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CNN SUNDAY MORNING

Attack on a U.S./Afghan Base; Chiefs Will Play Tomorrow; Getting Sandy Victims Back Home; Campaigning on the Cliff; Egypt's President vs. the Courts; NASA Finds Ice on Mercury; Honoring Top Ten CNN Heroes

Aired December 2, 2012 - 06:00   ET

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


RANDY KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is EARLY START WEEKEND.

A murder-suicide stuns the NFL. What made the Kansas City Chief's linebacker kill his girlfriend and take his own life.

Women in war. Only a few country allow women on the battle lines and now some servicewomen here are suing for that right. Our legal expert weighs in.

And he's the first person to visit 200 countries without ever getting on a plane. Wait until you hear how he did it.

It is Sunday, December 2nd. Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye.

We begin this morning in Afghanistan where five people are confirmed dead and at least 18 others wounded after suicide bombers and six gunmen attacked a joint U.S./Afghan base. It happened near the Jalalabad Airfield in eastern Afghanistan. There are no immediate reports of any casualties. And the Taliban is claiming responsibility for the attack. Joining me now by phone from Kabul is journalist Ben Farmer.

Ben, the attack is being described as, quote, "complex." Can you walk us through what happened?

BEN FARMER, JOURNALIST, (via telephone): Well, it does seem to be complex and ambitious. It began at about 6:00 local time this morning, just after dawn. It began with two suicide car bomb attacks, attacking the gate of Jalalabad Airfield. The vehicles were packed with explosives and driven towards the gate and detonated.

That followed a wave of suicide attackers armed with assault rifles. Some also wearing suicide vests. They started to attack the gate guards and the guards on the walls. It was a two-hour fire fight. During that fire fight, helicopters took off from Jalalabad Airfield to join in the battle to fire down on the attackers.

The fire fight took about two hours, at the end of which all the attackers were dead. We believe there were about nine in total, including those in the suicide car bombs. Now, the coalition here has said that none of the attackers managed to breach the perimeter defenses and get inside the base.

KAYE: And officials say that these three Afghan soldiers and two civilians were killed on this base, which is located in an area that NATO recently turned over to the Afghan forces for security. How could this affect security, do you think, moving forward?

FARMER: Well, this handover of security really is what everyone's looking at, at the moment. The strategy is we build up the Afghan army and the Afghan army takes over security duties, combat duties, and that allows all the NATO troops, all the American troops, the British troops and so on, to go home. Now, this attack shows that despite NATO saying that they've reversed the momentum of the insurgency, the Taliban is still more than capable of attacking these big bases, launching well-coordinated, ambitious attacks like this.

Does this mean that the strategy will change? I don't think so. This hand over of security duties has been going on for two years now. It really is the main focus of everything that's being done here. The coalition doesn't have a plan "b." I think what this attack shows, though, is that even after things are handed over, they'll be handed over to Afghan forces who are going to have to continue to fight. Certainly after we go home, the Afghans will look like they still will have to fight a lot.

KAYE: Ben Farmer for us in Afghanistan this morning. Ben, thank you.

Just seven hours from now, the Kansas City Chiefs will play the Carolina Panther. The team deciding not to reschedule today's game after linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend in front of his mother yesterday and then driving to the Chiefs' training facility where he killed himself in front of the head coach and the general manager. Casey Wian is in Kansas City, Missouri, for us this morning.

Casey, good morning.

Local media is reporting that the two had a fight of some sort following a concert on Friday night. What do you know about that?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we don't know much about the concert that "The Kansas City Star" is reporting about, but we do know that police say there was some sort of an argument either late Friday night or early Saturday morning before this tragic -- these two tragic shootings happened.

We spoke last night with a next door neighbor of Jovan Belcher and of his girlfriend. They had been living in that house for about a year the neighbor told us. The neighbor did not want us to use his name. But he said that the two appeared to have been getting along very, very well. They had a baby just three months ago, born on September 11th. They were both proud parents, very happy by all outward appearances.

The neighbor tells us that he heard no fighting overnight. He was up at the time of the shooting, when the girlfriend was shot. He said he heard noises, didn't immediately identify them as gunshots because it's not something they hear in that neighborhood. It's a very nice, upper middle class type neighborhood. He said that he then looked outside and saw Jovan outside of his front door pacing back and forth talking to himself. He then got in his car and drove away and apparently drove here to the Chiefs training facility where he shot and killed himself just a little while later.

Randi.

KAYE: So it sounds like, Casey, according to that neighbor, that they had a pretty good relationship and hadn't turned violent before.

We know that he spoke with his coaches before he shot himself. Do we know what they talked about?

WIAN: We don't know what specifically they talked about. We do know that police say that head coach Romeo Crennel and the general manager of the Chiefs, Scott Pioli, both say they never felt like they were in danger. Apparently they were trying to talk him out of harming himself.

We spoke with Jovan Belcher's agent last night, who is also the agent for the Kansas City Chiefs' head coach. He said he spoke with the general manager last night very, very briefly. Of course, these men are very distraught about what happened. He says they will press on. They're both very strong men. Absolutely shocked, though, the agent said, who knew Jovan Belcher for a long time. Back into the years when he just got out of college in Maine.

He said he was a very strong family man, had a close relationship with his family. He said he wasn't some -- he wasn't the type of agent who speaks with his players all the time, but he gave us a story about how Jovan was such a caring person. He said during Hurricane Sandy, the agent lives in Connecticut, Jovan texted him to make sure that the agent's family was doing all right in the hurricane. So he says it's absolutely out of character for something like this to happen. No previous run-ins with the law that anyone's aware of. So just a lot of shock here, Randi.

KAYE: And the child, the couple's child, that child was home at the time, right? And where -- who's caring for that child now?

WIAN: Yes, the child was at the home with Kasandra Perkins and Jovan at the time of the shooting. His mother was actually, according to the neighbor, his mother had actually been in town for a couple of weeks for the holidays, and we understand that the child and the mother witnessed the shooting, called 911 after Belcher shot Kasandra Perkins and she is now with the child at another location there. Of course, they're away from the home now, Randi.

