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North Korea Tension Grows; Texas Officials Crack Down on Threats; NCAA March Madness; Scandal Forces Rutgers Resignation; North Korea Tension Grows; Big Differences in Drug Prices; Activities Around NCAA Tournament; Facebook Apps

Aired April 6, 2013 - 11:00   ET


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN Center, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING. It is Saturday, April 6th. Good morning. I'm Miguel Marquez.

North Korea is falling up on its threats with action, loading a pair of missiles onto launchers. The State Department says this does not need to get hotter.

The juror kicked off the Jodi Arias murder trial has something to say about it. She issues a written statement. And we'll tell you what it says.

It started with 68 teams the NCAA tournament has whittled that down -- that number down to the final four. One of them will leave Atlanta with the title National Champion.

North Korea has a frank warning for diplomats there: if war breaks out we cannot guarantee your safety. This comes as tensions with South Korea and the U.S. intensify. The North has reportedly loaded missiles on to mobile launchers along its country's east coast.

So what's next? Let's bring in Elise Labott in Washington -- Elise?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REPORTER: Miguel well the administration is really trying to cool things down, even as North Korea is making these threats and telling people to get out of North Korea, because they can't guarantee their safety. The Obama administration is really trying to, as you said, not make things get any hotter.

Now the State Department, Secretary of State John Kerry is saying that the U.S. needs a deterrent but also needs a diplomatic way forward. And what Secretary Kerry is going to be doing when he goes to Asia later this week is to be talking to South Korea, Japan and China about trying to find what they call a diplomatic off-ramp for North Korea.

How do you move back this rhetoric, calm things down and try and get to a place where they can actually talk to the North Koreans?

MARQUEZ: I talked to Ambassador Chris Hill earlier he made it sound like this was a lot about internal -- the situation in North Korea with Kim Jong-Un trying to consolidate his power there and less about the externals. Is that what you understand? LABOTT: Well there's like a cyclical pattern to North Korea's behavior. Obviously Kim Jong-Un is young. He needs to solidify his power base not just in the military but among the people. He really needs to show that he's the kind of powerful leader that his father, Kim Jong-Il was. And what analysts say, Chris Hill and others and diplomatic sources, is that they think that Kim Jong-Un has done that.

So what happens now? Well the U.S. is expecting some kind of action from North Korea. We saw that they're launching these missiles on to the launchers. Could it be a missile test, could it be a nuclear test? The U.S. is hoping that would be the kind of minimum. What they're really afraid of is some kind of cross border action with South Korea that would force the South Korean military to respond and then it escalates.

But they're really hoping that the North Koreans made their point, they've shown that they have more leverage, if they were to get back to talks, they're hoping that calmer heads will prevail now.

MARQUEZ: Yes but certainly a hair trigger if any sort of mistake happens. Because there are, what, 28,000 U.S. troops right on the border there?

LABOTT: That's right. And they're not only worried about some kind of launch that might hit somebody. These missiles on the launchers could hit Japan, could hit South Korea and certainly U.S. forces there. But they're also concerned about any kind of miscalculation. For instance, earlier last week, there was a North Korean defector that tried to get into South Korea. What if North Korea, in hot pursuit, tries to follow him and fires across the border? That's when things get out of control.

And since North Korea has cut off all communications with South Korea and with the United States joint command there, there is no will chance to say listen you know don't -- don't overreact. So that's what they're really afraid of that there will be some kind of miscalculation and things will spiral out of control.

MARQUEZ: Yes a very bad time for a small incident that could really get out there.

LABOTT: It sure is.

MARQUEZ: Thank you, Elise Labott in Washington, D.C.

Nelson Mandela is back home. The former South African President was discharged from the hospital earlier today. The 94-year-old was admitted to the hospital last month for a recurring lung infection and pneumonia.

The FAA now says it will delay closing 149 smaller regional control towers. The new deadline is June 15th because of those mandated across-the-board budget cuts. The FAA will lose $637 million in federal funding; that forced its decision to close those towers.

ICE or Immigration and Custom Enforcement will have to change the way it conducts home searches. A class action suit accuse ICE agents of forcing their way into homes without warrants during raids in Long Island in 2006 and 2007. Activists call this a victory for Latinos, who had filed the lawsuit.

