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Boston Runners Finish a Marathon; Holder Slammed for Allowing Miranda; Bomb Probe Reaches to Russia; FBI Still Working on Possible Suspects; Boston Open for Business; Putting a Price on Suffering; Russia had Wiretap of Suspect; Boston Remembered

Aired April 28, 2013 - 19:00   ET



DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: You're in the CNN NEWSROOM, everyone. I'm Don Lemon.

This evening we are live from Boston. Where I'm standing here, here is the heart of the city. People are out on historic Boylston Street. They're unified as people who are back in business after the bombings.

Now, at this time, this woman is the main focus of the FBI investigation, the bomb suspect's mother. Officials want to know how aware she was that her son may have been leaning toward extremism and violence. More details in just a minute here on CNN.

And some runners unable to finish the Boston marathon had a chance to finish a race today at the Oklahoma City Memorial marathon. The event honors victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prior to our start, we ask you now for 168 seconds of silence, please.


LEMON: Event organizers invited runners who could not finish in Boston due to the attacks. Many of the 23,000 runners wore red socks to honor the Boston victims.

We've learned tonight that President Barack Obama is going to name Charlotte Mayor Anthony Fox to be the next Transportation Secretary. White House officials tell CNN that Fox is the President's choice to succeed Ray LaHood.

A Mississippi man suspected of sending letters tainted with ricin to President Obama and others faces his first federal court appearance tomorrow. 41-year-old James Dutschke was arrested yesterday and charged with possession and use of a biological agent as a weapon.

Another man, Paul Curtis, had been arrested earlier but charges were dropped last year. Curtis, an Elvis impersonator, claims he was framed by Dutschke following a long standing feud.

Flash flooding is causing misery in parts of Texas. A strong storm roared through Houston yesterday dumping as much as eight inches of rain in some areas. Fire crews had to rescue more than 150 drivers from high waters. At the height of the storm, more than 120,000 people were left without power.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is in a federal prison hospital this evening and we're told he is now saying -- not saying much to anybody in law enforcement, not since he was read his Miranda Rights. Some key Republicans in Congress are furious that Tsarnaev was even given those rights so soon after his capture. They blame Attorney General Eric Holder. Take a listen.


ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: The decision to mirandize him was one that the magistrate made and that was totally consistent with the laws that we have. We had a two-day period that we were able to question him under the public safety exception. So I think everything was done appropriately and we got -- we got good leads.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: The Attorney General will say well, they got some good leads, they can stop the interrogation. This isn't Columbo where you're playing a game who is trying to follow leads. You get all the evidence you can. It's a matter of life and death.

And I don't know of any case walk who says a magistrate has the right to come into a hospital room and stop an interrogation. And I don't know why the Attorney General of the United States consented to that. The FBI wanted to continue the interrogation. And Eric Holder now is -- said he approved that interrogation being stopped. It's absolutely disgraceful.


LEMON: More on the Miranda debates coming up this hour.

I want to bring in now our Susan Candiotti she's outside that federal prison, that medical center in Devens, Massachusetts. That's where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is under 24-hour guard. So Susan you found out some details today about what it's like inside that facility, what kind of place it is and what are the conditions like for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the conditions are is that while there are some parts of this prison that are minimum security, there are also maximum security areas and not surprisingly, that's where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is in fact, located. He's under 24 hour surveillance. They are constantly checking on him.

And we're learning from a prison spokesperson today that in this cell, which measures about 10 feet by 10 feet with a steel door that they slip food through when it comes that time, that he is actually talking but he is not -- well, we don't know whether he's talking with investigators or even with his own attorney. We do know that he is speaking freely with the people, the medical personnel that are taking care of him -- the doctors and nurses.

But as to the rest, well, the prison's not saying much about that -- Don.

LEMON: Susan, this weekend we found out that the Russian government has had their ears on the Tsarnaev family for some time. How much information are the Russians sharing?

CANDIOTTI: Well, that is the question. They continue to swirl around this disclosure that the Russians had actually been wiretapping the mother of the bombing suspects in early 2011. Remember that sources 24 hours ago told us -- these are sources with knowledge of the investigation -- that in fact the Russians had eavesdropped on a phone call made to the bombing suspect's mother by one of her sons, again, in early 2011 and that the conversation involved jihad, but the conversation is described as vague.