KAYE: What a tragedy. Casey Wian, our thanks to you. Appreciate that.

The Kansas City Chiefs released a statement following the incident yesterday. It reads in part, "the entire Chiefs family is deeply saddened by today's event, and our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy, thoughts and prayers for the families and friends affected by this unthinkable tragedy. We will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities and work to ensure that the appropriate counseling resources are available."

It's been a month since Superstorm Sandy ripped through the northeast, but it seems like an eternity for residents who are struggling to clean up and who say the response from FEMA has been too darn slow. Our national correspondent Susan Candiotti traveled to Staten Island to see if a FEMA-backed program, designed to get homeowners back on their feet, is really working.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERT RIBAUDO, HOMEOWNER: If we were here when the storm had ended, everybody here would be under water standing straight up.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Weeks after Superstorm Sandy flooded his basement, Robert Ribaudo is one of the first 150 homeowners getting his home fixed as part of a rapid repairs program run by the city and mainly funded by FEMA. The repairs aren't fancy, just a basic fix to restore electricity, heat, and hot water to make homes livable. Thousands wait in the wings hoping for similar repairs. At a town hall meeting, frustration was everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are extremely, extremely frustrated. This is what you need to understand.

CANDIOTTI (on camera): How do you think the program is going so far?

DEPUTY MAYOR CAS HOLLOWAY, NEW YORK: I think so far the program is going well.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): But New York City Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway is well aware emotions are high.

HOLLOWAY: Some of these frustrations go beyond the fact that a repair person maybe isn't showing up as fast as they want them to. I think it just has to do with the magnitude of what people have been through. And it's a lot.

CANDIOTTI: New York officials say they have thousands of contractors and supplies beginning to deploy with hopes of eventually repairing at least 200 homes a day. And if contractors don't measure up --

HOLLOWAY: We're just going to take work from them and give it to the best performing contractors.

CANDIOTTI: FEMA hopes the rapid repairs program, something new for the agency, will turn frustration around.

MICHAEL BYRNE, FEMA COORDINATING OFFICER: Government agencies don't change fast. We changed on the dime on this one to do things that had never been done before.

CANDIOTTI (on camera): How would you sum up what happened at that town hall meeting?

ALLISON D'AMICO, HOMEOWNER: Nobody knows what they're doing. They have no idea what to do. They're learning as they go along. That's why people were so angry.

BYRNE: The storm causes the anger, OK. And we're used to that. What we want to do is get past the anger to solutions. And that's what we're working with people to do.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): With his power restored, Robert Ribaudo is feeling better.

CANDIOTTI (on camera): You're satisfied?

RIBAUDO: Yes.

CANDIOTTI: You think they did a good job?

RIBAUDO: Yes. For a big city of 8 million people and you got service within a couple of days to a week, literally, that's fast.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CANDIOTTI: As the rapid repair program enters its second week and contractors fan out, officials hope more homeowners will be as satisfied in the weeks to come.

Randi.

KAYE: Susan Candiotti, thank you.

Well, then there were two. This weekend Alabama rolled over the Georgia Bulldogs 32-28 to earn a spot against undefeated Notre Dame in a big-time battle for the coveted BCS title. The Crimson Tide looking to win back-to-back titles and their third title in four years, which would be an unprecedented achievement.

If you thought the campaign season was over, you'd be wrong. Politicians are taking a cue from November's playbook to get their message out about the fiscal cliff.

And a highway tunnel comes crashing down while cars are inside, igniting a fire. Several people may still be trapped.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Good morning, New York City. Glad you're with us this morning for EARLY START WEEKEND. A very early, still pretty dark morning there in the big apple. But glad you're watching.

This morning, former President George H.W. Bush remains in stable condition in a Houston hospital. He's been treated for bronchitis. He's been if the hospital for more than a week now. At 88, the World War II veteran is the oldest living former president.

The Supreme Court could decide this week whether to take up the controversial issue of same-sex marriage. The nine justices met behind closed doors on Friday but took no action. The high court could act tomorrow when it's scheduled to release orders, or the justices may choose to discuss the divisive issue when they meet for another scheduled conference on Friday.

We're now just one month away until the fiscal cliff deadline. And while the deal will actually be made in Washington, politicians are taking their message on the road and straight to the voters. CNN political editor Paul Steinhauser has more now.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Hey, good morning, Randi.

You know, the presidential election may be fading into the rearview mirror, but it sure still feels a lot like campaign season.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm already missing the time that I spent on the campaign visiting towns like this and talking to folks like you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love you.

OBAMA: I love you back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEINHAUSER: The president speaking at a campaign style event at a factory in suburban Philadelphia, pushing to avert the fiscal cliff. House Republicans, hours before the president's trip, push back against Mr. Obama's plans in their own campaign style video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ADVERTISEMENT: This notion of $250,000 being top 2 percent or the wealthy people in America ignores the way most small businesses work in America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEINHAUSER: This political fight is over policy, but if you weren't paying attention, you'd swear the presidential election was still going on. While the fiscal cliff battle plays out, campaign politics marches on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE ROUNDS, FORMER SOUTH DAKOTA GOVERNOR: I want to help create a better United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEINHAUSER: We're less than a month removed from the 2012 election, but former South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds is already looking ahead to 2014, announcing a bid for the Senate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROUNDS: I'll be out visiting in a lot of communities around South Dakota.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEINHAUSER: And he was the second Republican to do that this past week, joining Congresswoman Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia. While 2014's a long way away, 2013 is just over the horizon. That's when New Jersey's Chris Christie is up for re-election and the tough- talking Republican governor's making clear that he wants another term in office to help his state recover from Superstorm Sandy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I don't want to leave now. We have a job to do. That job won't be finished by next year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEINHAUSER: It may be the holiday season, but it seems there's no holiday from campaign politics.

Randi.

KAYE: Paul Steinhauser, thank you.

And a programming note, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner talks with CNN's Candy Crowley on the president's proposal to avert the fiscal cliff. That's at 9:00 a.m. this morning on "State of the Union."

