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CNN NEWSROOM

Princess Kate With Morning Sickness; West Coast Braces For Fourth Storm; Former President Bush Healing; McAfee In Hiding; Football and Permanent Brain Damage; Costas Comments Spark Backlash

Aired December 3, 2012 - 13:00   ET

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


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Kate has hyperemesis. Had that with my last child, not fun at all. Hang in there, Kate. Hyperemesis, that's morning sickness, to you and me.

Actor Zach Braff from "Scrubs" says, where does one buy a tiny crown and scepter these days? Amazon, perhaps. As I say, just wait for those commemorative plates and mugs. That'll do it for us. An hour of NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL the lovely and talented Ashleigh Banfield is next with more NEWSROOM.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Michael Holmes. We have two stories we're following for you right now. A New Jersey train derailment forcing an entire town to take shelter in their own homes. And then, also, the west coast is getting hammered by its third storm inside one week, and the pictures tell the story. Let's start here. The storms have soaked Oregon and Washington and hardest hit is northern California. And if three storms sounds bad, how about a fourth? A fourth is on the way. A lot of areas are already dealing with some serious flooding.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This thing just went up fast. It just went real fast. The fire department was out here, and the (INAUDIBLE) a lot of the stuff, you know, was in the house so it didn't float down the, you know, road but this is the worst.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: Meteorologist Chad Myers joins us now from the CNN weather center in Atlanta. It sounds like there's a bit of a break for them today, --

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes.

BANFIELD: -- but I guess they shouldn't get too comfortable.

MYERS: Absolutely not, no. This is going to be a daily event for the next, really, 15 days. On one day, off the next. Storms are still lined up. We talked about this last week how there's just one after another. Rain and then a break, rain and then a break. New flash flood watches issued for parts of Washington and Oregon. Flood watches and warnings going everywhere because rivers out of their banks and there's just more rain where this came from, many more days.

As we push the rain on shore, the moisture from the Pacific, it'll be raining all the way from Washington through the cascades and down and big snows into the Sierra as well. Up to four feet of snow already on the ground and at least that much still coming for some of these ski resorts there. That's great news for some. At some point in time, that snow gets too deep, and they have to kind of close things and make the avalanche warnings go. But right now, we're OK. Skiers there very happy. Some of the residents not so happy with all this rain, though -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: All right, let's head over to the other coast, and this trail train derailment --

MYERS: Yes.

BANFIELD: -- in New Jersey, Paulsboro. This happened on Friday. How on earth could it be, you know, days until all of a sudden residents are told, oh, go inside and close your doors and windows?

MYERS: Well, it was this morning when this happened. It was that the wind completely stopped. There was no wind to mix it up at all, and when that happens, and even there was some fog this morning, the air just sits there right on the ground and this vinyl chloride that's leaking, part of the VC of PVC, poly vinyl chloride, that's still leaking into the air.

Now, the air is mixing around a little bit, and things are getting better there, and so we are getting a new press release from the NTSB. And it just -- they're just stepping up to the press conference right now. We will monitor it for you. We assume, though, the rest of the day today as the air mixes up, people can move around. But by tomorrow morning when the air settles back down, that fog pushes all of that gas back down toward the people, back down toward the ground, and it's not going to be any better for many days until they get this thing completely stopped.

BANFIELD: Oh, what a mess. All right, Chad Myers, thank you, for both of those stories.

MYERS: Yes.

BANFIELD: Do appreciate it. I want to move on to some other big news that we're following. How about this for big? Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, she's having a baby, folks. England's Prince William and his wife are expecting their first child, and the palace says everyone is thrilled with the news. Max Foster is live for us at King Edward Hospital, because that is where Kate has just been admitted. I think a lot of people are a bit concerned for her health but is there nothing more than just morning sickness afoot here, Max?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, severe morning sickness, we're told. There was some concern, obviously, about her. She was at home in Bucklebury, and then she came straight here to the hospital. We understand that it's severe morning sickness. She needs nutrients, she needs rehydration. That's a concern. Although I have to say palace officials have said they're not overly concerned about her at this point.

They have had to -- they have been forced into this announcement that she was pregnant. They wouldn't normally announce that she's pregnant until she's 12 weeks gone. She isn't 12 weeks gone, so they have been forced into this announcement. I know that Prince William is with the Duchess in the hospital behind me. He is there supporting her. We expect him to leave at some point. We'll get those images for you. But at the moment, they're watching her. They're giving her all of the re-hydration, the nutrients that she needs to get well again, but, yes, she's pregnant. Not 12 weeks, but sometime before that.