In Texas, police are taking every threat seriously following the killings of two state prosecutors and the wife of one. Someone called in a bomb threat the night before hundreds gathered for the funerals of Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia.

So far, police have arrested two men for threatening officials, but say they have nothing to do with the murders.

Our Martin Savidge is in Texas, following up on the case. Martin, how do these threats relate to this -- to the case of the murders?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Directly, they don't, Miguel. But indirectly, they of course are considered to be very important. And law enforcement is not going to take anybody making threats either against a police officer, sheriff's deputy or any kind of city or county official lightly in the aftermath now that they have had three officials that have been killed in the last two months.

This investigation right now is being very tight-lipped. They are not saying much as to where it is going or who may be suspect. There have been absolutely no arrests that, we can point out, directly tied to the murder investigation.

The three primary avenues that we have heard being investigated, one is that it could be a white supremacist group. Because there have been investigations and prosecutions in this county. Some suggest it could be drug cartels because this is a high drug trafficking area. Others say that it could be just somebody with a beef. Right now, authorities are not speaking. The investigation, though, you can bet, is heavily under way -- Miguel.

MARQUEZ: Yes the two Texas prosecutors killed and then the Colorado official killed, the white supremacists involved. You're not hearing -- you're in both states, I think -- you're not hearing anything about any sort of link between the two, are you?

SAVIDGE: Well, you know, I was just up there, covering the killing of Tom Clements.

MARQUEZ: Clements.

SAVIDGE: And I was talking to investigators there. And they do say that they had been in contact with investigators down here. Do they think there's a link? Too early to tell. But they certainly do believe that it's probably good practice that the two departments keep in touch.

And so from time to time, they do sort of compare notes.


SAVIDGE: But right now, no direct link is being made. But they're keeping the lines of communication open.

MARQUEZ: Yes officials say the Kaufman County District Attorney had been asking about guns for his staff before his death. Do we know if he had been threatened at all?

SAVIDGE: You know this is something that has gone back and forth. There are people in this community who say that he felt that he was threatened. Sometimes he has said that the threats might have been coming from white supremacy groups others times people who are listening to him weren't quite sure who he felt threatened by.

In the particular case you're talking about he went to a gun store the day before he was murdered. And there he was talking to the gun shop owner. But primarily looking for security for his staff, he felt very worried for them.

The gun shop owner was asked, well did McLelland say that he was fearful for his own life and the gun shop owner said, no, he never made any mention about himself -- Miguel.

MARQUEZ: Yes and what are things like there, Martin? You're on the ground. This is a -- this is a small Texas town. Are the people on -- sort of tenterhooks waiting for something to break on this case?

SAVIDGE: Yes you get a couple of sort of emotions that you feel here. Definitely, people are in deep mourning. This is quite a shock. It is a relatively rural area -- it's quite close to Dallas -- but still it's a tight-knit community. You've had three murders here and that's pretty shocking to a lot of people. Some people are getting guns. Some people are fearful.

But on top of that, there is this kind of iron will determination that they are going to find those who are responsible. There is no shortage of resources here both on the local and federal level because they realize -- and I think it was Governor Perry who sort of summed it up best at the memorial service when he said that attacks like these are sort of a direct attack on the core of civil society -- Miguel.

MARQUEZ: Yes Martin Savidge, thank you very much for keeping up with it for us.

The yearly frenzy over crowning the country's best college basketball team is in the homestretch. It's down to the final four right here in Atlanta.


MARQUEZ: Oh March madness gives way to April insanity. There is the Centennial Olympic Park. All the madness, well a lot of -- some of the madness will be there but certainly on the court later today is where it's really going to get going. The NCAA tournament started with 68 teams last month. Today we're down to the final four.

And one of them -- Louisville, Michigan, Syracuse, Wichita State -- will leave Atlanta as basketball's national champions.

Carlos Diaz is covering all the action for us. He joins us live outside the Georgia Dome.


MARQUEZ: Who are you picking, my friend? You've had lots of time to think about it.

DIAZ: Who cares? I mean I've got to go -- I've got to go with Louisville, of course. Because Louisville is the number one seed. By the way I like the April insanity, you should trademark that. I like that.