Debris comes crashing down on cars on a busy highway. Now several cars are still trapped inside a collapsed tunnel. More on the search for survivors.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Eleven years ago, Enron. Hard to believe.

Protests overshadowing this weekend's swearing in of Mexico's new president. Demonstrators clashed with police outside the congress building as Enrique Pena Nieto took the oath of office. They're upset his PRI Party is back in power. Inside the building, Mexico's new leader promised to return peace, prosperity, and security to the country, which has been racked by killer drug violence.

Rescue efforts are underway in Japan following a horrifying accident. A highway tunnel west of Tokyo collapsed trapping cars inside and then sparking a fire. Police say they have found several burned bodies in one vehicle. They're trying to get to at least two others trapped inside. It's not clear how many people may still be inside that tunnel.

Now to Egypt. The country's high court has postponed a critical hearing on the controversial new draft constitution. This as thousands of President Mohamed Morsi supporters remain camped in the streets for a second straight day. Opponents say Morsi now has even more power than ousted president Hosni Mubarak. CNN's Reza Sayah joins us now live from Cairo.

Reza, tell us what the high court was supposed to be hearing today and why now they're not meeting after all.

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this was a big development this morning in Cairo. And now it seems over the past 24 hours the momentum in this conflict seems to be shifting in favor of President Morsi and his supporters and shifting away from the opposition factions behind us and the president's opponents.

This morning, Egypt's top court was set to rule on the constitutionality of President Morsi's decrees last week and the constitutionality of this special panel that drafted the constitution. They released a statement this morning saying that they canceled the hearing after pro-Morsi demonstrators, supporters of the president, surrounded the courthouse. It's not clear if or when this hearing is going to be rescheduled, but now it seems the road is a little bit more clear.

The stage is set for the president to get his way, for this nationwide referendum to take place on December 15th. Opposition factions behind us say they've been squeezed out of this process. They're concerned that an Islamist dominated government down the road could deny them their rights. The president's position is nowhere in the constitution does it say that anyone's going to be denied their rights and if people don't like it, Randi, they can go out to the ballot boxes on December 15th and vote no.

KAYE: So it sounds like, Reza, that the judges, in putting this off, perhaps they don't feel safe.

SAYAH: Well, it was a tense situation this morning. There was a lot of Morsi supporters surrounding the courthouse. In the statement that they released, the initial statement, they didn't say why they cancelled it. They say they're going to release a subsequent statement with a reason why. But certainly some people are speculating that they were either afraid of going into the courthouse or simply couldn't because the entrances were blocked, Randi.

KAYE: And are we seeing any repeat today so far, as far as you can tell, of the anti-Morsi protests?

SAYAH: They're still out here. The tents are still up. But the numbers seem to be dwindling. They've been out here for nearly a week and a half right now and it's going to be interesting to see what kind of staying power they have, if these recent developments are going to discourage them. But clearly the momentum seems to be shifting in favor of the president now, Randi.

KAYE: Reza Sayah, thank you very much for the update there.

Women at war. Many are barred from parts of the military, but some are now suing for their right to fight. One servicewoman will tell me about her own struggles.

And New York's governor wants billions of dollars in aid for his storm-hit state, and he's going to D.C. to get it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Welcome back, everyone. Thanks for starting your morning with us. And a special welcome to our troops watching on the American Forces Network. I'm Randi Kaye. It is now just about half past the hour.

The Taliban is claiming responsibility this morning for a deadly attack on a joint U.S. Afghan base. It happened near the Jalalabad Airfield in the eastern part of the country. Five people were killed, 14 others wounded in the attack, which was launched by suicide bombers and a group of gunmen. NATO recently turned over control of the region to Afghan security forces.

He made a name for himself as an Internet pioneer, but now John McAfee is known for being a fugitive, wanted by police in Belize for questioning regarding the murder of his neighbor. McAfee, who has maintained his innocence, has now emerged from hiding and is talking to our Martin Savidge about his life on the run.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Are you afraid?

MCAFEE: Wouldn't you be, sir?

SAVIDGE: Then what have these weeks been like? It's been three weeks now.

MCAFEE: It hasn't been a lot of fun. I miss my prior life. Much of it has been deprivation. No baths, no - well, poor food at least. Here we're in bliss. Hot showers, a stove. So we're fairly happy right now.

SAVIDGE: How is this going to end? How do you see this coming to an end?

MCAFEE: I don't have a crystal ball. I'm going to continue to fight until something changes.

SAVIDGE: You won't turn yourself in?

MCAFEE: I will not.

SAVIDGE: So it will either be that somehow you get away or the authorities come and get you.

MCAFEE: One of those two. Well, get away doesn't mean leave the country. It means that number one, they'll find the murderer of Mr. Faull, number two, the people of this country, who are by and large terrified to speak out, will start speaking out and something will change. But I will certainly not turn myself in, and I will not quit fighting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: McAfee and his neighbor got into a dispute after McAfee's dogs were poisoned. And the neighbor was found shot to death shortly after that.

Miami police say two people are dead after a tour bus slammed into an overpass at Miami's airport. They say the driver mistakenly drove on the lower level instead of a higher lane, which buses can clear. An 86-year-old and a 56-year-old man were killed. All 30 other people - all other people on the bus including the driver were taken to the hospitals.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is heading to Washington to drum up dollars for his storm-ravaged state. Cuomo plans to lobby Congress for $42 billion in aid. He says New York desperately needs the money in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. This even though New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he's not sure if using federal money to protect the city's subways from storms that may happen only once a generation is really a good idea.

