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Restraining Order for Bully?; Interview with Actor Noah Wyle; Interview With Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison; Interview with Rodney King; Saints GM Accused of Eavesdropping; Asteroid Aspirations

Aired April 24, 2012 - 08:00   ET



SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome, everybody.

Our STARTING POINT this morning: A mom's desperate fight for battle a bully. When she asked -- why she asked for a restraining order against a fourth grader that she says put her daughter in the hospital.

Twenty years after the riots. No one with will forget Rodney King. He's written a new book. He's going to join us to talk about that.

Plus, is Timothy Geithner plotting his exit strategy? Reports that the U.S .treasury secretary he could be going back to school.

And it sounds like a sci-fi movie. A company announced today they are heading to space to mine asteroids and it could mean some seriously big bucks.

It's Tuesday, April 24th. STARTING POINT begins right now.


O'BRIEN: And that is off of the commander's list. (INAUDIBLE) without this morning. It's his playlist. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "Learning to Fly."

Let's intro our panel this morning. Besides the commander, we're also joined by Will Cain who's with us this morning from and, John Fugelsang, who's a political comedian.

Nice to have you both.

Let's get right to headlines first. Christine Romans has a look at those for us.

Hey, Christine. Good morning.


Five states are holding Republican primaries today. Polls are now open in Connecticut, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, with 204 total delegates at stake. Mitt Romney has been campaigning in Pennsylvania, a state he hopes to carry in November.

Even if Romney wins every primary delegate tonight, he won't have enough to formally clinch the nomination. That's likely to happen next month.

We may be witnessing the final hours of Newt Gingrich's campaign. The former speaker tells NBC News he'll have to reassess his campaign if he doesn't win the Delaware primary today. He's also warning Mitt Romney not to become complacent, saying the nomination is not inevitable.

Andrew Young, the government's star witness and John Edwards' former aide will be back on the stand in about an hour and a half in a trial of the disgraced former senator. Young testified yesterday for two hours, telling the court he had suspicions his boss was having an affair with videographer Rielle Hunter back in 2006.

Edwards is accused of spending nearly $1 million in illegal campaign contributions to cover up that affair and to cover up the daughter he fathered with hunter.

A report out this morning says Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is working on an exit strategy. "The New York Post" says Geithner's father-in-law was overheard talking in a bar in New York City that President Obama's choice for World Bank president was made so that Geithner could take over as president of Dartmouth College. But Geithner apparently doesn't want the Dartmouth job now and looking for something else or so says the gossip pages of "The Post".

A spokesman for the Treasury told "The New York Post" that it's interesting theory, but, quote, "it has disadvantage of being made up." And, of course, we know that Timothy Geithner is likely to depart after the election.

All right. Baltimore police make a second arrest in a brutal beating that became a viral video. They are still looking for several suspects seen in the cell phone video. The victim was beaten, robbed and stripped of his clothes in downtown Baltimore. Remember on St. Patrick's Day weekend?

Investigators say 20-year-old Shayona Davis was seen beating him with her high heel. She's charged with armed robbery, the weapon being the shoe.

Minding your business: New York stock futures up this morning, bouncing back from steep losses yesterday. Still have some lingering concerns about Europe's economy. That hasn't gone away. That could make for a choppy session today.

And after the closing bell, Apple reports its first quarter profits. They are expected to top $9.2 billion in just three months. That's about as much as oil giant Exxon Mobil expects to earn. Most of those profits likely from -- you guessed it -- iPhone sales.

Hey, where is everyone going? A company in the U.K. accidentally fired its entire staff last Friday. "Reuters" says 1,300 worldwide employees of Aviva Investors, U.K.'s second biggest insurer, they logon to their computers and check e-mails and they saw the shocking news. The e-mail ordered them to hand over company property and their security passes before leaving the building. It went out to people in 16 countries including the U.S. but it was only meant for one employee who was leaving the firm.

H.R. realized the mistake about 25 minutes later and sent out another e-mail un-firing everyone. Well, everyone except for the one person who was actually supposed to be fired and maybe the H.R. person who accidentally sent the e-mail.

Actress Lindsay Lohan ready to bounce back. She's about to take on the role of a Hollywood icon in a Lifetime TV movie. Lohan will star as Elizabeth Taylor in the film "Liz and Dick" based on Taylor's, of course, long and winding love affair with Richard Burton. Filming begins in June. It's expected to premiere in the fall, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: I'm surprised they actually look a lot alike.

