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Mexico's New Leader Visits White House; Meeting with Susan Rice Raises More Questions; Gay Conversion Therapy Lawsuit Filed; GivingTuesday Promotes Giving Back; Child with Leukemia Uses Marijuana.

Aired November 27, 2012 - 13:30   ET



PRESIDENT-ELECT ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, MEXICO (through translator): In Mexico, this should take us to do some work that is more efficient in application of justice.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's got new ideas how to fight the war on drugs. He also appreciates the knack there are fewer Mexicans trying to sneak into the United States right now, for a variety of reasons. One reason he says is because the economy in Mexico slowly but surely has been improving. So we went through immigration, we went through the war on drugs, the trade issues. A lot of stuff going on right now in this U.S./Mexican relationship, Suzanne, that affects not only millions of Mexicans but millions of millions of Americans as well.

He's young. He's 46 years old. He's pretty dynamic. He's looking forward to meeting the president of the United States. He says they've never met before, and trying to work out a good, strong, steady relationship.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Wolf, as you know, it's all about relationships. Did he talk at all about trade, the fact that we have so much trade, so much produce coming from China, not necessarily from Mexico?

BLITZER: He thinks that we can make some improvements in NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect during the Clinton administration, Suzanne, as you well remember. He thinks there's a good opportunity for improved trade. He knows that these two countries are connected. When the U.S. economy's strong, that's good for Mexico, vice versa. Given the trade that goes on between these two countries, he'd like to see it strengthened. He has ideas that he's going to raise -- he brought along his expected -- the person expected to be his finance minister, the person expected to be his interior minister, deals with security on those related issues. He's only going to announce his cabinet Friday.

But I think he's looking forward to a strong introductory meeting with President Obama. And I'm sure the president's looking forward to meeting him as well. Some people in Mexico have dubbed him the Mexican Kennedy because of his charisma, his good looks and his youth. Let's see if he can deliver once he's in office.

MALVEAUX: Wolf, we'll be watching your interview on "The Situation Room."

Really appreciate it, the preview there.

The fallout over the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya is now taking another turn. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, today met with Republican Senators who have been criticizing her. Her initial explanation of the September attack for the four Americans killed in Benghazi, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Senators, after the meeting, were even more critical.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Bottom line, I'm more disturbed now than I was before that the 16th September explanation about how four Americans died in Benghazi, Libya, by Ambassador Rice, I think, does not do justice to the reality at the time. And in hindsight, clearly was completely wrong. But here's the key --


MALVEAUX: Rice issued a statement saying that she made it clear there was no intent by the administration to mislead the American people. White House press secretary, Jay Carney, saying the administration is focused now on finding out what happened.

The controversy surrounding Ambassador Rice playing in the cabinet choices. She is considered a possible successor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Timothy Geithner is leaving his post. Among those staying, at least for now, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Attorney General Eric Holder.

Before telling his parent his was gay, Michael Ferguson looked for a way out of his homosexuality. Now, he's suing the group that tried to help convert him.


MICHAEL FERGUSON, FILED CONVERSION THERAPY LAWSUIT: For a period of therapy is multidirectional abuse. And the abuse has to stop.



MALVEAUX: Bradley Manning, heroic whistle-blower or traitor? Or more on the point, today, was Manning, a U.S. soldier, a victim of torture at Virginia's Quantico Marine Base? As early as this afternoon, Manning will testified about that very issue at Ft. Meade. He is accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of war logs and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. But he's likely going to detail how he was treated while confined at Quantico. Manning claims that for nine month his was held in his cell for 23 hours a day, checked every five minutes, and often stripped naked. If that is proven true, Manning could go free.

Some of the most celebrated names in boxing today paid tribute to the late world champion, Hector "Macho" Camacho at a wake in Puerto Rico. Camacho died Saturday from a gunshot wound he suffered earlier in the week outside a bar near San Juan. Camacho was know for his fierce and flamboyant fighting style but led a troubled personal life.