KAYE: Women banned from moving up in the military just because they are woman - women. It's certainly not a new concept.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a lot of people who don't want to see you finish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: G.I. Jane. Why don't they just call her Joan of Ark?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm trying to warn you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Permission to get dressed, master chief?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Damn, that girl is good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: Demi Moore in the 1997 release "G.I. Jane." And more than a decade later, women working in a male-dominated military is still an issue. So much so four women are suing the Pentagon. They're arguing against a long-standing policy that bans women from being assigned to certain positions strictly because of their gender. The suit claims women are barred from more than 238,000 positions across the Armed Forces, including all infantry positions. Earlier, I spoke with one of the plaintiffs, Marine Corps Reserve's Captain Zoe Bedell. And I asked her to respond to critics who argue that the military is moving toward full inclusion of women and has shown great progression toward it, even opening Marine training courses and 14,000 combat-related jobs to women.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CAPT. ZOE BEDELL, MARINE RESERVIST: Those are definitely welcome steps. We're glad to see that, we're glad to see this moving. However, there's still 238,000 jobs that are still closed to women. And that's a lot. That's a lot more than the 14,000 that were open. So, while we welcome the incremental progress, we need to see this policy be taken away completely and give women an equal chance to compete in all areas, not just a couple of more.

KAYE: If you look at what's happening in several other countries, I mean women are allowed to serve in combat positions in several nations: Israel, Canada, New Zealand, Australia just among them there. Do you think that that helps change public perspective of the role of women?

BEDELL: Sure. Well, it's not just in other countries. I mean the fact is that we've been at war for ten years now, and women have been serving in Afghanistan and in Iraq throughout that whole period. Women have performed extremely well in all of those environments. So I think even within our own country, there's plenty of evidence suggesting that women are very capable of handling these jobs.

KAYE: You know, the military's official policy towards service women goes back to 1994. That's when this rule was put in place. Why do you think it hasn't been looked at? I mean what more needs to be done?

BEDELL: Well, for a number of years there, we weren't really actively at war, so people weren't really looking at it. And then while we were at war, people have been very concerned about just fighting the fight and getting the job done. But personally, I am a little bit surprised that since we have been at war for ten years, people haven't looked more closely at this, haven't looked at the reality of what is going on on the grounds in Iraq and Afghanistan and haven't been making more steps to move this away. So I think we're headed there now. So better late than never, I suppose, but we need to see this happen here soon.

KAYE: In getting ready for this segment with you, we contacted the Department of Defense to get their comment on the lawsuit. They say they don't comment on pending litigation. But I'm curious why Leon Panetta - I mean clearly these guidelines barring women from advancing to certain positions in the military were in place well before he was appointed secretary of defense. And he's the one who actually ordered the 14,000 positions to be opened up to women. So why him?

BEDELL: Well, that's just in his position of secretary of defense. We certainly have nothing personal against Leon Panetta.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: And to hear more of my interview with Captain Zoe Bedell you can check out my blog. You can find it at cnn.com/randi.

The CIA may be getting competition in the espionage business. "The Washington Post" reports that the Pentagon plans to send hundreds of additional spies overseas. According to the post, the Pentagon is looking to overhaul the Defense Intelligence Agency and create the Defense Clandestine Service, which would be unprecedented in size. As many as 1600 so-called collectors would be scattered around the world including undercover agents and military attaches.

Officials say the Pentagon's top priorities are Islamist militant groups in Africa, weapons concerns in Iran and North Korea, and China's military modernization.

They are called unmanned drones, but these weapons of war still have a human at the controls. And the Pentagon wants to make sure that it stays that way. CNN Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence reports on the battle to stop real-live terminators from taking to the skies.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Behind every Hellfire missile, there's an actual human being, someone back at base remotely pulling the trigger. But the Pentagon is preparing for the day when robots are capable of killing on their own.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The machines, they're starting to take over.

LAWRENCE: It conjures up images of "The Terminator."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Chairman, I need to make myself very clear: if we uplink now, Skynet will be in control of your military.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you'll be in control of Skynet, right?

LAWRENCE: The Pentagon just issued its first directive on autonomous weapons, effectively forbidding the development of lethal weapons with no human control to minimize failures that could lead to unintended engagements.

DAVE OCHMANEK, DEPUTY ASST. SEC. OF DEFENSE: That's a sterile term for - meaning harming innocents, killing the wrong target.

LAWRENCE: The Pentagon's Dave Ochmanek admits, these weapons are still 20, 30 years away.

(on camera): That technology doesn't exist yet. So, why now?

OCHMANEK: The thought was technology is dynamic, and we'd like to get out ahead of it.

LAWRENCE (voice over): Just this week, the Navy tested its next generation drone, which could carry bombs and lands on an aircraft carrier with hardly any human control. The directive only applies to lethal systems. It still allows the military to develop autonomous spy planes.

OCHMANEK: As we begin to approach the possibility of having machines select and engage targets, we want to be very careful not to cross that line without high-level policy review. LAWRENCE: Human Rights Watch applauds the Pentagon's move.

BONNIE DOCHERTY, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: We don't believe it solves the problem, however.

LAWRENCE: So, the group is calling for governments to ban autonomous weapons outright. Bonnie Docherty points to Syria and wonders what killer robots could do in a conflict like that.

DOCHERTY: Because the weapons are emotionless, they could actually serve as a perfect tool for a dictator who would not have to worry about the danger of a human soldier turning on him if fired- if ordered to fire on his own civilians. A robot would not do that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAWRENCE: I mean when you're talking about a weapon that doesn't have the capacity to feel any compassion for its victims, it opens up all kinds of ethical questions that the Pentagon and really militaries around the world are going to have to grapple with over the next 20 years. Chris Lawrence, CNN, the Pentagon.

KAYE: And we want to show you some live pictures now of Mahmoud Abbas returning home to the West Bank after his successful bid to make Palestine a non-member observer state to the U.N. Once again, these are live pictures here just in to CNN.

Well, he filled up four entire passports and never got on a single flight. Yes, can you believe that? We'll tell you how this globe tracker made his way to every country on earth and set a world record.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Welcome back. 42 minutes past the hour now. So imagine this. Imagine traveling around the world and doing it without ever getting on an airplane. 33-year-old British adventurer Graham Hughes did exactly that and in the process broke a world record, becoming the first person ever to visit every country in the world without flying. And here now is our very own world traveler, Nadia Bilchik, good morning. So you got - you got on the phone with this guy. He's still on the road.

NADIA BILCHIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's still on the road.

KAYE: Where is he now? In India?

BILCHIK: He was on the floor of a bus in Kenya. He said that the bus was so crowded that he had to be on the floor.