We don't know whether by jihad they meant a struggle, a specific attack was discussed? That information remains unclear, but it's also unclear, Don, as to why the Russians only revealed this to the FBI within the last few days and not back in 2011 when the FBI was first asked by the Russians to start taking a look at Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

So this is what everyone wants to know. Were they holding back? If so, why -- Don.

LEMON: All right. Susan Candiotti in Devens, Massachusetts -- thank you, Susan.

And of course, this is definitely not an open and shut case. The FBI is still trying to determine if the Tsarnaev brothers are the only people responsible. And that may take some time. Bob Baer is with me now live. Bob is a former CIA operative and a CNN contributor.

So Bob, how about that? You're not convinced the Tsarnaev brothers pulled this off alone, are you?

BOB BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: Oh, absolutely not, especially the last couple days it's come out that the circuitry on this bomb was fairly complicated. It wasn't taken off entirely from "Inspire" magazine. This wasn't downloaded from the Internet. Somebody was soldering and welding this stuff together who knew what they were doing. I doubt these two young men learned on their own; they were either shown by somebody else in the United States, perhaps in Dagestan. I haven't seen anything yet that would tell me.

But more and more we see this was a fairly complicated bomb and they needed help. It's just you and I can't sit down and make one of these things and expect them to go off, especially five of them. It just doesn't work that way.

LEMON: All right. Well you talk about you know people say that they were crude. Do you think that there was some sophistication to them? Talk to me about the detonators in these bombs. Why are these detonators such an important key to the investigation, Bob?

BAER: Well detonators are very difficult to make. I mean, they're explosives confined in a small space. There has to be the right sequence of chemicals if you're making them at home if they're made from black powder. That's another question altogether. The electrical connection is difficult.

You know I've made these before. And I've made a lot of them. And most of them don't go off until you really get a lot of experience.

So all I'm saying is that these two young men went out and practiced on their own and practiced a lot. And how they did it without being spotted, I don't know. Or somebody showed them. I just think the alternative that they got completely lucky is -- is unlikely.

LEMON: All right. Bob Baer, thank you very much. I appreciate your expertise.

And you know, a lot of money is pouring in here, a fund that has reached more than $26 million. That's a huge outpouring of support for the victims here in Boston. But how do they divvy that money up? I'm going to ask a man who will be in charge of doing just that. That's next.


LEMON: Boston's iconic restaurant the Atlantic Fish Company became part of the crime scene after two bombs blew up on Boylston Street. Last night the restaurant re-opened its doors to a packed house. And just a short time ago I spoke with the restaurant's regional manager about how he thinks Boston will fair after taking such a hit. Here's a bit of that conversation.


LEMON: The mayor is now saying come down, no tickets, do park, just spend some money. You don't have to pay for meters, just spend some money here -- millions and millions of dollars. Are you going to be ok?

BARRY GARRISON, REGIONAL MANAGER, ATLANTIC FISH COMPANY: I think we're going to be better than ever. You know the resolve of our staff and our guests in this community have said pull together like -- like you wouldn't believe.


GARRISON: You know you see the "Boston Strong" everywhere.

LEMON: It's just -- all of the people are out yes.

GARRISON: Yes, exactly and it's the same all the way up and down Boylston.


GARRISON: So it's just been fantastic.


LEMON: The Boston City Fund so far has raised $26 million to the victims of the bombings, but what costs will those victims face? It's nearly impossible to put a price tag on the suffering of the victims and the loved ones.

But that's a job facing Kenneth Feinberg. He's also has a lot of experience than anyone on the planet at this after being in charge of similar funds after 9/11 and also the BP oil spill. He joins me now by telephone from Bethesda, Maryland.

Thank you for joining us, Mr. Feinberg. How are you doing?

KENNETH FEINBERG, ADMINISTRATOR, THE ONE FUND BOSTON (via telephone): Glad to be on. Thanks very much.

LEMON: When you took over the compensation fund for the BP oil spill you said quote, "It's not rocket science, it's a judgment." How do you begin to make that judgment when it comes to this?

