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Jodi Arias Case Ongoing; Sinkhole Getting Bigger; The Countdown for the Next Pope; Bullied Girl: "It Hurts So Much"; "The Bully Effect"; C. Everett Koop, 1916-2013

Aired March 2, 2013 - 16:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right. 4:00 p.m. on the East Coast, 1:00 p.m. out West for those of you just joining us, welcome to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

A look at the top stories that we're following right now. A no holds barred week of cross-examination in the Jodi Arias murder trial.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma'am, were you crying when you were shooting him?

JODI ARIAS, DEFENDANT: I don't remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you crying when you were stabbing him?

ARIAS: I don't remember.


WHITFIELD: Jodi Arias is forced to reenact how her boyfriend allegedly attacked her when she shot him. Arias admits she stabbed and killed Travis Alexander, she claims in self defense. But prosecutors argue she killed him out of jealousy. We'll have more on what happened in court this week in just a moment.

And a growing Florida sinkhole is threatening even more devastation just a day after a man was swallowed into the ground. Evacuees in the Tampa suburb were allowed to gather some of their belongings today. Authorities fear the hole may expand and take down the homes next to the one where a man is presumed dead. Crews say the ground is just too unstable right now to try to recover Jeff Bush's body.

Forced spending cuts are now a reality. $85 billion will be slashed from federal spending over the next seven months. President Barack Obama signed the order last night after the White House and congressional leaders failed to come up with an alternative. Defense spending will be hit the hardest. Congress will take another stab at replacing the cuts with a different, less severe plan later on in the month.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is said to be fighting for his life. This as the opposition leader takes to Twitter, accusing the government of lying about his condition. Aside from photos, Chavez has not been seen or heard from since the October elections. Mean time, his supporters held a mass in the chapel of the Venezuelan military hospital where Chavez is said to be receiving cancer treatments.

All right. Now back to Phoenix and the dramatic week of testimony in the Jodi Arias murder trial. Arias broke down in tears as the prosecutor grilled her about the moments before and after she killed Travis Alexander. Randi Kaye has this compelling testimony from court. Let me warn you, some of the images you are about to see are very graphic and very disturbing.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tears from Jodi Arias. She broke down on the stand as the first photo of Travis Alexander's body was displayed in court. It showed him twisted and crumpled on the shower floor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma'am, were you crying when you were shooting him?

ARIAS: I don't remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you crying when you were stabbing him?

ARIAS: I don't remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about when you cut his throat? Were you crying then?

ARIAS: I don't know.

KAYE: With her face in her hands, the prosecutor dared her to look.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take a look then. And you're the one that did this, right?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you're the same individual that lied about all this, right?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So then take a look at it.

KAYE: From the stand, Arias did her best to convince the jury she acted in self defense. She says Alexander attacked her after she dropped his camera.

ARIAS: He body-slammed me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He body-slammed you down, right?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a very forceful way. Where did he body- slam you down, ma'am?

ARIAS: Right in the same area. On the tile.

KAYE: Even if it was self defense, how did it lead to this? Nearly 30 stab wounds. His throat cut, and a single gunshot to the head. And prosecutors specifically retraced the steps leading up to that point, starting with the moment she says she shot him.

ARIAS: He just was running at me as I turned around.

KAYE: Arias alleged Alexander had charged her, like a linebacker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show me the linebacker pose.

ARIAS: He got down -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, show me the linebacker pose. That's what I'm asking for you to do.

ARIAS: OK. He went like that, and he turned his head.

KAYE: And that's when she says the gun went off.

ARIAS: I think I screamed "stop" when I pointed the gun at him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then what do you do?

ARIAS: I don't really remember. I just remember - I don't remember anything at that point. So I would be speculating.

KAYE: Later, the prosecutor displayed several gruesome photos from the crime scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And according to your version of events, you would acknowledge that that stabbing was after the shooting, according to you, right?

ARIAS: Yes. I don't remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not asking you if you remember, ma'am. I'm asking if you acknowledge that it would be you that did it. Correct?


KAYE (on camera): No matter what she said on the stand, the state isn't buying her story. And here's why. Investigators believe Arias killed Alexander in the somehow we are. Inside court, the prosecutor showed a clip of her interview with a detective, an attempt to prove that she lured Alexander to the shower, just hours after they had sex.