KAYE: That's just kind of an awful.

BILCHIK: And he would have to travel 17 hours because he wants to be back in his hometown of Liverpool by Christmas.

KAYE: I don't know if he has anything against flying. Or he's just trying to set the record here ... BILCHIK: He wants to (inaudible). He wants to state one.

KAYE: OK. Not a fear of flying.

BILCHIK: He wants to create a world record. He said, you know, it's so much easier to create your own Guinness world record than to break someone else's. So, his whole thing was foot, bus, taxi, train, canoe. No planes, no helicopters, and no hot air balloons.

KAYE: Wow. Because it certainly would have been easier to get on airplane.

BILCHIK: He even went to South Sudan, which is the newest country on earth.

KAYE: How long is it taking him to get around the world to all these countries without ever getting on a plane or a hot air balloon?

BILCHIK: Around four years. 1,426 days.

KAYE: Wow.

(CROSSTALK)

BILCHIK: So he's ending now and will be home hopefully for Christmas.

KAYE: How was he - I'm just curious how he's paying for all of this. I mean this can get pretty expensive, even without the airline tickets.

BILCHIK: Exactly. He's doing it in association with a charity in Britain called Water Aid. So that's the one part of the funding. He also says he's doing it for less than $100 a week. But Water Aid is fascinating. Because they really highlight the issue of what happens with contaminated water. Something like 11 percent of the world doesn't have sanitized water. 700,000 children a year die of disease related to unsanitary water. So, in conjunction with Water Aid it's part of his sponsorship.

KAYE: So, he's really raising awareness.

BILCHIK: He's raising awareness.

KAYE: Which is brave.

BILCHIK: Absolutely.

KAYE: That's really great. Does he have - was there any surprise? I mean, all these places he's visited, is there a special spot or a big surprise that he came across?

BILCHIK: Well, when I spoke to him, I said to him, Graham, what was the most surprising place? And you may be surprised when you hear what it was. KAYE: All right. Let's look at this.

BILCHIK: Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRAHAM HUGHES: The most surprising country for me was Iran. I was expecting it to be very conservative, not very joyful. A bit like Syria or Jordan or Saudi Arabia. But it wasn't. It was actually a really friendly and incredibly hospitable country, in which you can't walk down the street without people offering to take you home and make food for you or, you know, give you somewhere to stay for the night. And I've spoken to a lot of people who travel to Iran and that was exactly the same experience. And I completely wasn't expecting that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: That is really surprising.

BILCHIK: Iran on vacation.

KAYE: Yeah, he sounds like a real adventurer.

(CROSSTALK)

BILCHIK: And he says next for him --

KAYE: There was going to - I mean, how do you top this, right?

BILCHIK: Exactly. He says he wants to walk the South Pole like a penguin. He says that hasn't been done.

KAYE: What? Oh, my.

BILCHIK: I know. But he also says he's never been to the West Coast of America.

KAYE: Well, maybe he'll write a book about it or something. It would be very interesting read, I'm sure.

BILCHIK: Exactly.

KAYE: I'm kind of jealous. I still might want to take an airplane. But it sounds pretty cool.

BILCHIK: I think it is not the last we would have heard from great adventurer Graham Hughes.

KAYE: No, I think you're absolutely right, Nadia. All right, well, thank you for bringing us that. I appreciate that.

Well, it is almost here. Our live broadcast of CNN Heroes, an all-star tribute. It's our annual salute to those who help make life better for those in need. Chef Bruno Serato is one of our 2011 heroes. He was honored for feeding hungry kids living in motels. And now he's on a mission to help them move into their own homes. Take a look at where he is now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRUNO SERRATO: Who likes pasta?

(cheering)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Every night, Chef Bruno Serato serves free meals to 300 motel kids in Anaheim, California. It's work that he was honored for last year as a top ten CNN Heroes.

BRUNO SERATO: It was the most amazing moment in my life. After the CNN show, a lot of people call me. What can we do for you?

COOPER: But it was Bruno who wanted to do more to help families living in area motels.

SERATO: When I send the kids back to the motel, I always had a very sad moment because I know where they go back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now you guys can all share those markers. Sit right here and color.

COOPER: It's a hard life to escape. Just ask the Gutierrez family, who lived in a motel with their five children for more than a year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is our living room, our bedroom. Me and my husband sleep in here. And then the rest of them sleep sardine style on this bed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He got laid off. I started working just a month ago. It's really hard for us to save up to get into an actual home.

SERATO: I came over to say, well, let's pay the first and last month.

COOPER: By providing rent and a deposit, Bruno now helps families leave the motel life behind for good. Working with a local nonprofit, 22 families have now gotten a fresh start in a home of their own.

SERATO (on camera): What?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love it!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, the kids just run around, explored, found their rooms.

SERATO: This is yours?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is (ph) mine!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you!

SERATO (voice over): And my heart is really full of joy. We're putting back people to their own home!

COOPER: Bruno hopes to move 74 more families by the end of next year. CNN hero with a new recipe for helping others.

SERATO: Pasta!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: It should be a great event tonight.

An announcement from the Supreme Court on whether it will hear cases on same-sex marriage could come as soon as this week. What you need to know about the next seven days right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Welcome back, everyone. It is the last month of 2012. Hard to believe. It is time to get you ready for the week ahead. So, let's head over to Monday. It's a busy day at the Supreme Court of the United States. We'll be awaiting a decision on whether the court will hear cases on the legality of same-sex marriage. It could come as soon as 9:30 in the morning on the East Coast. Of course, you can watch it all here as it happens on CNN. On Tuesday, President Obama is going to have some company. He's going to be meeting with the governors at the White House. He's going to be talking, of course, about money, how to keep our economy growing, and of course hopefully reduce the deficit as well. Very busy day there at the White House. On Thursday, we have all our eyes on Washington. Two controversial changes in Washington state, same-sex marriage becomes legal on Thursday in Washington state. We'll also be looking at marijuana. Adults over 21 can legally carry up to an ounce of pot, sort of. The federal government still says pot is an illegal drug. But that's how they're going to do it in Washington on Thursday. And on Friday, we'll be watching for the jobs report. This is the November jobs report. Now, in October, 171,000 jobs were added, you may recall, but experts think that perhaps Superstorm Sandy could affect this. It could have slowed down some of the growth last months. A lot of people having a hard time getting around, power is out. Really put a lot of folks behind. So, we'll see how that goes. And on Saturday, a big day for college football fans. Heisman Trophy winner will be announced. We'll find out who the best player in college football is. Last year, can you remember who it is? NFL star Robert Griffin III won the Heisman. That's your week ahead.

