.
[20:10:00] O'BRIEN: Well, I can name you other incidents. The Cogen (ph) crash in (INAUDIBLE) or I can make an argument that the AirAsia crash most recently has some roots in the low-cost industry and the approach they take to flying. It is clear that the many layers of redundancy and safety in aviation have been eroded post regulation. That's fact.
BLITZER: Hold your thoughts for a second. I want to bring Gary in to this conversation.
Gary, for a pilot who discloses having dealt with depression, they can in fact actually return to fly, even continue to fly under some very specific circumstances. Isn't that correct?
GARY KAY, CLINICAL NEUROPSYCHOLOGIST: That's absolutely correct. I personally am following right now probably 20 pilots who are in the program that was started back in 2010 that allows pilots who, to be on certain antidepressant medication, who undergo psychological testing including neuropsychological testing, reviews, it's a very closely watched program and been very successful and hopefully doesn't make pilots go underground and not report when they need treatment for depression.
BLITZER: All right, guys. Stand by because we've got more coming up. We're going to take a closer look, for example, at some of the calls under way right now for change in the wake of this tragedy, whether it's the cockpit door that the first officer used or a pilot screening, keeping more than one person on a flight deck at all times.
And later, it's written on the side of every New York City police cruiser -- courtesy, professionalism, and respect. With that in mind, does this traffic stop look like any of those three?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me tell you something, the next time you do it again --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, what, you don't let me (bleep) finish? Stop interrupting me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: And it goes on and on and all of this as caught on camera. We have details and quite a discussion all ahead on "360."
[20:15:18] BLITZER: More now on the cockpit door on Germanwings flight 9525 which was so well designed to keep people out of the cockpit that had prevented the captain from regaining access to it that possibly saving the plane. That security technology frank some 9/11 just like other crash has sparked other big changes. It was so secure it ended up on the plane. In a moment we take a closer look at what might be done in the wake of this incident.
First, some background from "360"'s Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Value jet flight 592 from Miami to Atlanta, the day before mother's day, 1996. The pilots hear a loud boom, six minutes into the flight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five ninety-two needs immediate return to Miami.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What kind of problem are you having?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Smoke in the cabin.
KAYE: The aircraft crashes nose first into the floored everglades killing all 110 people on board. The NTSB determined the fire began in a cargo compartment. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we had fire detection system in this cargo
compartment, the crew would have afforded more time to get the airplane back on the ground.
KAYE: The FAA took those words to heart, revising standards for cargo, requiring smoke detectors and automatic fire extinguishers in cargo holds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Air Canada 979 (INAUDIBLE). May day. Going down.
KAYE: Fire was also a problem in 1983 when air Canada flight 797 made an emergency landing at Cincinnati's airport. It had a fire in the bathroom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had a fire in the back washroom, in the back washroom and it's filling up with smoke right now.
KAYE: Incredibly, the plane landed safely, but half the passengers and crew died because they couldn't exit the plane fast enough. That gave rise to new fire safety standards, including bathroom smoke detectors and automatic fire extinguishers. Smoke in the cockpit was the problem on Swiss Air flight 111 after it took off from New York's JFK airport in 1998.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Swissair 111 heavy is declaring emergency.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eleven heavy, we starting dump now, we have to land immediate.
KAYE: It crashed just off Nova Scotia killing all 129 people on board. After investigators traced the fire back to the plane's entertainment system and the flammable Mylar insulation, the FAA ordered all Mylar replaced with fire resistant material.
On 9/11 in 2001, hijackers brought down four planes after fighting their way into the cockpit using box cutters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: America 11, are you trying to call?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody move, everything will be OK. If you try to make any moves, you will injure yourself and the airplane. Just stay quiet.
KAYE: The 9/11 terror attack led to reinforced cockpit doors on all commercial airplanes. The doors are so strong, they can resist bullets, even shrapnel from a hand grenade can't blow the new doors off their hinges. The full force of an ax isn't either.