ARIAS: I asked him if I could do pictures of him in the shower, and he's like, no. And I was like, I just have an idea. I have a couple ideas. And I saw this thing in a Calvin Klein ad once that looked really good. And so he was - you're right. He wasn't very comfortable at first. He - he's standing there, and he's all, "I feel gay."

KAYE (voice-over): Arias snapped naked photos of Alexander, including this one shown in court. Investigator say it's time stamped 5:30 p.m., just two minutes before Arias stabbed him in the heart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you were the person who was directing him on where to be and how to sit, right?


KAYE: Directing him, perhaps, to his own death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you remember that we're talking about Travis Alexander. Let's start with that.

ARIAS: Yes, I remember that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's why we're here, because you killed him, right?


KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona.


WHITFIELD: And Arias is back on the stand Monday to face more questions from her attorney. The defense can ask about anything the prosecutor brought up. And then after the defense is through, the jury can submit questions. If the judge thinks that's appropriate, Arias has to answer them.

All right. Right now in Florida, crews are trying to figure out how to prevent a growing sinkhole from swallowing a second home. The hole opened under a bedroom yesterday, sending a man plunging into the ground.

CNN's John Zarrella is getting live now from the neighborhood where the ground is still just too unstable for officials to go in there and try to retrieve the body. So what are they going to do next?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right, Fredricka. I think that's the million-dollar question. I'm not sure at this point in time they know exactly how they're going to be able to retrieve Jeff Bush's body from the blue house behind me there.

What they do know is that they continued all day today to do sampling of the ground. The radar, ground-penetrating radars that they have been using to try and see exactly the dimensions of the sinkhole and not just the sinkhole itself but the surrounding terrain. The ground underneath the adjacent houses, the ground on this side of the street, to try and get a better handle on how far this sinkhole will - could expand. Not will expand, but could expand. And what they ended up doing today was - you know, yesterday, not only the blue house, but the houses on either side had been evacuated out of an abundance of caution by authorities.

And today they let the residents of those two homes go back in for a brief period of time, about 30 minutes. They had boxes that they brought for the people so they could load up whatever they wanted to bring out, carry out, and allow them to take those belongings out. So that they would at least have something that they - they couldn't get much out yesterday on the - really quick turn-around they had time to get out of those houses. And the problem they see is that those houses could very well be compromised, as well. Simply because of the underlying dirt, the underlying sand is very soft. That's one of the concerns they had.

Now, Jeff Bush's brother, Jeremy, was out here earlier this morning as well. And he came out with a couple of bouquets of flowers, laid them on this side of the street. He couldn't get any closer. He knelt down and broke down in tears as he did so many times yesterday. Jeremy was the one, of course, who tried to get in - he was the first one in the room when the floor collapsed. He was the first one to try and get shovels, to try and dig his brother out, and, of course, to no avail. It has been a long, grueling, 48-plus hours for the families here. And the agony continues with no immediate end in sight.

We think at the top of the next hour, Fredricka, we may have a news conference from local officials, fire authorities, as well as engineering people to kind of give us an update on where things are at this point in time. Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right. John Zarrella, we look forward to that. Thank you so much.


WHITFIELD: All right. In Fresno, California, an eight-year-old girl is in stable condition after being injured during a drive-by shooting. Her aunt spoke out. She is heartbroken about what happened.


KACY CUA, VICTIM'S AUNT: The last time I took a look at my niece, she was a healthy young little girl. And it's hard to see her in the condition that she is. And it is an injury she does not have to sustain.

CHIEF JERRY DYER, FRESNO POLICE: This could have very well been retaliation for some type of past incident.


WHITFIELD: Aleah Cha (ph) was sleeping in the living room of her house when it happened Thursday morning. Police say a few people pulled up and fired more than two dozen bullets into the house. They believe one of Aleah's older brothers was the target.

The head of the FAA has been saying, brace yourself for delays and cancellations at airports, all because of forced spending cuts. But do those claims hold water. We'll find out in a minute.


WHITFIELD: All right. We've all heard how much is going to be chopped in the forced spending cuts, $85 billion. But many of you want to know how this is going to hit home. Well for anyone who flies, there is a warning that there could be big delays at airports, and even cancellation of some flights.