ROMANS: Yes. Especially when she has dark hair. As a blonde not so much but with dark hair she does.

O'BRIEN: Their facial structure looks the same.

All right. Christine, thank you.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

O'BRIEN: Well, a bully's day in court is set for May 2nd and that alleged bully is a 9 year old. A Kentucky mother is seeking a 500-foot restraining order against her daughter's fourth grade classmate saying one particular boy has bullied her daughter since last year -- at one point, sending the little girl to the hospital after he kicked her. She says the school didn't do enough to stop the situation and refused requests to transfer her daughter out.

The school tells us this: "We received no specific allegations of continued bullying until late last week. The new allegations will be investigated and appropriate action will be taken."

That mom is also seeking compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish and fear of continued bullying.

Joining us this morning, Joy Furman, that's the mom, along with her attorney, Teddy B. Gordon.

Nice to see you both. Thanks for talking with us. We appreciate it.

Joy, why don't you start for me? What exactly was happening to your daughter? She's in fourth grade, right?


O'BRIEN: So, tell me a little bit about what was happening. What is going on?

FURMAN: She was being bullied by a boy in her class and several other students that were followers of his.

O'BRIEN: When you say bully, what do you mean? Give me some specifics of what was happening to your daughter?

FURMAN: Name calling, pushing, shoving, knocking her head into a projector and then the karate kick in her chest and threatening now with scissors.

O'BRIEN: How long did that kind of action go on for?

FURMAN: It's been going on for two years now.

O'BRIEN: So from third grade now into fourth grade.

FURMAN: Yes, ma'am.

O'BRIEN: So you are sitting next to your attorney. Why did you feel the need to bring an attorney into this?

FURMAN: I contacted the school and tried to go through the school to handle these measures. Nothing was being done. My daughter was still being bullied. So, I called Mr. Gordon.

O'BRIEN: So, before I get to you, Mr. Gordon, last question for this moment for Joy, which is: when you talked to the school, what did they tell you? They ignored you or did they give you some kind of answer?

FURMAN: They would tell me they were going to try to transfer her out of that classroom, but it took so long that the bullying still continued after numerous complaints.

O'BRIEN: All right. Mr. Gordon, how many bullies cases have you taken on in your career as an attorney?

TEDDY B. GORDON, ATTORNEY: Currently in the past three, I have five more to go.

O'BRIEN: Wow. Wow. That sounds really high to me. Is this some kind of -- I hate to use the word epidemic, but big increase since three years ago, five years ago?

GORDON: I think it's in epidemic proportions. And, unfortunately, Jefferson County public schools has a way of circling the wagons, fearing some type of litigation. And that's exactly what they got. All they had to do was transfer the young lady and we asked she be transferred out of the school. That didn't happen.

So, we were left with no other alternative but to go forward. That's the last thing we need and last thing we need is 10 year olds going to court to protect themselves.

O'BRIEN: Yes. It does sound somewhat over the top. Let me read a little bit of what the school said. They said, "There are a lot of things we do to work with bullying cases. Sometimes it's as simple as moving kids to opposite sides of the classroom. A lot of time, we work it out between the two children and the two families."

Joy, have you had an opportunity to sit down with the bully's parents and sort of try to figure out how to come to some kind of understanding so it stops?

FURMAN: No, ma'am.

O'BRIEN: You haven't had a chance to do it or you're not interested?

FURMAN: No, they never brought that chance to me when I first contacted the school about the situation.

O'BRIEN: Interesting.

All right. So as we were talking about a moment ago, Mr. Gordon, a restraining order. Some people might think it's over the top. What's the process now?

You want a 500-foot restraining order, which means -- I don't know how you would manage fourth grade classes that way. What exactly do you want out of the restraining order?

GORDON: Well, needless to say, in abuse situations and domestic violence cases, the court immediately enters a 500-foot restraining order. We asked for no less than any other wife or husband that would be abused.

And if it causes the young man to be out of the courtroom or JCPS acquiesced on our request to be transferred to have a nice 20 days left of school, that's what we would like.

O'BRIEN: So, there's only 20 days left of school and this hearing isn't until may 2nd, I understand, so it's at the end of the day it will be less than that. What happens in fifth grade?