FEINBERG: First of all, how much money is there to distribute? How quickly do we want to get the money out the door? And how should we allocate what seems like a lot of money, but considering the magnitude of the deaths and the physical injuries, you have to dampen expectation. I doubt that anybody will be made -- made whole by these allocations.

LEMON: Yes. So let's delve into that a little bit more. Considering the injuries you said and what happened. How are you going to determine compensation for the families of the people who died? Can you assign the same value to the life of an 8-year-old boy as a 26-year-old police officer, for example?

FEINBERG: You most certainly can. All lives are equal in my mind. This is not a litigation or a tort case where the stock broker or the banker should get more than the waiter or the bus boy or the cop or the fireman.

Here we have four deaths arising out of these bombings. We will allocate out of the $25 million or $30 million a percentage, like in Aurora, Colorado or Virginia Tech, it was around 65 percent or 70 percent of the total. And then we took that money and divided it up equally among all those who died; 32 died in Virginia Tech; 12 -- 16 died in Aurora, Colorado.

And then the remaining money we distributed to the physically injured. Some terrible injuries in Boston depending on how long the physically injured victim was hospitalized. We could do something like that in Boston.

LEMON: So it's really level of trauma and whether you died -- the people who lost lives are the top tier, and then you go into the injuries from that and the level of injuries.

My question is, you said you take it and then you divide it equally, but money constantly comes in. Does the money ever run out? I mean will some victims likely -- they're going to need help for life. How does that work, Mr. Feinberg?

FEINBERG: No these programs, you know, money that comes in through private donation, we may leave the fund open for a few extra months. Make one payment right away. And then depending on the remaining funds --


LEMON: Right.

FEINBERG: -- let's say, by Labor Day, we could make a second distribution depending on how much money there is. But it's very important -- you're absolutely right -- no amount of money distributed fairly quickly over the next month or two is going to provide the type of long-term financial stability that a double amputee or somebody hospitalized with a brain injury or something, there's just not enough money for those purposes.

LEMON: Yes. Listen, tragedy is tragedy. Loss is loss. When you're looking at something like the BP oil spill, for example, that's quite different than when you're looking at something like this where people have lost their lives. Is this -- is this more difficult for you in a sense to do this?

FEINBERG: Well, in a sense it is, but I must tell you, I learned in the BP oil spill that people who confronted acute financial uncertainty because their livelihood ended, they couldn't fish, they couldn't shrimp, they couldn't -- their hotels were empty. They didn't know how long this would be permanent or whether they would gradually get the business back.

Do not underestimate the emotion in all of these cases when people really are innocent victims, they did no harm, and now they find themselves confronting a horrible trauma and they have to deal with it. And these funds provide some modest help, but I try and dampen expectation because you're not going to be able to distribute money that will satisfy people. It's not human nature.

LEMON: It's impossible, right? This is a very tough question to ask, but I've got -- go ahead.


FEINBERG: I'll give you an example. On 9/11 we gave on average $2 million to the families of those who lost loved ones. Many times, Don, they would come to me and say, "Keep the money, Mr. Feinberg. Bring my husband back. Bring my son back. I don't want the money, I want you to find a way to bring my husband who was in the World Trade Center, bring him back to life." I would say, "I can't do that. I don't have that power. I wish I could help. All I can do is provide you some small financial help." And that offer very often rings very hollow with people who have lost loved ones or suffered terrible, heinous, double amputations or physical injuries.

LEMON: No amount of money can heal a broken heart, can mend a broken heart.

FEINBERG: That's right.

LEMON: Thank you, Ken Feinberg. We appreciate you coming on.

We're live tonight from Boston. We can't help but be inspired by the courage that's being shown here. We're going to take a look at how Bostonians are coming together after this tragedy. That's next.


LEMON: All right. So we don't want to be overly maudlin or mockish here, but the people here, it is sad. But you guys said you're also inspired by this, right?



LEMON: You're inspired even though something sad happened?


LEMON: People are coming here and paying their respects. Let's walk this way. Can we get by you here? Let's walk this way. I want to show you guys at home what happens here.