BANFIELD: Yes, and that's a significant milestone, 12 weeks, because a lot of people wouldn't say they're pregnant until that particular trimester ends. So, when you say that the palace was effectively forced into this, there have been plenty of rumors circulating. There are front page headlines saying baby bump and, you know, there was that time when she wouldn't drink a toast with wine. She would only drink water. So, what was the pressure now all of a sudden to tell everyone she's pregnant?

FOSTER: Well, simply that she's in hospital and we would have found out. She's gotten engagements, and she's going to have to cancel. So, that's why they have had to announce it. She's not going to be out and about as she was. I have to say, I was out with her on Friday when she went to her old school. She was playing hockey in high heels on this new astroturf that she was opening. She was on very good form. She was smiling. She looks really well.

So, she must have taken a turn to the worse today, and certainly there would have been concern about it. They have to play safe on this one. They have to bring her to this hospital where the Royals do come. It's a very good hospital. But they had to announce. It would have got out, this information. So, we know now that she's pregnant. She's being looked after by the top doctors in the U.K., they would argue. And we'll see what happens. But certainly, we're going to be here for a few days, Ashleigh, monitoring the situation for you. Senior Royals have been informed. Prince Harry, they're trying to get a hold of to inform him. Prince William is in there supporting her.

BANFIELD: And just quickly, while we're all excited about a royal pregnancy and the lavishness of their lives and all the rest. It can't be understated, she could be pregnant with a future king or queen.

FOSTER: Well, it's interesting, this debate, because you would understand from what politicians have told you that they have changed the act of succession to allow the first born, if it is a girl, to become queen. That's not actually the case. Very, very complicated legal procedures have to be gone through. They haven't even identified the laws that they have to change in order to do that. They go back hundreds of years. There's a committee in New Zealand that's debating this. There are several countries, 15 countries, that have to agree to change this law, all the places where she will be queen.

So certainly, when this baby is born, if it is born, it won't be automatically that she becomes queen, but they're working towards it. So, it's not true just yet. But if it's a girl, I'm sure they still support that she would become queen. It wouldn't be acceptable if her younger brother leapfrogged her when it did come to William passing on the throne.

BANBFIELD: Right. Well, it is, what, almost 2013, isn't it? Max Foster, thank you very much. Keep an eye on things for us, if you would. Do appreciate it.

I also want to update another story that we've been following. Former president George H. W. Bush has been in and out of the hospital for complications related to bronchitis. His spokesman, Jim McGrath, tells CNN, quote, "yesterday was a really good day. Spirits are high. Aided by another solid Houston Texans win. He still has the cough which causes him pain. So long as he has that, he is not anxious to go anywhere." The former president is 88 years old.

Also making news, millionaire mogul John McAfee is on the run. He is wanted for questioning about the killing of his neighbor. CNN caught up with McAfee in an exclusive interview why he says the police are chasing the wrong man.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN MCAFEE, FOUNDER, MCAFEE: I barely knew the man. And why would I kill him? He was a neighbor that lived 200 yards down the beach. I did not kill the man. I knew nothing about his death until the following morning.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: Turn on most any computer and there's a pretty good chance you'll see a banner pop up for McAfee anti-virus software. It's that thing that's supposed to keep your computer safe, but the software pioneer behind that program says he himself is in danger. He's been on the run for weeks from authorities in Belize who want to question him about the killing of his neighbor there. But CNN's Martin Savidge succeeded where so far that country's authorities have failed. Martin found John McAfee.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE (voice-over): The search to find John McAfee began right here at the airport not long after I had landed. And it began with three simple words, sorry I'm late. A prearranged code word to let me know I had met the person that would take notice McAfee. But it wasn't that easy. My follow-up was a long drive through winding, twisting streets. And when you thought it was coming to an end, instead we get into a parking lot, quickly jump out, get into another vehicle, drive off again. This time with switchbacks, u-turns and back alleys. It was clearly meant to confuse us as well as anyone following. And then there we were, face to face. Observation number one, with John McAfee, there is no such thing as a simple answer.

SAVIDGE (on camera): You are John McAfee?

MCAFEE: I think so. Yes, I am john McAfee.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): He seemed nervous, anxious, fidgety.

(on camera): Are you afraid?

MCAFEE: Wouldn't you be so?

SAVIDGE (voice-over): He used that sir thing a lot. His hair is jet black, part of his disguise, he says, and by his own admission, he is vane. Asking his to wait for his hair to dry before starting our interview. And that interview ranged from completely convincing like when I asked him about his neighbor's murder.