I mean, assume it's a relatively small community and everybody moves up. What are you going to do next?

GORDON: It really isn't a small community. There's over 100,000 in the school system.

O'BRIEN: I meant the school -- the size of the school.

GORDON: Well, we have a student assignment plan in Jefferson County public schools and students are bussed in from everywhere. So, we're once again going to go through the transfer process and hope the young lady is taken out of this particular school.


Teddy Gordon is the attorney. Joy Furman is seeking a restraining order against a classmate in her fourth grade class. Thank you for talking with us.

FURMAN: You're welcome. Thank you.

O'BRIEN: We'll see what happens on May 2nd. We're interested in that.

GORDON: Thank you.

O'BRIEN: Actor Noah Wyle has been arrested at a protest in Washington D.C. Hundreds of people gathered at a congressional office building to protest potential cuts in Medicaid. It's been proposed by House Republicans.

The rally was organized by ADAPT, the Americans with Disabilities for Attendant Programs Today.

Noah Wyle joins us by phone.

Good morning. Nice to talk to you. You have been arrested. Am I your one phone call or are you out?

NOAH WYLE, ACTOR (via telephone): I'm out, (INAUDIBLE) seven hours ago.

O'BRIEN: OK. Tell me about what led up to the arrest?

WYLE: It was -- I came to Washington to take part in a fun run which was to bring some attention to the organization, ADAPT. And then there was a planned action yesterday at an undisclosed location which became the congressional office building where we took over the rotunda and did some nice chanting and then were summarily arrested for our efforts.

O'BRIEN: It looks like sort of a sit-in civil disobedience, right, in the rotunda building.

How many folks were arrested along with you?

WYLE: I never got a really accurate count. I think it was around 117.

O'BRIEN: So, what do you think was accomplished by that? I mean, outside of the fact that you made a lot of papers today, do you feel you made movement on this issue? Would you go back to being arrested?

WYLE: We're trying to bring the other side of the conversation to the table. I think a lot of people think of cuts in Medicaid as being a fairly decent cost saving measure without too serious of ramifications. But it actually is kind of gutting the social service network and safety net that exists for 58 million Americans currently and that story doesn't really get told.

So, this is a group of people that don't have a lot of political power and not a huge voting bloc, and I thought if I showed up, I might get more attention for the cause.

O'BRIEN: It worked. You've said this is not a medical issue. That this is really a civil rights issue. What do you mean by that?

WYLE: Well, people should have the right to live wherever they want. That's the focus of the issue, to try to put people out of institutions and into independent assessable, affordable housing and the people I was with yesterday are some of the sharpest people and most courageous and strongest people I've ever met in my life. And often times, they are relegated to second-class citizens at best, and subhuman at worst. That's absolutely criminal.

O'BRIEN: And that's because many of them, as we can see in the video, are in wheelchairs is what you're talking about, correct?

WYLE: Correct.

O'BRIEN: Well, Noah Wyle joining us by phone, talking about the civil disobedience that took place in the rotunda building. Thank you for talking with us. I appreciate it.

WYLE: Thanks for having me on. I really appreciate it.

O'BRIEN: You bet. You bet.

Still ahead on STARTING POINT: The former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has a new job in prison. We'll tell you how he's been spending his time.

Plus, Susan Sarandon, security risk? We'll tell you why the actress says the White House is watching her and banning her from a visit.

This is Christine Romans' playlist, Jim Croce, "Don't Mess Around With Jim."

You're watching STARTING POINT.


O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. New reports to talk to you about with some pretty interesting numbers.

Immigration from Mexico is now at a net zero. According to Pew Hispanic Research from 2005 to 2010, 1.4 million immigrants moved to the United States. During that same time, 1.4 million moved back to the U.S., back from Mexico -- I mean, rather, from the U.S. back to Mexico.

Joining me this morning, Republican senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas who's dealt with a number of immigration issues in her time in office. It's nice to see you. Thanks for being with us. We certainly appreciate it. This report I thought was pretty interesting, this idea of a net zero. What do you think has caused that? The number moving in the same as the number moving out?

SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, (R) TEXAS: Well, I think our bad economy is a major reason. We just have not been able to employ the people who are coming here seeking employment. I also think that we are beginning to get the border control and the border enforcement in order, and I think people are realizing that they may be deported, and they may never be able to come back in legally if they are deported, because we're getting better data banks.