Our Tom Foreman is ready to do a reality check on all that. So, Tom, the head of the FAA has been beating a drum very loudly over the impact of these cuts. Are these warnings realistic?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the head of the Transportation Department, secretary Ray Lahood, has done the same thing. Said this is a big, big area of concern out there. And I've been getting a lot of questions on our "Ask Tom" things to do about this very question.

The main warning here is that there could be 90-minute delays at major airports. And we're talking about places like Atlanta and Chicago and Houston, places like that and L.A. but mainly at peak times and a lot of traffic there. Here is the tricky part about that. How do you know for sure if that's what you're going to run into.

Well, for starters, because of the way they're going to handle any furloughs or layoffs, it's going to take some time before this would happen. You wouldn't expect it next week or the next week. But in the weeks after that, maybe it starts trickling through. More like the end of the month. Nonetheless, let's look at the math here and why they say they're going to have this problem. Essentially they were saying they were counting on this $15,900,000,000 for their budget. They're being cut by about a billion dollars and so they're going to wind up with around $14,900,000,00 and they say that's just not enough because so much of their budget - so much of their budget is in personnel, people who actually handle the movement of planes, running the control towers and all that. That's why they say this is going to be a big problem.

But, Fred, and this is, again, one of those things that gets people who are - who are pushing back on the administration's warnings, saying these are scare tactics, they say just look at this. If you look at the number of passengers in the country, this is how many we're going to have this year. 726 million, something like that. That is a lot of passengers. But if I push this back, I can go back in here, and I can get - look at that. 736 million passengers, and the budget of, look, 14.9, 14.9.

So this is what the critics are saying. They're saying, look, only a few years ago, 2007, 2008, your budget was the same thing that you're complaining about now, saying you can't get the job done. And yet you handled more passengers. So what have you changed in here, and how do you change it back? I know there was some labor agreements and changes in rules in here that have been part of the change. But that's the very issue here. The people who want to see these cuts can be taken, they're saying look in here and find out where your problems are, and fix them, whereas other people in the administration are saying, "Look, this number is rising. We think it's going to keep rising. We just can't afford to cut back now."

WHITFIELD: Wow. Tom Foreman, thanks so much for bringing that to us. Lots of numbers, lots to digest. Appreciate it.

All right. New York's archbishop reflects on the outgoing pope. He opens up about the moment he realized how frail the holy father was.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am an energy nerd, yes. And don't want to just chip away at that problem. We are looking at things that really fundamentally change the economics in favor of low carbon or no carbon technologies. So wind, solar. We're very narrowly focused on utility scale solar. Things that replace entire coal plants, if you like and produce the amount of energy.

This is a simulated desert, and this is a mile-wide field of tiny little mirrors. Traditional helio stats are enormous. You know, building size, 20, 30 feet on the side. So we're actually utilizing and making them like the way the stems of flowers work when they follow the sun. In this case we're using fluids, either air or water, to hydraulically or pneumatically very precisely steer these solar elements. I think if you read the science, and the climate science, you have to very quickly conclude that the technological challenge of this century is redesigning the energy infrastructure for modern society.

And so that's exciting. That is the Apollo project for our generation.



WHITFIELD: All right. The cardinals who will elect the new pope are making their way to Rome right now. On Monday, the cardinals will begin the process of setting a date to choose the next leaders of the Catholic church. Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, is one of the men under consideration. He would be the first American pope if selected. At 63 years old, he is considered young for his job, as well.

And Cardinal Dolan had an audience with the outgoing pope on his last day, and he spoke to CNN's Christian Amanpour about Benedict's legacy and the future of the Catholic church.


CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN, ARCHBISHOP OF NEW YORK: It was very touching and I don't mind admitting that it was kind of somber. It was kind of sad. I love him. We call him our holy father. I'll miss him. And that dawned on me today, that's the last time I'll see him as the pope. This morning, Christian, when like every other priest in the world, when I offered mass and it's tradition is, you know, during the mass, the most important prayer of the mass, you say for Benedict, our pope, and I stopped, because that's the last time I'll say that.

So there was a touch of sadness there. He was, first of all, I would tell you, that seeing him yesterday at the audience, you were there. And seeing him today, it dawned on me how fragile he is. I was privileged to be with him for almost a month in October during what's called the Synod of Bishops and I could see that he had aged a bit, but boy, oh boy, he still seemed to be very strong, very alert, very spry.