(on camera): Did you kill Greg Fall?

MCAFEE: I barely knew the man, and why would I kill him? He was a neighbor that lived 200 yards down the beach.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Too off the wall.

(on camera): Do you really believe the government is -- this is a vendetta by the government of Belize to take you down and kill you?

MCAFEE: Absolutely, sir.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): He says he is not on drugs, and he hasn't touched alcohol in 30 years. But he has started smoking again, which he puts down to current circumstances. And he is not alone. Running with his 20-year-old girlfriend, and McAfee, who is 67, openly speaks of many more.

MCAFEE: It's absolutely real that I had six -- how many?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE.)

SAVIDGE: It seemed almost surreal right down to the coffee I drank with him. Before we parted, there was one more question I had to ask of this software genius.

(on camera): Are you a smart man? I know you're an intelligent man.

MCAFEE: I don't -- I don't think so. If I were smart, would I be here? I'm a foolish man. I know that much.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): And you know what? I believe him.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BANFIELD: Martin Savidge joins us live now from Belize. First of all, Martin, unbelievable work in tracking down this fugitive. In the meantime, are the authorities in Belize now pressing you for where he might be?

SAVIDGE: No, they haven't. They haven't expressed anything about our interview. I talked to them on a number of times to follow-up on their investigation. They have not in any way said that they wanted to talk to us regarding his whereabouts. And the truth is they -- he made it so difficult, meaning John McAfee, to find him. I couldn't even begin to tell them where we were, and it ended with us being dumped off in the middle of the night in a dark street. So, there were no reference points really.

BANFIELD: It's like right out of a spy novel, Martin. So, just quickly, do you think that John McAfee is fill in Belize, or did he indicate that he's got a plan to get out of that country?

SAVIDGE: You know, there are reports that are coming, which we cannot confirm, from his own blogging, that says that he has left Belize. But, again, we have tried to confirm that a number of different ways, and we have not been able to do that. So, the belief is that, until otherwise told, he is still in Belize. He believes that this is where he has to sort of fight his battle if he wishes to, one, find the killer of Greg Faull, and, two, clear his own name.

BANFIELD: Great work. Martin Savidge live in Belize for us. Thank you so much.

Research shows that football-related head injuries could cause chronic brain damage. And, guess what, there's some new evidence that supports that claim. Our medical team is up next with the impact of concussions.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: We have some breaking news we want to show you. It's a photograph of George Zimmerman. And this is a photograph that his lawyers are now releasing. And it is the night he was arrested in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. What is critical about this photograph is it's the first time we are seeing his face up close. And it seems to, at this very early stage with just this angle of the photograph, corroborate what he says may have happened in an altercation with Trayvon Martin. Don't forget that George Zimmerman is arguing that he shot in self-defense when he killed that unarmed black teenager. He says that Trayvon Martin had bashed him in the nose, breaking his nose, and then hit his head repeatedly against a sidewalk.

So here is the photograph that police took in their cruiser that night. What's incredible is that we have not had access to this photograph until now. And it has been many months since this happened. This came by way of something called discovery. The state finally released this photograph to George Zimmerman's lawyers in the case against him. And they, in turn, have released it to the media. It certainly does bolster his version of what happened.

But don't forget, he is facing extraordinarily serious charges, murder charges in this case. There are two versions of this story. That is one piece of evidence, but albeit a critical piece of evidence in the case.

Let me move on to this other story. This weekend, Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher, an NFL linebacker, killed his girlfriend, the mother of his child, and then drove to the Chiefs stadium and shot himself to death right in front of his coaches. To be clear, we do not know the causes or the reasons behind this tragedy, but we have seen six NFL players take their own lives in as many years. And studies have shown that some of these players have had something called CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It's like an Alzheimer's type of condition attributed to repeated head injuries, like concussions. Our senior CNN medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, has been looking into this story.

And there are -- there's more information. It's just incredibly coincidental, but there's more information coming out about head trauma and repeated head trauma and how this can affect the brains of pro athletes. Give me a bit of a feel for what these studies are saying.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: There's this one big study that is just coming out today. It was done at Boston University. And people have looked at brains of athletes who have had this condition after they've died, done an autopsy. Sort of here and there, there have been studies.

This, the researchers tell us, is the biggest study. And there you see the results. On the left hand side, three images of a normal brain. On the right-hand side, three images of a brain with advanced chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

And, Ashleigh, you see those brown spots sort of around the edges there?