So, all of these things, I think, are a factor but I think it still begs the question: why don't we have an immigration policy that supports our border patrol and also allows legal immigration?

O'BRIEN: Apprehension among illegal border crossers down 70 percent. That number was a surprise to me. Does that surprise you?

HUTCHISON: Well, somewhat, but not completely, because I think that there is still encroachment on the border that is illegal, and I think, you know, we have, Soledad, clearly criminal activity coming across the border as well, and that's very problematic.

We know that in Mexico, the violence is really atrocious on the border and people are being killed and that is beginning to encroach in the cartels into the United States. So, that is, perhaps, not being caught and that's where we need to really crack down.

JOHN FUGELSANG, POLITICAL COMEDIAN: Good morning, Senator. This is John Fugelsang. Considering that the current Democratic president has had a record number of deportations as well as moving National Guard troops to the border, is there any credit to be given to this administration for these declining numbers or do you assign it mostly to the economy?

HUTCHISON: Well, I think that we all want to work together and give the president credit, give the law enforcement people credit, the border patrol. We've been doubling the border patrol and tripling it over the last ten years. I think all of these things come together, and I wouldn't take away anything.

I do think that it is important that we continue border enforcement, but also, it's time for Congress to act to allow farm workers, for instance, to come in. Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, Arizona, as well, and California have problems getting the foreign workers so we need to have a way to have a guest worker program that would be enacted that would allow workers to go back and forth legally and do work that isn't being done by Americans.

O'BRIEN: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison joining us this morning. Nice to see you. Thank you for your time. Appreciate it.

HUTCHISON: Thank you, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Still ahead on STARTING POINT, 20 years ago, Los Angeles erupted in a rage in a case that involved race alleged police brutality. The man in the middle of it back then was Rodney King. Now, he's written a new book. He's going to join us to talk about it.

Plus, New Orleans Saints finding themselves in the middle of another scandal, potentially. Did their general manager bug the superdome to try to get an unfair edge? Here's Will's playlist, Michael Jackson, "Billy Jeans." You're watching STARTING POINT.


O'BRIEN: That's off of Dr. Sanjay Gupta's playlist. It's Robert Palmer, "Bad Case of Loving You."

You can see our entire playlist every morning on our website at You know, yes, Sanjay goes heavy on the doctor songs. Absolutely.

A year ago, Dr. Carlos Zayas nearly died from cancer. Now, he's helping other Hispanic to find bone marrow transplants so they, too, can have a second chance at life. Dr. Gupta shares his story in today's "Human Factor."


DR. CARLOS ZAYAS, TRANSPLANT DOCTOR, CANCER SURVIVOR: We just came back from Paris. We celebrated 15 years of wonderful marriage at the Eiffel Tower.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Dr. Carlos Zayas, this wedding anniversary celebration almost didn't happen. Three years ago, this transplant surgeon made a shocking discovery. His lymph nodes were swollen, and he suspected he had cancer. His fears were confirmed and the diagnosis, a rare form of blood cancer called peripheral T-cell lymphoma

ZAYAS: It's difficult to treat and has a poor prognosis.

GUPTA: When grueling chemotherapy failed, the transplant doctor needed a transplant himself, a bone marrow transplant. Now, with bone marrow, a near perfect match is necessary for the treatment to be effective, and that's more likely from a donor of the same ethnicity, but the pool of potential donors for Hispanics in the United States is very small.

They only represent about 10 percent of a National Bone Marrow Registry. In Dr. Zayas' case, a very close match was found, but then, the donor back out.

ZAYAS: People join the registry for people that they love or they know. When they get a call about a complete stranger, their answer is, I'm afraid I can't do this.

GUPTA: So, doctors took another look at his siblings, and while his brother, Hector, wasn't a perfect match, Zayas got the transplant any way. Hector's bone marrow started killing the cancer cells, and today, he's in complete remission, back helping patients find organs. Zayas says it was his faith that helped him through the difficult times, and the experience has overall made him a better doctor. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN reporting.


O'BRIEN: If you want to add your name to the National Bone Marrow Registry, you can go to

Ahead on STARTING POINT this morning, 20 years after the L.A. riots, Rodney King shares his experiences in a new book. We'll tell you why he says there's still a racial divide in this country.