But after Malaysia Airlines flight 370 mysteriously disappeared in 2014, investigators wonder if the flight might have been doomed by a crew member. Some took issue with those new cockpit doors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One either had to be incapacitated or locked out. That's one of the concerns we had after 9/11. Don't lock those doors so that you can't get in from the outside if something happens. And fell on deaf ears. KAYE: And the Germanwings crash wasn't the first time the pilot was
locked out of the cockpit. In 2013, the cockpit door kept a Mozambique airlines' co-pilot from getting inside the cockpit after a bathroom break, locked out while the plane's pilot took off auto pilot and crashed it into the ground killing 33 people. All of this raising the question who needs to be protected more, the pilots or the passengers?
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
BLITZER: All these years later, still so chilling to hear the voice Mohammed Ata in 9/11 in the cockpit of that plane.
We are back with Richard Quest and also joining us Bruce Holmes is a pilot, a former flight instructor and a principle of a consulting firm with the focus on aviation systems development.
Richard, as we saw in Randi's report, there's often a strong place to make safety changes in the wake of a crash and do it quickly, but sometimes do they go too far?
QUEST: Well, they have unintended consequences, Wolf. Some changes can be made quickly and probably should have been there in the first place. Two people in the cockpit, we know the history of why Europe didn't have them. It should have done beyond cross of Norwegian, a low cost carrier said to me today, he instituted immediately afterwards.
So yes, it does have unintended. But the worst thing of all, though, is to rush into, a knee jerk reaction that creates another problem that you don't discover for several months. And that's not bureaucratic nonsense just speaking and saying, wait and see what the investigation says. It means in aviation, you've really got to look and think, what am I trying to solve, will this solve it, and what other problem will it create if I do it?
[20:20:28] BLITZER: Bruce, we've talked a lot about live streaming, the data, from the plane's black boxes and a lot of people are making the point that wouldn't necessarily have prevented this crash, but you've actually been part of some of these programs working on new technology that could do just that, prevent a plane from crashing, explain.
BRUCE HOLMES, CEO, NEXTGEN AEROSCIENCES: Well, there are emerging technologies, Wolf, that come to play in a time I would say that matters in a practical sense over the next few years, not many years.
One of the technologies is an air-to-ground and ultimately space to air Wi-Fi system. I'm talking about true broadband Wi-Fi that makes the airplane essentially like nodes on the Internet or really an intranet with security features. And what that enables is everything we've taken for granted in our home offices and workplaces about the ability of the Internet to provide us with the information we need, very high speeds. Another feature of the landscape that's emerging is what's called both
in the U.S. and Europe, trajectory based operation or TBO airspace where we're going to be able to manage flight paths with computational tools that allow us to do optimization and safety at the same time. And what that leads to is an ability to watch what's happening, presumably from the ground, and look at conformance of the flight path to what was intended and when you see something out of conformance, then you investigate, human's in the loop checking with the cockpit, captain, co-captain, and if it doesn't all add up, then take over and take over from the ground.
I mean, these are technologies that are with us today in many applications and can be merged, converged into a system that will be another level of safety net which is very typical of our industry.
BLITZER: But Bruce, this basic technology you're talking about, let's say this intranet for airplanes, how soon could all of that be installed?
HOLMES: Well, the infrastructure for this system will begin deploying within the next two years or so. And industry is working towards deploying these systems, of course, they have to also install radios, data radios, as they're sometimes called or digital radios in the airplanes. It's like having a router in your airplane, essentially, and that process will take some time, obviously, for the airplanes to equip, but the good news there is that as these volumes increase, the costs presumably come down. Not only that, but because of radios enable more efficient flight paths, it's even conceivable to talk in terms of the radios paying for themselves because of those improved efficiencies.
BLITZER: It's amazing, the technology is there and going to be there relatively soon.
Bruce Holmes, thanks very much. Richard Quest, thanks to you as well.
Just ahead, the NYPD investigates one of its members cause rant in an Uber driver in a very disturbing video taken by one of the passengers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know what (bleep) planet you think you're on right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Planning? I said planet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[20:27:46] BLITZER: Tonight, the NYPD investigating a disturbing video in which a man who seems to be a plain clothes police officer rant an Uber driver. One of the passengers took this video of the incident and posted it online. The passenger says the officer in an unmarked car tried to park without using his turn signal. The Uber driver gestured at him to use his blinker and then the officer pulled up behind the Uber driver.