But yes basically, you have -- you can kind of -- you know the crowd is kind of moseying about now. We're kind of getting closer to tip off. We're just about I don't know a few hours away from tip off at 6:09. Wichita State taking on Louisville. By the way, if you don't know what a Shocker is, that's Wichita State's nickname. Shocking is what they do to wheat in Kansas. So that's why they called the Wichita State Shockers. There is a little trivia for you.

Of course Louisville is not only the number one favorite, the number one seed, they're also the sentimental favorite here in Atlanta because of the fact of Kevin Ware and the horrific leg injury that occurred against Duke on Sunday. That's the early game.

And then night game, it's Syracuse taking on Michigan. Jim Boeheim leading the Syracuse Orange in. No coach here has won more games than Jim Boeheim. In fact, no coach in the history of college basketball has won more games in the NCAA for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke but Jim Boeheim is taking on Michigan. And Michigan of course with Trey Burke the national player of the year.

So you got a great offense with Michigan taking on a great two-three zone defense of Syracuse. You've got a great match up going on in the late game right there. That's the close game. They're saying that is the main event tonight. The undercard, of course, being Louisville taking on Wichita State.

But you can get the complete wrap-up at 3:00 o'clock today. You don't want to miss this amazing show.

Final four, all access with Rachel Nichols. She's going to have all access from everything, the behind the scenes of the pre-game speeches, the tears after the loss. The cheers after the win. You'll get it all at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time, right here on CNN -- "ALL ACCESS FINAL FOUR WITH RACHEL NICHOLS."

MARQUEZ: Brilliant. Carlos Diaz, I hope you get a beer, I hope you get a dog. I hope you get to watch the games and have a great -- a great time tonight.

DIAZ: What is this beer you speak of?

MARQUEZ: I'll show you later, my friend. Believe me.

DIAZ: April insanity. It's April insanity I love it.

MARQUEZ: April insanity.

DIAZ: It's April insanity. Thanks Miguel.

MARQUEZ: I love it, I love it. Thanks, man. Take care.


MARQUEZ: Well the scandal at the Rutgers University basketball program has cost two more people their jobs and it all centers on the team's now ex-head coach and his abusive behavior.


MARQUEZ: Former CIA director David Petraeus reportedly got a visit at home from the FBI. "USA Today" reports that agents from the bureau interviewed Petraeus at his home outside Washington yesterday. They're looking into whether he may have had passed classified material to his mistress, Paula Broadwell. Last month in a speech Petraeus he apologized for the hurt caused by his affair.

The basketball scandal at Rutgers University claims another victim. This time, athletic director Tim Pernetti resigned reluctantly over this. That's the Rutgers' former head basketball coach physically and verbally abusing his players. Pernetti admits he should have fired Mike Rice. Instead, he only suspended him.


TIM PERNETTI, FORMER ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: It's a really sad day for a lot of people, including me and my family. And, you know, I always have and I always will, no matter what, want what's best for Rutgers.


MARQUEZ: Now earlier, I spoke with Andy Scholes of CNN Sports about Pernetti's resignation and what he meant to the program.


ANDY SCHOLES: Another name they threw out there on Friday who did resign was Jon Wolfe. He was the university's general counsel. And he was a part of that decision-making process that they were going through when they were discussing Rice, what to do with him. They kicked around a ten-game suspension, they kicked around firing him and then they eventually settled on that three-game suspension. And I guess that's another reason why Jon Wolfe, along with Tim Pernetti resigned yesterday.

MARQUEZ: All right. These fines come on the heels of talks about the school becoming part of the Big Ten conference. Are there conspiracy theories out that this video was hidden for fear of hurting Rutgers chances of participating? What are you hearing?

SCHOLES: Well, I'm not buying that bust because Rutgers announced they were going into the Big Ten, they were accepted on November 20. Now Pernetti didn't -- it started investigation into Rice until November 27. And the Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney has even come out and said this had no bearing on whether they got into the conference or not and it's not going to matter now either. Big Ten's only concerned about that New York market that records bring for TV.

MARQUEZ: Yes. Reports now that some of the big donors though are pulling their money back, at least temporarily. What are you hearing?

