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CNN NEWSROOM

Film Looks Back at Central Park Attack; Cop Warms Man's Feet, Hearts Worldwide; Missouri Reveals Powerball Winner; 90 Percent of Syrian Cut from Communications; Shooting at Casper College Campus.

Aired November 30, 2012 - 13:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I struck her (INAUDIBLE) where I dragged her.

She just came on me, you know. And she (INAUDIBLE). She's in pain and all that.

I can't explain to you what happened after I left that park that night, but I can guarantee you that there was no way these kids saw this woman coming in or had a idea where she was coming from.

I'm the one that did this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: That's pretty chilling when you listen to that. You had those -- the five young men who were wrongly convicted there at the screenings of the film. What was their reaction to hearing this confession?

SARAH BURNS, FILM CO-DIRECTOR: Well, I think for them -- I mean, they -- you know, they first heard that the actual perpetrator had come forward in 2002, and it was on the basis of that confession that the convictions were vacated. The recording that you hear there in the film is one that he gave actually to a private investigator that we were able to dig up. We had hoped to interview Reyes for our film, and he wouldn't give us that interview ultimately, but we felt it was so important to show him or hear him confessing. We didn't want there to be any question. We didn't set out to make this film a "who done it." It was about how did this happen? I think that for the five to get a chance to hear him saying that he did it and that he did it alone is, you know, vindicating for them.

MALVEAUX: What was it like to work with them?

BURNS: It's been an amazing journey. I have been telling the story for almost a decade. I started by writing my undergraduate thesis about it, then wrote the book. Over the course of writing the book, I had done many, many interviews with them. I really got to know them, and I think I got them to open up a little bit more as they got more comfortable with telling their stories, which they never really have been asked to do before. I mean, as you said, this was a huge story, but people didn't really know them as individuals. MALVEAUX: Sarah, finally, were you able to talk with the victim, the young woman who had been raped so long ago? And how she is coping and how she has survived in her life as well?

BURNS: We did speak to her early on in the hopes that she would grant us an interview, and we understand why she declined. She's -- her name is Trisha Miley (ph), and she has herself written a book about her extraordinary recovery. And so she's really chosen to focus more on how she came back from this traumatic brain injury that nearly killed her.

MALVEAUX: All right. Sarah Burns, very powerful work. Thank you so much. We really appreciate it. It's something that --

BURNS: Thank you.

MALVEAUX: -- clearly everybody should watch. Thank you.

An act of kindness. This is a police officer who sees a barefoot homeless man, and he buys him a pair of boots. He talked with us about why.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: This is a moment that has caught a lot of attention here. A homeless man sitting on a sidewalk in Manhattan. He is barefoot. He is in the cold. But a policeman sees him, buys him a pair of boots. The officer appeared earlier today on CNN and explained how that homeless man reacted.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OFC. LARRY DEPRIMO, NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT: He was extremely thankful. He had a smile from ear to ear, which is something I'll never forget. And he said, you know, thank you, Officer. He is, like, God bless you and be safe out there, and he just kept on going on his way. I had asked him if he wanted to get a cup of coffee and food, but he didn't want to, and he just kept on going.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: It was a tourist from Arizona, Jennifer Foster, who took a photo of that moment, e-mailed it to NYPD. More than a million and a half people have actually seen this on the Facebook page.

We know at least one of the lucky two winners of that record $580 million Powerball jackpot. He is Mark Hill, 52-year-old mechanic from Missouri. He bought the lucky ticket at a store in Dearborn, Missouri. That is outside Kansas City. Second winning ticket was bought at a Food Mart near Phoenix.

Brian Todd live at the Exxon station in Marlboro, Maryland.