We're going to show you more of the video, but first, we want to make it clear the NYPD has not confirmed in a statement to CNN and I'm quoting now, "the man is a member of the NYPD and the incident is being investigated by internal affairs." Watch this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You understand me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You understand me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I understand.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So you stop with your mouth, stop with (bleep), and realize the three traffic violation laws you committed, OK? Do you understand me? I don't know what planet you think you're on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not planning, sir, I'm here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Planning? I said planet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I'm not an attorney.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Bleep) and stay there. Let me tell you, next time you do it again --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, what? You're not letting me finish. Stop interrupting me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I apologize. I'm sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who do you think you're talking to here? How long you been in this country?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Almost two years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Almost how long?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got news for you and use this lesson. Remember this in the future, don't ever do that again. The only reason you're not in handcuffs going to jail and getting in the precinct is because I have things to do. That's the only reason that's not happening because this isn't important enough for me. You're not important enough. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BLITZER: Uber calls the behavior video unacceptable and says it appreciates the fact that the NYPD is now investigating.
Joining us now to discuss the retired NYPD detective, Harry Houck and CNN political commentator Van Jones.
Harry, what do you make of this video?
HARRY HOUCK, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: Well, I tell you this. There's no way that I can condone the actions of this officer. He is definitely totally out of control, showing no respect for this driver - I'm watching this video here and I flabbergasting. I feel so bad for this driver. It's just - it's just unbelievable.
BLITZER: I mean, the fact he is a plain clothes officer, Harry, what is that say to you? Should the plain clothes officer be stopping a vehicle like this to begin with?
HOUCK: Well, some plain clothes officers do make stops if they're like in robbery, but they are not in like a suit. This guy is in a suit and he is also - looks like he's driving all by himself in an unmarked car. So I don't know where he was going or what he was doing, but it seems to me, if this guy had some time on the job also, this is some kind of behavior you might expect from some rookie who doesn't know what he's doing. This officer should have known a lot better what he did here, and also the stop that he made here doesn't look like it's a legal stop for me either.
BLITZER: Yeah, that's a good point. Van, it's hard not to get angry just watching this video. The driver certainly seems like he reacted almost as perfectly as someone could expect someone to react given the circumstances.
VAN JONES, FORMER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Absolutely. You know, police officers are supposed to arrest people for road rage, not subject people to road rage. I mean, that's the thing. It's like the kind of behavior you saw from the police officer is the kind of behavior you hope somebody would be arrested for doing, not that being the actual police officer. But I think something more important here is at the end when he starts almost making fun of him for being from another country. That is very, very destructive and I'm so glad we now have some of these things caught on camera. You've had communities for a long time saying the police treat us differently. And we don't have equal justice, and we want the police to treat us the same as others and some people have said, look, you guys are playing the race card. This is not happening. You should be more respectful toward police, you wouldn't have these problems. But look, here is a classic example of someone who is desperately trying to show this officer respect and even his efforts are bringing more mockery and that's very dangerous and to the point it's not a rookie and some parts of our country, and some law enforcement agencies, this has become a culture of contempt. Some people are treated one way, others are treated differently. And that's wrong. It has to stop.
BLITZER: Harry, the officer essentially threatens the driver with going to jail if in fact all this driver did was simply gesture what he believed to be a regular civilian's car to use the blinkers that driver should have been using, was that really warranted?
HOUCK: No. I don't think the stop was warranted. But, you know, to get back to what Mr. Jones said, let's not blank at all officers in this country, you know, to be the type of officers that are going to act like this on a car stop. This is one individual, all right, who has done this and I like to think most police officers don't act that way. Apparently, this officer had a bug up his butt for something. And yes, that driver was probably one of the most cooperative drivers I've ever seen that I ever even pulled over trying to calm that officer down the way he was trying to talk to him.
BLITZER: You know, Van, the officer at one point he asked him, as you pointed out, you know, where are you from? Which raises questions about whether that's an appropriate question to ask, civil rights violation, perhaps. What do you think?
JONES: Well, it's very, very dangerous, as an officer now. If he's acting under color of law and he seems to be acting under color of law and he is subjecting this person to different treatment because of the color of his skin that is unlawful in the United States. What that means is that this person, we don't know where he's from, we don't know anything about him, but not only can he file a complaint as he did to get the officer disciplined, demoted or even fired, but he can also go into our court system and get civil rights remedy and redressed. Listen, it is very, very important for us to understand that some people have these kinds of experiences more often than others and it makes us live almost in two different societies. I believe that officer, if that same officer, 20 minutes earlier was probably being very respectful to someone who looked very different and so you got to understand that people ...