Well, his name was Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old boy who was shot and killed at a Florida gas station. It all happened after a dispute over loud music. Now those closest to Davis are saying good-bye as they struggle to understand why this happened. Our George Howell has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As family and friends laid 17- year-old Jordan Davis to rest, it's the reason for his death that has mourners here baffled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was just terrible. That should never happen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The last time I spoke to him was Thursday night on Thanksgiving. And it's just all hard because I miss him so much.

HOWELL: It happened November 23rd, 47-year-old Michael Dunn told investigators he felt threatened at a gas station, parked side by side with an SUV full of teenagers. The alleged gunman complained they were playing their music too loud. Detectives say Dunn confronted Davis, who was in the backseat and told him to turn the music down. Dunn's attorney says his client thought he saw a gun, so he pulled his own weapon and started shooting, firing at least eight shots. Davis was hit at least twice. Investigators never found a gun in the teen's car. Davis' father traveled from Jacksonville to Atlanta for his son's funeral. It's a case that's gotten national attention and has been compared by some to the fatal shooting of another African- American teen, Trayvon Martin, killed by admitted gunman George Zimmerman. But unlike Martin's parents, Ron Davis tells me he does not believe race played factor in his son's death.

RON DAVIS, FATHER OF JORDAN DAVIS: I don't think -- it just happened to be an African-American child and a non-African-American person that pulled the trigger. I think that's the only comparison. But I don't think the reason is the same. I think the reason for this gentleman was just strictly anger and having the availability of a weapon.

HOWELL (on camera): So your focus is on these guns.

DAVIS: Yes.

HOWELL: Your t-shirt even. Show us this.

DAVIS: Yes.

HOWELL: What does it say?

DAVIS: "Kill guns, not kids." Kill guns, not kids. So we have to kill these gun laws and allow them - law enforcement has been trained. And they are the only ones I feel that should have guns in public.

HOWELL (voice over): Police arrested Dunn a day later at his home after he fled the scene. The shooting puts Florida's controversial "stand your ground" laws back in the spotlight, a law Ron Davis is determined to change.

DAVIS: That's why I'm definitely going to focus on getting the weapons out of the hands of people that haven't been trained to use them.

(END VIDEOTAPE) KAYE: And Michael, Dunn's attorney says she's still deciding which defense she will use should the case go to trial, adding that "stand your ground" is a possibility. Our thanks to George Howell for that report. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: There will be a public memorial service for "Dallas" star Larry Hagman in Texas today in a nod to his best known character. The service will be held at J.R. Ewing's South Fork ranch. Fans can take a tour of the grounds and then attend a memorial. A private memorial took place yesterday in Dallas.

Thanks for starting your morning with us. We've got much more ahead on CNN SUNDAY MORNING, which starts right now.

From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

A murder-suicide stuns the NFL. What made the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker kill his girlfriend and then take his own life?

A new revelation about the smallest planet. Why scientists are so hot for a chilling discovery.

And tonight's the night we'll find out who will be the CNN Hero of the Year. One music star explains what inspires her to give back.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye. It is 7:00 on the East Coast, 4:00 a.m. on the West. Thanks so much for starting your morning with us.

A deadly attack in Afghanistan has left five people dead and at least 18 others wounded and the Taliban is claiming responsibility. It happened here at a joint U.S./Afghan base near the Jalalabad airfield. There are no reports yet of U.S. casualties.

Joining me now by phone from Kabul is journalist Ben Farmer.

Ben, this attack involves suicide bombs and gunmen. Can you tell us exactly how things unfolded?

BEN FARMER, JOURNALIST (via telephone): Yes, it seems to have been a very complex attack. It began soon after dawn around 6:00 here local time. It began with two suicide car bombs. These were vehicles packed with explosives, driven at the gates of the Jalalabad airfield base, and they detonated. Soon after that, a wave of attackers armed with assault rifles and wearing -- some of them wearing suicide vests stormed the gates.

This prompted a two-hour gun battle with the defenders. The base is defended by both Afghans force and (AUDIO GAP) forces. (AUDIO GAP) It was all over in about two hours.

Now, NATO says none of the attackers, none of the militants managed to breach the defenses. All of them were killed. However, we've got reports that five -- four or five Afghan security guards were killed and two civilians, two medical students who were on their way to their studies were caught in the crossfire and also killed.

KAYE: And just a few months ago, Ben, NATO said that insurgent attacks were on the decline. Is there some concern this might inspire copycats?

FARMER: I think to some extent there's a battle of statistics going on here. While NATO said, in some months, insurgent attacks are down, in other months they've been up. And it's certainly the case there is still a lot of violence here. I think this attack shows that the Taliban can still mount these sort of attacks. There are even these sophisticated attacks which appear to take a lot of planning.

So, even though, ISAF says that it has broken the back of the insurgency and reversed its momentum, it seems that the Taliban are still here and resilient and able to launch these sort of attacks.

KAYE: Ben Farmer, thank you very much.

The Kansas City Chiefs will play the Carolina Panthers today. The team decided not to reschedule today's game after linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend yesterday and then killed himself in front of the team's coach and the general manager. Back in Belcher's hometown in Long Island, New York, neighborhood of West Babylon, his neighbors remember the boy who grew up to make good in the NFL.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Family man, a loving person, and that's somebody that you would want to keep around as a role model.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was somebody to look up to around here that, you know, made it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: The Kansas City Chiefs released a statement following Belcher's death. It reads in part, "The entire Chiefs family is deeply saddened by today's events and our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy, thoughts and prayers for the family and friends affected by this unthinkable tragedy. We will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities and work to ensure that the appropriate counseling resources are available."