Why are you in Maryland? The Arizona guy, he is actually in Maryland? How did that work? BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, we're trying to put all these clues together. He is a mystery man at the moment. We believe, we believe, he may be the Arizona winner. He was here yesterday at this store in upper Marlboro, Maryland, about midday, around 1:00. He comes in. Surveillance video captures him coming in, taking out his lottery tickets, checking them, asking the clerk to print out, I guess, something that would verify some kind of a copy from the machine in here. And the videotape shows him checking it and then asking the manager here, again, if this is a match. And the manager tells us that, yes, he told him it was a match. And on the videotape you see the guy exalting. He is checking it against -- is he asking witnesses there to kind of help him match it just to get another set of eyes on the ticket. Then he is kind of hurriedly and excitedly walking out of the store. It's funny, they told us inside here that he forgot to get his gas, he was so excited, and then he came back in here.

But we cannot confirm who he is right now. We're trying to put all that together looking at video of the man's appearance and other things like that.

MALVEAUX: Right. Right.

TODD: There is something on his jacket that indicates he may, may, work for the Virginia Department of Transportation because of the logo on his jacket.

MALVEAUX: Right.

TODD: They say that it does look like one of their jackets, but they don't have an I.D. on the man. That's what we know right now.

MALVEAUX: It's kind of funny actually to watch him. The fact that we get to see somebody like literally at the time of discovering the winning ticket, and he is running around.

You also talked to the -- you talked to the gas station cashier who was on duty at that Arizona shop there?

TODD: Well, we talked to the cashier in here, and about the man when he came in, and what his behavior was like. He had kind of a funny story to tell about the man's reaction. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAMRAN AFGHAN, GAS STATION CASHIER: He said oh, my god, really hot.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you serious?

AFGHAN: I'm serious. I'm scared. I'm scared. I go back. What happened? He said, can you believe that? I hit the Powerball. I'm shocked. What did you say? I hit the Powerball. I couldn't believe it. You want to see my number? Sure. He gave me the ticket. He is holding it on top, just to show me the numbers. He gave me a ticket with the result, same number on his ticket of the result.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: So I guess the man could be excused for getting a little bit excited and pounding the counter. Who wouldn't do that if you got that kind of a ticket? If you can confirm it, that's the one thing.

Suzanne, we have to reiterate, we're not sure if this is the guy. We think it may be, but we resident have not confirmed that yet. I just spoke with an Arizona lottery official a short time ago, and she says no one has come forward to redeem the winning ticket in Arizona. It was bought at a convenience store near Phoenix. No one has come forward to redeem that ticket.

MALVEAUX: Right. Right.

TODD: They have 180 days they have to do it, and they have to do it in Arizona or, she said, they could mail it, but that's unlikely. They very likely will not mail the ticket in.

(CROSSTALK)

TODD: So maybe this gentleman, if he is the winner, is on his way to Arizona.

MALVEAUX: You can bet there are a whole bunch of journalists looking at that tape and trying to find that guy.

(LAUGHTER)

Brian, thank you.

TODD: Thanks.

MALVEAUX: Appreciate it. Thanks again.

We'll go live to Syria straight after a quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: No e-mail no, cell phone service, that is what most of folks in Syria are dealing with now. This is a second straight day in a row. It was all suddenly cut off. No explanation. Just a short message from the government saying they're actually trying to fix this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED SYRIAN: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Some folks still managed to upload what we were seeing here, battle damage in Damascus. This is evidence, they say, of the Syrian military destroying the central telephone office. You see the bullet holes in the walls there. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED SYRIAN: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Also today, Syrian air force fighter jets shot across the sky over Damascus. Witnesses are telling us about heavy fighting near the main airport, that all commercial flights in and out of Damascus are grounded for now.

I want to -- Arwa Damon is joining us from northern Syria.

Arwa, what are you seeing from your vantage point there? What is going on? Are people able to communicate? Are they panicked?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are not able to communicate and that is providing -- creating, rather, the obvious challenges. Not to mention just people want to communicate to their families, make sure that they're OK. But also, for opposition activists, who naturally rely on the internet to upload those YouTube videos, and for the rebel fighters themselves because they do not have sophisticated military technology, long-range radios, for example, and so oven times they use cell phones to communicate from one unit to another to insure that certain routes are still secure. This most certainly is having a very devastating impact creating a lot more challenges on the ground here in Syria.