Plus, new information on terror plots plan by al Qaeda targeting railroads and retail stores. We've got details straight ahead. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in a moment.


O'BRIEN: That's Coldplay, "Every Tear Drop is a Waterfall." That's off of the commander's playlist. You are winning, by the way, sir.


O'BRIEN: We're going to get to our headlines. Christine's got a look at those this morning. Hey, Christine.



ROMANS (voice-over): Jennifer Hudson broke down in tears as she testified against the man accused of killing her family. The singer says she did not want her sister to marry this defendant, William Balfour. Balfour is now estranged husband of Hudson's sister, Julia. He's accused of shooting Hudson's mother, brother, and seven-year-old nephew. Julia testified yesterday. She says Balfour threatened to kill the family. Balfour has pleaded not guilty.

New details emerging about alleged Al Qaeda plots here in the U.S. An Al Qaeda operative testified about a plan to attack the Long Island railroad train with a suicide bomb as trains enter the tunnel. There was also testimony the terror group planned to target various Wal-Mart locations. A native of long island, New York, quit the U.S. army and later joined Al Qaeda. He was arrested in Pakistan in 2009. He's testifying at the trial of a Queens College grad accused of conspiring in a plot to bomb New York's subways.

Erin Burnett just completed an exclusive interview with Benjamin Netanyahu. He said Israel knows exactly what the Iranians are up to and sanctions may not be the answer.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: They are certainly taking a bite out of the Iranian economy, but so far they haven't rolled back the Iranian program or even stopped it by on iota. I hope that changes, but so far I can tell you they are spinning. They were spinning during the talks. They are spinning as we speak. If the sanctions are going to work, they better work soon.


ROMANS: You can see Erin's interview tonight at 9:00 eastern on "out front."

Joran Van Der Sloot could soon be headed back to the U.S. a judge in Peru approved a request for his detention in the U.S. as the first step for extradition. Van Der Sloot is sentenced to 28 years in prison for the 2010 murder of a Peruvian woman and is also the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway. An attorney says he may be extradited within three months.

Actress and liberal activists Susan Sarandon claims her phone has been tapped and she is under surveillance by the federal government. Sarandon made these comments during a question and answer session at the Tribeca Film Festival here in New York. She says she was recently denied security clearance to go to the White House, has no idea why. Sarandon has been an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq.

It looks like former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich is adjusting to life behind bars. Two of his former attorneys who just visited Blagojevich at the federal prison in Colorado say he's busy washing dishes. He plans to teach Shakespeare, believe it or not. Blagojevich has three cell mates and they say he gets along quite well with all of them. He's a very gregarious guy.


O'BRIEN: There are lots of messages in Shakespeare that apply possibly to his situation. All right, Christine, thank you.

It sparked a nationwide discussion about race, the case of Rodney King, who was videotaped being brutally clubbed by L.A. police officers back in March, 1991. The officers were later acquitted and that sparked some violent riots that swept L.A. 20 years ago this Sunday that left dozens of people dead, more than 1,000 people injured.

Today 20 years later, Rodney King has written his first book reflecting on those events which he writes this. "There is no longer a riot raging within me. I realize I'll always be the poster child for police brutality, but I can try to use that as a positive force for healing and restraint." The book is called "The Riot Within, My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption." Rodney King is with us this morning. Nice to see you.


O'BRIEN: Let's talk about your past. You write about a rough childhood, which leads you up to this point where you are beaten by police officers. And then it continues to be rough through the trial and really through the end. Talk to me a little bit about why you felt like you had to write a book 20 years later.

KING: So my kids could read about it themselves. They wouldn't have to hear it from someone else. It's a lot of kids in high school, colleges, and they send me letters and want to know a bit about the beating 20 years ago. So now I have it in book form. I can let them know that they can read it. A lot is not in there, but a lot is in there from what I could remember and I put it together so that kids can be able to put their reports and everything together.

O'BRIEN: You write about the beating. "I thought I knew every kind of pain possible but that was just terrible." This is when you were being tased by the cops. "A cop wasn't worried about getting shot because the souls of those boots must be made out of rubber. The horrible fact is blood soaking through my clothes made the electrocution worse because the body was wet. Only one thing could make the situation worse was shocking me again because my body and heart was trying to cling to life." Did you think you were going to die?

KING: I knew it was seconds before it was over. By the grace of god, I'm still here, you know.