SCHOLES: Yes. Pernetti was very popular amongst the big donors at Rutgers. And a few of them have said we're holding off on any more money in the near future because we're not happy about the way this was handled. Rutgers -- you know, that might not be a big hit for them right now because they are going to the Big 10 and their annual revenue from sports is going to go from $3 million to over $40 million by the year 2017. That's a big difference.

MARQUEZ: All right.


MARQUEZ: Our thanks to CNN Sports' Andy Scholes.

As word comes that North Korea is loading missiles on to launchers, what comes next? Is the U.S. taking these threats seriously? We'll take a look.


MARQUEZ: New video out of North Korea does nothing to calm the growing tension there. Korean state TV is showing missiles being fired from North Korea's coast. There's no word whether the video -- when the video was shot or even if it's real. However one U.S. official has confirmed that two medium range missiles have been loaded onto launchers on North Korea's east coast.

Earlier, I spoke with former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea and lead negotiator on North Korea, Christopher Hill; and Joseph Cirincione, former advisor to President Obama on nuclear issues. I asked Ambassador Hill why the U.S. describes the launch as just a test.


CHRISTOPHER HILL, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH KOREA: Well, certainly the movements we've seen, the type of vehicles, et cetera, are consistent with a test launch. Also I don't believe these missiles have ever been fired before so I think most analysts believe this is indeed a -- a test launch and it may be the sort of crescendo the North Koreans are looking for as they get through April and as the U.S./South Korean exercise comes to an end.

MARQUEZ: Mr. Cirincione how advanced are the North Korean missiles? It's been showing off its weapons. But are -- some of these are pretty outdated maybe not very sophisticated? Are they really up to a 21st century fight?

JOSEPH CIRINCIONE, FORMER OBAMA ADVISOR ON NUCLEAR AFFAIRS: Well, these missiles are, we believe, based on an old Soviet design, an old Soviet submarine launch ballistic missiles. As the Ambassador who is the real expert on the Korean Peninsula noted, they've never been tested. These may just be for show.

These are liquid fuel missiles so we're not going to see a sudden launch. They have to be erected, they have to be fueled. That would take hours, maybe days so you'd see this happening.

If we were truly worried we could launch air strikes after all these missiles on the launch pad. The missile interceptors that you're seeing deployed actually have little relevance to this, the missile interceptors we're going to deploy in Guam are further away than this missile could possibly reach.


CIRINCIONE: So those are really the short and medium range missiles. So a lot of this is for show.

MARQUEZ: Obviously with 29,000 U.S. troops nearby though, all of this is of concern. But the Ambassador of North Korea has told Russia and Britain that their embassies could be in danger, is that just a ploy to get other governments involved?

HILL: Yes it sure looks like they're trying to kind of hype the notion that the -- there's danger in the Peninsula that's caused by the U.S., et cetera. I must say I've never heard of this kind of thing before to you know tell embassies to go run for your lives and then the embassies say no, we're -- we're fine, just staying right here.

So it is really an example of this kind of bizarre North Korean propaganda.

MARQUEZ: It sounds like this has a lot to do with internal politics and less so external politics. Mr. Cirincione --


MARQUEZ: What is the end game in your -- in your mind?

CIRINCIONE: Ambassador Hill points out the -- the limits of our ability to sort of match their move with our move. We've stood firm, we've reassured our allies. We're now working with China. We've sort of drawn clear limits for North Korea but you can't really get in this bluster/counter-bluster game. North Korea can out crazy us, there's an infinite number of things they can do like this stunt on warning embassies to evacuate.

So now you're looking for the exit ramp. You want to work with your allies, work with China. How do you back North Korea down? Don't respond to these provocations. Don't escalate the crisis. I actually think over the next few weeks particularly as the exercises between U.S. and South Korea calm down that you might be able to walk this crisis back and get the parties to the negotiating table.

MARQUEZ: Mr. Ambassador there's always a perception that we can just appeal to China and China will sort of knock North Korea back into order but is it as simple a math as that?

HILL: No I wish it were. First of all the Chinese probably have some -- there are limitations to what they can do with the North Koreans. There's also limitations to what they want to do. You know China is pretty split on the subject. There are those in China who feel they are a plucky little ally and they don't want to push them and then there are others who would like to be rid of them.

But clearly China has moved somewhat in recent weeks, they are clearly getting a little tired of the North Koreans.