People come through here, usually you start over in this direction. And you see there are other news crews here. You walk through here. You can sign the memorial. Sign this board here. There are several boards around here that you can sign. Then some people come and put candles here. They put things on the trees and then over on this side, you can see all the teddy bears. 2013 Boston marathon, people signed that as well. This is all here along the fence, and then there are rope chains here, too, that people are putting together.

And then this one that everyone has been talking about. Really moving -- the tennis shoes, the sneakers here that have the names of people who put them here. And also look at this one. It says "love". People write little messages here on the sneakers. Again, more flowers. American flags. Coming around here.

Hi, folks. How are you doing?


LEMON: Where are you from?


LEMON: You're from Mansfield. Yes. Thank you.


LEMON: Thank you for coming out here and being so kind to us.

Again -- and more through here as you can see. Then there's also here a verse from the bible then the picture of Jesus there. Then more things on the fence.

I want to talk to this young lady. What's your name?

XENA: Xena.

LEMON: Where are you from?

XENA: Boston.

LEMON: Why did you come down?

XENA: It's just heartbreaking. All the destruction. People coming together. It's so somber here. Everything's, like, so peaceful right now and you have, like, millions of people out here.

LEMON: Yes. But it's also, the people I've been speaking to here said, you know, everyone's really sad, yes, but we don't want to be sad for too long because we want to come back.

XENA: Go Boston strong. We're coming back. We're strong. We're coming back.

LEMON: What's it like, you know, I was here last week. I left for a few days, came back after about three to four days. And I could see the difference in the city just within those few days.

XENA: Boston loves people. We get people from all over the world here. I mean, you see all the hotels, the restaurants. You know, we have the marathon every year, and people just love each other here.

LEMON: Yes. Thank you.

XENA: Thank you.

LEMON: It was nice to meet you.

XENA: Thank you for doing what you do. We appreciate it.

LEMON: Thank you for doing what you do. We appreciate having you guys here. Where are you from?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm from New York City.

LEMON: You're from New York City. Did you come here? Were you here visiting?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was here visiting but I wanted to pay my respects to the victims because it's such a tragedy. All that situation to happen. LEMON: Do you agree with what the President said at the memorial last week? He said, listen, they messed with the wrong city when they messed with Boston.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course they messed with the wrong city. I mean, this is a country of freedom. We're just -- we're going to stand up. You know, we're not going to let these terrorists take over our country like this. We have to stay strong and moments unite us as a country as a whole.


LEMON: We appreciate your words.


LEMON: Let's walk this way. Again more -- even on the benches on the park benches here, just filled with things. It's amazing. You can walk around this place for hours and see so many different ways that people are paying their respects.

Let's go right here. Dear Boston citizens, times will get hard, times will get easy, just hope for the best and pray for the worst. People are writing all sorts of notes here. Of course, you had the -- look at all of these hats from Boston here. Amazing. And "Boston Strong" is the message. Unbelievable.

So how do you deal with something like this? Especially when your church is right here where the bombings happened? And you have members of your congregation who were involved in it? How do you deal with that and you run out and you help people?

We're going to talk to a pastor who did just that, coming up on the other side of this break.


LEMON: Getting close to the bottom of the hour. We're going to get you updated right now on the headlines here on CNN.

First up: within a matter of hours a Mississippi man suspected of sending letters tainted with ricin to President Obama and others due to appear in federal court. 41-year-old James Dutschke was arrested yesterday and charged with possession and use of a biological agent as a weapon.

Another man, Paul Curtis, had been arrested earlier but charges were dropped last week. Curtis, an Elvis impersonator claims he was framed by Dutschke following a long standing feud.

In Bangladesh, four people were pulled alive today from the rubble of a catastrophic building collapse. The nine-story building housing garment factories fell to the ground on Wednesday. More than 370 people are confirmed dead. Some reports put the number of missing at more than 600. The owner of the building had gone into hiding but was arrested today by police. Italy's Mt. Etna is putting on quite a show this weekend. This is how the latest eruption of Europe's most active volcano looked to residents in the nearby city in Sicily. Red lava fountains bursting into the skies, lots of black smoke; Mt. Etna has erupted multiple times this year.