A first of its kind lawsuit has been filed against a group claiming that it can turn gay men straight. The Southern Poverty Law Center, known for going after hate groups, filed the suit on behalf of four men today. The men say they suffered from depression, anxiety after months of therapy with a group called JONAH. That stands for Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing. Men say their parents spent a lot of money on conversion therapy that added up to consumer fraud.


FERGUSON: I watched as grown men were frenzied into fits of emotional rage against their mothers and encouraged to act out physical violence against their parents in order to access their so-called true manhood and become more heterosexual.


MALVEAUX: The lawsuit says the gay conversion techniques included violently beating effigies of their mothers with tennis rackets, having to strip naked in group sessions and being subjected to ridicule and mock locker room scenarios.

CNN has reached out to the conversion group, JONAH, for comment and has not received a response.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday encourages shopping, right? Today, we'll focus on giving instead of getting.


MALVEAUX: Shopping days called Black Friday, Cyber Monday motivates people to buy big after Thanksgiving. For the first time, there is day devoted to giving back. It's world wide. It's called Giving Tuesday, today. The web site, You can look up hundred of charities or even volunteer opportunities in your own communities and it's through the one web site.

Kathy Calvin, one of the founders of the day, is CEO of the U.N. Foundation.

Kathy, tell us why you decided this was really important?


It's great to have a good news story that after a lot of stories in the news, this is something that's so great about America. This is the most generous nation in the world. People give every year. Knowing they do, we thought it was time to start a giving season, just the same way we have a shopping season that starts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

So the idea on GivingTuesday, which is today, was to invite Americans to give to their favorite charities and then tell friends, family, colleagues, why they give to that charity, why they're giving their time, their money, share stories and kick off the giving season. It makes everybody feel better.


CALVIN: The 92nd Street Y in New York came up with it, and we thought it was such a good idea, we joined on.


MALVEAUX: I love this. I love this day. I think it's a nice reaction, response, and answer to all of the other stuff, all of the consumerism in our society. How do you do it? How can you give today?

CALVIN: There's so many ways to do it. Go online to favorite charity. Go to You check at your office and see if your office is supporting people who are giving. My office gave the day to wear jeans for everybody who made donation for GivingTuesday.


There are -- I know, it's a great idea. There are tons of retailers, from Unilever to Kenneth Cole to Home Depot to JCPenney, all of whom are doing special promotions to encourage donations when people make purchases. So we have 2500 partners who have gotten involved.


CALVIN: It's very easy for any of us to make a difference. You can give away a book, invite people to your home. Starwood Hotels giving points to UNICEF. Everybody's come up with a creative solution and so can you.

MALVEAUX: Kathy, how do you keep this going so it lasts beyond this one day?

CALVIN: Yes, it's actually the beginning of the season. Normally, you know, at the end of the year, you, like me, like many Americans, sit down at our kitchen table and think about who do we want to support this year? Where do we want to give our tax deductible donations to? Rather than waiting until the end of the month and December, we thought it would be good to start the season earlier. So we hope today is the beginning and a kick-off. And that next year it will become a routine a day in all of our lives to start that giving season and the conversation about giving, changing the way we think about philanthropy, inviting younger people in, et cetera. So we'll have a Giving Tuesday, the day -- the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. We think this will take off.

MALVEAUX: I love it. For our viewers, you saw the list of many of the partners involved in this, how to give to your favorite charity or give time to somebody in need.

Kathy, thanks again. Appreciate it.

CALVIN: Thanks.

MALVEAUX: 365, that's the number of days one astronaut will spend in space. You might recognize the person tapped for the mission. Look at who is making history. And what it would be like to live in space for a year.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- to document the longitudes and the latitudes --



MALVEAUX: We want to share good news with you. Katie (ph), hopefully, you're watching. Our senior producer just had a baby boy. Her son, Declan Paul (ph), born yesterday. Isn't he cute? 6 pounds, 12 ounce. Got the news last night. Our latest edition of our team. Katie (ph) sent us this picture. You can see she's wearing a cast. She broke her wrist last week. Yes, she did. She was worried about whether or not she would be able to hold her baby. But from the looks of it, mission accomplished.