HILL: And I think that's why it's been important for the U.S. to kind of keep our own rhetoric at a lower level and try to work with the Chinese and explore ways that China can be helpful in bringing the North Koreans back from the brink. I doubt that we're going to be able to get any nuclear talks started any time soon but at least we can kind of get through this -- this crisis of the last few weeks.


MARQUEZ: Now for many Americans, North Korea's fiery rhetoric and menacing threats are fueling new fears of military action, but not so many old memories.

As Tom Foreman explains in today's "American Journey, the Korean War has long been considered a forgotten conflict even when it was front page news.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Korean war was a complicated affair from the start in 1950. A distant battle over whether the Korean Peninsula divided by World War II would be reunited under a Democratic or Communist government. The North's invasion of the South spurred world powers to join the fight and in short order almost two million American troops found themselves facing little-known enemies in a little-known land.

Patrick O'Donnell is a combat historian and the author of "Give Me Tomorrow".

PATRICK O'DONNELL, COMBAT HISTORIAN: These men in the first -- in 1950, 1951 had to go against 20 to one odds in some cases against the Chinese army. They had to fight the temperature which dropped to 30 to 40 below zero. And they also did it with inferior weapons.

FOREMAN: The conditions during the war were worsened in a sense by the outcome. After three hard years the war ended essentially where it began. With the North, the South, and not peace, just an uneasy agreement to stop fighting.

Historian Bruce Cumings from the University of Chicago.

BRUCE CUMINGS, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO: Korea ended in a stalemate. Americans didn't really understand the war and veterans came home not to difficult circumstances like the veterans of the Vietnam war, but rather to a country that didn't really know where Korea was on the map and wasn't sure what the war had been about.

FOREMAN: These days, a great many Americans don't really know much about the Korean War. It has become the providence of historians and old soldiers. American consciousness of it has been shaped more by the TV show "M.A.S.H." than any reality. Only about a third of those who served during the Korean conflict are still alive, making it almost certain the forgotten war will stay that way.

Tom Foremen, CNN, Washington.



MARQUEZ: You know those portrait studios and stores that take pictures like this? Many are now fading into memory. More than 2,000 portrait studios in stores like Sears and Wal-Mart are out of business. The company that operated the studio says digital photos cut into sales. Some workers who ran the studios said they had no notice that they were losing their jobs.

If your health insurance doesn't cover prescriptions, you know you're going to have to pay a lot. However, where you get your meds could cost you even more. Consumer Reports checked prices at America's top pharmacies to compare prices. What they found might surprise you.

Secret shoppers found the CVS to be the most expensive and Costco's pharmacy had the lowest prices. The report focused on the generic forms of the five popular medications: Lipitor, Lexapro, Plavix, Actos and Singulair.

Just how big was the difference between stores? CVS sells generic Lipitor for $150 a month. That same drug at Costco just $17. Another example, CVS is $180, at Costco, $15.

A bit earlier, I asked Consumer Reports editor Lisa Gill about the huge difference between the drug prices.


LISA GILL, EDITOR, CONSUMER REPORTS: Well, I have to say, we have been doing the secret shopper survey for a number of years and this was the most -- really the most surprising results we have ever seen. Those price differences do feel like at least two different things. Stores use their pharmacies in different ways.

Some stores like Rite Aid and CVS, they are meant to generate a lot of revenue and a lot of profit for the stores and that's fine. So, you can see it reflect in high prices.

Stores like Costco, Walmart, Sam's Club, they really try to bring in traffic through having lower prices in the hopes that people will buy maybe other things. And the other difference too is that CVS and Rite Aid are so convenient, and you really pay for that convenience. Those pharmacies are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, they are on every corner in the us practically. Whereas, with a store like Costco, even though you pay such lower prices, you will have to really plan your visits, pharmacies close at 8:00 or 8:30 at night, and they're not open on Sundays. So you can see the difference there.

Now, according to your survey, the three most expensive pharmacies are CVS and Rite Aid, and Target. The cheapest were,, Costco.

We reached out to some of those pharmacies for comment, and CVS told us the following.

Quote, "Pricing surveys do not accurately reflect what most pharmacy customers pay for prescriptions and are not effective in accurately comparing prices. A random price check of only five drugs is too far to draw meaningful conclusions about with which pharmacies offer the best value overall for its customer."