HOUCK: You can't say that, Mr. Jones.
JONES: Listen, I would imagine that you don't get the chance to be in the police force as long as he has treating everyone that way.
HOUCK: You know, I don't condone the man's behavior at all, OK, it was totally out of control as far as I'm concerned, but there's nothing to indicate here that he made this stop because of the guy's, you know, where he's from. I think that was just a stupid comment the officer made while he was engaged in the, you know, in the crazy behavior.
BLITZER: What kind of discipline, Harry, do you think this officer deserves?
HOUCK: Well, I think this officer is definitely going to be in a hell of a lot of trouble. I mean here we're talking about this on CNN. He's probably going to get suspended a couple of days, something like that. I don't see the officer being fired for something like this. He might be retrained. But maybe a couple of days suspension. But he's going to get hammered, this guy. Because NYPD doesn't like looking at this and the NYPD doesn't want their officers acting like this.
JONES: Yeah. I suspect this is going to be a public apology as well.
HOUCK: Without a doubt. It definitely should be a public apology to that man.
BLITZER: Yeah, because the video is out there and everybody can watch it. Harry, Van Jones, guys, thanks very much. Good discussion.
Controversy, meanwhile, in the heartland as the governor of Indiana defends the intention of religious freedom law critics say is anti- gay. We have the latest from Indianapolis, that's coming up next. And the controversy also spreading to Arkansas where the state house has just passed a very similar bill. I'll speak with the state representative who proposed it.
BLITZER: The Governor of Indiana says he was proud to sign a religious freedom bill into law, but that there's been misunderstanding about what the law does and does not do. Critics say it's a thinly vailed disguise for discrimination against gay people essentially allowing businesses to deny them services for religious reasons. The backlashes including boycotts, petitions, and protests, and opposition to the laws evident, black and white on the front page of "The Indianapolis Star" today. The headline reads, "Fix This Now." At a news conference today, Governor Mike Pence said the law is about religious freedom, not discrimination. But at the same time, he defended the law, he also said it has been mischaracterized and wants it to be clarified.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R) INDIANA: I'd like to see on my desk before the end of this week legislation that is added to the religious freedom restoration act in Indiana that makes it clear that this law does not give businesses the right to deny services to anyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Miguel Marquez is joining us now live from Indianapolis. Miguel, what is the reaction there to Governor Pence saying he wants some sort of clarification to this new law?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Show it to us, simply put. People want to see exactly what it is the governor is talking about. Interestingly enough, this morning, there was legislation, there was language on the table. But now I understand the speaker of the House is reaching out to state holders across the state, businesses, sports leaders, activists, everyone basically, universities, trying to come up with a new plan. We could see that in a committee here at the state capitol as early as tomorrow. Wolf?
BLITZER: Miguel, the governor also told you there needs to be what he called a careful balance with any clarification that's going to mean different things to different people. Tell us about that.
MARQUEZ: I mean, this is where it comes down to. All of this is because laws have become part of the gay marriage debate. Businesses concerned. I asked the governor himself about his personal feelings about deeply held beliefs of Christian businesses and should they have to perform services like baking, or photography, or floral arrangements for gay weddings? And he dodged the question again. All of this is sort of related to that specific question and that's where we see this debate coming to across the country. Wolf.
BLITZER: It's intensifying, to be sure. Miguel, thanks very much. Indiana is not the only state with this type of law is now on the table, if not yet in the books. Today, Arkansas, the House of Representatives there passed a similar bill. Joining us now, our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin. Also, joining us, Representative Bob Ballinger of the Arkansas House of Representatives. He proposed the bill. Representative Ballinger, thanks for joining us. Why is your bill necessary? What specific threats to religious freedom can you cite because a lot of people say bills like yours are simply a reaction to the growing legalization of same-sex marriage across the country?