But yesterday and again today I saw that he was very, very frail. He didn't speak long. It was kind of a fraternal, informal meeting, the College of Cardinals and himself. He only spoke for maybe six or seven minutes. I was extraordinary moved. Christian, when he said, you think about this - I don't know why I was surprised, but when he said, "I look forward to giving my allegiance and my complete obedience to my successor."

CHRISTIAN AMANPOUR, CNN ANCHOR: I was precisely going to ask you about that. Because he looked out and said one of you perhaps will be the next pope.

DOLAN: And I thought, my oh, my. Now - now he will have a pope. He will have a holy father.


DOLAN: And that was very moving to me to know that the life of the church goes on. Jesus provides for his church, there will be a new occupant on the chair of Peter. When I went up, Christian, you were kind enough to ask about the personal meeting. And I went up, and first of all, I started to introduce myself, and he said, "Oh, I know who you are." And he called me by name. I like that.

AMANPOUR: Yes, indeed.

DOLAN: And I said, holy father, can I just tell you, I love you very much. And I thank you. And I'm praying with you, and for you. And I speak on behalf of all of the people of the archdiocese of New York. And he said to me, "Well, I thank you, and I remember my visit to New York."

AMANPOUR: Well, that's wonderful.

DOLAN: It was very moving, Christian.

AMANPOUR: That is wonderful. And, of course, I need to ask you now, in that vein, are you going to be the next pope? You are on many people's lists of front-runners.

DOLAN: Well, I've been on my mom's list for a while. I don't know how many other lists that I've been on. But I don't think so. So as you know, you're a pro, that's tough for us to talk about. It's uncomfortable to talk about. I'm flattered that you would even think that. But I don't think that's a possibility.

AMANPOUR: You have used extremely colorful language, in fact, to play that down. I think you said you might be smoking marijuana or something.

DOLAN: I said people who say that might be drinking too much (INAUDIBLE) or smoking marijuana. They asked me today, they say you have a chance to follow Pope Benedict. They said I got a better chance of following a-Rod at third base for the Yankees than follow Benedict XVI as the bishop of Rome. And I mean that, I'm flattered that people think that, but I wouldn't bet the house payment on it.


WHITFIELD: Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana is not running for pope, but he clearly has supporters who want him to lead the Catholic church. Posters with his picture have been plastered around Rome, urging cardinals to vote for Turkson.

But political-style campaigning for the papacy is forbidden. Insiders say the posters are unlikely to have been produced with the cardinal's knowledge. If elected, Turkson would be the first non- European to lead the Catholic church in more than 1,000 years.

Los Angeles has a new plan to force registered sex offenders out of some neighborhoods. And city council gets creative with the so- called "Jessica's Law."

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Big study about the Mediterranean diet and how it could possibly reduce the risk of strokes by 30 percent. So (INAUDIBLE) is going to join us and I've always had this question about if you're doing the Mediterranean diet, what do you have for breakfast? We'll talk about that and much more at the bottom of the hour.


WHITFIELD: The city of Los Angeles is using a new tactic to get registered sex offenders out of neighborhoods by building three new parks. California's so-called "Jessica's Law" bars sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a park or school. City officials say offenders who live near the new parks will have no choice but to move. More than 80 offenders live near the site of just one of those parks.

And these stories are trending now on the web. Some terrifying moments for passengers on a bus in Poland. Look at the images there. The driver simply passes out. The bus starts to swerve all over the road, while passengers there struggling to steer it clear of disaster after a couple of minutes, the driver regains consciousness, and presses the brake pedal, which his feet apparently had been blocking. No one, miraculously, was hurt.

And it's the country's newest dance craze. You know what I'm talking about. Yes. The Harlem shake. OK. But doing it on an airline, apparently, isn't such a great idea, because the FAA is now investigating this incident. Pilots call it a serious safety and security problem. They say an airline isn't a dance hall.

And look out. If you head to this park in Sacramento, California - oh, oh, my gosh, what's going on? Two angry geese just might attack you like they did him. They have been named Frizzel and Frazel. Oh, my goodness. Oh, that's so embarrassing. Well, apparently they're really just defending their territory. So don't go near that park.

All right. That's going to do it for me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Much more of the NEWSROOM continues at the top of the hour with Alina Cho, in for Don Lemon. But first, Dr. Sanjay Gupta explores the high stakes battle against bullying with our very own Anderson Cooper.