You know, we are in the northern part of the province. We're in Aleppo earlier today where people -- to add to the long list of difficulties that they face on a day-to-day basis, are now facing these ongoing outages as well.

MALVEAUX: Arwa, how are you able to communicate?

DAMON: We have our own technology that's independent of the Syrian network that is allowing us to come up online. We have satellite phones. Some of the media activists do still have their own technology to be able to get signals out. But this is by no means something that is widespread across the population. The vast majority of people who have already been suffering so much are really very cut off from one another.

MALVEAUX: Arwa, what are they doing there? Are the walking -- we're looking at video of destroyed buildings there, bombed-out buildings, people in trucks, families just walking on the streets. How are they coping? How do they manage to talk to each other or warn people about what is going on in their city?

DAMON: That's video we shot earlier today in Aleppo in a neighborhood. This is the first neighborhood we were told that was -- that fell to the rebel forces, that fell to the free Syrian army. Around three weeks ago, residents said they began to trickle back in. We saw families picking through rubble. We saw some people trying to do simple things like repair electric lines. Others waiting in line for bread for three hours, one young woman we met was telling us. This is just an indication of what people have to go through because she said that, even though she was afraid, she had no choice but to wait in line because she has three children to feed and her husband had to stay at home because he was wounded when, in fact, the family came back to this neighborhood thinking that it was safe. We also met a little boy who was collecting water from a water main. One of the water mains that had been hit in an air strike very recently because their water supply was cut off. He, too, had his hand in a sling because he had been wounded in the village that the family had actually fled to for safety. So even though, in this one particular neighborhood, we're beginning to see these families coming back, it is still very much of a gamble, though, but it is winter conditions. When they're not at home or incredibly difficult, they're all either piled in to a single room or they're having to live in tents. So now they're being forced to effectively take this gamble, come back to what is, yes, perhaps relative safety but, at the same time, nothings guaranteed.

MALVEAUX: And they're coming back. We're seeing the pictures that you shot earlier. They're coming back into this neighborhood. You're looking at bombed-out buildings. Very devastating conditions in which to live. Do they feel, the rebels, the Syrian rebels, that there's anything more they can do, that they're making progress any more towards the government? How do they assess what is happening to them?

DAMON: The overall sense is that, yes, the rebels are daily, pretty much, making gains against the regime's forces. We're hearing from some of the commanders that, in many instances, they do have the Syrian military base that are in Aleppo province entirely encircled. And they are claiming that the regime does not control 85 percent of the city. That being said, there's still a constant threat from the air. The regime obviously still has the superior airpower.

For many of the residents that we were speaking to today, it really has all boiled down to one thing, and that is day-to-day survival. They have been through so much already, and every single day that goes by presents new challenges, just in getting bread, getting food. Prices have increased significantly. Bread prices, for example, at this one bakery had gone up two-fold, and other instances, it's even more. When you ask them about the future, all they can say is, God willing, things will get better. But beyond that, there's not much that they can do except try to get themselves and their families by on a day-to-day basis.

MALVEAUX: Arwa, we appreciate that we're able to contact you and get ahold of you too. You are on the ground, and are you really the lifeline to a lot of people there to tell their story, and we appreciate that. Obviously we'll be checking back with you, as well, as you travel through those cities and talk to those families.

Thanks again, Arwa.

We'll take a quick break and we'll have more.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: We're updating a breaking news story this hour. Police have responded to a shooting on the campus of it Casper College, in Casper, Wyoming. Richard Fujita is a spokesman for the college. He confirms there was a shooting on the campus. He says at least one person, a male student, was actually shot. There is -- we don't know yet of his condition. The spokesperson says he believes that the shooter is dead. And this is a community college. You see the web site there, emergency alert, that is alerting all classes and activities canceled for the day. About 5,000 students or so at that community college. But, again, we understand the very latest is that there is at least one injury, one victim, and that the shooter has, in fact, been killed. We're going to bring you more information as we get it.