BOB BALLINGER, ARKANSAS STATE HOUSE: We've heard that over and over again. I really believe it's a bit of a mischaracterization. You look at it and Bill Clinton signed the original, it was carried by Chuck Schumer, of all people, and voted on by all of Congress. You know, one of the first state (INAUDIBLE) of Illinois was voted on by President Barack Obama who at that time was State Senator Barack Obama and I think that you look at it, the reference that got kind of a bad name. That's been lumped in with something that's a debate that really - should have never been included in?
BLITZER: But Representative, just to be clear, there's a half century of federal precedents saying business can't discriminate against people for a wide range of reasons, gender, race, religion. Here's the question. Should gay and lesbian citizens of the United States receive that same protection?
BALLINGER: I think that that's something that should be debated. And what I've said over and over again, is that's a different piece of legislation. There's no protection provided either on the federal law or actually in the state that gives those additional protections. And frankly, that wasn't the idea of my bill. What my bill is focused on, was to allow somebody to believe what they want to believe, carry out that belief, and not have the state interfere with it, unless there's a real good reason to do so. And so, my focus was to effect the religious side, the person to be able to believe what they want to believe and so if somebody else wants to provide that additional protection, that would require separate piece of legislation altogether and that was actually introduced but was never actually brought forth and debated on the floor. So, I really feel like it's kind of - it's misplaced anger, I think. BLITZER: Let me get Jeffrey involved. What do you make of the representative's arguments?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, again, like Mike Pence, he's not answering the question, which is these laws exist for one purpose, which is, to allow religious people not to serve commercial relationships with same-sex weddings. Isn't it true that this bill will allow religiously sincere people not to participate, not to serve as florists, as photographers for same-sex weddings, isn't that what this law does?
BALLINGER: No, this law doesn't. Because as it is right now, there's no protected class. So the individual can discriminate against anybody for any reason as long as it's not one of those protected classes, either on federal law or state law. And so, my bill actually has no effect on that at all. There's no discrimination. In fact, the only discrimination that this bill would affect is people who would discriminate against person to hold certain beliefs. And so, that's really where this bill is effective. And it actually has nothing to do with any other type of discrimination.
TOOBIN: Well, but I mean, I've read the bill. The bill allows people to say that they are religiously opposed to same-sex marriages, so they will not, so they don't have to participate.
TOOBIN: They don't have to sell their services to them.
BALLINGER: You have to give me the section where it says that. Now if you're talking about the fact that we're under strict scrutiny standard, you know, that we are going to a heightened scrutiny just like 31 other states are on, just like the federal government already is on, well, true, that is there. But frankly, that's the same as it is in every one of those other states. In fact, where a minority of the states right now that doesn't give that heightened protection for religion. So I really think that as it is right now, it won't change anything because there's no protected class given to the LGBT community. And frankly, if that's something that needs to be done, then we ought to be debating it. And somebody ought to bring that bill, but frankly, from my standpoint, what I wanted to do, is protect somebody's religion.
TOOBIN: Representative Ballinger, when you see what's happening in Indiana right now, the backlash, all sorts of - on the American economy, are you worried the same thing could happen to folks in Arkansas as a result of this bill, which Governor Asa Hatchinson apparently says, he's going to sign into law?
BALLINGER: You know, right now there's a whole lot of energy. A lot of people who are upset and they really like to see some of these things change and I understand that. And frankly, I am even - even embrace individuals who actually get involved with the government. I think there's not enough of it. What I would say is that, what will happen when the dust settles, is they'll realize that 31 other states already have a strict scrutiny standard. This law is substantially similar to the one signed by Bill Clinton and voted on by our president, the one that has been in place in a lot of other states and actually, there's never been, the sky hasn't fallen in those other places. I think that we'll find eventually the people realize it. And it's kind of hard to boycott more than half the states and do business. I think people primarily are going to be concerned about, you know, is their market and can they come here and is the tax climate such that it's beneficial to business, do we have a trained workforce? Those are things that people are going to be concerned about.
BLITZER: All right, Representative Ballinger, thanks for joining us. Jeffrey, thanks. To you as well. Just ahead, the latest on the Iran nuclear talks as world powers try to agree on a framework for a deal. So, what are the diplomats saying? We have new information.