As the summer movie season approaches, it was a big weekend at the box office -- a very big weekend both here and overseas. "Iron Man 3" opened strong internationally. While back at home, the Michael Bay action dark comedy "Pain and Gain" edged past Tom Cruise's "Oblivion" earning $20 million at the box office its opening weekend. The Jackie Robinson movie, "42" was third. The other major opener, "the big wedding"; it fizzled in fourth, despite a star-studded cast.

Russian authorities have turned over an intercepted conversation between one of the Tsarnaev brothers and their mother in Dagestan from 2011. U.S. officials say the wiretap communication discussed jihad, but that conversation was vague.

CNN's Phil Black has the latest from Moscow.

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: CNN has been told Russian authorities intercepted a communication between the bombing suspects' mother and one of the suspects in which they were said to be discussing jihad. This information comes from a U.S. official not Russian authorities and he says that this recording was made in 2011 but only made available to U.S. Officials within the last few days. The reason for the delay is not known.

It is known that back in 2011, Russian authorities asked the FBI to investigate Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mother because they were concerned he was becoming radicalized. The FBI investigated, asked some questions, interviewed them both and could find no evidence to suggest they were in any way a threat.

They say they reported back to the Russians and asked some more questions. Asked for some more information, but never heard anything back. Now we know this piece of information from roughly the same timeframe did exist.

It is difficult to determine the precise significance of this information, but it raises some interesting questions. Such as would the FBI investigation have been handled differently? Could its outcome have been different had the investigators known about this intercepted communication at the time? So far, no one in the Russian government has commented specifically on just what Russian authorities knew back in 2011, and why they were concerned about this family.

Only the Russian president Vladimir Putin has said to his great regret Russia's security services were not able to provide their American colleagues with any information of operational significance. Phil Black, CNN, Moscow.

LEMON: All right, Phil, thank you very much.

I want you guys to take a look. Take a look at this church right here. See that one in the distance? It's the old South Church right here on Copley Square. And that church was just feet from the bombing and it had to close down for over a week. They're going to have their first sermon there - they had their first sermon there today. Reverend Nancy Taylor joins us now. It's the old south church. Every year you say it's nicknamed the what?

REV. NANCY TAYLOR, SENIOR MINISTER, OLD SOUTH CHURCH BOSTON: Every year this time of year we call it the church of the finish line because we're right at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

LEMON: So tell us what happened. You were watching from the window?

TAYLOR: I was actually up in the bell tower up there and watching the runners come in when I heard and saw these explosions. These concussions and just a whole lot of smoke. And then people just running.

LEMON: Yes. And you couldn't believe it, I'm sure.

TAYLOR: Well, it took a while to sort of figure out what was going on. And then I saw as people started running towards the danger, going in to help people. It was remarkable.

LEMON: Yes. And as a member of the clergy, it must - I know it was terrible to see. But to see the human spirit kick in and help people it must have been warming. At least that part was warming to your heart.

TAYLOR: Oh, people's courage. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. Going right in towards the danger, towards the blast to help people out.

LEMON: So helping people heal. And the sermon today in the church, what was the message today, what was it like?

TAYLOR: We talked about lamentation as a part of our life. It's natural to feel lament, to feel anger and then also to start to move on. We've invited people to tell the stories of where were you? We're doing a lot of talking to each other, a lot of hugging. And we are also reminding people that there's way more good in the world than there is evil.

LEMON: This, being a member of that church, what does that church mean to you? What does that church mean as you look at it? What does it mean to Boston? It's a beautiful church.

TAYLOR: It's an iconic church. It's the church of Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Adams. The folks who started the Boston Tea Party. So we've been in the mix of things for Boston for a long time. We're older than this country. And the church is an iconic symbol of that, the vigorous commitments to justice and mercy that are part of our ministry.

LEMON: I was at the interfaith service with the president and got to - it was really heartwarming to see everyone coming together at that service. You were there. You got to speak. Let's listen in. You and I will talk about it.


TAYLOR: We are shaken but we are not forsaken. Another's hate will not make of us haters. Another's cruelty will only redouble our mercy.


LEMON: So I remember that moment, and I said, you know, it's so hard not to hate in a moment like this. I mean, no matter how strong your faith is. When you look at the images and if you were involved, if you lost a loved one, it's hard not to hate.

TAYLOR: Yes, it's hard, but that's part of the Christian discipline. It's part of what makes this world a good place. If we all hated with the haters, we'd be in big, big trouble.