There also has been an explosion at the Social Security Administration building in Casa Grande, Arizona, halfway between Phoenix and Tucson. You see there. Casa Grande police say the blast was caused by a device that detonated at the rear of the building you're seeing there. Extensive damage to the doorway and the car that's outside. There are several businesses that are actually inside of that building. Everybody was evacuated, from what we understand. And no word yet on whether or not anybody was injured. We're going to also continue to watch that as well.

And take a look at this, this wreckage. It's a freight train carrying toxic chemicals that derailed in southern New Jersey. This is the town of Paulsboro. At least one of the train cars is leaking toxins into the creek near the Delaware River. Now, authorities say most of the danger has passed. It is an accident that happened this morning. This railroad bridge actually collapsed. You can see there the aftermath of all of this. You had schools that were close by, where they were quickly put on lock-down. And the folks in the immediate area were all evacuated.

Also an update on the criminal case against Army Private Bradley Manning. He is the American soldier accused of leaking classified government documents to the web site WikiLeaks. Well, he's been cross-examined today as part of a pretrial hearing. Now, Manning was on the stand for several hours yesterday, describing how he was treated, how he says he was treated in military custody. He told the court that he considered killing himself. Manning was arrested two years ago and his court-martial is now set to begin next year. If convicted of stealing classified material, could face a life sentence.

And NASA making a big discovery on the smallest planet in our solar system. That next.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Today on the "Help Desk," we're helping you tackle multiple sources of debt.

With me this are Liz Miller and Greg McBride.

Liz, here is a question for you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My husband and I are still paying of home loan, and we have got some credit card debt. The credit card debt is higher. Is it best to pay more on the house or to get rid of the credit card debt first?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Eenie, meenie, miney, moe, which debt to pay off first. Go.

(LAUGHTER)

LIZ MILLER, PRESIDENT, SUMMIT PLACE FINANCIAL ADVISORS: This actually is an easy one, I think. It is absolutely the credit card debt. It is by far the highest interest rate and most interest rates on home loans right now are quite reasonable and even more so, most people get an interest rate deduction on their taxes for that mortgage interest. So you want to extend that, particularly at today's low rates as long as you can and pay down that credit card debt.

KOSIK: Greg, a lot of people are in such a rush to pay of their mortgage. Is that such a smart move?

GREG MCBRIDE, SENIOR FINANCIAL ADVISOR, BANKRATE.COM: It is a low financial priority when you factor in the low rates and the tax deduction that Liz was talking about. There are a lot of other financial fish you can fry even if you don't have other debts. Fully fund your retirement account, Make sure you have an adequate emergency savings account, put money away for your kids' college. I would rank those ahead of paying the mortgage. The money you pay into the mortgage, you can't get to it if you need it in an emergency.

KOSIK: Milk your mortgage as long as you can, I guess.

OK, thanks.

If you have an issue you want our experts to tackle, upload a 30- second video with your "Help Desk" question to ireport.com.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: NASA makes a big discovery on the smallest planet in the solar system, Mercury, the closest planet to the sun. Should be a boiling inferno, right? A probe orbiting the planet sent back proof there is ice there, ice water. Scientists have believed for decades that part of Mercury was icy, but new evidence now confirms it.

We began the week introducing you to a new member of our show team family, little Declan (ph), born to our senior producer, Katie Baritone. And we got two more additions, Don, I want you to know, Nola Amanda and Gilbert James Glen. They're the twin daughter and son of CNN anchor, our fellow anchor, Fredricka Whitfield, who anchors the NEWSROOM show on the weekends. Look at her. I'm telling you -- she was working up until the very end. She's a trooper.

(LAUGHTER)

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: You took the words out of my mouth. Look at mommy. I called her today, got voice mail. I said, am I an uncle yet?

MALVEAUX: Oh, I hope you got voice mail, Don.

(LAUGHTER)

I hope she's not answering your phone.

But, Fred, congratulations from all of us. We're so happy and excited for you.

You know, the family grows. It is just great.

LEMON: Fred and John, congratulations.

We're next, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right, take it away, Don.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: Thank you. Thank you.

Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. Let me keep you in the loop.