CAIN: Rodney, we have played this clip several times. I noticed you watching it. The whole world has seen it thousands of times. What do you think when you see that?

KING: I can't believe I made it through it. I've seen it. I've heard it over the years. I've seen it myself. I never thought that I would myself would get caught up in a beating that bad with the police. It's a blessing in one way and it was horrifying when it was going on, you know, back 20 years ago.

O'BRIEN: The officers who beat you were eventually acquitted and that is what really triggered the L.A. riots. What was it like that moment when you saw everything pretty much in your neighborhood start to erupt?

KING: It was -- it felt like the last days on earth, you know. Our whole city was just in turmoil. I had seen it happen in the '60s on film and in classrooms and what they show on TV, but I never thought that I would see it happen in my lifetime. So it was a total shock to me. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On an individual basis, clearly we have made some great strides with race relations. We've gone from your case to electing the first African-American president. You have the Trayvon Martin case now. For individuals out there, how do you think we -- where do you see the future of race relations going and what can individuals do to get a better understanding of each other?

KING: You know, we as individuals ourselves make a big difference when we wake up every day in the morning because the difference that has been made up to this point for me to have my justice heard and me receive justice in court, you know, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, I probably wouldn't even be sitting here. I would have been dead by now. Progress is slow in the country but it works. The justice system does work. When something like that happened to you, you would like to see things happen a lot faster when it comes to race relations, but we've come a long ways and I'm very proud of the distance that we've came from now compared to looking back at the '60s.

O'BRIEN: There are people that would point to the Trayvon Martin and say things are maybe moving not so much.

KING: The thing is -- the truth is from being black is quite different, you know. At times it's rough. I was a little young before too, and I ran into some tough situations, not as much as used to occur but I have run into some situations like that also and what you have is some citizens still wanting to bully some citizens. And it's all about bullying and trying to please other people through low self-esteem of yourself and get points through a different organization where someone will accept you. You have a lot of people trying to get in that position. And they are bullies. They are bullies. You ,know from history of slavery to now, a lot has changed. The mentality is no one thinks about slavery part there but in terms of bullying over the years with that particular black race, it still goes on. It's not as bad as it used to be. The justice system does work.

FUGELSANG: Sir, you know, as famous as you are for the beating, I think you are almost as famous for coming out at the beginning of the riots and saying "Can't we all get along?" I've been disappointed over the past few decades how many people have made fun of that and turned that into a parity because we don't really take nonviolence that seriously as a movement in this country. Have you forgiven these officers?

KING: Yes, I have. I've been forgiven many times. My country has been good to me. I've done some things that wasn't pleasant in my lifetime and I've been forgiven for that. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night or it wouldn't be a part of a citizen for me not to forgive, you know, this horrible situation in my own country. That's like something happening bad in my own house. This country is my house. It's the only home I know. I have to be able to be able to forgive so for the future, for the younger generation coming behind me so it can be room so they can understand, and if a situation like that happened again, that they could deal with it a lot easier.

CAIN: Rodney, you wrote in your book that statement "Can't we all get along" was impromptu. You had a more angry statement ready, and some people didn't like that your statement wasn't more angry and upset. What did they say to you? What did they want from you?

KING: Some of them -- they gave me something to read and I said I'm not reading that. It's not me. It was -- I'm not that type of person. So I spoke from my heart. It turned out a lot better. That's how it came up with "Can't we all just get along?" I said that because I spoke what was in my heart and the only way I'm used to seeing things happen and success and progress occurring is people getting along, people being able to come together even despite their difference in religion and their beliefs. America has always been the type of world that can come together with people and we get a job done. That's what runs in my blood line, get a job done, despite many years ago we were brought here, and now that we're here this is home.

I'm glad that -- I hate the way we had come here but since we're here, it has turned out to be a wonderful thing. I look around at the buildings. I look around at the city and the structures and stuff and that's all of our ancestors and our people, you and our people. We put work in to get us to this point where we are. Now we have a civilized world. It's time for us to catch up with our world around us and get civilized ourselves.

O'BRIEN: And 20 years later. The riot within is the name of the book written by Rodney King. Thank you so much. You can join us on Sunday, which is the 20th anniversary of the riots at 8:0 p.m. eastern as CNN presents "Race and Rage," an in depth look at race relations between police and the black community on Sunday.