MALVEAUX: It's just a beautiful picture, huh, Chad? She's a trooper, let me tell you.

MYERS: Broken arm and all.


MYERS: And, Katie (ph), I hope you aren't watching. I hope the baby's sleeping and you're getting a few minutes of rest because the first couple of days after the move are something.

I want to own the company that makes all of those baby blankets. They're all the same. My son had the same blanket years ago. It's the same pink and blue stripe.

MALVEAUX: She's a hard worker. Hopefully, she's setting the DVR or whatever, TiVo, to make sure she's seeing this.


MALVEAUX: And she'll play it another time. A great family and husband. A lot of support. We saw her before all of this happened. She broke her wrist.



MYERS: That's one more thing to worry about.

MALVEAUX: I want to tell you about this story. NASA's getting ready for the longest mission to the international space station. This is a look at the crew. The guy on left, if he looks familiar, that is because that is Scott Kelly, the identical twin brother of Mark Kelly, the husband of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. See the resemblance there? Scott Kelly blasts off with a Russian cosmonaut in the spring of 2015. He's not going to be back on solid ground until later, a year later.

Chad, tell us about this mission here and how come -- that's amazing.

MYERS: It's rare. It's happened before. The longest mission 438 days aboard the MIR, not the ISS.

What all of this is about is it takes it eight months to get to Mars and probably another eight to get back. Can we sustain life? Can we be OK with two years, something like that in space weightless? Your body does change. You get this fat face syndrome where, when you're on land, and you have the gravity, it pulls all the fluids down, but if you're up in space, you get a face that looks like this.


The longer in space, the more fluid is here. And then the less fluid that gets in your legs because, you know, legs are usually pumping all that out. Now they're squeezing all the blood out. It also changes your eye shape a little bit. It can get you a little nauseated because your inner ear doesn't know which way is up or down. Can this change? Will your body change in that one year it might take to get to Mars and back?

MALVEAUX: Do we know how long a period of time your body can sustain that?

MYERS: You get bird legs. You're not standing on anything. They exercise, but they're not -- you lose a little calcium in your bones, they take extra precautions for that, they take extra supplements to keep that going, and just all these things. And you get taller in space.


MYERS: For the vertically challenged of the two of us here --


-- that would be fantastic.


MYERS: When you're -- when you're in space and your spine doesn't compress, you get about an inch and a half taller because your spine comes apart.

MALVEAUX: That's pretty cool.


MALVEAUX: I want to -- stick around, Chad. I want you to talk about this other story, about the lava.

MYERS: Kilauea?


MYERS: Have you seen the pictures?

MALVEAUX: You have this helicopter crew, it got this amazing view here of this lava that is flowing from this volcano in Hawaii. You can see it is streaming down the side of that cliff and into the Pacific Ocean.

Tell us a little bit about this. One of the more -- the most active of the five volcanoes there.

MYERS: The coolest thing I've ever been on.

MALVEAUX: Isn't it cool?

MYERS: I've walked this. You drive as far as you can and then you come to where the lava has rolled over the road. And you can't --


MALVEAUX: You've been there?

MYERS: I've walked on that.


MYERS: It is so hot. You think, I'm going to walk up the lava, and I'll see if I can touch it? You can't get within 10 feet of it. It is just pouring heat onto your face. I threw a penny in. It wasn't an American penny, and it melts right away. It is very hot. It's been going for a long time.

If there is something you've never seen like this, it is one of the coolest things that I've ever done, to walk on the lava field. They let you walk right up to it. It's not like America, where they say, don't get close. You can get like five feet away. There's no barrier. It is pretty neat.


MYERS: You have to watch where you walk because you can fall through.

MALVEAUX: -- the red algae. We got all kind of cool stuff going on today.

MYERS: This algae bloom in Australia. One of the best features in the world here.


MYERS: Not yesterday. Look at all of this stuff.

MALVEAUX: They closed the beach down. What is this from?