Do you agree? Is your survey an accurate representation of market prices across the board?

GILL: You know, we had -- we made over 200 phone calls to pharmacies all around the United States. We called independent mom and pop pharmacies. We called large, big box stores like Sam's Club and Costco. We called Target, Walmart, Walgreen's, CVS, Rite Aid, posing as just a regular consumer, sort of like what my grandmother might face in Indiana, just calling around to local pharmacies trying to get a price on some very popular medications.

So, and actually that's why we chose those medications is because millions of people take these drugs every month and in many cases can't afford them.

So, one of the things we were surprised to find out, and, you know, CVS has an interesting point, except that when we called nearly a dozen CVS's around the country, they quoted a price of $149.99. And only one pharmacist mentioned to us that you might be able to get a discount if you come into the store.

So, considering a regular consumer trying to, you know, compare prices over the telephone, find such incredible price differences, I think it's very notable thing, and I think it's worth considering when you are shopping for medications.


MARQUEZ: Now, the parents of the woman who admitted to killing her boyfriend open up in a just released police interrogation video. You won't believe what Jodi Arias' parents had to say about their own daughter.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MARQUEZ: Now to the Jodi Arias trial and newly released surveillance video of Jodi's parents being interrogated by police back in 2008. On the tape, Sandra and William Arias admitted to the detective that their daughter was strange, that she had quote, mental problems.

They even said she often just freaked out for no reason at all and that she needed to get help. Take a listen.


SANDRA ARIAS, JODI ARIAS' MOTHER: Jodi has mental problems. Jodi would freak out all the time. I had quite a few of her friends call me and tell me that I needed to get her some help. We don't have a good relationship, me and Jodi. She would just totally flip out on me. And I had one of her friends call me in the middle of the night, call us one night and say you need to get Jodi some help.


MARQUEZ: Now earlier I asked HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell what she thought about the admissions on that tape.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Well, Miguel, they are absolutely damning. This detective is telling Jodi Arias' mother and father that they have overwhelming evidence that Jodi committed a horrific killing. And their response is not, oh, no way, that could never happen. You must have the wrong person. There is a mistake here.

No, their response is that, oh, Jodi is a troubled person. She's always been a troubled person. Friends have described her as possibly being bipolar. So the fact is that Jodi's own mother admits that to cops that she questioned her about where she was, asking her daughter, did you go to Arizona, which is where Travis Alexander lives. And the cop says, oh, you were suspicious? She goes, of course.

MARQUEZ: The jury is never going to see these tapes, though, correct?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It doesn't appear that way. I mean, they have had them for the longest time, obviously, since right before the killing occurred. So I think that it would have come up already. And they are very prejudicial. So there is a problem with that as well.

MARQUEZ: All right. We're going to turn to a pretty bizarre, yet another bizarre turn in this case. Juror number five was dismissed from the trial earlier this week. And then she showed up in court Thursday as an observer. What's going on here? Is this just bizarre?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is wild. And she is known as Two-Tone because of her hair color, which appears a blonde and pink. And this woman was kicked off the jury. And then, after issuing a statement, saying please respect my privacy and respect the process, something very important is going on here, she shows up in court, causing an uproar.

So some people are speculating, could she be possibly writing a book or is she just so mesmerized by this trial, she can't stay away? But of course, she can watch it on television on HLN, so that's no excuse. Who knows why she's there.

The question is oh, which was she going? A lot of speculation that when she was kicked off, Jodi Arias came out grinning. And Travis Alexander's -- the victim's sister was sobbing. So some people read into that, but then there were other indications maybe she was pro- Jodi, who knows?

MARQUEZ: All right. Alice Lavalla (ph) has been on the stand now for over a week. Juan Martinez, the prosecutor, is finally getting to his cross. It was fireworks from the beginning, everybody wondered how he was going to go at the abuse specialist and a woman up on the stand.

He's not holding back. Is it -- is it in his interest to do it this way?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is a verbal slugfest. It's a jawdropper. He is yelling at her and she is talking back, "Are you mad at me?" I mean, this is hostility out there in the open. And here's the thing: some people are like, well, he is coming on too strong; she's a likeable middle-aged woman. But she is throwing the victim, Travis Alexander, under the bus.