LEMON: As you look around here and you see all these people who are out here, coming by the thousands really every day, what does it do for you?

TAYLOR: This place has been remarkable, and the feeling here, the sound, it's somber. Everybody comes into this place, it's sort of sacred space. It's a place of memory and of hope and of healing.

LEMON: Yes. It is somber, but it's also people said they don't want to be too (INAUDIBLE) - they want to be inspired and they want to smile a little bit, because they know things, listen, as bad as it is, things are going to get better.

TAYLOR: Yes. We did some laughing in church as well today.

LEMON: You did?

TAYLOR: Yes, it's important to laugh. I told some jokes. We did some things. You have to. Part of it is the release and part of it is, you know, there is still things to be thankful for. There's still much joy in the world.


TAYLOR: We talked about babies and children and innocence.

LEMON: Thank you. Thank you very much. You helped me. Your voice is to soothing and your presence is so soothing. Thank you.

TAYLOR: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: We really appreciate.

TAYLOR: Thank you for being here and visiting us in Boston and telling our story. That has been important to us as well.

LEMON: You guys have been very gracious and open and warm and welcoming. We really appreciate you. TAYLOR: Boston is warm and welcoming. It really is.

LEMON: Except for the temperature. I'm going to go put a scarf on.

TAYLOR: There is that. Yes.

LEMON: Thank you.

There was another marathon, the Oklahoma City Marathon today. Lots of security, but it did go off without a hitch. A lot of people ran in that marathon, they didn't get to finish this one and that was their way to finish the marathon. We'll talk about that coming up.


LEMON: Sarah Hunt was so close to finishing her first marathon when two bombs exploded in Boston, just a block from the finish line.


SARAH HUNT, BOSTON MARATHON RUNNER: Panic set in, and it was chaos through Boston, especially where I was. People were running everywhere.


LEMON: Today Hunt ran again at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. Event organizers invited runners who were unable to finish in Boston to participate. The event honors victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Many of the runners wore red socks today to honor the Boston victims.

In Spain, a moment of silence for Boston's victims today at the Madrid marathon. Thousands of people used two fingers to form a lower case "b" in solidarity with Boston. Security was beefed up at both the Madrid and Oklahoma marathons today.

And with the anxiety of another attack still fresh in the minds of Americans, how might security change at major U.S. events?

CNN's Nick Valencia talked with a security expert.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Almost two weeks since the Boston bombings a new Gallup poll reports half of Americans believe a terrorist attack on the United States could be imminent. 40 percent worry a family member will be a victim of an attack.

With the anxiety of another attack fresh in the minds of many Americans, exactly how security might change at major U.S. events is as relevant a question as ever. And while total security cannot be guaranteed, especially in large crowds, experts say the risk of an attack can certainly be reduced.

LOU MARCIANI, It's all about risk management.

VALENCIA: As the director of the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security since 2006, Lou Marciani has trained thousands of first responders and universities to increase sports security awareness.

For him, the Boston Marathon bombings was a lesson learned in preparedness.

MARCIANI: We worked so hard in this country, as I said, to harden stadiums and arenas, so people look at maybe softer targets and if you look at access, events like marathons, cycling, et cetera, it's hard to maintain a high level of security.

VALENCIA: And as tens of thousands prepare for this weekend's New Orleans Jazz Festival and next weekend's Kentucky Derby, that's exactly what officials will try to do. But even with the tightened security, making the crowd feel totally safe post-Boston may be the biggest challenge.

Nick Valencia, CNN, Atlanta.


LEMON: All right. Nick, thank you very much.

We're here live from Boston. More from this great city coming up, next.


LEMON: After two weeks of tragic news, Boston, West Texas, and midwest flooding, the nation got a chance to laugh last night and you heard the Reverend talk about laughing in church today.

Washington's annual right of spring did not disappoint. The White House Correspondents Dinner attracted an A-list of Hollywood celebrities to join President Obama and Washington journalists for a night of fun and one liners. Check out the highlights.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How do you like my new entrance music?

I understand second term, need a burst of new energy. Try some new things. And my team and I talked about it. We were willing to try anything, so we borrowed one of Michelle's tricks.