Still ahead on STARTING POINT this morning, first it was the bounty scandal and now cheating for the edge. Did the New Orleans Saints spy on opposing teams.

And then drill, baby, drill, in outer space. A plan to mine asteroids could mean profits for the company behind it. We'll talk about that. This is Will's playlist, the Dixie Chicks, "Wide Open Spaces." You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in a moment.


O'BRIEN: Louis Armstrong "When the Saints Go Marching In". One of my favorite songs.

The NFL team that put bounties on opponents, that looks like they may have been spying there too. The New Orleans Saints now denying a report by ESPN that alleges that their General Manager Mickey Loomis eavesdrop on radio communications between opposing coaches for nearly seasons. Loomis say it just didn't happen. A kind of weird report isn't from the ESPN?

FUGELSANG: It is strange and it only covers the years 2002 to 2004. So there's been a bit of lag time between this. In this report coming out they say that they have inside information from people on the Saints. I am starting to wonder why more GMs don't do this to tell you the truth. But it would link directly to the bounty scandal --


O'BRIEN: Because it's illegal.

FUGELSANG: Well of course. It would link directly to the bounty scandal. I mean, you would wonder why would a GM listen in rather than a coach to find out who's injured. And that was the essence of what the bounty scandal was about.

CAIN: I don't know if there's a connection between the two stories except when we talked about this earlier with Dan Marino. I wonder how surprised we should be we had the New Orleans -- New England Patriots spy gate a couple years ago. And people do everything they can to win. So I don't -- I don't know how surprised we should be.

O'BRIEN: Here is what Dan Marino said to us a little bit earlier this morning. Let's play it back.


DAN MARINO, FORMER NFL QUARTERBACK: I think teams have done it a little bit but not to the extent when they're film -- you know when -- when this happened with the Patriots and Belichick they're actually filming it and taking it back. I don't think that in general you know teams are out there. They cheat or get an advantage or hurt another player.


O'BRIEN: You know, I think it's -- what has happened to like integrity in professional sports? I mean is this just a well, it's a bad run on a number of you know high profile sporting teams? Or --

CMDR. KIRK LIPPOLD, USS COLE (Ret.): Tag teams and coaches push the edge for what they can legally do is -- I think everyone realizes that goes on and occasionally they may stray into that gray area. But the reality is people today are really questioning -- what is the integrity? What is that guide post in professional sports today?

CAIN: Just to be the contrarian. I might suggest to you that the only thing that's changed is technology and not the morality.

O'BRIEN: Well they have been wondering.

LIPPOLO: Oh absolutely.

FUGELSANG: Yes well there's the sport and the game. And the sport is where the integrity lies and the game is where the money lies and that's what this is all about.

O'BRIEN: And the technology covers all of that. Very interesting.

All right, still ahead on STARTING POINT this morning. I'm hoping to turn science fiction into some real profits. A mission to mine asteroids -- isn't that scary music? It's already getting James Cameron and Google to put up the cash. The founders of the company are going to join us live up next.

You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in a moment.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What, I'm coming back. Stand by. We are on lockdown.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God, I hate knowing everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You couldn't have picked a worse spot to drill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well are you putting much guarantee it's not going to be thicker than 50 feet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you figure that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because if it is, we're screwed.


O'BRIEN: A man's mission to an asteroid just like the 1998 blockbuster "Armageddon". It might sound like science fiction. But today there's a company called "Planetary Resources" and they're announcing plans that they're going to do just that; (inaudible) they're going to look for water and precious metals like platinum.

They've already got some big cash backing from the likes of Google and Director James Cameron. Peter Diamandis and Eric Anderson are the co-founders of "Planetary Resources". And they'll join us this morning. Nice to see you both.

Peter why don't you start for me, exactly how do you see this working?

PETER DIAMANDIS, CO-FOUNDER & CO-CHAIRMAN, PLANETARY RESOURCES: Well, first of all, we're not sending people to the asteroids. Today more than ever before you can actually build very small, very capable low cost robotic spacecraft that could go out to near-earth asteroids. There are thousands of asteroids that come near the earth/moon system all the time and many of them have resources that are valuable both in space and eventually back here on earth.

O'BRIEN: So Eric then the idea would be you take these sort of machines and you would land directly on an asteroid and then you'd mine it. How literally would you mine the asteroid?