The Supreme Court could decide this week whether to take up the controversial issue of same-sex marriage. The nine justices met behind closed doors on Friday but took no action. The high court could act tomorrow when it's scheduled to release orders or the justices may choose to discuss the divisive issue when they meet for another scheduled conference on Friday.

And then there were two. This weekend, Alabama rolled over the Georgia Bulldogs 32-28 to earn a spot against undefeated Notre Dame, a big time battle for the coveted BCS title. The Crimson Tide are looking to win back-to-back titles and their third title in four years, which would be an unprecedented achievement. We'll see if they do it.

After five years, David Beckham is hanging up his American soccer jersey. The British soccer superstar played his final Major League Soccer game last night and even managed to go home on a high note. The Los Angeles Galaxy beat the Houston Dynamo to win the MLS Cup.

After the game, Beckham reflected on his time in the States and the impact he's had on the sport.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID BECKHAM, SOCCER PLAYER: I just hope people have enjoyed me playing here and watching me play for the Galaxy. It's what I always hope for when I, you know, step on the field, that people enjoy watching myself and watching the team play and the team that I play for, you know? I spoke about it during the week again that, you know, my impact will be down to what people decide, other people. You know, I think I've had a successful time here, but it's up to other people to decide that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: Beckham hasn't announced where he'll go next, but the soccer star says he's not ready to leave the sport just yet.

NASA finds ice in a pretty unexpected place -- sun-scorched mercury. Yes, the closest planet to the sun. What's going on with that? I'll ask a scientist what it means in our hunt for life in outer space.

Plus, famed actor and humanitarian Angelina Jolie speaks, backing a move by the U.K. in war-torn Syria.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: OK. So, this is pretty cool. No pun intend.

NASA says it has found large deposits of ice -- yes, good, old fashioned ice, on Mercury, which is the closest planet to the sun. And it's hot there, really hot. Some areas of the small planet can reach 800 degrees, but its north pole is hidden from the sun, allowing apparently this ice to form.

Lawrence Krauss joins me now from Maryland to talk about this. He's a theoretical physicist and author of "A Universe from Nothing."

Lawrence, good morning.

So, help us understand what this really means. We always hear where there's water, there's life. But this can't be true for Mercury, right? I mean, it has a thin atmosphere, pretty extreme temperatures.

LAWRENCE KRAUSS, THEORITICAL PHYSICIST: It's probably not true for Mercury. We don't know where life can live. We've discovered on Earth that life can live in every environment that's occupied in the earth, the most extreme environments, deep underground, in acid polls, in boiling polls. So, it's not the best place to look for life.

But in fact, there is water. In fact, the water is located in deep craters, near the north pole, because Mercury kind of orbits with very little tilt. Near the north pole with the deep craters, it never gets subject. That's why it's so cold. But much of the water is covered by a thin layer of organic material.

(AUDIO GAP)

KAYE: All right.

I think we're having a little trouble hearing Lawrence there. We're going to try and get him back because it is a really interesting discussion. So, we'll work on that.

His resume includes two Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, and an Emmy. And now, Dustin Hoffman will be able to add a new honor to that impressive list. We'll tell you what it is.

First, if you're looking for a getaway, think springtime in Paris. That's where we find our Alina Cho in this week's "Travel Insider".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): I lived in Paris during college, so going back always brings back memories.

One of my favorite things to do -- then and now -- sit outside and sip espresso, or a glass of wine at a cafe. The French invented the concept. Cafe de Flore on the left bank is my pick. And for dinner, Brasserie Lipp across the street is also great.

If you've never been to Paris, take an afternoon on a sunny day and ride the bateaux mouches. These large sight-seeing boats are open air and allow you to see the entire city by sea.

For the arts, the I'Orangerie Museum, which houses spectacular murals by Monet.

For shopping head to Avenue Montaigne, the Madison Avenue of Paris.

Then, grab your walking shoes and head to the Champs Elysee, walking all the way up to the Arch de Triumph and back down is a great way to work off a meal.

And speaking of food, don't forget to buy a real baguette sandwich at a boulangerie, or a crepe on the street.

Soon, you'll feel like a native.

Alina Cho, CNN, Paris.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: We want to continue our conversation we started before the break with Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist.

We're talking about ice being found on Mercury.

Lawrence, glad you're back with us.

So, according to NASA, there could be as much as 1 million metric tons of ice on the planet. Why should this matter to us?

KRAUSS (via telephone): Well, it's, of course, a big surprise. Although, some people thought there might be ice in the deep craters on Mercury because Mercury has very little tilt, unlike the earth, which is tilted. And that means that the north pole, it is essentially never pointing towards the sun. So, if the deep craters get near the north pole, those never get sunlight. In fact, that's where the ice is found.

But the other interesting thing is the ice is covered by a little layer of organic material. And that's probably because the ice was probably delivered by comets, the same way the water on Earth was probably delivered to Earth. So, that makes it interesting because you have water and organic material.

Now, it's not the best place to look for life. You wouldn't want to choose Mercury over any other place. But what it means is even the most extreme environment in the solar system, Mercury, which goes from this incredible heat to this incredible cold, has water and organic material.

KAYE: Yes.

KRAUSS: It means that as we look for life in the universe, even in the most extreme environments we may find the basic building blocks.

KAYE: So does this ice on Mercury actually change, you know, what we know and what we think about for the formation of all the rocky planets?

KRAUSS: Well, it means our suppositions about what might be possible are there. Basically, anything that's possible happens. I think, you know, it's not a huge surprise that there's water there, but I think many people thought, well, it's still so close to the sun that perhaps there aren't places that are hidden from the sunlight, but there are. And as I say, that really means the extremes in our solar system are even -- are still more interesting in looking for life or different conditions than we would have imagined.

I think the fact that there's water on Mercury tells us that when we look for life in our solar system and more importantly perhaps in other planets in the universe, other extreme environments, we should not throw our hands up and say we don't see anything just like Earth before we give up and look for life.