She is painting this man, who was not here to defend himself, as extremely abusive, verbally cruel. She is taking Jodi's claims at face value that Travis Alexander hit her and choked her. Well, we have no independent corroboration, so the prosecutor is speaking for the victim and the victim's family and he has to -- has to go after this woman.


MARQUEZ: Stay up to speed on the Arias trial with Jane Velez-Mitchell. You can catch her program on our sister network HLN weeknights at 7:00 Eastern.

Now to the NCAA basketball championship. It's a huge weekend here in Atlanta. Take a look at this. It's Centennial Olympic Park, wow, it looks very cool out there, transformed for final four weekend, free concerts, big names including Sting, Dave Matthews Band, Ludicris and much more.

CNN entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner has a preview.


NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is what's called the Big Dance concert series. So if you're going to have a championship, then you need to have a party. If you're going to have a party, you got to have great music, right?

MARQUEZ: A huge tailgate party.

TURNER: Absolutely. And that's what this is going to be. The best thing about this whole thing? Free, F-R-E-E, free is for me. And the greatest acts in music today.

Now you're going to have people like Ludacris taking the stage, everybody in Atlanta loves and everybody all over the country as well. Flo Rida will be taking the stage, Muse, who a lot of people around here at CNN have been so excited to see.

But on Sunday, Sunday is the really big day, because you've got Sting. You've got Dave Matthews Band. And I have to represent for the women, because Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, who is one of my favorite -- her voice is hauntingly beautiful -- she is playing as well.

And again, this is all free. And this is in addition to the game. So if you are watching a little basketball and you also are a music fan, you get the best of both worlds.

MARQUEZ: This is a music festival.

TURNER: Yes, indeed, it is. (Inaudible) music festival. How many times have I said free?

MARQUEZ: Well, you are selling it. It's very easy to sell when it's free.

TURNER: Well, I mean, you know, it's great. How many times do you get to go see Sting free? And just hang out for the day? I mean, that's pretty cool.


MARQUEZ: CNN is going behind the scenes and giving you a backstage pass to the final four. Don't miss CNN all access at the final four with Rachel Nichols today at 3:00 Eastern.

Facebook's new phone software promises to put people first. We'll ask our tech expert what exactly that means, coming up.


MARQUEZ: Facebook has long been criticized for its mobile app, but now the social media giant says its latest innovation will change that. It's called Facebook home. It promises to put people first. Does it deliver? I posed that question to our tech expert, Carley Knobloch.


CARLEY KNOBLOCH, TECH EXPERT, DIGITWIRL.COM: For years Facebook has been keeping us guessing about what they are doing on the mobile frontier. And it turns out, they built kind of a skin or a blanket that goes over the Android operating system. It's called Facebook home. It will be preinstalled on the HTC first phone along with the (INAUDIBLE) Facebook app and messenger apps. All you have to do is turn it on to enjoy the immersive Facebook experience.

MARQUEZ: Are there any new or different features that are going to be on this phone? KNOBLOCH: Yes, one of the new things you can use without even unlocking your phone is called the cover feed. It's a live and in real time always in motion slide show of all the things that are going on on the news feed. So photos and updates from your friends and you can like them or interact with them without even unlocking your phone.

Another one that's getting a lot of attention are the chat heads. Wherever you are on your phone whether you're searching the web or playing a game, if a friend wants to chat with you, a little bubble will pop up and you can engage with them right then and there without leaving what you're doing.

MARQUEZ: So much competition in the social media space. How will this impact Google?

KNOBLOCH: I think it's giving Google a little bit of a run for its money. On the one hand, they didn't really mess with Android. People are calling it spooning with Android as opposed to forking it. So they are playing nice, but they are definitely moving in for the kill.

MARQUEZ: Let's talk about data collection. Some apps take our info when we download them, but come July, new Federal restrictions to protect a child's privacy. What are they?

KNOBLOCH: The Federal Trade Commission has finally figured out what many of us parents have known for quite some time which is that data collection is a huge problem, especially when games are targeted at kids. When they are collecting data from our kids, our privacy is protected, is violated rather. And so they are tightening the restrictions on how these app developers can collect data when the game is marketed to children.

