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Mourners in Turkey Confronted with Water Cannons; Questions over MH370 Satellite Data; Hillary Clinton Surprises Barbara Walters; David Letterman's Regret for Lewinski Jokes; Narendra Modi Elected Indian Prime Minister; Interesting Battle in Idaho Governor Election.

Aired May 16, 2014 - 13:30   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. I'm Wolf Blitzer, reporting from Washington.

In Turkey, mourners were marching to honor those killed in the Soma mine disaster where they were suddenly confronted by riot police using water cannon and tear gas.

Our senior international correspondent, Ivan Watson, is joining us from Soma.

Ivan, tell us what's going on over there.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the town is kind of returning back to some normality, though several people say they know at least one person killed in this fire in a mountain just a few miles from here, in a coal mine. What we witnessed was incredible. Several thousand people dressed in black chanting, "Soma," the name of this town, "Don't sleep, remember our dead." And marching towards the central square where there's a statue of a couple of miners. And they were going to read a statement. They were intercepted by lines of riot police who pushed them back and then unleashed water cannons on the mourners and started firing tear gas at the mourners. I saw a guy get knocked out and get carried off. Some of the tear gas canisters were landing in the balconies of apartments here and belching tear gas into people's homes. It was an incredible scene to see. The use of force four days after nearly 300 local men died under that mountain, just a few miles away from here, men who earned about $500 to $750 a month digging for coal -- Wolf?

BLITZER: Awful situation over there. So what's the latest on the tragedy at the mine itself? Are they still searching? Do they still believe it's possible anyone might still be alive?

WATSON: We're not hearing much hope from people. Today, authorities say the fire that was raging at the depths of the mines appears to have been put out. Authorities saying they still are looking for 18 miners still missing. And also we're getting more details from the company that owns the mine. They say they closed one of the safe rooms at the depths of the mine and they were planning to build a new one. That's a place where miners could have presumably got clean air and protect themselves from the carbon monoxide poisoning that killed more than 280 people, and now we're learning there was no safe room for these people to run to. That's something that's going to need to be investigated.

Wolf, I saw a man weeping on the street today in front of riot police saying, "Why are you firing tear gas at us? They still haven't found my friends who are in the mine." Just to give you a sense at how the security forces kind of hit the people of this town when they're very, very far down right now -- Wolf?

BLITZER: Yeah. Handled -- terribly handled by government officials clearly.

Ivan, thanks very, very much for that report.

Other news we're following, it's been one of the most important parts of the investigation of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, the satellite data that has shaped the search for the missing jet. But some 70 days after it disappeared, there are now fresh questions about who has that data and why the public hasn't seen it.

CNN's Jim Clancy tried to get some answers.


JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What happened to flight 370 is the biggest mystery in the history of modern aviation. But the raw data gleaned from satellite handshakes as the plane flew thousands of miles off course is not a mystery. It may instead become a controversy.

HISHAMMUDDIN HUSSEIN, MALAYSIA'S ACTING TRANSPORT MINISTER: The raw data is with Inmarsat, not Malaysia, not with Australia, not with MES. So if there is any request for this raw data to be made available to the public, it must be made to Inmarsat.

CLANCY: Australian s heading the search in the Southern Indian Ocean tells CNN they don't have the raw data either, but Inmarsat, the company that owns the satellites, insists that data has already been released.

CHRIS MCLAUGHLIN, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, INMARSAT: We've shared the information that we have and it's for the investigation to decide what and when it puts out.

CLANCY: The truth, it seems, somewhere in between. Malaysia, as the country in charge of the investigation, is supposed to control the release of any information. But in this case, the conclusions were shared in a presentation on a laptop computer. Malaysia's transport minister insists he doesn't have the raw data itself. Malaysia and everyone else have the conclusions. That's the sequence of maps that was produced by reading satellite data that showed the jetliner was somewhere along a huge arc. Further calculations, aided by Boeing, Malaysian Airlines and others, placed flight 370 in the Southern Indian Ocean, nearly out of fuel and far from land.

(on camera): Is a reassessment of raw satellite data in order? CNN has asked the Malaysian government if it would request raw data from Inmarsat in the hopes it could then, in some form, perhaps be made public and openly examined. The man in charge of the search warns some of the world's best experts are confident the current analysis is correct, but even he doesn't rule out some kind of review.


BLITZER: Jim Clancy, thank you. Jim Clancy reporting for us.

The Malaysian government, by the way, says it has set up a new committee to help streamline communications between the countries involved in the search, the families and others.