KAYE: Yes, it's so interesting. And I think pretty exciting as well.

Lawrence Krauss, thank you so much for coming on this morning.

KRAUSS: OK. Sorry we couldn't get the video earlier.

KAYE: Oh, that's OK. We're glad we got you back.

KRAUSS: Nice talking to you.

KAYE: Well, it's a big night for seven artists set to receive the 35th annual Kennedy Center honors in Washington. They represent some of the biggest names and most influential contributors to the stage and screen.

CNN's Emily Schmidt introduces the winner with a look at what's in store for them tonight

(BEGIN VDIEOTAPE)

EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Randi, the Kennedy Center says there's one primary criteria for picking an honoree: excellence -- easy to say, more difficult to define. There's no set category for the honorees. This year, they bring comedy, music, dancing, and acting to a highly regarded stage.

(voice-over): The Kennedy Center honors are a bit like Washington's Oscars. Red carpet out front, President and Mrs. Obama inside to greet seven very different artists.

BOB DICKINSON, LIGHTING DIRECTOR: It's very rare to see Led Zeppelin songs being sung at the same time as David Letterman jokes are being told. I think it's going to be a great show.

SCHMIDT: This will be Bob Dickinson's 20th Kennedy Center honor show. He says there's magic in the room because there are no nominees here, no losers. All honorees have earned their place.

They include the three surviving members of British rock and roll band Led Zeppelin. This was their concert in 2007 -- John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant. Their songs like "Stairway to Heaven" are as epic as their more than 100 million records sold in the U.S. It's one kind of electric performance.

This is another. The Russian-born prima ballerina Natalia Makarova danced with the American Ballet Theater and Royal Ballet. She performed during the Kennedy Center honors in 1981. Now, others will perform for her.

BUDDY GUY, KENNEDY CENTER HONOREE: Chicago, thank you very much. I love you. I never will leave. I'll leave but I'll be back.

SCHMIDT: Blues man Buddy Guy got a Chicago sendoff for the honors. He was born into a Louisiana sharecropper's family and went on to win six Grammy Awards.

Honoree Dustin Hoffman said when he grew up, movie stars didn't look like he did. More than 50 films later, he has two best actor Oscars, including this one, "Kramer vs. Kramer".

DUSTIN HOFFMAN, ACTOR: But she signed over custody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not saying we don't have a shot.

SCHMIDT: Honoree David Letterman has more than 5,000 television broadcasts under his belt. He's being recognized for finding the humor in anything, even winning this honor.

He talked about it on "The Late Show with David Letterman."

DAVID LETTERMAN, KENNEDY CENTER HONOREE: When I stopped laughing, I was very excited. I'm very -- I'll tell you, because this is great for my family. They think I'm working at a Jiffy Lube in Mexico.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why not?

SCHMIDT: People who cover the honors say there's more than comic relief at play. It is a break from partisan politics.

NED MARTEL, WASHINGTON POST: At this moment when we're all tired from the election, you can see a break in the action. That adds to the momentousness of the evening.

SCHMIDT: David Letterman joked on his show that Kennedy Center honorees also receive an adjustable mattress and a new car. It was just a punch line, but they do get something else -- a chance to nominate potential future honorees -- Randi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: Emily Schmidt for us -- thank you very much.

Well, it's almost here. Our live broadcast of "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute". It's our annual salute to those who make life better for those in need.

Here's music superstar Gloria Estefan, whose inspiration to give back comes from understanding the struggle of recovery. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GLORIA ESTEFAN, MUSIC SUPERSTAR: I love CNN Heroes because people are used to seeing celebs on TV, politicians on TV.

But the people we should celebrate are the people out there doing things that help other human beings.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We did a good job.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, you're going to meet real super men and super women from across the globe.

ESTEFAN: So, shining the light on these heroes that do amazing things helps all of us say, I can do it too. St. Jude, it's really an amazing place. The incredible research they do. They make it a soothing place for both the family and the child. They bring kids from all over. It's not just the United States.

It's important when someone is in recovery or facing a tough battle that their spirit and their mind will be taken care of. Believe me, I've been there.

REPORTER: Estefan's back was broken during a collision.

ESTEFAN: When I was coming back from that bus accident 22 years ago, my husband pulled me back into my songwriting and my music. That allowed me to flourish and grow even that much quicker.

In my own life, I don't think there's anything more satisfying than helping out another human being.

I'm very happy that CNN Heroes is doing what they're doing. When you see these people that are sacrificing themselves for others, to me that's a hero -- every step of the way.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: And tonight, be sure to catch the "CNN Heroes" preshow special, "Sharing the Spotlight." That's at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. And then right after that, at 9:00, the main event, "CNN Heroes: An All- Star Tribute." It all happens tonight, right here, only on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Let's get you caught up on what's happening in Syria now at 27 minutes past the hour. Rebels say the Internet is back up and running after Syria plunged into a technological black hole of sorts on Thursday. The government and the opposition blame each other for the outrage.

And as fighting continues to rage, we continue to get new pictures out of the country in this amateur video. You can see families running as shells fall. Opposition activists say more than 42,000 people have been killed since March last year.

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie is speaking out about victims of the crisis in Syria. She spoke to Channel 4 News in London about war, the victims of rape and what refugees are telling her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS/ACTIVIST: You meet the people the moment they cross, and they immediately want to start talking. They want to know what's happening to their future. They want to participate.

They want to put on record what's going on in the country. They want things not to be missed. And they want know that one day they'll be able to go home and there will be accountability.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: An attack on Zionism, that's how Benjamin Netanyahu describes the U.N. General Assembly support of the status upgrade for the Palestinian Authority to non-member observer state. At a weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu says the move violates agreements signed with the state of Israel. The resolution needs only the majority of the 139 U.N. members to approve.

And in the U.S., the Kansas City Chiefs will play today, despite a personal tragedy for the team. Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend yesterday before heading to the team's practice facility where he turned the gun on himself in front of his coach and team's general manager.

More top stories at the top of the hour when CNN SUNDAY MORNING continues. I'll see you then.

"SANJAY GUPTA, M.D." begins right now.