MARQUEZ: It will hurt the mobile apps that target kids or it will go after them specifically?

KNOBLOCH: I think it's going to hurt them and it's definitely going to be a big problem for them. Remember that their revenue model is based on collecting this data so they can target specific ads to you. If you're not paying for that app, remember that the revenue model is you. They want as much information as they can from you in order to target the best ads to use.

It's definitely going to be a problem for them. It might even hurt innovation. So a lot of these companies are second guessing whether to put these apps on the market that could be construed as marketing to kids. So imagine a world without the next Angry Birds. It would be a pretty sad place.


MARQUEZ: CNN NEWSROOM starts at the top of the hour and my savior Fredricka Whitfield is here.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: You have done a great job.

MARQUEZ: Thank you very much. I have survived. WHITFIELD: You'll be back to doing it again tomorrow morning.

It's one big cycle. Noon Eastern time, we've got our legal guys who will be with us. I don't know if you have ever had this thought. You go to college and the college promises you that 97 percent of the graduates will get a job upon graduation. Well, we're seeing a lot of college students finding out they are not getting the job. Do they have the grounds to sue? Our legal guys are going to tackle that.

And then Kareem Abdul Jabar, he is one of the greatest NBA players of all time and did you know he's voted the number one NCAA player for the first 75 years. He stops by and we talk about hoops and his favorite in the final four. And of course he says, you know what, he loves to convey the message to kids be active, get an education, but don't forget why you are in school, to get an education. He says hit the books. We're going to talk about all that.

And then (INAUDIBLE) maybe this has happened to you. You fly a lot. You travel a lot. You're at 30,000 feet; somebody kind of loses it, loses control or maybe you feel like you're about to lose control. Is it you? There's advice for you. Dr. Drew will be along with some advice on how to keep it all together when you're so high up there.

MARQUEZ: I'm going to race to my hotel, turn on the TV and watch you all afternoon. Good to see you.

WHITFIELD: Good to see you too.

MARQUEZ: When you're president you have to pick your words carefully. Did President Obama make a sexist comment or did he just give a friend a compliment? We'll give you the fallouts and you can decide.


MARQUEZ: Now to California's politics. California's attorney general seems to be letting President Obama off the hook after his remarks about her appearance had people in an uproar. CNN's Rene Marsh explains the apology and the response.


RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): California state attorney general, Kamala Harris, a potential candidate for governor, maybe even the next U.S. attorney general. By many accounts a rising star in the Democratic Party, but her resume isn't grabbing headlines. What President Obama said about her Thursday at a private fundraiser in California is, calling her, quote, by far the best-looking attorney general. The White House answering to CNN about the comment.

BRIANNA KEILAR, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: How has he reflected on his comments since making them and has he called Harris?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He called her to apologize for the distraction created by his comments. They are old friends and good friends. And he did not want in any way to diminish the attorney general's professional accomplishments. SAM BENNETT, PRES./CEO, SHE SHOULD RUN FOUNDATION: It's sexist. That simple comment drops her like a stone electorally and makes voters much more likely to see, much less likely to see her as qualified or worthy of their vote.

MARSH: A harmless compliment or a sexist remark? It sparked a debate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president also causing a bit of a stir with some comments he just made.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Also raising eyebrows overnight, the president out in California.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not as if he called her a slut.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president acknowledged Harris' accomplishments saying quote, she is brilliant. She's dedicated and she is tough before mentioning her looks.

LEONARD STEINHORN, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: The debate requires a lot more context and a lot more knowledge because we don't fully know the extent of their friendship, which they claim to have.

MARSH: The president has been on the defensive before fighting perception of a boys' club attitude. This picture of the president's inner circle had many asking, where are the women? The president has turned that around appointing women to his cabinet, most recently, the Secret Service director. What should the president have said when he introduced her?

BENNETT: Everything he said except the last thing he said, which was comment on her appearance.

MARSH: Harris's office released the statement saying the attorney general and the president have been friends for many years. They had a great conversation and she strongly supports him. Rene Marsh, CNN, Washington.


MARQUEZ: All right. I am smiling because CNN Newsroom continues now with Fred Whitfield.

WHITFIELD: Thank you so much.

MARQUEZ: All yours.

WHITFIELD: Good to see you. Have a great afternoon.