CONAN O'BRIEN, COMEDIAN: Seriously, Mr. President, your hair is so white, it could be a member of your cabinet. Speaking of the cabinet, the president recently picked his new treasury secretary Jack Lew. Gives me great joy to know if the president has to let him go, he'll get to say, it's not lew, it's me.

OBAMA: The media landscape is changing so rapidly. You can't keep up with it. I mean, I remember when buzz feed was something I did in college around 2:00 a.m..

O'BRIEN: Some people say print media is dying, but I don't believe it. And neither does my blacksmith.

OBAMA: I'm also hard at work on plans for the Obama library and some have suggested that we put it in my birthplace, but I'd rather keep it in the United States.

O'BRIEN: Some in this room have even accused the president of being distant and aloof. When I asked the president about it earlier, he said, "oh," and then walked away.

OBAMA: I'm taking my charm offensive on the road. A Texas barbecue with Ted Cruz. Kentucky bluegrass concert with Rand Paul. And a book burning with Michele Bachmann.

O'BRIEN: As you all know, the president is hard at work creating jobs. Since he was first elected, the number of popes has doubled.

OBAMA: One senator who has reached across the aisle recently is Marco Rubio, but I don't know about 2016. I mean, the guy has not even finished a single term in the Senate and he thinks he's ready to be president.

O'BRIEN: Governor Christie and Shaquille O'Neal are sitting at the same dinner table. So let's give it up for the real unsung hero tonight, their waiter.


LEMON: There's a lot more good stuff in there. Did you miss it? Well, coming up at the top of the hour, you can catch the best of the White House Correspondents dinner. We got a full hour of highlights, 8:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.

An amazing display of courage and love has grown here in Boston. You've got to see some of this. I'm going to talk to you about that next.


LEMON: Severe storms causing lots of headaches across the midwest. Check out the size of these hailstones which fell last night near Oklahoma City. Look at those things. The storm caused major damage to roofs and power lines. Police tell local affiliate the Southern Plains Indian Museum also sustained significant damage.

Some folks in Texas are cleaning up from flash flooding. A strong storm roared through Houston yesterday dumping as much as eight inches of rain. Fire crews had to rescue more than 150 drivers from high waters, and at the height of the storm, more than 120,000 people were left without power.

Several cities farther north still under the threat of major flooding. Heavy rain and snow, snow melt, have pushed water over banks in some states including Illinois, Missouri, and North Dakota. The greatest threat appears to remain in the Fargo Red River area. Substantial flooding is expected there this week. President Obama has allocated federal funding to the Fargo area to help emergency efforts.

At least 14 victims lost a limb as a result of the Boston Marathon bombings. For some of them, recovery will be a slow process. Dr. Sanjay Gupta looks at what they will face as he talks with an amputee who is going through it, right now.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It take times. About six weeks post-surgery for a new amputee to take this first step.

(on camera): One of the most important things is this wound around the amputation has to heal up completely, this incision line that you see over here. After that is done, they actually have to shape the remaining area of the leg and then actually put a - put something on to sort of shrink those tissues, so the prosthetic can go on.

(voice-over): Every patient that suffers an amputation goes through tailored therapy to learn how to use their new limb. Peter Coolid (ph) who lost his leg during complications from diabetes has had his prosthetic leg less than two weeks.

(on camera): The signs of progress can be small sometimes but look, no hands. He was using one hand earlier. Two hands before that. Let me show you something else if you come around and take a look. When you actually look specifically what's happening with his feet over here, he's stepping up with his good leg over here. Look what's happening with the prosthetic, it get the sort of expect what you want, the heel-to-toe sort of rock. That's doesn't come naturally. That's something Pete really has to practice.

(voice-over): Surprisingly everyday tasks you like making coffee is part of therapy as well.

(on camera): He's not holding on to anything right now. He's able to keep his balance on his own, trusting his leg, he's distracted not thinking about that, and he has got a lot of balance that he's testing and successfully testing by actually moving around the kitchen here.

He's never done this before. I mean, take a look, uneven surface. He has got to essentially bend his knees. A lot harder than it looks for someone who just has a brand new prosthetic device.

Pretty good, Pete.