MYERS: This is from nitrates, from washing machine soap, from untreated sewage, from fertilizer runoff, or it could just be upwelling of very good dirt and water from deep into the ocean. All those things will cause algae blooms. They're deadly to fish. But to people, they'll kind of get your eyes stinging. Smells like a smelling salt when you break that thing off. It also smells like fish a lot, because the fish are dying underneath it because of all of the algae using the oxygen. If it gets on you, it will give you a rash. But it won't kill you.

Don't swim in it. Don't eat it.

MALVEAUX: How long does that last?

MYERS: It dissipates when the nitrate goes away. As soon as the source of all of the bloom -- of what they're eating, as soon as that source goes away, it'll be gone, or it the tide takes it away.

MALVEAUX: It is pretty dramatic.


MYERS: No. There is a number one football team in the nation named after that, the Crimson Tide. So just not the Australian Crimson Tide.

MALVEAUX: Now I get it. Cool stuff.

Thank you, Chad.

MYERS: You're welcome.

MALVEAUX: Appreciate it.

You might be one of these people, by the way. We're talking lottery, millions of people.


Millions of people will line up to get their chances to win half a million dollars drawing the biggest Powerball jackpot ever. Happening tomorrow night. So you would think that, of course, this would provide an economic boost for the 43 states that are participating. Not necessarily. We spent $6 billion bucks on lottery tickets last year. But one study says, if we spent the money buying actual stuff, those states would be better off. That is because the states have to pay out this big chunk of money that they actually take in from those ticket sales.

I'm going to buy a ticket, I think.

A 7-year-old patient in Oregon is taking medical marijuana. Is it the right treatment for kids with cancer? Dr. Sanjay Gupta has that story.


MALVEAUX: Parents of a 7-year-old girl with leukemia gave her medical marijuana every day to cope with pain. Some question whether or not it is the healthiest thing to do.

We asked Dr. Sanjay Gupta about it.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The issue of safety will come up every time you talk about this sort of thing. Let me just preface by saying it is hard to get some of the types of safety studies you would like in this country because it is illegal in this country. That makes it hard. Also in this case we're talking about children.

There was a recent study that came out of the Netherlands looking at adolescents taking marijuana versus adults and they found for example that the earlier you started in life, the more likely you were to have long-term impact. These adolescents, for example, by the time they were 38, on average, had eight fewer I.Q. points compared to other people in the general population. With adults who started marijuana later on in life, that long-term impact was less clear.

But, again, these are hard studies to do. In the case of Micayla (ph) specifically, she has a fairly treatable form of leukemia. Some of the side effects of the cancer and the treatments that she's taking the medical marijuana for is our understanding. For example, the nausea associated with chemotherapy. Marijuana can be effective in treating that type of nausea. Even some the pain and specifically what is known as neuropathic pain. That pins and needles shooting pain can also be treated with marijuana.

The question that a lot of doctors want to know, is it safe, is it effective, more effective than what is already out there? For example, Zofran is a medication that can be used to treat nausea. There are other pain medications but none of which she needs because she's taking the medical marijuana.

She's not the only one, Suzanne, I'll tell you. In Oregon alone, there are 52 children on the medical marijuana registry out 2200 people, total. So in 18 states now, this is legal for medicinal purposes. In two more state, for recreational purposes.

So this is an issue, Suzanne, that will come up more and more in the weeks and months to follow. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to talk about it again.

Suzanne, back to you.


MALVEAUX: Thank you, Sanjay.

A guitar legend would have been 70 today. We don't have to tell you his name. Just listen.




MALVEAUX: Awesome Jimi Hendrix performing "Purple Haze" at Woodstock back in 1969. No surprise, "Rolling Stone" named him the number one guitarist of all time. Hendrix died in 1970. He was just 27 years old. But his music, as we know, always living on. A new Hendrix album, with 12 previously unreleased tracks, set to release in March.

CNN NEWSROOM continues with Brooke Baldwin.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Suzanne, thank you.

Good to see all of you. I'm Brooke Baldwin.