BLITZER: U.S. officials say negotiations to limit Iran's nuclear program are going to be extended at least another day as long as the talks continue to be productive. Diplomats tell CNN there has indeed been some progress at the meeting in Switzerland. Let's go to our chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto. He is joining us now with the latest. What are you hearing, Jim?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, for the kind of general political framework agreement that they're trying to reach by what was meant to be tonight's deadline, but is now merging into tomorrow, that looks possible with those outlines, but keep in mind, that's not really going to be an agreement on paper. The Iranians say they're not going to sign anything at this point. They're waiting for the final agreement and it does leave some of the most contentious issues unresolved and that's a real problem because those are the issues that have been holding up these negotiations, not just for this latest 24 hour delay, but keep in mind, these talks have been extended for months a number of times so far and they started more than a year and a half ago.
BLITZER: Yeah, 19 months ago. What are the major sticking points in these last few hours?
SCIUTTO: Well, if you combine the public comments, the hints and what we are hearing behind the scenes, it's a few things. It's the pace of sanctions relief on Iran, it's believed the Iranians want those sanctions lifted immediately, the West wants to be able to phase them out so they can keep pressure on Iran. Another big question is the disposition of Iran's enormous stockpile of enriched uranium, it was only 48 hours ago that the Iranians side said that they would not ship it out of the country, the country they've been talking about for some time it had been to Russia, reprocess into something safer, they said that's no longer the case, but then you heard from U.S. officials that's still on the table but it does seem that issue at least has not been decided. Those are two pretty major issues to not have decided at this stage. That leaves a lot of work on the table, not just for tomorrow interim deadline but for that final deadline June 30th and raises questions as to whether you can really get to a deal that both sides are happy with. BLITZER: And the White House just released that photo and telling us that the president was on a secure conference call from the White House situation room with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Energy. They are in Switzerland to get a full briefing and update as the White House says on the current status of the negotiations. We'll see what happens in the next few hours. Jim Sciutto, thanks very much.
Just ahead, a small German town shaken to its core by the unthinkable act of a native son.
BLITZER: A week ago tonight, all we knew is that Germanwings Flight 9525 carrying 150 people had gone down in the French Alps on a clear day with no distress call. Within 48 hours a terrible tragedy had become the unthinkable. From the moment the first officer went from victim to culprit, the small hometown in Germany has been flooded with the reporters, looking for answers that may not exist in the community that's hurting. Here's CNN's Will Ripley.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Since the crash of the Germanwings plane a week ago, most of those who live in this small German town have kept their silence. Not wanting to let the world know how they're coping with the awful truth that the plane's co-pilot was born and raised here, but that silence is beginning to break bit by bit.
CLAUDIA SEEMANN, PASTOR'S WIF, PAUL'S CHURCH: Our purpose is to have a silent and secure place for the people, that they have a room for their tears, for their big, big questions. A room for consolation, a room for prayer.
RIPLEY: A plain, but still beautiful church named after the Apostle Paul has built what it calls a memorial wall in Montabaur, a place where anyone here could write their feelings and pray for understanding and CNN was allowed to take a glimpse. Prominent on the wall, a single German word. Varum? Why? Claudia Seemann is the wife of the pastor here.
SEEMANN: We do not have any answer, but we bring our answered questions to God.
RIPLEY: Mrs. Seemann says the copilot's mother and father are members of the church. And that the mother sometimes played the organ, but she says she didn't know the co-pilot and that no one in Montabaur has yet come to grips with what happened.
SEEMANN: I think no one can understand it. And maybe it's too early to express forgiveness. They're in the very first stage. And it takes a lot of time. We have no answers as everybody in the world.
RIPLEY: We could only put our camera in the entry way to the church, for town, she says, is still reeling, still too wary of strangers and cameras. SEEMANN: Once it was a very normal German city and actually it's a
city in an extreme situation. I think that for the people, the grief and mourning is more difficult because they are in a special tension. We know - we don't know the victims, but we know the copilot, or at least some of us and that brings an enormous tension.
RIPLEY: Nevertheless, she says, there have been surprises.
SEEMANN: We are deeply thankful for many people from all over the world who are praying for us, who express their solidarity with the city. We need a lot of time.
RIPLEY: When we were there, a lone parishioner sat in the front row, so close to the memorial wall that she could almost touch it and just in front of her, that single German word. Why?
RIPLEY: Will Ripley, CNN, Dusseldorf, Germany.
BLITZER: That does it for us. "CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS ONE." Starts now.