In medical news, the FDA is lowering the recommended dose of a popular sleep aid. That's because of concerns about lingering effects the day after taking the drug. The agency decreased the recommended starting dose of Lunesta from two milligrams to one milligram. Officials say a study showed driving skills may be impaired as long as 11 hours after taking the medication. According to the product's website, Lunesta is the number-one prescription sleep aid.

Coming up, never-been-seen video of Franklin Delano Roosevelt walking. We have the amazing footage, the remarkable story behind it. That's coming up. And a major TV star expressing regret now about humiliating Monica Lewinsky when her affair with President Clinton became public. We're going to tell who and why and more details. That's coming up.


BLITZER: Barbara Walters got a surprise visitor on her final day hosting "The View." Hillary Clinton stopped by to wish the retiring journalist some good luck. And being the consummate journalist that she is, Barbara Walters couldn't let an opportunity like that go by without asking the former secretary of state a few pointed questions. Watch this.


BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, THE VIEW: The question I want to ask is are you going to run but --

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, I am running. Around the park.


WALTERS: Chelsea's going to have a baby.


WALTERS: I love your daughter.

CLINTON: Oh, my gosh. I'm --

(CROSSTALK) WALTERS: What do you want to be called?

CLINTON: I don't know yet. We don't know if it's a boy or if it's a girl.

WALTERS: Do you like Nana?

CLINTON: I like a lot --


WALTERS: Do you like President Clinton? Does that --



BLITZER: The ladies are having a lot fun over there.

Barbara also spoke to David Letterman this week. The late-night TV host opened up to her about a personal regret he has, telling all those jokes he made years ago at the expense of Monica Lewinsky.

Brian Todd is here taking a closer look.

He got pretty poignant.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He did, Wolf. This was Wednesday night on "The Late Show" on CBS. He's with Barbara Walters. They're talking about Monica Lewinsky's first person essay in "Vanity Fair." And by the tone of the audience, you had the impression they were going to start -- or Letterman was going to start launching into some jokes. But instead, they got on the subject of how Lewinsky had written that she had had a tough time getting employment, she had been humiliated. Letterman got very serious. Here's a clip.


DAVID LETTERMAN, FORMER HOST, THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN: I feel bad because I and other shows like this made relentless jokes about the poor woman and she was a kid. She was 21 or 23 or something.

WALTERS: She's 40 now, hard to believe.

LETTERMAN: Yeah. I feel bad about my role in helping push the humiliation to the point of suffocation.

WALTERS: Good, then we can stop it.


TODD: David Letterman, of course, would have plenty of company in that regard because a lot of people were piling on in those days. Wolf, what was interesting is Letterman asked would Walters have Lewinsky on "The View" and Walters very cagily hinted that maybe there had been some offers or something there. She said something like, "I won't tell you what we would have done, but it would have been possible. I don't think that's what she wanted." Walters said, "I think it would be great if she were on 'The View.' I wouldn't expect it tomorrow." That was an interesting part of the conversation.

BLITZER: There's also some other criticism of people who made a lot of fun of Monica Lewinsky.

TODD: Maureen Dowd, the "New York Times" columnist, wrote last week, about Lewinsky, quote, "Her bullies were also the Clintons and their vicious attack dogs who worked so hard to turn that," quote, "that woman, as Bill so coldly called her, into the scapegoat." What's interesting, Wolf, is we called a lot of those former Clinton officials to see if they would talk and about this whole story and a lot of them don't want to talk. They flat-out told me, I just don't want to talk now. It's interesting.

BLITZER: Thanks, Brian, for that. You're working the story. We'll have more later in "The Situation Room."

TODD: Certainly.

BLITZER: Politics with a western twist. A cowboy, a biker, two other guys walked on a state. They all want to be the governor of Idaho. You're going to want to see what this debate resulted in.


BLITZER: It's already being called a new start for India. In a land- slide victory, Narendra Modi claiming victory in the race for prime minister. It's a significant shift for the world's largest democracy.

Becky Anderson joins us from New Delhi now to break it down.

Becky, as you know, Modi leads the Nationalist Party but has a controversial past. At one point, the U.S. denied him a visa to enter the United States. The White House, just moments ago, they announced he will be welcome to the United States. President Obama will be reaching out to him shortly. But first of all, tell us why he was denied a U.S. visa.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Listen, Wolf, it's interesting that that information is only just coming to light. The fact that the U.S. has said it will now grant him a visa, they say, as all heads of state are given. Because it was only an hour or so ago that I spoke to the BJP spokesperson, which is the party that Modi represents, and he told me effectively they were waiting for a call. There was a sense of pride in all of this, from what is the largest democratic exercise the world has ever seen. Over half a billion people have spoken. They have voted for a tea seller-turned politician. The world, of course, now waits to see what Narendra Modi will do next.