BANFIELD: Yes.

COHEN: That is the accumulation of toxic proteins. What can happen is that with repeated injury and over a period of years and years these proteins accumulate. And if -- often there's nothing you can do. And they actually can interfere with the way that the brain functions. And you can just see it so clearly in those images.

BANFIELD: So, you know, one of the critical questions a lot of parents obviously have as their kids get involved in sports and progress through, you know, football or hockey or all those sports where you can suffer repeated traumas, what's critical here is that it's not just the concussions that you have to be worried about according to the study, right?

COHEN: Right. This study -- these folks didn't necessarily have a whole lot of concussions. And we're talking about 68 people who they looked at. Some of them it was just a matter of, you know, repeated head injuries, you know, and just being sort of batted around over the years. Now, what's interesting is the folks in this study were between the ages of 17 and 98. And what they could see was that the injury was -- the damage was worse with repeated injury. In other words, the more time that you spent sort of in the game. And, secondly, it was worse as people got older because it gave those toxins more time to accumulate and cause that damage. But again, as you say, it doesn't -- you don't have to end up in the hospital to get this kind of damage. BANFIELD: Right. And of course we should point out, Elizabeth, that there have been critics of the study and of the number of people that have been studied. But certainly it does give a little more insight.

Elizabeth Cohen, and your team, thank you very much.

COHEN: Thanks.

BANFIELD: After NFL player Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then killed himself, something else happened. A sportscaster that we all know, Bob Costas, decided to talk about it. And in a big, big venue. He used "Sunday Night Football" to discuss gun control live on the air, but did he use the right forum for his remarks? A lot of people are weighing in. And this man, Howard Kurtz, who knows more about TV than even people who are on it, is going to talk to me in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: Sportscaster Bob Costas is facing a lot of angry backlash today after talking about gun control during Sunday night football. He made some pretty controversial comments a day after Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher killed the mother of his three-year-old daughter and then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and shot himself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB COSTAS, NBC SPORTSCASTER: You want some actual perspective on this? Well, a bit of it comes from the Kansas City based writer Jason Whitlock, with whom I do not always agree, but who today said it so well that we may as well just quote or paraphrase from the end of his article. "Our current gun culture," Whitlock wrote, "insures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy and that more convenience store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead. Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments and bate us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: Pretty clear what he was saying. Howard Kurtz from CNN's "Reliable Sources" joins me live now by Skype.

Quite a discussion has erupted since those comments were made, Howie. Is that a legitimate conversation that we should all be having about what Bob said?

HOWARD KURTZ, CNN'S "RELIABLE SOURCES": Well, it's an important conversation, Ashleigh, but by stepping out of his sportscaster's role, Bob Costas had to know that he was going to invite the anger and the ire from all the sports fans who don't agree with him on this issue of gun control. I can only conclude he felt it was so important, just a day after that tragedy in Kansas City, that he felt compelled to speak out. BANFIELD: And a lot of people are talking about the timing. Some saying it was perfect. Some saying it was insensitive. But here are a couple of the tweet that we've just been pulling out, and there are many, many to choose from #bobcostas.

"A woman killed her husband with a shovel yesterday. Should we have a stricter regulation at Home Depot?" That's from @RightWingB.

And then there's also this tweet. "Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Keep that liberal crap off the NFL airwaves." And that comes from @erikamanasco8h.

And at the same time, Howie, I'd be remiss if I didn't quote from a CNN poll that we took just a couple of months ago asking Americans, should there be restrictions on owning guns. Fifty percent said no, or just minor restrictions, and 48 percent said yes or believe that owning guns should be illegal. So clearly this is divided right down the line. Is this, therefore, a dangerous body of water for Bob Costas to tread into?

KURTZ: Very dangerous because sports is one of those things that unites us. So people who may be conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat, they like to listen and watch Bob Costas talk about football and baseball and watch him during the Olympics. By taking this kind of stand, he has alienated some of his fan base. But, you know, what -- the question is, and I think he copped out a little bit by just quoting Jason Whitlock, a Kansas City columnist who writes for Fox Sports, rather than giving his own view. But, clearly, sympathetic to gun control.

And the question is, what is sports journalism about? Is it just about celebrating the games and the X's and the O's and which team got the upper hand and who played the zone defense, or is it also about important issues of life and death. In this case, this thing had just happened. I think it was unavoidable.

BANFIELD: And full disclosure, I worked with Bob Costas for a number of years. I adore him and he is a fine man and a fine broadcaster.