(voice-over): The first month of therapy is all about the basics for lower-limb amputees, taking those first steps to learn to live independently.

(on camera): Some people say, look, this will be sort of a new normal for these patients but you say, it's actually more of just normal.

DR. BRUCE POMERANZ, KESSLER INSTITUTE FOR REHABILITATION: Once they look back on the situation, you know, a year from now, two years from now. Yes, this will be a nightmare, and yes there is a loss that is permanent, but they have every reason to expect that they're going to be able to go on and live the same happy satisfied lives.

GUPTA (voice-over): In fact, thanks to advanced prosthetic technology, most amputees go on to not only live a normal life, but to push themselves even beyond previous expectations.

POMERANZ: The future is much brighter than they could probably imagine at this point in time, but I think for the people in Boston, they'll have that experience.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


LEMON: Back now live here in the great city of Boston, I just kind of want to show everyone where we are here. The city is really beautiful. This has been closed off for so long, really since the marathon happened. This is the edge of Copley Square here, the official Copley Square, the whole area they call it. But this is the official square here. See that Lenox sign down the street here? That's Boylston Street.

On the other side of the street, that's where the first explosion went off. And then a little bit further past that is where the second explosion went off. So we're on the corner now of Boylston and Dartmouth. And so when you walk into here as we go into this, come through here, this is where the memorial has been set up in the square here, and you can see where people come through here. Usually on a normal day people are just kind of hanging out here. Obviously, there's not a memorial and then you walk through. There are news crews, of course, a number of news crews who have been here since all of this happened. And again this is how you walk through this particular memorial. You get people here signing, some younger folks are signing. Where are you guys from?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're from Las Vegas.

LEMON: You're from Las Vegas? And you want to come by and pay your respects?


LEMON: How long have you been here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just got in this morning.

LEMON: Thank you guys for coming out. Finish what you're doing.

And then there's a young lady right here, a gorgeous young lady. What's your name?

JOAN O'SULLIVAN: Joan O'Sullivan.

LEMON: Joan O'Sullivan. That's a nice Italian name - I'm kidding. I know it's Irish. You brought flowers?

O'SULLIVAN: Yes, I did.

LEMON: Where are you from?

O'SULLIVAN: I live in Winthrop now. We came this to pay our respects.

LEMON: Because?

O'SULLIVAN: Because of the terrible thing that happened here. I had to come.

LEMON: You felt compelled.


LEMON: As many people in the entire country really feel compelled.


LEMON: This is not supposed to happen anywhere, in Boston.

O'SULLIVAN: No. It's not supposed to happen anywhere.

LEMON: What do you think the world is coming to?

O'SULLIVAN: It's sad but this is what happened.

LEMON: Well, thank you.

O'SULLIVAN: Thank you. I watch you all the time.

LEMON: Thank you. Nice to meet you. Thank you so much.

And so we come through here, you can see this gentlemen here, lighting candles. Are you making sure these stay lit?


LEMON: Every night. Why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For two weeks? Because me and another guy started this when it was way down there. And this is a good spot at night. They like to pray here and sing here. So this is what I do.

LEMON: I saw you out there, the original, when it was down where the barricade was across Boylston Street, right? And then they moved it to the other side of the street and then they moved it here. So how big has this thing gotten?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Huge. And thousands of people come here every day. And it's incredible what they do, what they bring, what they say. And like I said, on this site they kneel down, they pray and they sing out loud.

LEMON: This thing shows the heart of the city, doesn't it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's unbelievable. It's people from all over, not just the city. From overseas, too. But this is my job. And I love doing it. I haven't missed a day yet.

LEMON: You're doing a great job. What's your name again?

KEVIN BROWN: Kevin Brown.

LEMON: Kevin, thank you so much. Bless you. We appreciate it.

It's beautiful. The chimes are going in the background as if on cue here. It's just amazing to see this. Again, as you see, it is sad, we don't want to be too maudlin about it. For me personally it feels odd to be here after having covered Newtown and after having seen a similar memorial pop up there. But Boston will bounce back.

After this break, a little levity. People need to smile. We're going to play the best of the White House Correspondents Dinner, just in case you missed it. That's right after this break on CNN. Don't go anywhere.