You are absolutely right to point out that this is a man who, until today at least, had been denied a visa as a result of some anti-Muslim riots back in 2002. He was governor of the state at the time. He was accused of overseeing what was a death of more than a thousand Muslims in these anti-Muslim riots. He was cleared by the Supreme Court here, but under a very little known act, a law in the United States. He had his tourist visa revoked and it has never been given back to him. It also has to be said that other European countries revoked visas at the time, but they have all been put back into place. Certainly, the U.K. does. The U.S. now, it seems, at least, following that. They will want to get to know this guy. The relationship of late between the U.S. and India is one that both sides need to have a look at. This is a $2 trillion economy. It sits on Pakistan's border. It's in the region of China. There's a buffer here for the United States if they get on with India.

BLITZER: Maybe a rough start but clearly the White House, the State Department, they're ready to begin a new relation. He will be welcome, they say, into the United States.And you should get ready, probably a phone call, a congratulatory phone call coming from President Obama fairly soon.

Becky, thanks very much.

So what happens when you mix a cowboy, a biker and two regular guys out there on a stage? It's the race for governor of Idaho. You're going to see some of this debate and how it got revved up.


BLITZER: The battle over some issues in Idaho turned bizarre Wednesday night as some colorful Republican candidates for governor presented their different platforms.

Bill Weir broke down the epic debate on "CNN Tonight."


BILL WEIR, CNN HOST, CNN TONIGHT: We are many months away from the midterms, but when it comes to entertaining debates, I will bet you a mortgage payment that nothing will top what happened last night in Boise as candidates for the governor of Idaho squared off. And it started predictably enough with an opening statement by the incumbent, Butch Otter.

BUTCH OTTER, (R), GOVERNOR OF IDAHO: We have a clear path before us and I'm committed to following that path.


Senator Fulcher, your opening remarks.


Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Russ Fulcher. I'm a fourth- generation Idahoan. I'm from a dairy farm family from Meridian.

WEIR: All right, good to meet you. And those are the two main politicians leading the polls. But to the credit of Governor Otter, he insisted that all candidates get to debate, including a gentleman name Walt Bayes.

WALT BAYES, (R), IDAHO GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I stand on principles. I went to jail for a homeschooler. My kids turned out pretty good. I had four sons that made pro rodeo cowboys and one daughter.

WEIR: And then there is Mr. Harley Brown.

HARLEY BROWN, (R), IDAHO GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I was filling out my taxes a couple of months ago and I thought to myself, thank god we don't get all the government that we pay for.

Anyhow, I got out of the service and, several years later, I was at the low point of my life. Things were bad and I cried out to God. I said God, how about putting me back on active duty and making me a battalion commander. Long story, short, he said, no, son, I have a higher rank for you. I'm going to make you the commander in chief. And I stagger not at his promise. I'll get into that more with you. Don't think I'm crazy, because I'm not.

WEIR: No, no, no. We would never. No, please, go on.

BROWN: I don't like political correctness. Can I say this? It sucks. It's bondage. I'm about as politically correct as your proverbial turd in a punch bowl.

WEIR: That is when I knew this is going to be really good. They debated Obamacare and federal land use and wolf hunting and gay marriage, which seemed to form a consensus against.

FULCHER: When you start redefining what marriage is, you start impacting other laws throughout the state.

OTTER: When you redefine marriage, you redefine the whole idea of family.

BAY: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman burned in lusts one towards another.

WEIR: That's Walt reading from a very, very tiny Bible.

And next, Harley "Punch Bowl" Brown. So let's see where he comes down on gay marriage.

BROWN: I used to drive taxis in Boise for 20 years at night. And I have picked up my fair share of the gay community and they have true love for one another. I'm telling you, they love each other more than I love my motorcycle. And you know, they are just as American as a Medal of Honor winner.

WEIR: Did not see that coming. Bravo.

BROWN: You have a choice, folks, a cowboy, a curmudgeon, a biker or a normal guy. Take your pick, and thank you very much. We're leaving it up to you.


WEIR: There you go. We have a new version of the Village People and they live in Idaho.


BLITZER: Thank you for that.

Other story we're following, the Pennsylvania State Archives have just released never-before-seen video of Franklin Roosevelt. It shows FDR, who was paralyzed by polio, walking. His legs are supported by braces as we walks up a ramp at the 1937 Major League Baseball all-star game.

That's it for me. Thanks for watching.

NEWSROOM with Brooke Baldwin starts right now.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: And here we go. Good afternoon.