ERIC ANDERSON, CO-FOUNDER & CO-CHAIRMAN, PLANETARY RESOURCES: Well there are -- it depends on a lot of factors, Soledad. First of all it depends on what type of asteroid it is, it depends on where it is, it depends on which of the different categories of resources that we're going after.

For example, in the case of water, which is an extremely valuable resource in space, we may encapsulate the asteroid and then begin to heat up the volatiles on it which are ice and methane and the different substance that can be used to -- to make rocket fuel and then use it as a -- as a deep space propellant depot to help gas up for spacecraft on their way to other destinations beyond the earth.

O'BRIEN: But part of the plan right, is to mind for precious metals like platinum because that figures very much into kind of what the cost benefit analysis I guess would be for the company, right? ANDERSON: Well that certainly is true. we will be starting with water because in actual fact the water is worth something like $20,000 to $50,000 a pound in deep space. But you're absolutely right about the platinum group metals. And platinum as a -- as a substance is super rare on earth. It is one of the substances that is literally $1,500 an ounce.

And so when we talk about things like going to space, it's one of those -- it's one of those areas where even the cost of space flight today are not as much as it is to actually extract platinum and then bring it to market here on the earth's surface.

O'BRIEN: What else besides platinum do you think you might be able to recover?

DIAMANDIS: So you know there's a whole range of rare or strategic metals and minerals that for example in the United States today we get from China or South America and these are scarce, if you would only until technology makes these things abundant again.

And so as we look out at space, everything we hold of value here on earth -- metals, minerals, energy, real estate, water, the things that you know frankly nations fight wars over, are near into the (inaudible) in space. And what our company has the vision backed by some extraordinary investors and advisors is to begin to make -- get access to those resources.

Again, as humanity is moving beyond the earth's bounds, we will be working in public/private partnerships with NASA, with other space agencies to go out there and make those resources available for humanity, for -- for science missions and then ultimately for the metals and mineral markets back here on the earth surface.

FUGELSANG: Good morning, gentlemen. For most of us the concept of landing a craft on an asteroid is the Millennium Falcon in "Empire Strikes Back". But isn't it actually true that it's easier to land on a moving asteroid than it would be on the moon because of a lack of a gravitational pull?

ANDERSON: Well, so first of all, the asteroids are not in a gravity well. So what you said is absolutely true. And the fact that you don't land on asteroids, you actually dock with them. So it's much more similar to docking with a space station that we do all the time than it is to landing on any planetary body, whether it's the moon, Mars, the Earth, et cetera.

And so the asteroids are advantageous from that perspective. And also, they are very plentiful. I think that people may not realize that when we're talking about asteroid mining, we're talking about the near-earth asteroids.

The main belt that lies between Mars and Jupiter is what many people think of when they refer to asteroids but in fact there are tens of thousands of nearest asteroids that are larger than 100 meters to 150 meters in diameter. And these are the perfect size to be used for resources -- perfect.

So in this vicinity that we have around the earth/moon system, these are literally the stepping stones of the solar system that are just waiting to be accessed to help propel humanity off of earth into this situation where we have the entire solar system as our home and not just our own planet.

O'BRIEN: And you guys are first in line to access them. Eric Anderson and Peter Diamandis. Nice to see you guys. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

DIAMANDIS: Good morning. A pleasure.

ANDERSON: Thank you.

O'BRIEN: End point is up next with the panel. Back in a moment.


O'BRIEN: Welcome back. That's my escort from last night. I went to the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of New York dinner. I was the host. That's my son, Jackson. He said he didn't like the word "date". He was happy to be my escort. Dad is out of town. That's bow tie.

Ok. We have 20 seconds left. Why don't you Commander start for us. What's the end point this morning?

LIPPOLD: Well, I think when I listen to Rodney King speak and the progress that we've made, I look back and I'll put it a case in point in my book. Those men and women aboard there of every stripe and color you can imagine from USS Cole did what was necessary to save that ship and I think it really speaks to the future of those young men and women who serve our nation today.

And it starts because of people like Rodney who make it possible by speaking out and giving us the opportunity to learn.

O'BRIEN: That was beautifully put and that's our final word for end point this morning. Thank you so much.

Let's get right to "CNN NEWSROOM with Carol Costello. I'll see everybody back here tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m.

Hey Carol. Good morning, Carol.